Saturday, July 30, 2011

Mint Condition

There's this somewhat strange trend that is happening in my office that is linked to a growing stack of metal cases from a particular brand of mint called Eclipse. So far it is confined to one particular department within my office.

It began last year, when these two colleagues who frequently buys this mint started collecting the tins it came in. One of them resigned, let's call him A, and he passed this collection to his other colleague B. Shortly after, B resigned and passed it to C. C kept it for a while at her desk and not long after, she also resigned, bequeathing the collection to D.

To cut it short, the current owner is G (the 7th owner) and he also very recently tendered his resignation, moving on to greener pastures. Now, this all happened within 14 months and this department has a headcount of only 6.

As you can imagine, it is frustrating for the head of the department (who also changed 3 times now, but not part of the 7 involved in this collection) to keep finding replacements and for the rest of us to have our work disrupted while these changes take place.

So, in order to stop G from passing it on to his other colleagues in his team, I have firmly and sacrificially taken on the collection and do not intend to pass it on. Unless, of course, if anything unforeseen were to happen to my current employment status.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I Survived!

One good thing about Groupon is that you get to buy stuff you never thought you'd buy and try. Well, when I signed up, there was this pole exercise class that was being offered for RM12 for an hour's class with Viva Vertical. I mean, why not for a mere RM12 for an experience to try to find out if it perhaps could be the form of exercise that I truly enjoyed?

So I got my colleague to agree going for this class with me. Let me tell you, this was my first ever Groupon I bought and this was way back in March. The Groupon expires in 3 days. Yup. Procrastinator.

Anyway, we finally went to their Desa Sri Hartamas studio for their Fit Pole class and thank goodness, there was only one other student there. A Venezuelan lady who looked extremely fit! The instructor was half my size so I felt really... large. Nevertheless, we excitedly waited for the class to begin.

I must tell you, I can somewhat count the number of times I've exercised in the last one year. On one finger - my badminton game some time last year. I was already winded by just the warming up exercises.

Pole dancing, or I'd rather refer to it as pole exercise, is an exercise that works your arm muscles as we had to hang on to the poles as we swirled around it. However, my grip kept either slipping or I was holding on too tightly to be able to swirl around properly. The instructor was very patient and encouraging though. And by the end of the hour, we had practised half a routine. With the music, though, I was more like running around the pole trying to catch up!

Would I do it again? I'm not too sure. While it is different and now my muscles feel pain (the good kinda pain like you know you've exercised them well), my body is too tense to be able to flow with the rhythm. This exercise needs strength, flexibility, grace and poise. A long way to go for someone like me!

In a way, I compare it to rock climbing where you also use the arm muscles but minus the finesse and grace required. My colleague enjoyed it though.

Go watch a sample on YouTube and you'll see that they're all just muscles. Amazing! Without the Groupon, walk-ins are charged RM50 for an hour's sample class.

I shall now crawl off to suffer for a few days with an aching body.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

So Sweet!

A couple of days ago, I bought a rather expensive slice of red velvet cake at lunch, hoping to consume it for tea at work. However, still full from a heavy lunch, I decided to bring it along to dinner and hopefully share it with my family.

That night, we went to a hawker shop to have dinner and had a filling meal. Upon reaching home, I realized I left my slice of cake at the shop and was thoroughly dismayed at my carelessness. My dad offered to follow me back and I drove there as quickly as I could. Sure enough, the people had cleared the table and threw away the box with the sliced cake, thinking it was rubbish.

I was quite sad, although I had mentally prepared myself that it would not be there.

Upon seeing my disappointment, my nephew Cameron came downstairs from his room, sneaked over to his wallet and handed me a RM5 note at an arm's length, saying he was sorry for my lost cake and the money was to help ease the sadness.

It was really so sweet of him and I really couldn't take his money of course. So I just thanked him and told him I really couldn't take the money from him. He then slowly went upstairs back to his room.

Shortly thereafter, my sister Grace came down and explained his conversation with her. He basically felt very bad for me losing my cake and wanted to give me RM10 but he only had a RM50 and a RM5 note in his wallet so Grace told him to just go ahead and offer the RM5. Then he expressed his concern, that he didn't want me to "manja" him for giving me the money i.e. hug and kiss him. So Grace assured him I'm not really the hugging and kissing kind of a person.

Hence his arm length stance when offering me the money.

So after our encounter, he went up and reported that I did not kiss or hug him. But then he felt rejected! Hahaha! So sweet!


Sorry, I meant to say he felt rejected for me not taking the money. O.o Now what was I supposed to do?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Clean & Fair Elections

For the past couple of weeks, my twitter and FaceBook were abuzz with only one thing: Bersih 2.0. Bersih 2.0, for those who don't know, is an organization spearheaded by a brave and amazing lady Ambiga Sreenevasan, who's agenda is to push for free and fair elections in Malaysia.

Naturally, the ruling government opposed this movement, claiming there is nothing wrong with the current system despite many discrepancies in the electoral roll which the Election Commission of Malaysia could not provide proper answers to.

And naturally, the opposition party jumped onto the bandwagon and somewhat hijacked it to a point that many thought Bersih 2.0 was organized by the opposition. Still, most knew this is not about the ruling or opposition party, but the fight for fair elections for Malaysia.

So it was planned that there would be a rally on 9 July 2011 (Bersih 1.0 was held in 2007 and was said to be so successful that it brought many losses to the ruling party during the elections in 2008). The theme colour was yellow. Now that the next general election is rumoured to be coming up, it may cross the ruling party's minds that history would repeat itself and they would be in trouble in the next elections. Hence, there was a clampdown days prior to the planned rally.

The King actually stepped into the foray and granted an audience to Ambiga, requesting that the rally be held in a stadium where it would be more controlled. She accepted, since the Prime Minister also gave the same suggestion. Having cornered her into an agreement with the King, the PM then rejected any use of any stadium and the Home Minister continued declaring Bersih as illegal.

 This didn't stop the people supporting this cause and despite the ridiculous efforts and obstacles thrown at discouraging people from coming, Malaysians took to the streets on 9 July. People wearing the shirts (heck, even people wearing yellow!) were arrested. A group of silat experts had apparently threatened to appear and well, promised to do what they did best, but did not turn up. A couple of other groups promised to march and cause disruption to the rally only managed to fizzle out with a handful of supporters. So, Bersih 2.0 became a peaceful rally, with people from all walks of life united with one purpose.

 The stories that have appeared on my twitter timeline on Saturday were very moving. Tear gas and water canons only made the supporters more united as they helped one another. Old and young, abled and disabled were all there. There were no race differentiation. These are the true Malaysians, no racial divide. The rally not only garnered support locally but it took place worldwide, starting from Melbourne and Sydney (or was it Japan?) and ended in San Fran.

Feeling warm and fuzzy from all the personal stories on social media, it was with bad aftertaste when the mainstream media had very biased reports immediately after. It made me realize that folks who do not have social media do not actually know an alternative news. If change were to happen, there needs to be more awareness and it certainly won't come from the mainstream media.

Here are a few blogs which described the event. Suanie, Marina Mahathir ... there are just so many out there. And for the top tweets on #bersihstories, click here.

Anyway, I am one of those who feel proud to be Malaysian now, a feeling that was evasive during the ra-ra of the 1Malaysia mantra preached by the PM years ago.