Wednesday, 29 March 2006

Random hallucinations of a tired mind

Gubra was pretty good
Am hungry.
Damn that Malaysian Idol not very tall hor?
Why no one come up to ME and ask for autograph wan?
KLCC is so noisy.
Ooooo, cute chick.
Damn, no more money for more coffee.
Uh oh, my battery dying.
GAH! why no power point wan?

Bzzzp.

Tuesday, 28 March 2006

Kum Apollo Tora O-Ya!

Last time hor...

When watch Transformers halfway got Tora! Tora!
When want cheesy goodness we shout O-Ya!

When want cheapo toy everybody like Kum-Kum
When got fifty sen we buy Ding-Dang

When want sweet sour and salty we Nano-Nano
When want cripsy choco we go Apollo

We ate Burger Ring and do Kalkitos
No money for Cadbury have to eat Kandos

Later got chocolate stick call Choki-Choki
And chocolate balls call Koko Jelly

Last time no Twistees so we eat Chickadee
But then that time got Double Decker oledi

When want to chew gum we buy Kiki,
Or else we shout V! V! Victory!

We eat Miaw-Miaw while watching TV,
And always have to ask mom not to cook our Mamee

Monday, 27 March 2006

World domination is just a lyric away!!!!

Today I receieved a CD by a certain Malaysian Idol. I opened it up, flipped through the booklet filled with the pre-requisite pictures of the Idol in various glamer poses on glossy glossy paper, and something fell out.

It was a lyric booklet, of all the songs in... HAN YU PIN YIN!!

In case you donno what that means, it's basically the translation of the pronunciation for the Chinese words in the normal alphabet. Or something like that. It's like a literal translation of the SOUNDS of the words (but without telling you what it all means, of course).

So there I was, faced with a booklet full of gibberish, thinking "Gee, this is sheer GENIUS, man."

It's true what. It IS sheer genius. Think about it, if you just leave the lyrics in Chinese, All those people who CAN'T read Chinese won't be able to sing-along with their Malaysian Idol. With a booklet of lyrics in han yu pin yin, EVERYONE can sing his songs, never mind that they don't know what they hell they are singing about.

Heck, even those who CAN read Chinese will probably use it to see if they got the pronunciation of the words right.

It's sheer genius, I tell you. I wonder why the other Chinese stars have not followed suit yet. After all, guys like Wang Lihom and David Tao probably use the same Han Yu Pin Yin lyrics when writing/recording THEIR songs, so if they can just reproduced those 'lyrics' in their CDs, they can start probably sell MORE of their their albums to Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, India, and even America (those who CAN read, that is)!

Karaokes will never be the same again! French, Italian and even Eskimos will be able to sing Jolin Tsai songs! Chinese lyricists will never have to worry about writing proper lyrics that actually make sense (although hip-hop is already doing that)! Chinese words will dissapear forever, but Chinese music will flourish all over the world!

Yes, World Domination is but a phonetic lyric away! BUAHAHAHAHA!

Saturday, 25 March 2006

Book Review: Barkbelly (Cat Weatherill)

And so, after more than three weeks (or was it four?), my Hopefully-Weekly-Book Review returns. Gee, this book blogging business is harder to keep up than I thought. How does Sharon do it?

Anyway, I haven't finished A Briefer History of Time yet, which is why it's still on my 'Currently Reading' list (I tend to take a LONG time with non-fiction, escpecially those invovling science...), but I HAVE been reading a few children's books in between. One of these, is this colourful looking book called Barkbelly...

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Title: Barkbelly
Author: Cat Weatherill

Synopsis:
Barkbelly is a wooden boy, brought up by loving human parents, whose life falls apart when he accidentally kills one of his playmates and has to go on the run. His journey turns into a quest for his real home and his real mother, and takes in along the way the circus, fierce pirates and mysterious giant hedgehogs. - (From Amazon.co.uk)


What I Liked:
  • Nice and simple premise that doesn't try to be too complicated
  • Interesting and relatively well-thought-out concept for the wooden people
  • A good stand against slavery, I thought.
  • Nice colourful characters.
  • In fact, the entire book seemd to be full of colour, and had a somewhat cheerful and optimistic air, even during the sadder and er... violent moments.
What I didn't like:
  • A few more violent moments that seemed a little er... TOO graphic for a children's book at times....
  • Lead character a little 'kayu' at times. Oh wait, he IS made out of wood...
  • Why aren't people a little MORE suprised at Barkbelly and his people being, well, made of wood?
  • Some parts of the book seemed a little rushed, and the ideas tended to be a little 'been there done that'.
  • Some of the 'solutions' seemed to be a little TOO convenient at times


Summary:
Well, nothing spectacular here. It's an interesting enough book to read as a distraction from a slightly more tedious task of poring through the theories concerning the creation of the universe (however Briefer it may be, it's still tedious to me ok?).

Barkbelly is a fairly decent children's book, with the pre-requisite colourful characters, some nicely thought out ideas, and a fairly decent and nicely paced story (if somewhat simple).

That said, there were also the usual clichés - kid joins the circus, gets stuck with pirates, yada yada. The only cliché that was missing was him joining a band of thieves and asking for more soup.

Like I said, this is a fairly decent read. Nothing spectacular, but not bad either. It definitely has a lot of room for improvement, expansion of the world, and further development of the characters, and I hope that happens in the second book in this 'series' - Snowbone.

Friday, 24 March 2006

Eyeris in The Ice Age Too...

Today has been one of those days when I just want to keep to myself, keep my iPod on full blast, and not talk to anyone. Everything seems to annoy me today. Bleh.

In other news, Ice Age 2: The Meltdown is a pretty decent show. Not BRILLIANT, not AWESOME, not GREAT, and not even GOOD. Just DECENT. Watch it for an hour or so of mindless fun. It's funny in a few parts & painfully cliched in most.

But hey, it's a cartoon, and it's supposed to be nothing more than mindless fun anyway. Besides, unless it's Pixar, my expectations for the genre are usually INCREDIBLY LOW anyway.

Ice Age 2 gets two and a half out of five stars from me. Nothing More, Nothing Less.

Now bring on Cars...

Thursday, 23 March 2006

More Than Meets The MY!

I watched Transformers (I'm sure you did too!)
I used to have Transformers (and I still do!)
I buy Transformers (I'm still a kid, watudu?)
I love Transformers (almost as much as I love Artoo-Detoo!)
And now... I can meet people who love Transformers too!

Just go HERE:

transmy

for the biggest gathering of Malaysian Transformers fans in the Malaysian Cyberspace!

Giant robots guaranteed!
Nerdy geeks guaranteed!
Autobots guaranteed!
Decepticons guaranteed!
Hot chicks we all need!

So what ya waiting for? Transform, and ROLL OUT!!!!

Wednesday, 22 March 2006

V Vindicates Varchowskis's Visionary Vendetta

So, it seems as though everyone loved V for Vendetta (except a certain afro-ed Codename V-isitor), and while I did not HATE it like he did, I do agree with him that I was quite let down by the ending, which would probably be rather disappointing to most people who had read the graphic novel.

It's a shame, because everything else in the movie was ACE, but the ending reduced an otherwise mind-screwingly AWESOME movie into a 'mere' great movie instead. With a better ending it could have been even better than it is, but even then, it is SO MUCH BETTER than it COULD have been.

Nevertheless, since I'm really not THAT picky about my movies, I still loved it.

Take nothing away from it, the movie is immensely entertaining, and to me, was quite unlike the usual comic-adaptation BAM BIFF POW PONG movies.

To tell the truth, the V for Vendetta graphic novel is probably too complex to be adapted perfectly in a film. For one, it's way more complex than the movie makes it out to be, there are more characters, more sub-plots, even has even more intrigue than the movie even comes CLOSE to.

So, when I saw the movie's trailer initially, I was fearing the worse, because all it showed were the action scenes and explosions, and nothing to indicate that the story would be even remotely faithful to the book.

But credit to the filmmakers, it was a great movie. It may not have been the perfect adaptation, and it may still be a Hollywood blockbuster (read: playing up on action, toning down of political issues, and generally making things simpler for the 'intellectual' American audiences), but goddamn it is great to watch. Hugo Weaving was great (even behind that mask, you could SEE his expressions), Natalie Portman (who is probably too short for the movie to be ENTIRELY faithful to the comic anyway) was good, and the dialogue was brilliant (most of the time).

After the farce of the Matrix sequels, I have to say the Warchowskis vindicated themselves here. Well, not maybe entirely (I still can't forgive them for completely screwing up the Matrix films), but enough that I MIGHT consider watching another of their films in the future.

But I must say, if you liked the movie, go read the graphic novel, because it would take you one step further into the enigma of V, and makes the whole 'V experience' a lot more complete, I reckon.

I must warn you though, take your time reading the graphic novel, because even though it's technically a 'comic', it's a lot more complex and complicated than even normal novels (Heck, it's certainly a whole lot better than that Dan Brown crap that everybody seems to love).

But then again, if you're the type who DID prefer mindless fluff like the Dead Fishy Cod, and prefer the less grey-cell-stimulating experience of movies over (god forbid) READING, then you probably would think the book is boring, because the pace IS definitely MUCH slower than the movie (its a HOLLYWOOD FILM after all lar), and you actually need to THINK about what you're reading about (shock! horror!)...

Viva le Vendetta!

Tuesday, 21 March 2006

The Miracle of Mobile Good Vibrations

Erna was complaining HERE yesterday that some fella texted her at the god-forsaken hour of 7am and that NO ONE should ever kacau her from 12am to 8am. Unless you're eyeris, of course.

Anyway, I've never had that problem, frankly, mostly because my mobile is permanently on VIBRATE mode, and since when I'm home I always leave my phone in the bedroom, I am almost NEVER bothered by any calls during that god-forsaken hour. Unless I WANT to be bothered, of course.

I DESPISE the sound of mobile phone ringtones you see, and I would prefer not to inflict that which I despise on others, which is why I never turn on the sounds on my mobile phone.

Leaving the phone permanently on silent or vibrate mode DOES have its pros and cons however. For instance:

Pros:
  1. Whenever I don't want to be bothered, I just leave the handphone somewhere I can't see it. If you don't hear or see the call coming in, you don't get bothered by it, geddit?
  2. I don't inflict any of the godawful ringtones in my handphone on anyone around me. Trust me, you don't want to hear any of those annoying ringtones on my phone.
  3. I'm not one of those people who check their phones whenever a ringtone is heard to see if it's their phone that is ringing
  4. I don't bother checking my phone to see if it's off when I'm watching a movie

Cons

  1. Sometimes I just leave it somewhere and tend to miss quite a few important calls
  2. I always have to call people back because I missed their calls
  3. If I misplace it or lose it somewhere, I can't find it by getting someone to call my number and listening for the ringtone
  4. People get scared by my "GAH!" everytime the phone starts vibrating in my pocket.
  5. The vibrating sensation can be pretty annoying sometimes (Tip: Don't keep vibrating mode phone in pockets that are too near your crotch)
  6. If I'm using a handsfree, people think I'm weird because I start talking into thin air whenever I get a call (because they can't hear the call coming mar...)
  7. If I leave it on a monitor, ledge or something, and it keeps vibrating, there is a chance the phone will just vibrate itself off the ledge... DONK!

Monday, 20 March 2006

My Moments of Musiclarity

AS I was on the bus back from Singapore, I was listening to my ‘must play’ list (which is essentially all the songs on my iTunes that have a five star rating), and I realised exactly why I count these songs as my favourites.

It’s that moment in each song in which I forget about everything I’m doing, I drop everything else, and just wait for that moment.

I call it my own personal moment of musical clarity, my personal musical supernova.


  • It’s the guitar solo in Champagne Supernova
  • It's the chorus that reminds me of me on Iris.
  • It's walking down the line, that divides me somewhere in my mind on Boulevard of Broken Dreams
  • It’s Liam's rasping vocals on the verses of Rockin’ Chair
  • It's the feeling of jealousy on Mr. Brightside
  • It's the haunting guitar intro and uplifting chorus of Run
  • It’s that rising riff on Fix You that makes you wanna break into a run
  • It's the anguished pleading on Kiss The Rain
  • It's the improvision on the live acoustic version of She Will Be Loved
  • It's that break in the guitar solo of Best of You
  • It's the soaring 'WHOAAAA' followed by that break of furious drumming on Sweetness
  • It's the finale of Don't Look Back in Anger that follows the guitar solo
  • It's the feeling of missed love on the verses of You're Beautiful
  • It's the silent pining on The Scientist
  • It's the final chorus of The Middle
  • It's every glamorous sunrise throwing the planets out of line on God of Wine
  • It's the memory of LOTR on Into the West
  • It’s that aching solo guitar intro and the chorus on 23
  • It's that final guitar solo in We Will Rock You
  • It's the barrage of history on We Didn't Start The Fire
  • It's the cello on the original, un-murdered Every Breath You Take
  • It's the final bridge on How's It Going To Be
  • It's wishing may angels lead you in on Hear You Me
  • It's the silent wishing on Secret Garden
  • It's the quiet and understated intro of Winning A Battle Losing The War
  • It’s the four and twenty million doors, on life’s endless corridor on The Masterplan
  • It’s the heartbreaking melody on Everybody Hurts
  • It's the pleading finale on the final verse of Fake Plastic Trees
  • It’s the City of the Dead of Jesus of Suburbia, and Nobody Likes You on Homecoming
  • It's the break before the final chorus of Black Balloon
  • It's the meaningful verses of Innocent
  • It's the guitar hook intro of Today that slowly builds into a burst of sound
  • It’s the satisfaction of catching and memorising every single word on the motormouth section of One Week and Semi-Charmed Life
  • It's the repeated choruses of Marching Bands of Manhattan
  • It's people bowing and praying within the Sounds of Silence
  • It's the happy feeling I get when singing along to the 59th Street Bridge Song
  • It's that slight chuckle in the middle of the second verse of At The Zoo
  • It's the faint light of hope I think of during the chorus of Stop Crying Your Heart Out
  • It's getting the chance to dance along the light of day, and heading back to the milky way on Drops of Jupiter
  • It's the piano on Silent All these Years
  • It's the background vocal accompaniment throughout Scarborough Fair/Canticle
  • It's the Simon and Garfunkel resemblance on Homesick
  • It's how heaven and hell decide that they both are satisfied on I'll Follow You Into The Dark
  • It’s the plaintive aching on No Need to Argue
  • It's the the hope in hopelessness of Time of Your Life
  • It’s the soaring finale of Wonderful
  • It’s how even star-crossed lovers sigh on Androgyne
  • It’s the break into the chorus of Here With Me
  • It's the sudden burst of guitars after the initial part of the acoustic version of Summer of 69’
  • It's the long-drawn final note on Bridge over Trouble Water
  • It's the urge to smile everytime I listen to Better Together
  • It's the catchy tune that makes you wanna singalong when Songbird comes on
  • It's the sudden switch to that rocking beat halfway through Like A Friend
  • It's every whisper in every waking hour on Losing My Religion

You see, my favorite moments in each song is not confined to a lyric, a sound, a chorus or verse, it’s just that moment in the song that connects with me, that makes me want to listen to that song over and over again just to catch that one moment, long or short, and which makes listening to the song so worth while.

Songs without that moment are not listened to more than once in a long while. Songs with it are always on my five-star must-play list and listened to over and over again. Good or bad, my personal tastes in songs are all based on that one moment of musiclarity.

Sunday, 19 March 2006

The Meme Sunday: Schools In Rewind

And now, on with the second meme. Man, I'm on a roll today...

Anyway, Sashi tagged me with THIS and since it got me thinking about old days, I figured, why not, I’ll do it!


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The School Meme


How many schools did I go to?
Er… I went to this Chinese primary school called Khee Chee (damn funky name huh?) in Temerloh, and after that, to SMK Abu Bakar Temerloh (known as ABS), and then spent three weeks in Form Six in another secondary school next to Abs, before deciding to sod Form Six and go for a Diploma Computer Science course in UPM.

Spent five and a half years in UPM, the last four of which I’d already decided that computer science was not really my thing and spent three quarters of my time mucking around. I took my time to graduate, taking only the bare essentials to get my degree and get the hell out of there; while at the same time taking a lot of English + Communications electives, so that I could become a writer later.

Was I the studious nerd, or the last minute hero?

The only period in my life when I was actually studying religiously was six months before my SPM, when I would wake up at 4am in the morning to study, and pasted posters of Add Math formulas all over my room.

The rest of the time? Last minute all the way, even through university. In primary school, I was notorious for not doing homework, and in secondary school, I skipped classes all the time. In UPM? Heck, I even missed EXAMS, and was half a year late in handing in my thesis….


Was I the class ‘taiko’ or the teacher’s pet?

Pretty low-profile in primary school, but was pretty much an ‘Untouchable’ during secondary school due to my sports, with teachers letting us do pretty much what we wanted most of the time (our coach very the powerful in school mar). My batch of Form Five Chinese students were also one of the more er… powerful ones. Lots of gangsters (and athletes) Heh.

Oh, and in the short period in which I was a prefect during Form 2, I was probably the single WORST prefect EVAR in my school’s history. Used to bully juniors into reading the Rukunegara on Mondays even when it was my turn… hehe.


What was the biggest rule I broke in school?

Er… skipping classes in secondary school to go drink 100 plus in my coach’s store room; cheating during UPSR trials; getting into fights; bringing Transformers to school; reading Hong Kong comics in class; playing Chor Dai Di in class…


Three subjects I enjoyed.

English – No surprises here. Won a school short story competition with a first draft horror story written in 20 minutes flat about trees falling down around me. Corrected teachers when THEY made mistakes. Walked out of exams after 30 minutes when people were still working on page 2. Aced 1119 without even knowing the format of the exam before going into the hall. I rule.

Physics – To tell the truth, I HATED the Science stream. But I liked physics because it let us play with the little cars used to measure speed and momentum bla bla bla. Used to roll them down the slopes on the table and watch them crash onto the floor, and do it over and over again.

Chinese – I took this subject during SPM without going for a single class from Form 2 to Form 4 (thank god I passed). I started going back to class in Form Five only because there was this really cute teacher….


Three teachers that inspired me.

Mr Ng Hup Thong, my athletics coach – Probably the single most influential teacher I’ve ever had in my life. Not only was he our coach, he was also our mentor. Through him, I learnt how to stand up for myself, to step out of my sister’s over-achieving shadow, and also to work hard. Also taught us history in Form 3, and made us remember Negeri-Negeri Selat by drawing pictures of flies in our notebooks.

Mr Tan, my tuition teacher in Form 3 – I HATED going for tuition with this guy, because he always scolded me and practically FORCED me to write BM karangans ALL THE TIME. Though now I look back, I think he was probably the only reason I managed to do reasonably well in my BM exams in PMR and SPM.

Miss Tee, my Add Maths teacher – Probably the most understanding teacher in ABS at the time. She was also the teacher most of us turned to when we had problems, and was always willing to help us out anytime. Also helped me a lot through my worse subject, Add Maths…

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Tag? Ok, since Erna FORCED me to do the music one, I shall tag HER with this! BUAHAHA!

The Meme Sunday: Musically Uninclined

It's gonna be meme day today, because I really don't know what to blog about right now, and I just got tagged with two memes that are pretty interesting...

I'm gonna first get this music one out of the way, since Erna forced me to do it...

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One song… from your early childhood:
At The Zoo, by Simon & Garfunkel
(Actually, a lot of S&G songs accompanied my childhood, but this is memorable because the animals in the lyrics fascinated me)

One song… you are associating with your first big love: Always Be My Baby, Mariah Carey
(One of the very few Mariah songs I really like, and one she really liked)

One song… you like, but you have got to problems to confess: You’re Beautiful, by James Blunt
(Yes, I like this. So sue me)

One song… which accompanied you, while you where lovesick: Wo Ai Ni, by Wang Jie
(I listened to a lot of depressing Wang Jie songs as a young and lovesick teen. This one was especially depressing because I'd just broke up when it was released...)

One song… you listened to most often in your life: Don’t Look Back in Anger, by Oasis
(No surprises here...)

One song… which is your most favoured instrumental: Forth Eorlingas, from the LOTR: The Two Towers soundtrack
(The Rohan theme gets me everytime)

One song… which represents one of your most favoured bands: 23, by Jimmy Eat World
(Of all their songs, this is the one song I have on reapeat the most times)

One song… in which you recognizes yourself or through which you feel somehow understood: Iris, by the Goo Goo Dolls
(Why do you think I gave myself the nickname 'Eyeris'?)

One song… which reminds you to a certain occasion (and the occasion): Hoi Fut Tin Hong, By Beyond
(Reminds me of the time when I was a young Ah-Beng wannabe in Temerloh who worshipped Beyond, and this song was the most poignant one because it reminds me of the day Wong Ka Kui died.)

One song… you like that is in the Hip-Hop/Rap genre: The Real Slim Shady, by Eminem
(Probably the ONLY rap song I like)

One song… which is the best for you to relax: Better Together, by Jack Johnson
(I'll have to go with Erna on this, because it IS such a relaxing song to listen to, and you can just imagine the coconut trees swaying, the beach, the sun...)

One song… which symbolizes a great time in your life: Summer of ’69, by Bryan Adams
(Ok, so I wasn't born in '69, but change the numbers to '96', and you have one of the best years of my life... Plus this song just reminds me of the good old student days everytime I listen to it...)

One song… which is your most favourite song at the moment: Homesick, by Kings of Convenience
(The most Simon-and-Garfunkel-esque song by KOC, forever immortalised in my mind by the image of them singing it in the dark the other day...)

One song… which you would dedicate to your best friend:
Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, by Art Garfunkel (the Monty Python's version better though)
(Because so many of my friends tend to feel down most of the time and really should try to look on the bright side of things...)

One song… where you have got the feeling that no one besides you likes it: Slow Motion, by Third Eye Blind
(The version on the Blue album is fully instrumental, because the actual lyrics are pretty graphic and the record company refused to release the song)

One song… you like because of its lyrics: Brand New Day, by Sting
(one of the few songs I really like but have yet to get my head around to memorising all the lyrics...)

One song… you like very much and which is neither German nor English (I’ll change this to ‘a language which you don’t use regularly): Baska, by Wilki
(A Polish band. The song is essentially about a whole lot of girls....)

One song… which should be played on your funeral: (Good Riddance) Time of Your Life, by Green Day
(It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right, I hope you had the time of your life....)


Go tag yourself lah. I malas. Though I think Su Yin should do it....

Friday, 17 March 2006

The Many Faces of the Kings of Concert Ecstasy

One of the worse concerts I've ever been to was the Hoobastink thingy that I got conned into going for a of couple years back. It says a lot about how shitty a band is when even though it has lots of upbeat rock songs and a full band, they couldn't even drum up enough enthusiasm to get people dancing.

Which was why last night's Kings of Convenience concert at Singapore's Esplanade was such a remarkable experience - two guys with nothing acoustic guitars and a piano, put on a show that made every single one of us in that hall want to dance.

Hard to believe, eh?

The Kings of Convenience are not a rock band. Quiet is The new Loud, they claim, and last night, their quietness was deafening.

Everything, from the brilliant vocal harmony, the wonderful guitar play, the dreamy songs, the great acoustics of the hall, Erlend joking around and dancing, Eirik gamely taking the jibes from Erlend (and shooting some back as well), THAT oh-so-memorable song in the dark, Erlend's dancing, the anal security guard (who tried to stop people from going up the stage when Erlend invited them)... all of these made the Kings of Convenience one of the the best acts I've seen live EVER.

I'll leave the proper blog concert reviews to Strizzt and Erna (as I'm sure they'll be gushing over it, and besides, I have work to do, so I can't reveal too much here), all I can say is that if you were not a fan when you went into the hall, you'd have left the hall very much converted to the Kings.

(Update: Erna has a full concert review here: Singing softly in the dark. And so does Strizzt: I could never belong to you)

I'm sure everyone's favorite guy that night was Erlend (who says skinny geeks aren't cool?), and so, I present to you now, the many faces of Erlend!



(Update: One of my favorite shots of Erlend I took at the PC is not here. But you can see it on my friend Su-Yin's blog HERE)

Eirik's pictures were not quite as interesting, but here's a few shots of him anyway:



The pictures were taken during the press conference with the guys, where they were pretty much just like what they were on stage, laid-back, relax, and joking around a lot. They were the most down-to-earth guys I'd ever met, and after the whole thing, they were just mingling around with the rest of us, chatting and laughing.

And now, I present to you, Eirik Glambek Bøe and Erlend Øye, together as the Kings of Convenience!!!


Thursday, 16 March 2006

Silhouette of Kings



Interview yesterday was BRILLIANT! Can't wait for the show tonight...

7pm, KINGS OF CONVENIENCE at the ESPLANADE! WOOHOO!

(more on the show and clearer pix of the duo later...)

Monday, 13 March 2006

Erna Wants To Sing With You!

This is a public service announcement, made on behalf of the lady with the sexy lips, Erna

CAN YOU SING? Then Erna wants you!

(ok, her musical wants you, but if you're a cute guy, try your luck with her if you want. hehe. she is SO gonna kill me for this)

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Singers Needed Urgently


2 STRONG SOPRANOS (1st SOPRANOS PREFERABLY) AND 1 BASS REQUIRED FOR MUSICAL

We require 2 strong Sopranos (preferably Sop 1) and 1 strong Bass for our musical Refugee Images in August 2006. Potential candidates must be team players and be able to work well together as part of the chorus. The musical score is challenging!

Please visit the website http://www.thecanticlesingers.com and complete the application form, sending it to us requesting for an audition as soon as possible.

Music Theatre and The Canticle Singers will present the musical Refugee: Images from 8th to 13th August 2006 at the Panggung Bandaraya, Kuala Lumpur. This is their second collaboration following the success of the musical Do You Hear the People Sing? in 2004.

The musical Refugee: Images by director and playwright Chin San Sooi, is completely an original Malaysian work and in fact was the first full-scale locally-written musical in English. The musical provides a series of images of the plight and life of the boat people who arrived on Pulau Bidong and this is paralleled to man’s own journey and wanderings as a “refugee”. Pulau Bidong becomes the symbol of Man’s humanity to man. The musical is a tribute to Malaysia for her compassion for the boat people.

If you have any questions please email me directly as I (Note: the 'I' here is Erna, not eyeris!) am involved in the production. Or call/SMS me at 0162174222.

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Now, go forth and sing!

Greetings from Singabore

So, I'm in Singabore once again, this time for another five days. Sigh.

I think I'll spend most of my time (and money) watching movies. Underworld, Munich, and Gubra are showing here now! Whee!

Oh, and I'm also gonna be watching the Kings of Convenience this Thursday. Anyone else coming for it? Look out for the skinny dude with slightly longish hair smirking smugly in the aisle seats in the fifth row from the stage. :D:D

Sunday, 12 March 2006

Taking Our Lives For Granted

It’s altogether too easy to take things for granted

- We take it for granted that we will always have clean water and fresh air, but don’t make the effort to keep it that way

- We take it for granted that other people will vote for the right government, but complain when you think they didn’t

- We take it for granted that it is our divine right to have cheap petrol, even though prices worldwide have been rising consistently anyway

- We take it for granted that all those rumours and conspiracy theories must be true because 'it all makes sense'

- We take for granted that others will agree with our evaluation of their plight, when all they want is to be left alone

- We take it for granted that just because it's OUR beliefs, that others should conform and adhere to them as well, despite the fact that they have THEIR own beliefs as well

- We take it for granted that if you're not with us, you're against us

- We take it for granted that everyone cares what we think

- We take it for granted that our children will automatically agree with our beliefs, never mind the fact that they don't even know what petrol is

- We take it for granted that just because we're not getting things to go our way, then it would be way better living in another country

- We take it for granted that just because we're in another country, then we MUST be better than those poor sods still 'suffering' in Malaysia.

- We take it for granted that we are just one individual and we could not possibly make a difference

- We take it for granted that the whole world revolves around OUR timetable and that anyone unwilling to adhere to it is worthless as a friend

- We take it for granted that bloggers we like should update EVERYDAY, just because WE want to read it, goddammit.

- We take it for granted that famous bloggers (or just bloggers in general) don't have feelings in real life.

- We take it for granted that that stupid Kancil in front of you would not be turning out into our lane because his signal light is not blinking.

- We take it for granted that two people are a couple just because they are seen together a lot

- We take for granted that the people we fancy are not good enough for us just because they like something we don’t, and miss the chance to find out what they are really like

- We take it for granted that we will never be good enough for our object of affection and thus never at least TRY to make contact

- We take it for granted that others will care when we bitch and moan to them about the same things over and over again.

- We take it for granted that we have bigger problems than everyone else

- We take our health for granted, and only realise it when a illness forces us to miss doing the things we love most

- We take it for granted that friends will forgive and forget, without realising that we are actually taking advantage of them

- We take it for granted that our parents will always be around

- We take for granted the people we love, and despair only when they are gone.

Thursday, 9 March 2006

The Eyeris Writing Technique vs The Blunder Technique

This post was inspired by some 'resources' that was on some blog by a certain prominent blogger who also inspired my Not-Very-Important Disclaimer.

Apparently, according the guru, there are several techniques one can use to be a 'good' feature writer. Wow. No wonder all MY articles suck so bad all these years. WAAA!

Anyway, using the techniques found on the blog, one can learn how to write a damn good article that will probably be showered with accolades in journalistic circles all over the world... of Moominland.

Here is one of the techniques preached by the esteemed prominent blogger:

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

The Blunder Technique

The Blunder Technique of writing articles consists of a few simple sections:

1. The Intro
2. The Nut Giraffe
3. The Main-Hantam Body
4. The Concussion

1. The Intro is usually the front of the article (An intro at the back of an article is generally frowned upon). Usually, people tell something interesting in the intro to make people want to read some more, but unfortunately, in some cases it can turn out to be the ONLY thing worth reading in an article.

2. The Nutty Giraffe is basically a sentence after the intro that is longer than a giraffe's neck, and that explains your whole story so that even a crazy giraffe can understand it. Supposed to be the hardest part of writing an article, because it causes your nuts to fall out of place.

3. The main-hantam body of the article consists of your main story (Duh). No steps here. Just main hantam saja. Besides, it's not like anyone wants to read about all that intellectual discourse about the socio-political situation of Timbuktu and how it will impact the intricate delicacy of diversity between fraudulent adversaries in... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

4. The concussion is something that ends your article with a knockout punch so powerful it gives your reader a concussion (or a very bad headache). If your reader falls asleep after reading it, then congratulations, you've given them a great concussion.

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

Altenatively, if you think that the Blunder Technique is not suitable way for you to launch your fabulous feature writing career, you are also welcomed to use the trademark and patented 10-step Eyeris Writing Technique, which goes something like this:

Step 1: Think of something to write about.
Step 2: Write about it.
Step 3: If you donno what to write, just pakai hantam first, and then edit it later lar.
Step 4: If you can't write the intro, write the rest first lar. Who said Intros had to be written FIRST anyway?
Step 5: After writing it, read it
Step 6: If it sucks, ditch it, and re-write it.
Step 7: If it still sucks even after writing and rewriting it over and over again, ditch the idea.
Step 8: Try to finish the damn thing EVENTUALLY, after which you can...
Step 9: Send it to some big-shot newspaper or magazine to publish it.
Step 10: If no one wants to publish it, blog it sajalar.

Now, don't say I don't share the secrets of my trade. Coming up next: How to interview a pretty celebrity and get her to take pictures with you.

(Disclaimer: All the techniques mentioned here are based on the deluded fantasies of this writer, and I shall therefore not be held respnosible for any articles that were written using these techniques, that end up being published in Kosmo!):

Wednesday, 8 March 2006

Reading Da Vinci Code Gets Your Team Relegated!

Today's post is about books... and football.

Yes, books AND football. Two words that when spoken together, only serve to bring up horror images of David Beckham autobiographies and sleazy 'I Slept With David Beckham' memoirs.

But get this, footballers DO read books as well! Shock! Horror! they don't just go clubbing, wear their wives panties, and go looking for old hookers ALL THE TIME! WOW!

Ahem. Anyway, the BBC carried THIS REPORT about The National Football Museum in Preston inviting some of the game's stars, including the English Premier League's top managers and players (people like Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson, Chelsea's Jose Mourinho and Tottenham's Martin Jol), to nominate their favourite books.

Some of the choices were pretty much quite 'literary', while some were pretty er... shallow. Anyway, here are some of the more notable ones.

Judge for yourself (The full list is HERE, BTW):


Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United manager)
Reads: Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson
(Chests full of shiny Carling Cups!!!)

Martin Jol (Tottenham Hotspur manager)
Reads: Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemmingway
(Wow, deep...)

Graham Souness (former Newcastle United manager)
Reads: Fourth Protocol, by Frederick Forsyth
(Judging from the GREAT job he did in Newcastle, he probably needs more no-brainer time wasters like these, since he might probably be jobless for a LOOOONG time to come.)

Steve Bruce (Birmingham City manager)
Reads: Frank Sinatra, biography by Martin Smith
(Blues manager with the blues reading about Ol' Blue Eyes...)

Sam Allardyce (Bolton Wanderers manager)
Reads: The Soul of a Butterfly, by Mohammed Ali
(funny, his players never seem to float like butterflies, but they tackle like buses)

Alan Curbishley (Charlton manager)
Reads: Bobalong the Brownie Man, by Agnes Grozier Herbertson
(Wha...?)

And here are my favorites:

Jose Mourinho (Self-proclaimed 'Special One' and Chelsea manager)
Reads: The Bible
(You reckon the Special One can part the Red Sea as well?)

Mick McCarthy (former Sunderland manager, recently sacked)
Reads: The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown
(Wow Mick! Were you so engrossed in the book that you forgot how to keep your team up?)

And the bestest of all:

Wayne Rooney (Bull-necked, chicken-brained Manchester United player)
Reads: The Harry Potter Series, by JK Rowling
(Crackin' choice, Wayne. Really highlights your immense intellectual capabilities. Or were these the only non-Enid Blyton books whose names you could remember?)


And no, David Beckham is not in the list. The Confessions of a Heiress by Paris Hilton probably wasn't literary enough. He would probably have nominated his own autobiographies anyway. And besides, maybe he has not read any books at all, just like his wife...

Surprisingly, there were hardly any PLAYERS in the list, besides that aspiring Quidditch player, that is. Maybe they DO go around clubbing, picking up chicks, and look for old hookers all the time....

PS: Sorry to those who don't really understand the football in-jokes here. I wanted to put this on HANTU BOLA, but because of the lack of er... book posts in this supposed 'Book Blog', I decided to post this here instead... heehee

Tuesday, 7 March 2006

X-citement of The Last Stand

AN EMPTY WHEELCHAIR!!

A CURE FOUND!!

A BRIDGE CRUMBLES!!

A LAKE FREEZES!!

A STORM BREWS!!

AN ANGEL SOARS!!

A CYCLOPS PINES!!

A BEAST ROARS!!

A ROGUE'S HEART IS BROKEN!!

A JUGGERNAUT RAMPAGES!!

A SHADOWCAT RUNS THRU WALLS!!

A WOLVERINE GOES BERSERK!!

A DARK PHOENIX RISES!!

AN ARMY BATTLES!!

A FUNERAL! (but for whom?!?!?)



All this in....


THE X3 TRAILER!!!!!!!


Monday, 6 March 2006

Crackin' Oscar, Gromit!

Yay, the Oscars are over, I can get back to my life now (RM33 bucks richer, since I won the office Oscar pool in a three way tie. YAY! If Brokeback Mountain had won Best Picture, I'd have gotten the full RM100. Shucks. Oh well...).

Anyway, I'm not gonna go through EVERY Oscar (since everyone will probably be doing it anyway), but one Oscar win I was quite happy about was Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-rabbit winning the award for Best Animated Feature, beating Howl's Moving Castle (beating Miyazaki is not easy, ok?) and another favorite of mine - Corpse Bride.

Thank god stupid shows like Robots, Madagascar or that godawful Chicken Little were not even nominated. Shows the Academy has at least a LITTLE bit of good taste left in their cartoon veins (then again, didn't that moronic Shark Tale get nominated once? Thank god it lost.)

I'm a big fan of cartoons, see. Heck, I watch more cartoons than actual life-action movies, and I'm not even talking about Anime here. If I watched Anime as well, I wouldn't be watching anything else.

Anyway, like I said before, the two best animated features last year for me were Corpse Bride and W&G. Computer-generated animation be damned, these two movies showed that a good screenplay, an entertaining script and good old-fashioned storytelling was WAAAY better than any amount of commercial product spoofs or movie parodies.

And in the case of W&G (which was all claymation, BTW. What computers?), it showed that you really don't need so-called stars voicing fishes and sharks to make a movie great. All you need are a pair of great lead characters, a cracking script, good old British humour and lots of cute bunnies (and a mouthless-dog).

If you haven't seen the movie, go get the DVD or something. It's a crackin' movie, Gromit!

Now, does anyone know how to get hold of the original animated Wallace and Gromit shorts?

Saturday, 4 March 2006

Wise Up, Old Tooth, You're outta here!

So.... how DID the wisdom tooth extraction go yesterday? Well, it hurt, that's for sure, but not as much as I thought it would.

My appointment was at Wisma HLA at 12pm, but silly me, I went to MENARA HLA instead, where a STUPID guard told me, "Betul lar, ini Wisma HLA." It was only later when I went in and asked that ANOTHER guard told me, "Oi, salah lar, itu Wisma HLA dekat Weld situ."

GAH! Bad enough that I was late, the nurse kept calling me up to see if I could make it, because apparently the dentist was supposed to be at a press conference of some sort and wanted to finish my case AS FAST AS POSSIBLE.

Ah, sense of dread, welcome to my head.

Anyway, I got there ten minutes late, thanks to the wonderful traffic at Jalan Raja Chulan, and as soon as I got in, was ushered onto the chair, and told that the dentist will look at the tooth first and see if he can take it out today.

So, the dentist then came in and told me to open my mouth, and he looked at the tooth.

"Hmmm.." he went.

And there I was hoping I wouldn't need to get it out today.

"Hmmm.. Bolehlah, I'll do this now."

GAH! Dammit!

So, there I was sitting in the chair, and the dentist takes out this HUGE fathermucking NEEDLE and aims it at my mouth.

"It's not gonna hurt is it?" I asked him.

"No lar, only a bit," he said.

Easy for him to say, HE'S the one aiming that bloody needle at MY throat.

Anyway, he JABBED the anaesthetic into my mouth (OW!) and when it kicked in (I couldn't feel my mouth at all), thus began the extraction.

What happened here was a bit hazy, mostly because I had my eyes wide SHUT.

But basically, he took a few instruments, poked around my mouth a little, and after a lot of scraping sounds and sensations, he said, "Rinse your mouth."

I opened my eyes a little to see him putting the offending tooth on the tray, and all I could think was, "Ow?"

"That was fast," I told the dentist, as I TRIED to rinse my mouth (it's kinda funny trying to rinse your mouth when your mouth is all numb with anaesthetics. The water keeps spilling out of holes in your mouth everywhere)

"Oh, if you want it to be slower, you just have to pay more. And it'll hurt more," he said.

Smartass.

Anyway, after a few words of advice from the dentist (and me trying to get him to agree to an interview for a story, after which he told me to shut up and not talk so much), it was time to get home.

Now THIS was interesting. My left eye was woozy from the anaesthetic (couldn't blink properly), and my right cheek was numb. As I was driving through the Friday traffic filled with either people going to the mosque or heading to KLCC to join some stupid demonstration (Oi, if you're going to protest about the PETROL hike, at least SAVE petrol and take the LRT lar!), I could practically FEEL the anaesthetic wearing off, and some bits of pain coming into the equation.

I tell you, that drive home was the most NERVE-WRACKING I've been through in a long time. All I wanted was to get home as fast as possible before the pain kicked in, and lie in my bed.

So, I went ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM HONK HONK ZOOM ZOOM, and ten minutes later, I was home, clutching my cheek, biting on to the cotton, and taking the painkillers.

The first few hours were HELL, mostly because my body was trying to come into terms with having a hole in my mouth where a tooth was supposed to be. I couldn't keep still, had to pace up and down, and keep my mind occupied by going online, reading or SOMETHING, just so I didn't think about the pain.

Thankfully, after that first few hours (and another dose of painkillers later), I kinda got used to the constant numbing pain. Whew.

So, now here I am, one day later, happily blogging about the whole thing, eating porridge, and hoping for gods sake that I don't have to go through the whole thing again.

Well, at least my dentist was a good one. He was fast, professional, there was not much bleeding, and the whole thing didn't hurt much as I expected (except when he jabbed me with a scissors while trying to stitch up the wound). Dr Lim of Lim Dental Surgery rocks.

But there was one thing he said that sent another shiver up my spine:

"Ok, we'll take this one out now, and leave the other one for next time."

THE OTHER ONE?!?!?!?!?!?! NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

Friday, 3 March 2006

Things could be worse.

Stop whining already.
Everybody sucks.
I rule.

Thursday, 2 March 2006

The Bali High: The Sad Tarnishment of Bali's Reputation

Like I said in my first post about my bali trip, before I went, people were asking me, "You not scared you kena bomb ar?!?!??!"

I laughed off their concerns, and went anyway. And had GREAT time.

Funny thing is, AFTER I came back, and told people I went to Bali, people are STILL asking me: "Wah, you didn't get bombed ar???"

Well, the last time I checked, all my limbs were still intact, my hearing was not impaired due to any excessively loud explosive noises, and I did not have any 3rd degree burns on my skin from any fires I may have been caught in. Oh, and I may still be alive (though with this wisdom tooth throbbing in my mouth, I can't be too sure about that).

Like DUH.

Look, people. Bali is NINE TIMES the size of Singapore. Chances of me getting bombed while vegetating in my hotel room or cycling through a padi field were pretty slim, I would imagine, especially since most of the bombings were targeting places in Kuta with a high concentration of er... fair-complexioned tourists, and from all which I was at least fifty km away from.

The tourism trade in Bali has been hit VERY hard by the bombings (which ironically enough, were done by extreme fundametalists from a religion that is not even the major religion on Bali). I spoke to the general manager of my hotel, and he said that even taking into account that February is the general low season for Bali's tourism, he has never seen such bad business before.

Many of the restaurants I went to were almost empty, the cultural performances were performed to less than stellar crowds, and the shopkeepers were so desperate to get some business that they were resorting to giving us ridiculous discounts.

It was quite sad, actually, because Ubud, and Bali in general, does not deserve this. It's a beautiful place to visit (just disregard the obvious blatant commercialism in some places), the people are fabulous (the natives, I mean, not the expats and tourists), and the culture is rich.

So people, if you want to go for holiday in Bali, by all means GO.

If you know where to go, and know the places to avoid, you'll be fine. Even if you don't step foot in Kuta or Denpasar (which is where all the people who don't know better, don't care about culture, or just wanna SHOP and PARTY, go), you'll have a fabulous time.

Besides, unless you're REALLY REALLY unlucky and the terrorists decide to bomb padi fields or babi guling stalls instead, you're probably more likely to be mowed down by a kapcai, or drown in a padi field than get bombed.

Travel smart, people.

Wednesday, 1 March 2006

D-Day For D Tooth

Friday.

March 3rd 2006.

A Day that will live on in agony.

For it is on this day...

THAT I GET THIS BLOODY STUPID ACHING IDIOTIC NUMBINGLY ANNOYING WISDOM TOOTH OUT OF MY MOUTH!!!!!!

*breathe in... breathe out...*

The stupid tooth has been bugging me for the past week now. Initially I thought it'll GO AWAY in a few days like the last attack did, but NOOOO, it's. Still. BUGGING ME!

AND it's giving me a headache at the same time.

My colleague was having a field day telling me about food I can't eat, and people all over have been telling me horror stories about THIER experiences with their wisdom teeth.

I'm also feeling a bit like Dr House now, walking around with a bottle of painkillers, popping one every now and then, and snapping at people.

Right now, I just want a drink preferably with lots of alcohol and I just wanna SLEEP.

Bah.