Monday, February 27, 2006

Ode to the Mac

I have to admit it, I love all things Apple. The iPod, the iBook, the PowerMac G5, the Mac Mini... Everything they make is so fucking cool I can't stand it. I have multiple orgasms just standing in the MacAsia Super Store at One Utama(which is why I'm not welcome there anymore).

Seriously speaking, have you guys seen the PowerMac? Brushed aluminium, easy access, hyper-fast applications. Or the Mac Mini, or the oh-so-cool iBook, or the iPod Nano, or one of those 30 inch Apple Cinema Displays.....*moan moan gasp gasp*...... uh, sorry. Anyway, to a hopeless nerdy science geek like me (who happens to be a design freak), the stuff Apple make are amazing. It's the epitome of functional, beautiful design. And then there's the user interface on the new OS - Tiger - and iLife, that application suite. Put together my adoration for Steve Jobs and well, you've got a convert to the cult of Mac.

I am however a PC user. That's because Apple stuff is expensive and proprietary(negating the possibility of hacking hardware and software), the easy, affordable availability of Windows applications *wink wink* and my familiarity with the Windows interface. Plus there are a lot more games on Windows than on Mac.

I've used Panther on the iBook before, and it's a pretty crappy OS. Maybe it was because I'm a noob idiot user and there weren't many applications to play with(the 14.4 jungle internet connection probably didn't enhance my user experience either). But Tiger, ooooh mama, GarageBand is so fucking cool.

Oh, there's one more thing(hehe, the Mac faithful will get the joke), watch this video if you have a broadband connection.

Friday, February 24, 2006

March of the Penguins

I've been spending the last few days watching a whole lot of documentaries: "Jump London", "Marijuana - A History," "Guns, Germs and Steel", Barely Eighteen Vol. 25... Oh, not documentary ah? Sorry sorry..... and the best of the lot, March of the Penguins.

Some of you might have seen the poster hanging in the new cinema at One Utama. It's the same documentary. It chronicles the annual journey of the emperor penguin, a bird that usually swims, but travels a journey of more than 70 miles on foot each year to mate and lay their eggs. It is an epic story.

70 miles in the cold of winter is but the beginning. When they arrive they search for a mate, with which they remain monogamous for that season. The female lays one single egg, which costs her almost one third her bodyweight expended in energy, leaving her starving and desperate for nutrition. She then transfers the egg to the male - no easy task as the egg cannot be left in the chilling, killing cold for anything more than a few seconds - and travels the 70 miles back to feed. After she fattens herself, she comes back again. By this time the egg would have hatched, if it has managed to survive the cold or the clumsiness of new fatherhood, and it is the male's turn to travel that massive distance while the mother regurgitates food for her chick. They do this repeatedly until the end of the season, when it's warmer and the ocean is but a few hundred feet away.

I'm always on my guard against anthropomorphy whenever I watch documentaries, but this one can't help but pull on your heartstrings. You feel heartache as you watch the penguin fathers huddle together in the dead of -80°C weather, taking turns in the relatively warmer centre of the group. Some of them can't stand it and simply go to sleep, never to wake again, taking two lives as he goes, even as the mother is gorging herself so she can come back to feed her unborn chick - a futile 70-mile journey. And the scenes where the young chicks come out to explore and play can't help but make you smile. You see the naivete and joyfulness of youth in the penguins that you once had, and you realise that juvenile animals share many similiar traits.

Then again, the musical score is perfection itself. Every flute solo, orchestral symphony, and even the moments of silence capture the mood of the scene without flaw.

Poignant, touching, awe-inspiring. Wow.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Breaking News: BIRD FLU!!!!

[kuala lumpur, Thursday]
Bird flu has spread beyond Setapak! Authorities have discovered that in the past week, the following people: John, Razneil, Li Jin, Sheng Wai, Weng Fai, Luanne, Jessica, Andrew, Jay, Jin Hee, Kuhsandra, Ariel, Prem, Haan Chiang, and Ong........

....... have all been found to be exhibiting the main symptom of bird flu: Talking Cock. Especially Li Jin, whom the CDC (Atlanta Center for Disease Control) suspects is the primary vector for the H5N1 and WH4 viruses.

Stay tuned for updates on whether we have to chop off your cock to prevent further transmission of the disease.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Walking wounded

I landed sideways on my left foot today, hearing a loud scrunch and a sudden shock of warm blood flowing to my ankles.

"Oh fuck," I thought,"this is the big tiiiiime!"

And then I limped off the court, iced the ankle and compressed the goddamned joint. So now I'm limping along like an imbecilic cripple, hobbling in and out of my room to the laughter and amusement of my family.


Which got me to thinking about my mortality(again). In secondary school, I thought I was immortal, made of metal and impossible to destroy. Actually I've felt that way ever since I was born, and so I decided to jump backwards of a giant see-saw one day when I was 12, and managed, despite my self-avowed super-ness, to break my left wrist. It jutted out and the splintered ends of the bone grated against one another and I got into shock and I was in a cast for 6 weeks. Did it stop me? I was back the next day running around like and idiot and playing Mortal Kombat with a fucked up hand with Kit and Rik.

A week later I had already taken off the sling and was using my casted forearm like reinforced armour.

What I've done so far:
1. Broken my wrist.
2. injured my knee.
3.Dislocated my shoulder jumping around on slippery rocks(and was rock climbing the next week)
4. Fell head-first while hanging upside down at the playground, and I almost asphyxiated to death. Didn't stop me from trying to backflip...
5. Got my nose rearranged with violent force so I'm extra handsome if you like the "funfair mirror look"(didn't stop me from fighting)
6. Got my nose and eye socket cut.
...... and now, to cap off a wonderful start to the year of the dog, I've seriously sprained both ankles, twisted both middle fingers backwards so they look like sausages, and have a twinge in my knee as a result of still playing while injured.

Fuck. I wonder if I'll ever live long enough to reproduce. If I do, then Darwin was seriously wrong. Sometimes the stupid propagate.

Movie Review: Crash

9 stars/10.

I understand all the hype about it now. This movie is mindblowing. The unflinching, brutally honest portrayal of racial stereotypes and the human perceptions and reactions to them are played out so bravely that you can't help but believe and empathise with every character, even the most villainous one.

Some scenes are almost painful to watch in their intensity. The liberal use of colloquial racial euphemisms only serves to enhance the sense of reality, rather than embue a sense of distaste. The storyline is great, the intelligent, realistic dialogue makes you laugh, and at the end of it all, you get that familiar, comforting feeling you lost a long time ago...... that deep down inside, despite our colour and creed, we're only human.

The calm, uplifting music that plays as the Iraqi dude goes to shoot a Latino dude that he thought was a gangbanger, the boyish Ryan Phillipe arguing with his fellow police officers, and Thandie Newton's wails of anguish all highlight the beauty of this film, a film that by thrusting into the limelight our prejudices, unites us with compassion and empathy instead.

To summarise, this movie is about racism, but it doesn't only do that. It shows what's behind the stereotypes, why we believe in them, and how it affects our judgement and behaviour in a given situation. It's absolutely great.

Who should watch this: Intelligent people who hate arty-farty Zhang Yimou art-house flicks. BTW Iris and Magnolia are not only names of flowers, but also the titles of absolutely crap movies disguised as art.

Monday, February 20, 2006

The Best Scrambled Eggs in the World

Once upon a time, there was an onion and a tomato. They had big dreams. When they grew up, they wanted to be part of classically great dishes like pasta alla vongole or roast veal. So they worked hard in school, studied how to caramelise properly and how to trust themselves with the amorous advances of sizzling-hot olive oil.

Then one day, it was time. They were good little onion and tomato, hardworking and earnest, if a tad ambitious. Imagine their disappointment when they were to be used in nothing more than plain old boring scrambled eggs. Onion cried and cried as he was diced up with a cheap, blunt knife, touching the cook with his grief and causing the poor dude to cry too. Tomato, on the other hand, was coldly accepting of her fate, and succumbed to the dicing with a dignified squishiness.

Little did they know that Cook did not merely make food for the sake of sustenance, but was instead a quiet, diligent researcher of food science, avid reader of cookbooks, and a hardworking apprentice in the art of delighting by taste.

So onion was dumped into the pan with sizzling hot olive oil, tossed with panache and care as if he were a truffle or a treasured piece of salmon belly. Onion was surprised, as he expected to be burnt beyond rescue and dunked with tabasco sauce to disguise the acrid flavour. His loud wails slowly subsided to sobbing, and eventually to laughs of delight as he was carefully, evenly browned.

With a sudden burst of heat, Onion started sizzling and Tomato was thrown in, with a loud hiss of protest and the wonderful sourish aroma mingling with the homely comforting smell of saute-ed onion. Almost immediately, the pan was taken off the heat, barely singe-ing Tomato, allowing her to remain firm and juicy even as Onion was about to be caramelised.

Suddenly 3 beaten Omega eggs were dumped into the pan, flavoured with two pinches of precious sea salt. Oh woe is me!! cried onion again, Cook is going to turn up the heat and make us into fucking lumpy curds in 5 minutes.

But no! They watched in disbelief as the heat was turned all the way down, and Cook, who had just finished his basketball game and was half-naked and still dripping with sweat, lovingly caressed the egg back and forth in the pan with a wooden spatula. He did this patiently, unflinchingly, for 20 minutes over the lowest possible heat, allowing Egg to confidently congeal slowly, beautifully, into a consistency like that of the softest yoghurt, and before all of them hardened into lumps, they were already scooped out of the pan into a bowl, and sprinkled with a big share of freshly-grinded black pepper.

And so Tomato and Onion, bursting with pride, achieved their dreams of becoming a simple, great dish.

The End.

*Anyone wants to eat the Best Scrambled Eggs in the World, let me know, I'll be happy to cook for you :) Except for Sheng Wai(killian) and Weng Fai, who made a lot of stupid comments when I cooked for them last time. Stupid food noobs.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Super Man.

There's only one way to live life, one way to make full use of your short time here in this mortal realm: The Superman way. In case you don't realise it yet, life is too fucking short. I'm 24 this year, and according to the official statistics, I've got only 2 more sets of these to go before I sign out at 72......

Hell no. I'm going to live forever. I'm betting that my generation will be the one that discovers the secret to unlimited cell regeneration (which prevents aging, and consequently, death), but until that happens, I'm not going to sit around hoping and living in mediocrity.

Live life full. Every single day, every single thing you do. You don't have time for regrets and I-should-haves. You barely have time to get what you want, so believe in yourself, trust in your instincts, expand your resources, love your friends, put your family first, track down what you want with single-minded focus and then hunt it down mercilessly. Until you have that, everything else doesn't matter.

I used to think that nothing mattered in this world but the propagation of good against evil, kindness over brutality, world peace, and an eventual second renaissance that would propel us into a technological utopia of peace and stability.

It will never happen. Mankind will perish long before we see world peace. Natural selection determined that only the fittest survive and are allowed to propagate, and humans are the epitome of natural selection. We are the super-beings of this planet, and the only way we will stay that way is if the fittest among us survive. How do we decide who's fittest? Yes, we fight.

So what do I do? Hope that someone is kind to me and help me realise my dreams? :) Fuck no. You can do that. I'm going to live like a superman. I'm going to chase the things I want with single-minded intensity. No worries, no fears, only the absolute certainty that I will get it. And I'll get it fast.

As I said, life is short. There's no time for doubts, no time for worries, no time for regrets. Plan meticulously, and when you decide to act, act with absolute commitment and everything needed to get it. Chasing money, chasing influence, chasing women, chasing power. It's the same: Don't pause, don't ponder. Have absolute confidence. Do it.

There's only one way to live.

Be like Superman.

Monday, February 06, 2006

The Obsession With Virgins

Come on, guys. Really!

Despite what zeitgeist demands of society, despite watching enough Carrie Bradshaw you want to buy shares in Manolo Blahnik, and no matter how sophisticated, worldly, and tolerant you think you are, most of you fuckers are still backward, village-bred, uneducated, nosy bastards.

Let me elaborate.

There's this unbelievable obsession with virgins. This is the 21st century my friends. It's not "the coming century". It's already here. Yeah yeah, so technology has advanced to the point where you can find a satellite picture of your own house on Google(if you don't know how to you really belong in the last century), but we still haven't evolved beyond the point where a person's experience(or the absence) of sex determines so much about his/her social status.

Does anyone other than me notice the hang-ups we have about sex? It's blatantly used in advertising, discussed under the guise of 'social problems' in the newspapers, leered over with lascivious, voyeuristic joy in the Agony Aunt columns, and generally hangs over all of us like a giant, pink phallus that nobody admits they can see.

Guys hate to be virgins. If they had half a choice, they'd hump the baby girl in the next womb and get the whole fucking stigma out of the way as early as possible. There's nothing more fatal to your social cachet than to be named "the 22-year old virgin"......... and I'm not telling you who lest he commit suicide out of shame.

Girls have it hard(no pun intended). Since feminism and female emancipation and bra-burning and all that power woman nonsense, they've come to realise that all their high-browed denial of anything sexual has done nothing but drive up the shares of dildo and vibrator companies, and hence the "new woman" has apparently discovered her sexually-liberated self along with the birth-control patch(21st-century you know? No more pills).

But whoops, society isn't that open yet! I'll put it crudely: The girls wanna fuck, but they have to stay virgins. How old-fashioned is that?!?!?!? This is really weird. Girls want to remain virgins, but they don't know why. They have their own life, they go after the guys they want, they live a life of such quality that they would never have had at the beginning of the last century. But, BUT, the stubborn vestiges of Victorian-era propriety still has its stranglehold on the "moral-fibre" of the 21st century woman!

But anyway, this obsession with virginity has to stop. Girls don't want virgin guys, and guys only want virgin girls. However, most guys are virgins, while most girls are not. Funny isn't it? :) Maybe it's only my own stupid way of thinking, but it really shouldn't matter if you're attracted to that person at that moment right? Does it make you more or less of a person if you've had sex(or not)?

Take a leaf from the Europeans. Other than the pretentious British, I've rarely met Europeans who have hang-ups about sex. It's always cool. It's always OK. And it's always safe. They have low teen pregnancy rates because they're educated about sex. You think all that religious mumbo-jumbo about abstinence delivered by a hamsap-looking religious scholar with a goat beard can fight with the torrents of testosterone and oestrogen coursing through our teenage veins? Exactly. You wanna talk about a hangup? Talk about Al-Qaeda promising those terrorists so many virgins in heaven after they die a martyr.

I've got an idea, that friendster post up a field where you have to declare whether you're a virgin or not. That would be a really great way to read a person's mindset. But then most people would probably fill in that field with "it's complicated". LOL.

Socity has advanced. And the ladies shouldn't be bothered anymore. There's nothing I respect more than a woman who's honest with herself, who knows what she wants and isn't afraid to get it. I know how it is ladies. You know as you're reading this that it's so natural to express your needs, that you really do want to do it. And if you feel that it's natural, then you should just go for it. With me, that's not even a choice, it's the only answer. Most people don't feel this way, and if you stop to analyse it, even you might not feel this way, but you know deep down inside, in the most secret of your secret places, that it's true.