Sunday, April 30, 2006

You want to know about Manila yah?

"You want to know about Manila?"

"Yeah I've been there before."

"Tell you bro, I've been to quite a few places in Asia before but Manila's a real SHITHOLE."

"No, No... I'm serious."

"I was there on a lay-over for a night before I had to catch a flight back to Oman from here. I didn't have any problems there, Philippines Airlines was very good. Took care of everything on the flight."

"I got into the limo waiting for me at the airport and the driver took me to The Sandy Hotel. There was a woman who was my guide."

"The jams were shit... Every 50 metres or less, the traffic came to a complete stop."

"And during the whole f**king way were these women... Outside my window, shouting for us to buy their babies!"

"I'd also saw these f**kers, bringing their sisters, shouting 'F**key-f**key my sista? My sista good for you!"

"I was actually becoming very worried. But my guide told it's ok. There are armed guards patrolling the hotel."

"Armed military police patrolling the hotel."

"I decided I needed a drink so I went straight to the bar. Ordered two San Miguels. That didn't help so I had some vodka."

"I was sitting there at the bar getting pissed and the barmaid suddenly came up to me and told me that she gets off at 2 and asks would I like her to be at my hotel room afterwards."

"I said no and decided to take a walk. Just, you know, a little walk around the hotel to clear my head."

"Shit, every shop around the hotel were these armed guards with their weapons. F**king pump action."

"Other people were all laying on their straw mats in street gutters."

"Girls, 12, 13, 15 years old wailing at me to f**k them!"

"Shit, I thought I couldn't stand anymore. I didn't walk anymore and went right up to my room and didn't go out again."

"Then, I got a call from my guide and you know what she said to me?"

" 'Do you want me to join you at your room?' "

"Don't go to Manila."

Saturday, April 29, 2006

I Hate Vegetrarian Food

It's an old story yet, still highly relevant.

Look, I'm not trying to denounce, decry, or derogate anyone's dietary preference here. I just think that the Devil put vegetarian food here to make me more mindful and suspicious of people's cooking.

I was traumatized by vegetarian food before. Really. Let me explain.

I was strolling down my street on the way home from class in college one afternoon when I felt the ol' Gastronomi Deity cautioning me to appease it with the usual fat-and-oil laden sacrifice. Of which I was more than happy to accommodate.

Near where I used to live in Pee-Jay (near Kay-El) was this food stall aright? And it looked to me like any other food stall on that street.

Silly me.

I sauntered into the stall and with a cursory selection of what looked like normal chicken and pork meats laid out on the food trays, I was promptly served my meal on a plastic plate. It was the noon meal and I was hungry as ****.

God cursed the day it happened. Cuz as soon as I bit into the so-called meat, I nearly had to tap the uncle at the table next to mine for a Heimlich Maneuver and a sledge hammer. The Heimlich for me, the hammer for the cook.

Dammit! That was the worst thing I'd ever tasted. Bar none. I could have sworn it produced drastic chemical and genetic changes in my body. I was thinking, this is vegetarian?! Why'd they even bother in the first place?

I didn't get pass the third bite.

OK fine, I thought. Maybe I'm being a little too harsh on this vegetarian thingie. Maybe that stall just made bad vegetarian food, although I think that phrase represents a double negative. But anyway...

A few weeks later, after getting over that previous episode, I thought, "Oh, maybe it needn't be so bad. Let's go try another place."

So this time, I increased my standards. Instead of eating in an open-air stall by the roadside, I'll go to an air-conditioned restaurant.

Hey, this time, the food was better! I managed 5 bites before hastily calling the waiter over to kick him and ask for the bill.

So, needless to say, I avoided vegetarian food like the plague after that for a loooonnngggg time until....

I had the great luck, blessing and fortune of having some friends from Kay-El visit me in Kay-Kay.

They were a married couple and one single guy who are the nicest and best people you could ever know. And being the nice guy that I am, I offered to take them around the city during their time here.

Sob. They turned out to be the most hardcore vegetarians you can ever meet. I mean, they didn't even touched eggs!

And how long were they in town?

5. Friggin. Days. Breakfast. Lunch. Tea. Dinner. Supper. Every damn day. I felt like a monk after that.

I didn't even suspect there were so many vegetarian places in this town.

Man... I hate vegetarian food.

Your Birth Month is November

Tolerant and inspirational, you are wise beyond your years.
You are universally sympathetic and a great humanitarian.

Your soul reflects: Compassion, friendship, and secret love

Your gemstone: Citrine

Your flower: Chrysanthemum

Your colors: Dark blue, red, and yellow

Your Birthdate: November 27

You are a spiritual soul - a person who tries to find meaning in everything.
You spend a good amount of time meditating, trying to figure out life.
Helping others is also important to you. You enjoy social activities with that goal.
You are very generous and giving. Yet you expect very little in return.

Your strength: Getting along with anyone and everyone

Your weakness: Needing a good amount of downtime to recharge

Your power color: Cobalt blue

Your power symbol: Dove

Your power month: September

Sure or Not...

Your Life Path Number is 1

Your purpose in life is to lead others.

You have great drive and determination. Nothing is going to stand in your way.
You seek out challenges and the spotlight. You'll take all the work - and all the glory.
Status and success are important to you. You demand the best from everyone and everything.

In love, you tend to take a protective role. You enjoy being the provider in relationships.

You expect others to be like you, and as a result, you are often disappointed.
A little selfish and vain, you always put yourself first.
Remember, everyone already knows you're great - you don't need to remind them!

Spot On

Your Summer Ride is a Jeep

For you, summer is all about having no responsibilities.
You prefer to hang with old friends - and make some new ones.

You Are Corona

You don't drink for the love of beer. You drink to get drunk.
You prefer a very light, very smooth beer. A beer that's hardly a beer at all.
And while you make not like the taste of beer, you like the feeling of being drunk.
You drink early and often. Sometimes with friends. Sometimes alone. All the party needs is you!

Friday, April 28, 2006

Word of the Timebeing

ONIOMANIA (O-nee-uh-MAY-nee-uh, -MAYN-yuh) noun
Def: Compulsive shopping; excessive, uncontrollable desire to buy things.

You know, there are some things in life that aren't what they seem in the first place. First impressions can be deceptive.

Today's Word however, isn't one of them... heh heh.

For instance, we'd call people with oniomania oniomaniacs right?

I did a search on Google with this word and found this page with some tips on battling this condition. Let me share just a couple with you:

Don't carry credit cards unless you've decided beforehand on a particular purchase which warrants one.

Carry a limited amount of cash with you.

Hmmm... Ya kah?

Your Personality Is

Guardian (SJ)

You are sensible, down to earth, and goal oriented.
Bottom line, you are good at playing by the rules.

You tend to be dominant - and you are a natural leader.
You are interested in rules and order. Morals are important to you.

A hard worker, you give your all at whatever you do.
You're very serious, and people often tell you to lighten up.

In love, you tend to take things carefully and slowly.

At work, you are suited to almost any career - but you excel in leadership positions.

With others, you tend to be polite and formal.

As far as looks go, you are traditionally attractive. You take good care of yourself.

On weekends, you tend to like to do organized activities. In fact, you often organize them!


I was sitting with my buddy F in a place called Sri Sempelang in Sembulan when I overheard someone shouting, "Boooooooossssss!", most probably to a friend.

I came back into the office and I get a sharp but not loudly spoken "BOSS" from a colleague that needed help.

I got yet another request for help from a lady colleague a few minutes later with, "Oh......... boss........".

Yep, another one of our cultural idiosyncrasies. It's like the articles '~lah', '~bah' and '~kah' for us. Ever wondered how so many forms of 'Boss' are used everywhere around us or how useful they are?

Lemme recount how many types I've heard of:
  • There's the 'cam'bos?' pre-fix variant: Actually a postmanteau of 'Apa macam, boss?'. Bastardised into the short form.
  • We have the actual 'boss' to show deference or respect to an actual boss or person of senior rank. Or in some cases that I know, to kiss ass.
  • You ever heard those dragged-out ones?: 'Booooohhhhhhsssssss' or 'Buuuuuuhhhhhhssssss' if you're in Sabah. Trying saying 'boo' but drag the last O and add LOTS of S'ses behind it.
  • Like I mention above, one of my male colleagues like to say 'BOSS!' in a way that sounds he's exhaling air from his lungs sharply. Not too loud but gets your attention anyhow.
  • 'Boss.. Boss.. Boss...': Rarely used but sounds like a mild rebuke from one person to another, usually between colleagues.
  • Loud and sharp 'BOSS!!!' and raising the right arm with palms facing forward. Standard greeting used by local guys to local guys in a social setting.
  • Another use of the word 'boss' is the one with the OK pre-fix: 'kay'bos' used by weary workers to their seniors to indicate 'yeah, yeah ya dick, i got it. Now piss off'.
  • Sometimes, in a government office, I'd hear a 'oh.... bosss...' by the clerks (usually female) to some unsuspecting customer. Usually, it means 'You're have been a victim of bad bureaucracy, oversight and indifference. Can't help you but maybe if you fill in this form, one of our officers will look into it...'.
Hehehe.... I only think of these so far. You guys heard of any others?

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Sentinel

Just saw this a couple of days ago and it reminded me why I enjoyed watching Michael Douglas in movies (Wall Street, Romancing the Stone). Of course, heh heh, Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives) was no eye-sore either. It also stars Kiefer Sutherland.

A scene at the beginning of the movie had the sort of mood and pacing I don't think happens too much in Hollywood these days and one which I enjoyed. It's just basically a bunch of radio-chatter when the President was being escorted from the White House to his public appearance of the day. I like watching scenes of para-military servicemen working together on a mission and the way they communicated with each other over the radio... and uh... stuff like that...

The story? Oh yeah...

Pete Garrison is a highly experienced member of the US Secret Service, which is charged with the sole duty of protecting the US President and the First Lady. Garrison is doubly respected and almost revered in the service for having taken a bullet for Reagan. Well... then he gets framed for plotting to assassinate the current President and Breckinridge is the agent who tries to bring Garrison in....

Oh, go and watch it. It's cool... If you like styles seen in 24 or NYPD Blues, you'd like this. The action is normal Hollywood fare, which I liked and the bitching and beef between Michael and Kiefer was just entertaining. There were just some plots bits that I felt weren't resolved. Actually, some pretty significant plot bits.

3.5 out of 5 stars

You Belong in Barcelona

When it comes to Europe, you don't want to decide between culture and fun. You want art by day and a big party by night.
Barcelona is ideal for you. You can check out some Picasso, eat some tapas, take a siesta, and then dance all night!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Tell me something I don't know...

These days, you gotta be living in a cave not to know the amount you need to spend on getting your car to move i.e. buying petrol for the dang thing.

(I swear I can hear voices saying, "Get on with it, yer bollicks!")

Anyway, my fuel tank was almost empty when my buddy F and I had to take some students of ours to their hostels. So instead of risking an embarrassing and sudden derailment to our transportation plans, I said to him, "Look, I'll drop you near the hostel, you go do your bit and I'll go get us some fuel, k?"

So I went and got us some fuel. But before that, a little back story is needed:

Some blogs ago, I mentioned that I receive a RM20.00 voucher for fuel from the dealer, remember? The Myvi was totally empty when I got it so I immediately went to the station and utilized my voucher. Ok?

That same night, I went and bought another RM50.00, just to see how much fuel the thang can handle.

Total: RM70.00. The first full-tank for the car. I swear.

Alright, fast forward. I drove til the tank was almost empty before I decided to top up again. This second time, I bought another RM70.00. And then, guess what?

The fuel tank OVERFLOWED. I lost a couple of Ringgits on that pump. Not much tho, a couple of bucks.



So I pulled up to the petrol station. Got out. Paid RM65.00 to the dude at the counter who seemed to be having a bit of trouble understanding which car was mine. (Mine was on Pump #2; the nearest car was two pumps away.)

At this point I should explain my weird little line at the top of this blog.

Meet Datuk Mohd Shafie Apdal, Malaysia's Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs.

There I was minding my own business, waiting for my turn to pay for my fuel and digging in my wallet for RM65.00 while thinking "Oh, isn't fuel so expensive these days?" when I looked up at a newspaper stand and saw what Shafie had to say on the front page of the New Sabah Times today:


Geez... talk about redundant. Or eerie, I forget which. Like I said, do me and us a favour and tell me something I don't know, ok, Datuk?

Anyway... back to paying for the fuel.

I was thinking, this time, they aren't gonna get me so easily. No sirree cuz this time I'm only gonna buy RM65.00. Not RM70.00.

I put the pump in. The pump obeyed its dharma. Things were going fine. The pump and I had a good thing going when.......................... CLUNK!

I can't frigging believe it. Not again!

The meter stopped at RM62.14!

Ahh... shite..... I lifted the pump, squeezed a little, lifted a little, pumped a little but still I couldn't get all the fuel I paid for out before I saw the top of the fuel level through the whole.

Sigh.... I should just buy RM60.00 next time, huh? Looking on the bright side, this means I won't have to spend so much to get a full tank.

What'd they say bout silver linings eh?

Ah... About them Carbos...

Remember what I said about that crash diet by minusing carborhydrates and glucose from your food?

Well... I got a second opinion from a nurse friend o' mine.

When I told him about what I heard yesterday, he turned his head, looked at me with his one eye and unsurprisingly uttered, "You mad ah?"

Of course, him being an orang putih (white man), he didn't really use our local grammatical article.

What he did say was, we shouldn't go on a crash diet by totally cutting off carbos unless we wanna look like this:

Yup, El Flabbo, if we lost fat too quickly, we would most probably end up having flabby skin hanging by folds from the bones.

Ol' One-eye then related the following story to me:

"I had a lady who came in one day to my hospital. And you better believe me when I say, that b***h was big... She was 130 kilos! And she went through the exact same diet and whoosh... 6 months later, she lost about 40 of those kilos. Had flabs hanging ten feet off her arms. She looked like hell."

Roiiittt.... I get it.

So... heh, let's just halve the portions of carbos that we take then, eh?

Gender differences in food intake volume nowithstanding, let's say we usually take 8 slices of bread or 2 bowls of rice per day, we should probably just cut it down to 3 slices or half a bowl.

I guess that diet makes more sense now, huh?

The Necessary Blogthingies

You Should Be a Joke Writer

You're totally hilarious, and you can find the humor in any situation.
Whether you're spouting off zingers, comebacks, or jokes about life...
You usually can keep a crowd laughing, and you have plenty of material.
You have the makings of a great comedian - or comedic writer.

I'm not too sure bout this one....

You Are 37% Selfish

In general, you are a very giving person who treats others very well.
But at times, you insist on getting your way - when it matters most to you.

But I agree with this one...

Word for the Timebeing

GARBOLOGY (gar-BOL-uh-jee) noun
Def: The study of a society or culture by examining what it discards.

Be careful what you throw out.

Because I just found out there are courses and studies on garbage and what people throw out in their trash. Supposedly, what you, your community, or your society throw out reflect your characters, personalities and stuff like that. You'd be surprised at how many universities teach the stuff. And the knowledge is applied in fields as mundane as garbage collection and recycling, to sociology and psychology, to archaeology to industrial and electronic espionage.

Electronic espionage? I'd recommend you delete your whole hard drive before selling or dumping it in the future.

And from garbology, there were some myths that were dispelled according to this article by the University of Texas Southwester Medical Center Dallas.

I have no idea why I wrote this.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Step Away From The Carbos Please, Sir

If I don't do something bout my food intake soon, I'm gonna end up like this:

(Sorry, Sherman...)

The flaps are really piling on now. Love handles developing. But no fear, I'm about to impart to you guys something I've been hearing about for quite a while now.

It's about carbohydrates and glucose.

Yer see... why do we exercise so much but don't lose any of the fat? If we don't lose the fat, it ain't any use right? cuz we're not losing the weight.

Now, a discussion about that in the office today posits that you could run a few kilometres a day and it wouldn't do you a spit of good in reducing your weight if you keep eating stuff made of carbos and starch.

It was at around this point that I said, "Tell me more".

My wise old colleague then went on to say that when we exercise, we need to burn something as fuel for all that exertion.

The Body (yours and mine, not talkin bout Elle), being the wonderful machine that it is, will always choose to burn the carbos first. Not the fat. Why? Cuz carbos are much easier to burn. When we exert ourselves during exercises , it's the carbo being burned, NOT our fats.

So. If we keep eating carbos (and being Asians, that factors a lot in our staple foods. Rice, noodles, bread, etc, etc, etc), we will have too much fuel for the body to burn and it won't touch the fat. Worse with our sedentary office lifestyles. Hard work me arse.

So how?

Well, now I'm gonna try something.

I am going to avoid all forms of carbos except for a light pastry or two in the morning. That means no rice and no noodles. Only meat and veggies. No potatoes, no pizzas, no pastas. That, and top it up with more exercise.

It's gonna be tough but hey, it's gotta be done.

I gotta do something about these clothes getting smaller.


What. In. The. World. Is. Happening. To. Blogger?

It publishes, but very slowly.
It loads oh so very slowly.
Pics take half a century to load (if they ever do).

I've been having this problem on 2 separate computers in 2 separate locations for 2 separate days now on more than 2 separate occasions.

Yesterday night, I started publishing at 9.25pm, went out, played pool, had a drink, came home and the darn thing was still publishing. Completed progress then?



I hope this post gets published.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Just a BRIEF stop then...

In one of my usual drives around town looking for lunch with my workmates today, I couldn't help but notice the most blog-worthy item I've seen lately.

Ha ha, check out this little gem:

I took this shot with my phone's camera as I was cruising by the place in Inanam Square. For those of you looking at this screen and asking, "So what?!", well... Tai Foo also literally means 'Underwear' in a certain Chinese dialect. However, I did manage to find out that Tai Foo means Big Prosperity in Mandarin.

Anyway, we had lunch in there just for the heck of it.

Hmmm.... nothing special lah.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Oh.... damn....

A few moments ago Yours Truly was thinking, "Hmm.... maybe I ought to check out what other templates Blogspot has for me to use". Since I wanted a outdoorsy and relaxing kinda theme I thought, "what the hell..." and chose this one that we see here right now

So I changed it from thisto what you see here right now.

But you know what? I didn't realise that it would take away ALL the customised links I just put up a few minutes before. Not to mention the polls.
I know, I know... there was a warning from Blogspot but then it didn't hit me....
But hey, you learn something new everyday right? :)

I'm liking this look a lot better.

Saturday, April 22, 2006



Sunday night.

I thought he was acting weird.

We had made plans to meet at a cafe to have coffee.

I was shopping with my friends all day long, so I thought he was upset
that I was a bit late, but he made no comment. Conversation wasn't flowing, so I suggested that we go somewhere quiet so we could talk. He agreed but he kept quiet and absent.
I asked him what was wrong.
He said: "Nothing."
I asked him if it was my fault that he was upset.

He said it had nothing to do with me, and not to worry.
On the way home I told him that I loved him.
He simply smiled and kept driving.
I can't explain his behavior;
I don't know why he didn't say: "I love u, too."
When we got home, I felt as if I had lost him, as if he wanted nothing
to do with me anymore.
He just sat there and watched TV; he seemed distant and absent.
Finally, I decided to go to bed. About 10 minutes later he came to bed.
I could not take it anymore, so I decided to confront him with the situation but he had fallen asleep.
I started crying and cried until I too fell asleep.

I don't know what to do.

I'm almost sure that his thoughts are with someone else.

My life is a disaster.


Today, Liverpool lost the match. DAMN IT..!!

Side Bar Links!

Ahhh... finally put up some side bar links. I'll put in some more as time goes by. Added a hit counter too at the bottom. Thanks guys for the tips on doing this! :)

And would you believe this??? My mouse just died as soon as I typed that last sentence! Damn... talk about timing eh? Lucky thing I had a couple of spare mice lying around. Heh.

You Are Midnight

You are more than a little eccentric, and you're apt to keep very unusual habits.
Whether you're a nightowl, living in a commune, or taking a vow of silence - you like to experiment with your lifestyle.
Expressing your individuality is important to you, and you often lie awake in bed thinking about the world and your place in it.
You enjoy staying home, but that doesn't mean you're a hermit. You also appreciate quality time with family and close friends.

This was unexpected

Your Famous Last Words Will Be:

"So, you're a cannibal."

Fantasy of many....

Supposedly this is THE most popular screen saver in the US right now according to an email I just got. I actually saw this one before in but I'm glad I can now include it in its own page here. Check it out. If Georgie gets stuck, now worries. Just nudge him along with your cursor.

Rrr.. the animal in me..

Your Animal Personality

Your Power Animal: Deer

Animal You Were in a Past Life: Panda

You are a fun-seeker - an adventurous, risk-taker.
While you are spontaneous, you are not very rational.

Learn something new everyday....

There we go! After some tinkering and only after much procrastinating (I was busy, I was!), I finally managed to put some side bar links on this blog o' mine. And polls at that! Didn't know what kind of questions I wanted to put in so these two on the page should be as good as any to start with I guess.

Ta babes!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Wild

Just watched this:

I just can't help but see a cross between Madagascar, Finding Nemo and Lion-bloody-King in this one. And despite what the reviews say, the animation and graphics just aren't as impressive as Madagascar's. And Madagascar was cuter.

Have you ever seen Antz, and compared that to A Bug's Life and saw the stark similarities and start to wonder, "Now, who ripped who off?" That's just about the feeling I get from watching The Wild, though I'd say Antz had a much 'darker' feel compared to its Pixar counterpart.

The Wild was just mediocre.

2 out of 5.

Your Five Factor Personality Profile


You have medium extroversion.
You're not the life of the party, but you do show up for the party.
Sometimes you are full of energy and open to new social experiences.
But you also need to hibernate and enjoy your "down time."


You have low conscientiousness.
Impulsive and off the wall, you don't take life too seriously.
Unfortunately, you sometimes end up regretting your snap decisions.
Overall, you tend to lack focus, and it's difficult for you to get important things done.


You have high agreeableness.
You are easy to get along with, and you value harmony highly.
Helpful and generous, you are willing to compromise with almost anyone.
You give people the benefit of the doubt and don't mind giving someone a second chance.


You have medium neuroticism.
You're generally cool and collected, but sometimes you do panic.
Little worries or problems can consume you, draining your energy.
Your life is pretty smooth, but there's a few emotional bumps you'd like to get rid of.

Openness to experience:

Your openness to new experiences is high.
In life, you tend to be an early adopter of all new things and ideas.
You'll try almost anything interesting, and you're constantly pushing your own limits.
A great connoisseir of art and beauty, you can find the positive side of almost anything.

Your Values Profile


You value loyalty a fair amount.
You're loyal to your friends... to a point.
But if they cross you, you will reconsider your loyalties.
Staying true to others is important to you, but you also stay true to yourself.


You don't really value honesty.
You do value getting your way, no matter what.
And if a little lying is required to do that, no problem.
A few white lies never hurt anyone (at least, that's what you tell yourself!)


You don't really value generosity.
Your needs always come first, no matter what.
And you'll possibly help someone else out...
But only if it helps you in return.


You value humility highly.
You have the self-confidence to be happy with who you are.
And you don't need to seek praise to make yourself feel better.
You're very modest, and you're keep the drama factor low.


You value tolerance highly.
Not only do you enjoy the company of those very different from you...
You do all that you can to seek it out interesting and unique friends.
You think there are many truths in life, and you're open to many of them.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Just try pickin THEM up...

No, you DO NOT wanna make a pass at these Israeli female soldiers. :)

Photo by: Rachel Papo

A Bit Bout Papo:

Rachel Papo was born in 1970 in Columbus, Ohio but was raised in Israel. She began photographing as a teenager and attended a renowned fine-arts high-school in Haifa, Israel. At age eighteen she served in the Israeli Air Force as a photographer. These two intensive years of service inspired her current photographic project titled after her own number during service -- Serial No. 3817131.

She earned a BFA in Fine Arts from Ohio State University in Columbus (1991-96), and an MFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts in New York City (2002-05).

She began photographing Israeli female soldiers in the summer of 2004 as part of her masters thesis project. She continues to photograph in both Israel and New York, pursuing fine art photography and accepting commissioned projects. Her photographs are included in several public and private collections. She currently resides in Brooklyn.

Rachel is represented by Paul Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles, where her first solo show is on display until April 15, 2006.

Check out her work:

Babysitters Beware...

I just saw this at Growball Cineplex last night with M.

Given my default setting of generally abhoring the horror genre, I'd say that this was one of the below average ones. But.... It's been a long time since I've reviewed any kind of movie and because I'm in a bloggin mood, I thought I'd give it a shot.

But first, let's have a look at the best part of the movie.

Heh, say hello to Camilla Belle, folks. I thought she was pretty fly. She's still up-and-coming; the most famous movies she's been in were Practical Magic (that one with Sandra Bollocks and Nicole Kidding) and Lost World: Jurassic Park. Minor roles apparently.

Anyway, back to the movie. When A Stranger Calls is actually a remake of the 1979 film with the same name when I looked it up on Wikipedia after watching the movie. Just check out the poster for the 1979 one:

A pretty basic but scary premise: you're the babysitter and while sitting alone in the clients' home, you start to get phone calls from a stranger, each one more threatening than the last. That's surely going to drive anyone mad.

And this movie feeds on that fear. And it shallows chunks at a time when you can see in a modern setting, Jill (the babysitter), is surrounded by all kinds of modern household gadgets which supposedly gives us better protection from outside threats. But they just don't.

Lemme see: Jill has land lines connected to 2 phones, one of them being cordless with a seemingly unlimited range. She has a cellphone. And she's in a big modern home with what looks like a fully-featured home security system.

Certainly there are going to be more modern devices than its 1979 version right? Trust me: the home security system with all its codelocks and stuff is featured very prominently in this film.

Yet, with all the protection in the world, Jill just doesn't seem to be having a very good day. First of all, it's like, she can't seem to get through to anyone on her cellphone: either they're out of range or she gets the answering machine. Geez, I'd thought every major town in the US would have blanket cell cover.

Also, despite, the home security system, the intruder still manages to get into the house. (I'm not giving a spoiler here either. This particular and vital fact was featured in every one of the previews so you'd know that the killer does get into the house eventually).

And throughout the show, I kept wondering how the hell did the killer got to know that 'there's this chick, man, like she's hot man! And ya know what? I just happen to know she's babysitting tonight at the Mandrakis' so I'm gonna go over there, maybe play some mind games then kill her... yeah!'

Yeah, how'd he know that Jill's babysitting there that night?

I'm not gonna talk about the whole plot (which is about as straight forward as you can get). Go see the movie. But you know, as the movie rolls toward the end, I kept waiting for some kind of conspiracy-twist to the story. Wishful thinking on my part, I guess.

In the end, it's all about what we already know. Have a friend along when you're babysitting in a large house with lots of dark corners and corridors.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Fuel 'er Up!

Hi folks,

I told you bout my new car right?

Just thought I'd share something to that effect. Again.

It's about fuelling up the little guy. Mah brand nu Myvi... :)

When I got the car on Friday, 7th April, I filled the tank up. The dealer gave me a RM20.00 voucher for Shell Unleaded, which of course was gainfully cashed in by yours truly. At that time when I was filling the Myvi with the RM20.00, the tank was almost empty.

That same night, on the way home, I decided to fill the tank up with another RM50.00 worth of fuel. The tank actually got filled to capacity! I had to pull out the pump, squeeze a little, pull out a little and squeeze again till the pump meter read RM50.00.

(Har har to those of you with the dirty thoughts)

Now, RM20.00 + RM50.00 makes RM70.00 right? I've been driving for quite a bit after I pumped that first RM20.00, which means, the Myvi right now should have just under RM70.00 worth of fuel in its belly. The archetypal full tank.


Now, if we compare the Kelisa (my previous person-shifter, which demanded something like RM52.00 for a full tank and runs about 315km) and this Myvi:

Kelisa : 52 ÷ 315km = 16 cts a kilometre

Myvi : 70 ÷ 315km = 22 cts a kilometre

For those of you who own either of these two cars, now you roughly know how much you're spending on your fuel consumption.

If you don't care about that well... here are some cartoons for you.

*I know they're lame but these are the only ones I can find... :P

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Woo Hoo!!!

Well folks, I took the leap.

I went ahead and jumped. Oh yeah, I did.

I am the proud owner of a brand new Perodua Myvi!

Here's the story, in chronological order (for your convenience and my ease of writing):

27th - 30th March:

I've been ding-donging in my head about getting that damn car for much of the week. (ref: my earlier blog about the Myvi). I felt, if I could re-engineer the loan and come up with a new loan that puts the monthly installments at RM400 to RM500, why not right??

At the same time, the National Automotive Policy (NAP) just came into effect and with that, Perodua's promises of 4% reductions in their car prices. That's a whopping 2-3k discount!

Not so fast, boyo....

At the same time, car prices for ALL other cars dropped as well, including second hand cars.

So. My Kelisa EXi, which I was supposed to sell for RM30k, ended up being valued at a measly RM28k.... ok ok... not measly but that's how you'd feel if you were set on letting it go for RM30k.

Fine I said...

31st March:

It's gone! I'm won't see it again!

Some guy called Edward came from the dealer and took my old friend away.

Shit, if he wasn't so friendly, I'd mistook him for one of those repomen, with the scowls and the so-called intimidating gaits.

We went over to my financier EON Bank to get the transfer of ownership done and to get the original JPJ (Road Transport Department) Registration Card out.

4th April:

You know, maybe I should have sold the Kelisa on a Monday and not a Friday so I could actually get the new car within the week.

Cuz I was without wheels, man, for nearly a week!

So, now it's Tuesday and I'd been chasing my salesperson to get it rolling! Get it moving! I need some wheels!

Signed the loan agreement at the Sadong Jaya Maybank Finance with a pretty nice guy called Thiru who looks like Kojak.

(You know I thought he meant the Karamunsing branch. Went around that main MayBank branch for nearly 20 minutes looking for parking, got out of the car and realized "SHIT! I'M AT THE WRONG BRANCH!")

Got into the car (which I borrowed from my boss), drove a ways to the Sadong branch, got out the car after another 20-minute search for a parking spot and signed the dang papers.

Signed the Hire Purchase agreement, signed a paper that says the car belongs to the bank, and signed for a standing instruction for Maybank to transfer funds from my account to the financier, which is Maybank.

5th April:

The morning after I signed the Hire Purchase papers, I had to write an instruction to tell Maybank to cancel my previous standing instruction with Maybank to transfer my funds to pay EON Bank for the installments of the Kelisa.

When I got to the bank and handed the manager the cancellation order, she told me "Yes, yes, it 's immediate". Yeah, right. I knew I shouldn't have been so naive.

7th April:

Two more days of agonizing wait and I got the dang car.

But the story ain't over yet. Cuz....

12th April:

You remember, I cancelled the standing instruction for the Kelisa?

Well, that was a week ago and it's
still in effect. And you know what? Maybank again deducted another month's installment to EON Bank for the Kelisa.

Can't f**kin believe it.

Now, I have to go over to EON Bank, get the receipt for the payment and get the dealer who bought my Kelisa to give
me a refund.

EON Bank tells me I can't receive a refund. "Things don't work like that". S**tprick.

Maybank, (who is the senior prick in this story, as far as I'm concerned), on the other hand says to me, "eh, lemme check ah, the manager should have cancelled it oredy wan....".

Pissed off is pretty mild for how I felt about this.

But hey, I got the new Myvi and the dealer's paying me back so I guess it's alright.

Moral of the Story?

If you decide to sell your car, you better cancel the standing instruction in person first with a
written cancellation.

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