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Wednesday, May 06, 2015

henna and temporary insomnia.

Kak teh (zaharah othman of  choc a block blog) together with Ailin (of Ailin from Aalborg) made a call for many of us former bloggers to kickstart our old blog again.

Really not much left to say as most of them have been said on my FB.

But of course, many things have happened since i last blogging actively. More nephews and nieces, only 3 of us siblings yet to get married, and getting more and more friends on FB.

Yeah i mention FB  for the third time now. That is how avid FB user I am.


There is a reason why we have to pay a certain amount of charge to pay people who does your hair, nails both manicure and pedicure , facial for skin care,  tailor your clothes, massages,  what not.

Well, in as much as I love to do some of them myself, sometimes it can be a messy business.

And so it happens on Saturday night when i decided to apply henna to my hair. I have tried doing it myself once before and i messed up a lot of things : my pillow case, my hair towel and not to mention my own finger nails. So after all that first episode of the henna drama, this time i thought i am more prepared. So there i was preparing everything necessary for my 2nd henna experiment:

1. a pair of transparent disposable kitchen gloves
2. a small comb, foldable one i got from airplane kit
3. a spoon and an empty tub to mix the henna powder from the satchet
4. a small cup half filled with water.

First i took a shower, wash my hair with shampoo and conditioner. Done.

With my hair still towel dry damp,  I picked the gloves and wore them gently so that they wouldn't tear. I began mixing the henna powder in the tub. This time i am very careful to add water bit by bit only and stir up the powder gently to create a liquidy paste. Not too thick and not too thin.

Things were going as planned. Not bad me. So the subsequent task was to apply those henna on my hair. See, i just had to henna my hair after seeing 2-3 strands of white hair appearing visibly right above my ears. So there i was ever so gingerly but gently rubbing those henna paste all over hair , right to the last end tip of the hair. While doing so, i tried as much as possible this time not to make too much mess in the bathroom. And then i picked up the foldable comb and went  combing the hair down so that all the henna coated all over my hair and to also ensure that they were all evenly distributed. Having done that, i twisted my hair and clamped it up with a hair claw. I cleaned up the tub, the comb and all the bathroom surface and floor off any henna stains and removed my gloves and chucked them in the bin.

And while waiting for the hair to dry up, this time i just let it air dry 1st. I didn't wanna touch the hair not until i was gonna wash it. It took me a while of course. I made sure my aircon and fan were on so i wouldnt sweat much. Coz if i did, some of the henna will drip on my face along with the sweat when my head starts feeling warm. About an hour after that, all the henna dried up completely and i went washing the hair again. And then washing the toilet again from all the stains. Not as bad as my 1st and it was manageable. Using the same old towel that I have used during my 1st henna experiment, this time i didnt care much if i was gonna stain the towel again. It already bore the indelible henna mark before despite me washing the pinkish towel with Vanish.

And all the process took me hours! Yes. Hours! It robbed me off my usual sleeping time and i couldnt sleep much after that. I laid a folded batik cloth on my pillow just so that no henna would stain in case i was sweating while i was sleeping.

Yupp, i didnt sleep till subuh. Only after that I could take some hours to sleep. And i didnt like it. Coz the next day, the sleeping pattern continued. Good thing Monday was a public holiday. And earlier on Tuesday , 05 May, I had my morning lecture. With barely enough sleep i had the night before, i went and did my lecture and all. 2 hours passed and its already midday. I tried to remain alert doing my work in my office but i think if i continued being  on the same sleeping pattern, it would do no good to me at all! So i decided to leave office earlier than usual , headed home. Yup i was right. Soon as i reached home, it only took me like perhaps another hour or so before i felt sleepy. There i was in bed sleeping like a log for 4 hours and woke up close to 10pm.
Got up, did whatever necessary and went back to sleep for a few hours and woke up before 3am. Had my my early breakfast, and did this blog writing.

The next time i am ever gonna dye my hair again....Hmm... No wait. Perhaps i will let the hairdresser do it. She took like nearly 2 and a half hour to complete the treatment everything including full hair blowing and all. I will just bring my henna sachet with me and let her do the rest. No i am never gonna wreck my sleeping pattern like that again. Being insomniac is bad i tell you. Its bad enough that I am a nocturnal person.

And thats why it is OK to pay them to carry such messy works for us. And of course we want to get good service from them too.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

MSc or a PhD student wanted

I am looking for :

 ONE MSc candidate with a   chemical engineering MEng or BEng student, priority for the CGPA 3.0++ student, (CGPA of 2.85-2.95 also accepted  if he/she is fully committed)


 ONE PhD  candidate with a chemical engineering MEng or BEng (CGPA 3.70++  first class degree) or with an MSc degree

to carry out a project in catalysis , design and reaction engineering at the Dept of Chemical & Process Engineering, Faculty of Engineering & Built Environment, The National University of Malaysia (UKM). Kindly please send me the CV to ASAP or before 30 September 2011.

A chemistry background graduate with passion to be involved in both chemical reaction and catalysis and reactor design is also acceptable.

You will be awarded with tax-free allowance of RM1600/month  for MSc candidate and RM1800/month for PhD candidate. Local or foreign (non-malaysian) students are welcome to apply.

Thank you.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

After a long hiatus on Maulidur Rasul 1432H (15 Feb 2011)

I am back to the blogworld and may be adding another new blog for the more academic use. It has been 11 months , thanks to the timing stamp on Mak Ji Esah's blog that I think it is time to begin another new chapter. That is another Maulidul Rasul 1432 H.

There has been so many things happened the last year , or since the last blog posting to be precise. One most significant thing is the meagre savings. I spent almost all my money on installing a new kitchen cabinet that I did not have much more to spend throughout the year other than paying bills, bills and bills (loans, credit cards, utilities, Astro, internet, you name it).  I was dried up on the kitty bank but I did not have much problems with people around me including my family. I had to be very careful with my expenditure that I avoided going to cinemas or most of the favourite pastimes that required money including travelling. Good thing I had one opportunity to attend an overseas conference in Adelaide, Australia, played with kangaroos there, took pictures with Osmond the Koala and was thought of as someone from Sydney or Melbourne i.e.  the 2 bigger, more metropolitan cities in the whole Australasia continent. 

I even did not manage to do much of clothes and shoes shopping last year, and dont even ask on shoes or handbags, except necessities. My 2010 was spent more on KPI, publishing more journal papers, etc etc academic stuff, and in between, enjoyed whatever little I had.  My personal life seemed to be heading to another level last year but it ended up in the last week of December with an absolute expiry date 01-01-2011. There goes the on-off 3 years relationship. Banished saved for good memories.

A minimalist I was in 2010, that did not stopped me from acting and behaving like a diva whenever necessary or naturally. Sure I didnt have that much money but it never stopped me from sashaying around with whatever that I have in the most confident manner. And the good thing about living like 10mins away from your parents meant that you can come dine there more like a guest than a permanent resident. And THAT really saved me on the grocery shopping somehow.

As we are into the 46th day of 2011, I am slowly recovering my kittybank. My mother spent nearly a month visiting my eldest sister in Birmingham who is on a short sabbatical with her husband, attaching themselves with Warwick University where both earned their PhD degrees. Hosni Mubarak, the 4th president of Egypt has just stepped down on 11-02-2011 after 18 days of demonstration by the Egyptian people mostly held at Tahrir Square in Cairo. Faculty dinner was held on 21-01-2011, Friday  at DECTAR, UKM, with Arabian 1001 night as the theme.

And for the last 11 months, I  became more and more redha (accepting whatever destined for me by God).

Lets all give salawat to our greatest most revered prophet Nabi Muhammad (SAW) on remembering his birth day:

Monday, March 01, 2010

A good article in conjunction with MaulidulRasul 1431H

From Islamicity:

A journey of exploration, leading to Islam

I became a Muslim when it seemed I had already accepted Islam in my bones, as if beyond choice, and I only had to make a leap to embrace it formally. Outwardly I was content; inwardly I was coasting. My three year old theatre company was disbanded after a hilariously chaotic production for a Tim Leary Benefit at the Family Dog in San Francisco, circa '68 Ð naturally, the orange juice everyone had passed around was spiked, so that the chorus members were doing the final scene in the first ten minutes Ð and for six months I had been typing out poetry manuscripts in my attic in Berkeley preparatory to a big publishing push.

I considered myself a Zen Buddhist, but I was other things as well. My normal routine was to get up, sit zazen, smoke a joint, do half an hour of yoga, then read the Mathnawi of Rumi, the long mystical poem of that great Persian Sufi of the thirteenth century.

Then I met the man who was to be my guide to our teacher in Morocco, Shaykh Muhammad ibn al-Habib, may Allah be pleased with him. At first, the meeting was simply remarkable, and my guide a simply a remarkable man. But soon our encounter was to become extraordinary, leading to a revolution in my life from which I have never recovered, and never hope to.

The man looked like an eccentric Englishman. He too had only recently come out of the English version of the Hippie Wave. He was older, refined in his manners, spectacularly witty and intellectual, but of that kind prevalent then who had hobnobbed with the Beatles and knew the Tantric Art collection of Brian Jones firsthand. He had been on all the classic drug quests Ð peyote in the Yucatan, mescaline with Laura Huxley Ð but with the kif quest in Morocco, he had stumbled on Islam, and then the Sufis, and the game was up. A profound change had taken place in his life that when far beyond the psychedelic experience.

It is hard to put forward any kind of explanation of Islam, to try to suggest the beauty of its totality, through the medium of words. The light of Islam, since it is transformational and alchemical in nature, almost always comes via a human messenger who is a transmitter of the picture by his very being.

For the three days following our meeting, two other Americans and I listened in awe as this magnificent storyteller unfolded the picture of Islam, of the perfection of the Prophet Muhammad, and of the 100 year old plus Shaykh, sitting under a great fig tree in a garden with his disciples, singing praises of Allah. It was everything I'd always dreamed of. It was poetry come alive. It was the visionary experience made part of daily life, with the Prophet a perfectly balanced master of wisdom and simplicity, an historically accessible Buddha, with a mixture of the earthiness of Moses, the otherworldliness of Jesus, and a light all his own.

The prophetic knowledge our guide talked about was a kind of spiritual existentialism. It was a matter of how you enter a room, which foot you entered with, that you sipped water but gulped mild, that you said "bismillah" (In the name of Allah) before eating or drinking, and "alhamdulillah" (Praise be to Allah) afterwards, and so on. But rather than seeing this as a burden of hundreds of "how-to's", it was more like what the LSD experience taught us, that there is a "right" way to do things that has, if you will, a cosmic resonance. It is a constant awareness of courtesy to the Creator and His creation that in itself ensures and almost visionary intensity.

It is hard to put forward any kind of explanation of Islam, to try to suggest the beauty of its totality, through the medium of words. The light of Islam, since it is transformational and alchemical in nature, almost always comes via a human messenger who is a transmitter of the picture by his very being.

Face to face with our guide, what struck us most was his impeccable, noble behavior. He seemed to be living what he was saying. Finally, the moment came, as a surprise, when he confronted me with my life. "Well," he said one morning after three full days of rapturous agreement that what he was bringing us was the best thing we'd ever heard. "What do you think? Do you want to become a Muslim?"

I hedged. "It's the most beautiful thing I've heard about so far. After all my Zen Buddhism, all my yoga, Tibetan Buddhism and Hindu gurus, this is certainly it! But I think I would like to travel a little, see the world, go to Afghanistan (then unoccupied), maybe meet my Shaykh in a mountain village far off somewhere."

"That's not good enough. You have to decide now. Yes or no. If it's yes, then we start on a great adventure. If it's no, then no blame, I've done my duty. I'll just say goodbye and go on my way. But you have to decide now. I'll go downstairs and read a magazine and wait. Take your time."

When he had left the room I saw there was no choice. My whole being had already acquiesced. All my years up to that moment simply rolled away. I was face-to-face with worship of Allah, wholly and purely, with the Path before me well-trodden, heavily sign posted, with a guide to a Master plunk in front of me. Or I could reject all of this for a totally self-invented and uncertain future.

It was the day of my birthday, just to make it that much more dramatic. I chose Islam.

Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore was born in 1940 in Oakland, California. His first book of poems, Dawn Visions, was published by Lawrence Ferlinghetti of City Lights Books, San Francisco, in 1964, and the second in 1972, Burnt Heart / An Ode to the War Dead. He became a Sufi Muslim in 1970, performed the Hajj in 1972, and has lived and traveled throughout Morocco, Spain, Algeria and Nigeria, landing in California and publishing The Desert is the Only Way Out, and Chronicles of Akhira. Living in Philadelphia since 1990, in 1996 he published The Ramadan Sonnets, and in 2002 a new book of poems with Syracuse University Press, The Blind Beekeeper. He is also widely published on the worldwide web: The American Muslim, DeenPort, and his own website: among others


Thursday, February 25, 2010

O Fresh Milk....

I MISSED downing semi-skimmed milk back in the UK!!!


The article from DailyMail:

After the bottle of milk and the carton, now comes the bag of milk.

The new containers are being introduced to 500 Sainsbury’s stores in a move that could finally end the 130-year reign of the milk bottle and its plastic successors.

Each two-pint container will be priced at 80p, which is 6p cheaper than an average carton.

milk in a bag

It is designed to fit easily into a reuseable jug, which contains a spike to pierce it open.

The product uses 75 per cent less packaging than a plastic carton and is easier and cheaper to produce and transport.

In fact, switching to the bags could save 1.4million kilos of packaging a year – equivalent to 700 doubledecker buses.

Sainsbury’s spokesman Emma Metcalf King said: ‘This is the biggest change to occur to the nation’s shopping habits for at least a decade.

‘The familiar clink of the glass milk bottle could finally become a thing of the past. ‘The bags will prove to be a huge hit with environmentally aware shoppers, as well as those on a tight budget.’

The new bags of milk will be 6p cheaper than a normal plastic bottle

The new bags of milk will be 6p cheaper than a normal plastic bottle

It is not the first time bags have been used for milk packaging, however. Thirty years ago, dairies in Essex tried and failed to encourage them.

Havoc was caused by packs which leaked in transit, while shoppers found the bags were punctured by the packaging on other products.

More recently, Dairy Crest, the Co-op, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s itself have also run trials.

But today’s move by the supermarket giant, which is giving away half a million milk bags to customers in April, follows a successful 18-month trial at its stores.

After years of rigorous tests, manufacturers believe they have developed a milk bag able to withstand being bashed about in a car boot or on a crowded bus.

And consumers are more likely to take to them this time round because they are far more conscious of green issues such as the carbon footprint, supporters of the technology suggest.

A spokesman for the Government’s waste and packaging advisory body, WRAP, said: ‘What is important in any type of milk container, whether it’s a glass bottle, a pouch or a plastic bottle is increasing recycled content and making it easier to recycle.’

Bottles have been the preferred milk container in Britain since 1880 when they were introduced by the Express Dairy Company. They were dominant until the 1970s, before losing favour to Tetra Pak cardboard containers.

Britons consume around 180million pints of milk a week. Two-thirds are sold in plastic bottles, which have been the preferred container since the early 1990s.

Milk sold in bags is already a common choice for 60 per cent of consumers in Canada, Poland, South Africa and China.