The Bored Boring Blogger

I’m stealing some time from work (while waiting for some files to be downloaded, just in case my boss wants an explanation) to write about something that’s been lingering in my mind for the past few days already.  By the way, it’s Day 3 to my new job, it’s been great but I’ll save that for next time.

Anyway.

I’ve been blogging for four damn years.

To some, that’s considered a short period of time – but to me, it’s long enough to observe the gradual change in the things I write and the way I write them.  In other words, in the span of four years my outlook on life has changed and I pay attention to different things now.

I was browsing through my old archives in my older blogs and I must say that I was once more open and would blog about almost anything that came my way.  And then I started making friends on the blogosphere, where some did turn out to be real-time, offline buddies that I’m very grateful for. Blog-hopping and checking for feeds were almost customary every morning.  Exchanging links and comments, as I’ve learned, are basic blog-tiquettes.

Yet somehow, after four years – I’ve forgotten why I started a blog in the first place.  My blog was supposed to be a place where I could write all I want, regardless of what others think, and it should represent my innermost thoughts even if I was going to contradict myself the year after.  It’s supposed to allow change, at my own pace, my own words.

I’m not saying that I haven’t been blogging honestly, I have.  And I love my readers and their inputs.  But these days, I find it difficult to write about things I used to few years ago.  Maybe I’ve grown a bit older, and my thoughts have become deeper and boring.  There’s a funny trend that I’ve observed throughout my blogging years – it’s that if I write deep, thought-provoking, personal, dull stuff – the inputs from readers reduce tremendously, sometimes none at all.  Which is strange because most of the time, those are the topics that open rooms for discussion.

Because of that, I’ve kept those random thoughts to myself more, and began to write about things that would be deemed “alright” for the public.  There are days when I only have a few lines to pen, and I would have dedicated an entry for that but now, I’d think it’s a waste of space and time for my readers.

Remember The Child, The Dauber, The Writer and all the dimensions I once wrote?  Somewhere along the way, The Child has been neglected, and that sometimes mean that The Writer has lost his soul.

And I’m damn bored of writing without soul.

If I lose all my readers one day it’s most likely my own fault.  I’ve probably moved my blogs a tad too often, and I think I owe my readers an explanation.  Truth is, I’m very keen in learning how websites work.  I like meddling with codes just to see something different appear.  Most of the time, moving just means I’ve found a new opportunity to explore the website world a little bit more.  It’s a bit like hitchhiking, where one is never on a permanent spot but is gradually finding solid ground.

Which is why I bought the domain:  http://www.the-kooky-jar.com.  A hitchhiker can be at many places, but has only one name, one identity.  I’ve been told I’d lose readers for shifting, but that’s the least of my concerns.  Blogging isn’t about gaining popularity – at least not for me – it’s mainly a form of sharing.  I’m really thankful for those who have been so kind to update their feeds and links each time I move, and readers who have stuck on – but whatever it is, just remember that I can always be found at “www.the-kooky-jar.com” – nothing more, nothing less.

I think I’ll be taking a break from blogging for a while.  Not quitting, but just a short break – to find the consistency, the purpose, the honesty and The Child.  Perhaps for a better blog to come, who knows?

Til the next chapter,
The Writer

Clicking My Heels Three Times

sunset2.jpg

And we’ll ride into the sun together.

My former high school principal once told me that.  We were graduating and she was retiring on the same year, and that was the one sentence she told me during one of our little pep-talks we used to have in her office.

I’ve officially finished my exams – which means it’s the end of the 2nd year of my degree.  Which also means, I’m pretty much halfway there.  It’s like the end of the honeymoon phase, because next year onwards, I’ll be having bigger and tougher projects, and then internship and next thing I know I’ll be finishing my final year.  Everybody says time flies, but suddenly it seems like it’s been boarding a rocket all ready to hit the moon in seconds.

Inclusive of my foundation year here, it has been a total of 3 years since I started a new life here.  I could barely call it life then, I hated this place that much but I’m quite glad I’ve been moved out of my comfort zone.  I’ve learned so much in this deserted place.  My friends and I usually describe our university as one that “sprouts out from nowhere”.

Unlike my seniors who will be graduating this semester, I won’t want to write a long recount of the things that I’ve encountered and learned yet.  But I just want to put this post up to mark the mid-point of everything.  The transition.  The change that awaits.

I probably have too many sunset photos stored in my computer, but I won’t be putting them up as often as I did before now.  Next semester I’ll be changing to a new room, somewhere with less spectacular view, but hopefully better wireless connection.  It’s the same house, just different room, and I might be having a new bunch of housemates since most of them are leaving for internship next semester.

As for the coming holidays, there are already things on my to-do list, but the first thing I want to go home when I reach home is to stay home.  Just be one with my room, bed, TV, everything once again.

One thing for sure, I’d want to spend time writing more.  If there is one thing that still bugs me being in the community here is that I find an exponential deterioration in my proficiency of the language.

It feels weird to go to bed without having to cram some necessary academic information into my head.

Good night.

The Book Started This

3ofus.jpgI don’t believe in horoscopes, astrology, all those kinds of stuff.  I like to read them for fun, and it’s fun because it’s one of those things that I can’t figure out its logic.  All three of us have been camping at the library lately to study, and to escape the grueling heat outside.

I have to admit, the library in my uni is pretty impressive.  They have all kinds of books – from neurology to all kinds of engineering topics, to cookbooks, softwares, novels, hobbies (even quilting!), social topics, feminism, religion, witchcraft, just to name a few.

So Tania and I came across this thick, huge and heavy book lying around in one of the shelves and its cover reads, “Relationships.”

It’s basically an astrology dictionary about relationships, very much alike to Lillian Too or Joey Yap’s annual take on the compatibility between the chinese zodiacs – except this one doesn’t have a due date or anything like that.

So what you do is you find your birthdate and horoscope, and then find your friend’s or partner’s that you would like to be compared to.  Being curious as usual, Tania and I searched for ours and Mildred’s too.

After a long search and all the oooh’s and aaaah’s, we finally concluded that we could all get along with one another.  Tania and I have are “unusually supportive of one another”, Mildred brings out the funner side of me, I keep Mildred’s feet to the ground, while Mildred and Tania are a great match, provided there’s someone else (a third person) in between to keep things balanced.  To tell you the truth, being an unbeliever in such things, I find them to be oddly accurate. It’s true, I’m the boring one, Tania’s the cute and caring one, while Mildred’s always the sunshine among us.

It’s not so much on being wow-ed by the book – but it just reminded me of the precious gems in my life.  Yesterday, some of our church members drove all the way from Ipoh just to get us some good, home-cooked food for dinner.  These are people with so many better things to do but they’d spend their time for us simply because they knew we’re all homesick by now, and we’re all stressed out by our exams.

Last night, I actually said a prayer to thank God for putting me in this deserted area.  Sometimes, in big cities where you have everything you want at your doorstep, it’s hard to spot the rare, pretty stuff that are hidden within.  We take things for granted and we get lost in the crowd.  Here, uncovering hidden treasures are actually easier.  My coursemates (yes, all the 7 guys), church brothers and sisters, the crazy duo up there, and all the people here (it’s a long list, I swear) that have entered my little circle have kept me sane.  Sometimes they do drive me nuts, but they’d find a way to put me back eventually.

I don’t know who actually reads this, but I just want to say thanks.  Thanks for the drama, for the chaos, the laughters and madness that you’ve brought into my life.  You own a huge chapter in my book.

And speaking of which, that astrology book isn’t entirely accurate.  It says that I possess prophetic abilities, and I have no clue what’s coming out for my exams.  So I better get back to studying now.  Tata!

Dear Mom,

I’m writing this on a Saturday late early morning, with my teeth unbrushed, breakfast not taken…you can imagine.  It’s a Mother’s Day weekend, and usually, just as what I’ve done annually eversince I’ve been away from home, I would have taken a bus ride home or ask Ko to fetch me so that we could both give you a surprise at the doorstep.

Alas, I’m one week away from my finals, and I still have work to do til next week – I’m sorry I cannot come home to be with you on this special weekend although I do miss you, Dad, my little pillow and my beanbag very much.

I’ve been thinking a lot recently.

I thought of…

…the times you would punish me each time I told a lie, and the scary look you had whenever you saw right through me.

…the times when you would make me memorize the multiplication table and reciting it by heart.

…the times when you would panic at every small issue and how much it irked me.

…the times you would make me go to sleep or threaten me to sleep with Lucky (our dog) outside.

…the times when you would pressure me about my studies and pushing me to do better.

…the times when you would correct my grammatical errors on the spot, even if it means embarrassing me.

…the times when you would enroll me for piano lessons even though I had no interest in classical music.

…the times when you would want me to wear a skirt or a dress and we end up arguing about it.

…the times when you would tell us how to behave in front of others even though we didn’t understand why we should.

…the times you would relentlessly warn me about the religion I’ve chosen, and teaching me how to balance between religion and tradition.

Then I thought deeper.

And it occurred to me that,

…telling a lie became one of the hardest tasks in my life, and telling the truth became much easier.  And I realize it is a skill that many people would love to have, and you gave it to me ever since the day I could speak.

…I did not suffer Math like most my peers did in high school, and have scored up to Dad’s expectations most of the time.

…you only panic at the things that involve your family.  And how fortunate we are to be on the Number One on your list.

…it is because you were so tired from work, and from the multiple bedtime stories sessions that never seem to end.  You would read to me over and over just because I asked you to, and then you will allow me to read it over and over because I want to.  And then sometimes I’d ask you to sing me songs, and wondered why you never chose to become a singer with your heavenly voice.

…you were once a brilliant student.  And you had a chance to further your studies.  But due to family obligations, you had to give it up.  You never wanted the same for your children.

…my proficiency in English has taken me to great heights I never thought I’d be in.  Presentations and public speaking are now a breeze for me, much to the envy of my peers.

…I love music more than any other form of entertainment.  And I can make music with my fingers, and you also supported me when I wanted to learn the guitar.

…you never really made me do it.  Because you understood.

…I never have to worry about carrying myself in public.  There are courses on social etiquette for adults, but they are things I’ve learned since I was five.

…because I could find that balance, I could relate to a lot of people who are in the same situation as me.  People do not regard me as a fanatic, and they are willing to come to me if ever they want to know more.

And I thought even more about…

…the times when you would wake up early in the morning before 6 to prepare breakfast for me and fetch me to school.  And because it was too early for you to go into your office, you sleep in the car until the right time comes.

…the times when you would come home from work all tired, but you continue with your duty as a wife with all the chores and making sure we have our dinner on time.

…the times when you would personally come and fetch me home on Fridays even though you have to rush to your office after that, and buying me good lunch every time.

…the times when you would painstakingly quilt beautiful things for us with your hands and strained eyesight.

…the times that you still want to buy me expensive things even though you are no longer working, and how disappointed you would be whenever I said no.  I just want to let you know that it will be my turn next, to get you the things you want because I love you like that.

There are days when I would be angry at Life.  When things didn’t go my way, or when it throws too much crap at me.  And then I think, what if all I’ve mentioned above did not happen? It would’ve sucked even more.

I guess I just want to say, a big THANK YOU to you, mom.

Because of you, life becomes a little easier to live.

I love you, and Happy Mother’s Day.

_____________________________________________________________________________

Author’s note:  24 hours after this was published, I realized Mother’s Day isn’t til next week.  But that doesn’t change the content anyway.  🙂

Icy Irony

We come across ironic conversations all the time, but hardly remember them as soon as they’ve been said and laughed about.  Anyway, I happen to remember one that happened just few minutes ago during dinner – I have nothing against the person who said it, but it’s just such a rare moment where I actually remember the lines.

Just a brief description of the scenario, 8 of us at a cheap-but-awesome Chinese makan place.  And for some reason we were talking about ice cream. (note: This conversation took place in both Mandarin and English…Malaysian style.)

Friend 1: I like Baskin Robbins.

Friend 2: I think Haagen Dazs is better, though.

Me:  I agree, it’s not as sweet and it’s richer.

Friend 1: Yeah but I prefer Baskin Robbins.

Friend 3:  Aiyah, cannot say which is better lah.  Everyone is different.  It depends on the individual.

At this point I was about to agree with him and his un-stereotypical statement until…he continued…

Friend 3:  Old people prefer Haagen Dazs ma…

Me:  Old people?

I wasn’t offended.  Really, I was just confused how my friend could make me change my mind almost instantly. You know, one minute you’re nodding your head and next you go, “Eh?”

Friend 2:  He meant people with more mature taste…

And came the rebuttal.

Friend 3: Ya lah!  Mature means old lah!

=___=”‘

Here’s the thing: My little naive brain usually dissects irony on the spot, out loud.

Me:  But maturity has nothing to do with age…

Friend 2:  Aiyah, never mind lah, never mind lah.

And sometimes I forget not everyone can take it because one thing led to another and I think my friend got a bit offended.  To that friend of mine, I really didn’t mean to offend you.  Luckily I managed to smack my ego hard and let him have the last word because I realize nothing good can come out of arguing, especially when people’s minds are adamant on being right most of the time.  Someone’s gotta give in or else it won’t end, or worse things could happen.

Even if it’s just about ice cream.


“Shhh… They’re Sleeping.”

About 15 years ago…(gosh, so long already)…

“Mommy, look at this leaf!  It’s so pretty!”  The butterly-shaped leaves had always fascinated me, and they were abundant at the playground outside the apartment.  Sometimes I would pick up the dried ones that had fallen on the ground, but the green, fresh ones that are still attached have always looked so much nicer.

“Don’t pluck it!  It’s already late, the plants are already sleeping.  If you pluck the leaf, you’re going to wake them up.”  That was what my mom would always say.  Apparently, it only happens in the evenings.  That’s “bedtime” for the plants.  And I’ve always disliked anyone waking me up prematurely, so I guessed plants shared the same sentiments too.  So I’d let go of the leaf, give it a soft pat, as if saying ‘good night’ to it.

“Okay, it’s time to go home now.”

“But mommy, 5 more minutes?”

That was my most popular phrase.  Be it while I’m sleeping, playing, reading, anything at all.  I’ve always wanted more time.  My 5 minutes usually equaled to half an hour.

There was no specific time as to when ‘evening’ really was.  I didn’t know if it started at 5pm, or 7pm, or later.  But I knew when afternoon started.  Right at 12 pm.  And morning was obviously before that.  So I’d resume my little hobby in collecting leaves in the morning, at the same time fascinated by the morning dew drops on the water-proof surface.

————————————————————————————————————————————————–

About 10 years later…(when hormones start dancing)…

The one benificial thing about learning Science in school is that you get to bust myths.  At night, leaves aren’t actually asleep.  Because there’s no sun, photosynthesis (a process where plants use sunlight to make food) does not occur, so some leaves actually “close up” to prevent loss of moisture into the air.  I guess the more correct term would be “chilling”, which means they are probably watching TV or something.

I walked pass a tree with the same butterfly-shaped leaves, and even though I knew the truth, I left it alone.  Somewhere inside of me wanted to preserve that little habit – maybe it’s because I loved those times when mom would come to the playground to take me home.

————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Two days ago…

“Eh Vern!  You see!  The leaves are closed!  Yer!  Why like that wan?”

Mildred and I were walking home from dinner, and she couldn’t help but observe the trees around us.  I looked at them and saw the butterfly-shaped leaves closed and limped.  I couldn’t help but smile to myself.

“They’re sleeping, that’s why.”

Her eyes widened like a child who has just discovered something new.  She started examining every tree.

“Wah! Really?  I didn’t know that!  So they close when they sleep?”

I chuckled, “Yeah.  Happens everyday.  You’ve never seen it happen before?  So don’t pluck them okay, or else you’ll be disturbing them.”

“Oh is it??  I’ve never noticed it before!  So cannot pluck them hah?”  She was getting so excited it amused me.

I paused.  Eventually I asked, “You believe hah?”

More pauses.  And then…

“YEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!! You bluff me!!!”

I was laughing so loud I think people staying in the area heard me.  But Mildred wasn’t too keen on dropping the whole “sleeping” theory.

So we tested it out.

The two of us chose a tree, and then I started jumping like a mad person to hit one of the leaves in order to “wake them up”.  Which, of course, didn’t happen.

“You don’t remember your biology, do you?  There’s a reason why they close.”

“YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRR!!!!!!! I dowan friend you liau.  I hate biology.”

After a few “YER’s” and childhish comments, we both laughed it off and headed back to our rooms.

————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Until today, I still don’t pluck leaves in the evening, or at night.

Shhh… they’re sleeping.

Hello World.

helloworld.jpg

Every morning, do you decide which side of the bed you’d want to wake up from?  Would it be the one that contains the remnants of yesterday, the one you sighed about before you go to sleep at night, or would it be that unknown side that requires the courageous part of you?

As a student (and a very,very young adult), there are days when I want to stay right in bed and sleep the day away.  The thought of early morning classes, rushing deadlines, and all the quirks life never cease to surprise usually convince me that it’s safer under the blanket.  It’s usually about continuing where I have left off the day before – the mistakes I’ve made, unfinished homework, and the little bit of good left that I want to preserve as long as I can, you know, the happy things.

Not all days are like that.  You know those times when you’ve dreamed of very exciting things the night before just to wake up forgetting every single detail even though your heart was beating fast and you’re all hyped up for a reason you totally cannot remember?   Some days are like that.  When matters that have happened yesterday are left nothing but a blur.   Good things or bad things the same.  Feeling a bit empty yet motivated at the same time, I look forward to the next 24 hours with no expectations.  I finish one task after another with no complaints, and try to slot in something exciting and fun in between whenever possible.

I’ve been trying to practice a little something a friend recommended me to do.  Before bedtime, I think of a list of things to be grateful for the day.  From small things like a good lunch to big things like great weather and friends, this little habit eventually leads me to look forward to all the good things everyday – to a point where I’m able to see past the unfortunate events and unravel the blessings in disguise.

Of course, it’s easier said than done.  It’s only human to feel, sad or happy.  Sometimes life throws its smelliest crap at us and we’re all afraid to face the day again.  There are days when we feel defeated, weak, and it seems almost impossible for us to get that one win we are desperate for.  And mind you, negative vibes are as contagious as positive, cheery ones.  But that’s nothing to feel guilty about.  It’s just like flu, but only those who aren’t afraid of your germs, and know that they’re strong enough for you will stick around to make sure you’re okay.

We have to remember though, flu goes away eventually. That’s when we clear the mucus infected tissues, hankies, change a new spread, throw the blanket into the washing machine, smile to ourselves and say, “It’s going to be a good day.”

I have a test tomorrow, and for the few weeks to come leading to my exam finals. Projects have just come in, more assignments, and like what my friends would say, it’s that time of the semester again. And then, the holidays. The difference between today and my holidays are just the things I have to and want to do. Still 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, unpredictable weather (literally and figuratively speaking) and a new multiple choice evaluation sheet on the same question, “Is this a good day?”

Everyday, my friend, is a choice for the brave.

Have a great week ahead.  It’s possible.