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Saturday, March 28, 2009

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Riya Sen
was born in Kolkata , West Bengal India to Moon Moon Sen , a former Bold Bollywood Actress. Riya sen's Grand Mother Suchitra sen was also an actress. Riya sen 's sister Raima sen is also active in Bollywood.

Riya sen has worked bollywood movie like Style , jhankaar beats , Shaadi no.1 etc.
Riya sen 1st got recognition with Falguni Pathak's pop album " Yaad Piya ki aane lagi "
She has also worked as Model.

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About Rimi sen
Rimi Sen was born on September 21, 1981 in Kolkata, India. Her real name is Shubhomitra Sen. Rimi sen is also an Odissi dancer and performed in the dance troupe of the eminent Kolkata-based Odissi exponent, Aloka Kanungo.

Rimi is now going by the screen name Rimii. Rimi sen made her bollywood debut with the movies like Hungama and Baghban . Her other successful movies are Fir Hera Pheri , Dhoom , Garam Masala , Johnny Gaddaar etc

Birthday at SOHO



In 1988 we sent our third daughter to Sri Mawar which was sited at Jalan Bintang then. Flor was her Headmistress. As parents we felt very comforted and delighted to have a very dedicated person like Flor to manage an English school.

Sri Mawar has an exceptionally good English curriculum with a built in on going reading program for both the child and the parents. I enjoyed helping my daughter read and soon enough she picked up reading very fast and could read almost every word given to her. She soon graduated into Lady Bird series and other children's books to our delight and joy. I am happy that she never lost her love for reading from then on.

In fact Flor and her team of teachers have helped a generation of Mirians to read well. And I am sure many of us mothers in Miri would like to join in and say Happy Birthday and thank you to Florence who has been in Miri for 30 years.

Very single minded and very capable she has always been there to help others
and anyone in need.I like the way she talks warmly and lovingly about each of the children who went through Sri Mawar! She has been charming towards parents who wait for their children. She was always willing to walk the second mile.

Together with her is Lesley Linggod who has also been a great teacher in Sri Mawar. Rosalind Tan another good friend and staff of Sri Mawar is also in the getogether.

Here Flor is celebrating her birthday with some us in SOHO where the service is good and the food fairly good. It was a wee bit hot that evening but we had our good time especially when we had three special visitors who joined us in the celebration. We all wish Flor the best of birthdays and many more to come.

But on the whole when good friends are together all other factors are secondary.



A slice of Tiramisu only for the Birthday Girl - on the house.

A beaming Florence Enau.




I would recommend the seafood spaghetti. The garlic bread can be improved. And I must say some of the drinks need a great deal of improvement. But the waitresses are doing well and are helpful and polite and patient to older ladies like us. On the whole the roadside restaurant is also fairly quiet and diners talk softly too. All these make us want to go there again.

Honour women! They entwine and weave heavenly roses in our earthly life. Frederick von Schiller.

Redesign: Puppy Pal Bingo

Game redesign for Adv Computer Illustration. (I LOVE puppies!)

What's more absurd than a giant blue shlong?


A review of Watchmen nearly a month after its release, that's what! Okay, so I know I am way late to the party on this one (as usual) but here it is, THE definitive review of Zack Snyder's film adaptation of the seminal comic book created by Alan Moore (who had his name removed from the film) and Dave Gibbons. Welll not really. What can I say that hasn't been said already by much smarter people than I? I'll give it a go, but before the jump check out two of my favorite reviews of the film. Here's a wonderfully articulate review by a mysterious blogger that champions the films successes....and here is one by Alexander Coleman that is just as articulate in explaining why the film is a failure. I think I fall more in line with Andrew's review here, which I'll explain after the jump...


Zack Snyder's film is an orgy of beautiful imagery -- some of it comes at you in that annoying, Snyder-esque slo-mo, and other times it sits there beautifully framed for you to be in awe of -- it's a film that is an experience to be had; however, whether that experience is good or bad is something I had to think about.

My initial reaction to the film was that it was great. It fulfilled its duty in entertaining me, making me think about the comic while I was watching it, but not longing for the film to be more faithful to its material. There are changes, yes, and although I am by no means a fanboy (I just came to the comic recently) I was immediately able to recognize those changes, and you know what, most of 'em aren't half bad.

The real question with the film (I'm skipping any remnants of plot description here, as I assume since this is a month overdue everyone knows by know what the story is about) is whether or not Snyder succeeds in raising the film above a mere postmodern exercise. I personally feel that film succeeds in being more than just a pastiche full of flashy slo-mo action and music video moments (although the first part of the film is filled with music) and gives the viewer something that has not been experienced in the genre of comic book films: quiet moments. These quiet moments are just as jaw dropping as the action scenes from something like Iron Man or The Dark Knight, there is an silence and an attention that is focused on the screen in Watchmen that is not attributed to its awesome effects or action sequence (which there are very little of), but to the films quieter moments where Dr Manhattan pontificates about the past as he constructs his future, or where Rorschach philosophizes about the dirt and scum of the world in moments of narration that remind the viewer of Travis Bickle. The film works in the sense that I was all ears, more than willing to sit through the three hours of philosophy and dialogue driven scenes. It's an experience that I think is not only easier on the senses than The Dark Knight, but more fulfilling.

The opening of the film has two beautiful home-run sequences as Snyder shows the death of The Comedian in slo-mo to the tune of Nat King Cole's "Unforgettable". The scene is filmed like a dance, a violent ballet of bloody pirouettes that is edited perfectly to the croons of Cole's song. Snyder gives the viewer context in the opening credits (and some nods to fanboys who love the comic) with a virtuoso credit sequence that features the aptly chosen song "The Times They Are A-Changin'" by Bob Dylan. I won't even mention how great the use of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" is, because my hope is that you will click the link to the review on The House Next Door and read that critics thoughts on the song -- which I think are some of the most brilliant that have been said about the film.

I can see where viewers have thought the film to be boring, overly long, and all surface with no depth; but I found the film to be a fascinating experience. Will I want to see it again? Absolutely. Do I think the film is a masterpiece? Not by a long shot. But it is one of the great experiences I've had the movies in a long, long while. The acting is universally strong across the board, especially Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach and Billy Crudup as Dr. Manhattan who just finds the right notes as the brooding superhero. What makes the film so fascinating is all attributed to Moore's original story and the very idea that there is nothing super about super heroes; especially the Watchmen who happen to only have one member of their group with any kind of super powers. They are all flawed, and that's the interesting thing about the film version of this story (really there was no way to get all of the postmodern, meta-elements of Moore's story into the film).

The visuals are wonderful and the playfulness of Snyder's use of music and slo-motion to open the film is wonderful. The acting is strong across the board and I'll always remember those scenes on Mars with Silk Specter II and Dr. Manhattan debating, philosophizing, and re-constructing as secrets are revealed and epiphanies are made. It's a beautiful and poignant (when was the last time you heard that word described with a comic book movie) moment in the film and really, these moments outweigh the moments where Snyder's direction get in the way.

About Snyder: I have never been a fan as I despised 300 and the remake of Dawn of the Dead. But here Snyder tones down his go-to elements after he uses a lot of them in the opening (which as I mentioned before, in this film worked wonderfully) and wisely avoids the over-the-top effects he's employed in his other films. It's always going to be a catch-22 with Snyder -- I was thinking about this during the prison break scene in Watchmen as the slo-mo came back with a vengeance (and really if it weren't for the nicely done, Matrix like panning of the camera, then the scene would have really stood out as an annoyance) and this where Snyder, and the film, started to annoy me, but really which is worse, the slo-mo, heavily stylized editing of Snyder or the hyper-kinetic, whooshing cameras of a Michael Bay film. I think prefer Snyder's style (even though I don't always like it) because at least you can slow down and understand where you and where the action is happening, which is a problem with Bay's films or the Bourne movies for example.

Watchmen works so well because it slows things down, and the film is faithful to the source material in a sense that the story isn't about action or extravagance, it's about ideas and listening, and that's where Snyder is so successful. He accomplishes the feat of getting the audience to listen to the film, working for the ideas and themes, rather than the film doing all the heavy lifting with loud noises, frantically paced action sequences, and paper-thin philosophies.

There are flaws with the film, no doubt, and if you were to argue against certain aspects of the film, I may be able to be swayed one way or the other. The best word to describe the film is "experience". It was an experience I was glad to have and one I wouldn't mind having again. The best parts of the film I mentioned throughout the review, those are where I think the film is a masterpiece, but there too many aspects that don't always work, and many failed attempts at nuance; however, for me the good of the ultimately outweighs the bad.

I can't believe it, but I like a Zack Snyder movie, even if he didn't keep in the giant squid thing at the end of the movie.

BSC #45: Kristy and the Baby Parade

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_vi5sYo9uF84/Rj5kCV7yzNI/AAAAAAAAADs/9FfTXc3xVwU/s320/45.jpg

Synopsis:

Kristy and co apparently don't have enough kid related stuff going on in their lives. At the beginning of this book, Kristy reads about an event in Stoneybrook called a baby parade. Yes, a baby parade. With themed floats with babies in costumes or, alternatively, babies in strollers or in go-karts. Kristy thinks this is a wonderful idea for her adopted sister, Emily Michelle. At the same time, Mrs. Prezzioso (mother of infant Andrea and four year old Jenny) hires Kristy for a regular twice weekly sitting job for four weeks, but only after Kristy (and all the sitters) take a class in infant care.

Then the girls decide to have their own float in the baby parade, using The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe as their theme. They borrow nine babies from clients and use two of the girls' siblings (Emily Michelle and Jessi's brother, Squirt). For once, everything goes terribly wrong: the float looks awful, the babies all cry, and the girls get into a big fight. But they patch things up and they also get a few new clients from the baby class. There is a bright side (sort of). Mrs. Prezzioso, who entered Andrea in the parade, wins first prize in the stroller division.
  • Kristy's sitting for her brother David Michael as well as Emily Michelle when she reads about the baby parade and thinks that it would be a great idea to enter her sister:
But after I'd read that ad, my glance kept resting on Emily Michelle...I looked at her glossy, straight black hair cut like a Dutch girl's. I looked at her sparkling brown almond-shaped eyes. I looked at her plump, pink cheeks and at her sturdy little hands...and at her round little tummy.
  • Can we rename this book Kristy and the Baby Fetish? Or could we at least end the above passage with "and then I broke free from my humanoid suit and devoured the fleshling" because that would make more sense and be slightly less frightening.
  • So, the baby parade actually has divisions. Division A is for kids in fancy, decorated strollers and so forth, Division B is for kids in comically decorated strollers, and then there are divisions for the floats. I'm supposed to think that a thirteen year old who has friends would voluntarily enter this? We've entered the realm of barren, lonely middle aged women who go into chatrooms to bond over their shared love of Anne Geddes pictures, voluntarily wear snuggies, and watch Jon and Kate Plus Eight to fill the void in their lives. Kristy, get out while you still can. You're only thirteen--it's NOT too late for you!
  • The cover of this book makes it look like the baby parade was a big success but in actuality the shoe looked like a big orange blob. Also, the cover of this edition says you can enter to win a BSC party with Ann M. Martin. Considering that Ann M. Martin admits that her favorite ice cream flavor is "plain old vanilla" and that based on reading BSC books, her idea of fun sleepover movies are "The Parent Trap" and "To Kill a Mockingbird," I'm not sure that's much of a prize. (Of course, the little eight year old who resides inside of me would be breaking out the bubbly and screeching excitedly if I ever got the chance to really party with Ann M.)
  • When Kristy and Mary Anne arrive at the baby course, Mary Anne looks a little frightened and overwhelmed to be surrounded by pregnant women. Kristy scolds her, telling her she's seen pregnant women before, but MA points out that usually that was only one at a time, and this is a whole room full of them. I was kind of hoping the pregnant ladies would break out into screams of, "ONE OF US, ONE OF US, GOOBLE GOBBLE" but no luck!
  • There's a really odd part where Kristy mentions having a crush on one of the men running the baby course. It's only odd because it goes nowhere (Kristy thinks he's pretty cute and then her crush disappears a few pages later because she sees him as a family man with a wife and kids). My theory is that they put that in to dispel any inappropriate rumors of Ms. Thomas's budding sexuality. Yep, she may be a tomboy who loves sports, but she still likes men. Yup, absolutely. No sexual ambiguity there.
  • In one scene, Jessi sits for her little brother, Squirt. He loves watching Sesame Street, especially his favorite character, Elmo, who isn't featured very often. And that's how you can tell this is a very old book. Oh, for the days when it wasn't the Elmo Show and when Cookie Monster got to eat cookies whenever he damn well pleased!
  • I really love the scene where the girls argue about the float theme. Kristy wants to do a baseball theme, Dawn wants to do a surfing one, and Mary Anne wants to do a Three Little Kittens one. Stacey tells Mary Anne that her idea is too immature and that they need to do something more glamorous. She then proposes to dress the babies up in little tuxedos and evening gowns for a New York City theme. I don't know whose idea is stupider, and I'm not even sure I care. It's like LARPers vs. Furries: Which Are Slightly Less Maladjusted?
  • This is definitely the book where I started to think that maybe Ann M. had a warped view of babies and children. When you add it all up, it starts to look odd. References to characters winning cutest baby contests when they were little (Dawn and one of Stacey's "cool" friends, Andie). Little girls in beauty pageants (Little Miss Stoneybrook...and Dawn). Rosie Wilder, Stoneybrook's wunderkind. Derek Masters, the TV star. All the little kids who love to perform on cue (Gabbie and Myriah, I'm looking at you). On the plus side, maybe Ann M. Martin was on the cutting edge of the "Exploit your child for fun and profit trend." You just know that Patsy Ramsey was reading stuff like this when she was pregnant with JonBenet.
  • Mrs. P. really, really wants Andrea to win the stroller division. She has the baby dressed up as Queen Andrea. She then takes a page from "Pimp My Stroller" and has Kristy decorate the baby carriage to look like a little horse drawn carriage. Jenny's too old for the competition, so apparently all her hopes are pinned on baby Andrea. Later on in the book Mary Anne and Miss Priss, Mrs. P. also has Andrea star in some baby commercials. Jenny also wants to act, but apparently doesn't quite have the same sparkle. I saw Gypsy, so I know where this is going. Mrs. P., after Andrea gets tired of this and runs off in about sixteen years, you'd better get used to whoring out your eldest.
  • Mallory is assigned to make the costumes and like everything else associated with this awful, awful float, they are chock full o' fail! The costumes look like clown outfits and they clash with the float, so Dawn (who is sitting for one of the babies, Eleanor Marshall) tells Mrs. Marshall to put Eleanor in a blue party dress instead, without telling anyone else. Let's file this under Dawn is a passive aggressive bitch, okay?
  • Apparently, there really are baby parades out there. Or so Google tells me. So Ann M. didn't just come up with this all on her own, which is a relief. But it also disturbs me that there really are people who think dressing up babies in cute outfits and putting them on wagons is a good time. I have to find these people and introduce them to a little thing called Wikipedia. You can waste hours of time and never have to humiliate your baby.
Conclusions:

Cat Fashion Shows. Cuddle Parties. Everybody Loves Raymond. System of a Down. Liking the aforementioned things makes you bizarre and possibly not worth knowing. But all of these things have some redeeming social value. Unlike a baby parade. If you are reading this and you know me in real life, you have permission to slaughter me the minute I propose having a baby parade. (Stuffed animal parades, however, are still in play.)

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Remember these musical instruments?





My uncle the late Hii Wen Hui was a good accordion player. In fact most of the Chinese teachers in Sibu and its vicinity were self trained to play this instrument. We had many evenings of fun music whenever such teachers were around.

You can see this accordion and also the organ in the Methodist Archive and History Section in the Methodist Message Office in Sibu. This particular accordion belongs to Meng Lei's father and the organ comes from one of the churches downriver.




This is a great portable pump organ popularly owned by many homes too and I also remember so many downriver Methodist churches having one. The old Methodist Theological Chapel also had one which provided beautiful accompaniment to the singing of the youthful choir led by good musicians like Mrs. Charlotte Hipkins and Miss Jackie Fries. Much later a piano was added to the inventory.

Mr. David Johnson one of my English teachers was probably the best organist Sibu had ever seen! And we really found it very amazing to have such a learned man playing such a simple instrument and making heavenly music. Later when Wesley was housed in the Sing Fu Yuan Tang Mr. Johnson was to bring great church music to the whole neighbourhood when he played on the pipe organ of the church. these days I often wonder if that pipe organ is still functioning. In those days I used to allow my teenage mind wander and allow angels to fly around Sibu when listening to his music.

Another missionary I remember who was a very good musician was the late Rev Lucius Mamora who had an organ like this in his home in Queensway. I went to school with most of his children and once in a while would visit their home. I loved to watch him play the organ and sing!! He was also a man who translated many of the hymns into Bahasa Iban. He had also written many songs himself. It was a great honour to be able to visit such a great talented man. I never knew then that later (almost 22 years later)in my life I would have the honour of having him name my third daughter with an Indonesian name.

Actually the organist had to pedal hard to "bring in wind" for the sounds to come out or "blow" the notes out. Correctly the Chinese call this "Wind piano". I loved to put my small feet on the pedals but my fingers could not produce any musical notes!! How often I wished and wished that I was musically gifted like the missionaries or had the financial resources to take up music lessons! And as the evening of my life approaches the few regrets that I have are still with me. Today I can only press buttons on DVD players to bring out the music I wish to hear.

Beautiful hymns were sung accompanied by a simple organ like this for more than 50 years!!

We must thank all the missionaries and Tze Koo (missionary teachers and wives) and later the Foochow teachers trained by the Methodist Church who brought this special organ church music to the Rejang based Foochow families.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

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