Thursday, May 31, 2007

Giving directions

Note: To those visiting my blog, perhaps for the first time, the sought after 'marriage proposal' is the next entry down.

Am giving my derriere a rest somewhere between the second and third floor of Jaya Supermarket although I daresay it has had enough sitting down today and every other day for that matter. Have just bought more highlighters; the ones that live with me during the exam seem to have a very high mortality rate. For some reason I really wanted a purple highlighter add some excitement to an otherwise dull reading of blue, pink, green and orange, colours which anyone else might choose, rendering me insignificant and a mere cog in the works. Purple on the other hand, is the colour of royalty. For some reason, Popular bookstore in Jaya only offers individual purple highlighters for sale. I was hoping for a 3 or 4-in-one pack which included purple. The big, big problem I encountered was that all of them insisted on packaging yellow as one of the alternatives and I loathe yellow, I really do. I use it in defiance, to show that I am forced to, coerced to, bound to do whatever it is that requires me to use a highlighter. Other mundane colours, I use to show a more compliant and positive attitude and purple, well, it just screams volumes of the inspiration I am sponging from the subject. For the second time this week I nearly cried and all because I could not find pre-packaged highlighters that included purple.

It is in some ways, frightening to note that it does not take much as of late, to make me come completely undone. Okay, maybe not completely, seeing as I still have the coherence and commitment to scribble down words into a little notepad I carry around just so I can feed my blogsphere. I think the shrink can wait another day. I wonder if exams propel similar hormones in a woman as when she experiences ovulation or menstrual cycles or menopause (guys can start running in fear if you’re not man enough to stay :p) that turn us, or maybe just me, into emotional wreckages. Speaking of guys, there is an issue I have been tip-toeing around; this one person, let’s call him X (not the same guy who happened to infiltrate my dreams and proposed) has been a source of subtle worry that was not big enough to bite back straightaway but maybe tomorrow I’ll need to take a stand and nip this. After all, I have never fancied myself the type of person who would be involved with a stable boy although on Sunday I agreed when Andrew suggested that a cowboy should be on my ‘list.’

The guy who constantly serves meat Starbucks looks like an Aaron… or an Alvin or an Amos. Whatever his name, he looks like someone whose name might begin with ’A.’ Sitting in Starbucks to study is fine until the day hits 3pm. At that moment in time, the sun reaches a point in its course where by default, it shines directly into Starbucks. Blinds or no blinds, the feeling is still distinctly uncomfortable. I usually take the beaming sun as an indication that I have been sitting there long enough and take the chance to stretch my legs and find another joint, unless I happen to take the far table where the negative effects of the sun does not reach. How long I stay in one place also usually depends on how much I spend there. For RM27 anywhere, whether Starbucks, DeliFrance or Secret Recipe, the waiters and waitresses will have to be resigned to the fact that one patron will be occupying a certain table the whole day. Smugly I admit that I can I do a whole nine to five of study without even a toilet break.

Now, down to the legal side of things, because I wrote this on a notepad and will only admit this into my blog afterwards, should the contents of this entry ever go to court because of any matter, the notepad would have to be admitted as primary evidence and the blog entry would be considered secondary evidence. However, under section 90A of the Evidence Act 1950, any document produced by a computer in its ordinary course can be deemed primary evidence as long as it has not been tampered with. I don’t know whether the legislators who drafted this section meant computers as in bank machines which run automatically or whether they meant to include computers, namely the Intenet, which, although are computers by definition, cannot run on its own accord.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Proposals

I received a marriage proposal last night. He was wearing a yellow shirt and we happened to be in a departmental store which sells hardware when we rowed. He stormed off, aimlessly weaving in and out of furniture whilst I sat swinging on one of those swings you get on porches and patios, watching and wondering why he was so silly. He then came back, apologised and asked me to marry him, which caught me completely off guard seeing as we had just rowed about some girl he happened to like and I didn't. I stared at him, not knowing what on earth to say or do. After a very long and awkward pause, I said no. Then I woke up.

I had to sleep the effects of the dream off after I woke up because it semi traumatised me; I think the effects are still quite acute seeing as I'm blogging about it. The situation was completely random seeing as the guy and I are good friends, I don't like him and I don't have any problems whatsoever with the girl in question in real life, in fact I think they're quite well suited. Regardless, I am still feeling guilty that I said no and I actually started exploring seriously whether he was a guy I could marry (not that he wants to marry me) just because my answer made me think of reasons why I said no.

After that scary dream, I dreamt that Phil Blue (who looks a little like Johnny Depp) was Captain Jack Sparrow.

So, I am NOT married or engaged (except to the CLP; we're bonded emotionally, spiritually, legally and at times physically) and for the immediate future, don't want to be.

Monday, May 28, 2007

For Sonia

I was so inspired by a painting Sonia did for me, that I created a T-shirt design based on the same principles, with a bit of Salvador Dali thrown in...


The initial, scribbled draft which I felt compelled to do whilst listening to a sermon in church...


Add the outline after several pencil sketches to give it form. I have to admit, I like it in its 'limbo' form better... because here it looks like something I would like to colour if I were a 12-year old. Man, I should have made copies...


The complete, inked product. The paper is about A4 size. I've decided to name this design 'Sonia' in dedication of my friend.


My moniker in the tail. So I like it, but do you?

Imago Dei

The Bible says that we humans are made in the image of God.

"The image of God? But we're not strong like bears or graceful like deer. We can't fly or swim more than a few hundred meters at most. We can't even run as fast as the hippo! We're a rather pathetic reflection of what the image of God should look like."

What does it mean to be made in the image of God? The word image implies a reflection of something, that something being the original. To be made 'in the image of' logically requires a starting point, something or someone external, not of or in ourselves, on the 'other' side, that we are meant to reflect.

Whilst studying for a theology exam, a scene came to mind to describe just how evil humanity is to have turned away from God. Humour me on this. Analogies are seldom perfect. Imagine a mirror. Imagine looking in and seeing your image. Your image is a reflection of you and looks like you and bears similar qualities that you have. Yet the image does not have all the qualities or depth or substance that you, the original have. Assuming your image can think independantly, it still cannot know what it is like to be outside the space within the mirror. Your image can neither know things you know nor feel the way you do nor experience life the way you do. Furthermore, it can never know, feel or understand what you know (unless you somehow tell it) because it is limited in time and space and ability. It exists only in the framework of the reflected space.

In the same way, although not exactly, we are created in the image of God. We 'look' like God because certain God-like qualities have been imprinted on us. The way we are relational for example, the way we 'rule' creation, the roles we have in society, even the way we think to a certain extent, are all reflections of a infinitely perfect being. However, we have the ability to sin but God does not for if God were to be able to lie, it would render Him no longer God. Does this mean we posess something God does not? Does it mean we have one-uped God? No, it does not. Sin is not an added capability we have that puts us above God - I can do this and you can't - rather, it is an innate defect that God does not have and can never have.

Going back to the mirror analogy, imagine your reflection staring back at you and then doing things in the mirror you are not doing. If you are standing still, what will you make of your image waving his or her arms about? Imagine the image then glaring back at you and shouting rude things at you. Imagine the image then assuming your identity. He turns his back on you, struts about in front of you and does his own thing in the context of the scope available within the mirror. He thinks the area reflected is all there is of the world and he defies you as the original. In fact, he lives his life telling everyone around him (if you can imagine other people around him) that he is the original. That he is free to live his own way because there is no one who controls him other than himself. And these other people all nod but secretly they harbour the exact same attitude; that I live for myself. That I do not have a maker to answer to. That I am a god in my own right. None of them turn to see the maker of the image looking into the mirror. It is a scary thought to imagine my reflecton doing that. It resembles something that should be in a horror film, not real life but it is here, around us, everywhere. And as horror films go, it is not just scary, it is unnatural, wrong and evil. People defy God as the Creator and defy that we are made in His image. In fact they twist it so it is the other way around. Some try fit God into a box as if the Creator has a scope equivalent or less to ours when His universe is infinitely more, His perspective infinitely layered, His power infinitely greater than the mirrored world we live in. They say, "Oh yes I believe in God" but what they actually mean is, "God is an idea that I don't really want to know about." Others deny His existance outright.

We were made for a relationship with God. By nature we are sinful, an inheritance from Adam but we were not created to be sinful. Sin stained/stains everything so much so that left to our own devices, even freewill is not a choice between good and evil but a choice between evil and evil. Only the Creator, from His eternal point of view, can provide a way of this hopeless mess and He has, through Jesus Christ to unite us in a perfect relationship with Him. Unless we admit the Creator as Creator, who owns us, to whom we owe our existance, we live in rebellion like the distorted, despised and wretched image in the mirror who assumes a worth and title he does not actually have. But how can we admit a Creator when we by nature are blinded and presume that deceit, malice and falsehood are what is true and right? Only God can rescue and enlighten us because only God is not corrupted by the stench of evil that the world wallows in.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Type O (II)

A few months ago I embarked on a dietary journey of limitation. The "Eat according to your blood type" diet ruled out flour, potatoes, milk and wheat amongst other things for me, an O-type. I thought that the diet was (almost) ideal because it said I could eat as much meat as I wanted. I say almost because it drew the line at potatoes. I followed it semi-religiously. Needless to say, the diet has not taken off and sits on my shelf in the same pages I got the idea from rather than being part of my lifestyle; tried for about two weeks then I caved in to potatoes, carbonara pasta and flour that came in all shapes; cornflakes, crisps, pancakes... In those brief moments, I did eat more vegetables, fruit and healthy food than I have in a very long time but preparing it is such a hassle and washing up afterwards creates more problems than solves them so I kind of gave up on it. However, I keep the possibility of reviving my diet at the back of my mine. Having said that, this must have been the fourth or fifth diet I've tried. Maybe when I have an oven, things will be easier... but for now, I'm off to eat chocolate.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Mind the gap

My tooth extraction has left me with a small hole in my gums which, although will close up in due time, is currently causing me some problems. There is no pain or discomfort but when I eat rice (and that is often), the grains sometimes find themselves stuck in the hole and even my tongue cannot fish them out. When I am home, gargling with mouth wash usually rinses the stranded grain out but when I am out, without a clean sink in sight, I have resorted to blowing the grain out. Yes, blowing. I take a deep breath and blow the air round my mouth the way wind would swirl round in a cave. It did occur to me that I sounded even more like a horse snorting when I did that but it works if somewhat undignified!

I have found a site where I can feature my T-shirt designs to sell but I am going to go through the clauses, terms and conditions and money related issues before signing up. In the meantime, I can spend time refining and tweaking. Oh, and I need to transfer them to Adobe or Coral design or Inkscape, whatever that is. I suppose it is the art equivalent of Quark or Microsoft Publisher. At the moment the ideas are just ink on paper.

Meme fun-ness

You must answer each question in three words.

Where is your cell phone? On the table.
Boyfriend? Where?! Oh. No.
Hair? Needs more potassium.
Your favorite item(s)? Bed and breakfast.
Your dream last night? I cannot remember.
Your favorite drink? Sugarless peppermint tea.
Your dream guy? In my dreams.
The room you are in? Big blue space.
Your fear? Snakes are bad.
What do you want to be in 10 years? A Jesus Freak.
Who did you hang out with last night? Anita and David.
What are you not? Thin, tall, stupid.
Are you in love? Am not sure.
One of your wish list items? Duplex penthouse suite.
What time is it? Three past three.
The last thing you did? Sat up straight.
What are you wearing? Not your business.
Your favorite book? Tribe of Tiger.
The last thing you ate? Steamed chicken rice.
Your summer? Always in Malaysia.
Your relationship status? Not currently looking.
What is on your tv screen? Particles of dirt.
When is the last time you laughed? Late last night.
Last time you cried? Maybe last week.
School? No thank you.
Your mood? Mosquitoes should die.
Your friends? Are all amazing.
What are you thinking about right now? Steph signed in!
Your car? Not on me.
What are you doing at this moment? Completing a meme.
Your life? Think too much.

I tag ~:~:

Steph: played loud drums
Wai Nyan: wants 11 children
Elena: Haribo watch out!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Why exams?

I know I've at least been studying, if not internalising the information I'm reading. How do I know? A random cashier today asked me if I had been to Starbucks yet today. I was like, "Huh?" so she said that she has been seeing me sit in Starbucks and Delifrance a lot, or words to that effect. I'm not sure whether I should feel smug that I have been studying or despair that I have nothing to show for my butt sitting. I could barely get past Hearsay today which sounds too much like heresy and it reminds me of Leviticus (read the Bible) where the same numbers and issues come up over and over again; the same words leap up from the page and you wonder whether you've read it at all.

Preconditions of section 32(1)(a) Evidence Act 1950; maker of relevant statement must be dead or unable to be found or incapable of giving statement or cannot be obtained without an amount of delay or expenses.

Preconditions of section 32(1)(b) Evidence Act 1950; maker of relevant statement must be dead or unable to be found or incapable of giving statement or cannot be obtained without an amount of delay or expenses.

Preconditions of section 32(1)(c) Evidence Act 1950; maker of relevant statement must be dead or unable to be found or incapable of giving statement or cannot be obtained without an amount of delay or expenses.

Preconditions of section 32(1)(d) Evidence Act 1950; maker of relevant statement must be dead or unable to be found or incapable of giving statement or cannot be obtained without an amount of delay or expenses.

It goes on until 32(1)(j). You really want me to go on? No wonder lawyers are all anal and by that I'm not defaming anyone! See Atip bin Ali v. Josephine Nunis (1987). So there!!!!!!!!!

Bugs! Bugs!

I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse.
I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse.
I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse.
I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse.
I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse.
I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse.
I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse.
I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse.
I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse.
I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse.
I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse.
I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse.
I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse.
I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse.
I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse.
I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse.
I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse.
I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse.
I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse.
I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse.
I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse.
I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse.
I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse.
I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse. I love my horse.

I dream of my horse. I lose sleep thinking of my horse (haven't lost appetite yet though). I buy carrots for my horse. I get jealous when my horse is ridden by someone else.I get posessive when someone else touches my horse. What will I do if my horse accepts someone else's carrots? My horse smells great. I drink 100 plus and I think I smell my horse. I smell my horse when I eat lunch and when I daydream. I get mad at flies that land on my horse. I don't get mad when my horse pees on me. Or spits. Or sneezes. Or steps on my foot. I don't have to kick my horse anymore to get her going. We have a connection. I practise riding my horse even when she's not around. I practise my rising trot on the train; yeah it does look a bit amiss. If my horse died, I'll cry. I don't mind that my horse has whiskers and it tickles when we smooch. I've stopped looking at other horses.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Chronology

My style of writing tends to be rhetorical cum narrative. I think. Some people write about everything, from the moment they woke up to the people they met and the include conversations they had, everyday. Not my style but in honour of those people I'll try write 'their' way although I might make a complete hash out of it. Today:

9am: Woke up. Went back to sleep.

11.30: Woke up again. Had a shower. Washed my hair (as I do everyday). Used Johnson&Johnson peach bath. Decided to wear beige Nike; sooo boring. I wore beige yesterday too. Slathered on sun cream. Am getting tanned. Not good. Want to appear pale and sickly rather than resonate with a healthy sun-kissed glow.

12.30 noon: Brunch. Had fried yee mee, RM4.00. Watched TV in the cafeteria; Animal Planet. Reminds me of Martin. Read a magazine I have read before.

2pm: Made my way to Starbucks to study. On the way saw a very nice dark blue BMW. Thought it was a Z4 but there was no sign of what make it was. Ordered 1 rocky road and 1 Tazo ice lemon tea. RM28 (I've rounded up the number; it was actually RM27 something). Studied Evidence Act 1950 or was it '57? It's 1950; I checked. Promised myself I would wait til 3pm before I started eating my cake to make it last. 15 minutes later I had a bite. Pretty good. Not as dry as the cakes at Secret Recipe. Forgot what collateral and corroboration meant. Texted Wai Nyan and Irene to find out.

4pm: Still studying. Sun is making shadows on my book so I take time out to draw the shadows behind my notes. If I look into the sun directly will I become blind? Am thinking about when the exams are done, I can enjoy myself. Am also thinking about dragons. Realised that the squeaking noise that was annoying me was from my legs shaking under the table.

5pm: Went to Coldstorage to buy a lot of chocolate. Went to Popular bookstore to have a read. Couldn't find any satisfactory books on horses or dragons. Decided to catch up on the latest in celebrity gossip. Went to DeliFrance, ordered Rootbeer and begin filling in mystery forms. Study a bit more. There's a woman sitting in front of me who's talking very loudly into her phone. Am slightly discouraged because I thought I could reach Hearsay by the end of the day but only managed to cover Introduction and Relevance. Never mind. I now know 100% more than whatever I knew yesterday, which was almost nothing.

7pm: Really want meat. Fried fishballs would be great. Where can I find some? Start talking to myself. None found in bakeries or 7-Eleven. I really want meat. KFC. 12 nuggets. Yum yum but now have giant hole in my pocket having spent close to 50 bucks today.

7.30: Make my way back to the flat. Halfway there, I turn back to the shops. Forgot to buy carrots for horses tomorrow. Buy 2 bags of carrots; one for Thursday, one for Friday. Eat nuggets on the way home. Am thinking whether I should be eating meat before riding my horse. They might smell the meat on my breath and wrongly assume I want to eat them.

8pm: Home. Shower. Internet. Blog. Wondering why some random person's blog is so boring... Listening to Guns and Roses.

10.30pm: Still on the Internet. Listening to Chili Peppers.

Paddington House or Paddington Bear?


Voon and I had pancakes for lunch on Sunday because she had been craving them for a month. We went to a pancake restaurant that seemed more synonymous with Paddington Bear than pancakes, or maybe that's just me and my background of Paddington Bear cartoons presuming that the bear had anything to do with the naming of the eatery. Maybe like Paddington Bear, the restaurant was just named after Paddington station in London after all, you can also find Victoria Station restaurant in Ampang, which even has the underground sign as its signboard. Even more like Paddington Bear, the pancakes on offer are multicultural; Holland, America and France to name a few. Paddington Bear comes from Peru but currently resides in London :) I would give the 'Chicago' I had a 3 out of 5 because it was burnt round the edges, even though its size was fairly impressive and I was naturally and consciously comparing it to My Old Dutch (see May my 21st entry for more details).

I know it sounds very unpatriotic, regardless of the "Malaysia Boleh!" (Malaysia can) attitude that spans ummm... Malaysia, but though by Malaysian-cum-Western standards it could be considered fair, by International standards, it has much to live up to. The cuisine scene in Malaysia should stick to what it does best (think bak kut teh, apam balik, roti canai, kolo mee with char siu oil, ketupat, asam fish head curry with sweet rolls, bamboo chicken, claypot anything, bidin with sardines, keropok with homemade achar, nasi lemak, satay (with extra peanut sauce!!), chicken in ginger and soya sauce, mango chicken, Chinese roast duck, crispy birthday noodles, yam basket, oh jien, butter prawns, squid in duck egg batter, kai lan in garlic... ) and not try mimic the west because we have much to offer yearning gastric juices that pine for a gut-blowing experience. I suppose the Western style cuisine satisfies a demand in the market for Western food but the sad fact is that just as true-blue Malaysian food with its infused spices and tangy juices cannot be found in London, so authentic English food cannot be reproduced in Malaysia. I love mash potatoes but personally, it is simply too hot to enjoy mash in Malaysia and the mass produced mash I get in restaurants although not quite heresy, isn't great. Sometimes some Malaysian dishes local to region cannot even be found in other parts of Malaysia!! Take kolo mee for example. All Kuching people crave it and for all that the capital had to offer, it cannot offer kolo mee.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Skin deep?

We live in a world obsessed with physical beauty and perfection, where it is not uncommon for a woman to be assessed on the colour of her lipstick as much as on the quality of her brain. In fact, many women would admit spending more time in mascara than they would in a good book or other beneficial activity (commuting is a necessary evil and does not strictly fall under 'beneficial'). Not satisfied with sculpting bodily perfection through make up tricks and lunch time lipos, women are also 'called' to be sexy. What is this sexy? Most define it as an attitude, the way one carries herself... but what is it? Most would say Marilyn Munroe is sexy but why? I have never been partial to blondes and the women I do admire are athletic, not 'full-bodied,' another term that baffles the mind; how does one draw comparisons between full-bodied and full-fat? Does that mean then, that all blondes and full bodied women, to me, are not sexy? Is sexy something innate that some have and some don't, just as some have size double-zero bodies and some don't? Or is sexy something that can be cultivated, but even so, cultivated to what? Do we need a yard stick to measure degrees of sexiness and if we do, where, what or who is our yardstick? If my plumb line were Miss Piggy, does it mean I will attract people who find Miss Piggy attractive ie Kermit? We are fed with pictures which dictate what beauty should look like yet at the same time women are called to be 'original' and create their own style of dressing, their own brand of sexiness. Yet this 'brand' of sexiness is not allowed to remain objective but is subject to the unnatural proportions of models who insist that a few lettuce leaves and a cup of coffee is all they need to sustain themselves.

I think we humans are fascinating. We're the only 'animals' that willingly, decisively and wantonly crush another's self-esteem and self-worth not because we need to but because we want to. Because some of us can. Some have even created professions telling women that if you're seen wearing polka dots today, you're unsophisticated and unfashionable. We are deceitful, malicious and hubristic. If we were all to walk around stark naked, make up or A-line skirts wouldn't mean a thing except as unwarranted expenses. Don't get me wrong, I like fashion, I really do. Yes, I get it 'wrong' sometimes but on the whole I like the creative side of putting clothes together for a look. What I don't like is the constant badgering that stretch marks are bad, cellulite is evil, bingo wings should get the chop, anything above a size 8 is fat and everyone needs to look like they just stepped off a magazine cover. We should enjoy fashion, not be scared of it.

Strangely enough, men, who put an incredible amount of pressure on women to look good, don't care about their own appearance as much. Or at least, they give the impression that they don't care. Despite letting himself go on burgers and beer and looking a complete wreck, he still wants a stick of a girl-friend. Perhaps it is down to the over sized, overrated self-esteem some (I said some) guys have... So how do women react to these double standards? We expand our territory, chasing the men out from positions they (still) take for granted and stomping all over their egos in our Jimmy Choos and Christian Louboutins, which ironically were created by men in the 'beauty' industry. So what's sexy? Is men getting castrated (not literally) and women getting angry, sexy? The world becomes a less nice place to live in.

So Debs, all that talk is well and good but what about you? What do you find sexy? Do you feel sexy? I find being able to be comfortable around someone sexy. Not many people have that vibe. It may not be the most 'cool' thing to a guy or the most apparent to society, but I don't need society to tell me when I think someone is sexy. To be able to roll around and moan about work and he doesn't say a thing. Then after I'm done complaining, I realise life isn't that bad and he's still there. That's sexy. Currently, when I'm riding with a horse I feel sexy. The horse doesn't judge me for being sweaty or red in the face and I in turn need to maintain my weight else I wouldn't be able to go riding. An almost perfect relationship...

Monday, May 21, 2007

Top 10

If you're ever in London, this is my top 10 places to eat. The countdown begins. I've also added a price bracket for those of us who still need to budget; one star (*) being cheap and five (*****) being pricey.

10. Muffinski. Location: Covent Garden. Speciality: frozen yogurt (the healthy alternative to ice cream) and out-of-this-world muffins. My favourite muffin is the savoury spinach-cherry tomato-ricotta cheese one. (**)

9. My Old Dutch. Location: Holborn. Speciality: giant pancakes. These 12-inch wide Dutch pancakes are a real treat and will fulfil both sweet and savoury expectations. From Oriental duck in hoisin sauce or smoked salmon or thai green curry to maple syrup or a fruit selection that will satisfy the regulated 5 portions a day, you will be spoilt for choice. (***)

8. Khan's. Location: Bayswater. Speciality: Asian food. My favourite dish at Khan's is their prawn briyani. (***)

7. Bertorelli. Various but can be found on Floral Street, Covent Garden. Italian restaurant. When they used to serve seafood tagliatelli, they ranked much higher in my personal opinion. But it could also be because I patron the place so often, the novelty has worn off. The food rarely fails to impress a first timer though and their pizzas are generously large. (**) if you have a Sante voucher and (****) if you do not.

6. Wagamama. Location: Various but includes Leicester Square, Moorgate, Covent Garden and Embankment. The closest thing to Japanese food in a non-Japanese restaurant. For starters, the portions are huge and you can get lost in the bowls. A very popular spot for meetings because of their seating plan which can accomodate anything from 2 to 20 people in a row, depending on when you go. It is always packed during lunchtime so expect to yell over your food. After many visits, one tends to settle comfortably for familiar dishes but I strongly recommend their duck gyoza. (***)

5. Haagen Dazs cafe. Location: Leicester Square. Self-explanatory really, unless you didn't know that Haagen Dazs is synonymous with ice cream. (***)

4. Cubana. Location: Waterloo. They serve the best passionfruit juice (fresh) I have ever had. Their selection of appetisers and platters are the must haves which include fist sized balls of beef, chicken foldovers, an array of local Cuban fritters and zingy garlic-lime sauce. (****)

3. Mongolian Barbeque. Location: Covent Garden. Really good Mongolian food which is cooked over an open grill on the spot for you to see. They have both ala carte and buffet options available. (****)

2. Sausage and Mash. Location: Bishopsgate. The name says it all. They have an assortment of sausages ranging from traditional to Cumberland to 'specials' such as duck and cherry and lamb and mint. The food is simple and simply amazing. Very little can compare favourably to a well cooked sausage and smooth mash. It's always busy so if more than 2 are going, I suggest you book seats! (***)

1. Alounak. Location: Bayswater. Iranian food. The one thing I always order when I go there is a platter for two which offers seared beef, chargrilled chicken and skewered lamb, amongst other things on this very meaty deal. Served with roasted onions and tomatoes and either naan bread cooked on the spot or rice. (*****)

Besides the above, I would also recommend Chez Gerard, Livebait (if you have a preference for fish), Nandos, TGI Friday, Yo Sushi, any Wetherspoons (pub food has its merits), Giraffe and Tinseltown (for 24/7 milkshakes). If you know of any amazing food spots in London which I have not mentioned, drop me a line. I eat most things except peas, brussel sprouts, lentils, asparaguses, bitter gourd and parsnips. I can be persuaded to the odd courgette.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

I've been tagged

I have been tagged by Steph to write 10 random facts about myself.

1. I am the dream of consumerism personified (that's what Voon said today). If everyone in Malaysia was as easily persuaded to spend as I am, our economy would grow by at least 14% a year instead of 5%. That's what Voon said as well.

2. I am a hyperchondriac. Amongst the illnesses I thought I had when I was younger; diabetes, meningitis and a brain tumour.

3. I think I am taller than I actually am. I put it down to my lack of spatial awareness and larger than life expectations. It is only when I try to reach for or climb up something that I realise 4 feet and 10 inches do not bring one very far...

4. My sister and I pretend we don't like one another. Emphasis pretend. We actually think the other is fairly cool and potentially unembarrassing :p

5. I had a dream a few nights ago that I was going to escape from a wicked witch by climbing down a telephone wire which miraculously covered the 40 feet I needed to climb down.

6. I am very competitive. Except in things I'm not good at. Cos there's no point being competitive in something you'll lose in. It's bad for the ego and self esteem.

7. I am often not sure whether to challenge the price set by a taxi driver. Especially after he said one thing and charged me another. On the one hand, it's only 2 extra bucks; not worth geting harrassed over but on the other it's the principle behind it. But some people have no principles so no point arguing with them I suppose.

8. For the first 9 months in the UK I dreamt I was a kolo mee stall owner because missed it so much.

9. I've got more guy friends than girl friends. I think it's because guys think I'm 'safe' and I think they're uncomplicated and fix things. But there are certain things only girls understand and sympathise with, like the way guys refuse to ask for directions...

10. I like it when people tell me things about myself I didn't realise before. It adds depth to my perpective of character.

My turn! I think I'm meant to tag 5 people... so I tag:

Voon; we travelled across the Sarawak river in a sampan when we were 12
Michael Lim; we watched Spiderman 3 last week
Hoong Wai; we went ice skating in Broadgate
Brian King; we both applied to St Hugh's; he got in, I didn't :)
Sarah Lasung; we have sat talking til 4am on her porch

Personally, I don't think anyone will repost this. But I did because I'm not just anyone. Hee hee hee.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Honey, I'm home

I am thinking of maybe limiting the scope of my readers. Looking back on blogs, I realise that a lot of personal emotions, thoughts and questions has gone up here and if one chooses to spend time analysing it (although why one would do that, I have no idea; maybe I could be a guinea pig to diagnose unique, psychological traits), despite having never met me before, quite a rounded and fairly accurate picture could be painted or maybe not. Maybe it is because I am reading in between the lines through subjective spectacles personal to me that meaning leaps out. If someone else read this, it may not make as big an impact on them as it does to me. In many ways, this blog is like a diary. It is a given that some people write EVERYTHING down in diaries, from names of people they hate to situations where they compromised themselves or their integrity. I never did that in my diary because despite having a diary, once when I was about 14, I never trusted that the stuff I wrote in it would never come out. Sure I wrote about people I was angry at and the same old thing you might find in the diary of a 14-year old but nothing of consequence that would jeopardise my core. In many ways, it is the same today. I tell secrets; but the secrets I tell are only secrets that will not compromise my standing. It does not mean that the secrets are worthless; in fact if I find that my secrets have been leaked, the betrayal is still acute, but the harm to my person is minimal. So there. You've learned something more about me. Unless I have mentioned this before in a previous entry then you can go and analyse why I'm bringing it up again... if you have time.

I am a sucker for all things that promise weight lost.

The last few days have been somewhat uncertain but then life is pretty uncertain. I suppose more questions have been raised lately because I am nearing a transition and want to make sure I take the right road. It does not mean however that I am losing my mind or that I have relinquished control to 'karma' or fate, not that I really believe in either. The closest thing to fate which I accept is the sovereignty of God, which is not fatalism and it is good to trust in divine providence. The Divine Trio keep me anchored. If I were really impulsive, I would give up things I have worked for in a second without a second thought but alas, as much as I don't want to admit it, I am a creature of habit, if not routine. Many things I do seem to be reckless but being the person that I am, those decisions have already been made, probably years ago, by strangely enough, a set of different circumstances, which proceeded to then sculpt my opinion and ambition so that when the opportunity arose, I could recognise it and act as soon as possible. Few things, if any, in life are chance. One makes one's chances happen. For example, I have (kind of) planned my wedding, know what I want to name at least 2 sons (if I have any) and know that I want a Chinese buffet served at my funeral. So when or if the opportunity to act upon those decisions happen, as spontaneous as it may seem, it is but a piece in a jigsaw I am slowly creating. I know things may not go my way; I pointed out to a friend who wants to name her daughter (if she has any) 'Millie' that if she married someone with the surname 'Mills,' her daughter would be 'Millie Mills.' I don't know if there are any Millie Millses in the world but that's not the most appealing name, to me anyway.

So no matter how bizarre or exciting my life might seem (I said might seem not is, although sometimes it has its moments), it is not, actually. Or maybe it is. For if I plan for me to be such or plan do such things that I would never have thought of doing had I not planned them, I increase my 'chances' of fantasy becoming reality. And if one can live one's dreams literally in person, then Nozick's experience machine holds no weight. Unless you want to ride dragons that fly and feel your toes curl as they plunge and swoop and defy gravity.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Flying!!! Almost.

I love riding without stirrups. Even Din said I ride better without. It almost felt like I was in a rodeo today. The horse moved, the wind was blowing and I didn't have to concentrate on not falling through stirrups, because there were none to fall through! I wonder if Din will let me ride bareback next time. Oh, and I got to use the stick today. Having struggled for weeks with the competitive spirit in me to be better than 'the girl who rides in the next field,' today I finally let go. It doesn't matter. I've wanted to ride for so long, now that I am, I'm not going to let anything spoil it. I'm riding. That's all that matters. And the horses love me. Or my carrots.

Am halfway through Civil Law but don't ask me questions just yet. The information needs to filter through the multiple layers of my brain before it becomes memory. Going to a mountain resort tonight. Hopefully Anita can give me tips on how to pass the CLP. I crashed for about 4 days because I got overwhelmed but today I'm slowly back on track.

Had a look at wildlife conservation trusts and organisations I could work with for a few months. Unfortunately, having a Law, and not Biology degree, I don't qualify for a paid job in the area I want to work in. I am more a field, hands-on person than research but with Law alone, the closest I could come to would be administrative stuff which I really don't want to do. The other option would be to increase my experience by volunteering at conservations and learning on the job before then getting some sort of diploma or if it comes to it, degree. I also had a look at dinosaur excavations available for the public to go on and found out last night that my friend's husband studied paleontology at University so maybe this could be a holiday waiting to happen.

So, in a nutshell, the week has been rough but Friday has rounded it off nicely. I am still in a pensive mood but there's resolve peppered over it.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Flightless

Fantasy: Horses are telepathic and speak English.

Reality: Horses only choose NOT to ignore you when you have a bag of carrots, they are NOT telepathic, can't speak and won't budge!!!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Horses and dragons

Will be going horse riding tomorrow. Am going to pretend the horse is a dragon and we're soaring in clouds. Maybe that'll prompt me to ride better and kick harder... The only difference being, I don't think dragons eat carrots.

Oh, today is Teachers' Day in Malaysia. Happy Teachers' Day to all the teachers who had to teach me, I'm kind of sorry if I was a pain; and to my mum.

All at once

The run-up to exams are usually the most productive time in any student's life. This is not because the 'ever conscientious' student is studying, let alone revising. On the contrary, in an attempt to flee the reminder of impending exams, the student latches on almost desperately to anything other than studying and books to remind himself that he has a life outside trying to obtain a degree. Plans for the future branch into aspects as far apart from his degree as possible and he truly convinces himself that he is not suppose to be doing what he is doing.

All of a sudden, the college cafeteria is buzzing with activity; students who collectively pretend that exams are not looming round the corner sip cocoa, the silent tension of "If you don't bring up exams, neither will I" hangs dense in the air, the mutual, unannounced agreement that this bliss is but a momentary haven to escape the deafening roars of failure flash sporadically in dilated pupils joined by a tangle of nerves to hands which betray the over consumption of coffee by involuntary twitching.

Although at the back of his mind, statutes scream obscenities at him for want of attention, the student pushes them further into forced oblivion through alcohol induced frenzies, or in my case cake and rootbeer binging, and lives on in defiance. But sooner or later, the nervous energy runs low and sane logic emerges, to once more study and press on towards a goal that once pass, will seem but a distant memory and all this worrying will be laughable.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Elena Dudley, this is you!

Elena turned twenty something... yesterday. Happy birthday. Again. A bullet point tribute to you.

Was the deciding factor in helping me choose which Inns of Court to apply to; I chose Middle Temple because they had the most agreeable online vegetarian menu and I wanted Elena to come dine with me!! :D (extended list; edited)
Likes all things pink
Drinks 10 cups of tea a day (ish)
Inspired me to drink more tea in my 2 years living with her than at any other point in my life
Fantastic housemate
Has a laptop called Clive which I used regularly :p
Prays a lot (was prayer secretary for CU and woke up early to make sure people were physically fed whilst they were praying)
Lkes Haribo even though she's vegetarian
Is a Greek-Cypriat-vegetarian; you dont get many of those around
Does an amazing mushroom strogonoff
Sometimes forgets she's cutting chillies and rubs her eyes...
Plays the air guitar very well
Can sit in the 'lotus' position
Made glazed cookies in the middle of the night often
Played Fowl Words with me til 6 in the morning
Put up the Christmas tree with me in October after an all nighter of online games. Just because we could! We were drunk with sleepiness but that added to the fun.
Graduated from Kings in Theology; we graduated on the same day :)
Introduced me to tea masala and drinking tea through Fingers chocolate biscuits
Sings
Our song, if we had one, would be Alanis Morrisette's Ironic or DC Talk's Jesus Freak
Introduced me to the sounds of DC Talk
Fed me chocolate when I've run out
Names everything; our plants had names like Thegler and Mavis
Helped me carry giant frozen turkeys from Sainsbury to our house in her backpack because I needed it for Thanksgiving dinner. Twice.
Watched cheesy movies with me such as Bridget Jones' Diary and The Wedding Singer at odd hours of the night
Ate Ben and Jerry's with me
Let me sleep in her bed when I stayed over whilst she slept on an inflatable mattress that kept deflating itself!
Lets me be grumpy in the morning
Understands me in the morning even though I don't talk
Does fingerpainting and makes paper sheep as part of her job
Gave me 4 shots of Bailey's when I had a migraine
Her favourite phrases are, "You muppet!" or "You cheeky mare" or "Eargh?"
Calls me from London even though it costs a bomb
Amazingly patient
Soon to be patron of all things Nandos
Solves all problems with tea, prayer and a bath
Influenced me to say things like, "I can use long words like monochromatic and steam engine"
Jesus freak.

Elena, it has and still is awesome. I miss you loads and look forward to being housemates forever in eternity. Bring it ON! Let's give the neighbours something to really yell about.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Civil

Civil law has the potential to make me completely uncivilised. In fact, if it gets to me much more, I might lose my sanity and streak round the Tunku Abdul Razak building (that's where the examination board for the CLP is) in protest. I doubt it'll be too hard to imagine as I've been consuming a LOT of sugar in french cafes and cake houses whilst studying so I'll have the strength and stamina to do a complete run...

On a cheerier note, Elena called;

I LOVE YOOOOOOOUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!

I want to go on a dinosaur excavation or dinosaur archaeological dig. Of course I know the dinosaurs are dead!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

How long?

There was a time (long past) when the happy screams of children running up and down the aisle came from me. I can only be thankful that the fretful, exam-minded students who sat in cafes trying to study whilst I stampeded around pretending I was a bull did not throw their highlighters and page markers at me. If they had, their actions might have rendered me a more compliant child. Today, in my bubble world of, "Shut up I can't hear myself think!" and study, I defer to their wisdom and practice the same restraint whenever my ears pick up the tiniest squeek from one of the many mischief-ridden creatures disguised as cute children. There are days when study is furthest from one's mine and all one want's to do is sleep but even sleep brings no respite. Supposed rest is confronted by Ugly Betty chocolate (it doesn't exist in real life), cheese crackers and pregnant, 6-feet tall women (where on earth do I get these dreams from???).

It has been 2 weeks since I started studying and it feels like I'm stuck in an endurance race across the dessert without a horse. See Hidalgo to get more insight.

You know what I want to do? What I really, really want to do? Besides drop everything and leave, that is. I think I mentioned that somewhere before... I want to ride all day, everyday. Choose a horse and gallop across fields and clear fences. I want to hear the song of winds from distant lands in my ear and feel the world turn in flight. I don't want to be bound by what I can do yet if I achieve what I thought I couldn't, then I was not bound by it in the first place. So maybe there's more out there... there has to be. Else life would be a very dreary place. Maybe it's because I live in fantasy and not reality that makes me trust in dreams a lot more. Maybe it's because I do not want the reality everyone else has. A classy house with lots of books and a polished, rosewood, spiral staircase or a fancy car or amazing job seems to be what everyone wants these days. Or kids. Not that they don't sound fantastic but are we just horses with blinkers on, pushing on because all we can hear is other horses straining for the same thing? Have we put ourselves whether accidentally or on purpose, in a horse-sized rat race?

There is an old story of a wolf and a dog. Wolf sees that his friend Dog is sleek and robust and well-fed whilst he has to scavenge for food and fight to keep it from other wolves. So Wolf asks Dog how he can have the same thing and Dog answers that his master that looks after him and he never has to worry about getting fed. It all seems such a good prospect until Wolf sees that Dog is wearing a collar. What is that for? Dog explains that it is for the master to keep him close when he (the master) wants to (in law terms it really could be arrest, under both s.15(1) CPC and the rules set by Lord Devlin in Shaaban; arrest by confining or using force to restrain). Wolf opts for his reedom than for a life in comfort.

On one hand, I'm like Wolf, disliking authority and being told where to go. But seeing as we're either a slave to sin or righteousness and there's no room for autonomy as much as the world would like to believe, wouldn't we want to be on the right side? So what IS the right side? The side that says feed your family and fall into line or the side that says break out of the mould and do something wreckless? Not that the two are in complete conflict; I can break out of expectations and still show filial piety. The more I think about it, the more I find that the mould I want to break out of is myself. The expectations I have somehow set for myself, the life I will lead, the people I will surround myself with, the instructions I find myself following albeit grudgingly because I have let myself be led in that direction.

After the CLP, I'll have a look around. If I get through, I'll do the pupillage because after all that effort, I want to at least say that I am a qualified lawyer. Whether I practice or not is another matter.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Sugar rush

1 pain au chocolat, 1 chicken pastry, 1 rootbeer, 3 bruschettas, 1 peach tart and 1 earl grey with sugar. It doesn't sound like much for a day's meal but look at the sugar content! It's no wonder by 5pm I was almost dead on my feet in lethargy. Studied 3 chapters of Civil Law. Made 'stories' with friends' names to help memorise Law.

"You know Jamie?" means UNOJME which stands for failure to file Unconditional appearance, failure to service Notice, failure to comply with O.11, r.4 RHC, Judgment in default of appearance, Misdescription which misled no one and judgment entered for Excess amount.

and for proceedings that must begin with a writ, I decided to bestow the 'honour' to Mr Blair;

Tony Finally Decides Must Pass; Action in Tort, based on Fraud, Damages for breach of duty and P.I, breach of promise of Marriage and infrigement of a Patent.

Bought a new pink highlighter. Am officially the world's most boring person. Managed to sketch a new T-shirt design behind my Law notes and thought of 3 new flavours I could experiment with should I ever get to make bruschetta again. Dad told me today that my plans for the next 5 years rests on my decisions in the next few weeks. No pressure then. He still thinks I want to live in Malaysia forever. As good as it is, and as much as I like it, apam/apong balik can't keep me here forever. If I had the resources or contacts, I'd go round the world making a documentary about food. Look me up if you're interested to fund this amazing project; QWF; Quest for Worldwide Feast. Hey Steph, wanna live together next year? Somewhere near horses would be good.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Inside out

I think I could very well eat the stitches holding my gums in place; they remind me of bits of alfafa sprout or spinach or bean sprouts that my tongue needs to dislodge from the crevices of my teeth. I hope they're made of strong stuff because my mouth is itching to bite. Ache as my mouth may, I was hungry for more than just soup so I had Kenny Rogers chicken on Wednesday, lemon chicken on Thursday and black pepper beef tonight. Will someone please buy me jelly?

Punch me

I currently look like I've been beaten up; my jaw is swollen and visibly bruised from the tooth extraction, my ears are swollen because I put new studs in, the diametre of which is bigger than my previous ones, there is an almost permanent frown on my face trying to remember case law and statute in the taxi (how boooooring is that?) and I still have bruises on my arms and where else not from walking into things. My riding instructor very nearly turned me away from class today after one look at my puffed up cheek but riding is one class I will not miss, unless it rains. I still can't make contact and kick the horse hard enough which is very frustrating because it means that if halfway through my ride, my horse wants to stops, it stops because I can't urge it on with kicking. I might resort to the stick next week.

At this stage in the revising game, I sometimes have relapses (think every other hour) and wonder why I wasn't brought up on a farm with sheep, horses and cattle. It SO proves that the greatest happiness factor is not the point in living. Do you know what I want to do this instant? Drop everything and leave. I don't know where to and I don't know how but I kind of want to disappear for a few days. Did you know I wanted to be a marine biologist? But I allowed myself to be talked out of it by well-meaning people who do not understand me at all. I am never going to let anyone else make decisions for me... except the judge. But then that won't really be for me but for my client, if I ever get clients. Bah. Exams are like hurdles you have to get through one way or another; you can either crash into it or sail across.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Just right

Too much Law and it really bores me AND I become a boring pedant.

Too much food and I become bloated AND really don't like the way I look in those jeans I really couldn't get into the first place.

Too much sleep and I become lethargic and want to continue sleeping so I don't have to remember all the things I did not do whilst asleep.

Too much horse love and I am starting to get paranoid they only love me for my carrots.

Too much improvement too soon and I forget how far I've come and am resigned that I cannot go further.

Too many words and I get careless, complacent or indifferent as to what people read or read into.

There's only one thing I can't get too much of. Jesus rocks.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Stitches

I have always been proud that I've never had stitches.

I didn't have stitches when I fell backwards on my bike into a concrete drain. sure, my butt was pitifully scratched and I had to complete my piano exam sitting on a cushion but the point was that I didn't get stitches.

Or when I sliced the top of my left index finger whilst doing a project. Blood squirted everywhere and my dad was worrid that I'd faint from loss of blood but I was adamant that I didn't want stitches so I taped the bit which I had nearly sliced off to the rest of my finger with lots of gauze and surgical tape til it stuck back together thanks to hemoglobin and other wonderful stuff my body provides.

Then a year later I fell into another drain because I'd forgotten how to apply the brakes on my bicycle! I was nearly put into a neck brace but because I had a youth camp to go that week, I begged the doctor to let me heal on my own so I did.

Then several years later I sliced my right index finger to the bone; I could actually lift the skin and see inside my finger! Cool... I was bleeding and panicking all over the kitchen and then shock set in (that was when I found my almost severed finger fascinating). My housemates wondered if I should go to the doctor to get it stitched but again I didn't want stitches. And I have never been stitched... until today.

I had to get my wisdom tooth extracted and unfortunately, the end result is that I now have stitches in my mouth. I don't know how many stitches the dentist put in. My mouth is still too sore to open and the little I can see is all bloody. Gone are the days of stitchlessness. From here on, I will be a patchwork quilt of art.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Food talk


The two chocolate creations above are from Chocart.co.uk


Two novelty wedding cakes; Elephants on Suitcases (above) and Noah's Ark by Imaginative Icing.

How does anyone choose a wedding cake? To some, the wedding cake has the potential to set the tone and theme of the wedding in motion. To others, it represents tradition and ritual and yet to others it is just another item on the food and beverage list to make sure one's guests are suitably full.

I like these 4 wedding cakes. If I had my way, I'd probably go for the Elephants on Suitcases design but the one drawback it has, is the absence of chocolate; it comes in either sponge or fruit, neither of which I'm too keen on. I'm a chocoholic who believes that there's no point to anything if not covered in chocolate. To have a wedding without chocolate is like having a boat without water. I know others subsitutte the euphoric qualities of chocolate with booze but I would rather reek of chocolate sweetness than alcohol.

I think the chocolate globe's quite cool; guests can walk by and break a bit off according to their fancy, instead of having to serve it to them on plates. It'll be like indulging in a very big, chocolate Easter egg.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Legal fancy


For no reason other than; I found this pretty and wanted to share it with you.

I found it pretty does not mean I came upon it in a pretty state and have reduced it so it's no longer pretty. It does not mean I chanced upon it and so it does not belong to me. I bought it because I thought it was pretty and unique... or so the lady who sold it to me led me to believe. That I want to share it with you does not mean I want to split ownership of it with you. Neither does it mean I am thinking of giving it to you, whether during this lifetime or after I pass into the next. Nor am I sharing the rights of the photo or the object or the right to wear the object temporarily or otherwise. It simply means I think you will appreciate the prettiness of the object.

I studied 3 chapters of law today. I now know what the prosecution is capable of and the limits to their power so that hopefully when I face one of them in court, I won't get swept away in legal jargon.

Better

After a morning of feeling depressed - I nearly missed my riding lesson cos for some reason the alarm didn't go off, I wasn't well on the way in, there's this 15-year old girl whom my coach said is a better rider than me (she might be better but he didn't have to SAY it, afterall she's got the better tutor...) and I was feeling very uncompassionate and unChristian the last few days, wondering if God loved me or just chose me as a part in His plan - I caught up with some much needed sleep in the form of an afternoon nap. I woke up with a headache and thought of skipping a social I had planned to go to in the evening but after a shower, I felt slightly better so decided to go.

Chatted to Jasmine who picked me up and realised that I wasn't as uncompassionate as I thought myself to be. I may not be the most vocally appreciative person (that's why I think cards and Facebook is fantastic) or the most sympathetic or empathetic person, in fact I'm hardly sympathetic or empatetic so if you happen to be the kind of person who needs a shoulder to cry on, try as I might to be that shoulder, I might do more harm than good. Nonetheless, I have been fairly well trained by some friends to offer tea, ice cream, a hug or just an ear, even if it makes me a little uncomfortable. I find that there are some ladies at my church whom I would call beautiful, not because they wear make up or dress smartly or have lots and lots of friends or play music in front of the church or are in the limelight or lead discussions about tricky theological points. They are beautiful because they trust in Jesus and their faithfulness shows through their willingness to serve unaffected, their kindness to others, meekness, humility and unassuming yet quietly confident nature. I feel very much like a bull in a china shop compared to these ladies. They have an air that I feel only someone who completely trusts in Jesus can have. An assurance that cannot be shaken.

I don't know whether it's just 'me' or because I haven't reached 'that stage' yet, but my assurance is usually a frazzled one, full of questions and in need of reassuring. Perhaps it reflects the way my mind has been wired through illness. As a child with frequent panic attacks, I needed my parents around me almost 24/7. As I began to realise my parents couldn't physically watch me 24/7, I developed a way of thinking that told me I could do anything or go anywhere (without my parents) as long as I could always run back to them when I needed help or when the panics started. So when I went to school, I knew I could walk to my dad's office which was about 2 kilometres away. It didn't matter to me where it was, as long as I could get there, as long as I could do something about it. Even when I went to the UK, when I did get panic attacks, I told myself that I could fly home easily. Yes, I would have had to book the airticket and might not get home til the next day but it remained that if I needed to, I could. A lot of it was about ability hence also why I get incredibly stressed when I feel bound whether by rule, regulation, time or space. I need to know I can leave whatever I'm doing whenever I want to. I need that control, if not the attacks creep up and threaten to confine me to my house and even to bed forcefully sleeping, because when I sleep I'm not conscious.

I'm glad God is so patient with me. It's easy for me to doubt His love although I don't doubt His power. Maybe it's selfish, but I don't want to be one in a crowd. I want to be exclusively loved. And I know, although often it's easy not to feel, that although I am in a crowd, I'm not a nameless, 'whatever-face' to God and that He does love me. Exclusively. However many questions life throws at me, the most important question to me, if answered, can put to rest all other questions even though I may never find the answers in this life. God is my father. He doesn't want me to make appointments through other people to see Him. He doesn't need me to score valadictorian results to feel proud of me. Most of all, He has given me the ability in the Holy Spirit, through Jesus to go to Him anytime, anywhere. It's not about having control, yet He gives that assurance that I need, that confidence that no problem I can ever have is too big for Him to handle.

I want to please Him but whenever I think of wanting to please Him I always wonder how He can love me or how the best thing I can do can win His approval because I can never please Him 'enough,' not on my own anyway. I can be no one but myself; a self that is changing and being moulded, not because of anything I can do, but because God has enabled me to change. Strange isn't it, that ability that comes from ourselves is rebellious, sinful and futile but ability from God empowers, enriches and comforts.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Tired

I think situations looks much worse than they actually are when one is extremely tired. Bad people look badder, annoying voices become ear-splittingly whingy, durable situations look overwhelming and horses only seem to like me for my carrots and sugar cubes. So, I'm going to bed. Unfortunately, there's a deadline I need to wake up by and it's not next December.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

No stirrups!!!

Rode today. Will ride tomorrow. Had no sleep last night partly tea, partly stress, but still managed to fix a broken floor fan (although I couldn't tell you how I did it, I was half asleep)and stay in the saddle without stirrups. Coach said it was my best yet; probably because I was lumped like a sack of potatoes on Sprite and couldn't fall off. He hinted that I may be allowed free pick of my training horse soon. Although I've had my eye on 17hh PK (dark bay) for quite a while, I am growing very fond of Sprite (chestnut), who at 15hh is still taller than me at her shoulder.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Today is today

NB: As usual, what started out a simple 'This was my day' post has turned into a Biblical 'discussion'. Warning: very long...)

I bought three DVDs starring horses, 2 better than self-help books, a green highlighter, 2 birthday cards, studied 2 chapters if Law, drank 2 cups of Tazo ice lemon tea at Starbucks where I studied, ate McD's chicken porridge, which I'm starting to list quite highly on my instant food favourites, bought a box of sugar cubes for my horse, sprained my thumb and paid my rent... all in the course of today. In the midst of all that, several important thoughts actually came to mind, thanks to the 2 books I bought; Can Cows Walk Down Stairs and The Pig That Wants To Be Eaten...

Picture from pagesandpages.com.au


Picture from frontlinebooks.co.uk

I am actually a little hesitant sharing the books I feed on to the rest of the world, lest what I say to you from now on is no longer funny but a mere paraphrase of the rearranged sequence of 26 letters in the alphabet (as Richard Dawkins says of the Bible). When one is studying something as almost 'most boring' as Law, one needs some humour in life and some philosophy and some random animal facts. Bear with me and I'll try to show you how everything points to Jesus, one way or another, directly or indirectly. It takes a little bit more reading, but hopefully, it'll be useful.

Matthew 8:28-34
When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way.
"What do you want with us, Son of God?" they shouted. "Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?" Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. The demons begged Jesus, "If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs."
He said to them, "Go!" So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water. Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region.

Luke 8:26-37
They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don't torture me!" For Jesus had commanded the evil spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places. Jesus asked him, "What is your name?"
"Legion," he replied, because many demons had gone into him. And they begged him repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss. A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into them, and he gave them permission. When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.
When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus' feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured. Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left.


At first glance, it looks like the two stories could be contradicting each other. I've highlighted the main contradictions in blue and the similarities in red (you can already see they're more similarities than contradictions but for the scepticists out there, this is for you).

Problem one: Jesus appears to be going to two separate regions and even the place mentioned, is geographically miles away from any sea shore so how did the pigs fall into the sea? Bible-history.com addresses this point on which some people actualy take as serious enough to deem the whole Bible fallible! I have decided to quote it extensively because the author puts it really well but will give you the address so you'll know I'm not switching letters around.


The miracle referred to took place, without doubt, near the town of Gergesa, the modern Kersa, close by the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, and hence in the country of Gergesenes. But as Gergesa was a small village, and little known, the evangelists, who wrote for more distant readers, spoke of the event as taking place in the country of the Gadarenes, so named from its largest city, Gadara; and this country included the country of the Gergesenes as a state includes a county. The Gerasenes were the people of the district of which Gerasa was the capital. This city was better known than Gadara or Gergesa; indeed in the Roman age no city of Palestine was better known. "It became one of the proudest cities of Syria." It was situated some 30 miles southeast of Gadara, on the borders of Peraea and a little north of the river Jabbok. It is now called Jerash and is a deserted ruin. The district of the Gerasenes probably included that of the Gadarenes; so that the demoniac of Gergesa belonged to the country of the Gadarenes and also to that of the Gerasenes, as the same person may, with equal truth, be said to live in the city or the state, or in the United States.
http://www.bible-history.com/smiths/G/Gadarenes,+Girgesenes,+Gerasenes/

Now that we see the first contradiction has been done away with, we come to the second. Is there really a contradiction saying that there were 2 men in one version and 1 in the other? Maths may not be my stringest subject but where there're 2 men, logic tells me that there's at least one man in the midst of them. The main point of the passage however, is Jesus' power and authority over demons, not whether pigs can swim or not.

So how did I go from reading about cows walking down stairs to Jesus? One of the statements made by the book was that owls cannot turn their heads 360 degrees which I was certain they could, the memory of having read or watched it somewhere, resurfacing. So being the efficient 21st century explorer, I Googled it. Surprisingly, there were sites supporting both claims. Some sites said that birds only had a 270 vision whilst others said that all birds could turn their heads 360! This was getting interesting. I finally found a site that seemed to support both, making a seemingly blatant contradiction, irreconcilable, actually logical.

Conclusion: Owls can turn their heads 360 BUT not all at once. We humans have a 180 degree rotation, but it doesn't mean we can see what's going on behind our back (:p). The 180 degree comprise 90 degrees each side. The great horned owl actually take this head turning thing further, going as much as 270 degrees each way, which brings its total to... 540 degrees!! So whilst it's true to say that owls cannot turn their heads 360 (one way), it is still true that they can turn their heads 360 (total degrees of head turning capability!). We do learn something new everyday!!

Loser

So I am a loser, so what? So I want to rant and not care if my yell out of the window wakes the whole block, so what? Why do we keep on thinking about the good of others when everything in us wants to let loose? If I want to cross the street, what do I care that 10 other cars are waiting to run me down if I do? If we all had inner people living in us, mine would be Chaos... or Chaos vs. Holy Spirit. I feel like a battlefield; bruised, bloody and tired.

Daryl is my online counselor. No, he's not some random person I 'picked up' to counsel me. We've shared pasta and booze and Walkers yogurt and mint popodums and he's vegetarian so he's nice to animals. Since he's gonna do a whole hypnotherapy course, I reckon it qualifes him to listen to my problems. Better than some other people anyway who keep wanting to fix me. I said, "Don't touch me!!!" Don't question the friendship; if it's there it's there. Stop analysing it. Stop thinking that I should be this, that or the other to be such and such a friend. I might not be what you thought I was and I'm not going to change just because you were mistaken. Anyway, Daryl's a good listener and he always recommends horse riding and chocolate.

So, I'm going through the motions. So is everybody else. I just happen to put mine down in words that can be read. What does it mean to be alive? Is it to be me? So I've died to sin and I've died to self but it doesn't mean I'm void of any character of my own so how does that work out? Is God happier when I'm happy wearing my favourite perfume or is He is happier when I'm thinking how to be more compassionate? Cos right now, I'm wearing my favourite smell and am not feeling compassionate at all and I want God to be happy with me. Is that too simple a term to put it?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

What to do? What to do?

Several things are running through my mind; let my enlighten you, although after reading the things running through my mind, you might rather not want to be enlightened or find my mind a very strange or dull place to be.


1. My law exam is in two and a half months. I dreamt that I passed which, is generally a bad thing. If I think the paper was too easy, it is usually because I have not answered the question and if one has not answered the question, one usually fails. If however, I dream that my paper is so hard I sweat blood or that someone throws my paper into a swimming pool that suddenly appears, it is a good thing because having had those deams before, I passed.


2. My PTC exam is in 3 weeks. There's more pressure to pass it cos it is an exam about 'how well' I know God. I would humbly say I don't know God well enough at all because He is way too big to be known in this life. Does it mean I should aim to fail, ths proving that I don't really know God? No because sin does not increase grace. It's in Romans somewhere. Go read the Bible and figure it out.

Note: I do not have a problem with guy in picture, he is a friend who just so happens to look the part.

3. Where there are members of the opposite sex, therein lies the problem.

4. I needed the loo an hour ago.

5. Am wondering whether being myself is the best thing to be. On one hand it is not, that's why God is changing me, refusing to allow we to wallow in the sameness that is me. One the other hand, God created me to be me and not some part in another homogenous group of people. So what if I'm the only one who thinks horses don't smell of poo?!?! Do you think I purposely say that horses smell nice because you say they don't? I have better things to do than to disgree with you for the sake of it... like smelling horses.

6. I need to find an affordable airticket to Mongolia fast. And medical/ evacuation insurance. Else, I really might have to ride a yak across the border and get evacuated the same way. Or maybe camels will be avalaiable to me...

7. What should I do if I don't like someone? Does it matter that my liking or not liking them is unfounded? Why should I try like someone I don't like? Should I go out of my way to make myself like them? I might find that in the end I like them. What if I'm indifferent to them? Does it matter any more or less? I suppose the right thing to do would be to be nice and more than just civil. Give them an equal chance rather than a biased fail. And if I just don't want to? Can anyone blame me? Is it nothing much or am I truly being difficult? Like a child that doesn't want to share her toys, not realising the toys belong to the school.

8. I still need to use the loo.