Tuesday, September 25, 2007

When Your World Turns to Shit

A few months ago, I blogged about this fella in my condo who jumped of his 4th floor apartment after a heated argument with his wife. He left behind a wife and two kids.

Yesterday, the family was in the news again.

The wife had moved out of the apartment shortly after. I supposed it must have been difficult to continue living in the place of their tragedy. Anyway, the family moved to a shophouse somewhere in Kepong. They also rented out a room to another young lady.

Yesterday morning, the ladies were found brutally murdered. They had been raped and stabbed. Her kids, hiding in their room were spared. But they were not spared the terrible trauma of seeing their mother get killed.

In just three short months, the kids has lost both their parents in the worst possible ways. I shudder to think how that must affect them. The kids will be living with a relative now. I hope they will turn out okay. I wonder how we can, as a society, help them.

We live in a pretty shitty world, and we could all use a little help now and then.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Riding the Dream Train

Jesse loves trains. Mae and I decided that the boy would probably get a big kick out of riding on one, so we decided that we'd take a day out on the town by train. Expectedly, the boy loved it.

This was his maiden voyage on the LRT. Since then, we've taken the train a few more times. And I expect we'll be doing the train thing for another few years until he outgrows the whole thing.

Judging by his reaction, it's a dream come true for the boy. And all for just RM1.60. At his age, it's not difficult to make his dreams come true, especially since most of his dreams probably involve trains, Spiderman, elephants and birthday cakes. His wishes are gonna get tougher to fulfill as he gets older, when they start involving foreign countries, beautiful women and fast cars.

So, for now, we'll try out best to make sure he comes close to living out his dreams. At least then when he grows up, Mae and I can always say, "Hey boy, we did all kindsa stuff for you and now you'll have to love us for all eternity!"

I think I'm gonna go write a parenting book or something. Heh.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Last Rites

Apparently, Nirvana's Memorial Park in Semenyih is a really big deal. At least that what Mae tells me. For some reason, she keeps tab on these things.

Mae tells me enthusiastically, "It's so beautiful and grand that..."

"That you wished you were dead?"
I interjected matter-of-factly. Heh. But there is much wisdom in my wit. *ahem*

Ok. So you're dead. And your family buries you in a lovely plot of land with zen garden-themed landscaping, a cascading waterfall and a 30-foot statue of yourself erected in your memory. So what? It's not like you're gonna enjoy any of it. Besides, you'll really just be taking up precious space on the earth.

Me, when I finally go, I'm going down in flames. Literally.

I tell Mae, when I'm dead and gone, I'd just like to be cremated. And if she can find the time, to scatter the ashes out at sea. All I ask is that she makes sure that I'm really dead before they wheel my body into incinerator.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Birthday Shots

Lately, for some reason, technology is not agreeable with me. My camera is behaving like crap, my phone is shitty and my bloody MacBook is acting up again. Hence the lack of quality pictures on this blog. But, I do what I can. So here's a pictorial that was supposed to have been up a week back.

I forgot to blog this. Our friend, Jesse's favourite Auntie Maggie, made the boy a lovely blue brontosaurus pinata. He loved it to bits, literally. He loves it so much, he's still beating the poor creature every now and then. I think our boy may have a violent streak inside. WooOOoOoo~

This is Jesse's little birthday bash in Kidzone, Hartamas Shopping Centre. We invited family. Even though it's a kiddie party in a kiddie place, all our parents, siblings, cousins came along. Jesse has developed a taste for cake. Given his history of animosity towards food, I'm thankful that he's eating now, even if he's eating junk.

Mommy and Jesse going through the spoils. He's got plenty of Spiderman stuff. No prizes for guessing why. Uncle Stevo and Auntie Mich buys the boy boxing gloves and a punching bag so that he can stand up against the class bully. The boy puts on his gloves and takes his first swing at Daddy.

Jesse likes birthdays. But despite the parties, the gifts and the cake, we suspect all the boy wants to do is have everyone sing him the Birthday Song just so he can blow out candles. Next year we're scrapping all birthday plans, parties and presents. Instead, the boy gets a cake and a box of candles. Cake optional.

We bought Jesse this cake at a stall in Ikano. It's cute and colourful but not terribly well made. But guess what... the boy doesn't really care. He was just thrilled to be able to blow candles. The kids enjoyed themselves gorging on sausages, chicken nuggets and cake.

After all of this, we need some serious rest. Thank goodness birthdays are only celebrated once a year. Phew.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

The Ghost of Merdeka Past

I spent most of my childhood watching the Merdeka parade on TV. My cousin, Chimps and I would wake up early just to tune in to the proceedings. And we usually stayed for the entire duration of the show too.

I can't remember exactly when it was that I stopped watching. Or why. But I outgrew Merdeka long ago. It stopped doing anything for me.

But there I was, yesterday in the thick of the action and for the very first time in my life. A church thing had gotten us downtown, and since we were there, Mae and I stopped for awhile to look at the parade as it went past Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman. It was quite a display - the pomp and splendour, the colours, the people...

Along the way, someone thrusted a bunch of mini Jalur Gemilang into our hands. I held on to it, so as not to disrespect the flag, but there was no way I was gonna wave it about like some dumbass tourist, I told myself.

And so the procession went on. And as it did, something happened. As some secondary school brass band marched past, I was taken back to a time when I too was in a marching band.

I must have been about 9 or 10 when I auditioned to play. I didn't know any music as I never had the luxury of music lessons, but I decided to give it a try anyhow. One thing led to another and suddenly I was playing the Pianica in our school marching band. When I came home that day with my band boy cap and my tassles and what-nots, I was the happiest little kid on my street.

I could never read music, but I played by ear pretty well. And so I faked my way through my long and illustrious career in the band. We played at school functions. We got so good that soon, we were invited to play at other schools too. And other functions - Wesak, funerals, sports events, and the like. Though I longed for it, we never did get invited to play at the Merdeka parade. It as probably because we were a small band, and possible also because we were made up of mainly Pianicas and Recorders. Still, for some reason, every time I got into the uniform and marched about, there was this sense of pride and perhaps a sense of belonging.

So there I was in the midst of the madding crowd of our 50th Merdeka celebration, when I felt that familiar feeling again.

I don't know what it was that brought about it. Perhaps it was the sight of the band, in full regalia, beaming with pride as the Drum Major led them down the street. Or maybe it was the non-uniformed units, each trying their damnest to stay in step and in line with their compatriots. Or it could be our valiant commandos, in their green fatigues and jungle facepaint singing patriotic songs. Or maybe it was the crowd from all walks of life, in every colour and creed, cheering our brothers and sisters along.

At that very moment, for just awhile, I felt the sense of pride and belonging that I once experienced as a child. Except that, as an adult without the rose-tinted glasses, the feeling overwhelmed me and brought me to tears. So, right there in the madding crowd, I wept as I waved the little flags and cheered to encourage the folks in the processional - knowing that they do it out of love, and that that love may never be reciprocated. And there, for the first time in my adult life, I felt patriotic.

I also felt a little bit like an idiot, but that was much later when I had the chance to visualise what a ridiculous sight I must have looked. Thankfully, Mae was polite enough not to make me feel like a jackass.

Happy Merdeka, folks.