Friday, June 23, 2006

On Apology

Where I work, a lot of meetings and stuff are made compulsory, and if anyone were not able to make it, he/she will have to submit a written apology. One such meeting was held a couple of days ago, and it was a pretty important one since we held discussions with our counterparts from a university in UK through a speaker phone (and yes - long distance phone call). Still, naturally, there were some people who were not able to make it.

During the meeting, the kwai-lo on the line posed a question to a lecturer who weren't in the room, and instead of the simple, straight-forward "He is not available today" or "He's unable to come to this meeting", the chair on our side here said "Oh, he's on apology!" - being, I guess, too eager to indicate to the kwai-lo that the absent lecturer was absent with apology, not just absent. Anyhow, if the kwai-lo noticed it, he pretended rather well to have understood what the our guy here said. Probably he's already used to it.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Answer This!

My colleague, sen sen, asked this question - "Why is Superman's shirt so tight?" - and I said "To reduce friction when he's flying..." and sen sen labeled me a 'person without humour' because my answer was not creative at all.

So, here I present the question to all - please answer it as creatively as you can!

original post plus answers

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

(Back To) The Secret Garden

Way, way back in 1994, the Popular bookstore in town had this huge collection of 'complete and unabridged' classics in paperback, selling for RM2.90 - RM3.90 each. That was when my bestfriend and I hauled in a considerable number of the usual titles - Journey to the Center of the Earth, King Solomon's Mines, Little Women, Lorna Doone - and The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The Secret Garden is the story of Mary Lennox, her sickly cousin, Colin and Dickon, the boy who foxes and crows loved, the locked-up garden which they tended, and the Magic in it. I loved this story so much I read and re-read the book several times. I am not sure how many times my bestfriend read the book, but I knew the characters made quite an impression on her too. We'd have discussions on the story, the characters and such. And my bestfriend, the ever hopeless romantic, once pondered over who Mary will end up with - Colin or Dickon - when they grow up. She personally favoured Dickon, but a sequel to the book was never actually written.

Last weekend, surfing the TV channels for something to watch, I stumbled upon a movie called "Back to the Secret Garden" on Hallmark Channel, which was just going to start. I didn't give it much thought until I saw the words "Based on characters created by Frances Hodgson Burnett" displayed across the screen. I decided to watch it.

Truly, it was, in a way, a sequel to The Secret Garden. Mary was now the mistress of Misselthwaite Manor, the mansion in which she grew up, and had turned it into a home for orphaned children. Martha, her friend and Dickon's sister, the housemaid in the original story, is now the housekeeper. When I heard Mary addressed as "Lady Mary Craven", I knew that in this sequel, Mary had married Colin. Whatever happened to Dickon then? My bestfriend would be thoroughly heartbroken to know that in this (horrible) sequel, Dickon 'gave his life for his country' - died in war, I suppose. How sad. And the 'secret garden' was mysteriously 'dying' - but ultimately saved by a little orphan girl. It was a silly sequel. A wonderful, magical classic made silly by movie sequels. Sigh.

How sad!

Saturday, June 3, 2006


I have stories of two men to tell. No, they're not related.

First man:
A professor from Australia gave a talk in our campus recently, and presented a book she authored to the school. In the next day, the man in subject previewed the book and was all praises for it! He told others that he finds the professor very intelligent and her book a superb one - and then, he announced that he was going to make a photocopy of the book. As if it was not enough, he also asked around "Who else want copies?" (probably thinking he can ask the photocopy shop for bulk discount) [roll your eyes now].

Second man:
This man is part of the organizing committee for a conference, which is currently facing a lack of paper presenters. At a recent meeting, I asked this man if he would present a paper of his own, and his response was "Yes, I do have a paper, but I don't want to present it in this conference. It's not good enough. I'd rather present it somewhere else with higher (academic) reputation." [roll your eyes somemore].

Well, what can we say? Men!