Thursday, April 27, 2006

The other 24 questions

(I am aware of the unusually high number of grammatical/spelling errors in the previous post. However I am too lazy to go back and correct the mistakes, so I shall just assume that this act of recognizing my mistakes will be interpreted as an act of atonement to the spelling gods in cyberspace.)

7. What shirt are you wearing now?
The ISV shirt. I am also drinking out of the ISV bottle. Who ever said it was all about good karma so had it pegged wrong. People don't go on volunteer trips for the good deeds. It's all about the 'freebies' man.

8. Do you "label" yourself?
If by labelling, you mean putting yourself in a category, then no. I AM UNIQUE. (Oi, pipe down you other 5,999,999 unique individuals). If by labelling, you mean giving yourself a nickname, then no either. But somehow or another, I now respond to 'Kay' or 'Kaz' to a selected few. The sad thing about being named Karen is not having an immediate nickname, unlike say Gillian or Jonathan. It's like my parents ran out of steam when it came to the middle child.

9. Name the brand of shoes you're currently wearing.
Joshua Radin- Closer. Oh whoops. I thought you meant name an artiste you're currently listening to.

10. Bright or dark room.
Naturally lit rooms. There are certain shops at OU in Malaysia I refuse to enter, on the grounds that their excessive flourescent lighting secretly emits radioactive waves to alter a person's spelling ability. Hence, the bad spelling on the Internet. And in graffitti. How disheartening.

11. What do you think about the person who took this survey?
She has a terrific writing style that seems easily attainable but is beyond hard to reproduce. It's one bit innocence and earnestness, two bits heart and three bits soul. Also, she is incredibly random. Which her fan-base greatly appreciates. /end fangirl rant.

12. take a break...
Hon, if I took any more breaks, I'd be on a one way path to flunking out of uni.

13. What were you doing at midnight last night?
As indescribably boring as this is, I was sleeping. Much to my displeasure I woke at six in the morning. I absolutely loathe waking up early for no reason. There's just nothing to do at six in the freaking morning.

14. What did your last text message you received on your mobile say?
"TT money yesterday. Come through yet? Luv mum." My mum, she of the concise text messages.

15. Where is your letter box?
Up yours. Ermm.. it just seemed like the natural response to the question!

16. What's a word that you say a lot?
'Jesus' and 'Christ'. And not in the "Praise Jesus. Hallelujah" kinda way. I am trying to hold back a little in front of the more religious, in my defence.

17. Who told you he/she loved you last?
I'm going to assume that 'luv' is broadly accepted under the wide banner of 'love'. Me mum then.

18. Last furry thing you touched?
NOT a pigeon.

19. How many drugs have you done in the last three days?
I've been eating ridiculous amounts of cereal, OT's, this week. And because as far as 'classic Asian traits' go, my stomach is as about staunchly Asian as I'll ever get. To the clueless: Think lactose intolerance and say hello to diarrhea medicine! (I bet you wished you were still clueless now).

20. How many rolls of film do you need to get developed?
4. Wait. 3.

21. Favourite age you have been so far?
Nine. And twelve. And thirteen.

22. Your worst enemy?
Pigeons. And cell phones. My sister has been abusing the free talk time we get and calling, "Just to say hello". And all phones in general. I almost hate talking on the phone as much as I hate pigeons. And taking showers. My level of hygiene is questionable at best. Great. Now no one's going to invite me out anymore.

23. What is your current desktop picture?
Veronica Mars. I am always amazed at what fanboys/girls churn out. That applies to the good, the bad, and the ugly.

24. What was the last thing you said to someone?
"Gill can you pleeeease stop calling *insert sobbing noises*. No more!"

25. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly, which would you do?
My answer is always, and I stress, ALWAYS, going to be money when it comes to hyperthethical questions like this.

26. Do you like someone?
The new cast of Big Brother Australia are all kinds of hot.

27. Are you dating them?
As is always my one problem when it comes to finding true love, they're not actually anyone I know. Plus, there's that whole celluloid/TV barrier.

28. If the last person you spoke to was getting shot at, would you jump in front of the bullet for them?
I'll pay someone to take the bullet. I am a millionaire in this situation, am I not?

29. If you could punch one person in the face who's in your life right now, who would it be?
My brother. And in return I'd like him to punch me. It's a thing we do. Regardless of size and height difference we spar whenever we're both around. It's very Fight Club. Without the broken bones or nose bleeds.

30. What is the closest object to your left foot?
My trusty fan heater.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Spoiler alert for Inside Man.

Watching Inside Man requires a test of patience that can usually be found in M. Night Shyamalan's movies. It requires you to hold on to all your burning questions and sit through the entire movie till the end, hoping against hope that the punchline delivers and makes the price of the movie ticket entirely worth the experience. If all goes well, you walk out of the cinema lavishing praise onto the flick while your slightly befuddled mind attempts to come to grips with the ingenius of the film. However, if the experience was like mine after viewing Inside Man, you'll spend the next two days scouring IMDb and other Internet forums trying to properly understand what was the whole premise of the show without ever formulating a satisfactory answer.

Simply put, Inside Man bit off more than it can chew. The star-studded cast comprising of
'old reliable' Denzel Washington, 'Hollywood's current 'It' man', Clive Owen,'The Man to Watch', Chiwetel Ejiofor, with side players Jodie Foster and Willem Dafoe, performed well enough with a script that delighted in observational humour but lacked substance in the grand scheme. The movie should been gold. The execution of the bank robbery was shot with 'A grade' flair. The plot exposition was well paced throughout the story. The screen chemistry between Owen and Washington captured the intensity of the film and propelled the story further. So what went wrong?

Well, plenty. Infact the more I thought about the movie, the more grating I found the film to be. The movie took great lengths to justify a lot of things, which unfortunately failed overall to appease this viewer's questions. I'll just say this much. As great as a movie's premise can be, it all fails when the credits rolling and you're left never quite knowing the motives of the character's actions.

On a side note, I am happy to say that I have renewed my faith in Roger Ebert, the movie critic on Rottentomatoes and the Chicago Sun-Times. For a while there I doubted his ability to critique a movie properly, believing that his 'star power' had blinded him to the basic foundations of his job. Then I read his review for Inside Man. And my faith was restored.

Also, I should probably make clear that my reference to M. Night Shyamalan at the beginning of my post is based upon nothing but admiration and respect. Shyamalan ain't no one-trick pony. But then I suppose this requires a separate blog post on it's on. Suffice to say that he's a demigod in my world and I heart him.

I think Brokeback Mountain, the film, is probably one of the best, if not the best movie adapted from a story. I read the book and I think about the movie, and I can't help but marvel over how the movie successfully captures everything in the sto
ry. You know how it is. Movie adaptations usually come out either trashing the original story (case in point, any movie that was adapted from a book by Stephen King), falling below the expectations of the viewer/reader (any movie that was adapted from a book that featured a kid wizard named Harry) or becoming something else altogether from the original (any movie that was adapted from graphic novels/comics). The novella, all 56 pages of it, by Annie Proulx is such a gem to keep.

In the hunt for the digital camera I have narrowed my search to a couple of models.

#1. The Casio EXILIM EX-Z750

#2. The Pentax Optio 750Z
#3. The Leica D-Lux 2

Truthfully speaking, I'll probably won't buy a digital camera anytime soon. Partly because I couldn't be bothered splashing out for one and also because I can't bear to put down my Pentax film camera yet. But how will you experience the thrill of first glimpsing upon physical photographs right after they've been processed without film cameras???

But, if I did go out and get one, I will most probably go for the Pentax model. One, because unlike the Leica, it has an optical viewfinder which I still value in cameras whether film or digital. Two, because I've been taking pictures with a Pentax camera all these years, I'm apt to be biased towards the brand. Three, Leica is almost dead and buried now, so if I do get it, I could face a lot of problems when it comes to repairing it. Four, and this is by far the most important factor of them all, the Pentax model, while not as pretty as the Leica, is sure as hell prettier than the Casio EXILIM.

I am such a girl.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Technically didn't the 'V' in 'V for Vendetta' stand for the roman numeral for 5, first?

That is in no way a spoiler. Unless, well, you're that good. And because I think I know who's reading my blog I can safely assume that you guys are no where near that good. Hee. I admit. I can never really give up a shot at making a wisecrack at other people's expense.

So, I was writing up my essay for my history subject when I was struck with a crippling case of mental block. The ideas were there, they just weren't coming out. I did what I normally do to get over the mental block; ate 3/4 cooked spaghetti, took a shower, watched some Buffy, surfed websites, watched somemore Buffy, watched episodes of That 70's Show, surfed IMDb, just a wee bit more Buffy, and still nothing. The half-filled Words document sat there open, the empty space following the last paragraph sneering, mocking me. So I attempted to force words to come out. Nothing intellectual regarding the U.S involvement in Chile in the 1970s were coming out, save for 'Nixon+Kissinger paranoid!' and 'CIA conspiracy = DUH.' It was frustrating to say the least, the former reminded me that I needed to expand about the Cold War tensions and their experience with Cuba in the 60s and the latter served as a reminder that ConspiracyChicks needed to be updated some time soon.

Then, I started sliding eastward along the upperleft keys to form the word 'qwerty'. If you don't know already, qwerty, that word that may or may not be a word, can be typed out by sliding your finger
from the left to right across six letters on the keyboard, starting from 'q' to 'y'. I started wondering what other words could be created by a mere slide and I took it upon myself to find out.

and my personal favourite, grease.
*might only apply to keyboards that have the letter 'y' missing.

All in all, I impressed myself by coming up with more than twenty words using the 'slide' technique. Unfortunately what wasn't so impressive was my inability to overcome the mental block.

*Minimal spoiler for V for Vendetta. You have been warned.*

Coming out from the cinema after V for Vendetta I couldn't shake the sense of awe that first engulfed me from the minute V took over the television station and ran his pirate broadcast. Besides some very questionable holes in the plot (but then again can there ever be a graphic novel/comic book/any kind of adaptation without flaw?), the movie marks a brilliant start to a year that has at least two other comicbook adaptations. This isn't in the playing field of The League of Extraordinary Gentleman, kids. It has the political backbone to raise a hundred questions that remains all the more relevant in the world today. V for Vendetta is an example about what can go wrong in a country when fear is the currency of a government's mandate and sedition is the watchword, when free media exists as an utopian ideal, and when the population is placated by a safe and cushy living environment, to the extend that they become nothing but passive consumers of government propaganda. To be able to sit through all two hours and ten minutes of the film, you need to believe that all of the above is possible. Of course, the movie is really a depiction of an extreme version of all that, but surprise surprise, no one can deny it's relevance after taking into consideration history and the state of our world today.

What annoys me about the U.S. Democrats is the fact that they had so many opportunities to call Bush on his less than democratic remarks, but they didn't. Why? Fear, I'm guessing. Or they were waiting for the election to make a grand statement. Whatever, losers. Instead of standing up and telling Bush that it is un-American to tell Americans that it is un-American not to support the war, they meekly sat down and chose the path of less resistance. And the PATRIOT Act? How's about a breach of individual privacy as granted in the UN Declaration of Human Rights? Bush may be an incompetent 'puppet' president. But he sure knows how to use the right choice of words and evoke enough sense of nationality to make the public believe he's gosh darn-tastic. Or at least his speechwriters do. I'll say one last thing though, if Bush keeps going on about Immigration the way he's going now, come January 20 2009 the US will be inaugurating a Democrat president.

Gee, where did *that* come from? Right. V for Vendetta , the movie. You could be doing dumber things besides watching it.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Hot damn.

If you've been frequenting my blog recently or if you've been reading NME or Rolling Stone or any other music magazine recently, you would have noticed that Arctic Monkeys is this year's watchword. The band from Sunderland, with the debut album of all debut albums in year 2006, have been either revered as the sound and voice of this generation's indie rock scene or trashed as a bunch of yuppy-wannabes who attempt to hark back into the golden age of rock but pale in comparison to the rock gods of the yesteryears. Ermm.. Also, some critics might have labled them immature (Jesus Christ. Alex Turner, the lead vocalist is all of 20 this year!) and annoying.

Anyhow, go check them out for yourself and be your own judge.

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    Right then. Now we get to the point of the post.

    Unbeknownst to me, Arctic Monkeys recently released tour dates in Australia. Known to me is the fact that both Melbourne dates sold out in all of 5 minutes. Jesus Christ dudes. You'd think this was a case of hard-core fans yeah? Well... yeah. But then you also have the bastards and wankers who buy up tickets only to re-sell them on eBay. And of course, bring in the interested and slightly curious almost-fan who wouldn't mind being fifth row centre and the picture is completed.

    So, here's a proposition to you, friend of mine or random reader who chanced upon whatsthedamnurl while Googling 'liking ass' or 'who DOES give a rat's ass?'. Want to go watch them live? They'll be playing The Palace at St. Kilda on August 2nd and 3rd 2006. Don't ask me how much the tickets will come up to. All I know is the official price was AUD$65.50 and the tickets seem to be going for less than a hundred on eBay, which is good cause most tickets generally seem to sell in pairs, meaning you technically save a little. So, anyone out there interested? Leave me a message in the comments page or email. Or if you know me directly, please SMS me. I should probably state that you need to be 18 and above or have a really convincing photo ID. And no travelling costs is covered if you're not in Australia during those dates.


    [MSN conversation last night]
    "I'm sorry to burst your bubble Jon but things aren't always as easy and obvious as they seem."
    "That's ok. I'll just blow a new bubble. HaHaHa.."

    I love my brother more than I love life. And you can put that in your pipe and smoke it.

    Maybe someday I'll have enough guts to actually post the other two paragraphs, unedited. To me, what's more ball-busting than revealing your inner troubles on public domain is answering countless irksome questions from well-meaning friends (no offense meant to anyone). You don't want to talk about it, but you're obliged to because afterall, it was your freaking 'bear-all' post that started it all. And there's only so many times you can regurgitate the same story before you get sick of hearing yourself again and again and again and again and again..

    Therefore word to the wise, don't bug me about it. Let me bug you when the time is right.


    Right then. Happy belated 20th Sophie Poo. As a belated birthday treat let me reveal that I'm one of those obsessive people who visits your blog at least a couple of times when I'm online, which is almost daily. What can I say? You write awesomely (no, I'm not having a crack at you), both fiction-wise and blogpost-wise. Can't blame a girl for being hooked when you almost constantly 'speak da word gurrrlfriend!'. I thank my lucky stars, all two of them, that I'm on your 'approved' friend list. *sob* I wouldn't know how I would live if I wasn't privy to the contents of your locked journal (now, I'm almost certainly having a crack at you).

    Many happy returns Sophia Foo Yong Tau Foo (What do you mean that's not your real name?!) You're just brilliant.

    Wednesday, April 05, 2006

    'And so between them both you see, they licked the platter clean.'

    To my blurass friend, Christine;
    Yesterday marks your twentieth year,
    No longer are you a wee teen,
    (HAHA) You're an old Ninny now, dear!

    Soon you'll be really old, like eighty,
    and die a wrinkly, stinky death;
    But for now, don't fret or worry,
    because you still have a firm asth.

    Who knew I had a lisp? I meant ass.

    ---I apologize for the quality, or more specifically the lack of quality. I came up with this in between writing notes and fighting the urges of sleep during my Democracy lecture.

    Happy 20th Birthday Christine-ninny. Just know that when I think of you I think of;


    and Carlsberg

    Love ya lots (although my gut tells me you're probably not reciprocating that right about now).

    Hpe you had a good one.

    Saturday, April 01, 2006

    'Don't give a damn 'bout my reputation'

    Yo no hablo espana, but like to think I understand it anyway. I suppose that sort of explains why I even bother frequenting websites in Spanish attempting to find trivia about Natalie Portman.

    --- Two idiots just knocked on my door, I suppose, looking for their friend who lives in unit 5615. They greeted me with blank stares like I'm the one who's lost then proceeded to dare ask if this was said apartment. You'd think the gold plated '5415' on
    my door would be clue enough. I quote the splendous, wonderful, effulgent, Karen W. when I say, "I weep for the state of humanity if this the benchmark for all future generations to come". Hee.

    Right then. So, Spanish. I'd like to think that my knowledge of the language is still at that 'D+' level it was before, but I have a sinking feeling that it has sunk to a brand-spankin' new 'F-'. I suspect that the only reason I half understand what's going on in the article is because I have only read about, oh just about 6,745 other webpages concerning Ms Portman in my entire lifetime. What can I say? I've been a fan for quite a while now. What's funny (to me, at least) is that I've seen almost every movie she's acted in to date except that movie, the one that first placed her as an upcoming starlet to watch, The Professional. I'll get my hands on the DVD if it's the last thing I do.

    Awww. She's so gosh darn pretty.Proof that going to Harvard means jackshit: when you can't appreciate the beauty of Natalie Portman and instead go on about some actress whose last name rhymes with a bird that can't fly who lives in icy conditions (but is gosh darn cute too come to think of it). Too bad the praise doesn't extend to her. My loving tribute to Nick, who's off vacationing where the sun shines and heat sizzles. I'm angsty. Melbourne just got damn cold. And yeah yeah. You'll be having the last laugh when it comes to who's getting a nice, cushy executive position first.

    And since we're on the subject of all things pretty, here's a picture of Ashton Holmes who was last seen on movie screens as Viggo Mortenson's kid in A History of Violence.

    He's pwetty. Like Seth Cohen kinda pretty, except he's still watchable and not groan-inducing after five consecutive episodes. Technically, that last sentence doesn't make sense. But at least I got to string 'Seth Cohen', 'groan-inducing' and 'five consecutive episodes' together. Plus, Ashton just looks damn fine in that suit. Who cares if he's cheeks are rosier than mine, or if his hair is elegantly styled in that 'messy but rockin'' 'do which somehow translates to 'dirty homeless bag-lady' on me, or if his lips never need to know the icky-ness of lipstick to stay that red? Yeah, I'd go out with him. Ouch. Reality just bit back hard. I'm here, ya bastard.

    Has anyone out there got a copy of Magnolia? I promise you instant karma if you loan it to me. Aimee Mann makes a killing on the soundtrack. And if the movie is as promising as the soundtrack, hell, sign me right up. If you know what's good for you, download Aimee Mann's Wise Up and Save Me. With lyrics that read like this,

    "If you could save me,
    from the ranks of the freaks,

    that suspect they could never love anyone..."
    Aimee Mann- Save Me

    it's not everyday you come across a gem of songwriting like that.

    The reason why I haven't scoured Limewire for a copy of the movie is because my current download list looks something like this:

    I miss That 70's Show, circa Season One. All six of them were actually there. And the punchlines and gags were just better.

    You know, I think yesterday marks the first April Fool's Day in my life where not one single prank was pulled, either me in the position of prankster or fool. It was like it was just some other day. Nobody at work recognized it and I infact completely forgot about it. It's a little sad to think about. I know when I was a kid, April 1st always seemed to hold a little crackle of energy in the air. Between raising your guard and being on constant lookout for the best opportunity to pull a prank, the day was spent in a haze of joyous laughter, sneaky collaborations that only lasted until the next prank, and intense debates defending your intelligence quotient. Now as adults, we instead celebrate random days, like St. Patrick's, which we all know is just a thinly veiled excuse for the average individual to nurture his or her inner alcoholic, while alcoholics everywhere rejoice and drink as they like without having to makeup lame excuses for yet another day spent in a foggy state of insobriety. And life is suppose to make more sense as we age? How so, I retort?

    It ain't bad, this growing up thing. Your fears become more complex, as does your thought-processes and love-life. Most days I don't have a problem with it. Just seems like you can live forever in a permanent state of happiness and yet can't help but look back at days long past with a slight twinge and inkling for the simpler times.
    Just saying it's all.