December 30, 2004

Celebrations cancelled

PM sez, "celebrations cancelled".

Saves me the trouble of thinking about whether to go out or not to go out. Nothing like a decision made to make the day look up.

I can't donate any money because I'm not working. I can't ask my parents for money cos they've already spent a bomb on me on account of the stupid bronchitis, and I don't believe in the power of prayer. So what's a girl to do? Apart from giving blood, I could only think of giving clothes and toys and maybe some of my books. Or maybe some of my brother's books instead of mine, heheh.

Later today I will be sorting through piles of my junk to see what's usable and what's not usable, and then I'm going to look for places that're accepting stuff for the victims. Then I'm going to talk my granma into giving some of her clothes, cos she has a huge pile that she never wears. Tonight I will be calling my friends to collect stuff from them. If everyone gives a t-shirt it'd be a good start. Time to polish my persuasion skills.

If you don't think you can donate money, there's always some stuff that you can give. Clothes and shoes that you haven't worn in 3 months will most likely end up forever lonesome in some dank corner of your wardrobe, so why not dig everything out and give whatever you don't need?

Holey mouldy t-shirts and cockroach-gnawed pants with loose waistbands are NOTHX, okay?

December 28, 2004

I learned numbers back in school, but I can't grasp this. It's like telling me some star is 20 million light years away, I can't understand that. I know what it means, but I can't see that figure. Much the same way I can't see how so many people have died.

The number makes sense, the bloody earthquake measure 9.0 on the Richter scale, but at the same time it doesn't make sense. Oh hell, even I'm not making sense. No more news reports for me. I'm not watching anymore. This is getting too much for me, I need to stonewall.

Salutes to the people, local or otherwise, who're carrying out relief work in all the affected areas. I have a great deal of respect for people like these.

Christmas Day

I'm not taking my codeine tonight. Hello sleepless nights.

On Christmas day, I awoke to the voice of my mom, telling me, "Will you get your lazy ass out of bed already? Yi ma and popo are coming over for dinner tonight and I need to you to help out in the kitchen!"

Saffy goes, "Eh?"

Great way to spring a surprise on your poor, bronchitis-infected daughter, mommy dearest. I hate being jolted awake. Gets the whole day off on a bad start.

So, being a Chinese daughter, I dutifully lugged my lazy ass to the bathroom, did whatever I needed to do in the loo and spent the rest of the morning in my PJs, systematically decimating entire piles of organic produce. I sliced button mushrooms, diced tomatoes, cut up those pepper thingies shaped like lanterns, snipped broccoli and cauliflower into cute little edible portions, minced bacon, hacked a whole chicken to bits so it can be ground up, sawed shoulders of lamb into manageable portions and chopped about 3 pounds of garlic, chillies and onions.

We need to get a grinder. One of those mechanical appliances that help you chop up stuff nice and quick. Either that or we need to get a chef's knife, something light and breezy and not as unwieldy as a meat cleaver. :p

So anyway, while mom and dad went out to buy tomato paste or something like that, I slinked off to my dad's room to play spider solitaire. After I finished one game (I lost), mom came back and started making some noises that meant if I don't haul my ass to the kitchen right now and start helping her out I'm going to be the next item on the chopping board.

Ah, the fine art of communication.

So I spent the rest of the afternoon helping my mom make lasagna (it was a colossal failure), stew lamb (great), grill chicken and boil soup. In addition to making about 7 pizzas, I also managed to build a spaghetti sauce from scratch that was, and I quote my yi ma, "Amazing." I also managed to sneak 2 glasses of vodka lime, muahahaha. In retrospect, it probably made my bronchitis worse, but I slaved all day and it's Christmas, and I'm 22, I can do whatever I want.

I found out I can cook. I'm like supergirl. Heheheh.

Yi ma: older sister of my mom.
Popo: mom of my mom.
Pics will be uploaded once I've uploaded them.

December 27, 2004

Of compassion and feeling on BBC

I just watched the 11pm BBC news coverage on the quakes, and heard a Victor Wee who's some sort of vice president or something of Malaysia's Tourism department speak about the situation in Malaysia.

Personally, I don't know the guy, so I have no idea what kind of person he is. Listening to Lucy Hockings interviewing him though, my first impression is I really don't like this guy.

Dear Mr Wee, in the future, when speaking to an international audience after a major catastrophe, kindly employ more empathy and compassion instead of trying to hard-sell Malaysia. Saying that hotel operations have returned to normal and that things are as usual makes you sound like a callous and insensitive person who's only interested in tourist dollars. Moreover, when the tv screen shows scenes of devastated houses, destroyed boats and people standing around in shock, 'normal' isn't exactly the first word that comes into mind.

So please, can the emphasis on normal, because I'm sure the families of the victims felt normal. I'm also sure the occupants of the 400 destroyed houses were feeling normal too. Or maybe it's just the tourists who matter, and the local people who live in coastal areas do not.

That was sarcasm, btw.

Ugh. I just hope none of the people who were affected by this tragedy heard him speak.

I think this is the guy, if I'm not mistaken. Someone tell me either way.

If you haven't already, please donate. There're many areas (here) worst hit (here) than us, and they could really use all the help they can get.

Freaking slow reactions

Watched BBC yesterday, caught a whiff of the quake. Didn't think much of it cos initial estimates had 500 people dead or missing worldwide. For a quake measuring 8.9 on the Richter scale, that's a very lucky number. Didn't think Malaysia was affected much, cos we're supposed to be protected from the waves by Sumatera.

We spent the last 2 hours trying to call our relatives in Penang. Luckily they're alright. Unfortunately, not everyone could say that of their loved ones. Please consider donating here.

It might be prudent for you to read up on what causes tsunamis and whether it is possible to predict earthquakes. Google works wonders.

Take care, world.

Why You Don't Want To Date A Gamer

Reason Number 5: Gamers speak a different language altogether
...and I don't just mean 1337 sp34k.

At the 70% off bins during MNG sales.
"Eh, tank for me while I try to bust in, ya?"

When he notices that the entire rear end of his car has been decimated by an incompetent driver who never looks in the rearview mirror when reversing.
"I'm gonna frag that freaking SOB!"

After a male's spending ability is significantly limited by him 'handing over' his paycheck to his girlfriend for 'safekeeping', he moans to his mates.
"I've been goddam nerfed!"

Minutes after a drinking competition in which he wins.
"I r0x0r your b0x0r!!!" (the geekiness shines through even though gamers are doing something normal and cool like consuming large amounts of alcohol)

Imagine trying to understand all that. Who has the time? You're better off dating someone normal who doesn't speak in riddles, yes?

Reason Number 4: Gamers make obscure (to you) cultural references when dealing with everyday stuff
Pretend you finally managed to drag your gamer boyfriend off to a pub and you're dancing and having fun when suddenly some uncle sidles over and starts hitting on you. Your boyfriend might very well scream "Nobody steals our chicks and lives!" before trying to smack the guy's fist with his face.

Or him going, "CHA-CHING! Hahaha!" when he manages to break open a kuaci without having small bits of shell in his mouth. This mightn't be very bad, but then there's only so many times you can tolerate your guy saying, "What is your major malfunction?" whenever you say 'we need to talk.' Or saying "Your face, your ass, what's the difference?" with a smarmy grin when you're sexy and horny in the bedroom. Oof, moodkiller baby.

Reason Number 3: Dating
Your idea of a night out is going for dinner and a movie. Or embedding shotgun pellets into a dummy doll followed by a nice romantic picnic dinner on the beach. You know, whatever floats your boat.

His idea of a night out is joining up on the Lineage II server and hunting some werewolf mobs. Or maybe whispering sweet nothings to each other on the private RO server that his friend set up. If you're dating seriously old school gamers then a night out may be a pen-and-paper D&D where he's the Orc barbarian and you're his cleric healer.

Because relationships are give-and-take, you may want to oblige him by getting together in the MMORPG world every once in a while because after all, he did agree to go with you to Zouk last week. This is a bad thing to do, because once you start 'obliging him' he will take it as a sign that you have the spirit of an inherent geek in you, and you just need to cultivate it.

Eventually, "getting together in the MMORPG world" will replace phonecalls and real dates, and you'll find yourself wearing identical armour to replicate the real world CLZ Syndrome and getting married ala RO style complete with virtual rice and have your other MMORPG friends cheering your union. Just hope that a hostile mob doesn't spawn out of nowhere and ruin your virtual wedding the way rain ruins a real one. For picture references, go here and here.

(In the second pic, the pumpkin scarecrows and the cute little pink round things wearing santa hats are monsters. The sprites lying on the ground are dead people. The only female left standing is an NPC. What a way to end a wedding. *grins*)

Reason Number 2: Gifts
For your birthday, he may get you one of these. That's a LOTR TTT (Platinum Series Special Extended Edition Collector's Gift Set) from, complete with a scaled-down model of Gollum. Yeah, it's a nice movie, but Gollum? Gollum?? But hey, at least it's not a D20 gift set.

And finally, reason Number 1: In 10 years's time...
You know you want to be more important than StarCraft 2.

1337 sp34k: language invented by CS players (I think) where alphabets are replaced by numerals. Somehow they think this is funny nd amusing to do.
tank: In RPGs, usually a character with high Strength and Constitution, used as a shield for weaker characters in a party like mages and rogues. Imagine a wrestler. Big, strong, loud and tough, but with no skills.
nerf: situation where your character's abilities have been lowered after some tweaking. Happens when new patches are released for games.
frag: another word for "I will shoot your brains out and drag your bloody entails all over the floor". Used in FPS games, origins rumoured to be from the Vietnam War. I'm too lazy to look it up, Charlie.
R0x0r your b0x0r: another word for "I own you, noob!"
Kuaci: pumpkin seeds.
CLZ: Ching Lui Zhong, which is cantonese for bad taste. Certain couples like to wear similar clothing (colour, style, pattern, etc) whenever they're out of the confines of their own home. Losing your individual identity and fusing into one single mass just because you're dating isn't exactly my idea of fun, but hey, what do I know?
NPC: Non Playable Character. Self-explanatory.
StarCraft 2: Most anticipated game of all time, and the reason why Blizzard can do no wrong. :)

"Nobody steals our chicks and lives!" uttered by Duke Nukem <3.
"CHA-CHING! Hahaha!" uttered by Tanya.
"What is your major malfunction?" uttered by the Siegetank.
"Your face, your ass, what's the difference?" uttered by Duke Nukem <3.

RO pics from RO Empire.

Warm coppery tones

This year, Christmas Eve was lonesome. My parents had a Christmas party to attend, my granma went to my aunt's house because she was organising a mass feeding session and everyone was invited, and my brother went out with his friends and feasted on turkey. He ended up spending the night at some girl's house (ahem), but since he's 18, spending the night doesn't involve any sleeping. I have no idea what kind of drunken hijinks took place, but I'm told there were a lot of people there, and at no point was he alone with any girl.

Somehow, the images of pagan orgies keep flashing in my mind.

Me, well, I spent the night alone in my house with all the lights on, because I am afraid of the dark. So I'm alone, I'm horny and I have my Streamyx back. Guess what I did? *grins*

I also fiddled with Photoshop and Flash, and made something that I'll shamelessly put here even though it's very amateurish. Remember, I only recently learned how to resize stuff with Photoshop, so judge based on context. ;p

Can't figure out the code to put a flash file, so what I made (which is also very amateurish) will stay in the deep recesses of my HD for now.

Like a leper

I'm gonna talk about my dinner experience today.

It's a day just like every other, and we went out for dinner in Pandan Indah, another one of those generic HK style eateries that're springing up like slugs after a downpour. That about tells you how I really feel. :p

However, today's post is not going to be a food blog. Oh no, today, I'm going to share with you the experience of being treated like a leper. Before you wonder, no, I am not deformed or something like that. I've been diagnosed with bronchitis, and as a result have been coughing rather err, dramatically, to be subtle.

I didn't actually notice how bad my coughs were when I was quarantined at home for close to three weeks now, but in public it was really bad. The people sitting around us were visibly recoiling from me, and no, I did NOT launch phelgmy projectiles at my fellow diners. Unlike the uncouth fishmonger barbarians at the Pudu market, I cough with my hand over my mouth. :)

Still, it's mildly disconcerting to have people glance at me, worried that the terminally ill TB patient might transmit her germs to their kids skating around in their stupid shoes with wheels. You know, if you're too lazy to walk when you're 7, you might as well die of bronchitis/TB/whatever now and save us the trouble of feeding another mouth. We only have so many resources, and we can't waste it on lazy slobbering kids.

But this is not about kids, this is about me. The reason I'm posting this now is because I can't sleep. Lying down seems to exacerbate the coughs, bleah.

Thanks to Narrowband for alerting me about my clumsiness.

December 23, 2004

Frustrate me, please!

I'm back! :)

The previous posts were written in the downtime. Just because I can't blog doesn't mean I can't write, though it wasn't easy with my head flinging around from the recoil of my coughs.

Here's a timeline of what happened since last week.

Sunday: Streamyx acting up, connection was slow during the day. Couldn't connect at night.

Monday: Same same, connection improved marginally in the afternoon. Couldn't connect at night. Had a flu and feeling feverish.

Tuesday: Connected for 5 minutes in the morning before it broke completely. Tried again in the afternoon, and managed the exact same thing. Results for BF's BAC not sent out due to this reason. Onset of fever, voice changed due to flu. Ex used to call it 'my sexy voice'. Note to ex, sexy and flu do not go together.

Wednesday: Sitting at home, bored out of my skull, nursing a fever and blowing my nose every 5 minutes. Nose red and tender from tissue burn. Called up Streamyx techies and was told to "You cuba connect la. Kalau masih tak boleh, tunggu tiga hari." (translation: try connecting every once in a while. If it doesn't work, wait three days)

Thursday: Fever gone, flu still around, starting to cough. No sign of Streamyx.

Friday: Voice reverts to normal. Cough not getting any better, but not getting any worse either, which is always a good sign.

Saturday: Recovered from everything. Mild 'khem khem's every once in a while. Nothing big. Called up Streamyx techies and was told to "Tunggu sampai Isnin. You cuba connect la." (translation: Wait until Monday. Meanwhile, try connecting. In other words, You're Screwed.)

Sunday: Developed a hollow-sounding cough that seemed to reverberate in my chest. Bad news, cos it always gets worse when it comes to this. Apparently sounds very TB-like to everyone around me. Dad shudders whenever I cough, so I alternate between holding back my coughs and hiding in my room. Plan not working out. Mom starting to worry. Can't sleep at night due to coughing.

Monday: Skipped school. Cough starting to sound like TB patient on her last breath. Developed chest pains from constant coughing. Bro looked at concernedly when I was coughing on the sofa while he played Disgae again. Mom is very worried. Called Streamyx Techies. Still no idea of what the problem is. Still no idea of when it will be fixed. My terse question of whether I will be billed a quarter of RM88 less this month (which is RM22) was answered with a burst of nervous giggles.

Tuesday: Still can't sleep at night. Developed headache from constant coughing. Experiencing bouts of blurness after I cough for prolonged periods of time. Feeling nauseous and dizzy all day, can't stand up for long. Too sick to care about Streamyx. I want to die. Mom, Dad and Granma very worried about me. I want to die even more.

Wednesday: Getting used to the coughing, though it sounds worse to everyone else. Headaches have gone, though blurness persists after I cough for a long time. Mom talked to colleague about Streamyx problem. Colleague gave her phone number of a guy. After a phone call to him, a lady called us at our home number at 5pm and told us to try connecting. It worked. Lady called again at 8pm to check status of Streamyx. Still working fine.

What would have happened if my mom's colleague had not had an insider's phone number? In Malaysia, it's not what you know, it's who you know.

December 22, 2004

Honest tunes

At times like this I'm thankful that I have people in my life who're honest with me. You know, the kind who'll tell you straight to your face that your ass looks big, you smell bad especially in the underarm area, or that you're not a particularly likeable person.

Oh wait, that's me.

My friends and family are generally more tactful than just to blurt out what they're thinking. Considering how long I've been with some of them, you figure some of that should have rubbed off on me by now.

Anyway, I'm glad I have a few friends who're honest enough with me to tell me when my bum looks big in that skirt I like sooooooo much. I'm-


To the males who’re not aware of this, certain pants/skirts DO in fact make our derrieres bigger than they seem. Sometimes it's the fabric, sometimes it's the pattern on the fabric, and sometimes it's just the fact that the piece of clothing is so badly made that it doesn't hug where it should hug.

"Does my ass look big?" is not a question we like to toss out just to make you sweat.

Okay, so some women like to place landmines where they know your foot is going to land, but I am definitely not one of them. And you should totally trust me. Muahahahaha.


I'm glad that my brother thinks he's big enough to be safe from me when he tell me I 'look weird' in some clothes I choose to wear before I leave the confines of my home. Erm, actually, he is big enough that my puny little fists won't hurt him much, but that's not the point. I'm also glad my friends can tell me that they think I'm out of line when I really am, which, I am sad to confess, happens quite often. It appears I have no sense of propriety. I should be really popular with the guys. ;)

Of course, it hurts to hear that the hairdo you like so much really makes you look like a cat died on top of your head, or that the outfit you spent 2 hours coordinating looks like something one of those tacky J-pop artistes would wear, but on the upside, these are things you'd rather hear while you're still within safe territory (ie home). It'll be three times worse to have people snicker at you when you're walking along in Midvalley, blissfully unaware that the stripey knee socks you love so much actually make you look like an Ah Lian. (yes, I do like stripey knee socks, but I will never wear them in public)

So back to the point. Most of all, I'm happy that my best friends will say "I think he's really not worth it," when I'm doing something I'm not supposed to be doing. Like pining away for a guy who doesn't even realise that I exist, or waiting for days for him to send me a sign that he's still alive, or sending 4 SMSes to him with nary a reply from the other end, or scrawling "I'm gay! Call me!" in male toilets with his phone number below, or calling his stand-up parents with an Ah Lian accent and telling them I'm pregnant with his kid. You know, normal stuff girls do when they're slighted and/or bored.

In the above paragraph, 'He' doesn't really refer to the same guy. Scary, innit? ;)

Sometimes when you're thinking of pursuing a relationship with a completely inappropriate guy who's just gonna take you on a joyride that's the opposite of joy, you need to have some close friends and family, the very people you'll actually listen to, to kick some sense into your otherwise-usually-very-rational self. What can I say, sometimes feelings can make you go bonkers.

It's completely okay for you to make a fool of yourself, and everyone has to make a fool of themselves once in a while. Just preferably not in public where everyone can gawk at you and where you'll forever be branded as the girl on the frat house mattress. In addition to helping you hide bodies, that's also what good friends are for.

To wake you up when you're about to sleepwalk over a cliff, blissfully unaware of the perils that are usually associated with dropping off a high-altitude area.

Namely, splat!

Post triggered by reading an article in the Star about women who don't get it when the men they're interested in aren't interested in them.

The Next Amber Chia

I got this from Friendster.


I'm a talent scout. If you were given the chance to appear in print advertisements or TV commercial, would you be interested ? there is no registration fees, no product selling, we don't provide any modeling or grooming classes.

Actually I would love to tell u more about what am I doing ~

Everyone can be talent, your family members, your friends, your cousins, your aunty uncle... grandma grandpa also can!! To be a talent or model is very easy, as long as they would like to join and comfortable to be a talent or model. Then others should be no worries at all. Coz is not a time consuming thingy!!

TO be a talent or model doesn't mean catwalk or fashion show. To be a talent or model can be like, those print ads we see on newspaper, billboards, brochures, leaflet, magazine or etc. Sometime, we only need your face, some features or your body feature on be on prints ads only. Thus, height is not a problem, if u tall enough of course there is another advantage.

When you see those advertisements like Maxis, digi,YTL, there are few models and talents with their happy face. They are not professional model... they are just talent... we are looking people who have character and not only the look to be on Print Ads.

So, u can make an appointment now ~

No forcing.. if u dunwan..

Just let u know more about it ~

Is just a simple process, come to our studio we'll let u fill up a form.

Then we will snap few natural photos of you,

Those photos we will submit to advertising company, if there is any ads suit u .

We will call u up for photo shooting.

Dress code “ Smart n Casual”

No need bring anything… kekeke..

you can bring as many friends as you want ~ we are looking for new faces....

If you are interested, please reply me with your name, age, race and contact number. My studio at Cheras Business Center,

Future Production ( 001449657 - A)
20-1-12 Cheras Business Centre
20, Jln 2/101C,
Batu 5, Off Jln Cheras
56000 Kuala Lumpur

Fax 03 - 9130 6666
Office 03 - 9132 1111
Mobile 012 - 355 0604

Give us a call before u come,

Lotsa print ads need new faces....

Do u think u can make it ?u can bring along ur friends n parents t00 ~ erm.. if u have cousin sister brothers... kids.. who are cute.. photogenic... love to be talents... just get them to come.... n0 w0rry ~ we need kids to elderly from 3 yrs old to 80 yrs old male n females.

Let me know ur appointment with us >?




Of course, being the paranoia-ridden librarian that I am, I thought legitimate talent scouts don’t go around looking for prospective potentials through, of all places, Friendster. So I gave her my email and she emailed me a map to the place. If this is a hoax mail, it’s done pretty shrewdly. Not that I’m interested at all, heheh.

Map here.

So, I’ve decided not to think about the legitimacy of this and just pretend that she really did want me to contact her. Major ego boosts are good for health, particularly to girls who’re coughing like terminally ill TB patients.

On a sidenote, if anyone decides to go and give this place a shot, remember to drop me a line to tell me how it went. Of course, in the event that you get drugged, tied up and have your naked privates committed to celluloid, I’m not responsible for any mental or physical trauma you may have suffered. On the other hand, if you become the next Amber Chia, remember who launched your illustrious modeling career!

Remember kiddies, screw morals. Kickbacks are completely acceptable.

December 18, 2004

I'm not dead

What a way to start a post. :)

Just a little FYI, I've been sick for 4 days and coughing leads to chest pains and headaches, not to mention sore throats. FYI2, my Streamyx has been down for 4 day. I'm now using my friend's line to log on, and he's already making some noise cos I'm taking up his WoW time. Just to let my loyal readers (ahem) know that there's not gonna be an update any time soon.

As far as I can understand the problem, apparently the Streamyx techies have been fiddling with their server and after that little session that very server now hates my modem and doesn't want to talk to her. At all. So it sucks to be me.

All I want for Christmas is my appetite back. Getting my connection too would be a huge plus. I've been a good girl, Santa!

Happy holidays, folks. :)

December 12, 2004

A Night Of Unbelievable Firsts

The venue: PWTC
The Ocassion: DHL's Annual Dinner and Party Thingy
My Status: lowly peon to be ordered around by everyone in an M Stage t-shirt. I'm like the slime that resides at the bottom of a pond, but in consolation, I'm intelligent slime. :)

Instead of focusing on the unbelievable chaoticness of the guest registration system or the unbelievable ineptness of the women at my counter (how quickly I could process guests hinged greatly on their competence), I think today I'll stop being the Blogger Who Always Complains and look on the bright side of things today. Hence:

A Night Of Unbelievable Firsts.
Number 1: I worked for RM50. Well, actually, I didn't. I worked because my best friend JW called in a favour since she was short 3 workers. First real working experience with real money.

Number 2: After we were done registering all the guests for DHL's Annual Dinner and Party thingy, we were sitting around an empty table eating our dinner and drinking pink water at 10.30pm when this guy in a suit comes up and wordlessly plonks down 2 tall glasses of beer, one for me and one for my bro.

First time I got beer without having to ask (read: beg/grovel/pay) for it.

Number 3: I played barmaid to the soundcrew and danced to the tune of some 70s song (it was Retro Night) while balancing 3 glasses of beer on my second beer-delivery trip upstairs. I have a whole new level of respect for the Oktoberfest barmaids now.

At the point where I was dancing with beer, this convo took place:

JW: "You're drunk, you know that?"
Me: "Probably. Want a sip of these before we give it to the crew?"

Number 4: After doubling as barmaid and cabaret dancer, JW and I got back downstairs and sat with my bro and SE, when the nice man who gave us beer the first time came by and refilled my glass without me having to signal (read: beg/grovel/pay) for it. He then told me that I was drinking too slowly, and told me to hurry up.

First time in my entire life I was given free refills of anything ('coffee' that's not real coffee doesn't count). First time I was told I'm drinking too slowly. First time I'm told to drink more. Unbelievable Wowness x4.

Number 5: When the band played Queen's We Will Rock You, we were all singing and bouncing on our seats to the tune. When the band played Uptown Girl, I downed the entire glass of beer, jumped out of my seat and started dancing.

First time I'm dancing, ever. I hope no one took pictures or it would extremely good blackmail material. Btw, it's very likely that I got the chronology of the songs wrong.

Number 6: I have no shame. Okay, so that's not a first, but wait. I actually did the YMCA. In public. And as if that's not enough, I actually broke out John Travolta's Saturday Night Fever moves. In public. I didn't even know I knew the moves to SNF.

I am tainted for life. Remember what I said about hoping no one took pics? I really really REALLY hope no one took pics of me while I was living the life of the swinging 70s. (not re-living because I wasn't born yet. I'm not that old, haha)

That's about all.

Now that the haze of alcohol and shamelessness has cleared a bit, I seriously think that I can handle going to pubs now. After all, I look good in a slinky top and tight jeans, and I can drink beer instead of wine so it won't KO me so quickly. I can dance once my inhibitions are slightly lowered and not sit there like some poor wallflower, and if I can do the YMCA and SNF in public, there's absolutely nothing I won't do for free beer.

I can't believe I just said that. :( Remember what your mama always said about choosing your friends carefully? I think it's all JW's fault. Seriously though, I enjoyed last night, and I wasn't even drunk. Considering how extensively I've managed to humiliate myself, the non-drunkness of my person is the scary part.

December 11, 2004

5 Don'ts When Hitting On Random Strangers

Since I've put my contact info on the left sidebar, I've been contacted by some people who thought I was fascinating (as in museum specimen) enough to warrant some mutual touching of bases. A lot of them are really nice, and I'd name names if I weren't bound by our confidentiality agreement. Some others, however, have the honour of being the inspiration for today's blog post.

So in the name of education, allow me to introduce today's topic: 5 Don'ts When Hitting On Random Strangers.

Don't be say hi for the sake of saying hi
People communicate for a reason. This principle applies in online communication as well. As a general rule, you're not supposed to click on everyone in your contact list and then type "HI!" and just sit back and wait for replies. Specifically, don't do this:

Random Idiot: hi.
Saffron: Hi.
Saffron: who're you?
Random Idiot: I'm RI.
Saffron: ok. I'm Saffron.
Random Idiot: hi saffron


It is a generally accepted practice that the person who initiates a conversation with an unknown person should always think of at least 3 topics in advance so that the conversation doesn't go into the awkward silence mode 17 seconds after the first "hi!"s are uttered.

Don't play coy
When the person you're talking to asks you who you are, don't play coy and ask him to guess. If he decides to humour you and makes a guess (that would most probably be wrong), don't be annoying and go "Lalalala, you're WRONG!!!!!" and ask him to guess again. And again. And again. If he knows who you are, he won't be asking you that question now, would he?

People generally don't like to talk to people who're entertained by such juvenile antics.

Don't speak in weird languages
While it may be appealing to your warped little mind to speak in your own language as a mark of your identity' and a 'symbol of your community', it is generally considered bad form to tYpE LikE tHiS fOR loNg PEriOdS oF TimE bECauSe iT is VeRY anNoYiNG tO reAD. It is also advisable to only use l33t sp34k only when you are talking to your Geeky Gamer friends. Do not use l33t sp34k with girls, because they will dismiss you as a raving lunatic and put you on their level 3 block list. If you are lucky, it will not be for life.

Sometimes Nerd/Geek brands can never be washed off, no matter how hard you scrub with Vim.

Don't be boring
Interesting people are generally nice to talk to. They engage you in the conversation and amuse you with their topics. For those of us not endowed with the gift in interesting-ness, we have to resort to stupid and embarassing (but hopefully funny) anecdotes and self-deprecating humour to entertain the people we're talking to. While not many of us are gifted with the ability to be completely charismatic, there are ways to keep people from sleeping and subsequently drooling all over the table when they are conversing with you. One of these ways is to avoid doing this:

Random Idiot: hi
Saffron: hi
Saffron: who're you?
Random Idiot: asl??

Nothing kills off a convo quicker than typing "asl" less than a minute into the convo. Remember that. Now to continue the conversation above, for there is another point I wish to illustrate.

Saffron: 14 m pg
Random Idiot: pg??
Saffron: penang
Saffron: you?
Random Idiot: got pic??

Remember what I said about nothing killing off convos faster than "asl"? If you're not satisfied with the thawing direction of the convo after "asl", you can choose to follow up with "got pic?". That's a sure-fire guarantee that whoever you're chatting with will do this:


Don't say you're a stalker
Even if you are, pretend you have some other, legit reason to talk to her. Just because you've never met her doesn't mean you're not allowed to be able to recite the complete and unabridged family background of 18 generations of her ancestors, yes, but the key thing here is to NOT let her know about it.

Normal people generally don't like it when random strangers pop up on their IMs and start talking about their (not yours) grand aunt in a familiar manner. And though you may not understand their motivations, they may even be extremely cautious of you and react in a way cornered animals do when they're forced into a small area between a hard place and a rock.

This would significantly truncate any communication you have had with her, or it may completely wipe out any future possibilities of communication, and you, being the cute little stalker that you are, would not want that now, would you? So to recap, don't betray your ulterior motives until she's well into the net you've woven for her.

If you have any doubts about the above tactic, it actually worked on TV Smith, so you can see it's not exactly the product of an overactive imagination!

Good luck with your endeavors, fellow (scary but cute) stalkers!

December 10, 2004

And the clan goes out!

The food blog, as promised. If you're on a diet, there are pictures of food in this blog post. :) You have been forewarned.

My dad loved Nagisa since the last time (which was also the first, btw) we went there. The buffet was nice with a reasonably varied spread, and the price wasn't too bad. The only downside is you may meet some very inconsiderate people who think nothing of taking all the salmon sashimi even when yours truly was standing behind them patiently waiting for her turn to attack the sashimi tray.

Best feature of the buffet: loads and loads of fat juicy strawberries! The last time I was there I had 3 dinner plates full of the stuff after my real dinner, and I would've went back for more if I could eat without throwing up. What can I say, I like strawberries. *shrugs*

Before I go off on another tangent, today's blog is not about Nagisa. The buffet was only available on weekends, and since ala carte the menu was very Japanese (ie, no pictures, just Japanese names and English descriptions. Bad English descriptions) we decided to go someplace else.

Someplace else being Zen in Sunway Pyramid.

It was a very pleasant change from Nagisa's atmosphere. I was listless and apathetic in Nagisa (after flipping through the menu), I was excited and hungry in Zen. First of all, the environment was contemporary, with none of that stiff Japanese etiquette you'd expect to find in a typical Japanese restaurant. Second of all, they didn't play Geisha music (with all that horrendous warbling the Japanese call 'singing').

A waiter tried to seat us in a circular table with a wind chill of 4 degrees Celsius because all other tables are apparently 'reserved', but there was no way anyone could've eaten in that vacuum. Seriously, the moment I sat down my top was fluttering, and it's not a loose top. :p Dad threatened to go to another restaurant when the captain came over and lead us to a table in a much more habitable climate, and all was well.

Because we are typical Malaysians, we cannot order food if there are no pictures for us to pick from. Unless, of course, we're eating in the local dai pai dong. Zen's menus are delightful, with HUGE pictures on every page. The lesson in catering to your customers must be learned here. Malaysians generally don't know a heck lot about Japanese food, other than Sashimi means raw fish, Sushi means raw fish with rice, and Wasabe is not to be taken by the spoonful. Malaysians also generally don't understand what akageno means. There's a high probability that I have mis-spelled that word, btw, which only serves to further illustrate my point.

The tactic to draw people in? Classy menus with nice big pictures of what I'm going to eat.

We had a very nice waitress who explained every detail about our orders to us. My grandmother was there with us and she's a strict vegetarian, so she painstakingly explained what the stock for the soup was made of and blablabla stuff like that so reassure my dad that it was safe to order the beancurd. I lost concentration after she mentioned beancurd, and spent my time examining the menu with my brother.

Now for the game of the hour: Challenge Saffy's Memory. Let's see how much I remember...

For starters, we had Sashimi salad, which was complimentary because it was a Thursday. It was drizzled over with some sort of red coloured sauce that was really savoury. Unfortunately, the sashimi were really small pieces, which made us think of the leftover parts when you're done slicing up the real stuff for the paying guests. Still, the salad was really good, and I deeply suspect it's because of the sauce.

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Unfortunately we all dug in before I remembered to take a pic. This is what the salad looks like after the all 4 of us poked at it with our chopsticks. It looks much nicer when it came. :)

Dad also ordered soft-shelled crabs because we're all suckers for it. This time, I did manage to take a pic before the dish was attacked. It was nice and crunchy without too much oil, and they were generous with lemons. There's a little bowl of tempura soup-thingy that comes along with this dish, but I forgot to take a pic of it.

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We also ordered a bowl of green peas, steamed and salted. I like green peas. :) This one is 2 ringgit more expensive than the Sushi King version, but it's heaps better.

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My granma's vegetarian sushi. I can identify mushroom sushi and the beancurd sushi. The rest are really beyond me. She said it was good.

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These pics didn't turn out so good, but they're still better than the pic of my dinner. On the left is a vegetarian miso soup which my granma raved about. On the right is two sticks of grilled shitake mushrooms that tasted a bit sourish and bitter. Not very nice.

Dad ordered some sorta beef rice, and I forgot what it's called in Japanese. His set had some fruits and Chawan Mushi. Unfortunately for him, he was the hungriest, and his set was the last to come. According to him, it was pretty good but the beef was a little too salty. No pics are available because I know better than to come between a hungry man and his dinner. Can you imagine what he would've done to me if I said, "Ba, wait wait, let me take a pic first!"

I'm not prescient, but I think it's pretty safe to go with "spillage of blood".

I ordered a BBQ Beef + Sushi dinner set, and it came with miso soup, Chawan Mushi, assorted fruits (papaya, honey dew and dragon fruit, all sweet), a small bowl of what appeared to be 2 pieces of brinjals soaked in soysauce (do not eat it) and some sort of pickled purple and yellow stuff. Unfortunately, the pic of the entire set didn't turn out at all, so here's what the beef looked like.

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Could've eaten the beef with rice, as it was pretty tasty, but then there were also 8 pieces of sushi, so I decided to forgo the rice since I've had helpings from everyone's orders.

My brother ordered the Chicken + Sashimi set, and it came with basically the same side dishes as mine. Let's see...yeah, the same.

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His chicken was tastier than mine, but then they were supposed to be eaten with his bowl of rice, so I guess it would've been overkill to make my beef as salty as his chicken was.

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Sashimi was, and I quote, "Very nice. I like the way they shaved the ice to make a mini Sashimi ice-kacang." Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum, I smell a professional restaurant reviewer in the making, heheh. And no, he didn't go and eat the 'ice-kacang'.

My mom ordered a sharksfin/crabmeat soup that came in a small container that was really pretty. Unfortunately, they balled the sharksfin into 1 lump, so there were no strands of fin in the soup. My brother got the lucky spoonful. There was a lot of beancurd in the soup too. No pic is available because we were too busy eating.

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Mom's main course is a spicy seafood soup that wasn't really that spicy to begin with. Maybe it was because I expected tom yam. :p They didn't skimp on the seafood, and my mom liked it very much, as evidenced by her almost draining the entire bowl, except for the pieces of salmon, which she gave to my dad. As you can probably guess, Mom is not really a gourmet, heheh.

While I was entertaining myself in the loo, my brother went and ordered a plate of salmon sashimi. It was a pretty good deal, priced at RM15 for 8 pieces. That comes to less than 2 Ringgit per piece. Do me a favour and stop going to Sushi King for stale Sashimi. Hit Zen instead.

According to my brother, the presentation for the salmon sashimi was the best of the night. Unfortunately, he didn't take a pic of it because we had completely forgotten about the existence of the camera at this point, until it was time to leave. It's a good thing we didn't leave it behind, heheh, or this would've been one boring blog.

Finally, to finish this post off, here's a pic of the view from where I was sitting.
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This is the best I could do under the circumstances. I'm too repressed to be able to stand up and take a pic of my surrounding area without feeling self-conscious. :p Circular thingies on the ceiling are the lights, circular thingies on the ground are the tables with comfy wraparound couches. The third circular couch from my mom's pixelated head is the table with the extreme wind chill effect.

dai pai dong: roadside stall, usually dirty and unhygienic, but with really good food. What's a little food poisoning once in a while? ;p

Pics were alternately taken by both my brother and myself. Blurry sashimi pic belongs to him. The small, bad pics are mine.

Zen's website. It might be prudent to book your seats in advance, cos we went on a Thursday and the place was completely packed by the time it was 8pm. They serve buffets on Sundays at RM49++ per person, if I'm not mistaken.

December 09, 2004

Filler post

Just an FYI, I realise I haven't been blogging a lot lately. I'm just dead from all the readings/notes I have to do.

Things I hate:
Academic authors who have to impress people with their stupid h4x0r English, so much so that I have to read the same bloody paragraph over and over again for 5 times just to understand the gist of it.
stupid semester planners who put 3 heavy subjects into a semester lasting 2+ months, with a total of 6 subjects to cover for the final exam. As a cherry, they gave us no study break.
short days, as in there're not enough hours in a day for me to do what I need to do. *cries*
my soft squishy human body, cos if I were a Borg or something I would survive on no sleep at all and have very little moodswings/headaches, which are not fun when I'm trying to work out the meaning of a passage in an article titled 'Dominant Paradigms'. Stupid academic English *mumbles mumbles*

It's funny how my brain needs to be rested and charged for me to write better stuff. Looking at my last few entries, I realise I should've spent the time sleeping instead of writing junk. *sighs*

In other news I'll be working PWTC on Saturday. Good Friend (aka JW) called in a favour cos her company didn't have enough slaves to work the reception counter, and since we've known each other since Remove class, I figured that for once in my life I'm gonna do something to help her out. The pay's not really that good, considering my extreme lack of sleep, but hey, friends are friends.

Hopefully there're some hot guys (spillover effect) from the PC Fair to make the day a little less boring.

Brain the Cynic goes, "Uh huh."

Wow, I actually see the words I've typed blurring. That must mean I'm dead tired.

Good night, dearies. Long day tomorrow. I promise a food review blog and a (hopefully funny) gripe about [SUBJECT CENSORED]

Oh come on, surprises are good for health, unless you're 80 with a weak heart, and I don't think my audience demographics are that varied.

December 07, 2004

soft-boiled eggs...

...are cool.

I woke up at 10 today. After doing what I needed to do in the loo, I skipped to the kitchen to make the soft-boiled eggs I wanted to eat yesterday but couldn't cos there were no eggs.


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It's now 4 pm and I haven't had lunch yet. I'm also not feeling the slightest bit of hunger, which is very weird for me. I'm not used to eating 3 eggs at one go, and now I'm still feeling bloaty. I miss lunch. *bawls*

Maybe I'll eat anyway, mleh.

Observing tanks and bumper-kissers

Picture this.

It's 7.30 am. You have been stuck in roughly the same spot for the past 30 minutes because you're a fine upstanding citizen and do not resort to slimy queue-jumping to save 40 minutes of your time at the expense of others. You're alternatively warbling along to the strains of Weird Al Yankovich's Traffic Jam and banging your head against the steering wheel because the stupid P driver in front of you just let another queue-jumping bastard into the legit lane, which you have been on. (for the past 30 minutes, remember?)

Finally the lights change and the lane transmutates from a parking lot to a real road where real cars move. P driver suddenly ups and decides to switch lanes. Unfortunately he drives his Wira like a tank driver drives a tank, so he ends up hogging half of two lanes, resulting in the inability of other vehicles to get through to make a mad dash before the light turns red again.

Cue honking of car horns and flashing of headlights. Cue extreme cluelessness in the part of P driver.

Despite the improbability of it (due to the fact that the entire universe is against you), you make it past the Wira-tank and laugh to yourself at the cars who will inevitably have to endure following behind the Wira-tank for the remainder of their journey. You suspect that if one had to vomit blood for every mistake P driver makes, one would end up exsanguinated within a distance of 500m. It's a happy thought because more dead people = fewer cars on the road = less traffic jam = real possibility of getting to office from home in 30 minutes real time.

You have a very warped mind.

After 58 grueling minutes spent stuck in an air-conditioned metal box with reasonably comfy seats, you make it to the final traffic light before you turn into KL's CBD, into the parking lot of your office, where you have to make a mad sprint to make it to your cubicle before your slave driver boss walks past with her whip in hand.


If you think this blog is another gripe about lousy Malaysian drivers, fear not, for I am one myself and it would be extremely hypocritical for me to complain about my own kind. Oh no, this blog is about The People Who Try to Bumper-Kiss The Car In Front When the Traffic Lights Are Red. You know, the kind who'll move their gear from N to D because the car in front of them has advanced 3/4ths of an inch.

Since I'm bored, I'm going to attempt to delve into the minds of these maladjusted pseudo-speed freaks and try to find out the reason to their chronic Go-Go-GO!! syndrome.

Advancing 3/4ths of an inch will get you that much closer to beating the traffic lights next time they turn green.
To be specific, 3/4ths of an inch closer.

Of course, this has to be coupled with extreme alertness and constant revving of your engine, because the point is to fly past the junction the minute the lights turn green, nevermind that you're in a car and not a jet. It wouldn't do for someone to be languidly looking at the blue sky while waiting for the lights to turn. It also wouldn't help the situation if someone actually had their gears at N instead of the ever-ready state of D, cos then that'll be a precious few seconds of your time wasted while the clearly-inept driver changes gears, when the light is green.

Cue honking and flashing of headlights. Again.

Advancing 3/4ths of an inch will buy you enough time to stop for a pastry on the way to the office.
Everyone knows breakfast is the most important meal, and we should all allocate enough time to have a healthy balanced meal to start the day. Maybe an icky tasteless muesli bar or some icky tasteless oatmeal, washed down by some orange juice or a glass of milk. Nasi Lemak and kopi kau is not a healthy balanced meal, but who gives a flying uh rat's ass.

Unfortunately, most of us set the alarm clock just early enough to give us enough time to wash, dress and grab whatever it is we need to grab (briefcase/handbag/files/folders/shoes/coins/overdue library books etc) before leaving the house. If you decide to open the fridge to grab a snack (assuming there is a snack in your fridge) on your way out, you will inevitably rue those 10 seconds or so you spent rummaging through the fridge when you're stuck in your daily jam, so why give yourself one more reason to hate yourself anyway? That's only going to end up with you having another one of those 'talks' with your therapist, and they charge by the hour.

Assuming you have to pass through 7 traffic lights on your way to work, 3/4ths x 7 = 21, and that's a whopping 5 inches. When you convert those inches to time, you can get anything between 2 seconds to 13 minutes, so let's go with a middle value and assume the answer is 6 minutes. That's more than enough time to stop at Meidi-Ya for a nice little cheese-filled pastry that's still warm from the oven.

Advancing 3/4ths of an inch will keep immoral queue-jumpers at bay
Vulture: A person of a rapacious, predatory, or profiteering nature.

Opportunists are going to take any opening they see and will attempt to shove their cars head-first into any open space that's more than 6 inches apart, so it's understandable that some drivers would want to hog every 3/4 inch of available space so that the vultures will have to wait for another victim, or better still, miss their turning. Unfortunately that never happens, so we'll just stick with the former.

Nowadays, lanes are sometimes separated by those nifty little orange rubber sticks that look like metal, but really aren't, so they trick people into thinking that their cars would be scratched beyond recognition should they ram through the sticks. City Hall finally got something right, w00tness.

To be honest, I have no idea why people like to stick so close to the tail of the car in front. I never move forward unless there space is enough to fit half of my car, but then I've noticed that my dad does it quite frequently. The day I decide that my life is not worth living anymore I'll ask him and hopefully he'll let me blog about it before he kills me.

The things I do in the name of blogging. ;)

P driver: young person whose license is on probation for 2 years until they get a REAL license. They are, alternatively, extremely clueless or extremely aggressive. Encounters always end with exasperation/frustration/curses on your part.

D: Drive

N: Neutral

So I can't drive a manual (stick shift) car, bite me. :p

Nasi Lemak: literally, fat rice. As I said, it's not a healthy balanced meal at all. Rice is mixed with coconut milk and boiled, and the condiments are usually sambal (spicy, oily stuff), crispy deep-fried anchovies, peanuts, a few slices of cucumber and half a hard-boiled egg. pic here.

Kopi kau: coffee, really strong. When done right (by old uncles in dirty singlets and boxers, in coffeeshops with mosaic tiled floors that're grimy and crusted with gunk), it puts espresso to shame.

Meidi-Ya: The best bakery ever.

Nasi lemak pics stolen from this site.

December 05, 2004

Untitled #1

They say first-time writers usually write about incest. Check. They say writers should always write about what they know. Check.

Now that I re-read this, I feel sorta embarassed especially at some of the words I used, but then again I'm high and it doesn't matter. Originally written somewhere in September/October of 2002 over the course of one night. Couldn't sleep :p First posted in BF on the day it was finished. Minor edits (grammar/spelling) performed but this will never be re-written again, because it's my baby and I love it the way it is. Posted for posterity.

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The sky was turning pink, with orange and purple hues on the sides of the canvas. The sun, a deep reddish orb, had completed its course for the day; it was now sinking, signaling the imminent darkness.

Stumbling through the doorway, I scraped my arm on the metal bolt. It didn't hurt. I touched the abrasion, smearing the dark red liquid that had begun oozing out. I needed a shower; the blood in my mouth was kick-starting my gag reflex. I never could stand the rusty iron-like flavour of my blood. As I made my way to the bathroom, I wondered if all humans tasted the same. I didn't know; I've never tasted another person's blood before.

Walking into the dingy room where I had spent the last six months, I slowly picked my way to the small, claustrophobic bathroom. Dizziness assaulted me in waves. I would be walking just fine, when suddenly the floor seemed to come up to my face. The feeling of my chest tightening returned, reminding me of when he had his hands wrapped around my neck, squeezing the air out of me. I shook my head, trying to get rid of the sensation, the memory.

I looked into the grimy mirror, caked with dirt on the sides, and a face stared back at me. Ignoring the permanent dark rings under my eyes, I saw that my left eye was swollen, purpling into an ugly bruise. A trickle of blood snaked its way slowly down from my nostril. My lip was bleeding from where it came into contact with my teeth. There were cuts on my cheek. I blinked. My neck was black-and-blue. I opened my hands and gripped my own throat lightly, the marks matching, to some extent; my hands were not as big as his.

A single tear rolled from my eye down my cheek. Bolstering myself, I closed my eyes and fought the urge to cry. I had been crying for no particular reason lately. I focused on the sink instead, on turning the faucet. There were suddenly two rusted iron spouts, double images telling me my dizziness had returned. I closed my eyes to steady myself. Water was gushing out from the faucet. I scooped up the water and splashed it on my face, feeling a sting as sharp as razor blades as the water hit my open wounds. Looking up, I stared at the mirror again, diluted blood dripping off the angle of my face. Water, blood and tears.

I pressed a finger pad softly against the pulpy bruise around my nose. My brain had captured every nuance of his beefy arm, balled into an angry fist, as it came into contact with my flesh. I heard a crack, I felt a crack. I could still feel his scent on me, his sticky essence, his weight, his grunts echoing in my mind. It reminded me of a time I had buried deep in my subconscious. Gripped by a sudden panic, I ripped off all my clothes violently and clawed wildly at the shower knob. Bills fluttered from the pocket of my dress and settled on the cold tiles; I ignored them. The full force of the icy water hit my body and I screamed aloud, recoiling from the blast.

Steeling my nerves, I forced myself to stand under the torrent of ice-cold water as it cascaded down my body, cleansing me. Fingers quivering, I reached for the bar of mushy soap to scrub myself, ignoring the sears of pain as water and detergent met raw flesh. I had to scour the remains of his filth off my body.

Shivering, partly from the icy coldness, I remember a day almost two years ago, when I had tried to clean the blood and mud off my soiled body. My fingers were numb then, they were numb now. I closed my eyes, willing my mind to forget it, to forget everything, but the feeling overwhelmed me, leaving me helpless.

It had been a beautiful day. The sky looked like it was painted by an ethereal hand, a beautiful blue that I still can't describe, dotted by clouds of white and silver candyfloss. The heavens beckoned invitingly, and I wanted to soar amongst the billowy clouds. It was a childhood dream, to lose myself amongst the fluffy cotton-candy amidst the backdrop of a blue sky and just fly away.

A wreath of daisies adorned my hair, as I hummed to myself and meandered around the grassy meadow, gathering flowers. I was aware of a shadow falling over me, and I was jerked bodily off the ground, a huge hand across my mouth, almost crushing my jaw in a bid to keep me from screaming. I struggled, but was no match for his brute strength. Helpless, the flowers I had gathered fell from my arms onto the green grass beneath my feet. I remember looking at them as I was dragged away, a forlorn posy of milky white.

As he pushed me down onto the ground, I knew what was going to happen. Scratching and clawing wildly, I managed to rake my nails across his face. The backhand dazed me. There was liquid in my mouth; the tangy rust telling me it was blood. I had probably bitten myself. My mind froze, and I stopped struggling. His rough and calloused hands caressed me, coarse fingers running through my long hair. I felt him press his lips against my neck, his bristly beard scratching my soft skin, and I fought a shudder of revulsion.

Eyes closed, I concentrated on the beautiful sky, on the pure white daisies with the golden hearts, and the silvery castle of clouds I would live in. The ground was soft and muddy; there was a hard lump near my backbone. 'It was probably a stone', I thought as a saw a small bird up in the sky. My sky. I closed my eyes, I didn't want to look anymore, and felt the buttons of my dress popping, his hands on me, on my bare skin. He was speaking, his warm breath grazing my face, yet still I kept my eyes shut, my ears closed, my hands clenched, my brain sealed. In comforting tones, I could hear him try to soothe me; all the while his hands were gradually getting rougher in their quest to relieve me of my clothes.

With a sickening rip, I heard my rest of my dress tear. I held back a sob. He was becoming increasingly impatient at my unwillingness to ease his progress. I thought about the wedding, 3 months ago. Mother was lovely; she wore a beautiful virginal white gown. He looked his usual self, dour, hard-faced and cheerless. I never liked him. My eyes flew open when I felt his coarse beard grate my face, his tongue pushing in my mouth. I saw the look on his face, the leer that would haunt me for months to come in my dreams whenever I managed to fall asleep. He left a trail of saliva and sneered, covering my mouth with his hand. Closing my eyes, I was tempted to bite him, to draw blood. Then he penetrated me.

My entire body spasmed. I tried to scream, it was painful, it was alien, his body jerking on top of me, moving against mine. Tears were escaping from the corners of my eyes, still squeezed tightly shut. Screaming silently for help, I blocked out the pain, his hand still over my mouth. My head was pounding. His body went still after a shudder, his grunts echoing in my brain.

When I opened my eyes, he was gone. I laid there looking at the sky for a very long time, numb. It was so, so beautiful, pristine and unspoiled. I remember making my way back to the house, into the bathroom. I remember the big mirror, reflecting light from an open window, and I remember the person who stared back at me. She was ugly, bruises on her face, bruises on her body. She was dirty, mud, blood and grit on her body. Her long hair was matted, daisy petals tangled in between strands of once-shiny hair now slick with muck. She looked so bleak. I remember feeling sorry for her.

My throat restricted, I gagged and felt a surge of hot, sour liquid welling up. Bent over the sink, I retched, tears mingling with the blood and vomit in my mouth. Sobbing, I dashed to the shower, turning it on at full blast. I had forgotten to switch on the heater, cold water streamed out of the showerhead. It didn't matter.

Water sluiced down my body, washing the mud from my hair and the blood from my face. I grabbed the soap and started scrubbing; I didn’t stop until my skin was raw and pink. The water soothed the soreness of my skin, and the pain abated after a while. I picked up the bar of soap and started scrubbing again, tears streaming down my face from the pain, both inside and out.

My eyes fell on a pair of scissors. I saw my hands, blue-veined and trembling from the cold, reach towards the gleaming steel blades. It felt heavy in my hands. Still staring at the mirror, I grabbed locks of my wet hair and started cutting, tufts of glossy blackness dropping onto the cold wet tiles. The feeling of the blades severing my hair felt good. Frenzied, I kept on going and didn't stop until I had sheared my head. With my hair gone, I placed the scissors carefully on the counter and looked in the mirror. A blanched face stared back at me, nose red and swollen from sniffling. I was mesmerised by the eyes, the dark rings around them made the eyes look bigger, and the tears cried made them more luminous.

By the time I got out of the bathroom, my skin was wrinkled and soggy, wet and sore. Standing in front of the open window, I felt a cool breeze chill my already cold skin. Looking out at the pale, incandescent moon glowing in the night sky, I cried. For my helplessness, for my weakness, my lost innocence.

Two months later I left home, vowing not to cry anymore, to be strong. I did nothing, told no one. And ended up here, still cold, still hurting, still in pain, still seeking salvation. Slumped naked on the frosty tiles of the tiny dirty bathroom, I felt subdued, bitter even.

Closing my eyes, I felt the tears come again; this time I didn't fight it.


Related links: Protect Yourself

Not that I'm assuming anyone is going to steal this, but in the event that you feel like it, please please drop me a line and ask, and I'll let you use it. Any other thing from this blog you can take, but this one is personal, ok?

In other news, I'm fine now. :)

December 03, 2004

Just another gay review

This contains spoilers, obviously.

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There've been a lot of bad reviews about Alexander, mostly centering on the Eew factor of watching grown men stare meaningfully into each other's eyes ala Sam and Frodo.

This movie starts with a death scene of Alexander (seriously, who would've thought otherwise?) followed by Anthony Hopkins in a garden-like library. At first I thought he was teaching a class, but then later found out that he was actually narrating the life story of Alexander to his scribes. Near the end of the movie it comes to me (finally) that the library is one of the Wonders of the World, but I forgot the name of it. :p

My main gripe is that with Alexander, they could've made it into a set of maybe 15 cassettes and nothing much would be lost in the transition. The point of making a movie that cost an excess of $100 million is to show the audience the story, not narrate virtually the whole damn thing.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usIf you want to narrate, that's fine. Films strong on narration have succeeded, but don't ignore one point: a strong and interesting script. (Dogma)

In continuance with the point above, Ptolemy's narration is too long and boring. The movie watches like a documentary, and if I wanted to watch a documentary I would turn on channel 50 and tune in to a more coherent version of Alexander's life and death.

One thing I can bet on, this movie isn't going to win any awards for editing, if any at all. Either the director didn't know how he wanted to tell the story, or the editing team was on Valium and no one bothered to check their work. The story seems to be erratically spliced together, with a completely jarring flashback episode that does absolutely nothing for the storyline at the time it was flashed.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usSome flashbacks explain the story so that you go "Aaah, that's why." That's a good flashback. Some flashbacks explain the story but then you go, "Man, that was stupid. Why didn't they tell me that earlier instead?" That's a bad flashback. Guess which one the Alexander's flashback falls under.

The movie focused too much on making Alexander look more like a man and less like a tyrant, to the extent that I don't get why he was called "The Great". Whenever people mention Alexander the Great, the first thing that pops into mind is that he is a great military leader and he was determined as heck. He used strategies that were spectacularly successful (in terms of achieving victory), and he was ruthless to the point that he thought nothing of dragging a live man tied behind a chariot round and round a town until he died. Just like Achilles, only more brutal.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usWhile not sanitising Alexander's sexuality, the director chose to sanitise his brutality. What gives? A great leader can never achieve great things without some measure of ruthlessness in him, and Alexander was perhaps the most ruthless of them all.

Just as well they chose to omit "The Great" and simply chose to call the film "Alexander".

Alexander the Kid was cute. Alexander the Grown Up sucks balls. Of all the people to play the role they had to pick Colin Farrell, the pretty boy who tries to pretend he's not a pretty boy by swearing a lot and sleeping with loads of women.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThe movie does not have many battle scenes, which is not necessarily a bad thing (Saving Private Ryan) but with a storyline geared towards the Great Man's personality, you definitely need a capable actor, at the very least. If you can't show determination and cunning through battle scenes, you need to find some other means to do it. If you can't portray how charismatic Alexander is to have inspired his men to march for 10 years, then the movie is lost, because you just can't understand why Alexander did what he did. Farrell is not a strong actor. He can play espionage agents and other 'cool' characters like that, but he cannot play Alexander.

Opposite of the word 'gripes':
It's tolerable (despite all the gripes above) if you don't go in expecting a movie like Troy. The movie's supposed to be a pretty accurate representation of Alexander's life, according to an Alexander-freak friend of mine.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usIt gives a different perspective on Alexander and shows us (or tries to) the motivation behind the man who managed to conquer half the world in around 10 years. He just wants to get away from his mother. *shrugs*

The main reason I went to watch the movie was because I read this post about the gayness of the movie and wanted to see if Hollywood dared to portray Alexander as the bisexual that he is. I also wanted to see if the director had glorified the sexual aspect as a gimmick, cos that's almost worst than whitewashing Achilles.

Fortunately, what I saw was a man who cares deeply about the people he loved, even though Roxane (Rosario Dawson) is a choice that seemed almost unbelievable, in a bad way. FYI, historically, Bagoas is a eunuch. Haphaestion, IMO a strong man for wishing Alexander gets a son on his wedding night. *tear*

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usFYI2, bisexuality as a term did not exist in the time of Alexander the Great. It was normal for men to have male lovers, usually younger though, and it was us straight people who were weird. Whenever passing judgements on a movie's portrayal of anything, please remember that context is an important concept to understand.

I complained about too much personality in the gripes section, but humanising Alexander is a pretty good thing to do cos it gives a different view of Alexander on top of the image I already had of him as a ruthless leader. If I didn't know jackshit about Alexander I would've complained more.

We also got to see the softer side of Alexander, in a sense that documentaries only told us "he took mercy on those who surrendered", but never said he allowed the Persian princess extensive freedoms after he conquered her father's lands. I have no idea how accurate that really is, but it's a pretty nice thing to do.

Finally, Cleitus. Who is hot.

Special section:
Image Hosted by ImageShack.usSpecial section dedicated to Angelina Jolie, the only ogle-able female and the best looking character in the entire movie. Of course, they compensated by making her freaky as heck. Olympias is sexy, but seriously weird. Notice how Jolie really shines when she's doing oddball roles? And I swear she got that campy accent from Kate Beckinsale in Van Helsing.

While the movie has strong Oedipal undercurrents that're pretty disturbing, Angelina Jolie makes it watchable. She looks like she's having fun in the movie, as opposed to Farrell's hangdog look.

Note: Picture captions from top to bottom: Alexander movie poster; Olympias and a young Alexander; Alexander at the Battle of Gaugamela; Alexander marrying Roxane; last battle scene in the movie (which shows Alexander to be a prety stupid leader); Haphaestion; Olympias, Philip and Alexander, the happy family; Angelina Jolie as Olympias.

Most pictures taken from this site.

December 02, 2004

How to Eat a Mangosteen

Yesterday, after a debilitating day in college, I came back home only to slump on the sofa like a backbone-less amoeba. After spending about half an hour staring into space while my brother performed calisthenics (he's trying to lose some weight) around me, I finally summoned enough energy to drag myself to the bathroom to wash my face.

I know, you're probably thinking, 'Gee Saff, a shower would be much better, don'cha think?'

Time for another juicy little tidbit about myself. I do not shower unless it's dark, or somewhere close to the hour when the sun sets. I don't know why, it's just a thing I like to do, like drowning kittens and posting soft porn pics.

Anyway, after washing my face, I suddenly had enough energy to feel reasonably responsive towards food, so I ambled into the kitchen and opened the fridge to find...2 dried lemons. They were fresh when I bought them. :p

Now I was hungry. It says something about the way my mind is wired, eh? I don't feel hungry unless there's no food. In the event of a war, I'll be the first to surrender. Just gimme food.

That's about enough off-topicness, I think. I looked around the kitchen and spotted some mangosteens my dad bought when he came home with durians 2 days ago. Mangosteens make my front teeth brown after eating about a kg of them, but heck, I'm at home and the only people who can see me are the ones who saw me when I was throwing up in the toilet, so all was good.

So, back to the topic.

Step 1: Get a big basin thingy and unload all the mangosteens from the orange plastic bag. Fill basin with water and wait for all manner of creepy crawlies to emerge from those innocent-looking mangosteens. If you're the type who gets antsy (heh) when dealing with insects, get someone to do this for you.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usStep 2: Empty basin containing carcasses of ants/grasshoppers/misc insects, and drain the fruits. Now, under running water, carefully remove the stem of the mangosteen and the poufy 'skirt' thing surrounding the stem.

Bear in mind that the people in white coats don't actually call it a 'skirt', but I'm not a fruitologist and it looks like a poufy skirt to me, so that's what it'll be called from here on. For educational purposes, I have included a simple colour-coded sketch for clarification purposes. Sorta like Eating Mangosteens for Dummies. The area you need to remove is green in colour.

If you think ants drown, think again. Some of these little buggers are hardy creatures and won't die unless you fire a torrent of water at the speed of one of those water guns at them. Luckily, ants are small, so water from the tap would have the velocity of a water gun.

Step 3: Jump around and fling arms wildly to get rid of any straggling ants crawling on various parts of your anatomy.

Step 4: Set fruits out to dry, or wipe them dry if you're impatient like me. Make sure your hands are dry too before you start peeling. I'm not fastidious, it's just that mangosteen pulp doesn't react well to water.

Step 5: Select a reasonably large mangosteen (about the size of your palm, unless you're like King Kong and have really big hands) and leave the rest of the tiny ones to your unsuspecting family members. Hey, it's every man for himself when it comes to mangosteens. If you're really desperate I suppose you could choose to eat the small ones as well, but they're really not worth the trouble.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usStep 6: Pretend you're begging for money. Instead of money, hold the mangosteen between your hands and place your thumbs on the opposite side of the side the rest of your fingers are touching.

Wow, I suck at descriptions. Pictures to the rescue! Unfortunately, I can't draw for shit either. :(

The orange things are where your thumbs are supposed to be placed. The rest of your hand is cradling the mangosteen. Since everyone really knows how to eat mangosteens, I'll just pretend my last 2 paragraphs made sense and move on.

Step 7: Apply a downward and outward pressure on your thumbs until the skin of the mangosteen begins to crack. Then lighten pressure so you don't completely crush the thing and waste a perfectly good, juicy mangosteen.

While tempted to eat the fruit directly from the pulpy purple layer, it's always better to remove the white flesh to check for signs of the icky yellow stuff that tastes really bitter, or bruises on the flesh itself.

You don't want to end up with a mouthful of bile, and mangosteens don't bruise.

Now that the lesson is done, what's a Saffron post without embarassing stuff? I once opened a mangosteen without washing it first, and ate the flesh directly from the pulpy purpleness. Not only did the fruit explode with legions of black ants, the flesh was brown, which I didn't see because I was too busy stuffing it into my mouth.

Sometimes over-excitedness doesn't pay off.