Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Years Eve 2010 : 5 years in the making

This is a personal thing for me. To celebrate new year's eve at the place I have reserved for tomorrow. I have been wanting to do it for quite some times and without even having to say to my wife about it, I only asked her whether she knows where we would be celebrating our new year, without even giving any hint, she already knew it.

It all started when we celebrate our first and last new year ushering 2004 somewhere in the vicinity of KLCC, the twin iconic towers of Malaysia, home to our oil company, which for better or for worse, is the most recognisable symbol of Malaysia's success, in some way or another.We celebrated that year just a few blocks from KLCC. Far from the maddening crowd but close enough to feel the heat of the firework. That was a last minute planning and our room was not even facing KLCC. We had to go down to the floor where the pool is to look at the firework. As we were impressed with the firework, we promised to celebrate it at this one hotel where we think the firework will be much better viewed and hopefully, it can be seen from our hotel room.

The next year, 2005, we were busy moving the furniture from our apartment to our current abode and we foregone all new year celebration. 2006 was our first year in our new home and we just want to experience it there. The next year, 2007, there was no celebration as our ruler, the Yang DiPertuan Agung, our King, had just past away and out of respect, all government new year function was canceled. In 2008, the Gregorian new year coincided with the Haj pilgrimage celebration and in 2009, it was the Muslims new year where we did celebrate in a very neighbourly style with our neighbours.

(Caveat on the dates as I might have mixed up the dates and the events which made us decided not to celebrate)

So, this year is it. A celebration where we want to be a bit special. Not that far from home and no big celebration, except to watch firework at KLCC Park. We just hope that there will be one but I did checked out the internet and found a few websites which promised a celebration of some sort in the vicinity of KLCC. Here are the links to suggestions on how to celebrate new year in Kuala Lumpur by KLUE Magazine and Time Out KL.

Monday, December 28, 2009

What I want to do at least once in my lifetime

This is not my ultimate bucket list or I am doing it due to some illness which may kill me but I am doing it just because I want to...

1) Stay somewhere where no one know who I am for more than one week or at least a month...

2) Travel to Las Vegas;

3) See the sun rises on top of some mountain (not really too keen but if there an easy climb somewhere...)

4) Go to Disney whatever...I mean, it can be Disneyland, Disney World, Disneyland Paris, Disneyland Tokyo, Disneyland Hong Kong, but my ultimate will still be where Epcot Center is...

5) Go see Yellowstone;

6) Go see the midnight sun;

7) Go to Antartica;

8) Go to the Oscar (or the Grammy; the Emmy or even the Tony);

9) Publish a book (which is very much in the making and getting nearer and nearer);

10) Go to KLIA on the midnight of the day before New Year's Eve, points to a departure monitor and go where my finger is pointing, without reservation or without any luggage with my wife there and then

Just some wish which I might be doing next year or maybe if I am stable enough...But it all starts with a dream...

Wouldn't be amazing to be on a deserted island for a month just with your love one...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

It's that time of the year

...where you celebrate Christmas even though you are not Christian....

...where you take a holiday somewhere as everyone else is doing it.....

...where you go and meet up old friends to catch up on their stories....

...where traffic jam is the order of the day but you still go out to mall to see about that hoopla about that snowflake machine...

...where some parents lost their child in the mall and some parents lost their child for good....

....where you remember that you haven't finish your last year's new year resolution and some were never done at all....

...where you plan to do new New Year Resolution....

...where you know you shouldn't have that second helping but ended having a fourth....

....where conversations flow, some with the help of lubricants

....where you spend more than you had budget for...

....where love might just be in the air....

....where you know you shouldn't be at Gurney Drive but you did and now your car is at the police station....

....where you went back to your hometown but the you got angry as they keep asking why you come back alone...

....where you are just glad that it is the end of the year....

....where you say to your self the usual stuff at the end of the year then keep doing it again until the time comes to reflect back on the year...

....where you just enjoy yourself like you usually do every day of the year....

....where there's fireworks, joy and celebration all over the world....

Thursday, December 24, 2009

What is social media without the people behind it

I was invited to a few events which are closely related to social media for the past 2 weeks. An event called P1 Social Media Night, hosted by P1 Wimax, which is infamous for its "Potong!" advertisement to its maverick way in marketing their broadband. I have been to quite a few of their events this past one year as they seem to engage bloggers and other social media networkers more than any other telecommunication company. Now, we have everyone of them noticing the social media network as a place to market their products. Their event started at 6.30pm and supposed to finish at 10pm.

At the same time, in another part of the city, Starbucks Malaysia StarbucksMY was throwing another event to celebrate their 11 years presence in Malaysia. The day had started early for Starbucks as they gave out free coffee between 11am - 1pm which I did managed to get in the local Starbucks near my office. Their party started at 7pm until late.

How did I managed to go to both events? By sheer ingenuity and knowledge of the traffic within the area that day, that's how (traffic was a nightmare that day!). And I even managed to go and watch Avatar 3D after that, which I will watch again and again as there are so many Avatar Tweetup happening in the next few days (2 at last count)

All thepeople above were at the #P1SMN which stands for P1 Social Media Night

p/s : I actually have a picture who is behind @StarbucksMY but seems to misplace it....I wonder whether she will allow me to post it. Such a bubbly person

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Starbucks 11th Anniversary in Malaysia

It was a very fun even with the host using social media to invite and keep those on Facebook and Twitter in the know of what was happening at the event. With the theme masquerade, I was curious at how they can use a Starbucks in a mall to throw an event to celebrate their 11th year in Malaysia. Thanks to the emcees who one of them in Xandria Ooi and the other Starbucks area manager, which I apologise as I can't for the life of me remember his name. However I do have a picture of him in the video below.

The invite was sent to me by email but conveyed in the first instance to me through Twitter. See how important to have a social media life to get invited to a gathering of real life people nowadays? I did had to divide my time with another event but that will be another post on another day

Here are some pictures and a video of people having fun...

The cake which was mutilated by the time we arrived

Other cakes on offer

Twitter updates there and then with a screen to check yours

And this is the dance off to the tune of Jai Ho!
(the guy in yellow is the area manager)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Hard Rock Hotel Penang : Way past expiration

Not that I don't appreciate good musics from the early days of Rock n Roll but when I am in my office and sobered up from the rocking gastronomic experience which one would experience if one stays in a hotel where rock memorabilia is the order of the day, reality hits home. I was and actually still an avid fan of rock n' roll music and being close to all the memorabilia especially those in my teen age, it makes me wanna rip those showy guitar of the wall and rip some rift (not that I know how to play one).

Anyway, as I was trudging the hallowed hall of Hard Rock Hotel in Penang, (although new, the memorabilia is authenticated from legends) I bombarded the crew (the staff is called as such) there with rock trivia just to see how trained were they. I found myself to be very old with their answer. Most of them don't know the band which I am so in love with long ago like Guns n Roses, Nirvana and Bon Jovi. Don't let me start on how they have never even heard the songs of the Cure, Rolling Stones and Aerosmiths. The only one which transcend the age limit is Green Day who seems to have a second revival of sort with their current albums and was famous for Nookie during my time.

So, as much as I want to say I enjoyed myself there, Hard Rock Hotel Penang did makes one feel old and it is amplified with the staff there being young. Too young for my liking...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I love walking by the beach

If you have followed or stumbled on a few of my posts in this blog, you would know I love walking by the beach and I can actually walk nearly 1 or 2 km by myself by the beach. My wife usually follows until half a mile then drop back as I go through my pace.

As Hard Rock Hoetl is really just down the road from the famous Batu Feringghi beach in Penang Island, I walked twice the whole stretch as I want to go and see another favourite resort which I have stayed twice with my wife. The resort is the Lone Pine Resort which has more than one pine but the ambience there was always relaxing and it was a constellation of old bungalows. Now they are renovating it and adding more modern buildings. I hope there will be some bungalow still left when it is finished in September 2010.

Am having trouble with uploading the pictures of the beach and the place. Will update it late...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Hard Rock Hotel Penang : Wish you are here....

Am on holiday locally in Malaysia but with a foreign flavor.

I am at Hard Rock Hotel Penang. Was invited by my brother last October to accompany him here 3 days after it opens but was preoccupied with something else. Now it is our turn to have a rocking good time...

Regular programming will resume when I get out of any sleepy haze which comes with holiday...

Oh, and the theme here is mostly tribute to Elvis, the King and the Beatles...

During dawn just now, the only peaceful time here...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Where to get good steaks in Kuala Lumpur : Meatworks

When it comes to steak in Kuala Lumpur, I have been looking for a good one for quite sometime....

The problem with me is although I not really a fussy person, as I always order my steak medium rare, as I am a Muslims and always want all my steak to be certified halal. Which is not that easy in this supposedly Muslim country (yes, I am slagging my own country, like millions of other people in the world).

So, when a place called Meatworks, who is supposedly owned by a Minister's children opens up and it serves only halal approved meat, I just got to try it out. And tried it I did. Last Friday (did tried it a few months back but the offerings were not as it is now)

I was supposed to attend an event but was rejected at the last minute as the attendance was too overwhleming (some who followed me on Twitter might know this)

So, the restaurant is called Meatworks and it is located to a new trendy side of town, Soho KL.

The front

The counter where the meat are displayed

This is their biggest offering : 1 kilogram rib-eye

What I ate...

..medium rare....(a bit charred) contrast with what my wife had

My verdict : The offerings are good at Meatworks and quite reasonable too. As a carnivore who never have enough of meat, I consider the best way to taste meat is to cook them without any sauce. Then you can dip it into anything that you fancy. The sauce was a bit sweet but standing by itself, as I love charred steak, although I did order medium rare, it was good.

Go to Meatworks for great steak and not for taking dates to...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Taking picture or posing for a picture?

Random pictures of people taking picture, either near KLCC or within KLCC....

And can someone answer me that question, taking picture or posing for picture?

The twin tower of KLCC is on the right side of my car and this is a fav spot for tourist to take picture of it

And this guy is actually the one taking the picture, but...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas joy shown by a kid

Was at Pavilion last Sunday and saw a bunch of people watching a kid dancing to the tune of Sway played by a few musicians. The abandon that she shows, just show the pure joy that only a kid can feel.

Smell like kid spirit...

p/s : First time trying to upload a video on this blog. Hopes it work...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Nothing bring people together like Friendsters?

No, this is not an attempt to promote Friendsters. I never even owned a Friendsters account. And may never own one. Especially with too many new social networking site being offered every other week. For the past one month, I have been to 2 new social networking websites launches. Actually both are applications which are taking advantage of the social networking craze currently in progress.

I did want to attend the launch of the all-new Friendsters as a few bloggers were heading there to see what it was all about but I was stuck at another event just a few blocks away. I was even supposed to go to a charity dinner after that but forgo it after checking with a friend who was at the dinner who told me it was just about eating the food more than anything. I did pay for the charity dinner tickets and I consider that as charity in itself.

As for the Friendsters launch, as the event I was in only served finger food (which did has a great scallops offering), we were still hungry after we finished with it. So, I Blackberry messaged one of the attendee at the Friendsters event and found out that some of them were still at the Starbucks of the mall where the launch took place, which was Berjaya Times Square.

We joined them and were surprised with the bloggers the who include Euveng a.k.a. Evo, Botakai, Mynjayz, JunJunRiko, ShazFX, Dila, Bryan of Bryanlyt, Pink Pork Chop and his brother with a few others. My wife, who once was quite sceptical of bloggers is nowadays quite happy to hang around them. She said she feels young hanging around some younger crowd (not we are THAT old... :P)

What was great is that the fact that as bloggers I can now consider them as friends. The best part of it, as someone who don't go out much, I can count on this guy to flex some brain muscle. Bantering with them about everything under sun and getting some blogging tips. And some photography tips too as these guys are those serious photographers whose cameras are heavier than their head.

So, though Friendsters are not in my plan in the near future, the friends from blogging are definitely are...

p/s : You do know that Friendsters which are based in California has been taken over my a Malaysian company right? Specifically MOL, a company under the Berjaya group which is owned by this conglomerate named Vincent Tan. What he wants to do with it is anyone's guess as he also owns the franchise of Borders, 7-Eleven, Starbucks and a few famous franchisors in Malaysia and a few South East Asia countries.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Local fruits : Rambutan

My mom owns a furit orchard some 30 km from town and every time the fruits are in season, my wife is more excited than me to savour the delicious fruits that Malaysia has to offer. When the season is good, we would even do some barbeque and invite clients as a way to thank them for their support. The last barbeque we had was nearly 2 years ago as these past seasons, the offerings were not that great. Maybe when it is one of those good season, I might do a blogger gathering there...

For the past one month, every time we went back to my hometown, we always made it a point to take some of these fruits home.

These are rambutans, which is best described to be a bit like the more well-known lychee. They have 'hair' on their outer skins but inside, they are exactly like lychee, except for their walnut-looking seeds. They are very sweet that doctors are known to disallow their patients who suffer from diabetic from eating them.

I am not really a fan of local fruits as I don't even eat the most famous of Malaysian fruits, durian. It will baffle a lot of those who are just getting to know me. However, once in a while, I love the rambutans that I eat them even before we reach home.

Though they usually comes in red, like the first picture, the yellow rambutans are much sweeter and rarer but are my favourite rambutans.

And ants too....

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Zombieland : A Review (better late than never)

I just love Zombieland. It opens today in Malaysia, which is quite late than the release that they had in the United States but take my advise, the gore and the excitement which you feel if you watch it on the television is nothing compare to the feeling that you will feel if you watch it at the cinema. Thanks to Advertlets, managed to catch it earlier.

If you still have not watch it or better yet, never heard about it, GO WATCH IT!!! (and where have you actually been?)

The screening was full of zombies

The next part of this post will be full of spoiler.

There will be no names. They just used the names like Tallahassee, Little Rock and Wichita. Oh, I forgot, the star of the movie : Columbus, who is a cowardly, nerdy, so-not-popular and loser kid, who became the unlikely hero in the movie. He was also the narrator and the one who has all these rules which you should follow if your world ever be overran by zombies. The rules start at four rules then as the movies go along, it seems that there are more than that. It was even changed accordingly to the situation. Especially if you can get the girl because of it.

With no expectation, you will get a fun and funny movie. With a bit of expectation, you will get a movie with an erratic storyline, no real ending and some one-liners.

The movie start off with Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) alone, then he picked up Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson). Then they were conned by Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), who were con-persons themselves even before the zombie apocalypse. Thrice they were conned by these girls!

If these are mankind last hope, you better pray hard

One part of the movie, they decided to stick together as they were heading to a safer place supposedly in the east. Then they took shelter in Hollywood and of all places they went to Bill Murray house who was in the movie as himself. That is before he git shot. Dead. Which was a hoot by itself.

"Any regrets?"

"Maybe Garfield"

There were a few pop culture reference and generation gap comedy. If you chuckle and in the know, then consider yourself old.

The climax was at a theme park where the girls managed to get all the zombie in one city to come to them. Bad move on their side but Columbus managed to prove his worth and get the girl in it. Watch out for the clown.

"You thinks It was scary?"

The credits were only given to six actors and the others were nameless zombies who got whacked one by one. No tears were shed in the watching of the film.

Except if you love Bill Murray that much...


p/s : Even my wife who hates horror loves this movie...

p/p/s : In some parts, if you have a weak stomach, you may lose your lunch (or dinner)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Zombieland is all about fun!

Just came back from Zombieland and the only word I can describe about it is FUN!!!!

My wife hates scary movie and she didn't even want to watch Orphan early this year but she was not scared when this picture was taken.

Will blog about the movie later! Go watch it!!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

How to spend a Saturday...

...and spent RM38.20 (USD11.23) in parking fees.

Was parked at the Suria KLCC which is the mall right under the Kuala Lumpur Twin Tower from 8am until 10.30pm last Saturday. There were 3 events that I attended although only planned for 1 event there and another event at another place.

I was really there as a driver for my wife and supposed to spend my time writing my books. That was it. Then saw a few bloggers whom I knew and decided to join in. That was the MySimplified Community Meet-Up (full post later).

Then decided to go to PC Fair with Serge a.k.a. Dustyhawk, a blogger friend (which I also will dedicate a post to).

Then a friend offered my wife and I tickets to High School Musical : Summer Celebration for free (I'll explained why we went thought we are NOT fans in another post).

In between these events, we did went for a massage at a nearby hotel as the other theater show that we wanted to watch (which has Niki Cheong's acting in Swimming Instructor - a mature audience theater show and is still on until 13th December 2009 at KLPac)

After the High School Musical show, we caught up with the friend's life at a nearby cafe.

That is how you spend your Saturday at one of the most expensive property in town and pay a very high parking fee. Which I can get at a better price and at a better space (jockey parking at a nearby hotel), if I had knowm that it will cost me that much...

Monday, December 7, 2009

New Moon is just a fad

Was given free tickets to watch New Moon, thanks to Project 500 which tried to get people to test their product and used the tickets as our reward for doing as such. A letdown of a reward, if you ask me. Not really impressed with this whole Twilight franchise. I rather stick to Harry Potter, though have not read Book 6 and 7. Watched all the released film and think they have done a great adaptation with the books. Ironically, Edward Cullen is in one of the Harry Potter movie before he became a bloodsucking creature.

I think the Twilight crowd are more infatuated with the actors in the movies than the storyline itself. That were what the filmakers were banking in and it worked. The audience really love the two movies for the lovey doveyness that you fill and not the story which are nothing new in the vampire myth (except for the skin shining like diamond thingy, which I find is quite ridiculous).

I still think the definitive vampire movie is Dracula with Oldman and Winona in it. You need that much blood to make a vampire movie real. Not some poster boys looking like they were going to break into a song at any moment.

Anyway, if I really want to pass judgment, I should be reading the books. Not watch the movies.

Found these stacked in my business partner room.

Maybe I'll glance through them. That is if I really have nothing to read.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Flirting is Cheating?

Watched Glee just now and one Mrs Schuster said "Flirting is Cheating".

My wife asked me"Did you hear that honey?"

Hmmm... I tend to disagree (but didn't bother at that moment as I was engrossed with the show). Of course those who has commitment shouldn't flirt as you may not know where that will lead but you do flirt a lot if you even deal with any other human.

I mean, when you want something from someone, in order for you to get what you want, either to ask a waiter to hurry up with your order or to ask someone to change a tyre for you or even if you want that last piece of whatever you need at the store. It is just human nature.

Where you take the flirting....

Now, that is another matter altogether...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Taman Pertanian Malaysia a.k.a. Bukit Cerakah revisted

It seems that one of the most popular search which leads to this blog is my entry about a Sunday I spent exploring the adjacent agricultural park adjacent to my housing estate. That was nearly one whole year ago and to tell you the truth, I have again take for granted how easy for me to go there that I have never been there since then. It is just 5 kilometers from my house but I only enjoy the agricultural park known as Taman Pertanian Malaysia or Malaysia Agricultural Park or Botanical Garden or its original name Bukit Cerakah. All are valid names depending on who you talk to. You can read my entry about my long ago trip there here.

I actually receive a few inquiries about how does one get to the place. If you ask me how to get there in public transport, tough luck. Never had to use one going back to my house. Been living there for nearly 5 years but there is always a car which will send me back home. However, I can give you the link to the map of the area, thanks to Google. I am embedding the Google map search just down below :

View Larger Map

 If you look at the map, you can see my housing estate, Bukit Bandaraya just below the Taman Pertanian Malaysia. It was embroiled in  a controversy in 2006 when some claimed that it encroached on the forest reserve of the agricultural park. And I did mentioned in my blog post, I am living among the native of the area which is more hospitable to us than us being towards them.

So, just ask any taxi driver to take you to Taman Pertanian Malaysia and I don't think anyone in Shah Alam will not know the way. There are signboards showing you the way in most Shah Alam exit, either if you use the Federal Highway or the North Klang Valley Expressway which is actually adjacent to my housing estate and Bukit Cerakah but there is no exit from it. So, go into Shah Alam city centre, look out for signboards and the nearest landmark is the Setiausaha Kerajaan Negeri Selangor (SUK) building on top of the hill and the Chief Minister (Menteri Besar) of Selangor official resident.

If you are taking a bus, use the bus to Section 8, Shah Alam, which again you can see below the map. You must get down in Section 8 and walk nearly 5 kilometer more before you reach the Agricultural Park.

I will try to get more information in this one week or two as my public service duty to the Malaysian public. I owe this to my friend Ratty in the USA who is an avid fan of nature. You can find more information in these sites :

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Was watching Glee just now (am a bit late in catching the bug but Episode 3 and 4 were hilarious and the songs were a real trip down memory lane). There was a scene where the cheerleaders were washing cars in their bikinis.

My wife who was watching with me suddenly said :

"The idea is to tease, not to give"

It was mentioned in the first episode of Glee by the Celibacy Club President.

Tell me about it....

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I am sorry but I can't appreciate Karaoke, the film

I just came back from a movie which received a rave review (according to its poster) entitled Karaoke. It is a Malaysian film which is being shown under a limited run, ending tomorrow. It is shown only in one cinema for one whole week. It has been shown under the GSC International screening category as it has been making rounds in Toronto International Film Festival and Cannes. As I am a sucker for film which is under the radar or what people will call cerebral movie or better yet, independent film, I was really keen to watch it.

Some of my favourite indie films are The Live of Others, The Piano and Priceless. A German movie, an Australian epic saga and a French film. They are as eclectic as they can be. I also love an unreleased film called Gadoh! ("Fight!"), which I did a review and you can access it here. I also love to death the melancholic Japanese movie entitled Departure that my wife and I have the CD for the movie and if we want to relax ourselves, we played the CD over and over.

I need to establish this as I just can't relate to the movie just now. There were too many empty spaces in the movie and although I got the message of a story about a boy who returned home to help his mother in her karaoke after he finished getting his college degree, it was a torture. They lived in a palm oil estate and the people there have to work hard to make a living. The place where they escape their everyday toil was trough the karaoke centre.

But why was there so many wasteful reels of unrelated panorama or even sheer act of nothingness.

The made especially for the movie soundtrack, in the form of karaoke songs, by Shanon Shah were good.

The people were first class actors.

But, I just don't get the film.

With all due respect to the newly discovered filmmaker, which the poster claimed as first rate.