Thursday, April 30, 2009

Timing, economic crisis or swine flu scare?

Am at the boarding hall waiting for my flight to Bangkok (yes, again!).

KLIA seems very quiet today. I don't see many people around.

I wonder, is it because of my timing, economic crisis or swine flu scare?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Not easy to be a single "parent"

I am going for a holiday this Thursday. Yessss... I am pretty excited over it, but at the same time feeling worried too. Why you may ask...

Well, my "son" loh. I need to put him in some dog boarding place this time around. It has been such a long time since I last put him into one, and I have to say I am worried.

I am worried Axel will get very stressed up being around strangers. I am worried Axel will be frightened by other loud dogs. I am worried Axel is not being treated well.

Sigh... there are so many things to worry about, at times I wonder whether I should just cancel my trip.

He used to go to his "nanny's" when I go outstation but I recently heard that there were complaints about Axel's fur dirtying their new home. So I thought I better not put them in a difficult situation by asking the favor.

I guess Axel and I just need to get used to this, as I am not sure how frequent I will need to travel in my new job.

It's really not easy to be a single "parent". Not easy being the "child" of the single "parent" too... Well, maybe just my case la. Poor Axel...

Friday, April 24, 2009

My date with Fish

I am soooooo excited. Look at this: idol Fish Leong is having her concert here in KL and I MUST go and watch her.

I was so kiasu as upon hearing the news about this concert from the radio, I immediately (well almost) went to Galaxy's office the next afternoon to buy the tickets.

The concert will be held on the 13th June 09 at 8.00pm in the Bukit Jalil Indoor Stadium. Go to the organiser's website for more info.

I am sooooooo excited. This is going to be the 2nd concert that I have ever attended. The first was Sammi Cheng's concert many years ago. I got a free ticket for that and I remember Sammi Cheng appearing to me at the size of an ant.... because I was sitting so far away.

I made sure this will not be happening to my dearest Fish Leong. Oh dear, this is so exciting....

I am not sounding like a psycho fan, am I?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Transitional Period

As I was checking through my old bookmarks last night, I came across this very old defunct website that I had when I first started working. During that time, blogs or social networking like Facebook were not invented yet, so many "too free" people create their own websites.

In this old website of mine, I had included some of the articles that I wrote for Unisains Buddhist during my undergraduate years. Unisains Buddhist was an annual magazine from the Buddhist society I was attached to during that time.

One article caught my attention and it's about transitional period. In a way I am in a transitional period now after resigning from my current company and waiting to join the new one.

Reading through it made me think about how ideal and naive I was..., but at the same time how much "wiser".

So here's the article:


I love pimples. Yah...I know some of you might think I'm nuts but truly, I love pimples. I remember when I just entered this university... which was quite some time ago although it felt like only yesterday. When I first came in here, my face was silky smooth... yes, I repeat , silky smooth. Then my 'beloved' ones started to make their grand entrances and my face which was smooth started to turn into landscape. Hills, mountains, them and you'll find them all. People who knew me started to turn into clowns when they saw me and it really amazed me how a person's face could change into so many expressions. "Oh Gosh! What happened to your face?". How sick I was of that sentence.

This is indeed a lesson on impermanence. Every conditioned and compounded things will eventually change from one state to another. So, I knew that I was actually going through a transitional period....because of my hormones or whatever but that was not the case here.

In our lives, we're always influenced by changes. No matter how we hide or deny, changes will just not leave us alone. It is one of the three universal characteristics, remember ? Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta - Impermanence, Unsatisfactoriness, Non-self. We're changing physically and psychologically every second .... but because of our strong idea of a 'self', we can't see it. I guess it'll take a very cultivated person to realize this and so, I think I better not say anything more.

However changes in our lives could be seen or felt quite clearly. I used to have so many older brothers and sisters in the Dhamma who helped and took care of me when I was in my first, second and third year here. People like Sister Lay Poh, Sister Lai Ngee, Brother Yu Shen and many more who had introduced me to the Dhamma and helped me towards the path were like my natural sisters and brothers. When they left, I was alone...I had no one to turn to. I knew I had to adjust to all these was not at all easy and I'm still trying to adapt myself to my new life: a life of standing on my own feet, a life of looking after the juniors and a life of showing them to the Triple Gem. See...another transitional period.

I guess this period is dreaded by all because it is a very difficult task having to adjust yourself so that you can go according to the flow of changes. If we fail to do so, life will be so depressing and sad. I remember a verse which said "Try to change things that can be changed and accept those that you can't". In other words, if we can't change something, we'll have to change ourselves to accept it. Life will be more wonderful then, don't you think so?

Anicca or impermanence gives rise to what is called the Eight Worldly Conditions - Happiness and Sorrow; Gain and Loss; Fame and Defame; Praise and Blame. All of us only want the Happiness, Gain, Fame and Praise parts and when the other parts take hold of us, we'll start to sing "Why does the sun go on shining, why does the sea rush to shore? Don't they know it's the end of the world....". No wonder this song is such a hit. If we only realized that all these eight are the same, that they are subjected to change, we won't be too proud when we get the good parts and we won't be too sad when we get the bad parts.

Gosh...I just discovered that I'm actually reminding myself. It's very true that I get a lot of the above especially the Praise and Blame. I really had a hard time when I was blamed for the decisions that I've to make as an EXCO of PPB (Persatuan Pelajar Buddhist). However I tried to tell myself that these decisions were made not for my own convenience but for the benefit of the society. Even a perfected person like Buddha was blamed in his time, what more about me who is still very defiled, very impure. I only wanted to say 'Sorry' if I'd hurt anyone because of my imperfections. Hah! Adjusting to the world conditions is also another transitional period. Isn't life a suffering...having so much things to adjust to?

Well, I have less than a year to go before I venture into a world of more sufferings...the working world. It will definitely be another transitional period for me. Haii...more adjusting to do. Working life is surely very different from study life. It's a jungle out there, that's what they say. Everyone will be chasing after material things and I wonder whether there will be anyone with compassion in them. Hearing about the working experiences from seniors who had graduated really made my worst nightmare sounds like a fairy tale. But, things change, don't they?

Coming back to my beloved pimples! Gosh, I really love them. They help me to see that things do change. Oh! I found a new one near my chin. Goody, goody...I can reflect on impermanence again.......

Monday, April 20, 2009

Love Song (情歌)

Fish Leong's 情歌 pinyin lyrics:

shi guang shi hu po lei yi di di bei fan suo
qing shu zai bu xiu ye mo cheng sha lou
qing chun de shang you bai yun fei zou cang gou yu hai ou
shan guo de nian tou chan chan de liu chou

* ming yun hao you mo rang ai de ren dou chen mo
yi zheng ge yu zhou huan yi ke hong dou
hui yi ru kun shou ji mo tai jiu er jian jian wen rou
fang kai le quan tou fan er geng zi you

man dong zuo qian quan jiao juan zhong bo mo pian
ding ge yi shun jian
wo men zai gao bie de yan chang hui
shuo hao bu zai jian

** ni xie gei wo wo de di yi shou ge
ni he wo shi zhi jin kou mo xie qian zou
ke shi na ran hou ne
hai hao wo you wo zhe yi shou qing ge
qing qing de qing qing heng zhe ku zhe xiao zhe
wo de tian chang di jiu

Repeat *

chang jing tou yue la yue yuan yue lai yue yuan
shu ge hao ji nian
wo men zai huai nuan de yan chang hui
li mao de wen bie

Repeat **

pei wo chang ge qing chang nu de qing ge
she bu de duan duan fu ge xin hai re zhe
ye gai gao yi duan luo
hai hao wo you wo xia yi shou qing ge
sheng ming wan ru jing jing de xiang yong de he
yong yuan tian chang di jiu

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Dither Fish

From Wikipedia, "Dither Fish" means an arbitrary group of aquarium fish used by cichlid keeping aquarists to reduce innate timidity in some species of cichlids. This technique relies on the ability of cichlids in an aquarium to use the behaviour of other fish species as a measure of environmental security.

So this basically means cichlids such as my kribs will only feel safe when they see some fish swimming in an open area and nothing bad happened to them. No wonder before I got the dither fish, they were so shy and always hiding.

After I got some black neons and cherry barbs as the dithers, I notice my kribs are more adventurous in coming out and play.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I am such a terrible person

I am such a terrible person.

Just now I received this SMS from an unknown number asking me to meet up at my apartment's management office on Saturday. I replied back asking who it was and what it's about. Then that person called me and I found out that he's my downstairs neighbour.

He wanted to meet me up to talk about my toilet leak, which actually it's more of a drip. You see, he made a complaint sometime back but we couldn't find anyone to really confirm that the problem was really from my unit. So after a while, it sort of died down as I didn't receive any news.

Then a few months back, I received a call from my management office confirming that the problem was indeed from my unit. As management did not want to get involved, they said my downstairs neighbour will call me to sort things out. For a while after that, I didn't get any call or news from my neighbour about this. So I assume no problem lo.

Then 2 days ago I got this letter from my management telling me that according to the strata title bla bla bla, I have to fix the leakage and all expenses would be borne by me. When I got the letter, I already decided to get it fixed as I just want them to stop bothering me. However I need to look for the right contractor and right time to do that. After all, I need to relocate Axel (my pug) somewhere else and I have to take leave to be home when the contractors are there, right?

When I got the SMS today, I just got really pissed. In my mind I was like "Can't you all just bloody leave me alone!!".

So when talking to this guy, I was really rude and told him that unless he wants to pay half of the expenses, he would need to wait until I get the money and time to fix it. I practically yelled at him (cos my colleague from another room could hear me) and told him to stop disturbing me or to ask the management to pester me. This guy who is a pensioner was docile and kept apologizing. I vented out my anger and finally promised him that I would get that done by end June.

After I put down the phone, I got conscience-stricken. That poor man.... I smsed him to apologize for being rude and reiterated that I would get the thing fixed by end June.

He replied "No problem Sir. Take care and may God bless you and your family".


I am such a terrible person. :-(

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

DiGi Tariff Transparency

DiGi rolled out this new feature which enables you to check whether the number you are going to call to is a DiGi subscriber or not.

You just need to send a SMS with the message "Check <10 digit phone number>" to 2000 and DiGi will reply telling you whether that number is a DiGi subscriber or not... and the best of all, it's a free service. How cool is that?? Click here for more info.

However as DiGi's tariff is flat across all numbers no matter which service provider you are calling to, I don't actually see the point of this. Hmm...maybe you can use this to determine who you can add into your "Friends and Family" list. Only DiGi subscribers can be added into this list and you get charged lower when calling or SMS'ing them.

I think Maxis should have something like this for their subscribers as they get charged higher if they call to other service providers.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Moving On

I tendered my resignation with my current company yesterday.

If you have been following my blog, you would know that my job scope was recently changed to fulltime technical support, something which I really dislike. So with that, I looked elsewhere and managed to get a job with a huge MNC. I will be joining them in a few months' time after I have served my notice here.

A few of my colleagues asked me how I felt after tendering my letter. I guess they were expecting me to say that I was ecstatic to be out of here soon. Well, in a way it's true.... in a way, it's not.

You see, I have a good boss and a bunch of great colleagues here. The working environment is also good. What I could not stand is the new job scope that I need to take up. There is no negotiation on this part as it is a company re-org move.

Besides that with the current economic situation, there is always a risk when changing jobs.

However after doing my "research" and asking around friends who are working in my new company, it does appear to be stable. So I would think that I am taking a calculative risk in accepting this offer to move on. I do foresee that I'll have much better career advancement in the new place than in my current one.

So back to my feelings. Am I ecstatic? Hmm...maybe "ecstatic" is a too strong word to use. I am very excited to be a part of this major MNC though... as I am sure I will be learning a lot from it. At the same time, I do feel sad leaving my current boss and colleagues. I do hope I will be able to find such level of teamwork in my new working environment. Besides that, I am also a bit nervous thinking about the new place and people, on whether I can fit in or not.

It's all really a mixture of different emotions right now.

Anyhow as I have made this decision, I will just be positive and hope for the best. I am very sure this is the right move.

New Tank Setup

I have given away all my goldfish and started a new tank setup. This time around, I am keeping cichlids. After doing my research on this for a while, I have decided to settle for kribensis cichlid (or just "kribs").

Cichlids like places to hide and feel safe. So I bought some rocks to make caves, some fake plants and fake hollow tree root. Thanks to my fishnut colleague, I got some real four leaves clover as well.

My kribs are still pretty shy. They are always hiding behind the plants, in the fake hollow tree root, under the Japanese lantern or in the caves. Hope they will feel more comfortable soon to come out and play.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Dentists are rich people

Dentists are rich people. Know why I said that?

I went to my dentist today to remove the stitches from my wisdom tooth extraction. I thought this would be a part of the RM520 that I paid for the extraction. Nooooooooo.... removing the stitches cost me another RM30!!!

Do you agree now that dentists are rich people?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sticky except ...

I read somewhere before that one of the pugs' traits is being "sticky". They are bred for companionship, therefore they need to be near people all the time.

Axel is no different. When I am at home, he would follow me everywhere and I must be within the radius that he could see me. If I go into my room or toilet and close the door, he would patiently sit in front of the door and wait for me to come out.

So in short... Axel is always sticking around me... except for one situation....

His bathing time!!!

When he sees all the signs of me wanting to give him a bath, he would stay far away from me, hiding in the "security" of his kennel.

I always try to respect his delusion of that "security" and so I don't just go and pull him out. Instead I would use the secret weapon to lure him out... treats!! Yeah, that's another trait of pugs... their weakness for food! Hehehe.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

PhotoHunt: Stripes

Ronald McDonald in stripes and wishing everyone "Sawasdee krub" which means "Hi" in Thai.

(Picture taken in CentralWorld, Bangkok in Mar 08)

Friday, April 3, 2009

Satu Suara

Saw this music video on TV. Such a catchy song and with such a good message.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Short Term Pain

I am in pain. My right gums felt like they are being scrapped away from my jaw and my throat felt as if a hammer just hit it. When I looked at the mirror, the right of my face is swollen. My face doesn't look symmetry anymore. :-(

Yes... I did my wisdom tooth extraction today. It didn't go as smoothly as what my dentist and I have hoped for. You see, my tooth broke during the extraction and the dentist had to break the stump to small pieces in order to remove them. I sat on the dreaded chair for about an hour... and in the middle of the procedure, the suction system stopped working! Thank goodness after about 5 minutes, they managed to get that fixed. Else my mouth would be filled with blood as if I am a vampire after a feast. Oh by the way, it cost me RM520.

So now that the anaesthetic has worn off, I am left with the pain. I can only hope that the painkillers that I swallow will take effect almost immediately, but after a few hours the cycle of pain repeats itself. Boo hoo hoo.... Gosh will I get to sleep tonight?

Anyhow, I know this is just a short term pain. Everyone has been telling me that after a few days, the pain will go away. Just hope the short term here means VERY short term.