Friday, October 31, 2014

What's It Like To Make A Site

Did you know that when you're not exactly someone who has a job, it makes it so much more interesting because you have all the time in the world to experiment with new things or gain new experiences? Yes, having been grounded at home for about 3 months to date (I do go out for lunches and dinners with friends, I am not an anti-social child!) has given me so much time in doing a lot more than what I have been doing before this. In fact, I've come to learn that there are so many things you could get from the internet and full around with Adobe Illustrator...if you just put your heart to it.

Anyway, a recent project aside to the header for my blog was to create a portfolio for myself. I figured that it sounded like the most fantastic thing ever but pushing it on Blogger felt a little cliche...which led me to Wix. Don't get me wrong, this isn't an advertorial and I highly doubt Wix would notice me for any bit of this but yes, I created a portfolio on Wix.

Yes, I am on private browsing for this picture because the regular Chrome has my details logged in.

For those of you who don't know Wix, it's a place where you could create your own website without the need to know coding and almost everything is just set for you to move around; colours are customizable and other little details such as buttons or shadows have also been looked into. If you're lazy, there are even templates that you could pick from; be it free or premium and paid for.

Pick your template and have some fun.

My first encounter with Wix was actually back in the last semester of my diploma where we were all assigned to create our website to feature our write ups, much like an online magazine. Our topics were niche and I picked out something I used to love doing: Reading books. 

This used to be my website.

I suppose some people have come across issues with Wix such as saving matters (Cue Isabel who had the curse of a crashing Chrome and all her work just died along...) and what they would say are complicated uses, I found that it was fairly okay to deal with. 
[EDIT: I gave Isabel a blog preview and she laughed it off then said, "TWICE OKAY?" So it happened to her...twice. I didn't get it even once.]

In fact if you work enough, you just know what to do...

With different pages to play with...

Multiple backgrounds for experiments...

And playful tries with colours, buttons, uploads and social media apps!

The end result isn't exactly spectacular for my portfolio per say but I don't have a huge base to begin with. What I have are mini displays of things I have worked on and I thought that it would just look fairly decent to parade them all so I could one day look back and be happily proud of all that's been said and done. So yes, I now invite you to drop by and leave me a hello message..because that's where I will try hard to strive and pick up more skills and improvise. 

And if you're thinking about setting up a site, you should give Wix a try. It's free and you're just allowed to do almost anything! Unless your name is also Isabel; that I have no promises.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Dream Trip To Macau

Here's a major throwback to one of the holiday spots I've enjoyed: Macau.

Chegando Macau.

It's hard to believe that it has already been a year since my family and I set foot onto Hong Kong then took a ferry over to Macau to discover a different end to my entire escapade but now that I've gone on a road trip back to my old posts, it seems like it's true! Sometimes when I look back however, it feels like there is so much that I didn't do when I was in Macau because we had to solely follow what our tour guide said and went wherever he insisted we go.

So now that Nuffnang Malaysia and the Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) are working together in bringing 3 overly enthusiastic Nuffnangers to Macau for a 3 days 2 nights trip, it's time to get planning!
First stop: Visit temples and churches all around Macau.

With about 8 temples and over 15 churches around Macau, these cultural places are just places that you cannot miss. Whether it is to visit so you could pray or to visit and stare at the architecture in awe, the temples and churches in Macau does not disappoint at all because they each have their own stories to tell and they are all diversely unique in their own ways.

Wishes and prayers hanging at the A Ma Temple.

Staring straight at the St. Dominic's Church.

That said, going around these temples and churches also incidentally takes you all around Macau as they are scattered around and you'll be going on the ultimate field trip just hunting them all down. So whether it's going to the A Ma Temple and coming out to stop by Koi Kei Bakery for the famous almond biscuits or walking around Senado Square in order to arrive at St. Dominic's Church, it's just as much an adventure as aimlessly going around for the fun of it!

Stop duo: Catch The House of Dancing Water at the Dancing Water Theater

My aunt who resides in Hong Kong once watched The House of Dancing Water and raved to the family WhatsApp group endlessly on how amazing it was so this is a definite must catch for me if I were to go back to Macau. With tickets starting from HKD 580 per adult, The House of Dancing Water is placed in a purpose-built theater that holds up to 3.7 million gallons of water for the amazing show of how one fisherman helps a stranger in defeating the evil queen in order to rescue the beautiful princess.

How spectacular can spectacular get?
Picture credits: Groupon Hong Kong

This, this, this!
Picture credits: The House of Dancing Water

For someone who has always loved live orchestras and shows alike, I think The House of Dancing Water will be a show I absolutely cannot miss! In fact, this is one of the shows I have listed down besides having to see Phantom of the Opera in UK and Mamma Mia again; so if I were to go to Macau again, this is where you'll find me. Possibly in awe with my mouth hanging down and just going, "Wah!"

Three is perfect: Making my way to Taipa Village

Truth be told, I have never been around to see what Taipa Village is about but when I hit up a search on this oddly named place, I fell in love.

Just look at how vibrantly colourful this village is!
Picture credits: EatandTravelwithus

And if colourful doesn't work for you, check out this European touch to the village!
Picture credits: Justindejesus

Located a mere 15 minutes away from the Galaxy Hotel, the Taipa Village has been known for its colourful buildings and western influence to capture the eyes of visitors who come by with glistening hopes for amazing sights. Whether you're coming by in the morning or at night, the Taipa Village looks equally as good and people who has a penchant for great photography would have a field time here. What, me? It's just about being in Europe without having to actually BE in a touch of Chinese.

This is how Taipa Village looks like at night. Amazing isn't it?
Picture credits: Eatandtravelwithus

I can't help it but to look at how the pretty lights just makes the village come alive and better yet that these pictures are circulating online by a couple who were there last November...which is just about the time I was around! I wonder if we had rubbed shoulders and never knew about it.

Bonus stop: Revisit the St. Paul's Ruins.

 Jump shot attempt 7: Success!

Although I have been to the St. Paul's Ruins during the first visit, I'd actually like to go right back and touch the crumbling stones again. Currently held together with steel builds, the St. Paul's Ruins is one of Macau's most iconic heritage ever. Beneath the ruins also lies the Museum of Sacred Art and Crypt where we can see Japanese and Vietnamese martyrs being displayed as well as amazing statues and religious paintings dating from the 17th century in all its glory.

 How else would you prove that you've been here if not with a picture?

As a whole, I have believe that coming back to Calcada De S. Paolo will reconnect my to the great days of how Macau has become one of the most historic places in Asia. It's just an experience you cannot miss, regardless of how short your visit to Macau is. Plus, you can actually just go around and grab yourself some of the famous Portuguese egg tarts by Lord Stow's Bakery that's around the corner at the bottom of the stairs from the St. Paul's Ruins.

I mean come on, who doesn't love Lord Stow's Bakery's Portuguese egg tarts?
Picture credits: Jingdaily

So yes, Nuffnang and MGTO...please find my name on Santa's list of good children and grant me this early Christmas present by sending me to Macau again. I promise I'll also be good the following year and experience more parts of Macau as the time goes. You're all about fulfilling dreams in this city, right?  I shall sit around now and wait for awesome news without pouting! *Packs luggage anyway*

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Dialogue In The Dark: The Lesson

I'm back and still feeling the blessing of my sight, Shneep people! Yes, if you have already forgotten, I made a visit to Dialogue In The Dark in Jaya One last Friday courtesy of ChurpChurp who held the #ChurpOutInTheDark event in hand with Dialogue In The Dark to give us a sense of what it's like to be visually impaired. I must say that it was such an eye opener (No pun intended!) especially for someone like me who has always had bad eyesight.

Mum's pointing at G, the initial to her name.

 I attempted an E but settled for a L...with an E in some way. 

Because of the experience I got at Dialogue In The Dark, I decided to also pen down what I've felt during and after the tour. And here goes nothing.


While I had my mum who tugged on my hoodie all the way and all the other people who kept shouting over and over alongside my guide, Mimi, who was trying to help us around, I still could not help but to feel a little lonely in those times of darkness. It was almost like you just felt as though no one was with you and you were lost. Truth be told, this was the worse feeling to have while I was in the experience centre because there was no backing down and you couldn't speed anything up either for everyone was there enjoying it too. You just had to deal with it. 

I don't know if this was prominently happening to everyone else but when we all took a seat on the bench in one of the rooms and was told to "enjoy the breeze and surroundings", I closed my eyes and took in a whiff of what I knew for sure was air-conditioning but enjoyed it all the same as if it were fresh mist of the mountains we were told to imagine in our minds. Sometimes it is when we are out of sight that we put our brains into working out an image...without the image in front of us anyway.

Freedom to express & the lack of self-consciousness.
I know for sure everyone felt this. We could scream, shout, talk and do every other silly thing while we were in there without the need to worry about how anyone felt about us. We didn't even know who was doing what and that felt great. In fact, I had to tap on this participant named Jason throughout the entire tour and it didn't feel as awkward as I ever had to when playing ice-breaking games. It was just that kind of freedom in the dark that you felt and you could express it your own way.

When the lights were turned on, we were all awkwardly silent and shared nothing but mutual smiles to one another at the same dining table. Before that, we were really engrossed in chats and tried to explore what was on our plates asking each other what we've found. And I thought that was great. You didn't care how the person looked and it didn't matter if they were fat or thin. All that mattered was that there was someone there to talk to and you were grateful for it.


Coming back out to the light brought me more than just an experience but the art to be thankful. I was thankful for my gift of sight, I was thankful for the hospitality everyone from Dialogue In The Dark gave me but most of all, I was thankful to have been alive to see the world in all its beauty...or horror whatsoever be it. I think this is something that has come through everyone's minds when they stepped out from the dark. The loud sighs and relieved breaths were something you could definitely catch the night of #ChurpOutInTheDark.

Loving my senses.
Factoring in the deal that I could see nothing, I put absolute trust in every sense of mine that night. I started listening in on how the blind stick hit other things like the wall or benches, I touched obstacles ahead of me and tapped on the person in front, I smelled things like oranges and lemongrass when we were walking around the "market" to feel what it's like to be out grocery shopping as a visually impaired person and I took to tasting each of my dinner's course with delicate care whenever Mimi served us a new plate of whatever. These senses; these everyday things that we have with us and take for granted suddenly came together as the most precious things ever. It's such an indescribable feeling, I can hardly put it in words. I just figure you really need to try it out yourself.

For the ones who are visually impaired, a grand salutation to them all. Not only did they guide us noisy bloggers and Churpers around the experience centre, they also had to take us to our seats for dinner and serve us meals while going up and down whenever we asked for extra tissue or drinks. And to think that we're the able bodied ones who have all of our senses perfectly intact! I absolutely think they are amazing after the evening at Dialogue In The Dark, not only during the tour but through their everyday lives when they are out of the centre.

I know they won't see this, but I just had to try it out myself.

Thank you once again for the lessons you have taught me, people from Dialogue In The Dark. It is invaluable, it is precious and it is something no one can just tell you about for you truly have to try it out yourself. Dialogue In The Dark welcomes the public to experience life in pitch darkness with tickets priced at:  
RM 30 per adult aged 18 and above
RM 25 per youth aged 13 to 17
RM 20 per child aged 7 to 12

And here's where you can find them:

100-P1-001, The School,
Block J, Jaya ONE,
No. 72A, Jalan Universiti,
46200 Petaling Jaya. 

Seriously though people, care for your eyes. Life as a visually impaired is difficult. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Dialogue In The Dark: The Experience

As someone who has been wearing glasses since the age of 10, I've always taken to understanding that I won't have perfect vision unless I went on for something drastic like laser treatments for my short sightedness and astigmatism. But what happens to people who don't even have the option of these treatments and their world is just a dark place...forever?

Giving the tourist pose.

I first encountered Dialogue In The Dark when I was back in Jaya One during the Markets fair in August but was pressed for time to experience it then somehow never gave it another thought until ChurpChurp came up with the #ChurpOutInTheDark event. This time, I thought for sure that I just HAD to be there and be there I did on Friday!
And I brought my mother along!

For those who don't know, Dialogue In The Dark has been around Malaysia for about 2 years now and has been founded by Mr. Stevens Chan, a corporate professional and active businessman until the year 2007 when he lost his sight to Glaucoma. The idea of Dialogue In The Dark or DID as it is commonly called is to bring awareness to those with sight on how it's like to live in the dark or to blend into everyday living. 

Welcome to Dialogue In The Dark.

Lockers to store your belongings safely.

And the words of those who has experienced DID for themselves.

For a wholesome time in the experience centre of DID, anything that would light up was no allowed so that meant no phones, no cameras and even to the extent that no digital watches that had light would be allowed. Each tour lasts between 45 minutes to an hour and it's performed in pitch black darkness so you actually get to feel what it's like to be...blind per say. All you have is faith to your guide and a walking stick to move around without hitting the walls or anything inside.

Because this was a #ChurpOutInTheDark event (And also #NNDialogueInTheDark), the lot of us were split into groups of 10 and we followed a kind lady called Margona to enter the experience centre before we were handed over to another lady called Mimi. Bear in mind that we couldn't see Mimi at all, all we had was the guidance of her voice and her warm touches on our arms. The theme of our walk was "Cuti-Cuti Malaysia", much done in accordance to Visit Malaysia 2014 and every step took us around the familiar areas of Malaysia without the gift of sight. In fact, let me show you how it was like in the experience centre.

The dots are really just lights from the CCTV that kept the guides safe.

And I am not kidding. Many would think (Myself included) that the experience centre would have at least allowed us to see our own hands at a close distance as you would when you turn off the lights and stare into your room but in DID, darkness is no joke. As Mimi took us on our journey around Malaysia, she also guided us into a place where we were served with fantastic food courtesy of Mango Chilli...also in complete darkness.

Tasks that we had included writing a poem with each other by passing the paper and pen around with each one only writing ONE word and other things like pouring tea from a flask then having our 4 course meal. Not only was it awkwardly difficult to figure out what was being served, it also posed such difficulty in just finding our seats. The experience took a little less than 3 hours including dinner time and when the lights were turned on, our eyes took so much time to adapt once again to the sheer brightness and that was when we were introduced to our guides.

This is the guide for my group, Mimi.

Mimi has been partially blind from the age of 16 yet possesses a diploma in early childhood education and was a kindergarten teacher before coming to DID to work as a guide. Her sight was impaired when a nerve in her eye began to give her problems and it was then when she lived a life with only half the sight she had. At the other end of the room was her twin sister, Shah (I assume such as her name from what I heard) who has the same problem as Mimi and is also partially blind. I cannot imagine what their family has come to face with not just one but two of these beautiful girls losing their sight together. 

Mr. Stevens and his seeing eye dog with a French name, LaShawn.
If you think he's a little familiar, it's because he is the same Mr. Stevens who made headlines on the Malay Mail with LaShawn earlier this year with the article titled, "Man's best friend not loved by everyone." I remember reading the article back when it was widely circulated on social media and malls were scrutinized by the society alike for their lack of compassion but nothing beats the experience of actually trying to maneuver around the experience centre with only a blind stick. Now as I take another glance on the article, I find it so true that those who are visually impaired have so much to go through; from finding things to buy in supermarkets to hailing cabs and attending to nature's call.

Bloggers and Churpers alike gather for a photo.

The event ended on a high note with everyone coming back to the light and loving the fact that we could see once again. For someone who always goes through momentary blurriness from removing my contact lenses and switching back to my glasses or waking up in the morning to look for these sightly help, Dialogue In The Dark has taught me that my blurry moments were nothing compared to what those who are visually impaired has to go through. 

So thank you very much, ChurpChurp for this amazing time in learning how important my sight is in life. A great big thank you also extends to Dialogue In The Dark and their guides (Especially Mimi for me!) for having us rowdy and noisy bloggers and churpers over. Suppose everyone had their panicking moments when they saw nothing because it takes time to get used to. It was indeed an eye-mazing night.

Dialogue In The Dark welcomes the public to experience life in pitch darkness with tickets priced at:  
RM 30 per adult aged 18 and above
RM 25 per youth aged 13 to 17
RM 20 per child aged 7 to 12

And here's where you can find them:

100-P1-001, The School,
Block J, Jaya ONE,
No. 72A, Jalan Universiti,
46200 Petaling Jaya.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Little Days

Hello, Shneep-people! Okay I am typing this from my iPad because I thought of trying out the blogging-on-the-go feel so if there are typos all over or spacing issues all about, leave me a comment and let me know.

Anyway, here's a fun fact: I never stopped sleeping in my parents' room until I was 8. This would have resulted in my father knowing when I sleep and when I wake up especially on school days. The thing with me however is that I hardly enjoyed sleep time (WHAT WAS I THINKING?) so I had a habit of lying down and pretending to fall asleep but I'd put my hands up and fool around with my fingers in the air.

To me, this was how he would never catch me still awake because I'm technically flat on the floor and possibly have dozed off with shut eyes. In fact when I looked over, this is what I would see.

He couldn't see me, I was sure of it!

Whenever this happens, my dad also shouts out to me and says, "Go and sleeeeeeeep." which leaves me puzzled because...HOW DID HE KNOW? And last night when I put up in their room again, I realized an important thing.

This was how.

He could totally see my fingers! What. Was. I. Thinking. But then again, I was only about 7 or 8 years old. In fact, I looked like this.

Cute, no? That's my buddy when we were 7 and her name's Faustina.
I had to bug my cousin for this picture so you best appreciate this!

So yes, here's a post to remember the days when I was sillier, funnier and a lot more naive. Exactly as I've said, the little days. I just thought I should share. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Bringing Changes

Hello fellow people! I've done something that has made me so proud of myself, I must grab a nice slice of cake today to celebrate. That's right, I now have my own domain so welcome to Shneep's Corner at a brand new URL!

To be honest, I have been dying to grab my own domain name in fears that someone would somehow fall into place and take away the name "Cantuslupus" from me so when Isabel shared it with Tania, Senri and I that Exabytes was doing a great big promotion for bloggers alike, I just knew it was fate running up to me telling me to grab the chance and just do it. If you're new here and you're wondering why the name means so much to me, you definitely need to click on the tab that says "The Original Cantus Lupus" on top.

New header, yay!

Of course, that doesn't seem to be the only change to the blog considering how there's also a spanking new header for the site! Scroll up if you haven't noticed because I spent quite a number of hours on it with my limited knowledge in Illustrator skills and other little factors on my artistic end. Credits all goes to sites such as Freepik and FontSquirrel for all the little additions to the piece. Seriously, they have such extensive libraries of vectors and fonts, it's just amazing!

Additionally, a favicon is under the wraps with that much of a design bug biting me so I thought I might as well get them all changed at once. While I do hope to give the blog a different outlook, I can only do so much and I have bigger qualms of picture sizes and such so I can't be doing that just yet until I discover someone who could help me revamp my blog...for not so much a fee or none at all. I'll buy you coffee with wishful thinking?

Hello, I needed a reason to post this here.

And that's just about the kind of update I have for you now. Welcome to the semi-new space, people. I have never felt more proud of my blog and my own writing. Besides the time I saw my article being printed and framed at an uncle's house anyway.

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Halloween Escape

Hello people! I hope you've missed me because I've been having a momentary writer's block on what to tell you aside the fact that I have gotten older (And fatter) and that I am still mulling around home. But last Saturday proved a little different for me because I got to visit Malaysia's 1st Halloween Escape happening at the Wet World, Shah Alam!

Yeah, a skeleton with its eyes lit...not scary, not scary...

Capturing the essence of fear now that it's Halloween season, Wet World Shah Alam decided to pull in Escape Room to make up the very first Halloween Escape in Malaysia where you first get scared then you get witty. Point in fact is that there are fantastic decorations set up all over Wet World Shah Alam that will be up all of October and several Escape Room styled cabanas that are open every Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays of the entire October this year.

Dare you walk in?
Interesting decorations of skeletons in a float just bobbing up and down the pool.

As I arrived later than expected, I had missed out on the Terrifying Mist Water Show that featured water projection of these scary heads and eerie speeches set at the Wet World Lobby. Luckily for me however, they had it up and showing again around 9.30 PM and I caught half of it on camera! 

I hope you can hear the video because I hear it loud and clear!

 Say hello to their friendly...uh...ghost.
Stephanie and Chan who were there much earlier even had time for a walkabout of the area while it was still bright so you could head over to their blog where you can see their account of the event right here. I suppose that's what happens when you don't do too good of a planning on itinerary and count too much on Waze. 

"Blood" packs for the thirsty.

Having sips of "type O blood". I did get very thirsty all night.

The thing that I enjoyed most about the entire night had to be the amount of precise details being put into it what with food that resembled fingers and syrup served in the looks of blood packs. In fact, they even had this adorable pumpkin bun that I could NOT get over!

I'm sorry I had to eat you, pumpkin bun!

Caught in action by Steph. The thug looking person next to me is Steven, my plus one of the night.

Obviously food was not the only thing that got us hooked because they had likes of Chinese vampires walking around and dead nurses in scrubs scaring the bejesus out of Stephanie all night long. She was actually so scared, she kept repeating this all night long: "I will punch them if they come near me!" It was her mantra, I think.

I hung out with this girl in white and a scythe...before she went "RAWR" on me.
Note the nurse in scrubs on the left. She was just...epic.

Come on, it's not everyday you get to hang out with ghosts...right?

What we did get to try that night however, was the Haunted House that was set up by Escape Room as well as one of the 4 mini cabana escapes (Because the lines were really long), both of which we failed to find our ways out. For someone who despises horror movies and scream fests, I told my heart to be still and braved my way into the Haunted House but it wasn't a feat done without my high pitched screams; a part of me that still isn't as boy-ish as most of my friends think.

Steven's stare down with the nurse in scrubs. Three guesses who walked away a winner. 
Tip: It isn't the guy.
Aside to the challenges, games and eerie decorations that were set up, the Halloween Escape also featured surprise events for the media and bloggers to watch that included live band performances and flash mobs by non other than the creepy halloween mascots. 

I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the dance and oddly nice yet eerie music.

We also had a quick sit down with the Senior Manager of Wet World Shah Alam, Mr. Steven Chang (Not to be confused with my plus one!) who told us that the concept behind this collaboration with Escape Room came about as they wanted to bring more exposure to what the theme park had to offer in addition to giving everyone a new experience of enjoying Halloween. Of course, the Haunted House is definitely not for those with weak hearts or expectant mothers nor little kids unless accompanied but otherwise, everyone is welcome so long it's the weekends.
Creepily intricate on details.
With a twist of luck did we also get to meet Mr. Victor Lo and Mr. Jason Leung, the handsomely charming founders of Escape Room who then told us that this entire attraction has been built on months and months of pre-planning and they were excited to see how it would workout when they brought Escape Room out of the normal areas. Everything that has been set up at the Halloween Escape has been provided by the folks over at Escape Room and that's saying a lot! "We're just a little twisted and we tend to enjoy getting more people get twisted," said Mr. Lo when Steph and I pondered on the idea of building Escape Room.
At this point of time, I do wish that I have more to show you but unfortunately for me, it was extremely difficult to take decent photographs all night as there is something terribly wrong with my phone; throwing itself from a 99% battery life to 47% within an hour...without usage. So I must say that most of the photos in this post have all been taken by Stephanie and also from her blog BLESS HER SOUL. 

The Halloween Escape at Wet World Shah Alam opens every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the entire month of October with tickets priced at only RM 38 per person! It's definitely a different experience for those who enjoys a great challenge and if I were to give you an advice, it would be to really go ahead and enjoy yourself there. For the hungry ghosts (No pun intended!), food stalls are set up with likes of food such as fingers with blood and spaghetti with eyeballs in line with the creepy theme.

For more details on ticket purchases and other questions, check out the Escape Game page or the Wet World Shah Alam site! Don't be a chicken, go spook yourself crazy this Halloween!