Friday, November 28, 2008

What's the hype with Twilight?

after work on wednesday night, i got this sms from YC asking whether i wanted to see Twilight. the movie was premiering at 12 midnight. from reading entertainment news on the CNN website and the likes, i gathered that the movie was pretty good since it had topped the box office in US. so naturally i thought that it would be a full house and that we were way too late to get tickets. we tried to book tickets via phone but the automated answering machine churned out a message that there were no available tickets for phone-booking.

anyway, we took a gamble and went to gsc, 1u (all the way from shah alam) and were surprised that we could get pretty good seats (one of the back rows) and that the cinema wasn't full! so we bought ourselves a couple of cups of 100plus and anticipated a great show.

for me, the film was mostly slow moving for the first half of the movie. i felt that the movie was ok, not spectacular... and i suspect the high ticket sales was probably contributed by those crazy screaming tweens which form a very effective cult following over any cute celebrity or any new fad deemed cool. however, for me, the only thing that attracted me was edward cullen (the vampire high school junior), played by robert pattinson.

ok, brace yourself for a "screamy teeny confession" (although i'm far from a teen!)... but he is so.... cute and cool! i think the hairstyle did most of the charming (his other pictures weren't as good looking as how he looked in Twilight). just puzzled how some people can be so beautiful... perfect face symmetry! and the eyes... so melancholy and hints of "danger".

well, i need to stop here (although it may be abrupt... no winding up of the idea above)... i've got an appointment to go to now... dinner in jaya one!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Alcohol to cure your sore throat

i know this is a little too hyper for the blog posting traffic of this blog... but today, i just seem to keep being reminded of stuff to blog about...

a couple of days ago (during the weekend), my throat was feeling abit rough... feeling frustrated of always feeling under the weather on my days off from work, i threw caution to the wind and ate chocolate. not just any kind of chocolate, i chose the brandy-filled cherry chocolate. at first it tasted like crap (as alcohol does to me) but then came the warm effect... aahhh... and the soreness (of my throat) went away...

i then proceeded to eat 2 bags of chips (junk food) and then retired to bed for the night. the next morning... my throat was ok... i was surprised... maybe the alcohol had something to do with it.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I want Jack, not Zack!

photo from

in one of those rare moments where i get to watch a movie on astro at home, i just finished "my dog skip" and it was really sweet! ... although i never really liked frankie muniz in any show/movie...

so anyway, skip is a jack russell terrier given to this loner little boy (frankie muniz), to the objection of his war-hero father (kevin bacon). the dog eventually wins the boy friends and brings him out of his shell... and so the story goes (go watch it to know the details)... the dog was a really good actor!!! his antics were exactly the same as zack's, just that zack is an ugly mutt...

haha, poor guy... he's the exact opposite of what me and my mum consider a desirable dog - white, fluffy, female, floppy ears. zack is black, short-haired, male, pointy ears (dobermann pinscher). so you see why we "pity" the fellow, but unsuspectingly he has niggled into our hearts and literally rubbed his influence on us - all of us - even if 'someone' is reluctant to admit the pooch is actually a positive addition to the family! hmm... i think i've not mentioned zack's treacherous acts... he embraces strangers who praises/adores him and a certain 'stranger' who refuses to talk to me! i shall not endeavour to blog about this person in the event of certain possibilities involving my impending future... (yeah, what ever that means! sheesh, i should actually practice what i read in that "what not to write" guidebook to good english)

anyway, back to the topic of the dog movie... i've always wanted a jack russell terrier ever since i played with one puppy of that breed in cleveland, ohio, US almost 10 years ago. they're just so delightful! although they're not exactly beautiful dogs (like afghan hounds and poodles), but they have this 'baldwin' quality which makes them endearing! and the name's just so matter-of-fact cute! the jack russell on frasier sealed the deal on my affinity to this particular breed of dogs! they just look so cheeky and unpretentious! ah, when can i get one? maybe i should learn knitting and knit zack a white and spotty brown coat so that he can look more like a jack russell!

Not excited to go home?

today's been a weird day... not in a way that is freaky or way out of the Earth's orbit, but just tiny incidents which vary from the norm. i started my day off by parking in a space right in front of my office door entrance (i've never got this spot before) and as usual, i was early... so i started on my routine of placing the letters and newspapers where they should usually go, turning on the tv and air-con, taking a short visit to the loo... and then back to my desk. that's when i realised a black disc-shaped piece of plastic on the carpet under my desk. upon closer inspection, i found the black object to be vaguely familiar... sitting back on my chair, i eased off my shoes and discovered one heel piece missing... it wasn't even 10a.m. and i already had a wardrobe malfunction!

fortunately i keep a couple of pairs of slippers (for driving purpose) in my car, and subsequently hurried down to change my shoes before the others came in to work. i decided to wear the newer pair with huge gold faux crystals out of fear the older, more comfortable pair (bought in bali) would also give way before the day ended. the down side of these golden slippers was the pain it inflicts on my big toes.

the next thing that went wrong was the office internet connection. we've been having some unstable connection the past few days, but today was a total blackout for a couple of hours... which hindered my work... so i had time to flip through 'the edge' newspaper and boggle my mind with the business jargons so foreign to me. the internet downtime extended until i couldn't do my midday stock updates, so i went out for lunch with my colleagues.

we went to a place near aman suria which serves really good "char siew". however, when we finally got a table and wanted to order, the "char siew" was sold-out! i think my colleagues were pretty disappointed (i've noticed, and other people as well, that they love eating pork!), so we settled for hakka mee... which was my first time eating it and well, it tasted better than it looked (conclusion: i liked it). what's so weird about sold-out "char siew"? we've been to this restaurant a couple of times and we've never (at least when i went with them) encountered this situation before.

albeit the internet problems, i managed to finish my news in good timing. however, as usual, after searching and reading (or rather, skimming) through various news articles, i started getting sleepy and bored yet again... it was past 5.30p.m. and the only thing left for me to do was to compile the news and send it to my colleague. i was too sleepy and automatically rested my face in my palms with elbows propped on the desk and unconciously dozed off... i'm not sure exactly how long i was asleep, but i was awakened by the vibration of my ringing handphone on the table. in fact, i was jolted awake by it... hopefully no one saw how i reacted... anyway, it was mom calling to tell me she was at the curve and asked me to go home straight... i can't imagine how long i'd be asleep at my desk if i didn't receive that call! i could've missed my "going home" time and end up sleeping in office!!! although that would be highly unlikely... hahaha

and finally, i just learned a new word from watching an oprah episode on highly talented children... and the word is "phenom"! all this while, i've only known "phenomenon" and i never knew the root word is "phenom"... so tv is educational... occassionally...

btw, over the weekend i put up a news found from the reuters website that a research showed unhappy people tend to watch more tv (counting average hours a day) than happy people, who spend more of their time reading or socialising... so that's just an idea to ponder upon.

Friday, November 21, 2008

An out-of-this-world epitaph

these days i flip through the newspaper from the back, progressing to the frontpage. why, you might ask? it's because i need to scan the sports section for any news pertaining to equestrian and certain subjects which may be beneficial for a certain endorser. so, right before the sports section is the obituary pages.

i'm not sure why, but i always glance through the obituary (some people just plain avoid this section out of superstition or dislike of morbidity...). today, i spotted an interesting obituary which span the vertical half of a newsprint page. it featured a photo of a bare-chested man spotting sunglasses with angel wings behind him (i'm not sure whether this is a picture of the deceased as the face looked relatively young and he had a muscled body, but according to the date of birth, the guy was about 50 years old). the epitaph was titled "Pete the magic maker", followed by a torrent of verses describing how he lived his life to the fullest and the magic he brought to those around him. i'm guessing he was some sort of a performer - maybe a musician or magician... what first struck me was the photo featured, the dude looked cool (not like the conventional obituaries where a studio-taken picture of the deceased is featured...) and that they had photoshoped a pair of realistic wings into the picture (making him look like a real angel... like those in 'constantine'). the fonts used were also interesting... serifs... making the article look chic and not morbid or solemn.

overall, the obituary felt more like a tribute or celebration of the deceased's life rather than a solemn notice or obligatory announcement in the newspaper. his friends and family must have really loved him to be able to come up with such a personal epitaph, capturing the essence of his being and not just the externals or superficial qualities.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What's with the formalin?

another topic i've always thought about blogging about, but never came down to it... FORMALDEHYDE.

during one of those toilet moments (erm... the long calls) where there's nothing else to read but the labels on toiletry products, i found that the Sunsilk conditioners had formaldehyde in them... i had a few varieties around... and they all had formaldehyde in them! if i'm not mistaken, formaldehyde, when added to water will form formalin. formalin is carcinogenic as it permeates the skin and goes into your cells, wreaking havoc in there.

fuelled by inquisition, i started perusing other bottles and tubes of soaps, lotions and potions in my bathroom... and discovered that the Dove shampoo (or was it conditioner... this was quite awhile back) also had formaldehyde in it. then i looked at a box of toothpaste which came as a free gift with one of the Sunsilk products. and shockingly, formaldehyde was also listed as one of the ingredients!!! toothpaste... which you put in your mouth!

admittedly, formaldehyde was not the first few ingredients listed on these products... so the content may be minute... but the fact remains that the manufacturers added formaldehyde to these products! and another thing i'd noticed was that all these products were from Unilever... coincidence or on purpose? i have no comment on that...

what is the rationale of adding formaldehyde to conditioners and toothpaste? when other brands do not add this substance to equivalent products... perhaps someday i'll meet someone with a background in chemistry who could tell me what role formaldehyde plays in fomulating hair conditioners and toothpastes... for now, the only thing i can think of is that formaldehyde has some preservative properties and so it could probably play a part in enhancing your hair... of course, as a disclaimer, this "theory" may be utterly wrong, as there is no strong basis (of my knowledge) to it.

How I went out of my way for nothing...

i keep forgetting to share an anecdote which recently happened to me. every other week i'll be in charge of finding the technology news, and in one of these stints in september, the launching of apple's new products was plastered on every major news website. being me, too much exposure caused me to reignite my infatuation of owning an ipod nano (i'd taken a fancy to the black 1st generation ipod nano, but did not buy one due to the price tag).

for some reason, i HAD to start craving for the red ipod nano 4th generation... and coincidentally the red ones could only be purchased from the Apple Store (online) and the best part was that malaysia did not have one (at that time...). so i proceeded to search other country's Apple Stores and found that our malaysian price was the highest around... other countries had lower prices after currency conversion but only people residing in the country could make these online purchases. so this posed a stumbling block to my conquest. my emotions shot from extreme happiness to miserable defeat upon learning the t&c. i was trying to think who can i trust and "tumpang" to buy it for me... then i was working out how much the shipping would cost and although in some countries, the ipod nano was more than RM100 cheaper, the shipping to malaysia using a trusted courier would end up costing more than the malaysian market price. another option was to go down to singapore to make the purchase (which incidentally was only around RM6 cheaper) but the problem was that i didn't have a singapore-registered credit card!

then mum suggested i ask her friend in hong kong to make the purchase as she was coming back to malaysia in december. to cut the long story short (and cut out all the negotiation part), she agreed to buy the red ipod. i was on a work assignment in terengganu when i got the news... i was happy and then agitated, as i didn't get a chance to tell her i wanted to have some engraving done on the ipod (i know, spoiled brat!). anyway, i tried sms-ing her but she did not reply... so i'm guessing that she'd already ordered it (oh, i haven't received it yet...).

well, with that said and done... i was quite satisfied, as i will be getting what i wanted. then came the big shocker! i was driving to work on tuesday 11th november 2008... approaching the batu tiga stretch of road before entering glenmarie... listening to Will & Shaz on RedFM... when i heard Will mention that malaysia's apple store was just launched some 20 minutes ago!!! in the car, i was like... shouting my unbelieve! this news coming just 2 days after my mum's friend ordered the ipod for me from HK!!! i was numb, unbelieve turning into a feeling of being cheated and finally regret!!! and the worst part is that we can get the apple products in 1-2 working days and if i'd only waited a few days, i could have had my ipod engraved for FREE! and also get an apple t-shirt (in conjunction with their new launching)... arghh... i felt so stupid!!!

my only consolation is that my (soon to arrive) red ipod nano 4th generation will be about RM50 cheaper than the malaysian price. moral of the story: don't be such a greedy fart and always have patience because as with the famous "Malaysian timing" myth (or more like truth), things will take its own time to reach malaysian shores...

i've noticed that i always seem to take the longer more complicated route about things. this was the case when i was searching to complete my roald dahl, l.m.m. montgomery (of the Anne of Green Gables series) and cynthia voigt (the Jackaroo, Elske etc. series) book collections and also when purchasing the 1996 BBC Pride & Prejudice dvd. i'd to buy a multi-region dvd player for the latter! just imagine that!

The Ever-Youthful Mickey Mouse Turns 80!!!

as i was doing my usual rounds finding news on the Internet, i discovered that Mickey Mouse is 80 today! i think Mickey is undoubtedly the most famous rodent of all times! to think that rodents are widely regarded as pests and carriers of disease, this Hollywood mouse does the rodent family proud! according to this slideshow on CNN (picture above taken from this Web site), the secret to Mickey's success is that he is based on circles which are soothing. it also says that a psychologist in the 1940s said that if you showed a picture of the cartoon mouse to a child, they would instantly smile.

so Mickey Mouse makes us feel good? personally, i agree with this... but only when i look at the older versions of the mouse... somehow i don't really find the newer Mickey Mouse as unique, funny and friendly. maybe it's because the new Mickey speaks more than the old Mickey... and cartoons from the good old days used to have an innocent brand of humour - simple yet funny and doesn't have to resort to toilet humour or double meaning and name-calling... that's why i stopped watching cartoons (and also the fact that i was getting abit too old to be doing that!)