Tis auld lang syne

All I can say is that, the last decade which will come to a closure in a few hour’s time had been one heck of a decade. Too many milestones, events and tragedies in the personal front. Too many good things have come along my way. And I think I want to have a quiet time to reflect where I want to be ten years from now, physically, career wise, personal life etc.

The last decade has been quite defining, where I learnt that life brings about too many little/huge surprises that often catches one offhandedly. But through it all, I learnt. And that’s the most important thing, aye?

So here’s to the next decade. In which along the next ten years, I hope to be able to achieve the following:

1. Start a family.

2. Go for Hajj

3. A Phd

4. Expand our translation firm from an enterprise to a sdn bhd.

5. My own school, at least a kindy at the end of the next decade.

Those are of course just my dreams. But it was beyond my wildest dreams that some of this year’s achievements were materialized, and that’s another important thing I learnt this year, that if you dream to touch the hem of the highest sky, even if you fail, you would already be touching the moon, which is very good indeed. I learnt that, actually from a bunch of poor kids in Laskar Pelangi.  Hence, if there are any young readers to this almost self-indulging blog of mine, or mothers of young kids and teenagers, just be aware/teach your kids to dream high and mighty and never give up working to achieve those dreams, because dreams are not just some motion pictures in our sleep, but are targets for us to achieve.

Goodbye 2009, Hello 2010. May this coming year we work together for the healing of the earth, so that even if a fraction of the objectives of the Copenhagen Summit is achieved, I say that is a good start, no?

Have a green new year and God bless!

Wolff Hunting


I am looking for 2nd hand books by Isabel Wolff. The only one I managed to find here (as in here in PJ or KL) is A Vintage Affair and I am done reading it.

If you are anywhere out there (anyone) who knows where I get hold of the rest of her titles and who:

1) wants to sell me your pre-loved copy

2) knows where to get it in your area and want to send me some and I pay you via paypal (pre-loved or new)

3) wants to give me a new year present ( LOL ) and don’t know what to get me,

Please email me at percicilan dot g mail dot com

I would really, really appreciate it. Because she makes me feel good and I want a feel good start to the year. 🙂

And with that, have a really good and blessed year ahead for 2010!

My geography of bliss

You know, I discovered that chic lits and a steaming bowl of spicy maggi mee have something in common. They both give me that feel good sensation, especially when it is raining hard outside and the most sensible thing to do is to curl up in one corner of the sofa and let the day go by.

Chic lit is also like cotton candy at a funfair. Where it is a must have or the picture of you going to a funfair full of rides and clowns won’t be complete. Or a cup of steaming hot tea after a tiring day. Basically, it is a genre of comfort food. Definitely not a staple. No matter how delicious spicy maggi mee is, I won’t be crazy enough to have it everyday. Or cotton candy makes the perfect picture at the funfair, and it somehow tastes delicious within that ground, but out of it, I won’t actually include it in the grocery list. Or tea  can never replace good old fashion plain water, you get what I mean?

I had actually started on Orhan Pamuk- My Name is Red, sometime on Monday before Christmas and after a few pages, I went bahhh!!! My brain’s too fried into the holiday mood-end-of-the-year-merry making to be reading someone as complex as Pamuk. I need some light candy to snack on and so chic lit it has to be. I started yesterday with ‘She woke up married’ from the Little Black Dress Series, very witty and light and hilariously funny. I started it yesterday at CoffeeBean&TeaLeaf over log cake and latte and ended it just now while the rain pelted hard down our zinc roof, curled up unceremoniously at one corner of the bed.

Image taken from HarperCollinsPublisher

One of my best mates recommended Isabel Wolff and all they got at MPH yesterday was A Vintage Affair, which I got for myself for the last few days of the year.

I’ve worked hard this 2009. There were many things which I targeted for at this time last year for the year 2009 which I’ve managed to achieved. Losing weight was one of them and I managed to shed off 5 kg the whole of this year. It was hard work and required a lot of sacrifices from a foodie yours truly, but I did it. And I went to translating school, came out with distinctions and license. Within 2 weeks of my results, started a translating firm with  a childhood friend (the one who recommended me Isabel Wolff ). We translated a book which gave us the first nightmarish experience into this new industry we are dabbling in right now– which was a harrowing sleep depriving experience. My students scored distinctions or at least a grade higher in school and one even came up top student for Special Needs class, and I 95% successfully followed the BloodTypeDiet- which led to my losing the 5 kg in the first place.

So through the challenging 2009, it was definitely a lot of struggle, hits and misses. But it was also a year of perseverance and I must say, a lot of hard work and stretching myself to the fullest. But sitting down with dark chocolate ice latte, a caramel log cake and a chic lit in hand, all those seem so far away and I can sit in contentment, within my own geography of bliss and quietly say to myself, it has been a good year.

And for that, I deserve some time off to read no-brainer, floozy pink chic lits.

About love

When I write about aikido here, very often I write about its principles and theories which my teachers ingrained upon me . They are basically the fundamental guidelines of seekers/students in this art. They are intriguing, all wholesomely good and inspiring etc, but truth be told, for me- personally, it is not an easy art to master. Alot, and I really mean ALOT of hard work, hard knocks, heart wrenches happen behind the scene of trying to master even a simple technique properly, so that it will manifest the principles as intended by the founder.

It is tiring, not to even mention trying sometimes in a 2 hour class. Sometimes I just didn’t have the stamina, or the focus or the mood, but I push myself to go on. Sometimes in the middle of the lesson when I feel that’s it, I’ve had enough and I all I want to do is to bow out and sit at the sidelines, only to be told that my ukemi is wrong and I have to do 1o  times more, or my rolls are not perfect and I have to do yet another set, or get a sparring partner twice my size who fell on me, or keep hearing my name being called out for an iriminage not done the right way etc etc… I even have moments when I asked myself, why the blardy hell am I doing all these for?

I have only one answer for that and I guess that is enough to keep me going. For the love of it. Love can do many strange things to people. When Shakespeare said that ‘love is blind and lovers cannot see‘, my guess is, it has blinded me to all these bruises, hard knocks and hard work during trainings. All I want to do is to master this art, simply for the love of it. And with all love stories, be it monkey love or epic love, it is always bittersweet, at times painful and heartbreaking. However, despite it all, humans generally allow themselves to fall in love over and over again- for that strange sensation of exhilaration which only the one in love can feel.

Having said all that, just now, in the peak of frustrations over myself for not being able to do some things right, I pushed my teacher down in retaliation when he was demonstrating how to do the shuwariwaza kokyoho. It shocked him indeed, but instead of scolding me or disciplining me, he burst out laughing. I must have looked like a silly but ridiculously tired kid showing tantrums.

Whoever said love is easy?

Tis a season to review

Last year we had to plan for Christmas because the mother-in-law celebrated it with us here. She gave me potted plants with beautiful flowers, but under the care of my neon pink fingers (in oppose to the husband’s green), they all died within two months. We took her for Christmas dinner at TheCurve, and then watched Beverly Hills Chihuahua on Christmas eve. On Christmas day itself we took her for Christmas lunch at GoboChitChat @ Traders Hotel after which, The Christmas Carol play at KLPac. She was lark happy.

But this year she’s celebrating it with her family in her village in O/ber.ursel so that means both of us are pretty much free with nothing lined up at all, which means a long weekend break to rest and get ready for the coming of 2010. She emailed to say she got me some children’s books tis Christmas for me to practice my reading and mastery of her language and it dawned upon me that alamak, I didn’t get her anything at all. Should I just ‘make dunno?’ Maybe I should…heh.

Truth be told, I am horrendously hopeless at being a ‘menantu mithali’. Should that be on my New Year’s Resolution? Maybe it should. It’s about time… (But I will still ‘make dunno’ over her Christmas present this year. Blame it on the bad economy, no?) 😛

AlGorismic Avatar

The husband wanted to take the LRT to KLCC today instead of driving, in his attempt to reduce the carbon footprints. I disagreed, because I’ve been toiling for quite a bit and the last thing I needed was a train ride into KL and back. Not after a sturdy wooden jewelery box fell right on top of my head while I was spring cleaning my wardrobe in the morning–which caused me to see little birdies fluttering all around my head before I kind of zonked out for a little while. Very much like cartoon, I know but it happened. And to have a bump on the head and travel to KL on train, is a big no-no, carbon footprints saving or not.

So I didn’t go, while he did and reduced some carbon footprints for Mother Earth. While I am all for green technology and saving the earth for the future generation and all those greenish holy stuffs, I somehow feel that the results of the Copenhagen summit is somewhat expected, and that although the issue is crucial, it is difficult- if not impossible altogether, for the whole world to come into conclusive agreement on the best possible way to save the environment. If at ground level, it is already difficult for two people like myself and the husband who love each other to bits to even agree on what to throw, what to keep, what to recycle, when to take the car, which green products to use and yada yada yada, there should be no surprise over the dissatisfaction over the Copenhagen outcome, no?

But will there be any hope at all?

There might be, if by the impact of the latest movie Avatar. It showed there that we need to create more awareness for those who are unaware, and more practice by those who are already aware (but lazy to implement, like yours truly). We watched Avatar and loved it to bits, for its impressive graphics and also the way it brings out the environmental theme to the kids in a more chewable form in comparison to Al Gore’s The Inconvenient Truth.

This new Muharram year, I have yet to try and make any resolutions. But I bought  2 canvas bags for my shopping. They both come in funky colours which I love to bits and can be folded into a neat pouch so that I can carry them snugly in my handbag all the time and use them as and when I need to buy something (but refuse the plastic bag that comes along with my purchase). So far I have been grocery shopping with those, which has cut down the used plastic collection in my kitchen by about 15 in the last two weeks. Tiny steps, no doubt but must at least start somewhere, right?

A little peek out of the cave

After months of sheer toiling and sleepless nights, with expanded hips and blurry eyes laden with eye bags bigger than the gunny sacks… Tonight, it will be curtain call, I think. When I click the send button, I will know it is all over. She and I can have a big high five and a huge meal at Marche.

We owe ourselves (and our husbands) THAT much (stolen time).