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Speak to My Finger
Books I have completed reading since January 2021:

1. The Enchanted - Rene Denfield
Insect market
Saturday, January 16, 2010
The flea market at Amcorp Mall today was boring. The sellers there were like selling things for the sake of selling. There were nothing much special except for a few. I stumbled upon a vintage accessories counter. And scrutinize each accessory. But the old couple were quite annoying. I asked for the age of the items. They replied they were more than 45 years old. Right. Next item, also the same answer. And the man said I'm one hell lot of a long winded person. Correct. Because I was trying to ask for the exact age. Not a rough age. It's so vague: all items here are more than 45 years old. I'm trying to look for vintage stuff to be sold online. Age does matter. So I continued looking at every item, and this auntie beside me kept on telling me "Which one do you like, I give you discount... You like the butterfly??? I give you special discount... Yea... you like the butterfly, right?' She asked me that question like every minute. She won't leave me alone. And I cannot tolerate my politeness, I shot back "You said I'm long winded, but you are much more long winded than me. Kept on asking me to buy." After hearing this, the auntie and uncle shut up.

The thing that prevented me from buying is the slight damage to the accessories. I spotted one accessory and it's quite cheap and it's pretty but one of the carvings were gone. I asked the uncle why is that so; he replied it's normal for vintage. I don't think it is normal if you have kept properly. I have seen some items over 20 year old, and they look brand new unless the photos lie to my eyes. But still worth looking through at these flea markets. Never know what gold I can dig.

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The real memory keeper
Friday, January 15, 2010
I'm now reading a book called the Memory Keeper's Daughter. The book is well written-in logical sense- and the descriptions are very vivid which it is incredible because you would not get lost in those words. You are guided to what the author wants you to see what she sees. I have just completed 3 chapters but it's already sad.... It's about a doctor giving away his mentally disabled daughter at birth to a centre but his nurse took her in. The doctor lied to his wife that their twin daughter died at birth.

This story reminded me of a true story where a doctor I have visited in a hospital few years ago too have given up his newborn child to an orphanage right after his wife died during labour. I felt sad for the child. The child was born into a comfortable life but been stripped in a second to rags. Opportunities to live a better life were just ... poof at birth. What a karma.

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Sugar Max
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
With the official increased price in sugar, many eateries have increased their products between 20 cents to RM1. I only found that out last weekend when my friend and I were buying San Francisco buy one get one free extreme chocolate. Luckily. But still it has made many things more expensive like Milo in any mamak stall and bakeries. Government is actively campaigning reducing sugar intake among people. But does the campaign help? I never ceased to wonder. It might help not because we realised the danger of high sugar intake but the excruciating burning sensation coming from our pocket. If these production companies are given the license to increase prices on necessity goods, won't it be fair to inform all employers to increase our pay so we could cope with survival?

This is whole scenario is granting the wish of the saying the poorer is getting poorer, the richer is getting richer. But this is very vicious in a way. If consumers have weak purchasing power, businesses won't be able to run in the long run no matter how rich business people are. Because mainly the customers are from the working force.

I could not stop thinking of the welfare of the lower income society though I strongly I'm qualified to be labeled under urban poor. McDonald in Malaysia pay their staff RM4.50 per hour. The pay is below RM50 even after working for more than 10 hours. And to survive comfortably, RM50 is needed to survive for a day in the city. I'm not exaggerating since I didn't mention this meagre amount will be deducted for the compulsory retirement fund. RM 50 is seriously nothing. A clothe for a child in the cheapest supermarket is RM30. What can a parent earning RM50 a day to do?

I could not help thinking for the charities which rely heavily on donations. With the credit crunch on the people, they will just stop or reduce the donation amount drastically.

I'm certainly not surprised to see the rise of crime. It's so much better to try one's luck in robbing and working hard like a dog for just RM50 per day. No wonder kids nowadays want to be a celebrity. They learn a lesson from their parents.

The only thing I could do save myself from the credit crunch is to reduce my food consumption whenever I'm in shopping malls. But is that possible? Or just glue myself to home. That would be the safest way provided my house has noodles for me to cook!

Oh yea, remember to keep an eye on the barista who makes your drink. They tend to throw away your money. See the picture to get what I mean.

I was in Coffee Bean in Sungei Wang to have a drink while waiting for my friend for Xmas dinner. I managed to prevent the barista to throw the extra produced from my drink. I don't think I would be able to drink without feeling guiltily if I didn't do anything to prevent food wastage most importantly my money. I'm glad I did.

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Mystery Shopping?
Monday, January 11, 2010
Ugh. Some mystery shopping company is just so particular. It gets on my nerve. I have been doing mystery shopping lately for the money. I joined these companies for fun at first but now I don't consider it fun anymore. It becomes more like a rigid chore. Yes, I'm paid to go shopping at certain companies in a shopping mall. And in return I have to write a report to the company. It sounds simple but it is not. It sometimes takes me 3 hours to write one. I remembered the latest I completed my report was at 4.30 am. Oh well that was because I was distracted by the TV. HAHA. But still I dislike writing report though the excel format is user friendly; I just need to write my report according to the listed categories. But still squeezing brain juice to write the scenarios happened during my conduct is not an easy feat. The report has to be detailed from what the staff says to the closing transaction. Not only that, I have to study the shop's environment at the time I entered. I need to observe what other staff were doing... how many customers ... etc.

Shopping became not fun.

The worse part is I need to buy something from the shop though none of the items in the shop suited my taste. But on the bright side, I have two options: Keep the item and get discount or return the item for a full reimbursement. On top of that, I will get my pay, though it is not much. But I get to buy things for myself given in that I don't do shopping at all except window shopping. Yup, it's my habit to buy things until my things are extremely worn out.

I just fixed a report requested by a mystery shopping company. I thought I didn't give a clear explanation but that was not the reason. The reason was I didn't number my comment in a big box, which super irritated me. To make the report more efficient, the creator of the report should just add more columns instead of a big box at the end of the report for further elaboration. In fact, this is the most fussiest company I have ever came across. I need to take a photo of the product and the store sign.... and I need to give the date and time in order to 'bid' for the job. Sigh. It's for the money though, hopefully it is worth!

Though I know I now needed a break from these assignments, I just feel sad for not having any assignments for this month. No assignments no money.

On the brighter side, I think I would have some mystery shopping assignments coming soon as I have given some details to another mystery shopping company and will be applying for another company.

Do you get rich being a mystery shopper? No, that's because you are in Malaysia and there is not many assignment you can get here. But I heard some people in the US earn like 4 figures a month. Well, that's because they are mystery shoppers in every hour in several places in a day. To be frank, you won't enjoy shopping anymore if you do so many assignments in a day unless you have lots of exciting assignments like sleep tester in a hotel or cruise, entitled to 50% discount in some branded boutiques or paid for your grocery. But these examples are unheard or rare in Malaysia except for the grocery. Even still, this assignment is hard to grab. I never got them after trying to bid for like a year.

Don't know what is mystery shopping? In layman terms, you are paid to go into a shop and ask a list of questions with or without buying anything and submit a report after your assignment. If you can't write reports and lazy to do so. Don't dream of being one. These companies are very demanding. You are forewarned.

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Marriage is not all about Love
Friday, January 8, 2010
OK. I woke up one day after a few days of New Year, I realised I'm already older and my bank account has shrunk further than I have expected. And then suddenly myself said I'm screwed up. Never mind because it's never too late. So on a high energy level, I started off my day with enthusiasm to fix my bank account and hypnotize myself that I'm sweet 18 until....

Yesterday ...

My vocal teacher and I had dinner together last night. She looked like a zombie whose fun has grew out of attacking living beings. I almost could not recognise her. She just looked so much older than her age. During dinner, she told me that she has nothing to look forward to in 2010. She simply has lost inspiration to do anything, which explained her moodiness. I suggested her to read some romance books or sing more sad songs to listing her dreams in a book. She said these won't help. Looking at her so down, I shared with her that 2 days ago I told my Brazilian friend over MSN that I have no longer have joy in living. That's because every morning the first thing crosses my mind is MONEY. I hate to admit but the truth is I'm now a money slave. I work for money.

We continued eating.

Then she brought up the question: When is your turn to get married? I didn't choke on my food but irritated. I have been given lecture on marriage since Xmas 2009 till yesterday. My friends keep giving me tips on marriage, which simply is marry a rich man and learn the flirtatious personality of my very good friend. Why? Because the man's wealth will be shared with me. If that is the case, why am I reading a case of a royal family in Malaysia requesting his wife to return the money she borrowed through court? Never mind that. I just replied that I have not found happiness and I don't want to rely on the guy for happiness. Because it would be unfair. And I don't think I'm ready for marriage or even settling down.

And the most irritating statement of all: You are already 24-ish, and yet you are still nowhere; not even successful. Everything you do is incomplete. To be frank, I don't need to be reminded of my age and my status. My mind is pulled into somewhat depression because of the word SUCCESSFUL. My mother was the first person to throw that word to me and then my bosses and now my vocal teacher. I kept asking myself What is the meaning of being successful as I sat in the train for 40 minutes. To be precised: What is YOUR definition of successful? Would your definition be the same as mine? I wanted to tell her off to not cleanse my belief just because my way of thinking is different than the normal society thinking. A lecturer has even told me to stop being different from the others. Is that what you call critical thinking?

Actually who cares about success? Actually what is success? There are some singers who are very successful but they don't have much money in their bank account (yes I do know who). Does successful mean you need to be a director of a company and your name must be in every magazine? If yes so? At the end of the day, you will still go home and be yourself, and yet still feeling EMPTY. OK. Empty or not could be my assumption but my point is what is the meaning of success? This is what my friend wrote in an email:

What is the meaning of life?

For some it is a successful career.

But one day they have to retire,

For some it is to obtain lots of money,

But once he has amassed mountains - it becomes nothing more than dirt,

For some it is to continue his pursuits of knowledge,

But after he becomes a scholar - he soon starts to forgets,

For some it is to wield power,

But he will always be afraid it may be lost,

For some it is to be famous,

But he will desperately seek intervals of solitude,

For some is to seize the day,

But no matter how hard he tries - the day still leaves him,

For some it is to nurture his children,

But one day his children will no longer need him,

For some it is to fight for a right cause,

But some day his cause maybe replaced with a sense of self righteous,

For some it is to be a spiritual being,

But one day his spirit becomes self centred,

It is the unfortunate curse of being,

Sometimes delusions that would take us over,

Sometimes a cover-up we are unwilling to face,

It is the human 'being',

From 'not being' to 'no longer being',

No need for high ambitions,

For there is no ambition for a destiny known,

For there can be no new destination in a cycle,

There is no reason for planning for a result predetermined,

The answer is often near us,

As close as our veins that keeps us alive,

But we are unable to uncover its secrets,

To be quite - so as to listen to its melody,

To be calm - so as to feel its softness,

To be sensitive - so as to absorb its sweet aroma,

To be still - so as to see its beauty,

To be aware - so as to feel its presence,

To be content - so as to return to its being,

But alas we are too busy with our search for meanings,

Often not realizing it has always been with us.

I didn't reply anything to my teacher's statement because I want to be polite. So I kept quiet and smiled with a pain in the heart. Suddenly, she said 'You know marriage is also a success in terms of keeping your marriage together.' Huh?!! I continued to smile because still she doesn't get it: That is her definition of success. Just because I'm not married, don't go talking me into marrying one. Don't go asking me 'Don't you want to have someone in your life? ' Don't go asking me 'How come you are so abnormal for not wanting to be kissed?'

Simply put: I don't owe anyone any explanation except to my own sanity. Is success that important? What if I have become a director of an environmental NGO? You consider that as a success? OK. Fine. But you all will definitely criticize my NGO for not having any money! But you also labeled my position as a success! So... screw SUCCESS! And are you all blind to my diligence in being successful?!

In a workshop I attended in 2007, T. Harv Eker considered SUCCESS as things you have completed TODAY regardless of how unimportant or minuscule the task is. Don't be afraid to say it out because it is your success! This practice was very moral uplifting!

Why are we so afraid to be different from society?? I'm not gay and yet I have been labeled as Abnormal (not outcast - yet) by society. Don't you think there is something wrong with the society?

Screw success... Money is more important.

My success for yesterday: Sang Hot and Cold by Kate Perry with correct tune! Yes! So now I can go to Karaoke to show off!

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Happy New Year!
Monday, January 4, 2010
I know you all miss me. =)

Happy New Year! Would post more soon!

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