Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The BALD truth... how ladies should handle this sensitive issue

Disclaimer: The contents of this blog post may deemed offensive to some people. If you do find it offensive please navigate away from this page. I welcome positive and constructive criticisms and comments but not the ones that discredit me and/or ruin my reputation as a person and as a blogger/writer, not to mention my blog as a whole.  

For many ladies, the hair is their crowning glory and plays an important part in the overall physical look. However, in this day of modern and technological edge, not to mention at a life on the extremely fast lane, the hair style should be simple enough to maintain with minimal fuss and use of shampoo, conditioner, hair styling products and hair accessories. Also, less often visits to the hair stylist.

Ladies have been going bald for ages in fact, and for various reasons too. Some of them made their personal choice - religious reasons, illness (cancer), self-expression, to support charitable causes and joining uniformed training just to name a few; however, others might have made the decision to go bald due to unavoidable circumstances.       

I have kept long, medium-long, short and very short hair styles in the different phases of my life. Now, I am in my thirties, I have a very short hair style, the pixie hair cut. In fact, in a couple weeks' of time, I am planning to go for another hair cut and this time I will still maintain the pixie hair cut look, only that I will crop it extremely short and close to the scalp, preferably less than one inch in length.

For those people who know me well personally and face-to-face, you might be very surprised and may be even shocked at my action. I have reasons for this and they are very valid along the lines of practicality when I made the decision. What actually spurred me to this decision was the hue and cry that was made by an individual when she had to shave bald to attend the Fire and Rescue Training in May this year. She has since withdrew from the said training.

For most ladies who have actually gone bald and/or planning to go bald, except becoming bald because of illness especially due to cancer, where the hair lost might not regrow, doing it is normally NOT an issue unless there are hair and/or scalp problems. Not to mention if you also count the stares you get in the public, especially in Malaysia. When one is bald or virtually bald, hair grows to a reasonable length in six months, unless you are aiming for waist-length hair in a very short period.

I am saying from my personal experience, having lost 40% of mine for brain surgery several years ago. It would NOT even be an issue if I went completely bald then. Yes, I did get all the undesired stares when I was in public but that did not bother me because I know my hair would grow back properly. As I was already having short hair at that time, regrowing the lost hair was actually a cinch as I have a hair stylist who did a wonderful job in restyling my hair to blend the bald patch with the rest of the hair. Six months was all it took for my hair to be at its original state.

Most ladies, including yours truly here do look good in long hair. But once in a while, having very short hair or no hair at all can be very liberating in terms of self-expression. In fact many ladies DO actually look good bald, not counting celebrities becoming bald for acting reasons. If one has to go bald for any reason at all, there is always a choice to make, either to reject it completely or accept it as part of life's challenges.

It is time to for the society to shed the perception that only bald men look good but not bald ladies. And ladies should not be afraid to turn heads one in a while, as having very short hair or no hair at all could do some good to the general stereotypical perception of the roles females have to play in the society. It would actually be boring to see all ladies have long hair most, if not all the time. And DEFINITELY I would not mind to be one of the ladies who turns heads with her hair style. Yup, I am REALLY looking forward to going virtually bald in a couple of weeks' from now, and no I won't shed any tears because of it as this is a choice I have made. 

Source: The Star Online - June 25 2011

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Facing life's BIG question

I have been keeping Siamese fighting fish for quite a few years now, I think it has been three years now. And quite a few times I have to deal with the BIG question in life... death, throughout the times I was doing so and am still doing so. But last weekend was particularly emotionally challenging for me in facing it.

I was doing the weekly cleaning out of both my male and female Siamese fighting fishes at the kitchen sink on a Saturday afternoon. I cleaned out the tank of the female fish first and did not face any problems doing so. However, as I was cleaning out the tank of my male fish, for some reasons unknown to me, I had managed to pour him down the kitchen sink by mistake.

My immediate thought was that he would be a goner, probably stuck to those crevices found in the drain outlets. However, in the state of shock and disbelieve, I had still managed to switch on the kitchen tap to let some water flow into the drain outlet, hoping it would flush the fish out. Mind you, this fish is actually a red crown tail male betta splendens similar to the picture above but he is smaller and slimmer.

Lady luck must have been smiling at me on that fateful day. The gutsy little male fish flowed out into the drain, still very much kicking and alive and unscathed; my housekeeper who was near the same drain managed to scoop him out and helped me put him into the holding container while I finish cleaning out his tank.

I thought this little adventure might have affected the little guy in a negative way. But he just resumed with his naughtiness in spite of the incident and continued his fussy and picky eater manners. I am just thankful and grateful that he is OK. I can always buy another male fighting fish should he had not survived his little adventure down the drain. However, it would not be the same as the bonding process has to start all over again.

I keep Siamese fighting fishes because they are quite fuss-free to care for and they don't cost a bomb when it comes to food as they are not supposed to eat a lot, even though they are actually gluttons to the boot. Plus, their pretty shapes and colours, especially the male fishes are simply stunning beyond description. Not to mention, their uniquely amusing antics.

My fishes also remind me to take responsibility in keeping them, as well as respect all other animals that co-exist with us in this world. In other words, they helped me become a less selfish person. Last but not least, they also remind me that life is indeed very short and not to forget life's little and simple pleasures.    

Monday, June 13, 2011

Basic courtesy - minding your Ps and Qs

I was at the mamak (Indian Muslim) shop last Sunday afternoon to buy my favourite lunch of Maggi goreng (fried instant noodles) and Milo ais kaw (thick iced Milo). I had to wait for awhile for them to prepare for my order. Naturally while waiting, I tend to observe my surroundings. I noticed that the workers of the mamak shop are actually quite efficient and courteous in serving their customers. Mind you, the mamak shop I went to is a 24-hour outlet, and I'm quite sure the workers there would be doing at least 8- to 12-hour shifts.

Despite the long hours these workers who are mostly Indian Muslims, they never failed to do their respective duties well. After waiting for about 10 minutes, I received my food and drink so I headed for the cashier counter to make the payment. When I received the change from the cashier and I said thank you to him for serving me; the response I have gotten was a smile, which I never expected to receive at all.

The smile I have gotten from the cashier was what I could gather, a smile of genuine appreciation. I think he did not expect me to thank him for his service. These days many people are often caught up with the issues in their own life that they often forget little meaningful gestures in life like minding their Ps and/or Qs when dealing and/or communicating with other people.

I am no exception to this but I do make a conscious effort to mind my Ps and Qs when dealing and/or communicating with other people. And I noticed that my effort doesn't go to waste often. However, sad to say, it is usually the people from the lower income group who are often not so well-educated and well-off are the ones who really make the effort to mind their Ps and Qs. Many people who are well-off and better educated often would unfortunately don't give much thought about minding their Ps and Qs when dealing and/or communicating with people, especially to those who are less well-off and well-educated.

My own experiences actually prompted me to write this blog post. I have actually met and dealt with many people who are of higher than or equal status with me but their character and personality were very far from their actual status in the society. Honestly, I feel very disappointed the way these people behave, setting bad leadership example to the people around them. Yet they expect the people around them to behave well.

It won't bode well when people who hardly mind their Ps and Qs but expect people around them to do so. In fact, in the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, it was quoted I think in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, that one should judge a person by observing how he/she treat his/her inferiors and not his/her equals. I think this quote is still appropriate in today's society where minding one's Ps and Qs is concerned.

At the end of the day if a person actually takes the pains to mind his/her Ps and Qs, this would reflect how well the person has been brought up by his/her family as well as the influence of the environment he/she has grown up in. In today's societal standards, a person who mind his/her Ps and Qs would be viewed as a better behaved person, in fact, be seen as more civilised than another person who does not do so.

If only this world ideally have more people who make an effort to mind their Ps and Qs... Life would be less horrendous than it already is... It is not impossible to do so if everyone makes an effort to play their role in doing so, then we won't have to lament the stark fact that young people behave obnoxiously to their whims and fancies.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Review: Once A Dancer... An Autobiography by Allegra Kent

Title: Once A Dancer... An Autobiography
Author: Allegra Kent
Year: 1997
ISBN: 0-312-18750-5

Allegra Kent was a former New York City Ballet principal dancer. She joined the New York City Ballet (NYCB) at the tender age of fifteen and became one of the most celebrated dancers ever produced by the co-founder and choreographer of the New York City Ballet, George Balanchine. In fact, she was one of the muses of George Balanchine.

Allegra Kent was born Iris Margo Cohen on August 11 1937 in Santa Monica, California. She began her first ballet classes with Bronislava Nijinska and Carmelita Maracci before proceeding to study at the School of American Ballet in 1951. She joined NYCB as a corps de ballet dancer one year later. Kent progressed rapidly through the company and was soon offered principal roles and also have roles created for her by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins.

Some of the roles created by George Balanchine for Kent were Ivesiana, Bugaku and the revival of The Seven Deadly Sins. She had excelled in these roles that would see her become one of the most well-known principal dancer NYCB ever had. However, the life as a ballet dancer Kent had lead was far from the stereotypical fairy-tale perception.

Kent's personal life was unfortunately intertwined with her professional life due to the fact that her mother had been a ballet mother; having had a strong influence on the direction of both her personal and professional lives would take. However, despite of the immense challenges she had faced, Allegra Kent's story was an inspiring one, also a riveting read especially if you are a fan of the ballet.

Reading an autobiography of a Balanchine ballerina where Allegra Kent was one is akin to studying the history of American ballet in which she gave a very insightful account. Readers can actually trace the major historical milestones of American ballet during the life and times of George Balanchine. The mere fact that Kent was at the height of her professional career with the big names in American ballet such as Maria Tallchief, Violette Verdy and Tanaquil Le Clercq, just to name a few, made her story all the more interesting read. A must read book if you are a big fan of the golden era of ballet, i.e. 1950s to 1970s.