Saturday, May 28, 2011

How to be a Smart Shopper when there's a Sale - It's all in the Details....

It all started with a text message. It was a day before the sale starts and its specially for card members only. Since it's the end of the month, I am glad to receive such a text message since I'm a member of this shopping centre. It was written sales of up to 80%! Wow, must definitely go and see what's in store. This shopping centre caters to the middle and below income group (very much like me), so the stuff they sell is very reasonable, and not like the more upscale shopping malls located in the city. (who can afford, seriously...)

Be flexible with items to buy & be early
So I make a list of stuff I wanted to buy, quite a number actually. Shoes, Plastic containers, undies...etc. Usually, whenever I arrived at the shopping centre, the priority of stuff to buy changes. So one needs to be flexible. The reason it changes is due to the fact that you may not be as excited about the item to buy in that particular store. For example, I tried the sneakers in that shopping centre, and found that it weren't to my liking, even though the price is very affordable. And the men's underwear section were quite messy actually - with the boxes half-opened and the underwear inside being shuffled untidily like someone has taken it out and put it back inside again. Puh-leez! So I changed my mind. I also make it a point to arrive early at the shopping centre, around 4pm so I can redo my list of shopping items. The sales only start at 5pm.

Mark the items you want
Get the brochure and read throughly
After scouting a while, I noticed there's a brochure specifically for items on sales that day. The cashier lady told me to go upstairs to get one brochure, so I did. I managed to get hold of this giant piece of paper, and found so many items on display. At first, you may be surprised and tempted to get all the stuff (some you even might not need). Again, it was wise to arrive early before the sales start, so I can edit and rethink the stuff I wanted to buy. Also be aware of the words in the brochure, for certain items are on sale only particularly for a specific day. I checked the list of items, and decided to get the Single Garment Rack at RM18.90 (original price: RM29.90). The other items that were on sale only for that particular day are many, but I shortlisted the ones I needed: Pantene shampoo, Mi Sedap instant noodle, Milo (2kg), Julie's Golden Crackers and the last item - an Icing Spatula (haha, am I baking?).

Get your cards ready and queue
I was really thankful for my smart move to arrive early, for on the way I stumbled across an aquintance. I gave him a tip to get the brochure at the customer service to see the items on sale for the day first, before proceeding to shop. In return, he asked me to look after an item for him, while he go up to the customer service to get the brochure. Excuse me?How rude and selfish can he be? He quickly went upstairs without saying a word. I felt I was being used by him, and decided not to bother about him, seeing that the crowd is swelling now. The queue was starting, and while I was holding the items, I managed to get out the membership and credit card.

Check the price on receipt and brochure
Check your receipt and change before you leave
The cashier was friendly and nice. His name was even printed on the receipt - Faizal Othman. He was efficient and courteous, so rare nowadays. Being a smart consumer, after checking out the counter and paid my items, I will always stop, take out my receipt to check the items again in the receipt and guess what I discover? My Pantene shampoo was logged in with the original price of RM18.50, but it is a discounted item price at RM11.99. (look at visual) No wonder I felt funny, when the change given to me seems little. Always trust your hunch and check your receipt! I went back to the cashier, and told him about the Pantene price. He called out his other colleague to remind him that he forgot to key in a discounted item into the machine. After waiting awhile, I was given my change of RM6.50. Imagine what I can do with that amount of money. I know some people will disregard that change and just forget it, but that amount could buy me a huge dinner, darling...

Me and ex-students
Review items to calculate savings
Finally, review all the items you've bought. There may be some items you wanted, but you can actually wait for the next day to buy depending on the importance. Like for myself, I actually set a budget of RM50 for the expenses (but went over a little) for the reason that I want to enter a credit card contest that requires that limit (the Citibank /Ipad contest, sure can win or not?). So be smart and set your limit for cross purposes. Back to the brochure, there are other items that only went on sale for the next day, so you don't actually have to purchase it now. Take into consideration also how you travel to the mall. If you're driving, would you be able to carry all those stuff back into your car? Or if you're taking the train, you might not want to carry too many bags. If you're young and strong like me, then it should be fine. But what if you're not? Finally, calculate the savings you made after the purchase. The money that you saved, could actually be channelled into other activities or for self-development, like my Artiste Training Course. Put your savings into good use too, and not neccessarily keep in the bank. You never know what will happen tomorrow.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

High-strung over Big-budget Hollywood summer season? Here's an Art Film Comparison entry to quell your mind - Belle Du Jour & In the Mood for Love

In the spirit of the times, I know this is the big Hollywood summer movie season, where all the big-budget, super-duper special effects films from the Hollywood factory are currently being released and showing in the cinemas - Thor, Fast Five, Priest and etc. I love watching all the action, and the incredible effects on the big-screen. But sometimes, one need to balance all the hoo-haa with some little gems of movies that puts art in the artiste. Some humbling pie in the midst of all the ego-pumping summer madness sure helps to quell the frenzied mind and soul.

These 2 films first pique my interest in art
When I was very new in the movie-watching hobby, I happened to came across 2 very good films, which directly draws me into the art film genre. The first French movie I watched (and loved) is "Belle Du Jour" - a story that examines the female masochism. This movie is erotic in nature, but not to the point of revealing a bare breast or anything like that. It's a fantasy and reality movie, for it deals with the female sexuality and wild inhibitions, but not in a vulgar way. The story is set in the 60s, about a bored housewive who gets herself involved in prostitution during the afternoon, and that is way before Desperate Housewives. Foreign movies are good for me, because i get to learn their language and savor all its delicious-ness. Get ready to get some culture....East and West.

The only chinese language movie I loved
And "In The Mood for Love" happens to be the first and only movie I loved in the Chinese language. Of course I am English-educated, but watching this movie really makes me proud of my roots and how beautiful and polish being a Chinese can be. I watched this movie at Mid Valley GSC Cinema twice! Surprise to discover such beauty in all forms being condensed in a film. The story is about a man and woman who discovered their spouses to be unfaithful to them, and how they cope with the situation. Soak in the atmosphere of the film, which is slow for a reason. The art direction of this movie is simply delicious. Compared to "Belle Du Jour", this movie is very much steep in the Chinese culture and polite social graces, which a lot of people can learn from.

An Actor's Film
Both films I consider to be very true to its cultural heritages. The languages spoken are beautiful, soft, harsh and concise to convey an emotion. True, I would regard both films to be an actor's movie, meaning it is useful for aspiring actors to watch and study these films because they both shows the way an actor moves and communicates through their body language - an exquisite kiss, a gentle embrace or a hidden show of pain.

Short skirt or long?
For aspiring fashion designers too, you will love the clothes worn. In Belle Du Jour, the fashion designer was Yves Saint Laurent. He kept all the skirts in the movie long, even though that time in the 60s, mini-skirts was the in thing. This is because the fashion designer wanted the clothes in the film to withstand the test of time, and not be just another fad. Indeed, the film's wardrobe design is timeless. Watching this movie, I am emboldened to be as direct and amorous as the French gentleman portrayed in the film. So suave and deep.

Clothes used to convey the change of day and time
For "In the Mood for Love", the clothes were more specific for a period of time. Especially the chinese qi-pao in which Maggine Cheung was the most-talked about piece of clothing. Her wardrobe is especially important because it is used to visually inform the audience a change in time or day, since the story in the movie moves very slowly, compared to Belle Du Jour, with a very interesting flashes back and forth between reality and imagination. This principle of using the change of wardrobe to convey a change of scene and time is also evident in my last commercial:

Can these 2 films be useful for aspiring directors?
Even though these 2 films are very different in its cultural sense, the directing method is very similar. Like Leung Kar-wai, Luis Bunuel was very concern with the visual elements of his film. Both directors rarely explained the reason or motivation to their actors regarding the roles they played. Like Luis Bunuel, he would only asked his actor to hold the wine glass with only 1 finger instead of 2. Just like Wong Kar-wai, he would direct his actor to walk in a certain way. Automatically, the actors would have been able to process the reason behind that certain gesture the director focused on. To learn more about film direction, kindly email your interest to join our Artiste Training Course (Film Direction) to KRISLAWFANCLUB@GMAIL.COM Students in my class get to learn more in-depth about the films mentioned here.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Seronok diberi keahlian gym percuma - macam-macam bole terjadi, biar artis berfikiran positif dan tenang

Fikiran positif dan tenang
Sebagai seorang artis, hanya dua perkara yang Kris selalu ingatkan diri: fikiran positif dan tenang. Maklum la, dah lama tak masukkan entry dalam BM. Rasa-rasanya ini lah peluang keemasan untuk menceritakan  sedikit pengalaman baru. Cuaca Malaysia kita ini, kejap hujan lebat, kejap panas terik macam dalam ketuhar. Cuaca yang tak menentu ini menyebabkan Kris rasa penat. Teringat pula jemputan khas untuk jadi ahli kelab senaman. Apoinmen telah set. Takpe, panas terik macam ini pun, mesti tunaikan juga pertemuan.

Bila orang bagi, kita terima
Baiknya sales manager bagi gym ini, bagi tempoh 7 hari jadi ahli gym percuma. Dalam telefon, dia cakap akan bagi 3 hari percuma. Selepas dah berjumpa dengan Kris in person, terus bagi 7 hari. Terima kasih. Ye lah, sebagai artis, perwatakan kita kena jaga. Macam dengan hal perjumpaan dengan sales manager, dia banyak juga tanya soalan kesihatan Kris. Kris terus terang, tak suka tipu. Jawapan yang dibagi semuanya benar dan ikhlas. Adalah kadang-kala dalam perbualan kami, dia ada desak Kris untuk daftar bagi pakej ahli. Bila lihat balik, pandai juga ya Kris tolak desakan nya. Tapi dengan cara yang sopan dan ikhlas.

Siapa yang bagi ini?
Kris minta sales manager tersebut sebenarnya nak tahu siapa yang bagi dia nama dan telefon Kris ini. Rupa-rupanya, salah seorang pelajar Kris dulu yang bongkar telefon rahsia. Takpe, dia seorang pelajar yang cerdik dan bijak. Tetapi, jika soal nak jadi ahli, dari dulu pun Kris pernah mengalaminya jadi member gym. Fobia ada juga. Fobia tentang ahli-ahli gym ini. Mereka tu kebanyakkannya kerja korporat atau ofis, perangai pun macam-macam la. Kris ini artis, maka perangai kami sangat berbeza. Artis ini lebih ambil masa. Orang korporat lebih kerja masa. Bole la Kris perhatikan perangai ahli-ahli ini: ada yang jalan cepat masuk ke dalam locker, ada yang mukanya masam buruk, ada pula yang tengok sana-sini, konon nak tunjukkan diri mereka lebih fit, dan badan lagi cantik. Jika nak soal pasal ego, Kris tak perlu la sebab dah pernah membintangi TVC ini:

Budaya korporat dengan artis berbeza
Oh tidak. Kris tak suka langsung perangai compare-compare ini. Setiap insan ada keistimewaannya yang tersendiri. Situasi sebegini la yang menyebabkan Kris sedih dan down sikit. Ye lah, bila dimasukkan dalam sekumpulan manusia yang sangka tubuh mereka cantik, Kris rasa serba salah dan out-of-place. Tapi Kris dah matang, dan disiplinkan minda agar berfikiran positif. Jika buka mata besar-besar dan betul-betul pandang, ada juga ahli gym ini yang badan mereka tak seberapa pun - yang perut buncit, tapi pandai mereka cover dengan bahu dan dada mereka yang terbonjol besar. Kris sekarang dah bijak lepaskan bimbang kekurangan diri dan just be myself. Terus Kris gedik ke sana-sini.

Gedik bila jumpa balik "kenalan lama"
Sikap gedik ini bukan sengaja. Kan dah lama tak masuk gym. Dah lupa dah cara untuk menggunakan mesin-mesin berat yang ada. Terus Kris tanya abang-abang yang ada kat situ tentang cara betul untuk pakai mesin berat. Baiknya abang-abang ini, mereka bagi tunjuk ajar. Mengenai abang-abang ini, terus buka terbeliak mata Kris ini. Antara abang-abang ini ada yang pernah Kris "terjumpa" di laman web. Tak sangka mereka kerja di gym ini. Ada antara mereka gay, tapi perwatakan mereka di kaunter jantan sekali. Puji....Ada yang pernah berpacaran dengan kawan gadis Kris, dulu badan gempal sekarang muscleman. Ada juga yang dari gym lain dan berpindah ke sini.

Mesin senam dengan nama
Yang istimewa adalah mesin-mesin bersenam. Setiap satu ada nama! Yang menarik perhatian Kris adalah mesin senam bernama "Abductor". Maksud nama tersebut adalah untuk tangkap dan sembunyikan. Tapi, cara untuk gunakan mesin Abductor ini adalah kena duduk dan lampirkan kedua belah kaki pada papan di kedua-dua  belah dan tolakkan papan tersebut dalam cara bukakan kedua belah kaki secara terkangkang. Ooo, seluar pendek Kris ini pula pendek sangat. Bila kaki dah terkangkang, cepat-cepat Kris rapatkan kaki sehingga terbentuk satu bonjolan di tengah akibat kain seluar pendek tergulung sampai ke selit pinggang. Ooo, seksi pula nampak sehingga ada abang trainer di tepi memandang dan berjenaka dengan ahli lain.

Main-main mata dan kepala
Mengenai kakak-kakak di sana, ramai juga dari luar negara, terutamanya negara Arab. Cantik kakak-kakak Arab ini, rambut mereka dibiarkan beralun tanpa diselubungi hijab. Putih cerah pula kulit mereka itu. Di situ ada satu ruang berehat, dilengkapi dengan bahan minuman. Ruang ala bar ini dihiaskan dengan sofa dan meja baca, dengan pandangan bangunan KLCC yang tersergam indah sekali di luar. Rasa begitu megah bila berhadapan dengan bangunan KLCC ini. Tak sangka, di belakang tempat duduk Kris ini, muncul pula 2 gadis Arab tadi yang tengah berborak. Kris pun gerak kepala ke arah mereka, terus mereka diam. Wow, terasa kejutan elektrik dari pandangan 2 gadis arab tersebut, kemungkinan aura Kris pun ada kejutkan mereka sedikit, hehe. Bila Kris dah siap berehat dan bangun beredar ke bilik mandi, Kris toleh ke belakang kejap dan nampak 2 gadis arab tersebut tengah memandang. ooo..suka.

Bila buka baju, kena berani
Ruang lokar gym itu pun cantik dan luas. Terkenang balik masa Kris jadi ahli. Lokarnya guna card untuk scan dan dikuncikan. Rasa malu sedikit adalah, sebab kan semua abang-abang situ badan mereka cantik dan berotot. Buka aje baju seluar pendek Kris ini, rasa low self-esteem menyusuk pula.Tapi Kris cuba fikirkan yang positif. Dalam bilik lokar, ada pula 2 changing room yang tertutup. Changing room itu bagi mereka yang nak tukar pakaian dalam keaadan yang tertutup agar abang-abang lain tak curi tengok kebogelan mereka. Bagi Kris, Kris tak peduli langsung nak guna changing room tersebut. Kena ada keyakinan diri, dan terus Kris buka  baju dan seluar pendek. Biar la sesiapa nak tengok, Kris bangga dengan apa yang ada.

Air memancut 
Ambil tuala dan masuk bilik stim dan sauna. Keluarkan semua peluh yang ada. Satu kekurangan adalah stim tak kuat sangat. Takpe la, dah penat. Masuk ke dalam cubicle mandi shower yang tertutup. Yang peliknya, tak bole kunci pintu cubicle. Eh, nanti orang masuk macam mana huh? Hah, ada caranya. Kris letakkan tuala ke atas pintu sebagai tanda dah ada orang tengah gunakan cubicle. Bila dah rasa "selamat", Kris pun putarkan gondol paip bagi air shower keluar. Terus Kris terkejut, sebab air yang keluar bagai panah yang tajam menusuk ke dalam tubuh bogel. Sakit. Air yang dipancutkan itu tajam, terpaksa Kris putar lagi gondol paip agar air lebih lambat memancut.

Terlupa bawa extra
Sangka bila dah mandi di gym, balik rumah nanti tak perlu la mandi lagi.Bole jimat air. Tapi fikir-fikir balik, tidak juga. Baju dan seluar pendek yang dah digunakan macam mana? Kena cuci juga. Gunakan tuala sendiri, itu pun kena dicuci. Susah juga nak lawat gym, sebab kena bawa semua benda-benda ini. Baju extra, seluar extra. Waktu fikiran Kris tengah berjalan, dapat perhatikan abang-abang dalam bilik lokar tengah berbual sesama sendiri. Ada satu abang dan adiknya yang berulang-alik masuk dan keluar. Adik dia pula tanya jika ada nampak barang yang tertinggal dalam lokar. Bila Kris dah siap lapkan diri kering, baru teringat diri tertinggal bawa sesuatu ..... seluar dalam yang bersih!!