Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Lost In Transit

Life is a journey. Yes, pretty cliched, but true. It moves on, day after day, without any delay. When it no longer does, it has then finally reached the destination also known as Death.

Sometimes, you work hard to reach a certain place in life. You work so hard, every day without fail. Highly motivated, you work.

Once you've reached there, happiness ensues. A sense of job well-done and satisfaction.

And then complacency sets in.

One feeling that could be as bad as failure would be apathy. With failure, at least you could be driven to work harder. But with apathy, you just don't care.

I was lost in transit for a while. I was going through the motions, but my heart was not in it. Somehow, I just lost interest. I could still remember the underlying motivation of everything, yet it still was not enough to spur me into action. Call it the laziness inertia or something. I was not doing things because I want and like to; I was doing it out of fear of failure. The train was slowly moving on, but I was still in the dark. It could only wait for so long.

Lucky for me, help came unexpectedly. A flicker of light shone dimly in the distance. It was small, and tiny, but it was still light, nevertheless. At last, a goal to achieve. Suddenly everything mattered now. It's both cool and scary to observe everything random (or so I thought) slowly falling into place.

I can see better now.

Time to pack my bags and get on this train headed to a new destination. I don't know what it holds, but I'm excited. And I'm determined to get there.

Watch this space. ;)

Saturday, January 28, 2006


Home for CNY

Toshi was taken ill about 2 weeks ago. Actually it was already showing signs and symptoms of being unwell months ago, but I dismissed them as nothing major, just it being finicky. But that day when it rejected something it usually accepts, I knew it was time to take it to the 'hospital.' There, the 'doctor' ran a slipshod test on Toshi and concluded that nothing was wrong with it. I was upset and indignant when he called me up to inform me that - if there's really nothing wrong, I wouldn't have sent it there in the first place, right? I demanded that he tested Toshi with other things. Sure enough, something needed fixing. Waited for another week for its 'organ' replacement, and Toshi is now home, as good as new. Just in time for CNY.

Welcome home, Toshi. :)

Soton Beckons
Finally Soton's offer letter has arrived. To my surprise, I'll actually be leaving this country about a month earlier than expected. And looking at the school schedule, I realised that the holidays are short and scarce. I expected that already, since it's medicine and all, but I hope the timing of my hols and the other unis' will not clash. Otherwise, there goes our Christmas 2006 reunion plans. What a depressing thought.

I also found out that I WON'T be repeating the stuff I've learned here in Jalil Hill, but I'll nevertheless still be tested on them for my finals in July next year. WTF?!!? I have been bumming around all this while, banking on the (false) fact that I'll be revising again when I get there. Yes, I PLANNED to study during these hols, but executing that plan is much harder. I get tired after work and all I wanna do after dinner every time is watch American Idol and stone with the likes of Radiohead before sleeping. Weekends are reserved for fellow Maos before they start school. Maybe I'll need something to pep me up so I'll last longer for each day. Something like Yomeishu. Hmmm. Whatever it is, I need to start studying. After the CNY hols. Heheh. Heheheh.

I just bought Final Fantasy VII and I'm going to try a hand at computer gaming first. :P

A Decade Late
I just would like to recommend Radiohead's The Bends album. It was released in 1995. I have only discovered it now. :P But better late than never... Why am I endorsing it on my blog? Because good things in life must be shared.

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Recipes Galore
Since it's sort of becoming a trend to put up recipes of stuff they made on the blog, I thought I'd jump into the bandwagon. Except that mine are a lil' different.

0.85% Saline Solution
0.85% means 0.85 g in 100mL. So if you wanna make 1L of 0.85% saline solution, first weigh 8.5 g of sodium chloride [ NaCl (s) ]. Put it in a 1L reagent bottle/conical flask and add 1L of distilled water to it. Dissolve salt completely. Voila!

I've also made nutrient broth for bacterial culture, coating, dilution, and washing buffers for ELISA test. I didn't take pictures of them 'cos they all look alike - clear solutions in reagent bottles. Except for nutrient broth, which is brown.

One Airport Goodbye Down, Two More To Go
Naddy, we miss you already.

I Dreamt of Baby
I dreamt 3 weeks ago that I was cradling a newborn. She was so cute, and I just cradled her in my arms. I felt so happy just looking at the baby, I didn't want to put her down. My arms ached when I woke up. :P

I told my friends about this dream and one of them looked up its meaning. Apparently there could be 3 interpretations: one, good health; two, good career; or three, someone close, ie family member/close friend, will have a baby.

I just found out that my sis-in-law is about a month pregnant. How uncanny is that?!?

I'm gonna be an aunt... :)

Happy Doggie Year
I truly believe that dogs could sniff out dog lovers. I was out with Maosix the other night and we were eating at this open air place. This dog was quite restless, walking about from one table to another. When it came to our table, it didn't bother to sniff me but instead went over to Maosix, sniffed her a bit and then settled down underneath her chair. So cute.

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Happy Chinese New Year! Have a prosperous doggie year ahead! :D

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

All About Chemistry

If you could still remember your A-Levels Chemistry/SPM Kimia, you'd know that the Transitional Elements (for eg, copper, iron, manganese...) are the colourful ones, whereas the other elements are of boring colours (like Group I elements- Na, K... are white. Remember?!?!?) . So usually when you mix chemicals with a transitional element in it, the solution would be of a pretty colour. But even though they may look dull, the Group I and II elements may give off lovely coloured flames when burned (barium = apple green... I can't remember the rest. :P )

Same principle could be applied to time. Before the exams, things were quite stable and routine. Sure, there were some impromptu, unexpected happenings during then (like, I don't know, going to UH A&E Dept at 12 midnight?) but there is a sense of predictability to those days. Wake up, study, get stressed, bitch about being stressed, try to relieve stress, study somemore, call Happy Cook for Lunch. Same cycle for the next major meal. I would call this the 'Group I time.' Predictable, but not quite sometimes.

Then after exams... oh,the time was awesome. Many things done everyday. Plans were made almost instantaneously. No worries at all. Just freedom. Spending time with your favourite people is one of the best things to do in life. Whole days were spent laughing and having fun. I didn't realise it was even possible. Time flew so quickly, yet it was only a month ago! But it feels distant now... So many sweet memories made. Wonderful, brilliant colours in my life. I call this the 'Transitional time.'

Things are settling down now, though. I've settled into my work routine (which happens to revisit my A-Levels Biology and Chemistry roots), Maosix has settled into her studying routine, Naddy is all set to leave for the Land of Aucks (so fast!!!) and Prem is going to be resettled all the way in Seremban and start school... It's less exciting, and a bit sad at times. I feel sad that I'll have to be separated with my friends. But that's life, I suppose. Can't react with the same mixtures all the time. Sooner or later, one of the substances would run out. Just gotta move on, and try experimenting with different reagents. I call this the 'Group II time.'

Now, I'm just waiting for that one element which would set off some sparks, hehehe...

But oh, such wonderful colours! I shall never forget them, ever. Unless I get Alzheimer's disease. I hope I won't. Okay. Whenever I want to see those colours again, I'll know exactly which elements to use. No need to experiment anymore. :)

Colours! Weeeeeee!! *stone* ;P

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Those Big, Innocent Eyes

No, I'm not writing about the eyes which serve as the background of this blog. According to general consensus, the word used to describe them would be 'freaky.' :P

I'm talking about the eyes of a child.

It's amazing when a child looks at you in the eye, his eyes opened widely. No smile, no words. Just looking. Full of innocence and trust. Umblemished and untainted by the unwholesomeness of the world.

Somehow, it brought joy to my heart. Little angel. :)

Monday, January 02, 2006

The Last Days of 2005

The days after EoS were just surreal. Kept going out or just plain stoning. It was a novelty, spending December stress-free since it's the first time I do not have to worry about exams during this period. The days just went by in a blur. It took a while to recall the things we did then. Like, throwing maosix into the pool (btw, she is heavier than she looks) :P or celebrating Prem's birthday. Good times, they were.

My housemates and I always made an effort to celebrate Christmas every year, no matter how stressed out we might get. 2005 was a little bit different, though. Everyone was busy with their own agenda. Still had a Christmas dinner, though this time with the Cuckoo Gang. Prem is an excellent cook, as she is a defender. It was lovely, exchanging presents and emo cards. :)

Was very busy shopping as well. It was, by far, the most active post-exam hols I've ever spent. Usually, I'll be at home watching tv specials or just reading. This time, it was all about going out, stoning and shopping. It's fun shopping with a mission. There's a sense of satisfaction everytime a purchase was made. Unfortunately, KL was unable to provide us with everything that we needed...

... So we (moi, maosix, milliemao) decided to go down south in a spur of the moment (literally). On the way, watched a drug bust live before our eyes. There was a turpentine sniffer in the row right in front of us and somehow, a Customs Officer on leave and a retired Navy personnel happened to be in the same carriage. Upon search, a bottle of undiluted codeine was found. Drama ensued, handcuffs and all. And so we watched.

Met up with the convo mag editor there and we just walked, walked and walked. Found everything we were looking for. Had lunch on the ledges and dinner on the stairs. Bliss...

There were no fireworks to see that New Year's Eve on the train. The seats were uncomfortable to sleep in. But there was no place I'd rather be. :)

I don't know what 2006 may bring. But I shall always carry with me the memories of 2005.

Never expect, always hope. For there is always hope.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

The Year That Was

" It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way--in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only."

- Charles Dickens, A Tale Of Two Cities

And that, my friends, was 2005 for me. Dickens couldn't have put it better. So many lessons learned within 12 months. Lessons that no school could ever teach me, but only life. If someone is to ask me, which was your defining year? I would confidently say 2005. I've never cried so much, but I've never laughed so hard as well. The previous 21 years were... nice. But that's the problem with lukewarmness. Things somehow aren't as vivid unless you experience them to the extreme. That's what was different last year. I've experienced a whole range of emotions this year. And from anguish and pain to pure joy, I know I've never felt so alive.

To forgive and be forgiven. To be honest. To be true to myself. To find inner strength. To be not afraid to cry. To remain calm when surrounded with confusion. To surrender to God. To accept. To love and be loved. Unconditionally.

I am blessed. I am grateful for EVERYTHING that had happened to me in 2005. No regrets whatsoever.

Personal growth aside, Phase I has been good. My grades this year (Sem 4 and Sem 5) are somehow a reflection of my tumultous year but in the end, I pulled through when it mattered most. Going to IMU was one of the best decisions of my life. Dancing was the highlight back in Sem 1. But Futsal takes the cake for giving me the best IMU Phase I experience ever. It was through Futsal that I got to know many great individuals. And I actually got some exercise. :P I will never forget the various dinner parties we had, the things we did to survive exam stress, watching fireworks from the balcony, the stoning sessions...

Party of The Year: Definitely Post-IMU Ball Party 2005. I could see us still talking about it at our 10-year reunion.
Heheh. Heheheh.

But of course, the constant highlights of everyday are these:

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"Say goodnight, not goodbye
You will never leave my heart behind
Like the path, of a star
I'll be anywhere you are

In the spark that lies beneath the coals
In the secret place inside your soul
Keep my life, in your eyes
Say goodnight, not goodbye."

- Chantal Kreviazuk, Say Goodnight Not Goodbye