Sunday, April 24, 2005

So far...

Blackwater Rafting. This is a really really cool thing to do. Not too hard but a lot of flexibility needed as you need to squeeze through several holes. Highly recommended. I will write more when I'm supposed to be packing to go to Christchurch tomorrow morning. Yawn! And I'm still aching from blackwater.

Spent some time back at the Uni, taking photos of how it looks like now. Hamilton has had a lot of changes with many asian restaurants (Korean, Thai, Chinese), a new bus station and a casino. Otherwise, everything is about the same.

This morning went to Gateway and met up with Pastor Grace and Dennis. Great to see them again. But had shocking news that one of our close friends Sam had a heart attack about 3 weeks ago in Gateway and had died but they managed to revive him when the ambulance came. I'd better send him an email.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Changi for the first time!

Yep, I'm in Changi for the first time and what do I do? Blog!

Anyways, last night my CG went for a futsal game and I initially declined joining. In the end, I couldn't resist and started gearing up since I was told we had only about 10 mins left. After playing for some time, we extended it to an extra half hour. Good fun! Now I need a trolley to carry me around to see the sights of Changi.

Yay! This is just the beginning!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

...24 little hours...

...I'll be in KLIA, getting ready to fly off. And we haven't packed.

Anyways, I'm still at work, trying to tie up loose ends and HAD to go meet someone who then insisted that when I come back from my honeymoon, I should be pregnant to make the whole trip all worth it! So, I'm supposed to develop my mother hen instinct within the next few days so that I'll want to start a family and then live happily ever after. At this point, whatever kid I will have will probably suffer a mother with Motherless Instinct and "Who is my Mum?" would be one of the first words they'd utter.

I hate it when someone tells me how to run my life and would have been stuck there for a good half an hour more had the miracle of nature calling that I was spared from further embroiling in such a discussion.

Now, to get back to work and soothe away my frazzled hair.

Note: I realise I've been running away to my work whenever I feel a need to. So does that mean my work is my sanctuary? Anyone got a gun?

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


Yesterday morning, KS stepped into the bathroom with this look of guilt. I paused with one foot halfway out of the shower and gave him an enquiring lift of an eyebrow.

"Sorry" he said.

"For what?"

"I dreamt of Samara (the horror flick currently in cinemas) and was fighting off the ghost and injured you at night?"

"Really? I don't remember at all!"

"Yeah, you said, "Ow! My hair" "

I can't even ban him from watching horror films now coz he never watched Samara in the first place! Now, what horror movie should I be dreaming of tonight?

Monday, April 18, 2005


I think God reads blogs too. Right after feeling so drained on Friday, I went to Ipoh on Saturday and had a relaxing time spent with the in-laws. Then that night, I was informed that someone whom we had been following up as a CG had just accepted Christ!

Looking back, I realised I didn't even publish a draft about any of it as I failed to see the significance of God's intricate plan.

First it was the easter gathering some fellow Christian colleagues wanted to put together. I was roped in and volunteered to do the ice breaker. During the process of organising this, many of us got a bit disheartened that some couldn't make it, or that no one wanted to take charge of the event etc.

Finally, this took place on a Thursday, 14 April 05. This person L, attended it much to my surprise as I knew he wasn't a Christian. Welcoming him anyway, the whole thing went on until 7:15pm. As I was walking out with my fellow CG member S, we had to do a bit of an exchange of crepe paper as part of decorations for our CG's Community Outreach programme that very Sunday. L, who had walked out of the gate had somehow turned back and saw the colourful paper and asked us what that was for. We explained to him and invited him to join us in this project which he agreed to! At first I didn't believe him but encouraged him to come.

In the end, he came, had a good time and clicked very well with the rest of the CG. Right after the whole children's party, another CG member announced she needed help for the following Saturday's decoration and L volunteered to come the night before to help.

Again, keeping to his word, he turned up and helped them decorate the place. The next day he again turned up for the children's Easter party and at the end of the day, he accepted Christ! S was stunned and thought he was joking but he looked serious.

So all our efforts were not in vain at all! All the squabbles, the lack of faith of what we were doing all came to fruit! And how! Praise the Lord!

Friday, April 15, 2005


I have just started a Friday morning with a husband who is very very angry at all the traffic and a build up of a fortnight of stress at work. Even before I reached the office, my neck started straining and there's a black cloud above me.

At work, I listen to my colleagues who are encountering work problems with a customer. It is more soothing than the ride here.

And now, on top of my other burden, now there's someone else who needs marital advice. And it's right at this moment when I can't give any!

What a way to start a Friday.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Measure of Success

This morning on the radio, the topic was how one measure's success. This topic is quite interesting as we had just talked about it in my church.

The world's standard is measuring in terms of how much money they have. Magazines frequently come up with the top 50 richest person's in the world. This morning's responses had most people saying it is to do with how happy one is.

An interesting view from my senior pastor was using integrity as a measure. It's one of the most difficult things to have as we easily fall into doing wrong.

Heart of a Shepherd

It's painful when a friend has different beliefs and unforgiveness in their lives choose to go their own way rather than to change their ways. Sometimes, the feeling is not as strong but it hurts especially when you see the potential in that person but because of stubbornness and pride, refuse to be moulded to fit with the big picture. Instead, they want to look for another picture where their current "shape" is accommodated.

As someone in a small authority, this is the first time I feel really really disappointed. Alas, I am unable to do anything about it because I, or anyone for that matter, cannot change this person's stubbornness. This lies within the person to change and I am drawn to the side, helplessly watching them cross this road of uncertainty onto the other side, not realising the problem lies within them. I wish I could shrug this monkey off my back and just not care about this person... but I can't.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

2 Bricks Worth

Yesterday, my colleague L excitedly cornered me and asked if the wall between my neighbour and my house had 2 bricks. Apparently this engineer who bought a house in my housing estate went through all the trouble to look at the housing blue prints and discovered that there was only 1 brick dividing each house in his phase. So of course he went to the papers and made complains against the developer.

This morning, L comes and gives me the paper in which this report appears. Now, if only I understood Chinese. It didn't cross my mind to check last night as I had other things on mind but now I'm wondering what if there is only 1 brick instead of 2? Do we shift out and demand the developer to knock down my entire row of houses and install the second brick?


As I was driving to work today, I felt a distinctive pop at the hook of my pants. This is my 3rd pants that has given way to my bulging tummy ever since I got married. No, I am certainly not expecting but it would have given me a better excuse than having to say I'm growing fatter! And to think I was basking on compliments yesterday when two people commented I've lost weight. My hook fastener then decided it was time to take a peg or two down from my new found pride.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Pay As You Earn

Still on the topic of taxes, when I first started, Pay As You Earn (PAYE) was implemented and my monthly salary was deducted to pay for my taxes for the first year. The following year, somehow PAYE did not show up on my pay slips and I carried on without questioning.

Then today, I decide to question and I was just told by my HR department that my pay is non-taxable. In other words, I've been working for 6 long years, a uni graduate and my pay is not high enough to be taxed on a monthly basis! This really really bugs me. I'd rather pay taxes, thank you very much.

Of course, at the end of the day, I still have just a little bit to pay each year (which I have already been doing or rather, I deducted from the extra I had in my tax account) but still!

I'm going to be scanning the papers more closely from now on. On my way to work these days, I keep my spirits up as I crawl through 1.5 hours of traffic just to get to work by thinking of the moment I hand in my letter.


For the first year of my tax paying year, I enthusiastically paid twice. Being a good Malaysian citizen, I decided to leave the amount in there so that the next year I would only deduct whatever I owed without having to actually pay. Then the government decides to lower the taxes and I haven't had to pay taxes since then, say 5 years now? Just deducting from that first amount! It's amazing to think taxes were so high before they lowered the taxes.

Anyways, I wasn't sure how much leftover I had in the account so I spent a good part of the morning just trying to reach the Income Tax office. As of all government offices, they speak the national language and since I haven't used it in a rather long time, my tongue struggled to form the appropriate words and I lapsed into half English and Malay, brokenly trying to piece sentences together (language has never been a strong point for me). In the end, I decided to use English on the next person as they transferred me to the correct extension. After waiting until 2-3 songs had passed (they played a radio station for call waiting), someone finally picked up. I rushed into my enquiry in English and all she said was "Hello? Hello?" and cut me off.

Furious, I tried calling again and it was only after 2 hours I managed to get someone to pick up my call again. This time I had time to compose my sentences in Malay so they entertained my enquiry. Sigh...

Monday, April 11, 2005


Just reading the weather update for Christchurch is giving me chills. It's hovering around 4-8 degrees at nights for this week alone. And when I went to Genting right after our wedding, I was already wearing double layers and shivering. Genting is approximately 15 degrees at night and that is the equivalent of day time temperature in Christchurch. Oh boy....

Another cake

Since I had all my butter cake ingredients available, I decided to make another one for our own consumption on Saturday morning with the help of my sister. She's really great when it comes to helping out when I make cakes.

Anyway, just as I was slicing through the moist cake, mum-in-law calls, "Since it's grandma's 80th birthday this weekend, would you mind baking your butter cake since she loves it? And I know you don't do icing so that's also a plus point since she's diabetic." I just laughed and told her I had just only made one and it wouldn't be a problem to make another on Friday night.

So there you go. Two cake requests in 2 weeks. I'm enjoying this. However, I itch to go beyond the butter cake and go for carrot cake or hot cross buns or layer cake. Now, layer cake is something else since I just got hold of Mum's absolute secret recipe which is to die for.

Beyond expectations

My cell group (CG) had been organising a children's party at this place called Kampung Cempaka where our church holds weekly tuition classes. We created flyers and banners to attract the children from around the area and spent 2 days distributing the flyers even though it rained. The estimated number of children who would attend was 50 but I had a feeling the day before that it would exceed that. My cell leader felt otherwise as she was worried that less would turn up.

In the end, we had over 110 kids who turned up! Half of them had to be ushered outside under the trees for their activity while the rest enjoyed several rounds of games inside. Food wasn't enough, extra door gifts had to be swiftly put together... it was a tiring experience although I wasn't able to contribute much on that day itself as I am unable to speak their language (my own mother tongue - for the shame!).

I must say I had expectations on my CG members which were not met and thus am disappointed. My cell leader and I were discouraged especially when some talked excitedly about the meeting time of distributing the flyers and then didn't turn up, leaving only 4 of us, which is a fraction of the CG to do the job. The second time, 2 more turned up and made the job so much faster but still, I was terribly disappointed and disillusioned.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Captain Jumping Ship

By the way, my Executive Director just resigned. So we now do not have an ED in addition to a GM. What is this company coming to?

Question to God

One day, when I'm living with God up there, I'm going to ask Him what exactly happened to my tooth that is currently being mutilated. As I reported, 2 days ago, my tooth with the root canal decided to gush blood and coat my lovely piece of steamed cod fish in my mouth. So I go to the dentist today and he insisted it could have come from the tooth behind it. Now, I'm not blind when I say I saw blood coming from that particular tooth, not the one behind it.

My tooth happily complied in the end after he prodded and jabbed with his metal skewers and started bleeding again, thus making him agree that my pain probably was caused by that tooth (hmm, this tooth is starting to gain a character, I'll have to find out what the dentist term/name is for this tooth). But he still insisted it wasn't the tooth but rather due to the resorption, my gums are the ones giving me the excess blood and proceeded to inform me he was removing part of my gum. I didn't quite understand him and he didn't seem inclined to go into details.

Halfway through the process, he took a photo of it and I saw he had punctured my tooth again and had the gum removed from inside the tooth. Now, this totally does not make any sense to me which is why I know Jesus would be more patient in telling me what actually happened here. After all, I'll have eternity to hear the answer.


Since the day I exchanged rings, I've been wearing it almost 99.9% of the time. This has resulted in a variety of designs carved on the smooth matt surface. It's almost as though I'm engraving it with my daily life ie from door knobs, dishes, pots... and just less than an hour ago, the car door. My poor ring is subject to the harsh sides of life, giving it character within it's first 1.5 months of use.

Or am I supposed to remove it frequently?

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Growth Journal

My church introduced this Growth Journal for us to jot down our thoughts and interpretation of our daily scripture and for the first half the month of January, I was vehemently writing it down on a daily basis. It was a really good way to mull over what you've just read rather than just to read what other people thought about it.

Anyway, my excuse for a "break" was due to the wedding. All that preparation and I couldn't do anything else, somewhat. Yeah yeah...

Time flies you know? And I haven't touched it since. Perhaps it is because of that journaling which is what prompted me to blog. I have this need to express what I've encountered, even though it's insignificant.

The reason for this reminise of the Growth Journal is because on Saturday at church, we had a guest speaker Jebakumar whose message was simple but very powerful. He mentioned the different stages of a Christian's growth, from a "ha ha ha" baby to a wait for instructions teenager to an adult who doesn't need to be told but knows the father's heart. The most powerful line was "We are given life to the full. Life means growth like a baby plant, that will grow with nurturing". Now, how can my spirit grow since I'm not nurturing it with my daily walk with the Lord? So I've started just a bit every night, no matter how tired, just to read. Haven't mustered enough energy to take up my journaling again but I hope to do it soon.

But then, I'm going NZ in 2 weeks....

Bloody tooth

Yesterday at dinner, Mum cooked my favourite meals, cod fish steamed to tender perfectness with soy sauce and chicken saturated in oyster sauce amongst others marinade. And lovely blanched broccolli.

Happily chewing into the scrumptious meal and enjoying the company of my parents and sister, suddenly there was a foreign taste mingling with the half chewed fish, accompanied by a sharp pain.

Running to the mirror, I gaped my jaw to see my half-root canaled tooth brimming with blood. It was seeping out from the temporary filling but thank God it stopped after applying pressure on it with a tissue. Ewww...

Perhaps my dentist meant for the filling to be temporary so that I'll quickly go back to him for the final leg of the root canal. My appointment is tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Go Forth and Bake!

Tomorrow I'm actually taking leave so that I can bake a cake for my boss' birthday. I know it sounds like I'm trying to polish an apple or something but I'm really looking forward to a day of baking. I've promised to bake 2 cakes, the other one for an Easter gathering we're having after work tomorrow. Then on Saturday, I'll be making something again. What a fun filled week!

Monday, April 04, 2005


On Saturday, Dad and Jan followed me to look at cars. We stopped by the Toyota showroom first and test drove the Vios. After testing out the Waja and the Gen 2, I fell instantly in love with the Vios because of it's responsiveness and also because when I signalled, my wipers didn't go off - Waja and Gen 2 have their indicators on the left which I'm not used to.

After speaking to the sales guy and getting more information, we then headed to the Chevrolet showroom. I've sat in my friend's Optra and it was a luxurious feel with a total silence when driving so I looked forward to test driving it. Wehn we got there, the sales guy asked me what cars I have already test driven so I told him and he arrogantly said, "Let's go test drive the Optra, this will be a confirmed sale, the rest cannot compare to this". It was not as responsive as the Vios and I had difficulty in engaging the gear as it had a strange zig zag design. And of course the wipers came on when I came to the first corner. I was trying to enjoy the silence of the car but he kept talking to my dad. In the end, he asked me what I was looking for in a car and I couldn't think of any besides fitting our budget, which the Optra had alread burst. Jan said she preferred Vios immediately mounting off the Optra so she was disinterested in the rest of the conversation.

Perhaps if he had been more humble, I would have seriously considered the Optra. Now I'm biased towards the Vios. What is it you want? Yeah...

Whenever I feel afraid...

Last Friday we got home early and excitedly put on a DVD since we haven't watched a movie for some time. We saw Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. Hmm... Jude Law IS cute! But nah, Brad Pitt is better in Meet Joe Black.

Anyway, after that I decided to "try out" the King & I DVD just to make sure it works. Yeah right. I ended up sleeping at 3am and was tired throughout the next day. So no worth it.

But as I watched it, I played the song "Whenever I feel afraid" and it did sort of make sense. "When I fool the rest, I fool myself as well". It's just like any emotion I guess. You can tell yourself to act happy, people think you're happy but in the end, you will feel happy. Just a matter of trying and choosing how you want to feel. It's always easier to choose to be grumpy but hey, that only affects everyone's mood. So I'll try not to choose to be grumpy as much as possible.

Bite tongue

I get extremely annoyed when people whine about "Nobody told me what is happening" when they don't turn up for meetings or "I don't know how to this/that" even though you've already told them who to go to for help. Gaaaahhh!

As you can imagine, I must really learn to bite my tongue otherwise impatience will prevail. What I'd really like to say since I can't say it outloud anyway is "GET WITH IT! You want to know what's going on? Then move your lazy arse and come for the meetings! Don't expect others to minute down what your role is!" or "Cat got your tongue? Contact the person in charge like I told you and find out yourself! STOP WHINING and just do your job! Don't expect me to do your running around!". Sigh... That was good.

Sunday, April 03, 2005


Promising myself to practise baking this weekend, I ventured into opening my wedding gift of a brand new Kitchen Aid. Excitedly fixing it up, I got all my ingredients ready and started dumping the first part of the recipe into the mixing bowl when I got a slight jolt from the metal bowl. Frowning, I touched it again just to make sure it was electricity.

Since I desperately needed to practise, I shrugged it off and throughout the mixing, I was electrocuted when my metal spoon tapped the bowl. Somehow, after much maneuvering, the mixture was completed and I started to pour it into the prepared tin.

As I was scraping the bowl, I noticed the mixture had a strange grey tinge and looked carefully at it - there were metal shreds in it! Then I realised the mixer had been scraping the bottom and sides of my mixing bowl. Howl! My new mixing bowl! The manual said they have it perfectly adjusted at the factory so I left it as it was. How was I to know what is considered too low that it should scrape the bottom??

To the naked eye, you can't see the scrapes but I KNOW it's there and I can feel the scratched texture each time my fingers dip in to inadvertently touch it.

So there goes the inauguration of my precious Kitchen Aid. And there goes my practise for my Wednesday baking plan for my boss' birthday.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Free Car Park

It's one thing to feel demotivated, but it's even more impactful when your boss shows that she's also demotivated! It's quite funny that I suddenly feel like I need to encourage her too! Before he left, my colleague conducted his own research to see how we were coping and found interesting results.

Many of us complained of feeling unappreciated which I agree wholeheartedly and also we feel we are not being paid enough. But interestingly, in my department, there are some who feel they are being paid enough. So I guess that is a mixed perception of salary here.

Also, we were made to list the top 10 pros and cons of being here. In a way, it was a good exercise to be glad for what we have here. One of it was hassle free parking. My colleague who's going to work in the middle of town, is not allocated a car park so he either has to fight for a parking spot or take public transport. I never thought of something simple as a blessing!