to a special person

Paulette Yeoh (1948-2010)

The chocolate cake was glazed with a vivid dark brown, enriched with a moist texture and a prodigious taste. As soon as it came out of the oven, curious schnozes crowded the dining table, expressing their cravings as they flattered the amazing recipe by this lady they known endearingly as Auntie Paulette.

I was fortunate to be able to befriend Paulette but it was indeed a very interesting chronology. I was 17 and it was a few days shy from my SPM trial examinations. Instead of revising through my books, I played Scrabble online on ISC (Internet Scrabble Club) till past midnight.

One night, I was playing with a lady nicknamed ‘yin’ and as we were playing, she introduced herself and we became ‘online Scrabble friends’. I would play Scrabble with her till past midnight and she would unequivocally command me to go to bed and I would oblige but instead of sleeping, I would continue observing Scrabble games online disregarding her plea until my mother echoed the exact same words from her room next door.

Known for her chattiness and friendliness, she often shared numerous tales and stories of so many people who imprinted great memories in her life. She would share most of her stories with me especially about youngsters whom she likes and was proud of. Among those I had heard of then were Ong Suanne and Alastair Richards, World Youth Scrabble Championship 2009 champion and runner-up.

For Suanne, Paulette is a vivacious, bubbly lady with lots of hugs and lots of cupcakes to give away. “She was someone I'd known since I was about 6, and someone who welcomed me into the Scrabble scene, sitting me on her knee during games and always being very encouraging. Scrabble to her was much more than just a game, and I think, as much as she enjoyed the game itself, she always valued the friendships that came along with it. She had the amazing ability to make any opponent feel at home even if he or she was a stranger, and above all, I think most of us will remember the natural warmth that she exuded both across the scrabble board and off the scrabble board,” quipped Suanne.

Paulette would also attend big scale Scrabble tournaments such as the King’s Cup in Bangkok and the ever-growing Causeway Scrabble Challenge in Johor.

The Scrabble gypsy, Dianne Ward from Australia shared her story when she first played Paulette in Bangkok several years ago. “She kept telling me she wasn’t any good while she proceeded to play 4 bingoes against me,” reminisced Dianne. It was the game where Paulette played a nine-letter word, CAREGIVER that was one of her proudest finds she shared with me.

She also received plagues for her undying support from 2000 to 2004 from the organizers of the Equatorial Scrabble Competition that was held in Cameron Highlands. Other recipients include fellow scrabble players; Nigel Richards, Jocelyn Lor and Yeap Gim Sai.

Yeap Gim Sai on the other hand regards Paulette as her best friend! Though they were different; Paulette was the out-going and adventurous while Yeap was the quiet conservative one; they complement each other. “We had great times together. She would hug me when we meet and swing me off my feet!”, recalled Yeap.

Paulette and Yeap are also avid treasure hunters, taking part in big competitions such as the Kiwanis Hunt and theSun Motor Hunt to name a few, with rather commendable results. I could also recall how amazing Paulette was with solving crossword puzzles and deciphering tricky treasure hunts questions.

Despite all the excitements, Paulette was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago and was told that she had 6 months left to live. Her uplifting spirit kept her going and she believed in just enjoying herself until the end is inevitable.

The cancer was her least concern as she kept enjoying herself doing things she loved. Her daughter, Lim Sha-lyn also said, “She was never bothered with anything, even about going for checkups. She put the cancer far in the back of her mind and never quite thought about it. All she wanted to do was to make a difference to other people’s life.”

She appeared energetic and cheerful each time I met her. When asked about her secret, she mentioned a homemade tea she brewed daily using a type of leafy-plant locally called daun pecah beling or Strobilanthes Crispus she sun-dried to give her the extra strength.

Her passion for little children also brought her to Pattaya, Thailand as a volunteer for children victims of the infamous 26.12.2004 tsunami that left many young kids orphaned.

She shared that the experience received was phenomenally breathtaking and explained how every young boy and girl and infants fawned and crawled to her lap with ease and joy as if there was a special aura radiating from her face.

The happiness she bore was indescribable and I believe that was one of her proudest moment in life, as she shared the story not once, but several times to her friends and families.

Besides, she spent a lot of her time volunteering in the pediatric wards in Penang General Hospital where she would play with the kids, cheered them up and even made balloon sculptures for them. She once told me that she wanted to do something meaningful in her life.

Early this year, Paulette was warded into the hospital, as her condition was deteriorating. She would unceasingly greet everyone with a cheerful smile whenever she could. Though in pain, she made everyone around her felt comfortable.

Sha-lyn also recollected that Paulette did not want pessimists to visit her in the hospital ward. “She told me that anyone who is going to cry or be negative and treat her like an invalid to not visit her as she did not want bad aura to be around the ward,” said Sha-lyn.

She would deemed herself luckier than many and stayed positive until the end.

In memorial of her and to commemorate her love and dedication in the game that was introduced to her by her late father when she was a young girl, the Paulette Yeoh Memorial Scrabble Tournament will be held on the 9th and 10th October 2010 in City Bayview Hotel, Pulau Pinang. It was one of her wish before she passed away as Scrabble meant a lot to her.

The Penang Scrabble Club and Paulette’s family will be organizing the tournament and are inviting everyone who had directly or indirectly known her to be part of this eventful tournament.

As her presence will be sorely missed by many, she left a note saying:

“Paulette bids a fond farewell to beloved family and friends who made her life meaningful….” – Paulette Yeoh (1948-2010)

I wanna hold your hand

"I wanna hold your hand... I wanna hold your hand... I wanna hold your hand...

Oh, please say to me, you'll let me be your man..."

As cheesy it may sound, Beatles wrote some of the world's best songs, everlasting and exudes emotions and 50 years from the year it was written, the gist of the song still applies to the modern world - though inweaved with the bitter of rage and the sweet of love.

I used to believe that love is defined by how much you want to see that person, the frequency and urgency of the ever-inadequate wanting; how strong the heart beats *feels heart rate* when you see that person; the pulsation of nerves developed by the excitement and maybe with a tinge of happiness; or the immense feeling of wilderness; feeling like the world's is empty without that person beside you.

Now all these proved to be the old-school way of thinking - back when we were still in green or blue altered pants or those tacky blue pinafores matched with faded white shirts and fugly tailored blazers and sometimes come with those canvas belts and a school badge!

As we grew older, we tend to have a whole new mindset. Past experiences made us more aware and cautious about each and every step we take. The second we decide to step into a new plateau, the very second you stop and ponder the appropriative section of the decision. That is why decision making is always hard! And with the power of being fickle and indecisive, it's all a mess-up tremor.

My point is, going through all these random write-ups, we as utopiasts are certainly in the direction where we are making our own life complicated and miserable in search of a perfect lifestyle because of our surrounding upbringing. The current situation where it forces our lives to difficult phases does help us in maturing our mind but it does harm if we do not have the power to take control.

If we could take a step back and breathe 3 times....

just go to be now! you're talking nonsense!


You know what they say about keeping quiet, they are just jealous that they can't stop talking and you can!

Part of my nature of keeping really quiet and speechless, I realised that it's very meditative and soothing. However, this gesture could stir some thoughts of you being cocky, unfriendly, unapproachable or unmannered. Whew! Being silent is a crime indeed; unless you're in the library or in the court!

I don't know what people may think of me when I just want to be extremely quiet and not speak but just smile. Sometimes, when someone talks to me; trying to fit "Hey! How are you long time no see how you have been its been a while since we talked are you married with kids or no kids and yes I am married now for 3 months and my wife is stunning!" in a 10 seconds conversation, I just smile and walked away. Call me arrogant then, I don't care. At least I smiled! :)

Some people try too hard to please someone in a conversation too. They started talking about things and as the conversation runs drier and blander, they will start boasting and bragging about their goods whilst trying their very best to sweep the bad under the carpet as quickly without anyone noticing. In my humble mind, I would rather they just shut up! Am I right or right?

Soon, people would realise that you don't need to talk in order to please someone. It takes a simple step but millions of muscles to work a smile!

They say you have to have spices to life. Take yourself back to the 90s when the Spice Girls were all fired up with 'Spice Up Your Life'. So what are these spices in life and how do you define them in your own interpretation? Is it the entertaining et painful dramas, the backstabbing gossips, the colourful bunch of people around you or the conflicts and never-ending dilemmas that revolve around your life?

*feed me your thoughts*


Two weeks since my immediate termination of employment, I was able to recapture and recollect my true self and desires. I believe that being engulfed by bad energy everyday and all the emotions or opinions kept inside you would not help in developing good creative mindset. Choked? Encaged? It's something you got to experience to know what it feels.

H : I want you to design something entertainment for this floor. The colour scheme is Four Seasons - Green is Spring, Blue is Winter, Yellow is Summer and Orange is Summer. I want you to make the space more entertainment in your interpretation.

*designed and sketched 3 ideas*

H : Er.. Don't take the design so literal. You can refer to some books and get ideas.

*continued researching, designed and sketched 7 proposals*

H : I am not crazy about the idea. It's doesn't give me the Nature feeling.

Me : What Nature feeling? I thought it's Entertainment?

H : I told you the colour scheme is Four Seasons right? Then the concept is Nature la! Four Seasons means nature ma.. Why you didn't think out of the box?

* H starts showing some ideas from books and roughly sketched a column with LEAVES on the top to hide the flood lights * <-- Taada! 'Thinking out of the box'

Now stop asking why I quit my job.

I had made several bad and unwise decisions. I called them bad, rotten experiences but these experience nurtured me with maturity and smacked me with that big fat wake up call right in the face!; I must not succumb to an easy way out.


Malacca. Family. Home-cooked Food. What else could I ask for? The departure of several family members last month made me appreciate the companionship of loved ones. I admit that my mind is a spinning gasing! I hardly think about the positive consequences but the negatives. That's bad ain't it?

Two weeks to the big Scrabble tourney, I have been studying night and day; learning new words and their anagrams. It is not easy I must say and each time a friend ask what do I study, I would answer 'words!' How do I study words? Don't know how but I think after playing Scrabble for 5 years, my brain had been programmed to absorb words in a way beyond explanation.

*back to words*


After 2 months of void, I'm b a c k!

I'll find inspiration to write when I have time to do so.

In short, I realised that I really love writing and would probably want to take up a course to further enhance this liking. I don't know, you tell me.. no?

*back to work*

checked checked checked!

This shows how I multitasked on my laptop most of my free time..

MSN .... checked!
SKYPE .... checked!
Catchup TV .... checked!
Pokemon (I know right?!) .... checked
Facebook .... checked!
Scrabble .... checked!

Call me lifeless but this is what I do.. I feel time is running too fast! TOO fast..


kudos to the blind

pictures are courtesy of Mr Andre Teh

MINES MENSA Scrabble Challenge exhibited one of the most awesome sight of Scrabble. I must applaud their effort in bringing in the blind community into the Scrabble scene. Nevertheless, these visually-impaired people showed that their imperfection does not limit their ability to nurture their passion in Scrabble. Some of these participants flew all the way from Sabah and Sarawak just to play in this 3-game tournament because not many competitions actually pay emphasis on them.

I finished my first game quite fast. I walked to the Blind Section and was in plain awe and mesmerization! I was clearly lost in words. The way they touch and feel the board, the tiles and form words without even looking; depending solely on their sense of touch and memory to place the tiles at the correct spot without missing any Power Spots and capitalising every spot they could. My heart sank when I see them play. I have to say that all this while, I never, NEVER expected that Scrabble could be played by a blind person. I was proved wrong.

This event made me think that all these while, we've taken things for granted without us realising what lucky bitches we are. Eventhough they are impaired visually or audibly or verbally, their determination to pursue a dream or be good at something surpasses all mockery and negativity thrown at them for the past years.

I'm so gonna organize a tournament for the blind!

Encouragement is just sweet!

chuck who?

My friend, Seth said I reminded him of Chuck Bass from Gossip Girl! I was like who the hell or what the heck is chuck? He asked me to Chuck Bass and bam!; photos of this chap came out. I don't know. I don't see much similarities or should I rephrase; I don't see similarities anyhow between him and I. Seriously, is there any?

*yae.. Chuck Bass.. yawn*