Sunday, March 18, 2012

The One Who Got Carried Away

Never had I thought my short stint in the FSTEP training a year ago would result in wonderful friendship with some of the fellow participants there - six of them, to be exact. 

Day in day out, they became my go-to places for lamenting, cracking up jokes or simply as lunch companions. After a solid one year, we can proudly say that we had always been there for each other through thick and thin, and the bond that we shared could neither be defined nor replaced.

Thus, it would only be natural for us to be there when one of us 'put the ring on it'. Aside from Min who couldn't make it when her car broke down on the night before, the remaining four of us were there in Kampung Pengantin, Jalan Genting Klang to celebrate the wonderful union of Ezzaty and Heqme sometime in late February.

Decked in pale yellow ensemble, the pair looked regal and exquisite as they walked down the aisle to the dais. At that point of time, I still couldn't believe that our sweet, rockstar Zetty has been officially solemnized to be Heqme's. 

After more than a year of knowing this crazy girl, I daresay Zetty is a very sweet, loving and loyal friend. She's not the kind that makes friend with you just for the sake of keeping herself company. When she forged alliance with someone, you better know that you're in a ride that's going to last for a long time, despite how rocky or bumpy the road might be. 

The most interesting thing about Zetty has got to be her sense of humour. She gets both my normal joke as well as the NSFW ones as well. When we made fun of people (behind their back, of course) or start a joke, we simply couldn't stop - and that's probably the worst thing about anyone having to be in the same space as her. 

Above all, she's smart and oh-so-diligent. She takes every challenge within her stride and push herself to the limit, well, most of the time. I could go on and on about this wonderful girl but it's suffice to say just that, as anyone who knows her will definitely nod their head in agreement and that's the reason Heqme loves this girl. 

To the newlyweds, congratulations again and I certainly look forward to become the uncle to your future kids. With lots of love, all the best in your new chapter of life, H & E.
Twitter: @kyeberry

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

Book #3 for 2012: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

As the title suggests, it all started when Christopher John Francis Boone saw his neighbour's dog was killed on one night. 

Christopher, a 15-year-old boy with Asperger's syndrome, embarked on a solo mission to find out who impaled Wellington, the dog, with a pitchfork - a mission that not only solved the mystery but changed the way he perceived the people around him as well. 

The story is narrated by Christopher himself and his condition with Asperger's syndrome played a large part in the storytelling. He uses logic and calculations to make his every decision, and whenever he faced difficulties in explaining he would illustrate them, through diagrams or charts.

I don't really know how to explain this book because, well, it is so simple and direct-to-the-point. There's nothing much to be discussed or explored but to read it yourself. While Google Books, Amazon and other notable book review/ book vendor websites have high praise for 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time' with each site giving on average four out of five star, I still have some hesitation. 

The lack of emotional side of Christopher annoyed me throughout the book. Although I know he was a character living with autism and I have nothing but great respect for parents taking care of children with such condition, I still found it irritating and annoyed of his character. By the time I reached the fifth or sixth chapter, I was ready to throw away the book and read another one - which of course I didn't but it was a complete ordeal for me to finish it.

In conclusion, the book is for someone who appreciates an insight into the mind of a fifteen year old with autism carrying an investigation about the death of a dog. Very straightforward, very boring. Despite being called 'not your average run-of-the-mill teenager investigation book' and being honored with numerous awards and accolades, I won't give it another round of read no matter how desperately bored I get. I'd rather watch paint dry.
Twitter: @kyeberry

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Need: A Bag for Work

This post is long overdue but heck, whatever.

The bag that I used for work was in a relatively bad shape after years of going through thick and thin, rainy and sunny day together with me. That black messenger bag by Guess did me lots of good things for four years and it still does, occasionally, but I decided that it's a high time to get a new one.

...because that's how I give myself a kick to jumpstart my mood of going to work (since I 'love' my job so much).

One afternoon, during my lunch break, I made a pilgrimage to Pavilion KL and scouted for a decent bag for work to replace the old one. After much deliberation (about the price and durability), I decided to go for this shoulder bag from Coach.

Made of grey leather with thick brown canvas shoulder strap, it's roomy enough for a weekend bag and very suitable for a day-to-day bag for work. I love how the bag slouched when I carry it to work, giving it a nice effortless look. As any other Coach bag, it comes with the metal and leather label tags, but I decided to add on the logo-embossed name tag for the bag (sold separately).

I went for this bag as a change from carrying the same old style of messengers. The feedback that I got was mixed: some don't really get it and others love it, like I do. My colleague Jacqueline said it was really nice ('Khai, the entire office smells of Coach leather!') while Kak Fareda said it looked like an oversize girl's tote. Err...

Since some people got their panties tangled up (for some weird, unknown reasons) when I mentioned the price of my haul here, I decided not to mention it anymore. If you would like to know anything about my haul, like this bag, and plan of getting one yourself, email me and I'll definitely get back to you. Where's the fun if it's not shared, right?

Credits to the Coach sales assistant, Khairul, for being a friendly and very helpful salesperson - not to mention, bearing with me for the entire one hour of choosing the suitable bag.
Twitter: @kyeberry

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Book #2 for 2012: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

I must have passed by this book a thousand times over the last 2, 3 years but it wasn't until I watched the heart-stopping trailer of its film adaptation that I decided to give this book a place on my bookshelf. Boy, disappointed I was not. 

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the first book of the Millennium Trilogy (the other two will be discussed in the coming posts). It is about a disgraced journalist, Mikael Blomkvist who found himself in an unexpected assignment to uncover the disappearance mystery of a girl some forty years ago. The task took an unexpected turns as the deeper he dug into the disappearance of Harriet Vanger, the more he uncovered the unpleasant side of top Swedish echelons where corruption and power abuse were rampant. 

Of course, to carry out the interesting task, he found himself a partner in the form of Lisbeth Salander, the tattooed genius and the femme fatale of the story. They found themselves uncovering one of the most well-kept secrets in the Vanger family with lots of actions and suspense in between.

Although the book has a dizzying cocktail of thousands of characters with long Swedish names thrown in (like reading the names of Ikea furniture), it was a complete pleasure to flip from one page to another as readers (like me) were totally drawn into the mystery and investigation. The language is simple (although it was translated from Swedish) and most of the plot are easy to understand and in chronological order. 

In a nutshell, reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was a complete joy and totally made me a fan of thriller books now. 

I bought this one in Times, Pavilion with the movie tie-in cover.
Twitter: @kyeberry