Another day, another Times Warehouse Sale. The last one I went to which was in Atria was kinda dissappointing to me, esepcially since I only bought ONE book then, compared to like a whole LORRYLOAD of books in past sales.
This time around, the sale in City Square was much better. Though still a bit dissapointing compared to last years.
Anyway, I didn't buy that many books this time round either, mostly because I didn't fancy lugging them around while I waited for my assignment in a few hours time. I only bought THREE books in total, which shows incredible restraint on my part...
What I got were:
1) Asterix and The Actress = RM20.00 2) Neverwhere (Neil Gaiman) = RM24 3) The Scar (China Mieville) = RM8.00
Yup, all for a grand total of only RM52. Not bad eh?
Of course, later I had to wipe that smug smirk off my face because I went to Kinokuniya and could not resist the alluring hardback of THIS book:
Bought it for RM52 bucks (yup, the total of all those three books I bought at the sale), and even then, I had to buy a magazine first to trigger the 20% discount clause it had, so in total, the book + magazine cost me RM61...
Have been pretty busy lately, and besides that Wednesday when I was home all day recuperating from my bout with influenza, I've hardly had time to think about what to blog about. Yup, as hard to believe as this may seem, I actually AM working quite hard these days. SHhhhhhhhhh.
Anyway, seeing as I've got a little bit of time before I run off again, I shall plug a few blogs and get you to read THEM instead. And don't worry, I won't plug Bumi Tengah again, because I haven't updated it (Oops, I just plugged it, didn't I? Darn).
Anyway, here are three blogs that I happen to like reading very very much. (And by 'reading' meaning I actually READ every single word, not just skim through the keywords and go straight to the comments):
1) Potshots - a.k.a. Daft Oi. A Brilliant Parody of a certain prominent blogger. Long-winded at times, and sometimes not-so-funny, but overall, more hits than misses. Need more reason to read it? Jill Civic. Little Earthworms. Nuff said.
2) Strizzt: Rantglass - I like the way she writes. Very poetic, and very vague at times. Even when she rants, she rants in a very eloquent way that always makes me think harder about what she is writing about. She's probably one of the very few bloggers I actually like solely based on the WAY she writes, and one of the few whom I would like to meet LEAST in case meeting her destroys the mental image I have of her. :D
3) The Gongkapas Times - When I first started blogging almost two years back, there were only a handful of blogs I read religiously (Heck, even now I still read very few blogs religiously). This was one of them. She stopped for a while, but happily, she's back, and as wackily articulate and entertaining as ever.
I DO read a lot more blogs than just these three. But I'm pointing out these three just because... well, just because I WANT to. So there!
Since I see mto be getting quite a few hits looking for the location of the latest TimesWarehouse Sale, I figured I might as well do y'all a favour and post this now, in case you get sidetracked into all my PAST posts about the sale instead...
Date: 26th April - 1 May 2006 Time: 10.30 am - 9pm Venue: 5th Floor, City Square Centre, Jalan Tun Razak, 50400 Kuala Lumpur Offer: Flat rates for parking: RM3.50) Minimum purchase of RM50.00 in single receipt and enjoy *10% discounts on Food & Beverage from Malayan Aromas, Ground Floor, City Square Centre *Terms and Conditions apply
The past week's er.. 'activities' have finally taken their toll on me. It's been one long week of non-stop work, running around, late nights, and lots of sporting activities. Too much for me to take me thinks. good thing I didn't stay up for the football match last night...
Anyway, fell sick yesterday (after all that zoom zoom zoom-ing around), and came home early. Knocked out at 5, didn't get up til 10 to eat, then knocked out again until 10am this morning.
No MC though. Sian. Had to use one of my precious accumulated off-days... sigh...
Some notes to self:
Drink more water.
Get more sleep
If you're playing futsal/paintball the next day, don't stay up until 4am or 5am. And most DEFINITELY don't do it two days in a row...
If you're having a sorethroat, don't be an idiot and eat that sambal tumis and tomyam combo ANYWAY. (Even if my philosophy IS 'Eat first, suffer later')
Don't stay up all night watching CSI reruns, Amazing Race and WWE if you have to get up at 7am tomorrow to get to an assignment at 9am...
Oh well. At least now I have the whole day at home to myself. time to do some of the things I haven't ben able to do the past week, like:
Clear up that pile of folded clothes that has turned into one mess of UNfolded clothes because I kept pushing them off my bed when I go to sleep...
Blog a little
Play UFO: Enemy Unknown
Clean my room
Like Fuckstress commands, maybe I'll do my taxes too...
Aw heck, I might just spend the whole day sleeping instead... doo di doo
Me? Fifteen minutes there, late an hour and a half, only spent fifteen minutes there, took one minute to turn on laptop, take pictures, and then blog about it in under five minutes. PLUS, I didn't even wanna jump. Samor still trying to be the first to blog about it. HEHE.
Well, that's all from me, the most kiasu and most unsporting blogger evar!!!!
"PR Agents who don't answer their phones should be shot, drawn, and quartered"
Yesterday was pretty frustrating, calling people to set up a photo shoot, getting everything ready, only to run into ONE idiot PR agent who kept her handphone OFF, thus hampering the progress of everything.
PR agents and journalists are like bread and water: they don't really taste good together, but they are brought together a lot. PR agents need journalists to help publicise their products/events; journalists need PR agents for info about said products and events so we don't get into trouble later for publishing the wrong stuff.
Now, I've met lots of nice PR people who actually ARE nice, and I have no problems wiht them. It's so much easier and so much more professional when a PR agent gives good and well-written press releases, can give us info promptly, and doesn't stall when quick decisions are needed.
HOWEVER, I've also met a fair share of rather incompetant PR people. THESE are the ones who journalists bitch about during tea-time, who complain about, and who we tear our hair out about most of the time.
Here are some of my pet peeves when it comes to dealing with incompetant PR agents:
1)Badly written press releases - Look, stop trying to show off your vocabulary of bombastic (and useless) words that you can't even use in the correct context, stop trying to feed us unnecessary 'facts', and for gods sake keep the damn press release short and sweet PLEASE! And at the very least, GET YOUR GRAMMAR RIGHT. (I have a file full of really badly written press releases in a folder called 'Keepers'. Sometimes I take them out and read them when I'm in need of a good laugh.)
2) Not answering your phone, not replying emails - I won't blame you if you turn off your phone after office hours or during a movie, but FOR GODS SAKE, you're a PR agent, you have an urgent event to promote, the journalist needs to be in touch with you URGENTLY, and what happens? You turn off your phone for half the day? Grrrrrrrrrrr........
3) Trying to manipulate the journalist into writing what you want them to write - Right. I know you are obligated to get as much publicity for your client as possible. And I know that you sponsored everything for me to come and cover the event. That doesn't mean I'm gonna write an entire ADVERTORIAL for you. People have to PAY for that, you know. What I CAN promise you is to that I will give the story what it's worth. Give me a good story or a good interview, and I'll listen to what you want. No guarantees though...
4) Bugging the journalist every other HOUR to find out when the story is coming out - Yes, I know you're stressed, and I know you're anxious to see the results of the event/promo that you just sent me for. But dude, you don't have to wear out my mobile battery just to find out when the story will be published, ok?
5) Asking me to "Go to the website" when I'm trying to get additional information - Look, if I could get what I wanted from the website, I would have gotten it AGES ago, and wouldn't have to call YOU, would I?
Will add more when I think of more.
For the record, this post is not aimed at any particular PR agent. Some of my good friends are in PR. Some even came from PR to become a journalist. And some whom I've met on the job are really nice people who give me correct info whenever I need it, who never stall, and are always honest with me.
No, I'm ranting at those little drops of sour milk that make the whole PR industry look bad. Those who lie abotu their events just to get the journalist to come, who can't even be bothered to run their press release throug ha spell check, who look down on us 'lowly reporters' whom they think are there to make THEM look good, those who try to manipulate us into writing what THEY want us to write, and those who just look pretty and have nothing in their heads besides thinking about the leftover freebies they will be hoarding after the event.
You'd think it would be easy to arrange a photo shoot. After all, how hard can it be? Just call a bunch of people, arrange a photo shoot, get the girl in, take the pictures, do the interview and then write the story.
Excuse me while I go run around like a headless chicken for a while.
Lately, I'm getting a little irritated by it again, to tell the truth. It's all getting a little silly, especially with the whole hoo-ha about the damn movie coming out (which I wouldn't pay to watch, BTW. Even though Audrey Tautou looks decidedly hot in it, so much that I might just fork out some mone... NO! STOP! I can see how you're trying to con me in to paying to watch it! BEGON, Foul Beast!)
Anyway, Dan Brown is a HACK who probably wrote the damn book with the movie rights in mind. Stupid cliches, cliffhangers and predictable plot. Perfect for Hollywood. Heck, it sucks so bad that it's the only thing The Visitor and I have agreed on in ages (Ref: The Da Vinci Crap)
And let's not even mention the calls to ban the movie because of its religious themes. It's bloody FICTION, people. HERRO???? As in 'MADE UP'?????
Me thinks everyone should just GET OVER IT, The Da Fettucini Code is a bloody FICTION book for gods sake, and anyone who thinks its conspiracy theories has any semblence of truth should go shoot themselves or be doomed to spend eternity being forced to read Who Moved My Cheese over and over again until their brains melt.
And WHY THE HELL is the book STILL in the bestseller lists in Malaysia? We might as well just scrap the entire list, give The Da Spaghetti Code it's own list of one, and then have a seperate bestseller list that is "The Bestseller Lists for Books that are NOT The Da Vinci Code". Doesn't anyone buy other books ANYMORE???? GAAAAH!
Breathe in, Breathe out...
Goddammit people, it's a bloody BOOK, and not a very good one at that. It's pulp fiction for those who don't read very much in the first place. Anyone who thinks it is the best book since the Bible should bloody READ MORE BOOKS.
Damn, I'm repeating myself. All this ranting business is not good for originality. I'm blaming The Da MilliVanilli Code for this. Burn them all!!!!!!!!
Kit Kat has always been one of my favorite chocolates. After all, who could resist the chocolate and wafer combo, and the sound of breaking the bars apart? YUM YUM!
I recently got hooked to Kit-Kat again after laying off on the chocs for a while, and I just bought a whole lot of them to add to my stash in my room. I also bought the two limited edition Kit Kats - Lemon Cheesecake (sucks) and Dark Luxury (pretty good), and I tried a Green Tea-flavoured one before as well (which was pretty good I have to say).
But no matter how many Limited Edition flavours they come up with, the Original Kit-Kat is still the best!
But wait, did you see something weird about the above Kit Kat?
No? Look again:
Here's why it looks weird!
You see, I accidently left this particular Kit Kat in the car, which was parked under the hot sun, and all the chocolate melted. Gah.
Good thing it now has new packaging in which the Kit Kat is stuck inside a plastic wrapping, and the chocolate can't run out. If it were the previous packaging with all the foil around it, the chocolate would have been really messy.
Anyway, since the chocolate was pretty much all gooey already, I decided to do a little experiment.
So, I crushed all the remaining wafers inside the bag like this:
And then I got an X-Man to help out:
And for good measure, I drove a truck over it:
And after crushing it with my fingers a little bit more to get the tiny bits the truck may have missed, I eventually ended up with Kit Kat packet with some really mushy and gooey contents in it.
So.... after all that crushing and mashing of the wafers into little itty gooey bits, I now present to you the NEWEST addition to the Kit Kat family...
.... The Eyeris Special Edition Bubur KitKat!
Disappointingly, it tasted just like any other Kit Kat, except I had to use a spoon, and it wasn't crispy no more. Sigh.... All that hard work for nothing special....
I was clearing out my desk (again), this time the food drawer where I keep my stash of 3-in-1 coffee and chocolate bars, and I realised that I seem to have unconciously amassed quite a collection of different coffee.
When I came back from Sabah last week, I brought back a whole bag of Sabah coffee which was supposed to be good. It was when I was trying to stuff this bag of coffee into that drawer that I realise I had so many other coffee types in it that I had not finished yet.
There's my whole pile of Nescafe 3-in-1 Rich packets that I replenish every month (and which seems to be running low pretty fast these days), all mixed up with that pile of Aik Cheong Ipoh White Coffee 3-in-1s that I take in the evenings (my Nescafe is taken in morning), and which I will not buy again because the coffee sucks and it's too sweet.
There's that jar of Nescafe Gold Blend that I've only finished halfway and which I use to 'spice up' my 3-in-1s (by adding a few shakes of the powder into the cup). Somehow, Gold Blend and normal Nescafe has always tasted the same to me. Maybe it's just because Nescafe is Nescafe, and people like me who can't afford a proper coffee maker should just shut up and bear with it eh?
Then there's that er... pot of Bali strong coffee that I bought when I was in, well, Bali, and which I have not tried yet because I was trying to finish my other coffee first... I need to get some filter paper first though...
Also, one thing I just can't remember why I bought in the first place is that bag of Aik Cheong coffee bags which I absolutely HATE and just does not taste well even with creamer and sugar (note to self, don't buy Aik Cheong anymore). Bleh. Ditto those Cafe 21 sticks that don't even have sugar in them. Double Bleh.
Besides all that assorted 'proper' coffee types, there's also all those loose packets of Nescafe I swiped from hotel rooms, along with hotel sugar and creamer packets. Yes, I'm a cheapskate, so sue me.
It's like a regular caffeine-addicted drawer, that. No wonder it can never close properly. Must be permanently high.
Once, I tried mixing ALL the different types of coffee (four in total at the time), and what came out was an (almost) undrinkable mush that smelled strong enough to kill an elephant. Tasted ok though (although I didn't drink enough to it to see exactly how strong it was...).
Besides the coffee, there's also a whole tupperware full of teabags (which I don't even DRINK), and even a bottle of Coffeemate vanilla-flavoured creamer which sucks like hell (but which I can't bear to throw away because it cost so much). Oh, and a pile of Nestum 3-in-1s Oatmeal packets, and a jar of Cadbury's Chocolate drink. Good for breakfast (provided I'm actually in the office early enough for it to be breakfast in the first place...)
I wish they'd open a San Francisco Coffee here... sigh.... I think I'll go make myself another cup of Ipoh White Coffee...
The Malaysian Blogking of Koi, Food, noob maps and harebrain mandarin orange collecting ideas has come up with a way to 'fakeplan' a story book, in which he just uses the (professional-looking) cover of a personal/office planner, takes out the stuff inside, and 'selit' the book into the cover so that you can read it anytime, anywhere, even during meetings!
Of course, being the kiasu book blogger who can't bear to be shown up by a food blogger, I have to pooh-pooh his idea and come up with something just as canggih and as unproductive as his idea.
So now, I shall teach you how to read a book without anyone knowing, WITHOUT having to destroy any expensive-looking organisers or office planners (so that you can add it to that pile of unused and out-dated calenders and office planners over there), and without having to resort to buying a new digital camera to take pictures (Read Eye on Everything! We do everything on a low budget! Now Everyone Can Read This Blog!)
Anyway, here's my guide on... -----------------------------------------
How to Read a Book during an Meeting or Class: An Expert Guide 1) Choose your book. Make sure the book is small enough to slip inside your pocket or handbag (any normal paperbacks should fit just fine. Unless it's Harry Potter 5 & 6, or Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrel. In which case you'll need really big pockets).
2) Remember to use a bookmark for easy access later to the page you will be reading from before you go to the meeting, and try not to fidget too much when it's in your pocket.
3) When seated at the conference table and moving your hands only UNDER THE TABLE, slowly slip the book out of your pocket or handbag, while keeping your body posture rigid and looking straight at the chairperson at all times (Best time to do this is when the Chairperson is speaking at the beginning of the meeting, or before the lecture starts, when the lecturer just walked in)
4) Once you've got the book out, hold it with one hand under the table, and keep one hand ON the table holding a pen, hovering over a blank piece of paper, so you can pretend to be writing while you're actually reading.
5) Open book with one hand, using the bookmark as a guide (remember, you have to keep looking straight).
6) Wait for the opportune moment to actually start reading (I find the best time to do this is when the chairperson is listening to reports from other people and when he isn't looking at you or around the table. If attempting this technique in a lecture, just wait for the lecturer or teacher to turn his attention to the slides/blackboard)
7) When the moment arrives, just lean back on your chair, lift the book slightly so the top of the book is resting on your lap (and about 2 inches below the top of the table), and then commence reading (your line of sight should be almost level with that piece of paper you're pretending to write on)
8) Look up at the chairperson/lecturer once in a while to nod thoughtfully, as if you're actually listening to him. Doodle on the paper every now and then.
9) Remember to turn the pages as quietly as possible, and to do it all with one hand only.
10) When meeting/class ends, in the confusion of everyone getting up and talking at once, discreetly slip the book back into your pocket or handbag (alternatively, just cover it with that blank piece of paper you were pretending to write on and get out of the room as fast as possible)
As usual, a not-so-important disclaimer: The blogger is not responsible for any jobs lost or exam failures incurred as a result of anyone using the above technique. Read at your own risk!
Once upon a time, I used to listen to a lot of Malay songs. Stuff like Iklim, Wings, Ella, Sheila Majid and so on. Unfortunately, not having money to buy any additional cassettes at the time (most of my money went into buying Chinese and English ones instead. Oh, and CDs were out of the question then), the only place I could listen to them were on FM radio. So, if I wanted to listen to the songs more often, I'd have to record them on cassette.
What I would do was this - I bought empty cassettes, and when the radio program aired, I would wait by it, making sure I had a good reception, and press the 'Record' button when the song came on.
It involved a bit of work though - everyday I would go through the papers for the section which listed the radio programs. Back then, the radio listings even had song lists of songs that listeners had requested and which would be played on that day. The usual programs I looked out for were the Radio Muzik request programs at night for Malay songs, and American Top 40 (hosted by Casey Kasem then) for English songs. Oh, and the weekend 'Jade Music Charts' on the RTM Chinese station as well (last time belum ada Hitz, Mix, My, 988, Fly, yada yada yada....).
(Update: Crash Athenos pointed out that it might have been Shadoe Stevens, not Casey Kasem who hosted American Top 40. And come to think of it, I think it WAS Shadoe Stevens who did the radio show, while Casey Kasem did the TV one. I can't remember. gah).
I also had to press the 'Record' button at the correct moment to minimise the chattering by the DJ, and to make sure I didn't cut off the intro of the song.
I made quite a few of my own compilation cassettes that way. I got so good that I could tell when exactly the DJ would stop talking and press the button at the exact same moment the song started (it ws easiest to guess with Casey Kasem. Malaysian DJs suck).
Still, some of those compilation cassettes I had still had bits of the DJs talking at the end and beginning of the song. That couldn't be helped, and after I'd listened to the tape a lot, I tended to get so used to the talking bits that even when I was listening to the proper album version of the song, I'd half-expect the DJ to come on at specific parts of the song.
I also got VEEEERY irritated at DJs who cut in halfway through a song. Mess up my songs only. Bah. It's even worse when you've been waiting for the song for an hour or so, and then the bloody DJ cuts it off halfway through the song. Gah.
If the reception was bad, then I'd have the song, but also with a lot of static, which was pretty annoying (and which also explains why I'm so very the particular about the sound quality of my mp3s these days .
Of course, these days, the wonder of mp3 technology now allows me to mix my own CDs to listening in the car, without having to resort to fiddling around with cassette decks and making sure I press records buttons simultaneously for 'best sound quality'.
And with my iPod, it's even better. I've had my iPod shuffle for almost a year now, and I seriously can't imagine what I'd do without it.
But last night, when I was reloading my iPod with new songs, I kept thinking back to all those cassettes I used to make, and all those hours spent by the radio waiting for that ONE particular song to come on, and pressing the record button when it did, playing it back after the song only to find that the reception during the song was completely screwed.
In some ways, the ease in which I can make CDs and iPod playlists now just does not have the same satisfaction as all those compilation cassettes I made from radio recordings, and the satisfaction of FINALLY getting a clear version of the song I'd been attempting to record for weeks.
Over the past week, I'd only been home for a little over 8 hours, having been in Singapore for three days, then coming home on Sunday only to fly off to Sabah again early Monday morning.
So it was that on Wednesday, I was looking forward to coming home and going to sleep to my nice little bed, maybe play a little LEGO or blog a little on my (surprisingly reliable) Streamyx for a while.
But no, what do I do? I forget to bring my keys.
Gah. THE AGONY of being SO tantalisingly close to home, yet being separated from my lovely little bed by ONE MEASLY LITTLE LOCKED DOOR! So cruel, so cruel. Sigh.
In the end, I had to spend YET another night out of my house, and bunk on the sofa in my brother's place instead.
But fear not, for I am back home now, happily blogging on my little laptop, and looking forward to sleeping in my OWN BED for the next few nights.
But wait, what is this?
WHAT? We're going to Penang TOMORROW MORNING? Gah....
I'm gonna be in Sabah on assignment for the next three days, and unless those big trees in the jungle also double as broadband satellites, I doubt I'd be able to update this blog.
So, in the meantime, do entertain yourself by going to Hantu Bola for football stuff, or go read past chapters of Bumi Tengah (no, I haven't updated it since February. Not easy writing nonsense leh).
Also, does anyone have any interesting stories about their Wisdom Teeth they would like to share? I'm compiling a collection of them for er... work, can you believe it. The more excruciating/interesting/painful/amusing the better! Email me at eyeriz (at) gmail (dot) com to share your wisdom tooth experience with the rest of Malaysia! Buahaha!
Oh, and the last post wasn't about closing the blog lar. Haiyor.
Those of you who have been following this blog should be familiar with The Visitor, the dastardly afro behind the film/horror/nonsense blog The Clouded Moon, who always argues with me about movies and what not.
Unfortunately, things have not been going too well for the dude, and shortly after posting this declaration of intent The End Of The World As We Know It in his blog recently, he has finally snapped.
Check out what he wrote in his latest post:
THATS IT.....LIFES OVER NOW.................................