Saturday, March 28, 2009

new beginnings...

Those closest and dearest to me, know that there's one sport that I love... and that is Formula 1.

Today, the new season commences and there couldn't have been a better start. After years and years of the regulars at the front, we are treated by a whole new composition at the front of the grid post qualifying round (hope the same trend continues during the race). Any real F1 fans would admit that the thing that makes the sport exciting is its unpredictability (just go read my review post Brazilian race last year). Although I would very much love to have my driver (since it is so painful to support my team with that driver there) win, what I like most is to have a true racing on the circuit and having the deserving driver win.

What a fairy-tale it is... from a team which is condemned to extinction (thanks to the global financial crisis), the team previously known as Honda leaped to the front of the grid under the new name of Brawn GP Racing (named after Ross Brawn, the ex-Ferrari genius, who is now the team boss) after two years struggling at the back of the pack. Button and Barichello scored the first two *parking spots* for tomorrow followed by the much likeable and much talked to be future champion, Vettel who drives a Red Bull. The first of the *big boys* appearance is only in 7th spot in the form of Massa (Ferrari) and Kimi in 9th (also Ferrari). Their nemesis McLarens are in 14th and 15th position, with Heikki ahead of Hamilton (YEAY!!) But sadly my favourite, Alonso, is down in 12th... Renault is still unable to give him a good car. Such a pity, the driver who everyone rates as the best in the world is sitting so far back on the grid. But knowing him, he'll be racing like a fiery bull (given his Spanish nationality, hehe)... I'm sure we're bound to have some excitement tomorrow. Can't wait!!

Earlier today our family entered into a new phase with the formal engagement of Abang and his gf Zaimie. A simple affair but significant nonetheless. The wedding is slated for mid-July. I need to adjust myself to the idea of welcoming another member to the family... treating someone else as one of *us*. That requires some getting used to. I should start now... rehearsing for the role of SIL. With just 3 months to go... it's going to be a *crash course*. We should *train* her for Mama, hahaha.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

happy dreams...

They say that (among others) the key to a healthy body is a good night sleep.

I've had "buy a new mattress" on my to-do list for over a year... and I finally got my dream (no pun intended) bed. Many Saturday and Sunday afternoons were spent scouring, from shop to shop for that one mattress. Just like the one that I slept on in Mandarin Oriental KL and recently Conrad Hong Kong. I did find something like that during the first or second outing, but they're so expensive... something close to a downpayment on a house. I've lied down on so many mattresses, each different... sometimes my heart says "go for the hard firm ones" (no naughty thoughts ok? *wink*)... they're good for the back, and sometimes I gravitate towards those soft plush ones that embraces you with such warm fuzzy feeling.

I had my heart set on Getha upon trying one on the advice of Gee. Was delighted that Isetan had a special member extra 5% off (on top of the 40% discount that they were offering) during their recent sale. When the salesman asked me "So miss... mau order?", the small voice in my head said "nanti dulu". But since the extra 5% was only for 3 days, I can no longer procrastinate.

Another friend's advice took me to the SleepStudio at The Curve. Tao was glowing in his praise for the excellent salesperson there... how they really help you find the bed that you're searching for without any sales pressure. He told me he went to the shop 3-4 times to test various beds again and again before finally making his purchase.

The traffic jam to The Curve was massive that day. Usually I would give up and just turn around. But that day I presevered. Went straight to the shop and started to lie down... one bed after another. The one that I immediately liked cost RM13k. No way am I going to spend that much! I was then approached by Ali (I think he's Pakistani) who asked me the usual questions that I've been hearing since the beginning of my mattress search. Unlike the many other shops that I've been to, he immediately knew what I was looking for. He showed me a bed appeared to be out of my budget range, but I gave it a try nonetheless.

I know... getting a good mattress is an worthwhile investment. Hey... I didn't say that I'm scrimping. Just that I'm not quite ready (monetarily and emotionally, got ah such thing?) to spend that much on something that I snore on and spend less than 6 hours a day on (weekends excluded). I set a budget, which wasn't that small. Enough to pay for a return ticket to New York (on MATTA fair prices lah). Thank god for 0% credit card instalment payment plan, hehe.

You know that feeling... when everything falls into place? The mattress was beautifully balanced between being firm enough that you won't get a back ache after a long night sleep yet soft enough that you feel like you're lying on a pile of feathers (ok... not as perfect as that bed in Mandarin Oriental but close enough). And when he told me the price... I was sold. This was it... Slumberland Duke! He then showed me the next (higher) range. Now, this one, Slumberland Duchess felt exactly like the bed in Conrad, and the material was soft silky wool. However, it was RM1,500 more than the Duke.

I usually think over and over again, mulling on the cost-benefit of spending that much $$$ on big ticket items. Usually, those around me would give up and say "Decide already will ya!". But this time it was different. From the time I stepped into the shop until I went to the cashier... maybe 20 minutes? OK... I know, that does sound a lifetime to some of you, but this is like a 100 meter sprint for me. I decided to stick to my budget and chose the Duke.

I know I made a good purchase and decision when no feeling of guilt crept in upon returning home and the days after. In fact, I was so looking forward to receiving my new purchase and giving it a "test drive" ;) Other times, such as when I purchased my SLR or when I go on my *beli kain* spree, some "maybe I shouldn't have" feelings did creep in. This time... none whatsoever!

Right now I'm sitting on my brand new mattress, with fresh new sheets and surrounded by pillows. I am looking forward to sleeping tonight! ^_^

A long restful sleep. I haven't been sleeping properly these past few weeks. Largely my own fault for spending too much time indulging on past episodes of House MD. I love that show! and I admire Hugh Laurie immensely. Unlike many others, I've liked him long ago... images of him in Sense and Sensibility etched to my mind, alongside his powder-puffed visage from a British comedy series.

Watching House is like seeing a psychiatrist... it leads me to doing psycho-analysis on my own life. I've been feeling "restless"... lost... yet I can't quite pinpoint the cause. Farisa made a remark on a statement I made which made me think even further. I posted my status on Facebook "... looking forward to the European escapade". At the time, I had just bought my tickets for my upcoming trip to London-Salzburg-Vienna-Prague-Paris with Amt. To which she commented "which begs the question why you seem to be doing a lot of escaping".

The first thing that comes to mind was "yeah! I'm escaping work" (Note: If you happen to be my colleague, pls erase this from your thoughts). I must say... I haven't been feeling really "there" work wise. It has been a routine, which requires me to get up every morning, driving the 10km to office, doing things that are expected of me... something I have to do, rather than something that I want to do. So, while I dish out advice to a friend who seems to be in a similar state (you know who you are), I was pretending to be an all-together person. I'm not you know... which enables me to emphatise with the said person even more.

Then I realise that the cause must deeper than just having a prolonged Monday-blues. I'm not exactly on cloud nine outside office. I'm not depressed but neither am I content. Which is why I've been making all these statements about life, afterlife, family. I'm trying to solve a puzzle which has been bugging me for a while now... and no where closer to resolution. I guess I've been experimenting... testing, trying to see whether the answers that I'm looking for somewhere out there.

My life is no different from the one that Cuddy is experiencing. A woman advancing in age, relatively successful career wise, but feeling a void... with no one to come home to after a long day at work. The achievements I've obtained at work, promotion etc seem hollow. It doesn't make me happy. I am grateful for it, please make no mistake. But at the same time, I also have no ambition to move further. In fact, I'm hoping for no further promotions and wish to stay under the radar. I feel conflicted... being entrusted with such responsibility, and yet I'm unable to pull that drive from within to be the best. I can't... not when it is not something that I desire. If the bosses hear of this, they must be jumping out of their seat. I know that people have expectations, high expectations... but my heart just isn't in it. So I just go along... each day. Doing the best that I can, which I know isn't really the best. I occasionally get bursts "energy" where I start putting in all that I have, but those bursts are dwindling in number. How lah to motivate others when you're feeling like this?

Work used to define me. In fact, it defined so much of me in my early working years that the only things that I recall from my life if I were to turn back the time to 1998-2002, are things about work. Nothing comes to mind about life outside work... no matter how hard I try. I hate that. My "golden" years lost. It was only later, when I got reacquainted with friends from TKC, that I started living again. For that, I thank you so much, my dearest detox babes.

I guess it is because my intellect was the characteristic that defined me. Ask anyone who went to school with me... I think if they were asked to list three things about me, I'm sure that would be one of the things they'll say. I did very well in school, quite ok at uni... so it seemed a natural progression when I started working. But now, it is something that I least want to be identified with. And also because I've realised that I'm not that smart. I don't feel good when people start making positive comments about my intellect, because I know that those are just perceptions. I might have been book smart in the past, but I am nowhere near intellectualism at the higher, broader level. And now, I'm not even book smart anymore. It takes so much effort to try to comprehend some of the things that I have to deal with... when it seemed like a breeze for many others. I've lived a sheltered life... so I'm not street smart. I've always been a nerd, so I don't know many "things", don't have many experiences. Experiences that are life enriching. In short... my life has been black and white, instead of technicolour.

Dr House is scared of taking chances for a possibly happier life, because he is scared that it will affect his intellect... the one thing that defines him, the thing that he is most proud of. In my case, I don't want it to define me, but at the same time, I'm worried. If not that, what will define me? Who am I otherwise? I don't know... House is afraid to make changes for fear of being crushed by disappointment at a later stage. He takes risks all the time, except on things which are matters of the heart. Clamping down on anything that smells of a relationship. In many ways I am no different. Not for lack of want, but crippled by fear of failure.

Memories of my first love came flooding recently. The normal after effects include me going on an overdrive on what could have been, what if I never find love? I suppose this was triggered by my younger brother's recent declaration of intent to get married (and two nights ago it was decided to be held in July). Everyone around me are moving on while I'm "stuck".

I'm bracing for all the questions that will come my way on that joyous day. I'm already preparing my polite reply to those pesky aunties and uncles. Don't they know that I want it too? Do they actually think that I am like this by choice? What they do not know is that my heart breaks each time the question is posed. But I take it in my stride. I believe in qada and qadar... there must be a reason for it all. But I'm worried that each little breaks will leave me with no heart in the end...

I've been asked before, that if I want to get married, it can be arranged. I have never said yes to that. Because deep down I know that what I want is love. There is a difference. I know I can never be happily married if I do not love. Just like I'm not exactly peachy on being a DD. People say that love will grow. Perhaps. But is that a risk that I'm willing to take? It is not just my life I'm talking about here. Marriage is more than just about me... it is also about the other person and the families. I can't possibly make such a selfish decision. What if I dislike (hate is such a strong word) it later? Does it mean I'll just have to suck it up? I don't think I'll have the strength to do so. Maybe I'm just being stubborn... I'm refusing to make changes, take chances.

There... I've said it. I want to love, to be loved. I dream of a happiness with a loved one. It seems so easy for others. But why is it so hard to come by me? Am I being too idealistic? Is this karma biting me back in the arse for saying no previously? Maybe this is the root of all my troubles lately. My subconcious desire for love. I do have love... just not that kind of love. Pangs of envy I do get from time to time. All these emotional turmoil... it's exhausting. Would love be the cure? And how does one find love? I've searched, but it seems to be in hiding (or non-existent?). It is something that I want, but just as Jagger said (or rather sang) "You don't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes you might just find what you need".

So... what's the remedy for a healthy soul? Let me know... because I'm still searching.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

how we live our life...

I've been having thinking about somethings, a lot of things lately. Just needed to find the time to put it down into words.

But this email I received from a friend is something that I'd like to share...

Physical Dimension - Assume you've had a heart attack in the last month. How would you approach exercise and nutrition?

Social/Emotional Dimension - Assume that everything you say about people will be heard by them. How might you choose your words differently?

Mental Dimension - Assume your knowledge and skills will be obsolete in 2 years. What new learning avenues would you explore?

Spiritual Dimension - Assume you have 1 year to live. What legacy would you want to leave?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

WSH 1947

Many years ago I was gifted a car, now it is my turn.

Just before I left for Hong Kong, I told Papa that I would buy him a car, within a certain budget of course. He has been driving this old Proton Saga. Despite the cosmetic "improvements", it still drove like an old car. He deserved something better.

My dad is not someone who would ask for things... even if it is something that his heart desires. Unlike my mom, hehe. In some ways, I'm like that. Too proud to ask for something. Would rather find ways to get it on my own or just live with the dream.

Given the current economic conditions, it didn't take long. Just three days from checking out for availability, making payment and getting the car.

When I heard that he had went to JPJ to get a number, I immediately realised that it must have a been a wish that he had kept to himself for a long time. And when I heard about the plate number, my heart broke... he chose the year he was born for the car. And coupled with WSH... it was like a wish coming true.

I arrived home past 8pm on Tuesday. As I was about to open the door, I saw the car. I smiled. Went to the kitchen where Papa was seated. "Kereta dah dapat?"

He had a big smile on his face... a truly happy smile. And his next action was something that I had not expected. "Thank you Along" and gave me kisses on both my cheeks. I couldn't help but to mirror his smile, despite the bad tummy cramps thanks to my monthly.

When we went for a quick drive that night (Ina driving of course since I'm barely able to tahan my sakit), he was like a kid in a candy store. Glee was obvious from his voice. My only regret was that I couldn't reciprocate the feeling, so bad the pain was.

We always hear that when we were small, our parents took care of us... feed us, bathe us, buy us stuff. Now that we're adults, it is our turn to bestow the same gesture.

I'm so glad that I'm in a position that enables me to do these things for them. I guess it's my way of saying thanks for all the sacrifices that they've made for me all these years. I'm not good at expressing emotions... so I hope that this helps to tell them how much I love them.