- I have decided to try and apply for the Erasmus Mundus Masters Sponsorship Program. This is a new thing as it only started in year 2004 and is planned to run until year 2008, which I will be the forth batch of applicants, running for the 2007/2008 intake. It is dedicated especially to introduce European education to third-world-countries. There are about 80 Masters courses available and very limited spaces offered for the Erasmus Mundus grant. I have gone through all the courses study programs, subject coverage, skills requirements and have successfully finalised to 6 courses that I intend to apply to all and lets just see where I might end up later. The universities incharged will be the ones to select the applicants hence I wouldn't want to risk anything by only applying to one course. That's why better safe than sorry.
- I had to rush to register myself to take IELTS. Thanks to Fadhilah for reminding me about this. I went to British Council Jln Ampang on 14th November and found out that all the exam dates for November are fully booked and only middle of December onwards are available. I paid RM510 for the exam, bought the study materials for RM80 and booked the date 16th December to take the exam. The result will be out on the 29th December and I had to rush my applications to all universities as the datelines ranging from 3rd Jan, 15th Jan and 30th Jan. I'm sure not to be able to beraya aidiladha this year, since I'll be swamping with the submission applications.. sigh..
- I went to a 5 days training (yippeeee) on DBA Oracle Fundamentals 1, from 20th till 24th November at Plaza Pantai. Yeah, It's a walking distance from the office but who cares! I've enjoyed every last minute of it. It was given by the same trainer and hosted by the same agency of training Introduction to Oracle that I went to last September, except for at that time, the agency was at Setapak. Now, they have opened another centre here just to be close with the TM staff. Excellent business plan there.
- Amin was locked inside Han's Honda City last Sunday. It's not his fault. It's the father's fault. Han left Amin in the car while filling in the tank at the gas station. The door was not properly shut but still unable to open when Amin pushed the lock button. Luckily I was at the apartment, and had Joe standby there to drive me to them a few blocks away. Enough said, I spent the next 4 hours nagging Han about this and I'm sure he learnt his lesson, loud and clear.
- I took a 3 day leave this week, from Monday till Wednesday, just to finish up my annual leave. I managed to go to MMU to request for reprint on my degree certificate as I had misplaced the one I obtained in year 2001. The staff at the exam unit gave me a buffer of 2 weeks to get the cert signed by the ever-so-busy Prof who as far as i can recall, I only saw him around campur like once a year, maybe. But surprisingly, it has been settled yesterday. Wow, that was quick. The Prof must have had lots of free time nowadays, huh?
- After a month taking Herbalife, I have not yet loose any weight, but.. jeng..jeng..jeng.. I have lost more than one centimetres each from my arms and lost exactly two centimetres from my waist and officially able to fit into my Levis jeans bootcut 345 that I was not able to fit in after the raya holidays a month ago. So, the conclusion is, it works!
Thursday, November 30, 2006
I can't believe it! I still can't believe it. It felt only like yesterday I successfully gave birth to this 2.78kg baby boy. I felt tears streaming down my cheek just by watching him sleep last night. He's all grown up. He can count straight from one to seven without pausing. He can switch on the tv and dvd player, load the dvd and play the movie. He can wear his own diapers (the pull-up-pants). He can open the car door, climb onto the seat and lock himself in it (I'll story later of this incident). He even knows how to put both his hand on my cheek, pull my face to look at him and give me big bear-hug around my neck. What more can I ask?!! I am blessed. Very blessed.
I bought a strawberry ice cream cake filled with fruit toppings. Nek Aye made nasi ayam complete with salad and soup. We had plenty of chocolates too, bought by her in Langkawi a few days ago, while picking up AcuJah at Perlis. TokAndak, Nang, OyangNgah, OyangChu, TokDe Lit and family, TokCik Ak and family, Tokki Teh and family, AyahLong Adam and AyahNgah Alif were all there to celebrate Amin's birthday. He made everybody feel old. On the day he was born, he has bestowed the 'elderly' title to everybody as he is the first grandchildren to my parents and the first great grandchildren to my grandma and her siblings. In other words, Amin is the first in the 4th generation of our huge family tree.
AyahLong Adam gave Amin non other than a toy car, but this time there's a bugs bunny riding in it. Nek Aye gave Amin a pair of Adidas blue-coloured-sandal which is way too big for Amin but of course, better big than small. Maybe next year he will fit right into it. Aki gave already his present a few months ago, which was the life-size-battery-operated-jeep that Amin can easily drive around the lawn area.
Friday, November 10, 2006
Yesterday, 'X' took the car and never came back. He left his dad all alone and never returned. 'A' went to see his dad who was in panic state, worried that 'X' might do something stupid. 'X' didn't answer his cellphone and at 11pm, 'A' took him to the police station to file a report of 'X'. Since the report for missing people can only be lodged after 24 hours of missing, they filed the report of worrying for 'X' safety. The police took down the car plate number, his possible whereabouts and close friends contact numbers.
At about 2.45am, 'X' mother called to inform that 'X' has reached home, which distanced 5 hours from KL. He told her that he drove aimlessly and didn't even realized how he got there. He asked people for money to pay the gas and highways and surprisingly it wasn't that hard to get.
I'm baffled by this incident. Nobody knows what actually happened.
Only 'X' knows, or does he really?
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Yesterday, I admit that I was a bit awkward to use the shaker since I have never seen a 'shaker' before in my life and I wonder what the propeller look-alike thing doing in it. Yati told me that it's actually to break up the powdered drink while shaking it.. ahh.. yes.. I should have guessed it.
I started the routine by taking the formulated Tea Mix with 400ml water early in the morning, before taking my shower. Then, I took the Chocolate+Protein shake and drank it while driving to work. I was very worried that I might be hungry later on but to my surprise, the drink was quite filing. I went to the ladies for almost every hour to wee-wee. So, this proves that the Tea Mix really works in disposing the toxin out of my system. I prepared 2 jugs of plain water on my table as to remind myself to keep drinking regularly and be hydrated as this will help cleanse the body. This is good because it will also make sure that I'm drinking more water everyday.
I started feeling hungry at about noon, which was the signal to take my 2nd shake for the day. I had the Strawberry flavoured shake at the office and it certainly kept me full. I then proceed to drink my Tea Mix again at about 3pm.
I reached home about 6pm starving but once again, to my surprise, I did not gobbled all the food on the table! I ate a moderate portion and felt immediately full. And for supper, I had my usual soy milk, several prunes and cookies too. Hmm, maybe 8 glasses of water intake per day is good for health after all.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
'A' spent more than 2 hours saying nothing but only listening to 'X' talking about his problem with work, girlfriend and peer pressure. He talked about his future plans, dreams and regrets. He talked about his parents and how he longed for their support. He talked about all the pain, the insecurities and the loneliness he felt. He even talked about the latest comic issue on stand and the latest Nike shoes that are in stock. He just wanted to talk. Wanted to express his worries. Wanted to tell somebody his problem. Wanted understanding and encouragement from people around him. He wants attention. That's all.
And I have underestimate 'A'.
Today, 'X' retired father came all the way to KL to stay with him for maybe a week or two, to give his love, support and undivided attention to his 24 year old son. May the wound be heeled.
Monday, November 06, 2006
What could possibly made him do that? What triggered him? Now I feel obligated to educate myself and hopefully others out there about how serious this issue actually is.
I have spent several hours reading through some very fantastic websites and would like to use this article from Metanoia online. The word metanoia itself means " a change of mind".
The first and most important thing we should know is that THIS IS THE REAL THING, NO JOKE. Do take it seriously. Keep in mind that
"Suicide is not chosen; it happens when painmeaning that there's more pain than the person can handle.
exceeds resources for coping with pain"
Here's the list of "What You Can Do To Help Someone Who May Be Suicidal?"
- Take it seriously.
Myth: “The people who talk about it don't do it.” Studies have found that more than 75% of all completed suicides did things in the few weeks or months prior to their deaths to indicate to others that they were in deep despair. Anyone expressing suicidal feelings needs immediate attention.
Myth: “Anyone who tries to kill himself has got to be crazy.” Perhaps 10% of all suicidal people are psychotic or have delusional beliefs about reality. Most suicidal people suffer from the recognized mental illness of depression; but many depressed people adequately manage their daily affairs. The absence of “craziness” does not mean the absence of suicide risk.
Myth: “Those problems weren't enough to commit suicide over,” is often said by people who knew a completed suicide. You cannot assume that because you feel something is not worth being suicidal about, that the person you are with feels the same way. It is not how bad the problem is, but how badly it's hurting the person who has it.
- Remember: suicidal behavior is a cry for help.
Myth: “If a someone is going to kill himself, nothing can stop him.” The fact that a person is still alive is sufficient proof that part of him wants to remain alive. The suicidal person is ambivalent - part of him wants to live and part of him wants not so much death as he wants the pain to end. It is the part that wants to live that tells another “I feel suicidal.” If a suicidal person turns to you it is likely that he believes that you are more caring, more informed about coping with misfortune, and more willing to protect his confidentiality. No matter how negative the manner and content of his talk, he is doing a positive thing and has a positive view of you.
- Be willing to give and get help sooner rather than later.
Suicide prevention is not a last minute activity. All textbooks on depression say it should be reached as soon as possible. Unfortunately, suicidal people are afraid that trying to get help may bring them more pain: being told they are stupid, foolish, sinful, or manipulative; rejection; punishment; suspension from school or job; written records of their condition; or involuntary commitment. You need to do everything you can to reduce the pain, rather than increase or prolong it. Constructively involving yourself on the side of life as early as possible will reduce the risk of suicide.
Give the person every opportunity to unburden his troubles and ventilate his feelings. You don't need to say much and there are no magic words. If you are concerned, your voice and manner will show it. Give him relief from being alone with his pain; let him know you are glad he turned to you. Patience, sympathy, acceptance. Avoid arguments and advice giving.
- ASK: “Are you having thoughts of suicide?”
Myth: “Talking about it may give someone the idea.” People already have the idea; suicide is constantly in the news media. If you ask a despairing person this question, you are doing a good thing for them by actually showing him that you care about him, that you take him seriously, and that you are willing to let him share his pain with you. You are giving him further opportunity to discharge pent up and painful feelings. If the person is having thoughts of suicide, find out how far along his ideation has progressed.
- If the person is acutely suicidal, do not leave him alone.
If the means are present, try to get rid of them. Detoxify the home. (Distract with new activities. Get him occupied with something else and make him forget about it even for just a few minutes.)
- Urge professional help.
Persistence and patience may be needed to seek, engage and continue with as many options as possible. In any referral situation, let the person know you care and want to maintain contact.
- No secrets.
It is the part of the person that is afraid of more pain that says “Don't tell anyone.” It is the part that wants to stay alive that tells you about it. Respond to that part of the person and persistently seek out a mature and compassionate person with whom you can review the situation. (You can get outside help and still protect the person from pain causing breaches of privacy.) Do not try to go it alone. Get help for the person and for yourself. Distributing the anxieties and responsibilities of suicide prevention makes it easier and much more effective.
- From crisis to recovery.
Most people have suicidal thoughts or feelings at some point in their lives; yet less than 2% of all deaths are suicides. Nearly all suicidal people suffer from conditions that will pass with time or with the assistance of a recovery program. There are hundreds of modest steps we can take to improve our response to the suicidal and to make it easier for them to seek help. Taking these modest steps can save many lives and reduce a great deal of human suffering.
Conditions associated with increased risk of suicide
- Death or terminal illness of relative or friend.
- Divorce, separation, broken relationship, stress on family.
- Loss of health (real or imaginary).
- Loss of job, home, money, status, self-esteem, personal security.
- Alcohol or drug abuse.
- Depression. In the young depression may be masked by hyperactivity or acting out behavior. In the elderly it may be incorrectly attributed to the natural effects of aging. Depression that seems to quickly disappear for no apparent reason is cause for concern. The early stages of recovery from depression can be a high risk period. Recent studies have associated anxiety disorders with increased risk for attempted suicide.
Emotional and behavioral changes associated with suicide
- Overwhelming Pain: pain that threatens to exceed the person's pain coping capacities. Suicidal feelings are often the result of longstanding problems that have been exacerbated by recent precipitating events. The precipitating factors may be new pain or the loss of pain coping resources.
- Hopelessness: the feeling that the pain will continue or get worse; things will never get better.
- Powerlessness: the feeling that one's resources for reducing pain are exhausted.
- Feelings of worthlessness, shame, guilt, self-hatred, “no one cares”. Fears of losing control, harming self or others.
- Personality becomes sad, withdrawn, tired, apathetic, anxious, irritable, or prone to angry outbursts.
- Declining performance in school, work, or other activities. (Occasionally the reverse: someone who volunteers for extra duties because they need to fill up their time.)
- Social isolation; or association with a group that has different moral standards than those of the family.
- Declining interest in sex, friends, or activities previously enjoyed.
- Neglect of personal welfare, deteriorating physical appearance.
- Alterations in either direction in sleeping or eating habits.
(Particularly in the elderly) Self-starvation, dietary mismanagement, disobeying medical instructions.
- Difficult times: holidays, anniversaries, and the first week after discharge from a hospital; just before and after diagnosis of a major illness; just before and during disciplinary proceedings. Undocumented status adds to the stress of a crisis.
- Previous suicide attempts, “mini-attempts”.
- Explicit statements of suicidal ideation or feelings.
- Development of suicidal plan, acquiring the means, “rehearsal” behavior, setting a time for the attempt.
- Self-inflicted injuries, such as cuts, burns, or head banging.
- Reckless behavior. (Besides suicide, other leading causes of death among young people in New York City are homicide, accidents, drug overdose, and AIDS.) Unexplained accidents among children and the elderly.
- Making out a will or giving away favorite possessions.
- Inappropriately saying goodbye.
- Verbal behavior that is ambiguous or indirect: “I'm going away on a real long trip.”, “You won't have to worry about me anymore.”, “I want to go to sleep and never wake up.”, “I'm so depressed, I just can't go on.”, “Does God punish suicides?”, “Voices are telling me to do bad things.”, requests for euthanasia information, inappropriate joking, stories or essays on morbid themes.
Be alert and sensitive towards your relatives, friends and peers. We never know when we can be there to help them. Feeling helpless? Don't be. You can make a difference. We can make a difference. Wear a yellow ribbon, for the prevention of teen suicide.
Friday, November 03, 2006
Also withdrawn RM3k from my account and then went to Maybank to pay up my Maybank Visa - RM2100. About half more amount to go.. oh my.. Hope to be able to pay up Alliance Credit Card tomorrow at the Ikea branch. Plan to settle the RM70.87 Visa outstanding balance and RM600 out of RM946.56 for the Ikea charges. The remaining, is for my pocket money.
Yup, tomorrow we plan to go to Ikea in the morning together with dad and his Land Cruiser, to buy Amin's bed. We've decided to go for the Vikre expandable bed. It can be extended from child sized bed to adult single sized bed. Cool huh? So, it'll be space saving for now and money saving for the future as we don't have to change beds as he grows taller. I'm also thinking on buying a new dining table. Currently we're using this very cheap wooden dining table with metal legs holdings which requires monthly self-checking due to screws falling out now and then (luckily not all the screws fall out at once, yet). Amin's bed cost only RM390 and my target for the dining table and chairs should be around RM1000. I'll go for the Alliance Ikea 0% installment plan, 6 months deal. I can go for the 12/18 or 24 months but I prefer the 6. I think that's the best because I can afford to spent around RM300 per month and at the same time will be able to buy other new stuffs and use the installment plan again after 6 months.. yeay!
Note for today : The key in living a healthy financial life is to spent wisely and spent where there's 0% installment plan.. ahakss
Note to self :
- Already paid Yati via Maybank2u RM382 for the Herbalife, yesterday. Probably get it next week. To contact Yati on Monday.
- Including today, insyaAllah, complete 4 days of fasting. Got another 2 more days to repay. To continue fasting Monday and Tuesday next week since there's a lot of open houses to attend this weekend.
- Finally purchased several tees from threadless - 9 tees to be exact, totalling up to USD172. Should arrive within 2 to 3 weeks.
- No more spending money until next year. Next month pay check goes to dad - still haven't paid him the Joe's sick bill and Raya clothes tailoring charges = RM1k.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Anousheh, thank you for sharing your stories with the world. You have greatly inspired many people to pursue their dreams and you have proven to everybody that the skies is not the limit.
I salute you.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Ok, lets learn together. It says here that during the summit, Robert and his wife Maryam gave a presentation titled "10 Ways To A Killer Blog" which while reading some of the websites featuring this reports, I can't stop myself from browsing for other reports because there were no 10 ways to a killer blog. They're actually 15! Why did they have it titled 10? Is it some kind of a blog-gimmick, to use typical or simplified digits? I'm already confused even before beginning to read.
Anyway, here's the list I have compiled from 2 most very entertaining reports that I've found and they're from from Andru Edwards and Janet Lee Johnson .
- Blog because you want to. (and include sex in your headlines -to grab attention). A story without love is not worth telling. Maryam talks about how Robert kept pushing her to blog for four years. Then one day, she started to blog. As soon as she started, she was blogging about Robert and he tried to get her to stop talking about him on her blog.
If you are blogging about something you don’t really care about because you think it’s profitable, you won’t have passion to go long-term.
- Read other blogs. If you want to be a blogger, you've got to read other blogs. If you want to be a thoughtful leader, read what others are thinking.
Maryam started blogging because she was going to a lot of conferences, but people told her they had no way of linking to her. It brings out community and a bond that she hadn’t experienced before. Through blogging she has gotten a much better job and has made a lot more friends. She loves it.
- Pick a niche you can own - be different. There are two kinds of bloggers - ones that want to make things, and shake things. Others just want to talk to their friends and use their blogs to post baby pictures, talk about books they read, etc. Either way, each group should have a common set of values. Non-technical people (Robert calls as geeks) interact with the world through a search engine. If you believe that people negotiate the internet through a search engine, you need to come up on search terms. People who focus content on a single niche gathers a much bigger audience than a large or defocused audience. And, by the way, Robert says there are 100,000 blogospheres, so you can find a niche more easily than you might think you could.
There was a niche blogger in London who talks about the London Underground transportation system. After the London bombing, everyone hit her site, and now she is popular. Of course, we don’t want to have a terrorist act happen to make us famous, but you get the point.
- Link to other blogs. When Robert started at Microsoft, he linked to a bunch of people who hated Microsoft - it made them know that Microsoft listened to them. And it diffused issues. You can also see who links to you easily - and it’s human behavior to want to know what others are saying about you. You should go over and comment on those posts, and get more link love.
- Admit mistakes. Maryam was afraid to start blogging because she read Robert’s comments and saw the personal attacks. But she loved how Robert admitted mistakes - it gained him credibility in the blogosphere.
- Write good headlines. The world is moving from feeds to keyword searches, in order to find information about very specific information. Think of how people scan lists to find information. Great headlines make you stand out.
- Use other media. Most bloggers use only text. Use things like graphics (logos, screen captures). Even better, have an audio podcast or video podcast. Mix media so that you can share your knowledge with the world in multiple ways.
- Have a voice. Having your own personal voice and persona that allows people to see you as a human rather than as text makes people want to connect with you more. Robert tries to type what he would say to you face to face rather than focusing on trying to be a good writer.
- Get outside the blogosphere. Hit places outside the blogs. Conferences, meetups, and go out and meet people. That makes the connections deeper and more meaningful. You'll gain relationships that can turn into power structures later. And something that you can blog about. That is how the A-List is built - people connecting and building strong relationships. PR companies need to learn this - set up a blog, go and meet people at conferences. That works better than sending a pitchy email.
- Market yourself. Some bloggers put their URL on their business cards. It’s little things like that which will encourage readership. Just basic marketing like that can make a difference.
- Write well. Spell check. Check grammar. See if you get your point across. Check your state of mind, Maryam says, before you post emotionally. If you are upset, wait a little bit before publishing so that you don’t go overboard or say something that you don’t mean. Write short paragraphs because they are easier to scan.
- Expose yourself. Corporate types are normally very reserved in their writing style. No one wants to read a press release, but the point here is to engage readers. Put in a bit of yourself into your posts, and let people see that you are a real human being. Use anecdotes, and be personal, if even a little.
- Help other people blog. Share and build community. Bring new voices into the blogosphere.
- Engage with commenters. Robert recommends commenting on others’ blogs in order to get them to realize you have something to say, and they may link back to you. To participate in the conversation, leave interesting and thoughtful comments.
- Keep your integrity. You are what you appear to be, and if you’re taking advertising or are taking free product, disclose it. Never try to hide what you are or who you are, or when people find out you don’t have integrity, they will ‘out you’ to the world. Robert publishes his cell phone on his blog so people can do fact checking before they publish information that he’s commented on.
So, how about that? Feel free to read more here :
Note : These cool cartoon illustrations are from Hugh Mcleod