A, B, C

Today was an eventful day. I:-
a) had the day off since today was the country's 52nd Independence Day
b) completed my homework
c) watched a movie on TV
d) took the following quiz out of utter ennui and agreed with the outcome, incorrect as it is

e) gently opened my bottle of enzyme as part of a Chemistry project to release the ozone gas, just as I had been doing for the past two days. Only this time, the ozone gas decided to erupt and a trillion bubbles escaped and splattered on the floor. At the time of incident, my reaction was to groan in despair and frustration while my brother's was to cry out, "Oh my goodness! Did you pee?" In all honestly, if I had a gun in my hands then, I would've shot my brother in the head, and then shoot myself in the head. But I didn't have a gun in my hands. Phew. What a close shave.
f) went to the gym after a very long time
g) failed to stick to my self-implemented bedtime curfew
h) ate cake


The Amazing and The Not

Today was amazing. I got up amazingly early, met up with an amazing bunch of friends, ate amazing food for lunch, watched an amazing movie and spent time catching up with amazing people. Then I went home via the unamazing train, which required a friend and I to switch platforms at a completely unamazing train station, and waited for an amazingly long time for the next unamazing train to arrive. Then I went for an amazing seafood dinner with my very amazing family. Then I worked on my unamazing testimonial for the scholarship brochure. And now I am amazingly brain-dead. Over and out.


Shoot Me

Yesterday was a splendid day. I had my third root beer float of the week and absolutely delectable egg tarts. The college had also rang me up sometime yesterday and the following (paraphrased) conversation had ensued:

Pathetic Justine: Hello?
Caller: Hi, is this Y** J*** J*?
Curious Justine: Yes.
Caller: This is Christopher calling from Taylor's College. I understand that you are a recipient of the National Scholarship. Is that correct?
Even More Curious Justine: Yes.
Caller: OK. We are working on the new college brochure for the scholarship next year. So you have been selected to do a photoshoot tomorrow. Are you interested?
Petrified albeit Astonished Justine: No...
Caller: No?!?!
Still Petrified Justine: Uh, how many people are selected for the photoshoot? All the recipients?
Caller: No. About ten.
Thoughtful Justine: Ah...I see.
Caller: So are you able to come to the Student Central tomorrow at 9.30AM?
Thoughtless Justine: Nope. I have a class then.
Caller: What time does it end?
Resigned Justine: 10AM.
Caller: OK. Come at 10AM then. Here's my number, just in case you can't make it. 01* - *******.
Forgetful Justine: OK. Thank you. And your name is?
Caller: Uh...Chris.
Embarrassed Justine: Oh, yes! Christopher. You mentioned earlier. Sorry!
Caller: It's alright. So see you tomorrow. Bye.
Fearful Justine: Thanks! Bye!

I was both shocked and internally reeling during the call because it was such an unpleasant surprise. After hanging up, my first thought was to ditch the thing. But a friend talked me into doing it. And so yesterday's tomorrow came.

I woke up this morning and immediately thought of what to wear; and how fantastic (albeit impossible) it would be to skip college today and sleep in while it rained. I had initially thought of wearing a skirt and a blouse which I had in mind but I had lab class today so the skirt was forbidden; and the blouse I had in mind was in the washing machine. And I don't like skirts. And blouses. After killing a trillion brain cells or two, I decided to wear a pair of jeans and the new blouse I had purchased while shopping with my cousin sister and friend-who-was-bored-beyond-words a few days ago. If there's one thing I hate thinking about, it's what to wear; among many other things. So I was immensely relieved when I finally decided on what to wear, even though it was really simple and what most people wear on non-occasions; like maybe to McDonald's, or just the drive-through. And I realize that this whole paragraph is just proof of how much I suck.

Moving on from that cringe-worthy moment, I headed to the Student Central after Calculus with a friend who was also culled for the photoshoot. The both of us had assumed that the photoshoot was just to narrow down the ten students to maybe three students. So we didn't have any hopes. Only the dude who briefed us on how to write the testimonial had made it seem like it was an official photoshoot. Huh. My best friend met up with us there and waited as the photoshoot took place.

The photographer was an extremely cool dude. He took pictures of the friend who was with me first and then he came to me. He made me stand by the glass windows and started snapping away. I was frozen in place and just stood straight without moving an inch. Then he asked me to cross my arms, loosen up and pose a bit. Oh man. Being in front of the camera was already such a feat. So being asked to pose in front of the camera was an even greater feat. I smiled so hard my jaws began to ache. But I did my best though I think I sucked. What's new. When the both of us were done with our individual photoshoots, he took buddy shots of us...which was the highlight of the photoshoot, in my opinion. He wanted us to do funny faces and poke fun at each other but I think we were both too tensed up to even attempt doing that. So we just ended up taking ordinary but treasured buddy shots. The photographer had also asked my best friend who was waiting there to join in one of the buddy shots and even took a couple of individual pictures of her even though she wasn't selected because she was gorgeous, truly. And I say that without a hint of sarcasm. Heh.

After the photoshoot, I went to eat with my best friend until it was time for her to get back to class. Then I spent an hour doing homework. Then I had to cancel a plan to meet up with another ex-schoolmate today because the timing didn't fit. Then I caught up with another collegemate over a drink. Then I went for the Chemistry lab class. Then I came home. Then I ate. Then I drank tea. Then I posted this.

Today was highly interesting.


The Weekly Post

On Saturday, I woke up after fourteen insane hours of sleep. At night, I had dinner with my family and extended family at this restaurant in the middle of nowhere. It was definitely an interesting night as there had been performances onstage (that had haunted us) as we ate at the place.

On Sunday, I woke up to the shrill cries of a cat right outside my room window. Sometime in the afternoon, I attended a Calculus tuition for the first time which may be the last time because the tutor had broken down the formulas into simpler forms that he completely lost me. Oy.

On Monday, I had a root beer float. It was heavenly.

On Tuesday, my cousin sister came down to my college since I only had one class and ended at 10AM. Our agenda for the day was to s-h-o-p at the mall for the first time without our parents around. And boy did we execute the mission. Although it was very uncharacteristic of me, I tried on about ten blouses/shirts/T-shirts/tops/whatever-it's-called in total and ended up purchasing two blouses, a bracelet and an anklet. Heh. A collegemate had also joined us and was bored out of his wits but remained more patient than I could ever be. The company was amazing and I had a lot of laughs; probably the most fun I have ever had in a really long time. I also had a root beer float. And a chocolate-and-lemon beverage aptly called Tweety Bird. Huh.

Today, I went to the same mall I had gone to yesterday to hang out with another cousin sister and a friend who had returned from abroad for the holidays. She had brought along a long-awaited gift for me. It is the greatest early Christmas present I have ever received.

Tomorrow, I have a four-hour break in college before my Physics lab class.

On Friday, I have a four-hour break in college before my Chemistry lab class.

On Saturday, I will be going to the same mall yet again for the third time this week to catch a movie with a bunch of friends who has spectacular taste in music.

On Sunday, I will be dreading next week.

In exactly a month's time, I will be sitting for the TOEFL examination. Aiyaya.


Two Great Women

I have actually written the following two months ago after being inspired by a friend's dedication post but just never found the perfect time to post it. And after talking to a few collegemates recently about how the strings of life can sometimes break easily or remain eternally bound, I suddenly feel the need to post the following about the two truly amazing people who have made my teenage life complete: my best friend and my cousin sister. Hopefully, I will be able to dedicate a post every now and then to the people who have mattered and still matter to me before the strings are completely cut off. (It would be wise to stop reading right about now and disregard the following to avoid yawning yourself to death.)

, I am no longer afraid to admit that you are my best friend now…and always have been since the beginning. It is truly amazing to know that we have been friends for 13 years now. And counting. I trust that we will remain good friends, despite any given circumstances, until we hit a ripe old age (hopefully) when our memory begins to fail us (hopefully not). You are such an incredible person and I only wish that you could see yourself the way I see you. You are beautiful both on the inside and outside and I am eternally grateful to have your trust, faith, love, understanding and above all, friendship. I appreciate all those times when you’ve been there to hear me out, encouraged me and kept me spiritually and mentally strong. You wrote to me once that you were subconsciously doing something that wasn’t right and asked for my forgiveness. I don’t need to give it because you have it. And I, in turn, owe you many apologies for not being at least half the good friend you have been to me.

Usually, a friendship between two people works this way: One gives, while the other receives. It goes without saying that you have always been the giver, and I the receiver. Thank you for being with me every step of the way; even before we first stepped into school. Thank you for being one of my sources of strength during the low times in my life as well as my personal cheerleader during the high times in my life. I know half of the achievements I had obtained in high school belong to you, too. I pray that we never lose touch of each other and will continue to be in each other’s lives through adolescence (now), adulthood (next) and old age (later). I am always here for you and am forever ready to be your confidant. Praise our Father in Heaven for you in my life, and the lives of people around you. I am the blessed one in this friendship. Thanks, Ame. You are my sister in Christ.

Elisa, my phenomenal two-in-one: family and friend. I almost, I repeat, almost feel like this thank-you is unnecessary because I have a strong hunch that you know exactly every word I am about to say. But you are one of the rare gems in my life, and you wholly deserve this. Where do I even begin? We came into this world just several days apart and have traversed this journey of life together ever since. And to think, we are now only halfway done. Though we were never in the same institution and social circle, we never left each other out with how our lives were doing every now and then. I appreciate every single conversation we have had and I thank you for being my emotional support, though I know I don’t seem to have much emotions, except those infrequent outbursts you are probably accustomed to now.

Thank you for being the brain while I was the foot (Read: brainless) in my dilemmas and helping me make prudent decisions all this while. I know what we have goes beyond mere friendship and I never fear that we might drift apart because you matter more than you may know to me. You know all my deepest secrets, both the dark ones and the bright ones. Ha-ha. And I trust you with them. I have grown to be who I am today with you by my side and it comforts me to know that we will always be there for each other with each phase we are stepping into in life. I want you to know that you meant and still mean a whole lot to me; even when I was an anger-raging little girl, a timid-looking big girl and now an insanely-pathetic young adult. You will always have my trust, help, faith and support, whenever and wherever you need them. My gratitude to Him for you in my life cannot be conveyed in words. Thank you, precious cousin. I owe you big-time. (P/S: And here’s a cheesy analogy just for you: If cousins were autobiography books, I’d pick you and give it the Pulitzer Prize…if I had the means to. Err…OK. Scratch that.)


Mad Math

Today, I took two and a half hours to complete four Chemistry questions which involve calculation. There weren't even sub-questions. Just (insanely long and informative) question after question. I suppose taking a minimum of thirty minutes to complete a question is a norm when it comes to college homework/assignments. It's either that or my piteous and non-existent brilliance is declining. Still, I now enjoy everyday more than anything since I can't imagine waking up each day to just live through the day without doing anything productive just like how it had been during the last semester break. Of course, the stress that is slowly accumulating is gonna make me regret saying what I just did. But I am still learning to manage my time a bit better and break the habit of procrastination. So far, I don't fail that badly at both of it, just semi-badly. Hopefully, there will be at least 1% of progress by the end of the semester.



Yesterday, I went to bed at 9PM. I woke up feeling extremely awake and eerily happy since I had eight hours of sleep during a college weekday for the first time all year. And since I only had one class today, I got home before noon and got started on my Calculus homework until 6PM. I can't believe I took around five hours to complete eight questions; which were t-u-p-h to the power of two. After feeling semi-triumphant and semi-deflated upon finishing my Calculus homework, I went to the gym for the first time in three weeks. It felt immensely great because truth be told, I had missed the treadmill a bit.


Saturday Night Fever

MTV World Stage will forever remain an epic experience. And this is why:

On the day of the event, or yesterday, a few (school and college) friends and I met up at the hotel lobby the stars were putting up in and we bumped into the band Raygun and frontman Tyson Ritter of All-American Rejects. All of them were really cool dudes even though security was pretty tight. I think I was the least starstruck amongst the few of us since my teenage life mission had already been completed back in April this year. After snapping out of the slight daze we were in, we made our way to the mall to meet up with other friends from college.

We entered the pseudo-surf beach/man-made pool two hours after the gates were opened. Fifteen thousand people were estimated to be present at the event but it had seemed like only five thousand people were there an hour before the show commenced. More people began to stream in until the place was jam-packed as it rained for a short while. It was an outdoor event but we weren't completely drenched (just yet) since we were given disposable raincoats. When we were all finally grey-haired, the show kicked off. It wasn't too long before the crowd went insanely wild and started jumping like nuts. I lost my grip in the first thirty minutes of the first act which was a Malaysian band and nearly fell backwards if I hadn't clutched onto some dude's arm. My bad.

The international acts which were slated to perform were Boys Like Girls, Pixie Lott, Raygun, Hoobastank, All-American Rejects and Kasabian. And boy did they rock the stage. My personal favorites had been Raygun, Hoobastank and the All-American Rejects. I got separated from my friends in the middle of the show and went into complete crazed fan mode. We were all drenched from sweat and not the rain. The energy was just incredible to feed off of and I had the time of my life jumping, screaming, singing, dancing, woo-hoo-ing and rocking out without much care; as un-Justine as that may have sounded. The event was such an amazing feast and most of us were there gratis since the tickets weren't (officially) for sale at all. The 'Saturday Night Fever' is still very much kicking in full-swing and last night was definitely one for the books.

In other even more exciting news, the phenomenal artist who made my teenage life mission complete will be releasing a Christmas album in two months' time. And since I love Christmas, the voice of an angel and the one who owns said voice, I think I can die a happy woman soon.

P/S: Superb live-blogging of the whole MTV World Stage event here.

End of spazzing-out.



Throughout the week, I have woken up in time for college in the wee hours of the morning on only two days: the first day of college with ninety minutes of sleep the night before, and the day I had three hours of sleep the night before. I had overslept on the other three days but still made it to college without being tardy. Oy.

Today, I went to the dentist again for another check-up. The swell on my gum seems to be getting better but not as good as it should be. He wanted to make a small slit today but I pleaded for him to postpone the minor surgery to next week since I was going to have to scream at the MTV World Stage concert tomorrow. And I had actually told him that exact line. He stared at me because I was pretty sure I wouldn't be able to scream much or at all in my still-pathetic voice. Thankfully, he gave me more medication to take before the next check-up or possible surgery. I can only pray and hope that the gum will be completely healed by then.

In other news, I may be getting an addendum to my official name. And that addendum is none other than "Justine" since it is not in my identification card. I really don't know how these things are done in the country or if it is even possible/allowed here. But my brother and I are gonna give it a shot. Soon.

P/S: I ate fish today. I hadn't even planned to eat fish at first, not even after yesterday's post. But I did. Ha-ha.


The Little Things

What has happened since the first day of college on Monday; which I regard as 'things':

Thing 1 - On Monday, I visited the dentist to remove the stitches on my gum. I can now smile without worrying (much). Sitting on the chair of doom had brought back unpleasant memories. And being told that I may need another minor surgery to remove the blood clotted by slitting my gum open just about slayed me on that chair of doom. My tooth fairy is going to go down.

Thing 2 - On Tuesday, I went for my first Psychology class which turned out to be my last since I have chosen to drop the course for this semester as I struggle to juggle -didn't make that rhyme on purpose- with three t-u-p-h sciences. I have the most interest in the subject though, and am most definitely going to be taking it either next semester or the semester after next. Or the one after that.

Thing 3 - On Tuesday, I posted the ad up for the list of secondhand textbooks I was selling at the board with a trillion other textbook ads. By midday, all my books were sold. The ad is still up there on the board...since I am also helping a friend or two to get rid of their now-obsolete textbooks. I learned that I make a really terrible businesswoman; if what I'm doing even qualifies as 'business'.

Thing 4 - On Tuesday, I had to carry seven madly light textbooks -two Physics, two Psychology, one Chemistry, one Calculus, one TOEFL- back since two friends had asked me to help them get the textbooks at the bookstore while I had to bring five textbooks for fun. Fortunately, I only had to carry all seven of them for about 3.5 seconds before my arms gave way and I dropped them all on the bench just in time. Thankfully, I was later helped by a friend as well. The next day, I had to bring six of those and another two textbooks. But I am alive now because I had left two of the textbooks in a friend's car. Huh. I need a locker.

Thing 5 - On the way back home on Tuesday, a friend and I saw a turtle in the middle of the road. The friend backed up her car a bit to keep an eye on the turtle when a car drove past it and nearly went over it. While the friend screamed, "Nooooo!!!" through the glass door as it happened, I guffawed non-stop. It was a really incredulous situation. I hope the turtle is OK though.

Thing 6 - On Wednesday, a bunch of friends and I left for the mall to catch a superbly cool action movie after our last class ended. After the movie, two friends and I headed to another mall to watch the movie I had won four tickets to thanks to the call. My brother met up with us before the movie began. Then the movie began. And I immediately wished someone else had won the tickets instead of me. Because the movie was explicit to the core and there were a lot of blood and dismembered body parts...of both humans and aliens alike. Pfft.

Thing 7 - On Thursday, or today, I officially dropped my Psychology course and met up with the lecturer to explain the reason for my action and told her that I would most definitely be seeing her in her classes next year. I think she may have developed a grudge against me. But I don't really know. Oy.

Thing 8 - On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, I wore a mask to college since my sore throat was accompanied by a fever on Monday and slowly developed into the flu on Tuesday which progressed into a cough on Wednesday. I had the whole desirable package up until this morning. I am not as sick anymore but I lost my voice today and squeaked through the day in college. Pshaw.

Thing 9 - On Friday, or tomorrow, I am going to eat fish.

Thing 10 - There's nothing much already, I guess.



Before my mother went to bed last night, she asked if I had a sore throat. I cheerfully told her no because I hadn't. But lo and behold, an hour later, I had the sore throat. And still have it now. Oy.

My feeble attempt to sleep early last night also crashed and burned. I crawled to bed at 12.30AM and tossed and turned for what seemed like two eternities but was three and a half hours in actuality. So my brain only decided to shut down at 4AM. Five minutes later (or so it had seemed to be), the alarm rang in my ear. It was 5.30AM and I had to get out of bed. It was a definite movie moment in which the person in the show tries so hard to sleep and when he/she finally does, the alarm sounds a second later. Not fun.

Today was the first day of the third semester (Fall '09) in college. It felt really great seeing so many familiar faces in the hallway after a year (Read: a month) has passed. Both my sore throat and sleep-deprivation were killing me and I wasn't able to do anything about it except go through the classes in zombie mode. I had also worn a mask to college for extra measure.

The first class of the day which began at 8AM was Chemistry II, followed by Calculus II and then Physics I. Although most lecturers don't start lecturing on the first day itself, my Chemistry lecturer chose to lecture today while my brain was still hibernating. I am looking forward to the first class of Psychology tomorrow. I know that this semester is, without a doubt, going to be challenging and the workload will be heavy-duty. Even thinking about how crazy it is going to get has got me feeling mentally tired. Aiyaya.

In the meantime, I am feeling physically tired and am going to get some shut-eye right about now. It is now exactly 2.33PM. There are three things I wish to rip apart right now: my gum, my throat and my tooth fairy's throat. Good day.


Fished Out

Lately, I have been eating nothing but fish. Fried fish, steamed fish, curry fish, fish porridge, fish and chips, fish cutlets, fishcakes and fishballs. Huh. I'm not complaining though.

Today was the last day of freedom before college lockdown tomorrow. The best friend came over again to use the laptop for six hours to work on an assignment due tomorrow. And while she was doing that, I sat in front of the television for six hours. Watching two and a half movies. Sweet.

After watching the little motion picture the friend had superbly created, I came to discover that she is actually a pretty talented actress. So natural yet so adept. Awesome.


"Ohana" Means "Family"

Today was invaluable. I spent the first half of the day finishing a riveting book. And spent the second half of the day catching up with important people in my life. A best friend had come over for a while to use the laptop before we both left for the mall to meet up with our ex-Sunday School teacher. We arrived there an hour earlier than the stipulated time and was wondering what we could kill the time with when we bumped into a dearly missed ex-schoolmate. It has been exactly eight months since we had last seen each other so we caught up for a good thirty minutes over ice-cream before the friend had to leave. Then as the best friend and I loitered around the mall for the remaining thirty minutes, we bumped into two other ex-schoolmates. It felt really great seeing familiar faces at the mall; especially ones which put a smile on your face.

The time came for us to meet up with our ex-Sunday School teacher. It has been a while since the plan to meet up was conjured and finally came to fruition tonight. We spent two hours catching up with each other. Our teacher shared about her job and family woes while we in turn shared about our college and teenage woes. It was time spent really well because I have always loved the wise counsel and wisdom she imparts. As we were catching up with each other over fish and chips and salmon spaghetti, I start to mull over the idea of parenting. Parenting is probably the most difficult job out there and yet no parent gets paid for the challenging job. Funnily enough though, it is probably the most rewarding job anyone could ever have the privilege of delving into.

I am going to turn eighteen soon and have yet to crash a car, run away from home, burn money on extreme shopping, slam the door in someone's face, cursed a family member and hit someone. These may make me seem like I have been a good daughter but they are just flagrant acts. Because truth be told, I haven't been a good daughter. Not really. I know I have caused my parents much heartache and trouble ever since I came into this world and I may not even realize it at times. I know I have sometimes taken them for granted just like how I sometimes take everything else around me for granted. I also know that regardless of what I've done and may continue to do, they love me no less. And that's the amazing thing about family. I'd like to believe that my parents have raised me well because I have the greatest parents in the world -just like you have the greatest parents in the world. Both my parents aren't quite like each other. And so they trust me in different ways. And that trust means the world to me.

Whoever I turn out to be in the future, I say with conviction that both my parents get the grade SDHD (Super Duper High Distinction) in the subject of Parenting 101. Nay, they would even probably be billionaires now if they were paid for the job. And I can only hope to follow in their footsteps in time to come. I know God has placed many angels in my life since I had taken the first breath of life. And the three distinct angels in my life who I know for sure? My father, mother and brother.


The Call for Zero Gravity

Today, I have begun eating tasty food. Although the rice meal today took me a little over two hours to finish -don't ask- I enjoyed the satiable curry very very very much. Very. Besides eating, reading consumed most of my time today, too. Just one last book before I delve into the new semester next week. A month of holidays has come and gone. I was talking to a friend about how my holidays have disappeared in the blink of an eye when the friend said, "The dentist ate them all." Ha-ha!

This evening, I got a call from a number I wasn't familiar with after voting for a spectacular song in this segment on Fly FM. The call turned out to be from the DJs. I was completely clueless in the first few seconds and had thought that it was a prank call from one of my brother's friends since the first thing they had mentioned was aliens. Then the name of the artist came into the picture. And I said what I wanted to say on air. The -paraphrased, since I was in a bit of a daze then- transcript of the conversation had gone something like this:

Justine: Hello?
DJ1: Justine! I heard you like aliens.
Justine: Uh...no. Not really.
DJ1: But you like David, right? He's an alien.
Justine: No, he isn't! He's a really...special human being.
DJ1: He's still an alien to us.
Justine: Okay. I like aliens then.
DJ2: So what do you think of first thing when you see a picture of David?
Justine: Inner beauty. Inner beauty...and soul. A deep soul. Pure...amazingness.
DJ1: So you're actually saying he's ugly?
Justine: No! I mean, when you get to know him...as a real person, you start to realize that he's beautiful -both on the inside and outside.
DJ2: I have to say I agree with her.
DJ1: So do you kiss a picture of him every night?
Justine: No...I'm not creepy that way.
DJ2: OK! Here's 'Zero Gravity' by David Archuleta only on Fly FM: Malaysia's Hottest Music.
Justine: Alrighty!

Cheesy. Lame. Uncool. But for the first time, I don't regret saying what I had said on air. (Except for the fact that I had forgotten to thank them for calling me. Oh man.) And not for the first time, I didn't get to hear the conversation on air since I was at a friend's place which has no radio. Because radio was actually a thing of the past at the place. Seriously. But if I had heard myself on air, I'd probably regret everything that came out of my mouth. So maybe it was a good thing. Oy.


New Leaf

After feverishly checking the student portal for the past few days, next semester's timetable was finally uploaded this morning. I was so relieved to see my timetable up at the page that it is now my desktop background. Since I will be taking a killer combination of subjects next semester -CHEM106, PHYS211, MATH172 and PSYC201- I had the sneaking suspicion that certain lectures or lab classes would clash with each other. Today, my fears were laid to rest. Because not only is my schedule thankfully brilliant, it is also exactly similar to three other good friends'. Sweet. Hopefully nothing changes once the semester begins though.

I say for the 78253rd time, time seems to move at the speed of light. One month of summer holidays is drawing to a close and the third semester of college commences next week. I am very much looking forward to it despite having to surmount academic meltdown-cum-suicide as the semester proceeds. Each semester somehow marks a new beginning for me, be it one different from the last or not. And though there are many reasons for me to dread going back to college, I cannot really see them. Instead, I am very stoked to be semi-productive and toiling under my desk lamp once again. I am also pretty sure I'd want to recant the last half of this paragraph once I am three weeks into the third semester. But I am going to be content for now.


The Happiest Vampire in Existence

Note: The following post was written with 5% happiness, 5% pointlessness and 90% rage.

Today started off well. I woke up and began to file the papers strewn on the table in my room. Then I slowly organized the books and reading materials on the shelves. The workshop I had attended had emailed and asked the students who were in attendance to write a college essay as well as fifteen or more interesting and/or random facts about ourselves. I wrote two points about myself -which were about my teeth- and then couldn't continue after that. I had always known I was uninteresting. Only I hadn't known how uninteresting I was. After a lot of brain cell-sacrificing, I managed to complete the list. Feeling semi-satisfied and wholly uninteresting, I shut down my laptop and went to brush my teeth. And everything went downhill from there.

I was gently brushing the left side of my teeth which wasn't operated when the gum at the right side of my mouth began to bleed even though I hadn't even touched the area. I quickly stopped brushing and gurgled my mouth. Several minutes later, the bottom gum which wasn't even operated at all began to bleed as well. If there is one thing I hate to have in my mouth more than vegetables, it's blood. And considering the countless times I've tasted undiluted blood in my mouth for the past seventeen years, I'd actually make a deliriously ecstatic teenage vampire. But alas, I am not one. And I think I just may be reaching breaking point.

Apart from that wonderful news, I have also come to realize that the area of the gum where my tooth was removed isn't stitched. And even better than that, the gum feels as if the tooth is still in there. (Which is actually impossible since there was evidence. But still. You never know.) Due to this trivial thing called 'unbearable agony', I wasn't paying attention to how the tooth was removed. It had felt as if he was slowly dislocating the tooth from the back of my gum (roof of my mouth) and finally extracting it from the front of my gum. I may have been very wrong. Regardless, I am hoping that the solid matter at the exact same spot of my tooth which is shaped the exact same way as my tooth had isn't what I think it is (Read: the pesky tooth) but rather, the sponge he had inserted to fill in the void.

I have been drinking one gulp of water every 5-minute interval for the past hour to wash down the blood. And even after consuming nothing remotely filling but water for the past two days, my throat still feels sore intermittently. I have also learned that it is impossibly difficult to refrain from laughing. So I will have to stay away from comedies -which is the genre I like best. Delightful. Clearly, I am feeling incredibly bitter even though I have no reason to. So I will stop now. I am only going to freak out for the time being until I get the necessary explanations.

P/S: After answering the first question of yesterday's tag, I replaced my old toothbrush with a new one. It is now orange.


When Boredom Strikes

Ignored rule: Once you’ve been tagged, you have to answer this and tag at least 15 people, including the person who tagged you.
Tagged by: kpy

1. What color is your toothbrush?

2. Name one person who made you smile today.
Damon Wayans

3. What were you doing at 8AM this morning?
Reliving yesterday's horror.

4. What were you doing 45 minutes ago?
Watching Damon Wayans on TV.

5. Favorite Candy Bars?

6. Have you ever been to a strip club?
That would be a nope.

7. What is the last thing you said aloud?

8. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Cookies and cream all the way.

9. What was the last thing you had to drink?

10. Do you like your wallet?
Odd but I do.

11. What was the last thing you ate?
Porridge. Oy.

12. Have you bought any new clothing items this week?

13. The last sporting event you watched?
Tennis, from what I can recall.

14. What is your favorite flavor of popcorn?
All kinds! Popcorn is yummy!

15. Who is the last person you sent a text message to and what did it say?
A collegemate; expressing my pathetic and sorry state last night.

16. Ever gone camping?

17. Do you take vitamins daily?

18. Do you go to church every Sunday?

19. Do you have a tan?
Nope. At least, I think not.

20. Do you prefer Chinese food over pizza?
Definitely. Pizza is a big no-no.

21. Do you drink your soda with a straw?

22. What did your last text message say that someone sent you?
"Hey, Justine!!! How was the surgery???"

23. What are you doing tomorrow?
Emailing prospective universities...since I had planned to do that yesterday and today. But as always, the plan failed to fall through.

25. Look to your left, what do you see?
My bed, the Bible, a storybook, my phone, the insect zapper.

26. What color is your watch?
I switch between two -a white one and a black one.

27. What do you think of when you hear Australia?
My adorable baby cousin sister and baby cousin brother.

28. What is your birthstone?
Granite. Ha-ha.

29. Do you go in at a fast food place or just hit the drive-thru?
The former.

30. What is your favorite number?

31. Who’s the last person you talked to on the phone?
A collegemate. And it will remain that same person for days because I refuse to talk on the phone now.

32. Any plans today?
Surmounting the gruesome challenge of eating and gurgling. And reading. Banal as can possibly be. Oy.

33. How many states have you lived in?
Not many. Just the one I am in now, sorry states, pathetic states, lame states and sad states.

34. Biggest annoyance right now?
Not being able to eat solid foods, not being able to chew soft foods, not being able to brush my teeth properly, not being able to speak coherently, not being able to smile without a grimace, not being able to see the biggest stitch at the zenith of my gum, not being able to get the traumatic pain out of my head, not being able to drive often, not being able to fly a jet plane, not being able to meet the one who lives at the other side of the globe, etc.

35. Last song listened to?
Transformers orchestra. Epic.

36. Can you say the alphabet backwards?
Unfortunately, not without struggling.

37. Do you have a maid service to clean your house?
Yep. Twice a week.

38. Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time?
Nada. I love slippers.

39. Are you jealous of anyone?
People with good teeth, basically.

40. Is anyone jealous of you?

41. Do you love anyone?

42. Do any of your friends have children?
Yep. Note that these friends are adult friends.

43. What do you usually do during the day?
Sleep. And lately, nothing close to productive.

44. Do you hate anyone that you know right now?
I only hate my tooth fairy. (Just kidding.)

45. Do you use the word ‘hello’ daily?
In text messages, yes.

46. What color is your car?
If I owned one, preferably a Mini Cooper, it would be metallic blue.

47. Do you like cats?
Only when they don't assault me with their tails.

48. Are you thinking about someone right now?
Food, more like.

49. Have you ever been to Six Flags?
Nope. Never even set foot into the country. Yet.

50. How did you get your worst scar?
Heh. Funny story. Just yesterday, I underwent a 90-minute surgery to remove a giant-sized ingrown tooth and had to have multiple stitches on my gum.

I tag: A, F, I, A, S and E.


Pain Like No Other

Today didn't turn out to be sucky. It turned out to be hellish. A combination of the five years of dental pain I had gone through back in high school couldn't compare to the ninety minutes of dental torment I underwent this afternoon. Thanks to the unexpectedly huge size of the ingrown tooth, the dentist had to extract it in four broken pieces. And the agony I had felt during those four moments had no precedent. My gum had to be injected about fourteen times throughout the surgery to (barely) numb the pain because it was that excruciating. Twice, I had thrashed and writhed in pain on the chair of doom. Twice, I went deaf and couldn't hear the heart-racing songs -bad idea- I had been listening to on my iPod. Twice, I stopped thinking. Twice, tears threatened to overflow but they couldn't because I was lying down on the chair of doom. So I came home and cried instead...for a total of three minutes since my naturally empty tear ducts didn't have many teardrops to spare. They are now drier.

When pieces of the monster tooth were finally out, the dentist began stitching my gum. I have about eight or more stitches on my gum currently and was given two types of painkillers -which is the best part of the whole procedure, really. I had to swallow salivated blood for two hours after the surgery and couldn't talk at all. My father had come home for a short ten minutes to check on me since my mother had gone out for a while and found me sprawled in front of the TV, lifeless and emotionless. The dentist cautioned that it is going to take me one month for the gum to be completely healed. And that I was going to have to eat soft foods during that one month. Because if it doesn't heal as it should, I am going to have to go for a nerve treatment inwhich a hole would have to be drilled in my gum. After today, I would fast for life if it meant I would never have to go through that kind of brutal pain again. OK, maybe not. But I am praying and hoping that my gum will heal in His time. I truly can't thank God enough for seeing me through this harrowing and unimaginable ordeal. And the people who have expressed their concern, especially my family -who, at first, hadn't a clue that the surgery wasn't as painless as they thought it would be. I am blessed. And glad that this is behind me. For now, at least.

In the meantime, I am going to have to smile less, talk less, complain (about food) less and sleep more. Brilliant. I am now traumatized for life.

The bloody tooth, literally.


Wishing Upon a Tooth Fairy

Today was yet another eventful day as it was the second day of the workshop. The facilitators imparted a ton of wise guidance today on a whole bunch of necessary documents as well as procedures during the university application process. The one session throughout the workshop today which I had particularly enjoyed was the oration on the dos and don'ts when writing university essays by a bitingly sarcastic Singaporean Resident Counselor. He was so brutally honest and unintentionally indifferent that every single statement which flew out of his mouth would actually make really stellar quotes. When I left the workshop an hour earlier with a friend, we contemplated on the necessity of sitting for the SAT even though we would be international transfer students in America. And so we contemplated. And contemplated. And contemplated. And reached no definite decision. Yet.

In other interesting news, before my parents and I had left for dinner tonight, we had a little row because I had wanted to drive so badly while they still couldn't trust me. Yet. Finally, I was given the green light to drive with them in the car but as we left the house and I started to get into the driver's seat, I realized I had forgotten to bring my driver's license along. Then my mother shook her head and made like she wanted to take over before she realized she had forgotten to bring her driver's license along, too. So my father finally drove us to dinner. Interesting, no?

And in other fantastic news, the impending tooth surgery will be conducted tomorrow. I was just wondering about the extent of the excruciating pain my teeth and gum would have to endure after everything they have been through so far when I realized that the one thing that was going to fill in the void once the ingrown tooth has been removed is blood, blood, blood and more blood. When the thought had first hit me with a painful smack, I begged my mother to postpone the appointment to the next semester break (Read: next lifetime). But she had no mercy this time. So apart from having my gum sliced open and then stitched back (for the second time in my adolescence), I will also be having the privilege to taste, swallow and gurgle blood firsthand. Fantastic, no? I, for one, choose a less painful death.

P/S: I fear that I am slowly approaching the age of rebellion. Oy.


No Excuses

Today was a very fruitful day. I woke up this morning at 7AM with four hours of sleep to attend a 3-day workshop on Ivy League schools with a friend just for extra knowledge and better insight. The facilitators -who are Malaysian students- of the workshop have all been accepted to Ivies like Yale, Brown, Princeton, Berkeley, Harvard, Standford, etc. And boy did they look the part, too. All of them spoke and carried themselves really well, which really wasn't much of a surprise at all. As each one of them began to narrate the uncertain journey they had embarked fearlessly to make it this far, I began to realize that this bunch of amazing people, perhaps, had refused to acknowledge the word "impossible" in their lives. All of them had trodden on completely different paths, yet arrived at the same destination today.

It was an amazing feeling -knowing that big dreams can sometimes come true with the right amount of determination, perseverence, discipline, support, love, brains, information and above all, passion. With the exception of money, everything else -deadlines, fear, doubts and plain ol' laziness- shouldn't really be an excuse to keep someone from going the extra mile and making the leap of faith to capture the seemingly unattainable dream. (Most of the facilitators who had spoken today had financial aid from either their university or the Malaysian government since their grades have been outstanding...which, again, was no surprise.) There is no room to be finicky, nor is there room to be apprehensive. Diving in headfirst is the only way (in my opinion).

The facilitators had opened my eyes to a lot of things about Ivy League schools I never knew before this -from the tedious application process and formats to the differences between liberal arts colleges and research universities to the types of application windows. Without a doubt, I had gained a lot from the workshop; and today was only the first day. Tomorrow would be the second day while the third and final day will resume three weeks from now.

The workshop today has got me thinking a bit about other options to consider which are out there. (Although truth be told, the zeal in me is slowly dying ever since I got back.) I was and maybe still am never one who dares to dream big. So maybe just this time, I'm going to attempt dreaming a mediocre-sized dream. And hope for the best. Because even though the word "impossible" does exist in my dictionary in large and bold font, it doesn't exist in God's dictionary. And that's all that matters.