Monday, June 30, 2008

Tale As Old As Time...

So Chief had gotten rather good tickets at a decent from Toyota for Disney's Beauty And The Beast musical. And we weren't letting an opportunity for such a musical slip past us in the first place - Beauty And The Beast was our first Disney animated movie, and we collected the soundtracks on cassette up till Pocahontas.

'Course, nowadays people don't use cassettes as much, so we'd looked for the CDs and mp3s too.

But we digress. So both Chief and us snagged a couple of tickets which included pre-performance refreshments. Which turned out to be a good thing as 'refreshments' consisted of pasta and lots of filling finger food and the two of us haven't had dinner yet when we arrived at KLCC at 6.30pm.

True as it can be.

The Chief is liking Toyota more and more as they seem to show plenty of appreciation for their customers. At least, for Toyota Tribes and Merit members. It may be likely that Toyota shows the Chief better appreciation than we do... :(


No one's got a swell cleft in his chin like Gaston.

While eating and waiting for the show to start some of the performers dropped into the room for everyone to take photos with - the frickin' tall Gaston, Two Silly Girls (Ms Look and Ms Go - we have no idea where Ms Stop was), and villagers whom we could only identify as 5 O'Clock Shadow, Barmaid and Baldy. Chief got Gaston's autograph, but we were both a bit shy to ask the rest as we didn't quite know who they were (their characters not easy to locate in the programme, and 5 O'Clock Shadow and Baldy played two roles, we noticed).

We've already read one disappointed review (WARNING unsafe picture that can scar childhood memories!) about the musical so we know that the characterization for Beast wasn't gonna be up to standard. Cannot fight the animated movie. Gotta learn one thing about musicals - they tend to veer a bit from the story they were adapted from. So had to keep an open mind.

Beauty And The Beast kept very close to the animated movie! There were scenes that kept replaying in our head as we were watching the musical - Belle singing to the lamb about her favourite part in the book as the lamb chews on the corner of the page, Chip telling Mrs Potts that there's a girl in the castle, Belle in the West Wing...

Storywise, very little variations. There are new songs, old songs have been extended, and we can say that we resisted temptations to sing along. Among the new songs, we find the Beast's song to be very nice (although we can't remember too much of it now, aiks). Gaston's song where he hints to Belle that he intends to make her his wife is somehow familiar, we've no idea if we had heard it somewhere before. However, Gaston's voice wasn't strong during The Mob Song, his voice isn't deep enough nor able to be loud enough if he went deep.

Look there he goes, isn't he dreamy?

We also liked how they expanded on the characters and the story - there's a bit more backstory for Madame le Grande Bouche, the enchantress' spell can be seen to continually evolve ("There's something on your back!"), even a cheesy song about the asylum owner Monsieur D'Arque being evil.

There was also more life in the characters, for better or worse. Lumiere, especially was very entertaining and naughty; LeFou was also clownishly comedic - he has a lot of choreography to remember, from stumbling at one point and being knocked about by Gaston at another; Gaston rather campy in a costume that made him look oddly out of proportion; the Beast a childish bully rather than an arrogant bad-tempered aristocrat. We only wished that we didn't keep thinking of Belle as Dorothy from the Wizard Of Oz. :S

Little town, full of little people.

We were considered rather fortunate that there weren't any technical faults during our show, and the only thing that has bugged us was that the Broadway Cast Recording CD sold out before the show started. SOLD OUT. So we're left empty-handed with no souvenirs. Nevermind, somehow or other we'll get our hands on the CD, just not now...

Great show. Great weekend. Lots of love to our Chief for making this happen.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Ambiguous Ambigrams 14

Right. Some of these we've been putting off for way too long now, and we'd best buck up and start working on them just to keep our hand in practise with calligraphy really.

First one, a slight touch-up from the Mk1 at the 'u/n' - 'w' area. It's been ages since we'd touched this one because we remember how much trouble we took just drawing it out (as we drew the template on a small notepad instead of an A4 sheet), but this time we were armed with a clipboard, A4 paper and a photocopier.

Trace the first half, make minor adjustments, photocopy. Then finish up the second half by tracing from the photocopy.

End result was printed out on sticker paper and made into a belated birthday present. :P

This one started out as a sketch on her birthday card. Then we decided to expand on it, but work on it was admittedly slow. :P A simple sketch, but somehow not very clear. Probably if we did it on a smaller scale we could do a bit more on ornamentation and make it clearer. Ah well, a Mk2 in the works then...

Finally, after finishing the above and scanning it, we decided to open MS Paint and doodle about. And we managed this. It's a bit vexing because the others took ages to complete while this one, 5 minutes. True, needs a bit of work but otherwise it's already passable. Not to mention that since we only needed to do the first half, then copy-invert-paste, it's the only symmetrical ambigram we've done to date.

Oh well, there'll probably be a Mk2 of this too, when we pretty it up with ornamentation. Probably.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

BodyAches 45 and 36

Great. New Les Mills tracks launch in clubs this week onwards - BodyJam 45 and BodyCombat 36. However hopes for BodyJam weren't very reassuring when reading this review, and word was that there weren't much recognizable catchy music.

So Monday we headed for BJ45 at the Curve, and it was surprisingly uncrowded. Guess everyone already swarmed the place during the pre-Miracle preview, which was good as that left us all more space to move about. Impressions?

Some moves are okay, but overall we're missing old old BodyJam tracks more and more...for single tracks and techniques. Starts out fine, odd songs for the Contemporary Rock block, a torturous line dance track, and a more fun Disco block. The butterfly kick in the Contemporary Rock block reminded us plenty of Liu Kang's fatality.

Not to mention that there's usually never enough room in the studio to pull off the butterfly kick properly. Nanti nahas we all fatality each other. The Disco block is simple with some gaya moments, but what we don't understand is the obsession to have this skipping moves...our knees override our brain and takes the easier option nowadays. :P

Yeah, we guess we're also gonna be taking a break next Monday or Monday after...tunggu old tracks. :P

Then yesterday was BodyCombat. We have been missing Combat for a week over already. :S We sorta take it we've been long gone from Combat 'cos when we had to shout for YKLS our voice cracked. :P Dah lama tak practise shouting voice projection at Combat class. Of course, we'd seen a bit of what's new in Combat during Miracle and on Monday, and boy we weren't keen on lunges and knees...especially after that line dancing bit in Jam.

Still, Combat was good, with the claw move back again (although this time there's more clawing, so that particular track does look like a catfight :S ), less capoeira/ginga moves but boy are we gonna suffer with the lunging.

Today, our neck is killing us. It's been a long time since we've managed three cardio classes per week. :S

Monday, June 23, 2008

Getting Into Klang

Klang lately has not been a rather welcoming place, just today as we were heading there we got stuck in yet another traffic jam.

Not the first time. Usually, we expect traffic getting into Klang from the Federal or NKVE to be rather congested at the usual peak hours, and say 6pm on Saturdays. But not at 11am or 3pm on any day. 'Course, we don't stay in Klang any more so we haven't been keeping up with Klang's development. So when we thought of getting into Klang and find ourself stuck in some unfathomable jam just past Jusco Bukit Raja our EQ takes a turn for the worse.

It's just as well that we remember that rather than brave the flyovers, we should get into that side lane that goes to the Hokkien Association, then head straight across the roundabout towards Klang Bridge, go past jasmine-scented Little India because the roads to Klang Club have changed, and hit the roundabout that would take us back to where we used to stay...

Then even leaving Klang today proved a problem, when we decided to use the NKVE instead of the Federal and ended up actually stuck in yet another jam as a fallen crane blocked up all lanes save one. EQ levels dropped another notch.

Now, our EQ in traffic jams only drop when we're rushing for something. And for this particular instant?

Bah kut teh. And you can see the two of us have this thing where we really really banjir our rice with the bkt soup.

We'd tapau'ed lunch. To eat with the Chief. Unfortunately our first store of choice for bah kut teh at Teluk Pulai had already sold out, so we settled for second. And normally when we order bah kut teh by ourself it's usually an iffy event, because we have to make do communicating with terrible half-past-six Cantonese. Our Hokkien? Far, far worse.

Janvier: Bah kut teh...
Taukeh (in Hokkien): For one person? Having here?
Janvier (in Cantonese): Er. Two. Ta pau.
Taukeh (in Cantonese): What kind of bah kut teh?
Janvier (in Cantonese): Er er. Cham cham.
Taukeh (in Cantonese): Pig's intestines? Chicken feet?
Janvier (in Cantonese): Er er er. No.
Taukeh (in Cantonese): [Unfathomable ingredient]? [Undeciphered] egg?
Janvier (in Cantonese): Er er er er. No.
Taukeh: Sao sao? Yao char kuey?
Janvier (in Cantonese, much relieved): Yes! Yes!

Somehow bah kut teh today got our appetite up for more. Prolly shall plan another session soon. And today's meal is meant to fuel us during the new BodyJam 45 launch.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Fuel Rebate!

What with the hoo-haa over the latest fuel price hike, we did sigh inwardly as rather than having Aidan save us money on fuel consumption, we now pay somewhere about the same to RM10 more for a full tank rather than save RM10. Of course, if we haven't had Aidan, we guess a full tank on the Kembara would be >RM100.

Well one thing to note for was the RM625 fuel rebate. Being the easygoing feller we are we just noted the fact that there was a RM625 rebate.

Did we qualify to redeem. Where to redeem. When to redeem. How to redeem. What documents to bring to redeem.

The first three were soon enough answered:

First we get a call from the dealer who handed us the keys to Aidan, telling us we could get the rebate. Yay car dealer!

Then there was that front page pic in The Star of people swarming the post office somewhere. That answered the where. Yay The Star!

Walking by the post office at Amcorp there's posters pasted with instructions on how to fill in the...Fuel Rebate form. The form turns out to be a Money Order form, and the instructions were clear enough that we had no problems filling in the details. And also pasted on the counter was a sign stating that cars registered from April to May 2008 are to redeem their rebates now in June. So the when and how's answered. Yay post office!

So today we decided to get the rebate thingy over with, and headed back to the post office with filled-up form. Got a number, waited our turn, and then handed in the form. No, we didn't bother finding out if we needed to bring any other documents. Turns out all we need to bring along is our IC. But to complete our 'fuel rebate' form, they needed our left thumbprint.

Bleh. Boo post office!

RM625 to pay our bills and birthday debts. Sigh. And home to scrub the thumb with alcohol.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Right Now Meme

The Nut returns serves us today with a meme! We actually still do wonder just how we got on the RPMNut train in the first's actually part of our 10am routine already. It's like our morning caffeine.

Anyways, onwards with the meme. Interestingly, for a meme that demands spontaneous response, we actually have to do a bit before we can answer some of the Qs.

(1) Right now, what's at the top of your "top 25" list on iTunes?
'Kyrie' from the Death Note Soundtrack, with a play count of 241. Of course, this is because it's on the laptop which doesn't have all our songs. And we're not sure - does the Top 25 on iTunes differ from the Top 25 on the iPods?

(2) Right now, what's the first thing on your "to do" list for today?
Finishing up an ambigram. Then going on with another ambigram...argh.

(3) Right now, what are you thinking about having for your next meal?
OK, this one's a bit of a poser because we'll be rushing to pick the Chief up afterwards, head home to get the chores done and then we'll only have a narrow time frame for dinner before our 7.45pm movie. Somewhere in 1U is what we're thinking of.

(4) Right now, what other applications are running on your PC as you do this meme?
IE7 to keep a tab on GMail and Scrabulous and the blogs.
MS Outlook, and thankfully mail influx there is slow.
iTunes because we needed to see what's at the top of our Top 25.
AVG's busy running its daily virus scan in the background, making everything else. So. Bloody. Slow.

(5) Right now, name 5 people you think will respond to this Meme if you tagged them?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Avenue Phew

Well it started off with JOEry mentioning that Avenue Q would be performing in Sporeland, but it was late and we sorta didn't register it properly - we thought that the discussion was that Avenue Q would show in Sporeland, while everyone knows that it doesn't stand a chance of performing in Bolehland.

Then the folks at Life Liberty were discussing about it (read the 100 plus comments to find the subject somewhere...) so we realized, "Oshit we need to get our tickets before they're sold out."

Avenue Q? By now quite a fair number of people should know about it already. We first heard one of their songs when 'Vin sent a Youtube that had World Of Warcraft characters singing 'The Internet Is For Porn.' Never realized that the song was from Avenue Q tho'. So when joeRY told us about Avenue Q early this year we looked it up, and it wasn't long before we got ourselves the songs. :D

And of course, we'd started sharing the songs with lad, Chief, and others. Chief enjoys musicals. :)

So when we told the Chief that Avenue Q's showing in Sporeland, we were already making the transaction at the same time. :P So the two of us were chatting online to settle on a date and time, and once we'd confirmed on the details we proceeded to buy the tickets online.

Only to realize later on that night that the date of the show we bought would clash with our YKLS production. And we weren't gonna bersusah-payah go for rehersals every week and memorize the songs and then only decide to sing 'just for fun, will not be participating for the production, sorry'. So we put out the plea for people who may be interested in taking the tickets off our hands...

So next morning we'd conferred with the Chief as to a new date, and the Chief told to sell off our current tickets first before we buy new ones. After all, buying from Sistic meant nonrefundable nonexchangeable tickets.

Then we read the email:

Should there be any discrepancy, please alert us at (65) 6348 5555 or email no later than 12noon the following day.We regret to inform you that any discrepancy reported thereafter cannot be rectified.

Did we breathe a sigh of relief. Thankfully we'd read the email before noon, so we called them up straightaway, mentioned that our tickets erred (in date, time, and seating :P), and had our tickets swapped for the following week. And in the process, we got better seats! Now we know to check via phone reservations as well when buying tickets.

Avenue Q, here we come!

Monday, June 16, 2008


We've been having this thing about masks since last week, prior to our Penang Food Trip. See, asides from just food pics or pics of us we'd thought it'd be nice to put more pics in, like prolly a pic of Chief and us or even a pic of Junior and us in iPoh. And to maintain anonymity, that's where the masks come in. Yes...we know we could actually just take photos and then Photoshop them later on, but we sorta thought that it'll be novel to just wear masks and take 'em photos. Much more fun that way, and we can leave the photos untarnished!

So we went hunting about for masks - mind you, not them latex horror masks of Frankenstein or Dracula nor them Ultraman types. We were looking for something simple - a cardboard mask to cover the entire face, and that doesn't scare anyone.

So we went a-searchin'. Our first stop, the party shop at iKano. When that turned up empty we tried Toys 'R Us. That did better, as we found some maskerade masks as well as a children's party section that had masks...unfortunately, the maskerade masks weren't cheap nor in good condition, and as for the children party masks, they were of Barney and friends.

We don't want to get beaten up for wearing Barney masks, okay?

So the hunt continued, to no avail. Thus Penang Food Trip is all on the food. :)

Then just last weekend we had a costume party to prepare for - 3 Birthdays And A Farewell. Well, requirements for that party was a minimum of headgear, but hey, it's a costume party! And we had two options - either go as a martial artist or as L from Death Note.

We opted early on for L. Costume-wise all we needed was a long-sleeve white tee, and for headgear, a mask. The rest was all in the acting, which meant we brought along lollipops as well.

Initially we thought, "Let's make a paper mache mask. Simple only what. Paper, balloon, glue, poster paint, brush." Of course, that didn't happen in the end because there wasn't gonna be enough time. So we went around Bangsar a-huntin' for masks again, as we remembered that there was a party shop somewhere around Telawi.

Wasn't long before we found Balloons & Bouquets and had fun choosing our masks. We picked up a couple of masks for general use as well as this rather spooky mask that had us in laughter. Well, not that we're gonna have plenty of occasions to wear this but hey, you never know when there's an opportunity...

So the party was a blast. There were doubles, of course, but with differences: cuisine chef and pastry chef (disguised as a tai chow cook); pre-op surgeon and post-op psycho surgeon; Audrey Hepburn and Kate Moss; Roman emperor and Greek goddess, safety overalls construction worker and building site construction worker, Japanese sex worker and bunny costume sex worker.

Oh, and two Ls. Interestingly there was also a Kira present at the party, so two Ls were good enough to throw him off our trail... :P

Photo credits: Alex.

See, this is what we've to do when we didn't put on masks. Admittedly we used Paint instead of Photoshop for this one...

Photo credits: Alex and Junior.

We had a spankin' great time, got sloshed slightly, camwhored, and ended up with terribly black feet as we were going about barefooted. :S Great party, Bunny Mafias.

Now, to make full use of the masks in future photos...

Monday, June 09, 2008

Road Trip Observations

That is, when it comes to us driving on a road trip. As the weekend saw us being the driver for our makan trip up to Penang, we learned:

Our eyes get very tired initially when we hit the North South Highway.

We thinks it's because there's nothing to see except the sky - you know how nice it is to just lie down on the grass and stare up at the sky and slowly drift off to sleep? Something like that, except that that wasn't our purpose. And it didn't just happen once, but every single time we start hitting the road - on the way to Penang, on the way back from Penang, and even when we left iPoh.

We have no idea why. It's something akin to how we can automatically tune out and doze off at a lecture. Either it's due to that vast expanse of nothing save peaceful sky, or because it's daytime and it's either too bright (when we don't wear our sunglasses) causing us to squint, or it's too dark (when we do wear our sunglasses and it's dark and dozy) and we think it's naptime.

It's not really much due to the lack of caffeine, as we purposely made sure that when we left iPoh we had a venti Americano Hazelnut ready in hand. Even with company in the car we think we would be suffering slightly soon enough.

So what happens when Aidan starts swerving slightly and our eyelids droop? Make for the first R&R we come across, stretch a bit and splash water on our face, and we're good for the rest of the trip. Really.

Not that we're complaining here! Just pointing out, so should we be your driver for a long road trip you know to look out for this. :P

We listen to easygoing music when we drive.

Enya, soundtracks, chorals...stuff that put most people (not all) to sleep. Not really Light 'n Easy stuff, mind you. Not all of 'em works, we would think Lighthouse Family would knock us out, but generally we'll be telling passengers to sleep while we play something different.

Not a good driver-host, as we don't really layan our passengers.

Well, at least before hitting the highway we played Avenue Q and Spamalot for our passengers first. When they were asleep baru we plugged in our earphones and listened to our iPod.

We prefer to play our iPod compared to the radio.

Now since we've been driving Aidan we've no longer been able to play our iPod in the car - Aidan only has a CD player and the radio. We haven't gotten around to burning CDs to keep and play in the car, and during the Camland trip Esteban had an iPod FM transmitter he bought from Low Yat. Seems like a viable option to us now, but rather than simply getting any cheap FM transmitter we'd like the FM transmitter to look...elegant.

After all, some things just scream CHEAPO while some others get away looking simple yet classy. And so we've been shopping about for a nice FM transmitter to replace our now-defunct cassette adapter. Didn't seem to find anything nice, and Griffin's iTrip isn't really cheap for just an iPod FM transmitter.

Then we saw this in Queensbay Mall Penang on Saturday. The Belkin TuneCast II.

Simple. Clean. White. Pretty. Also expensive, at RM220. Well, at least now we know what we want when shopping for a FM transmitter - one that has an audio jack instead of the iPod dock. At least this way we can play any MP3 player (or even our Nintendo DS) instead of just iPods.

We don't have much luggage space.

We've mentioned this before, and even while this was a makan trip, don't think that there should be ample space what with each one bringing just one bag. Because we didn't bring just one bag. There was our backpack for clothes, a bag carrying our chargers and iPod speakers, a shoe bag, our Crumpler bag, and our Wii bag.

Then whatever space left is taken up by the homemade biscuits and salted chicken we bought. It gets a bit cramped in the back seat soon...

Fuel usage for the Penang trip was FUUUUUYOOOOOH!

Just why, why couldn't the price hike have been till after our trip?

Oh well. Road trips, regardless, are still fun and this Penang one was a helluva great time.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

The Bomb

Seriously, we think we ought to stick to drawing simple cartoons. Gales Of Gossip was completed much faster compared to this one. Although, truth be told, we prefer inking with a ball point pen as we're more confident with it.

Well these past couple of days were a bit worrying what with yet news of another rise in fuel prices. It's vexing, especially since one of the reasons we'd gotten Aidan was so that we could save on fuel. A full tank on the Kembara costs us RM70 upward while Aidan does better mileage at RM60.

Still, with a fair number of people warning about price hikes hitting on Thursday we guess we'd better top up Aidan too. And the best way to see if fuel price hikes are true is to check the queue at the petrol stations - in this case, it seemed that everyone had already heard about it and are out for their final RM1.92/litre pump.

Thankfully we didn't had to wait to long - we'd Monty Phyton's Spamalot and a book to keep us company in any case.

And since we were on our way back home after midnight, we drove by to check if prices have gone up. And the bomb has indeed landed - it's now RM2.704/litre, as stated at Petronas TTDI.

You didn't think we would just draw that kinda comic to talk about fuel price hikes now did you? :)

Sunday, June 01, 2008

May Weekends 3

Friday started off with bowling, something we haven't done for ages! 'Course, bowling means doing the Happy Hour at 1U's bowling alley where it's RM24 an hour per lane - but oddly enough we were charged the normal price instead. Otousan didn't press the matter and so we have no idea what happened there. Anyways, otousan, Germ, Lemon, Chief and us managed to get two games down before calling it a night - as Happy Hour starts at 11pm (and we were there past 11pm) it was 12.30am when we were done.

While it isn't like we were good bowlers to begin with, ages of no playing showed when we all struggled to get a 100 point game. Aiks. Still, it was fun as we got to see how Germ bowled as if she had a personal vendetta against the bowling pins (we always flinch when she's about to throw the ball!) and how Chief's bowling ball always unerringly head for the centre of the lane (even when aiming for a single pin at the side).

The birthday month continued with two more birthdays to celebrate on Saturday, first one being Apollo's and the second, HuiLin's.

Apollo's party was planned out by by the brutally efficient SK - karaoke at Neway in the morning, swimming in the afternoon and potlock dinner at night. As we had Hui Lin's dinner party at night we opted to join only for the karoake. First time at Neway 1 Utama, and we must say that the song selections, at least, English song selections, aren't as wide as that at Red Box. Still, the place was rather spacious and with four wireless mikes and a decent sound system (once we figured out how to turn down the music volume and solved that blasted feedback problem) we'd a great time.

And while we knew that the Chief can sing well (plus the Chief's did well in choir back in school before) this was the first time we heard the Chief sing. Whoa. Can we swoon? Yes, we can swoon.

HuiLin's party was planned at Thai Inspired at Jaya One. Food was good, but what tickled us was that, while the theme for HuiLin's birthday was 'floral', we never expected the restaurant to be rather floral too. The cutlery had lotus motifs, the curtains had stitchings of little flowers, the napkin held in a ribbon with a lotus.

Winner of the floral theme dress-up went to lad. Because of the buttons.

After dinner we all decided to try Divino for the wine. Most of their stock comes from Denise, and we had the staff there recommend us a strong chiraz and a nice chardonnay. Although quiet and cozy, the place's air-conditioning wasn't working so it got a tad hot lounging on leather seats. There was also a lack of clientele, which for now we could attribute to the place still being new. The time we spent at Divino was on discussing upcoming birthday plans and themes.

We could get a form preprinted for following birthdays at this rate. Probably something along the lines of:
Preferred OC:
Preferred choice of food:
Suggested birthday theme:

Hearing some of the suggested themes, we were seriously contemplating getting a simple white shirt, and with every birthday theme we'll print out something appropriate and iron it onto the shirt. Like with this floral theme we'd have printed out a cute simple tulip and iron it onto the pocket, or something.

Anyways that's it for the May birthdays, and as far as we know Lemon's birthday is up next with a theme of black with a hairstyle-that-is-not-your-usual-hairstyle.