Thursday, March 30, 2006

Nothing R-rated Here..So Move Along..

I found out that someone googled “Sexy Puchong Girls” and was directed to my blog.

I am horrified!!

What vile creatures have roamed my blog and defiled my sacred place? What unholy thoughts went through their mind when they saw pictures of my precious girls?

Urgh…I need to go home and take a bath. A scrub bath.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

M! The Opera...The Review

The play was. how should I say this…different. There were some good bits and some not so good bits, but I’ll get into that in a while.

Tickets for M! is sold out, so for those who wanted to wait for a review and then decide whether to go see it, you’re too late. They had an extra show yesterday but I heard a lot of the tickets were snapped up by the corporate companies. But never fear, unlike Puteri Gunung Ledang (which I’m still kind of galat for missing it), M! isn’t what you would call A Must See Production.

The storyline goes like this; M! and Sepi are childhood friends. M! mom is a kampong tailor, famous for being able to create designs that..emm, enhances the female form. Whatever. For some reason, M!’s mom gets pregnant (there’s no mention whatsoever of the father though), and dies when giving birth to M!’s brother. The weird thing is M!’s brother is born with a needle in his hand. He’s considered to be a cursed child and is taken away by the village people. The needle is given to M!, who gives it to Sepi for safekeeping.
Fast forward 20 years or so and M! is now a famous designer. He’s the talk of the town and his bigheadedness causes him to forget about Sepi, his muse. Sepi is angry with M! and in her rage, gives away the needle to Kerabat, M!’s rival. However M! and Sepi make up and decide to get married. Kerabat, who I think is in love with Sepi, decides to take revenge by using the needle to create a poisonous dress for Sepi and M!. In the end, only M! wears the clothes given by Kerabat and dies. Turns out Kerabat is M!’s brother. Kerabat regrets his actions and Sepi is left wailing into the night in her wedding gown.

What I Liked About M!
The costumes.
The theme of the show was about fashion, so you would expect the costumes would be extravaganza. And they were. I especially loved Sepi’s wedding gown. It was white, with sparkling diamonds on the bodice and back. Sepi is a beautiful girl to begin with, and in the gown, she just shined. I also loved the costumes that were parade during Kerabat’s fashion show. I think Tom Abang Saufi created those. Divine!!

The singing. Doreen Tang as Sepi was really good. Her soprano voice was just perfect for the role. Kerabat, played by George Chan, was also impeccable. He stole every scene he was in. Unfortunately, the main role M!, played by Khir Rahman, didn’t impress me all that much. His singing was under par, compared to the rest of the cast. I think because his background was more of a rock star (Khir was part of the rock group, Iklim), whenever he sang it felt more like being at a rock concert instead of a theatre. Other impressive singers were Maizurah Hamzah, who played M!’s mom, Azean Irdawaty, who played Cik Tom and Peter Ong, who played Solomon. I also have to play tribute to the child actress, Elyssa Murni Johari, who played Sepi as a child. This girl is only 12 years old but has the confidence of an adult. Word is, she’s cutting an album soon so we’ll be hearing lots more from her.

The overall energy from the cast. You could sense that they were all really into the play and everyone was proud to be part of it. The dancers were great, plus all the background singers were also energetic. 4 months of intensive training and you would think they would have been bored to death of the play.

What I Didn’t Like About M!
The sets. They were too simple and the crew recycled most of them again and again. The props also were very simple and could have been greatly improved. When you think about how many sponsors this production managed to secure, you have to wonder where all that money went to. Disappointing.

The songs. They were horrible. Sorry, there’s just no two ways around it. The songs, how can I explain this, were random, had no rhythm, unmemorable. There were times were I thought the singers just randomly sang their notes, going high or low whenever they wanted to.

Some inappropriate scenes. I went to see the show with my mom and brother, and there were some scenes that made me a little uncomfortable. I guess the director was trying to be too liberal but in an Eastern culture, some scenes could have been toned down. Did M! cup Sepi’s breast when he took the needle from her necklace? Did Kerabat kiss her neck when they sang their duet together? A lot of flesh was flashed about and plenty of cleavage too. I never knew the makcik-makciks at the kampong wore such sexy outfits.

Overall, I think M! was an ambitious project to undertake. I applaud the effort but I also think there were several parts that could have been greatly improved. There were some funny bits (when Sepi said yes to M!’s marriage proposal and when Kerabat called Sepi, si Sunyi Sepi) but the storyline was jerky and the dialogue was too poetic and flowery. It made it even more difficult for people to understand what was going on. The subtitles didn’t help as they only translated what was easy to translate. It would have helped immersive if they had a narrator of some kind to explain the storyline.

In conclusion, when comparing M! to other productions I’ve seen like Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon and Cats, I’ll have to say Malaysian theatre still has a long way to go before they’re up to par. However my mom enjoyed herself, and to me that's what made it all worth while.

Monday, March 27, 2006

What Happened During the Weekend

The House is finally complete. No more major renovation, except for the built-in closets. Saturday was spent cleaning the entire house and garden. Well, I didn’t participate as I was the official babysitter but everyone else did. Even Dania. Pictures coming soon.

Sunday, I took my mom to see M! The Opera at Istana Budaya. Review coming soon.

Sorry I can’t update more but I’ve just come out from two concurrent meetings and I’m high on caffeine and kuih cokodok. Bananas make me bananas.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Because She is Her Mother's Daughter

One the things my mother always used to lecture me about was my stubborn streak. I was so stubborn as a child; even a mule would respect me. There were so many times that I would go on hunger strikes, just to show my stubbornness. I guess it’s true when my mom said to me, “Just you wait until you have kids of your own, then you’ll know what it feels like.”

Dania isn’t what I would call a stubborn child. I mean, she has her moments but she’s very easily bought over with soft-spoken words and signs of encouragements. Dina, on the other hand, is a totally different case. If she gets it in her head NOT to do something, no amount of sweet talk will get her to do it.

For instance like last night. As usual, hubby would bring the kids up to sleep around 9pm and sometimes he would fall asleep also. So most of the time, I’m downstairs watching TV by myself, until 11 or 12pm. I would normally take my bath right before I go to sleep coz it helps me sleep better. I can hear my mom tsking me for doing this (taking late night showers).

So last night, I must have made more noise than usual during my bath coz Dina woke up. I lay down beside her and tried to get her to go back to sleep. After several attempts, I just gave up and closed my eyes, pretending to be asleep. Usually Dina would fallow suit, seeing how there’s nobody for her to play and talk with but last night she felt awake enough to give herself a tour of the bedroom and proceeded playing with my handbag and all its contents.

I gave her 10 minutes before I whispered loudly, “Dina, come back to sleep.” I must have spooked her somewhat coz she scrambled back to her mattress and plopped herself face down into her pillow, hitting her sister in the face with her head. She gave a little groan then proceeded to stay in that position. I watched her for a couple of minutes then tried to move her into a more comfortable position. Everytime I did, she went back into the same position; face down into her pillow with half her body on top of her sister. This went on for quite a while, until I finally gave up and whispered to her, “Fine, sleep like that, you stubborn little girl.”

Of course, once I had crawled up into bed, Dina changed position into the more comfortable one I had tried to put her in earlier. As I watched her settle down and fall asleep, I heard my mom’s voice, “Just you wait!”

Monday, March 20, 2006

A Post Long Due..

Yes, yes, I’m guilty for not updating my blog for so long. I apologize for the long silence; it’s just that work has been crazy the past few weeks. The suckers even have me on call on weekends!! It hasn’t slowed down but then work will always be there. Anyway, this post I dedicate to Syikin who pestered me to update my blog anyhow. Hehe..

So much has happened since I last updated. My parents’ new house in Shah Alam is finally done and now my mom has gone into crazy packing mode. I’m afraid of going to her house, in case I’ll be sucked into vortex of boxes and bubble wrap. I dropped off some boxes at her house at a time when I specifically knew she wouldn’t be in. Bad daughter!! I really should go help her pack but then what use are my three brothers, then?!! Huh? Bros…pack your crap and then help ibu pack hers!!!

I’m excited to see the finished house. Since I only get to see it on weekends, everytime I go something new has been added. On weekdays, my mom calls me to give updates. Everyday, its one dilemma after another. First there was problem with the lighting and then the ceiling caved in after a heavy rainfall. Then everybody wanted different colors for their own bedroom. More contractor problems then the alarms didn’t work. The renovation project was supposed to be done end of 2005, which of course didn’t happen. The end date was pushed to end of January 2006, which was again pushed to before Chinese New Year. Then after a BIG row between my mom and the contractor, things finally picked up this last week. Now what’s left is to clean up and move all the stuff from the old house to the new house. Considering how much crap, err stuff, my mom has, I anticipate that may take another month or so.

What else has happened? Oya, we got some new people joining the department. One of them used to be a newscaster from NTV7. All these changes have me thinking about our new department structure and what it may mean for me workwise. There’s still no news on any upgrading exercises, which sucks coz I’m supposed to be up for one this year. I’m gonna lay low until we’ve finalize on the new structure and direction for the department then think hard about my next move. If things look ok, then I might just stay in my comfort zone. I’ve come this far, I can survive another 4 years. If things suck to high heavens, then I guess I either change departments or start looking for another job.

Well, everyone knows about the hike in oil prices. For me it means my dream of owning an MPV is getting further and further into the distance. It also means we, as a family, really have to start changing our lifestyle. I can’t do much when it comes to food; I can’t bear not going without chocolate for more than a week and the kids absolutely have to drink Vitagen once a day. So cutting down on food is not an option. However, we have started cutting down on other stuff. Like shower foam. Use soap. It’s cheaper and they last longer. Same goes for shampoo. Do I really need a separate shampoo and conditioner? I’ve started using Rejoice again, it’s cheaper and it works. We’ve started using store branded items instead of the regular branded ones. Hey, all those cents add up, right?

Oo, Lost is on. I’ll write more later.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Because I Don't Rave About Them Enough..

Just grabbing a few minutes here to post an entry before I go for one of my many meetings of the day.

Mohammad Naqib. That’s my baby nephew. Sorry, no pictures yet, but I’ll describe him for you. Tiny, gangly like the father, with thin, blond hair. You read right, his hair is blond!! Or rather auburn. Light brown. Whatever, it’s not black. MIL said it’s normal for some babies to have brown hair at first then it falls out and the black, permanent hair grow in.
He’s tiny, weighing in at 2.2kg when he was born. Kind of surprising coz SIL was healthy when pregnant, not a bout of morning sickness. Hubby kept looking at Naqib asking “where’s the meat on this kid?”, both of his daughters came out round and chubby. Hahaha. But he’s healthy and has a fine set of lungs on him. Alhamdulillah.

I haven’t updates much on my girls lately. Dina has started talking in German so instead of just Bababababa, she has now added Googibiloba, ugabanana and sheeebinono to her vocabulary. She now knows when to nod to mean yes and when to shake her head and scream to mean NO! She’s learned to put her milk bottle on the table when she’s done and to take her shoes from the shoe rack when she wants to go outside. She can push herself forward on her bike, instead of just backwards. She likes sitting in my lap to read her books to me, with arms and intonation going up and down as she narrates the story. She adores her big sister, even when they’re fighting over the same toy.

Dania has grown so much, it’s alarming. I can’t believe she’s going to be four in 2 months time. She loves drawing, coloring and reading. She loves playing her computer games and has gotten into the habit of drawing up a second chair to the computer table so that Dina can join in too. I don’t know when it started but every night now before she goes to bed, she would give me a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. Goodnight Ibu, Assalamualaikum. Bless that child, for every gray hair she gives me with her antics, she makes up for it with her love and cuteness.