Wednesday, May 29, 2013

29th May 2013, Morning.


7.37 am

I'm currently nursing a lukewarm bitter cup of coffee. My breakfast sits guiltily in my tummy, the crumbs dusting my black hijab. Like stars in the country night sky.

The lady in front of me sliced her Sausage Egg McMuffin into two before adding an obscene amount of sugar and creamer into her tea. Looking at her dainty way of eating, it is clear she has perfected the art of eating slowly. A trickle of envy mixed with the guilt because I have always been the type to gobble up my food.

I wonder how long today's appointment woukd be. I remind myself of the questions I need to ask. I wonder if the coffee is making my teeth a different colour. I wonder of another way to write the second half of the dedication.

The lady in front of me offers to get me my free refill of coffee. I fall in like with this stranger at the promise of more caffeine in my veins. More obscene amount of creamer in her tea.

I wonder since when I made the transformation to a coffee drinker from a tea drinker. Maybe after my first sip of Dark Mocha from Starbucks. Maybe after a barista friend trained my tongue to be more accepting of bitterness.

I keep stirring my coffee, resisting the urge to take a picture of it for Instagram.

7.51am

I wonder how Mokesart is doing. I wonder of the New York Crumb cake I made last night. A cake I have never heard of until I went on Google for simple cakes to bake. Mama didn't want Lemon Vanilla cake. Or Honey Vanilla cake. Or anything with lemon or honey. And I'm on my no chocolate baking attempt.

The dainty lady bids me goodbye.

I added my second packet of sugar, remembering how a year ago, I had to put in four packets of both sugar and creamer to make the coffee drinkable. I wonder if exchanging the sugar for honey would make it better.

A new Facebook status: Release date of new chapter of life? Tomorrow.

A Facebook message from Mokesart. A reply to my complaint of the taste of ginger in my Sausage Egg McMuffin.

New name for restaurants/cafes: Omnomnom places.

I see a guy whose flowery wallet peeks out from his back pocket. He takes out his Galaxy Note (wild guess based on size) and it too have a flowery casing.

8.07 am

My thoughts are fully on Tyler Knott Gregson. I wonder if one can fall in love with another's works?

8.40 am

As usual, arrived 25 minutes early to the appointment area. Decided to get my 3rd cup of coffee in 90 minutes at Burger King. This cup smells strong, steam swirling up as I add in sugar and creamer. A stir. Another.

The flat screen tv is showing a local football match. I'm the only person in here. 12 more minutes before it is time to head out.

Amount of sips taken: 0

I think I will have enough caffeine running rampant in me for a student pulling an all nighter for an important paper.

8.48 am

I wonder if I can ask for a cup of ice. Oh wait, if I put on the cap, it doesn't spill. I think I have spent 11 ringgit just for breakfast. Darn it. There goes my honey milk tea budget.

8.55 am

Move it.

10.06 am

Waiting for the slow train. If it follows schedule, it will be here in 3 minutes. Why can't they set up air conditioning in here. I hear a train approaching. Oh. The announcement. Line up people. My bag is heavy. The paper bag has two files, a 600 ml oh there is the train.

10.09 am

Right on track. The train just pulled out from the station. The honey milk tea is beside me, cool and sinful. In front of me is a girl in a black and white striped cardigan. She is hugging a black and white checkered bag. I feel dizzy looking at her.

Should I listen to some music?

Yes.

Just don't sing along Hanis.

10.16 am

I see Eli's office. Dad's.

I'm listening to the song I danced to last night in my room. Door locked, air conditioning on, ready to shower and I danced to the chorus.

I should look into the band's other songs.

Song repeat.

10.29 am

Posted another Tyler Knott Gregson work on instagram. As I said, I'm in love with him.
I plan to write a post about him. I even wrote a lil envy longing filled piece of poetry.

10.32 am

Train stop ahead.

10.51 am

Apparently, its hard to get a phone under 100 ringgit that has bluetooth. I'm sitting on a bench in a mall, waiting for Mama. I saw a casing for my phone earlier. It had a modified Starbucks logo where it now says Star Wars and has a picture of a droid. I want it so badly.

Its funny how Star Wars related products tickle my fancy because I'm not that big of a fan. But as lil bro said, I look like Jabba the Hut's mail order bride in my official graduation picture. I also once saw a casing where it had "Keep Ca and be Han Solo" at the back.

In a private joke I once shared, my porn star name should be Han Solo. Now, its no longer private.

11.01 am

Sweet honey milk tea. I love you. Just posted on Mokesart's wall that I want a Star Wars related phone casing for my birthday.

10.40 am

Mom picked me up 15 minutes ago.



I wrote all of this on the notepad app on my phone this morning to occupy myself the spare time I have as I wait for an appointment.





Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Monday, May 27, 2013

Them Cookies Expanded. And a Plea for a Recipe.




Last Friday, I got bitten by the baking bug. I realised that ever since I started on this "eat right" kick of mine, I haven't baked anything that's not sugar free.

I got jittery and told myself I have to bake something. So I took a look in the fridge and saw that we didn't even have butter. A quick pop into the grocery store for butter, turned into a 10 minute search for the cat's food.

I searched for a recipe, using an app on my phone where I type in the ingredients I want to use and some keywords to get a list of recipes.

I checked the fridge, nothing chocolate. Took it as a sign that I have to make something chocolateless. Gasp.

Sugar cookies.

Butter, sugar, flour, eggs, salt, baking powder, vanilla essence. Done.

It said "12 minutes of preparation". Which did not include the chilling part. A quick look through Google told me that I need to chill the dough in the freezer for at least 2 hours.

Alright.

So I creamed the butter and sugar (Of course, decreasing the amount) together while sifting the flour, salt and baking powder. 

Cracked in an egg into the sugary butter, wait and spoon in the flour slowly. And then, I decided to make some adjustments and make lemon sugar cookies instead.

Grated a lemon for the zest, squeeze for some juice and mix those up with the vanilla essence. Pour into the mix.

Poke with a finger and wonder if the dough should be that sticky.

Add a tablespoon of flour. Wrap the dough up in those clear saran wrap thingie and chilled it in the freezer for two hours.

After dinner, I was excited to bake em cookies. Instead of using a rolling pin, I merely put the dough between two layers of that wrap thingie and pound on it with my hand. No cookie cutter? Use a glass.

Set the cookies on the baking pan, buttered. Scatter almond bits over the cookies and pop into the oven. Halfway, I took them out and drizzled honey. Back in.

And repeat. Repeat. Them cookies expanded.

Now, I want to make a cereal bar. Like, those healthy ones. No white sugar. Or corn syrup. Maybe something using either oats or corn flakes or both. Something simple that doesn't require me buying 5 kinds of seeds. Or use peanut butter.

GDI Hanis. So picky.

Anyone out there with a recipe like that? Or the basic "cereal bar" recipe that you can make adjustments to?

I'll love you.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Confession No. 55



I was driving and a song came on air.  

I remembered. 

Across the table, 
Toes digging into lush carpet,
Pen twirled between fingers,
A frown of concentration. 

You leaned over, sliding the tiny music player across the smooth surface. 

Asked me to give it a listen. 

It was a song I barely knew the title of but could hum the chorus. 

I remembered how you asked me the meaning of three words. 

And I, being a well of random knowledge couldn't provide the answer. 

I know what the song is about, now. 

But we're no longer sitting across each other.




Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Convocation.



I remember waking up at 5.45 am, thinking that today is the day. My graduation aka convocation day. Its 21st May 2013 and outside, the sky was drizzling down with rain. We set for the destination at 6.35, arriving  25 minutes later with my handbag filled with snacks for the long wait. Just as we got at the venue, it rained heavily.

Bid my parents goodbye around 7.30 as they headed for the parents' entrance while I head to the graduates' area with the heavy robe over my arm, and the mortar board and hood in a plastic bag. With clumsy fingers I slipped on the robe. A dark blue with gold embroidery over the lapels and a band around the sleeves. The latter signifies me being a degree graduate, where the diploma graduate's robe would have plain sleeves. 

With slight hesitation, I put on the hood, securing it to the front part of my robe before asking a friend to secure it at the back. Its black with golden lapels. The gold signified that I'm from the Faculty of Computer Science and Mathematical Sciences. 

Graduates trickled into the waiting area, getting ready with the help of their fellow classmates. I watched as a guy secured the back of the hood of his friend's, while the friend made sure another guy's robe was smoothed down properly.

A lady on the committee asked for the number beside my name. 165, out of 800-ish people that day, all from my faculty. She handed me a card where my full name was printed. Three asterisks beside it, with a notation underneath.

Vice Chancellor Award.

She hands me a heavy bundle. The much awaited pink sash. I see some people stare, some with envy. Apparently there will be 62 of this sash worn today. The air was filled with anticipation. Music started playing and everyone lined up according to their number.

And the grand entrance.

It was my turn an hour into the ceremony, receiving from the uni's Vice Chancellor himself.

We lined up, and entered. Our names read out by the emcee. The reciepients of the VC award and first class have those announced with their name. 15 seconds of fame. End.

And after that, I spent the time eating a bar of Snickers, reading and oohing and clapping at the right moments. At the last person's name, the emcee stressed the "and" part and the whole hall clapped and cheered loudly. 





Its so shiny. Don't be fool, its empty as you will only receive your degree after you send back the robes.


The hall. This is after my turn. See, the golden lapels on the hood. Its a very very big hall.




After the ceremony, with Mama and Dad outside. 


And the sash. I didn't want to hand it back with the robes. Its pretty heavy and feels a bit constricted under the whole ensemble.


I want to say thank you to my parents, for always believing in me and telling me that I'm smarter than I think. Who knew that if I tell them "Oh, it was okay" for a paper, that I actually meant I have a chance of getting an A. For always putting my education first. For their sacrifices. For their lessons. For everything. 

I want to thank the people who were there for me to bitch to. Who gave me their support. And of course, for their blind confidence in me when I feel (dramatic) that I will fail a subject. And the "I told you so" when I received an A for that subject I was so sure I'll pass by the skin of my teeth.

For the classmates who helped me by, explaining the concepts I didn't get. For the ones who trusted me enough to ask me to teach them before the finals. You have indeed, helped me study in an indirect manner by explaining and teaching.

And of course, that sash is proof against the negative whispers. Against those jealousy. Against the insecurity. It doesn't mean I'll be a high achiever forever but it will remind me, in future dark days that I'm not a failure. And yes, it will always be one of life's proudest moments for me.

For I was once a smart student who fell from grace. Who some thought as hopeless. And I showed them that, success that comes after disgrace is way sweeter. For a phoenix that rise from ashes, burn so bright.



Sincerely,



Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Meeting Noelle. Squee.


After four years of chatting online, I finally met Noelle last Tuesday. We were supposed to meet on Saturday but conflicting schedules led to Tuesday, at KL Sentral. Which is this amazing train station, where you can change to another train system on the way of buying a yummy Subway cookie. I already made plans to see her when I got a phone call from a certain company that required me to set back my date an hour but it was fine.

We chose to met up at Subway, and I'm pretty sure the workers there were staring daggers into my back because I sat there for 30 minutes without buying anything. My defense is that every time I plan to buy a cookie, you had a super long line. 

Via text, Noelle kept me updated on when she will be arriving and I have to admit, there were a bit of  squealing when we first saw each other. It felt surreal.


Our first picture together, taken by Noelle's cute friend, Rose.


Somewhere in KL Sentral.


Our last picture together, before I had to catch the train back home.


And of course we exchanged gifts. Noelle gave me quite an amazing hoard, especially since she just went to Korea in April and perhaps she remembered my weakness for face masks.


From bottom left clock wise:
A beautiful little bag, a very cute pencil case (which I will use right away), Facemasks: herbal, golden pear, strawberry and snail (yes, snail), dried mangoes and banana hand choux cream.



And here is Noelle in the abaya I bought for her in Medina. I also have one of this pattern, because when I found it, I thought it was very very pretty and need to get one for myself too.


Dear Noelle, it was fun meeting you and we have to meet again, let's not take another four years for the next meet.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Post in My Name? And Not on Here.


Yesterday, I followed a relatively new blog. It had one post that meant something to me because it had to do with marriage blah blah etc. I commented, and I followed the blog, sensing it would be an interesting one.

And boy it turned out to be better cause the blogger, decided to write another post in honour of me. YES, there is a post on someone else's blog entitled "Hanis!!" and I want to show it off. So, go on people, go read that post, and the one before that at:





Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Honey in My Tea.






Imagine a cup of tea on the table in front of you. You can see spirals of steam above that special colour it possess. For a moment, you crave for your usual extra milky latte but your father glares from across the table. Yes, hot tea is rumoured to be a good healer for a sore throat.

Beside the cup, is a small plate with three baked goods, carefully picked from the extensive spread provided by the hotel.

Imagine, a mini version of a cinnamon roll. But every bite fills your mouth with the scent of rose water and bits of pistachios.

Imagine, one of the the tastiest croissant you have ever tasted. Flaky, buttery and melts in your mouth. Chocolate-less food has never been so sinful.

Imagine, a muffin that smells just like your favourite gourmand scent. Vanilla. And beside it, is a small jar of honey the colour of ambrosia. 

You take off the lid, dip a teaspoon in and stir it into the strong tea. Another teaspoon, a sip.

You look around, a naughty gleam in your eyes as you pick up the jar and let it slowly trickle out onto the muffin. 

The trickle of honey drizzles over the golden surface, making it seem glazed. 

Another sip of the tea and you take a bite of the muffin and the combination is so lovely that your eyes roll just a bit at the taste. Another bite, a sip. 

By the time your cup is empty, the three baked goods are happily in your tummy and you, just had the best breakfast you have had in ages.


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Confession No.54



Funny how the poison became the cure after a period of fermentation.



Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Review: The Hannibal Lecter series by Thomas Harris.


Most people know of Hannibal Lecter. Perhaps one of the scariest fictional man not set in an alternate universe. Why did I even pick up the books?

The new tv series, Hannibal.

I missed out the first few episodes and being me, I decided to look it up on good ol Wikipedia. And as all Wiki fans know, I ended that journey on the page for the last book in the series.

So I went on to get ebook copies of all four of them.

Red Dragon
The Silence of the Lambs
Hannibal
Hannibal Rising

I have watched the last 3 movies and shuddered at the images. Reading the books one after another, I came up with one conclusion.


Hannibal Lecter is a monster with exquisite taste.


The third book, Hannibal is the one that made me stop reading and shuddered at the mental images the words gave me.

The first two books, for me, played the role of making the reader eager for the third. Hannibal Lecter was merely a side character in them, a cannibal in a mental hospital, known for his atrocious doings and his career before.

Even as a side character, you could see how ... twisted the man is. Imagine how it is in the book where he is the main character, having escaped and dissapeared for 7 years.


The ending of Hannibal was a bit ... too far fetched for me, but it was a twist.

What of the last book? It was a bit confusing but I pitied him. I saw how he was led to the beggining of his journey. But the book should have been longer and explained more on how he became the man in the first three books.

What I would like is a book about how it led to his situation in the first two books aka how he got caught or what the tv show is doing right now.


Should you read it? If you have basic knowledge of him, yes. If you have free time, yes. If you have this morbid fascination, yes. If you want people to be interested in what you last read, yes.

Rating? Averaging out at 3 stars for the whole series.


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

First Day Twelfth Hour.




Sometimes


She picks the exact stones and sticks


Scattering them in the same pattern


On the first day 


On the twelfth hour


And wait with supressed hope


Unwilling to jinx the smallest chance


Of perfection descending again


Upon the insignificant


With ambrosia in its hand.



Tuesday Thoughts.

Monday, May 6, 2013

180 Minutes, of Standing.


Took this at t=60 minutes.



Yesterday, I stood in line for 150 minutes. I spent half of that reading Amy Tan's The Bonesetter's Daughter, a quarter of it playing Battlecats and the remaining was spent people watching.

I thought arriving at 9am would be sufficient to guarantee a short queue. Oh boo. People were lining up 2 hours before, an hour before the counters are even opened. The counters are divided according to age. 

Being young means that you get the longest queue, yes, the one that snaked around a building where it took me about 100 minutes of standing before I even see the door to the room.

The wind was a miser yesterday. Or a tease more like it. The sun was shy, which I'm very thankful for. The two guys and girl in front of me had a great time eating potato chips. Something I have been craving for since Mid Feb. 

A snap, a post.

When I was within spitting distance from the door, a piece of paper were passed down. The list of rules that I read eagerly out of boredom, and impatience. 

Standing at the door, waiting, just waiting.

My turn. 

180 seconds later and I was done.

With the tip of a finger painted in blue ink.

I have voted for the first time.

My first thought?

Next time, I'll come at 7am, and wear comfy comfy flip flops and bring a Snickers bar.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Hello May.




Hello there fifth month,

I'm pretty excited because you have some exciting promises for me. Here are the things that will happen in your 31 days.

1. I have an interview tomorrow for this major apprenticeship thingie. Chances of me being chosen is about 5%, but lets look at the bright side and see it as an experience.

2. Noelle will be visiting next weekend, all the way from her far far away land with some gifts for me. We will have dinner or lunch, and gossip.

3. My graduation ceremony is middle of this month, and I would have that special pink sash to wear which indicates that not only I graduated first class, but I'm also a recipient of the Vice Chancellor Award.

I do hope you'll be better than April. You know what I mean, those dreams.

Love,

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Confession No. 53





For the pain crippled me

For the shortest moment/longest second

Reminding me of the hole in my soul (not heart)

Before my mind tells me

That I have no right

For that hole is merely a figment 

Of my imagination.






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