Sunday, December 21, 2008

What's in a fraction-of-a-second-lock-eye-moment

have you ever experienced a lock-eye moment with a complete stranger? i'm sure everyone has their own story to tell. but i find it interesting how when your eyes are locked in that moment, you can't glance away... although the event only lasts for less than a second in real-time.

what is this force that makes the two people hold their gaze? but this doesn't happen to everyone that you happen to meet eye-to-eye with. some encounters where the two happen to glance at each other at the same time, immediate glancing away is not a problem... in fact it's an automatic response. and sometimes this response is too quick for your brain that upon turning your gaze away, you then realise that you'd like to have a more thorough look... and so you turn back and have another look to fulfill a curiosity piqued by your brain. this happens to me alot. maybe my brain's abit slow!?! hahaha

but back to the inevitable lock-eye moments in time. it happens so randomly without any warning. it has happened to me twice with the same person (whom i've never spoken to before) and it feels unsettling as i can't put my finger on what makes me look up at the very same moment this other person looks up... and then... the 'lock-eye' moment occurs. the moment ends when i feel the urge to blink my eyes and then it's gone! off to continue my own life...

what passes within that fraction of a second? i don't know... for me, it's just the feeling that i can't look anywhere else. for the other person, i can only imagine... hope he doesn't think i'm flirting or anything. but seriously, i wasn't flirting as i'm well aware that my facial expression wasn't twisted into a smile, pout or whatever other expression which might connote some other message (besides, anyone who knows me will know that i can't flirt to save my life! hahaha). in fact i think if i were to see myself, i'd look either mildly surprised or just plain expressionless (as i always look)... so this is just one of the things that i find quite strange. it may be just overdeliberation of a simple coincidental moment or could possibly be more than one can fathom. but i think it's most probably the former.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Real-life Face Off

today's news for medical breakthrough is the US first face transplant. the woman who had sustained major damages to her face had a whole face transplant together with bone, teeth and muscle tissues from a cadaver. previously, such surgeries had been conducted in china and france. the patient had died in the former whereas little is known of the latter.

the issue of bioethics is in hot pursuit of such experimental procedures. which led me to wonder a couple of thoughts. can you imagine if this surgery was to become a common procedure, rich people could be paying poor people for their beautiful faces or even hiring assassins to hunt down beautiful people for their faces. face recognition would no longer be valid.

undeniably, some people may actually really need such transplantation. those whose lives would be drastically changed in terms of feeding oneself (those who need a jaw etc.) or preserving the integrity of their skull (head injury which could cause the skull to collapse and crush the brain - *not too sure about this though*) etc. those people really do deserve whatever medical help that could save their lives. but medical procedures can't be kept exclusively to just a select group of doctors, as such discoveries would be documented in journals and unethical doctors might exploit the information and carry out illegal black market surgeries for anyone that can pay them the right price. and in doing so, a new sort of crime would emerge - face theft!

it is bad enough that we hear stories of people getting their kidneys stolen from their bodies while staying in hotels or getting abducted by going to toilets. it would be horrendous to read in the newspaper of innocent people getting their faces cut off and left for dead at the side of the road.

i think that my imagination may be running a little out of hand now. but this could actually happen, if you sit down and think about it. nowadays, crime is so common that nothing really shocks us to the core anymore... it would be a rare occurrence indeed.

but as with most of the 'ethics' issues, there isn't any clear cut border between what's right and what's wrong. it would be chauvinistic to impose a person's or organisation's opinion on the whole population of the world. with no right or wrong, we are left stuck in limbo fighting each other and casting our countless opinions into a never-ending bin of anger and hate. ah, this is the world!
(omg, i think i'm totally crapping here...)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

My red candybar is here!

referring to one of my previous posts, this is a follow up to the saga.

my (product) red ipod nano 4th generation is finally here in malaysia and in my possession (since saturday, 6th december 2008). mum's friend ordered it on 8th november 2008 and since the hong kong price is HK$1150, when converted to RM using the current exchange rate, the ipod worked out to be cheaper by RM60. so i paid RM540 for it. here's a couple of shots, just to whet your appetite and tempt you to get one too!

see how thin it is! i can stop peeking at it and sniggering... i can't believe i've finally got an ipod nano! so happy...


whenever i hold my new ipod in my palm, i'm so afraid i'd accidentally drop it! it's so thin and slick... but the edges are rather sharp... i wouldn't be surprised if i ended up getting a cut from those edges...

but i love the accelerometer in it! unfortunately i can't buy ipod games from the malaysia iTunes store... looks like we're always on the losing end! if possible, i want to purchase spore (to see what's the hype about it)

now i need to figure out how to use iTunes...

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Funny News

Number 1: before i forget... i keep seeing reruns of our Malaysia football team losing to Vietnam on CNN! the clip shows the costly blunder of our Malaysian goalie running back to his post, then stopping and raising both palms to his head when the ball hit the net. the clip then switches to a violent display of anger/disappointment of the Malaysian team manager or coach (not too sure who that is). why i find this funny? it's because i never expected anything about Malaysian football to be aired on CNN!

Number 2: read the pink-highlighted texts. i know this is a serious matter, but the abbreviations just make me snigger uncontrollably... i know, i know... such childish behaviour! hahaha
cha-cha, con-ass, con-con! hahahaha

Number 3: this news was taken from the asiaone news site. i'll just reproduce the article here, in case it's taken down in the future. maybe we should just stop kissing, due to the potential health hazard! hahahaha

The kiss of deaf
Mon, Dec 08, 2008
Reuters

BEIJING - A YOUNG woman in southern China has partially lost her hearing after her boyfriend ruptured her eardrum during an excessively passionate kiss, local media reported on Monday.

The 20-something girl from Zhuhai, in southern Guangdong province, went to hospital completely deaf in her left ear, the China Daily said, citing a report in a local newspaper.

'The kiss reduced pressure in the mouth, pulled the eardrum out and caused the breakdown of the ear,' the paper quoted a doctor surnamed Li from the hospital as saying.

The woman's hearing would likely return to normal after about two months, Li said.

'While kissing is normally very safe, doctors advise people to proceed with caution,' the paper said.

Friday, December 05, 2008

'Stupid Girl' - That's the best description I can think of

a certain o&g group called me on wednesday, asking me to sit for an online aptitude test which comprise verbal and numerical reasoning. i had practiced the tests from this site before, during the days when i was going for an interview at standard chartered. so i figured i needed to brush up on the practice test before attempting the real test.

so yesterday, i booked the internet right after dinner and hung on to it, weathering all the instability at peak hours (10p.m. - 2 a.m.). i managed to do the practice tests in between the online-offline of my streamyx connection. and so when the line stabilised at around 2.30 a.m., i started on the real test.

the first was verbal reasoning. i managed to complete the 8 sample questions but when it came to the 30 test questions, it couldn't load beyond 60% and an error page popped up. after navigating away from that page, i found that the site had registered me as "successfully completed" the test! i was so shocked...

unable to call anyone or do anything further, i went to sleep. the next day, i bombarded the guy who contacted me and he gave me another number of the person in charge. i couldn't get through to her all day and tried again on monday but to no avail.

and so, is my sparkling moment of throwing a chance away... into the drain... sploish! i can hear it sinking to the bottom! stupid stupid girl!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Real Sound Of Music

i've always secretly loved The Sound Of Music, never really proclaimed my interest in the musical though. maybe it's because everyone is so 'crazy-fan-bordering-cult-ish' over the musical. however, back to my main point in this post.

reading of the authorities order to stop the von Trapps' home in austria from being made into a hotel, i started to wonder "how can this be? i thought movies were made on sets (well, a large part of them are, i assume)". after googling "von Trapp", i found out the von Trapps were actually real people (i naively didn't know this till that moment... always thought the musical was a little too dramatic to be real).

reading up more from this site, i found that although some parts of the movie were similar to the true story, there were major differences in the timing and characters of the maria and georg von trapp. i hope i can find the book one day and read it. i think it would be an interesting read.

Sometimes 'Enough is Enough'

there's a limit to how much crap one can tolerate from a family member or friend. perhaps some people may consider their friends much closer than family, but even then each individual needs a boundary of space (or virtual space, in some cases) where he (or she) can take a breather from all human contact. personal privacy and "me" time is important to me. unfortunately, some do not see eye-to-eye with me on this matter.

perhaps this is the reason i've never committed to a serious relationship. but i detest people assuming they have a right to know of my every whereabouts and what i'm doing. i mean, if i tell everyone where i am, what i'm doing and everything else about me, then what is left for my own knowledge? it is the element of mystery that makes a person interesting. i understand it is thrilling to keep tabs on others, knowing their every move and groove but every person has a right to privacy. one should have the right to decide what he or she wants to be made public and not be pushed into a corner to be interrogated. although such information may be triffle (not worth a thousand ringgit) but it is what some of us, poorer folks, only have to claim as fully ours. sometimes sharing isn't the best thing for a person. everyone needs a little secret (be it insignificant as it may) to distinguish their identity from the other people in the world.

that's why the undenialbly wrong button to push when initiating a conversation with me is prying into what i'm doing or where i am or going or who i'm with. i don't like people asking me these questions before even saying "hello", and therefore i try to refrain from asking people these questions. if i want to know those details, i will weave the question into the conversation after a number of sentences, when the conversation has warmed up. i believe that i should not do unto others what i don't like done to me. but the sad truth is that others don't practice this.

for me, these sort of conversation starters really put me off and can even ruin my day. why it ticks me, i don't know... maybe the way the questions are put to me, giving me no choice to back out of providing the information. some may say that you can actually avoid such questions by giving a vague answer or lying your ass off. but i find that a vague answer never satisfies the party asking which result in more prying, so why bother wasting time and just get to the point.

i don't think every person will share my views of this issue, but this is my stand on such matters of communication.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Fuel cuts becoming too much of a norm... (but I'm not complaining, OK!)

the fluctuation of fuel prices in malaysia has made me all numb towards the changes. it used to be something very exciting where everyone would spread sms messages warning to either pump today or tomorrow, depending on whether fuel prices were going up or down. all this sms-ing will cause the petrol stations to have a field day, with cars all lining up to pump their tanks full (when the prices were going up)...

a couple of months back, the world oil prices skyrocketed and as a result, our government cut down the fuel subsidies and our fuel prices shot up to RM2.70 in june. this change caused quite a flurry here, with those in the public transportation services feeling the pinch. so the government came up with a fuel rebate scheme and a petrol subsidy cards for taxi drivers (where they paid RM1.92 per litre).

then came the gradual decending of petrol prices, a step at a time... to the latest reduction, the fifth price adjustment, of RM1.90 per litre. it's good news for me, as now a full tank of petrol does not exceed RM60 like it used to be. but turns out, it was bad news for the cabbies as they ended up paying 2 sen more per litre than the rest of us... so what is to be done to right this matter? i haven't been following up on this news, so for now i don't know what's the latest development (sorry!).

anyway, i used to post up the drop on fuel prices on the airport screens as soon as i had heard of the news (as breaking news)... but so many price changes has rendered me unmoved by any further reduction and the news ends up on tomorrow's list. so much for enthusiasm!?!

The funny things I see on CNN

CNN has these segments in certain news programmes where they show some amusing video or story (ok, honestly i've only just started watching CNN on a regular basis... so forgive me if i sound so enthusiastic about something that's been there since forever!). there were two things which i found funny today (it's only 10a.m. now)

1. there's this santa race (santa world championship) in some very snowy country where people dress up in santa's red garb and do all sorts of things - climb chimney, harness donkeys (or reindeers... i'm not sure), catching sweets with bungee cords attached to the santas, pushing sleighs and trying to shoot down tin cans with something from their red gift sack... and there was this shot of a beardless hatless reasonably young santa trying to shoot tha cans but was unable to come close to any even after more than 5 tries! i know i'm sadistic because i found it so funny and couldn't stop laughing! haha

2. a video of the flooding in venice showed a dude water-skiing in the flood water! rather enjoying the flood than feeling mundane! which reminds me of the photo which was on the news straits times homepage yesterday - a family squatting in the flood water in their home, having lunch (i think this was somewhere in terengganu). makes you wonder why they didn't stand up and hold their plates instead! hahahaha (SADIST!!!)

Messsages from the Future


this sounds like a case from the twilight zone. i logged in to my facebook account today and checked out some comments made of a photo i was tagged in. everything was as usual until i noticed the time the comments were posted. they were dated for tomorrow! could it be messages from the future? messages that these friends are only starting to think of or even unbeknownst to them yet?

I think it's just probably the time zone difference between here and US... what an anticlimax to something that could be so amusing yet subtle.

Friday, November 28, 2008

What's the hype with Twilight?

after work on wednesday night, i got this sms from YC asking whether i wanted to see Twilight. the movie was premiering at 12 midnight. from reading entertainment news on the CNN website and the likes, i gathered that the movie was pretty good since it had topped the box office in US. so naturally i thought that it would be a full house and that we were way too late to get tickets. we tried to book tickets via phone but the automated answering machine churned out a message that there were no available tickets for phone-booking.

anyway, we took a gamble and went to gsc, 1u (all the way from shah alam) and were surprised that we could get pretty good seats (one of the back rows) and that the cinema wasn't full! so we bought ourselves a couple of cups of 100plus and anticipated a great show.

for me, the film was mostly slow moving for the first half of the movie. i felt that the movie was ok, not spectacular... and i suspect the high ticket sales was probably contributed by those crazy screaming tweens which form a very effective cult following over any cute celebrity or any new fad deemed cool. however, for me, the only thing that attracted me was edward cullen (the vampire high school junior), played by robert pattinson.

ok, brace yourself for a "screamy teeny confession" (although i'm far from a teen!)... but he is so.... cute and cool! i think the hairstyle did most of the charming (his other pictures weren't as good looking as how he looked in Twilight). just puzzled how some people can be so beautiful... perfect face symmetry! and the eyes... so melancholy and hints of "danger".

well, i need to stop here (although it may be abrupt... no winding up of the idea above)... i've got an appointment to go to now... dinner in jaya one!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Alcohol to cure your sore throat

i know this is a little too hyper for the blog posting traffic of this blog... but today, i just seem to keep being reminded of stuff to blog about...

a couple of days ago (during the weekend), my throat was feeling abit rough... feeling frustrated of always feeling under the weather on my days off from work, i threw caution to the wind and ate chocolate. not just any kind of chocolate, i chose the brandy-filled cherry chocolate. at first it tasted like crap (as alcohol does to me) but then came the warm effect... aahhh... and the soreness (of my throat) went away...

i then proceeded to eat 2 bags of chips (junk food) and then retired to bed for the night. the next morning... my throat was ok... i was surprised... maybe the alcohol had something to do with it.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I want Jack, not Zack!

photo from jack-russell-terrier-pictures.com

in one of those rare moments where i get to watch a movie on astro at home, i just finished "my dog skip" and it was really sweet! ... although i never really liked frankie muniz in any show/movie...

so anyway, skip is a jack russell terrier given to this loner little boy (frankie muniz), to the objection of his war-hero father (kevin bacon). the dog eventually wins the boy friends and brings him out of his shell... and so the story goes (go watch it to know the details)... the dog was a really good actor!!! his antics were exactly the same as zack's, just that zack is an ugly mutt...

haha, poor guy... he's the exact opposite of what me and my mum consider a desirable dog - white, fluffy, female, floppy ears. zack is black, short-haired, male, pointy ears (dobermann pinscher). so you see why we "pity" the fellow, but unsuspectingly he has niggled into our hearts and literally rubbed his influence on us - all of us - even if 'someone' is reluctant to admit the pooch is actually a positive addition to the family! hmm... i think i've not mentioned zack's treacherous acts... he embraces strangers who praises/adores him and a certain 'stranger' who refuses to talk to me! i shall not endeavour to blog about this person in the event of certain possibilities involving my impending future... (yeah, what ever that means! sheesh, i should actually practice what i read in that "what not to write" guidebook to good english)

anyway, back to the topic of the dog movie... i've always wanted a jack russell terrier ever since i played with one puppy of that breed in cleveland, ohio, US almost 10 years ago. they're just so delightful! although they're not exactly beautiful dogs (like afghan hounds and poodles), but they have this 'baldwin' quality which makes them endearing! and the name's just so matter-of-fact cute! the jack russell on frasier sealed the deal on my affinity to this particular breed of dogs! they just look so cheeky and unpretentious! ah, when can i get one? maybe i should learn knitting and knit zack a white and spotty brown coat so that he can look more like a jack russell!

Not excited to go home?

today's been a weird day... not in a way that is freaky or way out of the Earth's orbit, but just tiny incidents which vary from the norm. i started my day off by parking in a space right in front of my office door entrance (i've never got this spot before) and as usual, i was early... so i started on my routine of placing the letters and newspapers where they should usually go, turning on the tv and air-con, taking a short visit to the loo... and then back to my desk. that's when i realised a black disc-shaped piece of plastic on the carpet under my desk. upon closer inspection, i found the black object to be vaguely familiar... sitting back on my chair, i eased off my shoes and discovered one heel piece missing... it wasn't even 10a.m. and i already had a wardrobe malfunction!

fortunately i keep a couple of pairs of slippers (for driving purpose) in my car, and subsequently hurried down to change my shoes before the others came in to work. i decided to wear the newer pair with huge gold faux crystals out of fear the older, more comfortable pair (bought in bali) would also give way before the day ended. the down side of these golden slippers was the pain it inflicts on my big toes.

the next thing that went wrong was the office internet connection. we've been having some unstable connection the past few days, but today was a total blackout for a couple of hours... which hindered my work... so i had time to flip through 'the edge' newspaper and boggle my mind with the business jargons so foreign to me. the internet downtime extended until i couldn't do my midday stock updates, so i went out for lunch with my colleagues.

we went to a place near aman suria which serves really good "char siew". however, when we finally got a table and wanted to order, the "char siew" was sold-out! i think my colleagues were pretty disappointed (i've noticed, and other people as well, that they love eating pork!), so we settled for hakka mee... which was my first time eating it and well, it tasted better than it looked (conclusion: i liked it). what's so weird about sold-out "char siew"? we've been to this restaurant a couple of times and we've never (at least when i went with them) encountered this situation before.

albeit the internet problems, i managed to finish my news in good timing. however, as usual, after searching and reading (or rather, skimming) through various news articles, i started getting sleepy and bored yet again... it was past 5.30p.m. and the only thing left for me to do was to compile the news and send it to my colleague. i was too sleepy and automatically rested my face in my palms with elbows propped on the desk and unconciously dozed off... i'm not sure exactly how long i was asleep, but i was awakened by the vibration of my ringing handphone on the table. in fact, i was jolted awake by it... hopefully no one saw how i reacted... anyway, it was mom calling to tell me she was at the curve and asked me to go home straight... i can't imagine how long i'd be asleep at my desk if i didn't receive that call! i could've missed my "going home" time and end up sleeping in office!!! although that would be highly unlikely... hahaha

and finally, i just learned a new word from watching an oprah episode on highly talented children... and the word is "phenom"! all this while, i've only known "phenomenon" and i never knew the root word is "phenom"... so tv is educational... occassionally...

btw, over the weekend i put up a news found from the reuters website that a research showed unhappy people tend to watch more tv (counting average hours a day) than happy people, who spend more of their time reading or socialising... so that's just an idea to ponder upon.

Friday, November 21, 2008

An out-of-this-world epitaph

these days i flip through the newspaper from the back, progressing to the frontpage. why, you might ask? it's because i need to scan the sports section for any news pertaining to equestrian and certain subjects which may be beneficial for a certain endorser. so, right before the sports section is the obituary pages.

i'm not sure why, but i always glance through the obituary (some people just plain avoid this section out of superstition or dislike of morbidity...). today, i spotted an interesting obituary which span the vertical half of a newsprint page. it featured a photo of a bare-chested man spotting sunglasses with angel wings behind him (i'm not sure whether this is a picture of the deceased as the face looked relatively young and he had a muscled body, but according to the date of birth, the guy was about 50 years old). the epitaph was titled "Pete the magic maker", followed by a torrent of verses describing how he lived his life to the fullest and the magic he brought to those around him. i'm guessing he was some sort of a performer - maybe a musician or magician... what first struck me was the photo featured, the dude looked cool (not like the conventional obituaries where a studio-taken picture of the deceased is featured...) and that they had photoshoped a pair of realistic wings into the picture (making him look like a real angel... like those in 'constantine'). the fonts used were also interesting... serifs... making the article look chic and not morbid or solemn.

overall, the obituary felt more like a tribute or celebration of the deceased's life rather than a solemn notice or obligatory announcement in the newspaper. his friends and family must have really loved him to be able to come up with such a personal epitaph, capturing the essence of his being and not just the externals or superficial qualities.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What's with the formalin?


another topic i've always thought about blogging about, but never came down to it... FORMALDEHYDE.

during one of those toilet moments (erm... the long calls) where there's nothing else to read but the labels on toiletry products, i found that the Sunsilk conditioners had formaldehyde in them... i had a few varieties around... and they all had formaldehyde in them! if i'm not mistaken, formaldehyde, when added to water will form formalin. formalin is carcinogenic as it permeates the skin and goes into your cells, wreaking havoc in there.

fuelled by inquisition, i started perusing other bottles and tubes of soaps, lotions and potions in my bathroom... and discovered that the Dove shampoo (or was it conditioner... this was quite awhile back) also had formaldehyde in it. then i looked at a box of toothpaste which came as a free gift with one of the Sunsilk products. and shockingly, formaldehyde was also listed as one of the ingredients!!! toothpaste... which you put in your mouth!

admittedly, formaldehyde was not the first few ingredients listed on these products... so the content may be minute... but the fact remains that the manufacturers added formaldehyde to these products! and another thing i'd noticed was that all these products were from Unilever... coincidence or on purpose? i have no comment on that...

what is the rationale of adding formaldehyde to conditioners and toothpaste? when other brands do not add this substance to equivalent products... perhaps someday i'll meet someone with a background in chemistry who could tell me what role formaldehyde plays in fomulating hair conditioners and toothpastes... for now, the only thing i can think of is that formaldehyde has some preservative properties and so it could probably play a part in enhancing your hair... of course, as a disclaimer, this "theory" may be utterly wrong, as there is no strong basis (of my knowledge) to it.

How I went out of my way for nothing...

i keep forgetting to share an anecdote which recently happened to me. every other week i'll be in charge of finding the technology news, and in one of these stints in september, the launching of apple's new products was plastered on every major news website. being me, too much exposure caused me to reignite my infatuation of owning an ipod nano (i'd taken a fancy to the black 1st generation ipod nano, but did not buy one due to the price tag).

for some reason, i HAD to start craving for the red ipod nano 4th generation... and coincidentally the red ones could only be purchased from the Apple Store (online) and the best part was that malaysia did not have one (at that time...). so i proceeded to search other country's Apple Stores and found that our malaysian price was the highest around... other countries had lower prices after currency conversion but only people residing in the country could make these online purchases. so this posed a stumbling block to my conquest. my emotions shot from extreme happiness to miserable defeat upon learning the t&c. i was trying to think who can i trust and "tumpang" to buy it for me... then i was working out how much the shipping would cost and although in some countries, the ipod nano was more than RM100 cheaper, the shipping to malaysia using a trusted courier would end up costing more than the malaysian market price. another option was to go down to singapore to make the purchase (which incidentally was only around RM6 cheaper) but the problem was that i didn't have a singapore-registered credit card!

then mum suggested i ask her friend in hong kong to make the purchase as she was coming back to malaysia in december. to cut the long story short (and cut out all the negotiation part), she agreed to buy the red ipod. i was on a work assignment in terengganu when i got the news... i was happy and then agitated, as i didn't get a chance to tell her i wanted to have some engraving done on the ipod (i know, spoiled brat!). anyway, i tried sms-ing her but she did not reply... so i'm guessing that she'd already ordered it (oh, i haven't received it yet...).

well, with that said and done... i was quite satisfied, as i will be getting what i wanted. then came the big shocker! i was driving to work on tuesday 11th november 2008... approaching the batu tiga stretch of road before entering glenmarie... listening to Will & Shaz on RedFM... when i heard Will mention that malaysia's apple store was just launched some 20 minutes ago!!! in the car, i was like... shouting my unbelieve! this news coming just 2 days after my mum's friend ordered the ipod for me from HK!!! i was numb, unbelieve turning into a feeling of being cheated and finally regret!!! and the worst part is that we can get the apple products in 1-2 working days and if i'd only waited a few days, i could have had my ipod engraved for FREE! and also get an apple t-shirt (in conjunction with their new launching)... arghh... i felt so stupid!!!

my only consolation is that my (soon to arrive) red ipod nano 4th generation will be about RM50 cheaper than the malaysian price. moral of the story: don't be such a greedy fart and always have patience because as with the famous "Malaysian timing" myth (or more like truth), things will take its own time to reach malaysian shores...

i've noticed that i always seem to take the longer more complicated route about things. this was the case when i was searching to complete my roald dahl, l.m.m. montgomery (of the Anne of Green Gables series) and cynthia voigt (the Jackaroo, Elske etc. series) book collections and also when purchasing the 1996 BBC Pride & Prejudice dvd. i'd to buy a multi-region dvd player for the latter! just imagine that!

The Ever-Youthful Mickey Mouse Turns 80!!!


as i was doing my usual rounds finding news on the Internet, i discovered that Mickey Mouse is 80 today! i think Mickey is undoubtedly the most famous rodent of all times! to think that rodents are widely regarded as pests and carriers of disease, this Hollywood mouse does the rodent family proud! according to this slideshow on CNN (picture above taken from this Web site), the secret to Mickey's success is that he is based on circles which are soothing. it also says that a psychologist in the 1940s said that if you showed a picture of the cartoon mouse to a child, they would instantly smile.

so Mickey Mouse makes us feel good? personally, i agree with this... but only when i look at the older versions of the mouse... somehow i don't really find the newer Mickey Mouse as unique, funny and friendly. maybe it's because the new Mickey speaks more than the old Mickey... and cartoons from the good old days used to have an innocent brand of humour - simple yet funny and doesn't have to resort to toilet humour or double meaning and name-calling... that's why i stopped watching cartoons (and also the fact that i was getting abit too old to be doing that!)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Mac OS is Just So Visually Pleasing to Use

maybe it's just me being petty, but i feel so cool and comfortable when using Mac OS. all the graphics are smooth, not too crisp with a slight shadow behind each window and smooth gradient colours everywhere! and when you hover your cursor over a button, it glows lightly and fading when the cursor is moved away. aaahhh!!! and the program icons! even open source softwares have nicely designed icons using great colours and playing around with gradients and shadows. i'm wondering whether the developers/designers create better looking icons for macs than windows or it's because the OS makes everything look nice? hahaha

anyway, the reason i've posted the photo above is to point out something i've just only noticed... an incredible detail i've missed all this while. notice that the 'page load error' pop-up comes out from a slit in the grey part of the browser. it's so adorable... looks like the cd drive slit on a macbook! the pop-up slides out from the slit and dissappears when an option in the pop-up window is selected. such detail! who'd think of that?

i think i am "terlalu mengagungkan" apple products... infatuation? probably...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Thunder

i've completed my work and still have about 1 hour to go before i can leave (which is after doing the asian stock market closing). i was listening to mp3s on my hp, where the ear buds really shuts all the noise out from the surroundings, while working on the computer when i kept feeling vibrations from the table. at first i thought it was my handphone vibrating or the disc drive playing a disc... but then i remembered that if my phone were to ring, i'd hear it from my ear buds... and i was not using the disc drive... so then i took off my ear buds and found that the vibrations were caused by fierce thunder resonating my table! i hadn't realised that it was raining heavily outside...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Swatting Flies In Office

my office has been really empty this week as half of the staff are out settling problems and going for meetings. that leaves 3 of us left in the office most of the time. today, there's only two of us here. i feel lonely and actually fell asleep for a few minutes after lunch. i woke up with a mild case of heart palpitation... maybe due to fear of being found out? but as one colleague says, it is ok to have a short nap...

somehow, 2 large flies have found their way into the office yesterday afternoon and has been plaguing me all morning today. i've been literally swatting flies (which can also double up as an expression of my boredom) with the newspaper or anything nearby. however, as you know, flies have multiple eyes which gives it 360 degree view of its surroundings and so the task proved to be harder than it sounds. a few minutes ago, one of the stupid flies kept attacking me - going at my head, face, pen, laptop, mouse, etc... and as i was trying to shoo it away from my face with my right hand, it got trapped between my middle finger and ring finger... my unexpected victory was met with an impulsive thought of how much bacteria are found on a fly... i nearly puked, but got myself together and tried pulling its wings off, but it kept buzzing so i had to dispose of the fellow by pounding him between layers of a tissue paper...

please excuse my narrative of the disposal of a fly, it may seem inhumane but a fly is a pest and are far from extinction (at least this species... since i see them in abundance in markets and garbage bins). anyway, it's one down... one more to go... the other fugitive fly seem to have disappeared!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Clearing Dead Flowers

it's embarrassing but i'd only worked up the effort to dismantle my graduation flower bouquets yesterday and throw the dead flora away. the wilting blossoms in brightly coloured florist paper had been sitting in the kitchen for exactly 2 months... it was starting to give out that herbaceous smell of drying leaves...

i know that usually people just throw the whole bouquet away after a week, but i had to take out the graduation bears and removed some of the papers (to be used in some future scrapbooking or art & craft attempts)... yes, i'm a hoarder of all sorts of craft supplies!

anyway, the reason for this sudden burst of positive energy in clearing up the house comes at the usual time of the month where i'll get very hardworking and will go the extra mile to get thing done. i find that i do better on exams when it falls around this time of the month. it's because i'll be in the mood to write and thus, my answers will be better phrased... although nothing can help me if the facts are wrong, but at least if they are correct and nicely phrased, the examiner will be in a better mood and may be more lenient! at least that's what i hope...

this also explains why there's 2 posts for today.

Interesting Numbers

i just noticed as i was adding the forex that today's foreign exchange for 100 saudi riyal was RM90.210... get it? 90210... beverly hills 90210... the popoular tv series in the 1990s. but of course 90210 is only the post code or zip code...

i don't know why but i seem to always notice numbers and try to make sense of them... like while trying to remember where we parked the car, i'll try to turn the parking lot number into something that i find interesting. sometimes it's abit annoying when i can't make the numbers into anything but the numbers itself and so, i 'll just write it down somewhere.

another weird numbers thing i've come to notice is that i always seem to see 12.34 on my handphone clock, astro decoder clock, car clock or any digital time piece... somehow, i always manage to unwittingly check the time at 12.34, be it in the morning or night. the most common is after church on sunday and if i'm using the computer at night.

unfortunately, i really can't remember numbers when there is a need to remember them. i'm only good for remembering redundant numbers where there's no importance in recalling them. it's just weird how the brain works.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Exasperated in trust

i'm finding it very hard to trust people lately. it seems like everytime i put my trust in someone, that person will bail out on me (in chinese, the term is "ffk" which stands for "fong fei kei" or literally translated as "board aeroplane"... don't ask me how the term originated!?!). these past few weeks i've made a couple of plans with different friends to meet up and i can say that 70% of them didn't materialise! and it's always last minute cancellations! it's like you're looking forward to eating this food and it gets snatched away as you're just about to grasp it!

i've found, with this one particular friend, that i can never arrange a successful meetup... she's really a nice person, but even if we scheduled a meeting two weeks ahead, she'd always end up having some trip or another gathering - affectively cancelling our outing. i don't know, perhaps she prioritizes another (unsaid) group of friends. after all, she is closer to them... but i hope it's not because she doesn't want to meet up with us.

i have another friend, a coursemate, whom i think doesn't want to mix with us (four of us used to lunch together and sit together in classes) anymore as she always declines invitations for meetups. i think the cause of this alienation was due to some subtle fallouts all of us had with each other as a result of too much close contact with each other. however, the rest of us did not think too much of these fallouts and just forgave and forget those akward moments. i guess it is different for different people. but it's such a pity that 2 years of friendship would go to the dogs just because of some untactful words and deeds said and done...

another incident of trust... i shall need to be vague here. my trust in people have gotten me into "hot soup" a couple of times. by "hot soup" i don't mean it as a vey serious problem, but it has resulted in my reputation being slightly marred. being blamed for something you didn't do isn't something that i desire. and i feel that it isn't quite a smart move to rat on people... it's something like biting the hand that feeds you. thankfully evidences are aplenty and if one were to look properly, it would point to the truth. that's why sometimes i prefer to do everything myself! which is obviously not a "work smart" tactic!

My first accident

this is embarrassing to say, but i met with a traffic accident on my second day of driving solo. i was coming back from work and it was just after the junction in sunway where the petting zoo used to be (i think it's now lake quay), when it happened. i was on the left slow lane when suddenly there was this black proton wira cutting in front of me (or overtaking... ) from the right. i did not see her till it happened. in fact i had slowed down upon seeing this black mass at the corner of my eyes and when she cut in front of me, i honked. but it was too late, a collision occurred.

i had slowed down while she was speeding up, so naturally her car got the worse of the damages. my car had scratches on the frontal right side of my bumper... a little dislodged but nothing out of shape or cracked. anyway that bumper had been re-sprayed before when mum rammed it into the concrete block at the science fac foyer. whereas the lady's car had a long dent on her left back door. she kept insisting i was in the wrong... and at one point i really thought i was in the wrong... but after pondering upon it for a week and revisiting the place of the incident everyday (can't be helped, since i use that road to go home everyday), i'm convinced that i was on my lane... therefore i should have the right of way!

anyway, we started out arguing with raised voice... but not abusive words or physical battle la... but in the end we parted on a friendly note, exchanging contact numbers and apologising for shouting earlier... it was really weird... but i'm glad that it wasn't such a traumatising incident... perhaps it didn't turn all sour because she was also a christian? i saw her take out a bible to prop her piece of paper for taking down my details... and i asked her if she was a christian... then we started talking about church... so weird!!! in the middle of an accident and cars buzzing by... and we're talking about church! anyway, praise God! she wasn't hostile to me when she called me up to ask about what arrangements we should have. i told her i hadn't had time to get a mechanic's quotation and she was the same too. then she said we'll keep in contact... and until now she hasn't called me (it's been 1 month now)

i really do hope that she realises i was not to blame... people make mistakes. be thankful it was just a minor accident and no bodily harm occured. i hope she doesn't call me up asking for payment... (fingers crossed)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Changes

change is good. it forces you out of your comfort zone, thus pushing you to grow.

so much change have been happening in my life. i've finally started driving, having only 3 days of practice with mum before venturing out alone. i've started working as a copywriter in an environment where i'm the only female in the company (something that i am really not used to). and before that, i was going for interviews in kl, pj, shah alam and even in singapore.

let me begin my narrative in a chronological order. the first interview i went for was for the company i'm currently attached to. it was more of a writing test than an interview and there wasn't a ready vacancy for me, so the ceo said i had to wait till their funds permitted the hiring of another staff. with that hopeless situation practically a dead end, i went for my second interview. it was the 1st phase recruitment for the standard chartered banking apprentice programme. at the end of my interview, the interviewer said she would definitely recommend me for the 2nd interview. a friend of mine also went for the same inerview, and she had seen my name in the shortlisted list. however the call never came, so i guess that too is a lost cause. thinking back, i wonder whether the reason why i wasn't called back was because i have a standard chartered bank account (conflict of interest?).

the next interview was at an insurance company in kota kemuning. they had found my resume from JobsDB and called me to schedule an interview. they offered me the job (some assistant marketing exec) for the salary i requested, provided i proved myself within the probation period. i turned down that job as they needed an answer immediately and i had already scheduled another interview in singapore.

i went for the phase 1 mgtp assessment session for maxis. it was really different from the other interviews i'd went for, as the assessment was split into 2 sections, written tests and group dynamics. i think i screwed up the written test, especially the comprehension and essay parts. for the group dynamics, our team of 4 did not quite gel, so we could not complete the task given to us. however, i managed to make a friend from the session... i thought she had the most potential among the 4 of us (in getting through to the 2nd phase), but she didn't get it. needless to say, i didn't get through either.

the singapore interview was pretty disappointing as i had had a wrong impression of the job i applied for. it was advertised on Jobstreet with a legal recruitment firm for company profile but they were looking for a graduate trainee in the biotechnology field. i thought it was a HR company recruiting for another biotech company (like some other ads on these job websites). however, it turned out to be an internal recruitment, meaning they were looking for headhunters. the interviewer was patronising, immediately telling me i've got the wrong impression of the job i was being interviewed for (before i even said a word... maybe she could have told me that before i spent hundreds of ringgit to get to singapore!) but i must give her credit for answering my many questions although it was clearly a goner case.

so after some more meetings with my first 'interviewer', i accepted the job and am currently working as a 'creative copywriter' (as the very detailed job contract states, although i don't really see why the word "creative" should be in the job title since i'm not really doing those advert copywriting...). i had to reject 2 interviews - the first was for the post of medical writer in an international medical media company and the second was from Kraft (and this i had to reject because my boss was sitting right next to me when i recieved the call! what luck!?!)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Beheaded Ant

My left big toe is itchy and mildly inflame. i was wondering why it was so since yesterday. while helping with dinner preparations, i finally figured out the answer... suddenly i remembered being bitten by a red ant on saturday while washing a car rubber mat in my garden! it's funny how things like that can totally slip my mind. in terms of the emotion i feel when facing one of these memory lapses it is like being able to see a beautiful castle in the distance but the way to it is somehow magically photoshop-ed away so that the castle appears to be suspended in the air. but you know that that doesn't make sense logically and then there is this unfathomable yearning to find the missing pieces.

anyway, back to the ant story... the strangest thing (ok that's abit far fetched... maybe it's better to go with 'strange' alone without the -est) happened today, i found an ant's head in the ear piece of my handphone. at first i thought it was one of those tiny beetles which like to eat woolen clothes and roll into a tight ball when disturbed... but when i dug it out with a safety pin and upon closer inspection, i found that it had 2 small eyes, pincers and no legs... it was a beheaded ant! how it got there, i have no idea but i can't help thinking this is a payback (to the ant) for biting my toe the other day...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My blog is susceptible to spammers? WOW

i was randomly reading back my old posts, when i noticed that some of them had comments. honestly this is the first time i've noticed that my blog had any comments!!! all this while i've assumed that the only reader to this blog is... ME... hahaha... since i did put it in 'private' mode for some time, especially during the times when i was working on projects... hence alot of ranting and i deemed it unsafe for some of my rather descriptive complaints to be available publicly...

i guess this calls for 34 comments... delete! delete! delete!

anyway, back to the 'comments' issue, i was surprised that most of it were spam!!! hahahaha (so yeah, maybe my readership actually numbers to ONE!!!) well most of the comments were composed using this cookie cutter template of first complementing my blog (which i doubt they even read a word past the title) and then proceed to advertise their own blog... especially this fellow with some carpet cleaning website! but there were a couple of comments which were clearly related to my post... so i guess those where genuine readers? (thanks for reading my blog! although i think most strangers would find it difficult to keep tract of what i'm trying to document... hehe) through one of the comments, i discovered a park ranger's blog and read a few posts... amusing anecdotes, just like what we see on tv about park rangers! hehehe

one particular comment was pretty surprising though... the one about my seatru experience in 2005! the volunteers after my slot read my post! and they discovered it from one of the research assistant's blog!! double shocking-ness... i thought my identity was illusive (i guess not! hahaha... so much so for my fancy ideas about myself!)... but yeah, seatru was really a great experience. i like these kinds of stuff where there is no fuss to deal with and you genuinely have to plunge yourself into the experience! testing strengths that you never knew you were capable of (like living for a week without electricity!). i hope one day i can go back to chagar hutang to see the hatchlings which i missed in 2005... (here i go rambling again)

Friday, August 01, 2008

Brown rice

Things i've discovered about this food:

1. it has less weevils
2. it requires less washing
3. it needs to be soaked for at least 20 minutes prior to cooking
4. there's this "pop pop" crackle sound while it is soaking in water
5. it smells like cereal when cooked
6. it takes a longer time to cook (as opposed to white rice)
7. if cooked with inadequate water, it can be a chore to to eat it
8. when soaked in soup/gravy, the grains become puffy
9. when spoiled/fermented, the aroma is sweeter than white rice (subjected to the same processes)
10. eating in long term causes alteration in shitting habits/patterns
11. we need to cook 2 and 1/2 cups to feed the whole family (compared to the usual 2 cups of white rice)
12. my dog seem to finish all his rice more often (but then it could also be due to the meat dishes served lately)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The one about the problem with Friendster

lately (a couple of weeks back till now), i've been experiencing problems logging into friendster. i'm not sure whether its just the computers in my house or other people have also been having this same problem too... funny thing is that sometimes i'm able to login but the next time its back to the same problem... which is, when you click on login (after entering username and password) the home page loads back like no info was entered... i've e-mailed a complain where they gave a speedy response (within 24 hrs) with some pointers from their faq section and other troubleshooting options. unfortunately, their recommendations did not work and i'm just too lazy to complain again. so i'll just have to live without friendster i guess (which i've already been doing for quite a while since facebook emerged).

one puzzling thing is that this login issue seem to only occur in my house... on both my laptop n imac... haven't tried it on my bro's computers yet though. i wonder whether it could have been caused by streamyx or firefox... well, que sera sera... whatever will be will be...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My dog is an archaeologist


ah mutt zackaria indeed is a talented archaeologist. everyday he will take his chicken drumstick or thigh apart and spread the bones all over the door mat or on whatever surfaces he can secure. he evenly spaces out the pieces of fractured bones and meat, taking care that none are piled on top of each other. he then guards his works with a vengeance, growling ferociously (as much as possible, since he really is a very small dog) and snaps madly at anyone who dares to disturb his masterpiece! many have tried to tame the vicious animal instincts in him (and also to clean up the mess he's created) but have came back with a bitten hand or finger. the only way to evade his wrathful bites is by way of trickery, using baits such as other foods or letting him roam the garden outside.

the only consolation to this matter is that after he bites you, he immediately feels apologetic for his rash actions and starts offering an olive branch by snuggling up to you. so it is evident that the dog does have some degree of conscience. unfortunately i have not been able to graphically document his best works but below is one of his poorer jobs.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My trip to Sarawak






i'm surprised my laptop still works fine! a couple of days before leaving for sarawak, mum spilled half a cup of ice-cold water on my laptop while i was starting it up (strangely, at that time i was experiencing trouble starting it and had to use force shutdown 3 times)... some water entered the keyboard area, ventilation slits and projector port. i immediately shut off the computer, wiped off as much water as i could and used a hair dryer to dry the keyboard. i remembered reading somewhere that you should not use a computer for a few days to let it completely dry off if a spillage occurred. so this is the first time i'm trying out my laptop after the water incident (approximately 5 days ago) and so far, so good (i've been using it for already more than 5 hours straight). thank God!!!

so, now on to my commentaries of my trip to Kuching, Sarawak. nisha and i booked an early flight to kuching on friday morning... our first time stepping on the soil of Borneo island. we took a taxi (our taxi driver spoke english, so different from KL, but drove a little too reckless for my comfort) to our lodging, Singgahsana Lodge in kuching city. i was looking out for signs that we had entered the city when i realized that we were already in the city! our lodgings were nice, homey and most importantly, clean! since we arrived way earlier than the check-in time, we decided to take a walk around. we discovered a nearby parkson having the grand sale on and since our tummies were starting to rumble, we ate at sugar bun (i read somewhere that it was quite big in east malaysia, or at least in sarawak). unfortunately for us the food wasn't that great. we then bought ourselves our drinking water rations from giant.

the purpose of our trip to kuching was to catch the 11th rainforest world music festival (RWMF) in the sarawak cultural village. i must say that the whole event appeared to be very much commercialized... but i guess in order to host such a big event, you need to sell out abit... and also thanks to the massive cut in budget by the government! initially (i didn't know about the budget issue then), i was thinking "why on earth are there HSBC buntings in the middle of the jungle? (our bus ride passed through secluded jungle-like areas on the way to the sarawak cultural village) then when we arrived, i found out why... because they were one of the major sponsors! together with heineken, mas, shell, some drinking water company and i can't recall the rest.

overall, between the three nights the performances were good (but not very 'world music'-ish to me). the up tempo of the modern rock bands rendered the more traditional performances paler in comparison. i liked the performances of new rope string band (uk), akasha (malaysia), kasai masai (congo/uk), oikyataan (india), fadomorse (portugal) and sheldon blackman & the love circle (trinidad & tobago). the others were also good but perhaps not my cup of tea. the ross daly quartet (greece) and adel salameh (palestine) performances were unique and rich in culture. ooh, i really enjoyed the new rope string band... they were so cute and funny with their vocal harmony and violin+accordion act! fadomorse had a dynamic front man, great stage presence!

unfortunately, 2 out of the 3 nights rained... the first and last nights... so the mosh pit became some mud box where hundreds of people were having mud fights! of course nisha and i didn't venture into that region... we value our shoes more than having a stranger rub mud on our faces.

we bumped into a couple of people we knew and also spotted some local and regional "celebrities" around the cultural village... i kept bumping into a certain aiesecer who was a faci in one of the leadership seminars i attended while in university... we also met up with vikki and her sarawakian friend on the last night... they'd just finished their exams... we camped out on the small hill between the two stages... alternating our attention between the two whenever the stage lights were turned on on either. when it started raining, we had to run for cover, but we returned to the edge of the mosh pit when the rain dwindled to a drizzle. we had a blast of a time on the last night... it's really true that "the more the merrier".

besides RWMF 2008, we walked around kuching town, buying souvenirs and trying out a certain "spicy noodle" in a restaurant recommended by JH (who unfortunately was posted to a village that weekend)... it was good! hehe... we took a "sampan" ride across the river to try find Fort Margherita... but little did we know that the place was closed up (we found this out on the morning of our departure from vikki's sarawakian friend... su). during our "sampan" ride back, there were these two women who were busy posing for photos... then one lady decided to transfer herself to the other side and nearly tipped the boat! the boatman and some local men admonished the ladies and shook their heads... luckily we reached the harbourfront dry and in one piece... took a couple of pictures among the historical buildings and monuments... we visited the chinese civilisation museum too... and there was this man who was practically shouting into his handphone and bouncing on the creaking floorboards of the museum... effectively rattling the displays and causing a raucous in the normally quiet museum...

the trip was good... only thing was that i wished we'd had more time to go eco-sightseeing and see more of the natural side of sarawak. i guess i'll just have to wait for another time to fulfill this wish.

when we reached kl, getting back to shah alam was a problem. we'd arrived right smack in the middle of rush hour... workers were rushing back home and we were wielding our gigantic luggage... at first, our plan was to take the ktm komuter straight back to shah alam. but we could not get onto the train, even after 2 trains had come and gone... we witnessed a pregnant lady faint and fall onto the tracks and a couple of guys rushed down and carried her to safety before any train arrived... i think she must have had a bout of fits or something...

anyway, since we couldn't board the ktm komuter, i suggested we take putraline to kelana jaya where my mum could pick us up. and so we did... the lrt wasn't that packed and we had no problem travelling back to kelana jaya. although we wasted our fare for the ktm komuter... but the point is that we arrived safely and comfortably back in shah alam. and so ended our trip to kuching!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

My pains

today's post is going to sound like a complaining old hag.

a few posts ago, i mentioned about a pain in my back (which i noticed after doing the whole washing clothes routine thing...). i don't know whether it was the exacerbation from that day or it was from a new unknown injury, but my back pains were very obvious on monday this week when i met up with BY to do our banking. on sunday the pains came in spasms (like 'now you feel it, now you don't!') and i thought maybe they were caused by my bad posture or something. on monday, stabbing pains went up my spine whenever i took a right step (especially when walking on the tar road). i felt like there was some friction between bones near the pelvic bone and lower vertebrae. being a true Wong (at least in this branch of family la) i started thinking of the worst... "what if it was slip disc (like my course mate has)?"... but BY thinks it's because i wore high heals the whole day from morning to night a week before... it could be... plus the bending and squatting while doing my laundry... could have added salt to the wound...

it's weird... first i started experiencing noticeable hair loss (my scalp's getting more visible), then eczema induced by stress, then heart palpitations (or whatever that's causing me to wake up in the hot afternoon with a slight tremble in my hands and a feeling like there's a mild earthquake occurring) and now these back pains. am i really aging that fast? and the funny thing is that it started when i was in form 6... whereas the eczema started when i was working on YV'07 (the concert and all!) and reoccurred when i was writing my thesis and preparing for my viva... thus, it is confirmed to be stress related! my so-called 'heart palpitations' started when i was staying in hostel but its occurrence was very much reduced when i moved back home... so perhaps it was partly caused by me feeling lonely? back pains? i don't know... maybe too much sour foods? i remember eating quite a lot of "kai choy tong" (sour spicy soup prepared with left over meat boiled with mustard plant foliage and tamarind... some people add distilled vinegar to accentuate the sourness) lately...

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

I think I'm easily brain-washed

firstly (before i forget), i've finally modified my original planned layout so that my blog doesn't look half-baked like before (although admittedly it hasn't baked to perfection yet!). i think it doesn't look that bad now, just a broken left column and some misaligned text. however i noticed that on the imac, the menu (left column) consist of serif type... which i don't particularly like on an electronic medium. i can't recall how it was on a windows pc. anyway, that's a minor problem and i shall work on it when i remember to.

lately, i've been job hunting (mostly online) and have visited a number of FMCG company websites. some of the more established organizations offer online applications where you need to login and fill out electronic forms, upload your resume, answer a string of questions so they can gauge your personality or analytical skills and finally get you to sign a legal agreement about the authenticity of the information you provided and allowing them to keep your info in their database, authorize them to check out your criminal records etc... i find these procedures tedious (but sometimes quite interesting too) as i can take up to half a day to complete one application (also thanks to streamyx, which allows me to enter the same data multiple times due to connection failure). however before all these application processes, there is the part where you read about the job description and what you'd be able to learn from the job... when i read that part (be it on the company's website or on jobstreet or jobsDB etc.), sometimes i feel so motivated and excited to start working on the job... that i forget that i haven't even started applying for it... i know this sounds so 'pathetic-jobless-slash-unemployed-person'-ish and i hope that this blog's poor readership will mean that this other side of me would not be known to many (*mockingly holding right index finger to lips whilst pronouncing "Shhhh!"*)

anyway, so here's how the post title came about... i think i'm easily brain-washed! feed me a little bit of inspirational mumbo jumbo fancy pantsy writing and i'm impressed! strangely, i've never really caught on to reading motivational books and what nots... i have always thought i'd never benefit from them because whenever i read a snippet, it's just plain common sense! i find that nothing is new or intriguing for me... so back to the topic of me being easily brain-washed... this shows the power of good writing or rather the clever use/selection of words!!! i wish that i could write that well (i don't mean job ads!) to inspire people to feel emotions they weren't planning to feel or to change their outlook on a certain topic...

just like when i was reading 'a child called it' by dave pelzer or falling leaves by adeline yen mah, it made me shed many tears... the choice of words used really plays an important role in influencing the reader's reading experience... not just the idea behind the words.

i just finished reading anderson cooper's 'dispatches from the edge'... it's a good read, sad but it's reality... war, famine, natural disasters...

Friday, June 27, 2008

The habit sets in again

It's been almost 2 weeks and still no progress on my site renovation... as expected i guess... i think i'll just modify my original plans and simplify the layout. hopefully i'll have the mood to do this right after this post.

so i've officially been unemployed for 4 days. before this i still had the alibi of attending an IT course, but now it's full on job hunting for me. however my major problem is that i'm not too clear of what i want to work as. one thing i know is that i don't want to work in an analysis lab (just too much chemicals and repetition)...

now, to account for my first four days of unemployment. monday: went for a test/interview thing which i think i did really badly at. tuesday & wednesday: stayed at home, searched for jobs online. thursday (today) was more productive; i hand-washed a big load of my clothes, started reading Anderson Cooper's Dispatches from the Edge, practically cooked dinner, checked my bank account (and discovered i don't have enough to pay up my ptptn loan) and finally managed to get mum to choose her birthday spectacles!

as a result, i'm a couple of hundred ringgits poorer with chapped hands and a whole load of clean clothes!!! yay, i feel today was a productive day! but i'm wondering are slight back pains (mainly at the base of my spine when i hunch) and very mild chest discomforts a part of anxiety or signs that i'm getting old or indications of an unhealthy lifestyle?

recently, we've switched to brown rice (when we discovered that our white rice had finished and nobody remembered to buy more) which we bought a month or two before. i thought that it would be a bit difficult to adapt to as i've heard that brown rice is tough etc. however after trying it, i think it tastes better (like cereal), just a little more chewy but it puffs up like boiled barley or pop corn when soaked in soup or gravy! its just so cute!

since it's already 2 a.m. and i have an appointment tomorrow to open a bank account, i think i should stop here so that i have some time to modify my blog layout.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

SITE UNDER RENOVATION

i embarked on an attempt to revamp this blog yesterday night, using ideas from http://www.csszengarden.com and a free blog template from http://freeskins.blogspot.com as a layout guide. i managed to finish designing the photoshop components yesterday night and spent alot of time in class trying to fit the pieces together using xml. i must admit that i'm really doing this blindly, i don't understand the markup language... so by trial and error i've managed to piece together about 50% of the layout, which you can see here. i've also included a shot of how my new blog layout is supposed to look like... hopefully i'll be able to resolve the problems i'm facing with getting the layout to work.

this is a mutant version of the draft layout i created in photoshop... some how blogger distorted the colours when i uploaded this image... tried it twice, still the same results

this is the screenshot of the working layout so far (i still can't figure out how to add the blog description, 'About me' and 'Blog Archive' boxes... and also to get the sidebar panel to reach the footer... at the moment it's just hanging there and my footer is incomplete on the left side...)


So you can expect this blog to look rather shabby for some time... at least till i've found the time and solution to right the current problems in the xml!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Advertisements

again, this post has been in my drafts for more than 3 days. i usually don't really pay attention to ads, be it on tv or radio, but some ads just tend to stand out... one particular radio ad induced me to blog about advertisements, however the inducement was not of a "wow, that's so cool!" nature... however since i've decided to blog about ads, i might as well talk about the ones which i find nice.

recently there's been a series of maxis ads on tv (well, astro at least... i don't usually get to watch national tv anymore) promoting the use of internet on mobile devices. the ads were very simple-looking (minimalist) using hand illustrations on white paper and moving these pieces of papers around in a timely fashion according to the narration. the storyline was about the convenience of using facebook and skype on your mobile... i really like those ads because although they were very basic (no fancy animation or what-so-ever), it stood out and had it's own originality.



digi has also had some interesting ad campaigns. like the "thetruthaboutprepaid.com" stunt that they pulled off some time ago... or the 'smile' thing they did not too long ago (can't remember what it was about, but they gave out tonnes of stickers and car stickers (which i saw pasted on many cars) with a short phrase and a smile... i normally don't go checking out websites which are mentioned in ads (unless i have an interest in the product they're selling) but after a few weeks of seeing "thetruthaboutprepaid.com" plastered everywhere (even on friendster), i finally succumbed to it and visited the website... so you can see the effectiveness of the publicity stunt! i think i read somewhere that the company hired by digi for that particular campaign won some international award for it... to me, those digi ads weren't visually 'stunning' but the idea/concept of it all was captivating!

petronas too have had some interesting ads, especially during the festive seasons. and usually their ads are really long and highly produced... so you can actually imagine how much money goes into their ads... of the petronas ads that i can remember bits and pieces of, i think that they mostly have asian-based (or malaysian-based, to be more accurate) themes. however sometimes, you can't really grasp the message they're trying to convey although the ad is fetching... perhaps its just meant to entertain or act as some sort of community message?

the HP ads are also very chic, the ones with serena williams, michael gondry and vera wang (i only recall watching these three)... really nice idea about the colourful miniature sets and hand gestures amidst narration... i think the campaign was about making the notebook personal... their print ads are also very colourful and attractive







one radio ad which i found to be quite good was the BSN song... cool tune with good singing voice although i was initially shocked when i found out that it was a BSN ad... being so used to those "stuck in the 80's" sort of ads usually chartered by these sort of companies... (maybe i'm just being stereotype...) but i see it as a good effort in modernizing their image!

the one radio ad that i really detest happens to be the series of gintell ads!!! i just can't help feeling that these ads are so annoying! (maybe to other people, they're cute?) i find the supposedly "cute fat cells" voices constipated and shrill... and there was one ad with a song... the recording (OMG!) was so amateurish (sounded like LK's early recordings using the gold Toshiba karaoke mic and the tape deck recording function of his Kenwood mini-compo... but of course today LK has advanced to almost professional recording quality with all the right gadgets - don't tell him that though, he might get abit too ruffled up! hehe) and the singing (argh!) with the awry diction!!! enough said! (i think i'm being abit too critical here, but this is what i truly feel...) actually there's another thing i didn't like about their advertising concept, but i think i'm too sleepy to dwell on it now... so this is goodbye for now.

Final semester results! (long overdue post)

recently i heard from someone that blogs which are too wordy are boring... i guess i'm guilty as charged! i don't know why my posts keep getting longer when i tell myself to make it short and simple. and i love doing this: '...'; i guess its just a bad writing habit cultivated by too much chatting on msn... (see! i couldn't help it, my finger just typed it out automatically).

ok, straight to the subject of my title, no more deviating! 2 posts ago, i posted a reminder to myself so now i'm making good of it. about three weeks ago, my final semester results finally came out (gee, 'finally' isn't an appropriate word to use since it was pretty speedy of the lecturers and isb staffs in releasing the results... faculty of built environment just got their results this week). anyway, as mulled upon in a previous post, i was worried for my 8 credit hours final year project as a bad grade could be highly injurious to my CGPA (it is already bad enough in its current state). however, to my delight (PRAISE GOD!!!) i got an A!!!! woohoo! (i'm trying to reenact the joy i felt 3 weeks ago, pardon me if it does sound a little pathetic here) i got another A for industrial biochemistry which was also taught by my project supervisor (quite an unexpected feat). however for the other 2 papers i only scored Bs and my biochemistry practical 2 (which was chiefly responsible for my lack of sleep constantly throughout the semester) only scored me an A- (my opinion is many of us deserved As, but for my case i have no comment...).

anyway, it's strange but i wasn't really seriously truly worried about my last semester's results. perhaps it may be due to my impending fate of entering the working world (a.k.a rat race) that occupied my mind more than getting good grades... gosh, this is a form of distraction!

in line with my effort in keeping posts short, i'll end here... (with the 'bad habit' punctuating my post again!)

Monday, June 02, 2008

After sales headache (oops, i mean service)

quoting from an article by SC Chen on jobstreet.com, "Our attitudes are our most important asset and based on a study by a US consulting firm with the personnel directors of a selection of American largest companies on their reasons for firing an employee, the results were interesting and underscore the importance of attitude in the business world: incompetence (30%) and attitude problem (52%) ranging from dishonesty and lying, negative attitude, lack of motivation, communication problem and failure to follow instruction. "

i'm wondering whether this also applies for malaysian companies. well, obviously it doesn't apply for sen heng (company selling electric/electronic products) as a certain number of their staff are incompetent and display attitude problems (the 2 failures mentioned in the preceding paragraph). INCOMPETENCE: chinese male staff (presumably the manager or at least someone with authority in the branch outlet) unable to communicate (both verbally and comprehend) at all in english and faces immense difficulty using bahasa malaysia (leaves me wondering how he would serve malay or indian customers who do not speak chinese). it is also obvious that the aforementioned staff does not know the trading policy "the customer is always right" which was coined by Harry Gordon Selfridge (of the Selfridges). albeit it may not always be the best policy, but as someone in the 'customer service' line, you'd think he'd strive to be more tactful and humour the customer and also stick to the brand promise of his company... but no, the sad fact is he chose to ignore (or maybe he isn't aware of) professionalism and go with the "china-man bussiness mentality" (no offence intended for the people of China)

ATTITUDE PROBLEMS: as outlined in the first paragraph, dishonesty and lying, communication problem and failure to follow instructions, these are the qualities which were displayed by the chinese male staff and his female conspirator. let's start with communication problem. in an attempt to improve communication with me, male staff (speaks zero english) ropes in his female colleague (speaks english well) to contact me via phone. for this, i give them credit however when i wanted to know what repairs have been made to my laptop and refreshed their memory about the broken down disc burner, her respond was "your burner working fine mar..." that's when i found out they were feeding me a pack of lies. they told me that my hard drive had virus and needed to be formatted (fee of rm70) but other than that, my laptop was perfectly normal. at that time, it did not occur to me to rebutt that statement as i am 100% sure the problem wasn't a virus. you see, since the windows platform is the most widely used platform therefore most virus are encoded to attack windows. on the other hand, the mac osx and windows platforms are very different (i myself do not understand the technical details) causing a windows application (.exe files) to be incompatible with mac osx (which uses .dmg files). and the three main routes of virus infection (in cyber terms not biological), are from downloading files off the internet, email attachments and file transfers using removable storage devices. since for the last 6 months or so i have been busy with my thesis, i conducted many file transfers using my removable USB drives (pendrive and kingston) between my laptop (windows platform) and my imac g4 (mac osx platform)... go ahead connect the dots... and you'll see that if there was a virus, i'd immediately be able to see extra incompatible files in the USB drives when i accessed them on the mac. but the fact is, i did not see these extra files leading to my conclusion that my hard disk was free of virus (yes, i do know that a couple of posts before i had an encounter with the IOImall virus but i managed to completely get rid of that vermin... the registry damages caused by it, is another matter).

so this leads me to my second point, dishonesty and lying. what is the problem with admitting that you do not know the information which i requested and perhaps refer me directly to the repair technician? even in AIESEC (a student organisation), we're taught that during our marketing calls/appointments if we are not sure about a detail in our traineeship program (that we are trying to sell to the companies), we are not to 'simply crap some seemingly passable info' but to give a response such as "i'm not too sure about that, can i get back to you about it?" 'crapping' some tall story reduces your credibility (as a person and also your company's).

which leads me to the last point, failure to follow instructions. i had clearly written out all the problems of my laptop on a post-it (the original post-it brand, mind you) using language as technical as i possibly could muster (took me some googling...). but when i spoke to the repair guy from ftec, he told me that his job sheet did not include the problem of the loose MMC slot (which i had listed in my post-it). luckily the guy accommodated my request to please check it out since it was not my fault that the sen heng people are so incompetent in their data entry skills. on top of that, the ftec guy explained that the hard drive problems were caused by software problems and NOT a virus (he was even chuckling at the idea of the make-believe virus championed by the sen heng staffs).

so goes my first encounter at shouting at multiple strangers in the service industry. oh, i forgot to mention that since i had missed the call from the ftec guy (was learning dreamweaver in my ACP class) i had to call their service centre and the female receptionists put me on hold for at least 5 minutes (i was on a handphone... please don't hesitate to calculate how much that costs) returning to the phone to ask me what i wanted 2 times (and it was the same person's voice, so goodness knows what she was doing... learning her ABCs right next to the phone in the hopes i'd get tired and cut the line?)... so when she asked my again what i wanted, i raised my voice and said "this is the third time i'm saying this, can you just direct me to someone who can tell me about the repair progress of my laptop!?!" i was so mad already, so the girl quickly took down my phone number and repair info. the computer guy called me about a minute later and at last there's actually some living being who can tell me what i needed to know about the status of my laptop and who actually knows what he's talking about! (i didn't shout at him, mind you... in fact, i felt relieved after that call)

however it's been 3 weeks going on four since i sent the laptop in for repair and still no news about the return of my laptop (i was told to expect its return this week)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I don't know why I'm thrilled about detecting a virus!?!

i just plugged in my 2GB usb drive into the G4 and discovered extra files which were locked... one autorun.inf and one WinProcess.exe.vbs (which could be viewed with dreamweaver). i don't know why i feel so thrilled at discovering this... maybe it's because i caught it before it could wreak destruction on my comp... "i caught the sucker before he could catch me!!"... gosh, this really shows that i have nothing else better to do... anyway, at first i thought that the autorun.inf file came from my flash instructor (he passed us some flash templates and pdf manuals) since he taught us about publishing flash as a projector and how to burn it into CDs so that it will have autorun capabilities (we need an .exe, .ico, .bmp and the autorun.inf files to make this happen). however after opening the vbs file in dreamweaver and scanning through its script, things like "i love u" and "i'm here to rule the world again" convinced me that it was a virus... surprisingly i couldn't find much info about it on google. one thing i'm curious about is how can we unlock the files on a windows platform... i learnt how to unlock locked files on a mac os x by chance... i was trying to delete a burn folder but couldn't trash it because it was locked, so i read the popup help to unlock the folder.

ok, the paragraph above is pretty redundant. the moral of the story is that i unlocked the files so that they could be trashed, then i emptied the trash so that no further infections can occur. i should have kept the inf file so that i can modify it later to use for the flash projector stuff... i kept the WinProcess.exe.vbs script in a text file so that i can read it when i have time! this is the first time i've seen a script for a virus... i don't even know what sort of script it is!!! sheesh, i hate computer stuffs!!!

as a reminder to myself, i want to blog about my results, voting and... crap, i forgot the last one... hopefully this will be in my next post.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Airhead time... knock knock

ooh.... i'm so excited! i just checked out mysoju.com and they've uploaded another 5 episodes of the korean drama "three daddies, one mom". i know watching korean dramas isn't a very 'constructive' pastime (for me), but i got hooked on this particular drama while channel surfing on astro. since in my home, trying to follow a tv series week after week is practically impossible (nowadays) as i have to book the tv in advance and that too isn't a guarantee that i'd be able to watch the show (eating out for dinner etc.). so i'm opting to follow it online... however thanks to the "ever-so-reliable" streamyx, watching one episode (streaming four 15 minutes parts simultaneously) can extend to 2-3 days. luckily i'm not like the average web users which have an attention span of a sand fly (as quoted in the 'Building flash websites for dummies' book), i actually have the patience to reload a page dozens of times just to access its contents.

anyway, steering back to the subject of korean dramas, i've come to realize that they are pretty far fetched in the reality department. practically all the dramas i've watched (not that many la) have some sort of fairy tale character which could not possibly exist in the real world... i guess this is what sets apart the asian dramas from that of the western world... however, this is precisely why i watch korean dramas too, as an escapism from reality... sometimes the drudgery of the real world really gets to me... hehehe

i roughly had 3 subjects in mind to blog about as i was coming home today, unfortunately i've forgotten 2 of the... so let me just go on with the 1 idea, maybe the other 2 will come back to me somehow

today i had a really fun lunch break, i found out a hidden side of my coursemate Janagi... who knew she could differentiate an Anna Sui bag from any other bag (as Hari puts it)... and her ideas for rice research (and the debates which pursued when the topic was introduced)... and her 'love life'... it's really interesting talking to her and Hari, they can talk the birds of the trees and debate anything under the sun (or maybe even more)... an example, we were talking about the possible scientific researches on rice for malaysian scientists (oh, today i learned from Hari that genetics is the study of genes but manipulation of genes is part of biotechnology... i've always had this confusion of definitions... and only after i graduate do i find out what these biological fields actually mean!) when suddenly he asked me, "you've never shaped your eyebrows?" and i was quite shocked... this coming from a guy (but then again, it's Hari... so i wasn't too shocked)... and then we all launched into the facial hairs subject... i learned quite alot about hair removal techniques, follicles, pores, tweezers etc. from both of them. Hari said i looked like a 'bag' girl (as in bag collector), but then i don't have many different bags... or shoes... or cosmetics... so i guess i can't really be categorized into any genre... i'm more like a clothes person, but i rarely buy branded clothes nor the latest style in fashion... so again, i'm a 'go-between'-er.

gosh, i really can't recall what i was planning to blog about and this post has been sitting in my drafts for way too long...

Friday, May 16, 2008

Homepage suggestion (for pbwiki toothpick)

hey, i created this "homepage" as practice for my adobe flash course... everything is from scratch, so there isn't any plagiarism etc... this is very basic... after all, this is my 4th day learning flash and i haven't even started on dreamweaver... what do you think? perhaps we can do something similar but less animation and more space, links, menu etc.?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

wow, i'm super early!!!

i'll never understand why some motorcyclists choose to ride on the highway with all the big cars and lorries etc., when they have a nice empty road specificly for them... i mean why would you choose to endanger your life (probably some mad driver may ram you from behind etc) when you have a hassle free road to use? it's just weird... after all, both roads lead to the same destination... since there is an underusage of these motorcycle lanes, maybe we should just get rid of the motorcycle lane and widen the highway so everyone can drive on a larger road... but of course if these lanes were actually used properly (probably would only happen in utopia), there'd be less motorcyclist deaths (if you look at it logically; i have no numbers to back this up...) so yeah, this issue also kind of irks me...

haha... actually alot of stuff irks me... to think about it...

so, about my post title... i'm composing this from the computer lab in the faculty of business aand accountancy... i'm unusually early as the KESAS highway wasn't so jammed as it was for the past 2 days... which reminds me, traffic jams seem to have an erratic pattern too... (shit, i just realized that internet explorer doesn't have the spell check feature that mozilla firefox has...)... as i was saying, some days the traffic is just hell but other days it's bearable... i wonder why? is it because everyone (or a mojority of us) woke up late on the bad jam days? and vice versa for the better days... or is there like some unseen force causing all of us to make similar decisions...

i think i'll post more tonight... oh yeah, i'd totally forgotten why i'm blogging today... i've finally put up my blog address on facebook (before, this blog was not listed and only certain people (hyperactive-chatterboxes) have the address) - well, not that there's anything heart-stoppingly interesting here anyway...