Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Current update - 30/5/05

Why do I do this?

Read: The Meaning of Everything by Simon Winchester, Roots by Alex Haley, Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception by Eoin Colfer, The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman
Reading: Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens, Pavilion of Women by Pearl S. Buck, The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
CD: none
Favorite song: Work by Jimmy Eat World
Played: none
Watching: The Apprentice 3, Frasier, CSI, Six Feet Under, sorry to add this but I have to say Akademi Fantasia

*No. of times asked if I have a boyfriend: 2
*No. of times asked when I will get married: 10
*No. of times asked when I will have kids: 2
Note: * Since I started this blog of course. I've been getting these questions lots of times before but you can't honestly believe I would count them, right? I just thought of this lately. It's interesting to know the average number of times a single girl at a marriageable age get that million dollar question. I hope other single bloggers would do the same. Maybe we can write a thesis on it! I also change "ppl" to "times" since one person can ask all three questions.

Other news:
1) My monitor konked out. After 3 weeks still not fixed. Damn I really miss writing.
2) Got a new member in the family, a boy, the 12th grandchild and the 9th grandson for the lovely gransparents. Enough to form a futsal team complete with reserves. 2 more to go and we can form a football team.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Revenge of the Kaki Movie

It's been three motnhs since I last went to the movies. What better purpose to pull a movie-goer out of her hiatus than to see the final instalment of the Star Wars saga.

I just got back from watching ut and I had this feeling of satisfaction to see the story finally come to its end.. no wait its.. erm... conclusion, no that's not it....welll whatever it is that Lucas was trying to achieve.

One thing bugged me from the moment I found out Padme will die in childbirth. I remember in Return of the Jedi, Luke once asked Leia if she remembered her mother, her 'real' mother. And she said that she was sweet and kind or something like that. How can shee remember anything if she just saw her mother for a split second after her burth? In fact I don;t think she even had her eyes open then. Oh well.

All in all the movie is good. Even though I look forward to see Padme-Anakin scenes, I dreaded the words that will come out of their mouths. And when Darth Sidious gave the order to execute Plan 66, it was the saddest thing I have ever seen. That was certainly the end of an era.

I wonder if there's a book/cartoon/comic that telsl the story between Ep. 3 and 4? There's about a 20-year gap there. Should be interesting to know what happened in those 20 years. Something like Clone Wars. That thing s great man, even though I only watched the first half only Image hosted by Photobucket.com. I blame NTV7 for not giving any indication that they will continue Clone Wars the next day and not next week like I assumed

Pardon the spelling mistakes if any. My monitor is still in the shop.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Who's the criminal here?

You are stealing!
It's against the law!
You are supporting the Ah Long!
For the price of one pirated DVD you can help a child in need!

Or so they say.

I totally understand and I admit that I'm a criminal, I don't know where my money goes, and I could have put my money to better use. But yet I don't care.

But I think living under the strict and constantly exercised scissors of the Censorship Board justifies my life of crime. I don't understand. How can we censor art? Because when it comes down to the nitty gritty that's what a film is -- art. Can you imagine putting a black bar on Mona Lisa's smile? Imagine the Sistine Chapel with that amazing painting on its ceiling. Now imagine it with streaks of black here and there. Terrible right? And imagine having a baby-shaped cut-out on a painting because baby Jesus is not wearing a diaper. So, who's the criminal here?

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

So that's my first justification. I like to see art in its entirety. I don't like edited scenes and edited lines. I like to see them as the artist envision it to be seen.

Another excuse that the public usually gives is the price. Pirated vcd/dvd are much cheaper. So how come I don't buy pirated CDs? One obvious reason -- the packaging. When you buy a pirated CD, you'll get a very high quality copy of the original front and back cover, the lyrics maybe and if you're lucky some additional songs will be put in there as well. When you buy the original CD, you'll get the original front and back cover, lyrics if they want to give them to you, and some pretty good additional photos and original art layout that the artist/producer intended it to be. Which I think is worth RM40.

In contrast, when you buy a pirate vcd/dvd, you will get the discs, front and back cover for RM5/RM10. However if you buy an original vcd/dvd, you will get the discs, front and back cover for RM19-90/RM99. So which one do you prefer, the RM10 or RM99? Why pay more when you can basically get the same thing right?

What really pisses me off most of the time is that the quality of the original vcds are terrible. For example, I bought West Side Story. It's a musical but the sound of that cd is so bad that I can't imagine playing that movie ever again. Everytime the singers reach those high notes (which happens a lot in this movie) you will here a screeching sound like running your fingernails across a blackboard. Another example, I bought The Wizard of Oz (I can't remember how much but it was not RM5) supposedly original. I saw at the back that this CD has some additional scenes. I think you might guess already, it doesn't. So, who's the criminal here?

And that's my second justification. The packaging is horrendous. I can get the same thing for a fraction of the price.

So, until I can see any films without any treatment by the Censorship board, I will stop buying pirated products. And until I can get my money's worth, I will buy original vcds/dvds. For now, let me ask you this...

Who's the criminal here?

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Coming out of the dark

I was a bit worried when I picked up Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass. His books are recommended everywhere I turn, people I've met, from the book itself which listed out many praises, in cyberspace, plus the awards that it has won. Even customers who walked into my bookstore highly recommended it.

We do have his books in the store so I could have just pick it up anytime I want and read it which I always planned to do. But as time pass, the books got sold and my boss didn't bring in anymore copies. And then one day I saw all three of his dark materials at Times Warehouse sale for RM8 each. And I thought what the hell. If it's not that good I won't regret it as much.

Philip Pullman? Not that good? Some of his fans might scream out. But you must understand my situation first.

Have you ever been in this position? The papers, internet, your friends highly recommend a certain book or movie. They say, "It's the best ever!" "Not to be missed!" And then when you do read or watch it you thought "Eh? What's so great about that?"

So I started reading The Golden Compass with a sceptical mind. I was afraid I will experience the same thing with this one, more so because it's a fantasy. But for all you know, it was quite good actually. I got hooked when the alethiometer was introduced.

But the concept of daemon kind of reminded me of digimon. I kept thinking what came first, daemon or digimon?

Another thing that bugs me about this book is this particular snippet, taken from the many praises found in the book,
The most ambitious work since Lord of the Rings...
It got me thinking, if this is equivalent to Lord of the Rings, what does it say about the artistic level of literary works today? The Dark Materials is great but it still doesn't compare to Lord of the Rings, the greatest modern literature for the past century.

It sends chills down my spine.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Everything's so blurry

I can't really blog about anything right now. I have to send my monitor for fixing. Currently I'm suing an old monitor which is not in good condition also. Everything;s kind of very blurry now. So pardon the spelling mistakes if any because I can see much.

What a bummer I got some pretty nice topics lined up already. But in the meantime maybe you can help me on my 'research'

1) What is the best or worst covers songs you have heard?
2) What is the ultimate love song for you?
3) You really hate this particular artist but suddenly discover that one of their songs os not bad after all.
4) What's your favorite music video?

Have a groovy Friday the 13th!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Apples and Wine, Women and Men

Women are like apples on trees. The best ones are at the top of the tree. Most men don't want to reach for the good ones because they are afraid of falling and getting hurt. Instead, they just take the rotten apples from the ground that aren't as good, but easy.......

The apples at the top think something is wrong with them, when in reality, they're amazing. They just have to wait for the right man to come along...for the one who's brave enough to climb all the way to the top of the tree.

Now Men.... Men are like a fine wine. They begin as grapes, and
it's up to women to stomp the shit out of them until they turn into something acceptable to have dinner with.

He... he... Got anything to say? Guys? Girls?

Monday, May 09, 2005

What is it?

What is it about A Walk to Remember that I just have to watch it everytime I came across it while channel hunting?

What makes it so different than Sweet November or Here on Earth or Autumn in New York or Moulin Rouge? (OK, I love Moulin Rouge. Nothing can compare to that). Well, what's the difference between this movie and the other 3 I mentioned? They all told the same story in different, or should I say similar variations.

Let me illustrate. Boy is a jock/the most popular guy in school/town/has a relationship phobia. Girl is a sweet, pure, hippie-like, spiritual person. Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love with girl. Boy and Girl happy. Boy finds out Girl is dying. Boy sad. More lovey-dovey scenes. Girl dies. Boy sad but very content and ready to move on.

I'm sure everyone of you have seen this story in one way or another or in one language or another.

I've seen A Walk to Remember like I don't know.. 10 times now and I'm still not tired of it. It's always like, "I'll just watch it until the song or after the first date" but I always end up watching it till the end.

I don't know why. Is it the song that she sang on the play? It's a nice song. Is it the sweater? I don't think so.
Is it the character? It's been done before. Is it Mandy Moore? I'm not a fan of Mandy Moore (though I'm beginning to be a fan of Mandy Moore the actress). Is it the guy? I don't even know his name. Is it the line 'I don't need a reason to be angry with God"? Which is a great line by the way. Is it the father? Is it the soundtrack? What is it?

I'm not one to get attached to a sad, melancholic movie as this and certainly not with a story that has been told over and over and over again. Why do I like this one and not Here on Earth which has a very similar plot and setting (the story revolves around teenagers). So what is it?

I watched it again last night, trying to find some answers and I still can't figure it out. So I guess it will just be one of the mysteries of my life.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Do you know...

the story behind the most referred book of all, the Oxford Dictionary?

Even though a few variations of the dictionary exists at that time, it was in 1857 that Dean Trench suggested the project to compile all known English words complete with their histories and meaning, in other words the meaning of everything.

Its first editor Herbert Coleridge died a year into the project. His successor, Frederick Furnivall was disorganized and a womanizer, almost causing the collapse of the project. In 1879, came James Murray, a former bank clerk with only an honorary degree to his name and a keen interest in lexicography. He played a major part in forming the dictionary that we know today.

Apart from the permanent editor and sub-editors, volunteers were engaged to help compiling a series of quotes containing a certain word. A letter was sent out to the public in search for volunteers. Many answered the call. They were then given a list of books to read. The volunteers will then write down "a quotation for every word that strikes you as rare, obsolete, old-fashioned, new, peculiar or used in a peculiar way". The quotes must be written on a paper measuring about 6 5/8 x 4 1/4 in (about a quarter of the A4 paper) and mailed to them. The papers are put into it's respective 'pigeon-hole' and sorted. The editors then read them and come up with a clear definition of the word.

Some of the volunteers include Fitzedward Hall an American recluse. Even though he and Murray became great friends they had never met. Another volunteer was William Chester Minor, a surgeon during the American Civil War and a schizophrenic who murdered a man for no reason. He worked on the dictionary from Broadmoor Asylum for the Clinically Insane. He once mentioned that working on the dictionary kept him halfway sane. Other known contributors include Frederick Sweatman, Charles Onions and J.R.R. Tolkien who was mostly responsible for the W section.

It was determined that the dictionary will be completed within 10 years. In truth it took 68 years to finish.

It was published in stages being the words A - Ant featured in the first part.

These are some of the things I learned from Simon Winchester's The Meaning of Everything, to describe it briefly, a biography of the Oxford Dictionary. I never knew that making the most trivial book can be such an interesting story too.

I was a bit nervous when I bought the book. I was afraid that it might be too boring or dry that I would just read a few pages and then shelve it again like what I did with a few other books. I'm happy to say that it wasn't.

Of course the subject matter is not that complicated. It's about words, English words, nothing technical about it. But the narration is smooth and simple apart from the over-bearing use of '--' followed by long clauses. It reminds me of an episode of Stark Raving Mad when Stark and his editor argued over the use of '--' and 'comma'.

Within the simple narration you will find a dash of some complicated words like rebarbative, oleaginous, desuetude, and sycophantic among other. What's the point of writing about a dictionary if your reader is not going to use it right?

If you're wondering...
rebarbative - to be repellant / irritating
oleaginous - resembling or having the properties of oil / marked by an offensively ingratiating manner or quality
desuetude - to become unaccustomed
sycophantic - characteristic of a swindler
(Meanings courtesy of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary 5th Edition. Sorry, I don't have an Oxford Dictionary Image hosted by Photobucket.com )

PS : George Clooney is 44 today! Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Ok! I'm going to watch Pitch Black now.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

KennySia's mini-meme and a tribute

This is my contribution to KennySia's mini-meme that he proposed here.

To warm-up...

Image hosted by Photobucket.comImage hosted by Photobucket.com

Next, a funny if not mundane one...

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

For the next one, you have to stretch your imagination a bit.

You are blogging anonymously but you still want to promote PPS so you could wear this one. A person behind you would see this...
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

But when they come up to ask you about it, they will see this...
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Hehehe... nothing great but I just want to contribute something.

For those who do not visit kennysia.com, I also want to share the news that his father passed away yesterday.

So this one is for his father and KennySia...
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

May his memory lives on forever at kennysia.com

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Maybe I should

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Image hosted by Photobucket.com I think that females who succumb to all these tactics just to get a ring on their fingers are shallow and will never gain the happiness that they've always imagine.

Though I agree that they might work I cannot imagine myself being in those positions.
Even though I do take care of my body and what I eat, I will never wear sexy clothes.
As confident as I am, I don't think girls should make the first move. Remember the old Malay proverb?
"Takkan perigi mencari timba"
[Wells should not look for the bucket... or something like that].
Being subservient bruises my ego.
And if he has two hands, he might as well shell his own bloody prawns.

But then I saw this...




Image hosted by Photobucket.com

And I thought...

Maybe I should.
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Except for tactic no. 2 of course Image hosted by Photobucket.com