Friday, February 5, 2016

What Partying Was Like vs. What Partying is Like NOW

Chinese New Year is around the corner and while the little ones are anticipating new found riches, the adults are....well, not so much. lol. Those darn red packets. For those who do not know what the red packets are for and why it is fear-inducing, Google 'ang pow' or 'lai see' or just 'red envelope'.

I have to say that one of things that I really dislike about Chinese New Year is NOT the ang pow but the repeatedly-played Chinese New Year songs when you are in a mall. Gawdddddd....can there be less cymbals and less of that annoying instrument, please? I love Christmas songs, though. Chinese New Year is a lot of things to a lot of people. To some, it is welcoming of the new year. To others, it's time to try kissing up to Lady Luck at the Poker table. 

To the younger ones, it's just party time!!!

And here's what I noticed about young party-goers and older party-goers.

THE YOUNG 'UNS
1. Must. Get. Thrashed. Or it didn't happen

2. Girls dance like they are up to something. Boys hunting down hookups. You end up kissing people you don't know...or people you work with...or your boss. Good lawrd.

3. Dress little. Period. Men....cologne

4. Broke up with someone. Cry cry and cry

5. Did we hook up? If yes, whyyyyyy?!

6. Throws credit card to the counter and let bill roll. Die at the end of the month

7. Party almost everyday every night until you find a boyfriend or girlfriend.

8. Drink? Challenge accepted. The deadlier the better.

THE OLD 'UNS
1. This is too loud.

2. I'm sleepy.

3. It's cheap? Does it get you drunk? Oh, goody.

4. I ain't moving my ass unless it is to get another drink.

5. Bed. Where bed?

Happy Chinese New Year to all family and friends and here's to more health, wealth, love, prosperity, many more friends, great times and wonderful memories to you and your family in this coming year of the Monkey!

Love,
Marsha


Monday, January 18, 2016

Be Silly, Let Go

Being a mom can make you a very serious person. I am just saying it CAN but it doesn't have to. After all, you can see people trying to do everything to ensure that their kids are well educated, have enough nutrition, make the right friends, know how to budget, pray, are safe, take their vitamins, know how to save the planet, have the capacity to change the Universe and fly. 

Yeah, that's sometimes what the responsibility feels like. 

Some parents make it look (on Facebook) like parenting is all fun and games, all roses and fragrant coffee. Uh....nah. It's not true at all. It's only 20% of the real truth. 80% of the time is mayhem. This is not to say that people shouldn't have kids but my take is that things can get tough and only my best-friends know when I am struggling real bad. 

It's not here and it's not on Facebook. The internet is judgmental. lol

Recently, I had a kind of 'I want to buy a ticket to Bali....a one way ticket' moment. School's just started and as with any parent can tell you, that's when your stress level skyrockets. Books, fees, waking up early, waking up early, food, lunch, teachers, fees, fees, fees, fees, books, field trips and the likes. 

I whatsapped and called my friends instead of putting it on Facebook. I really thought about it for a while, honestly speaking. Should I, shouldn't I?

I dislike using Facebook for a very good reason....that's where all the drama is when there's absolutely no drama in real life. Many years ago, I had a IRL disagreement with IRL people. I felt bad. So, what happened was that I tried to look for the good things in life. Simple things like the air that I breathe, the roof over my head, the food on the table, the TV set that's not been switched on since 5 years ago, water through the tap...yeah, simple things to remind me that not everything is bad at the moment. 

Then I posted it on Facebook. #drama happened. 

Instead of seeing it for what it is, it became oh-so-you-don't-feel-bad-about-it-at-all-and-this-post-is-fake-as-shit-I-know-what's-going-on-in-your-life bla bla bla bla bla bla....

I am sure I am not the only one this has happened to, right?

That's when I realize that I think I will keep to blogging like this for the rest of my life because I am sure Facebook and social media is not about to take over blogging any time soon. I just no longer have the capacity or time to manage all the drama there is to 'enjoy' on Facebook anymore. 

I used to, but not anymore. 

I prefer letting loose and being silly without being called names or being judged as a bad mother or having advice thrown at me from all corners of the earth. I know criticism is everywhere and the sooner I get with this fact, the better for me but I prefer not to have it viewed by EVERYONE who has Internet. Which includes my neighbor's dog. lol

But I love listening to comments and advice anywhere else because it widens my perspective and shows me different ways to look at things. Not judgement but your perspective. I love hearing them. 


And FYI, my IRL Monday was kind of a drama. But I managed to turn it around into something fun and something to laugh about. I am good at that. Hope your Monday was more fun and better. 

Love,
Marsha

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Things You Bring Home From an Orphanage Visit

I won't take credit for this trip to an orphanage as it was arranged and organized by a group of moms who wanted to expose their young children to other children who don't have parents. I was dragged along. LOL. Well, the reason why I was dragged along remains a mystery but I suspect it had something to do with physical labor? hahahaha....kidding .I wanted to be a part of it mostly because I wanted my kids to atone for their 'behavior' during an earlier visit to another orphanage. They, let's just say, were not into it.

Not the kind of  'into it' I was hoping for, anyway. They didn't know what to say, to ask or how to react as they were young and awkward (as hell). Plus, there was a language barrier.They promised to do better on other visits.

But it so happens that a sleepover happened at their cousin's house and granted it was an impromptu one so, I was a little disheartened. They were too, my kids. But they don't get to meet their cousins as much as they would like to, like they used to, so, every opportunity was fab.

So, I went there sans my kids. There WILL be future visits and I might even bring the cousins along this time!

You know, every visit to an orphanage is very enlightening. You bring home so many things with you and none of them physical or easily definable. I bring home stories with me. It is not a surprise that these children love to talk and all you need to do is to ask questions and then listen.

And every time, I feel like bringing a kid home with me and this time is no different.

It was an 'Indian-looking' girl, this time. Bear with me, this is not about race. Physically, it was obvious that she had Indian blood in her but even the manager took delight in surprising us (and other visitors too, I suspect) with her name. It was clearly a Chinese name. So, that is why the manager, and even she herself, loved the surprised looks on our faces. I bet she gets that a lot in school. =)

Anyway, she was the brightest of them all and she was attracted to all the gem stone beads that I was wearing, asking me if I was a Buddhist. And when I replied in the affirmative, she talked to me about her favorite teacher in school, her moral teacher who was a Buddhist, a type of tree that had blood in it and how to make a lamp out of it. She is an incredibly smart person with a gorgeous smile and it makes me smile just thinking about her.

There were young boys who rattled off a list of football (soccer, if you're American) players' names that I have never heard of but pretended that I knew them. There were young teenage girls who were shy but showed great leadership and sisterhood with the rest of the younger kids. They were responsible for tougher tasks and took care of the younger ones like real siblings.

And when I asked them who was their best-friend in the home, they said, 'I like everyone here, they are like my family'.

Isn't that wonderful to hear?

Some families are so broken on the inside and yet, we have these children from 'broken families' coming together in an orphanage and calling it family. And I think that's the most important thing to them....a place to belong. I doubt any of the older kids are going to be adopted considering their ages but it is great that they have a place that they can call refuge despite their 'circumstances'.


That's my friend telling the young kids a story.

Have a splendid Saturday, it's rainy over here again and it ruined my plan to go out to the park and I am sitting here writing this post. =)

Love,
Marsha

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Bug Battle

I am not much of a fighter. Put me in a boxing ring and I will serve you tea.

Peppermint green tea? Earl Grey?

Lately, I have been forced to bring out a little bit of the fighter in me. I hate bugs, I really, really do. I know they are smaller than me but the thought of being in contact with them scares me to no end.

But recently, for whatever reason, some bugs have made the booth (or some other parts of that old wheeler) of my car their home and they come out for regular walks around the dashboard, the steering wheel and sometimes peeka-boo at me from the window, just right above my head.

Did I say I hate bugs and they scare me? Try being stuck behind the wheel in a traffic jam with one crawling along your dashboard and heading towards your air-conditioner.

'You can't run, you can't hide, you're stuck behind the wheel and you can't stop the car and run down the street leaving your car behind because people will think you are CRAYYYYZZEEEEE', it sings at me.

Granted, they are really tiny but still.........a BUG. Size don't come into play over here. It's a bug. The end.

Frankly, I got really tired of being terrified of those bug-gers (intentional). Swear words are all over my brain every time I think I see one and I am not one to swear too much, if at all. But swear I did, whether consciously, sub-consciously, cosmically, internally, bodily and mentally. These don't even make sense, I know but...it feels that way.

So, I armed myself with a bug-beater. Well...technically, it's rolled up newspaper but bug-beater sounds more kick-ass. In the beginning, I was apologetic towards the bug (I don't know how I do this, man, seriously, to apologize to a bug that was TERRORIZING me) but as time wore on (and I kept missing the shithead), I got tired of being scared.

I killed the M*****F*****. And his/her/its friends or family, whatever. If there's more, I am ready with 3 brand new bug-beaters.

It's so simple for some people but to me, I feel like I am winning a war.


XOXO,
Marsha

Friday, November 27, 2015

When Hootsuite Listens on Social Media

While it is a little copy-ey (as in Jimmy Kimmel style), Hootsuite did something right with their social media management. Er...no, I don't use Hootsuite for some reason because I am still quite happy with Tweetcaster. Maybe I should download it onto one of my devices or try it on my laptop...maybe.

So, following in Kimmel's footsteps, Hootsuite came up with their own 'Staff Reads Mean Tweets' - nothing as bad as some celebrities get it - and used each of the criticism (mainly that it is ugly) and turned their product around.

This is how things should be and sure, reading something mean about ourselves or what we have done can hurt a little (maybe can cause a flood of tears) but you can really learn a whole lot of yourself and what you are missing out on when you listen.

And social media is a great platform for that. The whole world is waiting to give you their best 'advice', aren't they?

I think Malaysia can learn a lot from something like this....listening is a trait found in some of our top guys, you know what I mean? Instead of denying and shutting people up (how many can you shut up, anyway), just listen, gracefully admit something (if it is found to be true) and then make a positive change. You can really turn unhappy people into supportive people when they know their voices are heard, you know.

Source : Google and possibly Hootsuite

Anyway, TGIF!
Have a pleasant weekend ahead,
Love,
Marsha

Friday, November 13, 2015

Time to De-Clutter Your Home, Maybe?

I am not a hoarder but I can sometimes be a 'saver' which means I try to save things that maybe should have found their way out my door. On their own hopefully (because have you ever tried to get rid of bulky items like washing machine and sofa sets? I mean, like really).

Well, over time, you may have also accumulated some things yourself and find your home littered with what-the-heck-was-I-thinking stuff. I found some of these tips pretty useful and great reminders, especially the paper clutter thing. I don't print things much these days, preferring to invest in thumb drives and hard disk drives to save things digitally but gosh....there are books, documents, bills, bills, bills, reminders, leaflets, business cards, bills, bills, bills, bills, bills, bills and bills. And they are piled up nicely on the table, on the floor and anywhere where there is a surface area to pile them up on.

I know, I know. So, here are 13 strategies to de-clutter your home and eventually, your life.

Love,
Marsha

Source: Freeimages

Monday, November 9, 2015

10 Reasons Why I Love Diwali / Deepavali

Diwali is one of my favorite celebrations of all times. 

Credit: "The Rangoli of Lights" by Subharnab Majumdar - originally posted to Flickr as The Rangoli of Lights. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Rangoli_of_Lights.jpg#/media/File:The_Rangoli_of_Lights.jpg

  1.  It is about light over darkness.
  2. I love candles
  3. It is the largest and brightest celebrations in India and around the world (with the exception of lantern festival)
  4. It also celebrates parts of the sun, the giver of light and life
  5. It is about right over wrong
  6. There are ancient stories of good winning over evil
  7. It is also about hope over despair and knowledge over ignorance
  8. It is the happiest festival in India and Nepal
  9. The festival is also marked with celebration of peace, goodwill, charitable causes, kindness and patience
  10. Everything is so pretty and brightly colored!
Happy Diwali/Deepavali!

Love,
Marsha

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Social Media Used for Self and Product Promotion is Not Real

You know you have at least one friend on Twitter or one relative on Facebook who is overly obsessed with their looks or are paid to promote something they have absolutely no faith in. And you also perhaps know of people who are continually told that they look young, beautiful, gorgeous, inspiring, skinny, bla bla bla...

Well, I was the last one.

Not that I am gorgeous or anything (puh-leeeeezzzze) but when you post a nicely EDITED picture of yourself, people will give you compliments, right? While I appreciate the compliments, it makes me feel awfully fake. Yeah, I put on that top in order to look thinner. Yeah, I put on some makeup so that I look like I DON'T have makeup on. lol.

We have apps for that, folks.

Anyway, I am not Essena Oneill and she is done with looking pretty for everyone else. She is, a little like me, (although I grew up without the pressure of social media) a very sensitive being with lots of good intentions. She wants to move mountains, make changes, go vegan, promote good lifestyles and stuff and yet, she found herself sucked into Instagram perfection. She wants to be true to herself and promote things that she cares for and is passionate about....not just because she is paid to.

Understandable. I still follow some friends who consistently post those Instagram pictures and I KNOW that they are paid posts. lol. Who are they kidding but it's fine. It's their life, not mine. I am not into paid posts unless I SAY it's a paid post which in any case, you can skip by all means because if it is paid, it means I have to say nice things about it, not exactly what I think.

I can't get past myself. And if you ask my friends, they will tell you this 'Marsha lies like a little girl'.

So, good for Essena! She's finally moving onto something she is passionate about instead of obsessing over how many praises she gets, how many likes, how many thumbs up, how many followers and all that stuff that shouldn't matter.

She is quitting 'social media', she's still using it but differently now.

Happy to see happy tears here instead. (Related video on Youtube : Essena explaining why she's quitting Social Media)


OVERWHELMED AND BEYOND WORDS GRATEFUL from Essena O'Neill on Vimeo.

Good for you, girl. Go Essena!!!

Love,
Marsha

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Stay Fluid

It's Saturday and my favorite day of the week!!! I try not to do too many things on this day as I take a break from the norm and just hang out with a good book (still not done with The Fault with our Stars - I am procrastinating because 'someone's about to die' - damn my own curiosity about the ending) or just a good Korean or TVB drama.

It is Veg Out day.

Anyway, I saw a truly beautiful picture posted by Buddhist Bootcamp and thought I would save it and share it on a beautiful Saturday!


Love,
Marsha

p.s. - Buddhist Bootcamp Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Empowering Young Women and Safe Sex Issues in Malaysia

Reading the news of girls (especially teenagers) getting pregnant unintentionally (as with most teens) saddens me. It hits a deep chord. Why, at such a young age, are they left without recourse and brought to a place where they don't understand the options they have, the people who will help them and what to do about their future?

Having a baby changes everything in your life. It SHOULD change everything in your life; if it doesn't, you're not doing life right.

It's been reported that 50 teenage girls get pregnant every day in Malaysia. 50 x 365 = 18,250 potential human beings on the planet. If they were born to these teens, what would become of these 18,250 girls and their babies and their future? Assuming each of these girls gave birth to one child each (as opposed to twins or triplets), that would make 36,500 people with dubious futures. And let's assume out of the 18,250 'men', 40% of the men took responsibility for their actions, that's an additional 7,300 boys/men with dubious futures.

So, 36,500 moms and kids +7,300 dads = 43,800 with uncertain futures. That's looking at the worst case scenario, of course.

But wait....what happens if the rate is the same (not better, not worse) the next year? And the next next year?

And then we lament woefully about women dumping their babies into various places including, recently, a washing machine. Most of the time, these actions are done out of fear, not knowing what else to do with a helpless, tiny human beings and the repercussions they would face when their loved ones find out.

Without throwing a blanket over the entire issue, I can only assume that most of these cases (dumping of babies) happen in rural areas or that these girls are not aware of contraception or safety precautions.

Fine, sex is a very natural part of life. It is not dirty, it is not stupid, it is not a sin. Well, when done properly (age, consent, place, etc) and with the right people, that is. But I think we need to properly educate people about planning a family and safe sex. Safe not just from disease but safe from pregnancy.

I, perhaps, am guilty of viewing parenthood with very stern stance. The same way I would view taking on a pet. I either take on a pet and give it everything I've got or I don't adopt a pet at all. The same, I either don't have kids or I have kids and give them everything I've got. Everything...until I bleed death.

Image Source: Girls Read Books

Most of these pregnancies can be prevented so, why not reach out and educate these people about safe sex, about the concept of having sex with the right people and also how to take care of yourself and sometimes, say 'no' when you don't want to do it because you are scared.

Most of these teenagers felt that, even when they feel that sex is not important to them, they do it because they want to be accepted. Or their friends are doing it, anyway, kinda thing.

We have to help them put their priorities together, bring them resources and teach them about enriching themselves and about how important they are to their own future. Most of these teens perhaps, I speculate, (correct me if I am wrong) grew up thinking that the most important thing for them is to get a man, marry and have children. Hence, the priority of enriching themselves and securing a good future takes the backseat. The important thing is to find a man and what do you do when your priority is a man? Yes. And the man will take care of your future? And your job is to have babies and take care of the family? Maybe, and maybe not. What happens when the answer is a NOT?

Someone please break their bubbles.

Do I sound cynical and jaded? Maybe I am. But hey, is Malala Yousafzai fighting a lost cause then?

TGIF, people,
Marsha