Pay attention to the warning signs

Some of you might be wondering why the heck I’m blogging at 1am on a midweek moansday (while others might be wondering why the heck I haven’t been blogging at random hours of the morning up until now) – although truth be told, nobody really looks at the time stamp of blog posts so I’m sorry if I have just wasted 20 seconds of your time. Fillers are important y’know.

The back story of this post started a couple of days ago when I noticed a slight itching on my elbows. (It got progressively worse, so much so that I have had to resort to putting band-aids on my elbows – I know, I can sense a trend manifesting too.) After some Googleling, I discovered that contrary to my worries of this being skin cancer, it’s actually quite harmless. Like a benign tumor, but not really (unless you categorize little bumps as growths, which I shan’t). Apparently, it’s some form of allergic reaction brought on by stress. I don’t particularly feel stressed out but maybe it’s a sub-conscious thing. My final exams are only 2 weeks away so maybe my body is trying to alert me to that fact, just in case my brain has forgotten.

Anyways, I went to the pharmacy today to get some antihistamines. I have never taken them before but I’ve heard that word being flaunted around enough times to know that other people take them quite often, so I reckon it must be good shit, right? The tiny box said something along the lines of “blah blah may cause drowsiness and impotency* blah blah” but I disregarded them in favour of the tiny yellow pills. To my defence, of all the medications I’ve taken, none of them have made me feel tired or drowsy – so I figured it was just one of those mandatory legal-lines printed there so that people wouldn’t fall asleep while driving a big tractor and then try instigate a lawsuit to compensate for their missing leg.

Two hours later, they hit me. I had to abandon my episode of Grey’s Anatomy in favour of my bed, and I slept from 6pm until, well, now.

I’m hungry.

I haven’t had any supper and the last things that saw my stomach were pieces of sushi which weren’t that appetizing and all they made me do was think about the parasites swimming in gastric acid. My growling tummy prompted me to get up and scourge for food – all I could find was a packet of 2-minute noodles which had been in my cupboard for so long that I was surprised it hadn’t grown mold yet.

P.S. I’d take pictures of my elbows but I don’t have any camera equipment.

P.P.S. *I might have slightly misquoted there.

Sunset Shoot

I’m sure you all remember the wonderful Tiffany who did the amazing Rhodes Memorial photoshoot from a while back- Since then, she’s done numerous shoots with various people and acquired some fancy camera equipment/accessories to boot. I definitely regard her as a “professional” because her work truly is amazing (definitely not amateurish at all!)  When she asked if I would volunteer again for a Sunset Shoot at Tokai Forest, I instantly jumped at the opportunity to have more gorgeous pics taken (and to spend a couple of quality hours with Tiffs and her hubby, Ross).

The weather was a tad chilly, but the lighting was to die for! The location Tiffles picked was -beautiful-! I’d never been to Tokai before so it was a nice change of scenery – There weren’t any mainroad taxis for one, and that’s always a plus! There were quite a number of people jogging/dog-walking nearby and I couldn’t help but feel a little self-conscious… I don’t really like attention all that much (it’s true!) so when Ross asked me to walk down the somewhat busy road, I couldn’t help but hide my face behind Tiffany’s hat. >_<

I’ve stolen a couple of pics from Tiffany’s Blog:

-love- the foresty background

One of the BEST parts about Tiff's shoots is that her vision generally incorporates many delicious treats, which I get to pose with (and consume during or afterwards :D)

How amazing is the light? I Wish I could scoop up the sunshine and keep it in my pocket

Rest of the pics are here : )

I really had the best time – what a lovely break from all the studying. (Ross was quite the comedian but nothing made me laugh more than that time when he tried to rub the dirt off of my white boots!)

The last stretch

I can’t believe the holidays are over. I definitely miss the undergrad days where we would get 5 weeks’ of relaxation instead of a measly two. I’m back in Cape Town – just in time for the crappy weather to overwhelm my sunny disposition. My flatmates have gone out, so I’m stuck in the flat all by myself eating a not-so-appetizing Woolies meal. It’s times like this where I wish I still lived at home where I have two devoted parents catering for my needs. I guess we all have to grow up at some point in our lives.

I didn’t do so well in my July tests. I passed everything by the skin of my teeth – and while I’m still above class average, the margin of safety is minimal. (Plus, I’m somewhat convinced that my year is full of retards so being above class average really isn’t that big of an achievement.) The next three months is crucial – I really have to pull up my socks in order to avoid disappointing my parents and myself. I’ve done quite a bit of introspection during the holidays, and came to the conclusion that I need to do something about my internet addiction. I reckon I waste about a third to half of my day idling in front of a PC – being unproductive. It explains why my marks have deteriorated since highschool. (Back then, I had a very shoddy dial-up connection and I could only surf the net after 7pm.)

To illustrate, I’ve written a little poem – Definitely not my best work, but it’s pretty close to heart.

I used to strive for perfection, but soon realised
It was nothing but a distant dream.
Now laziness has become
My overriding theme.

The things I ought to do right now
Are left for another day;
Even as I tell myself:
“I shall no longer procrastinate”.

Distractions dazzle dangerously –
Though none is worthy of my time.
I succumb to them in any case,
Waste precious moments of my prime.

Every once in a while,
I look back and reminisce
The days where I could look in the mirror
And not be confronted by a total mess.

Is it too late for change?
Is this truly the last straw?
My inspiration is dwindling,
My purpose, I’m unable to recall.

All that’s left is this pressure
Weighing on top of me
I wish someone would take it off
So I could end this soliloquy.

Anyways, I really hope I can concentrate enough to pass the year. *fingers crossed*

Coincidence?

I generally don’t pay much attention to coincidences. I don’t over analyze them in the hopes of gathering some deep, meaningful message that will make me a better person, or whatever. BUT! I came across something that’s just too funny to ignore.

If you’ve been following my blog somewhat religiously, then you would’ve encountered many instances where I ramble, complain, despair at “the bf” situation. Apparently, people just can’t understand why I want a computer geek boyfriend.

One of the first things I do is scroll through my RSS feed every morning and read the comics. Dilbert is one of my favourite. It encapsulates many of my interests: Accounting, economics, human behaviour and computers. What I love about today’s Dilbert is that it addresses something close to my heart. That it’s posted on my birthday is cause for much amusement.

I realize the comic is taking a jab at how ridiculous it is to have “be a dork” as a romantic preference. Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with that. Ok, maybe having a Star Wars chess set or knowing how to speak Elven is going too far – although I’m pretty sure most dorks aren’t as extreme as that – but is it really such a terrible idea to want someone who: 1) has a nice earning potential 2) can offer me free technical support and 3) isn’t a douche-bag fifty percent of the time?

Holidays!

Boy, am I glad to have this much needed period of rest where I don’t have to stress about exams or spend hours working through tutorials. I must say it feels rather weird to have all this free time and nothing to keep me occupied. For those who missed the memo, I am back in Kimberley – the land of the cold and the lonely. My electric blankie is now my favourite possession and I don’t know how I survived my first 10 years in this hell-hole without one.

It’s nice to see my parents again and to spend some quality time with them. My mom is still crazy (she kept on referring to Windows XP as Windows PX, and she confused a well-known South African DJ who is white, with a well-known South African comedian who is coloured). My dad’s starting to show signs of old age (he fell down a ladder while trying to prune some trees and he’s starting to forget simple things like whether he’s put salt in the scrambled eggs or not).

It will be my 22nd birthday in two days and I definitely get the feeling that time is becoming more precious. My parents want to move back to Commie Land and when they do, who knows how often I’ll be able to see them. Once a year? That’s hardly enough, especially for someone who grew up as sheltered as I have. Because of this, I’ve started to appreciate all the “Asianess” whenever I go home and so, I’ve decided to make a list of all the crazy Asian things that happen in this household.

It’s An Asian Thing:

* No outdoor shoes inside the house – we have a separate set of slippers that are worn inside the house so as not to dirty the carpet. When my friend Candice used to come over, my mom would run to bring her a pair of slippers and tell Candice to put them on (in Shanghainese).

* Soy sauce, salt, sugar – The 3 Ss. We don’t really use any other kind of spices or flavours. We never put soy sauce in rice either because that’s not how you do things the proper Asian way.

* Woks – they’re heavy as hell and I can’t lift it with one hand, which makes cooking kind of difficult. But that’s what we use – don’t really work well with eggs and I keep on telling my parents to get a non-stick pan but nooooooooo.

* Lots of frying. We stir fry everything, even lettuce. But not rice. We have a rice-cooker for that. Best invention ever!

* No presents – For some reason my parents do not buy into the whole present-giving thing. I’ve never gotten a birthday or Christmas gift from my parents. If I’m lucky, I’ll get some money but otherwise, the only thing I get on my birthday is a cake. It’s probably why I’ve never been excited about my birthday. I’m pretty sure the other Asians have evolved from this rather archaic attitude. If only my parents would follow suit…

* Don’t finish everything on a plate when dining out – Apparently, having left overs is a sign of wealth (or whatever). Weird.

* Jam bottles – After finishing a bottle of jam, my parents clean the bottles and use them as glasses. Except, they’re better than normal glasses because they have lids! Which means 1) No spoilage 2) You can use it to make tea.

I had more but I couldn’t exactly remember all the crazy Asian stuff that goes on. Will append this list when they come to me. :)

In other news, my blog view passed 5000 woot!

Weekly Ramblings

Seeing as I don’t have enough time to do a *proper* blog post, I figured I’d share some of my daily drivel in case people are taking my absence as indicative of my having encountered some horrible accident and was left paralyzed like that poor extra in the filming of Transformers 3.

I’m in the last week of study leave and as bad luck would have it, my wisdom tooth decided to misbehave right before exams. Past experiences tells me the pain (which ranges from a 5 to a 7 on the pain-o-meter) usually lasts a week. Normally, I would have my parents fret around and make gooey food for me, but they’re still stuck in the Hole, doing renovations or some-such. Not wanting to study with a huge pain in my mouth, I decided it was time for a medical intervention.

I’m not a huge fan of pain-meds. I don’t really have a reason other than I think I should suck it up and toughen up because people in the Middle Ages didn’t have Myprodols. I know the reasoning is flawed and logically inconsistent, but it’s how I’ve always viewed things.

Anyways, I get to the nearest pharmacy and there was a long-ass queue with only one pharmacist on duty. By the time I got the Myprodols, the pain suddenly dropped from a 7 to a 2. (Wtf?) So now I’m in the inconvenient position of having a dull ache that’s painful enough to be annoying but not enough to warrant a Myprodol. Great.

In other news, studying is slow going. I don’t get why they give us 3 weeks of study leave when the brain’s only capable of retaining temporary information for 10 days [not scientifically proven and lacks citation but I reckon it’s close enough]. So Katy Perry released her Last Friday Night music video and she definitely went full retard in it. She even hired retarded extras like that wheel-chair guy from Glee, and Rebecca Black.

Edit: OHOHOH Forgot to mention: 100th post! Wow now I feel lame for talking about my wisdom. ¬_¬

Photoshoot!

Varsity has taken quite a toll on my social life, as a result, I don’t go out very often and I rarely have my picture taken. After a friend not-so-subtly told me I needed a new profile pic for FB, I decided to remedy that sad situation and go from picture-less to picturesque. So when my friend’s sister, Tiffany, offered to do 3 photoshoots for free, I of course jumped at the opportunity.

Tiffany and I decided on Rhodes Memorial as our location and it truly was perfect. The weather was kind enough not to freeze us to our bones or blow my hair in a hundred different directions. There also weren’t that many people so I was free to be as crazy as instructed. Although as it turned out, being crazy wasn’t the difficult part – it was putting on the “serious” look that put me in stitches. (Tiffany’s assistant, aka her hubby, was hilarious! Every time he told me to look serious, I just burst out laughing.) I also managed to climb a rather epic tree (Ok, it was actually epically fallen so climbing it wasn’t too difficult – but I still struggled somehow :-/) and Tiffany took some amazing shots with that. We then got out the props organised by Tiffs (a vintage scrabble set, beautiful flowers, awesome hat and DELICIOUS MACAROONS) and I started posing with them.

It was a super fun-filled day and I was so lucky to have gotten this photoshoot. Tiffany and Ross were both amazing! (Tiffany also got me dessert – How awesome is she??)

To see the pics, go to Tiffany’s Photography Blog and have a look at her other photoshoots as well. She really is very talented :)

<3 scrabble

Whoaa... That's one big tree ;)

My Favourite x

Best flatmate in the world

Reasons why I love my flatmate Airo:

1. She’s super easy to get along with

2. She makes me breakfast on days when she’s not rushing to get to lectures, and she writes cute messages on pink heart-shaped post-it notes

<3

3. She lets me use her super fancy (and expensive) MAC nail polish

4. She brings home a tonne of Chinese foodstuffs from JHB and cooks up a storm

5. She gave me her funky I <3 NY tie… I’m sure I’ll find a use for this :p

I <3 NY

6. She got me a bottle of perfume that smells absolutely wondrous!

(Edit: Upon further research, it turns out that it is a fragrance by Lancome =o)

Hypnose Senses

7. She buys Lindt chocolates in bulk and shares it with everyone

8. She gets dessert from Woolies and refuses to let me pay for them

Remember that guy?

Many months ago, I wrote about this guy who dropped out of varsity in his final year of BSc Computer Science so that he could join the British Army. Well, he ended up going to Britain after all (but didn’t make it as far as the army itself).  After undergoing all the physical training, he decided that the army wasn’t for him (surprise!) – luckily he didn’t give up right then and there. He applied to various jobs including an IT position at Toys ‘R Us, but alas, even Toys ‘R Us required someone with a degree. So he came home and is now studying towards some computer-related diploma.

His step-siblings weren’t much better. The sister, who was in her fifth year of a 3-year degree, decided to drop out in the last quarter so that she could start pilot training. Monkey see monkey do coupled with a never ending supply of cash from D-A-D-D-Y’s bank account meant the freedom to do whatever they wanted and not have a single worry. The other brother was even worse. He spent 2 years bumming around, playing computer games all day before finally deciding to do something with his life and joined a volunteer paramedic service… until his dad bought him and his siblings a flat in Balito. After relocating, he discovered that there weren’t any paramedic services in Balito (Oh noes!), and now he’s gone back to the obligatory splashing of money at parties and playing video games.

It’s times like these that makes me wonder how parents can spoil their children so much so that they (the children) lose all sense of responsibility and focus. They probably will never run out of money to spend, and they will never experience the hardships that many people face on a daily basis. But how fulfilling will their lives be if they never have to work for anything and see it to the finish?

Hearing their stories really made me thankful of my parents. Sure, they were protective and doting, but they were never truly excessive. Granted, they didn’t have the means to give me a luxurious lifestyle; but I think even if they could, they wouldn’t be so careless as to leave me to do whatever I wanted.

My parents turned 50 a couple of months ago. They didn’t have a party or even spend it with loved ones. They bought a cake and cooked supper, and spent the day just like any other… and it saddened me. I’ve come across so many Asian kids whose parents have simply left and gone back to China because they couldn’t handle being in a foreign country with few friends, no family and bad tasting food. Recently, I met a 16 year old girl who had to get her ex-boyfriend to sign as her legal guardian because her parents packed up and left. That could easily have been me.

I am truly blessed to have such loving parents who work day and night catering for my needs. The sacrifices they made, and continue to make, are immense. Perhaps in a way, I am just as spoiled as that guy – but unlike him, I would never take the things I have for granted.

Break, etc.

Back in undergrad, I used to hear all sorts of horror stories about how atrocious postgrad was going to be. So horrible that it made me look forward to articles where I must spend weekends at dimly-lit warehouses counting boxes and bean-cans to earn my keep. I didn’t believe much of it as I figured most of it was hyperbole and they were just trying to scare us. Boy, was I wrong. Not only do they work us like donkeys, they assume we are donkeys on crack with never-ending bursts of energy. I’ve barely had time for meals, let alone blogging. After 10 weeks of learning and a series of unrelenting tests, I finally have a 10 day break where I can catch up on all the missed beauty sleeps and update my neglected blog.

Nothing of particular interest has happened since my last update. I’m still stalking random cute boys in my class and still being rejected point blank. Perhaps it was my (wrongful) approach; perhaps it was the lack of yellow fever in this region – whatever the reason, I have had no luck in the relationship department and I’m starting to despair a little. Maybe it’s a sign that I should focus on passing the year… It’s bad enough that I’m scraping through my tests with a 50, I can’t afford to waste time chasing after penises (and not get any) AND have my average drop to a 49.

In other news, I went to my first Ernst & Young get-together on Wednesday. The theme was 70s movies (or some such) – We were greeted with popcorn and drinks, and had to endure watching (on loop) John Travolta dancing on top of a car bonnet in his spandex and singing that Grease song. The food was well below par. I mistakenly took a vegetarian burger that was tasteless and bland. After a couple of bites, I switched to a hotdog which was basically just a vienna in a bun so it wasn’t that much better. We then had to make our own banana split ice-cream, and the ingredients were heavenly. I also met a boy named “St John”… … o_O … Yeah, that’s what I thought too.

As a parting gift, they handed each of us a bag and a mug, and they really match my skin tone:

muggalicious

They’re trying to expand their 2012 intake by 70 trainees and so they’ve recruited us as “ambassadors”. Normally, I’m all for showing off the freebies I got but I think this one is far too yellow for me to take to campus. They should go for “mustard” or “jaundiced” next time.