Friday, June 29, 2007

Remember Mimaland?

If you were born in the 70’s and lived in Klang Valley, you’ll surely remember Mimaland. I was looking through some old photographs of when I was a kid and chanced upon one of me standing in front of the Mimaland sign. While I don’t remember much about the place, I do know that I had a lot of fun there.

Thus I went to hunt for more info on the net. Even Wikipedia only had a one liner on Mimaland.

One other site wasn’t that much more helpful but did provide a contact number and entrance fees. The RM2 entrance fee per person and the 7 digit contact number should have roused my suspicion but I was still hopeful.

After a few more searches, I stumbled upon another blog where people were asking the same question as me. So Mimaland hasn’t been forgotten!

I excitedly read thru the 23 posts where everyone was asking the same questions and some offered a smattering of info. They were talking about 3 storey high slides which cascades into a natural spring swimming pool. And dinosaurs which you can climb. And a maze constructed out trimmed hedges. I vaguely remember what seems like the icons of Mimaland. I need to dig through my old albums and see if I can find anymore taken there.

Then one person posted that Mimaland has been closed since 1994 due to a landslide. My other research attributed the closure due to fatal accident. Perhaps it was a landslide which caused a fatal accident.

Unfortunately Mimaland has not been re-opened since. And what’s worst, a new housing development has been built on Mimaland’s land!

So it’s not the same if I take a drive to Gombak and try to reminisce about Mimaland while having a picnic in someone’s garden.

Hmmmm. That could look like suspicious activity. Should the owner of the house come out to investigate, I should yell at him “You’re house is on Mimaland!!!”.

Sigh. That’s another childhood memory that will remain a memory.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Taiko - An Upcoming Malaysian Made Movie

Throughout my career in advertising, I’ve been involved in producing many TV commercials and even one reality show – Olay Aspirasiku. We ran 2 seasons on TV3 in 2005 and 2006.

The cost of TVC production 10 years ago ran into the millions of Ringgit. These days, some clients only give an average budget of RM100,000. That’s about 10% of what we used to have. Of course some rare clients give us about RM300,000 to work with. But then there are those who expect a brilliantly shot TVC for under RM100,000! For those not from the ad industry, the typical commercial you see on TV takes about 3 months to produce. That’s a lot of time and work for something which lasts just 30 seconds.

Nevertheless, we have many talented directors and producers here in Malaysia who make miracles from tiny budgets. I’ve seen what they can do and it astounds me every time.

I have not been involved in producing a movie but have always been a supporter of Malaysian made movies, specifically the ones with good storylines. I ensure I either watch it in the cinema or buy a certified original copy of the DVD. It’s hard work, budgets are low and so are profit margins. They deserve to generate some sales for their hard work.

A producer I work with when shooting a Rejoice TVC and Olay TVC with Siti Nurhaliza last year, is now involved in shooting a new movie. Daniel Wee of Montecom Films is in the midst of pre production of Tai Ko, a movie about 2 childhood friends who grow up to be on the opposite sides of the law. It stars M Nasir, Eman Manan, Jalaludin Hassan and Chermaine Poo just to name a few of the cast. It's schedule to hit the cinemas in March 2008.

I’ve been following his blog and it made me realize just how tough movie production in Malaysia is. We don’t have the multi million dollar budgets like in Hollywood. We're no where close to Bollywood or Hong Kong. Yet everyone strives to produce the best quality possibly from the limited budget by the ingenuity and resources of the cast and crew.

Daniel, I’m hoping and praying that everything goes well for you and the movie. I hope that talks with sponsors go well so that you and the crew can breathe a little easier and be able to concentrate more on the actual production rather than worrying there’s not enough money.

Crossing fingers, toes and eyes!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Nurturing a Child Today

The world is filled with screwed up people and more often than not, it stems from one’s upbringing, attributed to one’s parents within one’s own home.

I felt for Dave Pelzer in his biography – A Child Called It, A Lost Boy and A Man Named Dave. And following that, his brother’s biography called a Brother’s Journey. I can’t, for the life of me, understand how a mother can empty a bottle of Tabasco sauce down her son’s throat and laugh when he cries and choke. Or put bleach and other chemicals into a bucket and lock her son in the bathroom for an entire day to breathe in those toxin fumes. Or not feed him some for days while the rest of the family members feast at the dinner table. And when the child is desperate enough to steal food to eat, she forces him to puke it all out again.

These are truly horror stories which many children out there endure. Some of them, not knowing any better, feel that this is life.

Many of these children with abused childhood will perpetuate the circle and do those exact things to their own children. And these children will do it to their children. It’s not right but it’s a vicious circle which is a reality.

Yet some of these very children who have abusive childhoods grow up to be loving, responsibly, caring adults. That to me is truly amazing. How do you love again after living out a horror story for so many years of your developing life? What more by people who are supposed to love and protect you.

I have heard stories from friends which I wouldn’t term as abusive per se but it would be close to the start of emotional abuse.

A friend, when she was much younger, had to deal with a mother who was depressed. Of course she was too young to know about that disease then. And 20 years ago, depression wasn’t even recognized as an illness. It’s not like it is prominent now here in Malaysia but at least there is more awareness, info from other countries and more people are not afraid to go to a shrink. Yes, there are shrinks in Malaysia and if you need one, contact me and I’ll refer you to a really good one. I’ve seen her do wonders. Her mother was suicidal and once told her that if she (the mum) died, she (the mum) would bring her with her to the other world. Won’t you be scared if you were a young child and your mother said that to you? Of course my friend was scared but she was close to her mum so she told her mum “Okay, I’ll go with you”. What would have happened if her mum did actually take her own life and my friend’s too?

These are stories which we read in the papers and it’s not that uncommon.

Then I have another friend who’s in his 20s. I find him to be a good, caring, attentive person who has much more filial piety than me. Yet his dad told him that he will never amount to be a good man, a good husband and a good father. What of fucked up thing to say to your own son! Your role as a parent is to discipline your child. And when your child becomes his own man, you need to guide, advice and encourage him. But all the decisions he makes from then on are his own. Don’t chide him for not doing what you want him to do. He may be your son but it’s not your life he’s living.

Maybe I’m not a parent and am should not judge the parent’s of these friends. However, as an outsider from a neutral point of view, I feel that it is just so wrong! If it was a stranger, you can just walk away and choose to ignore their words even though they may sting for a while. But the wound goes 10 times as deep when it’s from a parent.

Being a parent is way too easy. It’s being a good parent that’s tough. There should be classes and exams for potential parent’s before they are allowed to bring a child into this world. The exam should be based on intelligence, love, compassion, patience and competency. And that’s just for Lesson Number 1.

I’m sure there are many reasons why a person would want to become a parent. I have not found mine yet but I know that before I make that decision, I need to be sure and believe that I can be the best parent I can possibly be. There is no guarantee of this of course, but I need to believe and see it happening before I get there.

That’s one of the reasons why I’m struggling with the idea of being a parent. It can take just one word for your mouth or a single action to screw up a child for life. But it takes many to nurture a child who grows up to be an adult who will become an example to society, a good friend and the son or daughter you wanted to be for your parents. It’s not an experiment and there are no restart buttons. Can I bring up a responsible, caring, righteous, kind, loving human being into this world?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Cody the Surfing Penguin Toy

Good copy writing can make any product sell.

Mc D’s current Happy Meal toy is from Surf’s Up The Movie. On the website, there is a write up about the toy which says:

“Removable figure in action pose. Attach Cody to any of the pegs on the surf board and push across a smooth surface for surfing action. Surfboard separates into two pieces and houses a two sided, full colour surfboard shape insert. Choose a side to show and snap the surfboard back together.”

A few of us were in the office yesterday afternoon and feeling hungry so we ordered Happy Meals from Mc D Delivery. We all got the same toy – Cody, with our meal.

Basically, you put the plastic sheet in between the plastic pieces. Then place the plastic Cody on it and push the board across a table.

He slides for about 6 inches, wobbles, and then tips over on his beak.

Maybe it’s the act of trying to balance the plastic penguin on the board then upon success, seeing him slide and then falling over that’s amusing. Then you try to push him further without making him fall. I’m not quite sure. I’m still trying to figure out if the toy can do more. In doing that, I’ve already spent about half and hour playing with it.

Dammit. Okay. Back to work.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Garage Sale

*Prodigy’s “Voodoo People” blaring*

*vibrations on the bed*


The alarm clock on my phone rings at 7am. So does the clock at my bed side. I open my eyes and jumped out of bed. Then I shoke Paul to wake him and I ran around the house getting ready. I’m surprisingly alert and cheery and the sun isn’t even fully up.

We loaded the boxes into the car and headed to Centrepoint by 8.15am. Thank goodness for Sin Cyn who helped me segregate, price and pack then items the day before. In fact, I made my first sale off her – cat and dog clay fridge magnets and a black Tian Po toiletry bag.

The garage sales starts at 8.30am. Michelle Shell was already there with her books. As I placed the boxes of stuff to be sold on the floor to display them on the table, throngs of people came to take stuff directly out of the boxes and started haggling. By 9am, 40% of the stuff were sold! It was 45 minutes of pure madness. And it was even a little scary. I truly did not expect the selling process to be so intensive n constant. Good thing I had Michelle Shell and Paul to help out.

My objectives of the sale were to:

  1. Get rid of junk in the house and create more space
  2. Make a little bit of money
  3. To have fun

And I managed to achieve them all. It will take about 5 years worth of garage sales to get rid of the junk in my house though. But at least I make some money and have some fun while doing it.

Lessons to be learn when managing a garage sale, not to be confused with selling new items like in the Mont Kiara Art / Bric-aBrac / Crafts (ABC) Market or night market at The Curve:

  1. Bargain hunters come early so start earlier than the official start time in order to be able to set up without people pulling the items out of the boxes themselves. You can close after lunch as there won’t be much sales after that.
  2. Price items higher as people will bargain it down. Or price it so low so that they don’t need to bargain.
  3. It’s easier to segregate items according to price and placing them in specific boxes than having individually priced items. The bargain hunters will then surely haggle and it’s harder to calculate when you have 2 people simultaneously talking to you and jangling your on wares in your face. However, they will also pick one item from one box, look at it and dump it into another box. At the end of the day, its easiest to have one price for everything. And if they want a discount, get them to buy 5 to get one free.
  4. Some professional bargain hunters (usually old housewives) will continue talking to you loudly while placing stuff into bags as they tell you the price they want for the items, hand you the money for which they want to pay for the entire contents of the bag and walk away. When this happens and you’re standing there dumb founded and unable to get a word in, let you boyfriend handle her.
  5. Bring a fan. It can get hot. Or use a hand held battery operated fan. Bargain hunters will see it and wanna buy it off you.
  6. Don’t go to other people’s stall and buy their junk. This will only accumulate more junk which you’ll need to sell eventually not to mention eat into your profits. But I couldn’t help it! A stall was selling Patti the Platypus by Ty for only RM5. And he was almost brand new. Well at least it provided us with entertainment while waiting for customers to come.

Thank you Annie Boo, Boey and Steph who came by the stall to lend support. And to Teoh who contributed to sales!

I’m gathering more stuff to be sold at the next garage sale in August. Yes, you can pass me your stuff to sell but I get a commission!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

One Woman's Junk is Another's Treasure

Once, Fruitcake and I worked past midnight 2 days in a row organizing the items in my house. You see, my mum is a shopaholic. The joy lies in the act of shopping rather than in enjoying the actual product. It seems like many women are afflicted with this.

And it results with the house being filled from floor to ceiling and wall to wall with stuff.

It’s rather hard to define what these ‘stuff’ are because it ranges from pots and pans to electrical kitchen equipment (my mum doesn’t cook). And 3 copies of La Prestige, The Peak and Malaysian Tatler from each month, for the past few years. And also bits and bobs and one off pieces like hair dryers, candles, photo frames, glasses, tin boxes, coin purses, sewing stuff, nail manicure sets, back massagers, hair brushes, hand creams of every brand, all sorts of bags, hats, note books, teapots, toys, clocks, mirrors, mugs, porcelain figurines, plastic flowers, glass flowers, clothes hangers, papers bags, tissue paper, ang paus, lever arch files, clear plastic folders, accessories, decorative baskets, laundry baskets, chopsticks, wires, raffia string, multi purpose plugs, candle sticks, calculators, note books, coasters, oil burner, lighters, pens, umbrellas ……. The list goes on.

There are usually a minimum of half a dozen of each of the items.

If you play Katamari on PS2, my house would be the perfect playground.

While it’s pretty amusing having a treasure hunt in your own home and not needing to buy anything because it can be found in the house if you just have time to look for it, it can get a little over crowded.

After talking about this for a year and cleaning out my house and putting all the unwanted items neatly into sealable plastic boxes, I’m finally going to sell them off! This will create more space in the house and generate some cash (assuming you come to support and buy something)! And it’s going to be a fun day out with friends too! Michelle will be selling some books. So come hang out and dance but please buy something too. We'll give you a discount!

Clause 6 of the agreement of the rental of the stall says something about not making too much noise or being a nuisance to the other stall handlers or the public. But we already told the Bandar Utama management that we're gonna screw that clause. We're gonna bring music and dance there if we want to. The guy merely laughed out loud so we’re gonna take it that we’ll be allowed to breach the contract.

My mum won’t know that I’m selling the items off cos there’s so much of them ….. unless she reads this post on the blog. Hmmm……

Anyway, come to Centrepoint in Bandar Utama this Sunday, 24th June. 8.30am – 3.30pm.

Please bring an ice latter grande or a large Slurpee (Starbuck and 7-Eleven located at ground floor of Centrepoint) for us.

Thank you! See u there!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Guinness Black Party 2007

My body aches and my ankles hurt. But I had a great time! Have not drank that much or danced that long in a very long time. This all happened at the Guinness Black Party in conjunction with the Guinness 9 Ball Tour in Genting over the weekend. The night started off with DJ Nesh warming the crowd. Then DJ Gabriel took over accompanied by Camelia who was performing hits from her new MystiCam album. The Guinness Draught was flowing and bodies were moving. It was a great night. Better than any other Black Party I’ve attended before. Here’s a snapshot of the night.

My ankles really hurt! I’m not sure if it’s because I’m Aquarian (fabled to have weak ankles) or because I’ve not done real clubbing and dancing for 3 hours non stop in high heels …… in over 6 months. This is from the person who did Mambo and Ghetto every week. Then hit Heritage Row on Fridays and Saturdays. Every single week! Looks like Bubbles Non Clubbing Version 3.0 is here to stay.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Lumpy the Heffalump

Okay I admit it. I have a weakness for toiletries. While I don’t enjoy shopping much in the conventional sense for women which is for clothes and accessories, I can’t resist toiletries. It must be something about having a sensational bath or shower every single day.

I love Boots and while in London, would shop in Boots every weekend. Since I’m not in London and there are no Boots in Malaysia (actually, why aren’t there any??!!), while I was in Thailand earlier this year, I bought shampoos, conditioners, lotions, face washes, moisturisers and more, totally to roughly 15 litres.

So here in Malaysia, I have to content myself with Guardian and Watson. I don’t go to Caring as it’s too much of a pharmacy pharmacy and don’t have the fun stuff the other 2 carries.

Guardian is currently having a Winnie the Pooh collection Redemption. Every RM25 gets you a sticker. And you need 25 stickers to collect one of the Winnie-the-Pooh toys.

Yes I do realize that one toy costs RM625 and that’s a ridiculous amount for a small soft toy. But my rationale is that I’m gonna but stuff from the pharmacy anyway so I might as well buy ahead of time to stock up and collect the stickers. After all, most of the items have a long shelf life. I know, I know, what a sucker. But at least I’m a knowing sucker.

I need just 7 more stickers! So those who shop in Guardian but are not collecting the sticker, please pass them to me before 4th July 2007!

I was looking at the characters and I realized that there was a purple elephant called Lumpy! Sorry, he’s actually a heffalump. The classis Pooh stories did not have any Lumpy character in it but it did feature a nameless heffalump. Lumpy even has a movie called "Pooh's Heffalump Movie" released in 2005! And that was the first time Lumpy was introduced to the world. I found out that Lumpy was first discovered by Roo. Lumpy is friendly and playful, has a fun giggle, and speaks with a British accent!

Remember! Please pass me the stickers and help me get Lumpy! Meanwhile, I’ll go hunt for the movie.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Tracker at Doggy Day at Central Park

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Paul and I brought Tracker out to the Doggy Day 2 weekends ago. Yes that’s how long I’ve not blogged. There’s been so much going on at work which takes up so much of my time and thoughts. Believe things are better now but will still need a bit of time to work itself out. Also, we’re being kept in the dark on certain things. That’s management’s prerogative I guess.

Anyway back to Tracker. At least that was a happy day for all of us.

We arrived at the park about lunch time and many of the dogs and owners have left. Tracker didn’t get to frolic with the other dogs as much as he did during his last visit to the Doggy Day. Still, he had a superb time and made a few friends.

We left and went to 1U for lunch before bringing the little fella home as he really needed a bath. And he hates baths. Just look at his pitiful face.