25 December 2010

Merry Christmas 2010


MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM
TROPICAL SINGAPORE!


NOT THAT I HAVE A COCONUT CHRISTMAS TREE
IN MY GARDEN BUT WHEN I SAW THIS, 
IT MADE ME SMILE.



WITH MUCH LOVE FROM STEEST


19 December 2010

Of being happy, happier and happiest!

In general, I am a happy person.  I've learnt that being happy is a conscious decision.  Occasionally, I found that even when I was happy, something could come up to make me happier.

This is me with my "happy" face.


Yesterday, when I was killing time between sending and picking Jared up (okay! I was shopping!), I got a BBM from Stephen.  He said that he had received a handsome bonus.  Of course, whatever he gets, for me in Malaysia, is multplied by 2.3 at least.

So I get a beautiful bonus too!  Stephen is so sweet.  Along with the cash, came words for why I deserved it and that made me love him even more.  

This is my "happier" face.

When am I happiest?  It's when I have moments that money cannot buy.  Too many to mention.  No picture could capture that face!


By the way, my grandpa would have been 101 today if he was alive.  I was always his favourite grandchild.  I miss him.  Happy Birthday, Pa!  

17 December 2010

#3 Of What Makes Me Smile

Some of you know that I lost my second son, Eric.  It was hard for me but it must have been worse for Jared since he lost his only brother.  

I don’t know how it must have been for him.  Crippled by my own pain at that time, I couldn’t have realised that he, too, felt the awful void.

Anyway, there were good moments during those days that made me smile (for days on end).  This is one of them.


Many, many years ago, one of my cousins, after having 3 wonderful boys, conceived again and although, we were all hoping she would finally get a girl, she had another boy.  She asked me to be the godmother of that beautiful baby boy.  I agreed and I am so grateful to her for thinking of me.

After a gathering at her house in honour of my newborn godson, we were on our way home and we had this conversation in the car.

He:  Aunty L is so lucky to have 4 of them.
Me:  Yes.
He:  Maybe they can give us one.
He:  Maybe we can ask them since they have so many.
Me (laughing):  We can’t!  Those boys are her sons.
Me (trying to be serious): How would you like it if we had 4 and people ask us to give them one?
He:  But if she gives us one, she will still have 3 and we will have 2.
Me:  We cannot do that lah!  And don't you ask!!!!
He (not listening): We’ll ask for M______
Me:  Why him?
He:  He’s the same age as Eric.

If only life were as simple as that.  It’s a sad memory but it still makes me smile, always.


(some pics from photobucket)

12 December 2010

"X" marks the spot

I was on my way out this morning and saw this in the sky.  It caught my attention. When I reached the gate where my parents live, I jumped out of the car to take these 3 pictures.  My parents thought my pants was on fire!!!

My mom was sure that it was a natural phenomenon.  My dad said it was contrails.  Wikipedia says that Contrails (short for "condensation trails") or vapour trails are artificial clouds that are the visible trails of condensed water vapour made by the exhaust of aircraft engines.

Fortunately, I had my camera in my bag.  If you look carefully, you can see what looks like an inverted rainbow

They say "X" marks the spot.  Okay, we got that.  So what's the spot about?







09 December 2010

Of being in a scam! Part 2


I meant to put this up earlier but procrastination got the better of me.

Until now, I still worry about family and friends who get caught up with scams.  This story came out in Singapore's Asia One News.

It is eerily similar to one I know of but circumstances did not permit me to share it.  

I wanted to do so in the hope that someone would benefit from it.  Everyone should be warned and alerted about the many untrustworthy people that prey on kindness and goodness.

Take the time to read this and share with others.  If only one person can be helped, then it is already all worthwhile.


S$10,606 lost to Internet 'lover'                                      

                                                                                                                                                 
http://news.asiaone.com/a1media/site/common/blank.gif
Mon, Nov 22, 2010
New Straits Times

         
                                                                                                                                           
JOHOR BARU - Crime syndicates here are using the cyberspace relationships they have built through emails and social networking sites to cheat.

Police are currently investigating a case where a 47-year-old male lecturer fell victim to a syndicate that used an elaborate scheme popularly known as the "Customs Scam" to cheat him of RM25,500 (S$10,606) last week.

In the case reported at the Taman Pelangi police station on Nov 17, the lecturer said he was deceived into forming a strong relationship with a British woman by the name of Linda Bells.

Click here to find out more!
Having established his trust over two weeks, the woman wrote of an impending holiday to Malaysia and asking him to meet her at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

The lecturer said in his report that he went to KLIA, but his Internet friend did not arrive.

Instead, he received a telephone call from a man claiming to be from the Royal Customs and Excise Department.

The man alleged that the British women had been detained by Customs officers at the KLIA for not declaring STG250,000 (S$499,145).

Following several conversations, the man said the matter could be resolved upon the transfer of RM1,500 (S$624), which later ballooned to RM25,500, into a bank account.

The lecturer also alleged that he received telephone calls from people claiming to represent the Royal Malaysian Customs in KLIA as well as the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur, saying he could meet his friend at the Sultan Ismail Airport in Senai.

He eventually deposited RM25,500 into the bank account of a Malaysian.

He only suspected something amiss when his "online friend" did not arrive at the Sultan Ismail Airport in Senai as promised the next day.

He then lodged a report with the police.

Johor police chief Datuk Mokhtar Shariff said police had received many similar reports, including the latest email hoax on the late Indonesian President Suharto's alleged gold bullion.

"The public must not be gullible and fall prey to these tricksters. If in doubt, check with the relevant authorities," he said yesterday.

Mokhtar also advised the public to exercise caution when communicating and socialising in cyberspace.

"People must treat any unsolicited friendship through social networking sites and emails with suspicion."

-New Straits Times


Click on link for original location of this news.


04 December 2010

#2 Of What Makes Me Smile



Children are so innocent and they take anything you give them.  They trust you unquestioningly and they love you unconditionally.

I hardly gave my kids any aerated drinks when they were growing up.  Mostly they drank milk, water or the famous Ribena which, until today, is a favourite.

During one Chinese New Year celebration, I had a case of packet mango juice.  Jared asked for one and in the festive spirit, I said, "okay".  He was about 4 or maybe 5 years old.

As he was drinking the juice from the tiny straw,  he said, “Ummmmmm, this mango juice is nice and gassy”.  I jumped and grabbed the packet from him and screamed, “Don’t swallow!  Spit it out!”. 

It was too late.  He already swallowed a mouthful of what he thought was a delicious aerated mango juice.

I would learn later that he has an iron stomach and a weird sense of food combinations.  This boy can eat maggi curry noodles with cheese.  I think, my godson, Greg taught him this.  Yucks!


When  I tell this story, I always smile.





28 November 2010

#1 Of What Makes Me Smile

Preamble
My brother, Rin has an album of photos in which he wrote, “Growing up happens in a heartbeat”.  Of course, it’s taken from the TV series “The Wonder Years”.  He’s right to echo the sentiment.  I wish I could remember all the sweetness and joy that I felt when the kids were growing up.  In fact, it’s only when something jogs my memory that I remember a moment frozen in my mind.  There are probably hundreds, if not thousands of memories already forgotten.  It’s a pity because no one will know of them.

So I’m going to start a series and save them here for posterity.  In this way, I’ll always have them and also be able to retrieve them whenever I want to remember.

Besides, in the future, a grandchild of mine might stumble upon this and find an anecdotal piece of their history here.


 ~~~~~~~~~~


When Jared began learning to read, it was a stressful time because, in truth, I couldn’t remember how I learnt to read myself.  So how could I help him?  I had many of the usual ABC books.  I even bought the book by Glenn Doman. Of course, there was also the usual story telling time but how was he going to absorb so much.

Our education system doesn’t help at all.

One day, while driving down the Sungei Besi road, (Stephen once called it the Iron River Road and I couldn’t relate to it, LOL), alone in the car with Jared, our conversation went something like this

He (very excitedly): Mummy, I can read.

Me (surprise in my voice): That’s great.  What can you read?

He (in serious tone):  CHO CHA CHO LA

Me (flabbergasted):  What is that?

He: CHO CHA CHO LA lah!

Me (not understanding): Yes, I heard you but how do you spell it?

He: C-O-C-A  C-O-L-A!

Until today, whenever I see a Coca Cola sign, it makes me smile.


When I told my friend about it, she related to me a similar story.  Her son also said the same thing to her.  It was NAH TEE OHH NAL

Can you guess the word?  


25 November 2010

Of giving thanks!

Wikipedia says this:
Thanksgiving Day, known informally as "Turkey Day," is a harvest festival celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada. Thanksgiving was a holiday to express thankfulness, gratitude, and appreciation to God, family and friends for which all have been blessed of material possessions and relationships. Traditionally, it has been a time to give thanks for a bountiful harvest. This holiday has since moved away from its religious roots.


Anytime that one wants to give thanks is a day of thanksgiving.   Here we don't have any special holiday, we don't eat turkey and, certainly we have nothing to do with harvesting.

I'm just thinking of all the people in my life and giving thanks for them.  Why shouldn't I join my fellowmen, albeit in another continent, and celebrate in my own quiet way?  I have so much to be thankful for and this is as good a time as any, to stop and count my blessings.


No, I won't be having turkey.  I'm not into rituals. But, yes, I will just be giving thanks to God for my wonderful family and friends.  


In reality, it's not important HOW but WHY we celebrate.  Wherevcr you are, this is my wish for you. 



all other pics from photobucket

20 November 2010

Happy Birthday, Baby!

Please click on music to listen.  The mushy stuff's below the music clip!



(Youtube clip from here.  Thank you)


It's unthinkable for me to let Stephen's birthday go by without putting up a post.  After all, this blog is my space, my world, my kingdom and my domain.  Stephen is in every inch of it and so very much a part of all I do and say.  

We are different, I don't deny it. 

He likes country music.  I prefer the rhythm and blues.

He is adventurous with food.  I am picky and fussy about it.

He's happy with his wardrobe.  I'm happy expanding mine.

And the list goes on, but he loves me and I love him.
In the end, that's all that matters


Happy Birthday, Baby!  The song is dedicated to you.  
On your special day, I just want to say "Baby, I'm a want you!"

16 November 2010

Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Adha everyone!!!!

Just a simple wish 
to my dearest family and friends!


With much love from STEEST

(pic from google.com, sorry no link, lost track after viewing so many pictures)

14 November 2010

Of memories


The popular lines are "The memories closest to my heart are those in which you have a part".  I think it is very true.  You can see this when people live their lives surrounded by all the things of their past.  Unconsciously, they cling to objects and photos because they cannot let go.

Here is a story I know of.  I wonder if anyone has a similar one!


I wonder, “are you over me yet?
Is it so hard for you to forget?

You told our friends you had enough
Kept quiet about your new found love


You spread stories about what I did
Yet  your infidelity you hid

The love had died so why pretend
You wanted life in that foreign land

So if the choice I made to leave
Works out for us, why do you grieve?


You have our pictures on your wall
You put our old stuff in your hall

Does he not mind that I am there
In his own house, does he not care?

Surrounded by old memories
how much of me you really miss


The dress you wore on your big day
Was real familiar, I should say

It made me smile to see that pic
A joke that somehow seems real sick

You reached behind into your past
Of what should only be just dust

I don’t know why you did just that
For you I did feel sort of sad


You should let go, give up your hope
That without you, I cannot cope

I have moved on and found a wife
I have real love, I have a life

I wish you well with your illusions
As well as all the fake allusions

That you are happy and just fine
Because I can see through that line

 You say too much about everything
with non-stop pretence and acting

If you are happy, people will know
And I think that it will show
 
So clear your house of things with me
And you will really be quite free

You owe it to yourself and him
Or else your future is quite dim

So are you over me yet?
Clean up your house, then we bet

For until then, and I can tell
You see me there I know it well

I once was yours but now no more
And it is such a point so sore

That you settled for who you’re with
And make it seem it was your wish

I know better and so do you
Call your bluff, that I won’t do


Just hope that you get over me
Only then can you be free.

13 November 2010

Of 3 Angels

There are days when everything works out so well that you feel so immensely blessed.  Then there are also days when nothing goes right.

Yesterday was one of those days.

I needed transport to Bangsar because I didn't have my car.

Angel 1 sent me there
Angel 1 also paid for my lunch



Feeling good, I then discovered that I left my passport at home

Angel 2 sold off my 2.30 pm ticket
Angel 2 got me a seat on the 4.30 pm bus



Feeling anxious about how to retrieve my passport from home

Angel 3 came to pick me up
Angel 3 sent me back to Bangsar.




Three obstacles and yet everything worked out so well.  Yes, I remembered to thank my lucky stars and also the angels that made everything run so smoothly.  Small blessings are so necessary.





It isn't the first time that people have just appeared, out of nowhere, to help me.  I am truly blessed.







(all pics from photobucket)

08 November 2010

Of nicknames

In my lifetime, I've been called many names.  Okay, I'll admit not all of them are endearing but who cares or keeps tabs on that.  Who even wants to remember when you are called terms which are pejoratives.

Today, someone bequeath me with the title of "Queen".  I can't share the "why" of it because it's a private joke.   Somehow it made me happy.  Perhaps it's because of "who" that someone is!  Whatever the reason, I don't care!  It gave me a smile that lasted all day. 



So let me see if I can put here all the nice nicknames that I've been given (in no particular order).








Queen (latest, haha!), Baby, Darling, Honey, Sweetheart, Love, Dear, Princess, Dearie, Girl, Doll, Baby Girl, Baby Doll, Lovey, Sweets, Sweetie, Sweetie Pie, Cutie, Babe, Sugarpie, Angel, Star, Little Star, Gorgeous (hahaha), Hot Stuff, Friend, Precious, Sexy, Yang, Sunshine, Amor, Preciosa, Reyna,  Linda, Querida, Estrella.  

Wah, I'm feeling kinda "high" now.

Sticks and stones 
may break my bones
but names
will never hurt me!

now changed to

Sticks and stones
may break my bones
and nicknames
make me happy! 


(all pics from photobucket)

04 November 2010

31 October 2010

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

In our borderless world, anybody can send this wish!




I hear that some clubs are celebrating here in Kuala Lumpur.  No wonder that masks, plastic pumpkins, pitchforks and such were on sale in supermarkets!

Anyway, joining all of them to say


pics from photobucket

25 October 2010

Of using online resources! (or a euphemism for stealing)


Yup, some people really make you feel like you are lacking when they appear to get everything done so effortlessly. Somehow, Bree Van de Kamp of Desperate Housewives comes to mind. Every strand of hair is in place, she cooks, bakes, does gardening and her house is spick and span.

If you browse online for stories about people who are organised, you may stumble upon this:

You're probably wondering how I got it all done so early, or maybe you've already decided I'm one of those crazy, completely over-organized women who get everything done ahead of schedule. Well let me assure you, that is not the case, at least not the crazy part.

I had a great reason for getting my shopping finished early, besides just seeing if I could do it. I wanted to be able to enjoy the holidays with my family just a little bit more.
Source! (Always give credit to the source when you use their work!)

Believe it or not, I was told that these lines were borrowed stolen from the link given and presented as if it were someone's original writing.  It set me thinking that some people like to create false impressions.  

When someone can't write, that someone can actually take the trouble to surf the net to cut, copy and paste stuff from all over to pretend that it's original.  I was told there is a slew of this stuff which someone claims is her own writing or as she puts it "using online resources".  

*Wags finger*  No, it's not!!!  It is certainly not using online resources when you give the impression that you wrote it yourself.  In fact, it's stealing other people's words and claiming them as your own.

I have been amused to be told that the majority of her so-called blogs (hidden inside FB, for obvious reasons) had consisted of words or paragraphs stolen or edited from online pages.  

It is so easy to check.  All you have to do is copy a handful of those words, put them in inverted commas like this "The mood is peaceful and I although I have a lot on my mind, I am grateful for a productive day. It never quite seems to be a full enough day but I know that life has a way of always making us desire just a little bit more", and then paste them on any search engine like google.com.  Voila!  You will find the page or magazine that it was taken from and in this case, from here.

There were tons of stuff taken from all over the World Wide Web.  Some were wholesale copying and pasting. Some were edited and/or replaced with carefully selected words.  No mention was made of the source.  Incredible!  The deception runs thick and deep.

Unbelievably, she says integrity is her prized possession.

Does she not worry about being found out?  What do her friends think of this?  I have to believe they do not know.  So for how long does she intend to deceive them?

I think one of the reasons is that she can't stop because she's been basking in the lavish praises heaped upon her.  So she has to carry on with the sham.  This is why they say, "A lie takes care of the present but not the future".

More pertinently, the question would be, if this were your friend, what would your reaction be?  She isn't my friend and so I can just shrug my shoulders, giggle about it and laugh it off.

Nevertheless, what if he or she were my friend?  What would my reaction be?  Good question to think about.

I suppose I'd lose respect and trust for that person because telling a lie is one thing but perpetuating it is another.  I would also have to re-evaluate every single thing that person had said because once one's credibility is gone, one cannot recover it. Not 100 per cent anyway!

I may say all this now but I really don't know what my reaction would be if I found out something like this.  I really don't.

As far as I know, none of my blogger friends does this.  I guess it would be difficult to know why anyone would want to do it.

My friend ZR has a good explanation for "Why people do it?   

He says, "There is a deep emptiness in the human psyche which the owner tries to fill by dumping second-hand or borrowed wisdom into it but like a castaway who drinks from the sea to quench his thirst, the more he drinks the more thirsty he becomes, the seeker who looks outside will never be fulfilled ...".

He goes on to say, "Not being able to fall back on their own resources, such people do gain satisfaction from basking in the shade (praise) of the works of others just like camp followers or fans like to stand close or be taken pictures of with celebrities partaking and enjoying in their reflected glory. This is innocent and healthy enough up to a point but beyond that it can get sick when you can only live in the shadow of other people, of belief systems, of super this, super that, without which you feel you are nothing, without self-worth, directionless ... people must regain their self-belief and trust their own minds, for better or worse, and not be dependent on constructed realities ...".

I find it amazing that someone with other natural talents would want need to put up a charade that she can also write!  There must be some deep-seated feeling of lacking.

Am I worried that she will chance upon my blog?  No, why should I?  It might do her good to know.  There is a remote chance that she doesn't even realise or think it's wrong.

What about her friends reading my blog?  Well, maybe they will see things differently after they read this.  Perhaps they will tell her that she needn't pretend to be what she's not and that she's acceptable just the way she is.

After all, not everyone can be Bree!  


(all pics from photobucket)