Thursday, March 25, 2010

Panic Week

The title pretty much sums up this week thus far.

On Monday, I missed my classes because I got dressed, head down to my car and the alarm didn't work. I tried opening it with the key instead, blasting out the alarm - sending the entire people of Pantai Dalam into alert of my little hiccup.

Then I remembered the alarm remote being soaked wet from last night. After two attempts and two loud alarms which lasted 2-3 minutes, I gave up.

Anyway, it was scorching hot outside so I needed to get back indoor. There goes my black and white outfit with my winged-shoes for the Monday class.

After some thoughts and help from my buddy Zuhairi a.k.a Jern, everything was okay. The remote was fixed and the battery was replaced. A giant thanks to Jern for chauffeur-ing me to the workshop and back - on his bike. I felt like a dirty, sexy Mat Rempit from Pantai Dalam - sounds nasty isn't it?

Then today, I was alone in my class with my regular bunch wasn't around. Minutes later one by one stepped into the hall except Fifi.

Turned out, she was in the Damansara Uptown Police Station after nearly being robbed from some (obviously) bad guy in the basement parking lot. She was there in the morning for her interview in Lenovo headquarters.

By the time all of us got there, she had already gone back with her uncle, still in shock and crying from what she had told us through the texts and phone calls.

Come to think of it, Damansara Uptown has been notoriously known for stuff like this. You better be extra careful when you're there, especially if you're a female and unaccompanied by anyone. This has happened to my best friend and you and I could be the next one. Touch wood.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My Top Ten Oscar Nominees

With the Oscars has finally over (weeks ago), I suddenly feel the urge to share my favorite top ten Oscar nominees and winners. These are only my preferences and I can write anything because it's my blog - ha! Tell me what you think and share me yours alright.

Let the countdown begins!

10. Michael Shannon in Revolutionary Road

Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet made a great couple for a heavyweight movie like Revolutionary Road. Though I love their acting, what grabbed my attention was Michael Shannon as the mentally-unstable John Giving who opened up the raw and basic meaning of life to the 'Revolutionary Road couple' (Kate and Leo). Although his blatant remarks on their life and how they chose to live their life maybe seemed inappropriate despite his unhealthy state, he still managed to leave a deep scar to the couple making them re-evaluate their life rather than ignore what the insane man had said.

Michael Shannon makes his character believable - enough to make us hate him and at the same time, marvel at his philosophy.

Favourite Scene: When the Givings stopped by the Wheelers household for the second time and leads Frank Wheeler to smack John Giving in the living room.

9. Julia Roberts in Erin Brockovich

Those who haven't watched Erin Brockovich is in for a loss big time. Julia Roberts got her Oscar for her leading role in this picture of real-life single mom Brockovich with no legal background, ended up serving in one and solve the biggest court case in the history of United States. She made a great depiction of Miss Brockovich who has three children, no savings whatsoever, struggling to get a job with her limited qualification and juggling personal life and everything else in between.

Favorite Scene: Erin Brockovich giving George her 'numbers' outside of her house. OK, that's funny.

8. Kate Winslet in The Reader

Alright, here is another boobies show by Kate Winslet which finally got her an Oscar after her previous boobies-flashing failed to do so. Tits aside, The Reader is a great movie which tells a woman's ongoing struggle to not let anyone or anything belittle her dignity although it means hiding her flaws (and disabilities) from everyone at all cost. However, I still can't digest the necessity of showing her tits in this movie, as any other movies she did. The story itself is so good to stand on its own. Oh well.

Favourite Scene: Hanna Schmitz being asked in court to 're-write' a letter which was claimed to be in her own handwriting. She decline and and admitted guilty, because she chose not to let everyone know she could neither write nor read.

7. Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada

Meryl's character, Miranda Priestly, is supposedly a raw impersonation or the closest impersonation of Anna Wintour, Vogue's Editor-in-Chief but she looks much more devilish in this picture, as the title may suggest.

The coldness and the elegant possessed by Miranda in its book version is cleverly transformed into human form by Meryl. She shows how Miranda always took her career seriously and sometimes even more serious than any other things around her, including her marriage and her co-workers, which she coldly back-stabbed so she wouldn't be replaced by her arch-nemesis.

Favorite Scene: Miranda Priestly smirked at Andy Sachs's remark ("This s..s..stuff?")

6. Rachel Weisz in The Constant Gardener

I still remembered watching this movie in GSC Mid Valley with Chong Jin in 2005, not knowing what the movie was about prior to that. When the movie ended, we were speechless. There was so many things to be said but words couldn't describe it.

One of the indescribable things were Rachel Weisz's acting in this picture (OK I finally have the words to describe it). Though her character is minor (she was already killed in the beginning) it was enough to leave a memorable mark to me, at least. The flashback scenes will make viewers feel sorry for her husband, Justin Quayle who was initially a low-key British diplomat sent to Kenya, but later turned aggressive and endured all hardship to solve the murder case of his wife, Tessa (played by Rachel Weisz). It's funny how most of Rachel's scenes involved only of flashbacks but it was proven to be sufficient enough to secure her a Supporting Actress Oscars in the same year.

Favorite Scene: Justin Quayle identifying her wife's cold, motionless body in the mortuary.

6. Will Smith in The Pursuit of Happyness

In this true story Will Smith plays Chris Gardner, a salesman single father who sacrificed everything except his son's well-being to be a stockbroker. He lost all of his savings due to wrong investment, his wife (or his son's mother, I don't know) and eventually his house but still gave up no hope in constantly trying to secure a job at a stockbroking firm.

This true story would bring tears to everyone who watches it if you feel the pain Chris Gardner has to endure but still manages to fake a smile everyday for his son. He lost everything while trying to succeed (which he eventually did) - everything, except his determination and undying love for his son.

Favorite Scene: Chris Gardner trying to convince his son to spend the night in a subway station's toilet after losing his house by pretending they are hiding from dinosaurs in a cave. Waterworks galore at this part *sobs*.

4. Joaquin Phoenix in Walk the Line

Joaquin Phoenix supposedly threw a tantrum at the 2005 Oscars after-party after losing to Philip Seymour Hoffman in Best Actor Category. Why he was mad was understandable - this is one of his best performance ever especially when he actually sing in this movie.

Playing Johnny Cash, he showed the mellow and fragile side of the late singer. His obsession for his future wife June Carter (played by Reese Witherspoon and won her Best Actress Oscar), his drug addiction and slurring on stage while being high on drugs were all depicted by Joaquin in close resemblance. I still can't get over Joaquin's face expression especially when he mimicked Johnny Cash's puppy eyes while performing - that's a true star right there.

Favorite Scene: Johnny Cash asking June Carter for an impromptu duet on stage for their song 'It Ain't Me Babe' before proposing to her - and got rejected. Ouch.

3. Marion Cotillard in La Vie en Rose

Playing someone famous from her 20s up to her death at the age of 47 wasn't easy. You'd always be compared to the legend, your expression delivery becomes challenging under all of those thick make-up and wig and whether your acting is believable enough for the audience. For Marion Cotillard, she nailed all of the above with her own version in playing the legendary Edith Piaf.

The whole movie was in French but it wouldn't stop you from admiring the true beauty of the acting, the story and the songs featured (with some help from subtitles, of course). Edith Piaf was notorious for its childhood turmoils, drug addiction and not the least, her magical voice which earned her nickname 'La Mome Piaf' (The Little Sparrow). Marion channels every stage of Edith Piaf's life brilliantly, including her haunch figure, raspy voice and everything else known about Edith. Another movie which I loved to watch over and over again until now.

Favorite Scene: Edith Piaf wakes up in the morning and hallucinates about her lover, Marcell which had 'died' from an aircrash.

2. Mo'Nique in Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire

Who would have thought Mo'Nique, the standup comedienne is worth of an Oscar? She plays Mary Jones, the abusive and dysfuctional mother to a teenager who is unemployed. Throughout the movie, viewers would love to hate Mo'Nique's character - continuously abusing her daughter mentally and physically. however, towards the end, we would finally realized that Mary is actually mentally-disable and subsequently, feel sorry for her.

Favorite Scene: Mary Jones in Miss Weiss' cubicle with Precious, sobbing.

1. Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain

Writing about no. 1 is hard because this amazing piece of talent is no longer with us today though his works would live on forever. The great late Heath Ledger played Ennis del Mar, a typical Southern masculine cowboy living in a quiet town of Wyoming who found true love in another person - who is a guy.

Staying true to the movie's tagline, his character (based on the short story with the same name by Annie Proulx) proved that love is indeed a force of nature. Who would have thought that this soon-to-be-married cowboy would fall in love with another guy, let alone in a place where masculinity wasn't something to be tolerated or compromised.

Heath played Ennis del Mar so well, so respectable. He showed that one need not have to be effeminate *cough,gay,cough* to fall in love with someone of the same sex. Love is something pure and simple and when it comes knocking, you know you can't just shove it away. Ennis del Mar tried doing that by marrying his fiancee but he only have one true love with Jack Twist which lasted over 20 years, until his partner was killed - by the latter's wife.

Favorite Scene: Of course it's the scene where Jack Twist told Ennis del Mar "I wish I'd knew how to quit you."

Sergio Rossi Sandal

OK, although I'm a HUGE footwear whore, I never really knew Sergio Rossi has men's line of footwear. Yeah, bummer, I know.

It was until recently when I took a peek into its new swanky standalone boutique in Starhill Gallery (Indulge Floor) that I realized, hey, they have men's too!

Sergio Rossi is one of the lesser known but no less fabulous high-end label of footwear, standing with the likes of Blahnik, Louboutin, Jimmy Choo, Zanotti, Weitzman and Roger Vivier. If you Google for red carpet pictures, the chances to spot celebrities wearing Sergio Rossi are high.

So, back to my discovery. I was tingling to explore the store but I reserve it when I really have the ability *coughcough,money,coughcough* to spend on its shoes.

Last night, Ayi showed me this leather gladiator sandal from its online page. No need to mention, I got restless.

I mean, how fabulous is that?

Leather trimming, uber-modern design, high-cut gladiator, rubber sole, 'Sergio Rossi' label emblazoned at the back of the heels. Tres chic.

I hope they have this one in KL. More importantly, I hope I have the ability *cough,money,cough* to purchase it. Must be over a thousand bucks.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Beri Hitam yang Berani

a.k.a BlackBerry Bold

I full-heartedly gave Farra the credit for the silly translation because she was the one who coined it. I wasn't sure about this post but she insisted that I do it so here it is.

I read somewhere that an average man would use their mobile phones for a year-and-half before changing/upgrading it. I guess that applies to me too because in about that period, my phone would either be stolen, broken or simply be replaced when opportunities came along (i.e. whenever some generous person gave one to me).

That was true for my previous 4-5 phones. Until recently.

Remember my Storm? Baptiste McStormy? Well, that didn't go too well.

I have to admit, being one of the latest brainchild of RIM, the Storm was quite good in some areas. Its camera, video camera and graphic interface are superb. Those are its turf - Storm wins hands down with that.

But for someone like me, who's not used to touchscreen phones, it was quite a nuisance though I hate to admit so because for me BlackBerry could do nothing wrong! Yes, I'm a proud CrackBerry addict. So be it.

I found my typing speed slowed down by 50%, though it really needed a LOT of practice initially to get familiar with its touch-press keypad. Then, it was as power hungry as a Hummer - I could barely get the battery to last for a complete 24 hours with 3,4 phone calls and some text messaging a day, though I've changed my connectivity from 3G to 2G. Still it didn't help much.

So, it has got to go. Besides, someone else around me has started using it too so that was not cool. Yes, Fifi we really don't like being as same as everyone else, do we?

In return, I got myself a Bold 9000. This is like a slight downgrading but still, you can't go wrong with a Bold. This is like the best BlackBerry ever - or so people said.

I initially tried the new Bold 2 9700 but I didn't really feel the slimmer version. I personally like chunky ones - like Storm or Bold 9000, though I know the new Bold has better OS and much-improved camera. But for now, I'll settle with my Bold 9000.

BBM-ing with Fifi - in class. Hope my lecturer doesn't read this.

This sucker is definitely something. When I bought it, I immediately felt as if I was back at my own comfort - reminiscence of my old Boboy, the Curve. No hassle at all. There isn't much to tell because everything is quite similar to using Curve and I'm very comfortable with this piece.

Now I could easily do short text messages while driving, something I didn't get a chance to with Storm.

Don't get me wrong, okay - it's not like I always use my phone while driving. Sometimes you just need to type things like 'OTW' to a friend waiting anxiously for you to arrive for class. No kidding.

And I've signed up for BlackBerry Internet Service and it was quite impressive. Surfing the net or BBM-ing with my pals are easy, provided you stay around EDGE connectivity and above.

I went back to Taiping last week by bus, then headed to Penang and Alor Star with my parents and along the way, I had no trouble connecting to the Facebook, Googling some stuff, BBM-ing with Fifi, updating my Twitter and of course made calls and texting. Some says DiGi's BIS service is much better and cheaper but I have yet to verify it.

Oh, this sucker doesn't has a name yet and I don't plan to baptize him with any - I don't want to jinx it like I did with my two previous BlackBerrys.

I'll just call him my wonderful chunky berry for now.