Thursday, October 27, 2016

Dear Future Me

Dear future me at May 2018,

I'm so glad that we took this road and made it! While you are celebrating on your graduation day, I hope you remember the time we almost feel like we are not going to make it.

I'm writing to you now at Quarter 2. We made it in Quarter 1 and aced Accounting! High five. Now at Quarter 2, things are more difficult than I imagined. Finance is a nightmare. At week 2, we are at chapter 11 already and I'm still trying to understand PV and FV. Not really, I understand that concept but why there's a lot of different formula. I have online finance quiz to be taken tonight and I'm still reading the textbook. And writing this post.

Quarter system is brutal, future me. 12 credit hours in 7 weeks is so hardcore. I saw firsthand how Zainal did it in his MBA but I couldn't comprehend the difficulties until I experience it myself. Everything is in light speed and the workload is huge. MBA is truly a different experience and now I know why MBA graduates are given different salary. The company know what we are capable of. 

I remembered my first Master. I thought it was tough as I took 13 credit hours that semester while other Masters student only took 9 credit hours. But now, for the whole semester I'm taking 24 credit hours. And I applied to do double degree. I'm not sure if you are graduating with an MBA only or with double degree. Please don't tell me. I'm going to figure out myself soon.

Ok future me. I really need to focus on this finance book and take the quiz tonight. Please pray for our success!

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Get your daily dose of free and cheap books

 I just discovered a great website a few weeks ago. It is called If you have known it for quite some time, good for you! I wish I have known it earlier.

So what is so great about this website? This website is for a book lover, that too cheap to buy books. What BookBub does is they send daily email on ebooks that are free or on sale right now. During registration, you can choose what kind of genre do you prefer and even your favorite authors. They cover all types of book. Then you can choose what kind of ebook format you prefer such as Kindle, Nook, iBooks etc, and I chose Amazon Kindle.

Every day I received an email with few books that are on sale or free on Amazon. The best part is almost all books that I received (and that I checked) are high rated books. It is not some books that no one read. Nearly all the books have at least 4 stars rating.

However, there is one con about this. My rate of reading can't match the rate of books that I downloaded. I have few books already that I downloaded because of BookBub and now I have to increase my reading speed and spend more time to read all these books. Hehe.

Therefore if you love reading but paying a lot for books, BookBub is the answer! It's like Groupon for book :)

Ps: I was googling BookBub to check the correct URL, and I realized BookBub is a company based in Cambridge, MA. OMG, I didn't know about this when I was in Boston. I know I was a bit overexcited about this but ever since I moved to Phoenix, I became so attached to Boston for some reason. I guess I missed that place more than I ever know.

Friday, July 01, 2016

He is my mojo

Alhamdulillah... With Allah's grace, I am able to meet Ramadhan again this year. Two weeks plus of Ramadhan in Tempe, AZ, two days flying in between America, Europe and Asia, and the rest in Malaysia. Everything is good except this is my second time as a wife I will not be with my husband during Raya. 

I remembered during the discussion when should I be back to Malaysia to change my visa and I said to him that then we will not celebrate Raya together. In his sternness and seriousness he exclaimed that if we want to move forward and be successful, we need to get less emotional about this. It's just one time and we can always celebrate again. Deng..

Over time again and again, my husband knocked into my sleepy head when I get too comfortable, emotional and carried away. Before I got married, I looked for someone with a vision, and Allah granted my prayer and I married one. Now it is haunting me, in a good way InsyaAllah. The next chapter of my life is going to be interesting and the reason it happened at the first place is because the knock from my husband.

Knock knock.

Monday, March 28, 2016

First Toastmaster win!

Early this year, I joined Toastmaster International. It's a club where you can practice public speaking in a safe and control environment. I always wanted to join one but didn't have the time or chance previously. So when I found out there's one just a block from Zainal's school, I checked it out to feel how the club was doing. After being a guest for 3 times, I decided to join. Coincidentally I started my membership on 1st January 2016.

Funnily, at the same as I joined, there were many new members joining the club at the same time. So now the battle to find a slot for speech has reached to 2 months waiting period. Last year when I was just a guest, it took 2-3 weeks of waiting period. So in Toastmaster, you need to complete 10 speeches for you to become Competent Communicator. Each speech will focus on a certain aspect of a public speaking, and you are being evaluated by an evaluator. For example, how to structure for speech, vocal variety, body language/movement and speech to inspire/inform/storytelling.

Besides prepared speeches, the second part of club meeting is table topics speech. Table topic speech is when you are asked to give a 1-2 minutes speech on a topic/questions that being asked at that moment. The idea is to train you to be able to think on your feet. You need to think fast and give the answer on the spot.

It so happened, last week the club held International Speech Competition. The winner will represent the club to next stage of the competition. However, only members with 6 speeches and above are qualified to join. Since I only did 3 speeches, I was not qualified. But I can join the Table Topic Contest as it doesn't have per-requisite. I didn't do any preparation as I had an interview in the morning and was preparing for that interview instead. Nevertheless, I watched a Youtube video on how to win Table Topic Contest by past winners. Yes, I am very competitive. I need to do the best even I just joined for fun.

Guess what? I won first place in the Table Topic Contest! Alhamdulillah. I was super duper happy and shock at the same time. Coz I thought I was all over the place while trying to remember what the video told me to do. But the judges were telling me that I did a good job. The question for that contest was: What fictional character you want to meet in real life and why?

Due to that, now I'm going to represent my club at the area level contest early next month. Oh wait, that is next week! Oh no... this time around I will practice and make sure I will make my club proud.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Boston Public Library

If you live in Boston or surrounding areas, and never got Boston Public Library (BPL) free membership, you better apply for one now. It's so easy to apply. All you need is proof that you are living in Massachusetts now by bringing an ID or a bill with your name and address. Within 5 minutes and you have one of the best library membership in the world (source: me).

Even if you don't like to read, you can borrow thousands of DVD from the library. The library also has a program where they give you free tickets to Boston attractions. All you need is to book which day you want to go and pick up a pass at a library near you. I have redeemed free tickets to New England Aquarium, USS Constitution Museum and Museum of Science. For each pass, you can redeem 4 tickets so that you and your friends can enjoy it together. Cool right.

But the best part of this library is the collection that they have. They have the second largest collection of books and records in the United States. Imagine how many books you can read. Whenever I saw a book someone suggest, I immediately search BPL and always find a few copies. Besides hard copy book, they also have the e-book and audio book. I love their e-book. I can just download it into my Kindle within few minutes I search for it (providing the book is available). Sometimes some books are not available in e-book format, or the e-book format is already borrowed by someone else. I can hold the hard copy book and ask them to send to the nearest library near me. At one time, I held up to 4 books and asked them to send to the Brighton library which is few minutes from my house. Within 2 days, they send an email informing that my books are available, and I can pick it up.

Talking about the nearest library, BPL has 24 branches in Boston besides the famous and beautiful central library at Copley Square. They want to make sure that everyone has access to the library at their neighborhood. By having these branches, you can return books at any branches and ask them to send the book to your neighborhood library. So there is no reason for you not to read!

The famous study room in Boston Public Library in Copley Square

However, if you found out that the book you want in not at BPL, you can always suggest them to buy. Last winter, I went visiting Pixar exhibition at Museum of Science (the free tickets remember), and I saw this one book that I interested in reading which is about digital painting. When I went home, I searched the library online and found it wasn't in their collection. I looked up at Amazon, and the price of that book is high, even the used version. Remembered that BPL has this option to suggest any books, I submitted that book information on the BPL website. I imagined that they received thousands of requests, and I don't think I will hear from them. Surprise, surprise, few weeks after that, I received an email saying that the book that I submit for the suggestion is available, and I can come to pick it up. I was so impressed! Wow.. I can forget about buying any books right now.

I'm so happy with BPL, and I glad that I'm able to use their service. I think they do an excellent job ensuring that the Boston communities can continuously learn by providing free materials and spaces. They also have classes at their library. I never join one, but I might try one day.

So those who haven't applied for BPL membership, you should use this wonderful service.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Favorite food

My husband always boasts that he knew everything about me, even what I think if he said something. Few nights ago I asked him what my favorite food is. He thought hard and realized he didn't know. He wasn't happy why he didn't know that and started asking me. He started guessing few food which he thought I like most.
The truth is, I don't know too. I have food that I like, but there is no food that I love that become my favorite food. I love food all the same. Haha

 I guess even at 8 years of marriage, you still can find something new about your partner.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

How it feel living in -22 degree Celsius?

Coming from a tropical country where we only have sunshine and rain throughout the year with average temperature of 28-32° Celsius, I always wonder how it feel to be in frigid temperature. I have experience with -1 to -3 °Celsius but more than -10 °C? That will be something extreme.

What a better place to experience it than in Boston, right. Temperature in Boston changes everyday or even every hour drastically like a fickle-minded person choosing an ice cream flavor. Last year the coldest day we had experience was -17 °C with windchill temperature -35°C. But I managed to avoid going out and didn't really experience it. This year was during this weekend. Instead of 1 day, we got 2 days of extreme cold. The temperature was -22 °C with windchill temperature of -33°C.

You see, during winter, you don't believe what the temperature tell you about your current temperature. You need to focus on the RealFeel. The weather can be 2°C but the RealFeel is -5°C. RealFeel is the actual temperature that you will feel outside as it takes the account of wind, humidity, cloud cover, sun intensity, and others. That is how to plan what to where before you go out. Therefore, when I said the temperature for this weekend was -22°C, the RealFeel was -33°C.

Let me share the experience. Last night, we went out to see Trevor Noah show in Downtown Boston. We parked the car just 5 minutes walking from Wilbur Theater. The moment I stepped out from the car, the wind attacked my bare skin aka my face. My nose hurt so much that I need to cup it using my gloved hand. While at average winter temperature, I just can't feel my nose, but this time, it's like my nose was being crushed and prick with thousand needles at the same time. At the front door, the security forcing people to come in quickly so that no one will stand outside. The wind was so cold even my feet was freezing though I was wearing wool socks with my wool lined boots. Double wool and still freezing.

Wow, now I know what it feel to be in this extreme temperature. Tonight I going to try throwing boil water and see if it turn to ice immediately.
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