Thursday, March 29, 2007

Beauty At What Price?

We all love pearls. Beautiful, lustrous spheres strung on a string; an understated, yet elegant accessory to complete that polished look.

We know how they were formed. A piece of debris falls inside an oyster and it reacts by covering it with a layer of nacre. It covers it with more and more nacre and that’s how the pearl grows in size. For the oyster, perhaps a smooth, round object in its tissues would probably hurt less than a jagged one.

Until recently, pearls were hard to find. Not all oysters have them. Chances of debris getting stuck in an oyster is not very high. Then a Japanese guy came up with the idea of implanting stuff inside oysters to make them make pearls. Smart move. Now we don’t have to open up so many oysters to find a single pearl. Its price becomes more affordable, everyone wins. Humans, that is.

But imagine that you are the oyster…

Being forced open so that a piece of irritating object can be placed inside you. Left to deal with it for years before being harvested for that precious gem you were forced to produce. And what good did it do to you? You, the oyster, get sold to restaurants to be eaten with a squeeze of lemon.

What would you, the oyster, be experiencing in all those long years? You have this thing stuck inside you, and the only way you know to deal with it is to gloss it over so that it wouldn’t hurt so much. And as time goes by, it becomes a constant ache that you have learnt to live with. Instead of being an anomaly only an unfortunate few will have to endure, it becomes a mass inoculation of discomfort.

Bravo, humans. You have successfully manipulated nature to get what you want. Who cares about the oysters? They’re expendable.

Monday, March 26, 2007


Have had to make many adjustments since I started my new job. But it's for a good cause, so I'm all right.

It's so true that if you want something bad enough, you'd do anything to get it. I leave for work much earlier these days and unless something went wrong, make it to the office early. One major factor is the knowledge that the later I am, the worse the jam will be. At least there is only one major bottleneck on my route, so as long as I leave by 8.30 a.m., I'll be OK.

There is also much more work comparatively, but I like it because there's lots of research & writing involved. I go out for meetings and meet actual humans. I'm not forced to leave halfway through at 5 p.m. and I have all the facilities I need. And air-conditioning makes sure I don't get overheated and fall asleep in the afternoons... It IS important to productivity... Such a refreshing change!!

But the jam going home also makes the journey home longer although the distance is only 7 km. That means I get home late, and my babies are often hungry by the time I get back. I'm also tired and for the first week ate out every day. But then eating out is expensive la, so I had to come up with some sort of strategy to enable me to eat in without putting too much effort in cooking. These days I pre-cook things that can be put together in a jiffy. Still experimenting, but so far, OK jugak la.

Starting early also makes me feel sleepy earlier, so no more time wasting games for me lately. Just come home, feed cats, solat, feed myself, clean whatever, watch TV and conk out. You would have noticed that I have less time to blog as well. Can't help it, I'm not home by 5.30 anymore! But if the house is especially dirty, I'm forced to suffer it until I get some free time to deal with it. That sucks la, but you learn to deal with it.

In any case, bosses are fair, but I know for sure I kena "tiaw" if I screw up. Keeps me on my toes... Ha ha. Oh well, better finish my work now. Cheers, everyone!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

I (Who Have Nothing)

(Sung by Jordin Sparks on American Idol)

I, I who have nothing
I, I who have no one
Adore you, and want you so
I'm just a no one,
With nothing to give you but Oh
I Love You

He, He buys you diamonds
Bright, sparkling diamonds
But believe me, dear when I say,
That he can give you the world,
But he'll never love you the way
I Love You

He can take you anyplace he wants
To fancy clubs and restaurants
But I can only watch you with
My nose pressed up against the window pane

I, I who have nothing
I, I who have no one
Must watch you, go dancing by
Wrapped in the arms of somebody else
When darling it's I
Who Loves you
I Love You
I Love You
I Love You
Nice song, but.... eh! Ni lagu lesbian ke? Kejap.. search dulu. Owh. Sung by Tom Jones. Patut la. But the girl did do justice to the song. Ala.. leceh la my Limewire dah kong. Takleh nak download. Heh.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Temper, temper...

It seems Anthony was right on one thing - people who are hurt, hurt others...

I'm usually a pretty easygoing person, but have been a little unfortunate these few days and kept getting screwed by my boss for... well, screwing up... Sheesh! It's not as if I did it on purpose. And I seem to be put under a microscope these past few days... It turns out the one that looks so aunty-aunty is the real slavedriver! Swish! Ouch... Looks can be sooo deceiving. Sigh.

Then someone in the committee pegi angkat bakul la pulak on the group email. Bosan siut!

In any case, finally got my Celcom bill and was not happy by the pro-rated number of minutes I got. I bought 250 minutes, and used up 253. But my pro-rated no of minutes was only 185.5. I registered on the 6th of February and the calls were calculated up to the 27th. So by right, by normal mathematical formula, I should be getting at least 196 minutes, pro-rated. Ini tidak adil!! I'm trying to SAVE money by switching to postpaid, TQVM.

Already incurred a lot of extra costs on WAP and downloading ringtones that turned out so crappy as to be unusable, and sending out MMS to people who cannot receive. Hrmph. What a waste. At least I already anticipated and budgeted for those.

On top of that, kept getting reminders to pay up. Tak menyempat2! One SMS came the day they calculated the bill. How was I supposed to know how much I owed them in the first place? The bill hadn't even been sent out yet! Finally got my bill on the 17th, the day I had to hole up in Holiday Villa sans internet connection for the weekend. Semalam conked out early. Hari ni dah dapat call reminder to pay up. The best part is:-

"Your bill is going to be due in 5 days"

Like, WTF??? Dah la bil sampai lambat, belum due lagi dah dapat reminder... Macam la org sengaja tak nak bayar bil. Diorang ni belajar marketing kat sekolah mana?

Unfortunately for the call center boy, I was in a temper and he got chewed up well and good by yours truly. Not that HE's the one who came up with the stupid system, but someone's got to play messenger, right? Reminded him I could well choose another service provider, a less merepek one. Let him off with a request for someone to clarify their &%%#$@@ calculation system to me tomorrow. We'll see how it goes...

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Beauty of Being Bullheaded

I'm bullheaded. I might as well admit it. I keep doing things when others would have given up. And it works for me.

Do you know why? Because I don't have much of a choice. I know I'm not pretty and charming and sweet. I'm not creative and I'm really bad at PR. I'm a very, very awkward person, especially when I'm trying very hard to mind my P's and Q's. I'm prone to losing my temper and muttering under my breath and making sarcastic remarks.

It makes me unpopular. It makes people think I'm weird. Heck. I think I'm weird.

But what can I do? I have bills to pay. I have dreams I want to achieve. I can't simply curl up and die, even when all seems to be lost. All I can do is to learn from my mistakes and keep on moving.

I stayed back late at the office last night, preparing for this morning's meeting. And all I got from the effort was the admonishment to be more proactive. It was my fault for not printing the documents earlier. I should have known that it was the next step. I should have asked. To tell the truth, I didn't mind staying back, but the criticism hurt. I was still trying to figure out where everything fit in and my boss is so busy I just couldn't get her to check my work before I did anything with it. Plus, I was trying to be polite with these 2 hedgehogs, otherwise I would have been more direct.

If I thought I could just hide behind my computer and write reports, boy, was I wrong... This job is big on PR and image. I had to korek my spare wardrobe for my old jackets and my list of things to upgrade is just about a mile long. No more sloppy clothes and slippers for me... Plus, I needed to interact with prospects, clients and peers. Environmentalists are a lovely bunch. Professionals are a different kettle of fish...

Unfortunately, it's not enough to be clever academically. I learnt that communications skills are just as important as being technically competent. Since I'm practically a baby at doing my job, I feel especially vulnerable. I barely know what I'm doing, and having to work with people who expect so much more from me, it scares the S*** out of me.

To fix the PR problem, I dragged my ass to a Toastmasters' meeting. Luckily for me, Bing had invited me to the one in KDU. To a certain extent, I always saw people who went to Toastmasters' as people desperate to upgrade their image and speaking skills. Well, guess I'm one of them now... Ha ha. Joke's on me, eh? I actually enjoyed the session in D'Utama. Plus, the cutest guy complimented me and a few others invited me to join them for a teh tarik. Pity I couldn't accept... Maybe next time.

It WOULD be too easy to kick the bucket and find an easier job. Except that there IS no easy job.
Is being a cashier in KFC easy? Been there, done that. Complaining customers. It's NOT easy.
Sell nasi lemak - You'd have to sleep late and wake up at 4.00 a.m. to prepare for the morning's sales. You wanna do that? Go ahead.
Desk clerk - Very stable, but you know how much they pay these guys? Plus, it'd cramp my style. Heh.
Whatever the job is, nothing comes easy.

So what choice do I have? I've been given a shot at a job I really want to do; so by hook or by crook, I'll do anything to keep it. I've decided to shut up, accept the criticisms as they come and deal with it. After all, if you know you're below standards, it'd be better to pull yourself up rather let yourself slip under and die. I don't know about you, that's what I think.

And a message for the kids who are just about to start off in the world - Just do it. Quit making excuses. Push forward and go for what you want. You'll get there. If someone as bad as me can do it, what's stopping you? Think about it...

Monday, March 12, 2007


Tolong! Turunkan aku dari sini...

My sis calls these 2 Kiki and Lala - as in the popular children's clothing line. For the life of me, I can't tell which is which. They're doing well without their mama, have been toilet trained and just waiting for that woman to come pick them up. Just hope she doesn't change her mind and come up with some lame excuse not to take them in, because then I'd have to go around looking for adoptors lagi sekali. I can't keep them because the other 3 tak ngam, so I have to sit in the kitchen and supervise at mealtimes to make sure everyone gets to eat. And now the other 3 are sitting outside probably bitching about the kits who are taking over the whole house, plus me, the beloved Queen Mother. Or maybe they call me "that woman who takes the trouble to feed and scratch our ears". Whatever.

Right now the idiots are clambering over EVERYTHING. Even my bare legs. Ouch. This was taken at around 2 in the morning, when I was just finishing up with THEIR dishes. Was already cranky because I wanted to sleep, but I didn't want to leave dirty things in the sink. THEY wanted to play outside, but I was worried the stray dogs might get them. They hate being sequestered in the kitchen, probably because it was warm and humid from the dryer exhaust. I just needed to make sure they don't have any 'accidents' in the living room, because, obviously, it's extra work.

At the moment, my living room is devoid of carpet because it's easier to clean the floor than the carpet. Obviously. But then it looks so togel and unwelcoming... And with all my running around, the floor pun tak sempat nak mop. My stuff from CETDEM belum put away. Need a plumber. Bills nak bayar... bla di bla di bla.

End of this week kena stay in a hotel la pulak. And have to hobnob with senior auditors and consultants. Gotta look sharp... There's a price to pay for being a professional. Or trying to be one. You gotta look smart, and some things, especially clothes, don't come cheap. It's not enought to come in early and stay back late to get yr work done on time especially when you're still learning the ropes. Oh well, it's what I want, so gotta pay the price la. Can't complain there.

Have a good week ahead, peeps!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I need more...


Making the transition from being busy to holiday to goyang kaki donno what to do to having too little time to take care of too many things... it ain't easy...

I like the new job, I don't mind having a lot of work to do, but man... this thing I'm working on is slow moving, and I have to practically read 3 law books worth of documents by tomorrow, hopefully by six pm and not the middle of the night...

We were talking of getting together tomorrow night, but somehow I have a feeling it ain't gonna happen. Sis Zura is MIA again and my schedule is not looking good.

Will have to be in PD again this weekend. Am going to take my own sweet time getting to Ilham, am not going to rush. Nasib la. I'm stressed enough trying to deal with some unwanted emotions.

And I can't kacau the lady that promised to take the kittens right now pasal last week she said her MIL sakit. Maybe she's busy taking care of her, seems insensitive la pulak nak bother her about the cats time org tengah susah tu.

Thankfully one lady already took one kitten while Marini took two plus the mama. The remaining 2 dah pandai makan and toilet trained, ready for the new owner. But Girl, I think we'd better fix the mama la. How are you going to deal with another bunch of cats??? Leaving them to their own devices is NOT an option. I think I'll beg the money from my well-heeled friends. My take home pay is reduced now AND I'm seriously thinking of buying a unit near Ja's place. How to cover everything, I wonder. I need financial advice...

Right now, all I want is to get on with my life. Get my own place. Fix my stupid skin. Lose weight. Save a bit. Maybe even find someone. Who knows? I'm an eternal optimist :-)

Acik's wish -
"Agar diberkatkan hidup, dimudahkan rezeki, dipanjatkan syukur, dijauhkan musibah, disihatkan tubuh dan ditemukan bahagia." Amin...

Monday, March 05, 2007

It's Monday again!

It's been a pretty long day, am staying back to finish my work 'coz will be out of the office for most of tomorrow. There's a project which must be completed by Thursday and I had to spend the morning on a profile. Sigh...

Am happy with the new place, it's nice to work with humans again. People who actually switch on air-conditioning, listen to the radio, have families, real friends and interests. Of course, work is work, and my boss is pretty demanding, but at least you're not trying to get things done with one hand tied behind your back. The internet is at your disposal to look for the latest information, and you are allowed to receive personal phone calls as long as you don't overdo it.

Have been quite busy with Raptor Watch and the Bird Group committee stuff. Am supposed to go to PD every weekend until the 17th, but something just came up today, so maybe will have to give the dinner a miss la. Haiya.. rugi, rugi... This weekend will be Raptor Watch Week, but will be leaving Saturday afternoon to attend a wedding that night. I'm SO going to stay home that Sunday!!

Well, work is piling up, should finish this thing off and go home soon. Cheers, guys!