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….