Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Blogging's taking a back seat.

Not that I have been blogging consistently lately, but school's getting quite hectic and I find myself with significantly lesser time to write proper blog posts. Apologies to people who come here expecting a good read, I really cannot find time to sit down and write long articles like I have done before.

I will officially put blogging on a lower priority, but I will try to keep it at least active, or somewhat updated. No promise of full-length writings though.

And oh, I have decided to stop replying to all tags on my tag board as well, simply because it looks quite dumb. I guess I will just drop by your blog and leave a reply if I need to. Tags and comments still welcomed, of course.

It's really quite depressing sometimes when you sit on the train and inspiration pops into your brain, and you start planning a blog post, only to return home reminded of the stack of tutorials and assignments waiting for you. It really kills any interest to blog, and any spare time. (Who ever said Uni students had spare time?)

To be honest, this is the first time in my entire life that I am genuinely working hard for school. No, I'm not saying I'm one of those dumb asses who fooled around and got straight A's back in earlier school days - I had my fair share of F's and E's and D's and... basically everything except A's, but this time, I really find that I am kind of stretching myself to the limit.

Discipline, some call it. Torture, that's what it is. Cone on, who on Earth deprives themselves of daily pleasures like chatting on MSN, Fackbook/Friendster/My Space -ing, or the occasional computer game, etc. (Oh wait, 'occasional' is a really relative term, like back in Secondary school, occasional was once a day, and frequent was twice - basically, play, dinner, play again, sleep.)

Oh look. I unknowingly created a rather long post. Hurray. Cheers. Whoopie.

And if I carry on like this, I will miss my last possible train. And just FYI, last train means I will arrive at lessons 5 minutes late.

No, just kidding. Off to school. Again.

Monday, April 28, 2008

1, 2, 3.

One whore, two whores, three horses.

Dang, I miss the old usual hangouts, I miss the cranky moments.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Basketball bloopers.

Came across this video on a visitor's blog. (Han Sheng)

It took me awhile to realize what actually happened. Oh well.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Election woes.

Now, I'm not a big fan of the US electons and whatever, and neither do I have a preferred candidate. Here's a little quote I came across today.

"The problem with being Democrat is that if you vote for Obama, you're sexist. And if you vote for Hilary, you're racist. Its easy being a Republican. No matter what you're retarded."


Two months.

It's two months since I have arrived for studies, and it has been quite an experience. School here's not as easy as I'd expect it to be, but I'm doing better than I expected myself to. Of cource, this won't mean that I'm going to lose steam anytime soon. It's a promise I made, and it's one I will keep.

It's another two months plus before I'm flying back home for the semester break. Really can't wait to get home as well. Dying to meet up with everyone back home as well.

Alright, done with the quick updates, going back to some work now.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Reflections of a flame.

As the fires burn out, it sits, crackling. The self, it sits quietly beside. A reflection, perhaps, of what was. And as it stares silently, a trickle forms, leading down to the burnt ground.


What unnecessary actions, what stupidity. Once it started, stepping back against a wall helps no more than to shield the face with his hands. Flesh, it burns the same in the flame, to a sizzling sound that remains, much like a ringing sound trapped in the ears after silence falls. Silence - filled with eeriness, with pain, with guilt, with disappointment, with hurt. With tears.

And it seems impossible to speak out anymore. One wrong tips more fuel, resulting in another all-too-familiar recurrence. What then? The self realizes: he can only offer his hands, at least while he can still use them, till consumed.

As the self sits and stares, the fire waits, expecting more fuel, expecting more flesh. Till death, till nothing to burn exists. And it shall crackle on till it burns itself out.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Squish the litter bugs.

Singapore has always been a joke for being a 'fine city'. Ask any Singaporean citizen and they can probably wax lyrical about the countless ways to get a chance to make a contribution to government fund.

I used to think that it was absurd to have to slap a fine on someone for eating on the bus and trains, for parking by the roadside without valid reasons, for not giving way to the fire truck, for not wearing a seat belt, for cluttering the corridor with rubbish, or dropping a piece of tissue on the road. It seemed to me that the measures to discourage such actions would lead to people becoming too reliant such that they eventually become morally weak and unable to make sensible decisions once these regulations are removed. Not that they ever would be, but I tend to belief that moral education was more important than just by fines itself.

Seeing how things are over here, I am starting to believe that some people just need the fine to keep their tissue and wrappers to themselves. I find it absolutely disgusting and disturbing at how some people can leave their waste on the trains without even feeling bad for dirtying the trains.

I was on the train to school two days ago when I witnessed how one guy bent down after finishing his breakfast, left the wrapper on the ground, then sat upright again, as if nothing has happened. He was sitting just a row away from the "No Food/Drinks Allowed... No Littering... Please keep the trains and stations clean." sign, but he could not even bother to keep to simple instructions. And to add to that, he tried to use his legs to slowly kick the wrapper under the opposite seat, like how a child would attempt to hide sweets in his hands behind his back when caught by momma. When he realized I was watching him hide his little wrapper, he pulled his leg back, looked up and put on a really innocent face.

Innocent. I'd love to pinch those cheeks. And bloody rip them off.

Looking at how dirty the trains can get, and how much graffiti there is all over the train walls, I cannot comprehend why no action is taken at all to stop such nonsense. Similarly, I cannot understand why people cannot simply do some good and drop their waste into a bin, rather than the train floor. It's not as if they would need to take a detour, the bin would be right within range while walking out of the train to the escalator. Maybe having live in a 'fine city' for some time, it's become second nature to realize how inconsiderate it would be to chuck your trash just anywhere. Maybe the fines did somehow help educate, rather than act as a pure deterrent, and helps cultivate good habits.

Maybe the fines here don't hurt people enough, or are too light to be taken seriously. Alternative solution? I guess it'll be perfect to go over and say "Excuse me sir, I believe you accidentally dropped your breakfast wrapper after consuming your food on the train." Maybe I will do so next time and I would probably even pick it up and hand it over to him. And also, make sure that everyone around him realizes what just happened.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance: Australia.

Tomorrow night's the grand finals for So You Think You Can Dance: Australia. Can't wait.

Anyways, here are two of the dances I quite enjoyed in the earlier rounds.

Coffee-loving fly.

If you are a die-hard coffee-lover, read on. Even if you aren't one, just read on as well.

While having my usual cuppa outside the law building this afternoon, I pondered over my spending habits since I arrived here in Australia. While it is highly indubitable that I have cut down on unnecessary expenses that I would otherwise have deemed as ‘usual expenses’ back home, I am still quite embarrassed at some of my spending habits. Ironically, the problem was lying right in my hands – yes, that cappuccino I am usually unable to resist whenever I pass by any coffee joint. The only consolation I get out of this is that at least I have stopped being a Starbucks freak, and my $7.50-a-cup Java Chip Frappaccino is now replaced with a somewhat cheaper hot cappuccino.

What I thought about made me realize that it sometimes isn’t exactly about the huge dollars you spend, it’s the teeny weenie bits here and there, and it usually takes some time before you realize that these little bits contribute to a really huge hole in your pocket (something like a huge ozone problem); yes it took me a couple (okay, a lot more) of drinks to realize how much I have wasted.

Next time you step into any coffee joint, realize how intelligently these people are at setting traps for consumers (read: dumbasses) like us to, uhm, step into. The usual pricing you’d see is say, $3.10 for a small, $3.70 for a medium, and $4.20 for a large. Notice how the price changes? And I think this is one of those sticky-papers that dumb flies like me land right on. You step in, looking at a small cup and go, “Ahh, I’ll go medium.” Then, what you do next is ‘subconsciously’ compare the price of the large, and go “Hey! It’s only 50c more, why not?”

Yeah, really! Why not? Why not smack yourself in the face, you dumb fly.

It’s like saying “I’m going to pay 60c more anyways, so why not top another 50c!” Stupid as it sounds, I always end up ‘accidentally’ fall for this. The only consolation I can get from this is that it’s accidental, not that I’m absolutely dumb to realize that spending an extra 50c is in fact, spending an extra 50c, not “getting a better deal.”

If you do the math, (yeah look, a dumb fly about to talk about math here) you find that if you did yourself - and your pocket - a favor by not going large and saving yourself the 50c, or even better, $1.10 by going small, you kind of save yourself an entire cup of coffee by the 5th or even 3rd drink.

This beats those stupid cards that go “Enjoy 10 nice warm coffees and get your next one absolutely FREE!” which I once again, being a dumb fly, fall for without any hoaxing from the staff at the coffee joint. Then again, that’s another story altogether, because dumb flies cannot process too much information within a blog post or their puny-but-mathematically-inclined brains might go ‘pop’.

Buzz off.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Mere existence.

There is this feeling in me I dread, that I might not be as comfortable here as I thought I was. It is as if I feel a barrier of sorts, not the physical ceiling I stare at every night, but a weird distance I cannot put my finger to.

There is a vast difference between living in the same house and existing under the same roof, and that difference can be what makes a home a home, rather than an occupied house. It is the source of happiness (and unhappiness if lacking) to it's occupants, and that happiness brings with it great comfort and warmth in the house.

I have said too many times how 'harmony' and 'tolerance' are two totally different things, and I am now experiencing (at least I think I am) that difference at first hand. I have been pondering over this for some time already, almost half a month, but I still cannot find the key to that irrtating barrier. No, it is not absolute, and it does not hinder my life in anyway (yet), but I believe that this can only bring no good in the distant future.

My only guess now is that language does makes a difference. It is not that I am unable to use another mode of communication, and neither is it that the others cannot do so in return - in fact, I am confident everyone involved can communicate efficiently in both forms, but I guess we somehow feel uneasy doing so. Ironically, I used to do so when I was 'at work', and perhaps that side of me was meant to be left in places as undesirable as those, not to be brought into my life at home. Unfortunately, it seems that the circumstances have changed, and I might need to adopt that same 'working style' of communication, albeit with some minor adjustments to the actual words used to be slightly more family-oriented/friendly.

Worst case scenario? If it really does not work out, then I guess it just shows that we have all changed pretty much since we last knew each other, and maybe some distance would be natural. And if it means that I am to leave, then so be it. I don't feel bitter or anything at all, but if things really aren't improving, I do not see a point in any of this. Not at all. For now, we'll see how it goes. I just hope I have been a little too sensitive at times, and that I misread some of the intentions.

I hope I am right about the last bit.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Staying in sanity.

"I am so relieved to be back. God, I missed you guys all so damn much. It is as if we had been away forever."

"Oh yeah? that's really cool! Really missed out on so much while I was away yeah? It's been 3 months and you guys have changed so much! Haha. That's really great for all of you and I'm really happy for you guys."

"F**k! Hell no, haha! Really? Haha, you just gotta be kidding!"

"And finally, dinner again with all of you. Waited so damn long for this!"

And I woke up, in bed. In Australia.

At least dreams do bring relief - even if just for that fleeting moment of subconsciusness; and a lucid surreality that somehow seemed flawlessly genuine, even if it means that I was basically talking to myself - ironically to keep myself sane.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Movie: Horton Hears A Who!

"All right, I gotta get this speck up to the top of Mount Nool A.S.A.P, whatever that means, probably act swiftly awesome packaderm! I mean, how hard can that be?" - Horton in Horton Hears A Who!
I was watching Oprah about two weeks ago when she interviewed Jim Carey and did a quick introduction to Dr Seuss' Horton Hears A Who! That kind of prompted me to go catch it in the cinema, and I did so a couple of days back.

Yes, it's another Dr Seuss thing, one you'd expect to be for children only. I'm pretty sure you must have at least read one of the Dr Seuss stories, or even watched one of the films. (The Cat In The Hat [2003], How The Grinch Stole Christmas [2000]. I must admit that I have never appreciated any of the Seuss thing, but I would say that Horton is somewhat different - at least he does not go on a Grinch-spree. But having said these, I still found Horton a tad boring, even if the story made more sense than the Grinch. (Sorry I keep picking on the green creature, but that movie was as good as his green, hairy looks.)

Horton the elephant, voiced by Jim Carey, chances upon an entire civilization of Whos living in Whoville (Please pardon the names, it's a Seuss thing.) which happens to exist on a tiny speck in Horton's world, and is on the brink of destruction. Horton the forest teacher believes that "a person is a person, no matter how small," and embarks on a quest to return the speck to a sheltered spot. Things are made difficult by Kangaroo, voiced by Carol Burnett, who decides to teach Horton a lesson for 'polluting' the young minds by speaking of the existence of things that cannot be 'seen, heard, or felt'.

You might find some familiar concepts in the movie pertaining to religion, philosophy, or even politics. But please, try to keep the intellect in you under control and try to enjoy the movie. Quite a number of detailed humour from the choice of words, so try not to think of Big Brother or anything that might just make Horton turn into an old fogey with thick black spectacles sanding in front of the blackboard.

This animated film is somewhat funny, with a dose of Seuss-y rhymes in the narration, and topped with great visuals. Of course, having both Jim Carrey and Steve Carell doing voice-overs for two cooperating characters already seems funny, after seeing them at loggerheads in Bruce Almighty. (Yes, it's Steve Carell as Evan Baxter.) I wouldn't give it 10 or 5, whichever rating you might be familiar with, but I guess it's still okay if you had no other movie on your 'To Die For" list, even if it does not quite belong to that list.

And oh, the mayor of Whoville (voiced by Steve Carell) happens to have one son and 96 daughters. And that one son JoJo would be your chance to listen to Jesse McCartney's voice, even if it were only for a couple of minutes. Not a very convincing reason to head to the box office.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Simple math for the student.

I love my student portal. I love logging on, simply because there are always new discoveries awaiting. New things to excite and surprise you like new assignments, tutorials, and lecture notes to print and read beforehand.

I love school.

Let X be the number of assignments, Y be the number of tutorials, and Z be the number of lectures to prepare for.

As X,Y,Z tends to infinity, my patience tends to 0 and I my mood tends to negative infinity.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

To say or not to say - that is the question.

Do you often find yourself caught in a situation where you do not know what you ought to say? Should you say things to please someone, or should you say things you truly mean?

It makes perfect sense that you should say things that you mean, especially to a partner or loved one if your life, and where honesty is of utmost, or almost absolute, importance. You don't want to end up having to lie to each other about your true feelings and let it add up till it culminates in the collapse of your relationship.

Then again, it also makes sense to say what the other party to hear so that you can avoid ugly confrontations of any sort. I guess we can agree that doing so can help prevent arguments that may jeopardize your future relationship.

Okay, so we accept that both advice makes sense, and to add to that, we can even say that we ought to choose between both, depending on the situation we are in. But realise that by doing so, we are back to square one, not knowing what to do.

So then, what exactly should we really do? The only thing I can think of is to really do what you want to do. Not in the "I do it my way" attitude, but to do things according to how you would want things to turn out. Yes, it may be hard to predict how people would react especially in very tense situations, but I believe this is a skill that we all ought to learn, something that would come in handy. And with some basic idea of what kind of reactions to expect, you can choose the appropriate words you would want to use.

I may start to sound like some bullshit-er or some hypocrite, but let's face it, when you are caught in a big quarrel with someone you truly care about, why risk losing everything just so that you can 'remain truthful and honest'? Why can't you simply say something nice, or just shut up if you have nothing to say?

Unless of course you let your emotions get the better of you, and in a fit of anger or utter irrationality, yell out the dumbest things in your life, before coming up with the greatest excuse of 'being honest'. Perhaps that might be true, but that's a whole separate issue altogether.

Monday, April 7, 2008

AKA returns with episode 3.

Unfortunately, we have come to the third episode of AKA. I honestly thought there would be no more episodes after the first two, but due to overwhelming response (ya, right) we have produced another show to add to the series.

Just pray that there is no need to a season two.

Anyway, here goes:

1. Download lasagne recipe and get ingredients.
2. End the top layer with pasta sheet, then realise that there is not enough sauce and cheese.
3. Spread all the cheese left as much as possible.
4. Watch in horror as the pasta sheet folds upwards and turns into coal.
5. Throw away top layer of 'pasta biscuits' and eat whatever is left.

Yup, another disaster. Kitchen nightmares eh?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Left right left.

If what's left in my life isn't right, and all the right's nothing left, am I right to say that nothing right is left and I'm left with nothing right?

Proof that what Adrian's bored, he plays around with stupid cliches that 16-year olds would find absolutely amazing.

F**k me, screwing around with stupid logic and nonsensical stuff when I have 4 tutorials to prepare for.

Gordon Ramsay's language shall from now on live within me. (F**k me.)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Kitchen Nightmares addiction.

I've been watching Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmare these few days, and I'm currently waiting for next week's episode.

Gosh, I wonder why I was never addicted to the TV back in Singapore. Perhaps it's just that the programmes back home really suck.

"***k me." - Gordon Ramsay

Vulgar? Yes. Funny? Absolutely. Interesting? Definitely.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Freak weather.

Remember I mentioned the strong winds yesterday? Remember that I was thankful that there was no rain?

As I left the library, the rain came. A huge storm, of course, and one poor chap waiting at the tram stop was fighting the wind and rain with his pathetic umbrella. I felt quite sorry for him, but I really couldn't help but laugh when he started crying out for his umbrella in Mandarin. Made-in-China wielding a made-in-China fighting a thunder storm. Utter joke.

When I finally got down to the central station, I found out that the train service to my place got disrupted. Wait, not just my line, but a couple more. All thanks to the severe weather. We tried the 'alternative transport' provided, which required that we take a train to another stop before boarding a bus to get us back to our station. So we crammed into the train with plenty more people who were forced to take the same route.

I stepped out of the train at the station, and I thought I saw what looked like a food rationing queue. It looked like there were hundreds of people queueing to get their daily serve of bread. Crap. And according to one lady in the queue, she'd been there for 2 hours. No way would I ever wait 2 hours for a bus. Some alternative transport by the train operator. I stole a shot from outside the station.

Stranded and lost.
Knowing that there was no way the 3 of us could wait in the rain, we decided to head back to the city. Sitting in the train and staring out into the streets, I saw nothing but a black sky, shaded with a yellowish brown as the sun started to set. The streets were dark and quiet, and it looked exactly like a scene from some end-of-the-world-esque movie. Think 'I am Legend' in the evening, along with the zombies waiting to come out to play, and you'd probably get a rather accurate picture of ho eerie it was.

So my cousins and I ended up travelling back to the city and hanging out at a friend's place and going for cakes before our friend drove us home. Finally got home at 11.

Wait, that's not the end. As we approached the street, we noticed that everything was pitch dark. Great, a blackout to end the day. After being drenched and being stranded, we return home to a dark and cold house. All we had were 10 birthday candles, 3 each to bring into our on rooms - thank you to whoever left those behind.

That definitely was belated April Fool's. And thankfully the lights came back at 12.30am. The zombies we kept off. Phew.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Blow wind blow.

I was walking down the street when the wind hit me. Yes, hit me. I swear I saw the old lady across the street clinging onto the steet lamp for her life. Maybe not that bad, but she really looked like she could fly if she had chosen to let go.

Even as I sit in the library, I can hear the trees outside, and the occasional scream from the bunch of girls crossing the street, not expecting anything like that. Afterall, it really looks rather calm and peaceful outside, just that the gusts come from nowhere and fade off a second later.

Crap, even my window's creaking as if the wind's about to suck it out into the city and onto some pitiful passerby. Freaky weather.

Well, I'm still glad it didn't rain today. Cannot imagine heavy winds with rain. Wild wild wet. And oh, there's an awfully irritating whistling sound coming from somewhere near my table by the window. I susepect there is a little hole of some sort somewhere and the strong wind's making that stupid whistling sound in this quiet library where even my typing on the soft keyboard can be heard from 20 table away.

Makes me want to smash that wretched window. And send it raining down on some pitiful passerby.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Free movie, iPod, and more money!

It must be my lucky day.

I started off the day by picking up a whole hundred bucks at my doorstep. I don't know who it belongs to, but I guess I'll just keep it for now. It flew right onto my doorstep. Maybe Santa came early.

While in school, there was a lucky draw for students in school, and my student number was on the list. Lucky me won the 2nd prize - a brand new 16GB iPod touch! Unbelievable.

And guess what? I got an email today from the cinema operator here saying that I am won myself 2 free movie tickets for taking part in a survey online! New movies coming up too!

Now, I got a free movie, a totally cool gadget, and a whole hundred bucks to spare.

Happy April Fool's.

Ironically, I was late for school today because I missed my train and the tram got delayed and its service ended a block away from school. I guess the joke was on me instead.