Wednesday, June 25, 2008

of speedo, clooney, pitt and more...

Today AM and JL treated FSD lunch for their recent promotion, and yours truly was also invited =) Was supposed to follow them on the bus but I got stuck in a discussion and had to drive there myself.

It's so nice to be in the company of the people that you consider as part of your extended family... smiles all round, 'hi' from almost everyone, and sitting with people that you're on the same *wavelength* with. We wouldn't be our *normal* selves without some friendly banter and harmless poking fun.

The conversation started around the idea of AHB wearing speedos and how that should be avoided, haha... we told him that he should dress according to his *age* and that such sight was enough to turn off *selera* :p Rare are occurences and relationships where you can talk to your boss like that. But he took it as it was, knowing that we didn't mean any harm... although maybe dia terasa sikit kut coz he didn't eat much. Trying to get in shape to wear that speedo confidently? hahahaha

Lepas tu we teased CWT endlessly about his failure to give us the *traditional obligatory treat*... a custom for 10A that all newcomers yg baru confirm kena belanja the dept. He's several months late and for that he shall be punished! Nothing less than Hilton or ShangRi-La now... SHH and I demanded

We then talked about operations and falling sick... to which ZAR disclosed that he was a patient of NSY's surgeon hubby. When he said that, we immediately knew which area on his body that was affected. To which he quickly (rather too quickly I think, hmmm...) that it wasn't a problem in THAT area. Half blushing he quickly recounted his experience, in the hope of avoiding further embarassment. That did not work because we went on to tease him when he accidently slipped and said he had a child after the operation ;p

JL was teased about wanting to eat *posh* nasi ayam... while SHH got teased about taking leave yesterday which coincided with her hubby returning from a long trip overseas (although we all knew that it was actually because her son was not well, but that didn't stop us, hehe).

I invited them for breakfast tomorrow... giving a treat to the new dept, but sambil tu ajak lah the gang from next door plus the usual crew. When asked why, I just said "saje..." (which was really the reason... I had in fact no real reason other than wanting to have a par-tay). SHH teased to say that it was to mark that my move has been firmed up... when ZAR suddenly dropped the bombshell and said "coz she's coming back". Huh? Two pairs of eyes looked at each other knowingly with a little smirk from one. My response... "that's news to me". That conversation ended there...

After that we talked about George and Brad and other gorgeous men... I really can't recall how we ended up discussing that topic to be honest. Oh now I remember... I said to AHB, don't lah wear speedos until he has a body like Brad. To which he asked... "Who do you think is better looking? Brad Pitt or George Clooney?"

"Brad Pitt"... the answer came straight out of my mouth. "But I'd rather date George" I declared. Lepas tu I bisik to ZAR "Because I can't compete with Angelina, haha". "Then I'll date Angelina" he announced :) Us and our angan-angan...

Somehow all the men at the table was of the view that George was the better looking one, that he's more charming... that's something I don't hear often. Men commenting about the gorgeousness of George and Brad, hahahaha. Then the ladies went on to talk about James Bond... how Sean Connery is THE one. To which the men also uninamously agreed ( :o what was it with those guys today?) I added on and said, "Daniel Craig is yummy" sambil menikmati sago melaka. "Yummy huh? hmmm...." responded AHB with a smirk. There goes my reputation... CWT, AHB and ZAR now all know that I lust after men, hahahaha

Lunchtime went by very quickly and soon we had to return to the office. Drove back with SHH... during which I told her that I miss FSD.

Oh yes... talking about speedos. Yesterday we had a belated birthday celebration for AAA. Found someone at the office who bakes and can decorate cakes... so I order him a cake dgn gambar orang pakai swimming trunks. Tapi dia baik... tak draw speedo but instead a bermuda. The usual crew were there on 19B... DBB#3, NSY, ARG, MM, SHH, MZ, ZCD, SBA... yang missing cuma NAMN & CKL who had a meeting. Riuh betul I tell you!! Sampai ada lah orang tanya K Lizza "apa yang bising2 tu". Oopss!

I've said it before and I say it again... I have wonderful friends at work! One of the main factors why I enjoy being there...

Tadi tengok CSI season finale. Warwick is dead!! huaaaaaarrgh.... There goes another of my object of lust :(

But that's not the reason why I brought the topic up. You see, at the end of the episode (before he gets *popped*), they had a scene where Grissom, Warwick, Catherine, Nick and Greg were having breakfast together and enjoying each others' company. That scene reminds me of the lunches that I often have with my own gang. The atmosphere and group dynamics are very similar. How we all support each other in various ways... have discussions on work and non-work related matters, plan for outings together. As I said... my extended family.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

i'd like to... but i shouldn't

The question was posed... oooh it's so tempting to say yes.

I'd be lying if I say that the thought had not crossed my mind... I had thought about it, even before I was asked. Even before I came to know of that 'fact'. Circumstances had invited those ideas into my head.

But it wouldn't be right... wouldn't be fair... to so many others, after all that had been done

"tak kisah lah about other people"... that was the response

I must say, I was extremely flattered. A smile immediately came to me when I received the invitation. A part of me wanted to say "YES!" immediately. In a way, I had sort of *wished* for it.

But it is not a decision to be made lightly. Agreeing would still not solve so many things. It would make me happy... no doubt. But is it a long-term solution?

Most likely not...

I know of several that would say "yes you should"... and I also know several who would say "are you out of your mind?"

I need to be strong... coz on this matter I am weak.

I should look beyond... think forward... and not just follow my heart...

guess who's coming to town...

I'm super excited!!!

I've been waiting for this day and it's finally here... WOOHOO!!!
Such beautiful voice...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

smart guy...

In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy.
And if they don't have the first, the other two will kill you.
~ Warren Buffet

images from Berlin part 2

Still on day one...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

first Berlin photos are up...

Go to

what's your design style?

Well... according to the quiz over at mine is CLASSY

What does that mean?

You're a classic. Nothing trendy or faddish for you! You're drawn to timeless shapes and colours that never go out of fashion (think neutrals and rich accent colours, like jade or gold). You like your pattern crisp, and your buildings traditional. You enjoy well-crafted furniture that will look gorgeous in 100 years from now as it is today.

YUP!! hit the nail of the head...

works of art...

I bought these during trips to Hanoi and Jogjakarta and baru last week (finally!) pergi kedai to have them framed.

Just wanted to share the amazing skills that people have to produce something so beautiful.

The first is an embroidery actually... this is not the best quality (those cost thousands!) but walaupun middle-class category still cantik.

The second is made of rolled up paper... terror kan?

And finally is an oil painting... a modernist version, but captured the essence of a market

Finally... I'll have some wall hangings. Now... the question is, which wall shall they be on? I've realised that I have too many stuff and not enough walls, hahahahaha...

i'm alive...

Talk a walk
We can hardly breathe the air
Look around
It's a hard life everywhere
People talk but they never really care
On the street there's a feeling of dispair

Everyday there's a brand new baby born
Everyday there's a sun to keep you warm
Well it's alright
Yeah, it's alright

I'm alive
And I don't care much for words of doom
If it's love you need
Well I got the room
It's a simple thing that came to me
And I thank God
I'm alive... I'm alive

Every night on the streets of Hollywood
Pretty girls come to give you something good
Love for sale
It's a lonely town at night
Theraphy for a heart misunderstood

Look around there's a flower on every street
Look around and it's growing at your feet
Everyday you can hear me say
That I'm alive

I wanna take all that life has got to give
All I need is someone to share it with
I got love and love is all I really need to live
I'm alive

a week's recap...

I'm going to sound like a broken record... but the fact is that it was a busy week at work. Not the busiest that I've ever been but it was busy nonetheless. From Monday when we had an important discussion session with the BigBoss right until Friday evening when we had a continuing session on the same topic. In between, several other things to take care of... including matters which need to sorted by next week.

At the same time, had to assist with the children volunteer team who was running a last minute activity this weekend (today actually... taking some kids from Rumah Darul Kifayah to see Kung Fu Panda). Being the intermediator and sort of problem solver.

But I like being busy... and getting things done. The feeling of satisfaction when you know you've done something that makes a difference or be part of something that will set the path for the country for the next 50 years.

It makes me feel good... doing all that.

Of course, I don't like everything about my work. When we start discussing about a particular subject matter, my mind just gets in a rojak mode. It just refuses to cooperate and it's just so hard for me to get a grasp of the whole thing. Ironic... considering that it is a subject matter which is related to my degree major :p But that's life... you don't get everything that you want and sometimes you just have to handle $#!^

Tapi dalam busy-busy tu, still sempat have some fun time 8-)

Went out for lunch with Doc MRA NAMN... a long awaited belanja by Doc. Kat La Bodega BSC. I've heard lots of great reviews but somehow have never tried the place. And I was glad that Doc really wanted to have tapas... the food good, the company great. If only ZI could have been there as well... it's a pact that the five of us made... to have monthly lunches together... after JPB was disbanded. But somehow, despite numerous attempts, it's not that easy to get all five of us together. Mesti ada sorang yang cannot make it.

Has life really become that busy??

During the drive and sambil makan we talked about lots of things... from politics, to holidays, to family values, to social moral decay... sounds serious huh? Well... we're adults what. Personally, I don't particularly like talking about politics, but I also believe that every person should be given the opportunity to speak his/her mind. Reason I don't like to talk politics is that usually it is just grumblings, comments, complaining, gossips... without real talk about how to do something about it. I guess that's just me... if I want to talk serious, I also want to talk serious about what can be done to make a difference. Talk only... apa guna? Right?

But I understand where those people were coming from... and I emphatise. And I must say, that I also learnt quite a bit from listening to them.

We then talked about how the effects of the rising prices are affecting families etc. Doc told us that a family of four who earns less than RM2800/month in KL can barely make it nowadays... that's based on a study by EPU. Cukup2 makan je... and to imagine that about 30 years ago, a person earning a 4-digit salary tu dah kira terror sangat dah. As we talked, I ponder... what kind of future would the children have... should the bread winner fall sick, becomes unemployed... when they don't have a saving to fall back upon, no education fund to finance their future. And to think that more than half of KL's citizen are in that category. I shudder...

It's the food we consume, the interactions we have, the values we hold on to that influences the kind of person that we turn out to be. I'm fortunate that my parents have always been able to provide for us and that we are well nourished (too well I must add, hehe). Tapi just imagine... if the kids are not getting enough nutrients to build their brain cells and body strength, are mingling with those who don't read or have constructive discussions, are living in a society that dictates "me first" or "if you don't think of yourself first you'll be left behind" in order to succeed, parents are too busy and too tired to bond with their children after work... what kind of Malaysia are we building?

Don't get me wrong... I'm all for pushing to be the best, do your best... but not to lose our values along the way. It is the responsibility of those who "have" to aid those who "don't have". One thing for sure... we're all poor when it comes to time. But that's where sacrifices need to be made. A parent should sacrifice their rest and personal time in the interest of the child. If not, why bother bringing a child to the world? A child is your amanah...

Which is why I'm generally impressed with Europeans who seem to have that notion well entrenched within them. Family bond and values I observed seem to be going strong while I was on holiday recently. I hope that when I have my own family one day, I'll be like that. I don't want to be NATO (no action, talk only... a term I learnt from a column in The Star yesterday, hehe)

Our conversation semakin hangat... but had to be cut short coz all of us had to get back to work. To be continued and hopefully we'll get to reconvene before ZI bersalin.

Thursday night Ina, Amt and I went for dinner at TGIF Pavillion sbb Mama & Papa are in PD, so we had to get dinner ourselves. I had to endure a terrible, terrible traffic jam to get there. Took me about 45 minutes from the office to get there. No wonder lah parents don't have time and feel so tired. As for me... I kept myself entertained by listening to David Cook at full volume ;)

Sambil tengah2 jam tu, Ina called... "Along, nak tengok movie tak?" "Sempat ke? Cerita apa?" I asked. "Made of Honor ada pukul 8:25pm" "OK gak"

So after a satisfying dinner, during which the three of us recounted kisah masa kita kecik2 and selalu sakat Amt and how at one point we had told him that he was anak kutip kat tong sampah... which he said he believed to be true, we went to GSC. My first visit to their Pavillion outlet.

The movie was your typical chick-flick, formulaic and boleh diagak ending nya... but I found it entertaining and enjoyable. It had enough jokes to get my seratonin level moving... the natural way to feel good :) Simple enough to relax the mind... but it also got me thinking (hahaha... trust moi to analyse and internalise things)

I was not really pondering but more of reminiscing how the plot of the movie is somewhat similar to situations that I've been through in the past. That it took someone to be away for me to realise how I felt. But not like the movie, my story didn't turn out the same way...

Another thought also crossed my mind... is it really possible for two people of the opposite sex to be best friends and not have any romantic relationships/feelings? To have a totally platonic relationship at that level between a man and a woman? Let's cut out the non-straight people from the equation ok...

Is it really possible? When I say best friends I mean REAL best friends, the one that you spend your time with, your secrets with, your confidant. Not your usual good friends with whom we occasionally hang out with and confide to. There's a difference between BEST friends and REALLY GOOD friends. As for me, I'm not sure if I have a best friend... but I have several really good friends. And they're all girls...

So kata lah boleh ada best friend from the opposite sex, what's the arrangement like when one or both of them get married or gets into a romantic relationship with another person? How do they balance it with their respective spouses or partners?

I wonder...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

to you...

Rarely do I listen to lyrics carefully but as I was driving to work today, my brain just decided to "click"... it made me smile (albeit cynically).

I've been through this, as I'm sure many others have been too.

The song just reminds me of how it felt back then... when all was gloomy and bleak.
Luckily the sun is shining again =)

It's been the longest winter without you
I didn't know where to turn to
See somehow I can't forget you
After all that we've been through

Going, coming, thought I heard a knock
Who's there, no one
Thinking that I deserve it
Now I realise that I really didn't know

If you didn't notice you mean everything
Quickly I'm learning to love again
All I know is I'm gon' be ok

Thought I couldn't live without you
It's gonna hurt when it heals too... oh yeah
It'll all get better in time
And even though I really love you
I'm gonna smile cause I deserve to
It'll all get better in time

I couldn't turn on the TV
Without something there to remaind me
Was it all that easy
To just put aside your feelings

If I'm dreaming, don't wanna laugh
Hurt my feelings, but that's the path
I believe in
And I know that time will heal it

If you didn't notice boy you meant everything
Quickly I'm learning to love again
All I know is I'm gon' be ok

Thought I couldn't live without you
It's gonna hurt when it heals too... oh yeah
It'll all get better in time
And even though I really love you
I'm gonna smile cause I deserve to
It'll all get better in time

Since there's no more you and me
It's time I let you go
So I can be free
And live my life how it should be
No matter how hard it is
I'll be fine without you
Yes I will

Thought I couldn't live without you
It's gonna hurt when it heals too.... ooohh
It'll all get better in time
And even though I really love you
I'm gonna smile cause I deserve to
It'll all get better in time

Sunday, June 15, 2008

images from Cotwolds...

It was a grey day... so the photos didn't turn up very well.

But I must say, that the towns are so quaint and charming. I could easily *get lost* here :-)

yellow, yellow everywhere!!

One of the great benefits of travelling in spring :-)

images from Stratford-upon-Avon...

pictures up at

images from Warwick Castle...

images from Oxford...

Aerial view from the tower of St Mary The Virgin church - Radcliffe Camera and All Souls College. I took this you know... bukannya ciplak orang punya ;)

Oxford pix are up for viewing...

1 folder down... 67 more to go...

yang mana satu??

I'm in the midst of uploading photos from the England Germany trip... finally! But don't get over excited... am still *in* Oxford.

Also visited my facebook today after a long absence... in the process I started thinking about all the places that I've visited. Banyak jugak... based on the pinheads.

Which brings me to another point... this year dah jalan to Solo & Jogja, England & Germany... hopefully hujung bulan will be a trip to Terengganu (present for Amt before he resumes his classes), maybe end July to Jakarta-Bogor-Bandung, and I'm seriously considering nak ikut Ina pergi HK in November. Dah siap beli DK Eyewitness Top10 Hong Kong Guide, ok...

Which brings me further to another point. I'm very much liking taking photos with a DSLR... the images are brighter, deeper colours, richer as compared to a compact camera. Obviously lah kan. All this while I've been quite happy with my Canon IXUS and have captured decent images with it, but the SLR is a whole different ballgame. I've been using Ina's SLR which is several years and generation old. So ada lah kelemahan2nya. Recently I bought the new long lense to support the camera. And baru2 ni found out about their new 450D... which has a 3" screen, live view, super cepat... Cuma the question is, should I get it? 450D is still in the beginners category and usually if nak upgrade, ppl will move up and get the amateur version which is 40D. Tapi harga dia beza 1k.

450D pun is not that cheap. Tadi went to LowYat and Sg Wang Plaza to check out the price... with extra battery, UV filter... the new kit will easily set me back 3k.

So now, the difficult part... should I get it? Or should I get something else that I've been eyeing...

I've been wanting to get a new mattress... the one yg ada extra top cover which is super comfy. That has been on the "want to get" list since habis renovate bilik. The LCD TV is already on the way.

And baru2 ni... while loitering in Hartamas Square I came across this pretty multi coloured five stone sapphire ring.

Kalau ikut hati, nak beli camera. Kalau ikut practicality I should get the mattress. And kalau tanya Mama (haha... actually, more of a good investment) I should get the ring.

Thing is, I can't get all three. Especially not with the travel plans that I have. I shouldn't be splurging although the money shouldn't be an issue.

So how??

Friday, June 13, 2008

words of wisdom for the day

A good deed is never lost: he who sows courtesy reaps friendship; and he who plants kindness gathers love ~ Basil

If we all did the things we are capable of,we would astound ourselves ~ Thomas Edison

The only journey is the journey within ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Never lose a chance of saying a kind word ~ William Thackeray

You're happiest while you're making the greatest contribution ~ Robert F. Kennedy

Energy and persistence conquer all things ~ Benjamin Franklin

dream job!

One of Fernando Alonso's most ardent supporters has won a dream job - to travel to all the Grand Prix and test sessions with the Renault driver and report his experiences on a blog.

More than 35,000 potential candidates applied for the novel role - an initiative of the Spanish arm of the team's title sponsor ING - via the internet.

This week it emerged that Barcelona-born Alvaro Adema, a 23-year-old journalism student, was selected as the 'professional fan' by former Spanish F1 driver Luis Perez Sala and Alonso's manager Luis Garcia, and finally approved by 26-year-old Alonso himself.Adema's travel expenses will all be paid for, and he will receive a cool 3000 euro per month salary.

"I will explain what happens from the inside; my own experiences as I live the Grand Prix," he said.

He said his goal is to remain in the Formula One paddock full time."I've always dreamed of being a formula one journalist, so if I can I would like to stay inside this world when everything ends," Adema added.

Source: GMM© CAPSIS International

erm... looking for a tukang angkat bag?? ;)

why are we taxpayers paying for the privilege of others?

This came out yesterday... hit the nail on the head! After the bruhaha about potong elaun Menteri and limited free annual holidays to ASEAN countries

Suffer the children ... of some

Without exotic foreign holidays, life will no longer be the same.

The sun was setting as the Proton Perdana crunched up the gravel driveway of the bungalow on Jalan Kia Peng. The man sitting in the back seat was oblivious to the gentle glow of dusk that bathed the large well-manicured gardens.

His heart felt heavy and his stomach was knotted.

He was going to break their hearts and there was no way out.

“We are here, sir.”

The voice of the driver shook him out of his deep thoughts. With a barely audible grunt of thanks, he stepped out and with leaden feet walked towards the door.

Before he reached it, the huge oak edifices swung open. A small woman in a blue uniform retrieved his suitcase and collected his shoes as he slipped them off. He hardly noticed her, either.

From within the house, there were sounds of a loud X Box game in progress and young children shouting. The man walked into the living room. Expensive Italian furniture was arranged around a 40-inch plasma TV, its sleek modernity a stark contrast to the gaudiness of the sofas and armchairs.

A boy and a girl were transfixed by the screen, watching monsters get beheaded. A woman lounged in an armchair, her diamonds glittering.

“Listen, everybody, I must speak to you,” said the man.

“Not now, Papa, we are reaching level five,” said the boy.

“No, now,” said the man.

The sombre tone of his voice cut through the shrill screams from the video game. The children and the woman looked to the man, their normal indifference suddenly replaced by unfamiliar concern.

Seating himself, the man leaned on his elbows and stared at the floor.

In a voice quivering with barely suppressed emotion, he started to speak.

“Darling, children, I am afraid we can’t go to Orlando Disneyland this year.”

“Where are we going then?” asked the girl. “England? Europe?”

“We can only go to somewhere in Asean.”

The gasps from the family just about drowned out the crack in his voice as he finished his sentence. Then the barrage of questions started. Why? What happened? How can this be?

As the voices rose to a crescendo, the man snapped, tears running down his face as he screamed, “The oil price has gone up and we can’t go on holidays around the world any more!”

“But, darling,” said the woman, “I already told the girls I would bring back for them oranges from Florida. How can I face them in Carcosa at our high tea tomorrow?”

“Papa, you promised Disneyland. I hate you! I hate you!” shrieked the boy as he stormed out of the room.

“Wait, boy!” he called out. “You must try to understand. The whole nation is suffering. We must make sacrifices. It is for the good of the country and for the future.”

But it was too late; the boy had already disappeared into his bedroom. Soon, the sound of heavy rap played at full volume could be heard.

“Oh, darling. Think about the children. How are they going to face their friends at the international school? Where are we going to go on holiday?”

The man wiped away his tears of frustration and held his head as he thought of what to say.

Suddenly, he looked up and with a smile bordering on the maniacal, he said: “What about Singapore? Or we can even go local. Let’s go to A Famosa in Malacca. It’s fun, they have a theme park and an animal and cowboy show. Malaysia Truly Asia! Heh heh heh ...”

His laugh petered out as the girl and the woman stared at him icily, slicing through his forced jollity.

For the longest while, nothing was said. Then the rap music abruptly stopped. The three looked up as the boy walked back to them.

“I understand sacrifice, Papa. And I think I have the solution,” he said.

The family stared at him, hope shining in their eyes. “We can all go to Hong Kong Disneyland!” he exclaimed excitedly.

The man broke down again and buried his face in his hands. Between his gasping sobs, he cried,
“Oh, my son, my poor, poor boy. Don’t you know? Hong Kong is not in Asean.”

“Arrrgghhh!” the boy screamed and ran back to his room, wailing, “I hate you! I hate my life! I want to die!”

The girl, unable to bear the pain any longer, stood up. She loomed over the broken shell that was her father and said, “I know we all have to suffer because of the oil price, Papa. But why do WE have to suffer SO MUCH?” Then she too stalked away.

The man stared into the middle distance.

His pain was almost too much to endure. The only sound in the room was the clinking of his wife’s diamonds as her bosom heaved with racking sobs.

It barely smothered the sound of his shattering heart, for without their exotic foreign holidays, life would never be the same again.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

i miss my peeps...

The days have been long... lots of new things to learn and I'm so lembab!! I pity KKY for having to explain to me things which should make sense naturally so many time, and I still have that confused look. Doesn't help that I have a boss who is super smart, super efficient, super insightful and kind-hearted with the gentlest approach to boot. What takes me hours to comprehend, she can just grab and understand the ins and outs in 5 minutes. I told AA about it to which she gave me a knowing smile.

"With JC everyone feels like that. First you are in awe, followed by a sense of annoyance (because she's that good) and finally acceptance (that no matter how hard you try, there's no way you can be anything close to what she's capable of)"

She has always impressed me and the entire organisation (I believe) feels the same way. Like NMS said "dah lah smart, very nice pulak tu". I'm in stage 2 right now... am downright annoyed at myself that I feel so dumb and like I'm the laziest person in the world (I think am actually, haha). Sometimes being around super achievers like this is also not good... because you've come to realise that you'll never be like that person. Truth be told, I don't want to be like her... I'd just like to be 75% of her pun dah kira ok sangat dah tu.

Since moving to the new dept, I do feel like I've not been carrying my weight. What with the stuff to read (and I really mean LOTS of stuff to read, I kid you not!), the new things to learn, the never ending meetings... I really don't know how the bosses do it. I take a while to get used to a new rhythm, new ways... that's just me. I still haven't found my groove yet and it's already 3 weeks. I hope that I'll get it soon, otherwise...

The people in the new dept are nice and they are among the brainiest in the organisation... and the most hardworking too! Not that the people in the old dept are not smart or not hardworking... they're just different. This lot seem to be very serious in their work all the time whilst in the old dept, no matter how busy we were, laughters and voices were often heard... a mechanism to release stress, I guess. People in FSD seem to enjoy themselves more... they know how to have fun. Oh boy do they!

Today for example, I had the privilege of attending their makan competition. You see, in the old dept we've formed groups and have lunchtime games of carom, dart, pictionary. This year, the committee decided that instead of having a quarterly makan organised by the FSD Club, they turned it into an inter-group competition. And today, it was Cafe Jitu's (by Grp 2, G2... geddit?) turn.

From the invitation email right to the group challenges they organised today, it was well conceived and executed. Their invitation was written a la food critique comment complete with elements of surprise and suspense... such as be there by 12:45 or risk being left behind (or something like that lah) My suspicion is that it was written by FMA who declared that he likes to write during his job interview. They had DZ who has a creative side, AH and NDH who are brimming with enthusiasm, the calm and collected JMS as team leader... I can't remember all of the team members, but they make a good team.

The Penthouse was nicely decorated and the bright noon sunlight was filtered by dark curtain to create a cozy and relaxing environment. DZ even brought his candalabra, floor lights and orange IKEA curtains to get the mood going! Soft soothing music greeted the ears. The makan spread was excellent too... spaghetti meatballs, nasi ayam, satay, apple pie, fruit jelly cocktail, fruit salad, mushroom soup, garlic bread... all done with a budget of RM250. Not bad huh? Though I think there were some who *sponsored* as well ;)

Lepas the makan, they organised three competitions. The first was the teh tarik challenge. It was hilarious!! Three guys from the remaining three teams had to bancuh and tarik the pull tea. Each had their own style... mula2 all takut2 (walaupun they were equipped with apron... with ZMR wearing the frilly yellow one, hehe), then one by one start tunjuk *taring*... siap pusing, cangkung, side ways... even the usually reserved SS showed his *wild* side ;) When it came to judging, I was given the honour to do the *tasting* test and name the winner... because I was *supposedly* unbiased, haha. Well... I did my *duties* as was expected of me and while I had wanted my former team to win, the deserving team got the honours.

Next was table setting competition where each of the remaining 3 teams had to exhibit their prowess in all matters decor. Well... kind of laa. Team 1 chose a kiddies theme... a table for kids, complete with baby bibs, soft toys, cute plastic plates and cups. Team 3 did a muhibbah theme... siap dengan jasmine and bakul sireh... chopsticks complemented by daun pisang. Not wanting to be outdone... Team 4 (my former team) went *back to nature* with a sitting on the floor style dengan mangkuk kayu and tempurung kelapa and some daun2 as decor. Creative indeed!! AZA was spokesperson for Team 1... a natural choice since she's in the Children Volunteer AJK. AM was again the obvious spokesperson for Team 2 and CWT for team 4 did his usual *big entertaining creative* talk and had to be cut short due to time limit, haha. I must say, all three teams did extremely well... each unique and went all out.

The final game was the most exciting though... jelly eating competition. Not dissimilar to the hotdog eating contest. These were those *sumi jeli manis* types of jelly which are notoriously difficult to bukak. Looking at the contestants, I think Team 1 made a miscalculated error by staging AZA as their rep. How can you ask a girl to do a makan competition?? But AZA did her very best and ended up having jelly all over her white blouse. The whole gang cheered on boisteriously macam the scene that you see on TV when fraternity boys drink beer from a booze bong. Havoc I tell you!!

See?!? I told you FSD ppl know how to have fun ;) And I miss that dearly...

Actually, all my working life, I've been surrounded by fun people. Just the other day, we had a belated birthday celebration for NSY. A special cake was ordered in her honour. Had wanted to do a 3D version but the kedai would only accept min size of 4kg and at RM100/kg, that was way too much money and cake. The gang sans ZCD were all there, sekali dengan DBB#3 who got most excited. Siap dengan adegan ramas2... hahahahah. I think DBB#3 and NSY mischevious ways have rubbed off on all of us and I see that inherited by FSD ppl.

I think... no, I know, that it is all these things that make me feel so seronok to be working where I do. Of course, please don't get me wrong... not the entire organisation is like this (BB is definitely NOT like this!). We're all serious ppl (hehe) and you can be assured that the country is in good hands. Cuma, some of us also know how to enjoy ourselves 8-)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

those bedroom eyes...

This photo just gets me all gooey ;)

But the man is not just alluring, I think the thing that attracts me most is his conscious decision to choose songs with strong messages and by partaking in acts of kindness.

Maybe it's all an act? That's what some cynics would say but I have not found evidence to suggest such. And believe me, I've spent countless hours surfing on him and other Idol related news. Nothing has thus far pointed towards anything unsavoury.

In the course of my "research", I've re-lived the entire Idol7 season and have come to an observation. David Cook is not the greatest singer this year... that title belongs to Carly Smithson, Michael Johns and David Archuleta. He is also not the most exciting performer every week... there were others who were more outstanding. And the thing that bugs me most was that towards the end of the season, he appeared to be more nonchalant as compared to the earlier weeks when he seemed to put in more effort and had more smiles. Towards the end, there were more brooding looks. Maybe it was because his good friends were all eliminated and because he's tired. Very possible.

But what made him standout was that he remained as himself, delivered strong performances, internalise the words that he sung, and recognises that there are more important things in life.

There are so many artistes in the world today, whose purpose of performing is not to share their love for the arts but more to get rich, get famous. Sure, their music is catchy and pleasing to the ears... but they're temporary distractions. They don't make you go out there and do something.

Oh well... the world isn't perfect. But there's no harm in hoping for one.

making a difference...

I have great admiration for people who makes use of their fame, power, wealth for the good of mankind. But I have greater admiration for the simple people like you and me who does such beautiful deeds. These people are the real heros... who do things because they believe and because they understand that the key to happiness lies not with what is seen but rather by what is felt.

In a world where a person's success is measured by his wealth, his titles, his work... many of us are missing the key thing that is important in life.

Don't get me wrong... I too enjoy the trappings of a comfortable life. I don't think there is anything wrong with it... as long as you share your joy with others. It doesn't mean that you must do away with what you've rightly earned and live a life of a hermit. What it means is just that the next time you decide to splurge on something because it's the "in" thing or because you just need an "upgrade", think about how that money can be spent to extend the joy to others. If you have the means, why not go ahead... do the purchase and spend an amount for a good cause as well.

I've always believed that the more you give, the more you get back... Maybe not in the physical sense, but it will be rewarded.

JK Rowling yesterday delivered the key address at Harvard's commencement. As usual, her eloquence amazes me. But this time, the messages that she conveyed was way more beautiful than her 7 novels.

One of the many things I learned at the end of that Classics corridor down which I ventured at the age of 18, in search of something I could not then define, was this, written by the Greek author Plutarch: What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.

That is an astonishing statement and yet proven a thousand times every day of our lives. It expresses, in part, our inescapable connection with the outside world, the fact that we touch other people’s lives simply by existing.

But how much more are you, Harvard graduates of 2008, likely to touch other people’s lives? Your intelligence, your capacity for hard work, the education you have earned and received, give you unique status, and unique responsibilities. Even your nationality sets you apart. The great majority of you belong to the world’s only remaining superpower. The way you vote, the way you live, the way you protest, the pressure you bring to bear on your government, has an impact way beyond your borders. That is your privilege, and your burden.

If you choose to use your status and influence to raise your voice on behalf of those who have no voice; if you choose to identify not only with the powerful, but with the powerless; if you retain the ability to imagine yourself into the lives of those who do not have your advantages, then it will not only be your proud families who celebrate your existence, but thousands and millions of people whose reality you have helped transform for the better. We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.

There are many other messages in her speech, but to me, this stood out by a mile. For the full version, go to

We are in a position of privilege... let's all use it for the good of mankind.

A side note... the recent petrol price hike in Malaysia is a blessing in disguise. Actually, the global impact in itself is good. OK... how can I say that? Well... I think the time has come for us to really get serious about taking better care of the earth and how better than to find a more sustainable means of living. People are now really talking about conserving energy, finding energy efficient alternatives.
If anything, the cyclone that hit Myanmar, the tornado in the US, the earthquake in China... they're all God's way of telling us that "Stop harming the earth!" I know, the deathtoll, the destructions etc... how can I say that those catastrophes are good? If you recall, Allah had done the very same thing during zaman Nabi Lut and many other prophets... when they're getting astray... a "reminder" is sent.
So let's all take note of the numerous reminders sent our way this past decade and start changing our lives...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Monday, June 2, 2008

hopes dashed...

Got a call from the SanDisk service centre. It's official... the photos are not recoverable


the power of words and music...

Some lyrics just *grab* you... like these...

When I was a little boy
I swore that I would change the world
When I grew up
Nothing else would be enough

I see it every day
We settle for safe
And lose ourselves along the way

But if we don’t dream big
What’s the use in dreaming
If you don’t have faith
There’s nothing worth believing

It takes one hope
To make the stars worth reaching for
So reach out for something more

Took a while to perfect a plan
For me to finally understand
That it’s not me
Faith is something you can’t see

I’ve wiped my tears away
Now it’s time for a change
No, I can’t waste another day


Has our conscience shown?
Has the sweet breeze blown?
Has all the kindness gone?
Hope still lingers on

I drink myself of newfound pity
Sitting alone in New York city
And I dont know why

Are we listening to hymms of offering?
Have we eyes to see that love is gathering?
All the words that I've been reading
Have now started the act of bleeding into one

So I walk up on high
And I step to the edge
To see my world below

And I laugh at myself
As the years roll down
Cause it's the world I know
It's the world I know


These are the days of the open hand
They will not be the last
Look around now
These are the days of the beggars and the choosers

This is the year of the hungry man
Whose place is in the past
Hand in hand with ignorance
And legitimate excuses

The rich declare themselves poor
And most of us are not sure if we have too much
But we’ll take our chances
Because God’s stopped keeping score

I guess that somewhere along the way
He must have let us all out to play
Turned his back and all Gods children
Crept out the back door

And its hard to love
There’s so much to hate
Hanging on to hope
When there is no hope to speak of

And the wounded skies above
Say it’s much too late
Well maybe we should all be praying for time

These are the days of the empty hand
Oh you hold on to what you can
And charity is a coat you wear twice a year

This is the year of the guilty man
Your television takes a stand
And you find that what was over there is over here

So you scream from behind your door
Say what’s mine is mine and not yours
I may have too much but I’ll take my chances
Because God’s stopped keeping score

And you cling to the things they sold you
Did you cover your eyes when they told you
That he can’t come back
Because he has no children to come back for

Its hard to love, there’s so much to hate
Hanging on to hope when there is no hope to speak of
And the wounded skies above say its much too late
So maybe we should all be praying for time

Sunday, June 1, 2008

fun day out

I had lots of fun today =)

Woke up late morning and terus get ready to attend my cousin's wedding from my dad's side in Sijangkang. I'm not that close to that side of the family... but since they're family, mestilah jalankan family obligations kan?

The food was great and it was a nice windy day... so tak lah peluh2 macam pergi wedding masa lunch time lain. We went home around 2pm and was amazed that my Garmin was able to show us the way (although we don't really need it) to and fro. Another plus point for my Garmin :)

On the way pergi tu, Ina Amt and I chatted about the EOS exhibition in Suria KLCC sambil berhibur dengar dendangan David Cook. Mama pun kenal dia, hehe...

The drive home tu hujan... and biasa lah lepas makan kenyang2, mata pun kuyu. As we neared our home, I declared that "kalau tido ni best". Then Ina kata "Baru ingat nak ajak Along pergi tengok movie".

Hmm... interesting proposition. Dia ajak pergi tengok Ironman, which I had missed since I went to Europe recently. Walaupun both of them dah tengok, they'd like to watch it again because they said that it was "BEST!".

So lepas solat zohor, tukar baju, we went out. And since the EOS exhibition was on, we decided to head for TGV KLCC instead of our regular CineLeisure. Unfortunately, since movie tu dah lama keluar and ada movies baru, they have very few screenings with the next show only at 11:30pm. No way I'm gonna wait sampai midnight show. So in the end we decided to watch Narnia instead.

Sambil tunggu our show which starts at 7:45pm we went around to give Ina's EOS a check-up. The guy informed that the mirror inside dah loose and we need to send it to the service centre. I took the opportunity to check out the other EOS models. Interested juga nak beli an updated body or even upgrade, but the need isn't really there considering that I largely use my camera when I go jalan2 je. Maybe later lah... if my Egypt trip menjadi.

We still had about 2 hours to kill and went to beli some stuff at Watsons, wanted to buy Leona Lewis and Madonna's new CDs but they were out of stock, and pergi beli new batteries for our cordless phone kat rumah yang dah kong. Lepas tu we headed to Chilli's for an early dinner.

Sambil2 tunggu tu, we played around with the camera. Each of us posed pelbagai macam and we laughed so hard sampai nak keluar air mata.

One of those wonderful days spent with the people you love :)

LOL.... muahahahaha

I've just got to share this... The man can sing, write songs, play guitar... and he can act too!
Go search for the Ford commercials on youtube if you don't believe me...