Monday, April 28, 2008

Movie Review : Forbidden Kingdom

Feels like we have been doing nothing but sit ourselves in the cinema lately. So many delicious movies to watch… so little time.

Forbidden Kingdom is truly a delight. I, who have been a huge Jackie Chan fan (his Chinese movies only, I do not really like his English movies for some reason) was delighted to see him as the Drunken Master again (although not Wong Fei Hung).

Although I could only remember 2 of Jet Li’s movies, Bodyguard From China and My Father the Hero, I rather like him in Romeo Must Die and although I do not remember any of his signature moves was equally thrilled with his agility and his kung-fu prowess.

The Forbidden Kingdom tells the tale of the Immortal Monkey King who was turned into stone by the evil (and definitely penuh dengki) Jade Warlord (my son kept saying Gay Warlord). Before he turned completely into stone, he sent his staff (bukan pekerja tapi kayu… well not exactly kayu le sebab the kayu is made of gold… alahai.. weapon le) away to an unknown place.

Enter this mat salleh guy who is crazy bout Chinese movies. Bruce Lee and the lot was his movie genre of choice and got his fix stocked up from a Chinese antiquity shop. He saw a gold staff (maybe it is spelt with one f… I dunno) and the geriatric shopkeeper told him that his family, starting from his grandfather, had been waiting for the owner to claim it.

Then biasalah, he is actually being bullied (there is a bit of Karate Kid scene here, only missing is the evil sensei) and the bullies forced him to help them gain entry to the Chinese Antique Shop. To make the story short, the poor shopkeeper got shot, then the old guy gave this guy the staff and told him to find the owner (I think) and to leg it.

He did and somewhere along the way was transported into time. The Jade Warlord was still in power and was looking for the Immortal Monkey King’s staff. Ha !

It is a very fun movie. So much fun that Umar and Elsa did not sleep in the cinema even though it was way past their bedtime.

Jet Li was wonderful as the cheeky and playful Monkey King and Jackie Chan was faultless as the drunk… ha ha.. Their fight scene was excellent, the director cleverly decided to show that none were better than the other to maintain each one’s ego…

Ha…. Tengoklah… It is worth your RM 11 plus your kids RM 11 because for some reason there is no discounted price for the little ones.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Sebab asam tak sedap aku kena beli mesin buat mee...

I am like my mother after all.

Mummy is forever grumbling about how food doesn’t taste the same anymore. Whenever we ate asam, Mum would pinch a taste and moan how “Asam dulu lagi sedap. Sekarang punya tastes of chemicals !!” We used to roll our eyes and agreed she must be crazy because the asam rolling in our mouths tastes like heaven… He he….

Nowadays when I do indulge (whenever Dan is not around. He usually uses his body as a shield whenever we passes by asam or jeruk shops/aisle/counter – ooo…. I love the jeruk stall yang berlambak-lambak sekarang ni. Word of advice, kat Shah Alam Mall punya sedap. SACC punya jangan bau pun !!), I increasingly finds myself repeating her words. The asam on sale nowadays do not taste as good as the ones I ate during my school days !! They taste more of chemicals than anything.

So now I wonder… how good are good are the assams my mother used to gonyeh as a child ? Emmm…….

Breads also do not taste as good nowadays. Well first of all I think is due the declining number of Mamak roti on wheels. None passes my mom’s street anymore and none ever passes my in-laws. I haven’ t bought roti manis for a long, long time. My favourite was the triangular shaped, with sugar on top and raisins (kismis kata orang Melayu) inside. I still dream of their decadent flavour and how good they taste when dipped in coffee (since we aren’t allowed coffee, I used to steal my mom’s whenever she leaves it around the dining area. Typically early morning or afternoon when she makes us tea… Tea is okay with the roti but coffee is marvelous… Yummmm).

So apparently those breads are only sold by the mamaks on wheel. Those sold by premises that remained stationary only sell stupid breads from Yucksville. I dunno. Nothing beats bread from Ismailia in Penang, though. They maybe have ISO accreditation because the bread tastes the same as before...way before. The texture, the smell heck even the shop reminds me of my days with my cousins and my tok wan. Hmm….

What else, yeah ? Pisang goreng. Heard that pisang goreng is dangerous to eat nowadays. The added crispiness is due to cancer causing plastics bottles that they melt inside the hot oil. Only buy from your usual seller, I think. Somebody that you can actually ask, “Pakcik masukkan botol plastic ka dalam minyak tuh ?” and get a sincere answer. In fact, I nowadays I am struggling to remember to ask my waiters to ‘hold the bawang goreng’ because evil people use the same method to retain crispiness of the fried onions.

Even mee kuning would sometimes leave an aftertaste in your mouth. “Banyak sangat ubat dalam mee ni..” I once heard my friend say. Isn’t that dangerous ? But no fear !! A friend of mine recently told me of this wonderful pasta maker that can actually churn out mee kuning !! He he…. I wanna try that. Ermm…. Anybody interested to see the demo of this wonderful machine ?Call me … The supplier will only come to do the demo if I have 10 or more people.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Movie Review : Definitely, Maybe

As much as I hate sounding like a parrot, I still have to say it because it is true. This movie is really sweet. Hai…..

It is about this girl ( I have forgotten her name ) whose parents were divorcing. That day when her father picked her up from school, the uproar of the day’s sex education, sparked her interest about her father’s love life (in the process she found out her father smoked and is actually a slut).

The father agreed but decided to do it in love mystery format where he will change all the names of his past love interests. She has to figure out which one is her mother.

So that was what he did, narrated his love story, which was pretty dramatic because it involved a lot of cheatings and a betrayal thrown into it. The movie is really funny.

But the of course there is the but… You just can’t help but wonder what good memory the father has because he remembers every detail. Watch it and you will know what I mean. Also, the girl is really mature for her age. Mature because she really wants her father to be happy and urged him to find the only girl in his story whose name he didn’t change. I was thinking how disloyal could you be to your momma ? But then maybe that was just me…

Coincidentally the movie matched the theme of our conversation that day. We had lunch with Shazmi and he asked us how do we keep things interesting after 15 years of togetherness. Dan immediately launched into a very Fadhillah Kamsah’s speech. Me ? I sat there wondering like Shazmi.

We celebrated our 15th anniversary last week and I still do not know what is the recipe to keep us together for a further 15 years and beyond. How do I keep it exciting ? I dunno. DO you know ? Watching the movie with its divorce theme made me really wonder. Is it luck ? Or love ? Or laziness… you know you just can’t be bothered to start again and better the devil you know than the devil you don’t kind of thinking.

Divorces are sad. For all involved. If Dan and I ever go that way, we wouldn’t just be dividing children, but friends too. “Okay, I get Shah this week and you get Anu..” or something in that manner.

So don’t ever go that road ? But surely if you are suffering ( and I am not talking about sufferings due to your love for another. If you do love someone else, sacrifice your love okay and stick to your family. That is more noble ) it is better for you to leave, especially if you are married to somebody who abuses you ?

But in the movie it didn’t look like anybody was abused. Maybe they had irreconcilable difference, the trendiest reason nowadays.

Hmm…. I dunno…

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Book Review : Queen Camilla by Sue Townsend

A hilarious book, dear friends. I was glued to the book, so intrigued and engrossed was I with the book that I had to check repeatedly if the English monarchy is still there, not holed up in a guarded housing area for criminals.

This book is actually the sequel to Queen and I. It is about the life of the Queen and her family (especially Charles) when the Republican won the election and overthrew the monarchy. The Republican Prime Minister, Jack, did not only do that but he installed Vulcan, a satellite spying program to chart all British citizen’s movements and implement crazy laws like banning stepladders and limiting 1 dog per household (an outrage since we are talking about England). The people are tired of all the stupid laws and out came Boy English, the new leader for Tory and promised to bring the monarchy (and common sense) back to England.

But the problem is, the Queen's plans to abdicate. Then Camilla and Charles’ ugly and a complete dickhead illegitimate son surfaced that threatens their comeback.

The book is great, depicting the Queen’s troubles and her troubled family. How Harry became a hooligan and William working as a scaffolder. How Sophie Wessex was hysterical because her daughter Sophie is becoming the estate’s slapper and all…

He he….. Good read.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Movie Review : 27 Dresses

This movie is so cute. About a girl who loves wedding ever since she was 9. She loves weddings so much so that she helped to plan 27 of her friend’s wedding and be their bridesmaid, hence the 27 ugly bridesmaid dresses ( they are really ugly… I can only honestly say the only nice one is the saree she wore to an Indian and Jewish wedding ).

During the 26th wedding, a journalist for a wedding column, the delicious, cyclopy James Marsden saw her changing clothes in a cab to go to a second wedding ( her 27th - she actually had to hop between the 2 weddings the whole night… very funny scenes ) and wondered what her deal was. He found out and decided to write about her instead, the girl who is addicted to weddings.

Anyhoo… in the process they fell in love and then of course there is a fighting scene which threatens to break it all and the ridiculous embarrassing thing that they have to do to win the love back… blah, blah, blah.. and well…. you could figure out the rest..

The movie is very predictable sure, but it is still nice anyway. It is sort of like the Wedding Planner, with loads of delicious bouquets and bridal gowns and other delicious wedding paraphernalia, but it has it’s own storyline and twists and turns. Well, she was in love with her boss who in turn fell in love with her awful sister and had to organize their wedding !! Ouch !

James Marsden and Ed Burns were good. Katherine Heigl… well I am not really convinced yet…..maybe because I am used to her Izzy alter ego. The actress who played her sister was totally rubbish but her best friend was superb.

Although the movie did not make us feel the way we felt after we watched Notting Hill… it is still worth to watch.

PS : Watching this movie, it had me thinking how forgiving these mat sallehs are. If it happened to me, I wouldn’t be speaking to my sister for a loooong time. Well maybe after I scratched her face and tore her hair for the 10th time…

Monday, April 14, 2008

Movie Review : Legend of the Water Horse and Nim’s Island

I love both of these films. Both of them feature watery locations and lovely underwater scenes.

The first film is about a boy during the first world war who found an odd looking egg. The egg hatched to reveal an adorable but unknown creature who grew at a very speedy rate. It was a water horse that would only hatch when it’s mother/father is gone as there can only be one water horse at a time.

Nim’s island is about a girl who lives on a secret island with her dad. She had to ask Alex Rover, an adventurer whose books she loves, to come and help her escue her island from intruders. It turned out Alex Rover is a lady who hadn’t leave her house for 18 months. Yikes !!

Both films are really good. Although Nim’s Island is funny and the scenes were really bright ( they were on an island somewhere in Fiji after all ) compared to LOTWH which was about the Loch Ness monster and therefore filmed in cold and dark Scotland ( I suspect it was just after winter ) but LOTWH had actors whose acting were really superb. Emily Watson and Ben Chaplin were amazing, including the little boy and girl ( I watched this movie quite some time ago and had forgotten their stage names ) who played siblings were simply marvelous.

The casts of Nim’s Island was heavyweights too what with the Breslin girl and Jodie Foster and the delicious looking specimen called Gerard Butler ( he he …) but I found I was more involved with the people in LOTWH. I feel without the remarkable animals in Nim’s Island ( the pelican, the lizard, the seal and the turtle ), the movie would not be quite there. Plus, I kept thinking how old Jodie Foster looked.
Watch both films. They are really good.

Friday, April 11, 2008

No white pillows for Umar...

My blog friend Konot told a story about her lovely daughter Balqis’ imaginary friend Gina. Her account made my goosebumps have goosebumps, really. Yikes !

The Malays have always believed that due to children’s innocence they are rather sensitive to spirits and the likes. That is why although imaginary friends are normal to the westerners, to the Malays it is quite daunting. Is it really an overative imagination or… ?

The Modern Malays are tolerating ( to me le as one of the Modern Malays … he he ) the idea of imaginary friends due to books and the very influential telly. I said tolerating because the first thing we will think when we hear about imaginary friends is “ Err…. hantu ( my family call it ee-eeekkk ) ke ?

Umar did not exactly have an imaginary friend. To categorise her as an acquaintance is also too familiar. It all started when he refused to sleep on white pillows. When I asked him why, he said something like “That girl kata white pillows are for hantu only.” Aaaa ? I did not prod further because Dan wasn’t home and therefore I am so not gonna go there. I told him there is no such thing as ghosts but changed his pillows to a coloured one anyway.

Sometime after that (this is according to my friend. I have forgotten the story but she reminded me of it) I saw him patting some pillows. When I asked him why he said it is for the girl. You just can’t imagine how I feel at that time. When I asked him of her whereabouts he said she is just right there !! Waaa…. !!!!

He last mentioned her a few months after that. I was bathing him and his little sister when we heard a loud thud from the bedroom. I went to investigate and found nothing amiss. When I re-entered the bathroom, Umar asked me, “Is she here ?” Aiseh.

For as long as we lived in that house he refused white pillows. When we moved back in with Dan’s parents’ he still insisted for coloured pillows because the white ones are for the ghosts. Reading 3 Qul in bed doesn’t help him. Until Dan placed buku Mari Belajar Sembahyang under his pillows. Then he started to be okay. I think as of last year he had stopped being scared of white pillows.
Kenapa ya ? Why is his imaginary friend a ghost ?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Maybe I am loony....

My good friend Kamalia ( I have known her since like we were 8 or something ) commented on my last posting. She rightly said that the chances of me being asked “What is magic in Malay” is very remote…

Well…. Sure… but when you are me…. Just ask my husband lah…

When were living in UK, I was an ardent fan of Marie Claire magazine. So ardent in fact that I kept on buying the magazine when we permanently parked our bottoms in Malaysia. It costs a bomb but I liked it. I only stopped when I realised, hey…. the Malaysian Marie Claire is good too, and the bonus point is they actually showcase all the goody shoes and clothes that is within my reach !!

Well anyway, I truly, truly love this segment in Marie Claire UK where they feature normal, everyday women’s wardrobe. I found out that I actually like looking and ‘belek’ing the contents of other people’s wardrobe. The rows and rows of shoes, and bags and clothes and knick knacks and what nots.

I love reading where they buy their clothes and why. Usually there is an interesting story attached to a piece of clothing. You know, its sentimental value or incidents that happened when they wear or buy that particular piece.

I also love they way they drape certain items of clothing attractively around the room, the way they susun the kasuts and bags or whatever. I just love it.

Well… of course I got crazy. I know the chances of them featuring my wardrobe is like nil (I think you have to write to them and ask them to come or something like that)… but I went crazy anyway. I started to susun my shoes ( when Dan wasn’t home of course because he would have a heart attack if he sees my collection all in one go. I wasn’t sinisterly hiding them from my husband, mind you. I just love him so much that I do not want him to have a seizure…, that’s all ) and my bags, and drape my bajus attractively around the room.

I also looked for pieces that have a story attached to it ( I have one piece that is connected to you though, Kamalia. The seluar I bought from you and tried it on in your curtainless store room… he he…. Takde orang duduk belakang rumah dia… so it’s okay… although there were chances of orang lalu … well…. ).

So… that is my perangai. Thank God that my husband layan je selalu… eventhough I know he harbours thoughts that his wife might be crazy.

One more contoh ? Well, the tube station near Big Ben ( I think Westminster Station ) right, has the longest escalator I have ever seen. To make it worse, to me the escalator’s gradient is quite high, maybe 35° even. I had nightmares of me falling down with my baby Umar. Well.. sometimes if I walked alone, I have daymares where I imagined me falling down. And I will have this pained look on my face, which Dan once saw and demanded for an explanation. I am sure he wished he hadn’t.

Ermmm….. better be prepared ? He he… or neurotic, crazy woman… don't judge me... if you can, of course.
PS : I would still like to know what is magic in Malay though…Anyone ?

Monday, April 07, 2008

I get anxious for nothing

Every time I saw the advert for Street Magic ( or something like that ) Asia : India, I will get apprehensive. Why ? Well you remember the part where one of the magicians asked the bystander “What is magic in Indian ?” and the quick witted lad answered “Jadoo.” ? Well… I do not know what is magic in Malay.

I can just picture it. “What is Magic in Malay ?” ask the Magician. “Ermm…. Silap mata…eh…. Maybe ajaib is more accurate. Hang on, hang on…. Kuasa sakti probably ?” And I will be red in the face (because I go red easily) and I will fumble and oohh…. the agony ! The embarrassment ! Malunya !!

So now, if they ever make it to our shores and I happen to walk past by, I will keep on walking because I do not want to look like a fool on telly (although I think I already look very much like one especially if there are people who know the answer at the tip of their tongue right now).
Bencinya !! Menyusahkan aku je dia orang ni !

Friday, April 04, 2008

Cerita merepek ku akibat demam he he...

After a long absence, I am succumbing to peer pressure. Okay, I will update my blog…

So very sorry, I am (not was still am) busy because I am involved in a project again. Then I got sick. Since Tuesday a fortnight ago actually and luckily because I was being a good girl and did my work, by the time I got the flu, I was way ahead of schedule. So my boss ordered me to go home and rest. He isn’t expecting me back at the office until Wednesday last week really but being a good girl ( and fearing it is actually a test ) I returned work last Tuesday after being absent since the Tuesday before ( well I did try to go to work on Monday and I could only manage to sit until 11 am –that is when my boss sent me home ).

Kindness like this makes it harder for me to actually attempt to find a new job. Why do I want to find a new job ? Well.. just for the heck of it…. He he… Okay, this is only my second job and don’t tell me I will keep this one forever ? Most of my friends have a colourful past and well, I am actually quite embarrassed to admit that my current boss is my second. I am not Japanese. Malaysians are not loyal… Even Dan has a lot of past employers in his list and I only have 2. Both of them coincidently suffer from receding hair line. Boring… I want to say that I had a boss who was this and that and this and that… Having to say “Well… both of my bosses were botak heads…” isn’t a recipe for an interesting conversation ( well yeah because people bonded by bitching about their superiors ) and furthermore I do not exactly have anything damaging to say about my current one.

So should I ? Look for a new job ? Live dangerously and actually start e-mailing my CV ? I have a very nice boss and should I risk that ? Should I ?

Eiii…. I though I was going to ramble on about my very terrible and long winded flu, why am I talking about this lah ? He he… adalah…. Nanti aku cerita..