Northern California: Part II

12 January 2006 | sila | | Family Pics
 

Eureka!! We finally arrived there!! To Eureka, California that is. We drove the 5-6 hours north on highway 101 until we reached Eureka, and we checked into our hotel with great relief. It was pitch dark, we were tired and hungry, and it had rained the entire drive.

The next morning, we woke up to sunny skies and beautiful weather. So we got together with Jeff (Vin's buddy from La Porte High School, IN) who lives in Eureka, and he took us to see the sights.

 

Northern California: Part I

10 January 2006 | sila | | Family Pics
 

For Christmas, Vin and I went roving again...this year we flew to San Francisco, and stayed in Northern California for 8 days.

Part I will cover the first few days we were there - these are the days we spent in San Francisco proper (we arrived in San Fran Tuesday morning December 20th, and stayed until Thursday December 22nd early afternoon). The rest of the time was spent driving up and down the Northern California Coast.

 

Opah Irfan's Wayward Purse

09 January 2006 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Recent News
 

We only noticed it when Ain got off the car to buy some drinks in Kuala Kangsar. It was on Ain's seat, hidden beneath her when she sat. It was a small coin purse labeled Adamas Goldsmith. Wondering when Ain bought the purse, I took it. Irfan saw it and said, “Opah punya.” And within it was Opah Irfan's driver's licence and identification card!

 

Death In The House

08 January 2006 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

We arrived in Sitiawan two nights ago with Emma and F in tow. Today we head for Pasir Mas. However, upon arriving at Irfan's Atok's house we were told of two tragic deaths in the family.

 

Irfan Goes To MIAT

01 January 2006 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

Today Irfan's youngest aunt, his Cik Su F, enrolled in MIAT. In three and a half years, she will be graduating with a Diploma in Aviation Maintenance Technology (Avionics), with a bunch of skillset that should be more marketable in the aviation industry than my old Licenced Aircraft Maintenace Engineer (Yeah it's LAME, I know) with Rotorcraft Airframe and Engine specialisation. Irfan was there. Some pictures were taken. Here they are.

 

Eid Mubarak from Sitiawan

05 November 2005 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 
Eid Mubarak, and Selamat Hari Raya from Irfan Shafiq, Khairul Hisham and Nurul Ain. Here are some family photos from the morning of the first day of Aidilfitri. Present are Irfan's grandparents and the family of his Opah Ngah. Unfortunately, Tok Irfan wasn't feeling to good earlier in the morning. He went for a check up at the clinic and discovered his blood pressure was low. So what did the doctor tell him to do?

Go back home, eat as many of the Aidilfitri food as he can. If only the rest of us were that lucky. ;-)

Click on the thumbnails below to view the full images.
First day group photo
Group photo of all present in the household on the morning of Aidilfitri.

The three of us
Irfan with his parents.

Irfan with Abah
Irfan on his bicycle, with his dad on Opah's bicycle.

Irfan with Ummi
Irfan with Ummi, but he chose that moment to frown.

Irfan, Abah and Ummi
The three of us, for now.
 

Maryland - Part II

03 November 2005 | sila | | Family Pics
 

As promised, here's Part II of our trip to Maryland. Aside from fishing, during the day and a half we spent there, we ate our fill in Maryland's pride and joy, the Maryland Blue Crab.

Dean and Dolores who live in Crisfield, MD, live in a house where the back yard opens out into canals which lead to the Chesapeake Bay. So they almost never have to actually purchase the blue crab. Each household is allowed 2 crab pots which they toss into the canal behind their house. Amazing what some chicken wire, a dead fish, and a few hours in the waters of the Chesapeake will get you! It's like magic - the crabs crawl into the pot and they can't come out!

Read on for more blue crab adventures, but if you are squeamish, the truth is we do eventually get to eat the crabs. So yes, there might be some non-G rated pictures during the preparation of the crabs.

 

Pre-Aidilfitri at Pasir Mas

02 November 2005 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 
As was blogged earlier, three days before Deepavali were spent at Lubuk Tapah, Pasir Mas. Not only were there the pre-Aidilitri preparations going on, but they were also getting ready for the wedding of Ain's cousin some time after the festivities, which Ain & I will have to miss.

What is there to report at Tok Bah and Tok Ma's house? I really like the solok lada at dinners. Irfan hoarded all the pillows in the house and buried himself under them. Biscuits were baked (picture below). It rained quite a bit, which was pleasant. We didn't even leave the kampung in the day, knowing full well that the traffic in the town of Pasir Mas would be horribly jammed because of the balik kampung season. Irfan discovered the joys of Cartoon Network on Astro.

Here are some of the pics.

 

Maryland - Part I

01 November 2005 | sila | | Family Pics
 

Hisham's reminiscing has prompted me to finally take action - all this summer I have been procrastinating making some family related entries. Vin's family had several family-related occasions and I have been meaning to blog them. Rather than doing them in chronological order, I am going to organize it a little differently. In early August, Vin and I traveled to Maryland first to Bel Aire to visit with Aunt Joan and Uncle John, then to Crisfield to visit with Aunt Dolores and Uncle Dean. Our visit with Aunt Joan and Uncle John was short and amounted to a quick lunch with them, but stay tuned, there will be more on them in upcoming entries.

In Crisfield, Dean took Vin and I fishing. For the second year in a row, I went fishing with Dean and Vin, and guess what? For the second year in a row, the girl beat the guys hands down on fish fished! In the immortal words of Nelson (from the Simpsons), "eh-heeeeeh."

Anyway, if you are a bit squeamish, better not read on. The fish pictures may be a tad graphic...

 

Irfan Goes To Opah Cu's House

31 October 2005 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

Earlier this year, when we were in Sitiawan we went Irfan's Opah Cu's house in Ipoh, the capital of Perak. As usual, upon arriving at a brand new location for him, Irfan took a dump in his diapers. (That never fails, by the way.) Besides that, he had a lot of fun with his great aunt, his aunt and two uncles. Perhaps this Aidilfitri he'll find some time to return there.

Hopefully, since it's not his first time already, he wont crap in his diapers for the visit.

 

5 Years Ago...

15 October 2005 | Hisham | | Family Pics, Recent News
 
... Ain & I got married. Last night, after Irfan slept early and we left him in the care of his Cik Emma, Ain & I went to see Mr. & Mrs. Smith at GCS Midvalley (where they're replaying the summer blockbusters for half price), got something to eat in a doggie bag, went home to eat it, and then I gave her the wedding anniversary card I bought earlier.

It's been a great 5 years, with hopefully more to come.

Wait! Where's Irfan?
 

Irfan Cuts His Cake and Eats It Too

22 September 2005 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

"I want to eat the Happy Birthday Cake!" Irfan begged for hours after seeing the number three-shaped vanilla cake with the Tigger-esque toon on it. He wasn't getting it until everyone arrived of course. There were, yet to arrive, his Mak Long and Ayah Long, and his Cik Eda and her roommates. So all day long, he staked out the cake box on the dinner table.

 

HAPPY 3RD BIRTHDAY IRFAN!

21 September 2005 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

Irfan with two new grandmothers
The two new grandmothers, September 2002.

Three years ago, Irfan Shafiq was born at Kuala Lumpur General Hospital. Within that three years, he's given not just his mother and I a lot of joy, but a lot of other people in our extended family as well. We'll be cutting cake in the next few hours, so we'll have pictures of that soon.

In the meantime, enjoy the announcement of Irfan's birth in the Star Wars Artists' Guild forums from 3 years ago.

 

Irfan Goes To The Zoo

15 September 2005 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

Last Sunday, Irfan (along with a bunch of family members) went to the zoo! Here's a series of photos that came out of our little zoo trip.

 

Mak & Abah at Dungun, Terengganu

07 September 2005 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 
Here we are over 100 posts in this blog and not once did even say that I worked for seven years at the East Coast of the Peninsular Malaysia. I hate talking about the place. No, I don't mean Terengganu is an awful place. Far from it. It has some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. The people there are for the most part cordial and pleasant to be around with. A lot of unpleasantness stained in my mind came from the work. Politics at the workplace, mostly stemming from people from the West Coast.

I could go on, but I'll just sum things up: great place to be, wonderful friends there (and still there), terrible job.

So here are some pictures of Mak & Abah visiting me while I was there.

 

What Happened on Independence Day 2005?

31 August 2005 | Hisham | | ACS Memories, Family Pics, Friends
 
What happened was that a bunch of my old classmates and I (with some of our family) met at 1 Utama mall in Bandar Utama. We then proceeded to the open air Rainforest location of the new wing of 1 Utama, cobbled together 4 of the little round tables (and 1 square table) Burger King had scattered in their area and ordered some Burger King value meals for lunch, except for Teik Sing who had a heavy brunch, yo.

Here follows a photographic account of the events that transpired today. I should have taken more pictures, but I was chasing Irfan all over the play area and out of the drizzle.

 

Henna

24 August 2005 | sila | | Family Pics
 

Malay weddings aren't complete without henna. Malay culture isn't the only one to include henna in its rites and rituals. Henna is an ancient tradition practised by many ancient cultures, and is an integral part of weddings and childbirth for Hindu as well as Muslim cultures.

I had hoped that one of the benefits of marrying out of my own culture would be that I would be allowed to skip some of the more tedious rites, but (un)fortunately, my aunts and cousin would have none of it. So whether we liked it or not, henna became part of our wedding.

 

Irfan's Aunt Emma's Graduation

17 August 2005 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 
As was reported in an earlier post, we were all at Universiti Malaya for Emma's graduation ceremory. Irfan's grandparents along with assorted uncles and aunts were there for the occasion. They spent the night at Rumah Universiti, booked many weeks earlier to avoid being sold out.

I was worried of the day being ruined by thick, smothering haze that'd been plaguing us for the previous two weeks. But like a miracle, the air cleared. Not a bit, not even moderately... it cleared almost totally. So we had blue skies and could clearly around us during graduation day.

 

Baseball Anyone?

18 July 2005 | sila | | Family Pics
 

What could be more American than baseball and apple pie? Why would a Malaysian girl even give a hoot? Because baseball is Vin's obsession. (He likes apple pie too, and blasphemously, I don't, but that's a different story altogether). During the spring and summer months Vin eats, drinks, lives, and breathes baseball. During the off-season, he keeps track of the trades and developments in the Major Leagues. We started dating in August of 2000, and by the fall of 2001 (the first full baseball season, spring-summer of 2001), I could read a box score. And Vin and I had a long-distance relationship.

Many baseball widows would probably reprimand me for encouraging this obsession but (un)fortunately for me, baseball means more than just something Vin is unnaturally fixated on. We met at a baseball game. What? What was I, the least-interested-worst-possible-athletic person in the world doing at a baseball game?

 

Excursion to KLCC

26 June 2005 | Hisham | | Family Pics
 

Today we went to KLCC for a picnic. Irfan, as usual, went straight for the extensive playground they have there, running up and sliding down the play structures. Later, I got to do what I haven't done in a long time: spend an hour at Kinokuniya browsing and reading the first few chapters of several books, including Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash. Even read through the Marvel Spider-Man Encyclopedia. As usual I took a some photos, and here are some views of Irfan playing outside, and some view inside Suria KLCC.