Saturday, December 25, 2010

Blondie's 24th Birthday

I would be lying if I say I didn't take some pride in organizing this small celebration secretly from the birthday girl's knowing. Just a way to return the favor she did for my birthday earlier this year.

Blondie and DD

Ayi & Ben

Ayi 2.0 & Fifi

So all six of us - including birthday girl's new fierce hairdo - gathered in Decanter, PJ on one Saturday evening. Boy, how 1Malaysia we were yet had so much fun catching up with each other after not meeting for SO long.

It was our first time there, except for Ann Jie, and surprisingly the food was really good with affordable price. Ayie had this thing (I completely forgot the name) which all of us agreed unanimously, it was really tasty.



Then we headed to Jaya One and had drinks in Starbucks where Miss McChicken (her new nickname) Ami finally took time off her busy schedule to join us.

To my bestie Ann Jie, happy 24th birthday to you and I certainly look forward for more awesome schmosome years ahead with you. Hope she likes what Ayi and I had bought for her - this BCBG MaxAzria gold tote.


Have a great 24th year ahead, babe.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, December 19, 2010

World Without End


Before I get down to business, let me give you an idea of what this book is about.

Taking its title from one of the lines in a psalm, 'World Without End' is supposedly the sequel to the marvelousness, that is The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. It tells the story of Kingsbridge town some two centuries later and revolves around the lives of four children - Merthin, Gwenda, Caris and Ralph, from their childhood until 40 years later with many unexpected events occurring in between especially after they witnessed the killing of two knights in the woods by a runaway lord, Sir Thomas Langley to protect a secret that 'could kill everyone'.

Okay, so over the next 1237 pages of the book, you would think that you're going to learn about that dreadful secret, the motive of the killing, some political struggle between monarchs or even know how the secret could affect the town of Kingsbridge, right?

WRONG.

That supposedly-momentous event occurring in the woods is nothing and has absolutely no impact on the storyline. You will read about the killing over the first few pages and at the last few pages.

Absolutely nothing is told in between. No impact, no surprise, no firework, no gasps. No nothing. Prepare for lots of yawning after you've gone through the first 200 pages.

This book really has no main direction. Unlike in The Pillars of the Earth which concerns about the building of a great cathedral with other rising issues in between, World Without End has absolutely no main storyline. Supposedly, the killing in the woods would have to be the main catalyst and spark intriguing questions along the way, but nope, it doesn't happen.

Over its thick pages, it only tells the story of the four main characters, their struggles and conflicts through childhood and eventually adulthood. Yes, there are stories in here but not quite enough to make it a substantial issue for a good read. We'll see how Merthin becomes a builder, Caris becomes a prioress, Gwenda emerged from poverty and Ralph becomes the Earl - but overall, there are no real significance between the characters.

Besides, the characters are too cliche and too similar to that of in The Pillars of the Earth. Merthin is like Jack Builder in The Pillars of the Earth. Caris like Aliena and Ralph like William (who both become the Earl of Shiring. Yawn).

Overall, this book has no right to be a 'sequel' to the first one since both have nothing in common except cross-referencing once or twice which you need not to read the first book to understand. before this, I looked forward to read Ken Follett's latest book but now, I'm not so sure anymore.

For those of you who have read the Pillars of the Earth and itching to read its alleged sequel, World Without End, I suggest you don't. I'd give this one 1.5 stars out of 5.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Take This, Dry Skin!


I've been battling dry skin for YEARS since I was a kid. It's something I blamed my mom/dad/both for since both my brother and sister face the same problem, although not as severe as me. Thus, it must be in the genes - I knew it.

I've been applying all kinds of lotions and whatnots to prevent my skin from scaling (yes, it is that bad) and my lips from cracking. Since I can't afford La Mer like Angelina Jolie, I use Vaseline for my lips and it has been working so far for 10 years (since 1 was 14).

Then comes the hardest part. No single product seems be able to retain my skin's moisture except for *drumroll* this! L'Occitane Delightful Cream. Oh man, I really, really love this one. It's made of honey and lemon with a small dose of rosemary and sunflower oil. The result is this wonderful and yes, delightful cream that successfully mends my dryness (for now).

You should've seen my feet and my arms in an air-conditioned room (or maybe you shouldn't). My skin would be scaling, dusty and turns white and I swear I'm just another heartbeat away from turning into a giant dust ball. Now, not anymore. Well, at least I can maintain that healthy-skin look for 4-5 days even without applying the cream.

The only downside is the smell. The smell is anything but delighting. Try taking honey, lemon, rosemary and sunflower oil, grind it together and smell the end result. Or you can just go to any L'Occitane store and smell it yourself.

This one is a gift for me (thanks Ann Jie!) but it usually retails at 60 bucks for 8 oz or 40 bucks for 2.5 oz. A great remedy for dry skin people like me.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Forgiveness

There are only three weeks to go before I turn 24 years young. Somehow, this time around, December doesn't promise relax and laid-back atmosphere as previous years. My favorite month so far has been tainted with some unpleasant things, causing the road leading to my 24th birthday rather bumpy.

However, there's a silver lining to everything no matter how terrible the situation might look. Although I hate the idea of getting older as much as Cher loathes it, I finally realized that each new year does gets better.

If not more, I become a little wiser with each passing year. I finally learned the most noble act one could ever foster - forgiveness.

No matter how hard you try to understand them, there will always be some selfish, ignorant, ungrateful and obnoxious people around, trying to push you to the edge. Often in my case, it would result in bitterness, anger, frustration and ultimately, feeling sad on how such terrible things could happen and how such equally-terrible people could exist.

However, no matter how angry or upset you get with the said person, it would solve nothing by being in that position. You wouldn't feel at peace until you learn to take the high road. Instead of returning the dirt to them, you forgive them.

Forgive them for upsetting you. Forgive those people who have acted cruelly towards you. Feel sorry for them, for they don't know how to appreciate wonderful people like you and to act accordingly. Forgive them and ultimately forgive yourself for feeling in such way.

No matter how hard it is, you will feel so relieved by not carrying that extra baggage and dark clouds above your head. I found myself feeling so peaceful by forgiving that certain someone who had made false stories about me and sincerely I wished her the best for her examination paper when I bumped into her on my final day of exam. I had forgiven the ones related by blood to me who had favored others than me and used me only for their convenience. I had forgiven the one who used to insult my illness last year. I had forgiven the ex-es for taken me for granted - and finally realizing it.

As Yasmin Ahmad used to write in one of her movies, 'Before going to bed each night, ask yourself - have you ask for forgiveness from the people you hurt? Have you forgiven the people who hurt you?'

I have forgiven all of you. That's the beauty of getting older. Please forgive me for my wrongdoings too.


PS: If I get cranky in the future, you can forget about this post. Hehe.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Pillars of the Earth


I'm not a big fan of fictional books except for classics by Tolstoy, Woolf, Steinback etc. Somehow, I had a big urge to pick up this one, what more with many recommendations by my friends who had either read it or watched the TV series based on the book. Besides, how wrong can you get with a book which had been endorsed by the Big O - Oprah Winfrey?

In a nut shell, The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett tells the story of the building of a great cathedral in a quite village called Kingsbridge during the 12th century. However, you won't be reading anything about its construction until you've flipped almost 300 pages. The author takes his time to give a beautiful outlay and introduction of the setting and the main characters involved before getting down to the real business.

The next 700 pages unfolds the chronicles underlaying as the cathedral takes its shape - monarch rivalry, ecclesiastical politics, unswerving ambition, family ties as well as betrayal, manipulation, revenge, love, sex and the question of honor. As a man who claims he doesn't believe in God, it comes to no surprise that Ken Follett chose to take the less traveled path by telling the story about Christendom in a different perspective - where priests are as mischievous as laymen.

The antagonist was Bishop Waleran of Shiring, who sees his position as God's will to achieve everything he desires and strongly believe the end justifies the means. He is joined by the Earl of Shiring and the Earl's mother, Countess Regan in plotting evil plans, mostly against the priory of Kingsbridge who is seen as the tumbling block for him to be the Archbishop of Canterbury - the most prestigious title for a man of God in England and not to mention, the richest and most important archbishopric.

Of course there are the love story between Jack, the gifted young boy who lives in the forest with his allegedly-witch mother and Aliena, the former daughter of the ousted Earl Bartholomew - both are the hero and heroine of this story. The book is divided into five parts which span about 40 years and you'd really be attached to the characters as you see them 'grow up' page by page.

Overall, this is an interesting story, rich with drama and even richer with subliminal issues regarding politics, religion and love. Although it's quite thick (about 1076 pages), you wouldn't be able to put it down after the first few chapters and totally be engrossed in the story - as I did.

The only downside is how well everything turned out to be after each mishap faced by the village Kingsbridge. It seems like the author chose not to be so hard on the protagonists after all in the book.

For those of you who have heard about this book, get scared by its thickness and have chosen to resort to watching the TV series adaptation instead, I strongly recommend that you don't. While the adaption would give you a clearer picture of the story, the plot is rather choppy and it does no justice to the beautiful flow of the book. I've seen it and I must say, it failed to convey the difficulties faced by the priory in building the cathedral and have SO many changes from the book.

For instance, in the book Countess Regan is portrayed as an ugly woman with boils on her face and feared by her son, the Earl of Shiring. However in the TV series, she's beautiful with only a scar, killed her husband and - get this - in incestral relationship with the Earl. Uh, hello?

I've already got the sequel to this book, World Without End and really look forward to feast my eyes on it once I'm done with my exams.Indeed, The Pillars of the Earth is a book worth reading.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Birthday, My JS Wings!

On this Halloween Day, I'd like to dedicate a post to my most talk-about shoes - the JS Wings. The black pair turns one today, while the grey metallic pair is only a few days old.

So, here are some celebrity photos wearing various versions of this quirky sneakers which I've managed to gather all around the net. Due to size constraint, some are not put up here (like the ones worn by Drake and Lil Wayne). Not that I care much about those celebs anyway but just for fun.

Happy birthday, wings. To Mr Jeremy Scott, you're a genius.

... and the designer himself, Jeremy Scott

Monday, October 25, 2010

How Far Would You Go For Shoes? (Version 2.0)


Okay, I have to admit I'm a little over the moon about this one.

It has been almost a year since I got my pair of Adidas Originals by Originals JS Wings sneakers in black, which was somewhere around 2009 Halloween. That pair is, perhaps, my most talk-about shoes among those who know me or have read this blog. They don't care about my other pairs, they just wanted to know "Where are the winged shoes?"

Just my luck, as I was strolling around Pavilion on Monday afternoon, I saw these new version of JS Wings in silver reflective metallic. You guessed it right - I couldn't take my eyes off it.

This pair would be the seventh version of the highly successful JS Wings line, after the gold, white, silver, black, rainbow and Swarovski-studded versions. It is a part of Adidas x Jeremy Scott Fall/Winter 2010 collection which had just debuted in Malaysia - get this - two hours before I dropped by the store. It is only available in Adidas Originals store in Pavilion KL.

So technically (and shamelessly) that would make me as the first owner of this JS Wings reflective silver metallic here in Malaysia. Woohoo! Ceteris paribus.

Under normal light, they look rather grey-ish but upon coming into contact with bright light - zap! - they pop like a ball of lightning (I kid you not. See the picture for yourself). This one comes with matching grey laces and grey 'Jeremy' tag (unlike gold, in the previous black version).

For those of you who are interested in getting a pair, this one will set you back RM680.

Again, JS Wings is the official shoes for my Halloween this year (though I don't celebrate it).

Tok Tot

Tok Tot and Little Kye (age 3) in 1990

Tok Tot was my grandmother's nickname, given for her small physique ('ketot' means 'dwarf'). I never really thought she was small anyway and I always questioned why her friends (or her family) gave her that name. I wonder if those people were any bigger/taller than her.

She had passed away eight years ago on this very date - October 25, at the age of 85.

My grandma was one hella woman. Tok Tot was the only person, perhaps, whom I share much resemblance. I have a soft spot of imitating people's gestures and voices, often being misunderstood for my 'honest' opinions, prefer to be alone most of the time and never learn how to take 'No' for answer - just like her.

I still remember spending every Raya eve in her big, august kampong house and listened to her stories about everything - from her days during the Japanese occupation to how my mother was when she was little. Even our weekends were mostly spent on her veranda and listened to her 'updates' of the kampong. Most of the times, she kept it real and deliver her very blunt thoughts across - like when she complained the unpleasant sound of the muazzin's voice during the Azan (call to prayer). 'Macam kambing jatuh parit ('Sounds like a goat tripped into a ditch') - she would say.

But eight years ago, she had passed away peacefully on an early Friday morning. I still remembered staying up all night to recite the Quran by her side, glancing at times to her cold, motionless body. The afternoon ahead, I was already in the hearse heading toward the mosque and finally the cemetery. How I still remembered being drenched in tears and nodding repeatedly as the imam read the last rites by her grave.

That very night after her funeral, I missed her so much that I spent the night in the bed she passed away, complete with the quilt and the pillows she used. Some of my relatives were dreadful of even touching the bed of a dead, but nope, not me. Eight years later, I'm still very much alive, thank you.

Take that, superstitious Malay suckers.

Eight years had gone by so fast and so many things have changed. But I still made it a must to pay her a visit as often as possible and have a conversation with her on each visit - although the conversations now are only one-sided.

How I wish she would still be here. I really need her wisdom, her support and a large dose of her jokes as growing up is never easy and life is never too kind most of the time.

I wish she would still be here and tell me the same thing she told my brother before he got married - 'Buat apa kahwin awal-awal? Enjoy dulu! (What's the point of getting married so young? Enjoy yourself first!)'

I miss you, Tok Tot. Al-Fatihah.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Dreams

People dream because it's free
Won't cost you money
Won't cost your energy
Some say it's a therapy
In any way you wish or see

Some dream of a prince charming
Kneeling on the ground and hand out a ring
White horse with armor shimmering
And say sweet words, sweet things

Some dream of big cars
To take them around near and far
Rolling around in Porsche or Maserati
Maybe Escalade or in luxury MPV
Going anywhere carelessly
Picking up speed tickets like they're free
Turning heads everywhere in the city

Some dream about lots of money
They want to be rich, they want to be wealthy
Maybe even richer than Oprah Winfrey
Live in Monaco, drives a Bentley
They believe that will make them happy

What's your dream? Ever had any?
Do you have a place you want to see?
What's my dream - if you ever ask me,
There's only one and ever will be
That I'll live long enough to be thirty.

-K-
October 18, 2010
11.16pm

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Xbox 360


Two years ago, after successfully being frugal (some of the time) and saved up our coins dime by dime, my hommie and I managed to buy a digital camera. It cost us about RM1300 then but now you can get digital cameras with more than 10 megapixel for much, much less.

Just what a difference two years can make.

This year, after months of saving - only coins - we have managed to exchange it for another good.

Since I have always been a game junkie (which most people have hard time to believe) and Ayi got smitten playing in one of his relative's house during the past Raya, we got ourselves a nice Xbox 360! Yay!

*performs somersault*

Actually we had wanted a PlayStation 3 instead (which costs almost the same as an Xbox 360) but PS3 only plays original CDs.

And the original CDs are all in BluRay.

And BluRay means expensive - I don't want to shell out some hundred bucks for ONE game just to find out it sucks big time.

Since PS3 is not a feasible option, we decided to go with Xbox 360 instead since it doesn't require only original game CDs to play *cough cough* - which is an equally great substitute as well.

I could go on and on for hours playing all the Xbox games but I wouldn't be the typical housemate hogging onto the TV for the whole day. So I had to control my urge.

We got this one in the Low Yatt Plaza. It comes with two original wireless controllers and ten Xbox 360 games for RM1050. I'll definitely update some of the games I've finished playing - Batman Arkham Asylum, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, Split Second and Assasin's Creed II. Looking forward to play Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light (yep, I'm a big fan of RPG and racing games)

Love this.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Would You Like a Tight Slap with That Whining?

If Days of Delirium were a diary sitting on my already dust-ridden shelf, it would definitely be entangled with cobwebs and whatnots due to the long abstinence. My mind was boggling with the many things I wished to share here but I couldn't seem to drag fingers to run onto this keyboard.

Whether you have missed me or not, I am back again. Yay?

My blog wouldn't be completed without some rants every now and then, would it? So here I am again to deliver my thoughts across and tell me what you feel about this.

I don't have many friends but some of the 'non-friends' consider me as their friend (isn't it weird?). The reason why I don't really acknowledged them as friends because - well - they whine too much.

Yep. They kept on whining and whining and whining every single day and I can't stand whiners.

Then again, maybe not everyday but most of the days. They just have things they would love to whine.

They whine about loneliness. They whine about how ugly they are (some of them are not that ugly anyway. The rest I leave it to your imagination). They whine about their job. They whine about not having boyfriend/girlfriend.

Simply put - they whine just about everything.

To make matters even more twisted, they could be oh-so-golly tomorrow and continue whining and complaining the next day. Totally bipolar a la Britney circa 2008.

I mean, these people complain and whine too much. Who wants to be near a person who whines too much, all the times? There are so many bigger things at stake all around the world - plague, the war, the revamping of education, the slow economic recovery, HIV/AIDS and cancer cure, the politics, natural disasters - and here they are whining 24/7 on their acne-ridden face that drives away potential boyfriends/girlfriends.

Seriously? Don't they know how to give a middle finger to their petty problems, tell it to 'Suck it!' and get on with life with wider-than-Julia-Roberts grin? If only these people know how to take advices - they are just plain stubborn too.

They would whine on how miserably lonely their life is and just wanted to die but the next day - tadaa - they would still be online. If you really want to die so badly, by all means go ahead - there are so many ways to do it and Google would assist you in doing so. Just bare in mind, all across the world, billions of people are striving to stay alive everyday despite having bigger problems than your 'nobody-wants-to-take-me-to-clubs-on-saturday-nights' or 'i-am-so-meaningless-without-a-boyfriend' problems.

If they can be all happy and gay one day simply by getting aroused watching Lady GaGa's video, why can't they sustain that positive outlook throughout the week and eventually the entire month?

I have had my low points in life too but I don't need to put it all over my Facebook, MySpace (is there anyone still using this?) or Twitter? That would just drive people - like me - sick and away from you. Again, who wants to hang out with a whiny? I have way lots of other better things to do like watching paint dries.

I don't hate these whiners but I'm just amazed at how narrow-minded they can be. If we care to look beyond our borders (regardless of what it would be), we would definitely know there are SO much more to live for.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Closet Transformation

During this long weekend of Merdeka, I finally got a chance to tidy up my study-cum-closet room. Being a well-known neat freak, I thought everything should be in its correct place and the loves of my life - my shoes - should deserve their special place.

Off my hommie and I went to Ikea in search for the most suitable shelf to make this minor room transformation a success. Initially, we decided to go for the Kilby bookshelf (as normal shoe rack couldn't accommodate all of my sneakers) which cost RM149.

Then, we decided to go for this Laiva bookshelves instead (the tall one in the picture) which cost RM75 each. We bought two of this and connect both with Laiva connecting shelf (RM20). In between the two, we put Laiva table (RM40).

Tadaa, the early shot. Many sneakers are still left un-boxed yet. Oh, that's Mr Aboy inspecting the red cube box.

It took us only an hour and a half to put everything together and I sure am proud of its result, though this room (and the rest of the house, mind you) still has a long way to go. The photo here is how it looked like yesterday, after the redecoration, and even until today, it's still undergoing some changes.

Step by step baby. And economically, of course.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Nike Dunk Hi AC


On the 19th day of fasting, I went for shoe hunting. It was Friday and the cloudy weather throughout the day whispered, "You ought to get new kicks."

Okay, I made up the whispering part. Anyway, it has been ages since I got myself a brand new sneakers and again, I'm using the Raya excuse to pamper myself.

After a few rounds of browsing around the city, I settled with this one pair from Nike. Since my fascination with high-cut sneakers has yet to fade, I was happy with my choice.

This one pair might seem white but it is actually not. It's in soft grey (although the photo couldn't the justice) with dotted leather finishing. The original pair from the store comes with white school-boy shoe laces but I paired it with grey ones I got from Nike Dunk Hi DJ AM. Credit to Mr Ayi for suggesting me to switch those laces. The grey laces match the line above its sole, co-incidentally.

So, this is my.... (I lost count of my shoes) pair. Since I don't prepare anything for the upcoming Raya, this would be my 'kasut Raya', 'baju Raya', 'kuih Raya', 'hantu Raya', 'jalan Raya' and any other rhyming Raya stuff.

This one is available in Juice KL for RM349. It is also available in black. But beware! There's a similar one in those Nike stores. Surprisingly, that one costs more (RM389) although it is made of canvas, not leather (which may become quite a problem to clean).


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Have a Little Faith - A True Story


My book-reading libido has been quite high of late. Right after I finished Eat,Pray, Love I picked up Mitch Albom's latest book, Have a Little Faith and finished it within two days.

Seemed like recent trip back to my hometown was a fruitful one as I managed to finish two books in a span of four days. All thanks to the gadget-deficient luggage - no laptop, no PSP (actually I brought it back but had forgotten to pack along the charger. Pfft). Only my phone and iPod to keep me entertained on the bus - I can't read books while being in motion.

Have got used to Mr Albom's way of writing from three of his previous books (The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Tuesdays with Morrie and For One More Day), I must say it was a pretty, err, boring read for me as I expected more from this book which took eight years to be completed.

Somehow I felt rather 'cheated'. As if his publisher was trying to milk out as much profit as possible by printing his name on the cover and selling it only in hard copies (which cost nearly seventy bucks here in Malaysia).

Anyhow, the book is pretty much similar to Tuesdays with Morrie. Unlike the latter, which focuses more on how to live positively ('In order to learn how to live, you must learn how to die' - remember?), the former still talks about positive living but in relation to the supreme above - God.

It all started when the author's rabbi, Albert Lewis, requested him to do his eulogy although he wasn't dying (yet). This was eight, nine years back. Born a Jew but didn't practiced it religiously, the author began his 'work' by spending time with his rabbi on weekly and monthly basis (akin to Tuesdays with Morrie, again) in order to know him better for the eulogy-writing.

Soon, he discovered that the 'work' wasn't for the rabbi - but for him as an indirect and comfortable way to know life, the afterlife and God, and guided him to the Lord's path.

On the other hand, there's a story about a man called Henry Covington - who grew up to be a drug-dealer, multiple-time convict, street-bully and drug-addict but found God in a dark alley while hiding behind trash cans with a gun in his hand

(It wasn't like he literally found God and say "'Whassup Jesus?! You're looking fine, yo!" - You get the idea, alright).

So there are two stories of two different faiths but echoing the same power of the divine. True, this book is heart-warming and truly a compassionate read but for someone who has got used to Mitch Albom's way of writing, I expected more depth in its delivery. Nevertheless, the book has abundant of lessons which could be adapted and learned regardless of one's religion.

As I had said, the delivery was quite dull for me but its message and final part really caught up with me - tears and all. Sobs.

Pick it up if you're a fan of Mitch Albom. As for me, I borrowed it from my friend. Hehe.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love


I had written a completely different draft for this entry but it didn't sound like what I really feel about the book. So I scrapped it all and replaced it with this one instead.

If there's anything extraordinary about this book which enables it to sell more than 6 million copies worldwide, I would say none. The storyline is simple - about a woman's quest for joy, spiritual healing and balance of both - just how many times have we heard or read about it.

But there lies a true simplicity in the storytelling for each page which allows you to connect with the whole real-life experience faced by the author, Elizabeth Gilbert, while she was in Italy, India and Bali, Indonesia seeking the three things mentioned earlier.

Her pursuit for spiritual, especially, was written from a novice's point of view, sparing all the scientific and entangling terms which may turn this book into a 'Spiritual-101 Guide. Thankfully she writes as if she's right there in front of you over a cup of coffee, spilling all the' details of her one-year around the world journey.

There is no spark, no extra-imagination required to fully understand and grasp the very essence of this book. This book is purely sincere and giving as the story unfolds between one page and the next.

I love this book. I know, millions of people around the world must've said the same thing after reading it and relating it to their lives. I fully understand how she writes about her bottomless depression, the hollowness she felt when she was still married despite 'having it all' - a husband, a big house (two, in fact - one in Manhattan, mind you) and a blossoming career. She lost the connection between her and the bigger picture in life and that's when she knew she needed God from there onwards.

As I said before, there's nothing extraordinary about this book. But its simplicity is what distinguished it from other books out there. Even Oprah admitted this. There is no happy ending in this book, but that too depends on how you perceived a happy-ending. But for me, as a reader who was hungry for some lesson from the woman who has been there and back, I truly gained alot by reading this book. I might not wake up the next day feeling completely like a different person, but I sure know what I need to do to improve my life.

A must read if you're interested to do the same.

Here are some parts of the book which I really liked:

"When I get lonely these days, I think : So be lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome the human experience. But never again use another person's body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings."

"The Bhagavad Gita - that ancient Indian yogic text - says that it is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else's life with perfection. So now I have started living my own life. Impefrect as it may look it is resembling me now, thoroughly."

"In a world of disorder,disaster and fraud, sometimes only beauty can be trusted. Only artistic excellence is incorruptible. Pleasure cannot be bargained down. And sometimes the meal is the only currency that is real."

"But I felt a glimmer of happiness when I started learning Italian, and when you sense a faint potential of happiness after such dark times you must grab onto the ankles of that happiness and not let go until it drags you face-first out of the dirt - this is not selfishness, but obligation. You were given life; it is your duty (and also your entitlement as a human being) to find something beautiful within life, no matter how slight."

"Imagine that the universe is a great spinning engine. You want to stay near the core of the things - right in the hub of the wheel - not out at the edges where all the wild whirling takes place, where you get can frayed and crazy. The hub of calmness - that's your heart."

I hope the movie is as good as the book, if not better.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Congratulations, Bontots


There comes a time in your life when you really paused, realized everything has changed and how grown up you have become. Three years passed by so swiftly and my friends have graduated successfully (and stylishly) last August 4 in Dewan Tunku Canselor, Universiti Malaya.

As what I've learned last year during my bestie, Ann Jie's graduation, convocation only means one word: HOT.

Not hot as in fabulous. I really mean 'hot'! Lots of walking, phone-calls under the scorching sun and wandering around looking for your friends amongst thousands of people and crawling traffic.

I didn't feel fun at all especially with sweat running down my 500 bucks Fred Perry Laurel.

But all the un-fun parts was squashed away the moment I saw my friends. Oh, how it was so 2007 all the sudden again.

Frankly, there's something about convocation that makes me emotional. Seeing my friends all with their robes, beret (is it called beret?), six-inch heels (Sakina) and bouquets made me so proud and happy for them - regardless of what life has in store for them (or us) after this phase. It didn't matter because at this time, this very convocation time, their hardworks and dedications have finally been rewarded.

See kids, it didn't matter at all if you skipped classes once a while for outings in Ikea, or had long lunch in Bangsar although knowing you already late for class - you will still graduate. Winks.

The remaining two undergraduate - Eza and I


The next day, we had a celebratory dinner in Piccadilly located in Section 14, Petaling Jaya. I requested for this place since I've heard LOTS about it but never had the right opportunity to try it out. The place was alright for relatively affordable wide arrays of food. I had its Nyonya Nasi Lemak with hot mocha.

Quite a shame. From hundreds of selections, I came all the way from home to have a friggin nasi lemak? *scratching head*

To my wonderful friends, although some of you will be getting married, start with your new job and venture into anything you want, I still wish you the best for the many, many years to come. Because you're my friends, thus you deserve nothing short than the BEST things in life.

I love you, bontots.

Didi and I

Fifi and Sakina

Ami finally arrived

Credit to Eza Nabilah, Ali Azri and Sakina Hussain for the photos.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Diablo 3


My PC (a.k.a Muchacho) desktop wallpaper has been adorned with nothing but images of the shoes that I wanted. There was the winged Jeremy Scott (got it!), the Stephen Sprouse's Louis Vuitton, the Givenchy studded gladiator sandals and many others.

But from today onwards, I've reserved my wallpaper for this one game I've been waiting for oh-so-long.

Blizzard, stop teasing me and just release that God damn Diablo 3 now, alright?!

It's predecessor Diablo 2 has got to be my all-time favorite PC game. Tomb Raider, Prince of Persia, Age of Empires, Counter Strike, Star Craft, Red Alert - you can all suck it because Diablo is the bomb.

I spend more than 10 hours a day playing that game back in my school days, until the CD exploded into pieces while still running in the CPU. Yeah, it was that bad. Bring up the word 'Diablo' to my family and not a single one wouldn't remember that.

But, mind you, I still scored straight As during my PMR. Ehem, ehem.

I was already excited when my brother-in-law told me that Diablo 3 was in the work, allegedly. That was about 3 years ago. Now, it is nearly completion (I guess) and waiting for the right time to be released.

Oh, the torture of having to wait for this game. The trailers, the websites, the wallpapers - I can't take it anymore. I've got to have it. I promise I'll get the original one once it comes out regardless how expensive it would be.

Need. Diablo. Three. Now.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

To Have and to Hold...?

August 1 is my parents' anniversary. As of this year, they have been married for thirty-fucking-seven years and I have no idea how they remained together for that long. They tied the knot when they were both nineteen years old.

Again, I have no clue how people could remain being married for such a long time or for that matter, to be married at the first place. I see no imminent prospect of me jumping on that marriage bandwagon in this near future.

Unless, on one fateful day, God point out to me and say 'Thou shalt get married'. That one, I can't contest.

I've expressed my lack of intention for marriage to my mom on several occasions but she never seemed to get it. I'm happy for anyone who chose the married life than the single life but I never seemed to fully grasp the very significance of it just yet.

I'm not one of those people who see marriage as the final path for the ultimate happiness in life. Screw that. If I want to be happy, I'll be happy - not because of some irrelevant society dogma.

It's unfair to say those who chose to remain free and single, to pick career over children as a selfish, ignorant lot. Same goes to those who prefer the marriage life; it's not so wise to immediately say they are unselfish at all in their life-changing decision.

I'm a terrible Muslim and I openly admit it - though it's not something I'm proud of. Yet, I still know the humongous responsibilities that come with it. Marriage isn't just for fun. It's not just as a license to freely have sex with your spouse without being caught. It's not just about the ability to split the bills between two paychecks. It's way more than that.

Being married is to no longer act as an individual but as a unit, from the day you take the oath until....well, you get the idea. It is a small 'organization' where you no longer act for yourself but for the best of the firm. Thus, you no longer have the prerogative to put yourself first like you did during your single days as in a marriage, your decisions and the actions you exert have impacts on your spouse, and even children (for better or for worse).

Thus, it wouldn't be wise to say 'I have to do this because I'm a human after all and I have my OWN needs' in a marriage. This is the one which really gets me going. I mean, come on, if you are so peculiar about your own needs, why bother getting married and let your other half suffer back at home? Don't they have needs too?

Marriage is a big deal and when it comes to this, I don't have (mind you) balls to commit because I know what I am capable of. I know where I stand and I am fully aware of my limitations. Thus, marriage is a no-no for me.

I asked my mom how she managed to pull herself together and build a family during this last 37 years. She told me, it took a lot of effort, compromising, sacrifice and perseverance. This response resonates with a line from the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (I'll discuss more about this book once I'm done with it):

"In that moment, it was as if my strong mother reached across the table, opened her fist and finally showed me the handful of bullets she'd had to bite over the decades in order to stay happily married to my father - and she was happily married to my father."

To sum it up, I have acknowledged my inability to lead another person in my life but maybe that might change in the future. But to those who have been married, I congratulate you with a very serious note to take a good care of your family and by 'good care', I don't mean just the food, the bills and the ice-cream on weekends. It's about being faithful, committed, togetherness and most importantly, respect.

If you have chosen to tie the knot, don't complain about the tension.

Friday, July 30, 2010

A Beach Retreat


God knows how desperate I was for a beach retreat. Give me a descent hotel with clean, sandy private beach any day and I wouldn't mind at all.

So you can only imagine how ecstatic I was when a fellow UM pal invited me to accompany him to Port Dickson for some work. I leaped into the invitation immediately, nevertheless.

We stayed at the one-year old Thistle Resort (previously known as Guoman Resort) and I couldn't be happier. It's sleek modern interior greeted us from the lobby up to the room, overlooking the pool and beach.

When you have less than 24 hours to kill, you better make the most of it - and so I did.

I have nothing bad to say about this four-star hotel. The staff were friendly, the beach was clean, the food was nice and the room was exquisite. Although I prefer Cherating beaches than all other beaches I had ever been here in Malaysia (Langkawi, Pangkor, Lumut, Batu Ferrighi), Thistle's private beach wasn't that bad after all.

I really hope to return here again.

They have swings by the beach, yo!

Calling my mom and her response was, "Hoi, aku ni dok takdak duit, anak aku pi Port Dickson pulak no?" (Translation: "I'm broke here and my son is enjoying himself in Port Dickson, eh?")

Thanks Yati


..for this Topman top.

It was a present given by my fellow intern in Tourism Malaysia on my final day of internship (I told you I got truck-load of presents) and finally I had the chance to wear it.

Thanks for the top and most importantly thanks for being a great friend.

And yeah, I do love video games :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Crazy

A thousand miles away
An avatar
An emotional fray
A lonestar

Like a sudden fall
Came a call
Now the unknown
Has touched down

Somewhat a while
A sudden plan
Ten thousand smiles
From one single man

Teasing, flirt
Off the shirt
I surrendered
He conquered

A heart melt
A feeling identified
So trapped
So dignified

But he left
Dreams crumbled
Like a broken shelf
I trembled

Don't be crazy
Don't be feeble
You're a goody
I'm the devil

What's the plan?
Is there any?
Assuming the man
Am I crazy?

No pledge
No story
Over the edge
I am crazy

Shouldn't dream
Not too high
Should've read
Between the lines

Crazy guy
Hope so high
Wanting star
Too afar

Dear crazy
Let it be
Silly baby
The joke's on me

-Khairizan.Yaacob
July 28, 2010
12.21 am

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Craving #657273


New semester has commenced few weeks back, minus the old, familiar faces of my regular UM bunch. Sadly, the same familiar face of one disgusting, obnoxious, back-stabbing, good-for-nothing, crazy bitch is still lingering around though I talk to her no more.

I know, that's some mouthful adjectives for a person but trust me, she fits ALL of them nicely.

Thankfully, there are still some good old mates around to keep me company on and off classes, although regretfully I had to admit that I need some other distractions to keep me from feeling lonely (God, I hate that word).

By distractions, I mean beautiful, wearable, usable stuff like this bag.

Suddenly I had grown tired of the first tier labels (except Hermes and Bottega) and I had my attention on this bag maker called Crumpler. They have a store in KLCC eversince Suria KLCC opened its door in 1997/1998 but I never paid attention to any of its goods - until now.

I had my eyes on this multicolored messenger bag and although I know it looks crazy, I am up for craziness with this bag. I am pleased to introduce you to Crumpler's Barney Rustle Blanket messenger bag.

People go through different phases in their life, style-wise included, and as for me I am SO in the mood for the average 20-something college guy look with a touch of wackiness and a hint of looking *ehem* posh.

Before you go thinking this is your average bag to be taken to your class, this baby doesn't come cheap. It's selling around US$ 140 in the States and I have yet to check it here in KL. If I don't have the dosh, than I won't step into the store. Period. Well, the above average price makes sense since Crumpler bags come with a lifetime warranty should the bags you bought give away to its load.

That's right. You can go and ask for an exchange even after 45 years you bought them.

Let me remind you again that Crumpler is available in Suria KLCC should you *cough cough* want to get one for me *cough cough*. Again, third floor Suria KLCC *cough cough*.

Friday, July 2, 2010

My Internship

Miss Yante and I on the luscious sofa of PWTC

Though I was counting days for this industrial training to end, it was surprisingly hard to say goodbye when the final day of my placement in Tourism Malaysia comes.

I had called the International Marketing Division (Americas/Europe/Oceania) a.k.a AERO as my second home for the past 8 weeks and had bonded so well with fellow colleagues there. We shared inside jokes and other silly stories; not to mention, new ties are formed with other industrial training students such as Asif, Yati, Yante, Hizani and few others with each in different divisions.

I must say, I was blessed to be placed in the creme-de-la-creme, most-sought-after division in Tourism Malaysia, under fantastic helm of its director, Datin Normasila Musa. The working environment was awesome, very co-operative and very accommodating colleagues. Working and learning in AERO were total bliss with no air whatsoever.

On my last day there, they held a farewell party for me and frankly, I never knew how appreciated I was until that day. Each and everyone was wishing me the best and other kind words were offered - along with abundant of gifts and cards I received.

For the last day, I wore exactly what did on my first day there. My white shirt and grey pants, both from Zara and my black-and-white striped tie from Banana Republic. I decided to end it the way I started - corny, I know.

I really, really feel appreciated. The weight of those long, extra working hours spent and tedious works trusted for the past 8 weeks seemed to have evaporated. I would really, really love to return to AERO in the immediate future for real, if God's willing.

Special thanks to Datin Director for approving my placement in AERO, my Europe-1 sub-division chief Puan Maizan Ahmad and my supervisor in AERO Puan Azizah Ahmad. Thanks too to Kak Oly for keeping me laughing like a donkey everyday with her antiques, Mr Raffizi for the times spent talking about clothes and BlackBerry, Kak Fazdila for her blunt jokes, Mr Libra, Kak Aine, Mr Faharul and all unmentioned names in AERO.

Of course, thanks to my best pals in PWTC, Yati and Yante for always keeping me company. The lunches we had in The Mall everyday, lounging around on those comfy sofa at the lobby, breakfasts on the 17th floor, walking together to the train stations - both of you will be sorely missed.

Thanks for making this ride a memorable and fun one for me.

Yati and I. Thanks for the farewell gift, Yati.

Accepting a token of appreciation from Datin Director

The heavyweights of AERO. From left, me, Puan Azizah Ahmad (Assistant Director in Europe 1 Subdivision), Datin Normasila Musa (Director of AERO Division), Puan Maizan Ahmad (Senior Deputy Director & Head of Europe 1 Subdivision), Miss Azizah Aziz (Deputy Director & Head of Russia and CIS Subdivision) and Puan Fazdila Mansor (Senior Assistant Director Europe 1 Subdivision).

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Crissy: My Cobalt Blue Tarantula


I spent my last weekend like any other single (and sane) person would do in KL – mall hopping, despite being sick icky icky poo. My body was so warm and I swear you could fry an egg on my forehead. Damn this fever.

Anyway, while loitering around Mid Valley Megamall, I saw this cute cobalt blue tarantula and knowing how hard it is to find cobalt blue species here in Malaysia, I was ecstatic. Even if they are here, it would cost a bomb for a tiny baby tarantula of its kind. But this one was selling for RM150 so it was relatively cheap, considering it’s about a year old now.

This gorgeous baby is well-known for its aggressiveness thus not suitable for amateur keepers like me. What the heck, I had always liked cobalt blue tarantula and there’s no way I’m not getting it right now. Besides, what’s the worst thing that could happen anyway?

Actually the worst thing that could happen is being bitten by the five-inch-long tarantula and experiencing seizure-like pain up to your chest within 5 minutes. Still, I don’t care. I’m taking my chances.

Since both of my tarantulas, the orange baboon Seraphine and the cobalt blue Crissy are notorious for their hot-tempered, aggressive nature, I chose not to put them in the same container. Now they are both proud owners of their own tank with each building their own webs, tunnels and small caves.

Oh, as for the name Crissy, you must have known how I came up with the name. Which Crissy namesake is associated with good looks, the World Cup and Armani underwear anyway?

I just love seeing these two gorgeous kids doing their thing everyday.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Unsaid Words

The pursuit of love is pretty much similar to going to clubs.

Sometimes you have a certain expectation before hitting the club, other times you just head straight to it without anticipating anything; you just go with the flow, as they say. Some might get lucky – they might get all the perks of both good music and good company in the club while the rest might not. They’ll grow bored and chose to call it a night way earlier than the last round of tune plays. Some might see the ones they would love to dance with but too afraid of making a move and waiting for the signal from the other end to do so (which often doesn’t come) but others just jump right into it, extending their hand for a congenial ‘Hello’ and let the night take its turn.

If you chose to see the many facets of people searching for love, there it is - lying right in front of you on the dancefloor. From a quick glance, it is vibrant, full of life, jumping up and down, full of smiling faces. But take a second look – there are the bored ones in the corner, the trying-so-hard ones which still get no attention, the ones being there just for the sake of another company but left ignored by the latter and the posers who actually have so many insecurities and other kinds of people.

But when we have that perfect one in front of us, then comes the next big question mark – why do we like the one that we like? Crushes come and go as passing interests but real love (perhaps?) stays forever like a bad tattoo. Someone asked me “Why do you like me?” and I don’t have the answer to respond to that and still don’t. If liking/loving someone can be measured or have a distinct index like how MAMPU measures KPI or how restaurants are graded according to Michelin stars, I would be the first one to come out with my own report with full analysis.

Sadly they don’t. So there I was hanging at loss for words when he asked me about it.

I wished I could have tell him how I enjoyed being with him, impressed by his intelligence (I’m turned on by brainy people – Paris Hilton included, she’s smart alright. I’m dead serious), marveled at his preppy clothes, soothed by his puppy eyes, delighted by his company and just glad to be with him in between the said stuff. Sounds cheesy but that’s just how I like him so get over it alright.

People always have doubts about relationships. They say it won’t last. The distance won’t make the heart grow fonder. No two people could remain monogamous. The sparkle will fade within a year; two years top. If one gets fatter, uglier than it’s time for the other one to move on. Opposites do not attract. And so many other skeptical stuff.

I have no idea about most people so I can’t speak on their behalf. But as for me, I’ve proven most of the ill-sayings above wrong. Whole-heartedly I believe if you are into someone, you should jump into it, seize the opportunity, grab the moment and see how it goes. The last time I tried it lasted for six years and ended just because of growing commitments, yet the sparkle was still there at that very last dot. Still, it’s worth the try and was amazing while it lasted.

Wouldn’t it be easier if pursuing for love is as black-and-white as job-hunting? You search for any opening/vacancy, submit your resume complete with impressive co-curriculum vitae stating how good you were as a partner in the past (and why it didn’t work out) and wait for the feedback. You would be notified if you don’t succeed, even more if you actually do. Besides, you could always call and ask directly the status of your application without having to play with flirting games, signals, waiting for calls and other tiring acts.

But that’s the beauty of relationship anyway. It makes all the pain, sweat and sleepless nights worth it – only when it actually worked out fine. If not, back to square one.

Someone told me I could make a Facebook status by this issue but I told him I could turn it into a blog entry instead. Chico, I’ve made it as an entry today.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

"Tell them what I hoped would be IMPOSSIBLE"

This song resonates the truth. My current obsession.



Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Mon Etranger


Mon ├ętranger; French for 'my stranger'

I am blessed to know and be acquainted to this wonderful human being although we have never met in flesh before. For the past a year and a half, Mr Akmal was just a stranger to me - my stranger.

Sure, we've seen each other's pictures, blogs, become virtual friends on Facebook and exchanged text messages throughout this period but had never met in person. Truly, he was pretty much a stranger to me; hence, the name.

The nickname was derived from 'Closer' when Natalie Portman saw Jude Law as soon as she regained consciousness after being hit by a car - 'Hello, stranger.' How apt.

I blamed my pal, Chong Jin for introducing this movie back in school days and leaving a huge mark on my life. True story.

My stranger had returned to Malaysia a couple of times before but we never had the right timing for each other. That was until last week when I insisted on sparing some ticks for him this time around and yes, it was all worth it.

I can't speak on his behalf but for me, yeah, I did enjoy his company. Having him around for real was really the cherry on top of the icing - my icing. It was really good being with him, the one who enjoyed the same cafe mocha as me with brown sugar and knew the words to my favorite Damien Rice's song.

Before we departed, he gave me a 'small' momento he bought in Istanbul and I felt so bad since I didn't have anything to give in return. Besides, how would you top a Burberry gift? Tough call.

Thanks for making your time for me, chico and I'd wait for our next rendezvous, for sure. You made these working days a whole lot brighter for me with something that would really cheer me up.

And yes, you're no longer a stranger to me as what you said. Winks.

Look, A - I've worn your tie! :)