Friday, December 31, 2010

Kopi Cine

Always read about the little restaurants/cafes in the heart of Georgetown, Penang but have never visited any myself. Never was the food explorer really.
Until. Recently.

Sri Malaya was the first. Kinda liked the olio pasta they served (though my fren Anata felt it was not spicy  enough and went on to "improve" the recipe herself...) but the mushroom soup tasted weird.
[Oh, and Dome still serves the best spicy olio pasta to me.]

Kopi Cine is #2 on the Done list. Quite a cozy spot situated at the corner where Stewart Lane meets Chulia Lane (Ok, I googled that as I have zilch ideas when it comes to the street names and lorongs of Georgetown) that serves lunch, dinner and have a longer list of wines than it does with coffee. 

I think what makes the place unique is the big mahjong paper clipped to every table and a glass of crayons for you to start drawing while waiting for your food to be served. Actually we kept on drawing even after our food was already on the the extend of moving the plates and tea cups around so as not to blocked the way. Next of course would be the picture-takings. Can't really leave without first taking shots of our work of art now, can we? 

Had the homemade chicken pie & mashed potatoes with caramelized onions on top. Perhaps because it was neglected in the cold for a while, the chicken pie only tasted so-so to me. Mashed potatoes was not too bad. And since its called Kopi Cine, we downed a single shot of espresso to mark that :)

Wouldn't mind visiting the place again to try other stuff on the menu (not aplenty but not too sparse either). Maybe in the evenings to capture a different ambiance.

Updated Nov 10th, 2011: Kopi Cine has since been relocated to Beach Street and renamed to China House.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010

The best of joy, the best of cheer
For Christmas and the coming year ~

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Here to help you notice the Rainbow

Greyson Chance - Waiting Outside The Lines
You’ll never enjoy your life,
living inside the box
You’re so afraid of taking chances,
how you gonna reach the top?
Rules and regulations,
force you to play it safe
Get rid of all the hesitation,
it’s time for you to seize the day
Instead of just sitting around
and looking down on tomorrow
You gotta let your feet off the ground,
the time is now
I’m waiting, waiting, just waiting,
I’m waiting, waiting outside the lines
Waiting outside the lines
Waiting outside the lines
Try to have no regrets
even if it’s just tonight
How you gonna walk ahead
if you keep living blind?
Stuck in my same position,
you deserve so much more
There’s a whole world around us,
just waiting to be explored
Instead of just sitting around
and looking down on tomorrow
You gotta let your feet off the ground,
the time is now, just let it go
The world will force you to smile
I’m here to help you notice the rainbow
Cause I know,
What’s in you is out there
I’m waiting, waiting, just waiting,
I’m waiting, waiting outside the lines
Waiting outside the lines
Waiting outside the lines
I’m trying to be patient (I’m trying to be patient)
the first step is the hardest (the hardest)
I know you can make it,
go ahead and take it
I’m Waiting, waiting, just waiting I’m waiting
I’m waiting, waiting, just waiting
I’m waiting, waiting outside the lines
Waiting outside the lines
Waiting outside the lines
You’ll never enjoy your life
Living inside the box
You’re so afraid of taking chances,
How you gonna reach the top?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

101128 - Pic of the Day

Pic from Newcastle vs Galaxy [source:]
Galaxy might have lost but I'm sure everyone went home happy especially those by that particular exit ;)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Book Thief

The Book Thief

How I found out about The Book Thief probably deserves a post of its own, which involves a Taiwanese TV programme, a magic show session that saw a bell moved on its own while in a glass box preventing any interference, in what we are led to believe was swayed by the spirit of the protagonist of the book. (I use "led to believe" because the book is a fiction but the part about a spirit's doing..erm that I have no comment.)

Anyways, the book caught my attention and before I know it, I was done reading it.

The story is kinda sad and gripping, set in Nazi Germany, with the narrator being the infamous man (or thing) underneath that robe, holding a scythe. Though he did clear that up for us in a later chapter:

I do not carry a sickle or scythe.
I only wear a hooded black robe when it's cold.
And I don't have that skull-like facial features
you seem to enjoy pinning on me from a distance....
The story opened up my eyes to how bad life was during the war, under a regime that believed they were the most superior nation in the world. But nothing could be worse than if you happen to be a Jew during that period of time. Hiding a Jew would be next in line. Halfway through, I was googling to read more about the Holocaust, the Final Solution and related topics. What I read shocked me beyond words actually. I'm not much of a historical buff [if you read this, you know who you are :P] though I've heard of the fearsome H-word and knew it was bad. But reading it (as well as the numbers) totally shook me to the core. It was not just bad, it was a million times worse. How could these things ever happened? What an ideology!

It's not all sad though in the book. There are funny moments as we read about how Liesel became a book (and food) thief, her friendship with Rudy (the boy who keep wanting to kiss her), her relationships with her foster family (who are really good people even though they used words like "Saurkerl", "Saumensch" and "Arschloch" as terms of endearment), her relationship with Max (a Jewish fist-fighter), as well as the neighbourhood residents, and we get to look at Max's drawings too, like some kind of graphic-novel of that era..

Also, I didn't know Death could be such a good storyteller. The way he moved from one event to the next, sometimes to some past/future events as he deemed necessary, dropping interesting info here and there. Plus he really couldn't care less about spoilers. He would be telling you XXX died out of nowhere and only then reverse-engineer his way back to how it happened. Yet still have us turning the pages. For that, kudos to Markus Zusak for such great writing prowess.

Lastly it's not always that a book had me wiping tears off my eyes. The Kite Runner was one. Now we welcome The Book Thief to that list.

My Rating:

Sunday, November 14, 2010

If I Have a Yacht

~spotted in Cannes back in Feb '10

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Happy Halloween, I guess?

Saturday, October 30, 2010


One-man show.

But Ryan Reynolds manages to pull it through with a convincing performance and have the audiences (or was it just me?) in there with him in that ill-fated wooden coffin, sands, glow sticks, and all.

It is shows like this that brings the cynics out of us, or maybe it just reinforces it into us since most are probably somewhat cynical already. And you wonder if such cases are indeed happening. (Not to forget the very real head-sawing clip I'd seen once...) Totally sends shivers down the spine.

Recommended to watch. Storyline is pretty good, though not a pretty sight. Dialogues aren't bad and there are some actions too, involving a certain rattlesnake and mutilation. Plus a twist ending - which I'm a sucker of...

My Ratings:

"Peace not War"

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Charlie St. Cloud

Everything was going pretty well for Charlie; a sailing scholarship to Stanford, a bright future, and a very close bond with his younger brother, Sam. But all these changed overnight; a car accident and the death of Sam. Fast forward to five years later and we see Charlie as the caretaker of the cemetery where Sam now lies. Everyone seems to think he is a little cuckoo-ed; talking to dead people, playing catch every night with Sam like nothing has changed. 

Then a girl (it's always a girl, eh?) and Charlie is torn between honoring his promise or letting go. 

The storyline is kinda predictable and no prizes for guessing which option he chose. But this does not mean the story is bad. Rather, the story makes us realize our own mortality and how painful it can be to lose someone. And that you'll just have to learn to trudge along alone (or unless a girl/boy comes along :þ). However, there's practically zero character development and other than Charlie, Sam, and Tess, other characters are pretty much forgettable. Especially the mum (Kim Bassinger), completely dismissible. 

Other plus points though: 

  • The seaside town where the movie is set is simply gorgeous (even the cemetery is beautiful somewhat), and
  • Zac Efron's good looks *winks

My Rating:

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Dive for Dreams

Quoted from E.E. Cummings "Dive for Dreams" poem ~~

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Chance Encounter - Not

"Be sober, be vigilante; because your adversary the Devil walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour."
1 Peter 5:8
I think I am a sucker for movies with twist endings. So obviously I found the movie to be intriguing and interesting. I had a thought who might the Devil be amongst the five trapped in the elevator at the start (turned out I wasn't quite wrong) and I liked how the story unfolded which made me doubted if I'd picked the correct one at a certain point in the movie... [If you still haven't heard of Devil by now, check out the trailer here]

And the cinematography was nicely done - even when 80% of the film was inside a standard elevator. It provided the necessary thrill and scare though far too gentle compared to, say, Asian horror films.

I couldn't believe though that the electrocution scene was censored! It wasn't even scary from the few seconds I glimpsed on some alternate trailer clip....

Anyways, when I reached home after the movie, I experienced some things; I was checking my side view mirror while reversing my car into the parking slot and when I turned back to the front, I saw a person walked pass - almost out of nowhere, mind you - heading for guess what, the ELEVATOR. Instantly, the idea crossed my mind, however ridiculous it may be haha..  but I did not take the same elevator up (not deliberately of course). That night in my bedroom, the lights dimmed and flickered; a bulb decided it was time to burn out. Such timing, eh?

Still, I'll be looking forward to seeing the remaining installments of Shyamalan's The Night Chronicles.

My Rating:

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Me! MiNdBOx - What Do You Got?

What Do You Got? is the latest song by Bon Jovi from their upcoming Greatest Hits album. I like the song, tempo and lyrics but you ain't gonna be jumping around ala "It's My Life". Still, this rock ballad has been repeating in my playlist the whole day

Check out the mv below.

"Everybody wants something, just a little more
We're makin' a living and what we're living for
Rich man or a poor man, a pawn or a king
You can live on the street, you can rule the whole world
But it don't mean one damn thing

What do you got if you ain't got love?
Whatever you got just ain't enough
You're walkin' a road but you're goin' nowhere
Tryin' to find your way home but there's no one there
Who do you hold in the dark of night?
You wanna give up but it's worth the fight
You can have all the things that you've been dreaming of

If you ain't got someone you're afraid to lose
Everybody needs just one someone to tell them the truth
Maybe I'm a dreamer but I still believe
I believe in hope, I believe that change can get us off of our knees

What do you got if you ain't got love?
Whatever you got just ain't enough
You're walkin' a road but you're goin' nowhere
Tryin' to find your way home but there's no one there
Who do you hold in the dark of night?
You wanna give up but it's worth the fight
You can have all the things that you've been dreaming of
If you ain't got love, it's all just keepin' score
If you ain't got love, what the hell we doin' it for?

I don't wanna have to talk about it
How many songs I gotta sing about it?
How long you gonna live without it?
Why does someone somewhere have to doubt it?
Someday you'll figure it out

[Repeat Chorus]

(Whoa oh oh oh) Ohh, what do you got if you ain't got love?
(Whoa oh oh oh) Ohh, what do you got if you ain't got love?
(Whoa oh oh oh) Ohh, what do you got if you ain't got love?
(Whoa oh oh oh) "

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mid-Autumn 2010

3rd year in a row now..I see this becoming a yearly tradition ☺

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!! 
Enjoy your mooncake with a cuppa tea under the moonlit sky!

P/S: This is BC's newest 2010 addition - Grand Ruby. Haven't tried it yet though but I like the mould featuring lotus and the moon..afterall its contents are red yeast, lily bulbs and olives. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

What's around the corner?

Sept 22nd 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

When You Can't Pay

Artificial limbs, and ventricular assist devices (VADs); these are already available today. Now what if, in the near future, every organ in the human body has its artificial counterpart? Knee caps, corneas, ears, you name it, they've got it. And they not only come in different  types, they are better enhanced too. There's the different colored-eyes,or the ears that are more sound-sensitive. Heck, you can even plug in a headphone so your friend can join in the listening fun...

All these are made possible  in Repo Men which takes place in 2025 where everybody can go on living their lives like normal by just replacing worn-out/problematic parts/organs with bio-mechanical ones. Come on, "You owe it to yourself. You owe it to your family", right? That's the sales pitch..

But what they don't tell you is what's written in the fine print - payment. If you fall behind in your payments (most people do because mind you, the interest sky rockets year after year), a "repo-man" is sent after you to reclaim the organ. Just like if you fail to pay your car installments, you can bet it'll be towed away. Only in the former, its the organ they are repossessing and to get to it means they'll have to CUT you open. In most cases these results in d-e-a-t-h.

So what makes the movie an action-thriller? The action begins when one highly-skilled repo-man (Jude Law) gets fitted with an artificial heart (after what seemed like a malfunction accident) and suddenly finds himself unable to cut people open anymore. Not able to perform his job equals zero income equals overdue payments equals running away and hiding from other repo-men, one of which happens to be his best friend (Forest Whitaker), who takes his job rather seriously (so serious that he'll not think twice about cutting his own grandpa up if he needs to. His philosophy - "A job's a job." And....'ll have to watch the movie to find out what happens after.

Well, I'll tell you this much. It's 2 hours of adrenaline rush and blood and gore. It'll also have you in stitches. Can you imagine, I was laughing away at a bloody fight scene? You must think I'm psycho to lol when people are getting killed but you gotta watch it to be in my shoes. The gore and humor manages to go hand-in-hand really well. The ending also elevated the movie to another level and honestly it kinda caught me off-guard too.

A must-watch, I'd say. My 2 friends, who are no fans of horror/blood, clearly enjoyed the movie as well. Or perhaps their gore-acceptance level have gone up? Time to ask them to watch Devil next then *teehee

My Rating:

Monday, September 06, 2010

You Win (or You Die!)

I just had to blog about this. I'm not sure if it's new but it sure was my first time watching an interactive movie on YouTube..And it's way cool and crazily funny! 

Some of you might already know what I'm talking about ~because I sent you them links~ but if you don't, then let me enlighten you..

There's this short zombie movie on YouTube by HellPizzaNZ. The movie started out with some zombie/human killing scene and a lady managed to escaped by climbing up onto a container. Safe for the moment, what did she decided to do? She ordered pizza - delivery.. LOL

The scene cut to the pizza parlor where the dude who received the order had no choice but to deliver. On his drive there he was stopped by a guy surrounded by zombies in a shirt covered with blood. The guy pleaded "Please let me in!" 

That's where the interactive part comes get to decide to either "Let Him In" or "Leave Him To Die" (most of my friends - actually all of them - chose to let him about saving yourself in threatening situations hah!) So you make a choice by clicking on the screen and you will then be linked to a different clip. Depending on the option, you either survive  i.e continue on with your journey, or you die - HORRIBLY.

No worries though if you end up dead as the clip will rewind back to the decision making point and you can then choose the other route. There are 5 decision points throughout. Just out of curiosity, yours truly had tried all possible options to see what happened :P And I must say the last decision is the most hilarious of all. Choose wisely or it'll be the worst decision ever made!

To get you started, I'll post the first clip here...have fun and hopefully you'll survive to tell me about your experience XD

(Oh and it's gory and bloody but definitely B-Grade)
A final note, kudos to HellPizzaNZ for such a brilliant advert. It really does make you wanna try out their pizza the next time you are in NZ/UK/Ireland/Australia..apparently its the "best damned pizza you are likely to eat in this lifetime."

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Floating Order

The Floating Order

I was overjoyed when I found out I'd won a hard-copy book from LibraryThing's Member Giveaway. Erin, the author was gracious enough to send me a signed copy together with a personal message in a card too. ☺

The stories in the book however are far from cheery. But not in a bad way. In fact, the stories are well-written that I needed moments to digest at times at the horror that befell some of the characters in there.

The Floating Order is a collection of 19 short stories that revolves around children and the stuff they face; there's the mom who drowned her babies (which reminded me of the scene from Shutter Island; no wonder Leonardo's character went nuts!), a choir practice gone wrong, a dead girl inside a piano, a film camp that wasn't, and many more.

The stories start out almost harmless and you're pulled in by the magic weaved by Erin with her words and out of nowhere you realize "Oh, gosh!" I like Drift and how an earlier story, Park, is creatively mention in it as a  scary bedtime story about why kids should not talk to strangers. Digging made me thought of Hansel & Gretel and I would love to read on on why the mother did what she did and what happen to the children after.

An interesting read but don't expect happy endings. Some of the stories might even haunt you long after you're done with them.

My Rating:

Monday, August 30, 2010

Snail's Pace

It's the long weekend afterall... ☺

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Forget Sorrow: An Ancestral Tale

My first graphic novel and I finished it in 2 days - although it meant pushing back the books in queue to make way *guilty as charged

Forget Sorrow is really an impulse buy i.e. read an article about it in the papers in the morning and got it that same evening @ Borders.
Fortunately, it isn't something I regretted buying. 

Forget Sorrow is a true-life tale of the author's life (an American-Chinese) that mostly focus on her father's recollection of growing up in China through WWII and the Communist revolution. And yes, all in drawings, sketches, comical/heartfelt dialogues and all. Very creative I must say. 

It opened up my eyes to how bad life was back then in China where many of the people lived in poverty. And also how even your own family members could turn their backs at the first sign of a disappearing wealth. 

It was the bleakest Spring Festival in memory. In the previous year we were worried that there were no New Year Eve's dumplings. This year, we were fighting with the mice for the grain fallen beneath the floorboards.

A refreshing way of reading a memoir rather than the usual hundreds of word-filled pages to burrow through. The only thing I am not too keen is the few not-too-clear writings in the speech bubbles. I think I squinted a bit trying to read those. Overall though the story is good. Engaging and fascinating.

By the way, Xuan is the author's Chinese name which translates as "Forget Sorrow".

My Rating: