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Mighty Jacksparrow is an Earth-based sub-intergalactic blogger who enjoys writing and in the same time entertaining his ever-amusing will-kill-to-read fans with sensationally hilarious and at times dramatic musings. This blog offers endless ideas and results; they might be charming most of the times but could be offending in some others. Therefore, it is always noble to remind that if you enjoy the pieces, carry on reading, but if they upset you, do quietly leave like the evening breeze and not like exploding diarrhea, which exactly what you will look like if you ever lose it on me. Enjoy! :D

Friday, March 27, 2015

Stupid


The one thing that the education system of this country has achieved is to produce the so called highly qualified graduates with no spare for comments on entirely everything.

While it is acceptable to give out opinions on certain things, it is also customary to keep the mouth shut at times. Despite this otherwise very easy knowledge and skill, it seems that it has become common that many people will point out many others' mistakes in public in return for credits for being somewhat sharp, insightful and knowledgeable. 

Often times the posts in Twitter and Facebook and other forms of social media slam on a certain individual or a group, both in polite and impolite ways. It is not very difficult to scroll down the timeline and see someone posting something saying that a certain someone is at wrong (the writer with hopes to be seen as all time right) and the likes. 

Ranging from certain issues, from love spats to trivial and repeating events, the political posts are by far the worst. When you see a political post in your timeline, chances are that there will be vulgarities and a whole handful of bashing from one side to another and in reverse. Strangely enough, some of these come from individuals who are 'highly' educated.

Let me recall this one phrase I learned back in the days: no wise man would call other men stupid.

Bear in mind that being educated does not mean one can belittle others. After all, just how high is highly educated? I am at the highest point in the pillar of academics, and still I have doubts to call others as stupid, bodoh, dumb, bloody fool whatsoever. Because it occurs to me that, the more I learn the more empty I feel. There is no end and barrier in knowledge. When I think I have gained enough, there seems to be more to dig for. 

Therefore, those who easily throw the word bodoh to everyone else, in my opinion, must be the most educated person ever. Such a person must posses a highly genuine and sophisticated amount of excellent far-fetched knowledge that no other, or only a few others, have, therefore he can easily call others as stupid, because apparently he is by far more educated than others. 

That point discussed, our education system must be so successful that everyone is calling every others as stupid. And these people who confidently call others as stupid, with presumptions that they are by all means, presumptuously, more educated than others, are my idols. Oh such confidence, such arrogance! 

Well, they are my idols, at least until I read and listen to their (often times negligible) piece of mind. In the end they become the living proof of the phrase 'empty can rings the loudest, empty man speaks the most'.

The only thing we're missing in our education system, is teaching and enforcing basic manners. Please, educators (and parents, who mostly clean their hands by passing the educating responsibility to educators these days, let's not deny it), despite this not featured among the important academic syllabus, please do something about this. Nurture manners in our kids, and make this country not only highly educated but fascinatingly mannered. 

Act now, or it will be too late. 


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

How to Make a Budget Outdoor Fire Pit



I've always liked fire. I have the history of playing with fire (both literally and figuratively) since I was only a little boy. My master's and PhD studies are about fire -- combustion, technically. I have set a numerous things on fire, including myself for some reasons over the long, fiery years of my life. 

So one day I was lingering around the backyard and suddenly I had the urge to have an outdoor fire pit. This is pretty common. I've always had the most awesome and in the same the baddest ideas when I lingered around the backyard. One of these days if I linger a little bit longer there, it is possible that I might come up with a blue plan for a long distance artillery that automatically sets men in tight pants on fire.



Anyway, the fire pit I was thinking of looks like in the above image. But here's the thing: I'm renting this house so I can't pretty much build any permanent structure up. That explains why the observatory tower and swimming pool plans I had in mind were turned down long before they even get to the drawing board. For this pit, it has to be:
  • a temporary structure (so my land lady won't hack me down with saw for ruining her yard)
  • cheap (because I'm economical, like that)
  • able to serve its intended purpose as an outdoor fire pit.

So here's what I did.


* * *




First, I identified the suitable location for the fire pit. The place I chose below was next to a wall (my land lady's concrete fence for she lives next door, to be exact) and surrounded by my little curry tree and a lemon grass bush. The curry tree can stay but the lemon grass has to go.




Next, I cleared the land surface and levelled it with a plastic garden rake.




And then, I took some unused cement bricks at home and started laying them on the ground with a straight lumber to achieve a straight arrangement. For this fire pit, I decided to have a 3 x 3 brick configuration. 




And now the pit now took shape. Because I my perfectionist quality is bordering on psychotic, I needed to make sure that the geometry of the pit was within my requirement, so that involved with a lot of soil levelling, remeasuring, reconfiguring, relevelling and all those jumbled up not necessarily in that order. Just maddening, really.




Moving on. I removed all the bricks but before that I drew out the inner and outer outlines using the bricks as my guide. I didn't need the inner outline but I drew it anyway 'just to be sure'. Don't mind my obsession. The outline depicted the exact layout section to be removed, because I wanted a sunken fire pit instead of a raised fire pit. 




So you can now see how I dug up the area using a small hoe and a hand scoop. The entire yard is filled with sand (this was a mining place anyway) so digging wasn't that difficult. I started laying down the bricks and check for straight continuity and levelling.



There, all in. With the base ready, it's time to lay down the upper walls with more bricks. I didn't cement any of them together and wholly depend on the static friction at each touching surface of the brick to keep them in place and from falling apart.




First level.




Second level.




I took some of the sand that I dug up and filled it up in the voids around the structure. And then I raked them flat and level with the garden rake to give it a smooth finish.




There, the fire pit is complete. I found that solid wooden post at the bottom of the image lying somewhere around the corner of the house so I made it into a small bench.




I collected some woods and placed them in the pit and left them in the open under the sun for a few hours to keep them dry and smoke free when consumed in fire. 


* * *

So here are the results! Pretty neat, eh?
















I went to the hardware store and bought a small light bulb and some length of electrical wire and created an outdoor lamp post. Need a cover for the entire setup though but so far they look great in action. The rustic wall and the ambient added up to its majestic value.

Here is the entire cost of the project:

Cement bricks: RM 0.20 x 40 unit = RM 8.00
Light bulb + socket + 3 pin plug: RM 5.00
Wire: RM 5.00 (10 meter)
Manpower: 3 sticks of cigarette and a jug of cold Sunquick (negligible cost)

Total: RM 18.00. 

The happiness it gives me? Priceless.

Kosong Kepala


Waktu pagi, buat kopi, buka FB.

Scroll, scroll, scroll.

Seperti biasa, kisah-kisah tipikal harian keluar di susur masa. Gambar orang jalan-jalan, gambar orang kemalangan, gambar orang kena tangkap, kisah pemakanan sihat dan larangan makan yang tidak tahu hujung pangkal, gambar orang jual produk mekap dan menguruskan badan, dan tak kurang status-status meroyan berkenaan pelbagai hal kecil dan besar (yang banyaknya hal-hal kecil yang tak berbaloi dibincangkan pun). 

Buka tabloid harian. Cerita-cerita hangat yang ada kalanya malu bila dibaca. Cerita onar golongan terkenal dan golongan biasa. Juga ada kisah perbalahan politik yang tidak berkesudahan. Macam-macam cerita.

Dan ramailah yang memberi komen. Lebih panas sesuatu topik yang dimuatnaik, lebih panaslah komen-komen yang tertera. 

Perkataan bodoh, bangang, macai, cabar-mencabar, pelbagai jenis carutan menghiasi ruangan komen. Yang mana setuju, yang mana tak setuju. Berbalah sama sendiri. Betapa mudahnya melemparkan kata-kata hinaan kepada orang lain, hanya kerana mereka tidak bersetuju dengan kita. Sakit mata.

Kata orang, orang yang bijak pandai tidak akan menggelar orang lain 'bodoh'.

Saya tidak pandai. Saya masih lagi belajar, mencari ilmu yang kadang jumpa kadang tidak. Terus-terang, jumlah ilmu yang saya hadap setiap hari buat saya takut. Betapa kecilnya kepala otak, betapa besarnya lautan pengetahuan. Lagi banyak saya belajar, lagi banyak yang saya tak tau. Terasa jahilnya. 

Jadi terlintas di hati saya, sedangkan saya yang kini merangkak ke tahap teratas aras akademik pun masih lagi takut-takut untuk menggelar orang lain bodoh, maka saya fikir mereka-mereka yang dengan mudah dan yakinnya menggelar orang lain dengan pelbagai gelaran mestilah lagi pandai, hebat, berinformasi, beradab sopan dan lebih berfikiran jauh, panjang dan tajam daripada saya.

Itu belum lagi mengambil kira orang yang dengan lantangnya mengatakan bahawa si polan dan si polan ini adalah ahli syurga manakala yang si polan dan si polan itu adalah ahli neraka. 

Dosa dan pahala kita, ramai yang tahu?

Lihat, betapa ramainya bijak pandai di FB. Pakar sains politik, pakar ekonomi, pakar kebajikan, pakar kejuruteraan (yang ramai dalam bidang automotif dan aeroangkasa serta avioniks kebelakangan ini), pakar undang-undang, pakar perubatan dan pelbagai lagi jenis pakar yang tinggi arasnya. 

Sayangnya, tak ramai yang ada kelulusan dan pengetahuan asas yang diperlukan untuk memberikan pendapat dalam bidang-bidang di atas dengan efektif dan berintegriti. Kalau bercakap tak ada inti, siapa mahu percaya? 

Lebih sayang lagi, semuanya bangsaku sendiri. 

Orang lain dah jauh ke depan, kita masih bergaduh di sini lagi.

Dan bila ada cerdik pandai kita yang memilih untuk menetap saja di luar negeri, kita gelar mereka pengkhianat, tidak kenang budi dan lupa daratan. Tapi kita tidak pernah nak tanya diri kita sendiri, mungkinkah kerana orang macam kita yang mereka ini sampai pergi membawa diri? Eh mana mungkin, bukankah rakyat negara ini lebih bijak pandai belaka?

Maaf sekiranya status ini mengguris hati siapa-siapa. Saya kini kan sedang cuba menghabiskan pengajian saya. Kenalah berfalsafah serba sedikit. 

Sudahnya, saya tengok saja gambar gerabak dan lokomotif keretapi. Depa bising-bising juga, tapi kerja jalan macam biasa. Daripada bising bergegar dunia, buka kepala isi pun tiada. 


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Kicker Lelia


So here's the thing.

My wife Lelia has been going for this Original Bootcamp series where a bunch of people sign up to undergo some twice-a-week high intensity physical training for three months at KLCC. It has been going on for almost two months plus now, where she trains on Tuesday and Thursday for an hour each in the evening every week. 

I fully support this activity.

For the fact that we both live separately at the moment due to work commitment, it is very possible for me to say that I have began to notice some very significant physical change on her each time we met. 

Before that, I believe it is necessary to tell you that Lelia was once a state hockey player during her younger days and she runs a lot. She is really into physical training and all these healthy habits, from which I suffered from every now and then, especially when she pulled me along when she needs to undergo her training or forced me to eat some punched out vegetable and fruit extracts that taste like moss juice. I did not physically suffer to begin with, but the pain was more on my pride. Seeing my wife running 5km made me feel as if I was the couch potato. So naturally, in order to preserve my male dominance and supremacy, I would run much further than that. You see, a man's hurt pride makes him do unbelievable things, that in the end will take toll back on him. In my case, I would normally lose a leg, lose my vision, or be visited by the death angel after I complete my run. But of course this doesn't stop me from competing with my athlete wife, albeit the fact that I am no longer the sportsman I once was. Long story short, my wife's physical ability hurts my pride and in order to avenge my pride I will end up hurting myself physically. Altogether it's a pretty messed up story.

But that's not the essence of this writing. 


* * * 


Here's the thing. Ever since Lelia has been attending the bootcamp, well it's easy to spot that she has put off a few pounds while gaining some pretty toned up muscles here and there. I could actually see the bumps on her muscular arms. But what is more unnerving is her leg. 

Lelia is an avid runner, so it's pretty expected that her legs would be all big and muscular, and they are. You see, a runner's legs are really toned up and in such a way, beautiful. They are solid, strong, springy, all those. They are just perfect. And now with this bootcamp thing, her Kayla movement thing, those squats and all other moves to curve up the perfect ass, it is much anticipated that the end result would be exciting to see. 

Recently I compared my thighs with those of Lelia's and to my own amusement they were bigger than mine, but not at all in a bad way. They were not only bigger but more muscular looking than mine. Imagine the hind legs of a fit and strong horse. Yes, that kind of legs. 

So it occurred to me that, God damn, if one of these legs kick me, intentionally or otherwise, it would send me right to kingdom come and back. It could turn me into a bowl of mashed potato in just three kicks. Or maybe it could kick me back into the future; a kick so hard, it ruptures the very fabric of space and time, hence acting as the only working time machine, thus promising a prominent expansion in the future of quantum physics. It could even kick an infant elephant right into adulthood. It could be used to maintain peace, or unleash a long episode of terror. It could start and end a war. Well exaggerated, I know, but you get the picture.

So from that moment on, I try hard not to cause trouble at home, or if I somewhat did, I try hard to stay out of the kicking distance from my wife. Not that she's going to kick me or anything, but the thought of it was frightening enough. Just overnight, I saw myself winning the Most Patient and Forgiving Husband award. 

But it's not her intentional kicking that scares me the most - it's the unintentional one. There was one time she (I thoroughly assumed) dreamt of swatting a fly and I got slapped so hard, my soul came out half way on the other end. Also it is worth to mention that one time she (again, I assumed) got into a boxing ring and punched me right below the diaphragm before resorting into a deep, snoring sleep later on, while I cried at the edge of the bed from the devastating pain. But despite all these unconscious bullying, I still like her though. 

Oh the fear, that one day when we are both asleep in the bed facing each other, and Lelia dreams of taking a game-changing and ultimately winning penalty in the game of soccer (she is now growing interests in the sport) and this gets translated into an actual physical movement. Oh, the fear!

Maybe it's time I put on a hard shell turtle suit and curl in it the next time I am in bed with her. Anyone's selling?


* * *


Hey baby, sorry for opening up on your sleeping behaviour. I love you, please don't kick me.


Dat ass!



Friday, January 30, 2015

So long, Pak Sahak


In my life, the number of close friends I have can be represented by all the ten fingers on both my hands. 

After the members of the family, these ten people are most important to me. They are the people who have spent years with me, who really understand my actions and behaviour, who could easily predict my moves at any given situation, who offer unlimited amount of advice and assistance whenever required and by all means, the people who truly have won my absolute, border-less trust in my whole life so far,

They are the people who solidify the liquid meaning of lifelong camaraderie.  

These ten close friends of mine come from different backgrounds. Some are my age, some younger and some older. Some with the government while some from private sectors. Some are wise while some are still learning. 

But when we meet up, there will be no gap of age, background and other differences. Each man equals another. We hold greatly to the symbolic brotherhood, and we hold it up with pride. These ten men mean the world to me.


However, a few days ago, there are only nine left. 


* * *


Pak Sahak, during our early days. Kuala Tahan, Pahang

Haji Sahak bin Mohd Amin was the oldest member in the group of my most trusted associates. He was the wisest, the most strong-willed, the most hard-working, and by all means the most respected among all. He was a close neighbour at home, and I have known him since I was a little boy. It was only five years or so back that we became close, to a point we were more like father and son than just close friends.

At home, the entire neighbourhood knows him for his strong social networking, kindness, easy-going and most importantly his cooking. Since many decades ago, he has been an active member of the community, particularly at the community surau, where he was the main member of the kitchen and also the muazzin, until he was removed from that place he loved most after the takeover of the state of Selangor government by the opposition.

He was an active UMNO member as well. In fact, one of the most vocal I ever knew along my participation in the grass-root party movement. It was him who nominated me to hold one of the leading positions in the Youth movement. 

Our nightly activity - Rumah Pak Sahak

He was kind enough to let his home to be a meeting place, where his neighbours will spend time with him playing cards, listening to radio or just discussing current issues at night. We shared laughter and we exchanged thoughts. He sometimes recalled the memories of moments past, where he would later advise us all about love, life and everything in between. 

Since twenty years ago he has been cooking his much-awaited-for special dish during the annual fasting month of Ramadhan for the neighbourhood: his famous bubur lambuk. Born in Kampung Baru, he spent his times as a child mostly at the Kampung Baru Mosque where the particular cuisine first originated, and so he knew the recipe at the back of his head. He normally shared the ingredients with those who asked, but he never revealed its details. Every year he will be cooking a large pot of bubur lambuk in the morning, from which he then packed in small plastic bags for distribution to anybody who happened to pass by his house later in the evening. Usually he will be doing this all alone.

It was only last year that he invited me and three others to come and help him in the entire process, from which for the first time he revealed all the main ingredients and their specific quantities. He just sat down on his chair and ordered us around, "just so that you will remember the recipe and how it is done," he said, and continued, "because this would be the only thing I have, that I will ever teach you in great detail."

That year we completed our course with him and we managed to cook six pots overall, or around a thousand packs of bubur lambuk in total.


I made this for the distribution poster last year. This now is his trademark.

I happened to be the lucky one - he also taught me, in secret, his secret teh tarik recipe. Go to my neighbourhood and ask around. Who doesn't know and crave for Teh Tarik Sahak? The only thing I didn't manage to learn from him was his 8-hour rendang recipe. That was the best dry rendang I ever tasted my whole life.  

I happened to visit him a few times during his last 40 days on earth. He did not show any sign whatsoever, only that he told me to remember his bubur lambuk recipe and to cook them for the people, and he bought us satay when he received his BR1M some two weeks back. I even helped him out preparing some food for the people at the surau last week (his first time doing that at the surau since 2010 that I myself witnessed) and he started praying again at his beloved surau following that event. He was, since so long, the happiest then.

In the morning of 28th January 2015, his eldest son contacted me and informed me about Pak Sahak to undergo an emergency bypass operation at the IJN. I was in Tronoh at the time, so I wished and prayed him all the best. However, Pak Sahak passed away during before the procedure began, at 10.20 am the same day, exactly a week after my birthday. He was 63 years old. 


"He cited the syahadah, and just like that, he's gone."


And around 250km away from him, I fell on my knees in full disbelief.


* * *

Mixed feelings.

His passing was an easy one, but only for himself, not for the people who surround him when he was alive. His sudden passing impacted us all greatly, for he was the best we ever had.

I rushed back home, driving. Along the way, memories of him played before my eyes. All the laughter and cries we had. All the experiences, after all these years. As much as I would want to weep, I could not. Holding back was a painful thing to do, but letting go was even more. At the time, all that occurred to me was that it was all a joke.

But soon as I arrived at Surau Al Mustaqim AU5C, there were people gathering around. My heart exploded when I saw the curtains were up at the pool area, where normally people will prepare the dead. I walked pass the curtains and there he was, lying on top of the body rack, being washed up and prepared for burial.

For many long minutes, I just stood there, not knowing what to do, what to say, what to feel anymore, anyway. 

It was only after that that I approached him. His son was there, bathing his still body. I placed a hand on his head and he was still warm. And almost automatically, I wept for him. 

There he was, the person whom I call my best friend, who was still very much happy and alive only days before, lying lifeless. 

I rolled my sleeves and I helped with the body. I carried him up the stairs to lay him down on the burial shroud, wrapped him up and brought him into the surau for prayer. At the time when his family members were called upon to see him for the last time before the shroud was closed, I tagged along and queued up. Everyone cried, sobbing was heard everywhere. When my turn came, I kneel before him and all that I could say when I stared at his, Allahuakbar, smiling face, was "terima kasih banyak Pak Sahak (thank you so much for everything, Uncle Sahak)." 

And then I kissed his forehead, signalling my final goodbyes. 

All the men in the gang gathered around after his face was covered for the last time, and we carried him up into the van and followed on to the cemetery. 

And I suppose all of us will remember forever that evening when we buried our best friend. The weather was calm, the sunset was extremely beautiful, and Alhamdulillah, everything went well. May his soul be blessed, and may heaven be his final destination. Amiin.



May we meet again, Pak Sahak, and thank you for everything. 






-Wipes tears-

* * *



This was the last photo I had with him, during his last pot of bubur lambuk for the month of Ramadhan last year. Next to him is his eldest son, Amin, and the one holding the small pot is the young muazzin of the surau, the position that Pak Sahak once held. He taught all of us his bubur lambuk recipe. 



Monday, December 15, 2014

Happy


It has been more than a year since I last wrote in this little space of mine.

And my God has it been so dusty in here.

I recently spoke to a few who have been following this blog since its very beginning, and the conversations I had with them can mostly be summarized to questions that began with the word 'why'. There have been many speculations of why I stopped writing. Best guesses are 1) I have already gotten what I asked for, and 2) therefore I am no longer miserable. 

I write best when I'm miserable. And for all you know I had best been miserable for a series of solid ten years. The rising of this blog was owed much to that.

Looking back, I wasn't much of a happy man. Perhaps the main source of my miseries was my own doings, if not my pride and ego. Over the years and thousands of mistakes after, I finally found the peace that I had since been searching continuously for from everywhere I had gone to and among the people I knew. And there it was. There's the biggest mistake I have ever done in life so far, in my own endless effort to find a handful of solace: I searched around and wide, but never I searched for it in my own tiny self. And the price paid was way more than I ever bargained for. 

I paid the price dearly, and for that, all my mistakes I will always remember. And most of these stories can still be found in the archive section of the blog. I have no intentions to remove them (except for some sensitive ones) just so that my readers can investigate my path, to which will mostly answer to the question how I became myself today. They were all there for you to see. 

It was only at one point along in the timeline of one year back, that I finally put down the pen and called for a long hiatus from writing. Perhaps I have written so much, that I have nothing else to write about, to write for, and by all means, to write to. Perhaps I was too disappointed with life, that it forced me to give up the one thing I did consistently for years. 

And within that one year, many things happened. I got married. Monty died. I started gardening. I opened up a business. I went to places. I made new friends and I lost old ones. Many things happened, and it's going to take me some time to dig them up one by one. And most importantly, I totally forgot about all the things that I used to pour out in this blog.

And now, many years after, here I am, staring back at all my past writings. And all the long lost, locked-up memories broke their way out of the forgotten vaults from deep inside my otherwise very peaceful mind, come crashing one after another. Some were good ones, while some others were just plain hurtful. Some made me smile, while some just gave me the most senseless beating of my times. The familiar faces, smiles and curses, love and hate, joy and pain, came down like evening rain.

Revisiting can be both good and bad. And that explains the mixed feelings I'm experiencing as this is written.

Mixed feelings. 

To some, facing back the past may be one of the most frightening moments in their life. It becomes a complete taboo. It becomes something that can break one down into half and bring them down to their knees, begging for mercy, begging for forgiveness, begging to be forgotten. But how can one forget, when there is always something associated to the things one wants to forget?

It is remarkable, just how some old songs stir up our calm emotions, just how some places remind us of some forgotten memories, and just how the facial features of people in random remind us of certain somebody. And these effects last a life time. 

Ironic, that the more you try to forget, the more you will remember. 

That being said, I remember the reason why I abandoned this beloved blog a year ago, and it was the same reason why this entry finally became void to my application. It was happiness. I was, and still am, too happy to write. No more the mind-shaking, heart-gripping miseries in my long nights. No more interrupted sleeps. No more reasons to explore the hidden, twisted, often terrifying side of my weatherbeaten mind. And still the solace I found wasn't in me, but it was in you. I previously said that finding own solace and happiness in others is the wrongest thing, and if that is just another mistake I did, then it must be my most favourite mistake ever. 

I shall thank you for that, my wife

And for all I have lost, for all the long years of suffering, I am finally happy.




Absolutely happy.




Rusila beach, Terengganu, Oct 2014.


* * *


This signifies the revival of this blog. I won't let my happiness stop me from writing again. I have so much to tell, so let's do it one entry after another, yea?




Saturday, July 20, 2013

Mad Lelia is Mad



Had a fight with my lady today.

Come to think of it, the reason was pretty hilarious. It's even embarrassing to speak about it here or anywhere in the universe, at least when I'm still alive. Anyway a crybaby she always is, I made my lady mad and, therefore, hid in an isolated space of her own, refusing any contact with outer world whatsoever. 

Sounded like I'm the bad guy but hey she started it. And if the part where she cried made me look bad, take a listen to this: she even cried once when she saw an old fella cycling along the road we took sometime back. My lady and her paperheart syndrome are inseparable. I won't be surprised at all if she cries whenever she sees me smacking a mosquito flat on my arm anytime soon. 

Anyway, I was mad as well. So I went shopping. Not for bag and shoes. 

I took a stroll to a furniture shop this afternoon and browsed through their vast collection of latest furniture and home accessories. So I bought a bedroom set: a queen-sized bed, a super-thick Dunlopillo Orthorest II (ultra firm, pocket spring type with memory foam) mattress, a 5-feet wardrobe, a makeup vanity table, and two bedside cupboards. The free items that came along with the set are a pair of Masterfoam super-plush synthetic latex pillows and a bolster of the same material. I've gotta tell you that the mattress is super awesome and the pillows are extremely comfortable. 

Also, I took the liberty of constructing a bed lamp from junk materials I found lying around my home. And so my otherwise very dull bedroom now looks like this:




I still need to find the mattress top and the sheet, though. And a curtain. Tomorrow then. Moving on, I also bought myself a set of dinner table for six as shown in the picture below. Gone are the days where I had my dinner in the polymer-table for two, as also shown in the picture below. There's just so much food and so little space. With this new additional item in the house, I'd be more comfortable having my dinner like a boss. 




I bought a Phillips 11-Watt eco-bulb with warm ambient feature and installed it at the living room as an addition to the existing two fluorescent bulbs, just to put some mood in the place. Now I can sit down at the sofa while doing my work on the laptop with a cup of coffee and a box of cigarette while listening to jazz on the radio and feeling great all in the same time. In the picture below is my current living hall setting. It's a big hall so it looks pretty empty. You can see the batik painting I received as a token of appreciation when I attended Twtup Campus last year, and also an unused steering lock, just in case I need to resort to beating anybody up for legit reasons. Alternative to the steering lock is my golf set, but I won't be needing that for the lock itself is pretty murderous. Just in case. 




I think the house is pretty much livable for two. And I'm just preparing the nest for the arrival of the mother bird once we get married. 

I'm doing all these for you, so wipe your tears up and calm your sobbing ass down already. I'm sorry, and I love you. 

I'm enjoying all these tonight Lelia. U mad? #lol



Iron and Ball




Ever since I placed myself in the list of PhD candidates in UTP, subjecting myself to endless amount of mental torture, sleepless nights, fear of supervisor and other forms of psychologically-related disorders, I have nearly abandoned one of my most favorite pastime activities -- golfing. Although mostly my time in golf was spent at the driving range, I've surely missed the kicks of hearing the knock on my iron against the ball at the right spot, however sexually-suggesting this sentence may be. The urge to send the ball flying at the right projectile motion and traveling curvature to the 100-yard island in the middle of the driving range lake of Clearwater Sanctuary golf makes the activity go raging with adrenaline punches. Like a drive to achieve something. Getting some sense of achievement. I'm looking forward to get to the driving range again to practice some swing, now knowing that my dear lady used to play golf. After all, nothing feels more liberating than to imagine the faces of some people in the middle of the floater golf balls before hitting the crap out, sending them flying across the minimum range and into an enormous crater filled with water, the result of tin-mining in the earlier years. Gotta watch my back though. I'm getting old. Seriously.



Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Yours Truly Love.


I had promised myself precisely a year back today, on the first day of Ramadhan, that I will write about a subject that has since grown to be so accustomed to my otherwise very lonely world. 

There were days in the past that I've overlooked into many important facts of life that, as a result, I saw myself ending up becoming a bitter person; someone who possesses the quality of that of a cynic, of an opinionated person, and most importantly, of a disappointed man. Ever since I was let into believing that my last relationship -- the relationship that I hoped would be the last for I no longer have interests in hunting for the perfect lady for there was never one -- ended in quite a catatonic way, I had lost a handful amount of my otherwise unshaken beliefs and faiths that has so unfortunately forced me into seeing my future life from a very different perspective. I thought that I would never fall in love again, for I have been falling in love for quite one too many time, and every time every and each of it met its inevitable end, I was usually the one who suffered the most. 

And at every and each end too I had to pick up of what was left of my weather-beaten, crushed and broken heart with an atom of hope, looking for a brighter new beginning. But as a human as all of you are, I began to see and, most essentially, understand, that a bright beginning does not always promise an even brighter end. Often I went through a satisfyingly enjoyable beginning of a relationship, only to be brought through an ugly end. I didn't want that then, and I still don't want that now. For every lover who enters the gate of fresh relationship, I am pretty sure that you will evidently understand the hopes for the relationship to flourish and grow close to what you have imagined it to be. 

Frustrated, disappointed, angry and, for whatever reasons there were, hugely relieved, I picked myself up and started anew with all the little pieces left of me. As a researcher, my interests in current research have put me in a place where I forgot entirely about the needs to have a partner in life, or in a more precise way, a lover. Work had me entirely lost in my own world of progress, and I soon turned out to produce more research publications in the world of academics. I enjoyed many groups of supportive crowds. My social life bloomed prettily, and I have enjoyed a vast amount of successful and well-known companies. This went well for some time until the good old sense of realities come biting again.

I came to realize that my life, despite all the attentions, money, successes, progresses, and whatsoever achievements that I have scored so far, was so lonely. 

The thoughts of this certain loneliness grabbed my attention quite wholesomely; I began to lose interests in my works and my academic life. I no longer paid attention to new, exciting science discoveries. Lonesomeness killed me internally. Looking back at my previous relationships, yet again, I told myself that, 'My God, dear me, how many times need you fall off a bike to know that it hurts like hell?'.

But it wasn't the fall that made the entire experience worth experiencing. It's the ride. And I'm willing to take it. 

So I prepped myself for another journey in love relationship, only this time I promised myself that I would not repeat my previous mistakes in making decisions, mostly attributed to poor projections, ill-advised calculation, nondescript planning, indefensible practice and most eminently, crappy chemistry. I'd like to make my next relationship a story worth telling to anyone who would listen; a story that, despite its many imperfections in plots, means so many beautiful things. 

This is the story.


* * *

For hundreds of years, enthusiasts worldwide have cultivated over 10,000 cultivars of flowering shrubs of the genus Rhododendron commonly known as Azalea. Highly admired and adored, Azalea stuns its spectators at best, while in the same time being one of the most toxic in the plant kingdom, other than its astounding ability to inhabit and establish in the most acidic soils.

The paragraph above pretty much describes the lady who won every piece and shrapnel of my heart. 


The lady herself.


I met Azalia sometime in June 2012, precisely on the 12th day of the month, during one of the largest engineering conventions the world has ever to offer, in which I had the responsibility to present three papers on my latest findings in my field of research. Our first meeting was very brief; we mostly talked about works and related matters, other than the (not-so) surprising fact that the lady had been spying and gathering intelligence on me all these while, particularly from my tweets and writings. 

Overall, to me, Azalia was just another girl but with a few major exceptions: her proficiency in English was impressive, her confidence was off the roof, she has fine tastes in coffee and general fashion, she made quite an eyebrow-raising progress in her career, and she has technical background in academic. To add more, she's taller than any average Malaysian female and has an athletic-built body. It felt as if I had just struck an infinite goldmine. In a few minutes or so, she won my attention like most girls won't.

Toxic.


A table for two lost souls finding each other.


Our conversation lasted as long as the coffee in our cups, but let's just say that deep inside I had some senses running that I found it positive that I would like to meet her again. And to no surprise I did. 

But at that point I was still bitter, skeptical, cynical, opinionated, more or less a rebel, a critic, and a few more other qualities that made me not quite an enjoyable company to have over delicate dinner or evening cups of coffee. I admit, that I did give her a series of hard times, pushing her to the edge, just to examine her potentials, to which I supposed that had she left, she won't fit into the category of the person worth living together for long years to come, at least in my own definition. To my own astonishment, she never really left despite having to go through a row of overthrown tantrums and sophisticated moments, and instead, she grew closer to me. 

She lives on acids. 

Getting to know each other took some time. Strength celebrated, weaknesses tolerated, suitability examined. We soon found that the base of the relationship was getting steadier and stronger. Our mutual feelings soon find themselves residing between each other, and we settled for a relationship none of us ever dreamed of. Together, we began to conquer some parts of our own bubbles and achieved more than we ever imagined, from SIFE to Genovasi Challenge to The Big Dre1m, we left our marks to be remembered. We progressed and we supported each other. At some points, we even challenged and criticized each other. We grew not only as lovers, but also colleagues -- this, I never dreamed to ever have in my partner.


Us during The Big Dre1m press conference.


Now after a year together, I could have never felt any better.

One of the biggest thing she ever did to me was to plan a surprise party event for my birthday, attended by close friends and acquaintances. That was the biggest birthday event I ever had in my life, and perhaps the sweetest to remember. She even prepared a cake with my Twitter printed on it. I've got an electric coffee by-the-drip maker as a gift from her, along with a bag of Italian roast blend coffee -- something that both of us enjoy alone and together. 


Best birthday ever so far.


A trained geologist who works as a management consultant (now one level up to junior project manager), my Azalia still awes me with geology trivia every now and then. Being an avid reader herself, not only on the subject of love, romance and other perks that have so far becoming the genre well-versed with female readers, she equips herself with many technical and non-technical information that makes her not only informative but entirely knowledgeable with general and detailed subjects. Now this is a good thing for me, since I do not need to keep my depth and range of conversation to only handbags, shoes and common female problems and rants. 

On one occasion, she gave me a chunk of coal as a present. How cool is that?


Accessing the information highway through a non-conventional approach. 


The acceptance of us in both families have so far been excitingly positive. A natural domestic networking person she is and a negotiator/diplomat I am, we broke through the walls of family reviews pretty quickly and effectively to soon be accepted as one of them. Her family has been very generous with hospitality and warm affections, as do mine. For the first time, the lady I date receives no objections and criticisms from my side of the family, particularly my dear mother, who preys on little girls on the subject of fashion, general cosmetics, applied culinary and overall feminine qualities. One thing that strengthened her position is that she comes from a FELDA village somewhere in the Northern Peninsular, to which, as most of my family members believe, her prospects as a wife-material with traditional Malay female traits shine so very brightly. 


Happy faces. A night in town with her siblings.


My aunties love her to the bits, so do my cousins and, well, my best friend, Fiza Falak. They grew to become best friends themselves, to which I do not know how, whom constantly team up whenever I propose a counter-proposal to any of their opinions -- precisely the reason why I choose not to cause any stir whatsoever when both of them are around me: a lesson I learned through such hardship and painful stream of daunting events. Close friends of my mother approve her almost instantly, and my best friends told me to cage her up so that she won't escape, a move I found to be the most effective in keeping her in captivity, and as well as having my ass kicked to behind bars any time later. 


Them girls. (Read out loud and pay attention to pronunciation. I kid, don't bite me.)


Another impressive trait she has is that she constantly works out, most of the time heavily. She goes to gym and does yoga, mostly due to her earlier participation in sports (she represented her state in SUKMA as a female hockey player whereas I only made it as school player in the same sport). She has lost over 10 kg in only a few weeks, to which my phrase 'impressive' that was earlier used at the beginning of the paragraph starts to show as a total understatement. She also plays golf, has undergone strict bootcamp exercise regime, entered a few marathons, won the office badminton championship, obtaining one of the sauciest curvatures I ever intended to enjoy apart from the mathematics tensor curvature, and has aced in other related events that to a point it becomes really ridiculous to even explain. 


One of the thing she does that makes me look and feel like a helpless potato.


A recent photograph. Her rapid loss of fat content forces me to replicate a famine condition
for myself to keep mine at an allowable bare minimum. Didn't work, by the way.


Albeit her earlier uneasiness towards feline variety including domestic cats, she has now began to love them, particularly Sir Montgomery 'Monty' Scott, my feline partner at home. That is the most important criteria in my wife-material list. She has even the liberty to address the darn cat 'my baby', to which I expressed my objection, to which she objects in return, and continues to call the darn cat, 'my baby'.


Feeding 'the baby'.


Overall, I am very happy in this relationship. She's all I ever needed, and still. She possesses almost all of the qualities I have listed down in the race to find the perfect match. Her general intelligence, boosted confidence, positiveness, professionalism, social skills, kitchen skills, chore skills, religious practice, soft spots, written and spoken English proficiency including literature skills, healthy lifestyle, successful career, and all other prime qualities have scored her an outstanding position,  close to a damn perfection, therefore conclusively demonstrates that she is so far the best I've ever found to love, and what makes her even more special, she loves me back. 

Now that's precisely a girl I'd like to keep for life.


A moment worth remembering.


With hopes, I look forward to bring this relationship to a more established position soon. Insya Allah, we'll progress even more, and we'll achieve even, even more. Do kindly pray for our future journey together, thanks very much.


* * *


And without me realizing, slowly, my badly broken heart is healing. 

Alhamdulillah.