Friday, March 30, 2007

Horse fodder

(Editor's note: I was informed that meranti is actually a type of rare timber in Malaysia and Indonesia and not a type of bamboo as suggested below. Thanks Voon!)

I had a really good day today. Did things I really wanted to do in a while but never bothered doing. Cooked tiger prawns for lunch, travelled to the most north of KL I have ever been on a tip off chance that there might be some stables (and so horses) there, took a muddy walk by myself around a very big lake whilst taking pictures, cooked chicken feet and carrot soup for dinner because no matter how gross chicken feet sound, they taste great and finally uploaded backup software for my computer.

The horses were not very big, 12hh or under because the said stables were mainly for small children, which was slightly disappointing as I promote that size does matter, me being a very wee person myself. I took two trains and a taxi looking for the stables and found them. Shut. Still, I took the half opened door as an invite and went in to see if I could at least pet some of the animals and get answers to questions about riding lessons. A really nice, if not surprised stablehand politely answered my queries and said I could go have a look around so round I went, surprising even more workers along the way. Of all the horses, Meranti (his name derives from a type of bamboo) or Putera (prince) are the ones I want to ride. They have 3 things going for them; size (although still small), colour (they're both paints; Meranti's chesnut and white and Putera's back and white and attitude, whilst Putera was calm, Meranti was excited and restless, walking back and forth in his box constantly, like an anxious person pacing up and down. The horses probably only understood Malay so looked at me blankly and the constant buzzing of annoying flies irritated them so I couldn't touch as many as I liked but it was good enough for the day. By the time I left, I had horse fodder stuck all over me as some of the horses chuffed their food my way which then stuck onto my sunscreen lathered arms.

Besides horses, I also thought about sharks today. I was chopping the ends of the chicken feet off (so that the claws don't dig into me) when I suddenly felt slightly barbaric. Chicken feet are so soft and if you put a bit of imagination into it, don't look all that different from a very withered hand yet I wouldn't dream of chopping anyone's fingertips off! Why is it I feel, that if I gave the chicken or if the chicken had the same emotions I had, that eating chicken or eating meat would be wrong? The thought then brought me to the issue of finning; where sharks fins are cut off and the shark left to die. Most people who are against finning are against killing the shark merely for its fins yet what would the difference be, eating one part of the shark ot eating the whole shark? The shark would die anyway. Am still thinking about that. Might write more when my thoughts are organised better. Also, this constant thinking about sharks have put me off going swimming. What if they want revenge? Maybe I should just advocate vegetarianism...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Red sky at night


Sure it brings shepherds delight but what will it bring me?

Monday, March 26, 2007

Irony and defiance

If I didn't mind it raining on my wedding day, it wouldn't be ironic although Alanis M thinks it would be. I always think that I might die in a plane crash so that isn't ironic either.Neither is having 10,000 spoons because at the moment I only have chopsticks and everyone knows that chopsticks solve most problems. What represents the ironic in my life is wanting training but finding out that the training school wants me trained beforehand. It's being in my homeland but feeling like a stranger. It's being stressed because I am bored. It's in friendships dying because all that was wanted was friendship. Sometimes I think "Screw everything, I'll do things my way" and then realise that I already am doing things my way and that's how things got messed up in the first place.

As I examine my attitude towards 'authorities' no matter how seemingly unimportant, it is with regret that my attitude reflects man's defiance to God. When I get angry at being caught out doing something I wasn't meant to in the first place, when relationships get twisted because someone who cared asked a question he has every right to and when I have to apologise. Those are three things all men face with their creator God, Christian or non Christian. Christians have no glowing halos or invisible wings or magical harps to get them out of trouble. If anything, such images are binding; the halo akin a straight jacket, the wings are clipped and harp, produces a noisome discord. We all want to walk in the darkness because the light exposes us and none of us want to be exposed; we get angry when God catches us out doing something we knew was wrong in the first place, we refuse His grace and refuse to acknowledge that only He can save us thus, refusing His rule and wrecking that relationship and we hate to apologise. Christians don't escape these feelings of rebellion either, falling time and time again into temptation and sin, ignoring God's wisdom and authority, but the difference lies in God's attitude towards them. Where all have sinned and deserve to burn consumed yet unquenchable in Hell, yet God chose to grace a few with Salvation, to rescue them on absolutely no merit of their own, from an undying death worse than death itself. So if a 'Christian' says they have been saved by their own merit, whether by the physical of bread and wine or any spiritual hocus pocus, I will seriously doubt that that they are aware of man's original state, the consequence of not being redeemed and the cost of our Salvation.

I went to see my dad yesterday at a conference. And as I walked by receptionists, hotel staff and conference coordinators, it struck me that being a daughter of my dad, I had more claim to see my dad than anyone else in the hotel. And that confidence was backed subconsciously by the knowledge that I was the person my dad would give priority to. I think that's what childlike faith looks like. I've never known my dad not to help me when I was in trouble or even when I wasn't, he would make sure I was fine and I could go anywhere with him even when I had panic attacks because he knew what to do and he would make sure I would be safe. I suppose as we grow, we doubt that our parents know much about the world today and to a certain extent, we disrespect their opinions and dismiss them as old-fashioned or impractical and then as we age a bit more, things they said in the past that we considered rubbish suddenly makes a lot of sense. I came up with a poem from the top of my head;

When my dad is boss,
I don't have to give a toss,
About red tape or queues,
I just walk straight through.

The same confidence I have that my earthly father will see me, that he doesn't require me to go through secretaries or receptionists before seeing me translates to my heavenly Father. I don't need holy water, bread, wine, fire, bankable hours of Bible study or cleansing rituals before seeing Him. I can go straight to my Father without first seeing a row of bishops, priests or pharisees, to ask for forgiveness, to say I'm sorry, knowing that He has already forgiven me because I am His child. Yet how did a sinner like me, so completely depraved, enter my God's throne room with confidence? How did I manage to persuade God in any way that He wanted to give me this relationship with Him? I did not and would never have been able to, had He not reached out to me Himself. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ has to be given absolute power, honour and glory. Anything claiming that we need Jesus and something else or that the cross was not sufficient for us to have a perfect relationship with God, is heresy, no matter how intellectually put, no matter how believable.

Only through and in Jesus Christ am I able to say God is my Father. Nothing more. Nothing less. Absolutely nothing else.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Strange dreams

From the cartoon 'Dumbo' courtesy of Google Images

There are dreams that I live out through the night and then awake, forgetting them completely. Then there are dreams where upon awakening, fill me with a sense of loss because as peculiar as the dreams played out, they offered promise and a change of perspective, not necessarily radically different from the way I see things when I am awake, but as a 2D image holds less information than a 3D one, so it appears that life, though its simple threads may form complex patterns, is not quite sufficient a medium to fully exercise our desires.

Dreams of driving an old fashioned steam engine off the tracks into a cabbage patch, finding black kittens in lettuce hearts, riding horses that bounce into the sky until you can see the landscape for miles around and your toes curl, of running away from teachers and leaping over a fence, discovering in flight that one can really fly, of being recognised yet at the same time taken advantage of by the same people you always had doubts about but could never clarify why, dreams of mixing people and places and experiences... I wonder what it would be like to live in a vacuum. Would I be able to see things more clearly when all life's particles and the things that make the world go round are hung still in suspension exposed in a form as pure as one can get, for me to investigate and prod as much as I want? Would I then be satisfied? Someone give me answers!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Pondering

There was a time not too long ago when leaving KL as quickly as possible was foremost in my mind. How fickle one's mind can be! Yet, as it is with most things, it is not the big things that made my heart grow ever so slightly fonder of this city, but the little, not the loud, but the subtle. A taxi driver telling me he can tell I'm from Malaysia (a first in almost 6 months!), being able to take a friend's parents sight seeing even though I still consider myself a visitor in part, knowing where to go to buy what at the best price, increasing my DVD and CD collection (until recently, I had only 5 CDs and 2 DVDs to my name) and tonight, starting a new Bible study group in my home. I still think that my being in KL is only temporary but at least now better memories might form which in turn, could build me as a person.

I went to what was meant to be one of the best cake houses in KL but it was a let down in everything else but size. I wanted to buy a cake for my group but tested the product first by ordering a slice to try. A walnut, chocolate cream cake was meant to be a dream with it's three layers of chocolate sponge, chocolate cream and walnut but to my disappointment, the cake was too floury and the cream still had sugar granules I could bite into. Overall, too dry and sweet for my liking and I have a very sweet tooth! The only thing to its favour besies it's size, was the freshness of the walnuts. Needless to say, I did not buy the cake and will be very wary at what others call 'good' in the future.

Met a businesswoman and a baker today whom I hope I will meet again. There are many things I want to learn about having a business of my own involving baking and/or T-shirt designing. So far the plans have only ever been jokes between friends but I have been considering them more seriously lately. However, it will be some time yet before anything is launched. The small issue of capital and time will not be ignored.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Mood songs, mood swings

I have increased the number of CDs in my collection, which I believe is a lyrical representaion of where I am in life and how I'm dealing with it. Actually stuff that analytical trash. I bought those CDs 'cause I thought listening to them over and over again might brainwash me into becoming something I want to be but am not quite there yet. Yet, I don't quite know what I want to be so the music gets a little mixed up. Throw in a bit of Bach with Pussycat Dolls, a bit of Craig David with Ciarra, a bit of Koda Kumi with DC Talk and a bit of Mozart with Chili Peppers and what do you get? Maybe if I go more hardcore, more avant garde, in my music, I can get to where I want to get to. Let the road make itself.

On the small matter of rodent rampage, it is the still before a storm. The humans are worried that a full-scale attack will launch and sweep them away as a squall strikes unsuspecting ships that think they are built to last. Are we sure that we are the height of evolution? The dominion of these fuzzballs have spread. Humankind, once scattered in fear are regrouping and arming themselves with years of history when the vermin was once fought off and thought to be extinguished. The assistance of pigeons may be needed. Once labelled 'flying rodents' with disgust, our winged friends may prove vital in helping us exchange location hunts, casualties and strategies without the restless underground ever knowing.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Mousewatch

Taken from Lazerbrody.typepad.com

There is a secret battle going on around the deep and dark corners of a holy place, a battle not just of brain and brawn for the expansion of a kingdom, but of restoration, of justice, of the right in this world. This mass revival however, is not of human origin. With their furry faces and black diamond eyes, an unsuspecting passer by may assume them ignorant and in need of protection when underneath their cutesy exterior lies an aggressively devious and opportunistic mind. The little critters are gunning for world domination and the only person standing in their way is another cheese lover with eyes of steel to match their carbon processed ones; Elena Dudley has declared a charter of war against the present rodent community and is rest assured she will win. But will she? Welcome to Mousewatch.

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Wednesday, 14th March 2007

Casualty count:
4 fatalities
1 prisoner of war

"Speak, you mangled imbecile. Speak, I say! Tell me where they are hiding. Give me names and I'll make it fast and easy. Speak!"

The rodent squeeks in defiance and receives the punishment due.

"No cheese for 24 hours."

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Thursday, 15th March 2007

Fresh casualty count:
2 dead
2 captured

The nightmare that begun continues in those dark places no one dares venture into. In a silent parish, with the smell of an odd homeless person waffing through the rafters, the revival is getting stronger beneath the floorboards as strangers mourn for martyred brothers who refused to speak even when tempted with camembert and peanut butter. Their sheer numbers make the one above, their nemesis, Ms Dudley, think this is mousey paradise but as the mice prepare for warefare, none are blissful. Food is out there in plenty, resting in a land they were made to conquer and no building manager will stop them from bursting forth to claim possession of their heritage.

A particular penchant for this stange thing the humans call Fairtrade started this asembly. No longer were they satisfied with the abundance of the sewers, instead, they scurried for the few crumbs of Brazilian Nut cookies, Divine chocolate and chocolate biscuits to share between themselves; morsels from heaven itself. But the stirring of wanting more grows inside each rodent. As they see their counterparts grab more of a good thing, jealousy and resentment fester...

In the skies above, Elena having enlisted help from alien sources, is partial to thinking that their favour to milk chocolate could very well mean that the hoard of militant mice are all female, reminiscience of the Amazonian warriors who nearly defeated Hercules, or Heracles as the Romans called him. Even worse, inside their bellies are probably scores of little warriors, compelling their mothers for more chocolate, more chocolate, more chocolate...

The sweep will begin soon until the last mouse standing will shriek in submission and return to the gutters from whence it came.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Spartan Glory - no obvious spoilers

Gerard Butler as King Leonidas in 300

Frank Miller is slowly but surely climbing the hierarchy of 'people I hold in esteem,' not that he would care to be held in esteem by yours truly. Although I may not be a comic fan, the storylines he has chosen to adapt, of flawed yet noble creatures, living in the vortex of psychological depth that form the bass rhythm that walks upon each page, strike a very clear chord in me, almost awakening something I want to be but can never achieve in a world governed by natural laws of physics, chemisty and biology. Yet the desire to go as far as I can within the morals that restrain me is still there, raging against a body that cannot fulfill what the mind wants. To that end, I emerse myself in the imaginary; a world of Kill Bills, vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters, mutants, dragons and Greek mythology and legend. But enough of the 'Who am I?' talk, Frank Miller's adaptation and Zack Snyder's direction of the historical event, Battle of Thermopylae, has more than satisfied the expectations I had for this film. A big fan of anything Greek (including the cheese) I had various points in my head, that in my opinion the movie had to demonsrate in order to be Spartan-isque and I was not disappointed. The totalitaran and utilitarian culture adopted, undisputed military prowess and tactics, the distinct social standing of women, the agoge and krypteia and even the importance of the Spartans' oral tradition was either directly or implicitly included.

To those who care not for serial decapitation or oiled men in loincloth (think Kill Bill meet the Gladiator) , this movie is not for you. However, if you are interested in Greek history and heroes, a heart pounding time and 10 bucks worth spending, go watch it. There were times during the movie I thought a panic attack was about to hit; it was that good! Being the animal-crazed person I am, there are some awesome shots of the power of horses in movement, three elephants, a giant wolf and a rhinocerous. All in all, a movie I would definitely watch again.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Improper Pride?

Some things incur my rancor more easily than others. People who are just incapable of listening in a conversation merely show themselves up as incompetent but people who fail to listen and then assume someone else's ideas (which have already been voiced in the conversation had they listened) as their own, just deserve to be knocked on the head and shouted at. Or so I think, when I am in a bad mood, wondering whether to tap the offender on the shoulder and explain that the idea was mine. Not yours or another's, mine. I am trying to figure out whether my annoyance and resentment is directed at the person specifically or at what they did because if I had already had reserved resentment towards them, their actions would then seem more uncivilised and ill-mannered than if someone I liked did it; I might find it easier to forgive someone who has hurt me countless times if I liked them than forgive someone once if I didn't. I could just blame it all on Murphy but the main issue is sin and a hardened heart. Pride perhaps? The 'mine' principle seems ridden with improper pride but surely there is just cause behind defending what is one's own, be it an idea, design or creation. I suppose it depends how much worth I put behind the thing that was copied or how generous I felt that day. I could solve all problems by keeping all my ideas to myself, not entering any conversation held, give monosyllabic answers or avoid everyone like the plague, but the downside (or upside if the company holds plague-like attributes) is that I get labelled rude, ungrateful and arrogant. Actually, the labels kind of grow on you until you wear them as proud badges of honour in contempt of the people who gave them to you. Contempt and sarcasm is a wonderful thing when given its rightful place but used unwisely, can cause deep hurt and relational rifts, which admittedly is sometimes the desired effect even though one knows its wrong.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Type O


I have been thinking that I should get my act together and eat more healthily. Because I'm a firm believer that most things start in the mind, I headed to the bookstore to look for a book that could help me get down and shape up. The night before, at dinner, Jake had said that his wife was reading a book which defined eating based on one's blood type (for another story on my blood type, see June 14 2005's blog entry). Thinking it was quite a good idea, I went in search of a book that could tell me, a type O, what I should eat and I found lots of stuff on it, some good, some bad so if you are a type O too, read up! Apparently I am a hunter-gatherer type; the stuff cavemen and barbarians are made of (finally my failed attempts at refinement makes sense; I belong to a different age, one of those running and chasing hyperactive ones and no little wonder then, that I like to bash things, a tribute to my club-bearing ancestral origins).

The first thing the book said was that I was allowed to eat as much meat as I wanted to... except pork and frog!!! As much as I knew I was not meant to be vegetarian, being Chinese, I like my pig; trotter, tail, intestines, meat, fat, the lot. there are few things nicer than boiled pig's tail cooked with black beans, dipped in sesame oil, salt and soya sauce and frog's legs are yummy. My mum 'tricked' me into eating frog by telling me they were 'water chicken' which is the direct translation of frog in Hokkien. So although I assumed that it was some sort of water bird, ginger frog was actually passing my lips. When I found out later, the sweet taste of frog was sill a vivid memory that I happily accepted that frog was now on life's menu. So the news that those two meats were considered 'poison' to my body was somewhat upsetting. I mean, how bad can a bacon butty be?? My favourites, prawn and venison were given the thumbs up, which lessened the pangs of being potentially porkless and frogless in the depths of my stomach.

I am allowed to eat as much swordfish as I want! How random. Most health books I have read advise women especially against eating swordfish because of its high mercury levels. But octopus is a no-no. To think, I was just telling my friends a few days ago that I love baby octopus because of the squiggly feeling I get cramming all their little legs into my mouth at once. I think cod was good for me and so was sardine (including the bones) and tinned salmon but strangely enough, not smoked salmon. I am allowed to eat all leafy green veggies and broccoli but not cucumber. No oranges or coconut for me, which suits me just fine, but no dairy either. At all. That, I had a problem with. A big one.

The highlight of my horror being an O was that peanut butter was completely off the list even when separated. Peanut butter, especially crunchy peanut butter, with its little knobs of uncrushed peanuts offering themselves to be obliterated in your jaws really makes my day, makes me smile and makes everything good again because it sticks everyhting together, it is sooo nicey-gooey. My favourite chocolate bar is the Kit Kat Crunchy Peanut Butter one, sadly not found in Malaysia but that is hardly the saddest thing. As a self-professed chocoholic, to be told that chocolate is poison to my system is like telling me that dogs are monkeys. As ice cream, butter, cheese, cream cheese, parmesan and camembert added themselves to the list, I was thinking of getting myself tested again. Perhaps my blood was man-handled and I should get a second opinion. The book I mentally deemed self-righteous and a party-poooper offered little recompense in saying that I could have an egg a week, feta and mozarella. An egg a week! I used to have 2 a day in the days I had instant noodles as a staple. But if I were to follow the book, my days of wheat and MSG are gone for good. I had a strange feeling that as an O, I was made to be a carnivour. Without the teeth for the job.

As I leafed through a few more pages, I thought of all my favourite dishes and all those puddings I would be missing. All the luscious brownies I could no longer eat, chocolate bars I could no longer enjoy, cheese parties I could no longer take part in, cucumbers I had to forgo when ordering my aromatic crispy duck, Belgium chocolate fudge pieces I had to pass on during weddings, not forgetting carbonara, Ben and Jerrys and mashed potatoes. At this point in time, I am yet undecided whether to heed the advice of this book that I had sought out in the first place. The road to perfect health and the most efficient metabolism I could have requires a lot more than I thought it would.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Green about green

Picture courtesy of Google

On the second day in my hunt for hunter green nail polish, more was bestowed upon me that I expected, which is always a good thing. First, I did not have to wait ages for a cab, the driver spoke English and there was no traffic jam hence what was usually an 8 ringgit trip cost only 5. I stepped into Jusco supermarket before meeting up wth Dianne, Vic and Chew Wei to scout for my longed for nail polish when I was hit with sales, from 10 - 70% off normal price. No nail polish there, but I did walk out 10 minutes later with a new pair off green shoes :) Just what I wanted only, I had not given it much thought until the 50% discount sign caught my attention. Met up with the gang for too much sushi. My stomach somehow failed to register that I was eating and so failed to register I was full until I could not physically put another sushi roll into my open gob. My first stomach decidedly full, I ordered desert. Walking about after lunch, I bought a few more things on a mental list that grew longer with each store I passed, which included an empire line summer dress that had zebra, leopard, cheetah and tiger prints all over. A fashion faux paux perhaps, but it was too good to pass up at 70% off. The good news is I did buy what I had set out to; the perfect shade of green nail polish, which makes me look and feel like I belong in the magical land of Oz. Wicked.

On that note, if you are so lucky to be near a theatre that shows Wicked; the untold story of the witches of Oz, I cannot recommend it highly enough. It is brilliant in every way! I had the joy of watching the extremely talented Idina Menzel (Elphaba) premier in London and she knocked us all off our feet with her unbelievably incredible voice. The story, without giving away any clues as to what happens, starts long before Dorothy even lands in Oz and turns the traditional story we know on its head in a dramatic yet sensitive way which makes one want to root for Elphaba, the esteemed Wicked Witch of the West. I cannot say enough about this amazing musical - go and watch it. You will never read The Wizard of Oz in the same way ever again!!!

I love this musical so much, I have thrown in the Wikipedia section you need to read all about it: Wicked.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

More on Murphy

Picture courtesy of Google

It feels like it has been ages since Murphy tripped me over that book (read further down blog for details) and I am still bearing a grudge against Mr. Whatzhisname. It seems that my disdain for good, old Murph has infiltrated my brain and try as I might, I cannot forget him. He taunts me when I hit my funny bone against the wall, when I hit my hip bone against the door knob, when it rains the day I decide not to bring an umbrella out, when the one day I am rushing all taxis come to a standstill and when I sing Alanis Morissette's 'Ironic' and suddenly stop, realising I am singing about myself. I am the unfortunate Queen of grudges and even hold grudges against things I have consciously forgotten about. So, I am on the war path, with a huge bone to pick with this Murphy dude. Someone once said, "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer," a proverb I can faithfully attest to, having had it tried and tested. What the proverb does not disclose however, is that in keeping your enemies so close, you inevitably poison yourself. More Murphy's law for you...

But, in true Murphy's Law spirit, I am returning once more to my vice of keeping my enemy, Murphy himself, close. I went out and bought a book I hope will be the beginning, divulging useful and important informtion to me on how and why Murphy works the way he does. "Why The Toast Always Lands Butter Side Down; the Science of Murphy's Law" shall be my feed and fodder day and night until I am consumed with taking Murphy down and destroying him. Muahahahaha! I am an insane, uncontrollable, demolishing machine... but no one realises this because I look completely innocent, wide-eyed and gullible. Okay, I am gullible but no one need know that.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The wonder which is tofu

There are few things I cannot live without, more I should not live without and many which I would rather not live without. I think tofu finds its place in the middle category, however cooked, together with potatoes in whatever quantity, chocolate rivers, air conditioning and unlimited internet connection. Tofu is amazingly versatile and surprisingly filling. It can be deep fried, stir fried, boiled or steamed, brought together with oyster sauce, soya sauce, garlic, ginger, onion, redish, leeks, beef, chicken, pork, carrots or sesame oil until it absorbs all flavour on offer, yet retaining its originality. Serve it alone with sesame oil and soya sauce as an appetiser, as part of a stir fry or side dish or even as a main course on a sizzling plate with small cuts of beef and bombay potatoes. Some might say that tofu has no flavour or that it has no texture or that it is boring. Wrong!! There are so many different types of tofu to sample; silken tofu, egg tofu, firm tofu, Japanese tofu, fresh tofu, fried tofu, jade tofu, processed tofu and marinated tofu, all with their own taste, texture and talent. Yes, tofu has talent! Not only is tofu delicious, it is healthy! Tofu is a vital source of protein and calcium! Because protein also turns into energy, if one had more tofu, less carbohidrate based food such as rice, noodles and bread would be necessary. Also, if one is lactose intolerant, tofu is a brilliant substitute. A 2-in-1! If I were vegetarian I would eat tofu everyday (tofu and potatoes and wicked mushroom strogonoff that my ex-housemate used to make) but I don't like most vegetables hence, am not vegetarian. Tofu rocks!

Jaded and restless

Eschatological tension is a phrase I like very much. It embodies why as Christians we wage war, seemingly against ourselves, fighting desires we want yet know we should not have and being flogged by our conscience even when no one is looking. To the outsider looking in, this behaviour is in complete contradiction to the rationale which is "ME." Why do something that does not appear to profit yourself, just because you think it is right? The 'me' in us screams for attention and many times we give in to its yodelling and whining. But there is this other 'force' in a Christian's life, another side more compelling than rationale itself; it is not a force which is unknowably mysterious akin the force of Good or Evil in Star Wars rather, a person with the mind and will and strength to transorm us beyond ourselves. The person of the Holy Spirit is not easily deterred by the pettiness of human malice or defeated the rebellion of human nature. Yet He is not emotionless like the micro-whatevers that float about in Star Wars that decides whether one is good or evil. He can be grieved, angered and pleased to an extent we cannot begin to fathom. It is His work in us that wages war against the desires of our flesh, giving us two natures within, one that desires to put God first and one that desires to put 'me' first. This strange struggle is faced by anyone who calls himself a Christian. Hardly can a Christian say (unless one genuinely decides to convert on one's death bed) that the Christian life is an easily pious, perfectly static one. Is it not a strange thing that to accept Jesus as Christ is to accept a struggle we will never feel we can win? However, we know that the power struggle is not in vain, that its result does not lie in mere feelings but in truth; God's rule will emerge victorious. The whole world is either a slave to sin (rebellion against God's authority over our lives) or a slave to God and righteousness. There is no grey area, no in-between. No autonomy from the situation. No sitting on the fence. No guessing games. Which side do you want to be on?

I am not sure how it links to my being jaded and restless but I know it does... somehow.

Monday, March 05, 2007

3 years

Today is approximately this blog's third birthday or birthmonth (I go by month rather than day although won't it be awful if your mum said, "Okay we'll celebrate your birthday anytime this month."?) and I am unsure as to whether I should change the tagline in the black box above. In case any of you were wondering, it changes every year. I know that although writing wise my style may not have changed however it varies, the thought process that goes behind it has. The responsibility I feel towards it has increased, not just towards faithfully writing but also towards content and motive. There were times when I just wrote anything and everything that came from the top of my head. Now, although I still write random thoughts down, I mentally filter what could be misconstrued and either delete it from the original text or rephrase it. This if nothing else, has turned me into an annoyingly pedantic person, which I am even with friends, where political correctness is not necessary. I sometimes think my care for use of words, phrases and even train of thought nullifies the art of blogging; why blog if I cannot say and express what I want to say, in my words, on my terms, with my mind and view, my opinions and takes. Some say I talk too much and have no action, which is unfortunately true. But God is bigger than nicities and eventually someone will listen to even a noisy gong and perhaps wonder why the noisy gong is making such a racket and maybe hear the gospel. Some say I think too much but I would rather think before I talk and have my store of backup plans and damage control outlets which I may never use than to reach a situation and find I have no ammunition.

On one hand it must be brilliant to have the wrecklessness and idealistic notions to lean on, to use as a springboard to invincibility unaware that most of the time, it remains invisible to all but self. On the other, surely the maturity of mind is what one should aim for. To be able to ho and hum at all and hold no solid opinion of one's own worth defending, worth getting of that fence that is giving one splinters.... To be completely objective seems to be the soup of the day. To that extent I will hold out against all soup, pureed or otherwise.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Waiting and wanting

I think Murphy hates me. Thank goodness I don't have a dog called Murphy else he'd probably hate me too. What's in a name? It's all in a name. I wanted to buy this book from Popular bookstore. I didn't think the bookstore was THAT popular so I didn't bother remembering the name of the book or the author, just that it was light blue and compact. I just assumed it would be there when I returned the next day. It wasn't and now I'm upset.

Friday, March 02, 2007

My stuffed up V-day

I wrote this about a month ago, meaning to post it, but being ever true to my procrastination society, I took my time.
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So, the inevitable has happened, although pedants would beg to differ, stating instead that unless the supposed inevitability will take place regardless of cosmic powers or all the imagination possessed by Dan Brown, it cannot be considered inevitable. Fine. We live in a world run by such nauseating political correctness that another pool of vomit will make no difference to the stench already ingrained in our lungs. For want of the better word, I shall replace the previously used, disdained inevitable with the anticipated. The anticipated has happened. But then again, pedants would be waving their hands frantically in the air reminding me that not everyone anticipates the same thing and so the prefix ‘the’ is therefore wrong. As I flip through the dictionary, I come across another word and mentally double checking with my inner pedant, I type ‘expected.’ Expectations accept that they can be let down, fulfilling the ‘inevitable,’ or lack of, requirement and whilst not everyone may look forward to it joyously, the event, occasion or meeting is nevertheless expected, weeding out the complaints of, “I didn’t ask for it” that showered the candidate named anticipation.

Now that I have hopefully settled dispute within myself to make this a politically correct entry (gag; I believe free speech is a human right, whether or not the right itself is put to good use), I can begin. I wanted to celebrate (I use the word loosely) Valentine’s Day today by eating my favourite ice cream watching my favourite trilogy. But the nearest supermarket to me failed to stock up on Ben and Jerry’s ‘half baked’ and I really did not count it worth it to catch a cab to get a pint of frozen cow’s milk with solidified cocoa stuck in it although the frozen cow’s milk would still have cost more than the journey return. So I settled for a pint of Blue Bunny ‘cappuccino fritz.’ I’m sorry. I know that there are people out there who probably savour Blue Bunny as much as I do Ben and Jerry but frankly, Ben trumps Blue and Jerry trumps Bunny any day, everyday. Strike one.

The trilogy I wanted to watch revolves around a muscular, onyx-skinned, vampire slaying half-blood, called Blade (Wesley Snipes) who makes Colin Firth (whom by the way I think is dishy non-withstanding), look like a sack of potatoes. My friend PW, might interject that such a comment reveals the incredibly superficial nature of women who say that they look for qualities within a man and focus less on how the guy looks when actually they resound with ‘looker’ notes as well. A genie may well be sitting in a lamp for all I know but if the lamp just does not appeal to me or clashes with my general colour scheme of life (especially if it happens to be one of those self-help ones a vendor might persuade you to buy) or if the genie in the lamp does not call out to attract my attention, I will just walk on by. Secondly, it’s Valentine’s Day and I’m ice-creamless and trilogy-less, am in a very cranky mood as a result, so let me rant!!!

I entered V-Day watching the first of three at a bit past midnight. So far, so good. Went to bed, bought the tub of Blue Bunny in the afternoon and tried to watch the remaining two. Blast. The second of the three had a different area code for the DVD (strike 2) and the third disc just failed to play properly, stopping every 2 minutes or so and shuffling. Strike three. I was tempted to throw the Bunny at the TV letting it die under a mountain of ice cream. Killer Bunny on the loose… So am currently in anticlimax mood of non-Bladeness. Hopefully, my trip to the cinema to watch Ghost Rider on Friday night will give me that boost of “Grrrrrrr” I need at the moment. Until then, I’ll probably be a short-tempered, ill-mannered b****. You know I meant bunny, right?

Then and now


Victoria John and I aged 9 (above) and aged 22 (below).

I used to be so cute! What happened?? The first picture is not very clear because I tried to photograph a photo.

I am still not sure whether I like reminiscing. When the memories were only happy, it was easier but as you add years to one's life, naturally the bitter and the sweet collide to form a fusion indistinct and in need of the other and then one wonders where all the happy days have gone. The days when all I worried about was how much food my friends will have at my birthday party has since grown into worrying about how much food they will have, how to cook that food, how to present it in a way Gordon Ramsey will be proud of, how to sustain it, how to create a party atmosphere, taking into account friends' allergie, who to invite so that everyone will have a nice time without people feeling left out or cat fights ensuing, what music to play, what drinks to provide; red wine goes with red meat, white wine with poultry and rose with fish, the list is endless. Then, bedtime just meant which blanket I had to choose before I slept. Now I worry about windows being shut, doors being locked, mobiles being on the alert, laundry to do, work to seeto the next day, kettle having boiled water for the next day, bills to pay, rent to settle... I have grown up without realising it and today as I see girls and boys I still consider children worry about their body shape, what the opposite sex thinks of them and social positions, I am worried (again) that they are all growing up way too fast.

I would like to blog more about this but my fingernails are currently too long to type properly and I am listening to my all time favourite song, Beauty and the Beast.