Friday, September 30, 2005

All In One

We had company this week (hint*he was just here with us last week!). We worked a little less and played a little more. Today we finally sort of got back to our normal lives.

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Our church lost another softball match yesterday. We think this time it was a totally unfair game (and not just because we didn't play well), but who are we to say anything about it?

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I'm in the process of helping plan a surprise birthday party coming Monday for 2 friends. For some reason, I'm REALLY excited about putting this together. Haven't done anything like this in forever.

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Still very much home-sick. Did you know it's 9,610 miles (or 15,465 kilometers) from here to my hometown Ipoh, Malaysia (almost 2 days of traveling)? And that a 2-way airplane ticket home cost between $2,000 to $3,000? Yikes.

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My sweet husband almost got run down in the parking lot of our apartment complex last week. Some psycho-maniac wasn't paying attention to his driving, and thankfully swerved at the last minute. But he didn't even stop to apologize! Jerk.

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I want to watch the new movie "Flight Plan". Jodie Foster, in my opinion, is one of the best actresses around.

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We just renewed our lease this morning. Looks like we'll be living in this same apartment for another year. Time has really flown by this year, and can't believe we've been married almost 10 months! Despite the crazy things that go around here, I cannot complain. We are blessed with more than we truly deserve.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

A Sleeping Phenomenon

One of the scariest moments for me that I've discovered lately is when I find myself 'paralyzed' in my sleep. You know what I'm talking about?! It usually happens either during my most realistic dreams or when I feel I'm not really in a deep sleep. Either way I feel I'm semi-conscious. Something dramatic usually happens in my dream which then causes me to want to move a certain part of my body in a certain way, as a form of reaction to that situation. But then I discover that I can't move. My mind says to move, but my body can't react in any way whatsoever. And let me tell you, that is a scary feeling because it feels so real. A conscious mind in a paralyzed body.

Apparently this is known to be as sleep paralyzation. A few days ago I heard something over the radio when the oh-so-famous Dr. Phil was asked about this strange phenomenon. He said that when one experiences this, it's usually because he/she is experiencing anxiety or feeling guilty about something. Hmm...anxiety perhaps. But I don't know about the feeling guilty part. I haven't killed anyone, or stolen anything, or done anything major of that sort. Whatever this is, I don't enjoy it one bit at all.

Anyone experiencing this too?

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Curse of the Phone

I don't know about you guys, but I'm not a phone-person. Notice how I hardly (actually never) call you just to chat? I have no particular reason as to why I don't, I just don't. Thankfully, many of my friends don't hold this against me (at least not that I currently know of!). The funny thing is most of my best buddies are so far away, you'd think I'd spend time keeping in touch with them by making the effort to dial my cellphone and call. Nope, certainly not in my case. And yes, occasionally I'd think about it and feel bad, but that's the extent of that. The only people that I'd take the time talking over the phone these days are my parents.

I believe this has always been a part of my nature and thus, affect the way I make friends, or actually the KIND of friends I make. Many of them are 'low maintenance', meaning they don't constantly rely on me to keep in contact with them, but rather willingly accept the occasional greeting, which is mostly by email these days, or by text messaging. And when we do meet up in person, we can just pick up from where we last left. Nothing too complicating, just good 'ol friendship. And I like that a lot.

So to those of you who wish you'd get an occasional phone call from me, I apologize for being a terrible friend, but please don't count on me to do so. =)

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Let's Take A Moment...

I just want to take a little time away to honor a young family. Tons of people are hurting right now because of Hurricane Katrina and very soon from the upcoming Hurricane Rita. And this post is by no means taking away the importance of those current situations. But I would like to stop for a moment and acknowledge, again, the hurt of another family closer to home, at least to Josue's and mine.

I wrote on my blog awhile back about Baby Ira Hays, the son of my friend Joe Hays who was born with a Diaphragmatic Hernia in April. It's September and Ira is still in the NICU in New York. Who knows when he'll get to go home with his parents and bigger sister, Sophia, and who knows how long he'll have to struggle with this condition. Only God knows, and thankfully His hands continue to protect this precious little baby.

I just wanted us to not forget about the Hays family. Their struggle has been an inspiration to many because of their remarkable strength and faith through this long ordeal. I can only imagine their pain. And they still need our thoughts, prayers and support. In fact, some friends of theirs have started a donation for Ira by distributing green wristbands to raise money for his hospital expenses. There is also a video of Ira posted on the Hays' family blog for all to see. It's a definite tear-jerker, but nonetheless a beautiful picture to behold.

Our hearts continue to go out to Joe, Laura, Sophia and baby Ira.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Blog for the Sake of Blogging

I haven't blogged forever because I haven't felt the urge to. In many ways I feel like how SuperMom Kyna has been feeling, in a 'funk'. I guess I'll do what I can today...

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I've been sick for the past week and am only just now starting to feel more like my old self. When I'm sick, man, I'm REALLY sick. It's miserable. For a week, I couldn't breathe well. For a week, my sleeping pattern went hay-wire. For a week, I could barely talk. Ugh!

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I'm finding out that sometimes making friends is a really hard thing to do. It's too much work, in my opinion. =(

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Haven't been back to Malaysia in 3 years. I think it's finally catching up to me emotionally.

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Jeremy's back in town visiting. It's going to be a fun week. =)

That's all for now. More to come later.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Big Seven

7 Things I want to do before I die:
1. Sky-dive.
2. Bungee-jump.
3. Travel to most parts of the world.
4. Pay off our debts (will there ever be a light at the end of this tunnel?).
5. Support my parents.
6. Start off a catering business.
7. Drive a Corvette (of course owning one would be nice too!).

7 Things I can do:
1. Drive on both sides of the road; on either side of the car; either stick or automatic.
2. Complain.
3. Start paying off our debts.
4. Eat at the Penang Malaysian Restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
5. Defend myself physically if the need arises. (*hint hint* don't pick a fight with me)
6. Cry whenever I have to say goodbye to my parents.
7. Cook for 20 people in one setting.

7 Things I cannot do:
1. Not stress.
2. Think simply. (I copied this from Rachel and I couldn't agree more with her)
3. Claim that I understand how painful child-bearing is.
4. Watch any scary movie with my eyes open all the way through.
5. Sew.
6. Pretend I like someone when I really can't stand him/her.
7. Stop procrastinating.

7 Things that attract me to the opposite sex: (in this case my husband!)
1. His voice.
2. His great sense of humour.
3. His love for my cooking. =)
4. His ability to fix things, i.e. the handyman of the household.
5. His big heart for people.
6. His neverending support, love and respect for his family (and mine too!).
7. He likes to get out and do things, i.e. not a couch-potato.

7 Things I say most often:
1. Aiya!!!
2. What the heck?!
3. That's so cool.
4. Good grief.
5. Babe?
6. Shoot!
7. Lah...(this is truly my Malaysian side coming out whenever I say this)

7 Things that I loathe:
1. People being fake with me, or being nice to me because they "have to".
2. Ignorance, especially when it comes to culture.
3. Stupidity; when people act dumb and silly and think they're funny. Kids-okay, adults-come on!
4. Incompetent drivers who shouldn't be allowed on the road in the first place.
5. Not being treated my age and not being taken seriously; I'm a lot older than I look, and perhaps if I was given a chance to speak, I just might have something worthwhile to say...
6. Vanity. Moderation is the key word, not obsession.
7. Money and the corruptions it can lead to.

7 Things I love:
1. God (He encompasses all elements, so He could be considered a 'thing' too?).
2. Jasmine rice.
3. My deep and strong relationship with my parents.
4. Massages.
5. Entertaining and cooking for people.
6. Seeing different cultures getting along.
7. Well-blended and passionate acapella singing.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Heart of Gold

Numerous kinds of stories pour through media daily about the hurricane. My personal favourites are the ones about random acts of kindness, and strangers helping other strangers in need. That's what humanity is all about, and it brings me much encouragement and inspiration.

I came across one particular story yesterday via the local news station that I feel the urge to blog about, one which you might have already heard of. Authorities are currently trying to evacuate the last of the hurricane victims in New Orleans, those who have refused to leave, those who thought they could continue to 'ride it out'. This has been a tough job on the authorities because they have to persuade these people to leave, if not, they have to force them to get out.

One particular man who didn't leave actually ended up being a blessing to the police and rescuers. This man kept his used tire shop open to help replace tires of the police cars and other rescue vehicles because one constant problem they kept experiencing was having punctured tires from driving on roads filled with debris and such. Since the policemen didn't have money to pay him, he just had them sign a book for I.O.Us and will have them settle the bill later on. They tried to offer him gas in return (which is currently such a huge commodity), but he refused to take anything. His mission was to continue helping them so that in return they could do their jobs. He also had 2 other guys working with him, and he was paying their salaries out of his own pocket. He said his pocket was "deep enough".

I call him the man with the heart of gold. His generosity and kindness speak loudly through his actions. He clearly didn't have much left after the storm, except for his hole-in-the-wall tire shop. And even that, he didn't expect to be paid or given anything. All he wanted to do was to help those who were there to help others. It is hearing about people like him during this tough time that makes me shed a tear of joy or two, and that inspires me to be a servant to others. It is like Jesus coming to life all over again.

*On a side note, the softball game last night was so much fun even though we lost. But no worries, we still have time to catch up because we are a team with much potential. =) I played despite my sickness, and in the process also got hit by the ball twice: once directly on my right big toe, and the other on my left wrist. I'll get over them.*

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Summer Cold

Yeah, I've been hit by the cold bug. I'm currently sitting in my bed with my laptop and doing absolutely nothing but resting and blowing my nose (well, except blogging for now). Without getting into disgusting details, I'm sure you know how bad a bad cold can be. I hadn't been sick in awhile, so this hit me rather unexpectedly yesterday and has been hitting me rather hard ever since.

And the disappointing part of this all is the fact that I'm supposed to be playing my first softball game with my team against Central Lutheran Church this evening! I feel the pressure to get well-rested and at least be peachy enough to go out into the field. My team is relying on me, and I can't let them down! (yeah right, they'll probably be just as good without me making mistakes there, hehe...). So say a quick prayer for me (and our team) and for a miracle to happen this evening. =)

Monday, September 05, 2005

Nothing But Them

This past weekend has been unlike any other for us. About a week ago, we were talking back and forth about what we were wanting to do over Labor Day weekend, whether we were wanting to leave town or to just stay around and chill. We ended up deciding to stay, and to see how the weekend unfolded.
Needless to say, this weekend wasn't completely about us and certainly didn't turn out how we thought it would. On Saturday afternoon, we had the privilege to go into the Reunion Arena at downtown Dallas and to be involved with KIDS CORP., a program set up for the children of the evacuees currently being sheltered there. We worked with kids ranging between the ages of 1 and 12, and just basically spent time playing with them and watching over them in designated play areas that were set up in the arena. It was so much fun interacting with them, and most of them were very happy and contented to be able to just play without having to worry about anything else. However, there were also a number of kids who proved to be more than a handful. Eventually a group of child therapists showed up to work with them in small groups, because these kids obviously had much more on their plate than what we could all see on the surface. Very sad to see, but this was just a small glimpse of the reality of it all.
Then yesterday afternoon, 2 friends from church, Josue and I went to the Christmas Warehouse of the Salvation Army. While there, the guys moved boxes and other items to be taken to the Texas Stadium and other distribution centers as part of the relief effort. In the meantime, Bethany and I sorted out men's, women's and children's socks, t-shirts and underwear. Later, we also joined another group of women putting together toiletry bags that were to be distributed to the evacuees. The warehouse was extremely hot and stuffy with no A/C, but the spirits of the volunteers remained high all throughout. It seemed like a non-stop effort and the donations and volunteer help kept pouring in throughout the afternoon. I also had the chance to meet and work with some really cool people. And we were all there together for the same purpose and with the same hearts.
Yeah, we hadn't imagine the weekend to turn out this way. But we sure wouldn't have it any other.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Tag, I'm It..Again!!

Ok, I've been tagged again, this time by the Prophecy himself. Here goes...

First Memory: I think this would have to be the memories of my house. From the time I was born until about 3 or 4 (if memory still serves me correctly), our family lived on the top floor of a flat (or apartment, whichever you want to call it) by the beach in Malacca, Malaysia, where I was born. I have somewhat of a memory of my room, but I clearly remember the small sand pit that my dad put together on the balcony and how Aaron and I spent countless of hours playing there. Come to think of it, I must have not been too afraid of heights then since I was constantly on the balcony. Good times. (The picture was also taken on that same balcony.)
First Kiss: My first kiss was sort of 'stolen' away from me. I think I was 16. In high school I got involved in another school's drama production, and this school was an all-boys school. I had previously done "The King and I" there, so the same director called me back for "Sleeping Beauty" as the lead role. Yeah, that in itself was terrifying. I hated love scenes and I knew there was going to be tons of it. ANYWAY, naive little Debbie thought she could get away from the kiss scene where 'the prince' wakes up 'the beauty'. And I think I had told my leading man to kiss me on my cheeks by my mouth. He could've easily faked it and the crowd wouldn't have been able to tell anyway. Needless to say, that didn't happen and the smart little punk kissed me on my lips instead, and it was a long one too!!! I clearly wasn't prepared for that, I was in shock and my body was trembling. Then I became mad at him. But I had to act along until after the show. Everybody in the cast apparently knew about his 'plan' and that this guy had a crush on me this whole time. Unfortunately I didn't like him back. Yeah, I was naive and clueless. Will never forget it.
First Concert: Back in Malaysia when I was in high school, there was a group called K.R.U. and they were a Malay rap group, yes, RAP. I had never been a big fan of the Malaysian pop scene (still am not) but K.R.U. was HUGE and they were actually very good. They kept up pretty well with the fundamentals of hip hop and rap just like the ones in America, except their lyrics were in Malay instead of English. Theirs was the first and only concert I had ever been to in Malaysia. I had a blast.
First love: Remember the "Sleeping Beauty" play I mentioned earlier? During the time of production (which was for about 4 or 5 months), I had developed a good friendship with a guy. He was the tallest Malaysian friend I ever had (6 foot 2 inches, and that's rare for a Malaysian!), and he was one year my senior. He was cute, adventurous, smart and outgoing. We clicked instantly and became good pals. But it wasn't until after the production was over before he asked me out. We dated for about a year and a half. We broke up when he went off to college but continued to keep in touch from then onwards.
First Thing You Think In The Morning: I really don't know. I'm usually so out of it after I wake up to the point that nothing else around me matters. Just ask Josue.
First Book You Remember Loving: It was called "Puss in Boots", part of many Ladybird series of books. I don't know if you can find it today.
First Pet: I never had one myself. My dad was the one who bred all those Bull Terriers in our backyard. I lost count of the number of the dogs that actually came through my dad's care.
First Question You'll Ask In Heaven (if that's allowed): Lord, can I see your face?
First Place You Think of When You Hear The Word Vacation: An island called Penang back home in Malaysia. It's amazing in every way: the endless miles of white sandy beaches, the fun resorts, delicious local food, the fruits, the people, the shopping etc. Yet another reason why I miss home so badly.
First Bestfriend: A Chinese girl named Ming Yee from kindergarten.
Last Time You Dressed Up: When I REALLY dressed up? Truthfully, it would have to be my wedding day last December 4th.
Last Thing You Ate: Cajun Chicken Pasta from Chilli's. Yum...and it comes with a piece of fresh and warm garlic bread.
Last CD Bought: "Turnaround" from Westlife. They're a band from Ireland and they have been a big hit mostly around Europe and Asia. It's amazing enough that I found their CD here in the United States.
Last Time You Cried: Yesterday when I was watching a news coverage on hurricane Katrina. I shed a tear or two, so does that really count as crying?
Last Time You Told Someone You Loved Them: When Josue left this morning for his appointments with some car dealerships.
Last Really Fun Thing You Did: Softball last night. I'm telling you, I'm really starting to love and appreciate the sport! =)
Last Thing You Watched on TV: Seinfield last night, but fell sleep halfway through it.
Last Halloween Costume: Oh goodness, I don't know. I have never been a Halloween person. Besides, I didn't grow up with it since it doesn't even exists back home.
Last Concert Attended: Jars of Clay back in Welcome Week 2002 at ACU. That was also my first concert I had ever attended here in the United States. AND, the first concert that Josue and I ever attended together, and we weren't even dating at that time.
Here's who I'm going to tag next:

Thursday, September 01, 2005


These past few days have been an interesting period at our household. As you all know by now, the big news is Hurricane Katrina and the devastation she has caused on New Orleans, Gulfport, Biloxi and other surrounding areas. It sort of hit close to home for us because of one of our best friends, Jeremy. (I'm sure he won't mind me blogging about all this.) His parents live in Covington, LA, which is situated on the North Shore, outside of New Orleans. Coincidently, Jeremy flew into town to pay us a visit on Sunday night. So we were all together when everything unfolded Monday morning. We had our TV constantly switched on to CNN and our laptops ready to get onto the internet to find out about anything we could find. Jeremy's mom evacuated and went to stay with her relatives in Miss. His dad, however, stayed behind in New Orleans and dared the hurricane to take pictures for the newspaper. Yeah, we thought, CRAZY, but being a professional photographer that was what he had to do. So we were worried.

For 3 days Jeremy had no contact whatsoever with his parents or even the relative whom his mom was staying with, for obvious reasons. He tried every way he could think of, but to no avail. We carried on normally with life, going out and doing fun activities (as we always do whenever Jeremy's in town), but I know in the back of each of our minds, we were constantly thinking about his parents. We had to presume that his mom was alright since she was in a much safer place when the hurricane came through. And the only way we knew that his dad was also okay was by merely seeing the pictures that he had taken being posted on the newspaper online.

Anyway, Jeremy finally got to talk to his mom last night. She was doing alright and was preparing to go back to their home in Covington today, to see what the damages are. Then this morning, we read something from his dad when he left a comment on Jeremy's blog, telling everyone that he's well, but is experiencing firsthand the awful aftermath of Katrina over there. I was personally relieved to know that Mr. Jackson is doing fine. I bet this was also a nice 'send off' for Jeremy as he departed Dallas this morning. He has been amazingly calm through this whole process. I know I personally would have drove myself insane just worrying if my parents were in the same situation.

Apart from all that, I still have many lingering thoughts and raw emotions--many of which similar to how I felt during the great Tsunami in Southeast Asia a few months ago. And a little while ago I thought I would blog about them, and about the various discussions Jeremy, Josue and I have had these past few days about Katrina. Perhaps this might not be such a good idea. We are each experiencing different emotions as we observe all the happenings, and of course, we are entitled to our own opinions, but considering the current situation and the environment in which it stands, I feel I personally should be more respectful especially of those directly affected by this tragedy.

I have things I want to say. I am both angry and sad, and my heart aches with all those who have to deal with the hurt, pain and loss for many months (or years) to come. New Orleans will never be the same again--not as wonderful as how I remember it to be from my previous 3 trips there. For now though, it's best to keep praying for God to bring comfort and relief to the victims, and to be ready to help monetarily or physically.

And praise God that the Jacksons are just fine. =)