Farewell party

Farewell party
Su and I hosted a farewell party for three recent grads who will be heading home very soon. They have been excellent Malaysian student ambassadors here…generous, kind, and always helpful. I still remember my first day at Lehigh, and these girls received me into their home and that really helped me in my transition. I wish them all the best as they return home to work for Petronas 🙂

Malaysian flag

Malaysian flag

Surrounding the football stadium are flags from the various countries who have students studying here. And probably like many Malaysians abroad, whenever I see a Malaysian flag anywhere, I can’t help but take a picture of it. Here’s one almost flying in the wind.

Oh, and I saw an elderly man having his picture taken with the Malaysian flag and I asked him why is he taking a picture of the Malaysian flag. He told me he was a Peace Corp volunteer and was based in Johor Bahru long time ago. Malaysia must have made a pretty good impression on this man.

Open air commencement

Open air commencement
Lehigh University had its 2006 commencement on Monday. Unlike convocation events in Malaysia, the commencement here is really informal. Grads can wear slippers, and shorts underneath their graduation gown. There is no need for formal invitation cards, you can bring along your grandparents, second cousins or even your dog. No need to pull strings to get the additional invitation cards! No dress code but on this particular day, it was WINDY and cold, so a jacket would be good. There are not as many flowers though. I was planning to get 1 or 2 more bouquets for my friends but nobody was selling any flowers.

13-Week Walk-Run Program

I found out about this 13-Week Walk-Run Program and after reading the reviews, I thought perhaps I could do this too. So I ordered a used copy. While waiting for the book to arrive, I thought I could start my training by following what some of reviewers said was the first week’s training schedule: Run 30 seconds, walk 4:30 minutes, and repeat 7 times. That seems doable. And during my first two “training” sessions, that’s what I did. And guess what? I felt great, it wasn’t too demanding and at the end of the seventh repetitions, I was still in one piece and hardly felt tired. “Sup sup sui,” I thought.
And then the book arrived…

I searched the book for the second week’s schedule since no reviewers wrote anything about the second week. And to my utmost surprise, I couldn’t find the “run 30secs and walk 4:30 minutes” anywhere in the book. Instead in the book, the first day’s schedule was run 1 minute, walk 2 minutes, and repeat 12 times. And straight away I knew it was going to be a struggle and I was right. My first try at Day 1, after the 6th repetition, my legs were aching and my lungs felt like it was going to burst. I couldn’t get to the 12 repetition. I managed 9 and then walked all the way home. I was apprehensive about trying out Day 1 again but I want to run the 5K race so I gave it another try. And I succeeded on my second try, I managed the 12 repetitions…YAY!!

And that’s only Day 1 of the 13 week program…

Carrot cake

carrot cake
This is my first ever carrot cake. I baked this using this Carrot Cake recipe from Allrecipes.com. It turned out really good, even my totally health conscious roommate liked it. My next endeavor would be blueberry muffins and then after that a banana cake.

Today while I was at the library, I overheard a girl telling her friend about a cake recipe using boxed cake mix and one can of diet soda, that’s it. I checked online and some people recommend using 2-3 egg whites so that the cake is fluffier and not so crumbly. I am totally intriqued by this. I’m going to the grocery store tomorrow to get the 2 ingredients for this cake.

Tropical fruits

Tropical fruits

Sometime last week, with some spare time, I started to show a colleague some local Malaysian fruits on the Internet. As I was going through the list and giving descriptions of the different fruits such as rambutan, durian, guava, jackfruit, langsat, mangosteen etc, I began to really miss those fruits. So on Saturday, when I was at the Asian grocery store buying soy sauce, tofu etc, I added these into my basket. I still can’t believe that guava hasn’t caught on in the US. I mean it doesn’t have any extreme smell or texture, overall it’s a pleasant fruit, much better than an apple. Well, I have to contend with guava in syrup. I have not tried it yet but I doubt I will like it canned. It’s also unfortunate that all three products were Made in Thailand, not Buatan Malaysia.

Slow start to summer

It’s amazing how it seems like there’s not much happening since the two conferences that I went to in March/April. Now that the semester is over I have to concentrate on working on my Qualifier project. The work is time intensive and not interesting at all.

Other mundane-regular things that’s happening..

I’m slowly cleaning and putting away all the winter clothing, shoes, and comforter. Soon it will get really hot and humid. Time for t-shirts, shorts, slippers, and my super turbo noisy fan.
The windows are opened now. And in the early morning, there’s the bird symphony orchestra and if that doesn’t wake me up, they’ll be another daycare kids and teachers musical at around 10am. In the quiet of the night I can hear cars and trucks zooming by I-78, and it gets quite loud occasionally, eventhough the highway is about 1km away.

The Duh cross-country trail is slowly becoming busier. Lots of people running, walking, and walking their dogs. Lots of birds, even bright red ones, and they all make really interesting sounds. One day, I even saw a rabbit/hare hopping into the bushes.

Oh, and few days ago, I bought a Braun hand blender. It makes a very delicious Banana and strawberry smoothie. Four frozen strawberries, 1 banana, 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 1/2 cup milk, some Splenda and blend…yummy. I’m sure there are lots of other things I can make with that gadget but right now I haven’t progressed beyond smoothie.

Lastly, I signed up for the summer softball intramural league. I’ll be part of the dept of special ed and school psych team. I’ve never played softball before but in Form 1 and 2, I was part of the “crazy about rounders” gang at SGGS. So this will bring back some sweet memories. However at this moment I have no idea what the softball league will be like or how competitive people will get during the games.