6.30.2010

Prelude to the Awesome Week

A litany of fantastic events have been filling my calendar all week and since I am now on a crunch-time with an essay I have to write for an interview tomorrow, I shall post a very lengthy and somniferous post on Saturday or Sunday night. Either that, or a really short post with the terse but no less true statement: "What. A. Week."

What an amazing Man who's watching over me from above. Thank You.

6.27.2010

Grace-filled Day

Today was an ordinarily good day. I had a fantastic time in church and made some decisions which scared me silly. But God has been pounding on my conscience for the longest time -say, several years now- and I cannot afford to ignore it anymore. So I did what I did. And I am still as fearful as ever. Oy. But I've got a feeling that they won't be decisions I am going to regret making. Not now and not ever. I have faith; not much, but enough.

After church, I came home to a very delicious meal for lunch. Then I sat by the laptop and watched two movies I've been wanting to watch back-to-back. Oh the joy! I would have already watched the third movie of the day if my fingers hadn't betrayed me and clicked on the 'Delete' button by accident. A very bad virtual accident, it was. Psh!

Before I knew it, night fell and I got stoked again for tomorrow. Five theme parks, five friends and one giant G-force ball. I sure hope the last one comes to pass. Because I am madly charged up for the moment I get to rapidly launch myself into the air, leaving the ground behind me and hurtling towards the sky. What. A. Feeling.

Now all I need to do in preparation is pack a spare change of clothes, a towel, soap and shampoo (possibly) and a plastic bag for the drenched clothes. Feels oddly like I'm going for a one-day camping trip. Oy.

Have I mentioned how much I am looking forward to tomorrow? No, I don't think I have. I am very much looking forward to tomorrow!

6.26.2010

Generic Blog Post #32781

Today, I went to the mall with a good high school friend for a movie I wasn't looking forward to. The movie turned out to be pretty awesome. Much to our pleasant surprise, we bumped into yet another dear high school friend we hadn't seen in ages at the bookstore and we got to have a very fruitful dinner together. I had a great day and am very amped up for next week! And I shall stop now because I am boring myself to death with overbearing happiness. Oy. Back to reading now... Double oy.

6.24.2010

No Complaints

Today, I met up with the best friend and two other high school friends for lunch at the eatery located opposite our high school, tried to enter high school, saw my friend's insanely cute younger brother for the first time in years, made really exciting plans with them for next week, exterminated seven cockroaches, napped in the evening and read a book. I don't think my day could have gotten any better. I seem to be riding on a happy wave lately and it is freaking me out because I haven't been complaining much and it is staring to get boring. Ha-ha! Just kidding. Life is good. God is good. I am good.

6.23.2010

I Still Like Lists

Today, I:-

a) woke up at an unearthly hour (7.55AM) to get ready for breakfast at 8AM
b) jumped out of bed like a ninja and changed at a record-breaking speed of thirty seconds at most
c) had breakfast with two good high school friends I hadn't seen in months
d) caught up to date with them over at my place while the TV was switched on in front of us
e) mailed my application documents to Wisconsin
f) ate nasi lemak and maggi mee goreng -just the most heavenly Malaysian food
g) made plans with my brother -who came up with the idea, shockingly- to try our hand(s) at cooking...very soon
h) devised a menu with my brother for our first try (har har)
i) executed stage 2 of 57 in the operation to clean my room
j) greeted my best friend -via text message, I mean- who is now back on Malaysian soil for the holidays!
k) finished a storybook
l) drank nothing but water all day and not a single drop of tea -what a feat
m) made plans for tomorrow

Today's level-o'-productivity: 11.638/10

6.22.2010

I Like Lists

Today, I:-

a) drove to college
b) had breakfast with a friend
c) collected my college transcripts and certified documents
d) ate a slice of chocolate cake
e) mall-hopped between three malls
f) sprinted for my car which was parked at a very gloomy area when my paranoia kicked in as I left Mall 1
g) reverse parked on my own for the first time
h) reverse parked on my own for the second time
i) watched a decent movie with good friends
j) munched on popcorn which I'd been craving for
k) checked out the luxurious country club nearby Mall 3
l) sorted out the documents to be mailed to Wisconsin tomorrow; all-too-familiar moments
m) made plans for tomorrow

Today's level-o'-productivity: 11.639/10

6.21.2010

Healing Things

I have to concede that the last few days have been pretty rough for me. It usually takes time for seemingly bad news to sink in and my mind wouldn't, for the life of me, stop chugging out thoughts to give me a moment's peace. I was, quite dramatically, in a place of doom a.k.a. my thought-infested head. But I have now emerged from the darkness and realized that there were many things which brought me healing, some of which I think are note-worthy like:
  • Just the most heart-tugging message yet on Psalm 23 in church. The thickest and warmest blanket of comfort and protection. Exactly what I -along with the entire congregation- needed that day.
  • Father's Day dinner with the Yeo family.
  • Watching my father do a perfect imitation of the high-pitched host on stage.
  • Watching my father slice the Father's Day cake...rather unsuccessfully.
  • Listening to two new songs (hopefully) slated to be in the upcoming album by The Special Artist.
  • Getting a new storybook at the bookstore because it has been quite a while. No, really.
  • Chatting up a storm over at Twitter about a good movie and a, uh, hunky actor.
  • Skype-ing with the best friend for the longest time today since her exams are now officially over!
  • Reading. Always nourishes the semi-broken soul.
  • A free Shrek figurine at the bottom of the cereal box.
  • Making plans. Not long-term ones though. I need to watch out for those now. Short-term ones.
Tomorrow, I will be heading to college to collect and prepare some documents needed for my Spring application. And hopefully catch up with some friends in the process. And after that, it's movie-time! Yeah man. (My mother isn't too happy that all I've been doing lately involves a trip to the mall and thus, the cinema. Oy.)

P/S: A dear friend in Melbourne tweeted about a gunman being on the loose this afternoon. I immediately texted my best friend who is also in Melbourne. The last update as reported by my best friend was that the gunman is nineteen-years-old, has golden hair and is still on the loose (though his gun has been found). This did not make my day at all. Psh.

6.20.2010

The Man

"How come Justine got green hair???" -My father on Father's Day

He rocks my life. Honestly.

6.19.2010

Cousin Catch-up

Today, I watched my third consecutive movie in three days with three different kinds of great company each time. Today, it happened to be my cousin brother whom I hadn't seen in quite a while due to his mid-term examination. Although the movie kicked butt, I had the best time catching up with my cousin brother over Japanese food. He updated me on the various aspects of his life and I had a field trip laughing at the funniest things he said -especially about his significant other. Just proved my belief that relationships can either be simply great, or downright painful. He is such a matured dude now, my cousin brother. I was very pleased to hear him making the right decisions most of the time and am proud of what he's turning out to be. He also made me realize that our few-month-old baby cousin brother is a soon-to-be uncle in the Tong family. Oy... The only thing -or rather, person- missing today was my cousin sister who couldn't join us. But no matter, the 'next time' we always speak of is just around the corner. And I can hardly wait!

It is barely 10PM but I think I am ready to call it a day. Another fantastic day tomorrow: Father's Day! I think my father has already treated himself with the new toy on wheels he just got yesterday. Har har har. I shall say nothing more.

Signing off!

6.18.2010

And Then

Today was a very glorious day! It kicked off with breakfast with a dear friend who is also my personal college counselor. And then, I photocopied the necessary documents needed for the reapplication and had a quality chat with the college academic counselor. And then, I bumped into some friends I hadn't seen in ages and managed to catch up with them even though it was for a short while. And then, I left for the mall with a very emotional dude who wept while watching Toy Story 3 in 3D...which was, honestly, pretty touching and heartwarming. And, of course, all sorts of awesome. And then, I treated myself to a marvelous beverage of ice-blended chocolate with cookies.

And if you have already gotten annoyed at this point...oh, well, I shall continue anyway.

And then, my cousin brother confirmed that he would be able to hang out with me tomorrow. And then, my father came back home with a deliciously sweet surprise in the car porch which made both my brother and me snap out of our evening naps. And then, I went for the new Homes (or Cell Group) and spoke to some really cool people of Christ. And then, I received a text message from this thirteen-year-old girl I had met the other day asking me if I played [any games] during the holidays; the conversation was insanely cute, mostly because of her. And then, thirty minutes to midnight, I decided to blog about my ordinary-but-not-really day.

I now have to crash since I only had five hours of sleep last night -since I was filling in painful online application forms- instead of my usual ten good sleeping hours. Tomorrow is another day I am looking forward to. And the next day. And the next day. And the next day. And then it stops. OK, just kidding.

Over and out!

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
- First stanza of The Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr

6.17.2010

Why Research is Important

Colorado School of Mines [1st to accept]:
Pro: The name says it all. Perfect for any geological courses. (And, well, closer to Utah.)
Con: Does not offer Geology major.

University of Nebraska -Lincoln [2nd to accept]:
Pro: Awarded a substantial amount of annual scholarship.
Con: Not recognized whatsoever for Geology. (This was my back-up, you could say.)

University of Minnesota -Twin Cities [3rd to accept]:
Pro: All of my credits were transferable except Malaysian Studies. Amazing.
Con: Geology major has been discontinued since January this year.

University of Wisconsin -Madison [4th to reply/1st to reject]:
Pro: Great for Geology, have good company, highly reputed, lovely residences.
Con: Application was never reviewed and thus, admission was denied.

Today, I went from feeling great to hitting rock-bottom to immensely relieved and overjoyed. Of course, the fact that my plan hadn't worked out tore me to pieces at first. But then, by God's grace, He gave me great comfort in the form of family, friends, healing words and the Holy Spirit. My plan must really suck for God to not want to go with me this August to a single one of the universities I applied to. But I won't go if He isn't going. So I am bidding goodbye to August in America and hello to six months of...uh, something...and January in America, hopefully.

This application has taught me a whole lot even though it didn't turn out to be directly fruitful. I made many mistakes and these are circumstances I am going to have to deal with with God by my side. Impatience, selfish ambitions, arrogance, doubts, worries, fears, hardheadedness -they all have to go. I pray they do.

Application Process: Resume!

We may throw the dice, but the LORD determines how they fall. -Proverbs 16:33

6.16.2010

The Wait

Wow, today was an unbelievably long day. I almost feel as if an entire year has passed though only a day has gone by. I have never been this exhausted -mentally and emotionally. I keep waiting and waiting and after making the call, I am told that I now have to wait some more. A decision has already been made yesterday and I am supposedly required to keep checking my status online to know what that decision is. I have been doing nothing but that for the past six months. This has long been out of my hands. I surrender.

But looking beyond this huge boulder which is yours truly, the day wasn't all that bad. My brother finally got a formal acceptance from his university of choice this morning to pursue his Masters. He also collected a gigantic fancy piece of paper certifying his bachelor's degree. I also managed to get out of the house to have dinner with my mother -during which we had a much-needed chat. Thanks for listening, mom.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." -Jeremiah 29:11

6.15.2010

A Day of Many Frustrations

Today was a bit of an, for lack of a better word, emotional day. I went from feeling restless to frustrated to exhausted to frantic to annoyed to increasingly annoyed to insanely annoyed to helpless to nostalgic to hungry and back to restless again. Huh.

The day began very early when my phone rang in the wee hours of the morning at 8AM. A friend wanted to deliver copies of the books he had written recently because my mother wanted to bless a few lovely people with it. Needless to say, I didn't bother getting out of my pajamas when he dropped by because sleep was always more important than not scaring someone with my bedhead.

After that, I went back to sleep for another couple of hours and woke up in the afternoon. Then I edgily walked from the TV room to the living room to the kitchen to my bedroom in under five minutes. Then I proceeded to check my application/admission status over at my student portal at the University of Wisconsin-Madison every ten minutes -no kidding. But, fortunately and unfortunately, the status hasn't changed. Yet. The day is only just kicking off over at Wisconsin and I am trying my very best to be patient over here in Malaysia. Another friend, who is also anxiously awaiting a reply, and I are keeping each other posted -of the non-existent updates- even though exasperation is slowly chipping away our coherent train of thoughts.

Sometime after my 125th time seeing the words "Check back here for updates on your application status", I decided to kill time by being productive. I attempted cleaning my room. It turned out to be quite a futile attempt because my room was pervaded with every possible junk there is...but said junk cannot be discarded. Reason being every one of them has a specific memory attached to it and thus, making them priceless. Aiiee! After doing a lot of staring at all the things I am greatly blessed with and not a lot of actual organizing, I considered removing all the storybooks on all four tiers of my bookshelf and rearranging them. Then I reconsidered and thought better of it. It will probably take me days; especially if I want to be pedantic about it -because then I would arrange the three hundred books or so according to height, thickness, cover (hardback or paperback) and awesomeness. And doing so while I am refraining from screaming out in frustration doesn't seem to be the best idea.

Amidst the cleaning -if you can even call it that- I dug out a bunch of cards I had kept since high school. Most, say two, were from my cherished English teacher. But the most I had were from my best friend. As I read the cards not for the first time, I felt my heart tug for the first time. It's been a while since I last saw her since she is now abroad. And saying that I miss her a great deal would be an understatement. I miss her so very much. The cards also got me reminiscing a lot because she had also mentioned the most poignant things in our fourteen-year-old friendship. I can't help but praise God for being in the middle of it because there were many times when we were younger when we almost called it quits because of silly reasons we laugh about now. There are not many people whom I really cannot imagine life -past, present and future- without, and she is one of them. I can hardly wait for next month to arrive.

After that temporary bout of sadness and longing, I watched a very nifty video which made me envy Americans living in America. Oy. Said video is this, a show called Cupcake Wars premiering in the States today. My tummy cries out in agony. I am reminded of my cousin sister, who will be my accomplice in our very own Cupcake War -with the baking powder, that is- once her exams are done with. Here's hoping that day will eventually arrive. Ha-ha.

I think I may have ranted more than usual today. Aiyaya. Checking the student portal again now...

Over and out.

6.14.2010

Holiday Stress

Today, I woke up at 2PM, caught up with a good friend at the mall, hit the gym, ate baby carrots and made many mental to-do lists. Wisconsin is going to reply latest by the 15th of June and, as much as I don't want to think about it, the majority of my thoughts have been circling Wisconsin's reply. The probability of me being accepted or rejected is split evenly down the middle and I really don't know what God has in store for me -though I am not afraid, just frantic. The wait has been painfully long and I have had plenty of time to steel myself for either an acceptance or a rejection. I am very much ready to hear an answer -whatever it may be- from Wisconsin; but beyond that, God's answer. Be it a yes or a no, I will accept it with grace because I know that the best has already been laid out for me. I just need to constantly remind myself that.

In other news, my father got ill today because of excessive stress from work. I hope he gets well soon. It is never a pleasant sight to see my mostly strong and hearty father weak. I know God has got this covered.

And in yet another news, I am beginning to stress out over the fact that there is nothing for me to stress out over. Google claims that I may be experiencing holiday stress. Psh.

6.13.2010

The Last of the College Chapter

Today, I was introduced to 48 truly fascinating minerals, crystals and rocks via a mini geological book which I had finished in one sitting. As I was reading, it suddenly dawned on me that I had not posted my final thoughts on the subjects I had taken on my last semester in college. So here goes:


MATH271
Or rather, Calculus III. This was the third and final leg of the Math Marathon in college and as always, I had expected the worst -for the first few weeks or so. My very cool and spunky lecturer was definitely one of the best in college and it was truly a great pleasure to be under her guidance for two semesters worth of Calculus. This class confirmed my love for equations even though they sometimes drove me barmy and made me want to burn the ultra-thick textbook which I am secretly fond of. (I have parted with it since selling it to a friend and now I have textbook-separation issues. But nevermind.) As insane as this may sound, solving equations daily actually gave me slight peace amidst all the college madness that was surrounding me. Although I didn't do as well in this as I had in Calculus II thanks to a googilian other assignments and projects which nearly split my very stressed brain into smithereens, I did well. And praise God for that!


SOCS101
Sociology I, also known as the Study of Pointlessness. Oy. Before I explain why, I want to concede that I had really enjoyed all the classes and even -cue gasp!- the Sociology service learning trip to the Orang Asli kampong in Pahang. My lecturer was also one cool woman who always encouraged her students to interact with one another and speak their thoughts aloud. Though that is the very reason why I found this class so mortifying, I chomped down numerous food for thought. I describe it the 'Study of Pointlessness' because the shocking revelations I always discovered every lesson frustrated and infuriated me to no end as there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. And believe me, I really wanted to do something about it. Nonetheless, this subject was a huge eye-opener and as much as I complain about it, I have not one regret. I also did well in it -for reasons which honestly escape me. But praise God once more!


WREL105
One of the best courses in my college program, hands-down. This class was fantastic for many reasons but mainly two: my 70-year-old lecturer and my lecturer's top-notch jokes. It is definitely a fact that the textbook was interesting in itself because it contained teachings of almost every religion out there. But the class wouldn't have been complete without my very amazing and slightly crude lecturer who is the sole reason why the course is a definite favorite among students. I recall feeling slightly apprehensive before taking the class as I thought it would confuse me spiritually. But all it did was root my faith deeper into the ground and I am glad I got to do that as well as come to know a myriad of other religions in the world. The highlight of the course was without a doubt the tribal group presentation for endless reasons. And the 'lowlight' of it was the excruciating need to memorize an insane amount of definitions and facts which almost fuzed my brain. But, again (I'm sure this is annoying you now), I did well. And once again, glory to God!


ECON202
Microeconomics, a semi-Business and semi-Math subject. This course confirmed that I am not made for anything business-related even though the lecturer was superb at explaining the facts, relating them to real-life situations...and drawing graphs. Man, I must have drawn close to fifty graphs throughout the course. But it was definitely an interesting subject and I have no regrets pursuing it during the semester. It was also a lot of fun because I got to view situations in a different perspective and the outdoor project we were (Read: I was) forced to participate in turned out to be quite the college experience. Out of all the five subjects I had taken, this was a subject I was sure I would suck in. But somehow the results refused to agree with me because it went against my thoughts and I did well in it. Argh! (A happy 'argh'.) And everyone go, praise God! Praise God, indeed.


MPW1133
A free credit subject: Malaysian Studies. Uh... OK, the end. Just kidding. This class wasn't as bad as I had pictured it to be only because my lecturer was such a tolerant, patient, open-minded, understanding and knowledgeable dude -all the makings of a leader. I say that because I had skipped a few classes, ate in a few classes (no thanks to my merciless schedule on Wednesdays) and probably dozed off in a few classes. This subject, much to my chagrin, made me become the student I never wanted to be. So that is my greatest regret with regards to this course. And as for what I've learned about the government, the law and the people of the country...no comment.


I am now hit with obvious realization that all my classes last semester had cool lecturers. What a privilege. Last semester was quite a challenge with many small rocks and huge boulders along the way, but it was one of the best. I also had the best company 24-7, too, and that Man is no other than the Man Upstairs. My entire college life -both triumphs and failures- are all for His glory. I am happy I made my parents proud. I am glad I made myself proud. And I am most delighted that I made God proud -hopefully, in some small way. And with this marks the end of the end of my college chapter.

/college

6.11.2010

"Chords of Strength" by David Archuleta

Note of caution: Ignore if you must. This is an entire post about David Archuleta, the book, David Archuleta and David Archuleta. And it is going to be long.

I can barely remember the last time I actually reviewed anything -probably when I was seventeen and still alive over at Friendster. And I had never felt the need to share my thoughts about any of the books I have read all this while. But this is a book I had been very much looking forward to for reasons you can probably guess. I had, unknowingly, set my expectations on this book pretty high mainly because I was so eager to read all about the author's life story. And just like how the author never fails to do each time he sings, he completely exceeded my expectations by an insanely long mile.

The David I first came to know was the David from American Idol 7. I fell in love with him then -as an artist- and I am still falling in love with him to this day. The sound of his voice is what keeps my admiration immense; but beyond that, the many other layers of him fuel my passion for his music and all that he is. After watching numerous performance videos, listening to countless interviews, reading a million fan accounts and even meeting him in person, I thought I had him semi-figured out -David the Artist, that is- but boy was I wrong.

Chords of Strength was truly an eye-opener to David the Person I never knew much about. Having the privilege to read his thoughts and feel what he was trying to convey left me thoughtless most of the time. It was just too intense, too raw, too real, too much of anything to wrap my head around, but yet I could. I had no idea there was that much depth to him even when he was a child and he completely blew me away once again by his maturity, values and attributes.

Nineteen years hardly seem like enough time to undergo the necessary life experiences which would warrant an autobiography. But this book proved that David had been through enough to share the first half of his life with the people who care and whom he cares about. It was more than a pleasure to delve into the years of his life before American Idol 7 came into the picture and my fascination for him has quadrupled. Because if that was the way he was at five, and this is the way he is at nineteen, then I can hardly wait to see what an extraordinarily phenomenal man he is going to become in the future -not that he already isn't.

This autobiography was equal parts poignant, wisdomful, endearing, touching and soulful. It tugged at my mind, soul and heart on a page-ly basis -no kidding- and I can't help but feel as if I was right there witnessing his experiences right before my very eyes as I read. I lost track of the number of times I actually had to pause whilst reading the chapters because I had to digest what he was profoundly conveying or because I had to ponder about the huge chunk of food for thought he just handed me. There were also many times when I paused solely for the sake of chuckling because he has such a funny streak and dry wit -which was no surprise thanks to his tweets over at Twitter.

There were so many messages in the book -far too many to mention- but the one thing I really drew from it was the power of optimism. Having had to deal with a multitude of struggles, his optimism even as a kid completely astounded me. It almost felt like a punch in the gut every time he described something so terribly awry and then continued the story with undiluted positivity and implicit faith in God. Nothing could shake him and I believe nothing ever will. David the Boy has certainly won my heart over. Not to mention, David the Writer.

I also took away from this book the importance of humility which is what makes David the very way that he is. Despite all the success and accomplishments which have come his way, they matter not in the least bit to him. It was and still is always only about the music. And about people feeling the music. I know now that thanking him for singing a song which triggered in me emotions which had no precedent was what he would love to hear more than my congratulating him over his fame and achievements.

I am so very proud of the young man that he is today and this autobiography has done nothing but catapulted my adoration and support for him to yet another zenith. I am most proud that he knows exactly who and what he is -a child of God, first and foremost- and am certain that he will never lose this most important part of him no matter the circumstance. He is the real deal and he is a lover of music to the very core. I beam with pride as a fan -of his voice, of his soul, of his character and of him. This is one boy/man/singer/performer/person who I will always be behind. No questions asked.

"Humility is the fruit of inner security and wise maturity. To be humble is to be so sure of one's self and one's mission that one can forego calling excessive attention to one's self and status. And, even more pointedly, to be humble is to revel in the accomplishments or potential of others -especially those with whom one identifies and to whom one is linked organically." -Cornel West
-Quote I printed on a bookmark which I had given to David when he was in Malaysia

P/S: Special thanks to the friend who graciously got me the book upon its release in the United States. I am more grateful than you would know.

6.06.2010

Aiiee!*

The week has been nothing short of eventful, despite being indoors for three days straight. Resuming from where I last blogged, I had the most glorious news on Friday when a very thoughtful friend who loves chocolate chip cookies and is vacationing in the States got me a copy of Chords of Strength, a book unlike any other. I was so hyped up that I slept at a little past 5AM that day. Partly because of the fantastic news, and partly because I decided to while my time away using a new approach: editing pictures. The photo-editing bug which bit me must have been pretty huge because I have been doing nothing but editing pictures since. Aiyaya. The edited pictures are rather...edited. Heavily. I came to realize that some pictures just aren't meant to be poked with because they look best au naturel.

Today, I finally found time out of my very busy schedule of nothingness to transfer all of my files by the thousands from my mother's laptop to my laptop. I had stored all of mine in her laptop in a desperate attempt to save them back when my laptop temporarily died on me. As I economically used two pen drives in synchrony, I browsed through numerous photos and documents which left me feeling nostalgic and overwhelmed. It is quite a feeling to have when you look at pictures taken ten years ago when the only thing you had to worry about was selecting an ice-cream flavor. It is also quite a feeling to have when you read past works written by yourself back when your only hobby was writing and the only thing driving you was your undiluted love for it. It's unfortunate how I wrote more then -solely for my pleasure and nothing else- than I do now. I rocked in some, and downright sucked in some. But regardless, they were incredible. Past Justine didn't suck. Woe is Present Justine.

In other pressing matters, it is suicidally terrifying to be college-less. I have been following my brother's footsteps by being a hermit and have stayed at home for three days straight now...doing absolutely nothing worth my time. I also have no clue what time of the day it is if it isn't for the clock on my laptop. My parents leave the house three times for breakfast, lunch and dinner and I am still in my pajamas, wondering when they even left the house. I feel like it's only morning and sunshiny when it is 5PM. I decide to take a shower since the night is still young but the clock tells me it's 2AM. I finally call it a night and read several pages of a book before heading to bed and when I look at the clock, it is 5AM. The worst part of all this madness is that I have company going through the exact same routine and sitting just across the room from mine -my brother. Oy*, I tell you, oy*!

Yes. I am certifiably, undeniably, irrevocably, epicly*, completely, undoubtedly, shamelessly, epitomically* and perfectly without life. Somebody surf the World Wide Web, find a site selling cheap but functioning weapons, pick a user-friendly gun, order it, package it, mail it over together with the manual, come over to my house because I would not have figured out how to load it with bullets, and do me the very sweet deed of shooting me. Twice. Please.

I have a hunch that my laptop may go up in flames soon. Just because.

Where my time has magically disappeared to. They are mostly inspired by the author of Chords of Strength.

Over and out.

* signify created words..."like duh" **

** quoting self ***

*** (insert major sighing here)

6.03.2010

Out and About

Today was a great day for a myriad of reasons. I woke up with plans for the day and had a very amusing chat with my mother over breakfast about showers and how I was already proven to be stubborn even through the way I shower. Ha-ha! If you do not get it, feel blessed. This can only be a topic of discussion between mothers and their children. Oy.

Post-breakfast, my mother graciously dropped me off at college since I had a few errands to run there. Since my brother's car would have to undergo surgery for quite a while, I had to quit my job due to the hassle in transportation. And so I did -with a rather heavy heart. Then I went to meet a genius of a friend who had published an autobiography because he wanted to give me a copy. I am in awe of him. And gave him chocolate to express that. The chocolate contained raisins, which are brain food. So that he can be twice the genius that he already is.

Post-book-chocolate-exchange, I headed back to the program office and met up with some dearly missed friends. It has been quite a while. A week feels like an entire month and it is not cool at all. Before I moved on to the next Plan O' the Day, I spoke to the lovely program office ladies and told them I was sorry I would no longer be a beacon of light shining down on their desks anymore. And if you thought I was kidding when I typed that last part, I was.

Post-goodbye, I left for the mall with four incredible dudes who are beacons of light shining down on- I kid, I kid. But they are incredible dudes, that's for sure. And always make great company. Today was no different. I had an excellent time goofing around over delicious beverages. Since the shopping season was about to arrive and some shops were already on sale, the dudes decided to check out nifty-looking clothes while I sat down on the bench provided and moped because the dudes' clothing items looked far better than the dudettes'. One of the four dudes even tried his level best to convince me that the glittery, shiny and pink women's watch looked better than the men's. But I was not fooled. Because the men's ones clearly looked more magnificent by a long mile. No contest there. I think all of them have given up hope on me. There was no hope to even begin with. My father will be the fifth dude. Har har.

Post-fun-time-at-the-mall, my friend dropped me off at yet another mall located closer to my home and I had Japanese for dinner as I waited for my father to come pick me up. He ended up getting a youthful-looking T-shirt which suited him and sat for bread and coffee at the mall.

The day was fantastic.

Pigeon cookie and Iced chocolate with ice-cream. Yum-my.

P/S: I deeply regret quitting my job. Even more so when we inquired at the coffee place and discovered that toiling hard as a barista pays as much as bumming around in office half the time does. Not that I bum around in office. Much. Aiyaya.

6.02.2010

Great Women in (Justine's) History

This morning, I had a long and refreshing chat with my mother over lunch about God, life, people, the things that matter, eggs and egg-haters. I mostly told her what has been on my mind for the past few days and how eggs are glorious and she mostly listened, gave wise counsel and agreed that people who don't enjoy eggs are missing out on life. Towards the end though, she told me exactly what I needed to fix about myself and I couldn't agree more -though I argued at first for the sake of arguing. Nothing like having your mother tell you to your face that you suck. It was both upsetting and comforting. Mostly comforting, because you know you are not alone with that thought.

This evening, I had a long and refreshing chat with my English teacher of seven years over dinner about kids, family, family problems, Mathematics, mothers and the joy of teaching. Since a friend and I hadn't seen her in eons since we began college, it was truly a delight to be in her company once again. We discovered so many things about her college days that we hadn't known all this while. The initial plan was for us ex-students to treat her to dinner. It was in both of our to-do lists since we finished high school. Sadly, the plan was thwarted when she said she wanted to treat us this time. She came up with some really good reasons why we shouldn't be the ones treating her. And we fell for it. Crud. But there will always be a next time, and when that time comes, she will have no say whatsoever on who is going to get the bill. My heart cannot rest until that day comes.

On the way back, a really peculiar thing happened. She got a phone call from her mother asking her what time she was planning to get home since her twin boys wouldn't sleep until she tucked them in bed. After hanging up, she exclaimed, "Why am I getting a phone call from my mother when you young ladies aren't getting any from your mothers?" Ha-ha! I suppose mothers will never stop caring, even when their daughters are well in their forties, and with a family of their own.

This English teacher has had the most impact in my life as a reader and a writer. I never stop missing her and never will because some of the greatest wisdom I've ever received came from her. It is not often that you go under the tutelage of a teacher and in turn, find a friend, sister and mother in them. The extent of this teacher-student relationship is definitely one to treasure because she saw me through it all: when I was 11 and a pain in the butt, when I was 13 and hated reading, when I was 14 and loved reading, when I was 16 and loved writing, and when I was 18 and with cyan hair extensions. She is one of three women -excluding my mother and dear friends who are 'young women'- who are my life's most precious gems. And she rocks. (Pun intended.)

Tomorrow, I am going to college to quit my job. And then head to the mall with good friends for a much-needed chilling session. It has been quite a while. So I am stoked!

6.01.2010

And then it goes "BANG!"

Today, I did something Present Justine isn't too happy about but Future Justine can learn from: I got into a car accident. It was my first (and hopefully last) car accident which was both minor and major. Minor to me...and major to the car. There are many things which I can say about the accident: what exactly happened, whose fault it was, lodging a police report, how badly the car is damaged. But then there are many more things which I can say about what I've learned from the accident.

I never knew just how amazing it feels to have a family who backs you up and chooses to understand first, and assess later. But now I do. It is quite an incredible feeling when you get into a car accident and have your father say that it's alright to experience it at least once; your mother as the first face you see right after the accident -it happened only a few houses away, oy; and your brother, owner of the nearly bumper-less car, coolly tell you about his first accident (which went almost exactly the same as mine did) while he drives you to the police station to lodge a report. It feels pretty flippin' great.

And then to have friends who genuinely care and bother with my pathetic cries. And then to have a lengthy chat with the best friend I hadn't talked to in eons. A decidedly bad start, but glorious continuation to the day. Although I really do think that the Holy Spirit is trying to teach me something else other than how most blessings are always in disguise. And I think it's got to do with patience, tolerance and humility. And then some. I will learn. I am learning.

Do not be fooled. There are also internal injuries, my brother and I later discovered en route to the police station. The poor car. I am so terribly sorry.