Monday, January 31, 2011

Have A Cool & Beautiful Monday!

The rain is notorious & endless. For as much as i'm freezing & fussily shuttling around in my little rain trench, i'm really grateful for the rain. My idea of majestic beauty. Let's enjoy it before our hot & humid weather comes to stay for a long while starting March.

On a separate note, see if you can relate to this. Something i constantly strive for. (p.s it's strange but it's got everything i love to do in it. EVERYTHING.)

My sentiments exactly.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

the modern, well-educated WOMAN - what does she want?

Hello! How's it going?

Yesterday i attended the said book club & again was not disappointed. Being me, dying to be back in school & revive some creativity, this was therapy. The one thing i really, truly love about being part of a book club is that it gives the book you've read more depth, if that means anything. I wasn't done reading Catherine Lim's Miss Seetoh in the World when i attended the meeting last night, i was up until chapter 6 & had 14 more chapters to go but it was really building up for me. I liked it & thought 'everyone's going to give it a thumbs up, or two'. But NO. Much to my surprise, a third of the members did not like it. Very interesting.

The different views allowed for us to think about parts of the book that we didn't think much of until it was brought to light by another member. So your idea of the book forms only the root & with the addition of ideas from separate perspectives, it becomes a tree. Branching out into more avenues for thought. A tree of knowledge. You think creatively without paying tuition. I like it.

Miss Seetoh is a polished, poised, well-educated lady who made the decision to slip into a marriage with a man she did not love, or at least thought that she did. Set in Singapore sometime in the 60s, where reservation was still well maintained by tradition, she was stuck.. being a woman. A passionate lover of the English language, she became a teacher much adored by her students for her fun & unconventional methods of teaching. All she ever longed for was freedom. First she wanted to have her own bed because she had shared hers with her mother until she got married, then she wanted her own room, her own house, & of course, her own life made by her own decisions. She was a modern lady shackled by tradition or family pressure, a conservative society, a pressing government, & more than anything, womanhood.

Seetoh realizes shortly after her honeymoon that her marriage was doomed to fail. He so passionately in love with her and she, so full of regrets. The ultimate one being her accepting his hand in marriage. She & her husband were part of a community of devout catholics & divorce was unthinkable & not to mention, a solution that was not within her reach. She wasn't afraid of God as much as she was afraid of society at large. It spiraled down further when her husband became a monster fed by his insecurities which developed since he discovered that this love was not mutual. He died not long later & she had her freedom. Or did she?

I won't discuss the different views on this book but some of the things running through my mind right now..
What's the definition of freedom for a woman?
How long can you enjoy that private sanctuary you call personal space aka freedom before your maternal nature intrudes?
Does it even matter - maternity?
Is this what every brilliant, well-educated, modern woman grapple with - freedom vs. marriage?
Is marriage really nothing more than a dark, suffocating dungeon or do they just scare themselves so much?
When a woman loves her craft with vicious passion, does she lose her interest to become a woman more than to become a great artist?
Finally, the modern woman is so resistant & never wants to submit - is she too narcissistic? Or worse, just plain selfish?

Monday, January 24, 2011

UNIFEM Book Club - Miss Seetoh in the World

Welcome back to Monday (snores)! We had a nice weekend, didn't we?

Just a giving everyone a heads up about the UNIFEM Book Club. The dates are out but i might be accused of posting this too late. Bummer. I'm really sorry!

The UNIFEM Book Club is open to any of us who's interested to discuss global issues affecting women. It covers everything from abuse, oppression, freedom, poverty, education & etc. I don't consider it a feminist event because from the last one i attended, the ladies did mention it'll be great to hear a gentleman's point of view about these topics. I really urge you to come & join us because it's refreshing, engaging, & really inspirational.

I do recommend that you keep an open mind about the discussion. Once, we discussed about the highly controversial French government's ban against the 'burka'. Interesting to openly discuss something i understand better as a muslim myself. You needn't always agree, you can voice your own views & create your own standpoint from the different ideas & information collected from these mentally stimulating, friendly, & cosy meetings. Love it!

Here's the info on the coming book club (in 2 days to be exact, eek!)

Miss Seetoh In The World
by local author Catherine Lim.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011
7:00pm to 9:00pm
UNIFEM Office, No. 2 Nassim Road

Also, join UNIFEM on Facebook & follow them on Twitter.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, January 21, 2011


Hooray for Friday! What will you guys be up to? My folks are out of town this weekend & they've permitted me to hold what i would call "my-folks-are-out-of-town-potluck-party". Intimate affair with the usual suspects. Can't wait! My weekends have been so eventful!

Wishing you a lovely time too! xoxo

p.s Will be trying out yet another chicken dish: Skillet Rosemary Chicken. Both the food & photography is just delish.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

dirt biking weekend

Yea, that's right. The word 'dirt' was just too seductive to my nature-hungry being at the time my cousin brought up the idea. So i gave it a go. It was my her birthday & i really want to give back to everyone who's been a huge part of my life, as best as i can. She wanted to try this & i thought, why not?
So we got on a bumboat & headed for the sleepy town of Pengerang just south of Desaru, Johor, Malaysia. Simple, quiet, laid-back & kampung food - perfect. I was in love. And what better way to visit such a place if not to try something new, right?
So i got a pitbike or a 'pocket bike'. Tiny like a little bicycle. Not my first time riding a bike but that didn't help one bit. I couldn't get the throttling right! Embarrassingly, my cousin locked it in within minutes! She was happily making her turns, trying different gears.

My man's zoomed off to a completely different course, leaving us newbies to learn around a cute little dirt loop. I'm thoroughly envious! But you know, i'm optimistic. Maybe even a dreamer. Someday soon, i want to ride with you on a big ass bike too!
As soon we got to the trail, i was so comfortable zooming everywhere! So much fun! So i won the challenge i made for myself. Hooray! I had a little accident though but you'll never hear of it. Haha.
Fun-filled weekend on the whole. I'll give it a 10 for everything. New experience, new skill, sleepy town, nature, friendly people, kampung lunch, amazing company & a very happy cousin. Looking forward to trying this out again & a little more constantly!

Hope everyone had a splendid weekend too & having a good week so far! I'm not in my element these past couple of days, i'm feeling really lethargic! Determined to be back in shape before the weekend. 3 more days everybody! Let's go!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

4 questions to self : 2010/2011

My sweet readers,

If you hang out here with me long enough, you might~ remember that i posted 4 questions for myself to answer at the end of 2010 & i've decided that this will be a personal tradition for my life. Feel free to take on the idea if you find it a useful tool to measure your accomplishments, somehow. Here we go!

Questions to self:
Did you fulfill all your resolutions?
I'm happy to report that YES I managed to fulfill them all EXCEPT to get a driver's license. That's right, I feel like a total loser about it. As a consolation, all these resolutions are now a concrete foundation to take on 2011. So very contented. Stepping up the game for personal upgrade - mind, body & soul!

Have you quitted your bad habits?
Not entirely! I wouldn't say i didn't do very well either. I replaced a fancy list of bad habits with good ones. So to give you a better picture, out of 100%, i managed to rid 80%! (does anyone agree i deserve to binge on some chicken wings this weekend?)

Did you work hard and try to live a balanced life?
Indeed. Something i'm very proud of this year. My time was carefully given into good proportions & honestly, this is my favourite change about myself. I can cook whenever i feel like, blog, spend quality time with friends & family, read, do everything i love without sacrificing sleep, & even managed to squeeze in mini getaways. Looking forward to utilising this new skill further with plans to explore different avenues of self-upgrade. Hooray!

Are you happy?
Difficult. I am contented, does this count? But i'm working my way towards being wholly happy. I'm looking forward to answering this again at the end of this year.


I hope everyone had a fulfilling 2010. It's a new year full of chances to try again where we failed, to progress further from what we've accomplished, to take on new challenges, to be making a difference in the world, to ultimately be a better person. Year after year. Let's age with courage, grace, love, & wisdom.

4 questions to self for 2012:
Are you happy?
Did you fulfill all your resolutions (including a driver's license!)?
Are you truly living & your soul put together?
What did you do as a form of charity?

Full steam ahead, everybody!

Monday, January 10, 2011

au revoir 2010; an open letter to myself

Dear Maria,

Let the world know that you did not depart the past year crippled by disappointments & betrayals, hard luck & setbacks, bad decisions & shortcomings. 2010 left you with scars aplenty but they exist only to remind you to wear them proud & as medals won. Besides, why pursue a battle if not to win? Let them know that glory is in the cradle of your arms because you understand those testing times provide the most holistic & nonpareil education for your soul to flourish & you chose to be the golden girl, the unflinching student, the best.

That year is gone. Another year you live & love. Lived & lost. The worst that you have had to live through, i'm sorry. I'm sorry if the world is designed so far beyond perfect & you cannot comprehend why good begets hate, loyalty begets treachery, & love begets unthinkable betrayal. You suffered much & deep this time but never for nothing. Let it go. To begin, you can never look back & pick a year that wasn't difficult for you. You were never shortlisted to be part of a population that is entitled to a life so easy to live. You know hardship like it is the veins of your hands.

Once again, you're a wounded dog crawling home today. But this new year, you bring home with you the prime concept of faith. I'm happy that you've found your spiritual self though you need to nurture it much more. You now recognise that being a slave is not below you if for the rightful master. So you bury your tiny feet into the earth to stay rooted & give your thanks.

What cannot destroy you, makes you stronger. As it is written, every test sent down is not one beyond your individual capacity to overcome it. The world is not unfair afterall, Maria. It's just in the way you perceive it. It's how foolishly or intelligently you choose to conquer it. There will be much more to come & you will again be battered but i promise you that it is worth it.

Believe that for as long as you have faith, you're invincible. Let the world try to trample you, tell them today that you will never be rattled.

This is your foundation. Happy new year to you.
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