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Showing posts from 2010

Looking Forward to 2011

We had a very fruitful meeting yesterday. Met up with my ex-lecturer from UPM - Prof Musa - for this project we are pursuing. I think he too was curious because after nearly 10 years, I contacted him just in time for his retirement (the day he read my email, he was retiring the week after). And he still remembered us - me and Eza.

He's such an attentive and excellent listener. I guess we didn't know how to approach the subject and the bits and pieces that Eza explained (the pleasure was hers to tell the Prof since she's our Comm person) he actually understood and grasped them well. I had some slides printed so that he can read before we started, but he smiled, put the envelop under his arm and listened. And he even gave us ideas on how to make our project better. His ideas on "modal insan" are now scribbled in my notes waiting to be expanded.

And good news is - he was as excited as we are and he accepted our offer to become the advisor for the project. Now the bits…

3 Things This Year

It is merely days to the new year. While it's a cliche to say "how time flies!", I'm going to say it anyway - "how time flies!". My three reflections of the year:

1. Work wise: it has been a fruitful year with 2 major projects. Full of challenges and hardships but so very worth it. The year when traveling to Kuantan is like just going to KL for a meeting. The projects really heighten our portfolio.

2. Cats wise: took care of 2 cats and lost both of them. First it was Bubu whom I missed terribly. Then, Kiki that we rescued from a dumpster, who transformed into a cat people thought we bought, and then lost. Another traumatic loss. I still pray always that whoever took our cats take really good care of them.

3. Personal matters: that (permanent) heavy feelings were partially lifted off my chest when I met this sister and poured my heart out. And that made this year a teeny-weeny bit better. But overall, I'm still the "forgive but not forget" person …

Like Mommy Like Daughter

I love soundtracks. When I was younger (much younger than now), after catching a movie I really like, I would buy the soundtrack and listen to it in the car. Dulu-dulu beli cassette je, so murah. I remember when I was doing my practical teaching at a school in Banting, I used to give this Form 2 girl, who goes to the same school, a lift. I always had the soundtrack of The Lion King on. She would give me funny looks especially when the songs like Hakuna Matata was on - like I am this crazy woman listening to cartoon songs and funny instrumental music.

Whenever I catch her giving such looks, I would tell her - "Listening to songs is one of the best ways to learn English, you know. Like these songs, you can just listen and understand the whole story." I was so sure she was very relieved that she didn't get me as her English teacher.

Now, my little girl has developed the same funny characteristic - she too loves soundtracks. I didn't really realise this at first because us…

Kena Kuat Semangat

At times, when energy and spirit are low, I really struggle to motivate myself, let alone others. Rasa macam dah tak ada energy nak move forward. And I get irritated easily. And when I'm irritated, I get angry. Maybe I should hire someone just to kick all of us in the ass. Seriously. Including myself.

I always remind myself, and others in my team - Google is NOT the first search engine, and Facebook is NOT the first social networking site. And as Hubby simply said - Gardenia is NOT the first brand of bread.

So, why get intimidated? Just work to become better if not the best?

I need to be kicked now.

Edible / Herb Garden

My vegetable patch has been abandoned far too long. Now that things are a teeny bit better with space and time to breathe, I've started caring for the patch once again. Especially now that the wet season is here. However, the veges are fighting space with the weeds. Malasnya nak buat weeding actually.

But my dream herb garden is a few steps away from reality (or a few days or weeks - depends). Hubby loved the idea and now has started clearing the designated place to work on the garden (now the word "depends" earlier rely heavily upon his "rajinness"). We have started buying some herb plants - mint and daun kesum, and actually spent the past two weekends at this nursery.
The mint and pokok kesum... I used a bit of the mint in my cooking a few days ago. Very fresh and aromatic.
Also bought this limau kasturi plant. The one we planted when we first moved died. Guess the soil underneath retain too much water. Let's see if this thrives. Hopefully. I would love cons…

Hot Springs Sg Klah - The Negative

Now that I've shown the positive aspects, the only tak best aspect of the hotel was the food. Seriously fail lah. My advise - go eat everywhere else except the Coffee House. We had dinner there because we were lured by the beautiful ambiance we could see from our room. Lagipun, malas nak keluar sebab jauh. The price of food memang hotel standards. But service and food tersangat teruk.

Our order sampai lambat and the food really sucks. Reason was - the chef was on emergency leave. So what kan? The group near to us also had the same bad experience - this group of Chinese who brought guests from Italy. I can imagine their embarrassment. Especially when you order spaghetti bolognese and get spaghetti with canned tomato soup and chunks of tomatoes instead. Aliyah tasted a forkful, said "Mommy punya lagi sedap", put it the dish aside. I will not elaborate on the other dishes because we have been warned actually. We read reviews by other people on some websites before we go.

Anyw…

Hot Springs Sg Klah - The Photos

Some photos of the trip...
The cousins after breakfast...
Aliyah & Nurul...
We found this hidden natural sauna by following the wooden bridge...
Sessi mengurut belakang...

Hot Springs Sg Klah - The Trip

Kalau nak kira, memang tak da masa nak pegi holiday. At first we wanted to compensate getaway with movies - tu yang pegi tengok banyak movies this holidays. But then, rasa tak best pulak. Kesian kat Aliyah asyik ikut we all pegi office every day. So, I planned a little vacation to Sg Klah Hot Springs in Sungkai. The place I stopped by on the way back from Ipoh business trip last year. Just 2D 1N only with my sisters and the newlyweds. We went there yesterday afternoon and came back today. Hasilnya - excellent trip. Must plan another longer trip there!
Sebagai ketua rombongan Cik Kiah, adalah menjadi tanggungjawab akak untuk membahagi-bahagikan bilik, meal vouchers dan strap utk semua orang. We took 3 rooms.
The view from our room - walk straight ahead to the hot springs.
For only RM150 per night (weekdays), I think it was so very worth it. You get either a king size bed or 2 single beds plus an extra mattress. Huge room with bath tub. Beautiful wood interior.
Lots you can do here - enjoy …

A Glimpse of Our New Office

It might be a spur of the moment - ideas coming in, believing the ideas can be made into reality - that we decided to go find a bigger office. And I'd like to call it "petanda dan rezeki dari Allah s.w.t." because we did find an office, with the size we wanted and just 5 minutes from our house. But then, at that moment, we were broke. We didn't have the money to put the deposit for it. Our project payment was delayed and I almost gave up knowing that the office has another interested party - probably much much bigger than us - a language centre.

But then, again Allah permudahkan this effort - a good Samaritan in the form of a hubby of a staff lent us the money. The day I got the keys to the new office in my hands, I slumped in my chair and thought - "what have I done?". I stared at the keys. My hands cold as ice. Am I really really going to do this? But then, I guess it is too late to think anymore. There is no turning back. I have to move on.

We immediately …

Narnia - The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Three movies in 3 weeks! Today we watched another "must" film - Narnia 3. On 2nd day of release. Hehehe... that's the good thing of having Alamanda almost at your doorstep. Only that Alamanda doesn't have 3D which is not really a problem to us.

(Putting religious elements aside) I love the movie. My little family enjoyed it very much. There's this thing that's stuck in my heart up till now. If that feeling is there, I consider it a good movie. It's quite an adventure, a voyage, at one point I think I might get seasick. The whole story was basically in a ship smack in the ocean. There's water everywhere. There are fights, magic, serpent and dragon, emotions, comedy (Eustace was sooo funny!), and most importantly - the handsome heart-dropping Prince Caspian.

The end was so so sad. But then, the song by Carrie Underwood is not so sad compared to the previous movie (The Call by Regina Spektor). But still, bertakung juga air mata...
Hmmm....

Another MAHA Trip

We didn't go on Tuesday as planned. Too many things to do. Thought we'd not go. But today, Miqdam came to the office and asked if we would like to follow him to MAHA after Friday prayers because he needed to send over a ladder to his boys. Siap bakar semangat saying - "Bila lagi nak pegi? Tinggal 2 hari je nih! Miq boleh bawak terus sampai dalam!"

So, after our team's brainstorming session, we went - me, Aliyah and Linda. Hubby ku sakit lutut pulak. By the time we reach there it was almost 4pm. So we went around to the places we didn't manage to cover the last time. First, a short stop to see the rodeo show. Aliyah is suckers for horses. Then, the Fish Showground - quite passable for me, except Aliyah kinda like the aquarium. Next, the Vegetable Showground. I so, so lurve that place - bursting with vegetables! There was this sample of edible garden - a small pond with all herbs and vegetables around. Fantastic idea. I must try to create that.

Then, terpaksa men…

Rapunzel - a Tangled Tale

I decided that we should take a little break today and go catch a movie. For the past 2 weeks, I wake up in the morning with body ache. I work almost every day, and still it doesn't seem enough. There's always things to do. And this translation work is killing my back.

So, a Disney movie that promises lots of laughter is just the right remedy. We caught the 11.30am show. The verdict - as other Disney movies - very entertaining and funny. Maybe not as funny as Pixar movies. My favourite? Maximus!

Kiki No More

I delayed writing this hoping and praying that he comes home but it has been 1.5 week now... Sunday last week, he naughtily followed Nurul and Fatiyah home. They walked back home from our place and he chased after them. At one point he actually stopped following. By then it was already Maghrib, so Hubby said he would go search for him after prayers. That was the last time we saw Kiki.

We made fliers and posters. Some people came to us saying they recognise Kiki but that Sunday night was the last time they saw him. Seemed he's quite well-known around these few lanes. Our Vet's "intelligence" said he might be taken away.

Aliyah seemed OK. She's very good at hiding her feelings. But she refused to store away Kiki's toys - the dog and teddy-bear. She said they remind her of him. And after prayers, till today, she would doa: "Ya Allah, semoga kucing saya Kiki balik. Saya sangat sayang dan rindu pada dia."

I really hope, if he's now with another family, …

Wana's Birthday

Lepas balik from MAHA and had a good lunch of asam pedas kat Seksyen 16 Bdr Baru Bangi, we went back to my parents' place and terbongkang. Penat weh... Then at 5pm we celebrated Wana's birthday. Not many are around. Small celebration je.
Birthday girl dengan cake yang dia mintak. Nampak macam puas hati.
Miq the contractor and tourist guide baru bangun tido.
Acara memotong kek.

MAHA Trip

Dah buat plan to go to MAHA since last week. Saja nak bawak my father jalan-jalan. We went there in 2 cars. Seawal 9.15am we all dah sampai. Parking was easy, tak lah penuh tapi kereta banyak. Breakfast kat sana and then jalan-jalan dengan diketuai oleh tourist guide Encik Miqdam. Dia memang berkampung kat sana for the past week sebab dapat contract pasang lampu.

The trip was fun la jugak. Hubby and me sempat beli pokok ciku and a small pot rosemary. But then, by 12.30pm my father nampak macam penat je, so we decided to go back. Only managed to cover 1/4 of the place - kawasan penternakan saja. Itu pun dah penat gila rasa. We plan to go again this Tuesday - kalau tak banyak kerja la.

Still penat nih!
Buah nangka madu yang sama besar dengan badan Aliyah!
Dah namanya kandang lembu memang la bau. Interesting to see various kinds of cows and goats. Lembu besar dua kali ganda lembu biasa pun ada.
Rabbit farm.
Machinery section.

Cake for Wana

I just finished making a birthday cake for Wana. Her birthday is actually on 30th but celebrating today. My anak-anak sedara dah tak nak beli kek kat kedai sekarang. Dok order from me. Tak cantik pun actually. Sebab "customizable" kot :). Wana ordered last month. Siap nak colour purple macam Abang Ijam punya wedding cake. And vanilla cake.

So here it is...
Not symmetrical and horrible writing. Lesson learned - next time must wear specs when icing cake. Akak rabun dekat lah uols. I sandwiched this cake with some icing mixed with blueberry jam.

RIP LC

I got the news from ex-ITP FB status. My ex-boss Lim Chong died in flight on the way back from assignment in London. It was certainly such sad news. I couldn't really sleep last night. I thought of my days working at ITP - my "real" first job. And of the kind of person LC was.

I remember during my first week, I haven't gotten my PC yet and had to rotate using other sub-editors' PCs and on one busy day all PCs were occupied, he got me to use his PC. So there I was sitting in his cubicle, on his chair, using his PC while he sat across me checking print-outs. He smiled saying that day I was the boss.

I remember he would chase us to go home early on Wednesdays especially after heavy issues. I remember he would wait for all of us to go back home, no matter how late it was, before he himself went home. I remember visiting him after my issue came out when I was the OC to ask for his opinion and he would stumble and stutter (in giving his comments) and finally say "OK…

New Ventures

Things have been hectic for the past 2 weeks. Finally this translation work has passed the critical stage - stage 2. Now there are less than 200 pages more to go. So, even though I still makan translation, tido translation, at least things look brighter. The end is near. I always ensure that my projects are completed within timeline. Kalau salah client tak apa, jangan salah kita. And kalau salah client tapi kita pun sama menumpang salah, pun tak apa. Can always blame it on the client! Hehehe... Payment is on the way. Alhamdulillah...

There are a couple more reasons for such hectic days. My adrenalin rush has been at the maximum level for the past few weeks. One - we have this idea that we are actively pursuing. It is still at the idea stage but progressing well. Insyaallah if things are well, it will be our main source of steady income. I pray this will be a reality. My motivation is Aliyah. I must do this for her. She is the source of this idea and inspiration. At times when my energy…

Harry Potter - Deathly Hallows

We managed to watch it today. As usual, it's quite easy to get tickets at Alamanda. We actually bought the tickets yesterday. Nak book online macam serik sikit sebab bila collect selalu dapat seat tengah even though yang atas still banyak. Might as well go a day earlier and buy tickets.

Some people say this installment is boring. You just have to be a Potter books fan to appreciate I guess. To me it was excellent. A bit draggy but then that's what the first part of the book is like. All these horcrux stuff + intro to deathly hallows = quite a lot to grasp. There will be more to understand and associate in the 2nd part especially about the wands - of Voldermort's, Harry's, Dumbledore's and Malfoy's i.e. who took whose and in the end who really possess the elder wand. Have to wait 6 more months for that!

Of course being a movie there are a lot of differences compared to the book. But this movie followed the book quite closely compared to the previous movies. And th…

Hari Raya Haji

Food galore. But I didn't snap a single picture.

We went back to Melaka on Tuesday afternoon. Brought along Nurul & Fathiyah. The roads were clear. Then, the usual task of cooking, well I helped kacau rendang si Mijah. Bila rasa je - aik, apasal rasa macam rendang akak selalu masak je? Padahal recipe orang lain! Tangan orang yang mengacau rendang tu yang determine rasanya kot... That night the others started to come back. Rumah full house.

This Raya was a BBQ event. We had BBQ in Melaka first on the afternoon of Hari Raya - beef, chicken, siakap, prawns & squids. Memanglah sangat yummy. Since the pit was a make-shift yang sangat comel, it took some time to cook everything. At 2.30 Miqdam called asking when we'll be coming back sebab dia dah nak start pasang api dah. With tummy stretched to the maximum, we drove back to Bangi, and arrived just in time for the first batch of BBQ on the pit. Another round of BBQ food. My BIL Abang Din sempat menyalai daging. Dengar kata nak…

MP3 Player Sudah Digenggaman

The collection Aliyah got + her pocket money entitled her to a = Sony MP3 Player! (From a starting budget of RM68 [yg China punya] telah meningkat naik sehingga RM159). So, di sini akak ingin mengucapkan terima kasih byk2 kepada semua yang telah menyumbang kepada tabung bantuan pembelian MP3 Player Aliyah Maisarah.

Aliyah was so so happy. Now that she's asleep, I'm now listening to this fantastic tiny sound system. (Secara tiba2 mendapat inspirasi utk ke gym semula - must make my own folder in this player).

MP3 Player Menjadi Idaman

When Nurul got an MP3 player as birthday gift, Aliyah told us she wants one too. Most people say an only child gets all her wish. But not Aliyah of course. We don't comply to all of her royal wishes. We told her she needs to earn it - via saving up her pocket money + other money that she might get from other people such as those gifts from her grandparents, the pisang money, the recycled cans & plastics money, etc. So, she has been diligently saving up for the past weeks.

I actually foresee she will save up enough some time early next year. But then, as always, rezeki dia alhamdulillah selalu murah. She might be getting her MP3 player next week! Let's see - her Pak Ben gave RM10 for her (belated) birthday, she got RM20 from her Acik Jal because she got good results plus the RM20 she got here and there, plus her own savings of about RM15, and today my father called me asking how her end of year results are. He promised to give all his grandchildren RM10 for each "A"…

Of Results

It is a day of exam results.

My niece Nurul got 3As and 2Bs for her UPSR. I had just dropped Aliyah at school today, made a U-turn and saw her waving frantically. Took her home - with me being the first person she shared her results with. (I think she's one of the few who didn't have parents with her at school today).

With the rough times she's been going through this year - parents separating, siblings problem, financial constraints (can't afford to go to tuition), and many other stuff, that is such an excellent result. I am very proud of her. To me - that is the "true" results of a student - so so so much better than the "drilled" down students who scored all As who are byproducts of tuition centers.

Aliyah got her report card today. She got no 10! She got her BM, English, Maths, Science = A. And her BM Penulisan = B. The other subjects not counted in overall marks are all = A (the usual Arts, etc), Agama = B, and Arab C. I think this year she has im…

Last 2 Weeks of Being a Standard 3

Time sure flies. Rasanya macam baru je Aliyah masuk primary school. Her days as a Std 3 pupil will end in 2 weeks time. She got the result of her last paper today - English. Apparently, with my expectation low, she became more relaxed and she actually got A for all subjects except her Agama which is B. Quite an achievement I must say considering she didn't study much. Not to mention her not being well for some time.

Must get her a nice present.
Yg selalu tunggu kat pagar is her Abah. At times we take turns. Dulu fetching her from school was usually my sole task.
I really worry about her heavy school bag lah... Hope tak affect posture.

Makan-makan Sambut Nizam & Zura + Birthday Nurul

A day of eating and eating excellent food. The pictures tell the story.
Lunch lauk kampung - masak tempoyak ikan patin & ayam kampung masak lemak cili api by Abang Din. Know what, of all the trips we took to Kuantan, never ever did we eat ikan patin there. Sebab my BIL masak memang sedap, so we always wait for him to cook for us whenever he buys ikan patin at his hometown Temerloh. The verdict - tengoklah my father mencapai mangkuk lauk tu!
Nurul cutting the cake. This is one of the best chocolate moist cake I've ever made I think - very high in cocoa & coffee, less sugar, very fluffy butter cream (thanks to Hubby yg sama tolong) with also less sugar.
Acara buka hadiah. We all (us & my Kak Long) shared to buy Nurul MP3 player. Punyalah dia excited dapat!
The kids kept on menempel onto Zura - their latest cousin.
My mother got her wish - menyambut pengantin baru.

Birthday Cake for Nurul

Just finish icing this birthday cake for my niece Nurul. The party will be today. Sekali dengan makan-makan menyambut Nizam & Zura. My mother dah 2 minggu sibuk nak buat this makan-makan sebab lepas kenduri hari tu ramai down tergolek with fever sebab penat sgt.

Right now my Abang Din and Kak Long are cooking ikan patin tempoyak at my Mom's place. Sedapnya... They came back from Temerloh yesterday. Patin Sg Pahang. Tadi dengar kata tengah bersihkan ayam jugak. Sure ayam kampung masak lemak cili api tu. Today akak tak tolong masak ya. Penat lah. Datang makan je dan bawak cake.
Chocolate moist cake. Nurul requested nak cake warna pink. Since some of us don't really like chocolate (yes, yours truly actually don't eat chocolate - quite rare for a woman huh!), I made another cake - carrot cake. Hubby yg request actually and dia dgn rajin tolong parut carrot and ice the cake with cream cheese topping. Wah, sudah pandai ya.

Once Upon a Kiki

Montel and debab describe him fairly! Selalu tunjuk terrer dengan lari laju kejar burung (never get a single one!) and panjat pokok (takut tak dapat turun je). Early mornings he would jump onto our bed and sit at the headboard looking out of the window.
Hubby came home one day to this.
Fat huh!