Thursday, October 27, 2005

The March of the Penguins

I love this docu-movie. Warner Independent Pictures made a gem for 2005 - it has all the stops; haunting music, loving shots of parental penguin love, cute furry chicks and beautiful underwater shots. But don't be fooled - after this movie one can't help but be awed by the miracle that is the Emperor Penguins.
Aptenodytes forsteri
The largest penguin, the Emperor stands about 1.3 m (4 ft) and weighs between 20 and 45 kg (44 to 99 lb.). These birds live along the coasts and neighbouring seas of Antarctica. They are well adapted to the frigid climate. To further protect themselves against the cold, groups of adults and young huddle close to one another. They eat fish and squid that they catch in their sharp beaks while swimming under water.
When Emperor Penguins are courting they display brilliant orange ear patches. They breed during the long darkness of the Antarctic winter, gathering at rookeries during the months of April and May. They do not build nests or establish territories. Within a few hours after the female lays a single egg, the male positions the egg on top of his feet and covers it with a warm fold of abdominal skin. Shortly thereafter, the female travels over the ice to the open sea to feed, leaving the male to incubate the egg. About two months later she will return to feed and raise the newly-hatched chick.

"In the harshest place on earth, love finds a way". It’s funny – a reviewer groused on Amazon that this movie is ‘pro-life propaganda’. Nature IS pro-life – it is only man who behaves and thinks like an alien on this planet. I would like to come as an Emperor Penguin for the coming Halloween Party and I won’t be surprised if I see other ‘penguins’ too.

Friday, October 21, 2005

The week that was...

Here's a summary of exclamations, utterances, messages that made the week that was for me...:

"You're lazy." This comment hits me like a blow on the head. Maybe its a case of "Siapa yang termakan chili, terasa pedasnya" (Malay proverb literally translated says "Who eats the chilli, will feel the sting")

"Don't make me ineffective!" This comment makes me feel helpless. This is the problem of communication breakdown between two departments -why can't people accept the responsibility given to them? And what makes the person think that they themselves aren't very effective either?

"Have a good day" This exclamation is said every day. The person that said it made me realize that politeness pays (most of the time). It's rare to find well mannered people come to think of it.

"Let me send you to your place" This comment makes me retreasure the person who said it. Old good friends are harder to find.

"I've never felt so dissappointed in my life" I think I said this my self one time this week. But I'd rather think about getting myself together after the dissappointment than dwell on it.

" What is your nice unfair advantage?" A very useful reminder of re-evaluating your strengths and weaknesses.

"Everyone lives as if they'll never die." I mis-interpreted the person the first time I heard it by answering "But that's the way we should live?" What she meant was that people live their lives in a thoughtless manner. If we realized how limited our time were, we would most probably be living it differently.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Books of 2005

Closing post for the week, I just joined the British Council Library in Wisma Selangor Dredging (finally!) They have nice titles and Ms Komathi was really helpful and they close at 9pm - great! And so I make my count of the books I've read. One of these days I have to use Krishna Kumar's Star benchmarking system on rating book utility though. Special thanks also to Sharon, Fiction and Friends and the creative writers(you know who you are) for lending me some of your books.

Read so far:
1) His Dark Materials - Phillip Pullman
2) The No. 1 Detective Ladies Agency - Alexander McCall Smith
3) He's Just Not That Into You - Greg Behrendt
4) The Phantom Tollbooth - Norton Juster
5) The Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
6) The Two Sisters - Tagore
7) The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
8) Reading Lolita in Tehran - Azhar Nafisi
9) Harmony Silk Factory - Tash Aw
10) The Secret Life of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd
11) The Piano Teacher - Elfride Jelinek
12) A Year in The Merde - Stephen Clarke
13) A Wild Sheep Chase - Haruki Murakami
14) My Uncle Oswald - Roald Dahl
15) Across The Red River (Into the Heart of Darkness -Rwanda, Burundi and Congo) - Christian Jennings
16) No Longer At Ease - Chinua Achebe
17) The Hours - Michael Cunningham
18) Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro
19) Dance Dance Dance -Haruki Murakami
20) Lolita - Nabokov

Now Reading:
1) The Lexus and The Olive Tree - Thomas Friedman (Re-read)
2) Solaris - Stanislaw Lem

Have in hand but wanting to read:
1) Small Island - Andrea Levy
2) A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
3) Execution - Bossidy Charan and Burck
4) Lonesome Dove - Larry McMurtry

Don't have but want to beg/steal/borrow:
1) Arthur and George - Julian Barnes
2) The Tipping Point - Malcolm Gladwell

Occasionally think about and want to read:
1) Underworld - Don Dellilo
2) The Death and Life of Dith Pran - Sydney Schonberg
3) Sightseeing - Rattawup Lapcharoensap

Monday, October 10, 2005

Over the weekend....

It's another weekend gone and once again my financials spike ceiling-wards. I like to think of my expenditures as 'events' to categorize under. Damages are as follows:

Friday Oct 7
Entertainment: RM50.00 (Karaoke at Neway)
Transport: RM4.00 (Parking at Berjaya Times Square)

Saturday Oct 8
Food: RM30.01 (Chilli's at KLCC for friend's farewell, Starbucks in BTS and soya bean at Petaling St)
Transport: RM5.00 (Parking at BTS)
Clothes: RM13.00 (Yoga pants at Petaling St, really needed one and it's really cheap too)
Servicing:RM8.00 (I love this category - it's funny)

Sunday Oct 9
Transport: RM6.00 (Parking at KLCC)
Entertainment: RM10.00 (Watched Saint Ange at KLCC)
Food: RM11.00 (Cappucino and bread at Sun moulin)
Servicing:RM55.00 (Nice)
Books: RM98.23 (There goes my book quota at Kino last Sunday)
Food: RM16.80 (Stuff from the Bangsar Night Market)

Looking at it, averagely I would run around at least 3 places in a day on the weekend. That would make like 6 locations in a weekend. I can't seem to help it. It's in my nature - but of course there's the issue of spending. Would it be better to stay cooped up at home? I don't think so. I'm a retailer's dream come true methinks.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

First Time 7.42pm

This is one of the rare times I've been in the office later than past 5pm. I'm not bashful about going home on the dot. Think in this culture it's still considered 'taboo' to be timely about going home. Oh well, fortunately for me, moi doesn't think so. I wouldn't mind staying past the office hour - sometimes I feel like but then again, I would like a balance of both worlds too.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Last Weekend - Melaka Hunt and gym

Last Saturday, I went on a Treasure Hunt in Melaka with Anna (I call her my crazy Italian lady which I think she doesn't mind - she says if 'one cannot be crazy, one cannot be wise'). It was organized by her friend Marie-Francoise for the French Association. Things started well when I got lost to her finding her place (seems I discovered a quirk of mine - I can't follow instruction and directions very well) which kind of foretells how I would fare in a treasure hunt. Haha

3 cockerels, dead Francis Xavier missionaries, Tiger Gods, crypts, weddings, 'handless' statues, old Indian mosques, the Melaka tree, baba nyonya heritage, historians, herb gardens - it was the first time I 'discovered' Melaka after having visited it for the umpteenth time. The thing that left the deepest impression on me was Serge and Casey, the couple who passionately spent a year rebuilding a dilapidated rickety storehouse into a beautiful inn with a legacy and character. Thanks Anna and Marie Francoise for the trip!

Sunday was another eventful day - I spent it in the only way I think best suits a Sunday - working out and shopping. I did back-to-back classes of Bodystep, Bodypump and Bodybalance. I wanted to run another 1/2 hour after that but when I fell asleep in Bodybalance, I knew my body got the better of me. As Sarah, my friend couldn't make it, I was on my own and free to do what I want - rediscovered that I like shopping alone. As Fitness First was at the Curve, I spent the next few hours perusing the shops....and short-term gratifying myself with a few purchases. Aaah....what a weekend. So I'm a few pounds and ringgit lighter come Monday - gosh I don't want to look at my credit card statements this month end!