Thursday, October 13, 2011

Book list

As anyone who knows me will attest, my favorite thing to do is reading. Here's a list of books that I'm looking forward to buying (some are already available while some aren't) by list of preference:

  1. Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn: The Alloy of Law
  2. Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson's A Memory of Light
  3. Brandon Sanderson's The Stormlight Archive book 2 (and the rest of the series as and when they come out)
  4. Simon Kuper & Stefan Szymanski's Soccernomics
  5. Any new Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett
  6. Daniel Abraham’s Long Price Quartet
  7. Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles book 3
  8. Joseph Delaney's The Spook's Destiny (and the rest of the series as and when they come out)
  9. Joseph Delaney's The Spook's Bestiary
  10. Robin Hobb's The Rain Wild Chronicles book 3
  11. Robin Hobb's Soldier Son Trilogy

Bucket list

I guess everyone has different dreams of what they would like to achieve during their lifetime. Here's my list of stuff I want to achieve before I finally kick the bucket:


  • College diploma
  • Get married to someone wonderful
  • Have wonderful kids
  • Buy an SLR
  • Buy a guitar

Not achieved (but still achievable, I hope)

  • Get some pet snakes (starting with ball pythons)
  • Buy a nice house
  • Buy a nice 4x4
  • Buy a big motorbike
  • Be good at playing guitar (not likely, but I can dream!)
  • Become a decent nature photographer (not necessarily becoming a pro, becoming a good amateur one would be enough for me at this moment)
  • Buy a lot more photography gear :P
  • Travel around Malaysia (with the big bike or 4x4)
  • Document as much as possible of Malaysia's wildlife
  • Get a degree
  • Publish a novel (I think I'll wait until I've lived and experienced a lot of life before trying this)
  • Join a soccer coaching course

Not achieved (and unlikely to ever achieve)

  • Become a herpetologist (because of a stupid decision I made while in school deciding not to take biology, which was really dumb because up until then I'd had a dream of being a herpetologist or at least a zoologist)
  • Get (really, really filthy) rich
Time will tell how much I'll be able to tick off from my bucket list. I might add or remove stuff from the list as I get older (which is normal I think, after all priorities and all that change as we age), who knows? Anyways, even if I don't achieve much more that what I have already done, I'm still fairly happy with what I have already achieved.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The photographer category that I fall into

I was thinking about how my photography hasn't really improved much since I 1st bought a DSLR in 2007, right after the birth of my son Aqil. I could perhaps give a lot of excuses why I haven't improved:

  1. I don't have enough gear
  2. I don't have much time to concentrate on photography
  3. My gear is now obsolete
And so on and so forth. But the fact is all the above are just (lame) excuses. There's nothing wrong with my gear, the gear I have is sufficient enough to take good images. With regards to time, if I had spent a bit of time every now and then on taking pictures and learning photo editing, I'd probably be a much better photographer by now.

I remember reading a post called How to Succeed as a Photographer on The Online Photographer (one of the sites I always read the 1st thing every morning), and thinking about something the author Mike Johnston wrote:

"When I was asked during a lecture at a high school once what kind of photographer I am, I answered "I'm a writer.""

I guess if someone where to ask me the same question, I would answer "I'm a reader". Why? Simply because I probably spend more time reading photography related magazines, forums, websites and blogs rather than actually taking pictures. Thankfully I have kids, which means that I do have ready made subjects to take pictures of. Now all I have to do is drag myself away from the laptop and my magazines, pick up my camera and actually go and take some pictures.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

No regrets

I know of some friends who seem to regret getting married because of whatever reasons. Maybe they felt pressured into getting married by their partner, peer pressure or by family. Maybe they just weren't ready. Maybe they weren't ready for the sacrifices and compromises that have to be made in married life. Perhaps once married, they felt married life too constricting. Each person has different reasons, so I'm not going to judge anyone here.

Well, I for one have never regretted getting married. I married a wonderful person and I have 2 wonderful children (with another on the way). Whatever else I had to sacrifice ("freedom", money, etc) I willingly did so knowing what I was getting myself into. Yeah, yeah, I complain now and then, but who doesn't?

For me, if you are not married and thinking about getting married, make sure it is to the right person and make sure you are both prepared for marriage and for all the compromises and sacrifices that have to be made. Make sure you also do it for the right reasons and not because you feel pressured to do so. Otherwise all you'll feel is resentment.

All I have to do is look at my kids and everything seems worth it. The proudest moments in my life were when my kids were born. When I go back home and my kids greet me, all the struggles at work seem worth it. When my wife smiles at me, I fall in love with her again. For me this is what life is for, to have a happy family. I just pray that my family continues to be happy and prosperous.

Of course, it is not always so simple, but as in everything else in life, marriage (and parenthood) needs to be continuously worked on. You can't just expect to be married or to have kids and then have everything miraculously fall into place without any effort at all.

Of course, I don't expect everyone else to feel the same way as I do about marriage. Marriage is perhaps not for everyone or perhaps some people prefer to achieve certain targets in life before settling down. To each his/her own.

It's been awhile

I just realized that's it has been 1 year and 10 months since I last posted anything on this blog. Wow, that's a pretty long hiatus. I guess the reasons are:

1. I ran out of ideas on what to blog
2. I used facebook more (although I tended to use that more to catch up with friends rather updating other people about myself).
3. I was busy with work
4. I was just plain lazy.
5. Nobody really reads my blog except maybe my wife and I don't really need to blog to communicate with her (that would be really weird).
6. I started taking less and less pictures.

Well, I guess now it's time to start blogging again, if nothing more than to just get my thoughts down in writing. Anyways, facebook (and twitter, although I haven't started using that yet) has a limit on the number of characters that you can write in one post. Since I like to write lengthy posts, blogging would then be the best option.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Afiqah is now 1 years old!

It's now the last day of 2009.. and that means it's Afiqah's 1st birthday! Happy 1st Birthday Afiqah!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Celebrating 4 years of marriage to the girl I fell in love with at first sight

From Majlis Perkahwinan

I am sure that there are a lot of people out there who don't believe in love at first sight. I certainly do. The reason being that I fell in love with my wife the first time I laid eyes on her. I remember the stunning smile she gave me when I first looked at her in our tutorial class. That was our only class together in the whole time we were studying as she was in another major than I was. Those classes were the only times I ever came in on time and had a perfect attendance for an early Saturday morning class in my life.

I had just broken up with my girlfriend of 4 years a few months prior to that. And for the first time in my life, I was flooded with options. People were suddenly introducing me to their single friends and sisters. I did try going out with some of them, but nothing ever really clicked for me for most of them.

Here I was, with a lot of options, but not knowing what to do. The reason being that I had fallen in love with a girl who I was too nervous to talk to in class. Being confused, and trying to make the right decision, I decided to do the solat istikhara.

Once I did the solat istikhara, my mind became clear and I decided to follow what my heart told me; that Hawa (which in English is Eve) was the one for me.

I plucked up the courage to get her number and give her a call. This was a new thing for me, because prior to this, all my previous girlfriends were people I already knew or people that were introduced to me. Even though Hawa was in my class, I had never had a conversation with her before. I think the first time I called her, I didn't give her that great an impression. I remember it taking a long, loooong time before I managed to convince her to be my girlfriend. But I never lost confidence that she was the one for me and that she would become my wife. This was the first time I had been so sure about something in my whole life.

A few months after that ( I think it was 6 months, but I can't really remember) my parents went to see her parents to arrange for our marriage. Tragically, 3 days after that, her father passed away, so he never got to see his youngest daughter get married and never got to see our lovely children. May he rest in peace and may God have mercy on his soul.

On the 22nd of December, 2005, we officially got married in an Akad Nikah ceremony. I remember fluffing my lines the first time, but luckily I managed to get it right eventually. (I really hope nobody has a video of that incident). I'm not going to elaborate on that here though. Maybe in next year's post.

We've been married for 4 years now, and my love for her has gotten stronger. We now have 2 children, Aqil, who is going to be 3 next March and Afiqah, who will be a year old on the last day of this year. I am grateful to God that I am blessed with a lovely wife and beautiful children.

We have had our ups and downs, our disagreements, and each of us has had to sacrifice much to make our love work. But I wouldn't have it any other way as I believe this makes our love stronger. And I would still do anything to get her to smile at me, because I fall in love with her anew everytime she smiles at me.

I hope you like the anniversary gift I got for you, Hawa. Happy 4th Anniversary, I love you very much.