2012 in review

Happy New Year 2013!!! 😀

8 as is a good date as any to write my first post for 2013, but as usual before things can start, others must end…

Thus here are the milestones of my 2012 (both in the blogging world & off)

At the beginning of 2012, I said I would live in the moment & trust God more and I think 2012 was just that:

I came to a more concrete realisation of my dreams of being a writer (quite unplanned)

By February, my blog was chosen as Blog of the Month and an article of mine appeared in a local (Sarawak) paper. And though not because of my writing (but it was print media so it denotes an honorable mention :P) I also made an appearance in a Brunei local paper.

In April, I applied for a travel writing scholarship and though I did not get that, I did get 2 awesome opportunities (major highlights of my year!) – I had the opportunity to actually cover 2 big-scale events on a media pass!

See me in the press pit? 😉 STILL one of my fave photos of the year!

They were the Borneo Jazz Festival in Miri in May & the Rainforest World Music Festival in Kuching in July – these 2 events encompassed all that I love: music, travel & writing. It was awesome!

Through a series of events, I also sat for a journalist exam with a local paper. If it is to be, I will be called for an interview next. Trust God. 🙂

Living in the moment meant I was up to whatever life presented…which led me to some very interesting things..

In April, I joined a Run & ran 5km – with less than 1 week of training at that! 😉 If future me had told me in January 2012 that I’d be running in 3 months I wouldn’t have believed myself.

On a whim (bought the tixs the night before I flew), I finally went to Kota Kinabalu (prior to this it had always been just passing through) in August & in September, for the first time, I stepped foot in Penang. While the former can be checked off as “done”, Penang requires another more proper visit. 😀 And since I’m on the subject of travelling, Labuan was “done” in April 2012 and Bintulu in February.

With those, I guess 2012 was a “Cuti-Cuti Malaysia” year for me…plus the multiple trips to Miri & at least 3 trips to Kuching.

Life & work caught up with me towards the end of the year (thus my blog was on halt from Sept-Dec) but if I could summarise those months into a blog title it would be: “3 Weddings & a Conference” – 1 of those weddings was that of a very dear friend of mine. :’) Congrats to all 3 couples!

And so ends my review of 2012 (in general).

It had been a great year filled with memories & experiences money can’t buy…no matter where I went or what I did, it was those who were with me (be it physically or in spirit) that made them special.

Thank you for journeying with me in 2012 & I look forward to more adventures together in 2013. 😉

Leaving you now with a review of Perfect Imperfections for 2012 from the guys at WordPress.com:

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 11,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 18 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Three

After all the things we’ve been through together-my first job, my decision to change job instead of going back to school, my moving back to where I grew up, the initial stages of my new job then and as I’m wondering how long I’ll still be at that second job (my current job now)-WE are still here!!!

We made it to the 3rd year!!!

Over the years, you have been with me without fail. You have always been there when I am excited and could not stop talking. You are there when I’m upset and needed to vent. Even when I’m just too busy for you, you faithfully waited for me to return…not to mention all the friends I’ve made because of you…they are your voice in response to all I that share…

I truly cherish the past 2 years..from Kuching to Brunei..from daily updates to less than a post a month sometimes..you show me where I’ve been and where I’m going..and so, my gift to US..I will try my best to update you more regularly now..a post every week..make that my resolution this month.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PERFECT IMPERFECTIONS!!!
(and thank you to our dear readers for continuing to support us)

X is Awesome!!!

I truly sympathise with those who DID NOT get to experience this during their childhood:

Ah…I miss those cartoon watching days of long ago*sobs*

Thankfully, for old-time’s sake, many of them have been made into movies: X-Men, Spiderman, Batman, Superman, Ironman, Fantastic Four, Transformers…

But for me, the best of them all is the X-Men Trilogy, 3 films in the space of 6 years (2000-2006)…which ended with the death of Professor X. So sad! 😦

…but now they are doing the Star Wars thingy and going back in time to show us how it all began…SUPER!!! 😀

The first spin-off or prequel (and according to wiki, its not the last! 😉 ) X-Men Origins starts off with Wolverine

Last week, me and 5 others watched “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” at Seri Q-Lap Cinema. The tickets were a lot cheaper compared to The Mall and we had the best seats in the house (smack in the center of the big screen!)awesome! 😀

I’m not gonna reveal the plot of the movie, you can click here for that, but I simply LOVED it!!! However, if you have not watched the movie, I doubt you will understand what I am talking about after this… 😉

Thanks to wiki, I now know (what I didn’t realise when watching the movie) some very interesting and important facts that practically made me slap my forehead and say “OH!” in enlightenement! 😉

Talk about sibling rivalry!

1) Logan/Wolverine’s brother Victor Creed is the future X-Men villain Sabretooth!!! – who is, by the way, in “X-Men”, the 1st of the Trilogy! The role was played by two different actors though.


2) Wolverine’s girlfriend’s sister name is Emma Frost, future X-Men known as White Queen – an X-Men I have no recollection of. How odd…

3) The villain here, Colonel William Stryker is also the villain in “X2”, the 2nd of the X-Men Trilogy (although 2 different actors played the role). I really need to rewatch the Trilogy!

(L-R): Wade/Deadpool, Remy LeBeau/Gambit, Logan/Wolverine, Victor Creed/Sabretooth, Kayla/Silverfox

4) One of two possible endings appear following the credits of “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”. The first depicts Deadpool/Weapon XI’s hand reaching out from the rubble of the nuclear complex to touch his severed head. The second alternate scene shows Wolverine drinking at a bar in Japan. The female bartender asks if he is drinking to forget; Wolverine replies that he’s drinking to remember.

Ours was the second…thus I did not realise the importance of Deadpool. Apparently, he is important enough to have a spin-off as well, and this has been confirmed following the success of “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”! 🙂 According to wiki, in the prequel, it is understood that Deadpool, a surgically altered Wade Wilson with the ‘pooled’ abilities of other mutants, would regain the ability to mouth off, with the movie going back to the roots of the character, known for his slapstick tone and propensity to break the fourth wall. Does that mean he can “talk others to death”? Haha!

5) Upcoming spin-offs or prequels will be “X-Men Origins: Magneto” (the title is self-explanatory), “X-Men: First Class” (intended to be about the young Cyclops, Jean, Beast and others who attended Xavier’s school with them) and “Deadpool” (mentioned above) and the inclusion of Gambit also leads to the possibilities of his own spin-off. Nice! 🙂

In summary, I LOVE X-MEN and I can’t wait for whatever prequel/sequel – there is a sequel planned for Wolverine, set in Japan (note the second ending scene which we saw!) and possiblity of a sequel after Prof. X died in “X-Men: The Last Stand”, the 3rd of the Trilogy – they can come up with!

Yes, I am X-cited alright! 😀



P.S. In “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”, there were a quite a number of good-looking guys. Agent Zero was cute, Remy LeBeau aka Gambit was hot (reminded me of Capt. Jack Sparrow of “Pirates of the Caribbean” – another set of films I love watching!) and also featured will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas for his first major film debut!

P.P.S. My fave scene was…ALL of the fighting scenes!!! 😀 Super effects and stunt-work(?)

P.P.P.S. Above all, my fave X-Men since the very beginning is Rogue, Gambit’s love interest. I guess I can relate more to her character…Hehe. Anyways, this character hasn’t yet been portrayed much in any of the movies…one day hopefully. 🙂

Bye-bye ’07, Hello ’08!

11.40pm, 1st January 2008.

I can’t believe it’s 2008 already…feels like it was only yesterday that I came to Kuching in search for work…(that was actually like 9 months ago)…and now I’m already into my 9th month in my 1st job – I guess I’m already a senior since I’ll be the one guiding my junior for our stock-take tomorrow. Hope I’m ready…

Anyways, so how was 2007 for you?

Successfully completed your resolutions for last year?

I didn’t make any resolutions for last year…and I guess this year, I’m not gonna make any either! – saves me from self-dissapointment. Haha! 😀

But I guess 2007 has really been a “growing-up” year for me:-

1. I stepped into the working world

Which sometimes suck, but sometimes can be cool. Hehe…especially having your own money and a bit more independence in what you do with your life.

2. I broke a bone.

One of the worst things that can happen has happened and now its in the past. Good riddance! It was simply the most miserable time of my life (thus far)! But it was a good experience…I learnt to live in the moment and to appreciate what we have for we never know when it can be taken from us.

3. Was more active outdoors.

Getting the chance to hike Mt Santubong (although not to the summit) and trying a hand at – and doing a great job at it too! – Paintball – 2 of many things I always wanted to try! – was simply awesome!!! And I am looking forward to more outdoor stuff like these this year…

4. Widened my social network.

Both online and offline…made new friends, became closer with old friends and better relationships at work. And also being more open to new relationships and learning to trust people more.

5. Maintained my family’s love and trust.

In fact, I feel it has grown even deeper recently and for that I thank God! Indeed, I have been blessed…

6. Strived for a closer relationship with HIM.

A lot of barriers need overcoming, but I am determined that this year it’ll be better. With HIS love pushing me on, how can it not?

…And come to think of it, the list above kinda sounds like a resolution huh? Well, except for breaking a bone part. That, once is enough. Thank you.

So yeah folks…guess that’s all for now.

Whatever didn’t kill us made us stronger right?

Life is short – LIVE it!

HAVE A BLESSED NEW YEAR 2008!!!

God bless…

Lots of love,

Margret C.

(Un)Forgettable?

As I’ve mentioned in my recent post, I went for this reunion thingy right?

Well, it kinda got me thinking…

Am I the kinda person that someone easily forgets, or am I the kind that someone will always remember?

Say you meet someone once and never see each other again, would they remember you when you bump into each other? Or say you got their number at that first meet, when you text them, will they reply:

Hey! It’s so nice to hear from you again! So how are you?

Or will it sound something like:

Err…who’s this again?

As I’ve admitted, I really was afraid that no one would remember me at the reunion…I mean, reunions are supposed to be where the topics of discussion are:

Hey! How are you now? Still single?

Hello! So I hear you’re engaged? Congrats!

Hi! How’s the wife and kids?

Congrats man! Heard you got promoted!

I’m so glad to see you again…How long has it been?!

and not…

Hey Angie! How are you?

My name is Betty.

or

Hey Dan! How are you?

Fine, thanks. And you are…?

or

Cindy and I used to hang out till late at night just talking…

I know. I was there.

Well, you get what I mean…

But hey! Turns out I was remembered afterall. 🙂 But most of them, I was never really close to, so them not knowing my name – not a big deal…

Important thing, they remembered me. Haha…

Though it does bug me sometimes when (especially sending text messages) you’re all “Hey,how are you? How’s life? Hope you’re feeling better now after that day. Really missed you. Take care ya…” and the reply is “Who is this?”

Freakin people! Save my number lah!!!

Anyways, that’s another story. 🙂

Now, some more pics from the reunion:

P.S. Hiatus after Raya…

Speak now or forever hold your peace.

I’m sure we’re all familiar with (or have at least) heard the song “Lady Marmalade” by Christina Aguilera…

…and there’s a part in the chorus, if my memory serves me right, that goes:

Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?
Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?

It’s pronounced:

voo-lay-voo shu-shay avek mua say sua…

Do you know what language that is?
Do you know what it means?

…and the song was a hit I think around 2002 maybe?

If you’ve watched Gilmore Girls before, then you might remember that one episode where Rory Gilmore confidently used said line (without knowing what it actually meant) when she was trying to impress some French business partners of her grandpa with the only French she knew…

Well….
It IS French.

And it means:

Would you lay (sleep) with me tonight?

Imagine how the grandpa’s French partners reacted…hahaha…

Language is a tricky thing…especially when it’s foreign. LOL…

I took French as my language course in Uni. I aced the exams every time. But I wouldn’t say I’m good at it…I still have so much to learn…but here in Malaysia I don’t think its much use to know French or any other foreign language for that matter (maybe with the exception of Japanese since we have many Japanese MNCs here).

So what language is relevant in our country?

Bahasa Malaysia. (duh.)

Mandarin. (or Cantonese or Hokkien or any other dialect depending on where you are.)

Tamil. (maybe)

…yea…cos Malaysia only has three races…Malay, Chinese and Indians…while the rest of us don’t existWTF?!

I think that’s crap la…

Malaysia has a diverse and indigenous variety of races, languages and culture.

No wait…

Sarawak has a diverse and indigenous variety of races, languages and culture – more than any one person can master.

Why is Sarawak a part of Malaysia anyway?
It’s not like they appreciate us…
They don’t acknowledge our existence…
They take away all our resources and use it to develop the “main” land and leave our beloved Land of the Hornbills and our friends in the Land Below The Wind high and dry…
We could do so much better on our own…

Anyways.

I digress.

So…out of the three languages above…which are you good at?

And what of Manglish (Malaysian English or Mangled English, depending on how you look at it) then?

I spent the first 15 years of my life in Brunei…(if you don’t know where that is, it’s that small area between Sarawak and Sabah)…and over there, we didn’t have Brunglish…It was simply English and Bahasa Melayu

The English is the proper, grammatically-correct British English that our colonial masters left us and Bahasa Melayu was Bahasa Melayu lah…Bahasa Malaysia is Bahasa Melayu maa…I may be wrong but wasn’t Bahasa Malaysia called Bahasa Melayu before it became Bahasa Malaysia??

That said, because I grew up in Brunei and studied there till Secondary 3, I was pretty much good at both languages but I especially mastered English. Thus, when it came time to enter Form 4 locally (Malaysia) for the life of me I could not fathom WHY THE HELL is the medium of the education system in our country in Bahasa?! I mean, c’mon lah…everyone knows that English is the internationally worldy widely universally accepted language! No wonder our local students are unable to master the language and settle for Manglish instead…(In other words, Manglish is a form of bad English – not something that one would proudly list under “language skills” in one’s CVwikipedia.)

So now, after what? 40 years?, those in authority finally realize that they shouldn’t have “disliked” English so much and that it should have remained the medium used in schools? It was the medium used when our parents were in school but somewhere between their time and ours, someone decided that as Malaysians…we must have own language…our own identity…English no good…English bahasa penjajah

…all crap la…

Why?

Because after I transferred from Brunei, I have felt that I have had a great advantage over my local peers…it took me as little as a month or two for me to completely adapt to the lessons in Bahasa and I maintained my strength in English…my peers on the other hand struggled with just ONE lesson in a language that is not Bahasa – that lesson is English. So what does that say about the chances of our local graduates to succeed OUTSIDE Malaysia?

Ok…maybe I’m being too critical…it’s just school right?…But that’s the point…it’s NOT just school…some of the local Institutes of Higher Learning (IPTAs) use Bahasa as the medium…STILL! Even after acknowledging the importance of English in today’s world, they are still adamant that “No…our official language here at UXX is Bahasa Malaysia and that will always be the case. We will continue to teach our undergraduates in Bahasa although maybe some subjects we will use English lah…”

I pity the poor local undergraduates who may never be able to utter a proper, not-broken, not-mangled sentence in English…

Don’t get me wrong…I love Malaysia…it’s just that sometimes there are some things that you wish had been different…maybe Malaysia would have been able to achieve more after almost 50 years of independence…

Also, I have no issues against Manglish (hey! It’s FUN what. ;p)…BUT…I don’t like it that it can erode the proper grammatically-correct English that the few of us in this country have had the opportunity to master. Why? Don’t believe me ah? I didn’t use to type like this – with the “ah” and the “lah” and the “maa”…but I believe I can comfortably switch between proper English and Manglish…can you? ;-p

P.S. – This post turned out a lot different than what I intended to write…Hmmm…

P.P.S. – Do go and read this wikipedia article on Manglish…really informative! Most of the words I didn’t know so I guess I don’t have to worry about Manglish eroding my proper English…not at the moment at least. =p

This time last month…

Remember me mentioning (before my blog became totally silent for about 3 weeks?) about my convocation around the end of last month and the big plans I had in store for the few days that we were there?

Well, I am glad to report (albeit a little late) that Yataa! I did it!

I planned to…

“AT LEAST have a proper farewell with my friends who were still studying/working there…just some “closure”…a proper goodbye…”

The night of my convo, before I left for Sarawak again the following day, I had my chance for a proper farewell…the last dinner you may say. It was kinda like the last contribution for CSS as well…I provided the budget to get all the raw materials needed and they did all the cooking. Hehe. Would have helped out but we were busy stuck in the jam in KL (read point below)…anyways, that night we had quite a “feast”.

There were about 20 of us (including me, my mom and bro)

…and we had BBQ chicken, BBQ sausages, curry chicken, chicken soup (yea2, I know…all chicken), steamed fish, steamed tauhu, mixed veggies, rice (of course) and fruits for dessert.

Oh yes! We also had cake. That was a nice surprise for me and all the rest who were having our convocation then…

And then after dinner, Jen, with Charles as our guide (so as not to get confidently lost like when we tried to go there the previous night after supper with Bong), took us to Uptown Shah Alam. (Bong, I was right. Section 24 not Section 15. Haha…) We were there cos my mom wanted to get an army-patterned sling bag for my kid bro back home. Anyways, for those who don’t know what Uptown Shah Alam is, its like a bigger version of Petaling Street…it’s like a big open air night market (open all night to weehours of tomorrow) where you can find all those el-cheapo imitations of branded goods…”designer” clothes, bag, jeans, perfume, what-you-want-they-sure-have…and if you’re tired going from one kiosk/stall or whatever you call it…there’s also food stalls at the back, Malay food lah.

And of course, here the prices are all “negotiable”…the better you haggle, the better offer you get. The bag my mom wanted to buy cost RM45…my mom haggle till it became RM40…I put on my charms and we got it at RM35. Should’ve tried for RM30…

Anyways, when I explained to Jen that Uptown was “where you can find all those el-cheapo imitations of branded goods”, she questioned the fact that the-people-in-authority actually “provided” the place for all these “piracy” to take place when you-know-and-i-know that the-people-in-authority are all against piracy and supporting original products…Ironic huh? Later, my brilliant bro came up with an answer to Jen’s question…

“It promotes tourism what. What you think tourists come to Malaysia for? Tourists come to Malaysia for the el-cheapo products laa…The original from where they come from damn expensive…and from where they come from, piracy laws are strictly implemented…”

Hahaha…what can I say? Malaysia Boleh maa…

“And I HOPE to be able to go on the Eye on Malaysia…”

Now this, I could never have achieved if it were not for Bong, so…THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU Bong…You’re really one great friend! So lucky to have friend like you…Muaks! =D

That said, let me continue to tell you what an awesome time we had…hehe.

The Eye on Malaysia is basically a giant ferris wheel (though a lot smaller than I’d had expected/ hoped for) located over/above/overlooking the Titiwangsa Lake Gardens in KL (Taman Tasik Titiwangsa). It’s supposed to be like the London Eye but the London Eye is a lot bigger and maybe London City is a definitely lot prettier to look at (compared to KL) from high above ground but since London seems really really far away…Eye on Malaysia is the next best thing. ;p

So after I was finally able to leave campus after the convo, which was around 2pm, we went back to CSS to quickly freshen up, stopped for a late lunch somewhere in Puchong and left for The Eye…

“Why you want to go on The Eye so bad?” Bong asked me when we were on the way there. “I don’t know…I just knew I had to try it AT LEAST once the minute I heard about it…”

So, some busy traffic later, we arrived at Taman Tasik Titiwangsa…the minute we arrived I was so excited!!! WE MADE IT!!! As per the tourists we were (all first-timers to Taman Tasik, including Bong) we took the obligatory tourists-style pics…hehe…

Walking along the lake kinda reminded me of the Kuching Waterfront…maybe they’re gonna have Mata Kuching (Kuching Eye, or if directly translated, Cat’s Eye) for Visit Sarawak campaign eh? Hehe…

So we proceeded to the ticket booth…

Wonder how the Private and VIP Gondolas differ from the “normal” ones…hmmm…

…and managed to get on The Eye just-in-time…(We might have had to wait longer ‘cos some BUSLOADS of school kids arrived just SECONDS after us!)…

Taman Tasik Titiwangsa (taken from inside The Eye)

The view…

Not that breathtaking…Nothing much to see in the KL Skyline…the only rooftops (if I may call them that) I recognized were the KL Tower and KLCC (Petronas Twin Tower)-the one pointed out in the background…

Maybe it’d have been better if it was at night…Next time lah…if ever.

But it was AWESOME still cos I got my wish and to be able to say I have been on the Eye on Malaysia…That’s just cool…Haha!

So, for me, RM15 per person is TOTALLY worth it…for say, half-an-hour or 6 rounds on the Eye on Malaysia…=D

My only regret was that we were caught in the worse jam ever (at least for me) on the way back from KL…and Bong kinda had plans that night so he was late/real late!…That made me feel guilty… =(

“TREAT my MOM to an all-expenses-paid *hopefully* “jalan2” and “makan2”…I want her to see where I’ve been living the past 3 years…I want to make it a memorable “vacation” for her…she could use the break from being a full-time Mom (no house chores, no cooking, no worries)…at least for those few days…”

Yes, I believe Mom enjoyed herself those few days of non-stop shopping, jalan2 and eating out…I managed to bring her and my bro around to most (though not all) of my fave haunts in Shah Alam:

  • Plaza Masalam (lunched at The Chicken Rice Shop, window-shopping at Reject Shop)
  • PKNS (Mom finally found that AVON lipstick she loved so much!)
  • Plaza Alam Sentral (Hot Market is cool!)
  • SACC [Shah Alam City Centre] (window-shopping at F.O.S)
  • Giant Seksyen 13 (the biggest Giant outlet in Shah Alam, clothes-shopping)
  • Tesco (currently the best/cheapest/biggest/nearest hypermarket in Shah Alam, I love the foodcourt and the potato bun here! Oh, and massive clothes-shopping happened here. Hehe.)
  • Seksyen 16 for cheap Chinese food (but only open for lunch)
  • Seksyen 24 aka Uptown Shah Alam.
  • and not in Shah Alam, but Damansara – we went to One Utama (too bad it was already late else we could’ve gone to The Curve too…)

And of course, it goes without saying…the reason why we actually went to Shah Alam:

I am officially not a student anymore…gonna really miss those days…

So, yeah…I HAD A GREAT TIME during my convo-vacation-ing…

Thanks for the memories guys…

Love you all…