Friday, October 30, 2009

Of guitars

.. and setting free the music in your heart.

Its the second day today that i've had to send AH's guitar to school. she's not allowed to bring it in during school hours yet as a prefect preparing for prefect's nite, she's expected to practice with the rest of her group.

Not willing to let down requests from friends, she puts on those puppy eyes and asks me oh ever so sweetly - could i pretty please menapak the many tangga up to her class or language lab and pass her the guitar?

Hehehe.. she knows i'm putty when it comes to those puppy eyes ;)

It was only recently that we had the strings replaced at mahogany section 9. its a very convenient place with extremely helpful people in attendance. now AH somehow prefers electric guitar strings for her acoustic guitar.. probably because its kinder to her small fingers. not so keras it seems but i dunno since i'm not a guitar player, just the paymaster lol.

And while we were there i did manage to ask for some advice regarding an upgrade. her almost 6 year old black TGM is certainly looking the worse for wear and is probably due for a replacement. maybe not now but some time in the future, preferably after spm. and surprisingly the guy stringing AH's guitar (who also happens to be an instructor there) recommended a takamine.

[pic from the www.. probably not the same model we saw]

Obviously i've never heard of it. i never even realised there're other japanesse guitar makers apart from yamaha (so much for my music know how lol). and it doesnt come cheap either.. no siree. the low end models are priced at around RM750, while made in japan ones can start from RM3,000 (he was nice enough to let AH try out one priced at RM1,500).

Whoosh.. thats a lot of RMs.

Need some input from my bros. definitely something to discuss after spm... way way after spm ;D

Abe - everything's sorta settled for now. i can pass over AF's roadtax now that he's back & we'll be changing his tyres first thing tomorrow insyallah.
AF - heh cikgu, glad to have you home to peluk2 la ;)
AI - chill la yang.. things happen for us to ponder & learn from.
AH - since the party's this weekend dont i owe you a 'dress' or something?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Young drivers

Inexperience? careless? reckless? plain unlucky?


Or maybe all of the above?

Whatever it is dude thats twice already.. and honestly, i now hesitate to let you drive my car. bukan mama tak bersyukur you got out of this mishap without a scratch but the question is, was it something that could have been avoided in the first place?

Driving is serious business.. anyone who thinks otherwise should have their licence revoked (and sentenced to a lifetime of public transport). its not just about moving from point a to point b. once you hit the road, you're out there risking your own life as well as others so you better stay focused. of course accidents can happen even when you've tried your darnedest to be careful but the key word here is 'tried'. you cant go around partially distracted.. fiddling with audio or visual devices, taking & making calls and the worse of the lot, sms'ing!!

Theres no 2-ways about it.. we need all our faculties alert & ready.

Just about everyone can become a hell-driver or a speed demon. all you need to do is floor the pedal to the metal and thats it. but its crisis handling thats the issue here, the what ifs - what if the tyres burst, what if the dude brakes, what if the lorry swerves, what if i hit a pothole or an oil slick or.. what if, what if, what if? are you ready and able to handle it?

Nobody can anticipate the unexpected but when you decide to put yourself in a position of risk, have at least enough driving experience under your belt (and i'm not talking about GTA here). bcos once you're behind the wheel you'll be undertaking a series of calculated risks, be it big or small. and management of risk requires experience.. knowledge alone isnt enough bcos there are just too many variables on the road.

Until and unless you have enough experience, do not take any unnecessary risk!!

Haaaish anak.. you gotta be more careful la. you must've been in quite a rush to park for a concrete column to have caused that much damage.

[abe tenguk je la anak2 kita ni.... pening mama]

Latest update: due to the extent of the repairs necessary to get the satria going again (and the RMs required) AI will have to do without any of the previous skirtings.. its back to basics ;)

Workout Log
AM - 4km/26min/TSA

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I love rain. as it pours the air feels that much fresher, the day that much calmer. kalau kat rumah its a good excuse to dive between the sheets with a good book in hand. or on good days when the man is home... well, thats another story altogether.

But today, i have to drive down (or is it up? never could figure out the ups & downs) to klang for a meeting. now klang is not a place i like to go to, not when i'm given a choice. nothing actually wrong with it.. just that i've always considered it a 'serabut' place even back in my student days. a town cleaved into 2 by a river with roads notorious for making me lose my way, even to this very day lol.

Streets of Klang

Little India

My meeting is at 2pm sharp (or so it says on the memo) so thank god AI is home studying for his finals bcos then i dont have to worry about picking up sidaro from school.

Heh.. look at the time!!! with the jam that i'm bound to encounter (it is after all klang) i think i'd better be going -_-'


Oh and btw, a topic about rain wouldnt be complete without rain himself :D

Rain of slick dance moves

.. and even slicker body.

Allow this makcik some eye candy la lol.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Turkmenistan Independence Day

Its the turkmen's 18th year of independence from the soviet union and its a 2-day public holiday there. right now golfman is stuck in his penthouse bcos the roads are closed for the parade. apparently he has a good view of it from his balcony and its also where he & his buddies will be watching the fireworks tonite.

[pic googled from the www]

Lucky devil.. i'm green with envy ;D

As time goes by

I was scanning some old pics for my travelog and thought it'd be fun to put these up here.

So.. instead of spotting the difference, do you think you can spot the similarities ?


Yup, thats what time does to people ;D

Workout Log
AM - 4k/30mins/TSA.
[today was a little hardgoing.. i had the longest attack of sidestitches ever].

Monday, October 26, 2009

Damage control

I'm putting my foot down.

[again.. but what the heck]

Its back to my minimum 3-run-per-week schedule or else!!!!

[or else jadi calon guni beras]

No buts!!

Just do it!!

Abe - hey mana aci.. dapat 2 days break, lepak here lepak there (and w/out me summore)
AF - anak pls check your road tax. ma tau mati sometime next month tapi tak sure exactly when.
AI - alamak.. 2 tests right after your 'homestay weekend'? wow, would even make a makcik cry la ;) good luck yang!!
AH - perservere my darling, forget about all the stoooopid stuff related to school & just focus on your spm...jangan serabutkan kepala k.

Workout Log
AM - 4k/28mins/TSA

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pencerah mata

Guess what i found at aranam's blog?

Haaaaish rindu la pulak!!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Another convo missed

.. marking yet another important milestone that golfman couldnt be a part off.

[one of the many sacrifices people conveniently overlook in the face of his 'glamorous' overseas posting]

2 convos this year - AF's was in August and now AI's. another of those occasions i have to be both mama & abah. not that i can ever take his place or make up for his absence. but then thats just the way it is and fortunately enough, he's always been just a call & an sms away. and of course, love bridges distance.

AI - Oct 2009

AF - Aug 2009

The convocation at UiTM was both systematic & chaotic at the same time. a system seemed to be in place but it failed miserably. there was what one would call, a system overload... and the busload upon busload of people probably had a lot to do with it.

UiTM was bursting at her seams.

Better be earlier than early if you want a good seat. UiTM requires you to park at designated areas only and you have to take the bus to the convocation area & dewan budiman, the same old place where i had my own graduation ceremony.

The nearer to the stipulated time the crazier the human behaviour so beware.. be ready for some jostling & pushing if you're late.

My son had earlier warned me that i wouldnt be sitting at the same hall as he was but would instead be watching the ceremony thru a big screen somewhere else. even prewarned the way i was, i wasnt quite prepared for the crowded dewan syarahan nor the terrible sound system.

According to the handouts, one was supposed to dress decently. in fact if you were to follow the instruction to the t, it would be bordering close to formal... no pants, no slits, nothing sexy or flamboyant.

Well, i could've sworn i saw a tight pants or two.

No kids under 12 please.

There actually was a screaming baby in our lecture hall.

Phones to be put on silent or vibrating mode.

In view of the other two, should i even bother to elaborate?!

People have a tendency to become lawless when there's no enforcement in sight. thats just the way we are i guess, always pushing away at boundaries. probably because there were too many of us there, the people in charge just sort of gave up. not unlike lost sheep, we were herded into our 'kandangs' and left to our own devices. if not for a couple of cursory peeps, it almost felt like we were forgotten as well.


If only it felt more like a convocation and less like a jom heboh.

In this case, my UPSI experience was better. parents could feel & appreciate the auspiciouness of the occasion... simple but effective.

Still, nothing but NOTHING could detract me from any of the pride & joy i was feeling for my son's achievement.

the trio

kidnapping abg's dip ;)

a friend's mom giving her son's robe a try :D

You did well my darling, both mama & abah are mighty proud of you :D

Abe - i couldnt help being a little emotional when we were taking the studio pics. its an odd feeling without you around.. almost like i didnt have a husband. its twice already and i hate it, i really do.
AF - yang, we really must do something about your own graduation pics. what happened ek, werent they supposed to send it to us or something?
AI - hehehe macam robot je anak mama ni ;)
AH - your turn next month... graduation day for F5s pulak :D

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Big bash

..and hopefully the last for this syawal.

Today the Jamuan Raya Perdana at my jabatan was done in a big way - instead of the usual venue (office lobby), 'gerai/warungs' were put up in a chosen location (much like the convo food stalls i used to be part of back during my student days) and each section had their own designated 'food/menu' to prepare.

My section was in charge of desserts and so we pooled together all our raya cookies (or what was left of it lol), added 4 choc cakes all moist & chocolatey, made all manners of puddings, cupcakes, tapai pulut, rojak buah and last but not least, ais kerim malaysia all colours of the rainbow :)

There were 8 warongs in all and everyone was in high spirits... a break from work is always welcomed and being rowdy once in a while is good for the system lol. there was aneka satay, aneka mee, hot-from-the-wok char kueh teow, nasi kampung, keropok lekor, drinks hot & cold (cendol included) and my own all time personal fav, roasted leg of lamb yummy :D

And there was also the matter of the 'best gerai' title that was up for grabs.

We went for the nusantara look again this year (with certain adjustments) so there were lots of kain batik lepas & bakul anyam & pahar as part of the deco. someone even ventured into the belukar of her kampung for some bamboo stalks to complete the look!! Lady Boss has rather high expectations of her anak buah so we were all driven to put up something presentable.

Well, she ended up plenty happy. turns out the judges still liked the natural look and chose us as the best gerai, again (we also won last year). which in turn made us plenty relieved.. at least our hard work didnt come to naught ;p

But its actually not such a good thing to be surrounded by so much food. it usually ends up with a whole lot of wastage. the kind that openly invites the wrath of God to fall upon our heads. pembaziran tahap gaban. excesses... again.

And i would also have it known that i've put on 3kgs since raya - 1 kg of which i can sign off as fluids, while the other 2 has definitely become a 'solid' part of me.. and not so easily dimissed.


I so need to run.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Assessing the damage

How can something so meaningful be swept away without that much of a fight? how come the lessons learnt and re-learnt again and again not leave a permanent mark on the soul?

Why is there even a need to assess damage in the first place?

Tak tau la. ramadhan datang & pergi. although each year we eagerly await its return, we seem to let it go just as easily. before we know it, we're already back to our old ways and all the good that we had painstakingly gathered escape our grasp effortlessly... like fine sand passing through our fingers, nothing is left behind except the gritty feel of its existence.

Maybe the blame lies in mankind's pact mentality. its just so much easier to go with the flow than to put up any resistance. we conveniently forget what we're supposed to do in the face of the overwhelming majority. and its also so much harder to do good bcos God will then test our sincerity. di mana sebenarnya tahap kejujuran & kesungguhan kita? kepura-puraan berada dimana saja.. it might be residing in the deepest darkest corner of our hearts without us even realising it so we need to constantly take stock. HE weeds out the good from the bad. thats what HE does bcos jannah is, after all, not promised to everyone.

But however hard i try to rationalise it all out, the fact still remains that i'm already spiralling downwards.

I need to put the brakes on.

The excesses have to end. syawal wasnt meant to be a month of non-stop celebration.

Abe - good luck with THE towkey :D
AF - i overslept la yang even thru the din of the alarm.. sorry.
AI - i know you're excited about your mac and all, but isnt your schedule kinda tight these 2 weeks?
AH - daro oh daro... utilise fully the PMR break k.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

One's safe in Tashkent

.. while the other's sleepless in shah alam.

Its not a situation one can get used to easily.

Abe - for a minute there i was a little worried..u do need to keep me updated k -_-'
AF - seronok je kalau cikgu balik, rumah mesti riuh rendah ngan geng L4D/xbox ;p
AI - heh so you got yourself nominated for best costume ek, not bad.. n how's gambang? to think that i spent almost 6 years of my life there :D
AH - mek weh, main xpe tapi kena sama naik dgn study k.. dah x lama dah aight?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

He's 21

Yup another one of my babies turn 21 today.

Dah besar panjang dah anak mama ni.. in fact his sister calls him galah (among other things lol) since he's turned out to be the tallest in the AA family.

Golfman & AI

Many happy returns of the day darling, semoga dipanjangkan umur dalam keimanan & kesihatan yg terbaik mwaaahh 3x

It so happen that my office had also scheduled a raya bash cum meraikan pengantin today. the new boss is big on social activities for the staff. beyond the usual festivities, farewells & birthday celebrations, we've also been having cooking classes (yup you heard right.. she brought a stove to our kitchenette) during lunchbreak (of which i havent been a part of since i go back home for lunch).

When i was informed about the 'mock wedding' i cant really say i was all that surprised. with the new leadership, anything's possible lol.

But recreating the 'bersanding & menepung tawar' session for the 2 newlyweds from our office wasnt a simple matter. my creative anak2 buah worked their butt off making the office ready for the occasion.. and with such limited resources!!! and with both Pengarah & Timbalan invited, it sure as hell put them in a pressure pot but alhamdulillah it went as well as it possibly could, given the circumstances. kudos to the working team - caya la korang ;)

As for me i was actually quite stumped about what to bring for the potluck. although i was part of the nasi himpit team (a few of us were relegated the duty of 'merebus ketupat plastik'), we were all supposed to bring something of our own. while entertaining the guests i had over last nite, my mind went into overdrive... apa nak bawak ek? the last time we had makan2, i made cheesecake brownies.

Nak goreng pasta.. dont think i have much left.

Nak goreng mee hoon.. mesti tak sedap takde taugeh and such.

Now, if i had enough eggs i could make cream puffs. and fortunate enough for me i had eggs in abundance so cream puffs it was :)

Halfway thru i discovered i was actually out of cornstarch and didnt have that much essence of vanilla either (for the filling) but in the true spirit of 'bantai je', i made do with what i had and alhamdulillah it turned out ok ;D

Phew...lega heheheh.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Kembali ke rahmatullah

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raaji’un.

Perginya SH bertemu Penciptanya pada awal pagi tadi di Hospital Tg Ampuan Rahimah Klang.


Semoga rohnya dicucuri rahmat dan keluarganya dilimpahi kesabaran & kekuatan untuk menerima penentuan ini.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Duas for S.H.

It's a sad day indeed for SH's family. complications after colon surgery has left her on life support since monday.

She has since slipped into a coma.

Semoga dipermudahkan segala yang terbaik untuk SH & keluarga. only HE, in HIS infinite wisdom & mercy, knows best.


There are those amongst us who literally live for others. they are the ones who are always ready to lend a helping hand and extend comfort. even in the darkest of hours they possess an infinite reservoir of optimism and carry on tirelessly, selflessly. and ironically, with all the 'burden' that is shouldered, they are oddly at peace with the world & themselves.

I so envy them.

Because its not my default. its not instictive to me. i dont act that way without first calculating the odds or the risks.

In a nutshell, saya tidak berjiwa besar. yes, i do aspire to becoming a better person but so far its been an uphill climb.

And in that quest, people like me have to be extra mindful that we are not waylaid by the 'hero syndrome'. instead of peace of mind & fulfillment, what will be waiting is more stress & resentment because that insatiable need to be recognised & needed will keep on driving us to over-extend ourselves.

Unlike those with a natural calling, being a self-made 'hero' is tough and in all honesty, sometimes the 'help' that is extended isnt really all that welcomed.

Case in point is mr J, a family member. he loves being the solver of problems and basks in the warmth of glory & approval. he'll be there for you.. even when you dont need him to. he's so busy being mr hero he sometimes doesnt notice the undercurrents and ends up meddling instead of really helping.

Yesterday he single-handedly orchestraed another boo-boo.

A couple of years back, he was instrumental in causing a major rift between his bros. but being the hero, the blame was somehow conveniently shifted to an unsuspecting sibling and the situation later blew completely out of proportion. feeling guilty of the whole sorry mess, he's been trying his best to mend the rift but has been pretty unsuccessful so far.

Last night he almost did it but instead of the results he was looking for, he actually succeeded in making matters worse.

In the spirit of syawal, he'd arranged for the estranged parties to meet but neither party have actually made direct contact with each other.

Before anything was confirmed, he was already gloating about how things would be alright now that a date had been set. he was euphoric that thru his efforts, everyone would finally bury their hatchets and let bygones be bygones.

Yay, the hero strikes again!!

He didnt bargain on cold feet, cold shoulder.. or maybe plain arrogance?!?


But after preparations were made, the 'guests' didnt turn up and the 'hosts' are now even more disgruntled than before. and at the rate things are going, another meeting would just be an invitation to disaster.

I hope mr. J realises that. just leave it be. jangan keruhkan lagi keadaan so that you can feel good. i know you mean well but go tackle your own problems first. charity should begin at home.

Lord please show us the way and help us all become better people.. amiin.