Thursday, December 22, 2005

My Year in Review, Part 1 of 2.

The only reason this isn't the full thing is well, because your eyes are gonna need a break at some point, and I haven't watched Narnia yet. Narnia, to me, is a pretty big event, cause ever since I first saw the trailer in cinemas, I pretty much fell in love with the movie. Blah to King Kong. Narnia's the one I've been waiting for. Right then. Onward with the review.

This year, I decided to stop beating around the agnostic/atheist bush and choose a belief. Where do you put your faith? From something so simple as having faith that the Ah Beng DVD-seller is indeed telling the truth when he says 'the DVD good quality wan!', to having faith in the power of democracy to deliver the public's will, even the most jaded are capable of faith.
At the end, I choose to put my faith in people. Simply put, and I mean no offense to the religious out there, I believe that God is merely an excuse too often used, and not a very good one at that. For every action that we take, the consequences we must face as well. That's what I believe. And I also reinforced my faith in Karma. 'What goes around, comes around'; it's the only rule you'll ever have to adhere to. At least that's what I think. Oh, right. That and NEVER EVER skim on toilet paper. It's always worth it to pay the extra fifty-five cents.

This year as well, marked the end a relationship. It's funny how people warn you about the high possibility of growing apart or cheating partners but never of the likelihood of diminished feelings when they hear of couples in long-distance relationships. Anyhow, let me now de-bunk the myth of the impossibility of ex-es (?) being friends. Through the cloud of guilt and heartache, I'm proud to say we remained close friends, right up till present day in fact. I suppose when you're as matured as me, and as somewhat matured as the 'Mighty Jock' (hee), the relationship is salvageable. You're awesome, Prep. Too bad I'm awesome-r.

This year as well a couple of 'jokes' that I pulled ended up having a pretty serious effect in my life. Nothing broken or fractured. In the early half of the year, the result of a joke audition thanks to Sammy Snake putting down my name, resulted in a part in the cast ensemble of Freshers. The play opened me up to the world of uni (I am hesitant to use the word amatuer, because that word somehow does not dignify the amount of time and emotion invested) theatre and indulged my interest in writing scripts. They say university is a time to experience new things. Well, outside of getting pissed drunk on a weekday and running around in the nude on Prosh Week (I saw gibblets. Unsurprisingly, I didn't eat meat for lunch that day), there's certainly never been a better time to get involved with theatre productions.

My application to McDonald's as well started out as a joke. I was barely serious when I applied, believing myself to be 'too good' for such a job. What a slap to the face, indeed. When my lack of experience deterred me from getting any offers, save for a tele-marketing position that required a 45 minute+ commute, Macca's called with the news. Since then, there's been no regrets. There's a really good environment going on - friendly people who are around the same age and most of the time, polite customers. Like any other job, there's stress involved, especially during the breakfast/lunch/dinner rushes. My bad for thinking those with a McJob are low-life automatons. I am, indeed, humbled now.

Part 2 consists of other thoughts regarding family, friends and the Top 3 Movies of the Year Cause I cannot go a post with one reference to pop culture. And some of the most embarassing pictures will be uploaded to illustrate the year. Cause if you can't laugh at yourself, then who can you laugh at? The idiots in the picture, I suppose.


Also, just for the curious, I changed my project. Now, in Costa Rica, I will be involved with the Finca La Gran Vista project. It's got more interaction with the environment, yet it also remains a community project. I suppose we're helping the community by helping the environment?, if that makes sense.

The main aim of the project is to provide a working example of a farm that operates in a sustainable manner, removing the need to clear new areas of the forest. I'm too darn lazy to type everything out so if you really want to know more, send an email. Here's some of the stuff we will be expected to do: construction, feeding the farm animals, planting seeds, soil conservation, maintenance of medical plants, using and producing organic fertilizer, maintaining the spring-water wells, and harvesting crops. If you're wondering why I changed my project, it's because the moon cycle was not auspicious for my love-life. Hee. I changed it because I can.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Vamos Costa Rica!

Yours truly is ready to travel to Costa Rica. One day-trip to Sydney and voila!, a stamp in my passport says I'm ready for travel. I was talking to the receptionist at the Consulate-General and apparently us Malaysians, if we intend to travel to Costa Rica, have to obtain a visa in person from the closest Consulate General. Closest being Japan or Melbourne. Brilliant really. Previously you could courier your passport and thus save yourself a plane ticket, but new regulations (that even the Consular General admit is completely bogus) state that we have to be at the office in person. It does not help that Malaysia is listed as a Muslim country. God forbid they admit prospective terrorists into a country that according to the Lonely Planet forum, is notorious for pickpockets and robbers.

And because no trip to Sydney is complete without it, here is the obligatory picture of the Sydney Opera House with guest, the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Now, while the debate continues regarding which state is more superior, I have to admit that Sydney does one up Melbourne on a particular aspect. Krispy Kreme donuts. Holy mother of dough and glazed sugar, Donut King ain't got nothing on them. It's crazy really. No matter how much we try to deny it, American exports are truly essential to modern life. It doesn't have to be the central focus, but it certainly makes our life seem more rich knowing we have other options. Which is ironic cause for every Starbucks or McDonald's that is built on your local block, there goes a local establishment, thus actually limiting our options.

I can't go into an anti-capitalist tirade because besides the obvious fact that I get my spending money from the Golden Arches, I honestly think that I would start eating pork again should Denny's ever open a branch in Melbourne (bacoooonnn). Oh heck. I say countries shouldn't fear the spread of Western influences. Sure, enforce some sort of quota to ensure that the local industry will thrive and make sure that no conglomeration can get around the red tape (Here's looking at you, Murdoch). And yeah, encourage the locals to shop/eat/buy local. But it's crazy to impede the flow of Western media/establishments/brands. Just take a look at China. It's pretty obvious that things aren't quite working out the way the Communist leaders envisioned.

So what then for the future? Should we all just give up hope and wait for the inevitable Starbucks-McDonalds-MTV-Gap-Abercrombie&Fitch filled streets? Also impossible I say. As long as the doors are opened for the local industry, there will be hope. Chris Lilley's We Can Be Heroes is on par with Arrested Development and The Office. Alannah Hill's dresses are so so pretty (also very $$$). Boost Juice's annual profits is an exponential graph.

... Oh crud. I think this became a pro-globalization, whilst thinly-veiled pro-Americanisation tirade. What can I say? You can't hate the land that
gave us Buffy afterall.

Right then. I've been thinking about Green Day's American Idiot. And I've come to the realization that it will do what Californication and Morning View did for RHCP and Incubus. Suddenly pimply-faced teens with newly broken voices all over the world will have ditched their Simple Plan t-shirts to don black American Idiot tees. I'm not being elitist and actually think this is a good thing. I mean, more power to good bands, yeah? It's just a little bit weird/creepy when kids start calling Billie Joe 'sexy'. Prior to him putting black eyeliner to good use, I don't recall anyone tagging him with that adjective. It's quite bizarre to think that some eye make-up makes you instant hot stuff.

But then again, after watching the Jesus of Suburbia video clip, I think I'm coming around to that concept. Lou Taylor Pucci, who I previously watch
ed in the indie flick Thumbsucker, looked extremely effiminate with his big blue eyes and delicate features. Then suddenly in the JoS video clip, he's freaking Sid Vicious incarnate and looking totally hot. Strange, huh.

From this:

to this:

See? I'm not just being superficial.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Results of Surfing Online



Double huh.

Just when I thought I knew it all. Daniel Wu in a music band. Huh indeed. Doesn't change the fact that he still makes for pretty darn good eye-candy.

Today I realised that eating outside to enjoy the sun and the fresh air is completely overrated. While attempting to chow down my meal, I was also busy fending off the flies that threatened to go up my skirt, down my fries and into my burger. To top it all of, there was a stupid sparrow that was hovering pretty darn too close for comfort. I was pretty tempted to throw the beef patty at it, in the hopes of knocking it out but then it occured to me that the sparrow might instead chow down on it and acquire a taste for cow meat. And with a brain that big, the bird will probably think me a cow (wouldn't be the first according to my dad and bro!) and peck my eyes and flesh away. I also considered the fact that the sparrow might choke on the beef patty, but the idea of it flying around crazily while attempting to dislodge the patty isn't exactly too appealing; i.e it might land on me.

Anyway, with a mouth that can fit one hard-boiled egg intact, mind you, it's not too hard to guess what happened in the end, right? Now, I have acquired a taste for sparrow meat. It's like eating miniature chicken wings. Maybe next time I'll actually cook it.

And maybe next time I'll actually do something rather than sit on the bench and think up all the reactions to my actions.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

It's undeniable.

It's true. You always hear this kind of talk but no actual confirmation. Well, I'm setting this in stone now (which is kind of funny cause this a blog in cyberspace, probably the total opposite from a physical stone). The prettier or better looking things in life fare better off. Yes, they really do.

Think about it.
Those crazy scientists who run really unnecessary experiments which bear really redundant but entertaining results tells us that babies are more attracted to prettier faces. The selection process for reality TV show contestants tells us that your odds are better if you're slim and don't resemble Donatella Versace circa the past 10 years.

Outside of the human world, biology tells us that butterflies and bees are attracted to the more brightly coloured flowers. The annual profit for IKEA tells us that the majority prefers a pretty bedroom to a quality-filled one (it's those damn annual catalogues. Who hasn't wished their bedrooms looked like page 126 in the bedroom section?).

I don't even need to go into the world of Hollywood to justify my statement, do I? But because everyone's thinking it: it's the reason why Bloomboy is undertaking the lead roles in sub-par movies (Elizabethtown) while far superior actors like Steve Buscemi are filling supporting role slots in better movies (Reservoir Dogs. Or if you want a movie of a similar genre, Ghost World).

It's the reason why a collie was casted as Lassie and not this thing:

That's Sam. Yes, it's a dog, not some turned-inside-out rodent that has been dipped into a tub of hydrocloric acid, then given a chemical peel to boot. It holds the title of "World's Ugliest Dog". How's that for understatement of the year?

It's the reason why marble and not granite covers floors of houses.

It's the reason why Apple products are selling. Damn that Powerbook is sure darn pretty.

It's the reason why apples that don't have brown marks on them are being picked at markets.

It's the reason why, oh good god. I'm still recovering from that thing that apparently is a dog. I'm so disgusted.

See? Enough said. So there. Now you don't only know, you actually know that prettier things have it better off. With proof to boot.

It's quite life-affirming to finally have that figured out.

Oh dear god. Can't think anymore. Damn Google images and their results for 'ugly dogs'. Eeeecccch.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

One month, mates!

In a month, yours truly will be jetting off to Costa Rica. Lordy, am I excited! Well technically, bus to Sydney, flight to NZ, then stopover at LAX... but you know. Technical-schmenical. We got our travel manuals by mail and received an email telling us what projects we were assigned to yesterday. And boy, am I in love with my project.

ASOCUENCA Community Development Project
Basically, ASOCUENCA is a farmers' association comprising representatives of the Community Development Associations of five communities: Santa Elena, Quizarra, San Francisco, Santa Marta, and MonteCarlo. The mission statement: to protect the watershed of the Penas Blancas River and to aid in the development of the Alexander Skutch Biological Corridor. The corridor will help in the recuperation of the remaining tracts of evergreen tropical rain forest in the country, in specific, the Los Cusingos Sanctuary for Neotropical Birds and Las Nubes Biological Reserve.

What will I be doing?

  • Reforestation of farmland located in the corridor
  • Maintainence at the school (Teaching English!)
  • Construction, maintenence, and painting of public facilities in cooperation with Santa Elena Community Association, the Health Committee, the Sports Committee and the Church Committee.
  • Supporting the work at Los Cusingos Reserve, eg. trail construction, planting fruit trees and bushes as food sources for birds and other wildlife, and maintenence of the Historical Alexander F. Skutch Museum
It sounds exactly like what I hoped I would get. On my face was plastered a shit-eating grin until I came to a snag. In the daily timetable, it says 6 am: Breakfast. Good lord. That means I actually have to wake up before 6 am. Holy...

I'm still psyched though.

Then, I saw the departure date for the flight. I'll be leaving LAX on Feb 2nd and arriving at Sydney on Feb 4th. Blah. Birthday-Schmirthday. (You'd think this sch-thing business would get old, but it really doesn't).


Still pretty darn psyched.