Monday, February 27

Thumbing through reality

What the heck happened to my weekend? There I was on Friday, full of ideas on how to spend my two lovely long days off work. I was going to finish reading my book, start a new one, play some PS2 games and watch tv.

And what did I accomplish? I managed to watch some tv, read a little and played hours of PS2. It was like ‘lepas gian’ time. It wasn’t some hotshot game I was playing. It was Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. My brother doesn’t have any of these kinds of games. His are all racing and racing and more racing. Maybe racing is putting it down a bit. I think he has several Need for Speed games. And Grand Theft Auto. Or am I mistaking him for someone else?

So back to HP, it was courtesy of Kimmy, his girlfriend. I had loads of fun. On Friday night, my left thumb was pink and by Saturday afternoon it was bright pink and basically I had lost all my senses. Probably all the nerve endings were numbed from the constant jamming on the control pad.

Saturday afternoon, my mama, brother, two sisters and I spent the time just talking about stuff. We reminisced about events that happened while we were growing up and had lots of laughs. Some things some of us forgot, so it was fun to remind each other of all our follies and achievements.

That evening, hubby and I went to hubby’s parents’ house and we had dinner there. Then we watched tv and saw Vanity Fair on Astro. Sunday passed by so quickly that before I knew it, it was time to go to sleep. *sigh* Another weekend goes by….

And the other one is so far in sight….

Wednesday, February 22

I'm the kinda girl who likes to bla bla....

Helloooooo…. It’s good to be able to write something today. So much has happened since I was away from this blogging desk. Well, so much in my non-eventful life anyway.

My last post was like last Monday. I had been so caught up in work that I seriously didn’t even have time to go to the washroom. It’s like everything was stuck in my head until it became like an overcrowded notice board and things kept being added to my mind and yet nothing was taken out and everything just wanted to spill out and so I had to regurgitate everything down to paper. That gave my mind some peace as well as put things into perspective, as when every little detail was on paper, work seemed at lot more manageable.

Open Day came and went. All the arrangements, all the decisions made, all the misunderstanding, all the crazy emails going back and forth, all of it came together on that one day last Saturday. The culmination of it all was actually a very enjoyable event. Yes, even though I had to work on a Saturday. I would be lying through my teeth if I said I didn’t enjoy it. What’s not to enjoy? We get to sit in a booth and meet parents and prospective students. We didn’t have that many tasks at hand and we were able to mingle with the other staff of the University. It was more like a fun social event for me. I talked to many people whom I only saw once in a blue moon. We exchanged news and stories. We compared notes from the different faculty staff. We had fun.

On Sunday, my parents-in-law treated hubby and I, as well as sis-in-law to Puteri Gunung Ledang The Musical. It was playing to a full house at Istana Budaya. I saw that the tickets for all the shows were all sold out. I enjoyed the whole performance. I thought they all did a good job, and it’s definitely a boost for Malaysian theatre.

I took Monday off from work. I had to go to the hospital to get my supply of medicines. I thought I had had enough to last me till next Wednesday, which is when I’ll be seeing my doctor, but my last antibiotic tablet was only till Sunday night.

Oh, I’m also happy to say that I bought two books from Borders, the Curve last Saturday – Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld and I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe. So right now I’m reading Prep. I’m enjoying it a lot. Can’t wait to go home and continue reading it tonight. For the past two nights I’ve been sleeping at midnight just so I could get at least two chapters done. Wanted to buy more books, but the financial situation didn’t allow it. Heh…

Alrighty then, it’s time to go do some more work, seeing that I’ve taken quite some time to write this. It’s good to be click-clacking on the keyboard again…. Aaaaaaahhhhh………..

Monday, February 13

Great gasping....

I have been so busy that I had no time to update my blog. At work, I barely have time to go to the washroom. When I get home, I’m too pooped out to do anything. That and the fact that the PC would be taken by hubby.

Right now, I’m just stealing ten minutes to type this and to ‘update’ my blog. Nothing much has happened. I finished reading The Great Gatsby. I’m looking for something new to read this week. I have a company dinner to attend this Thursday. I might be working this Saturday as we’re having our Open Day. And if we’re lucky, hubby and I might get to watch Puteri Gunung Ledang The Musical courtesy of the parents-in-law.

That’s it for mudslinger news….
Adios, and have a productive week ahead!

Tuesday, February 7

Sure, I'd love to do it!

You know how it is at work. Sometimes you are asked to do something extra. Something that was not listed in your job specifications. So what do you do? Do you just shirk the responsibility and give some plausible excuse from the top of your head as to why you don’t want the to do the job? Do you decline politely and say that you really have a lot on your plate right now? Or do you grin and accept it, as it is a ‘great opportunity for you to contribute to your university’?

When one of the influential members of the powers-that-be call you personally to ask for this favour, you are left with no choice really. It's either do it and everybody’s happy, or don’t do it and face the wrath that you may cause for saying no. It might not be that bad. Probably you will be ‘blacklisted’ from company events, your name said only in hushed tones. If by any chance your name comes up in conversation, you will be spoken off in contempt. You will be the example used in telling moral tales of what not to do in cases of ‘voluntary work for the good of the company’. You will be remembered as the rank insubordinate, destined to go nowhere but down into some hellhole department that nobody in the company knew existed. Worst case scenario, your existence will not be acknowledged by anyone in that company.

It is with these thoughts in mind that yours truly became a yellow spineless jellyfish who has now been entrusted to write something for a company event.

*mudslinger belly-swims under a rock to hide*

Monday, February 6

A cut above nostalgia

I got my hair cut on Saturday. I went to the neighbourhood hair salon in Taman Melawati, since we were at my in-laws’ house. When I was getting my hair cut, I realised that it was probably gonna cost me like RM15 or so. Cheap right? Well, yes if you compare it to the hair salons that you can find nowadays. The ones with English or exotic names and have male and female stylists who speak with an accent. No, sir. I went to the ordinary kedai kerinting rambut that has been in operation for many years.

Aaah, the kedai kerinting rambut. You know, the one where you can get Chinese tea served to you in those cups with covers and all? Now they don’t serve Chinese tea though, but they have signs in the shop saying that drinks are being sold at reasonable prices. This is the kind of salon where they sell all kinds of supplements like the mengkudu juice from Polynesia. This is the shop where mothers bring reluctant kids to cut off their locks. This is the place where the owner and her daughter wok together, with the owner sporting a short permed hairstyle and her daughter streaks of blonde in her auburn long locks. This is the shop where the radio plays Chinese music endlessly. In the small tables underneath the mirror in front of you, you can see stacks of magazines illustrating the ‘latest’ hairstyles from the 80s (with models complete with shoulder pads).

I have always had my hair cut in these small neighbourhood salons. One time, I tried going to a fancier place but I was appalled to find that it would cost me about RM 40 for a cut. So I thought, forget about it. I have been going to these salons since I was a little kid, tagging along with my mother. I remember looking at the ladies eating kuaci in between customers. That was where I tasted my first kuaci. I recall the smells of the various lotions and chemicals used in the salons. I can still hear the loud whooshing sounds of the hairdryers and the snip-snip of the sharp scissors. I remember them all as vividly as if it were yesterday. I liked watching the ladies cutting and styling customers’ hair while having conversations at the same time with one another in Cantonese. I guess it’s more ‘lively’ than those fancy salons. And anyway, I’m wearing a tudung now, so it doesn’t really matter what my hair looks like.

The lady finished cutting my hair. I thanked her and proceeded to put on my tudung before leaving the shop. I didn’t realise at the moment that several pairs of eyes were on me, looking intently at how this tudung-tying business goes about. I felt as if I was giving a presentation. After I finished, I turned and all the hairdressers smiled at me.

The haircut cost me RM 13. A whole lot cheaper than your upmarket salons. But a whole lot more nostalgic.

Friday, February 3

That ad-splains it!

You know that ad on TV? The Chinese New Year ad where the auntie is making kuih kapit and she chides her son for reckless driving? Yeah, the one about road safety. Well, I thought it was an ok effort to get people concerned about road safety with all the balik kampung exodus happening. And then the day after that, I heard an ad on the radio. It was a bunch of guys who were talking about the ad on TV. What bothered me first was that they didn’t really speak like Malaysians. Sure, they tried to sound like Malaysians, with the Malay guy speaking English with a Malay intonation, and the Chinese guy speaking English with ‘lah’ everywhere. But this is so far from the truth. I mean, I know lah how Malaysians speak. This ad was too exaggerated and too unreal.

The next thing that got me thinking was how this was a radio ad that was explaining the TV ad. What? Some creative genius work going on, was it? Was it meant to reinforce the message for people who didn’t have TV or for those who didn’t manage to catch the ad on TV? Or was it to explain some idea that was somehow lost in the TV ad? Come on, takkan lah Malaysians such a dumb bunch right?

As if we needed to be reminded many times to be careful on the roads this festive season. As if we needed to know that during the festive seasons the number of accidents are high. As if we didn’t know that the public transportation is the safest way to travel. Heck, putting your life and your family’s life into the hands of the express bus driver could be the most responsible act ever. As if we didn’t know that…. Sheesh….

NOTE: Since eyes rolled too many times, mudslinger is now cross-eyed.

Thursday, February 2

Welcome to Thursday's ramblings!

It’s Thursday, and it’s been a while. Everyone has been in a holiday mood since last Thursday, and I too forgot to update my blog, and instead spent my time engaged in other businesses. I spent time in the stationery room looking for a new stapler. And I read the newspaper and wanted to try out sudoku but forgot. This doesn’t mean that I did not do work. Hell, no. I spent most of Thursday and Friday tying up all loose ends so that when I came back to the office today, I will not be welcomed by a mountain of work. But you know how it is, half the office had already gone on leave, so I still couldn’t complete my monthly reports.

I drove to work today in such a leisurely mood. There were very few cars and it was smooth all the way. Well, on normal working days, the LDP will be smooth flowing from my home to Cyberjaya, so can’t complain there. You know those traffic updates on the radio? Sometimes, just through wishful thinking, I want to hear a report for traffic on Cyberjaya. Even though it will probably sound like, “the traffic on the LDP heading towards Cyberjaya is smooth flowing….” I would surely get a kick out of that.

I actually woke up late this morning. I set my alarm on my handphone for 6.20. Usually, my alarm would go off at 6.20, at which I will press the snooze button a few times and wake up at 6.50. Well, 6.50 would actually mean I wake up at 6.40 since my clock is always ten minutes fast. Again I digress…. I woke up at 7 this morning. Seven! Frantically I had my shower and got ready and lucky me, after going through my morning routine in warp mode, I still managed to leave the house at 7.45. Phew.

I must have switched off my alarm when it went off this morning. I didn’t sleep late last night, well, not that late anyway. It was about midnight. I know I’ve promised myself to start sleeping earlier but I just couldn’t put down my book. I just had to finish it yesterday. And I did. It was Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go. It’s a great book. I found myself saying ‘one more chapter, just one more’ every time I came to the end of a chapter. I just had to keep on reading to unravel the mystery and to put together the puzzle in my head. It’s really an engaging read. I recommend that book to all.

I will probably start on my new book tonight. Ever since I left my student days at the Uni, I felt that I haven’t read enough ‘literary’ works. It’s always the current fiction, so I made an impulse promise when I was at the bookstore the other day. It was to read at least one classic work a year. At least one. If possible three. So tonight, I will be starting on The Great Gatsby. Let’s see how many days that’s gonna take me.