Monday, January 19, 2009

2nd weekend in Houston...

I've never been fanciful of designer stuff...but this time... ;) 1st time I've splurged...

...And big time too!!! Am thinking if I should return any of these purchases...hmm...2 more weeks to think before I head back to Malaysia ;) nice or not nice or not? Got them yesterday, thanks to Irene, Melvin and his bro's advice...I'll be blogging about what I've done up to now in Houston as soon as I get the chance...but so far so good, other than bankrap giler hehehe

Monday, January 05, 2009

Happy New Year 2009, a new beginning

Obviously for someone who's so small gas and berdendam like me, last week i kena sound by my manager due to some expenses thing which i've wrongly put to company's expenses - no thanks to my nemesis who said i could - so now i've to pay my own flight back from KL - Pg (RM375 melayang!!!! one way sumore) ok ok you may say use common sense also know company kenot pay you for that but i just tried my luck cos i booked my ticket from KL- Houston - KL then terus KL- Penang. my nemesis said "can can, sure" and I asked 3 times. so i very TL last week. but now think think, he was trying to help. he also kena screw by the manager alongside with me, just that i am the one paying so i TL a bit lah. haha. but...this year i must change yahs!!!

I will be flying to Houston Sat 10th Jan 0210 hours so means Friday night have to leave for the airport adi lo...will be there till 31st Jan...missing CNY - never mind lah hor...after that I will be on leave 1 whole week to see who will be around at home to teman me play mahjong. hahaha.

about forgiving - let me share this story with you: (I was a little bit less bitter about my nemesis after that, and today i even made extra effort to get along with him - hehe) this article isn't about forgiving by the way--- but a good way to start the new year!!! in the material chasing world, we tend to forget how to be simple and happy -

How to Get Everything for Nothing

In the town of Hanipoli, there were two rabbis. One, of course, was Reb Zusya, the legendary Chassidic master. The other was the rabbi of the town, who happened to be a great opponent of the Chassidic movement.

Reb Zusya was beloved by all for his sweet disposition and cheerful outlook, which he maintained despite the harsh poverty he lived in. The rabbi, however, was not so popular with the townspeople.

Although he was a man of great learning, inside this rabbi was an angry and bitter man. None of the honors bestowed on him or the marks of respect he received was ever enough for him. He always, in his heart, found some reason for complaint. And since misery loves company, once the rabbi found one complaint, he soon found another one, and then another, until he was so boiling with rage because of some perceived insult to his honor that he was ready to explode.

The rabbi of course was no boor. He knew with his intellect that the Torah condemns angry behavior in no uncertain terms. However, as soon as his heart began to ponder his unhappy state - where a man of such erudition and refined sensibilities was so unappreciated in the world - strong feelings of anger overpowered him once more.

On this cold, winter night, as he sat by the warm fire in his comfortably furnished study, the rabbi was again drifting into those dangerous, bitter waters. His thoughts returned to a wedding he had attended the week before.

The father of the bride, Reb Moshe, was a wealthy philanthropist. The entire town had been invited to join in the family's simcha (happy occasion), and no expense had been spared to celebrate the occasion. As the rabbi of the town, the rabbi, of course, expected that he would receive treatment befitting his position. Yet during that miserable evening, he had received nothing but insults.

No place at the table had been reserved for him. No food was served to him - unless you call a few picked over scraps of chicken and vegetables that no one else wanted food. But to top it all, when it came time to say the Grace After Meals, no one invited him to recite one of the special sheva brachos (seven blessings) said at a wedding.

Instead, who was given the place of honor at the wedding? Reb Zushya, that's who!
Was it any wonder that he had left the celebration in a total state of rage? How much humiliation was one man expected to endure?

His thoughts returned to the "scene of the crime" again and again, and now his mind's eye became fixed on the beaming face of Reb Zushya, who had sat through the entire event in a state of rapturous bliss.

The rabbi saw once more Reb Zusya, attired in his tattered clothes, sitting at the head table. There was Reb Zusya, who barely had a tooth in his mouth, enjoying a plate piled high with delicious foods. And when the meal was over, who was given the honor of leading the Grace After Meals? Again, Reb Zusya.

Suddenly, a log on the fire crackled and sent a burst of sparks shooting into the air. One of the sparks fell on to the rabbi's hand, and the sharp twinge of pain roused him from his thoughts.
"Even the fire is angry tonight," the rabbi muttered to himself.

The rabbi gazed at the fire, and then he looked at the small red mark on his hand.
"My flames of fires burn," he said with sadness. "Reb Zusya also has a fire within him, yet his fire doesn't burn. It warms. What's his secret?"

What's his secret? The rabbi's thoughts now became fixated on this question. Why is Reb Zusya always so happy? Why does his face always glow with goodwill? What's his secret?
As the rabbi pondered the mystery, a strange thing happened. His anger began to disappear, and an intense curiosity now took its place. Even though the hour was late and the night was bitterly cold, the rabbi had to have an answer to his question.

Normally, as rabbi of the town and a vocal opponent of the Chassidim, he would never dream of visiting one of the "sect" at his home, let alone asking one of them for advice. But tonight he was willing to put his honor - and his opposition - aside. True, he did bundle himself up in his coat and hat and scarf so that it was practically impossible to recognize him. But even this fear of being detected wasn't strong enough to stop him from determinedly trudging his way through the snow-covered streets.

Finally, the rabbi arrived at the broken-down hovel that Reb Zusya called home, and Reb Zusya invited the rabbi to come in. Despite Reb Zusya's warm welcome, the rabbi shivered even more when he stepped inside and saw the dreary, damp-stained walls, the broken furniture and the empty fireplace. He therefore lost no time in coming straight to the point.
"How is it that you are always so happy and content," the rabbi asked, "while I am always bitter and depressed?"

"It's no great secret," Reb Zusya replied, "but the reason is easier to explain by example, so let me tell you a story."

Now the truth is that the rabbi would have preferred a simple answer to his question, and feelings of anger were already beginning to well up inside him. However, since he had come so far, he wasn't about to get up and leave so quickly.

"Do you remember the wedding of Reb Moshe's daughter?" Reb Zusya asked.
"Of course I do," the rabbi replied in a huff.
"Do you remember what happened when the special messenger arrived at your door with your personally delivered invitation?" Reb Zusya continued.
The rabbi looked at Reb Zusya with disbelief. How could Reb Zusya possibly know what had happened?
"You demanded to see the guest list," Reb Zusya said, "because you wanted to see where your name appeared on the list. When you saw that you were only fourteenth on the list - that there were thirteen other people before you - you became so angry you almost crumpled up the piece of paper in your hands. Is this correct?"
"But I am the rabbi of Hanipoli," the rabbi protested. "Because of my position, I deserve to be shown honor."
"True," replied Reb Zusya, "but did you happen to notice that the people ahead of you were Reb Moshe's relatives and close friends? Your name actually headed the list of those people outside of the family circle.
"But because you didn't see this," Reb Zusya continued, "you became so angry at Reb Moshe that you began to plot your revenge. Do you remember what you decided to do?"

The rabbi remembered it well. He had decided that the family did not deserve the honor of having him attend the chuppah (ceremony under the wedding canopy). He would show his displeasure with them by only arriving in the middle of the meal.

"By the time you arrived, of course, the hall was packed," said Reb Zusya. "The whole town was at this wedding and there wasn't an empty seat to be found. You wandered from table to table, getting jostled left and right, until Reb Moshe finally spotted you. Can you tell me what happened next?"

The rabbi didn't want to answer, but he knew he had no choice. If he didn't tell Reb Zusya, then Reb Zusya would tell him.

"Reb Moshe escorted me to the head table," the rabbi reluctantly replied. "But…"
"Nu?" said Reb Zusya. "What's the 'but' this time?"
"There wasn't any room for me at the head table," the rabbi complained. "They had to squeeze me in between the people who were already sitting there. It was insulting. Don’t they know who I am?"
"So who are you, Elijah the Prophet," asked Reb Zusya, "that people should always leave an empty place for you at the table?"
"But what about the waiters?" countered the rabbi. "Explain their rude behavior, if you can."
"It was a wedding," said Reb Zusya. "There were so many people and so much noise. Everyone calling for more this, more that. True, the waiters didn't see you, but someone else did. Isn't that right?"

The rabbi slowly nodded his head in agreement. He now remembered a detail about the wedding that he had forgotten. As soon as his host, Reb Moshe, had noticed that he was sitting with an empty plate, the wealthy philanthropist immediately went to the kitchen himself to get the rabbi some food.

When Reb Moshe returned, he apologized profusely to the rabbi. All that was left in the kitchen was a small piece of chicken and a few vegetables. The rabbi angrily refused the plate that his host offered him, and he told Reb Moshe exactly what he thought of the abominable treatment he had received at this wedding. Reb Moshe apologized once more, and then he went back to his own seat at the table.

"For the rest of the evening," Reb Zusya said, "you sat in an angry sulk. Your whole being radiated such strong feelings of displeasure that no one dared to approach you - not even to say mazel tov. So is it any wonder that you were not asked to lead the Grace After Meals at this simcha?"

The rabbi now saw the whole evening in a totally different light. He was no longer angry about what had happened, but he was still far from being happy. The mystery of how to be joyful still had not been solved.

"Now let's see what happened to Reb Zusya at this wedding," continued Reb Zusya, who always referred to himself in the third person.

"When Reb Zusya opened his door and saw there was a special delivery messenger standing before him, he couldn't believe his eyes," said the chassid. "To think that Reb Moshe, one of the wealthiest men in the town, should invite Reb Zusya to share in his simcha - and send a messenger to personally deliver the invitation. Such honor! Such kindness! Unbelievable!
"Reb Zusya was so overcome with joy for the family," Reb Zusya said, "that when the happy day finally arrived he rushed to the hall two hours before the chuppah to see if he could help with the preparations. Reb Zusya thought he might be asked to chop up some potatoes or season the chicken, but what happened? Reb Moshe asked him to officiate at the chuppah.
"After the ceremony, Reb Zusya hoped he would be able to find a seat at the table," the chassid continued. "But if not, he would be happy to stand in a corner and eat his meal there. He was just about to go look for a seat anywhere, when Reb Moshe took him by the arm and personally escorted him to a fine seat at the head table.

"Waiters suddenly came from this way and that," exclaimed Reb Zusya, "heaping chicken and potatoes and kugel on Reb Zusya's plate. Reb Zusya was so overcome by all this kindness that he just had to get up and thank his host. He blessed the bride and groom with all his heart, and was about to go back to his seat when Reb Moshe stopped him."

Reb Zusya stopped for a moment in the telling of his tale to brush a tear from his eye. He then shook his head, as if to say that he, too, couldn't belief what happened next.

"Reb Moshe then said such kind words to Reb Zusya," the chassid said, as he wiped yet another tear from his eye. "'Reb Zusya, you're so filled with simcha for my daughter and I,' Reb Moshe said, 'will you please honor me by leading us in the Grace After Meals?'
"Reb Zusya went home so happy that night," the chassid said in conclusion, "but you, my honored rabbi, went home angry and in despair - and the reason why is simple. You expected everything, and so you got nothing. I didn't ask for anything, but I got it all."