DaiCon ’09: Not so ‘Dai'(大) after all

July 12, 2009 at 5:07 pm | Posted in Outings | 25 Comments
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Figures

Figures on Display

Um, well. Here’s a convention report. This is probably the first time I’m doing this. For some reason all the photos turned out a little blurry, and I’m still a little mad about it. The main highlight of the event was a concert by Chihara Minori (茅原実里), a seiyuu most famous for her role as ‘Keanu-Reeves-is-a-baby-next-to-me-Nagato-Yuki‘. No, I didn’t go for it, because the tickets cost a bomb, and I’m rather low on gunpowder at the moment.

So what did I do really? Rather, ask what I hoped I’d be able to do, the answer being: walk in, and exit with a crate of cheap Japanese manga. After all the local conventions I’ve attended, I really should have expected this- there was just one stall selling local doujin. Not interested, sorrriee~ Other countries seem to have it better. Coco, from uh, Canada, I think- managed to get some Japanese manga. Singapore will be having it’s ‘Anime Festival Asia’ soon, which, from what I gather, is a pretty big event….  those lucky Southerners(>,<)

We (I went with two high school pals) were greeted with a booklet containing the usual dull speeches, an event schedule, rules, etc… and a small box, which I thought was some sort of mint. Yay, something to munch on. Feeling the need to bite on something a while after that, I fished it out of my bag and found out that it was really toothpaste. Like, whaaaat?

The exhibition hall looked rather… empty. We made one round and headed for the maid cafe. Question: what is the purpose of a maid cafe? Answer: It’s for guys to flirt with maids, and be called goshujinsama (Master) upon entering. The other two were hungry and just made a beeline for a table. As for me, I was feeling rather glum after surveying the stalls.

To Heart

To Heart

Made a heart out of a serviette for no entire reason. On second thought, maybe it was to perplex the maid-waitresses. I had an ‘American breakfast’ and coffee. The ‘Am. breakfast’ consisted of scrambled egg, two cheap sausages, two slices of toast, potatoe wedges, and this strange, hard, chewy, oily thing- I should have taken a picture of it. Oh well, too late for that now. The coffee was nice, but coffee is almost always nice anyway. The only people who make bad coffee are those who hate coffee- so says my supreme wisdom, which is currently distorted by hunger. Hey, it was a long drive=,=

More wandering after that. The KKnM stall was supposed to be good, and apparently it had a long, long, line on day one (Yesterday)- they seemed to be doing quite well today too. We had a peek at it- mugs were priced at RM40, T-shirts at around RM100 a piece- maybe I should upload an audio recording of me screaming in ultrasound (Which you can’t hear anyway)- we ran off.

Cosplayers

Cosplayers

A group of cosplayers posing for the cameras. A curse on the blurriness  which fouled all of today’s photos. Grrr. We got bored, and decided to leave- stopped by at some outdoor food stalls. Disappointment and boredom suddenly decided to have tea and left irritation behind- I decided that I didn’t drive all the way there just for lunch, and we turned back towards the hall to take photos with some of the cosplayers.

Back in the hall, we spotted a stormtrooper surrounded by puny backwater planet peons. I think it must have been Wise Freeman from dannychoo.com. Decided that I’d go and say hi after completing my mission, but when I was done the trooper was nowhere to be seen. We scoured the hall looking for him, but he’d vanished. T.T

Pink Cosplayer

Diced Bunny

I suppose I should have struck a similar pose… but I was probably too busy thinking ‘crap my bag’s gonna get in the way’- it’s happened too many times in the past, but this seems to be one mistake that I never learn from. Good thing it didn’t pull down my shirt this time.

Diced Bunny 2

Diced Bunny 2

Geoff’s turn. He looks similarly stoned- maybe he’s thinking ‘My girlfriend is gonna kill me if she sees this photo- damage control, damage control… don’t pose. Yeah, that’s it, don’t pose…’

Miko and Curls

Miko and Curls

I admit, I have no idea who they were cosplaying as. No matter, though- someone is bound to answer this for me. So to end this- DaiCon wasn’t that ‘Dai’ (Big) at all, as mentioned in the title. But then again that could have been because it was Day 2. Nah, that’s no excuse. In any case there wasn’t any Japanese manga. My photos all ended up blurry, which is really my camera’s problem. Dreaming Artemis has plenty more for you to gawk at. Come to think of it, I really wouldn’t mind if there was only one stall and all they sold was cheap Japanese manga. Oh, why do I even bother. If only BookOff would open an outlet here…

P.S: Apparently something interesting happened a few hours after we left. No, I’m not commenting on it. Hungry (Again) people have no opinions.

Japanese Film Festival ’09 Part II: おくりびと/Departures

June 27, 2009 at 4:21 pm | Posted in Outings | 4 Comments
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おくりびと/Departures

おくりびと/Departures

Before I begin with the review, a little rant. I’ve just signed up for a free site on this place called ‘freei.me’, and tried to install WordPress on it- well, if ‘tried’ covers clicking all here and there whilst reading reams of incomprehensible technobabble and eventually leaving the account to rot in a dark corner of the internet as I grumble yet again… well then. Let the review begin:

‘Departures’, known in Japan as Okuribito (Official Site), was screened in the recent Japanese Film Festival. I missed it, and virtually kicked myself on the head a few times for such a slip, until I heard that the cinema which ran the Festival, strangely, would be screening Departures for a few more days. Still, I ran into a spot of trouble- the online ticketing site crashed as a result of too much traffic (Or more likely, they forgot to pay tech support).

Well then, what else can I say about a show that’s won the Academy award for ‘Best Foreign Language Film’? Nothing much, come to think of it, but let’s start with someting simple. When I heard that a Japanese movie had been nominated for the Oscar, I instantly gave it my support, without even knowing anything about it. I thought that it didn’t win (Obviously I was mistaken on this), but was still disappointed that I couldn’t catch it.

My bad. ‘Departures’ won the Oscar, along with a host of other awards here and there. The director must have had quite a bit of fun, flying all over the world to collect those funny little trophies. Now everyone who has heard of the movie, or who has watched the movie, or plans to watch it, will surely know something about what the movie is about- wikipedia has a smashing summary of it- a cellist in Tokyo finds himself out of a job, and moves back to his hometown in Yamagata, where he becomes an encoffiner. There. A summary as spoiler-free as one can possibly be.

Yamagata is a lovely place. Out of the four movies which I watched in this Festival, Departures is the only one that is set almost completely in the countryside. The locals even speak a charming dialect- for example, they pronounce the pronoun ‘watashi’ as ‘watasu’- and instead of ending sentences in ‘ne’ or ‘na’ they end it with ‘nou’. Watching Daigo (Our former cellist) teach his wife Mika the local lingo was a sweet moment.

Although it deals with death, ‘Departures’ isn’t a gloomy, depressing sort of movie. I watched it with my mom, and although she complained that there wasn’t enough humour in it, I felt that there was just enough to keep the show balanced. It’s not meant to be a comedy, after all. It’s not meant to be depressing, either. Ah, come on, just look at the poster- it’s all cheerful and pinky, and the very first scene in the movie is really an elaborate joke.

‘Departures’ is a relatively simple yet lovable movie, and I found myself actually anticipating what would happen next- would the story turn towards A, or towards B? Ah, it’s taken the high road to C, which means that it will eventually end up in D… get the picture? I’d really love to add real names and events to it, but then that would be giving away too much. So shoot me.

Motoki Masahiro (本木雅弘) as Kobayashi Daigo was pretty good- he carried out his role as the quiet, nice-guy husband role pretty well. According to wiki he even trained under a mortician for the role. Hirosue Ryoko (広末涼子) as his wife Mika was, well… she didn’t have much to do in the movie besides fulfilling the male ideal of a beautiful, loving, supporting wife- although she does throw in a sharp pre-heated wrench into Daigo’s life as a result of him taking up his job.

And about that job… I know that most Asian cultures have some sort of taboo about death, but I’ve never really cared too much for it. It’s ridiculous, really- as Daigo’s boss says in the movie- ‘Even the meat you are eating is a corpse. We all live off the dead… unless you’re these guys’, pointing to his lovely indoor garden.

‘Departures’ clocks in at two hours and thirteen minutes long. It didn’t feel that long at all, though. Time just seemed to pass by peacefully as I sat in the theatre, the seconds ticking along with every word spoken, every snowflake that fell to the earth, every body Daigo had to collect… OK, I’ll shut up now:3

What rating to give this movie? I don’t normally rate, or review, for that matter, live-action movies- it’s a gorgeous movie, but does it deserve a 5/5, which in my definition means ‘epic’? A sublime masterpiece? I don’t know. Yes, I love it, but would I watch it again and again? Certainly not tomorrow, or the week after. But I might pick it up one day months later when I’m feeling bored, and remember, ‘ah, this one’s a gem’… ‘Hey, Hirosue Ryoko was too cute to be true in this one too’. Somehow English just doesn’t seem to cut it here. The only word to describe her would be to squeal ‘kawaiiiii~’

Yes, I’d better shut up before you start to think that I’m only giving this rating- 5 out of 5- because I liked Mika. No, seriously, it’s a good movie! If only you could stop staring at her and listen to me- come on, I managed to do it for most of the show……

Previous Events:

Japanese Film Festival 2008

Japanese Film Festival 2009

Japanese Film Festival 2009

June 22, 2009 at 5:19 pm | Posted in Outings | 6 Comments
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The Japanese Film Festival 2009  just ended today. This time it focused on dramas, and even had a big name in Departures (おくりびと), the winner of the Best Foreign Film prize in the 81st Academy Awards. I’ve attended the festival since it’s inception back in 2004. In that year, I think I watched just one movie. This year, I went for three. In one day too, haha:)

First movie was at noon. I got there sometime around 10am, so I had a bit of time to wander around. Stopped by at a bookstore and read some travel guides- I was supposed to go to Hong Kong before the swine flu scare shelved that plan, but I took a peek at a Lonely Planet guide… and, well… it had nothing to say about the place. It’s just so boring! On the other hand, Hokkaido, which my aunt wants to go to someday… ahh, it’s paradise:)

あしたの私のつくり方/How to Become Myself

あしたの私のつくり方/How to Become Myself

‘How to become myself’ (Offical Site) is about a girl (Juri) who loses sight of who she really is. “Who am I, really”, and all that, having to cope with her parents divorce, and fulfilling their wishes. A friend of hers (Kanako) has a similar problem- once a popular girl, she became introverted and unsure about herself after being bullied.

Upon hearing of Kanako’s troubles, Juri starts sending Kanako anonymous messages, telling her how to ‘become herself’, i.e. her popular self in the past. Kanako takes Juri’s advice and becomes popular again, but finally gives up the charade when she realises that that’s just not her. As for Juri, she finally comes to terms with who she is.

Overall, a sweet and simple movie. Juri was well played by Narumi Riko (成海 璃子), although I felt that Kanako was a little stiff, although that probably suited her character. 4 out of 5 stars for this one.

Had lunch at Jusco’s Japanese food section. Didn’t notice it at first, but it was a good choice for the occasion, eh? Had chicken kariage, some sort of fried vegetable, some sort of ‘fried sashimi chicken with cheese’… oh crud. All fried. This is gonna be bad for my skin>,< Next movie at 3pm.

アフター・スクール/After School

アフター・スクール/After School

Next up, ‘After School’ (Official site), a sort of mystery cum comedy. A shady private eye, Kitazawa, is hired to track down an employee of a big company, Kimura, who was last seen in the company of a mysterious woman. He enlists the help of high-school teacher Jinno, who is also looking for his friend Kimura.

This movie was pretty enjoyable, going from serious to funny and back to serious again. The twist in the end was a big surprise, although it also cleared up everything that previously directed the viewer’s suspicion towards Kimura. 4/5 as well. Oh, most of the audience left when the lights came on- I stayed, and got to see the extra at the end, hehe:)

包帯クラブ/The Bandage Club

包帯クラブ/The Bandage Club

Finally, at 6pm, ‘The Bandage Club’ (Official site), about a group of kids dealing with the usual pressures of life, and more. One day, on impulse, high school girl Wara climbs onto the fence of a hospital roof, but a strange boy (Dino) with a phony Kansai dialect gets her down. Concerned about her, he ties the bandange on her wrist to the fence, saying that he has ‘bandaged her pain’.

Wara later tries this out on her friend, and as a few other friends join in, they decide to start a ‘Bandage Club’, whereby others post their grievances on the site, and the Club goes out to ‘bandage’ the place mentioned, and in the process, overcome their own troubles.

Overall, pretty good, although it started off a little slow and gloomy, at least until Dino appeared. Excellent acting from everyone. Of course, it helped that Ishihara Satomi (石原 さとみ), who played Wara, was gorgeous, haha. Dino’s insane behaviour kinda reminded me of Onizuka from GTO. The music that played throughout much of the movie was a little annoying for me, but if you go to the official site, it’s quite lovely, actually. I suppose it was the humming that irritated me. 4/5 for ‘Bandage’ as well.

Conclusion:

Watched 3 movies out of 8, and gave all three 4/5. Pretty good. I’m just pretty sad that I missed ‘Departures’- I went there on a Saturday but they were sold out. If only the online and phone booking services didn’t give me any trouble, *sigh*. No anime this year (Last year had ‘Toki wo kakeru shoujo’), but that wasn’t much of a problem. In the comment form I suggested that they screen Ghost in the Shell: Innocence or 5cm no Byousoku next year- wonder if they’ll listen.

One last thing- the audience seems to be different from those of other movies. Watch ‘Terminator 4’, or ‘Drag me to Hell’, and you’ll surely be plagued by variform idiots yakking away, beeping cellphones, and the like. Not so here. Not a sound from the audience, and it was wonderful.

Previous Events:

Japanese Film Festival 2008

A Tale of Sexual Harassment, Enlightenment, and Amorous Monks

June 1, 2009 at 1:47 am | Posted in Outings | 16 Comments
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First things first: I’d really love to have post summaries, with a ‘read more’ option for every post, but I just can’t seem to find it. Guess I’ll just throw a link to the photo albums for photo-heavy posts like this one. Ah well. Oh, and I’ll be stuck on an island from Monday till Wednesday. What’s this post about, anyway? A long-awaited reunion with ex-classmates, with all the juiciness that can be expected from a horde of five gorgeous people with equally twisted minds. So here goes.

Took a bus to KL Central, which is something like a baby Tokyo station. The only other person who was already there was Chris, but before meeting him I told him to wait as I went to the powder room to put on some makeup. Just joking, of course- all I did was change my shirt, from an expendable one pop got for me from HK to a gorgeous one I picked up in Japan. Just didn’t feel like saying toilet, washroom, or loo. Irritating, I suppose, but what the heck.

Once everyone had arrived, we headed to Sushi King, but despite it being sometime around 11:40 am, was still closed… with a most annoying notice pasted near the entrance. Hello? Open from Monday to Sunday, yet closed during the weekends and public holidays? Oi!

Bad business as a result of stupidity, no doubt.

Bad business as a result of stupidity, no doubt.

5 of us. Two guys and three girls. A little unbalanced for a triple date, no? Never mind that. Went to KLCC instead. Had lunch at Sakae Sushi. Service was a little slow, but the food was alright. I had Chris beside me instead of the girls- hence the first part of this post’s title, ‘sexual harassment’. His specialty is yaoi shots. I play along most of the time, when I’m in a good mood and feeling graceful. Although this time it was a tad annoying as I was trying very hard to concentrate on my food, haha^^;

Sakae group shot

Sakae group shot

Group shot. From left, Elizabeth the Hamster, Jeanie Beanie, Trying-hard-to-smile-Moi, Micchi, and Chrissy. I don’t remember much of what was said, but I do remember this bit, when we were ordering:

Hammie: We’ll have, umm… five Japanese tea”
Moi: Green tea lah. What do you think this is, some Chinese kopitiam? Teh Cina?
Waiter: *trying hard not to giggle to loudly*

Oh, they gave us Genmaicha (brown rice tea) instead of green tea, though. I’ve had it before and thus knew how it tasted, but the rest took some time to get used to it.

We thought of watching a movie, but upon seeing the weekend queue stretching off into infinity, and at times looking very much like a Gordian know, we gave up and headed for the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra. No luck here either, as they were sold out for the day. Did manage to check out some photos and pictures of Haydn‘s life. I also found the elixir of old age:

Granny Lev

Grannified

The MPO having failed us, we ended up wandering around the mall, checking out formal attire with Chris, and lingerie and shoes with the girls (Without Chris, haha), before finally ending up in Starbucks, and then the park, where we sat and talked away the time, as well as being turned into ant food whilst camwhoring. Here’s where the third part of the title comes in- we spotted two monks having their photos taken, first while proposing, and then in joyful embrace.

Apartment Group Shot

Apartment Group Shot

More wandering around the mall after that- Kinokuniya, here and there, before finally ending up in this place called the Apartment. Some sort of bistro/bar. Prices, of course, were outageous. I’m not really interested in liquor, but I had a glass anyway. Here’s a list of my alcoholic history:

-Sniffed pop’s beer. Smelly, eww
-Shandy. Nice enough, even though my aunt says it’s a ‘girl’s drink’
-Vodka mixed into chocolate ice-cream at TGIF. Nice.
-Sangria. Pretty nice, this one, but not much alcohol
-Grappa. Bloody murder. Didn’t finish it
-Cocktails on a flight back from Italy. Made my skin dry
-Beer, tonight. Felt a little odddddddd….

Why so? Apparently it was because I had it on an  empty stomach. It hurt the whole way back until I found some food to relieve the pain. Never mind that. We had a lively discussion- topics like pre-marital sex, pornography, etc, and other details too personal to let out on a public site. To quench your curiosity I give you a video of Elizabeth dancing on stage, and no, she was not drunk at the time.

Time to end this. Twas a great outing, and this post would have been better still if I could remember all the weirdness that I caused as a result of my constant mishearing of perfectly innocent words. Another outing is in the works- maybe next time, I should record my words, haha. Before I run off, here’s one photo which I’m particularly fond off- I name it the ‘Strange Lost Child’. I had a better name for it at the time, but it took a hike without me. I need chains for my thoughts now too, it seems.

Lost Child

Lost Child

Link to the Facebook album if you’re interested.

CNY ’09: Leftovers

May 24, 2009 at 12:56 pm | Posted in Outings | 4 Comments
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The very much delayed continuation of my previous CNY post. The events of the first part of this post took part on the 30th of January. A reunion of sorts with some friends from high school.

Went to fetch MC Wing from his condo, and then Geoff. Too lazy to drive up to his front gate, so I just parked across the road and honked away- he had to call and ask us to wait, hehe. Lunch at Tony Roma’s in Sunway Pyramid, where we were later joined by another pal from HS.

Had a Shiitake mushroom burger. Somehow the food wasn’t as nice as the first time we went there… I still remember that time, when knowing absolutely nothing about how meat is done Western style, the waitress asked us ‘well done, medium, or rare?’ and we went with medium just to be safe, haha.

Geoff. The table was so small and cramped- I’d have preferred the sofa table like the one behind him, but they were all taken up>,<

MC Wing. And a bigger view of the comfy sofa table I so wanted to sit at… girl in the background had a nice green shirt.

CWL. Brownies and ice-cream… not too sure if that’s a good combination, but what the heck. Ain’t mine anyway.

 
Dinner at CWL’s place. His mom had prepared some food, but wasn’t expecting guests. Some sort of herbal chicken soup, roast meat… 

Playing cards. Started out with mahjong, which I knew nothing about. Both of them tried to teach it to me, but apparently they were teaching me different versions of the game. The result? A major headache and extreme confusion. Geoff came along and the game switched to cards (and gambling). MC and I played by chips, leaving the other two to enjoy their emotional ups and downs… and that’s it.

Before we left, we had a brief but interesting conversation on premarital sex- MC was all for abstaining, with CWL on the opposing side of the fence. Factors such as love, mutual respect, blablabla popped out. In the end, CWL asked me where I stood on the issue- I said I probably wouldn’t do it either.

He said that MC Wing and I know each other too well and think alike, which I countered by saying that he’s abstaining just because he’s a nice guy… me, on the other hand, to put it crudely, I’d like to screw with a girl’s head before screwing her lower regions- even if she wants it, I won’t give it to her. Mean and irritating, but that’s me, and it works wonders:)

So ends part one. Part two took place on the 3rd of February, in front of my house- I saw what I suspected to be one of those banned kong ming lanterns floating up high- see that squiggly seahorse-like thing?

Banned in Malaysia due to the danger of it burning whatever it lands on. Something like one of the USAF’s hunter-killer drones, but governed by the wind, with zero artificial intelligence. The same goes for whoever set it aloft.

Playing with the camera’s settings… probably on fireworks mode. Loved that mode ever since I first discovered it waaay back in Night Orbs.

The lights focused on here are from the streetlights. It’s interesting how they seem to form some sort of Oriental characters… I tried ‘writing‘ with the camera by swinging it around before it snapped the photo. Couldn’t get any legible words, but it still ended up relatively nice.

And that’s that.

Back to India you go

April 2, 2009 at 9:53 pm | Posted in Outings | Leave a comment
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Note: Before we go any further, all this took place on the 22nd of May- it’s dated before the previous post. Blame my frazzled brain for this.

I actually skipped class for this one. Ming had come back from India (Where she’s studying Dentistry) sometime late February, but I was just too caught up with everything else to remember- and to make things worse, my mobile number was canceled without warning. Never mind.

Ran off after the first class, after tasking Lizbeth with data collection. Went home, had a quick shower, changed, and sped off to Sunway. Called them as soon as I got there, but no one answered- which meant that they could only be in one place- the arcade. Cell phones are nothing more than useless pieces of plastic and metal in there. I was right- there they were, crowding around Alvin who was playing some silly Virtua Cop~esque game.

The Ooi Lives!

 My first thought upon seeing this guy: “You’re alive!” Haven’t seen Tommy since… since. Almost two years, I think. As for the rest of the guys who showed up- well, Ming, of course, Alvin, Geoff, Wai Lam, Jimmy, and Owen (Who showed up later). All old school mates. Having known them for so long I don’t particularly miss them one bit, haha! I expect a few kicks from the guys next time we meet because of this…

Went over to the cinema to get the movie  tickets. Couldn’t really decide on what to watch (There was nothing really eye-catching in the theatres) , and ended up with Watchmen. More on that later. Movie was around 5.30- we still had plenty of time till then. No one had any idea what to do- I suggested going into random boutiques, trying out the clothes and taking photos, but that got turned down *sigh*. Inevitably, I suppose, with a group of 5 guys (And one girl), we ended up in a cybercafe. We played this game called Left for Dead while Ming checked out Korean guys^^; For the record- that was my second time playing it. Had enough of it for a lifetime. Note: that doesn’t mean that I find it excellent. The other guys, though, probably still love it to bits…

Time for the movie. Found ourselves circling the innards of Pyramid, searching for a parking space. Ended up a little late for the movie- probably missed 5 to 10 minutes of it. Here’s the review- oh before that, one that I read somewhere on the net- it went something like this:

Blue man’s dolphin.
Followed by excellent bedroom scene.
Some action.
More of blue man’s dolphin. Whale sized too.
Suddenly, THREE of blue man’s dolphins!
Another excellent bedroom scene.
More action.
Blue man’s dolphin.

…fellow members of dannychoo.com would know what I’m talking about here^^;; As for my opinion of the show… it was alright, if a little slow. Definitely not a straightforward action movie, if that’s what you were looking for. It’s more of a thinking movie. The stark reality of life- peace doesn’t come free. Conspiracy thorists will probably see this as an endorsement of Bush’s war on terror, but I digress. To cut things short- if you ignore all the deep threads running through it, it’s all about (And I’m not making fun of the above review here) making love, not war. Which doesn’t sound like a bad idea if you ask me.  

Dinner at Kim Gary’s- this chain restaurant that supposedly specialises in Hong Kong cuisine. Owen joined us then, and Tommy left. Owen had just came over from college- he wouldn’t skip class:p I  had some kind of strange cheese-curry-beef rice. Spicy, it actually choked me. No other comment on it.

She misses me.

She misses me.

Owen. He came late:p

Owen. He came late:p

No photos of the other guys who came, although there’s one of Geoff waving his arms in the dark, taken at his house. Previous photos are a little blurry- naturally, it wasn’t me who took them:3 …Well, most of them, at any rate. Sent Ming to her new condo after stopping over at Geoff’s place for a bit. Two cars just to send her back- a little Kelisa (The one that Jeremy Clarkson smashed), and me in my old Mazda. A veritable motorcade.

Delayed Post: Spidey, we meet again

February 17, 2009 at 1:49 am | Posted in Outings | 2 Comments
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Here’s another delayed post, this one dating all the way back to the 22nd of December 2008. Last year. If I had an editor for this blog I’d probably be roasting on a spit somewhere in the Maldives…

Weeeell… so what happened on this day? To be honest I don’t really remember- in all fairness, it has been, what, 2, 3, months since then? The entry in my paper diary devoted to this day is pretty short too… 3 lines. Now what can I extract from that, I wonder…

Ah. Scheduled to meet Matt and Akil at the entrance to Pyramid at xx:xx time, but I was late for some reason, and Akil drove over to where I’d parked the Mazda (the usual spot outside Josh’s house) to save time. Fella came in a dinosaur of a Toyota 4WD- I don’t think I’ve ever seen a personal vehicle of that size before. Impractical monster. Despite it’s size I think I’d feel pretty vulnerable while driving it…

Drove to Taiping for lunch. Bah. Taipan lah, you dum-dum… haven’t been there in ages. Apparently I’m supposed to know where we were- don’t ask me why:

Matt: “Don’t tell me you don’t know where this is…”
Me: “…Taipan?”

I just guessed. Really. At the time I thought Taipan was somewhere in… somewhere. Never mind that- we ended up driving all over the place looking for a parking space- which was made considerably harder due to the size of the monstorsity we were in. We ended up at a McD drive-through. Was worried we wouldn’t be able to turn, but he did it somehow.

To Akil’s place after that- and before I forget to mention it, the purpose of our meeting today was to meet up with him while he’s in the country- he left for Aus a few days later. No problems parking- big house for a big car. I’ll never understand why he needs 9 toilets in one house…

Wasted a few hours there, and here are the results:

Spidey-maniac Akil.

Spidey-maniac Akil.

And Matt with Spidey.

And Matt with Spidey.

Yeah, that’s my Spidey you see there. Got it from my first Japanese center, Egami (Not very sure- I forget), in Endah Parade, as it was known at the time.  The thing came all the way from Universal Studios Japan- wonder how they got it. Got it quite easily from them too- they were moving, and I asked my teacher, Fujimori sensei if they still wanted it. Management said it was alright. He, on the other hand, took with him a promotional poster of Egami- which had his face on it^^;

Anyway Spidey’s found a nice home with Akil- biggest Spidey fan I’ve ever met, although admittedly I have a deeper knowledge of Spidey than him. Could probably have sold it off for a tidy sum, but chose to give it to him a year or two back- fella’s been a great pal, although I’ve admittedly never been particularly close to him, and it was the least I could do. Of course, I also wanted to fill up his room to make it smaller as well^^;;

Played some Guitar Hero. Video shows Matt playing. I wasn’t very good at it…

Yeah, I know- I had nothing better to do. Matt on the guitar, Akil on the keyboard, and I conducted with my socked foot. Second video shows Kil singing Matt a love song… just one of his many ways of annoying Matt. I tried my level best to stay neutral.

Fella had an appointment with the dentist- who just happened to be based all the way in KL. Had to cut our stay short- had him send us back to Pyramid. That’s the last I saw of him this year (2008).

Went with Matt to a nearby cybercafe, wasted a few hours there. Twas dark by the time we came out- decided to have dinner at the mamak a few doors away, but I really had no idea what to have… ordered a glass of teh-o while trying to decide what to eat. Finally thought of having Maggi, but that was screwed by the tea. Didn’t feel right putting the two together. Ended up having warmed-up roti canai. Sent him home, and that was that.

Genting ’09: A Controlled Study of Typical Male Non-Sexual Hormonal Activity

February 17, 2009 at 12:55 am | Posted in Outings | 2 Comments
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Well, this post is certainly long overdue. I went to Genting early in January- from the 3rd to the 5th, to be specific. There was quite a lot of trouble regarding coordination of people, schedules, and whatnot- the usual nonsense you get when everything is planned at the last minute. Never mind all that, as I’m in no mood to type out a detailed nag-a-thon.

Left home around 3pm on Saturday, and met up with Jimmy in Endah Parade (That derelict shopping mall in Sri Petaling) where we planned to stock up on supplies.  Wandered around the place for some time, trying to think of something to do- and due to the nature of the place, failing miserably, as if that wasn’t to be expected.

We were later joined by Geoffrey his friend from APIIT- Jac, I think. Or Jack. Whatever. Another APIIT guy came along later, Clement…. hey. I was told that Geoff would be bringing one guy and one girl along… so whatever happened to the girl? Seems that he failed in getting her to go along. My own attempts to obtain some variety for our motley crew failed as well- Elizabeth was interested but finally decided not to come (Hazard a guess. It’s really not very difficult). Called Mun Yee as well, but that failed- called her on Friday night- too sudden, said she.

Walked over to Geoff’s friends house- strange place. Walked in with shoes on (Ground floor, at least). Shoes are thrown in a pile. PCs and laptops were arranged in two rows… it was like a miniature cybercafe. Nice place to hang out, but definitely not one I’d like to live in. Had one of them send us to the Bukit Jalil LRT station, where we were dealt with a shock- Jimmy called up the taxi driver, and found out that the guy had screwed the date up- he thought we were leaving tomorrow, and was still in Genting. Instead he sent to of his buddies who were in the area to send us up.

Two taxis- I went up with Jimmy. Journey up was uneventful, of course. Gave Jimmy the pleasure of having the front seat (seat-belt included), with the responsibility of enduring pointless taxi driver banter. My bag, however, was stowed in the other taxi, which led to some anxiety on my part as the camera was in there as well. Don’t like being separated from it when I take it out.

Suffered in silence wondering how my camera was doing until we finally started the ascent up the mountain- the mist was so thick we could barely see anything. Geoff and co  had arrived much earlier- found them standing at the entrance of Awana. Finally reunited with my bag and camera, and took the  opportunity to celebrate with a quick photo shoot…

Remember something like this from last years trip? Go do your research.

Remember something like this from last year's trip? Go do your research.

Geoff, me, and my pet tigger

Geoff, me, and my pet tigger

Plodded off to our suite the minute the card key was placed in Jimmy’s hands. It was quite a long trek… down, down, and further down… subterranean room, I suppose. Passed by quite a few rooms which were marked ‘closed for upgrading’.

Room was identical to the one they gave us the last time we stayed there. Two bedrooms, a kitchen, living room, a rather pointless balcony, and a jacuzzi. Everything was fine, but the jacuzzi… I turned it on, and turned away to let it fill up. That’s when everything went mad. The shower head flew off and continuously spewed boiling hot water. Things got pretty chaotic- the whole place steamed up pretty quick. All of us had glasses on and as such were all blinded^^; Turned it off in the end, at the cost of some lobsterised hands. Turned out the shower head was loose- someone came over to fix it later. I had jacuzzi-phobia for a few hours…

The useless jacuzzi in question.

The useless jacuzzi in question.

That’s the main bathroom in the above pic. Note that walls of the shower in the back are transparent- sure it looked nice, but it was a little awkward in the beginning as I had some trouble locking the window beside the jacuzzi.

Dinner: KFC. Ordered a party bucket or something like that. I remember that someone once said that KFC chicken is so oily that you could wallop your plate with it and see the oil drip out, so I was a little terrified at the thought of gorging myself on chunks of organic oil storage facilities, but it was surprisingly alright. Maybe it had something to do with the altitude? Still prefer McD chicken though- although theirs is a wee bit dry, I suppose.

Kids at heart

Kids at heart.

Wandered around after dinner. There’s really nothing much to do in Genting. They tried to walk into the casino, but got stopped every time. What’s there to see in there, anyway? Bunch of uncles and aunties from Taiwan or Singapore? Prostitutes who would look more at home selling chee cheong fun at the morning market? No thank you. Now if someone like Sam from Las Vegas was there…^^; In Geoff’s words: “You wish lah.” Sad, innit?

Which is why we found ourselves wandering around aimlessly, before finally ending up in the arcade, which was pretty much devoid of anything entertaining. Ended up playing some silly ‘virtual target practice’ game, where the gun was supposedly as heavy as it’s real-life counterpart- although it seemed a little light to me. It wasn’t hard at all… just point, pull trigger, bang, done. Jimmy got the highest score amongst us. NS experience? No wait, he ran out of the pogrom… oh, my bad, program. Oh well.

We’d gotten tickets for a late night movie- I think the latest one was around 1.30am. There wasn’t anything particularly interesting, though- then again, there hardly ever is. Come to think, December has come and gone, but whatever happened to Nightmare Detective 2? I’ve been waiting for that one… ended up watching Lady Cop & Papa Crook (大搜查之女). With a title like that… wasn’t hoping for much quality, but still- it was quite disappointing. Sammi Cheng’s odd ‘Lady Cop’ character somwhat made up for the overall crappiness, but it wasn’t enough to save it.

After the movie, we stopped by at one of Genting’s many Starbucks outlets- I’ve never bothered to count them all, but there’s probably around 4 or 5? ‘Celebrated’ Geoffrey’s birthday- Jimmy footed his bill.

Birthday boy gets his cake

Birthday boy gets his cake

It was probably around 4am by the time we were done- The main cable car line was closed for the ‘night’, and we had some trouble trying to figure out how to get back down to Awana. Some genius suggested that we just sit still till morning- quickly vetoed that. I thought of walking down the mountain, but no one was up for it. But of course. Instead we waited for the older cable car line, which came every half-hour- or was it every hour? Plonked down in bed around 7am, after a short game of cards.

Woke up around noon (lest I forget, it’s now the 4th of January)- Matt had just arrived. Forgot who opened the door for him- was it me? Could have been- I slept first, so I had the most sleep, after all. Went up again around 2pm. It was too misty, and all the *wothwile* rides were closed. So cold that I could even see my breath form before me. We decided not to go in- which was a bit of a problem for Matt, who already had a ticket. Had to wait for him while he tried to sell it off- eventually managed to get rid of it for RM20.

We split up into two groups after that- I went along with Matt and Jim, window-shopping- some sale going on, but didn’t see anything interesting. Managed to dress Jimmy in a colorful jacket- probably the only success of the day.

Colorful Tang.

Colorful Tang.

Walked around Genting, camwhored here and there (the mist was a major problem), overpriced noodle linner (lunch+dinner), buns and ice cream potong despite the cold (actually tasted better since it didn’t melt like it would have in lowland heat) from a mini-market next to the taxi driver’s canteen I discovered on my previous trip, playing some ridiculous game in the arcade- got ourselves about 40 tickets. Walked up to the redemption counter and found out that the cheapest item cost about 100 tickets.

Three of us went back down to Awana without the rest. Matt made maggi for us- he watched TV while Jim and I entertained ourselves with the absentee’s PSPs till they got back. Cards again- stopped when they (Geoff’s group) started gambling again, around 2am.

Woke up around 7.15am- walked with Matt to the cable car station, the old one. Good thing it wasn’t crowded- got the first ride up. Went down to the First World hotel bus station first- still very cold, and it was raining, which really didn’t help much…><;

In an effort to escape the cold, and to find something to fill our empty mouths with, we ended up in a nearby Starbucks, having decided to share a hot mocha. We were surprised by a horde of girls (well, mostly) streaming out of the convention center up ahead. Geoff’s group would be particulary sore about missing such a sight, I thought, being the ones who wouldn’t stop yapping about girls, and who in all likelihood suffering the most from being without female contact for a prolonged period. Matt and I duly enjoyed ourselves, of course- if only to spite them with stories of what they missed out.

Didn’t think too much about them until later on, when they grabbed the Starbucks cashier girl for a photo, and I was left with ‘moc…’ drying in the cold air. After they’d left, and with me halfway through my order (this time I managed to complete the word) they came back in, and asked me if I’d take a photo with them- apparently they had some kind of ‘treasure hunt’ going on- they needed a person with a ‘good complexion’. Nothing better to start a day with than a praise towards ones looks (OK enough narcissicm):3

Didn’t get the photos from them, of course, but luckily Matt, in his extreme blurness (and comfy sofa), actually noticed what was going on and got two shots in:

Matt just woke up- brain cells overclocked.

Matt just woke up- brain cells overclocked.

I really shouldnt try to smile when I damn well cant smile properly without looking like Im plotting something ghastly...

I really shouldn't try to smile when I damn well can't smile properly without looking like I'm plotting something ghastly...

Bus down, parted ways at KL Central. Arrived in class around 11am- Criminal Law lecture was just finishing. Nice timing.

Before I end this here’s one photo that I’m particularly happy with:

Dennou Coil keyhole.

Dennou Coil keyhole.

More photos in my facebook account– you don’t need an account to view them (I think)…

And another account of the Genting excursion here at Matt’s (scroll down to the bottom of the post).

Christmas ’08: Sudden Female Growth Spurt; or a Case of Alternating Perspectives

January 2, 2009 at 10:48 pm | Posted in Outings | 2 Comments
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Here’s an overdue post. Just got the photos from Matt. As usual, some have been ruined by flash. Should have used my camera instead- for some reason, photos taken with it seem- well, feel better. I can’t really explain why- maybe because it’s mine, there’s a greater sense of control? Never mind.

It’s been about a week since Christmas. I don’t really remember what happened. Let’s see- I was first to arrive. Matt came after me. Geoff and Wai Lam were the latest (and the first to leave).

Matt brought a friend from NZ (Sarawak, actually). Can’t remember how to spell his name. Or even pronounce it. This is quite common with me- although it happens a lot more with guys than girls. Guy looks a little like Choi, a former classmate of mine… short Korean guy. This Sarawakian one is taller, though. And has less freckles:p

Due to the aforementioned latecomers, we had to settle for outdoor seats and a projector. Hall was full- must have been more than a thousand people in there. They had a play ready: Christmas at Chang’s. Nothing much to say about it (not that it wasn’t nice, of course), except that the female lead  caught my eye… somehow, she seemed familiar.

Someone I know? Only figured out her identity somewhere near the end of the show… Adele. It wasn’t easy work. Only realized it was her near the end, when we got a zoom up of her in the choir… she seemed my age when next to the ‘Ebenezer Scrooge’ character, but tiny when seen in the choir with the other girls. Odd, eh?

Without further ado, the pictures (since I don’t remember much more):

p

The Choi doppleganger, improved version:p

p

That's Felicia there... been inviting me for events but I was almost always too tired to go:p

Should really throw the bag away during photoshoots- looks really out of place.

Should really throw the bag away during photoshoots- looks really out of place.

Girl on left, Joanna. I think. The other one, Gladys.

Santarina is Adele. Careen on her right.

Between Matt and me, Gladys.

Between Matt and me, Gladys. Why is it always my eyes that glow?

Finally- a good picture. Thank you soooooo much!

Finally- a good picture. Thank you soooooo much!

And that’s that. Did my best to search out every girl I know in the place for a photo- forgot to look for Vivienne though… she’ll have to wait for next time. Well, that’s Christmas Eve. And how did I spend Chrismas? Mainly watching anime and sleeping. Classmates asked me out but I was too tired from Eve, and just didn’t feel like going all the way to Damansara. And that’s that.

PC Fair ’08: Of Nurses and Tired Feet

December 17, 2008 at 3:18 pm | Posted in Outings | Leave a comment
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Rare indeed is it for me to go out with friends and not come back with any photos. This is one of those rare occasions- you have been warned… so don’t get disappointed later on (If you’re a guy, you probably will).

8.50 in the morning, left for Matt’s. Didn’t even have breakfast. Driving my car is a real chore since my dad had his friend adjust the timing- the previous mechanic-adjusted timing resembled a wild Mustang. Now, it’s like I’m driving an old cow.

Long story short. Got to Geoff’s place, got Photoshop CS3 from him. Yes, I know, why get CS3 when I haven’t even mastered 5% of Photoshop 7… all I do is fiddle around with it. Never mind- it’ll come in handy someday.

Today’s destination- Low Yat Plaza, transportation courtesy of Wai Lam, although he calls himself Rei these days. Can’t really agree with that, but that’s material for another post…

Disaster struck somewhere on the way to KL. Realised that I had left my wallet in the car. IC, driver’s license, library card, 50 bucks… *Insert string of expletives here*. Offered to get off at the KTM station and make my way back to Geoff’s place by myself, but we took a U-turn after Volvo, and sped (if you consider 80 KM/h speeding) back to Sunway. It’s probably how he normally drives, but I’d probably have lost my marbles and speed along at 120+=.=;

Parked in the basement of Sungei Wang. Big mistake, as will be explained later. Wai Lam was headed for a game competition, while the rest of us, as I was soon to discover, were headed for the PC Fair in KLCC. So in a sense, I (and Matt) were hijacked for the event. For some reason my scrambled brain kept telling me that we were headed for PWTC, which led to many scoldings=.=; Lunch in some Japanese restaurant. More pain inflicted on my wallet>.<

Monorail to KL Central. Left Jim and Geoff at the ticket counter, and went along with Matt to make our donation to KL sewers. I decided to give him a quick tour of Brickfield’s finer points- in this case, the washrooms in the nearby Hilton and Meridien hotels. Still remember the time I joined Lizbeth in the ladies over at Meridien. Didn’t dare do it this time, not without legitimate female company and the huge crowd flowing through the corridors… The long detour was well worth it- soothing lighting, nice soap, and a pristine, elegant environment. Plus a phone call from an impatient Geoff:)

LRT from Central to KLCC. On to the event I was kidnapped to- PC Fair ’08. I say kidnapped because I (and Matt) had no idea we were going there. All I thought was that we were going to watch Wai Lam compete and wander around for the rest of the day. Instead, we were forced to wade through hordes of people, inching our way forward, squeezing, etc.

With barely any money, just being there, surrounded by all those lovely items was torture in itself. Remind me never to go to such an event unless I plan to buy something. Followed Geoff as he wandered here and there checking out laptops and mice.Tiring work. Spotted an empty seat at the Sony booth and sat there for a while- pretended to be interested in buying a laptop. The short break was well worth the forced conversation.

What was there for me to do, really? Check out the booth girls (in an appreciative, non-lecherous manner, mind you). That’s about it. Saw a group dressed in pink ‘nurse’ outfits, although I have absolutely no idea why, as the uniform had nothing to do with what they were selling. I’d have understood if they were selling anti virus software, but that wasn’t the case… also spotted two girls sporting shirt text which read “I’m tired- can you carry me back to booth 58?” or something to that effect. Would have asked them if they wanted a ride had my own feet been in mint condition:p

Wandering around, Matt and I got separated from Geoff and Jim. There were some people from MTV running a free contest- just had to write down our ideas on how to ‘save the world’. Maybe I’ll get a free laptop out of this. Ended up in Kinokuniya- pretty far away from them:)

At my suggestion, we walked from KLCC to the Bukit Nanas monorail station. First time for them. Jimmy got rather impatient, heh… Rejoined Wai Lam in Times Square. Fella was recuperating from his earlier loss by bullying newbies in a cafe I had no idea existed… you learn something new everyday=.=;

Off to dinner. Went into Shabu Shabu. Asked the waiter if they had a steamboat buffet. Guess what the waiter said? Wait- I don’t remember what he said… oh, of course- he didn’t say anything, he just stood there and gaped at us for a few moments before eventually spurting something that sounded like ‘bube?’ Alright it couldn’t have been that bad- but it was. Left the place for Teppanyaki instead.

Halfway through dinner Wai Lam made a speech- or rather, tried to, no thanks to Geoff and me:

WL: “I’m so glad to be able to go out with the three of you”
(Or something along those lines)
Me: “Three? Not four?”
WL: “Geoff is different, I’ve known him for a long time…”
Geoff: “Yala, I’m not included, I know, I’m just a side-dish…”
WL: “Fine, fine! Four then, happy now?”
Geoff: “I don’t want to be included…”
(And the argument continued=.=;)

I know it’s like a silly altercation between pre-pubescent kids going “I don’t want to be your friend any more”, but I was laughing the whole while- probably because it was my one harmless little question that threw the entire ‘speech’ of track.

Quick 2 hour session in the aforementioned cybercafe before heading back. Only reason we went there is the coupon we were given: one free hour for every hour spent there. Something we should have expected: massive jam (There’s a permanent jam around Sungei Wang). Just getting out of the mall’s basement was hell. Took forever just to get out of there- probably close to an hour. Perhaps that’s why the ‘cashier’ gave us RM10 extra in change- some form of compensation for time wasted?

After we finally managed to break free of the basement- there was another silly ‘argument’ over stopping over at McD. WL asked Geoff to get out of the car and order the food, while Geoff offered to take over the wheel… cleared a few traffic lights, and the Golden Arches were far behind us. Ended up in an outlet somewhere in Sunway.

Some stories from Geoff concerning her which had the odd effect of of soothing my senses while generating some worry. Christmas is approaching fast, and I haven’t decided what to do about her. Sit or jump. That’s the question. Told Matt a little about how I feel (or might feel) about her, but not Geoff, or at least not yet. Paranoia forbids me from doing so.

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