Anything and everything under the sun


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Lat the Cartoonist

From wikipedia:
Mohammad Nor Khalid or Datuk Mohd Nor Khalid (born 5 March 1951) is a well known cartoonist in Malaysia. Also known as Lat, many of his cartoons appear in the editorial pages of the Malaysian newspaper New Straits Times. Lat was born in a village called Kota Baru in Perak, not to be confused with Kota Bharu the capital of Kelantan. He had a wonderful talent for drawing as a child and drew excellent comics. At the age of 9, his gifted talent began to yield his family income. His first real book was Tiga Sekawan, a story about 3 friends who banded together to catch robbers. The book was published in his sixth year at Jalan Pasir Puteh Primary School in Ipoh. His publisher paid him 25 Ringgit for his service. By 1968, Lat was earning 100 Ringgit a month from his work. He later moved to Kuala Lumpur to become a cartoonist. Lat later joined the New Straits Times as a crime reporter but he later became a cartoonist. His first book Kampung Boy, an autobiography of his life was published in 1979 and sold thousands of copies within 3 months. His cartoons have been published in several cartoon books in Malaysia. He is famous throughout Malaysia. One of his books Kampung Boy was published in France by a French publisher. His latest book is Dr Who?! which is dedicated to Mahathir bin Mohamad, the former prime minister of Malaysia and his wife Dr Siti Hasmah. An English-language edition of Kampung Boy was published by First Second Books in August of 2006. This was the first of his books to be published in the United States. His second English-language book, Town Boy, is scheduled for release in October 2007. His cartoons reflect his view about Malaysian life and the world.

We went to the library a few days back and I dont know why suddenly I remembered about Lat. I grew up reading his books/comics and can even remember some of them. The 'tin kosong' (empty can) game tht he played, the 'sunat' (circumcision), the move fr kampung to the city and etc. He captured his life as budak kampung and say it all in a simple drawings and words and yet, even if you're not a Malaysian, you would have no trouble understanding the story.

However, im ashamed to admit that I dont personally own any of his books. Yes, it is indeed embarassing since i just love his work. So, from now on, im going to commit myself in collecting all of his books for my own collection/reading pleasure and hopefully 1 day, I can share them with my children.

Ringgit Malaysia vs US Dollar, updated

The first time I made the comparison between these 2 currencies on my blog was on April 5, 2007. Then, it was RM3.449 for every USD1. As I read yesterday, Ringgit's value has increased and is now trading at RM3.382.

I dont know about other people but that, for me is not a good news. :(

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Sweet and Sour Crab

I, like most Malaysian, just love seafood. Be it fish, squid, prawn, clams or snails. I dont however eat escargot. The only type of snails that I eat is "siput sedut" or balitong, as the chinese call them. What theyr called in English, I have no idea at all. It doesnt matter anyways since Michael dont eat seafood and I wudn know how to cook them either. hehe.

Anyways, when it comes to crabs, (it doesn matter what kind they are since im the type who's not fussy about their names) i like them in sweet and sour with a little bit of spiciness sauce. The basic ingredients for my sweet and sour crab would be shallot, garlic, ginger (to reduce the fishy smell) and chili paste and lastly an egg. to me, thts what make it sweet and sour crab.


1-2 crabs (cleaned and cut in 2-4 pieces)

  • 3-4 red chilies
  • 3 shallots
  • 2 garlic
  • 1inc ginger (pound or blended together)

3 tblspoon of vegetable oil, 4 tblspoon of ketchup, 1/2 cup water, salt, sugar and an egg.

Heat the oil in a wok or skillet and put in the blended ingredients. Stir until they'r fragrant. Add the water, ketchup and continue stirring. Put in the salt and sugar (to your liking) once its boiled. Add in the crab and flip them until theyr well coated with the sauce and cover for about 2-3 min. Lastly, break an egg and keep stirring/flipping the crabs until the egg is cooked.

I like to eat them with steamed white rice but you can eat them ala Fatty Crab (seafood reastaurant in Malaysia) which is with toast.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Love for Ibu (Mother)

I havent been online for a few days now until today. So the first few hours after I got up, Id do the usual things i.e. read emails and It was Mother's Day last Sunday and this article about 2 young sibling's love for their nearly blind mother just brought tears to my eyes. It reminds us that a mother doesnt need an expensive gifts to make her happy. All she wants is for her child/children to be a good person, succesful in whatever they do and be happy with their lives.

Brothers’ vision of comfort for mum

With all our love: Mohd Syafik (left) and Mohd Syarul Nizam giving their mother a plastic flower for Mother’s Day in Sungai Petani yesterday.SUNGAI PETANI: A stalk of a plastic flower for their mother was all that two brothers could each afford to give to their mum on Mother’s Day.
But the two – Mohd Syarul Nizam Yusuf, 13 and Mohd Syafik Yusuf, 15 – dream of being able to give all the comforts of life for their mother Che Yang Sudin, 50, one day.
“Our mother is not physically perfect like others, yet we will protect her and shower her with love till our last breath,” they said at their uncle’s Paya Nahu flat here.
Che Yang, a divorcee, has poor vision and her tears flowed uncontrollably. She quit as a production operator in a factory after a fall about three years ago.
The two boys and their mother are currently staying with blind uncle Md Desa Sudin, 55 and blind aunt Zaiton Lazim, 47, both factory workers at Bakar Arang near here.
Mohd Syafik, a Form Three student of SMK Taman Ria Jaya, said he wakes up at 5.30am every day to wash the dishes, adding that he also helped his mother do the laundry, sweep the floor and prepare breakfast before going to school.
“I will study hard to become a policeman and buy a beautiful house and let my mother enjoy all the comforts of life. She will be the queen of my house,” said Mohd Syafik.
Mohd Syarul Nizam a Form One student at the same school, wakes up at 8am to go to the market. He cuts the fish and vegetables and helps his mother to cook. He also irons the clothes.
“I too will study hard to become a fireman,” said Mohd Syarul Nizam.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Dental Care

Dont you just hate it when you have to pay (literally!) a visit to your dentist? My last visit to the dentist was back in PA when my root canal got infected and i had to get a surgery done. Im supposed to go back to replace the temporary crown tht i have on but now, on top of being scared of the dentist, im also afraid of the bill. Because you see, hubby has been going to the dentist for the last 2 weeks and he's gonna have to go back for the next 2-3 weeks to get the teeth fix. As much as I dont like going to the dentist, he's even worse. hehe. On his 2nd visit, he has to do quite a number of things (extraction, root canal etc) and the whole thing took almost 4hrs. Im not kidding you. We were there fr 9am till 1pm. At first I waited for him at the reception area then after finding out that its gonna take abt 3hrs, i went in to see him. I can see that he looked scared so i asked him if he wants me to stay around. the conversation goes something like this,

Me, "are you ok, baby?"

Him, "yea. i dont like this"

Me, "do you want me to stick around? the reception says tht i can wait here with you"

Him with a pale-look face, nodded and said, "yes"

So there i was, sitting in the room while the dentist, (whom by the way is very nice and tried her best to calm her patient down while doing her job) and the dental assistant do their stuff. Luckily I had my book with me so it didn feel tht long. :)

Now back to why I havent been going back to the dentist. For those in Malaysia, I will try to give you a scenario on why the doctors, nurses and everybody who works in the health industry is paid very well here in the US and why Malaysian who studied medicine incl those sponsored by Malaysian government bickers and bitch about their pay back home. Everything in the US requires you to have an insurance. There's medical, prescription, dental and vision. If you dont have an insurance, its basically gonna cost you an arm and a leg and your firstborn. (taken fr the ad of a gas station last yr when the price went up). Having insurance doesn mean that you dont have to pay anything either. Like our medical insurance for example, we still have to pay $30 for co-pay for each visit to the doctor and another $10 each for the medications. So each visit to the doctor will cost at least $40 or RM136, not incl the insurance the we'r paying every pay check. Luckily with our plan, all lab test only cost us $10/each so thts not too bad.

As for dental, let me just put the figures here for all the work tht needs to be done on hubby without the insurance. $9,600. That's a whopping Rm32,736! I cant even begin to imagine wht i could have done to my teeth with that sum of money back in Malaysia. No wait, I can! With that amount of money, we BOTH can go back to Malaysia for 2 weeks, get all the work done at KLCC Medical Centre (me and hubby), dining and shopping at KLCC and still have some money left!

Btw, did you realise that I mention everything KLCC? Thts because if you wanna pay more for anything, just go there! tsk tsk tsk. And even with the insurance we still have to pay around 40%.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

King of Fruit

That famously spiky, smelly, yellowish fruit that makes you either love them or hate them. The smell is so strong that you can smell it from 100ft away. Not to mention that even after a few days, you can still smell them. The king of all fruit, DURIAN! Being a true blue Malaysian, I, of course just loooooove them. The last time I had them was back in PA when we bought a frozen whole durian. It was a disaster actually. I had to wait for 1.5 days for it to thaw. I tried to open it myself but it was too soggy-like that it was just too impossible. So hubby helped by practically whacked the poor fruit open. AND after all the trouble and anticipation, it turned out to be tasteless and not to mention too 'young' still! I only had one and threw the rest of them in the trash. :((

So when I went to Yorba Linda last week, I was so excited to see lotsa durian being sold. The 'fresh' ones at $6.99/lb is pretty pricey and also big. Being the only durian-eater in the house, i dont wanna put hubby off with the smell so I settled for 2 slices of frozen seedless durian, enough to satisfy my cravings of 3 years. I dont really remember how much it cost but I think it was about $4/box or at the exchange rate it would be RM17.60/box. I could have gotten 10 whole durian back in KL for the same price but oh well, beggars cant be choosers!

I dont know when im going to have more durian but I do hope it wont be for another 2.5years.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Goodies fr MIL

I was chatting w J on yahoo IM yesterday when the doorbell rang. It was the usps man and he was carrying a box. I taught to myself, "it must be the stuff that Michael ordered fr ebay". But to my surprise it was addressed to me from my mother-in-law. The box is filled with cookies from Ikea, at least 10 of them. ;)

We went to Ikea once with his parents back in Philly and i told her about these wonderful thin, crunchy and delicious cookies and my favourite would of course be the ginger cookies. I was surprised that she sent them to me since there's Ikea everywhere. Maybe she forgot or didn realise that there's Ikea in CA or maybe she knows that her son would rather go to Home Depot than Ikea. Whatever the reason is, Im so touched that she remembers I like them. Thank you Sally! >:D<

Simply snacking

The other day I talked about my kind of simple/easy meal. Some days I like spending hours in the kitchen cooking up a storm and others I just feel too lazy but still craving for good food. When im in the latter days, I would still want to eat rice with "something" and that's when I prepare this dish. Its so simple that a 14yr old can do it. ;)

All you need is:
sausage (sliced)
onion & red chili (sliced)
2 tablespoon water
salt & sugar

Saute the sausage until they'r half done. Add in the rest of the ingredients and continue stirring for about 2min. Serve.

you can have them on their own or eat them like I did, with rice. Now tell me that's not easy?

Tuesday, May 1, 2007


It has been a week since my last post. I really dont know what to write. Everyday Id sign in and think that Im going to write something and then I my mind went blank. I tought of writing about food, yet I think what Iv been cooking is not "fancy" enough to share with my readers. I really should change my mentality. So what if theyr not fancy as long as they taste good and I like them, right? Not to mention the fact that I have to use 2 computers to download the pictures from my camera and email them to myself so I can have a copy in the new computer.

Well, the truth is Im not a choosy eater. Really! As long as there's no pork and taste good (sedap), Im happy. Let me tell you some of my version of simple food/meal.

1. Rice with just cut chilies& onion, raw anchovies, sweet soy sauce (habhal's brand) and some lime juice, preferably limau kasturi.

2. Sliced sausages fried with cut chilies and onion, add some water and sugar and salt to taste. You can actually get this from the snack menu at the bars in KL. They also have it with anchovies instead of sausages. yummy!

The simple meal for hubby would usually be hotdogs or lebanon bologna sandwich or cheesesteak or burger. Ok. Maybe the last 2 are not really simple especially since I make our own burger patties from ground meat. But they're just too simple (in my book) compared to asian meals that I make for myself. Yes?

For now, this is how its going to be (without pic) until my lazy mode changes. ;)