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Friday, April 27, 2012

for 4-8 years old (in us)

ooooo... i'm so tempted to buy and mail this book to my sister who work at a construction site and let the book tell her on the importance of a good night sleep. but, i'll hurt her pride by doing that. this is for 4-8 years old.

i'm attending a colleague's daughter's birthday party tomorrow and i'm getting her a book for a present. that's my earnest effort on converting her attention to book. i know, i'm doing good deeds. in hope, she'll grow up loving books better than watching ASTRO. (Can we just fire parents who allow their kids watching TV for hours on?). hahahha... iyala.. i'm no mum, senanglah cakap.

let's see if i can find any good book for one pegawai, demoted to a filing clerk position. ya, i'm trying to cheer you up. (lame joke, i know).

Thursday, April 26, 2012

you'll never walk alone

I dont know if ZAR is still operating in UKM, Bangi or not. during my uni days, they operated at the UG of PUSANIKA building. i frequented their cafe (like, 6 times per week). they open officially at 8.00 am, but, they didnt close their door when i came usually at 7.30 am (obviously their first customer each day). a few minutes later, an Indonesia guy with a battered sling bag would emerged and sat on the next table. except for hi at the door, i didn't rarely exchanged pleasantry with the owner. and they didn't bugged me either. early morning were especially busy at their little bakery. after 8.30, customers started to flood in and i usually leave before 8.30 for Tun Sri Lanang library.

Nothing fabulously fantastic in their menu offering. theirs was a simple bakery with limited baked goods. the owners were elderly Malay couple who speak English with brits accent. but, the runner of that shop was their plump (very good looking) son. i enjoyed my uninterrupted morning tea (they got quite a selection of Earl Grey teas). those were the times i spent looking at plants nomenclature (i did a bit on plant taxonomy for my MSc Theses) and the times i think, i was so much at ease.

maybe it's the rarity of time spent just to be on my own that i treasured those early mornings so much. coming from a large family (of 9 siblings), its really hard to find a place or time to be alone. maybe that's why i love reading so much, it allows my mind to drift and escape. don't get me wrong, i love socializing too. i enjoy hanging out with friends or just talking nonsense with my brothers and sisters, i enjoy companionship. but my heart quietened when i am alone, collecting my thoughts, reading my favourite book, browsing through old photos, doing my cross-stitch, writing on my spiral bound note book, daydreaming.

The last time i went to ZAR was in 2008. the lady owner looked shocked seeing me and asked "i thought you already finished your course? why are you still here?". after all those years, she did remember me. "i did. i work in Kuching now. i come to visit a friend working here. i thought, you'll not recognize me". "of course i remember you. i baked apple pie, because you always asked for it". oooo my.. yes, i love apple pie, still do. only then i realized, even in my search for solitude, there's someone helping with the details to ease the way. and that's comforting to know.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Happiness Project
ermmm... no, i dont usually read a self-help book like this. and i certainly wont buy any book teaching people how to be more happier. i always believe i am a naturally positive, optimist person. happiness is not something i lack or something i eagerly pursue. this might sound boastful to some, but, that's the truth. there were days when i grumbled and felt really down, but, i never really reached sadness to the point of suicide.

this book belongs to my sister, Popong, who abandoned it after reading a few pages. i felt the familiar nauseating loath for gloat after reading a chapter. (the chapters were divided by month to her objectives to achieve in the pursuit of happiness). however, she had me with her sharp writing style. i like the way she put out her argument and explanations. she is totally right with most of her arguments, she was, after all trained to make convincing arguments. except, she lacked the experience of  significant unhappiness to talk about happiness. 

its like talking on how to become a millionaire when one's born a millionaire. interesting, but not inspiring. (she's happily married to a man devoted to her and their two daughters, live in NY city, doing what she love the best, still living parents and supportive in-laws, no significant financial problem. the husband have Hep C. her sister have diabetes). ha! ko try tanam kacang dulula..

its only April and i already have 2 books in my 'pointless' category. i should stop reading crappy book. i know.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

can you hear my heart

i am watching this Korean drama and taking my time with it. heart wrenching, stuffy. and now i've found my favourite Korean actor. that, the non-smiling guy in the picture. he is 남궁민. i've always thought, Korean actors to be pretty and romantic, but not sexy (like in sensual, seriously physically attractive). this guy, challenge that thought. he is better than Ryan Gosling!

so far, i'm in 12th episode. 18 more to go. ya, if i'd checked earlier its 30 episodes drama, i might not started watching it at all. but, up to 12th episode, no disappointment yet. the storyline moves rapidly giving no chances of boredom. the plot is not so predictable, so it catches attention. wonderful script (or should i say, great sub-titles?), interesting and funny. and ahhh.. yes, the Korean trademark; heart wrenching.

i am not so convinced of the grown up Woo Ri's poverty (the little Woo Ri is more convincing). i cant feel her suffering. as for all the others, bad/good characters, they're very convincing. i especially like the grandmother's character. flawless. 

18-20 more hours to go. I'm pressing myself hard to limit my viewing hours to only 2 hours per day (that's 2 episodes). my life will really go berserk if i'd listen to my heart and watch the drama, marathon way. I've learned not to trust my heart when a sexy guy mingled in the equation. ahhhh... damn!

Monday, April 23, 2012

until you come along

i am too lazy to compose a lengthy post about book today. so, i'll just embed my favourite Youtube video from the recent weekend. i discovered her, browsing Griffin House. JJ Heller.

until you come along. please excuse the video, for the softporn, emo displays. enjoy the lyrics. and here's another one, Love me. ooooh.. while you're there, check out all her songs. she's a darling.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

ya. you're supposed to look at the rainbow in the picture.

hujan panas, ku pandang awan mega
warna lapis tujuh bercahaya
orang tua kata ular naga
mencedok air dalam telaga
kalau tunjuk, tangan jadi kudung
rupa-rupanya itu cerita bohong

Do you know this song? i learnt this in school, sometime back in the late 80's. harsh truth eh? i grew up believing rainbow to have magical power. not the kudung thing, of course. my mom used to tell us not to go out in hujan panas, because the hot and cold tombiruo* are fighting and will affect our health. she also told us not to shout at rainbow, as it will awaken the tombiruo in charge of the colours and might offended the spirit. when i was 11, we learned in science class that rainbow is an optical result of light reflection through droplets of water causing spectrum of light to appear.

Rainbow is one of the sign of God's enduring love and the promise of hope (to those who read the Bible, its in Genesis). my heart skipped a beat every time i saw a rainbow. i never purposely go out and play in the rain hujan panas, but, i certainly almost always took a few minutes to stare outside the window, looking for rainbow. never mind the tombiruo thing.

because i'm beginning to feel healthy and because it's been two days in a row we had late afternoon rain in Batu 7, giving promise of rainbow sighting.

*tombiruo = spirit of the dead/ spirit

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

white noise

you know, the sound of silence? (that's not a question. that's a statement). i am experiencing a symptom of Tinnitus. my right ear has been in limbo since friday last week and i have difficulty in hearing from the right direction. its really, really annoying.

its quite hard to concentrate articulating something when you're hearing yourself talking loudly in your own ear chamber. yesterday, my officemate told me he cant hear anything i say, i spoke too softly. me?! talking softly? Then, the students complained i mumbled in my lecture. Really?!. so, this morning, i spoke loudly (it's really loud for me) over the mic and delivered the lecture with numerous pauses (to cough and collect my thought--i lost them in the booming sound in my head!). the students didnt complaint.

i am going to see an ENT doctor tomorrow. i've tried the breathing technique, water stabilizer, vitamin B (for the niacin). still, my telinga berdengung. it doesnt hurt, but, its annoyingly uncomfortable. especially when i tried to sleep. i can hear my blood pulsating and the white noise sounds like waterfall!

so, this is how its like, being sick and half-deaf.

The Wonder Spot

if you can spare some time to read just one ridiculous book this year. let it be this.

Ridiculous as in, not normally progressing. like, adding years to one's age without really adding any significance to it. like, running in a circle, tiring and energy consuming without really getting anywhere. that's the feel i get reading this book. Sophie Applebaum changed little from her 12 years old to her sixty. and i'm at loss to comment if that's a good thing or no. all i can think is, that's immensely ridiculous.

people says, dont ever change. in romantic movie/ stories we often heard the phrase "i love you, just the way you are". but, change is inevitable. change is a must. i am not what i used to be when i was 20 (when Alanis Morissette's album is my most precious possession and Grisham's the best author). we change, not necessarily for the better. it's just a process of evolution (so now you know i'm pro Darwinian). so, really, i refuse to accept a fiction of unchanging tendency, personality and pointless way of perceiving life. Maybe Melissa Bank should just formatted this book into short stories collection. that way, at least the reader can make their own conclusion/ story extension.

Sophie Applebaum is one of the most disgusting character i've read so far. for that, Ms. Bank, you stand out. and out of my list..

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

under the weather

sanggar cheese

i was down with a bad flu over the weekend and worsen after monday. So, i was absent from work, Tuesday. it's been quite a long time since i fell under the weather. still coughing like mad, but at least, no more fever and lingering dizziness.

tried to curb boredom by watching some Korean drama (tried My Princess, Scent of a woman--OOO boring!). finally settled with Personal Taste (at least, that pretty guy knew how to kiss properly) and the story evolved around architecture, aku pencinta struktur bangunan. so. i am on Joseph Heller's Catch-22. that, i tell you, a pure satirical book. i re-read chapter: Major Major Major Major 3 times. and think of our politicians, what if they didn't have that famous last name?

whoa! on the earthquake near Acheh yesterday.

p/s sorry, today's post seems to be at random. my processor need fine tuning. the picture is one example of good food we have to forget when we caught cough. i know, life sucks. sadis.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Thin Blue Smoke

How can anyone resist the temptation of reading a novel about music, food and love?

the book opens with a prologue of a barbecue joint called "smoke meat", which was famous among the reporters of Kansas City Star. followed by bantering between the owner of that joint and his reporter customer of adding D to the 'smoke' (the way it should). i was curious all the way to the end reading this book. i was curious of how the owner's son (who painted "smoke meat") died, of whose initials were those LW and FG of how they're related.

i fell for the book when the author dedicated the book to Rebecca, and in his acknowledgement save the last line "Then there's Rebecca, whose heart is the room where i go to write". sweet.

over the holy weekend, i read the book and cried a lot. i was down with a bad flu and i welcomed the free flow of tears (easier to blow my nose!). this is one of those rare book i really wanted to be in. i wanted to know how each of them look like, i wanted to be in that barbecue joint with hickory and meat smell, i wanted to join the Mother's party, i wanted to be in those churches, i wanted to see Warren, the guy who speak rabbit language!

more than anything, i am thankful i chose to read this book over the weekend (its the thickest in my 'not read yet' books section) and i took time reading it because i have to stop for my cough syrup every 4 hours, 2 glasses of water each hour which resulted on going to the loo repeatedly and checking on youtube for songs featured in the book (blues is certainly an acquired taste of music--i got so irritated and sleepy over most of the songs). i am thankful for chapter 37 Up in Michigan in where Rev Glen said "i dont think we can necessarily make the connection between answered prayers and blessings. i think the only connection is that we are blessed when we pray-the act of praying is itself a blessing. but i dont think it's safe to conclude that when we get what we pray for we can call it a blessing". i never thought of it that way.

o.. this book talked in length of the possible best barbecue in the States. Kansas? Memphis? Texas?. i have no idea. the best pork barbecue in Sabah is somewhere in Tambunan, i dont eat pork, so, that's not telling much.

p/s pembetulan: my sis informed it's Keningau, not Tambunan. she eats pork. she's right.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

stay on path

ya. stay on path. stay on the right path. i've been wondering lately (more than ever) if my chosen path is the right one to continue trekking on. i've been doubting myself and regretfully that led to doubting the guidance of the all knowing, all loving father. was it not me who prayed about 5 years ago "kemana pun Kau pimpin, ke negeri yang Kau pilih, ini aku, utuslah Tuhan?".

where's all that youthful exuberance i experienced once? the zealous and focus on doing not just anything but everything for Him? to the glory of my Maker? (itu, masuk dia punya tools juga la, mcm the biological parents kan? mau juga drg happy..). and if you're thinking this is some spiritual awakening rumblings. no. this is not. while i'm sapping here, you better check this link, it's a youtube of Colton Dixon (AI) cover of Lifehouse's Everything, a girl reminded me to check this vid. i appreciate the early morning song sms and for this reminder.

i'll nurse my doubts until my head gradually clear. one thing i learned is not to make any decision when in doubt. so i'll just stay put, wherever i am at the moment. until i see clearly the green sign on which direction to move. but, i need out ASAP.

for all my Christian friends, this weekend, more than our gladness to celebrate Christmas, let us be doubly reminded of the reason He went up the tree and celebrate in the triumph of victory and hope He send us. have a good weekend, everyone.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Gaya Hidup Sihat

one of the best thing living in Kuching is the abundance of fresh produces at the wet market. while in Batu 7 we have our own large daily wet market, boasting to have the freshest seafood in Kuching area and used to be the center to buy any pork related items (and that include pekasam!), a special weekend gateway is still Pasar Satok. and i heart the market with all my being.

to those planning to visit Kuching, please include a saturday and sunday in the itinerary. Pasar Satok open by late afternoon, friday and go on until sunday noon.

on my last visit (2 weeks back), i found this!

these herb grew in abundant in an any clearing off the edge of our tagad (huma/ hill paddy patch) when i was a kid. the flowers akin to flower of passionfruit (smaller in size). the leaves are smelly (really pungent) and we ate the mature fruits (whenever we managed to beat the birds to it). i never knew the young leaves to be edible. but, in Sarawak, they cook it with belacan (maybe the way we cook kangkung belacan). i was tempted to try (its RM1 per large bunch), but, didnt as i dont really have time to indulge in that experiment that week (need to read lots for an interview, plus no energy co creativity, too nervous for the interview). i am all into eating wild herbs (think of the non-pesticide advantage).

i am fueled up to do some curious herbs searching sometime soon (not this weekend, sadly). KKM, with all the sensitivity aside decided to launch gaya hidup sihat campaign on the holiest weekend in Christians calendar with gazetted holiday in Sarawak. gaya hidup sihat! my foot!

p/s anyone know the name of this herb? share it.

Monday, April 2, 2012

1/4 of the year--gone

so, i should be posting of my year's first quarter progress.

1. to lose weight and maintain it at my ideal of 50-52 kg.
i am 65. that's a 4 kg hike since january. failed.

2. drive a car (i've put this on hold for years..)
No progress

3. go holiday with my parents (Mulu and Indo)

4. register for a postgrad prog
went for an interview that hopefully will help cover this item. Verdict: hopeless

5. monthly hiking trip
April and no single trip yet...

6. read 100 books
covered 10%

7. buy a house
in the process of getting a one single bed apartment. and i dont consider that as a house.

8. start on my lifetime dream
i've been talking about it with family and close friends. so far, its still in the 'dream' stage. next step is to open an account and make proper plan on how to execute.

9. learn to make my own garment
No progress

10. buy myself a cosy sofa and bed
No progress

11. take picture(s), daily
more like, every other day.

12. write letter/ card to close friends and family (i used to do this)
i am sending card for my Christian friends for Easter.

how do i fare? slow kan?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Things I Want My Daughters to Know

by Elizabeth Noble

i was in KK last week and got this book. not exactly the type i'll bought on my own. but, the opening page of this book is a letter from a dying mum to her daughters, detailing arrangement for her funeral. that's what made me picked this book and read on. me and my close girlfriends have this crazy stupid obsession of our funeral arrangement (not that any of us in a situation of terminal illness.. palis..palis)

see Diana's here. bear in mind, that's link to her part#6, scroll down her blog entry for earlier parts. (Dy, i would highly recommend this book to you, and i bet, you'll like it!)

overall, this book is a goody-goody read. expected issues, expected outcomes, expected end. no surprise, its a bit flat for me. just perfect for a vacation read/ reading between flights

Barbara's dying of (what else?) cancer and had her days numbered. she wrote a journal and letters to her daughters and husband. 3 daughters from her first marriage, Lisa, Jennifer and Amanda and her youngest, Hannah, from her second husband, Mark.

each of the daughters had different issues they struggled in. Lisa with her noncommittal relationship (even though she's been living with her good looking, sensible boyfriend for years). Jennifer whose strong headed and in an unhappy marriage. Amanda, the nomad and Hannah, barely in her teen.

issues solved. Lisa marry her boyfriend Andy, Jennifer happy again with her husband, Stephen, Amanda found her root, Ed, Hannah made her first big mistake with Nathan and was sorry.

i am a true believer in loyalty. once you commit yourself to something/someone, being loyal is no more an option, its the root in any relationship. being loyal means, to stay true, respect and trust that something/ someone to the end. if ones cant handle loyalty, never commit in anything/ anyone. that will save all the troubles.
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