Sunday, December 28, 2008

Meet the Author

I must have ran into Luck today, for I met a really friendly, funny author, Graham McEune at a book reading in Popular (a bookstore I rarely patronise :P) At the reading, he shared with us some amusing anecdotes and vignettes, which tickled every funny bone in me, from his latest book, Upcountry - Adventures and Misadventures in Malaysia. My favourite was his visit to a local sinseh in Ipoh. That got me laughing into stitches! LOL!

The reading ended with an autograph session with his new fans and a photograph session with yours truly! Oh! and,...I'll be reviewing his book soon! :) In the meantime, I'm trying to arrange an online q&a session with him :) Till then, stay hooked! :)

To those who'd like to know him a little better, visit his website at http://grahammceune.com

Saturday, December 27, 2008

An Afternoon @ PJ Shelter Home

The book donation went well! Hurray! My parents, my hubby and I were there at about 12.30pm. There were 15 children altogether, and they were a jolly bunch! Most of them were really friendly, jovial and pretty hyper :) Only one or two of the boys who were quiet and reserved. The boys played "sticks" while the rest were busy talking and playing.

Upon arrival, we were greeted by the caretaker, Visa (If I heard/remembered her correctly), who briefed us a little on the kids. Generally, the kids there have been abused, neglected and raped. Yes, raped, even as young as 4 years old. Visitors are advised not to ask them any personal questions. Anyway, when Visa rang a bell, a bunch of them came downstairs quite immediately and greeted us with "Hello Aunty/Uncle/Brother/Sister." Some shook our hands and greeted us Merry Christmas!


My hubby with my fav Burmese gal (on the left) :)

We managed to chat with a few of them while we were there. There were two of them who loved my hubby's camera. So they busied themselves with it and snapped a few "blurry" pictures haha One of the girls was really cute. She was the youngest there. A Burmese. A fair child, short hair and very mischievous :) But I kinda liked her hehe

All of these kids will go to Shelter 2 (females) and Shelter 3 (males) after turning 12. When they turn 18, they will have to live on their own. Some of the luckier ones, will be taken back by their parent(s).

I am glad this trip is successful. Now, I'm just hoping that they'll like the books. Should have asked for a number to check on them once in awhile, or maybe, I'd just pay them another visit?
hehe


the books donated

Special thanks to my parents, 8th uncle & family, Pansing and Andrea :)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Thanks To All Who Donated!

Special thanks to my parents, my 8th uncle & family, my aunt Fenny, Pansing, and Andrea for donating your books. All of them are in good condition and are great page turners. Some of them are classics! I really hope the children will enjoy reading them :)

See the "presents" in the picture? In it, are books wrapped by yours truly. I used old wrapping papers, newspapers and ribbons. Like I've said before, I want to play my part in saving the environment. So I didn't purchase any new wrapping papers or ribbons. Anyway, what matters is what's inside :P (I was very tempted to keep some of the books for myself HAHAHAHA :P)

My dad found a Home in PJ, called PJ Shelter Home. And all of us; me, my husband and my parents will be heading there tomorrow! I'm excited! :)

Till then, have a blessed Christmas!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Cut Above Celebrates Its 30th!

I've never met someone as down to earth as Winnie Loo. The first time we ever "conversed" was via email, and since then we kept in touch quite regularly. And although we have met only twice, she remembers my name. She even remembers the name of my blog! I mean, for a person of her status, whom had had met so many other people, to remember my name and my blog, is truly an honour to me!

I feel very privileged to have known her. She's definitely the epitome of class and substance. Winnie also serves as a great reminder to all of us, that no matter who or where you are, you can succeed if you believe in yourself. If you have passion, stick to it, fight for it, and let your love for it drive you ahead. When you steer it to the right direction, it'll bring you even further in life. You and I know, Winnie's career had a very humble beginning. Her salon was 428 sq ft then, and now there is a total of 5 other major outlets in the country! And she helped Malaysia gain a stronger foothold in the world map with her numerous international awards.

Despite all her success and achievements, Winnie remains humble and down-to-earth. In fact, she is also one of the most modest celebrity I've ever met. (Oh believe me, there are quite a number of those whom I've met who have their nose high up in the air.) And this opinion didn't just come from me. My husband, who had the chance to meet up with Winnie at her A Cut Above's 30th Anniversary, shared the same sentiment too.

Yes, A Cut Above is 30 next year :) Oh and the party was a blast! Her hair show was superb. Should check out her Iconic Collection. I have 2 of my favourites in there hehe According to her, bob would still be a hit next year...you know those ala Victoria Beckham's etc type? Dang, can't wait to chop off my locks now! It's getting longggggg haha Maybe I should pay A Cut Above a second visit hehe

Anyway, congratulations to you, Winnie, and to A Cut Above. I'm sure greater success awaits you and your team next year and in years to come :)

My Christmas Gift :)

I was super elated when I opened my Christmas gift from my dearest husband, coz I never expected any from him. (And I felt so lousy for not getting him anything :( ) Not this year, especially after we have spent so much on our wedding. But, my husband, whom always believed in making his wife happy, never bothered all that, and bought me a little something for Christmas. And it's something I've always wanted.... :)

I fell in love with its scent the first time I caught it at a departmental store (Issey Miyake's original) and had been telling almost everyone about it haha I had never purchased it coz I already had so many other bottles of perfumes and I thought this particular one was slightly "overpriced" :P (I did buy the summer fragrance tho. Coz it was slightly cheaper haha but the scent wasn't as good as the original's)

And because he knew how much I wanted it, he bought it for me for Christmas :D Thank you so much deeeear! I love you! *mmmuax* Merry Christmas everyone!

Touched by Him....

I cried after reading this...Thanks pa for sharing it with us...

In Phoenix, Arizona , a 26-year-old mother stared down at her 6 year old son, who was dying of terminal leukemia. Although her heart was filled with sadness, she also had a strong feeling of determination. Like any parent, she wanted her son to grow up & fulfill all his dreams. Now that was no longer possible. The leukemia would see to that. But she still wanted her son's dream to come true.

She took her son' s hand and asked, 'Billy, did you ever think about what you wanted to be once you grew up? Did you ever dream and wish what you would do with your life?'

‘Mommy, I always wanted to be a fireman when I grew up.'

Mom smiled back and said, 'Let's see if we can make your wish come true.'

Later that day she went to her local fire Department in Phoenix , Arizona , where she met Fireman Bob, who had a heart as big as Phoenix. She explained her son's final wish and asked if it might be possible to give her 6 year-old son a ride around the block on a fire engine.

Fireman Bob said, 'Look, we can do better than that. If you'll have your son ready at seven o'clock Wednesday morning, we'll make him an honorary Fireman for the whole day. He can come down to the fire station, eat with us, go out on all the fire calls, the whole nine yards! And if you'll give us his sizes, we'll get a real fire uniform for him, with a real fire hat - not a toy -- one-with the emblem of the Phoenix Fire Department on it, a yellow slicker like we wear and rubber boots.'

'They're all manufactured right here in Phoenix, so we can get them fast.'

Three days later Fireman Bob picked up Billy, dressed him in his uniform and escorted him from his hospital bed to the waiting hook and ladder truck.

Billy got to sit on the back of the truck and help steer it back to the fire station.

He was in heaven.

There were three fire calls in Phoenix that day and Billy got to go out on all three calls. He rode in the different fire engines, the Paramedic's' van, and even the fire chief's car. He was also videotaped for the local news program.

Having his dream come true, with all the love and attention that was lavished upon him, so deeply touched Billy that he lived three months longer than any doctor thought possible.

One night all of his vital signs began to drop dramatically and the head nurse, who believed in the hospice concept - that no one should die alone, began to call the family members to the hospital.

Then she remembered the day Billy had spent as a Fireman, so she called the Fire Chief and asked if it would be possible to send a fireman in uniform to the hospital to be with Billy as he made his transition. The chief replied, 'We can do better than that. We'll be there in five minutes…Will you please do me a favour? When you hear the sirens screaming and see the lights flashing, will you announce over the PA system that there is not a fire?'

'It's the department coming to see one of its finest members one more time. And will you open the window to his room?'

About five minutes later a hook and ladder truck arrived at the hospital and extended its ladder up to Billy's third floor open window--------16 fire-fighters climbed up the ladder into Billy's room.

With his mother's permission, they hugged him and held him and told him how much they LOVED him.

With his dying breath, Billy looked up at the fire chief and said, 'Chief, am I really a fireman now?'

'Billy, you are, and The Head Chief, Jesus, is holding your hand,' the chief said.

With those words, Billy smiled and said, 'I know, He's been holding my hand all day, and the angels have been singing…'

He closed his eyes one last time.

This story is powerful and there is nothing attached. Uplifting stories are one of the best gifts we receive. And it also reminds us how God is ever present in our lives, especially when we most need Him. Many other lives have been touched by Him, including mine :) And I'm glad that He has chosen me as one of his children!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Inkheart's Spell

I don't really read fantasy, I only watch them. Don't ask me why :P Anyway, I gave Inkheart a try only because a friend of mine told me it'll be out in the movies next year. (I have this weird thing about reading the book first before the movie. If I happened to watch the movie before the book, I'd end up not reading the book. Ever. Even if the movie was good. Like Harry Potter and LOTR :P Again, don't ask me why.)

Anyway, this book is simply about a little girl, named Meggie, who had a dad, Mortimer, a bookbinder, who could read characters out of a book, when he read aloud. (Read: make the characters come to live, literally.) He happened to have read Inkheart to his wife one night, and all the malevolent, evil characters came out of it and into our world; while his wife, entered the Inkworld. After successfully chasing the villians away, he tried reading his wife back into our world, but with no success. After 9 years running away from Capricorn (the most feared character in Inkheart), Mortimer was finally found. Thus, the adventure begins.

The story unfolds with many unexpected twists, every time luring you deeper into the story. Each character was so well developed that you begin to imagine them coming to live in your own world.

There are other quite interesting characters in this book besides Meggie and Mortimer. My favourites are, Meggie's aunt, Elinor, and the fire-eater, Dustfinger. They both have quite a sarcastic sense of humour. Dark, dry, and funny. And both of them were never fond of each other...until maybe later :)

This book is specially dedicated to all book lovers like me :) Coz besides narrating the adventure, almost every other detail in there, relates to being a book lover - it talks about how valuable a book is to a reader because in it, it holds a whole new world, waiting to come alive in our minds. And how much one goes to great extent to care for a book - proper binding, no dog ears, no folded pages, no "bitten" off edges, no lines drawn, no scribbles, carefully kept in racks, and how much each book means to people like us. (Which is why I could relate to Elinor! haha She had a house of books!!!)

I intended to write a few of my favourite paragraphs in here. But due to the fact that I flipped the pages too quickly I wasn't able to write them down, and the fact that I NEVER SCRIBBLED ANY OF MY BOOKS, I now have nothing to "quote" from :( But nevermind...let me end with my favourite "opening" paragraphs from one of the chapters...

'"What do these children do without story books?" Naftali asked.

And Reb Zebulun replied: "They have to make do. Storybooks aren't bread. You can live without them."

"I couldn't live without them," Naftali said.' (page 18)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Published again :)

Have a green celebration!
By Veronica Khoo (my new byline haha :P)

THE season of giving and sharing is here, so why not do our part and give back to the environment by reusing and recycling? I’m sure you are aware that our Mother Earth is suffering. So let us stop torturing her and do our part to prevent further harm.

Before I reveal what I’m doing this Christmas, let me forewarn my friends and family members that I’m not trying to be a cheapskate here. Please, look at the bigger picture. All I’m trying to do is to contribute my share to help our home – the world.

So here goes, the four simple ways, which you could do too, to preserve our environment:
1. Donate books: I’ve organised a little book donation this Christmas and have successfully donated boxes full of great reads to an orphanage. It’s a win-win situation here. First, the books donated have been saved from being thrown away. Second, no new books need to be bought. Save paper, save energy, save the environment! Third, the children get to read new stories!

2. Reuse wrapping paper: To those who are receiving presents from me, I’m unashamed to admit that your presents will be wrapped using my previous Christmas gifts’ wrapping paper which is still in good, beautiful condition! (If you know me well enough, you’ll know that I open my presents very gently and carefully.) Don’t worry if the paper’s a little creased, because once you’re done wrapping, it’s hardly noticeable. Anyway, if your friends or family members care about the environment, they will understand.

3. Reuse presents: Yes, I’m guilty as charged. I give away gifts that I don’t use. Don’t get me wrong. I give away useful, practical gifts. Just that, I happen not to use them. For example: new bottles of perfumes and cosmetic creams (I have one too many of those) as well as books (I don’t really dig chick lit and romance).

And just so you know, they are all new and branded. Come on, don’t stock up all your unused things in your storeroom pleeeease. And don’t keep telling yourself you’ll be using them one day, because most probably, you won’t. But if for certain reasons, you have to buy new presents, try getting them from an eco-friendly store!

4. Use only one plastic bag: Yeah... I’m still trying to remind myself to take my recycled shopping bag with me whenever I go out. But if I happen to forget, I make sure I remember to use only one plastic bag. And I’m happy some others are practising it too. Just the other day when I was at a cashier, a lady in her early 40s in front of me rejected a plastic bag and told the cashier she already had one. She then took her newly bought things and placed them all into a big plastic bag that already had some other purchases. She did it with such pizzazz that she made the act of recycling superbly stylish. Kudos to you, lady!

For the link http://thestar.com.my/lifestyle/story.asp?file=/2008/12/21/lifefocus/2795145&sec=lifefocus

Friday, December 19, 2008

Mamma Mia Here We Go Again!

Did I mention that my hubby got us free tickets to Mamma Mia musical from The Star? :) We were there for the matinee show today...hehe So...was it good??? Well,...this is my verdict. It was...so-so. It wasn't really spectacular. But maybe it's because we were seated quite far away, and wasn't able to 'catch' the mood or the vibes from the stage. Because towards the end of the show, everyone from tier 1 (first level) gave the performance a standing ovation. They even danced and clapped with them. I did too lah...but didn't stand or dance.

Altho the sound system was weak, the cast was good. Donna sang well (Although, I still think Meryl Streep did it better haha But my hubby's rationale was, in movies, they get to cut and edit, and THEY DON'T SING LIVE :P ya lah ya lah i know lah...I LIKE MERYLL! DON't CHA GEDIT? hehe :P) Sophie was okay...there were times I couldn't hear her voice. The 3 men did fantabulously! Ohhh ohh...let me not forget to mention the other men! haha To those of you who would like to see good looking, half naked, great bodies, talented men dance and sing live...this is worth the watch hehe

My favourite scene was the one where Tanya and her 'toy boys' danced at the beach. THAT WAS HILARIOUS! I seriously enjoyed that :)

Anyways, to those who have not seen it, if it's your first time watching a musical, I'd suggest you take the front seats :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I Got Lucky!

You wouldn't believe what happened to me today. Yes, yes, I got lucky. But you don't know the story haha So it goes like this.

As you know, I've not been feeling well, and this morning, I was feeling just as shitty (NO, NOT MORNING SICKNESS!), and for the past few days, I was running out of luck at work.

Anw, today, I intended to attend my hubby's boss' dinner, so I was supposed to dress quite appropriately. But because I was feeling so darn under the weather, I just grabbed a shirt hanging on the wall nearest to my wardrobe and my usual pair of jeans and left for work. And told my hubby that I don't think I can make it to the dinner.

When I entered the office, my colleague checked with me about an event we were supposed to attend today, which I had totally forgotten. I told him I don't think I can make it, coz I wasn't feeling well. But somehow, towards the afternoon, and after lunch, I felt a little better (maybe it was due to the fact that I gulped one spoonful of organic raw honey before I left for work). So my colleague said, hey, why not just go and drop by for awhile. Moreover, maybe can get some goodie bags since the party was for some women's products. So I thought, argh, what the heck. Few minutes won't kill. And thank goodness I RSVP-ed also lah.

When we were there, we were given this huge paper bag, but wasn't filled with goodies. Disappointed! Almost wanted to go back liao haha Then they said, got games, can win prizes! I thought, aiyah, since we were there already, juz play the games lah. the games were quite fun, everyone won a little something. then they had some treasure hunt, but we didn't get to participate coz we were too 'slow' in grabbing those little furry hairbands.

So anw, the event proceeded with some gifts given away to the treasure hunters lah...most kissable lips lah...most voluptuous lips lah and one more can't remember. No, I didn't win any. I think they were given to other editors from more 'prestigious' magazines, it hardly seemed to me they were 'fairly' judged (yea me sore loser :P)

Then there was lucky draw. Since it felt like a long wait, I wanted to tell my colleague to leave early since I never had luck in lucky draws. NEVER EVER. But before I could even say it, they announced my name as THE FIRST PRIZE WINNER!!! I almost didnt believe it. (Also because they pronounced my name wrongly :P) For the very first time, I WAS FIRST! hahaha

Anyway...that's the story...THE END

P/S I made it to my hubby's boss' dinner too despite 'under-dressing' Well...since it was a 5* hotel, and I was feeling better, and won FIRST PRIZE FIRST TIME, NOTHING ELSE MATTERS! The last thing to do to end the day is to indulge in some really good food haha :P

Friday, December 12, 2008

My DUH Moment

I wasn't feeling well today so I thought I'd better visit the Doc before it worsened. (This was last week lah by the way. And it hasn't improved at all today :P) Luckily there's a clinic at my office's building. (How convenient huh) So into the clinic I went. When my name was called, I went in to see the doc, and the conversation below took place:

Doc: So how can I help you?
Me: I'm not feeling well - sore throat, cough, slight flu and fever.
Doc: Wow. Let me take your temperature.
(He took my temperature and told me it's fine)
Me: But doc, I feel feverish.
Doc: Hmm...let me take your pulse.
After which he said my pulse is beating very fast and that my body is trying to fight against the virus.

Doc: Okay, you don't need antibiotics. All you need to do is to 2000mg of Vitamin C, get more rest, drink more water. Then you should be fine.
Me: Oh okay. Is that all?
Doc: Yes.

So out of the room I walked and towards the door, thinking the doctor was a miracle doctor and that he was one of the best doctor I had ever met! I mean, NO NEED MEDICATION?!! He didn't even want to earn a sen from me! I was smiling to myself when I heard my name called as I exit the door. It was the nurse, saying I had not gotten my med.

I'm like huh? I told her, that the doc advised me to just take Vitamin Cs.

Then her face went quite blank, and told me that she had yet to issue me my medications. Then she called me back to the counter and asked me to wait awhile.

Later, she gave me medicine that came up to RM40.

(wah piang)

But I don't think I was being blur lor...the doc did say that all I needed was Vitamin Cs what!! :P

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas with Nigella!

This Christmas, Nigella shares with you some of her reliable, easy-to-follow recipes and reassuring advice about planning and cooking ahead. Nigella Christmas is everything you could wish for to make your life and your Christmas easy and enjoyable: from party canapes, cocktails and manageable mass catering to scrumptious Christmas caks and puddings; from no-fuss brunch to quick and easy homemade presents and edible tree-decorations.

There are mouthwatering recipes with a seasonal twist and sipmle menus for feeding friends and family over the extended holiday season with minimum stress and maximum enjoyment! With glorious illustrations, Nigella Christmas will surely be a perennial favourite, the book you will all reach for - for inspiration and reassurance, especially during this time of the year :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas Reads!

Yes yes...I still am trying to squeeze in some of my free time to post up some reviews. These are some of my recommendations to keep your Christmas occupied (if you aren't celebrating or if you happen to be an anti-social :P)

The theme? Family dramas...spicy, juicy, full of unexpected twists and turns! Will keep you home long enough to finish the book ;P

the Supper Club by Sophie King
Once a month, Lucy and her friends take turns to have a supper party at different homes. It's a great way for them to meet up and meet new people. But as usual, nothing goes quite as planned. Lucy's sister is allergic to her blind date. Best friend Maggie turns up unexpectedly at the same time as her cheating ex and his new girlfriend. *gasp*! Chrissy loses her appetitie when an old flame arrives, and Lucy can't quite get rid of Luke's ghost, still sitting at the head of the table...And more things unravel as the story continues...It's quite a fun, and an entertaining read ;)

Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo
Two boys grow up in Thomaston, upstate New York. One of them gets away to become a painter in Italy, while the other stays to marry Sarah, and to run a small empire of convenience stores and to tell their story. Louise (aka Lucy), although seems reliable, secretly longs for what he can't have. Now at 60 yrs old, he and Sarah are about to travel to Venice, where Lucy's oldest friend and rival has traded past and famil for a life far removed from Thomaston. This story reveals the truth about why he left and the ties that bind these 3 friends...A deeply compelling and heartbreaking story...

Special Delivery by Zoe Barnes
Ally and her sister are as different as night and day. Ally is happily married to Luke, while Miranda is child-free, has a millionaire husband and lives in a show home that wouldn't be out of place int he pages of House & Garden. Ally gave up trying to compete with her, but she is shocked when Miranda sought her help...That is to provide her the one thing that is mising from her almost-perfect life: a baby. Ally has every sympathy for Miranda's infertility problems, but can shed really have a baby and hand it over to someone else,...someone who has an almost perfect life?

Growing Pains of a Hapless House-husband by Sam Holden
Be ready to be entertained and laugh your way through! In theory, life for Sam as a stay at home hubby is idyllic and stress free. In practice the Holden Childcare Programme has fallen out of favour. Sam's days are filled with tantrums, food fights and undisclosed amounts of telly watching, and he can't help but feel the aching tedium and financial pinch. Even the flattering advances of Jodhpur Mum aren't enough to life his spirits. But things change dramatically when his status goes national via his own hit TV show, WonderHubby.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Momma says...

Life is like a box of chocolates...you never know what you'll get till you drop by Bubba Gump!

Yes! Bubba Gump at The Curve, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia has great shrimps! and food :P The place's quaintly decorated with quotes from Forrest Gump, with signs such as "Run Forrest Run!" (to indicate you don't need any help from the friendly waiters/waitresses whom looked ever ready to attend to your needs) and "Stop Forrest Stop!" (to indicate you need some help from the crew) placed on your dining table. Now, how cool and creative is that!

We ordered one of their shrimps specials (forgot the name but it was the one that was spicy). IT WAS YUMMILICIOUS! I had my chicken salad which was scrumptious and my hubby had his baramundi....all equally good :) What lacked was the variety in their menu. But I guess that's understandable since they're a specialised shrimp restaurant. Besides that, the ambience was great, service was good, staff were friendly and approacable and not to mention those witty hilarious signs! I'm gonna be back to take pictures! haha

Our verdict? Bubba just won themselves two new customers! ;)

Oh yeah, please come here in a pleasant mood or else they'll charge you $10 for having to put up with your grumpy behaviour :P (it was written on one of the signboards lol)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Date with My Hubby

It's such a wonderful day today...Finally, my husband and I could take our time and not think about anything else, but just...well...have fun and date like we used to (during our dating days that is :P) ! ;)

We went to the city...took some pictures of some Christmas deco...shopped a little...had coffee...then...THE event of the night,...dinner @ Luk Yu Teahouse in Starhill :D It was a voucher given to the media courtesy of A Journey Through Time 2 HAHA The benefits you get working for the media haha :P (k lah k lah call it bribery if you want :P)

What a great break from all the tedious wedding preps we had to do months ago!

Oh yea...I'm still in d midst of executing some plans for my book donation. I NEED HELP!! Especially in picking up the books! Any helpers....??? PLEEEEASSSEEE???

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I'm Going Crrrraaazy!

Okay...b4 you think that I've abandoned this blog, I better write something :P Let me keep you up to date on what's happening now and why you are 'reading' lesser and lesser 'stories' and see only all these cut-and-paste events (which I think are equally important as well :P).

Like I've mentioned before, I'm organising a little book donation this Christmas and since time is against me, I've gotta quickly get as much help as possible to organise the gathering of books from various donors, collecting and sorting out the books, and choosing the appropriate homes to donate them to.

I know it sounds really easy and all...but trust me, it isn't. Especially when it comes to organising, planning and executing (something which I suck at!), and thinking and...having to juggle all these with work at the office is driving me nuts!!

So now that you know...I'm off to bed! Catch you soon...! Oh ya...btw, my wedding's over....pics can be seen in my facebook :P

Friday, November 28, 2008

Christmas Giveaway!

Calling all frenz and readers of my blog. I'm planning to organise a little 'book donation' for the orphanage this Christmas. I haven't decided which orphanage yet. But please drop me a note if you have any suggestions ok! In the mean time, if you have any books and would love to give them away, pleeeease contact me! I'll either arrange for a pick up (from yours truly :P) or you can probably pass me the books when we meet up.

Let's help Santa this year, shall we? ;)

If you're interested, please get back to me at hookedonbookz@gmail.com before 20th December, 2008.

Donate your books!

Sorry guys...been super super bz w so many things...So atm, I'm just gonna post up events I consider important, like this:

THE NCI Cancer Hospital in support of the Soroptimist Inter-national Club of Bangsar is organising a book collection drive to establish the Education Resource Centre for the Nur Zaharah Welfare Centre and orang asli community in Janda Baik, Pahang, from Nov 28 to 30. Come and donate unwanted books at the Community Corner, Ground Floor Promenade, 1 Utama Shopping Centre, Bandar Utama, Selangor from 10am to 10.30pm (Friday and Saturday) and 10am to 10pm (Sunday).

Thursday, November 27, 2008

SALEEEES!!!

So sorry....been so so bz with my wedding that I've got no time to update my blog! Anyway, this one you mustn't miss:

PAY LESS BOOKS
Warehouse Sales @ 3K INN

PAY LESS BOOKS' Warehouse Sales is back in 3K Inn!!!

Venue: Hotel Hall, Ground Floor, Jalan 13/1, Subang Jaya, Selangor D Ehsan.

Date: 5 - 7 December 2008 (Friday - Sunday)

Time: 10:00am - 7:00pm

Log in to http://www.paylessbooks.com.my/events_4.html for further info.

Friday, November 14, 2008

7 days more...

I'm sweating nerves here...it's 7 days more to my wedding and we still have so much to do! Let's take a look at the checklist:

1) Home - not done; one of the bathroom door is getting fixed now, husband is painting the gate, pictures yet to be framed, bedspread yet to be bought, curtains yet to be fixed...

2) Restaurant - ok, believe it or not, this restaurant has no proper changing/makeup room. So...I still haven't got the faintest idea where on earth am I going to get dolled up for the 'wedding runway' :P Any one of you attending my wedding dinner, please be prepared for surprises! HAHA

3) Accessories - So, I've not bought a single accessory yet, to go with my wedding and dinner gowns Why? 'coz I CAN NEVER SEEM TO FIND THE TIME! Wth am I going to wear with my wedding gown, I have no idea. This is kinda freaking me out now....Oh damn, which reminds me...I need to get a white pair of shoes!!! *faint faint*

4) Gown fitting - Yep, I have yet to get my measurements done. (So what am I doing here updating my blog??! Well...let's hope we have the time to do the measurements after hubby's done with the gate)

5) flower girl - for the church wedding...I have not picked anyone yet...Maybe I'm just gonna do some talent scouting at the streets later, and say, 'hi little girl, you look pretty. care to be my flower girl this saturday??' then hand her a lollipop.

6) guest list & seating arrangements - I'm proud to announce that this is the only one which I've successfully completed, coz....ALL MY INVITED GUESTS ARE COMING! *big grin* *hip & hop* (Let's hope it turns out that way on the actual day)

Ok I'm not going to continue with the list coz it's kinda freaking me out.
(I could really use a fairy godmother now...) K peepz, I'm off to brace the 'storm'!

btw, have I told anyone that wedding preparations are worse than getting last minute assignments at work????

Sunday, November 9, 2008

My Peculiar Name

After my Mother's Day article was published in The Star (Malaysia's local paper), I thought I'd want to do the same for my dad too. But I was so busy during Father's Day month, so...that didn't happen :( Morever, I didn't know how I should approach the story...so,...I delayed it till about a month later...when an idea finally struck me...and....so, I sat down, and wrote it.

4 months later, it was published :) Here's the article online (Thanks Kiang, for pointing it out ;)) Oh I didn't even know that it was in the papers till my aunt notified my mom who then sms-ed me about it :P

The online link is here: http://thestar.com.my/lifestyle/story.asp?file=/2008/11/9/lifefocus/1641538&sec=lifefocus

Or just read it here :P

MY PECULIAR NAME
WHAT should we name her?” I imagined my mum asking, looking down into my bewildered face as my newly opened eyes scanned the world I had been born into.

“She’s our first child. And I want her to be No.1 in everything she does,” I can almost hear my dad saying optimistically. With this, the name “Wan” (One) was formed. How did the “Jee” come about? They can’t recall.

I didn’t think much of my name in my earlier years. Not when it became the centre of attention. You see, many thought that it was a rather peculiar name, especially for a girl.

When a teacher called out my name during a roll call for the new choir, she jolted when she saw me and exclaimed, “Oh, I was expecting a Malay boy”. I smiled sheepishly and mumbled a few words as my face turned red in embarrassment.

And that was not to be my only experience. Many others followed after that, as my name slowly turned into a recreational treat. Kids began teasing me with names like “Jilo (Zero) One”. There was also “Lousy One”, and the ultimate: Loji, which later became Loji Penapis Tahi, which, of course, means “sewage treatment plant”. Some kids even created a song, just for me, which made fun of my name. (It’s singing in my head as I write this ... arrrgh!).

I tried so hard to stifle my anger and humiliation, but it still consumed me. And self-esteem was slowly being crushed. I. So. Hated. My name.

My dad, in the meantime, truly believed that I’d live up to it. Even if I thought I couldn’t, he was determined to make sure I would.

When I begun reading lessons in kindergarten, my dad began to conduct flash card lessons with me and my two other siblings. We’d compete with each other to see who could make out the word first. I loved every moment of it because I always won. And, of course, I consistently scored As in my spelling classes.

Art classes were also one of my favourite lessons during kindergarten, for the simple reason that my work always ended up pinned up on the classroom’s walls. My dad, of course, then tried to turn this daughter into a 21st century Frida Kahlo and sent me off for additional art lessons. All of this effort just to make sure that I aced kindergarten. Kindergarten? Yes. Even in art? Yes.

Years later came badminton, which I did pretty well at – thanks to my dad’s fervent belief in my ability. He’d take me to the court every weekend and would practice with me for hours until I got my strokes right. When I began to improve, he encouraged me to compete with better players so I could learn from them.

After the games, he’d sit with me and analyse my strengths and weaknesses and we’d practice on improving the bad points. All this just to prepare me for interschool competitions. Our efforts paid off. I won competitions and was the only person who was picked to represent my state.

I was also selected to represent my school in a Bahasa Malaysia debate competition – not because I was good at it, but because my teacher couldn’t find anyone else.

I was apprehensive because I wasn’t very confident in my written and spoken BM. But I agreed to give it a try. Once again, my dad came to the rescue. Not being very fluent in BM didn’t stop him from giving me ideas and having in-depth discussions on the various topics I had been given. Believe it or not, my school won the state competition, and I was Best Speaker.

All of this wouldn’t have been possible without my dad.

For all of this, and more, I thank you, Pa. For teaching me to believe in myself and to always give my best in everything I do.

And thank you for my name. I’ve enthroned myself as G1, as in the Great One. Narcissistic? Ask my dad. He doesn’t think so. And that’s all that matters to me.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Yes We Can!

I think that is gonna be an overused phrase for quite a while haaha Anw, heard this song on 92.9FM this morning. It was so darn cool I thought I'd share it with those of you who have not heard it! :)



He has indeed proven that CHANGE IS POSSIBLE if we want it bad enough! YES WE CAN OBAMA!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Saved by the Book

I was bored outta my wits at this particular birthday gathering on Saturday. Not only I was feeling under the weather, there weren't anyone I knew at the party *sob sob* The only thing that kept me company was my book, coz my husband had to mingle with his friends.

I had "The Other Hand" by Chris Cleave with me. (It's quite a controversial book, a little on a social/political issue, but more on a clash of identity within ourselves. It kinda questions, who exactly are we and how we want to be derived by others? Protagonist: Little Bee, a young Nigerian girl who managed to free herself from a detention centre with 3 other girls. She sought help from the only English family she knew in UK. The story, very slowly, and "poetically" unveiled the dark secrets these characters held close to their hearts)

Sorry, I digressed :P Now, back to my story. So anyways, as I was saying, I WAS BORED. So, quite "anti-socially" I took out the book from my bag. (Yes, I carried quite a big handbag with me so I can bring my book along wherever I go :P) As I was about to close the book to get a drink, suddenly, out of nowhere, a very gentle voice asked, 'Hi, what are you reading?'

At first, I thought it was coming from my head. Then I saw someone waving her hand to me on my left, so I turned, and saw a very beautiful Indian lady, probably in her early 30s. Again, she asked what was I reading.

You can't imagine how excited I was when she asked me that question. It almost felt as good as when your boss said to you, 'You look tired. Why not take a paid leave today?' Yes. It was thaaaaat unbelievable, and felt thaaaaaat good!

With that, my tongue started rolling on a long continuous verbal diarrhoea on what the book was all about. Guess what was her response? 'Umm...sounds interesting...'

Ok, when someone says that, it could me only two things, that he/she really means it, or that he/she wasn't paying attention and didn't know what else to say. But because I was on a book high, I didn't know which category she belonged to. (It really didn't matter anyway LOL I AM an INSENSITIVE BOOKAHOLIC. SO WHAT :P)

Then she asked, 'You love books?'

My eyes lit up and quite immediately I said, 'Yes! Yes!' (Not the climaxing kinda way, mind you :P)

Our conversation started from there. And I found out, she was also a bookaholic like me! And her sister too, who was just sitting in front of her. Then we shared our "bookaholic" symptoms with each other like "reading even with one eye opened, trying to read every moment we can, thinking of the book when we're at work, etc." It was only then, I started enjoying the "party" haha

Then we talked about what every other bookaholic would have - fav books/authors/what's the book about/book exchange/book meets bla bla

It was for the first time, a book became an ice breaker for me. Usually, I get the 'what an anti-social' look whenever I take out my book to read at a gathering that doesn't really concern me. And it was that special Saturday, that I WAS SAVED BY THE BOOK! ;)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Ok if you guys won't be out with your magic brrroomstick or fake fangs shouting "trick or treat" at people's doorsteps this Halloween...then you may want to probably sink your fangs into any one of these specially-compiled Halloween books.

* Song of Kali by Dan Simmons
Setting's in Calcutta: a monstrous city of immense slums, disease and misery, clasped in the foetid embrace of an ancient cult. Our hero, Robert Luczak has been hired by Harper's to find a noted Indian poet who has reappeared, under strange circumstances, years after he was thought dead. Luczak's routine assignment turns into a nightmare when he learns that the poet is rumoured to have been brought back to life in a bloody, grisly ceremony of human sacrifice! (faint)

* The Green Mile by Stephen King
One of King's most engaging page-turners filled with mysteries, horrors and wonders. At the end of 'The Green Mile' is the room in which sits Cold Mountain Penitentiary's electric chair. In 1932 the newest resident on death row is John Coffey, a giant black man convicted of a murder of two little girls. But Coffey isn't who everyone thinks he is, and around him unfolds a bizarre and horrifying story. If you've seen the movie, good. If you've seen the movie but haven't read the book, not good enough. Hurry to your nearest bookstore and haunt yourself s**tless this Halloween :P

* The Tooth Fairy by Graham Joyce
When 7-yr-old Sam Southall loses a tooth, he's visited by a sinister, rank, foul-mouthed mercurial Tooth Fairy, a demonic being that apparently only he can see, but whose malignant influence spills over onto his family and friends. The Tooth Fairy stays with Sam throughout his growing years and teaches him make mischief at school. One night, she insists Sam have his friend Terry sleep over. And that same night, Terry's dad shoots his wife, his other children....and himself...(Pleeease, don't read this alone...)

* Darker Than You Think by Jack Williamson
The unsettling dreams begin for a reporter Will Barbee not long after he meets beautiful April Bell. His nightmares are vivid, powerful and deeply disturbing in which he commits atrocious acts. And one by one, his friends meet death. Then it hit Barbee that he may be involved in something far beyond human understanding, and unspeakably evil, and it ultimately involves April, and the question 'who is the child of the night?' When he finds the answer, his world will change utterly...

Other titles include Ghost Story, Exquisite Corpse, Fevre Dream, and Something Wicked Comes This way. Price: RM42.90

Special thanks to Odelia from Pansing.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Readings @ Seksan

Finally, for the first time, I made it to the Readings @ Seksan on Saturday, 25th Oct! It was a great, well-organised event by Sharon Bakar and Bernice Chauly. And the turn up was fantastic too. I think there were about 20 pax or so? And yes, there was food and drinks too. The cakes were yummy! The readers consist of Poetry Underground, Preeta Samarasan, Sharmini Flint and Chiew Siah with music from Reza Salleh (he's one helluva talented musician I must say!). All the readers did perfectly well. I enjoyed listening to their excerpts.

Sharmini's was hilarious - I think her upcoming book is called Ten, Preeta read from Evening is The Whole Day, while Chiew Siah, who's working on her trilogy, read Little Hut of Leaping Fishes. As for Poetry Underground, I enjoyed all their poems, especially the last reader (so sorry I forgot his name) But his was hilarious! The crowd really enjoyed it. He really ended the evening with a bang. And Reza, thanks for your music. My friend Carly and I loved his 1st (it was a long, funny title. Thx to my short-term memory, I can't remember it :P) and last song (he wrote while waiting in a traffic during our 50th Merdeka haha).

Here are some pix... :) (Please forgive the quality)

From clockwise:
1) Sharon Bakar, 2) Reza Salleh 3) Chiew Siah, 4) Preeta

Thursday, October 23, 2008

To Buy...or Not To Buy?

Guess what I found while surfing?

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- In a bound-to-be-controversial book released today, ad-industry pundit Martin Lindstrom busts commonly held beliefs about marketing, asserting that subliminal advertising does exist and maintaining that cigarette warning labels make smokers want to smoke more, not less.

If you're too lazy to read the whole of it, these are some snippets from the above article:
A major finding is that consumers are driven by not only conscious motivations, but subconscious ones, too. "The majority of the decisions we make every day are basically taking place in the part of the brain where we're not even aware of it," Mr. Lindstrom said. "I really wanted to find out what makes one brand appeal to us. You really can't ask that question to the conscious mind and depend on a verbal answer."

"Buyology" also says that a brand's logo is not as important as many have held it to be; that consumers' sense of sound and smell are more powerful than their sense of sight; and that product placement doesn't always work. For example, when Mr. Lindstrom's researchers analyzed product placements in "American Idol," they found that Coca-Cola was far more effective at captivating consumers than Ford Motor Co., even though the corporations similarly paid more than $26 million on their campaigns.

(For full article: http://adage.com/article?article_id=131905)

Here's the video:


If you're interested in getting the book, once you're done with it, mind lending it to me? {grin} Thanks in advance!

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Must Read: Totto Chan

delightful and charming. it's a very simple story (a highly recommended weekend read), written from the eyes of a little girl, Totto Chan, who's unique in her own ways.

when Totto Chan was expelled from her first school due to her unacceptable behaviour, she joins a new school called Tomoe Gakuen, founded by the headmaster Sosaku Kobayashi. this school, unlike others, allows the children to study anything they want, which means, you'll find at any time, children studying a different subject in a same class. and guess where the classes are? in a train :) this of course, would amaze any children, especially children like Totto Chan.

For lunch, the headmaster asks the children to take "something from the mountain and something from the sea". and for the winners of their Sports Day, they bring home cabbages or basket of potatoes instead of trophies as prizes, much to the children's disappointment. WHY VEGETABLES AS PRIZES? (*wink*) and it teaches many other unique subjects, like eurythmics for example. it teaches things like rhythm and tempo through movements and activities. the headmaster believes that the body and mind should be "equally developed and in perfect harmony". btw,...the author didn't invent any of the episodes.

whether or not you like to read, this book will amuse you for sure. and you must must read the postscript and epilogue. you'll appreciate the story even more.

this book is also available online FOC! just found out when I was googling it lol (sorry Skye..really didn't know about it till of late...)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Celebrating with Booker Prize Winner Aravind Adiga

Aravind Adiga won the Man Booker Prize on Tuesday night with his novel, The White Tiger, joining a pantheon of past Booker winners that includes such literary giants as V.S. Naipaul, Nadine Gordimer, Iris Murdoch, Kingsley Amis and Salman Rushdie.

For Ravi Mirchandani, who edited Adiga's book and was sitting beside him at the table, the win was especially sweet. The White Tiger was the first book he bought for Atlantic, which hired him in 2006 after he was fired from a job at Random House. The novel was shown to him by Adiga's agent, who insisted that he read it that night and make an almost instant decision about whether to bid for it. "I sat down with the manuscript and after the first six pages I was just so excited," Mirchandani said. "When you're reading a first novel, you're often thinking: 'This is fantastic, keep it up, keep it up' " — only to find the writer stumbles and falls. In Adiga's case, Mirchandani said, "The voice is fantastic and it never falters."

For more info, go to www.time.com

Sunday, October 12, 2008

My new shopping bag :)

It's not LV, not Coach, not Prada or any other branded bags. This bag, as you can see, is from Borders :P I want to play my part in saving Mother Earth. So, on my next visit to the bookstore, I'll be carrying this bag to put in any mags or books purchased anywhere. Wanna join me? ;)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Little Man, Tall Woman

He Pingping, Svetlana Pankratova (Sang Tan / Associated Press / September 16, 2008)
The 20-year-old He was born with a type of dwarfism. He is the shortest man who is mobile, Guinness says. Pankratova, 36, said she liked her legs, though they can complicate things. "It's hard to find clothes, especially pants," she said. He Pingping stands precisely 2 feet 5.37 inches tall. Pankratova's legs are nearly 52 inches long. The two met, with He standing at Pankratova's knees, to publicize the release of "Guinness World Records 2009."

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Really Funny OLD LADIES Joke!

http://reelrepublic.com/BlogImages/old_ladies_driving_10.jpg

THIS IS EXTREMELY FARRRNY!!
[Sent in by Christy]

Two elderly women were out driving in a large car.
Both could barely see over the dashboard.
As they were cruising along, they came to an intersection.
The stoplight was red but they just went on through.
The woman in the passenger seat thought to herself, 'I must be losing it! I could have sworn we just went through a red light.'
After a few more minutes they came to another intersection.
The light was red, and again they went right through.
This time, the passenger was almost sure that the light had been red, but was also concerned that she might be seeing things.
She was getting nervous and decided to pay close attention.
At the next intersection, sure enough, the light was definitely red and they blew right through it.
She turned to the other woman and said, 'Mildred! Did you know that you ran through three red lights in a row? You could have killed us!'

Mildred turned to her and said, 'Oh Shit..! Am I driving..?'

Are You Tough Enough to Wear PINK?

Cake Connection is proud to participate in the Passionately Pink Campaign at Jaya One to promote awareness for breast cancer. Passionately Pink is a "happening" caliber series of events designed for and participated by men, women, children and celebrities from all walks of life. True to all Malaysian's love for food, arts, beauty and compassion, all events are created to entertain, impress and most of all touch people's lives.

Jaya One has organised a series of exciting activites to support this worthy cause and Cake Connection will be selling cupcakes at the Bake Sale every weekend in October to help raise money for cancer treatment. There will also be a cake decorating contest on Sunday, October 12th and October 19th! Come support a worthy cause and show off your decorating skills and talent. The winner will get to keep their winning cake and get a hamper from Cake Connection.

The Star paper has a writeup on this event on http://www.thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2008/9/22/central/2006162&sec=central

For full details on the activities planned, please see http://www.cakeconnection.com.my/imagesNews/PassionatelyPinkPostcard.pdf

In the spirit of supporting the Passionately Pink campaign, Cake Connection will be open on Sunday, October 12th & 19th. There will also be a "Hands on Wedding Class" and "Chocolate Indulgence" class scheduled on these dates. Do call us at 03-7956 4450 if you are interested to register.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Trials, Tears and Tribulations

If you pick Tribute, bring out your pillows and comforter; if you pick Mummy's Witness, grab a box of tissues; if you pick Runaway, bring out your sports shoes ;) Whichever one you pick as your next read, you know you'll be in for an unforgettable journey... :)

* Tribute by Nora Roberts
Janet Hardy is a Hollywood legend who's glamorous, brilliant, deeply troubled and died mysteriously at her home. When her granddaughter Cilla moves in, and is determined to restore the home to its former glory, she finds herself dreaming of the grandmother she never really knew and wonders of her past. As she settles in, she begins to unravel her family's secrets. But someone wants her to leave the past alone, and she becomes the target of increasingly brutal acts. Together with her neighbour, Ford Sawyer, she must find out who is is threatening her and why.

* Mummy's Witness by Gayle Sanders
To the outside world, the Sanders family was a respectable one - the father a teacher, the mom a housewife and mother of three. Nobody would have known or believed that what lies behind those doors was a vicious dad who abuses his wife. Gayle herself endured physical and sexual abuse. Desperate not to be noticed, she retreated to herself. She was disconnected from the world. Everything came to a brutal end when, at 12 years old, she witnessed her dad kill her mom. Dad pleaded manslaughter, years later was released and became a vicar. Gayle's tormented life didn't end here. When she passed from foster family to psychiatric hospital, she narrowly survived a suicide attempt and now she is undergoing the further shocking trauma of rape. Find out how Gayle survives and triumphs over her past.

* Runaway by Skye Sinclair
Skye spent her childhood in and out of care homes, often feeling unloved and alone. The only thing she ever learned was how to fend for herself, and how to run. When she was 12, she suffered a brutal attack that left her feeling betrayed. So Skye ran away and lived with the gypsies of the New Forest. Her fighting spirit and sense of adventure took her from the abattoirs of France to the film studios of Hollywood, and it wasn't until years later that she found a reason to stop running. She found a 'place' she could call home...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

More on After Dark by Victor Chia

Guess I'm not the only one who has fallen into Haruki's spell. My friend Victor is enchanted by him too haha Below is his review. Thanks Vic! ;)

"To be honest, I wasn’t really going to the bookstore looking to buy Haruki's After Dark. I was already going to leave the place after grabbing my (he deleted 'Doraemon comic' here hehe thank me later Vic LOL =P) books when I spotted an interesting book cover on the shelves. I grabbed it, flipped the pages, and to the cashier I go, the book firmly in my hand.

After Dark is Mr Haruki’s latest work after Kafka On the Shore and it’s definitely a job well done. The story is neither too long nor too short; just enough for a satisfying read. The characters are well developed, reading it felt like one is having a really good conversation with a newly met stranger. Refined is the word I would use to describe it.

The story tells of strange happenings, but it doesn’t make its characters shudder in fear, or does it overwhelm them with extreme emotions. In fact, it’s as if the strange happenings are just secondary – surreal elements happen without its characters knowing it. [Perhaps, it’s Mr Haruki’s portrayal of the reader who is reading the book instead (a personal opinion).]

The story instead makes the characters talk to each other - conversing, exchanging opinions and thoughts. Mr Haruki’s love in playing with time and destiny are well polished here, acting like a marker to bring the reader to see things differently.

To me this is the charm of the book; Haruki shows us how our lives can be interconnected and intertwined in one single moment without us realising it.

Lastly, to those who love music (Jazz especially), get hold of the book. Music has some significance in this story. You'd appreciate it even more if you knew the music (if not, just google it)."

Saturday, October 4, 2008

My admiration for talented celebrities...

I've always thought Meryl Streep is one helluva great actor. The day after I've seen Mamma Mia, I've been googling about her (My hubby now calls me her stalker :P) Anyway, during one of my google and youtube sessions, I found this really hilarious video of her AFI in 2003. Check it out hehe



Don't you think Jim Carrey is super duper hilarious? You can check him out at other AFI's too, one of which I find entertaining is the stint he did at Clint Eastwood's AFI, here it is:



My verdict? LOL ROFL LMAO!!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Fun, Entertaining and Dot Dot Dot.... :)

Have you seen Mamma Mia? If not, it's time you hit the cinema and go WATCH IT! No, don't watch it on DVD, you pirate! Anyway, even if you do, it won't be good enough. If you've bought the DVD but haven't seen it, don't do it just yet. Go to the cinema, watch it there and you'll know what I mean.

Anyway, I think the cast did a blardy good job. Meryl Streep is one helluva talented woman. I never knew she could carry roles like this. Come to think of it, what this woman can't do??? In an interview, she says it's 'my hair' LOL It seems to me, it really takes alot of hard work to sing and act well. Her acting skills are obviously flawless, her singing seems fine to me (oh yeah, most of their voices have been digitally enhanced by the way :P) and her effervescent character just livens up the whole movie...

Pierce Brosnan,....Honestly, I never really liked 007, altho I prefer him to Daniel Craig. But in Mamma Mia, he exudes such magnetic charm that'll just take your breath away (and may I add,...no matter what your age?) His smile, doesn't let you keep your eyes off him. He and Streep work like magic! My favourite scene of them? 'Winner Takes it All'...it was...FANTASTIC! (I'm not exaggerating...go watch it :P)

Ooo, and I lurrrrve Julie Walters and Christine Baranski (Streep's best friends in the movie). They are hilarious, spontaneous and such great entertainers! You must catch the scene where Streep was devastated when she found out all her 3 men are on her island...The whole cinema started roaring in laughter (yes, even the men!).

And another thing, if you noticed, most of the women here (even the extras), majority of them normal-looking women - flesh, fats, tall, short and all of that, and they looked perfect as they are. Watching this movie, sorta gives you that 'flower-power' kind of feeling; that women, no matter how you look, can conquer it all and have fun at the same time too.

Mamma Mia evokes every emotion in you; after 20 minutes of the movie, I said to myself, 'Mamma Mia, just take my heart and bring it wherever your wish to...' and I ended up sobbing, laughing, anticipating, smiling and giggling, oh and singing ;) And I wasn't the only one. The whole cinema was enthralled by it too. The lady next to me, was wiping her eyes with tissue throughout the movie. Yes, it is THAT good :)

This movie shouldn't be missed. Put it this way, my hubby, who doesn't fancy musical movies, gave it a 4/5 star rating.

What and When?

Check if the below is familiar. Tick as many as possible:
* You dress according to your mood or an occasion you're attending.
* You match your accessories according to what you're wearing.
* Your shoes must match too.
* When you travel, you bring as many clothes as possible, so no matter what sudden occasion that may occur, you still have a few choices of clothes.

Are all the above checked? If yes, well, good, you aren't alone, coz I'm pretty sure there are many ladies out there who can relate to the above.
But if none of the above is true to you, try the checklist below:
* You read according to your mood or occasion (e.g: going to a shopping mall - the possibility of reading when you stop at a kopitiam for a rest, you'd be happy even if it's just a few pages. OR a function - where you know nobody else, and you know you'd have to wait. OR at a post office - where the queues are always long, ETC)
* You bring a bigger handbag because you've decided to bring the thick novel out with you on that particular day.
* When you travel, you bring all the possible books that you think you'd be able to read.
* You have more books than clothes in your travel bag.

If all of the above is true, YOU'RE A NERD! HAHA =P No. I'm kidding. Just shows you're a book addict LOL But,... let me assure you, you're not weird and you're not alone. In fact, my biggest problem is the last two. Whenever I follow my hubby back to his hometown, I'd bring home with me at least 3 books. And most of the time, we only spend a night or two there :P When we travel further, I'd usually bring along my short stories.

So, what's on my list recently?
1) When I'm feeling a little dreamy and need a nice lullaby, I read 'Birds without Wings' (Yep, I'm not done with it yet. I just had to finish Haruki's After Dark first :P)
2) When I want to be mystified - ANYTHING of HARUKI'S! :) (this happens quite frequently :P Which is why I have one of his short stories collection on my bedside. I especially love reading his stuff at night. You'd rarely catch me reading Haruki during the day time.)
3) When I have a short attention span, it'd be my short story books. At the moment, they are: The Happy Prince and Other Stories by Oscar Wilde, 10 Short Stories by Roald Dahl (pronounced as roo-ahl), and Strange Pilgrims by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
4) Once I'm done with Birds without Wings, it'll be between Between Pearl S. Buck's The Good Earth, Tetsuko's Totto Chan and Haruki's Kafka on the Shore.

Please please share with me your experience if you have the same habits....I seriously hope I'm not the only one :P

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Partying and Reading Weekend!

This was the first time, after so....long, I felt that my weekend was well spent! :D First, I was able to spend my Saturday night with my hubby and my bro at.....THE HENNESSY ARTISTRY @ Orange Club KL! We didn't have to worry about the long queues and all...coz, we had VIP passes! Wooopee! And we had the opportunity to feel what's it like to be in the 'limelight' and flashes of paparazzi LOL It did feel great haha but not sure if it feels the same if you get it everywhere you go :P

Anyway, what happened was, we stood right in front of this Hennessy Artistry backdrop, and had our pictures taken by a few photographers. One of them even gave us the picture in Polaroid! heehe (Other pictures can be seen in Facebook :P) Oh and the night was superb! Especially when The Dey was on stage. I was hip hoppin' to their stuff the whole night man....They were not only great performers but talented too! (Altho' they draw some similarities to Black Eye Peas)

The opening was done by Until June. Love their stuff as well. The lead singer has a very versatile voice. I loved it! To me, Shayne Ward was the most disappointing one...I was looking forward to seeing him on stage, coz he seemed to have made himself quite a name here in Malaysia. Oh, and the dancers,...were HORRIGIBLE!! We couldn't stand the sight of them, we left after the 2nd song :P (Please bear in mind, this is based on a personal opinion k :P)

The night ended with a short session at Dataran Sunway mamak. I had a yummy plate of maggi goreng. Syoks! Hehe


And second, I've just completed Murakami's "After Dark". How was it? As usual, it was...mesmerising...It's his usual style, surreal, dark and mysterious. The story revolves around the theme "loneliness" which reveals itself during the dark hours of the night, coz I tink, Loneliness and Darkness seem to sing a synchronised tune :P

What kept me reading was Murakami's story telling techniques of giving life to these characters; although they were different in many ways, they somehow shared some similarities as to how lonely they felt despite the attention that had been given to them...

Mari - is seen, to many people, as an independent girl and knows exactly what she wants. But she doesn't think of herself that way. She thinks herself of an insignificance and wishes she has beauty like her elder sis, Eri.
Eri - possesses the beauty every girl dreams of, but yet, feels so uneasy and unhappy about herself that she succumbs to drugs. To Mari, since young, Eri gets alot of attention from the family as compared to her. Firstly because of her good looks, and now, because of her 'sleeping' condition.
Takahashi - a young musician, is drawn to Eri's beauty and Mari's brains. Coming from a broken family, he has always felt "alone" throughout his life even though his step mom accommodates to his every need. Loneliness still seems to be his best friend...

(There were some other characters which played an important role in this story as well, such as the ladies at the love ho and the man who raped the Chinese prostitute. (Personally, I don't think it would make much of a difference if Murakami didn't include this rapist, coz even after completing this book, I couldn't seem to place his role in this story....Some enlightenment please, anyone?))

Don't we all feel like them once awhile in our lives - that nobody cares for us and we're the most insignificant being on earth? And to some extent....we feel as tho' we don't belong, but we only feel a little better when we're urm...needed? Or am I only speaking for myself? :P For example, Mari did feel a little better of herself after she helped the Chinese prostitute, because it was only then, she began to slowly open up...and that she feels,...hey I'm not alone...

That's just my opinion of the story lah. You know how Murakami loves to leave his stories open to interpretations...So this is mine :P

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Guess what I found in my mailbox?

TOTTO CHAN!!! :D

I was exxxxtreeeeemely elated when I opened my parcel yesterday! Thank you so.........much Skye! I'm sure I'd enjoy this book as much as you did :) I was seriously afraid that it was that "special edition" calendar that you told me about...gosh...thank goodness it wasn't. If not, I'd be dead by now! :P

Anyway, I'll find a really good "off peak period" to sit down and indulge in this specially-recommended book ;) Thanks again... :)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Illustrated Life of Pi

To those of you who have read Life of Pi (or even if you haven't), check this out!



Cool rite?? As reported in amazon.com, Croatian artist Tomislav Torjanac has illustrated Yann Martel's Booker-winning novel, Life of Pi, in sumptuous oils to create a special edition of rare beauty. Painted from the perspective of the novel's narrator, his use of colours, symbols and perspective reveals a new angle on Martel's audacious fable.



For more, go to: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/gallery/2007/sep/27/
generalfiction?picture=330832907

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Have you read about The Happy Prince?

One of the most beautiful short stories I've ever read so far...is The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde. I've not read all of the stories in this collection (The Happy Prince and Other Stories) yet, but I'm pretty sure, when I do, I'd be in for a journey filled with sadness and sorrow, but in a good way.

In a nutshell, The Happy Prince is about doing good with a sincere heart. The Happy Prince, is a statue built in memory of a prince. Standing high on a mountain, he could see pain and misery that was happening around him. One day, during a cold winter, a Swallow decided to perch on the Prince for a one night's rest before he proceeded to Egypt. Little did the Swallow know, his one night would extend to another night, then another and another till he died, due to the wintry blasts, at the feet of the Happy Prince. It was during stay that he helped The Happy Prince bring joy to the people who suffered below - he flew to them, upon The Happy Prince's requests, and brought them all the sapphires, rubies and fine gold that was gilded all over the Prince.

When everything was stripped off, the Prince looked shabby, and no longer looked as charming and as beautiful as before. He was then demolished, because he was considered useless, and was thrown into a furnace. What surprised the people was, the Prince's leaden heart just wouldn't melt in it, so it was thrown on a dust-heap where the dead Swallow lain.

One day God calls to one of His Angels, to bring Him the two most precious things in the city. And the Angel brought Him the leaden heart and the Swallow.

This story, although fiction, brings hope and it goes to show that all is not lost when you spread kindness, joy and happiness. And don't be disheartened if you're rejected, because God knows.

Let's do something good to someone, and if that person wants to return the favour, ask him/her to pay it forward :)

Good night everyone and may the Angels watch over you....

Monday, September 22, 2008

Being Invisible = Being Ignored

Topics about gays and lesbians have always piqued my interest for many reasons. One of the many obvious ones is, well, I have quite a few gay and lesbians friends, who are smart and talented, and whom I'm really proud of.

Recently, I've read this very interesting article about homosexuals, and the first few paragraphs caught my attention. I'd like to strongly urge you to take a few moments to read it.

"Bob McCoy is a youthful, active 78-year-old. He sings in his church choir, takes a weekly computer class, and regularly attends social gatherings organized by a gay senior citizens group in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lives. But McCoy worries about a day when he can no longer care for himself: he has no close family, no partner, and he's outlived most of his friends. "I'm used to having friends I can call up and say, 'Let's go to [a movie],'" he says. "But now there's nobody to call."

Newly engaged, Jim Fetterman, 62, and Ilde Gonzalez-Rivera, 56, look forward to growing old together at their home in Queens, N.Y., where they share a garden and a green Cadillac. But the couple isn't sure if or when they'll be able to marry. Their house is in Rivera's name, but because the couple can't legally wed in New York, Fetterman won't automatically inherit it, should his partner die. And even though they are registered domestic partners in New York City, neither man will have access to the other's Social Security, because the federal government doesn't recognize their relationship. "It's not something we like to think about, but there's a certain amount of anxiety that comes with not having those things," says Fetterman.

These are typical faces of the gay and aging—a growing population often overlooked by mainstream advocates. Gerontologists haven't traditionally viewed sexual orientation as relevant to their work—and, according to a study by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, most national health surveys of elderly citizens fail to assess sexual orientation. But gay seniors confront unique challenges: they're twice as likely as straights to live alone, and 10 times less likely to have a caretaker should they fall ill. Older gay men are at high risk for HIV, and many suffer the psychological effects of losing friends to the AIDS crisis. Many face discrimination in medical and social services, and on top of it all, they're less likely to have health insurance: one survey, by the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law, at UCLA, estimates that gay seniors are half as likely to have coverage as their straight counterparts."

Isn't that saddening? Okay, so I don't know much about laws on homosexuals or what "sexuality" really means, or what the "real" issues are behind sexuality. But what I know for sure is, in many ways, homosexuals have long been discriminated and unfairly treated, and I feel utterly ashamed by it. We're all humans and we all have our rights to live the life we deserve in this world.

I'll be interviewing a priest on same sex marriage soon. If you have any questions you'd like to ask him, feel free to email them to me, or just post it up on the "comment" section below.

If you want to read the rest of the article, it's at http://www.newsweek.com/id/159509

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