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Friday, April 30, 2010

Iron Man 2

Just went to watch Iron Man 2 with hubby this morning and it is an awesome movie! The first time I noticed Robert Downey Jr. was in the movie Heart and Souls many years back, and after that in Only You, and I've loved his acting ever since, so I was extremely happy that he ditched the drug addiction and made a fantastic comeback.

As for Iron Man 2, watch it if you're an Iron Man fan OR if you want lots of action, things that go boom!, humour, a handsome, wise, cracking, sexy Robert Downey Jr., a sexy, ass-kicking Scarlett Johansson, a funny, sexy Gwyneth Paltrow (yup, lots of sexy people in this movie) and great special effects that'll make you wanna get your own exo-suit.

Watching Ms. Johansson will also make some ladies think of taking up Mixed Martial Arts or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. How to look as sexy as her doing it? Well, if you can fit into a tight black leather suit, you're halfway there.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Eat Pray Love

Eat Pray Love is a New York Times Bestseller and there are over five million copies of this book in print. I don't usually read non-fiction, preferring to lose myself in make-believe, but I am a sucker for travel stories.

Elizabeth Gilbert, the author, goes through a horrible divorce, decides she needs to find herself and reconcile her need to become closer to God yet also enjoy worldly pleasures. This journey begins in Italy to learn the language and savour the food, then it's on to meditation and yoga in India, her year long sojourn ending in Bali, Indonesia to meet up with a traditional Balinese healer. 

Gilbert writes with a lot of intelligence, honesty and self-deprecating humour. She has a knack for bringing to life her experiences which makes me salivate imagining how the pizzas in Naples taste, making me want to go meditate in a cave in India (without the floor scrubbing of course), and live in a tiny cottage in Ubud, Bali for a few months. I loved reading about the characters she met and how they impacted her life. I'm glad that she discovered what it was that she wanted to find. What this book also does is make you think about your own journey. I'm the same age she was when she began this 'pilgrimage' of hers. I'm thinking of my own journey, perhaps not as exciting as hers, but also a journey towards a more meaningful life. Definitely a more spiritual life, to be more present, grateful and joyful.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sprained Ankle

Went to Sunway Giza in Sunway Damansara to check it out yesterday. Looked around at the shops, didn't see the step, fell down, sprained my ankle, scraped and bruised my knee. Oh, the pain, and embarrassment. A security guard came to see if I was ok, then the management officer came, went off, then came back again with a first aid box. Another security guard came to bring me a chair, then another guard brought a camera to take a photo of my ankle (to make a report he said). I really appreciate the concern, but all the fuss was a tad embarrassing.

I really should take the advice that I always give three-year-old H - Look where you're going!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

16 Cats

Yesterday was the cats' annual vaccination, all 16 of them. Yup, we have 16 at my mother's house, all spayed. It actually started out with one which she bought from the pet store. After that we were picking up stray kittens which were abandoned or lost their mother. At one point, I think we had 20, not counting the ones we fed outside.

People still keep offering us unwanted cats/kittens but we've stopped accepting. There are only so many cats we can keep and it costs quite a bit to care for them. For instance the vaccinations cost us roughly RM1600 in total, and weekly the cats need food, litter and vitamins to keep them healthy and free from disease. Sometimes they do get ill and that adds on to the cost as well.

Another reason for not taking in more cats is the issue of cleanliness. We love cats, but we don't love the smell. So the litter needs to be cleaned twice daily and their 'cattery' that my mother built behind the house, needs to be washed daily with disinfectant. We've tried to make it easier and more efficient to keep clean, but it's still a lot of work.

Because of this I have a deep respect for people who volunteer/work for animal shelters. I'm sure it is fulfilling, but also heartbreaking. I'm not just talking about seeing the animals hurt, dying, being put to sleep, suffering from injuries etc. but also the lack of funds, space and volunteers. I know of people who volunteer their weekends helping out at PAWS or the SPCA. Those who can't volunteer their time can just donate things they need or even a bit of money. You can check their websites to see what they need, I've provided the link above. Any contribution will be much appreciated I'm sure.

So people, it doesn't take much to help. One of the easiest way to reduce the stray population is to spay your pets. But most of all, be kind to animals.

"I think how we treat our animals reflects how we treat each other ... And it's very important that we have a president who is mindful of the cruelty that is perpetrated on animals ..."~Barack Obama President Elect USA

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated" ~Gandhi (1869-1948)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

To Vaccinate or Not?

Me and hubby recently got our flu vaccination. We received one called Influvac which is a combination flu and H1N1 vaccination. I've read the pros and cons, the arguments against and for, and decided to go for it. My main concern was vaccinating little H. I was told children above 3 years of age can be vaccinated with the current flu vaccination. Generally, Dr. Sears, for instance, recommends flu jabs every year until the child is 19 years of age. Does he really need it? I seriously do not know. There are those that are against vaccinations claiming it does more harm than good, there are studies that show vaccinations aren't really that effective and of course those who fully support vaccination.

Honestly, the sheer amount of information on the Net confuses me. At the moment I just feel that protection for my son is of the utmost importance, and for me, it outweighs the risks i.e side-effects, allergies etc.

As for H, when we brought him to get the jab, he happily laid down with a stuffed dragon in the paediatrician's office while Doc was preparing the shot. I wasn't prepared for the scream that came after the shot. It was more of shock rather than pain. Suffice to say, it took a while to calm down my tired, grumpy and irate little munchkin. So far he's feeling alright, but he does have another shot in a months time. Next time it won't be so easy to get him to sit still.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

High on Sugar = Sleepless Night

This is what happens when I take too much sugar/sweet food at night. I toss and turn and I get a little agitated as well. My theory is that my body gets hyped up on all the sugary energy (not good!). On Saturday night we had dinner at Unique Seafood and for dessert, ordered a Mango with Sago dessert which is  pureed mango with mango pieces and sago in it. It's like a sweet porridge. Since some people were too full, and not wanting to waste any, I had two bowlfuls. Oh my, it was GOOD! Unfortunately, come 1am, I was still wide awake. I was tired but I couldn't sleep. The last time this happened to me, if I remember correctly, was when I stuffed myself with ice-cream after dinner.

I keep telling myself 'No desserts at night!', but good food and good company, plus a hubby who loves desserts with his meals, are my downfall. I try to avoid desserts at night, but as everyone can attest, a scrumptiously divine dessert after an excellent dinner is the perfect ending to a meal. So my solution? Only have dessert after dinner if it's really, really good. Anyway, why waste calories on crappy food?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Redang Island only for the rich?

Whatever happened to Cuti-cuti Malaysia? Hotel rates in Malaysia are expensive enough as it is. Now some Menteri Besar thinks he's being very clever by stating that having only rich people on the island is going to help the environment. I'm no genius or even an environmental expert but I am flabbergasted that a person can be so dense as to not see the extremely obvious flaw in his logic, if we can call it logic. I've read more intelligent suggestions and comments from the divers and NGOs.  

The Tourism Ministry supports this hair-brained idea as it's in line with their plan to attract more high-end tourists. Ok, so how many high-end tourists come to Malaysia anyway? We already have luxurious resorts such as the YTL Luxury resorts which give special rates to locals to fill up the resorts during the low seasons. The typical tourist loves good bargains and that's what they see in Asian destinations. Specifically, they come to Malaysia again and again for good deals on shopping, cheap and delicious food, great hospitality and most of all to savour all that our beautiful country has to offer. If we're going to turn our noses up at these tourists and only cater for high-end tourists, we might end up with a lot less tourist arrivals. Malaysians themselves are already flocking to neighbouring countries for their holidays as it's much, much cheaper.

I'm quite disappointed that the Minister of Tourism has no objection to all this. I was under the impression that she was one of the more intelligent of the lot. Perhaps I was wrong.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Aching here, there and everywhere...

Yesterday was my first, ever, yoga class. Luckily there were only three ladies including me so I had some personal attention since the other two were more experienced than me. We started out with slow sun salutations then did a few fast ones which really got my heart rate going, and my arms aching. After that it was pose after pose after pose. The poses were simple ones which I've seen in magazines and on TV and looked fairly easy, but done properly with an instructor, they left me more than a little wobbly.  I thought I was quite flexible. Hah! During each pose I was mentally begging him to say stop. But I felt really good after, my body felt challenged. Now I'm seriously thinking whether I should take two classes a week instead of just once.

This morning I woke up to aches and pains in places I never thought I could have aches and pains. I had plans to go to the gym this morning, so did a few sun salutations to ease the pain, then popped off to the gym with my cousin after sending H to kindy.

I couldn't really work out much at the gym since I couldn't even walk properly so I worked out the muscles that weren't aching. I thought that was a pretty good idea until after the workout, now my whole body is aching, ouch!

Oh well, they say recovery is the most important part of working out so my excuse for doing nothing this weekend? My muscles are trying to recover!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Weekend 2010

Easter weekend was fantastic, and most of it involved food, as it is with all Malaysian families. It began on Friday night at Las Vacas. We had friends visiting from the UK so the whole family decided to have a steak dinner. And boy, it was good! I'm still thinking of the Angus rib-eye, medium well, that I had and the chocolate mousse dessert after.

The next day, we had an Easter Brunch. Again lots of food i.e scrambled eggs, toast, smoked salmon, beef bacon, hash brown, nasi lemak, rendang, fruits, cheesecake etc. But the kids had the most fun. H along with all his cousins had a blast in the pool. The weather was nice and hot, perfect day for jumping into the pool. Then one of their Grand Aunt's decided to have a modified Easter egg hunt and threw ping pong balls into the pool. The kids had plastic containers to collect the balls and unfortunately the bigger kids managed to get most of the balls. But the little ones didn't really complain except my niece little D. She started crying and we decided they'd had enough and pulled everyone out. The kids got an Easter party pack each with chocolate eggs and were fed lunch. After that the kids were sprawled out on the floor watching cartoons. The parents had to cajole/carry/drag them back home. It was nice to see the children enjoying themselves.

That night it was the parents' turn to relax. We had dinner out, again. This time at Sri Ayutthaya at Medan Damansara. I had a bit too much soft shell crab, and the spicy tom yam burned my lips, but it was too good to refuse. Luckily no heart burn.

Sunday morning we had breakfast at the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club. After that we said goodbye to our friends from the UK, they'll be in Tioman this whole week (lucky them!) before stopping by in KL for one night, then off on their flight back home.

My friend had a birthday party for her baby that afternoon as well, so after a Japanese lunch at Sakae Sushi we brought H for the birthday party. Surprisingly H didn't want to leave because he's always a little shy with kids he's not familiar with. The kids had to make bunny ears and decorated Easter eggs made out of cardboard, then they were asked to stick the eggs on a drawing of a basket while blindfolded. The party ended with an Easter (chocolate) egg hunt.

Suffice to say, me and hubby were knackered by the time we all showered and got H into bed. After a quick dinner, hubby wanted to watch a DVD but my bed was looking like the more attractive option. So after a kiss and a hug I was off to dreamland.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Yoga: The beginning!

I'm 34 years old, I'm fairly active, not terribly fit but still quite flexible. However, my body doesn't seem so sprightly when getting up in the mornings nowadays. So, I've decided to take up yoga. Actually I've wanted to take up yoga ages ago but didn't find the right class. I'm a little fussy you see, I want my yoga class to be near home, be at the appropriate time and cheap. Believe it or not, I've found it! Inner Glow Yoga in Taman Tun Dr. Ismail is just 10 minutes walk from my house, the fees are RM80 for 4 classes per month, and the class starts after I send H off to kindy. Perfect!

I'm quite excited at starting something new, however, the thought of headstands and contorting my body in angles I've never even dreamt off does make me a tad nervous. I've never been very well co-ordinated, in fact, I'm a little clumsy (luckily for me, hubby finds this trait amusing). So, I'm praying that my first ever yoga class will go smoothly.

I've always known that yoga has many benefits but for those of you wondering if you should take up yoga, here's a great, short article on Oprah's website.