So, Abby, What’s new?

Have it been a lot that have happened in my life? No, in fact, nothing happened. Nothing aside than my resignation from the corporate world and focusing on NOTHING right now.

Okay, I lied. I have one ongoing job which made me realised why I needed to quit my current stable fulfilling corporate job in pursue of what I wanted to do. Which is nothing.

I have been writing. Well, obviously not here. But writing. Pursuing writing. When the EP introduced me as the “famous Abby Latif”, I cringed to the fact that I am not only NOT famous, but more likely to be INFAMOUS for being me.

But yes, as Kimya Dawson said in one of her lyrics, I hope to be paid as being Abby Latif one day and here I am, looking at a gadget I just purchased from the cheque that I received for being ME.

Today is officially my first day of unemployment. I am contributing to the Unemployment Rate in my country which I know, has not reach a critical point internationally, YET, unless every jobless person like me decided they want to pursue a career as a LAZY MALAY.

Malays are not lazy, I’m telling you, they’re not. In fact, once upon a few centuries ago, they’re one of the best port administrators in the world, considering how many traders decided to stop by and use the services and facilities provided at Port Malacca instead of other ports.

But that’s beside the point. The point is, I’m jobless and unemployed. If you consider freelancing as a job, I don’t know, I rather not. For me, employment means stable income. And once you decided that you’d rather work on a freelance-basis instead of earning a measly stable income, you’re like shit-fucked. But, if shit-fucked brings happiness, what the hell right. People get satisfaction from S&Ms, why can’t we get satisfaction from being shit-fucked jobless freaks.

So. There are other things. Maybe I haven’t felt the crazy dramatic nervousness of not being able to pay my bills. MAYBE. But I try to be confident and optimistic.

Eidul Adha was great, although I felt bad skipping the Eid Prayer. At my age, I try to be as grateful as I can, but yeah, I know, we’re all still trying hard at one point. The overall meat dishes were great, and we brought food for my sister, since she just finished her confinement. Which is another great thing I have been enjoying, the baby, Aisyah Nur.

My Baby

Babies are amazing beings. They are our ticket of “Return to Innocence”. Enjoy the ride that ticket provides you. As I believe, proximity to innocence cleanses the soul. And it’s funny now that babies starting to pop around me. People around me are getting pregnant and delivering babies. Laws of attraction, I believe so. But I’m glad.

My priorities have changed. I constantly being reminded of what my former colleague, Sanjukta, once told me. Different people have different circumstances. I believe so now and I am enjoying my circumstances to the fullest. There’s a few projects I’d like to proceed with and it’s great having the time now to gain information and knowledge about it and not think about corporate obligation.

Maybe it’s just me. Some people enjoy corporate life and stable income. Not that I don’t. I enjoyed it too much until it grew on me.

My dad said I’m too nice, and people tend to take advantage. I give my all when I have commitments. Because I’m just that person. I jump to offer to do things beyond what I’m supposed to be doing.

But at the end of the day, we all seek recognition and self-fulfilment. Maslow was right. I might not be earning 4k a month, but I’m reaching the highest hierarchy of Maslow’s theory, Self-Actualisation. I need to be recognised for the effort I put in. And my biggest weakness, I put passion in everything I do, even in the dullest routine stressing work. And when I don’t get in return what I have put in, I retreat.

So yes, Abby, what’s new?

I’m still single, available, dateless and couldn’t care less. Same ol’ same ol’. Now, to add to all those criterias in my Personal Ad, is JOBLESS.

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Hello World, please meet Cosmic Red

So, after my mom end up telling EVERYONE that I dropped my phone into the toilet hole, I think it’s best to tell you here too.

Yes, I successfully dropped the phone into the toilet hole. But I’ll leave you guys to imagine the condition and the actual event/situation to your imagination, I’m sure you are as creative as my friend Adi who have actually visualised it to a whole different scenario.

Anyways, yes, after years of hands-down secondhand gadgets, for the first time, I can finally afford myself a gadget.

No, I refuse to be one of the commoners who owns a Blackberry or an iPhone (no offence), but I wanted a smartphone, so I splurge on one of the latest Nokia E-series, the E75.

The Cosmic Red

Look world, this is my new gadget named “Cosmic Red”. Now, I can be connected to the world.

I love the features. And the RED colour. It allows me to just use the simple normal phone keypad on the interface, and an optional QWERTY keyboard on the bottom slide. I upgraded the memory to 8GB, since I also damaged my secondhand iPod, I need something to keep my ears company, not that I’m complaining about the whining of the people I meet for drinks and whatnot, but hey, yes, I am. Let’s not be a hypocrite.

Oh, yes, I can snap pictures and MMS it now! Woot woot! I haven’t had that privilege before, so lay off my excitement okay. I’m a late bloomer.

Aside from the fact that I have recently opted for unemployment, I have upgraded my 50 ringgit Maxis plan to an 80 ringgit and added the 88 ringgit 3GB data plan. Hah. So much for giving up stable income for a stable billing commitments.

But yes, spell confident and optimistic.

C-O-N-F-I-D-E-N-T … O-P-T-I-M-I-S-T-I-C …

Anyways, I’ve downloaded SnapTu for my constant Twittering activities so I can tweet-on-the-go (responsibly, of course). But I won’t be twittering on my public twitter account ( @CosmicAbyss ) though. Yes, I’m a social-networking whore. I have 3 twitter accounts on my TweetDeck. I have been trying to download Fring for my IMs, but it failed. I think, it’s the technology goddess (yes, it’s a SHE people! Just like Mother Nature), trying to tell me I should have some sort of restriction on my online life to not drag it offline.

Wow, I’m using techy jargons. I am a NERD. Not the Pharrel Williams type of course.

Well, since I’m no longer the Rockstar Analyst, I gotta be something right? Being labeled is the IN thing right now.

So people, those who have my number, please SMS me your latest contacts, cos I lost your contacts down the toilet hole, unintentionally of course.

It went down the drain, sort of.

Gmail Status reads:-

Nurol Latif: Phone rosak. Please don’t contact me via phone. Thanks.

Incoming Chat:-

farisa: u cant tweet! haha

me: Hahaha. I love your sarcastic understanding of my self

farisa: i love you too! Honestly, u made my day! hahaha

me: Dengan mengatakan my phone rosak? hahaha

farisa: im all smiles thinking how miserable u are! haha. no la, cannot tweet!

 

There are times when I am really blessed with friends who make fun of my addiction and habit in such a witty sarcastic way and I love laughing at those remarks. These are the people who are not fake. Friendships are build based on sincerity. We don’t need to flower it with dreams, fairytales and make-believe stories. We live in the moment. Today. Now. In reality. There’s no happily ever after endings. Happily ever after stories are actually the beginning of practical reality life. Then, comes the real deal, the true colours, the horrific revelations.

So me, I live my life around simple happy shiny people. Who said, “Yes, I am broke and poor”. Or “Sorry, I can’t afford to pay that much”. And like last Saturday, when I told Farah and Farisa, that I want to buy a motorcycle, they said, “But then, you can’t tweet. And smoke. You can’t buy a motorcycle.” with such sarcastic tone to it.

What did I do after hearing that?

I love them. πŸ™‚

at stake: muslim female genitals

A couple of weeks ago, a friend invited me to the Freedom Film Fest premiere at The Annexe, Central Market and the only reason I decided to go was Nia Dinata. Tentatively, she was the guest of honour for the opening ceremony, but little did I know, her latest project “Pertaruhan” (At Stake) were scheduled to be screened as the opening film for the festival.

“Pertaruhan” is a compilation, or anthology of 4 documentaries revolving around women issues, i.e. migrant workers, pap smear treatments, prostitution and one, which caught my full attention, female muslim circumcision.

During the Q&A, I asked Nia, since the director for that particular documentary was absent, how wide is the awareness of this issue among muslim women in Indonesia, and how many people did question the validity of this practice. She told me there’s many inquiries on the issue, but when I told her that we, in Malaysia, goes through this process like a compulsory practice among Muslim practitioners, some of the audience were astounded. Moreover, the representative from JAG mentioned, no statistic were available on this particular issue in Malaysia, nor it was a huge concern of the community.

This morning, a friend of mine forwarded an article from MalaysiaKini, malaysia’s online newspaper which is only available upon subscription. The article titled Female genital mutilation: ‘Don’t touch the children’ by Colin Boyd Shafer. Allow me to borrow some excerpts by no intentions of plagiarising.

The writer quoted:-

“Excision doesn’t remove your desire or ability to enjoy sexual pleasure. The excision of women is cruel on many levels. It is physically cruel and painful; it sets girls up for a lifetime of suffering. And it is not even effective in its intent to remove their desire.” – Ayaan Hirshi Ali

The writer wrote,

Until recently, I assumed that FGM was not found in Southeast Asia. However, I had a conversation recently with an ethnic Malay here in Malaysia, and to my surprise found out that female genital mutilation/circumcision is not unusual in the Muslim community.

It is most certainly not unusual. As a 27yr old Malay Muslim woman in Malaysia, I can verify that I have not yet heard any of my female Muslim friends or relatives who has not gone through circumcision. We have never even question why we should, it’s just stated that it’s better that we were circumcised when we were born, or while we were a baby, to avoid memorable trauma of the ordeal.

The writer continues on explaining in the article,

Isa, Shuib & Othman sampled 262 pregnant woman admitted to the labour ward, and found that all of the women had undergone the surgery which they described as “nicking of the tip of the clitoris or prepuce with a penknife or similar instrument, which only drew a drop of blood and caused brief pain.”

In the documentary produced by Nia Dinata, some female activist went around trying to find justification of the practice, consulting with a few Ustadz. Most of them explained that it was to avoid, or reduce, sexual desire. Apparently cutting the tip of the clitoris, will control a woman’s wild sexual desire. Of course, this is not true. I, myself, wouldn’t know for sure, I wouldn’t have the ability to compare if I would be more easily aroused or sexually wild if I haven’t been circumcised. As a person in her late 20s, of course I have sexual desires putting aside whether I am single or not, OR, whether I am sexually active or not.

True to the research in the article, if someone were going to be sexually active or get impregnated or lose her virginity before marriage as clearly forbidden in the said religion, is not justified by her genitals being circumcised or not. Then what about worldly and material desires which is equally destructive to someone’s ethics?

The writer then thought,

But if God is great and infallible, than surely his natural genital design is acceptable? We need to stop tip toeing around religious practices and start analysing FGM for what it is.

Let your child decide what they want to do with that area of their body. If you raise them well, they will be clean, happy and careful about whom they have sex with.

Recently, I asked my sister, did she circumcised her baby girl, Aisyah Nur, who was born on October 25th last month, and she look a bit panic saying, no she haven’t. I explained to her, it’s not “wajib” and I told her about the documentary and the issues raised regarding the issue.

My heart already broke seeing Aisyah Nur crying because she is suffering from constipation, how can I survive knowing someone took a razer and cut the tip of her genitals? It’s crazy!

Do go through a few discussion websites via Google for this issue and decide for yourself. We are individuals and I respect people’s belief and stands. But as for me, as much as I want to believe what I have been raised to believe, the common sense and emotional part in me, does not believe this to be a necessary practice in Islam.

Let our faith guide us to whether we are able to control our desires and let mistakes guide is to the path of truth. But don’t do or practice things which to prevent what we never know will happen in life.

Long queue for the end of the World

So, the Mayans believe on the 2012 Phenomenon and we all believe what the American media tells us with their gorgeous actors/actresses, amazing Visual effects and fantastic global marketing which we can summarise as HOLLYWOOD.

So yes, long queues were seen everywhere in cinema ticketboxes nationwide when 2012 premieres last Thursday. Heck, the lines were almost disturbingly massive due to a special screening last Wednesday when I was going to watch The Time Traveler’s Wife.

Since we all want to be in the knowing and not be left out, (and because my mom came home telling me that her colleagues were talking about 2012 and now she wants to see it), I took Mama, adik-adik and Muid to watch 2012 at Cineleisure.

Moral of the story:
We all die because
1. We live in Malaysia.
2. We didn’t write “Farewell Atlantis”.
3. We don’t have 1billion EURO.
4. We’re not related to Barack Obama.

But of course, the fact that I know Thandie Newton and Amanda Peet lives to create more crazily gorgeous and smart (note: Thandie Newton) ladies, somehow rather, calms this superficial conscience of mine.

Despite my colleague, dearest Carlitos’s resentment of the whole movie, I think it did fairly good.

But would I ever watch it again? Only the scene where Thandie Newton speaks french.

Would it be my favourite movie this year? No, 500 Days of Summer has taken that spot, thank you very much.

Would I recommend people to go watch it? Yes, so we can bitch about it later.

So that’s my review. And the outing, taking Mama and adik-adik out for the movie, makes me feel good.

Ini bukan cerita mengenai Musim Panas

Narrator: This is a story of boy meets girl. The boy, Tom Hansen of Margate, New Jersey, grew up believing that he’d never truly be happy until the day he met the one. This belief stemmed from early exposure to sad British pop music and a total mis-reading of the movie ‘The Graduate’. The girl, Summer Finn of Shinnecock, Michigan, did not share this belief. Since the disintegration of her parent’s marriage she’d only love two things. The first was her long dark hair. The second was how easily she could cut it off and not feel a thing. Tom meets Summer on January 8th. He knows almost immediately she is who he has been searching for. This is a story of boy meets girl, but you should know upfront, this is not a love story.

Tom: what do you think … why didn’t it work out?

Summer: what always happen. life.

It’s confirmed. The best movie this year, hands down, 500 Days of Summer. f course I’m being biased. Because I’m in love with Zooey Deschanel. Yes. Not that I love her, I AM IN LOVE WITH HER. Okay, maybe I’m a late bloomer. I’ve noticed her quirkiness in “Failure to Launch” as SJP’s housemate but only this year (being the out-dated Abby as usual) when I got the right chance to watch “Yes Man”, she caught my eyes, attention and heart. πŸ˜›

There’s something magically talented in Zooey Deschanel that allows her to breathe her own self in most of the characters she plays. And since Allison in “Yes Man”, I have been viewing her interviews on YouTube and realise exactly why I am in love with this actress. Not only that she acts and sings, she’s also funny and have grown up around the world, making her not a typical narrowminded person. Having to grew up around so many places myself, I am biased to liking those who are well-traveled or at least, adaptable to different cultures.

500 Days of Summer opens with one of the funniest Author’s Note I’ve ever read on the screen. It’s crude, blunt and upfront funny right from the very first second.

Truly enough,

This is not a love story. This is a story about love.

This movie has put itself (in my eyes) among Juno and 2 Days in Paris. Maybe my limited movie knowledge constrict it to just being related to those two. I adore how Thomas (Joseph Gordon Levitt) is a hopeless romantic and Summer (Zooey Deschanel) is a carefree spirit who will do and believe what she choses to. His eyes sparks when he talks about her. And the little things that she gives in. The holding hands in IKEA, the cute role-playing, how she wants to know more about his dreams.

The movie takes you to reality of believing in love versus not believing in love. I am of course the worst example for both. I make believe love. It’s true, and sometimes, it works to my advantage as a poet. Sometimes, it confuses me to which life I’m living, and who I actually love.

Of course, if you’re a true fan of this movie and/or the actors, you should check out their remake videoclip for She & Him’s “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here” and of course, just because it’s Zooey’s band. πŸ˜‰

I’m just in love with the movie and more in love with Zooey Deschanel. So, if you are, at any given chance, are a hopeless romantic who enjoys tremendous amount of comedy, do WATCH THIS MOVIE!

Gold Digger bukan direct translation untuk Pisau Cukur

So, it was a long overdue dinner and a supposed movie date, but we used the McD’s Coke Glass as a reason to realise both. Hehehe. Cathy asked if anyone have the pink one since her brother is collecting and I’m willing to swap mine for another colour. Then she said, let’s do dinner and better still, watch a movie. I’m like “Let’s!”. Then she asked if “Pisau Cukur” is okay with me. Well, I rarely watch malay films, I mean, rarely PAY to watch malay films in cinema since I was used to just going for the premiere, but heck yeah, let’s, support the industry, even though I’ll end up criticising as the typical skeptic me.

So, just on the day itself, after we arrived at One Utama, Cathy told me, not only that Maya Tan and Farid Ayam is joining us, but also another 4 other people. Wah, a large group of 8 people to go watch Pisau Cukur. Walawey, like penuh cinema liddat. Good to know that I knew most of the people joining, Fairuz Blur and his friend Dill whom I saw here and there in the art scene. Then the cute twins who joined us, but I have never met them before. πŸ™‚

Queue was crazy due to the premiere of “2012” (as Adi put it, people are lining up for the end of the world), and of course, we manage to get us the 8 tickets.

I vaguely remember a couple of months ago, meeting Bernard Chauly for the first time and he mentioned about this movie. No wonder la it did sound familiar to my ears.

Pisau Cukur is a comedy (me think) about two main characters, Intan (Fazura) and Bella (Maya Karin) who both preys for rich men to marry. It takes place on board a cruise where Bella ends up in pursue of one mysterious rich man and Intan investigating a murder.

I won’t give out much of the storyline since you are welcomed to watch it yourself. I would give it a score of 4/5 for effort, 4/5 for funny and 3/5 for storyline. It did moved on to a different level of the Malay cinema, and I think the art direction is quite good. My favourite shots would be of Faqir and Bella dancing cha cha with the spotlight at the background, the effects are amazing! Of course, the ‘gedik’ness (cheeky) of both main characters is simply nauseating but well, it works. Although I didn’t really like Aaron Aziz because I think he’s over-rated and the silver lining to his singlet spells G-A-Y πŸ˜› Well, I just find it … funny.

Good job for Pisau Cukur. And kids, go watch this slapstick comedy for some feel good in malay film industry.