Monday, December 28, 2009

Peekchures coming up soon! Just... random ones. :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

In the past week... I,

... had some daddy-daughter time. Which is rare. But nice and necessary.

... almost got into a road accident. (this one was frekkin' traumatising. i went home and cried and actually crawled into bed to sleep with my mom. not kidding. i felt traumatized, fearful and lousy.)

... rediscovered grace, kindness, and once again felt the old NTU cell spirit when my friends stood by me after the near collision. They assessed the situation and gave objective advice for the future, assured me that i was a safe driver, felt the unhappiness with me about the behaviour of the road bully, made sure that i was ok enough to drive back home on my own. Somehow, they just said all the right things, in the best way. I could not have asked for better passengers, who despite having had gone through the same scary experience, still had the grace, gentleness and mercy to tend to my needs.

... knew that God's protection was upon us through the way things unfolded and how i managed to handle the extremely scary and new situation. Maybe i'll write about what happened in a later post.

... promise i will be a better defensive driver and expect the unexpected.

... was blessed immensely by people around me on my birthday and beyond the day itself.

... learn that butter noodles made by N is BE.AWESOME.
(garlic, onions, mushrooms and salted butter. With linguine. That's ALL. Goodness.)

... met my future cell leader and admitted that i am his phantom cell member. heehee.

... went for my previous cell leader's wedding. It was simple, intimate, beautiful. None of the extra stuff like gate crashing, no table to table photo taking. It was just all about the couple, but without sacrificing on giving the guests the best as far as possible. And i got to sit opposite one of Singapore's retired army Generals! And he's really nice with no airs about him at all.

... have been blessed by my folks.

... sat in for the first time to listen to what my folks' insurance agent was talking about.

... cleaned the car briefly for the first time on my own and found it very therapeutic. Getting the bird poo off, cleaning nooks and crannies, turnin' up the volume of the CD player (WOW Hymns by contemporary artists) while doing so. Yes, it was therapeutic. No one to hurry me or tell me what to do. Just the hot sun on a sunday afternoon, music, and getting some cleanin' done.

... drove to Seng Kang and Bedok with very good and skilled instruction givers at midnight, which was something i otherwise wouldn't have done, especially since i almost could have gotten my friends and myself killed or hospitalized just the night before. Gosh. Being a beginner driver is frightful. As frightful as being a beginning counsellor. All involving the care of lives.

... have more or less decided to graduate later. I will take 6 more months to complete my program because i cannot handle practicum, a module and thesis all at the same time.

Monday, December 14, 2009

I just need to say this, before the day ends.

THANK YOU EVERYONE for your well wishes and messages... Although i spent the day doing mundane stuff and thinking back on birthdays past and the hoohah surrounding it, it was your constant influx of blessings throughout the day (and one person was early, which i totally do not mind one single bit. ;P) that made me feel so special and remembered. The little gestures meant so much to me and it made me quietly vow in my heart that every person DESERVES to feel blessed and treasured on their birthday.

Thanks everyone. :) My heart is aglow and that's how i want today to end. :)
"Good Morning! Happy Birthday!", Dad very enthusiastically exclaimed with a big ole smile on his face, when he heard that i was awake.

He came by the sofa where i was half sleep with gift in hand, while i squeaked with delight and covered my mouth with my dog scented blanket.

"Good morning, and get up." He stood there and offered his hand to pull me to a sitting position.

"Can i just...". His voiced trailed off slightly awkwardly and said, "... just, hug...". Dad held his arms open in a gesture inviting me to hug him. And we embraced. Messy hair, out of bed smell, half consciousness and all.

It's been so long since my dad ever hugged me for anything at all. It's been years.

Especially since the saga in my family that we are still healing from, it means so much to me for my dad to reach out to hug his (still hurting) daughter.

Even as i type this, i realize the risk he took, the pride he (maybe?) needed to swallow and as I think about it, it brings fresh tears to my eyes.
I can't really explain the joy i felt when my folks returned from malaysia and without me expecting it, proposed to bring me out for my birthday dinner despite them feeling tired out from the long drive home and the whole trip itself. And as "luck" would have it, my sister who is usually running around with her own agendas was home and therefore could join us for dinner. It's been so long since we could go out as a family... As time passed by, our lives have slowly drifted in different directions and so this family dinner is a huge blessing to me.

For lack of a better description, i felt like i was 10 years old again... "with the power to decide where i wanted to eat, what i wanted to eat. Everyone just wanted to ensure that the birthday girl gets and enjoys whatever she wants". I'm a quarter of a century now really, but somehow, with grown people asking things like, "what have you been REALLY WANTING (like, craving) to eat?" and "You decide, you're the birthday girl...", etc, i really felt so... liberated. Like, man! Now, when was the last time that anyone paid THAT much attention to what I really wanted, saw it as something so infinitely important that it was ready to be given at the snap of a finger?

Needless to say, i was, er, behaving like a 10 year old at Bakerzin and Swensens. What with my happy grins, incessant chatter and laughter, clapping of happy hands when dad said, "Ok, quick, better go get your packet (OF BAKERZIN MACARONS. OMG.)" and when my Durian Supreme sundae arrived. The higher-than-normal tables at Earle Swensens made me feel even more like a kid at the dinner table that is too high for her.

I'm thankful that i wasn't brought up to be given every single thing i demanded for, so i really felt immense appreciation for the treat and felt touched by the time that spent together. I felt good to just let loose and forget about being all prim and proper, but instead just take joy in simply being my parents' daughter... Though she's changed from being the toddler wearing the plastic sunglasses/spectacles with the ridiculous bee perching on the frame to their now university going young adult with the, well still plastic, but now nerdy black frame glasses, she's still very simply, their younger daughter and child.

When my sister (3 years older than me) and i were goofing around while sitting opposite my parents, i saw, something so different and rare in my mom's smiling eyes as she looked on at us. I saw genuine mirth and even thankfulness in her eyes as they twinkled and crinkled when she smiled at our nonsense. Her eyes and smile looked, ALIVE. Something i have not seen in a long time. It was as if her eyes were saying, "I've not seen my children this way in so long, and i miss seeing them interact like close sisters. The way they are talking to one another now really makes me happy."

I spoke too soon... I thought i had escaped the sprouting of white hair from all that stress, but my mom spotted one yesterday. Dangit!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Narnia is freaking awesome. Ok, I'm biased because i love medieval related war scenes (swords! bows! arrows! catapults! chain mail! armour!), horses, mythical animals, animals in general. But as i was saying...

In Prince Caspian, I love it when little Lucy emerges from the forest, steps onto the bridge and faces an army of probably hundreds. She's fearless as she unsheathes her little dagger. She appears all alone till the majestic Aslan comes up from behind to stand beside her.

I just love the image it portrays. Despite facing the odds of 2 is to hundreds, she had placed her complete trust in her hero, the one whom she believes had come to overcome and to save. So much so that she could step out in total confidence to confront grown and war bloodied men with her tiny "letter opener".

It isn't just about what we can do on our own. After all, all we can do is give whatever we've got. We can't go beyond that. What we CAN do however is believe in the One who has the utmost wisdom, power and authority, who will make up for what we lack to help us conquer our challenges.

That is what makes the whole difference.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Tiger Woods seems to have some really mean time management skills. Juggling between family (1 wife, 2 kids) and allegedly 6 (and counting?) more women.

Sheesh, if all this is true... Then here's another one joining the ranks of multitudes of men who have cheated on their wives. WHAT SIA. Yes, we're all attracted to beauty but surely there is a head with a brain somewhere in these men that can be involved in making responsible choices, no?

It's not ONE woman, like he had a lapse in judgment somewhere. It's like, "hello there, you with the skirt? Wanna get it going?"

Like, hello? No conscience is it? And those frisky women. Shame on you! RAGGH!

It's beyond frightening to me that when i read the first page of an online article of this whole tiger woods fiasco, most of the comments on that first page actually are so blase about the whole thing. There were comments like, "Get over it", "He's only human", "I'm surprised that everyone is surprised". The worst comment i read was "Get over it! Life happens, monogamy is not normal and that is the truth." I mentally did a double take and would have choked if i was consuming something.

Are people so jaded and used to infidelity that they are able to close an eye and treat it as part of life? HELLO? Where have moral values in this world gone to?! Where have trust, respect, honour all disappeared to??? Seems like people are so used to hearing men cheat that it's no big deal anymore. Ok fine, if they say, "morality be damned, i live by no rules", then how about something as FUNDAMENTAL as the mental and emotional PAIN that they are going to cause the family? Like, for starters, the one they said their VOWS to, the person they PROMISED to honour and respect?

If people start off thinking that they are going to cheat anyway, then don't hurt others by getting married, bringing children into the world, only to desert them along the way.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

i don't get why the Jet allows the keypad to pop up when i select the field to type in my blog title, but it doesn't let the keypad pop up when i want to enter in an entry in the type-a-post field. touch screen phones. bleargh.

a trip to nie recently shot and blew up my holiday dreams to smithereens. my holiday dreams meaning just 4 weeks of peace, without having to think about work and school.

the good thing was that i managed to tie up the loose ends of one of the major problems i was facing academically, but in the meeting, i was also told that i needed to catch up with the others in dealing with my dissertation/thesis. i told my lecturer honestly that i was so worn out, so tired. i haven't had a break since the beginning of the year, and the stresses of school has taken a toll on me. i'm the not the only one, apparently. my classmates feel the same way. they're feeling more tired than before in this semester that just passed by. and of course, there was the major family issue that erupted in may, that killed my june break AND the peace of mind that i needed to face my practicum (which also started in may, so, no break either).

i actually cried in her office that day. i usually try my best to control myself in front of strangers but i didn't this time. i almost cried in front of my boss at work too when i told her that i had a family crisis and couldn't handle certain things.

i had hoped that i could breathe easier for these few puny weeks in december before school starts again in january. i find that this whole year, my stress levels have been kept at above the normal average levels and sometimes peaking at maximum or close to maximum. i marvel at the fact that i have not yet sprouted out white hair, which i did in JC... oh yes, i DID in JC. gosh.

and so when i finally settled some issue with the lecturer, she dropped the bomb that i still had to do readings for my dissertation and get some writings done because submission next year will be close and i will have my practicum to settle still, AND plus one more academic module. Ok, doesn't sound that bad in number, but finishing the practicum hours are very draining. So, to add a module PLUS carrying out a research and doing research paper writing, is just... monkey.

yet. one thing that took the heat off is that my thesis isn't meant to be a groundshaker, it's just suppose to give me an experience of carrying out a research. my heart slightly lifted when i heard that. lowered expectations is good. i just find it curious that they don't expect more out of masters students.

now as i'm writing this, i'm considering if i should take one more semester to finish this course off (ie, stay in NIE for one more year, versus the 6 months that i have now), or should i stick to my guns, feel the stress build up but finish along with everyone else. I'm thinking about my health, my sanity. My IBS problem started when i was doing my undergraduate studies, and back then, it was worse. Now, it's better but it still occurs. i prefer my stress related health issues to stop at IBS, thankyouverymuch. Through my practicum, i've seen how stress can really cause havoc in a person. It's quite crazy, what it does. I don't want that to happen to me.

i'm just glad that my topic for my thesis interests me. it's on fatherhood (prayed about it), but i don't know how i'm going to develop that into anything just yet.

i guess... i'm going to have to let my interest take me through and God handle the nitty gritty.

and then there is the question of whether i should spend the time left on myself, or spend it on others. that is, leading a group at a youth camp. i'm like... argh. i. need. time. for. myself. i don't know. quandary.

i think i may take up my lecturer's suggestion of taking a break. not some shopping break, not a break that would require moving around and doing things, but something that would allow me to SLOW DOWN to a STOP. to cease the erratic running around and frenzied thoughts that worry me all the time, take some time to chill, reflect, change my mindset on things, so that i can move ahead with a positive mind frame. i don't know what that may be because it's a bit late to go booking for holidays.

so, ambrose, you're right. i NEED TO DO SOMETHING, which is about doing NOTHING. Or, close to nothing.

maybe a trip to sentosa, a short stay at a cheap hotel there. near the beach. i do so miss the beach. then again. where's the money going to come from??? gagh... maybe home will have to do.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

This little dude was perched in a zen-like manner on the first step of the flight of stairs. ALMOST squashed him when i came pounding down the stairs. Isn't he cute? Check out his awesome curled tail with the tip just hanging over his head! He didn't even so much as budge or twitch when i stuck my camera near his lizardy face. I was ready to leap back if he jumped or anything though. Heh.

Driven by the reality of my gross natural curls that ruined my side parting, my bald spot on my preferred side to part my hair at (too many years at the same parting), the itch for a new look, i went to cut myself some bangs at JP. I really like it! Even though my sister thinks i look toot. I love my sister, she tells me her honest opinion without hesitation and i in turn appreciate her prompt and objective feedback. After all, i always prefer the truth over a lie that would make me "happy".
I was thinking about doing this for weeks and finally, when Van said "Just go!", i decided... OK, I SHALL! I figured that i might chicken out at the entrance of the salon, but somehow, something about the place made me take a step in to enquire about the price for cutting a fringe. A nice lady greeted me and answered my queries, and when i decided $5 was a good deal, i decided to give it a go.
I was praying, "God, please give me an experienced stylist!" (i was frekkin scared because i'm not one to follow trends and i've never had bangs maybe since i was a wee kiddo?!)
And true enough, God gave me the LEAD HAIR STYLIST can? Who was the same nice lady who answered my queries. In about 10 minutes, i was done, and personally i think she did a quick, professional and tidy job. Just by looking my hair over and flipping it about, she could pinpoint how my hair behaves (natural waves, cannot cut too short and not this way, etc) and what i should avoid and what would be suitable for my face shape and manageable for me to maintain. Ok, maybe i look like a goon here. HAHA. I like!

Ok, slightly more normal looking here.