Sunday, 31 August 2008

Merdeka Cat Show Rocks!!!

The Merdeka Cat Show, organized by The Feline Society of Malaysia, was held at The Mall, KL, today. It was an occasion for all cat lovers to drool over the many different breeds of cats there. And like any cat lovers, I was there, too.

The show started with a bang. It opened with a rock guitarist cat and two backup dancing cats. Well, it would have, if I were the organizer and had something to do about it. :)

The rock star........
.......and the backup dancers

Now that I got my theatrics out of the way, here're some highlights of the show. First, this gentleman below has one of the biggest cat, if not the biggest, in the competition. The owner said it weighs 10 kg. It is very furry, alert and playful. It is also one of the most popular cats with the spectators. Unfortunately, the judge did not like the cat for some reason.

This is the only sphinx cat present at the show. What a lovely cat. I think the organizers must have sympathized with its nakedness and made sure the hall is not too cold for the comfort of the sphinx.


The two lovely maine coons belonging to Jimmy.






Kigger
This is Kigger, a lovely and most friendly maine coon owned by an equally beautiful and friendly lady who goes by the screen name Izyandanial in the PetFinder forum. Its fur is soft and glossy. It is also probably one of the friendliest cat there, allowing us to stroke it. This is a dream cat.


According to the owner, this cat is a mixed breed. She has no idea what genes it might have and was surprised when I said it looks like it might have some Norwegian Forest's genes. It looks a bit like one of Russmania's Norwegian Forest kingdom. Russmania is an NF fanatic and has some of the loveliest Norwegian Forest I have ever seen. He entered one of his NFs, Babylon, whose photo is below.

But I digress. Back to this cat. The poor creature was disqualified by the judge because it was not as sociable as the others. It made the mistake of growling at the judge. But, despite its distemper, it's still one of my favourites.


Babylon
And last, but not least, this is Babylon. He is a very rare breed in Asia......a Norwegian Forest bred and raised in Hong Kong. Since it's a cat meant for cooler climate, Russ, the owner, has to air condition his home 24/7 just for the comfort of his cats. Russ was not there, and the cat was in the care of Abymummy, a friend of Russ'. Welcome to Malaysia, Babylon. Hope the mall wasn't too hot for you, dear.
This is another photo of Babylon, taken by a professional photographer. Thanks for the photo, Russ.

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Happy Merdeka!!


Malaysia celebrates its 51st year of independence from colonial rule in less than an hour from now, on Sunday, 31 August 2008.

May there be continued peace, harmony and prosperity in the country.
One nation, one people, one country.

Long live Malaysia.




Friday, 29 August 2008

Me and My Pink Cat

Phew! Finally, I managed to dye my hair on my own. It wasn't easy, though. If anything, it was messy, with spills and stains everywhere. My face and neck looks a bit like a leopard's skin now, with brown patches. And I also managed to get some colour onto my shorts.

But overall, I'm pleased with the results. It wasn't as disastrous as I had feared. I didn't end up with a pink head like my former housemate did in London.

However, Blackie wasn't so fortunate. He ended up looking like this.......
Lupie, this picture is specially dedicated to you......



Thursday, 28 August 2008

Dyeing My Own Hair

With prices of everything going through the roof, I decided to colour my hair myself. So off I went to Watson to look for hair colouring kits. After looking through the myriad of choices, I finally bought myself a box of Revlon ColorSilk hair colour no. 33 for RM21.90. Wow, it's so much cheaper to do it yourself at home than to pay for a professional job in a hair salon.

I opted for the most natural colour so that should I make any mistake, which is quite likely considering I'm new at this, it won't be a total disaster.

I still remember the disastrous hair colour that my ex-housemate in London had when she coloured her own hair. She is a natural blonde, and had bought a platinum hair colour to make it even lighter. But instead of getting a platinum head, she ended up with a pink head (yes, this shade!). For the next two months, she went around with a scarf over her head.

Hopefully, this disaster would not happen to me tomorrow, when I try colouring my hair myself. Otherwise, I'll have to borrow a tudung from one of my Muslim friends.









Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Hubby Calls Me A Mosquito Repellent!!

For some reason, mosquitoes have a preference for my blood. If I am sitting with someone, chances are, the mosquitoes will bite me and leave the other person alone.

Tonight, while watching the movie 'The Last Holiday' starring Queen Latifah on HBO, I was bitten by a stray mosquito. I thought mosquitoes don't show their faces when the temperature falls below 26 degrees Celcius? And tonight is 24 degrees. What was the mosquito doing out on such a chilly night?

Anyway, when the movie was over, I showed my hubby the mosquito bites. He patted my arm, and said, "Thanks for keeping the mosquitoes away from me, mosquito repellent." Huh??!!! Aaarggghh!!!! Now I'm a mosquito repellent. Thanks, hubby. Love you, too.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Mamma Mia! The Movie

Mamma mia, here I go again
My my, how can I resist you?


Yes, how can I resist this movie. Incidentally, the broadway play first opened its doors to the public in London in 1999 at the Prince Edward theater. It is based on the hit ABBA single of the same name.

The story is about a 20-year-old girl who is preparing for her wedding in her mother's hotel in Greece. She has everything except a father to give her away. So she got hold of her mother's diary and finds that there are three men who could be her father. She invites these men to her wedding believing that she will be able to identify who her father is once she sets eyes on him. And thus, the fun begins.

Now, as you all know, I am a James Bond fanatic. So, how could I pass on a chance to ogle at Pierce Brosnan, a former 007?
I mean, a gun-toting, martini-drinking 007 who could sing?!

Pierce Brosnan is better known for his 007 roles - a cool, sexy spy who remains calm and collected even under the most trying circumstances. It will be interesting to watch him in a role where he does not have his usual 007 toys and cars.

It seems that he did not know what the movie was about when he signed on. The producers only told him that the movie would be filmed in Greece and that Meryl Streep would be starring in it. The former 007 immediately agreed, saying that he would sign on any project that involved Meryl Streep. He described her as that gorgeous blonde that he fancied terribly in Drama School.

Hmm......I can't wait to watch it.
The movie will be released in Malaysia in September 2008.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Account Disabled by Google AdSense

I received an email from Google AdSense today informing me that they have disabled my account. The reason quoted was : "While going through our records recently, we found that your AdSense account has posed a significant risk to our AdWords advertisers. Since keeping your account in our publisher network may financially damage our advertisers in the future, we've decided to disable your account."

What I don't understand is, "posed a significant risk". And the best part is, all the money I've earned, which did not happen to be a negligible amount, has been withdrawn and returned to the advertisers.

In the real world, it would be a scenario where the advertisers pay per audience at the cinema for their ads. When the advertisers suddenly found that many people are coming to watch the movies, they decided that they may be damaged financially and so decided that they are not going to pay the cinema owners. But what they conveniently forgot is that their ads have already been viewed by hundreds of cinema-goers, if not thousands, without their having paid a single cent.

This is indeed a great advertisement program. They get their advertisements out for free.


Sunday, 24 August 2008

Bye-bye Beijing, Hello London

The Beijing Olympics 2008 has come to a close. Just like the opening ceremony, the closing ceremony was directed by filmmaker Zhang Yimou and was quite a dazzling sight to behold, with famous celebrities like Placido Domingo, Jimmy Page, Leona Lewis and David Beckham representing London while China was represented by Jackie Chan and Andy Lau.

With the usual pomp, the Olympics flag was handed over to Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, who flew to Beijing for the ceremony via economy class. Bye-bye Beijing, and hello London.

Salted Egg Prawns at Fu Lai

Last night, my hubby and I went out for dinner with a friend who wanted to take us to Fu Lai, a restaurant in Puchong Jaya (the old phase) for what he described as the best salted egg prawns he has ever had in KL.

So off we trudged to Puchong, a place I am not too familiar with. The shop is located off Jalan Puchong (on the right hand side if you're coming from KL), and is next to the Petronas station.

There, we ordered the much acclaimed salted egg prawns, a spinach soup, one kau yok (pork with yam) and one of their specially home made tofu dish. They were all yummy, especially the salted egg prawns. It wasn't too expensive either, as the total bill came up to RM68. Definitely worth the trip there.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Donnie Brasco Vs. Donnie Darko

A few days ago, my hubby and I were checking out some DVDs in a shop at Kota Damansara when I came across a movie titled "Donnie Darko".

Without reading the synopsis at the back cover, I immediately told my hubby that we must get this movie as it was recommended by my cousin two years ago, but which we had never found in any shops until that day. Without giving it another thought, he bought it right away.

Then, last night, while chatting online with my cousin, I told her that I had bought Donnie Darko. Under the assumption that I must be mistaken, she corrected me, saying the title is Donnie Brasco.

I checked the DVD cover (we haven't watched it yet) and confirmed that it was indeed Donnie Darko that we had bought. The story is about a troubled teenager who is plagued by visions of a large bunny rabbit that manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after narrowly escaping a bizarre accident.

Donnie Brasco, on the other hand, is about an FBI undercover agent who infiltrates the mob and finds himself identifying more with the mafia life at the expense of his regular one.

One has a large bunny rabbit while the other is about mafia life. Can a person get more mixed-up than this? It is no wonder my hubby says I'm a comedy of errors.

Things To Consider Before Getting A Pet

All of us are naturally taken with the cute faces of kittens and puppies and their playful antics. After all, who could resist them? But before you decide to take that kitten or puppy home, there are a few things you should first consider.

Pets are a lifetime commitment. A puppy could live for the next 10 to 15 years, while a kitten could live for the next 10 to 20 years. You must be committed to be responsible for them for this long before you decide to buy or adopt an animal.

Animals bond to people, and to give them up for any reason is a most traumatic experience for them. So ask yourself some hard questions first.

1. Do you have space or room for them?

2. Do you have the time to spare for your pets?

3. Can you afford the cost involved in keeping a pet?

4. Are you prepared to handle accidents like soils in the home, or torn furniture?

5. Is this the right pet for you and your lifestyle?

Do your homework first before you get a pet. For, when you get a pet, you become a PARENT!


Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Guestbook Has Been Added

Dear friends and readers,

Thank you for returning again and again to read this drivel of mine. Since you are getting a glimpse of my thoughts and feelings, it would be nice if I could get to know you, too. For example, how you came to know of my blog, what you think of it, and if there is anything you would like to see added (reasonable requests, of course).

But, please try to restrain yourself and not to be too mean and nasty, ok? My heart is made of glass and thus, easily broken. :)

And if you are shy, and would prefer not to have others read your comments, feel free to select "This is private message", and it will be hidden from view.

Thank you, and please do drop by again. Have a nice day.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Does Chong Wei Have What It Takes To Be A Winner?

I have been hearing or over-hearing, to be precise, all sorts of comments and critcisms levelled against our national shuttler, Lee Chong Wei, since the end of the match between him and Lin Dan last night. Mostly, those comments are overheard from older men idling away in groups in coffee shops.

Let us not forget one thing. While it is healthy to analyse an issue, let us not get into an analysis paralysis situation. And if we must criticize, let us do so in a constructive manner.

First, some hard questions.


1. Is the gap between the World No. 1 and No.2 very wide?
Answer: No.

2. Did Chong Wei lose the game because of too many unforced errors?
Answer: Yes.

3. Is Chong Wei not such a good player after all?
Answer: No, he's a very good player.

4. Could Chong Wei have played the match differently and won?
Answer: Yes.

Now, let's take a look at what, in my personal opinion, are the qualities of a winner. They are in no particular order.

1. Positive attitude - Always expect success - embrace the challenge.

2. Enthusiasm - Love what you do.

3. Motivation - Write down your goals, strive to be better today than you were yesterday.

4. Self-Control - Winners make things happen - losers let things happen to them. Trust yourself and your preparation.

5. Determination - Be mentally tough, deal with the obstacles.

6. Positive Self-esteem - Feel good about being you.

7. Focus - Focus on the objective and work towards that. Don't get sidetracked.

8. Self-awareness - See your unlimited potential. The sky is the limit. Push yourself to reach for it.

9. Self-Commitment - Measure your success against yourself. Don't get caught up with competing against others. Instead, commit yourself to excellence.

10. Patience - Rewards come to those who persevere.

In short, a winner is someone who embraces challenges instead of getting frustrated, someone who thrives on obstacles. A winner is also focused. It is like walking on a road. The winner keeps walking towards the end of the road, whereas other lesser mortals, like me, try to explore smaller streets that connect to the road, and end up getting bewilderedly lost.

Now comes my analysis.

For the record, Chong Wei is a world class shuttler. His game is most deceptive and he attacks where his oppponent least expects it. He has beaten Lin Dan in several matches before and ranked No. 1 for some time.

So, what went wrong? How did Lin Dan win so easily without any fight from Chong Wei? The answer lies in the lack of a winner's attitude. Chong Wei stepped onto the court knowing he's playing on Lin Dan's home turf and that Lin Dan is the crowd favourite. He did not possess the mental strength necessary to compete against Lin Dan last night.

Had the match been held in Malaysia last night, Chong Wei most likely would have beaten Lin Dan. And therein comes his title, "Jaguh Kampung" (Village Champion). This ambivalent title has stuck with all our No.1 National Shuttlers, past, present, and most likely future, if nothing is done about it.


Lin Dan is the Winner

A very big thank you to those of you who had taken part in the poll. The results are as follows: 17 votes for Lee Chong Wei and 9 votes for Lin Dan. It is obvious that all Malaysians wanted Chong Wei to win the gold medal, and expressed their support by showing their faith and confidence in him.

This was supposed to be THE match of the tournament. Even though in the hearts of some of us, we know that Lin Dan is the better player and with him playing in his home ground, we knew the chances of Chong Wei winning the match were pretty slim. However, we had expected Chong Wei to put up a good fight. Sadly, this did not happen.

Chong Wei did not stand a chance against Lin Dan from the very beginning. From the onset, it was obvious from the gleam in Lin Dan's eyes that he was going to make mincemeat out of Chong Wei. I could almost see him thinking, "I'm going to cream you, Chong Wei." And creamed him, he did.

Sigh. What a disappointing night.
It was an easy win for Lin Dan, and I feel deprived of a good game. I think I'd go watch a replay of the match between Chong Wei and Lee Hyun-il. That was far more exciting. Huh? On second thoughts, how can it be more exciting when I already know the results??!!! Hmmm................



Saturday, 16 August 2008

Unite NOT Divide, Please!

After much hesitation and deliberation, I have decided to cautiously post this entry. You can say I have been sitting on this decision for as long as this blog has been in existence, and have finally reached the point where I must say something.

It is very disturbing to see the politicians try to garner for political support by dividing the unity of Malaysians. Instead of earning political support with strategic plans on how to make Malaysia competitive in the ever-changing global world, the politicians are busy splitting the nation up.

Malaysia, instead of progressing, is regressing. Instead of uniting Malaysians into one nation, bangsa Malaysia, they are dividing us into our respective races. They are trying to instill racial hatred in us.

And the sad part is, they might very well succeed if nothing is done about it. The recent nationwide demonstrations held by the UiTM students who protested that non-bumiputra students should not be allowed to enroll in the UiTM is just one example.

Why did we not learn from the May 13 incident? What caused it? It is none other than the politicians who incited racial hatred in us. For more information, read this report at Asia Sentinel. Left alone, the Malays are a non-aggressive, kind, helpful and polite race.

But most ironic of all, if one looks at the economic situation carefully, one discovers that the politicians are not really interested in helping out the Malays. They are only interested in lining their own pockets and that of their families' and cronies', all under the guise of altruism. How many Malays benefit from this NEP policy? How many Malays are really struggling to make ends meet, especially now, with prices of everything going through the roof?

One need only look around, and one will see that the Malays are not better off despite all this "protect the Bumiputras" policy. They are in the same boat as other non-Malays. The only Malays who are well-off are those with political connections.


So, please, my Malay friends, we are ALL Malaysians, the only difference being our skin colour, which is not even that much different. Let us not discriminate. Instead, let us focus on the interests of the country, not the interests of a few individuals.

ONE Malaysia, ONE nation, then we might be a truly awesome country. Remember, united we stand, divided we fall. MALAYSIA BOLEH!



Friday, 15 August 2008

A Clash of the Hokkien Langs

Lee Chong Wei will meet Lin Dan on Sunday, 17 August, 2008 at 8:48pm in a match for the gold medal. Hmmm.....another prosperous number. I must say, China is rather fixated with the number "8".

Anyway, Lin Dan is from Fujian, China. That makes him a Hokkien (a Chinese dialect) while Lee Chong Wei is from Penang, Malaysia. He is also a Hokkien. This is going to be a clash of the Hokkiens.

If Chong Wei wins, he stands to get a whopping RM1million from the Malaysian government. And I will not be surprised if he also gets a Proton Perdana, and a house, too.

But that's beside the point. Malaysia, despite being a badminton powerhouse, has never clinched a gold medal in the Olympics before. It would certainly not hurt if Chong Wei could bring home the first gold medal. Who knows, the government might even declare Monday a public holiday to celebrate the nation's historic triumph.

So, don't forget to tune in at 8:48pm on Sunday for a match which promises a lot of adrenaline. Go, Chong Wei, go!!!


Lee Chong Wei Marches Into The Finals

Lee Chong Wei eliminated Lee Hyun-il from South Korea to qualify for the finals at 21-18, 13-21, 21-13

The badminton semi-finals between Lee Chong Wei and Lee Hyun-il was a nerve-wrecking and nail-biting session. I was literally at the edge of my seat, biting my nails as the game went on.

Chong Wei, the world No. 2 shuttler, played a great game in the first round. But one could see that the unseeded Lee Hyun-il was quite a match for him. It wasn't a complete sweep-over as one might have expected. Chong Wei lost in the second game, and by the time the rubber match started, I was already gritting my teeth and nearly biting my tongue.

When he finally won, I was so ecstatic that I clapped enthusiastically, accidentally smacking my hubby's face.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Hungry Ghost Festival (Pesta Hantu Lapar)

Today, or rather, yesterday, considering that it's now past midnight, was the 15th day of the 7th month of the Lunar calendar. This day marks the Festival of the Hungry Ghosts.

It is believed by Taoists in China and other parts of Asia like Malaysia and Singapore that on the 1st day of the 7th month of the Lunar calendar, the spirits of the dead will be released from their cells in hell and allowed to roam the earth for a month. So those who have departed ancestors would offer prayers, food, hell money, paper cars, paper houses and clothes to their departed ones.

The believers would also put up live stage shows during this month to entertain the spirits. It is therefore quite common to see the players and singers performing to rows of empty seats. It takes a brave man or woman to sit at the front row, for he or she might be sitting on the lap of a ghost!

It is also common to see roadsides littered with prayer items such as food, hell money and incense.These are offered to appease the wandering spirits so that these spirits would not cause mischief to them or their family.

During this month, it is not unusual to hear the elderly folks caution their children against going out after dark, or driving past a cemetery. Superstition or logical deduction? It's your call.

Related post:

Ghost Festival and World Cat Day


Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Olympic girl seen but not heard

For those who had watched the Olympics opening ceremony in China on 8 August, 2008, I am sure all of you are just as impressed as I was at the beautiful, melodic voice of the 9-year-old girl who sang "Ode to the Motherland". I thought to myself, "what a talented young girl".

Imagine my disbelief and disgust when I found that the girl was only lip-syncing. The real singer was a 7-year-old girl whom the Chinese officials deemed to be not pretty enough to be on the stage.

Source of photo: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/olympics/2545387/Beijing-Olympics-Faking-scandal-over-girl-who-sang-in-opening-ceremony.html

What values are the Chinese officials trying to teach the young generation? That looks is the most important thing to have? That if you have talent but have no looks to go with it, you are not good enough?

And if they must keep up appearances, at least have the decency to acknowledge the real singer. Credit must be given where credit is due.

Read more about this news at http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/08/12/oly.kids/index.html
and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/olympics/2545387/Beijing-Olympics-Faking-scandal-over-girl-who-sang-in-opening-ceremony.html

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Calling All Insomniac Vampires

There is a club for all insomniac vampires in town, just opened last night, or should I say this morning. Just haul yourself to......http://forums.petfinder.my. The club is open from 1am to 5am (GMT +8) to anyone, although I do have some conditions laid out here.

1. You must be an animal lover, and must not harm or hurt any animals, intentionally or otherwise, in any way whatsoever.
2. You must not try to eat a cat or dog, or sink your teeth into their neck.
3. You must be able to be exposed to strong, bright sunlight without disintegrating into ash.
4. You must not post any adult or hostile content.

If you breach any of those conditions, your membership shall be terminated without any notification to you.

Come, it's a great place to chill out. But wait, read the rest of my posts first. That's what you came here for in the first place, isn't it?


Review: Sagebrush Crafts' Tooth Cleanser

Went to bed at 6:10am and woke up at 10:15am. After four hours of sleep in two days, I'm now fully rested, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

My mummy thinks there is something wrong with me, that I can survive on such little sleep. I had to explain to her that this is proof that I am a genius. Only those with very bright minds do with little sleep. Famous people like Margaret Thatcher and Datuk Seri Mahathir, former prime ministers of Britain and Malaysia respectively, comes to mind. So, that puts me in that elite category! (vomit!)

Now, having had enough rest, I am ready to tell you what I think of Sagebrush Craft's tooth soap, the gift that my cousin gave me to mark my anniversary.

Initially, the cinnamon and mint flavour felt strange. But once I got used to it, I found that the regular toothpaste we normally use has a strong chemical flavour. This tooth soap, on the other hand, has a fresher and no chemical after-taste.

Curious, I popped over to Sagebrush Crafts' online store to see if I could find any info on the soap that would explain why I now feel that the regular toothpaste has a chemical flavour.

This was what I found:
"Our CinnaMint Soap is a natural cleansing bar for brushing your teeth. It cleans gently and is a natural alternative to toothpaste. To use, moisten your toothbrush, then run it across the bar several times, and brush as usual. Ingredients: water, rice bran oil, palm oil, coconut oil, lye, castor oil, essential oils. 3 oz."
Text and photo taken from http://www.sagebrushcrafts.com

Then I looked at the list of ingredients in the regular toothpaste. Wow, was I shocked to discover that there are more chemical fillers than genuine ingredients that go towards making the commercial toothpaste. It is no wonder that the regular toothpaste has such a strong chemical after-taste once you got used to using products made from natural ingredients.

In conclusion, I have no hesitation in recommending this tooth cleanser to anyone who cares to try a new product.

Monday, 11 August 2008

The Vampire and Stray Animals

The vampire never sleeps. This vampire, anyway. Yawnnn!! So what shall I do when the rest of my countrymen and womern are all sound asleep in their beds?

Well, talk to all of you, I guess, my visitors who are from the other side of the world. So, on to the real post.

(Hehe, if you're thinking that I'm going to tell you some gory story of how the vampire hunt the strays and suck their blood dry, well, too bad, you're going to be disappointed.)

Yesterday, while having dinner near my home, my hubby and I saw a scrawny, dirty looking kitten. It has some sores on its front left leg, and was stopping to scratch itself every few steps it took. But the saddest bit, which got us glued to it, was that it was so hungry or thirsty that it went into this little make-shift prayer altar that some people had set up under a tree. There, it stuck its head inside a water goblet and drank the oil that was put there to offer to the spirits of the tree.

It was only about four months old, based on its size, and it should not be left alone to fend for itself.

Immediately after dinner, I rushed home, got some food and water and went back to the place, hoping that perhaps I could rescue it. Unfortunately, it was no where to be found. I searched around the area for a while and in the end, had to go home, feeling sad.

For those of you who think that stray animals can survive at eateries or markets, you couldn't be more wrong. There wasn't a scrap of food on the floor on any eateries I've been to, and there certainly wasn't any clean water available for them either. If you look around, you'll notice that almost all the strays are painfully thin and have some skin disease or other.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

A Day in the Company of My Hubby

Yes, I'm on a blogging marathon. What else is there to do in my hubby's show gallery (sales office) except to twiddle my thumbs? Luckily they have broadband here, too, or I'll die of boredom.

I just came back from lunch with my hubby. I ordered this really strange tea.....Mango Tea. Never had that before. Passionfruit Tea, yes, Strawberry Tea, yes, but not Mango Tea. Yikes!! It was sweet to high heaven.

Anyway, during lunch, I complained to my hubby that I'm dying of dehydration in his office....I am used to guzzling water by the gallons like a Proton Waja (our national car, for those who are not Malaysians) guzzles petrol. Instead of offering to get me water from the pantry in his office, he asked me if I think I'm a flower, that I'll wilt if I don't get enough water.

That's my hubby for you! First, I'm a vampire trying to sleep at night, now I'm a flower which thinks it's wilting due to lack of water.

Where I Get My Cat Products

If you own cat(s) at home and are a Petsmore member like me, you will find that most of their outlets have more products for dogs than cats.

However, one or two years ago, they opened an outlet in Carrefour, Kepong. There is another Petsmore in Kepong, not far from Carrefour, in a 4-storey shophouse along the main road, so don't confuse this one with the one in Carrefour. It is the Petsmore in Carrefour that carries more cat products, not the one along the main road

This outlet has everything that a cat needs for its happiness...........cat trees, beds, toys, litter boxes (various designs), food.......the list is endless.

But what I find most amusing are two little cat beds that are smaller versions of the human beds, complete with the bed headboard, 4 legs, mattress, all the works. I would have bought one had my cat been able to fit in it. My cat is extra long, and I was looking for something that he could comfortably stretch out in.

In the end, I settled for a blue cat chair, one of those 1-seater sofa but smaller, and without 4 legs.

Insomnia and Me

Yawn! Time for bed. Huh? At 11:07am? Well, I haven't exactly been sleeping at night. I have insomnia, and it has been my bedside companion for as long as I could remember.

But unfortunately, I could not indulge myself in a nice, Sunday afternoon nap. I am now in the show gallery of my hubby's office, helping out. My job? To sit at the reception looking pretty. (vomit!)

His office has two road shows this weekend, one at the KLCC and one at the MMU, so his staff is a little spread out. So, here I am, trying hard not to yawn openly.

And my hubby? What does he have to say about my constant insomniac problem? He says I'm like a vampire trying to sleep at night. Thanks, hubby. Now I'm a vampire.


PayPerPost and Lupie's Post

I just received an email from PayPerPost that they have turned down my application for an account due to the fact that my blog failed their terms and conditions.

One of their terms and conditions is that my blog must have existed for longer than 30 days. Well, my blog has been around for months!! What are they talking about?

It seems that the date I created my blog is not the date they used to judge how old my blog is, even though they can confirm this fact. Rather, it is the date of my very first post. My very first post was less than two weeks old. I am told to try and apply again when the first post in my blog has reached the minimum 30 days.

Oh well, at least they're kind enough to explain their rules to me, unlike Google AdSense who did not explain themselves to Lupie for banning her account.

Such a shame, as her blog is cool and I know she gets plenty of traffic, too. If you love cats, do drop by and visit her. You'll love the photos of her adorable kittens and the stories of her daily life.

But most of all, it is the touching stories of how she struggles with lupus that really gets to me. She is one brave lady, who is able to look at her life with humour despite her battle with lupus. There are not many people like her, and I shall forever look up to her as one person who never let life gets you down , no matter what.

Hooray for Lupie!! Her blog is http://sillylupie.blogspot.com

Friday, 8 August 2008

China Boleh in Olympics 2008

Yesterday was the Olympics Opening Ceremony in Beijing. 8 pm, on 8th August, 2008. If you think that was a coincidence, you couldn't be more wrong. China had planned it that way, because the number 8 means prosperity to the Chinese. So, here, what we have is a most auspicious date and time.......eight-eight-eight-eight.

But whoa, hold on a second. There are 4 eights here. The number 4 represents death. So, is it good or bad? Good, because you prosper till death. What could be better than that?! ;)

The show opened with a big bang, and is so much better than the 2004 Olympics Opening Ceremony in Athens. In fact, I would even stick my neck out and declare it the greatest ever Opening Ceremony in the history of Olympics. Never before had I seen such a spectacular show put on at an Opening Ceremony.

It showed China from the historical days of Confucius to the present, modern China. And it was done with a lot of fanfare and pomp. I was oohing and aahing away. Or is it because I'm a biased, ardent fan of Mr. Zhang Yi Mou, the much acclaimed Chinese filmmaker and cinematographer?

Anyway..........
China Boleh!!!


Thursday, 7 August 2008

Rain, Rain, DON'T Go Away

Rain, rain, don't go away. Wash the haze and heat away.

It has been raining since this morning, and the temperature now (at 6.18pm) is 24 degrees Celsius but feels like 26 degrees Celsius.

I love it when it rains. Well, I don't like the wet part, but I like the cold that comes with it.

Strange that I should say this. When I was living in England, I remember how I hated the cold and wanted a tropics climate in my home. While it was minus 10 degrees Celsius outside, my home would be recording a blazing temperature of 36 degrees Celsius!!

Yes, be it summer or winter, I would turn on the central heating plus the fire in the living room. It could be freezing outside, but I was able to potter around the house in my T-shirt, shorts and open-toed sandals while my neighbours next door were bundled up in jumpers and long johns.

How ironic that now I want the cold.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

What's For Dinner Tonight?

This is the question my hubby asks each time he calls. Not, "how are you" or "I love you", but......"What's for dinner tonight?".

Well, considering we've blown our budget on that teriyaki salmon, I guess it's going to be another poor man's meal tonight.

Taking a leaf from a reader here who calls himself "Tom" (is there a "Jerry" here, too?), I'm going to cook something with tomatoes and chillies. It's my version of the ubiquitous Penang Mee Goreng, well, Spaghetti Goreng, anyway.

My recipe yields 3 portions - my mummy likes it too, so I have to cook her share as well.

Ingredients:
320g of spaghetti (pre-boiled in boiling water with some salt & oil in it, then drain when cooked)
1 tomato, cut into wedges

1 potato, cut into small cubes
A few stalks of long beans, cut length-wise
5 shallots, minced
5 cloves of garlic, minced

Sauce (combined):
3 tablespoons tomato ketchup
1-1/2 tablespoon chilli paste
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ikan bilis stock granules (the one without MSG added)
1 tablespoon light soya sauce
1/2 cup water

Method:

1. Heat oil in wok. Then fry potatoes until golden. Remove and set aside.
2. Fry garlic and shallots until golden.
3. Add the long beans and stir for a while.
4. Pour in the sauce and mix well. If you like your long beans soft, like I do, cover the wok at this stage and simmer for about 5 minutes. Alternatively, you may pre-steam the beans first.
5. Add in the tomatoes and fry till they are slightly soft.
6. Pour in the drained spaghetti and potatoes.
7. Mix well, and when sauce has been absorbed by the spaghetti, it's ready to be served.

Yum-yum. Another delicious poor man's meal. Meowwwww.

Anniversary Gifts

Knowing that my hubby and I love using the natural, handmade soaps from Sagebrush Crafts, my cousin surprised us last night by presenting us with an early anniversary gift of their soaps.

My hubby was given his favourite shampoo bar while I was given something really unique.........a cinnamon tooth soap. It works like a toothpaste except that it's in the form of a soap!

I was so excited upon discovering what's inside the package that I immediately arranged them on a cushion and photographed them, to mark the first anniversary gift we got.


Thanks for the lovely gifts, cuz.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

A Poor Man's Meal

Well, after that Teriyaki Salmon meal in my earlier post, I need to cook a poor man's meal to balance the budget so that our groceries bill remain the same despite the price hikes.

So, what constitutes a poor man's meal, or in this case, a poor woman's? Something that uses as little ingredients as possible, and uses only the very cheap ones. It is none other than the ubiquitous Economy Fried Beehoon.

Here's my version of it (I'll try to be as accurate in the measurements as possible). Recipe yields 2 portions.

Ingredients:
200g beehoon, pre-soaked in water until soft
A few leaves of cabbage, cut into squares
1/4 carrot, cut into strips
5 cloves garlic, minced
5 shallots, minced

Sauce (combined):
1 cup water (or thereabouts)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/3 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon ikan bilis stock granules (anchovies stock granules)
2 tablespoons light soya sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon dark soya sauce

Method:
1. Heat wok until hot. Then add oil and fry the garlic and shallots until golden and fragrant.
2. Add the cabbage and carrots. Fry until cabbage is cooked.
3. Pour in the combined sauce and bring to a boil.
4. Add beehoon, gently turning over repeatedly, making sure all the beehoon is covered by the sauce.
5. When all the sauce has seeped into the beehoon, give it a few quick tosses, and beehoon is ready to serve.

Enjoy...........

What is a Cat Tree?

This is the question my cousin asked me when I mentioned cat tree. I don't normally buy greeting cards, preferring instead, to make my own cards for friends and relatives. This is a photo of my cat that I made into a birthday card that generated this question.


And.........for those who don't own cats, below is what a cat tree looks like. I bought it from PetsMore just before I moved to my new home. I had worried about Blackie not used to a new place, and wanted to distract him with new toys. He has a habit of getting tired of his toys quickly and is constantly looking for new things to play.

The cat tree comes with scratching posts as supporting columns for the structure, which is perfect, as Blackie has been using the sofa in my old home for a scratching post. And that's not all. There are two furry toys hanging on strings from the different levels of the tree, which kept Blackie entertained for hours.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Blackie007 is coming to your cinema in Nov 2008

If you are wondering what that movie is, and if it's a movie about Blackie, you are not alone. That was the reaction I got from my cousin when I emailed her the news. (Sorry, cuz, this is too good to pass.) :)

Now, if any of you had looked at my profile, and complete profile, you would know immediately what I'm talking about.

Anyway, yesterday, my hubby and I went to check out the new mall in Kepong, Brem Mall. There is an independent cineplex there, with 6 cinemas. Yes, that's right, independent. It does not belong to TGV or GSC.

It was in this cineplex that I saw a large black and white poster. On the white background, there are only two items in black. One is the picture of a shadow of a man with a pistol in his right hand, and next to it are the numbers 007. And beneath this poster are the words, "Coming in November".

Yes, sexy Daniel Craig, the usurper of my place in Her Majesty's Secret Service is coming to your nearest cinema in November 2008. Watch out for him, ladies and gentlemen.

Book Review: The Simple Truth by David Baldacci

David Baldacci is one of my favourite authors, besides Michael Crichton and Stephen King. I've devoured all their books. So, I've decided that off and on, I shall share some of these books that I've enjoyed so much with you, my friends.

Today, I'll like to share about The Simple Truth by David Baldacci. I bought it at one of the MPH Book Fairs at a fraction of its retail price.

The story is about John Fiske, a former cop turned attorney whose investigation into the death of his estranged brother led him into the murky grounds of corruption in the powers that be.

Michael Fiske was a lawyer, and worked in the Supreme Court in Washington DC, the highest court in America. He had stolen a prison letter from Rufus Harm, a death row inmate, and sealed his own fate. Now John has to find out what his brother's death has to do with a crime that Rufus Harm committed twenty-five years before.

The story flows smoothly enough, with all the usual actions taking place, plot twists and what not. To read a synopsis and review of this book, do visit Amazon.com.

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Malaysia Boleh!!

Unbelievable as it may seem, Malaysia was once upon a time under the British colonial rule. Yes, we were part of that great British empire. When we gained our independence in 1957, we inherited the structure of society the British had earlier laid down, like the judicial and political system, the monarchy, the road systems and railways.

Now, what is interesting is, the British monarchy is permanent. The premiership, i.e., the Prime Minister and the ruling party, isn't. It changes every five years or more, if the Prime Minister and his party is re-elected for a second term.

In Malaysia, however, the monarchy changes every five years, while the premiership and his ruling party is permanent. So, while England has "monuments" for the Queen, we have "monuments" for our Prime Ministers. For example, the former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mahathir has the Petronas Twin Towers and the KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport) as his "monuments".

Not to be left behind, it was announced yesterday in the news that in three months' time, Malaysians are going to have i-Dola and Jean-i. They are laptops and desktops named after the Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi and his wife. (Read more from The Star.)

Hmm......why didn't the British think of a laptop, i-Beth, named after Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II? I guess they're more obsessed with "blimey" than "England Boleh", huh??!!

Friday, 1 August 2008

How to enjoy your lunch in peace

I've come to the conclusion that Malaysians make the best sales people in the world. These people are a very hardworking race, incredibly persistent and do not take "no" for an answer. Neither do they understand a vigorous shake of the head. It's simply not in their vocabulary.

If you are like me, an ordinary housewife without much spending money (hint, hint, hubby), there are many places you can go to for a cheap lunch that won't burn a hole in your pocket.

Unfortunately, you are also exposing yourself as a potential target to all those tradesmen (door to door salesmen, or in this case, table to table salesmen) who push their products under your nose, or, in between the strands of your noodles if you happen to be slurping away.

A quick way to get rid of them is to continuously move your head from left to right, making sure the noodles hanging out of your mouth does a thorough sweep of the lottery ticket or fake Rolex watch. They would immediately snatch their product out of harm's way and move on to the next table.
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