actorlympics/ douglas lim/ bill clinton/ lainie

My sister and I caught Actorlympics earlier, it was my second Actorlympics show since… erm my first Actorlympics show?

This language thing is so hard.

Afdlin Shauki, Douglas Lim, Reza, Joanna Bessey and one Actorlympics virgin whose name I can’t recall at the moment were darn brilliant, fantastic and pain-inducing — I laughed too much that I wanted to pee and laugh some more at the same time. Very painful. I don’t recommend it, so remember to empty your bladder prior to watching the show.

Had a drink with Douglas after the show, ‘cos he’s friends with my sister and they had lots to talk about etc etc. Found out that he will be in a Gavin Yap play, in Clive Barker’s Frankenstein In Love. I am not familiar with the storyline but by virtue of the director being Gavin Yap, I know it’s going to be disturbing.

Other familiar faces in the play are Patrick Teoh, Rashid Salleh, Melissa Maureen, Reza, Mano Maniam and U-En. OMG U-EN!!! That’s it, my ticket’s booked :D

The play begins 27th October and ends 3rd November. No, I’m not getting paid to promote it :)

Here’s an obligatory camwhore photo.

Suanie with Douglas Lim

That’s right, I have weird fingers.

You’d think twice now before messing with me.

Else I’d finger you.

And that would hurt.

Bwaha. Bwahahaha. Bwahahahahahahahaha!!!!!

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Been reading Bill Clinton’s autobiography My Life since forever… or one and a half weeks but I can’t even get past a quarter of the book. And I’m a pretty fast reader, but this one kinda got me. Maybe ‘cos I don’t really understand the intricates of American politics… heck, I don’t understand the intricacy of Malaysian politics… what’s my point again?

Riveting stuff though, just taking me a long while. Maybe I should ditch it for a bit and read some pointless short stories or something. Or Cleo. That stuff is pretty much brain-dead zone.

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I like Lainie-style posts.

alfa romeo/ supernova/ lainie

This is an Alfa Romeo 147 nicely parked at the green, lush KLPac.

Alfa Romeo 147

The good thing about this car is that it’s cute. The bad thing about this car is that the boot cannot really fit a Suan.

Alfa Romeo 147 - Suanie in boot

You can read a proper review at Paultan.org.

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Haha, I know who got booted! Well, it’s about about about about time, I like the voice but I don’t think the person is suited for the band. Cewah, I talk as if I am part of the band making the decisions liddat. And why did Lukas murdered the Bon Jovi song last night? You do bad things got karma one you know.

My pick to win: Toby. I feel that Dilana is losing the fans. But like Chris asked, does it matter who wins? I guess not. The journey of speculation is damn fun though. I sat through an entire Williams session with Fireangel talking about the show and its people. See, reality shows strenghten friendship ties… heh…. SHOWS LIKE THIS, WHERE TO GET?!?!? :P :P

(By the way she is nominated for some Best Malaysia Blog. Go vote for her when the polls open! You know, just to piss her off :D )

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This Lainie-style post is very effective.

pixart pocket photo book

Dominic from Pixart sent me an email, offering me a chance to review their new product, the Pixart PhotoStylist Pocket Book Edition. Free stuff + blog content = take!!!

Basically it works like this:
1) You want to create a photobook using Pixart’s services
2) You download and install the software
3) You add images, create pages, basically creating your photobook
4) You upload your photobook project to Pixart’s server and send them money
5) Pixart mails you your photobook.

So simple, kan? Like a piece of cream cheese cake.

Installation

Dominic called to asked if I was using a PC or a Mac, as they have different versions for both OS. I use a PC, so he sent me a link to download the Pocket Book software which is 2.11MB (different from the big ass coffee table PhotoBook software which is 5.5MB).

If you plan to get your own Pixart album, I highly recommend that you download and install the .NET Framework thing prior to installing the Pixart software, that is if you do not have it already. It is a big file so it may take some time to download.

And for some reason, I initially downloaded .NET Framework 2.0 (because it’s the latest) but it didn’t seem to work – you need the .NET Framework 1.1. Why? I don’t know, I didn’t develop the software, heh.

Creating your Pixart Pocket Book

Pixart Pocket Book - 4 Easy Steps
4 Easy Steps greet you when you run the programme

The steps at first glance are pretty straightforward — add your photos, select a theme, create the pages, create the book cover and then purchase your photobook. The promotional brochure from Pixart says that you could “create a 12 page pocket book (double side printing) in 15 minutes or less with simple to manage layouts designed for quick & easy compilation.” I suppose you could, but I’d really recommend fiddling around the software for a bit before ordering your photo book — see what you could or could not do, prior to ordering your photo book.

Pixart Pocket Book - Select theme

There are 5 layouts (called themes) to choose from — two photos on one page, one photo on one page, two photos on one page with a caption, one photo on one page with a caption, and no photos on one page with a caption. If you fiddle around some more, you can have different layouts for each page. Unfortunately I found this out too late :P

Pixart Pocket Book - Creating Pages

Then you drag-and-drop your photos to the pages, where you can crop the photo, enlarge or reduce the size of the photo, add frames and shadows, and do a host of other stuff like sharpen/blur/adjust lighting and so on to your photo. Note: if you plan to use the ‘Edge 2 Edge – Single’ layout, make sure that your photo is of high resolution, the width being at least 1600px for better effect. And take note that it is a bound book, so do not choose a photo where your face is at the extreme right or left, else it would be kinda gone?

A picture says a thousand words, so here’s one to illustrate my point.

Pixart Pocket Book - Example

Poor Kerol. So, learn from my mistakes, k?

After all that is done, you create your book cover.

Pixart Pocket Book - Creating book cover

It’s fairly easy — just choose 5 of your existing photos for the cover, add your title and caption, and you’re done. Remember that the middle photo is ‘bengkok’ so you may not want to place your most important photo in the middle box.

When you are done creating your photo book, there’s a form for you to enter your details (name, mailing address etc) and a nice friendly button for you to click to upload your photo book to Pixart’s server. Which was what I tried to do, 6 times in 3 days but for some reason it didn’t work for me. Halfway through the upload, it would tell me ‘Temporary disruption encounter on the network‘. So I sent an e-mail to Dominic relating my problem. He quickly replied with an alternative solution to uploading the photo book. Happily it worked. Apparently…

We have detected that sometimes the TM Network is unstable and your PC can’t get a lock on the Pixart server. Hence the FTP method is a backup of getting the file transferred. Some other customers do face this but in the minority.

Damn you TM Net…

And it arrived… hallelujah!

Pixart - Package arrived

… not without some problems, though it wasn’t the fault of Pixart but PosLaju. On the day I was expecting the package to arrive, I received a card instead left by PosLaju saying that there wasn’t anyone at home (lies, all lies!) and could I pick up my package at the SHAH ALAM OFFICE WTFBBQ!!!! No way am I going to Shah Alam, so I called them up and asked them to deliver it again the next day. Lucky for them, they did.

So here’s my Pocket Book, ta-dahhhh!!!

Pixart Pocket Book - Front

Yes, I know I’m not terribly imaginative, fueled with a massive dose of narcissism too. But it’s MY pocket book, so bleh.

Pixart Pocket Book - Back

I ordered and paid for another pocket book, but that one contains all my nekkid photos so I can’t possibly share that with you. You all still want to eat, right?

Pixart Pocket Book - Suanie

I love the personalised hard cover — stains could be easily wiped off. The photos are printed on thick semi-gloss paper — there’s only digital imaging option for the pocket book (similar to colored pictures in a magazine or close to those of offset print presses) whereas the coffee book edition has a photo imaging option (exactly the same print quality as photos produced from photo labs). TBH I suppose if you own a super duper printer, you could recreate the same stuff yourself using photoshop or something, though you won’t get the nice book cover.

Pixart Pocket Book - Add Captions

The pocket book measurements are 5.5 inches height and 7.7 inches width. It’s pretty handy to take around anywhere; I brought it to the mamak for my friends to have a look, doesn’t take up much space in the big bags that I usually lug around.

I like the possibilities of the pocket book, I think it’s great to have it if you want to document your travels or special events. So I thought of some titles which you may want to consider:

I went to Bangkok – and all I got was a photobook (phew)
The Ex Tales – Images from the past
Glorious Me – in my birthday suit
Hitched! – but the bride is not me
A Model’s Portfolio – my boobies are like, better than yours

The pocket book is priced at RM50 for 12 pages (24 printed pages) and you can add extra pages at RM1.50 per double side printed page. Shipping to anywhere in Malaysia costs RM6. So it’s not really all that cheap to print all your life’s frivolous details, hence it’s a good thing that they are offering a 20% discount to all users who purchase the pocket book from 1st – 30th September 2006. Go wild.

Much thanks to Pixart for the pocket book, and extra thanks to Dominic for the very friendly and efficient customer service.

birth is the beginning of death

Om Mani Padme Hung Chant by Universal Wisdom Foundation (‘Science & Buddhism’ -1998)

fare ye well

I’ve been so out of touch with what’s happening around the country (that’s what happens when you are cut off from the Internet — I don’t know how I managed to survive years ago), and didn’t know that the Venerable Dr K. Sri Dhammananda Nayaka Maha Thera had sadly passed away :( :( :(

The first time I met the Chief Reverend was back in 1996. He had stopped by Batu Pahat, probably at the invitation of the Kg. Merdeka temple, and delivered a talk in English which was translated to Mandarin for there were many non-English speaking people present. He was quite funny — cracked several jokes which was unfortunately lost upon those who couldn’t understand English. Luckily I could, and I thoroughly enjoyed his talk and his light-hearted mannerisms. Quite a nice change from some of the other monks we had listened to.

I didn’t know who he was then, until my seniors informed me that he was THE Chief Reverend for both Malaysia and Singapore. He sure didn’t act like it — you would expect someone of such significance to be serious and uptight and all. Well I was young, and thankfully that view of mine was proven wrong, not just by the Chief Reverend but also by a couple other monks I would later meet and get to know.

A few years later, the Chief Reverend’s pictorial autobiography was published. I bought a copy, and had the good fortune to have the Chief Reverend sign my book when we paid him a visit at the Brickfields temple. In the meantime I had read up about the Chief Reverend. From what I learnt, he was instrumental in preaching religious tolerance and harmony, especially in Malaysia when we faced so much troubles before (and still do, but a slightly different set of troubles now, I think).

The Chief Reverend himself wrote many books; I believe the most popular one is What Buddhists Believe‘. There are a couple of others that I also enjoyed, such as “Why Religious Tolerance?”, “The Buddhist Concept of Heaven and Hell” and “Life in Uncertain, Death is Certain”. You can download his free publications here.

I particularly like his logical approach to certain issues that I seek answers to, and his works were very helpful during the ‘finding-myself’ days. He was one of the reasons why I believe that Buddhism is the one religion I could most understand and relate to. I don’t claim to be a very good Buddhist; really I am far far far from it but imagine — if there wasn’t Buddhism, I could turn out worse?

Sad day for Malaysians and all of humanity indeed.

Wesak Day @ Buddhist Maha Vihara, Brickfields 2005 - 16 portrait of Ven Dr K Sri Dhammananda

May the Chief Reverend attain parinirvana. If not this life, then surely the next.