Friday, October 31, 2008

Driving manual ep 2


Today I had another impromptu driving session in that same blue steel case. It was right after grocery shocking and the same old omens of gloomy skies etc. Does it have to be like that all the time? Can't nature be happier about me driving?? Helllloooo, Spring??

Anyway, we did it inside Monash's compound today seeing that there are less cars during weekends. Sigh, but rite now I have not even the mood to study or go to gym :-(

Being the Slowpoke learner I am :-( I sucked big time at reversing. The car choked like a 17 year old washing machine. Clutch a bit then brake, then accelerator a bit then brake and so it goes. But still it remains that way :-(

Snippet of Conversation #1

Poor car: *Scratching sound------*
Me: Ahhhhhh!! What was that!! Sorry!!

I wonder why I still suck at the first gear, the damn choking just won't go away. I know I know. Not enough of accelerator rite? Not enough of clutch maybe? Sigh. Sigh-er. Sigh-est.

This is a time when I thank the innovators of the world and rejoice for technology (automatic car). Although I know it is probably very useful to know how to drive a manual but I cannot stop wishing it was an automatic car instead. Knowing this, I will just have to rid the frustration and suck up to it.

Snippet of Conversation #2

Instructor Tan: Okay, try the third gear. *less than 30 seconds* Change back to second gear, then brake, first gear.
Me: *fumbles extemsively*
Instructor Tan: Er, that is the fourth gear.
Me: *Cringes*
Poor car: *Dunno what happened to itself*

It is so damn frustrating that I am still doing so damn badly after so long. Second lesson, I know, but I still feel so dumb :-( stupid :-( slow :-(

I hate the third gear. Actually no, I know what is wrong.
All the videos I have watched (tutorial on manual driving) so far have been teaching this way:

' . . after your first gear upon picking up on speed, change to second gear. And the subsequent gears according to your speed. . .'
So they just emphasized on the first and the second! Curses. Is it so hard to show the whole process of driving through various humps, junctions, roundabouts, traffic lights, zebra crossings and McD drive-throughs along the journey from Clayton to Caulfield (or further)? It's not like YouTube charges you for a loooooooooooonnnnggg video. Kiam siap :-(

Snippet of Conversation #3

Me: Wah, that guy is really brave to be crossing the zebra crossing when I am driving.

And the car still chokes when I start with the first gear.
I still clutch before I brake, wat the hell.
I still suck severely at reversing. The whole clutch first, brake a bit, accelerate a bit.
I am too slow at changing gears. (1 - 2 -3 -brake - 2- 1- 2- 3) :-( How!?
I go into the wrong gear without realizing it.
I cannot do parking.

Only achievement of the day?
Two choke-less first gears.
Efficient and traumaless passing of 70% speed humps.
Better maneuvering at roundabouts.

I better slap myself.

I went out for a drive with Instructor Tan using his manual warrior in blue yesterday. As if it was an omen, the sky was gloomy, there wasa hint of rain, wind strengthened and all cars avoided the scene. The only thing missing would be the sound of a sad sad crow.

So off we went to a quieter place, which was this place just on the other side of Clayton Road. A quieter neighbourhood with less cars but . . .

Equally narrow roads!!

Round-abouts so small here and there!!

Cars parking at the side of the roads!!

No streetlights!! (It was still bright during then but..!!)

And naturally Auntie Lo was very nervous and panicky. After all, the very last time I crept onto the driver seat of a manual car was back in the December of year 2003, 24 inch waist, 43 kg (thank you).

It was a canary yellow Kancil and my instructor was a 24-hour sunglasses wearing Malay guy.

It started off pretty bad, mentally for both me and my Instructor Tan yesterday. Despite the expressionless face, I am pretty sure he was scared out of all possible forms of expression known to men.

Snippet of conversation #1

Me: Why got so many round-abouts one!? Must they put one at every single cross-junction!
Instructor Tan: You better brake a bit before a round-about.
Me: Why? I always see that you don't brake before them.
Instructor Tan: Cause I am more skilled! BRAKE!

I think my main shortcoming is starting off to a smooth first gear. In fact, it was so choke-y that I had a mild case of motion sickness when I stepped down as the driver. Can you imagine driving yourself to motion sickness. That must be the most malu-fying case, man.

Snippet of conversation #2

Instructor Tan: You know why it choked? Cause you lifted from the clutch too fast.
Me: *Lifted slower*
Instructor Tan: You know why it choked again? Cause you lifted from the clutch too slow.
Me: *Moderated the speed*
Instructor Tan: You know why it still choked? Cause you did not press enough of the accelerator.
Me: *Pressed more of the accelerator*
Instructor Tan: You know why it choked more? Cause you pressed too much of the accelerator.
Me: Can you ask your car what it wants? We settle it here and now. *Steam from ears*

But I managed to change to the second gear without much trouble. No choking or whatever :-) Perhaps this was the only achievement of the day :-(

Snippet of Conversation #3

Me: Is that the main road!!?
Instructor Tan: I think . .
Me: *Swerved into a random junction dangerously*
Instructor Tan: . . .so.

So that was my achievement of the day. Changing successfully into second gear :-(

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Graduation flowers

Here I am thinking of what flowers to get WenJi for her graduation, which is today(!). Time flies!

So here I am online looking at the different meanings different flowers stand for, hoping to find something that matches the aspirations of WenJi which is to become an 'iron lady'.

The theme is somewhere along. . .



And the candidates are . . .


Palm leaves - Victory, Success

Seriously I don't mind this choice at all. Economic (can just pluck it anywhere or go into the mini-jungle near campus centre to pick some up from the ground). Outstanding (what other flowers can be BIGGER and WIDER and LEAFIER than this). Score: 5/5


Yellow Poppy - Wealth, Success

This looks cute for a potted plant as it seems too small and un-exaggerated. I could probably hand her this in a pot but seeing how all the potted plants *flourished* under WenJi's care. I think better not. But then again it signifies 'wealth' which is on top of WenJi's wishlist. And it is yellow! Very 'wong' wor! Score: 3/5.


Alstroemeria - Wealth, Prosperity, Fortune

I must admit that I am still learning how to pronounce this but damn it, the meanings all fit into WenJi's aspirations, characteristic and very Chinese-New-Year personality so perfectly! Wealth, Prosperity, Fortune! 'Choi, Fuk. . whatever, Gong Hei Fatt Choi!' This is made for WenJi, I think. Colour? Must be red rite? It is Chinese New Year after all.. . tradition, tradition *nods*. Score: 5/5


Garlic - Courage, Strength

Very convenient indeed. I have 3 biji at home, whatmore, they have sprouted! Symbolizes a new life - start of a new journey! But actually it means Wild Garlic flower which is really beautiful. So depends on whether WenJi brought me anything delicious from the city. . . Garlic Score: 5/5. Garlic Flower Score: 4/5.

Gladiolus - Strength of character, Give me a break, Really sincere, Flower of the gladitors

She is an Iron Lady in the making. Super-human strength especially in the arms. A day for celebration of both her education achievement and inhumane strength. Score: 3/5


Tiger Lily - Wealth, Pride

*wink* More on the wealth bit. A little on the pride bit. Oh, the occupants of Marshall. But with the hyo-like spots on the flower, it shows a bit of feline wildness - Felicia-ism *winkx100*. Score: 3/5 (Hyo = leopard)


Day Lily - Coquetry, Chinese emblem for mother

I think I have found the ultimate one. It depicts everything I wanna convey. *cries tears of joy* Score:10/5.

Or what is your suggestion?


After looking at the list of meanings, I definitely wanna receive these flowers from now on!

Calla - Magnificent Beauty (For obvious reasons, want pictorial proof?)

Peach Blossom - I am your captive (Oh no, the Happy New Year joke came back to me).

Pink Rose - Grace, Perfect Happiness, Thankfulness, Please believe me (Okay!)

Variegated Tulip - Beautiful eyes (Aww... this will be so sweet. I will throw away my mascara)

Red Rose - Love, Respect, I love you (I guess the traditional always speaks most :->)

Anyway, I just dedicated half a page of this post to just one person.

. . . . . . .

I doubt he even realizes the meaning implied in that! *Ceh*

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Open laptop exam

You have heard of closed-book exams (stupid question, sorry).
You have heard of open-book exams

Leads to underestimation of the paper, bringing mountains of books into the exam hall which you end up not having the time to flip through at all. Hidden agenda.


Have you heard of an open-laptop exam before!!?

My bet is you haver never! And behold, Miss Lo is gonna be sitting for this unique one tomorrow at 10 a.m.!

So what is an open-laptop exam you ask?

Although I myself am not that sure but what I know is:-

1) You are allowed to bring your own laptop into the exam room.
2) You are allowed to type out the anwers!
3) You can access all the materials within your laptop!
4) No internet or other electronic communication allowed!
5) You might be required to email off the answers by the end of the exam!

How cool is that. HOW COOL.
Naturally I did a weighing test to get a clearer picture of the cost and benefit of this system!

1) You are allowed to bring your laptop.

Hmm. While this gives off the cool executive look and is something unique to MBus CS&T, I am short enough to wanna avoid having gravity and the weight of my laptop push me another 5 cm shorter. The sense of curiosity and adventure overrides your attention towards the exam itself. You get to set up your very own laptop and be seated among another 27 laptops, a vision that spells professionalism *I think*! Like a pet fare, you get to show others your baby which has gone through rain and wind with ya throughout the course. Speaking of which, omg, my laptop is so dusty I can cringe if anyone sees it tomorrow :-(

2) You are allowed to type out the answers

This means cleaner manuscripts, tidier texts, ability to rearrange contents, highlight important parts and bold/underline/italize at only a click away! Now, to apply this specifically to ME:

I thnk i am so gonna give off so much typothat my lecuterer wisheed he had allowed me to writeinstead. I hope o get ot keepp at least 3% of sympathy marks and hopefully he wont laugh at my impressive typing skills (which I highly doubt).
3) You can access all the material within your laptop!
Through the whole 7.12 MB of reading materials.
Hopefully this strategy works *thank sky, thank ground*
4)No internet or electronic communication allowed!
No MSN, no cellphones etc! Which makes me wonder whether music will be fine. I'll use my earphone *shrug*.
5) You mgiht be required to email your answer off by the end of the exam!
Easy-peasy yeah! But, applying this specifically to ME again : I have a proven track record of not attaching my documents before sending them off. If that happens does it mean that they will declare me absent?! Or that I did not hand in my answers!? Or late receipt (so 10% penalty)!? This is so haunting. . . . . . !
With closed-book exams, we tend to get all tensed up at cramming everything into our little brains only to squeeze out whatever we can outta what we memorized. So it is like fitting what we can understand or remember (!) into the questions.
With open-book exams, we tend to overprepare the material to be brought into the hall and underprepare our own understanding of the material. So it is like scavenging for answers from the sea of papers or our own vague recollection of where the answer is to fill into the question.
With open-laptop exams, I ended up over-emphasizing on the power of CTRL+F and browsed/skimmed through all materials at high speed clicking (to change slides). So I assume it will be like building a puzzle with me finding the key point in the question and locating the answer by the power of, again, CTRL+F.
If open-book exam is supposed to stimulate thinking then an open-laptop exam will send your thinking into overdrive? //Trance// ?
Believe me. I do not think of this system as being easier at all.
After all it is a necessity when you have 7.12 MB of required readings of which 50% are at least 40 pages long journal articles, 30% are Venture Capital technical stuffs and the other 20% bits and pieces of everything that makes this unit so damn exciting. I can totally see my self panicking and suffering the aftermath of regret at 1.10 pm tomorrow. Wish me luck :-)

Monday, October 27, 2008


There is always a disatisfaction and frustration in me whenever I think about driving.
It easily evolves into doubt and anger - with no reason and nowhere to channel.
What results is often a peak of feeling, nowhere near plateau, but instead it becomes an outburst contained within thin walls.

This must seem weird to everyone else after all this is an activity common to almost every single person over the age of 17 or 18. In another sense, maybe this is exactly where my frustration lies. To be unable to access this 'thing' which I see others, young old tall short alike, able to. To let it haunt me so, when it is just another leisure activity to others.

And maybe, just maybe - to feel angry towards it while I see others happy towards it.

It makes me question myself and leads me to depression and allow me to succumb into insecurities and leave me to die there. Emotionally at least. Usually I end up emotionally exhausted and extremely agitated over this where even a single ant on the floor can drive me nuts.

But I realized this is not the way I want to be or I should be. Driving, while most consider it a luxury, is really becoming a necessity today. It might be selfish or spoilt to say so but this is an indispensable skill now - requirements in certain jobs, in the face of an emergency, etc.

Instead of continuing this saga of endless questioning as to why I am feeling so, whose fault is it, or where did we go wrong with my driving career (yeah rite) along with the emotional ups and downs and major episodes of negativity, I should be seeking for a way out.

To help myself.

I really want to start driving again and be able to do it with no special feelings whatsoever.

Prior to my first day in Driving School back in Sandakan, I had no experience at all with vehicles. Not even sitting in the driver's seat or being allowed to start the engine and being the mouse I used to be, I never dared to try.

My first driving experience was with a Malay instructor and a canary yellow little Kancil inside the Driving School. I was driving outside the School on the first day itself and I was genuinely enjoying it. It never occured to me that I could control a vehicle and although it might be too literal in a sense - I felt free and able. It was a manual car but Mr Instructor said I handled it well and even jokingly teased me asking whether I have been secretly driving my Mum's car at home. The experience was pure fun despite the hot weather and boring waiting sessions. I got my license smoothly and left Driving School filled with enthusiasm. My mindset back then was to be able to drive instead of being fetched always.

Of course reality hit soon enough. I was flew all the way to KL in 5 days' time and then a whole year of no touching the car. And this went on till my 3rd year of university.

During summer holidays when I get back to Sandakan, whenever this issue appeared or this request of mine came, an unhappy ending was inevitable. Mum would either reluctantly let me go behind the wheels along with some scoldings or make up excuses just so I would forget about it.

I admit that I have been holding this as some form of grudge - which I know is not right and inappropriate - to which I ultimately moulded into an inner anger with nowhere to channel.

I can comprehend that she is probably just worried of my safety or that she is afraid of losing me to freedom. In the end, I kinda lost my confidence and built up my inner angst.

What I have now is a negative but unsatistied feeling towards driving.

It makes me react negatively whenever someone asks me to drive. Part of me am afraid that that very person will become like Mum. I do not want to relive the experience or harbour the same feelings I have towards Mum and driving, towards that person.

It must have been so bad. My Dad intervened and made me drive last year. When he suggested that, I gave him a straight blatant NO, without even thinking. I just kept saying no, no and no. But in the end, of course he made me. With Dad, he was calm and allowed me to do whatever I see fit. But still, I was angry inside, the outburst was on its brink. "Why is he making me do this? What is he trying to judge? Well, seen enough? Can't wait to comment?" The trail of rebellious negative dark thoughts in that very twisted mind of mine.

But Dad was alrite. "You are alright, just need more experience and practice in round-abouts". I felt good but my mind barked, "Yeah too late for you to know now". Then I asked him whether it was really incomprehensible to give even the slightest choke when you brake, that you should never suddenly press your brake no matter what happens (motorcycle suddenly appear also cannot), never use the rear or side mirrors but just turn your head, never turn your steering this way, etc. And surprisingly Dad gave a bullshit to all those golden rules made by Mum. In fact, she herself had broken or never followed all those rules.

She was just naturally over-protective and it unintentionally became over-bearing.
I have a complicated messed up feeling towards the whole issue that is driving because of this.

Despite saying that I want to do something for myself right now, the mere thought of doing it sends impulses of anger and sadness throughout my body while my mind continuously transmit twisted and negative messages to every single cell. Creating an immense overwhelming outburst of feeling which I can just hold back for that long.

I wonder if I really can do anything about it.
I would really wanna drive right here right now.
It is not like being able to drive will solve everything.
But I want to do it. Until a point where I do not hold any special feeling towards it. The point where it becomes an activity of leisure.

Right now, I can just do everything I can?
The only car relatively accessible to me is a manual car.

Having lost all my knowledge and practice with a manual, it only served to defeat my confidence more the other day. Sulking and blaming myself here is totally childish I know. But again, it is all in my mind. I suddenly really hate myself.

In theory I realize that I just have to learn how to drive a manual again.
But in practice, it is not that easy. My twisted mind, my lack of confidence, my fear of rejection, the haunt from my terrible experience with Mum, my pride and my anger. They are just so overwhelming as I sit in that driver's seat and let all these thoughts pass me by.

But I am trying :-)
Check this out:

The Reality Show is ending

With the Master of Business (Commercialising Science and Technology) (lovingly known as MBus CS&T) wrapping up soon. Or so I hope, I can't help but think that this course is like a helluva 'reality show'!

1) We were totally clueless about what to expect!

When we first got into MBus CS&T, we were all naive and 'for the good of mankind' scientists. So much so you can see the halo of our labcoats every time we smile. We greeted everyone and exchanged science-y talks. We were all looking forward to a fun-filled year, excited at the different environment, wide-eyed at every new person we met. Then we were showed the schedule for the year. And I clearly recall myself asking, "Erm, so we don't get a mid-year break?" To which a smiling Claire answered, "No. . . . "

(omg, what is this looooooooooooong table for?)

2) We are in each others' faces A.L.L. T.H.E. T.I.M.E

Due to the uniqueness of MBus CS&T, we moved together as a co-hort. And that means the 28 of us attending 90% of lectures and tutorials together all the time. This is usually a strategy to promote 'cat fights' or 'annoyance' but this is loving MBus CS&T ok, so it is meant to encourage 'friendship' and provide 'support' for each other (which I am totally thankful for!). But of course this is in the expense of seeing the good, the bad and the ugly. . . of everyone.

(Me in the ugly and bad mode - nodding off in class)

3) The endless tasks thrown to us on a weekly basis.

Every week there is a "Omg, I can't believe we have to do this". Yup, it happens on a weekly basis. Then there was the "If I survive August/September/October I survive the course". And the "What do they want from us?!". And the classic "I really wanna do this/graduate (!!)".

The tasks were always of so different natures. From Patent Law write-up to presentations for Management. From the torture to argue critically for Business Law to the equally-torturing 'think-like-a-child' session for Marketing Innovation *sweatx100*. Every week, or for the last semester - on a daily basis, you see tears and sweat being shed. Eyebags and dark circles being built.

(Stressed coursemates unite!)

4) We were evaluated fortnightly!

Each fortnight, 28 intelligent young minds stand before the supervisors, but they can only hopefully keep all 28 of us to be in the running for graduating MBus CS&T.

Each fortnight, we give a review of our progress with our commercialization project in front of our supervisors and coursemates, followed with a brief Q&A session. Usually team members will ge together to discuss about what to talk about the morning before the review :-P. Then we get feedback and suggestions as to where to proceed.

(Time for the judges to deliberate with smiling faces!)

5) We get star-struck!

Being the science-y person we are at heart (still!), it is pretty awesome to 'see' what you usually just get to 'read' about from journal articles. To meet with the people behind such discoveries. To go face-to-face with the scientists who came up with that complicated topic you had to die over in Genetics (who you might have secretly cursed!). It is like meeting Pikachu (he is my hero okay, and someone I can never get to meet *tears*).

The opportunity to meet all the CEOs who were kind enough to give us some valuable insights to life is akin to meeting all sorts of fictional beings with careers that only existed in TVB dramas before this. And you know how the contestants grin from ear to ear or scream when the reality show hosts come out? That is exactly the fan-girl reaction I suppress everytime I meet my superstar supervisors. Two of the most charismatic, kindest and wisest people I am fortunate enough to have met :-)

6) PARTY~!!!!

With every reality show, there is always partayyyyssss going on. Well, MBus CS&T, you think we don't have? We have Wine and Cheese at 4 p.m. on almost every Wednesday, alright! Fufufu. Glamour-nya. We have also Gummy Bears, potato chips, all sorta cheese and Solo! Erm, glamour. . .still. . . rite?

7) Multi-location takes!

Early morning bus rides to Caulfield. Late night bus rides back from Caulfield.

Walking like a zombie to and crawling like a dead body back from Clayton.

Excited little trips to the City for day-long lectures.

8) To feel bittersweet towards the end of the journey :-)

This is one amazing journey I have been on.

Our very own 'reality show' approaching a happy end, with 28 very lucky winners all in their very own way :-)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Everything in this world seems to exist in a balance.

Old sayings like 'What goes around comes around' being revisited by Mr SexyBack. In different languages 'buat baik dibalas baik' and '有 来 有 去'.

To everyday sayings such as 'Big boobs, no brain' and 'Head big no brains, big brains filled with grass'. The fact that such comparisons have survived the times and are still being used everywhere to describe almost everyone without losing its cool factor or meaning, must mean something right?

It seems like balance is the central theme to most things in life.

After a closer analysis, I came up with a theory:-

Balance ---> Equal ---> Equality ---> Fairness

So, the world is just being fair to everyone :-)

Take these few common examples which involves the stereotyping of one's personality through their jobs or roles.

Deejays are supposedly hidden behind the microphone cos having been granted a lovely voice, they lack in the looks department.

Trophy wives! How did this descriptive term even come about, I wonder?
Derek Zoolander the very very very good looking male model of the year?

The development of this theme in everything cannot be a coincidence! To add credibility to it, let us explore the academic field.

In science, chemistry equations are balanced.
In mathematics, algebraic equations always require balancing.
In economics, a nation's income balances its expenditure.
In accounting, there is even the almight BALANCE SHEET which if the final figures do not BALANCE out, you are in deep SHIT!

In fact this theme is evolving and being adapted to newer concepts such as the otaku-gamer concept where quoting Prof. WooHsian means, "when there is some game involving two teams, where one team is clearly stronger than the other, then the players will tend to say "imba" so that the game is more fun". Imba is an abbreviation for imbalance. So the second modernization trait here is this abbreviated usage of the word, similar to how 'cellphones' are called 'cells' and curse words are getting shorter and shorter. But despite the modernized application, the central meaning remains the same - fairness. As depicted in that valuable explanation - if the other team that geng, how to win, you tell me la!

So like it or not, balance is really the central theme to most things in life. And believe it or not, it is also the single most difficult thing to achieve.

A balanced meal. A healthy work-life balance. A balanced cardio and resistance training. A balanced in nature vs. urban.

How many out of those few listed there have you achieved?

Making myself the research subject here:-

A balanced meal - Despite how much I try to, the publicized evilness of carbs and fats, the lack of time for preparation, temptations of fast food here and there - weakens my dear soul. *Burps out an air of McFlurry*

A healthy work-life balance - A rating of 7/10? -3 for the disorganization and extreme swings from dirt-low-laziness to trance(!!)-assignment-mode.

A balanced cardio vs resistance training - It is ady a call for celebration if I dragged myself to gym and an event worthy for champagne-toasting if I work out seriously in the gym. But these days, mostly cardio - to lose some inches from the waist.

A balance in nature vs. urban - While I enjoy both of them, these days we can hardly escape the urban. I'd say 80% of my time is spent in the urban landscape while 20% I try to make it as close to nature as possible. But still with my handphone though. Sigh.

The conclusion here is: A balance is really hard to strike in life. Maybe we try too hard, or maybe we don't try hard enough. Maybe we will fail, or maybe we will succeed.

You see parents overlooking their own child's positive traits cos of their over-emphasis on academic results. The over-clearance of forests and animal habitats to support urbanization and selfish ambitions. The blind love of parents spoiling their own children. Human greed leading to over-spending and debts. And maybe, natural disasters punishing the irresponsibility of humans?

In today's world where things are being taken granted for, luxury and wealth often blinds, selfishness dominate intentions and actions, and countless other regretable habits which developed and is hard to eradicate - where is the balance?

Surely, there are those out there who are trying hard to help, to reach out, to educate other to contribute and to commit themselves to the good of the world. But, try imagining this portion of the world and the other portion of the world as being on a weighting scale. How does the picture look?

Look at the universe we are in. The Earth is located precisely in balance with the Sun, the moon and every other planet - rotating serenely along the delicate balanced orbit that gave us life. This makes me realize we are really a small part of this amazing miracle. Small, imperfect or maybe negligible. But nevertheless, to be blessed to be part of this miracle, perhaps we should learn from it and contribute more to restoring this form of balance we need.

I started using enviromental bags for shopping and managed to accidentally used only one plastic bag for groceries :-) I hope the scale tilted a bit towards the good.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


This is how much I idolize him rite now.
(and red is the colour of?)

To be able to pull my poor laptop outta the mouth of continuous-restarting-cycle of death even after a day of intensive trekking around the vast and dangerous Melbourne city for Melbourne Romp and to score two $10 MYER vouchers all in the course of one 24 hour day, is totally heroic. No, make that a 14 hour day seeing how my idol likes sleeping 10 hours a day.

Well, Miss Cutesy-I-Dunno-About-Computers-One did something to her laptop and shook herself badly in the nerves on this fateful Sunday morning. I knew something was gonna go wrong when I woke up to see gloomy skies and enlarged thighs.

And knowing me, I was in a total state of panic. So much so that I spent quite a lot of my phone credits on calling Idol Tan. And characteristic of me, naturally I just let the laptop continue to misbehave while I sulked and blamed myself. Tears really came out wei!!

When relating myself to computers and their likes, a picture like this comes to my mind.

Yes, I am that outdated in computer knowledge.

I dun get teary when I see bugs, fall down, hurt myself silly, feel stressed. But with this problem, I get so weak and crybaby. Sigh, it is the sense of helplessness you know. The feeling of not knowing what to do despite knowing there must be something you can do or should be doing. The feeling of not knowing whether any of them subsequent actions you do are actually hurting your computer more or not. The feeling of losing all the precious, unbacked-up data.

So you panic la. Hmmm... Ok, so I panicked la.

Luckily help came at 8 p.m. Idol Tan walked in all confident and cheerful.

8.30 p.m. He realized that it was the same thing that hit WenJi's laptop earlier this year (what is wrong with this house!) and I remembered it being damn hard to remove.

9.00 p.m. Idol Tan is looking less cheerful and more gangster-ish. I was clueless.

9.30 p.m. Idol Tan said we shall see whether what he did works. I pretended to not worry.

9.45 p.m. Idol Tan realized it is still not eradicated while I cursed myself.

10.00 p.m. Idol Tan smiled sheepishly with half-closed eyes. I was still clueless.

10.01 p.m. Idol Tan said, "Done." "Oh ya kah!?" *Rolled his half-closed eyes*

So teach me how to not idolize him!?

In fact, I am wearing it out for the world to see.

And in case you were wondering, YES, that is my body with some model's face imposed on it :-)

Saturday, October 18, 2008


My family has just officially sold our house back in Sandakan. So it is a goodbye to what we used to lovingly refer to 1481.

We moved into 1481 on the 25th of May, 2000. The first time I heard about 1481 was when Dad gave us pictures of room designs and asked us what we want our rooms to be like. Excited, of course, I chose the pinkest of possible for the wall and stupidest as possible for the beddings (I wanted some kinda compact bed+desk+wardrobe in a cube kinda thing, which luckily was not fulfilled thanks to the excellent furniture store services back then). Anyway, in the end, Dad ended the ridicule by settling on the designs himself :-( or maybe it is a blessing in disguise :-) I have no ugly room history now :-D

Dad came up with most of the designs in the house. The picture here shows the later stage of the house after all his braniac-renovations.

1. Extended the back of the house and changed the orientation of the stairs. (House age 1)

2. Covered the staircase and so-called mini bar with wood plates and mirrors (House age 5)

3. Wallpaper-ed certain areas of the house (House age 5.5)

4. Added in more cabinets in the kitchen (House age 7)

The first day we moved in, I could tell that my Dad was really proud and happy. Afterall, I believe he exerted a lot of effort, financially and mentally and physically (!), into this baby of his! He is especially glad when others compliment about things inside the house which were his ideas, such as :

1. The altar rite outside the front door.

"Usually the traditional one stick outta the wall and looks not matching to the modern feel of the house. But, you see ah, you make it into part of a nice looking cabinet, then the whole thing meh feel different loh."

2. The wood coverings within the house.

"Aiyah, it is not that special, just that people in Sandakan are not aware of the trend mah. You add some wooden features, then under the yellow light, it looks very warm rite?"

3. Adding strips of mirrors around the house.

" Mirror is to reflect the light and add a modern touch to the wooden features."

But Lowena says, "Jie, dunno why ah, I think rite, these mirrors somehow makes me look skinnier eh. I think probably Dad wants us to think we are skinny at home and stop dieting."

4. Wallpapers

"See, you match this pattern with that pattern, then meh look like got a different kinda dimension and the house looks totally different loh."

Well, renovation is all good, changing the outlook is all cute, getting compliments is all well. But think about ME at home to had to clean up all post-renovation mess please. I still remember there was once when I was mopping the floor and scrubbing the toilet tiles 10 minutes before leaving the house for Interact Club's Prom in 2003. 10 minutes, hello. Luckily during then I was ignorant towards make-up and dressing up, or else . . . . *oops*

See the mirrors and wooden panels around the stairs.

But 1481 is filled with fond memories :-)

- Lowena crying on the first day in the house after stepping onto something hot barefooted.

- Various creative and outrageously-funny falling stunts performed by famous gymnastic Lowena.

- Pretending to faint when asked by Mum to do something.

- Our very own Ju-On Project, as shown in the previous pictures.

- Our cousin, Ronny, moving in to stay with us temporarily in 2003.

- The school holiday visits that see Teddy Choo growing up living in 1481.

- The birthday parties, christmas celebrations and etc.

- Being the meeting point for everyone before going out for supper.

- Where I conducted part of my school holiday tutoring services.

- Sleeping on the icy-cold floor tiles when there was no electricity and weather was boiling hot.

-Being screamed at by Mum for not cleaning the house, not tidying up the room, making the toilet wet and another 651 reasons.

- Filling the table with snacks bought from all over Mile 4.

I loved how 1481 was so near to Tshun & co's place and how it is situated in between of all places making it so easy for Steve and Choo to fetch me (I think :-D). Also strategically located near Bandar Indah - Seven Heaven, Equator, etc.


I can't believe that 1481 can no longer be called my home. Not house, it was my home. I know that it is just a matter of time since my family has moved over to KL and lately Dad has gotten a house there. But somehow, reality still sink in slower when you are attached to a certain something. And memories are fantastic sticky tapes providing the sense of attachment.

It must feel weird to look at 1481 again.

I will still feel like it is most natural for me to open the gate and walk in through the front door, deactivating the house alarm, turning on the TV while going to the fridge to grad a cold can of soft drink.

So it must be weird to only be able to see it from the outside. The feeling will be like "it is so near, yet so far"? And I wonder if it will look or feel the same, after being occupied by someone else. I hope it doesn't change. Childish and selfish thinking of mine. But, it is an important part of my life. I really would want to preserve it.

The weirdest point would be, the feeling of not having a place in my own hometown. The familiar place I anticipate for while on the plane back to Sandakan, is not really there anymore. But of course, I have relatives and family so I guess I am just grieving for my house rite now.

It really is not the place that matters rite? It is the people. And all the people I love are still back there. But for 1481, it forever occupies a place in my heart. What I imagine when I envision 1481 in my mind is, memories being harboured and protected within the house. Keeping it safe and pure from all outside influences. Providing me a home to return to, despite it not being my house anymore.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Shoe story

I passed my IELTS requirements :-)
So you should be happy too :-) !!
I am currently obsessed with a pair of shoes my Mum brought over for me last June, July, no August? Ah well . . . At first glance it was really a bit too cutesy for me, along with the Mickey Mouse tees, this Happy-Too tee and tons more, but not now. It led me to some sorta self-discovery: I AM TOTALLY CAPABLE OF CUTENESS.


So being in love with those shoes, I ended up gazing at it all day last Monday. Mind you, that was before the submission of the OMG-report and OMG-presentation.

The wet pavement and damp air at 7.30 a.m. on a freezing cold, rainy morning. Thought at that mo' - "Probably not the best time to be wearing these hole-filled shoes."

The blah carpet and sleepy air at 8.35 a.m. in Accounting and Finance tutorial. Thought at that mo' - "Cannot sleep. . . . ZZzzZZzzz. . . " *nudge*! A dozing off Jean by my side. The blah-er carpet and tense air in Business Law tutorial at 12.15 p.m.. Thought at that mo' - "Assignment gonna be given back?" In the end, it wasnt distributed back at all. Should have saved myself the worrying. The toilet tiles and detergent-filled-air in *where-else* the toilet of Building H. Thought at that mo' - "Should I attend Business Law's lecture?" In the end, I went. Knowing me, the good student, of course I went la.The bright tiles and fresh air in Chaddy yesterday~! Thought at that mo' - "Buy what? Buy what? Okay, Loretta, calm down and prioritize! Cosmetics then :-)"


After posting up all those pictures of the same pair of shoes *sweat* I am now overcome with a great sense of lameness *sweat + gloom*

Well, allow me to explain. I just thought it was funny, when reviewing the pictures of the same pair of shoes that, each picture gives off such a different feeling.

Maybe it is the lighting, the background, the position of my feet, the thought I had while taking that picture. Can't really tell. But it made me think that, I really do go through a lot of places, a lot of emotions and a lot of people in a single day.

Although it seems a bit of a hum-drum most of the time, going to uni everyday, or to work every day. But maybe it is cos we never paid attention to the differences that is present.

What started out as a time-killer (taking snaps of ur own shoes, wat the), became a series of visual memories that reminded me of what I met with that whole day.

"The journey of the brave and cute flower-ed shoes".

Everyday is indeed a story :-) Treasure them :-)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Take me to the Zoo!

"Bring me to the Zoo *mua*."

That was what I said the other day in the car to two ridiculed and confused look from General Tan and WenJi. Followed by the inevitable, "Why???"

My last experience to the Melbourne Zoo wasn't exactly great. Sun was scorching hot, most animals were as baked as I was under that weather. But, that was the weather's fault! Apparently the thought of going to the Zoo never once crossed their minds.

There are a lot of movies depicting the invasion of whatever-other-than-humans at whatever-place-with-humans where all humans are locked up for whatever-reasons and the only remaining few humans out there are fighting for their freedom. Familiar? Not as in the movie idea, but the scenario. The animals in the cages within the Zoo.
Come to think about it. Had humans not evolved or advanced faster than any other animals, say if things were equal among all living things on Earth, I am sure all animals will still be roaming free. Or had the animals evolved alongside with humans, I am also pretty sure that they will be roaming free and unemployment rate for humans will shoot up!

Having gotten used to it, not seeing any animals at all in our daily life appears to be normal. Come to think of it, where are all these animals?

Cornered into the Zoo.
Living quietly in the scraps of nature left from civilization.

You have seen those movies where humans got into such situations before, so pretty sure you can imagine that huh?

But that is just how the world is. Every species, no every single individual, is fighting to survive. Rather than question whether it is fair (cos it is a bit too late), we should see what we can do to help these animals instead. Be appreciative.

That is why I want to go to the Zoo.

My last vision of a lion is from Narnia, the first movie somemore *sigh*
If lions were living alongside us, I can imagine them being the top top TOP executives - highly influential and charismatic.

The tiger is my favourite. The impressive print on its coat and the stare it gives. Oooo.. .. They could very well be top-ranking police officers or really big yakuza/underground bosses! Or even eyewear models with that very-very smoldering gaze. . . (Omg, I might be crushing on a tiger!)
The last time I saw an 'elephant' must be from a Crayon Shin Chan book. How sad how sad is that! Elephants are amazing in a way that they can appear gentle and vulnerable despite their big size and wrinkly leather-y skin. In a way, they feel like really gentle, understanding school principals forever with a smile on their face :-)

Penguins are as cute as buttons. Seriously, you can just squeeze them soooooo tight I swear they will spring back to their fluffy self as soon as you let go. Last sighting of penguins was from Philip Island two years back! The night was freezing cold as I dragged Mum who was so wrapped up she looked more like a penguin herself. Penguins can well be the in the marine with their cute colours as the uniform. A troop of marine-penguins, how cute.

The arctic fox can be the endorser for whitening skin care products. A vision of beauty. I bet they will win every beauty pageant contest. Hence my chances are cut by another half :-(

Wolf. Always think it is cool as a name. Always liked the mysterious air it gives. I can so see wolves as Calvin Klein models and living the high life as rock stars! *kyaaa*

And all the other animals!

A ticket of $23.60 per adult for such magnificient sights. Why is it not worth it?

I am definitely going soon.

Check this out:

While some animals like *shudder* rats (not enlarged, not bolded, not given special colour), have adapted to civilization by finding their place in sewers and corners of houses. I wonder when there will be a day where tigers walk into high-rise buildings to debate about stocks. Imagine him asking a terrified human employee, "So you want me to gobble you up in its generic meaning or exact literal meaning?"

Time to treat animals better, humans!

The day after

A tranquil morning after a nerve-wrecking day which was yesterday :-)

Finally did the biggest presentation for the year on the project we have been working on ever since the course started. Hm, a complex little thing. Being a year-long commitment I feel somewhat - sad, heavy-hearted - to not be able to see it till the very end despite the sense of relief and gladness upon being congratulated for a good presentation. Bitter-sweet.

Nevertheless the experience was genuine and really like no other.

In fact, I have never been that freaked out for a presentation before. Sure, the L'Oreal thing last year was a kill as well, but this one kills in a different way. While L'Oreal's appeared like a heart attack, this appeared like suffocation.

All the scientists, the industrial people, the lecturers, the coursemates.

"It is just like another one of those 5 mins update we always give. Only that this time there are more people and it is 20 minutes long", said a kind Chitra. But I couldn't help noticing her 'OMG' look throughout the whole session *sweat*

All in all, I am glad not cause it is over, but cause of the sense of achievement :-)

After handing in our 102 pages long report and down-ing the presentation yesterday, Chris officially said, "She's not my partner anymore, I have nothing to do with her," before commencing on his usual buffet of cereal bars, packeted fruit juice, apple, banana, fruit jelly and crackers.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Final showdown!

Time really flies.

I cannot believe our time with our project is coming to an end. Sure it did drive us up the wall - every little aspect of it.

But until I received this from my partner:

"I am going to wear a shirt and a tie tomorrow! Can't wait to get this over and done with! See ya tomorrow!"

A bit overly-optimistic as usual. Hm, an overly-optimistic person with a positively-idealistic Me aren't really the best combination to have. After all, here you see me blogging, at 12.59 a.m. which is a mere 14 hours away from the final showdown!

But I really cannot believe I am gonna part with my project.
Gonna miss everything about this course so much :-(

Anyway, back to thinking of what to wear for tmr :-)


Friday, October 3, 2008

Heel my height !

I had a flashback of last year a week ago. The bitter sweet memories of walking to the new Monash Malaysia campus. Crossing the two roads rite in front of Sunway/Monash hostel condo - where the at least four rows of car either speed through or wait impatiently, aiming to hit you behind the red lights. Then there is the very muddy, uneven and secluded path to uni or the very open, dusty and smokey path less than 2 metres away from the speeding cars along the road. IT is like, which way you wanna die?
But being an independent and strong modern young lady, of course, I did not succumb to such torture and discouragement.
I stood by my high heels.

Never mind, the pedestrian-hating drivers, the huge speeding metal-beasts, the glaring sun, the hard-to-trot path.

I, Loretta Lo, stand by my high heels!
But those were not the reasons why I remembered about Monash Malaysia and the relevance with high heels during last year.

The real reason is, my feet got hurt again from wearing pair of new heels last week :-)

Something I am sure either PKN or even WanRu will think, "Oh well, just another day for her." So I had a week long punishment of only open shoes even during rainy days :-( Damn cold, okay?

But. Before you curse my shoes (or me), do us some justice and see for yourself before you say anything!

Aren't they just adorable!?

And I waited for so long for the price to drop till the 'Loretta-Price-Range' okay!

In fact, when I tried on size 5 I was told that that was the last pair and although it hurt so badly (my toes were practically squeezed in the front), I actually thought of buying and enduring it. How crazy was I! But thanks to my kiasu passion, I asked the third time for a size 6 and voila~ they found it! They actually thought I asked for a size 7 the first two times. So much for separating me from these babies. Kiasu-girl never loses (Omg, the pun here is so bad).

So the verdict?

(Pure happiness :->)

Which leads me to this question by General Tan, "Why do you always like to wear high heels? It s not good for your spine (I think) and your feet always hurts."

And the remark from Bro Eddie, "It is not like you look that much taller in heels."

I am perfectly aware of both statements, okay! Both of you dinosaurs did not really have to tell me in such a direct manner ;-P

Well, it is not about the addition in height, to be honest. After all, I am really well aware and have accepted (since long ago) that the few additonal inches don't really add much to my overall height. Really, really. *bites lips bitterly*

Wearing heels makes me feel happy and glad. When my heels complement my outfit perfectly, it gives me a brighter start of the day! Heels make me walk slower and in a more composed manner while making me more aware of my posture. The millions of styles out there excites my senses, literally. It is itself a harmless, interesting topic for girly talks with your girlfriends. Just like how BIG sunglasses give you a tinge of celebrity-feel, heels shed some kinda glamorous-feel!
All in all, what is wrong with doing a bit of a *torturous, daredevil* (they do not really hurt that much) dress-up as long as it makes you happy. It is the little things in life that gives you happiness after all~

Setting that aside and moving onto confession time -

Yes, I do think heels can give even me some lady-like traits or even sexiness (oooohhh....). Please don't tell me my efforts had been in vain, hide it from me, please :-<)

Yes, I do want to stop the edges of my long jeans from dragging dust, leaves and shit from the ground.

Yes, part of me really wants to look taller. Feel taller. Be taller.

I have always believed my height issue to be like a flower bud, still waiting to bloom. But with Aunty Lo approaching 22 years old now, even my 5 ft 1 in. Mum's "Can still grow one" have become "Die la, you look like me" and ultimately to "Look like me not good meh!?"

Well, I am seriously okay with being short. After all, it is not the end of the world. That was my honest thought at maybe, 5 years ago?

But when your younger female cousins and sister start growing up and tall like it is some kinda kiasu competition, it is not funny anymore.

My 18 y.o. sister is 165 cm, 17 y.o. cousin is 160+ cm, 16 y.o. cousin is 168 cm, 14 y.o. cousin is 162 cm, another 14 y.o. cousin is 160+ cm, 9 y.o. cousin has reached my shoulder level and fnally, 8 y.o. cousin is chasing up to my shoulder level as well.

So instead of Snow White and the seven dwarves, it is Snow White and the seven Giants. And I am not even snow white!!! Coal Black and the seven Giants. How cruel. How very cruel you are, Choo. Don't tell me 'Coal Black' did not even come up in your mind when you reached this paragraph!! I know too well!

Maybe it is to console me or in a bid to make try to force me to grow, General Tan brought me out for a very nice dinner the other night. Trotted down to Docklands all the way from Clayton, in HEELS :-P We went to this western place called Steakhouse which was not too bad. And following the tradition of General Tan, we overshot by one tram station again :-)

Entree of Prawn and Clam with Wasabi dressing.

Lightly salted pan-seared Salmon steak on a bed of mashed potatoes.

Huge chunk of MSA steak with Red Wine sauce on a potato-thing - suitable for a General's carnivorous appetite *roar*!

And followed up by a very sinful and expresso-ful tiramisu as dessert.

But of course, I still failed to grow by the end of that meal :-( So General Tan's money went down to the sea. So, since this flower bud won't bloom *wails* . . .

General Tan bought me some very nice blooms instead :-) *kyaaa*

Who cares if I am short. After all, I don't think it matters. Steve, Choo and everyone else fell for my charm and beauty, not my height. *nods in agreement to myself*

So, all confident and in HEELS (not reinforcing my thoughts on height but I was happy!), I strutted out to see this rite opposite my house.

OMG McDonalds right outside my house! 24-hours no joke! So convenient and near!

Maybe I am really going to 'bloom'. . . 'bloom' wide and round. .

(The omen on my kitchen counter. . . still love it tho *kyaa*)