Sunday, August 31, 2008

The weekend before Ramadhan...

While others were busy preparing for the coming of Ramadhan, I was just... busy :P (and the parental unit was seriously pissed!).

Scheduled my dentist appointment at 10 a.m. Saturday. Really dreaded this appointment. My regular dentist has gone for good and I'm stuck with Big Boss Dentist!

Now don't get me wrong, he's a really nice guy (he even allowed me to take the above picture while he worked!) but when he gets into his job, he tends to forget that the oral cavity he's dealing with is attached to a live person bearing a full set of nerve endings!

And I have the bruises on my gums to prove it! Ouch!!!

It was done in half an hour, then it's off to my usual haunt, 1 Utama, where I did some tricky mental arithmetics to allow me to catch 3 different movies. 

Hah! Cerita ni sure korang tak terlintas pun nak tengok kan? Hehehe... But I have been waiting to see it ever since I first saw the trailer early on in the year.

It's a lovely story about this dying old lady experiencing flashbacks from the most significant period of her life.

She was attending her best friend's wedding where she was introduced to an old family friend. She and the family friend were mutually attracted but it was revealed as the story unfolded that her best friend was also in love with him (and had been for quite a long time) and her best friend's younger brother was likewise in love with the bloke. So the story developed from there and is tied to the present story of the old lady's  two daughters.

Confused? Bah! You've got to see it to appreciate it (but ONLY if you're into this sort of drama :P)...

Budak Baik recommended that I see this one. And it was great! Budak Baik really disliked the fact that Two-Face was killed off because it didn't tie in to the other Batman movies. I tried to explain that the two weren't connected but it was lost on him.

Anyway, I enjoyed it a lot! It was a fresh take on the Batman story and truer to life compared to those garish costume parties which starred Michael Keaton and then Val Kilmer

One part really stood out for me as it was not only very real but also very funny. As the Joker stepped out of Gotham General Hospital in his nurse's uniform, he triggered an explosion that was supposed to level the whole hospital but it stuck somehow so he stood there pressing buttons until everything blew up as it should be. Sick, I know, but kudos to the late actor for such an effective portrayal.

That evening I settled for something lighter. WALL.E was a really fun watch. All the robots were realistically cute but believable.

The next day, I decided off the top of my head to watch this movie, which I seriously regretted!

The premise started out all right but it developed into an aimless wandering story that pays homage to pointlessly violent fight scenes and it was frigging labeled UMUM!

The movie ended 1 hour 10 minutes after it started which led me to believe that A LOT of the actual story-line had been cut out, probably because all the budget has gone into staging the fight scenes :P

After that, straight home to welcome, more properly, the coming of Ramadhan...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Family Day 2008

Last weekend may be our department's 3rd Family Day but it was my 1st time joining them.

And I chose to go and help out this year mainly because my gang was organising it.

Here they come! One bus plus several cars full checking in at 4.00 p.m.

A telematch in the evening- luckily the rain stopped in time for the event. And here's a pic of my latest buah hati, the cute as buttons Syukri. This one's surely gonna be a heartbreaker when he grows up...

Grab those sweets!!! This is supposed to be a kids event but I suspect that the adults are having more fun.

Put some kids together, add a few balls and you'll have them enjoying themselves in no time at all!

Stomp the balloon on the other kid's foot. Last kid standing with balloon still intact wins!

Giant wooden clogs race. Some teams could hardly move at the beginning.

Stomp the balloon for the adults.

Tug-of-war on a rain slicked field. Makes for a very interesting time :P

The Family Day dinner- I was emceeing with another staff member.

Food was great! Especially love the spaghetti in curried minced meat sauce. The rest was typical hotel buffet fare but they were flavourful and delicious! Didn't have time to check out the dessert table though :P

Musical chairs as entertainment for the kids after dinner.

A trip to A' Famosa Resort's Water World after breakfast the next morning.

Some pics of us having fun at the tide pool. The life guard was really against guys wearing shirts in this area. I have no idea why when the girls are already fully covered. A few more microbe bearing wet tees won't hurt the amount of chlorine they'd already dumped in :P.

Anyway, I headed straight for home after checking out at 12.00 p.m. It rained on the way (guess who was driving) and we arrived at the office around 2.30p.m.

I was told that the bus stopped by Dataran Pahlawan at Bandar Hilir, Melaka. They only got back at 7.45 p.m.!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Big Screen Breakdown: Wanted

This movie was definitely on my wanted list!

What lured me in?
1. The trailer (of course!)
2. Adapted from a comic book series (very, very loosely though)
3. Directed by Timur Bekmambetov, the director for Daywatch (another COOL movie!)

What was gratifying?
That there's actually a surprisingly good story underneath all that violence. The plot twists were well executed and most caught me unawares.

Number of times glanced at watch?
What watch? All attention was on the screen!

So Wesley Gibson has taken control of his life... What the f*** have I done lately??!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Terengganu revisited after 7 years!

"Betul lar Abang Apai, kita gi Terengganu masa abang singgah KL tuh! Len kali Abang singgah lagi bagitau lar ye? Kalau kita free sure kita jupe Abang nyer..."

Me and the gang took off for the West Coast right after work on Friday, August 15th. I was designated driver that night and all we could think of was getting that fabulous bihun sup at Gambang Utara R&R (last experienced on our trip to Kenyir)!

Finally! Here we are buying dinner/supper at Gerai Masakan Panas at Gambang. Comparitively, the one we had on the Kenyir trip was way better, but it's still delicious!

Sleepy as we were, upon my insistence, we stopped at Paka to take photos. In this picture, I was jumping to get into frame because I miscalculated the timer. But I love this quirky pic anyway :P

I do not recommend sleepily trying to find accommodations at 4.00 in the a.m. at the start of school holidays. We tried at least three rest houses before we found some vacancy at the Marang Guest House.

It was already 5.00 a.m. by then. We were no longer concerned with the price (which was thankfully very affordable) at that point. Checked in, waited for Subuh and slept (fell unconscious more like it)!

Paid up for our rooms and moved on near afternoon. Stopped by Pantai Kelulut for brunch.

Also caught some scenes of this father and son casting their net for fish by the beach.

After that, proceeded to the home to one of the gang's mak angkat ('adopted' mother) whom we refer to as Mak Kak Leha in Gong Beris, where we were offered to crash in for free! Huhu!

After refreshing ourselves, we visited Pasar Payang, where I divested myself of cash buying souvenirs. We didn't stay long as it was not healthy for our bank accounts (tengah bulan maa..! Seii lorr!!!) :P

For dinner, I decided to treat the gang to a steamboat dinner at the Restoran Terapung Puteri with the mistaken idea that they would accept plastic money. It turned out that the gang had to treat me that night (don't worry girls, I'll pay you back!) so if you want to try this place out, bring cash!!! 

It was quite worth it despite the embarrassment of having to continuously ask for additional soup and sambal cili (I could almost swear that the waitresses were avoiding us after the 3rd request :P).

My first full face pic ever on the blog! The gang and I at Masjid Kristal, Pulau Wan Man. Truthfully, it wasn't much of an attraction- just a mosque shaped light bulb that changes colour every few minutes. I shudder to think of how it looks in broad daylight...

Breakfast at Mak Kak Leha's house the next morning (until now I have no idea what the Makcik's name is :P).

The real reason behind this trip- Selamat Pengantin  Baru Popo! May you have a lasting and blessed relationship! Amiin.

After saying goodbye to Mak Kak Leha, we started on our journey home... only to be stopped by the wondrous scenery of Rantau Abang.

The beach was mostly clean and beautiful! You wouldn't find shells like these strewn along the tide line in the West Coast!

Khusyuknyer brader ni amik gambar! It really was a photographer's heaven. I do so wish I have equipment like this guy does but it's currently beyond my budget and knowledge to use... *sigh

This guy actually caught a fair number of cuttlefish by baiting and casting his line on this rocky outcrop by the beach.

The gang enjoying Rantau Abang beach.

It was straight home after that with only one dinner stop at Temerloh Selatan R&R (which was sadly lacking variety in food) and raining all the way. I noticed that it usually rains whenever I'm doing the driving :P...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Big Screen Breakdown: Hancock

Let's bulldoze our way through Hancock...

What interested me?
Will Smith. He's really grown as an actor since his Fresh Prince days and I was curious to see what he was doing in this one.

So how was it?
I went in thinking it was a comedy but I felt that it was more than that. Sure it had it's funny moments but it also had moments where we pause to think.

What stuck in my mind?
The sacrifice angle of course. Let's face it, I'm a sap for this kind of thing :P
Staying away because that's the best you can do for the one you love- kind of a recurrent theme in my life...

Number of times glanced at watch?
Quite a few. Not really an attention grabber, this one.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Conference on a budget :P

Heard about the directive where all government organised courses/conferences/seminars can no longer be held in hotels to reduce expenditure?

Yes, I was on the receiving end of one last July :P. Initally it was supposed to be held in Subang Jaya (in fact, I was told by a reliable source, it was originally going to be held in Kota Kinabalu) but because of the directive, they found a rather inexpensive spot way out there in Putrajaya!

Rather than travel everyday between PJ (Petaling Jaya :P) and PJ, I elected to accept the accommodation being offered at a budget hotel in Kajang (with daily transport to and from Putrajaya provided by the organiser, of course!).

Above is a photo of the maid as she bustles about cleaning the room I shared with a Sarawakian guy.

The hotel had a couple of interesting views to capture like the staircase shown here. Otherwise, it is quite unremarkable.

To make it in time to Putrajaya, we all had to be up and ready really, really early! It left me very little time to enjoy breakfast...

...which was, thankfully, nothing much to mention (what IS IT with me and food huh?).

Registration- the morning's hustle and bustle.

That lecture hall was FREEZING! Even chatting and catching up with old friends didn't prevent me (or said friends) from nodding off at times :P

Poster presentation on full display. There were prizes to be won so everyone was doing their best. Minna, ganbare yo!

For dinner, fellow conference-mates and I scouted Kajang town for sustenance. This place had changed a lot since last I was here as that gawky school kid (yes, I was studying at a boarding school nearby during my teens :P).

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Big Screen Breakdown: the Spiderwick Chronicles

Come with me and explore...

What entranced me?
I'm a great lover of fantasy stories in any form, especially books.

Didn't feel like reading the book yet but very curious to know what's it all about :P

What's to like?
The very idea that the fantastic lie side by side with the mundane is a very exciting possibility! Plus, ordinary remedies for extraordinary circumstances... Honey to placate bogarts, tomato sauce as acid to ward off goblins etc... etc...

Also fun watching Freddie Highmore playing the twins!

What do I wish for?
A better, more 'happening' adaptation of the story.

Number of times glanced at watch?
No need to ask me, I'm already biased :P

Saturday, August 09, 2008


A friend posed me some loaded questions...

Let's say we declare a relationship and be close like husband and wife-

How long can it last without a tie?
What do we tell the parents (because somehow they will find out that we're close)? Can we conceal it from the people around us? Are we even able to?

How do we react when the chips are down?
What of the issue of jealousy? Can we withstand every test of our relationship when in truth, it is built on nothing but love and attraction?

Will our 'all' be enough to make it work until the end?

All these age old questions and more... How I loathe them no matter how necessary they are! The friend is correct in asking me all these of course. We all want a lasting relationship.

But for people like us, CAN we truly have that sort of relationship? The one that lovers everywhere are experiencing? What sort of relationship is open to us then?

Manisnya sebentar sahaja, selebihnya kepedihan...

How do I slake this need to be with that someone without a relationship? Is friendship, no matter how close, sufficient? I WANT to be with that someone, as close to that someone as possible, as near as possible.

Experience life with that someone, grow old together. Love each other forever, through thick and thin...  Just let that someone rest his head on my lap and talk about whatever it is that catches that someone's fancy, all the stories, the dreams, the nightmares...

Just be... with me.