Saturday, March 20, 2010

Colours of the Wind

This week has been fabulous windy weather here in Penang (at least, compared to the previous weeks). My hot-dry blues are slowly fading away. I like waking up to the calm sun early in the morning. No, not quite. I like waking up in the morning, knowing that it is raining. And what I really love is the extra wind in the evening.

I am one of those people who have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It is self-diagnosed of cause. How appropriate are those initials! Anyway, I always notice my mood changes in the hot and dry weather. My appetite even changes where I eat more as if I was a bear going into hibernation.

I feel more trapped during the hot and dry season. I miss being outside, I miss having the fresh air blow through the windows in the house.

The cool weather brings on more freedom for me. It felt like a rebirth in more ways than one. I think that the time of year certainly increased that feeling for me.
So this weekend when we turn the clocks ahead I will look forward to longer days, more sunlight, and those sweet little breeze...

Do you ever get SAD? Do you notice your mood changes during the winter? Does the lack of sunlight affect you? How do you deal?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Orange Love

Something I really need to do more of on this blog is to share some of the ways to improve my health over the past few years. One of which is how I changed my diet. Of cause, this change was initiated by me getting kicked in the ass by lots of sickness! But what is important is that I am in a better place and am treating my body better.

One of the things I have found that makes me feel all kinds of good are mandarin oranges. I try to keep myself hydrated (which is so important during the hot-dry season) but sometimes I just get tired of the taste of water, or should I say lack thereof!

What I learned is that oranges (or generally, citrus fruits) help your body absorb all the water you drink better than water alone. They also help your liver do its job which is to get rid of toxins. Not to mention lots of Vitamin C.

I get many headaches most of the time from the hot weather. Before I go running for water, I try some oranges. Most of the time I find that it gets rid of my headache. If for nothing else oranges taste great and give you a good source of Vit C!

Anyone else love the orange?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

For the Love of Chocolate

Ok I'll admit it... I am a chocoholic, ever since I was a kid. Anything with chocolate from ice-cream, to candy, to cookies, and cake. That was my downfall. I don't know about you but chocolate just gives me the urge to have more. Imagine white chocolate filled with crunchy nuts, and cookies with thick dark chocolate, that’s food made in heaven!

Before I get off on the flavourful trip down memory lane, the point I was going to make is related to health. I am sure everyone has heard about the health benefits of dark chocolate, or they called it cacao, which is the actual cocoa bean used to make chocolate. Dark chocolate has antioxidants as well as heart healthy benefits.

In my quest to become healthier, I have changed my diet in many ways but the hardest has been giving up some of the things I love. I think that we still need to have those foods we crave as long as it is in moderation to be successful at our diet and healthful eating habits. So I was happy as a clam to find out that dark chocolate was good for me!

Cacao is now pretty easy to find as an ingredient in most dark chocolates out there. The labels will read "60% cacao" or "70% cacao" and that is what you want to look for. Cacao is the unprocessed chocolate straight from the bean. It is the main ingredient used to make all chocolate.

Any other chocolate lover’s out there? What is your favorite way to enjoy this delight?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Finding the Sun

I have a dog at home, a girl. Whenever she feels unhappy about something, she will lay herself in the sun. Wherever it is, wherever she can find it, is where you will find her. No matter how hot, she practically burns herself to fully worship the sun.

Over the weekend I was having a bad, panicky morning and as I sat on the couch worrying about stuff, the stuff I can’t control I watched my dog laying on the floor in front of our car porch. It has become her spot, it is the spot in the house where there is the most sun.

The sun is so intense at times that the floor gets very warm. There she was flopped on her side just laying there taking it all in and I could tell she was enjoying every minute of it. Peaceful and serene. That was what it looked like to me.
I couldn’t help but feel a little jealous. Which may sound crazy to some of you but its true. As I watched her soaking up the light and the warmth, I wanted to enjoy it too. I thought, “Wow, she has it figured out”.

That is really all we need, the sunlight, its warmth, and a place to just lay down and relax. We need to have more time in our lives, in our days to just sit back and face the light, enjoy the moments.

The moments away from the chaos, the anxiety, and the fear. Sometimes it can consume us and when it does it can steal so much time. Time that is too precious to waste.

I think there is so much to learn from our animals. My dog has taught me many things about life. In my many observations of her going through her day, for her, it is all about food, sun, love, and companionship and not necessarily in that order. I need to focus on more of those things during my day. OK, maybe not the food but the others, yes.

I need to look for the sun in my day, in all the things that I do. If my dog can figure it out, than why can’t I?

Where do you go to find your sun?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Do Our Souls Know When It is Time to Check Out??

Although I have not been following much of the Winter Olympic Games, I was sad to hear about the luger who was killed during training. As I continued to read the article, I was more stunned to hear that he told his father a few days prior that he was "scared" of the track.

It gave me the chills. It got me to thinking about my aunt, who passed away due to cancer. It made me wonder if we know when we will be moving on from this life.

I am sure this all sounds crazy to some but not to me. I can't help but wonder if somehow our souls have knowledge of when our lives will end. That it is something not in our conscious mind but awareness we have that doesn't make sense at the time it may come through to our being.

My first thought when I read this story was that the fear of that track was coming from his soul's knowledge of check out time.

What did you think when you read this story? Do you believe in souls? Do you think our souls have any knowledge of the future?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

8th of February

First of all...


Yep! It's my birthday and that morning, the sun was shining! There's something about the sun in that morning that was so delightful – so optimistic. I love it when it's beautiful on my birthday!

Who would have thought, I would make it this far and have such an adventure on the way. I almost achieved and received everything I wanted and a little more.

I suppose I’ll have to edit my resumè and strikeout the 22 and make it 23, but seeing the numbers on my age quickly climb leaves me feeling a little “old”. Can’t I just refuse to grow up, or at least stop my age from adding? Guess that’s childish thinking, huh?

So as I watched the clock strike midnight I thought, "Well, 23, here you are and you caught up to me!” It felt weird and all good at the same time. Having never thought that 22 years will just pass in a blink of an eye, and that was a good 22 years I have left behind. It feels pretty good.

Today it is my brother's birthday too. Why? That’s because we are twins.

I am 23 and all I can do is make the best of the life that I have. I need to be easier on myself, be more forgiving to myself, and have more fun! I don't play nearly enough. I don't want to get so caught up in the worrying. There is just no time for that. I hope I can take my own advice this time!


P.S Thanks a million for your birthday presents: Mr TJH, Mr YCH, Miss WSM, Bosch, and Miss WHY. And to my Baby, I Love You.

How do you celebrate your birthdays? Did you feel as though your life was shortened when you heard the words "Happy Birthday"?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Procrastination... Wishing I Wasn't Good At It

I have never had a to-do list and if I did nothing would be checked. As far back as I can recall I have never had a hard time getting things done, and doing it timely. Nonetheless, although I seem to do my best work under pressure it certainly causes me undue stress.

The old self of mine, has no problem turning the starter key and get going with what I planned to do, with ease. In recent times, it has been a very much different scenario. Things don’t seem to be going my way. Sometimes, I find it hard just to get things going, or worse, to continue where I have left off previously.

I began to notice that even exciting good things would be put off to the side, to be forgotten about, and at my worst, missed. I find it hard to just start. But once I get the momentum going, I am good. I wonder why I had become like this. I so want to change.

I have started making small lists of things to do which on occasion has helped me move along. I am better at getting things done for others when I am given a set deadline but without that I am donning the crown of procrastination king yet again.

Do you procrastinate? Are you too good at it? Have you been able to change your ways? If so... how?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

What's That Smell?

** "First and foremost, sorry for not writing, sorry for not keeping my blog updated. Have been really busy this week due to my internship, which caused me the mood to write. A thousand apologies to you guys who have been hanging around so long for me to update."

When I was doing some shopping that day, suddenly, a very familiar smell struck me. It was pleasant indeed, and trust me; it triggered back a lot of fond memories from the past. But, mind you, there is one hiccup! I can’t remember from when, where, and who that smell existed, I mean from my past. Even after some long reflections, I just can’t figure it out.

Throughout my life, I have always had a heightened sense of smell. And that sense, in particular, has always been very connected to my memory.

Some of my favorite smells are my shampoo, freshly cut grass, freshly baked pizzas (*lol*), fresh linens, and my dad's cooking (Oh! How I miss it), and most of all, the smell of her. Some of the smells I hate are cigarette smoke, exhaust gas, the inside of a hospital as well as the more obvious ones!

Whenever I enter a room, or my car, or even outside, it’s often the first question I ask. And depending on what it is, I will be flooded with memories.

I remember when I go to the dentist for my braces checkups, the second I enter the building, the smell nearly knocks me down, the familiarity of it.
By the same token, though, the smell of my dad’s cologne lingering in the house after he leaves for work (that was many years back) makes me smile and feel a comfort. When I was growing up, my grandma made bread dipped in beaten eggs every Sunday. I miss that smell too.

Sometimes, during my anxious moments, I would bring something with me that smelled good to me, like a piece of cloth doused with my favorite scent. It helped me to deal with the anxiety and worry that surrounds me in the atmosphere. Sometimes it worked and other times it didn't, but I felt it was worth a try.

Do you find that certain smells trigger your memory? If so what are they? How do you deal with those smells that trigger unpleasant memories?

Monday, February 1, 2010

New Year's Resolutions. Do You Make Them?

It is hard to believe that in a couple of weeks’ time, it will be Chinese New Year; it will be goodbye to Cow and hello to Tiger. As this time rolls around I always think about new beginnings and a fresh start.

One thing I seldom do is make resolutions (Chinese New Year's resolutions, to be exact). I never have, but it’s for a reason. I think if I were to make a resolution, I would not stick to it. Then again, it is hard for me to stick to anything lately. Nonetheless, I do think about changes I want to make in my life and wishes I have for the New Year.

Looking forward, I wish for more peace in my life, more fun, less stress (don't we all) and to worry much less than I do. I want to get organised and really clean out stuff, not just physical things but the stuff in my mind that often holds me back. And that will be the hardest part.

I want to spend more time doing what makes me happy and brings out my creativity. I don't want to take things for granted. I don't want to relearn lessons from the past. I want to leave the past in its place, where it belongs.

This list is a work in progress for me. I need to make a vision board as a daily reminder of the places I intent to go.

Do you make resolutions? Are you willing to go to high heights just to achieve what’s in your resolution?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Age is Catching Up

I am going to age myself with this post but here goes! As I approach my 23rd birthday next month, (did I just say that?!) I can't help but to reflect on my life, ponder over years gone by. Almost a quarter of a decade is upon me. It is both exciting and boring at the same time. Boring, in the sense that, it will be another year ahead, just like all the 22 years that had passed.

I was driving to work, for the umpteenth time, this morning, and it got me to thinking about my teens. As I watched the boys and girls go to school, that was when I thought about how I wouldn't want to be in my teen anymore.

But, that doesn’t mean I hate my teenage life, or I hate schooling. I enjoyed my schooldays just as much as I enjoyed everyday of my life. Just that, when you know that you’ll have to wake up early for school, and there would be homework everyday and exams every month, all those just killed off the excitement of going to school.

My teenage brings a lot of fond memories back to me. It’s a stage in my life where I had lessons on how to accept and face nature’s most extraordinary sentiments: success and defeat.

I do regard teenage, for that matter, as a “teacher” who prepares me for my many years ahead. Success is not a matter of being the best and wining the race. Success is a matter of handling the worst and finishing the race.

Back to my topic. Today I feel like I am doing what I have always been meant to do. Being an undergraduate and having the opportunity to study what I think I like are what I feel excited about doing. I have more clarity these days, I take better care of myself, I enjoy more of the quiet moments.

Do you miss your 20's? If you could turn back the clock would you ever go back? What do you like more about yourself now? What do you feel has shaped you into who you are today?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

It's Simple English

Hey all! Here I am blogging while I'm supposed to be working on my layout drawing for the new production line. I am taking advantage on the chances given. *lol* A big THANK YOU to the brother of mine.

It's a good thing, though. Now I know I can muti-task. *giggle*

Guess what? I was about to have a sore throat this morning, (I just knew it will come) so I decided to pay the in-plant clinic a visit. After much persuading, a friend of mine tagged along.

And so, we reached the clinic. My first impression was, the nurses there look very compassionate. Well, that's how nurses should look, that's how they should act. That's their work ethics, right? WRONG!!

Follow my conversation with a nurse there (believe me, it sucks BIG time), and I will tell you why:

Me: Good morning!
Nurse: Ha mi szu? (It's "what's the matter?", Hokkien style).
Me: Erm... I think I am having a sore throat.
Nurse: *hokkien* ... *hokkien* ... trainee...
Me: Huh? What trainee? Oh ya, I am a trainee. I would like to get some medicine for sore throat.
Nurse: *hokkien* ... *hokkien*
Me: ...

After some deep eye-to-eye moments:

Nurse: *sarcastic face* You don't understand Hokkien ah? Where u from one?
Me: I am from Ipoh.
Nurse: Aiya! Tell early mah... Canto ah? Or English?

I was so f******ly pissed off. I spoke to her in English from the time i entered the room. And here she came asking me do I speak Cantonese or English. I did not say anything much, took the sore throat lozenges, and I sped off.

Nurse? Compassionate? Caring? I say, Malaysia Boleh!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What Calms Me?

I took this picture over the weekend. The weather was so beautiful, as it rained in the early part of the morning. All I had to do was to walk along the sea line and it was like I went to another world.

Whether it is the ocean, or the lake, or a river, water has always had a calming effect on me. I love to just sit and look at the endless blue and listen to waves hitting against the shore. Even the little sound of water rippling against the rocks takes me out of my mood.

That is what I needed that day. I woke up with a headache, feeling very uneasy and spent most of my day sitting in front of my laptop, waiting for the pain to subside and the cloudy feeling to go away.

The most important thing for me when I feel like that is to figure out how to get myself to a better place. So that was what I did. I knew I had missed most of the day by the time my head quit pounding.

It was quite a long drive to the seaside. As I listened to the waves crunched on the stones, it carried me to the shoreline. I could feel a sense of calm I hadn't felt all day. There was a slight breeze and I could hear the waves gently lapping against shore. I stood there for a good 10 minutes and almost forgot where I was.

The sound of cars whooshing by on the road were gone for a few moments. I wished I could stay there forever...

What calms you? How do you handle stress? What do you do when you need to get away from the voices in your head?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

远距离爱情 (Long-Distance Relationship)



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(2)面对寂寞的能力: 寂寞往往是远距离恋爱的最大杀手!离乡背井最糟糕的状况就是因为人生地不熟,让你的情绪有非常孤立的感觉,特别是去到文化语言完全不一样的国家,你会因为思乡及相思而倍感寂寞。寂寞是一种让你失去的理智的情绪,会推你去做很多很多破坏关系的事情。



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Monday, January 25, 2010

Immune System Breakdown

*Mayday! Mayday!*

Sounds serious, huh? Yes, it does. I am sick, yet again, and this time will be the third time. Three times in two months, that will be 0.66666667 months/sick (try to get your calculator and punch). I am down with a fever, cough and a runny nose. Maybe it’s attributable to my unhealthy diet or exercise deficiency, or lack of H2O intake.

Or maybe it’s the weather. Ya, the weather. It’s killing over here. Raining in the morning, and scorching in the afternoon. Sometimes, it roasts the whole day. (Guess I am pointing fingers at Mother Nature *speechless*)

Fever for me is just a pinch of salt. Few tablets of Panadol, and I will be as good as new, literally. However, this time, my fever keeps coming back. And the worst thing is, it comes back during the night. If it returns during the day, no problemo! I can gulp down two Panadols, and voila! Bye bye fever! But...*sad*

What irritates me the most is not the fever; it’s the runny nose. Everything changes: my voice, my sense of smell and taste, everything! And believe me, I can gobble down a spoonful of salt, and it still tastes, pretty tasteless.

I’m already few days an herbivorous (well, almost) and half a day a vegetable. It’s shameful to be a sick vegetable here in Penang. I miss banana leaf char kuey teow, I miss Ayer Itam laksa, I miss PENANG FOOD! Oh God! My stomach is grumbling. Well, guess this stomach-grumbling event is an indication that I will be fine real soon.

Have a speedy recovery, Markas!

P.S I missed that day's steamboat with my housemates. *shit* Not sure when my time will come...

I Fell in Love

Why am I writing this? I suppose it's more for me than anything else. I need some sort of outlet for what I experience and sometimes feel. Not that any personal or private details will be posted on this blog, but still, just a sounding board for me. Now, how shall I begin?

My feelings run deep, and for the ones that I love, I wear my heart on my sleeve. When I feel, my feelings run wide and deep. It's hard for me to hide my feelings. They say that to hide your true feelings is to lie. What do you think then? I leave it to you.

I can honestly say, that I have never been "in love" until I met her. I thought my "first love" was true love, but what I have discovered, is that I had no knowledge of what true love really was, up until this point.

I've always had my guard up, through all of my relationships, as long as I can remember. I never thought I could ever lower my defences to anyone, never thought I would find the one that would achieve it.

I never felt close to anyone, never wanted to come home to anyone at the end of the day, never enjoyed spending time with anyone, never looked forward to talking to anyone openly or honestly, until she came into my life.

She is my world, and holds my heart and soul in her hands, and always will.

Being human, I have fears, like everyone else. Guess my biggest fear in this relationship is being “abandoned”.

Quite honestly, neither of this fear bothered me in the early stages of this relationship. I now know that I really didn't care if it happened at all, I'd just walk away without an ounce of pain or hurt.

Things are different this time. I am already grown-up enough to think maturely. I can’t imagine how would my days be without her, I can’t imagine who am I without her, and I can't even imagine what would happen now. It really scares me.

And about her, where should I start? She is the most amazing lady I have ever met. I have never in my life, been with a lady that I'm more in tune with. She is amazing! Not just because of the way she is, but what she has been through.

I believe in my heart of hearts, that most people wouldn't have came through as strong as she did, after going through what she had experienced all this while. She is passionate, sensitive, caring, intelligent, humorous, and she is positive towards life.

And most of all, I am her son. I love you a lot, mum, and it’s from the bottom of my heart.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Honestly, I am not a "Northern porridge" fan. Getting a bit confused? Northern porridge - according to me - is porridge cooked at the northern part of the Peninsular Malaysia, including Perlis, Kedah and part of Perak (excluding Ipoh). I only love the one cooked by my dad at home.

People say porridge is best eaten when it's warm. My dad's porridge still stays the best even if it has turned cold. That's how much I loved my dad's porridge. But sadly, I never really truly enjoyed it, as I should have.

Let's get back to more descriptive Northern porridge write-ups.

As I have encountered, the way they cooked porridge seems very different. The rice and the water has two distinct layers, which makes me feel, well, a bit soggy. Scientificaly, the porridge is in a heterogeneous state. *chuckle*

Nonetheless, Chinese believes that porridge is best for sick people. It's not too solid (easy on digestion), and it's not too liquid (it's filling). But, if I am sick, I wouldn't fancy any of the so-called Northern porridge. I would very much favour my dad's.

However, this time, I fell ill, and I wasn't around in Ipoh, so I couldn't have any bowl of it from my dad. One of my housemate, let's name him Mr. T, cooked me a bowl of this Northern porridge (obviously, he is from Kedah). Do I consider myself as lucky, or...

It's nice, but one way or another, it tasted a bit unusual. I am not complaining about his cooking skills, but, it's just weird.

The porridge was full of mushroom taste (it's cooked with mushrooms, lots of it), heterogeneous (with two separate rice-water layers), coarse, and I had "fu yu" as my porridge companion (which, back in Ipoh, we don't usually eat porridge with this "fu yu").

But yet, in some ways, it was filled with kindness, compassion and thoughtfulness. I am not sure whether Mr. T knows I am sick, but, it touched my heart more than anything else.

What matter most is not how it tasted, nor how weird it appeared. It's what significance the porridge bears.

I did not thank Mr. T after I finished my porridge. But, my gratitude towards his kind deed is endless.

Thanks alot, Mr. T.

And I will savour both the taste and the heart, whenever my dad cooks porridge for me.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Friend Named "Kite"

I am going to be 23 next month, and guess what? I've picked up a new hobby. A hobby only people half of my age will indulge in. Yes – kite-flying. From the first day I went round searching for kites, until now, my passion for kite-flying never faded a bit – and trust me, it won’t. Since I can't afford an air ticket, this will have to suffice. It's the fundamentals of flight in its simplest form. And it's free.

But, I was caught in the middle of a dilemma...

I was standing at the side, facing the vast blue sea; there was nobody else except me and my new kite. It was almost sunset, the weather was fine, and windy. The air was so cool; the scene is so quiet and calm. The smell of the air so fresh, I know this is the moment only for me and my kite.

But, I did not want to fly him. I would love to keep him unharmed, away from the contaminated atmosphere. I would like to see him as new as ever. But, this, I know, I am being selfish.

Finally, no matter how much I refused, I have to flee him. I know he needs the blue sky more than I do. I know he will be going well with the place where he belongs. I can’t halt this because of my ignorance.

Hence, I opened my palm and set him free. Let him bring my wishes and my unhappiness away. From the dirty ground that I am standing on, I think I did the right choice. I set my kite, and off he went, above the plain blue sky. He is getting higher and higher from the ground, and it is getting smaller and smaller.

I can hear the whispering of my kite to the air, which I guess; he is thanking me for what I did. I knew he needs freedom. The vast blue sky is where he should go. Because of my selfishness, he had been kept beside me, for the fear of him being hurt by the filthiness of the air. I am wrong! My thoughts were in doubts. I don’t want to let it go from me.

I slowly, uncertainly, let the spool unravel and watched as my kite crept higher and higher into the sky like a bird of flight, finally, heading home.

I have no regrets...
Fly high, my kite...

Friday, January 22, 2010

A New Start

This will be my very first blog post. And I have no idea what to write (at least for now, hopefully). Perhaps, I am not used to blog-writing, or blogging, as people call it. However, let’s start by me telling you more about myself.

I don’t know what people think of me. I hate people who act over smart. I take lot of time to adjust with anybody, and to appreciate their differences. I don’t underestimate anyone.

I can forgive the person who kills me, but not the one who misused me. Now I know, you are thinking, what the hell this person might be of use? The answer is: I also don’t know. But still I hate people who misuse me. Now, leave it.

I never ever go behind any person (irrespective of their gender) who don’t like my attitude and don’t want to be my friend.

I believe in GOD. I am optimistic. I always think positive, which sometimes, to be honest, have not helped me to achieve anything, but still it has become a habit. I forgive people soon (but I can’t forget that easily), as I feel this life as too short and have no time to keep on proving others as wrong and we as perfect!

I believe that people wont understand the significance of the other person until that person is six-feet underground. And I am not an important person. Can you guess why? Coz... I am still alive.

I guess, you are my friend, because you've read until here, it has been quite a distance. Do you know? Friendship isn’t about whom you have known the longest. Or who came first or who cares the best. It's all about WHO CAME AND NEVER LEFT.

In my point of view, friendship is indeed a very simple thing (or rather, a phenomenon). It isn't how you forget, but how you forgive. Not how you listen, but how you understand. Not how you see, but it's how you feel. And most of all, it's not how you let go, but it's how tight you can hold on to it.

I love animals a lot, especially monkeys (when they are in zoos). But some of my friends prefer to stay at home. Haha~ Hope it's not a bad joke... Cheerz~

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