Monday, October 31, 2005

Doom. Doomed.

Ok movie review time. Went to watch Doom last week. I was pretty excited for a couple of reasons:

1.I’m not a huge Doom fan but was interested to see how they would interpret it on the screen, given that Doom is somewhat a religion to hardcore gamers.
2.The Rock. Over the top, just the way I like him.

I'll just pick up this big gun and wear it around my neck so I'll look ten times manlier.

Alright, so my blog title pretty much gave away my sentiment on the whole movie. First of all, I couldn’t get over how ‘cartoon-drawn’ The Rock appeared. He didn’t look…human. He looked like he stepped out of a Marvel comic book, complete with bulging muscles, almost-robotic movements, crazy eyes and gleaming skin (I kid you not). It’s not a bad thing, just something that made me go…Hmm.

Oh crap. That's a big gun if I've ever seen one...

Plot-wise, something goes vewwy vewwy wrong in a lab located light years away from Earth – Mars actually. Monsters lurking, people screaming, limbs torn apart…The usual eek-fest. Enter The Rock and the Macho Men Patrol, complete with cool nicknames (The Rock is known as Sarge. How original). In true Hero Style, they arrive on the planet and as they enter the lift to get to the lab, they actually stand in a V-formation so everyone is in the frame! I couldn’t get over that. Definitely the cheesiest point of the movie.

Of course, you must be wondering where’s the estrogen element of the movie. Introducing Hot and Brainy Scientist in Sexy Lab Coat. Turns out she’s one of the protagonists’ twin sister and there’s a whole story behind why she’s a scientist and he’s a soldier bla bla bla. Well, at least they TRIED to put a story in. So she plays Scully and does all the autopsies after the boys kill monster after monster. She starts to make ‘startling’ discoveries. Long story short (ok, warning, spoilers ahead) monsters start appearing, people start dying till only The Rock and Reaper (yep, Mr. Twin Brother of Hot and Brainy Scientist in Sexy Lab Coat) fight each other to death. Wait a minute, you say, aren’t they supposed to be on the SAME team? A-ha, the plot thickens. Basically, The Rock turns out to be such a baddie deep down, that once he’s bitten by a mean monster, he turns into one himself. Reaper is bitten too but he’s got goodness in his heart so instead of being Nasty Monster, he becomes Stronger Than Ever Man. So they battle it out and The Rock actually finds the mother of all guns in one of the labs so this spells bad news for Reaper aka Stronger Than Ever Man. Anyway, fight, fight, fight, explosions, more fights…Good conquers evil and all is well again. So the twins head back to Earth. Or something like that.
They're making a sequel? NOOOO!?!?!?

Ok, storyline aside…I had a few problems with this movie. I felt like they held back a lot, even in the action scenes. I mean, this is DOOM. Blow us away with your cool graphics and what nots! And in the trailer, you actually get a glimpse of the first person shooter point of view and I had a feeling everyone in the cinema was waiting for it. Unfortunately, it lasted a mere seven minutes towards the end of the movie and it left everyone going, “Eh? That’s it?” Actually, the WHOLE movie left everyone going, “Eh? That’s it?”

My consolation? It was better than Sound of Thunder.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Monster ronster

Your Monster Profile
Ultima Gargoyle

You Feast On: Grass
You Lurk Around In: Flocks of Freshmen
You Especially Like to Torment: Crybabies

Presenting...Whatever Thursday!

Thursday is here. And here’s where I’ll be this weekend:

A jewel- like tiny island in the Sulu Sea and hour and a half boat ride's north of Sandakan, Lakayan is soon to be declared part of an immense Marine Protected Area. Unpopulated and covered by think tropical island vegetation on its topside, this peaceful, untouched tittle bit of paradise is ringed by an endless pure white sandy beach, offering simply elegant and exquisite accommodation in a handful of wooden, roomy and perfectly appointed seafront double-occupancy chalets.

Meals are informally served at the central open building, which boasts at amazingly beautiful open-air wooden terrace, the ideal spot for after dinner relaxation and chatting, all the while admiring the dozens of juvenile blacktip sharks swimming leisurely a few feet beneath. While the ideal destination for those who search for tranquility and relaxation in a virgin natural setting and for families with children, Lankayan Island is also one of the hottest diving destination on the map today: its dive sites - all just a few minutes away - boast unbelievably colorful macro fauna, fascinating wrecks and, in season from March to May, regular sightings of gigantic and harmless whale sharks, the "dream date " of every diver in the world.

Yep, I’m off for my long-awaited beach holiday at Lankayan Island. I’ll be leaving tomorrow morning at 7am with a couple of friends and will be back on Sunday. Got my sunblock and bikini all ready! My only regret is that I don’t scuba dive and Lankayan is considered one of the best diving spots around. Ah well, I’ll just have to focus on sipping my pina coladas and working on my tan… Life is tough.

Today is relatively quiet and slow in the office. It’s been two hours since I clocked in and I still have no sense of urgency to do anything. Thing is, there isn’t much left to do today. My magazine’s gone to print so I can just sit back, cross my fingers and hope nothing shitty happens. So, on that note, I would like to share some brain candy with you. Click here, just for the fun of it:

And this caught my eye:
School Orders Students to Remove Blogs. How about that? Seriously though, how do you actually monitor bloggers? I can shut one blog down and create another under a totally different persona. I can change my blog add five million times just so no one can 'find' me. Things that make you go hmm...

Got this in my email today: Guide to Beer Troubleshooting by Dave Avran. Some excerpts -

SYMPTOM : Feet cold and wet.
FAULT : Glass being held at incorrect angle.
ACTION : Rotate glass so that open end points toward ceiling.

SYMPTOM : Beer unusually pale and tasteless.
FAULT : Glass empty.
ACTION : Get someone to buy you another beer.

SYMPTOM : Beer is crystal-clear.
FAULT : It's water. Somebody is trying to sober you up.
ACTION : Punch him.

SYMPTOM : Everyone looks up to you and smiles.
FAULT : You are dancing on the table.
ACTION : Fall on somebody cushy-looking

SYMPTOM : Don't remember the words to the song.
FAULT : Beer is just right.
ACTION : Play air guitar.

Heh. Ok i'm gonna do some quizzes now, compliments of

"Everytime you go away, you take a piece of me with you..."
- Paul Young, Everytime You Go Away. (you know, i used to think he was saying 'you take a piece of MEAT with you')

Monday, October 24, 2005

My Weekend Retreat.

What a weekend I had. And for the first time in a long time, I mean that in a good way! I had to do a feature on a newly opened beach resort in Kuala Penyu, namely the Bukit Naga Amanpuri Beach Retreat. It’s located some 2 and a half hours from KK by road and trust me, it’s worth every second of the journey. I wasn’t sure what to expect except that there would be a beach (BEACH retreat. Wow, I’m a genius). Sometimes having no expectations is the way to go, that way you can’t get too disappointed.

Anyway, we arrived there at around 3pm and were greeted by Max and Robert, friends and co-owners of the lodge. Max is a lanky Chinese dude with messy hair and one of the most hospitable people I know, without being overbearing. Robert is an interesting character, complete with tattoos, a perpetual tan and a devil-may-care air surrounding him. Together, they made quite an impression and reminded me of retired surfer dudes. Surprisingly, the duo are the only people running the show: they cook, clean and keep unwanted trespassers at bay (Robert: Some guy simply drove into our place and I threw stones at his car. What the hell man…You think I simply build a gate in front of my house issit?) Anyway, back to the retreat. The view is amazing. Just sand and sea as far as the eye can sea! And there’s a constant breeze and at night, the air is cooler. Robert actually lives here (it was his home and he converted it into a retreat for guests) so the whole place has a very homey feel. He’s got quite a selection of books but don’t look for a TV. This isn’t the place for you to veg out and channel surf, my friend. Rather, I’d recommend sitting in the hammock and staring at the sea. That’s what I call quality spacing out.

The rooms are built away from the main house, longhouse style. And right outside your front door is, yes ladies and gentlemen, the beach. The white, sandy, clean beach. And the water is purrrrr-fect. We took some makeshift surfboards and had fun with the waves. I’ve got a few bruises here and there but it was worth the ridiculous fun I had. The final wave I rode (I’m literally straddling the pseudo-surfboard) was a HUGE one and I slammed my butt so bad that I took it as a sign to call it day. I’m grateful I had no ‘family jewels’ to worry about, if you know what I’m saying…

Dinner- home-cooked by the semi-menacing Robert no less- was followed by more stories of how stupid people do stupid things, the state of the nation’s airline industry, politics, politicians and then some. Robert and Max then woke the boys up when they whipped out their boys toys. Playstation? Xbox? Please. I’m talking about toys for BIG boys. Believe it or not, they had quite a collection of crossbows and other archery equipment. CROSSBOWS. Not those tin, wimpy Robin Hood ones. They had these huge, camouflage-coloured, hi-tech, don’t-mess-with-me crossbows. Oh and did I mention that they used to rear pythons around the house for protection against trespassers? Three pythons. But they disappeared. Gulp.

Several beers later, we headed to our cabin but I was still up for some roaming. So a colleague and I took a midnight stroll along the beach. The full moon was out and it lit up the whole place. Nice. Next morning, we couldn’t resist charging into the sea again, followed by a simple breakfast, more lounging around and lunch. We left after noon and I took one last swing in the hammock, wishing the weekend wasn’t over yet. Oh, and I saved the best piece of info for last:

Free flow of beer throughout your stay.

How about THAT?
Photos below. Enjoy! I know I did, heh.

Me and my colleagues at the Bukit Naga Amanpuri Beach Resort, Kuala Penyu. The owners Max (2nd from left) and Robert,the shirtless dude at the back.  Posted by Picasa

The lounge area. Private, cozy and feels like home.  Posted by Picasa

Me being very happy with my little seashell discovery. Hey, I told you it doesn't take much to please me... Posted by Picasa

That hammock was my haven for the weekend. Great view, perfect breeze and lotsa beer. What else do you need? Posted by Picasa

I love this shot: Postcard moment! The beach was well-lit by the moon that night so we took a stroll along the beach.  Posted by Picasa

Dinner time! The owners, Max and Robert, prepare home-cooked meals for guests. Max is the guy in red.  Posted by Picasa

The beach,as you can see, is right at the doorstep of the cabin. The chalet on the hill is the 'reception' area: dining, lounge, etc. And the owners live there too. Posted by Picasa

Bukit Naga Amanpuri, Kuala Penyu. My beach retreat over the weekend.  Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 21, 2005

Roller coaster.

Yesterday marked two months since I officially embraced (more like hesitantly clung on to) singledom. Two months. How about that? Seems like forever. It's been a roller coaster since then and all I can do is grip the bars for dear life and hope I'm properly locked into my seat. I've got my fair share of ups, downs, twists and turns to put a giant triple-loop coaster to shame. Here's my take:

I've been going out more. And yes, I am enjoying my evenings of intoxication - to a point of concern sometimes but I'm still standing. My career is improving and I've been doing more freelance jobs. The money isn't the main thing at this point, it's more important that I carve a name in the writing industry. In fact, most of my writing has been FOC but I'm anal about getting my name up there next to my article. I've also been thinking more and more about pursuing my postgrad studies - most likely Australia. A shout out to Dillon in Melbourne who's been twisting my arm to get my ass down there. He's even got a spare room in his apartment waiting for me. Hey budak Singh bising, trust me, you'll be the first to know if I decide to make my way to too-cold-too-hot-too-everything Melbourne!
On the upside, I have a newfound appreciation for my family and friends who have helped me pull through. They've made me realise that although they're behind me 100 percent, I'm the only person who can drag myself out of a funk. True dat. And I've been writing more. Just random ramblings but each time I put the pen down, I feel like i can breathe again.

In 26 years of my life, I've had boyfriends. Yes, I've been in and out of love but there was only one person I could finally picture sharing my friggin' white-picket fence life with. But as Murphy and his bloody law would have it, we didn't see through the same rose-coloured glasses when it came to the future. Rejection is never a pretty thing. Unrequited love sucks even more. Too bad it took me two and a half years to get the message. I'll admit I wasn't the perfect girlfriend but what fun would there be if I was? haha. (When all else fails, laugh it off). And I don't make enough money *wail*.

Enough wallowing.

Twists know, best not blog about the twists. Stay tuned.

Everytime I think I've got it covered, something new awaits me at every corner. I've learned to stay clear of dead-ends. Always pick a junction: Choice is good.

Hallmark moments aside, I'm spending the weekend at the Bukit Naga Beach Retreat in Kuala Penyu this weekend. It's about 2 and a half hours away from KK and yes, it's a work-related trip. Anything to get away I suppose. Will let you know how that goes.

You left your smell
you left your taste
You left me here with my mistakes
And I can't relate to what you say I've done
Just for you
I'll bite my tongue
- Eleanor, Low Millions.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Women Are Crazy and Men Are A**holes

(Caution: Following material may prove to be offensive to both genders. The views presented are solely those of the author’s. Reader discretion advised.)

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this just might be the title of my first book. Forget all that Venus and Mars nonsense. Time to get down and dirty with the facts. Plus, you might be interested to know that the blog subject of the day was inspired by a male acquaintance.

“Women are crazy. Simple as that,” said my Muse. I was defensive at first but still curious to see what he meant. The mood swings, the emotions, the suspicions, the ‘over-thinking’…Where does one begin? My temper was flaring and then I caught myself. We’re only crazy in the eyes of a man. And could you blame them? Would you expect them to understand what PMS does to your hormones? Or why we need 50 pairs of shoes – kept in almost-pristine condition in their colour coded boxes? They probably think we ask them to put the toilet seat down for conversation’s sake. And yes, sometimes when you men glance at other women, we think you’re cheating on us and you don’t love us and all you think about is sex.

And then we realize we’re just PMS-ing so we go out and buy a pair of shoes to make ourselves feel better and our men think we’ve gone crazy. It’s a vicious cycle, really.

So yes, maybe we’re crazy. But that’s also because men are so logical to the point of boring that they can’t see past crazy. Anything with more than two emotions (horny and hungry) is too much for them to handle. “You women…You think too much,” said my Muse. “We men…We’re straight to the point. We don’t feel too much. We can shut off and detach ourselves from just about anything.” And my favourite: “It should only take a few minutes to get over something that annoys you. You harp too much, too long. It’s tiring for us men.”

Ah, ok. Thank you for enlightening me with your heart of steel, O Wise and Learned One.

Strangely, my Muse is also responsible for Chapter 2 of my book: All Men Are A**holes. Quote, unquote. Yes, ALL men. Even your dads and brothers and Sunday school teachers. It’s harsh but think about it. The difference between Guy A and Guy B is the level of Assholeyness. Some rate a perfect ten (Hitler?) and some barely past 1 (the…Pope? And that’s only probably because he left the toilet seat up once when he was 15). But they’ve all got a little bit of a**hole in them. I’ll get personal here. I love my dad and my brothers but sometimes their testosterone-infused self-righteousness really piss me off. They overtake a really slow car and take look at the driver, followed by the typical remark, “No wonder. It’s a woman.”

What is THAT about?

The trick, ladies, is to find a man who doesn’t rate too high on the a**hole scale. Find someone who isn’t on the scale, you say? Whoa whoa, wait a minute. Men on that level are a whole new category: Wimps. Don’t go there. They are far more frustrating than A**holes because at least the latter has the balls to argue with you.

So here’s my point: we’re gonna need some a**holes in our lives who will love us even when they think we’re crazy and as much as they hate to admit it, they love having a crazy woman in their lives who will love them despite their a**holes moments.

Wait a minute, I just proved a new theory: Men are crazy a**holes to want crazy women in their lives while women are just plain crazy. So you see girls…We’re definitely the better species, haha!

Disclaimer: I love my guy friends who love me despite the fact that, like the rest of the female population, I am crazy. Cheers to the nicest a**holes I know! To the rest, don’t bother with the hate mail. You’re so predictable.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Eye Tee My A**

Paperless society, information technology, cyberspace… So they say we’re moving forward. Everything is one click away. E-mails are more cost-effective than phone calls (albeit less personal). An office without a computer is like a pool without water. It just doesn’t work.

Enter Melissa’s world, Thursday, October 13, 2005. For the last three days, my office e-mail has gone missing in action. Let me backtrack here: The office uses Outlook Express but as luck would have it, mine died early this year, taking with him ALL my e-mails. I mourned but was soon introduced to Mozilla Thunderbird – yes, I use an e-mail programme that sounds like an Ultraman villain. It took me a week to get used to the whole thing (I’m SLOW so sue me) and I’ve finally come to terms that it’s not as user friendly as Outlook but it does the job. And today, the Gods of CPUtopia have cursed me again and vanquished my inbox and all its sacred contents.

Oh woe is me.

I’m annoyed, yes. But not devastated because I can still check my emails on the temperamental and unstable webmail server online. Completely user unfriendly but again, beggars can’t be choosers. So la la la I’m trying to log into Webmail and it tells me something along the lines of “I’m not available right now so piss off”. This happens for like five times in a row so I call our lone IT guy (who’s based in our parent company office, some five minutes away). Long story short, upon hearing the disappearance of my inbox and logging in problems, he says with a laugh, “What’s that got to do with me?”


Just kept ringing in my ears. Gee, I dunno, what’s a surgeon got to do with performing surgery? Or golly gee whiz, you think carnivores eat meat? I dunno, maybe the Pope’s not Catholic…HELLO.

I have no patience for incompetence, ignorance and pure idiocy at this point. So I emailed the entire office to forward emails to my yahoo account due to the village idiot’s refusal to help me out.

It’s frustrating when a lot of your work depends on the influx of emails. Important emails. Not the ‘If you don’t forward this letter in 5 days your ears will rot and fall off’ kind of emails. More like, “Your kind attention to the abovementioned is highly appreciated. Best regards, Melissa Leong, Resident Company Mascot.”

Anyway, here’s the song blaring from my speakers as I try to cleanse myself of murderous thoughts involving computer cables and someone’s neck.

“Everytime you cry, save up all your tears,
I will be your rainbow when it disappears,
Wash away the pain, till you smile again,
I will be the laughter in your eyes,
Everytime you cry.”

-John Farnham, Everytime You Cry

Sunday, October 09, 2005

What Mel Did Over The Weekend

Lazy Sunday afternoons. Don't you just love 'em? I'm alone at home, listening to Fairground Attraction on my winamp and craving for a Whopper. It's 3:10pm and I just realised i haven't had lunch. Recap on my weekend? ok, if you insist:

Still on leave but i have to drop by the office anyway. I figured i'd drop by for an hour, get my stuff done and be home before lunch. Guess again. Took longer than i expected and halfway through it was already lunchtime at the office so Haw, Charlie and I headed to CPS for food and several rounds of pool. Dex calls me up as I'm making my way back to the office and he wants company for lunch. So...Lunch round two! I had a drink while we talked about studying in the UK and the art of eating tom yam soup when wearing a white shirt (it's a skill, I tell you). Friday night, it's off to Blue Note for a bottle of Chivas and badly dressed singers - What's with the auntie-shorts and J.Lo sunglasses? By eleven, we've polished a bottle and still hankering for a buzz so we head to Shenanigans. Much better. Had some tea of the Long Island kind, worked the dance floor and a bit and decided to drop by a friend's house for an after-party. We arrived at 1am and lookie lookie, more beer! I've slowed down at this point but now I'm just hungry. Its 2am and in KK that means only one thing: Time for Foh Sang's famous prawn mee! Sated and sleepy, time to get home. Time check: 3am.

Up by 8am. Damn body clock. A nice, hot shower followed by vegetating in front of the TV. I'm halfway through The Bold and The Beautiful (it's MY holiday and I'll watch what I want...) when Haw tells me he's got a headache and he's hungry. Totally forgot about breakfast. We head to a coffee shop nearby. 1pm: Lester invites me for lunch. I accept. We eat. I'm off to KK Toys Store to buy a gift for baby Thomas' one month party on Sunday night. I bought him Elmo and Cookie Monster hand puppets. They're so adorable...I might keep them for myself, haha. At night, I'm off to Upperstar for beers and Shenanigan's for more drinks. It's Joey's birthday. He's happy, we're all happy. Yay. It's about 1am and yes, I'm hungry again. Hokkien mee sounds good. Dex sends me home. Time check: 3am

Here I am. Spent the whole day at home, bored but contented. Tonight is baby Thomas Slade's full moon party. Which reminds me, I have yet to wrap the gift. I'm really hungry though. Oh and here's the best part:

I'm still on leave tomorrow *celebrates with a little Irish jig*

Thursday, October 06, 2005

kickin' my heels off...

An interesting story behind my six-day leave from work. I'm supposed to be on a plane to Phuket with
Mia and May Leng right now but i'm not. Long story short, couldn't make it but my six-day leave till monday has been approved so I've been debating whether to proceed with it or not. Let's see: early mornings, paperwork and boring confinements of my office OR waking up whenever I want, hogging the TV control and not giving a rat's a** about the sky falling....

Tough choice.

Anyway, here I am, enjoying a brief so-called 'holiday' from work although the most exotic location you'll find me at right now is my backyard with my three dogs. I've entered my second day of 'holiday' and already I've spent a chunk of my time completing a freelance writing job - side income is always good. So much for holiday huh?

So what's in store for Mel this lovely week? Well, first things first, I plan on catching up on some serious rest. I feel like I'm getting sick again and before my body starts to break down, I'm taking it slow. Late mornings mean I wake up at 7:30am, roll around in bed till 8:30, read trashy magazines and finally take a shower. I begin my love affair with the couch and remote control and this goes on till about ten, which is when i get hungry....

Ok, you know what, before I get all Monica and start planning my 'free time', I'm gonna stop. Seriously, I need to just go with the flow the next few days. Go where the wind blows. Throw caution to the wind. Livin la vida loca. Carpe diem. You catch my drift.

On feelings.
Bad thing about free time is you now have time to think. About everything. And i mean EVERYthing. You all know about my never-ending relationship fiasco. And although most days I really am coping better, today is not one of those days. I made the mistake of watching some romantic comedy on Astro (BAD astro) and soon found the waterworks going. And I got angry with myself. Everytime I think I've picked myself up again, I find myself back on the ground. Everyone tells me it takes time. Well, I wish time would hurry up because this is taking a toll on me. I physically feel ill inside, like someone's making mashed potatoes in my chest. I've done everything that's humanly possible to distract myself, from retail therapy to getting intoxicated, just to get a feeling of temporary sanity. Has it been only two months? Feels like two years. I miss him. I miss us. And I miss things being in place. I'm fine, really I am. But I can't lie and say that I'm happy. Ever been between a rock and a hard place? I'm the Mayor there right now.

Kevin Cowherd is one my favourite columnists. Check him out
here at the Baltimore Sun. Funny guy, great writing.

"Loving someone don't make them love you."
-wise words of Jack Johnson, surfer god and songwriter extraordinaire

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Mount Kinabalu. No, I haven't climbed it. Posted by Picasa

The local media. See the monkeys i have to deal with?  Posted by Picasa

Only a true professional can muster a smile at 5:30 in the morning... L-R: me, Melina, Zee and Jun. Posted by Picasa

Yes. It's getting vewwy cold here people... Posted by Picasa

Da Man signs an autograph for moi. Posted by Picasa

Melina and me with Anna Pichtrova, Women's Champion.  Posted by Picasa

After the flag off, it's brekkie time. Cold toast anyone? Posted by Picasa

Ricardo Mejia. He da MAN. Posted by Picasa

They're off! Bet you can't beat me, nyeh nyeh... Posted by Picasa

Photo op with the mountain in the background.  Posted by Picasa

"I'd like to thank my mum, my dad..." Trophy compliments of women's Climbathon champion, Anna Pichtrova.  Posted by Picasa

Hola! Spanish friends from Buff Sky Runner World Series. L-R Albert, me, Melina and Jordi.  Posted by Picasa

The organizing team of Sri Pelancongan Sabah and Sabah Tourism Board. Till next year... Posted by Picasa