Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Salam Aidiladha 1433




Life post - Aidiladha should be different, shouldn't it? Maybe, maybe not...we shall see :-) Eid Mubarak to all. May the concept of 'sacrifice brings new meaning to our lives  '...

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Resepi Kimchi: Revisit :-)

Since I post my MIL's Kimchi recipe last October (click here) I have received numerous questions and inquiries about the process of making it. I think if I have started taking orders I may even have a small business on the side :-) But seriously, if you happen to be somewhere near Sungai Petani, just drop a line, I will be more than happy to make an extra batch. Self pick-up please!

Anyway, just so you know that there's various versions of Kimchi out there. In Korea different regions have different version and taste for their Kimchi. So it's pointless to question the differences in taste. The stage of fermentation when you have the kimchi will also affect its taste, not to mention its texture. Older kimchi will look slightly mushy and smell even 'worst' hahaha... But that' how it is. Alhamdulillah, I have never suffered from food poisoning from eating an 'old' Kimchi before.


I think one of the key step that I may have forgotten to inform in my earlier recipe is how the salting process should take place. I mean a lot of people just pour in the salt and start mixing them up altogether and later claimed that the kimchi is too salty. I think an important step in the salting process is to mixed in the salt in batches and to taste them all the way during the whole process. Different salt have different level of saltiness, so even if you use the same measurement you may find the problem of over-salting if you don't taste your cabbages during the salting process. The key is to strike a balance - not too much and too little salt - or else the fermentation process will fail. 


Alright with that said, please go ahead and make some for yourself. Care to make some Bulgogi and Bibimbap for me too? :-)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Kerja

Sesungguhnya kembalinya aku bekerja sepenuh masa membawa ujian dan cabaran kehidupan yang lain pula. Tidak seperti ketika menyelesaikan pengajian PhD, tahap dan bentuk stressnya tidak sama. Ya, benar stress menyelesaikan PhD secara solo tiada bandingannya dengan stress bekerja kini. Kini stress lebih kepada menguruskan anak-anak di pagi hari persekolahan, menguruskan hal-hal berkaitan pengajaran dan pembelajaran dan juga menguruskan tugasan dengan pensyarah-pensyarah lain. Namun isu-isu melibatkan pengurusan masa tetap sama. Kerapkali aku terleka dan gagal menyelesaikan tugasan berdasarkan 'priority'nya. Boleh dikatakan aku masih mencari rentak kerja yang bersesuaian selepas hampir 4 tahun bekerja tanpa banyak karenah birokrasi. Ramai yang berpesan, akan kemungkinan berlakunya 'work shock' ini. Sememangnya di atas kertas banyak perubahan yang berlaku. Lalu, aku mengambil sikap, 'let's just take one day at a time'. Ya, mungkin 'shock' aku akan lebih mendalam sekiranya aku mahu mengadaptasi semua perubahan2 ini sekaligus.

Tugas sebagai pensyarah kini penuh dengan lambakan kertas kerja, pantau-nilai, laporan2 dan 'expectation' yang sekilas pandang amat merimaskan dan 'rigid'!! Benar, ada kebaikan sebahagian daripada 'guidelines', penilaian dan pemantauan tersebut terutama bagi tujuan audit kualiti sesuatu institusi, namun ianya seolah-olah mempersoalkan 'nilai' dan 'integrity' seorang pensyarah dalam menjalankan tugasan mereka. Aku katakan begini kerana ini tahun kesepuluhku sebagai pensyarah dan aku berani katakan, banyak perkara dan pengajaran yang disampaikan kepada anak-anak murid yang lekat di hati sebenarnya harus juga datang daripada hati pensyarah tersebut. Sekiranya seorang pensyarah hanya sekadar melunaskan tugasan hakiki mereka atas dasar memenuhi tuntutan di atas kertas, datangkanlah 100 lagi bentuk peraturan dan sebagainya, hasilnya akan tetap sama. Tiada apa2!! Urusan hati dan keikhlasan tidak akan dapat dipantau mahupun dinilai, semuanya di tangan Allah. Harus bagaimana?? Maka kemungkinan besar yang perlu diubah adalah sikap dan isihati pensyarah itu sendiri. Namun apabila kita bekerja di sebuah institusi yang melantik pensyarah dari segenap lapisan masyarakat dan latar belakang pendidikan (tidak seperti di UIA contohnya) definisi 'nilai' dan persoalan 'integriti' itu sendiri adalah sukar untuk ditetapkan dan di applikasikan kepada semua. Hasilnya, kebanyakan pensyarah kembali kepada sistem 'nilai' mereka sendiri. Kalau sistem itu cemerlang dibandingkan nilai pensyarah yang universal, maka cemerlanglah pensyarah dan pelajar2nya, dan sekiranya tidak, maka hasilnya begitu juga. Tetapi siapa aku untuk meletakkan rujukan kecemerlangan itu.

Kemungkinan aku ada sedikit kelebihan. Berada di jawatan kanan dan hampir berada di penghujung pengajian PhD meletakkan aku di tangga yang lebih baik berbanding dengan pensyarah-pensyarah baru lain dan juga pensyarah berjawatan Professor Madya (PM). Aku tidak gusar sangat akan keperluan keberadaan di kampus sebelum jam 9 pagi (bukan lewat ke kelas yer...hahaha). Malah penilaian Amanah Tugasan tahunanku adalah lebih 'lenient' berbanding pensyarah PM. Namun, ini tidak bermakna aku harus ambil lewa arah tuju karierku (kalaupun bisa bagi diriku dipanggil karier) sebagai pensyarah. Setelah beberapa bulan ini, aku acapkali mempersoalkan apakah sebenarnya yang kuharapkan daripada tugasan harian ku ini. Perasaan ingin melakukan sesuatu di luar bidang tugas sekarang semakin membuak-buak. Namun, aku akur akan kekangan-kekangan yang ada, baik secara peribadi mahupun dari sudut keperluan institusi. Persoalannya sekarang ini bagaimana harus atasi semua kekangan ini. Akan tibakah masanya nanti aku bisa memenuhi impian hati ataupun kelak aku kembali semandom aku sebelum berpengalaman menyelesaikan sebuah PhD? Sesungguhnya aku perlu tingkatkan usaha ke arah suatu perubahan dalam diri, Insya Allah apa yang di hadapan kelak hanya Allah yang tahu...

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Living life...


Graceful is the life within you
At dawn, yesterday was never a memory
At dusk, tomorrow is never an expectation
But today, you lived to the fullest
Today, your life goes beyond boundaries you never set
Today, you enjoy the life within you  
Life you never thought you had yesterday 
Life you never think would exist tomorrow
You lived a graceful and wonderful life
If only my heart would be so kind
So as to learn to live like you...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Meraban Part 2

In 'conjunction' with my crazee state of mind, I found myself doing something utterly stupid earlier this morning. It took me almost an hour to put my feet down from my bed, even though I am awake since 5 am (this seem to be an everyday occasion now). I then tip toed to the study's bathroom instead of the master's bathroom to avoid from waking up Luqman. I grabbed the bottle on the toilet shelves which I have (because I have exhausted  the mouthwash from bottle I usually used) assumed as a mouthwash, poured a cap full and gargled with it. And suddenly a burning sensation hit my mouth. I looked back at the bottle and spitted everything out. My eyes in the morning has always been a bit blurred after LASIK due to sleeping in an air-conditioned room, but I can see that the bottle is an antiseptic bottle - somewhat similar to DETTOL but not of the same brand. But it has similar colour to the yellow LISTERINE, albeit a bit darker. I then had to brush out everything and gargled back with the right mouthwash and keep washing my mouth with water. I made sure I took out a new bottle and read the label first! All morning food tasted like 'bluek'!! It took several hours for the burning sensation to subside. I guess I had a thorough clean mouth now :-P... But then I was thinking - what is wrong with me?? This is me being miserable!!

Then after class, I went out for brunch with a couple of juniors from my department. I don't really feel like going, but I joined in anyway. I talked and discussed things with them, but all along I felt - what the heck am I doing here? I mean they were nice people, we talked about everyday life (normal, right??!!) but at times I felt like I can see and hear myself talking but I am not actually there. It's like an out of body kind of experience. Must be really going loco! If only I could just paste my heart to my mind to my actions back together!!! At the brink of tears, I rushed back to my office, performed my Dhuha and started crying!! I mean seriously, I can't go on like this. Do I even belong here? Do I even know what am I doing? Why am I still here? Am I just wasting myself away?? In my supplication I sincerely pray and hope Allah will pleazzzzeeee take whatever that is that is bogging my mind away. Well, at least for the moment, I have some relief from all the free-flowing tears...I hope I will gain some strength from them too... 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Meraban - Part 1

When I thought I had my life with all its joy and sorrow figured out, a new element crept in. It just drives me crazeee... I mean it's like an extra set of furniture which you did not order, which do not go with the whole theme of your house. The thing is - it's exquisite and rare. You fell in love at first sight :-P You thought you would hold on to it a little bit longer till you can figure things out. So you left it at one corner of the house looking at it everyday and wondering what to do with it? Should you set up another spot in your house to make it go along with the rest of your house? or really should you just return it? Should you give it way? And you kept stalling, till one day you discovered you have grown too attach to it to actually let it go?

So now what do you do??

Ok I meraban lagi, don't know where am I going with this...somewhere... I guess...

Friday, October 5, 2012

Baby?

The truth is; I have already picked up names for them - if it's a boy, it's going to be Umar and if it's a girl it will either be Safiyyah or Khadeejah. (Not to worry they'll usually have their infamous 'longer' names of course :-p) In fact, my initial plans to lose weight was partly  because I wanted to have another baby. Well, that part may not be making sense to some people ;-) WTH? bukan ke nanti mengandung gemuk gak hahaha... Well, experiences have taught me that the lesser you weigh at the beginning of the pregnancy, the easier the whole final part of the pregnancy would be. Further, it will also be comparatively easier to get back to one's pre-pregnancy weight :-)

But as of late, I am no longer sure that we should be adding anymore family members. Come January, Luqman will turn 3. I was supposed to be giving birth by now, but with so many things going on earlier this year, plans remained as plans. I will be 36 June next year and the thought of having no more children running in diapers seemed so tempting. And since I fully breastfed all my children way past their second birthdays, having another baby meant I have to start the whole cycle all over again. I guess I have been lapsing too long. I have now reached a comfort level of more freedom of movement. Although I do missed breastfeeding terribly (I think it was one of the best experience in having a child) but committing to the whole process meant, I need to find a cooperative caretaker. It took hours during the day to get the right amount of EBM and ensuring proper safe storage and timely feeding of the EBM. It is a commitment, especially the first 6 months (being the crucial months) requiring not only patience on my part but also on the part of the caretaker. The caretaker therefore needs to be understanding and supportive too. Alhamdulillah so far, Allah have been kind to us, Aliyah and Uwais had the same loving caretaker till we left for Australia and Luqman had been with us during my PhD study leave. Luqman's daily care with his current daycare centre has been wonderful so far. I wonder if we would be so lucky the fourth time.

Besides, our work/school mornings and daily routines now is just barely manageable. Having a new baby would surely add to the stress, since an additional routine would need to be catered for, especially with us not wanting to bend the 'no-maid' rule. I am not sure I am up for it. Maybe I am just tooo old for this ;-) What more with the guilt of having to share the care of the children with others. Many times when the children were younger, I would feel like quitting my job. But it was an idea not supported by my DH, unfortunately. He felt it's a waste of my talents. We eventually made it up to today, though.  

Truthfully, I am also still traumatized with the experiences surrounding Luqman's birth. (Long story here) Takutnya masih berbaki!! When I told friends I wanted to just wrap things up - some would say that I am still too young to do that. Tak sayang ke? Yer, memang sayang, but I wonder if they would give a hand in caring for the baby especially during the neonatal periods ;-). While some would advice that perhaps it's not a bad idea considering I already have 3 children (with both genders). When I talked to my DH, he said it's alright with him either way. And when I talked to my children asking them if they would want a new baby, the followings were what one of them had to say:

Uwais:
Kita boleh ambik baby baru, tapi kita kena buang dulu baby Luqman ni...

Me (thinking of using reverse psychology) then said:
Huh?? Kalau macam tu, masa mama dapat Luqman dulu, patutnya mama kena buang lah abang (Uwais) kan?

Uwais quickly quipped:
Abih tu, kenapa abang masih ada lagi??

Me:
Erkkk...hahahaha

So much for asking for opinions:-P


So what does all this imply? Should I just let everything runs its due course? Or should I keep my distance to the idea and just enjoy what I already have?  Or maybe I should give myself a time frame, and once due, head straight to my Gynae to do my implant :-)?



Beautiful song, beautiful collaboration, beautiful setting, beautiful video, sneakers, gym ball and all :-) 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Email Cinta :-P

The followings are some 'relief' I received today. I have 'lost' Simon for almost 2-3 months now. It's so unlike him not to reply to emails. I emailed my old colleagues at the uni asking them to check him up haha, I emailed the administrative staffs in a bid to get some 'extra' information and finally, I even resorted to sending him a text message on his private mobile (which was so private - it was just my luck I even had it). 

Note: Some of the names in the emails had been changed to protect their privacy.

*********************************



Hi Simon,

How are you?

I have not heard from you for some time, I hope you are in good health and your family too.

Take care

Fadzlina

*********************************



Fadzlina

Many thanks for your text message and e mail.

I have been down to Phillip Island twice now to visit my mother-in-law and speak to her doctor at the hospital. She had a minor stroke but we fear that dementia has started. It might not be possible for her to return home as she has trouble walking. So I have been terribly tied up.

We have had other bad fortune with Aaga (Peter’s) wife having renal failure – he went back to arrange dialysis last Saturday and Indra’s son having an epileptic fit.

Also, one of Ney’s examiners has died.

I have checked with Research Services and not all of your examiners have completed their work so we need to wait for the process to finish.

I do hope that you and the family are well.  I have been asked at short notice to visit KL and Penang from 15 October for a week. If you are in KL let me know. I will also try to give some thought ot our fatwa paper while in Malaysia.

Work load here is getting worse even though in theory it should be easier.

Let me know if you are around in KL

Warmest regards


Simon

************************************


Oh dear so many unwelcome news.

I am so sorry to hear about your mother in law. I hope your whole family is coping well.

My family, so far Alhamdulillah are well. They suffered a couple of viral infections now and then but apart from that, they are doing fine.

I recently talked to Dr Nor. Unfortunately she was not doing so well for the past 2-3 months. She was diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol all at once, basically out of the blue and she's not even 50 yet. But she is now on medication and she's doing better.

As for your trip, we can meet in Penang or KL, depending on your schedule. I have no classes on Thursdays (& Fridays) and if we were to meet in Penang, then I have no problems with coming down there too any days of the week (since it's only half an hour from my house).

Please call me at +6019-383**** once you have confirmed your plans. I hope to see you soon :-)

Take care Simon

Fadzlina

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Persoalan

Kadang-kadang kita tanyakan persoalan yang kita sendiri sudah tahu jawabannya
Lantas, mengapa persoalan tersebut diajukan
Mungkin sengaja; mungkin terpaksa
Mungkin mahu mendengar kelunakan suara dan luahan minda sendiri barangkali
Ataupun sekadar mengisi kekosongan perbincangan meraih sokongan di atas luahan minda tersebut sewaktu minum petang bersama teman-teman
Ataupun kita sebenarnya mencari sebuah kepastian membina keyakinan bahawa semua luahan minda kita itu seiring dengan kata hati kita dan dia
Lazimnya apabila sesuatu perkara itu sukar dimengertikan; lalu tercetuslah sebuah persoalan yang mahu akan sebuah penjelasan
Sekiranya persoalan gagal diajukan ataupun ditujukan kepada dia yang tidak berkenaan maka kemungkinan tinggal ia sekadar satu persoalan
Namun persoalan yang benar tempat tujunya membawa kepada dua kemungkinan lain; jawaban seiring jiwa dan raga kita atau sebaliknya - jawaban yang menduga bukan sahaja akal dan minda malah bakal membawa lara ke seluruh hati kita
Dan yang paling menjengkelkan; yang bisa menduga seluruh jiwa dan raga, adalah apabila sebuah persoalan dibalas dengan persoalan jua!
Mungkinkah dia tahu kita sebenarnya sudah tahu jawabannya
Bak kata Rumi "love helps you see into the invisible"
Mungkinkah begitu?

Ini adalah "post" tanpa noktah, harap maklum :-|

Monday, October 1, 2012

:-) at myself...


I am smiling at myself today
There's no wish left in this heart
Or perhaps there is no heart left
Free from all desire
I sit quietly like Earth
My silent cry echoes like thunder

Throughout the universe
I am not worried about it
I know it will be heard by no one
Except me.

~ Rumi