My sister saw this excellent hair deal on Groupon and alerted me right away! Good timing. Can get my hair done nicely for Christmas. ^_^\/
Are you happy?
A simple question. But, what's your reaction?
For me, I can answer with conviction: "Yes, I am happy."
A few days ago, a friend said something like this to me: "I envy you. You're such a happy woman. You're easily impressed with small gestures."
To be honest, I'm quite surprised by her remarks. It never occurs to me that I'm "shining" with radiance and happiness. This must be a good thing then.
Well, if you remember, Bob Hope said, "When we recall the past, we usually find that it is the simplest things - not the great occasions - that in retrospect give off the greatest glow of happiness."
I believe my source of happiness is love. Love does wonders. It brings smile to my face, makes me laugh, boosts my confidence. Indeed, the simplest things - the way he smiles, the way he holds my hands, the way he says certain words - they spell nothing else, but happiness.
Love makes the world a better place because I know he'll always be there for me and I'll always be there for him too. In essence, love makes us better and happier persons. Quoting Victor Hugo, "The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather in spite of ourselves."
Also, quoting Karen Salmansohn from her best-selling book, How To Be Happy, Dammit, "Happiness is not about what happens to you - but how you respond/interpret what happens - that's why it's called happiness and not happen-ness - though it could be called hope-ness because you must always leave room for hope that all happens for good cause."
It's true that sometimes we're happy due to some happy happenings. But, I'm getting more and more accustomed to being happy with happy and positive thoughts. I'm learning to take things easy and avoid being high-strung and demanding. In fact, Nathaniel Hawthorne said, "Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you."
To the friend, you can be happy too. Everyone has their capacity of happiness. The difference is, how much do you allow yourself to be happy? Think about it.Finally, quoting Jim Rohn, "Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present."
May this year ends with much happiness and the new year starts with even more happiness!
Texas Killing Fields (2011) is a crime movie inspired by true events about the murder of women in Texas.
Synopsis from IMDb: Det. Mike Souder (Sam Worthington) is a local Texan police officer who believes extensively in only working on cases in his own town's jurisdiction, while his partner Det. Brian Heigh (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is a former New York City police officer who can't but help others in their time of need, whether it's a young girl named Anne (Chloe Grace Moretz) who resides with an abusive family, or Det. Souder's former wife Det. Pam Stall (Jessica Chastain), who polices a nearby community in which a Texan oil field known as the killing fields is situated.
When Pam requests the help of Heigh in the recent disappearance and murder of women within the confines of the killing fields, he reluctantly obliges, despite the objections of his partner due to their own case against two low-life pimps who are systematically kidnapping and forcing teenage girls into a life of prostitution. What follows, is two differing journeys as both men attempt to bring the guilty to justice through their own, loose methods.
I have a hard time trying to understand this movie. Two police officers, some dead girls, a troubled young girl, a dog, some bad guys, a dysfunctional family. These elements seem to be related but their plots are somehow detached and incoherent. The focus seems to be how to solve the murders, but ends up with saving a troubled girl from a dysfunctional family.
The director also creates some diversion along the storyline to distract us from guessing who are the real murderers by showing some other bad guys in action. So, everything just get more and more confusing. It doesn't help when the characters are speaking in strong Texan accent that I don't really favor.
So, hmmm. Big names in a movie don't necessarily guarantee that the movie is good. Or maybe Sam Worthington is too good in Terminator Salvation and Avatar; and Chloe Grace Moretz is too good in Kick Ass.
Their latest giveaway is an Art Necklace for one lucky winner. Simply share this post on FB with your friends and Zikkos will randomly pick a winner. Good luck!
Giddily delighted and awfully surprised, I christened this project "Our Lantern Corps T-shirts".
According to the Emotional Electromagnetic Spectrum, orange represents the emotion of avarice and blue represents the emotion of hope.
Let's take a look at the oaths:
"In fearful day, in raging night, with strong hearts full, our souls ignite! When all seems lost in the War of Light, look to the stars, for hope burns bright!"
Blue Lantern Corps oath
The Orange Lantern Corps doesn't have an oath at the moment.
According to the spectrum, red represents the emotion of rage and violet represents the emotion of love.
Let's take a look at the oaths:
"With blood and rage of crimson red, ripped from a corpse so freshly dead, together with our hellish hate, we'll burn you all, that is your Fate!"
Red Lantern Corps oath
"For Hearts Long Lost. And Full of Fright. For Those Alone In Blackest Night. Accept Our Ring and Join Our Fight -- Love Conquers All -- With Violet Light!"
Star Sapphire Corps oath
David hung the T-shirts on hangers of a different type from the usual hangers. He did so because he knew I'm very anal about using the same hangers for all his T-shirts. Therefore, he's very confident that I'll be "attracted" to the different hangers and so, he purposely hung them on those hangers. Awww...
Thanks my sweetheart for such a sweet and thoughtful surprise!
Some of the top names in fiction today bring us irresistible stories of love, betrayal and friendship in The Book Lovers' Appreciation Society - supporting Breast Cancer Care in association with woman&home.
Some of the authors include Cecelia Ahern, Maeve Binchy, Sophie Kinsella, Kate Mosse, Alexander McCall Smith, Elizabeth Noble, Geri Halliwell, etc.
My favorite quotes of the day that I post on my Facebook today:
People come, people go – they'll drift in and out of your life, almost like characters in a favorite book. When you finally close the cover, the characters have told their story and you start up again with another book, complete with new characters and adventures. Then you find yourself focusing on the new ones, not the ones from the past.
Nicholas Sparks, The Rescue
Happiness is not about what happens to you - but how you respond/interpret what happens - that's why it's called happiness and not happen-ness - though it could be called hope-ness because you must always leave room for hope that all happens for good cause.
Karen Salmansohn in her best-selling book, How To Be Happy, Dammit
Original photo from here.
I watched Bride Wars (2009) last night. In the movie, Liz is wearing a Vera Wang wedding gown. Quoting the article: The gown is strapless with a sweetheart neckline. The bodice is covered with a white lace, and the gown is a customized version of one from Vera Wang's 2009 bridal collection. The real focal point of the gown is the enormous tulle skirt which falls from a basque waistline. In addition, the gown has a lavender ribbon tied into a bow at the natural waist, with long tails falling over the skirt.
Emma's gown is a beautiful ivory off-the-shoulder style with an asymmetrically draped neckline. The gown is fitted to the knees and then flares out into a fuller skirt. Emma's gown is from Vera Wang's 2005 bridal collection.
For me, I'll start hunting for my wedding gown next year, probably in March. Oh yeah, just like Bride Wars, my wedding is in June too. ;)
Bride Wars (2009) is a romantic comedy starring Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway.
Synopsis: Liv Lerner (Kate Hudson) and Emma Allan (Anne Hathaway) are best friends since childhood. They plan to get married in June at the Plaza after witnessing their first wedding during their childhood.
Twenty years later, both of them are engaged and they plan their weddings with New York's most reputable wedding planner, Marion St. Claire (Candice Bergen). Due to some clerical error, their weddings are set on the same day! Both women refuse to compromise and thus begins a rivalry whereby they plot to sabotage the other party's wedding planning.
If you like to read romantic comedy novels or they call them chick lit, then you will like this wedding flick - pretty girls, wedding planning, future brides, fiances, engagement, the bridezilla syndrome, wedding dresses, sappy lines, a tear or two, and the list goes on. Well, you'll either love it or hate it.
A movie critic says, "At least, and this is something to be grateful for, Bride Wars deviates from the usual wedding-flick routine of maids of honor who should be the bride (or groom). And even though the cat-fighting goes over the top, the notion that a passionate female friendship can turn ugly in a heartbeat is, sadly, realistic."
Here's the most famous quote from this movie: "Sometimes in life there really are bonds formed that can never be broken. Sometimes you really can find that one person who will stand by you no matter what; maybe you'll find it in a spouse and celebrate it with your dream wedding, but there is also the chance that the one person you can count on for a lifetime, the one person who knows you, sometimes better than you know yourself, is the same person who's been standing beside you all along." - Marion St. Claire
Liz and Emma's wedding gowns.
Fettuccine With Mushrooms, Turkey Ham And Peas
Fettuccine pasta sauteed with a medley of mushrooms, turkey ham and peas with cream. Delicious? Yup, but I prefer less cream and more olives and peas please.
Fettuccine pasta tossed with vodka, smoked salmon and spring onions in a pink sauce. This is good, especially the chunks of lip-smacking good smoked salmon! But why spring onions? :(
This scrumptious meal is completed with a cup of piping hot Café Mocha. Is that an apple or a heart? LOL.
There are a lot of energy-wasting and brain-damaging dramas in our daily life - deadlines at work, squabbles at home, idiotic drivers on the road, stress from money-not-enough syndrome, so on and so forth. So, I'm thinking - precious energy and time wasted on these melodramatic situations should be spent on more important and dire needs, such as giving something back to Mother Nature.
One such need is adopting a tiger with WWF Malaysia.
From the WWF Malaysia - Adopt A Tiger page:
Click on the Adopt Now link above and you will be brought to the WWF Malaysia adoption form.
See screenshot below:
Or if you're into saving the environment, do take a look at:
Call 1 300 88 99369 (WWFMY)
for donation and merchandise inquiries or visit wwf.org.my
Here's a very long synopsis from MovieXclusive.com: Yi (Lee Sinje) is an ordinary woman living a mundane life. Over the years, she has been bothered by a repeated dream, in that dream she stands alone on wasteland with a doubt of the mystery being buried underneath.
One day, Yi meets a handsome young man, Eric (Li Zong Han), when he comes to Yi's garment alteration shop to hire a service. The two lonesomes are quickly drawn together, particularly after Yi shares with Eric about the tortures from those strange dreams.
On the other side, Sergeant Au (Huo Si Yan) desperately purses a kidnap-murder case, she never pushed any harder as it's her nephew the missing hostage in this case. Ransom has been paid, but the kid's whereabouts is still a mystery. Tortured by extreme anxiety, Sgt. Au's sister Peggy (Charlie Yeung) turns hysterical, she radically accuses her young sister of her incapability of tracking down the culprit. Their relationship turns bad but Sgt. Au sympathizes with her sister and she vows to bring the kidnapper to justice by herself.
Eric's effort still falls short to comfort Yi, the details of Yi's nightmares are getting more and more sophisticated. Sometimes she finds her bedside is stained with mud in the morning. She can't help thinking that she would really walk on that wasteland and kill someone there while sleepwalking…
Sgt. Au crosses path with Yi when she visits Yi to investigate missing case of Yi's ex-husband, Ming. Yi is in absolute shock, but she quickly jumps to a conclusion that she kills Ming as from the bottom of heart she hates this unfaithful man. During interrogation, Yi tells all the details and confesses that she would murder in her sleep. Following the clues hidden in Yi's dream, Sgt. Au leads her team to the crime scene, however, the body claimed to be buried underneath is no where to find...
Sounds confusing? Yes, it does if you haven't watched it. There are basically two subplots that co-joins subtly somewhere along the storyline. When the subplots finally merge into one, the amount of revelation can be emotional. It's very hard for me to put into words about what I'm trying to say because the story toys with emotions - intense grief, remorse, depression, hopelessness - while putting an effort to make sense an illogical storyline of how a woman who has never met the murderer can "dreamed" and "found" the murder site. It just doesn't make sense.
Quoting MovieXclusive.com, the only saving grace is that Lee Sinje is in the lead role, and no matter the leaps in logic, she remains a consummate performer playing the psychologically troubled Yi with conviction.
Oh well, I wouldn't really recommend this movie because it's only available in 3D, which is a waste of "technology" for this sort of movie genre, and it's dubbed in Cantonese when most of the actors and actresses are obviously speaking in Mandarin.
Adapted from original article 15 Wedding Details You Don't Need to Worry About by Denise Schipani.
1. The Wedding Guest List
- The guest list's size is the biggest determinant of your total wedding cost, so keeping expenses trim is of the utmost importance.
- Your best bet to tighten your list is to make some wedding invitation list rules (for you, your fiancé and both families) and stick to them, i.e., first cousins, but not second. Spouses and live-in or serious partners, but not random dates. Your boss, but not your whole office. Don't split up groups, if you can invite your office gang, great. But if you can't, don't just invite one of them.
2. The Wedding Flowers
- You don't need to fill every corner of your venue with flowers for a lovely look. Work with your wedding florist to use the freshest, most in-season blooms to their strategic advantage, then fill in the rest of the decor with budget-friendly candles or greenery.
- If you just adore flowers, check out botanical gardens in your area, you'll have a bounteous backdrop of blooms at your disposal.
3. The Wedding Reception Cocktail Hour
- Keep it short and sweet. This ensures that you'll need less food. Have your hors d'oeuvres hand-passed instead of having stations. This limits the amount of food you'll need.
- Stick with just enough food to keep guests from getting too tipsy too early in the evening. A pretty display of cheese, fruit and crackers will do just fine.
4. The Wedding Reception Dessert Table
- Unless you're having a dessert reception, you don't need to go overboard on sweets.
5. The Drinks
- Feel free to skip the champagne toast. It's no longer considered a must-do at weddings. Simply toast with whatever wine you already have on the table.
- Work with your reception site or caterer to create a bar you can afford, whether that means offering only beer, wine, water and soft drinks; a signature drink at the cocktail hour and red and white wines with dinner; or less-expensive liquors for mixed drinks rather than pricey brand names.
- Keep mixed drinks as simple as possible: The more varieties of liquor that are involved in assembling the drink, the more you will pay.
- Instruct the wait staff not to automatically top off guests' wineglasses.
- Arrange to have your bar closed an hour before the end of the party.
6. The Five-Course Wedding Reception Meal
- If you're looking to cut costs, eliminate one course in the meal, and just serve an appetizer and an entrée. You can also stick to offering one or two choices for the entrée.
- Once you find a caterer that you really trust, you can work with him to find the most economical options. Rest assured quality always trumps quantity.
7. The Wedding Invitations
- If you're a DIY-er (or if you know someone who is), design and make your own wedding invitations by hand or on a high-quality computer printer. Some calligraphic fonts are so good that it's really hard to tell they're not done by hand.
8. The Wedding Cake
- Options: Serves a smaller, tiered display cake and supplementing with a sheet cake brought out from the kitchen after the official cake cutting; doing less-pricey cupcakes in your wedding colors; or choosing less exotic fillings and less elaborate sugar paste designs.
- Consider decorating the confection with fresh flowers instead of sugar paste, as they cost less but give a luxe look.
- Instead of a specialty baker, hire a local one to make your cake more affordable and guests will be just as happy!
9. The Transportation
- Ask your limo company about wedding packages—they might have just the right one for you.
10. Wedding Favors
- Unless the favor is food like some nice chocolates the guests can eat right then — it's a wedding expense you can forgo.
- You can write an adorable note to each guest or something charity deeds, in which you let them know you've donated in their honor.
11. The Wedding Reception Venue
- Be honest about your budget, and ask, "What can you do for me with this amount?" "I see this is your lowest package price. Can you do a little better?"
- Even if negotiating doesn't get you a drastic cost reduction, you may get some extras thrown in (like trays of cookies for the tables, or top-shelf liquor for the price of generic brands).
12. The Wedding Rehearsal Dinner
- You need not make the rehearsal dinner a mini wedding by booking an expensive restaurant or another catering place.
- Do something casual, like a backyard barbecue. Or ask your wedding caterer if he or she is willing to cater it in a private home for a lower fee, as part of your wedding package.
13. The Linens
- On an unlimited budget, specialty linens add sparkle and a special touch. But the standard white or off-white table coverings included at most reception sites have kept their classic good looks! Perk up the tables with napkins tied with ribbons or rent stylish napkin rings.
14. Wedding Shoes
- Focus your energy, your worries and your money on your dress — not your wedding shoes.
- Why spend hundreds of dollars on footwear you'll wear for a single day? Seriously, if you have a gorgeous gown, an amazing hairstyle and a flawless face, no one is going to be examining what's going on below your ankles.
- Find inexpensive (but comfortable) wedding shoes that complement your bridal gown, and leave it at that.
15. The Impression
- Too many couples think it's their obligation to dazzle their friends at their wedding with every extra on the books. But all guests really want is to feel taken care of and special, which you can do in little ways.
- For example, be sure your wedding has good "flow", without an uncomfortable time gap between ceremony and reception. Be sure your traveling guests have little amenities in their rooms, and that older guests don't have far to walk.
If you wish, follow updates about my wedding adventures here. ;)
Margin Call (2011) is a drama movie with a plot describing the precarious situation faced by a large investment bank and its employees during the early stages of the 2007-2008 financial crisis.
Synopsis: Eric Dale (Stanley Tucci) has been working in the risk management department of a large investment bank for 19 years when he's let go during financial crisis while his employees - senior trader Will Emerson (Paul Bettany) and entry-level analysts Peter Sullivan (Zachary Quinto) and Seth Bregman (Penn Badgley) stay.
Before Dale leaves, he passes his project findings to Sullivan who later discovers that the company will soon owe more money than its worth. Finally the entire top management team is notified - head of sales Sam Rogers (Kevin Spacey), head of securities Jared Cohen (Simon Baker), head of risk Sarah Robertson (Demi Moore), and CEO John Tuld (Jeremy Irons).
After much internal analysis and struggle, Tuld gives the ultimatum to sell everything in a day before the word is out to the public that it's worthless. The company is left with no other choice despite knowing this decision will end all future business transactions and cause the market to crash, resulting in economic crisis.
I find myself at loss with all those corporate jargon in the financial realm. However, this is indeed a relevant and intelligent situational and character-driven movie with an exceptional list of A-listers - Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones), Zachary Quinto (Spock in Star Trek - 2011), Paul Bettany (Priest), Kevin Spacey, Demi Moore, Jeremy Irons, Simon Baker - they play various top management level roles who are forced to make tough decisions that will test their loyalty to the firm despite going against morals and business ethics.
Check out some of Tuld's "motivational speeches":
- There are three ways to make a living in this business: be first, be smarter, or cheat. Well, I don't cheat.
- So you think we might have put a few people out of business today. That it's all for naught. You've been doing that everyday for almost forty years Sam. And if this is all for naught then so is everything out there. It's just money; it's made up. Pieces of paper with pictures on it so we don't have to kill each other just to get something to eat. It's not wrong. And it's certainly no different today than its ever been. 1637, 1797, 1819, -37, -57, -84, 1901, -07, -29, 1937, 1974, 1987. Jesus, didn't that f*** up me up good, -92, -97, 2000, and whatever we want to call this. It's all just the same thing over and over; we can't help ourselves. And you and I can't control it, or stop it, or even slow it. Or even ever-so-slightly alter it. We just react. And we make a lot money if we get it right. And we get left by the side of the side of the road if we get it wrong. And there have always been and there always will be the same percentage of winners and losers. Happy foxes and sad sacks. Fat cats and starving dogs in this world. Yeah, there may be more of us today than there's ever been. But the percentages-they stay exactly the same.
Okay, this is not exactly an appropriate movie to watch when the current global economy situation is obviously not very promising. However, this movie does provide an eye-opening and educational experience because not many of us will ever have the chance to go through difficult life-changing situations related to the finance industry. It's a good idea to watch this movie.
According to Wikipedia, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (2011) is a performance capture 3D movie based on The Adventures of Tintin, a series of comic books created by Belgian artist Hergé, directed by Steven Spielberg (everyone knows who he is!), and produced by Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings, District 9, The Lovely Bones).
Wow. No wonder it's such a blast!!!
Synopsis: Tintin (voiced by Jamie Bell) and his loyal dog companion Snowy are on the trail of unraveling the mystery of the 'Unicorn', an old ship model sought by many, especially a villainous Mr. Sakharine (voiced by Daniel Craig). The model is eventually stolen from Tintin's house and after an eventful journey, Tintin bumps into Captain Haddock (voiced by Andy Serkis). Together, the trio's exciting adventure spans the globe, with each journey bringing more danger, excitement, and ultimately, the unfolding of the true story between the captain and the villain.
I'm at loss of words to describe how rejuvenating this movie is - I'm referring to the level of viewing pleasure, storyline, and entertainment value. Lavish and spectacular visuals and fine motion-capture performances contribute to the movie's awesome appeal to most audience.
A critic says, "Clearly rejuvenated by his collaboration with producer Peter Jackson, and blessed with a smart script and the best craftsmanship money can buy, Spielberg has fashioned a whiz-bang thrill ride that's largely faithful to the wholesome spirit of his source but still appealing to younger, Tintin-challenged audience."
Well, I haven't read any of Tintin's comics but I have to say that watching this movie brings back childhood memories, especially reminiscing adventure stories I grow up with, i.e. Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, etc.
I'm giving this movie a very strong recommendation, especially for those of you who want to spend some quality with your loved one, friends, or family, or just by yourself. You'll find yourself much rejuvenated. :)
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2011) is a horror movie produced by Guillermo del Toro who's famous for Pan's Labyrinth and Hellboy.
Synopsis: A young girl named Sally (Bailee Madison) arrives in Rhode Island to stay with her father Alex (Guy Pearce) and his girlfriend Kim (Katie Holmes) in a 19th century mansion. Alex and Kim are working together to restore the house which once belonged to a famous painter named Emerson Blackwood who had mysteriously disappeared. Sally soon encounters evil fairies that come from the basement of the house.
Quoting del Toro, "I love the Welsh author Arthur Machen and his idea that fairy lore comes from a dark place, that it's derived from little, pre-human creatures who are really, really nasty vermin but are magical in a way, living as they do for hundreds of years. His books are what compelled me to do this."
Yeah, the CGI-ed fairies are really nasty and malevolent. They like to eat children teeth and bones and that's why they choose Sally to be their next "meal". Sounds scary? Yes, it does, but unfortunately for horror fans, it doesn't deliver the kind of chill that runs down your spine and makes you think twice before you look under your bed. Generally, the movie's pace is rather slow and it lacks intense heart-gripping horror that makes you wanna hide under your chair.
Bailee Madison manages her character quite well considering her age. She's only 11 years old when she takes on this lead role. She really does look like a troubled, depressed child and that gloomy and unassuming look on her face adds realism to her character. Also, those fearful and teary eyes are pretty scary too. But, I really don't like her bloodcurdling screams. :S
Overall, this is a decent horror movie, one that doesn't scare the pants off you but will still keep you squirming in your seat once in a while.
At 11:11AM this morning, which is also 11-11-11, I manage to "hatch" a PC game with Maybank's Hatch the Egg contest on Facebook and "gift" David with it. This is my third attempt since last week. My first "hatch" was a zebra and my second attempt gave me a banana.
Head on here to "hatch" some eggs!
Note: The contest has ended on 15 December 2011.
Sis bought this interesting deal: 1-hour full body meridian lymph therapy, including 15-min full body ginger steam bath & RM100 product voucher.
What's most interesting is that the therapy claims it can regulate menstruation and customers can get 50% off the next treatment. Sounds like a good deal.
31 Oct 2011, 11:47 PM: U Mobile posted a video on their Facebook page - U Mobile CEO apologises for service interruption on 31 Oct.
02 Nov 2011, 7:17 PM: U Mobile posted an explanation on their Facebook page. In summary, the outage was caused by an unexpected glitch during the upgrading of their high speed network.
04 Nov 2011, 10:56 PM: I received an SMS from U Mobile with the same content as per their Facebook status posted on 02 Nov. Screenshot below.
10 Nov 2011, 7:41 AM: I received an SMS notification that U Mobile has added 500MB to my data plan gradually this morning.
According to the directory, the foodie outlets are Yeoh's Bak Kut Teh, Tian Yuan Claypot, Fishing Village Yong Tau Foo, BM Yam Rice, Sentul Ah Yap Hokkien Mee, Lorong Seratus Tahun, Kin Kin Pan Mee, Loke Yun Chicken Rice, and Hoong Kee Wantan Mee.