Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Perhentian Island Challenge

I finally found time amidst my convention-insanity-stricken thoughts to do a race report. however, it is exactly my insanity-stricken mind that led me to wipe out my entire camera memory, causing me to lose all my Perhentian Island photos. it was in a moment of careless haste that i decided to reformat my memory card a moment ago thinking i had transferred all photos out of the camera. and that is why, this post would be 100% picture-free, much to my dismay. *sniff*

Anyway, without further ado, here's what happened last weekend.

On Thursday night, we boarded the bus at KL Sentral. What was supposed to be an 8-hour bus ride became a 10 hour plus road trip to boredom. And that pretty much killed me for the day. By the time we got to Kuala Besut, and finally to the island, I was so ready to drop dead. But, one does not sleep precious hours away when one is on an island as gorgeous as Perhentian. No, seriously. If i had my pictures, i'd show you why. The sky was a bright blue, the sea even bluer and the entire scenery was just amazing. Thus, swimming we went! Dinner that night were all the other meals during the trip, but that's besides the point. Allan and I slept on the beach that night coz the tent was too hot. Ah...brings me back to Sekadeh on Pangkor...

Next morning I was all geared up for the race. We had packed about 8 gels to last us for the potentially 6 hour race. I was psyched! So after the speeches and the opening toasts and what nots, I was on my toes already. Approximately 11.30 am, we were flagged off!

Kayaking was first. perhaps it was the start and we have not warmed up, or perhaps i've not touched the paddle in almost 8 months, but we started out pretty weak. So in the beginning, I think we were quite far behind. Then the trail running begun. We managed to outrun a few teams here...that is before we got lost....again....and again....

Yup, that is the MAIN essence of the race. getting lost, losing the markers, going around in circles and ending up at the same spot we were about an hour ago, meeting teams we left behind aeons ago. It was as if testing our physical strengths wasn't challenging enough, our mental strengths had to be tested too. Every wrong move found us making executive decisions on which route to follow next or which team to trust. I personally found it rather hilarious when 6-7 teams were stranded at the same spot wandering what to do next. hehe...

Anyway, loved the trail running nonetheless. The mystery obstacles were kinda dodgy though. I found them a tad too telematch-ish. But any challenge is a challenge worth taking. There was a commando crawl, a rope climb, a mystery drink, a fin run, and a 3-legged run.

But i digress. Back to the race, there came a point whereby we were so sick of getting lost. The sun was high up in the sky, beating down our backs. We were trudging up a path that was unmarked and this male team threw their hands up and decided to give up. They climbed into the adjacent sea and started to swim back to Bubu Long Beach. Allan, being pessimistic about the route, wanted to call it quits too. I reckon the clear blue sea was beckoning him to go in. But i refused. Several teams have already decided to keep on going up that path and it may not be a good chance that it was right, but it was a chance nonetheless.

"I have never DNF-ed in my life, and I am not DNF-ing now!" [DNF = Did not finish]

Yea, that was my argument. Selfish I know, but it worked. *grin* We went back on track, met a guy from the Novice category who was walking back to Bubu, and who confirmed that that was the right route. A flicker of hope rose in me, from which i gained the strength to keep my chin up. We met another woman from the Novice who also affirmed our decision.

After what seemed like an eternity, we finally found ourselves on the sandy beach again, did our 3-legged run and crossed the finishing line! Little did I know, we actually came in 7th place, and scored ourselves a cash prize of RM500!

So i'm RM250 richer. I had a fantastic race. I met loads of people, namely, Neeza (5th place elite), Fong (3rd place elite), Krishna (2nd place novice), Richard (1st place novice) and Mr Goh Choon Aun (2nd place novice). And made some new friends. Thanks Allan for making the race!

Sigh...I love racing...:)

Monday, August 27, 2007

i'm back!

very burnt, fairly scathed, extremely exhausted...wishing i could do it all over again.

why do i have to go to college tomorrow?

8 am. monday morning. ineternational management.


race report up soon!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Merdeka Day @ Metropolitan College

I know it's a bit too early but Metro's all about beating the rest to it this year what with it's 20th anniversary and all. So yesterday and today, we celebrated Merdeka Day at college level. It was actually the biggest celebration ever, lasting two days and having so many companies joining in on the celebration. Here's a photographic tour:
Circle K-RSO Joint Charity Drive
Prema, who helped me with my saree
Dektos, my co-mc
some of the other dressed up students
Dewa looking photo taken with the aid of 2 Chinese fans and Tisha's photographic skillsPosing with the Merdeka Man!
Prudential Services Challenge

click for more photos

will be back on sunday with more pics from Perhentian!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

i think sometimes adults are so hard to manage. you'd think my weekly encounter with 20-30 hyperactive screaming 7-8 year old girls would more than prepare me to face suited up corporate business men and women in a democratic and civilised manner. but through their bombastic words and between their polite sentences; words ever so cunning and sharp slices through their every toothy smile.

seriously...i'd take the screaming little girls, or the whining 13-15 year old participants in OBS over this group of adults anytime.


on a lighter note, i'm going to Perhentian Island in 3 days!

Friday, August 17, 2007

eat NatCon...sleep NatCon...

if you've spotted me staring off into space, dreamy eyed, or looking right past you, keeping very word. NatCon.
NatCon is short for National Convention, which is short for the 1st National Circle K Convention which my club is organizing. Ever since i took on the project over a month ago, it has been all about NatCon. The very sound of it sends shivers down my spine. The very beat of my handphone ringtone causes me to hold my breath, for fear that it would be the Kiwanians calling me to ask me for reports. The very sight of my directors and members walking along the corridors of college sends my brain into a rumbling rollercoaster ride, racking to discover any stone unturned, any issue not addressed.

NatCon is the sole reason I haven't been running since PJ half because I come home from college dragging my two feet. NatCon is the sole reason my throat is scratchy and my nose is stuffy. NatCon is the sole reason my handphone credit is critically bruised.

September 1st 2007 is one date I could not ask for more, yet I wish it is ages from now. When NatCon is over and done with...mark my words, this Organizing Chairperson is clocking in a 12 hour sleepathon....

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

table for two for 5 minutes

I was surfing around for Malaysian Dating Agencies when i came across
102 Malaysian gay profiles? Man...that's a lot of gay men in Malaysia....and a quick glance through their profiles will tell you that 90% of that figure is in KL. Needless to say, that the chances of bumping into one is awfully high. Which is good if he was average looking, because i've always wanted a gay best friend. But if he was hot...then i'd so hate his hormonal levels.

anyway, before you start giving me the what-the-hell-are-you-doing-looking-for-dating-agencies look, let me clarify. There's this unit i'm doing this semester called Marketing of Services. For this unit, the group component requires us to pick a service industry, choose 2 competitors, and evaluate their services. And so, we (Me, YanYee, Dektos, Nick), wanted to do something entirely different, deciding to pick the dating services scene.

Yes, i am psyched to do this project. I've always wondered what it'd be like to go for speed dating. I've done a bit of research and i've found that you're only given 5 minutes to get to know the person across from you before the bell rings and he has to move on while another will sit down. 5 minutes. that's like...300 seconds. Seems too short a time to decide whether u'd like to see that person again or not right?

So i have this theory, that the initial 5 minutes it's superficial attraction. In other words, it's got to do with appearance. In lay-malaysian-man term, "face issue". if he's hot, yes i'd like to see him again because out of the 5 minutes, he took 1 to sit down, 2 to introduce himself, and the next 2 minutes you spend on evaluating every inch of his face and hair. 5 minutes? *tsk tsk*

as for matchmaking agencies, i wonder what would happen if only one party falls in love, while the other doesn't. would be awfully hard wouldn't it? and i wonder if there were cases of the guy being a deranged sex maniac or something. hmmm...

but judging by the number of speed dating agencies there are in Malaysia, i'm guessing that its pretty good business. either that, or there are that many lonely, desperate people out there. *shrugs*

Sunday, August 12, 2007

trying to be a hero

compliments of Mr Tey

so i managed a full fledged 21 km this morning in 1 hour 59 minutes. I KNOW! i'm incredibly ecstatic about it. that's a good 13 minutes shaved from my own personal record. my immediate concerns were "OMG! Sub-2! wait...was that really 21 km?", so to clarify my doubts, i asked a few of the elite runners and they have all confirmed with me that my 2 humble legs did carry me a good 21 kms this morning. plus i came in 13th place! Race number 13. Looks like it was lucky number 13 for me this morning...=)

and some people decided to catch me in my moment of delirium to persuade me to sign up for the Singapore Standard Chartered Marathon in December. and in such a high state, persuasion came easy. that, and the pressing deadline of the early bird promotion to register by 12 am tonight.

and so, i, Karen Siah, delirious, cheap, and an absolute hero-wannabe, have registered for the 42.195 km race in Singapore come this December 2nd.

God bless my legs.

i dont think any title would do justice to this...

omg i ran 21 km in under 2 hours!!!

oh yeahhh....=)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

i hate long meetings

i do not like my words to be overwritten.

i do not like to be told to do something which i have already done.

i do not like it when people disregard my every suggestion.

i do not like it when people repeat an idea over and over again knowing very well nobody is on their team.

i do not like grey areas and maybes and perhaps.

i do not like someone breathing down my neck.

i do not like to find solutions to other people's problems. if they got there, they should get themselves out.

i do not like to be interrupted mid-sentence.

and i hate long long discussions and meetings. there's a friggin' cyber world out there. e-mail!

ain't too shabby

it's been a while since i last rhymed
and i wonder if anybody had timed
im pretty sure my vocab's rusty
and this poem might just be crappy

but nonetheless, i'd give it a try
for it'd be a shame if i let it die
over the years, the skills i've honed
what a waste it'd be if i started to stone

but then, the less the better, i always say
for the tone of my poems aren't that of gay
most of them are emo and awfully sappy
and the more they come, the less i'm happy

thus, i've been good, i'm proud to announce
that i am emo-free, not even an ounce
perhaps, singlehood, i've learned to better regard
or maybe, just maybe, this is just a facade?

unless you know me through and through
the answer to that, you won't have a clue
hey, wait a minute, did i just, successfully
write a non-sappy poem that ain't too shabby?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


i was watching episode 10 of How I Met Your Mother. Barney was lecturing Ted about thinking too much, thus making him down 5 shots. After getting drunk, Ted did a lot of things he would never do in a sober state. that made me think...

there was a time in school when i had the hugest crush on this guy that i met. it was a crush which lasted for about 3 years. he was from another school and we met through a Leo Club event. he was a friend of a friend. the funny thing was, i wasn't supposed to like him in the first place. the person who introduced this guy to me had expected me to like another person. this guy just happened to be standing with that person, thus my friend had to introduce me to both of them. the guy i was supposed to like looked cool, was outspoken and outgoing. while the guy i ended up liking was shy, quiet, very good looking and very very nice. i think the last factor was the winning factor.

anyway, we went out on several occasions, in a group of course. i don't think he knew that i liked him. usually it was after a Leo regional meeting or something. And i had met most of his friends, so i hung out with all of them just fine. but i had wanted to see him more of course, so i gathered up my friends and my guts and decided to invite him out too. being shy and all, he clearly wasn't too keen to go out with my friends and i. but knowing him, he was too nice to say no. my friends were with me when i made the call and they were more than psyched for me. they were laughing and choosing my clothes and stuff.

but it didn't feel right. i knew he wouldn't feel comfortable. i knew he said he'd come out of obligation. and one thing i knew darn well, but refused to admit to myself, i knew he most definitely did not feel the same way as i did. so much to my friends' disappointment, i cancelled. he was sweet enough to ask me if i was sure and all, but i knew he was relieved.

i think i think too much when it comes to this. i'm always looking at every angle and if there is the slightest chance that any party would be at an inconvenience, i'd back away. i have a long strike out list of guys i will never date because they're either a friend, a friend's friend, a brother's friend, a former girlfriend's boyfriend, a former boyfriend's friend, a former girlfriend's crush...the list goes on. i always assumed it'd make things uncomfortable. it'd enforce change, and i like change, just not the kind of change which alters a strong friendship.

there are times where i really envy the kind of girl who could get so close to a guy in just days from meeting each other. there are times where i hope i could love and let love that easily. i used to diss people like that, and bet with my friends how long those relationships would last. but now i think it's an admirable quality. to accept another individual as a whole, all his flaws and the incompatibilities so easily. to set aside differences with such peace of mind.

i think...and that is why.

Monday, August 06, 2007

making choices

We make choices in our everyday life. From what should I wear today, to what should I have for lunch, to what time I should set my alarm for tomorrow morning. We make so many decisions, albeit minor ones, that it has become somewhat unconsciously done. Sometimes, if we're a little unfortunate, we chance upon fork road choices which are not that easy to make. Because there is neither a perfect great choice, nor a perfect wrong choice, these choices are a little grey around the areas in which there's a little good and bad which will come out of both of them. Now, if we're fortunate, we'll have the foresight to see which one has a greater good outcome. Because the rule of thumb is, always go for the greater good.

Either that, or we take good old Robert Frost's advice and take the road less travelled by. In other words, choose the one we don't usually choose. Try something new. Expand thy horizons!

But that isn't always the case. What if you had to choose between a Spaghetti Carbonara and Lasagna? Or Love Actually and Crash? Or chocolate fondue and a cheese fondue? What if you had to choose between a free handphone and a free holiday? Or between Iker Cassilas and Christiano Ronaldo?

What if i had to choose between the Powerman and the Genting Trailblazer? There is NO greater GOOD! There is NO road less travelled by! I wanna do both! :(

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Adidas King of the Road 2007

As much as I'd like to give the event thumbs up because my good friend, Mori, was apart of the organizing committee, I really have to say that I've seen better races. Though, in his defence, he wasn't exactly dealing with the technicalities of the race. He was in charge of the banner, the booths, the overall publicity of the event...i think. =)

The race could do with more water stations with plain water served instead of semi-chilled 100 plus. And the marshals should have been taught to give out the ribbons in a more organized manner rather that struggle to un-clump them. And the prize giving for positions 1-10 (not that i was involved in this) was so badly done, with medals missing, and making the winners wait for over an hour...

But perhaps my impression on the race could be partly marred by the fact that I wasn't having a very good race day. The reset button on my watch decides to jam up, so i couldnt reset the timer, AND I was abruptly disturbed by my tummy's erratic behaviour just around the 7 km mark. Yup, the history of last year's SJ10K repeats itself. My stomach began to churn around the 7 km mark of the race. I tried to will it away and the pain subsided for a while. I managed to move on pass the u-turn, and a little further on until I came to a Caltex station just 1-2 km away from the "5 km to go" sign. The moment i saw an opportunity to get a toilet break, all the pain came rushing back and the need to go bombarded me with such urgency that i could not ignore it any longer.

anyway, i went...even used the Gents no less...because the Ladies was occupied. After that I seemed to have lost my momentum. A momentum which I had built up to a pretty good height while running alongside Adrian and Jason. I could've sworn I would've completed that race in under 2 hours had i not gone through all of the above. So the last 6 kms or so was completed in a partial run partial walk fashion, much to my disappointment. I had really bad stitches in my sides, hence the walks.

I came in at about 2 hours 2 minutes. Which would be an amazing time if i had run 21 kms. But sadly, it was a measly 19 km race. Therefore, the promising sub 6 minute/km pace plummets disgracefully to a 6.45 minute/km pace. *heavy sigh*.

And to top off my rather "eventful" King of the Road race, I lost to my dad. Which, doesn't really come as a surprise since he trained ran every single morning since many many months ago. I reckon his fitness level is about 5 times better than my fitness level. but yea...hurts the ego nonetheless...

but...all's fair in love and war...and I enjoyed the race in the end. I have 2 sore knees and a bruised ego, but it was a good run. NPE is now on my conquered list of highways on foot...=)

Friday, August 03, 2007

the final sem

It dawned upon me only today that this semester is my final semester in college. The final semester of my degree! In less than 4 month's time I'd be completing (fingers crossed, I get through all my subjects) a 3-year business degree, and in February (earliest possible) I'd be graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce to be put underneath my name on my business cards.

Sounds pretty huge, huh?

Today I took out some certificates to photocopy and certify for my scholarship application. I filled up the form and wrote myself a reference letter (yes, referees these days do not write testimonials for you. They'd much prefer you sing praises for yourself and they just amen them). It's hard to believe that I am finally going to be pursuing my Sport Science course. It seemed like only yesterday I was moaning because I had to do a Business Degree instead of Sport Science. Now look where I am. =)

I clicked open my CV and decided to make some amendments as to make it seem more professional and less school-ish. Because the convocation for the Bachelor of Commerce is in February (or later), I would have to pursue the next degree at a later date. The second intake is in July. Thus I have 6 months or so to spare. 6 months for me to save up enough to fund my Sport Science degree.

I know it's a little too early to be thinking of all these, considering the semester had only just started. But being a final sem student is a whole lot different from being a 1st, 3rd or 5th semester student. It just feels different. I go to college feeling driven, motivated....old....but still very much eager to see the light at the end of this tunnel.

So, any of you want to hire me? Soon to be (November) Bachelor of Commerce graduate majoring in Marketing and Management. I learn fast, am computer literate, speak English, Malay, basic Chinese, have prior working experience and I have my own transport. I'm perfectly okay with travelling. =)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

my ah mah

My ah mah passed away on Sunday morning at about 4 am. It came to me as a shock, but then, nobody really expects a loved one to leave, it'll always be too soon eventhough the signs were all there.

I miss her dearly...