Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Brain Constipation

Do you ever have trouble outputting all the stuff that is crammed into your brain? Have been struggling with a few stories lately. Sometimes I finish a story in an hour while some drag along for more than a month. And in the end, I'd wonder, what was the holdup? I had all the info, but somehow the story just didn't read right. So frustrating sometimes... Must learn to control this problem...

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Biggest Loser

Who would have thought that a bunch of obese Americans can finally drive the importance of exercise into my thick skull. I started easy, just a few laps in the KJ pool. Unfortunately, I got a little sick after that. I continued with some easy trekking the next week, a few laps in KGPA after that. Finally, the scale budged from it's horrifying 80 kg high.

I'd gone down to 74 kg last year, but an abundance of free biskut raya and various free food made me gain weight. The irony is, it got worse after I started taking meds for diabetes. As with many type II diabetics, there is often a lot of insulin in the system, but the body has stopped responding to it. One way to reverse this problem is to exercise. Unfortunately, I got into the terrible habit of working late and eating junk because it was the most convenient option. McD delivers, KFC has a drive-through nearby. And working late means no time to exercise.
Being sick made me go home earlier to rest. It also reset my system so that I don't stay up so late anymore. Eventually I managed to squeeze in some exercise once a week, increasing to twice later on.

This morning I woke up late, but still went over to Abang's to swim. The kids were so excited last night, I didn't have the heart to not show up. As expected, I didn't get many laps done, but I did teach the girls some skills, so it was fun. Having 2 girls clinging on to you as you try to swim must burn SOME calories... Not to mention swimming over to rescue the forgotten float which had drifted away. Along the way, I discovered something that I craved - the human touch. I'd forgotten how heartening it was to have kids sit on your lap and snuggle up. With adults, a nice long hug, even a quick squeeze on the shoulder does make you feel better. Hmm..

Anyway, I find that with swimming, I see so much more progress than working out in the gym. Painlessly. I do cheat a little, since I have some cellulite cream which I make use of sometimes. I'm not sure how it worked, but I have gone down 2 jeans sizes so far. I can't imagine WHY I ever bought that horrible size 38 pair. The 36 is already too loose, so I'm wearing a size 34 now. Reduce it some more? I sure hope so!

Anyway, I like this show because unlike the other reality TV contests, participants actually continue training even after being sent home. And there are prizes for them in the final round. Plus, everyone is so supportive of each other, unlike the other shows where there's so much politicking and backstabbing and what have you. I especially love to see the finals where horribly obese people have transformed into beautifully hot guys and girls. Did anyone see Heather, the one that couldn't do the final weigh-in because she became pregnant? It's so heartwarming! I was afraid she had a nervous breakdown or something. It's incredibly inspiring to see people lose more than a hundred pounds when I have trouble losing five kilos! I WOULD have trouble working out so much though, especially when I hate gyms.

At least I'm getting SOMEWHERE. I do want to look nice again. I hate being all flabby. Have a good week ahead, peeps!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Obituary of the honourable Common Sense

Picked this up from a sister's email. Sad, but true.

The New York Times carried a front-page article titled, "Obama Calls for Common Sense on Executive Pay" -
to which Robert Hensler responded (An Obituary printed in the London Times - Interesting and sadly rather true):

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

- Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
- Why the early bird gets the worm;
- Life isn't always fair; and
- Maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge). His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers:

I Know My Rights
I Want It Now
Someone Else Is To Blame
I'm A Victim

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.
If you still remember him, think. If not, join the majority and do nothing.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

One Malaysia

Frankly, this is only possible if we treat each other as equals. There should be no superior or inferior race. We value each other based on merit. And we learn to hold our tongues when we don't quite agree with the other. Or at least learn to comment/tegur tactfully.

I have met people who admit that in (Chinese) school, they were taught that Malays were stupid and lazy. And I have met a (Malay) woman that thought I should not have given up my seat on the bus to an Ah So. Like why?? That is so mean... How to live together la like that?

I actually feel that a lot of people are being treated unfairly due to racism. Each try to give special treatment to their 'own people'. So everybody is vying to be better than the other, at the expense of unity. They band together against 'the others' to ensure the survival of their own culture and way of life. But who wins that way? A win-lose situation is never sustainable.

It seems to me that people who are more 'westernised' that tend to unite, mainly because they have found a common platform where everyone is equal and race takes a back seat. I would like to see westernised changed to Malaysianised, where we understand each others' strengths and limitations and capitalise on them. Instead of using La this and De that to sound pretentiously classy and international, why not create international class products using Malaysian names? I like seeing Pink Jambu and Cekodok.com which is modern without being pretentious. After all, Selangor Pewter and Anakku made it without pretending to be an 'Italian' brand!

It just takes a little effort to assimilate. For instance, most KLites are familiar with a smattering of Cantonese as well as Islamic phrases like "insya-Allah" and "alhamdulillah'. In fact, rather than belittling us for taking the trouble to solat every day, my colleagues actually expect things to magically run smoothly for us because of it. If I have a bad day when everything goes wrong, they will ask if I missed my prayers that morning!

In our mag, we always try to balance up the articles with something from each race. In the office, too, we try to have a good mixture of people. Personally, I think it's counter productive if an organisation is dominated by a certain race, because then it will just become more and more racist. In the end, the politicians can talk until the cows come home, but it will not work out until people on the ground actually make the effort to make it happen. Here's to a Malaysian Malaysia!

P/S: Ee Lynn - I found the perfect private pool to swim in! KGPA allows visitors to use their facilities for a small fee. Their 25m pool is open 9 am to 9 pm and charges RM10 for adults. It's more expensive than a public pool that is not so clean, but much cheaper than True Fitness that holds us at ransom whether we go there or not.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Sometimes I wonder what it is that bothers me to the point of unproductivity. I guess having a backlog could do the trick... Been really antsy the past week. Not feeling too good, plus frustration at not being able to complete stories despite having all the facts. Also not being able to visualise stories, think clearly and organise the flow. Sometimes I feel completely disassociated and unable to 'feel' what I'm trying to do... Sigh. Writer's block!

A major event went quite smoothly last night. Am happy it went well. Wish I had 'hotter' clothes though. I'm in the middle of beautiful people and have nice makeup yet my clothes were so plain. Actually wanted to buy something tapi takde budget... Kind of hard to juggle my limited income with so many 'extras' that make me look 'presentable'. Unfortunately, don't have anyone I can borrow from and so far other things have had to take precedence over evening wear.

Am happy that I actually took the weekend off to spend time with friends. Went up Fraser's with Pakcik on Sunday. Was happy to meet old friends and check out my favourite spots as well as hiking 2 of the easier trails for exercise. The peace and serenity was exactly what we needed. It was tiring, but there's nothing like old growth forests, the ringing of cicadas and a spot of birdwatching to rejuvenate our tired senses. We stopped at Sg Chilling on the way up. I managed to dip my feet in the water and relax while Graham took photos. There was a flock of beautiful Rajah Brooke birdwing (butterflies) near the campgrounds. I wondered anew at their beautiful red thorax which contrasted with their black wings and legs. On the drive home, we saw a pair of yellow-throated martens cross the road just ahead before disappearing into the undergrowth. That was amazing! How often do we come across wildlife in our lifetime in the urban jungle?

I hope to get back to being productive this week. There's so much to catch up with, there's always new things to do... Tired, but in a good way.

Cheers, peeps. Have a good week ahead.

Monday, April 13, 2009


I'll admit that I'm not the most 'normal' person in the whole world, but when people who were supposed to be my friends suddenly turn a cold shoulder, it bothers me. I know a lot of people think I'm less than wonderful. I'm fine with that. But why the sudden iciness? We haven't been friends only yesterday... And I have no idea what brought it on!

So on one hand I feel like asking "What's going on?"; and on the other I feel like saying, "Go fly kite!" Seriously, are we in school again? Are you like some other people who are so insecure that for some strange reason think I'm interested in your husband? Please la. I knew yr husband before you started sleeping with him. If he had other girls, it never had anything to do with me.

I guess there could be a million and one reasons why she suddenly turned funny, but it would be interesting to know why. Think I'm imagining things? Well, if someone never bothers to pick up my calls, and never has the courtesy to call back, it's rude. To be cut off when it rings, it's downright insulting. Urgh. Whatever...

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


Have not been feeling well since the past few days. Went for a swim in Kelana Jaya Saturday morning and was quite unhappy about the water quality. It wasn't as 'fresh' as those in other places, but it's a public pool, what do you expect, right? Am so used to UiTM pool which is nice, clean and cool, thanks to it being an indoor pool. Or Abang's place, which is in a condo, so takde la ramai sangat orang. As usual, the place is not maintained properly. The changing rooms bau pesing, and the lockers don't work. They were designed to use the now defunct RM1 coins. I was a little worried about theft, especially cash and the car keys. Luckily they were safe. Got quite dark after the late morning swim because I had neglected to put on sunblock.

The next morning I started to get a runny nose. It wasn't so bad, but you know how uncomfortable they are... Met with the girls and kemas2 sikit. Generally, nothing much got done.

Semalam really felt unwell, especially after a stupid lunch in Bondi Beach, The Curve. The appetizers were gila salty and portions were minuscule. With a stuffed sinus affecting the ears, I felt positively dizzy. Needless to say, I was QUITE useless in the office yesterday. Went home early, bought dinner, and watched TV/read before conking out early. Then pagi tadi 2.30 pagi dah terjaga, baca buku citer, had a midnight snack and went back to sleep after Subuh. Damn my huru-hara body clock!

So today have to catch up with things so that I don't get into trouble later on. Urgh. Don't like being sick. But at least I have avoided it for quite some time despite my gila babi working hours. Honestly, need to be more efficient. Don't work hard, work smart! But if smartness is being elusive, one has no choice but to resort to toiling away... Wat to do? Like that la...