Soliloki

Prosaic soliloquies performed by a quixotic person

Archive for the ‘Things I Do’ Category

Cheers to First Times!

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  1. My first ever stint as a tutor begins this week, and boy, am I so stoked! I’ve been so excited about it that I splurged a wee bit on stationery supplies and books for my class; now, I’m having this nagging feeling that I should have been more frugal. Oh, well, it wasn’t like I spent on meaningless things, or anything of the sort, right? Um-hm.
  2. Ever since I jumped on the marketing bandwagon, I’ve been out of the office, and on the road for more than sixty percent of my working hours. As much as I enjoy of having the benefit of time flexibility, I feel like I can’t get enough of time. Like the other day, I just bought a take-away, and ate my lunch in the car…while driving. Very dangerous, I know, but I’d no choice. I feel like, the more time I have, the less free I feel.
  3. Officially, this Friday will mark my first day of being an intern for a news media enterprise. But first, there’ll be an online orientation session this Saturday at 1.00 AM (yes, you read that right), and I’m really excited about that. In truth, I’m doing this purely because I don’t want to just focus on one career niche. I want to learn something else, and acquire different skills; it doesn’t matter if I may not be good at it, or like it. When life has so much to offer, why should I settle for being on this path that I stand? Who knows, I may surprise myself by discovering a part of me that’s unknown. That’ll be interesting. Mm-hm.
  4. I was one-hour late for my meeting this evening, and found out that our meeting actually starts at 6.00 PM every week, not 7.00 PM like I’d thought. The leader let me off the hook this time, since this was my first time coming in late to the meeting.

Cheers to first times!

Written by SZA

4 April 2012 at 8:07 PM

Six Words

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Sunday be bringin’ the blue funk. I don’t enjoy Sundays like I used to, anymore. Bah, humbug.

I got a notification via email from Nicholl Fellowships, this morning--the Nicholl competition is now open for 2012 submissions. I’ve been wanting to enter the competition since two years back but, apparently, I still haven’t gotten around to writing a single word.

OK, so I may portray myself as all talk and no trousers, but I’m not guilty as charged, folks. Nuh-uh. Some months back, I did join a one-time session for amateur writers. Well, actually, the session was more of an informal get-together for writer-wannabes who wanted to make big. It was fun, though. Anyways, in the class, the writing coach-cum-organizer gave us some examples of short stories written by famous writers; one of them was by Ernest Hemingway and the story was only six words long. Some claim that this six-word novel is the work Mr. Hemingway was most proud of:

For sale: baby shoes, never worn.

Right after the coach read those six words, we writer-wannabes started weeping uncontrollably and calling our shrinks. It was that deep, y’all. Those six words inspired me and instinctively, I wanted to have a go at it. I wanted to depict an intense emotion, a sense of what I feel about Sunday, and bring that feeling to life--in just six words. I was successful (I think).

Sunday, followed by Monday. Blue funk.

POW, POW, DOOSH! Like triple sucker punches in yo’ gut!

Not.

Written by SZA

19 February 2012 at 12:29 PM

A Clownish Model

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I’ve had a taste of doing a glamorous job four days back. Living in the fast lane and all that. Sort of. Alright, here’s how it all started.

Right after Chinese New Year, I got an unexpected text from the Uni asking me to attend a photo-shoot for which I’d model with the other two students for our programme brochure. Right after reading the text, immediately an image of me doing all sorts of dynamic poses and showing sultry facial expressions when a photographer captures my shots popped inside my mind. Snap! Fierce. Snap! Fabulous. Snap! Ferosh. And there would be a makeup team to doll us up for the shoot. Just like what I’ve seen on America’s Next Top Model. And the other two fellow models would just be props in the shoot and Yours Truly (ahem) would be the focal point. Naturally. Of course. Duh.

Pfft. Ha. Like that would ever happen. Dream on.

In actuality, it was just a simple photo-shoot. The Uni actually told us what to wear for the shooting session beforehand--asual business attire. So for that reason, I chose to wear my animal-print scarf, ruffled-front black top and grey cardi and pair them up with my blue jeans and dark wedges (which were Mother’s so they were pretty tight to put on; but hey, when it comes to fashion, you gotta suffer some). Anywho, being the nerd that I am, I turned up for the photo-shoot unfashionably early. Once I arrived at the campus, I finally found out who the other two models were. Julian and Diyas. Duh, of course. No surprise there. Julian being the brainiac good-looking Chinese boy-next-door; Diyas being the tall and charismatic Kazakhstani. A Chinese student and an international one. I guess I was chosen as the third model because I’m the only Malay in the programme and they needed a girl and someone of a different ethnic as a model to complete the picture. Off we went to the photo-shoot scene, which was the Student Lounge. Our photographer for the session was Ian and before the shooting started, he showed us what the concept of the photos would be like: Three models sitting on the floor having a lively discussion about a random subject and acting professional yet casual at the same time. Apparently, Julian and Diyas seemed very natural at photo-shooting. No uneasy pauses in between. I was impressed. Luckily, I was being natural too. Naturally awkward, that is. I made odd expressions and gave weird poses that I made the worst model look like an über-model (please do not blame me for the weird poses, I was trying hard to cover up my belly rolls and thunder legs during the shoot which I should have known made me look even worse than showing and embracing my physical flaws). Anyway, even though the uneasiness on my part lasted for only the first few minutes, it’d been really awkward.

Me: Oh, God. I’m so not good in this. Acting is not my thing. Doing poses and all that.

Diyas: HA HA HA!

Ian: You’re doing OK. Just act natural.

Diyas was laughing so hard at what I said like it was the funniest thing ever that came out of a human being’s mouth. I was like, ‘Huh? I wasn’t even being funny.’ Soon after that though, I got more comfortable and it felt more natural to me. Modelling started to become fun. And it was fairly easy since we had been given a guideline in advance, so we knew what we needed to do. Throughout the photo session, us three just talked about arbitrary things; from our assignments to the Uni’s prom night to where Diyas should go in and around Kuching. Casual stuff. Just to keep the talk lively so our photos would reflect the photographer’s idea. Finally when Ian said, OK, this going to be your final shots! We’re gonna wrap it up,’ I didn’t want it to end oh-so-badly. It’d been so much fun! Even if our photo-shoot was pretty tame and not wild like the ones on ANTM, it was great still. I loved it. And I said so to Ian.

Me: Hey, it wasn’t that hard. I kinda liked it. Maybe I should start a new career. Be a model.

Ian: HA HA HA!

Wha--? Where was the punch line? Apparently, I missed the joke again. I was beginning to feel like a royal jester entertaining the royal family instead of a supermodel in the making. Oh, well, at least I could provide some sort of entertainment to them. I guess the thought of my being a model was simply ridicule. Seriously though folks, maybe I should really consider the change of my profession path. From being an audit junior to being a model (albeit only a catalogue one). Ha, how about that?

Oui? Non? Oui? Non?

Alright, so it is a massive ‘NO’. Working in a circus and being a clown might be more suitable for me considering what had happened during the photo session. Sigh. How depressing. For what it’s worth though, I’ve had a blast during the photo-shoot. For that, I’m grateful.

Written by SZA

12 February 2011 at 7:49 PM

The Kick-off

with 3 comments

[Photo: My newly-acquired books, A Tale of Two Cities and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn]

I was pondering what to have for lunch today when I was *ding!* struck by an idea to find a copy of The Grapes of Wrath at The Spring’s MPH bookshop during my lunch break. A brilliant idea it was, because I could finally get a good reading-starter for my book campaign and at the same time buy my lunch and get out of the humdrum office for a moment. So drove to The Spring, I did. Alas, the journey from the office to the mall and back to the office wasn’t like a walk in the park. It was a hardship. Almost.

You see, going out for a shopping and a lunch during the peak period needs a comprehensive plan ahead of time. You need to think of which road shortcuts to use so you would not get caught in the heavy traffic; where to head to first once you are in the mall so you would not feel all confused and hassled; and how much time to be allocated for book-shopping, eating lunch and driving to and fro between the office and the mall so you could eventually return to the office in good time. Gotta plan the whole lot, you know. But I’m not a planner by nature, and Spontaneity is the name of the blood that runs through my veins. I make up plans as I go. That’s my modus operandi. Surprisingly, even without any plan today, I still managed just fine (barely) when battling through the traffic, finding a good parking spot, looking for a book, buying a lunch, enduring the traffic again when returning back to the office, AND gobbling KFC’s Cheesy Potato Wedges down my throat while steering the wheel with one hand (oh, how I wished the world had witnessed this--the art of multi-tasking at its finest). All that in ten minutes. OK, five times of ten minutes, to be exact. But hey, still not bad for a spur-of-the-moment shopping record, oui?

Yes, it was a grand adventure today; only too bad that I couldn’t find a single copy of that book written by John Steinbeck. Good news was, I did found RM9.90-a-piece HarperCollins books in the Classic section when I was on the verge of leaving the bookshop. Boy, nothing caught my eyes like those under-RM10 books did. I grabbed two of those straight away. ‘Grabbed’ being the operative word since the price was oh-so-pocket-friendly-la-di-da (that’s just as well since I need to monitor my personal economic health very closely) and besides, I was very intent on getting out of the bookshop with at least a book in my hand (after paying, of course).

And now, I’m happy to announce that my book campaign has officially kicked-off.

Written by SZA

5 January 2011 at 10:34 PM

Bibliophilism

with 7 comments

Back in primary school, our class teacher would bring the whole class on a visit to the school library whenever she felt like it. Usually once a month; if we were lucky, twice a month. You see, the library wasn’t open en masse. Only on certain days could certain people be allowed to enter the library to borrow certain books. Which was odd, since there wasn’t much of a book collection in there. Besides, there was nothing worthy to steal from the library (unless you think old window lace curtains that were dusty and stained yellow beyond repair were worth stealing). With that sort of privacy the school maintained for the library, you’d have thought they kept some sort of a national treasure in there.

Anyhow, the library trip usually lasted for ten minutes top. If we were lucky, our teacher would add on an extra visiting-time of five minutes. Alas, being lucky happened to us only once in a blue moon, so on account of that, most of us kids would scuttle around in the library to get our grimy hands on whatever book we could get hold of. We’d push/pull others aside, get elbowed by the bullies, get thwacked in the face and the books in our hands would be snatched by them (it was in that library I started to learn the meaning of survival of the fittest). And there’d always be lots of drama what with the kids (translation: juvenile divos/divas) crying, screaming and the whole lot. Fifty-odd fourth-standard students acting like demon-possessed, book-deprived Neanderthals in the library, and no wonder the teacher often dreaded bringing us there. (OK, fine. So I exaggerated some. I figured a little hyperbole wouldn’t hurt.)

But you know, despite all that, those occasional trips to our school library were among the few highlights of my being a student back then. I just loved being in that room (even it had a skimpy book collection). Just the feel of being surrounded by those library books (or rather, lack thereof) made me feel…belonged. Happy. Contented. Oddly enough, although I really loved books, I wasn’t so much into reading them. I loved the feel, the smell, and just about every physical attribute of a book. The urge to read came only when I got hit by peer pressure and was being pulled into the vortex of Fear Street mania. The mania began when the ‘it’ crowd of my class and my best friends started reading the book series by R.L. Stine. Literally, everyone talked about it at school. It was a crazy and wild cult among us schoolchildren. Bieber Fever and the Twilight craze put together is nothing compared to this (not really).

Due to that, I was (and still am) grateful for the peer pressure I endured back then, as it was the turning point for me when the love for reading started to seep into my being. Reading became my passion. Since, and then. (And this is saying a lot, considering the fact that I constantly change, hobby-wise. What I fancy today, I may detest tomorrow.)

So, there you go. An excerpt of my when-did-I-start-being-a-bibliophile.

Now, with all that being said, I hereby announce my forthcoming personal project. A reading project. ‘Why?’ you may ask. Well, you see, I haven’t been reading much in two or three years. I suppose being busy with work, school and all that takes a toll on my reading time. And I really miss reading (ditto going to bookstores). So, I think it’s best to compile a proper list of books that I wish to and should read, and then from there, create a reading campaign. Mayhap by doing this, I will make a real effort to read instead of just putting it off because I don’t have time to do so.

Anyway, the list will contain, at most, one-hundred books of greatest literature which I’ll choose and pick from the endless book website links in Google and based on recommendations I get from avid readers. I haven’t started on this campaign hitherto as I’m yet to produce the to-be-read book list. However, I do have the first book to read in mind. Well, since John Steinbeck’s East of Eden is one of the greatest books and one of my all-time favourites, ’tis only fitting to start off this project with a book written by the said author. And the novel in question will be The Grapes of Wrath.

Having said that, let us just hope my incessantly-low monetary supply can afford to buy all them books.

Written by SZA

25 December 2010 at 5:52 PM

Posted in School, Things I Do