I think about you constantly, whether it's with my mind or my heart. ~ Albany Bach Reid

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Say what?!

Dear Diary,

He found out that I love books. Luckily he shares the same passion. Phew. Later, he found out that I used to write stories. Fictions. Back then when I was younger. A few days later, he found out that I also write scripts for plays.

Now, he wants me to write a story. About us. I mean, an anecdote, a memoir about him and I. ‘Our story’ he said.

I went numb.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Yes, I've tried flipping my eyelids inside out too. It didn't work out..

It's extremely late already. So late that the raven-winged creatures on a clump of tree branches near my back window are already starting to crow. And it's so early in the morning as the sun rays start to peek through the thin curtains of my hide-out, the cricket that has recently made its home somewhere in the roof tiles has ceased its annoying chirping.

Trust me. At this point, it is really starting to piss me off.

Daybreak as at that point where the only sounds I can hear are faint strains of the crows and the regular hums of my seasoned laptop.

Four nights in a row I've been having this I-can't-sleep situation. Nothing big. It's just that when the grumpy, tough-lookin' guard who seldom talks to anyone that I pass by everyday on my way to the faculty had this worried look across his face this morning and hoarsely uttered, 'Sampai selekoh depan tu jgn tiba-tiba belok kanan pulak...'; I knew I need to reschedule my body clock once again.


P/s: I heard somewhere that when someone goes for some periods of time without sleeping, he/she starts to see things. Yikes!

Fragility of a thing called life.

Life is so fragile. It takes so little to end a life and yet the spirit of the person that’s not there anymore can live on stronger than before. There have been so many tragedies. Way too many. I mean just go through the local newspaper or even easier, just switch on the TV and you’d see corpses. Of all reasons there could have been.

Just minutes ago, I reached for the remote control, and in no time at all my eyes caught the glimpses of bloody pictures of innocent souls, and people wailing all around, and the just like that, my thumb hit the red power button.

Total silence.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve shed tears and had my own heart bleeding feverishly over hearing the unbearable cries of help but not tonight.

Right this very minute I'm thinking of the small percentage of ungrateful people who think that they’ve come to the end of the world when something bad strikes. So many people feeling they’ve got no choice. A husband ending the lives of his wife and children and himself too, a wife and a husband decided to stop fighting illnesses and depression and die together, and a father ending the life of his wife and then burning himself without a thought of his son who would be the one finding them. Human can be so unbelievably mean, right?

Come on. Everybody has their own problems.

We all tend to ask ourselves why it happened in the first place. I mean, having the gut to take your own or other’s lives. We would look at each other with frightened eyes wondering if there is something, anything that we could have done to prevent these tragedies. Why does it seem like life does not matter anymore? Why do some people think there is no hope, when I know people actually care more than they used to do?

It is surreal but it seems like they (those unlucky-rot in hell souls) become their own worst enemies, fighting alone when the truth is they didn’t have to. All they had to do was reaching out and ask for help. That’s all.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Movie review #2: Inkheart

Have you ever read a book and wished you could enter the world on the page? Maybe reflected on how cool it would be to extract something interesting from the story and then bring it into the real world. So cool. Super cool right?

Just imagine you could ask for anything in the world to appear in front of your very eyes. Cool ey? I mean who wouldn’t want to have Harry Potter’s Firebolt 2000 broomstick (we can just zoom right to where we wanna go just like that) or maybe his very own Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory (wow) or even get to ask our very own legendary Hang Tuah on what's his real problem actually? Okay, too much there.

You’d think a movie centered on that very premise would be, at the very least, exciting to watch. However though, in the case of Inkheart, it’s a dismal disappointment. Or maybe just a little. Oh well, maybe I expected too much. Expected way too much magic.

I went to watch this movie last Thursday on a whim. We were sluggishly strolling along the rows of posters when my eyes suddenly caught the screen and then ‘Come! There’s a cool one at 2.20pm!’ And the moment I said that out loud, it was 2.25pm.

This movie is basically centered around Mo acted by Brendan Fraser, a bookbinder with the gifts of a "silvertongue"; where when he reads aloud from a book, its characters enter the real world.


There's always a but there. His gift also works in reverse, causing real people to disappear into the pages. About ten years ago, his wife went missing as he read to his daughter Maggie. He has searched for a copy of this rare book, Inkheart, everywhere to bring his wife back.

I can’t really say much about this one here ‘cos in a way, like I said earlier I expected more, in terms of the magic and stuffs coming out from the pages and all. From all the characters, I love the one played by Helen Mirren, the type of grand nanny who you’d hate to love eventho she continuously and fussily talks to herself.
But the most important thing, I had my share of fun and entertainment and managed not to think about the real world for awhile there.

I have to add some more that the best part of Inkheart is its devotion to literature. Capricorn (acted by Andy Serkin, the guy who played the gay editor in this flick movie 13 going on 30. I cracked my brain trying to recall where the hell I saw that face before..lol) has imprisoned a host of characters from other children’s books; like the flying monkeys and a unicorn and a crocodile with something ticking in its belly. There are also glass slippers, Huckleberry Finn’s raft and a gingerbread house in the main hall from Hansel and Gretel.

All I’m saying is that, it is pretty ironic that this kind of movie intended to inspire children to read and write would itself be so poorly written. Once in awhile you could see it is messy. Despite a solid cast (remember that they have award winner Helen Mirren), impressive production values and an intriguing fantasy concept, Inkheart ends up as cinematic mediocrity.

Why don't you judge it for yourself? I promise you it's alot better than The Day.. er.. you know. LOL

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

As Chinese New Year approaches..

Chinese New Year: The Year of the Ox comes early this time around.

My office is pretty much filled with mandarin oranges courtesy of the Chinese students here (and also some from the book publishers). So nice of them to give me hampers of oranges so vibrant and munificently wished me the best in life. They even went into some trouble coming up with handmade cards attached wonderfully to the hampers.

Sweet, ey?

I asked some about their upcoming CNY celebration (a feeble effort to show my warmest appreciation after being swamped with oranges), eventho I know since forever about the traditions, cultures and affairs since my aunt is a Chinese.

This one cute Chinese girl announced that it is going to be an obstinate year and another asked, ‘What do you mean?’.

Then this one particular guy from Ipoh voluntarily in full spirit ventured into telling us the legend (by starting, “Bet you guys already know this..”) ; that in ancient times, Buddha
asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and the Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal's year would have some of that animal's personality. So basically those born in ox years tend to be painters, engineers, and what’s another one..owh yeah, architects. They are mainly very stable, fearless, obstinate, hard-working and friendly.

Pretty much like; do not mess with people born in this year. And the rest of us Malays were like, hypnotically nodding.

Personally, I supposed perception of the coming CNY will depend a lot on professed self prosperity and financial security but I do believe that most businessmen nowadays have started to realize that markets haven’t been as robust as before. Like always, truth always hurts in some way.

We all parted with the reminder for the umpteenth times by the Chinese Students Society to join their celebration of joy after the holiday at the grand hall and they guaranteed astounding and culturally Chinese performances and yeah don’t forget, they will also serve food. Yummy. There and there I made a mental note to surely attend. Lol

But they managed to add that they will not go overboard this year. There will be fireworks of 'cos like always but with shrugs, they said it’s going to be less colourful; “Less peruntukan maa… economy sudah effect all”.


With that, I wish all a very peaceful and blessed new year ahead.

Kung Hei Fat Choi!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

What if..?

Did you ever have the feeling that you missed out on someone?

I bumped into my old friend yesterday. Well, no actually we didn’t bump into each other. We made plan to meet up. Some sort of get-together aka reunion thingy for he and about 3 others returned to their roots for the election. And the minute we took our separate route home at approximately 1.30 in the morning (ssshh…don’t tell my mum), I can’t seem to get him out of my mind.

It seems wrong but I keep wondering “what if” things were different back then, would I have ended up with him?

What if things were of different colours and textures? What if we kept in touch? What if either one of us had stayed a moment or two longer?

What if. What if. What if.

And receiving his sms barely seconds after we parted didn’t help at all – ‘Text me once you reach home. :) ’. I know. I know. That shows he cared. Like how I would do the same to any friend of mine, just to make sure she reaches home safely. But I want to think that he cares, the kind of slightly different intensity of care. A notch higher. Am not making any sense, am I?

Okay go on, shoot me. Ask me if I care. Lol.

Thing is, we were once so close. What exactly happened along the way?

I wonder.

p/s: Told 'ya mind is a terrible thing.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Tale of Long-Stems of Scarlet Roses

Dear Diary,

I want to tell you something. Barely imperative but you know I always tell you stuffs that are close to my heart.

Last Thursday (8th of January) was one of the biggest highlights in my life. It was so surreal that it took awhile for me to continue breathing and gain consciousness. It was precisely about 4.30pm and while I was sluggishly stretching myself on the bed, my father slipped inside my room and told me there was someone outside looking for me.

Trust me dear diary I was baffled. I mean come on. I rarely have anyone looking for me back home for most of my friends only resurface in town during long holidays.

Then there she was. The transporter on duty. A rather cheeky looking girl so petite that the breathtaking, beautiful bouquet of fresh red roses looked vast in her arms. And I was like.. 'Aaa?' Bet she thought for awhile there that I didn’t look so angelic and worthy of the gift with my non brushed hair all over the place, attired in the over the top-countless seasons comfy tops.

I nearly passed out for the muddle up of feeling somewhat beyond content, puzzled and most of all, slightly embarrassed all together for it all happened at home (it would be so much simpler if it was at work) , where both of my dear parents were there to witness it all!

For the next half an hour, I just stooped there at one spot; fingertips ever so lightly ran over the fresh petals as if they could scatter into pieces that my heart soared. All the while my parents (wish I could just vanish into thin air at the time) were yapping at the back but they both sounded soo far away.

I am not used to surprises. A huge bonker. But I like it. Way too much I guess.

Have you heard that as timeless as a anyone’s favourite love story, there’s no more classic way to express enduring devotion than red roses? Rather tedious but that’s what I heard.


Has the encoder reached the romantic felicity? That I am not sure but all I know, I was swept away.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Once Upon A Time.. : In GAZA

Today, let me tell you a story about a ferocious herd of bulls and a naughty school boy. Someone told me about it and I believe I should share and tell too.


Once upon a time, there was a playground in a small peaceful village. The lush green grass was soft, fresh and fragrant. The sun was shining bright. There were all sorts of games and hideouts on the playground to keep the children fully engaged and content.

The playground was almost a sacred place for the growing children. They loved the playground so much as it was the one single place where they could meet and make friends, play and have fun, and be themselves.

One day to their great surprise and horror, a huge ugly and most aggressive herd of bulls was seen to have conquered their beautiful park and made it their home. These children had no where else to play. They tried to make the bulls leave but failed. Instead, the bulls would charge, gore and ultimately kill the children who tried.

The children asked help from the matadors, but their pleas fell onto deaf ears. The matadors said, ‘Let the bulls be…they have occupied the place, so it is rightfully theirs’.

Onlookers quickly nodded their heads in agreement and full of sympathy for the bulls, ‘Yeah…leave them alone, the bulls had been driven out of many other playgrounds before this.’

The bulls were very content with their newly acquired ground, albeit the agony they had inflicted on the children. They were relaxing, rolling allover the playground and growing fat and burly in size and large innumbers.

In their attempts to win back their beloved playground, the children started throwing stones (provided by friends from other neighbourhoods) in the hope to chase the bulls out. But more and more children were killed as the bulls hurled their sharp horns into the children’s frail body and trampled their limped remains into nothingness.

After failing all attempts, alas, these children came to accept the fact that they had lost the playground to the hideous ugly beast and chose a very small strip of green area left at the very edge of the occupied playground bordered by a monsoon drain as their new playing ground.

However, very recently, one naughty school boy made his umpteenth effort to gain his rightful playing territory. He threw a few pebbles at the bulls. The bulls were extremely outraged for being disturbed and awoken.The prickly overly touchy quick-tempered spoiled bulls attacked, gored, mutilated and killed not only the one naughty boy but most of those innocent children who were minding their own business, playing peacefully on the narrow strip of green area by the monsoon drain.

And what did the matadors say to the naughty boy? ‘Shame on you little naughty boy, you and the other well behaving children ‘deserve’ the merciless attacks from the poor innocent bulls. If you have not thrown those puny pebbles, the bulls would not have started the rampage and killed your friends.’

To the bulls, the matadors said while waving their bright yellow and redcapes, 'Stop it bulls, stop it this instant! But if you really have to, just attack and rip up to shreds all the naughty boys, spare the girls and the little ones…'

The Chief of the matadors said in his calmest voice while flapping his own colourful cape, ‘emm…as I see it, the blame is all on the naughty schoolboy…he attacked the bulls first with some scrawny stones and left scratchmarks on the bull’s beautiful back. It traumatized the poor herd. Thus, it is only natural and the right thing to do too that the bulls retaliated by wiping out all the children!’

Friends from the neighbouring areas shouted while jumping up and down in one spot, 'Help the children, please help the children, let’s donate our pocket money to buy them chocolates!Matadors, please stop the bulls! We ourselves cannot help because we are all just children ourselves and don’t want to dirty our fancy clothes'.

One group of onlookers shook their head in unison and said, 'Bad move naughty little school boy…really bad move, should have let the bulls baskin the sun peacefully'.

Another group of onlookers said, ‘Hey naughty school boy, you insignificant fellow, you should have just been grateful and thanked the bulls for the tiny strip of green area you are enjoying now.’

Some other onlookers joined in the chorus of giving free advice to thechildren, 'Pity the dead and disfigured children, but they should have known better than to befriend the naughty school boy. Instead, they should make friends with the brutal and ferocious bulls!'


End of story.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A Moment In English In Terengganu

I read this particular article on Y! Malaysia News and it is such a cool effort to help the students in Terengganu to improve their English. I mean, when it comes to education and stuff, everything is happily accepted by all with wide arms. Read more down here.

By Nordin Mohadi
Bernama - Friday, January 2


In the past few years, ExxonMobil’s investments in the education sector were on programmes to improve English language proficiency among students in the state.

The close relation between ExxonMobil and the Terengganu Education Department has resulted in various initiatives that benefit both students and teachers in the state. Among ExxonMobil’s major education projects is the RM290,000 contribution for the creation of an English Language Theme Park in Kemasik, Kemaman several years ago.

The theme park is equipped with various tools and facilities for the learning of English language particularly for students and teachers in Kemaman and Dungun districts.

The move was followed by a similar effort in the setting up of another theme park in Kuala Terengganu at the cost of RM350,000 some five years ago.


The joint programme by ExxonMobil and Terengganu Education Department, ‘A Moment In English' was inaugurated in 2002 and it has been regarded towards improving the level of English proficiency among primary and secondary students.

The programme is a five-hour stage activity fully conducted in the English language. In his speech at the function, Terengganu Education Director Ariffin Embong said ExxonMobil is on the right platform towards assisting the children to have better proficiency in English.

According to Ariffin, the other corporate bodies should emulate what ExxonMobil had carried out as such educational programmes are crucial for human capital development.


He said ‘A Moment In English’ has been well accepted by people in the state and it is major contribution by the international petroleum giant for the people of Terengganu.

Ariffin said the programme has enabled participating students to boost their English language proficiency through, among others, story-telling, poem recital, as well as traditional performances like boria, dikir barat and rodat, of which all were conducted in English.

He said the ‘A Moment In English’ is fully funded by ExxonMobil. Apart from the ‘A Moment In English’ ExxonMobil had also funded the Terengganu Education Resources and Information Centre (TERIC) as a reference centre for students and teachers.


Cool ey? But of 'cos it will only work if the students take full advantage of all the facilities provided. It really matters when people actually care. Eventho if let say they're merely thinking about profits. And margins.


I can't wait to see the students coming up with amusing dikir barat and also rodat performances using words in English. Indeed beneficial for the growth of human capital.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Book Review #1 : No Time For Goodbye

This is my very first amateur attempt writing a review on a novel that I’ve read, suggested by a dear reader cum new friend, Azah. I believe it’s going to be a lot of fun for I have so much passion in reading good books, during any given blessed occasions.

No Time For Goodbye by Linwood Barclay.

It may be a cliché to say that this novel is impossible to put down, but for me that was true. It took awhile to launch into it for I was crammed with series of fortunate adventures but then when I started reading it late one evening, all I can say I was damned if I was going to let my fatigue stop me from finishing.

No Time for Goodbye has a great premise, and a cast of real people trapped in a terrifying and totally extraordinary situation. Fourteen-year-old Cynthia Bigge is a troublesome young girl, caught out late one night with her boyfriend Vince Fleming, a bad boy (why most of the stories love to portray such a character? To add some flavour maybe?) from a family of criminals, whom Cynthia’s parents dislike.

While fooling around in the back end of a car with a case of booze, this pair is spotted by her father, Clayton, who immediately hauls Cynthia back home. Following a huge family row, fueled by the booze she had shared with Fleming, the girl storms off to her bedroom, locks the door, and falls into an all-consuming slumber.

Here comes the fun part.

Imagine this: you're a teenage girl who wakes up one morning and finds that your family has vanished from the house. Your mother, father, and brother have simply disappeared off the face of the earth.

Have they abandoned you? Were they murdered? What made them steal away in the middle of the night, leaving you to deal with the heartbreak?

There’s no note of explanation, no signs of life, and no clues as to their whereabouts. Nothing. Scary, ey?

Years later, Cynthia Bigge is happily married with a child of her own, but she's still haunted by her family's disappearance. I mean come on. How in the world you can let it go, right? Bizarre clues become popping up that her father may still be alive, clues that bring Cynthia's sanity into question.

Even as her husband Terrence tries to hunt down the answers, he begins to question how stable his wife Cynthia is. The twists and turns are mind-bending, and the solution to the mystery is a shocker.

This is simply one of the best thrillers.

When I finally finished reading No Time for Goodbye, I sat in silence for a moment, my addled thoughts wrapped around the incredibly touching journey I had just traversed. One thing for sure, this thriller is a fast paced suspenseful story that will leave you guessing until the finish.

p/s: It is fun jotting on the book review. Bet there'll be more. Yieha!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A new foot, a new face at the door. Hye 2009!

It’s a brand new day!(even tho' I have to say that today is kind of gloomy and heavily cloudy outside)

Sans the fireworks and firecrackers that marked the birth of a New Year past 12 midnight last night, it is now January 1, the first day of the year. Yieha! To me, it is but apt to look ahead and explore the vast blank canvas we are once again tasked to paint with little colours of our lives.

I aim to have my canvas filled with vibrant and noticeable colours this year, Insya Allah.

There's something magical about January the 1st. It might be just the way that the human brain is wired, but the first day of the first month of the year is a gleaming tabula rasa (take note of the science jargon there y’all), empowered by the future rather than weighed down by the past.

It's a moment where we are pregnant with possibility, when we can imagine ourselves replenished and forgiven in all ways, granted a fresh start, all tanked up to do things better. Thing is, I've done some mistakes and quite a few still needs some perking up here and there, but I am still working on that. Nothing major, but sometimes certain damages are not meant to be left unattended.

When I woke up early this morning on January 1, I was pretty much amazed at how new, hopeful and vigorous I felt. That’s a sign of something good, right?

Many things happened in 2008. The year I learned so many new things that for one second there I stopped and stared, wondering whether I’ve become a better person. Whether I took notes of the things as a reminder not to repeat similar wrongdoings.

There are still a lot of unbloggable things that made my life very wonderful last year (omg, it was just yesterday) and I choose to make them stay that way, at least for now. Suffice to say quite a number of unexpected things happened (one or two definitely beyond my wildest imagination) as always, but I welcomed all of them with open arms.

Here’s to hoping we have a swell and happy year ahead of us all.


A boost.