Tuesday, June 26, 2007

ridiculous!

Okay, maybe it's a sore spot with me because I know *I* "suffered" from having a long name: when filling out a form I'd always have to count the number of squares provided in order to determine if I could fill in my full name without any abbreviations, or whether I'd need to shorten it, and *which* of the five [or 6, depending] words in my name would be the most appropriate to condense.

So... I can only imagine what the newborn Autumn Sullivan Corbett Fitzsimmons Jeffries Hart Burns Johnson Willard Dempsey Tunney Schmeling Sharkey Carnera Baer Braddock Louis Charles Walcott Marciano Patterson Johansson Liston Clay Frazier Foreman Brown is going to go through. ["full" Yahoo!News article here] You know what pisses me off even more? It's implied that the mother also has a similarly ridiculous name ["in keeping with her boxing-mad family's bizarre tradition" "I'm hoping Autumn has a good sense of humor with her name. It's never done me any harm though."], but it's never provided, even though that is the justification used to subject someone to a name of 185 letters!

It's totally different when it comes to Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, though, eh? [sorry, inside joke!]

Monday, June 25, 2007

Tea Tale

So a while ago, Kosh and I picked up a bottle of AriZona Green Tea with Ginseng and Honey. Me being me, I took a look at the ingredients, idly curious where Green Tea, Ginseng and Honey would appear in the list. Little did I know it would provide for some blog fodder :p

Ingredients:
1. Premium brewed green tea using filtered water [okay, good would be worrying if this *wasn't* #1, Lol!]
2. High fructose corn syrup [eh?]
3. Honey [wtf? why bother with the honey if you drown it in HFCS!!??]
4. Citric Acid
5. Natural Flavors
6. Ginseng extract [#6 out of 7? how much per bottle, a drop?]
7. Ascorbic Acid.

Since the drink is labeled "Green Tea with Ginseng and Honey", one would expect ginseng to appear before honey in the list of ingredients - WRONG!!

Then there was this little blurb:
Enjoy America's best-selling
ready-to-drink green tea!
AriZona Green Tea... Where great
taste and goodness
"naturally" come together.
Green tea for its health benefits,
Ginseng for energy and nature's
natural sweetener, honey.


Ummmmm,,, reading this, and not checking the ingredients, one would have easily had the impression that this drink is sweetened ONLY by honey - also WRONG!!

I rarely buy this stuff. The last time was Nestea, in Sept 2005, and then too I read and critiqued the labeling. I suppose I'll be due for another go in March 2009? Till then, I'll stick to my poison of choice: Coke Zero.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Sunday This n That

  1. Random Technobabble Generator: generate fun stuff like "Proffessor [sic], the power supply of the prototype bioneural gelpack has been modulated."

  2. ... page after page of knuckle tattoos: kinda cool how someone's attitude can get condensed into eight letters. Look for the DAMN FOOL one - I dig it! btw, you can create your own with the Knuckle Tattoo Gun too, I unfortunately ran out of creative juices, but would love to see what you come up with!

  3. anyone wanna go on a 12 week, multi-continent backpacking journey? From London to Sydney? Then look to Ozbus to get you there. Sounds incredible... and the scaredy-cat that I am would only do it is I knew a whole bunch of people who were going at the same time :p

  4. yet another free online book resource: ReadPrint. Not for downloads, you just read off of the screen, if you're okay with that. Right now seems to be concentrating on "classics". There's William Blake, maybe I'll actually read something of his then :p I looked for Kafka but he wasn't there, bummer.


And a small description of yesterday's noteworthy event:
    So yesterday Kosh and I were in the mood for breakfast food, made our way to IHOP but wow we couldn't even find a parking space, maybe it was the rainy weather that drove everyone out for comfort food? I was willing to settle for a crappy burger from a fast food place, but Kosh was kinda longing for pancakes and/or eggs since I'd gotten him in the mood for 'em, so we drove around elsewhere, soooo hungryyyyyy, came across Pindos (?) at Archer & Pulaski, a family dining place with a twist of Greek. We took the last real parking space, but there were still plenty of free tables, cool! Apart from the din of the busboys pushing carts of rattling glasses and dirty dishes along the tiled floor, it was a pleasant experience. Nothing outstanding service-wise, although it was amusing the waitress, an older woman with a rather loud raspy voice, kept calling me "Babe". But the food! MmmmMmmmMMMMmmm!! I had Palestinian Crepes, the crepes themselves with a strong lemon taste, wrapped around generous amounts of sour cream topped with their "crepe sauce". Kosh had a spinach & feta cheese omelet and wow you actually tasted both ingredients, it wasn't bland [unlike most omelets ordered from any other breakfast-type place], the hashbrowns were mega crispy, parts that weren't crispy just melted in your mouth, and it came with a side of two pancakes. The portions were just right, and prices reasonable. We might go back there instead of IHOP the next time we feel like breakfast food!


Currently reading: Lisey's Story, by Stephen King.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

"again!"

You know how when you're playing with kids, and maybe you give them a piggy back ride all around the house and they enjoy it so much that when you set them down they just look up at you and exclaim "Again!"?

Or when you go though an exhilarating ride on a roller coaster, and you stumble out, adrenaline coursing through your veins, throat hoarse from screaming, and all you want to do is get right back in there for another round? "Again!"

So, can you guess what word Kosh managed to utter after watching Robot Chicken's Star Wars special?
"again!"

I felt the same way too.

If you didn't catch it live, watch it here. Smaller embeddable clips here. Like this one:


Some fave moments from other parts of the episode:
    "what the hell is an aluminum falcon?"
    "get your OWN tauntaun!"
    "yo momma so stupid she spent the whole day playing "am not" with R2!"
    "look, if you're not gonna take this seriously, I'm out."
    "That was so wrong..."
    the entire "Empire on Ice" bit!!


... and I wonder how they managed to bwak their way through the entire end credits, LoL!

"again!"

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

calling people who read!

okay okay so I know you "read" otherwise typing this would be of no use... but do you read-read, as in books? Have you signed up for your good reads account yet? what are you waiting for?? go sign up! Share what you are reading / have read / have on your to-read list. Rate the books. Give reviews. Loads of fun stuff! Go sign up here, then add me as your friend. Or email me [see on my profile page] and I'll send you an invite! Why am I doing this? Because I wanna expand my network there, *and* I'm always on the lookout for more/different books/authors to read.

Hope to GoodRead ya soon!

Monday, June 18, 2007

macca = 65

H A P P Y B I R T H D A Y
P A U L M c C A R T N E Y!


For the longest time, June 18th was a special day simply because it was Paul's birthday. Another significant milestone occurred around June 18th 1990: I left for studies in the U.S., free of all shackles of family and society. Around June 18th 1995, I started my reluctant journey back to Malaysia to start work. Both significant milestones made all the more significant because by no conscious planning of my own, they were remembered, were made significant because of the date they shared.

And on June 18th 2007?

No, nothing of significance going on, really.

Will watch last night's tape of The 4400's season premiere. If the show were real life, I'd be one of those willing to take that 50:50 risk of death and inject myself with promicin in order to develop an ability of some sort, an ability that would help bring humankind to the next level of development, of evolution.

Will attend a writing workshop this evening, just a one time thing, exploring the scifi/fantasy genre. I'm not throwing myself into pursuing any writing career or anything. yet. just getting a feel, looking for some prompts to get me to write in a more focused manner than what is required for a blog. see what comes up. I know I can write. But can I sustain it, polish it, refine it to a publishable level? And in what field? Just because I enjoy fantasy doesn't mean I can produce it. I have many stories to tell about me, but any memoirs, if ever produced, I could never allow to be published until certain people are no longer around to feel threatened/offended by its contents. perhaps they can be transformed into fiction, with a dark twist? i have some ideas running around, I'm not willing to commit myself to anything yet, though. Maybe I've learned my lesson at the wrong time, LoL!

Will continue to devour Sebastian: this book has so much depth to it, perhaps unknowingly? Will have to look at other series by this author to determine that. in the meantime, I am throughly enjoying the exploration of the necessity for Dark to exist, for it be in balance with Light... yes yes a topic explored in pretty much all fantasy tales, but this one puts it in the context of worlds that respond to your heart's desire, and we all know our hearts resonate to both Light *and* Dark forces... I still have to tell myself it's *not* a romance novel - whaddaya expect, though, that droolworthy cover is yummy!

/peace out

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Recent Entertainment

TV+Movies:
Who is Cletis Tout?
Recommended by Netflix, and, surprisingly, very enjoyable! Kosh and I burst out laughing at so many things; we both appreciate choppy/screwy timelines and interruptions in the narrative flow - and this has loads of both - which added to the enjoyment. Just go watch it :-)

Nanny McPhee
Mary Poppins meets The Sound of Music, with a soundtrack that reminded me for some reason of The Nightmare Before Christmas. Another thoroughly enjoyable movie, with only the CGI donkey that really marred the tale.

[added June 18th: had slipped my mind earlier]
Next Stop, Wonderland
A romantic comedy that's not sappy or oozing with sugar coating, starring no names I recognize, and very endearing. The scene between mother & daughter, each with her own take on reality was breathtaking. Lots of humor - understated. Go. Watch.
[/end add]

The 4400 - new season starts tonight on usa: I *so* can't wait! I'm pro-promicin myself - how about you?

Robot Chicken's 30min Star Wars special is on tonight too! Don't miss it on [adult swim]!

Books:
In a spurt of Dune/Arrakis/Rakis-related reading, I've made my way through the last three of the original series by Frank Herbert. Wow. There's so much depth to the books, even as I could barely wade past so many places where Herbert seemed to be mired in words words words words words words and words: there were so many pearls of wisdom, so many lessons to be learnt, if only one could just. get. beyond. the. friggin. words. Worthy of a reread, in about 5 years or so ;-)

next books in line to be read: the first two books in Anne Bishop's Ephemera series. Sebastian & Belladonna. I was intrigued by the premise of different "landscapes", worlds of both Light and Dark, connected by Bridges, "created" by Landscapers, but travelers needed to "... travel lightly: because what you bring with you becomes part of the landscape."

Blog Updates:
so I've played around with the sidebar a bit more... hidden most of everything within those collapsible bars [now a better shade of green]. Still need to study the coding to finetune [i.e. CLEAN UP!] the inconsistencies in font type and size... grrrrrr!

Friday, June 15, 2007

If at first you don't succeed,

.. try try try try try try again and again and again and again [39 times!]

Did you hear about this 73 year old man in India? He's been sitting for, and failing, his 10th Grade exams [I'm guessing it's either the SRP or SPM level] since 1969. I'm just wondering, did he do any sort of studying, or trying to figure out what he'd done wrong in the past, because wow, to still fail after 39 times... Einstein's definition of insanity comes to mind...

[full Yahoo!News article here]

[UPDATE: Saturday 8am: don't you hate sloppy reporting? According to Reuters he's sat & failed 38 times, according to Associated Press it's 39. How shameful! Get the story straight, people!!!]

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

seven hundred forty two

Just to make a note of it:
This is post #742 on this blog! That's an average of 26 posts per month! *lynne pats self on the back*


Moving on....
one of my first Blog Buddies from Little Neo has called it quits... I really enjoyed her exploration of Karma, of human nature, of just about every topic in the universe(s?)... I recently got the free Yogi Tea and Soy Joy bar samples you told us readers about, btw, thanx! :-) Omni, here's wishing you all the best in recapturing your pre-blog fuller life. Hugzzzzz!


Moving on again....
so, last Saturday, did two out of the three activities I'd hoped for:
>> meditation was good, especially considering I've not been "practicing" at all over the past month - it's been a rather draining month or so, and I've still not gotten back in balance, doesn't help we still don't know where we are gonna be in a month's time... *sigh!*
>> the Printers Row Book Fair was certainly interesting, lots of different publishers, loads of used books, new books, some authors signing their work... at what a glorious day for it too! Kosh and I spent about 3 hours there, and that was just doing very superficial browsing! If we'd buckled down and hunted through every stall for hidden gems, it might have taken us all weekend.
>> so the game of Settlers didn't happen - KTN realised she had conflicts in her schedule, and we gladly agreed to put the game off, maybe this weekend instead, because walking around in the hot sun for over 3 hrs was rather draining!


... and again....
"regular" photo places now don't seem to provide 3x5 prints anymore! "Premium" 4x6 seem to be the standard now! So what do you do if you *have* to have 3x5 prints? The solution i came up with: Manipulate your photo such that you have two photos in one, and print it/them at the 5x7 size... after trimming, each 5x7 will give you two 3x5 prints. Might not be cost-effective, but hey, it was either this or order from some online photo provider and pay shipping which would probably have come up to the same price!


and again!
Just thought this was hilarious:

So Chicago has this Greektown area over at Halsted, and it's quite mind-boggling to pass by and see that every. single. restaurant. is Greek. We were in the neighborhood this weekend, and, well, I just had to take this pic of the neighborhood Walgreens... there's no mistaking where it's located, what with its services like "pharmacy", "open 24 hours" and "1-hr photo" displayed on the building not just in English, but in Greek too [or with Greek alphabet, at least!].


... and now for something completely different!

[a big tip-o-da-hat to Kim who featured this in her "100 WORDS" post on June 7th]

So it seems the editors of the American Heritage Dictionaries came up with a list of 100 words they think every high school graduate should know. I'm always amused by such pronouncements, especially when English is not officially my native/mother tongue yet it's the language I am most at ease at using, although many times I feel I lack the [active] vocabulary most British/Americans take for granted.

Like Kim, I've gone through to see how I fared... ignoring the additional fact that I "graduated from high school" in November 1989, almost 17 years ago :p

Words I've never heard of, in bold.
Words I can use relatively confidently, in italics.
Words I've heard / read but don't use actively, and would need to reconfirm their definitions before use, unmarked.

.... here goes ....!
abjure
abrogate
abstemious

acumen
antebellum
auspicious
belie


bellicose

bowdlerize
chicanery
chromosome
churlish
circumlocution
circumnavigate
deciduous
deleterious
diffident
enervate
enfranchise
epiphany
equinox
euro


evanescent

expurgate

facetious

fatuous
feckless
fiduciary
filibuster
gamete
gauche
gerrymander


hegemony

hemoglobin
homogeneous
hubris
hypotenuse
impeach
incognito
incontrovertible
inculcate
infrastructure
interpolate
irony


jejune

kinetic
kowtow
laissez faire
lexicon
loquacious
lugubrious
metamorphosis
mitosis


moiety

nanotechnology
nihilism
nomenclature
nonsectarian
notarize
obsequious
oligarchy
omnipotent
orthography
oxidize
parabola
paradigm
parameter


pecuniary

photosynthesis
plagiarize
plasma
polymer
precipitous
quasar
quotidian
recapitulate
reciprocal
reparation
respiration
sanguine
soliloquy
subjugate
suffragist


supercilious
tautology
taxonomy

tectonic
tempestuous
thermodynamics
totalitarian
unctuous
usurp
vacuous
vehement
vortex
winnow
wrought
xenophobe
yeoman
ziggurat


Warning: I probably wasn't 100% consistent with my answers!

okayyyyyyy,,, off to pretend to be healthy..... byeeeeee!!!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Sampaikanlah salam,,,

(Thanks to Adam for the heads-up)
Requiescat In Pace, Loganathan Arumugam, fondly known as Loga, of Alleycats.
Here's Alleycats' Sampaikan Salam [slightly crummy/crackly sound, but still a great listen] [check out the afro, LMAO! if that doesn't date them, I don't know what will! btw - both Loga & David were vocalists, so who's doing the singing here, anyone know?] [careful - it's LOUD!]:



So went searching for other Malaysian artistes on YouTube... couldn't find a nice version of Search's Fantasia Bulan Madu.... Wings' Sejati pun tak de... Zainal's Hijau... Nothing worth using on Sudirman... and oops that about covers it heehehee okay so I never got into the Malaysian music scene that much... but... here's one the first Malaysian rappers... those who know me from TRU days will know why this is up here ;-) [crappy pixelated image tho]


Okay let's see how *else* I'm gonna waste time today!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Movie Updates

I am NOT a fan of zombie movies. Nor of horror movies in general... certainly not the in-your-face blood-and-gore fest type... I appreciate the psychological thriller, but those can really get to me too, so I tend to not bother with them either.

And yet... there's been a recent confluence of zombie-related things:
    1. First was that "we're not gonna eat your eyes" song/vid that was stuck in my head, I kept bursting out singing the chorus at random times, LoL!

    2. Then, Netflix delivered Slither. I had told Kosh before that "this one's allllll you!"; as far as I was concerned it was just another killer creature horror flick [okay so I based that opinion on the movie poster, but hey, take a look at it and see if you agree!]. Kosh's response was essentially "well, you liked Shaun of the Dead, right? This is pretty much in the same vein, from what I saw in the previews - a funny zombie movie. Let's start watching, and if you really don't like it we can stop and watch something else, k?" "Eh? it's a zombie movie? I thought it's about giant slugs? I'm confuuuuuused... Yeah whatever, hit play, let's get this over with..." And wow, it certainly had that magic combination of being a zombie/horror movie but with so much comedy mixed in with it, it kinda made up for it! My only real beef is with Nathan Fillion though: his character in this movie seems still very much the same as when he was Mal Reynolds in Firefly, and even Father Caleb in BtVS. Sure, each certainly was appropriate for the story, but, branch out, dude!! Anyways, if you're looking for a campy horror-yet-not movie, check out Slither.

    3. The final element to make the magic number 3 came courtesy of Post Secret.

    I can understand the whole "can't stand someone you're supposed to be close with", but, omg, there's just something about banning her from a zombie shelter of all places! Something so unlikely, yet, it really captures where a line has been drawn.

    Every time I read this I'm just laughing away... yet I wonder about the person who sent in the postcard, is that really her zombie shelter kit, is she really that into zombie movies, what's that bottle of booze for? Are you sure that's enough ammo? Where is the zombie shelter located, in case I need to make my way there one day?

Moving on....

So a few days ago, we got Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, again courtesy of Netflix.

The DVD looks like a DVD-R, handwritten title and all, haahahaaa at first I thought the previous viewer had ripped but placed the wrong copy back in the sleeve or something... a closer look showed that it was genuine, that it certainly was in the spirit of the movie to do something like this, heehehee!

Now, I'd said before that this was a movie I knew I'd only be able to take in smaller doses. Yep. Although we did go though 2/3, or about 1 hr, in one day. The last 30 mins we did yesterday.

Verdict? Pretty much as expected - very tiring, some humor mixed into really painful-to-watch situations, sure, go ahead and get it... but be warned... Don't watch the movie with a cat on your lap, a cat who still has claw in the hind legs, a cat who gets scared by loud noises, shouts, exclamations...

Here's what you may get as a consequence:
Sorry about the crappy picture, but if you use your creativity you may see that this is a rather large and long scratch on Kosh's leg, from the cat.

Who freaked.

As *we* freaked...

... watching in disbelief as Borat and Azamat did their, errr, fighting scene. I was totally making these weird noises, a mix between laughter and screams, alternating between burying my face into Kosh's shoulder and watching the outrageous actions onscreen, wondering how on earth movie-goers reacted to this LMAO!

Even better? After our initial shock, we went back to the beginning of the scene, and played it slo-mo, pausing and studying certain sections, sometimes zooming in for a better view [I *lurve!* DVDs!] trying to figure out things like how come someone's twig&berries weren't showing despite all the action [probably hidden by his enormous rolls of fat?], and omg was that his scrotum?

You have been warned....

Have a good rest-of-the-weekend!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

it's called K2

... i bit the bullet and changed templates again.

.. took me all of 5 minutes! I suppose I'm getting the hang of the New Blogger?

Of course there are lots of little things to tweak... but this is *so* much more peaceful than that previous one. And it's still within the nature//tree/wood//earth theme I wanted.

Yay!

Friday, June 01, 2007

books, glorious books

Well, my book-reading progress for 2007 has been a bit on the slow side: I'm only on my 11th book for the year.

My reading has come in spurts. I had that period where I was consuming one book after another. Then I had books that had called out to me in the library, that had gotten checked out, that languished on desk for a month! The borrowing period is three weeks. Late fees. Ugh.

I have been rather busy and distracted lately. Procrastinating on French homework, having lots of fun in the oral [heehehe] comprehension class. Investing a lot of time on spewage that might end up as memoir fodder if I choose to really buckle down and *write*. Anticip[say it!]pating this past weekend's official celebration of the wedding we'd had last September ["NOW it's official!" said so many of the attendees]. Dealing with the overabundance of photos. Picking out good ones. Thank you cards. Koash was recently on a week's vacation too, in addition to having been on a relatively regular schedule and able to knock off of work by 6pm, so we had more real together time. Of course today he starts on another rotation, and is already on-call so I won't see him till Saturday noon. Ugh.

The busy-ness is winding down [for now]. This past weekend was that mental shift from spring to summer, a summer that is trying to break through the haze of clouds I see as I gaze out the window. I need to decide whether I'm going to attend a wedding in Malaysia in July, a family reunion in Switzerland in August. Because these would take priority, I won't be signing up for another round of French classes, neither will I explore other writing class options. Until I know my schedule.

And until then? I think I'll be picking up more books. Preferably I'll read them too, LoL! Not that I have a specific target or anything! But I *do* have over SIXTY items in my to-read list. And it's only going to get longer, I'm sure! Time to get cracking on looking for specific books from this list when at the library, instead of going solely by laying my hands on whatever jumps out at me!

Remember how I'd kept track of my reads last year? This year, I'm going about it a bit differently, thanks to the invite I got to join Good Reads [thanx, Eden!]: since I didn't see a limit to the number of books on your virtual bookshelf [for Library Thing it's only 200!], I went ahead and signed up. I'm not going to retroactively capture books I've read, but will use it for at least this year's reads. I can rate and review my books as well as see who else is reading what. If you wanna join, just sign up, or email me your email addy and i'll invite ya.

Also, if you've been paying attention, you'll know that I've been contributing book reviews in spurts [there's that word again!] over at Fun With Dead Trees.

There'll be overlap between the two. I'll probably whip up quick reviews at Good Reads, then hunker down with a more coherent/thought-out review for FWDT. Although knowing me, I may end up getting too lazy to produce a "proper" review! We'll see how it goes...

What am I currently reading?
The God Emperor of Dune [Book 4 of the Dune Chronicles]
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