Monday, July 31, 2006

Back from Another World...

I am back! Back to the real world after three days of being in another world of the ancient Angkor temples - which is like going back time warp to a mythical civilization!

We saw quite a bit in those short days.. But at this moment, I really don't know how to start writing on it! Since pictures paint a thousand words, I've posted the better pix on Flickr, which is accessible on the badge at this page or just click here.

The temples were of course the highlight but we also got to see other parts of Siem Reap. It's a small town and very poor too.. hoards of street children selling souvenirs or begging. It's a stark contrast to the other part of the town developed for tourism. And we can't believe the airport was so modern and beautifully designed!

One thing..I regretted not having read up more on the Angkor temples before the trip.. knowing the history and culture behind those amazing ancient architectures would have make it even more meaningful. But it didn't make the visits any less memorable!

To think of it, it's quite an adventure.. for a non-fit person like me climbing those huge, steep stone steps leading to the tall towers.. would have loved to spend more time exploring but there were too many temples to see and we had limited time.

Will write more about it... when time and inspirations permit!

Sigh.. it's back to work tomorrow..

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Hopeless Packer

That's me! Can't believe I had to go through much trouble and deliberations just to decide what clothes to pack for my three-day trip!

Oh, and I haven't come to the toiletriess part yet.. sigh.

I know, it's just for three days and all I need to do is to throw in some casual clothes. How difficult can that be? But no.. for me, I need to go through all my t-shirts (there're tonnes and tonnes of them), my shorts, three-quarter pants, jeans and then then shortlist a few pieces of my favourites.. mix and match, compare and deliberate ...

Ok, so most of the time, no, make it every time, I end up taking too much clothings when I travel.

Anyway, not to go into too much details. I have finally decided on my clothes and promptly put them inside my small suitcase. I am not going to maul over it again.

I shall now go to my toilettries. And that aint much easier too consider I have to pack light all my bottles of skincare, bath products etc..

Ok, I confess, I don't consider myself a seasoned traveller though I had travelled quite a fair bit. And travelling light is NEVER my forte. :p

Better get back to the packing.. see you all in a few days time!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

I Need a Holiday and I'm Going on One!! :)

Amidst the overwhelming busyness and `excitement' (read: stresses) at work place, a break is always welcome.

So that's what I'm going to do - after all, this short holiday has been planned since the beginning of the year!

From next Wednesday to Saturday, I will be going to Siem Reap, Cambodia, for a vacation and yeah, you bet I'm looking forward to it.

It all happened one night over Yahoo IM when Lynn and I decided there and then to book flight to somewhere near with Air Asia since it was having those cheap promotional rates. My first choice would be Bali but Lynn prefered to go Cambodia and I didn't mind since I also love to visit the grand temples of Angkor Wat.

It seemed the trip was so far away then but now it's just around the corner! We have also booked our accommodation online - comparing a host of nice little hotels, and then even got ourselves transport (tutut) booked as well!

I almost had a fit when I found out a month ago that all our leaves have been frozen! But of course I was not going to let that stop me so I went straight to the big boss and wrote a long letter.. and thankfully, my leave was approved. After all it's only three days and it won't jeopardise my work.

Back to Siem Reap. Hmm.. actually my knowledge of the place is really minimal. Have only heard of Angkor Wat but there are many other places of interests! I didn't even know there are many more `little angkor wat temples'... of course they have their own names! :p

Was told to expect hot weather.. but I hope it will stay dry most of the time. A couple of friends were there a month back and it rained. Anyway, the weather here is so dreay and clouded by haze.. so don't mind a change!

But it's somehow untimely (or fortunately, if you look at it the other way) that this holiday comes during a `crisis period' at work. The situation is getting from bad to worse.. everyone is disgruntled and disillusioned with the way things are run. We thrashed things out in our department's meeting on Friday and now, a meeting will be scheduled with the big bosses on Monday evening.. hope we will come to some solutions.

Argh! I was supposed to blog about my coming holiday and I brought in work again! Anyway, I am planning to finish all my work as fast as I can, so I can come home early on Tuesday to prepare for the early flight the next morning!

Can't wait...! I really need a holiday! And I think this is gonna be fun and exciting! :)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Animals S.O.S.

Late tonite (Tues) I received a few sms and an email on the same matter. It is quite distressing. I shall copy and paste the email a friend sent here.

Dear Friends,

I just received news that about 60 dogs and cats need adoption urgently between tomorrow (19 July) and Friday (21 July). These animals are scheduled for culling tomorrow, but the local MP (authorities) has given an extension to the culling date. Half the animals are licensed and belong to owners. Tomorrow, the animals will be photographed and posted on blogs (or advertised) so that owners can locate them.

If you would like to rescue these animals by adopting them, please show up tomorrow at No.1 Jln Utama, Jln Perindustrian Puchong Perdana, Selangor Malaysia; at 9am. If we can find homes for most of the animals, perhaps we can do away with the culling!

For more enquiries, contact: Kokila 0166070398 or
Sham 0122238459

Kindly spread the word around! Post on blogs, and online bulletin boards.

Sigh.. I hope I'm not too late as the messages came late. As an animal lover, I don't know what I can do besides spreading the message. It's not possible for me to personally adopt more dogs or cats.

The problem of unwanted pets is a mammoth one.. I just don't understand how people can abandon their pets and how the poor manner the authority is handling it. Pet shelters like SPCA or PAWS have too more than they could cope already.

To me, it is the MINDSET of the people that need to change and therefore we have to get to the root of the problem with education. We need to educate our next generation on pets ownership from a young age and to incalcate proper values in them..

When God created the world, human beings were given the task of stewardship of the earth - we were supposed to take care of the environment and all the other animals well. But look at what a mess human beings have done with this..

Gosh, i could just go on..! But right now, lets pray that the matter above can be solved, that at least some of these dogs and cats would be adopted so that the death of the poor animals will be minimised..


Sunday, July 16, 2006

Facing up to Challenges...

Yep, we have barely crossed the mid year mark and now am faced with some challenges - good or bad..

First it's work. Am feeling increasingly unhappy and disgruntled with my work situation.. I think I've already come to the point when I try to detatch myself from my stories as far as I can, as in, if the stories are cut or changed, I'm not so bothered anymore..

So for instance last week when the top 10 under-rated restaurant piece was chopped to the minimal, I didn't make any noise. And even if my album review has been rewritten.. I also left it. But looking at my latest performing arts story, I couldn't help but got upset!

First, the length was cut from 600-700 (which I was told was the length it should be) to merely 300 plus!! And worst of all, it has been rewritten to such a choppy and ameaturish style that for goodness sake, I'd rather not have my byline there!

It's not that they don't have space.. they somehow use the pix real big and more than one too while choose to take away the content.. I really don't know why! Honestly it was not a complicated piece as I actually base it on a press release..

I got infuriated and sms-ed my direct editor on my grouses. And his reply was that this `problem' has been solved as certain sub-editors have been told to lay hands off our Weekend Buzz pieces.. and that mine is not the only problem. Yeah I gather that other colleagues' pieces have been changed too but looking at the content, mine was the worst victim this time!

Sigh. In situation like this, I really want out but unfortunately, my request to be transferred has been refused... without a time frame too.

Ok, enough of work.. which actually has its more share of problems but I shall not devulge here.

Maybe on a more positive note, I will share a bit about what our peer group is embarking on from next month - The Alpha Course.

Went for an afternoon of `training' yesterday at church as I will be continuing as a group leader and all the leaders and helpers are required to know what the course is all about and how we play our role.

Alpha is basically a very useful program where we are to invite our non-Christians or new Christians friends to join.. it covers a series of very interestinng and pertinent topics to explore the Christian faith.. and the intereting thing is, it is not a lecture. We all will watch a video when a topic is raised and everyone is welcome to freely discuss on it.

It is a friendly, non-threatening gathering which has been run in many countries worldwide.. and our church has started on it a year or two ago.

Now, the CCF (College and Career Fellowship) is going to run the program on our Friday night meeting.. and we are starting on August 4, which is less than three weeks away!

We went through some videos for leaders training and although we are all Bible Study leaders, we found out that this is going to be very challenging as we can't use our normal BS leading ways to lead the small group discussions.. We are meant to be faciliator, not one that give the answers and we must respect all sorts of comments and questions asked..

Of course there are things to be read up to prepare ourselves.. but i think for all of us, myself included, one of the greatest challanges will be to invite our friends to come for Alpha. It is especially challenging not because I think most people are against this kind of course but more so the commitment and time factor. Ideally, we would like our friends to join us for 13 weeks - the duration of the course, which includes a weekend away. But this may sound a bit daunting for non-Christians.. but what we hope is at least they could come for the first three meetings, and if they find it interesting, some would continue on...

If you're not a Christian reading this.. just want to say that what we are doing is not to convert people or force anyone to believing in our faith.. I'm sure there would be people out there who are searching for the meaning of life, or even curious to know what the Christian faith is all about... and this is a great opportunity to find out for yourself.

As for me and my friends from CCF, I think to start with, we need to pray hard and to align ourselves with God's will.. to share His Word in love and in deeds..

And for myself, I know I really need to discipline myself and time.. Yes, I know I have said it many times but with not much success... but I just have to do it.. albeit one step at a time! (actually maybe I am not that much of an addict as I just turne on my pc at 11pm today!) :p

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Have I Neglected my Jojo? :(

Last night, I was `lepaking' at my PC again (as usual) and ended up browsing the archive of my blog. Then I realised how much I used to blog about my two Js - Jojo and Jelly - in the early days of `Jess' two Js'. And then gradually I deviated and talked about everything else about my life...

I guess it is hard to keep on blogging on my dogs though I love them dearly. But what also `scared' me a bit was I realise I have NOT talked about them at all in the July 2006 archive! Ok, it's barely half way through the month but I think World Cup had been the predominant subject.. but now that the Cup is well and over, albeit me suffering some withdrawal syndrome, I think I should go back to my blog theme.

Yes, I have something on my mind to blog about on my dog Jojo.

I really think my darling Goldie has been kinda neglected over many months :( I feel bad. The thing is, Jelly is always in the house and she would always be in my room. Where as Jojo is now an outdoor dog and i really had not enough time spent with him.

Jojo was our first dog since moving here and I invested so much of my time, energy and love on him..We also went through a very tough period of his disobedient (which all were blogged here) but now he's improved so so much..

Yet, with Jelly around, I think I have not been fair in terms of the time spent with them.. and I want to change that..

I felt really bad last night because as I stroked his fur at
the back, i realised that much of it was tangled!! Yeah, I have forgotten to comb his fur for a few weeks now I think! 'Cos his fur is relatively shorter than Jelly, after showering, I would always remember to brush Jelly's hair - if not, I would ask my maid to do so. But Jojo.. poor thing, I thought he is groom-free, but not really.. So I spent some good time combing his fur last nite and yeah, much of it dropped but I was told that new fur always comes out to replace the old ones.. At least now Jojo's fur is neat and smooth.. sigh.

He has been quite manja with me lately.. I think he really misses me and craves for my attention. Although he is cheeky and loves to escape outside, everytime when i come home, he would rather wait for me than rush out the gate now. He wants my affection and wants to play with me.. When I play with him, he jumps on me eagerly and lean his huge body against mine.. Gosh, he seems starved of affection..?

My friend and fellow blogger Lynn had recently lost her dog - who is well past 14 years-old. That suddenly reminded me the years our dogs have with us are numbered. I must make good use of the time Jojo and Jelly have with us. Jojo is three only but he would go one day.. and I really dread the thought of that.. I don't want to regret then that I should have treated him better and spent more time with him.

To think of it, I barely spend 10 minutes a day with him now.. with my busy schedule.
That's NOT enough and I MUST change that!

Which makes me feel like going down to see him just before I sleep.. and I'm going down now..

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

'Tis my last WC post

Here ends my pseudo World-Cup blog that lasted a good month.

And what a way to end it, by missing the Finals live! Argh! Guess I would have to live with it my whole life..

Looks like many of us, me included, would be suffering from `World Cup withdrawal syndrome' - or post-World Cup blues.. Like just now, it's quite funny, three of us gals - lynn, may and myself - who had dinner and then caught a movie (Superman Returns) were typical examples of that. Beside's talking of Lynn's dog that just died the day earlier, our topics constantly came back to World Cup - on the various matches and the players.. and gosh we had so much to say! Yeah, who said WC is just a men's game? ;)

And earlier back in office, my footie colleague Terrina and i too could not help but discussed the match that I watched late. And needless to say I got the `what-la' look when I entered the office (for sleeping through the Final) but then when we talked of the game, it was as if we're still in the midst of it..!

Ahh... I already miss World Cup already and it's barely 24 hours later.. If only they are playing the Final now.. I am now wide awake ready to watch!

Anyway, FIFA World Cup 2006 will be one of my favourite World Cup ever. You can't deny it has many exciting matches. And at the end, for the first time, the team I have supported since 1990 had won!

FORZA ITALIA!!! Long lives The Azzurri!

Final note: I predict and back Argentina to lift the world cup on African soil in 2010. We shall see.. but wonder whether this blog will last that long...

Monday, July 10, 2006



Yes, I did! Can you believe it? Me??!!

I overslept and got up at 5:10am when EVERYTHING was over! I had gone to bed at 11pm setting the alarm at 1:50am but somhow it didn't go off..

I sms-ed some replies to friends saying that I wanna kill myself..and that was how I felt. I was screaming and throwing tantrum at myself.. In rage, I threw my alarm clock away!!

My dad, who just managed to wake up like 10 mins before me, watched the last few commenting actions on tv and knew the results. He didnt want to to tell me but I knew my sms would have told me anyway.. and I just couldn't stand the suspence.

I found who was the winner and I was happier a little. Just a little.

So as consolation and thank God for Astro, I managed to watch the replay at 6:30am all the way through to 9am when Italy, MY ITALIA - lifeted the cup in jubiliation!!

It was quite an amazing match, especially what happened to Zidane - again my dad had told me that was to happen already..

But heck!! I still couldn't believe I could sleep through the Final! The MOST IMPORTANT match of the whole World Cup when I managed to wake up for so many of the earlier matches! This is unforgivable. Too incredible as well..

Again, I blame it on the real full stomach and a lousy alarm clock.. and my own stupiditiy I guess

Dad joked and said that my World Cup (watching) areer ended the same way as Zidane - exit in shame..

How apt huh? and I felt as if I could identify with that poor soul though I was not backing his team.

update: I realised it's my own fault as I forgot to click the on button of the alarm clock. I have just retrieved my poor old alarm clock from the bin. sigh...

Saturday, July 08, 2006

This Lazy / Next Busy Weekends

Its a lazy Saturday afternoon.. was out having a half-day `excursion' with parents - involving running some errands and then heavy lunch! And now back in my room resting. Should be sleeping but suddenly feel like blogging.

It's quite a luxurious weekend really.. no work nor church duties and the only thing on tomorrow (besides going to church of course) is to watch a horror movie for review on Monday.

But now I'm reminded of the coming week and `scary' weekend ahead next. From Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, I will be busy with various church `duties'. Well it is not exactly duties but its something that I'm involved with - coordinating talk, leading worship, attending training etc.. - all will be happening next weekend.

Which make sense why i should get enough rest this weekend. But hmmm.. am I really resting?

Some might be wondering how come I've been sleeping early and waking up early since last week. I don't know the real answer.. perhaps its the medication and sometimes I don't know it's becaucse I sleep early then I wake up early or I wake up early therefore i am tired and sleep early.. chicken and egg story.. and I find I'm not really making sense now.

Work has been busy but ok. Thursday was a crazy day.. and now I have three main stories to write besides my other columns. I'm also a bit upset with today's Weekend Mail. My stories have been changed big time. Mainly to fit into the little space we have. Sigh.. I am beginning to lose the passion for writing for the weekend now as everything is heavily edited!

At least my movie cover story on Thursday was not changed much.. and turned out quite nicely. That's a consolation.

Jojo and Jelly are smelly. I should bathe them soon but the weather is chaotic. In fact, it was so sunny when we reached home a while ago but now it just rained again.. And I'm also quite tired physically... But i must bathe them tomorrow morning before church.

It's nice to have a free day today.. so free that I'm wondering whether it's real!! Sad.. such is the life of a urbanite these days..

Time to just lie on the bed and sleep away if I can...

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Update on `I Did It!'

To followup my post yesterday.. I did have a chance to talk to my boss just now. And as I have half expected, his answer is `not now'.

He even took the pain to explain to me the direction of the paper and how I can still do what I like here and yeah.. we had a rather long chat. He seems genuine and kind enough so I also didn't persist. No use what..

He also let me know that he has rejected a couple of such `transfer applications' and I guess because of shortage of staff and don't want to set precedent, he said he will reply my letter soon but he won't approve of the `transfer' as for now.

He said we needed to wait `a period of time' (however long I have no idea..)

We even joked a bit and then something he said made me quite happy.. I know this will make me sound so vain but here it is. He seemed very surprise when I revealed my age. He said he never thought I was older than him! To that I jokingly reply that made me happy enough to stay for a while. Ok, that's just a joke...;p

Anyway, for this I've prayed and so have some of my friends for me. Like one of my colleague said, God puts us here for a purpose. And maybe now there's still purpose for me to be there until I am ready to be transferred.

To be honest, I don't detest working at this paper that much.. just annoyed at certain things and the future looks still uncertain.

But if God wants me to be here, I shall do that until a real opening is possible.



Against the odds, Italy beat Germany to emerge into the Final of the World Cup 2006!

And what a way to win it.. At the last two minutes of extra time - infact the second during injury time that the Azzurries were on fire and scored two goals almost back to back to clinch their place in Berlin!

It was on exhilirating game. And the result was all so sweet to me. Remember, the Germans beat my Argentinians in Q-Final?

But actually I was all prepared for the nerve-wrecking penalty shoot0ut when the goals came.. so late yet so beautiful. In fact, the whole 120 min. game was a very exhilirating one. Both sides displayed much skills but couldn't find the goal opening.

Until almost the last minute.. for Italy!

I was so ecstatic that instead of sms-ing my World Cup buddy Gia (whom I snsed during the game to comment), I had to call her and she also sounded excited. Mind you, she is a married woman!

So at least one of my two favourites made to the Final. i don't care what people think but I am rooting Italy all the way to win the cup now - whether against France or Portugal.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

I Did It!

To the faithful Jess' 2 Js readers (don't know how many there are actually :p) you might remember I was dropping hints about changes in my job... Well here it is, I could at least come out in the open although the result is unknown yet.

I did it! I've applied to be transferred from the (new) Malay Mail to New Straits Times' Life&Times desk. Or rather, I appeled to do so because there is no `application' for such a post.

Yes, you can say I'm not happy with the direction the paper is going. With due respect, I really couldn't see myself identfying with the product I am working on. I feel what I write is limited and the target audience is towards the young group only...

Anyway, the style of this paper is nothing I can change but I can change where I want to work. Having been around this company for 12 years now. Although I have no problem with the bosses and most of the colleaques save one rude freak, I don't like keep doing the same glamour entertainment and just lifestyle features. I want to take my journalistic horizon a step further. I have social issues that I want to address.. and in a way I am quite tired of entertainment only although it is fun.

I thought for some time that I would like to be in the Life&Times feature desk, especially after I befriended its editor, a wonderful and nice woman.

So more than a week back, I approached her and told her of my intention. She encouraged me and said she would love to have me working with her especially the fact that I know Chinese helps. She then asked me to speak with the NST group editor. And that I did two days later and again , he assured me there's no problem taking me in BUT, yes BUT, he can't ask the MM side to release me, I have to `fight' for it so to speak. And once I get released, I could join them any time!

As I was about to tell my editor/COO of this, suddenly I got a message that my leave has been granted! Big deal? well yes because apparently all the staff in MM have their leave frozen. (And the incredulous thing is there wasn't even a memo on it but through word of mouth!) Well, I have written to appel for my leave since I've already paid for my holiday to Cambodia end of July and the boss has now approved it. I was happy and I didn't want to straight away tell him about me wanting out. So I waited.

But I have told my immediate boss and he did ask me to wait for two months, saying that things are changing with the paper. But you know what? my heart is no longer with MM already. How much can you change it?

Finally today, I saw the big boss sitting in his room at 3pm. I couldn't wait no more. I went in and told him about it. And his first reply was (with a smile): `I don't think there is such a thing as transfer'.

I didn't give up of course and asked whether I should write in to which he said yes. I told him I will pass a letter to him tomorrow but since I have done my work for the day, I wrote the letter on my laptop, and printed it out. Got it ammended a bit by a trusted colleague.

By then the boss was at a meeting so I just left it at his desk. Yeah, I did pray before and after.
I don't know what the decision will be but I trust in God's guidance. But to be honest, if I were him and after reading that rather `honest' letter of mine, I would let this writer out.

After all, if her heart is no longer with the paper, what's the use of keeping her here?

Of course, it is not without challenge if I go to NST. For one, the working hours will be much stricter. But I kinda like that. It will help to change my owl-like sleeping habit for the better...

Who knows, maybe in time to come, I would no longer be branded as a nocturnal creature!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Old and New Friends

'Tis a small world after all!

Thanks to the church friends' connection. I met up with a friend who I first met in London like more than a decade back! And through his arrangement, I had a nice dinner and drinks with some of the brothers and sisters from `lu biao'(sign post) Chinese fellowship.

The dinner was a mini-reunion of sort of the London Chinese Church fellowship `Lubiao' (Sign Post) that I attended for just half a year. Besides Joshua, who I have met a few times at my church, I only knew Baochun, who came here with his Malaysian wife Jia Jie, as well as his mother and uncle. Then there were another couple and a girl whom I just met last night.

Although it's more new friends than old friends for me, we had a good time. Had a rather economical yet tasty dinner at Mid Valley's `Spring Valley' Chinese restaurant, and after that adjourned to Secret Recipe for cakes and coffee.

It was quite nostalgic to be able to communicate with these brothers and sisters in both English and more so in Mandarin - the medium we used back in London.

We had lots to talk about, from World Cup (a little) to theological stuff and just chit chatting away. It's true that there's always a bond when Christians get together.. there's something in common in the friendship.

Just want to say all the best to Baochun and Jia Jie, as well as `Ah Boy' (he would shout in protest of this nickname) and his fiance and also another sister. Gosh I am getting old that I don't want to write their names wrongly here..

I also got the contact of another dear friend who is now in Hong Kong. Will look her up when I go there end of the year.

A special thanks to Josh for organising the dinner. Hope there will be more such meetings to come.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Early Riser Losing Steam...

So there it is... four European countries are fighting to obtain the highest accolade in football - The World Cup champiion trophy.

Just realised something quite scary... Think I have been too excited and involved over the cup at the earlier stages and now I'm actually losing steam! I am not that excited afterall for the semi-finals and final itself next weekend!

Yes, the Argentines are out (sob sob) thanks to a cruel penalty shot. But on the other hand, Italy is still in - playing against Germany come early Tuesday morning. And although I support the Azzurries, I don't know whether they have beaten Germany if Argentina couldn't. But again they are of different style of playing.

I have been getting up early for the last few mornings. I couldn't sleep late at night anymore. Last night I only watched the first 15 minutes of the England game and I was dozing off already..

So I practically missed two important matches and found out the result early morning. For the France vs Brazil match, I was up at 4:45am for nature's call and turned on the tv and saw France leading and watched till the match ended.

Early riser has something else to do this morning. For the first time a long long time (excluding when I'm on worship duty) I never went to the early morning (8:45am) service. But I did so this morning and dragged dad along too! I felt fresh.. church was much less bustling and you feel the day is still long.

It is also the start of our church's Mission Month. There will lots of activities and events as well as the challenge to be more mission minded.

Feeling a bit sleepy now.. thinking of taking a nap cos also had a heavy lunch. Sigh, the break is coming to an end. I'm to go back to work tomorrow. Hope I have enough energy to work full day.

Enough rambling for this post. Am going to turn off my PC now... zzzzzzzzz