Lilypie - First Birthday

Monday, July 31, 2006

Reckless Consequence

Today I walked into the office, full of guilt. Yesterday was the first time in 23 years of my life that I physically did quite a lot of damage to a living person.

Although they say that there's a first in everything, I sincerely hope for everyone that this "first experience" will never happen to you.

All of this happened in such a brief moment, in a sudden thought that flashed before my eyes. If only I had... if only I had paused to think before my subsequent action! I heard Kelly shout "Motor!" and all of a sudden I could only hear a thud and see the motorist tumble on top of the windscreen and down on the floor.

I am only thankful to God that things could have been worse, he could have ended up with a much more serious injury... but thank God, only his arm bone was fractured. Many many more unimaginable scenarios could have happened... what if, what if I was a second late, what if I was a second too early... what would have happened next.

And I am only thankful for the host of angels that surrounded me, to minimize the impact of the dreadful situation, for the helpful words of advice from the passersby, to the poor man for not yelling at me, to his boss for his grace and mercy, to Kelly for being my pillar of strength, for my brake to not fail while I was driving up and down from Balik Pulau. And to my friends for their sympathy and tender words of care.

I guess that nothing could ever redeem me from this unbearable guilt, the fact that I had hurt a person who was, just a minute ago, riding happily on his motorbike. A compound of RM300 and a broken front bumper is a price too little to pay for what I had done. And my drops of tears which rained from my eyes outside the clinic, at the police station, in front of Kelly and my pastor in these times of guilt.

From this episode, I learnt that driving recklessly is not at all a choice, much less an obligation to protect myself, friends and those other road-users. Looking down at those hurt hands and silent eyes, I felt myself determined more than ever to never go down this road again.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Devil winds

Hahaha... feeling a bit "dak chek" today, cos today I came late to the office. 9.10 a.m.! HAHAHA. Not because I slept late, I had a very good reason! It was raining cats and dogs and I just couldn't brave myself to drive (visibility-low) through all that rain. But damn, it feels good to "break a rule" by not arriving punctual to the office for once.

Speaking of the devil winds, at 5a.m. this morning, I woke from my sound sleep to a very weird noise. The windows were left open and it really really sounded like a thousand devils were out to get me, with the strong gusts of wind howling furiously through the windows and threatening to pull down the sliding door to the toilet. And for a moment there I thought I heard the drumming of waves on the shore and I thought it was the tsunami coming but suddenly I remembered that I was at Sungai Ara! Not Batu Feringghi! Luckily, Berry was sleeping by my side so I had a little bit of courage left. I ran to the windows and forcefully tried to pull the windows shut against the devil winds. Man, I had never struggled with these winds before!

Living in Penang does really give me the creeps sometimes... and when I finally got some shut-eye after my housemates had left, I woke at 8a.m. to a slight drizzle and happily went off to work.

P/S: Crossing my fingers and hope that my company doesn't find out about my blog. Hehe.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Goo Goo Dolls "Stay With You"

Writing the songs for Let Love In, Rzeznik found similar inspiration in his hometown. "When you drive down the street and you see the park and the bleachers where you first a kissed a girl, you drive past the house you grew up in and you remember them taking your mother out in an ambulance, you see the post office where your father worked, you drive through a neighborhood that used to be all factories and now it's just leveled, or you drive by a street and see a beautiful little shop that just opened and how people are really thriving there," he says. "It gives you a lot of hope and perspective."






Friday, July 07, 2006

Sweating the Small Stuff

--Adapted from eDiets (6th July, 2006)

Every day may bring a test of nerves: rude sales clerks, stubborn co-workers, arguments at home. While these trivial daily pressures might seem insignificant in comparison to major life traumas like surgery or a death in the family, it turns out that the small stuff actually may be the most important source of stress in our lives. Daily frustrations, while minor, can snowball into big problems.

Many of us blame our work lives for the lion’s share of stress. But research shows that job pressure is not the biggest offender. A recent study in which 1,500 people tracked their daily stresses for eight days found that the biggest contributors by far are quarrels and conflicts with intimates.

That makes sense, says study author David M. Almeida of the Pennsylvania State University: “The people in our lives mean more to us than things or work.” As a result, we aren’t as able to brush off arguments with parents, children, spouses, or close friends as readily as we can other minor irritants like traffic jams or the grocery store running out of bread.

Both men and women agree that interpersonal tension is the most frequent source of stress. But they differ on what they rank as their second biggest frustration. For men, school or work creates big headaches -- they find themselves fretting over promotions and deadlines. Women tend to reserve that level of anxiety for the people in their lives they care about -- relatives or close friends.

We really are creatures of habit: The disruption of daily routines was named as the most common daily source of stress. Financial worries, physical danger and health concerns were also frequent worries, but all of these were much less common.

Stress can contribute to cardiovascular disease, weaken the immune system and maybe even fast-forward the aging process. It also affects your daily mood: When stress is low, people have a sunnier outlook overall, a more positive view of work, and feel better physically.

Almeida is also interested in who is most vulnerable to stress and who bounces back the fastest. He’s found that older people are less stressed out than young people or the middle-aged, although it’s not entirely clear why.

It’s possible that with children grown and work coming to an end, retirement-aged people simply may not have as many sources of stress. Young people, on the other hand, not only report more stresses but have greater difficulty dealing with them.

It’s important to remember that stress isn’t always bad, points out Almeida. “If we didn’t get upset about problems, they wouldn’t ever get solved. We just have to figure out how to react to stress so it doesn’t make us unhealthy.” Learning how to cope and problem solve will help that aim.

“People deal with problems in one of two ways,” observes Almeida. “They focus on how they feel about a stressor, or they figure out a way to solve the problem. If a problem can’t be solved, they learn how to cope.”

Simply focusing on your feelings about the problem isn’t very helpful. But recognizing what has the power to stress you out is important: you have to know what raises your blood pressure before you can address it. --

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Scent-less

Eeesh... forgot to put on my Tommy Girl today, and forgot to put on deodorant too. Later I'm going for aerobics. Hope the other students don't faint beside me. Hehe.

Not to say that I'm smelly lar, but I like to smell good during/and after aerobics... wish I'd gotten up earlier today!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Car Breakdown

Yesterday just wasn't one of my lucky days. For the first time in my life, I experienced a car breakdown. I think I saw it coming when the words "we cannot stop the car from breaking down" jumped out at me in my June 29 post.

When KK came to pick me up yesterday, I had the feeling that my brakes and clutch weren't working as smoothly as usual. On my way to the Bayan Baru roundabout, my car engine even died on me 3 times, which was unusual, considering the fact that I'd been driving smoothly for the past 2 weeks. Even so I wasn't quite sure what was the matter, and I thought it was the tyres so I stopped at a nearby gas station to pump air into them.

Not long after, we reached Tj Bungah, a open-door restaurant famous for its cheap, tasty Western food. In case you're wondering, we went all the way there because we wanted to celebrate Berry's birthday (Oh, Happy Birthday to my dear roomie!). After having dinner, we all got back into my Iswara and I started to reverse the car.

But it wouldn't nudge. I pressed harder on the gas pedal and all I got was a sensation/noise like my car was trying to clamber out of a ditch in the ground. So weird! So KK tried, and we all got out of the car to watch. Try any harder, and I swear the left back tyre would be pushed out! It seemed like something got stuck in the tyre.

I was stricken with panic as it was the first time I'd encountered such a situation, but thanks to my three lovely girlfriends, KK, Berry and Kelly, they all pulled out their cellphones and started dialing up families and friends to get someone to help.

Less than an hour later, Kelly managed to get a foreman to come look at my car. It was already 8.30p.m., but he took less than 5 minutes to determine that my clutch was causing the problem. He took another 5 minutes to tune my car and to decide that it was good enough for us 4 to reach Sg. Ara safely. But it still needed further repair so today the foreman came again to bring it for repair.

To celebrate the end of this disastrous episode the 4 of us AND Berry's birthday, on our way back, stopped at Cosmic Cafe to have a drink and birthday cake. Most importantly, the drink was for me to relax my spirits. Hehe.

I'm so glad that the 3 of them were beside me all along, comforting me and helping me in each of their own sweet ways. I know I'm a disaster at handling such situations, easy to cry and get mad and helpless, but with the 3 of them by my side, like Kelly said, it would only be "yesterday's disaster". Sure I'll have plenty of chances to encounter similar occurences like this, but one thing that I've learnt is that there's always a "first time" in everything, and experience can help you to get through a real, bad patch.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Keith Urban "Making Memories of Us"

I've never been a great country music lover. Other than the Dixie Chicks, Johnny Cash, LeAnn Rimes and Carrie Underwood, I can't say I know anyone else.

But when a man gets down on his knees to sing to a girl, I suddenly listen. And my heart melted like chocolate.

Never would have known who Keith Urban is if it weren't for Nicole Kidman.
Never would have guessed country singers were so cute-looking if I hadn't seen him.
Never would have thought that country music would sound so nice if I didn't hear him sing.

My favourite music of the month:
Keith Urban "Making Memories of Us"

At their recent wedding, he serenaded Nicole Kidman with this song.

"Everyone was sitting round at their tables and he just walked up onto the stage unannounced and pulled out his guitar and sang this beautiful song," television personality Jessica Rowe told the Nine network on Monday morning.

"I don't think there was a dry eye in the house. She cried, everyone cried."
--Fox News

Awww. Isn't that lovely... a handsome, talented man serenading his bride with his own beautiful masterpiece, the perfect wedding picture. Ahh... hope I will be as lucky as Nicole Kidman someday. :)