About Me

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I am married to my loving husband for more than 38 years now. I am a mother to 3 beautiful children, until 11 years ago when I lost my youngest son. Since then my life is forever altered but yet unbroken....

Tuesday, 31 August 2004

Self-ruled independence...

“Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?...” - Abraham Lincoln

At the Dataran Merdeka, Malaysians were celebrating the 47th National Day.

At home I was busy spring-cleaning the pantry and the fridge. Throwing out a lot of stuff, some already expired several years ago. Watched glimpses of the live telecast of the Merdeka Day parade in the kitchen. Dataran Merdeka still pulls the crowd, including tourists, when it comes to the Merdeka celebrations.

I managed to do the laundry and changed the linen. Took a nap in the afternoon and later off to Yati’s for the hi-tea gathering. Met with some of her relatives. Came home quite exhausted, after helping with the cleaning up.

And tomorrow we are celebrating is our 25th Anniversary...

Monday, 30 August 2004

Snatch thief on the lurk...

“Just when you think it can't get any worse, it can. And just when you think it can't get any better, it can...” - Nicholas Sparks
On the way to the General Hospital, we spoke very little. While driving, held my hand tightly, trying his best to calm me. Couldn’t hold back my tears. My mind was imagining the worst. I prayed to god nothing bad to happen to my baby.

For this year, this was the second time we received calls from the Hospital Unit Kecemasan. The first time was in May, a call from Hospital Selayang informing us that Ja was involved in a motor accident. And early this morning, a call from GH informing us that he was found unconscious by a passerby along Jalan Kuching. I have read in papers and heard in the news about snatch thieves and robbery. But I never expect all these could happen to my own child.

Ja was conscious when we arrived. He was still feeling groggy and the hospital need to keep him under observation for at least six hours before they could release him. We saw no serious external injuries. Need to wait for further test and x-rays results.

Hubby sent me to office and went back to the Hospital. Sara and Saufi came after receiving the news. Iwan was also informed. Later they went to lodge police reports. They have to go to four police stations before the reports were completed. Talk about efficiency and friendliness. And finally, managed to locate Ja’s motorbike at Balai Polis Sentul late evening. On the way home, with a mixture of anger and compassion, let Ja hear a piece of my mind. Advised Ja not to merayau malam-malam. Told Ja that we love and care for him and always worry when he’s motor biking, regardless whether alone or with his group of friends.

I don’t want anything bad to happen to Ja.

Sunday, 29 August 2004

Family get-together...

“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time...” - Mark Twain

For most Sundays, we would be spending the morning lazing in bed and skipping breakfast. But not today.

I have to start preparing the dishes early. Hubby has to erect the tent and move the dining table to the patio. Ja was no help. Don’t even budge an inch from his cocoon. Since he came back from Kuantan for the holiday, he has been going out late nights with his brotherhoods and wastes the daylight sleeping. If he continues this habit, I would not be surprised if he eventually turns into a vampire. Sara was out early in the morning to watch Saufi play football.

We had toast and half boiled eggs for breakfast. Placed the marinated chicken in the oven to roast. The rest of the chicken will be deep-fried into crispy pieces for the children and the balance for the soup. The aromatic smell of the nasi ayam and roasted chicken would surely make the neighbors’ drool.

Sara and Saufi came back early. In time to help arrange the furniture and laid out the table. Ja woke up just in time for the makan-makan. All dishes were ready before noon. While waiting for the guests to arrive, Sara started her cooking lesson of lasagna. The dish turned out ok except for the slightly burnt toppings. Not bad for a first timer…

Zin and family came after Zohor. Mak was with them, looking healthy and ceria. Shah came after, followed by Lan and family. Told Shah, next time to bring Tijan and the girl along. Noh and family were the last to come. Latif couldn’t come as he needs to attend to his brother’s wedding in Cheras and Ros couldn’t make it too because of a reason or another.

Hubby started with a doa selamat for the health and wealth for the family. And even announced to all about our Umrah trip planned in the middle of September. It was a pity that Sara, Iwan and Ja couldn’t come with us because of differing semester holidays.

By sunset, everyone was gone, leaving the two of us at home. After Maghrib, stretched out on bed to straighten tired muscles but ended up snoozing till 10 at night. Realizing that we have not eaten dinner, dragged ourselves to the kitchen and prepared a couple of bull’s eyes sandwiches. Slept late watching the life telecast of the Olympic Games closing ceremony in Athens.

Saturday, 28 August 2004

Our signature dish...


“If you can't change your fate, change your attitude...”

It was Scholars Day today, and they had a briefing and Q&A session for scholars and parents. I skipped the gathering but had to attend the lunch held at Bilik Kijang. I hosted table 10 and got me a couple of Actuary Science scholars with their parents. Did my bit of counselling and advising. Shared with them a little bit of my experience as a scholar.

Later hubby and I attended the wedding at Taman Melati. Met a few friends from Mesjid Negara. Went home for solat before we went out again to Giant to buy provisions for the family gathering tomorrow. I was supposed to cook nasi ayam. Hopefully, I have not lost my culinary skills after all these years of dining out and home deliveries.

Sara and Saufi came home after a bowling outing at Bangsar. Now that I have been talking so much about ikan bakar, we had our dinner at the belakang Istana. But to our disappointments they ran out of ikan terubuk. Make do with siakap for us and ikan pari for the kids.

Sara cooked cream caramel which turned out to be pretty good although we use creamer instead of the condensed milk. Saufi had a few slices and approved of the taste before he went back to campus.

Friday, 27 August 2004

Managing priorities...

"A hurrying mind is a disorganized mind, and disorganized mind makes mistakes..."
I promised Nik Hasnah that I would be at the spa around lunchtime to meet one of her partners. May want to have lunch somewhere near or even drive to Sri Hartamas for a quick meal. But just before 12 noon, received a distress call from Zila. “Jom makan, need someone to talk to lah..…”

Lately Zila has been complaining about coping with work. Lately she has been talking about quitting, talking about priorities and responsibilities. This was not new to me. I’ve been hearing about this, years before I left my old department. She knows that she will have a lot to lose if she quits. Especially, at her current position, she’s already established, already has the experience and skills to move up the corporate ladder.

When asked, how I managed to cope with life. To cope with unreasonable targets and demanding pressures at work and at home, I told her it’s a matter of managing priorities. It’s a matter of managing accountabilities. I told her in life we have to know our limits. What we could, or what we couldn't do. I told her that I have adopted a new philosophy in life. One that allows me to be at peace with myself, to accept those things that I cannot control, as well as keeping me from dwelling too long on mistakes. At this moment, to enjoy life to the fullest…

Drove to Bukit Tunku after an express tempura meal with zila at the café. Told her to arrange with the gang for ikan bakar excursion at belakang Istana one of these days…

Thursday, 26 August 2004

Miracle body wrap...

“Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination...” - Oscar Wilde

While in the meeting sms Nik Aminah to confirm our date at the spa.

She was already there since 3 p.m. Concluded the PRI meeting hastily, apologized to Dato’ Azli for declining his dinner invitation again. I’ve been giving a lot of excuses lately. I was also not in attendance during their signing ceremony for their PDS issuance. May want to arrange for lunch instead, later next week.

At the spa, Nik Hasnah was ready to brief me on the treatment packages. As this was my first out of the 10 sessions, I requested full explanation on the process. After measuring and consulting my vital statistics, she concluded that I do not have much inches to lose. She recommended the Thalgo body treatment, inclusive of the Swedish body wrap. Help to detox the body and eliminate cellulite and excess fluid. The body wrap will help stimulate and invigorate skin and relief muscle and joint stiffness.

Ahh… the mere idea of having therapeutic head-to-toe treatment, already stimulate the restless mind and stressed body.

Wednesday, 25 August 2004

Unguided empowerment...

“Laziness is often mistaken for patience…” - French proverb '

The meeting with Alliance Bank was attended by all Section Heads and SA Branch Manager.

The meeting was brief and the message crystal clear. The bottom line is, you don’t mess around with the Authority. Subsequently we have our internal meeting to reiterate procedures and common practices. To those dealing direct with the public to be more cautious on giving advice or opinion.

While someone was drafting the response to the Parliamentary Question, a brief status report was sent up immediately for Management’s information. Need to stand-by for further clarification.

Tuesday, 24 August 2004

Nursing injuries...

“People who bite the hand that feeds them usually lick the boot that kicks them…” - Eric Hoffer 

Ubai and Armani were ready early. We had breakfast before dropping them off at KLCC. They are going back to KB by train tonight. We said goodbye, I won’t be able to send them off tonight at KL Sentral. Sms Nik Min but it’s too rush to arrange for a meet up. Maybe next time…

The workshop continued smoothly today. Lunch was at The Vogue, with elegant European-style setting. Buffet serving exotic eastern and western cuisines, much better choices than the one we had yesterday at The Temps. At end of the workshop, at least the group managed to draw up a skeleton framework of the strategy map depicting the desired outcomes, defined some critical processes and identified some capability developments specific to the sector.

Hubby fetched me just after 6.00 p.m. We drove to Plaza Damansara for a light meal. The Roti canai and tose more than sufficient to fill up our tummy before the squash games. Solat Maghrib at Mesjid Saidina Othman. Tried to look out for Nik T but all men look the same in their kain pelikat and kopiah.

Linda booked the squash court from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. But I don’t think we can survive that long. The BKE club facilities are ok but nowhere close to our gym at the office. One of these days would want to try the sauna or the Jacuzzi. We played a few round of games, with a lot of resting intervals in between. Felt so good, with a lot of sweating. Have not sweat like this for years. May need to go slow with the exercise though. Do not want to cause unnecessary trauma to these unused muscles.

Still feeling full from our early dinner, we shared a plate of fried rice at The Rumpun. After nursing his injured knee and my blistered finger, we held each other tight and slept soundly till late morning…

Monday, 23 August 2004

Unbalanced scorecard...

“A tidy desk is a sign of an empty mind…”


The journey to town was quite effortless this morning. Most probably the school holidays contributed to the relax traffic. Bought toast and tea from Medan Kupang. Thought of going to office first but decided not to in case the traffic took a bad turn. Reached Renaissance Hotel early and had enough time to skim trough the head lines.

Attending the two-day OD Sector Scorecard Workshop was quite a chore to both the Director and me. At least one of us should be in the office. Attending to more urgent pressing matters. Being the facilitator for the workshop, Nigel Penny’s monotonous droning voice during the first half of the morning lulled most of us to sleep. Luckily, the rest of the day was filled with group discussions and brainstorming sessions. At the end of the two days, we should be able to formulate the strategy map for the OD sector to be adopted by the departments under Dato’ Daud.

Received a call from Ubai. She’s here in KL with her daughter. Armani is on a 2-month holiday and would be going back to Moscow next month. Tomorrow, Ubai would be attending a one-day seminar at Mandarin Oriental. Armani would be meeting some friends and would spend the day gallivanting at KLCC. They agreed to spend the night at our place. We met up at Renaissance after my workshop. Send them back home first. Bought them dinner and off again to class. Met him after class and had light supper at Warong Rasa Sini.

Ubai and daughter were already asleep by the time we reached home.

Sunday, 22 August 2004

Lazy slumbering sloth...

“Luxury is not a necessity to me, but beautiful and good things are...” - Anaïs Nin

I was wide-awake very early in the morning. Decided to skip the breakfast get-together. Promised to meet up late this afternoon instead. Lazed on bed longer than necessary. The body feels so nice after the urut yesterday. Could hear noises outside the house. People busy erecting the tent and moving and arranging tables and chairs. The neighbor is having a kenduri kahwin for the son today and they have closed the whole road for the occasion.

The weather was fine and the food was ok. Decided to stay at home and continued napping. Must remember to apologize to the gang later tonight.

Saturday, 21 August 2004

A time sanctuary...

“Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win…” - Stephen King

We had a late breakfast of roti telur at Restoran 23 Jam. Collected the laundry and bought us a pair of track bottoms. We are serious into playing squash again.

Ahh.. Life can be so hectic. So chaotic. There will be time in your life when you will say enough is enough. You will want to go into a journey of self-discovery and would want to do something for your self instead of for others. You would want to discover the stuff that dreams are made of. Set aside a time sanctuary for yourself.

And today, want to use the free time to relax. Want to have time to myself, to reflect. Promised to meet Nik M at the Spa around 2.00 p.m. The more I come to the Spa, the more I love the place. The ambience so peaceful and relaxing. We indulged in body salt scrubs, followed by traditional massages and facials. Once in a while it’s good to pamper oneself, to rejuvenate the body, as well as the soul.

Sara and Saufi were in the vicinity and came over to the Spa for tea. Had dinner together before they went back to campus.

Friday, 20 August 2004

Changed mindset...

“One of the advantages of being disorganized is that one is always having surprising discoveries.” - A.A. Milne

Better late than never. We have started the overdue mid-year review with the managers. Again, we laid down expectations and results. Again, we stressed on efficiency and professionalism. The sessions offered fruitful insights on attitudes and behaviors. Even exposed us to 360-degree feedback from the vocal ones. I saw potentials for upgrading and promotions in some of them. The other some, may need more exposure and experience. They need further coaching and guidance. And even engage in self-directed learning for knowledge enrichment. If possible, would like to extend the mid-year review to all the branch managers too.

Putting office politics aside, I have seen close cooperation between the sections. What with the cross-functional initiatives and inter-section projects, they have to work together to achieve desired objectives. No doubt, I have seen commitment and hard work. What I see lacking is substantial input in term of strategic thought and ideas. We are operational people. Too much involve in procedures and compliances. Too process oriented. Need to have a change of mind set on perspective.

Tonight I attended the extra class while hubby attended a dinner at Nikko Hotel. Fetched him after class. Spotted a new nasi kandar’s restoran along Jalan Ampang. The view was magnificent from the terrace where we had our dinner. If the food is good, this place could be another central meeting place.

Thursday, 19 August 2004

Meningitis & photo shots...

“Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness...” - Bertrand Russell

Need to get that meningitis shot by today, no matter what. Linda has already called a few clinics and finally managed to locate one that can accommodate me today. Managed to slip out of the office quietly just after 6. The doctor was very talkative. Asked loads of questions. Even admired my worn-out boots. She showed me her shoes, bought recently from India.

Went home for a quick shower and off to Mid-Valley. Sara has booked the tickets for I, Robot. All we have to do is collect them before 8.45 p.m. That’s her exact instruction. Have time to take photos for the visa and bought us a pair of squash racquets at a great discount. Even bought me a pair of sport shoes.

Had some hot-dogs before the movie. The movie was about robots and the violations of the Three Laws of Robotics. Once these laws were broken, there's nothing to stop them from taking over the world. Quite interesting and entertaining.

It was midnight when we had roti canai for supper. Tonight, we slept late. This has become a habit whenever hubby is around. We need the time together, our time is so precious. If time were imaginary where would we be?

p.s. About time we service the aircon. The fan has been working overtime for over a month!

Tuesday, 17 August 2004

You were there for me...

“The most exhausting thing in life is being insincere…” - Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Dreams within the still of night
On wings of hope we take flight
There upon some distant shore
Just care for me, nothing more

If you could read my mind
Tell me the answers I would find
And when you're smiling in your sleep
Remember the promises that we keep

A deep hidden place where time stands still
You hold my heart and always will
After all that we have been through
Be there for me, I'll lean on you

At times my life seems so incomplete, seems to be out of my feet. At times when I feel so neglected, so rejected. At times I feel that no one cared. I feel that the whole world walked out on me. Whenever I feel lost and in need of a friend, you were always there until the end. When my days seemed to be weary, you made me happy. When the one I cared about the most couldn’t care less, you were there to catch my tears, to chase my fears. When my heart hurt so bad I couldn't even breath and when I just wanted to crawl up and die, you were there for me.

Monday, 16 August 2004

The perfect friendship...

“We fear something before we hate it…” - Cyril Connolly

Perfect friendship is based on goodness.

Only the friendship of those who are good, and similar in their goodness, is perfect. Friendship of such lasts so long and goodness is an enduring quality. Friendship of this kind is permanent, reasonably enough; because there are attributes that friends ought to possess. Such friendships are rare, because those of this kind are few. And as the saying goes, you cannot get to know each other until you have eaten the proverbial quantity of salt together.

Nor can we accept another, until each has proved to the other that we are worthy of love, and so won the trust.

Aristotle: The Nichomachean Ethics

Friday, 13 August 2004

Not so scary movie...

There is nothing so powerful as the truth, and nothing so strange…” - Daniel Webster

It was Saturday night and the tickets for the earlier shows were sold out. Bought us tickets for midnight show. To Up-town for dinner and listened to some kids strumming guitars. The night was relax but bustling with people. Could see youngsters gathering close to the tv to watch the Akademi Fantasia's finale. For some others, busy setting up their stalls for the night market. I don't know they have the midnight market over here. Remind me of the midnight sales at the shopping malls in Manila. The bargains were fantastic!

Back to One Utama for `The Village'. The movie was reviewed to be Shyamalan's most graceful, emotionally persuasive supernatural thriller to date. I was really excited at first but quite disappointed later. The movie was supposed to be scary.

I was not even thrilled...

Thursday, 12 August 2004

The mist in my eyes...

“When you shut one eye, you do not hear everything...” - Swiss proverb

Time heals, or so they say!
But not my heart, and not today
What is done has been done for the best
though the mist in my eyes might suggest

Just a little confusion about what I choose
But if I started over, I know I would lose

They say time heals, but not today!
I think that time, is far away.

I came home quite late tonight. My body was tired, my mind restless but my eyes refused to sleep. I watched a few movie reruns on Astro. When the dark of night was deep I laid down my head and looked at the ceiling.

One sheep, two sheep, three sheep, four, then I count one hundred more... I dreamt sweet dreams. I've never been much into dream analysis. However they can make some interesting stories...

Tuesday, 10 August 2004

Work-life balance...

"Laughter is a tranquilizer with no side effects...”

The Seven-Day Weekend - A thought-provoking book that reveals how freedom and happiness can lead to success. The author, Ricardo Semler has asked himself, “If the workweek is going to slop over into the weekend ... why can’t the weekend, with its precious restorative moments of playtime, my time, and our time, spill over into the workweek?” Semler writes that the seven-day workweek robs people of passion and pleasure, destroys family and community stability, and sets up businesses to fail once they have burned out their employees and burned through ever more manipulative and oppressive strategies.

I am lucky to work in an organization where work-life balance program is in place. All initiatives have not gone into full scale as yet but we have implemented the flexible working arrangement, health and recreational program, among others. Hopefully this would balance the demands of work and other aspect of life. We can be more effective, at the same time successful and happy in personal life. It is not about working less. It is about working smart.

What with the yearly executive medical check-ups, specialist consulting, dentist visits, housing, vehicle and co-op loans, to name a few. Some of us could have a company car or could opt for vehicle allowance, club memberships and corporate credit cards. Ahh... with all the benefits and privileges, I wouldn’t ask for more…

Monday, 9 August 2004

The fire in my heart...

“Men hate those to whom they have to lie…” - Victor Hugo 

and to hear ur voice i can’t resist
to feel the touch i`ve truly missed
to sit and gaze upon your face
the fire in my heart replaced

and like the calm after the storm
you bring me light into the dawn
you rest my mind and give me calm
may i watch the sun rise in your arms

like a powerful eagle flyin over the sea
you're a beacon of light, a vision to me
you came to me when i was so lost
can’t lose you now no matter the cost

Sunday, 8 August 2004

Studio in the woods...

“Ideas won't keep; something must be done about them…” - Alfred North Whitehead

I was fascinated with Nik Min’s art collections.

The last time we were at her place she brought us up to the attic. She had cleverly transformed the place into a nice cozy studio. You’ll feel like you are in a small art gallery, displaying collections of paintings, drawings and sketches. Her hidey-hole, when she wants to be alone. She could stay there for hours. Knowing her fad and habit, her husband has given her total freedom to do what she likes. She had converted the walls into folding wood panelings, all four walls could be open to create a sense of vastness of space. No grills or windows. Situated at the end of the road, the view from the fourth floor attic is beautifully magnificent, especially the one facing the back of the house, creating the atmosphere of a tree house in the woods. A sense of peace and tranquility.

When you were up there, time stopped. Like you were stepping into a threshold, a sensation I found disturbingly intimate. Especially when it was dusk, the gloom seemed almost a solid thing, in spite of the open walls, the light appeared to stop short, as though caught in an invisible web. Into a journey to bring back childhood memories, fears and fairy tales.

It’s a pity they have to put up the bungalow for sale soon. They are moving into their new bungalow end of this year. I guess the house is too big just for the two of them.

Friday, 6 August 2004

Know your story line...

“Ideas are one thing, and what happens is another…” - John Cage 

I can’t recall when was the last time I came to the Staff Training Center for courses?

The STC looks brand new. They had a face lift recently, concurrent with the renovation done at the HQ. The lecture rooms look elegant, smart. The dining hall cheerful and bright. With new fixtures and carpeting. What I like most about STC is the tea breaks and lunches. The food here is so scrumptious. A credit to the resident apek in charge of the f&b. I’ve seen him around ever since my first visit to STC for my induction course. That was more than two decades ago.

I had completed a two-day workshop on Message Strategy and Media Writing Skills at the STC. The workshop was very much tailored to those who deal with the press. There were only 10 of us in the group. The workshop was fast paced. Filled with heated discussions, challenging debates and amusing stories. Fairly similar to the SWOT analysis, the Force Field Analysis was used and adopted to develop message for the media. We had Ms M and Mr KH, consultants from M KH & Associates, to facilitate the workshop.

While Mr KH was a typical consultant, smart and business-like, Ms M was somewhat very different from the other consultants that I’ve worked with. She’s a very out of the ordinary person, her dressing is different. She called it alternative dressing. Call it what you like, but I find it weird, to a point of gaudy. For these two days, she wore batik sarong and selendang in a style less conventional. A very interesting character indeed…

Wednesday, 4 August 2004

I gaze up to the moon...

"Love is a game, easy to start, hard to finish..."

the moon is high, the sun is gone
the shadows die, until the dawn
no sign of light, no skies of blue
it's midnight now, and i miss you

but soon the sun will rise again
and through its light i`ll feel no pain
open my eyes and see no shame
for in a while we`ll meet again

when you are not here i feel alone
seems like a part of me has gone
but as i gaze up to the moon
i know inside i`ll see u soon

Tuesday, 3 August 2004

MBA Mumbo Jumbo...

“Being an effective leader in business today requires more than personal charm, telegenic charisma, or a healthy ego.” – Noel Tichy

Traffic was at its usual crawl this morning. Managed to get to the Palace of the Golden Horses just in time for the registration and a cup of tea. I think our own people made up 10% of the audience. I heard that this event by Dr. Noel Tichy from the University of Michigan Business School was a sell out. In fact, there'll be a special session tomorrow with our Senior Management at our premise.

Today’s talk was on The leadership Engine: Building Leaders at Every Level. The Royal Ballroom was packed with people from all disciplines. What interests me most was the concept on his ‘Teachable Point of Views’. I am yet to complete my reading on his book of the same title. Another interesting book by him is Control Your Destiny or Someone Else Will.

Sunday, 1 August 2004

Momento from Japan (1987)

"When you have completed 95 percent of your journey, you are only halfway there..." - Japanese Proverb 

(Japanese dolls in the teapots)

Japanese Dolls

Kyoto is said to be the place of origin of Japanese dolls...

Kyoto is still known for being the home of various forms of Japanese handcrafts, including the famous 'Kyoto Dolls' made of wood or porcelain.

Japanese dolls became popular among the aristocracy during the Heian Period. Even in the imperial court, the aristocracy played with dolls in the same way children did, dressing them up and acting out court life. What is now known as the Kyoto Doll evolved from these dolls.

(Image from Mr Google)

My Travel Blog: munmus.blogspot.com