Monday, March 31, 2008

Easter siesta

The just concluded mid-semester break was a much needed afternoon nap in the day that is 2008. The first few weeks of Uni had been hectic, resulting in a severe lack of sleep and more than one comment that I looked tired.

Hence, I had dutifully catch up all those lost hours of dreams, resulting in days when I woke up at 11am. Besides from that it was quite an interesting week actually, spent doing quite a few things I like at a leisurely pace. 

I had been to playing ping-pong and badminton, attended two birthday parties, sung at two karaokes, went drinking twice, out eating nearly everyday and  read a few novels. Which is essentially a very happy time.

The most significant thing I had done that week is of course taking part in the 14.14km Run-for-the-kids. The event was held yesterday and more then 27,000 people took part, raising in excess of $700,000 for the Royal Children Hospital. Compared to last year where I ran to beat the clock, I took a leisurely approach to the race this year and finished it in about 2 and a half hours. Took a few photos along the way:


Running across Bolte bridge...


Fairies on the run. There are also Spiderman, The Incredibles and a whole lot of other Superheroes on the run.


More running people...


And me striking a pose at the 13km mark. My strong affiliation with the number 13 continues as I was participant number 18313.

It feels good being able to contribute to a good cause.

This week will be a hectic week as I started my hospital placements. I will be at the Austin Hospital from 8.30am to 5.30pm the next 3 weeks, learning the ropes of being a future pharmacist. Austin is quite far away, requiring at least two hours on public transport daily. It will be tiring.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


How great is our potential?

I am generally pleased with my extra-curricular involvements in the University. I have diverse roles and derived different experiences and knowledge from them. These roles enabled me to know myself better, and let me have a chance to further explore my potential. I am quite content and happy with what I am doing.

But all these paled in comparison when I read about the achievements of other students my age. There's facebook founderMark Zuckerberg, only 23 and listed in Forbes as youngest self made billionaire. Then there's also a Monash student by the name of Hugh Evans, 24, who founded and is currently the director of The Oaktree Foundation - a huge entirely youth run not-for-profit organisation dedicated to eradicate poverty.

Reading about them left me a nagging aftertaste in my mouth. If they can have such vision and leave such an impact on millions of people's life by such a young age (pratically same age as me), why can't I do the same? Are we any different? Am I really living up to my potential?

Something to gnaw at during Easter break.

Moving on, after countless days of busy-ness I finally had a quiet afternoon today. Utilised it to the max by finishing a novel I started reading two weeks ago. That's quite a record coz I usually gobbled one up in 2-3 days. The novel is Unpolished Gem by Alice Pung. It was a very funny and interesting read, and the author really had a knack for storytelling and words play. I read the book because Alice came to the Uni to give a talk during orientation and she had a very enthralling honeyed voice.

Anyway, just brought another book today from Borders. It's another one by Jodi Picoult, who wrote the critically acclaimed (by my standard) My Sister's Keeper. It's gonna keep me company for Easter Break. Wondered why I'm so plan-less for Easter. But sometimes I really do prefer staying home all day with a good book. Not to mention the mountain of assignments..

And yes, have a Good Friday and Happy Easter to everyone!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The F1 experience

For the first time in my life, I decided to go to a F1 race. In appreciation of my generous support, Melbourne rewarded me with a fine, sunny, cloudness 37C day.

The race started at 3.30pm, but due to my unbridled enthusiasm, I was there as early as 10am. (Okay I admit it was partly becoz of the $68 x 2 I spent on the tix) Nonetheless, there are certainly a lot of other fun things to do besides enjoying the F1 race.

For example, taking pictures of cute cars..

Crazy fans...

Ardent Ferrari supporter...

Hilarious road safety demo..

and of course the F1 car itself.

During the race, it was quite hard to capture pictures of the cars as they zoomed by fast. But thanks to countless crashes and safety cars (only 7 out of 22 cars finished the race), me and my sis managed to get a few good photos:

Me with a car zooming by (one of the hardest pic to take)...

All the cars close by each other.

In the end, Lewis Hamilton won the race and the two Ferrari cars did not finish the race. Quite surprisingly second place went to the Petronas sponsored car. Really money well spent. Syabas M'sia!

Mr Hamilton before the race.

After the race, we had a walk on the race track itself, taking some photos like this one:

Me posting with my fav number on the starting grid..

And of course a post of F1 will not be complete without mentioning the beautiful promo girls associated.

Bad news is that it was hard to take photos with them as they were wearing really high heels.


You should see their 5 inch heels.

It's true.

Except these two.

Thx for bending your leg Blondie^^

My first ever...

Sometimes I do wonder how I can survive 3 years in Uni without buying any books.

It was often a source of pride that I continued to do well in Uni without them. But on the other hand, I do really feel unprofessional for not buying them.

Hence I splashed AUD105 for this so-called Pharmacy bible. Hopefully I can now be more of a pharmacist rather than just a pharmacy student. ^^

Australian Medicines Handbook - my first ever Pharmacy related book.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Does The Secret really works?

The Secret was one of the more controversial best-sellers around. It championed the so called Law of Attraction, the teaching that by visualising whatever you want, you will get it. It drew some flake mainly because it implies that if you are disabled, it's because you subconciously want to be disabled.

For a perennial sceptic like me, I don't buy into the credo that you can get whatever you want by just desiring it. Perhaps it is due to my upbringing, where it is instilled in me that I need to work hard to get what I want. However, since The Secret was on the best seller list for a long time, I decided to buy the book when it was on offer last year for the grand price of $16.95.

After reading the book, I felt that what was claimed was incredulous and outrageous - basically the book is a rip-off and I don't believe anything it said. Nevertheless, for someone who always reach the tram stop when the tram is just pulling away, I figured that it is relatively harmless to give The Secret one shot. And since today is as good as any day, I put the 'law of attraction' into practice - and guess what - it pays off three times in a row.

Here's how today unfold:

I had lectures slotted for 9.00am to 11.00am. Half way through, I received a SMS that I need to be at a meeting at 10.30am. Not wanting to miss lecture and the meeting - I visualised the the lecture will end at 10.30am. Voila! It did.

Then I wanted to go to Endnote workshop at 1.00pm and had lecture from 12.30pm to 1.30pm. Guess what? lecture ends at 1.05pm!

Then I desired to join the celebration of my friend's birthday at 2.15pm. You guessed right, the time was just nicely placed within a lecture. So it's another this or that again - and you wouldn't believe it - the lecturer didn't come and class was cancelled! First time in a long while that this had happened.

So right now I am still figuring out whether it was just dumb luck or The Secret at work. Whatever it is, I am visualizing right now that the weather on Sunday will be a cool breezy day so that I can enjoy the F1 in a comfortable environment. Who cares that the weather bureau said it will be 36C. I have The Secret working for me!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Green little men

Marianne’s attention was caught by the little green men on the screen of her son’s computer.

52 green little men. She smiled as her mind started to wonder when the computer geeks will begin to develop green little women. Then they can make green little babies.

She cast a glance at her adolescent son, snoring away with saliva drooling on the blue bed sheet. They are so lucky nowadays, these young kids. Their friends are just a click away.

Marianne began to reminisce on her teenage years when she had to creep downstairs after the light had gone out in her parents’ room to wait for the telephone to ring. She had to have lightning fast reaction to pick the phone up before the first loud ring rang out. Then she had to whisper and giggle silently, using a cushion to muffle her voice.

Joe woke up at 2 am and found that his computer is turned off. He hastily rubbed the sleep from his eyes, turned on the screen and began scanning the little green men. There she was, he noticed, relived that the girl was still there in the virtual world.

Amy saw the little green men called ‘Starlight’ appear online just as she was about to sleep. She stared at the name in trepidation, remembering the event ten hours ago when Starlight meet Moonlit in the real world. Instead of a light radiant atmosphere, they blinded each other into oblivion, ended up sitting by the lakeside in silence.

Joe's pointer hovered and turned circles around green little Moonlit, unsure whether to initiate any conversation. He heaved a sigh as the thought of the afternoon replayed itself in his memory. They had such fun online, flirting like an entwined couple and bickering like husband and wife. Yet, in the real world, they behaved like a pair of awkward stranger. The magic failed to transcend the thin line between virtual and reality. Without the green middlemen to carry their words and thoughts, they are like a car sans wheels.

Amy looked at the green men. Starlight was the third guy introduced by the green men whom she had met in the flesh this month with the same results. If only there are green men in the real world, she thought as she shut down her computer.

Joe saw that green man named Moonlit turn a pale ashen grey, not unlike the grey on a dead man’s face. So much for a budding relationship. Life will be so much less uncomplicated if only people can marry and have babies online, he thought, as he clambered dejectedly back to bed.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Fishing is fun..

...if you managed to catch a fish.

But going out with friends is always fun.

Yesterday went to Mornington Peninsula to fish.

Some pre-trip stretching

Waiting for fishes to appear..

Post fishing posing

Relaxing by the beach afterwards.

Just discovered I don't have most ofthe photos to write a long post. Whoever got the photo of me catching the fish... fast fast forward to me...

A take on the election results

When I'm still a kid, election is about wow and wah-ing over the seemingly magical overnight sprouting of colourful blue BN and fancy Rocket posters around my Taman. I can still remember jumping vainly trying to grasp some of the posters hanging by a piece of raffia strings across two big trees, wanting to reuse them to make paper aeroplanes.

My first ever recollection of really reading the election results is in 1999, where as a 14 year old kid I proudly thought that "Wah, Sarawak government so great, win all the seats in Parliament when other states suffered some surprising losses. Sarawak people so loyal to the government."

Fast forward five years later in 2004, when I am studying SAM in INTEC Shah Alam. That time, the future certainly looked great - I'm on my way to overseas and a Mr Clean Guy is going to be PM. When BN won with a big margin, there was an air of positive anticipation that Malaysia is on its way forward. This was further reinforced when that Mr Clean Guy did spot checks on immigration department like all the pengawas in ties usually did during sekolah menengah. "I'll eradicate corruption" he said, and I believed him.

2008 is supposed to be the first ever election where I can vote, but alas, I cannot exercise my right as I'm physically located in a foreign country. Even though Malaysia is thousands of miles away, the election fever can be felt here, thanks to the Internet and all those blogs. There's a twinge of regret that I can't vote. Nevertheless, I felt that the country had voted correctly overnight: The opposition gained big, and BN losses 2/3 majority. This election certainly lived to its hype as a history defining one.

I'm greatly encouraged by the result, not because I am pro opposition, but because I shared the sentiment that for a democratic government that is Malaysia to work, there need to be sufficient balance and check. Despite all the alleged gerrymandering, corruption and abuse of power, BN is still the better party to run Malaysia, as I hold the view that the opposition is currently akin a hastily assembled car thrown in to race a sleek Ferrari. Hopefully, the car is fast enough to trouble the Ferrari driver, causing him to look over the shoulder and do constant head checks and be more cautious in making decisions.

Looking back, I am not sure what happened these four years that made me to have a more moderate, liberal view on politics rather than blindly supporting for the ever mightly government. Perhaps it was the move overseas, where you can see your country from a different perspective, perhaps it was a maturation of thoughts, or perhaps it was all those popular online bloggers and websites which tirelessly expose all those government misdemeanour. Perhaps it was that the latent KBKK skills that the education department tried to instill in us takes a few years to have effect.

Nonetheless, the political landscape in the next five years is likely to be a very colourful one. Seems like there's no more need to suscribe to anymore canto or korean dramas.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Random writings

She was the girl that greeted him when he entered the pharmacy, sweet and warm and friendly. He was unsure, unconfident and nervous.

He is a plain looking boy, freckled face, buttoned nose and eyes parted to far apart from each other. He had his brown hair parted left, hold firmly in place by slick gel.

She loved to be in a flowery summer dress, and always insist having her golden hair tucked in place with red ribbons. Her big eyes outshone every other miniscule intricacies of her feature.

For him, the cavernous pharmacy looked intimidating, with endless rows of big bags, jackets and shoes; toiletries, perfumes and vitamins. The bright white light infused an operating theatre like feel to the place.

For him, the whole place looked ready to swallow him.

For her, the pharmacy has a cheerful tone to it, filled with soft background music, warm pastel wallpaper, colourful pills and fanciful cosmetics. There are so many things to tinker with and so many friends to make.

For her, the whole place was a huge playground.

This is the first time he entered the pharmacy without his mother.

He is always Mama’s little boy, ingrained with an innate tendency to cringe and run away and hide when challenged. He always entered the pharmacy tucked under his mother’s swarthy arms and nested around her rotund belly, eyeing nervously around as her mother exchanged the latest gossip with other ladies who are also waiting for their prescription to be filled.

She is an independent little girl, bought up amongst the pills and tablets. Her mother is always busy with helping people around the pharmacy, leaving her to her own devices. She talked with everyone who is willing, and sometimes tends to the dogs left outside when their owner browsed around the shop. Everyone treated her nicely, and her feisty and cheerful nature made her everyone’s favorite little girl.

He is in the pharmacy under the instruction of his mother, who lies listless in bed, sicken with a case of indigestion. He has a piece of hastily tear off paper in his left hand, which he grasp close to his heart, fearing that it would be lost if he is not careful.

As he peered meekly above the counter, fearful of an angry face greeting him, he saw those tresses in ribbons and big beautiful eyes.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Running for the kids (2)

I decided to Run for the kids again.

After last year's memorable run, the initial plan was not to run this year, because I had lost my motivation factor.

Last year I ran because the 15.2km looks challenging - it was something that I never did before and I wanted to prove that I can do it. I trained hard, ran hard and suffered hard at the end of the run. Nevertheless, the feeling of successfully finishing the run within my own time limit was priceless.

This year, aftermuch consideration, I decided to run just for the fun of it. The course had been shorten to 14.14km, but it is still as daunting as before. I'm not going to set myself any target: just really wanted to be there and experience the atmosphere one more time.

The run will be at 30th March 2008. Hopefully there's a band of people to cheer for me at the end of the run this year. Much better, hopefully they will be more people to run with us.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Life Inc

The final year of Uni is the time when you suddenly realised that there is still so much left to do. During the first three years, the mood had been relaxed - the belief is that there is still more time. I always heard about people saying: "Life is short. Enjoy it. " But I always see a long future in front of me. I am a master of procrastination, a guru of "There's still time". But now, on the throes of graduation, there's this sudden urge to fill in the many gaps in the memory bank called Uni life.

It had been a busy fortnight or so in my final year of Uni - I had been trying to do a lot of things that should be done long time ago. I now live on the maxim that "it's now or never" - akin to a man on a death sentence. I joined in things I would never had thought about, I did things that I would usually think twice about and it has been a very eye-opening and quite rewarding experience.

Even though I still haven't worked out on my future plans, I found out the joy of living in the moment. The joy of cherishing your friends and friendship now because you may never see them again after next year. The fun of meeting people because everyone is unique and interesting. The satisfaction of giving back to society. The thrill of learning new things.

It's with this I often like to tell people, go out and try new stuffs. Test your extreme. We are often limited by ourselves. We are in fact more capable then we think. Instead of saying "I can't do it because of that" why not "How can I do both?" After deciding to live like a man on a death sentence, I am surprised by what I can do, and the options that are open to me. Now or never. Better do it or regret for the rest of my life.

I sincerely hope that you who read my blog take a few moment to think of what you would like to do if you found out that you have only 6 months to live. Then live your life as if this is true. This posting is inspired by an episode of Oprah I saw earlier this year. On it, a professor who has terminal cancer gave his last lecture. And it is on life and living out all his childhood dreams. It was so touching that I really felt like crying after watching it.

Live life to the fullest. Enjoy the journey - the scenary and the bumps.