西崎崇子 - 3650 夜

Friday, March 20, 2009

Dilberto :-) by Scott Adams

Dilbert (yes, single name, nothing more, nothing less…), a single, destined-for-failure mild-mannered engineer who revolves his life around his demeaning workplace, co-workers, and subsequently, his own megalomaniacal pet dog Dogbert. Mismanagement and bureaucracy in the workplace became a way of life in Dilly’s 4x4 cube. His idiotic boss, aptly named the Pointy-Haired Boss (or PHB), notable for his micromanagement, massive incompetence, or being vague about ethics, but somehow manages to stay on top of games. Dogbert, perhaps the second cutest in the comics (after a Director), who has a disdain for all human beings, dreaming of one day to conquer to universe and, to a certain extent the comic had otherwise suggested, enslave all mankind. Often appeared as a con-man consultant to the PHB, he enjoys the opportunity of insulting people, giving bad (or sometimes, fatal) advises and then charges them an astronomical amount of fees. He thrives on taking advantage of the stupidity and susceptibility of everyone, most notably his co-pet, Ratbert.
Catbert (or, the ‘evil director of Human Resources’), or, in my opinion, the cutest mammal in the comic. Often works in tandem with the PHB, Catbert often comes up with ‘Random Policy Generators”, abusing workers, by doing things like banning the drink of coffee, the use of vacation or sick leave, or toilet use. Downsizing is perhaps Catbert’s greatest joy.
I’ve been following the weekly strips for 8 years now, when I was only 16, 17. There are no others like Dilbert, the satire that has embodied the futility in corporate world, and has amazingly featured on a number of covers of Fortune magazine.

The Measureable Self-Worth...

Nothing is good enough for me.

At least that was what I thought all these years. Since puberty.

I was never pretty enough, smart enough, tall enough, fair enough…but I was slim enough. Yeah, at least that was one thing I loved myself for!!!

I had serious acne breakout since my period, that would be, when I was 11, one of the earliest to have menses. Zillions of zits not only scarred my pretty face but also my self esteem as well. Before 11 I was the most popular girl in school (as a result of my mixed parentage), had a sea of admirers, but that all changed after 11…you could guess why…

God made me discover Roaccutane (a form of Vitamin A) only when I was 23. Ouch, and the thought of how much damage since puberty would only bring me to tears. Now that my face was clear, I had other concerns. What, you ask??

And then there was my weight. In high school I was the slimmest, always the envy of friends (some a.k.a frienemies…you know how it goes…) So tiny I weighed barely 100 lbs, maybe much less. But I was one of the tallest, so a slightly tall and slender figure was naturally the talk of the class. My flat-chest-ness came along with my figure. Wasn’t really proud of that though.

But, as you know how the story goes, all good things have to come to an end. I started putting on weight when I was 20, and gained a massive 20-25 lbs my worst days. Ooh, and then it suddenly hit me that you know what they say about it’s easy to gain weight, but not quite the other way round?? I never fully understood what it meant until then…Double ouch!!

Now, at age 24, I weigh around 110 lbs. Ok, that settled, some other issues arose. At least that’s what I thought.

Then I started pondering some other fancy ideas…what if I was fairer in skin tone, had whiter teeth, got rid of those discolored part of my lips and fine lines around my gorgeous eyes? Eh…yup! Getting rid of pimples and 20 lbs were not enough…I HAD TO turn into the early days of Joan Rivers...triple OUCH!!!

Then I wondered, what would happen if I’ve gotten fairer, had whiter teeth, and restored the natural color of my lips and the first sign of wrinkles around my dazzling eyes? I’d probably go for a tummy tuck, breast augmentation, lipo, and then slowly graduate to botox and other weirdly-named substances???

Yeah my first name’s Jocelyn. But no Wildenstein.

Or whatever that feline’s named.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Christmas is one of the few times of the year I'd gain an extra few pounds :-) The meals, the meat, the veggies, the ice cream…YUMMY!!! But, like they say, putting on some lbs is easy, but to get rid of it is like trying to feed the whale (…???) So, I assume whale-feeding is no easy task…

X'mas morning I went to my cousin's church (which is probably the 3rd church-going session this year…) Not-bad atmosphere…and then, the first performance was so-so, with some kids trying (really) hard to act, and then 2nd one…Gosh I had no idea what it was!!! Anyway, then it was my cousin's turn. She's in the choir, performing at least 10 Carols. It was perhaps the only one that kept me awake. Wow, she can sing!!!

Christmas dinner, when we started the tradition years ago with an overstuffed and overpriced turkey, has never been the same. Perhaps for mom and my sister it's time to experiment, but for a hillbillie like me, I prefer to stay conservative. Eventually they came up with a roasted chicken with mom's secret recipe, grilled veggies, Chinese herbal soup, and some others. We overstuffed ourselves. Was 102 lbs in the morning and after just one meal, I was a healthy 106 lbs ($%*@#!*)

On the 26th, when I woke up in the morning they were already playing X'mas carols in one of the radio channels. So I took the opportunity to enjoy oldies that I never really bothered. Man, was it soothing! Elvis Presley's powerful vocals on 'Oh Come All Ye Faithful' was enough to wake the dead…yet so serene.

Never knew mom made 'Satay' better than some…with all homemade recipes, it's not just hard to replicate her recipes, it was quite impossible to even learn…Sad but true, mommy doesn't 'have' any secret recipes…she just throws in whatever she could find from the maze-like fridge. WOW…the meal on the 2nd day of X'mas was so mouth-watering I found myself begging her to make more…which I normally don't.

We left on the 4th day of Christmastide….Eh…because apparently someone needs to attend some (quoted) "not so important" function…Snap..there's still one more day left for the holidays

All I want for Christmas is a break!

God Will Show His Way...

Ahhhh…it's been a while,…WOW, what REAL work can do to a person :-) Hahaha…

Free & Easy has always been my way of life। Now to adjust to a more fast-paced corporate surrounding is a 180 Degrees change in virtually every part of my life. My new life, it seems, is (so far) more stimulating than my old, almost-monotonous lifestyle. Now that I've stepped up to the plate, I know there's no turning back.

The shipping industry, is seems, is vast, old, ever-expanding, and err…slow-moving. Take the Greek shipping empire for example. The Onasis family, & Paris Hilton's ex 'fiancés' (which were all conveniently shipping heirs), century-old money could just roll on for another century. Old money was hard to come by, but still bore fruits like those jerks who date 'the Hilton chain heir-head'. Century-old money is still a major GDP source for Greece, as modernization in that grandma industry is slow, so are the people's mentality. I work in a company that specializes software solutions for vessels, but the shipping trade is one of the last industries that embrace technology. Bummer!

It's still too early to tell if I'm cut out for this job, time will tell, and hopefully, God will show His way. Called a friend early last week, in her new job, she's distressed, hates almost everyone in her office & became more and more locked up in her own little world. That wasn't the girl I once knew. I now realize that if you don't like your job, there really isn't any point in staying. But hopefully, everything will work fine for me.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Mom to me: Your Bitch Ain’t Eatin’

Yep. That’s what mom told me. Your bitch ain’t eatin’.

It’s been a rough week. It happened about a week and a half ago, when mom expressed her concerns over Mickie’s lack of appetite. My pet mutt Mickie has always been an overweight poochie, so I reassured that she was gonna be just fine. I overlooked one vital fact though: it didn’t stop there.

A few days later mom called again. This time I was a bit worried. She practically begged me to go back on Thursday night so I could bring poochie to the clinic the next morning (state-run vet clinic, operation hrs? Weekdays from 9am to 4pm…) I told her we could only make it on Friday night and tried our luck on Saturday morning .

Much to my dismay, the clinic wasn’t open that Saturday morning. Mom almost used the 4-letter word to describe those ‘lazy government scumbags’. I didn’t dare to utter a word, she’s right when she thinks she is. No point arguing.

Mickster hadn’t had any solid food for 4 days. We couldn’t do anything to help her. Christy was whispering (out pretty loud though…), “Is it time yet?” and discussed possible feline companion ‘after’ Mickie. We joked about it. I think I even mentioned something about a pair of eagles :-) That certainly lightened up the mood a little…

But then miracle happened. Mom, as usual, prepared her food and she nibbled it. The process was painfully slow, but an improvement nevertheless. We were all overjoyed. But she didn’t eat anything at all after that. Mom was like, “At least she drank a whole lot of water…” That WAS a blessing. Sunday morning, she was eating slices of pancakes off my hand. That same afternoon, she ate some chicken shreds off my palm, and was licking my fingers. I noticed that she didn’t wanna eat off the bowl, I wonder why…

Anyhow, she started nibbling food since Saturday, bits by bits, but still, an improvement. Mom called last night, she’s eating just a tad bit every day, but drinking heck lotta water. That was quite a relief. I just hope that the chubby Mickie we have in pix won’t be a distant memory…

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Mother & Her ‘Very Special’ Child

This is an incident that happened about a year ago, way, way before I started this blog. It wasn’t constantly on my mind, in fact, this is the first time it pops to my head in months. Thinking back, I don’t know what sorta lesson it serves, probably nothing much.

I was in the mall waiting for my sister to pick me up. After picking up some groceries, I headed straight to the pickup/drop-off section of mall, saw a chair full of people, so I just stood still and waited.

Suddenly I felt a pinch on my butt. My heart was pumping fast and having guessed the worst, I turned around and saw a smiley-face grinning, almost nonchalantly. Immediately I snapped out loud, “Hey, what the hell did you just do?” The teenager was still smiling, but my blood pressure was already up a few thousand times. Boiling inside(coupled with the fact that he was still smiling ‘innocently’), I was ready to confront him again, this time, his mother (who was standing nearby) dashed over, apologized and explained that her child was “a special kid”. I remember I reacted by screaming at the top of my lungs, “HE GRABBED ME!!!” She kept on apologizing without making any eye contacts , which was pretty odd to me because SHE was the one apologizing, instead of the boy. Why did his mother have to come to his defense? I thought to myself. I stared back at the teenager, my heart almost sank. He didn’t have any remorse at all. He still didn’t wipe that almost-innocent smirk off his face. I could kill him now, I thought then.

Still seething but nothing much to do, I went over to sit on a vacant spot. Already 10+ people in the nearby crowd witnessed my ‘Mad Day’. If that wasn’t enough, the kid was still smiling. I wasn’t sane enough to think, so I had plenty of time to hatch imaginary murder plots to ‘take care’ of all the perverts in the world. When I was snapped out of it, I took a good look at the kid who grabbed my butt. I noticed something. He was still smiling innocently. Why oh why? I thought to myself. Is he a retard?

OMG, that’s what his mother meant by ‘special’… I didn’t notice she almost choked when she used that word, and I lost my head (& lungs…) the moment he grabbed me. The mother—obviously embarrassed—was just holding the boy’s hand and staring down the floor. I saw the sadness (and helplessness) in her eyes, she was just holding the boy’s hand, waiting for someone to pick them up, and hoping for the day to be over, fast. Meanwhile I was on the other end of the bench, having simmered down a little, but still agitated. I could be forgiving sometimes, with ample reasons provided f’ course…

The boy was with someone around his age, probably a brother. The brother looked frightened and anxious when I confronted the perpetrator. When I told my sister the whole incident, Christy quickly dismissed the fact that the boy might have done this on his own will (because, according to Smarty-pants, ‘he’s not that bright’), and someone else might have been pulling the strings. Someone with brains and someone with remorse and fear when caught. Her bet was on the brother.

Anyhow, all I could only make out of this incident was, indeed, nothing much. Maybe I shouldn’t have yelled, but even the child was ‘special’, he or she, in my opinion, should be taught what’s right and what’s wrong. The mother wasn’t all to blame, she’s probably had a million people shunning her and her son all these years. And I admit I know next-to-nothing about special education, so to give a one-sided argument is pure crap. All in all, I feel for the mother.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Shoplifter Who Inspired Me :-)

This morning I dragged my sister Christy out to have breakfast (by the time she was done, it was lunch time), and we had ‘lunch’ at a Chinese hawkers center. Before we’re done, one of my sisters, Polly, was already scheming what to do after we’re done. Her plan? To go ‘long kai’ (Chinese for ‘loafing around’), but, as usual, the plan was shot down by Christy almost immediately.

So instead we went to the supermarket to buy some grocery items. When we were there looking for a car park, there was this police vehicle parked right outside the entrance. Cops car? Who cares? We thought. Must be harassing some poor cashier to get his ‘rightful’ FOC cigarettes or so, I thought.

Seconds later, Polly “Oh-My-God”-ed us and we turned around, two cops were escorting a handcuffed male into the car. The shoplifter had a blank look on his face, motioned slowly into the car and they drove off. I spotted a disdained look on my sisters’ faces. But before they left, we managed to catch a glimpse what he’d almost bagged—milk powder for baby.

Poor thing, Polly said. I had this sting in my heart for a while. And then Polly murmured, “It was for his child…” Indeed it was. Then sea of thoughts started to pour in. Poverty in the country…Is it that bad? Is there no end to the regime’s corruption that poor people didn’t benefit from the affirmative action that has been implemented since decades back? Wasn’t the policy supposed to help poor people? (For more on this policy, please refer to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malaysian_New_Economic_Policy)

Society WILL condemn someone like the chap who stole something from a store, because the society MIGHT NOT have seen what he stole. We’re taught to condemn people like these, attuned to the customs and norms of the society and yet we always forget there’re 2 sides to every story. Had we had witnessed what and why he stole, we’d be more inclined to forgive and forget. Lack of education, unemployment and the rising costs of living (and inflation that comes along with it…) have made poverty seems like something harder to eradicate now than a decade ago during Asian Economic Crisis. Lacking in democracy, fair trade, free market practices and transparency make a nation lag behind its competitors, discourage foreign investment and thus perpetuate poverty. High levels of corruption undermine efforts to make a sustainable impact on poverty (capital not evenly distributed).

I do not know how will the properly-uniformed law enforcers work this out with the shoplifting chap. I’m guessing that the outlet management wanted to press charges, I just do not know how his fate will turn out, but I hope it won’t be his worst. No matter what, I’ll keep him in my prayers tonight.