Oct 28, 2010

Eat, Love and Pray

If I could do just that for a whole week. What I would give to have been in Elizabeth Gilbert's shoes.

I fell in love with Rome and the Italian language just by her story telling. There are many feelings that roamed her mind that I can relate to, the doubts, the uncertainties and the vulnerability. Yet I admire the way she was able to do exactly what she did. Of course one must have the resources, but one must also have that inner push which she had to help the outer push (her 'divine' experience) propel her forward.
There's a lot of truth about the subject of religion as relayed by Lizz without putting a label on it,  it's almost identifiable in all the religions that are out there (most of them).

I could feel her tumult at the beginning and I could sense the gradual diminishing of it during her stay in Bali.
It isn't about romance or companionship or performing duty or charity or morality, it is about finding an inner peace in the mind that means contentment, it's about reaching down to your very core, seeing it clearly and being aware of it.

You learn a fair bit of history and about places in Rome. Italy and Bali, not so much for India.
Strangely in India, she managed to escape being touched by the extreme poverty and conditions in spite of staying there for such a length of time. It 's not so much the outside world that converts her so much as her own realization of all the turmoil that is inside herself.

I have not quite defined it yet, exactly what she attained, but it is halfway to wisdom and contentment.
Is there more power in her prayer, I'm not so sure about that, there may be something to it, after all it is the power of the 'enlightened' mind in clear communication with a higher power.

What you experience as the reader, is her journey - moving from troubled to contentment-, of Elizabeth rescuing herself, reaching down deep and pulling herself out of darkness and into the light.  Finding peace has been expressed a few different times and in many ways (by different persons), simply 'let go'.

I enjoyed her wit and style of writing which was mostly very direct. Even in expressing her thoughts there was very little mincing of words.  
One of the many statements I liked, the privilege of being human is that we have hands...."That's our privilege. That's the joy of a mortal body. And that's why God needs us. Because God loves to feel things through our hands."   .. and that is food for thought.

I will probably read this again soon.

(PS : I just read an update on her website .. so sad, I liked what I read of him,  Richard of Texas has passed away)

Oct 27, 2010

In other words...

Sunday 24 Oct.....

Why is it sometimes it feels like particular days are designated as argument day. Out of the blue, tempers flare, patience goes on vacation and (temperature rises) heated words get exchanged by all parties. We all just get ignited simultaneously.
Perhaps it is the air!
This happens between 17 year old, 13 year old and me the adult.

Hmmm, I see the problem now.,  it's got to do with teenage hormones,  they outweigh and outrank the natural order. In other words, I'm outnumbered.

Whatever the case, there is NO EXCUSE for blatant insolence.


Oct 25, 2010

Bookshop at the Ion

On Saturday, I decided to take advantage of the bookshops special discount offer of 25%. I wanted to buy more academic practice books for the hols.. yeah yeah kiasu.   But the sale was only at the Ion where the Popular outlet is called Prologue. I suppose the name 'Popular' just won't do in a upscale mall like the Ion. Just as 'Harris" is at Suntec.  Anyway this was my first actual visit to the Ion. I usually avoid Orchard Road cos I don't like crowds.

Well despite getting lost, walking every which way but the right way, we finally got to the store on the 4th level. (I must add they do have very polite information service persons posted here and there for help but it didn't help cos the lifts were full). The Ion was crowded, it was a Saturday night I suppose. We found the lift lobby but just couldn't get in and decided let's find the escalators and find a way with more walking.

We found the store. It didn't look like the Popular we are used to in the heartlands but of course  duh!..it looked expensive and posh and dark. Bookstores should have more light shouldn't they, but then I suppose ambience outweighs the practical.  But wow and happily, it was filled with a lot more reading material for adults than the usual Popular. We spent a fair bit of time, I spent a fair bit of money, all three kids managed to find books they LIKE to read.

Alr 's selection will probably last him for a year - some sci-fi space to-do, Alx couldn't find one thick enough on - of course- some vampire saga and Arn found some beast range series.   
Notice, there is nothing normal about ordinary human beings in the lot !!!

I found some many things too, but held myself back of course, Dan Brown's latest book,  I passed it to dad to read first, I'm still on my  'Eat, Love, Pray', (I rub my hands in glee.)

We finished late, so there wasn't any time to window shop even, we were hungry, and of course we had dinner there at the food court. Just keep this in mind, add a dollar to what is normal pricing outside except for the tasty fish soup noodle; . Nasi Lemak was $6 - that was unbelievable!

Oct 24, 2010

Don't forget to Love Yourself

"I am never proud to participate in violence, yet, I know that each of us must care enough for ourselves, that we can be ready and able to come to our own defense when and wherever needed."  - M Angelou

In other words, love yourself, never let yourself be bullied.

Oct 18, 2010

Purple shoes

Purple shoes well not exactly purple purple, you know it’s sort of deep purple, so in non-white light it almost looks black.

What am I going on about, I decided to adventure into another new territory of non- black shoes. It started with red strappies two years ago, I thought that was major. Ok.. this is just another branch.... or stem.

In the daylight you can see it’s purple. Call me old-fashioned, non-adventurous but fashion and I just never had the opportunity to get to know each other that well , we just started getting acquainted in the past 10 years with a sort of a coming out into my own, really, really late bloomer,  hence my obsession with pink in the last few years.

Never really had the opportunity in my younger days to explore for the lack of pocket money and a conservative home. And then as one ‘matures’ one doesn’t quite dare dip the feet in until some major catharsis hits like the approach of the middle ages.

Anyway today I wore the purple shoes (deep purple), and suddenly I’m noticing the other colours around me as I take myself on the  .. well trodden, well worn.. path to work.  There’s actually quite a lot of purple out there, not on feet but on blouses, shirt ties and  oh.., even purple streaked hair.

Oh good .. I’m not really standing out anymore.

Oct 17, 2010

Who loves Spongebob ?

It's Sunday.... no ranting today....

Here's a character who never fails to put a smile on my face.

F is for friends that do stuff together U is for you and me N is for
anywhere and anytime at all down here in the deep blue sea!! says Spongebob

Oct 16, 2010

Ranting Saturday - cost of vegetables and haircuts

Is everything more expensive these days or is it my imagination.
Did I just pay $15 for a handful of vegetables ?   Fish is expensive  but unfortunately it's also healthier, ..(troublesome too as I get more whining from the the kids ... they 'd rather live on chicken and mutton).... $16 !! for white pomfret is there any point haggling with the fish seller

Prices of food are skyrocketing  but our salaries are barely crawling in the upward motion. 
The economy is bad then the weather is bad, then the economy picks up and property prices climb again  although one has got nothing to do with the other,  notice the pattern , it's all just going up (except...) which just means the hole in our pocket grows bigger and bigger.

Now to more mundane stuff... it's time for haircuts AGAIN, why do the boys hair just grow like ... lallang .. at least there are still no-frills barbers around for that;  a $7 or $8 for a basic haircut !

Oct 14, 2010

Slavery of Women (cont'd)

I'm still reading 'Half the Sky', am about 3/4 ways through.

Here's a quote of a quote from the book from the father of an Afghan woman, it captures the very essence of the problem, within which is the solution .
'That is why these people are afraid of educating women - they are afraid that then the women will ask questions, will speak up... That's why I believe in education. It is such a powerful tool to overcome poverty and rebuild the country. If we took the foreign aid that goes into guns and weapons and just took one quarter of that and put it into education, that would completely transform this country."

In the introduction there was a discussion from security experts that stuck in my mind that 'Empowering girls.. would disempower terrorists', the discussion stems from the marginalization of women and it's consequences.

Lots of food for thought !

Oct 13, 2010

Love my Books

Went to the bookstore last week; bought 3 books this round, got a little enthusiastic, couldn't stop myself.. at the book store. I feel happy walking among books and books and browsing of course, what a wonderful way to spend time... like a vortex I get sucked in and and forget time and the present.

I tell myself these are books that I will keep. But you know there is only so much space for one’s personal book shelves. So after a while I have to decide what to give away to make space, I pass them on to a thrift store or the church’s second hand shop (which is where I go to rummage for books sometimes)

There’s also a shop (Sans) that takes back the books you buy from them but of course within a certain time period. Which is ok, they essentially refund you about a third of the book cost which beats disposing. So if there is a series I follow, I get them from there and return mostly but keep the exceptional ones.

Oct 9, 2010

Slavery of Women

'Half the Sky' by Nicholas D Kristof & Sheryl Wudunn

Slavery of women exists today. It's not fiction.

Gender discrimination in the East 'is lethal'... millions of females are missing from the globe because of it :-
- priority for health care by parents is given to boys, ultrasounds spell doom for females... .... girls have higher fatality rates.
- human trafficking of young girls into prostitution runs into millions
- India : bride burning .. tales place once every two hours
- Pakistan :  over the past 9 years, 5,000 women and girls set alight, doused in kerosene..
- rapes and ruthless murders in Africa

I just started reading and it is maddening to realize this is about modern day depraved cruelties against a huge number of women and girls that is allowed to go on, very much in our backyard.. ... because they are 'discounted humans' defined by a society or culture, because politics is 'divisive' on the subject, because of corruption , because of poverty.......

We all give/help regular charities but it does make me think about redirecting my small efforts and attention to these causes.

Oct 6, 2010

Wanting best for my Kids..

A sms conversation with a pal of mine - do we stress, why we stress, what if we don't stress the kids... it's all about education and the system that perpetuates it.

Why do we do it, we just want the best like everyone else for them..we can't help it.

What's best - a good job, a good salary. how about good memories of childhood .. they need time to make those I remind myself.

It's a constant battle to push or let go.

I want them to have childhood memories worth having. 
I can't prevent all the bad ones but I can help with time to make happy ones.

Oct 5, 2010

Basics, basics ..wherefore art thou ?

Schools have forgotten about basics. I met my son's teacher a few months back and I said to her  'could you introduce school brushing like they did in the old days?' she looked at me a little queerly. I don't think I meant it in the literal sense but the point was that.

With 'progress' in learning systems - pc-fitted, thinking creatively, learning out of the school room ... online., all of us jumping on the bandwagon of the education rat race, seems we have trouble enforcing the basics  like neatness, treating books with care and brushing teeth which for some reason the kids - see as less important !

What's up with that ?

Basics just get pushed down the list.....


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