Sunday, September 26, 2010

月到中秋分外明

For centuries, the Moon plays a big part in everyone’s life. We use the Moon to set our calendars, farmers to decide of their farming plans, and many stories and legends are formed around the faithful satellite of our mother Earth. Recently passed, was a Chinese traditional festival in celebration of the Moon – The Mid Autumn Festival.

A dying tradition, sadly to say – is the ritual of praying to the Moon Goddess also known as Chang Er or Luna. Luckily my grandmother still holds the ritual every year. CIMG7606 CIMG7612CIMG7628

The usual offerings are as shown, peanuts, water chestnuts, some fruits and a large pomelo, and mooncakes. Paired with a cup of Chinese tea, savouring the food while basking in the full moon….Truly a delight.
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Mid-Autumn festival will not be complete without Lanterns and Candles! I myself had taken a liking to lanterns although for the adults it’s something for children though : ) The lanterns can be made of paper or plastic, light up a candle in it and you’re ready to go~

Did i mention that our college also held a Mid-Autumn celebration? Organized by the Chinese cultural society, this was a celebration with a modern twist with telematch games, karaoke and loads of fun! And this was a nice experience for people who had not experienced this festival before, especially the horror on their faces when their lanterns catch fire :D


To end this post, a favourite Chinese poem of mine usually associated with this festival –
<<水调歌头>>
苏轼
明月几时有,把酒问青天。
不知天上宫阙,今夕是何年。
我欲乘风归去, 又恐琼楼玉宇,
高处不胜寒,起舞弄清影,何似在人间。
转朱阁,低绮户,照无眠。
不应有恨,何事长向别时圆。
人有悲欢离合,月有阴晴圆缺,此事古难全。
但愿人长久,千里共婵娟。
When will the moon be clear and bright?
With a cup of wine in my hand, I ask the blue sky.
I don't know what season it would be in the heavens on this night.
I'd like to ride the wind to fly home.
Yet I fear the crystal and jade mansions are much too high and cold for me.
Dancing with my moon-lit shadow
It does not seem like the human world
The moon rounds the red mansion Stoops to silk-pad doors
Shines upon the sleepless Bearing no grudge
Why does the moon tend to be full when people are apart?
People may have sorrow or joy, be near or far apart
The moon may be dim or bright, wax or wane
This has been going on since the beginning of time
May we all be blessed with longevity Though far apart, we are still able to share the beauty of the moon together.

Friday, September 24, 2010

18

And so it is. I’m 18 years old.

18. The age where hopefully CIMB finally allows me to open an adult savings account. No more dealing with banking matters where parents must consent. I wanted to play stocks too, but seems like I need some minimum of RM5k to start. 18, legal drinking age….doesn’t matter much to me. xxx… even further from my thoughts. Ha.

What I wish from my now officialised 18 years of life is, well, not to be a 17-year old. Should start learning some survival skills e.g. cooking, general fixing around the house… I think no chance until at least I finish my A-Levels first. The ability to think, speak and act more wisely, mature, logical and rational. It’s fine to let down our hair once in a while, but lately I seem to let go too much until my image at college is somehow a little distorted :D And, a little romance won’t hurt, haha…

As time flows by, and everyone’s getting a year older, and a year, and another… It’s human nature to be plagued by the past, take the present from granted and view the future with baseless, maximum optimism. However, it’s nice to pause sometimes, look around you and reflect on how important a role someone plays in your life so far. And express your gratitude, of course.

And this is the story of Chrono13 Dancing Mad : Chapter 18, page 1.

Monday, September 20, 2010

GTA Klang Valley

Curious crowd: Members of the public visiting Ladang Gadong – where Sosilawati and three others were allegedly murdered – near Banting yesterday. — Bernama

The hottest news in town right now – the quad murder of Soosilawati and co (my condolences), at the hands of the two now infamous lawyers. Which reminds me of –what else – Grand Theft Auto Klang Valley!

Crime rate is increasing year-on-year, while these kinds of sensational stories comes in the spotlight every few years, the true crime rate has been increasing steadily and our sense of feeling secure is getting lesser and lesser. For example, now I myself are treating everyone on the street, in the KTM, on the road as a threat, and us urban families are happily fencing up our homes with grills and alarms and guarded schemes, and yet burglars still can find their way in. The cause many people say was the lost sense of community we once had in neighbourhoods, not surprising as most of the suburban workers go off to work early in the morning and only return late night, resulting in no time to even get to know the neighbours!

As for the sensational GTA –style murder, what’s more to say – local lawyers in cahoots with shady land dealings, fenced up farm in rural places – without the usual poultry and livestock, the ‘river of horror’ with marine police scooping up bone fragments of an estimated 20 people who met their untimely end there. Even the farm scene resembles a scene from Stieg Larsson’s The girl who played with fire, part two of a trilogy in crime fiction. People are pointing fingers around, corruption, lackadaisical attitudes of the law enforcements units, or the easiest reason - human nature, where people are never satisfied with what they have and lusts for more, striving to reach their goals by all means, good or evil. Behind the shadows, we knew that things that are not supposed to happen is happening, but we keep our curiosity to us to keep out of harm’s way. Brave souls strive to rip off the cloak of lies and expose the truth, unfortunately some found themselves snuffed and their stories covered with another cloak of lies.

I guided a blind man to take the bus to Putra Permai today. It is impressive where in this world today, he still is courageous to take public transport on his own despite his disability. But then again, who knows if your mobile and wallet was fished out when you think you’re doing a good deed helping the poor guy?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Dance dance dance

Despite the Dancing Mad title of this blog – I don’t dance, mind you. The college ‘Midsummer Masquerade’ night was the first time I find myself in a setting with music blowing off your head and people bouncing off one another, and the second time. surprisingly – is in a wedding dinner organized by Uncle Lim Dow Hee at Awana Kijal, Terengganu.

Wedding dinner with a dance floor! Uncles and aunties happily shaking to the tunes of cha cha, rumba, lambada and disco tunes from their heydays, some getting carried off by wine and booze or maybe just the atmosphere. Still some of the guests left, some watched from aside surprised by the camaraderie of a small town community. For me, I was somewhere in between, haha.
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Not so high-q recording of the dance : ) and please tolerate the sounds cos the music was on in full blast

Not far up is my hometown, Kerteh so I felt this as a balik kampung trip of sorts. Armed with a new phone, the Nokia 5800 (thanks pa and ma ^_^) I kept myself occupied like never before, but slowly got some discomfort – guess it’s really a long time since my last long-distance trip already. Really refreshing to take a break from the steel and concrete of the city, recharging myself with the sun, sand and sea. It’s also a nice break from Internet and facebook – at this point I’m writing this offline, by the sea with a cuppa of tea.
Looking around places I once frequented 6 years ago, finding some changes and developments here and there – while some familiar scenery brings me back to my childhood in serene Kerteh. The South China Sea which once was the first thing I see every morning, the town square in Kemaman with the food, Kemaman Kopitiam in Kuantan which is a ’franchise’ of sorts of the original Hai Peng Kopitiam in Kemaman. Ma told me about the story behind it, a riveting story on par with the Cantonese dramas, but yeah, it’s a long story. The breeze, the coconut trees, the cows, the kampung-style houses…
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One day, I would have a holiday house here, and with the private pilot’s license I’ll fly to Kerteh Airport every weekend and indulge myself in this Shangri-La of mine where nowhere else can ever replace!

Lingua Malaysia

Recently, sometimes I get an urge to read Chinese and Malay poems, listen to Cantopop and Malay rock. I don’t really know the reason why, but maybe – it’s just that absence makes the heart grows fonder, as in the change of language used in school and in college. In short, I had a English overdose and needs some Chinese and Malay to neutralise it. : )

As with most Malaysians, I am multilingual – I speak English, Chinese, Malay, Cantonese. I know a smattering of Jap self-absorbed from exposure to anime, haha. During my primary and secondary school life, I remembered myself pretty much a English advocate, trying to incorporate English into the school and fellow students out of the meagre 5 hours/week English lessons. Science and Maths in English was a very appropriate move, why they want to revert I dunno, well that’s another story. However, being in Chinese primary and secondary, I usually speak Chinese more, causing my spoken English and Malay somehow slower due to the slower pace of processing ideas in my brain in English or Malay mode. 

Upon reaching college I thought that finally I can converse normally in English, Well, this is a part of my conversations first day in school.

“Hi”
“hi”
“nice to meet you. my name is blah”
“same to you, i am blah”
“blah blah “(After n times)
“Do you speak Chinese?”
“OF COURSE!!!”

Resulting in us talking in Chinese with each other. But considering that all the subjects I take is in English, along with the IELTS class, the usage is far higher than any time before college. This may explain my longing to use other languages, haha – not surprising since we’re 1Malaysia. 
Let’s all unite and embrace diversity, because this is what we’re meant to be.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The real holiday

The one-week official semester break is marred, flawed by the fact that qualifying tests come right after that. Well, I guess this is to train us to not get into any holiday-modes as Edexcel exam schedules lands right smack after the long break of December. This means no more Yu Hua-style holiday-after-exam woohoo and crazy gaming at home for first 4 days, and mindless corpse like daydreaming for the following days until school’s open again.

Nevertheless, it’s Raya Break for 4 days after our QT, and this….is the TRUE holiday for me! No worrying of tests when we go back to school, I gobbled up Tegami Bachi and Baccano! during this 3 days of anime spamming. Just last night I vaguely realised that there was some sort of holiday assignment given before the break, and there was I, after 3 days of rest, now back to work. That was Chemistry assignment Pg 141, in case any of you classmates is reading this and may have already forgotten.

Yesterday my family and I went to the KLCC BookFest. It was already a yearly affair, I patronized the fair every year since it was first organized. This time round there were much more people - or maybe due to our timing of coming during a public holiday. Many more people are patronizing the English Section this time round I noticed, a far cry from last time where the English hall was so quiet and peaceful. The Chinese section, it's supposed main attraction seems not that interesting this year. Usually I buy my Jin-Yong martial arts series and some heavily discounted books that looks interesting, especially translated Science works that costs much less than the English version, but this time round all I'm seeing are self-help book and cooking guides. There were some Chinese 'collection of short stories' books that I actually had some interest in, but seeing the humongous line at the counter I quit and went back to the english section where my sister is in the line :D 3 books made it home with me this year (same as last year) - Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol, Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything and Tash Aw's Map of the Invisible World.

Well... time to get back into study mode...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Combo Attack


Summarising our qualifying test. Well, it’s just mainly for Chemistry and Maths, when we received full impact force of A-Levels after 6 months of sleeping after graduation. Not to mention basking in the comfort of SPM last time. when the difficulties are scaled down just to make the overall marks look nicer and more presentable. But Maths this time is epic, I dunno what to say, even our class mathematician-in-making is also suffering from post-exam depression.

And another different kind of combo – 4 rounds of bowling at Times Square, marks for each round 118, 107, 123, 117! If I keep these stats rising I may just as well found a sport that I’m actually good at. Hmm… And last but not least, happy birthday Denise! Hoping that the big pink bear will make you sweet 16 a truly memorable one!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Town, Flow of Time, People

I stepped into town
Scattered memories   Hidden everywhere
Familiar places, yet
Unfamiliar faces
A weird sense of belonging
But an equally weird sense of displacement
As I search for my own place
In this once second home of mine

And then, You came
Connection established
The monochromatic town
Sprang into vivid hues of colour
Animated talking
Behaviours crazily outstanding
Remininscing scenes of yesteryear

We were back in time
To when we were young and jovial
Carefree and relaxed
Without the weight of the world
Dreams as high as we could
Jokes only you understoood
Guess that's what we call
Thicker than blood - brotherhood

And the sun is down, you left town
As we bade goodbye, you
took another piece of me  along with you
The traffic light turns from red to white
As I continue my journey of life
And I looked back and summarised my day -
A lovely day out back in mah ol' hood.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Grand Design

By Stephen Hawking, following his best-sellers A Brief History of Time and the lesser-known but equally great The Universe in a Nutshell (of what I’ve currently read). In A Brief History of Time he wrote, “If we discover a complete theory, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason — for then we should know the mind of God.” But this time -

“Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing,” the professor said in his new book. “It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.”

Just think about it. If his statement is true, the beliefs of billions of people for many a millennia will turn out to be nothing but heresy. just an illusion and false faith. And if we discover the Grand Unified Theory as described by him, there will no more be any future – as we can just calculate the future based on our theory – whether the Universe in going to end in 2012, whether there will be a Big Crunch, whether the Universe will just keep on expanding and our lives will just repeat and repeat in a infinite loop.  Of course, these are all just speculations, and I don’t think we’re anywhere near to a Grand Unified Theory when we can’t even predict tomorrow’s 6.58 jackpot or the stock market’s performance. For now, we can only analyse past data and records, find a trend, pattern, style, theory or whatever and find your sparkling new idea crushed to oblivion the next day.

A small introduction to this book by Hawking -
In The Grand Design we explain why, according to quantum theory, the cosmos does not have just a single existence, or history, but rather that every possible history of the universe exists simultaneously. We question the conventional concept of reality, posing instead a “model-dependent” theory of reality. We discuss how the laws of our particular universe are extraordinarily finely tuned so as to allow for our existence, and show why quantum theory predicts the multiverse–the idea that ours is just one of many universes that appeared spontaneously out of nothing, each with different laws of nature. And we assess M-Theory, an explanation of the laws governing the multiverse, and the only viable candidate for a complete “theory of everything.” As we promise in our opening chapter, unlike the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life given in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the answer we provide in The Grand Design is not, simply, “42.”

I’m not being atheist, nor am I deriding Hawking (Hey I’m a Physics student and which Physics fan doesn’t love him), I’m just ranting with excitement, joining in with great anticipation the greatest debate in the history of mankind.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Free Bird

Black Dragon Climbing low res
For the longest time I have this dream of flying a plane, rising up to the skies in a lightweight aircraft, savouring the sun while having the cool winds run through my hair… Yeah, one of my goals to accomplish is to be a private pilot!

I told my mum this dream of mine and she jumped at the opportunity to advise me to enrol in pilot school to cut costs (apparently pilot school is cheaper and have some 15 years bond to airlines after graduation, so no worries of unemployment) But my Physics dream still comes first, and I intend to be  a PRIVATE pilot only! Don’t really fancy going up humongous aircrafts and needing to deal with passengers, bosses and air stewardesses ;) Another friend of mine mentioned that the RMAF (Malaysian Air Force) is recruiting new candidates – but I think I’ll be dying in the physical training on land itself.

Nowadays there are many options, such as the Subang Flyers Club with a one time only fee of RM3800… wait until I’m working first-lah. Of course, if you want some virtual low cost flying experience there’s always GTA San Andreas with a fighter jet for the highest flying experience, dogfights included!




On an unrelated case, I seem to be flying around my house when I’m supposed to be studying == Even when I’m sitting my head cannot focus and drifts towards inviting electromagnetic waves of the computer or the PS2… Luckily there’s a cure – studying at night, with 3 doses of Teh Tarik (as usual) to do the trick.

Quoting “Free Bird” by Lynyrd Skynyrd – ‘Cause I’m free as a bird now, and this bird you cannot change!”