twinkle twinkle little star

Very random thought that must be penned down. 😀

Now, this does not happen always, but a tiny light bulb just light up in my mind regarding the nursery rhyme above. It could just be the simplest and earliest love song that kids first learn. Here’s my interpretation:

Twinkle twinkle little star
 You are like a little star, shining so brightly in my life, especially with your twinkling eyes.

How I wonder what you are
I would like to get to know you better.

Up above the world so high
In my world ( heart ), you hold the topmost spot.

Like a diamond in the sky
You are my precious and you shine the brightest in my life.

Twinkle twinkle little star
Oh, my dear…

How I wonder what you are
Let me get to know you better.

 

Since it is a nursery rhyme, the theme and interpretation fits perfectly with a parent’s love. Were you thinking of someone while reading the interpretation? :p

under the weather

So many things happened while I was away! Sorry for the long delay ><

Firstly, I overexerted myself by being too active. I was pretty out and about, attending a Buddhist society’s puja and dharma talk, catching up with old friends, exploring Planetshaker’s concert, etc. There was even a week where I exercised a lot: swimming on Mon, pilates+gym on Tues and then badminton on Thurs. Okay, we skip Wednesday but I really need a breather. There was some sickness circulating in the office as many colleagues fell ill and I, too succumb to it. It was a rough week as I have not been this sick for the longest time. Thankfully, I still manage to drive myself to the clinic with fever ( 38.1 C ). Not that bad, but not very pleasant. To top it all off, it was a grey, drizzling day and I couldn’t be bothered to take an umbrella. It was already a lot of effort to carry my own weight.

Long story short, I recovered just in time for Chinese New Year and then conveniently fell sick again after. Such a pain! It was so dreadful, feeling lethargic and having to endure the sore throat at work. I just wanted to go home and sleep it off. Actually, sleeping wasn’t really comfortable too.Every position was not comfortable and my headache makes me sigh. Once, I gave a loud sneeze and the headache concentrated on just my right side of the head. I can really feel my body battling away through the night. Thankfully, I’m almost well now. Haha – I’m done ranting about my sickness.

Moving on, we have 7 new interns and 3 full time employees joining the department. It’s a lot of fun trying to remember their names and faces and getting to know them. I’m assigned to guide one of them and this will be my third time. So far, so good! As usual, I suffered through some anxieties and distress again over my perceived incompetence and lack of knowledge but I didn’t hang on to it. I just ignored and let it go. It was really hard but I am glad I managed to handle it satisfactorily. Fake it till you make it, they say. I’m trying, whenever I remember. :p

As I struggle with the latest challenging task, I find myself reflecting a lot on what I want to do and what I need to let go. You can only identify what you really need or what needs to be done when you are put in an uncomfortable position. Get out of your comfort zone, they say. I’m still insecure about taking the next step – because – I don’t know which direction I should go. But it became more or less clearer that I need to move on. I want to be energized and excited about my work and contribute to society in some meaningful way. What skill set do I need? Am I in this position because I was too lazy or too disinterested? Am I wasting my youth away hiding behind the monitor, engaging in virtual fantasies and just observing other people’s lives?

On a lighter note, I completed my first book of the year. Yay! It’s A Little History of Philosophy by Nigel Warburton. It essentially just presents the general ideas and thoughts by philosophers of all time in 40 chapters. Some are interesting whereas some are quirky. Even though I am fascinated, I still find it hard to complete it. I still prefer stories though I appreciate gaining a tiny bit of knowledge from this book.

And…that’s all about me for now. Next will be a review of Sherlock Holmes. 🙂

Happy New Year

Happy New Year folks!

2016 was a sad year and yet, a year of growth. I fell into a pit of despair and slowly learned to pick myself up. It was a very difficult phase in life because, I don’t really want anybody’s help and yet there are times when I really want to just depend on someone. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and with time, I am back to normal. At least, most of the time, I am. 🙂

The last few days of 2016 was pretty relaxing. Many colleagues took leave and the office felt very cold but we were very relaxed. Zan played the guitar with the chords from PC while I sang during lunch time. Then, we also celebrated the December and January babies’ birthday. That was fun! :p

On New Year’s Eve, I attended my friend’s hotpot + board games event.I met 2 people who worked for the Star’s R.A.G.E. segment and enjoyed listening to their stories while covering the “Predator in my phone” project. It is basically a project which exposes how sexual predators lure young girls into having sexual activities with them via mobile chat apps such as weChat. There is this part of the interaction where they ‘groom’ the girls to be more curious and comfortable with the idea. The journalists posed as young girls in the chat app and met up with some of these predators to learn how they operate and these meetings are secretly filmed. I have watched these videos and it is indeed shocking and terrifying to learn the truth. Go watch it if you have not!

Sorry for digressing but I find that very important. Anyway, back to the board games! The hotpot was delicious but I really enjoyed the games more as there were more interaction. We played Cards Against Humanity ( tsk tsk :p ), Resistance and Saboteur. Resistance is similar to Mafia except that everyone gets to play in every round whereas the dead in Mafia has no more role. My team won in the first round, despite my naivety. The second round was really bad because I heavily accused an innocent and defended the bad one. And my team lost. The horror! I cannot imagine if that happens in real life. Oh well! When we next play Saboteur ( another similar game ), I restrained myself from getting too excited. It was a pretty cool evening overall, something different than the usual New Year celebrations.

On New Year’s Day itself, I attended a friend’s church, a Methodist church. I enjoyed listening to the sermon because it was very animated. There is the pastor, and the translator. The pastor would speak in Chinese whereas the translator translates it to English. At times, it felt like they were both rapping because the pastor would speak really fast and energetically as he delivers his points and the translator translates with the same energy and pace.  It happened to be a Holy Communion event too so I got to witness them ‘eating bread and drinking wine’. In short, it was pretty cool.

Then, there is also another incident where two friends were playing chess. One lost his Queen and he was trying really hard to get her back that he lost his focus on the actual game goal: to checkmate the opponent’s King. This reminded me of the sayings where women are the cause of dynasty downfalls, etc. How apt! Somehow, the game mimics what I watch on television. Kekeke.

Lastly, how can we not talk about New Year resolutions? I have quite a few – the simplest is to read 17 books this year. The theme for this year is to get out of my comfort zone. I also wish to look for a Buddhist community where I can attend dhamma talks, join meditation sessions and retreats as well as meeting other fellow Buddhist practitioners. Fortunately, I found one pretty nearby so I will go check it out this Sunday. As if by chance, I met an old Buddhist friend earlier today who would like to go with me this Sunday too.

Sadhu, sadhu, sadhu. =)

Singing All Along

Recently, I have been watching this Chinese drama titled ‘Singing All Along’ (秀丽江山之长歌行) produced by and starred by Ruby Lin. Although I only started around episode 18 or so because my parents were watching it, I found myself slowly engrossed in it as well.

At its core, it is a romance period drama set in the midst of a chaotic world in 1st century imperial China. Hence, there are a lot of fighting and military jargon as well as political conflicts. The characters are mostly centered around the Imperial College students who has the same goal to revive the Han Dynasty and make the world peaceful again. Here, we are introduced to some of the powerful / important / noble families such as the Yin and Deng families and the Liu clan ( direct descendants of Emperor Gaozu ) who seem to exist in every province.

lihua-liuxiu
Li Hua x Liu Xiu

Our leading male character is Liu Xiu ( court name Wenshu ), the simple peasant who slowly rose to be a powerful figure due to circumstances and necessity whereas our leading female character is Yin Li Hua ( court name Yin Ji ), a strong personality with a deep interest in martial arts, swordplay and military tactics. Both of them are childhood sweethearts who literally went through thick and thin and sacrificed a lot before they can be together. From them, I learned a little bit about what it means to truly love someone. No matter what happened, they always have faith in each other and understand each others intentions although the world may not. Most importantly, they only have eyes for each other against all odds. In a world filled with so many distractions, wealth and beauty, it is easy to be swayed. But not our favorite couple, whose famous line in the series “If I were to marry,  I will only marry Yin Li Hua” becomes a recurring reminder and oath of Liu Xiu’s love for Li Hua.Their love story can probably be summed up as “Love endures”.

yinshi
Yin Shi – slightly younger looking than the actual look on screen

Besides them, love is also represented in multiple facets via the other supporting characters. One of the other major love theme is familial love. This is represented much so by Li Hua’s half elder brother, Yin Shi. Bearing the sole responsibility as the male patriarch of the Yin family after his father’s death, Yin Shi has been unwavering in preserving the family’s dignity and protecting his family members. His task is super challenging and though we may get annoyed with him at times for his strictness, we really appreciate his efforts and help in supporting Li Hua all the way. He even sacrificed his own happiness for the sake of maintaining peaceful relations between the Yin and Deng family. He is one elder brother whom we all admire and can really count on.  T_T

litong
Li Tong

Another love theme which should be mentioned is unconditional love. This is probably one of the most sincere love one can ever give to another. It is not about getting what you want, or having your feelings reciprocated. It is about giving your all to ensure that your loved one is safe and happy. This is demonstrated by Li Tong ( court name Ciyuan ), who sees the good in Liu Boji ( Liu Xiu’s younger sister )and loves her despite her petty and childish behavior. He is always patient with her and treats her with loving kindness, and would willingly give up his life for her. His sincerity and devotion is truly admirable and incomparable.

Besides love values, I also learn quite a few other things. For instance, the Chinese values. Throughout the drama, the characters can roughly be divided into two kinds: The honorable and the dishonorable ones. The honorable characters are usually morally upright and virtuous in their thought, speech and conduct. On the other hand, the dishonorable characters tend to be shifty, scheming and scandalous. Part of the internal conflicts faced by the honorable characters are usually caused by their responsibility to protect the family/clan’s pride and to focus on their goal in achieving world peace. Furthermore, being respectful and loyal to one’s parents, elders, authorities and the emperor is like an internal compass drilled into their very bones. Ranks, titles and relations play an important role in upgrading or degrading one’s status in society as well. This can be acquired via promotion or via marriage. This is also the first time I watch a coming-of-age ceremony where one is formally acknowledged as an adult and is given a court name ( secondary name ). Therefore, it is quite fun learning the various characters’ real names and court names. An honorable mention goes to Feng Yi ( court name Gong Sun – i think ). He is the most reliable and well-respected men / general among all.  Ever loyal and kind, his gentle ways and forthright attitude makes him truly a rare gem. 🙂

gongsun
Feng Yi aka Gong Sun

Last but not least, I slowly picked up some Chinese characters. While I listened and read the English subtitles, my eyes glossed over the Chinese subtitles as well. I try to recognize some of the Chinese characters and remember them whenever I can. The opening and ending song are powerful ballads which are pleasant to my ears. Thankfully, the meaning of every lyric is shown as well though I do not quite understand some of its poetical lines. However, it is still a pleasure to slowly consider the significance of the metaphors used.

Overall, it is a captivating drama which does not waste time and scenes. Every character mentioned has a specific role and every line delivers a point. Plus points for everyone looking so youthful despite their actual age being over 30!!! I get to see another Kazakh ethnic lady again, with the role of Ding Rou played by her. Though this is only a fictional tale based on a novel, I enjoyed the action, thriller scenes and touching moments. Can’t wait to finish it!

the first step

Christmas is coming soon and I’ve started listening to Christmas songs again. As usual, Silent Night’s my favorite! I’m really looking forward to my office’s Christmas party where we’ll feast on delicious food and (hopefully) play games ( Mafia )!  =)

Coincidentally, I also got the chance to help out in a church event. Actually, it just so happened that the program that I wanted volunteer in was taking part in the church event so I ended up attending the Christmas Carnival. Short story: One day I was feeling really down and I was pouring my heart out to DCSY and by the end of the long rant, she suggested that I try out volunteering. I am open to that idea and thus, she recommended me to a fellow friend who is running a volunteer program under Malaysian Care – Bumblebee.

Volunteering in this event is like my first official move in getting out of my comfort zone. I was thinking, for 2017 – my theme will be ‘Getting Out of My Comfort Zone’. One of my plan is to do volunteer work. Therefore, by a stroke of luck, this volunteer event became the first volunteer work – and it is not even 2017 yet! It’s a great warm up activity!  =p

The church location is about 25 mins drive from where I stay and it is in a totally new environment with people I have never met before. This really fits the theme of getting out of my comfort zone. So, initially, I did not know that the Bumblee program was taking part in the church event. I just assumed that it was a church event and someone should know my supervisor. Hence, it came as a surprised when nobody knew who my supervisor was. Fortunately, someone knew what was going on, and my supervisor came with his truck of books and games! I met 2 other Malaysian Care people who welcomed me and made me feel that I am really in the right place.They were mostly Mandarin speaking which struck me. What if I can’t get along?  This language issue has somewhat consistently bug me ( especially when I am in a new situation ) but I just went along. It all went well in the end though, with me speaking in Mandarin and occasional English words to fill in.

My task was to man one of the games booth – where we’ll play Angry Birds and Tic Tac Toe. Honestly, Angry Bird is a crowd-favorite of all time! Kids and adults alike find it interesting and addictive. We had an Angry Bird catapult( made from recycle items) where you put one of the ‘angry birds’ and then you try to flip it into one of the plastic pots. It was really creative. We set it up on the table with 3 Angry Bird soft toys as deco. It was an instant hit! The kids were all scrambling to play them and it was quite tough trying to get them to queue and to pick up the fallen Angry Birds. Then, I forgot to keep track of how many times they attempted because I need to tell them to stop and give way to the other kids waiting in line. Oh, the dilemma! Also, the kids come in groups. It’s either no one or they all come together! Time passes pretty fast and I had a lot of fun picking up the fallen Angry Birds and cheering for the kids who practiced persistently.

There was a time where I thought the proud daddy is trying to video his kid’s attempt and was disappointed when I realized he was just replying his texts. Bummer! I haven’t been around young children for a very long time so it was pretty refreshing. They are so innocent and have only one goal in mind, which is to play! There is a kid who takes her time choosing which Angry Bird to catapult and slowly experimenting using different forces. I can’t help but to think, maybe this kid will be a scientist some day.

Games aside, I tried out the other games as well and it is quite remarkable how one can make simple games using recycled stuff. There is one where two 1.5L bottles are taped together with small balls inserted inside. The goal is to make the balls flow from one bottle to the other in the fastest time. It looks really easy but it is in fact very tiring.  There is a technique to shaking the bottle so that the balls will fall out and my arms tired out after a while. Time passes by really fast and it is then lunch time! We had nasi lemak with spicy sambal sotong and delicious ayam kunyit. It was then time to go and I get to bring back the Christmas Santa Hat ( ho ho ho ). All in all, a great volunteer experience! =)

Notable November

And I did it again! Not writing for a month. Well, I like to write when I got the feels and the time is right. Just like now. I wanted to go somewhere but suddenly I just feel like I really need to pour my heart out.

November is beginning to stand out as one of the more memorable ( momentous ) months in the year. Ignoring other years, the past November has been nothing short of exceptional.

The first Sunday itself was life changing. I won’t say much except that, I begin to understand some life truths and empathize more. A lot of of the inspirational quotes we often read are merely sentences until we truly understand the depth of it. I really hope that I can internalize what I feel and live life with no regrets. As they said, everyone dies but not everyone truly live.

Moving on, I had an exciting Monday night where the moon was its largest. We celebrated our high school friend’s birthday at Naughty Nuri’s and it was fantastic! They have this mini dance/shake if you ordered a Martini and also for the birthday person. The energy level was high and I was really enjoying the vibe and the atmosphere. When I reflected back on the mini dance/shake, I will be filled with lots of fun energy and it is hard to control myself from not doing a mini shake myself. :p

My parents and aunt also came over and I finally, successfully brought them to Taman Botani Perdana. A win! It is a beautiful and well-kept garden where families and anyone can spend time together. It’s free and is huge, which can accommodate many people. My mom and aunt were excited to see the vegetables at the Edible Garden. That’s probably the only place la. We saw a squirrel too as well as beautiful orchids and not forgetting, the magnificent Sunken Garden. I got bitten by a few mosquitoes but it was worth it!

Something worth noting as well: I tried wearing something different! Discarding my usual T-Shirts and jeans, I tried on this different top and wore leggings with it. Luckily, the outcome looked okay and it felt comfortable too. Because I was shy, I might have said some rather not-s0-nice lines but I think that’s okay. Something to learn not to do the next round. After all, if I just kept to my normal routine, I will never learn.

The finale to November has to be my friend’s wedding in Singapore. It is my second time as jimui ( bridesmaid ). It is not my wedding but I still feel anxious, mainly because I will be doing a lot of things outside of my comfort zone. I can now gladly say that I did it! Weddings have always been just a ceremony to me but this time, I think I am passed that phase. It was wonderful that I managed to catch up with some old friends, and also grabbed the chance to visit Gardens By the Bay at night as well as the Pokemon Exhibition at Sentosa and explore the S.E.A. Aquarium too! Sometimes,  I do wish that I reached this mental understanding earlier, preferably 10 years ago but as they say, better late than never. What I can do now is to be grateful for all the kind occurrences that have happened in my life and continue to strive to be the best that I can be.

Which includes taking more chances and getting out of my comfort zone! Time will continue to tick, even if I do nothing. With that, I welcome December, and hope to make the most of the remaining 2016 days. Aja aja fighting!!! XD

the silver linings behind the cloud

Boo! Halloween is coming soon. I have no costumes to wear but I don’t mind. =)
It’s not like we celebrate Halloween here anyway and I’ve already tried making Jack ‘O Lanterns and dressing up. =p

Anyway, the past week has been steady.  It might not sound like much, but I did accomplish a few small wins. I read and completed the fourth book in the Time Quintet series, Many Waters. The content surprised me because it was pretty adult-ish. I learned a few things as usual from this series. This time, I learned about Seraphims and Nephilims. Also, how people living in the desert in the past lived. Pretty fascinating, I would say.

Besides that, I completed Ore Monogatari as well. It is a really sweet innocent anime about young love, first love, kind love. I wish my world has more people like Takeo and Suna. Then  again, I should be like them to if I wanna meet / attract more people like them, eh? =)

At work, it has been pretty challenging. I have 2 main tasks hovering above me while I need to do support duty. Somehow, I really let support duty take over and tend to sidetrack the main task. Luckily, I have awesome project coworkers who steps in to save the day. Not to mention, one of them is super awesome and it makes me ponder if I can ever reach that level. My thoughts were coming at me like the bullet train, some negative and I managed to calm my mind down and focus on the task ahead. We paired programmed, I supposed. I managed to contribute something, so yay!

This was a super tired week too, so I was well prepared. I knew I am at a vulnerable state and thus I made sure I controlled my thoughts. Many times, it wanted to break free and scatter horrible, unpleasant and depressing ideas into my head but I held it firmly and let it pass. I kept reminding myself about the 2nd noble truth – suffering is caused by cravings, attachments. I knew I have to let it go. So thankfully, I managed to hold myself together and sleep peacefully. I sure hope these muscles grow stronger each day and I can be more emotionally stable and intelligent.

On top of that, a high school friend’s dad passed away. I attended the funeral. Even though I am not close to the family and do not know her dad, I felt like crying when I see their red tear-stricken faces. I looked away and composed myself. I am grateful my parents are still alive.  Like, really. Sometimes, I am afraid of getting sick, growing old, and dying. I still haven’t get back to meditate. Have been putting that off. Random but I was chatting with a friend and I said, “I am lost in my worldly life but I am in tune with my spiritual life.” I am stunned at my audacity in saying that. Partially true maybe. Or definitely true? First part – yes. The world still confuses me and I tread lightly, sometimes I forget and I get hurt. But spiritually….why did I say I am in tune? I do know what i should do, and the concepts. I just didn’t do much of it. I haven’t lost sight of it yet, so that’s a good sign. I’m glad that I still automatically say ‘Sadhu sadhu sadhu’ when something good happens ( occasionally ) or like when I killed a mosquito. But during the funeral, I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t think Sadhu is an appropriate word in a funeral.

Lastly, I went and hang out with a semi-new set of friends. Not exactly new because there are some old friends but one of them is new. I don’t quite know how to put it, but it was fun I guess. We are readers so we hung out for a bit in a book store and while I loved to recommend some books, I found myself tongue-tied. The words couldn’t form in my brain. Damn it! I do wish to improve my deterioration in communicating my thoughts. So, here I am writing blog posts after blog posts, hoping to regain back my former writing glory and hone my penmanship. I still don’t have a pen name! We went swimming too and I ended up having ice-cream from the uncle who sells ice-cream on motor. Standing there, licking the ice-cream, and casually talking with them, is a different kind of feeling. As usual, I can’t put it down into words. The good thing was, I wasn’t thinking of leaving.

On a final note, I watched Dr Strange with my colleagues last Friday. It was excellent.

Actually, I have one more. This week has also been about two pairs of eyes. Both are shining so bright and they bring so much joy and life to the people around them. It’s funny because I usually only notice one pair but lately, the other pair has been steadily commanding my attention. I feel happy / contented when I look into them and I wish that my eyes can also give others the same feeling. Good night!