Thursday, May 31, 2007

random memory

"mommy mommy is that snow mommy?"

rolling of eyes, exasperated sigh: "sure, yes, that's snow."

"ooooh snow! snow!!! Mommy mommy tell the pilot to stop the plane, we want to get off and play in the snow!!"
My brother and I were quite young then, maybe 5 & 7? We were in an airplane either heading to or from Switzerland. I remember we were quite active running up and down the aisles, eagerly exploring, excited at anything and everything as only young children can be. At this scene, we were peering out of the window in the 'common area" by an emergency exit, where the flight attendants pull down seats and buckle up for landing. Us kids, we were jumping up and down in excitement and joy at the prospect of snow.

Snow was this magical thing we got to play with only in Switzerland. So either we'd not gotten our fill of playing prior to us having to get back to Malaysia, or we were so eagerly looking forward to it that we didn't want to wait till we arrived in Switzerland? Either way, that blanket of clouds the airplanes fly over when they've gained enough altitude certainly looked like snow to us :-)

To our disappointment, mother did *not* have the pilot stop the plane so we could play in the "snow".

And it was only later did I understand why a fellow passenger had been greatly amused by our ardent request.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

*flash!* a-ah!

At Moomykin's prompt, I've been giving some thought as to what my earliest childhood memory might be.

I don't remember many things, and the few I do remember exist usually as flashes of images, sometimes with the emotions relating to them.

** flash! **
my brother finding a kitten under a tree, naming it Luke Skywalker.

** flash! **
playing with kittens at my cousins' place, totally enamoured by the little things, not realising that by insisting on holding on to them as they struggled to get away, they were peeing and pooping on me, and my cousins saw but didn't say anything, and I felt so stupid and ashamed when my mother discovered me sitting there, clutching the kittens, covered in shit.

** flash! **
playing in the bathtub, taking a bath, with a cousin who was spending the night at our place.

** flash! **
falling and hitting my head against a drain - i remember the *clunk* of head vs concrete, and the circumstances leading up to the fall, but nothing afterwards.

** flash! **
drinking my father's beer, and liking it, so I partook of this drink often, to the consternation of both my parents [no idea how they "cured" me of this taste, but maybe that's why I don't like beer now?]

** flash! **

Any more? Hmmmm.... none that come to me at this time.

How old was I during the above scenes? Less than 5 years old is the best i can say.

How about you? What's your earliest memory?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

... a sign of the times?

TRUE OR FALSE: Every single ("analogue") watch you see in any advertisement will show a time of 10:10 (occasionally 2:50), you know, like a smiley face?

If you answered TRUE, well, believe it or not, you're wrong!

I came across an ad recently that blew my mind:

Instead of smiling, this watch is FROWNING?!!


I have no idea if it's just this one company that's bucking tradition and convention. After all, the watch on their main page shows the conventional 10:10, everything normal.... but when you delve into their catalogue, it's. so. weird. to see 'em all frowning!

What is this particular watch company trying to say?

I'm speculating that they are trying to capture an audience that has perhaps been overlooked in the past, not directly addressed.

An audience that takes great stock in all things numerological.

An audience that numbers 1.3 billion or so.

An audience that lurrrrves all things fatt / eight.

Take a look again at the picture above: even the date shows an 8! [No worries about the "No. 8", that's its series/model number]

And how about this Ref 388 model, from the No. 3 series?

The time on its face is 8:18:08.

Notice how *all* numbers are in Roman numerals.... EXCEPT 8!

Even better: its simple calendar shows an "8" while its 24 hour counter shows "18".

Really can't deny that all these watches are overflowing with "fatt"!

So... has anyone else seen any other ads from any other company that also deny the 10:10 "rule"? If so, please point me in their direction - I am really intrigued by this bucking of convention!

= = = = = P/S = = = = = any idea why the text & photos aren't floating like they claim in my preview / compose views?

Friday, May 18, 2007

"no one's gonna eat your eyes"

So I stumbled across this song / video a while ago... finally remembered to share it with y'all:

I just love this part:
"All we want to do is eat your brain!
We're not unreasonable, I mean,
no one's gonna eat your eyes."
More by Jonathan Coulton here.

Dunno about you, but the day I found this song, I kept playing it over and over and over and over and over and over.... tell me how *you* like it!

Saturday, May 12, 2007


it's almost 2am.

this is friggin irritating.

so I decided to go ahead and change the template already, and will catch up with the retroactive labeling of my posts over the nest week or so.


ONE: i have no idea why items in the sidebar are not lining up in a straight line! I first noticed it when the profile and archives didn't match up with the hacked labels boxes.... thought it was a function of "blogger" vs "hack" settings... then I looked at "misc stuff to sort" and omg I just about died! As far as I know there aren't any padding/margin/alignment functions associated with those individual items, and yet they are all over the place?! Can anyone shed some light on this?

TWO: i'd decided I wasn't going to clutter the sidebar with a whole list of blogs: I'd only keep the list because it's really kewl and it would reward the most recent referrers, so i spent a lot of time clicking on each and every one of my blogroll links to check if they were still active, then adding them to my Google Reader, assuming I could share who/what I read, kinda like how I've seen bloglines work. Only like 2 minutes ago did I come to the realization (please tell me I'm wrong, someone!) that it doesn't quite work that way: the main "share" page is meant for individual posts/articles I deem worthy to highlight! Unless I want to provide 5 different links to my 5 different public folders, which I wouldn't want to anyway because the presentation/layout sux, it looks like I'm gonna have to establish my reads on bloglines.

THREE: After seeing how my whole bunch of text seems to be just sitting there on the screen, I realise that the default font(s) [and sizes thereof!] for this template are really unappealing to me. Looks like arial will be a safe choice although if i want something fancier, for the titles/headers, the choices get rather tough: I might go with Lucida Handwriting...

will decide later.

I really can't do much more screen time.

I feel my eyes sizzling as my brain melts...

230am as I post this.


will be back online on Sunday.


Friday, May 11, 2007

i remember... or do i?

I remember sometime somewhere in my past, I came across a little point to ponder blurb that went something like:
    A: "Oh, what's your address?"
    B: "[blah blah blah]"
    A: "Hang on a second, let me write it down so I won't forget"
    B: "Don't you mean you want to write it down so that you can forget?"
Wrap your mind around that for a moment.

I can certainly relate to this in terms of phone numbers: when I was much younger, and all we had was landlines, I had almost every one of my friends' phone numbers committed to memory. But now? Apart from Kosh's mobile, my handphone, and our landline, I do not know anyone else's numbers, not even my parents'. Why bother, when my handphone memory remembers them all for me? So when I'm inputting a new number, I don't even bother to try to remember a thing: I know it's in there somewhere, that's good enough for me; I'll fill the space in my brain with other stuff. Like tv quotes or something, LoL!

And how about in terms of the mundane minutiae I've set forth on these pages over the years? Why on earth would I record in rather mindnumbing detail how a particular day or trip went? So that I could have the details on hand if ever I wanted, without having to actually remember anything about it, and could be reminded of said details just by reading the post in question. ... and yet, that's not quite true... perhaps because the "burden" of remembering details has been removed, I may not remember everything I'd written down, but what I do remember is not the words I'd written but rather a mental snapshot or two of the situation in question. And why one scene/snapshot and not another, well, I suppose my mind works in mysterious ways? It's interesting to note what actually sticks in my head too: not so much with the colors, clothes, but everything to do with emotions and how I felt.

But on a slightly more serious note: I have so many tales from my past that run around in my head: some clamoring to be told, some content to stew and fester. But what happens when i do write them down / type them out? Why should I even write them down anyway? Every time a tale runs through my head, the focus is slightly different, the emotion evoked varies, the moral of the story changes, all depending on what triggered that particular iteration of the tale in the first place. So by committing the tale to paper (or screen, whatever) am I choosing to remember the one interpretation at the expense of all the others?

Yet when I record such snapshots of my past (much to the horror of some family members and friends!), I make it a point to explore and capture most of the variations and permutations of the situation, and to acknowledge their impact on me: once all of this has been captured in a relatively coherent cathartic paragraph or ten, I can then finally put some distance between it and me.

It's then not a matter of forgetting, but of acceptance and learning.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

like Axl Rose said...

... all you need is just a little patience...["regular" blogging will commence... sometime... I assure you!]

in the meantime,

... I was idly checking my sitemeter stats, and saw that someone by the name of rachel82111 (from Oz, if I'm not mistaken) pointed to this blog (shoulda been this post, but who's complaining?) from Yahoo!Answers... on guess what question? "Once you have a floater in your eye is it there all day every day?"


No idea who rachel82111 is, but thanx gurrl! :-)

Thursday, May 03, 2007

decluttering my labels

quick note to those few who subscribe to this page's feed, you might be seeing my very very old posts coming up as new/unread: no worries, I'm just retroactively adding labels to them.

fyi, I only started randomly assigning labels to my posts since maybe last December, and I very quickly realised they were going to get out of control! So one of the items to do before the "Life After Work rebirth" was to come up with a relatively simple yet MECE* set of labels that would cover the gamut of my ramblings here.
* MECE = Mutually Exclusive, Collectively Exhaustive ;-)

I referred to some other blogs, consulted & technorati (not very useful!), scribbled on a few pieces of paper... Took a few iterations, but I think I've finally got it! ... Of course, this will entail my going back and re-re-relabeling some posts, aarrggghhh!

So much for doing it right the first time :-(

Here, for my reference as much as yours, is my list of labels:

Location of contents
  • US (for general US stuff)
  • Urbana (specific to Urbana)
  • Chicago (ditto)
  • MY (for all things Malaysian)
  • CH (for all things Swiss)
  • ROW ("rest of the world")
  • in transit (for vacations / traveling between countries)

General Stuff
  • TV+Movies
  • Books
  • Music
  • Food
  • Fluff (all them quizzes, jokes and fillers)
  • Memes (yes, they are a category by themselves, LoL!)
  • Neat Stuff (educational / neat stuff/links, usu found on the 'net)
  • Blog admin (actually a subset of Navel-gazing below: talking purely about this blog, template, traffic,,, kinda like this post!)

Deeper stuff
  • Point+Laugh : where I ridicule people/things who deserve it :-)
  • Point+Rant : where I go off on people/things that grind my gears ;-)
  • Point+Ponder : where I look (back) at life/childhood/events and ruminate on lessons learned; includes some attempts at philosophizing
  • Soapbox : may overlap with the "point+" series, but includes a much stronger opinion aspect, with the intention of challenging people's biases, attitudes, etc and exhorting change
  • Navel-gazing : where I go into minute details of things that interest me and which probably bore readers to tears, LoL!

Limited Edition / Special Interest : to be added to sparingly
  • Babylon5
  • Meat Loaf
  • LawyersArePigs
  • The Lost Blogs
so that's 20 "main" categories, with 4 "special" tags. relatively manageable.

.... riiiiiiiiiight.... back to "work"!

UPDATE @ 250pm: probably going to change the above even more, LoL! Oh, and in case you were curious, next major project will be to move most, if not all, of my blogroll reads into my GoogleReader.
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