Wednesday, February 20, 2008

One Wishes

It is the day of my birth. I am now officially able to vote and get married, if I had the inclination to either at the moment; fortunately for everybody concerned, I shan't be doing either for a long time.

So, I'm now older. Again. Personally I've got a bet going on with myself that nobody will remember, or notice, apart from maybe my family and one or two people who have enough time to mark off everybody else's birthdays on their calendars. I'll be breaking out the new wallet my kid sister gave me for my birthday later, though; it's a birthday present so I reserved it for usage beginning now, and besides the fact that it's got BLEACH all over it doesn't hurt either.

I'm busy studying now. Physics is on Friday and I've still got 4 chapters to make notes of in the next 9 hours. I hate mis-counting stuff.

This is a short post.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Bouncety Bouncety Bounce.

I am currently in my room, after having not been here for the past 5 days and missing my computer rather; besides which, it seems that my firewall has been missing me and has started exhibiting strange behaviour; I think I may have to reinstall it or something.

Anyway, I've been to So Hour and back, and I've met my parents plus the two youngest of my siblings... but I should preserve the entire story in its original order of occurrence or I'm sure to get things messed up one day, and this is the sort of thing I want to remember... well, not because it's particularly flattering--the opposite, really--but it's so darned hilarious if you're not the one involved in it.

Well then: my 5th aunt has a friend, whose daughter is in my class. This classmate is extremely fond of going back to So Hour, and her mother mentioned it to my aunt, who then mentioned it to me that I should follow the classmate back to So Hour to save on transport fees. It was therefore arranged that last Tuesday, my brother and I were to be transported to my aunt's house by the classmate's parents.

It was too good to not go wrong, eh?

The first thing was when my brother got confused about where he was supposed to meet us, and went to the MRT terminal instead of the bus interchange where the Smiling Bus awaits to cheerfully take unsmiling people out of the country. It was while phoning him to check up on his whereabouts, and thus finding out about his mix-up, that I realised my own, much more serious mistake: I'd forgotten my passport, which is somewhat essential to leaving the country.

I told my brother to not bother rushing to the buses, because I'd be rushing to my room to get the passport. He didn't say anything flattering. I told my classmate I'd forgotten my passport and my brother and I would find our own, more expensive and more troublesome route back to So Hour. She didn't say anything flattering either. My father said even less flattering things when we phoned him to tell him we'd be about 4 hours late because of my forgotten bit of paper.

In any case, it was a comedy of errors, as I told my brother while we were on the bus(es); he merely said that it proved we were family (one of the few truly defining traits of the men of my family, as I never fail to derive uncountable merriment from, is our ability to lose our way). Personally I think it's a mercy he went to the wrong place, or I might not have realised I'd forgotten the thing 'til much later (like, say, at the Customs).

My parents, needless to say, were unimpressed by the feat of forgetting, and when we later found that I'd forgotten my toothbrush too (and had to get one of the spares that my mom always keeps in her handbag--the strange things that mothers bring on trips!) they waxed eloquent on the need for a Must Pack list when I go on trips.

All the same, it was wonderful to be with family, notwithstanding all our tendencies to rub each other the wrong way: my father is still an early bird who thinks I should be one too, my youngest brother has developed an astounding fondness for bumping into other people near him, my mom still thinks I should tidy up my room more than once a semester, I still wake up late and never fold my own laundry, my youngest sister has learned the art of PMSing, and my brother (the one I went over with) has developed a sharp tongue indeed. But we still can laugh with, or at, each other and go "Oooooh" when we see fireflies; we still love coconut juice, which we can gulp down by the gallon; we still exchange blonde jokes, and after all, we're family.

Speaking of which, we played Monopoly one night and I lost quite badly: Gobble won. My father said it was because I bought too many properties and too few houses, while Gobble bought all the good properties and then proceeded to raise house after house on them. I blame the dice for always throwing me on Gobble's properties.

...and now? Chinese New Year is technically still going on, although the holidays allotted to it are over; at least, they're over to Singaporeans. My youngest siblings, who study in Fifth Hun, have 2 weeks' total holiday (possibly more since they're in an international school), and are now, I think, still in So Hour--they returned there yesterday after a two-day jaunt around Singapore. They've seen my half of the room and pronounced it in need of tidiness: my father began muttering about the need for somebody to pop in now and then and order us to clean things up.

And now I'm here, in my room, and my family's scattered itself off again. I'll have to wait 'til May, at the earliest, before I see any of them in the flesh again, but personally I think the photos I'm waiting for my father to send me will be a huge consolation. Some of those are pretty good.

Incidentally, the Brats and their parents came down to So Hour for a visit on the way back from Singapore to KL; they only stayed for an hour, which was enough for the Brats to scare the chickens, kick up a lot of stones, almost lose the pet tortoise of my cousins, and offer to kick one of my cousins in his crotch. Stupid little things. The eldest of them was particularly grumpy: Gobble said they were antisocial; I'm much less charitable and I think that she was just irritated that she was in someplace where she didn't have any authority at all.

I think I've almost forgiven them. I just haven't forgotten a single thing, and the memories do rankle so. Fortunately for both my veneer of politeness and their scrawny necks, I didn't have to say much to them except "Put down that tortoise!"

And now I'm back here in my room, with lots of stuff to do--there's a Math test on Thursday, after all--and a headache that I blame on too many days of waking up too early.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Weather Effects

It's surprising how susceptible I am to the weather, really it is; although to be fair, I suppose depressions are a natural part of my emotional landscape by this time. I certainly have gone through more than enough of them...

It seems to me now that I spent most of the past week in a haze of despair and probably blurry-eyed blankness. I diagnosed myself with despair on Monday, and I've theorised that it's due to the immense amount of tutorials that are due and upcoming, as well as a lot of stuff I'm supposed to do sooner or later that I've no idea how to find time to do. For one thing, the Math lecturer's speeches are indecipherable to the point where I've told a few people already that I probably learn more from one hour in the tutorials than I could in 2 or 3 hours of lectures. It's insane... and the Chemistry lecturer seems to think that we know everything, because he's perfectly blithe about admitting that he knows very little about Math before proceeding to drown us in transparencies of reactions.

(I'm planning to take a leaf from his book and make a few maps of the reactions on a few pages--maybe tracing paper--then fit them together when I need to plan out a reaction...)

And, of course, there's still Physics and Anatomy, both of which have lots more things to remember: I've seen the past-year papers for Anatomy already and they're quite frightening actually. And Physics has loads more stuff...

But my biggest fear this semester is the Math. It's frightening how little I know: of both the basics and the advanced stuff the lecturer wants us to know now. I really should do more lessons, but where do I have the time and energy? As it is I barely stagger through the classes for one day, let alone understand more than a quarter or so...

I need more energy. Swimming isn't helping much, I must admit, although perhaps I should do it more intensely; at present, 80m on the breaststroke is about my limit, and though I can push it to 100m, it's very taxing. All those people who keep talking about how invigorating a good sweat can be, generally are not people who are easily tired. Unfortunately, at this point I am not a physical powerhouse--probably will never be unless I suddenly figure out how to go crazy on the workload and stop needing to sleep, too.


Math is difficult.

But the nice thing is it's been raining recently. Like I said, I'm susceptible to weather: it rains, I smile. It rains on me, I smile even more. It rains on me while I'm on the way back to my room so that I don't need to duck for shelter, I hum as I go along in the rain and everybody stares at me while they huddle under the nearest bit of roof.

Unfortunately, the last scenario has never occurred; the nearest I got to it was, I think, Friday afternoon when it rained extremely heavily while I was on the way from lunch to a lecture theatre: all I could do was walk near the edge of the roof for minimal wetness and maximum exposure to the winds coming in from the side (bringing a little bit of rain with them, which was the main point).

Anyway, I'm going to So Hour on Tuesday. I still have no idea about the exact travelling arrangements--have to fix 'em up tomorrow--but I'm sure it'll be enjoyable. Meeting the parents, after all!