Thursday, June 30, 2005

Current update - 30/6/05

Why do I do this?

Read: Pavilion of Women by Pearl S. Buck, The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman, A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks, Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden, The Unknown Errors of Our Lives & Vine of Desire by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory & Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl
Reading: Nicholas Nickelby by Charles Dickens, The Haunted Dolls' House and other stories by M.R. James
CD: Hopes and Fears by Keane, Seal Best 1991-2004
Favorite song: Best of You by Foo Fighters, La Tortura by Shakira
Played: none
Watching: The Apprentice 3, Frasier, CSI, Akademi Fantasia 3, Arrested Development

*No. of times asked if I have a boyfriend: 3
*No. of times asked when I will get married: 12
*No. of times asked when I will have kids: 2
Note: * 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) After many, many interviews I finally got an offer.
2) Ended up getting a new mainboard for my PC. Now I'm stuck with this big thing that's called a CPU.

The last straw

I am so unlucky when it comes to machinery or electronics, like cars and computers.

My car always makes some strange noise like now I will sometimes hear a sigh when I press the accelerator or the break. Sounds like my cat asking for food. And I always manage to find some new scratches now and then. Meanwhile, my computer keeps dying on me no matter how careful I am with it or how much I upgraded it or reformat it.

Last week was the last straw.

Someone banged into my car, unhooking my front bumper and folded it out for about 25 degrees. Though I managed to 'fold' it back in and secure it, it will come off sometimes and dangle like a loose tooth. I have to tie it with 'tali raffia' now. The guy gave me RM150 by the way, so no biggie there. But then I have to go without my car for a few days to get it fixed.

Just my 'luck', I'm having a break next week between my current employment and the new one. So I won't mind leaving my car at the shop for a few days. A good time to fix some other bumps and bruises as well.

Then, my computer which used to spit and sputter every three months has finally drawn its final breath. I sent it to the regular shop (if it's a clinic, it would have a big file on my computer) and told me that I need to replace my motherboard and in the process change the processor, the casing and the RAM.

Which is totally not the right time for me. Not only do I need to fix my car, my paycheck has not been that prompt lately (will tell you why in later post). This throws my whole budget off.

But the price to resuscitate my computer was not that bad. It sure beats buying a new computer.So I went ahead with the procedure and you could say that I have a new PC, what with the new processor, RAM and less than a year old hard disk.

Since I've also replaced the monitor and the mouse, the only original parts that are left from the day I bought this set are the floppy disk and the keyboard. The rest are practically new or borrowed (like the old monitor that brother gave to me). I even have to buy a new speaker. I just hope that this will survive until I have enough to buy a new one.

Okay. I got everything done yesterday. I was so excited to use this 'new' PC. I'm getting a clear view with this old but still working monitor, I got my new bigger, bulkier CPU hogging my table, I got the new speaker that belts out less-than-desirable quality sound from the new Seal CD I just bought. I was so ready to blog again. And then... what the %&^$^!!!! I can't get into blogger?!?!?!?!? Image hosted by

So I called tmnet but they can't resolve this through the phone. They have to fill in a report, they need to send a technician over (some help he was). I still can't access blogger (plus a few other important websites as well). And yet, when I try my dial-up connection, I can get into blogger. So now I'm using my 56K dial-up connection to blog. Can you imagine my frustration? You know what they say, once you go broadband you can never go back.

So if you're wondering about my absence from the blogosphere, this is my story. And I just realized that I cannot live without a personal computer.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Talk about a revival

Man! Now that the juries out, I guess all the songs are out too. On Wednesday i swear that the radio was playing a Michael Jackson song every hour. I wonder what happens if the jury found him guilty. Will they all throw out his CDs out of the station's window?

Time for some other mediocre news and updates....

Yes! I did it! I went out and bought Keane's Hopes and Fears. It took quite some time for me to arrive to this decision. I'm afraid they will be another Coldplay. I borrowed their first album from a friend and after a few listens I just got bored with it. I was not too excited about the songs that were playing on the radio at that time anyway (But I still like Trouble).

As for Keane, I've heard 5 of the songs featured in this album and I love them all. So might as well buy the CD. It has a bonus DVD anyway. Thanks to all the stations who played different songs from their album instead of airing the same song over and over again. I'm listening to it while writing this, I can't believe that the simple combination of vocals, drums and keyboards can be so interesting.

I also rented A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks. I hope it can explain my infatuation with the movie.

Dear Lionel,

Imajica was not that tough. It was too intriguing to be tough. I never heard that story before and I don't think I care actually. Who cares what he was eating, digesting or inhaling while writing Imajica? It sure was one hell of a story.

I read it like 8 years ago so I'm sorry to say that I cannot give a very eligible synopsis. All I can say is Imajica is Barker at his best. If you haven't read any of his works, he is known for very twisted, beyond horrifying visions with a dash of eroticism. Who else can envision those terrifying Cenobites or imagine that in a single yarn of an old carpet lies a whole village with its own residence, and the whole carpet is a whole new world altogether.

In Imajica he used all his secret ingredients and exercised all his special skills to present an interesting, well-balanced soup for the imaginative soul. It has adventure, mystery, thrills and even a love story. His special interest has always been that beyond this world we exist in there is another, maybe more worlds that we are not aware of. This theme is apparent in Weaveworld, The Hellbound Heart and his latest book, Abarat. It is also the theme for Imajica. This time we are faced with the possibilities that there are 4 more worlds out there and these worlds in addition to ours are supposed to be connected. However, something happened so long ago that our world (the one that we're living in) is separated with the other four. While the people from the other four Dominiins are free to travel through the four Dominions, we are left alone, ignorant and oblivious of the existence of these other worlds. They were all waiting for the day that all the Dominions will be together again but they must find the Maestro first for he is the only one who has the power to achieve this. I can't wait to red it again.

If you're still doubtful I suggest you rent or borrow instead of buying. If you find that it's not your cup of tea, you won't feel that it's such a waste.

This is the best that I can do for you, Lionel. I do recommend the book highly, if you are into the horror genre and won't mind the erotic element. What's wrong with Amazon anyway?

Thanks for visiting my blog and hope you'll come by again.

Yours sincerely,
Kampung Gal

I got a job offer!!!! Woohooo!!!!! Might be interesting to post about all the steps of changing your employment, wouldn't it?


That's all the news for today. Till we meet again on Kampung Gal in the City.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Reading inside the box

Wah... now in cyberspace also can play tag.

But this is a historic moment. This is the first time Kampug Gal has been passed with one of this thing. Along said that she tagged me.because I "work in a book store and DEFINITELY reads a lot of interesting books." Check out the caps in 'definitely'.

I don't know if I DEFINITELY read interesting books so I'll let you guys judge for yourself. Here's my side of the story...

1) Total number of books I own
Let me see... I have one dish barrel, three 11inx13inx13in boxes, one 11inx10inx12in box, one Recall box, all filled with books, a few in the cupboard, some stacked on the floor...oh yeah I got some more on top of the dish barrel... so that makes about... I don't know... 500? 600? Most of them are inside boxes hence the title "Reading inside the box". All I can say is it's still growing.

2) The last book I bought
The last book I bought was actually a bunch of books I got at the Times warehouse sale. But if I want to really name the 'last book' it would be the Pullman's Trilogy because those are the last few books that I selected to add into my pile. For the full list click here.

3) The last book I read
Pavilion of Women by Pearl S. Buck. Just finished it last night. I'm truly amazed by this woman. She's an American but she can depict a traditional Chinese family with great detail and depth. Ok she may have lived there most of her life but this is unbelievable. She wrote about a poor family in The Good Earth and then she wrote about a very old, wealthy and influential family in Pavilion of Women. I was expecting an inter-racial love story after watching the movie but it was deeper than that to my utmost pleasure. Will talk more about this in future post.

4) 5 books that mean a lot to me
The Neverending Story by Micheal Ende. This book I can truly say the first book that entered my all-time favourite book list. I think I was in Form 4 or 5 when I first got hold of it from the school library. Years later I saw it at a bookstore and I bought it straight away and read it again. It's a beautiful book and very unique. The chapters starts in alphabetical order, meaning first chapter starts with A, second starts with B and so on. Each letter is also intricately illustrated at the beginning of every chapter. I scanned a page for your viewing pleasure.

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Imajica by Clive Barker. The book that made me fall in love with Clive Barker's mind. I was already a fan of Hellraiser the movie which leads me to venture into his books. I happened to choose the biggest book that the rental bookstore has. I must have been pretty bored at that time. This book turns out to be my favourite Barker book and it still is. I've always wanted to read this again but it's in the dish barrel and I can't reach it. I need a bookshelf!!!

Little Women, Good Wives, Jo's Boys and Little Men by Louisa May Alcott. I know this is 4 books but I can't talk about one without mentioning the other. Louisa May Alcot gets me every time i.e. she can make me cry reading her stories. At first I thought it was because I saw the movie so I had that mental picture to get me in the mood. But then I also cried when I read Jo's Boys and Little Men. She just has a way to touch my heart.

Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl. My favourite Dahl book. It's about this wonderful father-son relationship. What amazes me is Dahl grew up without a father but he was able to embodies what a great father should be. But I don't think it's limited to fathers. I think it also talks about how to be a great parent. A very sweet book, suitable for both boys and girls.

Remedial English Grammar and Usage. Hehe.. I know, this book seems out of place but it is dear to my heart because it was the prize for getting the third place at a short story writing competition at my school. I also won the second prize the previous year (I got a book about household tips) which lead me to believe that I may have a knack in writing. But this one is more meaningful because I think my teacher was trying to drop a hint. He once pointed out in front of the whole class how horrendoes my grammar was in my first story, which I got the second prize for. So I guess a year later, there was no improvement. I'm sorry to say Mr Andrews, my grammar is still horrendous but I promise you I will improve myself.

5) Tag 5 people and have them fill this out on their blogs.
I thought I don't want to play tag anymore but I'm curios as to what these people have to say..
Eyeris - He's the eye on books. Of course I want to know what he has to say.
The Visitor - I'm sure this guy will DEFINITELY have read some interesting books. I hope I can get recomendations on good horror books.
The Social Cafe - just want to see if they read any books between the drinking and cussing. Anyone from the gang will do. Or they can compile a list between themselves.
Kenny Sia - also want to see if he reads between the testng of new condoms and measuring his balls Image hosted by

Ok guys, ignore this tag if you've done this before but do give me the url of the post, orait?

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Cover Me - The Good Versions

Cover song : a song rerecorded by another artist. Most times involve new musical or vocal arrangements with the hope of banking in on the original song's popularity or wanting to show that they can do better than the original artist.

I bet there are thousands of cover songs out there that it’s difficult to cover them all (hehe... get it? Cover song? Cover them all? Ok sorry for that attempt to sound witty)

I must say that I'm not trying to be the set myself up as the authority when it comes to music. In fact I don't know much about it. When it comes to trivial knowledge I like to consider myself the 'expert' on movies above all else, then there's knowledge in books, tv shows, then music.

So when I first thought of posting about the world of cover songs, I started to list down a few that I like, some that I don't, a few that are not bad and so on. I find it difficult to recall a collection of songs to make a presentable list. I tried to enlist some online help but I guess they don't really care about cover songs. What can I expect? It's certainly not a steamy, xxx exciting, not even a controversial subject. So I have to rely on the radio to maybe inspire me to recall some songs that could into my list and it kinda work. After a while I managed to compile a respectable number of songs that can be put into different categories.

Like I said before, there are many cover songs out there so I have to limit my list to those that I'm passionate about. And I must have heard the original version so that I can truly make a comparison.

Now that we got that out of the way, let's start with my favourite cover songs. They are not in order of preference. It's difficult to rate which one I like best.

1) Have a Little Faith in Me - Mandy Moore originally performed by Jewel
I was a bit shocked that Mandy Moore would chose to cover a Jewel song. I hated Mandy Moore the singer when I first heard this. There's just something about her mouth that I find annoying. She likes to bend it, pout it, twist it in an unnatural way. In other words "macam buat-buat" [faking it is the closest translation that I can think of now]. So I was very determined that this is a bad rendition more so because this is my favourite Jewel song. But after a few more listens (on the radio, I just try to avoid seeing her sings on tv). I find that it's not that bad and I'm not sorry to say that it's better than the original. The cover has more dynamics compared to Jewel who I think intended it to be laid back and soothing for her rendition. I must say that I prefer this version.

2) I Got You Babe - Chrissie Hynde & UB40 originnaly performed by Cher
I'm not much of a fan of 60s and 70s era which includes the music that were churned out in this era. So of course I prefer the Hynde-UB40's version of this simple and uplifting song. But I believe that any song that's reggaed-up always works. Just check out the soundtrack of 50 First Dates.

3) Sekuntum Mawar Merah - M. Nasir & Hattan originally performed by Alleycats
David's vocal is always dramatic. It just works work with any song that he sings. Alleycats songs are so great that it takes two moguls to make their song better. They slow it down, makes the vocal more raw and voila you get the best cover of a Malay song of all time.

4) I Will Always Love You - Whitney Houston originally performed by Dolly Parton
What else can I say. An R&B version is always better than a country version to my ears.

5) Time After Time - ? originally performed by Cindy Lauper
Ok, I know I'm making a reporting booboo - writing without doing proper research. I tried looking for the name of the group/singer who covered this Cindy Lauper classic but I can't find it. Actually, I don't even have the slightest clue who the singer is. It's not even a tip-of-the-tongue thing. All I can say is that the singer is female (duh) and she has this soft, lilting pitch in her voice. The cover is smoother, softer than the original. I must say I really like this version. It has quite a good run on the radio waves. If anyone has a clue to who this is, I welcome the help.

6) Bizarre Love Triangle - Frente originally performed by New Order
Acoustic version of a techno. Very well done.

7) Belaian Jiwa - Innuendo originally performed by Carefree
I don't really like Innuendo but I like this song.

8) Lately - Jodeci originally performed by Stevie Wonder
It's live, it's soulful, it's dramatic. Who can beat that?

Damn, this thing is getting long. So I'll just drop a few more down here...

Don't Dream It's Over - Paul Young originally performed by Crowded House
I Drove All Night - Celine Dion originally performed by Cindy Lauper
Kasih Berubah - Ferhad originally performed by Flybaits

Well, that’s it for now. Stay tune for more of “Cover Me”...
Cover Me - The Not So Bad Versions
Cover Me - The Bad Versions
Cover Me - Don't Ever Try to Cover Versions
Cover Me - Ones That I Like to See Anyone Try to Cover

I still welcome any thoughts or comments or any song you would like to nominate for my list. Great thanks to Eyeris for his feedback. Truly appreciated.

I won't apologize for any spelling mistakes anymore. I'm using Word (magnified to 150%) and then copy it to Blogger. So any spelling mistakes in this post is all me.