Wednesday, 30 November 2005

I miss Poland for all the BEER I had there...

I miss Poland. :( :( :(

  • I miss the tasty beers that taught me to appreciate good beers, ones that don't taste like the piss we have here,
  • I miss the intoxicating vodkas that hit you so hard you'll be staring at floorboards after three shots
  • I miss the gorgeous girls that look like supermodels even without make-up
  • I miss the wonderful market squares where I could just sit down for hours, watching people and admiring the architecture of the buildings around me,
  • I miss that soury and savoury delicacy that is bigos
  • I miss the mountains I went to where the air was fresh, and there were no traffic jams,
  • I miss the little nooks and crannies that hide the coziest tea-shop I've ever been to in my life,
  • I miss the little coffee place that served the BEST coffee I'd had, and had really cute waitresses who remembered my name AND my regular order as well,
  • I miss the deep, deep history of the country, and the culture that was created from all that history,
  • I miss the busker who was at the exact same spot everyday dressed as the Statue of Liberty who raised his torch when someone gives him a coin,
  • I miss the pub I stood outside of at 7am in the morning to watch a World Cup match in 2002,
  • I miss the kebab stall that was owned by a Turkish dude who loved chatting with me about football,
  • I miss the shop where I once spent an hour talking to an old Polish guy who didn't speak English,
  • I miss the library I used to go to to borrow books to read and get free internet access,
  • I miss the funny "Shh shhs shh" language that is Polishhh, and the daily struggles trying to order breakfast in Polish,
  • I miss the ancient yet oh-so-convienient and punctual public transport system, and the rickety trams that I used to take home,
  • I miss the incredulous look my Polish friends had in the city I was in when I told them that their tallest building (24 stories high!) was only half as tall as a condominium in KL,
  • I miss Krakow for all it's tourist spots and the pigeons that mingle with the tourists,
  • I miss Gdansk for that amazing back alley where I stood for an hour listening to street musicians,
  • I miss Warsaw for its international airport that was smaller than the one we have in Kuantan,
  • I miss Wroclaw for the city that was my home for six months, and for all the friends I made there.
I wanna go back there one day, and revisit all of these. :)

Tuesday, 29 November 2005

Are you a hardcore football fan? Then Hantu Bola Wants You!

When I first started this blog, I thought it wouldn't last too long. Mana tau, it's been a year and a half, and I'm STILL plugging away here.

Not only that, I seem to have branched out to other blogs as well. I have two other blogs besides this one: Bumi-Tengah, my LOTR parody of Malaysian bloggers, and Eye on Sports, my sports blog (which has ALSO been around for a year already...)

Then, I've also guest-blogged for The Bloggers are Morons Blogathon effort, AND I also had two or three kepoh posts in the Malaysian NaNoWrimo blog recently. In addition to that, I'm also supposedly one of the contributers for the Malaysian Book Review Blog, but I haven't had much posted there... sowi. *sheepish*

ANYWAY, the point of all this is to tell y'all that I've started ANOTHER NEW blog, together with a bunch of other nutjo.... sorry, FANS who are more than a little crazy about football.

Ladies and gentlemen, introducing.... The footy blog for hardcore footy fans... PETALING STREET HOOLIGANS aka. HANTU BOLA!

this is the blog where hardcore fans of football will gather-gather and tembak tembak all that we hate or love about the damn game. Cussing allowed. 'Referee Kayu' allowed. Insulting Man United allowed. ANYTHING goes in this footy blog. As long as it's about football lar.

So far, it's just me, Vincent (Man Utd), Tigerjoe (Chelsea) and maybe Mack and Sashi (both Liverpool, like me. We RAWK!). We're still looking for a few good hooligans more to join the fun though. The more the merrier actually.

We especialy need people who support teams OUTSIDE that of Liverpool, Man Utd or Chelsea (though you are free to apply anyway), to make it more balanced. Doesn't matter if you support EPL teams or Serie A or La Liga, or Perlis. If you like football and are willing to put your fanatism on show, contact us.

Anyone who wants to join in, drop me or Vincent an email (our emails are displayed on our blogs), and we'll test you to see if you're hardcore enough to be part of the Petaling Street Hooligans.

REFEREE KAYU!!!!!

Monday, 28 November 2005

The Day My X-Men Attacked Me

My X-Men attacked me the other day.

It was saturday morning, 11am. I was lying in my bed, fast asleep, dreaming about *CENSORED* and playing *CENSORED*, when suddenly, THWACK!

OW! WHAT THE *TOOT*?!?!?!?

Rubbing my sore forehead, I opened my eyes to see who (or what) ambushed me and whacked my head while I was sleeping.

And what do I see? The X-MEN! Lying all around my pillow!

Ok, so it was just my Omega Red, Wolverine, Juggernaut and Deadpool action figures I had displayed on a shelf right above my bed. So I should have made sure they were tied down or sticky taped to the shelf so that they would not fall off the shelf and onto my head.

But anyway.... THAT doesn't change the fact that they attacked ME! ME! ME, the guy who bought them and set them free from their plastic prisons when other toy collectors would have left them in there in MINT condition to be sold on the secondary market for exorbitant prices!!

And how do they repay me? The sneaky buggers JUMPED off their shelf and HIT me RIGHT SQUARE ON MY FOREHEAD! GAH!

Well, I guess I SHOULD be thankful it was just that skinny Deadpool and Wolverine figures that hit me on the face. Thank goodness that Omega Red missed me (though one of his arms jabbed me in the eye). And THANK GOD that that DAMN-KAU-HEAVY Juggernaut didn't land on my head or I'd have had a REALLY BIG BUMP on my forehead that day.

Now, where's my sticky tape?

Update (10:42pm)

As promised, here is the picture of the culprits, and the rest of the family...




Friday, 25 November 2005

See you in Venus, Hippopotamus...

Yesterday, a very annoying aquaintance of mine was saying goodbye, and he used this phrase:

"Seeya later, Alligator!"

As if that was cringing enough, he had to follow it up with this:

"In a while, crocodile!"

GAH!

WHAT THE HECK IS THAT? I HATE it when people use that... that... oh-so cheesy phrase. Once or twice is ok, but when you say it ALL THE TIME, I just wanna bitch-slap the person up and down and make him swear NEVER to say the words CROCODILE and ALLIGATOR EVER again.

*Breathes in, breathes out*

Anyway, I've come to realise that, snob that I a, there ARE A few phrases that I absolutely REFUSE and ABHORE using. That Crocodile/Alligator thingy being one of those.

1) Seeya later, alligator, in a while, crocodile - I think my loathe towards this phrase came about after another aquaintance of mine (not the one mentioned above, BTW) KEPT USING IT ALL THE TIME. Seriously, WHY do people USE this damn phrase? It's so... CORNY, and it's so annoyingly 'I-wanna-be-cute' that I just wanna tell the person, NO, I DON'T WANNA SEE YOU AGAIN! EVAH! Bah. Besides, I prefer hippotami. HARRRUGGH!

2) My Bad - Yes, this is a very valid phrase, used all over the world. But I. Just. Can't. Bring. Myself. To. Use. It. My... Bbb...bbb. baaa... GAH! What does it MEAN anyway? No, don't tell me what it MEANS, because I KNOW what it means. Maybe it's the odd grammar, or maybe it's just because using it seems such a LAZY way to say, 'I made a mistake', and an easy way out of apologising. Either way. I can't bring myself to say ... THAT.

Yes yes, I'm nit-picking. I'm a snob. so sue me. Some people can't stand the sound of fingernails scratching over a blackboard. I can't stand people saying "oops, my bad. seeya later, alligator!".

For now, I can only think of these two, mainly because I've been hearing these two a lot lately. GAH! If I think of more, I'll add more. For now, I think I'll go strangle that alligator-guy over there...

Thursday, 24 November 2005

A Feast of Crows Disrupting the Race to Nano

So much for trying to complete NaNoWriMo this year. I'm not even CLOSE to the 50000 word goal, and I can't see myself getting near it anytime this week. :-(

Why?

Because I've been distracted by THIS book:



750 pages long! How am I gonna find time to Nano NOW? ARGH!

Wednesday, 23 November 2005

The Drunk Iron Dragon Collides with the Centipede Butcher's Awaken Punch

I was doing research on Yuen Wo-Ping today, and while surfing through his filmography on IMDB, I was wonderfully entertained by all the names of the kung-fu films in the list.

Here are some of them. Try and guess what the Chinese name is, and whether you've seen it before (chances are you would have, because they repeat many of these shows all the time, especially during Chinese New Year EVERY YEAR):

  • Iron Rooster Vs. the Centipede
  • When Dragons Collide
  • Once Upon a Time in China
  • Magnificent Butcher
  • Drunken Monkey in the Tiger's Eyes
  • Snake in the Eagle's Shadow
  • Conman and the Kung Fu Kid
  • The Awaken Punch
  • The Fiery Dragon Kid
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  • The Legend of Zu
  • Wong Fai Hong: The Informative Years

And these are just Yuen Wo-Ping's movies.

Do bear in mind that some of these are unofficial literal translations of the Chinese title (they have other, more conventional names as well), and some are the offical English titles for the movies.

Of course, it doesn't change the fact that these titles are wonderfully.. er.. quirky and er.. descriptive as only the English name of a Hong Kong kungfu flick can be. And they're BRILLIANTLY fun to read.

ALSO, they do wonders in cheering me up whenever I'm stuck researching about another obscure kungfu flick...

Tuesday, 22 November 2005

The S in Blue-Spandex and Red-Underwear

FOREWORD: We have a new Miss June! Go HERE to check her out. :)

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This post is about this symbol:



Ok, the guy wearing that symbol anyway. The Superman Returns teaser trailer is out. Go download it HERE.

After watching it, I was in two minds. I thought it looked promising, and I can't wait to see it.
HOWEVER, between Superman Returns and X-3 (That's X-Men 3, dudes), I'm anticipating the latter more, even though initial X-Men director Bryan Singer jumped ship and went to do Superman Returns instead. No, my preference has nothingto do with the director, nor the actors, nor the movies.

I just prefer the X-Men, and also don't think very highly of Superman, that's all.

Somehow, I've never been a really big fan of Superman. Sure, he may be the original superhero and all, but I just don't like him. Maybe it's because his powers are so... ABSOLUTE, and so powerful that it's just no fun anymore. Sure, there's always Kryptonite, but it's a really crap 'weakness' if you ask me. Just wave a green stone at him and he goes weak kneed? RIGHT.

Of all the DC comics heroes, my favorite is Batman (although I really didn't think much of him until I began watching Justice League on Cartoon Network and then read the brilliant Batman: Hush graphic novels).

When I watch Justice League, I cringe everytime Superman comes on. He's annoyingly goody-goody in that cartoon, and when compared to the cynical Batman, the flirtatious Flash, the angst-filled Hawkgilr and the hard-nosed Green Lantern (Jon Stewart version), Superman's personality is just so... BLAH (Same goes for Wonder Woman, no wonder they become a couple and all).

The best Superman rendition I've read is the one in Kingdom Come, where Superman is old and has white hair, and has to be a lot tougher than usual. It helps that that story was great as well, of course.

Anyway, it IS interesting when Supes appears in those Batman comics I've been buying lately though. He is always the catalyst, the righteous foil to Batman's darker methods, and it makes for a great combination when they come together in a story.

But then, I still don't quite like Superman. I know a lot of comic fans worship him as much as I worship Eowyn the Shieldmaiden of Rohan, but then, that's you. This is me, and this is why I don't really like Superman all that much:


  1. Red underwear. On the OUTSIDE... Nuff' said
  2. Why does he have to stretch his hands out in front of him whenever he flies? In the movies, whenever he flies, I just want to laugh out loud...)
  3. KRYPTONITE? Eh?
  4. Too goody-two-shoes sometimes for my liking. Makes me wanna strangle him sometimes.
  5. *puts on glasses* look, I'm Clark Kent! *takes off glasses* Look, I'm Superman! *puts on glasses* look, I'm Clark Kent! *takes off glasses* Look, I'm superman!.....
  6. THE COSTUME! GAH! Just LOOK at it!:

GAH! Who's his image consultant eh? Who designed... THAT???

Will add more when I think of more.

But anyway, being the kiasu 'must-watch-every-stupid-superhero-movie' nut that I am, you can be sure I'll still be rushing to watch this movie when it comes out next year. After all, it can't be as bad as Fantastic Four eh?

But that doesn't change the fact that I don't really think much of Supes. Superman may be super and all, but heck, gimme that wussy no-power Batman anytime. At least he is a lot more interesting to read/watch than a flying S...

Now, let the brickbats from the blue-spandex loving fans begin...

Monday, 21 November 2005

A Strange Email from the Grandson of Dune

I got a very strange email the other day, and I don't know what to make of it.

I read the first part of it, which went:

------------------------------------------

Hi Eyeris,

You've got a pretty nice website. I've just started blogging myself and you can check out my blog (if you've got the time) at: http://thefanatical.blogspot.com/
It is also "author" related.


-------------------------------------

Well, so far so good. Seems fairly innocuous, nothing special. Just another email from a fan (as if lar I get any. heh)

Then I got to the signature:

---------------------------------
Have a great day.

Sincerely, Byron Merritt

Grandson of Frank Herbert
Author of DUNE
http://www.dunenovels.com/
http://www.fwomp.com/

---------------------------------------

Wait.

Hold on.

Rewind a bit.

Grandson of Frank Herbert, Author of DUNE?!?!?!?!

Eh? WHAT? REALLY?

THIS I had to see for myself. So I went over to the blog, and lo and behold, there, among other posts about FWOMP (his writers critique group), and Google Print, was THIS little gem of a post:

Understanding Grandpa

Cool. I guess he really IS the grandson of Frank Herbert, huh?

So, now the question is... How come you ended up in MY blog? *scratches head*

Sunday, 20 November 2005

Book Review: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (Alexander McCall Smith)

Now that all that excitment over the calendar has sort of died down, it's back to more mundane business this weekend.

I'm really on a reading streak these past month. This time, I managed to finish another book that's been sitting on my bookshelves screaming READ ME! READ ME! together with another hundred or so books - Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.

And naturally, it's the subject of the Eyeris Hopefully-Weekly Book Review this time around!

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Title:The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
Author: Alexander McCall Smith

Synopsis:
The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series tells the story of the delightfully cunning and enormously engaging Precious Ramotswe, who is drawn to her profession to "help people with problems in their lives."

Immediately upon setting up shop in a small storefront in Gaborone, she is hired to track down a missing husband, uncover a con man, and follow a wayward daughter. But the case that tugs at her heart, and lands her in danger, is a missing eleven-year-old boy, who may have been snatched by witchdoctors.

What I Liked
  • Being set in Africa gives it a very down-to-earth feeling
  • Nice and charming feeling to the book
  • McCall Smith's writing is laid-back, and has a very er... 'rustic' feeling to it
  • Very charming little stories and cases
  • Very unlike usual 'mystery' and detective novels

What I Didn't Like
  • Those hoping for an Agatha Christie-like full-fledged murder mystery are going to be dissapointed. It's not that kinda book lar

What I think:
The only word I can think of to describe this book is 'charming'. It's a very charming little book that doesn't exactly GRAB HOLD of the reader and FORCES you to read it, but rather, it just gently hangs on to your arm and leads you down the road in a very laid-back and relaxing way. It doesn't FORCE you to read on, but jsut SUGGESTS to you that you MIGHT want to read on.

That's (in a way) how Precious Ramotswe goes about her 'detective' work as well. The cases aren't huge murder cases ala Agatha Christie, but they are down-to-earth, ordinary life case that have an African twist to them.

The closest feeling I can describe to the entire atmosphere of the book was that time when I was wandering around a little kampung in PAhang.

McCall Smith portrays a very rustic and kampung-like feel to Botswana, and pulls it off amiably. It's a charming little book that was a remarkably intriguing little read. I think I'll go get the other ones as well... :)

Thursday, 17 November 2005

The COMPLETE Girls of the Malaysian Blogosphere Special Edition 2006 Calender!

Update: We have a new Miss June!

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A Not-Very-Important Disclaimer by Erna & Eyeris:


The following photoshopped pictures were taken from all over the Internet, all from the websites indicated in the picture. All the photoshopping was done by ERNA, and not eyeris, so if you wanna kill somebody, go kill her ok? :P

BTW, we're doing this as a glorious dedication to all you gorgeous camwhores out there, and not because we wanna earn Adsense money. After all, ya don't see any ADS on this blog, do ya? Do ya? Eh? Eh?

(besides, we're both so broke that you wouldn't get any money from suing us anyway...)


-------------------------------------------------

OK, good news, people, Erna has FINALLY finished the rest of the Calendar, AND in fact added DATES to the previous six featured HERE previously.

In case you're wondering why the ones for Miss January to June have been redone, it's because Fireangel said that kononnya Ms. February only did a good job with her own pic... so Erna decided to REDO the entire thing, and added the DATES as well at the same time...

ALSO, since the first six girls already had their calenders done, and we kinda liked those as well, we decided to leave them on THIS POST just so the six babes can 'feel spesel' and have TWO calenders dedicated to themselves (according to Erna, who incidently, is one of the six...).

So, without further ado, I present to you the new and improved, and COMPLETE...

(BTW, we saved the SEXIEST ones for last)

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Girls of the Malaysian Blogosphere
Special Edition 2006 Calendar!








































Wednesday, 16 November 2005

The Goblet of Fire in Five Simple (non-spoiler) Sentences

All you horny buggers will have to wait a while longer for part 2 of the calender, because Erna has not done it yet. :P But if you're longing for SOME form of calender action, head over to The Visitor's blog HERE, for the scariest post on his 'horror/movie' blog EVER.

Anyway, I saw Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire last night, and because I've sworn on pain of death to not reveal anything about the movie or spoil it for others, I shall sum it up in five simple non-spoiler sentences:

  • Definitely A LOT better then the first two movies, and just slightly better than third one
  • A LOT of the book was cut out, and lots of things left unexplained
  • Powderful climax, guarantee make girls cry
  • Somebody please shoot Ron Weasley (more annoying than DOBBY)
  • I love Cho Chang (and Fleur Delacor in a swimsuit)
Ok, that's all I'm gonna say about it until at least more people have watched it. Heh.

-----

UPDATE (11:25pm)

I know many of you (like me) have read the books and know what will happen in the movie, but I need a favor from all of you.

PLEASE REFRAIN FROM POSTING SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS.

Wanna know why? go here: Spoilers Spoiling the Spoils

Tuesday, 15 November 2005

Eyeris' Girls of the Malaysian Blogosphere Special Edition Calender! (Part 1)

What better way to pimp your blog than to be included in an entire CALENDER full of the hottest blogger chicks in the Blogosphere?

I have to confess that this was NOT my idea, but rather, our very own Miss February - Erna, who came up with the idea when chatting with Fireangel on MSN, and spying the FHM calender on the wall, decided to pimp not just ONE hot chick, but TWELVE of them!

So, she chose six of the HOTTEST BLOGGERS we know, and Photoshopped their pictures into calenders. Yup, the Photoshopping was ALL ERNA, folks. I had nothing to do with it.

How did I come into the picture? How did this pseudo-book blog turn into a Men's Magazine-blog instead?

Well.... I helped Erna er... pick the pictures (please don't kill me, all of you!), and wrote part of her caption (the part about her not having any clothes on...). She also asked me to host it here so that MORE PEOPLE CAN SEE IT.

I'M not complaining, of course. Heh. After all, I also happen to think the girls featured here are actually HOTTER than DAWN YANG (there, that should get my hits up some more. hehe). MALAYSIA BOLEH! WOOT WOOT!

Anyway, enough small talk, and on to the pictures!

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you... PART ONE of the... jeng jeng jeng...

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GIRLS OF THE MALAYSIAN BLOGOSPHERE

SPECIAL EDITION CALENDER!





















(All images photoshopped by Erna)

Do you wanna see part two? That depends on how many of you go over to Erna's 'website' HERE RIGHT NOW and BEG her to do the remaining six months!

Oh, and feel free to take the images... but just remember to state who MADE them, and WHERE you got them, ok? :-) And one more thing, Erna made the headers, so go add your own calender dates, you lazy buggers.

Now scoot and let me drool in peace.


PS: BTW, in case you start saying that Erna is 'perasan' for adding herself into the calender, let me just clarify that it was FA who INSISTED Erna put herself in it as well... But hey, you gotta admit she DOES deserve to be in the calender, eh?


------------------------------------------------------------

UPDATE (3:24pm)

To commemorate this post being the first time I've been plugged by BlogsMalaysia (that's the Malaysian version of Singapore's 'Tomorrow', BTW), and to help spread the word about it, I've made my very own 'This post was BlogMalaysia-ed' button here:



Yes yes, I know its ugly. It's the best I could do with my limited resources here...

Anyway, go check out BlogsMalaysia, it's got lots of other interesting posts!

Monday, 14 November 2005

How to Start a Blog War with Eyeris: An Expert Guide

Vincent said today on Minishorts that trying to pick a fight start a blog war to me is pointless because I won't respond.

But WAIT! There ARE times when I WOULD respond. No, you don't have to say "Eyeris sucks" (overrated lar, that insult), and you sure as hell shouldn't even bother writing a whole blog post dedicated to telling the world how much I suck. Like Vincent said, I just won't give a damn. It's JUST A BLOG after all. Heh.

Anyway, here I shall teach you several ways that is almost guaranteed to start a blog war with Jovial Ol' Eyeris:

1) Blog about how Harry Potter is so much better than Lord of the Rings and that Gandalf is actually based on Dumbledore (Works best when you HAVEN'T actually read the books and only watched the movies), and link to me as "THAT IDIOT WHO THINKS HARRY POTTER IS OVER-RATED, AND THAT TOLKIEN IS GOD".

2) Blog about how San Francisco Coffee SUCKS because it is locally-owned and how Starbucks is so much better because it is American (when actually a certain mega-corporation owns the franchise here), and link to me as "THE IDIOT WHO THINKS SAN FRANCISCO COFFEE IS THE BEST COFFEE JOINT IN TOWN, AND THAT STARBUCKS SERVES NOT COFFEE, BUT COFFEE-FLAVOURED SUGAR WATER".

3) Blog about how you USED to support Liverpool in the 80's, Manchester United in the 90's, Arsenal in 2003, and now support Chelsea because 'They are the club with the best history'. And link to me as "THAT IDIOT WHO SUPPORTED LIVERPOOL EVEN WHEN THEY SUCKED AND COULDN'T WIN ANYTHING, AND WON'T CHANGE CLUBS EVEN IF ANOTHER CLUB IS WINNING EVERYTHING".

4) Blog about how you think Jimmy Eats World is CRAP music and how Simple Plan and Michael Learns To Rock are much better bands than Oasis, Foo Fighters, Coldplay and Radiohead combined. And link to me as "THAT IDIOT WHO WORSHIPS JIMMY EAT WORLD, AND THINKS MICHAEL LEARNS TO ROCK IS AN INSULT TO THE NAME".

5) Blog about how The Transformers SUCK and the GOBOTS and GABAN were so much better cartoons, and that JAZZ soudns like ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS. And link to me as "THAT IDIOT WHO THINKS TRANSFORMERS WERE THE BEST CARTOONS OF THE EIGHTIES, AND THINKS THE CARE BEARS SUCKED"

Will add more if I think of more.

So there you have it. A few ways on how to start a blog war with me. Now who says it's useless trying to start a blog war with me, EH? Come lar! I whack you with my badminton racket then you know. Heh.

But then again, now that I've successfully told everyone how to piss me off and start a blog war with me, I shall hereby declare the above pointers useless, because I BLOGGED THEM FIRST. HAH!

Now, excuse me while I go back to not giving a damn.

Sunday, 13 November 2005

Book Review: Coraline (Neil Gaiman)

Back in July, I went down to Singapore to interview a certain author called Neil Gaiman, and eventually, got a book signed. That book was his first ever children's novel, Coraline.

I only got to reading Coraline this week, and despite trying to keep my autographed copy as pristine as possible, I still managed to accidently dog-ear the front cover. GAAAH!

Anyway, I only finished it last night, so here is the review of the book, for this edition of my Hopefully-Weekly Book Review!

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Title: Coraline
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Children/Fantasy/Horror

Synopsis:
When Coraline steps through a door to find another house strangely similar to her own (only better), things seem marvelous.

But there's another mother there, and another father, and they want her to stay and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.

Coraline will have to fight with all her wits and courage if she is to save herself and return to her ordinary life.

What I Liked:
  • Suitably weird
  • Short and sweet
  • Very imaginative
  • It's certainly very DIFFERENT from usual children's books
  • Dave McKean's illustrations are SPOOKY

What I Didn't Like:

  • A bit TOO short for me (but then again, it IS a children's book after all)
  • Kids MIGHT find it a bit scary

What I think:

While reading this book, something Gaiman said during the press conference in Singapore came to mind (these are not his EXACT words though, mind)

"My agent asked me whether I was seriosu about marketing Coraline as a Children's Book, because it is so scary. I told her to read it to her kids, and the next day, she said they LOVED it. I think kids would love the book more because they have no repressed memories of childhood."

I kinda agree with that. And that is why I tend to be a bit disdainful about what parents think they SHOULD or SHOULD NOT read to their kids.

Coraline is scary, no doubt about that, but it's not half as scary as an evil wizard killing schoolchidren with magic, or animals being frozen into stone.

But it is also a highly imaginative book that should encourage kids to read more and IMAGINE more. Adults may find it too simple or a bit spooky, but to kids, this is just another fun story.

If I were a kid, after reading this book I'd be looking behind every door to see if I can find another world. I know I did that after Narnia, dreaming that behind my wardrobe from Kedai Perabot Ah Kong is a whole new magical world.

Coraline may not be a perfect book, but then again, neither is Harry Potter. And I certainly enjoyed THIS book more than the LAST TWO Harry Potter books, despite it being only as thick as two chapters in THOSE two books...

Saturday, 12 November 2005

Let Lainie Tell You what She Thinks About You!

I found out about THIS from Sashi's blog and went over to Lainie's to check it out. In that post, she tells her readers to:

Leave your name and
[1] I'll respond with something random about you.
[2] I'll tell you what song/movie reminds me of you.
[3] I'll pick a flavor of jello to wrestle with you in.
[4] I'll say something that only makes sense to you and me.
[5] I'll tell you my first/clearest memory of you.
[6] I'll tell you what animal you remind me of.
[7] I'll ask you something that I've always wondered about you.
[8] If I do this for you, you must post this on your journal. You MUST. It is written!


So, being the incredibly kepoh person that I am, I decided to leave my name and see what she comes up with. Heck, I wasn't even sure she reads this blog in the first place, to tell the truth. And I have to admit I only go to her blog sporadically... not intentionally, but just because I always seem to forget the URL... :P

Anyway, here's her responses (and my responses to her responses in Italic...)


[1] I was really surprised when I finally found out you work(ed) with Irene. As in Q.
(Well, it's not as if I advertise where I work on the blog right? heh. and what, I don't look like the sort of person who would work there? :-) )

[2] deng deng deng, I believe in miracles....
(PLEASE don't tell me this is the Whitney/Mariah warblefest I think it is. WHY? WHY? WHY THIS SONG?!?!?!)

[3] what do they call the thing they put in cof...oh right, condensed milk.
(CONDENSED MILK? All STICKY and SWEET and GOOEY? Ok, sign me up. But kurang manis boleh kan? I have a toothache, see... :P )

[4] *urk*
(HIC!)

[5] First: I thought you were a girl when I first went to your blog
(Yes, yes, tell me something I've not heard a thousand times before. :P)

[6] This pink one in Monster Rancher...
(PINK?!?!?! Got a picture of the monster?)

[7] Why,.....Eyeris? It can't just be a pun on 'iris', right?
(Not exactly. In fact, the name for the blog came from my nick, and not the other way around. Eyeris is a nick I'd been using since god knows when. How it came about? From the Goo Good Doll's song 'Iris', substitute the 'I' with 'eye' for the 'cool factor', and to prevent people from thinking I'm a girl. That last bit doesn't work all that well though...)

Friday, 11 November 2005

The Bride is a Little Chicken, but kicks the Robots to Madagascar

I watched Chicken Little last night, which brings my 'watched' tally of animated features this year up to four. All I need is Wallace and Gromit to make it a full set. Go me!

With no Pixar movie this year, it's not been an entirely good year for this cartoon-loving freak.
Thank god for Corpse Bride though. I hope Wallace and Gromit is as good as most people make it out to be as well.

Anyway, here's a little recap of all four cartoons, including a short (VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY SHORT) review of Chicken Little:

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Chicken Little - Cute

Corpse Bride - I've already said it's my favorite movie of the year lar, so what more can I say that hasn't been said before about this movie? Go read my review HERE lar.

Madagascar - Funny in patches and predictable. Nothing original, really, and I'm getting sick of Dreamworks' insistence on including a hundred and one spoofs and parodies of commercial products and movies in almost EVERY cartoon they make. Oh, and somebody please shoot that Ali G.

Robots - So unmemorable that I was struggling to recall the name of the last animated feature that was released this year. The only thing I recall liking about this movie was Robin Williams, and even HE couldn't save the movie from sinking beyond my memory's radar.

Now, off to lunch. Woot!

Thursday, 10 November 2005

The Unlonely Loner

This week I've been in a rather 'Loner' mood. Have not been in the mood to socialise, mingle, or even talk to anyone. (Yes, there have been a few exceptions, but that's beside the point). I've shut out a few friends, colleagues, and even my parents, the past few days.

Anyway, It's no fault of anyone that I'm in this mood. Sometimes I go into my Loner Mode because I just don't feel like being Mr Nice Guy (not that I'm Mr Nice Guy most of the time anyway), and just want to be with myself for a while.

I just don't wanna talk, ok? It's sometimes nice to be alone with your thoughts, with the iPod volume turned up to 11. I've ALWAYS been a loner, even when I was a kid. Sure, I had friends, but very few that were beyond the usual 'hi, bye, go and die' stage. And those who DO go beyond that stage, I tend to get too attached to sometimes.

but anyway, I was talking about my Loner Mode. Yup, I'm all alone right now, and quite happy. Sure, I do wish sometimes that my larling was here with me, and that my friends were around, but for the most part, I don't really mind wandering around anywhere on my own.

Some people can't do that. They can't fathom why I would want to go watch a movie alone, go sit in a coffee joint on my own, or even just go walking around on my own. They think to have fun means having fun with your friends.

Well, I beg to differ. I have fun on my own too (and don't get too dirty-minded about that statement, PLEASE). I like sitting in coffee joints alone, reading a book, or with my laptop all booted up and blogging, or just watchign people walk past. I like wandering around KL, walking around for fun. And I certainly don't mind watching movies on my own. Especially if it's the 4th viewing of Return of the King.

You see, loneliness is a state of mind. I feel lonely sometimes too, but for the most part, if I keep to myself, it's not that I'm being anti-social. It's just that I don't SEE being alone as being Anti-social in the first place.

Now, excuse me while I go buy my ONE ticket to watch Chicken Little.

The Middle of the Fence is STILL a Happy Place (But it has its drawbacks)

My wisdom tooth is acting up again. Cit. Bleh. Hurry up and finish growing already. Don't make me go to the dentist again.

Another thing that is kinda pissing me off right now is how I always seem stuck in the middle of things. Yes, I know I like sitting on the fence a lot, but sometimes, even that has its drawbacks as well. As in somehow, I get told things from BOTH sides that I would PROBABLY be better off NOT knowing.

So there I am, caught in the middle of two cold-warring parties, not sure what to make of all the 'dirt' I've heard about both sides. It CAN be really quite frustrating, sometimes, ya know.

But then again, a lifetime of sitting on the fence has taught me this - if you're gonna be neutral, you gotta be neutral all the way. Sometimes it doesn't pay to take sides, so I only take sides if I'm REALLY pissed off at something, or when I really believe and feel strongly in that side's version of things.

As it is, I'm gonna continue sitting on the fence. After all, despite it's drawbacks, it is still a pretty happy place.

Tuesday, 8 November 2005

The Macho Lord Elrond's Secret

FOREWORD: This post has A LOT of pictures, so advance apologies to all readers using dial-up (oi, get broadband lar)

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THE MACHO LORD ELROND











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An Underwhelming Declaration of love for the Thing that is Work.

Bleh.

I'm back at work.

Darn.

Whoopie-doo.

Crap.

But on the bright side, I've got free books!

Yay!

Monday, 7 November 2005

The Genius of Coffee + Beer

Am back from Singapore. Opened my email, and what do I see? An email from Amelia, with the subject title: COFFEE BEER. (Link: New Scientist: Coffee Beer)

OH. MY. GOD.

COFFEE. BEER.

What magic is this? What devilry is this? What GENIUS is this!?!?!

So many questions... What does it taste like? If it's coffee + beer, and it wakes you up AND intoxicate you at the same time, does it give you a headache instead? Does it wake you up like coffee or intoxicate you like beer? Or does it And if I drink too much of it, as in the amount of coffee I take everyday, would I would get drunk?

WOW.

I need some of that NOW. Ok, maybe not now. I just got home, and I need to sleep, and a mug of coffee beer is DEFINITELY NOT what I need now. Goodnight!!

Related links:
The Eyeris Coffee-Song!
The Eyeris Beer-Song!

Sunday, 6 November 2005

Book Review: The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)

I've been away in Singapore for the past thre days, which explains the lack of updates here. :) Nice to see so many comments about The Da Vinci Code post though. Entertaining yourselves well, eh? haha.

Anyway, I finished the damn book in 6 hours = the bus trip from KL to Singapore. So here's the review:

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Title: The Da Vinci Code
Author: Dan Brown

Synopsis:
But.. but.. don't you know it already? Oh well, here goes:

Robert Langdon, Harvard Professor of symbology, receives an urgent late-night call while in Paris: the curator of the Louvre has been murdered. Alongside the body is a series of baffling ciphers.

Langdon and a gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, are stunned to find a trail that leads to the works of Da Vinci - and further. The curator, part of a secret society named the Priory of Sion, may have sacrificed his life to keep secret the location of a vastly important religious relic hidden for centuries.

It appears that the clandestine Vatican-sanctioned Catholic sect Opus Dei has now made its move. Unless Landon and Neveu can decipher the labyrinthine code and quickly assemble the pieces of the puzzle, the Priory's secret - and a stunning historical truth - will be lost forever.

What I liked:
  • A real page-turner, this.
  • A pretty good thriller - fast paced and intriguing.
  • I've always liked code-breaking missions and treasure hunts
  • The Christian theories and historical stuff was actually pretty interesting (regardless of whether it is true or not lar)
What I didn't like:
  • Pretty average writing
  • Characters are pretty uninspiring.
  • Some of the 'clues' and 'puzzles' were too simple
  • I saw the twist coming a mile away
  • Certain parts and dialogue were so cliched and contrived that I actually CRINGED while reading them.

What I think:
Make no mistake, this is one hell of a thriller. It's a page-turner, no doubt about it, considering I finished it in just under 6 hours.

As a thriller, it's really really good. It captures your attention and holds on to it throughout the whole book. The action scenes come one after another, and each chapter ends with a cliffhanger that even though you can guess what happens next, you still wanna keep reading just to see whether you're right.

However, I have to say that this book is really nothing more than a good airport book. The whole Christianity conspiracy theory just doesn't hold too much water. It's a means to an end, and despite what anyone says about what is true or untrue, and whether it's 'blasphemous' or not, I just have to say that to me, it's a plot in a NOVEL. A FICTION NOVEL. I've read fantasy novels with better plots than this lar - more layered, better twists and without the cliche of resorting to cheaply conceived cliffhangers to engage a reader.

Whoever thinks that The Da Vinci Code is brilliant because of it's Christian-related plot should read The Name of the Rose (wow, it's been ages since THAT book came up in this blog). And anyone who thinks Richard Langdon is a great character should read Robin Hobb. Or my Nano novel. Haha.

So, after all that's bee nsaid, would I recommend it? Well, yeah. But don't go buy it. PLEASE help kick it out of the top of the bestseller lists PLEASE. It's not THAT good a book to be there ALL THE TIME, and besides, considering how fast you'd probably finish it, you'd be better off saving your money for another book, and go borrow it from one of those millions who bought it (I bought it for half-price, and now I regret it).

But anyway, I would have to say The Da Vinci Code is a pretty good read. No, to be more specific, a good AIRPORT book. It's not a MUST-READ and it certainly isn't the 'life-changing' novel that people make it out to be, but if you're looking for something easy to read and to kill time, then I'd recommend this over any Chrichton or Clancy airport book.

Oh, BTW, to all those people have been telling me "You HAVE to read The Da Vinci Code!", "Greatest plot in a book I've ever seen!", "It's the best book I've ever read", I have this to say:

GO READ MORE BOOKS.

Thursday, 3 November 2005

Time to Read Da Brown Code

Today, I reached a turning point in my reading 'career'.

I started reading The Da Vinci Code.

I just figured I needed something non-fantasy for a while in between writing my increasingly non-sensical NaNoWriMo novel (7000 words now, and counting!), and just recently I was clearing out my movie poster collection and came across the Da Vinci Code poster.

So, I decided, "Oh well, what the heck. I might as well read this now, since no one is really talking about it anymore (much)."

So, I began the first chapter.

Shoot me now, please, before I start reading Michael Crichton again.

Related posts: Everyone loves you, Danny Brown...

Wednesday, 2 November 2005

The Corpse Bride Remarried

I watched the Corpse Bride for the second time on Tuesday, and it's been stuck on my mind since then. This is one movie that really grows on you.

The first time I watched it, I was so hyped up and excited to finally see it (I'd been waiting for AGES to see it) that I ended up being too intent on WANTING to enjoy the movie. In the end, I just watched it in a blur of pictures and sound and it turned out to be a pretty good movie. Not great, but good.

The second time around though, it was different. I could really sit back and enjoy the animation (hard to imagine it's all stop-motion animation eh?), the expressions and little details on the character's faces (Emily, the Corpse Bride, may be dead and rotting, but she is one cute corpse. Oh no, what have I just said. GAH!), the dialogue, the songs, and everything else I missed while on my first viewing.

It's my favorite movie this year so far.

Granted, there have been very few movies that I've really really liked this year, but Corpse Bride definitely is MY favorite one so far. It's story may be simple, uncomplicated, and the dialogue may be cliched at parts, but it's jolly good fun, and it's a marvelous watch just to see how the stop-motion animation can whop the asses of computer-generated movies like Shark Tale and Madagascar to Looney-Toon-Mars and back.



And of all the characters, I love Emily the Corpse Bride most. No, I don't have a morbid sexual fascination with dead things. I just love the way the character was portrayed, the expressions, her behavior, and Helena Bonham-Carter's voice. She's certainly more emotionally compelling than the average dead person, and as a lead character and a 'love interst' she's certainly no dead fish. Aha. Geddit? 'DEAD' fish? Oh never mind.

Anyway, Corpse Bride to me 's a lovely film. Simple, uncomplicated, and quaintly touching. It ain't no Nightmare Before Christmas that's for sure, but cast aside all comparisons with NBX, and you'll see a movie that is entertaining and wonderful on its own right.

I think I'll go watch it again.

Tuesday, 1 November 2005

NaNoWriMo '05 (Day 1): A Heavenly Synopsis from Hell

It's the second day of NaNoWriMo, and I've done about 2500 words of my novel. I've got the names of my chapters out, and I'm filling up the first one now. I've got aprologue which I'm adding to every other minute, and a Hero named Furniture Wong (don't ask).

As of now, Jesper the Talking Hamster has yet to make an appearence.

As for what my novel is actually about, here's a short synopsis of the 'idea' I had, which I'm going to base the book on. Bear in mind that this is just a tentative synopsis, and the novel could still veer into very weird places indeed.

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Synopsis:

Heaven and Hell have a disagreement, and they have agreed to settle it by having a little 'competition' set in KL (of all places).

First, Heaven chooses seven locations, and then Hell picks one Sinner in each location to represent the seven deadly sins, and giving them each a selected day, and the power to do ANYTHING they want for that day alone.

Heaven has to choose a Heavenly Hero to stop the Sinner from commiting the ultimate Sin on that day. Problem is, the Heavenly Hero will not know who the Sinner is, and vice versa.

Another problem for Heaven is, Hell has lots of money and Gold, and Heaven is practically bankrupt, so Hell can afford to 'hire' Sinners who are professionals, rich, and famous.

HEAVEN, on the other hand, has to rely on cheaper alternatives - their 'Manager' is a Pimp from Jalan Chow Kit (it was the cheapest 'manager' disguise they could get), and their first 'Hero' is a KTV lounge waiter named Furniture Wong....

And so the game begins!

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Yes, it's a stupid premise. So sue me. It's all for fun anyway, right? Like I said, I've done the prologue, and am halfway through the first chapter. Go me!