Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tolerance

Two days ago I told someone that my priorities were the same pre-accident and post-accident. Maybe I spoke too soon. Maybe my body was still in shock. Hopefully, it's just because I'm in more pain these last 2 days as swelling comes down and the real damage is revealed. Having said that, I can feel in my bones, that if I were mildly impatient before, the accident might have tipped the scales in favour of something more chronic.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Operation Bicycle

I thank all my friends who took charge and stood by me when I was neither in the frame of mind to think nor the capacity to act.

Day: Saturday
Date: 25/04/09
Time: Between 1.13 - 1.17pm

Combine a steep hill, 50kg going at 50km/h and bicycle brakes applied too hard, too fast and you get your answer.

I can't recall how I fell but I remember the few seconds before I kissed the gravel as the bike skidded downhill bringing me with it before coming to a stop. Thankfully I didn't lose consciousness. Still thinking about getting to my bike party a few kilometres away, I immediately tried to get up but realised to my shock that I couldn't straighten my back and could only walk in circles so I went down on the grass on my knees. That's when I noticed that I had dislocated my right arm and saw all the blood. I didn't know where all the blood was coming from but it was dripping everywhere. My jeans, hands, arms were all bloody and blood dripped on my phone as I tried to call Yin Soon, one in the group I was cycling with. I wanted to lie down but was worried Yin Soon wouldn't be able to find me and I didn't want to risk losing consciousness. After he arrived I let him take over as I physically dropped into conservation mode. 3 clinics/ hospitals and 6 hours later I was wheeled into the operating theatre.

For a brief moment under the afternoon sun, my blood dripping on the ground, my morbid mind thought of dying.

"If i just lie down now and lose consciousness that'll be it. No more worries."

Even with those thoughts going through my mind, at the point when I wanted to just give up, I thought not of family or friends or awards I had won or dreams I wanted fulfilled. I thought only of Christ and was satisfied then as I am now, with whatever the outcome.

Now I'm nursing my battle scars which includes a perforated upper lip, dislocated shoulder, multiple lacerations and abrasions, burnt tissue, broken tooth and a face that looks like I got slammed by a ton of ice.

Even then, there are an incredible amount of things to be grateful for, besides being alive, including:

1) I only dislocated one arm albeit my dominant arm
2) I wasn't blinded
3) My eardrums are intact
4) It's my tooth out there in Shah Alam not another body part
5) The hole in my face was a mere half-a-centimetre away from my lipline. If it had passed my lipline, I would have required further speech therapy
6) I'm still mentally sound; wit going strong
7) Cat scan revealed no anomalies which means there's no alien thing up there in my head causing my migraines
8) Despite my many piercings my ear didn't tear
9) My 'that-time-of-the-month' ended a few days before the trip - I dont know how I would cope with it if I had to deal with that on top of everything else
10) That despite all the world says, men do lead, and women will follow

It is true you know, what doesn't kill you only strengthens you for the future.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

In knots

I'm quite pleased that I'm getting increasingly better at choosing ties not otherwise for myself. I used to choose Scooby-doo ties for people. For my passport photo (which lasted 5 years as passports do) I wore a red tie with sheep on it. Those were the days when I thought being a boy was cool. For my graduation I wore a maroon tie with a shar-pei on it. The Chair of the Board smiled at me when she said, "Nice tie." I still don't know if she were being sarcastic.

To me ties are a representation of the person's personality. It used to be that a striped tie told me you had none so I didn't buy it for you cos I believed you did have personality.

Some time ago I bought a yellow tie for someone. I usually stay clear of yellow but I knew it a safe enough colour as said person used another yellow tie from time to time. Although I could've picked a subtle yellow tie, I couldn't resist picking one which featured purple horses running across it. At worst the person would give away the tie to a charity shop. At best, I get to say that I've actually put down money for a yellow tie with purple horses running across it.

Lately however, I've had to buy more and more ties. No biggie you think but the ties had to be serious ties; sombre-looking ties; in my mind, boring ties. I found myself completely out of my depth.

The few serious ties I thought looked 'sufficiently serious' was given 'looks-like-carpet' status by Lay San. That, or "Only grandfathers wear that." The ties we eventually chose were much appreciated and in heeding Yin Soon's advice to look for subtle designs, I ventured again into the tie world last night and this morning and came away with 3 purchases.

Fingers crossed, however subtle it may be, I hope my beneficiaries don't find stripes boring or lacking in personality.

Friday, April 17, 2009

It begins with a single step

This is my 1,000th blog post since I first started in March 2004. That's over 5 years worth of blogging, over various issues; humour, frustration, theological, poignant, pensive, silly, legal, ridiculous, whatever you may call it, all of which stems from my person (except one post in the summer of 2004 where I allowed Holty temporary license of easement upon my virtual land).

Everything we do has to begin somewhere. If I want to be a Media Mogul I have to start somewhere if only at the bottom of the barrell, in the lonely halls, making coffee for everyone else who pushes me around. If I want to be a catwalk designer I might have to start with making do with whatever piece of paper I can find to scratch ideas into something only my mind can see. If I ever do have a writing career, it found its roots not in the wide-eyed teacheability of a child who trusts in the judgment of another but in overpowering anger and brooding frustration streaked with a determined belief that I was better than the person marking my year 2 essay told me I was, despite the red circles all over my essay and despite the fact that the marker was my mother. Today some things are different; I can now differentiate between "its" and "it's" whereas before it all looked the same to me but in other areas, things remain the same; I still strive to be above and beyond that what I am, that what I was, that what even now I think I will be.

Whatever we do, we must do it well for whatever we do or neglect to do today forms the foundation we stand on for tomorrow and affects the display we carve out for ourselves in the secret of our hearts.

Happy 1000th blog entry Poodle baby. Rock on.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

SMACAGOW 2009!

Our awesome combined church camp t-shirt this year courtesy of various ingenious members of SMACC2 (Andrew that includes you too!). We're bringing the use of GPS to a whole new level.

If you want to know what the various signs mean, drop me a line, Facebook or see me at work ;) SMACAGOW refers to the 2 combined churches. Links to SMACC and ACA respectively can be found on the right hand side of this blog.

Anil, you had better be over the moon since we added k-a-m-p-a-r on the FRONT of our t-shirt. Like anyone else would do that. Hah!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The day before Easter

The heavens shook out their skirts and rain, thunder and lightning fell, succumbing everything both great and small to its incessant pellets. If I were on my way home instead of my way out, I would have closed my eyes, faced the skies, stood under the downpour and let time pass me by. In the rare chances I have to get completely sloshed by the rain, I find that for the most fleeting moment, I glimpse what it should be like to surrender to a washing.

That I may be as white as snow.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

All the King's horses

This is the gorgeous sculpture in front of the Wynn, Las Vegas which I wish owned...








Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Honour I can do without

Over the last few months, images and questions have been moving slowly in my head as wax would in a lava lamp, each piece trying to find its place in the many problems of the day, in the many jigsawed issues I try to grapple with in order to make sense of the world we live in. I want to talk about something everyone wants to have but no one wishes to pay the price for; honour.

Let's make one thing clear - there is a difference between honour and dignity. Dignity acknowledges others, Honour acknowledges self; what Pride wants, Honour justifies.

I hate society's idea of honour simply because I am of the opinion that humanity is completely and wholly without although everyone claims to have it. Tell me if the following sounds even remotely honourable because the people who practise it certainly think it is!

The caste system in India.
Genital mutilation in Sudan.
Honour killings in Afghanistan.
Marital rape in Pakistan (Law in progress).
The one-child system in China.

I've chosen the more abhorrent traits of this world's culture in order for us to realise the atrocities that stem from our tainted notion of honour. Cultures are saturated with the idea that one's honour must be protected at all costs.

"After all," they say, "We don't have anything if we lose our name." So to that end, they reason:

The 'elite' don't marry 'down.'
Women (in many countries) are refused basic human rights, some in more subtle ways than others.
A forgotten name is worth more than eternal life.
A tyranical patriachical system is God's will.
Procreation is determined by man alone.

Psalm 12:8
The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men.


Murder does not restore honour. The fickleness of the parent; that the parent should renounce his or her child for the sake of remaining in society shames the victim more than death itself. Honour killings are the biggest slap in the face to any puffed-up, self-righteous bigot who thinks it necessary to legalize love before it can take effect. I wonder how they responded to a scene in Madagascar 2 when Alex's dad abdicated his throne and followed his son when Alex was banished to the Wilderness in shame. I wonder if they understood.

If I love someone, I want to honour them. I want the best for them. For them.
If I am filled with pride, I want to honour myself. I want the best for myself. For me.

The great irony is that Love and Honour are meant to go hand-in-hand but just as Mankind usurped God's position as Ruler of this Domain (and every Domain from here to eternity), so societies have deliberately let Pride usurp Love's place. I throw disdain and contempt in the face of such a name and disregard the principalities that assert that man's aim is his glory.

After the making of the movie The Kite Runner, 4 child actors, 2 of whom played parts as sodomised and molested victims respectively had to leave their homeland for fear of repercussions from ultra conservative Afghans. Fair enough. Given the resignation of honour killings, it was wise to flee the country. The issue that leaves a pungent distaste in my mouth is this:

Why did the same repercussions not face the other actors who portrayed the sodomiser, his accomplices and the child molester?

What I hear from Afghanistan through this double-standard portrayal of a cultural mindset is that it is permissible to rape but not to be raped. I condemn the virifiled actions of soldiers who ravage the citizens of the countries they are meant to be protecting and they are without excuse. However, being in another culture for too long leads to cultural conditioning which manifests itself in either affiliating with the culture or despising it and when the culture of male domination has found its way into the subconscious whilst the consciousness hates the people, the mind justifies want the body wants.

Racial honour, cultural honour, religious honour are all things we should do without. I mentioned at the beginning that no one was willing to pay the price for real honour; real God-given honour. There is only one price to pay and even that is dismal compared to what has been given to us. To have honour, we must give up our honour. There is no honour in anything we do apart from that which is done in Christ for no honour can come out of man save for the Spirit of God that can but reside in him through Christ.

One last thought: If you don't find this repulsive, I would want to know why: Girl Gets 37 Lashes

Monday, April 06, 2009

Doctrine

Back to Theology class tonight for another semester inevitably capped with a never-failing, gut-wrenching, heart-rendering, "I don't know anything!!!!!!!" *sob* when exams loom round the corner. Compared to my uni days when I had all the time in the world to sit in parks and wonder why God created elephant-shaped clouds, I now rarely have time to chew on a good mouthful of Theology, let alone leave it to ruminate so Theology classes (and exams) despite the ego-whacking it gives, are definitely things to look forward to.

However, having less time to digest scripture doesn't mean it leaves the periphery. Every day I have to deal with inner prejudices and the practical side of living in a Christ-centered way; it is an actively engaging battle, not a perceptively passive one. When someone steps on my foot in the LRT I have to train my mind not to silently yell expletives. When certain individuals stir my irk, I have to grin and not just bear it but see the positive side of things. When someone scowls at me for no valid reason, I have to try see things from her point of view; she could after all be having it much worse than me. When timetables don't run smoothly, I have to remember that I love the person more than I love efficiency.

Often, there is a thrill of being challenged mentally; to push the constraints of my mind as far as it will go (or as far as my companions' minds will allow!) and to strain to understand God better because it excites me to know more about the Almighty Awesomeness whom I love. However, when push comes to shove, there really is no use in me knowing so much and practising so little. I'd rather know little and practise it all than know a lot and practise none of it.

Having said that, the battle rages not just on the outside with external factors beyond our control but on the inside too; morality declaring warfare on the petty whims and fancies of our heart. I'm sure that even as "decent" human beings, let alone Christians, many can identify with the desire for betterment or improvement, whatever form it may take, be it righteousness or self-righteousness.

Possibly the only difference (if there is one) is, I know what I'm living for. In the words of Meredith Brooks:

I'm a sinner, I'm a saint,
I do not feel ashamed.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Tooting Jenny's horn

I don't usually toot other people's horns in case I get too much spit in them than is otherwise possible to remove...

However, it is impossible NOT to blow Jenny's horn, wedding photographer extraordinaire. Book her a year-and-a-half in advance or miss out on a wedding shoot of a lifetime (or of a marriage but that's one road let's not go down). You could always book her for anniversaries!!

Shots like these have made her the international name she is:





Despite my fetish for artistic footwear (of which Jenny has several beautiful shots), my biased favourite is below. No prizes for guessing why. For more of her wonderful work, please go to Jenny Sun Photography.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

I realise that... but...

April Fool's Day was yesterday but the post below is no joke.

Elena, I'm a size 3... and a half. But I'll settle for 4 :p


If the descriptive product in the post below is hard to find, I'll also settle for:


Hee hee.