Cheese Chase 🐭

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Click here to play, it will be opened in a new tab. Good luck!

Sometime around this hectic semester, I made a computer game 👾. It wasn’t as cool as VR, not even close sorry 😟. But hey, I did something! And you guys should give it a try and tell me what you think 😘.

It was actually an assignment for my computer science class. We were given one week to create a game from scratch using Scratch (no pun intended, I guess). The first couple of weeks, most of our labs and assignments are based on Scratch since it’s easier to use than other lengthy programming language. It was seriously a great introduction for an intro class, and you can do a whole lot more with it than creating addition, summation, arranging, and list-finding programs. For instance, you can create a game like I did!

The game is about a mouse who is hungry and wants to eat cheeses, but it has to run away from the cat, and watch out for mouse traps. With increasing level, the speed of the cat increases, and the number of mouse traps doubles. The highest level achieved is level 9 by my TA who graded our game 😂. I dare you to try and beat him! 😏 (Link here)

Learn German in 150 days

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In between the summer heat, Ramadhan, and doing nothing, I have this crazy idea. To learn German in 5 months. As absurd as it sounds, I’m gonna do this! 💪

I know the first question people gonna ask me, or is already in your mind, is why? Why Deutsch particularly? I have been asked this question a couple of times already. If I’m gonna spend money and time, and will probably risk some more money on it, I must have a really strong reason to do this. Unfortunately, no. I’m sorry. I’ve tried to come up with a hella good reason, like I’m gonna work there, study abroad there, marry someone from there, or at least something like, I really really really like German movies and would like to understand what they literally say. *Sigh*. But no. None of them feel close to heart.

Whenever I thought of learning a new language, I always thought of Hindi, for my love to SRK’s movies and songs 😍 (I’m actually listening to one while writing this). I thought yeah, it would be cool to understand what they say without reading the subtitles, and they sound really romantic too! Early this year I found an apps called Duolingo, and I liked it instantly. The cute UI and graphic, and really great UX charmed me, but sadly, the Hindi language is still in progress. So I thought, why not learn something else in the mean time. And I chose German, for no particular reason. Aha, a natural intuitive power (read: instinct). And surprisingly, I kept learning it for at least 5 minutes everyday, every week for almost three or four months. Well, not everyday if I’m being honest 🙊, but I kept getting back to studying German, (even on a road trip!). I learned some useful words, and had fun too. So, when I finally have nothing to do during summer break, I thought why not make this a real thing. Be able to speak auf Deutsch with a Deutsche. 

There are also influences from my surrounding, such as Frank Brown, the Dean of Geology, and friends who are learning German, and who already know German. I’m aware that the reason behind is still not convincing enough, but I don’t want to make learning German just a phase. I don’t want one day to say ‘Oh, I know a little bit of German, Ich heiße aini‘. No, I want to be able to say ‘Ich spreche und verstehe Deutsch‘ (I speak and understand German) confidently, and laugh with them about something 10 minutes later. I already got my feet wet, might as well dip the whole body, right?

Knowing me, and as ambivalent as I am, I know I have to start now or bury this goal to death. So I did.

I have to plan really carefully and delicately to make sure that I didn’t stop halfway (like I always do 😪). My exact goal is in 5 months, I will be able to speak in German with a native speaker  for at least 30 min. That’s it. I didn’t plan to get A1, A2, B1, etc in Goethe-Zertifikat, although I did initially. But that, we can plan later. I know 5 months or 150 days is a short amount of time to learn a new language. But if I didn’t give myself a time frame, I’m gonna procrastinate my very best. And I think 5 months should be a good push for myself.

And to push myself even more, I made a deal with Kebe, a classmate from high school who’s currently studying in Germany, that if I’m able to speak with a german of his choice (a classmate, friend, housemate, etc), he’ll give me a Daniel Wellington that I’ve eyed for since last year 😏. With its price and my no-skill to take good care of stuff, it might be a waste for me to hit the ‘confirm order’ button and drain my bank account even more. But now I dont have to! 🙌💃👯🎊🎉 (in shaa Allah).

 

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You’re gonna be on my wrist soon O’ Classy Winchester 26mm 😏

 

And if I failed, I’ll have to buy Kebe a watch that he’s been eyeing, which coincidentally of almost equal price. FYI, Kebe texted me the other day saying that he has bought the DW, and if I’m losing this, he’ll sedekah it to some german chicks. In hell heaven you will *determined emoji*

After doing thorough research to find the best ways to learn German (here, here, and here and many more), and considering my classes and work during Fall semester, I’ve drawn da Game Plan:

Day 1-45

  • Practice with a private tutor
  • Finish the textbook
  • Make flashcards
  • Memorize 20 phrases and words everyday
  • Read children story books

Day 46-90

  • Practice with a language partner
  • Practice thinking auf Deutsch
  • Memorize 20 phrases and words everyday
  • Write 20 full sentences everyday

Day 91-120

  • Find new language partner
  • Watch/listen to tv, movie, documentary, radio
  • Memorize 20 phrases and words everyday
  • Write 20 full sentences everyday

Day 121-150

  • Find new language partner
  • Memorize 20 phrases and words everyday
  • Write 20 full sentences everyday
  • Read news, wikipedia, or long story books

This might be useful for people who are learning language on their own too. With this game plan, I’m using Deutsch Aktuell 1 textbook (it’s $7.50 if you search in bookfinder) recommended by my tutor, who I found on Thumbtack. The textbook covers almost everything from vocabs, grammar, simple text, and exercises. For flashcards, I’m using the just-released Tinycards apps by Duolingo. It’s cute, uses spaced repetition, and much more colorful and fun than Anki or Genius flashcard apps. I can make my own decks or pick from the ones that are already made. You definitely should try this apps! I even made a deck for my minerals and rocks 😍 (Oh, since it’s new, I think it’s only available for iOS, and in USA currently, sorry 😥).

Look, how cute they are 😍

Apart from that, I’m gonna find language partners to practice speaking from the Mixxer, Exchanges.org, couchsurfing.org, or meetup.com. I’m also planning to find a pen-pal to practice my writing and be acquaintance with the German culture. Currently, I’m practicing with Kebe every now and then. Sometimes I’m not in the mood to translate every word Kebe said, I actually google translate everything 😎. Oh, I’m using dict.com as my online dictionary. It’s also available in Apps Store 😊.

Alhamdulillah, I’m currently on day 27, and it’s going well so far… But not as well as I planned. Well, I’ve completed the text book, and still reviewing and improving my vocabs (especially on prepositions!). I can already read simple texts and dialogues, and the flashcards are 50 percent done. But I don’t think I’m giving my best here 😔. Sometimes I went to take a 3-hour nap before I even finish studying one chapter! Other times a day went by without I even flip a page 😥. I don’t know. I really want this, but sometimes it’s so hard I’m not sure if I can do it. Maybe, the learning alone part is hard. Maybe, I should go out and find some people who are also learning German. Or maybe I should take German class at the U this upcoming semester 😲.

And that’s why I’m writing this post. I need all the help and support I can get. If you know anyone who studied or teaching German, or might have the resources, please comment below. But even if you don’t have it, you can still support me by saying ‘ATB! 💪’ for instance. Or just your thoughts, really, even the skeptical ones. You might not be able to help me with learning, but you can definitely help me in pursuing my goal 😁. And it might sound small to you, but small action goes a long way ❤️

Eid Eve at Sis Su’s

🎉🎉 EID MUBARAK GUYYSSS!! 🎉🎉

or for those who’re clueless, it means Blessed Eid, a traditional Muslim greeting reserved for use on the festivals of Eid ul-Adha and Eid ul-Fitr, which Eid, by the way means Celebration. Yes, straight from Wikipedia.

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It says Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri (or Happy Eid-ul Fitri)

This year, having the chance to celebrate Raya (Eid in Malay) outside Malaysia, means no kari ketupat rendang nenek, no burasak, no duit raya, no baju raya, and no kad raya 😔. But it also means, meeting new people, eating new food, making your own kuih raya, and experiencing new environment. Which are, not at all that bad 😊. To prevent us from actually crying on the raya eve, Sis Su invited us to her place so that we can (in her words:) sama-sama menangis 😂.

(Oh btw, we now called each other sis (short for sister), since before Ramadhan? 😅 So, examples of conversation in Sis Su’s place will be like, ‘Sis, sis kalau penat boleh tido kat bilik sis. Sis boleh suruh sis lain buat kerja‘. Sometimes, we even called the boys ‘sis’, and they answered 😂. Kak Su texted me the other day after iftaar at her place, said that she really had a lot of fun and sometimes gelak sorang sebab kitorang bersis-sis 😂)

Anywayy, the food was all prepared at the setting by Sis Su, Sis Sahi, Sis Alia, Sis Hanna, y’know the usual 💁. There were lontong, roti jala, sambal udang, sambal ayam, kuih kornflakes, kuih makmur, tart nenas, and all the good stuff. It wasn’t much, but it was all that I could ask for, Alhamdulillah. Some of them arrived early to help prepare the food, some arrived later due to class and work.

After Abang Hakim called the azan, we sipped some drink and eat a date, and straight away performed the Maghrib prayer. No we didn’t eat first. Then we recited the takbir, which is the Arabic term for the word Allahu Akbar. It literally means “God is greater” and that nothing can supersede God or be better than Him. We, muslims, recite a lot of Allahu Akbar to declare Allah Greatness, after completing one month of fasting.

And then we eat, took a lot of pictures, eat some more 😋, and perform Isyak prayer. Everyone was so full and sleepy by the time we get ready for Isyak, because they said that the syaitaan (devils) have been released 😂. Some of us went back home, some who sleepover at Sis Su’s went to play bunga api! 🎆

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Happy Eid Mubarak from us, Utes! 🎉

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Me and Da MasterChefs 🍳

Alhamdulillah, thanks to all these big-hearted fun people, I had a lot of fun on Eid Eve 😊. We even had a chance to play Happy Family and camp outside Kak Su’s house for 15 minutes, because the boys’ car buat hal, and couldn’t start 😅. All in all, happy Eid Mubarak to all my friends and family, wishing you blessed life and please forgive my wrong doings. May we be able to meet another Ramadhan dan jangan laa (as alia put it) iman kita berlalu bersama Ramadhan. Hehe, till later!

Ramadhan 1437: Part 2

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My previous post titled Ramadhan 1437 was originally made to share my experience fasting, sahur, and iftar-ing in Utah. Dunno how melencong ke tempat lain pulak 😅 but that’s okay. I still have too many things to share. Not just on Ramadhan, but on summer too. And one more post is never a bad thing.

Ramadhan di bumi asing (acah je 😜), tipu laa if i said there wasn’t any difference. But honestly, the differences that I expected was just less food, i mean no bazaar and air jagung (corn juice) and roti john right, non-berjemaah tarawih, longer extra hot day, and… that’s it. Which after several monologue and pujuk diri, I was capable to make up my mind that it’s gonna be okay. It is, so far. But little did I know, the test wasn’t that easy.

Ramadhan this year, doesn’t feel like Ramadhan that much. The vibe I mean. You know when it’s few days or weeks to Ramadhan and we already start counting, on tv, media social and everywhere, and there’s already ads on baju raya, kuih raya, ribena, and whispers of yusoof taiyoub, especially yusoof taiyoub, and we’re sooo excited like we’ve been waiting all year long for this guest to come? I didn’t feel it. You know the feel of wanting to do good and improve yourself all the time, to grab all the goodness and multiple rewards? I didn’t feel it that much. Also, the feel of going to bazaar, seeing all the food and people, preparing iftaar, in masjid, home, restaurant, or just anywhere? I. DIDNT. FEEL. IT. 😭

Sorry, I’m not trying to be a whiny 7 year old kid here, mengeluh je. I’m not 😔 It’s just kinda sad that I’m missing all the Ramadhan vibe and it’s … Ramadhan kot! But it’s not all day all bad in here. Life is a balance, we lose something, we get something.

Almost everyday Janah and I had our iftaar in alia/sahi/hanna’s place. And they’re awesome cooks, tip top! Tak tipu. From nasi tomato, nasi ayam, kuey teow ladna, steak, pizza, buah melaka, kuih ketayap, cheesecake, chocolate moist cake, roti jala, buttermilk chicken, spaghetti garlic sauce, soto, you name it. There’s none of their food that I haven’t said “sedapnyaaaa” thirty times while eating. I should make a video of them cooking and baking one day. I spent so many nights at their place, even the menu I listed for me to cook during Ramadhan had only been crossed three times 😂 (because i’m so malas liddat). After iftar, we stayed at their place, and usually not sleep until sahur. Hence, the eye bag.

That’s one about food. We also had Potluck Iftaar and Tarawih every Saturday. The first one was bbq at the boys’, with spaghetti carbonara by mui, bubur pulut hitam (black glutinous rice porridge) by alia, pavlova by sahi , ketupat sotong by ety, tom yam by syaffman (sedap gila), and so many more. The second one was at Afiq’s with lontong by alia as main menu. Other people brought soto, tauhu sumbat with kuah kacang, roti jala, chocolate moist cake, buah melaka, and so many more. The third will be explained explicitly soon (wink wink). The fourth and last one is coming this Saturday at Ensign Peak 😍 There’s gonna be a little hike, but why not?? I am so excitedly looking forward to that.

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Afiq’s place. Sahi’s snapchat. Teleng laa kepala tu kalau nak tengok 😜

We never had a chance to experience tarawih in masjid/surau yet. But Afiq has been iftaar-ing with us for eight days straight before he went back to malaysia. Having someone to lead us in maghrib and isyak (and sometimes subuh too!) is good enough. He has been such a nice awesome abang for the past few weeks, and I seriously almost cried when sending him to airport as he finally gets to go back home for good. (He wiped a corner of his eyes too, I believe, when we’re not looking 😏)

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Anyway, Ramadhan here is not entirely about food. It’s also about finding and disciplining yourself. Here, like I said, the Ramadhan vibe is weaker, especially when the Muslim community is not that big. So it’s all up to you to train yourself, and keep being motivated to read the Quran, to not sleep all day long 😂, to find ways to get closer to Allah. It’s a hard work I tell ya, not to say that I succeeded. But I also found that it’s not that hard actually to be good, and do good. I find it easier to follow the whispers in your heart in doing good deeds, and refrain from bad ones. And for once I believe that my little syaitaan (which everyone has in their hearts) might also has been chained along with the big big ones. That it’s possible to make the other part of my body to bow down to my heart, as long as my heart yearns and is full with the right thing.

Other than that, Ramadhan has been swell 😊 I’ve been asked by Ben (my co-worker), Jeanette (my landlady), and few other non-Muslims regarding Ramadhan and fasting, which makes me feel so good to be surrounded by people who are open minded and not ignorance.

In the end, Ramadhan turns out not so bad after all.