Friday, December 29, 2006

... are you pondering what I'm pondering?

Just got done with Animaniacs Vol 2.

Yes, I enjoyed this second megadose of my blast from the past. But. I have to vent some peeves:

1. Why can't WB be CONSISTENT in what they print on the spine of the DVD? i.e. actually have Vols 1 & 2 to *gasp!* MATCH???!! Some may laugh at my getting irritated by something like this, but I see this as unacceptable sloppiness and lack of quality control: when I have the two sets next to each other, they look funny because "Vol 2" is printed 1 cm "south" of "Vol 1". It upsets the order of things!!

2. Yakko's "it's a great big universe and we're all really puny" song has been featured TWICE already. TWICE. Assuming they are running episodes "as aired" [unedited], does that mean they were already running out of fresh material halfway through the show already? And, I could have sworn that the visual for this song ends differently, where the universe as we know it ends up on like a piece on some aliens' chessboard which then gets gathered up into a bag. Ring any bells, anyone?

3. Assuming they are running the episodes "as aired" [in broadcast sequence], there are a few inconsistencies in certain storylines: sloppy editing? In Vol 1, what was obviously the "pilot" hippo episode came *after* we'd already seen them in their "deluxe apartment in the sky". Hmmmmmmmmmm. And in Vol 2, the intro of Pinky and The Brain had changed from "they're laboratory mice, their genes have been spliced" to "to prove their mousy worth, they'll take over the earth", which is fine, I figured they changed the intro for "season two"... except that it wasn't used consistently, so I'm left wondering yet again, whether all these episodes released on DVDs are in their proper chronological and unedited order or not.

4. It's really stupid to have a trailer for Animaniacs Vol 2 DVD when you are watching that trailer on the Animaniacs Vol 2 DVD! And, even worse: the episode clips used in that trailer? NOT in Volume 2, people!!! So, I'm glad I never did see that trailer prior to watching Vol 2, otherwise I'd be f.r.i.g.g.i.n. mad at the false advertising.

*sigh*

Still no sign of the 'toon to accompany one of my fave songs from the Animaniacs CD; the one where Dr Scratchnsniff wakes them up, bundles them into the car and takes them to a county fair. The kids' interaction [especially Yakko vs Dot] during the car ride is *so* awesome! I have a vague memory of the visual - I want it refreshed, stat! :D

*sigh*

But I gotta say, I certainly enjoyed the [at least] two references to The Clapper. *and* a "refreshment" of my one and only memory of a tiny toon character: Baby Plucky of "elevator go up da hole / down da hole" fame ;-)

*and*

I'm still torn... while I enjoy the Pinky and the Brain segments, I wasn't around to catch their spin-off, and am not sure if I'd survive extended exposure to the mousy duo... but I *am* curious about the spin-off series... hmmmm... methinks Netflix will help resolve the issue?? ;-)

*and*

just discovered that this cartoon Kosh has been referring to every now and then is also a product by Spielberg and the Animaniacs team: Freakazoid. Oh, and it's being "seriously considered" to be released on DVD. If this *is* released on DVD, then yay, at least I'll have *some* gift ideas for Kosh! and since it's of a lineage I appreciate, I'll probably enjoy the education too :-)

... ... okay, that's about it; so, *were* you pondering what I was pondering?

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

... it may be rice wine to you ...

... but it'll always be sake to me!

*splash!*

sake to me = sock it to me

get it?

heeheeheee!!

That specific sock-it-to-me scene made an impression in my young mind all right, seeing as that's the only real memory/recollection I have of ever watching Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In while a kid in Malaysia.

We have our grubby hands on "The Best of Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In Vol 1" [it's a rip-off, by the way: only 2 episodes and a crappy interview per disc when they could probably easily fit four episodes per disc and shove those interviews up *SOME*one's a**!] and are slowly making our way through it: can't really spend extended periods of time watching it - the format of threading things together in practically random order makes for tiring viewing - but I must say Dick Martin's teeth never cease to amaze me, LoL!

One discovery/reminder from watching this collection is that my occasional tendency over the years to remark that something is "veeerry eeeenteresssting" is NOT, as I previously thought, an extension of Mr Burns' "exxxxcellent", but rather a mirroring of that German soldier who does almost nothing except say "veeerry eeeenteresssting" in just about every episode.

Yeah. [puts on my Forrest Gump voice] And that's all I have to say about that.

Ciao!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

... the monster's loose ...

Hope everyone's recovering nicely from the Xmas weekend.

Had the in-laws over for dinner yesterday, not so much for Xmas as for the belated marking of MiL's birthday. I think we all survived; amazing, especially considering this was the first "real" entertaining we'd done [and by "real" I mean NOT shoving a frozen pizza into the oven because Kosh was over two hours later than expected getting off work so our outing with KTN became an inning instead... by "real" I mean having an "apple salad" followed two choices of baked chicken {herb&garlic with 'shrooms, or onion-soup-mixed} with a side of broccoli *AND* having all that prepared and ready to eat pretty much at the right time].

And now,, perhaps you're wondering what monster I'm referring to in the title of this post? It's the Netflix monster, that's what!!

I currently have one hundred and eighty three items in the queue.

Okay, so eight of them are "saved" [titles not within the Netflix inventory, but if there's enough "votes" they may consider purchasing the DVD]... but of the remaining 175 in the actual queue, over sixty are television series DVDs - that's over 35%. I dunno how other folks' queues compare, but I think that's quite a large chunk of TV I want to get to know/refresh myself on. You all know, of course, that I'm finally getting caught up on Buffy [will start receiving Season 7 soon], but I've also got other stuff like:
  • Firefly [& Serenity]: Joss Wheadon's futuristic/cowboy post-Buffy venture I've heard nothing but good things about
  • Weeds: Alissa's fault*! Right now I've gone through Season One Disc One, and teeheehee i think it's quirky, unusual, with some really good/unexpected dialogue and twists.
  • Greatest American Hero: this one is Karl's fault* ;-) I only have Season One on request, however - we'll see if I like it enough the second time around to watch the entire series...
  • Veronica Mars: this one is mainly Dave's fault* although I would never have bothered at all with this except that I happened to catch an episode a few months ago that indicated it was something I could try out... so Season One is on order.
  • Battlestar Galactica: yes, the sci-fi channel one. the one which I'd caught a bit of two years ago and totally hated... then kept reading about how many bloggers, who seem to share similar preferences as me, really really liking this new version, so I bit the bullet and have Seasons 1, 2.0, 2.5 and "the miniseries" in the queue.
  • The Muppet Show: Season One: okay this is Kosh's ;p
  • Futurama: we own Vols 1 & 2, in the queue are Vols 3 & 4 [ 8 discs] - gotta love this "sci-fi cartoon" from the creator of The Simpsons!
  • Tru Calling: This only lasted one season, and I'm only checking this out because I'm curious to see Eliza Dushku in a non-Faith role.
  • The Guyver: this is Kosh's too...
  • Neverwhere: BBC turned Neil Gaiman's book into a miniseries. I certainly enjoyed the book, so will give this a whirl and see how it compares to the real thing. Besides, with Kosh being too busy to do any reading, this is about the only way to expose him to tales I like.
  • Dr Who: not the 80's version that I might have caught a handful of episodes of, but the new/revitalised one that I would never have thought to visit if it wasn't for Karl gushing over it recently. Yup, all your fault*!
  • How I Met Your Mother: Kevin's fault* for countering my RHPS quote with something from this series that I didn't recognise so I asked him about it... although I admit, I probably wouldn't have added HIMYM to the queue yet if not for the discovery/reminding that my fave Jewish witch Willow [Alyson Hannigan] is on the show, teeheehee! Yes, I am a total BtVS whore, LoL!
I'm sure there are other TV series I'd be happy to revisit/get to know.... However, I continue to be totally bummed that Netflix doesn't have Robin of Sherwood: you know, the one with Michael Praed then later Jason Connery as Robin? *droooool!*

Anyways.

Couldn't sleep well last night, ended up having Animaniacs watch *me* on the couch. Maybe I'll repeat that right now. So what if it's 8am! This is what being a jobless bum is alllll about, teeheehee!

Say good night, Dick; "Good night Dick".

/out.

NOTE: * : I may say "fault" but I actually mean "credit" in the nicest possible way :-)

Monday, December 25, 2006

Cherry Mistmas!

Last year, "weeweechu"ed a Merry Christmas. This year... from an e-mail received a bit too late last year to feature here... so it's been in draft post form for almost a year waiting for Xmas to come around again.... another Xmas greeting:
Jose Cuervo Christmas Cookies:

1 cup of water
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup of brown sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
4 large eggs
1 cup nuts
2 cups of dried fruit
1 bottle Jose Cuervo Tequila

Sample the Cuervo to check quality.
Take a large bowl, check the Cuervo again to be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink.

Turn on the electric mixer. Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add one teaspoon of sugar. Beat again. At this point it's best to make sure the Cuervo is still OK, so try another cup just in case.

Turn off the mixerer thingy. Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit. Pick the frigging fruit off floor.

Mix on the turner. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers just pry loose with a drewscriver. Sample the Cuervo to check for tonsisticity.

Next, sift two cups of salt or something. Who giveshz a sheet.
Check the Jose Cuervo. Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add table. Add a spoon of sugar or somefink. Whatever you can find.

Greash the oven.

Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over. Don't forget to beat off the turner. Finally, throw the bowl out, finish the Jose Juervo and make sure to put the stove in the dishwasher.

CHERRY MISTMAS!

And on a related note... check out these "alcohol warning labels", including things like:
WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may make you think
you are whispering when you are not.
___________________________________________

WARNING: The consumption of alcohol may cause you to
think you can sing.

Hope everyone had a safe and fun weekend - here's wishing readers who celebrate it a Merry Christmas!!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

milestone!

[I *just* saw this, so *had* to do a quick posting!!]

So recently Kevin achieved a blogging milestone. I was very happy for him, but I knew that for me I'd probly not want to achieve that milestone, mainly because I do try to stay pseudonymmed and eyes-blanked-out in pix, LoL!

But still... looks like I've achieved a milestone of my own!

What is it, you may ask?
I just got my blog "Favourited" over on technorati.


And who, you may ask, did the Favouriting?
Neilochka a.k.a. Citizen of the Month!


Sure, sure, he's got 408 others in his favourites list as I type, but, on *my* side? he's my first!

Thanx for the holiday cheer, Neil!

X-factor

I stumbled across the abbreviation "Xtian" for "Christian" recently. Wow, that looks really ugly and wrong for some reason. I can see the "leap" from Xmas to Xtian, I just don't think it's a leap that needs to be leapt.

Anyways.

Just a few more days till Christmas. I've got a great joke post for that, courtesy of Baby Angel, that has been waiting to be published for slightly less than a year now. It'll finally get out of draft mode on Monday, Whoohooo!! One down, twenty-four to go!

But for this weekend of last minute shopping trying to act on Santa's behalf getting gifts for family and friends whether loved or not... I just *had* to share this website I just found out about:
Letters From Bad Santa

Okay so some of those "Evil Toys" are taken off of the 'net cos I've seen them in emails a few times. But those letters to Santa by Tom Cruise, Paris Hilton, Keanu Reeves? Hilarious!

My fave section though, is Nigerian Santa. Tell me if you DIDN'T burst out laughing!

On that note [b flat?], I'll leave y'all to a great weekend.

Remember to check-in on Monday, k?

Ciao.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Welcome!

Just passing the word along in case you didn't already know...
  • if you want to access Marina Mahathir's past columns published weekly in The Star, Sambal Belacan has been posting them online recently here.

  • as a result of the above, SB inadvertently dragged Marina into the world of blogging, yay! You can find Marina's personal blog here.
Both have been duly blogrolled :-)

I really enjoy her writing and her views - we need more people like her not just in Malaysia, but in the world.

Me, I am a pale shadow compared to her.

I know, many dismiss her saying that she's "allowed" to speak up and out only because of who her father is. In a way, that is true. But that doesn't negate the message! And her actions! ESPECIALLY when you look at the other offspring of Malaysian politicians in general [or, a certain son-in-law, in particular..] have behaved, and continue to behave: typical "privileged malay" behaviour like hanging on daddy's coattails to get into 101 businesses and politics, stirring up racial hatred, depending on UMNO handouts and all that jazz.

In a country where people shy away from talking about sex, still cling on to the blinkered view that only married couples have sex, still think that AIDS is spread only thru sex, and where some politicians actually would like to send people with AIDS to live on an isolated island away from "normals".... in such a country, Marina Mahathir battled against such discrimination, mindsets and small-mindedness as head of the Malaysian AIDS Council [she stepped down a few years ago, I believe]. An uphill battle that would never have gotten as far as it has today without her.

Welcome to the blogosphere, Marina; I look forward to having my mind expanded by your rantings *and* musings!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

My grade in Social Niceties 101 : "F"!

This weekend:
    Ms Tex: "It's *SO* nice to *FINALLY* meet you!!
...we are queueing for the BATHROOM for heaven's sake, this is NOT the time for fake small talk... in addition, the obligatory-not-necessarily-true "Well, *me* *too!*" just dies in my throat, and all I can bring myself to do is put on this forced surprise/smile expression on my face, and nod.
    Poor Ms Tex, I bet she didn't quite know what to make of me.
I've made quite the oscillation in terms of social niceties.

I have a memory at age 8 or so:
    "*lynne*, say hello to Mr So-And-So", so I stick out my hand and mumble "Hello". Later I am scolded for not just the mumbling, but for the looking down at my feet while shaking hands.
aside:I wonder if "they" ever put *any* thought into *why* I'd do that? A symptom of low self-esteem & self-confidence, perhaps? Because the scolding? Not the best way to go about lifting one's spirits, y'know?

Aaaanyways... so many years pass... I grow into a conflicted person dependent on others for approval and yet wanting so much to believe in myself... the "gang" of friends in Form 4 & 5 helped "ground" me... then my university years in the US helped "free" me: I not so much emerged as LEAPT from my shell, LoL

Very soon upon graduating and returning to Malaysia, I remember attending some sort of function, and I held my own extremely well in terms of socially interacting with complete strangers, carrying on with superficial social banter [heck, after 5 years in the land of the great communicators, if you haven't picked up this skill, well, you didn't make use of your time there!]. I remember getting feedback from a particular couple who said, essentially, "Wow, you've really grown up! We're amazed that you carried yourself so well at that event!". Who this couple was, and why that actually seemed more insult than compliment will not be addressed, but if you know anything about my rants, you'll figure it out :p

Then I started work, and had to totally clamp down on how I expressed myself, and to whom. This liberal half-breed with *gasp!* uncovered hair stationed to a very conservative part of Malaysia, Muslim/Malay/male dominated, with both overt and covert disapproval of my presence felt from the start. Not fun.

Two years later I managed to get a job posting in KL, yahoo, back to civilization! But due to circumstances this time relating to relationships, I still had to clamp down on what I said, who I shared info with, had even been trained to lie and say what was wanted/needed to be said & not what my truth really was. For about 5 years. Again: not fun.

Then, my world changed: the absolute best and absolute worst thing that could ever have happened to me - I got assigned to this 9-month "special project" that was supposed to lay the foundation for a great change in the organization where I worked.
    "The best thing" because early on, my "boss" recognized I had opinions I was not sharing, and encouraged me to express myself. In addition, with it being a "special project" and all, the team members comprised atypical hand-picked people plus consultants from a prestigious firm... essentially I felt "safe", and started opening up.
And there was no going back.
    "The worst thing" because silly me, I actually bought in to the stuff our group produced that we were supposed to practice ourselves, and cultivate and put into practice in the organization... and the lip service I saw practiced by the powers that be totally ate at me... and the [much wiser!] team members who preferred to play political games rather than burn themselves being vociferous proponents of the change we were charged to bring forth from the organization - well, they REALLY ate at me. My contributions slowly warped from enthusiastic suggestions to cynical sniping.
Yes, there were PLENTY of other factors at play here on the personal side, but still... up till this point, my work was my life. But I was horrified at how ugly I'd become as a result of what was going on at work. My frustration and anger was resulting in my being rude and disrespectful - which is not really me [yes, I'm sarcastic, I'm blunt, but this was going waaaay too far!] *and* is NOT something one does in an Asian society!

It came to the point where I had to make a choice: be true to myself and walk away because I was no longer a positively-contributing member of the organization, or ignore/repress my true feelings, put on a fake mask, and "give in" to how I needed to behave in order to survive in the organization.

Remember I said "there was no going back" once I had been "re-released"?

I made my choice.

An important consequence to all of this?
- I have found myself no longer a willing producer of lip service, small talk, fake conversation and the like: I was tired of talking without meaning. Words spoken unnecessarily and not truly "felt" twist my mouth and taste like ashes. And I try hard to live by the credo "if you don't have anything [nice] to say, then say nothing".
- I have also found myself reluctant to enable or encourage others who speak words from the lips, not from the heart: I'll smile and nod politely [hopefully the smile doesn't come out twisted / wry / painful.. you know, unlike how that smile to Ms Tex felt like!], probably get this glazed look in my eyes, then turn my attention to my plate / drink / *something!* Quite a challenge, what with my being in the US, and everyone does a lot of talking...

And so.

Kinda amusing that at age 34, some people might classify me "almost as bad" now as how I was at age 8.

After all, through the years, I *still* struggle with the eye-contact thing. At least the mumbling part's no longer an issue, though here in the U.S. I feel I talk too softly PLUS my accent/inflection/pronunciation has most people needing me to repeat what I say.

I am perfectly happy to sit at the table / counter during a family/social gathering and just. observe. everyone. People watching is EXCELLENT entertainment!

At least the warped self-esteem/confidence manifestation of talking just for the sake of talking, to hear my voice, or to try to get validation of my existence from others is no longer an issue. Sure, I still struggle... but I've come *such* a long way, and I know it! Go me!

Bottom line: I'd rather be known as a person of few words, but the few words that *DO* get spoken are acknowledged as meaningful, relevant, bullshit-less and from the heart.

Of course, this leads to moments like the interaction with Ms Tex last Sunday.

And my avoidance of the telephone, to the extent I owe a few people a call and I keep. putting. it. off.

And.... gahhhhh... how on earth am I going to meet and get to know people during my year in Chicagoland??

I gotta get out and interact in my non-speaking social interactiony way a LOT more!
p/s> this "few words" policy applies to verbal communication - as you can see from the length of my posts, I am *quite* verbose when writing, LoL! [this post took about 1hr 30mins from start to publish]

Saturday, December 16, 2006

a crying shame...

It was an anomaly on Jalan Ampang: a few hundred meters away from the PETRONAS Twin Towers; next door to Bank Simpanan Nasional's HQ; a stone's throw from Zouk; a house no longer suited to be lived in once the surrounding area became more and more commercial. It was a restaurant for the longest time, although a few years ago it shut down completely.


The Bok House / Le Coq D'Or ... BEFORE
[photo taken from mansonion's KL Travel page @ VirtualTourist.com]


I'd always heard that there was some will/instruction by the original owner of the building that the house was never to be demolished/ changed in any way, and must always stay in the family... and that of course, the current generation of family members were trying to find loopholes so that they could cash in on the valuable land the house is sitting on.

The Badan Warisan Malaysia [Malaysian Heritage Trust] has been lobbying for the longest time to get the National Heritage Act in place [2005] *and* to get the Bok House gazetted as a heritage site. Unfortunately, their efforts were in vain.


The Bok House / Le Coq D'Or ... 15th December 2006
[photo taken from Badan Warisan Malaysia]


I could go on and on about how this is just another symptom of the shallowness and myopia that is Malaysia... but I just don't feel like it,,, because this is just one of so many things that's happened recently in Malaysia that has me wondering if there is any hope for the country to pull itself out of this downward slide...

More reading:
  1. The Day Bok House Died

  2. Demolished - LensaMalaysiaForum [comment #13 gives an excellent essay on the history and heritage of this now non-existent building]


P/S> thanx to these photos, I am now past my 200th image uploaded to flickr. So now I have "... run into one of the limits of a free account. Your free account will only display the most recent 200 photos you've uploaded. All of your photos beyond 200 will remain hidden from view until you either delete newer photos, or upgrade to a Pro account. None of your photos have been deleted, and if you upgrade, they'll all come back unharmed." Gah!!!

Friday, December 15, 2006

it's Friday already? again?

So I was up and about at 6am - spent about 2 hrs just kinda spacing out on the 'net, then decided to crawl back into bed [you know, instead of crawling to the gym!].

Proceeded to have the weirdest dream[s], something about having lost my one and only set of car keys.. the thing was, i'd snuck out of the office to head back home in the early afternoon, so I'd be in big trouble not just for not being able to get back, but for having snuck out in the first place! So I was backtracking my path hoping to stumble across the keys, but to no avail. There was something about being at my car and debating whether or not to lock the car knowing I didn't have the keys. There was something also of me walking around in the house [which is not a house I've ever seen/been in!] still looking for those keys, and coming into a part of the house I'd never been in before/forgotten was there. I had my books piled up messily all over the place, and I thought to myself I might as well pack them neatly into boxes, since I didn't need them out at this time anyway... and that place I'd forgotten? It had huge bay windows that let in loads of sunlight, so I was semi-blinded. So I stumbled out and sat on some steps, struggling to open my teary eyes, major apprehension building in my tummy about having to call in to work and explain what had happened, and overall feeling just damn angry with myself. So angry, in fact, that I decided I needed a smoke. I hopped up and started walking uphill, and came across my schoolmate who called out to me "Hey, I know that look on your face, you're craving a smoke aren't you?" and extends her lit ciggie. "Thanks, but that's not my brand," says I, ignoring the sudden appearance out the corner of my eye of *another* schoolmate who I know *does* use "my brand": ignoring because I want my own pack or something? I turn around to keep walking toward the shops, and I think around that time I am rescued from all this by Kosh's phone call.

So *that* had me kinda weirded out already...

Then after this and that... cleaned out the kitty litter box... hopped into the shower.... walked out feeling nice and fresh... and almost choked as I inhaled a huge cloud of the most aromatic [not!] cat poo you can imagine! Gah! That the cat would use the box right after it's been cleaned is a given... but sometimes, like this morning, her poop just stinks to high heaven. And she seems incapable of covering it up. Gah! Sometimes it's so bad I have to take the scoop and scoop the sand over her poop for her. What a kitty... :p

Anyways - so today I hopped on the weighing scales and chose not to believe the numbers indicated [all you need to know is that they went UPwards, grrrr]: I will need to be upping the healthy eating and reducing the snackage.... my downfalls in August/September were Ben&Jerry's ice creams... then we discovered them Golden Oreos... then recently it's been Nutella [with animal crackers, or plain on a spoon]... gotta love the self-sabotage!!

Okay, off to spend Kosh's $$ on groceries and perhaps some clothes.

Ciao!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Short Post

"When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished by how much he'd learned in seven years." - Mark Twain

Hey, Mr Twain? I think for me it happened the other way 'round. :p

= = = = =

came across this quote recently, thought I'd share, since it resonated, despite having the wrong parent and totally off ages... but the idea is still there... *grin!*

'laters!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

subtitle my world...

Growing up in Malaysia, I was used to having subtitles when watching almost anything on tv [or movies]: everything not in Malay had to have Malay subtitles.

And while all too often the translations were below par, occasionally it helped to have them as a reference when the actors mumbled / used phrases you weren't used to.

Fast forward to the past few years: here in the U.S. almost every tv channel now is close captioned, and Kosh and I have that option activated on our tv more often than not. Glad he doesn't mind "reading tv", LoL! I *do* have issues with this, though, when what rolls across the screen is garbled characters... bad enough this tv's captioning happens on a black background that blocks what's on the screen!

So, even better: DVDs with subtitle options!

Without this, I would NOT be as appreciative of South Park as I am now... back in Malaysia I'd been exposed to this zany irreverent cartoon, but struggled to understand every other word they uttered sometimes, so missed out on A LOT of the sick irreverence! Then Kosh and I received South Park Season One DVDs - I said I'd watch it only if we had subtitles on - and the rest is history :-)

I do have issues with *where* the subtitles appear onscreen: when the DVD is a widescreen version, why can't the manufacturers have the text appear in the unused black bar on the bottom of the screen, rather than appearing on the "movie" part of it?? In LOTR it was really really really irritating!

But, why am I talking about all of this? Because I am having issues. A few days ago Kosh and I did an early end-of-year gift exchange thingy: I gave him South Park Season Three and he gave me Animaniacs Vol 2.

Animaniacs Vol 2, just like Vol 1, does NOT have ENGLISH subtitle options. I don't understand why not. Not that I urgently need it for this series, but still, occasionally Wakko Yakko or Dot talks a bit *too* fast or makes too obscure a reference and I need to rewind and try to figure out what was said... and if that fails, then I "activate' the captioning of the tv... and then have the closed captioning rolling across the screen and blanking out the bottom quarter or so. Bleh.

And South Park Season Three? NO SUBTITLES! Gawd dammit! Yes, it's close captioned, but by now you'll know that given a choice, I choose subtitles. And I don't understand why a feature that existed in previous seasons would suddenly disappear. At least for Animaniacs, subtitles are available, just not for English. For South Park Season Three there are absolutely NO SUBTITLES at all! WTF?! I'm going to have to see if the subsequent seasons are subtitled at all - not sure if that will affect future purchases, but I'd like to be "prepared" next time.

... but so used am I to having subtitles / captioning as I watch something, I kinda cringe at the thought of watching movies in the cinema here sans reading anymore...


= = = = =

And just heard on the news: Peter Boyle has passed away. Most people will remember him as Ray's father on Everybody Loves Raymond (did you know that his Frank Barone character crossed over to tv shows "Cosby" [1997] and "The King of Queens" [1998]?)

Me, I'll always be amused that he was the "monster" in Young Frankenstein. [Living on the Ritz!!]

Y'know, unless Kosh violently objects, we'll be watching Young Frankenstein tonight.

R.I.P Mr Boyle.

Monday, December 11, 2006

World of Tarot, Estrogen & Insults, oh my!

How appropriate!

You are the World

Completion, Good Reward.

The World is the final card of the Major Arcana, and as such represents saturnian energies, time, and completion.

The World card pictures a dancer in a Yoni (sometimes made of laurel leaves). The Yoni symbolizes the great Mother, the cervix through which everything is born, and also the doorway to the next life after death. It is indicative of a complete circle. Everything is finally coming together, successfully and at last. You will get that Ph.D. you've been working for years to complete, graduate at long last, marry after a long engagement, or finish that huge project. This card is not for little ends, but for big ones, important ones, ones that come with well earned cheers and acknowledgements. Your hard work, knowledge, wisdom, patience, etc, will absolutely pay-off; you've done everything right.

What Tarot Card are You?Take the Test to Find Out.

[H/T: SnglGuy]
Looking at this excellent card [excellent in terms of image as well as significance] reminds me of when I did "dabble" a bit in this area, while I was studying in the U.S. over a decade ago.
    Started with this Native American Tarot Deck Set: with this I realised the pitfall of buying a themed deck when you weren't familiar with the theme, let alone the cards themselves! being interested in Native American culture and dating a Choctaw didn't automatically mean a Native American themed deck would "fit", y'know?

    Around the same time, I'd also gotten my hands on this Medicine Card Deck Set: it's not a tarot deck, it was also Native American themed, and I used this a few times too. However, again, it just didn't quite resonate with me, so it went into retirement too.

    I also have a totally unused Arthurian Tarot Deck Set, an end-of-year gift from some friends who'd seen this as a great combination of my interest in the tarot in general and the Arthurian literature specifically [it was probably during / soon after I took that excellent class]. I might have looked through the deck once, just to admire the cards.
Anyways, these three sets, plus at least one book on druidism, all sit forlornly, packed away in a box, stored with my many other boxes of stuff, at the "beach house" in Malaysia - reminders of a certain time in my life when I looked elsewhere for answers.

I've come a long way since then.

No regrets though: that era was certainly a necessary step in my spiritual awakening / development. If nothing else, it's a shame for me to have those items in storage, when I could probably pass them on to interested folk. Oh well. We'll see about shipping all those boxes over here on my next trip to Malaysia - whenever *that* is going to be!

= = = = =
So yesterday I attended my first ever baby shower. Pretty much how I expected it to be. It was nice to meet and interact with some people who knew of me via emailed photos. It was good to meet the mommy-to-be after so long [haven't seen her since, oh, either late last year or early this year], and it was fun to participate in one of these all-American rituals.

Thankfully I didn't overdose on all that estrogen present, heeheheee!

= = = = =
From Kim, who found these Fun Witty Insults here. There are 77, a bit of an overload, so here are a select few. Want the whole thing? Follow the link lah, what are you, a moron, or are you possessed by a retarded ghost (#72)?
7. I don't know what makes you tick, but I hope it's a time bomb.

10. If you said what you thought, you'd be speechless.

14. I'd like to say I'm glad you're here; I'd *really* like to say it.

17. Someday you'll go far, and I hope you stay there.

23. Let's go some place were we can each be alone.

37. I enjoy talking to you, my mind needs a rest.

42. I don't know what your problem is, but I'll bet it's hard to pronounce. [I have this on a t-shirt, haahahaaa!]

51. I'm busy now; can I ignore you some other time?

57. I would probably find you more interesting had I studied psychology.


= = = = =

Okay, the lbs vs IQ challenge re-starts today!

Gah.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Friday Freeze!

Brrrr!

Forgot about hot water not being available in the building for most of the day today. So here I am, slightly sweaty from a 30+min workout, slightly dusty from cleaning out the cat box, and definitely cold and wanting to immerse myself under a cascade of hot water... *sigh*

And to add to this mood? "A Chicago area individual was arrested for allegedly planning a "lone wolf" terrorist attack on an area shopping mall during the busy holiday season." Details are severely lacking at this point - more will emerge once the Feds bring this guy to court later today. Ugh.

On a more positive note, after spending most of Wednesday dozing on and off letting my body battle the cold, after going through probably a box of tissues to catch my snottiness, yesterday I felt a lot better, and today I think I can declare myself "okay"! :-) All the more reason to NOT try to take a quick freeze-inducing shower, eh?

Oh, guess what? I've "upgraded" to Blogger beta. By this time, I would expect most of the bugs to have been worked out, so hopefully readers will have no problem with leaving comments! The one feature I'm happy to see is the "labels" thingy! Of course, I may be a big enough freak to go back and label allllll my old posts, if that's possible. We'll see.

Okay, yawwwn, may wanna snuggle up and doze on the couch now. 'Laters!

= = = = =
UPDATE: 6pm
1. News on the lone wolf
2. News I woke up to instead of Jeopardy
Heh. Chicago is quite the happening place today.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Wednesday Whinings

Meat Loaf Tour Dates 2007
    2/23/07 ... Pala, CA : Pala Casino
    3/22/07 ... Syracuse, NY : On Center
    3/24/07 ... Upper Darby, PA : Tower Theater
    3/26/07 ... Poughkeepsie, NY : Mid Hudson Civic Ctr.
    3/28/07 ... Binghamton, NY : Broome County Arena
    3/30/07 ... Hershey, PA : Giant Center
    4/01/07 ... Washington, DC : DAR Constitution Hall
    4/03/07 ... Clearwater, FL : Ruth Eckerd Hall
    4/05/07 ... Boca Raton, FL : Mizner Amphitheater
    4/07/07 ... Orlando, FL : Hard Rock
    4/10/07 ... Wallingford, CT : Chevrolet Theatre
    4/12/07 ... New York, NY : Theater @ MSG
    [May & June '07: various locations in UK, Ireland, Germany]
Meh. Wonder if this is just the first leg of a longer US tour, or if he really isn't going to venture beyond the east coast this time around [at least last year he made it all the way out to Ohio, which is where we caught him]. Not that Kosh would have the time to go anyway. And not that we were *that* impressed with the whole gig anyway :-( Oh well.

= = = = =
Last night I started the sneezing and the blowing of nose again. Might have been a delayed reaction to walking the streets at 6am in friggin cold weather to look for Kosh's lost IDs... unfortunately, didn't find them, so unless some good but procrastinative samaritan hands them in today, poor Kosh is going to have to go through the hassle of getting the various IDs re-issued. I gag at the thought of the administrative procedures that will cut into his already crappy schedule. :-(

= = = = =
I've never quite "got" the term "honky": I know its use as a derogatory reference to whites,,, but WHY? Is it linked to "honky tonk music", or something else? While I don't have the end-all answer, I now have access to a pretty comprehensive database of racial slurs with useful explanations and commentary. Someone certainly had a lot of time on their hands: check out the Racial Slur Database. You can submit your own too.

= = = = =
Machine. Unexpectedly, I’d invented a time
- Alan Moore

Wired magazine featured [very short] 6-word Sci-Fi stories by various people, inspired by what Hemingway called his best work: "For sale: baby shoes, never worn." There are some excellent ones in there.

= = = = =
Have plenty more to share, but my stuffy nose/head is gonna have me curl up and sleep instead.

Laters!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I'm a cunning linguist! and other stories

See! I'm not making it up! I'm a cunning linguist!
[H/T Roberta]
Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence

You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.
An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.
You are also good at remembering information and convicing someone of your point of view.
A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.

You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.


= = = = =
Got some excellent news in the mail yesterday, over 6 months earlier than expected. Celebrated by having homemade tuna melt while watching Life of Brian. Whoohoo :P [i.e. we'll celebrate later when Kosh isn't braindead from work]

= = = = =
Had to share Samm's surprise gift with y'all: check it out here. Now, tell me HOW such an object, that looks like a ring, "fits perfectly to fill the gap between the tip of [a certain body part] and [a certain] spot"?? I just. can't. picture. it.

= = = = =

Still pending: perspectives on death, and update on the "something wicked & green".

Friday, December 01, 2006

interlude #2: the magic iPod meme

Ever since we got Meat Loaf's Bat III, I've pretty much adopted Kosh's iPod Shuffle as my own, to accompany me to the gym. A few days ago I expanded the playlist to include stuff beyond Mr Loaf, and figured I had enough of a variety to finally go ahead and "play" what I call the magic iPod meme.

Here goes [seen at many blogs; this version taken from SnglGuy from a long time ago]:

    Instructions: Go to your music player of choice and put it on shuffle. Say the following questions aloud, and press play. Use the song title as the answer to the question.

    How does the world see me? : Original Sin, by Meat Loaf
    LMAO how appropriate! I'm looking for self-satisfaction while others [read: parents? Malaysians in general?] would view my actions with horror? "There'll be hell to pay someday So put it all on the bill 'Cause we'll always be paying And paying until We're beyond expiration With a license to thrill" I'll drink to that! ;-)

    Will I have a happy life? : Fine Line, by Paul McCartney
    Heh another good one that starts off "There's a fine line between recklessness and courage it's about time you understood which road to take" - this answer is essentially your life is what you make it to be - my sentiments exactly.

    What do my friends really think of me? : This Never Happened Before, by Paul McCartney
    "This is the way it should be for lovers, they shouldn't go it alone, it's not so good when you're on your own" Errr, so my friends are happy I'm finally married, is that it? LoL!

    Do people secretly lust after me? : Paradise by the Dashboard Light, by Meat Loaf
    LMAO!! I won't argue with that answer!!

    How can I make myself happy? : House of the Rising Sun, by The Animals
    "Oh mother, tell your children Not to do what I have done ..." ... so I can make myself happy by not perpetuating the mistakes of my parents, or repeating my own?

    What should I do with my life? : Midnight at the Lost & Found, by Meat Loaf
    "Have a double, it's gettin' late, you'll get home, just rely on fate" Yeah! That's kinda what I'm doing right now, anyway!!

    Will I ever have children?: Where Angels Sing, by Meat Loaf
    Wow. I love this song, but in conjunction with this "question", it kinda gives me the shivers. "I get so weary on this troubled road Unlock these chains and gently rock me home Beyond the clouds and the rain" A song about someone who's been hit hard by life, and is finally getting to let go and rest....

    What is some good advice for me? : Blind as a Bat, by Meat Loaf
    Heh, this could be interpreted in so many ways....

    How will I be remembered? : It's All Coming Back To Me, by Meat Loaf featuring Marion Rav[e]n
    I have a huge impact, perhaps an ultimately destructive impact, on people? but try as they might, they can't really block me out and I get to them anyway? Kewl!!

    What is my signature dancing song? : Poison, by Alice Cooper
    "... I want to hurt you just to hear you screaming my name" wow does this mean I'm a killer on the dance floor??

    What do I think my current theme song is? : Wake Me Up Inside, by Evanescence
    "Wake me up inside. Call my name and save me from the dark. Bid my blood to run. Before I come undone. Save me from the nothing I've become." Heh, so I think I'm "nothing", do I?? Well, I call it "being in limbo" and that's gonna be for another 6 months or so, so there!! :p

    What does everyone else think my current theme song is? : Goodbye to You, by Michelle Branch
    "Goodbye to you, goodbye to everything I thought I knew, ... the one thing that I tried to hold on to" awwww don't worry, I may be out of touch and halfway across the world but that doesn't mean I'm "gone"...

    What song will play at my funeral? : Not A Dry Eye In The House, by Meat Loaf
    Okay so I HOWLED with laughter when this started playing, gotta love the title as the answer [gotta ignore the fact that the song is about a betrayal in four acts]; besides, I'd prefer to have everyone celebrating my life rather than mourning my death...

    What type of men/women do I like? : The Razor's Edge, by Meat Loaf
    wow, isn't this the one where in the video Meat's in a straightjacket?? LMAO!! Yeah baby, yeah! I like my significant others to be slightly demented, who "don't roll over, don't play dead"? Sounds about right! :-)

    What is my day going to be like? : Monstro, by Meat Loaf
    Heh, anyone wanna help translate for me [babelfish didn't translate completely - what the heck is a "ladron"?] I love the sound and feel of the song, tho, if that means anything. Besides, the day's pretty much over [past 9:20 pm!].

Okay, just so you know, the playlist has 93 songs, of which 35, or 38% are Meat Loaf songs. They just happened to come up more often (60%!?) than non-Meat songs for this meme! I suppose that's a sign... just dunno of what, LoL!

Anyways, I sure had fun with this, hopefully *you *weren't too bored with this Me!Me! post :p

Ciao, and have a great weekend!

interlude

am working on some death-related perspectives, and it's taking some time.

in the meantime, thought I'd share something I found this when roaming the 'net a while ago.

I seems that some hijabis have taken to wearing some badges saying:
    'My feet are cleaner than your face.'
    -picture of taking the wudhu' (ablution) for the feet-

    'Relax, it's a headscarf, not a bomb'

    'My name causes national security alerts. What does yours do?'

I find these hilarious!

Now, if I'm not mistaken, these were sighted in Oz, thus indicating that despite having a "head" who likens women to raw meat and places the blame of rape totally on women, there's a small flash of hope that some Muslims there have a sense of humor and some creativity.

Sure, you can read them as totally arrogant too, but, trust me, the fact that humour and creativity seem present is a miracle to be thankful for!

Heh.
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