Friday, June 27, 2008

the cyber in-thing?

honestly, i cant keep track with all these cyber trends anymore. a decade ago, to have one's own homepage was enough. i still have mine, floating somewhere in the cyber space, forgotten i guess. then 6 years ago my fren fai told me about blogging. didnt have a clue about it until she introduced me to mymesra blog.

and now, a friendster and 3 blogs later, i was introduced to facebook, the so -called in thing right now (please dont tell me there's another craze, because honestly, i cant keep up!). i couldnt be bothered at first, because i thought it's silly and childish. really, sending louis vuitton bags and diamonds to frens? i wouldnt mind it if they give it for real (yeah right, dream on!!). my frens list grew, and so did my list of frens gift requests. as of last nite, i had accumulated 106 requests. my fren shidah told me that i'm not a good fren if i dont like facebook. i told her i've different ways of showing how i can be a good fren, but not through sending cyber chocolates or bunnies.

however, my frens list includes my tesl and seri puteri frens, esp. my seri puteri frens, some whom i havent seen since we left school. i guess it's a good way to reunite with frens. so here i am, accepting requests for the last few hours and still, i've some 40 requests left.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

the calm after the storm

today mr tan asked me "eh i thought u're taking an MC today?"

yeah well, i thought so too. had migraine in the morning to prove it. or may be it's just the 2 weeks full of mayhem.

the storm has subsided. the lcds camp is over, the school's annual camp is over (oh yeah, with some interesting story), the debate is over (we lost to sultan ismail, our traditional rival in debate for years) and today i made an appointment to go to the spa.... until

"nora, pasal creative writing tu".... began one of the four ladies upstairs.

"kejap kak nor....petang ni saya nak pegi spa dulu, esok kita cakap pasal creative writing ye"

*groan* they HAD to spoil my day. it was decreed by the madam upstairs that for creative writing in english project (led by moi, because we're a cluster school and so we should show our talents in writing?), all students must write a creative essay in class next week.

soon in the afternoon i skipped happily to the spa. no, of course not...i did not skip. but it was a soothing and relaxing time for me.'s nice to pamper oneself. i hadnt felt that relaxed for quite some time. may be i should do this on a monthly basis....

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Retro is in

background music: Abba's Thank You for the Music

during the LCDS annual camp in cheneh i was inspired by Shukri's john travolta's famous boogey dance in Saturday Night Fever. he danced to the tune of Bee Gee's Staying Alive. hey, how about using the 70s as the theme for the annual dinner?

i know some of the members are not too happy, i could have chosen the 80s, since the trend seems to be going back to that era, but i think the 70s era is interesting. where else can you find the era that had bell bottoms, platforms, maxis (not the telco, but the plural form of maxi) sideburns, afro hair, disco dancing, starsky and hutch, cagney and lacey, charlie's angels, abba, bee gees and boney m? by the way, i was a child of the 70s. i grew up listening to abba, bee gees and boney m. i watched starsky and hutch, cagney and lacey and charlie's angels. in malaysia that would be listening to hail amir and uji rashid, or sharifah aini with her long hair, and watching her act with latif ibrahim in a series of movies with "esok" as the titles - "tiada esok bagi mu" "esok masih ada" and god knows what else.

cant wait till the dinner. am going to have fun!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Busy, busy, busy

when i came back from umrah, i anticipated that i was going to be busy, what with the LCDS annual camp, and other school activities. but i never thought that once the school re-opened for the 2nd half of the year, i would be busy non-stop.

the LCDS annual camp was held a few days after the school re-opened. because of a public holiday and because our menteri besar declared one day as terengganu state holiday (since we won the SUKMA), my committee and i had less time to settle the last few things before we set off for the camp in cheneh. but we did good, the children looked smart in their LCDS t-shirts (i wore one too) we were off to cheneh. i anticipated that cheneh is a jin bertendang place (direct translation: where the djinn is kicking, meaning a remote area), and i expected it to be keras (haunted), but i dare say my students had fun, despite everything.

the place is nestled between hills and jungles and palm plantation. it's a big place, since it has a lake for kayaking, PLKN hostels and sites, obstacle course ground, a livestock nursery, the main office and the resort itself. the students only had to pay RM50 per head per day, and that covers 6 meals a day. plus, they got to sleep in air-conditioned room with water heater and tv (a joy for the soccer fans). after previous camps in tents, hostels, run-down chalets that looked like they were going to fall apart, this was a luxury. the president and the committee handled the activities, and they did this superbly. not many 17 year olds have such leadership abilities to handle societies, and so far none of the LCDS presidents has been a disappointment.

anyway, the manager of the resort and the guides told me some juicy stories about the place. despite the dread and the fear, the students love to listen to such stories. something did happen, but i'm not going to say anymore about this. besides the story of the spooky place, the students love to talk about a member who they find very interesting, but difficult to get close to, since the student's British accent is too dense for anyone to understand. what with the stories, the Anglo-malay student and the other sensational story, i'll bet the students will remember the camp till they reach the golden age.

as soon as i returned from the camp, other tasks awaited - personal favours, actually, from the "people upstairs". this is exactly why i always tell my students to do well in English, so that they will not bother other people when they have to write speeches when they grow up. at the same time, my head of panel was already hunting me for the literature in-house training *groan* and also about training the school debating team *double, triple groans*. after finishing the personal favours, i dived into training the debaters. by the end of the day i was so mentally tired as we had to think of possible POIs and answers to POIs.(postcript: we won the debate to qualify for the inter-district level, beating SMK Chung Hwa Wei Sin and SMKA Sheikh Abdul Malek, our fellow cluster school. good work people!)

and today, i was in Sekayu, for our Annual Camp. not much work to be done, but all the teachers turned up in shifts, since it's our duty to be there, else the empress would be angry.

and so that concludes the rambling for the week.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Love, the blindfold

i told someone straight to the face that she's stupid to fall for her bf, because something bad happened to her. if i hadnt told her that in front of her bf, mishaps might happen. i was angry with the guy, i was also angry with her. but mostly with her. felt like shaking her and say "wake up!! face the reality!!"

but alas, she's blindfolded with this thing called love. what one will do for love. like pretending that everything is all right when you're being cheated. like pretending that he's the one when he doesnt even tell you his darkest secret. like telling yourself that you should believe him even though your guts tell you not to. like feeling confident that you can change a man (wrong!!). like making excuses for him, when there are no excuses. like letting him hit you, because you love him too much and you reason that you should accept him the way he is.

yes, this thing called love can blindfold you into making unwise decisions. but sometimes, only through tears can you learn to be stronger and wiser. hopefully you're still in one piece by that time.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

the 4 ladies and Manhattan

Sex & the City fans will know from my title that i'm talking abt the movie. after 2 attempts in 1 day and 2 nights, i finally managed to watch the movie although i could hear the sound of a person eating popcorn and there was one time when i could hear the person burp! cant wait for the DVD to come out, since i'm not sure the censorship board will allow the movie to be screened in Malaysia.

what do i think of the movie? i think it's too short!!! haha 2 hours is a short time for a fan. it's good to see the 4 girls again - carrie, miranda, charlotte and samantha - they're all 4 different characters, but they're all such good friends, sharing the laughter and the tears. to those who dont know, carrie bradshaw (played by sarah jessica parker) is the main character, she has her own column in daily called sex and the city, in which she writes about her friends and their relationships with men. and no, despite the title, it is not a "legal" porno movie or tv series. what makes sex and the city endearing to all its fans is about the friendship shared by the 4 women, their problems with men, and fashion!! sarah jessica parker was the one who made manolo blahnik shoes famous worldwide, and the ensemble used in the show was incredible, as they're all designer clothes - so there's Chanel, Oscar de la Renta, name a few. and for cupcake lovers, it was also sex and the city that made cupcakes famous.

some lines are very witty, and mostly, the women talk about real issues that real women face everyday - like betrayal, embarrassment, guilt, friendship, loyalty etc.

my favourite character is Charlotte York, played by Kristin Davis, the sweet naive socialite who believes that there is good in everybody. there is one scene when she tells Carrie that she "curse[s] Big from the day he was born". coming from charlotte, that is hilarious.

this is a chick flick, but a sophisticated chick flick, this has more class than the confessions of a shopaholic or other chick lit or movies, and women should watch this, to celebrate friendships, and ourselves - as women who take control of our lives.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Cookie is no more

earlier this year i bought a very cute Norwegian Forest, who looked like my old cat, Fluffy. Cookie was so cute, her round eyes just made me melt. and despite the steep price, i bought her. as any pedigree cat, she's well-behaved and was so adorable. a big hit with my students. and today, she was run over by a car. it was not done on purpose, i know. but i cant help feeling sad, because my cute Cookie is no more.

Friday, June 06, 2008

the journey home

background song: Crying Out for Me - Mario (R&B lovers would love this song)

i started the journey earlier, at 8.15am, hoping not to get migraine (wrong!). the sun was still hidden behind the clouds, it would have been 6am in mekah/madinah. my car was full of my stuff, 4 bags full of clothes, the zamzam tank, the dates, 4 pairs of new shoes, 2 new handbags and a small pot of sweet basil for my italian cooking. the petrol tank was not full, and the prospect of filling it again with petrol at a raised price just pained me. anyway, thank god for my car (which i'm not going to repeat the cap ayam or whatever since my seri puteri friend ina who's in Sudan, mentioned it in her email). KL roads were okay, the cars were moving smoothly. and when i reached Karak highway, the fun began.

i dont understand why male drivers feel challenged whenever a female driver overtakes them. a few drivers did that to me. oh well... i didnt want to feel stressed on the road so i just let them be. it's good to reach terengganu border, i was coming home. saw a few cars with the Daulat Tuanku stickers. yes, daulat tuanku! and it's even better to see the aquamarine sea, Kapas Island was visible from Kelulut. it was a hot afternoon, but as i reasoned it, it's not as hot as Mekah, so i was thankful. reached KT at 2pm, because i had to make a long detour (thanx to some road construction in Marang).

the journey home made it difficult for me to decide the next course of my life *sigh*

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

oil rush

every malaysian was waiting in anxiety for pak lah's announcement of the increased price of the petrol. my fren reminded me this as we were lepaking at the Coffee Bean last night. i saw some promuda emails regarding the issue as well, but i cant be bothered with the discussions by the members anyway... and today, while i was happily walking at the KLCC carpark after doing some damage to my pocket, my sister called me "fill up your petrol...the price increases by 70 sen after midnight". ye gads!! and i'm going back on friday!!! i have to fill the tank! at this time i thank god that honda city is a fuel saver.

and so i began my mad dash to my favourite petrol station. thank god for the elevated highway as i sped towards my sister's house (only 10 minutes to reach). which is next to the big petronas station, and i had to pass it to get to my fav station. you can just imagine the's like seeing big giant bees all congregating at one place for honey or something. and when i arrived at Mobil, the attendant made a sign that says that there's no petrol, but i bet they're reserving it. so i had to make another one round.... and go through the traffic jam again to reach petronas station. had to wait for another half an hour before i reached the petrol pump. at this time, drivers become kiasu, resulting in more the station itself, as cars are stuck, and cannot exit the station. even as i'm typing this, i can hear the humming sound of the car engines as they're all queueing up to fill the petrol and it's already 10pm.

i guess we should consider cycling to work instead of driving cars. this has been done in London, where i remember seeing men in suits and helmets cycling with knapsacks strapped on their backs. and it's been practised in other Western cities as well, but there's the malaysian weather to consider. it's not as hot as mekah though...

hmm which reminds me of a book i read abt the armageddon/qiamat... the prophecy says of a time when there will be no more petrol...and humankind will go back to using beasts as a norm of transportation...

Monday, June 02, 2008

the bekwahs and the trip to kinokuniya

yesterday my nephew didi held his wedding reception at his maternal grandparents house in Bangsar. it's nice to see him happy with his bride, surrounded by the 2 families. wish my late bro datuk dr aziz was alive to see his son. i could imagine him smiling and making comments, or begin an intellectual discussion about the field of medicine. my bro in law Abg Najib n my fav. bro Abg Mi
Abg Mi's daughter Julia n his wife Kak Madiha
my 2 nephews Dr Badrul n Dr Azri, with their sons

today my brother the other Datuk held a wedding reception for his 2nd son.
Helmi & Fauziah
the family turned up early (except for my fav bro who had to attend another wedding first). since my brother loves to tinker with things, he has no problem in finding PA system as he already has one, with big speakers. the only thing i dont like is i had to listen to malay songs the whole day as the bridegroom instructed his bro to play only malay songs.

my sis in law, my niece and i were busy looking at VIP wives' handbags and shoes (as women usually do), while fanning ourselves as we ushered the guests in. my fav bro finally arrived, along with his family including arshad zamir who was over the moon when i told him one of my students sent her regards to him.

after the kenduri, i decided to stay over at my sister's house in ampang. stopped at KLCC along the way to find the text of The Lion and the Jewel at Kinokuniya, as it is imperative that i get hold of it a.s.a.p. for those who are not in the know, kinokuniya has the best and widest selection of literary texts (serious lit stuff) so it's normal to find literature scholars scouring the racks. and so it was by pure chance that as i was standing at the counter asking if the text is available, a young lady was asking the staff to find books for her. and they're all literary texts. i asked

"are you studying or teaching literature?"
and she smiled brightly and answered "teaching, in UIA"

and so we started talking and discussed the requirements to become lit lecturer in UIA...bla bla bla...and then we started talking about postcolonial literature (that we both specialise in)...yadda yadda yadda...and then i found out the text that i was looking for was not available and that if i place an order, i'd get it in a month. a month??? that's already too late! and seeing my dismay, my newfound friend volunteered to search for the text and send a copy to me. thank god!

the moral of the story? help comes from unexpected quarters.