Sunday, 23 November 2014

Week 47, 2014

Year end school holidays have started. So has the nationwide, year end sale. Coincidence?

  • So funny to hear my mother tell her story of fending off other people over a half priced cooking pan she was holding on to at the Tefal warehouse sale. 
  • My desktop version of Evernote is intermittently syncing. Online version, and on devices, no problem. Yes, I looked at the troubleshoot articles online, and still zilch. I even uninstalled and reinstalled. Still nothing. Even contacted Evernote's support. 
  • Checked out Popular's RM5 Fiesta at Viva Home (which I'm guessing is to compete with the Big Bad Wolf Books sale, which is coming up in a couple of weeks). Couldn't believe the books being sold for RM5 each. Bought a few books. 
  • They finally have macaroons in local McCafes: RM 3.50 for one, or RM21.15 (after tax) for a box of six. A bit stupid when there's only five flavours available. And if it's true that they're shipped from France, we're probably getting the rejects. 

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Week 46, 2014

Methinks the monsoon season is well underway.

  • Finally on the new anti-Facebook, Ello
  • Saw the new Keanu Reeves movie, John Wick.
  • A lot of Cranberries jokes when news about Dolores's arrest broke. 
  • Both Franklin & Bash and Perception are not getting renewed. Well, I saw the former coming, and I'm also okay with the other. 
  • This has got to be the douchiest coffee kit I've ever heard of.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Stuff I Thought While Watching John Wick (Non-review)

(This may be spoiler-y to some people. You've been warned)

It's been several months since I last went to a movie (just checked: it was Ninja Turtles back in August). 

Dragged a friend to TGV's Thursday BOGO promo to watch the new Keanu Reeves movie, John Wick. Had a good laugh as the movie was starting when a family with kids was seated in our row who thought they were in for a different movie until the people who's seats they were in (for this screening, anyway) finally came in and the family sheepishly got out just as Keanu Reeves was passed out in the flash foward. 
  • He can't possibly have told his wife what he actually did for a living. I wonder what the cover story was. 
  • What kind of delivery company work so late at night one? 
  • So the wife remembered to send a puppy to him posthumously, but not some kibble on top of that so he doesn't feed it milk and cereal the next morning?
  • Okay, the puppy was cute while it lasted. 
  • Keanu's driving in this movie doesn't help the American stereotype of "Asians-can't-drive"...
  • Keanu Reeves (sorta, kinda) looked like Tom Hardy in some lighting and angles...? 
  • At least him getting injured and the medical attention is still more realistic than Bruce Willis in most of his movies, if you know what I mean.
  • Yep, Alfie Allen (Lily Allen's brother, who's the subject of her song Alfie). The resemblance is there. 
  • So Willem Dafoe is Not-Dafoe.. in this movie anyway.
  • The body count is pretty high in this movie and the blood splatter looks real-ish. 
  • A hotel for assassins? Makes sense to me, especially the on-call doctor. But getting a new car as compensation after being attacked in his own room is a pretty cool perk. I suppose when you're transacting in gold coin, you have money to buy people new cars. 
  • I have no idea what movie was playing the room the aforementioned sesat family thought they were watching; my friend guessed that it was perhaps Northmen: A Viking Saga
  • The entire movie is basically him avenging the death of his puppy (who's a stand in for his late wife, who died of cancer) by killing off most of the Russian mob. 
  • So he and the new dog walk-hobbled their way back to Jersey? 
For the love of Pete, I hope this is a one-off. For RM5, it was just alright, but no way I would've paid more for this. 

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Week 45, 2014

Been having some version of the flu this week (so much so that I was actually prescribed antibiotics), so there's been much coughing and tissues made into snot-filled wontons. 
  • Saw the local production of Brian Friel's The Faith Healer at klpac on Friday night. 
  • Had my first chocolate soufflĂ© in a long while at Franco by Miam Miam in the second home.  
  • Monki opening another outlet in second home. Erm, yay?
  • Holiday drinks season have started! Enjoying the heck out of Coffee Bean's Dark Chocolate Peppermint drinks.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Brian Friel's The Faith Healer

I can't believe it's already November and only my first Pentas 2 play of the year. Okay, I'm just picky about what I pay to go see these days. But this I can't pass up, as it has been at least a decade since I last saw Zahim Albakri perform on stage...

Cutting it really close this time in the Friday evening rain, I got there literally minutes before they were actually about to start (as in, close the doors start), and before my friend who bought the tickets came running in not long after. 

From the klpac website... 
Starring Zahim Albakri, Ida Nerina and Na’a Murad.
Faith Healer is a play told in four parts by three individuals; the eponymous hero whose name is Frank Hardy, Gracie who is Frank Hardy’s wife, Frank Hardy’s manager Teddy and finally by Frank Hardy once again. Each of them in their own way describes their successes and failures of their lives in a highly dramatic, comic and at times in terrifying details as they bring forth the Faith Healing performances to small villages halls in remote parts of the UK.
There are stories of miracle cures, stillborn babies and the most intense part of the play would be the return to Frank’s home in a faraway Irish town as well as his possible death at the hands of a bunch of violent villagers and their wheelchair-bound friend. Ultimately, we may see that faith is so misdirected it results in both subtly and wildly differing recollections of the characters’ accounts of their life events which at times led them to downright lying.
The only constant props on stage were chairs and also a banner the size of a queen-sized bedsheet (from where I was sitting, anyway) that said "THE FANTASTIC/FRANCIS HARDY/FAITH HEALER/ONE NIGHT ONLY". 

There are a lot of hijab-ed students in attendance. I did wonder where they came from and why (extra credit?).

Here's an etiquette question I want to ask the theatre goers: Is it common practice to clap after every monologue? I'm more the "applause at the end" kind of person. And this has been bugging me for years. Also the little noises you can't exactly ignore as another audience member who's trying to get what is being said, let alone if you're on stage performing a monologue at least half an hour long. 

Everyone that's still inside was told to clear the room during intermission, which made sense because Teddy (Na'a Murad) was already in his comfy chair with drinks, about to start his monologue. 

Miscellaneous observations: 
  • RM63 for a play in Pentas 2 seems a tad excessive, but that's just me.
  • Was Frank's suit intentionally ill-fitting?
  • What I thought was thunder at first turned out to be the drum performance concurrently happening upstairs at Pentas 1. And the drums added a nice touch to the last monologue. 
  • Have to like that they didn't localise the details, or it would've also bugged me as much as the weird little noises from the audience. 
  • I wonder what are they actually drinking on stage..?
  • Used the applause to cough to my lungs' content. 
Even though (at least) half the audience was under the weather and on their meds (if the coughing and sneezing were anything to go by), it was captivating enough. If I have to guess (SPOILER ALERT)... I say that Frank did die in the end, followed by Grace's OD-ing. 

Really limited run: You have tonight and tomorrow's matinee performance to catch. 

Friday, 7 November 2014

Boat Noodle, The School by Jaya One

Was in the area and finally got around to trying out Boat Noodle at The School by Jaya One. Mostly because I was there a little before lunch rush (I was getting another errand in) on a working Monday. Ordered a bowl of all the variants they got on the menu (both beef and chicken with both types of broth; RM1.90 each), with the Thai iced coffee to wash it all down. 

I liked one more over the other (the one that didn't have the pronounced cinnamon flavour), and the iced coffee was just okay but definitely cost more than my four bowls of noodles at RM6.90. One person I know complained about the portions, but the way I see it, it's great if you feel like having a light meal? For me - one bowl = two mouthfuls. Even without adding anymore condiment, the noodles was spicy and salty enough for me. 

This also means that I am in no hurry to come back here (or any of the other outlets in the Valley) any time soon. 

P2, The School by Jaya One

Monday, 3 November 2014

Pulai Springs Resort, Johor Bahru

Drove down to JB Friday afternoon for the sibling's convocation at the nearby university the next morning. It was either this or some other cheap, less classy looking hotel that's further located from campus that the old bean would complain about. Left KL in the afternoon, and only got there around 5 something, which left for little pool time for me as downstairs pool closes at 7 p.m.. Didn't manage any jacuzzi time, either :P 

Location: Close enough to the campus, but that's about it. Huge property because it's a golf resort. Drove past Cinta Ayu the first time because you can't see the name where you would think it's at. Admittedly, we didn't have a lot of time to check out the entire resort property, but it does look nice and impressive..
You would think that the name would be on the right wall, but it wasn't :P
Room: 2-bedroom suite on the third floor of Cinta Ayu All Suites - one king and twin beds. (Practically) walk in cupboards for both bedrooms, which both had safes, but hadn't used it. There's a living area and kitchenette. All in all, quite clean and the amenities were replenished. The 'rents didn't have any problems with the master bedroom or bathroom... that I was aware of. Also pretty quiet because it faced the golf course and not to the pool, but it makes walking to the pool downstairs and the elevators that much farther.

The other room...oh, let me count the ways:
  1. We got locked out of the wardrobe later that night and it took maintenance at least half an hour (and several calls to front desk later) to come and unlock it from the outside with (merely) a screwdriver. If only we had brought one along to save us from the grief.
  2. The shower in the other bathroom kept falling off. Asked the (same) maintenance guy to tighten it with his (magic) screwdriver while he was looking into the cupboard too. 
  3. We got the rattiest ass towels in the other bathroom that the sibling had to ask if it was the body towel or the bathroom mat... 
Ratty towel
Ratty towel
Pool: The second floor pool downstairs had the pseudo-infinity pool look to it. The kids' wading pool was cold as heck, but the other one was pretty warm for an outdoor pool and sufficient for lap swimming if you're so inclined. I managed to use the downstairs pool a grand total of TWO TIMES - once before dinner, and early (for me) the next morning. Both times I went down and I couldn't get a freaking poolside towel: I knew the attendant was BS-ing me about the lack of fresh towels because I could see a basket of what looked like freshly laundered pool towels that she's not giving me. The next morning, I was just being ignored altogether by the same person. Managed some alone time the second time before the families with young children invaded the serenity, and called it quits about 15 minutes after they showed up.

Food: Because we were there Halloween night, the hotel had a Halloween-themed buffet dinner at Gleneagles Terrace. Some of the savoury dishes were pretty good, but the dessert selection was a bit crap, what with the dry cakes and tasteless pastry fingers..

Pies: Crap
I know it's just loh shu fun, but daren't try it.
According to Mum, the chocolate cake in the middle was dry.
It would fit right in on the show, Bones
Breakfast: Because everyone else had to leave before 7 a.m., the provided breakfast vouchers at Cinta Terrace pretty much had to be forfeited. You would think that they would start breakfast a little earlier because it was convocation weekend, but nope, didn't happen. So I was the only one to cash in their breakfast voucher. There was an omelette station and a roti canai station outside on the terrace, and there was quite a mixture of cuisines available for breakfast - nasi minyak and the trimmings, a porridge station, pastries, a salad bar (?), cereal, and some other breakfast dishes I had never encountered before.

I don't know if we didn't get the day's newspaper because I had made the booking through Agoda, or because we checked out so early (around 10 something, before taking the hotel shuttle to JPO).

If nothing else, the hotel does provide a free shuttle service to JPO and Legoland, which you would have to inform them beforehand, because you would need basically drive yourself to the resort anyway, you could just drive yourself to JPO if you want. But I didn't have the car and have no idea how long the ceremony would be, so I might as well just go to JPO first and have them meet me there/pick me up later. Was told that the shuttle would leave at 10.30 a.m., which worked out for me because I had time to wait downstairs after checking out. Even then there was a misunderstanding because they had sent a bigger vehicle because the receptionist thought that the entire room of four wanted a ride to JPO and not lil ol' me :P Anyway, he did ask what room I was in to verify and we were on our way.

Great for families and the place is pretty, but the service is quite frankly, a bit crap. No wonder both Tripadvisor and Agoda had such mixed reviews.