Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ghosts

This week my readings seem to be all about ghosts. First, there is the Mediator series I picked up from the bigbadwolf sale (RM5 a piece, six books in all). I recall reading the first two books during secondary school, but I couldn't find the rest of the books after that and thus the series was forgotten. Previously, it was published under another pen-name, but after Cabot became famous through The Princess Diaries, I think the publishers saw it fit to republish it under Cabot's name.



If you've watched Ghost Whisperer, then you'd be familiar with the premise of the Mediator series. Susannah "Suze" Simon has been seeing ghosts since she was two years old and has been helping them with their unfinished business most of her life. Her move to California means meeting new friends, new mentors and of course new ghosts. In fact, she shares her bedroom with a hundred-something year old male ghost.

The series goes through different cases, each showing her kick-ass ability as a mediator. There is a main arc through out the series regarding her "roommate" which became a central focus for the last three books. I believe the series are aimed at the young adult category due to the simplicity of the writing and plot. The first two books were probably published when Cabot just started off as a writer as it shows in her writing as I can recall passages from book I repeated in book II. Cabot's writing tend to have a happy ending, and this series also have one. Somehow, the ending of this series reminds me of Casper the movie, albeit it's a happier one.



The other ghost story that I've just finished is The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters. It's a ghost story set in 1940s, after the end of World War II. The Hundreds is an estate that has seen better days and now is struggling to make it through the changing times. The struggle seems to take its toll on the Ayres family who owns the estate and begins to break them down one by one.

Waters has chosen such an interesting voice for the narrator. For what's essentially a ghost story, the narrator is a doctor - a man of science who tries hard to rationalise the strange happenings at the Hundreds. It's a battle of science against superstition throughout the novel, with the ending left to the reader to choose which side they stand on.

Though this novel unfolds slowly at first, I can't help feeling a bit creeped out as the action picks up in the last third of the book. Since several of Waters novel have been adapted for TV, perhaps a producer will be willing to pick this up. I think it will make for a haunting movie.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

I Shall Wear Midnight

I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned this before - I love reading Terry Pratchett's works, especially his Discworld books. Oh, and also Good Omens, his collaboration with Neil Gaiman (another author I enjoy reading).



I Shall Wear Midnight is the fourth book in the Tiffany Aching arc in Discworld, which started off with The Wee Free Men. The arc follows Tiffany Aching, a young witch from Chalk and her adventures growing up and learning about being a witch. Tiffany has befriended the Nac Mac Feegles (blue-skinned fairies with a penchant for drinking and stealing), faced the Queen of Elves with a frying pan and kissed Winter, all in her short tenure as a witch-in-training. So what else could Tiffany get into?

In this book, Tiffany is really growing up. She's almost sixteen and the only witch in Chalk, which means facing the trials of being a witches while dealing with the problems that comes with being a teenager. Plus, people are becoming more suspicious of witches (Salem Witch Trials, anyone?). Meeting a man with no eyes and a horrible stench on her journey to Ankh Morpork certainly points to something bad happening. Of course, the Nac Mac Feegles, who has claimed Tiffany as their hag, are around as her protection. But this time, Tiffany has to face the problem on her own.

While the story starts off slow, the early events in the book actually acts as a building block for the main plot. When the bad guy makes an appearance, the early parts of the book indeed makes sense. Pratchett ties up things nicely. His wit is of course why I love reading his books. A memorable quote from the book is this:

"Here was a person whose mere existence had led Tiffany, one evening, to wonder about that whole business of sticking pins into a wax figure. She hadn’t actually done it, because it was something that you shouldn’t do, something that witches greatly frowned on, and because it was cruel and dangerous, and above all because she hadn’t been able to find any pins."

Pratchett has created a lovable heroine in Tiffany. She's proud of being a witch and practical as hell. In fact, that's actually the basis of being a witch in Discworld; it's all about practicality, doing what needs to be done. As a heroine, she's not perfect. There are times when she's too proud, when she's jealous (hey, she's almost sixteen :P), when she makes mistakes. But she's not afraid to admit she's wrong and she's forgiving as well. Plus, she can be invisible and can transfer heat and pain. How cool is that?

Overall, this is a book I'd recommend for someone who's looking for a novel on growing up, with a twist. And for anyone who loves reading something witty from a brilliant author. I'm sad that this might be the final book in the Tiffany Aching arc, but it has been a wonderful ride.

Oh, for anyone who wants to start reading Discworld but not sure where to start (with around 39 books available, it can be a bit overwhelming), here's a reading order guide for you.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Interrobang

Apparently there exists a punctuation mark called an interrobang i.e. ‽. This is the result of late-night blog hopping after downing two mugs of coffee LOL.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Online Grocery Shopping

One fine day, our boss's PA noticed that the small cups of mineral water we were supplying some external auditors at the office were finished. As no one wanted to drive to the nearest supermarket/hypermarket, Doorstep came to the rescue. Apparently one company in Malaysia has caught on to the trend of online grocery shopping and set up a website. Not sure about its popularity, but gathering from the logos of corporate customers that they proudly displayed on their site, it must be doing quite well.

Order/Payment Process: Ordered via website. Very convenient, though I think the catalogue needs more work. E.g. in the laundry detergent category, perhaps it could be broken down into types i.e. liquid/powder/softener instead of just broken down into brand name. Nevertheless, that's not really a deterrent for choosing items.
Customer Service: Friendly and even called me up because they were wondering whether I actually was a corporate customer since I wanted the items delivered to the office. Not sure what the difference between household and corporate. Probably the minimum amount needed to get free delivery?
Time Taken to Delivery: As I could choose the delivery slot I wanted, it's useful for time management. Delivery was on time, within the chosen time slot. And delivery is currently free of charge for orders above RM50 :D
Packaging: Small items were put into plastic bag, though it was torn open for checking upon delivery LOL.
Would buy again? Yes, if I don't have the time to go out and do my grocery shopping. But considering that they don't offer fresh food items yet, those occasions might be far and few in between LOL

Feel free to use name me as your referrer if you're opening an account with them, yeah? LOL

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Oh today is a good day. A morning swim revealed the fact that my gym's pool is shaded from the morning sun (which means I should be going for a swim in the morning during weekends LOL). And apparently today's special offer at the green coffee shop is a Buy 1, Free 1 :D

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Bigbadwolf has posted a picture of their upcoming warehouse sale on their facebook profile. Now I'm wondering whether I should take a leave on Friday just to attend this! So tempting!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sirah Muzikal

Watched Sirah Muzikal yesterday at an auditorium in Putrajaya. It was part of an effort to present an alternative, family-friendly edutainment for the public. Though in the end we were quite confused who the target audience actually was :/

The overall content was good but perhaps too ambitious. In trying to slot in a lot of Islamic history, from the period before Islam was born to the fall of the Ottomans, capturing the audience attention was forgotten. Well, having hard facts thrown at you for something like 3+ hours was exhausting. Truthfully, I lost interest by the fourth/final act.

It also doesn't help that no background story was given about which period was being staged. I spent a majority of the third act trying to figure out from which part of history the name King Solomon came front (of course the first thing that came to mind was something about King Solomon's Mine LOL). This is where the confusion about which type of audience they are targeting came in. Maybe they were assuming that since the majority of the people who came were people who are active in Islamic youth movements (and thus have been attending tazkirah sessions that usually come with a bit of Islamic history sprinkled in), the director felt that there was no need to present a clear indication of which historical events they were acting out. Unfortunately for me, being a non-participant in all these extra-curricular activities and the last clear Islamic history lesson I remember learning was from Tamadun Dunia lessons in Form 4, I was lost. I feel that if they want to bring this to the public, they need to account for the fact that the majority of us probably would need some refresher in the events surrounding Islamic history. Even the people I came with (who I know to be active in the usrah circles) were quite lost on which historical events they were referring to in the final act.

Technical glitches were also aplenty. The most glaring was the sound system where
(1) some actors' mics were not functioning, and thus the audience was lost about what's actually happening;
(2) sometimes the background music drowned the actors' voices
Props movement also took a lot of time, even when the props were only like three chairs and several side tables. Perhaps they did not get the opportunity to practise a lot at the official venue?

However, the most annoying aspect of the whole performance was not the theater itself, but the conduct of the audience. The organisers should have warned the audience to refrain from using flash photography during the performance! I know that probably most of the audience have never attended a theatrical performance at Istana Budaya, but didn't they have the common sense to see that using flash in a dark area can be distracting? It's hard to watch the stage with all these flashes going on D: And what's worse was the fact that the official photographers for the events (I'm guessing they were since they were the ones near the stage and all) were guilty of the same conduct!

In an effort not to sound as if I only have negative things to say about this performance, I do applaud the nasyid artistes they invited as part of the musical. Their voices were astounding to hear live. And the actors did a good job ad-libbing, adding much humour to what would otherwise be a quite dry show.

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On another note, Percy Jackson & The Olympian series has been an interesting read. In fact, I finished all five books last weekend. Though it's not as funny as the Artemis Fowl series, it does have its moments. It was fun trying to figure out which Greek legend was going to materialise next in the series.

I could see why Hollywood chose to adapt these series to the big screen. They have heroes going on quests, gods going to war and all those action stuff that would translate well on the screen. Also, lots of monsters to be rendered by CGI :D

The continuation of the series will be out this month I believe, and I think I will try to get my hands on them.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Room

I've picked up a bad habit - starting a new book without finishing the one I'm currently reading. But it's so hard to resist taking a peek at the first few pages after having read a compelling review of the book. And once I've started reading, it's quite hard to stop. The book I'm talking about is Room by Emma Donoghue (pronounced don-a-who).



Tell me this synopsis doesn't intrigue you:

To five-year-old-Jack, Room is the world....

It's where he was born, it's where he and his Ma eat and sleep and play and learn. There are endless wonders that let loose Jack's imagination-the snake under Bed that he constructs out of eggshells, the imaginary world projected through the TV, the coziness of Wardrobe beneath Ma's clothes, where she tucks him in safely at night, in case Old Nick comes.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it's the prison where she's been held since she was nineteen-for seven long years. Through her fierce love for her son, she has created a life for him in that eleven-by-eleven-foot space. But Jack's curiosity is building alongside her own desperation—and she knows that Room cannot contain either indefinitely....

Told in the inventive, funny, and poignant voice of Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience-and a powerful story of a mother and son whose love lets them survive the impossible.

- Official Website for Room

If you think this is fictional and will only happen in books or an episode of Criminal Minds, think again. Only a couple of years ago there was the case of Josef Fritzl from Austria - a man who imprisoned his own daughter in his basement and fathered seven children with her. It's scary isn't it, knowing that there are monsters who appear normal and live happily among us...

Anyway, back to the book. Failing to resist temptation, I've started reading and am currently in the middle of Ma's escape plan from Room. Since the book is written from Jack's point of view, the sentences are mostly short, but sometimes can be confusing. It's easy to get frustrated with Jack for not cooperating with Ma on her escape plan, but who could blame him? He's only five, and his whole world is Room. He thinks everything else is just TV.

Reading this has caused me mixed feelings - frustration at Jack, anger at Old Nick (the villain), and respect for Ma who is trying so hard to raise a son in her condition. Definitely would recommend this book to people who would like to read something different.

Do visit the website, if only to get an idea what Room looks like. There's a trailer for the book (and here I thought trailers are only for movies haha). Oh, there's even a special font for Jack's handwriting. It's definitely not something that anyone would use in minutes of meetings haha.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Muzikal Tun M@hathir

MTM is freaking looooooong and you feel every minute of it. Our show ended at almost midnight okay? That's too long by my standard. I think they could have shaved of a couple of minutes from the scene changes. And all those cryptic dances. I admit I have no appreciation of 'meaningful' dances, so those scenes were doing nothing for me LOL.

I have no idea how much is their budget, but it does feel a bit cheap. The props and the screen display (though this could be due to the original quality of the video clips they're using and some were old) definitely could use some extra $$. What puzzles me most is that they use a lot of actors/dancers when the money could have gone to all the technical stuff that could've made the show more authentic. Even the English display at the top of the stage has several grammatical errors. Someone should have checked that first!

It is quite funny watching a musical about someone who's still alive, extolling all their positive characteristics. It does feel a bit preachy to me LOL. The show did gloss over the later events (post 1969), probably because it's still fresh and there's too many to fit in. However, I do like how they presented the changes in his deputies through dance and song. Though that does mean that you have to pay attention to what they're singing to get what's happening. Oh, another note regarding singing, I think they were miming throughout the show, as opposed to live singing like Cuc1.

All the main actors did well. I was especially impressed with the kid who got to play TM as a child. He's good. We'll probably be seeing more of him on stage/tv. Err@ is of course so pretty in real life. Though she's tall so had to avoid wearing heels when she's with Ziz@n, or stand hunched when she's wearing one when with Esm@ LOL.

Overall, I'd give this 3/5, mostly for effort and good acting. Definitely minus some points for props and length.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Kau & Aku, You & I

A friend once posted about this dilemma of finding suitable pronouns to use during conversation. I admit I have this problem as well. Especially with people I've just met and I'm speaking a mix of Malay and English.

It's easy when I'm speaking English. There's only one pronoun - I. Nothing complicated about that.

But when it comes to Malay, there are several variations, depending on the feeling of comfort I have with the person I'm speaking to. When I was young (not that I'm that old, mind you), I used to use kita/awak. I think it changed when I went to secondary school. It's more of aku/kau. That's why I will always use aku/kau with old schoolmates. Starting from college, I had to differentiate according to the people speaking to me. Some I adress using aku/kau, while some get I/you. Not that it's foolproof. Sometimes there are slip ups. Generally, the guys get aku/kau while the girls get a mix of both. With people I've just met, of course I'll generally use I. But that sometimes changes to aku. I'm not sure why haha. And then of course I won't be using aku with older colleagues LOL - it's either I or saya. At home, I'll just use my name. Or sometimes orang/dia. Yes, I use third person pronouns at home LOL.

In writing, it's easier. When I'm not sure what to use, I often omit all pronouns and structure the sentence such that I don't have to use them LOL. Makes for some interesting twisting of words, but I hope I got the point across to the other person.

I'm sure you're wondering what's the point of this entry? I was just wondering how other people select which pronouns to use in their daily life LOL. That's all XD

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Selamat Hari Raya

Since Raya entries have been sprouting everywhere and it's just a couple of days away anyway, I'd like to wish my readers (there are like, only two active readers that I know of LOL) eid mubarak and have a safe journey if you're travelling. If you're like me and will be the office jaga for the holidays, enjoy the time spent as king of the office! LOL some might think it's pathetic/boring/etc, but I really like celebrating in KL. The city is mine LOL.

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Too early to say anything but I kinda miss feeling like this LOL. But I also hate the uncertainty. Only time will tell though -__-;;

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet

Cloud Atlas was my introduction to David Mitchell and I fell in love with his writing. In fact, I can honestly say that he's one of my favourites, with Cloud Atlas being especially memorable. I wrote a very, very short paragraph about it here. Why is he one of my favourites? Simple - because he can beautifully mix two of my favourite subjects into a fantastic read - fantasy and anything about Japan.



The year is 1799, the place Dejima in Nagasaki Harbor, the “high-walled, fan-shaped artificial island” that is the Japanese Empire’s single port and sole window onto the world, designed to keep the West at bay; the farthest outpost of the war-ravaged Dutch East Indies Company; and a de facto prison for the dozen foreigners permitted to live and work there. To this place of devious merchants, deceitful interpreters, costly courtesans, earthquakes, and typhoons comes Jacob de Zoet, a devout and resourceful young clerk who has five years in the East to earn a fortune of sufficient size to win the hand of his wealthy fiancĂ©e back in Holland.

But Jacob’s original intentions are eclipsed after a chance encounter with Orito Aibagawa, the disfigured daughter of a samurai doctor and midwife to the city’s powerful magistrate. The borders between propriety, profit, and pleasure blur until Jacob finds his vision clouded, one rash promise made and then fatefully broken. The consequences will extend beyond Jacob’s worst imaginings. As one cynical colleague asks, “Who ain’t a gambler in the glorious Orient, with his very life?”
- Official website

I have to say, the novel has one of the most disturbing-but-engaging opener I've ever read. A very graphic description of a complicated labour taking place - complete with illustration, mind you - is surely very attention grabbing, no?

When I first started reading, this novel reads like a historical fiction. A bit slow, with lots of characters that I sometime lost track of who's who. Eventually the story picks up once it reached Book II and evolved into a suspenseful thriller/mystery. There are lots things happening in this story - kidnapping and rescue attempts, surgeries and even a naval battle. It sure made for an interesting read, especially because Mitchell has built such a richly detailed world.

It has now been long-listed for the Booker Prize. I've thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and it's nomination did not come as a surprise.

Welcome Back Drog!

So Drog's tactic of letting Natte' know about her blog to spread the word around seems to be working. Some late night blog-hopping led me to her latest blog. Pergh ada blog simpan je, sekarang baru nak bagi tau :P

OK that's the short update for today :D I'll probably write on the book I'm reading when I'm done with it.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Selamat berpuasa~

Hm so what has happened in the 1+ month that I failed to update my blog? Let's see... I got to watch my two favourites battle it out on the field for the World Cup, with Spain finally grabbing the cup. Which reminds me, there's this one clip (translated) on youtube, showing Casillas being interviewed by his girlfriend. He's so sweet. That's all I can say. Try googling it LOL. I think it was shared around on facebook a couple of days after the final.

What else? Finally got a working Wii fit balance board. It's really fun to play! Definitely recommended for people looking for an interactive game.

Company annual dinner was on last Friday. Hmm it was an interesting experience, crawling through the traffic on the way back to Yat's sister's home and going to the hotel. The food was nothing to shout about, the entertainment was a bit old school and the mic was so loud that I couldn't figure out what the mc was saying 90% of the time. The saving grace would be the company of friends for the night.

Oh, I've settled my vacation plans for this year and next year. Hopefully nothing will clash with my plans. I'm used to planning ahead for 2-3 months, but with Air Asia, you've got to plan ahead for like... one year LOL.

Well, time to concentrate on my favourite show on NatGeo, Aircrash Investigation. Hope you readers in KL have the patience to go through traffic during Ramadhan LOL

Monday, July 05, 2010

Psychic octopus? LOL

So someone came up with the idea of letting an octopus pick which team will win whenever Germany plays, since the octopus is a German one (or owned by a German)... It even has a name, Paul, LOL. Just google the combination of words octopus, world cup, Germany, and you'll get the clips. Quite funny really. I wonder if some scientists will now conduct a research on cognitive/psychic abilities of octopuses LOL. Then people probably will turn from eating takoyaki to worshipping octopuses (if they can predict accurately LOL). *sigh* I miss eating takoyaki...

Anyway, I'm happy that two of my favourites made it this far into the tournament. My favourite outcome will of course be a Holland vs Spain final. It doesn't really matter which of the two lift the cup. Germany will be a tough opponent and Spain does need to buck up. I haven't seen how Uruguay plays, but I hope Holland makes it through. Nothing is certain and upsets have been aplenty (but I think that's what people say every World Cup LOL), so hopefully there's no upset for that match eh?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Panjang umur? LOL

Baru sebut-sebut pasal HP, dah keluar pun trailer movie untuk DH :DD

Really can't wait to watch this. Good thing the gap between the first part and the second part is not that long.... though I might change my mind about that if the first part ends in a cliffhanger ^^;;

Monday, June 28, 2010

My Misadventures with Gadgets

For the past couple of days, I've had my hands on a couple of gadgets, namely a Wii and a bebook. And what misadventures I've had with them!

First, the bebook won't switch on. After several attempts at pressing the power button, I decided to just reset the whole thing and voila~! Switched on perfectly. Have already finished one novella on it, and I've got to say I like it. I don't have to lug around bulky and heavy books anymore :D Holding it took a bit of time to get used to, and "flipping" the pages also took a while as I was expecting it to be faster... It's kind of like waiting for a page to load on your browser. Nonetheless, I'm happy with my purchase and now have to find a cover for the reader. Hmm I wonder if there are shops selling soft covers like the ones for laptops... Or maybe I have to make do with any type of cover?
-__-;;

My second acquisition is the Wii! My main purpose of getting one was supposedly to play Wii Fit, unfortunately, that's the game that has been giving me a headache! Seems like the console doesn't like my balance board and would not recognise its presence D: Have to bring it back to the shop this weekend. Which means now I'm left with the Harry Potter game D: That's the only game that I've faithfully played since the series came out LOLL. I realise it's much more interesting playing with wii than ps2 because my movements have to mimic the wand and potion making movements LOL. One thing I dislike is that there's no way to fast forward past all the dialogues in the game. I have to watch the clunky graphics interact with each other *sigh* Oh well, I can always laugh at their cardboard hair.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Angel's Game



This is a prequel to The Shadow of the Wind (and you thought only movies have all these prequel/sequel stuff eh? :P). Prequel in the sense that for those who have read TSTW, we met with several familiar characters earlier in their life and the Cemetery of Forgotten Books made an appearance again. I have to admit though I can only remember bits and pieces from TSTW and can't remember whether the characters in here made an appearance in TSTW.

The story is about David Martin, a talented young novelist who had suffered a setback in his work and love life. When his life seemed so bleak and about to end, he was offered a deal by a publisher - 100,000 franc to write a novel as per the publisher's specification.

The Angel's Game started off slow and only picked up pace during the second half of the book as Martin started to question whether his boss had a sinister motive and what happened to the previous occupier of his house. Martin believed the mysterious death of the previous occupier might be related to his current publisher and the task he was requested to do.

As far as characters go, I hold no love for Martin as I think he's a bit pathetic. I like Isabella, the witty and fiery aspiring novelist who worked as Martin's assistant/maid. In fact, I would've preferred to read more about Isabella than Cristina, Martin's love interest who seemed so insipid and weak.

While TSTW was more grounded in reality, TAG has a more mystical element. Kind of like 'oops... I think I made a deal with the devil', complete with debates on religion between Martin and his publisher. I don't particularly like reading the debates as it's quite long-winded.

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I was in Langkawi for a five-day course on Islamic Finance. Definitely an informative course and very useful for those of us with no background in IF as the essential contracts underlying all transactions in IF were explained.

What I want to comment on was not the course itself, but the Oriental Village in Langkawi. I think it was supposed to be modelled after the outlet villages in Europe, like Cheshire Oaks in the UK or the one near Disneyland Paris. The quaint blocks of shops with metal signs were really similar. I remember there wasn't that much choice of brands while I was there during its early years. Now, the outlet shops have been replaced by tacky souvenir shops competing with each other for customers. I think 90% of the shops were selling the same things. I guess the shopping outlet model failed and was replaced with the much more popular tourists' favourites.

But really, who's to blame? Because I don't think people go to Langkawi to shop (except for chocolates and dining wares haha). Won't it be better to build a shopping outlet somewhere near a big city, where the urban population can easily reach it? I mean, Cheshire Oaks was within easy reach of Manchester and Liverpool, while Langkawi only has what? Alor Setar? Kangar? Both cities/towns with populations much smaller than the Klang Valley. How I wish one was built near Klang Valley. I guess we have to be content with the myriad of warehouse sales poppping up like mushrooms nowadays eh?

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Of course, obligatory mentions of World Cup is a must since it started a couple of days ago. My favourites? Spain and Holland. Hahah I remember watching Spain play in Euro '08 during the exam period. Watched the matches on my laptop with notes strewn all over my bed/desk. Such was the life of a busy student :p

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Cuak!

Only a few days till the exam, and of course I haven't finished revising my stuff. Definitely a queen of procrastination eh? Really hope I can pass this so that I won't have to resit in December. Passing means I can focus on other stuff as well :D

Oh right after the exam I have to rush to the airport. Hopefully the traffic will not be so bad D: It'd be a nightmare to miss the last flight.

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I'm not sure when I developed a penchant for the colour orange. Influenced by my "deskmate" in school I guess haha. I don't own that many orange stuff though. The obvious one would be my car :P

Since my purse has been with me for ages (this one I think was from my school days as well), a fortunate event i.e. stumbling upon an orange purse on sale at Nek Rock's Boutique meant splurging on a new purse that arrived today :DD A tad bigger than my current one, but I can live with that.

Order/Payment Process: Ordered via email and paid via m2u. Simple and fast.
Customer Service: Friendly and kept me up-to-date on the progress of the order, especially when customs decided to hold the parcel for clearance. FYI, Nek ships to her helpers in Malaysia who will then post using POSlaju to the customers. Oh, there's even a token of appreciation as well. Excellent customer service ;D
Time Taken to Delivery: Around two weeks, but then Nek explained it's due to customs' interference.
Packaging: Apparently item had to be re-wrapped because of the nosy officers taking a peek at everything. Received it safe and sound with double layer of plastic, I guess to protect from any unfortunate contact with water.
Would buy again? Yes, if anything catches my fancy and I have the moolah. However, items on her blog usually sells like hot cakes so if you see something you want, you have to grab it!

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So Maxis finally launched HTC Desire, the only provider with it for a month. I was interested in this phone since I read a top 20 list of best mobiles and this one beat iPhone. But I've taken a look at Maxis data packages and they seem expensive. Of course, cheapest one for now is Digi. But then, I'm not sure how wide their coverage is. I know the area around my office (Golden Triangle) has crappy coverage. I guess I'll wait for Digi to see if they have any offer, especially since their HTC Legend's offer is actually quite attractive.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

KudoKan :D

TOKIO's Tomoya Nagase (31) is once again teaming up with screenwriter Kankuro Kudo (39) for a new drama series this summer. This will be their third one together, after "Ikebukuro West Gate Park" (2000) and "Tiger & Dragon" (2005).

Titled "Unubore Deka" ("Conceited Detective"), the show is an original comedy about an unusual detective (Nagase) who has a habit of falling in love with every female suspect, and his conceit leads him to believe that they are also in love with him. When he finds evidence of their crimes, he confronts them with an arrest warrant and a marriage proposal at the same time, giving them a choice between the two. Although his actual name will apparently not be mentioned during the show, he is known to everyone as "Unubore" for his conceit.
- Tokyograph

THIS! Definitely made my day :D I've been a fan of Kudo Kankuro since watching Tiger & Dragon (this is actually one of my favourites, along with another KudoKan drama, Kisarazu Cats Eye). His work is just... wacky. His brand of humour might not be for everyone, but it's definitely funny to me. T&D is especially good because it brings rakugo (traditional Japanese art of telling comedic stories while sitting - sit-down comedy I guess? :P) to the public. I mean, I wouldn't have heard of rakugo if not for T&D. This does prove that the right medium can ensure our tradition is kept alive, no?

Anddd I'm flailing because it's Nagase! LOL I love his acting in T&D, and he's done well in comedy so far. Who can forget the bumbling yakuza heir turned high school student in My Boss My Hero? And the cool singer who's actually a dork in real life in Mukodono/Mukodono2 - this was such a hit while in college if I remember correctly haha.

Hmm the story seems similar to Kimi Hannin Janai Yo Ne, starring Kaname Jun. What's even more weird is Kaname is going to be in this drama as well LOL. Toma's fans must be dancing with joy as well since he's part of the cast, together with Nakashima Mika(that weird lady in Ryusei no Kizuna). Oh well, I guess I have to just wait and see this coming season then. At least, something new to look forward to after the exams :DD

Friday, May 14, 2010

500 Days of Summer

The following is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Especially you Jenny Beckman. Bitch.

Best disclaimer ever LOL. Admit it, this would surely grab your attention as the movie starts, right? :P



Remember the cute guy from 3rd Rock From The Sun? Well, he's all grown up now. Still cute though. He fits the main character so well. We're so used to watching rom-com from the POV of a woman right? Well, this movie presents something different - rom-com from a guy's POV.

The movie's a non-linear view of Tom Hansen's relationship with Summer Finn. An architect turned greeting cards writer, Tom has an idealistic view of love - the whole fate/destiny/soulmate/miracles thing. He is convinced that Summer, a new co-worker, is his true love. Summer is actually the opposite of Tom and doesn't believe in all these fate/destiny/soulmate/miracles thing. And so the story starts, bringing two people with opposing view of love and how their relationship changes their view. But keep in mind, as the narrator sums it up nicely in the opening,
This is a story of boy meets girl. But you should know up front, this is not a love story.

As it is non-linear, I think it starts somewhere in the middle. But don't worry, at least the movie watchers are informed of which day the story is currently showing - not like some Japanese movies, Ju-On in particular :P

I like the lines. Some are totally memorable, like the opening line. It kind of reminds me of Juno at times. Especially with the sage little sister advising her much older and very idealistic brother in matters of love. Such patience LOL.

Oh there are other familiar faces from TV shows in the movie apart from the main actor. Reed from Criminal Minds appear as one of Tom's best friends and the female prosecutor from Bones is one of Tom's co-worker. Reed (or... actually I have no idea his character's name in this movie), is still so "Reed"-like in his earnest-nerdy kind of speaking LOL.

Definitely enjoyed this movie during lunch today. Plus, the soundtrack is kind of nice.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Shopping Again :D

My order from acmamall.com finally arrived today. Hmm not bad. Took about a week since I ordered. Could've been faster. Not sure whether the difficulty in getting the order through to them was due to the internet or their system. To sum it up:

Order/Payment Process: Huge variety of products on their website plus some interesting offers. Ordering was easy, but paying was a hassle. Like I said, not sure whether it's caused by the connection or their system. But they do have a several ways to make a payment. I wanted to use my credit card, but ended up using CIMB Clicks instead.
Customer Service: Okay. Contacted them twice, and they answered the next day.
Time Taken to Delivery: 8 days. Posted from Hong Kong apparently, and using registered air mail.
Packaging: The product was not in its original box. However, it was wrapped tightly in bubblewrap and put in a box filled with styrofoam shaped like the number 3. Even had a white ribbon on top LOL.

On another note, bought a pair of coloured lenses from an online seller for a bargain - RM45 instead of I think RM80 as sold in Ampang Park. Supposed to be one of the long-lasting Korean ones - can last up to a year. Plus, it's supposed to make your eyes appear larger. Instead, I think they made my eyes look manga-ish since my pupils became so huge LOL. Haven't worn coloured lenses in a while and I forgot how drying they can be. Also, I felt like I had smudges at the corner of my vision especially in the first few minutes of wearing. I think the coloured portion of the lens intruded on my field of vision. It was annoying at times. On the other hand, the large size and the more "plasticky" material meant that I could take it out easily compared to my normal lenses. I have a feeling I'm going to fork out some money to buy my usual brand of lenses -___-

Monday, May 03, 2010

Eat, Watch and Spend~

Well, been meaning to write this entry last weekend but got sidetracked into other things.

Eat: Dinner at Santini KLCC on Thursday with Yat. Been wanting to try it out since I read a food review. It's a bit "out of the way" i.e. not in our usual paths when shopping in KLCC because it's located outside KLCC. With a view of the fountain and KL skyline at dusk, it was actually quite nice. Even had a view of the office building :P However, since it's outside, the atmosphere was a bit noisy and made conversation difficult (or it could just be me with my hearing troubles :P). Portion-wise, it's a tad smaller than Delicious. Price is about the same. I had the Capellini Salmone - smoked salmon with capellini (kind of like angel hair spaghetti) and zucchini. The sauce was really creamy gosh the calories!. Thank goodness I was actually hungry at that time. If not, it'd be such a waste. I think Yat had fettuccine with chicken and mushroom in creamy tomato sauce. Service was actually faster than Delicious, except when asking for the bill. They took ages to process my payment... Currently, CIMB/Direct Access cardholders are getting 10% off on food. Not sure when the promotion is ending though.

Watch: Iron Man2, or in Syafiq's wordy status - Ferus Homo Sapiens :P I love the witty dialogue and Robert Downey, Jr. pulled off the arrogant Tony Stark quite well. And Scarlett Johanssen was awesome as his PA/secret agent. Oh I didn't know that the director was actually the bumbling driver haha. But I was a bit disappointed with the actual showdown between Iron Man, his side kick and the villain. Too short and anti-climatic. The Easter Egg i.e. extra bits of trailer at the end after the credits were interesting. Definitely made me curious about the movie Avengers.

Spend: Metrojaya's warehouse sale in Shah Alam - large selection of bedsheets but limited selection of ladies' apparel, perfumes and makeups. I was hoping to bag some East India's skirts/kebaya tops like Nun's, but alas, not my luck. Only managed to get a compact powder and some tops. Plus a soft laptop cover in turqoise. All in all, a disappointment.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Twelve




This book written by Jasper Kent has only one similarity with the much hyped about Twilight series - it's about vampires. That's as far as it goes because while Twilight focuses on the "forbidden love" between vampire!boy and human!girl, Twelve is about a human soldier hunting vampires.

I haven't read a lot of books set in Russia. In fact this would be my second one (the first was Night Watch). In both books, I found Russia painted to be very bleak, with especially harsh winters. But then, this is supposed to be Russia in 1812, a country at war with Napoleon. It wouldn't be right to paint Moscow as an idyllic summer retreat.

The story was divided into two parts and I think it flows well. The first part held me in suspense as the main character, Captain Aleksei, tries to discover the truth behind a band of soldiers the Russians have hired to help defeat the French. The second part is more about Aleksei becoming a vampire hunter, trying to destroy the threat against humanity.

Squeamish readers have to take note - there are several torture scenes described in great detail. One memorable scene in particular described how the vampires tortured their victim and deriving huge pleasure in it. Actually, I have no trouble in visualising this book as a horror movie with how descriptive the author was being.

On the whole, I find this a captivating read as it managed to keep me in suspense most of the time. The twist at the end also served to make it even more memorable in my mind.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hello Again :P

Why, hello there! I'm surprised if anyone is still reading this blog as I haven't updated since forever :P Lack of motivation to write I suppose. Plus, there's nothing interesting going on.

So under a fit of boredom, I decided to update my layout. It's back to blue, the same colour theme as my first layout. Tinkering with the layout did take a while, thus I'm leaving the header as it is. Kind of boring, I know but searching for a new header would definitely take a longer time.

I'm now wondering what will be the contents in the future. Should I stick to random ramblings again, with a dash of reviews here and there? Guess that depends on what will catch my fancy when I want to update :P Ah well, let's see how long it'll be till the next post yeah?

Anyway, yesterday I came back and was greeted with a parcel on the table. Eh? I definitely haven't shopped online lately - more like having my sister shop for me nowadays haha. So what a pleasant surprise it was when I discovered I've received two books by Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games and its sequel which I can't remember right now. Have forgotten that I entered a contest in The Star about the two books LOL. Oh well, I've read positive reviews about the book and can't wait to start on them. Plus, I've recently bought Battle Royale (the novel). If I remember correctly, the two seems to have the same theme i.e. unlucky teenagers thrown into a contest for survival. I'd like to see the similarities and differences between the two.
 
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