Walks of Life


My name is Rahiza. And these are some snippets in my Walks of Life :)

Happy Thanksgiving

Picture credit to Mom to Mom

It'll be a long holiday through the weekends. Americans will celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday, 27th November 2008. The next day is Black Friday. And then the normal weekends. So, dear hubby will be on holiday from tomorrow till Sunday. Insya-Allah, we will be taking a trip to Utah, Salt Lake City to be exact. It will be quite a long drive, around 9++ hours maybe. So right now, I'm frying some chicken to be taken as our bekal tomorrow. The days are getting shorter nowadays, so if we want to reach there when the sun is still up, we should probably not make any stops.

Anyway, what is Thanksgiving? Normally, when we say Thanksgiving, we will straight away come up with an image of smoking roasted big fat turkey surrounded with all the yummylicious dressing in the middle of a big dining table, surrounded with big happy family. There will also be apple/pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, corn bread, green beans, etc etc etc. Those are traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Sort of like ours ketupat and lemang for Malays, rendang for Minang, burasak for Bugis, sambal goreng for Javanese, errr...now I'm a little bit carried away there...yumm..yumm.. I've been having a blasting time for the last few days watching the Food Network channel. They're having shows after shows of Thanksgiving feast. Learnt lots of recipes and cooking tips.

Thanksgiving is a traditional public holiday here in North America. Black Friday is also a public holiday. Black Friday is when all the shopping malls and factory outlets will be having their Midnight Madness sales. All prices would be slashed down to almost 80-90% of their original price. Woowwweeeee.... (Too bad dear hubby has given me that 'We've already spent too much, honey' look...huhuhuhu). Boleh la yanggggg....??!!??

Anyway, here's some info about Thanksgiving that I've Wiki'ed.

Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November, at the end of the harvest season, is an annual American Federal holiday to express thanks for one's material and spiritual possessions. The period from Thanksgiving Day to New Year's Day often is called the holiday season. Most people celebrate by gathering at home with family or friends for a holiday feast. Though the holiday's origins can be traced to harvest festivals that have been celebrated in many cultures since ancient times, the American holiday has religious undertones related to the deliverance of the English settlers by Native Americans after the brutal winter at Plymouth, Massachusetts.

The first recorded Thanksgiving ceremony took place on September 8, 1565, when 600 Spanish settlers, under the leadership of Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, landed at what is now St. Augustine, Florida, and immediately held a Mass of Thanksgiving for their safe delivery to the New World; there followed a feast and celebration. As the La Florida colony did become part of the United States, this can be classified as the first Thanksgiving.
El Paso, Texas, has also been said to be the site of the first Thanksgiving to be held in what is now known as the United States, though that was not a harvest festival. Spaniard Don Juan de Oñate ordered his expedition party to rest and conducted a mass in celebration of thanksgiving on April 30, 1598.

Thanksgiving was originally a religious observance for all the members of the community to give thanks to God for a common purpose. Historic reasons for community thanksgivings include the 1541 thanksgiving mass after the expedition of Coronado safely crossing part of Texas and finding game, and the 1777 thanksgiving after the victory in the revolutionary battle of Saratoga. In his 1789 Proclamation, President Washington gave many noble reasons for a national Thanksgiving, including “for the civil and religious liberty,” for “useful knowledge,” and for God’s “kind care” and "his providence." The only presidents to inject a specifically Christian focus to their proclamation have been Grover Cleveland in 1896, and William McKinley in 1900. Several other presidents have cited the Judeo-Christian tradition. Gerald Ford's 1975 declaration made no clear reference to any divinity.

The tradition of giving thanks to God is continued today in various forms. Religious and spiritual organizations offer services and events on Thanksgiving themes the week-end before, the day of, or the week-end after Thanksgiving. Bishop Ryan observed about Thanksgiving Day, "It is the only day we have that consistently finds Catholics at Mass in extraordinary numbers...even though it is not a holy day of obligation."

In celebrations at home, it is a holiday tradition in many families to begin the Thanksgiving dinner by saying grace. Found in diverse religious traditions, grace is a prayer before or after a meal to express appreciation to God, to ask for God’s blessing, or in some philosophies, to express an altruistic wish or dedication. The custom is portrayed in the photograph “Family Holding Hands and Praying Before a Thanksgiving Meal.” The grace may be led by the hostess or host, as has been traditional, or, in contemporary fashion, each person may contribute words of blessing or thanks. On Thanksgiving Day, families and friends usually gather for a large meal or dinner, the result being that the Thanksgiving holiday weekend is one of the busiest travel periods of the year. In the United States, Thanksgiving is a four-day or five-day weekend vacation in school and college calendars. Most business and government workers (78% in 2007) are also given both Thanksgiving and the day after as paid holidays. Thanksgiving Eve, on the Wednesday night before, has been one of the busiest nights of the year for bars and clubs, both in terms of sales and volume of patrons, as many students have returned to their hometowns from college. Since being fixed at the fourth Thursday in November by law in 1941, the holiday in the United States can occur as early as November 22 to as late as November 28. When it falls on November 22 or 23, it is not the last Thursday, but the second to last Thursday in November. As it is a Federal holiday, all United States government offices are closed and employees are paid for that day. It is also a holiday for the New York Stock Exchange, and also for most other financial markets and financial services companies. The Friday after Thanksgiving, although not a Federal holiday, is often a company holiday for many in the U.S. workforce, except for those in retail. It is also a day off for most schools. The Friday after Thanksgiving, colloquially known as Black Friday, is usually the start of the Christmas shopping season. The term "Black Friday" originated in Philadelphia in reference to the heavy traffic on that day. More recently, merchants and the media have used it instead to refer to the beginning of the period in which retailers are in the black (i.e., turning a profit).

So here's wishing Happy Thanksgiving for my visitors who celebrate the holiday. Cheers :)

If I Were A Boy

Currently, this is my favorite song. First time I heard it was about 3 weeks ago when Beyonce sang it 'live' in 'Oprah'. It was the debut of the song..(the album has not been released yet, then).The more I hear it, the more I like it. I fall in love with the melody first, but then after a few times hearing it, I caught up with the lyrics. I found the lyrics as 'very true'. It can relate to us in most cases of life.

Well, currently an important person in my life (you know who you are when you read this) is having a crisis in her life. My message to you is this:
"Dear..., please listen to the song. Life is too short and valuable to be spent on tears and fights. You have a long road ahead of you. I know love is blind. And you think that you know it all. But please...open your eyes. Boy comes and boy goes. If you're in a marriage, then you should fight to keep it together, no matter what the problem is. But as long as you're not married, then you should keep your option open and choose for the best one for your future."

If I Were A Boy (Beyonce)

If I were a boy
even just for a day
I'd roll out of bed in the morning
and throw on what I wanted and go

Drink beer with the guys
and chase after girls
I'd kick it with who I wanted
and I'd never get confronted for it
cause they stick up for me

If I were a boy
I think I could understand
How it feels to love a girl
I swear I'd be a better man
I'd listen to her
Cause I know how it hurts
When you lose the one you wanted
Cause he's taking you for granted
And everything you had got destroyed

If I were a boy
I would turn off my phone
Tell everyone it's broken
so they'd think that I was sleeping alone

I’d put myself first
and make the rules as I go
Cause I know that she’ll be faithful,
waiting for me to come home, to come home.

If I were a boy
I think I could understand
How it feels to love a girl
I swear I'd be a better man
I'd listen to her
Cause I know how it hurts
When you lose the one you wanted
Cause he's taking you for granted
And everything you had got destroyed

It's a little too late for you to come back
Say it's just a mistake,
think i'd forgive you like that
If you thought I would wait for you
you thought wrong

But you're just a boy
You don't understand
and you don't understand, ohhhh
How it feels to love a girl
Someday you wish you were a better man
You don't listen to her
You don't care how it hurts
Until you lose the one you wanted
Cause you're taking her for granted
And everything you had got destroyed

But you're just a boy

Valentine's Roses

Picture of Red Rose, credit to JustOurPictures.com

Hey, I know it's not Valentine's Day yet. We don't celebrate Valentine anyway. However, I came across a lovely poem while I was blog-hopping. It brought tears to my eyes. Well, normal lah, since I am a sentimental freak. Huhuhu... But really, the poem reminds me of my late Dad and my Mom and their eternal love. Just that my Dad was not into roses like the author. He was a typical Malay guy who rarely showed his emotions. :) Anyway, just read the poem below:

Valentine's Roses (author unknown)

Red roses were her favourites, her name was also Rose
And every year her husband sent them, tied with pretty bows

The year he died, the roses were delivered to her door

The card said, "Be my Valentine," like all the years before

Each year he sent her roses, and the note would always say,

"I love you even more this year, than last year on this day."

"My love for you will always grow, with every passing year."

She knew this was the last time that the roses would appear

She thought, "He'd ordered roses in advance before this day."

Her loving husband did not know, that he would pass away

He always liked to do things early, way before the time

Then, if he got too busy, everything would work out fine

She trimmed the stems, and placed them in a very special vase

Then sat the vase beside the portrait of his smiling face

She would sit for hours, in her husband's favorite chair

While staring at his picture, and the roses sitting there

A year went by, and it was hard to live without her mate

With loneliness and solitude, that had become her fate

Then, the very hour, as on Valentines before,

The door bell rang, and there were roses, sitting by her door

She brought the roses in, and then just looked at them in shock

Then, went to get the telephone, to call the florist shop

The owners answered, and she asked him, if he would explain

Why would someone do this to her, causing her such pain?

"I know your husband passed away, more than a year ago,"

The owner said, "I knew you'd call, and you would want to know.

The flowers you received today, were paid in advance.

Your husband always planned ahead, he left nothing to chance."

"There is a standing order, that I have on file down here,

And he has paid, well in advance, you'll get them every year.

There is also another thing, that I think you should know
He wrote a specific little card...he did this years ago."

"Then, should ever, I find out that he's no longer here,

That's the card...that should be sent, to you the following year."

She thanked him and hung up on the phone, her tears now flowing hard.

Her fingers shaking, as she slowly reached to get the card.

Inside the card, she saw that he had written her a note
Then, as she stared in total silence, this is what he wrote..

"Hello, my love, I know it's been a year since I've been gone,

I hope it hasn't been too hard for you to overcome."

"I know it must be lonely, and the pain is very real.

For if it was the other way, I know how I would feel.

The love we shared made everything so beautiful in life.

I loved you more than words can say, you were the perfect wife."

"You were my friend and lover, you fulfilled my every need.

I know it's only been a year, but please try not to grieve.

I want you to be happy, even when you shed your tears.

That is why the roses will be sent to you for years."

"When you get these roses, think of all the happiness,

That we had together, and how both of us were blessed.
I have always loved you and I know I always will.

But, my love, you must go on, you have some living still."

"Please...try to find happiness, while living out your days.

I know it is not easy, but I hope you find some ways.

The roses will come every year, and they will only stop,

When your door's not answered, when the florist stops to knock."

"He will come five times that day, in case you have gone out.

But after his last visit, he will know without a doubt,

To take the roses to the place, where I've instructed him,

And place the roses where we are, together once again.

Now....wasn't that the most beautiful love poem you have ever read?

In my Mom's case, it is her who brings the roses to my Dad's grave. It's compulsory for me to order 15 stalks of fresh white roses and 15 stalks of fresh pink roses prior to Hari Raya, and my Mom will distribute the roses evenly between my Dad's and Grandma's graves when she visits their graves in early Raya morning. I know such practise is not good in Islam, as it's more like a Christian or Hindu practise. Tried to tell her that, but she ignored me. But well, I guess if it would make her happy, then let her be.

The other reason this poetry reminded my of parents is because next to my Dad's grave is a vacant spot. Mom had asked to reserve that spot for when her time comes, she will be laid to rest next to her eternal love. I know that's not good too, because as a Muslim, we never know where and when we will die, and if we die, it's advisable for us to be buried at the place where we die. For example, my auntie who lived in Johor Bahru was buried in Kuala Lumpur because she passed away at her daughter's home there. But well, as I've said, if it would make my Mom happy, then let her be. It would be our responsibility as her children to honour her wish.

Outing in Smoke

Last Saturday, we wanted to go to Desert Hills Factory Outlet. According to Google Map, the easiest way for us to get there is by using CA-91 Highway. So, by 1 p.m., off we went, without checking any traffic report whatsoever. We knew that there's a big fire somewhere in this Southern California, but we didn't bother to find out where, because we felt it won't affect us.

Anyway, we were already half-way into CA-91 when lo and behold..we saw so many cars turned back at us (in the same lane!). We thought there's a big accident in front, but dear hubby bijak pandai teruskan jugak perjalanan). But then we saw big smoke. The sky seems to be so much darker then when we left the house.
When we reached front, we saw this:

Sh*t..CA-91 was closed. We had to turn back. Dah la queue panjang bukan main..haiyaaa...

Then, again, dear hubby tried to be smart. We bought a map, and tried to take another route to go to Desert Hill. So, we decided to take Highway 57. After about 20 minutes drive, again, we bumped into a big jam. We were at the Yorba Landa exit when we saw this:

Wow...we never thought that we were so close with the fire. It might look small here, but I tell you, it was HUGE! So huge that Mr. Arnold (Governor of California) had to declare State of Emergency for that part of California. A few hundreds houses was on fire. People and animals had to be avacuated. Approximately 15,000++ acres of land was on fire. Fortunately those are area orang kaya-kaya. Pity them jugak lah for losing their mansions, but I guess they can afford to build new ones. Haihhh...

Anyway, I was determined to go to Desert Hills the next day. So I woke up early in the morning to prepare our breakfast. Around half-an-hour into the preparation, I felt the familiar glims of lights from the corner of my eyes. Oooo...oo..oh no...my long long friend has come again...MIGRAINE!!! Arghhhh...of all the days!!! I woke up dear hubby to ask him to get some migraine pills for me. He came back with Advil. Gobbled down two pills, and had a bed rest. Dear hubby had to take care the kids and prepared lunch. Thank you honey...MUAHHSS. I woke up feeling a little bit better. So, we got on with the plan and headed to Desert Hills Outlet. Reached there quite late, around 5.30 p.m. since we only got out from the house at 3.30 p.m. (The outlet is quite far to the east of Torrance). Wanna know what I got? Please visit Authentic Stuffs ;)

Falls and Winter, Colder and Sleepier

It's getting colder these days. Falls is at its end, and we're approaching winter soon. Thanksgiving Day would be at the end of the month, 27th November to be exact. We're planning to go on another get-away. Details are still to be discussed, ...so I can't tell exactly where we're going. But dear hubby said that we might go somewhere further North where the snow has start falling, so that the kids will be able to have the new experience.

The days are getting shorter. By 4.50 p.m. it's already Maghrib time and by 5.15 p.m., it's completely dark, like 8 p.m. in Malaysia. It's kind of depressing, really. The sun only rise at 6.30 a.m.

This more than 12 hours of darkness is really affecting my body. By 8 p.m., I will feel very sleepy that I can hardly keep my lids open. It's like already so late. If we're outside the house, it'll be worse as my eyes will lose their focus due to the sleepiness.

One thing that's puzzling me though, Harith and Hannah don't seem to be feeling like I do. Even at 11 p.m., they are still active. Running and playing and jumping and screaming. (???) So although I would loveeeee to snuggle under my blanket as soon as I feel sleepy, I would have to push myself to stay awake, because they don't want to go to sleep. Arghhh... As a result, I would feel sleepy during the day. Sometimes I do doze off. And I hate to nap in the afternoon because I would have head-ache later if I do so.

To Shasha, I wonder how do you survive the long cold days in Norway? Give me some tips, will u? :)

Happy Birthday To Me :D

Today is my 33rd birthday :). Dozens of friends wished me Happy Birthday yesterday since it was already 11th Nov in Malaysia. Lucky me, I had 2 days to celebrate, hehe..

Tonight, my hubby brought us to Red Lobster in order to celebrate the happy occasion. 33rd!!!Gosh..am I THAT old? Haha...LOL. Anyway, before going there, he called our son, Harith to the room while I was still surfing the Net. I heard them hush-hushed but never bothered to look as it was a normal scene between those 2 boys. Suddenly Harith came out and gave me a Sponge Bob card. Wow :) Dear hubby got the card for him as the kids' gift to me and he coached Harith to write the notes in the card.

Click at the card to view Harith's message :)

We reached Red Lobster around 7.30 p.m. Since it was a Seafood restaurant, we have no problems with the Halal status. We ordered Steamed Clam for appetizers, Popcorn Shrimp and French Fries for Adik and Abang, Big plate of Lobster+Crab+Shrimp for hubby and Smoke-grilled Lobster+Shrimp+Scallop for me. Both of us had Mix Salads with Thousand Island dressing and Mashed Potatoes for side dishes.



Kids' Meal

Abah's Meal (ni dah kena makan separuh baru ingat nak amik gambo :P)

Ummi's Meal

The food was fantastic! It was so yummylicious. But the portion was quite big, though. Biasak la kan...saiz orang putih. I was so full, but the desert menu looked so inviting that I had to have one of those. So, I ordered this:

This was so sinfully delicious, Chocolate cake with thick chocolate sauce and chocolate chips, served with Vanilla ice-cream....Yummyyy. Hannah enjoyed the cake so much.
Habislah...sure malam ni Ummi takleh tido sebab Adik Hannah dah jadi
very very the hyperactive.

We took some pictures at the restaurant.

Hannah was so engrossed with her drawing.

Harith was goofying around as usual.

Our little family, The Zulkifli's

Abah and his precious princess, Nurhannah Nadia.

Abang and Adik in front of Red Lobster.

We went home so full that I felt like my stomach would burst! Huhuhuhu....

As I walked out from the car, dear Hubby surprised me with another gifts...a bag of Chocolate and a card. :) Thank you Honey...it was so unexpected and so not him (he's not so much into cards, so all the sweeter and more memorable). Hehe..he said another gift is on its way in the mail, he ordered something for me from the internet...want to know what it is? ;)

Click at the cards to view the sweet message ;)

This has been the best birthday so far. I feel so blessed.

"Dear Allah....Alhamdulillah. Thank you for all your gifts to me. Thank you for giving me 33 years of good life and good health. Thank you for giving me a wonderful husband and great kids. Thank you for surrounding me with good friends and families. I pray that we would always be in Your blessings and You would always show us the right path. Amin Ya Rabbal Alamin."

Weekend in Las Vegas and The Lost of A-Tom :(

Last Saturday, we went to the City of Lights - Las Vegas. Dear hubby has promised to take us there since we arrived here, but only managed to make it this weekend. Co-incidentally, I met a fellow Malaysian in CARI forum who lives in Las Vegas. She invited us to stay at her house. So, apa lagi kan..bagaikan orang mengantuk disorong bantal..kecik tapak tangan, kawah besar kami tadahkan, haha..

We left Torrance around 9a.m. The journey took around 4 hours plus. Made a quick stop at Primm because the kids were hungry. Arrived at Nita's house at around 1.45 p.m. Although it was the first time we met, we immediately warmed up and clicked. She's one gracious hostess. Nasi ayam dah sedia menunggu. Dear hubby and I were famished, so tanpa segan silu, kami pun mentekedarah, heeee.....

With our hostess, Sharifah Nita and her kids, Aizad and Alesha.

Later in the evening, we went out to experience Las Vegas's night life. True to its name, Las Vegas IS the City of Lights, which never sleeps! Throngs of people hopping from one casino to the other, I'm sure most of them came with a big hope that they will hit big time. Parked our car at MGM Grand Casino..took a look around, and hopped in to take the monorail. The monorail tracks cover almost every big casino in Vegas, with 5 stops in between. Some of the famous casinos are The Venetian, Caesar's Palace, Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Harrah's, Bally's, New York New York, Circus Circus and the list goes on and on and on. We walked around in some of the casinos. At first, it was a bit akward since I was wearing Hijab, but nobody cared. Everybody was busy paying attention to their own games. So I just buat bodoh aje la kan. We didn't gamble of course..but there's nothing wrong with looking on, so we did just that. But not for long anyway, because Under 18 are not allowed to stand beside a table. (ni utk Hannah dan Harith laa). Here's a few pix.

A replica of Status of Liberty in front of New York New York

Harith's posing inside Harrah's. Actually we are not allowed to take a pix inside casino but we managed to snap one pix. Hehe..

Replica of Venice river at The Venetian

Sir Elton John, Bette Midler and Cher are performing at Caesar's Palace.

Yours truly in the lobby at Caesar's Palace.

There's a big musical fountain in front of The Bellagio. I took a video of it, but it's taking too long to upload here. Here's the static pix instead.

One of the many places in the world that I wanted to go was here. It's Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum. There are only a few of Madame Tussaud's in the world, i.e: London, Amsterdam, Shanghai, Berlin...I've always wanted to go to the one in London, but since we were there in Las Vegas, then a trip inside the museum was a MUST. It's located just next to The Venetian. The ticket price was reasonable..19USD per person for couples, and free for children ages 6 and below. Perfect! So, got our tickets and excitedly wandered inside. All of us (sebenarnya makpak yang lelebih) had fun posing with the celebrities, hehe.. You can see from the pix belows. Anyway, I found that the art was truly amazing. They really do look like real people that sometimes I got confused whether it's the real thing or the dummies. The eyes look real, and they shine! One particular dummy of Matthew Macoughney, his eyes actually twinkles when you look long and hard into them. I'm not sure how the interactive technique works, but it was sure damn impressive!

With my High School Sweetheart, Jon Bon Jovi.

Who's stronger? Abah was challenging the Governor of California

With Mr. Lincoln
"Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves;
and, under a just God, can not long retain it."
Abraham Lincoln
Source: April 6, 1859 - Letter to Henry Pierce
Harith taking tips from Mr. Wood.

Dear hubby getting cozy with Miss J-Lo. ;)

Getting interviewed by Al Roker was a big privilege. Haha..

Despite the great time and fun that we had there, one awful incident happened. Hannah lost her A-Tom..her security pillow, her best friend, her pet, her bantal busuk.. I'm not sure when it occurred, I only realized that A-Tom was missing when we reached Nita's house at around 12.30 a.m. As Hannah was too tired, she fell asleep immediately. But me..I was so sad that I cried my heart out. Huwaaaaaaaaaa..... don't laugh at me. Part of Hannah's growing up memories is A-Tom. Missing A-Tom is like missing a part of Hannah's life. A-Tom was her first pillow in the hospital when I gave birth to her. A-Tom was always there wherever Hannah was. Losing A-Tom made me feel like I have failed my duty as a mother because I didn't take good care of my baby's precious thing. If only I have insisted on leaving A-Tom in the car. If only I have checked that she had it with her when we left the parking lot. If only...if only...

I woke up in the morning with puffy eyes because I really did cried myself out hard. I even called my mom to confide in her. That night, I tried to ask hubby to go back and find A-Tom but he was too tired after the long drive and the jalan-jalan. Nevertheless, dear hubby woke up early in the next morning and went back to MGM. He traced back our trail, but as expected, A-Tom was nowhere to be found. :___( Until now, Hannah is still calling for her A-Tom and every time she does that, my tears will flow down hard. Huhuhu... I even recited a prayer for A-Tom, "Ya Allah Ya Tuhanku, peliharalah keselamatan A-Tom walau di mana juga dia berada". Hehe..go on..laugh at me..I am so pathetic, kan? I even imagined that if only I can call CSI Las Vegas to find A-Tom..surely they would jump in from one dumpster to the other. Heee...

Hannah's last memory with A-Tom. :___(

The next day, we left Nita's house after lunch. "Nita, thank you for your great hospitality. Panjang umur, ada rezeki, Insya-Allah kita jumpa lagi."

Again, we made a stop at Primm. This time was to drop by at the factory outlet. There were a few big name stores there i.e: Coach, BCBGMaxAzaria, Banana Republic, Nike, Michael Kors, Polo Ralph Lauren. The stuffs were authentic, but the price was a big bargain! So apa lagi...makciks pun bershopping sakan laaa...heh..heh..

We reached home around 10 p.m. , feeling very tired. I felt so sad because A-Tom didn't come home with us. Even in the car, Hannah was calling out for her A-Tom. Abah said A-Tom dah kena makan buaya, hehe..and Hannah responded, "Mommy pegi savekan A-Tom...adik nak A-Tom...uwaaaa"...and my tears started falling down again...huwaaa... I am such a sentimental freak!

For more pix of our adventure, please visit our online photo album.

Hearie Hearie

Dear All,

For my readers who have also been surfing my recipe page at http://rahiza75.fotopages.com, I would like to announce that I will no longer be updating that page. Please visit my new blog, Sudu dan Garfu at http://sudu-dan-garfu.blogspot.com for more recipes from now on.

Thank you.

(cewahh..perasan cam popular chef la pulak, heh..heh..)

p.s: The new blog is written in Bahasa Melayu. Tak kuasa nak berspeaking time memasak.

Accepting Changes

I came across a blogger saying that she found most Malaysian bloggers are 'ooh'ing and 'ahh'ing over Obama's victory as so pretentious and idol worshipping, but on the other hand are doing nothing about what's happening in our own backyard. I tend to agree with her. But personally, I think what is happening here in USA is a big example and can be a great influence in our own country.

For those who bother to read about US's history, should know that African-Americans has always been regarded as second class citizens. About 150 years ago, they were known as slaves. The Whites and the Blacks didn't mix. They couldn't go to the same restaurant, walked in the same paths, even shopped in the same stores. And all hell will break lose if a White boy happened to fall in love with a Black girl and vice versa. So what happened last night was a big..HUGE leap from what it has been. I watched the Live telecast in the tube, I found most of the Black people were crying. Yes..it was just a dream, but now it has become a reality.

Apart from Obama's being a Black man (his mother was a White woman, married to his father who originated from Kenya), for the Democrats to win the Election is also a big change to the country. They won HUGE, OK. They even took over the Congress. They took over some places who have been Red's territories for some times.

Most of all, I'm impressed with the mentality of most Americans. Even those who supported Republicans are now backing off, saying that 'Election is over, it's now to move on, to come together as One, supporting our Commander-in-Chief, Presiden-elect Barack Obama.' Most of the Republican's candidates also say that they will co-operate with the future President (Obama will be sworn in on January 7th, 2009), agreeing to set aside their political differences and work together for America's better future. Obama, when asked whether he would be asking McCain for advices or ideas, he gracefully said yes, saying that although they (he and McCain) have had different ideas, he deeply respects McCain and he would have no problem working together with the other man.

Now, THAT is a BIG lesson that should be taught to OUR OWN MALAYSIAN LEADERS. I'm sure most of us who are Malaysian would know that the Alternative Front has won big time in our own previous election. (Taking over 5 states IS a big winning). But so far, I have not seen any leaders from the ruling party giving any kind words of assurance that they will hear whatever the Alternative candidates have to say. Instead, they counter everything that the Alternative has to say, sometimes even using nasty words and remarks. Senang cerita, diaaaa aje yang betul. Apa orang lain cakap semua salah. Bila tak ada perbincangan, tak ada pertukaran idea, macam mana nak tau suara hati rakyat? Haihhh...I'm sick of Malaysian politics. Sometimes they even resort to attack the personal sides of the Alternative leaders. Which by the way are mostly wrong facts anyway.

Why are we so afraid of changes? I read a post in one of my Sparkpeople friends. She quoted her grandfather who is 98 years old. He said,

"In life, I learned that accepting change is a must. That we have to make the best of it because even though we may not like the changes, often those very changes bring us some of the most precious gifts we will ever get in our live as well. Don’t be afraid of change, face it head on and make the most of it. It is the secret to a full and happy life. Don’t stress over things and just do the best that you can because that is all you can do."

Now, I find that those are very wise words from a very old man.

By the way, I just found out that Obama's full name is Barack Hussein Obama Jr. His paternal grandfather was a Muslim. (Feeling proud here because my late paternal grandfather's name was also Hussein...err..apa kena mengena ye? Hehehehe..OK.. if I have another boy, I shall call him Hussein...sempena nama cucu Nabi S.A.W., nama moyang dia and nama Presiden US...LOL :-D)

A Black man, who has a Muslim name, will be sworn in as US's 44th President. In 150 years, from Slavery to Presidency.

That is a CHANGE.

Fellow Malaysians, are we ready for a change too? I wonder...

Superb Local Animation - GomoMan

My husband showed me a Youtube animation created by local Malaysian designer. It has a great story behind it. (Featuring the ever kelabut political rivals between BeEnd and Pembangkang). But mostly I'm impressed with the animation. Dah la 3D animation pulak tu! The design seems to be quite flawless. The movements are very smooth. It even has a translation script. Whoever the creator is, I'm proud of you!

Come, have a watch!

For more series,please visit their website, GomoMan- Malaysian 3D Animation Superhero.


Found this website while blog-hopping. Tried it out, and I love it! Lots of designs to explore. Below is my first attempt.

OBAMA - 44th President of the United States of America

The result is official.

Barack Obama is the President elect of the United States of America.

History has been made. Obama is the first ever African American to become the President of this great country. Prior to this, I thought this will only be a fiction in a movie (i.e. Morgan Freeman as President in the movie 'Deep Impact').

He has just given his victory speech in Chicago, his HQ. And I tell you, that man is impressive! He really can give a speech (thanks to his background as Harvard Law School graduate). He said and I quote,

" If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer......

.....And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn - I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.....

.....America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves - if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time - to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth - that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we cant, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:

Yes We Can. Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America."

Nevertheless, I should give credit to Senator John McCain. He accepted his lost graciously. He said and I quote, "I wish Godspeed to the man who was my former opponent and now is my president."

It has been a long 21 months. That's right. Unlike Malaysia, the time-span for campaign/election processes takes almost 2 years! Kat Malaysia...hari ni bubar Parlimen, 2 minggu lepas tu dah pilihan raya. Nak kenal wakil pun tak sempat daaa..

And Obama has earned it. I'm looking forward to a new USA. More 'likeable' foreign policies. Calling back US Army from Iraq would be a very good start. A more affordable medical facilities for the people would be a great change. As far as I know, people here in US can't survive without medical insurance. As my friend said, "It will cost you your arms and legs if you don't have medical insurance here in US".

Anyway, congratulations to Senator Barack Obama, the upcoming 44th President of the United States. The journey won't be easy. It will be long and hard, but I am very sure that he will be a great President.

A Historical Event For All Americans

Tomorrow is an important day in this great United States of A land. It's the presidential election.

As all know, the candidates are Barack Obama for the Democrats and John McCain for the Republicans. Well, there's only 2 parties here in America. And in US History, no party would rule more than 2 sessions. President George W. Bush from Republican has been in the office for almost 8 years. So, if based on the history, we would say hello to Senator Barack Obama for the next Landlord of the White House.

Unfortunately for him, his grandmother Madelyn Payne Dunham, died today. I feel so sorry for the man. His grandmother was the one who shaped much of his life. As he was saying and I quote: "She's the one who taught me about hard work. She's the one who put off buying a new car or a new dress for herself so that I could have a better life. She poured everything she had into me."

If he will indeed win the Presidential election, it will be a one bittersweet victory for him.

Go Obama!
Obama-Biden for America.

More information at Barack Obama's Official Website.

Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Garden

Yesterday, dear hubby and I decided to take the kids on a trip to the zoo. So off we went to LA Zoo which is situated at Zoo Drive. Took about 40 minutes to get there. It's more or less at the same place as the Hollywood Sign that we visited the day before. But the zoo is at the other side of Hollywood Hill.

Anyway, the trip was a normal Zoo trip lah. Monkeys, orang utans, alligators, birds, chimps, camel, antelope, elephant bla..bla..bla... But the kids enjoyed themselves. Better than being coped up in the house!

And the camera had to run out of battery. Damn! #%@^#^%$@#

Welcome To Hollywood

Last Saturday, I was feeling a bit adventurous. So, I talked my husband into visiting the famous Hollywood Sign. You know, the big block thing on top of the Hollywood Hill that spells H.O.L.L.Y.W.O.O.D. Ever since I was a little girl, that thing has been featured in most American movies that I watched. So, tak sah la kan kalau dah ada sini tapi tak visit that sign.

We started from home around 3 p.m. It took almost 40 minutes to reach Hollywood Hill. We got the direction from Google Map. I'm not sure which moronic creature came up with the direction that it was such a complex route, it took another 20 minutes for us to reach up there, with lots of small snaky roads among the big mansions. I'm pretty sure any postman who is assigned to Hollywood Hill would curse himself. Hehe.. Anyway, when we came down, it was only about 5 minutes, using the route that dear hubby taken so adventurously.

Along the way, we came acrossed lots of big mansions. No..I mean, HUGE. Ni orang kaya-kaya punya tempat..orang kayap takde tempat kat sini aaa.. One time, I thought we passed by a movie star walking with her two daughters. Can't remember his name though, but even dear hubby agreed that the guy looked very very familiar and famous.

So we continued up there and eventually reached Mulholland Highway. This is the closest point we can get to the sign. Unfortunately, hiking up to the sign is prohibited. If it's not so, I would surely go straight up. It was so closed, and the hill was not so steep at all. The kids were asleep, but we woke them up for posing time. Yeah..my dear little pumpkins...still so little, but already they've been to one of the most famous landmarks in the world. Haihhh..bertuah badan diaorang, tumpang rezeki Abah. Alhamdulillah.

Info time...here's a little knowledge about Hollywood Sign.

The Hollywood Sign is a famous landmark in the Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles, California, spelling out the name of the area in 50 feet (15 m) high white letters. It was created as an advertisement in 1923, but garnered increasing recognition after its initial purpose had been fulfilled. The sign was a frequent target of pranks and vandalism but has since undergone restoration, including a security system to deter vandalism. The sign is protected and promoted by the Hollywood Sign Trust, a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to physically maintain, repair and secure the sign, to educate the world about its historical and cultural importance, and to raise the funds necessary to accomplish these projects.

The sign originally read "HOLLYWOODLAND", and its purpose was to advertise a new housing development in the hills above the Hollywood district of Los Angeles. H.J. Whitley had already used a sign to advertise his development Whitley Heights, which was located between Highland Avenue and Vine Avenue. He suggested to his friend Harry Chandler, the owner of the Los Angeles Times, that the land syndicate in which he was involved make a similar sign to advertise their land. Real estate developers Woodruff and Shoults called their development "Hollywoodland" and advertised it as a "superb environment without excessive cost on the Hollywood side of the hills."

It became so associated with Hollywood that in September 1932, actress Peg Entwistle committed suicide by jumping to her death from the letter "H", as she saw the sign as a symbol of the industry that had rejected her.

The sign is located on the southern side of Mount Lee in Griffith Park, north of the Mulholland Highway. A good viewpoint within 100 yards of the sign can be reached by driving north up Gower Street from Hollywood Boulevard and then north along Beachwood Drive.

More info can be read at The Official Website of Hollywood Sign.