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Monday, November 16, 2015

A Portrait of a Cat that Once Lived

2012 to 15 November 2015
(this post is dedicated to my CAT DIARY readers on Facebook. If you're not one of em, feel free to follow me at fb/nsyahidakamarudin.)

Thank you guys for your kind words about Mugabe's passing. Some people might say, "Oh, it's just a cat. Grow up!", but of course, people who say that doesn't have cats/pets, so they don't understand the bond.

Some asked me why I decided not to euthanise Mugabe when he was suffering. That's because I didn't want him to die at an unfamiliar place, a place that he hated so much when he was alive. And although a lot of articles about euthanasia mentioned that cats do not have human emotion and would not understand anything except pleasure and pain (and thus dying at any place won't matter to them), seeing him breathing his last fresh air under the tree with squirrels running around and birds chirping was a picture that I would be happy to remember him by. I am not against people who decided to euthanise their cats, because any choice you have to make for your pet is hard and people do it in the best of intention. Nobody wants to hurt their loved ones. But this was a decision that I made because it felt right. In the end of the day, YOU know your cat. Not the vet, and not other people.

And after a week of force feeding, peeing on the bed pad, needing people to clean him with wipes, spending time watching videos of birds on YouTube, being carried everywhere he needed to go, I think he is all okay now, in his own castle in kitty paradise, boasting around other kitty souls about how he was the prince of darkness in his previous life. That darn cat might be bitching about me being an asshole owner, for all I know.

Of all the cats that I had before, I am more at peace with how Mugabe went. He caught six musk shrews the week before his condition went worse, and he decided to sleep on my bed for the two days before he died. He chose the tree when he knew his time was coming, and he passed away a few seconds before the rain started to pour. He didn't live long, but I am glad he lived a full life. He was the king of the neighbourhood outside, but was an obedient pet at home.

He had always been a sick cat, and I suspected that he had always carried the virus with him since day one (before the vets even knew about it), because he never seemed to be able to get well as quickly as the others. A lot of cats carry coronavirus, but only a percent of them get FIP, and sadly, he was the one percent. Only one percent of an FIP-infected cat survived, and sadly, he wasn't one of them.

Am I not angry at the vets for not detecting it soon enough? No. The disease is not easily detectable, and even when a vet diagnosed it, it's not a "Yes, this is it" kind of thing, but more of a "We have ruled out everything, so this is the only thing left" kind of thing. And unless you did a blood test, an x-ray, a few visit to several different veterinary clinic, chances are, you won't know them too.

Isn't it a waste of money to go to several vets to get their opinion just to have your cat died in the end? No. Because now I know that his death is inevitable, and that I have tried almost everything, and ensure everything before deciding on what to do with his life.

The only thing that I regretted is that I had plans with Mugabe for my new book. I wanted to promote the new novel with him being front and centre. He will be on the free gifts that will come with the book. But he left before it even get to be realised.

I will re-start Cat's Diary soon. Thanks again, guys.

Bye bye, buddy. See you when I see you.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Ants Ants Ants

I champion black ants.

Not the thick one usually found on rambutan or mangosteen trees, but the normal domestic black ants, also known as common house ants.

I hate it when people kill those ants.

My mum is often annoyed that I wouldn't let her wash them away whenever they gathered inside a plate and steal leftovers. I'm like, "Mum, all you have to do is tap your hands on the table or the plate and they will go away in seconds!"

And why do you ask, that I like them so much?

Because they're friendlier than what comes next when they left their colony or being exterminated by pest control. You have the odorous ants, commonly known as 'semut busuk'or 'semut mayat', that don't care if you tapped the plate or the table, and will leave the terrible odour if you wipe them off the table. And they like to make nests in things that don't make any sense. Like in the cover of my favourite DVD, or my water bottle. Or God forbid, my books!

Then there's another species of ants, which is much much smaller than the odorous ants.

I hate them.

They're slow, they don't care and won't budge no matter how many times you shake the plate. And they bite. And they are so small, that sometimes you won't see them roaming around inside the carpet. Sometimes they bite you while you're asleep and all you see are red marks or bumps on your skin the next day. And they gather everywhere.

Of course, the best thing to have is no ants at all. But that is almost impossible, since we're living in a old terrace house, where there are cracks everywhere.

The existence of black ants helps minimise these other pesky ants.

A friend of mine tried exterminating all the black ants despite my telling her that she should't do so. What happens now? She has fire ants now.


Love your black ants, people!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Workin on my night cheese.... (title unrelated to the post)

"You keep talking about work. What have you been doing exactly?"

Why, let me introduce you to the things that I have been translating for the past two months.

Disclaimer though... when a translator gets transcripts, it doesn't mean they'll get the whole thing. So, sometimes I did only five out of 35 episodes, or 20 out of 25 episodes, or sometimes even only one out of 100 episodes. The work given to me is quite random and varying. Sometimes they even get like, episodes 1-5 of drama A, then something else, then suddenly episodes 8-20 of drama A again.

I have to make that disclaimer because...... reasons....


A Japanese anime about one tennis prodigy named Maruo Eiichirou who takes notes of other player's game plan and aims to go pro.

Yes, that's the premise.

It's different from my previous work, because I have to do it not just for subtitles but also for dubbing purposes, so it's quite fun and annoying at the same time. Fun, because I have to imagine how a voice actor should sound (you don't want them to sound too formal), at the same time making sure the sentences are still up to TV standard.


Or translated to English as CHERRY SEASON, a Turkish rom-com series about an aspiring fashion designer who falls in love with her childhood friend and being romanced by her idol's hunky son, while her best friend is a backstabbing bitch who just wants the world to burn.

Okay, that was a bit over the top. But that's the whole premise. I don't really like the whole "Oh my God, I am a cutesy helpless girl who needs these two architects (and a photographer mesmerised by my inner beauty) helping me in everything" storyline, but it has quite a tongue-in-cheek dialogues that I enjoy translating in Bahasa Melayu. When a drama has a witty script, you kinda want to get creative with it.

And Istanbul looks sooo beautiful in this series, I feel like packing my bags and go there. But I'm poor. Help me, I'm poor.


I get that she has to play the shirtless mermaid,
but why are you unbuttoning your shirt, man?
Or FOOTSTEPS OF A MERMAID in English.... or loosely translated as "Mermaid Twins". This is a difficult one to explain. A woman marrying a merman (that's male version of a mermaid, for those who don't know), ended up being pregnant with twins.... one, turned out to be a mermaid, complete with scaly fish tails, and the other a normal girl, who has fins behind her ears. Then something happened, the mum thinks her mermaid girl died, so she moved away from the island with her normal daughter, the mermaid girl was adopted by her mermaid grandmother, they grew up, fell in love with the same man without knowing it, and I don't know the rest of the story because it's still on air.

It's quite difficult for me to translate, not because the language is hard, but because I am not much a fan of these fantastical series. Filipinos have quite a lot of them. They have Indio, Kambal Sirena, Dyesebel, Amaya, Adarna... some of them I translated, some not.

And I know for a fact they try to keep the women's attention by finding reasons for Aljur Abrenica to show of his six pack. I mean, why are you shirtless on the corridor of your workplace? That doesn't make any sense. And what's with this dream sequence where you're brooding in the ocean? Whose wet dream is this???? (I suspect the scriptwriter).


Another one of those Filipino fantastical series (I know, I keep getting them. I don't mind though, as long as I am getting paid for it). This one tells the story about this one girl, Adarna, who has a huge hump in her back that causes all the pain and suffering from all the lame mockery from people, that includes the corny "She's the Hunchback of Notre Dame", to the is-this-a-diss? chant of "Hump! Hump! Hump!"

She lives with a stepmother and stepsister who act like any stepmothers and stepsisters in fiction of yesteryears, and somehow caught the eye of a famous basketball player of whom she once healed when they were kids, because... she... has... healing... powers... from... her... hump...? (I don't know. I never saw the first few episodes). Oh, and she talks to birds.

I decline to make further comments.


How can someone be this flawless? I don't get it!
Yes, I have been translating a lot of Filipino series. This one stars Marian Rivera, also known as ugly women's worst nightmare (seriously, how can someone be that gorgeous AND have that sexy hoarse voice at the same time? It's almost ridiculous). She plays the titular character, a woman who was prophesied to kill the strongest king called Raja Mangubat.

For those of you who watches dramas for the eye candy rather than the actual storyline, well.... voila. Gorgeous women and men (who seemed unrealistic for an epic costume drama supposedly occurred before the Spanish invasion... seriously, if Marian Rivera lives in that period of time, she will not have milky white skin and flawless hair... and Pan-Asian look). The men all wear cawat and show off their bods, so I guess the gymnasiums all over Manila got quite rich during production.  And that includes Aljur Abrenica.

Man, that dude is shirtless in everything.


An old Filipino rom-com (not that old though, It was a hit in the Philippines in 2006) that tells a story of an FWO (Filipino Working Overseas) named Janice who works in Spain as a maid, who later works in this one Filipino guy's apartment. They kinda keep writing notes to each other without ever meeting in person, and later he fell in love with her without knowing she is his maid.

I love translating it because of its cutesy witty dialogue. Like I said, it makes a translator wants to be creative when you get creative scripts. Sadly, I was only given two of these. I would love to translate more of this show.


The story takes place after AMAYA, which means during the Spanish Invasion. It tells the story of a guy who has Herculean strength who didn't know that he has been working with the evil Spanish conquistador who killed his parents ....................................... yeah, that's it.

Weirdly enough, the people in this drama looks more like what people might look like in those days than in AMAYA. Oh and Aljur Abrenica is in it again. And get this, shirtless!

Ah, Aljur. You never fail to entertain.

Thank you. I'm glad that my shirtlessness entertains people.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Breaking a Promise

Yeah, I have broke my promise not once, but three days in a row. I will be back. I promise.

Aku berjanji dengan sapa dia tah....

Friday, July 3, 2015

Waiting game

I have skipped a day despite my promise of writing daily.

Meh, it's not like I have a lot of readers pun. Ahahahaha.

But still, yesterday my stress was at all time high. A'a has been missing for five days, and I received a lot of various information about him that it was ridiculous to put it on timeline. I mean, I thank people who gave the information, as they really tried helping (and helping is better than keeping quiet).

However, according to various sources, the timeline of A'a missing will be this way
Sunday: Was seen in Sri Mahligai Section 9
A few days later: Might be dead near the junction between section 11 and 12 (I pray to God this is not it and it's just some similar looking cat)
Tuesday: He was eating at my next-door neighbour's house

So it puts A'a in three different places in the course of five days. Knowing A'a and his lack of attention span, I don't think it would be possible at all.

I have come to the conclusion that if death is not part of it, A'a must have been:

a) kidnapped
- maybe a kid was interested in him (since he was so good at bodek orang) and decided to secretly stash him inside a bag and brought him home, only to get bored after a while.
- some people say that it's illogical that anybody would kidnap a grown cat. but a few months ago, a fellow writer revealed that her cat was stolen by a neighbour who then denied that she kidnapped the cat, saying that she bought it... when it was obvious that the cat, with all his distinctive features known by his original owner, is not hers.

b) unintentional kidnapping
- I have read several instances when a cat is accidentally taken away from its home due to its habit of getting into cars/getting into boxes/getting into bags.
- I experienced this two days ago while looking for A'a. Since my cat responses to finger snapping, I continued to do it while looking for him. Then I hear a cat meowing, so I turned back thinking it was him. Instead, there were three cats who were following me. I was like, "Dude, where did you guys come from? Your owner would panic if they realise that you are missing!" Long story short, I gave them some food at home (because they have been walking with me for a while and must have been hungry), and then put them back in the neighbourhood I found them.

c) A'a just doesn't want to come home
- Maybe he just didn't want to come home and have decided to stay outside instead (this, I assume from my neighbour's statement saying he visited them on Tuesday). I told you before that A'a isn't that loyal. He's like Spongebob's Gary. Maybe he has decided that he doesn't want to be our cat anymore.
- This is not impossible. I used to have a cat called Koyon. He stayed with us for a year, and then one day decided that he wants to be an alleycat and didn't come home anymore. We will see him passing by sometimes, and sometimes he would stand in front of the door and ask for food, but he would not come in and stay like he used to.

In any case, life continues. Mum said that I should take a breather and take care of myself instead. I have done all I could in trying to find him. I have asked for assistance from the Shah Alam Residents forum, I have asked for my post to be shared on FB, I have looked for him every day, day and night.

I guess it's now a waiting game.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

My Parents' Diplomatic Communications 101

My parents have a distinctive way of expressing themselves.

And I think it has influenced my writing a lot.

Mum, who keeps blaming her "Minangkabau blood" for her way of speaking in circles, never ask you to do anything directly.

Let's say she wants you to clean the aquarium, instead of saying, "Bersihkan akuarium!", she goes, "Kesian ikan tu berenang dalam air kotor."

No matter what my mum said or whatever reason she gave, I know for a fact that mum just doesn't want to sound like she is giving an order. She wants us to understand what she wants without needing to say it.

Which is annoying at times, to be honest. It's cute at times, but annoying the rest of it. I mean, sometimes when you want to do something quickly, you just don't have time to interpret her words. I mean, saying "Makan bihun goreng pun sedap, kan?" doesn't actually give you any information whatsoever.

What is it then? You want me to make it for you? Buy it for you? You want me to agree? You want me to buy things for bihun goreng? What is it that you want me to buy? The bihun? The shrimps? Oil? Sawi? What is it??????

My aunt Eiasah, her sister also talks the same way, and my uncle likes to make fun of it.

Last time, we were in the car returning from Sri Menanti, and she saw some stalls selling petai.
"Sedap nampak petai tu," she said.
But my uncle didn't stop.
So she asked, "Kenapa Lik tak berhenti beli petai tu?"
He replied, "Esah kata petai tu nampak sedap, tak kata nak berhenti pun."

Dad, on the other hand, never ask things in a way that shows that he wants it. He asks a question instead.

For example, "Adik nak buat air tembikai ke hari ni?"
(That's not a question. That's dad's way of saying, "Buat air tembikai".)
"Awak nak masak apa hari ni? Mee rebus?"
("Aku nak mi rebus.")
"Kaklong nak telefon Ashu ke?"
(Kaklong, telefon Ashu.")

And this stems from the fact that my dad, who has always been the go-to guy, the sole provider of the family, is not very comfortable asking anything from his children. He doesn't like being seen as the one who needed help from his kids. I mean, even when I want to give him money, he'll be like, "Adik kan tak dapat royalti lagi bulan ni. Tak payahlah."

Dad, I have at least three jobs, okay? Take the money!

And so, instead of asking for something, he rewords his requests into questions to make you believe that it's YOU who want to do all that that he asked.

And as their daughter, I find myself being influenced by them in my daily conversations, and sometimes it irks my friends.

Instead of saying, "Aku nak pergi kedai tu kejap", I say, "Kedai tu nampak macam best, kan?" (which is the mixture of my mum and my dad's way of asking for something).

**sorry, I can't continue with this for the time being. It's been four days since A'a went missing and I'm quite distraught.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

As Aretha Franklin would put it...

"Respect is earned, not given".

I find that people who keeps using this mantra to be assholes who wants to justify their assholeness.

I read a skewed version of this mantra on someone's comment about proper attire. In an article about certain people who disrespects weddings by attending it wearing their lazy Sunday clothes, someone stated that "respect is earned, not given". What a load of crap. Are you asking that the people, who cordially invited you to eat for free at their house, needs to respect you before you can wear something proper to their event?

I mean, I grew up being taught that you should respect everybody, that respect is only lost when a person does something to lose it. Not the other way around. How do you function the other way around anyway? Are you going to be rude to everybody until you get to know them and realise that they are nice, and THEN start to respect them? That's just bogus.

No, I get what you mean by respect should be earned. But I think the correct way to say it is that you should be respectful to others if you want them to respect you.

Or yet : Courtesy should be given, respect should be earned. Yes. But what is respect anyway? People nowadays actually took the slogan literally and think that they can be assholes to just about anybody, while at the same time think that people should earn their respect.

Here lies the issue with young people nowadays. I know, I am just 32, who am I to talk like some veteran soldier being harassed by teenagers, right? But this slogan seemed to have skewed a lot of people. And anyway, losing one's respect to someone doesn't mean one should be rude to him or her either. That's what differentiate one from a monkey. A monkey whose banana was stolen by someone would retaliate by throwing rocks to said person. An actual man with sound mind would be courteous and find solution to the issue.

But if your solution to someone being disrespectful too you is by cussing them, making fun of them, threatening to kill them, stalking them, and making their life a living hell, you sir, are worse than a monkey.

I quote a comment made by a Facebook user by the name of Balasubramaniyan from an article I read a few days ago, who said (and I paraphrase), "Some people now thinks that they can be disrespectful to people of any race, belief, and culture just because they do not hold the same belief with them. They think that a person should not be angry if they were slighted, if their belief is being mocked by someone, as long as that someone doesn't share the same belief with them. They blame the group as a whole for the mistake of one, but they themselves create a mob mentality in accusing others. They want you to earn their respect, while at the same time, get angry when you disrespect them. Trolls, are what they are."

Nope. Trolls are nicer. They guard bridges. These people on the other hand, burn bridges with their scumbaggery.

Oh, anyway, here's an additional message:

Monday, June 29, 2015

To Be(sy) or not to Be(sy)

I love working.

You know how I always said that I have too much work and that I am tired of doing them? The truth is, when I am not working, I missed working.

That's what happened yesterday, after finishing the first 16 episodes of a Filipino teleserye that I have been working on since two weeks ago. Suddenly, I was filled with this emptiness that cannot be fulfilled by anything else except another batch of translations.

I know what people will say.

"Of course you're a workaholic, you have nothing else other than your work."

That is true. Haha. I am not going to be mad at people for stating the fact. In a sense, I really don't have anything else except work (I have, though, but it's not something that can easily be explained). And sometimes, the issue has turned into a chicken-egg debate. "Adakah Shai bekerja sebab dia tak ada benda lain nak buat, atau dia tak boleh buat benda lain sebab dia banyak bekerja?"

I think it goes both ways. When I don't have anymore work to do, everybody else seems busy. So I decided, heck, I should just get more work done, and agree to more work, which in the end, clashed with other people's free time. So they waited for me to finish my work, and think, "Heck, while we wait for Shai, let's get more work done", and so when I finished doing what I had to do, people got busy doing their work. So, it's a cycle, really.

The thing about being paid per project is that you can actually see the money. I mean, not directly. But you know what one script costs, and the more you translate, the more money you'll get. So it kinda create this whole new version of greed in you. You will end up having the slogan, "Why would I be doing that (example: watching a movie, shopping, meeting people), when I can make money at home?"

And your time is measured in money as well. Like, "You know, one whole day at the beach will incur a loss of RM220, give and take. And that's just what I should be making. We haven't count how much money I will be spending yet."

I really do have to do something about it, before my friends get annoyed with me (I say friends, not bestfriends. Because my bestfriends understand the nature of my job more than anyone else in this world, and they would never hold it against me). I am pretty sure, some of them are already fed-up with me anyway.

credit: Girls Can Tell

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Let's Talk About Cats: A'a

First and foremost a disclaimer.

A'a was never ours to begin with. He IS a part of the trio of nincompoops in our house, but the truth is, A'a started off being a penyibuk. He was my neighbour's cat, still is, actually................ It's quite confusing to explain.

He belongs to Auntie Aishah from two doors down. He also frequents our next-door-neighbour Kakyong's house. And he makes our house his own. In short, A'a has three owners. Why I never actually officially call A'a our cat? Because I don't think A'a thinks he belongs to anyone in particular. He's some sort of a me-me-me cat who manipulates human being into thinking he likes them.

Was looking for the cat, when realised
that he was bootlicking someone else
I mean, last week, I saw him being all friendly and manja menggedik with the neighbour from the house opposite ours. I was like, "Look at that scumbag, pretending like that human is the best human of all human beings he has ever known. What an asshole."

I think he was trying to expand his territory his own way. While other cats show brute force and pee around the area to show dominance, A'a is expanding his territory through diplomatic relations. I mean, why bother fighting other cats to earn a territory, when you can melt human's heart into accepting you in, right?


Back to the story, he started coming to our house when he was about two to three months old. He was this little twerp who would walk in like he belonged and sniffed around, playing with the fishies in the aquarium, eating whatever food there is in the bowl, and only going home when his mum Mila called him.

We didn't know his name, so for the first few months, we called him 'Si Kecik'.
(ironically, if we call him Kecik nowadays, it's more like us being sarcastic about the fact that he has become a Fatty McFat-Fat).

I also called him Penyibuk sometimes, because that's what he was. He was a penyibuk, yang sibuk-sibuk curi makan makanan Mugabe dan sibuk-sibuk buat rumah orang macam rumah sendiri. Dan dengan muka tak malunya, he made our house his.

People keep asking us if we bought him. Of course not. We don't buy cats. And even his original owner would say no to that. No. He's what you called a jackpot kitten. His mum was an alleycat-turned-domesticated pet, and maybe once upon a time, somebody's American Shorthair (ASH) breed successfully escaped from home and mated with her. And voila, you got A'a with fur pattern yang sinonim dengan baka American Shorthair, but with a habit and demeanour of a normal alley cat.

That is,... if he wasn't doing his "I'm a royal prince of Feline-dom..." routine - where he only wants chicken flavoured snacks, and wet food that has soup in them.

That is also why he doesn't act like an ASH cat.

A true ASH breed is known for its hunting ability. It was believed that early settlers brought it all the way from Europe to America with them on the ship to protect cargo from rats.

A'a, on the other hand, is useless when it comes to things involving hunting. Once, I even caught him staring at a rat stealing his food. I was like, "What the hell, A'a? You let it get away?" (Luckily, I got Mugabe to do the rat hunting for me). He looked at me, and stared at me for about 30 seconds before moving away, as if thinking, "Nnnope. Not gonna discuss this."

"What 'catching rats'? I am too fabulous for that..." 
And that's another thing with that dude. He stares. He can sit straight for a full ten minutes without moving at all, looking at the same thing the whole time, Once, I even timed him when he was sitting straight close to me, and it was like, seven minutes and 30 seconds before he actually did something (that something is actually climbing the sofa and taking a nap).

Other stupid things A'a likes include:

a) Being scratched
He'll sit on your lap and ask you to scratch him all over. And if you stop before he thinks you should stop, he'll make a humph sound. Like, "Humph... you're so lazy, Miss. Come on. My ears are still itchy!"

b) Being the centre of attention
Sure. If you come to visit, no matter who you are, he wants you to recognise how majestic he is. This include sitting in the centre of the living room (often on the coffee table), or suddenly hops on my lap, doing the, "Scratch me, slave!" while I talk to guests.

c) Playing with water
LOVESSSS running water. I mean, if there's a puddle of water on the cement floor on one side, and a dry one on the other, he'll choose to step on the puddle of water. Just because. He will also walk in the rain, and will approach you afterwards, looking at you with his big eyes and whimper slightly (that's A'a's way of communicating, "Miss, please towel me dry").
But then if you take him to the bathroom to bathe him, all hell breaks loose. He will scratch you, and punch you in the face, and runs away like mad. What a weirdo.

Water is awesome. Water is life.
Apart from all the weirdness, and the arrogance, and the failure in catching anything except a flu, I still love that fatso, solely for the fact that he is the opposite of Mugabe. Mugabe likes staying outdoors, he is an indoor cat. Mugabe meows a lot, A'a is very quiet. Mugabe catches mice, A'a catches your attention with his gedikness. Mugabe is not around a lot, A'a is almost always home.  

Don't you love a cat that is always home?

Saturday, June 27, 2015

The busy happened. So.

Yes, day three of too much work no time for nuthin...

I will try to write something. Anything.

For now.

Friday, June 26, 2015


Day two of extreme busy-ness (I don't even care to check the dictionary anymore).

Can't read Facebook newsfeed if I want to make sure that my pahala puasa tak kena deduct berpoint-point. Too many ridiculousness, all of them involving clothing. Evverybody is an ustaz on one side, and evverybody is a supposed defender of people's right to wear whatever they want, on the other.

Although... if there is one thing I can say about the whole 'proper clothes at government premise' is - it has ALWAYS been that way. Always. Sometimes the staff there tak kisah, and sometimes diorang kisah, but the whole proper attire policy has ALWAYS been there. Kenapa mesti nak jadi isu sekarang? What kind of ridiculousness is this?

Ikut je peraturan tak boleh ke? Kenapa mesti semua pun nak jadi some kind of issue remeh-temeh yang tak affect the country as a whole? Kalau boleh pakai seluar pendek atau tak pakai seluar pendek, tahap poverty kat Malaysia ni makin berkurangan ke? Can you take your hak berpakaian somewhere else instead?

Hey, I am not a fan of what is happening with the government too, but this is just crap. I prefer people paying their attention again back to 1MDB issue, plis.

Friggen ridiculous.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Blog update?

I should've written something, but then my boss called and said that my work deadline has been renewed from "28, 29, and 30 June" to "tomorrow onwards".


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I dare you. I double dare you.

Five things.

There are five sentences that I hate the most. It causes my jaw to clench, my blood to boil, and my anger tachometer going from 0 to 10, Ramadhan or not.

There are words that people don't want to hear. For example, one of my friends hate it when people use the word "Sabarlah..." It's not the act of being patient that rubs her the wrong way, but the notion it gives, that you are not patient at all and need to be told to be patient; or the notion that the person writing it or saying it doesn't have anything to say but still thinks he or she has to say something.

Another one of my friends hates it when people said, "You're so good at doing this. Anybody would be lucky to marry you...". It's not that the compliment angers her, but the fact that she has been told that again and again and again and yet she was single that made it irksome (she's getting married now, FYI, so your loss, mankind).

I have my own taboo statements as well. These are the things that would usually spark that kettle whistle in my brain, and I will tell you why.

a) "Penulis ni mesti banyak berangan, kan?"
("There must be a load of daydreaming involved in being a writer, eyh?")

Oh, I'm sorry. I don't know that I don't need any education to be a writer. All I need to do is staring dreamily into space and think about rich guys who would do everything he can to be with me, right?

It annoys me so much that people still has that notion that THAT what writers do. We're not all E.L. James, man. Some of us spent years of research before writing something. We listen to people's stories, we spend time writing the right words, finding the right plot, and sending messages to people. You must be mistaken 'daydreaming' with 'great scope of imagination'. Great scope of imagination? That we have. Drooling by the window thinking about being swept off your feet by rich dude riding a horse? That we don't do.

And really, male writers rarely get these kinds of comments. It mostly female writers. Is it because we mostly write romance novels, that some idiots think all we do is think about being saved by six-pack billionaire adonis?

b) "Kau ni kena selalu banyak keluar jumpa orang."
("You have to go out and meet people.")

You know, 'meeting people' has a lot of connotations. If you mean, going out and socialise with people, I do that sometimes. Do I always do that? No. Why? Because I have work sometimes. And socialising drains my energy. I hate to explain to people about extroversion vs. introversion, because it's lame. But if you mean 'meeting a lot of guys', meeeh.

But the thing is, 'selalu banyak keluar' is not the answer for life's question. In my late twenties, I do that a lot. I go out, I take vacations, I meet new people, I network. But truth be told, I get tired of doing it, of being somebody that I am not. Nowadays, I manage my time better, get to know and be friends with quality people. Meeting readers, that's more fun.

c) "Ala, makan jela ubat..."
("just take some pills...")

I've talked about this in my previous post about migraines. I don't get angry when people ask me to just take my med when it's only flu or things like that. When I get migraines, though, that's another story.

It's the insensitivity that I hate, the kind of words people say when they think you're being a baby. Whenever people say that to me, I would always imagine filling their head with rocks and then shake it like a cocktail shaker. "See? Now, tell yourself 'makan jela ubat'..." I would say.

Sigh. That would be an awesome thing to do to people.

d) "Ala, kau kerja kat rumah je kot..."
("You're only working from home...")

Let me tell you why I hate hearing that. You know how teachers hate it when people say, "How hard can it be?", or when doctors were told "Doctors only want people to get vaccines for their own profit!" or when an interior designer being told, "Pfft, even I can do this job!"

That's the thing. Respect people's job, people!

Yes, unlike others, I am more fortunate to be able to work at home and avoid traffic congestion. But it doesn't mean that I have all the time for other things. I can't just go wherever you want me to go without prior notice. I am not a businessman... okay, a service is also a kind of business, but what I mean is I don't create work. I work for others. I work for several companies, I have deadlines, I have projects. I may be working in my PJs, but I am a professional when it comes to my work. I don't take vacations sesuka hati without informing my bosses, and I don't take vacations sesuka hati without thinking the consequences to my monthly pay.

I have a very unstable income, if you want to know. It depends on how much work I do daily (that's why I would suggest ministers being paid like a freelancer. Then a lot of things are done faster and better). I am also expendable. What does that mean, you ask? It means that if I don't do my job well, there are thousands of freelancers or would be freelancers waiting to do my job. You know how many people ask me how to do what I do on daily basis?

I never questioned your work, why would you question mine?

e) "Yela, kau jela yang betul..."

Nope. If you want to have a debate with me, then come at me with facts, son. And be ready to listen to my opinion. If you're just trying to spew your ideology all over the place with no facts, then be ready to get schooled. I can listen to your crap, so listen to mine.

Anyway... what's your taboo sentence?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Let's talk about Cats: Mugabe

Mugabe came to me by accident.

No, I mean not actual accident. More like, he emerges out of nowhere and came into my life. It would be more interesting if the word "Mugabe" can be replaced with "Leonardo DiCaprio", but then again, I would not trade Mugabe for anything.

If you're my Facebook friends, you will know how much I talk about the little black terror. It's because unlike all of my previous cats, he came to me. There I was, chatting with my agent, Abang Long while signing some books that were purchased online by readers (you can call/Whatsapp Abang long at 019-2254910, sempat aku iklan), when suddenly a black kitten emerged from the drain, meowing at me and sat next to me.

"Kucing awak ke?" Abang Long asked.
"Taklah. Ini baru pertama kali nampak," I said.

So after he left, I went inside and scooped up some cat snacks for him. I put it on the floor outside the house and he ate it. He never left since then.

That was three years ago, and since then Mugabe has been a part of the family. He was also the first black cat I ever had. I always wanted one.... a black cat, I mean. It's just that I never came across one. I never buy cats (I am more of the adopt strays kind of person, and I prefer adopting cats from my own neighbourhood. I mean, there are a lot of strays here that need care, why would I go elsewhere for it?), and the neighbourhood never really had black strays before.

I always find black cats intriguing, for the fact that it can never charm someone the same way any other cats do. It is well known fact that black cats are the ones who get euthanised the most at the impound because they are always the last choice when it comes to adoption. Maybe because some people still have that superstition about black cats being bad luck (I beg to differ, since Youtuber Steve Cash makes his cash by featuring his talking black cat Sylvester in his videos), or because they are just not the preference.

Being dark-skinned myself, I know that feeling, somehow.

But things are changing nowadays. People are starting to love black cats, and I guess Toothless from "HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON" has something to do with it. But I do have to agree, that black cats are not for everyone. Though not all of them are the same, most black cats are loud. They talk. I mean, meowing is one thing, meowing repeatedly from the front door to the kitchen is another. They're not suitable for people who love peace and quiet.

I love peace and quiet. BUT I also love talking to cats. And Mugabe was perfect for me. I mean, that maybe the reason why Steve Cash's Sylvester was a great choice for talking cats as well. They always reply to you.

This is my daily conversation with Mugabe.

"Bay, ko nak makan ke?"
"Nak makan apa?"
"Itu tak ada. Whiskas je ada. Whiskas nak?"
"Meoooowwww.. Wow wow wow..."
"Yela, aku bagi la ni. Tak payah membebel."
"Pfft. Tak payah nak merajuk."
"Lepas makan keluar tau?"

It's fun. He always reply. ALWAYS.

Despite their talkativeness ('despite', because most people hate noisy cats, so it's considered a disadvantage, no matter how much I beg to differ), one thing I can say. Black cats are awesome hunters. When Mugabe was around a lot, our house was free from pests. Rats, roaches, lizards, you name it, he caught it. You don't have to wait for him to do it. If you saw a roach on top of the cupboard, you just put him in front of the cupboard, and he will strike. It's like I have my own pest controlling machine, charged only with cat food!

He is also the worst when it comes to self-harm. In only three years, he had:
1. Fractured his hindleg while jumping from the roof (he limps slightly now)
2. Got a hole behind his neck from a fight (treated and cured)
3. Got a hole in his head from another fight (stitched twice, after he tear the first one)
4. Injected to avoid liver disease after licking on white paint, that is after his body was smeared in one
5. Twice being warded for health reasons
6. Numerous vet visit because of numerous other cat's diseases

That time when he got stitches for the hole in his head
That time his fur was shaved after falling into white paint

But he's not around that much anymore. He rarely comes home nowadays. If you try to make him stay home, he will meow his eyes out. Last time, when he was supposed to stay home after getting stitches for his head, he tried to escape the cage by butting his head on the door, and then looked at me, as if saying, "It's either you let me out, or I will make another hole in my head. Choose, bitch."


"I'm amazing and you know it."

Monday, June 22, 2015

Kamarudin Haji Ahmad

I blogged this four years ago about my dad.

In the spirit of Father's Day and my laziness, I will post it again here:

Published on
6/21/11, 5:09 AM
Malaysia Time

Haji Kamarudin bin Haji Ahmad @ Ahmat adalah seorang lelaki tua berumur 64 tahun yang aku sangat takuti masa aku kanak-kanak. Kalau beliau threaten nak lempang, beliau akan lempang. Kalau beliau ajar Matematik, jangan berani-berani nak garu kepala sekalipun memang sebenarnya kepala memang gatal masa tu. Memang nak kena rotanlah jawabnya.

Tapi sebagai anak kedua, there is something about that fact yang membuatkan aku - sekalipun takut dengan ayah - masih cuba untuk menduga tahap amukannya, partly sebab anak kedua memang ada that sense of trying to attract their parents. Yes, huge attention issue especially when the first born was a girl, so I'm like the been-there-done-that. Sebab tulah aku menjadi anak perempuannya yang paling menguji kesabaran. Aku tahu betapa susahnya untuk seorang ayah menahan diri daripada merotan anak perempuan, tapi aku memang biasa kena. Hahahahaha. Ya, aku yang carik pasal, so no sweat. 

Tapi dalam masa yang sama aku juga sangat admire ayah. Aku admire his love for my mum sampai sanggup tinggalkan Jakarta sekalipun tinggal exam seciput lagi sebelum dia akan dapat degree (sekalipun nowadays aku akan kata "bapak aku menggatal nak kahwin masa tu"). Aku admire his taste for knowledge dalam semua hal (ada tak orang lain study bil eletrik TNB sampai boleh explain tentang rotation meter?). Aku admire his crude jokes. Aku juga admire the fact that he can say almost all absurd things you can possibly think of (macam menyamakan kereta Proton Saga dengan perempuan jalang - "Cantik di luar, buruk di dalam".)

Semalam aku temankan ayah pergi TNB. Ayah memang ada masalah pendengaran sekarang ni, jadi sekalipun dia cuma nak tanya soalan je kat kaunter perkhidmatan, aku kena ikut sekali just in case dia tak dengar atau tak dapat teka mulut pegawai perkhidmatan tu (ya, my dad now reads mouth). Tapi masalahnya aku memang tak faham apa masalah sebenar bapak aku dengan bil letrik rumah kitorang yang cuba dia jelaskan pada pegawai tu. Nasib baik dia berjaya guess apa yang pegawai tu cakap. 

Sepanjang dalam perjalanan balik, bapak aku cerita fasal meter rotation kat aku. Okay, biasanya aku memang dengar je suma citer dia, tapi kalau ada satu topik yang paling tak menarik minat aku selain matematik, adalah topik bekalan letrik rumah aku. Lepas tu singgah stesen minyak dan beli cendol kat Seksyen 9. Ayah terbaca pasal baucer RM100 yang kerajaan Selangor nak bagi pada warga tua dan terus excited.

Balik rumah je ayah bukak cerita fasal bil letrik lagi pada mak. Ayah kata bil letrik rumah meningkat sebab muka kakak aku bercahaya (maksudnya ialah kakak aku selalu tertidur dengan laptop dia masih menyala kat depan mata, jadi  dalam gelap cuma nampak muka dia je yang bercahaya.). Lepas tu dia kata dia nak daftar Twitter (aku dan mak gelak guling2 mendengar kenyataan rasmi lelaki yang tidak tech-savvy ini) dan nak buat novel bertajuk "SENJA DI JAKARTA". 

"Dulu aku pernah tulis sikit. Tapi mungkin sebab aku bercita-cita nak tulis novel yang kontroversi, jadi anai-anai makan manuskrip aku." kata ayah pada mak.

Aku cerita kat ayah pasal the whole last *Friday punya case (argh, sangat susah nak menceritakannya bila aku tak boleh bercerita betul-betul kat blog). Aku rasa dalam banyak-banyak benda yang bapak aku bangga dengan aku, ini kali pertama aku tengok muka dia bangga gila, macam seolah2 aku baru menang Pullitzer Prize. Aku rasa kebanggaan bapak aku, ialah bila anaknya menerima ancaman dalam hidup atas nama kerjaya. Dia tak berhenti-henti bincang pasal benda tu dan baca email bos aku berkali-kali seolah-olah dalam email tu bos aku nak bagi aku anugerah insan cemerlang. 4 tahun aku bekerja di syarikat tu, ini kali pertama bapak aku rasa macam kerja aku ni sangat worth my time. Hahahaha. I mean, ada artikel kecik kat dalam majalah RAPI bulan ni pasal buku aku pun tak berjaya membuatkan bapak aku sebangga kes Jumaat lepas.

Bila mengenangkan balik yang benda macam tu yang buat bapak aku bangga dengan aku, aku rasa macam patutlah ada skru yang tercabut dalam otak anak2 dia. 

Ya, sepanjang hari semalam aku habiskan menemankan ayah membuat kerja-kerja hariannya. Pergi bayar bil, study bil letrik, pergi isik minyak, pergi beli kuih. Tapi aku rasa ayah sangat enjoy buat kerja-kerja mundane tu. Dia enjoy merokok kat luar rumah sambil termenung tengok pokok jambu. Dia enjoy baca semua buku yang ada kat rumah aku, sampai ke pamplet GIANT pun dia study bagai nak rak. Dia enjoy mengancam nyawa kucing aku dan ketawakan Phibun bila mangkuk ayun tu larikan diri dari dia.

At less than 5 ft. tall, he is a small man. But he is larger than life.

Happy Father's Day, Ayah. You are the only father for me, in this world and HereAfter.

**The Friday case was I was nearly being sued. Still, that is all I can say.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

At least it's only a migraine?

I may need to wear spectacles.

I don't want to, because I have migraines. And I get migraines when there are things on my face (the reason why I hate 3D movies and its annoying glasses). But I have been working non-stop since last week, that my vision is starting to blur.

I used to be very proud of it. I mean, I usually can read something far away before anybody can. Now I am having a hard time even reading small prints. (Mungkin sebab tu Tuhan tarik kebolehan tu. Bongkak nak mampos).

But I am also having headaches now because of it. Yesterday, I list down all my translation work and I realised that I have translated over 40 scripts this month. And it's not even near the end of June! That must have taken its toll on my eyes, man.

So, that's my predicament. Let's say if I do have to wear one, it's either having a migraine for wearing spectacles, or having headaches by not wearing one. It's like another one of my issue. That is, I will get a headache if I fell asleep at 4pm, and I will get a headache if I restrain myself from falling asleep. Either way, I will end up with a headache. (I say headache, because migraine is a whole other thing).

What a lousy first world problem that is.

I found this aurvey from the website migrainemonologues.

30 Things About My Migraine You May Not Know
(I will just answer 26, because answering too many questions gives me migraines)

1. The illness I live with is: Migraine. (and mild asthma... still recovering from rhinitis. I am a walking diseased head. But since we're talking about migraines, let's just stick to that, eyh?)

2.  I was diagnosed with it in the year: I can't remember. I think it was back when I went for t=full medical check-up for my university

3. But I had symptoms since: 1998. I think living in SMKAKS did it for me. I love my school, but damn I was stressed out by living a very disciplined life. Okay, that's not it. I fell down a small waterfall during a school trip, and banged my head on the rocks.

4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: Trying to explain to people that their headache and my migraine are two different things. If you can work while having a headache, it's just a headache, silly.

5. Most people assume: I am being a baby when I said I can't function sometimes because of it. Don't you just want to stab them repeatedly when they say that, eyh?

6. The hardest part about mornings are: Making sure that I slept comfortably on my pillow the night before, or ta-da... bad mood all day long. 

7. My favorite medical TV show is: House. Because he takes Vicodin. Life would be much better with Vicodin.

8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: I can live without a gadget. Gadgets are migraine triggers.

9. The hardest part about nights are: Not being able to sleep because of the migraine. Duh!

10. Each day I take: I believe in the 'suffer while you can'. If not, then take painkillers. Don't take more than six a day if you want to live long.

11. Regarding alternative treatments I: Bekam. Bekam is awesome. Bekam is life!

12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: an invisible one. I am living with one already, so that means I can cope with it, even when I feel like I can't cope with it.

13. Regarding working and career: That's why being a freelancer/novelist is the best job for me.

14. People would be surprised to know: sometimes I prefer rolling in pain than going out with people who are a pain in the ass. Oh, and lemon-scented fragrance worsens it every time. I hate people with lemon-scented perfume.

15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: I have to live with it and can't enjoy what other people can enjoy. Like crazy roller coaster rides. I used to love crazy roller coaster rides. But now, even Universal Studios' Transformer ride can trigger my migraine. 

16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: withstanding pain without trying to kill people around me.

17. The commercials about my illness: it doesn't exist in Malaysia. For headaches, maybe.

18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: roller coasters.

19. It was really hard to have to give up: Coffee.

20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: Nothing. My hobbies are not the type of things that induce migraines. Taking care of cats and reading are very innocent hobbies

21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: heck, roller coasters 24 hours!

22. My illness has taught me: that I can laugh about it.... that is when I am not rolling in pain.

23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: "ala, makan jela ubat..."

24. But I love it when people: understands.

25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: none. More like, "At least it's not death." - Me.

26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: Welcome to the club, where healthy people irks you

Saturday, June 20, 2015


People are too liberal nowadays.

People wanna go nude? Okay!
Dude wanna be dudette? Okay!
Dudette wanna be dude? Okay!
People bashing other people's belief? Okay!

Why? Because they're "free to do" what they want to do. They said.

As much as I don't want to judge people for their choices, I am also worried that people today as human beings are so distant from the word "Consequences" that they no longer understand it.

People nowadays don't understand that there're consequences to one's action. There is no longer balance in anything. When we were young, we were taught that whatever we do will have its consequences. Not just directly, but also indirectly. If you put your hand inside a snake hole, there is a possibility that you will be bitten by a snake. And that there is a possibility for that snake to leave the hole and bite someone else because you disturbed its slumber.

Nowadays, it's more like, "Oh my God, that snake is wrong. It should not bit her! She has every right to put her hand in that hole. Don't teach her not to put a hand in the hole, teach the snake not to bite."

No. It goes both ways. (Of course, actual snakes can't be taught...unless you're a snake charmer... and they sometimes got killed by snakes). As much as you have to teach A not to hurt, you should also teach others that what happens to B should be a lesson. B might be wrong, or B might just be an innocent victim, but what happened to B should be a lesson to others, whatever that lesson might be. And that lesson should not be "Do whatever you want, because we're free."

But of course, you should never said "Serves B right" for whatever happen. That's just cruelty.

All I am saying, as much as we would like people not to judge before knowing the whole story, we should also teach them every story has a lesson to learn, a reminder for the rest of us.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Kaki Bodeks Piss Me Off

Kaki bodek pisses me off.

There. I said it.

You know how rude people becomes nicer in Ramadhan, or how kaki mengumpat will try to restrain themselves from mengumpat lebih banyak in the fasting month?

But kaki bodek remains a kaki bodek all year round. Why? Because kaki bodek never think of themselves as a sinner. "I am just praising my boss, what's wrong with that?"

Evvverything is wrong with that.

Sure, when someone does good and deserves a praise, you praise them. You should not be so arrogant as to say, "Ala, baru buat baik sekali, nak mintak puji". Nope. Good deed is good deed. Good work is good work. You should acknowledge it.

But praising someone for evvverything they do even when it's wrong?

There are three worst things in the world:
a) People who do bad things (bad. just bad)
b) People who saw other people do bad things but say nothing about it (all of us, naturally... sometimes...)
c) People who praises people who do bad things (which is the absolute worse)

And I have witnessed a lot of this going on. One time, this lady, who I will call 'A' (uuuu... so original, using the first word of the alphabet to describe someone so that they can't sue you)... kept babbling to me about the injustice that has been in practice in her company. Later on, the company's big boss lamented about a certain employee, and there's her, in one of the comments, going, "Oh, that is true. We should not do that. We should always be thankful that our esteemed boss has given us a job in the first place."

I mean, she is one step away from going, "All hail, big boss!".... so sickening.

You know why I think Category C people are worse than Category B people? Because these lots don't only make it look like nothing is wrong with the situation, but they also ENCOURAGE it. There is this one dude that I know. He was the worst.

"I love working with a modern, courageous, innovative person such as yourself," he wrote on his boss' Facebook status.

*prepare to launch roll-eyes version 3.0*

Like I said, I don't mind people commending other people for their job well done. I do that sometimes. I like writing to said people and tell them how good their services are. For example, last time, a Rapid KL bus driver going to Damansara asked me to get in after I missed my bus going to Shah Alam, and he chased the Shah Alam bus to the next stop so that I could get in. So, later on, I wrote to Rapid KL and praised the bus driver for a job well done. A few months later, RAPID KL create that ridiculous Bit Bit Card system,...................

So I told them they're dumb.

But sometimes, I also adopt the sins of Category B people, by not saying what I really think. And you know why I do that sometimes? Because of the existence of Category C people. A good friend of mine did that once. I mean, speaking the truth about the state of things. What happened to her, you ask? She has been 'indirectly' banished for it. I mean, why would the top people care, right? There are a lot of kaki bodeks saying it's not true, anyway.

It's hard to live a brave life. The cowards are not making it easier, and the kaki bodeks made it impossible.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Cats and Dogs

Salam Ramadhan y'all..... (dgn suara Britney Spears)

The first day of Ramadhan, aku terbangun lambat sikit. Biasanya mak masak lauk2, aku masak sayur2. Tapi sebab pukul lima baru terbangun, maka terberdosa la beta terhadap ibu yang kena masak sendiri.

Sebenarnya bleh je dia kejutkan bangun, tapi dia tak kejutkan, mungkin sebab aku duk buat translation sampai tiga skrip sepanjang hari semalam.

Today I came across the article about the dog meat festival, which will be held in Yulin - a prefecture in mainland China this weekend. Every year since I started writing entertainment news, I will come across this. And I just can't bear it.

I mean, yes, it may be a tradition, and yes, we have our own food culture, but how can you not feel a little bit of sympathy for the dogs? (recently they also started eating cats... and don't even let me go there. As a cat-lover whose house is always with cats since the day I was born, I can't even begin...).

But of course, every time we talk about it, there bound to be people going (*read it in a dumb voice) "Uhhhh... but people eat cows. Don't they have any regards for cows? So hypocrite...."... *rolleyes*.... Let's just not debate on that whole cows-have-feelings-too thing, because then you get some vegans going "animal torture!" and all that, I just don't have time for that anymore.

(Hey, I have nothing against vegan, my vegan friends are nice people. But there are people who like pointing fingers at you calling you a murderer for eating beef steak. And I hate those people)

All I can say is, we have animals that we eat, and animals we don't eat. Like plants as well. You eat certain kinds of plants, and there are plants that you know you shouldn't eat (if I eat my mum's orchids, know for a fact that I will be hospitalised.... maybe for upsetting my tummy, or maybe my mum beat me to death for destroying her precious orchids).

And speaking of living things.... vegetables are also alive. Just because they don't have eyes or don't scream when they're being plucked from the ground, doesn't mean that they're not a living thing. If we're not eating anything alive, we don't eat anything, okay? So, shut up already. I don't condone people eating pets. I don't condone people eating pest either, but if they want to get sick from rats-related disease, well, silakan menjamu selera.

I mean, yes, Muslims don't really have dogs as pets (and let's not go into detail about it as well... that's another ridiculous debate I don't want to be involved in), but I still think of them as pets for other people. And people love their dogs like family. Seeing people eating dogs is like, seeing people eat a family member. I mean, that's a dog. I would not even want to try to watch any videos where they eat cats.

I have three cats. I don't treat them like my children, but they're my source of joy. I mean, all cats are my source of joy - no matter what shapes and sizes they are. I can't even look at a cat without a leg without going "Oh my God, I want to cry".... let alone THIS.

So of course. It's a practise that has been going on for ages. But so was burning the wife with husband's corpse in India, but that has long been abolished. Why can't we abolish this as well?

Photo from
Dogs awaiting to be slaughtered

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

I am gonna write again daily... because... reasons...

Assalamualaikum dan Salam Ramadhan to all of you!!!

This year, I will try to bring back an old tradition back when I blogged at teh-segan (some of you might not know it, but I used to have another blog. I don't anymore, because in my 20s, I was quite an asshole, and that blog is filled with my assholeness, excuse my French).

What is that tradition, you ask? Well, I just called it that to make it sound awesome (in truth, it's not. It's boring and mediocre). It's just me writing the blog every day for the whole of Ramadhan. I used to do it in the past, before I got too busy with work that involves typing all the time (if you are typing 14 hours a day, seven days a week, you'll get tired of it too. And that's why I don't use Whatsapp. I am tired of typing and structuring words so people would not misinterpret it and cause unnecessary explanations and apology).

It's the worst.

Anyway, i will try to do it again this year... not because I am less busy... (If all the work inside my laptop can be personified as an image, it will look like this:)

...but because I think I need to exercise my ability to write the way I used to... sans the douchebaggery, that is. My writings have become more and more boring as the years go by.

Or at least, I will post a meme and be done with it.

So, see you guys in Ramadhan!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


This is the most ironic photo I have seen all day.
Can you tell me why?
(But of course, if you CAN tell me why, I really will judge you, as much as you will judge me for it, though as an entertainment reporter and writer, I have my reasons. What's yours?)

Monday, May 4, 2015

Kosong. Kosong. Kosong.

Hari tu aku pergi Pesta Buku dan aku rasa kosong.....

Pehh, mukadimah macam intro filem artsy fartsy.

Sebenarnya kekosongan tu ada banyak sebab:

i. Nine, editor SBP 2.0 dah pindah
-Biasanya kalau aku gi PBAKL, aku banyak lepak borak dengan Nine, citer pasal buku, pasal manuskrip, pasal life in general. Tapi tahun lepas, Nine berhenti dan sekarang kerja kat tempat lain, so aku kekurangan rutin di situ.

ii. Editor aku Sue, yang edit buku pertama aku, as well as AKU KELIRU, orang pertama yang aku kenal di Buku Prima selain Encik Ali, pindah ke Alaf21.
- Or in a more precise term, dipindahkan ke Alaf21. Bila aku dengar, aku cam, "What????". You see, the writer-editor relationship bukan sekadar aku tulis ko edit. It takes years of understanding each other's stance, style, and workmanship. I have already lost Ecah (editor PLAIN JANE, AKU KAN NOVELIS), Poja (editor SBP 1), dan Nine (SBP 2.0), now I lost Sue as well?
-Of course, masih ada Anis yang juga editor VALENTINA NERVOSA. Please please please don't take her away too.

iii. Aku tak ada buku baru
- Bila tak ada buku baru keluar masa PBAKL, tahap excitement dia memang berbeza dengan time ada buku baru. Kalau nak excited lebih pun rasa bersalah, cam rasa orang piker, "Makcik tu pehal excited lebih? Buku baru bukan ada pon." ahahahahahahahaha
(disclaimer: Ini adalah perasaan Nurul Syahida sahaja, tidak tertakluk pada orang lain)

iv. Semua orang promote buku kat rak, tapi aku sucks in doing that kind of thing
- I just suck at marketing. Ask my former employer. I wasn't made to stay in the marketing department long for a reason, you know. The reason being I suck at it.

v. Aku tak cukup energy for anything for the past few months
- Kerja yang sangat banyak + introversion + crowds = energy-drained.

So, sambil aku memerhatikan orang ramai membeli buku, dan para penulis lain mempromote buku, diselang-selikan dengan bunyi sound system yang sangat kuat sampai aku tak dengar Kak Lynn (Lynn Dayana, that is) cakap apa half of the time (kitorang asik bergosip sepanjang tempoh tu), I came to the conclusion that...

...I am lost.

I am lost in the sea of new readers and new writers, in the waves of new trends and old habits, in the world that used to be quiet and peaceful but now hectic and loud, where writing used to be about the stories you tell rather than the big screen adaptations and fame.

I am lost in my own thought, trying to remember why I am here in the first place, and how did I end up here. Reminiscing the quiet times when nobody remembered my name or the name of my fellow colleagues, and we're just a group of people who writes for the love of writing, of storytelling, of sending messages, of being trendsetters rather than followers.

And I missed conversing about books, about writers, about plots and stories, of the time when PBAKL was about celebrating books and readers, rather than celebrities and stars.

It overwhelms me.

Maka aku pulang ke rumah dengan rasa kosong itu, dan aku lelapkan mata untuk recharge bateri hidup yang dah tinggal satu bar.

I think I want to take a break.

Monday, April 20, 2015

It's April 2015 and I don't know what I am doing with my life.

Oh my....

Eh jap. Tak supan sebagai orang Islam.


Oh my.... it has been soooo long since I wrote anything in here. I am soooo sorry you guys. I was too busy procrastinating working. Nowadays I am translating a new anime for ANIMAX, and the format is a tad different than my previous translation work, and it's also used for dubbing purposes, so I was unable to focus on anything else. On top of that, I am also doing AMAYA......

(when I say "I am doing AMAYA", I mean, I am TRANSLATING the FILIPINO TELENOVELA by the name of AMAYA, not "I am doing AMAYA" in the perverse sense. Undirt your head, people!)

...for ASTRO Bella, so that's another thing. In short, amidst the Yahoo thing, and the ANIMAX thing, and the Bella thing, and the SEKOLAH BANYAK PENUNGGU 3 thing, I don't have a life. It's more or less wake-up-solat(kalau tak solat nanti Tuhan marah wehhh)-buat air lemon-sarapan-exercise-kerja-solat zohor-makan-kerja-solat asar-kerja-solat maghrib-kerja-solat isyak-rerun Arrested Development (because my break is solely for Jason Bateman)-kerja-pastikan all my SIMS people still alive-tidur-bangun and the cycle continues.

Why do I have an obsession over Jason Bateman? Don't question my taste in men. I used to have a crush on David Mitchell (the comedian, not the author) too, you know....

Sometimes there's time when the whole routine changes a bit. That is when my cats get sick and in need of the vet's attention, or when my mum is not feeling well and I need to cook instead, or when the kitchen stock habis and I need to spend my whole afternoon kat TESCO atau GIANT. And those are the only times I will be out of my house.

So, in short to the original in short, I will one day die in my own house, head slammed on my laptop, with my eyes being eaten by vultures. How the vultures get inside my house in this very dramatic version of my death? I don't know.

My mum's birthday is today. Yesterday we bought her cake, and today I made her a very simple birthday pizza dish using an instant naan bread. Just slab a lot of tomato puree and sauce on it, some cooked hotdog and portabello mushrooms, and a lot of mozarella, a minute inside the microwave and voila! Faux-pizza!

Then I made lunch. Siakap kukus a la whatever. I am too lazy to snap a photo of it, so just imagine a yummy siakap with a lot of halia and bawang and daun bawang on top with an extremely wangi sauce that consists of stok ayam, kicap cair, pepper and sesame oil with your best imagination.

It looks like this, but this is from I did not make this. Please don't sue me for copyright.


I didn't buy mum anything. I think the only thing she would like right now is a grandchild. Since I can't buy those in stores, there's nothing I can do about it. I think the next best thing would be taking her to lunch at all those places that Razif Hashim from BEST IN THE WORLD went to, since she lovvvveeessss the show very much. She even watches the reruns. Two weeks ago, I had to spend my whole Saturday watching Raz Natt eat on TV, and the whole day my brain keeps humming the Nyan Nyan Cat song.

My. Whole. Saturday.

I was like, mum seriously, we're not going to Johor for the same nasi lemak! Stop watching AFC! I can almost smell the food from TV! I mean, I love the show too, but one per day is enough. I am not binge-watching people binge-eating (well, it wasn't binge eating... but you get my point)


I've sent my manuscript last week. It's a story about a girl. And a cat. And betrayal. And more cats. It might have been cuter if the book has illustrations so you can actually see the cats, but then, that would just turn it into a children's book, innit?

I am sooo sorry for taking so much time to finally complete my new book. That's because I have been procrastinating busy. Doing what, I don't even know.

Say, masa cepat berlalu sekarang, kan?


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

In remembrance of a great man: Allahyarham Azhar Asmuni

Dear Diary,
Rather than let the cats 'write' to you today, I will do it myself, to remind myself about life.
Last Friday, my uncle Azhar Asmuni surrendered himself to the beloved Maker, after months of battle with the malevolence known as cancer. Finally at peace, closer to heaven than any of us mortal beings.
With that, he left hearts behind. My aunt, Siti Maisarah, his two children, Shazni and Shazrina, and all of us.
It broke my heart to see my aunt with tears in her eyes, trying to be strong for her children and for herself. And yet, I am proud of her, knowing for a fact that she has always been a strong woman for as long as I can remember.
It also pains me, that the last time I saw him was months and months ago, even before he was even diagnosed. We kept trying to come visit him after the operation, but there were always things to do, work to be done, illnesses and family affairs to work on, that it got delayed every single week. On the last date we planned, he was already gone.
The last memory I had of him was last Eid. He complained of a stomach ache, and I made him a cup of ginger tea.
"Sedap teh Syahida. Ajar mak cik kau buat," he said jokingly. To those who don’t know him, it may sound like a criticism. In truth, however, he loved her very much. Rather than show it to people, he tends to joke around, enjoying my aunt's annoyance, snickering by himself when she expresses her protests, laughing vigorously when she retaliates.
She's a woman of vivacity, and he was a fiery man who embraces life and liveliness. They were perfect for each other, going on trips around the world, working together not just as husband and wife, and parents to their kids, but also as partners in everything.
They were their own version of Rhett and Scarlet, Ainun and Habibie, Marie and Pierre.
And somehow, as saddened I am for not being able to see him on his last days, I am grateful that the man I last saw still had his fire, his snickers, his vigour, and his liveliness, who still looks at his wife with that loving gaze whilst teasing her at the same time. That way, I will always remember him at his best.
Life is fragile, as one has always known. But death is not just about the one that is gone. It also concerns the ones left behind. The ones who must pick up the pieces and continue, the ones who must move on but never forget, the ones who will have to soar with a clipped wing.
"'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all," according to Tennyson.
But one never loses the love of one's life. Love is never gone, but to be shaped, mended, moulded, sculpted, embraced in a different way, to be immortalised in one's heart, and joined with the love of God.
The Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that.” [Bukhari]