chris blake – wave

In one of Sashi’s blog posts, he included a video and called it “Biggest Regrets” . I followed all the necessary links, and found out that it was a proper music video for a Chris Blake song, titled ‘Someone Else’.

Clicked on link, clicked on link, clicked on link. Landed on Chris Blake’s MySpace. Listened to ‘Someone Else’ on repeat for the rest of the day. Told random people about it. Clicked on link, got to his CDBaby page. Clickety click, thought it over for a long while, clickety click, made payment etc. Now I own a legit copy of Chris Blake’s second album, Wave ;)

Chris Blake Wave
Well, I chose the ‘no plastic cover’ option

In a nutshell, I find his voice rather husky; perhaps not as soothing as Jack Johnson’s (then again, not many people are) but no less relaxing to listen to. Someone reviewed this album on-line (can’t locate the link now, sorry) and said this, “The lyrics are simple, straightforward, and sweet as are the melodies and harmonies.” I couldn’t agree more.

Some of my favourite tracks:
(which you can listen to at his MySpace or on CDBaby)

The first track Phantom Love is a slightly guitar-heavy, can be a bit commercial rock-ish. The nearest similar song I can think of now is Chris Cornell’s You Know My Name. Maybe some of the guitar stuff they did in Audioslave. But lyrics-wise, not as dark lah. Following that is Party On The Last Iceberg, a song about environmental concerns. At first I thought that this song was damn weird. Like some robotic chant that is terribly annoying and stupid. After a while (4 hours, maybe?) it grew on me and now I really like it. Well, when I first heard Coldplay’s Speed of Sound, I hated it with a vengeance. Then I saw the light.

Trains and Blow Away have a distinctive 90s feel to them, sort of fit right in with Blues Travelers. Don’t know why, but I always feel like listening to Howie Day’s Collide after ‘Trains’. Mean It Now, a beautiful harmonisation with these simple yet poignant lyrics, “Ah the perfect embrace, but let me see your face, and the crease above your brow, that says you really mean it now”. You can imagine the scene in your mind.

I guess the #1 crowd pleaser is Someone Else. “Goodbye, she said to me.. so how was I to know she didn’t want to go… I stepped aside so she could leave… never thinking if I held her then, she’d never leave again…”. Brought a scene from the movie ‘The Parent Trap‘ to my mind, when the divorced couple rehashed the past:

Nick: Why did you leave?
Elizabeth: Why didn’t you come after me?
Nick: I didn’t know you wanted me to.

I know a couple of people I can dedicate the song to! Hah!

There’s also this number in the album, How Journey Saved My Life. I can’t make sense of it, not being a Journey fan/ didn’t grow up in that era. Steve Perry is a big thing? Har? It’s like telling fans of those pseudo rock band wannabes with band members wearing way too much eyeliner that they should appreciate Jakob Dylan. Well okay, maybe not exactly the same. Anyway that’s the only song I skip in the entire album.

Well, that’s it. Not much of a review, I know. Who really cares? Just wanted to get the word out that I have this CD and I love it. And to prove a point to the movie and recording industry (yes, here’s me waggling my finger at you giants and moguls, pass me another delusional pill) that people do part ways with their money, but only if the products don’t suck. So stfu about piracy being your biggest headache; you have bigger problems than that.

the birthday boy with his birthday cake

We had a little party for Ryan on Sunday. Funnily enough, none of his friends were there :P So I guess it was just an excuse for the grown-ups to get-together, and gobble up the ‘taufu far’ made by my brother-in-law’s mom. Heavenly!

As mentioned earlier, me and my eldest sister got him a specialty cake by Min. I brought FA with me to collect the cake, so it could sit on her lap while I do my usual F1 stunts. Min asked me what Ryan likes, and the first thing that came to me was ‘Cars‘. Maybe I am out of touch with him, seeing that he loves guns now. But a cake that resembles a gun seems wrong for a 3 year old, no? Anyway Min got to work on the cake, and…

Ryans birthday cake by Mamamin
Click on the photo above for a larger version

The above is a scene from Cars the movie, when Lightning McQueen fell into the ditch in an unsuccessful attempt to win at a race against Doc. Mater stood by, ready to fish McQueen out. Everything is edible, except for the toy cars and the paper signboards, hand-made by Min.

Ryan with his birthday cake
The birthday boy with his birthday cake!

The cake was most delicious! We got the moist chocolate, and it was very rich and rather awesome, heh. You can get your own specialty cake from MamaMin, just check out her blog and Flickr for oodles of photos.

As for Ryan, the kid grows up so fast. His punches are beginning to hurt. Wish I could freeze him at 8 months old.

maybe it’s just me, but i feel a bit cheated here

So Maxis sent me a booklet filled with discount vouchers for things such as hotel rooms, mobile phone accessories, clothes, food, spa.. those type of things. Normally I discard these things as I can’t afford RM1630 for a 4D/3N stay at Club Med (not including club membership fees), even if getting there and back is free. Well, that was just an example taken from the booklet lah.

But my dearest Pinky just informed me that she will have a week off in late August, as part of her transition to a new job. As she thinks that I am a rather awesome person, she wants to spend that week in KL/PJ with me. She also suggested a trip to Penang, as she has never been there and would like to go try their most wonderful and delicious local fare. After all, appreciation for good food is just one of the two traits we Malaysians share with Singaporeans; the other being giddy with happiness at securing a good (usually shopping-related) bargain.

I remembered the Maxis discount booklet, and something about cheaper rates for a hotel room in Penang. Turns out that the voucher is for the Parkroyal Hotel in Penang. The offer states that you can ‘get a 50% discount on accommodation and receive a complimentary upgrade to the next room category’. Sounds rather awesome, right? I’ve stayed at that very hotel before, and it was a really nice experience.

So I checked out the website, and the rate for a ‘Deluxe Twin-Bedded Seafacing Room’ costs RM420 per night. Fantabulous! Upon confirming the dates and rates with Pinky, I called the hotel to book our room.

“RM 450++ a night AFTER discount.”
“Huh but the rates stated on your website is RM 420.”
“Oh, those are website rates. Already on promotion.”

1. I know that rates on websites are always slightly cheaper. But by a full half price?
2. *Already on promotion* did not appear anywhere on the site
3. I am more stunned than angry.

So maybe it’s just me. But I still feel a bit cheated. And friend told me that I should blog about it, so here it is.

on-line road tax renewal via myeg… nice!

If you’d remember, I had the opportunity to cam-ho with Maya Karin earlier this year. She wore a red hot leather suit and was friendly in person. If you need to refresh your memory (and another chance to be totally and completely envious of me), here you go:

Suanie with Maya Karin
Maya Karin with Suanie. Maya Karin with Suanie. Maya Karin with Suanie… :P

Months passed and now I can finally reveal the reason she wore that red hot leather suit. It was all for MyEG‘s services; MyEG is a local company set up for Malaysians to perform on-line government transactional services via its E-Government initiatives. Which means that using MyEG, you can do stuff such as renew your road tax on-line, opt to collect it at the nearest e-Service centre (full list available at the website) or have it delivered to you (with a minimal delivery charge) and you’re good to go!

How does this work?

1. Go to http://myeg.com.my. See the ‘Road Tax Renewal’ link on the right hand side as exemplified by this lovely screenshot below that I took? Well, click on that.

myeg-1

2. If you’ve bought your car insurance earlier, you may proceed with this step – fill out the form with your details and submit your request, then make payment etc. If you have yet to purchase your car insurance, this won’t work for you (as I found out by experience). See no. 3.

myeg-2
Click on the image above for a larger version

3. If you’d like to renew your car insurance via MyEG (currently they offer CIMB’s Aviva Tafakul Berhad and Maybank’s ETIQA Tafakul Berhad), click on the ‘CLICK HERE TO BUY INSURANCE’ link on the main MyEG page, or the link from screenshot no.2. Enter your details etc, then I guess you’d be able to make payment (via credit card, pre-paid payment or direct debit) and stuff. I don’t know because I am a spoilt brat who has someone to do all these things for me. You, who may not enjoy my lot in life, you who have to do all these tedious but necessary things in life yourself, now have the option to do it all on-line and have everything delivered to you :D Lucky you, eh? ;)

Well I think it’s pretty straightforward. You can also check for any outstanding JPJ or PDRM summons and make payment for them; unless it’s an expired warrant, then you’d have to make your way to a traffic police counter near you. In any case, they have a pretty good FAQ, you can check it out here.

Looks good, try it :) This is a pretty good time to do so too, because MyEG is currently running an introductory promotion that allows you to stand a chance to win a FREE road tax renewal. You’ll need to renew your car insurance using MyEG, and… follow the instructions at this page. Looks no-fuss to me. Or you can call them at 03-78018888 if you have.. uhmn problems doing things on-line.

This promotion ends on the 31st August 2008. You have… *looks at calendar* one month left. Get on with it already!

some people are not made to encourage

Suanie: I found out something great today!
Robocop: Something great?
Suanie: Yes.
Robocop: Tell me.
Suanie: It’s going to sound boring, but it’s exciting to me.
Robocop: That’s ok, everything I say seems like that to me (in retrospect). Go!
Suanie: Textures and layering in photoshop! :D
Robocop: .oO( not gimp … )
Suanie: No. Gimp sucks. Anyway…
Robocop: .oO ( gimp opensource )
Robocop: So you’re proud of your textures and layering? I expect you’ll be using textures and layering on your blog now.
Suanie: Well… here.
Robocop: What am I supposed to see?
Suanie: Starbucks mug
Robocop: Yes, I see that.. oO ( …and? )
Suanie: There’s a layer of texture!
Robocop: .oO ( what’s she talking about? )
Robocop: like the interference ?
Suanie: Yes. It’s from another image.
Robocop: Looks like we’re looking through a dirty window?
Suanie: I smashed them up together
Robocop: hm. *pats you on the head*
Suanie: Don’t want to talk to you!
Robocop: Suan… you write beautifully. Probably, if you use the hell out of it, photoshop or whatever evil closed image software photoshop-look-a-like you use: you’ll be very impressive and an artiste! But for now… dirty window.