Thursday, March 26, 2009

Rants and Reviews

Okay, I got to be honest, Malaysia is pretty much one of those countries that does not (really) put Music and Art industry on the map compared to our neighbors like Indonesia and even Singapore. For us, the Malaysians, we really do think that Indonesian music is so much better than ours. Don't get me wrong, we do have a LOT of good, potential talents, even the indie artists here are awesome...but seriously, they are not as big as those outside there.

IMHO (in my humble opinion), it does have to do with non other than the good 'ol education system. Here, if you're a smarty pants, you go to Science stream and yes, art stream is for those who don't make the grade. Science stream is SO highly anticipated that they (the government) have a few branches of Science dedicated school known as MRSM (Maktab Rendah Sains Mara).

What about the young, creative minds like artist, writers, musicians and performing artists? Do we have high school for arts? NO WAY. Oh sure, we just take an extra subject for our SPM (high school exam paper) and what next? Science scholars get to earn scholarship to further tertiary education, not us. What a perk!

Pushing the sour note aside, as I was surfing through some online shopping sites (thanks to that certain someone :p), I found an article about a new Malaysian musician by the name of Zee Avi or Koko Kaina. My jaw dropped having to know that she is in the same recording label as my favorite musician of all time, Jack Jackson!!! As much as I want to be a green eyed-monster over a girl who is my age and gets to go for tours with budding Brushfire musicians, I can't help but to be proud and awe with this fellow Malaysian. She has the Cat Power thing going on. Well, that's the closest voice I can relate to actually, but yeah, she's gooooood...

Zee Azi, if you're reading this, please persuade Jack Johnson to come to Malaysia for a concert/gig. Good luck and all the best girl!!! YOU GO GIRL!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

DEWEY, the true story of a Library Cat

Dewey Readmore Books (Nov 18, 1985-Nov 29, 2006)

With blistered feet from wearing plasticky shoes, I was practically limping my way to get "On Cats" by Doris Lessing in MPH 1Utama since that's the only copy they have in Klang Valley.

Half way to inquiry service, I found another novel with an orange cat on the cover embedded with "New York Times Best Seller" and immediately snatched it and paid it in an instant.

Journey back by train with Dewey and erm, a Subway meal :D

I'm still half way reading the book and I'm TOTALLY in love with it. Just to brief it, the author, Vicki Myron tells a (true) story about Dewey, the town (Spencer) most beloved library cat, her heart wrenching life and a few snippets of the town's historical background. Too be honest, it was a bit snoozey to have read through the whole town history and all, but it gets interesting eventually.

Its interesting to know that one cat, one tiny creature can make a big impact to people's lives. I cannot tell you how is it specifically, you really gotta read the book.

Priced at only RM34.90 at MPH, its definitely a sweet, sweet treat for cat or pet owners alike.

This video pretty sums up most of the part in the book.

P.S: There's been a rumor (or not) about making the book into a movie. Word has it said that Meryl Streep is interested to play Vicki, the author! Oooooh, GOODIE!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

CORRECTION UPDATE on Jamiroquai F1 Concert

March 24 (Today): Had a trip to KL Sentral and bought tickets for me and friends. I was practically calling a few of my friends, asking whether they are interested to purchase the grandstand tickets for RM100. Anyway, I was a bit hesitant to purchase the parking sticker for RM50, but a trip for 5 ppl, what the heck. It's either this, or get our car clamped at the side of the road.

Good news! ***IMPORTANT*** If you want to get tickets for your friends (discount tix for students) and don't have their student ID at the moment, you can purchase on behalf of them, provided that you have your own student ID.

Here are some of the ('cepu emas' or golden) FAQ on F1/Jamiroquai's gig;

Where is Helipad area (concert venue) and how's the seatings like?
Helipad area (the PURPLE box) is located near the entrance of SIC. Mall Area. The other helipad area (the cross) is for VIPs only, lol. Concert station will be divided to 2; the Grandstanders (front side) and the Hillstanders (back side). So Grandstanders will get the best view.

My advice is to go for Citrine. Strategic place for both F1 fans and nearer to the After Party venue. If you've a student ID, you'll get to only pay RM100 (80% off from actual price of RM500). Students can also pay RM100 for Tower grandstand seat. Tower seats is ideal to view the Start and End of the race. More articles on student price. If you're really really steep on cash, then just for Hillstand priced only RM50 (for student) or RM100 (normal price).

Click here to view the seating map.

Tips: Bring a portable mat and umbrella since its going to be an outdoor event.

Can I purchase the ticket online if I want to get my student discount?
NO. To get the student discount, you need to buy the ticket manually at SIC venue (Jln Pekeliling, KLIA) or at their booth at KL Sentral. Please bring your student ID with you, and if you're buying for your friends, please bring theirs too. For more info on the ticketing, call +60.3.8778.2222 or +60.3.22739335 for KL Sentral.

I don't want to watch the F1, just Jamiroquai. Do they sell the ticket exclusively for Jamiroquai's concert?
Not really. The concert is a complimentary for the F1 spectators. But if you really interested to meet Jamiroquai one-on-one, just visit the F1 roadshow this 25-29th March at 1Utama mall. They will be giving away Mazda RX-8 and even GoKart session with Jamiroquai!

I've already bought the tickets, but mine is at C2. Can I still get a nice view for the concert?
Its a first come first serve seating. Pretty much there is no seatings at all- all standing. But again, grandstanders get the best view since they're located at the front.

How many songs will Jamiroquai perform and how many other acts are coming over?
According to the counter dude, he told me about 4-6 song, but you never know. There will also be some 'surprise' local acts coming like ----- yg turun bagaikan air mata. But again, this is still tentative and might/might not be true.

Man...I should be given an exclusive backstage pass for this info :p

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Edie Sedgwick, The Factory Girl

Last Sunday, I gotta chance to watch 'Factory Girl', a (some what, so they say) true story of Edie Sedgwick (played by Sienna Miller), Andy Warhol's little star. Andy Warhol, yes, the printmaker of the famous Campbell's soup, Marilyn Monroe and quite a number of America's iconic figure/items.

Edie Sedgwick (April 20, 1943 - Nov 19, 1971)

Before flower power, John-Yoko-ism and hippies, there was The Factory. The Factory is Andy's art studio and pretty much the hangout place for entourage and some called it Warhol's Superstars.

Check out Hayden Christensen as Bob Dylan. Not quite the look alike, but he's charming. If they were to pick the look alike, they might go with Adam Sandler. But that would be so...wrong, right?

Some people say Edie resembles Kiera Knightly, but I'd say she looks more like Rachel Bilson. Anyway, Sienna Miller embodies Edie beautifully and imitate her really well esp. from the way she speaks.

Click here for more sneak peaks of Edie Sedgwick.

If you find Edie's look to be fascinating or would like to be her for Halloween, then this is the video for you.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Matt Bublé Week in AI!

Matt Giraud (left) and Micheal Bublé (right)

My friend and I always like to compare people's face to some famous folks. And so happen I watched tonight's American Idol 10 mins before it ends.

Better than nothing.

So there it was, Matt Giraud on his piano and I'm so hoping that he won't mess up this week's performance as he's been choosing the wrong song week after week. I told my friend that he sooo looks like Michael Bublé except for his teeth (when he smiles). Yes, I really ponder on these (not)-so important details esp. facial structure. My friend said he looks more like Justin Timberlake instead.

Whaddayaknow, when it comes to jugdes comment, Simon Cowell told Matt that he really resembles Bublé! And next, Randy Jackson adds up by saying that he looks like both Bublé and JT! Hahaha! It's a win-win situation for us :D

Speaking of Matt "Bublé's" performance, it was his best one so far! Pretty much better than Danny this week. Hmm, interesting!

Again, AI saves the best for last!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Catsy Cats!

This would be my first post about cats! I'm sure judging from the title header, some peeps would get the idea that I owned or at least adore cats.

Yes, I am indeed a cat person and strangely allergic to them, haha! I would sneeze about 10 times in a row and eventually end up with blotchy eye(s). But after 13 yrs of cat care experience, I just learn to adjust. Less hugging, just patty pat *note to self*.

I owned one 12 yr old cat, Hitam and adopted a stray male cat, Oren (age about 3 or 4...or older) a year before. Will blog about them soon.

I recently paid a visit to a friend's house and acquainted with a momma cat and her 3 adorable princes. This happen to be one of the cats that I'd helped to matchmake with interested cat owner, which is also a friend of mine. It was just suppose to be a ONE cat, but less than a month later, the cat, Bella, was bloated with 5 kittens.

Two female kittens were later adopted, leaving 3 male kittens behind. OMG! They are HUGE for 4 months old kittens and weigh about 1-2 kilos.

Momma, Bella (2 yrs old) and her sphinx-like kitten. If you are a fan of sphinx, but would like to have one with a little more fur, than this is the cat for you.

Left, is the cutesy-wootsey creamy van patterned cat. VERY cute! And right, a white-ish version of a Balinese cat. Wow, what a variety!

I am quite pleased to matchmake the cat, (now with additional 3 kittens, LOL!) with a friend of mine. The cats are well-taken care of and living indoor, which I think is very very ideal environment to nurture cats. Of course, they are brought outdoor once in awhile for weekly dose of sunshine. Right, Jon?

Will pay another visit soon, maybe for a photoshoot session on my DSLR :D

P/S: My friend, Jon is looking for responsible and eligible owner(s) who is interested to take care of the kitten(s). One main criteria is NO children at home and must have experience on cats. This only applies for Malaysian residents, preferably living in Klang Valley. Just leave a comment below.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Of All the Schlongs in the Watchmen...

Well, I'm probably the last person to ever write an 'intelligent' review on Watchmen. After all my DC readings only limited to the Justice League (Superman, Batman, WW, Flash) and Teen Titans (old and new). Can't blame me for not wanting to grow up.

Like most DC works, Watchmen mainly highlights on the oppression and harsh reality playing spandex/caped superheroes during the Vietnam war. Life common issues from politics, sexuality, domestic to childhood trouble are touched on this movie wrapped up with a few hit songs from the 70's.

I like the fact that there's traces of blood from every kicks and punches. Proves that those superheroes are human just like everyone else.

Some parts reminiscing the good (and bad) 'ol days of superheroes does reminds me a bit of Pixar's The Incredibles, esp. when they touched about one of the superheroes cape got stuck in the elevator. What do you think?

Did you know they actually censored Doc M's weiner in Malaysia's cinemas? Lol! Too bad we missed that blue schlongs. No fair. For me being a fan of Silver Surfer, I think these two are quite alike (minus the genital and origin) from the way they think and converse. For Silver Surfer to questioned humanity does make sense, but Jon? I know for the fact that he could see his future.. Hmmm, maybe I should get all the copy of Watchmen before jumping to conclusion.

My favorite comic-based movie of 2009 so far. Beat that, X-Men Origin.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Look Who's Invading the F1???

At last, one of my most anticipated musicians, Jamiroquai is coming here to Malaysia this April 5th Sunday 2009. Funny thing, I found out about that in Jakarta while attending Java Jazz Festival '09. Met one of the dudes for the event and asked him on the best method to get the tickets besides online purchase. Apparently there will be a booth this month somewhere in Klang Valley and few lucky person will get a chance to win a Mazda and M&G session with them. Good thing he gave me his contact and told me to buzz him soon to get the details. Awesome!

Date: April 5th 2009 (Sunday)
Time: 8pm (right after the race)
Venue: Helipad Area, F1 Grand Prix, Sepang International Circuit
Other artistes: Incognito, the Galliano and Corduroy.

Good news, the ticket entrance to F1 is also inclusive of the Jamiroquai's gig. Click here for more details and here from their website.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Home, at last!

Thanks Air Asia for the cheap, awesome promo! Yes, everyone can definitely fly.

Was away in Jakarta last weekend for Java Jazz Fest '09 and a breather...or so I thought. All in all, it was a wonderful but tiring experience. Will update on it soon. Gotta catch up a lot of paperwork! Yikes. Here are the previews.

Java Jazz '09 Performance and Reviews

The local food and cuisine

And more of the non-local food, which is also oh-super awesome~

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Jack Johnson

There are a lot of great music out there. As much as I wanna say, "I like them all", I would opt for the ones that really struck me - from the heart.

I was first introduced to Jack Johnson back in 2005. At that time, I thought it was just okay. Another good, easy listening music.

Well, it doesn't take a long time to digest Jack Johnson. Listening to JJ brings me to another state of mind, somewhere in Hawaii. LOL! Seriously, you must listen to Jack Johnson if you're relaxing at the beach. A talented musician/filmmaker/surfer/environmentalist/romantic!

This is one of my current favorite, Track 1 of Sleep Through the Static, "All At Once". Awesome song, awesome lyrics!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Good Morning Ubud!

If you want to save money from renting bikes/car around Ubud, then just opt for walking! Do bring sunglasses and a sun hat, depending on the weather. Although Feb is a rainy season, it can be sunny (scorching hot!) during day time. And yes, wear sarong to blend in :)

My journey around Ubud starts with the search of yoga pants. I walked straight to the west side and bumped to a few shops selling yoga stuff from books, clothes, accessories and even incense. Namaste (pic above) sells t-shirts, necklace and bangles to yoga books. I bought yoga pants in Yoga Shop ( for US$19. Yikes! Not a place to go to get a cheap bargain.

Just a precaution, beware of dogs and cats in Bali since there has been a Rabies outbreak from the health autorities last Dec. Dogs are always stationed in front of restaurants or shops, which I think it functions to guard the territory.

Do not hesitate to ask the locals for direction. They are one friendly and helpful people. If you can speak bahasa Indonesia, it will be an advantage for you. Lucky me, Bahasa Indonesia is quite similar to Bahasa Malaysia.

Okay, I almost stepped on these flowery incense stuff a lot of times. It's everywhere on the road, in front of shops and restaurant. I'm guessing its for good luck. Anyone knows what is this exactly?

Ubud is famous for its paddy field

I wonder if the locals ever practise yoga in Bali cos most of the attendees of this yoga class are tourists. I once asked a taxi driver about Yoga in Bali, I don't think he knows what Yoga is...hmm. A tailor made activity for tourist? You decide.

There are quite a number of bungalows and lodging place in Ubud. One needs not to be worry about accomodation around here. There are a lot of them here!

Barack Obama = Kenshin Himura from Samurai X? Interesting :))

If I have the chance to go back to Bali, I would stay in Ubud for 2-3 days, enjoying the sights and the calm environment of this small town. I'd say one never visit Bali if they don't go to Ubud.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Green Field- a $16 Paradise!

This might not look like a paradise, but wait till you see what's in store here.

Woke up at 6am in Bale Anggerik, Green Field, grabbed my D40 and walked outside to the front garden. The sky is at its finest shade, deep sapphire. Birds chirping and cool, morning breeze brushed over my face. Now thats paradise.

As I walked out along the paddy fields area, I noticed the reception area of the next door lodging area, Tegal Sari. Can't tell the difference between these two though but TripAdvisor has ranked Tegal Sari the no.1 lodging destination in Ubud. But after walking around other areas in Ubud, I guess there are quite a LOT of nice, traditional lodging place here.

The paddy field right next to Green Field and Tegal Sari.

Green Field's Lounge area

Breakfast served right to your room for free.

Art markets, convenient stores, cafes and restaurants with wi-fi access. All within walking distance around the hotel area. This bungalow/hotel also provides free shuttle service around Ubud as well as to activities like wood carving, batik painting and Bali traditional dance ceremony.

All of these for just $16 (Rp. 150,000=Bale Anggerik). Who could ask for more?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Adam Lambert, you really rock!!!

I don't think anyone has ever pulled a genuine punk rocker personality and charisma better than Adam Lambert! Congratulations Adam for making it to the Top 12! AI always save the best performance at the end of the show.

Let's not talk about the pretentious Constantine Maroulis...urgh!

And Sanjaya Malakar...yikes!

Adam's one talented dude. Almost reminds me of Gerard Way of MCR since they both have the theatrical presence. Even Simon was in total awe listening to his crazy yo-yo vocal skills, but of course he always has something bad to say too...

With a black leather jumpsuit and ring, I can totally see him pulling the Elvis '68 Comeback!

Look what I've found in YouTube. There are some other broadway performance of his, but this makes me laugh. AI has not brought in Broadway Theme night yet. Maybe they will this year?

My Endless Ocean Moment in Bali

My underwater fascination grew ever since I snorkel in the great Redang island in 2007 in addition to playing Endless Ocean in Nintendo Wii. If it weren't for these two spectacular experiences, the sea would just be another foreign planet to me.

Such a surreal feeling being underwater, seeing the real thing and later get to re-live it once again in a gaming realm. Endless Ocean is one relaxing adventure game, with superb soundtracks from Hayden Westenra like "Prayer" and "Pokarekare Ana". And no, there is no jaws moment or a deadly irukandji jellyfish trying to sting your hand while diving. I managed to complete all the missions in this game. Yay me.

Word has it, there'll be another sequel to Endless Ocean, coming soon in Dec 09. Can't wait!

Skipping chapter to Bali, I get to dive for the first time in Pandawa, Tanjong Benoa. Not the best place to dive, but for starters and the price (rp 450,000 after bargain) per pax, it was alright. They will brief you on the instructions as well as the do's and the don'ts. A lot reviews suggest the best diving destination in Bali like Tulamben (shipwreck) and Gilimanuk, which is VERY far away from Bali's central area.

Check out the crazy hair!

With another Rp 115,000 (bargain price again), you can have your photos and videos taken by the diving instructor/guide. Not the best shots taken but yes, its worth it!

While I was in the water, I'd imagined Pokarekare Ana (my favorite soundtrack in the game) playing in the background. Such a soothing song. Hm, is there such thing like underwater iPod? Mr Jobs, this could be one swell invention :p
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