Saturday, July 22, 2006

Israel Calling

This is scarry, but since its so far away its actually funny. I read this in The Star today.

July 22, 2006
Late night calls from Israel spook jittery Lebanese

BEIRUT (Reuters) - At first, Bushra Khayyat tried to ignore the incessant ringing of the phone at her house in Lebanon's southern port city of Sidon. It was 4 a.m., but she finally got out of bed.
"I said hello and got a recorded message from Israel," she told Reuters.
In clear Arabic, the strong voice on the phone said: "Oh Lebanese people, we tell you not to follow Hizbollah. We will continue to strike and no one will bring your prisoners back from Israel except the Lebanese government."
Other residents of the south have received similar calls.
"My grandmother got two calls at 5 and 6 in the morning saying the Israeli state would not stop the attacks and asking everyone to leave the area south of the Litani," said one woman who is stranded in Sidon. "She slammed the phone down."
Israel has dropped flyers on Lebanon during its 10-day-old conflict with Hizbollah guerrillas, warning people to stay away from the group's strongholds, warning them to evacuate their villages in the south or caricaturing the chief of Hizbollah.
But there was something eerie about the phone calls.
"It was a shock to get a call from Israel," said Khayyat, who has since fled the bombardment to Syria and then France.
"I have caller ID on my landline and when I checked it came up as 'out of area'. It's not that I was scared, I just wished I could talk back to the voice but it was a recorded message."
Khayyat got a similar call two nights later, this time answered by her maid, who, panicking when she heard a voice announce "this is Israel", immediately put down the phone.

Now that's some funny shit. Imagine if people in Johor Bahru got calls from Singapore, "This is Singapore, give us sand and air rights!". Man, that would freak everyone out. The Israeli propoganda department shouldn't have started the recorded voice with 'This is Israel". Most people would have slammed the phone down right after hearing that. They should have started with something like this, "Hi, I am Thomas the former petroleum minister of Nigeria. I need help in getting money out of my country..."

Friday, July 21, 2006

A Teluk Intan Wedding

A Teluk Intan Wedding
Video sent by luxen
Sim and See Ming's Teluk Intan wedding. A lot of chinese karaoke music as entertainment at their wedding. I am trying to upload small parts of the whole DVD onto the net. This is just a test video. Takes a long time to encode them to small windows media file. Still trying to figure out how to get the video converted to make it lighter. All the colours in the dark shadows are too dark to been seen on a computer monitor, if you watch it on a TV monitor it's okay. Not everyone has a TV hooked up to their PC like mine.
Awan Yang Terpilu

Today I was helping a colleague edit a story about convicts in prison. We used a song from a Ning Baizura video clip I haven’t seen before, Awan Terpilu. The story in the video clip was about a young malay village girl growing up wanting to be a singer against her father’s wishes. In the end, her father doesn’t come for her concert but it shows her father secretly compiling a scrap book of her daughter’s pictures from magazines. I suddenly found myself actually tearing up watching the video. Now here’s a great story about unrequited love. One of the best local music videos I’ve seen in a long time. Pretty embarrassing though, I guess I was emotionally drained and mentally tired today.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately, actually its been a few months already. I’ve been thinking of a career change. Lately I find that I’ve been mentally burned out. I can’t just keep coming up with new content. I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching. One of the few thoughts that was going through my mine is “is this what I really want to do?” The answer is no. Right now, I’m creating content that isn’t for the demographic I’m in. I used to think, okay this is community service and I’m doing it for the greater good. However, I realize I can also do what I really like to do and still be of service to the community.

Another problem is the language, its just a stumbling block trying to create content in a language that I’m still not comfortable with. With the specialization each station is going into, there’s less opportunity to do what I really want to do now. Been thinking of a move, but I guess what really depresses me is that I am indebted to the company I currently work for which is strange. For the first one year I worked here, I wanted to resign everyday. I wake up in the first six months thinking, ‘okay, maybe today is the day I send in my resignation letter’. Somewhere down the line, I don’t know how but the job grew on me. I think I actually got good at it.

Its hard to want to say good bye to a company that gave you everything. Where to next? I have plans but its all in the clouds right now. One of it is to join a sister company but that depends on a lot of thing. One of it is if the management would let me make the switch. Or if they even want me in the other company.

The other recourse is of course to move out of this country. Something I have been seriously considering a long time ago just after I graduated. Its harder to do that now, now that I have more commitments here.

I haven’t told anyone, but I secretly wish I could continue studying again. It’s a bit of a far reach but I’ve always loved the student life. No money there but, I’ve always been the intellectual type. Would love to take up media studies again or study theology and philosophy.

So many things I wanted to do that didn’t happen. I wanted to shoot a documentary but that didn’t materialize. I wanted to travel but that hasn’t been happening lately too.

I’ve been listening to an audio book, ‘Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus’ by Dr. John Gray. One of the theories about how differently men communicate from women is that men often retreat to their ‘cave’ when troubled while women like to share their problems. Right now, I feel like withdrawing into my ‘cave’ though I find that the cave I used to withdraw too is not the same anymore. It used to be my PC with computer games. However, I actually find it hollow now. I stopped playing Total War and I haven’t even installed the new games I bought. I wonder where I can go to contemplate my future.

I’m not the type who likes to talk about what bothers me at work with others, even those close to me. I like to compartmentalize my life. Work is work, personal life is personal life. They don’t mix. The problem now is, the problems I face at work is not something I want to share with anyone at work.

Listen to slow songs don’t help either. My winamp playlists is full of slow sad songs. I’ve been listening to Norah Jones and Shelley Leong. I know, it’s depressing.

Another thing that’s been bothering me is all the new things I want to buy. For instance, I really want a new laptop badly, a Dell XPS so I can edit on the move; a new video camera, probably a Panasonic GS400; a PDA so I can surf the net on the go. Today I was surfing Dell’s website at work admiring the XPS notebook then I realized what Buddha’s teaching has been about. We suffer because we want things. It became apparent to me, I suffer because I want all these material things. A laptop, video camera, a career change. Finding happiness right now where I am is hard but standing back and looking at it, I do have happiness. I have a woman who loves me, I already have an okay camera and a still pretty kick ass PC. I just fixed my old car so its decent. I don’t have chicken pox anymore! Though, I do have the scars on my body. Have to be grateful for what I have now I guess.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Tsunami Siti Nurhaliza & Datuk K

Biasanya, saya tak suka menulis dalam Bahasa Melayu. Agaknya, sebab saya dah lupa kebanyakan ejaan dalam BM. Tapi kali ini saya cuba menulis dalam BM untuk blog ini sebab ia berkaitan dengan apa yang saya menulis.

Dua hari lepas, semasa menonton Pirates Of the Caribbeans 2: Dead Men's Chest pada 9:15PM , senior producer (SP) saya menelepon saya beberapa kali tapi malas nak jawab, sebab tengah syok tengok Johnny Depp berlakon. Tapi filem itu selepas first half dah mula dragging sikit, so I balas balik dengan SMS, kata saya tengah tengok filem. SP saya pun balas dengan SMS yang di forward kepadanya oleh someone called Datuk Khalid Jiwa dan dia ada pengumuman di The Zon On The Park, Jalan Ampang dan kita kena buat siaran langsung.
Saya pun tak terfikir siapa Datuk ini, sebab tak kenal nama kan. So, lepas tengok ending filem (stupid ending, tak sangka dia orang ada cliffhanger) I call balik my SP, itu pun dah hampir 11 malam. Dia terus terangkan, Datuk Khalid Jiwa ini adalah Datuk K yang berkaitan dengan Siti Nurhaliza.

Manager saya pun SMS I, "please see me in the morning at 7:30". Dari itu, dah tahu something big going on.
Esok, terus bangun pukul 6 pagi, sampai kerja at 7 pagi. Jumpa boss GM I, dia kata dia nak buat life cross over untuk satu jam sebab Datuk K nak buat pengumuman pada pukul 12 petang... tepat-tepat pada mula siaran WHI. Tapi, saya pun dah agak mesti tak start on time. Tahu lah, 'Malaysian Time'.
As expected, kita kena drag sampai 12:40, baru press conference start. Agaknya, event ini mesti bersejarah sebab semua orang duduk dalam bilik control panel... sampai CEO, GM pun turun. CEO I pun dah frust sebab tak start on time... show kita pun sepatutnya habis siaran 12:57 so CEO terus call orang-orang Datuk K, belasah dia orang sebab start lambat dan minta dia orang start sekarang jugak!

Finally, kita start the press conference dan nasib baik CEO kita ada buat keputusan untuk extend masa siaran sampai 1:30PM. Sponsor yang datang untuk sponsored segment pun tak sempat masuk. Kesian juga dia orang, datang dari Seremban dan duduk di luar tapi tak boleh masuk. I pun tak tahu macam mana nak cakap dengan dia orang tak boleh on air. Seminit I duduk di luar pintu terfikir nak buat macam mana.

Nasib baik CEO I ada, untuk terang dengan agency dia orang. Mula-mula CEO janji bagi 5 minit time extra untuk ganti lain kali tapi agency itu terus complain tak habis-habis. In the end, CEO saya bagi dia orang 10 minit free. Apa nak buat, CEO yang bagi. Dia orang terus diam... tu lah, dapat free tak payah bayar.

Press Coference (PC) Datuk K dengan Siti pun penuh kecoh. Begitu banyak orang dalam bilik kecil. Sampai kabel camera kita semua pun pecah kena pijak wartawan. Nak tarik kabel baru pun kena marah orang. Gila betul dia orang ini.

Bukan setiap hari boleh mengambil bahagian dalam sejarah, tapi dalam bidang kerja ini, sekali sekala bolehlah kita tengok benda-benda macam ini. Agaknya, banyak orang yang tak puas hati Siti nak kahwin dengan Datuk K. Mesti semua orang terfikir Siti one of the most successful Malaysian woman dan dia boleh pilih mana-mana lelaki tapi agaknya, kenapa dia pilih this guy?Datuk K pun 20 tahun lagi tua dan dia Duda dengan 3 anak. In my opinion, sesiapa Siti Kahwin pun orang tak akan gembira. Mana boleh bidari kahwin kan? Kesian Siti.

Ratings pun agaknya tinggi. Hampir 8 juta manusia tengok siaran ini. This one is the highest ratings untuk program I pernah terbit. So boleh kata, sejarah untuk saya juga lah.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

My mother's birthday

My mother's birthday
Video sent by luxen
My nephew and nieces singing along with my mother for her birthday. The kids treat it more like its their birthday instead. I don't know why, but kids love birthday, cakes and singing 'Happy Birthday'.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

PC problems again

This sucks, my PC has problems again. Something wrong with the audio codecs, it's missing the mp3 codecs. I think it's got to do with the damn DVR Card I installed. Its always been sitting in my PC but I reinstalled the software and the drivers to try out the surveillance camera I bought a long time ago. Had problems using it so I uninstalled it. Turns out, it might have knocked out my other drivers. I hope its just a software problem.

I got really pissed, I had to rip the damn DVR card out with a plier. It was really stuck in the ISA slot. Don't really care if the card's damaged now or not anymore.

I'm blogging now while waiting for my files to copy over to my backup drive. I'm backing up everything, just in case I have to re-format. The only problem with reformating is that I can't update this Windows XP anymore. I just might have to go legit and put real money down for the real thing.

I'm gonna try reinstalling some of the adobe softwares first and see what happens.

If that doesn't work, well... it's time to burn everything down and start over again anyway.

I had tea with some of my colleagues, it was someone's birthday. We when to a Ms Read in One Utama's new Wing. They have really good chocolate cake. They top it of with vanilla ice cream and with hot melted chocolate. Sounds gross but man, it taste really good.

Was talking to one of my colleague and I realized that I haven't been talking much since I started work again. Just didn't feel like talking to anyone since I got back because I was so used to not actually have to physically talk to anymore for two weeks since I quarantined myself in my room. Its like physical rehabilitation, having to learn the social skills bit all over again.

Personally, I enjoy not having to talk to people but I can't do that at work because everyone would just think I'm wierd or hard to work with. Being an introvert that I am, I rather keep to myself. Evidence of this is blogging of course, who the hell talks to themselves through a blog that no one reads anyway?

Its all therapy I tell ya.
Superman Returns

Just watched Superman Returns. Loved it. I love how they had a lot of elements from the original Superman I & II. Right from the start, they had Marlon Brando's old lines. I love the fact that they had the old montage titles. Kinda tacky now, because it's just flying blue fonts but for Superman Returns, it works. However, when you hear John William's Superman score with the flying blue fonts with the new outer space voyage montage, was really cool.

I think the only difference is Superman's suite. The guy's got new boots! Looks kinda rugged though, the original Christopher Reeves booths looked more like the comic book boots. Anyway, the best was the new Lex Luthor played by Kevin Spacey. Two of the original cast of Superman I & II aren't around anymore (Christopher Reeves and Marlon Brando) but Gene Hackman who played Lex Luthor in the orignal movie is still around. However, I'm glad they got Kevin Spacey to play Lex.

In some ways, I've always admired Lex Luthor for his tenacity. Here's an average human being, except for his intellect and he gets to beat the shit out of Superman, with super strength. Okay, so Lex loses all the time but he always gets up to kick the shit out of Superman again. No question about Superman surviving getting the shit kicked out of him all the time, hey... he's a superhuman alien after right? But Lex Luthor going up against someone with superpowers... now that's pretty cool (okay, so he's totally evil but I still admire his grit).

I like the 'super heroes' that don't actually have any superpowers. My favourite is the Punisher. In the comic world, he's just a guy with special training who can kick the shit out some of the super heroes with special powers. Although Batman doesn't have any special powers, his technology and unlimited financial strength doesn't quite makes sense.

In Superman Returns, there is a slight mention of Gotham in a news report. So I guess in Superman's world, Batman does exist. So maybe there would be a Justice League movie after all!

Well, I won't spoil the rest of the movie if you haven't watched Superman Returns. If you haven't watched it yet, you should watch Superman I & II first because it takes of 5 years after the two movies.

Friday, July 14, 2006


I've been watching the old Superman movies with Christopher Reeves. I hardly remember them now and I heard that the new Superman Returns is based on Superman I & II. My brother got Superman I and after watching it, I learned that they shot I & II in a stretch so it’s actually one whole story broken into two movies. So I when out to buy Superman II today.

Although my Medical Leave is up to Friday, I’ve been going to work since yesterday. I never thought I’ll say this, but I had enough of sitting at home. Looks like there was a lot of things to do at work after all. One thing I’ve learned from this experience is learning to let go and let others take over.

Left work early and came back to watch Superman II, felt asleep half way and woke up again in the middle of the night to continue the rest of the movie. I guess the part I enjoy the most about the Superman movies is the John Williams soundtrack. Its so synonymous with Superman. Still, my favourite image of Superman is the old cartoons with the film noire effects. I remember how they had really good art in it. There’s one scene I remember where huge flying robots came to attack Metropolis and they had really nice animation (all hand drawn back then!) flying over Metropolis with the frightened citizens looking up at it.

I’ve realized that I’ve been eating Maggi Mee for two nights as supper. There’s something about that salty MSG taste at night… mmm. Had to put a stop to that, not healthy. Tonight I had instant quaker oats instead with honey. Looks gross but its filling and supposedly healthy.

This weekend’s going to be a movie marathon. I lined up at GSC in One Utama to get tickets for Pirates of the Caribbean 2. After 20 minutes in line, they told me they only had 4th row from the screen so I got tickets for Superman Returns on Friday night instead. I walked over to Jusco and passed TGV and there was no queue at all, so I asked if they had tickets for Pirates of the Caribbean on Sunday night and they had good seats too! Looks like TGV isn’t that popular now.

Speaking of work, man there’s quite a backlog of stuff to do. I have to shoot a pilot for a new show. Its interesting how the company always likes the half baked idea I come up at the spur of the movement and never liked the long carefully planned ideas I have. Anyway, rushing to put things together. Hope it doesn’t turn into a shoddy piece of shit (damn, maybe they’ll like that too).

Friday, July 07, 2006

New photos
Well, besides racing down the streets of Monte Carlo in my Porsche 911 Turbo (okay, its just a game) and downloading stuff, I haven't had much to do since I had this Chicken Pox. Decided to upload some photos instead. Click the bar above to see them.

Oh yeah, I've been playing The Need For Speed 5. It's an old game, year 2000 I think. I was downloading stuff on the net and saw it on someone's server and downloaded it. Normally, I don't like racing games but this one is really fun. They've only got Porsches but my time's getting better and better. Trying to beat the top time on the record now for a lap in Monte Carlo at 1:31. The fastest I got was 1:39. I feel like that dude in the movie Too Fast, Too Furious - Tokyo Drift. Banging up the car while learning how to drift.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Chicken Pox
It’s been a few days now. I have chicken pox. I got it from my father’s shingles. I was in Perlis for the carnival when I started breaking out in spots on Saturday. By Monday it started getting really bad and I had to fly home.

I saw the doctor when I got home, didn’t know I had a fever until the doctor told me. I’m not used to being sick so when I do get sick, its just something weird and odd I hardly experience.

Now I’m totally covered in all this red boils all over me, and I mean every part of me. I sleep most of the time, mostly because of the fever and because I’ve quarantined myself in my room away from my nephew and nieces.

I’ve read that an oatmeal bath helps with the itching, doesn’t itch as much as the first 3 days anymore. I have tried taking cold showers, that helps stops the itching too. Starts to itch a little right after taking a shower when my skin starts to dry. Try to keep my mind of the itching by playing computer games.