Friday, December 23, 2005

6 weeks

Yasmin is almost 6 weeks old - that's one and half months that we've officially become parents. :-) At the doctor's appointment the last two weeks, Yasmin weighed in at 4kg! Meaning that she's gained nearly 1 kg since her birth. And all that, from juice that comes from my body? Miracle of miracles, I would say.

In the still of last night, I started thinking..would be great for Yasmin to have a sister or brother. I know...I know....Don't worry, I think we'll wait til she is at least...hmm, how old ah? Haven't discussed with hubby yet. :-)

Just that..the whole thing...having a baby - it is such a wonderful experience and wonderful feeling. Sure..sometimes it's tiring, it's scary cos sometimes you don't know if you're doing the right thing... but all in's sweet and heavenly. I think I started thinking about having another baby since the day after Yasmin was born! Call me crazy...but it's just bliss....

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Daddy, our hero..

For all his strength,
for all his love,
for just being..
he's the love of my life
and my bestest friend always.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Monday, November 28, 2005

What a Miracle!

This photo was a taken two days before I had our baby. Tengok perut tu - our baby dalam tu. For 40 weeks and 6 days, I carried you in my tummy, baby and I loved you from the moment I knew.

And now, intoducing baby: YASMIN ANNE BT RIZWAN HAZEMAN

16 November 2005 - Part 3

My hubby told me later that throughout the operation, he could see reflections of red through the doctor's goggles. I myself, saw glimpse of movements as reflections on the lights above the operating bed.

It was cold. My left hand which was connected to a drip, was also attached to a blood pressure monitor - which periodically turned on and squeezed my arm so tight, it hurt at times.

Not long after the operation started, I was told that I would feel some pushing movement near my chest and abdomen. And then..the moment. Hubby told me that baby's head was out. Baby had hair! Baby's mouth must have been suctioned to remove any fluid and then the sweetest sound - baby's first cry! A few minutes after that baby was out!

Dr John came by near us, carrying baby and he said something like, 'Nahh is saying, why are you disturbing me sleep?' :-) But I couldn't see him clearly, nor baby at that time. I was covered in tears. I didn't know I would react that way..

Baby was ushered to the paediatrician after that I guess. And the next part was the stitching up. Doctor said it would take up to 45 minutes.

The paediatrician, Dr Anthony - whom hubby said he chatted with before entering the OR and who seemed really nice, came in after that. Dr Anthony said something to this sort, 'Not bad ah this baby. The cord was quite small. But baby is not bad, five fingers, five toes, got some pipi some more.' :) Sounded like music to our ears.

They finished stitching me up, hubby left to change and then I was sent to this room to be warmed up and my pulse was monitored. Dr John was there doing up his notes of the operation, I presume. And then he came by and told me that he would see me later that day.

I rejoined hubby later and was sent back to my room where the whole family was already waiting. But the biggest thing of all - I had a baby! WE had our baby or as hubby said, we're no longer TWO-gether gether but now a THREE-gether!

Friday, November 25, 2005

16 November 2005 - Part 2

We asked the doctor all sorts of questions regarding the C-section. Finally, we asked when or how soon it would be performed. His reply was, 'right now.' I remember thinking at that moment, 'ok..he's gonna perform the operation.' It didn't occur to me at that time that he would have to assemble a whole team for the operation. It was about 230 pm then.

I was prepped for the operation. We called our families to inform them. And perhaps an hour later, we were whisked down to the 2nd floor operating theatres. I was lying down on this trolley thingy and whilst being wheeled down into the operating theatres, i remember this view of my hubby standing there in the transfer room looking at me. It's probably a picture that I will always remember in my mind. I was wheeled to this room where an anaesthesist inserted a drip onto my wrist and prepared me for the spinal block for the operation. Dr Lim or Liew, I think - the anaesthesist.

After that, it was into the OR. Thinking about it now, that was the first time I ever had an operation. It's quite a big deal really, if you think about it. Sure, I was scared. I was cold. And I wanted my hubby. The spinal block was administered, an injection on my spine. I felt a slight prick and was told that in another five minutes I wouldn't be able to feel anything from the waist down. My legs started feeling numb, heavy and tingly.

Hubby appeared by my side moments later, dressed in those green doctor's scrubs. Though I was covered with green clothes and blankets, the anaethesist kindly lifted it slightly and allowed us to hold hands.

The operation was about to start. I felt the doctor's swabbing my tummy and bikini line with what must have been alcohol. It was getting colder. Doctor did tell us that one of the side effects of the spinal block would be shivering, as it tended to make you feel colder. But the OR itself was cold - 19 degrees, I think, one of them mentioned.

I heard hubby say 'Bismillah' and then it started. I couldn't feel anything though except feeling really, really cold. Holding on to hubby's hand kept me warm.

To be continued..again..

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

16 November 2005

I wanted to get all this down while it's still fresh in my mind.

I went in to Sabah Medical Centre for induction of labour last Wednesday, as scheduled by my doctor. I remember feeling a sort of anxiousness and also excitement that morning. Knowing that at the end of the day, we will be greeting a new member of our family. My hospital bag has been long packed, and so after breakfast - which hubby almost forgot, at around 830 we made our way to the hospital.

We 'checked in' at admissions, received a complimentary goody bag, I got tagged and then we were on our way to the maternity ward. We were told that it was quite full, only 2 bedded rooms were available. Musta been baby boom season.

I was put on a fetal heartbeat and contractions monitoring device and my doctor, Dr John Teo (bless him) came in a little later to check the baby's heartbeat and if my cervix has opened. It wasn't. But there was some bleeding, which indicated 'the show'. He then inserted a pill for the induction. I was told to wait for about 2 hours for the effects to take place. I started to feel contractions about an hour after that. No contraction readings were around 0 - 30. I started feeling contractions that were at readings of 70 - 80. They were quite strong and clearly distinguishable. Just slightly painful.

After 2 hours, the doctor came in again and checked my cervix. Only 2 cm dilated. He then ruptured the membrane of the amniotic sac to further induce the labour process. It was a warm gush of water. Felt like a lot. Doctor then said and showed my hubby that there were some traces of meconium in the amniotic fluid. Something we were hoping not to see. It meant that the baby has passed motion in the womb. The dangers would be if baby were to have swallowed some of the meconium and it ended up in her lungs.

We had to make a decision. We could continue with the induction and have a normal delivery, which could take up to 12 hours. The other option would be to go for a caesarean section delivery. Doctor said that baby was already under some stress since she had passed going through with normal labour could put her under more stress. Hubby and I talked about it. Dr John was really understanding and patient too. There was really just one decision. We had to go for the c-section operation.

To be continued..

Monday, November 14, 2005

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Wow..this year alone, I have read 3 Harry Potter books - Goblet, Phoenix and yesterday I finished Half Blood Prince (HBP). Many reviews have said that this latest edition has not lived up to all the hype it generated - boring, tidak best... are some of those that I have heard. For me, I think Goblet still remains as the most exciting. But JK Rowling has taken a more adult tone starting from Phoenix and this continues in HBP. The characters are after all growing up. Personally, I think HBP answers a lot of questions. The elements of intrigue and mystery are still there, as are elements of humour at times.

I don't want to reveal too much but here are some highlights from HBP - as JK Rowling has indicated, the HBP is neither Harry nor Voldemort. Hint: it's one of the teachers at Hogwarts. Harry has a new love interest - I was rather hoping that he and Cho would work out. Something's brewing between Ron and Hermione too. Harry is the new Quidditch captain for Gryfinddor! We find out more about how Voldy became Voldy. And the big one..unfortunately, one of the central characters perishes....

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Letter to Baby

This morning I received some baby gifts from my cousins. Along with the gifts was this short letter addressed to the baby, welcoming her to the world and to the family. I found this really sweet and touching - a beautiful gesture by my teenage cousins and it sparked this idea. To write a letter to baby myself - perhaps something I could do a few days after she is born. I could keep it until she is old enough to read it someday. I think that would be beautiful.

I can't wait to meet you, dear baby...

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Almost there

I'm now almost 36 weeks pregnant. Today is the 250th day, which means there is an estimated 30 days left til I'm due. But of course, that is only an estimation. In theory, I could give birth anytime from now. Feeling pretty anxious these days, mainly thinking about how things will go, all the preparations that we haven't done, etc etc. Though I guess all that is normal. I just pray that everything will be fine and I know that the best bit is coming...meeting baby!

Monday, October 10, 2005

33 weeks Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 07, 2005

Excuses, excuses

A student came up to me this morning and asked me when she would be able to take 2 make up tests, which she had previously missed due to illness. I had agreed to let her take the tests since she did have a medical slip from the doctor. But I remembered that it took her quite some time to even hand the medical slips in to me, almost a month, if I'm not mistaken.

The class had just had another test last week. And after I finished marking the tests yesterday, I took note of all the students who were absent - meaning they had missed that test. And the same girl was among them. She had missed yet another test.

What irritated me was that, I was the one who brought up the fact that she had missed another test. Her reply was a very lackadaisical, 'ohh yeahhhh...' and then began on this story of how she was studying for the test, slept late, woke up late, couldn't get in contact with any of her friends (of course! they were already in the class,sitting for the test!!), yada yada yadaaaaaa....At that point, I had just switched off and told her I didn't want to hear any of her excuses.

Only then did she start to make this 'muka kesian' saying, 'so I can't take that test??' Uuughhhh..

I keep remembering, I have a responsibility 'to' these students to teach them..but I'm not responsible 'for' what or how they choose to react.. Just bums me out to think that with that kind of attitude, that girl is gonna be having more problems later on in her studies and in her life too...but still, it's her choice..

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Give us a chance to be creative

I can't help thinking that sometimes there are just too many rules around. For almost everything we do, there are certain rules or standards that must be complied. In order to be accepted, we must follow the norms - or else...

In my opinion, all these rules do to stifle creativity.

For instance, yesterday - there was a heated issue brought up in Parliament, concerning how the singer, Hattan - had supposedly sang Negaraku in a 'different' way. His acapella version was immediately deemed as an insult to the integrity of the song and the nation. Now, I don't know if Hattan did indeed have an ulterior motive but I would like to think that he was merely being artistic, giving his own interpretation of the song, being creative. To be instantly stamped as insulting the nation - just seems a little too much. My husband tells me that there is an actual Parliamentary Act on the National Anthem. Maybe there are specifics in the act that say the song MUST be sang in a certain way ONLY. But hmm..what about some people who are simply tone deaf, who 'got no rhythm'? What about kids who are just learning the song? Try as they may, they just can't get the tune right - does that mean they are insulting the nation too?

Then, there's the Post Office. Some time ago, the Post Office introduced these new 'standards' meaning that only certain type of envelopes of certain sizes are acceptable. Others I think, will incur extra postage charges. As I understand it, you can't have any funky shaped envelopes or any with bold and striking colours. To me, this is another imposement that does not allow people to express themselves. Isn't that what letters are for? Expressing yourself?

Many of these type of 'rules' make us follow the norm. No way to stand out and be yourself. No wonder we're struggling when it comes to creativity..We're all being programmed..We're living 'IN' the MATRIX! So.. do you want to take the blue pill or the red pill?

Saturday, October 01, 2005

After a hard day's work

What a long day...I think I'll have a snooze....

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Ahh..what joy to be 12 again!

Ahhh..what joy to be 12 again! Posted by Picasa

Here's my cousin Ashrynn celebrating her 12th birthday on the 28th August 2005. I can't help thinking..she's still a little girl..with so much possibilities ahead of her.. :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Love Actually

Love all around us.. Posted by Picasa

This is one movie that I really love..actually! Storylines are so simple but yet really touching in a way. Particularly love the scenes between Jamie and Aurelia - love is a universal language.

Jamie : The happiest part of my day.. sending you..
Aurelia: The saddest part of my day.. leaving you..

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

A Sense of Responsibility

I'm feeling a bit cross at some of my students. You see, I handed them an assignment which was supposed to be submitted last Friday. Many of them still came in yesterday to hand it in, citing their numerous excuses why they didn't hand it in on Friday. Some even swearing that they 'simply forgot' to do so.. And today, one student comes into my office and hands in his assignment. When I said that he is 4 days (including the weekend) late, and that I will have to deduct his marks...he simply's OK..just deduct it. OH MY!! Don't these people have any sense of responsibility at all?? It's OK for now, for me to deduct marks for their final grade. But do they think this is how it's gonna be in the real, working world? Do they think their bosses will let them off the hook that easily?? This attitude of some students just really upset me. They don't care at all...

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Tummy Tum Tum

There's my tummy at about 29 weeks. Should take more tummy pics, sebagai kenang-kenangan..hehe

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

200 days and counting

Yesterday was my 200th day of being pregnant. still amazes me when I think about it. There is a little person growing inside of me. And this little person really reminds me all the time that he/she is in there! Last week particularly, the baby was very, very active. Moving, kicking, punching me. :) I love it. Especially when we watch something musical on tv, like Malaysian Idol or when hubby turned on the PS2 Hotshots Golf game which had this cute music background - baby was really excited!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Ice Cream Goreng

Found recipe for ice cream goreng! Yum yum!! It's a bit meticulous, in that you need 2 days to deep freeze the ice cream before frying...but I'm sure it's ferociously delicious! Must try soon...Anyone yang ada cuba buat ni, give me a call so I can help you finish it off.. :)

2 litres of ice cream (any flavour of your choice)
Enough oil for deep frying
Satay sticks for skewers
Sponge cake crumbs

125g plain flour
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup water
3 egg whites

Scoop out ice cream into balls with an ice cream scoop. Wrap the balls in aluminium foil. Arrange them in neat rows and pack them up in an airtight plastic container.

Set freezer compartment of the refrigerator to the lowest temperature and freeze the ice cream balls for a day.

Remove the aluminium foil from the ice cream balls and coat completely with sponge cake crumbs. Wrap in aluminium foil and deep freeze for a day.

Combine flour, water and milk and mix well. Beat up egg whites until stiff, then stir gently and lightly into flour mixture.

Leave batter in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to one hour.

Remove aluminium foil from the ice cream balls.

Push a satay stick into each ball of ice cream and dip into the batter. Roll in breadcrumbs.

Deep freeze again until firm. (It takes two to three hours if the freezer compartment is really cold.)

Just before deep frying, heat enough clean oil in a wok. (Oil should be just fairly hot and not smoking hot.) Deep fry ice cream balls (in batches) until slightly golden. Serve immediately.


Monday, August 08, 2005

Azlina's Wish List

On my current wish list...

1. Healthy baby & safe childbirth
2. Sony Ericsson K750i or Nokia 7610 - can't decide, I like both
3. IPod or IPod Shuffle
4. Apple IMac for home

This list will be added to or ammended from time to time.. :)

It's a Small World..

I was browsing through the baby section at Home & Garden store and my, my... there are so many baby thingies available! It's really fun to look through all those small stuffs. Who wudda thought such small people need so many things. From teenie, cutie diapers and blankets and bottles and stuff. For the mommies, there are stuffs like breast pumps, breast pads, pillows... I love looking at all the funky looking baby bottles. Ya laa...during our times, we only had the conventional plastic white bottles. Nowadays, they come in all sorts of funky shapes and sizes and colours. Then there's the bigger stuffs like the baby cot, strollers, car seats...waduhhh seronoknya jadi little babies nih!

I was tempted to buy this pack of baby hat+ mittens+baby booties. Really cute. but then, I remembered my mom saying that I shouldn't go buying all these stuffs yet. Maybe when I'm almost due. But it's sooo tempting, so cuteeeeee........

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

I'm Loving It..

I think I love being pregnant. I'm thankful that I haven't had much problems associated with pregnancy such as morning sickness, intense cravings, etc. - so far. It's miraculous actually, to think that another human being is inside you. Growing and waiting to be born into the world. I can't wait to meet the precious little one. Soon. Will be entering my third trimester soon. It won't be long after that.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Happy Moms

Last Saturday, my mom and I went to this quaint little maternity shop called Happy Moms. The shop is ideally situated among a row of maternity specialist clinics, which is very convenient, I must say. The shop is little. But when we went in, it was packed with lots of maternity clothes, baby stuffs and toys. How wonderful, as I thought there weren't any such shops here in KK.

The salesgirl and owner immediately went to work on me. Showering me with suggestions upon suggestions of clothes that I simply MUST try. And they kept putting in blouses and skirts and dresses in the fitting room that by the time I got in, there must have been more than 10 items of clothing in there for me to try on!

In the end, I happily settled for one blouse, one skirt and a dress. At least I now know where I can go to buy nice clothes. Guess going to that store really does make you a Happy Mom! :)

Monday, July 11, 2005

Tick Tock..

Pottermania! Posted by Picasa

Tick tock tick tock...5 more days til the release of the new Harry Potter book! We were at Penguin bookstore yesterday and at least two people were asking about the book. Looks like everybody's gone Potter crazy...and I'm not even halfway through the Order of the Phoenix!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Emotional Knapsack

I've read that one of the 'side effects' of being pregnant is that, one can tend to be overly emotional at times. Well, pregnant or not, I do tend to be quite a softie. Any sad or touching stuff can easily start me sniffing and reaching for my kleenex.

Over the weekend, I watched - well, only partly watched - The Last Samurai on HBO. I didn't even know the whole story but in that last scene, where Tom Cruise goes to hand Katsumoto's sword to the emperor, I could sense the tear ducts starting to activate. And when the emperor said, 'Tell me how he died..' and he replied, 'I will tell you how he lived..' It was like..awww man - hold back the tears, hold back the tears!!

A few weeks ago, I watched Mona Lisa Smile. Same scenario, the last scenes in the movie, where the girls ride alongside Julia Robert's taxi and wave her goodbye...sob sob sob.....

Now granted, these are professionals at work. It's their job to make you feel the movie. Getting you to cry means weyheyyy! The producers, the actors have done their job.

I did have one moment though - it was quite some time ago now. I was driving to work in the morning. Listening to the radio and out comes the song 'The Reason' by Hoobastank. I love that song. Got the mp3, listen to it all the time. But that morning it was different. Listening to the lyrics, I suddenly found my eyes welling up.

'I'm not a perfect person, there's many things I wish I didn't do, but I continue learning...'..'I found a reason for change who I used to be..'

I started to think of my life now - my lovely husband and baby on the way..

Halfway through the song, tears were streaking down my face. Good thing I don't wear mascara! Funny, how sometimes, these little things can trigger off the most compelling response. Was it the pregnancy hormones at work? Perhaps. Haven't had any more moments like that though. But I can't imagine how i'll be like when the baby DOES arrive. There'll be two cry babies then..

Monday, June 27, 2005

I Don't Want To Be

I don't wanna be
Anything other than what I've been trying to be lately
All I have to do
Is think of me and I have peace of mind
I'm tired of looking round rooms
Wondering what I've got to do
Or who I'm supposed to be
I don't want to be anything other than me

I love these lyrics from Gavin DeGraw's I Don't Want To Be.

We live in a world of expectations. People expect this and that of us. Since we were young, we've all been taught to conform to certain ideals and standards. Trying to be different and not doing what other people do, labels yourself as a misfit or a show off who doesn't fit in. Which is quite sad. It's sad to think that this is what the education system and social upbringing does to us.

We should all be recognized as unique, creative, beautiful, wonderful individuals with different things to offer to the world. Wouldn't it be great to live knowing that you can be whatever you want to be, that anything you dream is possible.. Wouldn't that be great indeed..

Starting Your Own Business

On Saturday, my husband and I attended a workshop entitled 'A Practical Guide to Starting Your Own Business' which was held at MIM in KL. We thought we would be the only ones to fly there for the course but there were other participants who flew from Kuching, Terengganu and even the Phillipines. The best thing about joining these type of workshops or courses, is that you are with a like minded group of people. Those who are in the same shoes, wanting to own our own businesses or do something different in life. The workshop was useful. There was a great deal of interesting and inspiring information for aspiring entrepreneurs. Particularly useful, i felt, was the exercise in generating business ideas and then applying the GO/NO GO matrix to get an idea of the feasibility. We even did a group exercise of manufacturing envelopes and seeing how many we would be able to sell off. Though the exercise was fun, it took quite a great deal of time to complete and I felt there wasn't a really strong message behind it, applicable to the purpose we joint the workshop. How were we supposed to make good quality envelopes anyway, when the equipment supplied i.e. the scissors, were those really blunt and bad quality ones. The kind you'd use in kindergarten. Anyway, the overall workshop was interesting. A definite push to really go and crank that business idea up!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Does It Come In Black?

The new Batman movie, Batman Begins my opinion, highly entertaining and! Christian Bale fits in as the Caped Crusader just fine, perhaps even better than some of his predecessors. I am not really familiar with the comics and the story of how Batman really began and so, I found the plot interesting, exciting, humorous and surprising at times. I liked Gary Oldman as Sergeant Jim Gordon. Particularly since we just saw a rerun of Friends were he guest starred as the spitting actor and I also still had an image of him as Sirius Black in my mind.

Monday, June 13, 2005

AF3: Bye Bye Baby

So OK, the 2nd AF3 concert was not that bad. Despite time management problems - heh, poor newsreader guy, got cut off by the higher powers of AF! - But sure maa, AF is wayy important than news..hehehe

Unlucky for Aznil, who didn't have the chance to practice his usual rambling and dramatizations. When he announced that Eliza "Baby" was the one with least votes, they didn't seem to believe him.

The 2nd concert the start, a bit frightening. Since this time round, the producers had managed to get two highly honest artists on the critique panel. When Adlin 'Sultan Melaka' said that Amy's performance was lazy and the white boots didn't do their job..both my hubby and I cringed. Eeekk...the guy was brutally honest! Bet Amy wished that the floor doors where the bag appeared last week would open up so that she could jump in. That was certainly how I felt. Adlin and Hattan really sucker punched the first few students who performed. Luckily, after Amylea performed they seemed to soften up a bit. Ahhh..they're MEN after all!

OK question: How come Mawi and Felix are leading by such a big margin??? Doesn't seem fair. How are the fans doing it??

I watched the repeat of the Imbasan and woww...M Nasir said that Mawi was really dissapointing and if it were up to him, he would send Mawi a packing home. Wow, strong statement.

I didn't really have a favourite performance for the 2nd concert. I like the song Mungkin, but I didnt like Kefli singing it. Aidil didn't quite have the soul for 'I Dont Wanna Miss A Thing'. Idayu's voice seemed to be swallowed by the music. Ekin was beautiful in her kebaya thingy. And Felix...well, as Adlin said 'weird..but interesting!'

PS..dontya think that floor hatch opening thingy takes ages..they should scrap it to save time!

18 1/2 weeks

I'm now into the 19th week of my pregnancy. My time flies. I'll be 5 months soon.

I had my doctor's appointment last Saturday. After some deliberation, I have decided that I will settle with this doctor, Dr Chin. Many friends have recommended me to try out other doctors as well, but since I had already gone to Dr Chin, I figure I'll just stay on there. A bit too lazy and time consuming to go check out the others. Perhaps for the next babies :)

Anyway, it was a great relief to see the Dr. I love having my tummy ultrasound-ed and seeing baby. I also go to a regular clinic but always leave feeling unsure because their ultrasound machine is not really clear. At Dr Chin's, I can really see the baby clearly. He can even zoom in and out, the wonders of modern medicine! And he will let me hear the baby's heartbeat, which is very reassuring indeed. This time round, I could see baby's limbs clearly. It looked as though he/she was sucking the thumb. How cute! The baby's head was measured at 40mm, I think. It couldn't have been 40cm! The doctor said that this was about the right size for 18 weeks. Other than that, doctor also said that the placenta is still a bit low, perhaps since it's still early.

He also said that I should try not to gain too much weight! Oh dear. Well, it seems I had gained 3kg since my last visit. I didn't have much appetite for dinner during the first trimester but since I graduated into the second trimester, the appetite is back..with a vengeance! Mmm...must eat more fruit and veggies..and try to avoid the burgers and fries! *Gulp* Can I still have dim sum?

More baby updates soon.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Cantiknya pelamin.. Posted by Hello

A Little Princess Posted by Hello

Hubby, me and cousin Hakim at Adi's wedding. Posted by Hello

AF3: Keeping It Simple

Last Saturday night, AF fans were treated to the first (well, second actually - if you count the Prelude Concert in) concert of the season. Instead of the usual 3 hour concert that we are used to from the previous seasons, Saturday's concert aired in a whooping 4 and half hours! Including a half hour interval for Astro News at 11pm. AF die hard fanatics would probably have loved this extra coverage. As for me, I found it tiresome and thought 'What the heck are they trying to do??!'

One thing is sure, the AF production team this year just can't make their minds up. First they introduced the Prelude Concert and dropped 8 students. And then, despite Aznil's on and on rambling that 'yesss..someone will be going home..' during the first concert, they turn around and say that they are taking two of the rejects back??! Perhaps they are simply playing into requests by fans on CH15 that continually sms 'AFUNDI MAWI...', 'AFUNDI MARSHA...' I thought Rosma should've been taken back in in the first season. But then, after seeing the emotions Linda went through in the second season, Rosma was probably better off.

Saturday's concert wasn't spectacular. The only good performances I felt were from Ekin and Felix. Despite raves for Idayu's performance, I just thought it was OK. She just sounded too Siti-like, I think she could've sung better with her 'own' voice. I'm dubbing Kefli and Aidil as the 'pretty boys', they're like the singers in boybands who can't really sing but have got the looks. The others.. we'll see what happens. I just hope that they don't pump in too many gimmicks into this season. Look at American Idol, they've kept things simple and people are still tuning in and voting.

I somehow think that the production already knew they wanted Mawi and Marsha back in... Anyone saw the look on Marlia Musa's face when the 8 rejects performed? She looked pissed...Anyway..hmmmm...

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Bang Bang

I have a cousin named Bang-bang (pronounced Beng beng). Of course, this isn't his real name. Bang-bang's parent's separated when he was small and so, it's been about 15 years since I last saw him. He had followed his mother to live in the Philliphines or was it the States..He was a really cute and chubby little kid then and this is the last image that has played in my mind any time someone mentioned him.

Yesterday, I attended my cousin Adi's akad nikah ceremony. Adi is Bang-bang's half sister. When rumours started circulating that Bang-bang was around, we were all anxious to see him. He was instantly summoned to greet all the aunties and cousins he hadn't seen in ages. It was quite exciting. The anticipation to see him after all these years. I guess we were all somehow still expecting the sweet, smiley, cuddly little kid that we remembered of him.

When alas Bang-bang made his appearance, I could still recognize his sweet face. But instead of the chubby little kid we were expecting, he was rather tall and lanky with a Hongkong style haircut and a cigarette on one hand. He's 23 and works as a writer in the Philiphines. It was nice seeing him after all these years.

When we returned home, my mom mentioned, 'Goodness, what happened to him?' I guess mom was still hung up on the image of chubby and innocent little Bang-bang too. I just smiled and thought to myself, 'What happened to him was .. life. He grew up. He's lived.' I don't want to judge him by his appearance, I'm sure he's a wonderful young man who's had some wonderful experiences and he's entitled to nothing less than any warm homecoming that we can give him here.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Kotobian Tadau Kaamatan

Hurrraahhh, it's a long holiday weekend. And I've got the rest of the week off too! Yippeee....What ever will I do? Hmm..easy..sleep, eat, watch tv...go shopping..and read my new book, Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix. :)

Friday, May 27, 2005

All Heart

I loved that both Sergio Mora and Alfonso Gomez won their respective fights in The Contender finale. What I can say most about both of them is that they're all heart. Their sheer determination is admirable. Must be in the Mehican blood. Both seemed to be underdogs in their fights, Sergio fighting world ranked Peter and Alfonso fighting the more beefy Jesse.

I think I started to like Sergio early on, after his fight with Najai. He talked about not saying 'I Love You' enough to his mother. And how his girlfriend is a law student, which makes him slightly embarassed by the fact that he's 'just' a boxer. And how he wants to improve and make something of himself. You gotta admire him for having such awareness and motivation to better himself. He's a reader and a writer. Ah, we have something in common.

I really enjoyed watching The Contender but I don't think I'll be subscribing to any of the boxing season passes on Astro anytime soon though..

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Revenge of the Coffee Drinkers

In San Francisco.. Posted by Hello

So there's us enjoying a cuppa at the new San Francisco Coffee outlet that just opened in Tanjung Aru. Actually, the girls are enjoying the coffee..I have to be content with drinking milk at the moment. :)

This was after we watched Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. Well, for some people it was their second time watching it!

For all the hype that this movie has generated, I guess it is justified. It is after all, the big one. The conclusion to the prequels. How Anakin turned into baddie Darth Vader. Though I knew it was coming, I must say..there was great anticipation to see it actually happening. That first breath of Darth Vader's, the birth of Luke and Leia, Yoda's gymnastic moves!

We read that the hologram image of Anakin in the last scene in Return of the Jedi has been replaced with Hayden Christensen. I wish George Lucas had just kept with the original..but oh's his vision, who are we to argue.

Thanks for reading..may the force be with you.

Jedi Wannabes Posted by Hello

Friday, May 20, 2005

The snoozing monkey Posted by Hello


Cherish your visions; cherish your ideals. Cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts. For out of them will grow all delightful conditions, all heavenly environment; of these, if you but remain true to them, your world will at last be built.

I love the above remarks. It comes from the book As A Man Thinketh by James Allen. It reminds me that life is wonderful and everything that is wonderful starts from the wonderful thoughts that we create in our minds.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Can't Get No Satisfaction

What an electrifying performance by Bo Bice in last night's Idol! That second acapella song was so eerily captivating that you couldn't hear a single person in the audience move. On a night that could possibly be life altering, Bo delivered. It would be the biggest upset ever if he were not in the finals. I love his performances!


Bo Bice, "Within A Dream" (acappella)

Clive - "It was real risky, it was indeed bold and very courageous of you, but you pulled it off. Bo, you’re getting stronger every single week, and I am making a prediction: we are going to have a great time making a very special album together." (Whoa!)

Randy - "You know what I loved about that? It’s the way you auditioned for the show: the public probably forgets, you sing a cappella, there’s no band, there’s no stage, there’s no this – you come in a room and you face us. I love that you returned to this... it was the bomb and it was unbelievable. It was great!"

Paula - "You are a gift... on the inside too, you’re a wonderful soul and the rest of the world is going to experience that."

Simon - "You may have put 34 musicians out of work."

Sting7 - Okay, a lot just happened here. First, Clive has anointed a winner! We’re not even halfway through the show! Guess what? I picked my winner last week. Bo. Yeah, plenty of outraged emails that I dare make such a prediction. How you like me now? Jeez, I got a chill! That was one of the most amazing performances I’ve ever seen on Idol. It is still resonating in my head. That was just spectacular!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Viva Alfonso

“Behind all the punches there are humble people with heart who love each other.” - Alfonso Gomez

I love this remark by Alfonso Gomez of The Contender

It really sums up what the show it all about. Kudos to Mark Burnett for his wonderful portrayal of these boxers, who we have now learned to love and respect. It really tugs on my heart whenever one of them talks about hopes of a better tomorrow for their families. And to see them getting beaten up over it..there's something poetically unsettling about that.

Alfonso and Sergio were my favourites for the final. It was sad to see Alfonso go. He fought with heart and grace and it was good showmanship that he still went to congratutlate Peter before leaving. One more match to go..and I'm all for the Latin Snake to win.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Good Food and Good Telly..It Dont Get Better Than That..

Yesterday was spent with two of my favourite activities - eating and watching telly!

I first went to Hyatt for a hi tea buffet with my mom, my Aunt and her two kids and my cousin. Whewww..we were there from around 1220pm til after 2pm, when most of the other tables were already clear. The Gado-gado was definitely yummy. And the nasi ayam. And the crepe filled with peanut butter, eaten with vanilla ice cream! See now I'm gettting hungry again! And the eating didn't stop there. I then went out with my hubby, who couldn't join us for the hi tea cos he was playing wicket keeper in a cricket match. Shared a rojak buah with him and had a tea float (cold milky tea with whipped cream..yumster!). And then..there's more! Around 6 pm, the Aunty and cousins came round our house again with more food. Nasi lemak, meehun goreng, otak-otak and roti kahwin which were all nice and yummy too and we just HAD to eat it! My goodness..this gives new meaning to 'eating for two'. But I ain't complainin' man..the food was gooood...

Oh yeah, while we were at home eating..there was a show on Discovery & Living about these outrageous food you can get..things like chocolate scorpions, grasshoppers, rotten shark (ikan masin versi iceland), balut, rattlesnake and more...eeekk! I'm going back to thinking about that peanut butter crepe...ahhh yesss...anyways, this is not the good telly I was talking about..

Let's see, I watched The Amazing Race finale...again...(hurraaahhh Uchenna & Joyce!) and then I watched snippets of The Oprah Winfrey show..saw Renee Zelweger talking bout why she moved outta Hollywood. Something bout the paparazzi there and how it was not normal. I watched Parkinson which featured Jamie Oliver (my favourite naked chef), Billy Piper (geez..i didnt know she married Chris Evans when she was 18!..she came across sounding not really bright..) and Ewan McGregor (I seem to prefer him more from his Trainspotting and Shallow Grave days compared to Star Wars..) And then to finish the night off, The Apprentice. Tell you what, although it might've been unfairly portrayed..those StreetSmarts people can really swear! Dohh..but to swear in the boardroom, aiyaiyaiiiii...not really smart.

So there, I went to bed with my tummy full and my entire being happy. What can be better? Hmm..what should I have for lunch?

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Avada Kedavra

I have finally finished reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire!! Hurrahh! I thought it would take me ages to finish. My mind is still a buzzing with all the characters, the storyline, the vivid imagery it evoked. The storyline this time round involves the introduction of many new characters. We learn that there are other wizarding schools around besides Hogwarts..namely Beauxbaton and Durmstrang. The storyline also brings us back to some characters we've met before..Dobby, Moaning Myrtle to name a few plus some spells which we learnt with Harry and the gang in the previous years. My favourites include Expelliarmus!, Ridikulus! and Expecto Patronum!!!

Though the plot seems rather complicated, I wonder how they will depict it in the movie. Can't wait til November...though as my hubby pointed out..I would probably have to wait for it to come out on dvd..

Monday, May 09, 2005

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

I am currently engrossed in reading up the fourth installment in the Harry Potter series. I actually started reading it last year..some time before Azkaban was released. But since then, I have had to restart reading it a couple of times! You see, GOF is about 636 pages long..whereas all the HP before this were about 300 pages or so. The GOF book was actually a gift from a book supplier friend. Since GOF is one of the more harder to find HP books, I casually asked him one day if they had it in their store. A few days later, he came and gave me the book as a gift! Bless him and bless all those students who buy books from their store..

Anyway..once I restarted reading HPGOF, it seems that I can't put it down now! So much happening in the fourth year at Hogwarts - The Quidditch World Cup, The Triwizard Tournament, a new Defense against the Dark Arts teacher, not to mention a love interest for Harry! I can't wait to see the movie - out this November.

Somehow Ralph Fiennes seems too good looking and good to play the evil Lord Voldemort... Still ample time to finish the book. Then, I'll start hinting about the Order of Phoenix...The 6th book, Half Blood Prince is coming out this June! My, my I have some catching up to do....

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Ada isi sudah?

I am told that this is a customary question, asked to newlyweds, in anticipation of the pitter patter of a new member of the family.

Still, can I say that... the question just bugs me! I don't know why..if asked in the wrong manner, it really gets on my nerves. Never mind that, and this is our secret... *shhhh*, memang ada isi pun! *wink wink*

OK..if someone comes up to me nicely, asks me how it's going and asks me in an intimate, hush hush, caring and giggly manner, 'ada isi sudah?' Then I might just break and tell em the good news.

But there are some people, some whom I haven't talked to in ages..some whom I am not particularly close with..when they first see me, this is the first thing they ask! No 'how are you?', 'long time no see..' It's directly 'ada isi sudah?!!' And as I reluctantly shrug the question off..they'll start to mutter about honeymooning first, how 'everything' will be more difficult when you already have a la la la la....

I'll just lay low first and when baby is ready to show him/her self to the world..then I'll just smile to see the look on those people's faces...

Blown away

I went to get my hair washed and cut yesterday. It was a hair saloon that I regularly go to. Had my hair washed first. You know - before this I was always under this impression that hair washing is something that I could do myself at home. Something I could at least save some 13 bucks on. But lately, I quite enjoy it. Having my hair washed in the saloon. It's more of like a relaxation and indulgence ritual. So anyway, after my hair was washed, the owner then cut my hair to shoulder length with long wispy layers around. Then my hair was blow dried straight.

So when all was finished, I started to get ready and put on my tudung. From the corner of my eye, I could see this one Chinese aunty staring at me whilst I did this. No doubt somewhat intrigued by the whole process. And then it happened - the owner who'd cut my hair earlier was now blowdrying the hair of this lady sitting next to me. I heard her utter, 'Sudah cantik cantik kasi blow, dia pegi pakai topi pula..' Wah this really got to me! First of all, I pakai tudung lah, not topi! She was probably referring to the serkup but still...And secondly, I had been coming to this saloon regularly. They all knew that I wear tudung. What? Was I to just merrily walk out to show off the beautiful blow drying job they had done? Of course, I had to put on my tudung!

I just found this a little bit insensitive and not really good customer service, if you ask me.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Of Cats and Wabbits

Every morning, the cutest thing. A group of cats will quietly assemble in front of our house gate. There's Geena Davis (clearly identifiable by the mole on her cheek, we assume it's a her..), Stalin (yes, reincarnation of the Russian leader himself), one tabby cat and two other black and whites yet to be named. The ring leader used to be Hitler, you couldn't miss him with his rectangular black patch under the nose. We haven't seen Hitler in a while. However, every day too..there is this baby cat being caged in our neighbours house. Poor thang, just wails and miaows it's heart out all the time. We suspect he is under interrogation and on the brink of revealing Hitler's whereabouts.

Moving halfway across town, there is the tale of the 7 wabbits. Princess, Handsome, Chila, Pahang, Casper, Kupang Marudu and one more..I forget the name. Yesterday, it was discovered that Casper could be of dual genders. In an act of shock and desperation on hearing the news, Chila attempts to jump over the balcony and almost does. Only to be caught, in the matter of seconds by Boboy. Phew... 3 stories high, it wouldn't have been a pretty sight!

More from the animal kingdom soon.. :)

Saturday, April 23, 2005

The Reality Is..

What a great week in reality tv.

Let's see. First, in The Amazing Race, Uchenna and Joyce gave new meaning to going all the way, when Joyce agreed to participate in an ancient Indian ritual that required her to shave her head. Joyce was awesome, she knew that it was their only chance to get ahead of the pack. If they were to go back and do the Detour, they would've been dead last. I loved how she reasoned that it's just hair. Exactly! It will grow back. I am now rooting for this team to win. Romber (Rob and Amber) are just too confident and cocky for their own good. Team Mattel (Ron and Kelly) seem to be brewing trouble of their own. Somehow I don't really see Meredith and Gretchen making it as the winners.

Let's go to The Contender. I admit, when the season started I had no inclination to follow the series. I didn't think that a bunch of guys boxing would be my idea of great reality tv. And now, I'm hooked. Not on seeing the guys get bruised and battered each week but on how Mark Burnett so skillfully weaves in elements of emotion in each boxer's stories. I love it. This week, Jimmy Lange lost to Joey Gilbert. I gotta hand it to Joey, boxing with just one leg as he had torn the hamstring on the other. Though I was really rooting for Jimmy, albeit for the wrong reasons (Jimmy is the better looking of the two!). I loved how at the end of the match, Jimmy talked about his family, his expectant wife and how that is really what's important for him. Not embarassment on losing or anything like that.

Well, perhaps the only low or surprising moment this week was the booting of Anwar Robinson off American Idol. My friend is officially in mourning and wearing black to show her support for Anwar. I admit that Anwar's performances have been a tad bit boring the past few weeks. Still, I had thought that Porky (Scott Savol) and Anthony would've gone first. My top 3 : Carrie, Bo and Constantine. Let's see how it goes.

Isn't reality tv remarkable? The good ones that is. We can get so caught up in these people's lives, love em and hate em. When, to them, we're just like this small blip in their universe, silently casting in our votes for them.

Friday, April 22, 2005

What Am I Doing?

This morning, I met this guy who is a trainer in the field of Memory Techniques. Once we got chatting, I found out that he is actually trained as a Chemical Engineer but chose to go into the self development field. And this just made me think, darnned! Nothing against him..but it's just that I wonder, what am I doing, working in this field? When my real love is to do something else. Always fancied myself to be a writer. I want to run my own business, train as a certified Mind Mapping trainer, write articles, write a bestseller, learn a new language, travel the world. And yet, still, I hate that I am a slave to the punch card machine, clocking in, day in and day out.

I want to take the plunge. Somebody..gimme a nudge?

Don't Forget to Remember

This morning I attended a Memory Techniques seminar which was conducted by Lim Teck Hoe, the current Asia Memory Record Holder. It was an interesting and lively seminar, filled with anecdotes and exercises and mental aerobics to improve the memory.

Isn't it quite ironic that we have to pay so much for extra memory these days? Let's see, a 256MB usb drive costs something like rm200 or so? We can pay so much to add these additional features for our computers, palm pilots, handphones but what are we doing in terms of using our own memory capabilities - the most sophisticated computer ever - our own brains?

In a matter of hours, Lim got us to memorize lists of random items, numbers, historical dates. Interesting and amazing! He even did a demonstration where he memorized 55 random numbers all in the span of 2 minutes! He then recited the numbers correctly, even backwards! He taught us about memory techniques such as the memory chain, memory pegs, memory mnemonics, using significant information and the major system.

I was surprised that I could memorize a list of 20 random items and a list of 30 or so random numbers! Wanna know the secrets? Ahh...ask me and I'll quote you my charges.. :) Also, check out By the way, Lim Teck Hoe also once trained Tun Dr Mahathir and Tun Siti Hasmah. Cool!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


Insya-Allah translated means 'with God's will'.

I recently invited a colleague to attend a meeting and his immediate response was Insya-Allah. But somehow, from his reaction, I immediately got this feeling that he wouldn't or never really had the intention to come for the meeting.

Why do people respond with Insya-Allah when they fully know that they aren't going to come/commit anyway?

Somehow, I would prefer a direct 'sorry, I won't be coming'.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Malaysian Idols Fantasia

I'm not talking about Fantasia Barrino, winner of last year's American Idol, but our local reality hit Akademi Fantasia. As the new season of Akademi Fantasia gears up, I wonder what kind of surprises and talents will we be seeing this year. Last year, it was quite delightful to see three Sabahans being chosen for the show. And yet more so to see two of them in the finals. However, last season's AF seemed to miss some of the charm that was inherit in the first season.

If I were to compare the two winners, Vince from AF1 and Zahid from the second season, I would think that Vince would win by miles out. There's not much that I can recall about Zahid except for his goofy performance of M Daud Kilau's song and him crying for not being given the same attention as given to Linda. When I think of Vince on the other hand, I remember the first time he sang in the Af concert..the heart tugging 'Pergilah Sayang'. I remember him singing Belaian Jiwa and Flying Without Wings. I remember him playfully playing with the cameras and being crushed by Sahri. I remember his song 'Hold on to Your Dreams' that was actually used to close the season's show. *sob sob*

Now, if we compare AF with MI - Malaysian Idol. Vince and Jac. Whaddaya guys think? So far, I havent seen or heard much of Jac. I havent listened to any of her songs except for 'Gemilang' which she sang in the finals. But Jac is somewhat typical dontcha think? Her voice and style are somewhat typical of Fantasia or should I say, the general African American singers. So again, to me, Vince still wins. I guess from the start I never really expected the AhBeng could sing..He surprised me!

But how would our singers fair in front of Paula, Randy and Simon? Sad to say, Simon would probably tell most of those who were on AF1 and AF2 that they are horrendous and should pack their bags straight away!

Hopefully the coming season of AF will give us more to look forward to, more great talent, more to remember. I wonder...whatever happened to Nemo the cat?

Monday, April 18, 2005


Did you guys know that there are some 384 or so Pokemon characters? Yep, I just found out this fascinating fact yesterday, whilst browsing through this magazine with my husband. :) I found this amazing and wonderous. That someone actually went through the act of painstakingly creating each of those characters. And how each can actually evolve and gain new powers. Wow.

Pikachu remains my all time favourite..


I watched the movie Chocolat a few weeks ago on RTM1, of all channels. I forgot what a charming and delightful movie it was! Loved it... where have all the good movies gone?

Friday, February 25, 2005

Reality Bites

I was watching my favourite movie - Before Sunrise, the other day and in one scene Ethan Hawke's character, Jesse talks about his idea to produce these 24 hour documentaries about ordinary people, living their ordinary lives. The show would be aired every day of the year and it would feature people from all over the globe showcasing their poetry of day to day life. Before Sunrise was produced in 1994. This was long before Survivor and The Amazing Race and Big Brother...which actually means that the movie's writer, Richard Linklater had conceived this idea of reality tv long before it started to hit our television sets in the late 1990s.

Were Mark Burnett and Jerry Bruckheimer the lucky ones who actually saw Before Sunrise and felt the idea could possibly work? Perhaps.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Ridiculus! Posted by Hello


One of my favourite parts from the book and movie, Harry Potter and Prisoner of Azkaban is when Professor Lupin teaches the class the Ridiculus spell. The spell is used to ward off a creature called a Boggart. The Boggart is a creature that senses one's fears and takes it on in order to frighten people off. In facing the Boggart, Professor Lupin tells the class to imagine something funny when they are face to face with the Boggart and their own fears. And then to yell..RIDICULUS!! What really finishes off the Boggart then, is laughter.

Facing our fears, this is something that all of us possibly face in our daily lives. We try to hide and run from our fears but there might be a time and place where we have to meet with it, head on. And the only thing that can save us then, is our own mind. In saying 'Ridiculus!', we are looking our fears in the face and knowing that is it all mind over matter.

To make sense of the world, we rely on our five senses - we see or visualize, we hear, we feel, we smell and taste. We make pictures in our minds based on input we receive from the outer world. We make pictures and play the movie in our minds. These pictures or movies are based on what we perceive of our reality.

What makes us fearful or what makes a phobia a phobia is having a picture or movie in our mind that is played over and over again, with full cinematic features of bright colours, a loud soundtrack and being associated with full kinesthetic feel.

The first step in overcoming your fear does not require such drastic and dramatic action as signing up for Fear Factor. Rather it requires the ability to change these pictures that you play in your mind. To take control over them. To tone down all those features that serve to heighten your fears.

One of my fears is snakes. Now I have never had any bad experiences with snakes but simply imagining them slithering quietly is enough to send shivers down my spine. What makes the snake so frightful is that, in the screen of my mind, I am imagining it in full size and full colour, I hear the loud hissing, I am fully associated - I see the snake through my own eyes and can feel the sensation of fear crawling up my body.

What I can do now is to tone down this picture. Reduce the size of the picture so that the full size snake has shrunk into just a small one. I change the colour so that it is now in black and white. I switch off the volume so that the hissing sound is no more. I can even pause the movie so that the snake is not moving. I dissociate - instead of seeing through my eyes, I now see myself in the picture. And I see myself looking at the small, black and white, soundless, still snake. And it does not seem as scary anymore.

And I guess, to really finish it off then, I could pull out my imaginary wand and say RIDICULUS! And just laugh the fear off.

A note on the terms 'associated' and 'dissociated':

Associated - when playing a picture or movie in your mind, you see through your own eyes. You see the surroundings but you do not see yourself in the picture/movie. Your senses are more fully engaged when you are associated. You see, hear and feel.

Dissociated - the opposite. You can see yourself in the picture/movie. As you can see yourself, then you can not directly see, hear, feel what you see, hear, feel at that moment. Make sense? Hmmm...

To Blog or Not to Blog..

What is there to write? What to say? How to say it? Who will read? Does anyone care, does it matter at all?

Here's what I think:

1. There's plenty to write about. Doesn't have to be mind blowing, Pulitzer prize sort of material. Just a collection of trivial thoughts, daily meanderings, out of the blue experiences, something small that touches your heart and mind.

2. Say anything!

3. Say it with my own voice. What I see, what I hear, what I feel.

4. People might read, they might not. But the important thing is that I got it out there. Got it out of my mind and floating in the matrix of this blog!

5. I choose to believe that it does matter and people do care.