Friday, October 31

Fleas At Home

I have been offline for most of last week and have not been updating my blog because I have been trying to avoid certain areas of my house.
Why?
Because there is a flea infestation that I am still trying to adapt to.
Best part is... the most badly affected area is the carpeted area where my internet connection is.

Bring chair to aforementioned carpeted area.
Sit down for 60 seconds with both feet firmly planted on ground.
Look away from computer monitor & focus on the veiny areas of foot.
Look for suspicious tiny black dots on yellow skin.
Open eyes wide in surprise & horror.
Use fingers to, one by one, pluck the 5 or 6 black dots discovered.
Kill each flea by rolling between fingers HARD, stabbing with nails HARD or swallowing HARD.

Best way to kill fleas with your hands is by rolling them between two fingernails.
That is... if you get to hold those little jumpy b*****ds long enough to roll over them.
Fueled by the itch for knowledge on how to end my scratching sprees...
Here is what I have learned regarding cat fleas from the internet, a vet & a doctor.

Where did the fleas come from?
My house has been infected with cat fleas.
This type of flea is the most common of all fleas & they can be found on both cats & dogs.
I suspect that one of them (or maybe even a colony) got onto one of our 3 cats & hitched a ride into our apartment.
Once they got here, they started to reproduce & soon infested the whole area.
As their population increased they started feeding on the larger creatures... humans... ME!

I thought that cat fleas only bite cats?
My housemates & I are living proof that they DO but HUMANS!
Basically fleas are like heat-seeking missiles.
Cat & dogs have a higher body temperature than humans.
Therefore, when there are cats or dogs around, the fleas will go after them.

In our case, we inhabit two apartments on the top floor of our building.
The cats hangout in both apartments but they are usually at the apartment where there is no internet connection.
Therefore, the fleas at the latter location will have to make do with another source of blood... human blood.

The good news is cat fleas cannot reproduce with human blood.
Therefore, the whole colony will die off without any descendants, if they rely solely on human blood for nourishment.

What happens when a flea bites a human being?
Excessive flea bites on cats, dogs or humans can cause flea allergy dermatitis.
Although rare, it will happen if flea infestations are left untreated.

We should also worry about the special ability of fleas to spread parasites & infections.
The main worry is tapeworm infestation.
Flea bites may infect mammals with tapeworms which feast on our insides while their bouncy comrades feast on our outsides.

The main problem with flea bites is the itchy red lump it leaves behind.
oh & believe me... IT IS SOOOOOO ITCHY!!!!
and it feels SOOOOO GOOOOD to scratch.
It would be just fine if only one flea bites you.
That would be comparable to a mosquito bite that many have grown accustomed to.
But I have a theory that all fleas originated from Malaysia...
Because once one of them comes for makan, it will invite all its family & friends to this open house!
An open house on YOUR BLOOD!

What did I do to deal with the fleas?
The first thing I decided to do was get the fleas off the cats.
Then, the fleas will die off without a source of reproductive nourishment.
Fleas can exist at a given location for up to 365 days because of the eggs that are waiting to hatch & the larvae that are waiting to grow up & start sucking blood.
Thankfully, I wont have to wait that long.
I'm leaving the hostel in 2 months.

How do I get the fleas off the cats?
My vet says that a flea spray is the best treatment against fleas.
So I use a flea spray on the cat's body & flea powder on the face.
Any brand will do but bear in mind that the costs are quite high.
My large 250ml bottle of Frontline costs RM64 from a government vet.
A bottle of flea power will cost around RM20 from your local pet shop.
Bear in mind that these items can be used over 1 or 2 years.

How do I cope with flea bites?
My problem was with cat fleas.
If you have a different kind of flea affecting you, look for the specific treatment for that specific flea.
It is important to consult your physician about your problem.
I am not certified to give you advice on this.
But I can share with you my experience & how I coped with my problem.
It worked for me but may or may not work for you.

My main treatments was to avoid the apartment where the fleas are biting humans.
This has helped my existing bite wounds to heal & also effectively prevent more lumps to surface.
Also antihistamines & soothing ointments, like Minyak Gamat (Sea Cucumber Oil) & Zambuk, worked to relieve the itchiness.

Realising that the carpet is their favourite hiding spot.
Both apartments were vacuumed & had generous amounts of flea power spread in it.

Also I noticed that they are not very active at night.
Few of them jump onto my feet for a feast during the night.
Fleas are very sensitive to temperature so I guess they are dormant when temperatures are low.
Therefore, you will only see me online at night.

A doctor was consulted on the bites & cat fleas were the confirmed culprits of the bites.
This was determined through the pattern of the bites being mainly around the feet & only moving higher when ointments or pesticides were used on the feet.
We were advised to keep our feet 'open-air'.
Enclosing our feet in socks or shoes will only give the fleas an easier time at sucking our blood.
These bites are not serious nor fatal & will heal.

taken from sjpwt.com

Now you know most of what I know about cat fleas & how to cope with them.
If you have anything to share or corrections to make, do contribute with a comment.
I risked tapeworms, allergies & itchiness to write this...
So that's the least you could do...

Now, I'm gonna escape from them blood suckers!

Tuesday, October 21

Must Haves In My Future House

At the end of this year, I will finish my studies & move out of the hostel.
Next year, I will be teaching in a secondary school somewhere in Malaysia.
(Where exactly? I wont be informed until the end of December. This is will definitely cause logistic & emotional anxiety because school starts on the first week of January.)

I really cant wait to get a place to call home.
A place that I know I will be at for at least the next few years.
And I dont mind flatting or moving in with close trustworthy friends.
But what will I have in my house?

Dreaming about the fridge got me thinking about what else I must have in my house...
Well... Here is my wishlist!
=)

1. Fridge


Picture taken from theratandmouse.co.uk

As mentioned in the previous post, I will never be without a fridge...
It opens the door to too many sinful culinary pleasures to give up!
I dont mind sharing a fridge with the other occupants as long as I have one to use!

2. Xbox 360

Electronic entertainment is not something new.
Some people listen to the radio, some watch movies, some watch tv shows, some surf the internet while others, like me, play electronic games.
Therefore, amongst all other gaming devices, I want an Xbox 360 in my future adobe. (In a future post, I will justify my choice of gaming device.)

3. A Good Bed


taken from macys.com

Some people think that the most important part of a home is the aesthetics & the mood.
As for me, I can do without everything except a goooooood bed.
A good night's sleep can go a long way to enhancing your health, mood & performance at work.
After living for about 22 years, I realise that I MUST have good quality sleep.
If not, my day will... let's say... take a lot of extra effort to get through.
So I'll be aiming for a bed that is not too expensive but still comfortable & sleep inducing.

4. Internet Connection



The next thing that must have is an internet connection.
Nowadays, everything & everyone is online & connected in the world wide web.
There are few limits to what can be done online.
Instead of going all over the city, so much more can be done sitting in front of a shiny piece of plastic & going *tap *tap *tap!
I do my banking, shopping, movie booking, flight booking, hotel booking, communicating, writing, research & some money-making online!
Therefore, to me, a connection to the internet is a must.

Sunday, October 19

The Something Missing In My Life

Dont get me wrong...
I'm happy with my life...
I'm happy with my love life...
I'm happy with my studies...
I am generally a very satisfied person...

But when I think about it...
My life is far from perfect...
There is always that something missing...
It bugs me when I wake up in the morning...
It bugs me when I have my coffee in the afternoons...
It bugs me when I make my bed at night...

I miss making myself breakfast with all the bacon, sausages & eggs...
I miss the raw & wet taste of fresh lettuce cleaned, cut & stuffed into a ham sandwich...
I miss the lazy weekends when I just grabbed any leftover produce in the fridge & put it all into a pot of yummy steamy broth or stew...
I miss the feeling of cold full cream milk massaging its way down my throat...

All these dreams & desires can never be satiated where I live at now... It is not allowed...
But if only I had that one thing required to materialise my great gastronomic fantasy...
Oh, how happily fat I would be!
Oh, If only I had... a fridge.


Picture taken from theratandmouse.co.uk

God, I cant wait to get my own place with a fridge!
I cant wait to be released from this freaky fridgeless prison!

Thursday, October 16

I Am 'Selebriti Kesayangan' Someone

For the past few days my blog has been receiving a lot of traffic from a Malaysian online forum, Cari Forum.
This is very peculiar because traffic was quite substantial for a website that I have no connections with.
So I checked it out.

This is what I found:
On Friday, 7 October 2008 (last week) at 05:02PM, someone posted a picture from my blog onto Cari Forum.
I published the picture on my blog in 2006 under 'My First Raya In Wellington'.
The picture was taken in 2006 during the Hari Raya open-house of the Malaysian High Commission in Wellington, New Zealand.
The title of the thread on Cari Forum is 'Foto Difoto Terfoto Memoto' with the subtitile 'Thread Foto Selebriti Kesayangan Anda'.

This is the picture:

With me in this picture is Liz.
Apparently someone out in cyberspace thinks that either Liz or me or both of us are celebrities.
hahahaha~~
This is hilarious!
Thanks for the compliment, dude!

Tuesday, October 14

To Girls Who Want To 'Make Friends' With Men

Just last week I experienced the shameful attempt of ah beng in pursuing a 'lady'.
Today, I saw a reversal of roles.
My Indian housemate, Guna, has been harassed by the sister of an Indian student from the school he did his practicum at.
She has been sending him loads of sms, making loads of intentional missed calls & actual calls.
This has been going on for quite some time already.
Guna has been able to ignoring her even though she is persistent in her demand for affection.
I admire his patience.

Today, her actions got on my nerves.
I was trying to relax & watch a really good movie in my quiet room with my friends.
Everything was good until it was rudely interrupted by the ringing of a phone. Guna's.
It was her. Another one of her intentional missed calls.
The silence after that was a welcome one which was gratefully used to enjoy the movie.
But she miss called again.
And again. And again. And again.
I was pissed.

Soon her rude interruptions turned into an actual call.
Which I gladly answered for Guna.
I never thought that I would ever have my dialogue with a lady inspired by ah bengs...
Yet that was exactly how I fashioned my speech when I answered the phone.


Picture taken from ckchiam.blogspot.com

The following is the exact dialogue:
(Me in red; Sister in brown)
*in a rough ah beng style* Hahloh!
*confused* Healo?
Who is this?
*a very surprised Indian* HAH??
*realising my English was too standard for an ah beng* Who dis?
*silence* .....
Wai yooooo kip calling my fon? HA?


She hung up after that...

And never called ever since!
Peace at last!
For Guna... & for me!
=)
~~~~

To girls who want to 'make friends' with men.
Forcing your way & harassing will not win any hearts.
Leave this horrendous feat to men who have got no taste (exp: ah bengs).
You should be more graceful, refined & demure than men are.
That is what we will love you for!
Never bring yourself down to our level.
If you act like a guy, we will treat you like a guy!

To win a man's heart, you have to do it without him realising it.
You have to wrap him around your fingers but make him think that he was the one who wants to do so.
Make him think that he is in control.
Always remember this law.
Cleverly feed his pride & he will like you.

The next step is a tougher one.
Do not use your body as bait because the fire that consumes both of you will die out as quickly as it has risen.
But in other ways, concede to his wills & his desires.
Listen carefully when he speaks to you for his words can be used to win his heart.

Listen to his dreams. Support him.
Listen to what he likes in a woman. Show him that you can be such a woman.
Listen to his interests. Do what he likes to do.
Listen to his activities. Follow him to some of it.
But always give him the option of saying no to you.
And even though he cancels at the last minute, smile & say its ok.

It is more difficult to pursue a guy because once he gets a little hint of your intentions, he will be immune to all your subtle advances.
Remember that men are men & they like women to be women.
Try your best to be the best woman you can be & you will find that getting a guy to like you will not be too hard.
Stay positive & do not be afraid of heartbreak!

Friday, October 10

To All The Little Boys Wanting To 'Make Friends' With Girls

This is a hand phone.
Man's best & worst tool.

To all the little boys (or even some men) out there who want to make friends with girls or women:
DON'T DO IT THROUGH SMS!!
It is utter disrespect to the lady!!
SMS is such a cheap sleazy way to make a first impression!
If you want to make a friend & cannot do it face to face, at least have the courtesy or balls to call the lady & be your honest self.

When you do call, you dont need any smart or clever lines to impress the girl...
Just prepare a few topics that could be of mutual interest.
A good conversation or honest discussion is more than good enough!
The girl evaluates you through the honesty you put into the conversation...
She needs to know that she can trust you before she gives you anything!

If she says that she doesnt want to talk, remember to be POLITE.
If she says no to a date with you, remember to also be POLITE.
Say that you understand & you appreciate her answering the call.
Then, say thank you & wish her a good life.
Finally, hang up, reflect & get a move on with your life.

Last night, I was watching a movie & chilling at home after a long busy week.
Just when the movie got interesting, I received an sms.
I was 'ah beng' & he was attempting to hit on me. SERIOUSLY.
I replied of course. I revealed that I also possessed a penis & I was not interested in befriending another sausage.
However, this young man (who was convinced that I was female) was relentless in pushing the idea of making 'friends' with me!

Here are the EXACT sms sent & received:
(ah beng in brown; ah kam in red)
Hello..
Who is this?
Z.. What's ur name.. Just want 2 n0e whose num is ths.. N i don't where did i get ur num.. Tht's why i'm asking.. :)
I'm a freaking guy, dude.
You're barking up the wrong tree.
Really? Juz want 2 get 2 n0e u.. Tht's all.. Btw, hw freak? Juz kddn'..
You want to make a friend?
Give me a call.
SMS is so high school dude.
Call? I'm n0t int0 makn' a call.. I'm an sms-type pers0n..
Bro. This will be my last sms.
So let me give u a free tip.
You want to impress a girl, give her a call n be honest.
Good night n take care!

Just when I thought that was the last I'd hear from him...
This morning a friend of his called my phone & asked for an 'ah kuang' in a really rough ah beng manner.
I guess they needed to confirm my sausageness.

How did I know that they were associates?
They both had Sarawak numbers.
sigh~~~
**shakes head in disgust & embarassment**

Thursday, October 9

The Impartial Writer: Fact or Myth?

A Well-Known Kazak Reporter

Today you will find many news agencies claiming to be fair & impartial in their presentation of news.
There are also many bloggers who claim to be pragmatic & impartial.
I consider myself one of those so called "impartial" writers but, upon honest inspection, I find that my writing eventually pushes my ideals...
How unimpartial!

So is it possible for a writer to be impartial?
I spent some time on the toilet bowl considering the possibility of an impartial writer...
This is what came out...

Consider this situation.
Side A is in conflict with Side B.
In this situation, the writer has several choices to make in his portrayal of this conflict.
He can either choose to side with A or side with B.
He can even side with both or condemn both!
Alternatively, he can choose to be neutral and narrate the situation as it is.

Let us now consider how neutral a writer can be when narrating a situation.
Covering of the strengths of A, no matter now neutrally presented, will give an advantage to A. Vice versa in the coverage of B.
Covering the weaknesses or flaws of A, no matter now neutrally presented, will give an advantage to B. Vice versa in the coverage of B.
Therefore, in order to be the neutral writer, he has to be fair & present the strengths of both sides. Vice versa in presenting weaknesses.

However, no strengths are the same nor are any two weaknesses the same.
Therefore, in order to come out as neutral or fair, the neutral writer will have to apply balance.
And balancing is NOT impartial.
It weakens the stronger & strengthens the weaker!

Therefore, I dare say any self-proclaimed impartial writer is in fact a liar.
However, writers do not dictate how readers respond to their writing.
Every reader has a response to every piece of writing he/she reads!
Come on, admit it, you are responding to my masterpiece even right now!
Reading the work of a writer that sides with A does not automatically convert the reader into siding with A...
(If you haven't realised already...) The reader has a choice!

So here is something for you, my readers, to consider...
As you were reading, examine your own thoughts/opinions/criticisms/appraisals...
Which side is it on?
How did you come up with those opinions?
What is your justification for those opinions?
What are your references?

Therefore readers, I urge you...
Be a perceptive reader...
Dont be fools merely regurgitating what you see...
Be media literate...
Reflect on what is read & examine the points discussed before you accept it as fact...

Tuesday, October 7

Farewell Goodies From SMK Puteri Titiwangsa

During my last days in SMK Putri Titiwangsa, both the students & teachers expressed their appreciation towards my colleagues & I.
They blessed us with gifts & entertained us with farewell parties!
I would like to acknowledge these kind people here on my blog.

My class, 1 Maju, threw me & my colleagues an awesome party with water balloons and lots of junk food.
I have been entertaining them for 12 weeks so it is fair for them to entertain me at least once...

Aimi's class, 1 Jaya, also threw a party for us the next day...
they wanted to compete with 1 Maju...
hahaha~~
It was good, but I preferred the party by 1 Maju.
The party by 1 Maju was better organised & the students were really sporting.

I received cards from May Wan, Chin LiYing, Sarah Aiysha & The Lower 6 Students.
Thanks for your encouraging words!
It has brought a smile to my face!
=)

I received gifts from SinYan (1 Maju), Vanessa (1 Maju) & Nur Najuah (4ERT).
Thanks for your gifts!
I love them & will definitely be bringing it to my future school!

I received choc raya cookies from Nur Amirah.
I don’t know which class you are from because you surprised me at the car.
Thank you for the cookies!
They were delicious!

The teachers also showed their appreciation:
Many encouraged us with kind words & jokes.
Pn Mary gave me a mini-stapler which will come in handy.
Cik Faridah gave me a stamp which says 'improved'. It will be put to good use with my future students.
A few teachers joined together to give me a brand new shiny ball-point pen!
They are: Tamil Selvi, G. Selvi, Aliza, Suzieany, Azita, Lee MuiYoke, Lim GuatBee, Koh PeakKee, ChinSien, Yap ChiewLan, Cheng KimLin, Goh BoonKiat, Ng GeokLeong, Lim SiewKoon & Add.


The Most Creative Gift

The most creative gift is a letter that came in the form of a really frustrating puzzle.

click on picture to read

Here is my response...


The Most Useful Gift
The most useful gift is a nail clipper from the farewell party organised by 1 Jaya.
I have been looking for the perfect nail clipper and I have always been disappointed with what I could find in Malaysia.
Thanks 1 Jaya! You completed my search!
This nail clipper will be my best grooming tool in the years to come!


Thank You, SMK Putri Titiwangsa!
I will really miss you!
The memories we share, I will cherish too!

Take care! Do your best!
GBU!!!

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