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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Thoughts to Jennifer Hudson's Family

I read on Gawker that Jennifer Hudson's mother and brother were murdered in Chicago yesterday:
"Darnell Hudson, mother to almost universally loved Oscar-winner and American Idol contestant Jennifer Hudson, was murdered in Chicago today. "Investigators said two shooting victims were discovered inside a home belonging to Hudson's mother just before 3:00 this afternoon," local TV reports. The other victim: her brother Jason. Police are releasing no details."
What a horrible incomprehensible tragedy. Thoughts to her family.

Friday, October 24, 2008

An Elegant Farewell to a Woman of Beauty and Strength

My aunt's funeral was elegant simplicity with subdued Christian tones. The family had done away with traditional sack cloth, muslin mourning clothes with unsewn hems ,beating of the chest and wailing. It was a quiet and gentle farewell to a dearly beloved member of the Christian community.

Instead each of the children just had a white muslin sash around their waist. They wore a white collarless t-shirt and a pair of black pants.

The grandchildren from the only married daughter wore blue sashes. The grandchildren from sons wore the traditional yellow sashes.

Arrival of the coffin at the Church was quiet and without fanfare. There was no brass band.

The sermon by the young Methodist pastor was about tears and strength of a person. It was a very meaningful sermon for all those present. Jesus wept twice in the Bible.

Part of the funeral service was a choir made up of Women's Wing of the Church . These ladies are ever ready to sing for a dearly beloved Church elder - my Third Aunt had been close to the Methodist Church from the first day of her school at Yuk Ying Girls' School in the 1930's under Mrs. Mary Hoover until her demise.

This is not a good photo as I took it from a long shot and it was rather dark on the stage of the beautiful Methodist Sin Fu Yuan Tang. The Third Son of Third Uncle (Colin) gave a touching but affectionate eulogy of his late mother peppered with a pinch of humour and a dash of serious meaningful social overtones. "Though Ma is gone we shall remember her always in our hearts..she was well read and behind her back we called her Dr. Lu..."

Apart from relatives and church friends a group of gracious lawyers came to the funeral even though it was a working day. My aunt had a son and a grandson who are lawyers. In many parts of Malaysia lawyers would turn out full force to attend the funerals of the family members of their legal fraternity as a show of solidarity. Thus the presence of part of the Sibu legal fraternity at this funeral service was very appreciated especially when this group of lawyers are from different religious,racial and political backgrounds.

Prayers before the final sealing of the grave.

The Sibu Methodist Church provides services for its members from the cradle to the grave. This man is a member of the Funeral Management Committee (his tie has a cross and his pocket has the committee emblem) who makes sure that the funeral is well taken care of. The committee is very efficient and professional. the bereaved family does not have to worry about any thing at all.

Flowers and floral arrangements mean a lot to many during a funeral and especially to my late San Ning. She was a grand dame who appreciated beauty and elegance. And during the funeral the flowers and floral arrangements were symbols of love and affection for her.

My late San Ning would have approved of this beautiful arrangement on her grave.

Usually many wreaths would be presented to the bereaved family during a funeral and these would be left at the graveside. Here is one that is very tastefully arranged with black and white ribbons and backed by China made rattan stand.

Before the grave is sealed completely the photo of the deceased must be framed by a piece of red cloth to indicate that the deceased has just been buried. And this photo will be brought home by the eldest son.

This is always the saddest part of a Foochow funeral when the photo is brought back home framed by the red cloth. All the other siblings will make a line behind the eldest son after bidding farewell for the last time to the beloved departed.

The post funeral step is a meal provided by the bereaved family to thank the relatives and friends who attended the funeral service and accompanied the coffin to the cemetery. This is called the "old rice" or lau puong. Most people would like to attend this meal because eating it, according to our Foochow tradition, would mean that one could also live as long a life as the deceased. But for many of us it was to also meet up with the family members after the funeral for one last moment before going our separate ways (away from Sibu). During the meal the bereaved family will officially thank the attendees for their presence. They will do the three traditional bows or Kiik Kiing. (not the kowtow or kerk tow)

The meal was excellent and my late aunt would have selected such a menu very carefully to make her relatives happy. She was such a meticulous person making sure that everything was in place. And Shareton was one of her favourite restaurants.

Here are some of the 8 dishes of the well selected menu. The first dish was the Foochow Style Peace Egg Soup - a must as it conjure up good wishes for all present at the lunch. I was not sure at first if it was appropriate for me to take photos of the meal but after three dishes I took out my camera for the "scoop".

This was followed by the hot combination dish which came out in style and in a huge portion. The sharks' fin soup also impressed the diners.

Now this head of semah (steamed Foochow style) was fresh and tasty.

The brocoli with mushroom dish.

She would have approved of all these.....She would have smiled her lovely smile and place her hands gracefully on her lap.

(My apologies to all if I have inadvertently written something untoward.)

Halloween Week 2008 is upon us...

That's right...I will attempt to do a write-up every day about some random horror film that I deem worthy of your time. My aim is to showcase some unconventional choices, as well as some horror movies that just don't get the proper notoriety. Please feel free to add your own recommendations and reviews of horror films in the comments section and I will be sure to link to them. For now I leave you with the haunting images from the famous ending to a famous movie that I just watched for the first time this morning...

Winter of a Broken Hoot

The last reader submission of the day! This time from Scott Murkin, who writes:

"Your blog was a great inspiration and resource in finalizing my own owl tattoo. It was done by Nate Hall at Straight A Tattoo in Asheboro, NC. I have attached a picture which I hope you can use."

So Thanks!

The HootBreak Kid

Another reader submission, this time an in-progress work from Emily, done by Siobhan at DarkWave Tattoos. Can't wait to see the finished article!

The Hoot Is On!

Another reader submission, from Jennie Boyle. Thanks!

Hoot Dreams

Random Flickr Owl, linked by Michael Matthews. Thanks!

Mail Bombs: Meagan Good's Hot Shoes, Beyonce's Covergirl Look, and Keyshia Cole's Freakum Dress

It's mighty cold in Paris, but Mail Bombs are always hot!
Let's get it poppin!
First Ayo says, "I'm hoping you can help me find the designer of these shoes Meagan Good has on..."
"...I covet them!"
I must agree, that look is hot! Adriana found that Meagan is wearing these Jimmy Choo Glenys Sandals...
...Get 'em for $960 at
Next, Melody asks, "Can you tell me who designed Bey's dress..."
"...and where I can get it or something similar? It looks kind of House of Dereon-ish, but not sure."
Hot it is, but House of Dereon it is not! Bey is rocking this Gucci dress from their Resort 2009 Collection:
For a similar look, Adriana found this $220 BCBGMAXAZRIA Silk Lurex Shadow Bloom Print Halter Gown:
Good luck!
Margery from Brooklyn says, "I was just wondering where I can find Keyshia Cole's dress ..."
"...I have a party coming up and I just love the details!"
Keyshia is wearing this Herve Leger dress from his Fall 2008 Ready to Wear collection:
Adriana found that it retails for $1,590 at Splurge, or just wait for Bebe to come out with something similar!
Next, reader Dania has a question about a Mail Bombs newcomer, Keisha Knight Pulliam:
She says, "Can you tell me who designs the brown suede boots Keisha is rocking in this photo??"
It seems Rudy is wearing these $579 Belle by Sigerson Morrison Boots:
...get 'em at
Now for a few wardrobe queries!
Prisca says, "I want to know where I can find a set like this..."
"...I have an event that needs me to wear a vest, and this was a creative way of doing so. Please help!"
I searched and found this event appropriate Wayne Vest Shorts Jumpsuit in Black:
Get it for $275 at
Lastly, Leslie says, "Here's a picture of the dress that I bought for my 21st birthday party:"
"I was wondering what color shoes I should get?? Initially, I figured I should get black pumps however, I wanted to do something a little more creative? Any ideas???"
Hey Leslie! Boo on black! I am a strong advocate of wearing metallic shoes in almost all dressy circumstances. They're saucy, sophisticated, and neutral, so they can match virtually anything! If you want to stay safe, go with these options:
Left to Right: Charles David Gold Metallic Leather 'Kailey' sandals, $135; Guess by Marciano Okanarra Sandal, $99; Anne Klein New York Women's Afina Slide, $295.
If you, however, really want to be adventurous and 'shut it down' as Rachel Zoe would say, play with patterns or colors. A leopard or exotic print can also be pretty neutral, and a multi-tone shoe plays off the color of your dress without being too matchy matchy:
1. Jessica Simpson Women's Jinkx T-Strap Pump, $49. 2.Betsey Johnson Women's Felicia Pump, $150. 3.Report Pink Snakeprint Pumps, $55.50 4. Christian Louboutin Gold Leather Graffiti Detail 'Pigalle' pumps, $540.
Have fun and have great weekends!
I'm going to dip into a Louis Vuitton exhibit and also try to find some Parisian style.
Until then...
*** Today's the last day to purchase your Fashion Bomb T-Shirt before the Shop Shuts Down. And FYI: The site is NOT shutting down! Just the Shop! Hurry up and buy! Bye!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Fashion Bomb featured on AOL Black Voices!

Check out AOL Black Voices for a feature on The Fashion Bomb!
I chit chatted with writer Alexis Stodghill about how the Fashion Bomb came about!
An excerpt:
What has been the best thing to come out of starting your Web site?
"Invaluable relationships and connections with people who love fashion."
Read the rest here and leave comments!
(Guess that whole international thing came true..!)

Steal of the Day: Cashmere Fingerless Gloves by Kashmere

Luxe meets edge in these fun gloves, and their bold primary colors are just right for fall. At $36 for 100% cashmere, they're also the perfect decadent and affordable indulgence! Cop a pair at Bluefly.
And check out our earlier Fashion Bomb 101 post on how to buy and maintain cashmere!

Cost of a Facelift Surgery

The price of cosmetic facelift surgery varies widely depending on for example geographic location, the patient and how experienced the surgeon is. Cost can be more accurately predicted after the surgeon has performed an examination and developed a surgical plan. If the patient´s skin is dry and non-elastic from excessive sun exposure, the facelift procedure is more difficult and time consuming than for more elastic skin. The cost includes several different parts:
Cost Range: $7,000-$13,000

Average Total Cost: $9,500
Surgeons fee: $6,000
Anesthesiologist: $1,200
Facility fee: $1,700
Hospital fee: $600

If you combined the cosmetic surgery facelift with additional procedures the final cost will be lower since you only pay one anesthesia fee and one facility fee. The total surgical time will also be less.

Facelift Result Face lift Result

Remember to take into count the experience of the surgeon and you feeling comfort with him or her. This should be as important as the total price cost of facelift surgery. Most of the times you get what you are paying for! Also remember that most health insurances don’t include facelift surgery or possible complications that come with the surgery. Many surgeons offer payment plans over several years, and there are also extra health insurance that can be bought specific for cosmetic surgery facelifts.

Ctrl BG: A Shortcut to Financial News 10/24

Is it just me, or is it not even news anymore that there was a huge drop/rally in the market on a given day? Now that we've broken all the records in the last century, it's hard to be fazed by big swings in the market. I think my next threshold is if (or is it when?) the Dow hits the 7000s.

But anyway, the
global market went on another roller coaster ride this week, ending with a big drop on Friday. Asia in particular took a big hit. On the Hong Kong stock exchange, HSBC, the darling of all stocks there, fell by 10% to $88, a 4 year low. I personally could not remember HSBC being below $100.... ever. People are shocked and heartbroken. I don't blame them. The HSBC stock to HK investors is like how Louis Vuittons is to Japanese women- everyone owns at least one or aspires to own one. To see the value of such an entrenched brand go down must be a very traumatizing experience indeed. Who knew that Morgan Stanley slashing the price by 25%, would have such a profound effect?

Back to the rest of the world, developed and emerging markets alike are hit due to slumping currencies and higher financing cost. ING is is latest "big gun" to be bailed out with a $13.5 billion Dutch government injection. And countries such as Iceland, Pakistan and Turkey are in talks with the IMF for help.

In the US, experts have placed the blame on hedge fund of funds. Since investors can pull money out of hedge fund of funds anytime they want i.e. now, this has in turn put pressure on hedge funds to pull out of the market and thus the crazy selling and shorting to cover losses. The mounting layoffs *yikes!* (
Goldman announced they were cutting back 10% of their workforce-less than I expected!), speculations about whether we're in a recession or not (do we really need anymore proof?), Greenspan admitting to be "partially wrong" and bad company earnings report coming out didn't help. Oh and PNC just announced that they were taking over National City for $5.2 billion (backed by tax payers). This is the next big bank takeover since Wachovia two weeks ago. Investors are now waiting to see if the Fed will further lower interest rates next Wednesday and whether the US economy is indeed in a recession with the GDP data coming out next Thursday.

It's not a completely gloomy outlook though. Asian countries, following Europe, are starting to form their own $80 billion emergency fund- better safe than sorry. The US are working on another stimulating package and a plan to bailout individual home owners, so then they can get better termed loans. Call me a selfish hypocrite, but while I'm all for bailing out banks because it affects me, I'm not sure how I feel about bailing out individuals. Makes me think, "if I knew the government was going to bail them out, maybe I should've gone and bought a house I clearly cannot afford too!" Logically though, I know helping them would help the economy as a whole, since foreclosure is one of the biggest issues. Guess I'll get around to the idea.

On a side note, did you know that the $250 billion capital injection into banks last week is not part of the $700 billion package? I wasn't sure myself until this week. How come they need approval for $700 billion and not $250 billion? $250 billion is still a LOT of money.

NYScene: Frye Spring 2009 Preview

Adriana here!
Last night, Frye held their Spring 2009 Preview at a private showing on Fifth Avenue. I couldn't wait to see what they had on tap, as I've noticed that the company's been edging their way more and more into the contemporary arena. And they're delivering really well.

My absolute favorites were a pair of snakeskin platforms and some flat sandals:

The flat sandals are actually hand-woven and specially made in Spain while the platforms are indeed genuine snakeskin, as confirmed by Frye rep Brittany Penebre, who was on hand to offer fantastic insight into each piece:

There were also some Frye classics in the line:

And some spring offerings for men:

The theme was sophisticated rustic, and all about classic American music--we aren't the only ones who've been thinking about album covers. They had an entire wall covered in them!

Check out Frye's current fall offerings on their site and look out for the spring line when it debuts in stores in March 2009!

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