Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011

So we're at the last few hours of 2011. I'm sitting here, trying to reflect on the year I've had.. and nothing comes to mind.

The only things I could see are regrets, regrets and more regrets.. *sigh*

The biggest regret being that I could not finish my PhD this year.. with that fault placed on my shoulders and mine alone. And still, while thinking it, I still couldn't conjure up any passion for it as I once had. I'm not even sure on how I stand in this field anymore and it scares me. But what terrifies me the most is how I couldn't even force myself to even look at my research and how for the last two months, I haven't even glanced at it, preferring to pretend its not there =(

And thats the biggest! What about the numerous small ones I've had?

..that once in a while, I feel as if I've also lost my passion in teaching? Sometime I go to classes with such a heavy heart, I amazed myself when I could go through the two-hour period of it. Luckily, this feeling doesn't come often.. but still, I'm scared that one day, I won't feel like teaching anymore.. when it was always something I wanted to do since I was a kid. Yeah! I know, most kids say they want to be a teacher just because that was what everyone else wanted (you know, the usual ambitions kids have like policeman, soldier, doctor and so on..) But I actually really wanted to be a teacher since I was a wee kid..

..that for the past two years, I've let myself believe that there might be life after IM, only to have my illusions shattered midway through the year. I've put my heart on my sleeve just to lose it once more and glued all the broken pieces of it, just to see it.. well, you get the picture.

..that I've always been a morning person before, but for this most part of this year, I no longer feel like wanting to go outta bed on most days. I've been like this before, years back when the problem with IM and Abah's new marriage had first surfaced but I managed to get back on my feet after a while and work on my MSc like there was no tomorrow.. but how come I can't seem to be able to do that now?

..that I've always believed in family ties but now.. err, lets not get to that!

..that I seem to also lose my passion in reading. Yes, I know I've bought books this year.. and a lot. But not so much compared to what I used to. And if before, I couldn't wait to finish all those written text, I now have books I've bought 5 months ago but haven't touched.. what has happened to me?!?

..that the money problems arising from the accident would never end! Okay la, I know la it would end, but I had the accident late August and now its very late December but still can't get my budget back together in one piece. I've always had problems from November and December due to the no class-no gaji policy but I usually barely make it by saving a bit each month and stretching my October pay. But after the accident which left me gaji-less for 2 months, and my October pay which I only got half than usual (coz dah abis exam and most students have stopped taking the class since we've already finished the syllabus), I've been feeling like sinking every now and then. Can't wait for the next pay which is mid-January BUT those will go to my 2-month-delayed rent, my barred phone bill, my road tax and car insurance.. aiyaaaa~~

..that I'll once again make the mistake of thinking that all teachers are good, kind-hearted, fatherly bla.. bla.. blaa.. Ok, I personally think that teachers are one of the best people around, but as you know the Malay saying about the setandan pisang mesti ade yg busuk (Hahah.. tetibe malu sbb tak ingt the actual saying =p) I'm still full with hatred whenever I see that particular teacher (as well as the Teacher From Hell I've always had problems with) and I'm always terrified whenever I see him from afar. Though he's stopped trying to call me or sms me, maybe due to the harsh sms I sent him the last time, but he still stalks my class and all that. Grrrr! But I really but I can't help feeling, did I ever do anything to make him think I was that kinda person?! I mean, I'm very sure I treat all male teachers the same way and especially yg tua² la to me are more like ayah². I really don't know =(

Gosh! Reading all those makes me feel so pathetic.. aiyooo~~

Well.. I guess, 2011 hasn't been a good year to me.. or rather, I'm not making any good outta the 365 days Allah gave me for it.

I really hope for a better 2012. That there'd be more ups than downs as opposed to what it feels like this year.. and of course, I wish all that too for my family and all my friends who've been with me through thick and thin.

So I hereby wish..

"Good riddance to you 2011. May I never see you (or rather the likes of you) ever again. As for 2012, let's have a good start and an even greater ending with great big and small moments in between, eh!"

Monday, December 26, 2011

Ok.. confirm! Hahah..

Was about to swith of the computer when I came across this in Fb.. and laughed out loud! Seryes kah ni?!?! Patut la bile tension je, sy potong rambut heheh.. and just so you know, sy ni jarang tau potong rambut. But when I think about it, the last few times I cut it off, mesti mase tu tgh serabut. And I thot I was weird.. rupenye, ramai je heheh..

P/S And menyesal till now coz I DON'T LIKE SHORT HAIR.. rimas! Rambut, sile la panjang balikkkk.. =(

When your girlfriend or wife, who has had long hair since you’ve known her, suddenly decides one day that a nice shoulder length bob would flatter her more, or worse, comes home out of the blue one day with all her hair hacked off, look out. This is probably around the time she’ll stop having sex with you, and probably around the time she’ll start mentioning breaking up, or divorce. At the very least, you should understand that she is going through something very emotional, very unpleasant, and more than likely, something very much related to you.

Because hair, for almost every woman, represents femininity and beauty, and sometimes, therefore, what she thinks of herself.

A woman’s emotions are more closely linked to her hair than to any other part of her.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Pie Entry

I'd actually done this in May this year and had excitedly taken pictures of the process doing something I haven't done in years. However, the excitement disappeared the very next day when my world suddenly felt like crashing down (Yup! Thats the drama queen in me speaking!).. and continued to deteriorate, making me do things I wish I hadn't done (like cutting my hair too short for my liking)

Well, today is actually one of those days that remind me of what had happened (indirectly la kot.. ke bleh categorize as directly ye?) that has somehow changed my December and though, yes, I'm still upset and feeling like its a bit worse today, I decided to just write about this anyway.

So here's the chicken pie I did those months back.. and I'm actually thinking of making another one since Puga is now no longer a vegetarian after 'membayar her nazar' for the past 9 years ☺

Actually, I'd already bought the pie tins last year but never had the time to really sit down and make a proper pie since I'm the type who likes to make it from scratch, pastry and all. Somehow, I found the time to make it one day.. and to my delight, even all the ingredients were readily available in the kitchen so there was no reason for me to NOT do it kan?

First I made the filling. I just sauteed some onions and then used cut-up chicken thighs I had initially bought for some laksa Sarawak, Shiitake mushrooms, boiled potatoes and mixed vegetables. I seasoned it a bit with some odds and ends I found in the kitchen (mcm menakutkan la pulak bile ckp camtu.. like just mix in ANYTHING I find la plak kan hehe..)..

Then I made the short crust pastry I used to do when I was smaller. Still had to recheck the recipe for the measurement of the ingredients la kan sbb dah ala² lupe skit. I found that I still enjoy making the dough.. its kinda therapeutic, if you know what I mean. Then I rolled it our and 'moulded' it into the pie tin without greasing coz the pastry pun dah kinda ok kan ☺

Ok, I prefer baking the bottom part of the pastry first as my pies usually turn out a bit too 'soft' and oily if I just bake it with the filling trus (though I've seen people bake trus and giler cantik je jadinye.. magic!) so I weighed it down with some kacang hijau. Wanted to find the heavier red beans tp kedai sini takde jual la pulak.

After baking for 15 minutes camtu, I took out the pie tin and used a spoon to scoop out the hot beans. Beans tu memang tak bleh gune dah, even for bubur so I kept it for later use.. kot la nak buat pie lagi kan <--macam rajin!

Then you just isi the filling made earlier ☺

And the next part is the one I don't really like, covering the pie. My problem is, my trimmings mmg tak cantik hahaha.. I just press the pastry together je. When I was smaller, I used to be a bit more rajin. you know, making the trimmings cantik skit. Like covering with plaits ke, the jambul² thingey ke ape ke.. tp beso² ni mcm sgt malas kot.

Then, after the second baking.. tadaaaa~~

Ok la.. Not really the yummiest pie on earth, tp boleh la nak makan and habiskan dengan senang hati.

(Err, ok la, tipu.. sebenonye dah anto ke org sbb tau tak larat nak abiskan sensorg kaaann hehe..)

Damn.. still feeling upset balik.. haiyaaaa~~

Like I said..

..its different already..

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Bookworm strikes again..?!?

This is a 'basi' kinda entry which I just realized I hadn't updated (as with a few more I just noticed haha.. ape ni Ayu, kate blog ni memoir utk diri sendiri tp cemmane nak ingat sumer bende klau tak mo update blog?!)

Well, a few months ago, when my cousin Dayang got married in Klang, me and Mama along with Iskandar went there la, of course. Usually, I wouldn't have the time to go to kenduris during the school term as I had my 'everyday-except-Sundays classes'. However, due to the accident, I was carless, thus classless and with free time on my hand so when Mama asked if I wanted to go, musti la sy mau ikut!

The kenduri was a blast with almost the whole extended family there (except for Ayah Yeop and Mak Yong). Even my nephews and nieces were all there (except anak Abg Lan la whom would've come klau ade Ayah Yeop ☺) and we had a good time especially when my cousins bullied the DJ towards the end of the kenduri. That night pun we cousins went to Wan Diah's to help with the clean-up and we still had a good time being a family.

The next day, we went to meet Adi and Ana at AmCorp Mall to give them some things (the wedding cake and extra goodies courtesy of Wan Diah and Dayang) and Izati introduced me to BookXcess. In Penang, we only have Popular and what-la-the-name-of-that-bookstore-in-QB? I'm sure we don't even have MPH, though once upon a time ago, we DID have Times and Arthurs Bookstore. Well, this one for the commercial bookstores la, second hand bookstore dah ade yg I baru kenal, courtesy of Shahnaz, the night after the Hard Rock Hotel stay I wrote about months ago *Thanx Shahnaz*

Anyway, my first impression was.. well, I was actually speechless!

True, it wasn't THAT big, but it was full of books. However, it wasn't the number of books that rendered me speechles, it was the PRICES! Giler murah ok.. I could go all crazy in here if I only had the money hahah..

And dalam takde duit tu, I still managed to grab these books..

..with prices are as can be seen. Giler murah kan.. and 3 of those were hardcovers!

There were many more books that I wanted tp my purse gave me a warning by showing how 'slim' it is! Hehe..

Anyway, another unique thing was the receipts. I was confused on why my purchase had this very long recepit. Perli ka? I only bought 5 books (the last book mntk tlg Adi byr kt kaunter coz I was embarrassed to go sekali lagi kat counter) but the recepit was like I had bought so much more.

To my pleasant surprise, the bottom part of the recepit were actually stories/poems sent by people. I was impressed.. a few weeks later, after a bout of insomnia, I decided to open the website and send my own entry, just for the sake of sending je pun. Didn't expect anything coz it wasn't anything I had written after deep thought ke ape ke, just something I had thought of outta the blue last year after yet another bout of insomnia and self-pity.

Imagine my surprise and excitement when a few weeks after that, I received an email saying my entry was among the top 4 for that round of selection. Yippie!!! I wrote about it here while the entry I sent can be found here.

And since I was having a hard time then, this small piece of good news felt like the news of the century to me.. and I was smiling like crazy while telling my Adi and Izati about it hehe..

I wasn't sure I could go pick up the prize though but as luck had it, Dr Mail asked if I'd go to the exhibition in KL. Still ,then pun I wasn't expecting much since we were busy but on the last night, Rashid took us there. I was a bit afraid since I hadn't bought the printed email along as I thought we'd be busy doing something else then but they askled for my IC, and voila, the next minute, the envelope containing my prize was in my hand.

True, the prize was only an RM20 book voucher but at BookXcess, that could mean TWO books.. or 10 children books which I regretfully only found after I'd already paid. Hey, they were the Mr Men books, my favourite when I was small tau! Heheh..

Ohh.. I also received a BookXcess bookmark along with this weaved boomark using Pandan leaves <-- Ok, sini sy wat pandai, mentang² la dia tulis Pandanus. The more logical side of me is saying its like daun mengkuang or something sturdier like that. And this was what I got..

Hmm.. So I admit, I was going for quantity here rather than quality kot but in my defense, my current favourite authors books were either out of stock or unavailable (Ohh.. where art thou, Jodi Picoult?) or I already had them. I don't normally go for Ms Steels books (and I now have a stronger reason why since I only kinda like ONE of those two books) ad the ONLY book she had I liked is Johnny Angel, buku dia paling nipis kot. Her other books seem to run around the same issue of org² kaya ditimpa masalah.. kinda like Malay soap operas actually.. oppsss.. I found that The Wedding was also like that I couldn't wait to finish it.. But The Ghost was quite okay la.. <--Hmm, why la both of her books yg I find ok mesti libatkan hantu?!?!

So there, at least ujung² tahun ni, I have something to be happy about, kan ☺

Ohh.. almost forgot! The adik who was manning the counter, when she noticed me using the voucher, she asked, "Ni Ayu Ikhwani kan?" (Okay, I know la, not my actual name pun) Well, NOT because I'm now a famous author ke ape ke.. but because I was the only Malay yg got the prize haha.. know what she did for me? She kindly made sure that on my receipt was my entry (normally you get them randomly je). Yeay! Mesti la sy nak tp mesti la malu nak saje² mntk kan.. so thanx you adik jage counter BookXcees heheh..

Monday, December 19, 2011

And from my oven, came this..

So there I was on a cold Sunday afternoon, not knowing what to do (not that I didn't have anything to do since dah bape minggu tak sentuh research.. erkkk!)

I was pacing around the house when I realized, I haven't baked for a while. But baking cakes or cookies was a big no-no for me since I never really liked sweet things (except la anything chocolatey) THAT much. I started rummaging through the fridge and cabinets to find whatever ingredients I had in hand and suddenly remembered something.

When I was smaller, Mama used to make scones for breakfast during the weekends. I remember how simple it was and how I loved putting butter on the ones right outta the oven, just to see it melt. Then, I loved jam but for me, scones were best with butter.. especially when hot.

Actually, what triggered this memory was when someone uploaded a picture of scones kot on FB.. or something like that. Besides that, a few years ago we went to Camerom with some of the staff. We had gone to this tea garden where they sold scones like 2 pieces kot camtu, with jam and cream. Guess the price? Dlm RM10 kooooottt..

I was like, ridiculous! Dulu my mum buat cam setengah jam je before breakfast and I KNOW the ingredients cam plain flour, sugar, milk and eggs je kot camtu. Not anything fancy pun nak buh harge mahal cenggitu.

Anyway, back to the present day. I realized I had enough ingredients to make some (and the last time I ate them was like 14 years ago kot?!?!). Ok².. ngaku la, had to check the recipe jugak la since I don't really have THAT good a memory la kan =p

Sure enough, it took tak sampai 15 minutes to mix up the err, dough?!?! I made only half the recipe since I live alone. Kang sape nak abiskan? So I got this much la..

Then I used my fondant cutter to get same-sized bits (Klau Mama yg buat, dia bulat² pakai tgn je.. anak dia tak terre, ok!)

Err.. excuse the messy milk+egg glaze. Dah lame tak glaze bende ni and sgt la the very comot one hehe..

Baking took about another 15 minutes or so and I took the opportunity to make some tea. Mase ni dah perasan of having a very English kinda afternoon tea, indeed, complete with some Earl Grey hehe..

..and tadaaa~~

Ok la, I admit. Giler kene kemas my dining table la kan (sblm tu was full with my books) sbb nak amik gambo nye pasal..

..and yes! I was back to being a child again while I watched the butter melting on my hot scones while savouring the taste of it..

..and I was brought back to reality on why I never attempted to make scones before!


I don't hate them la, tapi! When Mama made them, of course la I'd eat them. But unlike my siblings who liked them and who'd finish them while they were still hot, I'd eat only ONE piece, then go to the kitchen to find my trustworthy slice of bread.. boley?

I preferred it when Mama made sausage rolls.. or even the simple ol' french toast actually. Scones were never really my thing. That explains why, while some friends took the opportunity to eat the scones in Cameron the other day, I just didn't seem to mind.. except for the ridiculous price la yg they put!

And thats what happened that afternoon, I only ate ONE! Tp teh nye minum bercawan. Haiyaaaa.. yg lebih tu, sape nak makan?

That night, decided to eat some for dinner and while we never did this back then, I decided to try scones with cheese+tomatoes and some chicken slices. Kunun wanted to make it 'heavy' enough for dinner and here's the result..

Still, after that, there were still 13 pieces lagik!! Huwaaa.. seryes had to eat it for the whole week pastu tau and only finished the last piece 2 days ago.. aiyooo~~

Friday, December 09, 2011

A Dream and a Song.. related kah?

I had a strange dream last night.. well, as strange as normal dreams go lah. You know how it is.. you start in one place, end up in another. Start with some people and end up with different ones. Well, that was how it started with mine.. and yeah, it was blurry around the edges, as it normally is jugak.

However, as the meaningless dream went along with me transported here and there, I finally found myself in a hall(?) with some students(?) and my friend, Mak Su. We were commenting on this weird food spread that consists of giant cream biscuits(?) and shredded roti canai(?) in plates smaller than a teacup saucer. Then we wanted to perform our Asar(?) prayers so we headed to the toilet but somehow I ended in the gents instead of the ladies.

It was a blur after that but when it came back in focus, I was in the correct(?) place to take my wudhu' along with Mak Su beside me. As she laughed at me and commented on why I was still wearing my name tag (a habit I could never shake off in real life), we suddenly realized the place to take the wudhu' was unisex. I was suddenly wearing a tudung labuh, not unlike the ones I wore at AlMashoor dulu, while trying to take the wudhu' without taking off my hijab (as what we sometimes did in the hostel once).

As I finished, I felt somebody tap my shoulder so I rearranged my hijab neatly and turned around..

..only to find myself face to face with IM!

He didn't seem suprised to see me though I felt, even in my dream, as if my heart had fallen from my chest. Its already 10.51pm now but I can still picture him as I saw in my dream in a red t-shirt (a colour he never wore except towards the end of his MSc after he had laughed at me for ONLY owning black t-shirts and I had retaliate by reminding him that he only owned black, white and grey t-shirts.. yeah²! I know! I'm boring when it came to colours!) When I continued to look at him in disbelief, Mak Su turned to say something to him and then I woke up.

And I was like, "What the.." (Ya, I know, we're supposed to say Alhamdulillah when we wake up as a thankful gesture that God has given us another day to live.. but I was too suprised.. a moment of weakness, perhaps?)

Throughout the day, I've been wondering, what on earth made me dream of him when I haven't even been thinking of him for a long time (except for a few weeks ago when I told my student a bit about him sbb kunun wanted to help him by sharing something with him.. huh! Teacher Ayu tertipu hahah..). In fact, I thought I was already thinking of someone else altogether but somehow, a distant memory must've snaked itself into my subconscious, making its way into my dreams last night and emerged as the image I saw in my dream.

Nway, I tried my best to ignore the question as I knew that dreams are usually forgotten. In fact, I've had dreams that seem so vivid when I just woke up that I could ponder upon it before forcing myself to jgn malas² lambatkan Subuh.. and around Zohor, I've already forgotten about it. But this one seemed to stubbornly engrave itself in my short-term memory.

However, just now, I was listening to some songs on the PC, but when this song came on, I suddenly understood why (maybe la) I dreamt of him last night..

Say Goodbye ~ Katharine McPhee

If I seem distant 
Baby I am 
Words are like scissors in your hands 
And there’s no script to follow 
So I just close my eyes 
That way it won’t hurt so much 
When we say goodbye 

I feel just like an actress 
Up on the stage 
I can’t believe 
What I’m hearing myself say 
And the porch light is my spotlight 
So I play along with this life 
That way it won’t hurt so much 
When we say goodbye 

Did you ever love me? 
Does it even matter? 
Did you even notice the whole world shatter? 
I just want to hold you ‘til you know I’m sorry 
But I just keep it all inside 
That way it won’t hurt so much 
When we say goodbye 

My heart feels like a circus 
It’s too much to take in 
It’s hard to lose love 
But you were my best friend 

So I walk this high wire 
That way it won’t hurt so much 
When we say goodbye 

That way it won’t hurt so much 
When we say goodbye

Actually, I heard this song on a CSI episode last week and just downloaded it coz I kinda like Katharine McPhee now. Hearing this song throughout the week, nothing actually came to mind but somehow today, I realized it has somehow attached itself to my brain.

(Okay then, this is, ignoring the fact that I have a student with the same name as IM, but spelt with an 'SY' instead of an 'SH'.. but I'm choosing to ignore that coz I've taught that boy for 3 weeks now, and if this boy was the reason for it, I'd've sure dreamt about it so much earlier, right?!)

And instead of feeling sadness, I found myself laughing out loud as I found it hilarious somehow.. apekah?

I mean.. what the hell?!?!

I just couldn't believe myself.. ade ke bleh camtu, Ayu oiii?!

I listened to it a few more time just to make sure, and sure enough, this time around, I got some ol' flashbacks.. like hell! Dah seminggu lebih dengar baru today it triggered something ke ape ke, I dunno.. but it felt stupid too.. =(

Okay, now I feel a bit funny pulak..



Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Activity Kutip-Mengutip~~

When I was, ehem, younger, I actually loved going to exhibitions. To me, there was a lot you could learn and see and I'd almost look forward to it (tp senyap² je la sbb takut kene gelak ngan kengkawan yg sentiase rase exhibition tu boring hehe..)

However, as I turn 3216 (again?), I find the interest I once had, deteriorate to an alarming rate. Maybe because I've been to one too many exhibitions or maybe because most exhibitions I go now are usually the same thing over and over again.

So how to keep the interest at bay?!

By activity kutip mengutip lahhhh hehe..

See what I 'kutip' on the Hari UNESCO Malaysia held on the 18th~19th November recently (Okay, I know la not-so-recent.. I'm trying to spring-clean my blog here from the dust gathering in it.. so just amuse me by pretending its VERY recent!)

Gile bnyk kan?! Hehe..

I actually got more than what I've put here, for example, the black non-woven bag tu, we got around 4 each kot (2 on the first day and another 2 on the second day.. boley?) but I'd given some of these giveaways to some friends.. these are the ones I'm keeping.. at least for now la, unless nnt rase nak bg kat sesape.

And yes, we DID get an umbrella from the South-South Information Gateway booth.. umbrella?!?! 1st time kot dpt umbrella.. 

This booth actually gave us the most kot. The mug is also from their booth. We got a pen and note book too along with a keychain and cardholder! Gile kan! When we first realized that booth was giving out so much (one pakcik opened his goody bag in front of us and showed us..) terus je sy and Arep bergegas ke arah booth itu wpun mulenye rase boring nak round² sbb dah 2nd day kan.. Yeah! I know, buruk perangai hahahah..

The 2 giveaways with the white Hari UNESCO sticker was actually prizes for a quiz they had held. One for each day. At first I didn't wanna answer those questions (refer to second paragraph), but when I noticed Yun actually looking for the answers, it felt mcm bes la pulak nak gi carik jawapan haha.. boley? When Nana and Aisyah (Dr Ismail's daughters) saw what we got for the quiz, they wanted one too so I had to help them find the answers which unfortunately wasn't the same set as we had received earlier.. still, they got what they wanted too! Suke je budak 2 org tu ☺

Ohh, the highlighter pun I got two. One mase looking around other booths with Tiqah and the other one mase helping Nana and Aisyah find the answers.. I also got a note book from the same booth, much to Nana's displeasure sbb dia pun nak jugak tp tinggal satu je hehe.. In the end, I got around 5 notebooks kot?!?

The pens were more than those 5 tp sbb dah bg org kan ☺ And paper bags tu tak yah cakap la kan. Also a fridge magnet, some sturdy files I could use, a postcard, some bookmarks laminated with some botanical species from Tasik Chini

And this was only mine, tak kire lagi org lain punye. There were 7 of us kot (me, Rashid, Yun, Tiqah, Son Min, Arif and Azam) and all of us got around the same things each. 1st day of exhibition was at DBP. Pergi kete separa penuh, balik the car was ful with these goody bags je. Same with 2nd day (at Central Market plak), balik tu penuh je with goody bags..

Hehe.. and I actually find it kinda fun! Now I know what to do lain kali pergi exhibition ☺ ☻ ☺

P/S Okay, maybe kot I'm the one yg pelik sbb sblm ni tak penah pun wat keje camni so let me be 'perak' for a while, k