Friday, December 25, 2009

as another year draws to an end...

There are only 6 more days left in the year... where did the rest go? Hmm... each year time flies faster, as if there is a race. Maybe there is a race... towards the Day of Reckoning. It is said that time moves faster as Qiamat draws nearer.

It has been a while since I last wrote... I had every intention to, but fatigue overcomes me. These past few months have just been crazy, bar the past 35 days. Often I have stories swimming in my head as I drive home... wanting to share a story, an experience, an observation... but I failed. Blogging is a way to "capture time"... to have something to refer to in order to recollect. So in a way I'm disappointed with myself.

However, I do have lots of stories to share about what had happened in the past 2 months or so. As it marked a major milestone in my life. No... I did not get married. It was something even bigger. I went for THE journey of my life... Hajj.

I am not eloquent enough to properly describe how it feels... words fail me, and the best way I can describe it is that it was a beautiful, wonderful and amazing experience. I know... that's how many others would describe it, but I'm sure every person has his/her own unique experience. There's nothing like it... to feel so close to Him amidst millions of other worshippers. Subhanallah!

I'm so glad and fortunate to have a spiritual experience as bookends to my year... started with umrah in January and ended with Hajj in November/December. Couldn't have asked for a better year =) And even better, I celebrated Maal Hijrah while in Madinah, after Hajj. What better way to "renew" oneself in a blessed city. I might not have had my family with me, but I was with my other brothers and sisters.

I don't have a new year's resolution, but instead I have a "balik haji" resolution... several in fact. I just hope to be able to keep up with it. Syaitan's temptations and lure is admittedly stronger here, and I'm easily distracted. Ya Allah, save your servant and forgive her for her mistakes, O the Most Forgiving.

Insyaallah... I will write down my to-do list on my wall to remind myself. How can I attain Jannah if I remain the way I am. Terlalu sedikit amalan hambamu ini Ya Allah and terlalu banyak dosaku. I pray that I will be amongst the righteous and be led towards the right path. Ameen...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ramadan stories...

Story 1
Ina and I were on our way home from tarawikh at Masjid Wilayah when we suddenly heard keletuk… keletak… keletuk… keletak…

“Bunyi apa tu Ina?”
“Eh… apa tu?” she pointed at an object on the passenger seat windscreen.
“That’s my shoe!” Kebetulan we were stopping at a traffic light. “Cepat Ina… ambik”
She quickly opened the door and grabbed the shoe, just in time before the lights turn green.

“Macam mana lah boleh ada kat situ…” and we giggled at what had happened.
Then my mind started thinking of various theories. “Maybe masa Ina nak keluar kereta, you tertendang my shoe out kut”. I usually place my shoe on the passenger seat. “Nasib baik ada orang baik letakkan atas kereta”
“Ha’ah… nasib baik tak jatuh and kita langgar sampai patah”, Ina added with a laugh.

Alhamdulillah… my brown Clarks were saved. Berkat bulan Ramadan =)

Story 2
“u there?”
“jom buka puasa at Tamarind Springs… with eVo and G.O.D”
“ok… as long as tak lambat mcm last year”
“ha’ah… takpe, zoe boleh jaga meja”

It was not about lambat buka puasa, but lambat solat Maghrib sampai ter“miss”… makan punya hal.

So… not wanting a repeat, I carefully watched my watch as we devoured the delicious spread. At 7:55pm I quickly left the group and headed for the nearby surau, aided by my trusted Garmin. Itu pun kena reverse 2 kali coz ter miss junction.

As I walked towards the surau, my eyes quickly searched for area perempuan. Seeing a green tabir, I quickly headed there. It was small… very small in fact. Why so small? my little heart wondered. But seeing that it’s already past 8pm, I ignored the peculiarity.

Tengah nak pakai telekung, a young boy approached me “Kak… saf perempuan kat bangunan belah sana” (side note: he called me kak! What a thrill… having being called makcik so often nowadays ;p )
“Kat mana? Boleh tunjukkan?”
“Kat situ” he pointed. “Akak boleh lalu kat sini” as he guided me.
“Terima kasih dik” I thanked him with a smile.

As I walked back to my car, I tersenyum sendiri. Shouldn’t be so gopoh… even if it is to buat benda baik. A good lesson learnt in Ramadan.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ramadan al-Mubarak !

Ramadan is the month during which the Quran was revealed, providing guidance for the people, clear teachings, and the statute book. Those of you who witness this month shall fast therein. Those who are ill or traveling may substitute the same number of other days. Allah wishes for you convenience, not hardship, that you may fulfill your obligations, and to glorify Allah for guiding you, and to express your appreciation
(Al-Baqarah 2:185)

Rasulullah SAW said: Surely, the month of Ramadan is a great one. Allah multiplies in it the good deeds, erases in it the sins and elevates in it the ranks

Am really looking forward to Ramadan... and hope that I'll be better this year.
My Ramadan planner checklist
» Sahur
Hadith Rasulullah SAW:
“Make sure to have your sahur meal, for sahur is blessed” – Al-Bukhari & Muslim
“The difference between our fasting and that of the People of the Book is the sahur meal” – Muslim

» Solat fardu berjemaah
Hadith Rasulullah SAW:
“Offering prayer in congregation carries 27 times greater reward than offering it alone” – Al-Bukhari & Muslim
“He who offers Isha’ prayer in congregation is just like one who spends half the night in voluntary prayer, and if he then also offers Fajr prayer in congregation, it is like he spends the whole night in voluntary prayer” – Muslim
“Whoever performed wudhu’ well and then went to the mosque, but found that the people have finished the congregational prayer will have bestowed upon him by Allah the same reward as those who had offered the prayer in congregation” – Abu Daud & An-Nasa’i

» Solat sunat rawatib
Hadith Rasulullah SAW: “Allah prepares a house in Paradise for every believer who offers 12 rakaat of voluntary prayer everyday beyond which is obligatory for him” – Muslim

» Zikir
Hadith Rasulullah SAW: “The best kind of remembrance to Allah is ‘La ilaha illallah’ ” – At-Tirmidhi
Dan sebutlah nama Tuhanmu pada waktu pagi dan petang, dan pada sebahagian dari malam, maka sujudlah kepadaNya dan bertasbihlah kepadaNya pada bahagian yang panjang di malam hari – Al Insan, 76: 25 & 26
Dan sebutlah nama Tuhanmu dalam hatimu dgn merendahkan diri dan rasa takut, dan dgn tidak meninggikan suara, di waktu pagi dan petang, dan janganlah kamu termasuk orang-orang yang lalai – Al A’raf, 7:205
Orang-orang yang mengingati Allah sambil berdiri atau duduk atau dalam keadaan berbaring dan mereka memikirkan tentang penciptaan langit dan bumi (seraya berkata) “Ya Tuhan kami, tiadalah Engkau menciptakan ini dengan sia-sia, Maha Suci Engkau, maka peliharalah kami dari siksa neraka – Al Imran 3:191

» Membaca al-Quran
Hadith Rasulullah SAW:
“Read the Quran, for it will come forward on the Day of Resurrection to intercede for its readers” – Muslim
“He who recites the Quran fluently will be in the company of the noble and virtuous angels, and he who recites the Quran haltingly and with difficulty will have a double reward” – Al-Bukhari & Muslim
“When a person recites one letter from the Quran it is one good deed, but brings rewards equal to ten good deeds. I do not meen “alif, laam, meem” is one letter, but “alif” is one letter, “laam” is one letter and “meem” is one letter” – At-Tirmidhi
When the Quran is read, listen to it with attention and hold your peace that ye may receive Mercy – Al-A’raf 7:204

» Doa sebelum dan selepas makan
Hadith Rasulullah SAW: “The thankful eater is like the person fasting patiently” – At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah & Darimi

» Solat sunat tarawikh, sunat tahajjud, sunat hajat, sunat taubat
Hadith Rasulullah SAW: “Sesiapa yang mengerjakan Qiyamu Ramadan (menghidupkan malamnya dengan mengerjakan sembahyang) semata-mata kerana iman dan mengharap ganjaran dari Allah, maka diampuni dosa-dosanya yang lampau” – Abu Hurairah

» Solat sunat witir
Hadith Rasulullah SAW: “Sesungguhnya Allah itu witir (ganjil), dan Dia menyukai witir, maka lazimkanlah solat witir, wahai ahli Al-Quran” – Abu Daud, At-Tirmidhi

» Niat puasa dan beristigfar sebelum tidur
Hadith Rasulullah SAW: “Allah accepts the repentance of a man as long as he is not at a point of death” – Ibn Majah, An-Nasa’i

» Bersedekah
Hadith Rasulullah SAW: “A generous person is close to Allah, close to Paradise, close to people and far away from Hell. A miser is far from Allah, far from Paradise, far from people and close to Hell. An ordinary, generous person is dearer to Allah than a religious miser” – At-Tirmidhi

Have a blessed Ramadan everyone!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

i'm published!

Received the book last week. Am estatic. Never thought that I'd ever be credited in a book. Albeit a small book. And it isn't because of anything I wrote. But nonetheless...

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

hear! hear!

A totally "ciplak-ed" article from today's The Star

Need to produce thinking students
IKIM views by Nik Roskiman Abdul Samad

There has to be a system able to educate and equip the people with all the tools necessary to face the complex pressures of modern society.

WE celebrated Teachers’ Day a few weeks ago. Talk of education always brings to my mind a speech given by Dorothy L. Sayers at Oxford in 1947, which was later printed in essay form bearing the title The Lost Tools of Learning.

Although Sayers was not an educationist, but rather a novelist, her profound critique of the modern education system has initiated a classical education movement in the US and Europe.

I first came across her ideas several years ago, and those ideas have stayed in my mind. And I find them to be relevant more so now as our government is planning to review or revamp our education system and curriculum.

It is indeed timely for the Government to introduce a new education system that is able to really educate and equip the people with all the tools necessary to face the complex pressures of modern society.

This is the crux of Sayer’s critique of the modern education system: the inability to produce educated people equipped with the necessary tools of modern life.

Our national education system has failed, the public has said. They are clamouring for a better education system to replace the present one. Our system is accused of being exam-oriented and produces trained “parrots”. Why?

One of the reasons is that our system today is burdening students with too many subjects. Since there are too many subjects, teachers are not able to concentrate on developing personalities and individual characters. Their focus is on completing the entire syllabus of every subject, otherwise the students may not be able to answer questions in the coming term examinations.

No time is spared for inter-personal discussions, counselling or informal advice-giving sessions between teachers and students. The situation in our country is worsened by the attitudes of some of our ministers or politicians, who want to have their say with regard to the education system.

It is as though every minister deems he has the right to have his say in deciding what subjects should or should not be taught in our schools, without being duly qualified.

When we feel that the trend is towards Information Technology (IT), we want subjects related to IT to be taught in schools.

Later, when we dispatched our angkasawan to the moon, we wanted Astronomy to be part of our curriculum.

When we feel entrepreneurship is important, we want it to be part of the subjects taught in schools.

Recently, we seem to feel that national unity and patriotism is at stake, therefore we demand that these subjects be included in the national curriculum. It goes on endlessly.

We have actually lost sight of what education is all about and what its true objective entails.

Education is not about teaching particular “subjects”. Neither it is about the number of subjects taught in schools. It is about nurturing a human being to be a “good man”.

Modern students today are certainly taught more subjects, but that does not mean they are actually “good” or know more; nor does it mean they are better equipped than those before them.

Compared with students of the Athenean Middle Ages, who only studied three subjects at the trivium and four subjects at the quadrivium, for example, today’s students should perform better, considering their intellectual growth.

But this is not the case. Many a time an interview panel is frustrated with the performance of our graduates, despite their having spent more than a decade at the primary and secondary education levels and approximately four years at the tertiary level.

They certainly “studied” hundreds of subjects and, yet, they do not know the basics, have no confidence in speaking, no critical and logical thought when arguing, have no common sense, rational thought and so on. Why?

Because they had never been taught to think, how to use reason or how to argue during their entire “formal” education.

The only reason they have succeeded thus far is, perhaps, purely because they were good at memorising data – not that their intellect has been developed.

The findings of child development psychiatrists and research workers have emphasised the deep impressions early experiences have on children and the lasting effects of such impressions.

Comenius, in The School of Infancy, Montessori, in his The Secret of Childhood, and countless others have stressed the importance of right education at an early age.

In Islam, emphasis is given even when the parent is still searching for his spouse, seeking only for one with upright religious bearing since their children will be affected by their parents’ character.

At their early stage, children should be taught the proper use of the tools of learning before they begin to apply these to “subjects”, which should only be taught at a later stage.

At the foundational stage, they should only be taught three things, the trivium: Grammar, Logic (Dialectic), and Rhetoric.

This is quite similar to the traditional Islamic primary education where children at an early age should be taught, among other things, the Qur’an, language, literature (adab), ethics (akhlaq) and logic (mantiq).

Only at the secondary or university levels perhaps whatever subjects suit the national interest and the contemporary age may be introduced.

In general, children in Malaysia are reluctant to go to school, unlike children in the developed countries who exhibit eagerness and enthusiasm.

Children in Europe find school very interesting, and their teachers to be very loving and friendly. In Malaysia, even before going to school, we have a hard time with our children.

Teachers are assumed to be fierce because of their demeanor, like “teacher-cum-police” officers.

They also envision being bombarded with too much information that they are required to know, not to mention writing.

But their ability to reflect, think and ponder is not being groomed and developed. They are required to memorise data where all the answers are given.

Our education policy makers should sit down seriously with educationists and “experts” to come up with a better education policy for the sake of our future generations.

We have had enough of the same old moans whenever review of our education system is mentioned. Nothing substantial has been done thus far. Even the perennial issue of heavy school bags has not been effectively resolved yet.

Hopefully the “people’s Prime Minister” will look into this matter more urgently.

Monday, June 1, 2009


My need to be connected to the electronic world (largely fuelled by my obsession with House and the outcome of the final 2 episodes for the season) has come back and bit me HARD! Although I had promised myself not to use my blackberry during the recent trip, I succumbed. The desire to know what happened was too strong.

So now I'm paying (literally!) for it.

Bill for this month - monthly charges RM99; Usage chargesRM987.18. After tax and all the bill came to RM1,205.98


I could have bought that Celine bag which was on sale for that amount of money.

So... BIG lesson learnt. NEVER use blackberry to surf internet while travelling abroad.

Such a big waste of money... :(

Thursday, May 7, 2009

i'm no spring chicken...

Walking around with my 22 year old brother made me succumb to the fact that I'm older.

7 days of hard core walking (those who have been on trips with me would know) is beginning to take its toll. I was expecting to be hurting yesterday when we had to walk 40 mins (in two instalments of 20 mins each) uphill followed by climbing over 700 steps to visit ice caves near Salzburg. Surprisingly that went ok. But today, as we traversed across Vienna, over cobbled streets, lots of standing as we visited palaces and plenty of walking, my calves are beginning to hurt. To be fair (to me, hehe) my brother is also aching ;) But yesterday as I huffed and puffed uphill, he was steady je... not even breathing heavily whilst I was panting.

In London, it was my soles. But I attribute that to my shoe which was a bit defected. Problem solved after I bought a new pair of Clarks. In Salzburg, no problem whatsoever. But now in Vienna, just after a day, sudah mula sakit kaki. Hopefully the troubles won't move upwards towards my thighs otherwise that would really spoil the trip.

I've seen a lot in these past 7 days. Walked enough to burn all those calories that I piled up eating nasi lemak before I left. Given that we're not eating properly here (except whilst in London where we devoured on kebabs), I think I might even lose some weight, hehe.

No harm in wishful thinking...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


This is quite likely my last entry from Malaysia. Hopefully I'll get to hook up somewhere while on the trip... using my new Acer Aspire One Netbook of course :) It is so cute and I'm lovin' it!

I'm supposed to be packing our bags, but got side tracked. All thanks to the latest episode of House MD which I think is absolutely wicked! Evil House... Pimp House... Funny House... Juggling House... "Opps!" House (the scene with the dead guy is my favourite)... "Damn! I'm screwed" House. This episode had an interesting case, interesting ways to trying to solve the medical mystery, interesting character development, a peek into the subconcious and oh! how can I forget... Dancing House! HAHAHA! and half naked Wilson :D

And I am VERY intrigued by the promo for the following episode, which unfortunately I have no idea how to access (well, if I get internet access maybe it would be possible).

Today we had a photo session for the gifts team (sempena 50th anniv the other day). I think it turned out quite well. Will post here once I get a copy.

It's late and I can't sleep... too many things swirling in my mind. Packing... House... OA... but I know that the moment I put my head on the pillow, I'll go ZZZZZZ

But for now... back to packing!!

Friday, April 24, 2009


Fear of opinions

Got ah such things?? Really?

4 more days to my holiday... yeehaa!! :)

words of wisdom...

Winning doesn't teach you anything. You win. End of story. But the losing and what you take from it - that's the interesting bit
~ Hugh Laurie

Friday, April 17, 2009

are we setting our priorities right?

I wrote to a friend who is in London recently, informing her that I feel guilty about going on holiday this month end when there's just a million things to do in the office, deadlines looming etc.

She then told me something that made me smile...
"Absolutely - you deserve your break so don't feel bad about it. It's funny how at the Bank you can sell 10 days of your leave, whereas at Deloitte you can buy up to 5 days of leave. It says a lot about what people think is important lol"

That very same night, another friend commented on FB...
"... is convinced that only people with 'no life' can do his job"

The world offer us so much... but how are we grabbing them?

I go to work around 8am every morning and rarely do I leave before 7pm. Usually I'll just wait until after maghrib. At least now the sun is out when I leave the house. There was a period when I was in office by 7:30am. Those days are long gone...

At least I'm still single. I don't have kids or husband to attend to. But for those who do... I can't imagine a more frustrating life. Don't get me wrong... There's nothing wrong with working hard... but I can't do it as my main purpose in life. We need to smell the roses along the way...

Life is too short to be wasted. The world is too beautiful not to be explored.

Somewhere along the way
I got caught up in the race
I kept spinning and turning
Lost myself, my hope, my faith

We're always wanting more than what we have
And what I've learned is all I really need are...

The simple things
That come without a price
The simple things
Like happiness joy and love in my life
I've seen it all from so many sides
And I hope you would agree
The best things in life
Are the simple things

Hey everybody don't get me wrong
You got to understand
Ambition and knowledge
Are the seeds of every woman and man

It's good to work... work hard and prosper
As long as you take time to find...

The simple things
That come without a price
The simple things
Like happiness joy and love in my life
I've seen it all from so many sides
And I hope you would agree
The best things in life
Are the simple things

This world moves so fast
Sometimes you got to slow down... down... down...
To find out what it's all about

We're always wanting more than what we have
And what I've learned is all I really need are...

The simple things
That come without a price
The simple things
Like happiness joy and love in my life
I've seen it all from so many sides
And I hope you would agree
The best things in life
Are the simple things

Having said all that, I have to go to work tomorrow :(

Thursday, April 16, 2009

music for the soul...

One of the side benefits of watching House MD is that I'm treated to an excellent array of music. Some artists and tunes I'm familiar with, but mostly they are unknown to me.

The songs are beautiful and poignant. Fitting very well with the scene and emotions that the director tries to convey.

And from time to time, we are privileged with the musical talent of one Mr Hugh Laurie. I'm not going to heap praises on a man who has received so many from all four corners of the world. My words will not justify his talents. But one thing that I will share is my admiration for his involvement in Band from TV, which is a band whose members are stars from TV shows, who play for fun and donate their proceeds to their favourite charities. How cool is that?!?

There are many songs from the show that I really really like. John Mayer's Gravity, Ryan Adams' Desire, In the Deep by Bird York, Elvis Costello's rendition of Beautiful...

Treat yourself to some... you'll find the listing here, and just YouTube 'em

Have fun!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

my personality...

I did this test before... as part of our Leadership Development Programme. So that you'll be more aware of the kind of person that you are.

I'm a sucker for all these things. Dunno why... I enjoy doing 'em quiz, "tell about yourself" things on FB, etc. My way of opening up I guess? I'd like to think that it isn't because I'm that big of a nerd due to the "abnormal" liking to do tests. I guess I just like to know myself better.

So... I did the test online, following a link from a totally non-related website. The questions are totally different but the results the same. Well, one doesn't change one's personality overnight right? Otherwise I'd be worried... that I'm a Jekyll and Hyde :o

I am an INTJ - Introverted iNtuitive Thinking Judging - person.

The description goes like this...

To outsiders, INTJs may appear to project an aura of "definiteness", of self-confidence. This self-confidence, sometimes mistaken for simple arrogance by the less decisive, is actually of a very specific rather than a general nature; its source lies in the specialized knowledge systems that most INTJs start building at an early age. When it comes to their own areas of expertise -- and INTJs can have several -- they will be able to tell you almost immediately whether or not they can help you, and if so, how. INTJs know what they know, and perhaps still more importantly, they know what they don't know.

INTJs are perfectionists, with a seemingly endless capacity for improving upon anything that takes their interest. What prevents them from becoming chronically bogged down in this pursuit of perfection is the pragmatism so characteristic of the type: INTJs apply (often ruthlessly) the criterion "Does it work?" to everything from their own research efforts to the prevailing social norms. This in turn produces an unusual independence of mind, freeing the INTJ from the constraints of authority, convention, or sentiment for its own sake.

INTJs are known as the "Systems Builders" of the types, perhaps in part because they possess the unusual trait combination of imagination and reliability. Whatever system an INTJ happens to be working on is for them the equivalent of a moral cause to an INFJ; both perfectionism and disregard for authority may come into play, as INTJs can be unsparing of both themselves and the others on the project. Anyone considered to be "slacking," including superiors, will lose their respect -- and will generally be made aware of this; INTJs have also been known to take it upon themselves to implement critical decisions without consulting their supervisors or co-workers. On the other hand, they do tend to be scrupulous and even-handed about recognizing the individual contributions that have gone into a project, and have a gift for seizing opportunities which others might not even notice.

In the broadest terms, what INTJs "do" tends to be what they "know". Typical INTJ career choices are in the sciences and engineering, but they can be found wherever a combination of intellect and incisiveness are required (e.g., law, some areas of academia). INTJs can rise to management positions when they are willing to invest time in marketing their abilities as well as enhancing them, and (whether for the sake of ambition or the desire for privacy) many also find it useful to learn to simulate some degree of surface conformism in order to mask their inherent unconventionality.

Personal relationships, particularly romantic ones, can be the INTJ's Achilles heel. While they are capable of caring deeply for others (usually a select few), and are willing to spend a great deal of time and effort on a relationship, the knowledge and self-confidence that make them so successful in other areas can suddenly abandon or mislead them in interpersonal situations.

This happens in part because many INTJs do not readily grasp the social rituals; for instance, they tend to have little patience and less understanding of such things as small talk and flirtation (which most types consider half the fun of a relationship). To complicate matters, INTJs are usually extremely private people, and can often be naturally impassive as well, which makes them easy to misread and misunderstand. Perhaps the most fundamental problem, however, is that INTJs really want people to make sense. :-) This sometimes results in a peculiar naivete', paralleling that of many Fs -- only instead of expecting inexhaustible affection and empathy from a romantic relationship, the INTJ will expect inexhaustible reasonability and directness.

Probably the strongest INTJ assets in the interpersonal area are their intuitive abilities and their willingness to "work at" a relationship. Although as Ts they do not always have the kind of natural empathy that many Fs do, the Intuitive function can often act as a good substitute by synthesizing the probable meanings behind such things as tone of voice, turn of phrase, and facial expression. This ability can then be honed and directed by consistent, repeated efforts to understand and support those they care about, and those relationships which ultimately do become established with an INTJ tend to be characterized by their robustness, stability, and good communications.

Hmm... relationships is my archilles heel? No wonder...
I've been told before that I have an "air of arrogance" or as the Malays say it "sombong". That's something that I have never come to grips with. But then I guess it's how I carry myself... and in the process, unintentionally leading others to think that way.
I agree... I am somewhat a perfectionist, but I'm increasingly finding myself being a slacker, instead of disliking one. Can ah?
Someone once told me that I'm different because I willingly admit that I don't know things. Yah maa... why bother pretending when you really don't know? But then I guess, not everyone thinks that way.
Do I really cakap tak bertapis (say my mind without concern about others)? Geez... I'm sorry if I had hurt feelings along the way.

Another description...

Rational Portrait of the Mastermind (INTJ)
All Rationals are good at planning operations, but Masterminds are head and shoulders above all the rest in contingency planning. Complex operations involve many steps or stages, one following another in a necessary progression, and Masterminds are naturally able to grasp how each one leads to the next, and to prepare alternatives for difficulties that are likely to arise any step of the way. Trying to anticipate every contingency, Masterminds never set off on their current project without a Plan A firmly in mind, but they are always prepared to switch to Plan B or C or D if need be.

Masterminds are rare, comprising no more than, say, one percent of the population, and they are rarely encountered outside their office, factory, school, or laboratory. Although they are highly capable leaders, Masterminds are not at all eager to take command, preferring to stay in the background until others demonstrate their inability to lead. Once they take charge, however, they are thoroughgoing pragmatists. Masterminds are certain that efficiency is indispensable in a well-run organization, and if they encounter inefficiency-any waste of human and material resources-they are quick to realign operations and reassign personnel. Masterminds do not feel bound by established rules and procedures, and traditional authority does not impress them, nor do slogans or catchwords. Only ideas that make sense to them are adopted; those that don't, aren't, no matter who thought of them. Remember, their aim is always maximum efficiency.
In their careers, Masterminds usually rise to positions of responsibility, for they work long and hard and are dedicated in their pursuit of goals, sparing neither their own time and effort nor that of their colleagues and employees. Problem-solving is highly stimulating to Masterminds, who love responding to tangled systems that require careful sorting out. Ordinarily, they verbalize the positive and avoid comments of a negative nature; they are more interested in moving an organization forward than dwelling on mistakes of the past.

Masterminds tend to be much more definite and self-confident than other Rationals, having usually developed a very strong will. Decisions come easily to them; in fact, they can hardly rest until they have things settled and decided. But before they decide anything, they must do the research. Masterminds are highly theoretical, but they insist on looking at all available data before they embrace an idea, and they are suspicious of any statement that is based on shoddy research, or that is not checked against reality.

The Mastermind (INTJ) is very focused as well, but more on an internal vision. They are good at solving problems and like to work on tough intellectual puzzles. They are often led into technical positions such as scientific researcher, design engineer, environmental planner. The developing field of genetics benefits from their intensity as does the field of medicine. In education they are most often found at the college and university level. In the professions, they may be a lawyer, a business analyst, or strategic planner. Some have a strong artistic/creative bent and may become an artist, inventor, or designer. Whatever they do, they do it with intensity.

No wonder lah I enjoy doing strategic planning, research type of work... and why I'm easily obsessed when it comes to an interest. But by and large, it does seem like I'm in the wrong profession. Should have been a computer programmer, engineer or doing something involving science and research.
I don't feel bound by rules, traditional authority... yup, that sounds quite right.
And yes... I much prefer being in the background, thank you very much!
I don't think I'm that efficient actually. In fact, I'm quite a slob workwise. And decisions don't come that easily... especially if I don't have the background info, understanding etc. I think too much.
I wish I could say that I look forward instead of dwelling in the past. Some truth in that but I seem to be stuck when it comes to relationship matters. Hmph!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

to be spoilt or not to be spoilt... that is the question

I shamefully admit that I have low will power. And because I also have obsessive compulsive disorder (albeit a mild version of it, hehe), I have a tendency to do *research* on things that I find intriguing, sometimes a bit too much.

So me liking House MD has led me to buying DVD of past seasons (am watching a season 1 episode as I'm writing this) and scouring the internet for news regarding the show. You know how drug addicts are always seeking to get high and want to have more and more drugs. I'm like that... always wanting to know more. Spoilers be damned... my curiosity gets the best of me. I was very interested, in particular, to know of how *something* is developing. However, in the process, other pieces of information also come to fore. Usually, they don't bother me. In fact, they make me look forward to the next episodes (which thanks to NCA, I get to watch 2 days after they are aired in the US). One news about a plot was revealed sometime back and the fans have been actively speculating. I have an interest since the plot can involve the *something* that I am interested in. Still... it was not something that I'm affected by.

However, yesterday... as I was doing my regular *check ups* (House... doctors... check ups... haha), a BIG spoiler was revealed. Actually, it's not really a spoiler if you're in the US and have watched the show that was aired the evening before. But for me, who has to wait for 2 days, it is a spoiler. And this time, it really spoilt the suspense. Having known what I know, I wish that I was did not come across that information. Discovering it on my own would have been much more satisfying and intriguing. This is what Malays say "habis stim".

Had I not known the outcome, it would have been a more suspenseful and grabbing episode. The information robbed me of that excitement and adrenalin. That's when I realise why spoilers are called such... they spoil what would otherwise be an experience, a sensation, an emotion... and that I should have exercised more restraint.

I remember several years back when I was totally unspoilt for the X-Files (in fact, I had been missing several episodes) when it was revealed that Scully was pregnant. I can still remember the feeling... "Whoa.. what?!?" It was so gripping. I think that night I had very little sleep because I needed to know what had happened, what clues did I miss along the way, what had led to that. It was frustrating at first of course, because I was caught off guard, but the experience was exhilirating.

I wish I had had that with House.

But then again, had I not known, I would have ended up feeling more intrigued and would have spent hours looking for the reasons etc. Not good when it I have to wake up the next day to go to work.

Just like reading a book... the desire to know what happens next is so overwhelming but you know that if you read the ending, it will spoil the experience. Somehow, I manage to exercise greater control with books.

I think this is the major-est spoiler for House this season. Sure... I don't know how the screenwriters and producers are going to take the storyline. But I doubt it's going to be this big. But regret is also something that I'm feeling, thus the dilemma on whether or not to continue to be spoilt or to stop from this point forward so that I can enjoy the show the way it was created and designed to be. I haven't decided.

One thing I do know, is that while I'm travelling early next month, I would not know how the final 2 episodes for the season is going to turn out. And that I'll have to wait until I'm back on Malaysian soil to know what happens and whether the *something* that I'm following is going to happen.

It's a paradox... I am so curious and yet I like to be surprised. And the two aren't mutually exclusive.

On a related note... I had posted on Facebook "I had spoilt myself on the outcome of a much favoured TV show... now I am sad... because that was a character that I really liked". That was ambiguous enough wasn't it? My statement would not have spoilt anyone, unless if the person has been naughtily succumbing to some spoilers themselves. But, got lah this one friend, who out-ed the info and in the process spoilt another friend who didn't want to know. So am I guilty? I think not... because I had exercise extra care to make sure that my statement didn't connote anything. Not my bad... but to the spoilt person, so sorry.

So let's take this theme on a broader level. Would you want to be spoilt on important things in life? eg If a friend told you that your boyfriend is about to propose to you... would you have liked that? Or would you rather experience the whole thing first hand. And how would you react to the said boyfriend when he pops the question? Would you act like you don't know? I know I'm not a good actress and therefore the euphoria would be difficult to replicate.

What other things would you not want to know about upfront? Would I prefer to be surprised or not be caught off guard? I guess it depends on what it is...

But meanwhile [BEWARE: House spoiler ahead...]

I am mourning that Kutner is dead. He's my favourite duckling... funny, smart, dorky, unconventional, fun, and he's a Harry Potter fan! I had just shared with NCA last week that I liked Kutner... even more than Chase, Cameron and Foreman. And this week he's gone.

On a happier note, I couldn't have been more impressed with Kal Penn and his reasons for leaving the show. I admire people who take the effort to do something meaningful... not only for themselves but also to help others. Letting go of a healthy paycheck to do something that you believe in takes conviction. Too bad they killed off the character. Had it been something else, like moving to another hospital, there could still be hope to see him in action again.

p/s: I was tickled when the Fox website put up an obituary and noted that Dr Lawrence Kutner was born in 1975. Yeay!! But the screenwriters obviously is poor in maths coz in the episode Foreman said that Kutner is 28 when he called the paramedics. Although, I don't mind being 28 ;)

Monday, April 6, 2009

need more weekends like this...

Woke up early on Saturday (well... early by my standards, hehe) to go pick up Lina, the urut lady. Mama needs a massage for her kaki troubles. So I decided to tumpang sekali and treat myself to a scrub and massage too. Having her over to the house is quite convenient... hmm, maybe I shld organise a girls' weekend of relaxation one of these days.

While waiting for my turn, I did 3 loads of laundry, cleaned up the kitchen and read. I've been indulging in some fun reading off late. Something very fluffy and related to an obsession.

3 hours... that's how long my massage and scrubbing was. It was NICE... to say the least.

Skinner and Mymot came by later in the evening. Went out for dinner at Hartamas Square. I was famished! Having eaten some bread and eggs in the morning je the whole day. So melantak dim sum and kuey teow beef ginger. I either must have been super hungry or the food was really good coz I cleaned everything up, haha.

On Sunday, I overslept. Was supposed to be in Bukit Raja by 9am but woke up at that hour instead, when Papa knocked on the door (yes dearies... my bed is like a drug that keeps saying "kejap lagi... tidur lagi", hehe). When I arrived, most ppl were already there. We had a mini reunion, TKC 92, at Sabine's. Met the regular faces and Joy whom I've not met in 17 year! Seri is back from Spain. Diane came with her kids (the last time I saw her was when she was pregnant with her first). Let me see if I've got everyone... Seri, Fazlin, Mommeh, Diane, Azmah, Mymot, Skinner, Sabine, Normy, Yanie, Mario, Zaini, Joy, Peah, Iday, Mynn, Aimy, Lin. Next time we have a reunion, I'm gonna get a photographer to snap photos of us with our antics! [p/s: thanks for the big hug Mario! :D]

Watched F1 in the evening... the most bizarre race I've watched I must say. The Malaysian torrential rain created havoc on the race, and made worse by the later than usual race start time. I'm happy that Brawn won again. It was a great race - while it lasted - with more overtaking than ever. I'm so liking having the "big boys" at the back and the rest of the minions in front. The effects of cars with and without KERS. I still can't believe that Ferrari was that stupid to send Kimi out on wet weather tyres when the circuit was bone dry. His remarks to the pit later when it did finally rain "my tyres are destroyed" was like stating the obvious... DUH! And listening to Massa's frantic, desperate call for clear visor... his panicky voice vs the team trying to calm him down. With the race red flagged at the 31st lap and not continued, the winners were decided on the penultimate lap before it was stopped and since they did less than 75% of the total race laps, the point scoring drivers will only get half of the alloted points. So we'll have the likes of Rosberg, Trulli, Webber with half points to their name. This season is setting up to be an interesting one...

Friday, April 3, 2009

shame on you!

After many, many years of allegiance, and supporting them through thick and thin... when they were at their lowest, despite others mocking me, I am from today onwards no longer a supporter of McLaren Mercedes.

How could they lie (and if according to Alonso, this isn't the first time) so blatantly, and that cocky, perasan bagus driver who was the champion driver last year (his name shall not grace this site)... the heat getting to you? Couldn't stand the fact that you're not really that good and having an inferior car is making you take desperate measures?

There is no longer integrity in the team... unlike the days of Mika. The Ferrari-gate 2 years ago was painful enough. I stuck through it, but this time it's too much. That's what happens when individual's ego takes over team spirit. When you support one driver at the expense of the other, alienating them when all he wanted was fair play...

I'm glad that both Kimi and Alonso are no longer with them. And Coulthard too. They must be saying "hmmm... padan muka"

A true champion need not resort to such measures, because they know that being the best isn't at the price of one's integrity.

I only recently start wearing red, in defiance of Schumacher's Ferrari. Now even he looks decent (I can't believe I actually feel that way!). So now, sadly, my McLaren t-shirts shall remain on the hanger... until the time when I no longer feel ashamed.

14 years I supported them... I feel so cheated (no pun intended).

Saturday, March 28, 2009

new beginnings...

Those closest and dearest to me, know that there's one sport that I love... and that is Formula 1.

Today, the new season commences and there couldn't have been a better start. After years and years of the regulars at the front, we are treated by a whole new composition at the front of the grid post qualifying round (hope the same trend continues during the race). Any real F1 fans would admit that the thing that makes the sport exciting is its unpredictability (just go read my review post Brazilian race last year). Although I would very much love to have my driver (since it is so painful to support my team with that driver there) win, what I like most is to have a true racing on the circuit and having the deserving driver win.

What a fairy-tale it is... from a team which is condemned to extinction (thanks to the global financial crisis), the team previously known as Honda leaped to the front of the grid under the new name of Brawn GP Racing (named after Ross Brawn, the ex-Ferrari genius, who is now the team boss) after two years struggling at the back of the pack. Button and Barichello scored the first two *parking spots* for tomorrow followed by the much likeable and much talked to be future champion, Vettel who drives a Red Bull. The first of the *big boys* appearance is only in 7th spot in the form of Massa (Ferrari) and Kimi in 9th (also Ferrari). Their nemesis McLarens are in 14th and 15th position, with Heikki ahead of Hamilton (YEAY!!) But sadly my favourite, Alonso, is down in 12th... Renault is still unable to give him a good car. Such a pity, the driver who everyone rates as the best in the world is sitting so far back on the grid. But knowing him, he'll be racing like a fiery bull (given his Spanish nationality, hehe)... I'm sure we're bound to have some excitement tomorrow. Can't wait!!

Earlier today our family entered into a new phase with the formal engagement of Abang and his gf Zaimie. A simple affair but significant nonetheless. The wedding is slated for mid-July. I need to adjust myself to the idea of welcoming another member to the family... treating someone else as one of *us*. That requires some getting used to. I should start now... rehearsing for the role of SIL. With just 3 months to go... it's going to be a *crash course*. We should *train* her for Mama, hahaha.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

happy dreams...

They say that (among others) the key to a healthy body is a good night sleep.

I've had "buy a new mattress" on my to-do list for over a year... and I finally got my dream (no pun intended) bed. Many Saturday and Sunday afternoons were spent scouring, from shop to shop for that one mattress. Just like the one that I slept on in Mandarin Oriental KL and recently Conrad Hong Kong. I did find something like that during the first or second outing, but they're so expensive... something close to a downpayment on a house. I've lied down on so many mattresses, each different... sometimes my heart says "go for the hard firm ones" (no naughty thoughts ok? *wink*)... they're good for the back, and sometimes I gravitate towards those soft plush ones that embraces you with such warm fuzzy feeling.

I had my heart set on Getha upon trying one on the advice of Gee. Was delighted that Isetan had a special member extra 5% off (on top of the 40% discount that they were offering) during their recent sale. When the salesman asked me "So miss... mau order?", the small voice in my head said "nanti dulu". But since the extra 5% was only for 3 days, I can no longer procrastinate.

Another friend's advice took me to the SleepStudio at The Curve. Tao was glowing in his praise for the excellent salesperson there... how they really help you find the bed that you're searching for without any sales pressure. He told me he went to the shop 3-4 times to test various beds again and again before finally making his purchase.

The traffic jam to The Curve was massive that day. Usually I would give up and just turn around. But that day I presevered. Went straight to the shop and started to lie down... one bed after another. The one that I immediately liked cost RM13k. No way am I going to spend that much! I was then approached by Ali (I think he's Pakistani) who asked me the usual questions that I've been hearing since the beginning of my mattress search. Unlike the many other shops that I've been to, he immediately knew what I was looking for. He showed me a bed appeared to be out of my budget range, but I gave it a try nonetheless.

I know... getting a good mattress is an worthwhile investment. Hey... I didn't say that I'm scrimping. Just that I'm not quite ready (monetarily and emotionally, got ah such thing?) to spend that much on something that I snore on and spend less than 6 hours a day on (weekends excluded). I set a budget, which wasn't that small. Enough to pay for a return ticket to New York (on MATTA fair prices lah). Thank god for 0% credit card instalment payment plan, hehe.

You know that feeling... when everything falls into place? The mattress was beautifully balanced between being firm enough that you won't get a back ache after a long night sleep yet soft enough that you feel like you're lying on a pile of feathers (ok... not as perfect as that bed in Mandarin Oriental but close enough). And when he told me the price... I was sold. This was it... Slumberland Duke! He then showed me the next (higher) range. Now, this one, Slumberland Duchess felt exactly like the bed in Conrad, and the material was soft silky wool. However, it was RM1,500 more than the Duke.

I usually think over and over again, mulling on the cost-benefit of spending that much $$$ on big ticket items. Usually, those around me would give up and say "Decide already will ya!". But this time it was different. From the time I stepped into the shop until I went to the cashier... maybe 20 minutes? OK... I know, that does sound a lifetime to some of you, but this is like a 100 meter sprint for me. I decided to stick to my budget and chose the Duke.

I know I made a good purchase and decision when no feeling of guilt crept in upon returning home and the days after. In fact, I was so looking forward to receiving my new purchase and giving it a "test drive" ;) Other times, such as when I purchased my SLR or when I go on my *beli kain* spree, some "maybe I shouldn't have" feelings did creep in. This time... none whatsoever!

Right now I'm sitting on my brand new mattress, with fresh new sheets and surrounded by pillows. I am looking forward to sleeping tonight! ^_^

A long restful sleep. I haven't been sleeping properly these past few weeks. Largely my own fault for spending too much time indulging on past episodes of House MD. I love that show! and I admire Hugh Laurie immensely. Unlike many others, I've liked him long ago... images of him in Sense and Sensibility etched to my mind, alongside his powder-puffed visage from a British comedy series.

Watching House is like seeing a psychiatrist... it leads me to doing psycho-analysis on my own life. I've been feeling "restless"... lost... yet I can't quite pinpoint the cause. Farisa made a remark on a statement I made which made me think even further. I posted my status on Facebook "... looking forward to the European escapade". At the time, I had just bought my tickets for my upcoming trip to London-Salzburg-Vienna-Prague-Paris with Amt. To which she commented "which begs the question why you seem to be doing a lot of escaping".

The first thing that comes to mind was "yeah! I'm escaping work" (Note: If you happen to be my colleague, pls erase this from your thoughts). I must say... I haven't been feeling really "there" work wise. It has been a routine, which requires me to get up every morning, driving the 10km to office, doing things that are expected of me... something I have to do, rather than something that I want to do. So, while I dish out advice to a friend who seems to be in a similar state (you know who you are), I was pretending to be an all-together person. I'm not you know... which enables me to emphatise with the said person even more.

Then I realise that the cause must deeper than just having a prolonged Monday-blues. I'm not exactly on cloud nine outside office. I'm not depressed but neither am I content. Which is why I've been making all these statements about life, afterlife, family. I'm trying to solve a puzzle which has been bugging me for a while now... and no where closer to resolution. I guess I've been experimenting... testing, trying to see whether the answers that I'm looking for somewhere out there.

My life is no different from the one that Cuddy is experiencing. A woman advancing in age, relatively successful career wise, but feeling a void... with no one to come home to after a long day at work. The achievements I've obtained at work, promotion etc seem hollow. It doesn't make me happy. I am grateful for it, please make no mistake. But at the same time, I also have no ambition to move further. In fact, I'm hoping for no further promotions and wish to stay under the radar. I feel conflicted... being entrusted with such responsibility, and yet I'm unable to pull that drive from within to be the best. I can't... not when it is not something that I desire. If the bosses hear of this, they must be jumping out of their seat. I know that people have expectations, high expectations... but my heart just isn't in it. So I just go along... each day. Doing the best that I can, which I know isn't really the best. I occasionally get bursts "energy" where I start putting in all that I have, but those bursts are dwindling in number. How lah to motivate others when you're feeling like this?

Work used to define me. In fact, it defined so much of me in my early working years that the only things that I recall from my life if I were to turn back the time to 1998-2002, are things about work. Nothing comes to mind about life outside work... no matter how hard I try. I hate that. My "golden" years lost. It was only later, when I got reacquainted with friends from TKC, that I started living again. For that, I thank you so much, my dearest detox babes.

I guess it is because my intellect was the characteristic that defined me. Ask anyone who went to school with me... I think if they were asked to list three things about me, I'm sure that would be one of the things they'll say. I did very well in school, quite ok at uni... so it seemed a natural progression when I started working. But now, it is something that I least want to be identified with. And also because I've realised that I'm not that smart. I don't feel good when people start making positive comments about my intellect, because I know that those are just perceptions. I might have been book smart in the past, but I am nowhere near intellectualism at the higher, broader level. And now, I'm not even book smart anymore. It takes so much effort to try to comprehend some of the things that I have to deal with... when it seemed like a breeze for many others. I've lived a sheltered life... so I'm not street smart. I've always been a nerd, so I don't know many "things", don't have many experiences. Experiences that are life enriching. In short... my life has been black and white, instead of technicolour.

Dr House is scared of taking chances for a possibly happier life, because he is scared that it will affect his intellect... the one thing that defines him, the thing that he is most proud of. In my case, I don't want it to define me, but at the same time, I'm worried. If not that, what will define me? Who am I otherwise? I don't know... House is afraid to make changes for fear of being crushed by disappointment at a later stage. He takes risks all the time, except on things which are matters of the heart. Clamping down on anything that smells of a relationship. In many ways I am no different. Not for lack of want, but crippled by fear of failure.

Memories of my first love came flooding recently. The normal after effects include me going on an overdrive on what could have been, what if I never find love? I suppose this was triggered by my younger brother's recent declaration of intent to get married (and two nights ago it was decided to be held in July). Everyone around me are moving on while I'm "stuck".

I'm bracing for all the questions that will come my way on that joyous day. I'm already preparing my polite reply to those pesky aunties and uncles. Don't they know that I want it too? Do they actually think that I am like this by choice? What they do not know is that my heart breaks each time the question is posed. But I take it in my stride. I believe in qada and qadar... there must be a reason for it all. But I'm worried that each little breaks will leave me with no heart in the end...

I've been asked before, that if I want to get married, it can be arranged. I have never said yes to that. Because deep down I know that what I want is love. There is a difference. I know I can never be happily married if I do not love. Just like I'm not exactly peachy on being a DD. People say that love will grow. Perhaps. But is that a risk that I'm willing to take? It is not just my life I'm talking about here. Marriage is more than just about me... it is also about the other person and the families. I can't possibly make such a selfish decision. What if I dislike (hate is such a strong word) it later? Does it mean I'll just have to suck it up? I don't think I'll have the strength to do so. Maybe I'm just being stubborn... I'm refusing to make changes, take chances.

There... I've said it. I want to love, to be loved. I dream of a happiness with a loved one. It seems so easy for others. But why is it so hard to come by me? Am I being too idealistic? Is this karma biting me back in the arse for saying no previously? Maybe this is the root of all my troubles lately. My subconcious desire for love. I do have love... just not that kind of love. Pangs of envy I do get from time to time. All these emotional turmoil... it's exhausting. Would love be the cure? And how does one find love? I've searched, but it seems to be in hiding (or non-existent?). It is something that I want, but just as Jagger said (or rather sang) "You don't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes you might just find what you need".

So... what's the remedy for a healthy soul? Let me know... because I'm still searching.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

how we live our life...

I've been having thinking about somethings, a lot of things lately. Just needed to find the time to put it down into words.

But this email I received from a friend is something that I'd like to share...

Physical Dimension - Assume you've had a heart attack in the last month. How would you approach exercise and nutrition?

Social/Emotional Dimension - Assume that everything you say about people will be heard by them. How might you choose your words differently?

Mental Dimension - Assume your knowledge and skills will be obsolete in 2 years. What new learning avenues would you explore?

Spiritual Dimension - Assume you have 1 year to live. What legacy would you want to leave?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

WSH 1947

Many years ago I was gifted a car, now it is my turn.

Just before I left for Hong Kong, I told Papa that I would buy him a car, within a certain budget of course. He has been driving this old Proton Saga. Despite the cosmetic "improvements", it still drove like an old car. He deserved something better.

My dad is not someone who would ask for things... even if it is something that his heart desires. Unlike my mom, hehe. In some ways, I'm like that. Too proud to ask for something. Would rather find ways to get it on my own or just live with the dream.

Given the current economic conditions, it didn't take long. Just three days from checking out for availability, making payment and getting the car.

When I heard that he had went to JPJ to get a number, I immediately realised that it must have a been a wish that he had kept to himself for a long time. And when I heard about the plate number, my heart broke... he chose the year he was born for the car. And coupled with WSH... it was like a wish coming true.

I arrived home past 8pm on Tuesday. As I was about to open the door, I saw the car. I smiled. Went to the kitchen where Papa was seated. "Kereta dah dapat?"

He had a big smile on his face... a truly happy smile. And his next action was something that I had not expected. "Thank you Along" and gave me kisses on both my cheeks. I couldn't help but to mirror his smile, despite the bad tummy cramps thanks to my monthly.

When we went for a quick drive that night (Ina driving of course since I'm barely able to tahan my sakit), he was like a kid in a candy store. Glee was obvious from his voice. My only regret was that I couldn't reciprocate the feeling, so bad the pain was.

We always hear that when we were small, our parents took care of us... feed us, bathe us, buy us stuff. Now that we're adults, it is our turn to bestow the same gesture.

I'm so glad that I'm in a position that enables me to do these things for them. I guess it's my way of saying thanks for all the sacrifices that they've made for me all these years. I'm not good at expressing emotions... so I hope that this helps to tell them how much I love them.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

special update untuk mu...

I haven't been updating... yes, guilty as charged.

Kebetulan, at this wee hours of the day, I decided to check my blog and saw chepa's comment. So... this is for you :)

Why no updates? Several reasons... but mainly because I've been obsessing on the internet over my upcoming Europe trip with Amt. WOOHOO!! And I was in HK last week for work. And before that I was occupied with our 50th anniversary celebrations.

Balik je from umrah, it was full gear for the anniv thingy. The only things on my head were: Who's arriving today, what are the items I need to prepare for them, bila nak hantar kat hotel room... all that for about 10 days.

Habis je tu, kebetulan, MAS buat travel fair. I've been thinking about a Europe trip with Amt sempena his graduation since late last year. Masa tu baru angan2. Sekarang sudah signed, sealed cuma belum delivered (signed and sealed since I've bought the tickets, booked the hotels... and most of them are non-refundable, haha... nak cheap2, like that lah).

You know me... I take my travels seriously ;) First it was obsessing about places to visit, then the routes, then the mode of transportation (sambil tu cari yg paling murah lah of course), then cari accommodation (also the budget no-frills version... I kerja tempat chop duit, tapi duit tu bukan I punya!), and now places to visit and the finer details about opening hours, what to visit when, the ground transportation, discounts, free entries etc etc. I think I can be a personal travel arranger as an alternative career lah.

So where am I heading you might ask?

We'll leave KUL for LHR on 29/4 malam. Spend 3 days there (more for Amt actually... I've been to London 3 times in the past 2 years). Then we'll fly to Salzburg for 2 nights, followed by train to Vienna for 4 nights, diikuti train to Prague for 4 nights, fly to Paris for 4 nights before heading home, to land in KLIA early 18/5 morning.

So in my head (when I'm not working of course) I'm thinking about the alps, sound of music, hapsburg dynasty, castles, historical buildings, museums and all the photo opportunities. I just found out about the saltmines and ice caves and cable car in Salzburg. Ooooohhhh... opportunities not to be missed! Of course all that cost ka-ching... lots of it, even with the deteriorating Euro. And as I do my budgeting, my head gets dizzy.

Last week I had to replace my boss for a meeting on accounting in HK. Truthfully, I dreaded it so much because accounting ain't exactly a joyous and interesting area/topic. But kerana tugas, ku gagahkan jua. Left on Tues... spent the entire day and evening (well, almost the entire evening... I succumbed to American Idol around 9pm) reading documents which are so dry bagaikan Sahara desert. But surprisingly I managed to cover quite a lot during the flight... without dozing off! Ha!!

Meeting was held on Wed and Thurs, ended before 5pm on the final day, affording me the opportunity to go merendek in the evening. Went to Ladies market in search of barang2 yg digemari wanita and for the delicious Hui Lau Shan mango dessert. Amazingly I didn't shop much. Just some cushion covers for mama and a tipu Le Sport Sac sling bag for my Europe trip. That's it! Memang tak ada "nafsu" nak ber shopping masa tu. Maybe because I was in HK as recent as Nov last year and masa tu dah puas layan nafsu, hehe. And since I've covered all the places I wanted to visit during the previous visit, tak de lah nak jalan2 sangat.

The next day I contemplated taking the Ngong Ping 360 cable car ride on Lantau Island, but the gloomy weather meant that the views wouldn't be much. So lepas solat subuh, I boom balik on the super comfy bed at Conrad until 10:30. Best betul the bed... I think it was easily 16 inches thick! So I just lazed around, taking my time to pack before leaving the hotel after Zohor to catch the flight home.

I know I still owe stories from Tanah Suci (sorry Mario). There's so much to tell... but the desire and creative juices to write seem to have evaporated. For now at least. I will... I will... insyaallah.

Oh yes! I do have another update. A big one too...

Wedding bells are ringing in the family. Siapakah itu? Jeng... jeng... jeng...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

something to think about...

A stranger was seated next to a little black girl on the airplane when the stranger turned to her and said,"Let's talk. I've heard that flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger."
The little girl, who had just opened her coloring book, closed it slowly and said to the stranger,"What would you like to talk about?"
"Oh, I don't know," said the stranger."Since you are a Negro, do you think that So-called President Elect Barack Obama is qualified for the job?" and he smiles.
"OK", she said. "That could be an interesting topic. But let me ask you a question first. A horse,a cow, and a deer all eat the same stuff - grass. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, and a horse produces clumps of dried grass. Why do you suppose that is?"
The stranger, visibly surprised bythe little girl's intelligence, thinks about it and says, "Hmmm, I have no idea."
To which the little girl replies, "Do you really feel qualified todiscuss President Barack Obama... when you don't know shit?"


Saturday, January 31, 2009

au jourd'hui c'est mon anniversaire!

At 12:05am, I was awoken from slumber by Amt. I was lying on his bed. Ingat nak baring2 je, sekali tertidur.

He tapped on my feet... I slowly opened my eyes. Then the three of them sang in unison... "Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday to Along... Happy birthday to you!"

All with wide grins on their faces.

Ahhh... what a wonderful way to be woken up :)

Ina was the first to give me my birthday present on my birthday. A bookmark with my name on it. Isn't it cool? However, the honour of giving me my first present belongs to Nora. A set of Crabtree & Evelyn hand wash and lotion. Macam tau2 je my handwash dah nak habis ;) That, together with a card from K Lell, were the first things I received sempena this year's birthday. They were waiting for me on my desk at work, after a looooooong meeting regarding an upcoming "birthday celebration". The first wishes came a day early from from friends on facebook and via email.

This year I'm spending my birthday with my loved ones (last year I was all alone in Seoul)... and it feels wonderful!!

After a bit of pampering with a pre-planned facial (I knew I needed some "help" after my umrah trip... the scorching desert sun wrecks havoc on my skin), I went to KLCC for some shopping with Ina, Amt and Mama. Got a pair of shoes (Thanks Mama!), a lipstick (Thanks Amt!) and I treated myself to 2 pairs of slippers and some lingerie (partly sponsored by Bonuslink birthday vouchers).

Singgah kejap kat Habib... trying all sorts of ring. Mama offered to buy me one... within a predetermined budget of course (although I'm free to top up if I wish for something nicer, hehe). Oooohhh, so tempted! But the one I liked costs almost the same as my umrah trip and I don't feel nice about having Mama spending so much on me. So I just said "tak pe lah...". If I really want it, sampai termimpi2 tonight, then I might just go there tomorrow and get it. I'm still not into the habit of spending that much moolah on items. Holidays takpe ;)

Papa arrived home from his Alor Star trip around maghrib. The plan was to go for a dinner celebration, but we were still full from our makan2 at KLCC foodcourt and Papa wasn't feeling so well. So postponed to tomorrow.

Also postponed was a surprise outing that Ina and Amt has planned for me. Patutnya nak buat today but since I had my facial appointment, so we'll do it tomorrow. I wonder what it will be. All Ina said was to wear comfortable clothes and shoes, and to bring my SLR along. She said she wanted to take me to do something/somewhere that I haven't been doing/been to for a while. Hmm... I'm not going to spoil myself by over analysing that and will let it be. A surprise is going to be much better without any expectation kan? But my guess is that we'll go somewhere yg kena jalan while taking photos. Bird park maybe? She said that we will leave around 8:30am and will habis by 3pm.

So... to all my dear friends and family, near and far... thanks so so so so so much for the birthday wishes. They mean so much to me, to know that you care to remember (albeit I'm pretty sure some are with the assistance of technology aka facebook, hehe) and that you made the effort to send in the greetings.

To a year of happiness, good health, penuh rahmat and keberkatan. AMIN!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

the holy lands...

I wish I could stay there longer. Where there are no worries, nor stress. Just peace and sense of calmness.

12 days passed by so quickly... too quickly.

I have tales to tell... lessons... reminders, but that's for another entry. For now, I just wanted to leave these photos here, with hopes that I'll be visiting again... soon! :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

18 muharram...

We remember our birthdates on the Gregorian calendar, but how many of us know or even celebrate our birthday on the Islamic calendar?

This year, secara kebetulan, I am celebrating... in a good way. Because today (in about 15 hours' time) I'll be on board a plane towards Madinah & subsequently tanah suci Makkah.

I hope for a good start to my Xth year on earth... one that is blessed and filled with contentment.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

39 tips to a better life in 2009...

1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day.. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.

2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.

3. Buy a DVR and tape your late night shows and get more sleep.

4. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, 'My purpose is to __________ today.'

5. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.

6. Play more games and read more books than you did in 2008.

7. Make time to practice meditation, and prayer. They provide us with daily fuel for our busy lives.

8. Spend time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of 6.

9. Dream more while you are awake.

10. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.

11. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli, almonds & walnuts.

12. Try to make at least three people smile each day.

13. Clear clutter from your house, your car, your desk and let new and flowing energy into your life.

14. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, OR issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

15. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.

16.. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.

17. Smile and laugh more. It will keep the NEGATIVE BLUES away.

18. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

20. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

21. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

22. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.

23. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

24. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

25. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will this matter?'

26. Forgive everyone for everything.

27. What other people think of you is none of your business.

28.REMEMBER GOD heals everything.

29. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

30. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

31. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

32. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

33. The best is yet to come.

34. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

35. Do the right thing!

36. Call your family often.. (Or email them to death!!!)

37. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements: I am thankful for __________. Today, I accomplished _________.

38. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.

39. Enjoy the ride. Remember this is not Disney World and you certainly don't want a fast pass. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy the ride.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2009 wishlist...

People usually make resolutions. I'm making wishlists instead...

I wish to...

Cleanse my soul and be a better Muslim. Insyallah the process will start with umrah on 15/1 ni

Do more things with BNM Volunteers

Improve on my kelam-kabut state at work and try be better at it too. Can't continue like this... die lor...

Improve my photography skills and get one of those *photo coffee table* books done (I still haven't printed my 2007 travel photos ;o )

Get a new plush comfy mattress and maybe buy one of those mini laptops.

Be nicer to people around me

Be a good daughter to my parents. Less tantrum (hehe) and do more for them

Visit see more of the world: Hoping to visit Stockholm, Prague, Vienna, Austrian mountains, Paris, Angkot Wat, Terengganu and Kota Kinabalu (again), Tokyo

Lose weight!! haha

Sign up for Haji

Cukup lah... for now :)