Monday, September 29, 2008

God's Protection

I find that I need to write about this.

Last Wednesday, my guardian angel was hard at work.

I was driving to work in the morning as usual; almost reaching the Damansara Toll intersection to Sprint Highway. Half-way towards the exit at a turning corner, traffic became a halt. The usual traffic jam has started earlier before the toll.

I was on the left lane of a two-lane road. I was the last in queue of the traffic jam.

I glanced into my rear-view window and noticed a long trailer coming towards me at a high speed. My first thought was "Can it stopped in time?"

The driver didn't seem to be stopping so it squeezed the lorry in between my car and the left road shoulder. It only managed to stop after another 2 cars in front of me on our sides. There was a road barrier on the side of the road.

I was too stunned to react.

Thank God, it didn't even touch my car or the other cars. I was stunned that he managed to squeezed in between that limited space without a scratch.

The driver stopped there a while; I think he is too stunned himself.

I drove by and noticed the driver looked at me. I myself didn't know how to react and drove off.

After some time, crawling ahead of the stationary lorry in the traffic jam, I realised how lucky I was. Imagine if the lorry driver didn't think of squeezing at the sides and rammed straight into me. I might have been injured or killed with such an impact!

I recovered from my shock and called my bf(using hands free kit, mind you). He suggested I copy down the vehicle's number and make a report on this reckless driving. I copied down the number when the driver recovered and quickly overtook ahead of me later.

Upon reaching my office, I contacted my dad to relate the incident. His response was to check if I was injured or the car was damaged. When I replied negative to both, he asked me to give my thanks to God for His protection in keeping me safe.

He told me it was a waste of time to complain to the toll-free number as it doesn't work. Since there was no impact with the other vehicle, I could not even report to the police station.

Therefore, as I reflect, thanking God for His divine protection, I wonder if by not reporting or doing anything about this, will this driver continue his reckless driving and might injure others? Or have he repented and became more careful?

I don't know. But I pray God will continue to take care of my family and myself especially on these dangerous roads with reckless, impatient drivers...

Ambulance Frenzy

I got an idea for a 3-d game. You can make it a pc game, psp game or better yet a ps3 game. (Playstation 3 was officially launched a few Saturdays back at RM1799! Someone's is itching to buy it.. Ahem..)

First, you create a little ambulance as the basic car. Then, you have upgrade features with speed boosters, car accessories, etc. (Sorry if there is any misuse of car terms as I am a car-stuff-illiterate) There will be a car accessories shop, car workshop, petrol station (for special magical fuel), car circuit for practice and so forth.

Second, you can choose the driver from the sex: male or female to its facial features and even clothings, etc. (More Sims-like since customization is a must these days)

Third, you choose the level and setting to drive in which starts with beginner (in the car circuit), intermediate (village), amateur (town), professional (big city).

The task of this game is very simple. You have to carry an injured driver/passenger to the nearest hospital within a limited time frame. The catch?

Ha ha.. The catch is the setting will be based on live-input from real-time traffic in Malaysia. For example, the professional level will be based on Kuala Lumpur’s rush-hour traffic. For the bonus level, it will be raining heavily. The last level will even be the toughest, flash floods and sudden road closure.

Bonus levels are varied through different weather conditions. As Malaysian drivers, we all know when it rains, the car drivers get more impatient and traffic stops as accidents happen. In fact, the ambulance driver would be busier at work…

Therefore, a note of caution from a Malaysian driver, the emergency lane is always in use to overtake or aggravate the bottle-neck ahead. Ambulances normally have to squeeze in between 2 cars of a 2 car lane.

The road hazards will be road works, stationery vehicles, zigzagging motorcyclist, and the worse for ambulance drivers – the opportunist who car-tail them from behind. Therefore, be careful when you brake suddenly. A car might bang right into you from the back!

Final note, this is the opening line:

Welcome to Ambulance Frenzy. You are an ambulance driver in the havoc traffic of Kuala Lumpur. It is the rush hour. There is an injured passenger in the midst of a massive traffic jam. Your task is to drive there and bring the passenger safely back to the hospital within 1 hour. The person’s life is in your hands. If not, doom shall fall on your profession and career whereby you will be demoted to driving the dead only. Remember, your petrol can only last for 1 and a half hours’ journey max. Good luck!

Oh yeah, a final thought:
I once heard on the radio this joke.
Question: Where is the longest car park in South East Asia?
Answer: Federal Highway in Malaysia as seen below. (This is the traffic on a reasonable day with traffic still moving)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Raya holidays!

It's the beginning of my 1 week break. Feels like a student again to get a relatively long holidays from the usual one or two public holidays. :)

Ideas and activities are running through my head. So many things I want to do... so many things I wish to do. I want to read a number of books. I want to clear my room and remove 50% unused items! I want to catch up on some movies... I want to do my report...

Just hope it won't end up with me slogging in front of the pc/tv watching all the movies and Japanese anime. I still have a long list of reading to do. (Just bought a book, somemore!!)

Wish me luck! In the meantime, SELAMAT HARI RAYA to all Malaysians!! To the Muslims, you deserve this break after one month of fasting!! :)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Spore

When my friend mentioned "Spore", I thought he meant Singapore (shortform). Well, he actually wanted to recommend me a new game created by Maxis; the creator of the games: Sims.

What exactly is it? Take a look at its promotional video here below. I'll check it out later and see how it goes. When I try our this game, I'll review it a little. It just launch early this month anyway.



It sort of reminds me a little of the game Creatures I used to play. Cute creatures. There's an overview and review of creatures here.

Norn being hatched from the egg by the incubator.


.
Looking at this video reminds me of the game. Its soft soothing background music and chatter of the Norns to each other. I remember making a number of baby norns.. so adorable. You can teach it to do things and say certain words. You can pet and spank it if it's naughty. I was so sad when Windows XP couldn't support my game anymore. :( I just found out there is an online version of it. Perhaps I'll try it out next week. :)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Birthday wishes

This is so hilarious. I didn't notice the Facebook e-card from CP. Guess what, he put this picture with the following message..

Wed. Sept. 17, 2008 12.00am: The sounding of the Hunter's Horn called the hunters to battle, but my efforts were fruitless. A Greyish White mouse stole a piece of cheese without setting off my trap. ...No wonder lah!!!! He's making a cake for you!!!! Hmm..ok lah, I won't catch him as he's doing a real GOOD deed for my Super Hunting Buddy!! Hahaha... HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! ^^

Thanks CP! Awww.. so thoughtful. But do you know this is a hamster and not a mouse! :p

Beside all these, I also had birthday treats from many friends. Thank you all - my cell group celebrated my birthday with a sumptuous home cooked dishes and a homemade chocolate cake. Pictures not given to me yet; so I can't upload them here. Serene gave me an ice-cream treat and Uncle Eug a nice birthday lunch. :)

Oh yeah, Happy Birthday CP!! Today's your birthday. So this is my card back to you and my message.. haha
MH legendary hunter... take note of the latest trap. It's the new super trap which looks like the basic mouse trap. But at any slight movement, it'll flip over the poor mouse and zapped it into outer space... wwwoooowwww!! In the meantime, it's free since it's your birthday!! Happpy birthday!! :) Thanks for your lovely hamster card.. :P

CP's reply at 11:08pm
Haha...as long as I still look YOUUUUUNG and HAAAAANDSOME (no meh???), getting old also never mind lah!!! :D
Hmm...go find vegetarian cheese for me lah...only then I can have cheeeeesssssyyyyy day mahhh!!!
Ehh, go catch 10 R... Read Moreav Zombies and ask them to stay at my trap together at once lah, then I'll be very happy and feel so lucky on this day mah!! Right??!!! ....GO GO GO!!! :p

Monday, September 22, 2008

Finishing well

How do you deal with the death of your loved one? I have been lucky not to be in those shoes yet, so I cannot relate much.

My mum’s friend passed away very recently from breast cancer. I wonder how she feels.

Do we mourn about loss of a dear one or do we celebrate in knowing that they have returned to the Lord (assuming the person believes in Christ)?

I remember someone sharing that she planned her own funeral, at a young age, say 20 years plus. No, she is not dying from a terminally ill disease. But she wants to imagine how she ends in life. She says she thinks of what words would be used to describe her in her “tombstone”. In other words, the words will describe how you end and are remembered by.

We are always told to start the race of life well and also along the way. Our parents guide us, provide for us, and educate us in doing well in life.

However, no one teaches or talks about ending/ finishing your life well. No one tells us aging is beautiful. No one talks about choosing your funeral songs or food like in weddings. It is more of an unexpected event which eventually all of us have to face. (The most I have heard is buying a plot for your burial or place to your ashes)

Nowadays, people do talk about what to do with your body when you died like: scattering your ashes in the sea or in the space, or many more unique and outrageous request to popularize yourself when you die.

But they don’t talk about you; yourself finishing your life well. Would you suddenly upon finding death is near, go on a last-fling to do all the things you wanted to do in life but never did? Refer to Bucket List entry.

First of, how would I want my funeral to be like? I hope not too pricey. After all, I won’t be here anymore and I don’t want my money wasted like that. Better use it for a better cause like buying ice-cream for children in the orphanage or going to the fund which research on incurable diseases. If not, normally, divided equally to the next of kin.

Second
, would I want my body to be buried or cremated? I am not sure. Never think of it to that extend. As I have never attended any funeral or wake, I am not to sure what exactly is normally done.

Thirdly
, would I want to die before or after my spouse? My other half now vehemently claims he will die first because of me while I threaten him not to leave me alone. Only God knows the right time and who are we to fuss and object?

Fourthly
, who shall I invite? Hmmm… whoever of my friends who are still alive, assuming I die an old age. Actually, I don’t really care. I won’t be there to see them. Ha! (Don’t have to entertain guests)

Lastly
, most importantly, what will the obituary says? What would my “tombstone” say? (Assuming there is one which I doubt so… being buried sounds creepy. Like buried alive)

That, I won’t write here. You can share your description of me. That will give me some ideas. After all, we think of ourselves through other people’s eyes and perception.

(I have to think through of this too…)

Therefore, as we start the race in this life with a bang, we should remember to finish well too. :)

Runaway

I ate my bowl of Maggi mee (instant noodles) for lunch. I needed to keep my energy up. Then, I packed my bag, grabbed my umbrella, put on my shoes and left home. As I walked the 10-15 minutes journey to the train station, I felt sad and lonely.

The sun was not pitiful as the scorching heat easily penetrated the thin fabric of my umbrella. I carefully walk by the side of the road and cautiously watch out for any motorcyclist who could be snatch thieves. (I have heard and read many horror stories on this)

I carefully walk on the grass and avoided any droppings from the stray cats or dogs. I looked at the people at the shop going on with their own business as I felt the sweat slowly soaking my clothes. (I hope I won’t have those ugly armpit-sweat stains)

I reached the station and cross the overhead bridge to the other side of the platform. I released a sigh a relief as I notice the train was coming. I was just in time.

When I got into the air-conditioned train and sat down, I looked out the window and said good-bye inside. I felt like a little child running away from home…

In truth, I was just going off for a course somewhere by myself without my parents sending me off to the train station.

As a responsible and money-cautious citizen, I have to take public transportation whenever possible for the cost of private transportation is going up, up, up… :P

Look at the helium-filled balloon which is let loose… There goes your money when you own your own wheels.

Have you ever wondered...

Just wondered about the pineapple rice for dinner today and thought I'll ask you all.

Have you ever wondered..
1. if the pineapple used for your pineapple rice is recycled for the next person? I mean, do they always use fresh pineapple for that dish? Hmmm..

2. the dish or drink you complained to the waiter is thrown away? Or poured into a new glass/plate and send back to you? Or added with special ingredient like a "kaa choo" (phlegm/saliva)?

3. if the 3 second rule works for you when you accidentally dropped your food on the table, you can still eat it; does the waiter who accidentally drops your meal put back the food onto your plate before serving you?
4. if the little evaluation and comments form you fill in restaurants/food eatery really go to a census or their customer service department? Or it's just for show?
5. if the trays we use in the bakery/ bread shop to select our bread/pastries have been washed? Someone told me they don't wash them, but I still buy bread using those tongs and tray... :P

6. if the transparent plastic cover for the little plates in sushi outlets have been washed? I saw the sushi-preparation-guy dropped the cover once and he picked it up. I thought he will send it in to be washed but he just proceeded to cover the nearest plate of sushi. Ughh?
All right, this entry is more centered on food. But have you ever wondered about all these? If so, what actions or pre-caution have you taken ? Or like our typical "tak-apa" attitude, we just ignore and feign ignorance of what we do not see?

I have this mantra, "If you want to eat somewhere, don't ever see the kitchen or how the food is being prepared. If not, you will never want to eat there."

Put me under the "feign ignorance" group then.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Blind expectations

I realised I am not perfect. I realised I will never live up to my parents' expectation; especially when my parents keep on comparing me with others. Therefore, I concluded and decided that I should no longer try and just live my own life as I pleased.

"Honour your father and your mother."
Does it mean blindly following their rules and expectations?

For example, my parents required I finish my tertiary studies before I can do anything else. I have finished my degree and now they require I finish my professional studies before I can do anything else.

As I am preparing for my professional studies, my parents subtly mentioned I should take up post-graduate studies if I were to keep in par with my fellow peers. Good intentions as they have to require I have a post graduate qualification to be a lecturer in future, if the situation occurs, but how many more years should I study to satisfy their ideas?

I know, where this is going. In other words, I have to chase the phantom of education level to satisfy their expectations. After all, with 2 "Dr"s in my family and future Dr daughter-in-laws, I can never catch up with them.

Hence, I pray I'll just finish up my professional studies and move on with my life. I can not be stuck in "school" as an old student to please my parents. What if, I never get to live long enough to do all the things I want to because I am stuck in the education-pursuing world of parents' expectations.

What say you? Does this constitute not honouring your parents? Or "teenage rebellion" despite my age? Ha! Staying at home makes me defiant again especially I get oppressed with teenager's rules.... arghhhh.....

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thoughts that count

These are the gifts which shows the thoughts of my dearest loved ones and friends (with no particular order)…

1. Book: 1001 buildings to see before you die
Never expected to get an architectural book from Ms A.B.C. Here are their thoughtful, lovely birthday messages. (This gift is also a disguise of a homework from “Teacher” to advice the next place to visit. So says Teacher. :p )

2.Charm bracelet (as seen in the entry before this)
A gift to my childish girly self for the love of cutesy-cutesy charms.

3.Squash racquet
My “old” friend Uncle Eug got me this squash racquet. Now I need to learn it to make full use of it. Is it some subtle way of telling me to get fit? Haha. Thank you for the gift and lovely lunch (+ advice). I forgot to take any pictures on my birthday!!

Ironically, my mum bought me a squash racquet too. I guess they expect me to be the next Nicole David? *dream on!! I can’t get my legs to run after the ball ..ahaha*

Now I have a pair of racquet, guess who will be my partner to slave against a tiny ball.. :P

4. RM10 Metrojaya voucher
This warrants a number by itself because Ms A bought two pairs of shoes which make us qualify for this voucher. I hope she won’t regret getting those shoes because despite the lack of stylishness (as commented by Ms.C), I believe the comfy-ness should overcome that since I have an unstylish comfortable shoes of the same brand. I got an alphabeth “J” charm from this.

5. Charm bracelet and keychains
I do this all the time; I sulk if my bf doesn’t get me anything. I will force him to get me a pig soft toy or just a pig keychain for Piggilot kingdom. He never fails. (I’ve always read somewhere that if you don’t let guys pamper you, they will not buy you anything. So a little gift makes me happy because it shows the thought of getting it for me despite burning a little hole in his pocket)

In short, I had a memorable lovely day. It helps that for this year, my birthday fell on a public holiday. Thank you so much for a good blessed time with me.

Next off, planning mischievous gifts for the next birthday child!! :p

Un-Charmed

Okay- so I may have gone overboard with charms yesterday. I finally got hold of my charms from Dainty Dreams: a gift to myself and the engagement gift to my dear friend.

Then, as if a veil was lifted up from my eyes, suddenly, I could find charms everywhere in Midvalley: from little keychain charms to charms on clothes and even under accessories in Metrojaya. Prices range from RM3 to RM100 for a little charm.

First of, here are the pictures of my charm bracelet. Take note of the charms I selected with the theme “Childhood”: teacup, rocking horse, scooter and spinning top. My colleague commented now I have more charms to use for Monopoly. (haha, good idea – a Monopoly Charm Bracelet.. hmm)
Then, here’s the engagement cuff-for-life set: a cuff bracelet for the fiancĂ© and a cuff chain for the fiancĂ©e. Cute? Hope they will like it. Dainty Dreams were selling it as a bracelet; but it prompted me to use is as a symbolic meaning of unity - Cuff together. ha ha...


Next, since my friends knew I was into charms, Ms A brought me to a craft shop which sold the chain, hooks, little charm (there was only one type though) for me to explore my creativity. It spurned out a little with me buying dolphin-charm earrings to convert as charms for the bracelet. Then, there was this charm alphabeth for RM9.90 in Metrojaya. My alphabeth “J” is courtesy of Ms. A from the voucher. (Thank you.)

What is the difference with these two alphabeth charms? RM6.90 to be precise. The bigger one is cheaper than the smaller one. Go figure… The seller told me perhaps the Metrojaya charms have better stones. (I could have bought 10 charms instead of 3 charms in Metrojaya for the same price!!)

Take note of the dolphin charm. I took it out from a pair of earrings.

My bf also bought me a charm bracelet of my name. (I forgot to put initials of our names instead… but I think he does not want to have black-and-white evidence of his affection to me. :P)

In short, I think I am un-charmed by charm bracelets for the moment.
I will upload my own creation next and cool down on my expenditure for accessories.

MH Cheese Party 2008

(The fruits of brain-storming with Ms. A…)
Dearest Ms A spent almost the whole afternoon with me yesterday. Thank you so much.

Hence, on our rounds around Cold Storage, Ms A loudly proclaimed we should have a cheese party. (haha, that’s still shopping you know.. Have you really checked out all the new products that other hypermarket do not stock except in Cold Storage?)

It was more of a cheese-snack-tea-break at first while we wait for the arrival of Ms B & C for dinner. But since, we fear we couldn’t finish the whole chunk of cheese, a party of cheese was decided on.

We imagined an assorted of cheese with water-thin crackers. Blue cheese was banned because of its strong taste. It took us some time just to choose on the right crackers!! Then there should be wine – red and white. (But we couldn’t decide on which one…) Ms A also insisted on a cheese knife too but alas, Cold Storage didn’t stock on one. I was tempted to include ice-cream with all sorts of topping: chocolates, strawberry, etc but since the venue we decided was a picnic by Lake Gardens, I didn’t add this in the menu. I was beginning to think of drinking the wine in plastic cups, etc…

Then suddenly, Ms. A started discussing dates with me to hold this event and even imagining the guests to invite. But of course, before anything can proceed, we needed to check with the VIPS like: Ms C!

Unfortunately, Ms. C is lactose intolerant. I suggested soy-cheese (I just saw one in Cold Storage and I didn’t know they have or could make that). You should have seen Ms. B’s expression!! “Ugghh”

In the end, I’m not sure if we are proceeding with it. But it would have been fun.
After all, Ms. A and I are MH-fans(Mousehunt) who would love to create a cheese party for MH-fans with brie but no special radioactive super brie cheese! That – I need the MH-holic in Singapore to miraculously obtain the potion to convert brie cheese to that magical cheese.

Therefore, cheese anyone?

(Okay, Wallace and Gromit fans are invited too!)

P.S. We do have a life outside of Facebook but sometimes, the line of RL (real life) and VL (virtual life) gets blur and create interesting ideas and events like the premier of MH Cheese Party 2008! :p

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I love the World

Saw this advertisement by Discovery Channel twice on Astro.
I really enjoyed it.
Forgotten about it till my friend gave me the link to it on Youtube! Enjoy!! :)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Brie

I was introduced to this word in the game Mousehunt. (Mind you, I am not an addict! But I have a friend who is still hooked to this game and is waiting for Mousehunt 2.0)

Hence, I was browsing the shelves in Giant hypermarket when I saw the German Brie cheese on the shelf. Excitedly, I motioned by bf over to take a look at it.

He just chuckled at me. Well, I told him, I was tempted to buy the brie cheese for my MH-addict friend. Unfortunately, he is in another country so I couldn’t send this surprise to him.

Plus, I found out that cheese is not a vegetarian food. This friend of mine is a vegetarian and he told me he could not eat cheese because of the content which is part of a calf. ??

Puzzled, I decided to google about it.

In fact, sometime back, I remember a friend looking for vegetarian tomato sauce. I was puzzled.

“Isn’t tomato a vegetable?” I thought.
My friend further explained that some tomato sauce has garlic or onion as its ingredient. They are not allowed to eat garlic or onion.

Conclusion, CP is only allowed to have virtual brie to catch mouse and not RL (real life) cheese of any sort. :p

Holding hands

I was reminded of this topic since my friend came back home for a visit after few years. During the last visit, she asked me how did my bf started to hold my hands.

I related my story.

My bf just tried to hold my hands. Obviously, I was aware of his intentions and I evaded. Whenever he tried, I quickly moved my hands and innocently asked him what he was doing. He acted nonchalant and said nothing. We were always playing a cat-and-mouse game since the beginning and even now.

Guess I was a little naughty and didn’t want to make it easy for him. In the end, when he wasn’t trying, I pretended to be cold in the cinema and finally let him hold my hands to warm them up. He was surprised but I would presume, pleased. Ironically, his hands were colder than mine!! :p

Anyway, my friend shared her story. Her bf was more formal. He just asked her permission to hold her hands. She was quite surprised when he asked. I find it quite sweet, sincere and very gentleman.

But then, my cheeky and sneaky bf actions of secretly trying to hold my hands also worked for me. ;) Go figure...

A little rest...

I knew I was going to catch a cold on Thursday. I have sneezed a few times in a day (I rarely sneeze). Besides, my colleague was sneezing and blowing his nose beside of me (must have caught it from him!) Then Friday came with a blocked and slightly runny nose.

Hence, my whole weekend became my days of rest and recovery. It felt good being able to sleep in without rushing off to somewhere. My appetite was not that good; so simple food was sufficient.

After a good long nap and rest, I'm happy to say; I'm back on my feet and healthy again.

Hmmm.. pity it was not on a weekday - I could have got some medical leave!! haha

:P

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Old folks...

I just watched Money No Enough 2. Gosh... it was not the comedy I expected. It touched on the phenomenon plaguing our society.

I will not elaborate much on the storyline in case you haven't watch it; but I will highlight the sad part of the story.

Money No Enough 2
The poignant part of the story is when the elderly mother (Lai Ming) started becoming senile and troublesome to her three children. The eldest son couldn't cope with looking after his mother and the three decide to split the caring to three. Each son will look after his mother for 2 days in turn with the extra day a week taken by each one in turn.

When they showed the scene of the upper class son(Bao Qiang) deciding where to place his mother. She couldn't share room with the daughter or even be placed in the living room (because she makes a mess and it's not nice to be seen by guest) In the end, it really broke my heart to see Bao Qiang and his family finally deciding to place his mother on some mat in the wet kitchen area just next to the toilet.

The son had the audacity to ask the mother if it is all right, and being a mother, she said yes. The son and his family left her to watch the movie in the cinema. The next scene of the sad look in the mother's eyes with a tear trickling down her cheek is so heart-wrenching.

Fast forward a little, then the sons decided to put the mother into the old folks home where she collapsed and had to be hospitalised.

In the hospital, she was unconscious for a few days and the sons were worried about the exorbitant hospital bills (private hospital) to the extend they secretly wished their mother died earlier...

The plot was further stretched with the Bao Qiang's daughter being involve in a car accident. She needed a blood transfusion of O- which was limited and coincidentally scheduled to go to the grandmother who was also O-. The parents who are also O- cannot donate their blood to their own daughter due to some health problems.

The scene of them fighting for the blood for their daughter was a little extreme. Then suddenly, the elderly mother, Lai Ming woke up and saw them fighting; she decided to end her life just like that.

Siggghh.... isn't that sad?

Petronas Raya Advertisement 2006

Anyway, Petronas Advertisement has also touched this aspect of filial piety and the current generation's treatment to their parents. Take a look at this advertisement. I saw a similar story line of this in a Singaporean Chinese drama too.


The way we treat our elderly parents now will be observed and learned by our children. They will treat you exactly the same as you grow older.

Alas, it is easier said than done. Not everyone has the time to care for their elderly parents with packed schedule of work to pay their bills and loans. Look at this next advertisement by Petronas; showing the mothers bragging about their high-pay children in the old folks home, but... nothing beats a visit and time spent with the son instead.



In fact, some children decided to hire a maid or help to look after their own parents. This is no longer a wise or safe decision anymore with the hired help abusing your elderly parents under your very own nose. I saw this incident in Oprah whereby if it were not for a nanny-cam, the daughter would not have found out that her help was hitting her elderly father who couldn't even remember.


What can we do? "Ship" our parents to old folks home? Struggle to care for them in your own home? Hire a maid specifically to look after your own parents?

I don't know, but it sure makes me wonder, when it is my turn, how would I treat my own parents? And then, when I am old and helpless, how would I be treated?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Win, Lose or Swear

Remember watching the game show “Win, Lose or Draw”?

As a child, I love watching the contestants figure what to draw on the white paper with marker to explain the meaning of the words. Then their team members have to figure out in time what the person is drawing. It is hilarious to watch how “kan cheong” or feeling a sense of suspense from the contestants to find out the answer given.

In fact, I also like the game charades which uses your body language to convey the meaning of the word. These both games show how one uses his/her creativity within the short time frame to convey a message to another person without words.

I noticed Facebook has a game which is similar to “Win, lose or draw”. The application is called "Guest The Sketch Challenge" whereby about 10 online players can guess what is being drawn with one of them drawing it (take turns to draw randomly). There is a time limit too and when a person has guessed correctly, the time is shortened.
What annoys me and spoil the game for me is the fact that sore losers who don’t use their creativity. They just literally write the words out. The most we could do is “kick” the person out (3 kicks from 3 different players). However, I noticed some group don’t because their main purpose is to get a high score.

Some, out of anger, will swear or draw indecent images. Hence, I name that application as “Win, Lose or Swear”. Just try out the application for some time and sooner or later, you’ll meet with these sore losers who spoil the game.

In the meantime, what is this I draw below? Ha ha... (I got it from a greeting card in Memory Lane sometime ago)
Answer: A man wearing a Mexican hat who is standing on the diving board of a swimming pool. (Aerial view)

Decorations

Why is there a need to fill a blank canvas? Why must there be a dot of paint in it? Can’t it be left pure, white, serene…. And some might say “boooorrriiing!!!” :p

Well, the same goes for us humans. We have learned to decorate ourselves wonderfully since our caveman years. (Assuming our ancestors we once caveman) :P

Clothing

Most pictures depict Adam and Eve with leaves placed at the right location. Then they showed caveman with animal skins for clothing. Whatever really happened back then, it is a fact that we, humans now need clothing.
One, for protection from the weather i.e. in the dessert, people have to wear long robe to cover oneself from head to toe to protect from the harsh scorching heat and sand.

Second, clothing is to cover oneself from the looks of other people. It is because we are embarrassed to be naked and in today’s culture, it is indecent and against the law to go around naked (unless you’re in a private home, naked colony, etc).
Third, it is for decoration. Look at how the business of apparel is thriving. There can be a pair of jeans for RM10 (I found one in DFO Clothing store) to RM300 jeans found in Guess outlet. What is the difference? Branding? Quality? Functional; it serves well but it is the image and “decoration” it serves that gives the extra value.

Therefore it boils down to my real topic: Decoration on human skin.

1. Make-up


Most women cannot live without make-up. I haven’t reach that stage yet but I guess as age catches up (with scarring, pores /”pot-holes in my case”… haha on my face), one will need to rely on this magic wonders to look young, pretty and attractive.

Men are no exception from this “decoration” especially in the entertainment industry.

Most of us have seen magazines or e-mail showing the difference of an actor/actress with make-up and without. Those pictures are enough to explain my point.

This form of decoration is mainly for the face although it is used to cover temporarily certain scarring on visible body parts at time.

2. Tattoo

Somehow, this painful skin scarring process is seen as a decoration by some people. The best example of this celebrity is Angelina Jolie with her tiger tattooed on her whole back. (Just to name one of her many tattoos)
Many girls in the US have little tattoo somewhere on their body. With a cute little heart shaped at the butt to the name of a loved one on her arm. Whatever style or pattern it is used, they find it beautiful.

I remember a colleague sending an e-mail to all of us which shows body painting. The interesting thing to note was it the body part which was involved. It was a “body painting” of the man’s genital body part. Would you find it beautiful? Anyway, to side track, my boss found out about the e-mail and reprimanded everyone on sending such emails internally.. ha ha..

3. Piercing

Earrings and nose rings are the most common piercing done world wide. I myself is guilty of piercing my ears. My mum just brought me to the shop one day and got my ears pierce. Yes, I am guilty of decorating my ears with earrings.

Then there is the piercing of other locations like: tongue, navel or even private body parts. The decoration for all these piercing varies according to one’s taste. This link I put here has very interesting pictures of all the piercing.

4. Body paint

This form of decoration is always seen during sports matches. The fans will paint their favourite team’s jersey colour on their forehead, arm or even for some extreme fans, on their chest!

However, for the modeling and entertainment industry, body paint is more extensively used. The best example I can think of is Rebecca Romijin as the blue mutant named "Mystique" in X-Men. She is naked literally, save for the blue paint on her body.


I once received an e-mail showing a naked woman walking along the street. (not in Malaysia of course). From afar, she looks fully clothed with a sleeveless top and hot pants. On nearer observation, the “clothing” is actually body paint. Have to look for that e-mail.

Final note

My point is why do we need to decorate ourselves? Why can’t we be the original pure white canvas? Why must we always think we are a blank canvas that requires decoration?

I can only think of one apparent reason: to look BEAUTIFUL in the eyes of our peers.

Sigh. We are stuck with our self-perception through the eyes of other people when in reality; God already sees the real beauty within us without all these decorations.

Here! Here! (Raising my arms) I am guilty of that too.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Loan shark

Why are the loan sharks named after sharks? What have the sharks done wrong except be portrayed on the movie Jaws as a man-eating ferocious shark with large sharp teeth to make a bloody scene.

On the other hand, you might wonder, what did those loan officers or banker or money-lender do to justify a violent ferocious role?

IMHO, I find the process of getting a loan very icky, yucky, sticky and nauseating. All right, maybe I exaggerate a little; but that's how I feel at times.

While accompanying bf to apply for a home loan, we have met with a few different characters in the process. We have seen the outcome of meeting with them for the loan application. Then we have seen the final results. These are a few things I notice.

If I were to apply for a loan, I would consider this (mind you, these are just my off-hand comments):

1. The bank itself

Is it a foreign or local bank? What kind of policies it has? For example, one bank (SC bank) gave good lending rates but insist, it is their bank policy to give 85% loan only to middle-income group. It will give you nearly 90% loan (89% loan to be exact) if you get another person to co-borrow the loan with you.
Sighh.. I'm told foreign banks are better... Can't comment much on that yet.

2. The lending rates

Obviously, I would go for the best rates with the lowest interest but, I have to take into consideration of other aspects. Eg. if the bank has hidden charges or troublesome procedure. Oh yeah, I'm looking around for a flexi-loan.
Therefore, some banks make it a hassle for you to increase your repayment even though they claim they are offering flexi-loan. Be on a look out for this! It is a nightmare... according to Ms Choo.. The particular bank (HL bank) she encountered needed her to give one month written notice to the bank before being allowed to decrease the principle of the loan by paying more.

3. The loan officers

I know you will be thinking, who cares about them? They will "service" you to fulfill their quota. Not all!! We met with a few loan officers who diligently collected the relevant documents to process the application.

For one person in particular, even after 3 months later, we received no follow-up or even a copy of the letter of offer. We even found out, that particular officer didn't even process the loan application.

How we found out? This makes another interesting story.

Since the officer didn't follow up or came back to us, we went to find another officer from another branch of the same bank (Lets call it HS bank). Recommended from a friend, this guy proves to be a hardworking person. He tried to process the application but was met with 2 stumbling block.

1. The loan was already applied by the earlier officer. So he had to cancel the earlier application before he can process the new one.

2. The records in Bank Negara showed that my friend had a large commitment (another home loan) already when this is his first property. This would affect his loan application with the higher commitment.

From the records in Bank Negara, we realised there was no application for loan from HS bank.

But the funny thing was, having a commitment (loan with SC bank) when my friend never signed any agreement yet!! We found out the loan is from one of the applications we submitted earlier.

Having a Loan without signing any agreement

Well, I confronted the officer (SC bank) to ask him how could this happen. He claimed he never process the loan since bf never signed. Anyway, he also wanted to take a look at the report from Bank Negara (making me feel like he didn't believe me).

After checking with his superior, he claimed it was the IT department fault. At the moment, there is no final outcome to his checking and I am still not pleased with his reasons.

Even though SC bank gave the best rates, but to be so bold to approve and accept your loan (either intentionally or unintentionally) without you knowing it for few months back, and now denying any fault to it, I find a bank like that VERY irresponsible. How can the officer in charge of the loan be so ignorant?

If it was not for the other officer from (HS bank) who found out this stumbling block, *touch wood* or if the loan was a forgery for someone else's loan, my friend would be in trouble!!

Banker's Response

In fact, before I made any complaint to the bank, I called an acquaintance who worked in another bank in a superior HR post. Her response to my queries were very unsettling and defensive. These are her words...

"You have to check if your bf signed an agreement already and forgot it. The bank will never approved a loan without a signature. Your bf must have done so without remembering it. Better check properly, if not you will lose face if it is your bf's fault." (She was using doubt and pride to disarm me. It worked a little because I went to check with my bf if he signed anything).

"Your bf is lucky. The loan is confirmed and ready for draw-down but no money is withdrawn." (She was making you see the little silver lining in a dark situation when the situation was not supposed to be dark in the first place!!)

"When you give your documents to the bank, you are already making a relationship and giving them permission to use your information to apply a loan." (Her response to the bank's absolute authority to use your particulars... to the extend of approving and accepting your loan? I think the latter is not true..)

I called another banking friend, her response was:

"Sometimes, these things happen, we are not sure if really there was a forgery or anything but what we can do for you is prepare a letter from the bank which states that you didn't sign any loan with us." (She was accommodating and understanding. She tried to ease the application for our other loan by stating that the bank could prepare such a letter)

Final note

Perhaps, it isn't just the loan sharks who are sharks but anyone working in the loan department who has the vicious killing drive.

If not, how can they provide "good service" to us when at the beginning of a mistake, they repeatedly deny and defend when it is obviously their fault? I thought "customers were always right". But in borrowing money, I guess, customers are the prey to the shark (bank loans or money lender)... help!