Sunday, January 14, 2007

Sinking of Japan


A natural disaster that I had wanted to watch with the Machas. My second Asian movie in cinema after "The Host". Wish I could see "Tin Mine" but I guess I'll wait for the DVD to come out or its already out (heard it was release in Thailand 1 1/2 years ago).

It was quite an interesting movie to begin with. Imagine the island of Japan sinking. How would you respond? How would the world respond?

The explanation behind the sinking did bring back memories of my Geography classes back in school days where we learn the different layers on earth. The collision of two crates would cause a progressive pull by the earth gravity below, causing the land whereby Japan stands to be pulled down and the sea water to swallow the low lying lands. The changes in the earth movement would cause earthquakes to happen, lava from beneath the earth crust to spill out and the creation of the tsunami that would envelope everything it passes through. Buildings will collapse, people will be running for their life. A total chaos. How to survive? Planes, boats and trucks will be shifting people to neighbouring countries or high places. Immigrant issues will soon surface, brought about people seeking shelter in neighbouring countries thus overpopulating the countries. The need for clean water and food becomes the most essential item. I really can't imagine if it were to happen. What would I do? I really don't know.

Enjoyed every minute of the movie. The reality of how it was projected on film was outstanding. It really felt like a catastrophe movie, similar to "Days After Tomorrow". Besides, I was quite smitten by the Kou Shibasaki, the leading actress in the movie. Tough, supportive and full of energy.

If you are interested in soundtrack, the song from this movie is quite nice actually. Kinda reminds you of a Korean movie. The emo-ness it exubes that causes you to feel so into it. The "kamtong" feeling, if you know what I mean. Well, don't believe me, hear it out and feel it.

Rating : 4/5

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Love Conquers All

I finally saw it. Thought I would missed it. But yes, my very first art movie in the cinema. Not my first art movie I've seen. I could still recollect the first art movie I saw back in MMU when James Lee came over to screen his short movie (can't recollect the title).

What is art movie? Very arty if you ask me. Not your usual blockbuster movie that contain character, a storyline, soundtrack and great cinematography. Art movies at times do not contained may only contain a few of this movie elements. Shorts are taken at a longer period of time, camera are static whereby people move around the same short, shaky camera and little character development. It is up to an individual to interpret what the movie is all about. The openess of the movies explains why only a handful can sit through an art movie. There was only five people in the cinema whereby Terry, Kelvin and myself were part of the cosy crowd.

Movie began. Instead of the curtain drawing away from the screen, the screen apparently became smaller after the advertisement and trailers. A first I've seen thus far. The initial scene started out with a view view of the bus seats where both Ah Ping (the girl in the movie) and an Indian man set. The sound of the bus could be heard loudly from the back. Long shots indicated that it would be a long scene although the shot was static, probably being place at the seat diagonally across. Well, what a start.

Overall, the movie was alright. Thanks to the fact that there was a story to begin with. Its about a girl who came into the suburbs of the city to help her relative sell "chap fan". Back home, she have a boyfriend which she would go to the telephone booth near her house to call him every night. In came a guy who apparently wanted to use the phone but ended up having interest in her. He follows her everywhere trying to get her attention. Her response seem irresponsive yet he persevere through, each time getting to know her better. She soon give in to his persistance yet still remain in touch with her boyfriend back home. We see her calling her boyfriend while the guy stands around her. A retrospective view of having a relationship and yet not having one.

She soon begin to have affection over him and then one day, he goes away for business. He absence makes her ponder if he would come back. Her desperation causes her to get in touch with one of his friend who apparently was a pimp. It seems the guy needed money to pay up some people and could not return because of that. She soon goes to her family to get the money and handed it to the pimp. It's not enough and she soon find herself selling herself in hopes of obtaining the remaining balance. She is it and soon find herself being discarded like a piece of rubbish. The guy never return and the pimp gets the money.

"The prettier a girl is, the more easily she is trick." This was the warning given by the guy who had told her of what his pimp friend does in the beginning. As the movie describe, love conquers all. When you love someone, you do anything for that person even to the point of selling oneself. That is when guys like the pimp and the guy take advantage of a girl naive nature. A story of innocent being taken advantage of.

A parallel story follows through as her cousin gets involve with a guy as well through pen pal letters. She appears hopeful on wanting to know this guy and gets her mom to bring her to the house which she usually writes. She hides behind the car while her mum goes to the front door to acknowledge. No idea who the guy is but it soon went to the ending scene showing the mom and daughter riding through the backlane of KL. I was like, "Huh!". Thats what you call an art movie. It never have a conclusion.

Rate : 3.5/5

Interested to know more, check out Love Conquers All blog

Monday, January 01, 2007

Starting the New Year with A BLAST

2007. The seventh year of the new milennium. How time flies. In a blink of an eye. The year had ended, the new year has arrived.

New Year eve was celebrated back home in church. Yes, church. A place where I had spent most of my new years at as together we anticipate and welcome the new year. I had just returned from a night at Kuantan with mom and sis. Dad and another sis was still there with grandparents. I was playing which is why I had to be back earlier. Darn, miss visiting the beautiful beaches in the east coast.

I could imagine revellers gathering at the many location around KL to usher in the new year. Indeed it be happening affair yet I can't imagine myself jostling through the sweat soaked crowd with loud music blasting away as celebrities occupy the stages with their performances. I rather be in quieter and relax place. Church seem like an ideal place where we hear testimonies being read out on God's blessings throughout the year. Besides, I knew I would be starting the new year with a full stomach as I made my way yearly to Auntie Annie's place for her famous coney dog and porridge. Starting the year on a full load.

Speaking of full, the machas and myself headed down to Jogoya for buffet. We had planned this a few months before, thanks to Kelvin. It is said to be the best buffet in town. Ain't that cheap too. But it was worth the experience considering we had something to celebrate, the new year to say the least. Lunch aside, we went in with a stomach ready to gog down everything we could see. The spread was impressive which I believe constituted to the way it was arrange as well as how the place was set up. It seems like there was a lot of things to eat as we venture through the nook and cranny to find a stall selling something. Oyster, Cod Fish, Salmon, Soft Shell Crabs, Crabs, Prawns and even Escargot were some of the items on display. Drinks was also applenty as they had fresh fruit juices, smoothies, tea as well as coconut which were rather small but cute. Not forgetting the Movenpick ice cream which I head cost about RM8 per scoop. It was quite experience as we stay there for almost five hours. Boy, was I stuff!

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My first plate

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Hong Siew Fish Head

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Sashimi Bar

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The Fried Bar

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Tempura Bar

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The Machas

I had intended to take a pic of every plate I took but my effort was in vain as my stomach was quicker than my mind to snap a picture. While the food settled, I could manage an artsy shot just for fun.

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And another as we left, considering I always wanted to have a shot of LV

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A Busy Week

Its been a very busy week for me. This is clearly indicated my sudden absense from blogging, a obvious detoriation in my posting as compared to previous weeks. Work have suddenly shot up the roof. Request are coming in like no body business like a typhoon or tsunami coming in without any warning. It could be due to month end but it is indeed not a pleasant feeling having to continuously stare at the computer and fingers kept busy with replying mails and logging tickets. No matter how fast I try to do, backlog are eminent. Today figure stands at 130++ in the Profile folder. Man, what a rollercoaster ride.

Here are some of the things that I managed to sneak in a few hours my time.

Appreciation Dinner at Shangrila Putrajaya

A few of us were invited for a dinner as a sign of appreciation of the work we had done in making sure we pass quarter 3 signoff of being SOx compliance. Yes, it sucks...I mean SOx. The profile team in which I am apart off had managed to achieve a feet that some may have thought to be a great success. Indeed it was as failure to comply would result in failure to have a license to operate. Simply put as, we be out of a job if we ain't doing anything about compliance. SOx have become apart of our daily life. Work that is to be done need to be complied to this standard. Despite the complexity that it entails, the solution was quite simple. Make sure that the request receive is inputted correctly into SAP and there is evidence recorded in the form of ticket. By making sure we adhere to it, we had to be extra cautious. In the end with some QA process in place, we manage to pull it off and thus awarded a VP recognition in the form of a dinner.

We were allowed to choose the place of dinner. In my mind, I wanted the most expensive that I could get my hands on. Indeed there was no budget attached to it and I wanted a place where I wouldn't afford to go unless I made a few Gs a day. Shook. Jogoya. Fine Dining. KL City where all the cuisine can be found. It would be nice. Unfortunately, I had to put that dream aside and face reality by going somewhere nearby, Putrajaya. Shangrila to be precise.

I have never been there before. It was quite a nice place from outside except the entrance where there is a road that leads to a basement where trucks unload goods for the hotel. However, the view inside was magnificient. We headed to the Coffee Terrace to have our dinner. Menu was brought to us. First thing that came to mind, "Why so little choice wan?". Yeh, you could count the hairs on your leg and it be more than what was on the menu. I decided to go all our by having a complete meal. A starters of seafood salad, a bowl of freshly made mushroom soup, a main meal of a medium well done rib eye steak and a dessert of tiramisu top with a cup of mocktail called "Brightness" and a cup of coffee to end. Quite a lot to eat I must say. Well, I wanted to take a pic of the complete set but gave away the though as soon as my tummy began calling out to eat. Yet, I manage to snap a picture of the rib eye that I had.

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Overall, food was just alright though I wish it could be better. I guess that what you get when going to a hotel to eat, a place I never did fancy eating.

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After dinner and having some extra, I did a quick tour around the place. It was breathtaking to see the interior and architecture of the place. A great idea to bring the outdoor, indoor. The high walls and curve foyer where the rooms were gave an illusion that it an open air concept finish with a garden in the middle. Even the lounge where the conference room were had trees aligned aside it giving an illusion of being in a forest setting. Here are some of the pics that I managed to snap to give you a wanting to visit this beautiful hotel if you are around Putrajaya.

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A Visit by the VP of Downstream Finance

It was quite an interesting engagement session. This was mainly attributed to a D&I (Diversity & Inclusiveness) presentation that we did prior to the engagement that encapture the year. Projects such as SOx and ISIP were some of the highlights coupled with the many festivities that Malaysia had or will be having in the year. I was roped in to be the MC of the event, my second attempt of doing so as well as the voice over for the presentation. The idea came about a day before and with a few hours practice, we had managed to come up with a colourful presentation. I was quite puzzled with the initiative taken and after thinking about it, probably it was because he was the Finance guy. Impressions are always important for future benefits.

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Frankenstein in Love

Macha Kelvin had been all excited about this play. Having sent many mails to remind us about it and to get us going for this. It was a play that I wanted to see mainly for the cast line up for this theatre show. It would be a debut directorship for Gavin Yap as well as a debut theatre performance for Melissa Maureen (Gol & Gincu, Table for Two, Realiti). I for one was keen to see Ari Ratos, one of my favourite theatre actor. There were all together 11 of us; the machas, my sisters, Terry's bro and friends and a couple of my friends to. It was always good to bring people for theatre. There would be more if not for those who couldn't make it or some I had in mind to call.

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I totally enjoyed the play thoroughly. The lighting was magnificient, a great effort by Ling And Swee especially the opening scene where the lights went from left to right giving an impression of a ghostly setting. Yes, it was about frankestein. Not really. Humans that have joined up by various human parts of other half dead human. Zombies in short. Based on the summary, it was suppose to be a love story. However, I did not get any of the "love" from the entire show. What I got was a very political plot, great lines, superb acting and most of all, comedy. It was rather interesting also to be in an audience where most of them were theatre junkies themselves. It was sad to see the place half filled despite the great performance.

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Met up with my theatre guru, Mano Maniam where Don, Terry, Kelvin and myself were under his guidance. It was great to meet him again and see all well despite going through a unhealthy period. It really did bring back good memories of my theatre days. Wish I could have a sense of it in future. Many artiste came to where we were mainly to thank Mano for his support, his second time viewing it. Douglas Lim, Rashid Salleh, Melissa Maureen, Gavin Yap. They all came to where we were yet none were appreciative for us coming to support theatre. I was hoping for, "Thanks for coming. Hope you enjoyed the show!" but we were practically ignored though I tried to share a smile with them. It give me an impression that theatre people are arrogant. A far different perception when meeting senior theatre actors who were more inviting. It is sad how theatre are perceived or how being artistic is related to homosexuality. Why can't art be friendly? Why can't art be ART? An expression of creativity and talent rather than a character that feels it exuberates art.
Too bad I did not take more pics as I was caught up with Mr. Mano conversation.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri

Allow me the priviledge to pen my post in Bahasa Melayu.

Tibalah masa di mana muslimin dan muslimat mengakhiri sebulan puasa dan bersama menyambut hari yang dinantikan iaitu, Hari Raya Aidilfitri. Rumah dihiasi dengan pelbagai perhiasan, langsir ditukar dan lantai dibersih untuk menyambuat kedatangan saudara mara dan kawan yang datang untuk bertegur sapa serta menjamu selera dengan juadah yang hanya dapat dirasai pada masa ini. Keinginan untuk menjamu rasa daging rendang, roti jala, ketupat, lemang, dodol dan lain lain membuat lidah aku berair.

Ramai diantara rakan kerja saya telah mengambil cuti panjang untuk balik ke kampung untuk meraikan hari yang muhibbah ini. Jalan-jalan di Kuala Lumpur yang biasa sesak dengan kereta nampak lapang. Masa untuk ke bandar yang biasanya mengambil 1 hingga 2 jam untuk sampai dikurangkan kepada setengah jam atau lebih baik lagi 15 minit. Apabila saya ke pejabat hari ini, kereta yang biasa membanjiri jalan raya tidak kenampakan. Saya boleh mengambil masa sendiri serta meletak kereta saya di bawah basement yang biasanya penuh apabila saya tiba to tempat kerja. Suasana di pejabat sunyi serta kelihatan agak kosong. Hanya segelintir orang kelihatan yang terdiri daripada ahli kumpulan saya yang terpaksa datang untuk memberi 'support' kepada negara yang tidak cuti seperti Australia, Hong Kong, Phillipines dan China. Ini memberi kesan kepada permintaan yang biasa diterima dari e-mel atau panggilan menampakkan kekurangan. Ini memboleh saya sedikit masa untuk menulis di blog saya serta membuat latihan yang biasanya tidak dapat dilakukan pada hari yang normal.

Dengan itu, saya ingin mengucapkan...

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
Maaf Zahir & Batin.

kepada semua muslimin dan musliman di Malaysia serta di serata dunia yang menyambut hari ini. Harap anda semua dapat menyanbut hari yang mulia ini dengan penuh kegembiraan. Bagi mereka yang ingin melawat dan menikmati suasana rumah terbuka, senarai rumah terbuka di seluruh negara boleh didapati di sini.

Untuk mengakhiri 'post' saya, nikmatilah iklan Petronas yang selalu meninggalkan kesan nostalgia di hati kita.

Iklan Petronas 2005

Iklan Petronas 2006

Iklan TV3 2006 (Star Wars Parody)