Saturday, May 27, 2006

Dear Blue Fairy

This is not a plea for any wish to come true...

Instead, I just finished watching A.I. on TV3 (Gasp! I actually don't care for this station eversince they decided that their station is the best, but Friday nights I ignore the fact and try to catch movies that were in the theatres years ago) and could not sleep.

It's been awhile since anything related to science fiction caught my attention (must have been the attempt to read the complete and unabridged version of war of the worlds by H.G Wells which was packed with so many technical words that I spent more time looking up the words in the dictionary instead of reading the actual book. That was 10 years ago. Or more. But 10 is a nice number. If I said 12 years, it would seem odd somehow. So 10 it shall be.)

I suppose the movie dealt much more with the human emotions aspect compared to the sci-fi part, which made it appealing. It was also slightly sickening to note that the humans behaviour towards the robots (or mecha as they call them - which made me smile as the spelling is similar to macha, a word i used to hear quite often some time back :) ) was appaling. Are we really that bad? Do we really destroy those that seem to intimidate us (even psychologically?). Not for the first time though, I was against the humans on this one... (we all subconsciously take sides when we have to!)

For years in the trenches of the ocean, sitting in a futuristic submarine, pinned by a fallen ferris wheel, the mecha programmed to have feelings begs the blue fairy to make him into a real boy, again and again, until ice suurounds them... 2000 years later, he still sets his goal on that 1 thing. To be a real boy so that he would be loved by his mom.

I wonder if any of us have the determination to pursue our dreams and aspirations? Would the world be a better place then?

Anyways, when the station had a break for it's 12 o'clock news, I had the chance to listen to a what i'd call an interesting song - lyrically

I wish I was a punk rocker by Shadi Thom

Chorus
Oh I wish I was a punk rocker
with flowers in my hair
In 77 and 69 revolution was in the air
I was born too late to a world that doesn’t care
Oh I wish I was a punk rocker
with flowers in my hair
When the head of state didn’t play guitar,
Not everybody drove a car,
When music really mattered and radio was king,
When accountants didn’t have control
And the media couldn’t buy your soul
And computers were still scary
and we didn’t know everything

Chorus

When popstars still remained a myth
And ignorance could still be bliss
And when God Save the Queen
she turned a whiter shade of pale

When my mom and dad were in their teen
and anarchy was still a dream
and the only way to stay in touch was a letter in the mail

Chorus

When record shops were on top
and vinyl was all that they stocked
and the super info highway was still drifting out in space
kids were wearing hand me downs,
and playing games meant kick arounds
and footballers still had long hair and dirt across their face

Chorus
I was born too late to a world that doesn’t care
Oh I wish I was a punk rocker with flowers in my hair

Thursday, May 25, 2006

YM, chatrooms, and organic chemistry

You tend to do things you don't usually do when you're bored. take for instance this incident ages ago, so long ago that I can't remember if it happened in 2004 or 2005.

I was online, and was logged on to YM, among other things. Emails were read and replied, and so on. The music playing in the background began to bore me, but I still wanted to hang around.
I ended up in the music chat channel. Rock: i think. I don't usually chat on chat channels, because they have not always turned out to be great experiences.

For instance, this one time many yonks ago, after a torturous organic chemistry paper my friends and I decided to go chatting - you know, to release nerves and to celebrate the so called end of a horrible subject. I ended up in a chatroom with a whole lot of people I couldn't relate to... It ended up that there was this only one person whom I did end up chatting with, and it was none other than my roomate. (we didn't use proper nicknames and were signed in as guests). The ridiculosity of it all heightened when we started chatting about the guy with nice eyes who was in the same CC as us.

I wonder if the roomate remembers this incident, but she hasn't logged on for ages so she most probably will be spared from the memory!

Anyway, back to the rock channel; I was there for like less than a minute when I was suddenly bombarded by questions, and thank goodness it didn't really start with that whole asl business. Anyway,one of them was this person from south africa who had dreams of being a football player, but was somehow tersesat in the rock chatroom.

Yeah, so this person apparently saw me online the other day (when I was sound asleep, but another friend did mention that I was on YM at 1 am. On a worknight? That's suicide... now that the insomnia is kinda over and I'm in the sleep replacement mode) and started asking all sorts of questions which i received in a daze the next morning.

How did the person save my YM ID? I must have somehow approved it at some point in life... damn!

From now onwards, if I'm bored, i'll stay bored, thank you very much, or resort to humiliating myself on my blog with stories like this... :)

Saturday, May 20, 2006

And then I woke up...

Another dream that left me shaken...

It was another normal day, in any other normal sense... except that my workplace was having a 'family day' where family members were allowed into the workplace (hahahahaha big joke!)

The place was almost deserted except for a few of us who happened to have some work to do, and those of us who lived pretty nearby. The family members were waiting at the office and I recall being a bit annoyed at this person who was occupying my seat and doodling on my desk...
My sister and parents were near the back door of the office talking with some people whom i didn't recognise, and some songs were playing in the background.

As I was heading towards the front door, I saw a familiar face... it was my grandpa (who had passed away about 10 years ago!) He kinda said hello and i pulled a seat and chatted with him as I hadn't seen him in ages... we were talking about things in general when te song in the background became slightly more audible... they were playing The who's Baba o'reilly, one of my current favourite songs...

And grandpa was quite surprised...

Grandpa: That song... from the 70's... It used to be played for this show...
(it's currently the theme for CSI NY)
Me: In the 70's... I don't know...
(I didn't think he'd know CSI NY)
Grandpa: Great song, great show... Those were the times
Me: (Out of the blue) Everything is censored nowdays!!! But I didn't know you like the song too...
Grandpa: Can I have some of that? (Referring to a drink I was holding)

I handed it over to him, but he was strugglling withe straw. It was then I realised how old he was, and how fragile. I adjusted the straw for him... tears beginning to well in my eyes.

The alarm rang. I had to get up. Clearly disturbed.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Relaxation gone wrong

My friends and I had this conversation about colour coded caps 1 day less than a month ago.
There are 3 people. One is a white cap. One is a blue cap (almost purple, so she says) and one is a red cap (with danger written on it, she claims)


Anyway, the day of pure relaxation and bliss was about to happen for these three... on a yatch ride named Relax... (the ride, not the boat... will any of the three please stand up and help me with the name of the boat?).


It had the promisings of a great day, you know... the soft morning sunlight (albeit a little bit cloudy) & a nice hearty breakfast. The only thing they didn't do was to sing any happy journey type songs (most probably they didn't know any, and they were not exactly morning people)

What would you do if you were stuck in the middle of the ocean (a rough one at that) and had nowhere to go... It's raining, you're feeling icky although you've downed the so called sea sickness prevention tablet (that stuff does NOT work), you can't bear to look at the ocean, sitting is nauseating, standing up is even worse.. you lose your beloved hat... (fly away, hat, leave your best friend alone. May your new owner be a happy dolphin swimming in the ocean).

Some people have never felt gladder seeing land that day... but they only stepped on it like about 6 or 7 hours later.

Violent Earth...

A long and winding road drive later, we were headed towards Mt Batur, the volcano which is still active... apparently, at one time when it erupted, the whole island was blanketed in darkness for a day!

The weather from hot and sunny turned to rainy and slightly chilly. I suppose if we weren't so excited as we were the change of weather would have been rather depressing. I initially thought that we were going to hike up the mountain (yeah, right!), and was wondering as to how we were going to pull that off in the middle of the afternoon. Thankfully, all we needed was a drive to the side of the mountain to one of the many restaurants there for lunch (Ha! Ha!) and a view of the mountains...
Sometimes, words cannot describe how you feel about some things... This was one of those occasions where I think it's best to be left as it is...

We continued our journey back to Ubud by passing some of the more beautiful areas... Had a small stop at the coffe and herb plantation... It was still slightly drizzly and the ground was squishy, a sampling of hot, black coffee and some herbal tea was rather refreshing. On the journey back, we saw rice terraces and coconut trees.

Activities for the day sort of ended with a visit to the spa after our long drive back... it was refreshing yet slightly errr embarassing? We headed back to our rooms sans dinner, and after settling everything, it was still quite early to call it a day...

We kind of sat out on the bench outside our room, snacking on twiggies, mars and something else I can't remember... ( a few of the last things we purchased in Malaysia) while chatting in the silence of the night, occasionally broken by the sounds of nocturnal creatures... it was a really nice feeling doing that, and tomorrow is gonna be a long day

Saturday, May 13, 2006

The Mad rush

After a somewhat laidback day on the first day, day 2 seemed to be a considerable rush... images from the Amazing Race once again comes to mind. The positive thing out of it was that none of us would be eliminated. (Sounds scary, but who cares?)
The day started pretty early (for people who are actually on a holiday)... Before anything started, though, we had to first reattain our 'millionaire' status... hehehe only to return to normal, non-millionaire status at the end of the day. Fair enough!
The batik place, aka Galuh was our first destination. Obviously, batik and all sorts of sarongs and clothes were sold here. It was evidently a tourist destination judginom the number of tour busses (or bis pariwisata) around. An attempt to get hold of a ready made local costume was unsuccessful... there goes my chance of getting another piece of garment that will most probably never see daylight (or moonlight, for that matter).
An hour later saw us at the silver place (or celuk)... I hope I got that right (2 weeks is a long time to remember details of this sort). Between browsing, and bargaining... browsing and buying... have to give credit to ES for her skillful negotiation skills. Kudos, girl!
Next we headed towards the art gallery which sold mastepieces from a renowned artist (or was it renowned artists?). The 3 of us immediately fell in love with this particular piece of the goddess of education... man, it was gorgeous! Besides that there were abstracts, and sceneries and stuff... Apparently the artist(s) has an affinity towards nudity among others.
Tired and hungry, we trudged over to the next spot without much enthusiasm... the wood carving place. Despite the fact that the carvings were magnificent in thir own right, it only took us a lil' while to browse around and exit the place without even showing much interest.
Me thinks I have muddled up the arrangement of the visits... but yeah, I suppose it doesn't really matter, because, well, it's not really important (except, that our hunger pangs should be justified... but then again, nevermind)
Yeah, we also saw the first temple on this day... known locally as 'pura'. What was interesting, is that this place was first built in 944... a historical monument. Although the facade is kinda new, the original architecture is still maintained in the temple itself, and not stashed off in some swanky new museum (in other words, we got to see it... which for me, is quite a good thing, as I recall wanting to be an archeologist a long time ago). We had to wear this piece of cloth tied around the waist (a sarong) upon entering the temple. This is for keeping temptation at bay :)
A set of stairs, a holy tree, a cave, and a water structure is what Goa gajah is about. According to our very informative guide, the cave used to be a meditation place, but not anymore due to the tourists who throng th area (us included!). Yeah, we definately were starving by this time, but we managed to stay upbeat and enjoy the visit. And we also took some young coconut water (not iced, though...). I was amazed that I actually enjoyed it as I had sworn never to touch young coconut water ever again after being force fed with it during the chicken pox days... I guess, when you're hungry (or thirsty) anything goes...
To be continued :)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Stuff....



On the left of this page is my Happiness graph. I created it this morning after I realised that life is cruel... (well, this was one of those many mornings, woke up, everything was blur, had to gulp down coffee to keep awake, while dreaming of caramel frappucino)

What has it got to do with anything? you may ask. The answer is, a lot. (all the disgruntled people out there can definately relate to this)

If you notice the graph tendency, you can see that the happiness factors decreases with time. It always does no matter who you are. If you're normal, it shall not dip below the point of better off dead, because then, you really really need some help before it's too late. And if you're lucky (which happens to even the most unlucky of us occasionally) then the graph moves up again, until the happiness all fades away into an ugly plateau, or dips below to levels that may endanger health.

In the third week of April I was at my happiest. Things were going great, I was on a short vacation, etc.

See, happiness cannot last, as soon as you begin to believe that life is not too bad after all, bad things begin to happen. Trust me, they really do!

Here's the story. Not too long ago, I finally got broadband at home, which meant that my internet surfing experience would improve by like say, a thousandfold? I could listen to music as I blog, or chat on Yahoo! messenger without having to type only 1 sentence per minute or else the whole system hangs, etc.

Anyway, after I reached the optimum level of happiness, my sound card and graphics card decided to torture me, and so they did. Although I have now solved the graphics card problem (Note: Am not a computer expert), but the stubborn sound card refuses to budge from the stand it has taken, and I am therefore musically deprived...

Monday, May 08, 2006

Update!!!!

Ha! Ha! Ha!

I finally caught the movie "bug" on tv on Saturday...

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Day 2

EVEN THE BEST LAID OUT PLANS CAN….

Watching dolphins swim at an unearthly hour… snorkelling in the deep blue… delusions of a tourist! As my friend said, ‘our visit to an island is not complete if we don’t go to the ocean!’ True, very true….

Instead we spent the day totally on dry land.

(Aside: I know what I’m writing here has got nothing to do with the Bali trip, but for now, my brain refuses to do justice to the trip. i.e. I have the points but the flow of words are just not right. (even this sentence and the stuff I wrote for Day 1 seems so crappy). I suspect it’s due to someone’s blog I stumbled across (I didn’t really stumble upon it by accident, though, I searched for it – my fault!… grapevine is, the blog’s pretty big, and famous and stuff), truthfully, I don’t get what the hype is about, it’s disgustingly self centred and rather mean, but it seems to have disabled me from going with the flow as I usually do. It’s seriously a terrible thing as I found the trip to be tremendously exciting, and I don’t want the memory of it to be written in a slip shod manner!)

I guess this post ends here, for now. I need to cleanse myself! I need to read some intelligent stuff….

Friday, May 05, 2006

DAY 1

Ahhh… No introduction…(refer to airport drama) That is so unlike me. But I couldn’t help it, the ideas were literally popping out of my head, forcing me to succumb to pressure and write, not that I didn’t want to, but thanks to the days off that I took, workload has increased : ( and of course there was (still is) a Japanese test that I’m supposed to study for.

Well, truth is I had a short but happy break in Bali, about 2 weeks ago… (that long already??!!) so, the airport drama post and the following few have all got to do with the trip (for posterity… and I suppose and just for the fun of it).

AIRPLANES, ARCHITECTURE AND ????

The flight… seated in a row… thanks to good negotiation skills by friend : ) View from the plane: c’est magnifique! Ha! Ha! Now I know that clouds cast shadows that can be seen on land (or sea for that matter). Looking back though, all I can say is “duoh!” Why else is it shady when there are clouds in the sky? This goes to show that a high level of excitement denies a person from thinking logically!

Back on solid land. As soon as the immigration necessities were fulfilled, we were met by our guide, walking out of the building you could feel the heat concentrating all it’s energy on you, but it’s common knowledge that things like that are too trivial to keep you from being excited. We also unfortunately received news that our friend with the passport problem was unable to settle her matters… and that she would not be joining us there.

A gargantuan carving, made of stone decorated the roundabout near the airport, and almost every other roundabouts in Bali. I have seen a tiny, almost non-existent roundabout before, and now I’ve seen one with gorgeous decorations. Life is finally complete!

A long drive and many roads later, we reached our hotel… seriously the place looked like a nature reserve cum art gallery, with all the greenery, and such, and our room was a quaint little cottage which overlooked a valley. Bella!!!

Hungry people. Note that touch down time was at 1:55 pm, + extra walking time and long drive. Way past lunch time… Hungry people needed fuel to get through with the rest of the day, so we head off in the hotel shuttle bus (more of a van, really) and get off at a local eatery offering their famous dish. Babi Guling.

Honestly, we were flabbergasted to see a (roasted?) pig happily sitting at the entrance; most probably never guessing the fate that was gonna befall it. Poor thing!

Later on we shopped around (not to the extent of dropping, though!), while honing our skills in the art of bargaining (well, maybe), checked out some cool buildings, and had dinner of pepes ikan (coconut with fish wrapped in leaf, if you may), and satay (different from our local kind in terms of flavour) and Balinese coffee (an excellent drink to wash down the fat from the food).

End of activities for Day 1.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Bali Recap - Day 1

AIRPORT DRAMA

Have you ever had an experience where the adventure begins even before it’s supposed to? On the day of departure of the forever waited for holiday, such a thing happened to one of our fellow travellers. Her passport had less than 6 months to expire, and she was cautioned against going by the airline staff – for fear that she may be stranded in the country we were going to… (of course, she was not aware that her passport was expiring that soon, seeing that she booked for the ticket yonks ago!)

The following is reminiscent of scenes from the amazing race, minus the background music and Phil’s voice, of course… 3 people (ahem) racing to the counter where our friend was trying to negotiate an alternative so that she could fly without getting stranded. She was forced to get her passport renewed… while she got some details straightened out, we got her a cab to the nearest immigration dept. Said our farewells, wished her all the best and hoped that she’d make it for the 4 o’clock flight that the airline officer had tried to get for her… (by the way, this was at 9 +.)

Things were relatively calm afterwards, except for annoying people who cut queues and such…


To be continued....

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Fictional characters and life

A thoroughly non-researched, based on 1 subject study abstract on fictional characters and their role model appeal to the subject

Anne Shirley: (From Anne of Green Gables, etc)First active fictional role model that I came to know... first through the movie and then the books. Although the movie did not move me much, the books did. I cried with her when she cried, and laughed with her when she did. She was one of the first who inspired me to try writing... (she wrote a whole lot in the books and crammed as many big words as she could in one sentence). I used to wonder why she hated her red hair, when I thought that anything but black would have been reason for contentment. Most of all, she dared to dream...

Jean Louise (scout) Finch: (From To Kill A Mockingbird)This character was much to young to be an active role model when I read it. She was 8, I was 18. We were in different eras, in different places, and different situations in life... I have never in my life punched any of my cousins until their nose bled, nor had any of my cousins said teribble things that may have led me to them getting punched. I never had a tyrannical presence of an aunt who forced me to wear flowy pink frocks and act like a lady. Neither did I have a Mrs. Dubose to be afraid of... (there was one lady whom I thought was gonna take my baby sister away, but she was a far cry from Mrs. Dubose). But somehow as I read the book, something in me connected with Scout. I read the book again and again... laughed at her thoughts on the things around her and enjoyed the childish games she and her brother, Jem and friend Dill used to play... a reminder of the long ago childhood I suppose.

Adrian Mole: (From The secret diary of Adrian Mole, etc)First character that inspired me to keep a diary... but never read the whole book in full at that time. However, recently, in my mid twenties, I read the books again and realised that the both of us us have ONE thing in common. Interest in writing: Difference is he thinks he's a great writer, whereas I just write for the fun of it. When things get bad, I think of Adrian (especially in his Cappuccino Years) because whatever happens, his life is definately worse!

Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys:It's 2 separate series (for the uninitiated), but when I was younger - about 10 to 15, I wanted to be an investigator, especially the private types, who goes around snooping and then solves the crime in the end... oh what fun! This (now when I look at it, I think it's insane) obsession was also inspired by the countless investigator series out there by Enid Blyton (secret 7, famous 5, 5 find outers, etc)

March 18, 2006

Bhangra Night Fright

A long time ago, a society consisting of a particular group of students (all from the same cultural and religious background) organised a gathering which they fondly named bhangra night... what the organisers didn't care about was that some of the friends of the people involved in the society was of a different cultural background.

What happened was that they made their members come up with performances, to be performed for their members at a hall in a neighbouring neighbourhood. Others were not allowed to buy the tickets for the event.
Due to some persistent members who would not hear of such a thing, (and a threat to boycott the event, i think, and a very nice president of the society (quite different from the organisers) the other friends were allowed to attend the event ) Woo hoo

The night finally arrived, the food fantastic, and the performances ok - obviously the medley performed by the friends of those who were initially not allowed to attend was the best performance -no biased judgement there...

Just as the floor was being set up for the open dance, there was a commotion outside... a car braking, tyres screeching and... Curiosity killed the cat, but the ppl inside didn't care... they werent cats anyway, and ran out to see what was happening. Apparently, there was an extermely heartbroken chap there who went and stood in front of this car carrying a couple because he was fond of the girl and couldn't bear to see her with her partner.

Of course others tried to intervene, but the chap just ignored them, he slapped another guy and made a noise which sounded very much like a lion. At that time everyone was getting a bit freaked out... the ppl there would have called the police, and no one would want to spend a night in the lock up. So the bunch of friends hopped into a van, and drove off... bitterly disappointed that there was no open dance. Seeing that the night was early, they set off to a local mamak stall, and sat down with teh tariks, and nescafe tariks and went over the incident. As far as I know, in the 4 1/2 years i was there, that night was the one and only bhangra night ever held.