Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Bloggerholic

I bloghopped to Victor's site and read his entry about The 50 Most Influential Blogs in Malaysia.

Apparently, there has been a lot of talk about how Blogs are a bad thing, how it has influenced people's decision making and has been a tool in spreading rumours. Kononnya, a Minister has even stated that 8000 of 10,000 unemployed bloggers are women who have nothing better to do than spread rumours to disunite the country. Duhh!! How kuno! Get with the times dude, it's the information age and blogs are just another medium of expression and information sharing.

Anyway, Vic mentioned that to be considered as an influential blog, the blog must have a Technorati ranking of 30 000 or lower. I registered my blog with Technorati some time back and checked my ranking.. Look at that..

Rank 927370!! Vic's site is in the 30000's range. So OK, my blog might not be in the influential list but I like to think that it still does add something to the blogosphere and most importantly, I blog not for others but for my own self satisfaction.

A Tad Nostalgic

I went to UMS yesterday morning to collect my cheque from the Bursar's office. (Yes, after something over 6 months, they finally settled it!) (Sorry SKTM friends, I didn't give y'all a buzz or drop by, I was in a bit of a hurry yesterday)

As I was driving up to the Canselori, nicknamed Twin Towers by UMSians, I was caught by a sudden notch of nostalgia. I have driven up that hill so many times, attending courses at the Canselori, delivering lectures in the DKPs, seeing my students graduate in the Big Hall. I did work there for over 7 years. I still can't believe it was that long. Students came and went and there we were.

I had some really good times during those years. Most notably I think, would be, just to be with friends. I have met some really good and great people there. Some brilliant, some inspirational, most a kindred spirit.

The Induksi course, as much as it was a bother, it was actually FUN. Most days were filled with laughter. And I will always remember that day, my group (I forget what we were called) hiked up the hill in OBS (Outward Bound School) and got down to the beach, where we cooked our lunch - the most delicious rice and ikan bakar ever! Coupled with the most beautiful view of the sea, priceless.

I enjoyed being a judge in the Annual Debate Championships, playing netball for our Esteem Spirit group, attending the Commemorative ceremony where Tun Dr Mahathir and Tun Siti Hasmah were awarded with Honorary PhDs - the level of respect and admiration for these two people in that hall that day was super amazing! As they are indeed.

I did enjoy teaching and my students (most of the time). There are those special few that I will always remember. I received a very flattering e-mail from a former student, a few weeks back. He cited that I am probably one of those people that he will remember forever. If that's not a reward in itself, I don't know what is.

And last week, as I headed for lunch with Rachel and Siti, we bumped into two of my former students, who have now joined UMS as academicians. I felt a great sense of pride when I addressed them as lecturers and to think that I had a hand in their journey.

Of course, there were bad times too during those past 7 years. Of which, I will not dwell into here.

I bumped into our former Deputy Dean a few months back and she asked me, 'So...Do you miss UMS?' and I answered, 'I miss my friends' Do I now think that it was a mistake for me to leave? No. I can't think that.

In the month after I announced my resignation, and even after, my colleague repeatedly asked me, 'Will you consider coming back?' Probably not. If I did, I'd probably start complaining again on day two! I cherish the memories I had there, the friendships I've formed. I wish them all the best. But the only way for me to look to now is ahead.

xoxo

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Banana or Yogurt?

Last night, hubby offered Yasmin some dessert after dinner..

Daddy: Yasmin, you want a banana? Or Yogurt?
Yasmin: Mmmm...ummm....how about....Ice Cream?

:)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Tag: 35 things about Me

Tagged by Sharon.

1. Rate your life from 1-10 (1 being very miserable)
A: 7

2. Is your hair long or short?
A: Short

3. Do you have many real friends?
A: Yes

4. Name friends you last hung out with?
A: Siti Hasnah and Rachel...and my hubby (he's my bestfriend maa)

5. Do you love chicken?
A: Yes! I think I can live on roasted chicken

6. Last three drinks you had?
A: Plain Water, Milk, Air Bandung

7. Do you eat fish?
A: Yes

8. Do people mispronounce or spell your name incorrectly?
A: Yes they do...and I thought my name is as simple as a name can get. I get Azalina, Azlinah, Ajlina (ni typical org kampung style)..and another thing somehow people always think I am Azlina Abdul Aziz..eerrhh...

9. Who was the last person you hugged?
A: Yasmin Anne & Rizwan Hazeman

10. Last guy you think about?
A: My father - cause he's been bugging/giving me friendly reminders about getting my taxes submitted!

11. Any food that made you smile today?
A: Home cooked Ayam Masak Kuning @ Masak Lemak...hubby's favourite, cooked to supreme perfection by yours truly :) (so I would think..)

12. Name one thing you have in common with your friends?
A: We blog and watch tv...lots of tv

13. Do you trust your friends?
A: On certain levels, yes

14. How old will you be in five years?
A: 37

15. Do you believe in love?
A: Of course, I'm a hopeful romantic

16. Except for family and friends, who are you in love with?
A: It's a toss..Jesse Spencer and James Marsden ;)

17. Do you honestly believe you have found the right guy/girl?
A: Yes, at this moment, in this lifetime, yes.

18. Are you someone's best friend?
A: Yes

19. Do you love music?
A: I do...

20. Last song you listened to?
A: Undiscovered by James Morrison

21. What's the instrument you wish you were able to play?
A: Piano

22. Who was the last person you talked to?
A: Hubby

23. Who was the last person to call you?
A: Someone enquiring about business

24. Would you consider yourself a worrier?
A: Not really

25. Do you consider yourself as a happy person?
A: Yes

26. Do you believe in saving yourself for marriage?
A: Yes

27. Last person that pissed you off?
A: None that I can remember this week...it's been a good week

28. From whom have you missed the most calls in the last 5 days?
A: Hubby...due to driving without handsfree, tidak dengar, lambat jawab, on the line with someone else, etc...but usually return the call as soon as I can

29. Who's the first person you call when you're having a bad day?
A: Hubby. Usually also just keep to myself and try to cheer myself up.

30. Last person who made you laugh like crazy?
A: Most probably Hubby

31. Who's your greatest inspiration in life?
A: A lot of different people inspire me for different reasons...famous people, my family, my friends, my little girl...all a source of inspiration

32. Are you a good guesser?
A: Yes and No, depends on the situation

33. Who was the last person to sing your current favorite song and what song?
A: Am trying to think of American Idol..tapi macam tiada yg sing current songs..

34. Who makes you laugh the most?
A: My kid and hubby, the show Friends

35. What have you been telling yourself lately?
A: Everything I want is out there in the universe..just waiting for me to grab it

Tag: Whoever is bored or don't know what to blog about..buatlah tag ini. Happy Sunday!!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I Pay Income Tax

Have you done your income taxes?

I have to admit, I still haven't submitted mine. 6 more days to go. Everytime I see my father, he will unfailingly interrogate me and remind me that I will be fined if I am late. Errgh...Income tax - one of those things that remind you that you are in fact an adult and have to deal with these huhaas.

I'm trying to get mine sorted and hopefully I can do e-filing so that I don't have to bother going to LHDN myself. I'm still sort of baffled though...since I worked til July last year then I started with the biz. I still get Borang BE and there doesn't seem to be any sections about income from business except for one section which is actually for joint income from a spouse. I know I should have gotten this sorted earlier but I was just too lazy to do it. I am submitting only based on my previous job and hopefully sort out the latter later. It's not like I earned berpuluh-puluh ribu from the biz anyway last year.

Anyway, I actually wanted to mention about Times Bookstore. You know how there is an allocation of RM1000 off taxes for any books or reading materials bought. Well, last month I received a statement from Times Bookstore listing all the books and magazines I have bought last year. Especially prepared for income tax purposes. I didn't know that they did this and I think it's great! Beats the heck out of having to keep receipts (which fade off anyway). And it was a pleasure for me to see the listing of all the books I had bought. From Harry Potter to The Secret. Is looking at what you read a mark of yourself as a person? Somehow seeing that list made me feel good.

Good luck fellow income tax payers!

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Shout Out to My Hommies

Here's a shout out to my friends, for the various reasons as follows:

TO:

Leo and Rina - who just started blogging! Welcome my friends...update selalu yaaa..

Siva - who came and listened about Agel, then talked bout hypnosis, energy and cats!

Rachel - How are you, girl?

Siti Hasnah - whom I miss having Teh Tarik with..

Josie - who is nursing a wounded finger...How is the little finger dan bila mau pergi minum kupi?

Loly - who bakes lovely looking cakes (although I haven't tasted it..) and who says she is bored in Doha

Aza and Ann - who are in the States, preparing for Spring?

And well, to all who are reading this.. Have a great day, y'all!

Of Energy and Prayers

I used to teach a subject called Thermodynamics. It was one of my favourite subjects back in uni and I always enjoyed teaching it. I hoped that my energy flowed through to the students though. Thermodynamics is all about energy, the different types and how energy is converted into a useful form. All of life is actually a bundle of energy. You and me, we are all a blob of energy waiting to be utilized to its full potential. We absorb energy from food, from our surroundings, from people, from everything. And we emanate this energy through our daily activities, our thoughts and actions.

I met up with someone last week and I was all fine before and during the meeting. But then, later that day, I suddenly felt so run down and tired. You see, the person I met was kinda down and out, they were complaining about life and a lot of things. I think all that negativity got to me. Do you realise this? I do believe that there are people out there that are 'toxic', just being around them brings you down. And so it really is important to surround yourself with people who are energizing, who have a good outlook on life and everything it has to offer.

On Saturday, I had a wonderful afternoon with two good friends. Friend No 1 Maria, is a Reiki Master. Reiki is a sort of energy healing technique that is useful for stress reduction and relaxation. She did give me a short sampler of reiki some time ago and it was wonderful, I felt a warm envelope all around my body during and after the session, as though energy was moving all through my body. Friend No 2, Siva (HI Siva, if you are reading this!) has a PhD in Chemical Engineering. My good ol bud from UMS, fellow misfit and appreciator of the weird. Siva is also a believer of how energy can be 'sent' and 'received', in many ways.

Maria mentioned that for Muslims, in a sense, everytime you recite a doa, you are actually sending energy for yourself or for that someone else you think of in your doa. This is when Siva said the most wonderful thing about Islam, he said that because of the different times all around the world, at any one time, anywhere all around the world, there will always be someone praying. And when you have a large group of people praying together, can you imagine the amount of energy they will emit out to the universe? I thought that was simply amazing!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Talking to Myself

Hubby bought me a cute little Bluetooth Handsfree Set for my phone last week. I love it. It's pink. Heee! So I can now drive happily without worrying about the phone going off. On the one side, it feels like I am some sort of covert agent with my concealed earpiece (it's perfectly hidden underneath my tudung). One the other hand, there would be a tendency to garner suspicious looks with people thinking you are talking to yourself! I was having lunch by myself yesterday when hubby called me up. So there I was, talking and laughing along with him when I look up and see the group of restaurant employees at the counter all staring at me. What could I do.... except laugh some more!!!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Flyovers Over KK

Two years ago, there we were..orang KK... happily driving in our two lane roads, sometimes even one lane oh!! ..well, maybe not too happily laa... just menerima kenyataan.. we are quite an accepting lot, I guess...Who woulda thought that KK would one day be conquered with flyovers?

You KK-ians might have found out by now that the flyovers in Karamunsing are now functional both ways, going to and from KK. Apparently, this started yesterday but since we didn't go to KK yesterday, I found out the hard way this morning. By the time I realised that the cars heading up the flyover from Luyang direction were actually going in the same direction as me, it was too late. I figured the jalan lama could probably still be used...tapi tidak.. it was only for U-turning! Had to then make another U-turn to get me back to the correct path going to KK. Fuhh! Was a nice drive anyway...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Band From TV

My highlight of watching Idol Gives Back wasn't so much of seeing Daughtry singing with the kids in Uganda, or gorgeous Brad Pitt and his mic mishap..it was the delight in seeing the Band From TV performing. So OK..first of all, Teri Hatcher can't sing! But it was coolness to see Greg Grunberg @ Weiss/Parkman on drums and James Denton @ Mike from DH on guitar and yang paling exciting sekali (for me) ialah seeing Jesse Spencer on violin!! I didn't know he was in the band...I read about them before and I know Hugh Laurie plays keyboard/piano for the band but seems like he wasn't there for the show. Plus there are some other famous stars in there as well....It's great to know these people have more talent under their belt. No acting work? Call up the boys and do a show!! It seems that all their earnings from shows, etc goes to various charities that they each support. Good for em..

Anyway..Jesse Spencer...my Dr Chase...oopss..i mean Dr Chase on House. Fell for him ever since he was young Billy Kennedy in Neighbours...sigh.... he acts, he sings, he swims, he plays violin...*double sigh*....

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Yasmin Knows These Words

Mommy's Girl, on one of those moments she duduk bersopan in the car. And yes, that a yellow Doraemon in the car with us!

It's fascinating the words that come out of Yasmin. For a 2+ year old, she knows the words:

Computer
Laptop
Blog
Monitor
Astro.com.my - Serious! She says it with the full dot com dot my!
E-mail - sometimes we'd be on the computer and she would say 'Daddy/Mommy check e-mail'

In our times, some of these words haven't even exist! No doubt she will grow up to embrace technology. Will probably ask for her first handphone or Ipod soon :)

She's even detailed. Bro in law has a black coloured monitor in his room and when we say, 'It's a monitor' She would reply, 'It's a Black monitor!'

We deduced that it is her curious nature that has taught her all these words. She likes to ask, 'What's this?' or 'Ini apa?' So there you go, if your child asks, layan saja ya!

She's really learning to form sentences. What's funny is sometimes if the things like the tv is switched off, she would say 'Oh no! My TV! It's broken!!' :) :) Love the kid!

******
On a different note, my friend Jason and his wife have opened a Smart Readers Kids centre in Alam Mesra, opposite UMS. I have heard wonders about this place and their system and would love to send Yasmin there. Just that it's a tad too far and they have closer centres in Damai and IraManis. I asked Jason if they wanted teachers and he said they'd be glad to take me! Heee...that would really be a turn around in careers, huh?? Don't think it would be good for the child though, nanti dia fikir mommy will always be with her in school. ANYWAY, mommies and daddies in UMS, maybe you wanna consider sending your kid there. Tell me if you want Jason's contact number.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Online Properties and One Place to Start

My hubby and I were talking about properties this morning. We discussed that in a sense, the word propery these days does not only refer to land, houses or buildings. These days, properties include domain names on the internet and even any conceivable space that can be used for advertising. Cars, a wall, clothes, even your own body! Each and all of these can be used to make money!

The internet for one has really revolutionized our way of living. I heard that some supermarkets even have online facilities to make your order and they will deliver your items to your doorstep! How's that for convenience. Though I love to window shop and actually touch and feel the items that I want to buy, I have to admit that online shopping is an addictive godsend.

Not only that, online stores are now an avenue to consider for those looking to go into business. No need to rent a store or apply for numerous permits, business can be done from the comfort of your own living room. It's a possibility that I would seriously look into. I would love my own online store..someday.

But being not really tech and IT savvy, I wonder about all the other things to consider: website design, processing of payments, tracking of orders, webhosting, search engines, etc. It's baffling!Enough to cause one to backtrack the idea all together.

Here's something to look into though: Ashop Commerce. The site provides a complete ecommerce software to manage your website and online business. The shopping cart software features an easy set up for websites, meaning no programming, HTML or graphic design skills are required to start. Customizable and editable themes are provided. Plus they provide solutions for inventory control, payment options, sales analysis and security features too...which basically means... less things to worry about!

What's interesting is that a test drive or demo is provided. So, you can actually see what your store would look like and run through the administration sections of the software before making your decision. What more, a 10 day free trial is provided and technical support is available in the form of phone, email or online chats. Various packages are provided depending on what you gear your online business for... which could be virtually anything!

VERY interesting, if you ask me! Check it out.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Sad Realization

You can be surrounded by people...yet still feel so alone..

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Middle Woman

Last Friday, mom called me up and said that cousin N's wife wanted to purchase a certain health supplement to which the distributor happens to be cousin H. I previously wrote about these two cousins' families not getting along. Anyway, I called cousin N to verify how many, where, when, etc. Cousin N asked me to help to order the stuff, to help pick it up and he will pay me later. Alamak! The stuff's not cheap, you know. He also told me to call up his wife L to check with her the details. So OK, I call her up. Cousin-in-law L, said that I can help to order then they will go and pick it up and pay for it themselves. So I'm like hmmmm....could this see the start of a reconciliation?

Next, I called up cousin H. Turns out he was unavailable and it was his mom's line that I had called. I ended up chatting with her for quite a while. I miss her really. She's a cool aunt, very modern and sporting. And ever since this so called family feud, I haven't seen and talked to her for so long.

My hopes for the reconciliation never materialised though. I was TOLD to help pick up the stuff. Had to borrow k-ching from my mom to pay for it. Yesterday, I met up with cousin H and his sister and it was soooooo nice to see them. They are so grown up already. It's upsetting that the families still can't put this thing behind them but I'm so happy to the fact that I am not part of it. I'm keeping my hopes up that they would see daylight soon...it's so much prettier!

Net Ideas

Some 10 years ago, before the internet really made its big boom, a friend told me of his idea to bulk buy and then sell Levi's Jeans online. We were studying overseas then and the price of the jeans there would be so much cheaper compared to back home. I listened to him but couldn't really fathom how he would achieve such a thing. Who would buy clothes on the internet, I thought..

Well, more than 10 years on now and today, you can virtually buy anything and everything online! If my friend carried on with that idea of his, he would be an internet moghul by now.

I, myself have since then thought about the whole idea of starting an online business. Let's see, I had an idea to sell Malaysian goods, namely food items, clothes, magazines, books, souvenirs - specifically targetted to Malaysians living overseas. I've dreamed up selling my nature photography works online - no hassle of handling products, just upload and customers can download the pics on their own. Other ideas include selling baby products - well, I've missed the boat on that... there are so many of those already! And there are so many other possibilities to go with on this.

I've recently learned about Ashop Commerce , an online provider of e-commerce and shopping cart software. They also provide customized design for websites, technical and customer service support plus a 10 day's free trial. It's definitely something to look at for those considering starting their own online empire *note to self* Now I only need to dream up what my big break is gonna be!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

No Karan

I was at Lintas late afternoon yesterday and there was no electricity. Foolishmen (policemen) were manning the traffic lights, shops were in darkness and people were sweating inside. I find it quite unbelievable and very unacceptable that power cuts like these are still a VERY frequent occurence here. For people at home, OK..it means being in darkness or having to take out hand fans...missing favourite, must see TV shows. But for others it means a loss of business, a disruption to work flow, etc. In short, not good! I remembered in my 5 or so years in the UK, I never experienced a power cut. There was only one time, in my second year in Southampton and itu pun because we used some sort of prepaid key thingy for the electricity at our house and we forgot to reload! Come to think of it, I think they used underground cables in the UK... I know that SESB and TNB takes a lot of heat about this and they should! They should seriously do something about this. No point boasting about the number of development projects and new, big shopping malls coming up if you can't even power em up!