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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

SP's January 2008 Photo Entry

I think I’ll make a photo entry as a regular feature, now that I have a Sony Ericsson and Imageshack at my disposal. It should give you an intimate view to the many aspect of my life and get to know more about the small random things about me and around me.

Actually, I’m just too lazy to write my regularly long-winded entries.

The barbecue set. A very old friend of the family, this thing had served more mouths than a school canteen’s stove and passed between family members more times than the number of reasons to actually have a barbecue.

Sandwiches. One of my Seven Shameful Sins. I don’t often buy sandwiches, but I make’em like Dagwood style. Plain bread, brown bread, toasted bread, garlic bread, cheese slices, cheese spread, swiss cheese, melted cheese, garlic butter, garlic mulch, green relish, salami, burger meat, mince meat, meatballs, beef bacon, barbecued chicken, shredded chicken or tuna (dry, grilled or mayo), boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, turkey ham, turkey strips, hot dog strips, corn chips, lettuce, chopped celery, chopped chili, cucumber (thick, thin and pickled), pickled jalapenos, tomatoes or onions (fresh or grilled or pickled), toasted mushroom, brown sauce, barbecue sauce, spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce, chili sauce, mustard, 2-layered, 3-layered, open-faced, you-name-it-I-had-it.
Now I want to go to Uptown and eat Subway.

I. Have. Bad sense. Of direction. In more ways than one.
I’m more male-oriented mentality when it comes to driving to new places. I read maps, I don’t ask for directions. So if I’m lost, you better get a motorbike and locate me because telling directions to me on the cellphone guarantees gets me lost even more (I got lost in Hospital University as recent as lastweek).

I read a lot of fantasy books. These two of the Aleran series by Jim Butcher (excellent writer, see his Dresden Files series) are currently loaned to my cousin since he doesn’t need to buy fantasy books since I keep buying them. I just hope he remembers to give them back before he returns to study in India.

Photos of The Curve's New Year 2008 party. I saw them last year with my father and was pretty awed. I went to The Curve again this year with a couple of moon-lighting buddies.

Oh yeah, one more thing. Please, please, help! I still have a bee hive in my trash box and no idea how to get rid of it before it grows any bigger.

Kak Dilla’s New Home

I’ve mentioned before that I have a Big Freaking Malay Family in my entry, Aidil Adha gathering.

Here comes the encore; Blessing Kak Dilla’s New Home. The rules of conduct are the same; bring family, bring food, bring gossip.

Craaaaaaaaap. But it’s still my favorite kind of crap.

Kak Dilla is my mother’s eldest brother’s second daughter; for short, she’s my first cousin. One of the eldest cousins to get married in Clan Jailani (shame-shame on my still unmarried brother, *Arsenal, the oldest of the 3rd generation), she, her husband, their 2.3 kids and their kitchen sink had been living in this small apartment next to the noisy NKVE (New Klang Valley Expressway for you foreign readers).

Now they have a real home; a small one-storey semi-detached house next to a noisy ironworks factory. If it weren’t for the driving distance and the good-sized plot of land, it’s not much difference from their old home. Literally.

As usual, there's never enough hallways to stuff people in.

Back to the new house. Kak Dilla’s husband’s family also joined in the fray but it’s not as a huge turn-out as the Aidil Adha gathering; but it’s still big enough to loose a baby in.

Namely, this baby.

At nine months old, the youngest and newest addition in Clan Jailani (until May 2008, when my sister’s second baby’s due), Kak Dilla’s baby, BigEyes, is very quiet, observant, tends to crawl everywhere on his own and does weird habits like laughing loudly every time someone flushes the toilet.

Mohd. Soleh, dubbed BigEyes. Oh, and that’s my brother, Genius, in the background, looking for his socks amidst 143 shoes.

There was a panicked 30 seconds when every responsible adult had assumed the other responsible adult was watching the baby. It turns out BigEyes was, yes, in the bathroom, laughing every time his two cousins flushes the toilet.

After the noon ritual prayers, every body takes position and a holy book. The idea was the fill the new house with the reading of the Al-Quran, so that the white walls echoed. You don’t need an imam to bless someone’s house, just a group reading aloud from the book and a leader to direct the prayers.

There’s no need to read aloud all 114 chapters (that’s the job of the accorded household living in the house for the next so-and-so years), just as much of the book and the time you have as you can get a large group of people to do it. The After-Haji party.

Each able-bodied family member grabs a chapter of the Al-Quran and reads aloud, so the house gets blessed.

And it gives the excuse for the older family members to check on which responsible young adult had been reading the Al-Quran diligently... and nag them.
“Hey, tak betul bacaan tu! Tengok tajwid, jangan leka!”
Good grief.

So after the long-winded reading and the continued blessing and the procedural bru-ha-ha-whatever, then comes the next event.


As Clan Jailani’s from Johor, what else but to serve Laksa Johor? Yum, look at the long line.

Okay personally, I’m not into Laksa Johor. Or any other kind of laksa. Put me in the Laksa Shack and I’ll starve to death. It’s a genetic disorder (my uncle and one other aunt couldn’t stand laksa either and they’re from Johor). Luckily for my plate, there are fruits, cakes, sandwiches and a healthy order of hot meehoon soup.

Clan Jailani in all our eating habits glory.

Once everybody had been stuffed, stinking of laksa breath and baby BigEyes secured in his priso-, I mean playpen, then comes the family discussion. PakSu was supposed to bring his high-tech projector and laptop and show it off on Kak Dilla’s nice blank wall but he forgo the equipment (must be because the risk of the ‘little people’ stampeding everywhere) in exchange for nice printed documents.

The children of Allahyarham Haji Jailani, aka Yayi Board Members (yayi is grandfather in Javanese), brought out all the usual things they didn’t get to discuss on Aidil Adha gathering, along with several new updates.

From her Johor trip, Mak reported that Bibik (Yayi’s youngest sister) is doing fine with her son’s family, though her eyesight is really, really failing and that she tires more easily (she must be about mid 80s at least).

But she still insist on serving her special tea herself every time the KL family comes so Mak remembers to NOT CALL before arriving (surprise!), lest Bibik tries to turn on the stove and serve the glass cups with her bad eyes and bad back.

Beyond that, the usual. Money from the pineapple farm goes into the Jailani Fund, Bibik’s grandson is doing well in Colorado, USA and Cik Jah (my aunt with Down-syndrome) is sticking around Pontian, Johor for a while longer to renew cousinly ties.

All and all, the usual family discussion. Although I wasn’t really needed to be in the discussion, I try to keep up-to-date with the family’s, er, gossip. Mak’s siblings are an army of grandparents or soon-to-be grandparents. Just in case anything happens, I feel like I want to make sure I know how the connection goes and who to turn to in any emergency.

That sort of thing. It’s really a feeling of responsibility. . Nobody is in prison, nobody is in drugs, nobody is physically disabled and nobody had a major life-altering road accident. The Clan Jailani has grown and prospered and maintained a beautiful network, a very far cry from Yayi’s own history in the Japanese-Occupied past

For myself, the big family thing sucks. Sure it’s large and dandy and whatever-fancy, but we got lost between Sungai Buluh and Meru while on the way and found ourselves stuck in construction-induced traffic jam for an hour.

Everybody’s so freaking busybody (“Okay, okay! I’ll fix my tajwid. I promise to read the Al-Quran more often too.”) and always want to know if anybody found a new girlfriend or boyfriend yet. Seriously, my Aunt No. 5 actually declared this aloud to a comfortably chatting group, making it sound like it’s a life or death situation.

Also when not going Dutch, the main food is always Laksa Johor (which I hate) and nobody can keep a real proper eye on anybody’s baby (I think BigEye’s a budding mad genius... or a plumber) and so they al blame ME because I wasn’t occupied doing anything (and also that I’m in my twenties and unmarried; aunts trying to scare me of my future).

Next family’s gathering coming up anytime now. Maybe sooner than later.

But it’s still my favorite kind of crap.

Boxing Day-Trippin’

Boxing Day also known world-wide and in Penang as ‘the day you give gifts to non-family members because you forgot to buy them gifts on Christmas’. Riding the flow of holiday spirit (and super-malls traffic) is Mak, suddenly out of the blue asking me and my brother, *Genius, if we’d like to watch the National Treasure: Book of Secrets movie.

Mak? A movie?

Mak hadn’t been to a movie since... since... uh, that Jackie Chan’s big flop-office, Around the World in 80 Days. Since then, she’s been studiously sticking to StarMovies Astro channel and the Old-Ladies High Teas. Ooo, especially the latter.

Believe me, when a group of old ladies get together and drink tea, they turn pretty ‘high’. Maybe the tea got some weed that affects only menopausal women.

Back to the maternal unit field trip, the Just-Us-Three turned out pretty swell. The movie was great, reminded me of a half-finished Seven Wonders of the Modern World tour (White House, Mount Rushmore, Paris, England’s Buckingham Palace... dang Da Vinci Code for starting this tourism disease...).

Though Nicholas Cage isn’t getting any more handsome than the time his head was on fire, his on-screen woman had been reduced to status of ‘hot kisser’ (just not with him) and his failure to commit to relationship is apparently a genetic disorder (witness Mom n’ Pop’s 32-year-old ego battle).

And the nerd character is still a nerd, which just goes to show the mantra of all action movies must follow:
1. A hero.
2. A bad guy.
3. A high-tech computer nerd (stereotyped as a young, socially-awkward kid because there is no such thing as a senior-citizen or high society computer nerd) in which nobody respects and no girl will ever date and will likely die a virgin even though they are the back-bone of the team.
4. A really, really, REALLY cool vehicle that gets banged-up in one spectacular way or another.

C’mon, look back on it. The Italian Job, The Core, Ocean’s Trilogy movie, even Transformers... Well, I’m not giving a review here so my opinion doesn’t count.

There was nasi ayam for lunch. We ate that instead of generic fast-food because Mak needs to neutralize all that soda, popcorn and Twisties in her system.

Then later that day Mak has to go for her yearly medical check-up while I get to sit in the SahabatPPUM’s office and play MP3s on the office’s no-internet-connection PC. Their Windows Media Player’s playlist have an overload of Sudirman songs, god only knows why hospital aid volunteers are listening to a dead man...

Enter SahabatPPUM’s office. It’s only about as boring as its front door.

Heeeeey, it’s that souvenir my school gave to SahabatPPUM, ages and ages ago.

I’m working on their website but the secretary aka info-man in charge hadn’t been giving me the pictures and data goods recently. Hell, on the stuff I got, it looks like I’ll have to install Adobe Pagemaker to read *.pmd files.

Seeing that I can't open the files and thus copy the bulletins, which my SPPUM site an empty website, thus making my work look stupid. I may not care much what my Supervisor grades my project but this system is going to be public property, dammit. I can stand being a nerd but rather not an idiot nerd if you get my drift.

If you haven’t got my drift, it’s a commission to, oh gee, maybe secretly turn into a high-tech computer nerd in which nobody respects and no guy will ever date and will likely die a virgin even though they are the back-bone of the team.

Bring on the New Year for 2008.

I’m bac-... wait a minute, no I’m not!

It’s not the end of the Hibernation, yet. I’m giving this blog a New Years’ Day Spring Cleaning.


There. Done!


Hey it’s not much when your blog’s only a month old. I got a new Image of the Month set-up, as voted by you guys. Both of you guys (you know who you are... switching workstation PCs here and there...).

This month’s January’s Journey continues the story of Ireulun, the traveling historian. As written in December’s Dream, Ireulun woke up from her dream in a forest prison and felt compelled to seek the actual forest. Why? Because she’s a student of history, that’s why.

Pieces of Ireulun’s own history will show up as the stories progress. I’m planning on putting her as the main character of Image of the Month’s stories, in the same plot-style as the anime series, Kino’s Journey or Cartoon Network’s Samurai Jack.

January’s Journey: Copyright Raphael Lacoste (

This has always been one of my most favorite pictures. In fact, Raphael Lacoste has always been one of my favourite 3D artists (he’s the same guy who did on visually stimulating works such as Prince of Persia and Assassin’s Creed).

So what is the connection between this image, a traveling historian and the fantasy theme ‘Journey’? Heh, just wait for it. I don’t upload the image story in a timely manner. Once I get a full, two-three-pages worth of an idea, I’ll post it here.

In the meantime, you can voice for the theme of next month’s image, February’s Flight.

Well, other than that, blog update for January 2008. The rest of the year’s going to be doozy, fuzzy, i-dunno-Idon’t-care kind of. I’m looking forward to my thesis project v2.0, I still haven’t made any new sprite edits and Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan’s People Party has been assassinated barely two weeks before Pakistan’s first truly democratic election in years (her 19-year-old Oxford student son will continue the bloody Bhutto dynasty, holy sh**).

Oh and I’ve made only one New Year’s Resolution this time.

“I will not make any New Year’s Resolution.”


There. Done!

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