30 September 2005

I swear.

I swear a lot. Sometimes in English, sometimes BM. By the moon and the stars in the sky though, I swear mostly in Hokkien and less in Cantonese. I will swear for any reason under the sun but cliches especially wind me up: I see the question in your eyes; I know what’s weighing on your mind. That sort of thing. So how did this come to be?

We spoke much Hokkien and Cantonese in school, but little else. So our Principal decreed that we should speak only in BM and English. You can be sure that whatever a Principal decrees, her students will cheerfully ignore. I know my part in the whole scheme: I and everyone else carried on regardless.

We were bunch of subversives. We were being just a little bit silly. I won't apologize though, because I’ll stand beside what I’ve done. It’s not that we didn’t like our English and BM, but we communicated better in Hokkien and Cantonese. We have been like this down through all the years. I swear!

I get all misty-eyed when I think about the good old days, but I can only cry those happy tears. It was loads of fun, doing something we weren’t supposed to do. We knew that we were supposed to practice our English and BM, but we understood one another very well regardless.

And though I make mistakes now as I did before, good can come from mistakes. It’s like when someone promises, ‘I’ll never break your heart.’ You know better that to take it at face value, but you believe them anyway. A great new world of sharing and of joy opens up before you. A world that is good while it lasts, yet never would have happened until you make the leap of faith.

Thank goodness then, for bait like, ‘I swear by the moon and the stars in the sky,’ and promises to stay close, ‘like the shadow by your side.’ This leads to courtship, marriage and phrases to the effect of, ‘for better or worse,’ ‘’til death do us part,’ and ‘I’ll love you with every beat of my heart.’ I swear….

Back to language, it can be said that those years spent speaking Hokkien and Cantonese immensely enriched my vocabulary. Hokkien in particular is handy when I feel strongly enough about something. If you wind me up enough, I’ll give you everything I can. A strong dose of the inveNctive for which this blog is named is comes together so naturally in Hokkien.

For example, the extravagant offer to ‘build your dreams with these two hands,’ stops immediately when parts of their anatomy are named publicly in Hokkien. Yes, we’ll hang some memories on the wall, next to their publicly-named bits.

I had some really good friends. We would go out together, make noise together and get yelled at by teachers together. It was great fun. It also made for great swearing. Once, we were having a discussion about an upcoming road trip when one of us teased another, more attractive (but bashful) person, ‘And when just the two of us are there, will you show me yours?’ His reply doesn’t bear repeating, but it was the longest string of swear words I’d ever heard. Naturally, we laughed ourselves silly afterwards.

In case you wondered, you won’t have to ask if I still care. I do, about my friends, about language and about swearing. It’s a peculiar form of love. Still, with each passing day, as time turns the page, memories grow more faint. Yet another reason to swear, but I’m also doing something about it. I’m blogging, so that when I’m old and senile, I could read this and remember however faintly, what things were like. But you know what? My love won’t age at all.

The hardy souls among you who have persevered to the end of this post will have noticed that this isn’t just about Hokkien, Cantonese, English or BM. It’s not about disobedience or ineffective decrees. There’s more to it than love, friends and sticking together. There’s bits of a song scattered throughout my rambling half-memories. So let’s finish it here. All together now:

I swear, by the moon and the stars in the sky, (I’ll be there),
And I swear, like the shadow that's by your side, (I’ll be there),
For better or worse, 'til death do us part,
I’ll love you with every beat of my heart,
And I swear

Celebrity-itis 2: Eyes Gone Bad

Seann William Scott and Orlando Bloom were spotted yesterday at the gym, looking a little shorter on the treadmills than they did on film.

Note to self: I really need new glasses....

27 September 2005

Name tag blues

At a recent conference:

Delegate: Nice presentation… What’s your name?

* peers at plink’s chest *

* POW!! (plink’s Kasut Bata lands on Delegate’s face) *

I now wear my name tag on my lapels, so people don’t have to stare at my chest.


26 September 2005

plink am mememe....

This is a self-tag for a meme. Everyone else has bared their souls, so it’s only fair that I do too.

I am the child who cried a lot. I cried as a toddler when you left for work, unable to be separated from you. I cried when you sent me to school, again wanting to stay at home with you, where I learned more than in school.

I am the cousin who watched you have your first period and let you scare yourself silly instead of helping out.

I am the one you said ‘no’ to, understanding before I did that it would never have worked out for us. Thank you.

I am the one who said ‘no’ to you because I wasn’t ready.

I am the chocaholic at your workplace.

I am the one who walks like a goose.

I am the lazy little so-and-so who procrastinates, then works frantically at the last moment to finish, causing mayhem for other procrastinators like you.

I am the Hokkien-speaker who unknowingly helped to unleash five years of Hokkien-speaking renaissance upon our class in school.

I am the glutton who put on ten pounds in as many months through overeating, then whined that I wasn’t attractive any more and that it was so unfair.

I am the one at the gym who’s always checking you out but turns away when you look over.

I am the first one to ask after dinner, ‘Coffee anyone?’

I am the one who arrives at work with hair like Medusa and a disposition to match until I have had my coffee.

I am the one whose first answer to any request is ‘WHY?!’

I am the one whose mood swings are so regular you could set a watch by them.

I am the one whose mood swings are so violent that they have been banned by the Film Censors.

I am the one in the car behind you gesticulating rudely. Yes, the neatly dressed, arm-waving psychopath behind you. That’s me.

I am the friend with a strange CD collection that doesn’t go anywhere.

I am the friend whose handphone keeps going off when I’m trying to help you work problems out.

I am the sibling who shoved you down a flight of stairs and didn’t know to laugh or cry when you rolled all the way to the bottom.

I am the friend who watched while you got involved with an older woman and said nothing while others character-assassinated the both of you.

I am the child who successfully kept a straight face when we, as a family, were out buying a house and came upon one which was filled with ‘tasteful,’ nude portraits.

I am the child who stared uncomprehendingly at Awang the rhinoceros at Zoo Negara for one whole minute before realizing that the vast torrent of water crashing into the wall behind him was Awang having a wee.

I am the troubleshooter at work that occasionally wants to shoot you.

I lie awake at night, wondering if you’ll make it home safely and if I’ll ever see you again.

I am the student who never paid attention in Chinese class and am now a grade-A banana.

I am the one who jumped when you touched my hand. You were so shaken, it was a week before we spoke again.

I am the child who cried at the end of Jaws 2. Why did they have to kill off the shark which was just doing what sharks do?

I am plink, and I am funky.

You won’t like me when I’m angry

Warning: This is one of the things that hurt. Children, please stay away: plink is not feeling well right now.

I have lost the plot. It is as if I have chosen to be angry. I don’t know how I’m going to sleep, but I must: in four hours, I will be back at work, training juniors.

Work was a shambles. The new teams, formed six weeks ago, were not working together. Juniors were struggling but not being supported by seniors. My uplines have noticed this, but seniors are still not helping. KNNXYZABC!

Another department asked me to talk to my boss about a matter that had absolutely nothing to do with him. Are these people stupid? Eat too much instant noodle, izzit? McBai, McHai!

When I’d finished work and was ready to go home, my upline gave an extra-complicated bit of work to do, “if you don’t mind.” Mind? Of course not; I only had five hours to eat, clean up and sleep before coming back to train people. After that, I would have to work normal hours summore. I’d be delighted, DELIGHTED YOU HEAR?

You donkey-molesting invader of dead fish! I hope your balls get scraped off in a public incident involving their being dragged behind a sportscar.

And you, who referred a problem to me that was manifestly NOT what you claimed it was. I knew from your description, your sorry excuse for technical fiction, that you were wrong. Either you were stupid or you LIED! Only common courtesy saved you from being branded incompetent with a hot iron. It’s a good thing I did not name you when you were born, or you would be called C.B. Loong a.k.a. J.B. Loong.

Moreover, when your idiocy was revealed, you had the gall to shrug it off as precautionary. A referral ‘just in case,’ you said. JUST IN CASE! You owe common courtesy your life once more: only the thought of the entire office puking their guts up stopped me from kicking your balls out through your nose.

I hope you’re hung up by the tits in some bizarre accident while indulging your many sick, twisted perversions. In public.

And you, who interfere in my love life just to distract yourself from the sorry state of your own: GO DIE! Whom I see is none of your business. Whom I fancy is none of your business. Your love life may be on permanent display, courtesy of your own exhibitionist tendencies, but mine is private. Go to the LRT station and find yourself a platform. Step up to the edge. Step again.

The person who parked your car across two spaces, please thank God we have laws. Otherwise, I would have lost my pen inside your private bits. It is my deepest desire that someone ‘loses' their pen inside you anyway. I also hope that the ink will poison you, leaving your corpse a disgusting blue colour that your undertakers would have to Liquid Paper out before burying you. I hope the mourners at your funeral wee themselves laughing at your unnatural coloration; the heavens know there won’t be much else to celebrate of your miserable life.

To the insensitive door-slammers who don’t care that I happen to work next to the office door, I propose a swap: your desk for mine. I hope your sanity cracks as surely as mine has. Who knows, you may yet work better than I can. On second thought, why bother? It would be easier to run a cheese grater over your private parts, dunk you in seawater, pull you out and grate again.

Wouldn’t that be just grate?’

Lastly, the colleague who ‘wanted to get to know you better,’ kononnya. All you wanted were the resources from my project to start yours. When you got what you wanted, no more conversation. I hope you’re happy. Otherwise, the afternoon would have been a total waste of time. People like you give attractive folk a very bad name. For a moment, just one stinking moment, I believed that you meant what you said. Never again.

You need smacking in the face with a grand piano, until it plays a recognizable tune.

At times like these, I am thankful that I am not God. Inside of a week, I’d be the only person left on the planet….

23 September 2005


I have to walk sideways through doors because my head won't fit otherwise.

It's all Kucing Gatal's fault.

The all-seeing, all-knowing cat has deemed my little composition the worthy winner of her Wordy Gurdy Competition and I am so happy! It's the first time I've won anything in years.

Isn't that silly?

I found out from Yvy's comment minutes after the event. Can you believe that, after days of bashing Ctrl-R to see who the winner was going to be, I missed the big moment?

All of this self-centredness is no way for a civilized plink to behave, so I'm going to stop here.

*deep breaths*

21 September 2005


This belated post is part-notice, part apology for impending change on my part.
I'm undergoing pupation, you see. Wrapping up for a while and rearranging bits of me in the name of becoming more insightful and readable is what is planned. It'll take a while, possibly several years, but I'm curious to see what happens in the meantime.
Having compared the current posts of some longtime blog authors with their earlier entries, I am deeply encouraged by how quickly progress can be made. At some point, the authors in question decided that if something was worth putting up, it was going to be of the very best possible quality.
These authors pupated. Their language changed, becoming neater, tighter and more fluent. Each one developed a style that has served well to this day.
As they have passed through the stage of chrysalis, so must I. Of course, being a Drama Queen, I need to make a general announcement of this.
Apologies then, to the hardy souls who continue to drop by. The quantity of posts may fall during this period, but quality should improve or seem to. Apologies also for the format and content. I'm going to try out several ways of putting things together. With luck, there will be just the right combi out there that will hang everything together just right.

16 September 2005

Serene's parents

'Honey! I'm home!'

He juggled a bunch of roses, his briefcase, keys and a box of chocolate as the door closed behind him. The day at work had been short and he had hurried home to spend some time with her.

'Go find mummy,' he told their grey-striped tabby cat. She looked up inquiringly at him, then wound herself around his ankles. 'Serene, go find mummy,' he said more insistently as she tangled herself in his feet -- quite deliberately, he thought.

Serene dismissed him with an imperious flick of her nose, then turned and padded silently down the hallway.

Briefly pausing to preen himself in front of a mirror, he marched off purposefully after their cat. Bouquet in one hand, chocolates in the other and a single white rose caught in his teeth, he strode into the living room. 'Surprise!'

The love of his life was not impressed, that much he could see. Standing there with offerings in his outstretched arms, he saw that she was quite literally unmoved.

She lay asleep, curled up on the couch. Nothing stirred in the room and the sound of her breathing quietly filled the silence.

She had been working hard all week, he knew. Long nights, tight deadlines and last-minute changes made for seven very uncomfortable days.

She stirred briefly, muttering to herself as an errant breeze brushed a stray lock of hair across her face. Colour flashed in her pale skin as she irritably drew her hair back into place. Then she was deep in sleep once more.

The woman he loved juggled career, house and cat in a fierce whirlwind of energy. Even at the height of the week's difficulties, their house had been as it was now: spotless.

Now, the whirlwind was spent and she lay asleep before him. The stray lock of hair fell again and she made a little sound of discontent, irritation crinkling her pretty little nose. 'Serene,' she murmured, 'don't disturb mummy.' She stopped when he replaced that little lock of hair and slept soundly again.

He looked across to where Serene had been toying with a dust bunny. She miaowed back, mocking him with a flick of her ear before returning to her pastime.

The bouquet seemed to wilt in his hand and he sighed in resignation. She needed her rest; the evening they had planned would have to wait. Setting the gifts aside, he went to pick up her light, almost elfin form.

Her large eyes opened then. Dark and mysterious, they gazed longingly into his.

'Serene,' she whispered, 'don't disturb mummy. I need my rest for daddy....'

Happy Birthday Old Friend

This should have been an insightful post, sprinkled with acute observations and dotted with epiphanies. For some reason, my reason has deserted me, so I'll be posting from the heart.

You'd better take a seat....

Happy forty-second birthday. Despite the years, you don't look your age. Yes, you are getting a little rounder in the middle, but we love you all the same.

Those who claim that your dress sense has not changed over the years don't know what they're talking about. We both know there that you look good in just about anything. Just don't do the orange-colour thing with your hair....

Your many children are a credit to you. While some are helping out with the family business, others are away serving King and Country and making us all very proud indeed.

The kitchen is, as we all know, your domain. Your hands and your hospitality are peerless and boundless in equal measure. Most importantly, every item is cooked with care and it shows.

Sometimes, we get grumpy and say nasty things. We're sorry for those times. We still love you. We always will.

I Promise.

Happy Forty-Second Malaysia Day from plink and family.

15 September 2005

The GLOW or Exercise = alcohol

Ever notice (sorry for poaching on FS's turf here) how people look their best when exercising?

People we wouldn't normally look twice at suddenly become attractive when they start working it, shaking that booty or whatever it is they do at the gym. Or anywhere else, for that matter.

Of course, anyone drenched in sweat and stinking of old socks is a major turn-off. What I'm talking about it balance, people. BALANCE!

I mean that Glow that people get when they're HOT. When they're all flushed with excitement and getting warm (steady...); when people have only just started to perspire gently; that's when they become more attractive. They get The Glow.

It's just like what happens when we've been drinking. People who would otherwise be dismissed as plain suddenly become quite cute.

The good points are:
We don't have to buy or drink anything or get drunk.
They are the ones doing all the hard work.

Bad points:
We're working out as well. But then we get 'The Glow' too!
There are people at gym who we don't really want eyeing us up.

Or maybe I'm just a pervert who's going to get my ears cussed off....

Tongkat Irony!

If your wit is limp and embarrassing, despair no longer. If all you can manage are inane puns, we can help.

Trying too hard? Fallen down and can't get up?

Doktor plink has the cure for you: Tongkat Irony!

No more reliance on the uncertain powers of thought and consideration. Free yourself from the chains of care and friendship. Education and a love of life no longer constrain you. With Tongkat Irony, you can now make instant statements contradicting the obvious for longer.

Abuse the ears of those around you with inane non-observations. Wind up your colleagues. With Tongkat Irony, you can now carry on all day, past the point of satisfaction.

Here's one of our customers:
'Thanks to Tongkat Irony, my wife left me and took the children with her.'

Tongkat Irony: making ears bleed since when nobody cared!

Warning: High Iron(y) (dis)content

plink has no sense of humour. plink perasan!

'Like your new hairdo!'
'Wow, your hair nicer this way-lar.'

Look both ways.
Then cross the road so I can smack you silly.

Irony is a form of wit, yes? Ergo, irony is funny, yes?

NO! A hundred times NO!

Bad hair may be funny, but ironic ironymongers are not.

Let me tell you something: nothing makes bad hair ok. It's like tummy roll or clothes the wrong size. It's just plain wrong. No amount of compliments, backhanded, cackhanded or otherwise is going to make me feel better about it. Is everyone on Tongkat Irony today?

Why not try making me feel better in general? Too difficult? Thanks a bunch. BTW, that's sarcasm, not irony.

plink am have bad hair!

Bad hair day today. Slept late last night, with hair not fully dry.

Hair Rule 1: If hair is bad, then wash before starting work.
Hair Rule 2: Rule no.1 applies even when late for work.

Broke both rules today....

You only get asked 'Why you so late for work?' only once.

'FuWah, new hairstyle!' follows you around all day.

14 September 2005


I am currently going through a phase of seeing celebrities everywhere I go.

There was Noah Wylie at the gym yesterday, Madonna on the street last week. Only this morning at work, I bumped into Liam Neeson.

* shakes head *

I need new glasses.

12 September 2005

Binary Division

I am experimenting with binary division. Who'd have thought that reproduction could be so difficult?

*Let's try again... divide... Divide!*

*Sigh*, no joy there.

While I have no interest in progeny for the moment (but babies can be so cute!), I am dividing for debate reasons. The time will come when I will need to take both sides in a raging debate on the merits of green tea against red, for example.

Given a chronic inability to articulate my thoughts and my general disdain for views unlike my own, there should be much fun to be had in the form of inveNctive. Won't that be nice?

So there you have it, my very own contribution to the blogosphere: not one plink, but two. They were going to be plInk and plIInk, but any help with names will be welcomed.

Besides, when I've figured out how it's done, I can do it again and again. There'll be more plinks that you can shake a stick at and I'll need help telling them apart.

09 September 2005

Malaysians are always right

That's right: we make no mistakes. There is no criticism because we simply do not make mistakes. What's wrong with this picture?

While this observation is directed primarily at our corporate culture, it is also true of our approach to life in general. Cue much wailing, gnashing of teeth and hair-pulling by people who, curiously, are always right.

Can anyone remember the last time their bosses, colleagues or subordinates responded genuinely well to constructive criticism?

While it is true that criticism is a challenge to authority, our problem lies in the assumption that the challenge is malicious. This problem doesn't only arise over major issues. On board a (metaphorical) Malaysian ship, anyone who so much as notes that the Captain's tea is the wrong temperature would be fed to the sharks.

Isn't the Captain's tea a trivial matter? But of course. Why then, do Malaysian messengers get 'shot' (or become shark food) over trivial matters?

Perasan. Feeling upset by criticism of oneself. We are the World Perasan Champions.

We even expect perasan-ism of our workmates. I once asked where my weaknesses were at work so I could improve my performance. My superiors thought this was most cheeky and it took a while to persuade them that I was deadly serious!

Two Fallacies of the Malaysian Workplace make life especially dangerous for the critical thinker:

Fallacy No. 1: If there's room for improvement, things aren't perfect. If you aren't perfect, we'll find someone who is.

Fallacy No. 2: I'm not perfect, izzit? You don't know what I have to put up with in this job. Don't criticize if you don't know.

In the example above, I had to break through Fallacy 1 to persuade my bosses I was serious. They in turn had to overturn Fallacy 2 before they felt it was OK to tell me what I needed to know.

What a load of JBLAltecLansingNADLinnHiFi!!

A nasty consequence of perasan-ism is that criticism disappears. When you've tell someone where-the-JBL they can stick their criticism, they will shut-the-JBL up.

Congratu-HondaKupChai-lations! Not even our nearest and dearest can criticise us any more: we're always right.

Outside of work, this is amusing and distressing in equal measure. We get very perasan over even the smallest matters:

pDad: plink, we need to talk about your inveNctive. You may be swearing too m....
plink: You don't know what it's like to be me!! The whole F&NSusuCapJunjunged world is so TehTarikTambahHargaPetrolKauKau! You all need a good PSPokemon up your XBOX!!

A quick look around reveals the obvious: stress levels are at an all-time high. The cause is none other than perasan-ism. When that goes, we'll allow ourselves to make mistakes and we will lead longer, happier lives.

If you'll excuse me, someone's XBOX needs PSPokemoning....

The Question

The breeze eddied lazily, teasing gently at the grass and her hair alike as she looked her opponent and partner full in the face.

‘Are you sure you want to go on with this?’
‘This was your idea too,’ he grinned boyishly back at her.

She remembered why they were here, why their friends sat goggle-eyed on the sidelines. Both he and she were going to answer a question this morning, a very important question.

He was armed, by her choice, with a spear. She stepped out on the frosted grass bare-handed.

'Weren't you using your sword?'
'On you? Don't be silly. I believe you get to go first.'

He bowed to her, then started to ask his question. As the pair circled, his spear arced through the air, inscribing his question in the space between them.

A cool calm filled the morning air. She watched as he moved and remembered why they had come here. He moved with a polite grace that made her heart soar. Now and then, their eyes would meet and he would smile gently to her.

Sometimes he moved around the spearpoint and at others, it moved around him. He was a study of concentration and economy of motion. He was an awesome fusion of contradictions; gentler than the breeze at times yet a raging typhoon of energy at others. He was all this and more, but it was his smile that was most dangerous.

A ray of sun broke through then and illuminated him in full flight. The sight of him launched skywards, with spear fully extended and his breath misting in the cool winter air, burned deeply into her mind.

The spearpoint sang as he moved. He serenaded her in the voice of a spear as he whirled and spun. In his song was love, honor and duty. And a question.

It was her turn. Tradition required, demanded even, that the furthest she could go was to invite further inquiry. Her head bowed, she started by showing him an open hand and a closed one. Then she told him what she thought.

She started by showing him the prescribed defences to his every attack, adding a little flourish each time. Every bit as accomplished an artist as he was, she emulated his timing and inflections. She was also careful to let her amusement show while he kept his spear trained on her.

‘You would trifle with me?’ he asked.
‘How could I mock a man holding his spear?’

Carefully, respectfully approaching her, he smiled warmly. ‘Defend yourself.’

She read his technique and countered expertly, dodging and parrying every advance. Sometimes she let the spear pass overhead, sometimes she parried with her feet. Even as he showed her what he could do, she let him see just who he was dealing with. Through it all, she saw his smile grow broader and she blushed prettily.

Distracted, he let his spear linger for a moment too long. In that moment she made contact and she knew him. Everything slowed as her awareness permeated every fibre of the weapon. Her senses sped away to his hands and she blushed again when she felt him. Then she broke contact.

She knew as he flicked his spear away that it would swing forcefully back, so she was ready for him. It stopped, ringing, on a firm hand. ‘Would you take a woman by force, dear one?’ She wagged a finger at him. ‘You'll have to do better than that.’

Again he smiled. Again, he pressed his question. Again, she moved with the spear, shepherding it around her as he asked her yet once more. Its point never came close to the answer and yet, she would not let him pull away. Her hands expertly turned his question aside as she considered her reply.

'You do know that this finishes on my terms.'
She raised an inquiring eyebrow at him.
'Break the spear and compel the question from my lips.' There was that smile again.

She blushed furiously and didn't think that was funny at all, but she knew just what to do. There was nothing tentative in the way he had asked his question. There would be nothing tentative in her answer.

When she had him in exactly the right spot, she struck. In the space between two heartbeats, she plucked the spear from his hands and gently shoved him up against a convenient tree.

Setting the point of his spear against his throat, she told him, 'I won't break this spear, I won't break your heart. Ask now and you shall have my answer.'

Dedications: Three, really. First to viewtru.blogspot.com, whose mastery of the genre is undisputed. Then to the two people on whose Question this was loosely based. Thanks for the inspiration.

08 September 2005

There are no more original ideas

Part of the pleasure to be derived from the writing process comes from illuminating the subject in an entirely new way. Giving birth to a new idea is sometimes literally orgasmic, I'm told.

In this respect at least, I am an orgasm junkie. Remember, you heard it here first: plink is an orgasm junkie. In today's sex-crazed blogosphere, this should come (oops) as no surprise.

Unfortunately, there is an old truism that there are no longer any original ideas; that they've all been thought of. All we can do is unearth them to sparkle briefly in the sunshine.

Take the following example for inveNctive. After watching blogs for months and noting the various euphemistic phrasings (usually as strings of initials), I came up with my own: the XYZ/ABC/PQR business.

Instant orgasm: Yes. mm...YeS! YES, o..H YESS!!

No prizes for guessing that it had been done already. DrLiew.net, veteran of web communication in all its forms, had gotten there first.

This is probably why the best-read bloggers also tend to have the best-written blogs: they've seen all the old tricks. Two thumbs up for the Doc and two fingers to plink....

Oh well, time for more inveNctive, then.

KNNXYZABCJBLTongkatAliPQRMinyakCapKapak and all that jazz....

'Say it right!'

While I'm still in fire-breathing, inveNctive-spouting mode, I'd like to address another problem rampant in our beloved homeland.

As is the case with most Engrish-related trouble, it is most acute amongst our Mat Salleh celup people. 'Say it right!'

Never mind that I can (and do), but the main function of any word in any language is to be understood. If I can be understood, what does it matter if the pronunciation is 'wrong?'

Take a look at the list below:

Halley: Haw-ley/Hay-ley
Raleigh: Raw-ley/ Ral-lay
Razaleigh: Ra-za-ley/ Ra-za-li
Leigh: Lay/Li

Malaysian pronunciation (i.e. WRONG) is followed in each case by the 'correct' way of saying it. For a bunch of people who take great pride in listing the long string of titles for the assorted dignitaries at any function, we're not much good at saying the names right. I ask the 'say it right'/Mat Salleh celups again, does this matter?

While we do not 'wee,' things to find out how heavy they are and horses 'nay', the unstable ground that is the English language makes it dificult to guess what the pronunciation for any word ought to be. A quick search through various media reveals that both the above pronunciations are in widespread use for each word.

Edmund Halley, for whom the comet is named, won't roll over in his grave just because people homophonize his name with that of Bill Haley and his Comets. Great music, wrong pronunciation but who cares?

The fate of one Sir Walter Raleigh may prove instructive to those who insist on the 'correct' way of saying his name and that of a bicycle company sharing it: he was beheaded.

Several local news readers and journalists have used the first pronunciation for the name of our very own Tengku Razaleigh. However, the local populace have referred to the MP for Gua Musang as Ku Li. Again, everyone understands, whether or not we refer to Tengku RazaLI.

Film buffs, who really ought to know better, have lectured me on Gone With the Wind and its Lead Actress, one Vivien Leigh. It is amusing to see people shifting between the two pronunciations, obviously unsure as to which one to use.

Say it right indeed.... Should we care?

Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn....

Drama Minggu Ini: Antiklimaks

Surprise, surprise, the good Doctor cancelled yesterday; may have taken the hint. Land sakes! I've been scattering hints left, right and centre for the last few weeks.

I suspect our third party may have (finally) passed on the message that plink is not interested (in Doctor, that is).

Otherwise, happy hunting, Doctor!

Does plink need a control bra?

While at the gym last week, I had begun to get into the swing of things and was beginning to enjoy myself when something started to nag at my senses. There was this nagging feeling that something was going on with the treadmill to my right and it refused to be ignored.

So I looked.

And wished I had not. A reasonably fit young lady was pounding on the treadmill to my right. She was going at a respectable pace. She also had an ample bosom.

Her bosom had a mind of its own and did not like being told what to do. So, despite the fact that the young lady was wearing a control bra, her bosom was bouncing excessively in what looked to be a rather painful manner.

I looked at my own and thanked the heavens that I was a long way from having the same problem as she did.

Too much of a good thing, perhaps?

Thank goodness for neighbours

pMom just told me about this yesterday and it still gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Early one morning, just before dawn, a small group of men climbed the gates of the plink residence. Four of the five men were already inside when one of our neighbours saw them. She had come out early to do her laundry in the pre-dawn twilight. Our neighbour raised the alarm and scared the five would-be thieves away.

Sleeping soundly as I did, I knew nothing about the events until late yesterday.

Is it just me or is KL crime on the rise?

07 September 2005

Drama Minggu Ini: Part 2

OK, the good doctor from the previous episode is now about to move. There is going to be a dinner at Doctor's house this evening, with no stated reason.

'People invite small group to dinner cannot meh?'

Wrong question.

We should be asking, 'Why suddenly, for no reason, Doctor is inviting people for dinner?' Four people is a small enough group to make sure no problems break out and it's not as obvious as an evening for two. If the group was any larger, plink might run away with someone else (not Doctor).

'plink, sweetie... maybe we should....' That's just plain scary. Maybe I should just run for the hills and be done with it.

05 September 2005

plink Needs Water Wings

Good news: This blog is evolving.
Bad news: plink is not.

Your little friend is no better now than at the start of this effort and it's not just my writing. Trying to comment on other people's blogs feels like walking into a room full of adults. Here's why.

Despite having gathered up enough courage to comment on other blogs, a nagging problem still remains: I've not got that much to say. Things have gotten to the point where commenting has become a will-I-won't-I sort of exercise.

There's also the disappointment of reading other, better-written, comments. Where does the apparently effortless commentary come from? Half the time I feel that I have something worthwhile to say, someone else has said it in fewer words. There's also a humorous twist tossed in, like it's the most natural thing in the world.

While I curtsey/bow/kowtow to the experts, this does nothing to lessen my frustration. I think that's why they're called experts: they make this difficult sort of thing look easy.

None of this lessens the worry either. Do I self-censor so extensively that I cannot even feel my ideas? Do I really have no ideas or opinions at all? Am I so humourless that people would sooner chew their leg off than talk to me?

To use another metaphor, I feel as though I have jumped into the deep end of the blogosphere and am now coming up for the third (and last) time.

plink certainly needs water wings, but for how long? What form will these water wings take?

Period Pains

That time of the month is more of an ordeal for some women than it is for others. As if the inconvenience and indignity of menstruating are insufficiently trying, all manner of other things can (and do) happen to a woman’s body and mind.

I have no stories of my own to tell. Suffice it to say that I have mood swings and that people at work have learned to avoid "plink’s Desk of Death.”

Reading is excellent use of mood swings. The good stuff, where the guy and the girl get together and live happily ever after, reduces me to an incoherent blubbering mess. The really good stuff where good defeats evil and all that, has neighbours pounding on floors and walls trying to shut me up. Yess!! Oh YES!!

Having music tug at the heartstrings when I’m in that state is also an interesting experience, but I digress.

One friend had an altogether different problem: period pains. She didn’t get the faint, nagging trouble that some people suffer with. We were sat in a well-lit library when she had an episode and she explained it all to me.

Annie (not her real name) and I had just judged a number of books by the covers (as you do) and were about to read the most interesting ones when she suddenly turned pale. The library was well lit and it was quite a shock to see her change colour and drop rather heavily into her seat.

When the moment had passed, she told me all about it. She told me about the constant, week-long ache that kept her awake at night. She also told of a horrible, tearing sensation that would start without warning. Occasionally, she said, she would pass out.

A number of things started to make sense then. Annie had been unable to sustain relationships beyond her time of the month. She had also been branded moody and named a witch (or something sounding like that). Annie also seemed to lose weight around her periods, which she put down to not eating well.

For three weeks of every month, Annie would be a thoroughly nice person. Sunshine, smiles and rainbows would prevail. Then during the week of horror, she would be this pale, moody, curiously-puffy-faced-yet-losing-weight witch.

Annie told me that she could endure the suffering if she knew she could have children. Not knowing for certain frightened her no end. Worse, this fear would return to gnaw at her every time she had period pains.

Still, she was very matter-of-fact about it: I was the one changing colour as she told her story.

However, living with the problem had warped her sense of humour. Our discussion ended when she said that it once hurt so badly that it loosened her bowels.

I had to excuse myself at that point.

This post is dedicated to women out there with period pains and worse. For putting up with all this, plus men and other women who don’t understand, we salute you.

02 September 2005


I get really paranoid sometimes.

No, wait: I get paranoid all the time.

Take this evening for instance. Having read a 62% Evil post and Mike's reply to my comment, my first thought was 'OK, he's not talking about me, right?'

'Not ME, right?!'

What's a plink to think about this hint, 'Look at some of the blogs nowadays... you'll get what I mean'?

I COULD be perfectly rational and not worry about it.
I COULD be quite happy and smile knowingly at the incisive nature of Mike's BananaEvil observation.
I COULD be happy that the EvilOne has acknowledged, possibly even agreed with, my opinion.

But no.

I decided to get all paranoid instead.

Time to cut back on the love stories, then....

'Hi, my name is plink and I'm a love-story-holic....'

01 September 2005

How do you like yours?

Given one view on honey and people, how do you like yours?

Do you like making a mess?
Do you raid the jar and plunder the inside for its booty?
Do you sniff at it first, or gently carress the container and coax the liquid gold out?
Do you like sharing your honey?
Do you talk to your honey and does it talk back (I want a jar of that stuff!)?

Heavens, I'm starting to sound like a certain (honey-loving?) cat.

How about you?

Normal service resumes

Siaran... *ahem* Normal service resumes as of today. Blogging in a favourite language long-unused took some getting used to and I'm rather sad to let it rest.

I shall therefore intermittently blog in BM throughout the year, with the occasional BM day. Just to keep in practice.

In the meantime, an Engrish haiku:

Merdeka has passed,
Progress closer than last year,
Can't wait for next one!

There's also the promise of more doggerel....

Merdeka Madness 2005

Cerekerama Hari Merdeka

Bangsa Jiwa Bahasa? Hidup Bahasa Hidup!

Tanah Merdeka, The Land of The Free


'Kambing Hitam Satu, Bos! Kurang Tanggungjawab!'