Friday, November 30

Jingle all the way....hey!

I’ve got a stupid song in my head. Well, it’s not stupid and it’s not really a song. More like an annoying radio jingle that’s been playing in my head like a broken record. How about I infect you with my plague….

Ryan, you’re calling Ryan….
Not John, or Paul, or Bob, or Steve, or Mike, but Ry-an
Ryan, R-R-R- Ryan
No one but Ryan will answer your call….

It’s annoying but freaking good fun to sing along to. If you listen and sing along to radio jingles, what does that say about your life? Sad, huh….

Ryan….
You’re calling Ryan….

Tuesday, November 27

Year-end Crazy Parade

It’s that time of the year again. We’re almost at the end, but not quite. Every time I get to this year-end-but-not-quite season, I am enveloped by a sense of…. malaise, if you will. Some sort of laziness creeps in. Well maybe not laziness, maybe more of a worn out kinda phase.

I feel like working less and taking more leave. It doesn’t help the matter that I have unintentionally accumulated all my leave days into a big lump to be utilised in these last few months. So I get 25 days of leave a year (yeah, I can hear some of you scream foul), plus the 12 days that I carried from last year, that makes it 37 days of annual leave. And now I have used up about 12 days, leaving me with about 25. So now I carry forward 12 to next year and I still have a total of 13. Minus the three I took last week and I’m still left with 10. Ten days of leave to be used up between now and the 31st of December. Sigh, what a lovely mess I’m in. I’m not complaining.

The laziness creeping in is making me tired of all things work-related. I just want to say, okay, let’s just get it over and done with. Enough of this year already. Let’s just do nothing till January. When January comes we will start with such gusto and drive, and work harder. Note: working harder is the stupid resolution that I seem to make yearly, except maybe last year when I declared it to be stupid. And I’m beginning to sound like a mad woman already right?

Ah well, the good news is that I am so lazy but yet have lots of time to watch tv. Or is it because I’m lazy that I have time to watch tv? Anyway, my current favourite shows that I catch on Astro are Brothers & Sisters, and Big Love. I love them to bits…. I love Criminal Minds too but I think the season ended last week on 8TV. So I watch tv and read (labouring to read as I get so sleepy at night after tv). And I spend time on Facebook. You know that other idiotic time consuming social networking utility shit… but hey I love it too…. It’s fun catching up with school friends and what-have-yous….

Ok now I’m too lazy to wrap this up, so I guess that’s it. Time to go check Facebook.

And go home. Yeah… now we’re talking….

Friday, October 5

Of food and relatives that come once a year

It’s almost Raya now. Ramadhan is well on its 23rd day. I am looking forward to Raya. Not as much as I did when I was a kid, nonetheless, still looking forward to it.

This year we’ll be celebrating it here in KL, my beloved hometown. Yeah yeah, don’t make cracks about not having a kampong to balik to. I’m a city girl and my so-called ‘kampung’ is here. My grandma is here and my parents are here. And contrary to popular belief, it is meriah to celebrate Raya here. People who say otherwise are just people who don’t belong. They need to go balik elsewhere, so just go already, and leave us to our merry-making. I don’t mean to sound rude, but if they are patriotic over their respective kampungs, why shouldn’t I be? KL is all that I’ve ever known.

Oh well….

When I was younger, my mother used to make nasi tomato for every Raya. We’d have chicken curry and sambal tumis and acar and daging dendeng and cakes and cookies. My mum loves cooking and baking. Those were great fun times. Now however my mum doesn’t cook up a storm like that anymore. She buys all her cookies. Lucky for us she buys most of the cookies from my aunt. So it’s still homemade, though not made in our home. Haha!

Both my parents and in-laws will be here this year so we need to go visit both, and then we shall go visit my grandma and aunt. Can’t wait for the wonderful food that will be waiting for us. My grandma’s house will be the meeting point for all my aunts and uncles. I’m looking forward to meeting them all. Now that I’m a working adult, I don’t get to see them as much as I used to. I haven’t seen an uncle of mine like ages ago! (Ok I exaggerate, it was probably a year plus ago.)

So I’m definitely waiting for the food and the relatives. In that order. Yeah yeah, can’t you tell I’m a glutton already. *smile*

Monday, September 24

13 is depressing

13? That’s it? 13 measly books read this year? Ah what is wrong with me? How can I ever read more than 20 at the rate I’m going?

Hubby’s solution was simple. “Read thinner books.”

I look at him incredulously. The mere suggestion emitted a cry from me, “And for what?” Downgrade my reading level so I could have more books on my list? Substitute quality for quantity? Such nerve…. Giving such a suggestion to me. Well you have to applaud the guy for coming up with a fast, easy (and cheaper?) solution. But no thanks. I’d rather have read fewer books that are notable, compared to more books that are…. how do you say… mmm, fluff? Hahaha, that’s the book snob speaking again. I am honestly not a snob in real life. Honestly….

Now, come to think of it, it’s not that I consciously choose to read less books, it’s that I’ve just got no time to spare, more so now in Ramadhan. Days after work are spent with dinner, prayers and maybe 30 minutes of channel surfing or magazine flipping. That’s it. I get too tired to do anything else. My attempts to read, ahem, keyword here being ‘attempts’, are normally just that. Attempts. No action follows whatsoever. I take a book, curl up with my pillow, read one page, and doze off, while the book remains unread save a page or two. That’s why it took me so long to finish Gaiman’s book (though I started reading way way wayyy before Ramadhan). And now that I’m finally done with that book, I’m on a deliberate break from reading novels.

13 books huh…. Sad….

Wednesday, August 29

Status: Not connected

I have no email?

I have no email!

There’s something seriously wrong with my email. Something’s screwed up somewhere. And to make matters worse, the only person who can come and look into this matter happens to be on leave today. No!

It seriously sucks. I cannot see what I have to do for work, I cannot send out any for fear they might never reach their destination.

I cannot just sit here and not get email.

Seriously!

mudslinger rummages around for online games to keep her occupied till 5.30….

Tuesday, August 28

Sometimes I just wanna snap my fingers....

Buying a house is no joke. Both hubby and I are first-time buyers and we sure don’t know a lot. And to make matters worse, we have to be the unlucky ones with the wishy-washy developers. I am just so frustrated sometimes. I don’t know what to do. And then there are these problems of late delivery and being given vacant possession without water and electricity. I mean, what gives????

Wish I could snap my fingers and all would right itself.

Talk about wishful thinking....

Monday, August 27

My preciousssss....

Life at high speed continued, that’s why no blog posts. My sister was in the hospital and I had deadlines (again!) and I had to move office.

Last week I was busy with packing and unpacking. Moving office is really no small matter, even though my office is actually just me, me, and me.

Now I’ve got computer boxes left over from my move. I intend to keep it for moving house end of this year. Yep, you read right, moving house. That’s gonna be more hard work coz I’ve been in that rented house for about 3 years, so I’ve got stuff lying about everywhere. I don’t even know where to begin! Should I start with the store room with my boxes of books? Or maybe our bedroom with errr.... more boxes of my books....

Seriously, I have 4 rectangular boxes of books in my bedroom, plus two Ikea cardboard boxes filled with more recent purchases. And loads of Penguin classics and Archie comic digests in the storeroom. I just can’t let them go. They’re my preciousssss…. Ayaya, where am I gonna put them all in our new place? All this still doesn’t take into consideration hubby’s books - his architecture books and his paperback novels. I think our home will be filled with books, books and more books. We need to invest in some real hard wearing covered book cases (hear that hubby?) to keep them all. They’ve been staying in boxes for three years, and it’s time they got some fresh air.

I love my books....

Wednesday, August 15

And away we go!

Aaah, blogging. I’ve missed it for quite some time now. Yeah yeah, I’m a terrible blogger, blog updater, blog writer, whatever….

Life was at high speed these past few weeks. After Harry Potter, we did not watch any new movies at the cinema. No more movie outings I guess. And I have been busy at work. Yeah I know, it’s a sorry excuse. But it was quite taxing. An avalanche of work. Many things to prepare: reports, presentations, etc. etc. etc. Many distractions around: email,
Friendster, other people’s blogs, Second Life, free pc games, Facebook. This leaves no time to blog (pathetic, but true).

So here I am, back to talking gibberish and rambling on and on about inconsequential stuff that probably only affects me. Hahaha, it’s good to be back!

Wednesday, July 25

Movie: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

I watched Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix during its opening weekend. I thought I’d immediately write somewhat a review of the movie, but I just got buried by an avalanche of work. So that idea was scrapped. Now, almost two weeks later, I finally have some time to breathe. Thinking of writing a review is somehow not that appealing as Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is stale news already (to me anyway).

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the fifth in the ever popular Potter series. Directed by David Yates, the movie continues with Harry trying to convince everyone that Lord Voldemort is back and that it is up to the Harry and his friends to stop him, seeing that the Ministry is not only refusing to stop Voldemort, they are in denial and are refusing to even acknowledge his reappearance.

The movie runs for about two hours (138 mins) and ironically is the shortest Potter film which comes from the longest Potter book in the series (at 800+ pages). This was one of the reasons many have complained that the movie was ‘jumpy’ and did not include many things from the book.

On the other hand, I thought Yates did an amazing job directing and putting together everything neatly into a package where we know enough to get the story and to move the plot. Sure, we just don’t get the full wham of the book. This is understandable, as in almost all cases of book-turned-movie; the book will always be far superior to the movie. It’s incomparable.

I really enjoyed this movie, and my husband (a non-Potter reader) seems to enjoy it as much as I did. I liked the fireworks scene with Fred and George Weasley, and the duelling scene at the end between the Order of the Phoenix and the Death Eaters. The wand duelling was almost a great big dance, with ultra cool moves and stances. I like!

Harry, well what can be said for Harry. Harry is a bit more matured (especially his voice - no more squeaky talking). I feel his pain, anguish, frustration, but I’m at times missing the scar. Perhaps the director thought it wise not to make it too obvious on his forehead. Sure it’s there, it just happens to be a bit inconspicuous.

As for Ron and Hermione, I love them both. The voice of reason, Hermione has grown into a beautiful young woman who takes control and is one of Harry’s biggest advocates. Ron is also comfortable in his role as best friend and provides comic relief.

There is one scene that is still on my mind. This was where the three were discussing Harry’s kiss with Cho which took place earlier. Harry, Hermione and Ron ended their conversation with a great hearty laugh. There’s something about that laugh that made me love them all the more. And after some snooping around, I found out that that laugh was a real laugh from Daniel, Emma and Rupert after they’d said their lines. It was a great laugh that the director kept the film rolling to capture it.

This movie also introduces some new characters, which I truly enjoyed watching. Luna Lovegood couldn’t have been more perfect. The faraway look on her face and her at-times wistful voice is exactly the way I thought she should be. Luna was among my favourites. Bellatrix Lestrange was her crazy self, but perhaps not as crazy as I had imagined. Perhaps there’s more to her in the next movie. And Umbridge, with her pink clothes, and her kittens, and her throat clearing “hmm hmm” was really so annoying and mean that I felt like asking her to write lines! A great portrayal indeed. Other characters had too little screen presence to make an impact (like Tonks).

One thing that I thought was glaring was the incident with the Thestrals. Among the six students from Dumbledore’s Army who went to the Ministry, only Harry and Luna were supposed to be able to see the Thestrals. So how did his friends ride the Thestrals if they couldn’t see them? This was explained in the book, but in the movie, no one seems to have noticed that the kids are all flying on the Thestrals. Hmmm….

The movie was great for me. I think it was dark enough to be the successor of the Goblet of Fire. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it was worth the wait. I can’t wait for next year’s Half Blood Prince!

A must watch for Potter fans. And to non-Potter readers and non-fans, give it a go, you never know…. You might enjoy it yet.

Monday, July 23

Shame on you!

Much has been said about the Harry Potter price wars. Many have spoken and conveyed their views. My two cents:

To the bookstores who refuse to sell (MPH, Times, Harris and Popular), good for you for making your stand. I may not agree fully with your action, but I understand where you guys are coming from. Fight!

To the hypermarkets (whom I shall not even name, coz I hate their guts - it’s my blog and I can say what I like), what’s the matter with you? Suddenly being goody-goody and offering such a ‘dignified’ service to sell cheaper books to people?

You are not practising good business conduct. Surely you’re out to make money, with cheap publicity stunts like that, it’s without a doubt that you will cover your losses through the sale of other items.

It blatantly shows that you don’t honour the unwritten rule of appropriate business etiquette, and you have no sense of fair play whatsoever. Shame on you!

Wednesday, July 11

Nice? Who're you calling nice?

Recently I went to a seminar on Systems Thinking and how it can help solve most of our complex problems. It was a great seminar and I think it would be beneficial to everyone. During the seminar, I found out that my main problem at work was caused by a negative archetype called the Attractiveness Principle.

And what is the Attractiveness Principle you ask? Trying to please everyone, because saying no is too hard to do. The mental model here is: We must please everybody all of the time.

How do you like that? Never in a million years would I have that of myself…. Being too nice and accommodating? But after thinking about it, I realised that it was somewhat true. So now I have to work on its positive archetype, which is to Be My Best. The mental model here is: We make choices about what we can and cannot do, knowing that it may not please everybody all of the time.

Now that is surely something that I need to practise and believe in. No more being the doormat and saying yes to everyone at work. There are times when I just need to say no.

Tuesday, July 10

Movie: Transformers

Last Sunday I watched Transformers for the second time. Yes, the first was during its opening weekend at Cineleisure. What a blast! I’m still contemplating writing a review of it, seeing that it’s old news already. Ah, what the heck….

We all know the Transformers story. Most of us kids who grew up in the eighties would be very familiar with the cartoon. I’m not a fanatic, mind you, but I did watch episodes together with my brother when we were younger. He even had a Transformers lunchbox. It was red and depicted a battle scene between the Autobots and the Decepticons (hey bro, remember this?).

So basically what we have is the Autobots who are trying to protect mankind from destruction by the Decepticons, who are in search of something called the Allspark. The Allspark (the Cube) is a vital piece which holds power to create life. It was lost in space and landed on Earth a long long time ago. A map to its whereabouts was imprinted into the glasses of Capt Archibald Witwicky, the grandfather of Sam Witwicky. Unbeknownst to Sam, he holds the map to the Allspark, and while the Decepticons are trying to find it, the Autobots come to his rescue. Okay, any more telling and I’ll spoil the movie experience.

So it being Michael Bay, you can expect to see lots of action and crashes and explosions. In this, Bay does not disappoint. However, the ending was a bit too abrupt to me. Sure, you have the prerequisite battle scenes between the Autobots and the Decepticons, and they are heart-thumping awe inducing scenes, but the end of it all….

<=== HERE BE SPOILERS ===>

I felt that it was a bit to easy the way Megatron died. I mean, Sam pushes the Allspark into his chest? That’s it? The evil devious Megatron was defeated just like that? Just doesn’t cut it….

All in all, I must say that I did enjoy the movie. It was fantastic. And I watched it twice. What does that say? It contained enough inside ‘jokes’ for fans, like the yellow Volkswagen next to Bumblebee who’s now a Camaro, and a bumblebee hanging from the rear view mirror of the Camaro.

So if you haven’t already, go watch it. It will not disappoint.

Monday, July 2

More D'Rimba photos

I was at D'Rimba again on Saturday, and these are more photos of the place. They've got the nameplate thingy up already....

And they've completed the path from the clubhouse to the gazebo near the pool....

There's even this foot reflexology path thingy.... (i really need to brush up my vocab!)....

Can't wait....

Monday, June 25

Transformers transform!

Can you feel it? Can you feel it yet? It's coming. It's so close you can almost smell it, grasp it, taste it.... It's breathing down your neck. You just reach out a bit more and you can feel it graze your fingertips.....

The biggest, highly anticipated, most exhilarating, electrifying experience is about to happen....

TRANSFORMERS: MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE!!!!!!!!

See the person who didn't heed the warning. Face the wrath of Megatron!


p/s: Cool promo!

Tuesday, June 19

D'Rimba Pictures

Ok, these are for the benefit of future owners of units in D'Rimba in Kota Damansara. We've bought a unit there, and a fortnight ago, we went to get some pictures of the place.

The first picture is of the clubhouse and the ones that follow were taken from the clubhouse. It shows the playground, the pool, the river and the little bridge.



These are of the clubhouse and the units. We don't have any pictures taken inside the units as they were locked.



And here is the last batch of pictures. Plus our unit and the outside area.

We hope to be able to move in by this year.

Monday, June 18

Helllll-loww? Anybody home?

Ok, why are the months in my archive not in English? Junio? Mayo? Hell-low....????

What's up with that....????


Wednesday, June 13

Welcome to the real world

We depend so much on the internet. I know I do. First thing I do when I get to the office is to log in online, then check my email, then check my superior’s schedule for the day, after which I reply to my email and update his schedule and alert others of meetings or appointments, also through email. Then I switch on my messenger to keep in touch with co-workers, and also husband, brother and sister in Damansara, KLCC and in PJ respectively. All of these I’ve described above depend solely on the internet connection that my office so generously provides.

So the worst thing that can happen is to see this:

Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage
Most likely causes:
You are not connected to the Internet
The website is encountering problems
There might be a typing error blah blah blah blah blah....

This is like the pits! So I have to resort to doing things that don’t need the connection, like, oh I don’t know, play downloaded games? And listen to songs, and type out my blog entry on word, and basically have a party. How’s that for a Wednesday?

Now all I have to do is the wait till the connection is back on so that I can post this.

*mudslinger hums along to Estranged’s ‘Itu Kamu’ and thinks dreamily of lunch time*

Tuesday, June 12

My love affair with Big Apple

Last Saturday I was at the Curve, to especially look for the new donut place. My brother had recommended them to me and when he said something was good, I’d normally take him seriously, more so when it comes to food.

So hubby and I went traipsing through the flea market after our usual rounds at Borders. Ok, directions said, the place would be behind TGIF’s. And lo and behold, so it was. Follow the smell and you’ll find it, said my brother.

Big Apple Donuts & Coffee, beautiful!


They were having a special promotion where you purchase a dozen donuts and get half a dozen free. 18 delish donuts! Now who’s going to be able to wolf down 18 donuts right? That’s what we thought too. Still since it was the last day of their promotion, we bought the donuts and took home all 18 in two boxes. There should be some people at my in-laws place who would be hungry for donuts for tea.

I didn’t do a good job of taking down their names and taking decent pictures, as I was salivating over them so much more so with that smell wafting in the air. The only thoughts in my head were “eat now eat now eat now”.

I’m not a great big fan of donuts, as the ones we find here like in Dunkin are not to my liking. But believe me when I tell you, these are damn good! They’re so soft and soft and soft and yummmmm and soft and soft and …. Ok, sorry that got me salivating and I can’t think straight….

We had these donuts (from top L - R): blueberry, mango, almond, nutty chocolate, two oreos, two vanilla, icing sugar (I called it snowy hehehe), belgian chocolate, strawberry, and peanut butter. Sorry I don’t remember their actual names....



And the free ones are the original glazed donuts, yummy……


I’m still waiting for Krispy Kreme. And since KK is not in Malaysia (yet), this is a good substitute I guess…. Just so you know I think I ate four or five of them donuts…. Hahaha!

I’ve made plans with hubby to go there again this Saturday. This time we’re gonna have coffee and have our donuts there. Hmmm, and if I can think straight while I’m eating all those donuts, I might take more pictures.

Sometimes....

Sometimes things just don’t work out the way you plan them. No matter how hard you plan and strategise and plan and counter-plan and plan some more, things just won’t work out the way you want them. Kinda puts you in your place, doesn’t it? That there is a bigger power at work, that there is a single entity that controls all things like the galaxies and the universe and the planets and the sun and the moon and the insignificant little speck of dirt that is you.

Aaah well, at least you tried. That makes all the difference. If you didn’t try and didn’t challenge yourself, it won’t mean anything. Time goes by, the world goes round still, and the planets move in their course. But the thing is that you tried. That means you rose to the challenge and attempted and struggled and made a great effort to change things. If they don’t work out, well, at least you tried.

Sometimes things just don’t work out the way you plan them….

Thursday, June 7

Pain? What pain?

My legs hurt. I know I should be blessed by the fact that I have two legs to walk, but I can’t help but to complain a little today. Oh ye, allow me to air my grouse....

The pain is some kind of dull throbbing in my knees and ankles. My joints hurt when I walk. I feel so frustrated! Here I am, trying my best to walk properly and the best that I can it seems is to resort to taking clumsy steps that prevent me from walking straight.

I am mortified and hope that nobody sees me, but too late. This morning the lady security guard asked me what was wrong with my legs. Can I walk, she asked. I forced a grin and told her I had sprained my ankle. There, a lie. It makes me feel even worse.

Strangers hold the door open for me and wait patiently while I shuffle along, trying to move fast so that they don’t have to wait on me too long. That happened twice today. Twice! And the day is not over yet.

I am walking to my office, a dozen things to do, and I just can’t move fast enough. I wish I could run, or moved faster, as fast as I used to. Sometimes, I’d wallow in self-pity; oh woe is me, why is this happening to me? Most times I would just blame myself. When that happens, I have to force myself and give myself a thorough shake-up.

Stop being such a weakling! It’s all in your head.
If you pretend it’s not there, then it isn’t.
If you want to be normal, you’d stop all these ridiculous whining.
If you want to be taken seriously, act like you’re ok.

Act it....
Act it....
Act it....
Play pretend long enough and it will be real....

Wednesday, June 6

Movie: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

I got a chance to catch this last week. I did not have such high expectations of this movie, what with it being the third instalment of the Pirates movie. That, plus the fact that the second Pirates was not so great and kind of forgettable. Well, to me anyway. So if you don’t have high expectations, you should not be so sorely disappointed right?

It’s a movie about pirates. Pirates have a code of conduct, the Pirate Code of the Brethren, a set of rules to live by, pirate’s oath of allegiance and all that…. and that includes double crossing everyone and anyone that you can. Savvy….?

The first 10 minutes or so into the movie I was confused. Mostly because I don’t really remember what had taken place in the second movie, and how everything ended where it did. The third movie picked up where it left off and we are thrown head first into the goings on of the rescuing of Capt Jack Sparrow from Davey Jones’ Locker at World’s End.

The movie moves fast, has lots of actions, contains many many subplots, and you’ll be taken for a real ride on choppy waters. You cheer for them, laugh with them, and hold your breath when they fight. What else can I say? It’s a pirate movie! A good swashbuckling swaggering movie!

The cast were all great (I’m being really generous here). Chow Yun-Fat was alright. Keith Richards looked ‘authentic’. And Depp was a great Jack Sparrow. Nay, Depp is Jack Sparrow, Pirate Lord of the Caribbean Sea.

At World’s End is a fun adventure. I’d say I enjoyed this more than I did Dead Man’s Chest. But my favourite will always be Curse of the Black Pearl.

Thursday, May 31

Book: Ender’s Game

This is my first sci-fi book this year. Though I don’t think I did read any sci-fi last year or the year before that. This was recommended by one of my friends, and to my delight, it was a fantastic book.

Ender’s Game follows the story of Andrew ‘Ender’ Wiggins, a six year old boy who lives sometime in the future. Earth has gone through two battles with buggers, or insect-looking aliens, and is getting ready for the next invasion. We are introduced to Ender on the day when he has his monitor removed. The monitor, well…. it monitors his actions and behaviour and transmits this to the IF or the International Fleet, the organisation responsible for recruiting commanders for their starships to fight against the buggers.

Being a Third in a United States that only allows two children per family, Ender is always the object of scorn and ridicule, more so now that his monitor has been removed and no one is there to ‘protect’ him. Kids at school bully him and hate him for being the extremely intelligent child that he is. On the day his monitor is removed, Ender gets into a big fight and injures one of the kids badly.

A day after the fight at school, Ender receives a visit from the IF, who take him away to Battle School to begin training for military command. The Battle School is a space station, thus Ender has to leave his family behind. He doesn’t mind it much, as he dislikes his brother Peter, who has such contempt for Ender that he often threatens to kill Ender. However Ender will miss his sister Valentine, as she is the only one that he truly loves and cares for.

At Battle School we follow Ender through his strife and the many obstacles that stand in his way. He goes through a very tough time, even for a six-year-old genius. He is manipulated and pushed to the limit by his teachers. He is shunned and alienated by the other kids. It is here that I find the book most interesting. The tactical strategies of battle that Ender comes up with, the leadership qualities and how he commands respect, the unorthodox ways of teaching and leading his army: these are the things that make the novel great in my opinion.

I love Ender and I feel for him. I understand how harsh and challenging it can be when you’re different. Ender’s intellect, conduct, and his way of thinking and treating others are the things that make me love him so much. I just can’t explain how fantastic and creative and imaginative this novel is. I just love it to bits….

The novel won two awards for Orson Scott Card: the Nebula Award for best novel in 1985, and the Hugo Award for best novel in 1986. The Nebula and the Hugo are the two notable awards in science fiction. Hurray for Orson Scott Card!

Ender’s Game is highly recommended. And just another bit of info, the movie (based on the novel and its parallel novel, Ender’s Shadow) is currently under production. No cast list yet, but you can bet that I will wait to see it.

Wednesday, May 30

Oh wouldn't it be lover-ly?

This entry is long overdue….

My birthday present from hubby were tickets to go watch the musical My Fair Lady, which was staged here in Kuala Lumpur form the 15th to the 20th of May. Hubby and I together with sis-in-law and her husband went to watch the 3pm show on Saturday the 19th at the Plenary Hall in KL Convention Centre. It was my first time watching a presentation in KLCC so I was really looking forward to being there.




I thoroughly enjoyed myself that day. The performance was good. I loved the singing and dancing and camaraderie between the actors. I thought it was splendid!

During the show however, kids were restless. Yup, kids. They allowed kids in there. I mean little kids. There should be some kind of regulation that says no kids below 6 or something like that. So that was a distraction.

And the difference between KLCC and Istana Budaya were the lax rules. In Istana Budaya, as is practised elsewhere where musicals and plays are concerned, once the doors are closed, they remain closed until intermission. If you were late, that’s too bad. You’d have to wait till intermission to get in. Not here though, people kept going in and out and that too was a distraction. Not good!

Maybe on their part they were trying to make theatre more ‘audience friendly’ so that it would appeal to all. But what good are first class facilities if you can’t have first class attitudes?

Wednesday, May 23

Much ado about 113.4 grams

Today I shall show you how I eat my Quarter Pounder with Cheese. Yes, it’s a slow dull day….

First, unwrap your burger and place it in the middle of the wrapper. Put the top bun half aside. See all the chopped onions and gooey cheese? Yumm….

Next, take your fries and arrange them in a vertical fashion. Horizontal won’t work, because if done horizontally, the fries will fall apart when you bite into your burger. No chilli sauce. Sacrilegious! Ok, if you must… fine… add chilli sauce. Just so you know, ketchup’s way better…. but I don’t add anything to this burger.


Now fold the top half of the wrapper over your burger like so, and fold the bottom half also to form a little pocket.


Ta-raa! Now you can eat without messing up…. Enjoy!


When hubby and I were dating, I found that he also ate like this. Soulmates! Hahaha....

Friday, May 18

Birthday weekend

I celebrated my birthday last Saturday. So it was a day for me, me and more me. Hubby and I took almost the whole day for our outing.

First we had to have our breakfast so we went to our favourite hangout. Where else but at the golden arches. Yep we went to McD’s. We both had the hotcakes, and were so stuffed we couldn’t move after that. But it was just the beginning of our outing so we dragged out butts off and went to Kota Damansara to check on the progress of our future home. It was coming along nicely. Hubby and I stopped at the clubhouse and looked at the area around surrounding the pool. What fun, can’t wait to move there!

After that we went to the Curve, and first stop was Borders. I promised myself not to buy anything, even though it was my birthday and I deserved at least that much of a treat. But no, we just spent time walking between the aisles. Well, I spent my time browsing the aisles, while hubby was seated comfortably with his book. I was satisfied with my ‘rounds’, as I had spent more time there than usual. We stayed at the bookstore for somewhat close to two hours. It was such great fun! Ok, for those of you who don’t know me, you must be thinking, “What a loser. What great fun is there is spending hours in a bookstore?” If you must know my life is filled with books. And one of my favourite hangouts is the bookstore. And one of my favourite smells is the smell of new books as soon as we enter the bookstore. Aaaaahhhhh…… relaxing……

Rumbling tummies signal the time for lunch. Off we marched across the street to Ikano to Fasta Pasta. Hubby ordered the pappardelle while I had the linguine. And we shared a Caesar’s salad. I guess it must have been for sharing as the portion was huge. But I must say that it was one of the best Caesar’s I’ve tasted thus far. It even outshone my linguine! Yumm!

Once in Ikano, we decided to stop by the Crocs store to take a look at the crocs sandals. Such ugly little things mind you. Well, they looked ugly in the beginning. And to our surprise, the store was jam packed with families, all looking for crocs for their kids. Whoa! We had earlier promised to try them on the next time we saw them on sale, because we wanted to know if they were really comfortable as claimed. Since they looked freaking ugly and yet many people own them they must be comfortable right? Right. And they’re so light. I mean when I read lightweight, I could imagine it being somewhat light. But to my surprise it was sooo light. Really really light, if you can imagine that. And the jibbitz! Wow so many and so cute…. By the way, jibbitz are the d├ęcor thingies you dress up your crocs with…. Ok I’d better stop, lest I sound like an ad. Oh one last thing, the crocs that look like thongs and ballet slippers don’t look too bad. Ok I’m done with crocs.

After this we went to Ikea. We went round the whole store, so you can imagine how tired I was after that. We went to look for a wedding gift too for a friend. After this I was just too tired to walk some more. We wanted to stop by Starbucks for a drink but it was so full, so we ditched that idea. We stopped at a McD’s drive thru on the way back to get some iced tea to quench our thirst.

What a truly exciting day it was. And I almost forgot. Hubby presented me with my birthday present while we were at Fasta Pasta with such style and gusto. Haha, he simply set it on the table after we finished our meal. It was tickets to watch My Fair Lady tomorrow at the KL Convention Centre! Oooooh, the best gift I’ve ever received! So I’m off to see the musical tomorrow. What fun!

Someone's 'ead restin' on my knee,
Warm an' tender as 'e can be.
'ho takes good care of me,
Aow, wouldn't it be loverly?
Loverly, loverly, loverly, loverly….

Book: Stardust

Stardust is the second Neil Gaiman novel I’ve read this year, the first being Neverwhere.

Stardust tells the story of Tristran Thorn, who dwells in the village of Wall. The village of Wall is next to a meadow where every nine years folks from all over congregate for a fair, including folks from Faerie, a place beyond the meadows. Stardust begins with a story of Tristran’s father and follows him to the point where Tristran was born. We understand from the very start that Tristran is special, and different from the others at Wall.

The story then takes flight when Tristran, a young man now, makes a somewhat rash promise of bringing back a fallen star for the most beautiful girl in Wall, Victoria Forrester. In return Victoria must give him whatever he so desires. And thus we follow Tristran on his quest to find the fallen star, journeying through Faerie and meeting its many colourful folk, some with malicious desires of their own.

This fantasy romance (if I may call it such) is a very interesting story. It reads like a fairy tale, but it is more ‘evil’ and probably more ‘adult’ than the fairy tales that we’ve grown up with. I enjoyed it immensely and was somewhat sad to finish the book. A good read indeed.

Thursday, May 10

Movie: Spiderman-3

After the exciting first and second movie, we are given a third instalment of the boy-next-door superhero Spiderman. We see Peter Parker as finally being able to juggle his everyday life with girlfriend Mary Jane and his superhero life.

With three villains in this movie (new Goblin, Sandman, and Venom) I thought this was going to be really exciting. Well, suffice to say that I was a wee bit disappointed. There was so much going on, drama and sub-stories and I was a little overwhelmed. Well, the director was probably trying to tell his tale, and trying to answer questions. Ok I got that. But where’s the magic that was in the first two movies?

I felt like the movie took so much time dawdling here and there. The fight sequence should be fantastic too right, considering Spidey has three nemeses? Wrong. I felt like there was no oomph to the scenes, and the only duel I enjoyed was between Spidey and Harry, which was the first duel scene. After that it was just too busy with stuff going on everywhere.

Maybe it was sitting in the second row that made me not enjoy the movie so much, so it’s not fair for me to be so harsh. I did enjoy it. Well, not really. My exact words were, ‘It was ok’.

So if you want to watch an ok movie, go ahead. After all it is Spiderman. Perhaps you’ll get better seats and who knows? You’d find it more enjoyable than I did.

A prelude to spidey

Last Wednesday I went to catch Spiderman 3 at the cinemas. It being a public holiday and Spiderman 3 a newly released movie, I couldn’t book tickets online. Well, coz I was about a week late. Well, I forgot that the cinema accepted advanced booking and had advanced ticket sales as well.

We got to GSC in Mid Valley Megamall at about 9.20 a.m. and already a queue was forming. Hubby joined the queue and told me to go get breakfast from McD’s and to wait for him there. So I bought us breakfast and chose to sit at the counter with the stools, underneath the huge double arches of McDonald’s. So I sat and I waited and I ate and I waited. The queue grew longer and longer and snaked its way through all the way to McD’s, and it wasn’t even ten yet. The cinema counters opened at ten, but by 9.45 the queue had almost reached in front of where I was sitting.

When the counters opened, they had to make special announcements stating which counters would sell only Spidey tickets, and which shows were already sold out. Even though they mentioned that the first show had been sold out, the crowd didn’t thin out. Instead it grew even longer! It went all the way past the double arches where I was sitting and grew all the way to the entrance to the Gold Class! Look at these photos….

This was taken before 10 a.m.


This was taken at about 10.15 am.


Hmmm, Malaysians really love their movies, don’t they?

So how was Spidey you ask?

Well that’s another entry altogether….

Monday, May 7

Movie: TMNT

This is the third and last of my 'opinions' on the three movies I watched recently. Well, I watched Spiderman 3 too, but that will have to wait....

TMNT

When I was a kid, my brother and I used to watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on TV. They were the coolest talking animal superheroes. And they coloured our vocabulary with words such as ‘cowabunga’ and ‘dude’. So I was really excited at having these turtles being made into an animated movie this year.

I watched the movie some weeks ago, and I was impressed. Donatello, Raphael, Leonardo and Michelangelo reunite once again to fight off some evil monsters who appear every several thousand years or so. I found the story quite enjoyable to tell you the truth. At first I was quite disappointed to see the animation of the human characters. They were kinda lame, like your average cartoon. But then the turtles came and the monsters came. And they were cool. (See…. I sound like a kid now). The turtles were really awesome with their CGI and after a while, I sort of forgot they were all CGI. Yes they were that credible.

I really liked the movie and I think most of the adults at the cinema did too. The kids, well, the kids were squirming in their seats after a while, so I guess it wasn’t much fun for them as it was for us thirty somethings.

I would recommend it to all, especially to all the 80s kids.

Monday, April 23

Movie: Mukhsin

The second in a series of three movies that I watched was Yasmin Ahmad’s Mukhsin. So here’s what I think….

Mukhsin
I always look forward to watching films by Yasmin Ahmad. I like her style; clean and simple. Her stories are a sheer pleasure to watch.

Mukhsin is the tale of Orked, at age 10. We already know Orked from Sepet and Gubra. Here she is the younger version of the intelligent witty girl that we’ve grown to love.

Mukhsin relates the story of Mukhsin the new boy in the village and his friendship with Orked. Mukhsin first sees Orked as a replacement player in a traditional game of galah panjang. He is then intrigued by this girl, who does not act like the other girls in the village. She doesn’t enjoy playing house or masak-masak, but enjoys reading and watching football. And before he knows it, Mukhsin is in love with Orked. This is after all, a tale of first loves.

I am sure Mukhsin brings back memories of the things we used to do when we were kids; the tree climbing, the bicycling, the galah panjang games. Mohd Syafie Naswip and Sharifah Aryana both did a fantastic job playing the parts of Mukhsin and Orked. I love their acting, I love the sceneries, and I love the music…. Especially Nina Simone’s Ne me quitte pas… so sad and haunting… so so sad…..

Watch it, as it’s one of the best movies that I am proud to call Malaysian….

Tuesday, April 17

Movie: 300

I watched three movies recently. Well, not so recently… Sometime back…. Anyway here are just my opinions on them. I wouldn’t exactly call them reviews, just opinions, ok. We’ll start with this one.

300
Frank Miller’s 300. The first time I saw the trailer I was actually not at all intrigued to watch the movie. After being badgered repeatedly by them on tv, my husband suggested we go watch the show. I agreed albeit a bit reluctantly. After all, it is Frank Miller’s comic turned movie, and since we enjoyed Sin City, we thought we should give this movie a chance.

300 tells the story of King Leonidas of Sparta, who fought in the Battle of Thermopylae, where 300 Spartans went up against the Persian King Xerxes and his army of a million. This battle of epic proportions shows the 300 Spartans choosing to fight to the last man rather than having Sparta submit to Xerxes and the Persian Empire.

Putting aside all the controversies that surround the movie, the historical inaccuracy, and the negative depiction of Persians, I must say that personally 300 was actually very enjoyable. The battle scenes though bloody and gory were intensely appealing. Surprisingly, I was looking forward to all the battle scenes and was quite bored with the story of King Leonidas’ wife, Queen Gorgo who was back in Sparta rallying for support for her husband.

The landscape (though CGI) was beautiful, the images were arresting, and the Spartans…. *sigh* well… the Spartans were just beautiful. Let’s just leave it at that.

The story was ok, but the battle scenes…. the battle scenes were what made this movie so appealing to me. I loved it.

Friday, April 13

Hotcakes? Yummmm....

Ok ok, I now I haven't been updating. Blame work, blame tv, blame social life, blame Second Life....

The good news is I have been reading my books. The bad news is I haven't found the time to write the reviews....

Anyway, I want to dedicate this post to McD's hotcakes, which I had about a fortnight ago. This reminded me of the time when I was at the airport in Sydney, when I first had them. That was like eons ago. Yummy....

I really enjoyed the three hotcakes, with the butter and syrup. McD's is kind enough to give two packs of butter for three hotcakes, but I forgot to take a picture and only took these after my first bite. Couldn't resist....


And thanks to McD's also for providing a generous amount of syrup to drown my hotcakes in. See the buttery syrupy goo that my hotcakes are in? I'd definitely go back for more. Yumm....



Till next post, mudslinger says have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 22

Books Read and Unread....

I was reading through Josette’s blog Books Love Me, and saw this meme. So here goes….

Look at the list of books below. Bold the ones you’ve read, italicize the ones you want to read, cross out the ones you won’t touch with a 10 foot pole, put a cross (+) in front of the ones on your book shelf, and asterisk (*) the ones you’ve never heard of.

1. + The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. + Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. + To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. + The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. + The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. + The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. * Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. * A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. + Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. + Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. * A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. + Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. + Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. * Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. + Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. + Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. + The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. + The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. + Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. + Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. * Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. + 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. * The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. * The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. + The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. * The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. * Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. + The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. * The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. + Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. * The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. + Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. * Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. + Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. * The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. * The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. * Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. + Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. * Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
87. * Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. * The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. * Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. + Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. * In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. + Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. * The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

I didn’t cross out any, because there might always be the possibility of my picking it up in the future….

Tuesday, February 13

What's with the attitude?!?

I have a grouse of sorts…. It’s been bugging me every time I’m faced with it, but I keep forgetting to write about it. So here goes….

Hubby and I - we like to go gallivanting here and there. And most of the time it will take up most of the day. So because of this we often perform our prayers at suraus or prayer rooms provided at the various shopping malls.

Every time I go to these suraus, I will feel like a hypocrite - my intention is to pray and yet I will leave the surau with bad feelings. You see, whenever I meet anyone there I’ll try to look at them and catch their eye and the very least smile. Sometimes the ladies who are there smile back. Most of the time, they don’t. And I’m like wtf?? Isn’t smiling a sedekah?

It also pisses me when some people come into the surau and proceed with their prayers oblivious to others who are there. I’m not saying that you should be a chatterbox and try to talk to everyone, but what’s wrong with smiling, nodding your head or even giving the salaam. Odd isn’t it? Aren’t all Muslims brothers and sisters? And yet here, in the place where you come to perform your solat, you look at people from the corner of your eyes. And when we all share the mirror to put on our tudungs, you jeling-jeling and tengok orang semacam. Apa masalah kau? Ini surau, tempat beribadat. Tempat merendahkan diri, bukan tempat hipokrit. Solat tonggang tonggek, dengan sesama muslimah pun tak tau nak senyum.

See, I’m so pissed that it’s got me rambling in BM.

Tuesday, February 6

That Boyz II Men Thing....

This entry is so long overdue. But nonetheless, I’ve got to put it in as it marked a special moment in my life.

Two weekends ago, hubby and I went to Genting to catch the Boyz II Men concert. We went on Saturday, the 27th and took the bus and skyway up. We got there at about 2.30 p.m. and collected our tickets at the Arena of Stars. Then we checked into our hotel. We stayed at the Theme Park Hotel, which was merely a stone’s throw from the Arena of Stars. I’d purposely avoided the First World Hotel, coz the last time we were there (in 2004) we were not so happy with the room. It was so minute! Okay, so I digress….

We went to the First World Plaza and had a fun time taking loads of pics, which incidentally you’ll not see here (to keep my anonymity as mudslinger). We went back to the hotel at about 5.30 p.m., just enough time to rest before the concert. Doors opened at 7, so we wanted to be there by then - which meant we had to skip dinner, and have supper.

The show it self was amazing. We were so ecstatic and we had fun singing and dancing to old faves like On Bended Knee, Four Seasons of Loneliness, I’ll Make Love to You, and newer stuff from their latest album. They ended with a great performance of End of the Road, and an even greater rousing rendition of Motownphilly for the encore.




All in all, it was a great performance and we left the Arena with sore throats (and hungry tummies). We were lucky that there was a Coffee Bean at the lobby of our Hotel. So that’s where we had yummy chicken pie and lasagne. And we sat there and chit-chatted the night away, reliving the experience.

The next day, we had breakfast at the Resort Hotel. It was so cold that day in Genting! It was freezing and misty. After breakfast and a short tv watching session, we packed our bags, and checked out at noon. Then we headed to First World Plaza again for lunch, before heading back to the skyway station to take the cable car and bus down.

It was so much fun. The weekend seemed longer than two days, probably coz of the many activities that we did. Fun fun fun!

Tuesday, January 23

Movie: Little Miss Sunshine

Olive dreams of becoming a beauty queen like Miss America. However, she is by no means the ‘pageant’ type - she’s bespectacled and slightly plump. But her dream is on its way of becoming reality when through some default or other she gets to go to California and take part in the finals of the Little Miss Sunshine pageant. Her whole family then goes on a cross country trip in their family’s VW van.

Olive’s family is made up of dad, Richard who’s a motivational speaker and is down on his luck, and mum, Sheryl, who is a chain smoker and probably on the verge of a breakdown trying to cope with raising the family. Olive’s brother, Dwayne is a high school kid who has taken a vow of silence and will not speak until he is allowed to join the Air Force. They are joined by the angry and sullen Grandpa who was kicked out of retirement home for his heroine snorting. Add to this bunch Olive’s uncle, Frank (Sheryl’s brother) who has just been released from the hospital and has to be under supervision as he had earlier slit his wrists as his love goes unrequited from his student.

See how they cope being with one another throughout the trip, their resentment, their anger, their love towards one another, and the way they cope with issues like death. It’s sad at times and makes you think of your own family, as I’m sure there’s an oddball in every family.

The movie is both fun and funny, especially the end, during the pageant itself. I can’t tell you any more lest I spoil your movie experience. Watch it and you’ll be surprised.

Monday, January 22

Neverwhere, Ludmilla and the Sunday Philosophers

On Saturday, hubby and I went to Borders at the Curve. It’s time for me to get more books, since I’ve finished PD James’ book. After about an hour of surveying all the titles in the aisles, I finally decided on the Buy 3 for the price of 2 promo.

My purchases were decided by these facts:
1) I’ve never read works by those authors,
2) I’ve always wanted to read their works, and
3) Never judge a book by its cover.

I guess these books on offer were older compared to those on the shelves in the aisles, as some looked like their pages were turning yellow. So you know what that meant. Yup, that meant that I spent another good 10 - 15 minutes looking for copies that were:
1) Not dog-eared,
2) Not torn or defaced
3) The most close-to-perfect copy

I could sense the security guard from the corner of my eye, probably wondering what this crazy girl was doing… Taking out all the books and putting them all back save one.

And my purchases were:

Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere
I’d always wanted to read Gaiman, and now I had the chance to choose between Neverwhere, Stardust and Anansi Boys. I chose the first, and I hope it is okay for a first -timer like me.

DBC Pierre’s Ludmilla’s Broken English
I found the premise interesting, and thought I’d buy it, even though I would have loved to read Vernon God Little. Alas, Vernon was not on offer so I had to keep that one for later.

Alexander McCall Smith's The Sunday Philosophy Club
I guess now is a good time as any to start on McCall Smith.

So there it is, my bedtime reading for the next few weeks. I plan to start on Gaiman tonight, followed by McCall Smith and Pierre. That should keep me occupied till end of February.

Thursday, January 18

Our Nando's escapades

My hubby and I enjoy Nando’s meals. We have great fun when we have a Nando’s outing. At least I do anyway. The outlets that we mostly go to are the ones in Sunway Pyramid (close to home), KLCC (close to parents’-in-law’s home) and at times, MidValley (close to MPH - heh heh).

Last year we had this card thingy where after a certain number of visits, (fourth, I think) we were entitled to a chocolate mud pie dessert, and after our seventh visit we could get a half-chicken free. I realised that we were five days to 2007 and we have yet to go for our target half-chicken. So I pestered my husband non-stop till we got to go there again.

My husband didn’t mind it either way. I on the other hand told him that since we spent so much on Nando’s every year, we should go after our ‘prize’. So what happened was that we ended up having our meals in Nando’s for dinner on the 29th of December and our lunch on the 30th of December. Talk about having a Nando’s affliction!

And since I promised some photos in my blog, I present to you… ta-raa! They’re amateur pics, I warn you….

This is my favourite meal at Nando’s. A quarter chicken, with rice and coleslaw. Some chips were from hubby. And make it extra hot peri-peri. (My mouth began to water as I’m typing this).

And this is hubby’s favourite. A half-chicken with chips AND peri chips. And make his mild peri-peri. I tell you, one of these days we will surely be banned from Nando’s. Look at the amount of ketchup on my husband’s plate!

Okay, so you can probably tell by now. I love Nando’s.

Hmm, they should make us VIP customers and give us our on table since we go there so often....

Book: The Children of Men

Imagine a world where there are no children. Imagine a future where the youngest of all human beings are 25 year olds. Where the population are unable to breed. No more births, no more life, no more existence.

That's the premise of this story. Seen through the eyes of the protagonist Dr Theo Faron, who happens to be the cousin of the Warden of England, Xan Lyppiatt.

The book follows Theo's encounter with a bunch of 'dissidents' who seek his help in changing the country, nay the world. His is thrown into their cause and tangled in their lives, especially after finding out that one of them is pregnant.

Truly an engaging read. This is my first PD James book, and I'm intrigued to read more. Indeed a great writer, she manages to paint a plausible albeit desolate and hopeless future.

This is being made into a movie starring Clive Owen and Julianne Moore. But my advice? Read the book first. There will probably be changes in the storyline or the events, as in the case of all books-turned-novel.

Tuesday, January 9

Of books, movie tie-ins and such....

I have started on my new book, Children of Men. I’ve always wanted to read this book, but never got to it, and now I’m desperately trying to finish it. Why? Coz it’s been made into a movie. And you know how I feel about watching a movie before reading the book. It’s like never done. Except in some cases when I didn’t know the movie was based on a book (like The Prestige). Or if the movie itself is not a big blockbuster-ish touted-to-be-movie-of-the-year kind (like Grisham’s Skipping Christmas, which was made into Christmas With The Kranks).

And then now with this particular movie, I just have to finish the book first. Are you kidding? With all the hoopla that’s been going round, I’m lucky that I still haven’t crumbled under the sheer pressure of it and bring the book to work and read a few pages now and then. And I’m frantically trying my best to not look at any trailers or movie related sites. That’s quite a feat, considering my fast internet connection at work, what with us being ‘multimedia’ and all.

And to top it off, my bro-in-law has a copy of the DVD, and he’s seen the movie, and he’s saying it’s a great movie (and no, he didn’t know it’s from a book). Ask me no questions about the existence of this DVD, and I’ll tell you no lies. Suffice to know that it has some Russian written on it.

Anyway, back to my story, I’m setting aside all my nights to read this book. No late night tv watching. Have to sacrifice a bit. I really need to finish this before being bombarded with all the trailers and what-nots on tv or on the net. So far I’ve managed to keep out all images (except for Clive Owen and Julianne Moore) so that they don’t distract me in my reading. I don’t want to know what the characters look like or how the setting is or the environment of the whole movie lest it screws up with my own mental image of the story. So far (well, up to chapter 9 anyway) the story is really riveting. I just need some quiet time to read and hopefully I’ll get to finish it by this week. Hurray!

Oh I just want to mention this. I haven’t blogged in quite a bit. Been meaning to do so, since it’s the New Year and all. Wanted to do like a countdown thingy but didn’t have enough time. Will promise to do better this year. And with pictures too, courtesy of my brother. He’s being a kind lad and let me borrow (indefinitely?) his Sony Ericsson walkman phone, so I’ve snapped quite a bit. Now I just have to figure out how to transfer those pics to my blog.

So watch out for the upcoming entries in technicolour! Heh heh….