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Aug. 31st, 2009

Humility

This is not another tirade of my unhappiness.

Not *quite*.

Pride is a dangerous thing. Too much or too soon, pride consumes. Too little or too late, feckless is pride.

Often, we criticize others and are convinced that we are not like them. Maybe it's pride that keeps us from reflecting on ourselves. Pride that puts us on a throne, visible only to ourselves.

But, really. We could be sharing the same goals, which are achieved by others through varied ways - just not the way in which we envision.

The way I see it, I am the sort who prefers not to go digging through the mud for a missing dime. Instead, I watch others wade through the muck and make snide comments from the side. It gets the best of us from time to time.

I'm rolling up my sleeves.

Feb. 21st, 2009

Details matter

Frustration seeps into my pores at an increasing rate these days. Frustration caused by the smallest of issues like:

1) People rushing into a train carriage without allowing others to alight first. I don't think the end of the world is *that* close. 

2) The rude Rapid KL stationmaster. I asked for directions but I received vague, non-committal answers. Without looking up from his newspapers, he said "You walk down here *points*, and wait in the middle"- the area he pointed at was completely empty, devoid of stands. So I asked if he could show me the way, and he repeated himself. I still didn't get it and asked how could I identify the berths if there were no proper signage in the first place. He decided to get cheesed off (when I had the right to, between the two of us) and repeated himself once more and added, what's so hard about that? You be the judge.

3) The signpost erected by the municipal council declaring that we are not allowed to bring our "domesticated animals" (as translated from BM) to the field. Each time I take my Benjy there, I'll coax him to pee on that sign. It's definitely called for. In any case, Benjy is not an "animal". He's semi-human.

4) Uneven roads that beg for resurfacing. Many requests have been submitted but evidently they have fallen on deaf ears. My mom says it's better this way (how?!) because it would deter snatch thieves from running the road. Small mercies?

I don't have superior standards, just modest expectations of what I think a "civilised society" should live up to.

Feb. 19th, 2009

Jason Mraz Live in Malaysia 2009


My sister, Vivian, expressed her interest in attending Jason Mraz's concert on the 4th of March. I'm not such a big fan of his but I suppose he's alright. Seeing how unhospitable the authorities can be towards freedom of expression, we can't really afford to pick and choose. I could rant endlessly on this, but let's not for now. Singapore's not too far away, where the gigs are semi-decent but poor folk like me can't really afford even half a ticket. Frugal is my mantra.

I checked for available tickets anyway, which are being issued by Axcess Tickets. The only available tickets are the cheapest at "Category D" (RM 68), "The Rock Zone" RM 138, and the mosh pit (RM 258). *gulp*. 

The best seats to the Riverdance show I wanted to go for at Edinburgh Playhouse in March are going for GBP36. That's about RM190 at the current exchange rate of RM5.2 to a pound. To think that I paid my tuition fees at 7.7!

I guess I'm going for neither, for numerous and different reasons. Hopefully MTGH would land "media privileges" once again for Mraz's do. Wouldn't that be rad, SJ? 



Feb. 10th, 2009

The Journey

I booked a seat at the rear of the bus for my trip back from Singapore yesterday. Why the back? I wanted the seat right next to the escape hatch. We waved our goodbyes and watched the distance grow between us. Again, I braved a smile.

The bus was relatively empty. I am alone again. The 5 hour journey ahead is one of many to come, a symbol of the new "life" we are going to live, if only for awhile.

I booked a seat at the back of the bus because I knew it would afford me the privacy I needed.

I obliged a betraying tear.

I miss you too, Boo.

Jan. 8th, 2009

The Way "Forward"

 
 A casual flip through the daily is sufficient to prove once again that an organized system of living as dictated by our predecessors is not working out. A "well oiled" and "tried and tested" system would have curbed much of the crime, hunger and deprivation, political warfare, ecological damage and the likes, wouldn't it? What equality, when one is subjected to discrimination based on skin colour alone? What greater freedom, when paperwork upon paperwork are required, merely for crossing borders?
 
The absurdity of this irony is only second in running to having to slave over a 9 to 5 two thirds way through one's lifetime. One and a half decades of education, only to be subjected to the allegory of slavery to the corporate world - the tie. The IN-OUT trays, the glorified tomb on your 25th floor, complete with window panes and the latest ergonomic keyboard to keep your silent suffering to a minimum. I find it sarcastically humourous that we claim a stake on everything in the wake of our trailblaze, but outwith the four panelled matchbox of an office, we're nobody. The fancy window, that very symbol of our personal development serves as a contemptuous mockery of what we've become. It's an invisible barrier that prevents us from communing with the very world we've built- we can only observe from within, addled with what really is a false sense of security, from our 25th floor.
 
Come down from your high horse and walk the talk you say. Sure, if I knew how to escape the system. 

To Infinity and Nowhere.


 

Nov. 14th, 2008

Advanced wishes






BUT

don't think I will go soft on you
during our scissors, paper, stone face-offs just because it's your birthday...






Wilbur: Mu-shee-peas, Daddy! Mu-SHEE-peas!!

Beatrix: Squeak...?






Happy twenty-fiver,

our bug-crusher,

our spider annihilator
.

We'll help you eat the cake this year!


 

Nov. 11th, 2008

A public apology

If what they say about dreams are true, I've got serious issues to deal with. Scythe-wielding grim reapers (or dementors), vengeful green spirits, slamming of doors and blackouts..... they're common features of nightmares. What usually remains with you into the waking hours are the disturbing parts of your mini movie; such as celebrating Christmas (which is usually a very pleasant thing for me) with your living relatives and in the next moment you see other figures who do not belong on this plane of existence. Everything begins to decay before your eyes then SNAP, you wake up before a mouldering hand touches your skin.

That's why I don't do horror flicks, Boo. The tendencies of these films being mostly B-grade is merely a sorry excuse to camouflage my real fears that often haunt me at every level of conciousness. No, of course I'm kidding. An overly active imagination is the problem here, I know it.  I'm sorry I stole your covers at night and garbled Ancient Greek loudly at you when you were really just asking for part of the duvet back. I must have been battling my demons then (it's genetics too, I swear!). I'm sorry you had to be out in the cold! You should know by now that I'm a monster in bed (literally, not sexually) so here's a handy tip - be brutal the next time (again, literally not sexually. tsk tsk). Honestly though, a majority of horror movies ARE B-grade. I can tolerate bad effects but cheesy storylines just bite. Am I right, or am I right?

Gi, you're going to love what I'm going to write next. Just to keep everyone up to speed, Gi and I frequently go into a Harry Potter obsession phase. Mine happens to be right now. So I thought that it would be appropriate to bombard all of you with film locations of the Harry Potter movie series. This will come in handy for future reference, Gi *wink

1) Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is also known by a less magical name, Alnwick Castle situated at Northumberland. This also happens to be the film location of Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves. I just learnt that they conduct Harry Potter tours around the castle, where they would show you exactly where and in which part of the movie a particular spot was featured in the movie. The Outer Bailey of Alnwick Castle was where Hooch's flying lessons were held at, not at University of Glasgow's East Quadrangle as I suspected (dang!).


2) Some parts of Hogwarts are not completely Alnwick of course. Courtyard, classroom and certain hallway scenes were shot at Durham Cathedral. Harry walks past these cloisters on the courtyard and releases Hedwig on a snowy day.

 

3) Gloucester Cathedral is famous for their cloisters. This became the corridor which led to Gryffindor house's common room (where the Fat Lady asks for the password) 


4) Hogwarts' Library is a bona fide library. The Bodleian Library at University of Oxford is the main research library and a copyright deposit library.This is also where Madamme Pomfrey's hospital wing was shot at. Skele-Gro, anyone?

courtesy of http://www.d.umn.edu/

5) 4 Privet Drive was filmed at 12 Picket Post Close in a small town called Bracknell, Berkshire which is just on the outskirts of London. 


6) Gringotts, in real life, is an exhibition hall of the Australian Embassy in London. The team took 3 days of filming in the hall, which featured gothic columns and 600 square metres of a mix of imported Australian marble. Talk about opulence!

7) Train station scenes were shot at Goathland Railway Station in North Yorkshire. The station is still in operation.

   


8) Lacock Abbey's Cloisters in Wiltshire. This is where Harry releases Dobby in the.... second film? I think. The Sacristy served as Snape's Potions classroom. Various other locations at the Abbey was used in the movie(s) for Professor Quirell's DADA class and the mirror of erised room. The Abbey will be featured in HP and the Half Blood Prince too. I was livid when I found out that they were postponing the launch of the movie to next year!


I'm pretty sure I'm missing out on other locations but this would do for now. I thought of going through the movies, freeze frames and upload them here, side by side their respective twins. I'm just too lazy.

Now that you've seen the extent of my obsession, Boobee, you know better than to stop me from watching or doing anything HP related. Although it obviously was the inspiration for my nightmare, it doesn't really qualify as an excuse on medical grounds. I'm sorry you have to stay out in the cold; you'll be duvet-less for the rest of the week. I love you, Boo.


Oct. 22nd, 2008

Because reality bites.

When I was growing up, I had many ambitions. Scientist, doctor, air stewardess; I even seriously considered making my living on part modelling once upon a time. Gi, I remember you bursting into laughter when I told you about it in '99. lol. Needless to say, almost none of them survived past my 12th year of existence. But ever since my naive days filled with hours of Roller Coaster Tycoon playing sessions, I was convinced that I would make an excellent entrepreneur. I still believe in that- perhaps this is evidence that I haven't grown up just yet, or that I'm in complete denial. I think it's the latter.

Carefree years whizz by. Before you know it, your pixie dust runs out and a force brings you crashing down to earth. That's not gravity, my friends. That's adulthood. That damning unreversable phenomena convinces you that you are not Super(wo)man after all. So I can't go into business based solely on my credentials from Roller Coaster Tycoon, my natural sadistic notions that I inherited from my childhood forbids me from doing any doctor/scientist stint, being a stewardess is not my thing, I'm not cut for part modelling... So I can't do much. What adulthood can't stop me from is dreaming of The Retirement. How I wished that was a career. I'm looking for a real job now, so bugger off, adulthood.

Because reality bites, lets absorb ourselves in the vortex of retro rockabilly music. Think high ponytails, bass guitars, jazz shoes, full skirts, mary janes, polka dots, keyboards, sideburns, milkshakes (not those laced with alcohol...) and convertibles. I had the privilege of being taken back in time (save those corset and fishnet stockings wearing party goers) while attending the performance by the burlesque troupe, Club Noir at the Carling Academy. The burlesque performance was a let down, but the opening performance by The Five Aces was magnifique!





You can't go wrong with the retro when the band realeases their single on a 45! Shout and Shimmy is the band's debut album, from which some songs can be heard on their myspace page . It is a great pity that they disbanded soon after the release of Shout and Shimmy. Now they are touring to settle raked up debts. Listening to them live was something else. Their energy makes even the most stiff lipped person snap their fingers and tap their feet in tempo. Watch those hips when they cavort with those teasing fancy riffs. Who ever said that ol' school don't rule?



Now, shoo. Go back to the noughties and back to that job search, or that pile of audit documents, or whatever you're supposed to be doing. Reality bites a little less now, don't it?