Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sinks need not be boring

Have you come across those multi-coloured eggs that are on sale at those trinket stalls run by foreigners? I have always been fascinated by them, their multi colours and how cute and pretty they look.

I always thought they were made from marble until I found out later that they are made from onyx. Onxy is a stone with multple uses. They can be used to make vessel sinks and they can truly turn out to be rather pretty just like the ones shown here.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday Frolics: The Wizard of Oz

Let's do something different this week on Friday Frolics.

All of you know or at least have heard the story, The Wizard of Oz. But do you know the differences between the classic books and the classic movie? Test your knowledge, take the quiz to find out.

Trivia Quiz: The Wizard of Oz

UEFA Euro 2008 Championship Finals - Spain & Germany

So, it all boils down to Spain meeting Germany in the finals for the UEFA Euro 2008 Championship. I can imagine the mamak stalls being packed this coming Sunday.

For foreign readers, mamak stalls are our local version of roadside cafes, al-fresco eateries. Ever since cable television came on the scene in Malaysia, these mamak stalls have tvs fitted to draw in the crowds. People who frequent these eateries are mostly sports fans who enjoy watching live games with lots of other like-minded people, er...maybe. Other times, mamak stalls are great places to meet up with friends for a chat, for some gossip or simply to hang out in addition to savouring the local fare.

The term "mamak" is actually a locally-coined term which refers to Indian Muslim migrants from India. When they emigrated from India, they brought along their cuisine and from there, the mamak phenomenon was born.

Mamak stalls are popular in the big cities of Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor Bahru and most of them are open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. If you have read or heard that one can find food at any time of the day or night in Malaysia, these must be the places that are being referred to. This feature of food being available any time serves well for college students as they keep irregular hours and these young growing people are hungry at whatever time their tummy growls.

Food at mamak stalls are cheaper (compared to food at other food outlets) and the fare they serve is popular because they can be consumed by everyone, of any religious faith, being pork-free. The staple food at the mamak stall has to be the roti canai - pronounced 'roti chanai'.

Roti canai is a flour pancake quite like the base of a pizza, served with a variety of curry - chicken, fish or beans. There are other variations to this pancake. You can add an egg or egg and onions or even sardines. This simple delicious pancake is nicely washed down with the mamak stall's trademark beverage, the teh tarik or literally translated as "pulled tea". This beverage is actually tea with condensed milk, poured from the mug to the glass, back and forth a few times, to produce a frothy tea drink. Yum!! Tea keeps me up the whole night so if I need to stay up, this would be my keep-me-up!

Here is a video of how a roti canai is made:

Of course, the food variety is not limited to just the roti canai and the teh tarik though these are the most popular choices. Other food served include fried and soup noodles, local soups (ox-tail, chicken, beef stew), rice and dishes that go along such as fried chicken, fried fish and fried fish roe, fried calamari, curry dishes, fried vegetables, pickled vegetables, bean crackers, and many others.

As I was saying, this Sunday should see a huge crowd at mamak stalls. Of late, mamak stalls have evolved from al-fresco to indoor modern mamak stalls just like the one in the (Wikipedia) picture below.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Mongolian Murder Case continues - Altantuya Shaaribuu

Remember the case of the Mongolian lady, Altantuya Shaaribuu, who was murdered by being blown to bits? If you are still interested, her case resurfaced a week ago when Raja Petra, the editor of online news portal Malaysia Today, who was charged with sedition last month for implying the Deputy Prime Minister was involved in Altantuya’s murder, made the statutory declaration on June 18 claiming to have knowledge that three other persons were present when the body of Altantuya was blown up on Oct 19, 2006.

The frontpage of today's The Star paper has this headline: "Total Lies" with this story: Najib: Pathetic attempt to taint my political image.

Also read two other related stories: Cops record statement from Rosmah
and Khairy denies having military report on Altantuya murder

Datuk Seri Najib Razak is the Deputy Prime Minister;
Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor is his wife;
Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin is the Prime Minister's son-in-law

Related posts:
Altantuya Murder Trial
Altantuya murder case - More updates
Altantuya's Family performs soul prayers
Altantuya murder case - Razak Baginda OUT on bond
Talk on Altantuya case sub judice

My own Holiday Space in a Villa

Summer is a popular season for taking a holiday. Kuala Lumpur is now bustling with holiday-makers primarily from the Middle-East and hotels are running at pretty high occupancy levels.

When holidaying, some of us prefer to join guided tours while others prefer to travel on our own time and schedule. Both preferences have their merits, of course.

On a guided tour, you have the luxury of almost everything taken care of from lodging and transfers to meals and activities.

On the other hand, travelling on your own, would give you better flexibility of schedule and choice of accommodation and other arrangements. For those who prefer to venture out on your own, having a reference list of contacts would come in handy. Here is one to add to your list:
St. John villa rentals. Happy holidays!

It is Worth Investing in Quality Travelling Bags

Travelling on holiday can be educational and a lot of fun, that is, if nothing untoward happens. Recently, a colleague came home from a trip to the States but his luggage did not.

He was concerned (and rightly so) that he might not get his luggage back which also held souvenirs for his family and friends. He was relieved when after two days of arrival, the luggage arrived and to his relief, everything was in order.

Another colleague was not so lucky. He too returned from the States but his luggage zipper was tampered with and he lost many valuable items. When it comes to buying luggage, there are many quality bags in the market, ones that are tamper-proof, like those by Briggs and Riley which carry a "Simple as That" lifetime warranty and if your luggage is ever damaged (even if damaged by the airlines), Briggs will fix it, free of charge...simple as that.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Oprah Winfrey - Are you a Fan?

The DJs this morning talked about Oprah Winfrey. What? You don't know who Oprah is? Anyway, listeners were asked whether they are fans of Oprah, why and why not. I managed to catch a few callers and all of them (including a man), said they are fans of Oprah.

Except from Wikipedia:

Oprah Gail Winfrey (born January 29, 1954), often referred to simply as Oprah, is an American television host, media mogul, and philanthropist. Her internationally-syndicated talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, has earned her multiple Emmy Awards and is the highest-rated talk show in the history of television.

She is also an influential book critic, an Academy Award-nominated actress, and a magazine publisher. She has been ranked the richest African American of the 20th century, the most philanthropic African American of all time, and the world's only black billionaire for three straight years. She is also, according to some assessments, the most influential woman in the world.

I know that audiences to her shows were given great gifts, one time, even a car each.

Back to where we started.... So, do you watch her show and do you consider yourself a fan of Oprah?

Pens make great Corporate Gifts

There is certainly no shortage of corporate gifts as a company marketing tool. The choice is endless, from the common items of t-shirts, drinking mugs, caps, travel bags to all kinds of stationery and more.

However, the one common corporate gift must be the ordinary yet useful pen. The pen must be the most common giveaway that you can pick up at an event. If your company is looking for pens, there is no shortage of cheap pens in the market.

A Holiday in Las Vegas

You hear a lot of mention, in the papers, over the news, personal laments, etc., about the economy downturn. Prices of goods and services are escalating like nobody's business making a big dent in incomes, hike in oil prices being the culprit. And yet people are still going on holidays, which is a good sign really.

Recently, some colleagues were talking about a trip to the west coast of the US and were discussing choice of las vegas hotels. This is certainly a case of too many choices and difficulty in picking out one as there is an abundance of accommodations in Las Vegas.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Probably Only In India

We just had an electrical storm awhile back. Luckily, it was just for a short while. A colleague suffered two tvs being zapped - both struck by lightning during an electrical storm. Both tvs were hit at the same location in the sitting room. I heard that if lightning has stricken once at a certain spot, chances are it might strike that same spot again. So, it is best to relocate the equipment. Not sure how far this is true though.

Anyway, I received an interesting email the other day. It contains three pictures with a caption that reads:


Right! This is India where many Multi-National Companies have their call centers located. Awesome network! I wonder if they have ever been hit by lightning.

Source unknown

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Some Rules Kids Won't Learn In School

An interesting email which came around a few times stated that Bill Gates gave a speech at a High School in which he covered 11 things they do not and will not learn in school. He talked about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.

The truth is, Bill Gates did not come up with that list. Why it was attributed to the Microsoft head is a mystery.

This list is actually the work of Charles J. Sykes, author of the book, Dumbing Down Our Kids: Why American Children Feel Good About Themselves But Can't Read, Write, Or Add. The list has appeared in newspapers but many versions omit the last three rules which you can read here: Some Rules Kids Won't Learn In School

But the key ones are these Eleven Rules which are applicable even for adults:

Rule 1: Life is not fair - get used to it!

Rule 2: The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time..

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Frolics: What Is Your Sexual Orientation?

What is my sexual orientation? Bet you'd want to know. Okay, the secret is out.......

I Am Straight

There's not much queer about you.

So let's just say you're straight... but not narrow.

...and, hey, it says here I'm ready for marriage too. Okay, I'm taking proposals now. Kidding! LOL!

Your Ideal Relationship is Marriage

You've dated enough to know what you want.

And that's marriage - with the right person.

You're serious about settling down some time soon.

Even if you haven't met the person you want to get hitched to!

Other fun quizzes

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Toothbrush is useful in Anger Management

A toothbrush is useful in Anger Management. Wait! I'll come back to that in a moment. Let me digress a little.

Last weekend, I couldn't help noticing a guy at the dental section of a supermarket spending some time deliberating on which brand of toothbrushes to buy with wife, children and trolley in tow. Funny that such a simple apparatus can get big men baffled over it too.

Now, let's get back to how useful a toothbrush is in Anger Management. I think I better let you find out for yourself.

1. Losing all your friends
Man comes home and finds his wife with his friend in bed.
He shoots his friend and kills him. Wife says 'If you behave like this, you will lose ALL your friends.'

2. Importance of a period
Teacher: 'Do you know the importance of a period?'
Kid: 'Yeah, once my sister said she has missed one, my mom fainted, dad got a heart attack & our driver ran away.'

3. Confident vs. confidential
A young boy asks his Dad, 'What is the difference between confident and confidential?' Dad says, 'You are my son, I'm confident about that. Your friend over there, is also my son, that's confidential! '

4. Anger management?
Husband: 'When I get mad at you, you never fight back. How do you control your anger?'
Wife: 'I clean the toilet.'
Husband: 'How does that help?'
Wife: 'I use your toothbrush.'

Gemstone Jewelry Gaining Popularity

Diamonds may be a girl's best friend but of late, coloured gemstones are gaining popularity.

Two friends and I were at the jewellers the other day and there was this couple who were looking over some ruby jewelry and ruby rings for their forthcoming engagement. As the lady's birthday is in September, they were also shown some sapphire jewelry and sapphire rings, sapphire being the birthstone for September. Since they were already there, they also asked to see other gemstone jewelry such as emerald jewelry and emerald rings
and others including amethyst, opal, pink sapphire, topaz, onyx, aquamarine, garnet, all finely-crafted into various pieces of beautiful jewelry.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Gas Hike - I'll need your Leg as well

Driving into my regular gas station last night was rather startling. It was a far cry from pre-gas hike days where every pump would be taken up and one had to wait in line at times. Last night was different. There were only three cars including mine.

In the wake of all this gloom and doom kicked in by gas hike and subsequent domino effect of increases in everything with a price tag, it is encouraging that someone chose to see the glass half-full and put together some realistic scenarios for our entertainment. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

NBC’s Tim Russert dies of heart attack at 58

Death in itself is devastating enough to those the deceased leaves behind but when it happens unexpectedly and to someone not old enough to die (conventional thinking), it multiplies the devastation and the pain.

I just spent some time (tissue in hand) watching videos of "Remembering Tim Russert". Even though I did not know Tim nor about his life and work, watching and listening to his colleagues and others talk about him, is heart-rending.

Tim Russert, NBC News’ Washington bureau chief and the moderator of “Meet the Press,” died Friday after suffering a heart attack at the bureau. He was 58.

Russert was recording voiceovers for Sunday’s “Meet the Press” broadcast when he collapsed. He was rushed to Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, where resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful.

Below are the videos I was watching.

Rest in peace, Tim Russert.
My sympathies to his family.

Tips for Photographing Stunning Sunsets

Just like finger-prints, no two sunsets are alike. However, unlike finger-prints, sunsets, or sunrises for that matter, are beautiful moments you would like to savour for as long as possible or be able to share them with others. Sharing them is only possible if they are with you at that moment but thanks to the camera or other similar gadgets, sharing beautiful sights is now possible.

As bloggers, we would want to be able to take great pictures for our blog. As a blogger ("photographer"? No, not worthy), I know I'd welcome tips on taking decent-enough pictures.

Problogger, Darren Rowse of has some great tips on his photography site, for photographing stunning sunsets. Browse around his site. He's got lots of useful tips, educational videos and awe-inspiring images. Insightful and inspirational site it is. Perhaps, this is where I could start with photography lessons.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Friday Frolics: What Number Are You?

I probably need a 6. :P But don't pay any attention to me. It's the Friday thing, plus, it's Friday the 13 today.

Happy Weekend!

You Are 9: The Peacemaker

You are emotionally stable and willing to find common ground with others.

Your friends and family often look to you to be the mediator when there is conflict.

You are easy going and accepting. You take things as they come.

Avoiding conflict at all costs, you're content when things are calm.

At Your Best: You feel connected, trusting, and fulfilled. You feel at peace with your place in the world.

At Your Worst: You compromise your values to make sure peace is maintained. You give in to bullies.

Your Fixation: Harmony

Your Primary Fear: Causing conflict

Your Primary Desire: To preserve things as they are

Other Number 9's: Marge Simpson, Ronald Reagan, Audrey Hepburn, Jerry Seinfeld, and Abraham Lincoln.

Other Fun Quizzes

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Mysterious Attic

An attic is something lacking in modern homes. An attic conjures up a sense of adventure, of mystery as to what lurks up there in the dark corners and what little treasure you might discover stashed away.

Okay, I digress, I was going to talk about archives and what little nuggets you might find hidden inside those years of hoarding. Going through my archives, I found this cute cartoon. How nice if we could just upgrade our memory cards and be all fresh and new the next minute. Perhaps not. Life would be so stereotypical and boring, wouldn't it? Besides, memory lapses make us more forgiving and loving?!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I Should Be Counting My Blessings...

Do you believe in heaven? Nevermind, this one is applicable even if you don't. You might have read this but it is still a great reminder, at least for me.

I dreamt that I went to Heaven and an angel was showing me around. We walked side-by-side inside a large workroom filled with angels.

My angel guide stopped in front of the first section and said, 'This is the Receiving Section Here, all petitions to God said in prayer are received.'

I looked around in this area, and it was terribly busy with so many angels sorting out petitions written on voluminous paper sheets and scraps from people all over the world.

Then we moved on down a long corridor until we reached the second section.

The angel then said to me, 'This is the Packaging and Delivery Section.
Here, the graces and blessings the people asked for are processed and delivered to the liv ing persons who asked for them..'

I noticed again how busy it was there. There were many angels working hard at that station, since so many blessings had been requested and were being packaged for delivery to Earth.

Finally at the farthest end of the long corridor we stopped at the door of a very small station. To my great surprise, only one angel was seated there, idly doing nothing.

'This is the Acknowledgment Section,' my angel friend quietly admitted to me.
He seemed embarrassed 'How is it that there is no work going on here?' I asked.

'So sad,' the angel sighed.
'After people receive the blessings that they asked for, very few send back acknowledgments.'

'How does one acknowledge God's blessings?' I asked.
' Simple,' the angel answered. Just say, 'Thank you, Lord.'

'What blessings should they acknowledge?' I asked.
'If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of this world.

If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish, you are among the top 8% of the worlds wealthy.'

'And if you get this on your own computer, you are part of the 1% in the world who has that opportunity.'

Also 'If you woke up this morning with more health than illness ......
you are more blessed than the many who will not even survive this day.'

'If you have never experienced the fear in battle,
the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture,
or the pangs of starvation...
you are ahead of 700 million people in the world.'

'If you can attend a church without the fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death you are envied by, and more blessed than, three billion people in the world.'

'If your parents are still alive and still married...
you are very rare.'

'If you can hold your head up and smile,
You are not the norm,
you're unique to all those in doubt and despair.'

Ok, what now? How can I start?

If you can read this message,
you just received a double blessing
in that someone was thinking of you
as very special and you are more blessed
than over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all.

Have a good day, count your blessings,
and if you want to, pass this along
to remind everyone else how blessed we all are.

...and I leave you with one of my favourite quotes:

Monday, June 9, 2008

Curtain-shopping in Nilai

Nilai, a town south of Kuala Lumpur is famous for a Chinese speciality, Buddha Jump Over The Wall, so I was surprised to learn from a colleague that she went all the way to Nilai to buy curtains instead. It was from her neighbour's recommendation she said.

However, the experience was not a positive one as the materials that looked nice were all sold out leaving just the ones that were plain and mediocre in quality. What a letdown to be going all the way there only to be disappointed. She finally did her shopping in Petaling Jaya.

Of Dusters and Floor Mops

I was at a hypermarket over the weekend and discovered two items I never knew existed which goes to show that shopping or window-shopping is educational, at least for me.

I discovered a peelable whiteboard duster in which when it gets dirty or soiled with marker-ink, you can peel it off to expose a fresh clean layer. Including the first layer, there is a total of five layers. Cool, huh?

The other thing I discovered is that there are different types of floor mops. I must admit I am behind where mops are concerned and was I surprised to find that there are steam floor mops, microfiber floor mops, even bucketless mops.

To Twitter or Not To Twitter...

That is the question.

Do I need to?

Do I want to?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Differences between women's and men's brains are very real

Interesting article here about the differences between men and women. No, we are not talking about who is superior but merely appreciating the differences.

Start with why women prefer to talk about their feelings, while men prefer to meditate on sex.

"Women have an eight-lane superhighway for processing emotion, while men have a small country road". Men, however, "have O'Hare Airport as a hub for processing thoughts about sex, where women have the airfield nearby that lands small and private planes."

"Connecting through talking activates the pleasure centers in a girl's brain. We're not talking about a small amount of pleasure. This is huge. It's a major dopamine and oxytocin rush, which is the biggest, fattest neurological reward you can get outside of an orgasm."

Friday, June 6, 2008

Friday Frolics - What's the Part of You That No One Sees


The Part of You That No One Sees

You are balanced, peaceful, and sincere.

You're the type of person who goes along to get along.

And you're definitely afraid of rocking the boat.

Underneath it all, you fear your world falling apart.

You'll put up with a situation that you don't like in fear of changing it.

Disruptive and forceful people intimidate you - and sometimes exploit you.

More Fun Quizzes

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Petrol Price Up 78 Sen

Last night, I was puzzled being caught in a bad traffic jam at a usually rather smooth-flowing stretch. Vehicles were all queuing up for gas before the gas hike at midnight. All the months of speculation about the increase is finally over. Below was a typical scene at most, if not all, petrol stations. Some stations had to display the "Sold Out" sign long before midnight while others had oil tankers refilling the station tanks at the same time vehicles were refuelling their gas tank.

The Government announced yesterday an increase in petrol and diesel prices, stating that it can no longer continue to subsidise fuel. Petrol price is up by 78 sen while diesel is up by RM1.00. And prices will be reviewed monthly based on the global oil price.

More...Petrol price up by 78 sen

I saw on TV, elsewhere - in India - oil price was also increased at midnight yesterday.

Drastic times need drastic measures. Time to get a bicycle!

Ballet, anyone?

Here's something funny, if you haven't seen it already. Revisit it anytime you need a laugh. It cracks me up everytime. Enjoy!! (Remember not to leave your mouth open too long though. You might get lockjaw!!)

A Holiday Makes It All Worthwhile

There is something about the sea and the beach that holiday-makers make their way to them every chance they get. Schools are having a break now and holiday destinations are fully-booked, some of them booked months ahead or even a year ahead, especially those time-sharing venues.

With views and fun activities like those in the pictures above, no wonder Sea Pines rentals are so popular. Come to think of it, it is pleasures like these that make up for all the toil the rest of the year. Happy Holiday!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

David Cook - American Idol, Season 7

Last Month saw the grand finale of the last season (Season 7) of the American Idol. Did you catch it? Are you a fan?

When American Idol first started, it was a high-profile show and everyone was following it and talking about it. But after a few seasons, the interest level sort of petered off. I gave up after two seasons and watched whenever it happened to be on but I sure am glad to have caught the last season, albeit just the last remaining rounds. And the contestant I rooted for became the American Idol. Yay! David Cook rocks!!

As I missed the earlier rounds, naturally I was interested to see how he did, so I went through almost all the videos on YouTube last night and picked out some of his better performances and loaded them here. IMO, he deserves the win. He won by a margin of 12 million votes! He is more versatile, more daring and creative and simply has what it take to be an Idol.

I love his version of Billy Jean - so radically different from MJ's. Caught me off-guard that this number could be done so differently and yet come up so beautiful, soothing even. He did a great job too on Hello, Eleanor Rigby, Day Tripper, Free's All Right Now. He could take on anything and everything, and give it a new rock twist, a new life. Imagine DC singing Andrew Lloyd Webber's Music of the Night from Phantom of the Opera. Awesome rendition. Serene and romantic.

Certain numbers sound better in the studio, others better on stage. I wonder if they'd be compiling the whole lot into an album.

Give the list below a listen and see if you agree that David Cook deserves the win. Enjoy!

David Cook - American Idol Season 7 Audition (Livin' On A Prayer)

Day Tripper

Eleanor Rigby - Performance

Eleanor Rigby - Studio Version

Dolly Parton's "Little Sparrow"

Mariah Carey's "Always Be My Baby"


Music of the Night - Phantom of the Opera

Billie Jean

Free's "All Right Now"

A Traveller's Woes

I am sure it is a universal problem when it comes to missing things at the airport. Malaysia is no exception. The latest I heard happened just last week. This is a new one.

A visiting colleague from the US upon reaching down to his pants-pocket for his Blackberry discovered the battery-pack cover missing from it. However, he wasn't sure though as to whether it was the result of an attempted theft or did the cover drop off by itself.

A trip to Low Yat Plaza the following day did not prove fruitful as he was not able to find a replacement cover. He probably would have better luck if it was for upgrading laptop memory. However, he assured me that he would probably have better lucky finding the Blackberry cover in Shanghai, his next stop.

Let's Go Shopping

IKEA must be a godsend for some of us. You can get practically everything for the home there - from mundane cutlery to bedroom sets to plants to children's toys to audio racks, to other hundreds, maybe thousands of other items.

DIY enthusiasts would savour the challenge and satisfaction of putting pieces together, new home-owners would be able to adequately furnish their love-nests, and avid window-shoppers would get an enjoyable eyeful of pretty things and new ideas. Now, what would we do without this treat?!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Yves Saint Laurent dies

Designer wear. Do you own any, have a full closet of them or simply detest it, believing haute couture is simply overrated.

No matter how we feel about it, fashion plays a huge role in our lives, inherent, actually. Everything we have on our back is basically fashion. Yes, the basic street fashion is fashion.

Clothes, like flowers, (colourful) are captivating which makes people-watching for the clothes they wear, an interesting pastime and fashion designers adulated. Mere mortals they may be but their creations live on. Take for instance, Versace, Gianni Versace that is, he may have died more than a decade ago, on July 15, 1997,to be exact (killed by Andrew Cunanan), but his clothes live on making him immortal in a sense.

Sadly, as we speak, the world of haute couture has lost yet another icon, Yves Saint Laurent, who died on Sunday evening in Paris, after a long illness. He was 71.

Yves Saint Laurent, considered by many as the greatest fashion designer of the 20th Century, changed the face of the fashion industry when he became chief designer of the House of Dior at 21.

He designed clothes that reflected women's changing role in society, making them more confident personally, sexually and in the work-place. He changed forever what women wear, introducing trouser suits, safari jackets and sweaters.

In the words of the editor of British Vogue, Alexandra Shulman, she said Saint Laurent had helped democratise fashion:

"Before that people had small salons for rich people.

"Saint Laurent brought it to the people.

"He was young and groovy. Pop stars were hanging out with him and younger generations related to him."

Watch a Saint Laurent fashion show.

If you are a fashion designer or someone in the business of clothes or simply have something to say about clothes, here's something you might want to participate in. Send in your tribute, on the form on the site. This is what you need to do:

Did you know the designs of Yves Saint Laurent? Are you a designer who was inspired by him or did you work with him? Have you ever worn one of his creations? What contribution do you think he made to the fashion industry? Send us your tributes using the form below.

May he rest in peace.


Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sex and the City

Sex and the City, I remember this HBO tv series kept a lot of women indoors glued to their tv sets. I was one of them. This multiple Emmy Award and Golden Globe award–winning popular American cable television program ran for a good six whole seasons from 1998 to 2004.

I love this series for a number of reasons. I love that it was filmed on location in and around New York City, Manhattan to be exact. I have always been fascinated by New York City so it was a treat to be able to see parts of the city in the show.

Next, I love the fashion. Who wouldn't?! Some of the clothes may be outrageous in form and colour and their high-heels ankle sprain-defying but they are fun and refreshing.

The witty dialogue, result of good writing, makes the show interesting and funny. The show became well known and lauded for its frank dialogue about women and sex.

The women discuss their sexual desires and fantasies, and their travails in life and love. The show often depicts frank discussions about romance and sexuality, particularly in the context of being a single woman in her mid-thirties. Women can identify with the show which accounts for its popularity. This observation was also shared by a visitor to my blog in a post I wrote about the show way back in Dec 2004 - the post that launched my blog, in a way. She said:

"The series is just so relatable. Everyone has a Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte in their lives...sometimes not always in one person, but there are attributes in each of those women that are specific enough to make you think, "Wow, I'm making a connection with those characters!" but general enough to make everyone capable of relating."

According to Wikipedia, fans of Sex and the City say that the show is a realistic portrayal of the sexual behavior and lifestyles of many urban Americans though the characters have been criticized for being shallow, superficial, and self-absorbed. I have to admit though that a good part of their lifestyle is not applicable here in our Eastern society. Still, it widens our horizons. I hope the Sex and the City: The Movie will be as entertaining as the series.

Some additional notes:

1. Over its course of six seasons, "Sex and the City" was nominated for over 50 Emmy Awards, winning seven times.

2. Because of the 9/11 attacks, shots of the World Trade Center Towers were replaced by the Empire State Building during the opening sequence of season four.

3. The film originally was slated for production near the end of the broadcast series run in 2004, but the movie deal fell through at that time. Multiple press reports at the time indicated a personal dispute between Parker and Cattrall, as well as Cattrall's refusal to sign a contract for the film at a pay scale considerably less than Parker's

4. The movie was released ten years after the series first aired and four years after the series ended.

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Text source: Wikipedia