Sunday, November 20, 2011

What now?

Why is it that when it rains, it pours?

I'm tired. Of so many things. I'm just bone-weary. I'm tired of fighting for what should be mine. Maybe I should just let everything go. Go with the flow.

I wonder where all the passion went - is it just a comfort zone now?

Am I making the same mistakes I used to make? I need to stop. And reassess.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Vicissitudes and Contradictions

I haven't written much for a very long time.

Too many things, too little time.

Too many changes, too little rest.

Too many instances of death, too little celebrations of life.

Or maybe I'm just feeling the marks of senescence more frequently than I used to, nowadays. But perhaps I should write again. Too many things on my mind. And it has always been cathartic to write.

But as one gets older, thoughts always seem to condense and distill into similar patterns and processes. It's as though one no longer experiences new things, but is merely refining the old - getting better at it, I suppose?

As I ruminate over that particular thought, I remember writing about it a few years ago, and so I went back to old writings to see if I did write them down. I am amazed at the kind of things I used to write. One wonders: Was that really me? When did I ever find so much time to write so much? And how did I find the ENERGY? The thinking process is, after all, really like a computing system. It takes up resources, i.e. energy :P

It is comforting to note, though, that I may have changed gradually over the years. Some say I'm more mellow, some say I'm less forgiving, perhaps both is true. However, it's comforting to know that, in-principle, my convictions stay the same. Lately, as I was hitting 30 (and when I have since hit 30), my thoughts have run along similar lines as this particular blog, almost 3 years ago.

Of how changes affect us (particularly, me). Of how fleeting life can be. Of how people change and grow, or grow and change. Of the permanency (or lack thereof) of human relationships. Of the one constant in life, which is change. Of fertility and nativity. Of morbidity and mortality. Of formation. Of dissolution.

Well, I'll just share my thoughts of 3 years past, I suppose.

Except for one thing to add. How fortunes always seem to change attitudes. I suppose when one is poor, one can afford to be generous, as there is nothing to lose, but when one is rich, or trying to be so, one need always zealously guard one's fortunes? Money may buy you friendship, fortune and fame, but when one dies, the skeletons come out of the closet and dance. Perhaps most people tend to forget that.

Maybe I'm getting more and more jaded as I get older? :)



To honour, love and respect.

these are going to be short essays, distilled essences of thoughts over many months. after all, brevity is the soul of wit.

been wanting to write so many things:

about life. how it's so fleeting. so fragile. a friend of mine was so shaken, because her friend died in a horrible car accident. just a week prior, they had chatted about how she'd be starting a new life in another place, where my friend was. a week later, news filtered through that she had died in a horrible car crash. what irony. what meaninglessness. what an awful waste. so much potential. so much passion. so much youth. *snap!* and it's gone. like a bunny in a magician's hat.

and yet, how much do we really know a person? we can spend an entire lifetime with a person, and in his/ her death, be stunned by how little we know.

but life.... it's so unpredictable. so short. so seemingly meaningless at times. yet so powerfully moving at others.

life is fragile. and painful. and beautiful.

i told you: i wish i could've made more of an impact in other people's life. i wish i could've left school at 24 and traversed the world in help of the needy. my next manicure, my heartbreaks over men would've paled so much in comparison to 8 year olds dying of AIDS in my arms. or a pregnant young woman of 14 sobbing her heart out on my shoulder as i tended to the ugly purple welts on her body caused by the lashings of her poor drunken husband 12 years older than she was/ or her pimp who wants her to have an abortion. who am i? what difference can i make?

i told you: when i died, i'd like for as much of my organs to be donated to as many who'd need them, and the remains to be cremated, and the ashes be scattered over a flower bed. because i believe that's how life cycles in the greater scheme of things should be. with death, should come life. and that's why i don't smoke. and i try to keep myself in as good a shape as i can. someone else may need my liver and my heart more than i do.

i'm morbid.

about families. how they shape us. how they love us no matter how much we hurt them. how they welcome the prodigal son with open arms. how much they can hurt us. how much we can hurt them. and yet ultimately, how much we are bonded together no matter what the circumstances. and if familial ties are good, how much they protect.

about love - old loves, new loves. fleeting love, everlasting love. who's to say one impacts us less than another? who's to say the passion of a love of one month is less painful than one that lasts a span of 50 years? after all, both are imprints in the cement of our heart and our soul. they may erode with time, but the outline would always remain. the past may be the past, but the past helped shaped the future. and unless, like the rest of our world's problems, we learn from history, the past would always come back and haunt us. in the shape of the present.

after all, it's been said that our experiences are repetitive from the experiences we've learnt in our formative years. and so, the rest of our lives are repetitions of our childhood experiences. we react to stimuli the way we were taught to react in childhood. and the only other new experience that we would learn in adulthood/ post-pubescence would be the sexual climax. after that, we'd be repeating our initial sexual experience. we'd react to it as we were taught to in that initial experience and repeat it with future partners.

is that how love is as well?

it's been said that men (and perhaps women) have 4 loves in their lives:

1. the love of his/ her childhood (aka childhood sweetheart, puppy love, etc.)

2. the love of his/ her youth (possibly first real love, the one that made a bigger impact, first cut, etc.)

3. the love of his/ her manhood/ womanhood (the love that was made as a mature, responsible adult, one where he/ she assesses compatibility, lifestyle choices, background, etc. rather than profess undying love due to passion, sexual compatibility, physical attraction, etc. you get the idea)

4. the love of his/ her deathbed (where his/ her partner lives to watch him/ her die. the one where he/ she wakes up next to the creaking bones of his/ her senescence. where he/ she smells that old people smell everyday. where he/ she puts up with his/ her failing bladder, falling hair, lack of sexual drive/ sexual ability. where he/ she is the one wiping the snot of his/ her nose because he/ she can no longer do it him/ herself, etc. you get the idea too)

it's said that it is already lucky to have 3 and 4 be the same person, some are luckier still to have 2, 3 and 4 be one and the same. some rare few have all 4 be the same man/ woman.

who's to say? in my grandmother's time, there was no chance or choice to bemoan and wonder if you had married the right person. one is married, and then falls in love. or maybe never fall in love at all, but learn to appreciate one's life partner. with two world wars to survive through, who has time to think whether the next door guy is a better lover/ husband?

but in today's world, in a time of relative economic, political and social peace, with technology crossing all manner of borders, where does one cross the line? you look at your friend's boyfriend and wonder if he'd make a better boyfriend to you. or you look at your friend's sister and wonder if you had made the wrong choice for a girlfriend. or your colleague. or your neighbour. or your friend. or your cyberpal, after one too many online flirtation. too many choices. too little conscience.

we're spoilt for choice. and yet we're ill-equipped to make the right ones.

and so, when i met a friend of mine last week, one i hadn't seen in years, and her brother, who i haven't spoken to in many many years too, with his wife of a year old, i was struck by how quietly and simply eloquent the inscription in their rings were: to honour, love and respect.

To honour, love and respect. Inscribed on the inside of a simple, white-gold wedding band. With the date of their wedding. Taken straight out of their marriage vows:

To honour, love and respect all the days of our lives.

Love. do we really know what it means? so overused. so underappreciated. said at the height of passion. forgotten the next morning. said at the honeymoon stage of a relationship. forgotten when things get rough. as they inadvertently do. said to a replacement when the fires of a previous relationship had barely cooled. thrown out the window at the first argument.

To honour, love and respect. They come together. In a trinity. that's how love lasts, after all.

To honour, love and respect. Do we really know how to do that?

Honour. Do we know what it means?

Love. Do we appreciate the full extent of its meaning?

Respect. Do we have enough of this for ourselves, and hence, other people?

To honour, love and respect. All the days of our lives. Think about it.

It's as much a huge commitment as it is a wonderful promise. Perhaps it is both.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Turning 30

How does it feel to be 30?

I'm still trying to figure it out :)

After a day of rumination, I suppose the politically correct epiphany would be: Young enough to still have fun and remember, old enough to stop and know better.

The less politically correct, credited to Irene, would be: Young enough to still wanna shake your booty, old enough to know when it's time to sit down before you sprain something :P

My hope for this chapter/ decade would be that I learn how to age with grace... under pressure :)

It's been quite a day... My teammates surprised (or sabo-ed?) me with a little birthday cake and a (really loud) happy birthday song in a crowded restaurant, and sang an (even louder!!!) happy birthday song once more in a crowded lunchtime MRT (ZOMGWTFCRAZYFELLAZLAWLZ) before surprising me again with a 'meeting' that turned out to be the official birthday surprise :P Thank you, MxTx team :) It's been a wonderful 1 year with all of you, past and present :) Bumpy rollercoaster crazy ride it may have been, but I think we've all weathered and matured much :) I'm going to cry now :P

It is interesting to start a new decade of my life in another country, and under different circumstances. Granted, last year I was already here, but I hadn't had time to stop, think and reflect, having just moved here about a month prior.

The outpouring of well wishes, affection and love was a little surprising and overwhelming though :) Thank you all. I was, and still am, deeply touched. It's true that friendship has no geographical boundaries. I've been receiving birthday wishes as early as 4 May, and although my silly facebook wall allowed no posts initially, I've had some friends spend the time to PM me their wishes, write on my status or my uploaded pics, or send me a message via phone/ IM/ other means of communication instead. I love you all much :) It's been a great pleasure, and honour to have met each and every one of you, somewhere along my journey in life.

I will stop now before I get uncharacteristically disgustingly mushy :) I've a reputation to uphold, after all :P This note is a reflection of where I am in my life right now, how far I've come, how much further I have yet to go, and how each and everyone of you, my friends, have left an indelible mark in this soft, pink-cotton-candy-fuwa-fuwa heart of mine :P

Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for your love. Thank you for being you. I shall now toast to the friendship we've had, and the many more years that will come :)

And now that I've written my uncharacteristically sentimental note, I shall retire to bed to preserve the youthfulness of my delicate skin ;) I have my occasional vain streak, as I do my occasional flashes of brilliance :P

Signing off,
Yours Truly :)

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Royal Wedding Dress!

Yes, yes, I know I'm late :P But I was at work and had other things to do before I finally managed to get down to checking out the Royal Wedding.

I must say I love the dress though! And I totally agree with this headline:

I've always loved delicate, soft lace (not the cheap scratchy ones), and this is a little reminiscent of my mom's wedding gown, with it's long lacy sleeves (of course, mom's wasn't as glam), but I gotta applaud HRH Kate, for how she achieved the blend of traditional and modern in such an elegant manner.

The lace and corset bodice, narrowed at the waist, padded at the hips with the hint of a bustle at the way it gathers at the back gives a nod to the Victorian look, yet the sweetheart neckline bodice, peek-a-boo V-neck lace overlay and clean-cut panels and pleats of her ivory satin gazar skirt gives it a modern twist.

It isn't overly shiny and ostentatious. It's sleek yet feminine. Glamorous, yet refined.

I especially loved her veil. Traditionally long, yet minimalist modern with it's soft, airy, light and delicate look, held together with only a tiara. Overall, a subtly sexy, yet conservative look.

I know some people complain about the train, but I think it was brilliant! Long enough to be stately and regal, short enough that it is not superfluous wastage. Gorgeous!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Winning the War

It's been a long time since I've posted.

Life and work in general has gotten in the way. My apologies. Laziness too.

But today, I just couldn't contain myself.

My beloved state was not able to deny the coalition of thieves and liars this time around. And it was extremely disheartening and disappointing for me.

I need to remind myself, however, that Rome wasn't built in a day. There are many take-aways from this episode.

Firstly, that although the majority given to the ruling coalition has been reduced by more than 5%, it isn't enough. That we need to do so much more. How? We will need to look at this from many angles.

  1. Who helped the ruling coalition win this? The inlanders.
  2. Where did they get the winning votes? Possibly postal votes, ghost voters, etc.
  3. What could have helped them achieve this? Many things, but of course, what was most effective was money.
  4. Why did we lose in the inlands? Lack of awareness/ education/ relevance of campaign.
  5. When do we start with a new campaign, then? NOW. We start NOW. That's how we will win in the GEs. If we're going to be serious.
  6. How do we win? I will elaborate below. In summary, we need to start the new campaign now. Do the groundwork. We need to identify candidates whom the inlanders can identify with. We need to find issues that are relevant to them and find workable solutions for them. Most of all, we need to educate and create awareness.

RFS helped us make inroads into some of the inlands of Sarawak. But we shouldn't rely on RFS alone to assist us in making efforts into the inlands. We need to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of each constituency, as well as their needs, and move on from there. A one-size-fits-all solution is not suitable for a state like Sarawak. Not when there are major differences in geography and socio-economic conditions. What appeals to the urban voters may not be relevant for the rural voters at all. They can't identify, especially, with politics from the peninsula. It is foreign to them, as foreign as politics in UK or USA or Australia. Therefore, solutions would need to be customized according to constituency.

And we need to start the next campaign right NOW. We cannot be discouraged. We need to find suitable candidates and send them to talk to the rural folks quickly. This is in order for us to find out what we can do to relieve their burden, what the ruling coalition did right, how we are able to overturn the loyalty, and to gain their trust. It's psychological warfare. In order to beat the ruling coalitions system's of bullying, buying out and postal votes, we cannot afford to win by just a slim margin, but we need to have a buffer of another possible n=5000 votes (if possible, dependent on constituency, of course). This would mean that every blue we can turn red is worth the effort.

Our friends from across the sea does not understand. What is so obvious to them is, in truth, completely irrelevant to the inlanders. They don't have internet to be able to read up on alternative media. You see, they don't even have electricity. They have no toilets. They use outhouses instead. They have no clean running water. How would I know? I've seen it. With my own eyes. So please don't be condescending. They can't afford to think too far into the future when they live from day to day. They are even unsure of where tomorrow's food is going to come from. RM1000 is a LOT of money for them. As for NCR? Some don't even know they've signed off their lands until tractors come to clear their land. Because they are illiterate. They rely on the spoken language. That is why they were so easily lied to by the ruling coalition's empty promises.

So how do we become relevant? By getting someone from the area. Who knows. By having people go in there to find out about their plight. Ask to see their land leases. Investigate the situation. Do it NOW. While the ruling coalition is still celebrating. While they are complacent. That's how you build trust. By not just visiting once every 5 years.

If you do it while the ruling coalition does it as well, of course you would not be able to shine as brightly. You don't have the money. You can't compete.

So buy your way in through their heart, not their wallets. Make yourselves relevant in their day to day lives. Send in short wave radios so that they can hear about the evils of the current situation. So that they know. Talk to them and explain how they are at disadvantage. Speak their local language. Know their local customs. Make yourselves relevant.

Speak their language. Create a candidate that is a local hero. Rebrand yourselves as a coalition that is relevant, caring, able to help. Who will always be there for them, not just during election times.

Change is scary for these rural folks. That's why you move in now. Once they are familiar with you, once they are loyal, once you become a friend, they stay loyal, they stay your friend. As you can see from the current results. Make their loyalty yours. Turn these liabilities to your favour.

You find the root and then make a focussed, targeted, and most importantly, CUSTOMIZED effort that would turn the tides around. Hopefully the next time around, would be a major red tide.

We may have lost the battle, but not the war.