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RANDTS will last a thousand years.

- Albert

Imagine this. You're drinking champagne in some French restaurant, and you've left a stain of red lipstick on the surface of the glass. Brandishing your compact powder, you dust your face, and decided to apply a new coat of lipstick on your lips. You're searching your clutch in vain for the lipstick, when your significant other (read: male boyfriend) hands you his lipstick. "Here darling, try my lipstick. Bought it from MAC for RM 49.90- it comes with gloss and vitamins for a sexier pout". How would you react?

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With just a little bit of inspiration, you can write whatever you want, do whatever you want, dream whatever you want as long as it serves a good purpose and pose no harm to society. I think other RANDTSters need some inspiration to be back on track.

Earlier (weeks ago?), I had a chat with Joe. I talked about reluctant I was towards RANDTS and he told me to write something about inspiration. And, here I am, writing about inspiration. Funny thing, isn't it? What is inspiration? Is it the one little kick in life that gets you going on in doing great things or perhaps its just another spice which keeps the essence in life flowing? It can't be seen and its feeling can hardly be described. It is really amazing(to me) how one event can place great importance to someone to continue striving.

I've been wondering. Where do we go or who do we look for when we need inspiration? One may be inspiring to me but might not be inspiring to another. At moments when we need that jolt, how do we get it? Should we wait until we hit rock bottom, then only do we start to make more effort?

Actually, I've posted this in my blog but I decided to share it here; with you guys. After editing two times in an hour, I managed to come up with this. I was inspired by a couple of friends then to write about love; sad love story anyone? I know it sounds kind of cheesy but this sure can give some of you a good laugh especially when it's coming from someone like me. :D

Banjir Cinta Yang Sepi

Malam berlalu…
Yang membanjiri mindaku;
Adalah memori cinta…

Cinta yang sedih;
Cinta yang pedih;
Cinta yang ku nanti;
Cinta yang tiada kembali.

Tidak mu rasa;
Tidak ku paksa;
Tidak ku benci;
Tidak ku cari.

Bak dicuri, bak diketepi…

Nantian yang tiada akhirnya;
Kepahitan yang tiada perginya;
Terukir di sudut hatiku;
Perasaan yang tiada pun tahu
tapi aku…

Tidak ku sesal;
Tidak ku kesal;
Hanya ku kenang;
Banjir cinta yang sepi…

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It seems that Poland thinks that Teletubbies are gay. A senior Polish official has ordered psychologists to investigate whether the popular BBC TV show Teletubbies promotes a homosexual lifestyle. Those Poles are ridiculously obsessed and paranoid in fearing about the "promotion of a homosexual lifestyle".

How stupid can people be? All these humorous homophobia started when Poland's education ministry announced plans to sack teachers who promote homosexuality. How do you promote homosexuality? In a radio show some people even found Winnie the Pooh suspiciously gay as he had only male friends. For many young boys all their friends are boys. Are they gay too? What some "learned" people do simply baffles me.

Let's come back to Teletubbies. Tinky Winky the purple Teletubby is the character singled out as being gay. One of the ludicrous reason is that he carries a handbag. The late American bigot Jerry Falwell even once said Tinky Winky is gay for being purple, a gay pride colour. His (Tinky's) triangular aerial was also said to be a gay pride symbol. How can people be so idiotic? Tinky Winky is just a child's character, how could he be gay? Some people have forgot that being effeminate isn't being gay. King Herod was effeminate but committed adultery by marrying his brother's wife. Furthermore, there certainly is nobody had alleged the Herod was gay.

Tinky Winky the gay Teletubby being gay. Lol!

I'll tell you that Teletubbies will drive me up the wall. It's just plain weird but it cannot be gay unless you are talking about an obscure and probably fake clip of Teletubbies depicting sodomy symbolism on Youtube. Still fools will be fools but idiocy of a whole country is mind boggling. Luckily for Poland, the Poles are taking the gay Teletubbies issue with a sense of humour.

P.S: Some people say Barney the purple dinosaur is gay for being purple. Anyway, I'm so gay hearing about gays.

~multum in parvo~

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He strides confidently, calmly. Well-dressed passers-by on the streets merely stare at him with dull eyes. Smog envelopes the alleyways. It does not deter him; he speeds through the urban dust like a knife through water.

His left hand clenches a paper bag. He makes sure his baggage is still secure. Once he nears the area where he calls home, he puts the brown paper bag into his pants' pocket. It is small and fits snugly, invisible to curious eyes.

The neighbourhood is gaily, pretty in its suburban colours of beige and terracotta with splashes of greenery. Warm lights are switched on; it is dinnertime. He takes in the scenery disdainfully. He knows that behind the facade of family, respectability and money, there is nothing but grey - boredom with life and the like.

Never mind. He enters his house, one of the most expensive-looking on the avenue. His pretty wife is preparing dinner with Francois, the new cook. His young children play with Lego. He dutifully kisses her and murmurs quiet approval of his son's Lego aeroplane.

"I'll be having a long shower," he says casually. "Call me when dinner is ready." His wife nods.

Once he enters his study, the veneer cracks. His hands are shaking manically, but he stills them with an inhuman effort. Out comes the paper bag. From a locked drawer, he takes out a spoon, a syringe. Needle, tourniquet - check. He meticulously arranges his kit on the study table. He empties a little of what is in his brown paper bag into the spoon. Placing the spoon carefully over a small flame, he waits. He knows that in exactly 5 minutes, it will bubble over. Then he'll take a breath and plunge the needle in.

In 10 minutes' time his grey world is awash with psychedelic colours. Sheer bliss floods his mind. He feels love for all of creation. He could dance, he believed he could fly. Piss off, he thinks of his pretty blonde wife, I don't need you anymore...

The exhilaration lasts for another 10 minutes and as abruptly as it came, it goes. He washes up, stores everything away. The steaming shower jolts him back to normality, albeit a stoned one. It doesn't matter. His mood is soaring.

He dresses, checks himself in the mirror, walks downstairs. Lamb is the main course, with smooth creme brulee as dessert. He eats with more relish than other days. Francois is satisfied and all is well.

After dinner, the family is lounging in the living room. The shrill tone of the telephone disrupts the tranquillity. His wife sighs and he moves to pick up the phone.

"Miss Scott? Your father, I see. I'll be there in a minute."

Before long, Doctor James Carter leaves his house for his patient's...

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Complicated. Why do people say that life is complicated? Life is life. Life is not complicated, or is it?

Under what circumstances is life complicated? When you can't figure out something? or when you get tangled in some situation and you just don't know what to do?

Imagine that you are in this situation where you like a person who happens to like another person who happens to be your close friend and happens to have a relationship with someone else and likes another person at the same time. The person who he or she likes at the same time happens to be a close friend of the person you like. The person you like knows that you like him/her. Your close friend, however, do not know that you like the person who likes him/her and therefore, keep on pouring stories to you.

Is this complicated? Perhaps the way I put it is complicated but what would you do if you were to be in a situation like this?

Multiple Choice Answer:

A. Continue to like the person you like.
B. Stop liking the person you like and stop making things complicated.
C. Tell your close friend that you actually like the person who likes your close friend.
D. Do nothing and let them untangle themselves unless there is nothing to untangle.

I just made everything sound complicated and confusing. Maybe I'm just confused and complicated myself?

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Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. How on earth can you explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love? Put your hand on a stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with that special girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. That's relativity.

-Albert Einstein-

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Henry & Jared, does the place in the picture remind you of anything? Care to complete the blog title, anyone? =)

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Able Manski, Tech Repairman, rose at 0500 hrs to grab a cup of coffee and make his way to the 'Mech repair bay. Able grabbed a cup and filled it from the dispenser. A 'Clansman' sat in the tech lounge reading an inner sphere repair manual and snickered till he saw Able.

“That coffee is for clan members only, Terran.” He said not removing his gaze from the manual.

Able raised his middle finger at the tech while stirring the cream in with a toothpick he too not removing his gaze from his task.

“As you say pal.” Able said calmly.

“I thought I told you to stop calling me ‘pal’ bondsman Able!” The tech snapped.

“You did, I just don’t listen to you... Pal.” Able smirked.

Able left the room headed for the 'Mech bay. Able, an engineer by trade; had learned his whole livelihood here in this very 'Mech bay. When the 'Clans' attacked Terra he was stranded here along with his contingent and a skeleton crew of techs. And here he remained with his techs to be ridiculed by their 'Clan' tech counterparts. And so shaking his head he opened the pressure door to the bay and stepped into another 'worst day of his life'.

A Clan Warrior was bellowing at one of his younger techs. The young man was thin slight of build and shy. The clansmen, all ninety seven inches and 500 pounds of genetically engineered killing fury, made the poor young tech the example of the inherent weaknesses of Terra. Able downed the cold, bitter coffee in one quick slurp and tossed the cup aside briskly hurrying to his tech’s aid.

“Hold on here!” Able yelled above the already roaring warrior. “What is the problem private?”

“This worthless piece of Terran slop can do nothing right!” The towering warrior continued. “The first time we discover he is too weak to function without a power suit in his assigned duty of technician. Then he is unable to handle the mental tasks of maintaining an aerospace fighter. Now he has proven an incompetent fool at the simplistic task of battle armor maintenance!”

"He was trained as a Medic, warrior,"
"DO I LOOK LIKE I NEED A MEDIC, DOG!" The Warrior roared. The clans had no use for men and women of the noble trade. In true Darwinian Extremism, if you were dumb enough (or indeed weak enough) to get hurt then you deserved death.

“Alright, I’ll ask again…what is your problem, warrior?” Able said with care, knowing what would come next.

The brute grabbed the little medic by his jumpsuit, Able now recognized the poor fellow as Cecil, and began to shake him off of his feet.

“Wait! Stop!” The now fully awake Chief Tech. said in an unusually strong voice which dropped to its usual soft monotone thereafter. “It’s me you angry with, he is my tech and im responsible for 'im … I’ll fight you.”

A hush fell over the bay as Cecil regained his feet thanks to the warrior dropping him.

“No!” Cecil yelled after the warrior. “No! He is no match for you, you’ll kill him!”

The warrior smiled as he put his hands on his hips.

“You heard the slop,” he yelled to the gathering crowd of onlookers including the Galaxy Commander who had entered hearing the commotion, “draw the circle and prepare to be educated.”

“Dear God Able!” Cecil protested. “Beg for the right of forgiveness and stop this stupid … stupid thing!”

“It’s alright C-Man.” Able intoned. “I now know what I have to do here.”

“Able! You don’t know squat about fighting, he will rip you limbs out of their sockets and beat you with them!” Cecil said trying to stop the murder of his Cheif Tech, more out of fear that he would be replaced by another uncompromising clansman than of actual love for his soon to be dead savior.

“Your motherly pleading falls on deaf ears tech.” The warrior said smiling as he limbered up. “I will stop his wasteful use of air and food in this circle today.”

“Maintenance suits.” Able said calmly.

“What?” The warrior replied confused as the room fell silent again. “What did you say?”

“I said,” Able breathed deeply, “maintenance suits you deaf empty-headed pig.”

The warrior roared as he lunged at Able across the circle only to be sacked by his four other squad-mates before he could tear strips of flesh off of Able’s chest with his bare hands.

“The circle, Private Berger! You are in the circle.” the Galaxy Commander said as he shoved Private Berger back forcibly. “Only you can call the trial for him yes?”

Berger barked at him. “Yes!”

“And you did call the circle to be drawn thus calling the trial between you, correct?” The commander asked.

“Yes!” Berger snapped back.

“Then as the challenged the grand law states HE is allowed to choose the means by which you will kill him.” The commander now stopped pushing him and just stood in front of Berger.

“Don an exoskeleton and beat him to bloody pulp but do not dare to break the laws Berger or I have to face you in the circle after you wipe off his blood.”

The warrior stomped over to a waiting exoskeleton and began to strap into it. Cecil looked over in complete shock and utter terror as his Chief tech buckled the safety harness onto himself in one of the multi-tool exo-suits.

“Able!” Cecil pleaded as he got face to face with the man. “What the hell are you doing? Do you want to die? Able he is gonna crush you dead…that’s it isn’t it?” Cecil’s face plunged ashen upon seeing the resolve in Able’s eyes. “Dear God you want him to kill you.”

“We can’t live like this anymore C-Man.” Able replied. “So please lock my safety harness in the quick release position, and get out of the circle.”

“You now seek to deface my honor before I have even wiped his blood from my fists tech. After I end him, you will be thrown into the circle as well to share his chosen fate.” Berger said calmly without a hint of remorse. Cecil's face turned parchment white.

The other Clan Warriors present deposited Cecil and the other Terran techs and the circle was closed. The crude white paint circle was sprayed onto the floor of the bay with plenty of room for the two combatants to move within. Able flexed his arms moving the heavy exoskeleton with great ease and control. Cecil looked at his chief tech as he set the suit for his personal preferences and began to hop lightly from strut foot to strut foot.

“C, o’ll Abe's is gonna get his head torn off by that monster.” Able’s second-in-chief Tech Allen Winski said as the two stood and watched in horror. “Those warriors are practically born into those powersuits. Them tool suits can’t be much different.”

Suddenly Cecil’s eyes grew wide and his face almost jumped off his body with the dark realization of what was about to happen.

“No Allen, those suits are nothing like each other. Battle suits are limber, fast, and designed to move. The tool suits are meant for lifting armor and parts, cutting steel plates and welding them together on a 'Mech, not for going 'ape-shit' on someone else.” Cecil said as his jaw went slack. “He’s not trying to get killed. He’s gonna kill that private!”.

Cecil always was an astute young fellow. Thats why Able liked to keep him around.

The warrior stepped to his half of the circle and waited as Able turned on his suit’s spinning yellow crown light warning light. The crowd laughed as Able gently stepped his suit opposite the warrior in his suit and waved at him with the suit’s lifting claw.

“Fool!” Berger yelled at the top of his lungs. “I will pinch your skull in that claw! Freebirth fool!”

Able calmly turned on his radio mike and loudspeaker to max and spoke over the vulgar outbursts of the warrior.
“Any time you’re ready, I’m waiting for you.” Able goaded him.

In response, another warrior outside the circle struck an armor plate with a large hammer in a make-shift bell and Berger lunged at his opponent. His powerful legs propelled him forward, but the suit he was wearing was not designed to leap up onto BattleMechs while being shot at, it was meant to lumber around and slap armor on said BattleMechs. Private Berger fell flat on his belly with the three quarter ton suit crashing down on top of him. The warrior let out a strangled grunt as he shattered his front teeth, and most of his not too handsome face, on the concrete floor of the repair bay. Then, in full view of the startled crowd Able calmly walked over to his fallen opponent, stepped on his arm, and extended the suit’s circular Iron-saw attachment. The other warriors in the bay began to scream and pound their fists on the floor and each other as they watched the inner sphere tech close in for what they thought was the kill.

Much to everyone’s surprise, Able spun the saw and cut the power lines and the hydraulic feeds with the blade. Berger was powerless on the floor beneath the strut of Able’s tool suit.
“That’s enough Able!” Allen yelled above the commotion in the room, he noticed that no one was running out into the circle. “He’s done Able! Let him out now!”

Blood from Berger’s mouth mixed with the drive fluids for the suit’s severed hydraulics. Then with one icy plate-steel glare at the crowd, Able lit the suit’s magnesium fueled cutting torch and ignited the hydraulic fluid. He quickly jumped back as the suit Berger was in literally turned into a funeral pyre. Berger screamed an unholy screech as he burst into flames along with the suit. He ripped the burning safety straps off and tried to perform a push up to throw off the burning tool suit. Soon enough however, Berger stopped screaming as the sheer mass of the suit held him down in the burning fluids, then the main tank ruptured and the circle was filled with flames. The automatic sprinklers doused the area with water as the burning chemicals continued to smolder. Then without a word Able walked towards the open bay doors and out of the artificial rain. The crowd parted as he left the circle, half out of stark fear of the demented Cheif Tech. The other half because Able had not shut off the cutting torch.

"Y'see Cecil," Allen Winski said motioning to the roasting elemental, "It's just like I keep say'n. Nobody listens to o'll Abe when they need to!"

"No," Able said nodding in agreement blank faced and emotionless to his techs, "no they don' they?"

[


This is perhaps the second time I'll be addressing this matter. I shall use very direct approaches. And pardon me for my choice of words; I shall not be so careful with it.

What has happened to the fire to blog in RANDTS? Has the fire to blog here greatly diminished? If so, I'd like to know why. If our Comrade "General" Cripple can be so committed to this blog, is it too much if I ask for at least just "one-fifth" of his commitment?

I understand well that many of us are currently busy with examinations and that we also have our own personal blog to maintain. As such, I don't expect very much updates in May and June. However, you would agree with me that over the past few months, less and less people have been blogging here regularly.

Somehow, this post is very much anticipated, especially me. However, I did not really expect that I would be the person writing it. It is high time that we re-think about the reasons why we had agreed to participate in RANDTS, or start RANDTS in the first place for that matter.

I shall not specify any names here; please do forgive me for my harshness in addressing this issue. I am really curious to know about the reason the fire to blog here simply isn't burning; some already have their fire burnt out. Is it really so hard to find a topic to write about? Perhaps writing about an opinion on what has happened in your daily life would help spark the fire?

I am terribly sad to see that while few people are struggling to keep the fire burning, some have already turned off theirs. As one of the earliest members of RANDTS, I welcomed you into our community with open arms. In fact, I have no objections as to who is interested to participate in RANDTS. When Jared used to ask me if he should recruit this "so-and-so" into the community, I did not have many comments or opinions about it.

In no way am I implying that if you feel that your passion is gone, you therefore should leave. NO! On a personal level, I feel it is irresponsible to just pack up and go, unless there is a very valid reason or an inevitable situation that requires your leave (which I think is very much improbable). RANDTS is not a blog in which people could just simply join and go; otherwise, we would already have a lot of sleeping members and new members every now and then.

I discourage bloggers who have lost their fire to blog here to leave. In fact, I would encourage you to light up your fire again and attempt to try your best, in fact, better than before. I want to see the lively RANDTS that it has been when it was first initiated.

More so, I am eager to read your thoughts! There are some of you here who do not have a personal blog. I would allow them to channel their thoughts or outbursts here. Your opinions and views are simply priceless to me! There's so much that we could learn from each other through writing. Sometimes, when speaking to a friend seems so difficult, writing them down here could help ease the difficulty.

I challenge you, dear RANDSTers, to write more on whatever topic you fancy. Keep the passion burning inside you!

Jared has done a great deal lot to start this blog and made it as user-friendly as possible. He has also done a lot to make this blog as impressive as it can. Albert has also been helping Jared to maintain this blog and help fix up certain HTML codes that went wrong. Let us not put all this effort to waste. The least we could do to show appreciation is by posting here.

Which reminds me about this question: Do you ever visit RANDTS anymore? I feel that this is a question that you need to seriously ponder about. It is the first question to determine your commitment in RANDTS. If your commitment has faltered, it's time to get it back. Waste time no more! Come back, please!

Maybe the template needs a revamp. Perhaps a different skin could spark your interest up again? Is that what you want? If we are really going to have the template changed, will you people start blogging here again? Perhaps we're all bored with the template. To be frank, I am quite bored with it. When Jared showed me some templates that he might use for RANDTS, I was more than happy that the template would be changed sooner or later.

We have seen your blogs, your writings and so on, and we see a very good prospect for RANDTS if you participate. However, things are not what they seem to be now. This blog is hardly half a year old; is the genesis of it this short? Are we going to let it fail just like that?

Random note: Even the chatbox is dead!

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Hey everyone, Hui Wen is back from her RANDTS hiatus to post some of her pictures, haha! Not her portraits, or course, but black-and white pictures which she has converted from colour and toned accordingly. These are all taken a month plus in Penang, and she hopes you'll enjoy them.

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Time and tide waits for no man. Only trails of what left are seen...

These pictures are not toned well, as the photographer is a noob in almost everything- from the exposure to the curves in Photoshop. So do excuse her, haha!

Paw prints on the beach.

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Kohl-rimmed kitty.

Pieces of perspectives

Yeah, that's all Hui Wen has to post for now. The pictures are not as appealing in her own opinion due to the lack of colour and depth-of-field, but she wishes to present the photos with the suitable 'mood'. Thus, the monochromatic take.

Happy Holidays!

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basement storeroom is now full of s*** sewage

In the UK, Parliament is basically the House of Commons. Here in Malaysia it's now infamously known as the House of Leaks. Our nation is also the home of a really disgraceful court complex. To make matters worst there is the chauvinist mosquito and the sexist one-eyed jack making a crude and vulgar joke about a opposition woman MP which insults all women and shows that they don't respect their own mothers. What has happened to my country!?

Several years ago the government spent RM 90 million to renovate the Parliament. Down the road the symbol of Malaysia is leaking in multiple places as written in this article. It's obvious somebody did something fishy, it smells of corruption. To make matters worse we then have two chauvinist monkeys denying the leaks while making a broadside vulgar insult at women just to attack the opposition. It becomes even more disgraceful with the deafening silence of Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs, the asinine apologetic ministers and politicians. At the end of the fiasco all we get is a "fake" apology. At least now the government as admitting that there are leaks. Why does a leaking Parliament have to symbolise the moral bankruptcy of some of the people's representative!?

The new court complex in Jalan Duta, Kuala Lumpur is another shame of Malaysia. First we had a crumbling roof which begs for awe and anger. Why did the contractors make an unsafe building? After that, the cafeteria ceiling had to "rain" because of a piping problem in the complex's cafeteria with press present. The incident reached a sickening low when a guard trying cover up the incident by trying to rough up reporters and shouting obscene words. That insult to guards even challenged the photographers to a fight. It's a shame that the judiciary is being undermined by obvious a shoddy building. Is corruption present here too? You guys can answer that question.

For the finale, the court complex's basement storeroom is now full of s... sewage because a sewerage manhole leaked. A number of files, including that of high-profile cases are now damaged. It's ironic that in Malaysia and only in Malaysia injustice can be brought through sewage.

Fusion16 wrote: "Our Prime Minister, while delivering his speech from his ultra-modern office located at Putrajaya, cowers in fear, wondering whether the poorly maintained roof will fall down on him". Soon the catchphrase won't be "first class facilities, third class mentality" but it will be "first class facilities as a facade, third class facilities in reality, third class mentality" if all these shambolic incidents keep repeating.

~multum in parvo~

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Friends and Love

Date: 23rd of May 2007
Time: 0145 hours
Listening to: Ireland - Of Legend And Lore (Robert Smith)
Current mood: Lost and disillusioned (Wordpress is down, so I can't blog in mine)

[...] how love feels is definitely much to the individual's taste and liking.

Just so you know, I've just completed five out of six exam papers and my last one isn't due until this Saturday. So, I have about three days to catch up with Geology. The last examination I had was Statics of Rigid Bodies, and I must admit it wasn't an easy exam at all. Not that the examination was hard, but it was because we could not really comprehend what our lecturers have taught. Somehow, we found it quite hard to understand too many different ways of solving a problem at one go.

Nevertheless, I'm not here to bore you about my examinations. As far as I'm concerned, once they're over, they are really over. There's no use thinking about them at all.

I've been watching the 23rd episode of Heroes (that's the last episode for the first season), and a few scenes struck my mind. I've also been chatting with a university mate whom I've not been meeting for quite some time, and we spoke about how things have generally gone wrong this semester.

The first thing I'd like to talk about is love. In Heroes episode 23, there is a mention about a person who is able to love unconditionally. It strikes me that all of us are able to love someone, but how many can love unconditionally? You can interpret love as love between a guy and a girl, sibling love, parental love, love between friends, whatever type of love you like, but how many of us can claim that when we love someone, it is unconditional? That means there is no particular expectation or perhaps even preferences from the other parties? It's almost impossible. No matter how much we love a particular community or individual, we would definitely expect something in return. Let's take a love between a guy and a girl as an example. When both individuals fall in love, you would expect the other party to stay faithful and loyal, wouldn't you? It might not count as a condition, but let us take that as just a small example.

I have a few people asking me what love is. To be honest, I cannot really tell you what love exactly is. It is not something that everybody feels in common, meaning to say different people view love in a very much different perspective. We know how is it like to feel happy, sad, disappointed, but how love feels is definitely much to the individual's taste and liking.

We could say that love is a strong emotion where it does not involve a single individual, but at least two or more. Love is often followed by interest in that particular community or individual, and as the saying goes, love is often blind. Yes, no matter how sound your mind is, when one is in love, your vision is blinded. You cannot deny me that, especially those who have been in love. So, here I leave you with all your thoughts about love. Much has been said in a lot of our posts on love, and I've got a lot to say about this subject. I've written three posts on it in my blog: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 (proves how much I've got to say about love) and it is all based on my opinions purely. You may or may not agree with me.

Moving onto another topic now. Most of us have already moved into a new phase of life: life of a student pursuing tertiary education. In other words, most of us are already in college or university; some of us have already started our undergraduate studies (Jared, Joe, I Brian [Gungrave1988], Albert [Comrade Cripple], etc.) and we are bound to undergo some adaptations in life. For those whose university is far from home, or those who live within the campus, friends are like the second family. I don't know how you would view your friends in university if you are living within the campus, but to me, friends are like my second family.

I'd say they're like my second family because it is friends whom I would turn to for just about anything, whether I need advice, help, or just to talk. You couldn't imagine your university life without friends, could you?

So, what is the main purpose of having friends? In fact, what is the main role of a friend? Is it just to keep each other company? Is it just to share problems? Is it just for social purposes? Is it to ask for assistance when one is in trouble? Is it to be there for you when you are down, upset, betrayed, etc.? Well, it is pretty much so, but to me, a friend is more than that.

But in my opinion, a friend is one who is able to change your life.

Most of us would not think highly about friends because they are just like people who co-exist with us and work together with us. But in my opinion, a friend is one who is able to change your life. Whether you like it or not, at some point of your life, you would feel that friends mould your personality. People say that parents do most of the moulding. True enough, but we (friends) have the tendency and even ability to be more influential, and a lot of people tend to exemplify their friends, emulate them. Friends can also determine who you really are.

But there comes a problem when one cannot determine which friend is loyal and which is not. There are some friends who even tell their close ones that they will not desert them no matter what the circumstances are, or that if their friends fall, they would either pull them back up or fall together with them (the "If you drown, I drown with you" kind of attitude). Yes, even I have said such words before, but to the many of those who utter such words, how many can keep them?

The main dilemma to a lot of people would be to tell apart which friends are true and loyal ones and which are not. That only you can decide for yourself. There are many friends around you, and you alone have the capability to tell apart true and loyal friends from the not.

So, what is a true friend? Or who is a true friend? In my context, a true friend is one who cares about his friends and is not afraid to tell people the truth, even though it hurts like a double-edged sword. I appreciate friends who are daring enough to tell me what wrong have I done straight in my face. Sure enough, I'd be hurt by such words, but knowing that they are kindly intended, give their words some thought and you would be hurt no more. Besides, better to hurt me and bring me back to reality than to let me continue suspend in the world of fantasy, isn't it?

As a friend, I believe that I have a very important role to play. I treasure my friends very much for my circle of friends is particularly small. My principle in friendship is to maintain a "How can I help you?" type of attitude. I love my friends just as much as I love my family. I feel that my friends are equally as important. Besides achieving academic excellence in university, it's friends who are keeping me alive; it's friends who are also giving me the reason to study in where I am now.

All these are just my two cents worth. Any difference in opinions are much appreciated in the comments section.

Date: 23rd of May 2007
Time: 0350 hours
Listening to: Kiss of a Rose (Seal)
Current mood: Indifferent (Wordpress is finally up.)

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Date: 19th of May 2007.
Time: 2130 hours
Listening To: Quando, Quando, Quando (Michael Buble & Nelly Furtado)
Current mood: Bored, melancholic, nostalgic.

I'm so sorry that I haven't been posting anything in RANDTS at all this week or two. You see, examinations have started and have yet to finish. In fact, I still have two more papers to go, notably Statics of Rigid Bodies (Tuesday 9.00 a.m.) and Geology (Saturday 2.30 pm). Both papers are three hours long each.

So, just a little information update here. You might be interested to know that recently I had a bad food poisoning. It was during my first day of examinations (thankfully it was after the paper). I went back to my room and felt exhausted. So, I slept and woke up at about 5.30 p.m. to a great pain in my abdominals. So, I went to the toilet and dear me! It was really diarrhoea. But it was more than just diarrhoea. I unknowingly lost a lot of fluid in my body, too. Still, with a bad stomach, I went out to dinner with Joe and before I could go any farther into the cafe, I almost passed out twice. Thankfully, I had two cups of tea after that and bought a big bottle of water. Obviously it was due to loss of fluid that made me almost lost consciousness. What did I eat? Well, I had roti sardin for breakfast, so what do you think?

Also, I look forward to some enjoying moments of holiday. I plan to join a church camp but I'm not sure if I can make it (for the camp registration; I asked but still haven't received any response yet. Will wait, though). It will be held on the 5th to the 6th of June. And I certainly am looking forward to another RANDTS gathering in KL on the 2nd of June, I was told. I hope I really can make it. I plan to kill two birds with one stone. What's the plan? You will know when we RANDSTers meet.

As for now, I don't really know what I'm thinking. I seem to be thinking but it also seems like everything is just empty. I have nothing to talk about already, I have barely anything to write about. Even with anybody, I have barely anything to say except for just "Hi" and "Bye". All I feel like doing now is just to go back to my old trade back in secondary school when I'm free: start composing new pieces.

I've got plenty of ideas in my mind, so much that I couldn't put them on paper. Often when I spontaneously compose a piece on the piano I would just continuously come up with new ideas. Lately, even I have been having some problems trying to play my ideas out on the local church keyboard. Hmm... perhaps I'm more suited for a piano than a keyboard. To me, the keyboard is forever a keyboard; its range simply suits me not.

I now find that quite often I'd be lost in my own thoughts. With some music on (sentimental or otherwise), I would just sit in my chair, perhaps just stare blankly into space or into the laptop and be lost in my own musings. This could be the most probable reason to why I spend less time talking and sometimes why I have nothing to say at all.

Back then when I first started my semester in January this year, I looked so much forward to it, not knowing that there were so many disasters ahead. Thankfully, I have been able to overcome all of the disasters and now all I want is an enjoyable one-and-a-half month semester break. I don't know whether I should look forward to the next semester, starting at the end of July 2007, for there are so many unknown happenings that might take place. This current semester for me has been by far the worst, with the most hectic lecture timetable, the lowest of motivation, the lowest of emotions and so on. Nevertheless, I couldn't help but hope that the next semester ahead has much better days for me as well as my friends. Ironically, many of us have been rather emotionally, spiritually and psychologically affected this semester.

Adjusting to a new, undergraduate environment? I don't think so. We never felt so bad during our Foundation semesters last year. As I thought I'd be able to get used to a similar life in university but this time as an undergraduate, it turned out that so many things took a drastic turn. Nevertheless, it has been a fruitful though painful growing process.

I'm quite tired out now. This exam stress has been taking me off bit by bit. I've never felt this exhausted and frustrated thinking about examinations. Normally I'd take my exams coolly. What has really happened, I wonder?

Signing-out time: 2150 hours
Listening to: I Want To Spend My Lifetime Loving You (March Anthony & Tina Arena)
Current mood: Sleepy, bored (in need of a conversation if there is one)

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History classes taught students about historical bias. But to know that such misdeeds have been done to hide the bloodiest day in our history? Unthinkable!

When I was a student in secondary school, I always wondered about the May 13 riots that happened nearly 40 years ago in Malaysia. My history textbook barely devoted even a paragraph to this issue.

Among other things, it only states that:

  1. the violence was triggered by the Chinese-dominated opposition supporters’ provocation in celebrating their electoral victory which saw the ruling Alliance Party suffer a major setback;

  2. racial tensions that arose due to economic disparity between the major races also contributed to the riots;

  3. the riots were the basis for the formation of the National Operations Council (which most Malaysian students would know - if they remember at all - as MAGERAN, or Majlis Gerakan Negara) under Tun Abdul Razak, and;

  4. this led to the formulation of the New Economic Policy, which aimed to uplift the economic standards of the Malays (and is still in place today).

But now I know better.

Not-so-recently, Dr Kua Kia Soong released a book unveiling the truth behind the infamous May 13th riots. His book, May 13: Declassified Documents on the Malaysian Riots of 1969, is the result of three months of research at the Public Records Office in London to study records and declassified documents on the riots.

The book also debunks some of the myths behind the darkest period in our country's history and paints a different, shocking picture into the reasons behind its occurrence.
[...] the May 13 incident was a coup d’etat against the Tunku [the Prime Minister at the time] by the then emergent Malay state capitalists - backed by the police and army - to seize control of the reign of power from the old aristocrats to implement the new Malay agenda. [...]

[...] A secret document from the British cabinet office featured in the book showed that barely a week after the riots broke out, the Central Intelligence Agency had figured out what Tun Razak was planning - “to formalise Malay dominance, sideline the Chinese and shelve the Tunku”. [...]

[...] The role of the security forces in the May 13 bloodshed was also questioned in Kua’s findings. “Even at that time, people in the diplomatic core (were wondering) how come the day the riot broke out, Razak met with the chiefs of the police and army but they did not do anything,” he said. [...] “They are one of the most effective in putting down the communist insurrection [which was] a far, far more difficult operation than putting down riot, but they could not put down (such riot [sic]) in 1969 for days, for weeks," [...]

[ note: Susan Loone has made available a comprehensive summary about the riots from Dr Kua's book ]

History classes taught students about historical bias. The tales of old would be told by those with power and wealth, rewritten as they saw fit. Even King Xerxes alluded to this in the movie '300':
There will be no glory in your sacrifice. I will erase even the memory of Sparta from the histories. Every piece of Greek parchment shall be burned. Every Greek historian and every scribe shall have their eyes put out and their tongues cut from their mouths while uttering the very name of Sparta or Leonidas will be punishable by death. The world will never know you existed at all!

But to know that such misdeeds have been done to hide the bloodiest day in our history? Unthinkable! At the worst it would have only remained a conspiracy theory, a rumour, nothing more. Now the evidence shows otherwise.

Now the government has moved into 'damage control' mode, unwittingly providing the book with free publicity:
Ministry seizes controversial May 13 book
May 15, 07 8:56pm

The Internal Security Ministry confiscated 10 copies a controversial book with new claims on the May 13 racial riots from a major bookstore in the Midvalley shopping centre today. According to the publishers of ‘May 13: Declassified Documents on the Malaysian Riots of 1969′, a team of ministry officers visited the MPH bookstore this afternoon. The officers advised the popular bookstore not to sell the book as it may be banned.

According to a letter issued by the ministry officers to the bookstore, the books were confiscated from the shelves for suspicion of being an “undesirable publication” based on Section 7 of the Printing Press and Publications Act 1984.

The act empowers the minister to ban any publication which is “prejudicial to or likely to be prejudicial to public order, morality, security, the relationship with any foreign country or government, or which is likely to alarm public opinion”.

[ courtesy of MalaysiaKini ]

But a press statement by SUARAM indicates the government might not have been officially involved at all:
We have been informed by our distributor that ten (10) copies of SUARAM’s latest publication titled, “May 13: Declassified Documents on the Malaysian Riot of 1969″ by Dr. Kua Kia Soong, were taken from MPH Midvalley yesterday afternoon by officers from the Ministry of Internal Security.

The reason given by these officers led by Ahmad Faisal Arshad was that the book had contravened the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984. We were further informed that these officers had advised the bookshop not to sell or display the book.

It must stressed that there are no orders coming from the Ministry of Internal Security pertaining to this book. Further, the book contravenes no part of the said Act. We consider the actions of Ahmad Faisal Arshad and his team to be arbitrary and illegal.

SUARAM views the seizure of those ten (10) books as illegal, and demands that KDN pays for the ten books or return these books to the bookshop within 7 days; failing which, we will instruct our legal counsels to take action.

Now three senators from the Dewan Negara are calling for this book to be banned, while Deputy Internal Security Minister Fu Ah Kiow states that the ministry will look into the book's contents and take action soon.

But Dr Kua has this to say about the possibility of his book being banned:
“In the age of the Internet, what does banning a book mean? We can put it on the Web, you can’t do anything.”

Bravo, Dr Kua! :)

It now remains to be seen how this new controversy will develop. The question is, about the youth who were never there during the bloodshed and violence, will they even bother to know about this?

~verus rara avis~

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Islamic (syariah) courts cannot and should have jurisdiction over non-Muslims. This is against the democratic principle of the rule of law i.e, laws cannot cause injustice and unfairness. Religious values e.g, Islamic values cannot be applied to non-Muslims as this is contrary to justice and fairness. In Malaysia the Federal Constitution guarantees that only Muslims are under the Syariah Courts.

Recently we had many cases that highlighted the ongoing "tug-o-war" between the the civil courts and Syariah court. These include the cases of Shamala, Lina Joy, Nyonya Tahir, M. Moorthy, Rayappan Anthony, Subashini, P. Marimuthu, and perhaps the latest, Magendran Sababathy. One can argue that these cases are causing ethno-religious harmony to be slowly eroded. Dr Wan Azhar Wan Hamad of the Centre for Syariah, Law and Political Science, Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (IKIM) today has come into the fray with a suggestion that syariah courts have some jurisdiction over non-Muslims in order calm the "tug-o-war" in this article.

Forget about Wan's justification of doing this for if what he suggests comes to pass we are all finished. It will a start of a slippery slope of religious intolerance descending into outright religious persecution. First Syariah courts will start giving biased decisions which are unfair to non-Muslims. Then they will police your morals e.g., moral police will roam the streets checking for "immodest" attire like in UiTM's INTEC; touching your lover will get you slapped with a fine; spending time alone with the member of the opposite sex will land you in jail. Finally everyone may be forced to convert to Islam. Making Islamic values and rules apply to non-Muslim is outright bigotry. Religious values are of a personal nature, if I'm not a Muslim I won't have Islamic values, as simple as that. The state has no right to interfere at all unless we live in a dark place ruled by a Saudi like government.

Azhar is definitely irrational at best and a religious bigot at worst because what he suggests is outright injustice, a certain kind of religious jingoism. We all must denounce his suggestion as it will imperil our very human rights. We must have freedom of religion and expression, the state must not interfere. We live in secular democracy not a dark dictatorial theocracy e.g., Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Another bone of contention is that only Muslims are allowed to discuss the "tug-o-war" without fear as implied by the article and recent events. Remember that the Article 11 group discussion was canceled due to the threat of violence and police apathy (and perhaps some Islamic bigot(s) in the upper echelons of power). Just this week the international Muslim-Christian dialogue – the Building Bridges seminar – organized by the London office of the Archbishop of Canterbury has been canceled according British sources and postponed according to local sources. A question keeps ringing in my head, why can't we have a say about something that affects us?

Let's us hope that one day we embrace all the values of democracy, tolerance, competitiveness and equality otherwise we may go to the dogs like Zimbabwe and Nigeria.

~multum in parvo~

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Decapitation has been burned into our minds as cruel and unusual punishment. It's gruesome nature will always be used as a tool to terrorise people. But here is a miracle linked with decapitation (internal) which is testament of the will to survive.

Shannon Malloy was involved in a car crash in Nebraska on Jan. 25 which threw her up against the vehicle's dashboard. In the process, her skull became separated from her spine. The clinical term for her condition is called internal decapitation.

Quotes from Malloy:

"I remember the impact and then I had no control over my head,"

"I wasn't focused so much on the pain. I just kept thinking, 'I have to stay alive.'"

"My skull slipped off my neck about five times. Every time they tried to screw this (the metal halo which still supports her skull) to my head, I would slip,"

"It only took about 8 minutes to take the whole thing off,"

"Oh my God, it's a miracle,"

Read about this miracle here. Anyway, her doctor stated that her will to survive was what saved her.

Miracles do happen you see. There are so many wonders that is made possible by God. Stop worrying too much for an instant, just take a deep breath and cherish your existence in this sometimes sad yet wonderful world. One day you may be granted a miracle to continue in the world. Show your gratitude to the world and God soon....

~multum in parvo~

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Hmmm, the world must be wondering what kind of people Malaysian are, with our politicians behaving no better than low-cultured folk. I refer to the recent event of a certain government MP who was reported to have made a derogatory remark to a female Opposition MP (read the Star article)

First thing, I really fail to see the connection between the possibility of leaks in the Parliament building and the monthly cycle of a woman. It was hell rude, if you don't mind me saying. I thought debates, especially one so important as a Parliamentary, were supposed to be intelligent exchanging of views with a healthy dose of wit, rhetoric, charisma and sarcasm. This latest episode (following on a string of other numerous verbal blunders) just shows how much more we have to go in becoming a progressed nation, mentally.

Before proceeding, let me clarify that my reference is The Star's coverage on that incident. I quote the paper: '“My advice is that MPs should be careful with their words next time,” he (Speaker Tan Sri Ramli Ngah Talib) said amidst cheers and the thumping of tables by the backbenchers.'

And that's just it?? *incredulous* The cheering and thumping of tables seems as though the other backbenchers think that making jibes as such is acceptable. Or is it because it was in their favour, and not the Opposition's?

Another from the article: 'Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz said Fong should have taken the matter in her stride.
“It is normal to play with words,” he said, adding that it would be wrong if the statement had been made with malicious intent.'

I do agree with his statement but plain rudeness staring you in the face with a defiant eye shouldn't be accepted. Especially from a person of public influence.

We keep hearing of these incidents from time to time. When will our politicians learn to take responsibility for their words? We wonder why are they even there and realise, damn! we voted for them. What kind of people have we elected to lead our country? People who are merely skilled in talk (which borders on the nonsensical at times)? Which brings me to the question - who are the bigger idiots, us or them?

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The above message was sent to me as an offline message through Yahoo! Messenger. Threeplyn was my schoolmate in primary school but I have now marked her as a spammer. Is the message bigoted?

Certainly the message above is extremely ridiculous. No priest with a quasi-functional brain can hope of converting people to Christianity using mere holy water. Tricking people into drinking holy water in order to make them convert is trickery at best and some far off fantasy inspired mumbo-jumbo at worst. Christian teaching definitely condemns fraud.

Then we have magic coming into the fray. Just like all Abrahamic religions such as Islam and Judaism, in Christian teaching magic is Satanic. Christian priest don't perform magic, I repeat, priests don't use magic. Someone must be playing too much Warcraft because in Azeroth priests perform wondrous magic that is mystical.

Anyway, I won't buy bottled water with a weird quasi-religious sounding name. Making money out of religion (simony) is just wrong for me. Who knows that drain water was used to fill the bottles to cut costs. Even free bottles of such water will be thrown away by the Comrade. Anyone wants to buy Al-Bistari water? I'll bet you'll become a moron after drinking the water.

Seriously if Muslims really want to defend their religion they should condemn terrorism and bigotry just like this former classmate of mine known as metal_mike. Islamophobia needs to rolled back in the world today.

~multum in parvo~

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What are we compared to Singaporeans? We might say they are very kiasu in every aspect of their lives; they are too disciplined for their own good; some Malaysians hate their strict law enforcement down there. So are we better than them?

Take a look at ourselves for an instant, we have quite a number of faults.

  1. Malaysian are true devils on the road, just look at those imbeciles who weave through the highway like there is no tomorrow. Have you seen motorcyclists who wish for a horrible death? Anyone here who are speed demons like many Malaysians.
  2. Mismanagement is already seeping into some institutions and companies, for example there is this college in Kuala Lumpur which fails to pay part time lecturers and goes on to scapegoat one of them. We even have contractors chosen by the government who do shoddy work. Did a roof give way on top of a judge?
  3. "Tidak apa" attitude is already part of our culture. Most hawkers show utter contempt to the cleanliness of drains while people support such behaviour by patronising those hawkers. When someone screams for help we have idiots who stare. Even the Comrade always gets stared at when he goes out just because I can't walk.
  4. We youth totally fail at reading books. I can assert that most students never touch any books except their academic books. To make matters worse bookshops such as MPH are mosquitoes out to suck the blood of customers. We people also must ask our government where are our libraries? Many newspapers have also published countless articles on our book problem.
  5. Everyone knows that we are a corrupted nation, just look at the newspapers for stories that smell of corrupt that come out pretty often. If you dive into political blogs you may even end up shuddering in disbelief at the level of graft in Malaysia. Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index (CPI) shows that we are sinking deeper into corruption each year. Everybody also knows piracy will never be wiped out so long the underworld bribes the enforcement officers.

Need more of the ugly side of us. Yet again we have to be called people with third class mentalities with first class facilities. What a shame!

Singapore is so much better than us. Drivers there are angels albeit some still turn into devils on Malaysian roads. Mismanagement is almost non-existent in Singapore, they are top notch in management. "Tidak apa" attitude is quite alien there. Corruption almost doesn't exist down in the island and corrupt people are always jailed just look at their rankings on the CPI. Books are everywhere in Singapore as they have countless public libraries unlike us. Finally, Singapore is so ahead of us in everything, they are a developed nation while we are considered less developed for crying out loud. Still want to compare ourselves with Singaporeans?

~multum in parvo~

P.S: My Public Law lecturer says that if Singaporeans are kiasu we are "bodoh".

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Sometimes you wonder how some folks (especially in Malaysia) have the audacity to talk without thinking. Really, judging from the things they type, it's glaringly obvious that these people never really bothered to zip up their mouths for awhile before shooting off it at others. Naturally they also don't bother giving a damn about being polite or civilized at all.

Case in point: check out John Lee's blog, Infernal Ramblings, at the chatbox in the right-hand sidebar.

Now pay attention to the mad rantings of the person nicknamed "joshvinder". Start from bottom to top, right before the nickname 'No Eggs'.

Disheartening, no? With such people trawling the blogosphere and spreading ill will everywhere they end up, it's hardly any wonder why our Information Minister is so anxious to rein in Malaysian bloggers; including the rest of us who had nothing to do with it in the first place.

I thought a forum was for people to exchange ideas, not ruthlessly beat them down whenever they express one that doesn't tally with yours!

It's sickening to be reminded that there are many more "joshvinders" out there in the country right now. On a forum once, I was heckled by another 'experienced' user (by nature of the obscenely huge number of posts he has put up to date) who used a variety of colourful and fascinating words on me due to a disagreement of sorts in which we ended up.

Alright, maybe I was at fault for misreading his message and responding rather harshly - but it was never intentionally done. The next thing I knew I was embroiled in a flame war all on my own! Needless to say, I found out from many other users that he has abused them online many times - even witnessing myself him starting up another flame war with another user of that forum.

And it wasn't just about the issue we were discussing at that point - at times he'd go on to insult our parentage, our heritage, our culture, our education, etc. Basically he took a potshot at everything related to us in an effort to draw us in to the conflict with our own weapons. I was damn near close to breaking. Still, bad experiences that could have cost me my friendships helped remind me that that was the last thing I should do.

I have since stopped posting at that forum due to his insolent nature and coarse language. I thought a forum was for people to exchange ideas, not ruthlessly beat them down whenever they express one that doesn't tally with yours! That defeats the purpose of the whole thing entirely, no?

Any of you here have ever had that experience before? Being heckled online by someone hiding behind a pseudonym? It certainly makes you wonder how some immature people can so freely abuse the rights to freedom of speech which democracy has granted them.

[ related article: Bloggers' Code of Conduct: The Great Debate ]

~verus rara avis~

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i never did understand what ‘love’ is.

i mean, duh, i know what it is. when you talk about family love or friends loving each other, that i understand. but i just dont understand what gf-bf love is all about. it sounds too cliche and too overrated.

whenever i go to friendster profiles, i’ll always see stuff written in their comments’ section.

’sayang, i love you sooooo much.’
‘you are the joy in my life, the light of blablablala’…

you know how it goes.

and i’ll be like, ermmmmm… okaaaayy.

i mean, its not that i dont appreciate them loving each other or whatever, but i mean, i just dont get it. i do get what ‘care‘ or ‘sayang‘ means, but what i dont get is what ‘love‘ means. i know i sound all cliche and mushy at this point, but i mean, thats just it, i dont get it.

i was at a point where i had a boyfriend and was in a lovey-dovey mood. but then again, looking at friends and stuff, they’re basically addicted to their girlfriend and boyfriend. and im like thinking to myself, “omgsh.. should i be addicted to my boyfriend? should i post his picture all over my friendster profile and just brag about how great he is at kissing?“. but i dont feel like doing that, so then, im like thinking to myself, “am i a bad gifriend?“

i mean, they’re like sooo fucking in love, and here i am, laughing at how big his nose is instead of saying, how i adore his nose being big. you know what i mean? so basically, i just dont get it.

and im never a mushy person. i mean, i am, but not to the extreme mushy. i may be all romantic at some point, but ultimately, i dont like to be all mushy 24/7, it sounds too fake. i mean, i know he loves me and i love him, so must i be all, “oh sweetheart. from the very first time i lay my eyes on you, i knew you were my prince charming that has filled my emptiness in me.“. hahha.

that exactly my point. yuck.

but its like, whatever. if my thinking of a relationship should be all wacky, funny and romanticly silly, then i will go on thinking like that. being all mushy and stuff is soooo yesterday.

but then again, you are welcome to act that way if it suits you best. ;)

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Derek has a final burst of energy after days of Cyndie keeping vigil at his bedside. She helps her anguished son walk on April 26. A cancerous tumor has distended Derek's stomach so far that his pants no longer fit. Another tumor in his brain impairs his eyesight making navigation difficult inside their rental home.

~multum in parvo~

Previous posts in this series:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8

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Time: 1540 hours
Current state of mind: Exhausted and tired
Feeling: Emotional (in tears)
Listening to: History Maker

I've actually written this post in my personal blog. However, I feel that this is worth sharing to the rest of you here, so I've decided to just copy and paste everything that I wrote in my blog here.

A mother’s love is more than just priceless.

In this worldly kingdom, is there anyone who loves you more, besides God? Do you know that since the day you were born, you were showered with love like you never had before. And during those lowest moments, this seemingly “confining” individual to some is always there for you, ready to pick you up even before you fall.

I’m talking about none other than a mother’s love. Have you ever realised how willing our mothers are to sacrifice even their lives for our sake? I have witnessed myself how many mothers died just to save their children and protect them from harm. To me, nobody is greater than my own mother. Looking back in my previous years, it makes me feel rather ungrateful at the moments when I forsook her due to certain conflicts that had arisen before.

All over these years, we could have been very much numb towards how much our mothers really love us. We could have been very much unaware about how much our mothers miss us while we are away. We could also have been very much oblivious about how much our mothers long for our presence when they are dealing with some hard times.

Now I know. Ever since I came into university, I realised how attached I am to my mother. I have come to know how much my mother means to me. It has come to a point where I foresaw that I could not continue living without my mother. You may not believe this, but I am indeed shedding tears while writing this. I am indeed very gratified and blessed to have a mother.

It breaks my heart especially to see children lose their mothers especially when their mothers sacrificed their lives to ensure the survival of their children. I have witnessed an incident when a mother fell from a multi-storey building (due to an earthquake) with her child. She died from the fall, but her child survived because its fall was cushioned by her dead mother. It has changed my perspective that when people ask me if there is anyone who is willing to die for you, I would say, "Yes, my mother is willing to sacrifice herself if I’m in any form of jeopardy.”

I watched the movie, “The Passion of Christ” and there were two scenes that struck me real hard about how wonderful a mother’s love can be. I intended to cut out the two scenes and post them here, but as the wireless connection is down, I shall do it some other time. One particular scene was when Mary the mother of Jesus saw Jesus fell onto the floor while carrying His cross. This made Mary recalled the moments when Jesus fell down during His toddler days. Instinctively, she abandoned her work immediately and ran to Him. Upon reaching Him, she said “I’m here.”

Now, seeing that Jesus fell down with the cross on top of Him, her instincts drove her to run, with her hands stretched out towards Jesus. She forced herself through the crowd, knelt down next to Jesus, and with her hands on His face, delivered the same cradling touch, crying “I’m here.”

Another scene is when Jesus was already crucified. Mary when towards Him, kissed His blood-soaked legs, stepped back and said, “Flesh of my flesh, heart of my heart. My son, let me die with you!” Such was her love for Him that she was so attached to Him. It broke her heart very much to see her own son, innocent and blameless, to be crucified, but she felt so powerless and helpless. She felt so bad of not being able to protect Him that she even pleaded to die with Him. She must have wanted to share the pain He was experiencing.

A mother’s love is more than just priceless. It is the most valuable gift that anybody can get. Love melts the heart, but a mother’s love melts not only the heart, it melts the soul.

Unfortunately, we as children often overlook the sacrifices that our mothers have done for us. Is there anyone reading this who dare to proclaim in public that they have neither forsaken nor disobeyed their mothers? As the saying goes, “If there is anyone who is not with sin, let him cast the first stone.”

Do you know how much your mother loves you? You will know how much your mother loves you when you see your mother trying in vain to hide away when she is crying, whether it is due to happiness, sadness, frustration and so on.

My mother (let me just say this as an example. No bragging intended) is indeed a strong woman with a strong will in anything she does. Throughout my life, I have only seen her crying twice. I saw her crying when I was five years old, but I was too young to understand anything, therefore I didn’t shed tears. Last year, I saw her crying again because my parents had a bad argument. Her tears kept flowing and as I stayed with her, my tears started to well up, too. At that moment I had to go out to buy a bus ticket, and as I was driving, I broke down all the way to the station.

A mother’s love is so powerful that as you witness her downfall, you can’t bear to let your mother just fall like that. When a man and a woman fall in love with one another, it is a two-way love. But a mother’s love can either be a one-way or two-way love. No matter whether you remember or forsake her, her love for you is never dying. Do you see the greatness of a mother’s love? Do you see how great a mother is? Do you see why there is also a Malay saying that, “Syurga itu terletak di telapak kaki ibu” (translated meaning “Heaven is located at a mother’s feet”)?

Indeed, I salute all mothers in this world. And I shall salute to all mothers-to-be. You are the greatest gift anyone can have. You are indeed the best gift God can give.

Time: 1547 hours
Current state of mind: A little refreshed
Feeling: Emotional (tears dried already)
Listening to: Track 10 from Romantic Adagios (minor key)

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When you are an extreme prude can you be accused of indecency from a very innocent act? President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran learned got his answer the hard way. We all now how prudish Iranian are especially when it comes to women. Ahmadinejad as a conservative there is no different. He however is more infamous for his violent rhetoric on Jews.

The act in this picture got him into trouble.
Mahmoud publicly kisses the hand of a woman who used to be his school teacher.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, an Iranian conservative, was attacked by the Hezbollah newspaper for acting "contrary to Sharia law". It accused him of "indecency and violating religious values". Ludicrous accusations!

How ridiculous can people be? It's obvious that the woman is old. Mahmoud definitely has a more beautiful wife. He's not pervert who is attracted to an elderly woman. We can also see how thick is the woman's clothes. Finally she's wearing gloves! People are so very, very, very shallow these days. What's the obsession about petty morality?

~multum in parvo~

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Mon pays!

Updated: 4 May 07, 8.33pm
Dear people

I can hear you asking: what's that unique about Malaysia? Just what is that special 'something' that makes our country stand above all others?

Well, fret no more, folks. I've compiled a list of things that paints a clearer picture of our beloved country. Remember, you heard it right here, on R.A.N.D.T.S., first...

You know you’re in Malaysia when:

  • Traffic slows down on the lane you’re traveling on even though the accident occurred on the oncoming lane.
  • You suddenly find that somebody has miraculously jumped to the front of the queue while waiting your turn to use an ATM.
  • Sportsmen and women are feted like kings and queens for their outstanding achievement in ONE tournament, which effectively kills off their chances of winning any future tournaments (yes, I’m looking at you Koo-Tan).
  • Our tourism minister gets uptight because our taxi drivers don’t know exchange rates. Personally, I don’t ask taxi drivers these kinds of things, but what do I know?
  • You get to watch a movie weeks before its official premiere in cinemas.
  • The government orders 300 combat vehicles only to find them out of operation months later because some genius forgot to order spare parts.
  • Election time sparks a full scale riot involving bottles, sticks and stones. Out goes the notion of us being a developed nation...
  • The thrill of watching shows are absolutely spoiled because the subtitles provide you with a sneak peek of what the actor/actress is going to say in about 20 seconds time...
  • The censorship board decides to censor everything under the sun, leaving only the opening and closing credits untouched. Erm, on second thoughts, they’ve actually censored the credits of a movie before.
  • A 30-minute news comes in between a two-hour movie, even though the movie has only 5 minutes of running time left.
  • People park their cars on a road which has only two lanes, thus clogging up traffic for miles and miles.
  • Our Prime Minister, while delivering his speech from his ultra-modern office located at Putrajaya, cowers in fear, wondering whether the poorly maintained roof will fall down on him
  • The people are obsessed with free stuff. And things that are close to, but not quite, free (have you seen the crowds at malls when a promotion is going on??? Obscene). [Thanks Hui Wen]
  • The personality of our people changes whenever they get behind the wheel of a vehicle. [Thanks Brian!]
  • People stuff themselves to the brim whenever they get to an open house. (yes, yes... don't deny it, folks!) [Thanks Comrade].
Any other stuff?

You may think I’m crazy, but I still love Malaysia. I really do. And it’s not as screwed up as I’ve made it seem, so, please... do keep an open mind =)

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Mr. Burns once told me that

It's not about what we did in the past, but what we can continue to do in (the) future.

Since I have nothing better to do lately (I'm lying about that honestly), I'm going to compensate for what I haven't contributed by posting at least 3-4 posts in a week. Therefore, I'll be shooting two birds with one camera, haha! And posting that little/much in a week isn't that difficult when I have shitloads of pictures to share! Okay, not shitloads. That's not really an adjective, but you get the gist, yes?

If any of you RANDTSters or RANDTS supporters read my blog, you would know that these pictures (they're my personal favourites of the lot,
taken during the Ching Ming festival celebrated a month ago...) have been posted in my personal blog, but if you don't, then sit back, relax and enjoy!

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Joss sticks and a candle.

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An easy chair.

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One of my many cousins.

I'll be posting more of my favourites in RANDTS soon. Feedback and comments are welcomed with open arms!

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The Response

Time: 1130 hours
Recent activity: Returned to campus from new house
Task completed: Finished my Engineering Graphics assignment, except for the cross-section
Feeling: Compassionate
Current music: Track 10 from "Romantic Adagios" (Minor key)

This is in response to Joe's beaten.battered.owned and Hui Wen's As I Lay My Eyes as they are, to me, related.

Indeed, life has never been a smooth-sailing one, no matter how "smooth" you proclaim it to be. We were never promised a bed of roses in our life, and we never will. Life is cruel, life is suppressing. That's fact.

Nevertheless, we are gifted with something that is able to help us go through all this mess in our life. It is what we call a sound mind. The human brain helps us in resolving all these unwanted cruelty that mount up in us.

We live in a world where we are constantly haunted by STRESS, TENSION, DEPRESSION and the like. There are even times when things we hate most to happen will just occur, as if by purpose. But, if we let our mind govern our thoughts in such moments rather than the heart, then the remedy is there.

Sometimes, as we face the cruelty of the world, it makes us think whether it is worth living such life, or why are we living this life. We make a difference to this world, no matter how small we seem to be. It is because of such a little difference that we would still live.

At times when we feel that life is just full of terror and hopelessness, let the mature mind grip you and start seeing things from the point of view of the mind; suppress your heart for a moment and don't let its emotions grab hold of you. Acting upon your mind, even though it hurts the heart, is frequently the solution to a lot of cruelties.

Don't ask why certain things (like the puppy being knocked down) happen. We are powerless against the will of God, but there are things in which we have been given the control. Then, control it with your own might. If you have been given the task to pilot a machine, shirk it not.

We are here in this world to witness hard times and to make hard decisions. All of us would wish that we can lead a much simpler, happier, easy-going life. But isn't our life simple enough? Even if we do get our wish, after a while, wouldn't we wish for even simpler lives? How simple, happy and easy-going life can we obtain?

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I hate my current life. It is...

  1. Way too hectic.
  2. Way too stressful.
  3. Intolerably cruel.
  4. Messed up.
  5. Screwed up.
  6. Bad.
  7. Sucky to the max.

Ever felt so suppressed to the point of being half-dead? Ever felt what is like to be living a suspended life? I have no idea what in the world is going on now in my life. I just hate it so much that I wish someone would just end it right now.

Sorry for this sudden outburst. I really need some place to release the tension. Exam stress, piled together with everything screwed up, can cause the death of a person. For the record, I don't even sleep no more, even though I want to sleep. God have mercy on me!!!

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As I lay my eyes on the wok filled with food, I remembered the times when I had to carry it outside to feed both my pet dog Jenna and stray dogs, which often had to share a small portion of rice among themselves. Even though they're pretty much domesticated, their survival instincts normally kicked in when there isn't sufficient food to go around, and when they do fight for it, it isn't such a nice sight.

It was one of days during the SPM exam season, and naturally, I slept either too late or too early. I had to cram in as much facts and points as I could, and drinking caffeine wasn't such a favourable decision. I was memorising a passage from my notebook when I heard dogs fighting outside- ferocious barks and sharp whimpers pierced the heavy midnight air.

I rushed to my room window and ripped the curtains open just in time to see a dominant male rip a part of a female's shoulder. The female struggled to get up as other dogs barked protectively over her. Is this a part of the animal kingdom? What would I do if I'm a dog faced in such a situation? I wouldn't know, would I? But isn't this almost similar in the our world, the world of humans? Where we rip each other apart for the sake of pride and greed?

As I lay my eyes on the poor puppy grasping for air, I knew that the world isn't the most beautiful place to live in. But where else could I be living then? Heaven? Hell? I wouldn't know, would I? I have no eyes to see the future, no strength to change the past. I couldn't do anything but gaze with sympathy, tears held from flowing, while the little pup laid still and motionless on the road, the very last seconds of its life trickling to an end.

It's unbelievable that less than 12 hours before, this same little pup with its round belly, and innocent eyes, was stealing some food from my pet's food bowl. It's even unbelievable that less than a month before, this same little pup with its round belly, and innocent eyes, was a mere newborn, with its eyes shut closed and legs that wobble while it attempted to walk.

As I lay my eyes on the large mound of soil, I knew that every cycle start with a beginning and ends with a end. If neither occur, this wouldn't be life, would it? Life is also, after all, a cycle, isn't it? However, I would never understand why some things, some people just had to go. The puppy was innocent. It stole food because it was her instincts to survive. It ran around the few houses in the neighbourhood because she was familiar with it.

But why must a car knock the living days out of her? She wasn't bleeding when I saw her, no, no, she wasn't. She was bleeding internally-her organs must had fail after the impact. Why, oh why? Is this really the time for her to leave this place? I don't think its the time, but what can I do about it? Weep blood for her to live again?

Today, at about 2 in the afternoon, my favourite puppy passed away with its eyes slightly open. She wasn't my puppy, as she was never adopted, but the affection and love for her was enough for me to consider her as mine. Her mother and sister seemed fine- they still continued to squeeze through my gate and have their daily meal. Is this the way things are? Again, I don't think things should be this way...

Maybe I'm still living in denial after all these years... And even if I am, what can I do about it? Starve for those who have no food to eat? Help all the unfortunate people in the world? Heh, I don't even know. My mind's a muddle, my heart's a wreck!

P.S. On a better note, the incident left me with more appreciation for what I have, and yet, I still feel like everything contradicts. I'm not devastated, I'm just not alright.

Oh, do ignore all the grammatical errors present in this post.

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