Monday, December 26, 2005

Merry Christmas! *pant pant pant*

Well, I know it's kinda late, but you know Christmas is a super busy time and all, what with all the gift buying and wrapping, and parties and seeing relatives I don't see for I apologize for the lateness, but Merry Christmas! Isn't Sassy just a cutie?

Friday, December 23, 2005


Me tired. Working.... at uni everyday. Also.... doing volunteer work for WWF... some tiger conservation stuff.... organizing data from camera trap photos.... Christmas in three days... me going carolling every night from wednesday to friday.... have to go all over the place... come home around midnight.... next day go work again..... no time to do Christmas shopping... Wonder if I should do last minute shopping?... Also dunno what to buy... Next week me going to Singapore for holiday... need to arrange transport... and accommodation... and plan where to go in Singapore... and save money for trip to Singapore.... So braindead.... Must sleep now.... Bleh..... *_*

Monday, December 12, 2005

Carol's first job interview!

I've just been reading about the latest case (which actually happened a while ago in November) about this kid called Khairul Anuar Salim, who was attacked by two hooligans when he tried to stop them from teasing a girl. The hooligans don't piss me off half as much as the hospital to which the kid was sent to. The deposit for the treatment was RM5000, and as it was, the family of the boy didn't have enough money for the deposit at the time, even though they actually could afford it. The hospital people said they wouldn't pay til they got the money, and as a result, the kid died when they started treating him too late. Well, I've already blogged about a similar scenario before, so I won't waste anymore web space on the same ol' complaints. I just hope now the government will live up to their word and revoke the hospital's license for not giving the emergency treatment. I also just sent my opinion to the editors of the Star and the Sun, suggesting that the government set up a healthcare system like Australia's Medicare system. I guess lambasting the hospitals isn't going to help much, but pushing for a change in the healthcare system might!

Anyway, in other news, I just went for my very first job interview last Thursday at a biotech company called Nimura Genetic Solutions based in FRIM. Basically, they extract bioactive compounds from soil microorganisms and plants. And work there involves being stuck in a lab all day, although there is the occasionally romp in the forest to collect soil samples. Nevertheless, it is not a job I'm dying to get. But they were the only company so far to call me in for a real job interview, and it doesn't hurt to find out what they have to offer.

As it turns out, there were quite a number of other people there who were asked in for the interview for two vacancies. Apparently there was a newspaper ad, which I didn't know about. I just sent in an open application coz' my uncle suggested this company. So there I was, in a big conference room with about nine other hopefuls, being grilled by this Japanese-looking guy who didn't say a word, and Chinese lady who did all the talking. Fortunately, I wasn't nervous at all, thanks to much experience in public performances and doing presentations. They only asked a few questions for all of us to answer. First question was "Introduce yourself". And man, I tell you, some of the applicants can really drone on and on about themselves and their life achievements. Some of the people there were also quite experienced, having done their masters and stuff, while only I and another girl were fresh graduates without even honours. So the only things I could expound on were my exemplary grades in uni, and my work experience in a biotech company for my industrial training, and my current part-time RA work with my lecturer.

The next question they asked was "What do you know about our company?". I maintained my poker smiley face, but in my head I was thinking "Oooohhhhhh, crap!". The first guy who answered did not help my confidence. He went on to give the whole history of the company, from when it was established, who worked there, and other stuff he ripped off the company website. Man, he really did his homework. All I could say was that the company did extractions of bioactive compounds from microorganisms and plants. I guess that didn't go down well with the interviewers.

The next question they asked wasn't much better. "Tell us about your honours or masters project". Again, the more experienced applicants went blabbering on for ages about their projects. All I could say was that I hadn't done any projects, but I have some work experience. Bleh.

From then on, I think the interviewers weren't too interested in me anymore coz' they asked everyone else one last question, except for me! They even asked the other fresh grad who had no work experience even, so I'm like "Hmm...did they forget me or something?".

Anyway, they should contact me within the next couple of weeks to let me know whether or not I've been shortlisted. I doubt that I have. In any case, I'm not gonna be too freaked about it. I had also applied to WWF, and even though they said they have no paid positions locally, they do have available positions in Melaka working in Hawksbill turtle conservation. That involves working with an animal, AND working in a marine environment, both of which I love, so I think I will probably go for that! I need to find out more about the job and the salary and all that crap though. I hope the pay's not too pathetic, or else my dad will not be too approving. Must start a praying!

Anyway, I'm still glad I went for that interview, coz' at least now I have some experience on what a job interview is like. Next time, I must do more research on the company who's interviewing me! And I gotta learn to sell myself more and really highlight the good stuff about me that will be useful to the company. Other than that, I'm glad I didn't choke when I spoke. One guy there seemed pretty nervous, even though he had a masters and all. Ah well, it was a good experience. :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Back to Monash again!

I finally got round to updating my sidebar thingy with latest bits of info of what I'm actually up to. Hehe. I kinda wanna change my scroller message at the bottom, but I'm still too lazy to think of something stupid to write. Any suggestions are most welcome. :P
Anyway, I found out that there is no opening available for me at the Singapore Zoo, although the research and conservation officer I was corresponding with said she would keep me in mind if a position became available. I don't know if she actually will, but I'm still keeping my fingers crossed that soon they will call me in for an interview. In the meantime, I've decided to work part time with one of my Monash lecturers, a very nice environmental management lecturer named Dr. Cathy Yule. I know I'm gonna enjoy working with her, not only coz' she's nice and allows me to come and go for work whenever I choose, but also coz' her kind of research is the kind I'm most interested in - research on the environment. This Wednesday, I'll be going with her and another fellow research assistant, my buddy Yong, to visit the Kuala Selangor peat swamp to collect water samples containing insect larvae. Then we'll have to sort out the insects and identify them according to genus and hopefully species, and probably even find some new species along the way. If I can find a new species, she might get it named after me... so there will be a species of insect out there in Kuala Selangor peat swamp named Carolinus or something like that. Haha! As if. Anyway, I think working for my lecturer is gonna be good coz' it would be something nice to put on my CV, and I get research experience while being PAID for it, whereas if I do honours, I do a heckuva lot more work and have to pay Monash to do honours. Of course, I don't get a nice piece of paper saying I graduated with honours, but bleh, having work experience is probably just as good as having honours anyway. And since it's not full time, I still have time to bum around and play video games, as well as continue my job hunting too, of course. :D Of course, the down side is that I have to go back to Monash AGAIN for my work, which isn't a very exciting prospect considering I've been in that place for the past four freakin' years. Oh well, I guess I'll survive another few more months....

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Waiting, waiting, waiting...

It's been a week since I sent in my CV to the Singapore Zoo, and I still haven't gotten a reply from them yet. I called them up last Thursday and asked to talk to Charlene Yeong, the research and conservation officer to whom I emailed my CV to, but she wasn't available at the time. The person who took my call did, however, inform Charlene that I called, and I got an email from her later the same day saying that she had sent my CV in to the director of R & C and Zoology. So now I'm waiting for the director guy to look through my CV and decide if he wants to call me in for an interview. I did also apply for a job in another place in Singapore - the Tropical Marine Science Institute, but they told me there was no vacancy. Although they did say they would pass my CV to other researchers around and let me know if anyone was interested to hire me.... which is probably gonna be like never. So I shall continue to wait for the response from the zoo people with fingers crossed. I suppose I should apply to other companies while I wait in case it doesn't work out, but I'm really banking on this job at the zoo and I don't wanna go through the whole long interview process with other companies first until I know what my chances are at the zoo. Besides, when I apply to other places, I have to make myself out to sound like I'm the right person for the job and totally want to work there. If I get interviewed and they decide they wanna hire me, and I ask them to wait while I think about it (which would actually be me waiting for the reply from the zoo), the employers would be like "Hmm... guess she's not so into the job after all" and they might think I'm not the best person for the job. And thus my chances to get that job would be reduced if the zoo thing does not work out. And another reason why I don't wanna apply anywhere else just yet is coz' if my parents know I got job offers from both the zoo and a biotech company, I'm quite sure they'd pressure me to go for the biotech company instead. But if I had an offer from the zoo ONLY, then they might be more willing to let me work there, especially since I didn't get any positive replies from the other places I applied to - or supposedly applied to. Kakaka, yes yes, I know, Carol is a conniving little bugger... But if I can help it, I'd much rather work in a place where I know I have some passion for my work, and that would be working with animals. Besides, Singapore Zoo is a well established place that gets lotsa money from donations and such. I'm sure my pay there wouldn't be pathetic like my parents might think. And after a few years, if I work hard enough, I could get promoted in the R&D department as an officer myself, and make even more money! That would make my parents happy I bet. Would make me happy too, coz' I'd actually love my work. So everyone would be happy!
There is one thing though that makes me hesitant about this job. If I get it, I will be living in Singapore. Which I would be leaving CBC. Sure, I could come back once or twice a month to visit my church on weekends, but it's not quite the same. And I definitely cannot serve as what I'm doing now. I can't play on the worship team (unless I practice the songs myself in Singapore and come play on the Sundays that I'm back. Haha!) and I can't go visit the children's home, and I just joined the children's ministry, so I can't even do that anymore too (unless, again I only do that on the Sundays I'm back). And I'm actually feeling pretty crappy about that now that I think about it. On one hand, I feel like a change of environment and forcing myself to be independant might be a good thing for me. On the other hand, there's a heap of stuff I'm committed to at my church here, plus all my friends are here too, so maybe I should stay. Bleh, dilemma dilemma. Of course, I did pray about it, and of course I know that God knows what's best for me and where I should be. So even though I really want this job at the Singapore Zoo, I told Him that if He wants me to stay, then let me get a negative response from the zoo people and I won't apply for any more jobs in Singapore. But if I get a job offer, I will go. Simple as that. So I guess I'm not just waiting now for a reply from the zoo, but a reply from God? Ooohh, the suspense is killing me. :P

Monday, November 14, 2005

Work at Singapore Zoo?

I sent an email to Singapore Zoo last week asking if I could apply for a job related research and conservation there and it took a couple of days before I got a reply from them. My email was forwarded to a lady who is a research and conservation officer there, and she replied by asking me to send her my CV. Already just having that invitation to send my CV got me so excited, coz' it meant I actually have a chance to get a job there. I was practically jumping up and down with glee for a while, I calmed down and got to work on my cover letter and resume. Does anyone know how much work it is to write a really good resume and cover letter? I looked through a bunch of websites that give tips on how to write good resumes and CV's, and all of them said I have to make them more personalized and highlight my qualities and achievements that are relevant to what a prospective employer would want. Can't just write one CV and one resume and send it out to bunch of different companies, especially not for a science person like me. Every biotech company have different agendas, and so does every environmental conservation organization. So I'd have to do research on every company I want to apply for, find out what they want and doctor my resume and CV so that I sound like exactly the person they need. Bleh. Finding a job is really a job in itself.

But anyway, I spent quite a bit of time working on my CV and resume, making sure I sounded professional and there were no grammer mistakes and typos, and wondering what I should highlight about myself and what I shouldn't. I just send in my CV and resume yesterday, along with my Monash academic transcript. Now I just have to sit and wait for a reply.

In the meantime, I also have to think about how to break the news to my parents if I do get asked in for an interview. They're expecting me to be applying for some jobs in big time biotech companies and my dad is always telling me to go discover something big like a cure for cancer or a way to increase hair growth or something like that, so that I can patent it and make big money. But every time I even think about applying to a job to such companies, I think "Ugh". Stuck in a lab for the rest of my life. And if I ever discover anything useful, my boss would probably take my idea and reap all the profits for himself. Not an uncommon story I hear in such companies. Same thing happened to Rosalind Franklin when she discovered the helix structure of DNA, and then Watson and Crick stole the glory from her and got the nobel prize for it. Anyway, my folks are the type to think working in a zoo will never bring in the big bucks. And maybe it won't . But I know it's something that I will love doing, as if I enjoy my job and do it really well, I will move up the career ladder. And Singapore Zoo is a pretty darn good zoo, which even has it's own t.v. show (or so I hear from my friend. :D). They've won like a gazillion awards, and their zoo is really nice and nowhere run down with starving animals, which is what I hear is going on in Malaysia's Zoo. Poor animals. Of course, Malaysia Zoo definitely needs more help than Singapore Zoo, but I'm pretty sure the pay there would be crap compared to Singapore Zoo, and then I'd really get into trouble with my folks. So I'm thinking best to get some work experience at Singapore first, then if one day I decide to come back to Malaysia and help bring its zoo out of the muck and the mire, I'll have more resources and experience to do it. And more money, which would make my folks happy. Now I just need to convince them to let me go for this job. Arrrggh! I want this job!!! God help me!!!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

A tribute to Ying Shien and other miscellaneous things

Well, it's been quite eventful since the last time I blogged, which was about 12 days ago. Within that time, I finished my final exam last friday and have since been mostly enjoying myself and occasionally doing some job hunting. On the 'enjoying myself' part, been mostly busy playing a new DDR (Dance Dance Revolution, for the uninformed) game I bought to play on my bro's PS2 the day before my final paper. I got the dancing pad ages ago to play on my computer, but the game I had for the PC sucked so I couldn't really play. Now everyday I'm happily jumping around in front of my television to techno music and looking like a blady fool until my brain spazes out and I can't tell the up arrows from the down arrows anymore. FUN!

On the 'job hunting' part, I haven't really gotten much done and still busy looking for good companies to apply for. I've actually become interested in applying for work in Singapore, even though before this that was the last place I wanted to go to coz' I hear working life there is super stressful. The place I'd really like to work in is Australia....but since finding a job there is going to be tough considering I'm a fresh grad with no working experience, I guess it would be better to get some work experience around here first, preferably in a reputable place like Singapore (sorry Malaysia, patriotism definitely ain't in my blood. :P Might help if perks were distributed based a person't merit instead of their race! You did NOT read this). Would be the best if I could fnd a Singporean company that sends their employees to Australia or some other overseas place for training! But that's certainly easier said than done.... Plus if I can get a job there, I'd earn a lot more than what I'd get here, and still can come back to Malaysia to enjoy all the good food and buy cheap stuff unlike if I wre in Aus. Then maybe one day when I'm more employable, I can find a job easily in Aus and haul my @$$ there for good. Hehe, but right now I first need to worry about finding a good job. Bleh. Dreams are so much harder when you have to work at them. -_-'

Anywayz, just yesterday I went for a funeral service for a young girl from CBC Puchong, which is the same church as me but different branch, so I didn't know the girl at all. Her name was Kim Ying Shien, and she was only 15 years old when she was diagnosed with acute leukemia last month. Over a span of a few short weeks, her condition deteriorated so quickly, even with chemotherapy, that she passed away on Monday this week.

I don't know what compelled me to go for the funeral of the girl I didn't know at all. I suspect a combination of nothing better to do, plus curiosity of what a funeral would be like in my church since I'd never experienced a CBC funeral before, had something to do with it. Which I guess sounds like dumb reasons to go for a funeral, so sue me. :Þ Anyway, I quickly found out that it was quite unlike any conventional funeral. Amidst all the crying and touching eulogies about what a wonderful girl Ying Shien was, how she was willing to bear the blame of other people's wrong, how she was didn't complain at all throughout the pain of her condition and chemo, the family of the girl and the youth of her church also played several worship songs. To most people, it would seem silly, for the family to still praise God after a sudden death of a loved one. It would be difficult for most people, even Christians to even think of praising God after something like this. But through their sorrow, they could still sing praise to God.... and after several people explained the events that led up to Ying Shien's death, such praise didn't seem so mind-boggling. Her father and several church friends, including the youth leader, told of how throughout the weeks from the time of her diagnosis to her death, they prayed very hard for her to recover. But over time, they said, God spoke to them and told them it was time to let her go. The father also said that he had a vision of his daughter being carried by Jesus throughout the time of her leukemia. He was helping to bear her pain, which was why she didn't complain once throughout her condition and after chemo, which I hear is a pretty painful process. I think somebody else had another vision about Ying Shien being with Jesus when she died, but I can't really remember the details. :P All I know it the family is rest assured they know where their daughter and its the best place she could ever be in. And even though most of the family was still in tears, the father looked quite joyous. After seeing his daughter suffer for weeks and praying desperately for her to be healed, he had learned that healing was not meant to be and he learned to let her go, knowing she would be going to a better place. A time of sadness and joy at the same time for him I guess.

Well, I didn't know this girl at all, but she was definitely loved by many. Anyhow, one day whem it's my turn to go up there, I guess I'll have my chance to get to know her. Kekekeke. Hope I can bring my DDR along with me. :Þ

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Traditional Chinese torture session

My knee problem has been pretty bad the past few weeks since I had my little accident during my field trip to Taman Negara. My right leg has been feeling slightly out of alignment when I walk, and whenever I try to run I have to take short small steps or else it feels like my knee will give way. I've been hoping the problem would fix itself, but the clincher came when a few days ago while I was studying, I folded my right leg over my left and then felt something in my right kneecap 'snap'. It wasn't a painful 'snap', but it didn't sound very nice. And it wasn't. As soon as I stood up, I was kneeling over from the pain in my knee. I couldn't put too much pressure on my right leg without feeling the pain. And it lasted til the next day, so i told my dad that my knee problem was getting worse. I know that surgery for a knee problem could cost a whopping RM10,000, so I was hoping it wouldn't have to come down to that, but after that incident, I thought I'd better do something about it. My dad agreed, but suggested that instead of having surgery first, I could try seeing a traditional Chinese therapist first. If traditional Chinese techniques like acupuncture could heal me, it would cost a heckuva lot less than knee surgery...only a couple of hundred bucks! I was, and still am, doubtful that a few needles poked through me would heal the problem, but I thought what the heck, might as well try.

So today I went with my dad to see a Chinese masseuse and acupuncturist. The good news is that I didn't have to endure a single needle. The bad news is that I went through a massage by a female masseuse, which was so painful I think I would've much rather prefered the needles. Apparently my right leg is shorter than my left leg by 2cm because my right hipbone is out of alignment. So they had to massage me first to find where my problem was exactly in my bones, and then straighten me out. So I had to lie on my back while the masseuse pounded and pressed (at some points, til I couldn't breathe!) and rubbed, and the rubbing was the worst. Gosh, she was rub my skin hard against my vertebrae or my bones at the same spot over and over. And the whole time, even though I barely made a sound, my face was contorted into all sorts of grimaces you could imagine and my only thoughts were "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!". I think the rubbing was almost as painful as my knee whenever it gave out - which can only be described as EXCRUCIATING! At one point, the guy masseuse took over and pulled and pressed body in such ways that my bones would make very audible cracks. Sounded scary, but fortunately not painful at least if there was any pain, I didn't feel it after the torture I had to endure during the massage.

The other good news is that after all that, I think all that torture actually did me some good coz' now I no longer walk funny and I can run more properly without feeling like I'm about to fall over. So maybe this traditional Chinese torture has some merit after all.... But I still have to go through a few more sessions before the treatment is fully done. Then I'll find out if my knee will really be back to normal!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Exams almost done and working life almost starting...

Yay! I've finished the first three of my exam papers, all of which were one day after another this week, with the third one being one of the toughest subjects of my entire course - Genetics of Development. But thankfully, the lecture notes for that last subject were pretty good, and I had a very good text book to refer to along with it, so even though that subject would freak out the average biology student and no amount of common sense would spare you a failure if you didn't study for that subject (unlike some subjects where you can pretty much crap through it and pass), I think I did a lot better for that subject than my first two! Pretty much coz' I studied everything really thoroughly and had understood all the important details so much that I looked at almost every question on the paper and thought to myself "Ha! I know this one! Piece of cake!". I think I had more trouble doing my Tropical Terrestrial Biology paper and Introduction to Biotechnology paper, coz' I definitely did more crapping on those two papers than my Genetics exam. It's the one paper I know I can't get away with crapping, so I studied it to the max. Hehe! I might even get a high distinction for it, which would no doubt lead to most of my classmates for this subject wanting to strangle me and hang me out to dry. But I won't get my hopes too high up. :D So now I only have one more paper left next Friday, which I'm not too worried about coz' I pretty much know most of it already. After that one more paper, I am officially done with university life! Woo hoo! No more sitting at the computer all day doing assignments and lab reports all day! No more studying my brains out for exams and then forgetting everything I learned the following semester! No more having to do work in the crappy laboratories at Monash Malaysia, where I have to search all over the place to find one little glass pipette, and deal with lab workers who don't give a damn!No more no more no more!!!! Wooooo hoooo!!!!

NOW I have to start worrying about finding a job.

Whoa oh.

Ah yes, the wonderful world of working for your keep. I'm looking forward to it (especially after 16 years of schooling and uni!) but at the same time quite apprehensive about it. People always say the working world is a lot more tougher than studying. People can be more unscrupulous and backstabbing, and all that nasty stuff. And even though my first interest will always be doing environmental work, my parents will no doubt be wanting me to get a job where I can earn some REAl money....and well, environmental work usually doesn't rake in the cash. And even though I don't like it, I am thinking that maybe doing something a bit more financially rewarding might do me more good, at least for the first few years. Then maybe later on when I'm more well off, I can move on to do what I really love. Plus that time I'll be more independant and can sort of make my own decisions without the folks breathing down my much. Would be good if I could start some small business off side, selling some stuff that would earn me a bit extra money. I got a friend who make earrings and sells them, and it looks kinda fun to do, so I might try doing something like that. Which means I gotta get my inherited Chinese enterprising genes into gear....:P
Well, things will be getting interesting from now on, me thinks. :D

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Get off my blog, you spammers!

How lame is it that people are now using blog comments for spamming about their websites that nobody cares about. It's especially annoying when they put comments like "Oh, I love your blog! It's so cool!" before rambling on about their product or website. Yes, yes, I'm sure these automated spammers read my great blog. I wish these people would get a life.

A noble profession, my @$$

I've always had an interest in biology, but from the start I knew that I did not want to be a doctor. Partly for selfish reasons, coz' most doctors spend so much time working that they don't have much of a social life. And also because I know if I make any screw ups, my whole careers could be over and I would've completely wasted dunno how many donkey years of studying medicine. And also because I wasn't too keen on the stressful life of a med student. But there is another reason why I'd never want to be a doctor, which was brought more home to me yesterday. In the news, there was an article about an Indian guy who died because he didn't have the money to pay for the treatment he needed to get. I don't know all the details, coz' I only read a bit of the article, but it's still enough to piss me off to the max. I mean, medicines are made to treat people and doctors are there to help heal people, yet even though they have the medicines and the doctors available, they allow this guy to die just because he can't pay for them. Effectively demonstrating that in the medical world, if you don't have the money and don't have the insurance, you can just go ahead and die. Why? Why couldn't they treat the guy first and then settle the payments later? How could they sit around waiting for the poor wife to try and round up enough money, knowing full well that her husband needed treatment soon or else he would die? How can any self-respecting doctor do that? I mean, if it's not a life-threatening situation, then fine.....but this guy was dying and now he's dead. To me, it's just a really sick situation. And another thing is that all these treatment cost so much money, and you have to wonder where does all this money go to.... The doctors and the companies who develop the medicines, treatments and equipment. And then you have to wonder, how much of this money actually covers the costs of the medications alone, and how much goes straight into the doctors and company directors' pockets? Well, considering most of them are driving around in big fancy cars and living in ridiculously big houses, the answer to that is a big DUH. Why else do all our Chinese parents want us to become doctors? To make big money lah.... Yes, being a doctor is such a noble profession when they scrounge every possible penny out of people who can't afford it while they are happily playing golf every other weekend. Even more noble it is that they can stand by and allow a poor person to die because he's not paying them the money they need to buy new golf clubs. Ugh, doctors are supposed to be the healers, but it seems to me that they are ones who are sick. Of course, there are the exceptional few who actually DO care more about healing people than making big money... those who are even willing to go to poor countries for free to help others..... and those kind of doctors I applaud. But unfortunately, perhaps there are not enough of those kind of doctors around. And because of that, one poor guy had to pay with his life.
Of course, to be fair, doctors have to work hard to become good doctors, and naturally they do deserve to get well paid. But knowing that some people simply cannot afford medical treatment or insurance, there should be a way to allow all people, rich and poor, to get the same medical treatment and the doctors still get paid the same. I mean, if they can do it in other countries like Australia, why not here? In Aus, every citizen in covered under Medicare, which far as I know, allows everyone equal medical treatment regardless of their financial capabilities. And how on earth can the Aussie doctors survive then? They're paid by the government, using the people's taxes. Australians have to pay higher taxes than here to get such benefits, but at least they are all covered. Here in good ol' Malaysia, no such thing. The best we can do is buy insurance, and even that can be denied to a person if the insurance company learns that he or she is very likely to fall gravely ill or get seriously injured. Oh yeah, the insurers are all out to help us too, just like the doctors.
It's quite sad really, to know that so many people can so easily place more importance on money than over the lives of others. Which is why even though I am qualified to work for pharmaceutical companies, I don't think I could do so without constantly thinking at the back of my mine that these companies care more about the profits than actually helping people. Which means I'd probably be stuck the rest of my life working for pittance at some organization for a good cause like WWF just so I can have a good conscience. Kakakaka! Of course, every organisation has their politics and ulterior motives as well, but that's another story for another time....


I noticed something while at church this morning - my pastor prayed for the people in Pakistan that were affected by the earthquake, and at the beginning of this year, we were all gung ho praying for the tsunami victims and having offerings for them....but I have not heard any prayers for the Americans who were recetly devastated by three major hurricanes. Which makes me kinda go "Hmmm...I wonder why..." Sure, Bush isn't the most likable guy on the planet, but hey, one guy does not an entire nation make, and the Americans who went through those tragedies need help too, right? Maybe they did pray for them but I didn't hear it coz' I haven't been to church for three weeks straight. Kakakaka.....

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Naeem's Top 10 Ways to Waste Time/ Procrastinate

10) Playing with Sassy - When my little Shih Tzu gets hyper, we could chase each other around the house for ages! And it's good exercise too!

9) Playing Textwist ( - Was into playing that almost everyday not too long ago, but now I'm kind of losing interest....

8) Playing Sudoku - now that the Star is given free at my campus, almost everyday I get a copy and instead of paying attention in class (which I usually don't anyway), I'm happily filling out the numbers in a bunch of little boxes (For those who have been living under a rock and have no idea what Sudoku is, check out

7) Blogging - Gee, that's what I'm doing now!

6) Sitting in front of the computer trying to do some work but end up doing other thing (checking emails, playing games, blogging, etc...) - Speaks for itself

5) Thinking about what to put on my Top 10 lists - Also speaks for itself

4) Brushing Sassy's hair and getting her tangles out - Takes ages, but seems to have a rather therapeutic effect...unless of course I accidentally tug too hard on her fur and she starts biting me.....

3) Eating Tom Yam Maggi noodles, or KFC Cheezy Wedges or Bubble Tea - Practically no nutrition, but tastes so good!

2) Watching "Whose Line Is It Anyway" at 4.30pm and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" reruns every weekday at 5pm - Yeah, good quality family entertainment!

1) Sleeping - number 1 smply because it takes up the most time (one third of my life), requires the least energy expenditure and the most fun thing to do on a rainy day

P.S.: My brother just recently bought a Playstation 2, so I'm probably going to be modifying this list a little bit later on....:P

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

A job well done.... I think :D

Woohoo! I have 40 hugs! Yay! Thanks everyone who's been giving me hugs (although technically it's not a real hug but a silly looking thing on my sidebar that you just click on....but it's the thought that counts! :P).

My skit on October 1st has come and gone, and after several weeks of sort of freaking out and trying to get things together to make a good skit, I think the whole thing came out really great. Thank God for that! I really appreciate everyone who helped out on the skit too, for coming to so many practices and sometimes not really doing anything but just watching other people practice. I really thank those people who shared their very encouraging real-life testimonies at the end of the skit - Charlene, Kelvin and Rachel, especially Rach coz' for her to go up in front on a bunch of people she doesn't know and talk about how something so personal like how she tried to commit suicide once and the way her dad treated her when she was younger, that really takes courage, man (I don't really blame her for almost freaking out the day before the show. :P). I'm also quite grateful to Jonathan for coming through on the very day of the show and helped figure out how to play the video WITH the sound coz' it wouldn't work before that. And of course, all the actors and actresses as well as the props and lighting people did a great job too. And yeah, I'll give myself a pat on the back too for doing a pretty good job if I do say so myself....kakaka! *perasantan* Apparently I was quite convincing as the depressed suicide case. So now you know, if I ever want to kill myself, I'll do it very convincingly! *sweatdrop*

Anyway, the main thing is at the end of the night, I know at least a few people were touched enough to want to know Jesus and went up during the altar call. I think there were about four people who went up front and Pastor Mal prayed for them, which seems like a few people, but to me even if only one person had gone up, it would've been worth the trouble. Anyway, even with all the silly little problems here and there, I still enjoyed doing the skit. But now I must get back to reality and start labouring over my assignments and reports again. Bleeeehhh... ^_^

Friday, September 30, 2005

I came back from a field trip to Taman Negara a few days ago. Was there from Saturday to Tuesday, and got to do some a hiking (and enjoy watching some of my classmates, including myself, become half dead from all the walking. :P) and went into a cave full of cute little bats. And took a heap of photos of insects and other various nature pics. Pictures that of course will take me forever to put up here as usual. What to do with exams coming up and last minute assginments being piled onto me and other various things taking up my time. I did have a pic with a cute praying mantis on my hand looking right at the camera. That was pretty cool. :) And I took a short solo hike the day before me had to leave, which IMHO is the best way to hike coz' with so many people around, we make so much noise, chances of seeing any animals are slimmer coz' they all would heard the noise and ran away. Well, I didn't get to see anything particularly heart-stopping like a tiger or a wild boar or a big snake, but I did see a couple of hornbills flying around. I could hear them calling out to each other with their distinctive whooping noises for a few minutes while they were high up in the high that I couldn't see them until they both took flight, and even then all I could see were two seconds of the bottom of two big black birds flying above me. Not as exciting as the shark I saw on my solo snorkelling trip at Redang, but still pretty cool. Wasn't too fun though, when I had to climb over a fallen tree trunk about waist high that had blocked the path, and I was so smart to jump off, land to hard on my right leg and end up sprawled on the floor wincing in pain coz' of my old knee injury. Til now my knee still hasn't gone back to normal, like it's done the previous times I reinjured it. Maybe I tore a new ligament in there somewhere so it's taking longer to heal. This is gonna be great for my old age, I'm sure.
Anyway, ever since I got back from my trip, I've been busy going out every night preparing for the skit for October 1st, which happens to be.....tomorrow! After quite a few hiccups with the skit - changes to the script, people not coming for practices, some people freaking out a bit about being on stage, spotlight only being functional the day before the skit (which was today), problems with burning a video for the skit onto a cd, no proper and smooth run through of the entire skit and other miscellaneous things, plus of course the fact that suddenly I have all these assignments to do now, and have a busted knee again - after all that, the big day is tomorrow.... and I'm pretty excited about it. Actually I'm not really surprised at all these problems.... I think a lot of people are going to experience something really great from God tomorrow and that dastardly devil is just doing whatever he can to attack me and mess things up since I'm heavily involved in the skit (I'm 3-in-1.... script writer, co-director and actor! :P). I've seen it happen quite a lot with people working to do something big like this in church - they have heaps of problems close to the big event. And I do admit the devil has been doing a fine job of making me super frus, but I've never regretted doing this and I'm still super hyped and looking forward to seeing a great show tomorrow. Not that I will be actually seeing it since I am gonna be acting, but you get the idea.... :P I'm expecting a few more problems tomorrow, but I'm sure it's nothing the big guy up there can't deal with and at the end of it, I'm sure the show will be great. One thing I'm glad about it that my parents haven't been giving me a hard time about going out every night this week, like they normally would. They haven't even asked why I'm always going out, which is highly unusual, and big sigh of relief for me!
Anyway, I got some work to be doing and some sleep to be getting, so gotta go!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Lotsa stress and a little hope

I think I'm the most stressed out I've been for quite a while. Been lepaking most of this semester, and now suddenly I have a gazillion and one things to do, and uni work is just the half of it. Today, I just found out from one of my lecturers about all the wonderful assignments we have to finish for this one subject, Environmental Chemistry, within the next few weeks (after which ill be exams, by the way). We have two 800-1000 word assignments to do, plus a group project which is worth like 20% of the subject marks, due in just a couple of weeks. The thing that grates my nerves is that all these assignments were supposed to be given to us ages ago, particularly the group project one, but this subject is a brand new subject at the Monash Malaysia campus and the lecturers here are supposed to be getting all the lecture notes and assignments from the Australian lecturers. So because the Aussie people aren't organized enough to give us what we need on time, now the assigments are piled up on us at the time when they should have been finished and we have time to start studying! The group project deadline was supposed to be the 16th of September, and we just GOT the assignment five days after the deadline! And it doesn't help at all that our lecturer is standing up there asking us what we've done about the project when obviously we can't have done anything when we don't even know what we're supposed to do. At one point, I told him straight that we don't even know what we're supposed to put into the project draft, so obviously we can't do it! Then he shows us the assignments details saying that the draft details are up to us to do, and points it out to me, saying "There, that's what you should have done!". Well, yes, it's so helpful of him to tell us that useful piece of information now! Of all the four years I've been at Monash, this subject I'm taking now is completely the most messed up. The lecturers don't have their notes or assignments organized, the notes that we got through are full of completely non-sensical diagrams with no explanantions, and half the time the lecturer doesn't even know what the stuff on the slides are. And NOW they throw all these assignments at us when we should be preparing for exams! I was reasonably patient before this, but after today, I think 'pissed off' is an understatement to describe how I feel about this. At least if the lecturer apologized for the delay or something, it would be something, but he stands up there and expects us to know what should have been done when he himself doesn't know. Argh! If I could start the semester again and be allowed to choose between Environmental Chemistry and one other subject I'm taking called Genetics of Development, I'd gladly go for the latter, even though it's probably the toughest subject ever coz' I have to remember like a gazillion gene names and their functions. But at least I know what I have to do in this subject, not the mess that is Environmental Chemistry....
And that's just the least of my woes...I have this lab report I'm supposed to hand in this Monday for the Genetics subjects I was just talking about, and it's a super long lab which will take me ages to do. BUT I have to go for a field trip from Saturday to Tuesday, leaving me only until Friday to finish it. And my lecturer for this subject won't allow me a extension even though I told him I have a valid excuse! Geez, it's not like he's gonna finish marking all the lab reports on the day he gets them, unless he's a superhuman freak or something. Why can't he let me have a few more days? So unreasonable...
And then there's the skit I'm in charge of. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy working on the skit and am looking forward to see how it'll turn out....but after I finished writing the original 6-page long script, people tell me things that's been forcing me to make major changes to the script. It wouldn't be so bad if the changes were made ages before the event, which is only next Saturday. But people only tell me these things like after I've finished the script or when there are only a few practices left. It is very da exasperating, especially since they have ample time to tell me these things beforehand, but they don't. And when we have practices, people say they cannot come, and end up cannot practice what we need to practice. At this point, less than two weeks before the event, I would've thought everyone involved should have had at least one run through of the entire skit to get the feel of things and work out any little problems. But now we're all still busy brainstorming on what to say and haven't even practiced some of the scenes yet. So you can't blame me for starting to freak out.
But anyway, I heard a nice phrase somewhere recently about how instead of telling God how big our problems are, we should tell our problems how big our God is. Some advice I think I should take at this moment. My stress bar is up to the max, but I have no choice but just trust in Him and believe He's gonna somehow help me get all my work done one time. If not, I might just end up at Tanjung Rambutan. :P

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Not the dog too....

I don't know what the heck has been going with my mum, but she's just been getting more and more exasperating to deal with. It's bad enough that she thinks remarks my family makes that are perfectly innocent are attacks against her. It's worst that she lays the guilt trip on us by saying she doesn't want to care about what we do anymore coz' everytime we disagree with her, she gets angry instead of listening to our opinions. And now, she's even got a thing against our dog because it isn't showing as much affection to her as she wants it to, and instead the dog seems to prefer being around my dad who plays with the dog more. And when I say "a thing" against the dog, I mean my mum says she just wants to ignore the dog coz' she's does all the things to care for the dog like buying its food, feeding it, bathing it, brushing its fur... and the dog prefers to be with my dad instead of her. Good grief, not too long ago, my mum was so happy with our dog, and now she wants to boycott because it hasn't been basking my mum with doggy affection for a while? And she gets mad at it when the dog growls at her whenever she wants to brush out its tangles. I mean, brushing the tangles involves quite a bit of pulling and tugging on the fur, which would hurt the dog. It's not surprising that the dog would react with slight aggression, but my mum just takes it so personally! From a dog that doesn't know anything! It just seems to me that my mum reaction to everybody who doesn't conform to what she wants is just to give them the cold shoulder. My dad isn't the husband who listens to exactly everything shes says and does everything exactly the way she wants, so she can't stand him. I'm not the ever-obedient daughter who says everything so nicely, so she accuses me of being bratty. And now even the dog is getting it from my mum. I mean, sure my dad isn't the greatest husband, and I'm certainly not the perfect daughter, but every family has the same problems. Just because people in our family don't do what we want, it doesn't mean we can just not care anymore about them and just live life our own way. I just don't understand why my mum is behaving so immaturely....and then she accuses ME of being the brat. And when I try to talk to her about the way she behaves, in the nicest way possible, she just takes it like I'm on my father's side and I think my mum is the meanest person on the planet, which is completely not what I think at all. So what can I do except just shut up whenever she gets into one of her moods, in which case she'll continue to get all these ridiculous negatives thoughts in her head about her family. And any attempt to dispell those thoughts causes her to think we're attacking her. I realy don't know what to do with her. I'm suspecting her lack of logic is just due to being in the whole post-menopausal thing. I just really hope she gets past it soon, coz' it's really not doing much good for the family's morale.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Ugh, evolution

WARNING: Boring scientific discussion in this blog entry. :P

You know, one topic I have to face all the time when studying environmental management is evolution. These days so many lecturers and students accept evolution as a fact and INSIST it's a fact even though it is just still a theory. Just the other day, one of the more famously cynical of my lecturers was teaching us about organic chemistry in this useless first year subject that I still have to take due to some silly restructuring of course structure by the Monash science people..... and at one point, my lecturer was talking about evolution and said that evolution is a FACT and those religious people need to get that into our heads and accept that 'fact'.
Well, I'm far from 'religious' (since Christians shouldn't be religious in the first place, but that's another discussion I've been into before), but I'm not quite so sure that evolution is the FACT that everyone seems to think it is. I DO however, believe that an important aspect of the volution theory - natural selection - is a fact. But everyone seems to think that evolution and natural selection are the same thing, when it really isn't. For those who aren't science geeks like me, natural selection in the process where individuals in a species with certain traits that give them a survival advantage over other members of their species will be 'selected' to survive more than others, so that that trait they have is retained in the species. As such, organisms become more and more better adapted to survive in their environments. For example, if a whole bunch of white moths live in an environment of trees with dark trunks, this makes the moths highly conspicuous to predators out for a meal. But if one or two of these moths have a mutation that causes them to turn black, and thus making them less noticable, the predators don't see these black moths and they survive to propagate while the white moths are all eaten. Thus the black moths grow in numbers while the while moths decline, making the entire moth populations turn black over time. We can see such examples of natural selection happening all the time, so I don't dispute that natural selection is a fact.
BUT the evolution theory is a whole different ball game. The whole evolution theory evokes images of humans evolving from monkeys, which evolved from dogs, which evolved from fish, which evolved from plankton, which evolved from bacteria, or something like that, through the process of natural selection. Which is a nice theory and all, but quite frankly, from what I've read, the fossil record doesn't fit the theory all too well due to the lack of fossils with traits showing a definite transition between the evolution of one animal to another. Plus, the theory of evolution states hinges on different animals evolving new features or traits through genetic mutations that are retained over generations. While mutations can explain certain changes like changes in colour for the moths, some features of organisms are just too complicated to have been produced through million of years of chance mutations. Take for instance, just one simple cell. Some cells have long 'tails' called flagella that allow them to swim everywhere...the flagella requires several different components to work properly. Even if one of those components had evolved by chance mutations, the others would have taken many more years to 'evolve' by which the time the first component would have been eliminated through natural selection coz' it serves no function without the other components. And even if the first component DID serve an important function and was retained over generations, the other components would have to evolve and be retained in a similar way, but at the end, each component would have to somehow join together to become a functioning flagella. Such super complexity in just ONE cell! Imagine, how on earth did birds evolve feathers, or animals evolve eyes, when these body parts need a whole bunch of components to have 'evolved' simulaneously to form a functioning body part. Natural selection doesn't explain this. So unfortunately, I am unable to subscribe to the notion that evolution is a 'fact'. The only reason people think it's a fact is because the idea has been drilled into everyone's head so much in schools that they think it must be real (just like everything else we learn in school. Probably a heckuva lot of other things out there people think are facts, but actually are completely WRONG). I don't think I'd be ruining my scientific credibility by believing in creation as opposed to evolution. I don't think God created ALL the animals present in the world today (it would be mind-boggling getting all of them onto the Ark, I would think), but that He initially created certain animals, and these adapted through natural selection to different environments to gradually become different species. Like the horse, zebra, and donkeys would have all come from the same original animal. In a way, this is sort of like evolution, but certainly not in the sense of horses evolving from bacteria, but rather one animal 'evolving' into several different but closely related species. I don't know why people who believe in creation are always accused of ignoring the 'facts' of science, when in fact we look at the facts and come to the conclusion that creation is the best explanation. The non-creationists can just as easily interpret the 'facts' to mean whatever they want. But you know, Ockham's Razor is a nice rule to live by...the simplest explanation is probably the right one. And the simplest explanation is that God created everything! And that doesn't makes me any less of a scientist, coz' I like to find out how the world works, just like any other scientist.
So anyway, knowing my stance on evolution, I kind of have to roll my eyes everytime I sit in a lecture and hear the word 'evolve'. Would be interesting to have a nice debate on the evolution thing sometime.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Naeem's shameless advertising....

Ok, so I haven't been posting for quite a while, so sue me. Been busy with assignments, but unfortunately I'm not proud to admit I've been kind of wasting my time doing other 'useless' things like watching too much tv and more recently, playing games. I got kind of addicted to MSN games a few weeks ago when I challenged my friend Jenn to a game of Hexic on our messenger...then when I wanted to play Hexic without the hassle of having to challenge an MSN buddy, I stumbled onto, where I discovered a whole new world of other fun games to get addicted to. My current fav is TextTwist, and a few other word games. And thanks to all these wonderful time-wasting distractions, I've been procrastinating on other things I should be doing, like say... assignments? It's so sad. I was always so proud of myself for not being so dependant on the idiot box and wasting time on games, and now I'm doing exactly that. I must make better use of my precious time!!!! *Naeem beats herself on the head and goes OUCH*
Anyway, the MSN games are NOT what I'm promoting here.... I'm here to promote an upcoming Youth event at my church in October, where yours truly is going to be putting on a play! I've just recently been asked to help write a script for the play, but I've been putting it off for the past week (coz' of you now what, and also assignments and was going out a lot last week...had worship practice, and then a friend's birthday to celebrate, and then some church people's birthdays to celebrate, and then a small high school reunion dinner. I was going out so much, I decided to skip out on cell group so my parents won't start nagging me about it. Sorry Kelvin! :P) Anyway, I just started on the script last night, and have written about four pages already. So far, it's looking pretty good and I'm sure it'll be quite hilarious, particularly since the guys at my church are all such great actors. I haven't written a script for a real play since I was in pre-U five years ago, so I'm pretty excited to be writing and directing this thing...and acting in it too! Hehe! Can't wait to see how it turns out in a couple of months. Oh yeah, anyone who wants to come and watch my play, you're all welcome, ESPECIALLY the NON-Christians, coz' the whole event is for all us young folks to bring our friends there and get to know each other. Also got FREE DINNER, so be kiasu a bit and come laaaaah..... :D My skit will be vely vely me! 100% Carol Ng guaranteed! Ok, maybe 85%. Haha, ok, enough advertising for me, time to get back to work!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

After many moons, my Tioman pics! First part, anyway...

I distinctly remember that I promised to put up Tioman pics some time ago, so before I get up to my neck in assignments again, I might as well get to it! So here's a rundown of Carol's four day trip to Tioman during her semester break, with Kathryn and Su Li, some uni buddies. We left on Monday night, the 11th of August, spent five hours or so in the bus (asleep, of course) and reached the dock at about 5am or something, but the boat would only leave for the island at 7am, so we hung around the mamaks there for a while and got to know the local wildlife...

That's a moth on Kathryn's leg.

And another one on Su Li's head! A lot of these little buggers around.

The moths didn't seem to like me too much, but I met up with a friendly cat....

...which Su Li didn't like too much either, so she told it to scat.

After hanging out with feline friends too long, I emulated them by begging for treats

Finally, it was almost time to hop onto our speedboat to Tioman, and here's a pic of us three gals at the jetty.

A long boat ride later, and here we are again at the jetty of Salang, the northern part of Tioman Island.

Look at all the fishies saying hi to us!

First thing to do was of course, get ourselves a cozy little chalet for three!

...with very nice scenery to go with the chalets...

Just so you know, that's the name of where we stayed - the Puteri Salang Inn

Anyway, after our long journey that lasted so many hours, you would think we'd all be pooped and wanna rest for a while, right? WRONG! First thing we did after dumping our stuff was hoping onto a little speedboat and go for a day trip around the island...

...with a boat driver who gave us the ride of our lives (read: super bumpy!)

Our first stop was at a very nice beach...

...where we walked along, enjoyed the sights...

...and came across a nice lagoon-like area...

...which offered us some nice photo opportunities.... well as a chance to cool down before heading back to the boat for our next stop on the island.

Our next stop was at a very pretty waterfall, where we got a little bit wet...

A LOT wet...

...and a little bit nutty...

And also got to make friends with a friendly local Lepidopteran (a.k.a. butterfly. :D)

Next, it was back on the boat, where Kat got a nice hairdo

And I was getting ready for our first snorkel!

And here I am in action :D

Ok, so after the snorkelling at a few more places, we head back to Salang, get washed up, have our dinner and laze around on the beach for a while

And also happen to get our hair stuck together!

The next day, we were all so busy snorkelling around the whole day at the beach at Salang, I couldn't be bothered to take many pics that day. BUT we did buy an underwater camera, and here's an idea of what we saw in our underwater escapades. Believe me, the pics do no justice to the real things....

Hmm...very interestig fish, this one! By the way, the fish in the pic before was a BIG fish, probably more than a metre long. Was pretty cool swimming along that humungo sized fish!
Anywayz, all that snorkelling made us hungry, so we had our lunch and a little rest where we played a game of good ol' fashioned Batu Seremban!

...which attracted the local shopkeepers, who wanted to play with us too!

Fast forward to later that night, when we had our dinner...

...where Kat's dinner seemed to be looking at her...

Well now, me thinks I've had more than enough pictures for one post and I need to get round to doing some uni work, so I shall continue the rest of my pictorial journey some other time. Do knock me on the head if it takes me a long time to finish it off. :P Posted by Picasa

H.A.Z.E. - Hazardous Air iZ Everywhere!!!

What the HAZE means to the scientists:
Haze is a phenomenon or occurrence caused by the accumulation of fine particles in the air which are barely visible to naked eye. These particles may occur naturally or may be an outcome of human activities like open burning or smoky discharges from factories and exhaust of motor vehicles. When these particles accumulate in large quantities and suspend in the air, they can lock out sunlight and visibility will be greatly reduced.

What the HAZE means to Naeem:
"Don't these Indonesians have anything better to do??"
"Giant got sell oxygen mask or not?"
(From second-floor classroom at Monash University) "Wah liow weh, kenot even see Sunway Pyramid from here liow!"

The latest technology in H.A.Z.E. protection. Also serves double function as a fashion accessory. Retail price - usually very cheap, but recently prices have doubled due to a sudden rise in demand. So hurry, go get YOUR H.A.Z.E. protection device today! Posted by Picasa