It's Not Nag, It's Just Me

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

People are not visiting anymore?

It has been my third time in Old Town Coffee Shop since my trip back to KL this Chinese New Year. And yes, it's much less crowded compared to normal days but one thing that really suprise me is to observe the changing trend especially the KLites in how they celebrate Chinese New Year.

Traditionally, at least the first two days of CNY, one is not supposed to really go hang out but more of staying at home waiting for relatives and friends or going to visit relatives and friends, spend hours there, playing cards, etc etc.

But on the first day of CNY, around 8pm, I was suprised to find Old Town filled up not just by young people but also by large families, the grandpa, grandma, babies, etc. Have the tradition of staying home in celebrating CNY no more? Or are we being too lazy to cook any meals or our house are too precious to mess it up that we have to go out to a coffeeshop who serves simple toast, noodles and coffee to enjoy family times?

One thing i had to admit is that the TV really didn't help at all. The programs on terrestrial TV really sucks while ASTRO didn't really do much justice.

If it wasn't for my need to access the internet, I wouldn't make such regular trip to this place, not that it is a bad place, but...

Monday, January 26, 2009

I responded...

Like it or not, here’s a track by track review of Maroon 5’s Call & Response: The Remix Album. If you ever like Maroon 5 but not crazy enough to buy their album, it’s time to buy this one. This is what you will get when you ask DJs and hip-hop producers to revision their own Maroon 5’s tracks.

The one good thing about this remix album is being not too clubby and not too heavy with sampling. Most are quite light and simple.

If I Never See You Again (Swiss Beatz Remix) – the original track without Rihanna. The rap intro had me by surprised but very classy with heavy sampling, making it having a late 80s or early 90s feel. A bit Cliviles + Coles feel to it though.

Wake Up Called (feat. Mary J.Blige) (Mark Ronson Mix) – Anything that featuring Mary J. Blige will get me crazy about it. For example, the Moto Blanco mix of Robin Thicke’s Magic which feature Mary on it is another good track. Overall, I don’t find this track any majorly different from its original although with a whole new music arrangement, yet maintain its tasteful rock feel.

Sunday Morning (Ahmir Thompson Mix) – One of my favorite Maroon 5’s track. Here, the remixer was good in maintaining the overall ‘lazy Sunday morning’ mood to it. I love the sound of the piano throughout the track.

Makes Me Wonder (Ryan West Mix) – the dramatic piano intro, had me by surprised in view of the upbeat original version. Here, the remixer had stripped it off and give it a ochestra-ish first verse before lacing in the heavy beats during the chorus. Very Mary J.Blige’s No More Drama.

This Love (RedZone Mix) – Initially, I thought it’s a Red One production. Again, stripping off the original sound, this mix is not too heavy with bass or beats. Just simple sythensized beats, light electro feel. Not something to shout about though. But the adding of ‘She Will Be Loved’ at the end was a surprise, and would be much better if it’s perfectly fade into the next track…

She Will Be Loved (Neptunes Mix) – The drum beats signify Pharell Williams’ works. Instead of making it a head banger club track, Neptunes just create a slightly more upbeat feel to the track. Perhaps missing a rap verse at the bridge.

Shiver (DJ Quik mix) – once you get a DJ to redo your song, it’s definitely a club track. Well, not this one. Very bluesy feel.

Wake Up Call (David Banner Mix) – Not my favorite track here as I would have expected heavier beats. Let’s skip this…

Harder to Breathe (The Cool Kids Mix) – I still prefer the original version than this one although this is not too far away from it except the inclusion of the rap verse.

Little of Your Time (Bloodshy & Avant Mix) – What can one expect from B&A? An electro-dance track of course. Not a very big fan of B&A…too Fatboy Slim feel here.

Little of Your Time (Montreal Mix) – The beat gets heavier here. Not sure why it’s being arranged as a back-to-back track with the B&A Mix. But don’t really like both mixes. It felt like an experiment for both remixers.

Goodnight Goodnight (Deerhoof Mix) – a slow electronic opening…then the guitar notes…the haunting vocal of Adam Levine creates a very dark feeling to it, that is until it get into the chorus. Not sure what the remixer is trying to do here, it’s like mixing few concepts into one song which somehow didn’t really work that well.

Not Falling Apart (Tiesto Mix) – the first club track in the album and nicely done by DJ Tiesto. I like this remix, giving it a Euro-dance feel to it.

Better Than We Break (Ali Shaheed Muhammad Mix) – Another good attempt, creating a light hip-hop feel. Fusion jazz perhaps. Running at only 2 minutes 40 second, perhaps it’s a bit too short.

Secret (Premier 5 Mix) – This remix reminds me of another remix, can’t remember but I believed it’s the All Star mix of Madonna’s Secret. In fact, it would be perfect if Madonna was to lend her vocals here.

Woman (Sam Farrar Mix) – another fusion jazz mix. Not very outstanding but nice for another lazy afternoon in the bar/lounge.

This Love (Cut Copy Galactic Beach House Mix) – Very Madonna’s Confession on A Dance Floor feel. This is not a song but a nice dance track. I would have called it a Beach House Dub rather than Mix but nonetheless, good remix.

If I Never See Your Face Again (Paul Oakenfold Mix) – mmmm….what can one expect but another club classic from Oakenfold. Is that Rihanna’s Disturbia I’m hearing?

With 18 tracks in one CD, definitely a worthy to purchase and considering quite a few are very radio friendly too.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

That's Why It's Jazz

Well, I'm not sure if this is only available in Thailand or at least in the Asia region but definitely worth the purchase, not just because it's jazz but it's JAZZ.

A 2 disc compilation at the price of one. Swing Out Sister's Am I The Same Girl is in it. Laura Fygi is in it. Natalie Cole is in it. Quincy Jone is in it. and having Kelly Sweet's Raincoat as the opening track is like Renee Zellwegger telling Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire "you had me at hello".

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CDs galore...

While taking a brief visit to the stores, i noted the following were out.

But i ended up buying these:

Time for another blue pill

On the 7th day of my suppposedly home quarantine, I decided to make a prison break. Staying home all alone facing the four to five walls for 5-6 consecutive days can be really suicidal. Not to talk about the same dishes morning, noon and nite that I began to find myself living in a self-made prison. The only difference being I have the luxury of TV, DVD and internet access.

What i've learnt over the past few days confining myself was that one could actually developed cravings. And not that i'm eating little food but I just have this hunger attack almost every hour, craving for ice-cream, snacks, chocolates, coffee, fruits....or is that the fact that i've devoided myself of eggs, soya sauce, chicken, fish, seafood for the past couple of days?

And the constant check on the time to prepare for lunch, dinner to ensure i'm taking my blue and pink pills on a consistent interval is really stressful.

so here i am, making an escape from my own my favorite hangout place. And a week of not going out is really like a month of not going out with all the changes happening outside.

For example, tons of new CDs was released without my knowledge which I ended up buying a few.

Oh...and on the 7th day, i'm taking more drugs than I'm taking during my first few days. The remaining of the blue pill, the daily pink pill, the of white pill and two new small pink pills after the doctor claimed i'm officially infected. Or was this just the way doctor are trying to make more money?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

On the 3rd day of Home Quarantine

Things felt better, i guess...

but itch remains....

things happen back home....

nothing i can do for now....sigh...

Friday, January 16, 2009

On the 2 Day of Home Quarantine....

things are getting worse...

i'm looking like a freak now....

the itch is getting unbearable despite the claim of those calamine lotion and anti-histamine tablets.......ergggggggggggg

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Being Malaysian...

Taken while walking to the RapidKL subway. Does this mean that Malaysians are so uncivilized that we need a chain to separate the walkways? Wow!

Only found in the KLCC far. There are altogether twelve (12), yes, TWELVE things the commuters are not allowed to do in this station.

Friday, January 02, 2009

I really do not wish to make a review out of this album namely because it's been weeks since I have it and I'm still not very excited about it. Honestly, this ain't Beautiful World (their comeback album) but it doesn't mean that it's bad.

But since I have time to burn while being stucked in the airport, I guess I might as well make my peace with this album.

Yes, it was one of the best selling album in UK for 2008 but like what D'Luv mentioned, perhaps it was too much Mark Owen and too less Gary Barlow.

The opening track, The Garden was quite nice with a soft piano intro, then came the husky vocal of Mark Owen which was okay until Gary Barlow....

Greatest Day was okay but ain't Patience (their initial comeback single).

Hello is definitely a gem here which reminds me of Shine and again nicely led by Mark.

The Circus was quite good, at least better than Britney's.

The next gem on the CD had to be How Did It Come To This, which was led by Howard or was it Jason (just like how Wooden Boat being the treasure in Beautiful World).

Howard's make a very chilling yet comfy vocal to What Is Love, though not very outstanding but a very good night track.

In the Asia released album, the album officially ended with Hold Up A Light, another Mark's led track. Jumpy and fun. Curiously, the 12th track Here (in the Europe version) is not in the album but She Said, the hidden track is. A very nice fun track, chacha and salsa....definitely a good one to end the album.

Overall, another good effort from the lads...showing their maturity, moving away from cheesy dance pop and going into more indie/rock pop.

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So how had your last day of 2008 been? And how was 2008 been for you?
It had to be one of the most happening year since 9-11 period. An African American president, Opposition taking over some of the key States in M’sia, closure of the international airport in Thailand and also three Thai Prime Ministers, all in a year.

Like the fuel price, my life in 2008 also experienced the up and finally the downs.

Work wise, it’s the usual affair with the global management continue their changes as I (and my small team) was once again shifted to another team, hence my third boss in my third year in this company. Starting from Customized to TCS (merging with Retail) then to One Voice (FMCG focused but physically split from Retail) and now I am a CL (on paper that is). 2009 looks even scarier.

Personal wise, it had to be one of my worst as CNN would have reported that I found myself falling deep into the abyss. The LDR ended, the short re-bound ended and my depression state of mind had me making big mistakes that left some scars for the months to come.

So goodbye 2008 and hello 2009. I’m not going to make much expectation for 2009 but just pray that everyone will survive with no major bruises. It will be a tough year and I believed a turning point for me as well as I will be celebrating my decadence in Market Research.

p/s SLOH…if only I could turn back time.

I Have An Announcement to Make...

I had one of the loveliest new year eve’s eve dinner. We decided to celebrate a day earlier as a few of us will be travelling on the 1st, hence they need some time on the 31st. Although the dinner was not the ideal (that would’ve been impossible) but it had to be one of the better one for me at least in the past couple of years.

The best term to describe that dinner session would be ‘One Client & 4 Agencies’. There are five of us, one working in the client side, two from competing agencies and another two are currently freelancers.

The place was Italianies, in Gardens, one of the new shopping mall next to Mid Valley. We were seated at the corner with a very good view especially when the large drain outside looked like a small river at night. LOL!

The food was great. We had Caesar salad, which to be is pretty standard, the Bruschetta was very good and so was the Roasted Red Pepper, juicy and sweet. Perhaps we were relatively late that the restaurant ran out of a few items on the menu. For main, we had Magharita Pizza, which was quite good. The taste was just right. The spaghetti came with a real huge portion and everything just went well with the 2007 Sauvignon Blanc white wine.

The only weak point came from the Service. The crew who serve us was quite good initially, being very patient with our indecisiveness but he soon turns out to be quite unreliable as a few of our requests were repeatedly ignore. I don’t really blame him as he was also serving a few other tables, which indicate the lack of resources. A very common issue in KL. Here’s some of the few things he did that annoy our ‘Client’.

We asked him to set up for our fifth member who came late, fashionably as always, a few times but was very much ignored. The complimentary bread which was supposedly and had to be the first appetizer to be placed on our table was somehow one of the last one. All we had was the plate of olive oil to stare at. We did inform him about it but again was repeatedly ignored.

Opening the wine was another near disaster. For a restaurant who serve wine, I would have expected the crew to be well trained. Bringing the bottle with one wine glass to our table, and then return later with the other three somehow reflected the staff lack of knowledge. Took a while for him to open the wine and probably nervous, he ended up serving the wine to three out of the four glasses. Hmmmmm……..

Our friend, the Client, decided to behave like a Client and make some bitchy complaints to the Manager while the four Agencies, behaving like Agencies just kept quite and listen to the Client complaints.

The Manager behaving like a well-trained Manager, did make sure our evening was not totally ruined as he switched an experience crew to our table and offered us two lovely desserts. Both the Cappucino Pie (which was an ice-cream cake) and the Cheesecake were really good. And we had a good time that night.

I don’t mind returning to this restaurant again. And so is our ‘Client’.

p/s ATO, wish you were here.

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