Sunday, January 27, 2013

insults for busy days

pic by

oooooo... i'm so tempted to add this title to my book read list. but, it'd be wrong in so many ways. first, this neat, witty, hard covered little number requires little reading. second, you don't read this, you savour it and laugh your head off. third, reading this (i mean, looking at this) makes you instantly want to practice it right away to see if people who dont read got it (readers usually don't behave beastly like this). this book in short, is a bad read.

I'm currently reading Zafon's The Prisoner of Heaven. i miss the cemetery of forgotten books.

A small ant found a way to my ear passage and made my life miserable. its okey now, but battling the invasion was pure torment. and i lost precious hours of reading. ooo well. (at least, no TV over the weekend)

The book have to wait until Wednesday. Today and Tomorrow will be a busy days. Audit, Audit. haha! (i practice reading insults to ease up my busy days) ;)

have a good week people!

p/s have you heard of Ed Sheeran or Keri Jobe the ginger head boy is amazing, and Keri is singing gospel.
Do search Kiss me-Ed Sheeran, Steady My Heart - Keri Jobe and ya, while you're at it, do listen to Lifehouse (ft. Natasha Bedingfield) - Walking Between the Raindrops.

Friday, January 25, 2013

in need of a quickie? ;)

pic by
i used to despise reading short stories. it felt like cheating. snacking, instead of eating a full course (like, thicker, longer novel~i'm hoping to make that sound sexy, if you dont get that, its your prob). but, i'm changing my mind. i like reading short stories, at least a good one like the ones in this book.

This is the second book in a 4 book series by Oxfam. The main reason why i picked this book last december was because the book's on sale (50% off from normal price RM29.90). i tried to get all 4 books but only managed to get book #1 Earth and #2 Air. so, i'm still hunting for book #3 and #4. these books are worthy to read.

written by contemporary Brits and Irish writers, Ox-Tales undoubtedly are those rare good anthologies.  and i mean, really, really good. if it makes you feel better, knowing all royalties for this books go to Oxfam, ya, you bought the book and you contributed to Oxfam good cause. but, never mind that. get the books, its a good read.

my favourite story in this book#2 would be DBC Pierre's "Suddenly Doctor Cox". because in real life, in my kampung, we have our own Suddenly Doctor Cox. Gumat the undying man. He's our local super con man, once, he faked his own death to collect condolence money from several YBs. his death was even aired on radio, the whole kampung waited for the ambulance carrying his body home for burial. then, he appeared, alive and well, hence Gumat the undying man

But, it's Alexander's Still Life that seal the deal of me taking this book. the idea of separation by air, is elegantly, romantic. and i cried reading this, because i knew the feel of wanting so much and yet not having it because of the air aint right.

Ox tales is an awesome quickie. ya, it makes you desperate for more. 

have a good weekend people!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

January's catch

to read
my first book shopping this year.

1. The Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (2012) RM55.50.
     because you only need to sample one of his book and you're hooked for life.

2. Swimming Home by Deborah Levy (2011) RM37.50
     because i'm a sucker for any book shortlisted for Man Booker Prize.

3. Man-eating Crocodiles of Borneo by James Ritchie (2002) RM25.00
     because this year i'm aiming to read more shit like crocs.

4. The Meeting-Pool: A Tale of Borneo by Mervyn Skipper (1929, reprinted 2007) RM20.00
     because  the illustrations of this book contain typeface of the bygone era.

5. Animal Tales of Sabah by P.S. Shim (2002) RM15.00
     because how can i resist a book that spell Kondih for Kondiu? (Brahminy kite)

6. World Within: A Borneo Story (1959, reprinted 2008) RM95.00
     because the book looks important.

I'd be honest. book #3-#6 =impulse buy.

looking forward for quiet, long date with the books tomorrow. Selamat menyambut Mualidur Rasul. Happy Holiday people!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Jungle Book

Do you know that you can get 2 books at RM8.90?, yes. i got Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book and Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe at RM8.90 (member only at Popular bookstore). bah, you can download it for free from the internet. but, i prefer printed goods, paper always feel more secure, more real to me and it matters when you consider reading as an intimate experience. and the satisfaction of tucking them away in rows of other books, an accomplishment, small victory each time you're done enlarging the circle of worlds you're in.

The Jungle Book (Transatlantic Press, 2012)
yes. i regret not reading this book when i was younger. i thought i knew the story from cartoon and movie. because, basically, most of us know Mowgli. or we thought so.

consider this: then something began to hurt Mowgli inside him, as he had never been hurt in his life before, and he caught his breath and sobbed, and tears ran down his face. 'what is it? what is it?' he said. 'i do not wish to leave the Jungle, and i do not know what this is. am i dying, Bagheera?'. can you feel the heaviness and intensity of his hurts?

i was going through an intense emotional turmoil sometimes ago, a territory unknown to me. like Mowgli, i thought i was dying. because it hurts, and keep on coming back. stabbing, stabbing on the same spot. separation from the people we loved is terrifyingly painful. and i dont know how to survive it. but for now, i'm telling my heart (in the softest Bagheera's voice) 'let them fall, Mowgli. they are only tears' . its just another phase.

so, if you think The Jungle Book is a children book. reconsider. give it a try. 

have a good week people!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Wilderness Tips: Listen, Listen, Listen

The listen, listen, listen fever hits my college. when i entered one of the senior class yesterday, i was greeted by 'listen, listen, listen' followed by the usual greeting. i answered 'animal also have problem you know, not just us'. they laughed. i hope that didn't make me an ass. (to those clueless about this recent outburst of listen, listen, listen-in vain attempt to demand respect, go search in YouTube).

(pic by
No, actually its not a vain attempt at demanding respect. its a major slip of tongue, forgotten if happened among friends, but blown out of proportion when done in public, or in this case in the jungle of smartphones, cameras and technological gadgets. 

Being a teacher, i truly understand the need for respect from students. sometimes, i too, demanded it from the wildlings~(willful, stubborn kids) (you need to be a teacher to understand the desperation).  but we all know, respect should be earned to make it meaningful. It takes effort, a lot of patience, consistency and discipline. All to make a patchy, fragile bridge from one heart to another. and if we're consistent enough, the bridge may toughen over time. yes, respect is a very powerful heart matter. that's why many people get so emotional over the listen, listen, listen fiasco. 

when you demand people to listen to you, your words better have weight.

and i did listen when i read Margaret Atwood's Wilderness Tips, a collection of 10 short stories. all of those stories are richly layered and very disturbing. my favourite pick would be Weight (no, its not about dieting). my mind works overtime over this para: there's something final about saying you were married once. its like saying you were dead once. its shuts them up ~ or in some cases sent them berserk. 

How can i not respect this woman when she put what i have in mind eloquently: i no longer think that anything can happen. i no longer want to think that way. Happen is what you wait for, not what you do; and anything is a large category. i am unlikely to get murdered by this man, for instance; i am unlikely to get married to him either. right now, i don't even know whether I'll go so far as dinner on Wednesday. it occurs to me that i don't really have to, not if i don't want to. some options at least remain open.

if you have not read any of Atwood's yet. maybe, you should start with this 10 short stories. if you'll listen closely, you might find yourself in one of the stories. great tips on facing the wilderness. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

who let the dog out?

i'm a lazy bum. i know. and now, i put up a comic book in my book read list. i know, pathetic. but, i did read it 5 times. i did. that ought to qualify it as a book read.
the comic strip Peanuts is one of my favourite and yes, eventhough snoopy denied being a Beagle, i'd love to think he is. amiable, gentle and eager to please. of all the dog breeds, i'd love to keep a beagle.

i was talking with my officemate last week about keeping a dog. he moved to his own house last year and because its a new housing area, cases of house breaking happened often. he's concern over their properties safety. his wife is an accountant with LHDN and travel a lot (she's overseeing state account), and our job also requires us to travel most of the time. but, because he's a muslim, he wont be able to keep a dog as a pet (its possible, but it'll be really, really tedious). so, he's feeding 2 stray dogs, who keep watch outside their gate.

That's the quality most endearing to us in a dog. their sense of loyalty. they never forget who feed them (whatever that suppose to mean). our kampung house never cease to have dogs. at any given time, we'd have 2-4 dogs at home. they're our door bell, alert buzzer and travel companion. and you'd be surprise how much a dog reflects its keeper's characters.

maybe that's why i wanted to keep a Beagle. i want my dog to reflect amiability, gentleness and eagerness to please. just, please dont call my dog or me, Snoopy. you'll lick your wound. 

p/s: my lembaga perumahan is not allowing its tenants to keep dog in the apartment. so, i'm keeping a stuffed snoopy instead in the house. and, ya, lots of snoopy PJ. Have a good week people!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Let's Run

Joe Bastianich (Pic by food and wine)
i dont have a list of things i want to accomplish this year. i usually kept one.

one of the thing i'm keen on doing this year is to start running. (ooo.. ya, to those who know me in person, you know i dont run). i can walk miles away, but not running. my sister went for her first 10K run (Penang Bridge Marathon) last year and she did pretty well. so, i thought, ya, why not?

we have registered for Brooks Half Marathon (march, 3rd in KL, RM53). i'm running my first 10K. they will run for their half marathon (21K). and, because i was sad and need a morale boost, i went ahead and registered for another marathon in May. for this one, i registered myself for half marathon (at least, if i fainted half way, i have my brothers to carry me home). yes, The Borneo International Marathon, in KK (may, 5th, RM70). just click to the links, both events are still open for registration.

i know i should start jogging to build up stamina. its raining hard daily in Kuching. ;) i know, its a lame excuse. and ya, i'm not expecting myself to run all the way to the finish line. i'd crawl, if i had to.

why run? do read Haruki Murakami's what i talk when i talk about running. Love the man. and in any case, you dont read but love watching AFC or whatever channel airing Masterchef USA, that super yummy, stylish and healthy looking Italian chef runs marathon (pic above).

ya, the ultimate goal for running would be: to be a healthy looking person. because, at the moment, i dont feel healthy. i'm sad, miserable, hopeless, lonely and need to run away bad.

p/s: Mount Murud in schedule for July. hop! hop! 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Happy New Year 2013

i grew up in Christian family with a very open mind (or he tried hard to be) father. when i was a confused and mad at everything (everyone) 15 years old and told him that i'm going to find my own faith (after a constant nagging from my mom asking why i was not baptised yet--the norm at church where i belong is the kids usually get baptised as soon as they're out of sunday school age [>12 yrs old]. the reason is simple--they're old enough to understand the solemnity and significance of baptism), my dad stayed silent for quite some time (like he's measuring up his words and maybe trying to find the right reply to my statement).

His answer: John 14:6. ogumu moti auh ku oilaan diti ogou, nga idi noh nigitan ku om kotumbayaan ku sondiri seawi-awi ginawo*

i became a vegetarian a year after that and promised to myself not to eat warm-blood meat until i get married or i turned 30 (whichever come earlier). i was baptised that year too, my mom cried begging me to be confirmed in the church (i was avoiding pork, and not lived with the family, so naturally she thought i was leaning to a certain religion). that was the year my grandfather passed away. 1996. summer olympic in Atlanta, the year i fell in love with Gloria Estafan.

it took me a few more years to find conviction in my faith. i regard the matter of faith as important for me (i was that serious when i was younger, i tried to be more spontaneous and carefree as i get older). i need something secure to hold onto, to pin everything in my life to one point, so i will not lose my way. i guess, i was trying to find my true north, or the centre of my life, my nucleus. 2001. i felt him, touching my heart (or whatever inside of me) and its so serene, peaceful. like you know everything will be okey, even when storms were raging around. you only need to experience it once to last you a lifetime (or so, i thought)

But then, we can take for granted what we freely have. i got the conviction, i lived my life set by the moral standard of my faith (it sounds boring, it is not. it gives me bearing and sense of purpose). but, try to be 32 and unmarried, i began to doubt God's plan for me. i was eager to start on something new, embark on a new journey. i felt lonely, i felt i was forsaken. Then, something really good happened almost to the end of last year, a few days before i turned 32. i was happy, but doubtful. God settled it for me in a miraculous way. 2013. the year God shows me, he is a personal God. i will not doubt his plan for my life. he got me. and that's enough.

Happy New Year 2013.

*there's a lot i dont know, Ogou**. but, this is what i believe with all my heart.
**[usually] pet name for the first girl in a Dusun's family, meaning: baby girl.

Book Read 2012

Less than 50% accomplished. i read only 35 books last year. 65 books short from the initial target.

35. The Cross Gardener by Jason F. Wright
34. The Hidden Oasis by Paul Sussman

33. Ugly by Constance Briscoe

32. Gideon's Corpse by Preston & Child

31. The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

30. 10lb Penalty by Dick Francis

29. Heart of The Matter by Emily Giffin

28. A Clash of Kings by George R.R.Martin

27. Spud by John van de Ruit

26. Horse Heaven by Jane Smiley

25. The Mesh by Lisa Gansky

24. Lady Oracle by Margaret Atwood

23. Brother Gardeners by Andrea Wulf

22. Fruitless Fall by Rowan Jacobsen

21. Code to Zero by Ken Follett

20. Welcome to Rosie Hopkins' Sweet Shop of Dreams by Jenny Colgan

19. The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters by Elisabeth Robinson

18. The Front by Patricia Cornwell

17. The Girl in The Glass by Jeffrey Ford

16. A Theory of Relativity by Jacquelyn Mitchard

15. Under Orders by Dick Francis

14. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

13. Texas Sunrise by Elmer Kelton

12. The Wonder Spot by Melissa Bank

11. Thin Blue Smoke by Doug Worgul

10. Things I Want My Daughters to Know by Elizabeth Noble

9. Outcasts United by Warren St John

8. All The Sad Young Literary Men by Keith Gessen

7. Over and Under by Todd Tucker

6. Sarah's Garden by Kelly Long

5. What The Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell

4. Belonging by Ron Butlin

3. Leaving the World by Douglas Kennedy

2. Dead Heat by Dick Francis

1. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
My best 5 pick would be:
1. Thin Blue Smoke 
2. Leaving The World
3. Fruitless Fall
4. A Theory of Relativity
5. The White Tiger
For 2013, i'll read more on food, running and shit.