Friday, April 30, 2004

Off you go!

Have a good longggggg weekend, folks! Any long-shelved holiday plans finally to be realized during the next four blissully work-free days?

I have a wedding do (or two) to attend. And a friend's birthday outing. Enough for tired old Ted. Going to rest and hibernate at home the rest of the weekend.


Decided to do away with the 'animated wand' thingy.

At several other sites with similar 'things-that-follow-round-the-pointer' stuff, I found them annoying. Weirdly though, when it was here at this site, I thought it was, erm, nice, heheh. Most probably a biased case of opinion, then.

So off you go! Thank you for your services. What we had was good, but now I need to move on.

A little bunny or a kitty that will chase your cursor if clicked, perhaps?

I sometimes click the one here.

Neko is so darned slow though, Nerr ;)

Sunday, April 25, 2004

A Man For All Seasons - a play for all seasons, indeed

A Man For All Seasons

Written by playwright Robert Bolt (1924-1995), A Man for All Seasons shows a man sacrificing high office, his position in society, and ultimately his life, for religious principle. Dramatising the conflict between Henry VIII and Moore, the play depicts the confrontation between church and state, theology and politics, absolute power and individual freedom. Throughout the play, Sir Thomas Moore’s eloquence and endurance, his purity, saintliness and tenacity in the face of ever growing threats to his beliefs and family, earn him the status as one of modern drama’s greatest tragic heroes.

The play was first produced here by The Actors Studio in 1991, at the Old Town Hall, with Leslie Dawson as Sir Thomas More and Mano Maniam as the King. Patrick Teoh played Cardinal Wolsey (a maiden outing for Patrick as an actor), Eric Roslee as the Common Man, Kee Thuan Chye as Cromwell, Gail Lyons as Alice More, Tiara Jaquelina as Meg, the daughter and Ramli Hassan as Signor Chapuys. Faridah & Joe often remember that this was the first TAS production that broke even!

Starring Ari Ratos (Thomas More), Zahim Albakri (Cromwell), Susan Lankester (Alice More), Kurt Crocker (Norfolk), Kubhaer Jethwani (the Common Man), Fahmi Fadzil (Richard Rich), Ben Tan (Wolsey), Reza Zainal Abidin (Signor Chapuys), Kennedy John Michael (Cranmer), Sharifah Aleya Al-Yahya (Margaret More), Malik Taufik (William Roper), Keith Chin (Chapuy’s attendant) and Bregitta Wong (the Woman). Directed by Joe Hasham & produced by Faridah Merican.


Read Kathy Rowland's review at Kakiseni here.


Would you be strong and willful enough to stand by what you believe in, to remain upholding your conscience and to refuse the temptation to give in no matter in what form does temptation take; if in doing so would take you away from all your daily comforts, separate you from the family that you so dearly love, rip off the normalcy of your everyday being and ultimately, be the cause of your very own death? Will you ever submit?

Not William Wallace in Braveheart nor Maximus Decimus Meridius in Gladiator, and not Thomas More in A Man For All Seasons. And just like Sir William, Sir Thomas’ story is for real, based on the great man who brought us Utopia (1516) , the former Lord Chancellor (1529-1532) of England who simply refused to sell his soul even if it means all of the above.

The play became the second to put me to tears (the first was The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde), and the first to do it more than once! (I'm positive that I wasn't the only one sniffling during the scene in the prison though). It was also at times like a mini history lesson in itself, bringing substance and life to the likes of Moore, Cromwell and King Henry VIII (Old joke: You mean they tried seven times before and still couldn’t get him right?) that were previously just some names I’ve heard about or read somewhere.

I've seen Ari Ratos in a couple of other performances, and his acting skills have been lauded here and there – Seasons is his strongest performance I’ve seen so far. He cut a very credible More - steadfast in his righteousness, ever so humble in the face of praise, and strongly resolute in the despondency of his imprisonment. The great Jit came onstage for a measly twenty minutes or so, but enough to illustrate how un’king’ly self-serving and rudely, appallingly debauched the King was. The part may have required him to appear in just a single scene, but boy did he capture the audience right from the first shrill blow of his whistle to the last glimpse of his back before he slams the door, hard, during his exit. And so successful Zahim Albakri was at playing the vile, contempt-spewing Cromwell (urgh) that I almost stood up and cheered when it was recited that he (Cromwell, not Zahim) also died under less-than-pretty circumstances some years later.

For a maiden theatre outing (correct me if I’m wrong), the ever cute and perky Sharifah Aleya was convincing enough as the dutiful, educated daughter, but I feel that there's room for more depth in the emotions that she could have portrayed as Margaret . Susan Lankaster however paraded an excellent performance as the dutiful wife, befitting her experience as a seasoned actress. I also adored Kubhaer Jethwani as the Common Man who transformed flawlessly from one character into another at the shrug of a shoulder or the drop of a prop. Fahmi Fadzil seemed to take some time before being completely at ease with playing the gullible and spineless young Richard Rich, all-eager to please others as long as it benefits him, seemingly devoid of any form of conscience.

The opening minutes went at a rather ‘leisurely’ pace, with some ‘introductions’ and chatter establishing who’s who where what and so on. Even so, being one not all that accustomed to a detailed history of the British, it still took awhile for the basics of it to sink in properly with yours truly (I was just being plain easily-muddled me). The choice of costumes didn’t really help in that sense either. Expecting them to be garbed in quaint and (perhaps?) superfluous period-styled outfits (circa 16th century of course) with all the frills and bows and robes (how could the ruler of England be without the customary fur-adorned royal robe?), the use of normal everyday clothes (along the likes one would be apt to see people wear on the streets of Bangsar or chilling the night out in uptown KL) was kind of surprising during the initial moments. Then I realized that in such a way, the play was actually bringing its points closer to home for despite being written based on something that happened hundreds of years ago, the portrayals of faith, belief, ego, pride, deceit, slyness, family love, pity, enticement, self-righteousness et. al. apply to the present just as well.

In short, A Man For All Seasons exuded its charm so well over me with the combination of a great piece of writing, an excellently-experienced director and a team of cast with superb acting. Throw into the mixture a set that's beautiful and cleverly functional without being complicated, with some haunting hymn-like tunes (made me feel as if I was in a church at times) and the sombrely effectual lighting- this is a show that I definitely wouldn't mind seeing again. Kudos to everyone involved!

My only grouse would be the sickening attitude of several members of the audience who despite their better judgement neglected to switch off (or at least put to vibrate lah, kan) their various polyphonic cellphones, resulting in a multitude of irritatingly distracting tunes throughout the show - a couple even came from the same phone, for God's sake! Oh, and also the fact that Jit was onstage for a mere twenty minutes.


1) Sir Thomas More was one of the first famous prisoners at the Tower of London, executed in 1535 for refusing to acknowledge Henry VIII as head of the English Church.

2) He was soon followed by a still more famous prisoner and victim, the King's second wife Anne Boleyn, executed a little under a year later.

3) July 1540 saw the execution of Thomas Cromwell - in which capacity as the Earl of Essex and chief minister of England had modernized the Tower's defenses and, ironically enough, sent many others to their deaths on the same spot.

4) King Henry VIII had six wives altogether during his lifetime.

Also read: The Life of Sir Thomas More

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Think you're really smart?

(From my inbox - TQ Ciken)

Who owns the fish?

Einstein said 98% of the world could not solve this riddle. It's not really hard, you just need to pay attention and be patient.
There are 5 houses in 5 different colours, all in a row. In each house lives a person with a different nationality. The 5 owners drink a certain type of beverage, smoke a certain brand of cigar, and keep a certain pet. No owners have the same pet, smoke the same brand of cigar, or drink the same beverage. The question is:

'Who owns the fish?'


The Brit lives in the red house.

The Swede keeps dogs as pets.

The Dane drinks tea.

The green house is on the immediate left of the white house.

The green homeowner drinks coffee.

The person who smokes Pall Mall rears birds.

The owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhill.

The man living in the center house drinksmilk.

The Norwegian lives in the first house.

The man who smokes Blend lives next to the one who keeps cats.

The man who keeps the horse lives next to the man who smokes Dunhill.

The owner who smokes Bluemaster drinks beer.

The German smokes Prince.

The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.

The man who smokes Blend has a neighbour who drinks water.

Monday, April 19, 2004

The weekend



Made the 'wise' decision to drive to KL. Trapped in bad traffic on the way to the lunch meet @ Saisaki. Met new blogger-faces in addition to the usual book swap faces although didn't really got to have a chat with everyone -nice meeting every one of you! Poked and stabbed three platefuls of Japanese grub before munching on them (not all items were identifiable), went through two bowls of colorful ice cream and downed countless minute-cups of green tea. Burp. Afterwards drove almost half-an-hour in circles before finally getting further than the 5km radius around KLCC due to a single missed turn (I'm directionally-challenged, remember?). Visited sister-in-law at the hospital. Cooed to babies in the nursery (regardless to the fact that I knew they couldn't actually hear me). One looked especially cute with his little shades under the blue lamp.

Lazed around the house till 5 pm then decided to brave the last day of the PC Fair (a.k.a Pasarmalam Computer Fair). Took the 6 pm train (missed the 5.30 one). Made a couple of purchases and bookings. Last item bought - a Canon printer (during the last half-hour frenzy). Escaped in one piece. Had to lug the big and heavy printer box all the way to the Komuter station, alone. Didn't realize it would be THAT big. And THAT heavy. Exerted enough sweat for the rest of the week.


work work work!

What?? The weekend's over already????

Saturday, April 17, 2004


Sister-in-law lost her baby - she wasn't even sure she was pregnant until she went to the clinic after feeling some pain and discomfort at the area. Apparently the little guy was already around 9- to 10-weeks old. It was a very sad fact, but we accepted the miscarriage as God's will. Tak ada rezeki.

She underwent the D & C procedure (sounds painful, ouch) this afternoon. She looked really out of place in the room, where the other three patients there were either in labor or had just given birth. During the visit, saw Bro taking care of the poor thing- helping her walk to the bathroom, putting on her clothes and all the other stuff that healthy people do for sick people in the hospital. Holding her hand, putting a cool towel on her head. Adjusting the bed. Making sure the slits at the back of her robe does not show. And I heard her crying in the bathroom. And I heard Bro doing his best to comfort her.

That's when I truly realize how much he loves the woman.

Friday, April 16, 2004

PC Fair 2004 (I) - 16-18 April

Have some extra moolah to spend and been looking around for a new piece of toy / gadget / equipment / whatchamacallit?

There might be one waiting for you at the first PC Fair for 2004, which starts today at PWTC.

This discussion thread at the Klang Valley Palm User Group forum offers an interesting read on how to get the best bargains, suggestions of economic gadgets etc.

See you there!

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Choczlatey moments

[Kit-Kat chocolate bar. Not available at Chocz.]

Contrary to popular belief and several other ‘published’ opinions (read: blog posts, heheh), my first encounter with the famous Aztec, an unusual drink from Chocz @ RM8.50/cup (excluding service charges) did not:

  • Sedate me to a state of extreme calmness any more than the usual cup of hot chocolate usually does

  • Render the world to seemingly revolve at a slower pace on its axis and earth time to pass at a fraction of its usual rate of 60 seconds per minute

  • Bestow (fancy word for give) upon me a heightened level of perception; or

  • Make me feel horny, either hormonally-induced desires or in relation to the pointy things that bulls usually have on their heads

  • The hot drink did, however, possess a certain shock factor from the mixture of the piquant chilli with the dark richness of cocoa; leaving a weird but not unpleasant aftertaste where the shock factor gradually diminishes with each hot sip as the concoction swirled in my mouth and played with my taste buds which kept on shooting messages through the nerve-highway to the taste central in my brain, saying, now-this-is-the-taste-of-a-perfectly-good-drink. And the unique cup, oh, I loved it! Looked a bit like a cream jug to me, all white and curved with its cute little ‘spout’.

    The others in our little group were milkshake-devotees, they ordered yummy banana and vanilla-flavored blends. I failed to persuade at least one of them to go for a Nectar, where you get to personally melt chocolate pieces (your choice either white, milk or dark) so the drink will be at the consistency of your heart’s desire, as thick as you like. And the way to drink it is straight from the burner! Sounds heavenly, eh? No need to ponder over what to order during the next stop at Chocz, then.

    Anyway, all of us did however feel soooo sleepy and full afterwards (we had some cheesecake, onion quiche and chocolate tarts as well); the plush green sofa seats were so comfy that it took us awhile to finally get our butts off them and say our goodbyes. Now on that, we echo our agreement in unison.

    P.S – Do try the chocolate tart – like having a perfect, no-frill solid mass of delicious, top-grade chocolate on pastry. Kenyang, I tell you.

    Read other bloggers' take on Aztec and Chocz (if you haven't already):

    My Sweet... My precioussss... (with pictures)
    Warning! A Chocz post!
    Pheromone Chocolate Aphrosidiac
    Nectar from the Cocoa Fruit
    Chocful of Chocz!
    All About Chocolate

    Monday, April 12, 2004

    A conversation in the car

    "Mama, siapa Timbalan Ketua Pengarah kat (her workplace)?"

    "Sekarang, Uncle Shukor."

    "Wow, terror kan dia."

    "Hmm... one of my best friends, Uncle Shukor tu. I've known him from the time he was a young, unmarried guy and unsure of himself, masa tu nak buat presentation pun takut-takut. Tapi sekarang, tengoklah. I think he's going to be Ketua Pengarah nanti. He's in the right place."

    "Mama takde can nak jadi Pengarah ke?"

    I try to imagine, see where I might be 25 years from now.

    Should I be like Uncle Shukor too? Work hard, be at the right places at the right times, do the right things to climb the rungs up and up over the years? It's already there, one just have to climb it, up up and up when one could.

    Or would I ever be brave enough to venture out and blaze a trail of my own, where it's up to me to create the ladder, where I'd have the opportunity to scale the heights as high as I want to, as long and as hard as I am willing to. But I know it won't be easy.

    One spells comfort zone, the other a challenge.

    I'm not saying it's a breeze, all milk and honey la-la-land where I am now, but there are decisions that I have to make sometime in the future, and I have to start thinking about them now. And it's always one or the other, as choices are wont to be.

    All the pros and cons.... I just don't want it to be up to a point where it becomes a Hobson's choice.

    Or maybe I do.

    Wednesday, April 07, 2004

    Hobson's choice, anyone?

    I had a conversation in which the particular phrase turned up (with context to a certain constituency's candidates in a certain recent election - no prizes in guessing which one).
    Out of boredom I looked it up.

    Hobson's choice \HOB-sunz-chois\, noun:
    A choice without an alternative; take the thing offered or have nothing.

    1) Fagan's defense revolves around his insistence that he faced a Hobson's choice and had to act.
    --Laura Parker, "Discovery of daughters never followed by reunion," USA Today, May 11, 1999

    2) The stakes are just as high for the deep-pocketed traditional retailers. A recent survey by Jupiter Communications showed that only 6% of e-commerce sales are new spending. The rest come out of the hides of brick-and-mortar retailers. They're faced with a Hobson's choice: Make the plunge online or face a terrifying alternative--gradual extinction. (Ted: Aiyo so panjang la this example)
    --Heather Green, "The Great Yuletide Shakeout," Business Week, November 1, 1999

    "Hobson's choice" is said to have had its origin in the name of one Thomas Hobson (ca. 1544-1631), at Cambridge, England, who kept a livery stable and required every customer to take either the horse nearest the stable door or none at all. Why? Oh, he had a very valid reason.

    In 1914 Henry Ford offered customers of the Model T a famous Hobson's choice, making it available in "any color so long as it is black."

    There's also a movie (1953) entitled Hobson's Choice starring Charles Laughton, John Mills and Brenda De Banzie, directed by David Lean (based on an original humorous play by Harold Brighouse, 1915); and a hardcore band of the same name.

    If you are bored, like me, pay a visit to the Phrase Finder for the origins of your favorite phrases.

    Next phrase, please!

    I told you it doesn't take much to keep me amused :)


    I've become so numb
    I can't feel you there
    Become so tired, so much more aware

    - excerpt from Numb, sang by Linkin Park (as if u didn't know that)

    Felt as if I’m in one of the Twilight Zone series (cue theme song) or something the whole morning. I imagine this could be what it feels like to be given a mild tranquilizer shot (or something to that effect). Everything seemed so calm and peaceful, I feel like I could go do anything and nothing will happen. Nothing good and nothing bad. And I don’t feel like doing anything. Not really. This happens, sometimes. So with an ice cream cone in hand (a Baskin-Robbins double scoop special, Majoca-something on top and plain pecan at the bottom), Ted the Numb wandered aimlessly around the mall at lunch (it’s good to have one so near to the office). She read all the posters in the music shop window. She pondered at the various titles at Pay-Less Books. She watched a promo video showing all sorts of useful home appliances at the DIY Depot, but after the clip on that useful window cleaner which could do a million other things as well the screen changed into a blurry feature of black and white fuzz. Okay, time to get back the office.

    Oh, but that was then. Back to normal mode now. Window shopping and additional sugar in the bloodstream can do wonders, I tell you. And the thought of a future date at Chocz for an Aztec (blame all of them bloggers who raved and raved about it like there’s no tomorrow), an upcoming play with Jit Murad in it at Actors Studio and a new book to read. Ah… it doesn’t take much to pick Ted’s spirits up.

    Monday, April 05, 2004


    Do this, says she
    I will, say me

    Then I did.

    Show me, says she
    I will, say me

    Tomorrow will be a good day.

    That day
    Is today

    Is it good?
    Is it bad?
    But she makes me wait. And wait. And wait.

    Anxiety makes me feel light-headed.

    Saturday, April 03, 2004

    The Melaka Connection

    These are what Melaka town means to us, today. While we were going in circles around the place, trying in vain to locate that ever-elusive way to the beach of Klebang, we found that Melaka is the Malaysian town with:

  • the most number of petrol stations per km squared. Definitely. With an average of roughly two stations every five minutes’ drive.

  • the most number of mosques, ditto. Average one mosque every 10 minutes’ drive.

  • the most number of ’Sehala’ (One-way Street) signs, ditto. Forgot to count for average.

  • No, we didn’t find our way to Klebang beach. Yes, we did ask for directions from the locals. Defeated, we headed back to the highway and had to drown our sorrow in this:

    [The perfect concoction to soothe the frustrated souls. Thank you, Baskin-Robbins!]

    Other Melaka pics here.

    What, you mean I’ve never told you ’What’s the matter?’ got its own Fotopage already?

    Friday, April 02, 2004


    I lost the post. That's what usually happens when you get that I-think-it's-okay- to-not-copy-it-to-a-word-document-or-do-it-as-a-draft-first train of thought. Next time, don't tempt fate.

    Here's the gist of it though:

    Heavy rain in Klang Valley - almost all train services were interrupted
    Train stopped just 100m shy of Serdang station, had to head back towards the city
    Decided to get off at Bandar Tasik Selatan and take the ERL to Putrajaya. Genius... not!! Yes, even the so-very-canggih ERL service was not spared
    In short wasted spent half an hour stuck in a stationary Komuter train, half an hour at the ERL station, 15 minutes for STAR LRT and finally another hour for someone to pick us up at Bukit Jalil station - a total of two hours and fifteen minutes

    And this is what Mom's car looked like when she got home (she parked at the Serdang station):

    All these train problems... delays and whatnots makes me wish I could fly.

    Like him ------------->