Sunday, March 30, 2008

In The Mood To Shop

It's like this - there are times when we are very capable of impulse shopping (our friends can attest to this) but for other times we need to get into the correct mindset before we actually would think of buying anything. Come to think of it, even impulse shopping might not be really impulse shopping, but just because we happen to be in the right mood and the right place at the right time.

What do we mean by correct mindset? Take shoes for example. There was the time when we already started considering new gym shoes because the old pair were giving way already, and when they finally did, we'd the incentive to get new ones (also, since we were already at The Curve / Ikano / Cineleisure, after gym it was just a matter of a casual jalan-jalan and a quick look-see mah). And we were rather lucky that we found a pair that we like.

Then just the other week mum wanted to go about Tangs at Pavilion and so we became her driver for the day, with no definite objectives save following mum about as she shopped. Halfway through she suggested that we go look for new leather shoes, since our current ones are in terrible condition (which we have to agree, since we'd never touched a tub of polish ever) and since Tangs were having a sale. Never mind that she casually threw out the fact that by spending some RM200 we could get a membership card or something for extra discounts.

But we hadn't hyped ourselves to look for shoes at that time. No gung-ho to look about, no idea what kind we're after (except that they don't have shoelaces to deal with - we still have a good pair with shoelaces that we just are too lazy to wear), and a general feeling of "Shoes. Bleh.".

Strange yet true.

Thankfully, after some 20 rounds around that small section for men's shoes in Tangs we still couldn't compromise over any pair. It just wouldn't have done to buy a pair of shoes that we feel indifferent towards just because it was on sale or as a matter of convenience since we were there. When mum met up with us after her shopping she couldn't believe that we couldn't find anything, and so the both of us went another round looking, with mum asking which ones we actually showed even minute interest in.

Out of those few, none had a size that fitted us. So no shoes. Phew. And since we hadn't the mood for shoes we didn't even consider walking about the rest of Pavilion for shoes. Maybe another time, when we're willing.

This time the parents are both trying their best to get us to swap the 10 year old Kembara for a new Myvi. The past couple of weeks mum was already making mention while dad queried about our finances. True enough, a Myvi (or probably the new Saga) would save us on fuel, and is a new car, and wouldn't burn our pockets aside from minor scalding, and is quite comfy, but we aren't showing that sense of keeness that would have otherwise already clinched the deal.

We are so not. In. The. Mood. Right. Now. :S

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Nothing's Fine I'm Torn

And yet somehow, 'torn' doesn't convey what we mean well enough compared to the local counterpart - 'koyak'. Koyak has been a well-used word for us, but never in it's actual definition (torn) and never when we were conversing in Malay.

We remember the first usage of the word was when we were still in school - mainly in primary or early secondary school.

Dad: So, how did your exam paper go today?
Janvier: *shrugs*
Dad: What you think?
Sis: Koyak?
Janvier: Koyak.

Well, that at least prepares the lot of us for (probably) nonspectacular results, but usually everything turns out satisfactory. It's already known that English and Maths would be a given, while there's no hope for History and Geography (the subjects that rely on pure memory).

Then of course when we were out exploring KL we used it differently.

YMLau: So, you gonna get the PSOne or the Dreamcast?
Janvier: Dunno leh, both not really that cheap...
YMLau: Well Vexing Vun already has the PSOne.
Janvier: But if we get the Dreamcast we sure koyak liao!
Ants: Don't worry, can lend you money first.
Janvier: ...muh...

Our Dreamcast kept us happy for a long time, and still works. Of course, not all other possessions fared so luckily.

Dad: So are you still using your laptop?
Janvier: Er, no.
Dad: If you not using then might as well let me use la.
Janvier: Er, cannot. The laptop koyak already.

It's a shame, that laptop lasted 7 years. Anyways the both of us now use company laptops. :)

Nowadays we've another take for the word koyak. While initially we used it for whenever we risk back-to-back Combat and Jam on Tuesdays at FF Manulife, this time it's BodyJam 44 that caused us to be uber koyak'ed for the past couple of days.

At first we thought it was due to our...inconsistent cardio class attendance. Halfway through the second block of BJ44 and our energy level was flagging already. We woke up on Tuesday to find our shoulders and neck aching badly, and we were unable to look down quickly. :S

Well by today we were feeling much much more sprite, and needed to get back into a cardio class (argh we have not tried BodyCombat 34!) to make sure we keep our cardio classes something more regular. So we ended up in Jam again.

And we now feel semi-koyak'ed. Not UBER koyak'ed like how we did on Tuesday. And the culprit is BodyJam 44, particularly the second block (which we find better than the first block) - there's a fair bit of bending low till the torso's almost parallel to the ground. As for BJ44 overall, we find it not as catchy. Ah well, all the better for us - we don't have to break our back then...if BJ44 was catchy then we die die must join the classes and suffer the consequences later.

Well, at least there's the Genting trip tomorrow for some R&R! Little getaways - a perfect cure to koyakness.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Marking Our Spot

We're a person of many bookmarks - people who've looked in our books will know this for a fact. All our books (okay, nearly all our books) will carry leather bookmarks, pieces of paper, scribblings, cards, receipts, cash, movie stubs, odd momentos, parking tickets, expired MPH book vouchers, even our Touch 'n Go at one point (when we used to commute - we'll be reading all the way, even as we walked, and when we reached the turnstile we'll slam our book on the Touch 'n Go panel and walk through when it beeped).

Generally the first bookmark our books gain would be the book's receipt. But not all of them have receipts for bookmarks - we don't just buy one book sometimes, and we've gotten a few more books as presents. After that, the books slowly pick up bits and pieces as we buy stuff and the likes - after all, the book acts as a handy wallet when we need to stash stuff away quickly.

Still - we can't say that the miscellenous bookmarks are a permanant fixture for a book. When someone borrows a book from us, we'll scan the book and remove all bookmarks first - cash especially - and transfer them into another book. When we get our books back then we'll reshuffle bookmarks here and there again.

The interesting thing about having so much of these things in our books? We'll pick back up an old book for a reread, come across an old receipt with the actual date we bought the book, the feather we laminated from our college days, even a faded thermal receipt that'll have us wondering about its origins (most of them quite likely to be Starbucks receipts for a Hazelnut Latte). It's sometimes not just a book we're reading, it's also a trip down Memory Lane.

When dad passed us Reader's Digest's 'Select Editions' that he has been getting to read, we come to realise how handy the binded ribbon bookmark was.

And so we decided to experiment with our book wrapping.

First time around, we made use of whatever materials we had on hand, which was Ikea's ISIG paper string...thingy.

We're not sure how functional it was as a bookmark tho'. We have yet to try it out.

Then we found another kind of ribbon, also from Ikea. This one felt much more suitable but the problem we have with this ribbon was that it was paper - which meant it creased rather easily. It sort of hampered our reading because we had to handle the bookmark with care while we read.

What we needed was something similar to that we came across in the Reader's Digest Select Editions. Narrow and made from polyester or something. Happily we found a roll of ribbon that would do in Papier, while shopping for more scrapbook paper for the sis.

Once we finish Saki, we'll be able to put this new bookmark to the test.

There, the evolution of book wrapping. Now with ribbon bookmark! What about in the future - pockets?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Dead Fantasy

Sometimes, something just comes along the way and blows your pants off.

And no, we're not talking about the Chief.

Initially, when we first came across the Dead Fantasy video, we thought it was a sort of cut-paste job where the creator took scenes from all over to make the video. After all, we never played either Final Fantasy nor Dead Or Alive enough to see every single cutscene or movie. But after a while into the movie we realized that it wasn't a paste job we were watching.

Watch this. Simply amazing. The gaya that you can find in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children or most anime is a-plenty in here.

It doesn't matter if you've never played Final Fantasy or Dead Or Alive before. When this video first came out last year we couldn't pick up our jaw. Every moment was pure impressive fighting (weapons fighting to be exact) with scenes and choreography that'll put any martial arts show to shame - mainly because there's plenty of unrealistic bits like whether gravity matters and the girls' unflagging strength and stamina.

Then again, it's just like a fighting game.

We only recognized the Final Fantasy characters, so you can't blame us for rooting solely for them and not for any of the Dead Or Alive girls (no, we didn't even watch the movie). Now that 4 minutes wasn't enough, and now part 2 is just out! 11 more minutes of pure pleasure. Interestingly the music for Dead Fantasy 2 is taken from Brian Tyler, who gave us the Children of Dune soundtrack as well!

Seems that there's another 5 more parts to wait for now. Oh joy.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Shutter Shudders: The Remake

Now we ended up watching the English remake of Shutter on Saturday with the sis, her housemate and Chief. It's one thing that the four of us were horror movie buffs, but it was another thing when all other good movies at 9 something were sold out.

Interestingly, all of us have already watched the original Thai version, so this was more for us to compare between both films. Ah, heck it. We already know the Asian version of horror films beat the Western remakes hands down, but we just like to see just how well does a Western remake hold up to the original.

Our previous experiences with Western remakes? The Ring was good, Dark Water barely memorable, Ring 2 disappointing, the Grudge was also good, Grudge 2 not as nice, the Eye was quite okay. Right, that isn't quite a systemic grading system to go by, but suffice to say don't watch the bleh ones cukup.

The Chief have already experienced watching horror movies with us - we can find things funny and end up laughing throughout the movie, probably spoiling certain scenes for the Chief too. :P With our sis around, we have yet another reason to laugh. See, while sis enjoys horrors, at times she enjoys them by peering from the corner of her eye or through her fingers as she covers her face.

When she does this at home if we watch a DVD, we even tell her what's going on:

Janvier: Why the hospital corridor so empty wan? And see there's water on the floor everywhere!
Sis: Shit.
Janvier: Really, you can see what's going to happen already - he's walking on the wet patches.
-eerie hantu music plays-
Sis: Shit.
Janvier: Nah look he walking near that stupid window! Know already the ghost gonna push him down or something...
Sis: Shit. No need to tell me already!

Oh joy. :)

So. Shutter. English version. Don't worry, no spoilers but rather some comparisons. We wanted to know how faithful to the original it was (allowances made for bits of the Western setting), as we enjoyed the Thai one.

Well we did miss the beginning bit, probably some 7 minutes of the show but still got most of it, and while it remained quite faithful to the original, especially the spooks (yes, so it didn't spook us 'cos we knew what to expect already) there was only one bit of discontention for us: the original was a Thai horror flick. Why, for the remake, was the story based in Japan? Can't they give tribute to the film's origin?

Still, it was a pretty decent remake, ranking up there with The Ring and The Grudge. Watch it if you've never watched the original. Or better yet go get the original!

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Name Says It All

"Can I take off my blindfold yet?"

"Just a while more. No peeking!"

"It's not fair. You've been furnishing the new apartment, while I had to g-OW!"

"Whoops. Watch that step, dear. Now take off your shoes."

"Hold my hand now. OK, can I take my blindfold off now?"

"Here, let me help you."

"Goodness. It's so dark! Where's the switch now..."

"SURPRISE!!!" People popped out from behind furniture throwing confetti and pulling poppers.

Alyssa gasped, and tried to take everything in. She turned to Conner. "The furniture, it''s...and the portraits...?"

Conner grinned. "Yep, they're Adrienz." Aye-dree-urn-zah. You could hear him drop every inflection in its place. "You were gushing over it at the gallery. And the portraits are Alexanders, directly from Jaylex Studios."

Elated, Alyssa went in to meet everyone, her group of close friends and such. Various wishes of happy birthday greeted her.

"Lovely place you have here, girl! You absolutely lucky thing. How I wish I was in your place. Here, your birthday gift. I'd to hunt absolutely everywhere for a copy! Go ahead, open it!"

Jamie pushed a present into her hands. Alyssa undid the ribbon and opened the box, and let out another gasp.

"A leather-bound Savante! Ooh! 'The New Year'! But, I thought he never completed the story? I always wondered what happened between John and James!"

"He had limited copies made. This is a collector's item - there were a few antique book stores that refused to part with their copy!" Jamie made that little pout that meant 'I went through a lot of trouble for this, so you better appreciate it!'.

"While you're at it, here's an early copy of Ru's latest book. Signed. Gotta admit, I love my job."

"Bookworm." Alyssa grinned. "You're lucky to be able to get a columnist position in NJAPF."

"Have you seen the coffee table?" Jamie was already directing her towards it.

"It's an Adrienz too isn't it?"

"Not just that! The coffee table books!"

"Dear Lord, an Apollo's Cityscapes photobook and a GLog City Guide!"

Conner appeared behind Alyssa at this point. "Better get changed, dear. There's a little supper going on at the dinner table and you might find something more suitable in the bedroom."

Alyssa allowed herself to be led into a room where a stunning dress was laid out on the canopy bed.

"A Daniel Henry ensemble." Conner whispered in her ear.

"It's lovely." She breathed.

"Don't take too long now."

When Alyssa came out and reached the dining table, everyone was already seated. Alyssa headed to the only empty seat at the end of the table, and saw a napkin placed in front of the seat, folded such that the de Cian monogram could be seen clearly, and something else written in the corner of the napkin. She unfolded the napkin to find her name stitched into the corner, a personalized de Cian ambigram of her name. Everyone had one.

Ferpcakes and Just Heavenly delicacies filled the table, and everyone's attention soon switched from Alyssa's dress to the glass tank centerpiece. Alyssa leaned forward to peer inside. "Those hamsters are Froggie breeds. Excellent housepets. Able to sustain themselves without eating each other for months," explained Conner.

The party went on for a couple of hours. Presents were passed and opened, toasts were made, and as the hour grew late, candles were blown. More drinks and toasts.

After the guests had all left, Alyssa was tired out, and slid into the couch. She could feel a headache coming on. "Darling, do we have any 3-Seconders in the kitchen?" Conner brought her a sachet together with a glass of water.

"You better get some rest soon, dear. Don't forget you start shooting for that Sam Nasser movie tomorrow. I'll put on the JoeRy CD, you always find their songs soothing."

OK. We simply cannot write anymore, it's already quite difficult without any script or draft. That we sometime spout utter rubbish, doesn't mean we have the entire backstory all ready also.

But here's the question: Just how big is your ego? Wouldn't it be something to have your name associated with something? And by something here, we mean with an item or creation, not like the Edison Chen kind. Let's stick to a certain kind of ego-stroking here, other kinds maybe next time.

Think of it - it might be due to the job, or a passionate hobby, something you have talent in. Well...among the abovementioned, so far only Just Heavenly would be recognized by most. :) But who knows who else will become quite terkenal in the future, hor?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Maundy Mullings

Right. It's just that, while we were in the middle of Maundy Thursday service in church, we made an observation after a church member ask that we pray for good weather for Easter Sunday's morning service.

It's like this. Based on our rather rusty memory of Maundy Thursdays/Good Fridays/Easter Sundays past, it'll always be raining throughout the week, until Easter Sunday, where the day will be sunny (and hot).

Not that we're trying to make any exclaimations here, after all it can just be that it's the season for rain. And we admit that this observation of ours is rather old, recent trends may be that it does rain on Easter Sunday after all, just that we happen to be sleeping at said moment when it rained.

Anyone can recall the weather the last few Easters?

Or we can just observe the rest of this week. After all it's been raining on a daily basis. All we need to disprove this observation is for just one day without rain before Sunday, or for it to rain on Sunday. What think you?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Night-Time Visitor

OK. We've been having someone over at our place for the first time last Sunday night, without our parents' knowledge. And not just Sunday night, but every night actually. The first time was quite...surreal. Honestly. We weren't sure what to make out of it or whether our mind was playing tricks on us regarding the entire incident. But on the second night he paid us another surprise visit! After our parents have gone to bed and while we were supping on egg tarts!

And after Monday night he left evidence that he came around - bite marks. So when mum asked us details the following morning, we told her.

We have a mouse in the house.

Sunday night when we went downstairs to grab some supper, we saw a black shadow scurry from under the couch into the kitchen. Even with the lights all turned off there was no mistaking that shape and size. So we turned on most of the lights from the hall to the kitchen, and started hunting to evict the little critter by means of a broom.

Well we say evict, meaning to fling the critter out of our back yard and into the alleyway, where all the neighbours' cats roam. It's too messy to squash the mouse and we're not inclined to spraying Shelltox directly into its face - let the neighbours cats prove useful and do something.

Search as we may it went missing.

We didn't say anything to mum or dad regarding the mouse on Monday because 1) we forgot; 2) it might not return and 3) we might have dreamt it up.

Ok so (2) is being optimistic and there's a reason for (3). See, there was this once we were out watering plants in the gardens somewhere rather late at night. And at one point we were hosing this bunch of potted plants placed near a grilled hole when we heard a hissing noise and thought we saw a black snake hissing and writhing.

We were holding the water hose so there was no way we were looking at a hose on the floor ok. And the hissing we heard was rather loud and not what we come to associate with snakes. By the time we went to equip ourselves with our tongkat and headed back to the spot the supposed 'snake' had gone and so was the sound.

A one-of-a-kind experience. Never happened again and hopefully never will.

So the first time when we saw that rat we thought back to the snake incident, and told ourselves that we might have imagined things. Egads. See, there's no need for other people to tell us things may not be fully right in the head, we can pretty much do it ourselves.

Then on Monday night as we were supping on some John King egg tarts (the durian tart is tasty) in the kitchen, the little bugger dropped down from somewhere above to the back support of the dining chair opposite of us, scrambled down to the seat and then out of sight. From the shelves above no doubt.

Black, smaller than the average alley rats the size of kittens you see lurking in longkangs outside, not a single squeak as it made its way past us. We didn't get to see where it scarpered to, but we had definite proof he'd been around this time: it nibbled on a papaya from the fruit basket before making off for the night.

As we worried that we might forget to inform our parents again, we sent them a text instead. At 5am. So yesterday we had the questions. Where did we see it? How big was it? Were we sure it wasn't a shrew (a shrew!) or a rat? Et cetera et cetera.

Now see clear! This isn't some cutesy Ratatouille we're talking about! While we did think of the movie, it was the lines where Remy says about not wanting to walk on the same paws he uses to eat that came foremost in our mind. It's not hygeinic ok?

So far mum has taken to blocking the more obvious entry points to the house - by blocking off the bottom of the back and front doors using towels and stools. This morning the towels were nibbled on, but we do think there's still one more in the house. We wonder if mum will be getting a mousetrap soon. We're thinking bak kua for bait - partly also because we never got any for this Chinese New Year and that'll be a good reason to buy some. :P

Monday, March 17, 2008

Kimchi Kicks

Come. Not all birthday parties are meant to be surprises as to the venue for dinner - as Esteban had the luxury of choosing what he wanted to eat for his birthday dinner. And it was narrowed down to this: Korean barbeque.

Surprising enough, we had yet to try Korean BBQ up till then. In fact, the only Korean we ever had was when mum brought back kimchi - one bite and we decided it wasn't for us. It tasted way too weird for our tastebuds. No, it wasn't disgusting, but just weird.

But that was just kimchi - Korean BBQ should be far more than just kimchi now, no?

Well come Esteban's birthday party we had quite a large turnout: Esteban, otousan, Germ, lad, Lemon, 'Vin, Jo', Puddy, NJAPF, Jaungtis, Chief and us.

We were served a spread of different small dishes as appetizers. Thankfully for our side of the table Lemon was the only one who liked kimchi, so we gladly shoved the dish in front of him. Tofu, omelette, cockles, anchovies, kimchi, fruit salads, and they were refillable appetizers to boot! This helped keep hunger at bay while the meat slowly cooked...

We almost forgot that it was a BBQ - that meant that we could dress nice, we just wouldn't smell nice.

Sometime halfway through dinner we were asked what we thought about the dinner - we said that it wasn't filling.

How. Utterly. Wrong.

This was how Dae Jung Geum filled us up when we were least expecting it.

We're not sure. Kimchi instant noodles? Salty and spicy and swelled up once it lands in the stomach. Couple this with the chilli pan mee we had for lunch, and we knew we were soon gonna be crying out for Eno. Ivan's 'stomach rubbing after heavy meal' method somehow did ease our suffering. :P

And if the kimchi noodles (as we think of it) weren't enough, there was the Korean pancake. We were quite stuffed, and only managed a slice. We're not sure, Esteban had to eat, what, 4 slices or more?

Thankfully every birthday party we've had taught us something about birthday cakes - get a small one cukup. After a heavy dinner (yes we'll take back our words about Korean BBQ dinners not being filling) a small cake is enough. 'Course, when it's lad buying the cake we just have to ask if it's a chiffon cake bought from Bee's Confectionary, heh heh.

This cake had a little something extra. Stephanie. And Esteban showed us his skills at licking Stephanie, which was a bit...wrong. :S

With the customary group photo at the end of it all. No thanks to the waiter. :P Well at least the entire photo was shaky and it wasn't our faces that were just blurry (see, the thing that we find creepy about The Ring wasn't her crawling out of the telly, it was the blurred faces).

Happy 27th Esteban! And while you broke tradition of taking a Flaming Lambourghini for your birthday at least you had a Tequila Pop. And you certainly fared better compared to Cotton Club two years ago! :P

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The First Original In Real Original Taste

And it is called Restaurant Kin Kin. So happens that it's the name of the pan mee shop that Esteban introduced to us last week. Took lad and us around to look for the place, and we ended up exploring a fair bit of the roads in KL as he tried to figure out where the store was. Esteban highly recommended the store, after not only hearing the same recommendations but also having been brought there by others.

So we finally found ourselves in this small shop full of people, and mercifully there was an empty table for the three of us. Sat ourselves down and Esteban ordered five bowls. He would have made it six, but since it was lads and our first time, we both decided that maybe two bowls per person might be a bit too much.

The thing about this store was that they only had one dish - the pan mee. No different serving sizes, no other types of noodles, no soup/dry versions. Just dry pan mee with pork mince and anchovies and a poached egg, and chilli flakes (what was it, lat zhiu zheong?) to mix the goodness all in. Oh and spinach soup (we think) in another bowl.

Orders took a while to reach us, it was that crowded. We took the time to entertain ourselves with their graffiti advertisement:

It's so special, so fresh and smooth, so delicious.
It has a truly unique distinguish robust taste, just marvellous you can only find it at KIN KIN.
The first original chilli pan mee in dry form in Malaysia created by KIN KIN in all these years to give you a real satisfaction.

Whoa. We found it bombastic, and rather reminiscent of Lemon's food MMSes.

When the food finally came five bowls looked rather manageable.

And it was love at first bite. Honestly. Maybe it's because we love anchovies, and combine that with pork mince, pan mee and an empty stomach and it was absolutely delish. That second bowl that we were sharing with lad started looking as if it was not enough now.

We KIV'ed the place because the Chief likes pan mee too, but when the best pan mee the Chief ever had was made by the mum, you definitely can't beat homemade food. Still, we didn't mind another round of that pan mee and so we headed back there yesterday.

And we took the same route as Esteban did, getting lost and all. -_-

Near 2pm on a Saturday afternoon and it was as crowded as ever, and we shared a table with two other couples. When space opened up on another table the two of us quickly jumped over, only to shift once again when there was yet another empty table. Why the second jump? Because it was next to yet another graffiti advertisement we missed out the first time round, and we wanted a closer photograph of it.

Every string of mee is so tasty.
Every bite is so fabulous.
Every mouthful is so yummy.
The presentation is so beautifully well done.
It's love at first bite.
The chilli are the greatest wonders.
It's the real essence of the meal.
To boost your appetite keep the cold away and brighten up your day.
The mee are carefully cooked to perfection with great care to give you the best quality that are valued for money,
The word Chilli Pan Mee as named and started by Restaurant KIN KIN in more than 25 years ago.
To recommend your friend please remember our restaurant name KIN KIN to avoid confusion as some unscrupulous copycats has copy our colour signboard design that look exactly from us to deceive customer and falsely claim to be our branch and relative.
Have a wonderful meal at KIN KIN.
Thank you.

We must say that we find this form of advertising rather endearing. There's something about it that just states thick-skinnedness, pride, and honest truth, haha.

Well the food was definitely tasty, but the service can be terrible. The aunty that took our order forgot about us (no it wasn't because we kept jumping tables) and we had to get our own drinks (both times that we went there). Still, the long wait for the food only makes it taste better.

Oh and it can't beat the Chief's homemade pan mee, partly also because when it comes to homemade, you can sendiri kah liew.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Finally, iWatch

OK. We first got our very first iPod on...the 24th November 2005. And since that iPod was an iPod 30GB Video, it meant that it we could play movies and the likes on it (supposedly). Only, we're not one to go into heavyduty, er, 'searching online' for a DVD/movie-to-iPod converter or compatible files, so the only movies we ever had for our iPod were Happy Tree Friends episodes downloaded via iTunes and a few videos taken with our iXus and then converted (which takes bloody long for a bloody short video).

Then iTunes added in some form of converter that could convert avi files into a compatible file format to play on our iPod. But it was limited because we still couldn't convert DVDs, where the main bulk of our media was.

So it's been some 3 years 3 months now and we have added the iTouch to our collection of gadgets (not surprisingly the iTouch doesn't make our iPod redundant, as the iPod is still our primary music player), and only just recently did we finally find a DVD-to-iPod converter, from Giveaway Of The Day's website. And only sometime last weekend did we finally get to try it out.

So what movie did we convert? Batman Returns, which we find is still the best among the first four Batman movies.

Admittedly, it's because The Dark Knight is screening in May that reignited our interest in the first two Batman movies. The storyline was a bit rusty already although we could still remember bits and pieces. We wanted to compare Jack Nicholson's Joker (quirkier) to Heath Ledger's (spookier). And how we missed Michelle Pfeiffer's Catwoman!

It's rather obvious that the iTouch is the perfect portable media for movies. :)

So instead of bringing out a book for lunch, and without having to wait to use the telly around midnight, we could watch Batman Returns. During our lunch hour, in public view of everyone else. In bed, just before we doze off to sleep. In the living room, while the parents watch whatever's showing on Astro that doesn't catch our interest. Anywhere.

Showoff-ism was hard at work in us. Not only were we displaying our iTouch everywhere but we were watching a movie with it some more!

So now that we've finally done watching Batman and Batman Returns, our sights were set on Batman Begins. Surprisingly we couldn't find the DVD in the usual stores! Thankfully the Chief has a copy, which saved us having to head to Speedy to check out their prices (yay!).

After that, there's all them other movies we've yet to watch because we rather spend the time juggling other things. Movies like Amiable Aix's The Piano. Or Junior's 200 Pounds Beauty. Our Sailormoon episodes. Or Ouran High School Host Club. So many movies!

Oh, and we can also watch it on the iPod, in case we don't bring along the iTouch. Just that it's a smaller screen, so we might wanna do shows that doesn't require subtitles.

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Inertia That Is Us - Work

Of late we've been hearing a fair bit about work - well more like job prospects specifically. From aviation to choosing between two career paths to opportunities overseas to opportunities with other companies...

Then of course we take a look at our current job situation.

Well we dont' make it any secret that our previous job was with Guardian after our one-year pupillage stint. Well, the one-year compulsory pupillage could have been considered half-work, half-study really...There's work, and there was the company of coursemates that were posted in the same hospital, so there were friendly faces to help see the day through (although we must admit that at times we behaved rather badly whatwith antisocialism and 'uncle visits' occasionally rearing their heads).

Sometime near the end of the one year pupillage Guardian sent out emails to the entire batch in our year, and we thought, "Why not? We can try first while we find out what kind of job we want to do. Even now, we'll see how long we can stay in retail. Will see if we can survive a month. Then two months. Then six months. A year. Two years. If two years can, then can work here for a long time." And so we got in Guardian and went on to look for a sales job (because we bweh tahan have otousan and lad drop by during our working hours and exhorting their flexible hours).

But we guess we aren't cut out for sales.

We did manage to get a job in sales, but that lasted only two weeks. First week was orientation and product training, but during the second week when we were suppose to go out into the field, we started getting panic attacks at night. So we left embarassingly and took up locuming, where we were back in familiar territory.

It took us two years, but we're finally in a job where the scope is similar to the kind of job we tailored our initial resume for. This after having a go at the other job scopes for a while.

And yesterday we'd a conversation with a old ex-colleague. We asked her why she left her previous job at some hospital, and she said that the job there was actually good - just that if she stayed that any longer, she'll stay there for good and not explore other job opportunities already. Hmmm. Work wanderlust?

Well, in our case, we've finally reached our comfort zone in this jobbo. Office hours, not far from home, job comforts and perks and honestly, we don't get that feeling of drudgery normally associated with work (at least, not often) - and no, it's not as if we're some high-power executive with our very own four-walled office and window, heh. We actually had in mind to stay at least 5 years in this job when we first started this jobbo (and judging from our one-half years here, we can definitely stay 5 years no prob) before seeing if we should move on. As we currently think of it, we're sorta like a limpet hanging on to our job and not letting go. :P

We guess we haven't that drive to rise up any corporate ladders nor for making big bucks - as long as we can sustain ourselves then that should be good enough. Asked if we're in for the company or for the money? Personally we're in if only they can offer us absolute comfort and freedom while working for 'em (of course we won't be saying anything like this in an interview, we've already made a blurb before).

The ability for a body at rest to stay at rest? Very much so in this matter.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Spoilt For Choice

In more categories than one. That's what happens when you stay in a country where games and entertainment are made much more available and accessible with the 'cheap option'. :) So there's no longer the need to be wary about what games to buy, nor wait for bargain prices months to years later long after a game's been released.

Now, it's just a question of, "What shall we do for tonight?" This is, of course, when we're not out with the Chief or with friends.

Let's see. First, PC or make use of telly. If the parents are watching Astro then we'll start with the PC. And with the PC we're not just limited to games for entertainment. A runthrough?

Internet: emails, bloghopping, Facebook for Scrabulous, random surfing...well, everyone has something to do online.
Games: We have that original Heroes Of Might And Magic V: Tribes Of The East expansion we bought from Bangkok for cheap, or we could always do a quick skirmish with the AI in either Starcraft, Warcraft III, Command & Conquer 3 or Red Alert 2. Hmmm, should we feel nostalgic we can always scrounge up the Prince of Persia games, or Flashback, even good ol' Dune 2. Which reminds us that we could always attempt to play Emperor: Battle For Dune again.
iTunes: There's still plenty of cover art to find and/or lyrics to add in, playlists to update, ratings and genres to fill in. And we've recently found a DVD to MPEG4 converter, so we can now start transferring movies to the iTouch!

Right. Is the telly still in use? Damn. OK, we'll have a few rounds of Tetris DS over WiFi. No one to challenge online? Then maybe one or two stages of New Super Mario Bros. Or spend endless hours over Big Brain Academy or Ouendan (we had to give up playing Nintendogs and Animal Crossing, these are the most powerful life-leechers).

Or finish up a book instead.

Even with the Wii we can be spoilt for choice...hmmm we played Resident Evil 4 just the other day, suffered minor nausea so we'll keep it aside for now...No More Heroes we've gone up a rank and will need to spend time doing side-quests to earn cash, so probably another day...Super Mario Galaxy, all right, we'll play a bit on this...maybe one stage for Super Paper Mario as well...Guilty Gear Accent Core isn't that appealing because we aren't keen to learn new game mechanics...the Prince Of Persia: Rival Swords disc is a bit wonky...there's still stages in Wario Ware: Smooth Moves as well as Rayman Raving Rabbids to unlock...The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess we're keeping until after we're done with the Mario games...Oh oh oh and Super Smash Bros Brawl is out!

And when lad and Esteban finally got their Wiis last Saturday and Esteban wanted to borrow some of our games, we told him no, we were playing all of them. :P

Who says our juggling was just limited to books?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

March Babies

It's March, a month with quite a fair number of March babies on our calender.

Just say for the bloggers yah, this fler that's hebat giler Prolific already went past, there's the godfather's birthday yesterday and it's DanielH's and a BodyJammin' fler who just got his iPhone's birthday today.

Happy Birthday DanielH! You're old! Fine so we're older but you're not getting off too! :)

By the way, it's, like, we had to sketch that, you know, ambigram for you but here's how it's suppose to, like, look like, you know? It's like, you know, we haven't even started on our own Janvier ambigram, you know?

As for the iPhone owner, memang you've gotten an ambigram from us already. In fact we realize there's two ambigrams here on our blog that you can use! Wahliao! Two for the price of one!

We've got to start charging if we're commissioned. That can help fund our buying more RAM so we can actually scan our sketches and make it a bit more elegant next time.

There're still more March babies to follow! Sorry ya not all of you are gonna get ambigrams.

Sunday, March 09, 2008


We've growned up reading Stephen King ever since we first came across Needful Things on our cousin's bookshelf in UK back when we were in Form 1. We'd finished it and was hooked, and had frequented the Rent-A-Book store in Subang Parade almost every Sunday for a different King book. Admittedly we were a bit bias at the beginning - we didn't want to read Misery because we didn't like the actress Kathy Bates who acted in the movie of the same, and we didn't want to read Gerald's Game because we, uh, didn't like the name Gerald (because of an idiot named Gerald in our class at one point in secondary school whom tested our tolerance to the limit).

But we did read all the books in the end - and the ones that really gripped us were the ones that didn't feature ghosts or spirits: Cujo, Misery, Gerald's Game, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, The Tommyknockers, Cell...but almost all of his books were darn good reads. Yes, we say almost. Insomnia we managed fine once but we don't know if we could read it again, we won't want to read Bag Of Bones again, the Dark Tower series is just too slow for us to keep following.

We must say that we regret renting his books rather than buying them first time round. Now we just don't have the heart to cough up the cash, and have relegated King's books to the same category as Eddings and Agatha Christie - scrounge Pay Less Books/secondhand bookstores for them, and occasionally buy new from MPH/Borders/Times.

Well we can't rightly remember when we first came across word that The Mist (a novella from his Skeleton Crew book, although now they've released it as a book on it's own...go figure, The Mist selling for RM29.90 and Skeleton Crew for RM33.90) but we recognized it as the Stephen King novella and not some horror movie with the same title. So we were excited. Of course, the last time we read this book was more than 10 years ago, so our memory's more than slightly rusty but we do remember the movie to be about a group of people trapped in a grocery store when a mysterious mist descends upon them.

Yeah, so all we remembered was that they were stuck in there because there's something out there in the mist, and that we enjoyed the book pretty much. Couldn't even remember how the story ended. See how we can reread our books now? :P

Anyways, throughout February sis had been asking us if we'd already watched the show too, to which we replied that it hadn't started screening yet. Thankfully she didn't spoil the show for us except to say that "the ending a bit sad". Right. We thought we knew how it was suppose to be sad. The show started off very well, the pacing of the storytelling from the storm to our hero David Drayton heading down to the grocery store to the descending of the mist was well done. We recognized the main actor (Thomas Jane) to have acted in Dreamcatcher (yes, another Stephen King movie) as well as Punisher (ugh!), although at that time we couldn't remember his name (except for the fact that it had a girl's name in it).

Until we get to reread the book again, we'll say that the movie followed the book faithfully. It's definitely a good watch, and yes, the ending is a bit sad.

And yes, we also headed to Borders after the movie to compare the movie ending to the book - and find that the movie provided better closure. Now to hunt for a cheap copy of Skeleton Crew.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

We Love Gravity

Now there are times when the parents are not around, leaving us to man the fort alone. This is fine with us actually, because it means we do get to use the telly for a DVD or some gaming any time we wish.

The only thing is when the parents go off in the middle of the workweek.

Being a major heavy sleeper it takes quite an effort for us to wake up. Whatmore during a workday where we run the extra risk of sleeping in late, even with the alarm from our mobile. Thankfully there's the morning 'background noise' of mum vacuuming, the Wee Wog barking, dad getting ready in the morning etc to help us finally slink out of bed and face the day ourselves.

So when the parents aren't around, it's just us and the mobile. If the mobile fails as an alarm, it's quite likely we'll only be up when the sun is shining high in the sky.

Not good.

Of course, sometimes the circadian rhythm does kick in and wake us up as usual, but with nobody home we're in charge for minor housekeeping as well - watering the plants else they wilt in the midday sun, keeping the porch clean, newspapers and letters, dishes, rubbish...Heck, the only thing that we're really required to do in the morning is to water the plants. The others all can be done in the evening after work (not the plants, because we'll head to the gym after work sometimes and only show up back home after 8pm, meaning the plants would have withered by then).

Our solution to making sure we don't oversleep? Sleeping on the couch, which is less comfy. But at least on the couch, we are actually able to wake up early.

But that's just the first obstacle.




The attraction is just too strong, especially early in the morning. Our body slumps, our limbs can barely rise, our eyelids droop.

While sleeping on the chaise-lounge we will snooze for a good 20 minutes or so, because we've only enough energy to lift a finger to press the snooze button every 5 minutes. Once we've mustered enough energy we would drag ourselves to the 2-seater sofa. There we will snooze for another 15 minutes or so. After that we would have to drag ourselves back to our room...and the pull of gravity is heavier upstairs, so we're pulled down into our bed.

Where there's that chance that we will turn off the alarm instead of hitting snooze as we sink into the mattress and pillows.

How the hell do you get people who can wake up sometime 6am, greet the sun, accomplish ten things before breakfast and then take breakfast sitting near a window letting in the bright morning sunshine? The sun burns!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Lip Service

This has been something that we had learned to enjoy for years now, but not till just recently did we see things in a new light.

Our first time was, of course, a bit apprehensive of what to expect but well, we guess everyone have to start somewhere. Just how well one's experience is depends on the situation and how one reacts to it, we guess.

Our first time, we were curious, we admit! Of course, we did try and act as if we were cool about it.

How would our experience be like? Would it be the same as how we saw other people enjoying it?

How would it feel as it pass through our lips? Would it be cold or not? Is it slimy? Would it taste salty? Or sourish?

Were we suppose to let it slip around our tongue before swallowing?

So many questions. Not really like us - so we just took the plunge. Didn't even bother closing our eyes.

Well, we must say that oysters really taste lovely. Except that we only take ours with a dash of lemon and a pinch of salt. No tobasco sauce, thank you. Oysters don't have that strong taste we get with cockles that infest our char kuey teow.

Now, what did we find new about oysters then? That it's an aphrodisiac? No. But rather, that they look like...lips.

It's a mighty shame we didn't bring the iXus to take a better macro of the actual oyster we had.

See, we were out at dinner at this chinese restaurant and was enjoying our curry seafood noodles when we started on the oysters. Now all our past oyster-mooching were done in restaurants where it comes served in a nice platter with crushed ice and you have a small fork to use, not chopsticks. With chopsticks, we'd to get a grip on the oyster and so for the first time we see...lips.

The others didn't appreciate our point of view. And well, we always thought that the aphrodisiac was in the way people glugged down the oyster.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Mall Wanderings

Now we happen to be at Bukit Bintang yesterday, catching American Gangsters for RM5 at Pavilion, tinkering about at the arcades at Sungei Wang, mooching about the Machines opening at Lot 10...stuff one does at Bukit Bintang.

However, as we were heading back to the car it started pouring so we took shelter at this rather old mall. Now this particular mall we've never really entered before except for maybe once or twice a long time ago, so since we'd time to kill waiting for the rain to stop we decided to wander about.

Colour us surprised at what we found. Empty corridors after empty corridors. Closed shops, empty stalls with 'Under Renovation' pasted all over the glass, travel agencies hidden behind some nook and offices in some other cranny.

We even found a church. :S

Given the ample time and that the mall wasn't that large, we managed to saunter about the entire place and even used a few of the toilets - for walking in empty corridors that aren't all that well-ventilated made us sweat a fair bit. That we found the toilets to be extremely clean showed just how occupied the place was - we don't think that it was just due to the cleaner's diligence of checking every 2 hours.

That there were security guards patrolling about made us feel a bit as if we were playing Elevator Action or summat. At least in Elevator Action you've a gun to shoot at 'em. In our case we took it to move on exploring the entire mall, finding that a particular corridor actually leads upstairs to the next floor, fire escapes to doors with no handles, cargo lifts we had no intention of getting into...and with the mall being so small there was no possibility of our getting lost as we wandered about.

Imagine, a mall where there's not a single shop to enter and browse! We wonder if the place will be torn down/renovated anytime now.

Oh, the endless possibilities of finding things to do when you're bored.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Ambiguous Ambigrams 13

Goodness, as we decide to change from silly titles to something identifiable, it turns out to be the thirteenth post on it. But then again we've never really been one to be superstitious, so none of that 3A/12A/13A etc from us.

It's been quite a while since we've doodled an ambigram - the last one being sometime last year just when Enchanted was showing in the cinemas.

Wait, we tell a lie. The last one we made was for our sister, for her scrapbook.

So what do we have today? The one we did prior to Enchanted:

We'd to redraw and reink it, because the first time we inked it we used a different pen that blotted a fair bit. We actually intend to do a fair bit more, but till we really get time for a sitdown we'll put it on KIV first.

Always, the same question: can it be made out without our saying what it actually says?