Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Darn it. Okay, actually, damn it. I’m not supposed to curse, but big whoop, I just did.

I got stupid National Service. I got that stupid programme that the Government (thanks guys; thanks ever so much) created to brainwash us into being subservient slaves to the freaking Government, and of course, the ruling coalition. Oh, I don’t have to say who they are.

And you guys at the top should know if you read this, that your programme has succeeded in getting more couples together and/or conceived than any other teen outing out there. Congratulations. Please understand my concern for my wellbeing.

Of course, it’s not like you’re going to publicize that in the newspapers anytime soon. You may be dumb, but not that dumb. Hey, I’m giving you some credit here.

Whatever. Call me an inconsiderate girl, but I am not going for NS anytime soon. Even if every fibre of my being wanted to (as if) I could not. At least, not for another 7 years. I have an education to obtain, sorry to say. and I will be obtaining it until I turn old and decrepit. Oh, add to those 7 years, the next 5 I will spend not getting married, aka getting my Masters in Biotechnology.

So if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go back to writing my declination letter.

“To Whom It May Concern…”

this has been a rant by Syazwina Saw at 1:28 am


Sunday, August 29, 2004

Yesterday I went to Suria KLCC.

Once again, I am (sort of) glad to say that is a milestone of sorts for me. My family – which extends to me – aren’t exactly aficionados of glamorous shopping centres, where Versace and Morgan de Toi rule the roost. I mean, sure I can pronounce the classy brand names, probably better than the actual consumers of said brands can. But I choose not to be another person to condone the societal mores of blatant class-dividing Italian tycoons with terrible names.

Okay, fine. I also don’t consume, because I can’t afford.

You know what I got yesterday? I went to Kinokuniya (which is my new favourite place, besides my bedroom) and got myself a novel. It’s a very good novel, but still. Most people I know go to Suria KLCC to buy really expensive stuff. CD’s, or a blazer from Topshop, maybe. But not me.

I go and buy a book.

Retail therapy really works for me. Sometimes I require actually attaining some materialistic achievement to feel happy. The rest of the time, I prefer people-watching, and it fills me up with happiness whenever I see a poor bloke, stuck within the walls of pressure from the society to match up with the rest of the world by buying all these things that would empty out their pockets, and not being able to do anything about it. As in, being so damned brand-conscious.

I revel in being a hippie of sorts, and not just in my dress sense, either. But once in a while – and one of these moments being yesterday – I wonder: Would I really be this sarcastic about brands and stuff if I could actually afford them?

My family and I, we call ourselves the middle- middle class. You know, that fine line between the upper-middle class – where they don’t have to worry about being paid the next day – and the lower-middle class, where you can live comfortably, but you can’t really splurge.

My family lives like that. I’m not ashamed of it either, most of the time, when I know that I have learned of the value of money (my friends will tell you that I know it all too well). But sometimes, I can’t help but feel whether owning that elusive Brit punk-band CD might just make me feel better.

Or maybe the question is, whether knowing that I could afford it would make me feel better.

I mean, I feel the pressure now and then. One of my classmates comes into class wearing an Adidas jacket, and I feel that little twinge of jealousy, and maybe a little pride, at the fact that I know better than to waste my money on clothes that don’t have much to it but the name.

And I know the designs and even quality or branded items may be nicer than most, but my mother has taught me that RM 20 for a t-shirt with a cutesy design is a bit pushing it. It may be a bit old fashioned, but I don’t mind. I just wonder.

My father has two jobs. He’s a unit trust agency manager-cum-financial planner on one hand, and on the other hand, he runs around, making several odd jobs, and a bit of newspaper advertising and printing deals. He is financially able to feed us, and clothe us, and keep a roof over our heads, and maybe even the occasional splurge on a fancy meal or new clothes. But I know that he’s not that wealthy, and that sometimes we spend more than we can actually afford. I’m not sorry we’re like this, though. I’m not sorry that I feel the pressure of the ringgit, squaring up on me when I stare it in the face. my father works like this because he quit his last job, nine years ago, out of dignity, and that is something I am silently – albeit fiercely – proud of.

But I listen to my roomies and their shopping escapades, and how they don’t have any qualms about spending their fathers’ money, because “he’s supposed to, anyway”, and I just wonder. Don’t get me wrong; I totally respect them, and they’re my close friends. But do I really want to live like that, knowing that I can afford anything I want, and not being afraid of burdening anyone?

Yesterday, I had a whale of a time watching people. You could tell from the way the clientele dressed, that KLCC was a rich people’s playground. They were all decked out in brands, from the hair bands they wore to their little (and slightly unnatural) toe rings. I scorn people like them. People who follow the crowd, and don’t know that there’s more to life than what they blatantly display on themselves. I think of them as superficial spazes, who don’t know the first thing about suffering, and about being human.

And yet I just wonder: If I could afford it, would I be like them too?

this has been a rant by Syazwina Saw at 7:21 pm


Sunday, August 22, 2004

I’m listening to Frou Frou’s Let Go. It is so haunting, and so ethereal, it’s surreal. I got hooked on it when I watched the Garden State trailer, after someone on a message board said that the trailer was “addictive”. I think it’s mainly due in part to the soundtrack. It’s really cool, and somewhat sarcastic. Sort of like me, I guess. It’s just too bad that the old fogies back at the National Censorship Board probably won’t let the movie get shown here, seeing as how it’s about a clinically-depressed guy, facing his first 24 hours since childhood without medication with an epileptic girl. A pretty girl, but epileptic nonetheless.

I don’t really know how to describe my current niche of favourite songs. On one hand, there’s punk (think the Strokes and all those other guys with the, like, totally rad 70’s resurrection thing going on with their style), but recently, no thanks to A Walk to Remember on HBO, I have tapped into my more mellow side. I’ve started listening to Mandy Moore (aah! Eek! But honestly, she is a decent actress) from the soundtrack of the movie. I have even begun to dig Switchfoot’s version of Only Hope, that song she sings in the play, which prompts Shane West to kiss her (I always close my eyes at this moment due to common courtesy – NOT!). It's so sweet, and it never fails to emotionally strangle me from the inside.

Any song that can do that to me deserves a Nobel prize. But I digress.

Like I said, I am in a sentimental phase right now. Indie loving and all that. And like I said, I blame Hollywood. Couldn’t they have just made a decent movie, without having to slowly destroy all that I have come to stand for, i.e. the emotional invalid amongst us?

Which brings me to my current obsession. No, not with grammar, though Ms. Mee Nee, our Language Awareness lecturer has been scaring me into watching out for subject-verb agreement. My current fixation with that story by Nicholas Sparks has ended with me forking out RM 32.90 of my slowly dwindling funds to the capitalists that squander our money by blackmailing us from the joy of reading. Unfortunately, though, it has backfired.

I have actually come to LOVE the story.

I don’t know what is so great about it. the hero is a total smartass, and the heroine is too sickly sweet, but they seem realer that anything , or anybody else I know. And the reason he falls for her is superficially male (he finds himself attracted to her AFTER she looks like an angel in the play), but the way he loves her is SOOO sad. Seriously. Although I had seen the movie beforehand, and I knew that she was going to die in the end. I got all choked up and stuff. At nine in the morning of a Saturday! It was becoming ridiculous.

But oh, so sweet.

So now I have become hopelessly sentimental. It’s dangerous, really. I think I have been a closet-sap for ages, though, since I loved Peabo Bryson before I even knew his name, and I memorize Richard Marx and Luther Vandross songs like nobody’s business. Still, it’s seriously damaging to my reputation.

Ergo, you must please do me a favour. Don’t tell a soul, okay? If you do, I’ll know. And I know where you live (I have relatives in the CIA, duh). And it would not be pretty, trust me.

So. Do what you feel is right.

I’ll see you when I see you.

Which also reminds me, next time I get to tell you all about what I do at INTEC, and just what makes it so interestingly dull.


this has been a rant by Syazwina Saw at 4:11 pm


Tuesday, August 10, 2004

I am sitting for a test tomorrow.

You might go, "Oh, big deal, the girl has a test, blah-di-blah-di-blah...", and you're right. Absolutely right. This is a rather trivial matter, but as I assume the people who read this enjoy trivial reading, I think it's alright.

You see, I have every reason to be upset about this test. Well, besides the fact that I haven't studied yet, and that I haven't taken a test in so long, my studying skills are so rustified, there's also the fact that this is the first exam I will sit for since the S - ruddy-PM. It's my turn to prove something to the rest of the world, darn it. It's going to be my parents' first evaluation of me, ever since I came to this place, the International Education Centre. They'd like to see that all they've done for me wasn't a total waste.

This is, of course, disregarding the fact that it is a mere essay test for Computer Literacy, a compulsory subject for my first semester here. Also totally disregarding the fact that it adds up to 20 % of my entire grade. Admittedly, I so deserve to fail, because I have been not-so-discreetly surfing the Net everytime the lecturer was teaching in the PC lab. And add to that the fact that I completely and blindly clicked my way into meagre computer competency, and you have a major problem.

I seem to have a knack for major problems.

Then there is also the fact that I have picked up my old bad habit, all over again. I call it Whacking the Unsuspecting Male Friend, but my pals call it abuse. You see, it's this thing where I give the offensive male person a blatant slap on the forearm, for having made social error, i.e. making fun of me, making fun of my friends, insinuating my shortcomings, etc. It's not a good rep to have, to be a male basher in the literal sense of the word, I'll have you know. It's just compulsive. Hey, in my defense, my parents shouldn't have sent me to Taekwondo class ever since I was six. That black belt in my closet is not going to help me get a spot in Wellington U, or anything.

But my new abang angkats have been complaining. So I guess I'll have to find another way to vent out my unpent anger and frustrated rage. Biting my nails is out of the question. I happen to like my newly-grown nails, thanks, even if they are a bit more painful than they used to be.

I wonder if anyone has a punching bag around here...

this has been a rant by Syazwina Saw at 3:05 pm


Friday, August 06, 2004

I have decided.

I know it sounds really pathetic, but making actual decisions is an entirely new thing for me. I have been going through this phase where insecurity and capriciousness have reigned supreme. I could never make up my mind about anything, until my new roommates threatened abandonement if I couldn't decide whether I wanted to go to the library or not. But anyway.

I have decided. You see, because I have been somewhat promoting my blog(and my novel) to my friends who seem to enjoy my work, I realized that I was totally going against the concept of a blog, which is to retire the deepest, most exhausting thoughts one has to the rest of the world, therefore unburdening oneself. And i was not acheiving the level of mojo-ness that I had aimed for when I launched this blog as my sole emotional outlet.

Therefore, some things have got to give. Like my novel.

And I am proud to announce that from today onwards, I shall publish another blog, just for my budding novel (which, I repeat, no matter how bad it sucks, is STILL COPYRIGHTED!!!). It's located at www.startreatment-awin.blogspot.com and its sole fnction is to provide the reading public with more material to gawk at. And, you know, for some people who are in publishing, you know where to get me *wink*

So starting from the next blog, I will describe in penultimate detail the soap opera dramedy that is my pathetic soap opera dramedy life. It may not beat the O.C., but come on. Whose can? Except for maybe my classmate, R... Now, THAT'S a brain.

But next time. Stay tuned!

this has been a rant by Syazwina Saw at 12:26 am