Thursday, November 30, 2006

Mundane Life

well, was in kl for a week, and all the dutiful children came to pay homage to the matriarch, including our ever-so-busy brother. back to mundane life after spending god knows how much in kl (and getting lost on the way back from putrajaya, thanx to my niece Asha). have to seriously start saving for the next trip with Gina.

besides going here and there trying to complete the application for the new maid, i'm currently reading The Postmodern by Simon Malpas. no, it's not a fiction. it's a required reading, to equip myself before i embark on my next migraine-inducing mad project in the quest of enlightenment and self-betterment. well, it's not as dense as Homi Bhabha's. i keep myself sane by searching for soundtracks, the familiar tunes as well as out of print ones. i found a slow romantic rap song by Squeeze entitled Heaven Knows, which is featured in Hackers, starring Angelina Jolie (she was still young at that time, it's where she met her ex-hubby Johnny Miller). then, there's another obscure song, which i remember from my teenage years when i watched the 80s teenage flick Just One of the Guys by Ronnie Spector called "Tonight You're Mine". my current fave is Michael Buble's Home, featured in The Wedding Date.


Another summer day
Is come and gone away
In Paris and Rome
But I wanna go home

Maybe surrounded by
A million people I
Still feel all alone
I just wanna go home
Oh I miss you, you know

And I've been keeping all the letters that I wrote to you
Each one a line or two
I'm fine baby, how are you?
Well I would send them but I know that it's just not enough
My words were cold and flat
And you deserve more than that

Another aerorplane
Another sunny place
I'm lucky I know
But I wanna go home
Mmmm, I've got to go home

Let me go home
I'm just too far from where you are
I wanna come home

And I feel just like I'm living someone elses life
It's like I just stepped outside
When everything was going right
And I know just why you could not
Come along with me
But this was not your dream
But you always believed in me

Another winter day has come
And gone away
And even Paris and Rome
And I wanna go home
Let me go home

And I'm surrounded by
A million people I
Still feel alone
Oh, let go home
Oh, I miss you, you know

Let me go home
I've had my run
Baby, I'm done
I gotta go home
Let me go home
It will be all right
I'll be home tonight
I'm coming back home

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

to the 80s kids

most of you read the fwd email on what it means to be an 80s kid. this is my rendition of what it means to be an 80s kid.

1. you know what nkotb stands for. and you still remember "Hanging Tough".

2. you used to wear baggy blouses, tights and leg warmers. not to mention the unimaginable amount of gel on your hair. and big shoulder pads. thick makeup. "punk" hairdo was in.

3. the silver screen males who ruled the day were tom cruise (remember top gun?), kirk cameron, michael j fox, ralph macchio, scott baio, tony danza, rob lowe. not to forget, johnny made his debut in 21 jump street that made all the girls swoon. the queen of teenage movies was molly ringwald who acted in "pretty in pink" and "sixteen candles". remember madonna as a marilyn monroe wannabe in her platinum blonde hairdo. not to mention her infamous bustier. and you sang to "material girl" and "papa dont preach".

5.favourite hangout would be the mcdonalds. tea dances were famous back then.

6.atari was a famous form of entertainment. vcr made its appearance. remember datuk shah rezza not as a wedding planner but as a young actor. as with ziela jalil who wore a very revealing ensemble in "tarzan rimba". you know ogy in ali setan and suara kekasih.

8.the late sudirman was malaysia's top entertainer. the late seha was a healthy young woman who sang "mulanya di sini"with her band. zainal was with headwind, amy with search and acis with gersang. know the tune of "true" by spandau ballet. you love a-ha's take on me. glory of love was the most romantic song, with the girls wishing that ralph macchio would fight for their honour.

10. you remember michael jackson when he was "natural".

11.sitcoms of the day were family ties, growing pains, the cosby show and facts of life. the tv shows not to be missed - dynasty, the colbys and 21 jump street.

12. you know freddy kruger. you know mahoney in police academy. you love the goonies and the soundtrack cyndi lauper sang for the film.

13. breakdance was introduced and became the craze.

Friday, November 17, 2006

bigotry versus wisdom

in Midnight's Children, Saleem Sinai claims that he is the sum of all the people around him and the people before him. simply put, he means that a person's personality is constructed based on experience gained from being in a community. as for me, what i'm going to write is based on what i've learned in my literature classes, my extensive readings in cultural theories and obviously, my experience in life.

what induces me to write this piece is the film shown on HBO today, entitled "Higher Learning" with the cast that include tyra banks, the guy in Barber Shop and Dr foreman in House. the setting is, as the film suggests, an institution of higher learning, and the main issue brought to centrestage is racism - between the white supremacy and the blacks.

no, i'm not going to write about racial divide. i just want to talk about bigotry. in the dictionary, bigotry refers to the state of the mind of a bigot, one who holds his opinions and prejudices steadfastly. in the movie, a white boy believes in his supremacy over the blacks, just because of his skin colour, never mind that he is not doing well in in studies compared to the black boy.

the question of supremacy has everything to do with binary opposites of Self and Other, the oppressor and the oppressed, and the coloniser and the colonised. when there is a self, there is always an other, that is, when there is one who controls, there is always one who is controlled.

traditionally, we hear the story frm the perspective of the Self, but recently with the advent of postcolonial and feminist theories, we hear the voices from the Other, the oppressed who fights for the change of position of power in the social group.

well then, if we have such theories which write back to the oppressor and try to change the status quo, what's the point of writing about bigotry? because bigotry is alive and kicking. it is not only about racial divide, it's also about beliefs. bigotry can cause many mischiefs, some even go as far as catastrophic level that banishes good will. a bigot is convinced that his actions are correct, eventhough they are not. and to make it worse, we've been taught to stand up for ourselves and so we're in the age where everybody is heard, and one who believes will stamp his foot down. this makes a bigot dangerous, for a bigot is always led to rash actions , more often than not these actions are accompanied with abusive words. unfortunately though, nobody is perfect, and it is not up to us to judge someone. certainly not by a bigot.

which brings us to wisdom, the Other of bigotry. wisdom cant be learned, it is earned. it is through experience, observation and learning that we acquire wisdom. wisdom is usually associated with maturity, hence the portrayal of wise old men with long beards in fantasy fictions such as Gandalf, Belgarath and Dumbledore. however, i've met younger people who are wise beyond their years, which proves that wisdom does not come with age. wisdom leads not only to acceptance, openness and tolerance, but also a moment of pause for reflection before making any actions.

at the end of the movie, an uneasy peace is shown between the black boy and a white girl, a symbol of tolerance and acceptance. the movie ends with 1 word "unlearn".

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Annual Hi Tea

we had our annual hi tea at primula was a success, if i may say so, what with us the committee members working very hard to get sponsors, so that all the teachers would bring back not one gift, but 3, and those who are really lucky would get 4. the grand prize was a 3 day 2 nite stay at aryani resort, which was won by mr phang, whom i think is appropriate, given his retirement and all.

it all started early in the morning, when while trodding the rain sodden road, i nearly spoiled my carlo rino pumps. the male comm members were already loading the bags and the 134 gifts into cikgu zaki's mpv, while phiza and i made our way to top of the world. there, the staff was just starting to arrange the tables and chairs, while the rest of us had to sweat (the airconditioning unit had just been switched on) arranging all the 134 prizes according to chronological order.

at 1.30, the comm were all there, and it all began when the teachers started arriving, the men in their baju melayu n sampin n songkok (the works) and the women in their glittering ensemble. the main event was, of course, the makan part, and because the teachers were told in whispers that there's a grand prize, and the fact that everybody would be lucky, the lucky draw was also the main attraction. it's no joke, having to find all the prizes and pooled them at the stage, but that's what we did. anyway, yours truly won a china casserole dish, something that i truly like, considering that i like to buy anything to do with cooking or dining. anyway, it's been a tiring day.

tomorrow we'll have 2 makan2.... the 1st is the breakfast in my staffroom - nasi lemak, lontong and laksa penang. i've already baked chocolate chip apple cake and now my marble cheesecake is in the oven. and... in the afternoon, the koperasi will hold a luncheon. *sigh*... ah abundance, abundance!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A Reflection

it's funny how our perceptions change as we grow older. as kids we think of life differently, we see certain things as something majestic or grand. i used to remember a relative's house being big when i was 6, but during last raya, i saw that it was just like any other ordinary house.

and so our perceptions in life are constantly changed, by people around us, by what we read, by what we think. i must say that i've come a long way from that little girl of 6.

i was born the youngest, and has always looked to others for approval. this has become a part of my identity, being the pleaser, until lately, when i've come into the full circle of myself. my identity. i went through one of the most difficult times in my life, and i was forced to make some tough decisions.

some may think that i've changed, some even called me not-so-nice names, but they failed to see that i've evolved. i dont follow the herd anymore, i m done with being a pleaser. i've a brain to think, and i think what's best for me. sometimes God lets us learn the most valuable lessons through hardships. although i'm now 33, i only found out that there are those who think that they're in the right therefore they can judge, but then, they forget that they themselves are no saints, and therefore are in no position to condemn someone. i also learnt that the length of years doesnt make someone know you better, sometimes a person who has only known you for months knows you better than your long time friends. i also found that true and good friends dont judge you, they are there for you. they dont call you names either. i learnt that sometimes it is best to keep quiet, because a word might set off a fire.

i believe that this happens to everyone at some point of his or her life. the dawn of recognition. the coming of age. the end of the innocence, the beginning of wisdom.

it s just that i grew up.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

raya pics