Tuesday, May 22, 2007

MyCORP/DIVE and More

To correct Freelunch2020's perception of me as a 'tai tai', I feel compelled to write about projects that kept me busy in the last month or so.
The first is my pet project that had me going and talking to city councillors, local educationists, community activists, youths and citizens who are interested in being change agents or 'interventionists'.
The second is a Community Creativity Centre that my neighbour cum 'new best friend', F, roped me into.
And the third is the Citizen Think Tank that I had the honour to be one of its moderators:
Now, if I only have the time and energy to undertake all these successfully to the end.

My Fair Lady The Musical

I had to abandon two sets of friends to seize the opportunity to watch MFLTM at the KL Convention Center on the evening of May 18th. KL being the supposed cultural hub of Malaysia had, of course, to observe Malaysian time and tolerate Malaysians' idosyncrasies. In other words, the actors had to wait for the audience taking their own sweet time dribbling into the auditorium and perform while babies are bawling their lungs out!
Apart from that, we managed to enjoy the show and the hor douvres during the interval. However, I still prefer the film version with Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison. NiA wished Eliza had rode into the sunset with Freddy but I had to remind her that the play was based on 'Pygmalion' which was written by George Bernard Shaw in 1916. In any case, I chose to interpret it as a question of compatibility between two human souls and tried to ignore the age difference between the protagonists.

Goodbye Boys

NiA decided we do something different on Mother's Day and watch a local indie movie for a change.
Goodbye Boys is a coming-of-age story set in 1990 against the backdrop of Kinta Valley. A group of eight Form Five Ipoh boys went on a 5-day 100km hike to fulfill a King Scouts requirement and returned to become young men just in time for the Farewell Prom organised by none other than the Convent girls. Reminds me of my numerous journeys with Yat to Batu Gajah, Tanjung Tualang and Ipoh during my secondary school holidays. And those '90s ballads were worth listening and humming to again.

Marche Movenpick

Have always wanted to dine at Marche Movenpick and finally had the chance on Mother's Day. Love the European marketplace and hawker style concept, the fresh fruit juices, the creamy risotto, the super sausage and the Alps Coffee.
The staff can perhaps be more generous with their smiles and the local patrons could certainly practice restraint in piling their plates!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Women Over 40

(Or what my poolside cafetaria operator would say in one breath: "Womenover35")
60 Minutes Correspondent Andy Rooney (CBS):
"As I grow in age, I value women over 40 most of all. Here are just a few reasons why:
A woman over 40 will never wake you in the middle of the night and ask, "What are you thinking?" She doesn't care what you think.
If a woman over 40 doesn't want to watch the game, she doesn't sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do, and it's usually more interesting.
Women over 40 are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won't hesitate to shoot you if they think they can get away with it.
Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it's like to be unappreciated. Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to a woman over 40.
Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over 40 is far sexier than her younger counterpart. Older women are forthright and honest. They'll tell you right off if you are a jerk if you are acting like one. You don't ever have to wonder where you stand with her.
Yes, we praise women over 40 for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it's not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed, hot woman over 40, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some 22-year old waitress.
Ladies, I apologize. For all those men who say, "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?", here's an update for you. Nowadays 80% of women are against marriage. Why? Because women realize it's not worth buying an entire pig just to get a little sausage!"

Bean there...

Couldn't resist sharing this, courtesy of Paulene Leong:
From the bottom of my heart, I wish you all the best, Bean, on your future project/s.
Do keep us entertained with your shenanigans and silly antics!

Monday, May 07, 2007

A Day in the Life

May 13th/Mother's Day is around the corner, once again.
In the spirit of universal matriarchy, I've been contemplating a career change which would enable me to contribute much more to the society, and the country, given the right opportunities.
My colleagues - JL, NYM, RS - and I had been scouting a post-conflict squatter area the last few weeks to see if we could embark on a participatory action research by testing a multicultural or diversity team-building module that can then be replicated. However, we discovered that the authorities had employed a quick-fix or band-aid solution to the racial problems by relocating and segregating the ethnic groups involved to two separate transit settlements, and ultimately, permanent low-cost, high-rise residential units. Thus, we decided on an alternate and proximate location for our pilot project in conjunction with the school holidays.
By the Grace of God, over the break, I was alerted of a very exciting project that my fellow 'murid' and sister, F, is currently involved in and was somehow roped into conceptualising the programmes and activities. This is something that would definitely allow me to realise my dream of facilitating a new breed of creative and productive community that will gradually disengage from a crude culture of consumption. Now, I would surely jump on board if the offer is right!
So much for the crossroads that I'm at.
Here's a different offer from the International Museum of Women:
Waking up the children, vacuuming the home, looking over homework, a trip to the market, sharing naps and Sesame Street…
All in a day’s work! Mothers world over multitask. But what if in addition to all this they have to struggle to survive? What if every day means not knowing how you can provide your children with a safe home and stable future?
Meet Ruth Natasha from Nigeria who gives us a glimpse into her thoughts as an HIV positive mother. Read Suzanna Camil Ali’s account of her life as a Palestinian mother at the Al’Azzah refugee camp in Bethlehem. As she goes about her day safety, politics and housework all have a part to play. See Justyna Mielnikiewicz’s striking images of Eka’s life. Eka, a half Georgian, half Russian mother struggles to make ends meet for her family.
What is a day in your life like? Tell us your story.