Category Archives: reflection

My Muak Lek Miracle getaway food trip

Last week was ultimately one of the worst weeks I’ve had.

And when I say that, I mean Monday through Friday.

It was so horrible (I was constantlyconstantlyconstantly interrupted while working) that I actually blew off at one of my colleagues.

I don’t usually do that. But the fact that I did meant that I was really, really at the edge of my seat. Thank God for Gmail chats, I was able to lepas geram (express my anger) at some of my close friends.

Although I was able to express my frustrations, I was really having a hard time being calm. I was a fireball wrap in anger.

I knew I needed to get out.

On Thursday 5:20 pm, I decided I needed a break from the campus. Being away, even though it is just mere minutes, would give me a peace of mind. Besides, I was hungry and I wanted to eat something else besides my Maggi Mee curry noodles (which is awesome by the way. But you can get sick of it if you eat it 5 days straight. Just saying!)


…I also finished the chocolates Rae gave me from South Africa. (They were sinfully delicious!)


It was already 5:30 pm and I was still in the office. I thought of calling the van, but decided it was silly to call the van because I was just going to Muak Lek, not to Saraburi or Bangkok. You know, I’m just going to rush home, quickly change, and walk really fast to the van station. If I was meant to go to Muak Lek, the van will be there.

It takes 5 minutes to go home. Another, say 3 minutes to change. Then another 10 minutes to the van station. In between, I had to cash out and was stopped by a colleague for a chat (was getting impatient at this time. Oh boy, I was really worked up!).

By the time I got to the van, it was 5:50 pm. PERFECT! But what greeted me was this:


An empty parking lot! I was so disappointed! 😦 I actually felt sad when I saw that there were no vans.

Sighing heavily, I walked slowly towards the cafeteria. I thought maybe I could ice-cream since I saw students coming out from the cafeteria and they were eating cones. Ah I’m in luck, because that means the ice-creams just came and that means there’s still the cones…

What’s that?

There was a noise. Like a vehicle coming up behind me. So I turned. And I saw:



I was really taken by surprised! All is not lost for there is a van for me to go down to Muak Lek! WHOA I CALL THAT A MIRACLE.

If you saw me that particular moment, you would have thought what the heck am I smiling silliness. But yes, I was instantly a bit happier when I saw the van. Thank you God!

When I got to Muak Lek, I headed towards Texas, also known as the Food Court.


With the whole miracle that happened mere minutes before, I decided that I was going to enjoy my Muak Lek excursion to the fullest. So instead of having my usual friend chicken rice at the Muslim shop,



I had


homemade soya milk with char kuay



kua kgai ke tiau (I call it ‘Penanglike char kuay teow’). This dish had that nolstagia wok burnt-smell, and that made me reminisce on Malaysian food. Happy thoughts came flooding in as I enjoy eating slowly (rare characteristic of Deanna).

It was my breakaway at Muak Lek and I was going to enjoy this ‘freedom’ to the fullest.



After my satisfied dinner at the food court, I shopped a little bit at Lotus Express, then head back to the university with a motorbike taxi.

(I would have insert a picture of me riding on a motorbike taxi. Unfortunately, he went very, very fast and I didn’t want the driver to think I was crazy, trying to take a picture of us on the bike while he goes on full speed)

I think this must’ve been my 3rd time to go to Muak Lek using public transportation in the past 2 weeks. Sure, I spend more on transportation and maybe I should’ve ask one of my friends to send me. But honestly speaking, I do enjoy this personal Muak Lek getaways – it’s quite liberating. I really hate to impose on people. By using this mode of transportation where I take the public van to Muak Lek and motorbike taxi back to campus, I am:
1. Not bothering anyone to menyusahkan diri / trouble themselves
2. Have personal, quality time (WITH FOOD that *I* want to eat!) 🙂

I’m definitely feeling better now. 🙂

I know I haven’t been blogging lately – there are a lot of things I’m working on and I’m just exhausted in the end. But I have been reading your blogs, and enjoy seeing the pictures of recipes, awesome craft works you’re working on, and etc. 🙂

To end this entry, I shall leave you with food pictures (what else! HEHE):


cereal with milk, topped it off with CHOCOLATE RICE HAHAHAHA. (Onya gave me a packet of chocolate rice, and behind the packet, it says that you can mix it with cereal too! Of course I had to try it) 🙂

and my all-time favorite,



Secret Recipe’s Beef Lasagna and Carrot Pumpkin Soup. LOVE.


What could you be doing right now?


It’s funny that as you age, you start contemplating upon life, such as

What am I doing here
Where do I go from here
What does He wants me to do

If you have the powers to do anything you want – put money, time, and people issues aside – what could you be doing right now? What would be ideal?

Share with me.

Sharing my favorite inspirational quotes

My favorite logo/web/graphic designer Jacob Cass shared responses towards his Twitter on “What’s your favorite inspirational quote”.

He shared about 40+ quotes and here are some of my favorites:

mcAIU (formerly MC) at Muak Lek

1. “Unless you move, the place where you are is the place where you will always be.” ~Ashleigh Brilliant
Note: DEANNA, MOVE. You’ve been in Muak Lek far too long (7 years+!)

2. “Do what you love to do, but don’t do it to the point where you don’t love it anymore.”
Note: I’m concerned for those who loved what they’re doing, but slowly burning out. Don’t burn out! Hang on.

3. “I don’t want to be one of those who say ‘I wish I had’. I want to be one of those who say ‘I’m glad I did’.”
Note: Deanna, be brave! Take courage. Take a leap lah you adui.

4. “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
Note: This is the ultimate dream.


Designing MC Christmas card using Adobe Illustrator for the 1st time.

5. “To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” ~ Joseph Chilton Pearce
Note: Deanna, don’t be afraid of making mistakes. It’s okay. Let go of that perfectionist-a attitude.

6. “Be a fountain, not a drain.” ~Rex Hudler
Note: Don’t be stagnant, Deanna. Move it! Always think of what you could do better.

7. “Graphic design is the spit and polish but not the shoe.” ~Ellen Lupton
Note: The learning process, Deanna. The Journey.

8. “Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water.” ~Li Zhènfan
Note: Don’t be a drain – be a fountain!

newsbiteMy very first Newsbyte. Cried a lot especially in the first few months; people calling it names and whatnot. But with lots of trials and errors and perseverance, fast forward 3 years and Newsbyte news and design does not look like how it first came out. We came a long way.

9. “Success is falling down 7 times but getting up 8.”
Note: Persevere. This is going to be hard…

10. “Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination.” ~Jim Jarmush
Note: Continue blog-surfing. Read up. See what others in the field have done. Always want to keep learning.

11. “Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination.” ~Jim Jarmush
Note: Continue blog-surfing. Read up. See what others in the field have done. Always want to keep learning.

12. “Keep her lit” ~Anyone from Northern Ireland
Note: My point exactly (refer #11)

bloglinesSubscribed to dozens of blogs and sites that promote inspiration, design and creativity. I use Bloglines to handle my rss reads 🙂

13. “Art is creativity, creativity is passion, passion is love.” ~Andrew Brynjulson.
Note: I think I know my passion, but I’m a little afraid. I mean, what if what you think is your passion is not your passion? What if I’m wrong? Argh…life.

14.“Design that doesn’t take a chance doesn’t stand a chance”
Note: TAKE A CHANCE lah, Deanna haiyoh you really scared is it

15.“In order to know what is right, you’ve got to know what is wrong.”

16.“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~Mark Twain

Note: Refer #3.

me at joggerthonJoining my first 5km jogging-marathon called Joggerthon in February 2008. Also my first medal for a ‘sports’ activity.

See more inspirational quotes here

Salvaging whatever that can be done

(this entry is written with the impression that the blog readers (esp. friends) know that our Alma mater has upgraded its status from college to a university!)

After I was shocked horrified by the new design of the Student ID (let’s just say, the logo was not proportionate at all!), I decided to check with the RO on the cover of the academic bulletin. I wasn’t designing it (Daron was the last person to design it and the fact that he’s not here…). So I was curious (and yes, perhaps a little concern).

zerpThe 3 different cover designs.

Horrified x 10.

One of the things that I cannot tolerate (besides inappropriately-stretched images) is the obvious and awkward space between the first line of text and the second. I felt like clicking the invisible end and enter buttons to push the text up. Also, because my department works closely with the ‘informal’ branding of the institution, the colors used were not the right ones or even the right shades.

Unlike case scenario 1, the cover has not been printed yet. I was RELIEVED that we could still salvage the bulletin.

So I volunteered to do the cover designs and worked on it the whole afternoon of yesterday. I came up with three:



3The bground color on the left is slightly different because it was exported in Adobe Indesign instead of Photoshop.

These are not final designs though. Apparently, after I showed them to the administrator in charge, she mentioned that there were particular pictures already selected to be on the cover. I didn’t know this before designing.

So I guess it’s back to Square 1. The selected pictures (campus environment from a bird’s eye view, and the 3-fold monument with flags behind) does not 100% suit the templates above so I’ll have to brainstorm again.

But that’s okay. Three years of experience in this line have taught me that your first artwork/draft is not always the final one. In fact, your best works come after many, many revisions.

esl12006/7 version

esl22008 version

And these revisions usually come as a result from people’s feedback.

We need feedback – whether it’s good or bad, whether it’s told in a direct or subtle (the acknowledging-what-is-good-first then give-suggestions/tell what-can-be-improved. This always cracks me up inside because I’ll be thinking, Dude! I know what you’re trying to do. Stop psyching me and just tell me what you want to change! Haha). We need feedback because we work way too closely with our artwork that we only see it in our lens.

And our lens is not necessarily the right lens.

Because  we got to go back to the purpose of the artwork and the target audience and answering some of these questions will help us mold the work to closely represents what it is supposed to represent.

I am digressing here.


*Takes a deep breath.

Anyway, let’s see how it goes.  By the way, I’ve already designed 1 version of the Student ID card (not so sure if they’ll accept, but just in case!). I’ll share once I have another 2 designs set up.


Happy. Good company makes it all good.

Money money money

So it’s been a few months when I started going home to cook lunch.

1. Save money (the least I spent on food from eating at the cafeteria was 450 baht. Whee!)
2. Healthy and delicious food (boiled Japanese green noodles, broccoli and vege/salmon balls or toufu and egg, topped it off with sesame oil, Malaysian light soy sauce and pepper)
3. Squeezed in workout at the same time (walking up and down the hill…twice!)

Unfortunately, it had one disadvantage…and a major one, that is.

Are you ready for it?


Since I’m always at the office and eating at home, I only see people when I happened to pass them by, or at church. (Yes I do have contacts with people during the week…unfortunately, most of the communication takes place online, like Microsoft Outlook, Facebook, Gmail…haiyoh).

I almost become invisible. If it wasn’t because the students still need me to play piano, I probably go unnoticed.

So about two weeks ago, I started going to the cafeteria for lunch. Social life began to picked up and I smile again. So sure, I’m not eating at the comfort of my bed, but hey – it sure makes a difference from eating alone to eating with people.

Now that I’m more socially rejuvenated/revived, I knew that eating at the cafe will cost me (and at the rate I make, trust me, every baht counts!).

It doesn’t help when I also made emergency-food visits to the cafeteria in the evenings. Because that means, the cost of me eating at the cafe is doubled!

I mean, take a look at my cafeteria online account from 16 June to today:


See those circles? Before, I almost never eat breakfast or “dinner” in the cafeteria. But now, I do!

Let’s compare with the previous month:


Whoah, NONE? This was the period between after-graduation and before-school starts. I probably didn’t even visit cafeteria…at all.

Okay, moving on. So I decided about an hour and a half ago that any trip I make to the cafeteria that it outside of lunch hour, I’m going to pay.

Yes bebeh, with REAL MONEY. No charging to the account!


Sometimes I laugh at myself on how I try to psych me. Isk.

So I head to the counter with my hot dog twist and waffles and before the counter lady could key in my memorized staff ID number, I gave her 23 baht (she told me the total beforehand). She had a “Huh?” expression, then quickly shifted to a chuckle.


So yup – my rule of Must-pay-money-when-buying-food-from-cafeteria-outside-lunch-hours is activated! I hope this will help me control in my food spending at the cafeteria, hehe.

PS-> It’s Jun’s birthday yesterday (and my sister too!!!) and he and Rae came to my office today to give me a piece of the birthday cake that they saved for me. Aww, so sweet! But sugar at 9:20 am in the office? What a way to start the day! 🙂


PS II-> Haven’t been updating a lot…there were times that I wanted, but I just didn’t feel like blogging without a photo (sans camera). Will be changing the blog theme soon…this blog has become less of a cooking misadventure…haha. 😉 Stay tuned!

You are loved

No matter how much I have experienced death…whether it is a loss of a family member or a friend’s relative, I still do not know how to react when death happens.

What are the right words to say? What should I do? I really don’t want to offend him/her.

When I was on the phone with Onya, I admit that I struggled verbalizing. Because I didn’t want to just say them, I want to mean it and I…oh.

Honestly, I wish Star Trek’s time beam worked because I would’ve want to zap myself and give her a hug. Right at where she was.

I’m sorry for your loss, Onya. I’m really am truly sorry. I am thinking of you and your family.

You are loved.