Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!


My Korean tenant has left our apartment after just 5 months. Of course we wondered whether it was due to our combined explosive personalities (or rather our lack of one) that drove him away. Well, I suppose we will never know. At least now my fridge looks spacious again.

Anyway we have another tenant coming in who is a single Chinese female who will be staying with us for 6 months. The reason I mentioned that she is a single Chinese female is that I was quite suprised that we got someone like her.

While we are charging a fair rent for an apartment like ours, it is still a bit more expensive than what else is available considering that there are rooms here for as little as RM350 with furnishing and air conditioning. The catch is that such offers are only available to single Chinese females.

Hence I was expecting a dude of non-chinese decent to take up our extra room. Well, as long as she can help us cover our monthly rental, we are fine. And she is cool too.

Speaking of rentals, I saw an ad the other day offering a shared room for only Rm180 a month, proudly proclaming their 'selling point': Apartment shared by ONLY 10 people.
Cosy if you like sardine living. I really kesian people who have to live like that.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


From Yahoo news:
ITN Saturday October 28, 10:26 AM

Cruise set for Star Trek?
Tom Cruise is rumoured to be starring in the latest Star Trek movie - as Mr Spock.

The 11th film in the Star Trek series is set to be a prequel to the original 60s television series and will feature Captain Kirk and Mr Spock in their early years.

Film-maker JJ Abrams, the brains behind hit TV series, Lost, will produce and direct the movie which is set for a release date of 2008.

Cruise's involvement in the project has not been confirmed and the fact that he recently parted ways with the film's backers, Paramount adds further uncertainty.

However, there is little doubt of Cruise's pulling power and Paramount bosses are keen to revive the flagging franchise.

Monday, October 23, 2006


The blog has been very quiet these past few days because I am back at my hometown. Traffic was not bad when we drove down here from KL on Friday. Deepavali was a quiet affair. My family is still in mourning. We have yet to reached three years of my grandfather's passing.

Anyhow, I am spending a week here. My daily routine involves, sleeping, eating and fighting with different members of the family(for variety). My whole family have opposing horoscopes, which probably explains why currently every one of us is living miles away from each other. The long holidays are occasions when the entire family gathers together to remind ourselves why we live this way.

My dad will be back from the middle east in a few days so that is exciting news. When he gets back, it will take a few days for him to get into his stride and drive everyone nuts as usual. Endearing, isn't it? And oh, we are moving house. Yup, it is world war three just waiting to happen!

I don't recall my childhood with any particular fondness so I won't pretend to have any heart wrenching nostalgia about home. Actually it was a painful time. So when I was 17, I left. Things have changed so much here that somewhere along the way I lost that feeling of belonging.
All my friends have left for greener pastrures and what remains are familiar faces and fading places. I still do have my folks here. Yet I cannot shake the feeling like I am still a stranger on the outside looking in.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Wrath of this bookworm

Published in The Star newspaper today, this is the daily highlighted opinion submitted by someone who I personally think is a little more than a moron.
I wonder what exactly IS she looking for.
Read it and weep.

Why Malaysians seldom read
Posted by: Gnisy

I skimmed a bookstore last week, looking for something to read. It's been a while since my last book which was... a title I can't even remember now, so I was quite adamant about spending some money on 'a bestseller' just to overturn the reading statistics a little. Since I live in Malaysia, that is not as easy as it sounds.

After being let down by the mystery/detective story section, I had a -very- quick run through romance, literature and self-help books. No luck there.

Then, I stepped into the business, management and computer section... to check out a tall, cute guy only to get cut off by his red-haired, possibly overprotective mother. I scoot over to the language section and spent a whole two minutes there, checking out a joke book. They had better jokes back then when I was growing up. At least, I laughed back then.
The politics section was more like a museum gallery of national leaders, each face bigger than the next on their respective book covers. History… erm, hey! the horror stories section.

Horror stories aren't my cup of tea though and I'd rather get a quick 2-hour scare at the cinemas than labour through Singaporean ghost stories. Same goes to "now a blockbuster movie" books; I still don't understand why anyone would spend more on a book rather than just enjoy the evidently cheaper and easier to go through movie itself.

Naturally, I avoided prize-winning books like the haze after I found out what curious thing happened to the dog in the night time.

Since I already have every book by Ms. Rowling and Mr. Brown, I thought perhaps there is hope in Narnia or Snickett but I turn-tailed once I scanned through the blurb and the price tag.

As I got desperate, I entered the Japanese manga section but was lured into the parenting books section by an adorable little princess held up by her again-expecting mother.

I was briefly occupied by the cooking section but judging from experience, these books will end up being dust-magnets in my bookshelf at home.

The magazine section had a little bit more variety in terms of genres: cars, women, sports, women, men, kids, women, women, brides, pregnancy, women. After that, I wasn’t too sure if the magazine publishing industry is not dominated by women. Which leaves me with *drum roll* the usual reference books and dictionaries. I took STPM once, nothing in the world will make me go through that again.

Evidently, I stepped out of the store, an hour later, with nothing in my hand but a nice bookmark and a daily newspaper, and RM34.95 richer.

You can’t say I didn’t try to get a book but now, I think we now know why Malaysians read only two books a year. There’s never anything good on the shelves!

The Circus is in Town

This is how it is when I try to suggest anything PC related to my programmer boyfriend.

( Sorry, can't figure out how to display the cartoon larger, so you would have to double click on the strip.)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Belly dancers

My dad asked my mom in confidence, “what the heck is our daughter going to do?”
My boyfriend’s mom has even recommended a job. I think people are worried.
Am I the only one who isn’t?
Now THAT worries me.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

On hindsight

So I am back to being unemployed.

Rereading my previous criticism of work, I do feel shame. Editing is a good job. And my editing job was not in the slightest demanding. It is just that I am, I guess. That and just a tad impatient on accellerating my career. I was bitter at being Bored and Ignored.

There were another factors which prompted my swift departure. I didn't mention earlier that there were discrepencies in the offer letter emailed to me when I joined the company and the letter handed to me for signing when I started work. Essentially some terms were changed and that brought to light several other clauses which I was in complete disagreement with.

For example, for the entire duration of my 6 month probation period I am not even entitled to medical or emergency leave. Hence, not only I don't get health care or insurance, if some misfortune befalls me and I don't turn up for work, my pay will still be docked.

Plus my notice period for termination was changed from 24 hours to 2 weeks. And I am not allowed to take a single day's leave until my probation is over. Most companies I know would pro-rate leave entitlements according to months of service. However at this outfit, anytime I need to take leave during this period, I go unpaid. I think this is too harsh.
Hence I had to quit my job as soon as I could because I had no intention of signing the employment contract.

Here is a bit of useful infomation for Malaysian workers.
For workers under a contract of service earning and below RM1500, their rights are protected by the Employment Act of 1955 which sets out the minimum provisions for wages, leave, days off, termination etc. However for those earning above RM1500, the employees' rights are derived primarily from the contract of employment and the safeguards of the Employment Act do not apply. There was an amendment to protect the category of workers earning between RM1,500 and RM5,000 per month but only in limited terms on wages, allowances or other cash benefits. Hence there is no going back after the siging of the contract.

I had an interesting last day at the office on Friday. Everyone was so nice to the girl who only lasted one week. I was hauled into the CEO's room to discuss my leaving. The company was understanding about my changing my mind about the job. While I didn't get to harp on the contractual terms, I did get to say my piece about feeling as welcomed as a UN weapons inspector in Iran. Naturally they were a bit defensive but I do hope I brought the matter to light for the benefit of the other new staff at the company who do not have the luxury of tending their resignations.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Ain't no lily livered wuss

For once I did something assertive for myself.
I threw caution to the wind.
And I quit my job.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Shhh... I am complaining about work

Ok, I have been moaning. Yes, it has been two days and I am in misery. With due respect to editors the world over, editors are like accountants. Instead of number crunching, they ( or rather, WE) word crunch.

As we chew on the ill-fated text, we delight in the snap and crackle of words breaking apart and coming together. And the result is a selection of letters altered beyond recognition yet Better, Finer and Digestable.
Think Chocolate Digestives.

Writing is a creative process. Editing is basically wringing it for bugs. Right now as I am under probation, so my boss edits my edits. Trained (or rather, bullied) by CYH2, a bloody blunt Creative Director and succinct wordsmith himself, I like nice words. Never mind that they are big. Yet at work my pieces are dumbed down because the boss prefers things that way. I understand that most of our literature needs to be simple seeing that the kids are our main target audience. Yet the thing is, it has become so predominant that even articles for adults get the same treatment.

Plus I am practically ignored at the office. It is so cold here and I am not talking about the air conditioning. And the HR exec would call her workmates "pigs" and "anjing" in front of everyone! And of course there is the Twisties incident. The environment is as encouraging as a piranah feeding frenzy.

Monday, October 02, 2006

First Day as an Editor

I edit English coursework for school kids and this is what I discovered:

1. I hate editing.
2. I suck at editing.
3. Grammar is the pits.
4. This job will only be a stepping stone and nothing more.

This is hard. Writing is easy but editing is so hard.