I Miss My Camera

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I took this with my 2-mp camera on my cellphone.  It’s something I used to do before I got myself one decent camera.

And lately, I’ve been so bogged down with work, telling stories in words seems like a chore nowadays.  I never thought I’d be tired of churning text and words, but I am.  Perhaps, some might say that I’m not a real writer after all – a wannabe, or simply a bored young adult.  Maybe they’re right.

My camera’s in KL right now, it was supposed to be sent for a mini check-up because of one problematic button, but it has stayed there for months now.  I haven’t had a chance to use it all semester, and now, especially when I need one shot to paint that thousand words, I really miss it.  I’ve borrowed decent cameras from my friends, and though mine is nothing compared to theirs – they still cannot provide that sense of comfort that I have when I’m using mine.  Like seasoned, worn out shoes.

I’m tired of digging my old photo archives, or put up noisy, pixelated shots.

There has been so many great sunsets lately, but I can’t make them last.

Forgive Me, For I Have Sinned

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In response to Ilene’s comment in the previous post, indeed the Kookymonsta has received endless pampering since she got home.  Mom’s so-called ‘failed experiment’ has been nothing but a ‘melts in your mouth, not in your hands’, delicious, mouth-watering chocolate mudcake.  OK, so the top looks all cracked up like how dry cracked mud would look like, but let not the looks deceive you.  It’s the best part of the cake.  I couldn’t stop nibbling them off bit by bit just to taste its crunchiness that turns into a rich texture while being chewed.

And I’ve been sleeping at the oddest hours, for the longest hours.  As if I’m suffering jetlag from a place that is only a 2-hour drive away.

To make me look worse, my dad has just returned from Mt Everest.  Yes, the Everest.  He didn’t go all the way to the peak, but he did reach the base camp, which mind you, takes several more mountains to get there.  My mom said he came home with only skin and bones, and while it was definitely one of his greatest accomplishments, my dad swore never to go back there again.  At the age of 50 plus, my dad’s the fittest member of the family.  Since he doesn’t keep a blog or a journal about his journeys, I just want to boast a little bit on his behalf.  He has climbed Mt Kinabalu, The Pinnacles at Mulu, The Volcano Mountains in Indonesia, and probably every mountain/hill you can possibly imagine in the country.

My brother followed my dad for a short hike yesterday evening, and I could only guess he let his old man outshine him.  Big time.

Which is why I didn’t follow.  Waha.

Here’s a photo of my pa at Nepal, with a few of the many mountains behind him.  That wasn’t Everest – he didn’t get shots when he was up there because the battery of his camera froze due to the extreme weather.

everestdad

My brother and I have been telling our friends about our dad’s adventure as if it were our own, only because we’re really proud of him.  And we don’t have such extreme stories to share about ourselves anyway.  And for once, I have really cool desktop wallpapers of the icy landscapes of the mountains that is NOT taken from National Geographic or any other photography websites.

Oh yes, in case you haven’t noticed, this is a new theme for the site.  I’ve been working and tweaking it for awhile now, but couldn’t upload it due to bad internet at campus and my version of WordPress was outdated.  And finally, I’ve got around to it.  I know most of us are complaining that Streamyx is slow, but when you’ve gone through the internet back in my campus, you’ll appreciate Streamyx for what it is.

And so you can see, I’ve been overindulging, neglecting my fitness level until my parents are overtaking mine.

I. must. repent.

It’s time to hit the big park outside my house.

Where The Heart Is…

They came a little late.  Usually they’d arrive about two weeks earlier, but this time they made us wait.

Their arrival is the most-sought after for every boy and girl who have worked so hard to earn that little bit of luxury – you don’t know how much we slaved away just to await this day.

Yesterday, they came knocking on our doors.  Well, maybe not every door, some were reached a day or two later.  I’m glad they came on time to mine.  I could almost taste freedom.

I woke up at 12.15pm today, in my own comfy bed, in the house I’ve lived in for more than 10 years.

Yessir, the mid-sem holidays have arrived.

15.03.09

15.03.09: Before.

“It’s your turn.”

That phrase was echoed over and over in my little crowded mind like a hamster on a running wheel. My stomach was doing back flips, and my heart felt compelled to do the same. I looked around and saw hopeful faces and occasionally I felt a pat on my shoulders.

Wait a minute. What was this fear that I’m feeling?

Suddenly, that single phrase morphed into a series of questions. What if it’s not real? What if it was just another elaborated story? What if what I thought was fiction, is really fiction after all? What kind of a lost fantasy have I gotten myself into? What if things don’t work out?

I felt nauseous. I needed reassurance. I spoke to a close friend, and asked as much as I possibly could without revealing my true intentions.

And then, like a surge of electricity, I found myself walking down memory lane. The times when things were good, the times when things have always worked out – from the years before to just a few hours ago. I came back to the present and was staring at my own two feet.

I must be crazy to be afraid. I’ve always wanted this for so long. Years. And now I’m getting cold feet? Is this how marriage feels like? Not the walking down the aisle part, but the thought of lifelong commitment would scare any normal person away.

But I’m in love. A love that is too real to be ignored.

And that should be enough.

I stepped forward.

*******

15.03.09: During.

Have you ever closed your eyes, just to see a dark void in front of you? When there’s no Imagination running through, nor thoughts, or dreams and memories. Or even a face.

I have.

And that was what I saw too, at first. I reached out my hands, hoping that I might feel or touch something, someone. I kept searching and searching. I was afraid this would happen.

But it wasn’t surprising, really. Being the broken person that I am, the screwed up things I’ve said and done, I was bound to be searching in darkness. Heck, I might even have to be on my knees and beg for just a glimmer of spark. I heard myself utter a few sentences that my ego and pride have been trying to refrain me from saying.

“I’m sorry. I love you. And I want you.”

Silence. I knew it was absolutely noisy outside, but all I heard at that moment was silence.

Like a fade-in postcard, I saw a garden. It looked like any ordinary garden that would fascinate no one including me, but I felt something. A tinge of warmth, and heavy load being lifted off my shoulders.

And then I saw it.

This is where I’m at a lost to describe something in words. But imagine a ball of soft light. It radiates nothing else but joy. And it kept coming closer and closer to me.

I didn’t have to reach it. It just settled in my hand, as though it has finally come home.

I heard a voice. It’s saying something I don’t quite understand. But it was a familiar language. It’s as though I’ve heard it before, and though I couldn’t match each syllable with the vocabulary I know, I knew the underlying intentions beneath the mumbles.

I felt someone leaning close to me, and as strange as it was, I thought I felt vigorous nods from that person. And then I heard someone said, “Oh my goodness, I feel like crying now.”

It was then I realize that the person who was speaking the foreign language was me.

*******

15.03.09: After.

How?

Why?

A conflict of emotions, I felt an odd sense of overwhelming happiness, yet at the same time, so unworthy of such blessing. I doubted and questioned. And now I’ve been given the Truth – right to the very bottom of my soul.

No one owed me an explanation.

No one owed me Love.

No one owed me the Truth.

But because I asked, I was given.

And that was enough to bring me to tears.

I think I now know how the prodigal son felt the day he returned home.

Someone handed me a tissue, or two. I opened my eyes and saw smiles on the face of my loved ones. And then one of them shouted, “GROUP HUG!!” I was being suffocated and sandwiched in the midst of loving arms, as though I’ve just won something.

Wait. I did. Victory is in my hands.

I lost the number of times I said “Thank you”, and I was rather amused at how happy the people around me were. They’ve gone through what I did, maybe in a different way, but they understood that joy. I could see it in their faces. They were a reflection of mine.

Just as what one of them told me, “I could sense joy the moment I touched you. It came from you.”

15.03.09, I embarked on a whole new journey. I can’t see too far into the future, but I know it will not be different than the one I’m already on now. It will still be filled with ups and downs, trials and temptations ahead. But I guess, I’m a little bit more well-equipped.

Because as of 15.03.09, I’ve been baptized in the name of the Holy Spirit.

*******

Author’s Note: I know I rarely write about my spiritual journey except in the church blog, but yesterday was too good a day to be forgotten.  It’s a love story in its own right.

Oh, and below was the song that was being sung right before the baptism.  I couldn’t stop humming the song all day today!

Times of refreshing,
Here in Your presence.
There’s no greater blessing,
Than being with You.

My soul is restored,
My mind is renewed.
There’s no greater joy Lord,
Than being with You.

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”
2 Corinthians 4:17, NIV

A Little Bit Of Space and Randomness

It has only been a week since I updated my last entry but it does feel like it has been forever.  Most probably it’s because I found something that crawls slower than a snail: The campus internet.  Anyway, I have nothing artsy-fartsy or some ‘complete piece’ to report, but merely jottings of random things that have happened over the past 7 days.  Things that I just want to remember and some be grateful for.

  • Online homework.  It sounds really cool, to complete and submit your assignments online, no?  As mentioned, because the internet has been sluggish (slower than dial-up, and more inconsistent than the government),  me and my friends had to drive all the way to Batu Gajah’s KFC, bought ourselves a drink as an excuse to use its wireless facility.  Yes, we’re all pretty annoyed with the fact that we can’t even have a decent chat conversation without disconnecting over and over, but I’m actually quite thankful for the fact that I have coursemates who would kindly drive us out to complete our work.
  • I made a new friend who came all the way from Hope Melbourne.
  • Learned a bit of Hakka.  “Cho ma kai?”  Waha.
  • I am extremely grateful for: 
  • the three red cars that drove pass me on Friday, 
  • the mysterious flying blanket,
  • Sabah coffee,
  • a postponed quiz,
  • delivered dinner,
  • God’s reassurance,
  • and really really great friends.  Don’t have to wonder why, it’s just something I want to take note and remember.
  • We had a really fun time during CG (Care Group/Cell Group) – Witton sang out-of-tune, Christon was smoking, Yen Pinng spreaded rumors, Jenny lost her Adidas, Nike and Fila, my Milo wouldn’t run and my Nestum needs birth-control.  Yes, go figure.  LOL.  =D
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  • We painted the new church on Saturday!  The coolest part was to see designs done on the computer being transported onto the wall.  Thanks, team!  =)

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  • We had our last Sunday service at the old church – I’m gonna miss that little green building!
  • It’s a really busy week.  Assignments, quizzes, labs, and a test. 
  • I’ve been craving for a good swim.  And Pizza Hut chicken wings.
  • I miss Mom, Dad, Jane, Xing Ni, Richard and Mei Le.

Although I’ve been constantly up and about, I’m beginning to understand that whoever who fixed 24 hours in a day knew what he or she was doing from the start.  There are days when I’d fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow but guess what?  Through it all, I’m happy and content.  You see the photo below?  That’s one of the walls of the new church that we painted.  It’s probably a little ‘senget’, but that doesn’t make the words any less meaningful.  

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It quotes, from Romans 12:12, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”  

Amen.  =)

Ramblings on a Thursday Afternoon

I wrote a chunk of this on my Facebook – guess I’ll just write a little bit more.

It’s scary to realize how dependent I am on electronic gadgets. My laptop has been sent for repair, and in my line of work, my laptop is as vital to me as a needle is to a tailor. I use it to weave artwork and websites, store my ideas and documents – it’s like a part of me that lives outside of me. 

And the mobile phone too. Phone numbers, messages, reminders, alarm clock and the occasional internet browsing makes it almost impossible for me to be apart from that nifty little thing for more than 24 hours.

A couple days back, I felt like a kid again. I had no laptop, and due to some reasons I had to lend my mobile phone to my brother. It was purely pen and paper, sketching and planning my work.  For those who constantly challenge me with “I bet you cannot live without your gadgets for more than a day.” –  I managed two days.

I was so bored I pranced around the living room of the house, started to pick up bits and pieces of paper on the floor, put the books back where they belong, arranging CDs that eventually I was almost spring cleaning the living room. The broom was unfortunately wet due to a small leak in the kitchen, otherwise I would’ve swept the hall as well. And probably even mop the floor too.

And then I also had more time to think and read. I sat down in the cosy reading room thinking about what December has in store, and the month after and how it’d be like when school reopens. Reading? “The Missing Manual of Macromedia Dreamweaver CS3”. It’s bigger than the fifth Harry Potter book but I found it just as interesting. Gone are the days when I was able to tick off the fiction books on my reading list. I don’t even have a reading list now!

But I would really like to read “90 Minutes in Heaven”. I’d buy it if it wasn’t so expensive. It’s expensive now because a lot was splurged into the “Missing Manual” book. Perhaps a few rounds to Borders would allow me to finish it – just like what I did when I was engrossed in “The Prestige”.

The mobile phone is back, but unfortunately not the laptop which really worries me because I have so many deadlines to catch. Bro has been really kind to let me use his – a take-turns kind of thing. Thank God for brothers.

I’m not sure if it’s time to invest in a new laptop. Based on the damage my laptop has… I wonder how much I’d be spending for repair.  But it’s not exactly a good time to be spending so much money either, heck, I’m even having second thoughts on getting the iPod Touch.  For those of you who often have this misconception about me, let me clear things up:  I am not rich.  And I am very frugal when it comes to spending.  What I possess today didn’t come from a “I-like-what-I-see” basis.  Everything I own are bought with careful consideration and you cannot imagine the pang of guilt I feel each time my family gets me something even though they try very hard to convince me that I deserve what I get.  

OK, I need to get back to work – seems like my co-designer needs a bit of help.  Will write something more constructive next time.  Like I said, these are just ramblings on a Thursday afternoon.

The Curious Incident of a Vaio

Do you know what is worse than having your laptop crash on you, and having to wait for almost 28 days for it to come home?

To have it crash again in less than 12 hours.  No, not even 24.

One of the few things I tested when I got my laptop back was the speakers.  Before it died on me the previous time the speakers were choking as though it was gasping for its last breath.  This time, it was still choking.  I was rather disappointed that the service center would have overlooked this matter.  However, since I desperately need my laptop to catch on my deadlines, I thought I could leave that matter be first, so I progressed to the more important stuff.

I was installing the updates for my Windows, and the necessary stuff (Windows Messenger, GTalk, Firefox, etc) and I wasn’t even close to installing the softwares like Adobe and Microsoft yet, and suddenly my Internet Explorer closed on me and wouldn’t restart.  I thought, hey, maybe I should restart my computer and see.  Perhaps the Vaio needs a bit of a warm-up.  

It wouldn’t wake up.

Yes.  Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.

I am officially pissed.