Thursday, December 31, 2009

1, 576, 800 Minutes

We think recapping this year may be a bit tougher as we've not been blogging frequently, which means we haven't been jotting things down and thus may have forgotten certain things, haha. Looking at our archive, we've went from 281 posts in 2007 to a mere 113 for 2009! Anyways, on with the recap.

Alcoholic blackout (it's been ages since we'd imbibed large amounts) to start January off!

The Chief organized a suprise birthday party with amazing success! And continues to melt our heart!

Got addicted to Tetris Friends!

Started on DVD television series, one being Battlestar Galactica and the other the first two seasons of Poirot, and now we're somewhere on The Legend Of The Seeker!

Made two police reports, once when we misplaced our credit card holder and needed to report the loss of our credit cards, and once more when some bloody bas pekerja driver dinged Aidan on the back.

Sometime somewhen this year we started using the machines and free weights section of the gym than just going for cardio classes!

We went for the Skytrex Extreme Challenge!

Was around to plan and celebrate the Chief's birthday party this year! Managed to make it a surprise because the Chief suspected the party to be held on a different day!

Our GMail reached 100% capacity!

We went to swim in Kelana Jaya swimming pool for the first time and experienced a dangerous new world!

In treasure hunting this year, our Toyota treasure hunt saw a much lower placing as we were up against a less-casual crowd who were more interested in a cheap trip to Genting Highlands but more of the competitive treasure hunters, and Team Little Mermaid made its debut (Team Little Mermaid members, were we 33rd or 23rd? We think we were 23rd otherwise how to score a food hamper?)!

For our trips, we went to Camland for a quick getaway, revisited Penang, made a quick trip to Johor, went Sporeland twice for musicals Cinderella and Cats and once more for our Christmas shopping, visited Thailand's Hatyai by bus and Phuket for sun, sea and sand! Missed out on a trip with the Klangites as it clashed with our choir performance dates tho'.

In choir news, we sang for Australian Week at the KLPac, performed in the Bangsar Actor's Studio's closing and the Lot 10 Actor's Studio's opening! This followed by carolling in KLCC! Plus for our YKLS performance we had a choreographer training us to help make us limber before the actual show! As an audience we watched Handel's Messiah!

Here's to a great 2010 to come!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Blessed Christmas 2009!

Wishing a very blessed Christmas and a happy new year to come!

And as it has been for the past few years, we are still wrapping presents at the moment. Perhaps one day we will finally be super efficient and have everyone's Christmas presents wrapped up by July, but until then, we wrap in the middle of the night.

And we find nothing beats Christmas shopping stress when it comes to dieting! Just over these last three days, due to the stress of speed-shopping and wrapping presents, our stomach has shrunk significantly. What with eating only a light sandwich for breakfast, 4 small sticks of chocolate for lunch (equivalent to the length of two Pocky sticks but made of pure dark chocolate), a small kaya puff and a small potato chicken puff for dinner, and by 3.30am on Wednesday morning we were still not hungry.

Out of habit we decided to go eat, thinking of getting Indomee Goreng Double Mata Kerbau (most other places save the 24-hour fast food joints) would be closing by 3.30am, and true enough when we arrived at SS2 the mamak closed up, but we managed to order fried kuey teow from the next store before they closed up too. Halfway through our char kuey teow we felt full.

Interesting. Stress has replaced food. Now our stomach doesn't show yay!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tonight The Super Trouper Lights Are Going To Find Me

When we carol in the concourse area of KLCC for a gig between the Young Choral Academy Singers (called so instead of the Young KL Singers because it comprised of many different choirs) and the brass ensemble from the Malaysian Young Philharmonic Orchestra (MYPO, or was it supposed to be the MPYO, goodness cannot remember).

And we were not expecting a crowd to gather and watch actually! We wonder - considering how we would stop to watch if we were part of the audience in the first place. But to have people taking videos? The pressure is on to make sure that 1) we sing loud enough to be heard over the brass band, 2) we project our voices out so that we could be heard by people upstairs, and 3) we look out more at the audience rather than at our scores.

During the sound balance check where we sang 'Deck The Halls', it was a tad obvious that we didn't hit the required volume in (1), and after 'Deck The Halls' we happen to see Earl Grey on the first floor and sign-languaged asking if we could be heard, to which he negatived our (2), and judging from the number of times we had to snatch glances at the carol lyrics we hope people don't record us failing (3).

Still, the audience are appreciative enough to applaud after each song, and our stint was a fairly short stint that took half an hour or so that we were done by 7pm! This was in a way good for us, as we still needed to go Christmas shopping. Stress.

By the time we've breezed through KLCC and Amcorp Mall we've nailed our sis' and bro-in-law's Christmas present, bringing the list down to almost complete with only dad's present to keep looking for! And we observe that in our Christmas shopping today we spent more than we did in our entire Sporeland trip (not including the accomodation charges and cab fees, but in terms of just spending on stuff alone)!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

When I'm On The Stage Tonight

Hmmm there was that one Sunday afternoon when we were on stage during World Choir Day. A very odd World Choir Day, that, as all attending choirs were Chinese, and the entire thing was conducted in Mandarin. Even the YKLS Chamber Choir members that could attend were only the Chinese!

The venue, as we were informed, was (we have to look this up again as it doesn't quite roll off the tongue) the Pusat Perkembangan Ajaran Dewi Kuan Yin Malaysia. Already with such a venue we started wondering just exactly what kind of 'World Choir Day' was this World Choir Day. But, we thought that maybe the organizers decided on the venue due to financial issues (like the Pusat Perkembangan Ajaran Dewi Kuan Yin Malaysia, pant pant, offered the use of their place or something) so we didn't comment much.

Not until we arrived at the place and saw the welcoming commitee of Chinese teens all a-smilin' and lined up on both sides of the entrance in a long line. Something about the way that they stood flanking the stairs and entrance made us want to walk around the building to the back entrance, but we decided to take the front way in the end.

And true enough, all of them started bowing as we walked past, saying "Welcome!" in cheery Mandarin much to our embarassment.

If we were going there as audience we wouldn't have batted an eyelid but we thought since we were going there to perform as part of our musical director's talk, this was a bit too much.

If that didn't confirm how things were going to be for the day, the moment the first fler came on stage and open his mouth, we knew the ching chong ching chong words were going to go through one ear and out the other.

And another thing, we were also probably the youngest choir attending. Looking at the other choir members, it may be that we would automatically call them 'aunty' or 'uncle' by default.

Ok, so we are evil. Well, that was World Choir Day for us then.

And tonight we be heading up a different stage! Although...we don't think calling the KTM Night Train down to Sporeland a stagecoach is appropriate, heh. Now to settle the paranoia of packing everything!

Monday, December 14, 2009

And It's Gonna Be So Different

Given that the December long weekends have started last week (at least, for us all in Selangor), we finally gotten Hyperion to go rent Street Fighter 4 for the PS3.

Already from what we've read of the reviews and what we've seen from YouTube, we know the gameplay won't change so much, yet there'll be new bits. Visually, SF4 is a delight although we cannot understand certain minor issues, like Cammy's costumes (we still prefer her Street Fighter Zero 3 costume, and while the purchasable alternate costume looks similar it's not the same) overall we love how the game looks, especially when performing Ultra Combos.



Oooh Ultra Combos. Took a bit of looking through the move list thankfully provided in-game to find out how to perform them, and they're a pleasure to watch especially when released on an unexpecting opponent.

Anyways gameplay wise, since some of the mechanics were new it took some getting used to playing Street Fighter again, and early in the game we were all gung-ho on playing to unlock the other characters. The best way to do this?

We started by setting the game to 'Easiest' and passing the controller between Bunny, Hyperion and us to go through the opponents. And when we reach SF4's new boss, Seth, we were all stumped, as regardless of the difficulty setting Seth flattened us each and every time after the first round.

It wasn't until Bunny went back home leaving Hyperion and us to keep trying our best that we decided to change the settings even more: 'Easiest' with 1-round matches and in 30 seconds. Then it worked! In one night we'd unlocked almost all the characters save Fei Long, Seth, Akuma and Gouken. Checking the requirements to unlock Akuma and Gouken, and the game being rented, we decided that having unlocked all characters sans Seth, Akuma and Gouken was enough.

Gameplay wise, the new Focus Attack makes things different compared to the Street Fighter Zero series Alpha Counters, as well as SF3's tech block. But it's much more fun to use as well. We certainly see boss Seth abusing the Focus Attack a lot.

The one thing we mourn? The loss of air attacks!

So, all-new Street Fighter! Does it make us want to buy a new PS3 or XBOX360 or upgrade our PC? Thankfully not yet. With us not being able to keep a console permanantly connected to a telly, what more not having a telly to use until the wee hours, our priority gaming has been more towards handhelds, namely our Nintendo DS.

Although...having finished Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story (the Chief is playing it now!) we're eyeing either The Legend Of Zelda: Spirit Tracks or New Super Mario Bros Wii.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

And Suddenly It's Gonna Be

...that we still have another couple of gigs or so for the choir. And after all our talks about freedom from rehearsals and all that, we're still in the choir?

So what happened was that we received an email from our choir assistant director that our choir director will be giving a talk on Malaysian choral music on World Choir Day, and we thought, "There's a World Choir Day?" Still, we ended up saying yes because it didn't look to take up too much time.

And then she sent another email regarding a carolling session, which we initially thought to decline as we would have to take leave to attend and all that, but looking at the dire straits that our finance is at the moment, we just might go for it after all in hopes of getting paid.

We know leaving the choir won't be easy. Wonder how next year will be!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Suddenly I Feel All Right

Because we've managed to finish over half our Christmas shopping! Even when the BFFs were pushing to find out who was participating in this year's Secret Santa, the fact that it was already December did not really hit us until: A) we received a text from our sis asking us what to get the parents at the same time mum asked us if we've already bought dad his present, when both mum and us were at Gardens, and B) we were shopping in Gardens and could not think of a single present idea for anyone.

Then we got slightly stressed out because we hadn't any idea what to buy, and our budget, and a list of whom to buy for.

Admittedly our list isn't very big in the first place. And while we may say we haven't begun Christmas shopping, we actually have already exchanged Christmas presents with our colleague. This happened when we went to the Big Bad Wolf Booksale during our lunch period, picked up a stack of books and included a few books of our colleague's interest that we decided to give her as our Christmas present to her.

She then looked through our stack of books and paid us for the hardback Illustrated Screenplay of Terry Pratchett's The Colour Of Magic, as our present instead. Ah well a happy ending for the two of us at the least.

Oh, and the Chief got us our Christmas present since October! We'd lamented about how Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story was just released and had yet to arrive onto Bolehland's shores, and since the Chief was going to Sporeland for a quick trip we asked to check the price of the game at Sporeland as a gauge.

When we went to the airport to pick the Chief up we were presented with an exclaimation, "Merry Christmas!" and the game!

So anyways, this weekend we were more productive as we've already picked up the easier-to-think-of-Christmas presents, the present whom we're Secret Santa for, and even the Chief's Christmas present (Chief does belong to the not-so-easy category, as already we have not much suggestions left to tell the Chief's Secret Santa!)!

Now we can breathe slightly easier, and focus on getting presents for the family, and then the gift-wrapping...

Friday, December 04, 2009

So Imagine I Was Glad To Hear You're Coming

To our local entrepreneur! Especially since we'd blogged about you a month ago!

And we've been preparing for your arrival by getting the first book from Terry Goodkind's 'Sword Of Truth' series from the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale to read! Truth be told we saw a fair number of books from the series while at the book sale but not knowing how good/bad the series is, and there being twelve books in all (twelve!), we weren't ready to buy as many as possible even though it costed only RM8 per book because of the usual argument (no space to keep books).

Anyways we were so glad to see you on the shelves of our local entrepreneur that we immediately picked you up and paid for you.

And now we can enjoy you in two mediums.

And certainly not roleplaying any characters as the Naughty Nyukster puts it!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Wishing Every Show Was The Last Show

OK, it's more of wishing every blip was the last blip.

Lad just invited us into Google Wave, and until now while we've heard a bit about it from Engadget and Lifehacker, we have no idea what Google Wave is supposed to be about. So far from what we've read before (and even as we fiddle with it now) we think it's more of a sort of forum planning site where those involved can discuss any plans, like for birthdays or trips.

Regardless of whoever started a Wave, anyone could edit any post that has been posted up, and anyone can reply anywhere, so instead of looking for updates at the end of a thread like we used to do when event planning was done using GMail threads, we would probably need to look everywhere!

Thank goodness one of the first things we did upon receiving our invitation was to read the welcome Wave, and it's mentioned that we can check new 'blips' or updates by pressing the space bar.

Right now there's only a few blokes like lad and ethancya and us on Wave (in terms of our social circle that is). A few invites have already been sent out (seeing how Google only gave us eight invites!) and the word is to slowly 'chain-invite' others.

Then we'll see if Wave would make a good place for events planning or whether things will get bitchy. And with more folks on a Wave thread we guess it'll definitely be heavy with updates here and there...

Monday, November 23, 2009

All I Do Is Eat And Sleep And Sing

Actually that should be all we did was eat and sleep and sing and work. Bump-in week just before actual shows meant we all had to be in Actor's Studio Lot 10 by 6.30pm every day (initially bump-in time was 6pm but the parking rates would have bankrupted all the members), get dressed, rehearse songs and dance, have our dinner, and on performance days, get ready for the show after that.

And after the rehearsal/performance, it was to the gym for a quick shower before going for a quick supper (or just changing out of our costumes and heading to sup with friends who came for the show), then heading home to zonk out.

Now that it's all over (freedom, hurrah!), we can get back to doing other stuff!

Like going for BodyCombat and shouting our head off! And other cardio classes in gym!

We've already started with BodyJam last week when Junior told us about the All-Stars BodyJam class that was on on Thursday, where we danced to relatively new releases of Jam for one and a half hours. Interestingly, the only track which we really enjoyed? 'Rich Girl' from BJ34. It's currently BJ50 now.

GOODNESS WE'RE STILL HANGING ON TO TRACKS FROM OVER THREE YEARS AGO! BODYJAM 34 WAS IN THIRD QUARTER 2005!

And not to mention we've got movies to catch up with! Now that there's no more Wednesday evening rehearsals we've already done Astro Boy last Wed when the Chief won free preview tickets, and this week there be some chinese movie and Ninja Assassin to watch!

Speaking of movies, finally we get to chill out on Friday night with the guys for a dvd night! And our choice of movie? Paranormal Activity. After hearing a fair bit about it we thought it would be something good, but it turns out that the copy we got had the toned-down ending, as lad informs us today that there's another version with a bigger thrill factor.

Blair Witch is still far better. Perhaps if lad gets the alternative ending copy of Paranormal Activity we'll all watch it again.

And best yet was having quality time with the Chief for the weekend where we take it easy!

Happiness is tasting the freedom you never knew you lost, even when it is doing something you enjoy.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

When I Called You Last Night From Glasgow

Dear Janvier in our future,

We're writing to you from 6 years ago, just thought of reminding you of our choir times while we were studying in Strathclyde. We tried calling you but well, waiting six years for you to respond will take far too long.

Of course, seeing how we are writing to ourself in the future, you should know what happened already but knowing how our memory tends to be spotty we thought this letter would be a good refresher of your past, our present.

Well, now that the University of Strathclyde Music Society has finish performing Faure's Requiem in the Barony Hall, it's time to focus on the upcoming Canty! We'll be singing in the Scottish Plainsong Choir for this, and songs include hymns, Gregorian chants and medieval music. Definitely something different.

So far we see new people joining for the Canty - since this is open to the public to join the Plainsong Choir. There's going to be a few rehearsals only for this in Edinburgh and Glasgow but we'll only attend the nearby ones in Glasgow. And of the three performance venues we shall only go for the performance in Old St Paul's Episcopal Church in Edinburgh and for St Andrew's In The Square in Glasgow. Don't think that we want to be that Adventurous to go all the way to Dundee and try and find St Salvador's Episcopal church on the day itself. We worry we'll get lost.

We'll definitely perform in the Glasgow venue not only because we're staying there but also because that performance will be recorded and we will want to get ourself a copy for keepsakes, and not to mention we can proudly say that we were singing in that recording too!

And there's going to be some movement as well for some songs! We can't really call it choreography as all that we're going to do is sing a song as we all walk in, and when we leave. Other than that it'll be the usual stand-sing-sit variations.

So how are you getting along 6 years from now? Still singing? We kinda think that once we leave uni, it's going to be most likely that if we want to sing in a choir it would be back in church. Or maybe no more choir. Well, we'll find out more in the future.

PS. We would like it if you could reply, but that, too, we think would take years.

Yours,
Janvier

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I Was Sick And Tired Of Everything

Well there were some members who were definitely sick, and after each rehearsal everyone was tired.

With the rainy season here again and it raining almost every day, there's been a bug going around again and a few people have been sniffling and hacking, especially audible after we've run through some songs and were waiting for feedback from our musical director or director or choreographer.

One bunch of members who are sick include members of the Red Myvi (Shuku, Louie [oh cannot resist using his first name!] and Carrie), as from one member getting sick soon all three of them were sniffling, hacking and such like, Shuku has gone from singing alto to bass overnight.

We could not resist using the term, 'An incubus of viral plague,' when refering to the Red Myvi.

Even us! So far all we've felt was a slight soreness in our throat when straining to project our voice to the end of the theatre.

Other than that, everyone's been doing their best, such that after every rehearsal at the Actor's Studio everybody goes home tired. Singing can be very tiring!

And today, it begins! This year's performance! Rhythmic Roots at The Actor's Studio Lot 10! If you ever wonder how music from the various ethnicities and cultures from the Asian countries sound like, drop by to find out!

We can almost taste the freedom after that!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Janvier Soldat And The Sleazy Swim Shower

It was a bright morning when Janvier woke up one weekend. Not by his own volition, as normally given any weekend he would sleep all the way till late afternoon. And although today he was suppose to be up and ready by noon so that he could head off for a good dim sum brunch before rehearsals, instead of being able to sleep all the way till 11.30am he found himself wide awake at 9.30am.

So what did Janvier decide to do?

A few things probably factor in here. The invites by Junior to come swim at his place that Janvier couldn't attend. Also, the fact that the last time Janvier went swimming and getting some sun was his trip to Phuket.

So Janvier decided that it would be the day where he pays his first visit to the Kelana Jaya Swimming Pool. He tried searching online for some information about the place, like how much is the entry fee, lockers, operating hours, and what he could garner was that the lockers are dirty and old and the advice was to just keep everything with you.

Janvier packs his bags and head off to the pool. It is about 10.45am when he arrives at the KJ Swimming Pool and he parks, pays the RM4 entry fee and...gets lost. He sees stairs heading upstairs and downstairs, and unclear directions as to the men's changing room. After wandering past the surau and all he finds the changing room, and sees the lockers outside.

Those are terrible lockers. Rusty, dusty, musty. We want to keep our belongings safe and clean. The lockers do not give that impression.

In the changing room, there is a wide open space with tiled seats. Janvier decides to scout the area for changing rooms. There was none, so he heads into a shower cubicle to change into his swim trunks.

Heading to the pool Janvier gets slightly daunted at the length of the pool. Olympic sized? He knows that he may have problems swimming the length of the pool, since he never had good stamina. Also, for a weekend the pool was not as crowded as Janvier feared it would be. There were a couple of people lying on the side of the pool working on their tan, and children playing at the corners and a few people doing their laps on some lanes.

Janvier puts his bag and Crocs aside somewhere where he can keep an eye on it, dons on his goggles and jumps into the pool and swims to an empty lane. He then does the breast stroke to the other end of the pool.

Three-quarter-ways down the pool Janvier was hyperventilating already. However ego did not allow him to stop swimming and so he gasped for breath while struggling to the edge of the pool. Sweet bliss was reaching the end of the pool, where all he could do was lay his head at the edge and gasped till his breathing slowed back to normal.

Janvier would have rested for a fair bit, except he got pressured when the swimmer on the next lane arrived, rested a while, then started swimming back. And Janvier noticed that each stroke of that swimmer was equivalent to two or three strokes of his. So Janvier started swimming again.

Only to give up when he had about five more strokes to reach the end, and he walked-paddled that bit.

At that point Janvier saw that there was not much time left for him to do any more laps, and so he decided to just bob in the pool and get some sun. And around the same time, the suntanner near him got up.

Janvier looked at the tanner. And looked away. So did the suntanner.

Janvier took a double take. So did the suntanner.

Janvier and Sinner took a triple take before recognizing each other.

Janvier was not wearing his glasses, of course. Sinner probably did not wear his contacts either, hence it took so long before they id'ed each other. They chatted until 11.30am, and then Janvier took his leave. Especially when Sinner told him that his face was turning red.

Back in the changing room Janvier's senses suddenly became much more aware. It did not require special senses for it. When men walk back and forth between aisles three times without any reason, or keep looking out from their shower cubicle while showering their hair more than once, Janvier could feel a chill that he did not feel coming out from the pool.

Grasping his bag he quickly headed to the nearest shower cubicle. Only to find that there was no place for him to hang his bag. He headed to the next row, and saw that those cubicles had nails hammered outside, so he hung up his bag and began rummaging for his shower gel. It took some time because the nail was quite high up and it was not easy for Janvier to find the shower gel that ended up buried at the bottom.

All the while standing out there with one hand in his bag, Janvier felt eyes on him. He felt as if he was parading for others and that made him rush frantically to get that shower gel and get into a cubicle quick. What really propelled him into the cubicle and lock up was when people started walking past and rather too close for comfort.

Janvier decided that he would take a very quick shower, dress up, head back and then take a proper shower. He also thought he heard a moan from somewhere.

Back home, as he takes a proper shower, he notices that even when spending less than an hour in the pool there was a noticiable difference in skin tone! Delighted, he now wonders if it is worth heading there again just to tan up...

Thursday, November 05, 2009

DVD Deliberations

So we've finished Battlestar Galactica and Hercule Poirot for now, and of late instead of watching DVDs of movies we've missed over the past months, we've been watching...the director's commentry for Lord Of The Ring's Fellowship Of The Ring.

And later we'll go back and watch the designer's commentry, the production and post-production team commentry, and the actor's commentry. By the end of it all we'll probably need to buy new DVDs again.

Why the commentry and not a movie? 'Cos we've watched LotR before, and so can easily stop any time, while if we watch a movie we'd like to finish it in one seating. Not really feasible when we only come back from rehearsals near midnight.

Also, we've resorted to watching LotR because we've an inkling to watch odd films if we were to go buy DVDs. It started with us remembering a phrase: Clockwork Orange. Never did get a chance to look it up so we wiki'ed it, and that led to Soylent Green later on because we wanted a synopsis of the movie, and then that led to reading synopsis of movies on Wikipedia like Stephen King book-to-movie titles and to other Kubrick films especially 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Clockwork Orange's idea of ultraviolence then is violent, but from the way it's acted out (as watched from YouTube) it doesn't seem so, nowadays movies are rather violent too. It's hard to picture it as violent when Alex sings 'Singing In The Rain' while attacking someone...



From there, since we started on movie synopsis we thought we might as well read up Soylent Green's synopsis. And from this trailer, well, you don't even need to watch the entire film. Just watch the trailer and then, go look up the secret of Soylent Green if you didn't already know and would like to know.



What we do want to catch if possible, is 2001: A Space Odyssey.



But the one question that runs through our mind each time we think of buying the shows to watch: These are old movies. Do we have the patience to sit through them any more?! Nostalgia is one thing where we have already readily accepted the fact that certain elements of a show is old, like the original Star Trek and the fake panels in the background of the Enterprise, but for shows we've not watched or heard before?

We should be preparing for movies like this instead, yes?



Prince of Persia movie! The games were good, but we don't have any feel for Jake Gyllenhaal but hey if the movie's good we can live with it.

Asides from movies, the only DVD telly series we're interested in? Oddly enough Gossip Girl is still sitting on our shelves as we don't find the interest for it much, but we're keen on picking up Monty Phyton's Flying Circus, and The Legend Of The Seeker when and if it comes out over here.



Hmmm should start reading Terry Goodkind's books then regardless of the differences.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

My Life As A Necromancer With The Tribes From The East

Life as a necromancer, as I remember, was always glorious. The power extended to us necromancers, gave us great abilities, allowing us to raise the dead after we slew our enemies in battle. As a necromancer of great strength not only could I raise the dead, my powers allowed me to raise Skeleton Archers instead of mere skeletons to bolster my army strength.

Armies tremble to see my banner and horde of skeletons ready to rain death upon them, and while some desperately flee others readily offer their allegiance to me, in the futile hope that I would let them live. Foolish mortals.

What way is there to join an army of undead, but to be undead?

But if the mere mortals could prove their worth, I allow them to live...for a while. Infernal Succubi Mistresses have seduced me to let them live before, showing me they can shoot fireballs to hit everyone. Sylvan Hunters show their archery skills. Sylvan Druids, Shadow Elven Matriachs, Human Zealots and Inquisitors all show their magical prowess. Dragons, Titans, Cyclops, Angels and Demons are all welcomed.

For the rest, they serve me better as skeleton archers, or vampires lords, or archliches (although I fondly remember the time when they called themselves Power Liches).

Ahhh. The glory days when I stormed my enemies' castles with over two thousand skeleton archers.

I retired sometime when the Tribes Of The East arrived, as I had other duties to perform, staying only long enough to infiltrate a Stronghold, pretend to be a Barbarian and lead an army of Goblins, Orcs, Wyverns and Pao-kais, even Cyclops to march the lands. I find that they make excellent vampires, the way they thrist for their victims' blood. But the way they find their goblins expendable makes me feel that the goblins would be much more useful as skeleton archers.

Now I have come back from retirement, only to find that my necromantic powers have changed! By the tears of Asha, I have been weakened! Where I used to be able to raise skeletons after every battle nonstop, leading to my warmongering and bloodlusty charges, now I find that my necromantic powers limited to this thing called 'Dark Energy'. With this Dark Energy drained before the week ends, I cannot raise any new dead! And now what we raise is dependant on who we kill!

Coming out of retirement it was wise that I decided to visit my neighbour and tentative Sylvan ally, General Bun, or Bunny to his friends. Having impersonated a Sylvan Ranger before, the two of us have slightly different opinions about running the army. I deplore his wanton treatment of pixies, as I prefer their superior sprites. Also, he prefers his Arcane Archers while I would rather the Master Hunters.

Also it is obvious that General Bunny takes care everytime he attacks, strategically splitting and arranging his armies before marching into battle, while I send them en masse, knowing that their Eternal Servitude would bring them back to life should they fall in battle.

It has been two weeks claiming new territories for my Necropolis, and already I deplore this newfound Dark Energy dependancy to which my army growth is now limited.

Hmmm. Perhaps we should pick another faction to go to should our time as a Necromancer be over.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Nightly Nociception

After a couple of major incidents, we've come to observe that if we were to suffer from anything that would keep us awake, it would be around 6am before we would be able to drop off from utter exhaustion (regardless of further pain or suffering).

It all started on Monday at rehearsal.

See, for the dikir barat song choreography the lot of us are supposed to sit cross-legged on the floor and clap and sing and whatnot. And on Monday we were sitting cross-legged on the floor for a good hour or more, we had a large blister on the outer side of our right foot. And by the time we noticed the blister it had already burst.

Normally this would only be a mild inconvenience. We'd just need to go get a plaster and problem solved. And this we did.

Come yesterday we see a few others also with plasters on their right foot. Heh.

And last night as we were sleeping, the pain started.

Perhaps a little explaination will be needed. See, we had an operation yonks ago that left our right leg slightly weaker and the foot partly numb although we still do have certain amount of motor control thankfully. And it's 'partly numb' ya, not totally numb. Don't think that we can go around poking a needle into our right foot or putting a naked flame near to it won't hurt us.

At the time we'd left the blister exposed as we were done showering and had to change our plaster. At first we thought that there was some rough residue stuck on the blister wound. A mild brush across the wound and once we were satisfied that there was nothing on it, we slumped back to sleep.

Only to be disturbed by a sharp pain again. A sharp, cold piercing sensation at not only the wound but the skin surrounding the wound area too. And it stung frequently too! Everytime we think we could drop off to sleep, we would get a sting that would get our heart beating faster for a while and us unable to rest.

Think of someone taking an ice-cold needle, and piercing it into your foot. Make that ten needles. And then taking it out, letting the pain subside and for you to recuperate. Only to pierce you again about about 2 minutes later. Continue for the entire night.

We suspected that it was due to the nerves on our foot but there was only so many things we could try to remedy the situation at past 3am at night.

Panadol. Antihistamines to help sleep it through. Cleaning the wound and applying a fresh layer of Fucidin. Oh and plaster it up again.

Nothing worked. Oh we didn't take the stronger painkillers as we didn't think adding possible gastric pain to our current situation would be helpful. Oh and our muscle relaxant was left in the office.

We were even desperate enough to try dabbing our ulcer gel onto the surrounding area of the wound just to see if the lignocaine would help numb it till we fall asleep.

No such luck.

Further desperation led to us applying the gel onto the wound as well.

Still no luck.

Possibly the only thing that worked was whacking our foot to cause more pain, but this kind of pain is the kind expected from a normal wound that would heat up slightly and lead to a mild sustained and dull pain. But eventually the sharp nerve attacks would return.

Somehow we must had knocked out in exhaustion. Throughout the entire night we never did look at the time, because doing so we would not only know what time it was, but we would automatically calculate the number of hours of sleep we would have left and despair. But we do know that by 6am we would be totally exhausted because Wee Wog has already woken up by then and have harrassed our parents to let her out to the porch so that she can do her business.

We've now gotten better painkillers courtesy of our nearby clinic, and tonight we shall see if we can sleep through it!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Our Rhythmic Roots

We think we'll just put up the ad for Young KL Singer's upcoming performance as it is for now.

Great Eastern
presents

The Young KL Singers
in
Rhythmic Roots
celebrating the cultural and musical heritage that is Malaysia.

Last year, we explored the development of jazz. This year, we are exploring our cultural roots.

As in years past, The Young KL Singers (YKLS) will once more be staging another exciting upcoming production entitled “Rhythmic Roots”, from 12th to 15th November 2009, in the Actors Studio, LOT 10.

Our group of 30 passionate, music-loving performers enters its 11th production since its inception in 2002, after achieving outstanding success in previous shows including the sold-out performances of “Simply Andrew Lloyd Webber” and “Breaking It Down!”. Two of our performances, “Through the Barricades” and “Move It!”, have won the Kakiseni Audience Choice Award in the Boh Cameronian Arts Awards in 2003 and 2007 respectively. In all 10 productions, the choir has performed a wide repertoire of music, ranging from Broadway musical pieces by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Rogers and Hammerstein, to the colourful rhythms and rhymes of jazz. After many years of primarily Western repertoire however, The YKLS were inspired to discover our own roots by looking to the music originating within the multiracial cultures of Malaysia and other Asian countries. This became the impetus for this year’s production, aptly entitled “Rhythmic Roots”.

“Rhythmic Roots” is a journey through the various ethnicities and cultures of Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, China and India, and our indispensable contributions to our own cultural heritage. Baba and Nyonya folk songs, Malay and Indian traditional pieces, and songs tracing the development of Chinese culture in Malaysia from its mainland China origins are some of the highlights that will definitely be heard in this upcoming production. It will be directed by Joe Hasham, a multi-award winning director, actor and writer and his involvement in “Rhythmic Roots” is something that the YKLS is very excited about!

One thing that makes this production unique amongst all other past YKLS productions is that for the first time, all four co-founders of the choir are working together. “Rhythmic Roots” is truly a very special show which emphasizes the importance of origins – where we come from, who we are, and the many, many influences and cultures which have shaped Malaysia’s musical heritage into what it is today. This is definitely something not to be missed.

Songs that would be sung during the show:
Aeyaya Balano Sakh-Kah-D (Konkani/Indian)
Yuet Kwong Kwong (Chinese Cantonese)
Gai Bintang (Indonesian Madurese)
Pok Pok Alimpako (Philipino Maranao)
Janger (Indonesian)
Modern Youngters (Chinese Hokkien)
Soleram (Indonesian)
Lolo Re Babu (Konkani/Indian)
Loy Kra Tong (Thai)
Wau Bulan (Malaysian)
Kami (Malaysian)
Bua Kaaw (Thai)
Sin Sin Si Batu Manikam (Indonesian Tapanuli)

happening at:
The Actors Studio@Lot 10
12 - 14 Nov@9pm
Charity Matinée: 14 Nov@3pm
15 Nov@3pm

tickets:
rm43 (centre seat) rm 33 (side seat)
call/walk in: TAS@Lot 10 box office - 03 2142 2009 03 22143 2009
walk in only: klpac box office@Sentul Park, Axcess@Head Office(Jln Semangat), 1 Utama, Alamanda Putrajaya

artistic and music director - Susanna Saw San San
choreographer - Lakshman Balakrishnan
assistant music director - Tracy Wong Wei Wen
producer - Denise Kong Hsu-Pei
director - Joe Hasham

LUCKY DRAW:
4 prizes to be won at every show*
(Victoria Station dining vouchers and Nescafé Gold hampers)
*excluding charity matinee


title sponsor
Great Eastern

supported by
Zanders, Creative Clicks, Victoria Station, Nescafé Gold, HSBC in the Arts and The Actors Studio Teater Rakyat.

http://www.theactorsstudio.com.my/

Goodness we've less than a month to go!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Back On Top!

Now last weekend the Actor's Studio opened at Lot 10, with an Opening Gala performance on Saturday night and a Mixed Bill of performances on Sunday afternoon (plus more this whole week actually). Very quickly now, there was a drum circle bit at the start to entertain the folks while they had drinks out on the rooftops before coming inside the Actor's Studio, the Hands Percussion played drums, the Young KL Singers sang a couple of songs, a Butoh dance by the Nyoba Kan dance company, Douglas Lim had everyone laughing, a Short + Sweet Malay play of non-epic proportions, a dance by Michael Voon and other people not from the dance genre, more songs from the KLPac Sinfonietta's String Ensemble and baritone Eddie Chin, and to round it all up an Indian classical dance by Ramli Ibrahim and Guna.

The first thing of note: quite a number of performances (especially when it comes to dance) have people showing off their abs. And they've got great abs. Like the butoh danceer, although even if you click for a close up it's probably not so clear from this pic.

Check below for a vid of the drum circle - members from YKLS and Actor's Studio each took a musical instrument, and played a steady tempo creating an awesome sound! Then when everyone was ready the drum circle procession began - led by a butoh dancer from Nyoba Kan, the drum circle players and some belly dancers whom we cannot credit because we have no idea who they were.



Taking videos played merry hell with our iXus in two ways. Memory space and battery life. Memory space because we've never really fiddled with the different settings when it comes to video taking, thus a 5 minute video like this actually took up 600MB. Thankfully we'd Windows Movie Maker to help shrink it down with little compensation in terms of resolution. Have yet to play about with iMovie...because we still don't own a Mac.

And by the time the butoh dancers were performing our iXus started shutting down and telling us to change the battery pack. Thankfully after a while we could turn it on again and take more photos and videos, and the rest of the time we took photos with our L'Amour instead.

Maybe not buff abs from the members of the Hands Percussion, but their costume got us curious. As the Chief points out to us, normally for drummers they wear sleeveless costumes.

Dato Faridah and Joe. Host and hostess and the people behind the Actor's Studio.

And the man who helped keep the Actor's Studio going after they left Bangsar Shopping Centre - Tan Sri Francis Yeoh.

Then we have Douglas Lim on stage for laughter. He also points out to the folks that the stage is a Hanamichi thrust stage, which is something like a fashion runway stage. This allows for the audience to be right up close to the performance. Okay, so Douglas Lim doesn't show much skin for his performance.

The short Malay play, Adiwijaya's 'Allah' performed by Abdul Qahar Aqilah and Tuan Faisal Azmy. It was in Malay, using vocab that's even a bit out of our depth (but yes we would understand even a statement like, "Puki hanya tahu terima jantan saja!") but after watching it three times we get the whole picture. The first time watching it, the ending was definitely a shocker!

Okay, so the two of them don't reveal much skin either.



Michael Voon's Diaries '09 had dancers who aren't dancers by profession (we think). First time watching everyone we had the impression that they were all martial artists. Energetic performance. We were impressed that Michael could dance with so much energy that you'd never know he had a motor accident and was limping noticiably just last year when he directed YKLS's Breakin' It Down!

Oh and for the other dancers. Maybe it's because they aren't from a dance background, save gal Joey, who we think does ballet, their abs are more like what you'd see on guys the gym with their 6-pack potato buns.

Sutra Dance Theatre with Ramli Ibrahim and Guna. Their moves were very strong yet graceful. And Ramli Ibrahim was definitely still in shape, and his abs were similar to that of the butoh dancer from the drum circle procession!



And that wraps up the performances for the weekend! There's still some shows going on this week (free!) for those interested in checking the place out!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Our 30 Minutes Of Californian Celebrityhood

And it happened on a Sunday. And after the Mixed Bill performances for the opening of the new Actor's Studio @ Lot 10 too!

It all started with a rumble, and we knew our time had come. We had better get ready before the doors open and catch us unprepared!

Sigh. We still don't know if it was lunch. First the Chief had the urge to go then us, but at different times. The Chief went before rehearsals, just as we arrived at Lot 10 and for us as we were done and was about to head to Pavilion for a snack.

Anyways, with Celebrity Fitness (previously California Fitness) just next to the Actor's Studio at the rooftops of Lot 10 (the layout may lead to some humourous moments, where people looking for the Actor's Studio might just wander around and end up looking through the glass into California Fitness' yoga studio) we considered our options.

We could use the toilets in the Actor's Studio. They're still relatively new and clean, the booths in the public-access toilets are quite spacious, or we could use the smaller toilets in the changing room. And there are shower cubicles too, only we did not bring along the necessities like soap and a towel.

Then there is the nice toilet in Starhill, with soft ambient lights, an attendant to pump water for you to wash your hands, and scented candles.

Or if not Starhill, then those in Marriott or Westin. Hotel toilets pass the Janvier Hygiene Standard when it comes to public toilets...well, most hotel toilets.

But we decided on using the gym toilets because: it's an opportunity to have a look inside California/Celebrity Fitness Lot 10 branch, plus we could take a quick shower to cool off after our show.

And so we strode in, got ourself towels and headed into the men's locker room. Our valuables were already with the Chief, as the lockers have no lock and require members to bring their own strong padlock, so all we had to do stuff our clothes and shoes inside a locker, and we would only be in trouble if someone did decide to swipe our clothes.

Interestingly there is no changing room. There is definitely much more lockers than we expected, and it's a large and spacious locker room. It's interesting how the shoe lockers can double up as seats.

Once we've relieved ourself it was time for a shower. And here we get to see the shower stalls with shower curtains as only described to us before. Well well. On the upside, we like that it's spacious and the tiling is nice. There's the familiar plastic soap/shampoo/face wash dispenser, although in the stall we chose the labels were unfortunately missing so we had no idea what we were using.

But the curtains! It definitely only fitted with a hint of a slight peekable gap at either side. And no way to fasten it on either side too! On the side of the stall were only a small hook to hang your towel, and that is outside the stall so we'd to hope no one had the naughty intention to steal that while we were showering.

Or feign innocence and yank the curtains open while we were showering, pretending that the stall was not in use.

Hmmm. Should we wash our hair? Perhaps not. We don't have our hair gel or clay with us.

Done with our shower! Time to dry off and change back into our clothes. We reach for our towel and...yes, it's still there. We dry off, and head back to our locker. Our clothes are still there. Great. We dress up, put on our socks and shoes and...

...drat, we forgot our towel card. Got to take off our shoes and socks, and head back into the shower stalls. Thankfully no one has entered it so we could get our card and head back to our locker. Drying our feet and heading to use the hairdryers we notice the hair gel and hand lotion dispensers and thought, drat, we could have washed our hair after all.

Returning the towels to the towel counter we headed out to find the Chief, get our stuff and head on for yu tiao in soya milk.

And so ends our 30 minutes of Californian Celebrityhood.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Janvier Soldat And The Geeky Gathering

Gutsy and gungho. That's how we should describe the guys when it comes to thematic partying. Especially after lad's birthday celebration! Dressing up for a birthday party has never really required much bravery, even for Adique's costume party as we all had a private room for that (not to mention our costume then didn't attract much attention!), but this time with a theme of...

...We've to search the emails for this...

lad: I've got a good idea for a theme! Computer Geek! Time to dress up as nerdy and geeky as you can, with clashing colours and neatly side parted hair and thick glasses!

Our table was set in the centre of the restaurant, making us the literally the centre of attraction to all who were there that night. Not only we were a table of ten, we were loud (both in terms of volume and fashion haha) and everyone literally had their eyes on us all wondering if we were for real.

Thankfully, dressed this geekily, when we go back to our usual self we should barely be remembered. Barely.

Cross fingers.

We were told we looked like a nerdy teacher instead of a nerdy geeky student. It's tough looking for geekwear, since what really consists of geekwear? We can be thankful that in schooldays we were all made to wear uniforms, so that fashion faux pas was avoided from a young age. But that also means we didn't have much to wear that could be labelled as geeky, unless we went shopping for stuff like braces/suspenders and bow ties of a garish colour.

The birthday cake from FatBoyBakes!

...Hunts through emails again...

Esteban: Hey not sure if there are plans for cakes already.. just thought I’d share this, tried the brandy chocolate cake for my friend’s birthday and found it good and also a bit different than the usual cakes we have.. OC keen?
http://fatboybakes.blogspot.com/

Seeing that Esteban was recommending more of FBB's cakes, we decided to get FBB's tiramisu again, just as we did last year. Esteban made it clear to have more almonds on the cake, as lad likes almonds. We kinda thought that lad liked the almonds in desserts drinks like almond milk and not really as in more nuts on the cake, so actually left out the request for more almonds when ordering from FBB. Shhh shhh.

The cake was delish.

Here's the birthday boy getting his presents from Geeky-Nerdy-Germ, as written on her name tag! One moment geeky girl, and after the party she magically changed (with the help of a beret of sorts and the removal of the tie etc) into a gamin!

And Esteban wins the best-dressed competition, receiving his prize from the birthday boy, outdoing Lemon with his mouse necktie with pocket USB keypad, by suffering the entire dinner with his pants waaaaay above his waist! By the end of the party Esteban's stomach was aching from having the belt crush his innards!

And we heard that for our birthday party next year, the suggested theme would be Sailormoon. Heaven help us, birthday boy (and girl Puddy) will veto that idea out!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Team Little Mermaid And The Rasa Rasa Hunt

Last Saturday saw members from different treasure hunt teams joining forces to take down the treasure hunt known as the Rasa-Rasa Food Hunt 2009! Ian lir Cel, Andoo, Tuff Teacher and us got together to brush up on our treasure-hunting skills as we still needed practise honing our ability to spot keywords for anagrams and the likes as well as figuring them out quickly.

Team Layton has already participated in three other treasure hunts before this, and admittedly there were times the questions had us stumped. The way the questions are phrased in a treasure hunt doesn't comply to standard puzzle questions, and wouldn't make sense if the answer isn't nearby to look out for.

So, join more hunts!

The one thing we never did like about any treasure hunt was the fact that they started at some God forsaken hour before the sun rises. Like having to wake up at 5.45am thereabouts so that we could reach the venue before 7am. For this hunt, we had some 140 teams meeting up at the National Science Centre car park.

Stickers were handed out during the briefing a couple of days back, to stick to the car.

And then we had to figure out a team name for ourselves.



Except that instead of calling ourselves Sea Slug Team, we decided on Team Little Mermaid. That is to say, we kept suggesting that team name like how Osaka said it while the others tried to think of a better name. Team members Little Mermaid, Sebastian, Flounder and Scuttle. The reason for such a team name? The Little Mermaid soundtrack was playing throughout the treasure hunt on repeat! In the end Little Mermaid caved in and put the team name as Team Little Mermaid after all, haha!

After a quick briefing of what we were suppose to do, it's time to flag off!

This treasure hunt had some unique (read: hi-tech) aspects we'd not come across in previous hunts. In our briefing we were told that it would be require GPS, or a mobile phone with map faciliites, or a road map, a digital camera, and at least one team member with a Maxis line.

The reason for the Maxis line? Maxis was promoting their new 301 Finder service, and so we had to use text 301 to look for six food places, an automated teller machine, and a police station. And not only to text the service for the places, we had to take photos at the places as suggested by the 301 Finder service and print out the photos for submission! We suspect that, as Maxis was one of the main sponsors for this event, we had to do this extra bit of resource-wasting work.

Texting them was a bit of a hassle. First we'd to text them, and they would reply with 3 places, and we had to reply them with a 1, 2 or 3 to get more details of a place...

Texts received are free of charge, hence the RM0. But the amount we spent on texting them for this?! Hmmm at least the photo of our phone showing the text looks good, heh.

So now we have a text leading us to House Of Fishball, we've to take a photo there, making sure our team number could be seen.

We borrowed Bunny's GPS and Junior's 'The Star Guide To Malaysian Street Food' to help us out, and the GPS came in handy in identifying streets quickly as for the first part of this treasure hunt, there was no tulips/road-by-road guide, rather, we were told which street to look out for what particular questions! Luckily we had the GPS to save time, otherwise we might have been looking for answers on the wrong streets!

After much figuring out what treasures we were required to buy for the hunt, running about Hartamas, Kota Damansara, Damansara Uptown, SS2, and Bangsar to solve our treasure hunt questions, solving food challenges in Jaya 33, we sprinted off to the final venue - Solaris Dutamas for the final food challenge!

Which involved one of us making the best roti canai in a group of three. Sebastian/Flounder/Scuttle came out tops!

Once the treasure hunt was over we had time off to rest up before the dinner and prize giving ceremony at night at 3K complex. Team Litte Mermaid snagged...

33rd place! Oh well at least we got a food hamper although we didn't get the cash prizes...

By the way, Little Mermaid was too shy to head up to collect the prize hamper, even though she was the only one who fit the role of Little Mermaid...

After that, Little Mermaid suggested that we all go to Snowflake in Subang Jaya for desserts. An interesting place. You order your dessert, then sit and wait at your table with...

...the Snowflake 'Beeping UFO'. You can click the photo for a closeup as to what's written on it. What it does is start beeping when your order's ready, so you don't have to wait in line for your desserts to be ready.

Yummy way to end the day!

Friday, October 02, 2009

DVD Decisions

"Yo! Will you be going to the Games Cafe anytime this week?"
"Oh hey! What's up?"
"Just figurin', could you help get me the Battlestar Galactica series?"
"Ahhh..."
"Unless you don't want your copy anymore...."
"I'm holding on to mine, thanks."
"Well dad wants to watch, so I'm looking to get him a set."

And with that, Andy found himself paying a visit to his local friendly disctributor in Toon Doctor's Mail Park to grab seasons 2 and 3 of Battlestar Galactica, as requested by Corey.

Sure, he could have just passed his copy of Battlestar Galactica over to Corey first, then buy new ones again later but he wanted to see if there was any new stuff the disctributor may have gotten. It has been quite a while since his last visit anyway.

Andy knows he's a bit fickle when it comes to buying stuff from his disctributor. On the one hand, there were many shows and titles that Andy was interested in watching, but given Andy's usually-packed schedule he does not have much time to sit down for a movie. Juggling his timetable meant that something else would be facing some down time so that Andy could allocate a bit of TV time.

The first thing Andy does when he steps into the store is to grab Battlestar Galactica off the shelves and place them on the counter for the disctributor so that they could pack that ready. Then it was time for Andy to prowl the store for anything else.

It may not be a big store, just your average shoplot, but there's a lot of material to cover.

There's the folder of latest shows released. This folder Andy flips through quickly and, unless it was a show he knows he is not going to be able to watch on the big screen or is dying to catch he passes it by, thinking to wait for a copy that is closer to the original content like featurettes and commentries and deleted scenes - stuff that's usually missing when a copy first comes out.

Once done with latest shows, he flips through every folder of shows - all arranged alphabetically. He's looking ofr shows to add to The List - a list of shows that he is interesting in buying, but no urgency to get them just yet. Shows on The List would be bought when Andy decides to splurge and shop in bulk - he gets one free show for every five that he buys.

Nope. There was nothing new to add to The List.

Not finding anything new of interest, he heads on to the next section - discs with multiple shows on a disc. Here he looks through for shows that aren't commonly popular - somehow the disctributor had decided to lump together shows from BBC or documentaries or even the odd television serials together with the multi-show DVDs. He was hoping to find the Miss Marple tv series in that pile, but no luck this time.

Well, there's always next time.

Back to the shelves of popular tv series. Oh look, a classy box set of Sex And The City with all seasons from one to sex six. Hmmm, he would never finish that anytime soon. The L Word. House - he liked House, watched a few episodes at the beginning when it was showing on telly, but never being able to follow it weekly he's stopped watching. Heroes - he ought to remember to get the rest of the episodes from his friend who downloaded the new seasons. Star Trek - whoa look at the number of seasons! No way he was going to try and start watching back an old series like that.

Hmmm. He has been browsing for an hour already, and it was getting late. Since he is already getting a couple of seasons of Battlestar Galactica, he wonders if the disctributor would sweeten the deal.

"Hi, so, how much will the stuff I want cost?"

"Oh, these ah? Let's see...a hundred and twenty."
"Hmmm...got any better deals?"
"Ahhhhh boss for this tv series the prices are already fixed prices one. Cannot give cheaper already."

Unfazed, Andy heads back to the shelves of tv serials and picks out Monty Phyton's Flying Circus.

"Throw this in?"
"Errr one hundred and eighty. This one six discs, sorry ya boss still cannot give cheaper. Tell you what, you add this set I give you one free D9 movie ok?"
"Nah, it's ok. I'll just take the Battlestar Galactica for now."
"Anything else for you, boss? 'Special' movies maybe?"

The disctributor nodded his head towards the little room under the staircase as he said this. Andy had noticed the room before, in his previous visits. Sometimes the room was open and lit, sometimes it was shut. Initially Andy figured it to be a broom cupboard but it turns out that the disctributor stored stuff in there for less-than-innocent minds.

"Nah, it's okay. I'm also tired already, thanks."
Not to mention I could ask for them from friends who'd already downloaded them for free online if I was interested, he thought.

And with that he paid up and left.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Janvier Soldat And The Glutted GMail

And so not too long back we notice a yellow box on the top of our GMail page. Thought it was something to do with sucky internet connectivity that meant our GChat didn't load or something along those lines, till we read it.

'You are almost out of space on your GMail account. You can view our tips on reducing your email storage or purchase additional storage.'

Scrolled all the way down to the bottom of the page and saw 'You are currently using 7005MB (95%) of your 7374MB'.

Good grief.

Of course the emails have been piling up over the years, GMail did offer a handy amount of space when compared to Hotmail and Yahoo back then. And we've not deleted many emails from our GMail account!

And it's been steadily going on the rise! As of today we are at 99% full!

We'd started deleting stuff like songs we get through the GMail that we don't listen to, and it went well when we got down from 97% back to 95%...then half and hour later we receive a stack of emails with pictures from Project Blue Party (which we're grateful, because as OC we hadn't been able to take photos)! Now it's 99%!

Decided to start with our oldest email to filter out...and came across the welcome email from the GMail Team dated September 2004, and then a forwarded email from otousan on behalf of Puddy for celebrating her birthday dated January 2005. Goodness. It's been so long already.

And being us, with such a scatterbrain memory, we won't just simply delete all our old messages, in case we lose something we're still nostalgic about.

So...filter out old unwanted stuff from our iNbox and our Sent iTems...it's gonna take a while whatwith 3205 email threads (currently) in our iNbox!

Wonder what happens if and when we do strike 100%?

Now to start going through the (currently) 3205 different email threads for stuff to delete!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Papercraft - Chief's Birthday Cards 2009

Now with all our preparations, rehearsals and such going on, we didn't have much time left to make the Chief's birthday cards for the Basil party! Come the night before the party we finally got our stuff out and got cracking. It was admittedly slightly difficult as it's been quite a while since we've done our scrapbooking.

Last year we found out that we didn't leave much space for everyone to sign on the card. So this time we decided that we should prepare two cards for the party with the bloggers, especially since there were quite a number of people!

So we got everything set up downstairs on the coffee table. It was a bit of a small space indeed, and there was the fear of getting glue on the table or nicking it with the blade or scissors, but we had indeed initially wanted to watch Poirot while crafting the card.

As we have not managed to choose the cards, we didn't get extra cards or coloured paper to use as backing for the letter stickers or for people to sign on. Thankfully a bit of rummaging about our shelves and we manage to find alternatives.

The thing we find about scrapbooking is that there's never much waste! Even as we cut up a piece of paper, we never did throw small bits away as it could be reused later for some other projects. In this case we've brought back leftovers from what we used to make sis' present.

Then we decided to test our hand at calligraphy writing. After all we'd already gotten some easy calligraphy marker pens from Zig during our Sporeland trip early this year. Tried different styles and in different shades on a rough paper, and then it hit us...

...We could design our own fancy paper! One of the pens was in a shade of blue that blended quite well with the blue page divider, and it would serve very well as a space for people to sign the card.

With the calligraphy's purpose decided on, we went back to using whatever we had for the rest of the card. Starting with the main 'Happy Birthday' wellwishing, we found some stickers we've yet to use.

With the basics all prepared, we just had to finalize the layout, and then glue everything on. We've gotten some all-purpose craft glue, which was rather good as and smudges or smears could be rubbed off without staining or leaving a mark. Only, we thought not to follow their instructions of 'apply over entire surface' when it came to paper, or we'd have finished the entire bottle (not cheap!) making a couple of cards!

With the background layout all set, all that was needed was to stick on letter stickers of the Chief's name on the blue bar after the 'Happy Birthday', a portrait photo of the Chief on the left box, and for everyone to sign the card.

Now scrapbooking isn't a cheap hobby. Seriously that's one reason why we save every little bit of paper we use from previous projects (asides from the variety it provides). So, when we find stuff on offer we pick them up, but we think we'll have to rethink bargain stickers like this. Luckily the card would be in a plastic sleeve most of the time, so the letters shouldn't drop off.

For the second card, we decided on a simpler layout, with a bigger area for people to sign on and a space for a landscape group photo.

Like we said. Nothing's wasted. Even the tab on the page divider could be made into a title bar.

And the calligraphy paper, into a photo outlining frame.

And finally, both cards in a plastic sleeve, to be left at Basil earlier in the day for the guests to sign while we led the Chief around Bangsar Village till everyone arrives. We'd put in a pen for everyone to use (which as since gone missing), and will need to develop photos taken during the party to add to the card to finally complete it!

Then of course on Sunday itself we had to rush to get another birthday card done. In fact lad was confident that we would be making one, haha.

So we'd bought a cardstock from Papier that had some thematic tie to the animal theme...

...and also after much hunting about the shop, some stickers of animal safety pins...

...and decided to use the black ink calligraphy pen to make the header instead of stickers...

...using another batch of letter stickers that had better adhesiveness (and the colour blended better with the card too) for a much more fun layout...

...stick a bit of mosaic pattern paper, and we were done!

Soon enough we'll need to get the Chief a scrapbook album to store all the cards we've already made...