Friday, May 30, 2008

a tongue tale

A week ago, running last minute errands before heading off for the weekend getaway, I hopped into the local "L" station for a quick trip downtown. Well, I hopped into the carriage, and almost backpedaled outta there... it was so... "aromatic" ...

There was someone who had
a. really really really bad body odor
or
b. drenched himself in axe body spray
or
c. drenched himself in axe body spray to cover-up really really really bad body odor

With my eyes threatening to start watering, and my nose buckling under the abuse, I start breathing through my mouth instead.

Then... I got this really weird taste in my mouth ... and all I could think of was that the molecules bringing the offensive smell to my nose were now alighting on my tongue and activating the taste buds there... ugh!!

on another note... here's a funny I found a while back, especially for those sudoku-impaired folks :-)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

eyebrow attack!

At the weekend getaway, I was sharing a room with 5 other adults and 3 kids: we had 3 sets of bunk beds in a room, with an attached bathroom.

On my last night, after having stayed up till way late singing, dancing, having a good time, I was sooo dehydrated, I drank glasses and glasses of (bottled) water right before bed. Of course, I woke up a few hours later urgently needing to pee.

So I clamber down to the ground (I had one of the upper bunks), and make my way in the pitch darkness to the bathroom, almost blind myself turning on the light, do my business, switch off the light, and make my way back to bed.

Not sure where my mind was, but usually I believe I'd make my way slowly, carefully, hands out in front of me... maybe it was because it was my 3rd night and I thought I knew the room layout well enough... or maybe I was so tired all I wanted to do was just get back to bed and sleep some more ...

... ... ... instead ... ... ...

I walked briskly,


... and *SMACKED* my face,
... ... specifically my forehead,
... ... ... even more specifically my right eyebrow area
*SMACKED* right into a nearby bunk bed pillar thingy.

The f-word escaped immediately, LoL - I hope everyone in the room was asleep!!

Surprisingly, it's not bruised, I don't even see any swelling. The only evidence of this having actually happen, as opposed to being the product of a particularly vivid dream, is that the area around my right eyebrow is sore to the touch.. and still is, almost 3 days later.

Ouch :(


On another note - some excellent new submissions at GraphJam:
song chart memes

song chart memes
more graph humor and song chart memes

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

water tales

Remember that scene in Back to the Future III where Marty McFly walks into a bar and asks for water... and gets a glass filled with muddy dirty water? I've always thought that scene is a great reminder for us to be thankful for the progress we've made in getting clean safe drinking water piped into many homes all over the world. It also provided a reality check for whenever I wished I could just go back in time and live a simpler (but much harder life) in medieval times.

Anyways.

So over this past weekend, I was a this getaway with my meditation yoga group. We stayed at a "camp & retreat center" about 3hrs out of Chicago, on the shores of many minor lakes that dot the area. Pretty nice place, had fun.

But.

Every. Single. Time. I brushed my teeth, I would gag.

Once, it was so bad I almost lost my dinner.

Have I mentioned that I really hate puking?

So almost-puking twice a day is *not* something I enjoy.

What was going on? Well, from the first day already, it was pretty obvious to me that the Camp's water source musta been a well or perhaps the lake itself, based on the smell and taste of the water coming out of the faucet. I've come across such situations before, but in this case, the water was particularly "aromatic" and "flavourful". And it was only at my 5th teeth-brushing session that I realised it was this smell/taste combo that was getting to me as I rinsed the toothpaste foam out of my mouth, causing me to gag.

If nothing else, at least my last teeth-brushing session, conducted with a conscious effort to not breathe, not to taste the water, did *not* have me gagging.

So among the many takeaways from the weekend was a renewed appreciation for the water gushing out of the faucets in our Chicago apartment :-)

Yay for small things :-)

Friday, May 23, 2008

more time wasters

It's 1:30 am.

I should be asleep, got a long day ahead. Haven't even packed for my weekend getaway.

Instead, I've been creating questions for GoodRead's never-ending book quiz. So far I've submitted 11: SIX relating to Stephen King, 3 relating to Michael Connelly, and one each for Hugh Lofting and Umberto Eco.

Then, thanks to Kim, I now know of the existence of GraphJam: Pop Culture for People in Cubicles. Remember the pie charts I'd featured before? Chances are they got ripped from here. While its main focus is "translation" of song lyrics, it's certainly not limited to that... examples:

MOVIES:
song chart memes

POP CULTURE:
song chart memes

SONGS:
song chart memes

Have a good weekend, everyone!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

... these books suck ...

... whaddaya expect, they are about vampires! :D

I've been on a vampire-related book-reading quest recently, partly procrastination partly research to see what's "out there", to see how much of my ideas are already taken, and whether others are using said ideas effectively.

Dhampir (Noble Dead, Book 1)Barb & J. C. Hendee 's Noble Dead series starts off with "Dhampir", the term for vampire hunter, or more exactly, the term for an offspring of a vampire who slays vampires. Of course, our heroine doesn't know her origins/heritage but coincidentally ends up "faking" vampire hunting within the villages, swindling poor villagers out of their money and valuables as a reward for slaying a vampire, who is actually her traveling companion, a half-elf Leesil and his mysterious supernatural dog. Heh. In a way, rather typical fare. Book 1 dealt with Magiere growing weary of life on the road, and chooses to settle down in the one place where coincidentally a nest of vampires is also residing. They meet, the antagonize each other, there's a showdown, lots, and I mean LOTS of fighting (yawwwn!), then all's well that ends well.

Except that it turns out the whole thing was orchestrated by a mysterious behind-the-scenes player...

Thief of Lives (Noble Dead, Book 2)I moved on to Book 2, where the orchestrator strikes again, causing Magiere's services to be required by the closest large town which seems to have a vampire infestation. More back story trickles out, Leesil's past seems to have caught up with him, and we find out more about the supernatural dog too. We are given hints as to the motivation of the mysterious Welstiel too, which relates to history of the barely-remembered past, something about a great war, etc etc...

I'm still not "hooked" per se, but will continue with Book 3 soon.

The Scent of Shadows: The First Sign of the ZodiacIn the meantime, I picked up Vicki Pettersson's "Sign of the Zodiac" series, Book 1 being "The Scent of Shadows". It's not actually vampire-related but I'd thought so when I picked it up. Certainly dark urban fantasy, which would be where my ideas fit in anyway.

Another tale where the main character is female, and is oblivious as to her heritage, this time that of being part of the Zodiac. Oh, and of being a mix of the Light and Shadow parts. Oh, and there being a prophecy of the emergence of someone who would be a fulcrum upon which the world would be balanced. Yeaaaaahhhh. But hey, the whole Zodiac concept is rather neat.

So Book 1 deals with Joanna Archer's "coming of age" and coming into her powers, getting to know the Light side, and defending herself against the Shadow who want her dead. Or do they want her to cross over? Then of course she wants revenge for the death of her sister, killed by the slimy Mr Sands.

The Taste of Night: The Second Sign of the ZodiacIn Book 2, Joanna hunts down Joaquin, the Shadow agent who had raped and attacked her and left her for dead when she was sixteen. Of course, it's all a set-up for her to learn that the quest for vengeance shouldn't consume her such that she puts everyone and everything at risk. The tensions among the Light team who can't seem to accept her dark side gets irritating rather fast.

But again, the whole Zodiac concept is refreshing. And the fact that they exist / are fueled by comic books graphic novels - amusing, and again, different.

This read closely to what I think I'd produce. sans the romance streak, of course. ugh.

Then came this horror:

Dead Until Dark (Southern Vampire Mysteries, Bk. 1)The premise is entertaining: vampires have been given rights just like humans, after all, they are just victims of a unique virus that renders victims allergic to silver, sunlight, garlic,, and require blood to survive. So you'll have the usual exploration of prejudice, of uneasy acceptance or tolerance for these newly out-of-the-coffin folk.

But premise doesn't cover for really lame characters, the main one being our heroine, a telepathic cocktail waitress who despite being able to read pretty much everyone's minds at will, is so naive - so much so that the author many times makes excuses for her (she's not educated, but wait, that doesn't mean she's stupid). And her name is Sookie Stackhouse. I'm sorry, but a name like that, you expect to be taken seriously?

Toss in a love interest in the form Bill, a vampire who was originally from Sookie's hometown, but 150 years earlier, and with whom Sookie can finally find peace of mind (or silence of mind). Turns out she can't "read" vampires, yay. The love scenes between them are just awful. I deem such passages unnecessary anyway, but these were ugh. Moving on: murders rock the community, and Bill is suspected, oh no! In an effort to investigate, she ends up on the radar of a big vampire honcho and voila some complications. Then her brother seems to have been set-up, and is arrested. And all throughout this Sookie is being all naive and oblivious and ... sigh ... let's just say I'm so glad it's over, and I'm not going to pick up anymore books by Charlaine Harris, lemmie tell ya!

Any good reads *you*'ve had recently?

Monday, May 19, 2008

tabula rasa

The first time my phone died and needed to be resurrected, it was September 2004. Funnily enough, it was my last month of work, and I scrambled to re-input everyone's names & numbers so that I could still keep in touch via phone once I left. I was actually rather amused at the timing, as if The Universe was allowing me to leave with a blank slate, if I chose to.

Another blank slate happened in early 2005, when my external drive got eaten by Kosh's cranky Mac. All was fine, but then I forgot to deactivate/unplug/eject it before putting the 'puter to sleep,,, and somehow that messed with the drive such that all data was lost. And what data was there? Only all the stuff form work that I'd wanted to save, things I'd produced, the archive of emails, all sorts of stuff... all gone... oh well... all the better to start fresh with, eh?

And recently, it happened again. My phone decided to get its internal files corrupted somehow. It still works, but everything I had was wiped out. No more "Handy Day" program to manually close open applications. No more photos of pottery I'd snapped but had not yet bluetoothed with the computer. And most especially, no more phone numbers of anyone.

Tabula rasa, once again.

Friday, May 16, 2008

new songs to sing :-)

When we first signed up for Netflix, we were determined to get our money's worth: DVD's were usually watched the day they were received, so that they would be bakc in the mail the next day, thus having a turnover of perhaps 3 DVDs a week.

Now, not so much. Partly because a lot of the DVDs in the queue aren't so "urgently" wanted. We've gone through the first wave of "I really want to see this". Now, we slowly wade through a queue of 200+ titles, with not that many jumping out at us saying "Oooh me! me! me! watch me!!".

That said, I decided to bump up Flight of the Conchords. It's a tv series on HBO, about a New Zealand band (well, a duo) trying to make it in New York. It's got that same slightly raw/disjointed presentation (i.e. not "slick" like those regular networks' shows), but is perhaps less irritating (so far - we're at Episode 2) than, say, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (which Kosh loves, and I ... well ... I cringe my way through). FotC has slightly less painful dialogues, and even better, has at least 2 songs per episode, many of which are sung within the context of the story, sung about/to someone onscreen but they don't necessarily realise/know there's a song going on.

Confused?

Maybe this'll help: from episode one, wher Jemaine first sees Sally at a party (Warning: the first time I watched this, I was literally laughing out loud, it's got all these unexpected comparisons in there... "you're so beautiful you could be a wiatress"?? LMAO!!!) [2m 54s]


Liked that? Heheheee like I said, I certainly did. But THIS ONE... omg this one I loved, maybe because it reminds me of Shaggy's Mr Bombastic... not that I was ever into that kind of music, but it still resonated somewhat... anyways, sit back and enjoy... [3m 27s]


(Yeah, the ending is a bit abrupt, coulda done with another few seconds at the end..)

Cheers, and have a good weekend :-)

Oh, and a tip of the hat to Reel Fanatic who first brought this series to my attention :-)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

R.I.P., my SE P800

"The internal file system was found to be corrupted and will now be reformatted"


Ugh.

... a message one does NOT want to see on their phone screen ... especially when one hasn't backed up the phone in years ... and the backups are in Malaysia anyway ...

*sigh*

... so Veya, Rail, and anyone else who has sms'ed me in the last few months ... don't bother until/unless you get a sign of life from me first, ok?

and ... if I do miraculously somehow resurrect the phone (and that's a big if!), it'll be like having a brand new phone, tabula rasa, no information in it ...

... what with the Sony Ericsson P800 being a phone-w/-PDA-functions, I had LOADS of names & numbers & emails & addresses in there, although honestly most of them were "dormant", my ex-colleagues, but still... and the few who do really matter? I wont have their info anymore ... hey, the modern age has got me very lazy number-wise ... when I was in high school, I had every friend's number memorised, now I just have a vague idea of which carrier they are using.

and so, if I want to get another phone, here in the U.S., for my maxis sim card, I need to get an "unlocked" phone that's not limited to one carrier's service (yes, they do that here - how awful!) - dunno how easily available that is, and whether it's worth it... maybe this is The Universe telling me to just get myself a U.S. mobile line already... ?

But that doesn't fix the issue of getting access to my Malaysian mobile line ...

*sigh*

oh, what a fun start to the day....

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

recent headlines..

Is it just me, or have the recent headlines been rather... "interesting"?

1. Parents board flight, forget toddler at airport.
You know, I think this might scar the poor kid for life! And a question for the airlines: is the weight restriction different for international vs domestic Canadian flights? It's weird to have to repack overweight luggage that was okayed at the start of the trip, eh? But still - being seated/scattered across the airplane doesn't excuse not checking to make sure everyone was there before gates were closed and the plane not only pulled away, but took off!! Jiminy cricket!!!

2. Australian fined for buckling in beer, not child
"The 30-can beer case was strapped in between two adults sitting in the back seat of the car. The child was also in back, but on the car's floor." Wow, they certainly had their priorities straight!!

3. Woman mistook naked thief for husband
This took place in Malaysia, no less!! A thief notices the man of the house asleep on the couch, and decides to undress and slip into bed with the wife. wtf? I suppose this is a lesson to kiss and make up before going to bed, eh?

... and we'll keep it at three ...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

the mystery of #11 and #15 ...

Pssssst!

Hey you!

Yes, *you*!!

Come closer please, I've got to whisper, can't let Lynne hear!

It's me, the (kinda late) movie meme...

Remember me?

I've been feeling rather incomplete, about 13%, if you want to get technical... Lynne's not blogging much nowadays, but enough that I've been relegated to the archives, without much chance of getting completed...

... hence my feeling incomplete...

.. so while Lynne's back is turned (she's busy playing Scramble on Facebook, almost always finishing in the Top 10 players in the Expert's 4x4 room nowadays!) I'm going to quickly take over and post this desperate plea for help

Remember Jerry Maguire?
"You complete me"??

I would *love* to be able to say that to you! All I need is someone (or sometwo, I suppose) to just. identify. the. last. two. movie. quotes.

Please?

Pretty please?

With a cherry on top?

As Lynne has mentioned before, the answers lie somewhere here... One is being said as a newly-engaged couple are being stripped out of their wet clothes... and in the other, "A" then points to a communicating device... hope that helps!!

So stop on by and say hi to me here, and help put me out of misery me fulfill my density destiny!

Forever gratefully yours,
the (kinda late) movie meme

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

"creamy"

So recently I've been debating whether to risk trying to throw (make on the wheel) some porcelain, as opposed to the grey clay I've been using since forever, and this week I happened to mention this dilemma (haha) to my instructor. "Oh, tell you what," says he, "I'll let you have a chunk of the stuff so you can try throwing with it first, see how it feels."

Cooool!

He proceeds to give me a HUGE chunk of the stuff :D

Which I then proceed to use all in one go :D :D

Here you see the wedged and shaped chunk of porcelain awaiting actual throwing. After this pic, I got the wheel turning, slopped some water over the clay, then pressed down and inwards to center and attach the clay to the wheel (technically, to the bat I've got attached to the wheel itself). Couldn't take any in-progress pix - hands get really full of the stuff, and I'd rather not break momentum anyway. So just imagine me doing some rather sexual-seeming manipulating of the clay, then making a hole, pulling it out to make the base, then slowly and carefully pushing into the walls (to a uniform thickness) while pulling *up* ...

If there is one word to describe throwing porcelain, it's gotta be "CREAMY".

I'm happy to report I didn't dirty up the work area too much:



Here are what I produced that day:


... I've added more pix to this album, I think it's now complete, covering items produced Oct - Dec 2007. Still working on getting the newer items photographed and uploaded... I'll share the link once it's up :-)

In the meantime - have a good rest-of-the-week!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

wtf?

Minister proposes female travel approval
Sun May 4, 1:43 AM ET

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Malaysia's foreign minister says women traveling alone abroad should be required to carry a letter from parents or employers verifying the reason for their journey, a news report said Sunday.

The foreign ministry said the aim was to curb the use of women as illicit drug couriers, but the plan was immediately condemned by women's rights groups as repressive.

Foreign Minister Rais Yatim has submitted the proposal to the Cabinet, the New Sunday Times reported. The plan is similar to requirements in some Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, where women need permission from their guardians to travel as part of Islamic principles.

The news report said 119 Malaysians, 90 percent of them women, are imprisoned abroad for drug-related offenses. Most are aged between 21 and 27 years, it said.

"Many of these women leave the country on the pretext of work or attending courses and seminars," Rais was quoted as saying. "With this declaration, we will know for sure where and for what she is traveling overseas."

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Ng Yen Yen said she considered the proposal an infringement of women's rights.

Norhayati Kaprawi of the Sisters in Islam, a voluntary women's group, rejected the idea as "not only a violation of women's rights, but also a violation of human rights."

Malaysians were the main recruits for syndicates wanting to smuggle drugs into European Union countries because they do not require visas for short stays, the report said.

Foreign ministry officials were not available Sunday.
(taken from Yahoo!News)


... so you're saying that when I head back to Malaysia (tentatively planned for this October, need to renew my passport), and then when I leave with new passport to head back to the U.S., I just might have to have a letter from my parents (or, most probably, my father, he's male, eh?) giving written permission for my departure from / verification of my business outside of Malaysia??!!!

... no f-ing way.

... ... ... and this is supposed to "solve" the "drug mule problem" how?????

My mind is blown.

Good night.
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