Friday, July 20, 2007

Rockin' Girl Blogger Award

I am so touched by Tine's kind gesture in awarding me with this badge. Thank you Tine, for this lovely badge. I shall wear it with honor and pride.

This is the first time I got awarded with anything, after one whole year of blogging. It sorta like an achievement. Yay. Tine, I wanna let you know I think you rock too ;)

And now, whom do I think befitting of this badge? Here's the list of gal bloggers whom I admired and respected very much:

Gina (Absolutginger)
Firehorse (Fatty Poh's Kopi Tiam)
CC (Quaint Melody)

You all deserve this badge and I salute all of you cos' you gals totally rock!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Highschool Flashbacks & High Dramas (Back-to-the-Future Style)

17th July 2007, Tuesday

This particular morning, I was pretty hyped-up by a post written by Tine. It’s about the ups-and-downs she encountered during her high school days. I felt so nostalgic reading this post of hers. I was literally overwhelmed by my own excitement that I had couldn’t refrain from posting two quite long comments to share my own experiences with her. And I felt good doing it too.

I figured it would be cool to post something about my past too… this is something I had noticed wasn’t my usual style here. I guess I did deprive you all from a chance to get to know me better huh. A chance to know the roads this Muse had traveled to become who she is today. So, a little bit of background history wouldn’t kill I guess. LOL.

Here goes the story of this Muse during her heydays *“tut-te-tut-tae-tut” keying in the codes into the Time Machine*

SWIRL…. SWIRL…, SWIRL… (spiraling down the time portal in full speed).

[Kleio in full highschool light blue pinafore with white short-sleeved-shirt and her long-thick waist-length luxurious-black-hair pulled back in a samurai style fashion secured with several (I mean many) pieces of rubber-hair-bands plus a larger than life curry-puff like fringe gel to perfection]

Well, that’s pretty much how I looked like back then. Trying my very best to fit in, at least in terms of appearance. I could never really fit in emotionally though. Not until I met Gina (my best friend even till now) during my 3rd year (Form 3)… but, that was for another story, unless you all don’t mind another long drag. LOL. So, I’ll just have to keep that for another time.

Of Differences and Barriers

Now, why would I say that I couldn’t really fit in? Thing is, I am what my peers considered as a partial Chinese, but that is only in terms of up-bringing and not that I aren’t in anyway physically “pure Chinese”. Alrighty then, maybe I did look slightly off the part of looking truly of Chinese parentage. I could still remember people kept asking me whether I am half Japanese or of mixed parentage. I guess it might be because of my fairness in skin tone, well probably. Anyway, I really don’t get it until todate as to why my looks generated this sort of speculation at all *shakes head*. To me, I look every part a pure Chinese.

Apart from the so called ‘unconventional look,’ it doesn’t really help me fit in with a huge language barrier in line effectively barricading me from the rest of my peers. This was another reason why my peers called me a partial Chinese or what they fondly nicknamed as a ‘Banana’ (a direct translation from Chinese ie. Siang-Jiau-Ren. It metaphorically meant, ‘Yellow on the outside but white in the inside’ – meaning a westernized Chinese who doesn’t know his/her Chinese heritage or main language ie. Mandarin) a quite degrading nickname they gave to those like me. I am pretty sure others out there like me would concur with this.

Actually, this dilemma left me feeling alienated and left-out, hence I turned resentful towards my parent’s decision in enrolling me into a National School instead of a Chinese Medium school which was supposed to be the normal practice by the local Chinese community. I felt ashamed of not knowing Mandarin and of not having deeper knowledge of my Chinese heritage. At that time, it makes me felt unworthy of being called a Chinese at all. To the point of almost wanting to hide behind a fabricated lie that I am not pure Chinese but of mixed parentage (I didn’t do it tho. I now think it is rather silly of me to have that kind of thoughts.)

In a way, all these really affected my self-esteem. Therefore I submitted to my peer’s never-ending jests, teases and was even bombarded with many unflattering nicknames. Kids can really be amazing with their creativity in making up nicknames. My beautiful name (I have an English name apart from my Chinese one) was twist and turned into so many versions of distasteful nicknames, that I was so fed up with, so much so that I had one time decided to adopt a new name for myself at school. Mom gave me an earful when she found out tho.

It was just so easy for them to get away with the teasing because I can’t tell even if they were to made fun of me right in front of my face as they always did it in Mandarin. To me, it was like hearing a foreign language that I have no inkling of whatsoever. I have no choice but to let it be.

Now, I am proud to say that my current comprehension of Mandarin has improved tremendously, all thanks to the idiot-box’s never-ending streams of TV dramas in this particular language. Credits have to be given to my little boy as well, for encouraging me to pick up this language. That’s because I have no other option but to learn it, as my son is currently enrolled into a Chinese medium kindergarten and I found this is the most effective language in communicating with him. Hence begins a series of broken Mandarin at home. LOL. It was fun tho. Helps create light moments to wash away the daily stress and tensions.

Grades & Studiousness

Grades, hmmm… this is a rather tough one to answer. Let me see, I was constantly struggling with couple of subjects. Maths unfortunately is my woe. No matter how much effort I put in… I barely scrap the passing grade. Freaking hate Maths (arithmetic) even till now. It’s really nothing short of a miracle that I managed to somehow secure a credit (passing grade) for it, enough for me to get myself through my highschool final year examination. I guess Lady-luck was with me after all, that I need not repeat another year at school. That would suck Big-time.

History wasn’t my forte too. Don’t get me wrong tho. I do enjoy history it’s just that I don’t fancy studying local history. My interest leans more towards the international atmosphere. Another thing about this subject that irks me are the dates I have to cramp into my Goldfish-Memory (I am plaque by early stage of Alzheimer disease it seems). My short term memory is almost non-existent. You know, I could be standing right in front of my gate holding the keys in my hands and asking where the hell I put my keys! (incidents such as this and similar ones has and kept repeating itself many times throughout my life). I am so SICK of this and part of the reason I am currently pushing myself to pick-up the Japanese language is to stop my brain from wasting away. Hopefully in the near future, I would not have to repeat this phrase again and again, “Oh I am sorry, I forgot” *roll eyes*.

Alright so, basically my grades aren’t too bad. I would say I am neither an underachiever nor an over-achiever (just like how Tine put it). What’s my best subjects then? It has to be English, Science, Bahasa Malaysia (the national language) and Geography. Wasn’t too doing too badly in my Art class too.

Since I am top in class for my English studies, it helps me somewhat get back at those peers who had laughed at me being the so called partial Chinese. It felt good to see them toning down their ego to approach me for help in this subject. Ha! See, who has the last laugh now. Muahahahahahahaa.

A bit about my study style, I would sit at the dining table at home diving into my homework as soon as I get back from school till evening. I would only budge from time to time for nature calls or to get some sustenance from the fridge. I get my rest there too – sleeping while sitting upright with my head resting on the table drooling away. My grandma seems to be very fond of recalling this memory... she kept repeating it to friends and family *embarrassed*.

The Popularity Scale

[Kleio gingerly steps onto the “Popularity Scale” with trepidations. Forehead full of nervous sweat]

Well errr… how should I put it? I was umm… ahh… quite well received by the umm… opposite gender. In fact, there’s this one time where a bunch of so-called, “Tai-kar-cheh” (Cantonese: means, Big-Sisters… as in female gangsters) threaten to do me harm should I not avoid the attention of a particular cute boy of which I didn’t even know in the first place. Cos’ a gal in the said group has got the hots for him (Psst… and that cute boy has got the hots for yours truly). Yea right, I told them to go get a life and when they did get unruly I ran straight off to the teacher’s lounge. It was so funny to see them get cold feet and chicken out. Cluck… cluck… cluck… cluck. LOL. Man, that made my day.

And for the record, that kawaii boy became my first boyfriend. That is, if he could be considered as my "boyfriend" cos’ I wouldn’t even let him hold my hands. LOL. I does defeat the whole idea right. Actually I had a long history with this particular boy afterwards. But, I’ll leave that for another post... only if I feel like telling it. He is after all… my first love and the best looking one throughout my strings of suitors.

I can be quite daring and reckless at times tho I did tone down a bit nowadays. I remember I once threw a bottle (a plastic one of course, I am not a murderer) at a male classmate, because he irritated me. I think he messed with my beautifully sculpted hair. There was also another time where I kicked a ‘bangku’ (chair) towards that same idiot. But it was me that got hurt from that tantrum in the end. Sucks!

Oh, I forgot to mention one itsy bitsy detail *raises eyebrows suggestively*… I was the Assistant Class Monitor at that point of time too *grin*. Surprise!
Surprise! For a clearer picture, I am talking about my first year in highschool kay (Form 1). One more thing, I am also a Karate student back then. I guess that pretty well explained why I had the (I nearly said balls here. LOL) guts to readily take on these unruly peeps. I am pretty harmless now tho, with my muscles and guts all gone down the drains eons ago since the day I have decided to perfect the feminine side of me due to my increasing interest in the opposite gender. Though I must blame it all on the raging surge of female hormone during my 2nd onset of puberty *bites lip*.

One more for the record, I was also the secretary for Interact Club during my fourth year of highschool (Form 4). My best buddy, Gina was the President of the club. I had much fun, exposures and also faced with many challenges in this club. I even got into an argument with Gina then. It was our first fight and the last; we never fought afterwards till to date. And we are still best of friend.

From this point onward, I think you could deduce that I am most certainly do not belong to the geeks or nerds packs. I am probably a semi IT-gal. Semi popular only. I believe I get to be at this level just because I am different and this gets me attention out of people’s natural curiosity. So you can actually say that I stick-out-like-a-sore-thumb amongst my peers.

I have to say that life is fair after all, I might be ridiculed and alienated but I fare better than em’ in my studies and social conquest.

Lastly, I would love to tag a few friends. I didn't actually meant for this post to be a meme, but I really think it would be an interesting tag. So there's no obligation okay. You can chose to indulge me or you could ignore this tag by all means. I would not be offended in anyway ok.
My main aim is just to get to know more about you.

These are the peeps I would love to know more about:
Gina (Absolut Ginger)
Tien Soon (Tien Soon's Tech Blog)
Kenny Mah
Stev Blogs
Firehorse (Fatty Poh's Kopi Tiam)
Kok (Not so complicated)
Mikey (Mikey Mike's Subliterate Zone)
Peggy (All the Beautiful Things in the World)
CC (Quaint Melody)
Paris Beaverbanks

Saturday, July 14, 2007

1st Anniversary of, "A Hermit's Muse"

Hi there peeps! I am back. And tomorrow is my blog’s 1st Anniversary. Hence, I am now dedicating this post to my beloved blog. So, Happy 1st Anniversary to Hermit's Muse!!!

A Walk Down the Memory Lane
Humbly yours started this blog on 15th July 2006 last year after much self-conflicting deliberation and courage gathering. Actually, I had amazed myself by reaching this 1-year milestone… didn’t thought I could have lasted so long when I first started it.

I could still very much recall my first post entry, lamenting on my lack of writing skill and ze self-bashing for my crazy notion of starting a blog. Yeah, I was that low in my self-esteem at that point of time. I am proud to say that I have changed… more aptly put – EVOLVED. I have grown to be more self-assured and learned to speak my mind plus, am not as shy as before. LOL. I could still pretty much remember the countless times I had bugged my dearest old friend, Gina (she’s the one that had inspired as well as encouraged me to blog) for assurances on my writings *laugh* as well as to how and what to say in one of my fan-email to a fellow blogger I had admired so much (I still am missing him even till now tho). Gina-san, I take this opportunity to express my utmost thanks to you for making this blog a reality. Domo arigatogozaimashita.

Reflections – Lessons thru Blogging
The biggest benefit I had experienced from blogging is that it opens up my perspective, changed the way I perceive others as well as my own self. It seems that by having a blog, I could see my inner self clearer… it’s like giving my inner self a voice of its own and thus, enabling me to re-evaluate things in a way I never did before. By doing this, I came to realized what I actually wanted in life… what I needed to pursue and what I should not waste precious time harping on.

I would say, in a way, blogging is like putting a mirror in front of you… helping you to see those minute but important details we often failed to notice before. Assisting us in sorting out those of importance and those insignificant ones.

To sum it up, the strength and new knowledge I had gain through blogging had lead me to a rapid inner growth and self-discovery. Plus, I have also learned to make peace with myself.

I must say the once shy and unsure hermit has found her voice again. Cheers!

Selective Posts that makes this Muse

Itchy Butt Dilemma
I am bringing this post up because it’s the highest hit post. And most of the hits came from search engines referrals. It boggles me really as to why so many people actually searched for the keyword, “itchy butt”. I get visitors to this particular post almost every day. Now that’s something to muse about. LOL.

Chef for the Day ( In-house Pizza Pancakes )
Now, this particular post marks the first time this hermit (yours truly) shows up in a photo. Not forgetting also that it is also the first time I blogged about food and cooking. Yeah, I can’t really cook. My cooking is edible by human beings but that’s just that, fullstop.

Losing Sense of Self
This post marks the first time I came close to stripping and baring my soul to all due to one of the usual bouts of household bickering.

Top Five Favorite Movies -- I've been tagged!
I kinda like this post as I really enjoyed writing this particular meme and on top of that, it was my first time being tagged. Hence, it was a meme post by a Virgin-Meme-Blogger (VMB).

The Ultimate Confrontation
Now this one is the one I that had impacted my life so much that it shifted my whole perspective and aim in life. It’s the turning point and a cross road of my life. Whenever I felt weak in my resolution at any given time, I would recall what I have written and promised myself in this post. It had never failed to push me on again and face my challenges with courage.

Doing the Maths
Ze main sum of all sums, ze Hermit has matured in terms of writing, thinking and interacting. Just take a look at my first post and make the comparison, you would be able to deduce what I meant by that. LOL. At that time, someone had actually told me I write my post like a screenplay. I have to thank him for making that comment. It helped me to improve a lot. I am not saying I am great at writing now, but at least it is more palatable.

Errr… again, this Muse has inadvertently written another long winded post. But hey, this is after all my dedication to my beloved blog right *wink*.

Lastly, I thank you everyone for being a friend and for being so supportive when I am down and also for all the encouragements and sharing.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Random Muses: All Tied Up

Just a short note to let all my treasured blog friends/visitors know that I foresee a period of low blog hopping or posting for me due to my current work commitment and other personal ventures.

Please don't hate me for not visiting as frequent *glassy doe-eyed innocent look*. Anyhow, I promised to drop by as frequent as I could manage and also to post whenever I could... cos' I really do love you guys.

Thank you for understanding. Anyway, this inactivity or low activity period would only be for a couple of days if not a week or so.

Domo arigatogozaimasu  ども ありがとございます (Thank you)

Updates on my Japanese learning quest:

Have been scurrying around the net of late for some free materials for Japanese learning. And lo behold! Just like I predicted… I am not disappointed with the galore of goodies I managed to dig up. Will try to share it here with all when I have the chance to do so.

So far, this Muse has managed to pick up around 10 or more common Japanese words and learned a few ahem... actually, it is only four hiragana characters i.e. あいえお (a, i, e, o)… that’s about all I know. Tee hee hee

Oh yeah, about FRIENDS ABROAD, I am actually experiencing some problems with the site. It's quite buggy and unstable. Then again, maybe it's just because it's not compatible with Firefox. *shrug* beats me. I am still going to give it a few more tries though.