Sunday, February 26, 2006

Books vs Movies

Which is better, the book or the movie? Admittedly, each has its own merit, but I cast my vote for the former.

Why? Well, for starters, except for the Buffy, Angel and Star Wars series, which are based on the TV shows; most films are based on books, not the other way around.

I do think movies are a powerful tool to create interest. I watched Lord of the Rings Part I before reading the tome. Am currently reading The Horse Whisperer and have got Memoirs of a Geisha on standby; I have watched both of these movies. I read Bridges of Madison County because I heard it’s a good movie. Have yet to watch the film, though. Any idea where I can get a copy?

It’s much cheaper for the reader to create scenes in his head than to transform it into something that can be captured as visual images. Moviemakers need huge sums of money to make a credible film, and even then, many times, they flop. All said; it’s still interesting to find out how a director would transform those magical words into images. This is the main reason people watch Harry Potter- they want to SEE Harry flying on his Firebolt and put a face to Severus Snape. Therein lies the challenge.

Books have no time limit to adhere to. You can read 15 minutes before bedtime; read a chapter or a page and leave it for later if you’re too busy. You can take a break from reading if it gets too heavy. However, if a book is too heavy, it won’t be much fun to read, would it? The mark of a good book is one that transports you into its world and you can’t stop until its very end.

A moviegoer would not be willing to spend more than 3 hours max sitting in a cinema. Thus the moviemaker would be under pressure to keep his audience interested, make the movie understandable without losing the feel of the book. Many would compare both, just for the hell of it. I know I do.

But at the end of the day, I still think books capture best the heart and soul of its characters. They are able to explore the internal thoughts and feelings of the character and capture the reader in a way films are hard put to do. To watch a movie, you are already cast as a third party while books often put you in the place of the main character. I would treat movies as advertising, but books are the real thing. What say you? :D

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Bangkok – Day 2

We woke up around eight the second day and just lolled around until Yumiko left for work. Had cereal and bread for breakfast. Don’t expect bad foods in Y’s fridge! I tried to call a tour agent to arrange for transport and a guide in Khao Yai, but our timing could not fit their schedule. He did give me some advice on how to get there and things that we can do on our own in Khao Yai. We’d have to just wing it there.

Next we pored over our Bangkok tourist map we got in the airport and made some quick plans on how to do the temples and visit Chatuchak market that day. We decided to do the temples first and visit the market later. Hopped on to the Skytrain and took it to the last stop in Saphan Taksin. From there we walked over to the Central Pier where we could catch a public boat heading towards the Grand Palace.

Got a bit confused there, but the marine police guy was helpful and told us where to get the boat as there were 2 piers. We couldn’t even differentiate which boat we were supposed to take, there were so many and everything was written in Thai! Got on the next boat that landed and lucky for us, it was a tourist boat which had a guide who highlighted interesting buildings along the bank and what to expect at each pier. Excellent, I’m impressed. Thais have a knack for keeping things clean and simple, it seems. The fare was just 18 Baht, abt RM 1.80.

We landed at Pier 9 and decided to 'do' the Temple of Dawn first. Crossed the river on another boat for 3 Baht and walk around the temple grounds. The decorations were beautiful! Took a break and enjoyed some Neslo from a vendor afterwards. Their technique for making drinks was quite different, but the results were good :-)

Went back to the other side and had lunch at a restaurant by the pier. Have to say that makan is tricky here, pork is sold virtually everywhere... Decided on rice with prawns for me and veges for Sali. Then we went to Wat Po , jalan2 there.

Next wanted to visit the Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha, but they were closed on Sundays. Some guy tried to con us into taking the tuk-tuk to some obscure Buddhas, but warning bells made me say no and we went back to the pier.

On the way back, it started raining and by the time we arrived at Central Pier, it was pouring!! Decided to go to Siam Square first because Sali needed to buy some contact lens cleaner. Had to find out way through the downpour between several shopping centers before we could find what she needed. We found prices there were VerY expensive compared to KL. She had no choice, though. By 4.30 the rain had abated a little, so we took the train to Mochit, which is the last stop, and headed towards Chatuchak Market for some heavy duty shopping.

We went round the vast market square looking for souvenirs and stuff. We didn't cover much, though. The interior reminded me much of the Geylang Market in Singapore. Just bought a shirt for Abah, cotton pants and silk handbag for myself, a bit of stuff for the house, and some bookmarks to give away. Really should have bought more, but by six, people were starting to shut down and I had no more energy to bargain, even...

Took the train back to Chitlom and back to the house. Were too tired to go out and ended up eating sandwiches at home. Y's housemate Kalpana stopped by to pick up her things and we chatted for a bit. Everyone slept early for a change that night.

End of Day 2

~ To be continued...

Post holiday break?

I now understand the need for a post-holiday holiday. As it turned out, the excellent holiday in Bangkok was exhausting, due to all the travelling, walking, shopping, trekking and not to mention waking up at 4 am (slept at 1.30 a.m.) for the flight home. Plus, there are clothes to wash, and the house to set out straight. There are bills which should not be due yet and warning letters for things which have already been paid. My payments were cleared days later due to the weekend, and had not made it to their system in time, it seems. I had to search through my messy tray to figure out what has been paid and not. Sheesh. What a mess!!

The kittens had made a mess of the house while I was away, and unfortunately, housemate has different priorities when it comes to house maintenance. While her paranoia is about security; mine is germs. The house is contaminated, in my view, which means I dare not even lepak on my sofas at the moment although I have vacummed them 'clean'. Urgh. Vacuuming and mopping seems inadequate and after days of visiting various shops, I have still yet to find Lysol to disinfect with. The kittens have finally learnt to use their litter box, but I still get whiffs of stink now and then. Will have to make time to shampoo the carpets, AND the cats, except that I'm due in PD this weekend and the next for MNS activities. Shit. With voluntary responsibilities (not quite so voluntary anymore, it seems) on top of working 6 day weeks when even government servants are working five, I'm exhausted, more mentally than physically, perhaps.

Well, am physically tired too, I guess. Am getting more exercise than I'm used to, cycling is hard work! But it feels good, so guess I'll continue doing it. It takes less time to grab the bike and start off than driving to the pool, get changed, do 10 laps, get changed again and drive home.

Met up with Sali this afternoon after work. Wanted to share photos but laptop battery was dead. Wanted to cycle a bit but it rained. Crawled upstairs and just conked out. Opened my eyes at ten when sis came home. I had missed Ilham. Darn. I was looking forward to meeting Aizan and the girls tonight! Woke up again at 3.00 a.m. and have been up since. Shoot. This is so going to screw up my internal clock even more...

Monday, February 20, 2006

Tag-rorrized by Ms. Tai-chee

Ok, now let’s try to do Anaz’s tag thingy.

Characteristics of my perfect lover… Errmm… will have to assume said lover is husband la, right? Eh… apasal sama dengan Anaz, eh? Heh heh… mebbe it’s a girl thing. Guys, take note!!

Part I: Sexual Orientation:

Strict heterosexual, please. And no strange ideas of a threesome, or foursome, whatever some, s’il vous plait! Other ideas may be considered on a case to case basis. ;-)

Part II

  1. A good Muslim. Not a pseudo-square yang alim2 kucing. Someone who’s open minded but knows the principles and lives his life accordingly.
  2. Sensible, realistic and careful with money. Sod roses on Valentine’s Day; cash is KING.
  3. Someone patient who will at least listen to my needs instead of demanding I do things his way.
  4. Confident. Someone who would proudly proclaim his car to be “AIR-conditioned” instead of apologising for the broken accessory. (Disclaimer: This is just an example. Am not hinting, I swear.)
  5. Reasonably healthy/ fit. I’m a bad nurse. Really.
  6. Protective and caring. I try to be strong, but hey, gurls love being taken care of.
  7. Someone with a sense of humour. Yes, guys, it’s a girl thing.
  8. Sensual as hell. I’m a touchy-feely kind of gal.
Err… donno what else to say la. Cukup la, ya? He he he…

Part III

Passing the buck to :

  1. Lillian
  2. Puteri Moon
  3. Sali
  4. Yanty
  5. Grae

Eh, people without blog boleh ker?

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Nain & Fiza's wedding

He he... Will finish BKK blog and Anaz's tag later. Latest scoop is on Nain's wedding :-)

Went over with Li Li, Sali & my sis at about 1.20 pm. Bernie and Anuar had come early and left by the time we arrived. Loretta, Daniel and Lillian were there so we makan and went around together-gether. Jadik "tour guide" sekejap explaining the traditions of akad nikah, hantaran, kenduri, etc etc. Ha ha. Did attend one Hindu wedding a few years ago. Maybe I can attend a church or traditional Chinese wedding next. Amazing that we all live together in this country but our traditions are still a mystery to other groups. Maybe there's just too many kot...

In any case, the food was good, decorations were just lovely and the couple were beautiful.

~ To Nain & Fiza - wishing you both happiness forever. ~

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Bangkok - Day 1

Will write abt the trip in small bites - too much to write in one go. Also too many photos to share :-)

Went with Sali, an old school friend who was forced to shop the first time she came to BKK. So we planned on more sightseeing. The first funny thing (to me) I observed after alighting from the plane was that the handholds for the bus was really2 high up! I had to really reach up to grab the ring. It was built for Mat Sallehs ke? After the necessary clearance and baggage retrieval, we grabbed a meter taxi, which thankfully was plentiful and really well organised. Very reasonable price too. Did get stuck in traffic, but it wasn't too bad. Reached the Amari Watergate hotel where Yumiko was in about an hour. From there we took another cab to her apartment nearby. Unfortunately, she had to work through the weekend, so we only hung out with her at night. As it was, she had to return to her meeting as soon as we got settled in.

After lunch and some rest, we hopped onto the BTS Skytrain which is the LRT equivalent there and went to the nearby Jim Thompson house. The guy was a silk merchant and father of the modern Thai silk industry. He was also a US OSS agent (now CIA). He disappeared one day in Cameron Highlands while hunting tiger in Malaysia (hrm.. padan muka, kacau our tigers) in 1967. He could either be eaten by a tiger or "taken care of" by his enemies. No one knows... In any case, due to the uniqueness of the house, his status and the mystery of his disappearance, the place is now a commercial tourist attraction.

The complex has a shop selling JT goods, which by the way is very2 expensive and a fine dining restaurant. It's still cheaper than fine dining in KL, but I was kind of disappointed la. Fine dining seems to be paying too much money for prettified food...

We went back via another route and saw the klong boats. Thot it was funny the boat attendants wore helmets, but motorcyclists on the road don't. Later found out that helmets were necessary to protect them when going under bridges!!

Afterwards, all of us went for a massage session at a nearby spa. Heh. A luxury I can't afford in KL! I opted for the cheaper Thai massage, while Sali & Yumiko went for aromatherapy ones. Got different2 floors for different massages, you know.. don't play play!! It was an interesting experience, very refreshing.

Next, Y treated us to a "welcome dinner" at a nearby restaurant. It was good. Then we proceeded to a jazz pub where Y's colleague was playing (note guy in blue, playing the trumpet). It was crowded, smelly and noisy, the usual things I hate abt pubs, but we hung out there for a bit with her colleagues. We walked all the way up and down the street to all these places, so rest assured, Mr Slave Driver, the tomyam has already been taken care of.

Got home and immediately conked out. End of Day 1.

~To be continued...

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Hello from BKK

Arrived in Bangkok at noon, and am now lepaking at Yumiko's. Will be going out soon to play tourist.... This is going to be a good trip. :-D

Thursday, February 09, 2006

What would you do if…

  1. You see this poster staring at you every day of the week

2. Petrol prices are relentlessly rising. You know it’s a non-renewable resource and will be depleted very, very soon. You are aware that its combustion releases a myriad of greenhouse gases that is detrimental to health.

3. You profess to be an environmentalist and you believe that climate change is a valid environmental issue.

4. You think it’s ridiculous to burn expensive petrol just to go buy food a few hundred metres away because you’re too lazy to walk.

I got myself a bike.

Just a cheap mountain bike, but its gears make powering up the hills a breeze. I had totally forgotten how bikes eat up distances and how refreshing it is to feel the wind in your face. Not to mention providing desperately needed exercise to yours truly, since I can hardly manage to make my way to the pool twice a week.

Am taking it slow and only going round the neighbourhood thus far. Also contemplating cycling to work once in a while (it’s only 4 km away), but will have to figure out logistics, since there is no way I can avoid the highway. Would eventually try some off-road biking, perhaps. In the meantime, I’m just enjoying the ride :-)

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Have had quite a busy week after the New Year break. Boss was pushing me for audit forms, totally disregarding the 3 previous days were holidays. Er, Boss, some of us DO have lives, you know? In any case, rushed it out for him. Office was calm with only sane Anthony working and no TC to annoy me. Had to make up for January audit in Melaka and thankfully Risq was happy to accommodate me. Phew. Drove down to Melaka in the afternoon and came back the same day. Made a few stops and arrived home at almost midnight. Next day woke up early enough to do some banking and test drive my new wheels ;P. Car wash guys were on strike so had to wash Zach myself. Then rushed to Indra's wedding in Keramat, almost forgetting that we were part of the 'entourage'. Came back and conked out. It must be the heat... Had dinner with Sali to make holiday plans. Then found her hp on the passenger seat, it must have fallen out of her bag when taking a book out. Nak kena pulangkan plak. Was planning on a drink Tuesday night until i checked my calendar and saw "Bird Group meeting - LAT" written in. Herm... mental note - make alternative plans. Conked out at 6.30pm today and been dragging myself thru the chores tonight. Why la I feel so sluggish? Must be the heat, again.

It's been a week since I took the cats in. Babykins followed Kuning a wandering and never came back. I hope she was adopted by one of the neighbours... Have tried looking for her but no luck. The other 3 have stayed put. I'm worried about Moo2, she doesn't seem to be recovering and have started to limp. Binky and Kuning are putting on some flesh, and they're not ravenously hungry all the time anymore, which i take as a good sign. They've even started getting picky about food, the brats! Their digestive systems seem to be better too, and no more 'accidents' in the house, which is one singular thing I hate to deal with most; given my limited time, energy and patience. Pseudo is being patient with the invasion to 'his' house, but needs extra TLC to make up for having to share my attention. Ciannn dia.. Saba jelah ya?

Hope I manage to keep things on track so I can holiday in peace Saturday onwards. Woo hoo!! Haven't been away for ages! Would be nice to see Yumiko again. :-D Cheers, peeps. Have a good week ahead...

Friday, February 03, 2006

Just a little something pinched from K. Ruby's posting on the OGA blog:

'And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter and the sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed'.
~ Khalil Gibran

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

What did I get myself into??

Took 4 undernourished cats back with me last night. They're painfully thin and eat as fast as I can feed them, though they're not keen on Pseudo's Super Premium food. Gave them canned food and Smartheart instead, they seem to like it better. Lesson no 1, do not feed cats with stomach problems milk. Had to clean up the kitchen a few times before giving up and banishing them to the garden. One has wandered off, just hope she has the sense to come back for food later. They seem to be smart enough to stick close to me anyways.

Poor Pseudo was pretty game, keeping an eye on the newcomers if they wandered. But now, seeing "his" garden being taken over by the brats, he is now officially merajuk, refusing to come home. Won't even let me pick him up anymore. Oh dear...

I'm so used to having only 2 well behaved cats; 4 unruly cats are going to be a handful. Have spent a good part of the day cleaning up, getting them more food and kitty litter. Still need to go buy vitamins and flu medicine for the little one. Have to fatten them up and deal with their medical conditions before trying to give them away, eventually. Would probably be best to spay/ fix them too. Sigh...

Oh well, I didn't have the heart to leave them behind. They're good cats, they just need a bit more attention and care. Will just have to deal with the mess, I guess. Wish me luck, peeps. Anyone keen to adopt??