Monday, November 29, 2010

It is time

Every cloud has a silver lining.

I believe this is a sign for you to move to a greener pasture.
It's their loss.
Not yours.
Just remember that.

p/s: this post is dedicated to a special someone.. just so you know that I care..

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dressing up my wisdom

It's true.
When you have it, you can't eat.
You can't sleep.
You can't even talk, coz the slight jaw movements hurts like hell.
No wonder they said it's the 2nd most unbearable pain after the childbirth!

I don't really have that huge of a hole.
My wisdom tooth just has its own compound.

Due to the spacious lot, it gets very inviting for regular campers, if you get what I mean.
Slowly decaying the lower part of the tooth and injuring the gums and nerves!
But never fear, I have my dentist here, promptly dressing up the wisdom tooth, and relieving the pain..hoorraaayyy !

But she said that when the dressing wore off after 5 months, it would be best to just remove it. Any of you done that before? Let me know how it felt.

I haven't been to this dentist for the past 3 years as I've been visiting the Klinik Kesihatan KJ.
So it really surprises me to see such upgrades, with the plasma tv and all.

Simply adds the confident feeling , don't you think so?

However, I'm still wondering if there is a dental clinic for kids whereby the dentist and nurses don't wear mask, as this really scares them.
I'm planning to take my kids for a checkup but I really hope to find a kids-friendly ambiance.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Huge impact from a Small piece of fabric

I'm never the type who reads news.
Only flipping the magazines now and then.
So, if you find me blogging about an article, well my dear friends, believe me, this is more than good.

I can't recall how I accidentally click onto this link, but I am sure glad it happened.

This article is part of Kentuky Kernel, which is a daily, student-run publication of the University of Kentucky, Lexington United States.

Cassidy Herrington wrote about her discovery of our Hijab..

I salute her decision to cover her head to experience walking in a muslim shoes.
She not only has guts, but she flaunt it with pride for a whole month.

Thanks Cassidy for letting me post your article in here - in case it gets deleted over time on the Kentuky Kernel.

To my friends, enjoy...
‘Undercover’ in hijab: unveiling one month later
Hilton Als, an African American writer, says our worldview and sense of “otherness” is created in our mother’s lap.

Mother’s lap is protective and familiar. Leaving this worldview can be uncomfortable, but I can assure you, the rewards are much greater.

Last month, I climbed out of my “lap” and wore a hijab, the Muslim headscarf. I thought this temporary modification of my appearance would bring me closer to an understanding of the Muslim community, but in retrospect, I learned more about my place in the world.

Simplified, one piece of fabric is all it takes to turn perspectives upside-down.

The hijab is a contested, sacred and sometimes controversial symbol, but it is just a symbol. It is a symbol of Islam, a misconstrued, misunderstood religion that represents the most diverse population of people in the world — a population of more than one billion people.

I realized the best way to identify with Muslims was to take a walk in their shoes. On Oct. 1, I covered my head with a gauze scarf and grappled with the perceptions of strangers, peers and even my own family.

Because of perceptions, I even struggled to write this column. My experience with the hijab was personal, but I hope sharing what I saw will open a critical conversation.

My hijab silenced, but simultaneously, my hijab brought unforgettable words.

In the first column I wrote this semester, I compared college to an alarm clock saying, “we see the face of a clock, but rarely do we see what operates behind it.” At the time, I did not realize how seriously I needed to act on my own words — as a journalist, a woman and a human.

A few weeks after I wrote that piece, a guest columnist addressed Islamophobic sentiments regarding the proposed “ground zero” mosque. The writer was Muslim, and she received a flurry of feedback.

The comments online accumulated like a swarm of mindless pests. The collective opinion equated Islam to violence and terrorism.

In response to her column, one comment said, “[The writer] asks us to trust Islam. Given our collective experience, and given Islam’s history I have to wonder what planet she thinks we are on.”

Although I did not know the voices behind these anonymous posts, I felt involuntarily linked to them — because I am not Muslim. I wanted to connect people, and almost instinctively, I decided that a hijab was necessary. A hijab could help me use my affiliation with “white,” non-Muslims to build rapport with the Islamic community and at the same time, show non-Muslims the truth from an unheard voice. Above all, I wanted to see and feel the standard lifestyle for so many women around the world — because I’m curious, and that’s why I’m a journalist.

Before I took this step, I decided to propose my idea to the women who wear headscarves every day. Little did I know, a room full of strangers would quickly become my greatest source of encouragement and would make this project more attainable.

The handshake
Initially, I worried about how the Muslim community would perceive a non-Muslim in a hijab, so I needed its approval before I would start trying on scarves. On Sept. 16, I went to a Muslim Student Association meeting to introduce myself.

When I opened the door to the meeting room, I was incredibly nervous. To erase any sign of uncertainty, I interjected to a girl seated across the room, “meeting starts at 7, right?” The girl, it turns out, was Heba Suleiman, the MSA president. After I explained my plan, her face lit up.

“That is an amazing idea,” she said.

I felt my tension and built-up anxiety melt away. In the minutes following, I introduced myself to the whole group with an “asalaam alaykum,” and although I was half-prepared for it, I was alarmed to hear dozens of “wa aylaykum asalam” in response.

Before I left, several girls approached me. I will not forget what one girl said, “this gives me hope.” Another girl said, “I’m Muslim, and I couldn’t even do that.” It did not hit me until then, that this project would be more than covering my hair. I would be representing a community and a faith, and consequentially, I needed to be fully conscious of my actions while in hijab.

First steps “undercover”
Two weeks later, I met Heba and her friend Leanna for coffee, and they showed me how to wrap a hijab. The girls were incredibly helpful, more than they probably realized. Although this project was my personal undertaking, I knew I wouldn’t be alone — this thought helped me later when I felt like ripping off the hijab and quitting.

Responses to my hijab were subtle or nonexistent. I noticed passing glances diverted to the ground, but overall, everything felt the same. Near the end of the month, a classmate pointed out that a boy had been staring at me, much to my oblivion. The hijab became a part of me, and until I turned my head and felt a gentle tug, I forgot it was there.
For the most part, I carried out life as usual while in hijab. I rode my bike and felt the sensation of wind whipping under my headscarf. I walked past storefront windows, caught a glimpse of a foreign reflection and had to frequently remind myself that the girl was me. Hijab became part of my morning routine, and on one morning I biked to class and turned around because I realized I left without it. At the end of the day, I laughed at my “hijab hair” pressed flat against my scalp.

The hijab sometimes made me uneasy. I went to the grocery store and felt people dodge me in the aisles — or was that just my imagination?

I recognize every exchange I had and every occurrence I report may be an assumption or over analysis because few of my encounters were transparent. The truth is, however, very few of my peers said anything about the hijab. My classmates
I’ve sat next to for more than a year, my professors and my friends from high school — no one addressed the obvious, and it hurt. I felt separated from the people who know me best — or so I thought.

A gap in the conversation exists, and it’s not just surrounding my situation.

Just over a week ago, I turned on the news to see Juan Williams, a former NPR news analyst fired for commentary about Islam. Williams said, “If I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.”

His statement revealed an internalized fear. And I saw this fear when my colleagues dodged the topic. When I went back to ask “why?,” several said it was too “touchy” or insensitive to bring up.

A hijab is a just symbol, like a cross, a star or an American flag. I am still the same Cassidy Herrington — I didn’t change my identity, but I was treated like a separate entity.

Talk is not cheap
When someone mentioned my hijab without my provocation, I immediately felt at ease. A barista at my usual coffee stop politely asked, “Are you veiling?” A friend in the newsroom asked, “Are your ears cold?”

My favorite account involves a back-story.

I love Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine, and I garnered an appetite when I was young. My childhood home neighbored my “third grandmother,” the most loving second-generation Lebanese woman and exceptional cook (not an exaggeration, she could get me to eat leafy vegetables when I was a child zealot of noodles and cheese). I remember knocking on her back door when I was five, asking for Tupperware brimming with tabouleh.

When King Tut’s opened on Limestone, my school year swiftly improved to a fabulously garlicky degree. At least once a week, I stopped by to pick up the tabouleh, hummos or falafel to medicate my case of the newsroom munchies.

On Oct. 21, the owner, Ashraf Yousef, stopped me before I went inside.

“I heard about your project, and I like it,” he said. “And you look beautiful in your hijab.”

This encounter was by far the best. And it made my shawarma sandwich taste particularly delicious. I went back on my last day to thank him, and Yousef said, “I’m just giving my honest opinion, with the hijab, you look beautiful. It makes your face look better.”

Yousef asked if I would wear the hijab to his restaurant when the project was over. I nodded, smiled and took a crunchy mouthful of fattoush.

False patriotism
I did not receive intentional, flagrant anti-Muslim responses. I did, however, receive an e-mail allegedly “intended” for another reader. The e-mail was titled “My new ringtone.” When I opened the audio file, the Muslim prayer to Mecca was abruptly silenced by three gunshots and the U.S. national anthem.

I spoke to the sender of the e-mail, and he said, “It was just a joke.” Here lies a problem with phobias and intolerance — joking about it doesn’t make it less of an issue. When was it ever okay to joke about hatred and persecution? Was it acceptable when Jews were grotesquely drawn in Nazi cartoons? Or when Emmet Till was brutally murdered?

The e-mail is unfortunate evidence that many people inaccurately perceive Islam as violent or as “the other.” A Gallup poll taken last November found 43 percent of Americans feel at least a “little” prejudice against Muslims. And if you need further confirmation that Islamophobia exists, consult Ann Coulter or Newt Gingrich.

I’ve been asked, “Will you wear the hijab when it’s over?” and initially, I didn’t think I would — because I’m not Muslim, I don’t personally believe in hijab. Now that I see it hanging on my wall and I am able to reflect on the strength it gave me, I think, yes, when I need the headscarf, I might wear it.

Ashraf said, “A non-Muslim woman who wears a hijab is just wearing a headscarf.” (and apparently, my face “looks better.”) Appearances aside, when I wore the hijab, I felt confident and focused. I wore the hijab to a news conference for Rand Paul, and although an event coordinator stopped me (just me, except for one elusive blogger) to check my credentials, I felt I accurately represented myself as an intelligent, determined journalist — I was not concerned with how I looked, but rather, I was focused on gathering the story.

So now, I return to my first column of the year. I’ve asked the questions, and I’ve reached across the circles. Now, it’s your turn. You don’t have to wear a hijab for a month to change someone’s life or yours. The Masjid Bilial Islamic Center will host a “get to know your neighbors” on Nov. 7, and UK’s Muslim Student Association is having “The Hajj” on Nov. 8. These are opportunities for non-Muslims to be better informed and make meaningful connections.

I want to thank Heba for being a friend and a resource for help. Thank you to Ashraf Yousef and King Tut for the delicious food and the inspiration. Finally, I apologize to the individuals who feel I have “lied” to them about my identity or who do not agree with this project. I hope this page clears things up — you have the truth now, and I hope you find use for it.

Why are we so afraid to talk about this? We are not at war with Islam. In fact, Muslim soldiers are defending this country. Making jokes about terrorism is not going to make the situation less serious. Simply “tolerating” someone’s presence is not enough.

If you turn on the news, you will inevitably hear the prefix, “extremist,” when describing Islam. What you see and hear from the media is fallible — if you want the truth, talk to a Muslim.

(article taken from Cassidy's column at Kentucky Kernell)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Lets Apparate !

And that means teleportation, in magical terms.

Based on the seventh and final JK Rowling's Harry Potter novels, this movie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has definitely lived up to all expectations.
Nope, I don't read the novels.
I am just a sucker for the movies!

It stars Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, alongside Rupert Grint and Emma Watson as Harry's best friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger.

This movie is full of suspense compared to the rest because in here, the Lord Voldemort and gang has taken over the ministry of magic and the main quest is to destroy Harry.  
Hence, Harry has to be in hideout and always on the run.

The three friends apparate to tons of places to hide themselves.
And it gets very difficult for them to figure out how to defeat the Dark Lord as their main guide, Dumbledore, died in last instalment movie. 
Plus, they now no longer have any protection from the other good-guys team because at one point, their hide out has been compromised and they had to split up apparate to save themselves.

The quest gets more thrilling when almost all the people they've gone to seek for help either has switched side, or has just been killed.
Trust no one, is definitely the most suitable tag line, after lets apperate, of course!
I find myself to constantly slapping hubby's hand to tell him to quikly run, teleport from there!

Take note, not advisable to bring kids to this movie because there are several scary scenes, such as the snake eating people and snake attacking Harry, and the Death Eaters scene. 
Although the movie plot sounds serious (and yes, I do take it seriously!), the movie has plenty of first class sense of humour! 
Seriously, no stupid jokes, they're really funny! 

To all Harry Potter fans, this is THE BEST instalment ever!
Well, to be honest, I thought of that after watching each instalment movie series anyways.. LOL 
Can't wait for the Part 2 next year !!

(pics googled from the net)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Wuhuuuuu!! Clearance Sale!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Festival of Sacrifice

Happy Eid ul-Adha to all Muslim around the world.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Orientation day - checked!

It was today!

Orientation for the Standard One year 2011!
I knowwwww... so soon, aye??!

Woke him up at 7am, had cereal Trix for breakfast and we were out of the house by 7.45am.

We bought Amin's uniform three days ago, at the Professor store at Level 2, Giant KJ supermarket.
It was the smallest size, but still have to fold 3-rolls at the bottom part of the pants.
I packed him 2 pencils, a bunch of basic colour-pencils, a ruler, an eraser, all into his transformers transparent case.

Mommy was superrr excited.
Well duhhhh, my baby boy is going to school today!
It's orientation day, I know, but still..
He's gonna make his first step inside the school !
Don't forget to take picture with mommy first, of course!

Oh thank god it was a great sunny day today!
Just perfect for snapping pictures!
Hubby was reluctant to bring the camera, but who cares!
I am the one that will be taking the pictures!

We arrived at 8am, just in time for the line up..
They are lined according to Class 1 till 7, based on earlier registration date..
And we're in Class 1, as hubby actually registered Amin in this school, more than a year ago.

I was very excited and nervous though, as the school will be conducting a brief test, to determine the classes next year.
The test is important so that kids who knows how to read and count will not have to be in class learning alphabet all over again.
The kids were then directed into respective classes to take the test, while the parents were being shooed towards the assembly hall for the session with the school committee.

We were told that there were more than 300 applications for enrolment but only 128 kids were accepted in based on quota.
This was hubby's ex-primary school.
Mine was at Kelana Jaya.
It was hubby who insisted that Amin gets a place at this school.

Listening to the PIBG talk just not my thing!
So, I sneaked out of the hall to check on Amin.
Apparently he already finished the less than 30 minutes test, and no, I did not know the result yet, but I was happy to find out that he took my advice and sat at the front row!

And to be exact, he sat in front of the teacher's table!
Excellent, my child ! LOL

We then took the free subsidised text book, bought the exercise books and badges and tie from the book store.. no kidding, yes, there is actually a tie, to be worn on Mondays as it is the assembly days.
The teachers took the kids on tour of the area, and everything was adjourn by 10am.

Phewww.. that was quick..
Orientation day - checked!
Can't wait for the first day of school !!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Treasuring my Trevi

Recently, Fina just called me queen of LV, which absolutely surprises me because I don't have much LV anyways, so, maybe it's due to my blogger avatar.
Then, JeM and Nini said that they are lusting for a Trevi, which reminds me about my own Trevi, and how long have I stopped blogging about bags.
Gosh, what happened to me?

Is there ever such possibility that I might loose interest in bags?
Errrrr... NOT !
I'm just so occupied with work lately that blogging is now considered as a huge effort for me.
But of course I still stretch my neck to look at that girl's bag across the other LRT coach.
Of course I still secretly twitch my eyes to glance at that lady's bag while in the elevator.
Of course I still pretend to buy tictacs at the counter top just to look at the lady's wallet while she's paying for her snacks.

Trevi is my 4th Louis Vuitton bag.
If you noticed, so far, I've been buying only limited edition released LV bags.
This is because I'm not so much of a fan towards the permanent prints.
Permanent here means that it is a year-round collection.
But this Trevi Damier Ebene is the one and only to break the rules.
It took me some time to decide on either the Hampstead PM or Trevi PM.
Well, actually, to be honest, I'm still thinking on that Hampstead now.
But don't cha just feel silly to get another one in ebene? (talk to me out of it, will ya!)

I have tons of Coach bag charms at the moment, so, you will see me mixing them brands, now and then.
Trevi Damier Ebene PM, the PM stands for "petit modèle" that means small size in french.
This Trevi design comes in two sizes only, small and large, which is known as the GM, "grande modèle".
Besides in Damier Ebene, this Trevi design also can be special ordered in Damier Azur prints (the white-grey chequered) because LV don't make Trevi in Azur as part of its collection.

Besides the gorgeous pleats up front, here are some features of Trevi Damier Ebene PM;

  • PM Size 13.4" (L) x 9.4" (H) x 5.9" (W) 
  • Coated canvas material in Damier Ebene prints, combination of two chocolate tones forming  chequered pattern.
  • Double rounded handles and trimmings in dark chocolate patent leather.
  • Zip top closure with brass engraved zipper pull. 
  • Two Interior slip pockets
  • Removable leather strap for shoulder carry.
  • Base studs on to bottom part of the bag, for protection against scratches when placed down.
  • Red alcantra lining (microfibre)
It has a removable shoulder strap, which to be used when you want to shoulder carry the Trevi, but if you ask me, I would say that I can still shoulder carry it by the double rolled handles because the Trevi handle is not as small as the speedy handle.
I love this Trevi, although at times I do wish that the extra strap is a tad longer so I can cross-body sling it while taking the LRT.
Yeah, the Trevi extra shoulder strap looks great with the gold buckle and all, but it's really not adjustable.
What a shame :p

    Friday, November 05, 2010

    Kokopelli yeahhh.. koko..

    Thousand apologies to my officemate.
    They have been very annoyed with me snapping pics each time we're out lunching but the pics never made it out of my iphone!
    Yeah, sorry mates.. you know how busy I am these days..
    Anyway, I'm making it up to them with this post.

    Date : 29th October 2010
    Venue : Kokopelli Travellers Bistro
    Time : 12noon-ish

    QZ was the one who introduced us to this place.
    Actually, we already came here a week before the fasting month, but unfortunately it was already closed for the Ramadhan period.
    Hence today, QZ made the effort to call in advance, to confirm on the opening.

    It is located at Section 14/ 46 Petaling Jaya, near the Masjid "Bulat" Seksyen 14.
    It looks just like any ordinary single storey bungalow with no huge signboards or whatsoever notice board on the gate nor on the side walk.
    Only written on the front door.
    I bet this place looks stunning during the night because the lamps here are really dazzling.

    First things first, although they're only two customers in the bistro, we decided to quickly order the food, in case it took some time to prepare.
    First impression counts, and I have to say, the menu is not impressive at all.
    It is made of just plain white A4 paper , in black prints, not even coloured.
    But as I look closely, the menu uses creative words with a homely touch.

    The walls, ceilings, tablecloth are all in white, making the place stands exquisitely well with the chairs' red cushions and table décor. 
    There's not a single plain wall in sight as all of them are filled with picture frames, paintings, art work and decorative mirrors.
    There is this full size book shelves located right next to the dining area filled with books, encyclopaedias, and all sorts of decorations that makes you feel just like home!

    Seriously I'm telling ya, this place is awesome!
    And I'm not talking about the food yet.
    I just couldn't sit still, and decided to roam around the house which then I stumbled into this room, where you can have private dining for 10 people, in case you want to celebrate birthdays here.
    There's a mini kitchen area, for making drinks, which I love the way they decorate it with colourful bottles.
    Yup, this place could be an inspiration for you in home-decor, as mostly, I believe are Ikeas anyways.

    You must order this drink, it is called "Leaving on a jet plane".
    Yes, it is a song title, an old song to be exact, written by Jon Denver in year 1966, and used in Armageddon movie.
    This mocktail is a mixture of soda, citrus lime, papaya and has the tinge sweetness of pineapple.
    It came as yellowish shade but you need to stir it up, mix them all and bam, it turns red!
    I know, I'm soooooo lame at this stuffs, it just amazes me everytime! LOL!

    The drinks came in less than 5 minutes, which to my record, that is superrrrr quick indeed.
    Clockwise from top left is another mocktail called "Fly me to the moon" (which I believe a combination of soda, and citrus lime only because it doesn't carry that much flavour as the "Leaving on a jet plane" if I must say so myself), warm water (yes, it comes in perfect warm temperature, serves in a clear bottle - according to QZ, it's Ikea's too), hot chocolate (got my "A" certified choco taste) and mocha latte (sorry, it's too bitter for my tongue, I'm giving it a "C" in my coffee rating)

    Now lets move on to the food, shall we.
    For a fusion concept, the food were served awesomely quick, and it tasted no less than average!
    Clockwise from top left is the seafood olio (love it! and reminder, please make sure to specifically mentioning the word "non-spicy" because this Malaysian owner bistro will by default serves it with cili padi !! ), beef mee-soup (nicely flavoured indeed!), fried kuew teow (sorry ladies, it tasted just so-so.. nothing special in my record), pizza (ohmygod this is delicious! it's cooked to perfection, definitely the best home made pizza ever tasted!), beef roasted pasta (another wow - on the food, not the person :p ), caesar salad (ohhhh I loveeeee this!) and the last one is the potato skin filling (or as Gya put it, begedil)

    We had a blast passing around the plates and savour each others dishes, like always.
    And it felt like extra special this time due to the fancy looking plates and bowls.
    We end our lunch with a special dessert called the trifle, which consists of layers of cake, custard, blueberries, jelly, and whipped cream.
    I managed to snap more pics of the décor while making our way out after that.
    It really surprises me that there still exists such picnic luggage bag, that mostly seen in the older "English" movies.
    The bistro owner also displayed seasonal items, which at this time, it was the halloween.
    It indeed feels like home.

    And once we're out, nope, it's not over yet.
    We then scout the outer premise and gawk at the splashes of paints on the table, floor, and walls.
    It's so simple yet very creative.

    The discovery of the day is "pokok burung".
    I have never seen this in my entire life, but let me tell ya, it really does look like a tiny bird living inside the petal... amazing, yet soooo creepy! 
    I tried googling it, but couldn't find the scientific name. Let me know if you do.

    We were so intrigued with taking pics of everything about Kokopelli, that we end up with crappy pics of ourselves.. Bummer! I know! 
    Sorry Hud, Skin, Gya, QZ, Nad and Zie!
    Oh well, at least we had fun, didn't we? hehe..
    So, ladies, where shall we go lunch next?

    Monday, November 01, 2010

    Sweet Endings

    Checkout the detailing of the sweets wrapper.. Love it !
    So, yeah, sorry about the lack of updates on the blog.
    I've been busy.. apart from lazy..
    Now attending a two-day training at Hilton.
    Suddenly I felt alive, to learn new things, it's fun to sometimes breaks the norm, you know..


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