Monday, December 29, 2008

New Year's Resolution - revised

Monday, December 29, 2008

This is the first time I've actually bothered to do a list, but if writing them out and broadcasting them to the public will help me get them done, then thats what I'll do. In no particular order,

1. Read more Qur'an - and try to understand it too.

2. Work on my fitness/energy level - Hiba and I are planning to do some sort of physical exercise every week at least - keep me honest Hiba!!

3. Gain some weight - Now I weigh almost 45kg (!) gunning to gain at least 2kg which would put me in the 'normal' BMI range. which entails eating more I guess. And exercising, which would by right make me hungry/need more energy.

4. Start learning another language - UIA offers classes at night for Mandarin, French, Arabic and some other languages. There are plenty of online options. Choose one!

5. Maintain or upgrade my CGPA - It fell for the first time last semester. Do my assignment on time. If its groupwork make sure its up to par. Study for exams earlier, with a study plan followed through. Read all questions carefully and check. Recheck. Again. Apply whatever knowledge/tips from last semester's studio. Consult more. Explore.

6. Strive to become a better person - Overall. Be more mindful of others. Don't take anything (or anyone) for granted. Be positive and passionate. Give unconditionally. Less paranoia.

7. Write more - Improve vocabulary and Academic writing. Try writing in a variety of genres with different target audiences, different content and delivery.

8. Read more - Read more intellectual stuff. Read all the news, not just the headlines. Don't skip through sentences. Read each word carefully and understand.

9.Learn a new skill (or more) - Like web design. Working on that already.

10. Manage my time more wisely -

11. Budget!! - less chocolate binges. less coffee truck. basically less impulse (food) shopping. Write down expenditures.

12. Driving license - working on it already

13. Figure out (or work towards figuring out) my life goals

14. Pound some discipline into my system

15. Work on my people skills

16. Figure out how my mind works (or doesn't) and fix it

Any suggestions/comments?

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Well, I changed my blog design again. Its pretty much based on my soon to be defunct trial site, but this one was a lot harder to make. Its a lot less polished, and I couldn't figure out how to make the smooth drop down navigation menu thingy. Anyone know?

We didn't get to paint our studio, in the end, because they didn't buy the paints yet.

Long Holiday!!! Happy New Hijri Year everyone!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Week 1 - Not So Bad

Friday, December 26, 2008

Week one of My 2nd semester of my second year of university is fast coming to an end. So what have I gotten from it? Well, here goes.

Firstly, the newbies this semester are non-existent, or much less conspicuous compared to before. Either that, or my eyesight is really beginning to fail me. That said, its harder this semester to really see what's going on in uni because of the huge green barrier that separates and thus blocks our vew of the bridge. Also, I haven't been doing my usual rounds at the library and ITD so I don't pass the more densely populated areas of UIA.

What else...? Ah yes - I moved into my hostel on the second day of uni. Shocking I know. But I didn't want to be late for my 8 a.m. class the next day. Now that I think about it though - studio is also at 8a.m. that means I'll probably be late every Monday.

Not forgetting, of course, the terrible accident that happened on Wednesday. Please refer to my last post.

Thursday was Christmas - so I went back home. Thinking I would relax. but instead I was edgy all day long. hmm..

It felt weird - usually the first week of studio we are rushing around doing site analysis and minor projects et cetera, but this week - nothing. Monday was a short brief, and today we started the day off with a Long Tazkirah in the Main Auditorium, delivered by Br. Yusuf Estes on DVD. Studio will resume at 3p.m. later today with input lectures on Precedent Studies and Site Analysis. I have a feeling I've already been to the Site Analysis lecture, but it's compulsory. Oh well. Time to load up on some chocolate :)

I got 7/10 for this quiz I did just now - my guessing skills are quite good I guess lol!

Tomorrow - I'll be doing this insha'Allah.

should be a spot of fun right?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

And to Him we return

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

What do you say to those who are left behind? To those who tried their best to help?

Al-Fatihah for the late Dr. Shukri

I realised something today, something devastating. What if I had committed any sins towards arwah Dr. Shukri? What if I had inadvertently slandered him, thought ill of him, let fitnah worm its way into my mind and out of my mouth? What if i'd done this to other s as well? Who am I to apologise to now?

So to everyone reading, and to all those not, please, forgive me for any wrong that I have ever done to you in the past, present, and future, whether it was on purpose or accidental. I sincerely apologise for everything.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Of refugees and the four seasons

Monday, December 22, 2008

Our friends the Joneses came up for a short visit on the last leg of their summer vacation, so I spent the day with Ayesha and cutie Maymuna. Ayesha wanted to see Tr. Murad - so I thought hard and recalled he worked for the rector. So obviously he must be in the rectory building. But where? Just by luck, we stepped into the elevator and level 4 was already pressed. might as well get off there. turns out he was on level 4, and he was shocked to see Ayesha. We had a nice long conversation about a wide range of topics, from refugees, fake passports, the four seasons, sheep (of course), grass, we even sang a song or two. It was great. The boys went off to play basketball meanwhile, so after we left Tr. Murad's office we hung out in the mosque waiting for the boys to be done. we waited until maghrib, and then headed home for dinner with our guests, Hesham, Ayesha, Maymuna, Lutfi and Fikri.

Good times - but way too short. Maymuna is such a model poser! She loves the camera - and we have proof! But she's so cuuuuuute!!!

Ayesha mentioned something today which I always thought but never said. "It's really weird meeting people you see on facebook" and its so true! Because, you know them even though by right, you don't. and you feel weird because even before being introduced you know a fair dinkum of what that person is about, their full name, you read their comments and posts and build up your own mental image of how this person's persona might be. I always feel odd meeting someone I know about but never actually met or was ever even mentioned to me directly. Somehow I feel I've violated their privacy. like by knowing snippets of online conversations they've had with my friends, seeing their pictures float around. After all - you don;t want to appear stalker-ish, do you?

Oh, and school started today. Our major project this semester will be to design an orphanage.

Once again - for alimited time only this will be up for public viewing (hmmm that sounds odd..)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

So this is what a credit card might look like

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I've been testing out this service on, its a 14-day free trial (no credit card number required for the trial), at the end of which, I can either opt to continue, but if not, then all this will simply be deleted. Too bad - just when I start falling in love with the flexibility and simplicity of all this. I could very well ask my dad for this as a birthday gift - but hen I'd have to explain. Too much work. Unless there's some other way to pay for this? Anyone know?

Ah well. If you actually checked this out, then congrats, you'll be one of the few to witness what I spent the majority of the last day of my holiday on. It's not much but I still had fun.

Now back to the tedium of architorture.

Friday, December 19, 2008

In my backyard there is a dinosaur

Friday, December 19, 2008

In my backyard there is this majestic, beautiful place. No, not Batu Caves, but Bukit Tabuh/Tabur/Taboh. My sister and brother climbed it a few days ago, but I couldn't join in the fun because I was bedridden with some weird stomach flu.

You can read about their adventure and see pictures here.

I used to call the ridge "Stego" bfore I knew what it's proper names were, because it reminded be of a stegosaurus. Others called it white elephants or Dragon's backbone.

But I find it really sad that the local authorities don't see it as something of value. Here is a letter posted on Malaysia Kini

"The Klang Gates quartz ridge is one of the longest, if not the longest quartz outcrop in the whole world.

It is possibly the most stunning geological feature, and certainly the most obvious, in Peninsula Malaysia, as it creates a magnificent backdrop to the north of Kuala Lumpur skyline.

Sadly, this magnificent natural heritage goes unrecognised and unnoticed by so many Malaysians. The 1996 structure plans for the Selayang area did not even put the ridge on its map, when in fact there may be 5 kilometres or more of it that run through Selayang.

The Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ), meanwhile, has approved a large number of developments all along the ridge, as if it does not even exist. In October 2003, the former Selangor menteri besar launched the Selangor State Park study in the shadow of this magnificent giant. In August 2005, the deputy prime minister stood at the foothills of the area, and declared it part of Taman Warisan Selangor (the Selangor State Park).

Yet still no protection has been offered for this magnificent ridge and development plans continue unabated.

The slopes of the Klang Gates ridge are largely class 3 and class 4 slopes and combined with the quartz soil, the area is unstable for most types of development. It will be a real tragedy if the government remains so disinterested in this geological wonder, and allows it to be destroyed and desecrated by wanton development; the way the beauty of Batu Caves has been destroyed.

Why has it not yet been declared a national-natural heritage site? Why is it not a proper part of the Selangor State Park? Will no one in authority stand up, recognise and protect this spectacular gift that God has taken a millennium to create and man intends to destroy in a few decades?

Let’s hope someone takes and interest besides the housing developers."

And another letter that appeared in The Star

Monday October 20, 2008

Klang Gates Quartz Ridge unprotected

WE travel to as far as Australia to admire the Blue Mountains and Ayers Rock; or to Krabi, Thailand to admire their vertical outcrops jutting from the sea; or even to the Grand Canyon in the United States. But little do most Malaysians realise what an amazing natural treasure lies in our own backyard.

I am talking about this magnificent natural heritage of ours, the Klang Gates Quartz Ridge in Selangor which, unfortunately, is unprotected.

The area around the Klang Gates Quartz Ridge has been designated as an environmental sensitive area (ESA), but we are already seeing and feeling the effects of development with so many housing projects being located dangerously close to these areas.

One wonders how much of the land around the quartz ridges have already been approved for development by MPAJ and the former State Government!

If you climb up Bukit Tabur, which is part of these magnificent quartz ridges, the view is breathtaking on one side and heartbreaking on the other. It is heartbreaking to see the devastation, ugly scarring and flattening of the hillsides in the vicinity of the Klang Gates dam and around Taman Melawati, Kemensah Heights, Kampung Kemensah (once famous for its streams and waterfalls which have now turned muddy) and Taman Zooview.

Further down all the way to Batu Caves too, we see commercial as well as housing projects mushrooming close to the ridge. The developer and local authorities may comfort us with arguments that all mitigating measures to ensure “minimum effect on the environment” will be carried out.

They may come up with an impressive array of engineering solutions to protect the slopes and the environment and they may even say this is only a low-density development that will not affect earth movement.

But we know from experience, as in the case of development on hillslopes in Taman Melawati and Kemensah area, that “low-density development” does not mean low impact on the environment.

Do we really believe that all that piling will not affect the stability of the ridges? And when huge chunks of the ridge come crashing down, after all the damage is caused, are the developers or MPAJ going to very magnanimously offer for our safety to build ugly cement retaining walls to patch up the quartz ridge just like they did in Taman Zooview?

Is that the view we want of our natural treasure - all patched up, plastered and cemented?

The Quartz Ridge of the Klang Gates is a unique natural heritage. Let us not throw away our chance to preserve and protect this heritage for our future generations. "

Finally here is an article on the WWF website. By the way, contrary to rumors, the ridge is not on any UNESCO list. Malaysia only has 3 listings on UNESCO, Kinabalu, Mulu, and the cities of Georgetown and Melaka.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Does a soundtrack make or break a movie, no matter how good the movie is? Not sure myself, but I've come to realise that the movies I list as my favourites all have elements of music in them, more than just the soundtrack. In fact, you could almost say they are musicals. Firstly, the is the magnificent Phantom of The Opera. If there's one thing that fascinates me more than music, its multi-talented individuals, in this case, its actors/actresses who can also carry a tune quite impressively.

Among my other favourites are Les Choristes, Paris je t'aime, Corpse Bride, August Rush, and In America. Not your typical blockbuster line up, thats for sure. But the melodies that these movies weave together with their stories makes them that much more memorable. Music has an inexplicable way to it, to touch you in places you never thought you had, drawing out forgotten emotions and pricking life back into a lifeless being. It paints a picture full of a thousand rainbows for you to immerse yourself in, even if you aren't a synesthete. Bad reviews aside, a movie that I've been dying to watch is Across the Universe - only because it features some of my favourite songs.

Recently I was reminded of the quiet awesomeness that is Iron and Wine while doing some research about the movie Twilight. Teenage vampire love stories are quite far from palatable to me, but on account of the magnificent "Flightless Bird, American Mouth" suggested by actress Kristen Stewart (who plays Bella Swan) I am actually considering watching it. Only for the end song lol!

I'm not happy with this blog. Thinking of redoing it somehow. For starters, there's a lot of real wasted space, and it takes forever to load. And school starts too soon...

Monday, December 15, 2008

You suspect there might be something wrong with yourself when...

Monday, December 15, 2008

You suspect there might be something wrong with yourself when, looking through your brother's A-Levels Mathematics exercise book, you have this wild craving for mathematics that hits you so suddenly and shockingly you almost fall out of your chair. Remember the days when you used to say, you HATE math? Absolutely loathed it? That it made no sense whatsoever to study something you won't be using in your daily life, ever, EVER?

Now you look back, as a wizened old student of architecture, and sigh. Those were times when things, however ridiculous, still made copious amounts of sense compared to the fickle subjective nature of what you're pursuing now. And even though you don't particularly like math either, you think, it sure as heck should be a lot more straightforward and manageable than all this torture.

This torture that begins in a gut wrenching 6 days...and I'm not kidding when I say even thinking about it makes my head spin and stomach churn.

Friday, December 12, 2008


Friday, December 12, 2008

I've never been so glad I was wrong - turns out it wasn't wikipedia that let me down, it was person doing the subtitles, and me of course. Anywyas, as many of you have pointed out, yes, my spelling was wrong, its in fact spelled synesthesia or synesthaesia like I suspected, and here is the wiki link where you can read more about this fascinating condition. oh and the people who have this are called synesthetes.

original post

I can't believe it, but wikipedia has let me down, and not on some random obscure topic either. I wanted to know more about synthaesthesia, but the good old wiki had nothing to offer. Its not even recognised as a word here, angry red zigzaggy lines under it.

I caught the end 5 minutes of a documentary on it just now, on Discovery channel. Synthaesthesia is a neurological condition that approximately affects 1% of the world's population. Synthaetics somehow link different sensory parts of their brains together. Most cases are discovered through sound and taste, in association with colour. For example, synthaetics listen to music and immediately visualise different colours for various notes and instruments. similarly, some also taste foods and each food has a unique colour, but not one that can be set by the person themselves. as a result, sometimes a delicious food or beautiful instrument might have an awful colour. Many times, sythaetics choose music/food according to the colour combinations that they offer, so the man in the documentary I watched had an interesting dinner menu. Roast chicken with a sideline of vanilla ice cream all lathered in orange sauce. According to him, that combination produced a lovely mixture of sky blues that appeared in a large oval in front of him, and faded as the taste wore off. He also said that although he enjoys the sound of a french horn, he cannot stand the colour associated with it, which is akin to an oily green.

Scientists still don't know what causes it, though they came up with 2 theories. the first is that the parts of the brain of synthaetics somehow are linked closer to each other than normal human brains are. The second theory is that all human brains are connected physically but because of the opposing stimuli the connections are hampered or something.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tutorial9 Gift of Knowledge Giveaway

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Tutorial9 is having an awesome giveaway, which you can read about here. This is a community effort to raise money for the Save The Children Organization, and everyone has a shot at winning tons of great prizes along the way. Save the Children Organisation strives to create lasting positive changes for children in need in The USA and around the world.

Personally, I don't think I'm capable of creating a post to be published on Tutorial9. According to them, "it can be a tutorial, a resource you’ve created, a roundup of your favorite design books, or an article related to one of our topics at Tutorial9. " But I'm going to try anyway, and you should too!! "Simply share your experience and knowledge with our readers, win some awesome prizes, (and really, they are AWESOME! Wacom Tablet anyone??) and $100 is donated to charity." Seriously, its that simple. for every emtry they receive, thats another $100 to charity, ever closer to the $5000 goal.

Added star factor, Actor Hugh Laurie of the Band From TV, has selected Save the Children as his personal charitable beneficiary and will direct to us his share of sales from the CD/DVD, “Hoggin’ All the Covers", which has topped Amazon DVD Sales recently. Come know you love them!!

So go on and do your bit in helping a worthy cause. Check out these links for further information.

Contest Landing Page

Contest Announcement page

Monday, December 1, 2008

A day spent not bumming around, And Luna Smiling

Monday, December 1, 2008

Have you ever been sent on a wild goose chase? well, today, I did just that. Hiba and I wanted to go watch the Royals Debating Championship in UIA but we had no idea where the venues were - note to organisers, you might want to put that information on the numerous posters you put up - so after searching through the Admin building, we decided to ask SPICE where the venues were. They said it was in AIKOL, Econs, and KAED, but they weren't sure which one was the English debate. so we decided to go east across the river to KENMS and AIKOL but Econs was desolate, and the only activity going on in AIKOL was something the the moot court, not the debates, we didn't think.

Trekked across campus to KAED, my refrigerator of a kulliyyah, but the only thing going on there was some accounting conference (?) Finally we went with my initial suspicion that it was in Engineering, which it was. But we got there too late and the debates just ended, so we just sat around being totally lost. Managed to catch on of the quarterfinals, UIA team 1 vs some other university.

The debate was very close but in the end UIA didn't make it through :( neither did the other UIA team. Bummer. Couldn't catch the semi finals because my driving class was at 4. went ok, but seriously need more practice. can't believe there are only 5 classes.

On the way home I was looking out at the sky, because the moon was so beautiful! and Happy! It was shining with twinkling eyes and a crescent smile which my camera didn't really manage to capture very well. No telephoto lens anywhere in sight so crappy digital zoom it was. The eyes are actually Jupiter (right) and Venus (left) and according to my igoogle gadget the moon is currently in a waxing crescent phase at 13% full. More details of this rare occurrence can be found here and here
Amazing Masha'Allah...

From luna

From luna

debates and driving again tomorrow...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Observations, 2

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Finally got out of the house yesterday, since my sister wanted to go see the exhibition at Central market about Palestine. It wasn't much, but still worth checking out.

Things I saw that caught my fleeting attention:

Waiting (forever) for public transport in front of my house, a guy in a Manchester United shirt walks by. I started thumb wrestling with Muhsin, as I alsways do when I'm bored. The guy suddenly starts reading surah Al-Ikhlas in a really loud and deep voice, and then goes on saying how its not permissible to shake hands with someone who is not your mahram. Thanks dude, but he's my little brother! Good that he had the courage to say that though. Later on we saw him smoking and were contemplating whether or not to go up to him and tell him smoking is Haram. We didn't though.

A group of schoolgirls on the LRT acting as is they were high. seriously. Laughing wildly, singing out loud, etc. I wondered why. Later on my sister told me that SPM was over, so I assume thats what they were so giddy about.

Group of 3 people seated at a closed mamak stall at Central Market Annexe, and a 4th person joined them they all started signing! such animated conversations.So cool..!

A crow's nest in the space frame structure at the KL KTMB station. Then the owner of the nest flew in and made itself comfortable...

Super long Cargo train with over 20 train cars attached, all labeled Lafarge Malaysian Cement.

Sugar glider at Pets Wonderland in Midvalley. so small and cute!

International Contemporary Art Exhibition at Midvalley. Very cool. International Artists were also present, some painting, some playing the harmonica, some being bored. definitely worth checking out. Ends 30th November though, so rush on over!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Demashita! PPGZ

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I burned my tongue today, rushing upstairs because my sister was shouting at me to come and see something. What I saw horrified me, it was just so sad.

The TV was on, set at cartoon network. (yes I do still watch cartoons. a select few only)

But instead of the PPG I loved and expected, it was an atrocity, a new series called Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z, you can read about it came about here.

I was really horrified. Just to show you how bad it is, these are the girls, for you to compare.


No sugar, spice, or anything nice here...

for more pictures of this blegh cartoon, check out this post

and also Craig McCracken has a dA account w00t!
and here is the Foster's blog, though its not been updated since 2006. interesting look at character development

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sometimes, this is how I feel

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Lenka - Anything I'm Not (click to listen)

I will never be, I will never be tall, no
And I will never be, never ever be sure of it all
Oh, why is the world so cruel to me
When all, all I ever want to be is anything I'm not

Gimme a break, a little escape
I am so tired of being me
I wanna be free, I wanna be new and different
Anything I'm not
I'm not

I will never be, I will never be you, no
I will always be, I will always be me, that I know
But oh, even though I'm happy being me
I want to get away from all this harsh reality, oh

Gimme a break, a little escape
I am so tired of being me
I wanna be free, I wanna be new and different
Anything I'm not

Yeah, gimme a break, a little escape
I am so tired of being me
I wanna be free, I wanna be new and different
Anything I'm not
Anything I'm not
Oh, anything I'm not

Gimme a break, a little escape
I am so tired of being me
I wanna be free, I wanna be new and different
Anything I'm not

Yeah, gimme a break, a little escape
I am so tired of being me
I wanna be free, I wanna be new and different
Anything I'm not
Anything I'm not
Anything I'm not
Anything I'm not
Anything I'm not

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Sunday, November 23, 2008

"Apparently, the more success you have, the better looking you get" Roger Federer, blushingly commenting on him being featured in People Magazine's List last year.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Follow up to tennis post...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Omg my mom told me the most horrifying story! One of the teachers in the school, tr Zainab, went to the Mandarin Oriental for the Blake workshop, and while she was there she hung around with the kids who were waiting for roger to appear. They waited and waited and waited for him to appear so they could get autographs/pictures, but when he did come, it was the VIPs and family of VIPs who were allowed to get autographs and pictures. So as he was leaving, Tr. Zainab yelled out to him, to Roger, that these children have been waiting forever to meet you and yet the VIP's who didn't wait at all were the ones who got to!? And she yelled this across the room! Roger then slowly turned around to see who the heck was yelling at him, then beckoned her to come. She did and then took a picture with him. I find this too funny but at the same time, horrifying! But for those who know Tr. Zainab, you know that that's just her way!

Later on roger was leaving the hotel and was in the car but the driver didn't appear yet, and there were security guards blocking people from approaching the car. Somehow, tr Zainab managed to get through the blockade and marched up to the car, knocked on the window, pointed at a poster of roger and motioned for him to sign it! He rolled down the window and did just that, but I'm thinking he's probably terrified of this fierce lady lol!


Just watched the Macau matches, missed the one between Borg and McEnroe, but then caught the rest. Found myself a bit jealous of the Macau people. The players were more in the mood, I guess KL warmed them up. Federer interacted with the crowd more, as did Blake. One funny moment in the doubles match was when McEnroe slammed down his racquet, then Blake copied him, and Federer pretended to as well! And then another time Federer imitated McEnroe wiping off his forehead with his arms…ahhh I love tennis….


Roger was a real champion with the crowds. While McEnroe couldn't wait to get back to the locker room, Federer stayed back and signed tons of autographs for the hordes of fans, Blake did his bit too, but lets face it, its roger they really want. Unlike in KL, this time sweatbands (all players) and even shirts (McEnroe's and Blake's) were thrown into the stands…

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Showdown of Champions, KL 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

As Shirley Bassey so aptly sang, “Where do I begin?”

My birthday was on the 17th, but the 18th was what i was really excited about and looking forward to, so ignoring the big 21, here goes!

Meet and Greet/Autograph session, KLCC foyer

Yesterday went beyond all my expectations, which were, to begin with, already great. So in the morning Zah, Nadiah and I stood for about 2 hours in line waiting for Roger Federer to arrive, and even though the encounter was brief, and by brief I mean really brief, it was great. Even standing in line we were entertained by the presence of a Federer lookalike, which we learned later on was an Iranian who lived in the USA, he was there with his mother. His name was Zaher Khan, also found that out later.

It must be weird, for famous people. Many people they meet tend not to look them in the eye, instead, they point a camera straight in their face. That was one mistake I did in the meet and greet. Couldn’t really savor the moment because I was flustered and didn’t know what to do. Missed a lot by seeing through the camera display rather than using my eyes. Didn’t really repeat the mistake in the match.

this picture appeared on gettyimages, with the hilarious caption of "Roger Federer (C) of Switzerland signs autographs for a Malaysian Muslim fan..."

After the meet-and-greet (aptly named, as that’s all you did. Meet, say hi, and then you get shooed away) we were standing outside KLCC towers all giddy and beaming like overexcited children, and for some reason Bernama decided to interview us. God knows what nonsense we were jabbering on about because we didn’t get to see ourselves, not that we’d want to anyway. They also interviewed lookalike and his mom before us (that’s where we found out his name).

After all that excitement, it was a case of “now what..?”

So we wandered back inside and into the mall, where we were walking around when suddenly, I turn to say something to Nadiah and who else do I see but Mirka? Funny, because we were just speaking about maybe bumping into her in KLCC. She was taller and prettier and more down-to-earth than we imagined, but she declined any pictures taken. Respect that. What I found most odd was how she seemed to be wandering aimlessly around the mall, all alone. Well, except for the freaky couple that was silently stalking her.

Showdown of Champions, Stadium Putra, Bukit Jalil

Left the mall at 4 to beat the rush hour, even if that meant we’d get to Bukit Jalil ridiculously early. Hung around the Putra stadium observing the weird people around, pointing out people we recognized from the autograph signing, like South Africa hat dude +family, lady who needed to “meet someone,” guy with stripey blue shirt, Jason Mraz hat guy, cowbell lady, dude with plaid hat, lookalike and mom, etc. oh we also saw Hans Isaac, weird again because we were, for some reason, talking about him that day also. Saw a really lost looking dude who was walking aimlessly around the complex alone. Weird.

Waited for Ilham and Ayesha to arrive, since they were stuck in traffic. Meanwhile, we walked around the stadium looking for where the players would arrive/exit from, so that we could stalk them when they left. Found it with no trouble at all. They finally arrived at 7, so we entered the arena, prayed marghrib, and went into the seating area where our ears were blasted to smithereens from screechy Ella singing. Jacklyn Victor was a bit more tolerable, as was Ning Baizura. But who cares about them, its tennis we came to see! Other people we spotted inside were mostly some other political people. I chatted with this family from Alberta, Canada. I told her I used to live in Canada too, in Waterloo, and apparently she went to university there! Also some weird guy started chatting me up when I went down to take some pictures after the match. Freaky.

The first match was with the old timers, Bjorn Borg and Jon McEnroe. McEnroe being the feisty one, always playing up the crowds with his antics, as per usual! It was all in good fun. There was some racquet throwing, ref-slamming and ball-boy teasing which really cracked us up. Borg was more reserved. Watching them play, I thought, this is a lot different than what I’m used to seeing on the telly. Its much slower paced and not as aggressive. But then again they are old so I guess that’s why. McEnroe won that 1 set match in a tie break.

Three short minutes later, the real reason people came to the match started. It was James Blake vs Roger Federer, which was absolutely amazing to watch. It seemed so surreal watching a live tennis match, the movements so familiar and yet it was different, because it was right in front of our face, live. Everything was really just so surreal. And it was awesome seeing a master at work, you could tell he was a genius in his element, so exquisite and graceful, that one. Watching live, you get more of a feel and understanding of how different the players’ styles are, their temperament, personality, quirks. Federer was the elegant and graceful one, full of finesse and sweeping movements and nimble ballet-esque footwork. One thing I heard but never did on telly was his cute “aiya” when he’d mess up a shot. Blake was more aggressive and hard hitting, but both were absolutely brilliant. Federer won that match, also in a tie-break, much to the crowd delight, especially the cowbell lady et al, who (I gathered from their view-blocking banner) were Asian rogerfederer.commers. Which, come to think of it, so am I.

Another thing, I noticed that anything the players say on court can really be heard by almost everybody, at least up to where we were seated, midway up the stands. And its not even shouted, just things said normally. So imagine what it must be like if Nadal or Sharapova were in the house, grunting and shrieking all the way? By the way, next year instead of Federer et al, Miss Sharapova will be gracing our shores, opponent not yet confirmed. Big Whoop. Guys should be glad I suppose.

The final match of the night was a single set doubles, Europe vs. USA, with Roger pairing up with Bjorn and Blake with McEnroe. That match was super exciting. Fast paced, a lot of laughs from us and the players, and all in all a really exhilarating match. In the end USA came out on top 7-5, so the only person who didn’t win anything was poor old Borg.

We planned on stalking the players back to the hotel but then it was already late and some of us had work the next morning. Also, it wouldn’t be that easy this time, like it was during the CYC because these people had a whole convoy and police escort whereas at the CYC it was just a bus. Went to Ilham’s house feeling dazed and giddy and happy all at the same time.

So to Federer, Blake, Borg and McEnroe, a HUGE thank you for coming to Malaysia and giving us something to buzz about for a long time to come! You guys made my day! And last but definitely not least, Thank you to Nadiah and her dad for giving us all the opportunity to witness a genius at work!!

Pictures, videos, and links
hcfoo's tennis blog
NST article
The Star article

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Through my eyes and in my mind

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Went on an observing spree today, here are some things I saw. Most I couldn't take pictures of. In fact, I only have one interesting picture:

workers cleaning the exterior of Balai Seni Lukis Negara

other things I saw:

A guy breaking out into a trip-hoppy dance at the klcc lrt station.

A tough, mafia looking guy wearing a "MEDIA" tag (his name was Robert Charles O'Hare), stuffing a pink towel into his messenger bag.

Quartz precision thermo hygrograph. while others were looking at art in BSLN I was looking at this contraption on the floor.

Bus driver with funky curly mustache.

Awesome exhibition at Galeri Petronas by Mazen Kerbaj - Blog Drawings from Beirut. Seriously people, go check it out. very humorous and dark and wonderful. Its in the back though. I especially like the freedom flags series.

Cute drawings by Josip Generalic on level 3 of BSLN. story-book like.

Got home with a pounding headache.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Chicken and the egg

Monday, November 10, 2008

Which came first? wait - don't answer that because thats not what my actual question is about. My version of the question is, which came first, dig or Digg? Dig, as in the term/slang used by people to denote that they like something. Digg being the social bookmarking site, which, actually, lets people pick what they are interested in or what they like. Almost the same, but which came first? Was the term "I dig so and so" coined first, and Digg based on that, or was Digg made first and thus people started using the phrase?

These are the questions that haunt me... :P

Btw, according to he founder of Digg, his idea was that there was so much good content out there that was kind of buried, so people had to dig out the stories that interest them so that the stories would be featured on the front pages.

Oh yeah, had my driving class today. Was not as boring as I imagined, although towards the last hour of the lecture I was getting really sleepy. Getting an instructor felt weird, sort of like being sorted in Harry Potter. Anyways my instructor is nice I guess. Shockingly he asked e to drive all the way down to Batu 13/14 in Gombak, and back. Only stalled once:) Twisty kampung roads, I will conquer you! Insha'Allah.

Cleaned up my hostel room halfway today, after driving class. 2 months of dust everywhere:/ So tired.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

KL, raining

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Went to the orchid garden as planned today, on the way there also stopped by the hibiscus garden. Place was nice, though not all the flowers were in bloom. Even though we were right in the middle of KL it felt like we were far, far away. After that we had a spontaneous moment and decided to go to the planetarium, so walked all the way there, but on the way it started to rain buckets. Fortunately, my raggedy minuscule umbrella kept us from being totally drenched. We arrived at the planetarium only wet. It was a lot less than I imagined it to be. Kind of let down, after all these years wanting to go there, it didn't really offer much. Lots of screaming school kids too. Observation deck was empty so that was nice. We retreated back downstairs when the children discovered it. Then went to Masjid Negara for prayer. All in all, great day. We were thinking about going to the bird park as well, but didn't fancy being pooped on :/ Tomorrow doesn't look so promising. Have to submit my (scrappily done) CAD assignment and then off to driving class number 2 a.k.a engine class. Won't make me a world class mechanic but at least I won't be hoodwinked by the grease monkeys.

By the way, I don't know why but I write in fragments a lot of the time. Bits and shards of thought, as long as the main idea is out then i'm good. My sentences are usually abrupt, truncated in the beginning and end. Is it annoying? Word economy I tell you...

Here are most of the pictures from my camera, please ignore the craptastic photography. I am but a point-and-shooter...

By Muhsin

Muhsin took this picture, on the way back from Khair's Lab. We are blessed with many glorious sunsets here in batu caves (and muhsin's photography skills. he told me to say that)
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The awesomest thing in the world...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Is what I have to do this holiday. Was watching an episode of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends a while back and that line came on. Basically means make do of the free time you have.

Today started like any other day, woke up, and surfed the net for a while. Then got bored.
Sat down at my now clean desk and made a card, for no one in particular. Just felt like making one. Then after a while I rummaged through my drawers and came up with my stash of letters from friends, and it was such fun to read all the nonsense we sent each other. So I sat down and wrote two letters, one for myself (if you know me well you know what that one's for) and one for my friend. Then I decided that it would be kinda boring just giving a letter so I made her some stuff. Found my stash of unfantastic pictures so I used them to draw on. Here is an example. Its super fun to do.This was taken at some military air show thing in Richmond, but obviously the airplanes were in the sky and tiny. So I ended up with a load of sky pictures, perfect for drawing on.

I had some questions I was going to post but I totally forgot what they were.

I miss having TechTV on Astro. It’s amazing seeing the development of some people throughout, like Kevin Rose for example. Here is someone who was passionate about something, and worked at it not caring what others thought, and look where it got him now. From background tech support guy to Hosting that show to founder if one of the biggest social bookmarking sites, Digg. Reading about all these successful people kinda makes me sad. Wondering if I’ll ever be successful and happy with what I do. But I guess you can only be successful if you have goals, which I don't seem to have.


Wrong approach Maryam! You’re supposed to be inspired, not depressed!

Anyways, Insha'Allah, orchid garden with Sumeyra tomorrow for a photo shoot. Of the flowers, not of us!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Over are the exams...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Had my last one just now, and it went quite well besides the horrible fact that I totally didn't see one of the questions. A 10 mark question, which I knew the answer to. I don't know how come I didn't see it..! There goes my A, flying out the window. Also, got my studio marks today. not surprisingly, but still dissaopintingly, i got a B+. For some reason some people thought i might be one of the four who got an A-, so that got me slightly hopeful. but as always my studio marks remain firmly resolute not to move up. at least they don't move down, I know...

In the CAD lab now, trying to finish off my assignment. Holidays are here. weehoo. how come i don't feel excited?

also, prop8 passed in cali, as it should be. why are people then upset over it, those who by all means, shouldn't be? they say its bigotry. don't know much about it so i'm gonna keep my mouth shut. but all the same, i'm happy it was passed. at least some ppl in the world are still sane.

twitter is fun-ny. not haha funny, but FUN-ny. especially when no one cares lol

Maryam Hamzah

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Detour # 2

Thursday, October 30, 2008

While studying I find myself straying from the actual subject and reading about the most random things online. I was studying about landscape architecture and somehow felt urged to look up “The Coronation of Napoleon”, the painting by Jacques-Louis David. But none of the pictures online did the painting any justice, seeing in real life is a must, if only to study the exquisite details on the dresses of Josephine and her sisters in law. (The painting, which covers almost an entire wall, is housed in the Palace of Versailles)

It’s actually quite amazing how realistic these paintings are. In the national gallery in London I remember looking, no, staring at this one painting, the skin that was painted looked so, so realistic, as if, were you to touch it, you would actually feel its warmth and you would detect the faint pulse somewhere in that 2-dimensional world.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Sunday, October 26, 2008

...kind of sucked. I was planning on studying at least as much as I did yesterday, keep the momentum and all. But I guess yesterday I went all out and today it's like I was burned out so I couldn't even look at my notes. Didn't help that in the morning I realized that something was wrong with my email, that I was apparently spamming people and myself. its weird, all these old messages I sent to people were re-sent and also sent back to me(or so it seemed) I got freaked out and the only thing I could think of was changing my password, which didn't help. So I went and deleted ALL my emails, from like 3 years ago, ones which I have kept, archived, and starred. All, gone. I hope that does the trick but I'm still not sure. So far it seems fine, I mean, there's nothing for that virus/hacker to resend, is there?

Never thought that this would happen to me, but it just goes to show it can happen to anyone. So I went on this mission to de-register myself from sites which I registered but don't use/need. And one of them was this site called perfspot which I don't even remember registering for. It's some sort of networking site. Idiotically, I spent 20 minutes exploring the site looking for a "delete my account" link or button but there was none. There was no help page either. Only later when I clicked on suggestions was there a link to the help forum. I went there, and I found that many people had the same problem. They wanted to delete their accounts but didn't know how. And the admin never replied to these threads either. Google came to the rescue again, though, this time through yahoo answers. Apparently the only way to delete the account is to email them asking them to delete it for you, and giving your reasons. To me, that's enough of a reason to go ahead and terminate.

Praying that this problem will go away and never come back, and that my exams go well. No, not just well, excellently :)

oh, and please read my previous post, just in case. so far the subject of the spam is DEAR FRIEND, so delete that if you got it from me.


if you get any weird messages from me, my google account somehow got hacked into or something. it wasn't me!

Friday, October 24, 2008


Friday, October 24, 2008

Supposed to be studying but....episode 6 of heroes beckoned. oh well.

Anyone else thinks its really funny/weird that in the airport scenes there are like a ton of token minorities in the background? If you haven't seen it, you'll know what I mean when you do.


My brother was a meanie to my other brother just now. He was upstairs while my other brother was downstairs.Upstairs brother pretended like there was an intruder/attacker. Made strangled noises and all other odd noises and shouted to downstairs brother to run away. Downstairs brother believed him (that there was an attacker), and was really worried. crept up the stairs with the biggest kitchen knife after calling upstairs brother over and over (who didn't reply). Upstairs brother burst out laughing, the kind of point-at-you and laugh your butt off hyena laugh. me and downstairs brother didn't find it funny at all. now upstairs brother if apologizing non-stop. downstairs brother, as is per normal, says nothing.

its mean to play on someone's emotions like that, and its not something to joke around with, that situation, if it were to occur.

its comforting to know downstairs brother wouldn't run away but try and save you if anything happened.


despite exams, will be hopefully going out for dinner soon, with friends.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Imagine around 40 people all swarming your house all at once, all of a sudden. well, we did that 5 times yesterday! Once in Kajang, once in Putrajaya, twice in Klang, and finally in Shah Alam. It was Section 2's Raya Roadtrip, and what fun it was! no matter that we spent a whole lot of time on the scenic routes  aka getting lost and making sure all 7 cars in our convoy were on the right path, even if we somewhow always seemed to be the ones who peeled off and went our own (sometimes misguided) way :P. For 12 hours we traversed through Selangor, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and by the end of it, we were tired, sticky, sleepy, extremely FULL, and most of all, happy. Good times!

some pictures here

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Final Presentation day...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

...went OK, but I'm still pretty wary. It's one of those things where you're wondering if its too good to be true, because surely its not? the visiting and very enthusiastic assessor liked my design and even more shockingly he said i could be a good designing architect. this after I'd been having serious thoughts about changing courses (ok, i have those everyday, but...) i even considered going to my studio master and asking her if she honestly thought i could make it as an architect. i mean, supposedly they are have to be very confident and vocal, the Big Boss and Leader of the pack. i don't have any of those attributes and i know it.

anyhow, our group got quite good marks which will be moderated further since its kind of unfair. other groups didn't get such a generous assessors, and as a result their grades weren't that good, even though they had like, the cream of our studio's crop. by not good marks i mean really, not good. more than a few girls and guys had teary moments :'(

even though i only slept about 2 hours in the 3 days leading up to the presentation, i didn't want to do like i did last time and just die after the presentation because i learned the hard way that it would result in a splitting headache. so i met up with some friends for lunch, hung out in my dad's office for a while and then took a three hour nap on the floor. went to that dinner at 8, and I got home at 10. wanted to catch the re-run of the amazing race, which was at midnight, so i watched Dirty Jobs (love that show) and a re-run of House. finally went to sleep at 1 a.m.

oh at the dinner there was this group performing, i shan't mention their name because... its weird, but they sang an acapella Malay version of "Yesterday" by The Beatles. which made me go home and now i'm listening to some beatles songs also. there was this shop in one utama selling those music box things where you wind the wheel and the spool thing has dimples on it so that music will be played when it unwinds. there was one that played such a sweet tinkling version of "hey jude" which is one of my favourites, and i would've bought it if it wasn't for RM40!

Our studio might be going to our lecturer's house on friday, if the department lets her have the day off. this sem has been a good studio semester for me, if only becaus eof the great people that make up awesome section 2... its like i found a really happy working medium, and i wish we could all stick together but next sem we seem to have all chosen different sections :(

but before next sem are the finals. which i should be studying for now.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Sunday, September 28, 2008

In studio last Friday one of my classmates came up to me and said someone needed to see me in the deputy dean’s office, right now. Okay, I thought. Even though I had no idea where the deputy dean’s office was. So I went to my studio master to get permission to leave the studio, and when I told her I had to go see someone in the deputy dean’s office, she said, “Why? What did you do?”

What did I do? I did something? Something wrong? Now I was freaked out. I don’t recall ever doing anything remotely compoundable by the kulliyyah or anything else, so far this semester I’ve only skipped one non-kulliyyah class, but anyways, I asked my lecturer where the office was and she told me.

When I got there (it was in the main office. Duh) I was made to wait a fair bit before that person came out, carrying a big brown envelope and some smaller ones. I relaxed a bit then, because the small envelopes were not letter sized, so it probably wasn’t a warning letter or anything.

Turns out I got an invitation to some program in the C.A.C that will be held on October 13th at 8p.m. I’m going, but I don’t know anyone else who is, so it might be a lonely dinner for me. Even worse if I’m seated with a bunch of freaky guys. But hopefully not. If any of you are going please let me know! This is what the invite looks like (its gold-edged!)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A True Story

Thursday, September 25, 2008

This happened yesterday on the 24th of September, 2008,at around 9.05 p.m.


Twas a chilly, starless autumn night,
Not a stirring person was in sight,
When, out of the corner of my little eye,
The strangest, most curious sight did I spy,
A procession of five, all walking in line,
It seemed as though their hands and feet were in a bind,
And at the head of the parade, pulling the thread,
The Grim Reaper himself, resplendent in red,
Brooding and hooded, scythe slicing by his side,
He led the captives along for a ride,
I thought to myself, "This must be a joke!"
It seemed so unreal, it must be a hoax,
For everyone knows, even the plainest old Jack,
That grim never ever wears anything but black!

Monday, September 22, 2008

150, are you blind?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Last night aka this morning while I was doing my work my eyes decided to take a short trip back to the 60's. I started seeing psychedelic, colorful spots, swirls, and lights. Far out. Turned off my study lamp for a while hoping it would go away. It seemed as though I was looking through a kaleidoscope and no amount of blinking would make it disappear. I guess that is what happens when you've spent the whole week looking at lineslineslineslines. 
As I remember it, I had iftar and went straight back to work. And when sahur time came, it was very weird, because it seemed as though I just ate, when actually, it was yesterday. Not sleeping really messes you up. My brain was not functioning at all today, if you can't already tell by this jumbled up post. 
after sahur I prayed and told my sister to wake me up in 15 minutes because I wanted to take a short nap on the floor (so I wouldn't make myself too comfortable, but anyways I’ve been sleeping on the couch for the past week since my bed is full of papers) I woke up and saw that it was already 7.30.
Rush rush rush
Head was pounding but had to stay awake in the car since I was trying to think of what to say in my presentation. Like I said, my brain was on leave so nothing came to me.
Also felt strangely nauseous today. Maybe it was nerves. Was afraid I might throw up on my project, which would have been funny but devastating at the same time.  It felt like motion sickness, I guess because I spent so long in one position that even walking made me feel dizzy. Not that there was much to upchuck anyways. Whatever energy I might have gotten from a banana and half a slice of pizza I wasted crying for no reason. Just suddenly felt so overwhelmed and sick and tired and frustrated and pitiful. Mentally unstable, like I said, my brain vacated me.
Anyway, presentation went good, thanks to Ilda who helped me figure out what I was going to say.
Died in the musolla afterwards, and woke up at 6-ish to even worse headaches and nausea.
Feeling a bit better now, but still...weird.
While doing my work I was thinking of all the weird ways an architecture student could die. 
Morbid but kept me entertained. one of the ways was inhaling too much UHU glue fumes, and another was getting so many paper cuts and then subsequently falling asleep in the bath/shower so that you s l o w l y bled to death.
I felt very sad. first of the last 10 days of Ramadan and I’m up all night, not praying or making du'aa but drawing lines, cutting boards, measuring, erasing.
Time to get back on human time. Time to get back on track. Time to recover.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Sunday, September 14, 2008

I should be sleeping, seeing as how i barely got any in the last week, and a probably won't get much next week either. but the lure of a not-slow internet connection is just too strong. not that i have anything to do online anyways.

Finished reading two books last week, where i found the time God only know..
The first one was "The Story of Srebrenica" by Isnam Taljic. It was, for the lack of a better word, great. But at the same time I don't know what to make of it. It was refreshing but at the same time, how can someone be refreshed by what happened there? I found myself asking, what was the point of this book, where is it going? but then i realised, there doesn't have to be a point, as in, an end point. after all, its the journey that counts, and the book is just that. a journey through the minds of two people, from two different generations, and while seemingly random in their narrations, everything sort of adds up, but at the same time it doesn't, which is perfectly okay. Does that make sense?
Here is a much deeper insight into the book

The second book a read was "The Pact" by Jodi Picoult. It had been sitting on our shelf, unread, for a good several months, which I thought was odd given that me and my sister usually devour books immediately. But in hindsight, i guess why i didnt read it straight away is that at the time, i just read 3 of her other books, and was getting tired of her style, much like how i grew sick of the style of that guy who wrote "The Da Vinci Code" can't remember his name. on the whole, the book is not something i can relate to, but i fragments, yes. Shan't say much more in caase i spoil it for people who want to read it, or bore those who couldn't care less.

Really ought to give my poor panda eyes a break now... it was a tiring day.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

It's Back...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

...I think I must have mentioned/wrote about it before. Its back, and dangerous, eating away and carving out hollows somewhere deep in yourself, but you don't exactly know where. What is frustrating is that it doesn't take much to make it reappear, and yet, sometimes, you feel as if you are made of the hardest stone, one that even the most furious of water can't whittle away, when it matters the most that you should feel the way you're feeling now. A book, a related tale, a real life story, happening to the people you didn't think you were that close to even though you know you should be, and it takes that much to realise that they actually are close to you. You were just the one who always pulled away.
Wandering around, hiding, glazing over things that you see, thinking, and yet, not thinking. Absorbing and not processing. Processing and not remembering. Moving on from what was important to something utterly not. 
473, of The Pact. A friend once told me people look for pieces of themselves in songs and books. A line, a paragraph, a verse, that they think can accurately describe what they are feeling, even though it may be the most abstract of phrases. I didn't think it was true until I started doing the same. The melodies and prose articulating what you yourself struggle to put your finger on, or what you yourself search for deep inside your soul, wondering if you'll ever find it, name it,  and if you do, would you have the guts to do anything about it?

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Saturday, September 6, 2008

My friend's sister's husband is my brother's teacher, which i just found put yesterday after tarawih.
My 3rd grade best friend's grandmother used to stay in my grandmothers house in johor when she didn't have anywhere to stay, kind of like an adopted family. I found that out when i was in third grade when I went to her house and her grandma started asking me weird questions, like whats your grandma's name. People don't usually ask that do they?
My parent's good friend's daughter who used to live in Canada (i think) and Australia is my good friend's good friend. I found that out in Burger King when another good friend was telling me some good news.
The only boy who talked to me when I first came to Malaysia used to be a close friend of another one of my good friends. Then she found out he smoked.
My mom's Aunt's daughter (her cousin) is my classmate. That makes aunt?

there are a lot more but i've got to get back to work. speaking of which, is there a study which tells you the statistics about the diseases that architects are most prone to, i'd think we are very susceptible to CTS, arthritis, back and shoulder related problems, eyesight abnormalities, etc.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Outdated pictures

Sunday, August 31, 2008

...of my site analysis trip, if you're interested.

At the beach
Kellie's Castle and UTP

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I was thinking of an idea, of something i want to do but can't because i don't know how. I have this idea in my mind to create this website which is like a classified ad website, but for UIA. so in it would be housing for students (houses wanted, roommates wanted, house for rent, etc), car rentals, lost and found, services, promotion, etc. at the very least it would save people paper...!

for example, the lost and found.
when people put a listing under lost they specify what it is that they lost, eg, a handphone with the descriptions and all. then somehow the system would match up the 'losts' and potential 'founds'. obviously there is security to think about as well...

just one of the random ideas i got while wandering around UIA aimlessly reading the notice boards full of 'illegal' posters and advertisements.

a post about the posters in UIA!

Friday, August 15, 2008

6 degrees

Friday, August 15, 2008

My social networking skills were called into play a few days ago - a friend asked me if I knew any service apartments and if I knew where to find a DJ since her friend wanted to throw a party.
Service apartment? The only one I know is the Ascott where we stalked the Manchester United youth team last summer. That is near KLCC, and will probably be very expensive.
DJ? Well... one of my friends met and fell in love with a DJ in Sunway, but that’s all I have.
She then asked if I knew this other girls' phone number since she had a party recently, but I had no idea. But I could refer her to another friend with more contacts...
I asked her when the party was going to be held and she replied, "Tomorrow..!"


At my cousin's wedding some of her sister's friends were also there and they asked me where I studied. I told them in UIA, and in Architecture. Turns out her sister was my classmate... They were in the Kuantan campus, and I asked if they knew my Malay classmate, and they did…

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Thursday, August 7, 2008

I have been told time and time again that I can be very unfriendly when I feel like it. I know this to be true, but only on rare occasions. The truth is, I'm just embarrassingly shy and self deprecating. If I don't say hi to you when I see you around campus, its not because I'm stuck up and snobby. Its usually because of one of these reasons:

1.I don't want to disturb you when you are with your friends
2.I don't want to disturb you when you are enjoying your solitude
3.I don't know if you remember or recognise me since we met randomly through friends of friends and only ever said hello once, in passing.
4.I don't know if you even want to see me around, let alone start some small talk with you
5.I'm not sure if you're the person I think you are. Some people look so alike.
6.I don't remember your name (sorry!) or I don't remember how we met, or if we ever even met at all, or if you are just one of those faces I see every day.
7.I'm terrible at small talk and socially awkward. And shy, like I said.
9.okay sometimes i just can't be bothered or am too lazy or i'm in a hurry.

Another thing – if I say hi to you once, does that mean I have to say hi to you always and forever? Even if we just saw each other a while ago and will probably see each other around again soon?

So if i don't tegur you please don't take it personally...

(I blame constantly moving around the world for this)

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Homecoming

Friday, August 1, 2008

Firstly, I'm sorry the pictures aren't up yet - Facebook refuses to upload my pictures for some odd reason.

Many of my classmates are back from their overseas studying, so today we had a mini-reunion in the middle of the hustle and bustle that was Mamma Mia. For the uninitiated, Mamma Mia is an eatery in IIUM where many students choose to hang out for lunch in. This is because not only is it air-conditioned (not that you can feel it when its packed) it also caters to international tastes, i.e. people who can't eat spicy food. Prices are on the steep side for students, but most are willing to pay albeit grumbling a bit. The lady at the cashier always seems apologetic when quoting prices, but oh well. Bagging a table is a matter of great importance if you plan on eating in the air-conditioning as by 12.30 it starts to fill up extremely fast, and by 2 it empties out. You can usually see the same faces there every day but once in a while you get fresh blood, always recognizable by their raised eyebrows, widened eyes and generally incredulous looks when reaching the cashier.

Anyways, I arrived at our mini reunion quite late since I had no idea it was going on. So in the end I only spent 15 minutes with my friends before huffing off to studio, but not before indulging in an Oreo J.Co. These things are dangerous. Before, if you wanted J.Co donuts, you'd have to drag yourself all the way to Pavillion to satisfy your cravings. Now, every time there is any sort of fest/carnival/stall setup in IIUM, a J.Co stall sprouts up. This time its even worse, because there are two. One in my Kulliyyah, KAED, and one in the Center near the bridge. Also there is a Big Apple stall. All these factors do not positively contribute to any weight loss diet anyone might have, but as for myself, yes, I might gain weight, but at what artery clogging cost? Today I was guilty of binging on two donuts, Oreo and banana-choc. Yesterday I had Tiramisu, as I did the day before. Come to think of it, my sugar intake has been abnormally high this week. I've had chocolate for breakfast on three straight days, plus a handful of sour nerds every time I get back to my room. then of course the donuts. and the other day I bought mango juice which was half sugar water. Oh and in my desperate attempt to stay awake in class, I finished 3/4 of a sour mentos tube.

Falling asleep in class. I seem to be doing that regularly these days, and I don't know why. Its extremely annoying because the moment the lecturer opens his/her mouth, I get drowsy, and the moment class is over I'm fresh as a daisy. Add to this the fact that I always sit in front (supposedly so I can pay attention) which means any nodding of the head or drooping of the eyelids is blatantly obvious to the lecturers if they cared to look up. I have tried almost everything - eating candy in class, texting. doodling. writing, squirming in my seat, even trying to strike up a sleepy conversation with my neighbor. None of them work more than a few seconds. I'd like to blame on my lack of sleep last week due to so many assignments but I have to see if next week is any different to make any conclusion.

This post was supposed to be about my classmates returning. But I haven't really talked to them yet. Oh but I did go out to the airport to fetch Nadiah, along with Ilham and Ayesha. I love going to the airport., but thats another topic altogether. Anyways Nadiah told us her adventure with MAS which left us feeling "how in the world did that happen!?"

Finding a lunch buddy is getting harder as the semester progresses. Not everyone has time or wants to have lunch anymore, but I need to have lunch or else I'll starve. And I hate eating alone. Especially in UIA.

I looked up 'drowsiness' and being a hypochondriac, I believe I'm suffering from Narcolepsy

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Fun, and then craziness

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I have a cold, resulting from either eating rambutans or from the rain and a/c combo. Or both.

On Friday I woke up at 3.45a.m. To get ready for our site analysis trip to Lumut. We were supposed to be in front of KAED at 4.45 a.m. got there just in time, groggy and freezing, and boarded the bus, which was like a freezer! Drove for about an hour and then stopped in Rawang for Subuh prayers. Drove some more and stopped somewhere for breakfast. Then we drove some more till we got to Kellie’s Castle. My mom was telling me about it when we went to Sentul, how the old abandoned house there reminded her of the Castle. But that place was gorgeous! So out of the blue. In front of it was a river flowing calm and steady, and then the castle itself. You can read the full sad story behind it here, although the version that is posted up in the castle is slightly different.

I never knew I was afraid of heights until I went there. Usually I just feel like jumping, be it my hostel or the KLCC sky bridge. But here there were no rails to prevent you from tumbling over. But it was an awesome experience all the same. Oh, Perak is lovely by the way; I just love the calm feeling of the place, so contrasting from the madness of the Klang Valley. The mountain/hills, caves, and especially the vast expanses of land.

After Kellie’s Castle we headed to UTP, and this is another awesomely gorgeous place but in a totally different way. Just as a measure of comparison, their Chancellery building won the Aga Khan Award! What I loved most was their library, mind boggling when you first set eyes on it but ingeniously simple when you see how it’s done. I was going to meet up with some friends there but didn’t get the chance to. Oh well, next time. We prayed at the UTP mosque (the one I had to draw for my Graphics assignment) and then finally made our way to Teluk Batik where our chalets awaited.

Chalets. Don’t they sound charming? Believe me they were not. Livable, but only just. The toilet was a mess and that night we didn’t have any water supply, so we had to trek out to the public loo some ways away. Awkward coz the boys used the public toilet right next to it. One evening I was going to the washroom by myself, and like always I looked around at stuff, but when I looked ahead, these two boys had just emerged from the showers. They were only in their towels, poor things. Must’ve been embarrassing. So I turned around and let them have their peace/space.

Oh right behind our chalet there were two horses. All they did was eat, so we mustered up some courage to go and pet them the darker one, Along, was sweet and came to us to be petted. The chestnut one, Angah, was a sour old Meanie that snapped his teeth when we tried to give him a loving pet. Sheesh.

The chalets were quite near the beach, so that was good. Being all enthusiastic, my housemates and I went straight out to the beach after we dumped our things in the room. The wind was so strong and refreshing! Kicked off our shoes and waded across a small stream to the other side of the shore. Big mistake. The wind blew my shoes and my friends slippers and wallet into the murky stagnant stream =0 so began our adventure of trying to retrieve our belongings and in the end Missy was our hero of the day after recovering all the flotsam and jetsam. One of my shoes was quite dry since they floated, but one bobbed upside down so was wet. Thus I went around the whole of Lumut (and Pangkor and Pasir Salakand back to KL) in my bathroom slippers.

Our site was a park by the waterfront at Lumut jetty. Nothing much to say about it except it has some potential but is poorly maintained. The second day we spent the whole morning analyzing it. In the afternoon we went to the mangrove park and were hounded by monkeys. At night we ate out at some unreasonably priced place across from the naval place.

Third day we had to check out by 8.30, so we did and then went to Pangkor. Not for long though, just a short tour round the island, which I would recommend only because of the amazing rollercoaster-like roads there. And the beaches of course.

Then went to Pasir Salak to the museum of history of Perak (or something – we were rushing since it was actually already closed so didn’t get a name or any pics) lovely place and awesome dioramas which make you feel like you’re there if you stare long enough. Outside the museum they decided to have a durian party, I personally did not join in but instead feasted on goreng pisang courtesy of Ilda and rambutans courtesy of Mdm. Zaiton. Got on the bus (which now was like a freezer filled with durian ice cream) and went to Tapah rest stop for maghrib. We went to Tapah mainly to look at the bathrooms and surau actually. It was raining so hard there and we got soaked. Had maggi for dinner, got on the bus and tried to sleep but the smell and the cold were too much. Soaked + freezing bus +durian smells + unwashed rambutan = sickly feeling and a cold. Got back to my hostel at 11, immediately did my laundry and died on my bed at around 12.45

Next day I had to submit 15 sketches of the trip. Thank God Madam said we only needed to come to studio in the afternoon session and not at 9.

Tuesday had to submit a Building construction & Materials report as well as present it (group work)

Wednesday had to submit an environmental services assignment as well as an intro to landscape architecture report

Friday was the presentation of the site analysis and also submission of our project A, a 24” x 24” painting. On Thursday I managed to stumble back to my far-away hostel room at around 5.30 a.m. even though my work was done by 3 a.m., i had to wait for the others to finish up so I could read their parts. spent that time cleaning the studio with Ilda and harassing the first years. btw, its amazing, KAED, at 5 am every floor is still full of people. Funny looking at their haggard faces. especially the first years. Lol.

Crazy! After Friday I thought I’d be able to relax a little bit, but no.

Monday have to submit another 5 nice sketches of the trip, A3 size. Also have to have gone and studied at least 2 art galleries complete with reports. Also have to re-do site analysis for our own personal use. Also must have a preliminary design idea or bubble diagram.

Tuesday I have anther BCM report/presentation due

Wednesday must submit our CAD 3S assignment. I don’t know how I’m going to do that since I don’t have the software on my computer. Need to then print it, bind it (hardcover!) and make sure it looks professional.

Pictures of the trip to follow soon so check back in a while...

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Art of War
Bullet hole in a school window as captured by a friend

Friday, July 11, 2008

How could this have happened?

Friday, July 11, 2008

On the 11th of July 1995 an estimated 8000 Bosnjaks were massacred in Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina by the Serbian Army. The region of Srebrenica was assumed to be a safe area as it was under protection by the UN Forces. However, even in the presence of armed Dutch peacekeepers, the genocide continued right under the UN's noses. Although those killed were predominantly men and teenage boys, the massacre also included instances where preteen children, women, and elderly were killed. They targeted for extinction the forty thousand Bosnian Muslims living in Srebrenica, a group which was emblematic of the Bosnian Muslims in general. They stripped all the male Muslim prisoners, military and civilian, elderly and young, of their personal belongings and identification, and deliberately and methodically killed them solely on the basis of their identity

Some questions that arose from this incident include "Can the UN be brought to court, and who has the power to do this?"
Some things to ponder

Taking the UN to court
Timeline: Siege of Srebrenica

Thank you to the organisers of todays enlightening and thoroughly informative event.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Wasting of a Day

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Things I am particularly loathsome to right now:


Was supposed to go and buy little brother's school uniform today. Yesterday it was agreed that we'd go early in the morning. So I woke up early, showered, got ready, did some chores. Then its announced we will go in the afternoon, at five. But at five our designated driver is dead asleep, and only wakes up at 7. We'll see if we are going tomorrow. All of this (buying the camera and school supplies/uniform) was actually supposed to be done on Thursday.

Meanwhile me and my sister had plenty of lets-go-out invitations from a plethora of friends throughout this weekend starting Thursday which we had to turn down or take rain checks to because of the unpredictable nature of our schedule - not up to us.

I need to get my license fast

Back to square one

Went out yesterday to buy a new camera since our old one got stolen. My dad had already picked one out, a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS3, which was almost similar to our old one, but still different.

My older brother told me to research other cameras as well. So I did and ended up with several options, the most promising one was the Canon Powershot A580. Both of the cameras were for RM799.00. Finally got out of the house at 3.30pm, and went off to Times Square to park. My brother wanted to go to Low Yat but I preferred looking around in Times Square First. After browsing around for ages we actually made up our minds around 5 separate times.

1. A really cool Panasonic , can't remember the model, for RM999, but later we found out it didn't come with a battery or memory card

2. A Sony Cybershot for RM899, but that didn't come with a memory card either.

3. A Nikon P60 - never really in my eyes but my sister seemed to like it.

4. A Canon Powershot A590IS for RM850

5. Finally just went for the original Panasonic my dad told us to buy...

Here is a side-by-side comparison of those cameras.

Watched Hancock afterwards. Don't know what to say about the movie. It was weird...

totally unrelated - an interesting post

Sunday, June 29, 2008

three out of eight

Sunday, June 29, 2008

...managed to do 3/8 of the things on my to-do on Saturday list.

First went to KLCC Convention Center with my older brother to the Post grad Asia fair. Not much there really. Then helped my little brother with his gift shopping. Then went to KLPAC to fetch my sister, and while we were there we hung around for a bit.

Let me tell you something about KLue Urbanscapes that maybe the starry-eyed failed to notice, just didn't care about, or closed one eye to.

There were loads of people. Many of them were smoking. You’re thinking, big deal, yeah? Well not only that.

A lot of them were guzzling Heineken and Tiger Beer which was readily available. Tiger was also one of the Main sponsors of the event. I don't know about you but even though I was born and lived in the West for almost half my life, I've never been to an event where people drank in the midst of everyone else, and thank God.

Not to sound all preachy, but aren't we not supposed to have anything to do with alcohol consumption? It’s bad enough that our local super/hypermarkets have a section and I know I'm not fully free from guilt myself since newspapers and magazines also run lager-related ads, but to parade it off as the cool thing to do? (Urbanscapes is supposed to be where all the cool people hang out - the ones in the loop and all that)

On a lesser note, they held the acoustic sessions upstairs, while the head-banging, booty shakin' party music was played downstairs, right next to the Surau. So anyone wanting to go pray (i.e. me and my brothers) would have a thumping headache from the deep and loud beats emanating out the open door.

I wasn't there long so I might have missed a lot of things, but anyways, this is what I experienced. Had to walk with extra caution, scooting and squeezing myself small trying to avoid the drinking throngs. Blinking through all the smoke and rain(not that I'm complaining about the rain part, it lessened the smoke effect slightly) Marketplace was nice if not for the crowd, smoke (it was covered so no rain) and again, alcohol.

Just my humble opinion.

Read my sisters more glowing review here

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