Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Melby is dangerous!

In response to ShinYee's claims of Sydney being dangerous. . .

MELBY is damn dangerous as well!

The weather suddenly became so windy that you literally freeze your ears off and shiver all over. The worst thing to happen is sudden rain. Erm, or the fact that you accidentally forgot about the forecast. Then you curse your own stupidity while hiding your ugly and sorry snivelling face.

When I was walking back home just now, high heels (after a long period of R'n'R) and long scarf, suddenly a stupid big black bird swooped past me at high speed! Just less than 15 cm from my head! How did I know? I could hear the 'whoop' sound and feel the air movement from its action! I was nearly killed by a bird.

There are muffins, pastas, croissants, chocolate bars, hot chocolate, caramel stuffs everywhere I go. Everything fattening. And I am not resisting well! Fat die me la!

Melby is so dangerous!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Wilson's Prom (Nothing to do with Woo or a prom-Prom!)

It was Anzac Day two days back and being Malaysians (and one very Malaysian-fied Thai), with out kiasu-flame burning inside of us, we chose to not waste time sleeping in on that day but opted to go for a day trip to Wilson's Promontory. Before I continues, let me clarify that this place has nothing to do with Woo Hsian no matter how misleading it might be.

Everyone got together at the meeting point (Marshall base) before 8 a.m., yes even dear Olivia, and everyone had an idea of hiking and walking playing in their head, except for Olivia.

. . . .Apparently, she thought it was gonna be a walk along the beach. A leisure walk. Gomen gomen!

So off we drove! 3 hours journey to the Prom itself. Driver Tan and Driver Lim were quite efficient as we got there without getting lost. On the way, we had an interesting topic about surnames and given names. Some very 'mou liu' PKN told me before that given her kids were to have the surname 'Low' (cough cough), she would name them Low Fat. And if her kids have the initials of L.I.Q., then they can have this printed on their business cards - I.Q. Low! Nice!

Which then reminds me of something similar in high school, when our Additional Maths teacher, Mister Tan, asked us to think of some English names for his son/ daughter. Some genius came up with this - Afghanis Tan and Pakis Tan. An extension to this idea, for chinese name, it would be cool to be known as - Tan Sri? Yeng~!
While in the car, WenJi had a tough time multitasking. . .

Upon reaching the Prom, what did we do? Well, we ate again. To charge up our energy before the long climb up Mt. Oberon. I bet at this stage Olivia still did not know the real reason we focused that hard on eating more more MORE!

We had bread, tomato, ham, fruit chutney, cheese slices, potato chips, cuttlefish/fish thing. . .etc! The food sure seems harmless, but for some reasons, Miss Aim got high and started performing her Ratchaburi laugh. Or maybe it happens whenever she ties her hair up that way. . . ?
While waiting for the shuttle to take us to Mt. Oberon, we walked to a nearby beach and took some pictures there. The topic of conversation here was sadly, WenJi's Alice Spring trip experience with all the hole-dugging issue. . .

Climbing up Mt Oberon was not an easy task. So as motivation, we did it the Amazing Race style. The problem is no one was actually racing and the loser team (names shall not be named cher. . . ) took their sweet time to reach the summit about 30 minutes later while Winner Olivia and the other somewhat winners, snapped away with their camera.

The ones who won by 30 minutes: Kelvin, Shirley, Ray, WenJi, Olivia & Me.

Here are shots we took from the summit of Mt. Oberon. Love the merging of the sea and skies, as if there is no boundary separating the two great entities. This took an hour plus of climbing to get, and approximately 18850 kilocalories. No bluffing.

Watch out Yipi! I am becoming a very good photographer! I took this picture and am very proud of my 'accidentally' good timing! And who needs Photoshop? Just cut out the trees and there you have it - A FREE FALL - from just a mere jump. Tensai da!

So, in a nutshell, this picture of WenJi says it all - victory!

Next stop was Squeaky Beach! The sand actually squeaks when you step on them! But of course, you require some skills, to make it squeak loud and clear. And the way it squeaks will forever be lingering in my mind given its close association with WenJi now and the existence of a tutorial video teaching us how to make the sand squeak Happy-Feet style.

The weather was gloomy so the beach did not look as good in the picture, but we saw a lot of budding surfers out there and we squeaked. . er, squealed whenever a big wave came crashing into them!

More eating and posing around the beach! After that, we drove back in full concentration due to the very dark roads and the drizzling sky. Stopped by a Vietnamese place for a BIG dinner and left the place wondering where did the theme of this trip go. By the way, the theme was 'Exercise-Day-Trip'.

Before the trip, I went out for dinner with some of my new coursemates for the first time. Not for the first time, but it was the first time we ate together outside of class hours! After wine and cheese (like any other Wednesdays) and meeting with a VIP from Malaysia (inspiration revived!), we went to Sofia Camberwell for a nice dinner. Stuffed myself full. Real full. I bet some vicious few are wondering whether I have 'grown' yet. Here is a picture of me and WanRu after the dinner, bleh.

Have I 'grown' yet!?

Well, I hope not. But, lately my life has been in this state . . .

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My friends and enemies and life

How's life folks!

Come on, show some !!Fire!! in you answer!
Show the !!Red Bull!! in you!
Show me your Victory Dance!
Celebrate Life!! Life!! Life!!











And now, my life.

Hi, I am Loretta. I have 5 friends. They are Lecture-Notes, Research-Everyday, Journal-Articles, Business-Gibberish and Hellish-Assignments. We are a very happy family. We are enemies with Fun, Play, Going-Out, Guiltfree-Entertainment, Time and Sleep. We don't like them at all.

From what I have just written and this picture of a stoned-Me here, well, I can just say that this is as awake as I can get.

With the few elegant roses and two very serious looking chefs in our kitchen, it is easy to mistake this area as a kitchen of a real restaurant. But that is actually Fern there cutting up something and WenJi's Mum there frying something. No matter how sophisticated this scene looked, it is actually our Clear-Out-The-Fridge / Chuck-Out-All-Expired-Stuffs / Gobble-Up-All-Things-Half-Dead-But-Not-Dead-Yet Project. WenJi's Mum just went back to Malaysia today but will be coming back in October and Fern's Mum is coming in May. My Mum? Driving around aimlessly everyday, lounging around the house growing fat and talking endlessly on the phone with me. Sigh, unemployed-people these days. Hoho, my Mum doesn't read my blog! Neh-neh.

Seems like a lot of my friends' parents will be coming down lately. Kinda excited to meet them! Not that it is my business, but it kinda makes me miss my parents. . . but not the Sis.

Can you tell what this is? Sure looks like a well-cooked and sense-tingling steak rite?

Well, you are so wrong!!

It is actually the burnt-surface of this 'cake' which was forcefully discarded! Like removing the shells of a hard boiled egg. . . get it?

Initially I was supposed to be the inventor for this cake, having discovered the recipe and engineered it together with the help of an assistant *ahem*. However, I hereby assign this invention called 'The Banana Chocolate Cake' to Mr Raymond Tan so that he can earn royalties and other monetary values by licensing out this technology or selling it to others. I dun wanna be given too much credit for this 'cake' / invention.

Sigh, things I do for people I care about. Noble!

Proof that life is always beautiful?

Failure of reviving the 4 flowers we planted in the backyard was greeted with the miraculous-blooming of flowers of some bush we never took care of in the frontyard!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


The day after killing off 3 presentations in a week - the day I became the audience again!

Management was pretty slow as always today, or maybe it is cos of the grey skies and cold winds, so I was extra prone to dozing off. . . Well, until I heard this statement from whom I could now pronounce my favourite presenter!

"We are going to talk about leadership using AFC as an organization for the case study. Well, I didn't know what AFC was before this. Wwhen the others first mentioned it, I was pretty hungry, I thought they meant KFC", said Mr Dennis.

It totally broke the ice and everyone was laughing!

"Well, there is no 'I' in a 'team'. Hm. . . but there is an 'I' in 'leadership'. I dunno. There is an 'I' in my name as well, anyway", said Mr Dennis again.

He is just too random and funny. Loving presentations! With presentations, there are just so much interesting antics and habits you can observe, whcih you might never realize despite knowing that person for ages. . . ! I wonder what weird habits I have other than being lazy enough to not prepare cue-cards or the speech itself. I hope no one remembers any weird moments of me presenting though. . . !

Working closely with a group of diverse people can be really fun. You learn a lot and also laugh a lot. And now, it is slowly transiting into the 'eat a lot' stage. Dang, I jus gained 1 kg. And before Uncle Tan say that it is only 1 kg, can everyone please bear in mind that I am elastically-expandable but inelastically-retractable being? I balloon up and remain so for eternity!

The next time you see me 'scaring' the public with my consumption rate, please pay for all my food so that I will feel guilty or paiseh and stop eating. . . . This might be the only plan, or the last resort, to saving me.

Another interesting moment this morning:

Student A: So, B, do you mind explaining what a transformational leader does?
Student B: . . . . Erm, "transform"?


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Rain rain rain

It is raining now, making my comfort zone so cold. While watching the raindrops fall and skimming through journal articles, my mind wandered to a lot of places.

Living in this house for more than a month now. And surprisingly, I managed to really recognize it as my 'home' in such a short period of time. Home is where the heart belongs, read one of the decos on the floor (yet to be displayed on the wall). In the past few days, I really came to realize that as I found being in this shell, I dun mind the occasional solitude it offers, the quietness when no one is around, the itsy-bitsy chores which are usually petty and the loudness when everyone is around. So I am really glad to have settled down here.

Oh the rain stopped.

I still remember the amount of thinking I did a few days before I left KL for here. It felt like the hardest thing to do. But that day, while walking back from the gym and looking up into the sky, I felt like, somehow, no matter where anyone of us are, we are still living under the same sky. And as long as that happens, a little effort is all we need to see each other again. Although it might seem like a hassle, but at the same time, isn't it just a bit of a hassle?

It is easy to forget, despite how hard I try. But last night I called my Sibuga Grandma. And it brought the hakka-ness into the house!

WenJi and her mum just returned from their Central Australia trip and shared lotsa interesting stories with us all! Last night was hotpot again in our Clear-the-Damn-Full-Fridge Project. So nice to see the house lively and noisy, the way I like it. Afterall, I have lived and loved the 13-family-members-crammed-into-a-condo-unit Chinese New Year this year. Well, the fact that there was rummy and mahjong helped! I just love the noise and intimacy.

Much like the way I like the noise and intimacy I get from the people around me nowadays. Of course, I hope ultimately I can be with every single important person of mine everyday, but it is time to grow up I guess. One can never have everything in this world and for me, I think I already have much more than I deserve.

There is something I forgot to mention on that day though! Here is a thank you list to the people who contributed to my housewarming party~!

Uncle Tan: Home-made apple crumble and mocha cheesecake (and for the extra 1kg it gave me)
Lilet: For the nice jellies!
JingWen: For the humongous lasagne!
Daniel: For the Fu Chuk Yi Mai
Amy: For the noise and commotion and. . . fun?
Shirley and Brother: For the rummy skills and help in buying stuffs.
Olivia: For turning up and the rummy set!
Cassie, Ashley and LipKai: For the spring rolls!
Chitz, Shimona and Sandra: For the nice bottle of red wine!
WooHsian: For another nice bottle of white wine!
EuJin and Rayner: For the Pictionary you brought along and the cute lamp you gave us.
WanRu: For the nice gift of nuts and confectioneries.

...and the list goes on!

See, I have nice friends!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

My high heel-ed day

Life has been like a roller coaster ride lately. Everyday filled with tasks and new things popping up. A full-on diary. Loads of networking going on. And of cos, the student-life defining assignments.

Strangely enough, I am enjoying every bit of it :)

Yesterday itself was a wild ride for me!

Woke up at 6.30 a.m. to get to Caulfield to prepare my heart and nerves for my management presentation worth a stuffed 30% - cranky and blur.

On my way to the bus loop, I saw some hot air balloons floating idly along the blue skies and cotton soft clouds - dreamy and grinning.

The presentation was great! This is the first time that I actually had such a fun, relaxed and creative presentation! With science, it always had to be more serious and formal. We presented on team cohesiveness. This time, we incorporated videos contrasting bad team cohesiveness and good team cohesiveness, then had a telephone game to demonstrate the importance of communication! We divided the audience into groups of 9 and then appointed a leader to memorize some lines in a minute, after that they passed the message on and the last person was asked to reveal the message in the end. Well the original text was something like this. . .

"Tom, Alice, Harry and Mary enrolled for dance classes. Tom and Mary liked jazz most. Harry and Alice liked waltz instead. However, Mary realized Tom had actually two left feet and couldn't dance, so they took him to the hospital and had a right foot transplant. Tom and Mary are now back on the dancefloor swinging away".

In the end, of cos, the results were hillarious! These were the answers:

"Two person went to the hospital and danced", "People were dancing so they went to the hospital", "People went to hospital" and so on! As an overall the presentation was fun and managed to keep everyone interested. Other than that, I passed up another 20% assignment so it was 50% handed up yesterday! - happy and relieved.

Despite announcing to myself that I would be on a diet, after realizing I gained 1 kg, I promised to have only a muffin in the morning and eat only once hunger strikes again. But due to temptations from nice coursemates and the slightly chilly day - my plan was totally foiled. I had a big chunk of Thai fried rice, then grabbed a sushi roll, a tiny chocolate bar, a bottle of Pepsi, some Weetbix, a can of baked beans, porridge with chicken floss during the remainder of the day - bloated and a complex of guilt/satisfaction.

Will offered to fetch us all from Caulfied to Clayton, but his parking area turned out to be MILES away from my Marshall home and the sun was staring at me who was on high heels for the first time in 2 months. My feet were screaming under the sun - tortured and painful all over.

Realized I forgot to note my word count in my assignment - panicked and scared!

Fern returned from Gippsland after 2 days there for research and I finally had someone to kepoh/ talk with! - chatty and glad.

Watched Pride online while I finally did my ironing. It was such a sweet drama - lovey-dovey and dreamy.

Studied a bit and the slept - end of emotional roller coaster ride.

Wasn't it fun!! Although, things crop up all the time and deadlines stun you from behind whenever u r off-guard, but I am really learning a lot. Listening to the speeches of one important person after another each week, really does motivate you. Discovering new aspects of business always makes a science-y person like me amazed. Being involved in a real project and knowing you are contributing, really makes you feel needed and again, motivated.

Like one of my coursemates put it, "I realized that this is really real." Not a literature research or review as an outsider or a technical personnel only. This feels great!

So, as an end note, there is really not ends to the possibilities in this world. You just have to continue searching and believing you can achieve it.

. . . one of those possibilities will be having a timetable like this. Seeing it will makes you feel like, there is really no impossibilities . . .

10 Apr - Management presentation 30%
11 Apr - Management Assignment 20%
14 Apr - Marketing presentation 10%
16 Apr - Meeting with supervisor
- Presentation
21 Apr - Meeting with supervisor
23 Apr - Meeting with scientist
2 May - From Science to Wealth Assignment 7%
5 May - Marketing Major Project 35%
16 May - Law Assignment 50%

And in between everything, working on the commercialization project and more meetings with scientists, supervisors and guest speakers (CEO mostly yo!).

Life is great eh. . . .

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Weight and wind

I have a bit of a weight issue lately, which bounced from one extreme to the other, in a mere period of a 4 days.

It all started on a supposingly windy Wednesday with few showers here in Melby. Being the kiasi I am, I bundled up on clothes becoming the walking dumpling of the day. All was well, until we stepped out of the lecture hall after 4 fun hours of lecture on alienic subject matters to be greeted by (!!) a giant bundle of. . . shrub with huge branches?

After a second or two of evaluation it was clearly, the top of a tree. A huge tree. Which had fallen down. Less than 10 metres and 5 walls away from a sleepy-me inside the lecture hall. It was wild to assume that the wind did this. Until I walked out into the open area, in an attempt to get some food off campus centre, I realized- - - - I was actually being blown away! Not exaggerating here, I could not stand properly or walk straight and it was like the battle with nature for survival (in the name of food)! Okay, I exaggerated a bit but it was seriously, almost that bad!

This is one of the fallen-trees that blocked my path. You must be thinking, "Wah, such a small branch. . . ", but you will regret this. . .

This whole giant was uprooted. Literally uprooted.

But almost everyone thought that I was being over-dramatic and exaggerative about this wind-thing (130 km/hr, FYI!) for when I told my Dad who ngam-ngam called me at that time. . .

Me: Wah, today the wind was sooooo strong I almost got blown away!

Dad: Really? It is raining here as well.

Sweat. It is different, my Dad!

It was really quite serious, for one of the buildings was evacuated due to a false alarm, multiple power outages throughout Melby (including my place), fire engines with its alarm blasting here and there, and accidents causing losses and lives all over the news. Being the scaredy -cats we are, (me and WenJi), we met with a number of really scary moments and lived through it bravely that very nite.
  1. I came home to a very dark house and luckily fell asleep on the couch before it became real dark. Then Miss WenJi called me, and in the middle of a leisure conversation, there were screams and shrieks over the phone. It could have been only a 10 scare-factor in real time, but over the phone and to a half-asleep person, the scare-factor could easily propel up to 100000 times of that. Apparently, the small signboard of a bank got blown down to the ground very near her!

  2. Had to resort to candles which were red. Red candles. Isn't that scary enough by itself?

  3. Had to shower with a red candle in front of a huge mirror. Scary?
  4. The square-opening-thing on the ceiling of the bathroom was tilted open. To which WenJi said, "Either it is caused by the wind, or someone climbed in." I nearly passed out.

  5. The howling of the wind and the nothingness in the darkness outside.
I wanted to wait till the power recovers before I shower, but then WenJi said it won't return that quickly so I should give up and get off my butt. I pleaded for another 10 minutes. But under continuous pressure I gave in and had to shower in fear and shiver in coldness. Then rite. Then rite. Then rite. As soon as I stepped out, I saw the lights coming on. Triple sweat.
Seems like the training I had, the intensive training, I had back in Sandakan for power outage is still not enough. Hmmm. . . .
Given the notion that I was almost blown away on that day, somehow reassured or reinforced the assumption (which has been secretly living inside of me for quite some time) that I was seriously damn skinny and underweight on the following day. Stop laughing.

So wat ensued were days filled with muffins, chocolate bars, lasagne and a very heavy dinner on most nights. Last night was particularly crazy as we had a mini house-warming party which was super nice with a lot of nice people~ to which I will elaborate next time! (PS: We had Rummy, Mahjong, Poker, wine, and so on!). I ate so much, that it is not even a matter of being proud of it or not! I actuallly felt sick and bloated until this very morning!

(This is what I had for breakfast this morning - all those fried wantan, apple crumble with vanilla ice cream and mocha cheesecake courtesy of my Uncle Tan)

Suddenly images like these came to my mind. . .

(My cute-Lowena and Mum - giving a visual demonstration of the word 'gluttony')

Do I wanna become like these eating-monsters? Is that what you want? To be like Lowena? (Happy 25th birthday by the way, ha ha Miss I'm-So-Happy-Cos-I-Am-Still-18-Years-Old. Is this present enough for u?)

No. For I have a mission.

How am I gonna fit into my skin-tight Kakashi ninja wear if I am to expand like a balloon!!! No-no. And so the diet-era begins. Now.