In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Phone & Silent

Buying a new phone for Australia? Perish the thought! I took my grandma's old phone that she's no longer using instead. Like my grandpa says, "It works perfectly fine. There's no need to buy a new phone." My relatives nodded in agreement.

Goes to show my upbringing. :) But really, this makes more sense. No point carrying around a new phone while travelling.

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Talking about quirks, I tend to use my time driving in town for thinking things through to make use of the commuting hours. I'll be driving on autopilot, especially for routes I go to everyday. To accomodate for this, I drive a little slower - that and I take my driving skills after my mum who doesn't drive too fast either. And yes, I do get lost easily. That also comes form my mum.

The other effect of this is I tend to be deadly quiet in the car unless I'm putting special effort to make conversation. Which isn't often. So I tend not to notice when I've been silent for too long and my colleges traveling with me are getting uncomfortable. All the while I could be thinking about anything ranging from the new computer games to empowerment of democracy.

Truth be told, I'm actually quiet by nature. When I'm talking a lot of small talk (not about a specific topic of interest, that's different), I'm actually putting quite a bit of mental effort into making conversation. Trying to improve on that I guess.

I'm used to being alone. In fact, I'm used to having a lot of space to myself to do my own thing in the privacy of my room. Locking myself up in my own room is my norm.

I wonder how this will effect whoever lives with me later.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Role models

Hah! Already I have a plan of action.

The worry was that if I wait too long for the right guy, I'd not know how to behave or mantain a relationship due to used to looking out for #1 for so long. Part of the problem is that I've never lived in a household with a good model of a successful relationship. My mum's marraige with my dad did teach me a few things:

1. Don't cheat on your spouse
2. Don't put down your spouse continually
3. Don't try to hold power over your spouse
4. Don't lie to your spouse
5. Don't try to hide away the money
6. Don't flirt with others in front of spouse

Lotsa "don't"s...But what about "do"s? I need more than that to have a healthy relationship.

Solution: Stay with mum and papa when I get back. Observe mum's current marraige to papa. Take notes. Compare to previous marraige. Learn.

If only life were a little simpler.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

For too long

There’s something my ex-college once told another college that suddenly dawned on me as important.

“You’re not suited to have a relationship. You’ve been single for so long that you’re too used to taking care of just yourself.”

Coming to think of it, I can see why they never got along.

Back to me.

I can’t continue writing this. The words just won’t come out.

This is just pathetic.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Never leave it in the car

In case you didn't hear, someone bashed in my car window to get at the handphone inside. Normally, I never leave anything valuable in the car for this exact reason.

What happened was I was driving and the phone rang, so I passed it to my brother to answer. After the conversation he placed it in the car instead of passing it back to me. Myself being a dope, I forgot to take it down with me.

When I found the window smashed, it didn't even occur to me that it was for the phone. Only later my brother realised that the phone was missing.

My brother even tried calling the number. A guy swore at him in Chinese on the other side. We were already leaving the area, but my brother demanded repeatedly in loud voices that I turn back to check if the guy was still around. As if I wasn't tired enough. Of course, we didn't find the guy.

I had to control my anger, otherwise I'd find myself sceaming at my brother for not passing the phone right back. Etch, it's my own fault for not taking it back myself, so that would have been ugly. I'm still sore about losing my contact numbers in particular. Fortunately the phone was a pre-paid, so the no need to cancel it.

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In happier news, I told mum about my plans to raise a child. She was delighted with the idea - it was praticaly her last chance at grandchildren, after all. I forgot about that. She even said that I don't need to quit working to raise the kid because she'd chip in while the kid is still young.

Me is happy. :) All I need now is to be ready to be responsible for the kid myself. That and a potential surrogate mother or looking for adoption.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Quick phone numbr request

Okay, a little busy so can't write the whole story right now. Suffice to say my phone is gone and I've fixed the car window.

What I really want is for you guys who know me to send me your numbers again since they were all on the phone. Thanks.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Morale

A good friend of mine at work has just resigned after a heated argument with the chairperson.

I’m not sure how it turned into a shout-fest since I didn’t hear the conversation. I know it started because my college asked for another day off. She has been taking many days and half-days off because her husband has started to go for dialysis (kidney failure) and needs someone to do his SOCSO and EPF and whatnots. And she and the chairperson have been at loggerheads for a long time now - I think the chairperson thought too many days were taken off. I don’t know. I can’t judge. But the context of the argument doesn’t look good.

Pretty darn demoralizing actually. If it weren’t for the fact that the need was great since we’re now really short on staff and the new teachers need a LOT of training, I’d have quit as well. We're in a real tight spot with the lack asenior teachers - I can't add to that. The new staff have got to be trained up by the time I leave. If I do leave.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a great deal of respect for the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson. They work very hard to keep this place running for no benefit to themselves, and they do their best to make sure the center gives the best services possible to the children. Being parents of special children themselves, they’ve been subjected to unacceptable level of services throughout their lives. It’s no surprise they want more from their own center. But in turn that makes them demanding of their staff, but naturally so. Not necessarily a bad thing.

But see, this line of work demands total a lot of concentration. Preparing for a lesson just a little bit wrongly can doom it to failure. Different tactics are needed for each incredibly unique child, and one has to be constantly on his toes to teach the different kids and must do their best to know the child inside out. The parents are always present, who themselves are tired, desperate and worried and need encouragement – no sad faces now. Pressure of performing in front of the parents with difficult children is large, to say nothing of the keeping up with the kids themselves. Turnover of teachers in this line is very high.

Earlier, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I’m on a sinking ship. But giving up is simply not an option. Work is piling up like crazy and our services to kids are going a little off-skew, but we’ll manage as best we can.

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On that note, after calming down my chairperson in private (she was really upset and had just exploded to the whole staff. Not good for the new staff. What is the world coming to when a 25 year old guy has to counsel women twice his age?) and finishing off work for the day, I made a quick stop at a cake shop to buy my ex-college a chocolate cake to cheer her up. My other college who was in the carpool was giggling at this- she thought it was ever such a weird thing to do. Uhhh… is it? I have no idea. Social conventions get me sometimes. Quite often actually.

But at least I can get along with even some of the toughest people in the center who quarrel with just about everyone. Hey, I may be socially retarded but that doesn’t mean I don’t know how to be friends with people I see. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Sloth

I'm not talking about the public holiday - I didn't get one. I had to work today, NPOs are like that.

Did I mention the current plan that started the whole self improvement business? Basicaly it's like this. I want a kid/kids. I'm not willing to marry a woman for it. Finding a partner who'd make a good father, wants kids, wants me, AND will be faithful is proving diffcult. Worse, I can't say I'm ready for fatherhood myself just yet.

So the plan is simply to build myself up until I'm confident of bringing up a kid on my own. Then bring up a kid by myself. Once I've got a kid tagging along, any guy who wants me or who I'd want would have to be the real thing. If I find one. Otherwise, I'll do it alone. That's the plan. And yes, I'm perfectly willing to live life without a partner if it comes down to that.

Have I mentioned that I stay with my brother? My mum said she couldn't stay with someone without any responsibilties. It'd drive her mad, she said. She wasn't talking about me. I have a jobless brother whose time is mainlyt spent trying to find sources of entertainment in the form of comics, games, and more comics and games.

I can't say he is a good influence on me. Trouble is, games is part of how I connect with my brother - we've been playing with each other since forever. It's our social activity, part of how we bond. He's probably been left out since I stopped playing for a long stretch, and I've been resisting his continual attempts to tempt me.

Up until he started playing Kingdom Hearts 2. Which is brilliant, by the way. And has 'Lego'-like Gummi ships that are fun. My childhood revolved around Lego. I worshiped it. Yeah, the game is a real time-sink.

But here I am shifting the blame to someone lse but talking about taking responsibility. Whatever it the case, I'm responsible for my own actions. And seeing as how I'm shooting for single fatherhood first (trying to forget about notions of romance for now), such behavior is unacceptable. I need to start studying, do more work at home, research, practise cooking.

Actually, a whole lot of things I do are unacceptable for a single father. Damnit.

Some dreams are distant.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Apprehension

Do I really want to come back? To this place? This place where even shows of intimacy in public are frowned upon and chargable by law? This place where I must hide a part of myself from my friends and colleges? From those I wish to help? This place where finding a mate for life is like a brick wall that withstands the beatings of my fists? This place where a child with gay parents would meet ridicule and shame? Do I have a life in this place?

But is the grass really greener on the other side? Will I be able to find the one I'm looking for there? Will I be able to find the life I want there? And what about all these things I want to bring back to my home, the place where I was born? What about the people I want to help most? What have I been fighting for then for the last three years? Am I going to abandon the place where I grew up, the family I grew up with?

I'm taking sail, moving where the wind blows me. For now. I'll scout out this distant land, land there, take my place among its people for a time. Perhaps then I will know where I belong.

This clip is so good I almost threw up

The title says it all. Yes, it's real.

Found by my brother. ...enjoy.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Mothers' questions & shopping

"My son is quite easy to teach, isn't he?"

The mother's question caught me completely off guard. This happened a little while ago in fact, but I didn't stop to think about it until now. No doubt it was myself who told her such before to encourage her. But her son was in fact quite hot tempered and impatient, and has difficult following instruction. When I said easy I was speaking relatively, but I can't imagine any mainstream teacher being able to put up with him.

But then, maybe month ago her boy was able to say "ahk, ahk, ahk" for duck, but not call her "mama". When he first started, his speech would be sporadic and he wouldn't or couldn't talk when we asked him to say something. That has changed. I've set his mum to drill him to practise at home the words he *can* say everyday and keep encouraging new ones, just like I achieved in class. The results 'speak' for themselves. :)

There's still a long road to go. The end result in the future is unlikely to be all this mother is hoping for. But it will be *better* future. So it's definately worth fighting for.

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Some time after a peeing incident at a lesson (after which was cleaned up I insisted the lesson resumed so the boy doesn't use peeing as an escape route, much to his dismay since that's exactly what he'd been using it for all his time), another mother in the same class posed me another question that caught me off guard.

"You teach night classes right?"

The context of the question wasn't immediately obvious.

"This is a nine to five job (actually 8.30 to about 5.30, figure of speech), I think that's enough."

"But then you can earn more income."

Yes, I do get paid a pittance here. But fortunately for me, my occupation isn't my livelyhood. Otherwise I couldn't survive. Although I'm still working on improving that and taking control of it myself.

"I have other sources of income. I don't come here for the money."

It occurred to me by then she wanted me to teach her son at night and was willing to pay. In fact she's been commenting about the headway the other child had been making (the one I mentioned earlier) in envy. Maybe the other mother earlier was speaking relatively, too.

I'm kind of flattered, actually. But until her own child is also speaking consistently (he can!), I'm definately not going to be satisied. This poor haggard woman really needs a breakthrough.

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Who knew shopping could be so intimidating? I stopped at Mahkota Parade to day to look at clothes and attempt to make some purchases. But surprise surprise, it took some doing to even *enter* the clothes shops with intent of buying. Somehow pressured, somehow fearful. The fear of spending? The thought that I'm doing something feminine? (To quote another blogger, "Shut up! I knoW!") Felt really silly about it later.

But lo! My salvation was at hand! There it was, F.O.S.! (Factory Outlet Store) Almost reasonably priced buys for acceptable quality. Still kinda balked at the idea of spending (yes, seriously) my money on *clothes*, but I did find not one, but two shirts that seemed good value for money and didn't look half bad. At least, I hoped my fashion sense wasn't off.

But really, I might as well at least look around and figure out what I like first. More purchases can come later.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Chicken Rice

Of course, my aunt being my aunt, it was brilliant. My aunt did most of the work, instructing what to do. Hmmm. Will have to try myself one day. But it takes 2+ hours to prepare chicken rice. X.X Maybe I'd be able to prepare it on weekends in the future. Definately not after work, unless I want a really late din din. But I think I could reproduce it - nothing too difficult actually.

Uncle took my out to fix car which I had bumped and dented earlier. This uncle of mine is incredible - he has contacts in just about everything. Mechanics, tailors, doctors, everything. RM20 for the knocking job that would cost RM50, RM18 for lights that would cost RM25...Goes to show the value of age and experience. As he said himself, he's been living in Melaka for over 60 years. Here's something else to put on my list of skills to improve. >.< At this rate I won't have any thing on my mind *but* self improvement. Damnit, youth really is wasted on the young.