Monthly Archives: October 2004

Halloween Flicks

With most parts of the world recognizing 31st Oct as Halloween, IВ thought it would also be a great time to reminisce about some of myВ favourite horror/supernatural flicks of all time. Not that I’m a trueВ lover of scary movies anyway (having missed Ju-On, Dark Water, Ring-0 and other Korean novelties..)…so, in no particular order…

1. The Sixth Sense
The film that made Shyamalan famous. About a child pschologist (Bruce Willis) who attempts to treat a disturbed child (Haley Joel Osment) who apparently has the sixth sense to ‘see dead people’. Riveting and haunting, complete with an unpredictable ending. One of the best ghost films ever made!

2. The Thing
The John Carpenter classic about a group of scientists trapped inВ their lab under a heavy blizzard. But they’re not alone… an alienВ lifeform they discover soon makes its home with them. With its abilityВ to ‘take over’ another lifeform as host (like a parasite), thus beginsВ a thrilling ride of facing the unknown in the midst of trust andВ paranoia. Great tension filled flick this.

3. Psycho
Another classic that multiplied the fears of everyone taking showers. But personally, my favourite scene is found right at the end (Spoiler alert!) when Norman Bates bursts into the cellar in his old mother’s garb with a knife in his hand. The climax of wonderfully build-up moments of suspense in the mould of Hitchcock.

4. Bram Stoker’s Dracula
An all star cast (Anthony Hopkins, Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Keanu Reeves, Monica Belluci, etc.) brings to life everyone’s favourite vampire in remarkable fashion. The backdrop, costumes and (again!) great casting makes this one of the most classiest horror films I’ve ever seen.

5. The Exorcist
An aged priest fights a demon who has possessed a small girl (Linda Blair). Only caught this once many years ago when I was quite small. It didn’t exactly make my head turn (pun intended), maybe cos I didn’t fully understand the deep language used at that time. But somehow, I can still remember images (so it must be good!) of levitation, blood-spewing, and horrific make-ups in this movie that rates highly on many people’s all-time horror flick list.

——-
Number of the Day:
9 – PGA titles won by Vijay Singh this year, with no. 9 accomplished through winning the Chrysler Championship over the weekend. Already unrivalled this year on the greens, can the Fijian go for number 10 before the year is over?

(Originally posted on allandog.multiply.com)

Weekend Therapy

Just wanted to leave you all with some quotes from British comedian Peter Kay to keep your smile and spirits up over the long weekend (well, for Selangor wroking people, that is..). Have a great weekend everyone!

– I saw a woman wearing a sweatshirt with ‘Guess’ on it. I said, ‘Thyroid
problem?’

– When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bike. Then I
realised that The Lord doesn’t work that way, so I stole one and asked him to forgive me.

– I’ve often wanted to drown my troubles, but I can’t get my wife to go
swimming.

– I was doing some decorating, so I got out my step-ladder. I don’t get on with my real ladder.

– I went to a restaurant that serves ‘breakfast at any time’. So I ordered
French Toast during the Renaissance.

– A cement mixer collided with a prison van on the Kingston Pass.
Motorists are asked to be on the lookout for 16 hardened criminals.

– Well I was bullied at school, called all kinds of different names. But
one day I turned to my bullies and said – ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me’, and it worked! From there on it was sticks and stones all the way.

– My Dad used to say ‘always fight fire with fire’, which is probably why
he got thrown out of the fire brigade.

– Sex is like bridge: If you don’t have a good partner, you better have a
good hand.

– I saw six men kicking and punching the mother-in-law. My neighbour said ‘Are you going to help?’ I said ‘No, Six should be enough.”

– If we aren’t supposed to eat animals, then why are they made out of meat?

– I think animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers.

– You know that look women get when they want sex? No? Me neither.

– Politicians are wonderful people as long as they stay away from things they don’t understand, such as working for a living.

– I was the kid next door’s imaginary friend.

– Right now I’m having amnesia and deja vu at the same time. I think I’ve forgotten this before.

– I’d kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.

———————–
Number for the Weekend:

10 – Kgs I’m expecting to put on after my weekend in Penang…;p

(Originally posted on allandog.multiply.com)

My Trip Checklists

Gonna travel outta KL again tonight! Yup, gonna make my way up to Ipoh for a pit-stop before continuing up to Penang tomorrow for my sister’s wedding over the weekend. Away from KL means…

Away from the work-stress!
Away from the traffic jams!
Away from bumps and tolls!
Away from the things they call ‘food’!
Yay!

One of the things I enjoy about traveling is the night before where you spend some time to do the packing and stuff. Aimlessly stuffing my clothes and junk into the backpack seems to bring me indescribable joy. I don’t know what it is…perhaps it emotes the feeling of packing up to elope (heh…heh…er, maybe not.;p), or the experience of stuffing a turkey (gosh…I have to try that someday!..) ..whatever it is, it’s just simply fun to me!

I remember eons ago when my Dad showed me his systematic style of packing up for traveling. Thanks Dad! He would religiously list down all the items that he needed to bring inside his diary (something like a checklist) to make sure he doesn’t miss out anything for the trip. Each folded piece of clothing would then be marked off from the list.

I became so excited with his system that I immediately started drafting my own Trip Checklist in my little diary. Not just one checklist, mind you, but a variety of Checklist Templates for different type of trips – One day trips, Two day trips, One week trips, Cold place trips, Beach trips, Camping trips, etc. Any other trip that I had to go after that would be easily taken care off by my diary-full of Trip Checklists. Man, was I freakishly organized or what?! I’m sure my Dad still employs the same system today. But I’m sure he only has ONE standard list, unlike the demented son. ;D

Time flew by…

Today, I just dump all the stuff I need to bring into my backpack whilst enjoying a football match on TV. Saves time and also increases surprise element of finding something ‘not there’ when I reach my trip destination. Whoopee!

Here’s to a great stress-free weekend ahead!

—————–
Number of the Day:
86 – Years since the last time the Boston Red Sox won the World Series. They won it this morning with a 3-0 win in Game 4, sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals. Sigh.

(Originally posted on allandog.multiply.com)

Of Ayam Perciks and Smog…

The Month of Ramadhan is that time of the year where most corporate office operations seemingly move in slo-mo, where fewer phone calls come in and work hours seem shorter. Oh yeah, they actually ARE shorter for me! Official work hours for me till Raya are 8.30am – 4.45am, with only half an hour lunch break. Not that it makes any difference since I still go back after 6 anyway…

For me, the most unavoidable attraction during the fasting month has to be the Pasar Ramadhans, which mushrooms in your nearby friendly neighbourhood from about 3.00pm right till their breaking fast time of about 7.15pm (West Malaysia). Here, you can just throw away that diet plan of yours, and indulge in all sorts of delicious delicacies like ayam percik, roti jala, sup tulang, murtabak, nasi dagang, keropok lekur, assortments of kuih, ikan panggang,…gosh, I could go on and on but in a nutshell, you can really stuff your stomach with stuff like that. I even found an interesting item this year called Sup Meletup. It’s basically ribs soup, and er…don’t think I’ll delve into the ‘exploding’ bit here. Heh.

What boggles me is the crowd one can find at these places. I mean, ponder on the following observations I made during my adventures there:

– The massive jams they cause around the Pasar Ramadhan area is just CRAZY! Another reason why I still choose to go back later from office during this month. 😉
– With all the ayam perciks, kepak ayams, ikan panggangs, etc. producing blankets of smog, a casual stroll through the pasar can be quite stuffy and suffocating at times.
– Shoving and cramming with other people just to by DINNER?!!
– Hey, don’t we get all these food at our regular pasar malams too? What’s the diff?
– Finding a hole in Juve’s defence this season would be easier than a parking spot around these Pasar Ramadhans.

Well, I guess the lure and of food still overcomes all obstacles eh?
Hmmm. Now where shall I park my car today? ;P

—————-
Number of the Day:
1 – Game away for the Boston Red Sox to end their 86-year old curse and win the World Series again. They came away 4-1 victors at St. Louis in Game 3 this morning to push the Cardinals to a 0-3 hole. Personally I would love to see St. Louis duplicate the Red Sox Houdini-like performance one week ago and win the next 4 contests..

(Originally posted on allandog.multiply.com)

Bundles of Joy!

Frankie, one of my ex-housies from campus yore became a father last Friday when his wife Zainrah gave birth to a big, strong baby boy. They weren’t sure what to name the baby then so I only had to chance to journal the event after his name was confirmed.

They finally decided to name him Joshua (translated in Hebrew as “God is salvation”). Whoa.

Whenever a child is born, it’s such a delight to see these bundles of joy and the packages they bring with them into the world. So small, so fragile, and yet, they already offer so much they moment they come out. When I went to see little Joshua at Hospital Putrajaya last Friday, I can’t help but be reminded of some of the joys that came bundled along with this miracle of life:

– The innocent smile that always reflects back at the audience.
– The squint of the eyes that is an automatic laugh generator.
– The serenity when they sleep just makes you forget all your troubles.
– Their tininess will melt about the hardest hearts.
– The slightest sound they make is the loudest we hear.

Congrats you two! I’m pretty sure Joshua will grow up to be as strong and wacky as the father whilst possessing the kindness and hospitable hands of the mother!

————————————
Number of the Day:
45 – Minutes of break (which I used for lunch) from 1.15 – 2.00pm in between my entire day of meetings from 8.30am to 5.00pm. Followed by another 2 hours of drafting some reports…Which would explain my rather late journal entry today..Head’s a little woozy now..;)

(Originally posted on allandog.multiply.com)

Reel Review: Phone Booth

Content: Thriller/drama
Stars: Colin Farrell, a NYC Phone Booth
Director: Joel Schumacher

Premise:
Stuart Shepard, a sleazy publicist, has been cheating on his wife by calling the ‘other’ girl from a phone booth because his wife wouldn’t be able to check his handphone bills. One day, as he was making one of these similar calls, the phone rings instead and upon answering it, Stuart is held hostage in that phone booth by a sniper, who demands Stu to come clean with this wife first before he be set free…

Review:
Launched in the States in 2003, I can’t remember how long or when it was shown on our screens but I must have missed this underrated thriller when it came here. Luckily I managed to catch this on Astro a few weeks ago as I was rather intrigued as to how a movie set revolving around a man stuck in a phone booth was gonna keep me entertained for about 80 minutes.

Did it?

Well, although it had a pretty simple storyline, I was really pleased with its originality and the tension being built up in that small little space of a phone booth as the movie progressed. Evidently a Colin Farrell vehicle, he managed to carry the movie well, despite have a lifeless phone booth as his other supporting cast with major screen time. His portrayal of a two-timing husband in a dilemma to admit everything to his wife and also exposing himself is the true highlight of this movie. His emotions perhaps showed Farrell’s entire acting range, all in one movie!

I only felt that the movie could have done better if it had more subplots. When the movie ended, I felt a little short-changed (pun intended) that it had already ended. A flick with a runtime about as long as an animated movie, it was not gripping enough, for me at least.

Overall:
If it had not been for Farrell’s riveting performance, the stationery phone booth might have stolen the limelight! Not Schumacher’s best effort (think Flatliners, The Client) and the drama was not gripping enough, but certainly worth the watch for Farrell’s performance and film originality’s sake.

Movie teaser phrase: “ Funny isn’t it? When the phone rings, and we don’t know who is calling, we still have to answer it…”

Rating: ★★★☆☆

(Originally posted on allandog.multiply.com)

All Good Things…

Arsenal’s unbeaten streak in the EPL has finally ended at 49 matches, conveniently so at the Theatre of Dreams last night. Two second half strikes by Van Nistelrooy and birthday boy Rooney was enough for Manchester United to stop the Gunners from reaching 50. Hah!

Even though we didn’t any Cup or win the EPL with this win, I just had to blog this momentous event for the following reasons of satisfaction it brings..

1. We showed Arsenal that WE are still the team to beat. Take that! And perhaps this will also remind them that they have had difficulties in beating US in recent times. Hah!
2. We earned the honour of being the TEAM that stopped their ridiculous 49 match unbeaten streak in the EPL.
3. We closed the gap with Arsenal to 8 points and hopefully this will ignite a streak of wins ourselves.
4. We gave Rooney a well-deserved birthday present with an injury time goal – his first for Man United in the EPL.
5. We exorcised the ghosts of last season’s Old Trafford encounter – in particular for Van Nistelrooy.
6. We made friends with the other 18 clubs when we derailed Arsenal’s train.
7. It just feels damn good to BEAT Arsenal and see the look of disappointment on Wenger’s face! Yeah!

Here’s my brief analysis of the match:

First Half:
Both teams treaded cautiously in the beginning but the highly charged match started to show signs of animosity and tension with a couple of intentional tackles and confrontations. I really thought a brawl would breakout any moment. United had more possession but the best chance of the first half fell to Arsenal shortly before the stroke of half time when Henry slipped past Ferdinand but had his shot brilliantly stopped by an inspired Roy Caroll.

Second Half:
More like a continuation from the first half. United still had more possession but Arsenal’s offense seemed to have more bite. More yellow cards were flashed (5 in total for this match), more tempers flared, more seemingly real injured players sprawling everywhere. It was almost like a theatre class!

78th Minute:
Rooney skips into the Arsenal box and looks to have been tripped by Campbell. Replays showed minimal (or maybe none!) contact. Penalty is given by ref Mike Riley (known for awarding many other penalties to Man United at Old Trafford). Coincidence or just our luck? Either way, we’ll take it! Heh. Ruud steps up to take it (with ill memories of last season’s similar fixture when he rocked the Arsenal crossbar with his penalty) and coolly slots it in the right hand corner of the goal. Man United 1-0.

79th till 90th Minute:
Arsenal steps up one gear and launches a barrage of attacks on the United goal. Rio and his compatriots held firm and repelled them all. Closest they came was an Ashley Cole effort just outside the six yard box which flashed above the crossbar.

Stoppage Time:
A breakaway 3 on 2 attack was capped off with Alan Smith spotting and delivering the ball precisely to Rooney in the centre. The birthday boy gleefully tucked it away to seal the match. Man United 2-0.

Man of the Match:
Rio Ferdinand. Simply solid at the back. Only scare was when he controversially held off Ljungberg in the first half when the Swede had a breakaway on the United goal.

Dud:
Ref Mike Riley. Too many dubious calls made in a high profile match as this. Of course I ain’t complaining much because most of them went against Arsenal. Heh.

Number of the Day:
50 – Unbeaten match streak in the Premiership which Arsenal failed to achieve last night, having their dreams dashed, ironically in the Theatre of Dreams…

(Originally posted on allandog.multiply.com)

Do You Believe in Miracles?

Yesterday morning, the whole of Boston went delirious when their beloved Red Sox clinched the Game 7 decider (10-3) against the Yankees in the American League Championship to earn a spot in this year’s World Series. What made it all sweeter for Boston was the fact that they last won it all in 1918, and was seemingly ‘cursed’ not to win it again, let alone making the World Series for the past 86 years! And they did it so amazingly against their bitter rivals by coming back from a 0-3 hole, 3 outs away from being swept in Game 4. By doing so, they became only the FIRST team in MLB history to record that feat – coming back from an embarrassing 0-3 jolt to an unbelievable and joyous 4-3 victory. Simply incredible.

Cursed? Bah!
Charmed? Maybe.
Headlines? All over.
A Miracle? Hmmm.

Sometimes I think we are all just suckers for miracles. I recall the nightmare in Game 3 of the NBA Eastern Conference finals two years ago when my New Jersey suffered a total collapse in the 4th quarter by squandering a bulging 21 point lead in a humiliating loss to the Celtics (Boston again?!). That collapse marked the greatest 4th Quarter comeback in NBA history. Another miracle?

And what about the US self-proclaimed Miracle on Ice in 1980 when their young, brash team of ice-hockey players beat the supposedly invincible Soviet Union team 4-3 en route to the gold medal in the Olympics that year?

Manchester United pulling out two goals out of nowhere in injury time to beat Bayern Munich in the 1999 European Cup final?

In sports, it seems that it is almost too easy for all of us to get caught up in all the euphoria of miracles and the happenings of the impossibles. But when it comes to faith, it’s like we tend to think thrice before believing – A virgin birth? A resurrection? Hmmm.

Do you believe in miracles?

(Originally posted on allandog.multiply.com)

One Month Baby

Wow! Has it been ONE month already? Luckily I managed to fly back from KK today in time to create this special blog. Today’s blog marks one full month of my senseless blogging and upkeep of my homepage filled with pointless reviews, pixx, recipes, etc. on Multiply. It seemed like only yesterday I typed my first blog (Pilot) and had countless troubles with the stability of the system.

So, what have I learnt from Multiply after one month?
How has it changed my already deranged life?
Questions…questions…
All answered by the good, bad and ugly.

The Good:
– It has given me an avenue to fill up those moments at work when my brain switched off the working business mode.
– All those psychotic rants and raves in my head are finally captured somewhere!
– Getting to know other people out there with equally psychotic rants and raves!

The Bad:
– My calendar is an open book! (oh dear..)
– Thoughts of blogging does fly in and out of my mind during work meetings.

The Ugly:
– I think I may be addicted to Multiply. Hmm. Now, THAT’s ugly.

———————————–
Number of the Day:
2 – Successive 0-0 drab draws by Manchester United. Drat. How are we gonna beat the mega ego outta Arsenal this Sunday?!! Sigh.

(Originally posted on allandog.multiply.com)

Hooked on The Apprentice?

Managed to catch the last episode of The Apprentice where the men were soundly beaten (again?!) by the ladies, this time in a task involving managing Planet Hollywood for one night. Gosh, this IS getting truly embarrassing for the men!

Anyway, how do you know if you are hooked to this corporate reality show where the person eliminated gets fired by Donald Trump every week? After catching two episodes of the show, I can sum up 5 tell tale signs that one has been hooked to The Apprentice:

5. Suddenly it becomes so easy and natural to put the blame on your colleagues at work.

4. Natural response when a project didn’t do well: “I’m not the project manager!”

3. You absent mindedly pack your clothes in a luggage bag and drag it along as you make your way to the office.

2. Whenever you are summoned by your CEO, you grab two of your most hated buddies along with you by reflex.

1. The universally known EXIT sign (see pix) is an instant reminder for you to tune in to The Apprentice…

Number of the Day:
4 – Straight wins for the women in the Apprentice. The men are doing so bad (only 4 left) that the producers have asked for a corporate re-shuffling (merging in Survivor lingo) this week.

(Originally posted on allandog.multiply.com)