Sunday, April 30, 2006
Thanks to Genting, I got two comp. tickets to catch her concert at Genting International Showroom tonight (Sat night i mean) and had dad to accompany me this time. Although I am not reviewing the show - no MM publication - but because I have seen her on TV and listend to her songs - and know she has one large beuatiful voice and an explosive showmanship to boost.
And I wasn't disappointed. She was one great performer, and what a voice! Even dad, who hardly knew about her, was thoroughly impressed and entertained.
Her style reminds one of a black jazz singer. Her raspy and powerful vocal, and her ability to hold on to long notes and her way using the microphone were simply mesmerising.
More than half of her repertoire were fast numbers and boy, she could dance too!
And this is a 52-year-old grandma to eight grandchildren (and mother of six) For this show, her husband was a percussionist in the band and her daughter was her backup singer.
In the two-hour show, she covered a wide repertoire - from Mandarin oldies (some of them reinterpreted in hip-hop/pop style), English songs to some of her own well known Cantonese numbers and even Chinese opera; proving her versatility.
This chatty, funny and really friendly lady kept the small talks going all the while. She was naturally humorous banters had us in stitches. And she mingled with the audience by coming down a couple of times and walked around shaking hands, posing for photographs with them.
I really had fun. There was never a dull moment. The audience, made up of mainly middle-aged/elderly folks, responded warmly too as they could see she has put her all into the show.
There was a moment when she sang her fame song `Mama I Love You' that she was overcome with emotions and choked with tears - as she said she is no `heavenly queen' or pop idol but she still could have the chance to sing on stage. And its all because of us.
Then her daughter came out and gave her a hug.. it was quite touching indeed.
Oh, by the way, her nickname was `Fei Ma' or `fat mama' due to her over 200 ibs plus-size. But two years ago, through some slimming program, she managed to shed more than 80 pounds in eight months to a svelte 140 ibs figure now!
Way to go, Fei Ma! (three cheers!)
Me outside the Genting International Showroom before the show started.
Maria a.k.a. `Fei Ma' in action
Maria's daughter Christine (with such willowy figure) who inherits her mother's amazing voice, singing a heart-felt `I Will Always Love You'.
Dubbed Hong Kong's Tom Jones by Maria - backup singer Daniel sings `Kiss', looking pretty hot too! ;)
Saying goodbye after the last song
After the show finished, Maria invited anyone who wanted to take a photo with her to come on stage. She promised to be there as long as the last fan was around, just like what she promised at the phone interview we had a month ago.
Totally bowed over by her, I too became a `fan' and queued up for this photograph with her.
A nice picture taken by dad :)
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Started the day by watching `Election 2' - the sequel to the successful Hong Kong triad movie. Well, it was pretty good but not one that I want to watch again due to its rather grusome violence - in fact it's hard to imagine that human nature could be this ugly and savage.. thankfully some parts were censored and others were rather creatively shot. The scene that was the most disturbing was when Louis Koo chopped up a guy and fed him to an alsation dog, in order to threaten the others to be on his side.. of course, they didn't show the whole process but the blood stain all over his shirt was gross enough.. :-o
Anyway, after lunch with some fellow journos, I just loiterred around Mid Valley for a little while and tried out the new iGallop and iSqueeze at Osim. No I didn't buy them.. they're too expensive although on instalment offers. But its quite tempting though that I might just succumb to it one day..
Back in office, spent my time checking emails, basically loiterring on the Internet and also tidied up things a bit. My next deadline is on May 6 so didn't really need to finish the articles yet.. Thunderstorm came and went.. I got restless and decided to leave the office at 4:40pm and went for a long over-due massage. Oh, i had such a heavenly and relaxing time to have the knots on my back kneaded and soothed..
The traffic home was not too bad as I was still early. Dad and mom were utterly surprised to see me home by 6:15pm! The main purpose I came home early was to spend time with and Jojo & Jelly. Felt that I have been neglecting the two Js a bit in the walking/outing department. Dad also joined me and four of us had a good walk around the neighbourhood in the nice, cooling post-shower weather.
After dinner, mom went for her dancing class and since it was still early, an idea came into my mind and when I told dad lets go to the Taman Connaught pasar malam, he actually agreed too! Three years living in Cheras and we had not visited that famous night market - which was reported as the longest and biggest pasar malam in Malaysia!
So we went.. well, it was not much different from other pasar malam except there were much more apparels on sale compared to food stuff.. it got more and more crowded as we walked. Along the way, we picked up some interesting stuff, including a changing colour alarm clock, an electric mosquito swiper, some earrings (for me of course), a book on healthcare for the senior, and shorts (both for dad) and some other knick-knacks. Finally we bought some kuih and many many fruits, which were cheap and fresh.
It was sad and quite disturbing to come across about five beggars, some handicapped, one even with a young child, sprawled in the middle of the walk-way to get attention! They were such pathethic sights...Dad was quite certain that they belonged to some syndicate. To think of it, the distance that they were paced along the road was quite equal.. Dad gave some coins to the first one we saw but after that, we just walked pass them like others.
I really hope somebody can do something about it. I remember Malay Mail had done an expose on such beggars before. And we were encouraged not to give them money... May be it's time the authorities or social welfare department have do something again.
Anyway, that aside..we had quite an interesting time thronging the pasar malam. Yeah, finally, I got to go there all these years.
Wondering whether tomorrow will be an interesting Thursday. Am a bit `sian' to go to work.. think I will do all my claims, and maybe get some help to fill up my income tax! Oh dear.. that's something I almost forgot. Help!! Deadline is days away!!
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Already a number of my fellow blogger friends who started about the same time as me, are showing signs of waning... may be it's our age? Cos I realise that most avid bloggers - with the exception of the likes of Jeff Ooi (but again those belong to a different blog category) - are in their 20s. So, among our own group of bloggers, a few had not even blogged for more than three weeks.. for some, it is becoming a two liners, and one even closed it down completely!
And here I am, struggling to keep my blog afloat..Afterall, I'm a writer by profession. So I ought to be able to write.. by hook or by crook, right? hmmm...
That's the challenge I pose myself.
Ok, here are some updates on my work. We are indeed entering the transitional phase now. Sunday Mail just had its last issue while the current Malay Mail will come to an `end' on Saturday (April 29). There will be no publications for two weeks.. and the new revamped paper will hit the newstand on May 15th! Yep, look out for it!
Lest you think that I'll be on a holiday for two weeks.. nope, no such luck. We still have to come to work as usual and get ready stories for the new publication. The time factor is quite crucial and sometimes it is a hurdle. We'll be unable to carry some stories as there will be no publications for that period of time..
On May 2-3, the new MM team will be going on a (compulsory) team-building retreat at Port Dickson. This will be the first time in 12 years I ever go on a trip with the company. Also it will be the first time I stay in the famous NST apartment Sri Pena. Just hope that I will survive.. :p
For this week then, I actually don't need to produce much stories, or none even. Since I have done quite a few last week that will be out this week.. then that's it. But being the `hardworking' journo that i am ( ahem!) I went for an assignment today.. not knowing whether there was space for the story even! But then luckily(?) my editor said I can write a 600-word piece. Well, it is good to support our local talent - in this case, Nicholas Teo. He's such a sweet and amiable chap.. but looks a bit girlish though. He remembered me and said `hi' - I interviewed him a few times including for the 3rd Generation earlier this year.
After the P.C. at Bangsar Seafood, a few of us - Ee Kee, Jessabell, Peter and I - went `ponteng' for tea at Bakerzin in Bangsar Village. Believe it or not, I have been to Bangsar Village so many times but never to that famous cake place. Wow, glad we went coz the cakes were lovely.. we had a chocolate one, a cheese/chocolate, and a Bailey souffle! We talked and made so much noise I think the other patrons were probably happy when we left.
(pix courtesy of Peter - he dubs it `Peter's Angels!' )
Went back to office at 5-ish and worked till after 8pm since it was raining and no point to be stuck in the jam. But it was still jam on Connaught highway at 9pm!! :(
Oh, must mention about last night `Girls' Nite In' at my place. Earlier in the day, there was some concern about the reduction in numbers but thank God that at the end, there were eight people including me.. :)
The highlight of the night of course was the food - our theme was `starters and desserts' and we were supposed to come out with some creative `movie' names and we had some such as `Basil Instinct', `Traffic Light' and my corny `When Potato Met Pea'. Guess we were more engrossed with tasting the food itself.
What we had for dinner: cheese and crackers, bruscetta, black pepper roast chicken, tuna sandwiches, popiah, suatee mushroom, capsicum, potato&green pea soup, chocolate brownie and apple&mango crumble.
It was a delicious meal.. because they're quite small/light in appearance, you don't feel they're a lot but at the end of it, we're really stuffed up.. especially after eating the desserts!
The first `victim' was T.A. who got so sleepy that she just curled up on the sofa for her nap... I then brought the rest on a `tour' of my house and ended up in my bedroom chit chatting, looking at photographs, books, soft-toys... and uZap!
Speaking of it, I had wanted to blog on the Osim uZap for some time but never got to it.. I bought the thing for RM698 end of last year. The instruction was to use it twice a day for 10 mins each. But being the lazy person I am, I only managed to use it once a day and even stopped for a few days some times.. so, can't really blame the thing for non-result I guess..
Since some of my friends were pretty curious about it so i asked them to try it on. But guess what were their reactions? First HL tried it on, then Lynn and then MY.. I just pressed `on' and they LAUGHED so loud! Yeah, it was like they saw something so funny and I had to stop it in a few seconds. Then when LA tried it on, she looked like she was suffering and she exclaimed `Oooh.. my ovaries!!' I stopped it immediately!
I was quite baffled by them. Cos even the first time when I tried it, I didn't feel any of such sensation! Hmmm.. must be my layers of fat that made me immune to the ticklishness or pain that the uZap have on slim people..???
Anyway.. it was just hilarious and we had such a good time laughing away.. all thanks to uZap. Speaking which I must try to use it at least twice a day and see whether it works or not as claimed! If not, it is RM698 down the drain!!
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Yep, this week is such a week. Lots of assignments to write; meetings; organising stuff, preparing for worship, E.E., running here and there...(panting) Like today I was in front of the computer at owrk till 9:30pm (well, started lunch time since I previewed a movie) and after dinner at home, in front of the computer again to do some `works' and send off some emails..
Then it hit me that.. it's time to blog!
But oh, since this is suppose to be a `filler post', I ought to stop blabbering on.. Yep, save it for more interesting things that I can report and share with you guys later in the week..
And my eyes and brain deserve a rest too..
Saturday, April 15, 2006
With the rainy weather we experienced lately, the logical choice would be indoor entertainment. So, for three days in a row, my sis and brother-in-law from Hong Kong brought their kids to one malls after another...
It wasn't until Wednesday that all three of them seemed to have fully recovered from fever.. (yeah, they came here ill) and fianlly they could go out to play! And what a treat too! So on Wednesday, we went to Mid Valley Megamall - Mega Kidz; on Thursday, to 1 Utama - Kids Sportz; and on Friday, Berjaya Time Square - Cosmo Kids.
Of course, some of us adults also took the chance to do some shopping. And although my intention was accompanying my sis to shop and to show her the way to shops which I knew, but... yeah you guessed it, I ended up buying quite a bit for myself! :p
Like on Wed evening, I joined them at Mid Valley after work. Edgar wanted to eat pizza but I don't think his parents were keen. So mom, sis and bro-in-law went to Little Penang to savour the local stuff and I volunteered to keep Edgar company at Picollo Mondo.. (Sean and Alexis had eaten earlier) The food there was really not nice but at least Edgar ate his pizza.
Then mom took the kids and maids home in her car while their parents and me continued to shop. Sis wanted to buy books so we went to MPH - I bought her some interior decor books as her belated birthday gifts. We ended up spending almost two hours there looking at books - from interior decoto cookbooks to kids books and other stuff... Although I initially had nothing in mind but ended up bursting my book allowance for the two months!
On Thursday, the shopping spree got even more exciting at 1 Utama. The kids had a good time at two of the kids zones (the 1st one in the new wing) and had their dinner at Pizza Hut. Then, mom, sis and me ate ours at `Old Town' Kopitiam. Food not bad but a tad bit salty. My `si mat' (stocking) tea was very good though!
All of them seemed quite tired so mom, bro-in-law, the kids and the maids decided to leave first, leaving the two shopaholics - ie my sis and me - continued to shop! Gosh, the place was so huge.. we ended up looking at some accessories and Thai spa products. I was delighted to find that a silver accessories stall has some beautiful charmbracelets. I had always wanted one but could not find any within my budget, even in HK. I selected my own charms - a dog, cross, slipper, fork etc...) and after they're put together, the bracelet is quite lovely! :)
Then as I also bought some very nice Thai spa products since my sis was taking a long time buying hers.. needless to say, I ended up spending quite a lot since I also bought some snacks for the two Js earlier...
We `attacked' another mall the next day - Berjaya Time Square - for its indoor theme park of course. Had lunch together at Chicken Rice Shop and after a while, I had to go back to office.. so this time I didn't really spend but got charged RM30 as my car got clamped! Yeah I parked at a yellow box although it did not obstruct any traffic. Originally the penalty was RM50 but I managed to get a discount. Sometimes you need to be persistant and pain.. :p
Sis told me later only Sean, who is almost 4 - enjoyed the rides as they were a bit too childish for Edgar who is 7 1/2. But Alexis also had a good time.
Later I heard they left town about 4-ish. Just shortly after they got home, they set off to Tesco Kajang and had another shopping spree. Edgar and Sean had a bicycle each, complete with helmet as well. It's for them to play when they come back next time..
I managed to `escape' a dinner thrown by my uncle (dad's cousin) last night and went for Good Friday service at church.. It was a meaningful time of reflection, especially with the music of the choir and the narration/skit. Since their dinner dragged on, i drove to Overseas at Jalan Imbi and joined them - in time for the last course. Which was good since I didn't get to have dinner due to work.
Spent more time with the kids today before they left late afternoon. Alexis was so sweet and adorable.. and she was getting warmed up to me. However, Edgar was so naughty - he was being mean to me - kept calling me names and refuse to be close to me. And Sean was influenced by him! But I know he did it on purpose, not that he really hates me or anything. Why is it that I get bullied by little kids? :(
So now.. the house is strangely quiet and empty tonight... kinda miss the `hustle and bustle' of the whole week.
Here are some photographs taken during the week.. not surprisingly Miu Miu was the most photographed one! But it's also extremely tough to take pix of/with the boys! They just love to run away from the lens!!
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
I have been pretty occupied with things lately. Sis and family came back from Hong Kong last Saturday and so have been spending time with them... especially my nephews and niece. Alexis aka Miu Miu is such a cutie pie.. you can't help but just adore her. :)
Poor kids. They fell ill one after another just when they were coming back here. So they have not been doing much but just staying at home most of the time. Finally by now, all their fevers have cleared and they would be going out tomorrow.
Too bad I have no leave this week. Wouldn't feel right applying for it since I just got back from China two weeks ago and that we're now in this transitional stage to the `new paper'. And suddenly there are a few assignments this week. Unlike last week, I practically had nothing much to do!
Although I have not really been blogging, I have been reading others' blogs. I don't just read the blogs of my friends but also strangers. And sometimes I wonder whether I'm really an addict. But after reading an article in The Star entitled `Hooked on the Net', I felt I was pretty normal, nothing close to the obsessive experience of the interviewees! But I would never want to be anywhere near that also..
It's Easter this weekend.. Easter is never as much `hype' as Christmas is, but it is actually the most significant `festival' for Christians. For the whole gospel of hinges on Jesus Christ dying on the Cross for our sins and resurrected so that we can have eternal life.
I want to go for Good Friday service but alas, I might have to sacrifice it for family commitment. It is the last night before my sis, brother-in-law and the kids return to Hong Kong on Saturday.. and I heard dad is planning a dinner out.
And then on Saturday noon, Stefanie Sun will be coming for a promo tour for her upcoming concert.. she's quite big so I guess I should cover the P.C. But what horrible timing!
In a way, I am feeling the lack of momentum at work lately..
Think I better end this rambling post. Hope there will be more interesting stuff to blog on next time round.. but I'll definitely be posting pix of Miu Miu and her brothers.
p.s. Those medicine was really powerful and effective! I felt much better within two days taking them and then a few days later, my cough has completely gone. I can have my icy drinks and spicy food since last weekend! Thank God ;)
Sunday, April 09, 2006
Well, instead of putting my name (which i did try also), I decided to `decode' the two Js' names - Just for fun!
So this is what I got!! Although they don't really make much sense - sound simply hilarious! Especially Jelly's name! (`... lifeform limited to yelling'!) Hehe :D
You're a Bernese Mountain Dog!
No bones about it, you're a good-hearted, people-loving Bernese Mountain Dog. Down-to-earth and loyal, no one works or plays harder than you do. You put your nose to the grindstone when it really counts, but you never neglect your social calendar. Simultaneously strong and sweet, you're very tuned-in to the feelings and needs of the other dogs you run with. Without having to be asked, you always have a helping paw to lend and a sympathetic shoulder to lean on. "Communication" is your middle name, and when that's paired with your unswerving devotion, you get a breed that everyone respects and trusts. Woof!
What Breed of Dog Are You?
Brought to you by Tickle
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
|Your Five Factor Personality Profile|
Monday, April 03, 2006
Couldn't sleep well cos couldn't stop coughing early this morning. So, decided I better go see doctor this afternoon. And guess what? I was given SEVEN types of medication!! Gosh, I think that must be a record for me!
Before you think I'm in such a grave condition.. really, I don't think I'm that ill. That's the `problem' with visiting a panel clinic. Or in my case, the `in-house' NST clinic. I have experienced it before and so have most of my colleagues. The doctors are simply `over-generous ' with their medicine prescription because they could claim more medicine expenses from my company!
So these are my medicine:
- Antibiotic -Amoxil
- Antibiotic - Flagyl
- Cough mixture - (can't read the name)
- Cough tablet - Descophan
- Flu & Allegy - Aerious
- Swelling - Presdnisolone
- Fever & pain - Panadol
But he didn't give me an M.C. Ah well.. it was already afternoon..
When I took out the medicine to take at my office desk, I was getting more concerned whether I would have a medicine overdose! Knowing how taking most Western medicine would make us feel quite weak.. o I decided I should cut down the medicine and called up the clinic again.
The kind nurse there, upon hearing my worries, called me back later and said I could drop two of them - namely the one for swelling and the cough tablet. But I have to take both the antibiotics.
Yes, the medicine did take effect on me.. I felt more and more drowsy and so I left office before 6pm. Was basically battling for my eye-lids to stay open during the drive home - thank God I made it in one piece..! So I hit my bed for an hour or so before getting up for dinner...
Just took those medicine again not long ago and am feeling really sleepy again....
Sunday, April 02, 2006
Dad was commenting last night that how I whine and moan too much. Maybe I do. But somehow just couldn't help it. So pardon me if I do sound whiny and grumpy.
Work was ok. Thank God for such a flexible job (and bosses ;)) . I can say from Tues to Fri, I only worked an average of four hours a day due to my health condition... even managed to write a story without covering the event - called up another journalist friend who was there. That's the good thing about journalism in Malaysia - we all help one another out. Haha. well, it was just a press conference after all, but if it was an one-on-one exclusive interview, then cannot la. :p
Got comp. tickets to watch M! The Opera on Friday evening.. Well, from the reviews I have heard (a couple of friends even used the word `torture') I was well `forewarned' to have a real low expectation, or better still, with no expectation. I think that was basically the mindset I had.
Could it be that I had expected the worst.. so actually it didn't turn out as bad as I had anticipated. Ok, I didn't love it or even like it much. I think at least it was at least `interesting' and `creative' - whether for the good or bad. But I have to admit that they're over-ambitious to wanting to come out with something so different and `avant-garde' but the end result was too jumbled up.
I mean it was the most `eclectic' (to use a nice word) production I've ever watched but actually it was just way too messy and `rojak'!! You don't know what it was supposed to be - there's elements of pop, swing, Japanese, jazz, Malay (pop and traiditional asli), Western opera, poem, English musical - all dumped in to create a modern art piece!?
Well, aesthethically I thought it was quite stunning - the costumes, stage set, lighting - all pretty captivating. Then there's the music. Hmmm.. I don't know was it supposed to be operatic (thought parts sung in Malay) but whatever it is, the monotony of the tunes would not go well with the average audience.
On the positive side..we know there were true individual talents to be reckoned with - some of the singing and dancing were great.
Anyway, I have rambled on for it was not my intention to do a review on it. Earlier I actually thought of blogging on it and give it the title `Mmm... What to Make of M!?' Then, I read through the floods of comments on Kakiseni.com and realised I can't be as eloquent as them so I dropped the idea.. But I did post a comment myself there :p
On Saturday, didn't actually feel up to it to even get out of bed. Sorta dragged myself to church for E.E. (Evangelism Explosion) replacement class, as I was too unwell to go last Sat. But I was glad I went as it was not a very `heavy' lesson - and on top of it we had a good time meeting a new friend for our `On-the-job training' or OJT. Now I have to write up a 300-word personal testimony! Knowing me, the word restriction is probably the problem... :p
Finally went to church today after three weeks of absence. I was coughing quite a bit and when I tried to sing with my croaking voice during worship, and the kind auntie next to me said with concern: `I think you better not sing, just sing in your heart'. Good idea, I told her with a smile.
Treated myself to a pedicure and manicure after lunch.. my nails were totally out of shape.. and it was quite nice as I could relax and read in a big armchair. Got some new dog treats for the two Js on the way home.. Oh, today dad got workers over to relay new grass (as the old one was so so ugly with dried bald patches everywhere thanks to the two Js')
So now we have to re-train Jojo and Jelly not to simply pooh everywhere in the garden! Well, there is supposedly a way to do it - need some work on our parts too. But I wonder whether it will work now that they're so used to doing their businesses everywhere and anywhere! (in the garden that is)
Time flies when you're (not) having fun... It's the beginning of a new week again. And on Saturday, Alexis, Sean and Edgar will be back for a week..! Can't wait to see them!! :D
p.s. Either Blogger or my P.C., and even the electricity were giving me so much problem posting this.. (have to re-post it in the middle of the night!) Argh!