Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Force is Strong at LEGOLAND Malaysia

Okay, maybe not so far away. If you got that reference above, you’re probably not staying beneath an ice cave on Hoth. That’s right. I’m not the biggest fan of Star Wars; unlike some of the mega fans who write thousand word essays detailing how soft Chewbacca’s fur is. But you don’t have to know the difference between a Wookie and an Ewok to be excited about what I’m about to drop on you.

If you didn’t already catch on with all the hints in the previous paragraph, LEGOLAND Malaysia is bringing your favorite Star Wars characters to you with a brand new indoor attraction, the LEGO Star Wars Miniland Model Display, in conjunction with the theme park’s 2nd anniversary.

This entire LEGO Miniland is built using more than 1.5 million bricks, and I kid you not, was painstakingly built by one of LEGO’s many Master Builders. A freaking Master Builder like in Morgan Freeman, Batman and Star Lord from The Lego Movie.

Housed inside an insane looking octagon building, this Star Wars attraction is the first of its kind in Asia. With authentic sounds and lighting effect from the Star Wars movies, as well as a host of characters and planets from the movie, the Star Wars Miniland promises to stay true to the source material and will definitely score with fanboys and girls everywhere. It also recreates seven of the most famous scenes from the Star Wars movies, which will of course remain a secret for now because patience you must have, young padawan.

Still, I'm not a cruel person. Here’s a little bit of what you can look forward to in this new Star Wars Miniland that will be opening very, very soon.

 Darth Maul in the process of being unchopped into half after the events of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.

R2D2 getting ready to greet you. Bleep bloop bleep bloop. 

Now are you ready to step into LEGOLAND with a whole New Hope? See what I did there?

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Sunday, August 17, 2014

"Sesame Street LIVE: Elmo Makes Music" To Our Ears

I'm pretty sure almost everyone of you know about Sesame Street. At the cost of sounding old, back in my day, Sesame Street was THE educational entertainment show to watch. From the likes of Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Grouch, Bert and Ernie, The Count and of course the furry red monster that was Elmo among other memorable characters, I learned my ABCs and 123s through the songs and dances on Sesame Street, and for a while, even thought Sesame Street was a real street in the US. 

Of course, as I grew up, I watched lesser and lesser Sesame Street. But I never forgot how awesome my childhood was as a direct result of the things that the Sesame Street characters brought to my TV screen every Saturday morning. So when I heard that Resorts World Genting was bringing the Sesame Street cast down to Malaysia, it was a blast of childhood nostalgia. 

I was invited to the official launch of the Sesame Street Live: Elmo Makes Music at Highstreet 1 Utama. It was insane because Resorts World Genting was pulling all the punches to make sure that the Sesame Street Live show was fully reminiscent to the glory days of the TV show. So they brought in Cookie Monster, Bert and Ernie to liven up the crowd. 

Then suddenly, a familiar red, furry and giggling monster appeared. Elmo had arrived, and the children (and myself) squealed in delight. If you don't know what this feels like, just imagine seeing the Power Rangers morphing into action right in front of you. It's a childhood hero thing. 

The 2 monsters and whatever the heck Bert and Ernie are quickly livened up the crowd with a short musical performance; a prelude to the upcoming show. It was...beautiful.

The VIPs had to give a word or two about what they thought about Sesame Street Live. Mr. Kevin Tann, Vice President of Promotions & Entertainment was up first:

He was followed by Christopher Harper, the Director of ‘Sesame Street Live - Elmo Makes Music’ and my new favorite person in the world. He had this to say:

And of course, the customary group pictures with the 4 Sesame Street characters.

The boy in the front, third from the left is like: "Why am I not at the concert right now?!"

Because I was such a huge fan of the show, I was also invited onstage to pose with Bert, Ernie, Elmo and Cookie Monster. We're now Whatsapp buddies and regularly text each other just for the fun of it. Cookie Monster only knows how to type in one word though: cookie, but it's still cool.

The ‘Sesame Street Live - Elmo Makes Music’ is proudly organized by Resorts World Genting and produced by VEE Production. Official loyalty card is Genting Rewards card and CIMB Bank is the official bank partner of the show. Both Genting Rewards and CIMB bank card holders will be given exclusive discounts on the tickets. Grab your tickets fast. Ticket price starts from RM88 onwards.

For even more information, you can check out, or y'know, ask me in the comments or something. 

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Which Telco Plan is Best: A Comparison

Your phone is now probably the most important part of your life. I can’t leave the house without making sure that my phone is someone on my person. There’s something about having the weighted comfort of a phone in my pocket which makes me feel like I have all my limbs intact. You know what I mean.

Okay I have a confession to make. I’m not the richest person out there but I still have to pay for my phone bill every month. This is why I’ve decided to sit down and just start comparing all the different plans currently available in the market now.

I’m being completely unbiased here. I’ll set a limit I can afford monthly and then try to compare what I can do with that monthly cap on each of the telcos. I can no longer use the excuse of being a student, because the only thing I’m studying now is how to b. So, I will have to cap it off at RM50. This is, again, completely unbiased and based on hard facts. Because research.

Maxis ONE

Maxis’s plan isn’t the cheapest one of the lot. For starters, the cheapest monthly commitment fee that one would have to pay is RM78 for unlimited calls and SMS to other Maxis users and 1GB of data. But if you don’t have that many friends using Maxis, this plan is not the best choice because it’s the standard 15sen/min for calls and 10sen/min for SMS.

So no, this isn’t a viable option.

Celcom First One Plan

Celcom and Maxis are both part of the “upper” tiers of the telco companies, charging slightly higher for their plans. Celcom First’s cheapest plan available is the One Plan 3GB, which offers a whooping 3GB of data, but only gives 60 minutes worth of calls and 60 SMSes before reverting to the standard charges. This is most definitely a plan for the Internet-hungry person, although it still falls above the RM50 cap I set at the beginning.

DG SmartPlan 50

DiGi is probably the first one in this list which dips below the RM50 cap. At RM45/month, the DG SmartPlan 50 gives you what’s necessary; 2GB of data, no voice calls, and 200 SMSes. It’s one of the most basic plans in the market, although the focus lies mostly on you having apps like Whatsap and LINE to cover up for the lack of calls/text. There is that matter of DiGi getting a ton of complaints for their terrible coverage, but since I’ve never used DiGi before, I can’t really give a conclusive judgment.

Tune Talk The Cun Plan

The cheapest one on this list. At RM38 for a monthly plan, this is one plan which falls way below the budget, and leaves you with enough money to buy yourself a good meal. Offering 1.5GB of data, the Internet crazy ones among you will love this. The only downside is that there are only 60 minutes of calls, and no mention at all about SMSes. Still, who needs SMSes with Whatsapp and LINE and whatever else the kids are using nowadays? You can also opt for a weekly plan, which is only RM8.

Again, I’ve never used Tune Talk before so I’m not sure how it good their line and Internet connection is. Still, Tune Talk deserves a mention solely for being the cheapest one on this list.

In the past, I couldn’t live without call time or SMSes on my phone. That was way before people even knew what things like Internet data plans and Whatsapp were. But since the invention of smartphones, data has become one of the most important factors when looking for a phone plan. There are people who would forgo calls and SMSes for more data. An active Internet connection is more important than anything else, especially when we need to send that super important selfie to the world.

So among all the plans, the winner would be the one that gives the most data, for the cheapest rate.

DG SmartPlan 50: RM22.5/1GB

Celcom First One Plan: RM22.6666666667/1GB

Tune Talk: RM 25.333333333333/1GB

Maxis ONE: RM78/1GB (but this plan is focused mainly on trying to be balanced, so keep that in mind before screaming blue murder)

So yes, I hope that this post has been somewhat informative to you. It certainly was for me.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

In Between

I posted this picture on my Instagram as I was stuck in a horrific jam (aren't they always?) back home from the office. At that moment, this picture was just something the silly kid in me decided to take because the lady in the car to my right was smoking up a storm and I wanted to emulate her. It was also mostly because I was bored.

But while deciding on a caption, my mind suddenly jumped on a crazy thought train. I finally typed out "In Between", which probably made me sound all mysterious and deep. Not many people appreciated a picture like this; my parents gave me a lecture because they legit thought I was smoking. My friends mostly were unimpressed because I was trying to be all "cool" and "hipster" sounding. The lady blowing smoke rings into the air in the car beside me wasn't too happy because it looked like I was making fun of her. The police probably was happy because I was obviously breaking laws and they'll probably fine me for something.

The thought train I was stuck on quickly took a detour into the land of "Overanalysing". 

I was stuck in between cars in traffic. 
This was the first and most obvious stop for the thought train. I was stuck in traffic, in between all the cars and motorcycles that zoom past my window and make me fear for their safety. 

I was holding a chocolate stick in between my fingers. 
The second stop was something a bit more out of place. Mostly because I had already chomped on that small piece of my chocolate stick. But for that moment, I was holding a chocolate stick in between my fingers like a boss. When I was a kid, I used to pretend that I was an adult by "smoking" these chocolate sticks. Everyone my age back then who held a chocolate stick in between their grubby little fingers did that. I am not shy to admit that I still do it now. 

I was playing out a role in between a kid and an adult. 
The lady beside me was still smoking her lungs out all throughout the traffic jam. I was holding a stick of chocolate and pretending to smoke. Like I said earlier, I was replaying a moment of my childhood, a moment where everything was stress-free and nothing really mattered except trying to reinact being an adult. A time where I didn't have to be stuck in rush hour traffic jams, rushing deadlines and so many other things that the kid that was me didn't know adults did. 

I was stuck in between a transition stage.
I began my foray into the working world about a month ago. Before this, life was all about assignments, what the latest movies were, and the most difficult question I had to face was about where to have lunch or dinner with my friends. Now, it's all about steady working hours, deadlines and being a responsible adult. I've been sleeping early and waking even earlier. There are no more issues of sleeping at 3AM because I "felt like it". I have to come to the realization that I'm not a kid anymore. I have to start getting used to shouldering responsibilities, and start being an adult. I can't be holding a chocolate stick in between my fingers and pretending it's the coolest thing I've done forever. I'm in that stage now where I'm trying to convince myself that this "adult" thing is really happening, but my inner kid is still trying to have the most fun wherever. 

It was at this point that the though train ended and I was left at the last station. There wasn't much else to analyse, because there never really was anything to analyse in the first place. It was just a picture of a chocolate stick in between my fingers. Which somehow boiled into a philosophical mind trip into the joys and sorrows of growing up. I know I'm in a difficult phase now, trying to reconcile the adult and kid in me, but I'm trying my best to do something which will benefit both. 

Or maybe I'll keep pretending I don't know what's going on and just keep eating my chocolate sticks. 

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Monday, August 11, 2014

The Many Faces of Running Man's HaHa

Since HaHa was in Malaysia a few days ago, I found it apt to highlight him in today's Running Man article.

Having been established in the variety circle alongside Yoo Jae-suk and Kim Jong-kook back in the classic X-Man days. When it comes down to childishness, almost all the Running Man members can be included. But among all of them, only one person stands out. Well, he would stand out if he wasn't the shortest member, the only female member Ji-hyo included. This is of course, HaHa, or Ha Dong-hoon.

His many expressions throughout the show have often led to hilarious situations and moments. Faces such as:

The Playboy

Playboy Haroro was one of the first characters that HaHa employed on Running Man, mixing his love for pretty female guests and his natural playboy antics to bring out the laughs. That character has slowly disappeared after he got married to singer Byul, and he spends most of his time being a doting father and husband now.

Unfortunately for us, we don't get to see faces like these anymore:

And of course, also this. Yeah. Playboy for real.

The Crazy

 HaHa loves to go crazy, and his expression perfectly suits it. It's probably his eyes and his expression, but when HaHa does crazy, he does crazy reeeeeeeeaaally well. Add in flared nostrils and bared teeth, you have HaHa, the madman. Not to mention that he loves roleplaying multiple personalities, which also gives him one of the funniest talents on Running Man.

The Surprised

HaHa has one of the best surprised reactions on the show (second only to the Giraffe), which is usually followed by a cry of surprise or shock in his hoarse voice. HaHa's surprised reaction happens very frequently, mostly because he gets caught out a lot.

The Schemer

As part of the Betrayal Club, HaHa is undoubtedly one of the best schemers on Running Man. Unlike Kwang-soo, who gets caught betraying most of the time, HaHa is more of an underground agent. He's smarter and more efficient in his betrayals, and often leads to his victory. Also, this is how he looks like when he's about to betray you, so be careful if you ever see him.

This. THIS is the face of betrayal.

The Overwhelmed

HaHa isn't usually considered the "main" lead in a lot of the episodes, but when he's given that chance, he has to first follow up the announcement with this face; a face of deep and profound happiness, boiled down to a single expression.

The Kid

Haroro is another nickname that HaHa has picked up over the many episodes. This is in reference to the cartoon character, the penguin Pororo, which showcases how childish HaHa can actually get on the show. From his love of using his superpower (time traveller) to dancing wildly on stage, and making faces to the camera, HaHa's Kid side will always be ready to pop up at moment's notice.

The Unclassified

All the most random HaHa faces that don't really belong anywhere else. He really does have a lot of faces.

 The Mong face.

 The cheeky face.

 The serious face. 

 The happy face.

Do you have a favorite Haroro face from the above list? Because this is in no way the complete list (I may have missed out more than a few of his faces), leave a comment below and tell me about those faces I may have missed out!

You can also check out the other Running Man members and their many faces including: 
Yoo Jae-suk: here
Kang Gary: here
Lee Kwang-soo: here and here


Note: Running Mondays will be on break next week (18 August 2014) and return the following week.
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