Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Inescapable Death

About two weeks ago, I stood outside my TESL students' class and read an SMS... My cousin Roland and my former student Dax (I was his form teacher for three years!) had just passed away.  Roland was only a year younger than me and ... Dax just got married and had just moved to a great new job.  I was just stunned and all the feelings of shock upset grief was roiling in me.  And the ever familiar question was WHY?

But Death doesn't care.  Death stalks our footsteps and we all know he's there and we all know he will come for us one day.  But when he comes too fast too soon, we are unprepared and family members are left to pick up the shattered pieces of their lives.  It's all right if one has lived a full life and lived a full cycle ... you've either got grandkids with your nose or your temper or grandnieces and nephews who remember you for your lavish treats (unlike mummy and daddy who scrimp on the chocs and fries!).  But when you haven't even seen your child walk on two feet.. and heard his or her demands for 'Barney! Barney!'...

And all the platitudes don't make any sense.

But I could be next...

Friday, March 24, 2006

Avillion Resort The Lifesaver

I had a meeting at Avillion Resort, Port Dickson..and it was such a memorable one day-one night that I am thinking of going back.  The place is beautifully landscaped and the rooms are GORGEOUS!  Two of my colleagues took advantage of the steam n sauna facilities and luxuriated their pores out!  The food was nothing to shout about (although I did eat a whole lot!) compared to Hotel Cititel Penang but good enough to keep me happy.  Dylan would've adored the three pools with the slide, the jets of water and the hide n seek nooks and corners.  I wasn't interested in the beach (not when I am so used to Tanjung Aru).

But best of all, I managed to catch up on sleep lost and find my glow again..

Thanks, GITN Sdn. Bhd. for sponsoring such a great meeting.  Govt officers would never have seen even the lobby!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I SURVIVED the interview!

YES.. I survived the interview.

Ya I know ... what's the big deal?  But no matter how you prepare or tell yourself it isn't a big deal, it IS a big deal.  And there is something unsettling about being interviewed by other adults that make you want to cringe at the idea of making a fool of yourself.

So I didn't make a fool of myself.  I may not have been greeted with tears of joy and celebration but I had a good time at the 'chat session' with Dr. Sharifah Bee and Dr. Kassim. 

Cos I didn't make a fool of myself.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Counting Down...

My interview is on 21 March...
And what am I doing?  Reading my cousins' blogs..

It's a sure sign of panic ... silently insidiously creeping up my neck...

Saturday, March 18, 2006


Read and weep...
Well, maybe only the English teachers will weep.

The following is a telephone exchange between a hotel guest and room-service, at a hotel in Asia, which was recorded and published in the Far East Economic Review:

Room Service (RS): "Morrin. Roon sirbees."
Guest (G): "Sorry, I thought I dialed room-service."
RS: "Rye..Roon sirbees..morrin! Jewish to oddor sunteen??"
G: "Uh..yes..I'd like some bacon and eggs."
RS: "Ow July den?"
G: "What??"
RS: "Ow July den?...pryed, boyud, poochd?"
G : "Oh, the eggs! How do I like them? Sorry, scrambled please."
RS: "Ow July dee baykem? Crease?"
G: "Crisp will be fine."
RS : "Hokay. An Sahn toes?"
G: "What?"
RS: "An toes. July Sahn toes?"
G: "I don't think so."
RS: "No? Judo wan sahn toes??"
G: "I feel really bad about this, but I don't know what 'judo wan sahn toes' means."
RS: "Toes! toes!...Why jew don juan toes? Ow bow Anglish moppin we bodder?"
G: "English muffin!! I've got it! You were saying 'Toast.' Fine.Yes, an English muffin will be fine."
RS: "We bodder?"
G: "No...just put the bodder on the side."
RS: "Wad?"
G: "I mean butter...just put it on the side."
RS: "Copy?"
G: "Excuse me?"
RS: "Copy...tea...meel?"
G: "Yes. Coffee, please, and that's all."
RS: "One Minnie. Scramah egg, crease baykem, Anglish moppin webodder on sigh and copy....rye??"
G: "Whatever you say."
RS: "Tenjewberrymuds."
G : "You're very welcome."

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Calculations Malculations

22 minus 14 is 8 days left...

*scurries around looking for brain*

PHD Pain In The A**, Neck and Head

Just got news from a little bird... one of the interviewers will be visiting Sabah on the 22nd of March.. so there you are, I have a date to focus on. BUT... BUT... the problem is I have an OUM deadline on the 20th, I've got courses to put together between now and YESTERDAY... arggghhhh...

Well, I don't need to sleep, do I?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

PHD Preparation - Zip, Nada

And my preparation for my PhD interview? Zip, nada, none, nothing, zero, aiso. There you go, in four languages; American, Spanish, English and Kadazan. Heh.

*digs in bookshelf.. found book... Social Methods for Research..*

The tiny mouse in the corner : You dead mon.

Work Hassles

Don't take me wrong... I love my job because I get the chance to meet people all over Malaysia and I get to do different things everyday.  But sometimes it becomes a drag when I have too many things on my plate and I'm haunted by deadlines and the colleague who is supposed to be sharing the joy with mejust doesn't give a d***.  Yeah he has more important stuff in his life ... riiiiiiiiight....

But it really pisses me off when I sound off to other people (the ones giving me more work) and they just say,"Hey there are two of you right? Why hog the work all to yourself?"  But what do you do when work you ask the other partner to complete either is stuffed under the table or gets messed up big time?  So like an idiot I worry about the repercussions and decide to never mind just do the job yourself.  I used to keep quiet but after last year, I just couldn't take it any more and began unloading on others.  One good thing came out of it... other people began seeing what was happening and stopped unloading work on me. 

But I just ended a week of chasing deadlines and tried a bit of work sharing with the guy.  Guess what he does?  He did a bit and disappeared for about three hours.  By the time he came back, the guys waiting for the data were beginning to rumble and I had finished a chunk of the work.  So he did a bit more and the next thing you knew, he was gone.  Pffft ---- whistled down the wind!  Hey maybe he thinks I love staring at Excel files and sort through piles of paper and make loanshark-kinda calls on the phone.  Yeeeeaaah, he was making me happy...

Why am I so unlucky?  But if only he would polish his work ethic ... in other terms, he is an ideal partner.  He has gobs of know-how and speaks English like a first language (for a Malaysian).  He's entertaining and knows how to have downtime.  Just that he needs to think about priorities at work.  I used not to care about it... you know, never mind - sporting ol' me.  But sporting ol' me just woke up thinking maybe I'm stupid ol' me.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Blew Out Another Tyre...

I think there is something not right in my relationship with my car. Not just the hatchback I'm driving now but also the sedan I used to drive. I seem to be having accidents galore...

This time, I nodded off at the wheel and hit the sharp base of the small Putatan bridge just after the traffic lights. Luckily I have steady hands and I kept the car moving. Owwwch, the beautiful melody of the slap grind rip of rubber and steel rim on the road... every note symbolised a chunk of ringgit leaping out of my wallet. Worse, I was on the fast lane and a few hundred metres AFTER the curve. So while waiting for the tow truck, one car managed to rear-end another. I was waiting at the nearby bus stop (the sight of the trucks barreling towards my tiny auto made me scramble out to seek refuge elsewhere) and tried to hide behind a sapling while the two car owners battled it out.

But I realised something good. There are plenty of kind people out there on Malaysia's demolition derby highways. One man stopped at the bus stop to tear off a leafy branch so that he could put in on the road a few hundred metres from my car. He wanted to warn other motorists. It was only as he was leaving that he saw me. I made sure to thank him. And two other drivers stopped to offer to change my tyre for me. Change a tyre in the middle of the fast lane??? Bad bad bad idea. I was not having a good samaritan's life on my conscience.

So today I have no car to use and am waiting for the workshop guys to call me up. Probably to ask me when I can mortgage my house so that I can pay them... sigh... double sigh.

Double worse, a colleague took off without telling me and we had something to plan together. Basket. More baskets. (No swearing during Lent.)

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Virus Worm BRONTOK

*stares mournfully at deleted files*
Someone put a virus in my office PC... and I brought it home to my home PC which has the latest antivirus signature files.  Being the efficient creature it is, it healed 6 of 17 infected files and deleted 11 files that it couldn't heal.  I KNOW KNOW KNOW it's better deleted than causing trouble and spreading trouble and making mini BRONTOKs... but I still feel sad...

And I don't know what's going to happen with the files in my PC that I'm going to scan with AVG.  Well I don't have original software so I must be satisfied with AVG.  Good AVG.  Smart AVG.  Clever AVG.  If only it didn't kill files so efficiently...

I hope all of you update your antivirus software at least once a week.  You do, don't you?