Thursday, 30 June 2005

An Apology to a Friend

Gah. I did it again.

I seem to have this habit of neglecting friends and accidently hurting them in the process.

It wasn't my intention to make an appointment then break the appointment later.
If I can't seem to sustain a proper conversation with you, it's not because I'm ignoring you.
If I don't call or contact you, it's not because I'm trying to avoid you.

And if I've been too aloof and too stand-offish lately, believe me, I'm not trying to make you seem insignificant.

I just tend to be a lousy friend sometimes. I admit it. And I'm sorry for that.

Sigh....

The Joy of Doing Nothing

I'm on holiday. Been on holiday since Monday, and will be until this coming Monday.

What have I been doing on this holiday, you ask?

Welllll...... NOTHING.

ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Zilch. Apa pun tarak buat.

Some people whom I've mentioned this to can't seem to comprehend why I would 'waste' my off-days just lazing at home playing Championship Manager and not go out AT ALL. They seem to think that a holiday entails going on trips, going shopping, or doing housework, or just having sex all day.

Ok, that last one sounds good actually.

But anyway, I LIKE staying at home and doing nothing. Unproductive as it may seem, this is what holidays are all about. It's about doing what you want to do, (which in MY case, is practically NOTHING), and not giving a damn about shcdeuls, deadlines, work, or being PRODUCTIVE.

Vegetating on holidays is a lost art, I tell you. These days, you get colleagues going on leave, takign a five-day-four-night tour to seven countries in Europe, and come back more stress than ever because the plane nearly crashed. Or, you get people taking two days off, and staying home doing spring cleaning, and then coming back to the office looking as though they'd worked overtime for a week running.

Just chill lar, people.

Holidays are supposed to be a break from work, and it's about doing things at your own pace. Heck, I DO do some work at home on holidays sometimes, but only because I either HAVE to, or I'm just happy enough (and bored of CM enough) to bang out a couple of words on that long overdue book review I owe Daphne. (Sorry Daphne!) :P

So yeah, I don't do anything on holidays. And I don't care. I just wanna vegetate at home, rot away slowly, and then on the last day of it all, pick myself up, clear the cobwebs away, and go to the office all raring to work again (RIGHT. As if lar).

So here is a list of what I've been doing thus far on my holidays....

  • Playing Championship Manager
  • Playing badminton
  • Sleeping
  • Reading
  • Watching Cartoon Network
  • More sleeping
  • More Championship Manager
  • Some blogging
  • Lepaking in coffee joints (blogging)
  • Eating
  • Still some more sleeping
Yup. That's all I've been doing all this week. Cool eh?

So next time, when you have a long holiday, no need to sign up for travel tour or plan what to do wan.

Just stay home and SLEEP! (Or have sex.)

Wednesday, 29 June 2005

The Best of Foo

Due to a state of mind most commonly known as extreme laziness (plus the fact that I'm too broke to top-up my Jaring account, and too broke to go out to a coffee joint to go online), I didn't post yesterday.

In fact, I didn't do ANYTHING yesterday, besides stay at home and play Championship Manager. I love taking long holidays... :)

Anyway, also due to my extreme laziness, I decided not to reply to every single comment in the last post. Seems that a lot of people liked it, and a lot DIDN'T like it as well. So I'm gonna leave it at that. haha

And Visitor, guess that makes two of us elitists eh? :)

Anyway, lets get off the subject of movies for a while. I'm a bit sick of talking about movies, and arguing with people on why Star Wars Episode III AND Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy both rocked, and Madagascar sucked. Oh, and also why Batman Begins was the best Batman movie ever made, and that Mr and Mrs Smith would have sucked without Angelina Jolie.

Anyway, ever since I got my iPod, I've been listening to a lot of music lately. It's just so easy to bring around, and I can listen to it anywhere I want.

One song that has been on repeat a lot lately is the Foo Fighter's new single, Best of You. Unimaginative title aside, this is one hell of a song.

The song is intense, the beat is infectious, and Dave Grohl's growling vocals matches the song perfectly. I love the tune, the lyrics, and that little break in between the guitar solo. It's little touches like that that made the song great for me.

Listening to the song gives you an adrenalin rush, and makes you wanna pick a fight with someone or just drive very very fast.

Hope I didn't get any speeding tickets.

But anyway, based on this song alone, I'm gonna get the album - In Your Honour. Hopefully the rest of the album will live up to that one song.

Oh, and Coldplay's X&Y DOES grow on you after a while. But I still think is sucks. :P

Monday, 27 June 2005

An Improbable Point-of-View of Malaysians and the Hitchhiker's Guide

While I sort out the characters of the Malaysian bloggers LOTR thingy, I'd now like to talk about another movie - The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Many people thought it sucked. Some walked out of the cinema halfway through the movie. Some didn't find it funny. Some thought it was as exciting as a dung beetle.

Me? I thought it was freaking brilliant.

I've read the book quite a number of times before, and my last read was two months ago while browsing around Borders Singapore. Therefore, most of the jokes were still fresh in my head.

But anyway, enjoying the movie has NOTHING to do with the book. As the LOTR movies showed, not EVERY SINGLE aspect of a book can be translated into a good movie. Imagine Tom Bombadil appearing in the middle of FOTR. Gah.

I LOVED Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (or H2G2), mainly because I'm a sucker for comedies like this. I loved Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Where'd ya get the coconuts?). I loved British comedies like Black Adder (a far superior Atkinson product to the annoying Mr Bean).

And I loved H2G2.

Why? Because it's brilliant, that's why.

So it's not 'faithful' to the book (it is, in many aspects). It took the best parts of the book, took the essense of the humour in the book, and turned it into a damn funny movie.

Stephen Fry was brilliant as the voice of The Guide, Sam Rockwell must have been on speed when he played the role of Zaphod, and Mos Def was great as Ford Prefect. Alan Rickman as Marvin the Paranoid android was depressingly wonderful, and the DOORS of teh Heart of Gold were just hilarious. And the SPERM WHALE! THE SPERM WHALE! Freaking brilliant!

You'd have to be a lover of American slapstick comedies to NOT like this movie.

Oh wait a minute.

Maybe that's why people here don't like it. Because the humour is not as IN-YOUR-FACE as American comedies. Maybe that's why Malaysians prefered Mr Bean over Black Adder. Maybe that's why movies like Shaun of the Dead did not come here.

Not many Malaysians appreciate movies like H2G2 here. Or Shaun of the Dead. Or Monty Python. They don't understand what's so funny about these movies.

British comedy tends to be a lot more subtle than Americans'. There's a lot of language, a lot of sarcasm, dry wit, and tea. I like it because you had to think first before laughing. It's not visually driven. It's more language driven.

Oh sure, you DO have a lot of slapstick British comedies as well, but even those tend to be made more tastefully than American ones.

I once told the local movie distributer of H2G2 that it won't do very well in Malaysia, because most people won't understand the humour. And they would find it boring that there is so much talking and non-sensical terms.

Heck, give them more action movies! Give them BOMBS! GUNS! Don't give them something as silly as a Point-Of-View gun! Give them MISSILES and FIRE dropping from the sky, not sperm whales and petunias! They're never gonna understand what an Improbability Drive is! They want R2D2 and C-3PO, not Marvin the Paranoid Android!

Sheesh.

Sunday, 26 June 2005

Nominations needed for Malaysian blogger LOTR characters!

I've started another blog: Bumi Tengah: The Malaysian LOTR Parody Blog

I'd been meaning to do a parody of LOTR for Malaysian bloggers for a long time now, and figured that now I have so many toys and action-figures of LOTR movies that I have enough fodder to do so now.

Those who used to hang out in the LOTRien forums (stand up, Eaglewing & Jayeagle!) should be familiar with the parodies we've done there before. I'm starting a new parody just for the heck of it, and because I now have a digicam to take pictures of LOTR action figures in uncompromising positions. BUAHAHA!

Anyway, I've only just started it, so what I need now are suggestions of which Malaysian bloggers should play which LOTR character. Want to see Kennysia as Gimli? What about Vincent as Gollum? Or heck, Minishorts as Arwen (transparent dream dress and all...)? Do you think Suanie would make a good Eowyn?

DO leave a comment to nominate any Malaysian blogger for the roles of Aragorn and gang! the sooner the nominations come in, the faster I can begin! :-)

Saturday, 25 June 2005

Aragorn's Vacation in Sin City

Am currently stuck in Genting Highlands on assignment, and lepaking in the Starbucks here with my laptop.

Ran out of money buying coffee, so am now hanging around waiting for the buffet dinner to start...

No time to write more, so this will have to suffice. I thought it was a rather appropriate picture to post since I HATE Genting, and would never willingly come here for a vacation.

Maybe Aragorn should have done the same thing...


Friday, 24 June 2005

Eleven questions I wanted to ask during the PPS bash

UPDATE: For a one-stop compilation of Pings on the PPS bash, go to The Mudpond's One Stop Ping-Ping Bash Page!

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Ten questions I wanted to ask during the PPS bash last night:

(ok, so there are twelve, so sue me... :P )

1) Bloody hell, why so hard to find parking wan? Who chose this place for the bash har? har? har?
2) Bartender, one beer ple.... wahlau, how come my wallet only got two linggit only?
3) Whoa... all the female bloggers damn hot hor?
4) What are those words on Minishorts' boo... er.. shirt?
5) Ok, I know their blogs, but what are their real names?
6) Why the birthday cake so small wan? and why the candles so long wan?
7) Why no one else want to bang the table with me and Minishorts wan?
8) Who shouted 'Stand up eyeris' in the middle of Mack's speech?
9) Is Viewtru here or not har?
10) How did Jayelle manage to convince her father to let her come?
11) Wahlau, why my car battery suddenly die wan? (Thanks to Mack and Tigerjoe for helping me push the car!)

And finally.... Does anyone else have THIS photo? :)



(From right to left): Kenny Sia, Peter Tan, Minishorts, Suanie, Also known as the PPS Fab Four! Oh, and that's Shaolin Tiger merrily drinking away at the back there...)

Tuesday, 21 June 2005

Of dragonflies and asam laksa

On the day of my Grandfather's funeral, the place was swarming with dragonflies.

It was a great sight. It was as though all his old friends had come to welcome him into the netherworld.

I'd not cried throughout most of the funeral. But when I stood next to his coffin and thought back about all the memories we'd had together - eating asam laksa in the market, playing chinese chess in the living room, him trying to tell me a story about his younger days while I was trying to watch Star Trek, him letting me try some tody when I was a kid, him taking me to Fajar supermarket and me pestering him to buy me a toy, and most of all, his jolly smile - that the tears really rolled down.

He was the grandpa I always equated the word 'grandpa' to. And I'll miss him.

Rest in peace, Grandpa. And have fun.

Monday, 20 June 2005

A (sort-of) Experiment in Certain Mentalities

Foreword: first of all, a sincere thank you to everyone who conveyed your condolences.

The funeral was today, and I pulled through with no worries. A few tears here and there, but I'm sure my grandfather is having a good time somewhere out there now.

He always knew how to have a good time.

Blog transmission shall resume as normal.

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Today, an experiment of mine pulled through. (Well, a 'sort-of' experiment. It was work, first and foremost. But fun work).

It was interesting to see how some would react to certain things said (or not said) in a certain medium. In a way, I discovered that some people just lash out at some things even without knowing the truth. It's funny how some people talk bad about certain things when the opposite is actually true. I discovered how something that is portrayed in a positive way can be turned on its head and used as 'proof' that something m is bias.

Geez people, that's about as positive as it can get, and STILL you complain about it?

Goes to show how a certain medium DOES have a long way to go before it can become a trusted and credible source of information.

Assumption is the mother of all fuck-ups, a friend use to tell me, and some people assume to much.
  • The reason why certain people were NOT screenshot was because of personal preferences, not because of pressure from upper parties.
  • The reason why they were chosen was for the variety, the stories, and the personal aspect. And I thought it'd be a lot more fun.

But I was happy with how it turned out. It was fun, and I'm happy that most of the response has been positive.

And oh, if you don't know what the heck I'm talking about, don't worry. I encrypted it so that only certain people would understand.

Though I'm sure it's pretty obvious, really, what I'm talking about.

Especially if you know who I am.

But don't give it away, ok?

Hehe.

BTW, isn't it ironic that one medium needs another medium's help to promote that medium even though that medium keeps lambasting the medium for not promoting the medium often enough and not being as free as that medium?

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PS.... It was Eye on Everything's FIRST BIRTHDAY last Sunday, but for obvious reasons, I could not blog about it. And I had something special planned for it too. sigh...

But never mind, better late than never eh? :)

(Update: 11:15am, 21 June 2005)
PSS: Hmmmm... apparently, this post was not encrypted enough... so it has been adjusted a little... self-censorship indeed... :-)

(Update: 1:16am, 22 June 2005)
PSSS:
In a way, this post HERE by certain medium watchers is really really fun to read, especially from my point of view...... Hehe...

Thursday, 16 June 2005

In an ideal world...

In an ideal world, people you care about don't die.
In an ideal world, you'd know when they would go so you'd be able to see them before they left.
In an ideal world, there would be no grief.
In an ideal world, you wouldn't have to comfort anyone over the death of someone.
In an ideal world, you wouldn't have to cry.

My grandfather passed away this morning.

Blogging transmission will be interupted for a while.

Monday, 13 June 2005

The Pink-Ribboned Monster on My Desk...

What my colleagues did to my Mordor Battle Troll when I was away:



THIS is what I have to put up with at work...

Sunday, 12 June 2005

The Pre-PPS bash Bloggers Meet Up at Mid-Valley

This morning, woke up at 9-bloody-a.m., brush teeth, took bath, forgot to shave, forgot to comb hair, change clothes and drove another bloody thirty minutes to Mid Valley where I met some of the strangest people I ever met.

Ok, so they were not ALL strange.

Anyway, it was the Pre-PPS bash Bloggers Meet Up, and it was quite a crowd too. Who was there?


  • Yee Pei, official alarm clock for...
  • IreneQ, who got molested by...
  • Desmo aka. Hunting The Snark, who became a Power Ranger and took photos with...
  • The famous Peter Tan, who turned up with another famous blogger....
  • Jeff Ooi, who had a pretty big camera, just like...
  • Dave Yoong's. He took lots of pictures, together with...
  • SK, who pretended to take pictures of all the bloggers while secretly taking more pictures of...
  • The pretty Jayelle, who left before lunch, just like...
  • Pennypupz & guest blogger Loges. They left just after...
  • Bkworm, who came with her daughter. Another blogger who came with his family was...
  • The Brand New Mack, who spent a lot of time discussing engineering terms with...
  • Tiger Joe, who had a real funky name, almost as cool as...
  • Demonic Squid, who seemed real quiet, just like...
  • Jess, who left early as well, unlike...
  • Alan Wong, the 'blogger' with a geocities website, and never heard the end of it from....
  • Eyeris, who tried to get the phone number of...
  • a horn-less Suanie, dressed in pink, and sitting next to...
  • Charlyn, who turned out to be a guy, and sat opposite...
  • Melissa aka. Mystiqangel, who ate some Teriyaki chicken, unlike...
  • The Silent One, who ate ramen, and took pictures of my Thundercats T-shirt together with...
  • Dustyhawk, who was on the other end of the table talking to...
  • Nilesh....
  • Sashi...
  • cybersonique
  • and a few others on the other end of the table.
Update: Forgot one more name: Resurrection101 was there too, but he left so early that I forgot all about him... hehe...

WHEW!

Sorry if I missed out anyone. too many lar, and I didn't have enough coffee. :-)

Nice meeting all of you!



PS... those who took pictures, can PLEASE don't put mine on your blogs ar? I scared I get too many stalkers outside my house... haha

Saturday, 11 June 2005

Hanging out in Coffee joints with the Eyeris

I love hanging out in coffee joints.

No, it's not just because I'm addicted to coffee, but also because I like it there.

Most of the time, Eye on Everything is either updated while I'm in the office, or while I'm hanging out in a coffee joint with my laptop.

I like hanging out in coffee joints. I like the smell of coffee, the cosy atmosphere, the Wi-Fi and the general friendliness of the staff (at least in the outlets I usually go to).

Also, in coffee joints, you can sit in the non-smoking area and scold/complain to/glare at people who DARE to light up that frigging cigarette within a 2-foot radius of your table.

Even when I go out with friends, I would rather meet up in a coffee joint than a pub or bar. It's easier to chat in a coffee joint. You don't have bloody techno music tryign to drown your voice.

Of course, sometimes it CAN get rather noisy in a coffee joint, especially with all the blenders and people talking so LOUD that you really want to stand up and tell everyone to SHUT THE HELL UP! I'M TRYING TO LISTEN TO SOME MUSIC HERE!

Oh damn, did I just say that out loud?

Anyway, I spend a lot of my free time in coffee joints online, or just reading; and of all the coffee joints in KL, there are certain shops that le Eyeris likes to hang out in:

  • San Francisco Coffee, Ampang Point - If you sit by the windows, you get a nice view of shoppers walking in and out of Ampang Point. You can also hang out there and count how many illegal parkers get samans/towed.
  • San Francisco Coffee, KLCC - Another nice place to hang out where you can just chill and people-watch. I hate going there on weekends though, because the noise in KLCC on weekends can be deafening.
  • Starbucks, Amcorp Mall - Since I go to Amcorp Mall a lot (because my regular toy shop is there), I tend to spend an unhealthy amount of time there as a result. I'd initially wanted to boycott this particular Starbucks ever since it was rumoured that they'd kicked the San Francisco Coffee outlet out of Amcorp Mall by making a shady deal with the mall management, but since they hired that cute barista chick, and there is nowhere else in the mall with wi-fi, I've been hanging out there a lot as well.
  • San Francisco Coffee, 1 Utama - I also go to 1U a lot, because my office is just nearby, and I like to drop by after office hours to wait for the jams to clear. And since there is an SF in 1U, that's usually the first place I go to.
  • Starbucks, 1 Utama (old wing) - I only go here if I forgot to renew my Airzed account and can't use the Wi-Fi in SFC.
  • San Francisco Coffee, Mid Valley Megamall - I don't usually go to Mid Valley, but if I do, I'm almost always surfing at SFC. The Starbucks here doesn't have Wi-Fi (donno why), so I almost NEVER go there.
Notice that there is no mention of Coffee Bean. I hate the coffee there. At Starbucks, I only order the Afogato Caramel Cream because I like the espresso rush you get when you drink it without stirring. In SF Coffee, all the coffee drinks are GOOOOOD. :-)

BTW, if you ever go to the above mentioned outlets and see a skinny fellow sniggering to himself in front of a Toshiba laptop while listening to an iPod shuffle with white earphones and constantly glaring at the idiots smoking next to him, chances are that's me.

So don't forget to say hi. :-)

Friday, 10 June 2005

Stressed Eyes Need Time Off

I'm really really bored and really really caught up with work right now.

I'm not even sure if I'm stressed or not, even though I seem to be going through my Nescafe 2-in-1's at a rather alarming speed these days.

What I DO know is that I have quite a bit of work, and I can't seem to finish it. Ok, I CAN finish it, but I keep getting stuck at some point in each story.

Add to that, one of my supervising editors asked me if there's anything wrong with my life right now, beause I seem t

Thursday, 9 June 2005

Don't Believe The Truth About the X and the Y



Cowboy Caleb was right. Coldplay's new album, X&Y really IS shite.

All the songs seem to sound almost the same, and with the exception of Speed of Sound, none of them were remotely memorable. And Speed of Sound only sounded better because it sounded a little bit like Clocks.

Maybe thats exactly the problem. For all the well publicized 'Coldplay nearly breaks up because of new album', the album just sounds bland, and too much like a continuation of A Rush of Blood to the Head. Or maybe AROBTTH's rave reviews got hopes up too high for this album.

Either way, I still think it's shite.

And Chris Martin's voice sounds incredibly whiny. Is it just me, or does anyone else want to smack him in the head for sounding so annoyingly whiny on EVERY SONG?

Another singer who sounds a little whiny is Liam Gallagher. But then, that's a good thing. His trademark snarl sounds a tad whiny on the new Oasis album - Don't Believe the Truth, but at least you don't want to smack him in the head (another reason would be that he would knock YOUR head clear off your shoulders if you even TRIED to smack him).

Ok, Don't Believe the Truth is definitely (maybe?) NOT as good as their debut and second album, but it is definitely better than Be Here Now and Standing on the Shoulders of Giants. It's only slightly better than Heathen Chemistry, but that's only because I didn't really listen to HC much, except for Songbird and Stop Crying Your Eyes Out.

Anyway, Don't Believe the Truth has it's ups and downs but it's still better than the bloody Coldplay album.

The Importance in Being Idle and Mucky Fingers are my favorite songs on the album, and Turn Up the Sun, Lyla and Let There Be Love are also pretty good. The rest, are catchy in patches, but not as memorable. Though you'd remember them better than Coldplay's.

But anyway, I'm bias. I've always liked Oasis, even though they sounded like shite at times.

So, in a straight fight, who do I personally think would win the battle of the British bands?

No contest. The Gallaghers beat the crap out of Martin, AND have time to grab a few pints before the bell rings.

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PS: Wanna know what songs an alien would listen to? Check out this post:
spaceward bound!

BTW, An Alien's Dream Diaries aka. Sastera Selekeh is a new blog started by a writer AND a musician, so look out for some insightful thoughts on music and er.. aliens.

Wednesday, 8 June 2005

Bowing down at the Temple of The Goddess Jolie

Foreward: I apologise in advance to readers using dial-up lines. Lots of pictures here. But be patient, wait for all the pictures to load, and you won't regret it. :)

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Today's post is all about a goddess. This goddess, to be exact:



You see, I just watched THIS movie last night:



and after the movie, all I could think of was this image:



I have a thing for girls in white shirts, and the sight of The Goddess Jolie in nothing BUT a white shirt was enough to make my nose bleed. Well, almost.

Angelina Jolie has got to be THE sexiest woman on the planet right now. If she wasn't before, she is now, especially after THIS movie.

I mean, take a look at her! Who could resist that smouldering look and the way she handles that er... big gun?



In the movie, 'The Goddess Jolie steals the scene everytime she appears. Whether she's in a demure dress visiting neighbors, in a leather corset whipping men with a riding crop, or a white shirt (and nothing but!).

And she handles er... big guns very well too:



Oh, and Brad who? The way the movie went, the poster should have been like this instead:



Ok, so they WERE a pretty good couple. The chemistry was quite electrifying. Especialy when they were fighting or dancing.



No wonder he left 'Friend Rachel'. No contest, really.

Look at THIS one:



As for the movie proper, it was pretty good - the action was great, dialogue quite witty, and the two leads were smouldering. Who cares that the story was somewhat illogical?

The movie was about action and sexual tension. Like a colleague said - it's stylised porn with guns.

Ceh, who am I kidding? The movie was ALL JOLIE. Girls, forget Brad Pitt. You'd want to become a dominatrix bisexual after watching THIS movie. The Goddess is THAT hot.

And now, a final gratuitious shot of The Goddess Jolie:



And in honour of the ass-whopping she gave Mr Pitt, and the most memorable and sexy line she uttered in the entire movie, I give you the movie poster as it SHOULD be:



Review? What review?

Tuesday, 7 June 2005

The Upcoming Encounter with the Denizens of Petaling Street

Following Captain Carcinogen's lead, I shall now list the reasons why you should go for the PPS Birthday Bash this June 23...
  1. You get to attempt intellectual discourse with Mack Zulkifli.
  2. You can complain about PPS directly to the founders.
  3. You get to see Captain Carcinogen attempt conversation with 3 Dunhill boxes...
  4. You can get to see IreneQ attempt to socialise...
  5. You get to see just how Messy a Christian can get.
  6. You can see Kenny Sia's coconuts, angmotan, big bird and lightsaber in action in one go.
  7. You get to see how Silencers tries to be silent in a noisy room.
  8. You can see whether Erna really is as hot as her picture. (I know she hasn't signed up, but she'd better!)
  9. You can see Suanie eat worms and get horny... er... red horns on her head.
  10. You get to see minishorts in nothing but her minishorts (hope she doesn't come in a mermaid costume instead...)
And finally, the best reason.... Le Eyeris is going to! BUAHAHA! And you get to celebrate Eye on (why am I linking to my own blog?) Everything's FIRST anniversary as well! Woohoo! :-)

Now, go HERE and sign up! Oh, if you wanna makan buffet at the bash, go HERE.

But then again, the buffet might not be a very good idea since you might just lose the food in your stomach after watching Suanie eating worms...


PPS 2nd Anniversary Birthday Bash Details

Date: 23 June 2005 (Thursday)
Time: 7.30pm — late
Venue: Charlie's Place (map here)
(If that link isn't working try this)

Monday, 6 June 2005

A Boxer on a Bridge over a Cloudy Scarborough Silence

The other night, I went for a little gathering, and someone played a CD compilation of Simon & Garfunkel songs. A colleague and I then began singing along to the songs, to the surprise and bewilderment of our other friends, because we were basically the only ones there who knew the words to almost every single song.

I've been listening to Simon & Garfunkel songs almost all my life. My parents were big fans, and I grew up listening to their songs. In fact, I think theirs were the first songs I remember listening to when I was a kid.

I'd sit by the radio and memorize all the lyrics of the songs in the compilation album my dad had, and I'd sing along everything the songs came on.

I knew about Simon and Garfunkel BEFORE I knew the Beatles or Michael Jackson (I didn't know about the Rolling Stones until I was 18!)

What I admired most about the duo was not just the marvelous melodies their songs were, but the amazing lyrics their songs had, and the way the melodies just went so sweetly together with the profound lyrics.

Case in point:

Cloudy
The sky is gray and white and cloudy,
Sometimes I think it's hanging down on me.
And it's a hitchhike a hundred miles.
I'm a rag-a-muffin child.
Pointed finger-painted smile.
I left my shadow waiting down the road for me a while.

That little bit was from Cloudy, and it remains one of the few songs I couldn't quite remember the lyrics to. And the best part was that these lyrics just weaved themselves seamlessly into the happy little ditty, making for a really memorable song you could never get out of your head.

Not convinced? Here's another song:

It's a still life water color,
Of a now late afternoon,
As the sun shines through the curtained lace
And shadows wash the room.
And we sit and drink our coffee
Couched in our indifference,
Like shells upon the shore
You can hear the ocean roar
In the dangling conversation
And the superficial sighs,
The borders of our lives.

That was from The Dangling Conversation. Now, compare that to the 'I love you, you love me', 'I wanna die I wanna die I wanna die' lyrics of bands these days. I tell you, they just don't write lyrics like that anymore.

Anyway, It was nice to finally find someone who actually knew all their songs. I've never EVER met a friend who knew as many lyrics and songs by Simon and Garfunkel as I did, and it was fun actually seeing who could memorize the lyrics better.

Of course, that friend of mine HAD to make me insanely jealous by mentioning that she'd attended their concert in Central Park years ago. GAAAA!

For those who think that oldies are boring, go check out this duo's music. It will make you appreciate well-written lyrics that much more, AND get you singing along too.

Anyway, here are some of my favorite Simon & Garfunkel songs:
  • Scarborough Fair/Canticle: A dreamy, beautiful and haunting song, enhanced by an enchanting accompaniment and brilliant lyrics. I used to sing this together with my sister - she would do the accompaniment and I'd sing the normal verses.
  • The Sounds of Silence: Definitely one of S&G's best ever, the lyrics are great as usual, and the song itself as one of my favorite tunes ever. Again, I used to do the harmony with my sister, though it was never as good as S&G's.
  • Bridge Over Troubled Water: Another haunting song that I could never resist singing whenever I hear it. It's also Art Garfunkel's best vocal performance ever.
  • The Boxer: The 'Lai La Lai' part in the end used to drive me crazy because it would go on and on, and while singing along, you'd never know when it would end. I still can't figure it out, even now.
  • At The Zoo: As a kid, I spent hours trying to memorize the words for this song. What other song has insincere giraffes,
  • Cloudy: A trippy and happy little ditty that I could never get out of my head after I'd heard it. Still can't remember the lyrics though.
  • Wednesday Morning 3am: A sad little song about a man who has to leave his lover, and ends up committing a crime that only gets him 'twenty-five dollars, and pieces of silver'. Another example of Paul Simon's ability to weave stories and poetry into a song.
  • The 59th Street Bridge Song: One of the most cheerful tunes I have ever heard, and the only song I've ever heard someone say hello to a lamp-post. Check out the end bit of la-la-las.
  • Cecilia: One of their fastest songs, and I remember it mostly for one brilliant piece of lyric - Making love in the afternoon with Cecilia, Up in my bedroom. I got up to wash my face, When I come back to bed, Someone's taken my place.

And before anyone asks, no, I didn't forget Mrs. Robinson. I just don't like it as much as the other songs. :-)Now, to load the songs into my iPod Shuffle... All together now! - Slow down, you're moving too fast, you gotta make the moment last...

Saturday, 4 June 2005

Book Review: Serving Crazy With Curry (Amulya Malladi)

About time for another book review, I think. I finished Amulya Malladi's Serving Crazy with Curry on the plane to Seoul, in just under four hours. I'd read Malladi's The Mango Season last year, and kinda liked it, so when I saw this book in the Times Warehouse Sale going for RM8, I immediately picked it up.

I LIKE this kind of books - the kind that are not too thick, can be read easily, simple, not too heavy, and still make you want to finish it in one shot.

On with the review:

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Title: Serving Crazy with Curry
Author: Amulya Malladi

Synopsis:
On the morning Devi decides to take her life, fate conspires against her. Fate in the form of her mother, Saroj, who uses her spare key to let herself into her youngest daughter's apartment when she thinks she's at work.

But, having lost yet another job, and knowing she will never live up to the example her oldest sister has set her as a traditional Indian wife, Devi had decided to take the easy way out.

But it seems she can add suicide to her list of failings. But whilst Saroj insists on telling the world that it was she who saved her daughter's life, Devi isn't sure what she's been saved for.

Forced to move back in with her parents until she is strong enough to resume her life, she adopts a vow of silence. Instead, she begins to cook.

Wild, crazy concoctions that are so delicious the family is drawn again and again to the table. As Devi's silence grows, so does her family's bewilderment at her behavior.

Tension builds and others begin to talk. And secrets are revealed that rock the family to its core...

Main Characters:
  • Devi: tries to commit suicide, but is 'saved' by her mother. Takes a vow of silence and begins to cook instead.
  • Devi's mother: Very bossy, overbearing, and annoying to her daughters.
  • Devi's father: One-armed, and loves his daughters very much. Marriage falling apart too.
  • Devi's Grandma: Unconventional Indian lady who divorced her husband to fend for herself.
  • Devi's Sister: Tries to be the perfect Indian daughter, but is feeling the pressures of it.

What I liked:
  • Simple to read
  • Nice cover
  • Nice story
  • Nice pace to the story
  • Nice little twist in the end (though I saw it coming halfway through the book)
  • Ah heck, it's a NICE book.
  • Using recipes at the end of the chapter to summarize the main character's thoughts is a nice touch.
  • The subject is one that seems to be rehashed in every other book by an Indian author, but Malladi writes well enough to make you want to finish it in one sitting.
  • Interesting premise (though a little illogical to me. Never mind)
  • Not as 'weepy' as many other books on similar subjects

What I didn't like:
  • Read a little to much like her last book - The Mango Season.
  • Some of the characters were stereotypical ones that one usually see in these kind of books
  • Tends to 'explain' a certain situation or a character's past by 'telling' it directly to the reader, instead of 'showing it'. Not a big flaw, and I suspect that Malladi should get better in this aspect as she goes on.
Summary:
All in all, a nice little book that serves as a nice filler before heavier meals... er.. books. Like I said on top, I like this kind of books - a familiar subject written well, in a not too weepy or heavy way, and not too thick either.

I seldom finish books in one sitting unless it REALLY makes me want to keep reading it till the end. So what if I was stuck in an airplane with nothing else to do? For making me finish it in one shot, Serving Crazy with Curry deserves a special mention.

Friday, 3 June 2005

iShuffle, Therefore iMad

Save me please, I'm getting addicted to my iPod Shuffle.

I've only had it for one day, and already I'm wondering how I managed to survive without one.

I bought it off Erna yesterday (she won it in some lucky draw thingy and decided that she wanted the money more than the iPod), and since then I've been listening to it all day, keeping it in my pocket (I think the lanyard looks stupid), and having fun updating the songlist every other hour.

I've been listening to it at work, while walking around the shopping complex, while reading, and even in the toilet. It's so light and easy to use that I don't even notice it's there most of the time (though that music in my head is kinda hard NOT to notice...)

Heck, it's so light that I don't even notice it's there sometimes. I once put it on the table, and forgot I was listening to it. I got up, and there it was, my iPod Shuffle just hanging off my neck like a necklace that's too long.

Best part of it is, I get to listen to all those mp3s I have in my PC that I haven't had a chance to listen to. Yes, all 11GB of them.

Someone, please shoot me before I become one of those mindless drones who walk around with earphones in their ears, oblivious to everyone else around them, and bobbing their heads constantly to the soundtrack only they can hear.

Now excuse me while I go check out the price for the iPod Shuffle armband...

I'm Definitely Holier than Thou Because I can Go Toink Toink!

THE LAST BLOG I READ WAS:

Minishorts, who made up this meme to stop me from going 'Toink Toink'


I THINK MY BLOG IS WAY BETTER THAN THAT BLOG ABOVE BECAUSE:

I can go 'toink toink' without anyone picking fights with me


IM-Not-So-HO THE BEST ENTRY I HAVE EVER BLOGGED IS :

THE FIVE BLOGS I READ THAT MAY BE BETTER THAN MINE ARE:

I KNOW MY READERS ARE ADDICTED TO MY BLOG BECAUSE:

I can post THIS and still get 19 comments (even though 6 of them were my own). Toink toink Bleh!

I am now passing this baton to the following five people and they MUST to do the same holier-than-thou meme shit.

Thursday, 2 June 2005

No more Toink Toink Bleh...

Toink toink! BLEH!

Eheh. Ok, back to more coherent posts. Hehe.

In case you were wondering what I was talking about in my last post.... well, I have no idea either. I was just feeling a little bored, and PPS was having a pretty bland day yesterday, so I decided to just chuck a bunch of incoherent words and noises in the post, and see what kind of reaction I would get.

It turned out to be one of the most entertaining posts I ever wrote, personally. Haha.

To all those who bothered to 'toink' and 'bleh' back, thanks a lot for making my day. Haha.

Anyway, I've been pretty busy chasing deadlines since I got back from Seoul, so I haven't had time to blog much. But now that I've caught one of the deadlines, I'm free now.

So yeah, no more toink-ing and bleh-ing. Tomorrow, regular blog transmission shall resume.
Unless I feel like another toink. :-)

Wednesday, 1 June 2005

Bleh.

Bleh?
Kabuhayaki bleh bleh.
Haiyar apara for haiyar for haiyor.
Abeh bleh toink toink bleh.
Bleh bleh.
Abubleh blehtayoutaki bleh.
Bleh.