Friday, December 23, 2011

Fa la la la ~

My house is now all Chrismassy with all the deco up (thanks to little bro) and carols on full blast from either my room or my sister's. Tween carollers were over last night as well, clearing the house of snacks and juices! Just as well I suppose, since I requested pretty hard songs from them after remembering my own apprehension of such songs when I was in their shoes many years ago. *Evil grin*

There were more, but this picture of the girls is the nicest.

I thought that the kids did pretty well, considering the amount of time they had to practice. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" was especially well done, definitely waaay better than whats-his-name Bieber. :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A merry fungi Christmas

Original post here.

Thought that my agar contamination one looked pretty Christmassy as well! (Though not on this level... *points to above picture*)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Keep moving forward

I think Van watches the coolest movies, although most of them are discovered belatedly. :)

Meet The Robinsons is definitely all heart! You get an orphaned boy, who loves inventing, fails but KEEPS MOVING FORWARD. That was the message that strikes me the most because if one stops after failing, then things will never get done, nothing will ever be discovered and the world will be a much sadder place.

Anyway, in the movie, said boy got transported into the future, gets to meet a really wacky family who treats failure as a cause of celebration, got introduced to a bad guy and had to save the day (and this is where the twist in the story is).

I guess this movie might also be a tribute to Walt Disney as there was a quote from him at the end which I really really like:
"Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we're curious... and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."
And with that, I leave you with a song from the movie soundtrack which will probably be playing on a loop for the next few days:

Monday, December 5, 2011

Monday blues

I was first introduced to Sylvia Earle when I was working at Reef Guardian. My boss is a big fan and I still remember feeling a bit dumb for not knowing who she is. A few weeks and google searches later, I found out that she was chosen as a TED Prize winner, where her wish was to, "...use all means at your disposal — films! expeditions! the web! more! — to ignite public support for a global network of marine protected areas, hope spots large enough to save and restore the ocean, the blue heart of the planet,".

Reasons why you should listen to her (especially if you're a budding marine biologist):
  • Sylvia Earle is an oceanographer, explorer, author, and lecturer with experience as a field research scientist.
  • She was the former chief scientist of NOAA, founder of the Mission Blue Foundation and chair of the Advisory Council for the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies.
  • She also is executive director for corporate and non-profit organizations, including the Aspen Institute, the Conservation Fund, American Rivers, Mote Marine Laboratory, Duke University Marine Laboratory, Rutgers Institute for Marine Science, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, and Ocean Conservancy.
  • She has authored more than 150 scientific, technical, and popular publications, lectured in more than 60 countries, and appeared in hundreds of television productions.
  • She has led more than 60 expeditions and logged more than 6,000 hours underwater, including leading the first team of women aquanauts during the Tektite Project in 1970 and setting a record for solo diving to a depth of 1,000 meters (3,300 feet).
  • Honors include the Netherlands Order of the Golden Ark, inclusion in the National Women's Hall of Fame and the American Academy of Achievement, and medals from the Explorers Club, the Philadelphia Academy of Sciences, the Lindbergh Foundation, the National Wildlife Federation, Sigma Xi, Barnard College, the New England Aquarium, the Seattle Aquarium, the Society of Women Geographers, and the National Parks Conservation Association.
Needless to say, she was my (then) new idol. If I can live up to her age, I hope to be doing what she's doing and inspire more young people. 

After a long weekend of much play and no work, this was REALLY a cure for a bad case of Monday blues! No matter how many time I've watched this, I still get very pumped up after listening to her. :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

"Pop!" Goes the bacteria (and worms)!

Half the SHIVA samples have been spread on agar but they still emit some sort of gas (probably sulfur, yucks) that actually made the petri dish pop open when I tried to re-streak them again. I actually sort of foresee many streaking before I get to isolate single colonies. The bacteria growth is so thick!

Bacteria gasses aren't the only things that go "pop!" this week. Emma was back in Kuching for the first leg of her holiday post-SHIVA, and one of the things she tried was sago worms. After almost an hour's worth of hunting at the weekend market, we managed to spot a man selling them for 50 cents each. We were just in time too! Right after we approached him, someone else came along and bought ALL the worms for dinner. I told Emma that the worms can be eaten raw, and so she wanted to try them on the spot. (>_<) You can't imagine my disgust...or maybe you can. Anyway, my reaction and everyone else's nearby gave her pause and she finally decided to bring them home to cook. My mom suggested that we coat them with butter and roast them in the oven. Mind you, the worms were alive and wiggling when the coating was being done! If this isn't animal cruelty, I don't know what is...

I think they took about five minutes to cook. The worms rolled around in the heat for a while then sort of contracted and fattened toward their middle, looking like they would pop like popcorn.

Emma's verdict: "They taste like creamy mushroom...and insect,".

Well. Bravo, Ems! I'll probably never try them while they look like that. They seem more appetizing when they're well fried and brown. What I was thinking when I saw the grubs:

Hakuna matata!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Balancing on top of boats

At the risk of sounding very vain, I like this pic very very much, thanks to Yao Long! I didn't even know it was being taken...

Trying to keep from falling off the top of the sampling boat en route to the RV Sonne!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

If bacteria can fart...

I've started spreading the bacterial growth in the bottles of broth from SHIVA's pre-sampling on November 16th. IMO, those atmospheric scientists should collect the gasses released from the bacteria culture since each time I open a bottle, it's as though someone farted into my face. *Gags*

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I know I'm small, but oversized shirts are *pfft!*

(While sorting out SHIVA shirts)
Me: big are Emma and Fiona?
Aazani: Big. 3XL should be okay for them.

(When Emma and Fiona arrived)
Me: Eh, they're not that big lah~
Yao Long: Yaaa!!

(In the lab)
Me: Erm...I think you guys have to try out the shirts. *Drags out oversized SHIVA shirts*
Fiona: 3XL?!?!
Emma: Are you saying I'm fat?

Lilian and I in a XXXXXL shirt.

"How do we take this shirt off? I NEED TO PEE!!!"

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Road Not Taken

Sometimes, I am amazed at how my path seems to have diverged so much, yet, it feels perfectly alright to be where I am now.

A Cypress forest at Satoyama, Komono Town Mie, Aichi, Japan (where I suspect Hayao Miyazaki got his inspiration from for となりのトトロ (My Neighbour Totoro)).

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Happiness is...

Happiness is finding a pencil.
Pizza with sausage.
Telling the time.
Happiness is learning to whistle.
Tying your shoe for the very first time.

Happiness is playing the drum in your own school band.
And happiness is walking hand in hand.
Happiness is two kinds of ice cream.
Knowing a secret.
Climbing a tree.
Happiness is five different crayons.
Catching a firefly.
Setting him free.

Happiness is being alone every now and then.
And happiness is coming home again.
Happiness is morning and evening,
Daytime and night time too.
For happiness is anyone and anything at all
That’s loved by you.

Happiness is having a sister.
Sharing a sandwich.
Getting along.
Happiness is singing together when day is through,
And happiness is those who sing with you.
Happiness is morning and evening,
Daytime and nighttime too.
For happiness is anyone and anything at all
That’s loved by you.

- From the musical "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" (1967).

Thursday, November 3, 2011

There's so much to be thankful for

Seems like tanah tumpahnya darahku loves me! Last month I was awarded a full scholarship under Malaysia's founding father's name, much to everyone's delight. :)

The funny thing about this was that during the same week I got the good news, I also got to know that I didn't make it for another scholarship. I was pretty upset since I thought that I stood a pretty good chance for that one, while for this, I barely got a chance to open my mouth to talk during the group interview. :-/

But hey, miracles happen! I've no idea how I got it, but it's really good, with all sorts of allowances to make postgrad life more comfortable. I can pay back my parents the money they loaned me for the first semester's fees (MyBrain15's funding still hasn't come through. Meh.) and finally get some new stuff that I need. AND there's allocation for research and extra allowance should I choose to do an internship/industrial training during my course of study.

My mom was rubbing the "I told you so!" in my face, but for once, I didn't mind. It's been a tough walk of faith...and I'm glad that my faith didn't fail me.

Friday, October 28, 2011

SHIVA - Stratospheric Ozone: Halogen Impacts in a Varying Atmosphere

This will be my very first scientific cruise! *Excited!* Never mind that I'm just participating in the Kuching leg. :p

With my supervisors and fellow postgraduates. ^^

I'm still hoping that there might be space for the Kota Kinabalu part of the cruise!

For more info on the SHIVA campaign, click here.

Friday, October 21, 2011

An "almost" twin

An "almost" twin is a person who's almost like you in most mannerisms, attitude and behaviour, but who can also be the complete opposite of you that when you rub against one in the wrong way, sparks don't just fly, they burn!

I have one such person where I'm currently studying. You can say that we've known each other our whole lives (if life starts at primary one), but we never really got to know each other (much less talk to each other!) no matter how close we sat by one another or how many classes we took together. It even took us some time to acknowledge each others' presence after I've started appearing in the university, much to our mutual amazement. We just weren't sure that we're who we think we were - if that makes any sense at all, haha.

And yet...we clicked. In a weird sense, that is. Perhaps time enabled us to mature and be more tolerant (this is "almost" twin's theory) of each other. We can be sooo alike that all it takes is a glance to share "confidential" knowledge, but when we disagree, all hell breaks loose, albeit, in a pretty controlled way. Then, given time and space, we open ourselves up again and make nice. 

Last week was a bit of hell. It had all the right ingredients to make my mood foul, and foul it was. I found out today that a mutual friend was wondering what's up, but thanks to "almost" twin, my actions was explained pretty accurately that it's almost scary. And that's probably because "almost" twin is like me! I also found out today that it's somewhat nice to have someone understand me on that level, so that when I'm not in the best of moods, someone can make sense of it, even when I can't. 

We're not the best of friends. I'm not even sure if we can be categorised as friends as we have different statuses on campus (not that I care). But after today, I think I'm comfortable having "almost" twin as, well, my "almost" twin! :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Because I want to have a record of this...

"Remember, the Lord is merciful and loving and kind."
 16s rRNA bands after almost an entire month of troubleshooting.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Symphony of Science!

"The universe is made of twelve particles of matter, four forces of nature. That's a wonderful and significant story!"
- Brian Cox, physicist

By the way, this is a song. A very awesome song. :D

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Borneo agreement

Point 1: Religion
While there was no objection to Islam being the national religion of Malaysia there should be no State religion in Borneo (Sarawak & Sabah), and the provisions relating to Islam in the present Constitution of Malaya should not apply to Borneo.

Point 2: Language
  • Malay should be the national language of the Federation 
  • English should continue to be used for a period of 10 years after Malaysia Day 
  • English should be an official language of Borneo (Sarawak & Sabah) for all purposes, State or Federal, without limitation of time

Point 3: Constitution
Whilst accepting that the present Constitution of the Federation of Malaya should form the basis of the Constitution of Malaysia, the Constitution of Malaysia should be a completely new document drafted and agreed in the light of a free association of states and should not be a series of amendments to a Constitution drafted and agreed by different states in totally different circumstances. A new Constitution for Borneo (Sarawak & Sabah) was of course essential.

Point 4: Head of Federation 
The Head of State in Borneo (Sarawak & Sabah) should not be eligible for election as Head of the Federation.

Point 5: Name of Federation 
“Malaysia” not “Melayu Raya”.

Point 6: Immigration 
Control over immigration into any part of Malaysia from outside should rest with the Central Government but entry into Borneo (Sarawak & Sabah) should also require the approval of the State Government. The Federal Government should not be able to veto the entry of persons into Borneo (Sarawak & Sabah) for State Government purposes except on strictly security grounds. Borneo (Sarawak & Sabah) should have unfettered control over the movements of persons other than those in Federal Government employ from other parts of Malaysia Borneo (Sarawak & Sabah).

Point 7: Right of Secession 
There should be no right to secede from the Federation.

Point 8: Borneanisation 
Borneanisation of the public service should proceed as quickly as possible.

Point 9: British Officers 
Every effort should be made to encourage British Officers to remain in the public service until their places can be taken by suitably qualified people from Borneo (Sarawak & Sabah).

Point 10: Citizenship 
The recommendation in paragraph 148(k) of the Report of the Cobbold Commission should govern the citizenship rights in the Federation of Borneo (Sarawak & Sabah) subject to the following amendments:
  • Sub-paragraph (i) should not contain the proviso as to five years residence. 
  • In order to tie up with our law, sub-paragraph (ii)(a) should read “7 out of 10 years” instead of “8 out of 10 years”. 
  • Sub-paragraph (iii) should not contain any restriction tied to the citizenship of parents – a person born in Borneo (Sarawak & Sabah) after Malaysia must be federal citizen. 

Point 11: Tariffs and Finance 
Borneo (Sarawak & Sabah) should retain control of its own finance, development and tariff, and should have the right to work up its own taxation and to raise loans on its own credit.

Point 12: Special Position of Indigenous Races 
In principle, the indigenous races of Borneo (Sarawak & Sabah) should enjoy special rights analogous to those enjoyed by Malays in Malaya, but the present Malays’ formula in this regard is not necessarily applicable in Borneo(Sarawak & Sabah).

Point 13: State Government 
  • The Prime Minister should be elected by unofficial members of Legislative Council. 
  • There should be a proper Ministerial system in Borneo (Sarawak & Sabah). 

Point 14: Transitional Period 
This should be seven years and during such period legislative power must be left with the State of Borneo (Sarawak & Sabah) by the Constitution and not be merely delegated to the State Government by the Federal Government.

Point 15: Education 
The existing educational system of Borneo (Sarawak & Sabah) should be maintained and for this reason it should be under state control.

Point 16: Constitutional Safeguards 
No amendment modification or withdrawal of any special safeguard granted to Borneo (Sarawak & Sabah) should be made by the Central Government without the positive concurrence of the Government of the State of Borneo. The power of amending the Constitution of the State of Borneo (Sarawak & Sabah) should belong exclusively to the people in the state.

Point 17: Representation in Federal Parliament 
This should take account not only of the population of Borneo (Sarawak & Sabah) but also of its size and potentialities and in any case should not be less than that of Singapore.

Point 18: Name of Head of State 
Yang di-Pertua Negeri.

Point 19: Name of State

Point 20: Land, Forests, Local Government, etc.
The provisions in the Constitution of the Federation in respect of the powers of the National Land Council should not apply in Borneo (Sarawak & Sabah). Likewise, the National Council for Local Government should not apply in Borneo (Sarawak & Sabah).

Friday, September 16, 2011

Now, for a proper Independence Day in Malaysia-Borneo

Fair land Sarawak,
We will never cease to honour thee.
And with our loyal sons,
Defend your liberty.

From your high forest hills,
Down to the open sea,
May freedom ever reign,
Men live in unity.

Proudly our flag flies high,
Above our country, strong and free.
Long may our peoples live,
In peace and harmony.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

"Young Swinburne researcher" indeed!

A proper newspaper feature in a long while! - Young Swinburne researchers receive aid under MyBrain15

Never mind the fact that I was quoted wrongly regarding my research hypothesis. *Sigh!*

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Love in action

Love must be sincere.
Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
Be devoted to one another in love.
Honor one another above yourselves.
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Share with the Lord’s people who are in need.
Practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
Live in harmony with one another.
Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.
Do not be conceited.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil.
Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord.
On the contrary, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
- Romans 12:9-21 (NIV)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Belated raya greetings!

One of my favourite raya pics with some of my favourite people in the world - Hanna and Nurul! In the spirit of 1Malaysia, we found out that all three of us are products of inter-marriages. And proud of our heritage(s). ^^

Selamat Hari Raya, all! Maaf zahir dan batin. I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I ♥ Doodolls!

Though I don't think I've ever looked so tortured with such a cute thing on my head... (=_=)|||

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Happy Independence, Malaysia!

Tanah tumpahnya darahku, 
Rakyat hidup, bersatu dan maju, 
Rahmat bahagia, Tuhan kurniakan, 
Raja kita, selamat bertakhta. 
Rahmat bahagia, Tuhan kurniakan, 
Raja kita, selamat bertakhta.

Monday, August 22, 2011

So here's to life

Sometimes, I find it amazing that when life gives you shit, there's always that silver lining that pops up and makes things okay again. Sort of. Kinda like a consolation prize, but still a prize nonetheless! Like, when friends don't live up to expectations, I'll be feeling all down and meh. Then, out of the blue, things will just work out that other people will step in and make life all bright and cheery again! It's like affirmation, although I'm not sure what they're suppose to affirm sometimes. Silly things still hurt me like nobody's business, but I'm telling myself time and again that things tend to work out in God's way, not my way. 


So here's to life - the sucky bits, and the awesome parts of it. :)

Saturday, August 20, 2011


"I'd rather live my whole life assuming there is a God, only to find out that there isn't, than to live my whole life assuming there isn't a God, only to find out there is."
- Unknown

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Smooth sailing. Not.

Things should sail smoothly for longer periods of time. What is the point of fixing everything just so you can enjoy the fruits of your labour for a mere two weeks?

At times like these, I really regret coming home. I have more of a life when I live away from home. I have more independence. Here, it's slowly being chipped away. Nowadays I think of potential scholarships as more of a means to be financially independent from my family rather than support for my studies and research.

Drat. Maybe that's why I'm not getting any calls or notifications? This is depressing.

Honestly, these days I don't really know what to pray for anymore.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Turtle tag

During a sampling dive off Talang Island last Friday, I stumbled on an intact turtle tag amongst the corals.

It was somewhat ironic since I was hoping to bump into some turtles during the dive, but found this instead. The fact that the tag was still clipped properly possibly meant that the turtle had died and left behind this tag when its remains decomposed. :(

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

From the sea to the river

Went for regatta training yesterday. It was brutal. (+_+)

No, it's NOT like sea kayaking. Although the sea can be rougher, but kayaks are lighter, the paddles bigger, and you get to use both sides of your body. The "dragon boat" that we used felt heavy and if you don't angle the paddle properly, you'll end up splashing the person directly behind you. Or flooding the boat. Both are definitely not very nice options. :-/

However, since I'm not diving on a constant basis, regatta training is one way I can keep my body active. Working in front of the laminar flow is as active as sitting in front of the computer. (=_=) As much as I am beginning to love the labs I work in, I still like being outdoors. I guess this is one of the side effects of my previous island job.

Well then, bring on more trainings! :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Negaraku, tanah tumpahnya darahku

I am willing to die for my country. I love Malaysia that much, and I love Sarawak even more! I am willing to brave this supposed "chaos" if that means I can bring a change that will set Malaysia free from a corrupt government that cannot tell what's right from wrong any longer. I will not stand by and watch Malaysia descend into a state of complacency while parasites suck her dry at the pretense of development, peace and harmony. If anyone accuses me of being unpatriotic for this, I want to ask you back: are you willing to die for your country?

Allow me to quote from a friend:
"Business as usual for you and we are just a bunch of fools to you. And many have ridicule us for being crazy. Tear gas, water cannons, physical brutality - you think we deserved it for demanding electoral reforms in the name of democracy? You just don't know any better and I'll not waste time explaining something that you wouldn't even understand.
Evil triumphs when good men do nothing. We know better not to let evil triumph while we can still do something. If you are not in - that's fine. At the end of the day, it is all a matter of choice. Don't get in the way of those who are stepping out from their comfort zones to make a difference that matters. Don't try to twist your lack of understanding on this matter into something you think is childish. By all means, go busy tending to your turf grass in your little garden, while we hold back the landslide which could destroy the petty things that you love so much.
This is for the people who wants a change. And they deserve that change. And they get out to make that change."

Many who are against the movement for change and free and fair elections have stated that all they want is peace. Those who are not happy can just leave. They're right, I can just leave. Job opportunities in my field are more abundant elsewhere as well. The pay? Definitely much better than the going rate here. However, don't you ever forget: I was born here, this is my home, and through my maternal grandmother, I can trace my bloodline even further than your Parameswara. Malaysia is my home, and I believe that it's worth fighting for.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A little piece of history

If there's any pictures from the BERSIH 2.0 rally that will go down in history as an icon of recent times, it will most definitely be this:

Or...maybe this:

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bersih 2.0

Semakin lara kita didera bara -
kita laungkan juga pesan merdeka:
Demokrasi sebenderang mentari
sehasrat hajat semurni harga diri.

Lama resah kita – demokrasi luka;
lama duka kita – demokrasi lara.
Demokrasi yang angkuh, kita cemuhi;
suara bebas yang utuh, kita idami!

Dua abad lalu Sam Adams berseru:
(di Boston dijirus teh ke laut biru):
Tak diperlu gempita sorak yang gebu,
diperlu hanya unggun api yang syahdu.

Kini menyalalah unggun sakti itu;
kini merebaklah nyala unggun itu.

- A. Samad Said, Malaysian poet and novelist

Monday, June 27, 2011

Flavour of the week

You can buy your hair if it won't grow, 
You can fix your nose if he says so, 
You can buy all the make up that M·A·C can make,
But if you can't look inside you, find out who am I too,
Be in the position to make me feel so damn unpretty

Friday, June 24, 2011

Closing chapters

I think I finally got the affirmation I needed yesterday! Someone who has been helping me out with my zooxanthellae problem told me this, "Your Master's project sounds both very interesting and very relevant for the environment,".


With that much needed encouragement, I'm now more determined to find a way to get my zooxanthellae culture up and running and hoping that I'll have enough findings to be able to submit an abstract for the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium in 2012! Dateline for submission of abstract is October 2011. (>_<)


Work was also done pretty early today so I managed to come home with enough energy to clear my room and finally unpack my island luggage. Clothes are now stored properly in wardrobes and the floor is pretty clean of dust. I think I've finally closed that chapter on island life and accepted that the time now is for Master's. I still have some mixed feelings about this but moving forward is the way to go~

Lankayan and Reef Guardian, you are dearly missed everyday and you'll always have a special place in my heart. God-willing, I will be back, bigger better faster stronger as a better marine biologist. You just watch. :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Friction~ Friction~

Although the song title is "Fiction", I can't help but hear (and sing) "friction" instead. (o_O) But yeah, this song and it's album is currently on repeat on my iPod, taking over Secret Garden's OST.

Btw, if you see me do the leg shuffle thing while listening to songs, don't think that it's influenced by this video. I've been doing it since...a long time ago. ;)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Camouflage phail

Look at what we found while counting rubbish at Pantai Puteri, Santubong!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

시크릿 가든 (Secret Garden)

I seldom write about k-dramas I've watched on my blogs unless they're really really nice. This is one of them. :) IMHO, dramas like this makes it hard for normal people like us to have boy-girl relationships because we'll set our expectations so high, our prospective partners may not be able to reach it. :-/

But you know what? It would be so awesome to experience such deep love...

Well, one can always wish, haha~

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Thursday, June 9, 2011


If Swinburne is my 'first' home, then FRST, UNIMAS is my 'second' home. :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Thoughts at the laminar flow

Sometimes I don't know why I torture myself with thoughts of what could have been. Everyone says that it's better to focus on the present, be content and continue to move forward. But then again, I don't know what exactly I'm moving forward to.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Worth it or not?

Final days of the month are meant to close stuff in anticipation of new beginings. Well. Here goes!

This month, I've finally started on my research project for my M.Sc.. I was all geared up and pretty gung ho till I found out how stiffling my uni can be. So many rules and regulations and policies... I mean, who does research within office hours? And with no access to the keys after hours? Zzzzz... I can go on and on, but that's not the point of this post. Sampling was a blessing, as disappointing the site may be. I'm afraid Lankayan has spoiled me for good. :( Work in the lab has been pretty routine so far, nothing exciting yet. I'm at that stage where I do lots of work (endless even!) without knowing if it will be worth it or not.

That's the golden question: worth it or not?

I distinctly remember myself saying, at the end of my FYP days, that I don't want to do anymore full lab work research in the future...but look where I am now. Did I make the right decision? Or was I too rash in my desperation to do M.Sc. that I took whatever came along? Well, that's not 100% true too... I actually managed to come up with the topic and the proposal, with a few suggestions for analysis from my supervisor thrown in, haha~ I'm pretty proud of it actually. :) But yeah, did I think it through before packing up and leaving the island? Because I damn well miss the island and my job so much I can cry. I miss living by the sea, I miss the diving, I miss the people...most of all, I miss the freedom. Work isn't work when you do what you love, which is probably why I didn't mind the 7-days/week, 10-hours/day work schedule.


The pay could have been better... And if there were more opportunities for advancement, I don't think I would have left so early. I don't think I want to be a Research Assistant forever, and I seriously doubt that I can pursue my dreams of conquering the world with my paycheck, lol. The island was great for field work, but so fail for lab work, and I really do think that lab work is needed to further understand biological processes in the sea. What I don't understand is why I can't seem to be able to reconcile both field and lab? It's frustrating, really.

I believe in marine conservation, and that's what I want to do for a living. I love being in the field, although I understand the need to be in the lab to uncover more ocean mysteries. I know that bioprospecting is crucial to provide new technologies that may eventually contribute towards environmental rehabilitation. However, most lab people tend to just focus on exploiting the environment instead of heading towards sustainable development, conservation and rehabilitation. I just hope that I'm moving along the right path that will lead me towards what I would be happy doing. :-/


With a new month coming, hopefully there will be more excitement in the project, new stuff to learn from, and I pray that affirmation will come and tell me that I am going in the right direction. :)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Motivation of the day

"I have learned this at least by my experiment: if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."
- Henry David Thoreau, US Transcendentalist author (1817 - 1862)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

More dive gear!

In addition to the BCD that I got last month, I've finally completed my gear with my set of regulators and gauge. :)

I decided to get a full Mares set because they are the cheapest reliable brand for me now. The Mares Prestige 12S She Dives edition, the Rover octopus and the Mission 2 console cost me around RM1,430. I would have gone for the Scubapro MK25/S600 system if it didn't cost RM2,800 (this is without an octopus and the gauge). 

The set is pretty good~ I initially thought the Prestige was too big, but that's probably because I was used to the Mares Proton which I used in my old workplace. It unfortunately gives off a clicking sound because of the mechanics inside the 2nd stage. I panicked for a while thinking that I may have shaken it too hard while rinsing it. The Aqua Lung Mikron is as small as the Proton I used and if I have more money in the future, I'll probably go for that, hee~ Or the Aqua Lung Titan LX with it's awesome auto-closure device. :)

Next stop, MIDE! I'm planning to get one of these, hoho!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Beuchat Masterlift Lady BCD

Since I'm no longer on the island (big news for those who didn't know, haha), I now will have to start collecting my own dive gear if I want to continue diving! First up, the Beuchat Masterlift Lady BCD!!! :D

p/s: If you wanna know what I used on the island, it was this. :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

A timely quote

"Life is too short for drama and petty things. Laugh hard, love truly and forgive quickly. Live while you are alive, forgive those who made you cry. Be kind to everyone you meet, for we are all fighting some kind of battle. May God be with you. May you reach for your dreams and always remember to be proud of who you are."
- Author unknown

Saturday, March 12, 2011

No tsunami

Today I woke up to find that the island is still where it's supposed to be and everyone is alright and well. So much for the drama and over-reaction from the guests last night. Everyone was jittery (including yours truly) but by 10PM, most of us were bushed and ready to snooze.

Well, I'm really thanking God that nothing major happened in our area. Yes, there were big waves and all and the sea still looks one-sided to me, but other than that, all is well. Everyone is safe. The transport boat could go out this morning and life goes on. Prayers and concern go out to the Japanese people especially IYC pals and host families that took us in. I'm glad that the Aichi prefecture isn't affected asides from quake tremors. I sure hope that the death toll won't be as high as the event in Aceh a few years back.

p/s: Just got news that the transport boat was unable to come back in today due to the rough sea condition. :(

Friday, March 11, 2011

Six degrees of separation

"I read somewhere that everybody on this planet is separated by only six other people. Six degrees of separation between us and everyone else on this planet. The President of the United States, a gondolier in Venice, just fill in the names. I find it extremely comforting that we're so close. I also find it like Chinese water torture, that we're so close because you have to find the right six people to make the right connection... I am bound, you are bound, to everyone on this planet by a trail of six people."
- Ouisa Kitteridge, Six Degrees of Separation

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hey me

This morning Benjamin came on Facebook chat and showed me this picture:

I've been pretty upset over a series of events since two weeks ago, and I think I finally realized yesterday that I was being utterly stupid. Why am I giving someone who obviously doesn't care about me enough, the power to affect how I feel each day? It's utter rubbish and I'm glad that I've woken up to that fact. 

Enough of being silly, enough of being upset, enough of crying. I will be happy! And I will make the most of the time I have left. Oh whale sharks and manta rays (and maybe you, mola mola?), please let me see you before I pack up my dive gear!

I've grown to love this island and its people, but I think this is God's way of telling me that my time is up and I've to move on. Part of me still hurt because I really want to go in good terms, knowing that I'm leaving the place with friends being made. And I still hope so! But now, I hope that I'll have the strength to endure should the circumstance fail to be what I wish it would be. And to just be happy. :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lying is the most fun a girl can have without taking her clothes off

After all these years, this song can still make me grin the moment it's sung. Never mind the long title (which I love as well). Heh. :D I don't understand the music video.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Prayer for a friend

There's someone whom I treasure, and I think of her as a friend, but I'm not sure if it's reciprocated. :( Some of her actions had hurt me, and are still hurting me, but I think my "tahap kesayangan" towards her is quite high, so I keep trying to make nice even when I know that I'll most probably get hurt by the rejection.

A few days ago, I went up to her and told her that I wasn't happy with a few things, and her unexpected reaction took me aback. I knew that a few things were hurting her, but I didn't know that the effect was so bad. The situation between us got slightly better after the talk, but I felt pushed away again today. Yes, I hurt, and I know that I shouldn't expect people to act like how I expect them to...still, I love her as a friend and I would very much like for things to get better.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Hawksbill hatchlings from the final nest of 2010. May you all survive to adulthood. :)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

How "civil disobedience" can be inspiring

"Every wave on the ocean that has ever risen up and refused to lay back down has been dashed on the shore, but it is the very purpose of a wave to rise up, because once it rises up above the horizon it finally has the perspective to see that it's not just a wave, that it's a part of a mighty ocean. And the sharpest rock on the wildest shore can never break that ocean apart, they can never wear that ocean down, because it's the ocean that shapes the shore."
- Tim DeChristopher, climate activist

Monday, February 28, 2011


What if hope bursts out like blinding ball of light every morning?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Things to be grateful for

  1. A mother who stands by me through thick and thin, even when I'm not her model daughter.
  2. Two friends: Benjamin and Kristen.
  3. The new batch of dive masters who have always been willing to adopt me during breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  4. Something new to move on to when I close my current chapter.
  5. God, and the grace to always have faith in Him.
I really must focus on these five things! :)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Lessons in grief

I think one of the lessons that I've to learn from all these rejections and disappointments is that I've to help myself become a better person, because in the end, no one else will help me. It's a very cynical point of view but one that I think is the gospel truth. People will only help if it will benefit them in return. That's why as we grow older, we only make friends with benefits. Gone are the days when you can just befriend anyone simply because you click well and you like them. If they're of no benefit for you, what's the use? To know that you're being rejected for that reason hurts 10x more of course. :-/

Another thing I've learned is that among all the friends that you have, it's your family who will understand you best and who will stick with you towards the end. You don't have to benefit them, you don't have to be extra special, you don't have to stand out. All because you're family, and they will love you just the way you are.

As hurtful it is to swallow all this, it's coming true for me with each passing rejection and disappointment. They hurt, and the people I run to is my family. And two friends. And God. :) help me, God. Not to be too bitter and cynical. To keep giving people chances to be better and to have hope in mankind.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Divine inspiration

Well. Since I got tired of clearing the cobwebs out of my old blog, I decided to "move house" instead. I randomly will feel the need to blog, but it doesn't come very often. :-/ Tumblr was okay, but I still think that a proper blog is still the thing to turn to. Ranting/story-telling on Facebook isn't very polite to those who couldn't be bothered with my life, so... :)

Last night I had a pretty long chat with a friend on Facebook, and somehow, it turned into trust in God. I was telling her a lot of things, and frankly, I was surprised with myself. This is the second time I shared about trust (the first with Jess during a pre-CNY meet), and that time Jess expressed her amazement at what I said. 2010 was probably one of the worst years in my life, but I think God helped me grow so much that year. And everything that I learned made me into the person I am today - a much calmer, trusting person who has grown in faith in God. Well. At least that what I'd like to think of myself, haha!

Anyway, last night. I felt like God was speaking through me to this friend in particular. It was a pretty weird experience, being able to say the right things and help someone to lift their troubles to God and reassuring them that God loves them and won't want anything bad to happen to those He loves! Actually, as I typed that down last night, I felt reassured with it as well, because that was just what I needed to hear. Fancy that, coming from myself, lol. There was a another topic I was initially writing about that led to this trust issue, and THAT was also very relevant to myself. I didn't really think like that before, but as I typed it all down, I figured that it was probably lingering at the back of my head already, and last night I was finally able to put it into words.


It's been a long time since I cranked out something this long. But I really needed to put it down before I forget about this moment. I'm normally not so holy-moly, haha. It is embarassing sometimes because I'm always afraid that I'll say something wrong. 

Okay then, that's it! I've to get back to work (proof-reading a WWF report). I may or may not update this blog often, hahaha~ So no need to check back too often. :)