Monday, July 21, 2014

Back to blogging

It's been ages since I've blogged.

With the rise of social media, I thought that all I needed to say would go on to Facebook, or Twitter (actually, I couldn't care much about Twitter). But really, blogging seems to appeal to me more these days. It's like, therapy for the mind, because I'm not limited to a certain amount of characters, or I don't feel guilty that I'm spamming everybody's wall with text.

And given that I type faster than I write, this is like a online diary of sorts, a catalogue of thoughts. And gee, how much I've grown from uni days! Then, it was about uni, friends, then the whole laughable experience of interviews, then finding a job and being so girly excited about that.

Now it's all about weddings, funerals, families and babies.

Politics. Allah issue. Crazy racist individuals. Terrorism. Wars. MH370, MH17. Sickness. Death of loved ones.
And yet, friends got married, friends got engaged, babies abound. Not forgetting I got married myself, and had a baby (Luke!).
New jobs (from journalist, to principal of a kindy, to now marketing in a university), new friends, new experiences.

Somehow, just thinking about all this just makes me feel old already.

And so, being older - as most old people do- I start to like reflecting and telling stories. Hence the blogging.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Change - yes, I can?

There are times where I feel like running away and hiding from it all. Hoping the world will stop- even if it's just for a day.

No, there is nothing truly dramatic happening, no one is dying (at the moment, by the grace of God). I still have family and friends, my house isn't burning to the ground. But there is just something about change that really upsets the balance of life. My life has always been about change and I thought I was prepared, but apparently I'm not.

I've changed churches, changed schools, changed some circles of friends, changed country to some extent, changed jobs. And though some things don't really change, I'm acutely aware nothing in this life remains the same, except God.

Soon I will move out of the house, and be married and have another set of parents, family, etc. I've changed jobs and I still can't seem to feel like I fit in. Change from being employee to employer. I'm going to change churches (yet again) when I marry. All the time not feeling like I have any group of friends that have been with me through it all. But that's not surprising, been like that most of my life anyway. I'm not the kind that calls ppl up (I hardly call anyone up, for that matter) and cry my worries over the phone. I don't hang around with best buddies every other day (though I do have great close friends) because I learnt that even that doesn't remain.

I want to care for others, for my siblings, help my family, etc etc, shoulder their problems. But I can't even shoulder my own.

In some sense, I'm a girl at heart but think like a guy. I don't know if it's a good thing.

These days, I go to sleep praying while I kneel on my face..."God, I can't do this on my own. Help me, please." And this is probably exactly where He wants me to be.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Goodbye again

I have just given out photoframes to my colleagues, with descriptions of them according to their name acronyms.

My ex-editor, Gim Ean, is showing off black and white photos of her holding hands with Stevie Wonder (to a bunch of giggling journos) as a young journalist then.

My colleague Priya is asking around if anyone knew of any Malaysian philosophers... I replied that Malaysians probably don't think very much.

I've been at Star for 2 years and 5 months, and now I'm moving on. I remembered I used to be so awed at the things people did around me, the kind of knowledge the media had access to, and the power we have in our hands- though many times, our hands are tied.

Since then, March 8 came and gone, Pakatan Rakyat was formed, multiple huge street demonstrations have taken place, we saw the surfacing of various politicians' bedroom antics, we saw a new PM take power, Anwar is being charged for sodomy yet again, the teaching of Science and Maths reversed back to BM and various people are dropping dead. Some were shocking, like Jacko or Yasmin, some hit home hard, like Teoh.

Since then, I have shaken hands with the poor and the rich, spoke with the famous and the forgotten, learnt how to survive on roads with my map book and my dad as GPS, ranted over injustices, gone on three Europe trips, swam with fishes in Perhentian, learnt the pain of struggling between truth and reality, gotten engaged and now on the road to marriage.

In a few weeks, I would be facing 500 kindergarten kids, 30 staff and 1,000 parents and waking up at 6.30am instead of 9am.

Goodbye, Star. Maybe I'll come back one day.

Saturday, March 07, 2009


I feel like there needs to be some balance somewhere.

Weddings should be the grandest and happiest (or one of the happiest) day of our lives and yet when I think of the ludicrous preparations that go into it and $$$ involved- I sometimes really wonder if weddings have been commercialised. Like Valentine's Day.

I have grand dreams...of course, I would like a white dress with a train, I would want to look my best, I think flowers around the hall would be lovely. I want a nice wedding cake, and that the hundreds of people coming to be pleased and happy. Nevermind that already each guest at the reception will eat a lunch, and that there will be about nearly 40 tables at dinner, which would come up to be about RM40,000 or so (much more if you want hotel ambience and crap food). I suppose things like that now have become tradition somewhat.
And all the little things add up. Of course all the wonderful clothes for groom, bride, bridesmaid, flower gals, bride's mum etc take up like, over Rm5k maybe (inclusive accessories, shoes blabla). Then, right, makeup artists cost about RM1000 to do your make up and hair. Then many photographers cost at least RM2,000, same with videographers....just for wedding day itself. Maybe some throw in pre-wed shots. I mean, come on. It used to be just frens just took random photos which 10 yrs later, the couple will look back and laugh and smile. Who cares if you posed in Putrajaya by the fountain. And maybe an aunty will help with your hair and make-up. And how many thousands did the event company say they will charge you?? RM5K? What, for two arches, some pillars and a floral bouquets that is to be used for 2 hours?
And if u want live music, you may have to hire a band. Oh wait, I forgot all about invite cards. Maybe RM2,000 there if u want a decent card.
Sometimes I just feel like waking up on my wedding morning, putting my own makeup, stick a rose in my half-tied-self-curled hair, and have DIY flowers put up everywhere and on arches and pillars made from PVC pipes, and handmake some simple cards. I may have saved RM10k there alone. Geez.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Selfless is not a dirty word

Have you ever thought about what it takes to make a marriage work or start a family?

Well, a lot actually. Physical, emotional resources, money, time, self-discipline, will power, research, love (duh)....etc. It's mostly giving and giving and giving, and sometimes getting intangible rewards in return (which is very rewarding, if one isn't too materialistic).

It's my opinion that people who enter marriages or have kids thinking others will fulfill them or they will find happiness in life that way would be dissappointed at some point. It could be that one day, your spouse may walk out on you, or your kids may rebel and run away, or become ungrateful when you're old and useless. Or maybe you're just not satisfied anyway because the marriage has lost it's romance, or the spouse isn't what you thought he or she would be. Of course, people could marry a rich fella purely for the 'tai tai' lifestyle and get the money, but that's different altogether.

So. My colleagues have been asking me, "Sarah, it's great that you're engaged. But do you REALLY want to get married?" Some just stop there, while others add a reason of "but you're so young!" I'll be 25 next year when I marry, I don't think I'm a kid. You might be interested to know that half my office floor are singles...and they're not young, but they're seemingly happy that way. But I see where they're coming from.

They must be thinking, 'does this poor girl know what she is getting herself into? What about career advancement, traveling and seeing the world, having a few more flings in the dating scene? How about pursuing further studies, going wherever you want with no strings attached, no kids running around? What if the spouse turns out below par?'

Honestly, I've thought about all that. A few times too. When I marry, I give up a few of my dreams- dreams of furthering my studies, or achieving certain things in my career, of seeing the world. My fiance already irritates me on a variety of significant and insignificant issues. When I have kids, I know I'd have to sacrifice even more. But you know what? That's what love is about, which differentiates it from lust. There's a saying; it's possible to give without loving but it's impossible to love without giving.

I think we would never know what true love is if we could never be selfless.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Make money! And more money!

I see so many Internet marketing websites around, it's not funny.

It goes something like "I've made 96 million the past one year and you can too! Scroll down to find out how!" or "Work from home and make $5,000 a month, guaranteed!"


Then there is this looooooooong spiel about how this book/programme/software will change your life, just open this website, all the resources are in the CD or book, just sit back and watch the money roll in. Then what follows is a list of 'real life' testimonies about people who tried it and started raving about it ("oh wow, I've made $4,989 the past month! I thought this was just another scam but I'm so glad I tried it" yadayada) and then, you might even get scanned copies of the author's bank account showing how the money is rolling in.

The amazing thing is, the marketing spiel is really long, and the website is really verbiose and long-winded, but people (including me) would actually read the whole darn thing. And then, the best part is, this author keeps telling you this isn't a scam, that this "secret" is so good, he can't keep it to himself and therefore is sharing it with you. Some go further and say "I've tried many things out there and have been dissappointed. So I know how you feel, but I've been there, done that, and I know this works."

But of course, if you really want to find out if it works, you have to buy his product for $50 or $300, whatever it is.

But oh, that's not the end. He will give you money back guarantee within 30 days! And hurry, he's only releasing it at a special price within the next 24 hours! (one website even had a timer ticking off the seconds). *stress*

Ok, let me get this straight. You are a multimillionare, I'm not even sure if you're listed by Forbes, and now you wanna share this great news with me. And all I have to do is set up a website in 5 mins and watch thousands of dollars roll in. And how is it that the last 20 websites of 20 different names I went to sound almost the SAME?

I don't doubt people can be rich through this thing, but you know how? It's through manipulating idiots like you and me (and playing on our lust for money) to buy their products, and say a few hundred buy every month- there u have it...the thousands of cash rolling in. It's like MLM, just less effort and more insidious.

Friday, September 05, 2008

The engagement

Since lots of people have been asking me how my boyfriend Meng proposed to me, I decided to write it all down here (after repeating myself for about 100 times :D- not that I ever tire of the story!).
Ok. So on Tuesday, Meng casually mentioned he wanted to go to TGIF for dinner the next day, because some of his students (he is a college lecturer) are working as waiters there.
"I promised them I would visit," he said. "They said they wanted to let me try some off-menu food."
So on Sept 3 Wed night, we both went off to TGIF, and apparently his student who could get him "off-menu food" was not working that night. But he did turn up in casual clothing and greeted us, before settling down with some friends for a drink on the other end of the restaurant.
Well to be entirely honest, I was dissappointed that I didn't get to try "off-menu" food but the student was not on duty that night, so I thought 'fair enough'.
Meng and I ordered a set, and conversation was lively and normal except that he was sending text messages to his friends.
"Who is that?" I asked.
"My CG guys, I'm trying to get the to call John in US- you know, talk to him or something," he said.
Hmm, I thought, I hope John is alright. Then we went on talking about other things.
While I was munching on the dessert of chocolate cake, suddenly two of Meng's CG guys-Joel and Gideon- show up with this HUGE bouquet of pink lilies and a paper bag.
Now, I was very shocked. Meng hardly gives me flowers (he's only done it twice since I knew him I think) and definitely not in public.
"Ms Chew, delivery for you..." Joel says and hands me the flowers, and Gideon just stands there and passes me the paper bag.
"NO WAYYYYY," I was saying, thinking it was probably some belated anniversary belated thing.
Anyway, I open the bag and find a box....which I unwrapped slowly and kept unwrapping and unwrapping because Meng had it covered in 15 layers. Some of it had messages for me.
All throughout, Meng was unsuccessfully pretending to be jealous that it was some other guy who gave me the stuff saying "who is it, huh? Why give you flowers one??" while he keeps smiling.
And here I was unwrapping his box until I came to a ring box.
I held my breath, open the box and......
there was no ring.
There was only a piece of paper that said 'You got me!' with a picture of a squid (inside joke- he used to mock-propose to me with deep fried calamari rings).
THEN, while I was laughing and scolding him, he added "You REALLY thought I was gonna propose huh?"
So I scolded him somemore, but didn't do too good a job cuz I was happy, stunned, confused, in disbelief and thinking at the back of my mind "I can't believe this guy. I can't believe this is happening. I think he will probably propose later somewhere the car, perhaps."
After laughing at me for about 20 seconds, he suddenly got up from his seat.
"For the sake of my students who are watching and those who want me to do this--"
Then he went down on one knee (with everyone watching, of course) and asked "Will you marry me?"
Now, I was even MORE shocked (and covering my face in shyness) and actually said "What??"
The poor guy kept looking at me and was like 'quick, answer, quick!' and I finally said "Of course I'll marry you."
Then he quickly sat beside me while people erupted in cheers and claps and someone yelled "THERE'S A PROPOSAL IN THE HOUSE!"

I practically just buried my face in his shoulder and cried. In joy, of course :)

Me and Meng posing with my flowers and the ring after the drama

The CG guys who had a hand in the proposal

My ring and my lilies