Review: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Downloaded from here

Watch it! Watch it!

This might be the first Ben Stiller film I watched and strongly recommended it. I'm not saying it because Ben Stiller is not good, he's good, but not as good as most of my favourite actors like Tom Hanks, Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio. He has a few memorable movies too, Meet the Fockers and Night at the Museum. But The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, has just topped all his other movies.

Walter Mitty is a professional day-dreamer. He zones out in between conversations, when he's walking, when he's drinking coffee, when he's... Basically every single normal activity, he just zones out. But sadly, in his real life, he's never been anywhere or done anything worthy to mention.One day, some critical situation happens at work, and Mitty decided to go full length to fix it. And all of the sudden, the daydreams stop.

Stop dreaming, start living!

I felt the hidden message of the movie is a little close to Yes Man. Start living and try new things. However, the difference between the two movies are Yes Man is extremely funny and you can't stop laughing; While for Walter Mitty, it's humorous at the same time very inspirational.

If you think this is not your type of movie, please still consider to watch it, the scenery in the movie worth everything. If you're having a down time of your life, watch it! If you need something motivation, watch it!

Still think you don't get my message?

Watch it :)


My Year 2013

The fire-alarm-alike alarm clock is ringing like nobody business this morning. As much as I hate this alarm, I am glad that I've remembered to turn them on the night before. Else, I'll probably end up taking another day leave, which, I have none left.

Just like every year.

It's officially first working day of 2014. A new year is a wonderful year, we can start off new, set up new goals and work hard. I never forget to play hard too. 

But before I start with my new goals, let's review what have I done in year 2013. I love this, always :)

  1. On January 2013, I got married to my Man in traditional Chinese ceremony. The long winding 2 days ceremony and dinners have really worn us down, and I was really glad they're all over. Our wedding trilogy came to an end in 13th January.
  2.  photo 056_zpsa16918ca.jpg
  3. We've bought the first house of our own in Singapore on January too. And man, we're glad we got it before all the new restrictions and additional charges incurred on PR. This finally ended our house hunting episodes, and furniture and appliances hunting episodes came into picture.
  4. As Malaysia government refused to announce the long awaited General Election, we finally booked a ticket to Amsterdam on March for our honeymoon. This started our jounrey of a week in Amsterdam, Bruges and Brussels. Europe was experiencing a prolonged winter and I've missed the chance to see tulips :(
  5.  photo Photo29-3-1345434pm_zps51f12a4c.jpg
  6. Watched 吕思清 Butterfly Lover Violin Concerto live with old friends from JSCO. It's really good! I've always listened to his Butterfly Lover on CD, in fact it's the only version I listen to.
  7.  photo Photo20-4-13102358pm_zps9135f323.jpg
  8. The government has finally announced a date for election, we're back to beloved Penang to vote, for the first time of my life. And heart broken on the same night, because of all the dirty tricks the government had played. It breaks our hearts, so much.
  9.  photo Photo4-5-13110640pm_zps9dad9bd0.jpg
  10. We had our first family trip of the year in East Coast Malaysia. My 2nd aunt joined us as usual, and my aunt from US came back too! This is the first time I went Kelantan and Sungai Lembing in Pahang. And it's my first time experiencing making my own batik too! I love Kelantan food so much, I ought to go again! :)
  11.  photo Photo1-6-13113619am_zpsf3aa41ac.jpg  photo Photo3-6-1375959am_zps35186b1c.png
  12. Then, we started our renovations! All the headaches started here.
  13.  photo Photo18-7-1320527pm_zpsb04d0add.jpg
  14. I managed to grab the chance to tour Mongolia, even a short trip before I turned 30. The never ending steppe and grasslands amused me. I may not have a chance to go there anymore, so this might be one of the memory to keep. I strike off one item from my bucket list ^^
  15.  photo Photo10-7-1363200pm_zps12edf2cb.jpg
  16. I did a stop over in Seoul too!
  17.  photo Photo7-7-13110826am_zps92fa35b5.jpg
  18. My best friend got married!
  19.  photo Photo27-7-13110740pm_zps9f92db5d.jpg
  20. We've finally moved in to new house in August. But we spent more than a month to really settle most of the things. Now, it's a home sweet home.
  21. We celebrated our first anniversary on 18th November. What?! It's already a year!
  22. I ran the fifth half marathon of my life.
  23. We had the first X'mas party at our own place with friends.
  24.  photo Photo25-12-13110807am_zps457ff06f.jpg
  25. Went on to our second family trip of the year to Bangkok after X'mas. It's the first time I went to sunflower farm in Lop Buri, we're so glad that we're lucky enough to catch the breath taking view of endless sunflowers which are almost 5 feet tall. It's the first time I went to Ayutthaya too! And we had 5 days, 2 meals everyday of Tom Yam. Fantastic!
  26.  photo Photo27-12-13125134pm_zpsa278bc10.jpg

I said I wasn't ready for 2014! But now, I'm all in! Buck up, and get ready for more fun to come!



Review: The Valley of Amazement

It's a bad idea to visit a bookshop at promotion period, you'll get more than what you want.

I've read quite some Amy Tan's books in the past and it seems like she has stopped writing for a while, and I've completely forgotten about her. Until I saw her new release in Kinokuniya.

First and foremost, this is an R-rated book, only for adults, really.

Violet grew up in a courtesan house, which was owned by her mother. She grew up living with the most popular courtesans in Shanghai, observing them playing the courting games with suitors. Violet grew up with knowledge that she's an American but not knowing her father was a Chinese. By learning the truth, Violet started her adventure to learn about her past. To learn the history of her family and to understand how she had developed the angers in her.

It's cleverly written in such a way, both mother and daughter, Violet and Lulu found their way to discover their past. And how they finally understood each other and forgive. The fates of two different generations inter-wined, and it's not surprising towards the end, how much the daughter was a mirror of the mother.

There are some touching moments that gets you teary. It's not enough for me to cry like a river, like when I read Jodi Picoult. When it comes to emotions, Jodi still captured them more precisely. Subtle words, but powerful expressions.

Having said that, the story is still catching enough to get me going throughout the 500++ pages. It's not as good as whatever Jodi's titles I've read, but it's not something I will put down without knowing the end.


Review: The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared

First of all, let me admit that I have habit of impulse buying when it comes to interesting book titles.

I read a guide on how to write descriptions on five senses before I read this adventurous book. It makes me more critical than ever. And as a noob, I can tell you straight this book doesn't hit "show but not tell" rule. The author tell you right in your face like I do.

But this sounds like someone familiar, ah, 卫斯理! I've read 卫斯理 since primary under my sister's influence. But before I started, I remember her commenting about his series of sci-fi, he's not good in his writing style, never even try to copy that, but imagination can go wild! That is what keeps readers coming back for more.

So that's what happened to Jonas Jonasson too, not very good in writing style, but way better than 卫斯理, even comparing two different genres. I do not know how does the original looks like, maybe it wasn't that bad. I can't discredit everything from Jonas Jonasson, it may just be the fault of the translator. I will never find this out until I learn Swedish. (I wonder if I would)

The title has said it all, this 100 year old man climbed out from his window from a Home on his 100th birthday and wind up with a series of unexpected adventures with idiotic gangsters, professional thief & con man, hotdog stand owner, angry red headed woman, lonely inspector and an elephant. The author had put intervals of the current and the past of the old man to explain the old man's exotic characters.

The humour was brilliant when the author carefully placed the old man in all the important events in the history in the past 100 years and how he made the important decision that changed our world to where we are today.

This is a book to pick up purely for entertainment, to pass time. If you were to learn English writing, please pick up the books beside this on the book shelf, chances are they're better.

However, I think this could make very interesting comedy on screen. And I can picture Tom Hanks to be the best person for it :)

(When I was googling it as I wrote, I found out it has already been made into a movie! Maybe I should look for it!)


Ah Ma's Fried Egg

There were always a pile of stools at the corner of the dining room, to cater for the 10 noisy chatter grandchildren in the house. Especially during the weekends.

The radio at the corner was playing my grandmother's favourite radio station. She's always on Chinese station listened to the old tunes while cooking in the kitchen.

My uncle came into the dining room so frequently as if he's restless waiting for the food in the making. Most of the time, just to open the fridge, checked out if there's food, then closed again. A habit he never got off until today.

My grandfather, always occupied a corner of the long dining table with a deck of cards, playing to himself. Sometimes, my cousin, his favourite grandson kept him company. They played something I never thought I would understand. Not because it's complicated, it simply seems lull to me.

I remember there's always a piece of salted fish in the upper deck of the cabinet in dining room. Had my grandmother hid that away on purpose? I've never asked. But I always tried to reach the top with help of stool and stole a few bites.

As dinner time approached, the dining and kitchen got more crowded. The aunts and my mom helped my Ah Ma out in the kitchen. While us, the chatty little ones chased and teased each other in the crowded dining room. We always ended up shouting.

We're a bunch of easily pleased grandchildren back then. A plate of fried eggs will do. But only Ah Ma's fried egg. It's the best fried egg I've ever tried in my 30 years. None of my mom or aunts managed to duplicate it. But Ah Ma said, it's simply oil, egg and salt, and fried them in wok. She never saw why was it so difficult for them.

I don't understand that either. The golden fried egg, with just so enough oil and salt to keep it fragrant and delicious. 

Simple dish is always the most difficult to cook.

So many years have passed, and we're all grown up, we still talked about the fried egg.

My grandmother is old now, she no longer can make us the fried egg. But I think, that plate of fried egg is always the best collective memory we have all had.

Reimagining the layout of the house, the kitchen, the dining room, and the plate of fried eggs for each of us, had made me feel blessed for a wonderful childhood.

A childhood that filled with a plate of fried eggs :)


An Average Person

From source
A friend had recently posted this on Facebook. Many responded on the post because it was a true reflection on the life of 95% of the populations (or maybe more?!). But did we do anything about it? Most of us don't. Sadly.

My company tirelessly conducts a survey every year, to understand the satisfactory level of employees to the company. The questions every year were mostly repeated. And one of them, always made me puzzle on is "Does working in XXX help you to achieve your career goal?"

I remember in a forum few years ago, one respectful manager had given some talk on this particular question. He's one of the better ones in our department, I respect him but he left the company, again, sadly.

He said he discussed this question with his engineers every year during the performance review meeting. Nobody had really given him a good answer because most of them have no goals in mind. If one has no goals, no matter what company you work in, it will not help you. Because to do that, you have to have at least a goal to start with.

This forum had struck me. The speech he gave was powerful enough to stay with me for a few years. I was new back then, and I am glad I heard it when I was still new. I said to myself, I must have a goal.

Over the years my goals changed a few times. But never mind that, as the life changed course, we steer towards the change. Nothing went to waste because I believe everything happened for a reason. And be always prepared to receive the luck because you never know when it will happen!

This comic comes in a right time when I needed the most. I'm currently working towards my new goal (which was left around for some time). I am a lazy person, so it serves me well as a good reminder.

How about you?




我习惯孤单上路。有时候,这是一种选择。可是路程的尽头,我知道,总有人在等我 :)





6 years

Simply want to write something down, it's the 6th year of my working life, in the same company. It's weird because my company had just held a celebration, company wide for those who have hit milestone 5 years and above. I was in part of it. But one week later, it's my 6th.

I'm not going to say it's been a journey with ups and downs anymore, since nobody's journey is without. My 5th going to 6th has taken its toll on me. There was one particular issue that has taken and eaten into me, quite badly compared to whatever I've faced before. I ended up emotionally disturbed, easily got mad and fell sick too. My neighbor was the victim.

Of course after that I told myself to let go. I think I did pretty well, at least I thought.

It's my 6th year today, and I decided to change the habit a little. I hit the gym during lunch hour. Everybody asked me why? I have almost never missed lunch for the past 6 years, because I'm always hungry.

Well, I have tonnes of reasons... I have fats to shed off, It's my 6th year anniversary I can chose to do whatever I want to, I feel like having a change, I am not very hungry... But one reason that I didn't mention publicly was, I want to be alone.

Simply, alone.

It felt pretty good after that. And I'm actually considering changing my habits into lunch time exercise. It's refreshing after the afternoon shower. With that I can have more time for myself in the evening.

Not a bad idea! *wink*

People said you should not settle for good. Great is not good enough, go for the best. It's tough. I would say my work place is not the best. But really, I really love the people I work with. We fight along issues together, we laugh, we share personal problems, we talk crap etc. We're one big family that spend 8 hours together everyday. We're not always happy of course, but we fight, then we forgive. We cried (well... I cried), then we forget.

My boss is not a perfect boss too. But she's so understanding sometimes it caught me by surprise! I can tell her honestly how I feel about my job without worrying that she'll penalize me. Obviously we had disagreements too, but she tolerated my temper. That makes me learn how to control mine, so that I won't hurt her. It's not fair I keep giving out my temper.

My lab, laughed at how silly I was when I joined. Now, I've changed over the years. But still, we laugh together everyday.

There's so much to think every time I hit the anniversary. 11th June.

So much to think.


What Can We Do?

I've given a lot of thoughts ever since "the day will be long remembered". I think I have to make some note here because I need a reminder to myself.

Before the election, a lot of us were saying if we can achieve the true democracy, a two party system, we can plan to go home for good. We, as in some Malaysians who currently reside in Singapore.

We are a group of fortunate people who enjoy the best of both worlds. I do not and will not deny this fact. We work in Singapore, earning the stronger currency. At the same time we are not very far from home, with the grown of budget airlines, we get to go home more often than the Malaysians in other countries.

But come to think of it. How selfish are we? We are only planning to go home when things are better? And what are we doing to make it better? Click some 'like' and 'share' in Facebook? Are these actions sufficient to justify the fact that we simply move back to enjoy the fruits from the trees which were not even planted by us?

Every single action, no matter how small it is, plays a part in contributing in a larger outcome. For example, first you have to start with register as a voter. Then, make an effort to cast your vote. If every eligible citizen plays the role, we are one step closer to democracy.

The reason why we never achieved a true democracy, is the people. People who do not think that it matters whoever is the government. People who do not think that one vote in their hand will affect anything. People who do not believe that change can happen as long as we put effort in it. People who do not care, but continue to complain. And mind you, these people can be anybody. From old aunties uncles to executives in big companies. Senses and awareness are not proportionate to your education level. Never.

However, things have really changed. Myself as an example. My political awareness had slowly increased since 308. And exponentially increased when the parliament wasn't dismissed in 2013 until April. I believe there are many whom are like me. Thanks to the social media and independent media.

But we had fallen into some of our own delusions that democracy can be created overnight. Hence, after the defeat, we mourned, we grieved, we felt despair. We were blurred by the things being shared in social media and confused between truth and rumours.

But come to think about it, whose fault is it, of the defeat? Us. Because we took too long to come to the realization that we can change. Because we were so blind by our own delusion, we have forgotten about precautions to take against the tricks. Because we were so confident, we forgot there were still groups of people that have different level of awareness from us.

Maybe it's purposely planned this way, by The Authority Up There. So that we have time to reflect ourselves. If The Authority thinks that we're mature enough after 21days, The Authority may give the fairness back to us. If we're not, if we're still stupid, The Authority may give us another 5 years.

So no matter it's a 21 days or 5 years of wait, the Rakyat have to work together to boost the awareness level, nation wide. If you do not know how to spread to others, at least read more and analyze more on your own. Self awareness and self help is a great help too.

I apologize that my awareness came really late, I'm almost 30 years old this year. That to me, is really late. I have to call myself stupid. But it's better late than never.

Let's work hard together, for democracy!


Of My Skin Colour

I do not know about you, but I have had several occasions where I had to explain to the foreigners about myself. Because, there are always some confusions.

Foreigner:"Hi, where are you from?"
Me:"Hi, I'm Malaysian."
Foreigner:"I thought you're Chinese."
Me:"I'm a Malaysian Chinese."
Foreigner:"..." (blank face)
Me:"Malaysia is a multiracial country. We have Malays, Chinese, Indians, Iban, Kadazan, and many other ethnics. But we are all Malaysians, we can all speak Malay and English. And on top of that, we speak our mother tongue."
Foreigner:"Whoa! That are a lot of languages to learn!"

That's a typical conversation when I encounter foreigners who know little about Malaysia. 

I was born in Malaysia, I grew up in Malaysia, I was educated in Malaysia. I am a Malaysian. 

I do not introduce myself as Chinese when I meet foreigner, because I'm not from China.

So, please allow me to introduce myself again.

Hi, I'm a Malaysian. 
Aku anak Malaysia.