Monday, August 31, 2009


Its been a long time since merdeka was this quiet.

Sadly, it doesnt feel like independence day. with the street decoration at the barest minimum, i can even count the flags & the banners. theres no excitement in the air, the merdeka promos & activities are few and far between and theres hardly anything that differentiates today from any other public hols.

[apart from the mandatory countdown & parade of course]

Oh i agree, we shouldnt need external trappings to feel the joy of independence, that it should come from the heart. but with the nation at such a disheartened state right now, it would certainly help things along.

Anyway, in the spirit of merdeka, i huffed & puffed to 8k ;)

Then it was back to minding the household. With the Cikgu scheduled to leave for lipis by 4pm and having my bros over for iftar, it promised to be a quite a busy day. leaving by 4 means the cikgu would need his stuff ready by noon and getting his stuff ready would usually require a trip to the mall. there'll also be the extra cleaning & cooking with the bros coming. and with only this pair of hands on me i needed some sort of plan. first, focus on cikgu's needs and once he leaves, focus on having guests for iftar.

Hah.. so much for planning!!!

AF didnt get up until after 2pm, the result of staying up all nite fiddling with his phone and laptop. we didnt get to shop till about 3pm and ended up stuck at tesco till almost 6pm. by that time my bros had already arrived and it was a good thing i'd already cooked fish curry and black pepper mushroom chicken while waiting for cikgu to join the land of the living.

I wanted to stop at one of my fav haunts and buy additional dishes to spice up my dinner table but time wasnt on my side. so in desperation i ended up buying a barrel of kfc before leaving tesco. at least it would make the nieces & nephew happy and hopefully, the bros wont brand me a lazy akak lol.

[have i ever mentioned the fact that nico is also a huge fan of the colonel?]


By the time we reached home it was already 6.30pm, less than an hour away from maghrib and definitely long past the original 4pm. i cant tell you enough how much i hate the thought of my son driving down to lipis, or anywhere for that matter, after nitefall. the very idea gives me nightmares. its not his driving that worries me, its mechanical failure.. and the fact that i just dont like to tempt providence.

But after a long & heated discussion with the cikgu & my bros, i concurred that it was probably best that the cikgu left after iftar & solat.

Which he did and is now alhamdulillah, safe in lipis and probably in the middle of a class.

I'm glad he stayed because having my bros & family around always liven things up for us. tak kering gusi dengan gelagat cik bree, mat cahir & cik fifie. although we're all here in the klang valley (except my sis who's back in trengganu with her mom; my stepmom), we seldom get to meet due to commitments & crazy work schedule. thats why theres always much rejoicing when we do :)

My youngest bro had gone back to trengganu recently and brought me some duku and keropok gote (lekor). the boys even had with them 6 bottles of 'nira' or in trengganu speak 'tuak' which isnt 'tuak' per se. seems that in trengganu, 'nira' is referred to as 'tuak', while the usual 'tuak' is already considered 'arak'. confusing? heh, dont ask me, i'm already easily confused as it is lol.

We ate, talked, goofed around and ate & talked summore. it turned out to be a very good day :)

[but still missing you la abe!!]

Workout Log
AM - 8km/60mins/TSA

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The show of mercy

..for blundering idiots like me makes me feel blessed.

These days i always seem to find myself in hot soup bcos i keep forgetting stuff. its worse when it has to do with time. i'll be mixing up the dates & times for meetings, appointments, kid's tuitions etc. and i guess my fast deteriorating 'CPU' is the culprit.

This morning i screwed up the timing between my run and AH's tuition. picture me humming a song or two, happy to be having the whole morning to myself, taking my own sweet time getting ready, and just as i was about to leave my room, i heard a sleepy voice say something which sounded like "jangan lupa tusyen esah".. and that semi coherent sentence stopped me dead in my tracks (AH usually bunks down in my room after sahur).

Alamak.. memang lupa pun!!

"Eh tak lah.. ma saje je nak lari dulu nanti ma balik.. esah siap je ler."

The denial spewed spontaneously out of my mouth, quick as a bullet. as usual, answer first think later.

But going ahead with my plan meant either cutting my run short or hitting the track like a mad hound (which certainly wasnt a viable option considering that my old ticker could up & die on me anytime it wanted to lol).

Haaish, and i was sooo looking forward to a good long run (dont be fooled, for me 4-5km is already considered a long run hehehe).

And as predicted i only had time to squeeze in 3 small loops which amounts to a measly 3k. i consoled myself with the thought that anything, be it sekangkang kera or selangkah gajah, was better than nothing so i made my way back, picked up my daughter and dutifully deposited her at her tuition's.

Of course by this time the sun was already up & shining brightly. the sun spells a quick death to my energy bcos heat has always been my greatest enemy. it can deplete my storage in a second and sent me tripping all over the place. when i'm tired i start dragging my feet and by dragging my feet i tend to trip, which isnt a good thing bcos i might fall flat on my face, but i havent done so just yet (but who's to say that i wont?).

As the voices in my head slowly quietened down, and taking the 2nd roundabout bound for home (shah alam has plenty of roundabouts), the Lord in all His mercy took pity on me and sent me..... clouds!! heheheh, yes, the weather changed right in front of my eyes and before i knew it He'd given me back '8 am' !!

It was suddenly cool & breezy once more and not one to question my good fortune, i immediately changed directions and headed straight for the lake once again. rezeki jangan sekali-kali ditolak and parking at the exact same spot i did earlier (which gave me a feeling of dejavu), i continued where i left off as if nothing had happened!!

Woot woot :D

And to my delight i ended up doing a total of 7km and feeling energised all the way!!

It was indeed an unexpected gift, THANK YOU :D

Abe - 2 weeks is going to feel like a lifetime when you wait it out second by second.. and that my darling is what i'll be doing!! just get ur business done as quickly & as efficiently as you can and get ur ass back home pronto ok ;)
AF - it must be 'fun' trying to keep the right balance between ur mates & ur gf hehehe.
AI - its just the 3 of us tonite so u get more of the rendang but u also get to become the imam muahahaha.
AH - 3 tuitions in a day deserves whatever you want for dessert ;)

Workout Log
AM - 3k/25mins/4k/30mins - TSA

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Assessments & quit rents

.. are part & parcel of having landed property. and it can sometimes leave quite a hole in your pocket.

The hubs & me, we're big on sharing (viruses included lol) and that also means pooling our incomes together. when the kids were growing up things always got pretty tight so every little bit counted. and as we got ahead in life, managing from one source made everything so much easier and particularly now that i've been appointed 'caretaker'.

The downside? neither of us have a secret stash to gloat or go nuts over. whatever savings we have are savings we painstakingly put aside together.. yup, to-ge-ther. although its under our individual names, its still family money. and to this day my mom thinks i'm a dumb fool for not hoarding a top secret standby fund, something that according to her, all women should have in case her man leaves her high & dry.

I dunno.. she may have a point there but i just havent gotten down to it (and suspect i never will lol). i guess i'm stooopid that way.

Ok, i digress.

Back to assessments & quit rents. bcos it can be quite a substantial amount, the city/town council and state govt usually break it up into 2 parts, payable half yearly, with bills sent out way in advance. so you'd think that after years of paying up we'd learn not to do it at the very last minute right? that we'd swear off the stress, the anxiety, the long queues, the overall inconvenience and plan our time better? that we'd still vividly recall the horrors of the IRS payment dateline?

Weeell.. the congestion at the drive thru counter says otherwise lol.

[maybe we're all masochists at some level or other ekekekeh]

The deadline for the 2nd half of the assessment fee or cukai pintu is 31st August, which happens to be a public holiday. so in case you're both a procrastinator & a scatterbrain like me, theres still time (though not much) to get it settled. these days you can even do it online.

I just hate it when i have to pay the fines. and i'm guessing you do too ;)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Less than a week to..

merdeka and somehow i get this feeling we're not really all that excited about it.

Maybe even as bored & as listless as nico is looking as he contemplates his day.

Having one of the late yasmin's inspirational ad campaigns would help i suppose but thats just not possible anymore (may her soul RIP).

As would a better economy & more creative governance.


Since none of that is forthcoming, i guess we'd better dig deep and try to find some meaning to all of this bcos whatever the mess we're in right now might just get messier.


Lets get excited about being free all over again. lets be thankful for the courage & sacrifice of our forefathers. lets hold hands.. for the good of the nation and more importantly, for the sake of our children's future.


[a soldier's daughter is a soldier's daughter to the day that she dies hehehe]

Abe - hope you'll be getting another invite for iftar today. the thought of you breaking fast alone is heart wrenching la yang. wish i was there with you :(
AF - so yesterday's 'outing' must've been a success since you came back grinning worse than a cheshire cat heheh. good for you darling :)
AI - we'll see about the weekend ok yang. i dont want to commit bcos my energy level seem to be fluctuating way out of hand these days. ma cuba usahakan k.
AH - study my sweetie pie, study!!

Workout Log
Nil, Nada, Zilch (no running when i'm having my monthly).

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tempers & Temperaments

I sometimes wonder where the people with even temperaments disappear to during ramadhan.

Do they have a secret hiding place or something?

Because if they do, could someone please send word that they're needed back ASAP!!

There always seem to be a marked increase in the level of impatience this time of the year. at the supermart.. is the crowd less friendly, the salesgirl less helpful, the cashier less obliging? on the roads.. are the drivers more kiasu than usual, more bent on destruction?

And strangely enough the level keeps increasing as the day progress, the climax being the last few hours to iftah. this is the time when everyone starts rushing about in a mad dash, with little or no regard to manner or safety. zombies, to a certain extent, oblivious to their surroundings, intent only on getting what they desire.

Along with the honking.. "i gotta get home on time so get outta my way!!" honk honk!!

Behind that smileless face.. "sheesh hurry up and make your choice lady. i know what i want so let me have that senduk already!!"

Sometimes theres shoving, sometimes theres shouting, and if looks could kill there'd be many a dead body littering the streets.

If we were to embrace the real spirit of ramadhan and share in the compassion, surely the ugliness would be firmly kept at bay.

Ramadhan.. oh ramadhan.

AH is fully utilising her school hols. shes not only revising her schoolwork but taking time to sharpen her... culinary skills. yup, masuk dapur.. hehehe anak dara la katakan. actually she & her bros are no stranger to the kitchen. although they each have their own area of interest (AF specialises in improvisation, AI has a thing for authentic cuisine, AH experiments with baking & chilli api dishes), the AA family shares one common thing - we all love to eat lol.

Today its bread pudding, and considering its an untried recipe she googled from the net, it turned out quiet well. although a bit different from the family recipe where the texture of the pudding is similar throughout, the soft eggy bottom and textured bread top is a welcomed change. originally intended for her bf, AH baked extra for AF.. he'd been invited to iftar at EV's house and the bread pudding by his little sis would be a nice touch. i was at work and unable to contribute anything.

Hope all's well at EV's tonite ;)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Flip Flaps

.. are my current fascination ;)

The gentle movements can be peacefull.. and.. quite.. mersmerising... sometimes

zzzZZZZzzzzz ZZzzz

(ekekekeh.. taking a break from a tediously tedious report)

I'm cooking freshly caught crabs today, courtesy of my officemate whose hubby seem to have easy access to fresh-anything-from-the-sea. me thinks what started out as a hobby has now become a surplus, lucky us ;)

What would go well with the belimbing besi i 'd just picked from mak's tree?

Masak lemak perhaps?

Hmmm.. we'll see.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ahad yang meriah

.. dengan gurau dan tawa anak2 :)

Cikgu had invited his gf over for iftah and made 2 requests 1. to have spaghetti & meatballs on the menu 2. to have our solats at home with him as imam.

Both the requests were reasonable enough.. spaghetti i can handle but the imam part was totally on his shoulders ;)

Initially AH wasnt too happy with the arrangement (she's more of a 'nasi' person just like her abah.. anything else isnt really a meal in their book) but was reassured when i convinced her that rice would still be served. after all i was planning to grill a couple of lamb chops which could be eaten with both. as could the brocolli & cheese (with chilli api thrown in) and the mushroom soup.

And to seal the deal, her bf called to say he'd be able to make it after all because his earlier plans were cancelled. so she ended up a very happy little camper lol.

I didnt mind, the more the merrier :)

[wish you were here with me la abe, seronok tenguk gelagat anak2]

I had already cooked the spaghetti-o earlier but left the chops to the kids.. i wanted them to marinate it any way they please. there was teriyaki, worscestershire, tabasco, sourcream, plain yoghurt and herbs/spices to experiment with and experiment they did lol. AI was supposed to take over the brocolli since he'd been having a lot of practice cooking with his friends last year but he weaseled his way out of it.. letih katanye (tak habis2 nak bermanje ya lol). and cikgu.. hah cikgu abandoned the kitchen after only 10mins because the 'aromas' he said, was driving him crazy ekekeh. so in the end it was left to the 'ladies' to finish up (tapi tak la banyak mana pun).

It was your regular lazy, laid-back sunday afternoon and nobody wanted to go out looking for 'kueh' (plus the fact that the 'cold room' was just at the right temperature to hibernate lol). so it was a good thing that EV had brought along her mom's suji cake (she says its also known as the loooove cake) and AZ had earlier bought agar2 strawberry & murtabak. which took care of desert :)

With good company (plus lots of anime & AH's keyboard) the time just flew by.

Before we knew it, it was iftar.

Then the solat.

And suddenly it was already time for EV & AZ to leave.

So soon?!!

We'll just have to do this again kids :D

Workout Log
AM - 5k/40mins/TSA.. a cool breezy morning made for running!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Running in Ramadhan

I like running. i dont just do it for fitness & health, i do it because it calms me. the stress, the serabut-ness, the restlessness gets washed away with the sweat and in its place is peace (although temporary) and renewed faith in myself.

So i'm hoping to be good for another couple of years.. at least until my creaky joints give up on me lol.

And because fatigue seems to set in pretty quickly for me these days, there are a couple of things i must consider if i dont want the running to jeopardise my ramadhan. 1. run only in the mornings 2. take it slow & easy 3. liquids over food to stay hydrated 4. make room for siestas to stay energized & to make up for the late nites.

Also to keep it realistic at about 3 runs a week. if i can manage more than i'll consider it a bonus :)

First day into fasting and already my patience was sorely tested. plans for a quick tasik get-away was thwarted this morning by AI's flat tyre. with his car blocking the driveway, no one could leave unless we moved it, so, like it or not i had to settle the matter. we later found a big nail and cracks on the surface of the rubber.

I hadnt realised that changing tyres could be fun. we had a flat but we were laughing our heads off!! the most hilarious being the time when we tried to unscrew the nuts. there were 2 stubborn nuts that just wouldnt budge and at one point i was bouncing on the wheel brace like a crazy idiot without any results!! it took a sledge hammer (you wouldnt want to know how i happen to have one lol) to do that ;)

Lucky thing it was a cool & breezy morning bcos it still felt good even though it was already close to 9 when i started.

Cikgu arrived around 3pm, a little hyper as a result of living alone with only himself as company lol. and iftar was a merry affair with everyone at the table except golfman.

You are so missed my darling!! oh but AF did a prettty good job as the imam tonite.. you would've been proud (even with all the goofing that usually happens when the kiddoes get together lol).

Workout Log
AM - 4k/35 mins/TSA

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ramadhan Al-Mubarak

.. jom hiasinya seindah mungkin :D

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Its almost here

.. and i have to decide how best to handle it without golfman around.

AH says she prefers performing the solat/tarawih at the state mosque rather than the community surau because although the surau has a friendlier atmosphere, its always close to bursting. the state mosque on the other hand has more room to maneuver and parking's a lot easier too. the only setback is that going to the loo requires a lot more time & effort than usual because the restrooms as well as the ablution areas are quite a distance away.

AI might have nite classes but there're always the other times when he'll be free. maybe on certain bz days he can also take over abah's role as imam at home.


We'll surely miss the jemaah sessions with golfman and his 'bullet train' tarawih heheh.

I've also adjusted my working hours to suit the fasting month. i'll be going back to the WP2 group of 8am - 5pm in september (the system doesnt cater to mid month changes). being home earlier would mean more time to get iftar ready.. but even so, without golfman around, i dont think i'll be doing that much cooking anyway. i've thrown the idea to the kids that they get to choose 1 prefered dish each for iftar be it home cooked or bought, and thats it.. we're going to minimise wastage this year.

On a more personal level, i'm hoping to stay energised throughout the nites so that my solat & recitation will be more than previous years. if its one thing i'm sure of, the equation more food=more energy does not hold true during ramadhan. the more i eat, the sleepier i get and thus the more useless.

[Pegi balik pegi ba
lik pasal makan jugak kan.. so kena la hati2]

I hope the kiddoes will weather it well.. especially with the threat of virulent viruses everywhere we turn.

golfman's wallet ;)

AF - sweetheart, you're the type of person who grows wherever you're planted so ma tak la risau sangat, cuma rindu je nak makan semeja.
Abe - i'm not too worried about you either my darling.. you have enough petai stock to carry you into syawal hehehe.

Workout Log
AM - 4k/28mins/TSA

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Food, food & more

.. foooooooooooooooooooood!!

Alhamdulillah rezeki Allah melimpah ruah.. namun kecenderungan kearah pembaziran amat lah besar.

Ramadhan is coming, ramadhan is coming.. thats probably the thought running thru everyone's mind right now. some await in anticipation, some in trepidation.. some couldnt really be bothered. and not unlike the hibernating bear getting ready for the cold winter months, some are 'stocking up' or to be more specific, stuffing ourselves silly.

Remember the ' majlis-es' i had mentioned earlier? if thats not enough, there are also the 'makan2' sponsored by the recipients of the recently conducted Penganugerahan Khidmat Cemerlang as well as the generous souls who find it necessary to feed people just before ramadhan.

[Isnt it more baraqah to feed people during ramadhan?!!]

We've been reminded not to get any breakfast bcos brunch will be provided for the staff today & friday.

Ooh and what a brunch!!

Today the 'offering' include 2 types of ikan bakar (kembong & jaket keluli aka cencaru), ayam goreng (in abundance), gulai lemak ikan masin & nenas, sambal belacan & ulam, kangkung belacan and a wide selection of desert - papaya, honeydew, tapai pulut, kueh kosui, bingka keladi.

I'm stuffed as i write this.. totally & irrevocably stuffed!!

[Orang pi bendang pun tak makan lagu nie aih.. sah la jadi ulaq sawa ekekeh]

And theres still friday..

[Heeeeeeeeeeeeelp!! ]

AH and i had quite a scare last nite when we heard that the people in power might be extending the PLKN for another 2 months making it a total of 5. heh, what are these people thinking? 5 months is almost half a year and that certainly is a huge chunk off a person's life!

5 months? a lot can be done in that period of time. while i do agree that the PLKN has its own merits, there are other things that parents might want to expose their children to. for example, slotting in time for the procurement of their driving license, sending them off to short courses in public speaking or IT or just brushing up on their english as preparation for college. maybe even sewing or cooking classes for both the boys & the girls!!

Some students look forward to that break so that they can experience 'working life' and the joy of earning their own money. there are many ways one can learn about independence & responsibility and PLKN certainly do not hold the monopoly to it. i can vouch from watching my son's short working stints as a temp at secret recipe & long john silver.. catering to the customer's whims, managing co-workers & bosses has thought him skills way beyond what the classroom can offer.

PLKN is not a quick fix. some parents must realise they do not discharge their responsibilities simply by handing over their children to another party. if we cant handle our children, chances are, other people wont be able to either.

[Cukup la 3 bulan tu]

Hope this will be another plan scraped.

Workout Log
PM - Treadmill/3k/speed 6-8/30mins

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fast food frenzy

I wasnt really paying attention to yesterday's announcement over the public address system. i was deeply immersed in a claim, trying my level best to figure out just WTH was the contractor basing his claims on?

So i wasnt aware that they were having the monthly general assembly today. its usually held on a monday being the start of the week and all.. but tuesdays, wednesdays doesnt really make that much of a difference aight, after all anything is possible here in selangor.

It was a great relief to the 'warga suk' when they decided to move the venue for the assembly from the open car park to the dewan jubilee earlier this year. having to listen to people droning on & on & on about 'lapuk' plans & aspirations isnt that bad when you dont have to stay on ur feet in the hot sun (vitamin D or otherwise), trying your best to look alert & interested (there has been many a case of people just conking off in a stupor lol).

On a rotational basis, each agency/jabatan/ PBT in selangor is given the chance to host the monthly assembly and in an effort to show their 'gratitude' at being given the 'honour', we always walk away from such assemblies with a gift/token or ole-ole/buah tangan. usually its a little notebook or pen (or both) or a mug. but lately i'm seeing the onset of a pretty disturbing phenomenon.

Lately, the 'ole-ole' has been oddly enough, fast food!!

It started with Burger King.

Then they gave away McD.

Today its KFC.

Somehow you get the impression that they're vying for the 'most popular jabatan' title, like its a popularity contest or something knowing full well that people would come out in droves at the mention of a free meal, especially when it comes in the form of fast food (the power of branding perhaps?).

Anyway, i still think its disturbingly inappropriate. and fast food isnt that good for health now is it?


Whatever will they think of next?

Abe - wish i could try your beef rendang la yang.. you're fast becoming quite a cook now arent you ;)
AF - i cant tell you how much i truly appreciate your 'reporting in' everynite.. lena skit tido mama :D with you and abah both living alone and so far from home i cant help but worry.
AI - pls do monitor your attendance k darling ;)
AH - whatever you need i will try my best to provide tp its really all up to you sweetie.

Workout Log
AM - 4k/30mins/TSA
PM - 3k/30mins/Treadmill (alternating between speedwalking & jogging)

Monday, August 17, 2009


..or berlari santai was what i did this morning :)

"Hello makcik.. but you've been doing just that all this time what"

I guess i have but the thing is, although i run as slow (and as ungainly) as a penguin, i've never actually considered it as jogging because to me, jogging is when you're able to cruise along effortlessly without a care in the world. for me it has always been an uphill battle and even after 5 years of pounding the pavement, my 4k runs still remain a challenge.

(thats why you & your marathons are such an inspiration to me haza hehehe)

So berlari santai constantly eludes me. there are days when fatigue sets in and its a struggle to finish. and theres always something or other pushing me, mocking me.. be it time (tic toc tic toc.. sempat ke nak punch in nanti), my own evil self (woi makcik apa terhegeh2 je ni) or the track itself (still a looong ways to go ngeh ngeh).

But today, for some unexplainable reason, i was able to block out everything and just cruised along.

Heh.. it was such a peaceful run :)

Maybe i was early and had time to spare. maybe it was the void left behind by golfman. maybe its the calming thought of ramadhan. but whatever it was i'm hoping to recapture the moment because although i was much slower than usual (a fast walker could've easily overtaken me lol) and didnt sweat as much, i still feel good and thats the main thing.

So howzabout a jog round the park people ;)

Workout Log
AM - 4k/35mins/TSA

Sunday, August 16, 2009

He's off again

..and this time, lets take a little peep at where he'll be heading once he lands.

A silent empty house that comes alive only on weekends..

with a balcony that opens up to a cold & souless concrete jungle.

But in case you're starting to think he's stuck in that godforsaken place without any perks whatsoever, well, think again..

There are plenty of beautiful 'sights' that he can rest his tired eyes on ;)

(ooh..but theres also optrex for tired eyes isnt there ekekekeh?)

Abe - semoga selamat sampai. already missing you la.. as always :)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A relaxed run

..marked the end of my weekly 'lepak session' at suria.

It was the closing of AH's six-part spm seminar and this week's module included parents.. we were scheduled to join the children at 11am. i didnt quite relish the idea of turning up sweaty & smelly but the lure of a 'last' run round the peaceful klcc park was just too much for me.

Secure in the knowledge that i had brought with me, not only the stuff necessary to camouflage a body in dire need of a shower but also the strongest perfume i owned (mcm la banyak sangat pun hehehe), i hit the track.

Completing 6 laps was a breeze with AZ as company.. thx sweetie temankan aunty :D

My euphoria was actually what kept me going through the extremely 'outdated' talk that followed. i really expected something better, a more advanced & improved version of what AH's bros went through.

But since i strongly believe in the presence of good even in the most unlikely of places, i'm sure AH has been exposed to yet another angle & perspective in the neverending pursuit of excellence.

Workout Log
AM - 7.8km/50 mins/klcc

Book Excerpts.

Personal - No. 52:
Search for the grain of truth in other opinions.
(from Dont Sweat The Small Stuff by R. Carlson).

If you enjoy learning as well as making other people happy, you'll love this idea.

Almost everyone feels that their own opinions are good ones, otherwise they wouldnt be sharing them with you. One of the destructive things that many of us do, however, is compare someone else's opinion to our own. And when it doesnt fall in line with our belief, we either dismiss it or find fault with it. We feel smug, the other person feels diminished and we learn nothing.

Almost every opinion has some merit, especially if we are looking for merit rather than looking for errors. The next time someone offers you an opinion, rather than judge or criticise it, see if you can find a grain of truth in what the person is saying.

If you think about it, when you judge someone else or their opinion, it really doesnt say anything about the other person, but it says a lot about your need to be judgemental.

I still catch myself criticising other points of view, but far less than i used to. All that had changed was my intention to find the grain of truth in other positions. If you practice this simple strategy, some wonderful things will begin to happen: You'll begin to understand those you interact with, others will be drawn to your accepting and loving energy, your learning curve will be enhanced, and perhaps most important, you'll feel much better about yourself.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Preparing for Ramadhan

I look forward to ramadhan but i cringe at the thought of the inevitable food mania that seem to engulf us everytime it comes around.

Fasting is about abstaining but somehow we end up indulging almost all of our senses.

In fact the madness have already begun. its not even ramadhan and yet food is already in abundance (but when is there ever a shortage of food here in our little corner of the world?).

majlis doa selamat

Most offices have started 'ramadhan awareness' which usually include a short ceramah & dua by a reputable ustaz, or a yassin recitation or both. we had ours this morning, a short & simple session.. just the yassin & dua followed by makan2. but let me tell you, it was quite a spread!!

As usual it was a pot-luck affair and everyone must've been pretty inspired last nite bcos we ended up with a buffet table overflowing with food. there were packs of nasi lemak, pulut kuning & rendang, ayam goreng berempah, sambal sotong. and desert.. oh my, where do i start? moist choc cake, fruit pudding, fresh fruits, bingka gula hangus, tapai pulut, jemput2 pisang, 2 types of currypuffs, 'premature' raya cookies, cheesecake brownies (by yours truly upon the request of my anak2 buah yg manje lol)

anak2 buah ku ;)

Syukur rezeki MU yang melimpah ruah namun beri la kami kebijaksanaan untuk mengendalinya sebaik mungkin.

I need to put on the brakes on this bcos come ramadhan, the situation can escalate from bad to worse. and i also need to remind myself not to get caught up in just the mechanics of my ibadah but to go beyond it, right into the spirit of ramadhan itself.

Its the time i feel closest to my Maker.

The term Ibada (worship and obedience) in Islam applies not only to the formal acts of worship and devotion like Salat , Tilawa, and Dzhikr, but it also applies to worldly acts when performed in obedience to Shariah and with the intention of pleasing Allah. Thus a believer going to work is performing Ibada when he seeks Halal income to discharge his responsibility as a bread-winner for the family.

However a distinction must be made between the two. The first category consists of direct Ibada, acts that are required for their own sake. The second category consists of indirect Ibada --- worldly acts that become Ibada through proper intention and observation of Shariah. While the second category is important for it extends the idea of Ibada to our entire life, there is also a danger because by their very nature these acts can camouflage other motives. (Is my going to work really Ibada or am I actually in the rat race?). Here the direct Ibada comes to the rescue. Through them we can purify our motives, and re-establish our relationship with Allah.

Islam does not approve of monasticism. It does not ask us to permanently isolate ourselves from this world, since our test is in living here according to the Commands of our Creator. But it does ask us to take periodic breaks from it. The mandatory Salat (five daily prayers) is one example. For a few minutes every so many hours throughout the day, we leave the affairs of this world and appear before Allah to remind ourselves that none but He is worthy of worship and of our unfaltering obedience. Ramadan takes this to the next higher plane, providing intense training for a whole month.

So through direct Ibada we "charge our batteries"; the indirect ones allow us to use the power so accumulated in driving the vehicle of our life.

Ramadan is the month for rebuilding our spiritual strength
. How much we benefit from it is up to us.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The heat

.. is my greatest enemy when it comes to fatigue.

Meruap2, rimas, lemas.. and it saps at my energy like a giant siphon. if and when i run in the heat, my feet feels leaden & heavy, each step a monumental achievement. nak menghabiskan each km punye la susah, haish. ni la dia nasib makcik yang semakin meningkat ketuaannya.

AA was home early yesterday and was able to assume some of my duties, namely carting around cik esoh for her tuitions & group studies. and because there was so much time to spare (which was an unsual occurence for him), he even managed a window shopping session at the mall.. which surprisingly resulted in the purchase of a yamaha E323.

Nope, not a yamaha bike or anything similar (i'm kinda wishing it was one of those superbikes; teringin gak nak menenggek ekekeh)

Its a digital keyboard that AH wanted for her birthday.

It took her completely by surprise to find it waiting for her at home. its quite the norm in this family to have presents come much much later (sometimes months) especially if its a substantial request.

The happy look on AH's face was a given but i never expected the glee & excitement radiating from golfman!! he was like a kid with a new toy, cocoh sane cocoh sini.. going absolutely nuts over the many buttons. it then dawned on me that he probably wished he had one of those kiddy organs when he was growing up and was reliving that moment.

PSR E323

Hah.. it was the same with me and AH's barbie doll collection, anak suke tapi mak yang lebih ;)

Our children will always keep us 'young' eh!!

AF - alhamdulillah anak mama dah selamat kat lipis. dont worry too much about the school hols being revoked bcos of the h1n1 case.. que sera sera. its actually worse for your colleagues yang berfamili so bersabar je la k.
AI - you la figure out how best to present 'the proposal' sbb ma mmg tak brape arif pasal tu. and go get your bros input k.
AH - good luck with the HELP UC programme sweetie.. i'm sure you'll handle it as well as you always do :)

Workout Log
AM - 4km/28mins/TSA

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Konvokesyen ke 11 UPSI

After 6 loooong years, AF & his cohorts finally graduated!!

Woo hooo.. Congrats CIKGUs :D

AF & his gf attended the rehearsal yesterday and was confident that all would go well; that even though registration was scheduled to start at 8.30am there wasnt any need to stay overnite. i, on the other hand had my doubts because living next door to UiTM have exposed me to the mad crowd & the berduyun2 of cars each time convo came round.

What if there was a traffic jam going into TM? the toll there is small and the exit narrow. what if we were to get stuck there for a good hour.. or two? what if it got so bad that AF would've to make a mad dash for it with robe all rumpled & top askew? or worse still, what if he was to miss his convo altogether?

With all these thoughts going through my head i didnt really get any sleep and was up pretty early. i was up early, yes... but getting the kiddoes ready was another matter!! if i had me a spade i would've 'dug' them out of their beds in a sec, but i didnt and even with me yakking & nagging (and pulling my hair almost out of their roots) we only managed to leave shah alam by 7.15!!

Hah.. here i was already living out my nightmare!!

With a warning to the kiddoes to buckle up and with AF's speed trap 'beeper' on hand, i just floored the pedal and was at UPSI's carpark with plenty of time to spare.

No, there wasnt even a hint of a jam anywhere. traffic was at a minimum and it seemed like your average working day. no, there wasnt any need to sweat it out because the parking was close to the hall and there was plenty to go round. no, there wasnt any jostling or crowding at any one time because the staff & security from UPSI was always close at hand. in fact the whole ceremony was carried out in an quiet & orderly manner.

Kudos to UPSI :)

Pak Lah was there as a recipient of the Ijazah Falsafah Kehormat. personally, i didnt really appreciate his speech nor see the need for such a long and rambling discourse. dah lama tak berucap kot.

The blast of heat greeting the grads & family immediately upon exiting the hall was in sharp contrast to the coolness of the hall. in fact it actually felt like a heatwave and the crowd outside was already growing more anxious & restless by the minute. fortunately the flower bouquets and gifts for the grads werent any worse for wear and it was indeed a colourful and joyous atmosphere outside the hall when it changed hands :)

AH bearing colourful goodies

check out the double decker songkok!!

Opting for a quick getaway, we had lunch at our favourite Seafood Garden restaurant before returning to campus for AF's studio pics and grad robe drop-0ff. by that time everyone was pooped and during the drive back i had for my entertainment, the symphony of snores, snorts & grunts ekekeh.

But the heat & excitement must've been a bit too much for the Cikgu bcos he developed a migraine and had to cancel his drive back to lipis. i'm sure rest & meds will get him back on his feet again, insyallah.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Weekend activities

..include glamourizing poor ole nico hehehe.

His absolute greyness has always screamed for colour, so again i complied... it was henna time again :)

Fur coloured, washed, trimmed and blow dried he was ready to hit the streets & wow the ladies lol

I'm sure he didnt enjoy any of the fuss but as usual he just couldnt be bothered to put up a fight.. he's always been a good kitty kat :D

Did some running on saturday but was disappointed to find almost half of the track at the klcc park under reconstruction. was really looking forward to the springy feel of the rubberised track especially since i wasnt too sure if i'd still be able to run there next week.. AH's final session will include parents as well.

Without the excuse of her seminar i doubt i'd be running at klcc again, its just too much effort.

Workout Log
Sat - 6.5k/klcc/50mins
Sun - poco2 session/45mins/slow

Friday, August 7, 2009


Left golfman still rolling about in bed this morning and i cant help but feel a little guilty for doing so. even cruel.

Doesnt matter if his clothes are already pressed and laid out by the bed.
Doesnt matter if a hot breakfast awaits him downstairs.
Doesnt even matter that he had groggily given me permission to go ahead & leave.

My default - feel guilty first, reason it out later.

Haish.. dah nak separuh abad and my childhood conditioning still manage to colour my life. my own personal reminder on just how vulnerable children can really be.

But i still had me a good run, guilt or no guilt :)

And since golfman's hitting the green with his buddies tomorrow, i'll be free to 'roam' the klcc garden again with my partner in 'grime' hehehe. i really like the track there bcos its extremely kind to my creaky joints but apart from the park & kuni, suria has become a rather monotonous place (mana taknye this will be the 5th week of aimless lepak-ing lol).

AF came back from his kart racing session all fired up and thinks that i should give it a try. he wants to see his speed crazy momma in action he says hehehe. ntah la.. kot jadi bahan je ngan bebudak ni nanti ;)

Workout Log
AM - 4k/30mins/TSA

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Dont sweat the small stuff

.. is a 'classic' by R. Carlson and a much needed poke in the ribs for us bz & stressed out people ;)

Work - No. 42:

Stop Scrambling.

For many people there are essentially only 2 speeds - fast & faster. it seems that most of the time we are scrambling around, moving very quickly doing 3 or 4 things at once. often we are only paying partial attention or half listening to the people we are working with. our minds are cluttered and overly busy.

Perhaps the reason so many of us spend so much time scrambling is that we fear falling behind or losing our edge. our competitors and everyone else around us seem to be moving so fast that we feel we must do the same.

Its important to note that in this hyper, frenetic state of mind, our concentration suffers. we waste precious energy and have a tendency to make mistakes. when we're scrambling its difficult to determine whats truly most relevant because we are so preoccupied with getting everything done. because we are moving so quickly its easy to get stressed out, nervous and agitated. And because we are so 'on edge' things get on our nerves easily and often. when we're scrambling its really easy to sweat the small stuff.

As an experiment see if you can make a concious effort to slow down - both your thinking and your actions. if you do i think you'll be plesantly surprised to discover that despite the slower speed you'll become more relaxed and far more effective. the reason this happens is that you'll regain your composure and be able to see the bigger picture .

Your stress level will drop dramatically and it will even seem like you have more time. your thinking and listening skills will become sharper and more honed. you'll be able to anticipate problems rather than finding yourself in the middle of them so often.

I'd estimate i operate at about half the speed i did ten years ago . however i get about twice as much work accomplished. its actually quite remarkable how much you can do when you're calm & collected. and perhaps even more importantly you enjoy what you are doing far more than when you were rushing around. i fully acknowledge the need to be productive and i realise how much work there is to do. however, ironic as it may seem, its often the case that you will get more done in less time when you stop scrambling so much.

Personal - No. 40:
When in doubt about whose turn it is to take out the trash, Go ahead and take it out.

If we're not careful, its easy to become resentful about all the responsibilities of daily living. Once in a very low mood i figured out that on an average day i do over 1000 different things. of course when i'm in a better mood that number is significantly lower.

As i think about it its astounding to me how easy it is for me to remember all the chores that i do, as well as all the other responsibilities that i take care of. but at the same time its easy for me to forget all the things that my wife does on a daily basis. how convenient!

Its really difficult to become a contented person if you're keeping score of all you do. keeping track only discourages you by cluttering your mind with who's doing what, who's doing more and so forth. if you want to know the truth about it, this is the epitome of 'small stuff'. it will bring you far more joy to your life to know that you have done your part and someone else in your family has one less thing to do, than it will to worry and fret over whose turn it is to take out the trash.

The strongest argument against this strategy is the concern that you'll be taken advantage of. This mistake is similar to believing its important that you're right. most of the time its not important that you're right, and neither is it important if you take the trash out a few more times than your spouse or housemate. making things like garbage less relevant in your life will undoubtedly free up more time and energy for truly important things.


With nisfu syaaban we know that ramadhan is near.. the halfway mark, skit je lagi dah bulan puasa. semoga baraqah!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

KOTR 2009

.. and i made the 8k qualifying time woohoo ;)

A big deal for a slow poke like me hehehe. and to think i wouldnt have made it if i hadnt put in that mad dash towards the finish.

Bukan apa.. the moment i stepped into the stadium, tetiba bersemangat la plak and i lost the fatigue that was deadening my legs (cewah macam dah lari half mara lol.. but thats how 'dead' i was feeling la).

The scene within the stadium.. post KOTR.

Just as i crossed the line and picked up my medal & cert, there was a loud gunshot and i didnt realise until much later that it signified the end of the qualifying time. a friend i made along the way shared with me her regret for not giving it her all towards the end.. she just missed getting the medal.

Which again is a big deal for us makciks ;)

Running up & down hills are not normally in our itinerary lol... unless of course you're the running mom ;)

All in all, it was a good run and i did bump into a bunch of great people along the way. it also helped that my family was there for me.. flu ridden golfman even hauled his ass out of bed for me, so sweet hehehe. of course AI, AH and my running 'buddy' AZ made it all the merrier. and Cikgu, i know that you were still rooting for me even tho you were sleeping lol. you rock peeps :D

With AZ my partner in 'sweat & grime' lol and who also happens to be AH's bf ;)

To my counterpart in the male veteran catergory, mr. G117 - thank you for motivating me along, it was indeed a great honour to be sharing the same number as you :)

Workout Log
AM - 8k/KOTR 09

Latest update:
Our deepest condolences to the family & friends of the late Mr. Gary Leon Robert upon his most untimely passing (more at haza's).