Monday, March 31, 2008

My Wacky Birthday

As promised, an entry of one of the craziest birthdays I'd ever had! These were some of the most awesome gifts I have ever received in my entire Phoestory!

A pink handbag. (Note: PINK) Thanks Michelle Foo!
A handrawn card (entirely by pencil) attached to a banana cake. Thanks Jamie Khoo!

I am so totally crazy over this one! A gecko night lamp from THAILAND! Thanks Raymond & Suresh!

Ceramic Fuzzy Birthday Bear. (Note: Fuzzy yet CERAMIC) Thanks Parmena!

Editted photo. (Note: YELLOW CAR!! *smack*) Fantastic photoshopping by Tabbies. Thanks love!

MY WOODEN GIRAFFE. (Note: WOODEN GIRRAFFEEE!!!) It's about one metre tall! Thanks again Tabitha Ong!

Red hair. (Note: RED) Absolutely went beserk over this surprise! Thank you, dear. You know who you are.

[Green retro beads from ENVEE. No picture available. Yet.]
I love them to shreds! Thanks Seetha & Melissa!

[Big, big white towel worth RM30. Picture not available. Yet.]
Witty, witty gift from Joash and May. Thank You!

I truly felt loved! I love suprises and unique taste in gifts. I almost never care about the price tag - although i do acknowledge my friends who have parted with many a dollar to put a smile on my face. Nevertheless, I'm glad you guys are just up my alley. And all I feel right now, is love.

Thank you guys, for an awesome birthday!

What have I accomplished?

It's crazy how time passes. It's the end of March, as it is. Didn't we just celebrate the new year?

I turned 22, two thursdays ago. (I received some pretty wacky gifts, by the way and will blog about them sometime soon.) But where did all my years go? What, on purple earth, have i been doing? I don't so much as HAVE bragging rights to having completed...ANYTHING!

I'm supposed to be leaving for America this Fall. Fall seemed so far away a couple of months back. But now... it's a measely 5 months away. 5 months and I'm leaving. How did it become so soon?

It scares me how i'm never really in control of my life. Especially the timeline. I mean, sure, i can plan. Hardly anything goes my way though. I don't wanna just be the spectator. I wanna be etching milestones and planting them at every mile. I wanna be leaving a legacy....proper!

If i die today, would i ever be able to live with myself-in-the-eternal-realm knowing that all I've done was watch time pass me by?

I feel like I'm running out of time - and at most times, i feel like i am THIS close to hitting the "panic" button. and just...





Nevertheless, no matter how inadequate i am at running my life, it is a blessed assurance to know that I have a Hero who's watching my back. Never let me go.

Currently, listening to: "Jesus, take the wheel." - Kerry Underwood

Thursday, March 27, 2008

True Malaysian

There is a rat infestation around my apartment area - leaving me most grateful that i live on the fourth floor. (Before, it's just been me grumbling all the way up those bleeding steps.) HOWEVER, this isn't the story.

We have about three regular domesticated felines royally parking their soft, fuzzy behinds outside our doors and on the steps; patrolling the pavements of my block with dainty, annoying paws. You'd think... (yes, YOU!) You'd at least THINK they'd serve as a comfort somewhat; well, simply leaning full-body-weight onto the very logic that cats eat rats. (Garfield is a slob. Not counted.)

But for the benefit of my readers who got sidetracked by that Garfield comment, let's just say that again.


LIES! All of it!
For I, Phoebe Lee Mathius, have with mine own eyes, beheld the very treachery of the feline-moronic-beings. They betray us! They betray us!

Here! My account of the atrocious crime:

We had just arrived at the foot of our building, my sister and i, and were walking through the Rat Crossing alley. (We've named it that now as it is not uncommon for us to see up to 3 FAT rabid, crusty-furred rodents running by; one of them randomly looking up at us with a quick "hello-how-do-you-do" nod, before heading off their merry way, disappearing into the deep, deep darkness - leaving very little trace of their pilgrimage. Some claim to have seen the tiny, glowing halos hovering over their heads.)

*Skin crawls*

Seeing as we almost always bump into a rat or two at the Crossing, we usually stop to wait for the demonic creatures to pass (not unlike waiting to cross the road). But today, hoho, today! When we came upon the Crossing, there were two cats by us (it was a very busy freeway that night, you see)! We looked at each other, my sister and i, and declared (telepathically, of course), "Today, we will triumph over all rodent-kind! Death to the Rabid Rodents!...


And we watched and watched in earnest, as the cats approached the Crossing. To our already miserable and unfortunate existence, (or in other words - utter, utter ... bewilderment) (some may even refer to this as an "out-of-body experience"), they STOPPED! They stopped to wait. Just like we did! As if there was a bleeding traffic light hanging somewheres, and it had just turned bleeding RED! Gah!

As the three RATS (perhaps the very same ones) ran by, wagging their insulting tails behind them, I squatted by a brown-gold like feline and with pleading eyes, begged: "Do as you have been destined! Go! I charge thee! Let there be a massacre! Let today be written on the history books of Rodentdom forever! Let there be....


All to no avail.

I hung my head in shame, for all felines, that night. And as we walked through the Crossing, I turned to my sister and mumbled in my bereavement, "Apparently, in this new era, cats and rats live in peace and harmony..."

My little sister pats my back in act of consolation and said to me that night what i believe to be true words of wisdom. Wisdom beyond her years.

"They be true blue Malaysians."

Ya heard?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Random Conversation

I went to the next building to buy myself some thick, gooey mango juice.

PersonSellingJuice: What can I get you?

HappyPhoebe: Ice blended Mango Juice!

PersonSellingJuice: With Ice?

BlurPhoebe: ....

And mind you, THIS he did on two separate occassions, weeks apart. I thought it was blurness the first time, or him just making sure of the order; but now...

Reality Check

Hey, broken pride
Did reality and nightmare finally coincide?
did you ever imagine that the day we died,
I'd never, never be his bride?

O dream, short-lived!
Each breath, you sting!
Why were we convinced? I believed!
How did we end up a blasphemous fling?

Butter fingers, butter fingers
how quickly our hearts intertwined, released
Its desperate final grasps of hope
nothing lingers, nothing lingers
Broken pride, I'm dead! Are you pleased?

Are you pleased NOW? Or am I?
Now, in thick darkness,
I grope...
I hope...
you DOPE!

MEND! I charge you! Mend!
You broken thing of the past!
My hatred, my friend.
You shattered thing in my rib-cage
Barely beating; barely.....barely AGED!
Mend! I charge YOU!!!!

You're bigger than this, I tell you.
You're stronger than this!
Love as you perceived it was pure bliss
But where are we now? What is this?

Foolish, foolish
broken pride.
Foolish, foolish, foolish.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Star Online Newspaper

Sunday March 2, 2008
Slammin’ time with poetry
Malaysia’s first ever Poetry Slam was held in a trendy nightspot, cool people turned up, and fun was had. Who said poetry’s only for tortured souls with no social life?
YOU know, I rather enjoyed telling people what I did last Saturday. When they asked me about my night, I’d say, “Oh, I went to the Poetry Slam.”
Then I’d casually mention that it was held at The Loft at Zouk nightclub and watch their eyes bulge disbelievingly. Ahnaf? Club? Huh? Ahnaf doesn’t have a social life!
A high score from Phoebe Lee Mathius, one of the judges randomly picked from the Slam audience.

So ... on Feb 23, Malaysia had its first ever Poetry Slam, organised by Dram Projects with the support of Singapore-based literary organisation, WordForward. And by the end of the night, I was definitely noticing a pattern in people’s responses.
“So how was the Slam?” I’d ask them.
“Good,” they’d say. “Good ? very good ? good?.” Well, there was also an “excellent” thrown in for variety.
Slamming is not reading. In a Slam, poets compete against each other for up to three rounds. There aren’t any professional judges; instead, audience members are randomly chosen to give scores.
Given our kambing culture, I was expecting Malaysians to shy away from this kind of involvement. Well, I was wrong.

Malaysia’s inaugural Poetry Slam winner, George Wielgus, aka Mighty Jah-J, showing the rest how it’s done. – Photos by IBRAHIM MOHTAR / The Star

Things did start slow – the event was supposed to start at 7pm, but with typical Malaysian savoir-faire the poets waltzed in after 8pm – but by nine-ish the crowd had swelled to almost 200 people. It was a tight squeeze, but judging from all the talking, laughing, and cheering, no one minded.

Nine brave idio– er, individuals joined the first round. The Slam fell on the anniversary of poet John Keats’s death (if you went, “John who?”, shame on you, look him up on Wikipedia ? like I had to), so every poem in the first round had to use a line from Keats.
Strangely enough, the three girls in the group put on rather limp shows: Sheena Baharudin, 25, gave a ho-hum reading; Nurul Hamizah Muhamad, 20, put on some rather half-hearted sass; and an elegantly-dressed 30-something Kathleen Choo failed to impress with a morbidly melodramatic love poem that had the audience impatiently snapping their fingers.
Which left six guys for round two. Joe Hafiz, 28, went from a cute rumination on his New Year weight-loss resolution to a more serious, introspective poem. Unfortunately, his rather muted delivery couldn’t carry him into the next round.
Hugo Yap, 19, followed up his earlier irreverent, whimsical verse with some short, raw angst. I liked its directness, but his nervousness was evident and flattened his delivery, torpedoing his shot at round three.
The four guys who made it to the last round had much stronger stage presences. Nick Green, 19, took fourth place with some brief poems that were more swagger than substance, but entertaining anyway.
Just a shade away from second place was See Tshiung Han, 27, whose long, meditative poems completely escaped me, but whose earnest, intellectual demeanour thoroughly convinced me of their quality.
First runner-up was Reza Rosli, 28, who played the sincere, oh-so-shy underdog. He had some interesting images and topics, like his first poem about crabs (the animal, not the disease).
The undisputed champion, though, was George Wielgus, 24. Wielgus’ poems (Wine, Women, and Weed, Word Porn, and Civil Disobedience) were a bit one-track – too many references to sex and booze and everything else people talk about when they think they’re being rebellious – but he was an outrageously gripping and entertaining performer. The man can certainly hold a crowd!
“I love people having a good time,” he said later. “People were laughing, clapping, cheering – I love being able to do that for people.”
Wielgus also said that he didn’t really care about the marks since it was all quite subjective, though he admitted that getting them was “nerve-wracking”.
For the audience, though, it was a completely enjoyable experience.

“I actually found it really, really fun,” said Phoebe Lee Mathius, one of the randomly selected judges. “You have to pay attention to other things, not just the words, like performance, the way they are, expressions.?”
What did she look for while judging? The “poet’s heart’s voice”, she replied, noting that sometimes you could really feel a poet pouring him or herself into the poem.

The people behind the Slam were certainly happy, with WordForward’s Chris Mooney-Singh calling it a “good opening gambit”, and a Zouk marketing employee saying that the club would definitely host the event again.
“What I was really happy about,” said the organiser, Dram Projects’ Daphne Lee, in a later e-mail, “Was that the audience wasn’t made up of the people I usually see at other local spoken-word events.
“It’s what Chris and I hoped for, that we’d attract a different crowd of people because of the venue and the nature of the event.”
The Point, as the Slam slogan goes, is not the Points; the Point is the Poetry. But really, I felt the point was actually Fun. People weren’t swanning around with lit degrees and dissecting every syllable, they were out to have a good time – and they had it.
So, if you’re looking to join the fun, or if like me, you need the illusion of a social life, look out in April for the next KL Poetry Slam – and invite me along!
This story may be found at *click!*
(Star Online Newspaper)