Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Freedom Film Festival

What is the connection between freedom, film and festival?

They all rock!

What do you say?

Say it at

Sept 29-Oct 1, 2006 at Taylor's College, Subang Jaya.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Happy Days

The latest book I've read is Happy Days by Laurent Graff, thanks to the stupid cup of iced mocha I drank after dinner. Please click on the link on the sidebar to read a full review by some person who appears to be an avid reader.

I bought Happy Days from a book sale about a month ago. It was only around $5 so I thought why not? What attracted me was the part where the main character, Antoine, buys his own grave at the age of 18 and chooses to spend the rest of his life in a retirement home at 35. I was like, "Hm, I wonder if any REAL person does something like that?"

Reading the book didn't take too long as consists of only 99 pages - relatively short compared to other novels. Reading the book made me reflect on myself and my friends from high school. Mainly, my thoughts encompassed the differences between my friends and I.

To me, the biggest difference would be how SURE I am about what I want to do with my life. Unlike Antoine, I choose not to spend my life WAITING for the end. Neither do I choose to PREPARE for the end. I choose to spend my life living the now. It's like teaching children, really. Why do we teach children with the notion that teaching equals preparing them for school? In kindergarten, teachers plan their 'lessons' according to skills that will PREPARE children for Year One. Then when children are in Year One, teachers PREPARE them for Year Two. Why do we do that? I'm not saying that preparation shouldn't be practiced but I'm suggesting that it should be done in moderation, just like everything else.

Live in the now. Enjoy the now. You only get now ONCE. I know what I want to do with my life because I have a plan. It is a plan that I have wanted to adhere to for a long time. That doesn't mean that to realise this plan, I didn't enjoy my life. I did. Still am. I'm enjoying every NOW second of it. By enjoying the NOW, I pave the way to enjoy the future.

Going back to the kids. Teach them in the NOW. Or at least, that's what I think my philosophy will be based on (along with other things). If they are talking about getting along with a friend, extend on that NOW. Don't say, "Oh, they will cover this next term so that can wait" because you will lose that magical moment. Why would what they learn in the future be important when what they learn now isn't? And HOW can what they learn in the future be MORE important than what they learn now? To me, it's the foundation that needs to be laid correctly. Otherwise, whatever that comes after that will not fall into place properly.

My friends, on the other hand, are not sure what they want to do in the future because they are not very sure about the reasons behind what they are currently doing. Now, I'm not saying that ALL my friends are like this but many of them are. "Why are you studying actuarial?" "Er, hm, no one's ever asked me that before. I don't really know, come to think of it." "Huh? What do you mean you don't know?"

Typical response regardless of whether it's Actuarial, Accounting, Finance, Marketing, Biotech, Psychology, Law, Engineering, Medicine or Economics. I've left out my own course because usually, people who study Early Childhood Education have a reason. However, those reasons differ from person to person. My reason, as everyone knows, is because I enjoy it to the max. Many others, think that it will help them earn tonnes of money. A big no-no for me. Children are to be loved, cared for, nurtured, not to be exploited to help you become rich a$$es. Sigh...

Of course, I have a handful of friends who are passionate about what they are doing. One worthy of mention is a dear friend currently nursing her health way past Down Under. Her knowledge and determination is astounding. She sometimes makes me feel like I know nothing. Her writing skills are impeccable - makes me wish I can write like her. She hangs out with geniuses from Yale, Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge and the likes. She even has time to do volunteer work. I give credit to her mum. Seriously, it's the FOUNDATION that she put in place for my friend that has nurtured her brilliant mind into what it is today.

Why do people find it hard to accept that there are people (i.e. yours truly) who prefer NOT to CONFORM to society? I happen to enjoy wearing tees, shorts and sandals everywhere. I happen to enjoy cleaning the house. I happen to enjoy mixing with both my KL and SK friends. I happen to prefer Apple to Microsoft. I happen to enjoy listening to Chinese pop to improve my command of the language. I happen to think that there is no shame in being proud of my own country.

And my Happy Days would be the childcare centre/kindergarten where I will be teaching at because I happen to think that being a teacher is the most noble and satisfying profession there is.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Melbourne Winter Adventure 2006 (Episode 6)

Days 5 & 6:

Monday passed by rather slowly. We had to return the car and Auds had to go back to uni for some work. She's on the MUISS committee you see and Orientation Week was happening. We woke up extremely late this time and we walked over McD's for brunch cum afternoon tea. We then took a stroll on Monash Clayton grounds. I acted as tour guide, naturally, showing them the student centre, libraries, the place where they have their graduation ceremony and their sports centre. And I'm not even a student of Monash!!!

The highlight of the day had to be dinner. Alan, Jordan and Auds, over lovely hosts, prepared a scrumptious meal for us. We invited Benito over, too, to introduce to Nic, Miow and Erin. Dinner was Shaun's Chinese cabbage and Alan's miso soup and er, some Japanese style meat. Delicious, absolutely delicious!

They taught us how to play BANG! and I'm not going into the details here because I'm going to confuse myself a lot more if I do. The night passed with a certain person drinking a lot of Coke and water. We had 4 types of drinks that night - Johnny Walker, Bailey's, Vodka and um... something else which I so cannot recall at the moment. We played Ducky Fuzz and Auds was the first victim!!! Shaun went Duzzy! and she was like .... ffffff...zz... ..f.. ?!?#$^@$%

We also played another new game whereby we aren't allowed to go to the loo for 2 hours. So everyone was trying really hard not to lose as losing entails more drinking and winning means a 2 in 12 chance of getting the toilet pass. Toilet pass=toilet anytime. That was a really good game.

I then had to hit the bed. Too much for one night. Auds nearly got drunk on Coke. She's one who doesn't get drunk on alcohol but give her Coke to go with her grog, poof! red and drunk Auddy.

This pic more or less sums the loud, funny and outrageous night:

Day 6:
It rained! And when there's rain in Melbourne, there will be freezing cold wind! Brrr!!! We had to walk in the rain to get to the bus stop. We had to go to the city for our last meal in Melbourne before heading back to Sydney. Alan brought us to a cosy Jap restaurant which served good food. And they were cheap! Nic was standing outside looking at the prices on the menu and he had this to say: I'm so gonna miss Melbourne prices.

All in all, it was a good trip, this one. Introduced Auds to yet another bunch of crazy people. You have to admit Auds, you love us for that. =)

I sat next to Nic on the plane. Shaun, Erin and Miow sat in the row of seats in front of us. It's nice to spend some time with Nic. Reminds me of the sweet and helpful person he is. It was nice to spend some private talking time with him, too. Nic, if you're reading this, although at times I hate you (mostly due to your taste in girls), I'll ALWAYS have a soft spot for you in me. =)

Wonder where will our next adventure be? Melbourne again but different places? Or Gold Coast? We'll see.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Melbourne Winter Adventure 2006 (Episode 5)

Day 4:

This day was a more sombre day. It started off with lunch (yet again). But this time, the guys had more to look forward to - my cousins. I put the idea of my cousins being hot and cute into their heads. Thankfully, they agreed with my views after seeing them in person. My aunt prepared typical Malaysian fanfare for lunch, consisting of chicken curry, taufu with bean sprouts and peanut sauce, some kind of fried noodles (which I did not get to eat) and er, I think that was it. Uncle Aaron was in as well this time. Didn't get to talk to him much, well, not like I wanted to anyways. I don't exactly share a 'loving' relationship with this side of the family. Haha.. only with the two girls. Oh, yes, the pics will show you what I mean by 'hot' and 'cute'.

Just to illustrate it better, the hot one is Pei Shin (in green) and the cute one's Pei Yiun (in pink). Pei Shin is 19 this year, doing her first year of Bank, Accounting and Finance in Monash Caulfield while Pei Yiun is 17 doing her Year 11 in Waverley Christian College.

We then headed over to Dandenong to have a look at the infamous Puffing Billy train. We were lucky that there was one black one returning to the station. Miow took videos and all that. Auds and I took a pic of the charming old-fashioned letterbox.

That more or less wrapped up our day. We went back home to laze around. Or did we head to the city? I think we did - to have dinner at King of Kings. Shaun wanted to let Miow, Nic and Erin taste the different chiffon egg rice they serve there. They preferred the one at A1. Haha.. and it was there at the restaurant that something happened to Auds. Attraction of some sort. Kenneth Ooi came over to catch up and we headed over to Crown Casino. Miow, Nic and Shaun signed up for a card to play on some pokie machines. Miow lost around $20 in a jiffy. I helped Shaun win $5. Haha...

Alan then came over to join us for a drink in Grecko's. Wah, we should have taken pictures of the cakes they serve. Humungous betul! And the coffee needless to say, aromatic. The guys then took to challenging each other to run across the fountains without getting wet. And guess who got shot in the face... Shaun! Muahahaha.... pandai, wanna run in zigzags. We waited to watch the fire without realising that the last train would have left Flinders by then. We ended up taking the taxi back to Caulfield. Cost us freaking a lot of money!

And so the day ended with more poker at home.