Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I Love My Boyfriend & I Love My Husband

We are still packing since Saturday, and we'll be officially waking up in our new home in April. While I was packing some of our items, I found a creative but ugly card I made for my then boyfriend, now husband.

I wrote him this poem.

I would stay awake all night,
Just to write by the candlelight,
Little smiles forming with delight,
For you are always by my side.

I have always dreamt of a love so true, 
When I open my eyes, there I see you, 
I just want to say that I love you
And waiting for the special day of I do

Thank you honey, for loving me,
It's a blessing from God Almighty,
A precious gift for you and me,
All honour and glory be unto Thee.

This was written 8 years ago, and we got married 5 years ago. I already knew he was the man I want to spend forever with. Every day, for the past 10 years, is a LOVE day!

I love you, Boyfriend and Husband!

A gift for him in 2009.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Language Is Our Being

I remember during my primary school years, I would go to the library and borrow novels in Bahasa Malaysia. Hence I was stronger in Bahasa Malaysia although my English wasn't that bad at all *smile*

In secondary school, my love for English was furthered deepened. That I almost stopped reading novels in Bahasa Malaysia, completely... which explained the de-grading of my Bahasa Malaysia in SPM some donkey years ago *wink*

Albeit I am quite slow or rather incapable of picking up new languages, I love languages. I adore language. Firstly, I love the sounds of words rolled in the mouth, however foreign it may sound. And secondly, I love watching the words speak through papers or canvases.

In truth, we breathe language and we live language, and we dream them. It shapes our thoughts, which is turned into words through our speech. Like a bridge that connects the two sides of the shore, language is a channel that communicates the past with the present and the present with the future. Language is the way we create our goals and aspirations, share them with others, and make them come true.

That is the reason I write... to document past events, to remember sweet memories, to affirm my dreams, to share random thoughts and to remind myself that writing, itself is a gift and demonstration of God's love.

For me personally, writing is what I have instead of telepathy, and it is a great replacement. If we share the same language, we can basically turn the world upside down and inside out. We can express emotions, make plans, tell stories about what had happened and what never would, design new ideas or even develop worlds.

People say language is magic, I say... the writer is the magician.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Be Strong Japan!

The world is vulnerable to a shock like the earthquake recently
When the ferocious tsunami smacked into Fukushima Daiichi,
The capability of the nuclear power plant designed originally
was stacked high with more uranium above mandatory safety.

While the search and rescue teams continue to look for survivors,
Sea water was showered into the plant to cool down the reactors
While need overwhelmed for food, water, heaters as well as shelters
Radiation has been detected in milk, vegetables, sea and tap waters.

For Japan, this is in fact the worst crisis ever, since World War Two
with a triple-hit damage almost reaching up to $300 billion in value.
Nearly 23,000 dead or missing, we ought to pray for breakthrough,
that courage and will, love and patience will restore Japan anew.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Minute Yet Mighty

When the 9.0-magnitude earthquake hit the prodigious Japan,
What followed was Tsunami waves that drowned its fertile land,
As falling from a cliff, the nuke further rubbed the wound with sand.

Do you really know what we are truly capable of, my dear friends?
We overcame the impossibilities with our small yet ambitious hands;
And with the same, we create consequences we can't bear in the end.

Under the satellite, the vastness of earth is so tiny,
Some people were washed clean away, leaving only;
A reading glass, a name on a punch card or a diary entry.

Faced with patches, do you see a puzzle or the quilt when it is sewn?
Like a fresh canvas, we are free to colour this temporary home;
To make a name for ourselves and path a journey we call our own.

"You can do things just like everybody else,
only better", my mama's words ring like bells,
"Never mind the books, you know it in your cells."

I can do this, just keep walking down this alley;
I will continue to journal and share my story;
That my writings will be taught like learning history.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Daisy, My Love

Dear Daisy,
I'm captivated by your absolute innocence and purity;
How you stand up for sterling beauty and simplicity.

Oh, diva of Broadway
Like the sun you spread your white florets of ray,
Like the aster you illuminate the fields in the day.

Boys may overlook you
Instead, the everyday thorny reds they may choose to pursue;
But you are uncommon, you breathe love for the loyal and true.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Pasar Malam Lesson

Last evening, we went to Farlim night market to buy some dog treats for Pepper. We had char koay kak for dinner, then we snacked on fried radish cake.

While having dinner, I overheard the mother on the next table telling her son in hokkien, "If you don't study hard, you'll end up like this kid who serves us drinks."

Come on now, it is school holiday this week. There's nothing wrong for children to help their parents food business during the school break. I helped my foster brother served char hor fun when I was younger. I had a friend who helped at her mother's ice kacang stall when we were on school holiday, and some of my friends who helped their parents before and after school were among the top students in high school.

Most of the time, it is not because children could not study that they end up serving at coffee shops or McDonald's. However it is mostly because of family situations that required their help. Even so, there is nothing wrong being a drop out. Did your mother ever say that drop outs will never amount to anything? If she has or does, do not take it at heart!

Bill Gates (Microsoft) dropped out of Harvard and became the richest man in the world. Steve Jobs (Apple) also dropped out of college. Michael Dell (Dell) became so successful building and selling computers from his college dorm that he dropped out to realise his dream. Ralph Lauren (Ralph Lauren) sold neckties to his fellow high school mates, and he never graduated but he is a millionaire today. And my all-time favourite Sir Richard Branson (Virgin) left school at 16 to be a multi millionaire businessman.

It is always fun to drop those names in response to "if you drop out of school, you'll end up working at MPPP." Then again, it doesn't guarantee all drop outs will make it big... you just have to have great plans. It may be easier to find your way there if you finish school, and it may be a little bit difficult if you left school. Nonetheless, success is out there. You just have to find the path that leads to it.

I believe book smarts and street smarts are gifted creatures. You've got to love theory to be book smart, and you've got to love practical to be street smart. My version is simple: they are both rich - book smart is studiously rich, street smart is filthy rich!

Here's the treats I bought for Pepper.

And let me leave you with a quote by Bill Gates.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Have you ever...?

Yes! I have had a gush of tears moment while watching action-packed movies.

If my memory works perfectly fine, the first would be Armageddon (1998) when Harry (Bruce Willis) and AJ (Ben Affleck) descended to the air lock. Harry then traded the death spot with AJ, telling him he was the son he never had. And of course the cry-max was when he contacted his daughter, Grace (Liv Tyler) to say his last goodbyes. It was the parental love that got me weakened. You know how much our parents sacrifice for us? How much mountains they had to climb to bring us happiness? I can never imagine myself in my parents shoes, they are the greatest gift from God.

Another movie is Ip Man 2 (2010). I personally have some butterfly-in-my-tummy for Sammo Hung. I always believe he is a burly man with a gentle conscious and a good heart, while his overly overweight stature magnifies his masculinity. Anyway, I'm also a huge fan of Donnie Yen, this strong and lean physique would keep me glued to the screen. Okay, enough of the boy talks. The part that touched me was when Hung Chun-nam (Sammo Hung) accepted The Twister's (Darren Shahlavi) challenge to fight so that Hung can defend the Chinese culture. Although Hung was at the winning end, he weakened due to asthma and he was eventually defeated to death. The challenge and death was were not for his own honour, but the honour of Chinese culture, which was a sacrifice for all Chinese. And this reminded me how proud I am to be a Chinese - we stand in gratitude and we fight in integrity.

And the most recent is World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles (2011). My heart got so heavy and I just couldn't stop my tears when a helicopter arrived to evacuate some of the wounded Marines. Finding five civilians (three of which were children) in the police station, the platoon ran out with the children but the helicopter had ascended and it was destroyed by the aliens upon takeoff. Thereof, I was moved by what soldiers had to go through in war generally, the fear and trauma after, the haunting of visuals in their heads. Sometimes even, they are fighting a war not of their own and it would be a battle till the end because ' Marines don't quit'! Despite all that they had to go through, they would go forward and move on to complete a mission. Now, I wonder if I could carry someone else's mission so close at heart...?

Besides reading, I love films. Because movies reflect our daily lives and I always learn something (however small or big a lesson) from watching them. So watch and learn! *wink*

In every strife, find your humanity. In every commotion, find your peace. In every difficulty, find your senses. In every loss, find your way.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

I Love Yoo

For me, life is about loving! And yes, I love food… I appreciate food. I eat to live, not live to eat. What’s the purpose of life if we miss out all the fun and food!

Anyway, we decided to try out this new porridge place in Gurney Plaza – the latest addition to the Chinese traditional snack food franchise outlet in Penang with other applauded outlets in Queensbay Mall, Sunway Carnival and Jusco Bukit Mertajam.

They prepare traditional handmade dough fritters such as ‘yootiao’, commonly known as ‘yoo char kway’ in Penang Hokkien, fried bun 'ham chim peng', butterfly bun, sweet potato balls and sesame balls. They also serve freshly made daily soya bean milk and bean curd dessert ‘tow foo far’. And of course, they offer delicious porridge to mix and match with the snacks. 

So in search for something light last evening, we ended up at I Love Yoo for dinner. I’ve always been a fan to porridge and ‘yoo char kway’. Of course, that’s what we ordered! And we added the sweet potato balls for dessert. 

A set of porridge and ‘yoo char kway’ is only RM3.90
and the sweet potato balls (5 pcs) is only RM3.00

The porridge was well seasoned to taste and the ‘yoo char kway’ was crisp – delectable! We loved the food, and would definitely come back for more! Besides being reasonably priced, another offering that we love is there is NO tax at all. So the price you see is the price you pay *wink*

If you’re a true Penangite who love traditional snacks, or if you’re just looking for a light meal… do visit I Love Yoo to indulge in this local servings in contemporary set up and comfortable ambience, where tradition meets modern.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Drops Of Prayer

A prayer for my bestest friend...
If you have been following what jamiey writes, you'll know who the bestest friend is *wink*

Standing under the shelter this morning, I watch the skies so gloomy
I have waded some share of rain the past years, it hasn't drowned me
Broken, but whatever doesn't kill you, makes you stronger and gutsy
As I watch the veil of water, I want you to know, soon it will be sunny

I wish I could do anything just to chase the dark clouds away for you
If only you were here... I'd give you a big hug and maybe some tissue
But I know there's One with you right now, who comes to your rescue
He who loves you, and He who knows all that you are going through

He will see us to the other side, even if again He had to part the Red Sea
Through this storm, every little drop will be water to renew us graciously
Every little trickle is sunshine awaiting to revisit with warmth and energy
And rekindle hope, I know because now, I see the sun shining gloriously

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Spice Up Our Lives

Yes. Our lives have been delightfully spiced up by Pepper.

She came to us today, exactly one month ago. And I cannot possibly share all the beautiful moments and wonderful joy she has brought to Jerry and me, as well as the whole family.

I must say that she adapted very fast, and it must be the love and warmth she feels from all of us.

If you have lived with dogs, you'd probably agree that dogs have feelings. And vice versa - if you haven't lived with them, you'd most likely deny their feelings. But undoubtedly, dogs do have feelings, and we sure do not have difficulties to identify most of them.

Simple joy. Just last week, a few friends came over to visit with their children aged between 4 to 10. Pepper barked, but the 10-year-old girl told her younger sister that Pepper wasn't fierce, she was being friendly and wanted to play because "her tail is wagging frantically".

It's the same excitement when we bring out her harness, she knows it is time to go for a walk or a visit to grandma's - happy, happy, jolly.

Look at Pepper when I'm at work and Jerry's busy at his computer.

The poor girl flops herself down onto the floor, walks around the house aimlessly, looking out the balcony or facing the front door. When we call her over, she shows the whites of her eyes or rests her head on the sofa or pillow with a pitiful look.

There were a few nights I was going through some emotional turmoil for misunderstanding and accusing others for a crime they did not commit. Well, I was bawling my eyes out in the middle of one night, I noticed that Pepper was beside me, looking at me. When there was no one to offer a comforting pat or hug, Pepper was there sitting beside me.

Suddenly I was overwhelmed with the thought: There is somebody here besides me. What was Pepper thinking, though? Did she want me to know she would always be there? She looked so what-can-I-do-to-help, lying beside me. Was she feeling my despair?

I wondered what she was truly feeling. I would so loved to be her for just one moment, to feel what she was feeling. I have always had this desire... even with people. I want to feel as the father whose mother, wife and children were consumed by fire; as the graduate who received her honours; as the doctor who had a failed operation, and so on.

Anyway, it is clear that we can learn so much about dogs from observing their external behaviours. More importantly, we can learn something about our own feelings as well. I'm not speaking for other people, and these are purely my judgement - I believe dogs feel more than I do. They feel more, and they feel more purely and more intensely.

"Dogs love their friends and bite their enemies, quite unlike people, who are incapable of pure love and always have to mix love and hate in their object relations" was a remark by Freud, which I heartily agree.

We love and loathe, often the same person, on the same day, maybe in equal measures. But this, I believe doesn't exist in the dog world - they are less complex and less confused about what and how they feel.

It is such that when a dog loves you, the love lasts till death do you part, no matter what you do, no matter what happens, no matter how much time goes by. Dogs have an impressively large memory for the people they have come into contact with, which is well portrayed in the movie Hachiko.

I always believe that if we were less complex, we would have less confusion. And when we were less confused, we could see more clearly. And when our vision was clear, we could understand better and we could feel more whole-heartedly.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Don't Give Up On Love

I know some many friends who got married in their early twenties with 1 or 2 children. But entering into their late twenties, they had filed or are filing for divorce. And nationwide, we've witnessed the grief young Bi-Anne had to go through in the Court of Appeal.

And now, some of my friends are telling me that they are postponing marriage because of fear, and they are doubting the promises of love ever after. It's my deepest hope that the recent separation and divorce announcements will not halt marriages.

Most of my divorced friends are moving on and looking forward to new hopes. I believe divorce does not have to be the end of your life. Even though your marriage door may have been closed, your life doesn't have to be shut right away.

When you hear a relative, a cousin, a friend or a high profile figure going through these problems, there is no need to lose heart. Don't start giving up on marriage.

Focus on the other hundreds and thousands of couples who have been happily married for many years and decades. I deliberately strike off happily because there are ups and downs in every marriage. Although generally happy, they have weathered through the cold winter storms... and they enjoyed their lives together.

This year marks my 5th wedding anniversary and 10th companionship anniversary. Things may not have been perfect, nothing's perfect in this world. But I have enjoyed a loving relationship with my husband - my bestest friend. And I look forward to working to keep this marriage for the glory of God.

So, do not give up on love, because love works and love heals.

Sometimes I question if I'm alone in this land
Sometimes I wonder where the roads will end
But I'm keeping the faith, holding your hand
You're my dearest husband, my bestest friend

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Appreciate & Respect

While people appreciate workmanship of artisans and craftsmen, I respect the effort of things made or created.

Because I believe every creation - be it abstract art, creative product or innovative invention - has a value. Many would argue objects are lifeless and emotionless, but every little thing is well thought and planned before it is made with great effort. No matter how small or big, simple or complicated... someone (or something) has put in effort into the making. It is not about mistreating the creation, but it is about disrespecting the work and effort of the creator.

So when I care for my belongings, I'm not possessive. I'm simply appreciative of the effort, thoughts and time that were put into the something that enriches my life, or lifestyle. *smile*

All my decent clothes, wearable out of the house, are hand-washed. It's not just because of the brand (some are bought from pasar malam, even)... it's because the design was from someone's creative brain. Someone else did the cutting, somebody did the sewing and somebody else did the packing.

My 3-year-old Nike sneakers still looks brand new. It's not just because of the brand... it's because the sneakers are made in Vietnam. Someone did the assembly, someone else did the gluing and somebody else did the quality checking.

You may think I do not read any the books I have at home. Mind you, I've read them cover to cover, at least once if not more. I only open them so far so that the binding doesn't crease. I also don't lay a book face down (not even other's books). And I don't turn the corner of a page to mark my reading. I just respect books... and the authors (maybe because I'm a writer myself). Do you know how much time and research, or how many sleepless nights and fist-clenching moments some authors had to go through to be published?

I take care of things borrowed, just the same as my own. It's not the matter of ownership. I just respect the object itself. You'd appreciate your belongings and people's possessions if you know how much effort, planning... and how many people are involved in making them, so that you can have the end product in your hands, on your body, on your feet, on your desk or in your bag.

I respect materials and abstracts on earth,
because I believe they're given from above.
Appreciate the creations for what it's worth,
and value the creator with respect and love.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Love For Ma

There are many different names for mother, some call her mum, or mama, or like me, just plain Ma. I have a special place in my heart for my Ma, and I'm sure if you search deep within your heart, you'll find that special place for your mum too.

I couldn't express the depth of my missing my Ma. She is the queen of heart (Pepper is the princess of my heart) *wink*

Who wouldn't agree that a mother's love is the greatest? Do you realise how sincerely your mum loves you?

As for me, I know... when I was a younger, much much younger, my Ma protected me as much as she could. When I think about my Ma, it struck me that a mother's love is truly remarkable and above all, priceless.

People often say... you don't appreciate your mum until you - yourself become a parent. She is the one who cares and fusses over you (and your siblings). Sometimes, you think she is over protective and you could not care less until she is gone to be with the Lord. You will surely feel the twitch in your heart as if there is a bottomless hole.

Since I blogged about Papa yesterday, I thought why not blogged about Ma today. So last evening during my call home to check on Papa, I invited Ma to go for lunch today.

Although our lunch was only RM8.20 for both of us, the moment we had was far beyond valuable. I know I had a great time, I do hope she did too.

My Ma is someone who dreams great dreams for me
but then she lets me chase the dreams I have for myself
She is someone who cooks for the whole family
but then she lets our favourite dishes come off the shelf
She is someone who loves and cares for us so dearly
but then she lets us choose to love her back, ourselves

And I truly am grateful to the One above
because I have the ability to return her love!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Blessings to Papa

This morning, Papa called to ask if I could fetch him to exchange his prescriptions because the doctor had given him the wrong meds when he was discharged yesterday.

How conveniently and spontaneously, I answered: No, I can't.

I really couldn't. Firstly, I rarely drive to work and I didn't drive today. Secondly, I'm just setting foot into the third month of my new employment and I don't want to be already taking time off. Thirdly... well thirdly (struggling to find another excuse), maybe thirdly, the doctor shouldn't have wrongly prescribed the meds for him (oh well, it's not a good enough reason, anyway!)

Anyway, I'm so glad I did... for him!

Because today, after so many years, I see the different side of my Papa. I told him to wait for me, and that I would give him a call when I'd reach his residence. But he didn't want to waste my time further, he came down and waited for me even before I called him. Today is only the fourth day after his operation and he doesn't look at all sick. And I'm truly grateful to not take for granted the fact that he is still strong at 73.

Now, when was the last time you tell your parents that you love them?
When was the last time you hug them warmly with all your heart?
When was the last time your give them an assuring hand squeeze?
When was the last time the house was filled with chit chats over dinner?
If you're far away, when was the last time you spoke on the phone?
(email is highly unrecommended)
If you're far away, have you booked or at least planned your next trip home?

Whether you just did or haven't for a few months or years... let me challenge you to pick at least one and do it today. Or you can do something sweet, which I didn't mention above.

I'd do anything for both my parents, and yet I believe I could still be a better daughter. Life is a lifelong journey - we learn, improve and be better daily.

I'd be a better daughter today, compared to yesterday. I'd be a better daughter tomorrow, compared to today.

Every flinch trumpets his perseverance silently
Every wrinkle forms lines that tells his life story
Every smile spreads his satisfaction and felicity
Every sacrifice made is for the dearest family

I've got many gifts, but one that can't be bought
I call him Papa, and he is a precious gift from God

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