Looking back

Well looking back for this year, I’d have to admit that there were alot of crazy, strange, amazing things that I did this year which I would have never thought I’d never do

January : Started keyboard lessons

February : Had a crush on someone, and plastered stupid post-its on his table

May : Signed up for motorcycle lesson

June : Paricipated in the Singapore Idols

July : Did brazillian waxing (and I dont think I will ever do again)

August: learnt how to hoverboard, learnt alot about investments

September : Tried the flying trapeze, went to camp in the worst condition

October : Plucked the courage to go to gym, knowing there were alot of scary muscled men in there

November : Caved in and registered for a webhost

December : Donated blood

I’m also grateful for the wonderful people that I met this year,friendly people in the office, casual aquaintances on the street, wonderful folks on the net … there are many many gems out there, if one can search for it πŸ™‚

Kung Fu Hustle!

What can I say, if you liked shaolin soccer, I’m sure you’d like this too. Its really funny πŸ™‚ And I really enjoyed watching this with Julie and Hema even though we had to sit smack right in front of the theater since it was jam packed with people. It was worth having to have my neck craned up and slouched like that.

Basically, the movie is about a trenchcoat and hat wearing gang who brandished axes. They were called the “axe gang” They happened to go to a village where there were hidden surprises in them.

Anyways, watch it .. its funny πŸ™‚

Unholy Communion

When an asian woman reaches of a certain age, it would be inevitable that a particular talk should arise. I had a very interesting talk with my mother this morning about the topic of marriages. I remember one of the talks that we used to have. She told me of the 5 qualities that one should look out when looking for a partner.

Number one : The person should have enough material means to support himself and his wife.

Number two : The person should not have any diseases like aids, or mental defects

Number three : The person should preferably be decent looking. (For a good gene pool she mentioned)

Number four : The person should come from a good background.

Number five : Most importantly, he should have firm religious beliefs.

It was interesting to listen to her talk, she should be a motivational speaker for the masses – she can be facinating to listen to. Anyhow today, while I was helping out to make some food in the morning, she mentioned to me about some of the people that was around her. The topic was like this :

“You know? Its so sad that Marina isnt married right now. Poor thing, You shouldnt be so choosy”

That comment flipped my mother out and she lambasted back to the person.

“Why should she be in such a hurry to get married if she’s not ready yet? She’ll get into problems if she’s not prepared for it. Why do you call her a poor thing? She has education, she has a career and she has decent looks. Now why are you rushing her?”

I looked at my mom with such admiration for sticking up to me, even though we dont see eye to eye sometimes, she’s still a strong and admirable woman.

And then, she told me about the cousin’s wedding that I had to go to today. I pretty much dont enjoy going to weddings. And this list below pretty much sums it up the reasons why I dont like to go to them. Not as compared to the wedding of people which I am close to as compared to clan weddings πŸ˜›

Top 5 reasons why I dislike weddings (malay weddings in particular)

5. Combination of bad karaoke and loud amps = migraine
4. Speaking of karaoke, I dont understand why they insist on playing totally inappropriate songs during this occasion. “She left me heartbroken, now I’m all alone” “How could she do this to me” Sour grapes much?
3. It appears to be that most of the males would be huffing and puffing on their ciggies away. Like a procession with ciggies as their instruments. With such exquisite billowing of their ciggies, the impressive concierto of the smoky instrument, impressively leaving people around gasping for air.
2. Never any organization.
1. Always the gossippy people, trying to belittle you down.

Another cousin’s wedding today after seeing my cousin noreen’s wedding on the 12th December. That was at best, tolerable since we get to see alot of characters in different people. Since Malay weddings are supposed to be a community extended between all of the relatives, it was really disheartening to see that there are some people who tried to sneak out and not do their part, leaving those people who are doing their jobs to be burdened to work even harder with the extra task. What was the icing on the cake would have to be when the brother of the bride himself didnt even turn up for the entire reception, and only appeared at the end of the wedding when the whole event was over. If there is ever a word for phobia of weddings, I think I would have one.

So, anyhow I looked with displeasure at being told that there was a wedding today and just as expected, loud inappropriate music, clouds of smoke …

I looked for an excuse to leave in after two hours. I wanted to visit a colleague’s housewarming party today anyways. I sms’ed everybody I knew to accompany me there. Seems that they were all busy or had previous engagements. So I did the best thing I could think of at the time. I dragged my sister Diana πŸ˜› She didnt seem to mind it at all. I think she was relieved even to be able to leave the event.

We went to Woodlands mrt station, and gingerly went to Hasnah’s house. There were many shoes outside of the door, indicating that there were many many people inside. We went in and I saw some students which I havent seen for a while – yes, I did miss them … a little πŸ˜› It was lovely to spend some time with them, not in the school environment.

My sister was a little shy with the students even though they were just a few years older than she was. I guess she’s always been shy around people that she doesnt know.

Anyhow, we were playing around with the toy that Hasnah gave to every visitors. It was really really cute and has this wierd sound coming out of it when we squeezed its beak

Meet Poring and duck – My new sleeping partners πŸ˜›

I think we annoyed the heck out of people when we were playing with the ducks on the way home on the train.

Later on when I reached home, I heard of the horrible news of the earthquake that happened in asia. Since Singapore is basically just a piece of rock and is protected by larger countries like Indonesia, we didnt get hit. Maybe just mild tremors in some parts of the island.

It was horrifying to hear of the death toll … It was just jaw dropping to hear of the magnitude of the earthquake … and I felt really sad for all of our neighbouring countries … I was relieved to know that Julie picked up the phone and indicated that she was safe and sound at home. But she was worried for rin, who was in phuket, and didnt reply to her phone calls.

Hopefully it would be because of the busted phone lines.

I can only hope for the best.

A lovely day spent at the beach

After days of postponing, I finally had the chance to go out with geri again today. We were supposed to go on tuesday, however there was a staff meeting for the new registration of students in the school and the actual registration the next day. It was nice to see that most of the staff looked fresh and relaxed as compared to some months back while they were teaching, and the end of year examinations. Waheeda, one of my colleagues (whom used to be a school mate while back in Jurong Institute) told me that she went to KL. Some said that they went to Hong Kong, another said that they went to Europe. I was wondering if I should have taken the trip to Thailand after all.

Anyway, I met up with Geri at Bugis and we proceeded to go to the coffee shop to meet up with Ashley. Now Ashley is a person whom I havent met for many years. I got to know her back when I was in MIRC.In its heydays, it was a popular program that we used. Sometimes the chatters wouuld meet up for outings : coffee, dinner, a game of pool, movies … I enjoyed myself during these meetups, I was fortunate to meet the bubbly, funny people. One of them was Ashley. She was really rambuctious, wild and crazy gone nuts. Considering that we only met for two or three times in the year 2000. I was surprised and a little embarassed that she could still recognize me while I couldnt.

Geri : Hey Marina, thats Ashley there!
Me : Where? Where?
Geri : There!
Me : (peers around)

A woman stands in front of us : Here

I felt so sheepish! Apart from the reason that I havent seen her for a while, why I couldnt recognize her was also because of the fact that she looked more feminine and much toned down as compared to the first time that I saw her. She used to have hair full of many many braids topped with a wrap around bandanna and clubbers clothes. Now what I see in front of me was a lady with long flowy hair, chic clothes, toting a handbag on her arms, looking fab with her sunglass.

We had lunch together and talked about irc life, ashley’s adopted brother, amiran’s cafe new location and practically everything that we could think of. We persuaded her to join us to East Coast. She declined saying that she’d rather go shop for christmas presents. Another time perhaps.

After lunch, we went to Eunos MRT station and took the bus 13 to reach the beach. It was an amazing atmosphere. For it being christmas eve, the beach was bustling with activity. There were roller bladers circling everywhere, bicycle riders zooming past by and many many tents around with people around the area. It felt so hustle and bustle and ALIVE!

We rented a pair of bicycles and went off to explore the beach. It was really lovely to chill around, enjoying the sea breeze and just take in the view. There were people fishing, tanning, flying kites, jogging, cycling …and just having fun in general.

Geri was snapping some pictures and I really liked this one she snapped of me

and this one πŸ˜›

I snapped a couple of pictures at the bedok jetty too. Dang my camera, but this is one of the better shots I had

In the evening, we decided to go kayaking. Now that was so much fun! We forgot that during evening tides the waves of the sea will be stronger and push to the beach. Thus it was harder to paddle off from the beach on the kayak. But once we were in the
sea, everything else was easy. I decided to chill on the kayak and enjoy the water waves, bobbing up and down in the sea breeze and look at the surroundings. What a life. I wondered why I didnt do this more often.

When nightfall, we decided to ride to the food center to have our dinner. BBQ Stingray! The place was packed with people and there was practically nowhere to sit. So I gingerly asked a lone man if we could join him and luckily for us, he said yes.

Eating is such a pain sometimes. Geri wanted to eat bbq chicken but I cant eat the type she wanted since its not halal. And the stingray from the chinese places might not be safe to eat either since they sometimes cook pork or add meat from unknown
sources. So its kind of troublesome – but geri is really sweet when she insisted that we eat the same thing together even though I knew she really really wanted the bbq chicken.

I told geri that I had a nice time today. It was really enjoyable. So different from the typical outing a Singaporean would have. I mean, movies and dinner is great and fine but something different, like cycling and kayaking is so much fun, I wondered why we didnt do it more. Maybe Singaporeans arent that creative in having a good time. Even the government thinks so with all the grants being funded for our “creativity” and the “arts” I still think that we might still be sheep, but in time, I’m sure we will be the sheperd πŸ™‚

After dinner, we cycled again and got ready for our dessert at cafe gelare which was next to the fair grounds. The night air is so perfect, there were so much life around. From where I was sitting while having my ice cream there were dog trainers
with many dogs running around him, shop kiosks around and little food areas. I look up and it was a lovely full moon too. What a romantic setup .. heh πŸ˜›

We parted for home at about midnight and I reached home at about 1am after taking the last bus and had to take a cab for the last part of the journey. (Aweful and rediculous midnight surcharges!)

But all in all .. What a lovely day πŸ™‚

I’m not going to cry
I’m not going to get angry
I’m not going to get upset
I’m not going to let you get to me …

I’m a fighter … And I’m on fire

Your can be pysically independant … but how about mentally?

Hehehehe πŸ™‚

Ahem .. anyways … look whats on my table right now πŸ™‚

I love my present … thanks geri! I had to figure a while how to take the metal grips apart to insert in the picture but its all good now πŸ™‚

Anyhow’s we went for dinner on tuesday and I was quite excited to see her after not seeing her for about a year or so now. I wondered how much she’s changed so far. We met at about 6 at City Hall Mrt … she’s still as bubbly as ever! Very tanned but wow the aura πŸ™‚

We chatted all the way to the Esplanade and had dinner and I enjoyed the lovely view of the sea. I loved the cool air and the breeze. It felt good to be out enjoying the crisp night air. We saw a rehersal for the ballet performance as we chilled out by the sea.

I wasnt used to just sitting down doing nothing. Usually I’d have something in my hands to keep myself occupied. I must have fidgeted enough to have Geri commented about high strung I was. I dont think I was though, maybe I was just not used to it, thats all.

Our conversation circled on alot of different things. Like how she thinks how complacent Singaporeans are. And I couldnt agree more, in the sense that most of us can be sheep sometimes awaiting for people to herd us. She observed of how the behaviours of Singaporeans from Ozzie … always studying, always afraid of exploring anything that they are not familliar with. I may be generalising, but that is what most of us here … taking things for granted that are in front of us.

I wish I could do that, explore, move on, spread my wings. Its like being that proverbial bird in a cage sometimes with our culture. I really am looking forward to just become 100% independent by my own. Most of the times I argue with my mother about these issues. Personally, i find it a little juvenile to be arguing over such matters. She believes that independance entails to knowing how to take care of the household. Whereas for me, I believe indepenance means that one can do anything that the mind achieves. So the two mindsets clash … I try not to make her angry too much … πŸ˜›

Hopefully, I could start to live overseas for a little bit. Maybe start in Kuala Lumpur for a while and see how it goes. I hear that there is always a need for IT Trainers there. Would be a nice start πŸ™‚ Petronas Towers and Sunway Lagoon and the KLCC are so closeby … with the city nearby, alot of creature comforts would be taken cared of. Am really excited about that prospect.

But on the other hand, I’ve been around people for so long that I dont know what it will be like alone. Its always noisy where I live at and the day when everyone was out, it was so quiet and still … it was eerie … (thank goodness for internet to keep me company :P)

Anyway, Geri and I went to a Chocolate Cafe for dessert afterwards and shared a chocolate fondue and I listend to her excited talk about her backpacking travels and was amazed and proud of her accomplishments … This spunky lady was able to last for weeks roughing it out … I’m not sure if I were able to do that. So she’s got a high level of respect from me.

Well, thats all I’ve to write at the moment … sorry geri, I tried my best … told you it was kinda juvenile πŸ˜› I’ll try again soon πŸ™‚

I donated blood!

I just donated blood yesterday! I cant believe it. I was just on my way to Jurong Point to pay the bills, minding my own business and before I even stepped in the building, there was a girl who came up to be and asked me if I would be interested in donating blood. She was very enthusiastic and bouncy. Told me that she was from Singapore Poly and was doing a blood drive.

So I listened to her for a bit and I thought to myself, what the heck. Why not? I’ve always been curious to know what the proceedings of blood donating anyway. So I followed her to the Oasis room where the set up for the blood donation was.

The first thing I noticed was that there were quite a number of people there. To my front, there was the surveyors and the doctors and to my left there were many benches set up with stands beside them. Quite a number of them filled with people of all sorts of sizes, sitting quietly while the nurses attended to them. Some of them looked nervous, some queasy even.

The girl asked me. “So how? Would you like to donate? You don’t have to do it now though, we feel good just to educate the people”

So I agreed and said a little prayer and filled up the questionnaire, submitted my identity card to one of the surveyors and then proceeded to the doctor after they keyed in my information.

Later on, I went to the blood tester and had my middle fingertip pricked. Sharp stinging pain, but it was bearable. The lady quipped that this was the most painful part while I look in surprise. “You mean, that the blood donation doesn’t hurt like this? I found it hard to believe!” She smiled at me and gave a nodding affirmation while takingΒ the blood sample from my finger and dropped it into a small black machine.

I then proceeded to the last stop and sat on the rubbery seat while many nurses hovered around me. One to put a blanket over me, another to take my pressure, another to teach me about the procedures.

“If you’re scared, look away” One nurse told me so I turned around and saw another guy who was donating and asked him “How’s it going?” He gave me a thumbs up. One nurse rubbed anaesthetic and I breathed in deeply and thought to myself just what on earth did I brought myself into.

The nurse then pricked my right arm, just below the bending part. There, she said, now just squeeze the ball to regulate the flow and reduce the feeling of numbness. That’s it? It didn’t hurt that much after all! I then looked at the blood bag and felt such an amazement that I could actually do something crazy like donating blood on a whim like that. I stared at the crimson red blood and was just overwhelmed by the feeling of amazement.

The girl from before came up to me again and asked me how did I feel? “Very accomplished” I replied and gave her the thumbs up too and I chatted with the friendly nurses there.

And soon after the blood bag was filled. Even the nurses was surprised. They told me that I’ve got very good blood flow and usually it took people 10 minutes (the fastest) to 30 minutes for the slowest. I took about 5 – 7 minutes. (Vampires dream come true)

The nurses bandaged my arm with a cute smiley bandage and I rested in the pantry for a few minutes and then said goodbye to the people there. I got for myself someΒ souvenirs! The nurses gave me, a sticker, pens, diary … I’d rather have the squeeze ball as a souvenir though πŸ˜›

I feel quite tired right now though. Don’t feel strong enough to go for my jogs even. My brother Naz tells me that it should be from the lack of iron. But anyway, I still feel such an accomplishment. It was not bad, I could do this again πŸ™‚

My free pens!

Where my arm was pricked for blood. Not very noticeable right?

Memories of West Spring

Well, morning time here and in a better state of mind to write in my blog. Always here to please my fans. Well my one fan … *laughs her head off*

Anyways, I was checking on my email account and to my dissapointment our school did not get to the preliminary rounds for the e-animation competition. Really feel bad for the girls who put in so much effort for the competition.

They spent alot of time after the school holidays and it was a very valiant self effort. Not to sound bitter, but I can bet you that the work done by the finalists are probably done by a hired professional. Most of the competitions done by schools are. So I guess I’m not too thrilled about the whole scene when I first found out about it.

This is a scene from the e-animation.

Hopefully we could do better for the next year. I really know the kids has potential to win. They just really need to get their butts kicks and stop being so lifeless and procrastinating ..Grrr!

Work … I know that I’ve complained to quite a bit of people about it. Too stressful. Not enough pay. Too much work. No free time. No social life. Rude kids. Demanding bosses. Out of the world colleagues. Thats all true. There isnt a job in this world that doesnt come with its own problems. But I’ve heard of a saying that goes by “every job has its own problems. What makes a job worthwhile, is if you could find a job with problems that you enjoy solving” I try my best to go through that very sound advice.

I’ve always enjoyed teaching for one thing. Its nice to interact with people and them fill them with information and see their faces light up when they understand something and do a task beautifully. It feels like such a proud achievement for me. Teaching is also something of a two way road, where you dont only talk, but you also listen and learn from each other. And I guess in a way, I’ve been slowly being quite attached to my little monkeys *coughs* I mean my students.

I remember when during their examination and I was invigilating. I was sitting there looking at their faces and remember how they looked like when I first saw them. And then I think about how fast time passes by. And then I thought sadly at how they will leave soon and that I wont be teaching them anymore. Thats the thing about teaching and emotions. A person could really get attached whether they want to or no πŸ˜›

West Spring is now moving to a new campus. I cant help but feel a feeling of “end” while packing my things and remembered the different memories from when I first came to the school. And just the same, I know that I’d probably not stay there permanently. But I will definitely miss it should I go. West Spring Secondary would definitely have a place in my heart.

Welcome back Geri :)

Geri’s back in Singapore! Welcome back, lady! I’ve missed you! Anyways, I’m a little brain dead at the moment. But I’ll update this soon … Well, I *did* promise and update but I never said how long …*laughs*

Anyway, this is a picture from the bbq for the moment πŸ™‚

From the back, left to right
sky, thomas, bk, millie, doris, ck, hong boon
middle : hema (in pink) julie hidden by hema, sn, ph, shahim, mohammad
front : william (in purple) toad πŸ˜› and zuraidah πŸ™‚

Oh and me, in black

A few updates

I dont know what happened, tried to update my blog yesterday and then hit publish post and somehow at the same time the server decides not to post it. Okay, I thought fine, just press back and it will be there again. Empty screen. Nope, that didnt worked. Good thing its not that much typing I guess.

Anyways, just a couple of updates that I’d like to post really quickly πŸ™‚

1. Got me a new domain last week. rinaz.net is mine πŸ™‚ Will try to update it with the new layout I am thinking of getting. (picture quality is bad though, ran out of batteries and thats the only shot I have at the moment)

2. Went out with my ex classmates on last sat. It was really nice to meet friends we havent seen for a long time before. Most looked different πŸ™‚ Still the same inside though. Reminisced about our times in school. This part will be updated when I get the pics from Hizam πŸ™‚

3. Our idea of setting up a business might be materialising πŸ™‚ Am looking forward to making our dream come true πŸ™‚ We’ve got 6 months to prepare ourselves.

I’ll update this page again later. Have been on a buzz from watching the screen too long … lol

(runs to get eye drops)