HP7 Short review!

July 21, 2007

Obligatory spiel: According to early reports, it was a human stampede at KLCC. A couple broke their limbs trying to get in. Oi Kiasu Malaysians!

That said…

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows reads like a book written by *any* fantasy author. There’s none of the usual magic that would keep me enchanted with the book. Most of the characters feel lifeless and stale. In fact, while reading the book, I had the image of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: The Movie. It would seem that the book was written with the actors in mind, not the characters. Also, unlike previous books (taking this phrase from Ti) there was no foreshadowing of the Hollows. Only one of them was foreshadowed in the earlier book; the rest weren’t.

SPOILER ALERT: Read the rest of this entry »

Cotton, I mean Kapas Island

February 5, 2006

I visited Pulau Kapas (translated into Cotton Island if you want to be literal about it) for the first time about three years ago. Back then, the service was excellent. As soon as you landed, you were greeted by resort members and taken to the lobby (of sorts) served a drink, and then you were checked in and taken to your rooms. The staff were friendly and the service was good. Food was so-so.

The island itself though, it was beautiful. Pristine, quiet, and beautiful. Fishing was great, though by rights it was illegal. I rarely took part, preferring instead to play in the water and read while le parents and lil bro were busy catching that night’s dinner (literally. We had fish for lunch and dinner the day after check-in). Dad made friends with the boatman who eventually took us out (at his insistence) to go fishing. Frequently.

However, there were drawbacks. The electricity would be cut off sometime in the afternoon for a bit when the generators on the island would be refilled with diesel, and it happened during the hottest part of the day, so you could imagine our reaction.

The resort then was known as Primula Kapas Island Resort.

Three years on, not much has changed. The island, I mean. In fact, coming towards the tail end of the monsoon season (though not without it’s dangers) also means that the waters are unusually clear and beautiful. Going towards the island was fun (if you’re a rollercoaster fan) but it was also dangerous.

The waters though, were a clear blue, one of the clearest I have ever seen anywhere in Malaysia. Having been dragged throughout most of Peninsular Malaysia when I was growing up to beach resorts, I can safely say that waters like these were rare in Malaysia unless you were going to one of those premium beaches.

Once we hit the island, it took us some time to get everything to the lobby and then to the room. I was quite shocked at the change in the desk; the table had been replaced by a counter with the staff sitting quite a ways below, so it seemed that we were standing taller than them. This felt rather unfriendly to me. The customer service was good though.

The room was a big disappointment. It was smaller than I remembered, had no TV (I distincintly remembered they had one all those years ago), the toilet was dirty (no water had been thrown on the floor and it was sandy) and most importantly, NO HOT WATER.

I’ll let you all digest that fact, and end the review of Kapas Island, Part One, end here. Nite!

2005 in review

December 31, 2005

I should be sleeping, but I thought I should do this before the first six hours of 2006 has passed.

Only when the year is completely gone can you take a step back and realise just what has happened.

So what has happened in the year 2005 that impacted me?

In January:

– I quit my job handed in my resignation for MPH. I needed to get ready for college.

In February:

– I joined Sages of Chaos.

– College Course Advising was done in 1.5 hours, a record.

– My grandfather passed away.

In March and April

… I honestly can’t remember. Oh wait! I was a Fangirl Instigator for Sages. It helped take my mind off some things.

In May

– I broke up with Nicholas. It was a traumatic time.

– I discovered what it meant to be a friend. Ti, you are welcome to hit me for all the times I was negative about you going to WS.

In June/July

– Internship was a torture. Several people found out that I was single again.

– It was at this time I started indulging in my sexuality heavily. No, I didn’t do anything stupid in RL or became too explicit online. Kyle, Jay, thank you for your support at this time.

In August

– Made several new friends, attempted to support myself by driving to colleg, ended up giving up on it.

– Started questioning myself seriously over school

– Began the dreaded FTV 121 OF DOOM!

– There’s someone that I don’t want to work with ever.

In September

– Look at August

– I finally made a choice as to who I wanted to be with.

– I made it to the blogger’s meet and discovered an unknown part of the Malaysian Bloggersphere.

In October

– I lost a friendship with a friend because of my own stupidity.

– I discovered that I cannot handle angstiness.

In November

– I went back to working for MPH. I needed the money badly.

– I severed ties with college to an extent. And started realising that I’ll have to be self-supporting next year.

– Failed Nano… again.

In December

– Burnt about 75% of my gaji Christmas shopping.

– Watched Narnia.

– Resolved a few issues.

– Went for Comic Fiesta.

– Joined the Channel and found it hilarious.

– Started to speak to someone again. Thank You, You know who You are.

Nite peeps.

EDITED: I’m glad to have met these people too: John Ling, Yvonne Fong, Peter Tan, Edrei, Leslie, Jayson, Allichaton, Anriko, Geoff, Shireen and if I’ve forgotten anyone, I beg apologies.

I’m glad to count these people as my friends: Lionel, Tiara, Adeliene, Vivian, Lin, Suraj, Kak Fazura, Barb, Yi Liang, Nick. Thank you all for making my life the potpurri that it is.

Love you all.

May we have a better 2006!

Patricia.

PD

December 27, 2005

Stayed at this place called Ancasa Resort AllSuites. It’s a nice place, actually, very popular. I think the reason for that is because the resort is very kid-friendly. They have one gameroom for kids, a poor excuse for an arcade, easy access to the beach, and three wading pools for kids. If that isn’t kid friendly, I don’t know what is.

The gardens (pictures will be up in a separate post after I edit them, it’s on mom’s phone) was quite nice. I spent a lovely 30 minutes there writing chapter 3 of Sugar High Muses in there, just sitting and listening to the burung tiong warble his heart out with the screams of children punctuating the air now and then.

There was even a gazebo with curtains. You know, the ones where there’s this small room without walls and only a roof? Something like this. This one had curtains. It looked so dreamy and romantic. Also the angle is just nice for some… honeymooners. Well… if you do it at night. *Wink*

Despite it being next to the beach, I didn’t go to the beach. Mainly cause I felt lazy. However, I would like to point out that the water in the pool was freezing. Only for the first few minutes. Then it got compfy. *Note to self: Must learn how to swim* Though I realise that I can now dogpaddle for a few feet before I have to come up for air.

Alright. Enough about the Hotel.

We went to this place called Mutiara Seafood Village for dinner. The food was decent, though it took a long time coming. For some reason they passed over us, though I remember them doing the same thing the last time I was there as well. Parents did not say anything about the service when they were there with relatives two months back, so it may just be my imagination.

Today there was a jam coming back. Gah.

I slept like a log when we got home. ^_^

Review

December 9, 2005

Sarah by Marek Halter

ISBN: 1400052726

According to the book and one review read on Amazon.com, this book is written less than an actual retelling and more of a historical romance. It is light reading and thus should not be taken seriously. I picked up the book precisely because it’s content was about Sarah, one of the most loyal woman, in my opinion in the Bible. To tell the truth, I was expecting the book to do something like what Marion Zimmer Bradley did with Medea, which was to make her human.

That aside, the book kept me glued for hours, and not because it was engrossing. On the contrary, I just wanted to finish it as soon as I could. The character development is strictly physical, and there is no depth to the characters. Some were totally unneccesary, such as the “adopted son” of Abraham. Furthermore, it felt like the author was adding characters simply because he could.

The acceptance of Sarai into Abraham’s tribe, her constant angst about the trouble her beauty has brought her, and most importantly, the interaction between the many different characters feels forced, unrealistic and contrived. It feels very much like a cut and paste kind of book, not a jigsaw puzzle that is unveiled slowly and to the delight of the readers.

Some of the constant fixation on Sarah’s so-called beauty could have been channeled into developing the character into a more believable one. Perhaps he could have explored both Sarai’s lighter and dark sides more. We know that the author thinks that Sarai is a sensual woman. Besides her dancing (which was described in a very flat way) and her beauty, there really seems to be nothing much to her character. His description of Sarah’s jealousy over Hagar could have been much deeper and explored.

Recommended only for light reading and if you want an excerise in how NOT TO WRITE A BOOK. This is one book that will need you to leave your brain at the first page.

From my archives

October 6, 2005

This is the review for a really great book for writers, and even readers who are interesting in dabbling in writing. If you’re like me and have no idea/clue whatsoever on how to make sure your character is consistent, get this. It is:

The Writer’s Guide to Character Traits
Edelstein, Linda N. Ph.D
Writer’s Digest Books
Cincinati, Ohio
ISBN: 158297246X

It’s a good writer’s guide to painting their characters as it’s based on a psychologist’s experience and education on people. Not only does it comes with profiles of human behaviour and personality types (as mentioned on the book cover), but it also lists psychological disorders in children, adolescents and adults. Case studies and examples of everything is also given, and it’s an easy read (except perhaps for younger teens, they may need a dictionary). The best part is, it doesn’t lie. They talk about the bad and the good, from the mild to the extreme.

You have not only just what the disorder is, but what happens when it goes to the extreme, and when behaviour turns pathological. That said, I found most of the information good and it’ll probably help me in fleshing out my charries (may just buy it after all). At about RM63.90 it ain’t cheap, but seriously, this is ONE book I’d recommend. Hey, how many character books are so up-to-date that they’ll tell you about internet computer crimes types?

The characters traits are interchangeble, and coming from the Writer’s Digest (which is a pretty good resource IMHO) you can use them in any genre. So get it! I know I probably will! 🙂

I’m ashamed.

April 29, 2005

I just watched Spinning Gasing and I’m ashamed. I really ashamed. (Yes, I’m so ashamed that I can’t even get my grammer right).

That was the lamest piece of film, and it’s so full of lameness that I really can’t find any redeeming qualities in it. Honestly… There are just too many cliches and things that make me ashamed to admit that the idea was thought of by a Malaysian.

And people wonder why I don’t watch Malaysian Film. (For those who are wondering, I have *not* watched Sepet yet. Have had no opportunity yet to watch it, stupid parents -_-).

And I am reserving my judgements on that.

Simply Food

June 28, 2003

Food is the second most basic need of humans. The first of course, is water. The human body (sorry, I think most of you know this but I think I have to repeat it anyway) may last more than 20 days without food, but only 3 without water. Water has been flavoured and changed in so many ways, but it is still the most beneficial to us in its purest form, which is plain water.

That’s not the same of food. Food has evolved, the way it is cooked, the way it is eaten… The basic ingredients have been transformed to make new attacks and sensations on our palate. Even now it is evolving. Foods from different nations are being fused together to make new dishes, new tastes.

Why am I writing about food? Simply because growing up in a multiracial family has made appreciative of the food that is on my table. As I have mentioned before, I hate spicy food. However, years of merely smelling spicy food have done wonders for my nose. I know when it is seasoned well, and when the dish has been deliberately ‘watered down,’ so to speak.

One instance is Devil Curry. This popular Portuguese dish is red in colour. It is called Devil Curry not only for its deep red colour, but also for its spiciness. It is one of the few dishes that you can actually smell the chillies in them not only as they are cooked, but when they are served as well. I don’t know how it is served in Portugal, but here in Malaysia, it is served with rice or even putu mayam. Both of them are staples. Dishes are served with them to enhance the flavour of the dishes.

Putu mayam is made out of rice flour. Add a little salt, a little water to make it thick and then put it into the mould. The mould consists of two parts. They are basically a long hollow cylinder and the tube that fits into the cylinder. Both of them have handles.

The cylinder has one opening at the top, to allow the tube to enter. At the bottom, holes are poked. A handful of flour is put into the cylinder, the excess put back with the others. The tube then presses the flour through the holes, making thin noodles. The mould is turned as a repeated circle, until the flour is used. The results are then steamed.

This is putu mayam. It’s one of the dishes in Malaysia that is the daily staple food. I have it only once a year generally, because like most of my family members I was raised on mainly rice. I have it during Christmas, with another dish called “Kurma Curry.? But that’s for another day.

Catch ya later!