October 30, 2006

How to post a document onto my blog??

I have no idea how to put the article. So here is the photo and an execrpt of the article. Oh yes, and this is the linkage to the whole article: The Savvy Bookworm

Swap it

Once a month, a group of enthusiastic bookworms gather to exchange books.

In September, the group met at a restaurant at Jalan Gasing, Petaling Jaya. As the members arrived, one by one, the noise level in the restaurant increased as they exchanged greetings and shared stories of what they did since they last met. Soon, a stack of books formed in the middle of the table as food was served.

“It’s not just a book club. We don’t really discuss books,” said Tatyana Amin, nicknamed “Taty” by the group.

The group calls themselves Malaysian Bookcrossers, and they are just one of many Bookcrossing groups formed all over the world via bookcrossing.com, a website created by Ron Hornbaker in Missouri, the United States, in 2001.

Hornbaker got his idea for Bookcrossing.com when he saw websites such as PhotoTag.org which tracks the journey of disposable cameras. He thought: Why not create a site that tracks a book’s journey?

Therefore, since April 17, 2001, books have been let lose “in the wild” all over the world. Bookcrossing members form chapters in their respective countries where they meet and exchange books.

The Malaysian chapter was created in Dec 19, 2003, by a then 16-year-old Andy Lim. There are now 207 members but only a few meet once a month to swap books while others mail books to one another.

However, the idea behind Bookcrossing may be difficult for some Malaysians to swallow, especially since books are so expensive. You see, the whole idea behind Bookcrossing is that you give away your books.

Here is how it works:

First, you register a book at bookcrossing.com, then you stick a special Bookcrossing sticker where you write the number that helps track the book’s movements. For the sake of adventure, leave the book in a public place – say, at a cafe – and then wait for the person who finds it to log on to the website (via the instructions on the sticker) and comment about the book. A book can literally travel all around the world.

Unfortunately, the Malaysian Bookcrossers haven’t had much success with books left in the wild. Most of them lose track of the books – nobody seems interested to read them, let alone comment on what they’ve read. Sometimes, those who find the books see it as an opportunity to earn extra cash.

“I’ve seen some Bookcrossing books at second-hand bookstores,” said Tatyana in disapproval. (Bookcrossing books are distributed free, after all.)

“Malaysians are just not civic-minded,” lamented Ariel Chew.

BIRDS OF A FEATHER: The Malaysian Bookcrossers meet once a month, usually on weekends, to swap books. During Ramadan, they even buka puasa and exchanged books together.

The group members exchange books with one another but this exchange doesn’t happen among them only.

For one, Betty Wong once received boxes of books from a Bookcrosser overseas.

“They’re just very generous,” she explained.

But here’s a question that possessive bookworms will ask: But why give away your books?

Tatyana not only gives away books, sometimes she buys them to give away.

“You just want to share your love for the book with others,” she explained simply.

“Bookcrossing opened up a whole new world to me. I realise that there are more out there than my comfortable nest of authors,” said Chew.

It’s the same for Emily Chiam, one of the earliest members of the group. Her daughter, Puteri Diyana, is also a member who attends the meetings.

“Through Bookcrossing, I joined a group who chats with its panel of resident writers (writers who are invited to join us and we read their latest book and chat with them!). We ‘chat’ with authors such as Harlan Coben, David Morrel on Creepers, and Jesse Kellerman (offspring of Faye and Jonathan Kellerman) on his Sunstroke.

“What brings us together once a month, after three years? Each other’s company, of course! Taty is one with loads of books to recommend and fun to be with, too!” said Chiam.

My face is in The Star

This morning had to practically drag my body out of bed for work after a long week of busyness and lazy around at home. While dressingm, got a SMS and grumbling picked up only to find a cheerful greeting. Stuffed the phone and left for work. After reading the gossip page of DiGi and turning on my radio-net, but before opening up my email (still have not opened up the work email but who cares, nobody is around and its only Monday)read the write up about Bookcrossing from The Star. Will put up the link on the site later. To my surprise - a big picture with me smack in the picture is yours sincerely.

Well an hour ago, read the SMS (tadi just saw the sender only) congratulating us on the article. Sent her a thank you reply.

When will I open my work email - maybe after lunch, its only half an hour before lunch.

As part of my course for Information and Communication Policy Development, I have to write a report on the roles of civil society in creating a chosen country's policy. I have chosen Australia and my main topic is on the Indigenous people.

As part of my research, I have come across a very interesting quote:

"Loss of purpose emerges when people become confused and do not have enough information about the world around them to take control of their own lives and develop their own future. Without good communication, clear purpose is but a faint distant hope".
"Without clear purpose, human endeavour stops".

Richard Trudgen
Author of Why Warriors Lie Down and Die


October 28, 2006

Salam Eid Fitri

Since last Friday, there is no thought but the celebration of Eid Fitri. Most importantly, welcoming our relatives to our house - ensuring enough food, decorations in place, and of course 'envelopes' for children.

Here are some photos of my niece and nephew on the eve and the day itself. Many photos are in my bro's camera so need to wait for him to download onto my computer.

Hasnah wearing her new hair accessory.

Imran with his his new 16" bicycle.

October 18, 2006

Even without the experts telling us

Uuum, there is something wrong with Blogger.com today. I cannot customize the font.

I got updates from Oprah.com in my email. Today's was very interesting because without the experts telling me, I am prescribing their advise.

How to Treat a Cold
by Robert S. Porter, MD, coeditor of The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy

I was an emergency room doctor for 18 years—12-hour shifts on my feet—and I never stayed home for a cold. When I catch one, I wait for it to go away. That's it. No fluids, no plenty of rest, no vitamin C, no echinacea, nothing. There's no scientific evidence that those things do anything. If a sore throat is really bad, I'll take lozenges that contain an anesthetic, like Chloraseptic; if it's not, I ignore it. If a runny nose is extreme—and I mean like a faucet—I'll take pseudoephedrine. People write articles about chicken soup. It's got a bit of salt, they say, and nutritional value. That's not unreasonable, because you need to get some energy into your system, and when you feel crappy you don't want a BLT and a milk shake. Also, chicken soup's comfort food, and that's important to people. But me? I don't do chicken soup. I wait a week and the cold's gone.

Who love to do pencil puzzles like me? Here is a tip on how to approach crossword puzzles:

How to Do the Crossword
by Will Shortz, editor of The New York Times crossword

First, you look for the fill-in-the-blank clues. They're easy to spot in the clue list and often easy to solve. Also go for the shortest answers first. There are relatively few short words in English, and the same ones tend to appear in crosswords again and again—especially those with lots of vowels, like era, area, ale, ore, erie, etc. It helps to work off consonants more than vowels, because consonants are more distinctive. A "w" or a "z" is going to be more helpful than an "e" or an "i". If necessary, guess at an answer. People say, "Ooooh, So-and-so does it in pen," as if that's a big deal. It just means that you have to cross out your mistakes instead of erase them. I use a pen sometimes, and I still get the answers wrong.

October 17, 2006

A long hiatus

The house has not been completed - well the most important place, my bedroom and the study. After long downpours, it is leaking everywhere. It had happened and was fixed twice or is it thrice. Anyway, mom say I can start sorting my clothes in their proper place tonight. So I guess it's done. I have been living out of the bag (and car) for weeks.

Last weekend class started - full day Saturday and morning on Sunday, five hours straight while fasting. Well, it started well - managed to get there a bit after 8 from Damansara. Got new classmates - two from the first batch and three from second. Got lots of tips about the program and facilitators. In a nutshell, we had to call all the lecturer to ask if they were coming. Fortunately, the morning session he came in at 10:30 - not wasted for waking up that early. Afternoon was called off - so went shopping at KLCC (bought books, scarf, and Clinique eye shadow). At Kinokuniya, got a call from the facilitator for Sunday that YES, the class is on.

I have asked Aznida to remind me not to open my big mouth. Did I listen, NO! So now - the facilitators has already zeroed me. And I have to perform since they know me and hopefully they can easily give me A's. Oh yeah, the highest which I can score is A, not A+.

Now is raining heavily: my car is a mile away *smile*. Have a buka puasa at Sheraton Hotel Subang *groan*. And its like sitting in a freezer here.

October 13, 2006

Imran was WOWed

Last Tuesday was a holiday for us Selangor. Marina (my sis) and the children came by for buka puasa.

The kids trooped upstairs for prayers with dad. The whole time, I could hear Imran saying 'cantiknye' (it's beautiful) and WOW to the new rooms (but it seems they did not see the new additions.

Their mum was frustrated because less than 3 hours of them bathing, they need to be wiped and changed into pajamas. They don't understand that the floor is dusty and should not be rolled on.

Anyway, it was a short visit. What with the electrician putting in a bigger fuse box to cope for all the new additions to the house (dad has gone all the way out for this).

Can't wait for everything to be in place. I have plans to buy a table for them to do their activities but last night, mum say she is giving the kids the existing coffee table. We shall be replacing the bookshelf (well sort off) and the coffee table. So I will be tagging along to survey for new bookshelves for the new room.

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October 12, 2006

The Met - more pix

Here are some finds which are notable.

I would wear this great red ensemble. It looks chic.

The Met

While reading the 49 things about Ariel, I found this cool place to visit (albeit on-line but who knows in the future). It is the famous The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

There was a picture of a dress which caught my attention and I went window shopping. Here are some of the photos taken from their collection. If only we live in the era where these dresses are common.

It's one of those days

It's one of those days that you just don't want to do anything. You just feel putting your feet up and read, especially now I'm coming to the end of THE KITE RUNNER I want to know how it ends. Those who do NOT love happy endings have a tissue box, no make it two because it is SAD. Now I don't know if I like it as a story but enjoyed it for it describes life in Afganistan after and before the Taliban.

To make it worse, this weekend I have classes. Full day on Saturday and morning for Sunday. Its the fasting month so that makes it worse. Monday can't take leave because of my German class. Ich bin mude.

October 11, 2006

Shakespeare & Co., Paris

I would like to share a post I receive from Taty (a BookCrosser) received this morning.

OMG, I am soooooo missing France right now. Watched Richard Linklater's
Before Sunrise and Before Sunset back-to-back yesterday (loooovvveee the
dialogues! Best discussions about life & relationships in filmdom ever!)
and realised one of the things I miss most about Paris is Shakespeare &
Co. You may want to visit it here http://shakespeareco.org/index.htm or take a web-tour here http://www.sav.org/shco/ Sigh ...

How I wished I knew about this when we were in Paris back in 1997. But I have made a pact to go back hopefully with Dad.

Here are some Taty's favourite dialogues from the movies Before Sunrise and Before Sunset by Richard Linklater starring Ethan Hawke & Julie Delphy:
Jesse: Do you believe in reincarnation? Celine: Yeah. Yeah, it's interesting.
Jesse: Yeah, right. Well, most people, you know, a lot of people talk about past
lives and things like that, you know? And even if they don't believe it in some
specific way, you know, people have some kind of notion of an eternal soul,
right? Celine: Yeah. Jesse: OK, well this was my thought: 50,000 years ago,
there are not even a million people on the planet. 10,000 years ago, there's,
like, two million people on the planet. Now there's between five and six billion
people on the planet, right? Now, if we all have our own, like, individual,
unique soul, right, where do they all come from? You know, are modern souls only
a fraction of the original souls? 'Cause if they are, that represents a 5,000 to
1 split of each soul in the last 50,000 years, which is, like, a blip in the
Earth's time. You know, so at best we're like these tiny fractions of people,
you know, walking... I mean, is that why we're so scattered? You know, is that
why we're all so specialized? Celine: I don't know. Wait a minute, I'm not
sure... I don't... Jesse: Yeah, hang on, hang on. It's a, it's a totally
scattered thought. It... which is kind of why it makes sense. And my favourite
lines from Before SunsetCeline: The past is the past. It was meant to be that
way. Jesse: What, you really believe that? That everything's fated? Celine:
Well, you know, the world might be less free than we think. Jesse: Yeah? Celine:
Yeah, when given these exact circumstances, that's what will happen every time:
two part hydrogen, one part oxygen, you get water every time. Jesse: No, no, I -
I - I mean what if your grandmother had lived a week longer, or, you know, or
passed away a week earlier, days even. You know things might have been
different. I believe that. Celine: You can't think like that, it's... Jesse: No,
I mean, I know you shouldn't on most things, but - It's just, on this one it
seemed like something was off, you know? Jesse: Oh, God, why didn't we exchange
phone numbers and stuff? Why didn't we do that? Celine: Because we were young
and stupid. Jesse: Do you think we still are? Celine: I guess when you're young,
you just believe there'll be many people with whom you'll connect with. Later in
life, you realize it only happens a few times. Jesse: And you can screw it up,
you know, misconnect.


October 9, 2006

What a hazy Monday

This past week has been real bad - the HAZE is back, to the max. Last week - it was at the office. Damansara and Kajang (asked mum over the weekend) was not that bad. The air was a bit clean.

But this morning, waking up to a gloomy morning. The drive to work was so bad - it was like driving through smoke. Now that I am in the office, after searching for a car wash (ended up washing at the shop near work) and making a U-turn after the first toll (luckily still near) to pick up my lunch. Came in late but who cares - too busy with work and yes to lazy to do anything over the weekend. Just want to spend time relaxing at home. But we did go out to buy some groceries at Tesco.

October 8, 2006

Scotland-France and England-Macedonia

After many weeks of not catching any football matches and missing out on the tables for both EPL and the Euro qualifiers, tonight stayed up to catch the hyped match between England and Macedonia. Normally games will start 2/3 am but tonight it started before midnight. Only manage to catch the second half. To top it off, my favourite team is also playing with Scotland AT THE SAME TIME.

Well, the Scots managed to keep a clean sheet in all three games. But at least France is at a better footing as compared to the other World Cup finalist. The other game was a goalless draw which I am very happy. Throughout the whole game, Macedonia managed to maintain possession of the ball. Unfortunately, they were lacking goal scorers.

Last night it was raining heavily. We found out this morning the new library/study was not properly. So the whole day, they had to place many sheets of zinc at the roof. So lets hope it rains so we are assure that it is good. Also, tomorrow we are spared from all the sounds and people moving in and out of the house.

October 6, 2006

Kafka have arrived

Got a call from our office mailing room. He says that there is a courier waiting for me.

So to bless my new library, these will be my guest:


Today Oct 6

Last night came to the pivotal incident of THE KITE RUNNER. Man!! The actual incident is "normal" but how Amir take it for his sacrificial lamb!! That is so cruel and mean!! I wonder how the rest 300 odd pages will be like.

Last night also made me remember one more title which BookCrossing introduced to me. Being a scientist/engineer who have to know WHY of everything, it was a good catch. It is THE PROFESSOR AND THE MADMAN by Simon Winchester.

Tonight I will be going back to my parents' place. Mum told me that the major work upstairs has been completed - so hopefully we will have a peaceful weekend. I will be busy arranging my newly painted bedroom and the new adjoining library/study room.

Thank god mom's new Indonesian helper has arrived - actually this afternoon to our doorstep. I can't imagine cleaning up the mess without outside help. And the preparation and cleaning up during raya.

October 5, 2006

THE KITE RUNNER by Khaled Hosseini

This is taken from Amazon.co.uk about the book currently reading.
The Kite Runner of Khaled Hosseini's deeply moving fiction debut is an
illiterate Afghan boy with an uncanny instinct for predicting exactly where a
downed kite will land. Growing up in the city of Kabul in the early 1970s,
Hassan was narrator Amir's closest friend even though the loyal 11-year-old with
"a face like a Chinese doll" was the son of Amir's father's servant and a member
of Afghanistan's despised Hazara minority. But in 1975, on the day of Kabul's
annual kite-fighting tournament, something unspeakable happened between the two boys. Narrated by Amir, a 40-year-old novelist living in California, The
Kite Runner tells the gripping story of a boyhood friendship destroyed by
jealousy, fear, and the kind of ruthless evil that transcends mere politics.
Running parallel to this personal narrative of loss and redemption is the story
of modern Afghanistan and of Amir's equally guilt-ridden relationship with the
war-torn city of his birth. The first Afghan novel to be written in English, The
Kite Runner begins in the final days of King Zahir Shah's 40-year reign and
traces the country's fall from a secluded oasis to a tank-strewn battlefield
controlled by the Russians and then the trigger-happy Taliban. When Amir returns
to Kabul to rescue Hassan's orphaned child, the personal and the political get
tangled together in a plot that is as suspenseful as it is taut with feeling.
The son of an Afghan diplomat whose family received political asylum in the
United States in 1980, Hosseini combines the unflinching realism of a war
correspondent with the satisfying emotional pull of master storytellers such as
Rohinton Mistry. Like the kite that is its central image, the story line of this
mesmerizing first novel occasionally dips and seems almost to dive to the
ground. But Hosseini ultimately keeps everything airborne until his heartrending
conclusion in an American picnic park. --Lisa Alward, Amazon.ca --This text
refers to the
Hardcover edition.


THE ZAHIR by Paulo Coelho

Finished the book around 1 am. Then the next one hour could not sleep started THE KITE RUNNER. A very good start.

The following is an excerpt which I want to share. It does not really portray the whole book but this is the best in my opinion.

A young woman with shining eyes starts telling me the story.
To begin with there was the city wall. The wall remained, but one part of it
was used to build a chapel. Many years passed, and the chapel became a
church. Another century passed, and the church became a Gothic cathedral.
The cathedral had had its moments of glory, there had been structural
problems, for a time it had been abandoned, then restoration work had
distorted the whole shape of the building but each generation
thought it had solved the problem and would rework the original
plans. Thus, in the centuries that followed, they
raised a wall here, took down a beam there, added a buttress over there,
created or bricked up stained-glass windows.

And the cathedral withstood it all.

I walk through the skeleton of the cathedral, studying
the restoration work currently being carried out: this time the
architects guarantee that they have found the perfect solution.
Everywhere there are metal supports, scaffolding, grand theories about
what to do next and some criticism about what was done in the

And suddenly, in the middle of the central nave, I
realise something very important: the cathedral is me, it is all of us.
We are all growing and changing shape, we notice certain weakness s that
need to be corrected, we don't always choose the best solution, but we
carry on regardless, trying to remain upright and decent, in order to do
honour not to the walls or the doors or the windows, but to the empty
space inside, the space where we worship and venerate what is
dearest and most important to us.

Yes, we are all cathedrals, there is no doubt about it; but what
lies in the empty space of my inner cathedral.

Esther, the Zahir.

She fills everything. She is the reason I am alive. I look
around, I prepare myself for the talk I am to give, and I understand
why I braved the snow, the traffic jams and the ice on the roads: in order
to be reminded that every day I need to rebuild myself and to accept - for
the first time in my entire existence - that I love another human being more
than I love myself.

Oh - that is how you want to show a quote. Learning - still learning.


I got tagged

I got tagged by Betty to name 7 songs that I have been listening to but I'm going to change a bit of the songs I want to listen most of the time (me not an avid CD buyer, just relying on the radio stations - public and net) :

  • LET IT BE by The Beatles
  • BAD DAY by Daniel Powter
  • GOT NO SATISFACTION by Rolling Stones
  • LOVE IS ALL AROUND by Wet Wet Wet
  • HAVE A NICE DAY by Jon Bon Jovi
  • ***

That goes to show what a music lover I am.

October 4, 2006


Now it has become a habit to read what others have added to their blogs (and the past). I found a great quote which I got from Just Betty's can't remember which blog which led me to ireneQ's blog:

I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next.

- Gilda Radner, American Actress -

Announcing my blog

I have sent out an announcement to our spin-off to the Malaysian BookCrossing group and those that attended the buka puasa meet up regarding my new blog.

Now, I have to figure out how to customize it so at least I can post something about myself.

And to get my own camera so I can start photoblogging... hahaha.

Books - what else

Thanks to a Star's journalist interest to write about BookCrossing and Emily arranging for a BookCrossing buka puasa at Gem, Jalan Gasing for interviews and pictures... It has rejoined those members which I have not met for such a long time such as Denise, Ariel, and Betty. Go to Just Betty and CoolCat for the write up.

To complete the nite, Taty request all of us to list down our and these are my choices:

  • Favourite book of all time THE PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY by John Irving
  • THE book that shook your world and erased all else THE DA VINCCI CODE by Dan Brown
  • The last book read/reading THE ZAHIR by Paulo Coelho to be followed tomorrow by THE KITE RUNNER
  • The book you would recommend John Sandford's PREY series

It just goes to show how widely read I am. I started by being a mystery/crime/thriller lover. Ever since joining BookCrossing, I have become a convert that includes titles as :

  • KAFKA ON THE SHORE (to be read)
  • THE NAME OF THE ROSE by Eco Umberto
  • THE KITE RUNNER (to be read)
  • PRODIGAL SUMMER by Barbara Kingsolver


October 3, 2006

Back to a student life

Finally after long thoughts registered myself for a masters program (well in May actually) at OUM (that also because I got a good discount during dad's tenure in OUM). First registered myself for the MIT but during the briefing found a much better and more to my liking the MMC (Multimedia Communication) program. NO programming, NO Java. YES to telecommunication, YES to writing for science and technology.

Well anyway, got the result for my May semester and here it is:

I actually expected for some A+ after all the headache of doing the group work. In truth, the A is Excellent - the highest you can get. LOL

Lesson learned - if possible, do all your assignments as if its an individual assignment. Those assignments will help you in answering your exams.

I registered myself for the new semester when my section went on their 'team building'. It took me the whole day riding the komuter and Putra - should have driven but worried about getting to work from CGS and the traffic. Then a few days later, added another elective since the two cores is on Saturday AND Sunday. It was suppose to be on the same day - S I G H.

Have started on the text book for Advanced Communication and it is HEAVY. But almost reaching the middle, I understand the structure.

In a way can't wait to start class so I can get the assignments and start writing, and surfing the net. But all that will have to happen after Oct. 15 when the first classes are over and the house will be sort of arranged.


My own library/study

My parents have finally done their renovation which they have been talking about for ages. This include the library/study room at the balcony. Is that so cool - our own study. Have already made plans on how to arrange it - with my new Ikea writing desk, coming soon wall-to-wall bookshelves.

Some of the major renovations in the other parts of the house includes:

  • kitchen and dining room has been touched up and widened
  • living room, hall and dining room given new plaster ceiling and cornish
  • the driveway been retiled
  • all bathrooms' tiles and fixtures replaced

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