Highschool Flashbacks

By popular request 😛

Pigs For Sale
It may come as a surprise to some that my formative (grin) years of old in high school were spent at Penang Free School which was founded in 1816 being the oldest school in Malaya (Malaysia).

Teachers
Yours truly was never the one to get close much to ‘cikgus’. Still, in retrospect a few teachers did probably like me for reasons unbeknown to me. And on the other hand, a few teachers do stand out over the years including the serious joker ‘Lima Sen’, the joyfully outwardly fierce ‘KKT’ and the notoriously bitchy ‘A.C.’. Some were of course good or even great teachers, while sadly a large number fell into the category of ho-hum-ness (which is pretty fine by my books as well).

Infrastructure
Most new students who step in the halls often find themselves getting lost in the first week or so due to the size of the area and the long corridors. Yet ’til today the building grounds stay firmly implanted in my mind and one does get the sense of respectability and historical culture that comes from buildings built in yesteryear. Popular spots in memory include the Editorial Board Room, Board of Wardens room, the basketball court, the canteen & the various routes we used to escape from school…

Friends
Friends make up part of the most poignant memories of high school. For what is any establishment but for her people? From talking about sex in the science labs in lower secondary, to the aforementioned playing truant from school, to smuggling ‘illegal’ stuff into school, and… to learning in a conducive environment with friends from various backgrounds & mentalities.

Strong and Faithful
Penning this post did indeed bring up a few memories from times past. Yet on a sad note, relationships are still somewhat estranged from the current form of establishment due to occurrences such as the failure of going by meritocracy for new student enrollments, and the perceived destruction of school culture by certain parties or people. Memories, however, are a lot stronger than these petty stuff – and will remain for much longer.

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Thanks

A very impromptu off-the-cuff post & in no particular order. Also my erm… 28th-31st Blog Your Blessings post 😉

Memories
We are as men made up from our experiences. Every single memory both good, bad or somewhere in between fallen between the cracks. Yet each & every one of these experiences are largely priceless in shaping who we are today. Like those who say that they would give up anything to gain a certain skill or talent. And the artist who replies, who says I haven’t?

Challenges
Triathlons are there so we can swim across the deepest seas, climb the highest mountains & err… enjoy cycling. Thus men is indeed made to challenge his or her elements. Like oft said, a balance is always best – too much pressure and even the hardest iron bends, too little stress and we find ourselves leaving for the next thing to challenge us. Thus the irony remains that the biggest challenge is to find challenge itself.

Friends
For what would life be without friends (and family)? Even the biggest challenge accomplished lacks the sense of satisfaction without friends around to share it with. Friends of course do come & go over time & tide, yet this doesn’t mean that we should stop seeking to lend or get a hand… or a hug we need.

Dreams
Because there was a dream, now beauty & majesty exists. And what differentiates us is our ability to dream. Dreaming a many-splendor dream more colorful than Josh’s rainbow robe. Dreams which drive, which envelop us & make us almost burst at our seams to contain the excitement within us. Now, that’s magic.

Rest
And everyday, we are pleased & say that we need to rest. To take time for a deep breath & to smell the sweet, sweet smell of freshly brewed coffee (A java blend to be exact). To stretch up with a favorite book, or curl up under the sheets with a steaming bowl of soup if that’s your thing. For when it’s all said & done, Jack was right that work, play & rest is something we could all do with a healthy does of.

Its Yer Birthday!

Just Like the Song
It’s another year getting older. Another celebration on the anniversary of one’s birth. All fun & dandy with the birthday cake, friends, family & everyone singing the birthday song. Yet did you know that the Happy Birthday song was originally an elementary school song titled ‘Good Morning’? And today ‘Happy Birthday to You’ is the most popular English song in the world!

The Past
Those whose birthdays are nearing might reflect back a little on the year past (before the birthday). How did the year go? Was it fulfilling? And we may even get a little nostalgic thinking back of times past. Yet did you know that some believe that Mesopotamia & Egypt were the first birth pangs of civilization which celebrated birthdays? And that birthdays were (are?) considered pagan celebrations and where not celebrated by the ancient Jews?

Personal Note
It was an enjoyable low-key birthday for yours truly a few days back. A lot of messages, calls & greetings from friends both near & far. A couple of cakes. A few ‘makan’ (eating out) sessions with various friends/family spread out over the next few days up til tomorrow. And a number of thoughtfully useful gifts. No crazy plans filled trying to cram fun in. A sign of getting older possibly. Overall quite touched by the thoughts =)

PS. This post is shorter than usual coz it’s my birthday. Pay me 10 dollars as you go by. Thanks !

(just kidding)

Modern Living

Random Statement: I like ‘A Martyr for the Love of You’ from White Stripe‘s Icky Thump Album; On Topic: 28th Sunday of Blessing Bloggings

Modern FurniturePicture
Picture-perfect that is. For what do you see when you think of modern living? Do high-rise buildings come to mind? The hustle & bustle of the city? I view mine as a blessing though with all the creature comforts of technology & life today. Of sleek simple chic apartments with neat views at night. With a mixture of soft sleek durable sofas, stainless steel kitchens and solid metal techno-quipment.

Rest
Since Sunday being a day of rest & all that, it certainly is apt to see how else modern living has made our Sundays more of how we want to live them. Be it to throw a small day-long open door invitation to friends, to spending time with family from the morning dim sum breakfast to a lunch at a nice family-friendly restaurant (real restaurant & not McD or KFC…) or to simply lie back for a nice well-deserved siesta. Have a problem? With money you can just call the Fix-It guy (they were giving out adverts lately) to settle all your house-related issues from changing the broken fuse to making sure all your table legs are the same length. Living you resting (both well-assured and well-rested)

A Couple of Millions
With inflation, maintaining one’s standard of living, early retirement & generally longer life-spans being attractive to many, estimated are given at about 2.5million dollars to be able to retire comfortably at the age on 55. Still one ponders how much of that is truth, and how much of that is fiction in our modern (+ future lives)? Is it a lie from those in the financial/investment related industries? Or rather merely a guideline warning then we gotta really live within our means & continue saving for the rainy days (so we can fly over to Mauritius?)

Books
And yet strangely modern living (at least to my weird eye) equates books & reading (blogging too that is). Or rather a better way to put it would be knowledge and information. For the world truly is getting smaller in the sense that it takes little time & effort to find out about things 3 quarters of the world away. That good things & bad things alike are more difficult to hide as information becomes more & more available. That’s why blogging fills up this role admirably creating a reasonably safe social experience allowing us to see things from the street eye level of another’s lenses (after filtering away all the money-making/product-selling blogs of course – no offense 😉 )

To Live Life in Perspective
Being the modern dream to travel far & exotically, work & play hard, and own multiple properties. But then it depends a lot on our own perspective of things. Whether perspective says owning an iPhone is the secret to happiness, a walk in a field of sunflowers every Sunday or baking fresh bread (the secret is in the kneading). For the biggest luxury of living in the modern times comes down to choice of the individual and not being stuck as Mrs Baker or Mr HeWhoPicksUpCowDung. Pretty good moving forward with the times ain’t it?

Question
What and why is modern living so appealing?

More Changes

27th Sunday of Blessings

Why Changes
This week indeed is an apt week to give thanks to change. Below will be detailed some of the changes seen quite lately and the impact of change.

Startling Discoveries
Well, not really. But it was good to see that some of the setbacks seen lately affects others from all walks of life. That the story of people losing large amounts of savings due to failed businesses, MLMs or even scams are (sadly) very common. And seeing these very same folks pick themselves up gives the rest of us a sense of hope and a dose of can-do.

Other Mini-Revelations
Found that the prescription for my spectacle lenses were off. Way off. (Power only at about ~125 but was prescribed ~225. Heh.) And that another health-related issue faced was actually something totally different from what doctors had been telling me in the past. Interesting indeed. Plus a change in my seating place at work, finishing & starting a new project, a new hairstyle and a change of life goals in mind.

Crystal-ball Gazing
Seeing things in motion once again gladdens the heart. That finances are looking well and yet many more things to grow on. That work is still joyful and once a while catch myself thinking about ways to continue to improve and make things better (because I’m loving it!) Sort of like the precious experiences learnt when I used to MMORPG as the leader of a guild in WoW.

Embracing Change
Does give a nice warm sense of knowing where you are headed to although of course one cannot predict all the twists, turns and bends in the road ahead. Some very simple yet wise words that a friend mentioned lately ring true “If you want something really badly and are motivated to work for it, you will definitely achieve it”. Guess we could all do with some transforming ourselves.

Question
How would you usually approach change in your life?