My sister getting married last September made me realize that I was always part of a Force, it was always me and my sis, the Hamzah sisters, part of the Hamzah Family. Of course her getting married kind of changed that and now I’m just lonely me.

In our school, a lot of our friends were those kinds as well, a Family Force. There were the Khatibs, the Preeces, the Joneses, the Radwans, the Soualhis, the Sanos, the Ismaiels, the Manafs, the Khans, the Abullais’, the Shafiqs, the Tauseefs, the Ashours, the Elkhaldis, the Ghassans, etc.

And now we’re at that age where we’re starting to become the people who will be family friends ourselves. I don’t know if that makes sense, but that’s how I see it.

Last weekend my brother’s best friend got married to my sisters best friend. It seems kind of impossible that they didn’t know each other before Munira’s wedding, but that’s where they first met. 8 months later and they’re happily married. So surreal. Throughout the whole wedding weekend it felt like my actual sister was getting married to my brother, as weird as that sounds. Because they really are like family to me. I couldn’t be happier for them both 😀 Congratulations Zati and Lutfi!!! I had fun being a self appointed bridesmaid and unofficial photographer 🙂

more pics in the slideshow below 🙂

Today we had an appreciation bbq for us fifth years, as a way to say thanks to our supervisors and ‘assistants’. It was fun prepping the bbq, cooking, eating and chatting with my studio mates. cakap pasal macam2. Some dah secured jobs, some are applying, some are starting to look for houses. My plans after graduation are kind of sketchy, but mainly consists of chilling and traveling. maybe a small job just for fun. I’ve always wanted to work in a bookstore, or an assembly factory.

Towards the end of the night, we all gathered round for a game of mafia wars (which you can read about here) and even though I was already ready to go home, I decided to play one round. I’m quite proud  that my first guess was absolutely spot on. too bad no one really believed me so the tyrant lived well into the game.

But sitting in that misshapen circle and staring people down made me realize that, despite everything, I know I will miss this crazy bunch.

Its the final final stretch to the finish line, just have to submit my report and Insha’Allah I’ll be done with my thesis. Final presentation went alright, but more on that later. 🙂

Food – A love/hate relationship

If you know me personally you know I’m what some would call ‘skinny’. I’m around 5’2″ with a slight frame and I currently weigh 43 kg. I am definitely underweight and I know it. Not that I like being so light and wispy. A few months ago I’d been going on a steady 45kg, I was at that weight for more than 5 years with very little ups and downs. The heaviest I’ve ever ever been was 47kg in my third year, when we went for heritage studies.

It’s not like I don’t try to gain weight, I really have tried. but the pounds don’t seem to stick. A few months ago there was a health screening thing in UIA and I went just for fun. My metabolism rate was off the charts, and according to the guy at the booth, it’s because of my irregular sleeping pattern and irregular mealtimes. Ideally, I should be around 50kg (although the reading below said 54..I can’t imagine being over 50. Masa 47 pun dah tercungap2 naik tangga kaed..)

BMR- thats my body’s metabolic rate

My dilemma is this:
When people eat, they usually feel energized, yea? Not me. When I get hungry and remember to eat, I get extremely drowsy and sluggish afterwards. it’s not even funny. if you ask any of my teachers/lecturers/classmates since high school they’ll know I slept in just about every single class.

I’m also..lazy and forgetful when it comes to eating. If I’m at home in my room doing work or whatever, I’d usually forget to eat, and when I do remember at the end of the day or in the afternoon, I tend to be all ‘I’m too lazy to go all the way downstairs and cook something..and I’m not that hungry anyways.’

When I don’t eat, I will eventually get very tired and can’t do work due to lack of energy (obviously) but when I do eat, I get super sleepy and can’t really function as well. So, to eat or not to eat?

Being the paranoid person I am, I’m half certain that I have either narcolepsy or some weird gluten allergy/celiac disease or that there’s something wrong with my blood. I mean, I know I have low blood pressure but maybe my oxygen count is low or I don’t have enough blood or what. hmhmhm

I suppose one problem might be what I’m eating and when I’m eating it. I rarely have breakfast which I know, is the most important meal of the day (at least that’s what everyone says) and usually only have either lunch or dinner, and at irregular times. So in an effort to make myself more food-disciplined, a friend suggested I keep a food journal. it’s been 3 days since I started and immediately it’s obvious that I skip breakfast and I tend to snack a lot. In our household, we usually cook with less oil and less salt because its healthier, but on my part I’m very picky about what I eat. I only eat certain veggies and only if they’re fresh, etc2.

Need to start taking care of myself because who else is gonna do that. Also probably need to learn how to cook. 😐 And exercise/be more active.

Healthy me Insha’Allah (right after I finish my thesis >.< )

Holiday to do list

Ok I’m procrastinating again. My exams are not over yet but I already have a list of thing I want to/have to do this holiday 😀 I have a month. I’m sure i’m being over ambitious, but here it is, in no particular order:

  1. Sew something! because i’m a total absolute noob, probably something simple. like a handkerchief. haha. ok maybe a pouch/purse thing.
  2. Continue to work on my knitting/crocheting – even out the stitches, edges, and make something instead of just incomplete pocket squares which turn out looking like triangles.
  3. Write more – here, there, everywhere. to myself, to friends. on this blog.
  4. Sketch things – whatever ideas i have basically. could be about the above mentioned projects, architecture, crafts or anything else. 
  5. Papercrafts – make cards and other fun things
  6. Clean my room – ohoho yes
  7. Fix my clock face – its broken so i want to make a pretty new one
  8. Organise my year by putting things into a calender
  9. Maybe tinker with this blog design
  10. Research on highrise – services, structures, examples, green tech applicable, materials, case studies
  11. Do the assignment madam told us to do – what setbacks i experienced this year, how i plan to improve upon them, and what my expectations are for B.Arch
  12. I also want to travel
  13. Hang out with friends. this can be done together with item no.12
  14. Bake. or make bagels.
  15. Finish my Zelda game. By finish I mean win, of course. Come on Ethan you can do it!!
  16. Continue those french lessons I long abandoned.
  17. read more Qur’an and its translations – review those surahs that are fading /have faded from memory 

Twenty Twelve

I had planned to write a recap of 2011, I already took down notes for January and February, and a little bit of march. But in the flurry of busyness surrounding the last few months at my job and the nonstop busy during my semester, it didn’t get done. You can read the half baked blog post at my scraps blog for posts that didn’t make it, here.

Also, not that I was any good before, but my writing skills seem to have dwindled down significantly. Probably because of lack of practice. Maybe I should work backwards, start with where I am now. The new years. As it so happens, I’m currently procrastinating. I should be studying for my exams that are just around the corner but although I find economics and all the related stuff fascinating the horde of new concepts and specific terms tend to confuse me, just like it did in high school. Business studies was the only subject I ever got a C for and because I just couldn’t grasp what was being taught I dropped it the next semester. Also perhaps because our teacher was pretty lousy. I still sat in through the classes though, because I was the only one in my grade who wasn’t taking business studies, so even If I did have a free period, there was no one I could hang out with. As it turns out the next semester we had a different teacher who was slightly better but then if my memory serves me right he felt underappreciated because people didn’t respect him in class, so one day he exploded and never came back to finish the syllabus. I mean exploded in anger.

Oh. I should mention that I’m having exams because I decided to continue my Part 2 in architecture. It kind of a difficult concept to explain, whenever I say I’ve taken up studying again people always say, oh, you’re doing your masters? And I have to try and explain that it’s not a masters degree even though it’s at the masters level. For the benefit of anyone randomly traipsing through the web and happened to find my blog by searching for Part 2 bachelor of architecture in UIA (IIUM) I’ll break it down

In Malaysia, to become a licensed architect you need to pass three parts or stages. The first stage is Part 1. In IIUM, Part one is called Bachelor of Science (architectural Studies). It’s mostly the same for other public universities in Malaysia, except some universities combine part one and part 2 into a 5 year course. But in my case, after completing part one; you would have graduated with your first degree.

Then you can either choose to enrol in Part 2 if you want to continue immediately or work first (as I did) or just not continue at all, or continue in other fields. With a part one degree your position in an architecture firm would most probably be that of an assistant architect, though the specific workload you’ll receive as well as the pay differs from firm to firm. I worked for a year before deciding to continue my Part 2.

Part 2 in IIUM and generally most public universities in Malaysia, again, is called Bachelor of Architecture. Even though it’s technically almost a masters degree level/postgraduate course. Well actually, it IS a postgraduate course since we already graduated the first time around. But anyways. In Australia, part 2 is called masters of Architecture, whole in the UK, they don’t have a standard name for the degree, which I think makes it even more confusing, in some universities it is a masters course, while others might call it a postgraduate diploma, postgraduate degree, etc. I guess the confusing part is just the naming. Because it is another undergraduate degree in the eyes of the university, but at postgraduate level, while we have to register as double degree holders. Yeah I don’t think this is helping very much.

Anyway, after completing part 2, you graduate again, and have to work in the architecture industry for a minimum of 2 years before you are allowed to take the part 3 professional exams. There’s no official course you have to go through (I don’t know of any anyways), although there are study groups conducted. If you manage to pass the part 3 exams (if I’m not mistaken there are 2 parts of the exam, written and an interview/oral exam) then you finally become an architect with an Ar. In front of your name. I’ve heard many horror stories about the part 3 exam, and they all seem to be true, the passing rate for the exam is less than 10%!!

Erm yeah so that’s basically it. I can’t be entirely sure what I’ve written is 100% correct and I know it’s definitely not comprehensive, but that’s what I understand anyways.

Where was I? Oh yes. Part 2. I decided to continue part 2. Like my first degree, I planned to do it elsewhere, to have a different experience and to move out of my comfort zone. Applications were filled; certificates and transcripts photocopied, and sent to various universities and scholarship organisations in Australia and New Zealand. My dad told me to try for the UK as well but I found their application systems to be confusing so I didn’t. One by one the offers came through, each one bringing up a little sparkle of excitement which I had to squash down in order not to be thoroughly disappointed like I was in 2007. Didn’t really work because I got disappointed anyways. So again, I sent in local applications, and UIA accepted me and I went. I don’t think I’m quite over it though, because whenever I hear of people flying off, I get a little pang of jealousy and yearning that brings my whole mood down.

The first semester of part 2 proved to be extremely extremely trying and tiring. The stream of assignments never seemed to stop, and the expectations were very high. I don’t think I coped well at all. After having gone through one semester of it, I’m seriously wondering if I want to continue or not. I’m seriously considering quitting. Because even though I like architecture, I appreciate it and all, I don’t see myself enjoying any aspect of it in terms of a job. I wanted to continue my part 2 to see whether I’d want to really be an architect, and to learn the things I needed to know to become a good architect in the field, since when I was working, there was so much that I didn’t know. But now, one semester wiser, I think I might be inching closer to a definite answer. I don’t think I’d want to be an architect like the ones I have worked with/for. If I was to be one, I don’t think I’d open up my own form or even work in one. I’d work on projects that I liked, without chasing clients and so on. I don’t know if that’s a feasible model to work on but I don’t think the stress of the whole architecture industry would suit me. Not just the stress, but the whole business side of it. From what I observed, the priority in the architecture industry was to make money, not to design functional and beautiful buildings that would benefit the community or help people. Of course that’s a narrow perspective having only worked in one firm and heard stories from my colleagues/classmates who have worked as well. Maybe I’ve just yet to find a firm that suits me, and whose main aim isn’t just to make money.

Well I think this post is long and rambling enough as it is, so I’ll save my abstract thought for another time. I have to get back to studying anyways.

I have kitties available for adoption if you want one! they are all super cute and cuddly 🙂

l-r: 1. BonBon Mignon, the curious adventurous one
2. DimSum (not available for adoption) the cuddly fluffball
3. Souffle, the blue eyed boss
4. Kimchi, the little cutie with puss-in-boot eyes
5. Truffle, the handsome, active and playful one

Sit. Write. Run

Taking a short break from my working drawing assignment – don’t even know how to proceed with that.

Finally saw the deans list pinned up behind the lift, and most of the 2nd year architecture students who were on it were in my section. Cool. This semester all those who were on it are in our section too, I think. Also cool.

Had a daytrip to Ulu Yam yesterday – very fun. Went hiking up some mountain/really tall hill there and there were about 100+ of us and the peak of the mountain was about the size of a hostel room, with steep drops all the way down. Views of the dam from up there, pictures later.

Going for a 4 day trip to Cameron Highlands/Kelantan on Thursday – no rest for the super weary! Wish I had more music to accompany me – I’ve only packed 1GB. Not enough for the looooong journey. Note to self – pack earplugs also. And chocolate, but that goes without saying.

Collected dontions from 2 blocks yesterday night even though I was sooo tired from the hike. Didn’t even bother sitting down when I got back because I knew I’d just fall asleep. Decent collection, and interesting people. Thanks you to residents of Block E and F for your generosity!! Anyone interested in donating some money, clothes, books etc for Yayasan Kemiskinan Kelantan please contact me before Thursday morning. Ask around for my number – I’m sure its floating around somewhere.

Now back to work. Ugh.


I’m not sure if I’m particularly fond of surprises. Like an 11th hour text determining that my weekend is officially and so so so frustratingly ruined.

Painted the studio today and it took a whole lot longer than expected because of repeated coatings and fickle minds maybe. The colour chosen (not by us) was dark brown and a pale beige-ish yellow. First coat – beige. 2nd coat – beige mixed with a tinge of brown producing a shade uncannily similar to that of a blushing piglet. Cute though, I guess. 3rd coat – a darker mix of the beige and brown for the projecting columns. 4th coat – feature walls in dark brown straight out of the bucket. Phew. I had to leave at 3.45. It was supposed to end at 12-ish by our estimates, but that was counting on the fact that people would turn up, and turn up on time at the stipulated 8.30 a.m. I woke up, took my own sweet time, ambled in the rain towards the studio and arrived at 8.32 only to find one person there. Tickety tock. One hour wasted.

On the way back my family introduced me to the newest member of our family, the yet to be properly named kitty.

I should have been super happy, seeing as I’ve been pestering my mom to let us keep a pet cat. But all I felt was unease. They said they found the cat in the middle of the road in the middle of the rain, and when they stopped to avoid hitting it, it sought shelter under our van. Its so very cute, but terrified. All the way home it was silent as a mouse, with wide frightened eyes. Somewhere in Taman Jasa the mommy cat is probably meowing pitifully :'( My mom still would not have it inside the just now at around 9 pm i heard cats fighting so i ran outside and shoed away the neighborhood bully cat from terrorising the kitty. and then I just stood there, in case it came back. the kitty then did the sweetest thing! It tiptoed slowly towards me and curled up into a scared little ball right by my feet. Awwww…!

But I’m still sad, because its still a kitty that needs its mommy and we’re not going to be able to take care of it properly. I think we should give it back, but how? The last time i picked up a stray was probably 8 years ago when I found a cuuuute kitten at the LRT station and picked it up and walked home. It did quite fine until one day a motorcycle ran over it’s leg and it died. Maybe thats also why I feel this way.

I find this post by my supposed UW roomie quite inspiring. Her struggles, although different, are also similar to ours, I think.

The changing of fickle minds

soooo port dickson bottomed out, because of certain and numerous complications. we ended up crashing ayesha’s house instead (kesian her brother, had to lock himself in his room for 2 days:P) but in the end, i think we all had a great time! ala didn’t know about her surprise party, she thought we were just heading to ayesha’s for lunch. we decorated the place with whatever we had, namely colorful scarves and those belly dancing things you tie around your waist, she has tons of them. we even made a paper plate ‘banner’ which was deemed ‘so childish’ by ayesha’s bro, but who cares.

after lunch we all crowded around the laptop to watch ala’s video of us mainly stalking her and her guy like deranged paparazzi, her expression when she watched it was priceless. but after that came the presents time and lets just say ala was super super embarrassed and/or horrified at some of the more risqué gifts…>_>(nothing too extreme laaah)

then at night we decided to walk over to plaza mont kiara for coffee so we crashed starbucks tho me and ilham decided to get stuff from secret recipe instead, and since we were there we decided to surprise zah with a belated birthday cake. worked out perfectly since she and ayesha went off somewhere for a bit to get some burger ayam special so when she came back we all broke into ‘happy birthday’

when we were heading back ala wanted to play in the water fountain, that was hilarious. i suppose her sugar rush kicked in just then coz while walking back she was singing and screaming out loud (i scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream aaaahhh)!!!! kiiiinda scary…so it was me and ala walking ahead of aziza, ayesha, and hannat. then i look back at them and i see these 2 guys walking behind us and we all start panicking and walk super fast half running and laughing all the way to the main gate since the back gate was locked. that was really something.

the next day we cleaned up and left at around 2 ish. me zah and hannat wanted to go to klcc, and the rest went to uia/home. then when we were in klcc who else do we bump into but ala’s guy. it was funny coz we were saying how, next thing we know ala is here also. then we can say ‘ha ala you didn’t wanna hang out with us huh?’ and then we really do see her lol.

i borrowed like 6 dvd’s and as of yesterday i already watched 3 of them and finished reading the book i bought. now i’m wondering what am i gonna do for the rest of the hols? might go to pc fair today and mummsy wants to watch forbidden kingdom tho its not out yet…

Has the holiday started yet?

assuming i have finished writing all my exams, which i have, then yes, they have started. but i have so many things to do.

1. clean room – half done today
2. clean hostel room – half done yesterday
3. prepare ala’s surprise video thingy
4. arrange our studio for accreditation (? what if some people dah balik kampung?)
5. buy gifts for two special people
6. buy munchies for port dickson
7. pay ilham gas money for port dickson
8. basically get stuff ready for our port dickson trip aka ala’s surprise kinda bachelorette party
9. heapful of laundry to fold
10. go to my driving class

among other things. haven’t been out in ages, and lately i’ve been getting really massive headaches that are triggered by anything a bit too strong for my senses, like day before yesterday the sun was shining in the morning and my head pounded the whole day. then some bad smells leaked out from the kampung drains and i was spinning for two days. ugh. hope its not anything seriously wrong with my brain – i have hypochondria so i think the worst things are happening to me whenever something is wrong (all the better to be prepared right?) but its better not to say what i think…