Sunday, May 28, 2006

My `Celebs' Had Vanished!

Argh!!! I lost all my celebrity photos!! :((

Since I uploaded some new photos onto my pc just now, I ended up (not planned) tidying up all my folders in `my pictures'. Things were going ok until when i tried to tidy up some of the celebs photos I had into the `celeb_misc' folder.. and then I didn't know what happend... the folder just disappeared!

I frantically looked for it everywhere - in case in got lost inside another folder. Then I also did a few `search'. I tried and tried.. even in the recycled bin. But couldn't find it. It wasn't there in Windows anymore. Why??!!

I'm quite distraughted and disillusioned. Among the many pix inside were photos I took with HK celebs including Aaron Kwok, Justin and Vivian Chow just to name a few... and now they are all gone!!

Can I sue Microsoft for this?

At least I managed to recover the most recent celeb shots - as the shots are still inside my camera. This afternoon, I went for the press conference of Soler - a pop band made of twin brothers Julio and Dino Acconci - of Italian and Burmese parentage.

Yep, with their Italian blood, they look pretty dashing, charming and charismatic too. And they could speak 7 languages fluently! On top of that, they write their own music - folk rock/soul genre. Pretty impressive stuff too. I had a 15-min one-one-one, nope, one-on-two interview with them. :)

My editor seemed to be quite taken by them too so I had to go back to office to do a news/showbiz story for tomorrow and later another personality feature for Buzz.

Dino (on the right in the pix below) is the younger one by 90 mins, and is very easy-going while Julio, with an uncanny resemblance to Keanu Reeve, says he is the more `serious and uptight' one. But both of them were definitely amiable and friendly enough thus no problem to snag a pix with them..

At least I have this pix safe.. but I'm still really upset that all my other pictures of/with celebs are gone.. !!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Eventful Month Around the Corner..

Another busy work week had just rolled by... can you believe we're at the end of May 2006 already??!!

Have been writing so much at work that I really have no mood to write anything else now.

Just looking ahead, June will be an eventful month with some interesting things to look forward to... Among them:

1. E.E. exam and graduation
2. A good friend's wedding (am a cheemui/helper ;))
3. Worship bootcamp/training
4. Work, work, work (don't know about looking forward to that!)
5. and of course... WORLD CUP 2006!!

Yep, although I don't claim to be a true blue football fan but World Cup is something I have been following ever since Mexico '86l! I remember watching - on my friend's little television - almost every match during Italy '90 back in university days in England. I took one month leave in 1998 (that time I had enough leave while working with Sunday Mail) just to catch the matches at those odd hours... Perhaps the four-year wait truly adds on the excitement!

Just bought a World Cup guidebook from Popular Bookstore.. gosh, there were so many different publications to choose from!

Hopefully I could find time to watch some of my favourite teams play even during this busy month.. I'm sure I'll be blogging more on World Cup later... :p

In the mean time, there are just so many things I ought to be doing.. like submitting my income tax online. I gave up after trying so many times..need to take some time early next week to go to the department itself.. shucks. :(

Ok.. need some rest now...

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Hannibal Jojo Lector

No, Jojo's not a psychotic cannibal. Poor thing, his wounds wouldn't heal and in fact got worse despite having taken almost three weeks of medication. Brought him to the vet today and was told that he MUST STOP licking the wounds, which are getting cronic, or else they would never heal. Since Jojo was allergic to the e-collar (his neck got infected before), so the only solution is to put him on a muzzle.. he looks so miserable wearing it. But I try to not let him wear it all the time ie. when we are around.. Posted by Picasa

A frustrated Jojo in the garden.. notice a wound on his left back leg?Posted by Picasa

from another angle.. Posted by Picasa

looking so pitiful and helpless. :( Posted by Picasa

Jelly the Socialite

Jelly is such a sociable and attention-seeking dog.. When my aunt and cousins came for visit this afternoon, she really made her presence felt! Here she squeezed onto the sofa between aunt and cousin.. Posted by Picasa

then made sure that my two cousin brothers were not left out, she jumped up in between them! Posted by Picasa

and finally she came back to mommy... :) Posted by Picasa

With a happy-posing Jelly in the balcony Posted by Picasa

and with Jojo - looking happy muzzleless - in the garden  Posted by Picasa

MM re-launch!

Thought I would do a publicty-slant post for the NEW Malay Mail - officially launched last Friday (May 19, 2006) with the first issue out the following day. Afterall, it's my `bread & butter'..

Yep, the bright logo with colours resembling a well known fast-food chain is our new masthead! It's supposed to be young, bold and vibrant since the paper is now targetted to the 18-35 age group.

The trade launch, attended by some 1,300 corporate clients, advertisers and media, was held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. I didn't expect so many people.. they even had to add chairs in the ballroom! Well, the whole MM team was supposed to change into a black MM shirt with the huge masthead logo half way through the launch, as to keep the new logo a surprise..

On the way to the launch at a long corridor in KLCC (convention centre)

The stage was set for the launch - notice the huge `M'!!

The MM Editor/COO and the NSTP chairman were on stage to do a multi-media presentation of the new paper and in between, guests were entertained by a local band, a song by (MI2 runner-up) Nita, a sorta standup comedy session by Jit Murad and a fashion show - with models, representing the young, cosmopolitan women, parading with a copy of the paper, flipping through it and reading.. (it's quite amusing to see anyone would get that excited over the paper :p)

At the end, each of the guests was given a black MM bag (the one in the photo) containing a special edition of the MM and the inaugural issue of Weekend Mail, which is printed on thick white paper (like The Edge's)

The whole launch lasted not more than 1 hour and then came the highlight for many - FOOD (what else?) Some of us were surprised that the company was actually quite generous.. we had quite an extensive spread - a few buffet tables with good selections of starters, main-courses, desserts, AND even free-flowing draft beer! I caught up with some of my contacts - mostly int he entertainment industry. But I also met Michael Chong (now Datuk ofcourse) whom I had been covering for almost 3 years but haven't seen for a while since I moved to entertainment.

While mingling around, I was interjected by Channel V for an interview! I seriously don't know how I would appear on TV (the program will be out in about 2 weeks I was told) But i guess I probably will be on for about 5 seconds.

With some of the MM newsdek journalists

with fellow colleagues from Buzz

posing with the my boss/editor

Had a few beers and chatted with some bubbly friends from EMI. It was like 7pm when I left - one of the last 50 people or so left at the party. Didn't want to be stuck in the traffic jam so I went shopping at Suria KLCC! (what a good exucse) :D

It was pretty fun. At least it was a day away from work.. but I can forsee a crazy busy week(s) ahead now that the paper is up and is running on full steam! :S

p.s. Do check out the new MM - buy a copy to give a little support ;) And yeah, do give your feedback - negative ones also can! (btw, my articles would normally be out on Thurs. and in Weekend Mail and sometimes other days in news-showbiz)

Friday, May 19, 2006

"Entertainment Overburn"

It was an ultimate `entertainment week' for me. Fun eh? well, quite, but it was just too tiring!

To summarise: In the last three days, I watched three movies - Over the Hedge, M:I:III, The DaVinci Code ; watched two theatrical shows - Wanton Me! and Grease The Musical, and covered three entertainment assignments and worked on a few entertainment articles - won't name them..

Now I am feeling overdose so much that if you offer me to go to one more movie or concert/show for free, I won't do it.. I can't.

That's why I decided not to go for X-men3 media preview tomorrow.. I really need my sleep. I preivewed Over the Hedge and DVC - in the early (to me at least) hours of the morning and my sleep duration had been suffering..

Just came back from Grease The Musical. It's one of those rare occasions these days that I actually paid for tickets (reasons being since i don't know the organiser and it's a foreign show; AND it's actually quite nice to go together with my group of friends). But just my luck. For the RM170 ticket we paid, the show was a real let down.

In fact, it would be a let down for whatever ticket price.

Our seats weren't exactly good even for RM200 non-discounted - it was so far away from the stage. You wont believe that for the first 15 -20 minutes of the show, the sound system was atrocious! When the performers spoke or sang, what came out from the stage and front did not synch. with the speakers at the back. We were hearing echo throughout!

The whole flow was very choppy. The singing was so-so (save for one or two), the choreography ameteurish, and the acting was bad! I kinda agree with Lynn that in a way, it's like a college play.. ok, maybe it would be pretty good for a college play but heck, this is a touring international musical production!

My only thought was: what a waste of my energy and time.. I could have been at home and rest and would probably be up to catching X-men. Then again maybe not..

Well, at least out of all the above entertainment programs I had, I enjoyed two out of the three movies. Da Vinci Code was pretty disappointing but I won't elaborate here - too tired and in case people think I'll give spoilers.. If you're intersted, can read two friends and bloggers reviews here and here

I also enjoyed Wanton Me! - a stand-up comedy and music show by two talented comedians across the Causeway - it was very entertaining. The jokes were quite raunchy but it was a good stress buster and I laughed so hard!

Speaking of this show, oh, I have some grouses to let out!! I had interviewed Selena Tan and Hossan Leong like three weeks ago when they were here for a PC and wrote the story for the first issue of Weekend Mail to be out this Sat, and my editor knew and agreed all along. So the page had been subbed, laid out and improved over the last two weeks. And then.... last nite, the Media Prima boss who actually look through all the pages, decided to scrap it!!

Reason being that NST had published an article on this too. But hey, it was obvious we could not beat them as we didn't have a paper till this weekend..!

I was so upset and enraged that I went directly to the MM editor in chief and voiced it out to him. Well, I knew the decision couldn't be reversed but I just wanted to let them know how unfair this was and how pissed off I was! He pacified me in a way by giving me some seemingly valid excuses - "we want "the best' for the first issue" (Hello! why didn't you realise that the`timing' would pose this `problem' to make it not `the best'?!) and he ended up by saying he knew how passionate I am about my work and he likes that.

Hmmm.. Ok. Case close. But I am still upset especially I feel bad for the people at Gardner & Wife. I had to write them an email to apologise and explain to them that the article wont be out anymore..

What a great start for me for the new paper huh?

But on another note, the amount of work load is really increasing.. this coming week is a die-die week. Need to complete four full-length articles including a cover story and two columns by next Friday - don't forget I need time to research or interview people. Thanks to one extra piece to work on as they brought forward my theatre story i had already done in advance to replace Wanton Me!

Tomorrow afternoon is the new Malay Mail trade launch - at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (where we just went for Grease!) and the journalists too are expected to be there to.

And you wonder why I still have the energy and inspiration to blog..

I guess this is MY blog and I can write whatever I want.. Writing is therapeutic. But not when I have 1001 deadlines to meet at work.

Ok, better stop before I sound incoherent. Thanks to a hectic entertainment week....

Monday, May 15, 2006

Effortful Treat for Mom!

Happy Mother's Day!

To be honest, I don't usually buy a lot of things for mom nor do many things for her. I know.. treats should not be limited to Mother's Day only, but since today is Mother's Day and mom is a `sucker' for special occasions.. hehe, so I wanted to put in that extra effort to do something for her.

I cooked for her! I also went out to buy her presents that she wanted - as she only told me last night..!

A few days ago, I asked where she would like to go for dinner.. or would she rather eat at home and try my cooking? She chose the latter. It was actually a better idea since grandma is not mobile and we wouldn't want to leave her at home!

So I pored over my recipe books for two days and by lunch time today, decided what I would cook. Mind you, I am hardly a culinary expert and I hardly cook for that matter. But the few times that I tried, the dishes turned out pretty good I would say. hehe.

Mom let me choose so I selected the feasible and tasty-looking ones. Creamy mushroom soup and grilled steak with capsicum. Yes, am going Western since we eat Chinese all the time. There were quite a number of ingredients that I needed to buy - from the meat and vege to sauces, vinegars and fresh herbs such as thyme and chive (which I honestly could not tell by their look!)

Oh, mom's specified gift was two lipsticks of particular shades to replace her current ones.

After lunch, I went to KLCC - for a change as I always go Bangsar. I decided that I would shop for her lipsticks at Parkson and the groceries at Isetan's supermarket.

While the lipsticks were the tougher ones to choose as I had to get the shades as close to her original ones.. the food stuff was easier. Isetan has a very good selection of food stuff and ingredients, thank goodness.

I reached home slightly after 5pm and started cooking right away! The soup took quite some time to make.. what with chopping, boiling, blending etc.. The steak was easier, just marinate with a few sauces but preparing the capsicum was time consuming! Especially after grilling, I had to peel off the skin (as according to the recipe) before mixing with garlic, vinegar and herbs..

As I forgot to get loaves, I improvised and cut the oatmeal bread at home into strips and toasted them, to dip into Balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

The taste? Well, the mushroom soup in particular was very yummy and mom had two big bowls! However, the steak turned out too tough, as they were grilled and not fried. Could not gage the timing. We liked the capsicum too.. and mom loves the bread and Balsamic vinegar

Overall, I was quite pleased with the results and mom thought the dinner was delicious. Guess she was a bit surprise that her daughter could actually cook! ;)

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Work Hard, Play Hard?!

Had a pretty eventful long weekend!

But work had been eventful too! Just found out on Thursday that we're actually working two weeks in advance! Which means.. all the deadlines of my columns were due early next week.. ! Did whatever I could finish on Thurs as I plan to take my public hol off.. and some I could only do on Mon/Tues anyway..

FRI: Bathed Jelly and then had lunch with fellow entertainment journos at Bakerzin - one of my favourite makan place now. It was nice catching up outside assignments.. browsed around Bangsar Village for a while and headed to my hair appointment at Grace Salon, BSC. My hair colour was wearing out.. white hair showing and so dry as well.. just coloured half head to save cost/time.. got my front trimmed. Quite happy with the result..

Was supposed to have BS but because the number dwindled last min.. it got cancelled. Quite disheartening. Told mom I would come back for dinner but when I reached home, she asked me to join her for a Chinese `stand-up' show by some artists from China. Thought I would keep her company since I had nothing to do.. but when I found out that the place was at Wisma MCA, I decided to pop over to MTC (formerly Matic) to support my cousin Viv. She has earlier texted me that she got into the finals for Malaysian selection of the World Championship of Performing Arts (WCOPA) 2006. I found out later that she was the only finalist for the dance category. If she got in, she would be going to Hollywood for three weeks!

Viv all made up and raring to go!

As I walked towards the auditorium, I was a little surprise to bump into
Joanne, who is competing for the instruments category and would be playing what else, but her violin! With her skills and experiences, she no doubt stood a high chance to be selected. And she did!

Joanne amused that i took a pix of her

With two `stars' - a dancer and a violinist

I tapau some sandwiches from Saloma as I didn't want to miss my cousin dance as she was the first. I knew she loves dancing but had never saw her danced. And I was pretty impressed with her two contemporary/jazz numbers.

Anyway.. the standard of the finalists were not bad.. but I was really annoyed by the MC - Bob Lokman who was doing his own stand-up show and went on and on between each contestants.
So during the interval, I lef - after the dance, acting, variety show and instrument categories. There were the vocal and modelling (errr... modelling is performing art??) categories with my contestants to go.

SAT: Didn't feel too well in the morning so missed the early morning choir rehearsal.. but was kinda confident with the songs (ahem :p) Had lunch at home and then went to church for E.E. It was already our 9th lesson. But on that day, we only had half the lesson without the O.J.T. (On-the-job training) as the church had pastors ordination service and it was only right that we would be there to support.

On top of that, I was also singing in the choir.. thus I rushed from the class, changed, and had a final warm-up/briefing with them. There was some last minute `panick' as we were still out of tune for some parts but after a few times going through, we just committed the whole thing to the Lord. And praise God, at least we did fairly ok during the service.

It was a pretty long service.. but it was meaningful and a joyous and at times moving occasion. Everyone was invited for dinner.. which I also took a bit of food but could not stay long as I had an inteview for my theatre column.

My interviewee - the charismatic and inimitible diva of theatre Edwin Sumun.

We met at Secret Recipe, TTDI since he had a rehearsal nearby before that. Well, unlike the Edwin Sumun persona you see on stage or his photos on his blog, he was casually clothed and looked just like any other (tall, bald) blokes. ;)

In fact, I was very glad that he agreed to the interview in such a short notice as my deadline is Monday (thanks, Edwin!) It was fun chatting with him.. he was easy-going, outspoken and yes, he has a natural sense of humour - but he didn't think he was. Of course the conversation revolved mainly around the theatre and his upcoming projects etc.. but even after I got more than enough materials to write, we continued to chat for a while.. and when the subject came to blogs, shameless I `advertised' my blog to him and got his permission that I would blog about this interview!

Anyone interested to read about my article on Edwin Sumun, remember to get the Weekend Mail on May 27-28! (yes, we work two weeks advance now..)

Edwin posing like a hunk by my car

a shot of us taken by the clever thespian with one hand (I do this all the time, he boasts)

SUN: Mother's Day Special (separate post)

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Happy 1st Birthday, Jess' two Js!!

Yep! It's exactly one year ago, and around the wee hours of the morning just like now that I penned, I mean typed, the very first post of my blog.

What originally started off as a blog dedicated to my two darling canines - Jojo & Jelly - had evolved gradually into a personal blog.. and contains more stuff about myself, my life, my thoughts etc.. than just about my dogs.

But of course my two Js are still very very important to me. Just that there are limited dog tales to tell.. :p

Blogging is addictive for me... maybe I love write and share. And although at times nothing really interesting is happening nor any creative idea brewing, still I feel compelled to update! Not that I have that many readers but it's become an avid hobby of sort, personally. Yeah, it's very much a part of my life ..

To think of it, I used to write diary since my early teens and have gone through about five diaries. But in recent years, the frequency had dwindled to just a few times of writing a year!

But amazingly, with this innovative novelty on the cyber world, I am writing diary of anoter sort - open and not secret anymore. And I guess it has already replaced and took over the good-old diary..

Only problem is, if ever one day (God forbids) Blogger closes down for whatever reason.. I will lose everything!!! But there are also thousands or perhaps millions of fellow bloggers that would be in the same shoe as me...

Anyway, here's me wishing my blog many happy returns of the day and may Jess' two Js see many many more birthdays! (errr.. am sounding schizophrenic or what :p)

Thursday, May 04, 2006

MM United - the retreat and a new era

Today was the first official working day of the new Malay Mail!

That's because the last two days we had a retreat/gathering/team-building at Port Dickson - and what an activity-filled two days it was. Although it was pretty hectic and tiring, overall, it was pretty fun and interesting, but a bit of information overload!

More on the trip later... It was quite a different sight as I entered the MM newsroom today. Well, almost half the old staff were gone - either left through VSS (Voluntary Separation Scheme) or been transferred to NST. There were some new faces - including some transferred from other departments.

The MM team consists of just about 60 or so of us - including editorial (news, lifestyle, entertainment, sports, subs, artists) as well as photography, marketing, advertisement, circulation etc.. And now we all sit together in one newsroom! Kinda cool and convenient.

The launch date has been delayed again apparently because to fit in some advertisment campaign. Anyway, the trade launch is now been fixed on May 19th, at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. The first issue will be Weekend Mail on May 20-21. Yeah, it will be a five-day paper and a weekend paper (in the Edge type of white paper) covering both Saturday and Sunday.

The prices remain the same - ie RM1 for daily and RM1.20 for weekend.

Earlier, I thought I would be able to relax/take it easy these two weeks but this is not the case. We have to produce shadow papers daily from tomorrow and then the deadline for the first issue of the papers is drawing near!

Now, the trip... it was a case of `work hard, play hard'.. or maybe `play harder!' Since we arrived at lunch time on Tuesday, we had a ice-breaker/introduction and briefing by both NSTP and Media Prima bosses. It was already evening, when were divided into groups to be given an presentationt! It was like a mini-skit or performance but each group was given different `assignments'.

So everyone was busy preparing/practising until our BBQ dinner - which we had indoor due to the drizzle. Our group was to sing a P.Ramlee song in Kedahan English, whatever that is! Since I had no idea how to sing it, was given the task with the other girls in my group to do the 60s `agogo' dance. Kinda pathetic the way we danced!

Some group's presentation was utterly hilarious and I almost died from laughing! The men `sacrificed' to show off various part of their anatomy.. One group presented an informercial for body-building - and had their guys stripping off their tops to show off their biceps, abs and backs, and one even pulled down his pants (of course he was wearing his boxers). There was also some crazy skits and a catwalk.

But the most uproarist of them all was the last group. Their given theme was `belly dancing' but itthe dancers were the men! With their shirts all tucked up revealing their bellies (in some cases very round ones), they shamelessly gyrated and swayed their hips, with the `come hither' look in their eyes. Although it was not a pretty sight, but it was totally hilarious and every one laughed so hard.
Must give it to the boys for being so sporting!

We had karaoke - but it was more like a performance as everyone watches you. And of course yours truly lived up to her reputation and was the only female who sang. :p Next was dancing time! Didn't intend to dance at first but then the real hot music - a mix of hip hop, dance, pop and house - was getting infectious and a few of us just danced away, and drank away, till mid night when we celebrated a colleague's birthday.

A cake fight broke up and I quickly escaped.. some of the carzy ones carried on to party away either in or by the pool. Heard a few actually slept only at 4am! I went to bed around 1am..

The next day was a FULL day. We looked at the mock copy of the new paper, and then divided into groups for `building blocks'. We had to rewrite a story and create the whole page as it would appear in the new paper.. then followed by more talks on the production and marketing side of the paper...

My brain was getting quite clouded by late afternoon.. and we finally finished at six-ish, leaving the place in a drizzle and got home past dinner time with my stomach growling..

Indeed through the trip, we all got a much better understanding of the paper and hopefully it had also brought the team closer together. Though not everyone has total confidence in whether the new paper will work, but we are in the same boat and i know everyone will give it a shot..

The optimist in me is finding this quite exciting really.. :)

Monday, May 01, 2006

Word Cloud

Came across this in some blog. A word cloud image is to contain random words that describe one's blog. Kinda interesting to create. But didnt know that if i type in two words, it will have `%20' in it! Posted by Picasa