Thursday, June 16, 2011 | By: BlackGargie

Surprise of the Day

Wow, I woke up this morning to receive a text message from my friend about this news, then somehow managed to secure a newspaper and the online news that showed me this:
IGNATIUS STEPHEN PASSES AWAY
ign-stephen
Ignatius Stephen

Bandar Seri Begawan - Ignatius Stephen, a veritable giant in Brunei's journalism, passed away last night.

He succumbed to serious head injuries as a result of a fall.

Doctors and surgeons at RIPAS Hospital tried hard to revive him from a coma that set in but he failed to respond to treatment.

Ignatius was one of if not, the foremost and independent journalists in the Sultanate, having worked for the Borneo Bulletin for almost half a century.

During the past 21 years when the Bulletin was turned into a daily newspaper, he worked as a freelance journalist providing some significant news stories and feature materials that helped enhance the editorial profile of this newspaper.

He earned a creditable name for himself with some exclusives that were second to none in the international media.

One noteworthy scoop was his daring revelation about the abortive rebellion that was published in the Bulletin in the early sixties.

He became a household name in the Sultanate and was regarded by many as one of the friendliest persons, ever helpful to anyone who was in need.

Ignatius was a self-made personality and a highly-motivated journalist who used his pen without fear or favour.

He will surely be missed by his colleagues in Brunei's fourth estate, as well as by the readers of the Borneo Bulletin. And he certainly will leave behind a void in the local mass media scene.

He also worked as stringer for several international wire services viz Reuters, AP and AFP, thus earning himself a niche in the global media.

He was often quoted in major media including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes magazine, CNN and BBC among many others.

75-year-old Ignatius could be regarded as a total media person.

When the electronic media was making inroads, he lost no time in jumping the digital bandwagon in his own way.

He set up his website the very popular Brudirect.com, which has won accolades in the international scene while providing readers a new dimension of getting their news.

A kind of a renaissance man, he ventured into other businesses too, like the introduction of Brunei's first-ever 24-hour restaurant for connoisseurs of coffee.

It is ironical that the day before he died, while they were having coffee at his café, he casually remarked to a fellow journalist that he might not last long on this earth.

"Was it a premonition?" wondered the scribe in retrospect.

Ignatius leaves behind his wife, Regina, two sons, Allister and Albert, and five daughters - Alphonsa, Anne-Marie, Audrey, Anita and May Ling.

His funeral will take place at St George's Church BSB on Monday (June 20, 2011). Time of the funeral to be notified later.

May his soul rest in peace. -- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

That is totally my ex-boss, man! It was really unexpected! What a way to go~!

To be honest, he wasn't really the best of bosses, but he isn't the worst either, since he had his good and bad moments. But it really rings true that you would only write good things about people when they're dead coz...well, there it is right there when in truth I know otherwise.

Still can't decide whether I should attend the funeral out of courtesy or not. He is my ex-boss after all.

The Haunted Roundabout

To say that Brunei is the safest place in the entire Asian world with nothing bad, not even popular ghost stories and urban legends, ever happening to the country would be a dead wrong situation. We do have our tales, just so well secluded that no one knows it exists, but it does.

Here we are, on the way to Sg Akar, approaching the roundabout, where the mystery behind the area unfolds...

This be the Subok roundabout, famed to be haunted especially in the dead of the night. Apparently sometime around midnight, you would see a red Mercedez or Ferrari driving round and round that roundabout non-stop.

If you manage to catch a glimpse of it and try to drive up to it to match its speed, you will see that the driver of the car is a woman, but you can only tell from the clothing or the hand on the wheel, because the driver is headless! Like a frickin' Headless Horseman, but a woman, and driving a car!

And if the driver noticed you checking her out, she will wave at you eerily. Whatever happens after that, no one knows. Brr... Creepy~! :/

Close-up shot of the roundabout.

Dare you venture out there in the dead of the night to catch this Headless Driver?

Snooze Dog

Went to the immigration area after lunch to accompany my BFF and my kismesis to do their thing (my BFF to collect his IC and my kismesis to help his bro apply for PR).

After they were done, we were walking out when I caught sight of this.

Such peace. Such serenity. Such a nice moment without the care in the world.

Definitely going into my photog artistic list!

Holy Smokes!

On the way back from doing my BFF and my kismesis' business at the immigration, we were passing by the Royal Golf Course when we were suddenly alerted by a huge pillar of smoke.

Either it was some buggy experiencing spontaneous combustion or some crazy camping gone wrong, who knows.

All I know is, this is totally photog-worthy!!

CHARGE~!!!

My friends who came over to Brunei for a business trip spent a week here with us.

They bunked in at Mike's (who was my MC during my wedding) place since he's a bachelor pod while our home was pretty inconvenient especially when we have a grandma-in-law in the house that prohibits smoking and too much boozing.

We spent that week entertaining them, taking them to places they might enjoy and let them have a taste of Brunei cuisines and whatnot. They were interested in Jerudong Park despite the crappy rumours about it.

Took this photo for the hell of it XD

My friends the goofballs. Gotta love 'em
Monday, June 13, 2011 | By: BlackGargie

My Jobs So Far

Job-hunting has been a bit of a drag. Not only I have yet to get my driving license to add points into my resume (I passed the theory but yet to get started on learning the driving part), jobs available (aside from the one I have my sights on) were not exactly my cup of tea.

Thinking back now of all the jobs that I had done in the past few years growing up, I realized that none of my jobs had never really lasted for more than a year, which actually I have a perfectly good reason as to why it is so. Technically the job I'm working right now actually exceeded the one year threshold, longest-running job so far. If it weren't for the fact that this job is sucking the life-force outta me and turning me into a monotonous work drone, I'd prolly consider staying longer.

Recounting the days of my more higher youth, these are the jobs that I've done so far:

Part-time tuition teacher in a English-language tuition centre. Found that through a wanted ad, and had my mom/lady worker to drive me there since I can't drive. Kids pretty much love me and prefer to have sessions with me. In fact, my superior's own nieces and nephews who were going for the classes and used to be under him chose to have me for their session as I pretty much am slightly lenient but fair to them.

In fact, after classes were over, I usually loosen up and play games with the kids, which apparently was a no-no to the others coz I was supposed to instill respect and fear to discipline them, which I'm not that way since, well, I'm not. I'm not one to believe in "spare the rod, spoil the child" method since I'm the victim of that proverb myself. And you're SUPPOSED to have children like you to respect you, not terrified.

That, and the fact that my mom makes really extravagant dinners for me that she insist I finish my platters clean before I get to work, got me fired. They fired me on New Year's Eve, no doubt, which was quite the big bad kicker for me, giving me the excuse that they don't require part-timers anymore, but I think they're just fucking jealous that kids like me more than them.


Promotional assistant in Coca Cola (Malaysian branch) Co. That one is due to a recommendation from my kindergarten/church friend who was also going there for an interview for accountant clerk position to take over the one who was on maternity leave.

Technically it is a part-time by-contract job where they hired me as a promo assistant because they needed help with their really big shot competition where the winner would actually get a 4WD at the final lucky draw and vote!

This was by far my most favourite job back in my hometown because as a promoter, you're required to go around everywhere onsite to promote the competition, doing lucky draws, traveling to other districts (getting carsick in the process), going door to door to do promotions and stuff. Fun and exciting and definitely a new thing happens everyday.

That was also the job where I can totally eat as much as I wanted without gaining weight because of the daily 'exercise' I get around the office mentally and physically.

Too bad, I was hired by contract, and once the competition was over and my contract has expired, I was no longer needed. I tried to apply for a permanent job there when there was an opening, but unfortunately (from eavesdropping) they wanted a man to fill in the position. Meh...


Volunteer shop keeper at my godmother's automobile spare parts shop. During the time I was waiting for my semester in Curtin to start, and after we sold the apartment we were living in, I was bunking at my godmother's place and to pass the time, in between hanging out with friends and stuff, I was the temp shop keeper for my godmother.

Apparently (according to my godfather's sister), I was heaven-sent because my godfather have been quite depressed lately after suffering from kidney failure and needing dialysis all the time. It got to the point where he had to be admitted to psych ward and given a bit of shock therapy to cure his depression, and my godmother wouldn't have the time to open shop or even run it, so I was there to help her out to open shop and take care of it while they're not available.

This was also where my goodwill rubbed off on her (while I was still a bit of a devout at the time) as my godparents converted from Buddhism to Christianity


Babysitter. During the semester break from uni, my godmother introduced me to a friend she knows who's in a dire need of a babysitter/nanny coz she just had a newborn and couldn't cope yet with raising two kids at once.

The lady is married to a Thai, so I picked up some baby words in Thai that she usually use for her son. While she tend to her young baby, I will have to follow her around babysitting her elder son, who is actually quite demanding at his age, wanting to be carried most of the time (until my arms threaten to tear off) and demands attention a lot of times. And that lady wanted to have 5 kids. Oi vey!

Unfortunately due to a misunderstanding (and my mother not happy of me doing a job that should be done by maids or lower forms for that matter), my employment only last 2 weeks. Needless to say, my godmother was not happy either at the way my mom handled things. Gee, embarrass me more, Mom, why dontcha?


General clerk. My first job in Brunei. I worked in Brudirect as a general clerk (technically the job description in my quota), but in reality, I'm working 3 jobs in one, which is as censorship board for his website at the Have Your Say section, proofreader for the news section of the website, especially when the webbies have posted the newspaper articles online and I have to spell-check them, and the actual general clerk (or more like PA) for my lady boss who works as an AIA insurance sales agent.

Bosses wasn't exactly the cream of the crop, but it was tolerable nonetheless. Though sometimes working so much for peanuts with no salary raise was just plain daylight robbery. Had experienced sexual harassment by one of the cafe boys who worked downstairs at the 24-hour cafe my boss owns on the sidelines (and got his ass fired for it). But I can still put up with it.

The only reason why I left was because the boss kept delaying on making my quota due to the stressful work the agents he hired had to go through and causing its high turnover. I was always looking over my shoulder to see if the police were coming in to do a surprise spotcheck or something and haul my ass to jail. When I handed in my resignation letter, they weren't too pleased as they claimed that they were on their way to getting my quota ready. I wasn't taking any chances


Part-time salesgirl for my hubby's computer expo. It was a temp thing when I was unemployed after I left Brudirect. They joined an expo in The Mall at Gadong and I decided to take it to kill time and earn some money. Was a bit rocky, and discovered the full extent of lovers not cut out to be working under the same field, and throughout that week, I think I sold more accessories than actual big guns (2 laptops courtesy of stealing other people's sales and 1 PC from my own efforts of bullying and pressuring a mother to buy by appealing to her daughter LOL), but all in all, I knew I wasn't really cut out for sales


Tour guide. This is prolly by far the best job I've ever had in my life. Meeting new people, talking to them about the so-called "wonders" of Brunei, going from place to place, taking them to spots and see their eyes lit up in wonder at what I have to offer, as well as them laughing and being entertained with my perky attitude and well-punned jokes and faked American accent, I had the time of my life.

Being the only female tour guide (as well as the youngest) among my peers, I had to work extra harder than everyone else, but it's cool, since I get to loose weight that way and bring a smile to all my customers/tourist. Even the sexual harassment that happened there was bearable at best, in addition to the tired, aching body and the failing appetite. Comes with the job, no biggy

Unfortunately, the management and the politics behind this family business is just crappy, and too strict to time codes in a situation where the unpredictable often happens, and I always ended up being reprimanded for things that is beyond my control. My faith soon wavered for this company and I was later "dishonourably discharged", my boss trying to make it sound like it was my fault I'm being fired, until I forced the real reason for my termination was due to downsizing. Left and never looked back since, other than seeing them around at certain occasions when I'm in town.


And right now, you pretty much know the rest of my current job. Started off wonderful at first with the flexi hours and easygoing relaxing work environment, but ever since our original super left and was replaced with this new super that somehow our boss hired (thanks to his bravado in thinking that losing a couple million dollars is no big deal) due to taking this stupid last-minute project (which I think it's a big mistake), stress, backstabbing, conflicts, bad management and hypocrisy as well as office politics reigned, and it seems to get worse and worse as we progressed through the stages.

This about sums up my situation right now:

Friday, June 3, 2011 | By: BlackGargie

Weight Problems

Had a bit of a talk with my BFF during lunch about my childhood friends who came to visit us on their business trip.

We were talking about my friends and were talking about how my friend Sabrina was the most beautiful of the four of us (we're originally a quartet, if you read my previous entry, but the other one went MIA once she started life in Ireland), and I was commenting that my other friend Jennifer is actually quite pretty by her own right if you look past her slightly chubby extremities and my BFF was saying that no matter how beautiful you are on the inside, people will still judge you from your outward appearances.

He told me that she had confided a little to her about how she was quite the put-off for others because of her weight and she was trying to make something better out of it, doing something about it to help her gain back her confidence and get into people's good graces, and my BFF started asking me whether I'm doing anything about it too.

Which came up to my own weight issues.

I'm roughly between 69 to 73kg, most likely going up back to my old obese weight of 75kg if I don't watch out on my food intake, and my job at the desk is definitely not helping me out very much in terms trying to lose weight since I sit my ass all day staring at the computer, with minor exercise in between, like getting other things for my needs or providing for the office by going up and down the building.

I used to be 55kg until I got my first job which also got me to sit my ass all day, which led to my weight of 75kg in a year's time. Urgh~! Then I managed to lose that weight to get my to 69kg when I worked as a tour guide because it got me walking around up and down with quite minimal food intake in between coz I'll be so damn tired and lack of appetite to eat my usual helping. Now that I'm back in the desk job, the horrors of gaining weight has recurred again.

It's not that I'm trying to make excuses for myself, but when you work all day, you're physically and mentally tired. By the time I get home, it would be about roughly 7, 8pm (no overtime claim available, by the way) and that leaves me about at least 4 hours of me-time, minus dinner and helping out with chores I am barely left with 2, 3 hours of me-time to do my own things like drawing and whatnot, let alone exercise, and the next morning it's another rat race again into the field.

And I always tell myself (and from my hubby's words) that at least I'm eating healthy with my usual intake of vegs and haven't gotten too far as to end up like super obese people who ended walking like they're waddling ducks of sorts. I haven't really had any major health problems so far, and since I'm trying for a baby, I don't really see too much reason why I should go on some super crash diet to convince myself that I can and have the will power to lose weight.

Besides, what is the deal with people about losing weight and slimming down? Nowadays people look down on fat people and think they're lazy son of a guns that will never ever succeed in life and die a horrible death of obese-related disease. They think fat people are ugly and would never consider them part of a so-called 'regular' society. Heck, they don't even make clothes for obese people now and all those thin small clothes for people who don't eat just pressures them and telling that they're fat-asses. And those boutiques who do sell big clothes for the chubbies usually end up going out of business because it just makes the big sized people in denial that they're THAT big.

Back then in the 18th century, chubby women are considered beautiful. Have you actually seen the paintings back then, including Venus and Mona Lisa? They're all pretty chubby and people actually considered them beautiful! Whatever happened to that perception? What happened that make people think that skinny people are beautiful?

Is it thanks to Barbie dolls? Is it thanks to the models nowadays that they use for Playboy or beer commercials? Is it all those unnecessary experiments and studies that tell you that this food is bad and that food is bad and whatnot?

We might as well all be bulimic and aneroxic bastards, trying to slim down for the sake of these superficial materialistic people, puking or shitting our food out so that our bodies can no longer detect the nutrition in it to sustain them. You like thin people, try looking at those who lose weight through unsavoury methods like the bulimics and aneroxics. Is that beauty for you?

I know what they're thinking: "No~! That's not what we meant! We like you thin but we didn't want you to go THAT thin." Well, it's because of their perception that caused these people to go for drastic measures to make themselves thin and perfect to gain their approval, and in the end, ended up just torturing themselves.

Maybe I should just go aneroxic. See if that'll make those who think I'm fat happy...
Thursday, June 2, 2011 | By: BlackGargie

Dis-Ap-Point-Ment~!!!

My hubby decided to humour me and pair Shepard with Tali'Zorah when he played Mass Effect 2 the second time, and I was utterly disappointed at the fact that I couldn't see Tali's face. Utter disappointment

Grabbed this from dA.

Illustrates my feelings perfectly.