Saturday, November 24, 2007

Big Announcement, Long Overdue

Some of you might already know this, some might not and perhaps should prepare yourself for what might be a shocking announcement. A conversation with a friend this morning reminded me that I haven't actually told everyone about this.

Well, I might as well let the cats out of the bag so they can prance freely on the streets!

This morning's conversation with said friend went like this:

Friend: Linut...is it true? You have left UMS???
Me: *Sighhhhhhhhhhh* True!

For those you of who were slightly taken aback by that, are you okay now? : )

YES. It's true. I have left the realms of academia. Hung up my whiteboard markers (well, not quite actually). Said bubye to the good ol OHP and LCDs, attendance sheets and punchcard machine.

Let's see if I can clear out some things that you might be blurting out to your monitor at this moment...

When?
Almost 5 months ago actually! As I said, an announcement long overdue. My bad and also cause I was busy sorting out all the 'new' things in my now unemployed or shall I say, freely employed life.

Here's the big one: WHY??
Yes, this was probably the first thing that popped into your mind. I don't blame you. It's perfectly natural.
WHY oh WHY, in God's name would I do such a thing?
WHY leave a perfectly secure, good and noble job?
WHY, when so many other people are looking for jobs and would particularly LOVE to get into UMS?
WHY, WHY, WHY???

Well, let's see. I have been there for almost 7 years and it did not seem like I was really going anywhere. It might come as a shocker that I recently discovered that I wasn't really into it. Teaching was OK, it was tiresome at times, but generally it was OK. But when it came to research and projects, I was totally out. I wasn't the kind to want to spends hours and days on end, at the lab, staring at specimens and machines. I'd rather be blogging! ;) I haven't attended any seminars or conferences in the past few years. And even if I did, they probably made me! And to be honest...it bored the bonkers out of me. I was tired and bored of sitting in on presentations, meetings, projects and plans that I wasn't really interested in. Even final year student presentations bored me, which is bad because..I would be one of the examiners and it wouldn't really be fair to the students if I was actually not in the correct state of mind to mark them.

And so you can see, that when people started asking the big, 'Bila mau buat PhD?' question...it drove me mad! How could I possibly commit to something that big, when my heart is all the while and all the way somewhere else?? I would rather spend 3 years writing a book! And I've seen some friends too...who might not be too entirely sure that they want to do a PhD, but they've gone ahead to do it...because...it is expected. Doing it just for the sake of doing it?

I think I've known it for a while now. That I wanted to leave. It was just too damn scary to contemplate and comprehend before. But it was time. Time to make a decision. I made mine. It might be the hardest decision I've made so far. Weighing out security verses the unknown, pride verses asking 'who am I? what do I do?', conforming verses freedom and the possibility to do so many other things. And along the way, one of my biggest fears was actually...hurting and dissapointing two people that have been there more me all this while...my parents. Particularly my father. He had always had high hopes and expectations of me, that I will end up being a Professor. And it was really difficult, painful and sad to have to convince him that I wanted something else. If I had had the guts to confront my father about this sooner, I might have left long ago.

So yes. UMS was great (in a sense). It was a good job. Secure and all. And yes, many people want to get in and I wish them all the best...just that, it's no longer for me. For the record, I think people think it's easy being a lecturer...not quite. As I said, it's not just teaching..there's a whole lotta other, shall I say, crap?? that you have to do.

SO, what now? What have I been doing?
I've been up to..THINGS. I'll leave this for another post? Penat le, dah 4am ni...I couldn't sleep before this.

So now, you all know..I'm sorry I didn't tell you earlier....

Let me close with two things:

1. I remember Sarah Jessica Parker's character, Carrie Bradshaw saying, 'My job is not who I am, it's just what I do...' or in my case, it was what I did..

2. When I told a friend about my intention to leave, she said, 'But, aren't you afraid of the unknown??' Damn right I am!! But you know what...the unknown ain't looking too bad now...in fact, it's looking quite great from where I stand :)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Yasmin Anne is 2 years old!

The sweet girl is 2 years old!

Do you think babies/toddlers know that it's their special day??
I can still consider her as my baby, right?

On her birthday, the 16th November, we had a quiet dinner - just the three of us at Delifrance in Warisan Square. Yasmin was her usual active self, not wanting to sit in the baby highchair but then, the waitress girl at the restaurant brought a piece of paper and a box of colour pencils for her and Yasmin sat there colouring away whilst we enjoyed our dinner. Amazing!

Busy colouring

Yummy spaghetti

By the way, after dinner, en route to Times Bookshop, I spotted a very familiar looking 'KUPI' t-shirt! : )

I had invited friends and family to come over for Yasmin's birthday celebration the next day at 'rumah atuk' as she would say. Many of them weren't able to come though, but nevertheless..thanks so much to Josie, Mimi, Rofendy and my cousins and aunty who did show up.

I ordered a Chocolate Fudge cake from Secret Recipe and asked them to do a picture of Elmo on top. I was really nervous and worried that they would get it wrong but thankfully, the cake turned out nice and Elmo was Elmo. Phew.

I also ordered a bunch of helium filled balloons from The Party Shop in Kompleks Karamunsing - very nice indeed! I bought goodie bags and filled it with crackers and candy to give out to the kids.

So cute Yasmin blowing the candles! I think she's seen it in the cartoons before...


Your turn, try to blow it.. :)

I cut up Elmo!

The food!! Macam hari raya pulak!

Though, I was a bit too tied up with the food arrangements, etc., on that day that I didn't really play the good hostess and sit and layan all my guests properly. Even forgot to ask everyone for a group photo! *Note to self for next year's party: Don't forget to layan the tetamu*

All in all...OK la, my party planning attempt. Must watch more of David Tutera.

But, you know what's the best thing about your child's birthday? It's not only the kid's BIRTHday but it is also the mommy's BIRTHday. I read somewhere - For every baby that is born, a mommy is born too... : ) So, Happy Birthday to me too.

The CHIKIN mobile! One of her gifts from her Nenek.
Look at her...sooo happy...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Late Night Addiction

What does a girl do when she can't sleep at night?
Watch 3 episodes of Grey's Anatomy back to back!
If I didn't have to think about waking up early (well..not THAT early actually) to cook Yasmin's food or to do the ironing and stuff...I'd probably have watched more!
Ooooohhh juicy, juicy and incredibly addictive!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Still on Birthdays


Yep, still on the topic of birthdays.

The house received a package from USA yesterday, from hubby's sis and it contained, among other things, birthday cards for everybody! Yes, it seems that everybody in the house will be celebrating their birthdays either this month or in December or January. The cards had specific instructions to only be opened on the actual birth date. So, I'll have to wait to open mine! Hubby already opened his on the stroke of midnite last night (ya birthday boy dia hari ni! and I still hadn't gotten him a proper gift!) Yang January tu lagi la lama kan...sabar ka dia tunggu tu? Yasmin also received a Halloween shirt and skirt - very nice - and a tshirt that read 'Future Harvard Freshman'...

Anyway, cheers to sis Ann for the cards and gifts!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Ranggau and Leo

L-R: Sophia, Siti Sabrina, Ranggau, Leo, Victor. On the floor: Linachu


My old pals Leo and Ranggau will be getting married soon. Not to each other, of course! Leo is getting married to his sweetheart Mal, on the 12th Jan next year in KL and Ranggau will be getting married the following week, 19th Jan to I don't know who and I don't know where.

I go back quite a long way with these two guys. I first met Ranggau when we both participated in the Titian Emas program way back in 1992. Met Siti Sabrina there as well. From then on, 'Gau' and I became penpals - yep, remember back in those days when we used to actually write and mail letters?? Wasn't that a joy?? Happy tu kalau balik dari kelas atau balik rumah, ada dapat surat from someone, kan??!

Anyway, Gau wrote the funniest of letters!! Used to make me laugh my eyes out. And I didn't mind his not-so-neat handwriting at all! And he sent me birthday cards with odd and funny things attached to them, like a straw and a rubber band (mana sudah tu ah?). He once wrote about how his friends and him went to watch The Joy Luck Club at the cinema...and all the guys cried for like 2 hours...and one girl cried for 2 hours 15 minutes! Heh. We wrote to each other through out our form 5 year and talked about god knows what were the issues back in those days.

Then, as fate would have it...we both applied and got selected to receive the Shell Scholarship fund to pursue undergraduate studies in the UK. Wow...coinkidink or what, right?? We first met again in Miri during the Induction Session and the rest as they say, is history? Well, I actually thought that our relationship took a different turn once we met up and went to the UK together. I guess, I enjoyed it somewhat more when we were more like anonymous penpals. But it was fun being reunited with Gau and Siti Sabrina too!

I got in touch with Ranggau I think two years back. Actually, it was him who tracked me down and ended up serial calling my house because I used to always miss his calls. Last I know, he is working in Singapore and is involved in marketing or finance or something like that. He actually studied Petroleum Engineering in Imperial College, London. Smart people bah my friends ni. He was into surfing and writing poetry. I wonder if he still has his dragon ball haircut??

Now Leo. Hmmm..OK, I also met Leo when we went to UK together under the Shell Scholarship fund. When we were there, OK la...so so...our friendship. We just hung out together, with the gang. We did write to each other as well, during the holidays. Whenever I went down to London, I would either stay at Sabrina's place (cool, cool apartment in South Kensington!) or at Leo's place (stay with Sophia, they were housemates).

One thing that I will always remember - in my final year in the UK, I applied for this Bunac program (work exchange program in the US) and after waiting at the US embassy in London for like 3 hours, found out that I was rejected! Twas one of the saddest days in my UK life! Leo, kind soul that he is, tried to cheer me up and brought me out for a movie and food. Thing is...I actually forgot my purse (which contained my student card), so we couldn't get the student rate for the movie (mahal bah!) and then he payed for my food as well. And...and....thing is...at that time, Leo was actually nursing a torn tendon (which he got playing footie) and was walking around in a cast and crutches! Kesian the poor guy...dah la kesakitan dan penat berjalan..then tak dapat tengok movie and kena pulak bayar for my food! Aiyo...that was a bad day indeed!

We kept in touch after our graduations - e-mail and chatting online. Once he landed his job in KL, I would call him up whenever I was there and he'd bring me out for makan (and pay for it as well!). He once got booked for making an illegal turn when he was sending me back to my hotel! Aiiikkk! I introduced him to our dear friend Mae Mavis and it turned out they were connected in more ways than one. So now he's getting married - I'm so happy for the guy!

We have confirmed that we will be attending his wedding reception in KL, though we haven't made any travel arrangements yet. I'm hoping to meet up with some old friends at his wedding, especially Siti Sabrina - my dear shopping bud masa di UK. Maybe I should call up Ranggau too... mana tau dapat invite juga kan?

What a nice stroll down memory lane that was.....

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Birthdays

Yes, still on the topic of birthdays. We'll be celebrating three birthdays soon.. my hubby and Yasmin's this November and yours truly's in mid December. I'm planning a small birthday party for Yasmin and inviting friends and their kids to come makan-makan with us. If you haven't received my email or sms invite, tungguuuu.... And for my hubby, well...I think I won't mention it here lah, biar lah dia surprised?

For the benefit of those who might be cracking their heads, thinking of what to get me for my upcoming birthday...I thought I'd come up with my birthday wishlist and make life easier for you..hehehe

Here goes, in no particular order:

  1. Music albums: Daughtry, Elliot Yamin, Cinta the Soundtrack (I lost mine!), Anuar Zain's new one
  2. Books: Like the Flowing River: Thoughts & Reflections by Paul Coelho, Shopaholic & Baby by Sophie Kinsella
  3. Vouchers for Body Shop, Parkson or Times
  4. Bangles, bracelets or beaded necklaces - dunno why I suddenly developed a liking for these
  5. The sepit rambut with the big flowers - cantik! Though, I'd only be using it at home anyway...
  6. Notebooks (can't have enough..) or 2008 diary (nice one laaa..)
  7. Supply of daily or monthly disposable contact lenses - miss wearing lenses and my specs ni bingkang bingkuk sudah!
  8. Bring me for DimSum at Hyatt or Hi Tea at Pacific Sutera :)
  9. Jesse Spencer or Phil Keoghan (refer to blog bout old-er men below..) - do ya think these guys can be wrapped in ribbon and flown in for me?

Ok la...better stop here...this list can go on and on forever.....

Friday, November 02, 2007

Old Men

With hubby's birthday approaching soon, this following conversation ensued, a few days ago:
(* some details may have been added, distorted or imagined by author*)

Him: How old are we this year?
Me: 31 la..
Him: Ohhh...
Me: Don't worry la..you know what they say...men get hotter as they age.. ;)
Him: Ya kaaa?
Me: Ya laa, look at all those old guys...Pierce Brosnan, Gabriel Byrne, George Clooney...they're hot, man!
Him: hmmmmm...

Ladies, will you concur with me on this one? Betul kan, for most men la... there's just something about getting older...they get more attractive, don't you think?? OK, granted that guys like Pierce Brosnan, George Clooney memang muda-muda dulu pun hot....but look at Gabriel Byrne for instance, not really someone that I would classify as attractive or overly good looking..but then a few years ago, whilst I was watching Stigmata (of all movies!), I started thinking...man, this Gabriel Byrne is hot oh! Or did you all watch the final season of Sex & The City...that old, artist dude that Carrie dated and went to France with....wasn't there just something oddly attractive about him?

Perhaps it's their worldliness...that they have experienced, seen and been places... perhaps it's at this age that they exude self confidence and maturity... they've gone through things that you're supposed to have gone through and made you a better person...

Whatever it is, there is no denying.... old men are hot! Here's just hoping that with age also comes wisdom and patience and the ability to save the world and the realization that missing one football match isn't the end of the world!