Untitled Journal

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Category: Random Thoughts

Days in 2012

Happy 2013 people! And if you aren’t bored enough of me and this lack-of-update blog, I really appreciate it for still coming around and checking it out. It actually takes a new year to drag my ass to this seat and writing to you here. My plan to become more efficient in blogging has completely failed and my finger is pointing at my face for excuses. I actually only have two excuses but these two are the ones that really kept me off from here!

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Wednesdays, Fridays & Sundays

Remember when I wrote about starting climbing almost a year ago? Well you would think that I left it there and assumed it was a one-off thing. Or at least a twice, thrice thing. But apparently I kept going back to the walls because for the last whole year it had become so addictive to the point that I could not go on a week without doing it! Suddenly all my hard earned money are being spent to new rock shoes, harnesses or ropes. I know most people would hate to read this, I would too – they say that people who work out can’t keep that shit to themselves, which I try very hard not to be but failed occasionally. Considering I’m writing about it a year since I first told you about it, let’s just be OK with it for now.

Because climbing, cycling, running, working out in a gym or any physical activities generally are never really easy. And when you achieved a certain level or progressed positively, its almost the same as getting a high scores in exams – you want people to know about it a little bit. And for a person like me who had never been into anything physical or even remotely adventurous before this, it makes me feel like I’m a totally different person. I definitely have a better understanding why people do crazy things (although climbing in a gym like me is hardly crazy though..) outdoor, the abilities to challenge yourself physically sort of make you feel more alive than you’d do in the office or at home. Or in the malls whilst shopping even! I’m not sure if I’m starting a mid-life crisis already, thankfully most people would think 30 is slightly too young to have one. Guess that I feel like I’ve spent my whole 20s trying to prove myself academically, career and family wise. Now that I’ve ticked most of the boxes like got married, bore and gave birth to a child plus being completely contented with my career as architect, there’s a different strive. And that strive is something physical apparently .. (as if giving birth wasn’t physical enough!).

The Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays had all gone to the walls throughout 2012. So as you can imagine there were only little time left for blogging, considering any other free nights were spent recovering from the muscle cramps and exhaustion from it. If any of you wondering whether I was desperate to lose weight by doing it three times a week, I actually hardly lose any! I think I’d only lost 2 kg at most throughout the whole year of climbing but it surely gives me a total peace of mind whenever I’m having a dessert.

I’m not quite sure how long I can keep this up, but considering the level of fun I’ve been having by doing it and the best companies to share this with which are with my husband and my very best friend, I surely hope I can keep on with it for a long time. I heard a lot of climbers still do what they do pass the age of 50 and there are even some female climbers who kept climbing when they were pregnant at 40 weeks! At this point of my life, I just refuse to settle for the norm. And by that you should know that the norm is what the society I’m living with expects out of me. But you know what? Maybe eventually my life will be mundane and predictable, but for now I’ll keep it predictable with things I find interesting!

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Saturdays

Its funny how I just said that I am totally contented with my career as architect, only that once in awhile there’s someone who will make you think differently, wants more out of you and takes you out of your comfort zone. And that person in my case is my father, with a help of my husband, who finally successfully dragged me to Part 3 classes – a starting point to become a Professional Architect.

I’m not taking the exam this year but at least by starting the class I’ve started what I suspect will be a very looooong journey towards achieving the final phase of all this professionalism hu-ha. Just getting over it, you know! And hoping along the way it will make me a better architect, someone who mostly knows what she’s doing or advising and most importantly someone who believes in herself. Yeap, surprisingly this class does make me a better architect already. In meetings previously, I was more of a “I’ll have to check and get back to you on that” kind of architect, but now alhamdulillah, I am a “Yes, you do need to change the land title to proceed with Planning submission” kind of architect. Haha! Which is so much fun playing the person who knows a lot and get people nodding at stuff coming out of your mouth!

And then there are the rest of the days where I crave for that smile that is so comforting, who is really the epitome of happiness of my world. A smile like the end of this video. Because man, doesn’t she grow up so fast?

Any other days

Have a blessed new year everyone! May all your resolutions come true.

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Which, Which?

So I basically have given up on Blackberry.

After both the Bold & the Curve failed me for the last 3 years, my man got me an iPhone. I’ve been wanting it for months and Fakhrul had been promising that he’ll get one. That noon a day or two before Raya I was roaming Sg Petani town with Daisy looking for shawl Raya, (which by the way was almost non-existent!) I went to the Celcom shop just to ask whether they had any stock and as if it was meant to be, the one I wanted had only one left. And also like it was meant to be, since I had been a Celcom user for over a year, the phone was way cheaper than if I wasn’t Celcom user. I could’ve get an iPhone for as low as RM200++ if I wanted to. But of course I wasn’t going to commit to 2 years contract of RM200++ a month, so the phone is mine for just RM988 and RM150 a month contract. If I knew this I would’ve grabbed it way earlier, I thought I needed at least RM1800+ to get one. They didn’t get a chance to advertise this, so if you are a Celcom user who wants one too, hurry up before 31st August!

Anyway now that I have this thing, I am spoilt for choice on the covers! Pleaseeee, please help me decide. There are like 250 pages to browse on Etsy and I already feel like throwing up on page 42, so I’ve narrowed down to these:

Because it is sooo bloody cute. The whole family loves Totoro. Only the crazy one doesn’t.

You know. Because I can never ever afford the real one!

Because it looks so freakin’ real!

Since apparently this is what architects needed before Autocad, or in my case, before Microstation.

So which, which?!

Thirty

February is ending soon. Well like, today. And I could not possibly let it end this year without writing about turning another year older as I do every time.

From the 4th of this month on, I’m in my 30-s. Every year of my previous birthdays, I apathetically would say things like age is just a number, or “Hey, I just turned 18 again..” or something else that implied the same meaning. As if getting old is a bad thing or so undesirable to the point that I had to deny that I’m actually older. Well, I am 30 years old. I’m going to take pride at being older. And this not denial talking, this is a woman who has passed all her silly insecurities, immaturity and bitter-ish phase. Well, hopefully!

You know, just few weeks before my birthday, I thought I wanted a big celebration. Fancy place, huge cake, balloons and the whole shebang. How freakin’ shallow was I, right? Until I finally realized that no, turning 30 isn’t just about me. As much as my family and friends wanted to celebrate me, I wanted to celebrate them too. People like my parents who gave me life and life alone is what I owe to them. People like my family who unconditionally love me no matter what kind of crap person I could be. People like my friends who literally make my life awesome as it is.

And of course, when you’re this old (man I hope I don’t sound like some 70 year old), what is there to celebrate? It’s time to reflect instead, whether I have served or devoted thoroughly as I supposed to be to my Creator? Reflect whether have I done my duty as a child to my parents, as the older I become the more deeds they’ve done for me? I’m sure I haven’t done both fully and on my 30th, I vouch to.

Hopefully from 30 onwards, I will do. And still, 3 balloons with an ugly cake I baked myself were totally necessary. Because that’s exactly how I spent my 30th birthday – by letting someone else who apparently more excited about me turning 30 blow the candles.

Reviving Memory: Being Malay

12th March 2007

These are excerpts from my first photo project, ‘Being Malay’.
Exposures on Kodak Tri-X and Ilford Deltas.

Ahh.. Wet prints. One of my favourite series. I had just got back from a month holiday in Malaysia and went straight to the darkroom. There’s nothing quite like making your own prints. Almost cutting your finger in the total darkness, shrinking skin dipped in chemicals, the savings for fibre based papers, squinting your eye studying contact sheets.. Beat the scanning, the Photoshop-ing or the machine printings. I hope I still remember how to do it if its destined that I were to set my foot in the darkroom again.

When I first published this, a friend of mine Amran, wrote to me this (and I hope he doesn’t mind me sharing an excerpt of his private email to me):

I think it’d be wonderful to depict Malays as being just like any other races. We love, we hurt, we have our own vices etc. The photos will have Malay subjects of course, but rather than narrowing it down to a specific situations, perhaps a more universal approach would have mass appeal. My idea is like saying, hey, being Malay is just like being any other races, infinitely human with our own uniqueness. We adapt, we evolve, we succeed.

In the end, ‘being Malay’ is being human. And that notion transcends all forms of racial or ethnicity divisions, skin colours and beliefs.

I wrote back to him:

Assalamualaikum Amran

Sorry it took awhile to write back to you. I got back from Morocco and I went on straight on my new job. And now I’m writing to you on my lunch break!

Well, on the photo project, nothing really. It’s just that I try to work every photographs I do now in projects, so that it’ll keep me in focus. I wish I had a longer stay in Malaysia to take more photographs, but hey, maybe I can continue on being Malay here in the UK?

There’s nothing ‘rocket science’ about the message I’m trying to deliver. I want to photograph the essence of being Malay such as what does it means being a Malay? How do we look like in general, the color of our skin, our face feature, our sizes etc – that’s physically speaking. Then I move to the environment, what does our traditional shelters look like, our surroundings etc. Then maybe our clothes, and why it is like that due to our climate? Then finally activities. Obviously we have things that only Malay people do, it’ll then relate to our religion etc. You know, general stuffs..

Your suggestion is really powerful and definitely something I will take note on. Your idea is great, really. Maybe in future I can develop a photo essay about social issues of being Malay, our dilemmas and all. There are just so much questions about defining your own self – I just hope I can find the answers from this ongoing project. It might take years you know… Hehehe.

Years indeed. And still searching..

Twenty-twelve

Happy new year everyone – 6 days a bit late.

Work has been manic since the 3rd. Everybody kept asking the things that were apparently requested by them last year. And by ‘last year’ they mean the last week of December ’11. *Slaps forehead*. Therefore there is nothing I want to write more but emails and letters to my consultants asking them to get off my butt. My JLo butt. No, Beyonce butt. Wait, JLo lah.

And as per 2011, here’s a shout out to all of you. To those who visited, commented, linked, searched, referred and followed this blog last year – I thank you.

Where I was New Year Eve. Picture borrowed from TendToTravel

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