Tuesday, 31 May 2005

The Eyeris Coffee-Song!





The Eyeris Coffee Song

Lyrics by: Eyeris
Music: Any bloody tune you want
Pictures from: http://www.sfcoffee.com


Verse 1:
When I need to wake my head in the morning,
Or when I'm at the office where it's so bloody boring,
All I need is a packet of those three-in-ones
Don't care really if it's Nescafe or Cafe 21!

Chorus:
Coffee....
I like to drink, COFFEE!
Coffee is brown, is watery, and sometimes black,
It perks you up when you're out of whack!

Verse 2:
Coffee Bean, Starbucks or Gloria Jeans they're all the same,
Their coffee drinks are only coffee by name,
When I need a lightning shot to jolt my brain,
San Fran Coffee is my choice of caffeine!

Chorus:
Coffee....
I like to drink, COFFEE!
Coffee is sweet, bitter and sometime muck,
It gets you up when you're out of luck!

Bridge:
Kopi-kau, Kopi-ais and Kopi-O
You can drink it when you're on the go.
You can mix it with Milo or Horlicks too,
Go on, you know you'd like a jug or two!

Verse 3:
You can drink it when you don't wanna sleep,
Or to wake you up when you've had TOO MUCH sleep.
It don't matter if you're a king, queen, princess or Duke,
If you drink too much coffee, you'll wanna puke!

Chorus:
Coffee....
I like to drink, COFFEE!
Coffee is hot, is cool, and sometimes 'suam',
It gets you up when you're getting some!

Verse 4:
Some weird people prefer tea over coffee,
Drinking so much that they always have to pee.
I think tea sucks in a boring sort of way,
I'd prefer a cuppa kopitiam coffee anyday!

Chorus:
Coffee....
I like to drink, COFFEE!
Coffee is great, is good, and quite far-out,
It gives you something to blog about!

Verse 5:
It sometimes comes from a cat's behind,
After which it goes in for a grind,
Too much coffee can get you obsessed,
If you can't have it you'll be depressed

Monday, 30 May 2005

The Seoul Experience: Lost Taxis and Kimchi Overload

I've been back in Malaysia for the past few hours, but am still stuck in KL Sentral waiting for the traffic to clear before getting a cab. The last thing I want now is to get stuck in a cab for too long with an over-talkative driver asking me where I've been.

Last night I finally got out of the hotel and went somewhere, after SIX WHOLE DAYS of not doing any shopping or sightseeing. Now, I usually TRY to get a little bit of sightseeing in between my work, but to go six days of only seeing the hotel room, the subway, and the event venue was just too much.

I eventually went out on the final night to two night markets in Seoul - Namdaemun and Dongdaemun markets. They were essentially just pasar malams, except in Korean - mostly selling clothes, bras, souvenirs and food. Speaking of food, they had aquariums of live baby octopi swimming around, which were pretty sad. One octopus looked pretty pathetic, looking more like Tweety Bird on drugs than an octupus.

Anyway, I didn't buy anything, on account of everything costing more than I actually had (and this in a pasar malam!), so off we went to a club where there was a post-event party going on. We tried taking a cab there, but the cab driver mistook 'Seoulleung Station' for 'Seoul Station' and desposited us in the middle of nowhere. We had to take the subway instead, and ended up being late for the party (it'd been cut short anyway, because the neighbors called the cops on the party for being too moisy. What a party, eh?)

I had really rotten luck with cab drivers in Seoul. Besides the 'Seoul/Seouleung' debacle, I've had cab drivers take me to the wrong hotel, agreeing to take us somewhere without knowing the way and ending up throwing us out in the middle of nowhere, and downright refusing to look at the hotel card we gave him because he was too lazy to put on his glasses. ARGH.

NOW I remember why I HATE taking taxis. In fact, I once went two whole years WITHOUT even stepping into a taxi, whether in Malaysia, or anywhere else.

Anyway, this morning I got to the airport early, and tried to do some shopping. But with only 8000 won in my pocket, the only things I could buy was one can of beer (which I buy because I collect beers from all the countries I visit). I COULD have bought some kimchi from the DOZENS of duty free stores selling them in nicely packaged boxes, but I hate kimchi.

Though on hindsight, maybe I should have bought some seaweed or instant cup noodles instead of the beer. Oh well.

Well, that's it for the Seoul Experience. Regular blog transmission resumes tomorrow (provided I'm not being harried for my stories too much...)

The Seoul Experience: I'm coming home!

Why I don't wanna go home:
  • Girls are really cute here!
  • I gotta go back to work tomorrow
  • I liked having free food
  • I didn't get to do any sight-seeing
  • My hotel room internet is the fastest I've ever had
  • Nice and cool weather
Why I can't wait to get home:
  • Things are freaking expensive here
  • I've been eating instant noodles for the past three days
  • I wanna go home and gloat at some Man Utd fans
  • I'm tired
  • I missed Cartoon Network
  • Taxi drivers here never know how to get to where I wanna go
  • I hate kimchi
Seeya back in Malaysia!

Friday, 27 May 2005

The Seoul Experience: Smiley Happy People

I tend to judged a country by how helpful it's people are to foreigners, especially those who don't speak a single word of the local language.

A country is only as popular as it's people, I always say, and in some of the countries I've been to, I found that I liked going back there more if the people were friendly, and didn't shout at you just for stepping into their shop on a rainy day.

I disliked China because the service was bad, the people were mostly rude and inconsiderate, and they always sounded like they wanted to pick fights with you. I liked Thailand too, because the people seemed so friendly and chatty. I liked Poland because the people were friendly and always wanted to know more about my country, and wanted to know if I spoke Japanese.

Now, I can add Korea to the list of countries I'd like to come back to.

I like it here. The language may be alien, and everything may be three times more expensive than in Malaysia (in Seoul, that is), but the people here are the nicest bunch of people I've ever met.

It's nice to be here, you don't feel intimidated by the alien language at all, because the people just seem so... happy.

I was in a taxi yesterday, and while waiting for a traffic light, another car pulled up beside us and asked for directions. The two complete strangers chatted for three minutes, not moving even when the light turned green. Strangest thing was, there was no a peep or a honk from the cars behind us.

I had no qualms about going up to just about anyone on the street and asking for directions. If they didn't know what I was talking about, they'd at least smile and bow, and say they don't know. Everyone I've asked so far has given me the smile and bow routine, whether or not they helped me.

In China, whenever I went up to someone for directions, I'd be greeted most of the time with a glare and a cold shoulder, or worst, a dismissal in a very loud voice. Even if I was speaking Chinese.

When I was walking around in my Liverpool jersey yesterday, at least three total strangers came up to me and congratulated me.

Even the security guards at the event venue were polite. Instead of roughly waving me away when I blundered into an off-limits zone, they stopped me, checked my credentials, pointed me away, smiled, apologised, and bowed.

A little politeness DOES go a long way. And when a whole country is like that, it goes a REALLY long way.

Thursday, 26 May 2005

The Seoul Experience: The Quest for a Football Pub

If you've read my sport blogs , you'd know that I'm deliriously happy today because Liverpool won the Champion's League yesterday in a brilliant comback game that saw them claw back from... er... never mind. Go to Eye on Sports for more details on the match.

Now, what you DON'T know is how relived I am right now to actually be able to WATCH the match here in Korea in the first place.

I'd brought forward my flight to Korea just so that I could catch the match here, and there was no way in hell I was gonna miss the match.

Little did I know how hard it would be to find a place to watch it.

Unlike in Malaysia or Singapore, where almost every single respectable pub or mamak has a TV that shows live football all the time, here in Korea, they didn't even have the ESPN channel.

To make matters worse, everything was in Korean, so we didn't know which channel would be showing the match.

So, rather than take the chance that we would miss the match, we decided to get out of the hotel at 3am, and walked almost an hour looking for a bar that showed live football.

It was a nightmare. We walked and walked an walked, looking for a pub, and when we came upon this street that seemed to have a lot of pubs and bars, we thought we were saved.

WRONG.

Sure, there were lots of bars, discos, karaokes and coffee shops, but ALL OF THEM did NOT have a single TV that had football! Pub after pub we went, with no results.

The nightlife here in Seoul seems to revolve around sleazy looking discos, karaoke bars, slot machine outlets and lepaking outside the 24-hour mart in a suit and tie, drinking beer.

There were whole STREETS of clubs, with blinking neon lights, and men wearing suits and ties were staggering out by the dozen. I even saw one guy standing and sleeping face down on the hood of an SUV. It was surreal.

Anyway, we were about to give up and go back to the hotel when we decided to cross one last road, and lo and behold, there was a bar with a small TV showing the match, which had just started. Thanking the gods, we ordered beers, gasped in horror at the price of the beers, and proceeded to scream and shout and cheer through the most memorable football match I have EVER seen in my life.

Yup, this is definitely one trip that I will remember for a LOOOOOONG time... :-)

Wednesday, 25 May 2005

The Seoul Experience: Currency Culinary Confusion

I just got back from my first real walk around the streets of Seoul (ok, so it was just ONE street), looking for something to eat.

This was when I suddenly realised that I wasn't sure whether I had enough money in my wallet. You see, I only had about 9000 won in my pocket, and I had no idea how much that was in relation with the Ringgit, and how expensive or cheap something was.

I knew 12000 won is RM50, but beyond that, I didn't know, because I'm lousy at maths.

Everywhere I looked, things looked expensive. It's all those zeros behind the prices. The prices were all in the region of thousands of won, and to me, it was freaky, and tended to trick me into thinking something is really expensive when it probably isn't.

I actually sat down at a roadside noodle shop just to check it out, but the prices seemed rather steep - 8000-10000 won for a bowl of mee? I began to wonder whether I was reading the prices wrong.

Not only that, I was wondering what the heck was on the menu, because everything was in Korean, and the stall owner didn't speak English.

Rather than take a chance and risk the embarassment of not having enough money to pay for a bowl of mee (or ordering an extra large bowl of Kimchi instead of noodles), I eventually took a safer option - going to a hot dog stand and buying a hot dog instead.

So much for experiencing Korean culture eh?

Anyway, since the stall had nice big menus with the prices written on them AND English descriptions of the hot dogs (which didn't really help, since a hot dog is usually just a hot dog after all), I could now estimate how much I spent propely.

I settled for a Hot dog set that on the menu said 2900 won. I paid up, ate the hot dog, and came back to count exactly how much I'd spent on that damn hot dog.

I used an online currency converter, and discovered that I'd paid RM12 for that damn hot dog. Wahlau. The event organisers weren't kidding when they said things were expensive here. Time to start eating instant mee then (I hear Korean instant cup noodles are pretty good). At least THOSE cost less than 800 won...

Greetings from Seoul!

It's 4pm here in South Korea, and the weather is F-I-N-E. I have broadband in my room, so I should have no problem updating the blog. That is if I'm not too busy working or recovering from my lack of sleep lar.

I arrived here in the morning, and the first thing I got into was a traffic jam. Looks like Seoul ain't very different from other cities as well. Traffic jams are like the lifeblood of every city. Can't get away from them, and they never cease.

What I DO like about the place so far are the signboards. Oh, their just like any other signboard in Malaysia, excet that Korean ones obviously have Korean words on them, and I find the funny looking Korean words with funny shapes in them rather interesting to look at, even though I don't know what the heck they are saying.

As soon as I got to the hotel room, I immedietely fell asleep. Tired mar. I suck at sleeping on planes, so I spent the whole trip finishing a book instead.

when I woke up, I tried out the Internet, and discovered that my blog had been down for a few hours due to a hardware problem in Blogspot Central. Dammit. But it's up and runnign now. Whew.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing more of Seoul later. I'm kinda lazy to go out right now, plus I gotta get some work done first.. sigh...

PS... am also in the midst of locating the channel for ESPN.. NO WAY am I gonna miss the Champion's League final tonight...

Tuesday, 24 May 2005

Bored in the Airport (or how to kill time at KLIA)

I've been stuck in the airport for the past to hours, waiting for my flight which boards in two hours. Suffice to say, I'm bored out of my wits here, so bored in fact that I'm blogging again.

My new laptop has been the best thing I've bought this year, since I not only get to do my work anywhere I want (hmmm... That doesn't really count as a 'blessing' does it?), and I can surf the Internet anywhere I want (as long as it has a wireless broadband service, of course). Which also means I can update my blog a lot easier now.

Oh dear, I seem to be addicted to my blog. Oh well.

Anyway, I've pretty much run out of things to do here. I've visited the er... Four measly rows of shops here, spent half-an-hour sifting through the Pregnant Amidala action-figures to look for a non-existent Darth Vader toy, and finally ended up in the Starbucks surfing the net.

Here then, is a list of ten things to do when you have time to kill at KLIA.

1) Shop
(which should take up around er... 10 minutes of your time)

2) Sit around, drink beer and get drunk
(a few bars around at the International Departure hall, one called Cheers even. But be prepared to pay a premium for the beers though)

3) Go to Starbucks and surf por... I mean, the Net
(Only applicable if you have a laptop)

4) Sit in the middle of the hall and ogle at SIA air-hostesses.
(I swear the SIA girls look a lot better than the rest... Wonder why their Miss Singapore is so er... undesirable)

5) Change your money from Ringgit to US Dollars and back to Ringgit again, just to see how much you lose.
(only if you're filthy rich, or you accidentally changed ALL your Ringgit, leaving you with no money to pay for the trip BACK from KLIA later)

6) Go to the toy-shop and look for something to play with (I was desperate, ok?)

7) Go read a book inside the bookstore (and try not to get chased out by the storekeepers)

8) Stand by the windows and stare at the planes taking off/landing (and just for kicks, wave whenever one trudles pass)

9) Chat up that cute chick jaga-ing the perfume booth in the middle (You'd better have a good excuse for being there first though...)

10) Take multiple trips up and down between terminals on the Aerotrain (for best effect, close your eyes and pretend you're on a VERY SLOW roller-coaster...)

Away for Kimchi (Even though I can't stand the stuff)

I know I shoul be working. I have a deadline, and I can't seem to catch it. I just can't seem to get going today. I've fidgeting around all day, waiting for the time to go by, and I can't get any work done.

Why?

Because I'll be going to Seoul in 10 hours time! Woohoo!

Yup, I'll be going to the capital of kimchi for work, and will only be back in six days time. In the meantime, I'm not sure if this blog will be updated, so as usual, seeya! :)

PS: Maybe I'll watch Star Wars there again. Should be interesting to learn how to say 'Sith' and 'Jedi' in Korean.

PSS. Dammit. I went and talked about Star Wars again. Oh well, while I'm at it, go check out this post by The Visitor: Top 10 Cool Ways To Use "Sith" In A Sentence.

Monday, 23 May 2005

Ok ok, Enough Star Wars already...

Ok, ok, enough Star Wars already.

I've just watched Star Wars, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith for the fourth time in a WEEK, and I have to say while I still enjoyed the movie even during the fourth time (I enjoyed it even MORE because I took toilet breaks during the lovey-dovey scenes), I think I shall take a break from the movie for now. At least until the DVD comes out.

Anyway, here is the final score/report of my Star Wars frenzy this past month:


Number of times I've watched ROTS: FOUR times in ONE week

Number of times I watched ROTS with my girlfirend: TWICE in THREE days

Most quoted line from ROTS: 'So love has blinded you?'

Number of posts that mentioned Star Wars in the past two weeks: Almost every single one, I think. Even the rant on blogging...

Star Wars merchandise acquired in this past two months:
  • Kelloggs R2-D2 cookie jar (YES! I finally found it!)
  • Burger King Millenium Falcon, Darth Vader & R2-D2 toys
  • M&M's Star Wars M-pire T-shirt & toys
  • 1 Lego Star Wars T-Fighter with Light-up Darh Vader saber
  • A whole lot of action figures
  • At least TEN magazine covers with Star Wars on the cover
  • At least ten versions of the movie poster
  • Two stupid Kelloggs Star Wars spining Pyros
Star Wars merchandise close-calls:
  • Nearly bought an Anakin Skywalker FX lightsaber for RM500...
  • Nearly signed up for RHB Evo credit card because I wnated the freebies...
  • Nearly snuck into the Burger King at my place to curik the Darth Vader giant blow-up balloon.
  • Nearly bought tickets to watch ROTS again AFTER I watched it the fourth time
Ok, enough of Star Wars. Now it's time to hype up the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy!

Saturday, 21 May 2005

Why you should watch Star Wars: Clone Wars before ROTS

Yup, back to Star Wars. :-)

Have just been watching the Star Wars: Clone Wars animated series again, just hours before watching ROTS for the THIRD time.

While it is not ESSENTIAL to watch Clone Wars before watching ROTS, it DOES answer several minor details in the movie.

Anyway, these is what you'd know if you'd watched Clone Wars first:

  • Why General Grievous 'coughs' in the beginning of the movie (Let's just say it involves the Force, and a certain Jedi Master with a purple lightsaber)
  • When Anakin gets his scar (not answered EXACTLY though)
  • What happens immedietely BEFORE the beginning of the movie (more specifically, BEFORE the title crawl)
  • Why Anakin and Obi-Wan were not at Coruscant when a certain someone was being captured.
  • Why C-3PO becomes gold.
  • How Anakin becomes a Jedi Knight (in a very stylo ceremony, I must say)
and last but not least:

  • Exactly why CLONE WARS is a LOT better than the life-action prequels themselves!

Friday, 20 May 2005

A Blogging-Journalist's Rant on Blogging

Warning: Preachy and long-winded post about blogging ahead...

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I don't blog about blogging often. But this post has been simmering on the surface of my Star-Wars-obsessed mind for a while now, and now, I really think I should just get it out and get back to blogging about Star Wars.

It's a strange monster, this blogging thing. Some people are so passionate about it that they blog every other hour.
  • Some blog because they know people are reading and feel obligated to post because of that.
  • Some blog because they want to get their thoughts out, without caring whether anyone reads them or not.
  • Some blog to update friends about their lives and how many wives they have.
  • Some just blog because they think blogging is the next greatest thing to happen to freedom of speech since gossip columns.
  • Some blog because they have nothing better to do.
Why do I blog then? My job already involves a lot of writing, and I've been asked, 'Wah, you don't write enough during your work ar? Still want to blog some more?"

So why DO I have this Eye on Everything?

Well, I really don't know for sure.

Well, like I've said before, I really like writing. And to me, blogging is a way for me to write the things I don't or can't write about when I'm working. Also, it gives me a chance to experiement with different phrases, different nuances, different styles, and be slightly more unorthodox, unconventional or slightly more relaxed or 'loose' with my writing. You certainly won't see me writing 'Lah' and 'mah' or 'wahlau' in my work articles. Well, not much anyway.

But the lines between my blogging-self and my work-writing DO get crossed sometimes. What I blog about tends to be what I experience, and when three quarters of your time is spent in front of the computer at work, its hard to write about anything else OTHER than work. But I do try hard to make sure the two don't clash. In fact, I've even taken some stuff from this blog and submitted it as work.

Some people claiming that it is the next step of journalism, that conventional journalism will no longer be needed. Well, blogging DOES give everyone to the chance to say (or rather, WRITE) what they want, whenever they want without being subjected to laws (to some extent) or (gulp) editors.

Out the window goes correct grammar, proper spelling, and sensitivity towards other people, cultures, religions, environment and other topics that normal journalists have to tread lightly around.

You don't see a newspaper carrying stories about sex, religion or race. You don't have reporters reporting on how the new Pepsi flavour or the time he got drunk and danced the strip tease in the middle of Jalan Sultan Ismail. Neither do you read in the newspapers about the personal relationships, heartbreaks, and challenges in the reporter's lives.

But then again, look at it the other way. While newspapers are limited in what they can or cannot say and cannot touch or say things that a blog CAN say, there is also something really scary about potential influence a blog can have.

Imagine if a newspaper reported that turtle eggs are good to eat, and even includes a recipe on how to COOK those eggs in the paper. Imagine the dire consequences that would have on the turtle eggs. People would rush out to buy turtle eggs. Demand would go up, turtle populations would go down.

Personally, it's alarming to me that after so much reporting, writing stories, and trying to educate the public on environmental issues, it could potentially all be undone by a single blog post.

As both a journalist AND a blogger, I find that SOME lines DO have to be drawn somewhere. The lines between ethical journalism and unethical blogging are becoming more pronounced than ever.

As a journalist, I feel bound by an unspoken code of ethics (well, at least thats what naive little me thinks) that compells me to get a message across in the best way possible, while thinking of a positive bigger picture at the same time. And when I DON'T do that in a story, I have editors who realise the threat.

It may be called censorship, it may be hindering freedom of speech. But it's safe.

ONE single misquote, ONE wrongly reported story, and ONE sensitive issue on the front page of a newspaper can bring down a nation.

Sure, the reach of a blog may not be as impactful as a mass-circulated newspaper (in which a really sensitive issue reported badly can bring dire consequences), and maybe only a handful of the major population is affected by what the blog says. But imagine if blogging really DOES spread to a wider audience (like certain prominent bloggers have been predicting) , and the ENTIRE nation reads blogs.

Take the Sumatra earthquake, for instance. When people in Malaysia felt the tremors, there was panic. Kudos to all the bloggers who "REPORTED IT FIRST!" so that everyone can take the necessary measures.

HOWEVER, when those blogs that "REPORTED IT BEFORE NEWS AGENCIES!" also telling people to 'move out for a while', 'don't go to work the next day', or 'don't go to the seaside because of tsunamis', then there is a line crossed somewhere. That's not reporting an event anymore. It's spreading paranoia.

Imagine what would happen if ONE prominent and widely-read blogger decided he didn't like a certain person and started a campaign against that person.

Some time back, a certain prominent blogger in Singapore blogged about a friend whose Blogspot-nick was taken by someone else. And all the 'supporters' of the prominent blogger went to that someone elses' blog to flame and throw insults at the 'nick-stealer'.

That REALLY doesn't seem right to me. After all, everyone has a right to blog right?

It may be very well to say that your blog is what you want it to be, and you can damn well write whatever you want on it. Hell, I'm all for that.

Blogging is a fine activity. But like everything else about the mass media, the blogger should also be responsible for what they write about. Every action DOES have it's consequences.

Lines HAVE to be drawn somewhere.

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PS: OK, end of serious stuff. Enough preaching. Back to Star Wars!

Sick of all the Star Wars blogs?

Well, the hype certainly ain't gonna stop HERE, that's for sure. :-) In fact, sooner or later, I'm gonna have to rename this blog into Eye on Star Wars.

And if you think I'm being fanatic here, you should be glad I didn't have a blog when the LOTR movies were out....

But in case you think the new Star Wars movie sucked, then go check out these two quite brilliant parodies:

- LEGO Star Wars
- (Grocery) Store Wars

Oh, and thanks to Sashi for informing me that Darth Vader's blog The Darth Side has posted it's final post. It's been a great ride down Vader's life in THAT one, so DO check out the archives! :-)

PS: This post was specially posted just for the heck of getting on the nerves of everyone who is sick of Star Wars.

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Eyeris' Star Wars, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith viewing counter: Still 2 times (but will increase tomorrow!)

Thursday, 19 May 2005

You know you're addicted to movie merchandise when...

1) You visit FOUR hypermarkets within one hour to hunt for an R2-D2 Kelloggs Cookie Jar.

2) You can't work or do anything at your desk because it's virtually covered with movie action-figures, Star Wars tumblers, and Burger King Star Wars merchandise.

3) You have a little shrine in your room dedicated to Darth Vader.

4) You go straight to the toy section whenever you are in a department store/shopping mall to hunt for that bloody Darth Vader action-figure.

5) You swipe every magazine cover that has a Star Wars/LOTR logo on it, and keep them in sealed plastic bags, never to be opened again.

6) The second website you go to (AFTER your blog, of course) is Action-Figure.com, to check when the next batch of toys is coming out.

7) You spend more than a thousand bucks on a bloody sword. (Hey, it's ANDURIL, ok?)

8) You get calls in the middle of work from friends telling you where to find that R2-D2 cookie jar.

9) You ask to see the managers of your nearest RHB bank, Burger King to ask whether they can give you the life-sized Darth Vader standees after their promotions have ended.

10) You would spend RM50 on a bloody action figure of that third alien on the left at the cantina scene, but won't fork out RM30 to replace that pair of shoes you just wore out.

11) You call in favours from your friends in Singapore so that they can buy you the M&M's Star Wars merchandise there.

12) Instead of air-freshener, you have a Spider-man action figure hanging from your car's rear-view mirror.

13) You skip out of the office early to go to the nearest Giant to look for that bloody R2-D2 cookie jar.

14) You own a Lord of the Rings UMBRELLA.

15) You overdose on M&Ms because you wanted the cute Star Wars packaging they came in.

16) You spend RM20 bucks more on a premiere ticket because you wanted the exclusive movie poster that came with the goody bag.

17) You buy half-a-dozen Burger King Kid's Meals just to get the full collection of Star Wars toys.

18) You force your friends to drop by the Giant near their office/house to look for the R2-D2 cookie jar.

19) You specifically ask to be assigned to do a story on Star Wars so you can get the freebies that come with it.

20) You post a shameless request on your blog asking people to help you look for that R2-D2 cookie jar. (Yes, I really want the R2-D2 cookie jar. Anyone seen one? :-) )

Revenge Once More: A Second Sith Viewing

Just watched Revenge of the Sith again a couple of hours ago, thanks to the lovely Miss Inn (and I REALLY mean lovely. :P ) who managed to get me and Erna tickets to the premiere show at KLCC.

I have to say that watching ROTS a second time really helped me see much more clearly exactly how good and how bad ROTS really is. Like I told Erna on the way out, the movie doesn't have a middle ground. It has lots of high points, and loads of bad points, but there is no middle ground.

More observations made during the second viewing. Ok, it's a SORT OF review, but don't worry, no spoilers here.
  • Most of the high points come when there is no talking, only the buzz and clashes of lightsabers (which there a quite a number of); while most of the low points come when there is actually someone TALKING. Go figure.
  • It says a lot about the acting and the script when a dustbin-shaped astromech droid and a pointy-eared, little green CGI friend can emote better than the real-life actors themselves.
  • The lightsaber battles look better the second time around.
  • The dialogue seems worst the second time around.
  • Ian McDiarmid is the best actor in the movie. Besides R2-D2, of course.
  • Besides Yoda, Mace Windu, Anakin and Obi-Wan, the rest of the Jedi are real wusses.
  • I wonder how much they paid Keisha Castle-Hughes (Whale Rider) for the 2 seconds she appeared on-screen as Queen of Naboo.
  • I still can't find the Millenium Falcon!
  • Damn, there's gonna be a hell of a lot of action figures made from THIS movie. A Mrs Organa and baby action figure anyone?
  • That final scene! That final scene! Whoaaaa! I wanna watch the original trilogy again!
Ok, enough gushing. Off to sleep... Tomorrow, I shall RIIISE... (hmmmm sounds fun.)

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Eyeris' Star Wars, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith viewing counter: 2 times (and counting)

Wednesday, 18 May 2005

Magical Movie Music Mania

Since I watched Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith last week, I've been in the mood for listening to soundtracks.

I've been humming the Star Wars theme, the Binary Sunsets theme, and Darth Vader's Theme ever since I got out of that movie, and after watching it again tonight, I think I'll be humming and whistling them even more.

Of course, my hearing problem the past week made listening to orchestral pieces a somewhat bland experience, but at least I could still recognise the various theme songs through all that earwax.

In many cases, IMHO, the music maketh the movie. The music in a movie either makes the scene even more memorable, or it can make the movie seem monotonous. Mystic River was one movie where the music irritated the hell out of me because it kept using this ONE theme throughout the whole movie. Sure, Eastwood wrote it himself, but he didn't need to use it ALL the time right?

Even trailers have to use the right music or it just seems boring. Too many trailers don't stand out because they use some overused piece of music that everyone hears in elevators. In fact, as visually stunning as it was, the trailer for Sin City would not have been as arresting as it was if it wasn't for the track with a cool guitar riff that was used in it. The track is called Cells, BTW, and is a song by a band called The Servants.

John Williams has long been considered the maestro of soundtrack music, but I think Howard Shore's work on LOTR surpassed Williams in many ways. Hans Zimmer on the other hand, makes music that is great for action movies, but tends to sound the same all the time.

My brother and I have amassed a sizable mp3 collection of soundtracks from movies we like, and various theme music from movies and TV shows as well. Heck, I even have songs from Monty Python, and the entire soundtrack for South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut, but that's another story.

Sure, soundtrack music is mostly instrumental, and some bits can be rather unmemorable, but the best part about listening to the tracks is when you imagine scenes from the movie to go along with the music you're listening to.

Anyway, here are some of my favorite movie themes that I'm currently listening to:
  • The Rohan theme (from LOTR): Every time that strain of music comes on, I get goosebumps. I recall the scenes from the movie. And I want to watch them again.
  • Forth Eorlingas (from LOTR: TTT): From the final scene of TTT, where Theoden rides out with Aragorn one last time, and Gandalf appears with Eomer. Inspiring stuff, this.
  • The Last March of the Ents (from LOTR:TTT): My favorite scene in TTT, and the best bit of music there.
  • Minas Tirith (from LOTR:ROTK): You know, that piece of music when we see the White City for the first time and Gandalf is riding up the city on Shadowfax. Probably the best use of the Gondor theme in the entire movie.
  • Star Wars Main Theme: Who can forget the first time you were in a cinema and the words 'A long long time ago, in a galaxy far far away' comes out followed by a blast of this most inspiring piece of movie music since... ever?
  • Binary Sunsets (Star Wars). A very melancholic piece of music for a very poignant scene.
  • Jack Sparrow's entrance music (from Pirates of the Carribean): A great soaring piece for a great entrance!
  • John Dunbar's theme (from Dances with Wolves): No matter what you think of the movie, the theme song for the movie is one beautiful, flowing piece of music
  • Indiana Jone's Main Theme: Come on, EVERYONE loves this song!
  • Buckbeak's Flight (From Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban): I thought John William's music for the HP movies was not very good, except this bit, which really brought out the magic of the scence very well.
  • Theme from Jurassic Park: One of my favorite John Williams themes. Very cool...
  • The music from the Sin City trailer: Just found it the other day, and I can't stop listening to it over and over again.

Anyone else have any memorable movie music to share?

Tuesday, 17 May 2005

Back into a Noisy World

The world is a bloody noisy place.

I finally got my ears cleared this morning by a specialist. And now I have a headache.

You see, after spending almost a week in perpetual silence, I'd gotten a little used to not being able to hear most of the sounds around me.

Although not being able to hear what people were saying frustrated me to no end, I WAS also blissfully thankful that the earwax also blocked out the sounds of traffic, jackhammers and aircons and irritating ringtones all around me.

As soon as the doctor cleared my ears this morning, however, all those sounds came jarring back into my eardrums. And what a pain it was.

Sure, it's really great to be able to hear again, but because of my week-long exile in silence, I think the shock of being able to hear every single thing around me is a little unnerving.
The first sound I heard was the churning of the suction machine the doctor was using. And I began noticing other sounds which sounded more acute than ever. I was assaulted left right center by noises and sounds that I never even KNEW existed. Things like the clacking of keyboards, squeaking of toddlers' shoes, handphone rings, even the sounds of people talking sounded EXTRA loud to me. I could pinpoint sounds that irritated me very clearly, and half the time I wish I could filter them out.

I almost regretted being able to hear again. ALMOST.

But for every sound I hated, there were those I was thankful to be able to hear again. Like the songs playing on my stereo. People's voices over the phone. And the 'Ding' of the office elevator (you don't know how many elevators I've missed this week because I couldn't hear the 'Ding').

But in end, heck, who's complaining? I can hear again! I can hear again! YAY!

PS: Oh, and you REALLY wouldn't wanna know how much built up wax was in my ear... HEHE...

Monday, 16 May 2005

Study a Little, Live a Lot

(FOREWORD: This post came about after reading a post about someone who would rather stay home and study for an Add Math exam instead of going for the Star Wars premiere... No offence meant, dude, but that's a damn shame... :P... BTW, if you're reading this, do give me your blog link again. I forgot where it is oledi... :)

All my life, I've never been a very good student.

I didn't matter whether I was learning Add mat's, or the piano, or another language, or even how to drive; I just wasn't a very good student.

Oh, I could LEARN well enough, but as a STUDENT, I would frustrate the heck out of my teachers, coaches, trainers and parents, mostly because I REFUSED to study.

In primary school, I used to drive my parents nuts because I would NEVER do my homework. Come to think of it, that was probably the smartest thing I ever thought of (and TRIED to do) while I was in primary school, since all that homework usually consisted of writing the same Chinese characters over and over again a few hundred times. Pretty stupid, if you ask me.

But anyway, as a result of the extremity of my homework-neglecting habits, my teachers and parents actually had to come up with a recording system that MADE SURE I did my homework everyday. They recorded all my homework for that day in an exercise book, which I had to show my parents when I got home, and then after finishing the homework, I had to bring that book to my teacher to mark, just to be sure that I HAD finished my homework.

Pretty stupid, come to think of it. I was pretty embarrassed about it, and that was enough to get me doing my homework regularly again. Funny thing was, some of the more hard-working (or dare I say, DELUDED) classmates of mine thought that was a BRILLIANT idea, and began coming up with similar 'record books' of their own and giving it to the teacher to sign everyday as well.

I thought that was the funniest thing ever.

Anyway, like I said, I never did like being a student. I didn't do TOO badly in my UPSR, and my PMR (on hindsight, if I'd actually STUDIED for those exams, I'd have done better), but it never really bothered me how many A's I got, as long as I passed the damn exams.

When I got to SPM level, I began to study a little more, but that was mostly because I was away from school half the time attending my sports events. So I had to resort to tuition (because I SUCKED at Add mat's) and waking up in the wee hours of the morning to study.

However, even then, it didn't really occur to me that I should be trying to get as many A's as possible. Sure, I WANTED more A's, but somehow, I didn't really think it was worth sacrificing my sports or my other 'funner' activities just so I could get a few more A's.

An example of how lightly I took the SPM: When it came to selecting our subjects, I was caught between choosing Economics (which sounded boring) and Chinese (which I hadn't studied for four years).

I chose Chinese not because I was better at it, but because the temporary teacher who taught Form Five Chinese was cute.

In the end, I managed to pass most of the subjects, and ended up with an aggregate of twelve, which wasn't too shabby at the time. Sure, I got two P7s (one was Chinese, the other was Biology, which I'd actually expected to fail because I came out early from the exam hall), but at least I passed all my subjects.

Then, when it came to university, I was again, a lousy student.

I spent almost SIX YEARS in UPM, one of which was spent in a Diploma Computer Science course which I did fairly well in, just because I wanted the direct promotion to a degree course.

When I got to the Degree course for Computer Science, I found that I really didn't like that subject much. Of course, I only realized that two years into the course (and after failing 30% of the subjects I took). I decided to do something rather unorthodox at the time.

Deciding that I preferred writing and communications to bloody Computer Science, I decided to screw it all for a lark, take the bare necessities to PASS the Computer Science Degree course, and take as many elective subjects on English and Communications as I could.

I also decided to be more active in extra-curricular activities, mostly AIESEC, just for the heck of it, and because it was more fun than studying all the time. Heck, I went out for supper every night, spending more time at the mamak stalls around Serdang than I did studying.

Update (4:57pm): Just remembered another thing I did in uni - it was the World Cup finals in 1998, I had an exam at 8am. England were playing Argentina at 3am. I studied the whole night until 3am, watched the game until 5am, studied somemore, and went straight for the exam at 8am. Crazy football fans. At least England won.

In the end, I like to think that I came out of uni a better person not because of what I'd learned (most of which I don't even REMEMBER now), but because I spent more time interacting with people and learning other skills besides that on the books. And I had more fun too.

I never could understand how people spend their entire time in university just slogging over books. It seems like a big waste of time to me. Sure, the Malaysian education system DOES entail that, but when it comes down to it, the degree is just a piece of paper.

Somehow, I never saw the point of the whole paper chase thing. I always thought doing what you liked was the most important thing in life. Your parents (who paid for you education) may not have liked the fact that you spent three-quarters of your time in uni having roti tissue with Nescafe Tarik Besar 'Kau', plus it may not have been the smartest thing to do, but at least you LIKED doing it.

To all those students who think that getting A's and getting onto the Dean's List is all that matters, well, good on you. But remember to live a little. Have fun at the same time. GO for Star Wars premieres. Life is a lot more than just a bunch of exam papers and a piece of laminated paper signed by a College Chancellor.

A Day of Silent Limping

My ears are still blocked. Sigh... and now I've got to go to a specialist later to get them cleared up. Sigh.... And to add to that, I'm walking with a limp, because I stubbed my left big toe on Saturday while playing futsal, and it's all bruised and battered. Ouch. Ebeh.

Yup, I think today is gonna be a long day....

At least I don't need to go anywhere today (except maybe to the the ear specialist), or I'd be really pissed off with not being able to hear OR walk around properly. As it is, am already feeling particularly snappish today. Or maybe that's because I'm hungry.

Will update later on condition of ears.

Gah.

Friday, 13 May 2005

My name is 'Woof-woof Bow-wow Arf-arf'

My brother was telling me the other day that if he ever owned a dog, he'd call it 'Dog' just for the heck of it, and to irritate the heck out of everyone.

In a way, naming a dog 'Dog' is just so infuriatingly er... infuriating. But hey, come to think of it, I find it a lot more imaginative (in a very unimaginative way) than names like say... Spot, Rover, Rex or Timothy. A colleague of mine calls his dog Cookie. Another calls HER dog Wou-Wou. Between those two names, I'd take Wou-Wou anytime.

In fact, I think Timothy is a VERY unimaginative name for a dog. Enid Blyton must have been having writer's block when she came up with that name for the Famous Five's dog.

Garth Nix's Lirael and Abhorsen has a dog named, The Disreputable Dog. How cool is that? A dog that is disreputable. I didn't even know dogs were meant to be reputable. And what about tolkien's Roverandom eh? Now THAT's a doggy name that is original yet traditional at the same time. Another bookish dog name I like is Nighteyes, from Robin Hobb's Farseer books. Ok, so he's a WOLF, not a dog, but wolves are dogs too... in a way...

To tell the truth, I don't even like dogs very much. But as long as they stay in the movie or on the pages of a book, I'm fine. Just don't jump on me or bark at me.

Anyway, my brother's remark got me thinking about these other cool irritating names you can give a pet dog:


- 'Table': Imagine how annoying it would be when you shout your dog's name in public. (Example of use: "TABLE! COME HERE, TABLE!")

- 'Roadkill': Just hope he doesn't BECOME roadkill. (Example of use: "Roadkill! Get off the road!"

- 'Dinner': Calling your dog 'Dinner' would probably have the same effect as calling it 'Table', but will ALSO have the added effect of making people check their watches to see if it really IS dinnertime. (Example of use: "DINNER! COME FOR DINNER!")

- 'Oi': You would REALLY make heads turn when you yell this name out in public. In fact, you might get a few choice glares or curses as well. (Example of use: "OI! COME HERE!")

Thursday, 12 May 2005

Muffled Sounds in a World of Silence

Oh dear. I'm half-deaf.

It started out last week when my right ear was blocked, and I couldn't get it unblocked. I could hardly hear anything out of it. I'd get it unstuck occasionally, but then it would get stuck again.

Then the other day, while I was on assignment in Pahang, I bought some cotton buds and started to clean my ears. I cleaned the right one first (which still didn't get it unstuck), and then decided to clean the left one as well.

Big mistake.

After a few pokes inside the ear with the cotton bud, I realized that I couldn't hear out of the left one as well. And with my right one already partially blocked and me hardly being able to hear anything from it, I was practically deaf.

Everything sounded muffled, and no noises were getting through. I couldn't hear the fan blowing, I could hardly hear people speaking to me, and there was just this really eerie silence that was really scary.

If not for the faint sounds of crickets I could (barely) hear outside my window, I'd have really panicked. I also realized I would have a real hard time doing my interview the next. Thank god I brought a tape recorder.

I went to the doctor when I came back this morning and he told me that it's nothing serious, just a lot of ear-wax inside the ear that hardened and blocked my hearing. Thank god for that. He gave me a bottle of eardrops and told me to see him in five days time to get it cleaned out.

How embarrassing.

Right now, I can't judge whether I'm speaking too loud or too soft, and I occasionally find it really hard to hear what people are saying. Also, when watching Star Wars this morning, I kept getting the feeling that I wasn't exactly getting the whole full experience... Sigh....

Anyway, this whole experience is certainly making me a lot more sympathetic to the deaf. It's weird that it takes something like this to happen before one realizes how lucky we are to be able to see, hear, feel and talk.

I hate the feeling of not being able to hear things properly. It's incredibly frustrating. Being deaf is no fun at all, and my heart goes out to those who can't hear.

A not-so-long time ago, in a cinema not so far away...

Just watched Star Wars, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.

Since I don't really wanna spoil it for anyone, I shall leave the review for later, and for now, this is all I'm gonna say:
  • It's better than the first two prequels combined
  • Original trilogy still better, but this ties ip all up nicely
  • It's darker
  • Still some horrendous dialogue
  • lots of high points, and some low points
  • Lots of nostalgia
  • DARTH VADER! DARTH VADER!
The question is, is it worth watching?

By the fiery lava of Mustafa, YES. It IS worth watching, if only to see the birth of Vader, the Empire and the twins.

Oh heck, its bloody well worth watching because just it's Star Wars.

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Update (4:17pm):

Few days ago, I posted a list of 5 questions that I hoped ROTS would resolve. Now that I've seen it, let's see if the questions ARE answered:

1) We know the Clone Troopers become the empire's stooges, but how did the X-Wing end up with the republic while the Empire ended up with the dorky looking TIE fighters?

I still have no idea.

2) How did Anakin manage to forget that he BUILT C-3PO in the first place?

It's been pointed out that Darth Vader doesn't really MEET C-3PO in the original trilogy, so that settles it then.

3) Judging from all that jet-setting and fleeting secret meetings that always seem to be interupted by C-3PO in the Clone Wars cartoons, how the heck did Anakin and Padme actually find time to er... make babies?

Really big pillars, apparently.

4) Exactly how old is Chewbacca and what the heck is he howling about?

Someone said Chewie is about 200 years old. And I still have no idea what he's howling about in the 2 minutes he was on screen

5) Considering R2-D2 has been around from the very beginning in The Phantom Menace until the very end of Return of the Jedi, how does he keep himself rust-free, and why isn't his processor obsolete by ROTJ?

Free upgrades (or downgrades, more like)

Wednesday, 11 May 2005

Between Leeches and Vipers

I'd almost forgotten what it was like to muck around the jungle.

I used to go jungle trekking quite a bit a few years ago, but ever since I came back from my traineeship in Europe, I've been too darn lazy to get my sandals dirty.

This morning, I woke up at 8am to follow an animal researcher into the jungle so we could track some animals he'd radio-collared. We followed him around the jungle for about four hours, during which (in between smacking mosquitoes and checking my sandals for leeches), I began to recall just exactly why I used to run around the jungle last time, to the point of having the blood in my big toe (the left one) sucked dry by leeches, and getting a LOOOONG scar on my left calf.

It was fun. Although this trip into the jungle wasn't too hard (we mainly followed very easy trails), it was still fascinating for:
  • The rays of early morning sunlight shining through the treetops, like a highway from the skies
  • The lazy black and white viper basking in the sun while suspended on a branch just next to the trail. I'd just seen the exact same snake last week in the Singapore Zoo, but to see it in the open, in its natural habitat beats anything the zoo can dish out.
  • The awesome trees trunks and crowns
  • The tiny little white mushrooms that sprinkled the dead twigs of a fallen tree
  • Little muddy petals of a white flowers that covered one section of the forest
  • The little squirrel scurrying up the tree next to me
Of course, there is a whole lot more can be seen in the jungle, but on this trip, these little sights were enough to make me wonder why I never went back jungle hiking.

Maybe it was the leeches...

Tuesday, 10 May 2005

Going to the Jungle with a Portege...

After just coming back from a nice long holiday, I''ll be off again for three days. This time, I'll be on assignment in Pahang, traipsing through the jungle looking for small carnivores. Don't ask.

Anyway, I also got myself a nice new laptop, a Toshiba Portege M100, and I'm loving it to bits. :) Now FINALLY, I 'll be able to bring a laptop around and surf/blog in coffee shops. :-)

Well, in case I don't post again, Good morning, good afternoon, good evening and goodnight! (for the next two days)

Monday, 9 May 2005

Book review: Lirael & Abhorsen (Garth Nix)

It's no secret that I think Narnia (CS Lewis) and His Dark Materials (Philip Pullman) are the best fantasy series' ever written for children, and that I think the Harry Potter books don't even come CLOSE to matching these two series'.

Well, now there is another series that joins that list of two books - Garth Nix's Old Kingdom series, consisting of Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen.

I've reviewed Sabriel before HERE, and now I shall get on with Lirael and Abhorsen. Why did I lump them together? Because I think that they are essentially ONE book, split into two parts. As such, because of spoilers and plot reasons, I shall only mention Abhorsen in passing, and will focus mostly on Lirael.

Anyway, on with the review:

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Title: Lirael & Abhorsen (Book 2 & 3 of the Old Kingdom series)
Author: Garth Nix

Synopsis:

(Note: I've decided to only put the synopsis of Lirael, since the one for Abhorsen gives away spoilers regarding Lirael.)

Lirael has never felt like a true daughter of the Clayr. Abandoned by her mother and ignorant of her father’s identity, Lirael resembles no one else in her large, extended family living in the Clayr’s Glacier. She doesn’t even have the Sight - the ability to See into the present and possible futures - that is the very birthright of the Clayr.

Nonetheless, it is Lirael in whose hands the fate of the Old Kingdom lies. She must undertake a desperate mission under the growing shadow of an ancient evil - one that opposes the Royal Family, blocks the Sight of the Clayr, and threatens to break the very boundary between Life and Death itself. With only her faithful companion, the Disreputable Dog, to help her, Lirael must find the courage to seek her own hidden destiny.

Main Characters:
Lirael: An orphaned child of the Clayr who is despondent that she does not have the Sight that is the Clayr's birthright.
The Disreputable Dog: Lirael's only friend, a Free Magic creature who is not what she seems. She is, however, quite disreputable.
Sameth: Son of the King and Queen of the Old Kingdom, and the Abhorsen-in-Waiting.
Mogget: A Free Magic creature who takes on the form of a little white cat. Also the longtime servant of the Abhorsens (something like the 'good' necromancers of the Old Kingdom)
Nicholas Sayre: Sam's best friend. A budding scientist who comes from Ancelstierre, where there is NO magic.

What I liked:
  • GREAT writing. It flows smoothly, you never feel bored, and you just wanna keep reading and reading it.
  • Great pacing. Lirael builds up the background of the characters well, then devlivers a shocker at the end, and then the pace quickens in Abhorsen. Like I said, it's ONE book, not TWO!
  • Great concept of magic
  • A good mixture of different characters and roles
  • How can you NOT love a character called The Disreputable Dog?!?!?!
  • I'm a sucker for things that come in levels or groups (whatever that means). I love the Bells of the Abhorsen (like I mentioned in Sabriel's review), and the Levels of Death are immensely intriguing to me, especially the hazards and the different gates.
  • The mixture of the 'real world' of Ancelstierre and the fantasy world of the Old Kingdom again comes into play with good effect here (even though it's not explain exactly WHY magic doesn't work in Ancelstierre. Or is it?).

What I didn't like:

  • Not much I didn't like, actually, though Sammeth's sister DOES get on my nerves a little.

Summary:

Two words: READ THIS.

No, let me rephrase that. Read Sabriel FIRST, THEN read Lirael and Abhorsen. And if you haven't got enough, got get Creature in the Case (which I haven't read, BTW).

Beg, borrow, buy, steal, shoplift, whatever. GO get these books and READ them.

To learn more of the Old Kingdom, go HERE. It tells you about the Bells, the Charter Marks and everything else you wanna know. Well, MOSTLY everything.

So long, and thanks for the Star Wars Merchandise...

I must say, it's good to be back after a week in Singapore. Sure, being with my larling for a week was refreshing (and er... energising. hur hur), but somehow, it's a bit too boring for me.

In Singapore, I have two friends. And I met them within two days of being there. After that, beyond being with my girlfriend (which was limited to nights, since she IS working after all), I really had no idea what to do in Singapore for the past week.

I don't go clubbing (techno gives me a headache and I rather get drunk at home), I don't particularly like shopping (unless I'm hunting for toys or Star Wars merchandise), and before anyone tells me to go EAT, I certainly am not spending SD4 on Hokkien mee at Newton which sucks-ass when compared with the one I can get for RM3.50 at PJ.

Even going for a movie was out, because a ticket costs SD11 (RM25 bucks for a movie? RIGHT), and all the movies I wanted to watch were not even showing yet.

In the end, I ended up spending most of my mornings online and blogging, and my afternoons running around Orchard and reading books at Borders (I finished two books there).

As I was saying, I'm glad to be back in KL, thoughthe thought of going to work again tomorrow (sorry, TODAY) DOES dampen my enthusiasm somewhat. But hey, at least here, I have friends to hang out with, CHEAP mamaks to go to, San Francisco Coffee, KLCC, my favorite toy shops, badminton to play, and my own HOME to go back to.

Yup, life is certainly a lot better with when you have friends and a place to call home.

Now to unpack all the Star Wars merchandise I got there...

Saturday, 7 May 2005

If I could be a meme, I'd stop being passed around....

Got tagged by another meme, this time by IreneQ. Though I usually don't bother, this one seemed reasonably fun to do. :-)

I'm supposed to choose five out of the list of occupations below, and then answer accordingly. Here goes then...

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If I could be a rap artist… I'd stop rapping and hip-hopping, and go play some good old rock music instead. Oh, and stop featuring other people in my songs. Go get your OWN songs, man!

If I could be a painter… I'd specialise in painting female nudes. Or at least, paint the houses of females who like to go nude.

If I could be a psychologist… there'd be a lot more psycho people in the world.

If I could be a philanthropist… I'd have to find out what exactly a philallyanntopist actually does...

If I could be the CEO of Microsoft... I'd be rich! I'd buy over Manchester United and offload their players to Real Madrid (or Exeter. I don't care), then restock the team with players from the Third Division, and finally sell the team for the price of a Windows XP Service Pack to some shmuck called Malcolm Glazer. BUAHAHAHA!

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Now I'm supposed to pick three people who will choose five occupations from the list below and complete the sentence for each occupation they choose.

I choose:

Shanks: So at least he has something else to blog about besides Bruce Lee... (I've added the last item on the list specially for you, Shanks)
Captain Carcinogen: I'd like to see HIM answer the missionary or priest one...
Senorita Lyn: Since she was asking for some tabloidy questions about her...
  • If I could be a scientist…
  • If I could be a farmer…
  • If I could be a musician…
  • If I could be a doctor…
  • If I could be a painter…
  • If I could be a gardener…
  • If I could be a missionary…
  • If I could be a chef…
  • If I could be an architect…
  • If I could be a linguist…
  • If I could be a psychologist…
  • If I could be a librarian…
  • If I could be an athlete…
  • If I could be a lawyer…
  • If I could be an innkeeper…
  • If I could be a professor…
  • If I could be a writer…
  • If I could be a llama-rider…
  • If I could be a bonnie pirate…
  • If I could be a service member…
  • If I could be a photographer…
  • If I could be a philanthropist…
  • If I could be a rap artist…
  • If I could be a child actor…
  • If I could be a secret agent…
  • If I could be a comedian/comedienne…
  • If I could be a priest...
  • If I could be a radio announcer...
  • If I could be a phlebotomist...
  • If I could be Paris Hilton's stylist...
  • If I could be a movie producer...
  • If I could be the CEO of Microsoft...
  • If I could be an astronaut…
  • If I could be a world famous blogger…
  • If I could be a justice on any one court in the world…
  • If I could be married to any current famous political figure…
  • If I could be a dog trainer…
  • If I could be Bruce Lee...

Friday, 6 May 2005

5 Things I hope Revenge of the Sith will Resolve

Here are five things I hope Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith will resolve (besides the usual 'How did Yoda end up on Dagobah', 'How did Leia end up on Alderaan', and 'How Obi-Wan ended up on Tatooine' etc etc."
  1. We know the Clone Troopers become the empire's stooges, but how did the X-Wing end up with the republic while the Empire ended up with the dorky looking TIE fighters?
  2. How did Anakin manage to forget that he BUILT C-3PO in the first place?
  3. Judging from all that jet-setting and fleeting secret meetings that always seem to be interupted by C-3PO in the Clone Wars cartoons, how the heck did Anakin and Padme actually find time to er... make babies?
  4. Exactly how old is Chewbacca and what the heck is he howling about?
  5. Considering R2-D2 has been around from the very beginning in The Phantom Menace until the very end of Return of the Jedi, how does he keep himself rust-free, and why isn't his processor obsolete by ROTJ?

Thursday, 5 May 2005

The (Un)Amazing and Utterly (Un)Incredible HDB Flat!

I don't believe it. I'm in another country (well, Singapore IS another country wat), and I'm bored out of my wits with nothing to do but stay home and blog while my larling is at the office earning money. Somtimes I think that the only thing one can do in Singapore is shop, shop, watch a movie, and shop some more.

Sigh...

I was hoping to catch either Sin City or Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy while I was here, but it seems as though the cinemas here are about as up-to-date as the ones in KL, which isn't saying much.

As for my plan to go to the zoo, well, I've decided to postpone that til tomorrow or Saturday, so that I can go with my girlfriend and visit hippos and elephants together. the smell of elephant dung is soooo romantic.

Since I also don't have my digicam with me, my plan of just walking around Singapore taking pictures also went out the window.

To illustrate how boring I think this place is - ever wonder what is the most prominent building in Singapore? No, its not the Raffles Tower. No, not the Durian Esplanade either.

The most prominent and probably most IMPORTANT building in the whole of singapore is the humble and utterly boring looking HDB flat.

HDB stands for the Singapore Housing and Development Board, and because of the lack of space on this little island, building all those vast residential areas like we do in Malaysia is certainly not a good idea, unless you wanna build it under the sea at some point. So, to make sure every Singaporean has a place to stay in, the government decided to build UP instead of sideways. And the beloved HDB flat was born.

Well, at least that's the Eyeris version of it. Is there a more accurate version of the story of the HDB flat?

Anyway, I digress. I was talking about the boringness of the place.

If you head out of the main city of Singapore where all the tall tall buildings and the durina-shape halls are, chances are the only buildings you will see are HDB flats. Tall, drab looking apartment blocks that look like there were churned out by a giant photostat machine.

Not very inspiring to say the least, and it is certainly hell for the non-Singaporean visitor to recognise the building he is saying in when they ALL look the same. I got lost a few times trying to find my girlfriend's flat.

But oh well, I'm not dissing the flats. Heck, I'm staying in one now. And in fact, I think Malaysia should make more of them too, just so we don't keep chopping down forests just to make way for a few measly (and incredibly expensive) bungalow lots.

But then, the sheer number of the flats make traveling on the MRT such a drab experience (at least when I'm travelling from the city to where I'M staying now). At least in KL, the LRT can take you over some very interesting sights (including the dirtiest river in Malaysia). But here in Singapore: HDB Flats, HDB Flats, tunnel, tunnel, HDB Flats and more HDB Flats..

Sigh..... how boring... Where's my M&Ms?

Star Wars Mad in Singapore

No, I didn't get to go to the zoo yesterday because I woke up too late, and the sun was too damn hot to run around ogling at orang-utans and elephants.

So, instead of the zoo, I did the thing which for me, is the only thing worth doing in Singapore - I went to BORDERS. AGAIN.

This time, I went Star Wars mad again.

In Malaysia, the Star Wars hype has not exactly picked up steam yet. Apart from the Pregnant Amidala (Three figures for the price of one!) action figures flooding the market, I've only seen what, RHB and Canon having Star Wars promotions.

Over here in Singapore, the hype is a little bit ridiculous.

Almost everywhere, you can see the Star Wars logo. On Twisties packets, M&Ms, Chupa-Chups (which we DO have in Malaysia too), mobile phone top-up cards and so on.

They've even got Star Wars M&Ms with taglines that go:
  • I'm Maul'd Shook Up (Darth Maul packet)
  • I'm part peanut, part machine, and all dark inside (General Grievous dark chocolate mix)
Anyway, I also went a little Star Wars mad here. I bought no less than 4 magazines with Star Wars covers (One was the UK Empire Limited Star Wars Edition), two Chupa-Chups Darth Vaders (One Vader had a spinning lillipop on his head!), a four packets of Star Wars M&Ms (hey, the Darth Vader M&Ms are cute!), a cool General Grievous Unleashed action figure, and a Lego Darth Vader Keychain. I would have gotten a poster too, but it was too expensive for me. *sob*

Yes, I'm a sucker for merchandising. So sue me. And I'm an even bigger sucker for Darth Vader merchandise.

Speaking of which, I'm sure most of you have heard of it ages ago, but go check out this blog - The Darth Side: Memoirs of a Monster. It's hilarious!

Wednesday, 4 May 2005

The Sport of Supporting Sports

I woke up happy today.

No, it's not because of er.. nocturnal activities last night (which I shall not elaborate on).

Ok, well, it WAS a nocturnal activity. I was up till 5am watching Liverpool go through to the Champion's League Final up and I couldn't sleep after the match because I was too emotionally drained from all the anxiety and happiness. :-)

Now, before some of you start rolling your eyes (Erna, your eyeballs might fall off if you keep doing that), let it be known that despite what it looks like (which is, well, 22 guys in shorts kicking a ball around a field), football actually means a lot to many of us.

True, we may not PLAY the damn game, but some of us have supported a team for eons, and some of us have even shed tears over a loss/victory. Heck, for some, it is the ONLY times the ever shed tears.

There's just something about sports that gets the heart pumping, the adrenalin going, and the emotions running. Could it be a guy thing? After all, I don't know many girls who get worked up over a Man Utd fan gloating over a Liverpool fan (Which I bloody HATE, BTW. Who's in the Champion's League Final eh? eh? eh?), another ball given away, a goal missed, and a penalty denied.

I used to be very active in sports as well. And I miss that feeling of excitement, tension, pressure, competitiveness and anticipation all rolled into one when I stepped into a starting block.

It's an unbelievable feeling, and these days, the closest I get to it is when I watch football on the telly, or playing futsal/badminton with friends.

And watching that game last night really brought back that feeling. though at times it was a little TOO nervy for me.

Oh, and BTW, in case you start wondering why I don't talk about sports here often, since I love it so much, I DO have this little sports blog here, called Eye on Sports, where I talk about Liverpool, sports, Manure, and more about Liverpool. :-)

Now, if you excuse me (and the shameless promo), I'm going to sleep again, and I shall go to the zoo after that. :-)

Tuesday, 3 May 2005

A Bookish Birthday in the Lion City

Greetings from Singapore!

Am enjoying a lazy holiday here, doing nothing but walk around aimlessly. Ahhh.

Yesterday was my birthday! Yay! And I celebrated it the usual way - sitting around doing nothing and sleeping. :) THAT'S the best way to celebrate a birthday, I say. :)

Oh, and wadya know, when I visited a Times bookstore here yesterday, I found out that they were having Times Warehouse Sale HERE as well! Woohoo! So off I went yesterday to check it out.

To my surprise, I found that the sale at the Singapore Expo here had some very similar titles to the one in Malaysia, so I didn't really buy much. Plus the prices weren't as appealing as the one in PJ, especilaly once you convert the currency. They had books going for SD4, and "SD10 for 3", which would still come to about RM25 for three books. In PJ, it was RM8 for a paperback, and if three, that would be RM18... Oh well..

Anyway, since I'd already bought too many book in the sale in KL (AND I'm NOT gonna lug all those books back in my little luggage bag!), I only grabbed one book this time - Terry Pratchett's The Last Hero, for only SD6! Woohoo. and To think I nearly bought it for RM80 the last time I saw it in Kino...

Speaking of Kino, I had to go hunt for a children's book for my mom, so off I went to the Kino here today, where I spent two hours drooling at the Lord of the Rings statues, and reading (or rather, RE-reading) halfway through the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, browsing through the graphic novels and swiping all the Star Wars magazine covers off the shelves. I love this place.

After that, (since I couldn't find my mom's books at Kino) off I went to Borders (stopping by a few toyshops first), where I spent ANOTHER two hours finishing off Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (I'd already read it before, so I skipped the boring bits. :-) ), and ogling the scantily-clad women in the men's magazines. I love this bookstore too. :-) At least there was no World of Feng shui to distract me (though I DID see a number of Lillian Too books. GAAA!)

Oh, and I failed my children's-book-hunting mission. Borders didn't have it either.

Bought some toys, Some Darth Vader Chup-Chups, some magazines, some movie posters (Sin City! Jessica Alba! Woohoo!)and went home happy. Not a bad Birthday and Post-Birthday-Day, I must say.. :-)

Oh, and thanks for all the birthday greetings yesterday! :-)
Off to the zoo tomorrow! Yay!

Everybody sing!:

Let's go to the zoo,
There's lots of things to do,
and the food is.. er... never mind.