Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Winning Shot

Well, not exactly first prize.

Won 6th place to be exact. A winning shot nonetheless, seeing that it was a win in my first ever photography & caption contest.

I don't usually participate in contests where I have to crack my head for slogans - I'm not creative like that. This one was a little different, maybe because it looked and sounded easier than all other contests. Oh, and did I mention the grand prize was a return air tix + 4D3N accommodations to Switzerland? (That sure got me seating up straight..)

Anyways, in conjunction with French Language Week 2013, all I had to do was take a shot of a building or a signage or a billboard, anything basically, that has a French word on it - name of a shop for example - and make a caption of the photo utilizing the French word. Piece of cake, isn't it?

Wait till you have to round almost the entire Penang in search for a shop with a French name, like I did. There were a few shops with French names though the challenge was not only to get a decently nice shot of the shop but to find one with a name that I could use to make a creative-sounding caption!

What I did was to capture the photos first and figure out the caption later. This way I would have a variety of words to select from for my "best" caption. And so began a French shop scouting adventure for me - La Vanille, Les Memoirs, Alliance Française, La France, Mon Délice Patisserie ....yes, I'll be able to tell you where they all are now *winks

Submitted just in time before the deadline. Yup, to be honest I did everything 2 days before it was due. Shuey even watsapp-ed me a photo she took in KL when I told her I might pass because I was lazy to go hunting. It was nice of her though I probably wouldn't have won if I had used her "less-than-sharp" photo, if you know what I mean LOL [no offence, Shuey!]

At the end of the day, well, I may not have gotten that Switzerland trip but I did win a products and treatment pax worth RM500. And I'm glad I won the 6th place rather than say the 4th spot, which was 1 free term of French classes at the French Alliance KL. Now, that would most definitely have gone to waste as I am presently already doing a wobbly juggling act with my weekly French classes, not to mention that KL isn't exactly 5 mins drive from where I live...

So if you are curious to know, here's yours truly's humble submission - nothing fancy really..

Till the next easy contest, au revoir! ^^

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Here's To Never Growing Up

There comes a point in life when you know you have to grow up.

But not tonight.

Tonight, let's make a toast..."Here's to never growing up!"

HTNGU, the first single from her upcoming 5th album, is a song by the beautiful and talented Avril Lavigne. The song is so catchy that one can't help but hope that they really needn't have to grow up. And you should really check out the MV - it makes allusions to her very first single "Complicated"; same outfit, same skateboard and all. I must say, 11 years into the industry, it's as though Avril never aged a day!

Can't wait for her to stop by our shores again for a concert. I can totally see myself rocking to this song

** Singing Radiohead at the top of our lungs
    With the boom box blaring as we're falling in love
    I got a bottle of whatever, but it's getting us drunk
    Singing here's to never growing up

Call up all our friend

Go hard this weekend
For no damn reason,
I don't think we'll ever change

Meet you at the spot,

Half past ten o'clock
We don't ever stop,
And we're never gonna change

* Say, oh just say forever, stay

   If you stay forever, hey
  We can stay forever young

[Repeat **]

# We'll be running down the street, yelling kiss my a**

   I'm like yeah whatever, we're still living like that,
  When the sun's going down, we'll be raising our cups
  Singing here's to never growing up

Oh woah oh woah here's to never growing up

Oh woah oh woah here's to never growing up

We live like rock stars

Dance on every bar
This is who we are,
I don't think we'll ever change

They say just grow up but they don't know us

We don't give a f**k and we're never gonna change

[Repeat *]

[Repeat **]
[Repeat #]

Oh woah oh woah here's to never growing up
Oh woah oh woah here's to never growing up

Say, won't you stay forever stay
If you stay forever hey
We can stay forever young


[Repeat **]

[Repeat #]

Oh woah oh woah here's to never growing up

Oh woah oh woah ( raise your glass and say )
Here's to never growing up

Sunday, June 02, 2013

The Great Gatsby

One of the best movies to reach our shores this summer.

With names like Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Carey Mulligan among the cast, how could it not be. Which is why I am rather surprised at the minimal screening The Great Gatsby is getting. Even the cinema was packed right up to the first neck-breaking row.

The film is an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 novel of the same name and it follows the story of the mysterious Jay Gatsby, as recounted by his neighbor, Nick. The movie takes place in New York at the height of the Roaring Twenties so expect nothing but the most elaborate of sets. From iconic costumes, flashy cars, pompous carnival-like parties at the grand mansions of the rich upper class right down to the filthy "valley of ashes", an industrial dumping ground where the not-so-rich stays, one must really applaud the details that were put into bringing everything to live.

The storyline itself is dramatic and shocking yet filled with comedic moments that one could not help but be sucked into the jazziness of it all - not unlike how Nick was swept off his feet the moment he moved to West Egg, Long Island. Imagine he had to seek psychiatric help after that!

And then there is the soundtrack. The Great Gatsby featured a beautiful selection of scores and songs but the one that most stood out would definitely be the theme song, "Young and Beautiful", performed by the talented Lana Del Rey. She totally captured the soul of the song and the heart of the movie. When the snippet of the song came up in one of the scenes, it literally brought tears to my eyes. Such a sad yet surreal feeling...

I do not want to be dishing out spoilers but my heart does go out for Jay Gatsby and I concur with what Nick shouted to him toward the end of the movie:
"They're a rotten crowd. You're worth the whole damn bunch put together!"

Indeed he's worth more than they will ever be.

Ad finis fidelis.
My Rating:

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Eighty Tree Cafe

It was a case of serendipity.., stumbled upon the place as we were walking along Lebuh Cintra, with another destination in mind. The place looked inviting so we decided to check it out.

Eighty Tree is a cozy little cafe, almost invisible, in one of the many rows old pre-war shop-lots that make up the heart of George Town. At a glance, it was pleasantly decorated with knick-knacks, polaroids, artificial potted plants, books and what-nots, giving out a warm ambiance. It felt like as though one could easily laze the afternoon away here, sipping on coffees and nibbling on crackers, while the world sped by outside...

The menu looked pretty decent, with beautifully captured shots that showed some mouth-watering delights - toasts, soups, pastas, poultry, etc. From light snacks to more hefty meals, Eight Tree has a selection tailored for almost everyone. 

Except there are no cakes. 

One would think it's a norm for quaint little cafes like Eighty Tree to serve cakes and desserts. But nop, the owner mentioned about not being one of those "cafes", if I heard correctly. Anyway, it was fine by me seeing I am not really a dessert person myself *winks

The choices of coffee caught my eye too. There were items like toffee coffee, charcoal-brewed coffee, tiramisu coffee, among others. Quite a fresh list from the usual mocha-s, cappuccinos, and lattes, if you know what I mean. Coffee was served on a nice tray with mini crackers to savor.

I ordered the most interesting item on the menu - the candy floss toast. Actually it was more like marshmallow toast; made of rows of marshmallows on top of 2 pieces of toast and drizzled with chocolate syrup. Not a very healthy snack at all, hah. And while I had expected it to be sticky, I hadn't anticipate a layer of peanut butter underneath. Talk about peanut butter overload....definitely a one-timer for me.

And I've had better mushroom soups before - this one was just straight from Campbell. I guess the owner's right about not being one of those "cafes". Maybe someday I'll have to give the mains a chance and see how they fair.

For now, Eighty Tree is an alright-y place but they might need to do a little bit more than just a comfy corner to stay on the map.

Eighty Tree Cafe
83, Lebuh Cintra
10100 Penang