Wednesday, October 31, 2007

would I have chosen a different path?

Nothing much happened today... one common theme was that pagi2 I was mengantuk and tadi lepas berbuka pun mengantuk. Huarghhhhh...

Told Mama that I won't be fasting tomorrow... my *best friend* came right bang on schedule.
"Sekarang dah selalu?" she asked.
"Ye lah... dah operate" I replied.

For years my menses have been extremely irregular. There was a period (pardon the pun) when I went a whole year without any. Tak payah kira lah berapa kali I dapat puasa penuh. It was so infrequent that bila kena pergi beli sanitary pad I'm like a total novice... not sure which brand, which length, which shape. Sedangkan orang lain just go to aisle, pick their favourite and go. I'll spend at least 5 minutes nak pilih mana satu.

Dulu selalu kena marah dengan NSY for not going for check-up. I didn't think that it was that unusual coz my mom pun kata hers wasn't regular. So I thought that it might be hereditary. But when the gap sampai three, six months and later an entire year, I finally went for the check up.

When I first heard the doctor kata "you've got cyst"... memang my jantung dropped. Tapi nasib baik lah the ever dependable Marni helped explain things. Ye lah... kita mana reti all these medical things. And Marni is the best doctor friend that one can have because she will explain even the most complex things in layman terms. Plus she's calm, objective, compassionate... bagus sangat lah jadi doctor, tapi rugi sebab sekarang dia doctor mayat.

Quite a number of my friends are doctors... ada yang gynae, radiologist, flying doctor (that's the best!), neurologist, plastic surgeon dan mcm2 lagi. Some are now working in ER, ada yang under Medical... now that's the one yg was hardest for me to understand. Bukan semua pun medical ke? So when they explained and thanks to the popular TV show, I now have a better grasp. Kerja diorang mcm Dr House. And according to them, that's the hardest coz you have to know everything. I'm not surprised that Peah is in that line.

Last week Mama pergi her neurology check up for her facial nerve problem... such a small world, Sabine was one of the attending doctor. She's tengah understudy dgn the specialist. I've never been treated by any of my friends but some other friends pernah experience being their gynae (I wonder whether I'd have any problems with my friend seeing me *down there*).

Being a doctor was never one of the career paths that I had considered. Don't get me wrong... they have their my total respect and admiration but I don't think I would have been a good or happy doctor. I'm just not in that *mould* lah... just as I don't think that I'd be any good in marketing or as a treasury dealer. And I don't want to be in academics because I've done so many naughty things to my teachers at school... takut karma will hit me in my a**. Jadi lawyer pun was never something in the list because of what a second cousin said when I was young. It stuck with me sampai sekarang "Kalau sekali kena defend orang jahat macam mana?"

So what would be my *alternative* career? One thing that I wish I had explored further dulu was being in sciences... industrial design ke, food technology ke... now that would be interesting. Also interesting is to be in architecture, tapi I don't think I'm creative enough.

If someone had asked me 15 years ago what I'd like to do... my current job would not have been my immediate answer. Tak tahu pun pasal this line of work masa tu. It's still not easy to explain what I do to the pakciks and makciks... or those who are not in the industry. They know my organisation, of course... tapi it's always associated with $$. "Waa... ni sure banyak duit" is something that I often hear. Err... no. Yes the organisation manages lots of money but I don't get to see any of it. The closest is looking at zeros in the financial statement, haha. And since my actual job doesn't involve any dealing with money whatsoever, lagi lah payah nak explain. Hence I just explain it as doing policy, strategic plans dan mcm2 lagi... which is still not telling much.

Had I taken the other scholarship offers from Petronas, Tenaga, Telekom, Renong or JPA dulu... my career path would have been very different... very different in deed! Would I have chosen something else if we can turn back time? Nope... I'm glad fate brought me to where I am now. My job fits well with my ideals and what I desire in life.

Itulah yang dikatakan takdir...

100 words to make you sound smart

Got this book lama dah, but never got around to reading it... walaupun nipis je actually

Learnt some new words today (I'm only on page 30)...

jarring, discordant sound (discordant tu apa??)

characterised by or subject to whim; impulsive and unpredictable
-> this is something I might use

incisively critical or sarcastic; cutting
-> definitely a word that I can use ;)

causing distaste or disgust because of an excess of something originally pleasant
-> haa... ini pun boleh guna :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

cuak... panic...

Hari ni two things happened...

First was during lunch time. Before that there was a discussion on the outline for two speeches which are going to be delivered to the same crowd on the same day. Difference? Satu pagi satu malam. So can't possibly talk about the same thing.

Anyway... lepas dah discuss I sat down with NN to work out the mindmap using the free (and now I realise also unreliable) Freemind software. Was supposed to go out for lunch to celebrate HA's birthday today but ramai can't make it. Nonetheless, I had used that excuse to get out of an official lunch, hehe (agaknya karma kut...).

Since we're having a discussion with Deputy Big Boss #2 at 2pm, my boss asked us to clean up the mindmap based on the inputs from the discussion. Spent a good 1/2 hour working out the flow, content. Once satisfied I went cari lunch. Wanting to be more environmentally friendly, I brought a tipu-ware to tapau food.

Tengah makan my char kuey teow sambil baca paper NN came to me asking for my notes. "Ambik lah.. it's on my table" I told her. Then she broke the news, "The file tadi corrupt, cannot open. Nak kena buat balik". The time was 1.40pm.

File corrupted... blue screen... hard disk crash... are words that you never want to hear. That's technology... they enable you to work more efficiently and they can also create hellish situation.
"I rasa nak nangis" NN said.
Surprisingly I didn't feel anything. Well... I just went, duh! and that was about it. I told her "Kejap... let me finish this and I'll come help you". Makan my last bite, left the tipu-ware on my table and went to her workstation.

Walaupun baru je lepas discuss I couldn't remember what we had written for speech #1. Sebab isi speech #2 pun lebih kurang and I got confused. Aiyaa... at times like this pulak the mind goes on a 1km/hour speed. NN was obviously panicked... I could see that she was struggling to recall what we had put down. I told her what I could remember while she typed. I think better while I type so I offered to type while she tried to recover the file. By some miracle she found the coded version of the file... penuh dengan syntax etc but we can still work out the points that we had discussed. Thank God!! So I pun salin je lah...

Sambil tengah buat the new mindmap tu, my boss came over, "Eh jom... it's 2pm". Told him that we had to redo because the file got corrupted and I just ignored him and typed away ;) I can be that way sometimes... Not everything was recovered but the bulk of it were there. So we finished it in 3 minutes, printed 4 copies and went to our boss.

"Jom... dah siap dah" I told him. Quickly recounted what we had on paper sambil jalan menuju lift. But when we sampai kat tingkat teratas tu, Deputy Big Boss #2 punya secretary told us "Kena postpone to next Monday lah... he's having another discussion". Cheh! Buat penat je... On the ride down in the lift, my boss pun made the same comment. He had rushed back from the official lunch in order to catch the discussion.
"Kalau I accident tadi penat je..." he said.
I silap dengar ..."Huh? You accident?" I said.
"Tak... KALAU I accident tadi... Sekali tak jadi pun the discussion"
Although he's irked, dia selamba je. My boss dah masak dalam hal menangani pihak atasan ni.

The second incident happened about 7 hours later. I was still in office, clearing a memo when I received a call. There was a crisis at home. I left the office immediately after. When I reached home, the crisis has not been resolved. I asked questions... got unsatisfying answers... probed some more... nothing like this has ever happened. Again, to my surprise, I was not in panic mode. More of concern... anger. Almost one hour later, the crisis reda.

That's life... penuh dugaan.

Monday, October 29, 2007

raya gathering #1

I woke up this morning feeling excited about the plans I had for dinner with some friends at The Loaf @ Pavilion later in the evening. I've read raving reviews about the food at The Loaf, so that's another thing that I was looking forward to :)

Tapi petang tadi ada meeting... lama pulak. 7.30pm baru habis. Cepat2 solat maghrib and terus zoom into town. Luckily traffic was good. Found parking right next to the entrance and went straight to Level 4. As I entered the restaurant, nampak kepala2... but couldn't make out the faces. I wasn't wearing my glasses... Then I saw Normy, and Azmah, and Momz, and Yanie, and Skinner. A grin was my immediate reaction. Riuh sekejap ;) Dah lama tak jumpa Normy and Azmah... must have been at least 2 years.

We chatted while waiting for the rest... and then we saw a familiar looking face. "Tasha!" all of us jerit simultaneously. Agaknya the waiter tu kalau tengah angkat pinggan boleh terjatuh sebab terkejut dengar our richter scale shouts. Tasha was an unexpected turnout... and for most of us, the last time we saw her was 15 years ago. Rubie followed behind her. Hugs and air kisses were flying everywhere :)

Not long after that Mymot sampai, with Peah, Rose and Geema in tow. That was when things really became LOUD, hehe... Who wouldn't when you're meeting people for the first time in 15 years. I knew that Rose and Geema were coming... but the others didn't. So it was a pleasant surprise for them :)

Agaknya the waiter and waitress kat situ sure dah pening tengok us ladies behaving like ditzy schoolgirls. Actually, we did feel like ditzy schoolgirls, hehe... walaupun most are already moms and one was actually pregnant. Girls will be girls and us TKC girls are known to make lots of noise whenever we meet ;) I felt a bit guilty kat a couple who was seated next to us. If they were planning on a quiet, romantic dinner they can forget about it. There was no way that we can adjust our volume control, haha.

Dalam ramai2 tu, cuma I sorang je from red house and Momz was the sole representative from yellow. Blue had the most with 6 while green had 4. There were four doctors in attendance, one architect, one banker, one engineer, one HR manager, one project manager, one PR officer, one student affair coordinator and moi. We studied all over the world... kat Malaysia, Canada, USA, Egypt, UK, Australia.

The food was scrumptious! I had a taste of everything, hehe... We had The Loaf Caesar Salad, Smoked Salmon and Pan-seared Scallops, Tuna Melt, The Loaf Club Sandwich with Compagne Bread*, Reuben Sandwich*, Spaghetti Alio Alio with Prawns*, Smoked Chicken Fettucine*, Spaghetti Carbonara, Pan-fried Salmon Steak, Tuscany Chicken Breast... and shared 2 soft puddings which came in a nice cup that we can take home. I took one and Normy took the other ;) My personal favourites were the ones with asterisks... all were sedap, but I think these were the best. The Loaf is a makan place that is highly recommended and one that I will definitely visit again.

We makan and borak and exchange plates and borak and minum and borak... sampai lah kedai tutup. While we were yakking, the chef passed by our table and wished us goodnight. Actually they had tutup the pintu half way when we finally realised that it's time to leave so that the staff can go home, haha. Tapi sebelum keluar still sempat ask the waiter to take photos for us... 5 cameras in total! Sabar je lah dia, hehe...

Still belum puas, we continued borak2 kat luar kedai... tengah2 foyer tu. While we were lingering, a stream of shop assistants came down the escalator... semua dah nak balik rumah. We all je yang still *lupa daratan*, haha. But our cue came when we saw the security guards pulak dah turun buat their rounds.

With great reluctance we said our au revoirs (and not goodbyes because we do aim to meet again), exchanged hugs, kisses and phone numbers. Hopefully it won't be too long before we get to meet again.

I'm so happy that the gathering turned out well... much more than what I had anticipated. Good food with great company... always the perfect mix!

The menu @ The Loaf...

Sunday, October 28, 2007

a mix of this and that

I finally sorted my Holland-Scotland-Belgium holiday pix today... woohoo!! Usually that's the first thing I do as soon as I reach home after a fantastic holiday. But this time round, things just got crazy at work and after work I just don't feel like staring at the computer anymore. Actually that's not very true... I still stare at the screen when I write this blog, hehe. Takde lah... more like no mood. I literally have thousands to sift through... mata can get juling you know! That plus I wanted to sort them together with Skinner's and Marni's photos... buat sekaligus. Dah lama dah dapat from them, but just never got around to doing it. Partly also because I did the mistake of thinking that I'm better at photography. You see... I used the *manual* mode while taking shots, so the pictures turned out too bright. Because before this when I used *auto*, they were a tad too dark. Hmm... a good lesson. I'm still crappy at photography.

Sort pun belum, apakan lagi choose which ones to print. Yes... I still print my photos although they can be viewed digitally. Call me old fashioned but I like flicking through albums :) And also because I'm scared that for some obscure reason those files would be wiped out (walaupun ada backup in the external hard drive). My brain isn't as *powerful* as it used to be... dah tua lah, can't remember everything.

Usually I share my photos via fotopages... but I'm kinda liking this blog layout. So I'm going to put those photos on a blog like this... but that one is going to be dedicated to all my travels. I'm using the same tagline *Where my feet and purse will take me...* because that very much describes my travels. It resides at Am so not imaginative kan? Too malas to crack my head to think of something catchy. I'm liking the nuance to this blog :)

It's still a work in progress, which I think will take quite a long time to complete sebab there are just soooooooo many pix to go through. Can't possible put all of them in, and I'll have to pilih between the ones that Marni, Skinner and I took. Having many cameras ada pros and cons nya... the +ve: we get different perspectives of a similar thing, some are better at taking photos (not me obviously, heh), snaps of shots yg *tertinggal*... the -ve: proses memilih, many duplicates, eats up hard disk space.

Anyway... that was activity petang. Pagi I didn't do much coz I slept in... one of the luxuries of a weekend :) Not long after bangan Mama ajak pergi makan kat nasi Kelantan... that's what we call the gerai, nama betul dia apa ntah... tak ingat, hehe. It's this place in Chow Kit yang serve lauk pauk masakan Kelantan. The percik and kerabu are sangat sedap!! Authentic Kelantanese food according to my Kelantanese friends. In fact, that place is always full dikunjungi oleh orang2 Kelantan dan orang2 negeri lain like us ;) Tempat tu tak lah proper sangat, and those yang are very particular about kebersihan might find it off putting, plus it's quite panas... atap zink. Mama ajak pergi awal because the lunch crowd is usually ramai... nanti susah nak dapat seats.

Lepas dah kenyang makan sehingga menjilat jari we headed for Jalan TAR. Abg needed to get some work shirts since he's starting work on 1 November. Got the shirts at Sogo and sambil tu I sempat beli lipstick :) Panas betul tengahari tadi... I've not been out in the sun for quite a while. While walking tu terfikir macam mana lah all those construction workers tahan. Not just them... anyone who's career relies upon them being in the scorching sun day in day out. I would wilt after a day... no, make it 1/2 day.

After dinner tonight I watched The Starter Wife on Hallmark. Watched the first episode last week and enjoyed it. Quite seronok... but have to follow, otherwise you get *lost*. I usually don't like watching TV shows yang ber-series ni... hence my preference for shows like House, CSI yang can be watched independently. And any of the shows on Travel & Living and recently some shows on Asian Food Channel, hehe. Travel and food... how to resist? ;) Ina and I recently discovered a show yang tunjuk pasal buat desserts, one about simple home cooking and Gordon Ramsey. Tapi tu pun accidently... not sure what day and time they're on air. Have to cari that Astro guide...

But I do make some exceptions on TV series... I like Heroes, used to follow X-Files and try not to miss Amazing Race. Hmm... my geekiness is quite apparent isn't it? What can I say... it's a personality trait. I also enjoyed Sex & The City for its wittiness... which is perhaps why I also like The Starter Wife. Recently I discovered Californification starring David Duchovny... a male version of something like Sex & The City. Tapi not available in Malaysia. I watch it on YouTube... nasib baik lah ada a good soul yang upload. Can't remember how I came to know about the show... I think it must have been on Jay Leno.

Dulu I used to watch Letterman religiously... since daripada kat Melbourne lagi. But kat sini it's aired so late... I stopped watching. Don't know whether it's still on air ke tak pun. I like Letterman and Leno because they have everything... jokes, satire, music, interviews... they frequently discuss serious matters although most of the time they invite those in the entertainment industy. Masa student malas baca paper so I get my world updates from watching Letterman, hehe...

I've come to realise that I don't watch as much TV as I used to. Although tak lah tengok banyak I can't imagine living without an idiot box like Doc. I'm so amazed that they don't have a TV at home. TV like fridge, washing machine, handphones are necessities... cannot live without them. Oh how can I forget... computers!! That's another thing that I can't imagine working without. Everytime ada power failure kat office, automatically feel handicapped... everything is in electronic form. Plus a good reason to take a break ;)

Such is the world that we live in today...

Saturday, October 27, 2007

gathering of the Hj Mohd Tahir clan...

Since last night Mama kept on reminding us about Ima's wedding. Ima is my cousin, anak Che Peni. He is my mom's younger brother.

One thing about attending family weddings is that you get to meet A LOT of family members. I was really looking forward to that. Some of them I haven't met for a while, whilst others I just met last week. Apa2 pun I know that some uncles, aunties, cousins and their families are travelling down from Perak for the wedding.

My mom ramai adik beradik... 7 siblings: Wan Cho, Ayah Ngah, Ayah Uda, Wan 'Ah, Wan Chik, my mom, Che Peni and Mak Chuwah. And many cousins. Orang selalu kata that I look like my arwah Wan Cho. I angguk je lah everytime I hear it because I don't exactly recall how she looks like. She's many years older than my mom. By the time I besar and boleh ingat, she was already in her 50s. So how did she looked like when she was young? I don't know... Maybe I should ask my cousins for her old photos. I wasn't very close to her... everytime pergi Kuala Kangsar pergi lah visit tapi that was about it.

Wan Cho passed away 11 years ago... 3 days after my Opah passed away. I was in Melbourne masa tu. I remember calling home tapi takde orang angkat. My routine weekly call. Tried pagi, petang, 2 days in a row... no answer. This was before handphone time, so there's no other way I could contact them. I was getting kinda worried. I finally called my neighbour (whom I also call Opah coz her cucu call her that) and asked about my family's whereabouts. That was when I heard about my Opah's passing. My family had gone home to Teluk Intan for the funeral. I cuma boleh baca yasin je lah untuk disedekahkan for my Opah. My mom called me 2 days later and told me that Wan Cho pun meninggal. Hence the delay in coming back to KL coz the entire family had travelled up to Kuala Kangsar pulak for her funeral. Now my mom's adik beradik tinggal 5 orang. Wan 'Ah passed away several years back due to cerebral aneurism.

My uncles and aunties tu pun mostly have big families.
> Wan Cho has 11 kids - K Ore, Abg Shuib, K Kama, Abg Man, K Sue and others that my mind escapes me at this moment
> Ayah Ngah has 5 with wife #1 (K Dud, Abg Ee, Abg Mur, K Fuzi, Najib); and 3 with wife #2.
> Ayah Uda's also has 5 - I lupa the eldest punya nama, K Ana, the twins Asrul & Asril and Alia.
> Wah 'Ah has 3 - Abg Udi, Abg Jamal & K Nor (arwah)
> Wan Chik has Cholan, K Edah, Che Mi, K Yang, Bita, Azli and Midah... so that's 7.
> Mama has 4 - moi, Ina, Abg and Amt.
> Che Peni has Shahril, Ima, Elin, Iwan and Khalida
> Mak Chuwah's children are Azizi, Fiza, Nisa and Apiq.
So in total I have 39 cousins!! The youngest is Khalida, 9, and the eldest is close to 60 if I'm not mistaken. And most of them are married with kids... I've lost count how many anak sedaras I have because the numbers are just piling, hehe. So you can just imagine how havoc it can be when they come over to the house. Tapi rarely do all come at one go... but 1/2 of the clan je pun dah quite a crowd.

Itu belum dicampur dengan my mom's cousins yang agak ramai juga. We're quite close to some of them like Wan Wok, Pakcik Tajudin, Pakcik Hamid... Actually nya truthfully, I'm kinda lost in the extended family web. Not sure which is pangkat pakcik, atok, cousin etc. Tak kisah lah... semua pun sedara.

So back to the event... We arrived at Dewan TTDI Jaya around 12.45pm. Ayah Ngah and his family were already there. Not long after that, the others pulak sampai. Semua adik beradik my mom datang. As for cousins... not all made it, but most were there. Yang duduk KL memang semua ada lah. Abg Mur, his wife K Ruby and their daughter Sofia came from JB; Bita and her family came down from Taiping; Abg Ee, K Ina and kids came from Ipoh. Even Kila (K Fuzi's daughter) who is currently studying abroad came... she's back for Raya break.

Meriah sungguh lah... I think the family was more excited about seeing each other than the wedding itself, hehe.

Kalau perhati the photos, you'll see that the family shares one particular trait... Kalau dah memang keturunan, nak buat macam mana kan? ;)

Lepas the wedding, my family ikut Ayah Ngah's family pergi beraya kat rumah K Ruby in Kg Melayu Subang. Had soto yang sangat sedap and rempeyek!! Rempeyek is my favourite, being half Jawa and all ;) Also cookies yang sedap bangat yang di-import from JB. Next year nak order kuih raya dgn K Ruby lah.

K Ruby also showed pix of their newly renovated home. Both K Ruby and Abg Mur are architects... so you can just imagine lah how nice their house is. It's the perfect marriage of glass and wood, traditional and modern... ada wakaf and small pool, open, airy, green - my kind of dream house!

I'm definitely going to consult them with my room renovations :)