Sunday, November 30, 2008

My Handmade Christmas Card

Instead of popping a movie into the DVD player, I sat down and made this:

Front of card

When you open it

Back of card

Cool, huh? I spent over an hour cutting and pasting and putting the card together. Man, the yellow does seem a bit too striking but I only have red and yellow construction paper at home. I cut out the pictures of the Christmas tree, the reindeer, and the words from Guardian and Toys R Us advertisement booklets.

I think I'll make some more cards. But first I need to get more construction papers of different colours!

Recycle Your Used Envelopes

Lately I've been buying a lot of stuff through the Internet and I've obviously been receiving a lot of parcels. It's so fun to receive a parcel or a thick envelope in the mail! But that's beside the point. What I'm talking about now is envelopes. Yeah, you heard me right. What do you do with your old envelopes? Do you toss them into the trash? Or do you recycle them? What do you do with them?

Through Book Mooch, I get books from people from other countries like USA and England. What's interesting is that they sent the books in used envelopes, which means they sort of recycled them! Fascinating, isn't it? That can save us money and also save the environment. So, if possible, try and reuse your envelopes and Jiffy bags. Just stick some paper over the old addresses and also use cellophane tape to tape wherever necessary.

If you are unsure on how you can reuse your old envelopes, any kind of envelopes, try searching on Google by typing "how to reuse envelopes?" or "how to recycle envelopes?". You'll find lots of websites providing step by step intructions and tips on how you can use your old envelopes again. There are also steps showing you how to make your own envelope using old, unwanted pieces of paper like junk mail and old calendars. Perhaps when you're bored and there are lots of useless papers lying around the house, you might as well embark on this DIY project!

For Malaysians, you can start your recycling by visiting this site.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Being Thankful

This week's Booking Through Thursday question:

Today is Thanksgiving here in the U.S.

Now, you may have noticed that the global economy isn’t exactly doing well. There’s war. Starvation. All sorts of bad, scary things going on.

So–just for today–how about sharing 7 things that you’re thankful for?

This can be about books, sure–authors you appreciate, books you love, an ode to your public library–but also, how about other things, too? Because in times like these, with bills piling up and disaster seemingly lurking around every corner, it’s more important than ever to stop and take stock of the things we’re grateful for. Family. Friends. Good health (I hope). Coffee and tea. Turkey. Sunshine. Wagging tails. Curling up with a good book.

So, how about it? Spread a little positive thinking and tell the world what there is to be thankful for.

My answer:

I'm sure that there are more than seven things to be thankful for but I'll list down what comes to mind.

I'm thankful that:

1) I have all my five senses, I can touch, taste, see, hear, smell, talk, write, walk, run, smile, laugh. Okay, so it's more than five senses but I'm grateful for them. I'm thankful for being what and who I am.

2) I have a family and also friends around me.

3) I have a home, a roof over my head, a bed to sleep in, food on the table, good books to read, some money to spend.

4) I have an interest in many things so that I'll be kept busy and hopefully be able to do something to give something good back to the world.

5) I live in a country where there's no war and no poverty.

6) I have the chance to go to university and learn new things to make me a better-informed person.

7) I am free to do almost anything I want.

8) I live in a beautiful world with rain and sun. The rain to make plants grow, to cool the temperature and to wash the car. The sun to dry the clothes.

9) For anything else that I can't think of but I know I'm thankful for them, whatever they are!

Last but not least, Happy Thanksgiving to the wonderful people celebrating it!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Reading Marathon

Now that my holidays have just begun, it's time for me to read as much as I can! And I mean reading story books, not school books! :D

A few hours ago, I finished Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern. Click on the title to read my review.

It's a pretty good book with a different way of telling the story. Ahern used e-mails, letters, instant messages and other ways to tell the story of Alex and Rosie. Yep, fate just can't stop meddling with these two poor souls. They had to go through so much before finally getting together. And only when they're 50 years old!

All the same, I learnt two new facts:

1) Cecelia Ahern's dad was the Prime Minister of Ireland.
2) Cecelia Ahern's sister is married to Nicky Byrne, a member of Westlife.

Incredibly interesting!

I was searching on Google Blog Search for other reviews of Where Rainbows End but couldn't find complete reviews. Apparently a lot of teenagers and young adults have read and loved this book! Well, it is a love story after all. Even my mom read it halfway and she rarely reads fiction nowadays.

Anyway, most of the reviews I found were sweet and short ones. So if you're read and reviewed this book, do leave the links in the comments box. I'd like to link to other reviews.

So, what to read next? I have to start reading those review books that were sent to me since months ago. Perhaps I'll get started on Black Sheep by Georgette Heyer. Oh dear, another Georgette Heyer book... Frankly, I'm not looking forward to it but I need to review it! Hopefully it'll be better than Friday's Child.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Typealyzer Test

I saw the Typealyzer Test at Drey's blog and decided to try it out for my own blog! This is the result:

ISTP - The Mechanics

The independent and problem-solving type. They are especially attuned to the demands of the moment are masters of responding to challenges that arise spontaneously. They generally prefer to think things out for themselves and often avoid inter-personal conflicts.

The Mechanics enjoy working together with other independent and highly skilled people and often like seek fun and action both in their work and personal life. They enjoy adventure and risk such as in driving race cars or working as policemen and firefighters.

This show what parts of the brain that were dominant during writing.

What I'm Reading Now?

Yesterday I finished reading a book, which was sent to me by Tracee Gleichner from Pump Up Your Book Promotion. The title of the book was Mo' Dirty: Still Stuntin' by Darrell King. Click on the title to read my review of it.

It's the first of its kind that I've read. It's categorized under the Urban Fiction genre. I visited Wikipedia last night and found out that books in the Urban Fiction genre are mostly full of street or gangsta language, like what you hear in rap songs!

I'm not sure if I like it because it's hard to read and decipher what the characters are trying to say. It's full of bad words you wouldn't want your child to be reading. I'm also guessing that feminists might be against such books which also make women seem like mere objects. The guys also seem to be only interested in money, obtaining the best drugs, and deciding on which girl to sleep with each night.

But then, it's been an interesting read. I'm always open to different kinds of books. Each book is a unique reading experience and I'd like to try them all if I have the time.

Nevertheless, last night I started reading 'Where Rainbows End' (or Love, Rosie or Rosie Dunne in the US) by Cecelia Ahern. Ahern is certainly a talented writer as she can certainly write good stories that can make the reader keep going. I was so engrossed in the book until 2.30 a.m., well past my bedtime. In fact, I was still fully awake at that time and would love to continue reading but I'd better sleep as I've to wake up early this morning.

This is what the book's about (taken from MPH Online):

"Since childhood, Rosie and Alex have stuck by each other through thick and thin. But they're suddenly separated when Alex and his family move from Dublin to America. Rosie is lost withoout him. Then, just as she is about to join Alex in Boston, she gets life-changing news - that will keep her at home in Ireland."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Winner Is....

Today is the 19th of November, 2008 and it's also the last day of my exams. Yay!!! *laughs heartily non-stop*

Anyway, it's also time for me to announce the winner of my latest book giveaway: An Amazing Story by Carlo Gabbi. Congratulations to:

Faisal Admar

I've sent you an e-mail so do check your inbox or junk mail.

I also conducted an online interview with Mr. Gabbi last June. You can read it here!

Thanks to everyone else who entered too. It has been fun holding this book giveaway. I might hold another one in the near future, probably some time in December. So do check back from time to time! :D

Happy Holidays and Happy Reading!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Where To Buy More Used Books & Other Stuff?

I'm now an avid fan of two online websites where people sell off their stuff at cheap prices. They are Low Yat Forum and Mudah. Lelong ain't that bad either but I prefer Low Yat the most.

I've spent my money on second-hand books, DVDs, and clothes from this Low Yat forum. It really is like a market place where all kinds of stuff are sold. People sell books, clothes (old and new), make-up, furniture, electronic stuff, animals (pets), computer stuff, mobile phones, cookies, cakes, movies, music, concert tickets, the list goes on and on. Some people even sell Paypal funds. Very happening huh?

If you want to sell off your old stuff and you find eBay too tiresome, why not try Low Yat, Mudah or Lelong? Try to be honest in your dealings so you won't get negative remarks from the other members. Cheating never does anyone any good.

A piece of advice: Don't spend too much time at the forum or you'll be addicted to it! It really is "insanely addictive", which is Low Yat's tagline. Take care not to spend too much. A lot of things seem cheap there and you may feel like you gotta have them all. Do bear in mind that you need to be frugal at times too.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I Love Buying Books

I'm in the mood to answer a Booking Through Thursday question now even though it's Saturday! Yikes! But I have a perfectly good excuse...I had to study for my exam which was yesterday. Now I have only two more papers to go! Yay!!!

Anyway, this week's questions:

I’ve asked, in the past, about whether you more often buy your books, or get them from libraries. What I want to know today, is, WHY BUY?

I buy books so that I can own them? And if I buy, then I get to keep it for as long as I want. There's also no pressure to read them in a hurry. I can take my own sweet time reading it without worrying about library deadlines or renewals.

Besides that, I don't borrow much from the library because I don't often visit the library! Surprising, huh, seeing that I enjoy reading so much? Until now, I think there are two reasonable libraries near to where I live. One would be my uni's library and another one is a cosy little library. But I still prefer visiting bookstores. I just love new books!

Even if you are a die-hard fan of the public library system, I’m betting you have at least ONE permanent resident of your bookshelves in your house. I’m betting that no real book-lover can go through life without owning at least one book. So … why that one? What made you buy the books that you actually own, even though your usual preference is to borrow and return them?

Like what I mentioned above, I love new books. I rarely borrow nor lend them.

If you usually buy your books, tell me why. Why buy instead of borrow? Why shell out your hard-earned dollars for something you could get for free?

See above answer!

Friday, November 7, 2008

On The Hunt For Enid Blyton Books

My latest obsessive hobby is finding and buying as many Enid Blyton books as possible. I have quite a sad collection of her books before this actually and I call myself an Enid Blyton fan! Well then, I'm on my way to getting more of her books to add to my collection.

I've not read all of her books yet. The ones that I've read were the Barney mysteries, The Twins at St. Clare's, Malory Towers, The Five Find-Outers and Dog, Adventures of the Wishing Chair books, Naughtiest Girl books and those books about pixies, elves, fairies, toys coming to life, etc. Right now I'm trying to find all the 15 books in the Five Find-Outers series. So far, I already have 12 of them...still looking for three more! That's where Book Mooch comes in! :D

Famous Five? Secret Seven? I think I've read only one or two from Famous Five and I've read none from Secret Seven! My sister didn't introduce them to me when I was younger. I guess she didn't read them too. :D Anyway, I'll also try to find all the books in both series.

As I was searching the Internet, I came across a website which sells Enid Blyton vintage Famous Five books for up to £320.00!!! That's like MYR1790! The complete Famous Five series in hardback. They are the early edition books. Wow. RM1790? Hmm, now that I think of it, it's not impossible. But am I willing to spend that much on only 21 books?

Just look at them. Are you drooling already?

This is even worse. £640.00 for one copy of The Island of Adventure! That's RM3581!!! It is rare and out of print.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Down With ISA?

I was on my way to the ID show a few weeks ago and came across this little campaign near Prangin Mall. Stopped by for a while and snapped some pics. Check out the black guy crouching over a plate of rice!

From afar, I thought it was a real guy who's doing some kind of stunt but realized that it's not a real human because he's been in that position for quite a long time already.

The huge banner that was displayed

(left)The grammatical error which I hope they changed after I told them about it!
(right)Photocopy of 1987 Star newspaper.

The names of 66 people who are still being detained under the ISA

A lady giving a speech. I didn't listen.

Unrelated photo!

QEII restaurant? Near the ferry terminal place.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Cycling Memories

I don’t do much cycling now because I don’t own a bicycle. My old bicycle was sold off when we moved house. Therefore, no bicycles for me to cycle. =(

Last time, I would cycle around the neighbourhood with my friends and discover new housing areas or areas that I’ve not been to before. It was quite an exciting time. I certainly won’t forget the evenings when I’d wake up from my afternoon nap and hop on my old-fashioned Raleigh bicycle and cycle for hours with my friends from school.

Once, a friend and I cycled past a teacher’s house without stopping by to say hi to her. We were actually afraid of her as she was one of the fiercest people/teachers we ever knew. Unfortunately she spotted us. My friend was aware that the teacher had seen us and yelled at me telling me that the teacher saw us. Her yells made me even more panicked and I cycled off faster! That was an unforgettable moment for our teacher too who related that incident to other students at school. How embarrassing! My classmates teased us after that.

Ah, it sure is fun to ride a bicycle. If only there were better roads and less speeding cars, then I’d dare to ride on a bicycle around here. Or I'd probably need a specialized bicycle.
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