Monday, January 31, 2005

What to do?

For this coming CNY my shop will be closed for 1 week. So now I need to decide if I want to go somewhere or just stay home.

Option 1: Melaka
Maybe I can go visit my friend at Melaka. It's been so long since I was a tourist in Melaka. It would be great to visit Melaka again. Maybe go to the Taman Mini Malaysia or whatever new Taman (park) they have now. It's going to be a 3-day holiday for everyone so I think that's ample time for my friend to become the tourist guide. But then I still need to consider the traffic jam. For sure I'll be stuck in one on the way over, and again when I return. God forbids if Melaka is jammed up as well.

Option 2: Stay home
Keep in mind that my parents are away at my sister's house so I'll have the house all to myself! I can do whatever I want and watch whatever tv shows I want. But then I think they (my parents and the 3 little ones plus 1 big one who's home from boarding school) will come here for the holiday so I won't have the house to myself after all.

Option 3: Tambun Lost World
I love water parks. But trips like this would be better if you go with friends or family. My friends are all going back to their parents' house (as if they celebrate CNY too). I also mentioned this to my sister. Gasp! She didn't know that Tambun has a water park now. But if her husband is game on this we can hang out at my Aunt's place in Ipoh and go spend one day there. That would be nice. BUT still have to consider that there's going to be a lot of ppl there for the holidays.


what to do...
what to do...

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Current update - 30/1/05

Why do I do this?

Read: Taltos by Anne Rice
Reading: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck; The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens & Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett
CD: none
Favorite song: Somewhere Only We Know by Keane & Sunday Morning by Maroon 5
Playing: Emperor
Watching: The Amazing Race, The Apprentice, That 70's Show, Grounded for Life, American Idol

*No. of times asked if I have a boyfriend: 2
*No. of times asked when I will get married: 7
*No. of times asked when I will have kids: 1

* Since I started this blog of course. I've been getting these questions lots of times before but you can't honestly believe I would count them, right? I just thought of this lately. It's interesting to know the average number of times a single girl at a marriageable age get that million dollar question. I hope other single bloggers would do the same. Maybe we can write a thesis on it! I also change "ppl" to "times" since one person can ask all three questions.

Other news:
  1. Went to Bali for a vacation.
  2. Sister went for Haj so parents have to stay at her house.
  3. Finally got a confirmation that I got my Bachelor of Business, even though I actually completed the whole course in Sept 2004.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Bitter editor

Why are we still ticked of with ads that use informal language? Why do ppl like Tan Huan Bin still become petrified by Manglish featured on TV? He even wrote a letter to The Star which was featured in the Mind Our English section in yesterday's issue commenting on the recent Astro ad.

For those unfamiliar with Malaysian TV, the Astro ad that he was talking about shows a group of friends getting together to watch a game on Astro. Just after the commercial break and the game was just about to continue, a message appeared on the TV screen, "Please settle your Astro bill". Shocked, a friend said, "Astro bill didn't pay ah?" A few seconds later the lights went out prompting him to say, "Electricity bill also didn't pay ah?" Lol very funny ad.

His main argument of what makes this ad so criminal is that "Astro or electricity bill can't do the paying!" Well yeah, if you look at it that way. But didn't he realize the use of 'ah' in the ad? That clearly indicates that neither UK English nor US English is at use in this ad. So, the common grammar and spelling rules do not apply here la Mr Tan.

He also said, "Sometimes I wonder whether advertisers are deliberately using badly constructed scripts to gain public attention, or whether they are being careless in allowing bad English to be aired in public." Some advertisements by small companies do make mistakes sometimes. But I rarely see them on TV ads. They are usually found in print ads. If a company were to employ an agency to design a TV ad, it will usually be ready to spend big bucks for it which means the ad must be in good quality. If an agency was to design a "badly constructed script" and the company allows that script to be aired, then by all means they deserve to be bankrupt. Same goes if the agency was "being careless in allowing bad English to be aired in public." But for Astro, it was made that way for a reason. It's simply because that's just the way the general public is talking right now.

The best promotion is the one that relates to the intended audience as close as possible. That's why we don't see sexually charged ad promoting breath mints, or why instead of Adriana Lima, Josie Maran, Tomiko Fraser, Erin Wasson, Zhang Ziyi, Quiana Grant, or Kristin Davis we see Siti Nurhaliza in Maybelline ads. That is the general rule of a successful advertising campaign. Open any marketing book in the bookstore and you will see people and place as part of the principle of marketing. Astro was probably thinking, "who are the ones that usually don't pay the bills?" The answer, your average Ali, Ah Chong and Raja who uses Manglish regularly. So why not use a language they understand. Maybe they didn't understand "Your Astro bill is overdue". Maybe showing the probability of embarassing yourself and missing a great game would get the message through.

"The advertiser in this case should have known the negative impact the message can have on young minds or those who are trying to learn English." What negative impact? Have you ever encountered a child who said "Oh I learned that from a TV ad" or "I saw that in the papers"? Have you ever? If you have let me know and I'll reconsider my opinion on this.

"Wouldn't it be more appropriate to use these lines, 'You didn't pay your Astro bill, did you?" or 'You also didn't pay your electricity bill, did you?' " Didn't he realized that if Astro were to use those lines, they would have to pay an additional 15 seconds of airtime? They were already loosing with all the unsettled bills and now they have to fork up more money to ask them to pay the unsettled bills. Can you imagine hanging out at your friend's place with your shorts and sarongs and saying something like "You also didn't pay your electricity bill, did you?" You are not in a meeting for crying out loud.

As a final note, tell me what you think about this. I found this on one of the billboards at Federal highway heading towards KL.

Bumper ke Bumper. Percetakan Tanpa Jam
I was too busy trying to figure out if I read that correctly to check out the owner of the ad.

Happy Birthday Frodo

The man who played Frodo is 24 today.

Not fair. So young yet very rich already.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

But all the previous comments are gone!
Aiya! I value those comments. They prove that ppl do visit this blog and I'm not syok sendiri wan....
It would be really nice if the ppl who posted were to post again.
Pretty Please

That's too much to ask. I'm sorry. Who thinks that they're visiting again anyway.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Please be patient

I am aware that the layout of my blog has been a bit wacky because of the smiley central banner. It has been like that for quite some time and what I usually do is just delete the banner (sorry smiley central!) Now I'm trying to resolve the issue with them. Hopefully we can work something out. If not then I hope somebody out there can recommend another smiley application that does't need to put an ad each and every time I use it.

In the meantime, try to enjoy this mediocre blog as much as you can. Exercise your finger a bit by rolling that mouse roller to get to the bottom of my page.

Additional note (4 Feb 05): I have on this date changed the template to fit a lot of other stuff as well.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

It's a small world after all

Is the world fundamentally a better place because of science and technology? We shop at home, we surf the web... at the same time, we feel emptier, lonelier and more cut off from each other than at any other time in human history.

So says the almost-become-a-reverend Palmer Joss in the movie Contact.

In one way, what he says is true. Science & technology like the internet has given us the means to do anything and everything with a click of a button. Now you can even do your grocery shopping online and have them delivered to your doorstep (not available in Malaysia). You can find your own entertainment (clean or otherwise) with a small fee. You can look for dates, book cinema tickets, do your banking transactions, find information about the disease that you're having and even how to construct a bomb. Yet, all these facilities available online posed another problem, ppl tend to stay in and exist through a 15" monitor than to go out and have direct contact with another living being.

But in another way, he is not right. With the technology of e-mail friends and family keep in touch with each other more often. E-mails are fast, cheap, and you can write and edit them quickly (unless you're a 2-finger typist). They are efficient in the sense that you don't have to buy stamps, spare some saliva and tear your hair out looking for a mailbox. And when you did find one, you have to wait for 3 to 150 days (depend on how quick that person reply your letter) to find out if the receiver got the letter or not.

Classic example of a person who cannot live w/o e-mails -- me. If not for e-mails I would have dropped of the face of the earth. I'm not a phone chatter so I very rarely call my friends up for updates. And now that they're all married with kids I don't think they have the time to call me up either. So we just update each other through e-mail. I pride myself in having lots of friends. Let's see... there's my school friends (about 10 of them in my e-mail address book), my college friends (7), my university friends (15), my ex-colleaques (3), and my friends from another college (10). If you add the ones that don't have e-mails Shocked , I think I'm doing pretty good.

With chatting, you can have conversations with total strangers. And if you practice caution you won't expose yourself to danger from sick psychos. My first chatting experience was when I was in US. I was working at the library and I was bored so I log on to this Malaysian chatsite (I don't remember which one) and actually found a college friend. That poor guy was sent to this university where he's the only Malaysian. Not bad for a first time chatter. Other than that, there's nothing much going on in the chat rooms. Most of them know each other already and I don't know what the hell they're talking about most of the time. This pretty much is the case with any Malaysian chat site I went to. When I have an internet connection in my apartment, I tried aol (American Online) chat. I met a guy who suddenly asked for my number (I don't know why, maybe just to brag to his friends that he has a lot of numbers), a guy who asked if a black guy has a bigger dick than a white guy (I don't know then and I don't know now), a scientist, and a writer who claims he wrote some Rugrats episode. I had the longest chat with the writer that lasted until 2am. But I find it very tiring so chatting's not for me.

Another form of chatting is forums. Almost all websites have their own forums. This is where you can post your comments on the subject at hand or start your own thread provided that it's related to the website's objectives. Currently I'm active in IMDB. I also joined a book forum at a few months ago but I find it quite frustrating that I won't be able to get most of the books they recommended and most of the books they talk about I don't even know existed. I guess I'm not as good a reader as those english native speakers. I am not qualified to be called a booksleuth compared to these ppl. Anyway, joining a forum is fun and a good way to connect to ppl from other countries. If you're a movie buff try IMDB. They also have Malaysian movies there.

And now with the technology of blogging, virtual socializing has gone up to another level. Blog is basically a place for anyone to rant, rave, give their 2 cents worth of anything and everything under the sky. Best part of all, it's free. Of all the blogs that's floating around in cyberspace, I think I've only visited like 0.001% of them (and 99.999% of them has a link to Gongkapas Envious ).

Having other bloggers visiting your blog is like having a neighbor over to your house. So all in all, bloggers are like members of a community with no boundaries where ppl don't care what you look like as long as you have something interesting to say. It's a community where members actually know each other (can't say the same about physical neighborhoods), where crime does not exist (at least physical crimes) and ppl are almost always nice when they come to visit. I find it interesting to see a blogger A that I've just visited suddenly turn up in another blog B, posting a comment. And then B would post a comment in another blog that was mentioned in blog A. And so the cycle continues. I think bloggers visit each other more often than the ppl who actually live next door to their house. Funny ain't it.

I think the technology of internet has made the cheezy song "It's a small world" not so cheezy after all. In fact, I think the song writer is freakin' prophetic!

So, if there's a 'Palmer Joss' out there who thinks that technology makes people "feel emptier, lonelier and more cut off from each other than at any other time in human history", I have this to say,

"Go visit a cyber cafe and get an e-mail account."

But you have to consider that the movie came out in 1997 and I don't think they've discovered blogging. So I'll cut him some slack.

Monday, January 24, 2005

You have been eliminated from the race

Jonathan and Victoria is out of the race. No more screeching, no more bantering, no more accidental head bumps, no more pushing and shoving, no more "John! Help me! Aggggghhhhhhh....." Amazing Race 6 has lost its most entertaining team since the clown brothers.

I don't know, I feel that this season has lost its appeal with Jonathan & Victoria eliminated. I don't have a favourite team this season. All the teams that I've been rooting for are all out. So nothing left to do but look forward to the next dramatic sequence starring these two misfits. I was actually anxious when they were close to being eliminated last week.

At first I was appalled with the cockiness of Jonathan and the verbal abuse that Victoria has to go through. On top of that she even has to endure physical abuse with Jon's ungentlemanly and insensitive ways throughout the race. Her head was bumped at the hood of a car when Jon tried to close it and was once shoved until she fell on the curb.

Surprisingly, I actually noticed that he became a bit mellowed after the shoving episode. Found out from an article in the internet that he was actually approached by the producers regarding his behaviour. He still yells from time to time but no more pushing and shoving and bumps on the head. He's also more encauraging towards Victoria with no appreciation from her part.

When Jon becomes less abusive and cocky, I began to notice that Victoria has become more whiny and sissy. Latest example, in Mud the Hut detour, she suddenly screamed like no tomorrow while holding her hand. She even alarmed the few locals who were watching and Kendra who got so freaked out that John is not helping her. Luckily the locals were quick to offer a bucket of water to wash her hands. Turns out she suffered a minor cut on her finger. Sheesh. I thought her whole hand has fallen of. She recovered to become the hero when she said, "I'm not going to be eliminated because my fingers hurt." Well, it doesn't take a cut finger to take you out but not reading the clues properly does. They messed it up by taking the long way round to get to the donkeys and bringing one donkey instead of 2 to the church. I told you Amazing Race contestants are stupid.

So now maybe I'll just keep my eye out for Adam & Rebecca, the couple that proves opposites do not attract. They are described as formerly dating but Rebecca keeps trying to break up in every show. Hello? I thought you're not dating anymore, so what gives? But I do agree that these two do not belong together. She is such a strong individual but he is just a "wussy-boy" with a weird hairdo.

But the team that I'll be rooting for woud be Kris & Jon. They are the couple that have the least fights and still gets to get a good laugh once in a while. They enjoy every place they've been to even the African ghetto Goree Island, Senegal. And I can see that Kris is a very positive person and never stingy with her sweet smiles. Jon is really lucky and thank god he knows it. They're dating long distance which I heard is very hard to do but I wish them all the best in and outside the race. Cheers.

To all Idol hopefuls

  • If you want to be cocky, make sure you have the talent to back it up (lesson from Dirk)
  • If you do have the talent, don't rub it in the judges' face (lesson from Jeremy)
  • Leave your fan club members at home (lessons from Joseph Schoen)
  • You would be better of leaving your over-proud egotistical mother at home (lesson from Aa'shia Jackson)
  • If you did get through but your friend/student don't, don't spoil it by being a drama queen (lesson from Angel)
  • If you have families and friends saying you can sing like Brian McKnight, shoot them! Shoot them alllll!!!!!!!! (lesson from Maurice Thomas)

These are the lessons I've learned from watching the American Idol St Louis audition. What fun!

25 Jan : Forgot to add this. These lessons may have been acquired from American Idol but I seriously think they apply to everyone regardless of geography. So, watch out Malaysian Idol hopefuls.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

What did I do?

I can't believe I didn't watch The Amazing Race and the new episode of CSI just to watch American Idol.

Is watching their desperate and very often funny antics to get noticed more interesting than a re-enactment of how a cork opener can go through someone's neck? Heck yeah!

First stop for the search of the next American Idol begins in Washington DC where Simon declared that he's heard the weirdest voice he had ever heard, and then found another one later on in the same day. First it was with Toni Braxton's own cousin, Derek Braxton. That guy was singing into his lungs rather than out. I don't know how to describe it. It was like he was sucking the notes in instead of throwing it out. Believe me, I agree with Simon on this one. His performance was weird. The next proud owner of a weird voice is Michelle Fisher. She sang Desree's Kissing You (I love this song!) and slaughtered it mercilessly.

Other notable disasters are

  • Violet-eyed Aven Moore, who may hold the record for the longest note but still can't sing. I still can't believe he sang Tomorrow, from the movie Annie. It totally didn't sit well with his purply image.
  • Self-proclaimed wacky, crazy and fun Jillian Bennet put on a theatrical rendition of Cherie's I'm Ready. I guess she was a bit too wacky for America.
  • Next came Melissa "I got class even though I don't have the money" Considine. Her dress could not save her this time. The judges were able to see through her ruffles and metallic accesories and see for what she was, someone who simply can't sing.
  • 5.9% Jason Joel Smith. A recovering alcoholic 'suddenly' discovered that he can sing about 2 weeks ago. Just in time for the American Idol tryouts. He sang Papa Was a Rolling Stone in 6 different voices. Yikes!
  • They have already identified the next William Hung in Mary Roach. She is so confident, she even has her star name picked out, Mary Guilbeaux. But I think she's more similar to our own little Miss Thalia (she was a bit wacko!) Mary even admits that she can hear voices in her head and even quoted some of them to the judges!

    For those who's wondering who the hell is Thalia, let's refresh our bittersweet memory of Miss Thalia shall we...
    Thalia, the Sour Loser
    Thalia, the Super Sour Loser (the owner's words, not mine)

Sigh... That was a good 2 hour of tv. Complete with laugher, tears of joy, tears of despair and a bucketful of shocked expressions by Paula Abdul. I love watching the auditions episodes. I think they are the highlight of any talent search shows. And good ol' Star World is showing the audition episodes every day! Yippee! More fun coming up.

So, what about The Amazing Race and CSI? I can just catch the reruns this Sunday.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

I'm crazy about this song right now

Somewhere Only We Know
by Keane

I walked across an empty land
I knew the pathway like the back of my hand
I felt the earth beneath my feet
Sat by the river and it made me complete

Oh simple thing where have you gone
I'm getting old and I need something to rely on
So tell me when you're gonna let me in
I'm getting tired and I need somewhere to begin

I came across a fallen tree
I felt the branches of it looking at me
Is this the place we used to love?
Is this the place that I've been dreaming of?

Oh simple thing where have you gone
I'm getting old and I need something to rely on
So tell me when you're gonna let me in
I'm getting tired and I need somewhere to begin

And if you have a minute why don't we go
Talk about it somewhere only we know?
This could be the end of everything
So why don't we go
Somewhere only we know?

Oh simple thing where have you gone
I'm getting old and I need something to rely on
So tell me when you're gonna let me in
I'm getting tired and I need somewhere to begin
And if you have a minute why don't we go
Talk about it somewhere only we know?
This could be the end of everything
So why don't we go
So why don't we go

This could be the end of everything
So why don't we go
Somewhere only we know?
Somewhere only we know?
Somewhere only we know?

I'm still on vacation la

Previously, I said that I need a really-relaxed vacation type and you know what, I think I'm having one now. At least, a vacation from my mother.

The story is, my sister and her husband went for their haj last week, leaving a son at a boarding school and 3 kids at home with a maid. So, my parents need to stay over at my sister's place to oversee their 3 little grandkids like sending them to school, make sure they eat right, finish their homework bla bla bla.

So now it's just me, my brother and my cats in the house. My routine for the past 3 days has been: wake up, shower, feed the cat, go to work, got back from work, feed the cat, watch tv, feed the cat, watch tv, eat, feed the cat, watch dvd and sleep. Yep, I'm turning into a couch potato without the couch (we don't have one in front of the tv), maybe a mat potato then. My portable dvd has been hooked to the living room tv since I got back from Bali and I have been watching dvds every night until I fell asleep in front of the tv. This is the life!

One setback though - there's no food in the house. Mouth At Side
It's raining. Finally. No need to water my mum's orchids. Happy

Monday, January 17, 2005

What I got from Bali

  • Everybody honks at everybody here but no one is mad at no one ???
  • The government has made a regulation that no building can be taller than 20 metres from the ground. Nice touch.
  • A traditional Bali house consists of a few buildings for specific purposes. There's a small building for the kitchen, a building to sleep in, a building to hold ceremonies etc.
  • Majority of the island's population practice Hindu-Dharma. Both their residential and business premises must have a shrine. The shrine could be as small as the ones we usually see at any Chinese-owned premises here to as big as a 5' x 5' walled area.
  • Katur (or something like that) means breasts.
  • Met the youngest trader that I know of. He's about 8 and he can bargain 500 rp from you.
    and last but not least
  • A big bottle of Kecap Manis ABC Smile

The most memorable experience would be the time we went to Kintamani. We were hounded by peddlers as soon as we stepped out of the car. And we were outnumbered 4 to 1. Later, after we left, I realized that we didn’t spend that much time at a place with a great view of the first active volcano that I’ve ever seen.

After the 4th day there, I find myself having conversations in my head in Indonesian. I still do even after I reached home yesterday evening right up to the moment before I fell asleep. Not that I don’t like the language but it’s very annoying.

ST's original plan were to party every night but ended up with no party at all. I thought so when I first saw the daily plan that she made up for us. I warned her earlier on when we first decided to go to Bali. She can party all she wants but make sure that she can still get up in the morning. Turns out we would be so tired once we get back to the hotel that there's no strength to go out again. And we bought a lot of stuff that there's no cash left to go party anymore. Brows I kind of see it coming.

R and ST expressed their reluctance to go back after a week of vacation but I somehow didn't feel the same. I don't know why. Is it because I didn't really enjoy Bali? Is it because there's nothing really special about Bali except for the cheap stuff we got there? Or is it because I will have another one week off from work in 3 weeks time, that I don't really care that I have to go back to work? Maybe I'm just so tired with all the road trips. I mean everyday we would spend 12 to 13 hours outside. I think I need the really-relaxed vacation type. A few days of doing absolutely nothing but lie down with no interruption. No need to wake up early, no need to listen to my mum yakking because I didn't wash one freakin' glass, no need to think of chores and just relax with all your basic necessities like food taken care of. Oh yeah, that would be nice...

"The time is 20 minutes after 4 and the temperature is 33 degrees. To all visitors, welcome to Kuala Lumpur and to all Malaysians on board, welcome home"

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The Kampung Gal is out

I'm off to Bali for my way overdue vacation. I will come back hopefully with lots of interesting stories, the vacation from a kampung gal's point of view.

Sandy Beach

Monday, January 10, 2005

Starting to get the hang of this

It's been one month and I find that I really enjoy blogging. I've discovered blogging about a year ago but never wanted to jump in because I knew that it would take a lot of stamina to keep it updated. I mean, what's the use of signing up for this thing if you're not going to use it. It would be an awful waste of cyberspace, if I may borrow Carl Sagan's words.

The desire to have one propped up again when a friend promoted her blog. It so happens that a week before I sign up for a broadband connection at my house, and since I just finished my degree, I find that I have a lot of time on my hands. Another reason was I promised myself that I would write everyday if I'm seriously thinking of becoming a writer, if at least in some parallel universe. I took out my old journal and even wrote a pageful of promises. Long story short, that didn't work out. But after I got my own blog I'm proud to say that I've been writing (or typing) almost everyday. Does it do any good in terms of my writing? I don't know. But I find myself being more focused and observant. I always find myself drinking in the environment and constantly looking for things to write about. I guess it helps if you feel that someone would be reading your blog instead of writing in a journal with yourself as the one and only reader.

A part of the joys of blogging is also the chance to read other ppl's blogs. There's nothing better than to read on other ppl's lives, that actually exists and laugh at their funny stories and cry when their down. It's like you're taking a break from fiction and jump into reality. I know they are billions of blogs out there which makes it difficult to sift out the good ones so I've decided to concentrate on Malaysian blogs first and I was not dissapointed. There are so many Malaysians out there who has quality blogs that makes interesting reads. The topics varies from a simple everyday journal to the zany and crazy lifestyles of the young (and not so young) and the restless. Here are some that I've discovered and eventually linked under "Made in Malaysia":-

Along's Blog - opinionated mother of two, her blogs are mostly how her day fares and how grateful she is to have a wonderful family plus some crazy dreams she's been having. It's nice to read something positive once in a while and her blogs are very, very interesting.... okay... I'll say it, she's a friend orait?

Osman Sany - designed his own website. I would feel like a true voyeur reading his entries with the reports of his daily life and all the pictures that he put up. Anyway, from his website I can say that he's an in and out nice guy. And it helps that he's cute too

The Clouded Moon - aka The Visitor. I'm a fan of anything mysterious and avid fan of horror movies. So, we share that trait. He has collected many true ghost stories that I haven't had the chance to read yet.

The Roadie - I don't particularly approve of his lifestyle but that's his right. The thing is, his lifestyle is not uncommon in current times. But like I said in the disclaimer, his blog represent a part of what it's like to be Malaysian.

Gongkapas - aka Dina Zaman aka dz. I wish I can show her blog to all those who keep asking me the million dollar question and say, "Hey I'm not the oldest anak dara tua spinster around". Sorry Dina, I just have to say that. Hers is another example of intelligent writings by a female (apart from yours truly). And that some girls do think there's more to life than a love life. She already has a whole entourage of fans loyal to her blogs and I can see why. A lot of other bloggers has put up a link to her blog, so do I need to say more?

BinGregory - he's an American Muslim staying in Kuching. I've been looking for a balanced blog that is not too religious and his fits the bill. But his last entry was on Nov 22 so I don't want to link to something that's not updated. I hope he'll continue to blog soon.

Social Cafe - what can I say about this. This site has a bunch of contributors which I think are all males. I'm not sure about Pink Panties, sounds female but you'll never know. You want to know what guy talk is all about? Visit Social Cafe.

The Hustler - the runner-up for Best Malaysia Blog in the Asia Blog Award 2004, his blogs are mostly a collection of kinky but true stories that was told to him. These stories are really expose material, at times quite revealing and sad sometimes, but most of the time very funny. Discovered his blog earlier today and has been reading all his previous posts. But halfway through I have to stop because I'm getting cross-eyed and I can actually see my soul turning black (Muslims believe that with each sin you commit a black spot will tarnish your soul thus making it difficult for you to accept good things). But I'll come back though, I just got to, some of his stories are hilarious like this one - "Pub Chats - It's unbelieveable"

The Storyteller - The owner of this blog is the renowned director Yasmin Ahmad. Most ppl know her through a collection of Petronas ads like "Kepulangan" (A girl return to her kampung after many years of not talking to her mother) and the recent DeepaRaya ad where two childhood friends reunited by a simple song. I really admire this woman not just for her creativity but also for her courage to voice out her thoughts stand up for her art. I first know about her when she was a guest at Latte @ 8. She was talking about how she just made a film about an old couple which includes a scene of them taking a bath together, inspired by her own parents. You should've seen Lo's face when she said that.

Well, these are some of the good ones that I've found. I know there are lots more out there but then you know the saying, so many blogs so little time. And there are limits to how long my eye can take glued to the computer screen. I'm still looking for more Malaysian-made blog, especially those created by other races so as to make "Made in Malaysia" truly diversified. Well, I'm still a newbie but I'm starting to get the hang of this. I'm really grateful for the anonymity that blogging gives me. It's like keeping a private diary with public readers. Talk about paradox.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

Last month I finished this wonderful book. It's a story of a family surviving on land in Florida right after the Civil War. It not only talks about how they live by growing their own crops, hunt their own meat, survive the wrath of mother nature and still compete with their neighbors, both human and wild animals, it's also about the great love that this small family share with each other without saying much. More hardship comes in the form of a yearling. It may sound like another sappy Lassie-type family drama but it ain't. It would take more than "I hate you" to make this animal go away. What I like most about this book is how each character is very well developed with their own strengths and weaknesses that are just too real.

Ma Baxter may come out as a cold-hearted woman even to her only child but it was only because she lived in difficult circumstances. Her most cherished wish is to be able to do her washing at her own backyard instead of travelling half a mile to get a bucket of water.

Penny Baxter is a good man down to his very bones and well-liked by everyone around him. But his faith in the goodness of mankind finally shattered by an act of vengeance though not directed to him.

Their avoidance of Penny made their guilt incontrovertible. It saddened him. His hard-won peace lay shattered about him. A stone thrown at some distance, and meant for someone else, had struck him. He was bruised and troubled.
Jody Baxter is like any other 12-year old boy - curious, adventurous, thinks highly of his father and hates girls. But he's also a lonely soul being the only kid within a 13-mile radius. His weakness? Desperately wants a pet to love which he finally found in an orphaned fawn. But he has to discover the hard way that life is not just about traipsing in the forest and the search for companion.

Penny said, "You've seed how things goes in the world o' men. You've knowed men to be low-down and mean. You've seed ol' Death at his tricks. You've messed around with ol' Starvation. Ever' man wants life to be a fine thing, and a easy. 'Tis fine, boy, powerful fine, but 'tain't easy. Life knocks a man down and he gits up and it knocks him down agin. I've been uneasy all my life."

"I've wanted life to be easy for you. Easier'n t'was for me. A man's heart aches, seein' his young uns face the world. Knowin' they got to git their guts tore out, the way his was tore. I wanted to spare you, long as I could. I wanted you to frolic with your yearlin'. I knowed the lonesomeness he eased for you. But ever' man's lonesome. What's he to do then? What's he to do when he gits knocked down? Why, take it for his share and go on."

Penny, or rather Rawlings, summed up the meaning of life in two paragraph. Genius.

And last but not least, my favourite line,
"You come to late. I'd fotched you, if there'd been time. There wasn't time to fetch ol' Doc. One minute he was breathin'. The next minute he jest wa'n't. Like as if you blowed out a candle."
I was sitting in the immigration office when I read this part and I have to hold back my tears. If I was alone the tears would have come like a waterfall. sigh. I'm such a sentimental freak.

The book was very well adapted to the big screen with the ever charismatic, favourite dad of the silver screen, Gregory Peck playing Penny Baxter. It's quite loyal to the basic plot even down to the memorable lines above, but missed out on some important stuff like the hunt of ol' Slewfoot and how Penny and Jody got a firsthand experience on the wickedness of men. But that's forgivable because it's always a challenge to squeeze in a whole book into a 2-hour movie. There's nothing wrong that I can say about this movie only that Peck was just a wee bit too good-lookin' as Penny Baxter.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Dangerous Liaison?

I think a single girl's life is not really complete without some liaison with a married man. I was initially surprised that almost all of my girlfriends will have a story about a relationship with a married man, even a nice, smart, religious friend of mine. That sense of surprise slowly abated as I grow more mature and when I almost got involve with one myself.

He was a colleague and there were already rumors flying around that he was involved with a married woman from the same department (only on a different floor). He's a good looking guy, I can say that much and quite charming (don't they all?). I never really pay attention to him knowing that he's married, we talked occasionally and joke around a lot. He's a fun guy to be with. Anyway, he never made a pass at me. But he was close with another clerk, a member of my 'gang' and lunch-mate, F. They were close in the sense that they talk to each other a lot. We still see each other sometimes after I left the dept. especially when I visit my old friends. We said hi, talked a bit, teased each other, you know, things like that. I also bought insurance from him, at least to help a friend.

About a year ago he started calling, asking me out. Ok why not. Might as well take advantage of it. My parents were not home and I was hungry and bored. We got something to eat, watched a movie and just talk.

The next few days he started to call and SMS me asking to be my 'special friend'. You want to know what his pitch was, "We can have something special at least until you get married." Huh?!?

"We can only be friends and that's it"
"Ye la kita kawan, tapi nak la lebiiiiihhhhh sikit dgn saya" [yes, we're friends, let's have a biiiiittttt more with me]
"I'm a one-man woman and I don't like to play around with relationships. If I have a serious boyfriend he would be the only one for me."
"Awak tunang dengan saya la". ["You marry me then"]

I specifically remembered asking him straight to his face whether he's seriously thinking of 'membesarkan masjid' (i.e. get a second wife). And he said no (of course) and he flatly denied all the other girlfriends that he had. He should have save his spit. I knew about his 'reputation'. I knew that he did have a r'ship with that married woman. I just don't know how far it got. I do know that that was over when she got transfered to another dept. I also knew that he sometimes went out with other clerks from the office including my other 'gang' and lunch-mate, Y. I'm not one who likes to butt into other ppl's business so I never cared to find out what's up with those two.

I told this to another girl that I used to work with, Cik P and she told me that she was also 'propositioned' by this guy some time ago. He even use the same freakin' line, that FREAK! Luckily she already has a boyfriend and so he struck out there. I wonder how many girls has he approached. I won't be surprised if he had asked ALL the girls in the office to be his 'special' friend. Sheesh.

It suddenly sink in on why he suddenly got in touch with me. F just got married a few months back, Y is also getting married and Cik P is married too! I guess I'm next on his list. You got the wrong girl pal!

He kept calling and SMS-ing sayng that I'm "the one" and he was not really serious about the other girls. After some no no no and NO he finally gave up. I think the last SMS got through to his thick head, "Saya dah kata tak nak, susah sgt ke nak paham!" [I said no, is that so hard to understand!]

So after one year, why do I still rant about this? Well, on Tuesday, out of the blue, he called me up asking for an update, "Still working there? Finished your studies? Got a boyfriend?" He told me he's in the midst of looking for other employments. And we did have a nice chat though. It is fun to talk to him, I got to give him props. We said goodbye, with him insisting that I keep him up-to-date with any changes in my life. I got the feeling he called me to see if he has another chance. No way!

Confession time: The thing that bothers me the most about this guy is... I actually do like him. If he wasn't married I would have taken up his offer in a second. He's funny, good looking (even though he looks like a bangla), and fun to be with (maybe it's because it's easy to tease him), things that I look for in a guy. But I'm also glad that I knew him this way. He's the kind of guy that I can NEVER trust. What makes me think that he won't do the same to me as he did to his wife?

In some way, as a friend, I kind of pity him. He has a wife and two cute kids, the eldest is a spitting image of him (yes, I've met his whole family). I feel so sorry that he could not be happy with what he has. Instead he spent most of his time and energy looking for entertainment someplace else.

I wonder if he did this because he's really not happy with his marriage or just because he can, being a Muslim man. If he's not happy, he should be fair to his wife and try to solve this among themselves. If it's just to ease his 'itchiness' to fulfill the 'quota' then he should also be fair to his wife. No matter how understanding a wife can be, she will still have to sacrifice a lot for the sake of a man she call husband. I just want to say this to him and to all the 'miang' married guys out there, please be fair to the woman who said "saya setuju" [I do] to you and the mother of your children. They deserve some respect.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Who wants to be married?

A friend e-mail to me a few weeks back. Very long but interesting to see a typical malay wedding from another pov.

Subject: Mari kita kahwin!!
Bondo nii laaa yang poningkan den........Ada kebenarannya..............!!!

Ok.. sekarang nie ramai yg nak dekat kahwin atau pun ramai yg ader plan nak kahwin. Sumer orang tahu lah persiapan untuk kahwin bukannyer mudah banyakpersiapan yg perlu di aderkan... . ia memerlukan satu perancangan ygc ukup teliti bagi dua dua blah pihak. Kekadang tu pasangan tak jadi kahwin pasal plan nak kahwin. Maknernyer diorang plan nak buat majlis abih tak boleh agree with each other so they bergaduh and taklah jadi kahwin. So ader orang yg tak jadi kahwin pasal nak kahwin. Kalau kahwin mestilah nak buat majlis Walimah... untuk mereka yg tak tahu, majlis walimah ialah majlis sambutan hari perkahwinan dimaner sanak saudara sahabat handai jiran tetangga dijemput hadir makan bersamer. Pasangan sekarang lebih stress memikirkan majlis ini daripader memikirkan maser depan dan hala tujuan hidup bersamer selepas nikah.Ok berikut aderlah sedikit sebanyak panduan dan kosuntuk persiapan majlis ini. Supaya menjadi pedoman untuk mereka yg ingin berkahwin dan yg ingin berkahwin lagi.

1. Kadi :At least 6 mths b4 the proposed nikah date korang misti kener giregister kat jabatan, and biler korang gi register korang mistilah dah tahu asas kahwin yg akan diberikan, tarikh dan tempat nikah. Lepas register orang bolehlah book kadhi. Sorang je book... . jgn dua dua gi book plak. kos kadi : RM80++
2. Kursus rumahtangger:Kener pergi... . kalau tak pergi korang takleh amek sijil nikah. Tapi when u go and collect the sijil nikah at Jabatan they never ask for the sijil kursus... . whatever it is kan baik kalau korang pergi attend the kursus. walaupun kiter dah terer dlm bab rumahtangger tapi ader baiknyer kalau kiter refresh balik aper yg telah kiter ketahui.kos kursus : around RM80 for the whole session (tengok tempat)
3. Book Mak Andam: Mak Andam is one of the most important people dalam perkahwinan. Nak owang pompan... .. pilih mak andam boleh makan tahun lamernyer. Of courselah, lelaki nak amek mak andam buat aper sey. At least six months misti nak book... later than that u might have a problem finding one... .. kalau aderpun mak andam dari Kreta Ayer Chinese Dance Troupe. Kos : RM1200 (tengok baju aper... kalau ader baju batman atau otromen (mungkin mahal sikit)
4. Photographer: Selalunyer mak andam akan rekomenkan photographer sekali. Kalau tak korang kenerlah carik sendiri. Sekarang owang melayu dah pandai... . dah pandai amek studio, dah pandai amek outdoor. Kos : RM800
5. Kompang / Hadrah Unless korang nak pakai loktang takyah panggil kompang. Kalau nak panggil at least 3 mths notice.Kos :RM300
6. Dekorasi blok dan pelamin. Sekarang sudah canggih... kolong blok diorang transform jadi macam istanaTaj Mahal... . Macam macam design macam macam pattern.Kos :RM1000
7. Tukang Masak and Khemah Kosi Meja. Tukang masak mesti ader beb... kalau takder camner owang nak makan? Lainlahkalau korang buat majlis kat Mac Donald's. Kos : RM7000 (tengok kepaler yg datang)
8. Kerete. Unless korang nak gi bertandang jalan kaki takyahlah sewa kereter (*naikbasikal bleh gaks..) Kalau nak sewa, kenerlah sewa ygs pecial punyer...Merce ke?... Jag ke?. kira yg besau punyer kereter lah. Janganlah plak badan korang besau abih sewa Kancil... ... sampai besok pun takleh masok! Kos: RM300
9. DJ/Karaoke. Kalau majlis senyap dan sunyi je taklah meriah kan? Lazimnyer owang akan engage DJ/ Karaoke services. Ader jugak yg amek band industan, brassband. At least 6 mths mesti nak kener book. Kos :RM850 (dengan dinner sekali)
10. Berkat. Kira door gift lah. Yg biaser telur rebus owang kasi... tapi sekarang dah maju... diorang lagi kreatif... ader yg kasi tuala, sabun buku, cokelat, agar-agar, mangkok, gelas, surah Yasin, etc etc.Kos : RM3000++
11. Miscellaneous. Perkara perkara kecik owang selalu overlook... perkara perkara kecik ginilah yg selalu membuat kocek kiter tebakar. Bender bender seperti Bunga Pahar, Sireh Dara, Kek, Sabun, Rokok Rewang, Sewa kolong blok, Tuala rewang, pisau rewang, barang barang hantaran, cadar, kelambu, langsir, carpet, bill,lauk pauk pre and post majlis, plastik buat bungkusan, kad jemputan... ...Kos : RM2500 ++


Belom termasok hantaran lagi beb... . korang pandai pandailah plus sendiri. Dari itu saper saper yg dah nak berkahwin... ... .SELAMAT PENGANTIN BARU! Untuk mereka yang bakal-bakal... . yang dah lepas tu,mungkin nak tahu jugak sebab musababnyer... .. Zaman sekarang ni kan hantaran makin naik harga. Maklumlah; kata dorang ikut market price. Kalau harga mas naik;naik lagi harga bakal2 bini. Tak ikut market price nanti orang kata kedekut lah;sengkek lah; tak mampu jangan ada hati nak kahwin lah; hai... macam-macam story lagi. Biasanya yang letak harga ialah mak sebelah pompan. Bapak selalu ikutkan aje; ni semua kerja orang pompan, dorang kata. Kadang2 ada jugak pompan sendiri yang letak harga; lepas tu pakat dengan mak. Mengikut survey; sekarang paling minimum RM6000. Hantaran RM5000; RM4000 masih ada jugak; tapi dah boleh kira pakai jari tangan je. Yang ada hantaran kira okay lah; tapi ada serba satunya lagi. Cuma serba-serbi dan serba bolehje belum ada lagi.

Kat sini aku ada beberapa sebab kenapa sekarang hantaran makin mahal. Hah... korang bacalah:-
Sebab1. Anak pompan sorang
2. Anak pompan sekolah tinggi 20 tingkat
3. Anak pompan paling jambu dalam family
4. Anak pompan kerja high post
5. Anak pompan biasa pakai barang branded
6. Anak pompan yang tastenya... berkajang-kajang kalau disenaraikan
7. Kakak belum kahwin; jadi kena kasi double untuk belanja kakaknya sekaligus
8. Anak pompan yang rasa dirinya... lengkap segala-gala
9. Bapak pompan towkay kayu balak; mak pulak bekas eksekutif
10. Anak pompan tu pun jenis ek... semacam jer.
Selalunya jawapan yang diberi oleh pihak lelaki kalauhantaran melampau sangat (ni dorang bebual antara family lelaki je):-
1. "Eh! Nak meniaga anak ke pe?"Kadang tu mak bapak ok jer si anak lak lebih-lebih
2. "Kalau pandai masak ke jahit ke; satu hal jugak. Ni asik pandai mekap je."
3. "Camni bilang dorang simpan anak tu dalam storebuat perhiasan."
4. "Kalau lawa macam Karisma Kapoor tu takpe jugak. Ni idung pesek macam kena lenyek je."
5. "Apa dorang ingat kita sedara Bill Gates ke?"
6. "Lupakan sudah budak pompan tu. Nanti mak carik kan yang lebih power dari Catherine Zeta-Jones eh?"

Kata2 dari sebelah pompan yang lelaki ingin sangat nakdengar :-
1. "Ikut suka hatilah. Berapa yang lelaki kasi; kita ambik je. Member tak cerewet."
2. "Takpelah. Kalau tak boleh adakan sekarang; kahwin dulu. Lepas tu bayar pelan-pelan cara instalment."
3. "Jangan bimbang. Korang cuma adakan hantaran je. Duit majlis semua kita sponsor."
4. "Pasal sekarang ni musim great sale sana sini; jadi kita ada staff discount. Korang cuma kasi 10% je."
5. "Berapa korang nak kasi, kasilah. Nak ambik freepun takpe. Anak pompan kita ramai lagi."
6. "Apakata kalau korang ambik kakaknya sekali. Tapi hantaran tetap sama. Kira 2 for the price of 1 ler. Risaulah kakaknya tak kahwin-kahwin."

Kalau kena pulak family lelaki yang loaded makan tak abis punya; jawapannya:-
1. "Okay setuju. Kita up lagi RM10,000. Nothing muchler."
2. "Ehh sikit nah! Camni tak nak lah. Tak sama standard dengan kita punya expectation ler."
3. "Ni hantaran kira Rupiah ke Sing dollars? Kita cuma simpan American dollars je."
4. "Kita tak kasi pakai cash ler. Korang pilih nak AMEX ke; Diners ke; boleh kata semua credit card kita ada lah."
5. "Sebagai hadiah upacara masuk minang ni; kita ada siapkan kereta Lambhorgini. Tu anak bujang kita tengah parking kat bawah tu."
6. "Ni korang mintak hantaran ke; mintak duit nak belikan dia baju tidur. Murah nah?"

Haa... tu lah beberapa kerenah orang melayu kita ni.Jadi untuk pasangan2 yang nak kawin tu; bincang betul2 antara korang dengan family dalam halni. Mak pompan tu pun kalau nak letak harga; berpatutanlah dengan kemampuan pihak lelaki. Kalau tak berdengek lelaki tu nak adakan hantaran mahal2. Hati dah suka punya pasal; semua boleh aje. Cukup time badan cengkung-mengkung tak larat nak naik pelamin pasal kerja tiga empat macamuntuk kumpul duit. Ada pulak tu..yg terpaksa amik personal loan.. bankrakyat... bank Islam... atau guna kredit card.. lepaskawin.. kepalala gi sewel, dok pikir nak bayar hutang, loan rumah, loan kereta, loan komputer, 'loan bini',.. tak tercapai lah maksud perkahwinan yg sepatutnya semakin memudahkan kehidupan.. dah terbalik.. jadi semakin susah. Entahlah... .dunia... dunia... "Dah nasib badan.........

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

The Kampung Gal is in

I'm out of my hibernation albeit reluctantly. I thought 2 days of quiet was enough but I guess not. But Monday came and went and I'm still here so better make the best of it.

Apart from reading the daily horoscope (if by chance I got my hands on a paper) I also try to get free astrological reading from the net. I got this one from a link from

Birth Date and Time..... December 30, 1976 1:18 PM
Birth Location............. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Sun Sign.................... Capricorn

Section 1: How You Approach Life and How You Appear To Others
You meet life head on and throw yourself into new experiences with zest and enthusiasm. You are direct, straightforward, assertive, and usually completely aboveboard in all your dealings. Candid and incapable of guile, insincerity or phoniness, you project a confident and sometimes arrogant appearance to others. You often lack tact and sensitivity, and can be completely oblivious to others' needs, and inadvertently selfish. You are self-reliant and don't depend upon social approval and reinforcement as much as other people do. You like to be original and do not mind going it alone. You may feel that you do not fit into groups very well, and that you do not naturally blend in and cooperate with others very easily. You like to be either a leader or a loner. Find out more with your full-length report...

Section 2: The Inner You: Your Real Motivation
Serious, disciplined, and quietly ambitious, you are driven to prove yourself and to achieve material accomplishments and success. Your work, your position in the world, and your contributions to society are very important to you. You will persevere through enormous hardship and frustration in order to reach a goal you have set for yourself, and you often sacrifice much in the area of personal relationships and home life in order to do so. Find out more with your full-length report...

This is a very close description of myself except for a few things like I am "direct" and "straightforward" but I don't think I'm "assertive" and "aboveboard". Some ppl whom I just met would think I'm arrogant but once they get to know me we get along quite well. I have to admit that I am selfish but I'm not insensitive to other ppl's needs. I struggle to gain my independence though not doing so well right now and yes I do not need social approval to feel good about myself. I do like to be original. I find that I won't do a certain things just because everyone else is doing it for eg. joining Puteri UMNO and asking for a transfer while everyone else in my dept would rather stay there. I do find myself being the odd one out sometimes. I want to be a leader and currently I'm a loner. Do I want to get the full report to find out more about myself? No thank you.

I am "serious" and "quietly ambituos" (I like this term) but not disciplined. I do want to prove myself and achieve something. I want to feel that the short time that I have in this world meant something to someone else and not just me. I wish I can contribute more to the society which was one of the reason why I'm thinking of being a teacher. However up till now I don't really sacrifice much of my "personal relationships" (like a have a lot of that!) and "home life". I enjoy spending time with my friends and I would rather stay home and get as much quiet time as possible rather than volunteering at the zoo.

So, this reading may be 50% accurate but it was still quite close which is why it always boggles me how astrology can determine your personality by the position of the stars. A lot of ppl said that it was all coincidence but sometimes you just can't help but think, "Man, that really desribes who I really am". Maybe I should work hard to live up to my astrological reading like being more disciplined and assertive. Maybe then I would reach my goals faster. Generally, ppl my age would at least have a nice car who doesn't go out on you all the time, a couple of grand in the bank, earning more than RM30K per year. What I have is a car that is still alive provided that you get it fix everytime it groans and earning not even close to RM20K per year. Don't get me started about savings. It has always been just enough for me.

I would love to live in a world where money isn't everything. I wish I can get a job with a nice pay, great hours (5-day week would be great!) and to actually love working there. There's so many things that I would love to do like volunteer at the zoo, sponsor an animal, join Mercy. But what's mostly on my mind right now is how am I going to get so comfortable financially that I don't even need to think how much my lunch is gonna cost today.

I've been working for 4 years now and I don't have anything to show. Let's look at my assets that's worth something. I have a car (still on financing), a computer (bought with instalment scheme), a portable DVD player (also on instalment and still paying), boxes of books, rows of CDs and a cupboardful of clothes. But what I desperately need right now is a new car and my own place. You know, it is times like these that I really envy those girls who get their own little "sponsors". But since I really value my independence, getting my own "sponsor" is not an option right now. Nothing else to do but look for a better job and work hard on filling up that bank account.