Friday, July 10, 2009

Click. Now.

Dr. Mahathir has posted his thoughts on his blog about the government's decision to revert the teaching of Maths and Science back to Bahasa Malaysia. If you want to show your support for retaining the current system, please go to his blog and vote in the poll. I'll be posting more on it when I have time.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Precipice


People were good at imagining hell, and some
they occupied while they were alive.
- Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum

Thursday, July 2, 2009

*Insert Reassuring Shoulder Pat Here*

I'm not sure if anybody actually reads this blog besides the Turds and my cute French neighbour whom I'm totally not holding at gunpoint to get him to do so, but a quick note of assurance to all:

Radio Turd is not a one-hit wonder. It will be back. I'm currently putting together new ideas to make the next few editions more interesting, so please don't give up on our little musical island. Thanks!

Grief Counseling - EPIC FAIL.

I'm pretty sure I'm not in the minority when I say that it's utterly thoughtless, tactless and inconsiderate when someone is grieving over the recent loss of a loved one and your way of extending condolences consists of telling them: "Don't be so sad about it, okay?"

Yes, it is inevitable to become tongue-tied when reaching out to someone else's loss, especially if you haven't experienced it yourself. But honestly, telling him or her not to be sad over the death of a parent? A sibling? A spouse? Which grief-counselling-alert-ASAP planet are you from? This person did not lose a soft toy or an iPod or a book, all of which can be replaced and ergo repair any emotional damage that might have occurred.

If you don't know what to say, don't say anything at all. It's really that simple.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Der Einsame (The Lonely)



Der Einsame (The Lonely)
by Rainer Maria Rilke
Translation: Philipp Kellmeyer

Wie einer, der auf fremden Meeren fuhr,
so bin ich bei den ewig Einheimischen;
die vollen Tage stehn auf ihren Tischen,
mir aber ist die Ferne voll Figur.

In mein Gesicht reicht eine Welt herein,
die vielleicht unbewohnt ist wie ein Mond,
sie aber lassen kein Gefühl allein,
und alle ihre Worte sind bewohnt.

Die Dinge, die ich weither mit mir nahm,
sehn selten aus, gehalten an das Ihre -:
in ihrer großen Heimat sind sie Tiere,
hier halten sie den Atem an vor Scham.

***

Like someone who sailed distant seas
I am with the ever natives;
the full days standing on their tables,
but for me distance is full of shape.

In my face a world reaches in,
perhaps deserted like a moon,
but they leave no feeling alone,
and all their worlds are inhabited.

The things which I took with me
look rare compared to theirs -:
in their great home they are animals,
here they hold their breath in shame.

***

Artwork: Faraway by Joe Sorren

Monday, June 22, 2009

On Love (A Brief Tale In Five Vignettes)

What is love?



i. Lava

Love is the simmer of bubbles that breathe out on the stove, where you either find your balance above the water or submerge and boil. Either way, your heart becomes marked forever.




ii. Anchor

Love is the sharpest end of an anchor, weighty and piercing through your heart. But you don't say a word as it drags you with the ship far from home, to places and feelings unfamiliar. For some reason, it's okay to die bleeding, facedown, if it is for him. Even if he doesn't know a thing.




iii. Skin (Part 1)

Love is the stranger who came to your bed one night and turned your skin inside out. When you look in the mirror the next morning, you are scared by this new skeleton girl, all blood and pulses and gleaming bones. Then you see the exaltation on his face when he lays eyes on you, and suddenly your new body is an old friend.




iv. Skin (Part 2)

(in a future parallel dimension, you are both dead by your own hand. again there is a mirror, and again your old skin reappears. you don't recall it being this hideous before, and you try to stretch it back to how it was before, and all the while it hisses and claws and screams at you.)




v. Scarecrow

Love is a scarecrow in a vast lonely field, chasing away birds that never come. The other scarecrows do not like him; he never joins them when they mourn (for scarecrows need to weep too and it hurts beyond anything you know that they can't). But their empty eyes don't see the little sparrow nestled in the pocket of his tattered shirt, singing about the silliest things. They don't understand the strange way the wooden corners of the slash across his face always curve upwards now. They think he has a disease.

Stories In Six Words

I'm sure that a lot of people have heard of this classic by Ernest Hemingway: "For sale: Baby shoes, never worn." Recently, I decided to try this exercise of telling stories in just six words too. Owing to the time I have to dedicate to work, I find it increasingly impossible to write anything of any kind, hence the multiple poetry/short story projects lying incomplete on my desk at home. So this was a nice exercise to do even if the results seemed quite inadequate to me. If anyone has any good versions of their own, share it here too.

I've been depressed for quite some time now, no prizes for guessing why. So a majority of attempts came out in this vein.


  • He never asked. She never told.
  • Behind his smile lay gruesome tales.
  • She fell, but nobody caught her.
  • Callous hands, too rough. "Please. Don't."
  • "Hey Mister, you want good time?"
  • Sometimes, ghosts were all he had.
  • Breaking news: Child shot, eyewitnesses laugh.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sweatdrop #3

Yesterday, I needed some artwork to be drawn for a children's book I was editing. I went over to my artist and showed him what needed to be drawn. Specifically, the instructions on the page were for the illustration of a pear to accompany the question.

The artist nodded coolly, his face akin to an expression I like to call 'practised machismo'. Probably wondering why he is always given such mindnumbingly childish tasks to draw. I left him to it, and went back to my desk.

Fifteen minutes later, he showed me the fruits, pun unintended, of his labour.

He had drawn a mango.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Blind March

Does this darkness have a name?

This cruelty, this hatred, how did it find us?

Did it steal into our lives or did we seek it out and embrace it?

What happened to us that we now send our children into the world
like we send young men to war hoping for their safe return but
knowing that some would be lost along the way?

When did we lose our way?

Consumed by the shadows, swallowed whole by the darkness.

Does this darkness have a name?

Is it your name?


- OTH 3x16, With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept

The Looking Glass




All that you are is all that you know.

But if all that you know is nothing,

then you should stop wondering why you loathe yourself.

It's too easy and unsympathetic a habit to weave,

because nobody is your friend in that world.

The saddest part is that many of you do not resurface.

The saddest part is that between us, we aren't that different at all.

Three Words (Spoiler-heavy)

I knew it.

HE IS ALIVE.

Naruto, Issue 449.

Faith pays handsomely.

I am happy. :)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Giggly.

I love the Internet. You can do just about anything in cyberspace from the comfort of your room. Even weddings! So I decided to officially stake my claim with my Kakashi-sensei.


Eh, I may have gotten a little...carried away. But all of them wanted to marry me ASAP, what can I say?


By the power invested in me by MYFConline.com, I now pronounced myself married. One at a time, boys. One at a time.



Certificate of Marriage

This is to certify that
Hatake Kakashi
and
Yanna_Hashri
were married on
May 25, 2009
Marry Your Favorite Character


Certificate of Marriage

This is to certify that
Zack Fair
and
Yanna_Hashri
were married on
May 25, 2009
Marry Your Favorite Character


Certificate of Marriage

This is to certify that
L Lawliet
and
Yanna_Hashri
were married on
May 25, 2009
Marry Your Favorite Character


Certificate of Marriage

This is to certify that
Daniel Faraday
and
Yanna_Hashri
were married on
May 25, 2009
Marry Your Favorite Character

On Pain

"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was within me an invincible summer."
- Albert Camus


Life alternates between embracing you
and casting you far away.
It has to be that way.
We have no reaction without action.
And that is the way the world has always been.
We suffer now because one day
we are going to experience joy so radiant
we will instantly forget the pain
that raged inside you during the journey.
We are patient because there is
no other way we can be.


For Matt and Anis.
I offer prayers and hope.
Your child will come out of this as the sun.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Under the cover of darkness, a glimpse.

Story of An Artist
Daniel Johnston

Listen up and I'll tell a story
about an artist growing old
Some would try for fame and glory
others aren't so bold

And everyone in friends and family
saying, "Hey, go get a job
Why do you only do that only
Why are you so odd?

We don't really like what you do
We don't think anyone ever will
It's a problem that you have
And this problem's made you ill."

The artist walks among the flowers
Appreciating the sun
He's out there all his waking hours
Oh, and who's to say he's wrong?

But the artist walks alone
And someone says behind his back
"He's got some gall to call himself that
He doesn't even know where he's at."

And they sit in front of their tv
Saying, "Hey, isn't this a lot of fun?"
And they laugh at the artist
Saying, "He doesn't know how to have fun."

Listen up and I'll tell a story
About an artist growing old
Some would try for fame and glory
Others like to watch the world.


******


Vincent O'Brien
M. Ward

He only sings when he's sad
and he's sad all the time so he sings the whole night through
Yeah, he sings in the daytime too

He only dreams when he's sad
and he's sad all the time so he dreams the whole night through
Yeah, he dreams in the daytime too

There may be mermaids under the water
There may even be a man on the moon
But Vincent, time is running out
You better get yourself together soon

Out of Buffalo, the man
Below the belt he swung, and then after the bell has rung
Another cheap shot, here it comes

He only laughs when he's sad
and he's sad all the time so he laughs the night through
Yeah, he laughs in the daytime too

There may be mermaids under the water
There may even be a man on the moon
But Vincent, time is running out
I hope you get yourself together soon

I hope you get yourself together soon.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Welcome To The Dollhouse V2

It's been a higgledy-piggledy week, and only now am I able to catch up on my lost Zzzzs. However, I happened to log on to the Internet after finishing up some work and found news that made my day:


Dollhouse is getting a 2nd season!


And now I can sleep in peace.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Link Time

If you enjoy discussing matters related to Islamic faith or simply find yourself in dire need of flexing the muscles of your intellect, please visit this very interesting blog by my friend Myra:


Interfaith Discussions

Friday, May 8, 2009

None Among Me


Art builds from pain
From misery
From a deep-seated hurt
A monument to the human heart
That shines like a golden dome
Amongst roofs rain-glazed and leaden.

Paul Muldoon

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Atmosphere

This is a song that Zuhairy introduced me to a couple of months ago, and I found it to be so ethereally amazing that I've decided to post it here and share it with all of you.

The song is called Trois Beaux Oiseaux de Paradis (in English, "Three Beautiful Birds of Paradise"). It's a composition by Maurice Ravel, an early 20th century French composer. His forte was Impressionist music, which is a genre of classical music that emphasizes the power of atmosphere and suggestion. It began as an antithesis of 19th century Romantic music. The particular version below is a recording by a choir from the 19th Choral Summer School 'Camerata ad Libitum' workshop in Pontevedra, Spain. I would recommend reading the lyrics while listening to the song for added effect.

video

Original Lyrics (in French):
Trois beaux oiseaux du Paradis
Mon ami z-il est à la guerre
Trois beaux oiseaux du Paradis
Ont passé par ici.

Le premier était plus bleu que le ciel,
(Mon ami z-il est à la guerre)
Le second était couleur de neige,
Le troisième rouge vermeil.

"Beaux oiselets du Paradis,
(Mon ami z-il est à la guerre)
Beaux oiselets du Paradis,
Qu'apportez par ici?"

"J'apporte un regard couleur d'azur
(Ton ami z-il est à la guerre)"
"Et moi, sur beau front couleur de neige,
Un baiser dois mettre, encore plus pur."

Oiseau vermeil du Paradis,
(Mon ami z-il est à la guerre)
Oiseau vermeil du Paradis,
Que portez vous ainsi?

"Un joli coeur tout cramoisi"
Ton ami z-il est à la guerre
"Ha! je sens mon coeur qui froidit...
Emportez le aussi."


English Translation (by Judith Kellock):
Three beautiful birds of paradise
(My love is gone to the war)
Three beautiful birds of paradise
Have passed this way.

The first was bluer than the sky
(My love has gone to the war)
The second was the colour of snow
The third was red as vermillion.

"Beautiful birds of paradise
(My love has gone to the war)
What do you bring here?"
"I carry an azure glance
(Your love has gone to the war)
And I must leave on a snow-white brow
A kiss, even purer."

"You red bird of paradise
(My love has gone to the war)
What are you bringing me?"
"A loving heart, flushing crimson."
(Your love has gone to the war)
"Ah, I feel my heart growing cold...
Take that with you as well."

Friday, April 24, 2009

Radio Turd: Episode 1

Dear Suemy,


Never let it be said that I rest on my laurels when it comes to fulfilling your musical needs. However, as is the nature of a typical Turd relationship, you live absurdly far away and your equally absurd working hours are completely inconsiderate about the sustenance of our friendship . Truth be told, I've forgotten what you look like. If I try very hard, I can somewhat recall that your height reaches somewhere up to my navel, but that's about it.


Anyhow, this post marks the launching of Radio Turd, which is much less grander than it sounds. Whatever I post up here will be mostly what I consider Suemy-centric, or else it's just music that I like and just feel like recommending. Radio Turd will be a monthly feature on this blog, and it's your duty to "tune in" every month as this project is solely for you (non-Turds are, of course, welcome to sample and/or review the music recommendations, but we bear no responsibility with regards to possible bouts of oddity, followed eventually by insanity).


April Selections:

  • Low Vs Diamond - Killer B


    If you haven't seen the latest episode of OTH yet, this song was featured. They've had a few other songs featured back in Season 5; so far I like this one best. Catchy guitar hooks - I'd love to be able to get away with walking down a street here just lazily singing about Killer Bs. As always, try to watch it within the episode itself (6X20) to appreciate how the song lends itself to the frustrated Nathan trying to coach yet-another-arrogant-asswipe-of-a-basketball-player scene.


  • The Get Up Kids - Like A Man Possessed


    I know, I know. I don't like this band. What songs by them did I listen to again once upon a time and instantly dislike? Turns out there actually are diamonds in the rough. This is another gem I picked up from OTH, but from way back when in Season 2, during Nathan's car crash. Consider this musical therapy for emo-inclined moments. I like the lyrics, though.


  • David Usher - We Are Wolves (Electric City)


    Come on, people. It's time to move past Black Black Heart already! Mr. Usher's released quite a few albums since then so get cracking on them. This song is from his latest offering, Wake Up and Say Goodbye (released 2008). But do check out other songs such as The Music, Kill The Lights and Love Will Save The Day. Heck, check out all his albums. Track listings are a click away.


  • Everly


    I didn't mean to turn this into an OTH-centric entry, honestly. I can't help it if Mark Schwann has exceptional taste in music. If you love Bethany Joy Galeotti, you'll love this band. It's a group she formed recently with an old friend, and their music is quite folk/pop/rock-oriented. For now they have an EP called Mission Bell out, and so far it's doing very well. Thank you God, for small favours such as Myspace.


*rubs hands* Well, that's it for this month's edition - I'll be on the hunt for more gems within the coming month. Have fun browsing the list, and for goodness sake let us meet up in the flesh sometime this millennium. Skype won't cut it.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

City That Never Sleeps

Federico Garcia Lorca




In the sky there is nobody asleep. Nobody, nobody.
Nobody is asleep.
The creatures of the moon sniff and prowl about their cabins.
The living iguanas will come and bite the men who do not dream,
and the man who rushes out with his spirit broken will meet on the street corner
the unbelievable alligator quiet beneath the tender protest of the stars.


Nobody is asleep on earth. Nobody, nobody.
Nobody is asleep.
In a graveyard far off there is a corpse
who has moaned for three years
because of a dry countryside on his knee;
and that boy they buried this morning cried so much
it was necessary to call out the dogs to keep him quiet.


Life is not a dream. Careful! Careful! Careful!
We fall down the stairs in order to eat the moist earth
or we climb to the knife edge of the snow with the voices of the dead dahlias.
But forgetfulness does not exist, dreams do not exist;
flesh exists. Kisses tie our mouths
in a thicket of new veins,
and whoever his pain pains will feel that pain forever
and whoever is afraid of death will carry it on his shoulders.


One day
the horses will live in the saloons
and the enraged ants
will throw themselves on the yellow skies that take refuge in the eyes of cows.


Another day
we will watch the preserved butterflies arise from the dead
and still walking through a country of gray sponges and silent boats
we will watch our ring flash and roses spring from our tongue.
Careful! Be careful! Be careful!
The men who still have marks of the claw and the thunderstorm,
and that boy cries because he has never heard of the invention of the bridge,
or that dead man who possesses now only a head and a shoe,
we must carry them to the wall where the iguanas and the snakes are waiting,
where the bear's teeth are waiting,
where the mummified hand of the boy is waiting,
and the hair of the camel stands on end with a violent blue shudder.


Nobody is sleeping in the sky. Nobody, nobody.
Nobody is sleeping.
If someone does close his eyes,
a whip, boys, a whip!
Let there be a landscape of open eyes
and bitter wounds on fire.
No one is sleeping in this world. No one, no one.
I have said it before.


No one is sleeping.
But if someone grows too much moss on his temples during the night,
open the stage trapdoors so he can see in the moonlight
the lying goblets, and the poison, and the skull of the theaters.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pilgrims



"When the great earth, abandoning day, rolls up the deep of the heavens and the universe, a new door opens for the human spirit, and there are few so clownish that some awareness of the mystery of being does not touch them as they gaze. For a moment of night we have a glimpse of ourselves and of our world islanded in its stream of stars - pilgrims of mortality, voyaging between horizons across eternal seas of space and time. Fugitive though the instant may be, the spirit of man is, during it, ennobled by a genuine moment of emotional dignity, and poetry makes it own both the human spirit and experience."
- "The Outermost House", Henry Beston

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Morning Interlude



Rainy mornings make for soggy attitudes.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Around The Well



I love music-related quizzes, fill-in-the-blanks and whatnot. So when I saw this on Hazlin's blog, I really couldn't resist. So, this is my band of choice: Iron and Wine. In reality, it's a one-man show, the brainchild of Samuel Beam. The song that drew my attention to his music was He Lays In The Reins, which is still very much my absolute favourite song ever. I found this gem on the Road Mix (Vol. 3) Soundtrack of One Tree Hill, and the rest, as they say, is history.


It's strange, but describing the things/people you love is a great challenge, isn't it? What I can say about Iron and Wine's music is that it will make you feel like it's a great loss not to be a Southerner. The magic and mystery of the South is in every line and every melody, and Beam's ability to effortlessly temper his anger, sorrow, wistfulness and joy with gentleness really just does it for me. Go here to listen to their music.


*****************************************************************


Pick Your Artist: Iron and Wine


Are you male or female: Woman King


Describe yourself: Bird Stealing Bread


How do you feel about yourself: A Book Unfinished


Describe where you currently live: Beneath The Balcony


If you could go anywhere, where would you go: House By The Sea


Your favorite form of transportation: Carried Home


Your family is: It’s The Same Old Song


Your best friend is: The Trapeze Swinger


Your partner is: White Tooth Man


Your favorite color is: Blue Leaves


What's the weather like: The Wind Is Low


Favorite time of day: The Night Ascending


If your life was a tv show/movie/book, what would it be called: Someday The Waves


What is life to you: Muddy Hymnal


What is the best advice you have to give: The Years Seal Their Beauty


If you could change your name, what would it be: Jezebel


Your favorite food is: Her Tea Leaves


Thought for the Day: God Made The Automobile


How I would like to die: Innocent Bones


My soul's present condition: Love and Some Verses


My motto: Free Until They Cut Me Down

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sweatdrop #2

Setting: Saturday, 18th April 2009. The Gardens, Mid Valley. Nature is a-calling and Significant Other waits patiently outside the bathrooms, holding our things.


Yours truly strides confidently into the ladies' bathroom, then stops dead as a man and a boy walk past her on their way out. ...the hell? With realization and horror slowly dawning on her, she backtracks and looks up at the sign. Oh. The little skirt on the female symbol isn't really a skirt at all. It's a pair of pants.


Me: *stomping back outside, red-faced* I went into the men's bathroom!
SO: *looks up at sign, tries to keep a straight face* I can see that.
Me: Why didn't you tell me I went into the wrong one?!
SO: *chortles maniacally*
Random man in background: Hahhhh, salah (wrong one)....

Saturday, April 18, 2009

We Are Wolves


It seems to be a uniquely, despicably human characteristic to always say what we don't mean, and to not mean what we say.


In other words, a large composite of our nature tends to lean towards tongue-twisting and truth-bending. Whatever variations, forms or cocoons you spin on these terms, the final evolution is always the same: everything ends up as lies.


For some, it's a defense mechanism, a coat of armor protecting their secrets and deflecting all attempts at human interaction, even the well-intentioned.


For some, it's a resolution stemming from fear. Even children know this - lying through their teeth about a cat knocking down a vase which was, in truth, their own mess. Lies equal temptation, the promise of escape with no consequences.


Then, there is the elite group. A select few who lie simply for the fun of it. For them, it's a game. Lying is the access door to cheating, stealing and having what you want. Lying knocks your enemies down inch by inch until you have the perverse satisfaction of seeing them stripped of their skin and honour.


It's hard to tell them apart from you and your own. The best of them cook your food, kiss you and tell you they love you. They offer sweet smiles and even sweeter dispositions. When their chips are down they smile even harder, burying pain after pain until they forget where it's hidden. They will hug you and promise to die for you, and they will stab you and lick your blood clean off their knife.


Beware the liars.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Newborn

My blog of original poetry is now up and running!


A Murder Of


Everyone is welcome to link this to their own blogs, but please do ask me beforehand. Formalities are a necessary evil at times. :)


And now back to your regularly scheduled programme.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Flesh & Bone

"What's the first article of faith?


That this is not all that we are."

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Services

Hello, boys and girls. It's time for you to get acquainted with a side of me you may not be too familiar with. For the perversely-inclined, that would just be my business persona.


I offer proofreading and editing (in English) and translation services (Malay to English) for various fields of writing, e.g. college assignments/theses, research proposals, bulletins, flyers etc. I have a full time job as an English editor, but I've been providing such services on a freelance basis for the past 2 years.


Rates are RM 4 per page depending on subject technicality, length and deadline urgency. However, the price is negotiable.


For those who wish to submit their material to be proofread/edited/translated, please e-mail me with the following information:


- Your personal particulars (name and contact information)


- Area of specialization and several sample pages of the document (if it is a thesis/research proposal)


- The material you want proofread/edited/translated, attached in preferably Microsoft Word format


- Your expected deadline for the work to be completed (please give a few days' notice at least)


For further information, you can reach me at y.hasher@gmail.com.


Tell all your friends. Ta. :)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Welcome to England, Baby.


I'd heard Tori Amos' music as a teenager growing up, but didn't truly start connecting to her music until I bought Scarlet's Walk in 2003. Then I started to listen to her earlier songs and I've loved them ever since.


Amos' music is that perfect contradiction that you look for in a work of art - the rhythm of the music itself is accessible, quick to befriend your mind and heart. But the lyrics are so intensely vague yet personal that you can't help but feel like she's an old friend telling you stories about the stars and the paths that we all walk together.


Since Scarlet's Walk, I've had the same feeling each time a new album was released. And I'm getting the same feeling now with the new single. Welcome to England, indeed. It's a hell of a beautiful ride.



Tori Amos - Welcome To England Music Video

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Feeble Young Introverts



This is what they're calling us these days, huh?


(How the hell did they know about the silent cylinder funnel that is the real shape of my head?)


I should buy this book.


(The dog has been disposed of. Of *course* I didn't feed it a banana with a needle in it. Why would I?)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Consequent

A common misconception:
A implies B, B is true, therefore A is true.


This is one of 13 logical fallacies noted by Aristotle and termed as the affirmation of the consequent (B being the consequent, with A as its antecedent).


It looks like obvious logic, but it isn't. Say we have the statement:


"If you're skipping class in the afternoon, you'll be in your room. If you're in your room in the afternoon, you must be skipping class."


Wrong. This kind of logic is faulty on the basis that it does not allow room for other variables such as the cancellation of class or a person's class schedule.


Let's have another go:


"When we lower educational standards, the quality of television shows decreases. If the quality of television shows becomes worse over the next few years, it means educational standards are still lacking."


Again, wrong. There are all kinds of other explanations for the decrease in quality when it comes to television - tampering in creative decisions by network bosses, sloppy production work, poor acting, etc.


The truth:
A implies B, B is true, therefore you cannot say anything about A.


Of course, this is still a very pervasive misconception in our society today, which just sucks because it gives rise to all kinds of misleading assumptions, for instance: "When someone is cold and aloof, they generally keep quiet in front of you. When someone is keeping quiet in front of you, they are cold and aloof."


The truth:
Someone could be shy, suffering from past trauma or preoccupied.


Our society would really benefit from the cleansing of this misconception, don't you think?


P.S.:
See if you can spot the affirmation of the consequent in this table:



Monday, March 16, 2009

Ye Weekly Update

Time is not my friend. Energy is not my friend. Speed really hates my guts. And so I'll summarize the past week or so bullet style:


1) I finally passed my driving test this morning(after failing the first time around), but the joy of acquiring my license was short-lived as I was again accosted by the creepy pak cik whom I'd had to suffer during the first test as well. While I was hoping I wouldn't see him again, he took advantage of a blind spot in my vision, crept up from the side and half-patted, half-stroked my shoulder in greeting. I don't think I need to explain how utterly icky and disgusting it felt, ditto for his creepy smile. Luckily, a Look and curt statement that my boyfriend was coming to pick me up after his session pulling weights at the gym scared him off. Works every time.




2) Made a beeline for the cinema to watch Watchmen the day after it opened, last Saturday. Came out after the movie with mixed feelings but an overall feeling that Zack Snyder had done his best in filming a story that is essentially unfilmable. I know I've promised several people that I'd post a review up on this blog, but somehow it's turned into a rambling mini-thesis and in any case it's still incomplete. Patience is your friend.



3) I have a Twitter account now, thanks to an invitation from Myra. Previously I'd just looked on passively at the whole phenomenon, not feeling the need to sign up for it (seeing as I can count the number of friends I have with 10 fingers), but after the invite from Myra I thought: why didn't I think of this before? It's actually a pretty useful tool especially if, like yours truly, your friends are scattered across the country. Posting concise one-liners about your activities at the moment online is a cheaper alternative to SMSes and phone calls. Plus, I've gone off on Facebook for the moment because I find the new layout to be too cluttered.



4) Had dinner with Myra the other night. Time is really not my friend - 2 hours plus is hardly enough time to catch up on everything. On the other hand, it was my first time eating at Wendy's and though I decided to skip the burgers, their salad is very much worth its price (RM14).


5) Zuh recommended Ravel's "Three Birds of Paradise", an anti-war song written in 1916. Am posting it here so that I don't forget to check it out. Have been listening to a lot of Bob Dylan lately, but that would take up another post. :)


Loyal readers, I hope time and energy have much more love for your guts than they show for mine. Am going to hit the sack now, goodnight.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Coming Soon

...to a discount bin near you.


An album cover game I tried on Facebook recently and the result was actually quite nice, so I decided to post it here. :)




For those who'd like to try it, here are the instructions:


1) Go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page
On the top left nav bar, click on "Random article" three times. The article title is the name of your band.


2) Go here: http://www.quotationspage.com/random.php3
The last two to five words of the last quote on the page is the title of your first album.


3) Go here: http://www.flickr.com/explore/interesting/7days
The third picture, no matter what it is, is your album cover art.


4) Use photoshop or similar to put the pieces together.


5) Post it to FB with this text in the "caption" and TAG the friends you want to play. (you can untag yourself if you don't want this photo up)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Road Rage

WJL 6653, you just made everybody's shit list today. Congratulations, next time don't bother hogging two lanes at once and feigning deafness while about 20 cars were honking for you to move your shiny metal ass. Just slap a "Deaf Retard on Board" sign on the side window and hog the entire road.

Somebody's bank vault needs to be robbed.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Se7en

...was a classic thriller with strong performances from young Brad Pitt and cool Morgan Freeman. If you haven't already seen it, devirginize your ignorance of it at once.


I've been tagged by Hazlin, and I spent my lunch hour in the office typing this out. Hehe. What can I say, they're fun.


7 little known facts:
• I have a severe phobia of lizards and cockroaches. I get skittish enough when I see live ones. Corpses are worse. I attribute this fear to an experience at the age of ten, when I opened a cupboard door and a lizard felt fit to drop itself on my foot. Yes, enemies, now you know how to plot my undoing. You’re welcome.
• I like solitude. I have to have a period of time every day where it’s just me, whether I’m writing, listening to music or just spacing out. I feel like I can’t think in crowds.
• Contrary to popular belief, I’m not snobbish, elitist or unfriendly. While it may sound like an excuse, I have very poor social skills and an even poorer range of facial expressions. Most of the time when I attempt small talk with people I end up: not knowing how to adjust my profile to the situation, and to "help" matters my default expression is the poker face (hence snobbish), saying odd things that people take the wrong way (unfriendly) and afterwards keeping silent out of embarrassment (elitist, because apparently rumour has it I only choose the smart people to talk to). In short, I'm very hopelessly socially awkward.
• I don’t look or act strong, but at times I have been known to exhibit insane levels of strength especially when I'm angry, even once causing Significant Other’s eyes to inflate to the size of saucers in astonishment (and everyone who knows him knows he is a much likelier candidate than me for Muscle Man of the Year).
• I’m much better at planning than I am at execution.
• I have a thing for escapism. Which probably explains my inclination towards fantasy/sci-fi/lyrical/ethereal-oriented shows, music, etc.
• I’m half-Chinese on my mother’s side, and have been mistaken for a mualaf on multiple occasiona. Chinese people have also stopped to ask me the time and whether the bak kut teh served in the neighbouring restaurant was any good (at least that’s what it sounded like to me).
• By nature, I have a sarcastic and self-deprecating sense of humour. However I had to repress that a lot since coming to UIA because people didn’t handle it very well and that’s probably how point #3 started.


7 frightening things:
• Losing my loved ones before having the chance to tell them how much they mean to me.
• Being useless.
• Losing my muse.
• Hatake Kakashi being truly dead.
• Missing the redemption boat.
• The Turds breaking up (if this happens I will personally come knocking on your doors and pinch everything out of proportion, armpits first)
• A world in which the cocoa supply has run out.


7 delectable songs:
• He Lays In The Reins - Iron and Wine
• A Sorta Fairytale – Tori Amos
• Save Me – Aimee Mann
• Tiger Mountain Peasant Song – Fleet Foxes
• My Iron Lung - Radiohead
• Stunning – 8mm
• Run – Snow Patrol


7 noteworthy phrases:
• Ha. Ha. Ha. (in a very dry tone)
• I’m not your fuck monkey!
• Things will always get a lot worse before they get a little better.
• Anyone seen my glasses?
• Heyyyyyy, is that....(insert object of curiosity here)
• Did somebody say cake?
• Why are you laughing at me?


7 precious possessions:
• My two-toned silver ring
• My cellphone
• My writing/quotation journals
• My Harry Potter collection
• My Turds
• My Significant Other


7 memorable first times:

Since the answer that popped into my mind at this question pretty much matches Hazlin’s verbatim, I hope she doesn’t mind me posting a variation of it here:
that
• But what was that?
• And that?
• But I love that too
• Ditto that
• And how about that?
• That too.


7 Tagged Specimens:
• Tqah
• Teha
• Syaza Nadiah
• Zuhairy
• Kudou-chan
• Wahida
• Suemy

Perang





Langit runtuh, bumi cair.



Aku turut binasa.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sweatdrop #1

Setting: On the road, stuck in motionless traffic on the way home from work. Pa is bored and surveying the other cars.


Pa: (gaze landing on a black Myvi on our left) That lady in the driver's seat is so tiny yet she can still drive the car. Is that a neck brace she's wearing?


Me: *sweatdrop* Pa, that's a turtleneck...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Nutshell

Story of my life:


"He never knew what to say. If life was a party, he wasn't even in the kitchen."
- Terry Pratchett, Thief of Time

Monday, February 16, 2009

Why Can't I Stay?

Greetings, Whedonites.

Let's take a trip down memory lane, shall we?

Remembering each scene in the list still brings me to the verge of tears.

If there's one thing to be said for Joss' obsession with ensuring tragic fates for all the couples in his fictional universe: at least nobody makes them go out with style quite like he does. Joss don't do gratuitous.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Maladies

Shakespeare was wrong.

Parting is such sorrow, but it is not the slightest bit sweet.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Lies

iamundernodisguise
School of Seven Bells


I am neither breather nor speaker
I am neither walker nor sleeper
I am neither sister brother son nor daughter
Solely in my chest is my heart a drum of water


I am under no disguise.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Half-Baked

Wit beyond measure is man's greatest treasure. - Ravenclaw proverb


So.


Yesterday I was poring over the public transportation system to plan my way to work. There's a RapidKL bus that passes through my area to my workplace but I wasn't sure exactly where it made stops. I decided to post my question on the trusty Yahoo! Answers webpage.


An hour later, this is the answer I received.


jimmy: If it is rapid, it goes straight through, so it does not and really should not stop, as otherwise, how can it be rapid?


Half. Baked. Wit. This is the most polite term I can use to describe this indescribably inane answer.


Why do people like to post nonsensical rubbish on forums and other interactive sites on the Internet? I consider that to be a form of spamming. And the stuff they churn out isn't even close to being mildly entertaining. Sharp wit is one thing; stupidity is a whole other ball game. People ask serious questions hoping for clarification to their dilemmas, but what they get is idiocy. Talk about abusing technology (and intellect, at that).


Sadly, jimmy is not the only kind of his species. Another idiot who clearly has a sad life has been spamming the Yahoo! Answers Malaysia forum with 'intelligent' queries on life such as:


If alien meet ghost, who would run away. Can alien technology kill ghost?
Why wouldn't you eat on your toilet seat despite having less amount of germs compare to your desk?


What happened to the admins? Why aren't they filtering the forum's contents? To make things worse, people actually take the time to answer these questions. Dude. If your wit is going to be so half-baked and half-assed, you should at least make an effort not to advertise it to the whole world.


I couldn't resist putting in a snarky response to his toilet seat question. I'm sure he'll respond as all lame spammers do - insult me back by calling me stupid. I'm way ahead of you in the sarcasm department, bub.


On the bright side, someone else was kind enough to tell me where the bus stops (right in front of my house, as it turns out). Thanks, foongwk140804!


To all spammers: you can go suck it!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Rezeki and Other Random Updates

Alhamdulillah. Melimpah-limpah rezeki yang Tuhan kurniakan kepada saya baru-baru ni.


That's the first thing that comes to mind when I reflect back on this past week. And boy, what a crazy, interesting week it has been.


1) Employment
Last Sunday, I applied for the post of editorial assistant at a company called Setia Emas. You may know them from your school days as they produce academic titles (revision/work/text books/teaching aids) and student-oriented fiction. On Tuesday, I got a call from them asking me to come to an interview sometime after Chinese New Year. On Wednesday, they called again to reschedule the interview to the next day. Thursday was the interview, which I think went quite alright for a first interview. Friday, I got the blessed call informing me I'd nailed the post. Next Monday, I start work. :)


2) Freelance Work
A while ago when I was still a complete bum and feeling like a freeloader in my own home, I posted up ads online for translation/proofreading/editing services on various Malaysian community forums. No replies. I was quite disappointed. However, this week I agreed to do some writing for the next issue of TNB's Tenaga Link magazine. And this morning someone responded to my ads requesting translation services. I'm hoping this does not end in a case of biting off more than I can chew.


3) Personal Pursuits
This week I had the extremely rare opportunity of meeting Significant Other twice as opposed to the usual once-a-week meeting. I won't be able to see him as often as I'd like to after starting work next week, so I'm very grateful to have had him to myself twice this week.


4) Blasts From The Past
A letter from UIA arrived informing me I graduated among the top 5 students in my course. What? This one came out of the blue. If they've made a mistake, I won't rat myself out. Haha.


Being a natural pessimist, I'm pleasantly surprised that this week has turned out so beautifully. Then again, you know what they say about being pessimistic - you're constantly being pleasantly surprised. Thank you Almighty for answering the prayers I have so fervently been sending You, especially in recent times. May next week be as blessed as this week.



P/S:
A friendly warning to all the effeminately-inclined: please keep your eyes on those Gucci totes and hair rebonding products you love so much, and away from Significant Other. He is quite happily taken.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Fortune in Misfortune

Last year, amidst the hustle and bustle of my final year and numerous goings-on, a string of words kept appearing in the back of my mind until finally it settled down as a personal mantra that I still keep to this day:


Things will usually get a lot worse before they get a lot better.


I lost count of how many times I applied this advice to friends in need. Some were cynical; others latched on to it like it was their last thread of hope. Regardless of the scale of their problems, I always fed them this line with full belief, because it's true: He does not give us life and everything encompassing it in this world without making us truly appreciate the enormity of it all.


Lately though, I'm the one who's in need of reminding of this mantra. 2009 began with me making a pig-headed decision, which resulted in an even bigger pig-headed mistake, which I will be forced to do penance for for the next few months. It's a grave ticket to adulthood, and I certainly never imagined this being the way I'd start the year.


Nonetheless, some good has come out of it, as most negative situations have a habit of doing. As the old cliche puts it, it's in these kind of situations that you find out who your friends really are - and mine have completely overwhelmed me with their unceasing support. Significant Other, who never fails to amaze me with his love and selflessness, has also gone to great lengths to protect me.


The greatest thing I learned from all of this though, is that there is fortune in misfortune. We don't experience tough times without taking pieces of them with us when it's time to move on because it's not forgetting that makes us learn - it's remembering. And every time we think we can get out of a tight spot all by ourselves, He will show you otherwise if you remember Him. I didn't quite forget, but I didn't quite make it known that I remembered.


Things are looking up now, very slightly. Still, I really want the next few months to be over and my life to return to normal, whatever that is. I've caused enough suffering, I've done enough damage, I've witnessed the savage outcome of recklessness.


I want redemption in my book now. So I'll keep reminding myself: Things usually get a lot worse before they get a lot better. And things will get better.

What's In A Name

Names are interesting entities in their own right. They provide identity and individuality for the alive and inanimate. But by far the most interesting feature of a name is its origin and meaning. It’s almost always nearly fun to discover that your name traces back to, say, a famous ancient Mesopotamian weaver, or Gengis Khan’s personal boot polisher (almost because you don’t want to end up like this poor kid). And in a world where the global population keeps bursting beyond the 6 billion estimate, it must be pleasant to know that you’ve got unexpected namesakes that bond you together regardless of whether you’re destined to meet in this life.


Without further ado (a.k.a. I can’t sleep although I feel like it, I’m bored as my grandmother is asleep but likes me to accompany her in the same room, I can’t think of anything else to blog about tonight and because what I say must go sometime, damnit), I present to you today’s trivia: the meaning of my name (as far as I understand) and some of my interesting namesakes.


The first part of my name, Nur, is a common Arabic word meaning ‘light’. Ilyanna is a bit trickier to dissect, as there doesn’t seem to be a direct match for this name in Arabic. To keep to an Arabic context, I assume that Yanna (also a Russian name that is pronounced the same way but spelled as Janna) is a derivation of Liyana. Both generally mean ‘soft/gentle/slender in character’. When separated from the second half of the name, ‘Il-’ becomes a prefix meaning something like ‘such/amat (in Malay)’. Hence, Nur Ilyanna loosely translates to: ‘Such slender light/Cahaya yang amat lembut’.


All credit goes to my dad for giving me a pretty name, although I don’t seem to be living up to its expectations. :/


Fun namesakes I’ve discovered over the years (please take note, Yanni jokes are ANCIENT and out-of-date):


• In Buffy: Jenny Calendar @ Giles’ lady love @ sexy librarian @ well-intentioned Romanian gypsy was in reality named Janna, pronounced Yanna.
• In the Marvel universe: Illyana Rasputin is the real name of superhero and X-Men member Magik, who unfortunately was killed off in the comics years ago. She had the power to teleport herself and others through time and space by creating special “stepping discs”.



• In Star Wars: Yanna is a planet famous for being a commercial and trading port.


Honorary mentions:
I’m also a Canadian theatre actress, a number of Russian athletes, a French cabaret singer/actress, and...a boot? *sweatdrop*


Folks, do send in your own name meanings as well. If you’re not sure about it, I highly recommend that you do some research. Not only is it a bit of light in dark times, but it also gives you clues about yourself, given that you take the time to analyze it well.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Lain Kali

Lain kali, jangan nak berlagak pandai.

Lain kali, fikir la dulu pasal orang lain yang terlibat sekali. Nyawa ni bukannya bahan permainan. Tak boleh dikecai dan diperbaiki semula dengan super glue.

Lain kali, jangan cuba menipu. Nak fikir pasal menipu pun haram. Kalau ada orang yang baik hati dan sudi nak cover untuk kau, ok. Kau antara orang yang bernasib baik. Tapi kau la juga antara orang yang takkan belajar sampai bila-bila macam mana nak hidup sendiri, macam mana nak merdeka.

Lain kali, jangan nak menyusahkan orang lain. Walaupun dia memang berniat untuk menolong, kau la yang bertanggungjawab kalau ada apa-apa yang terjadi kepada dia nanti. Kau tanya, kalau aku tak ada pilihan? Kalau benda tu dah terjadi? Aku akan jawab, sila rujuk ke ayat pertama dalam entri ni. Guna biji mata kau, baca betul2.

Antara kau dan aku, tak banyak beza kan?

Sebab tu la aku nak pesan kat kau buat kali terakhir:

Lain kali, pastikan tak wujudnya lain kali.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Adjectives

Right now, I am feeling:


Tired
Frustrated
Guilty
Determined
Detached
Grateful
Weary


The enormity of adulthood
The kindness of strangers
The weight of being loved and
loving in return.

Friday, January 2, 2009

2009: A List

Some things I’m looking forward to in 2009:


1) Watchmen


I’m not a comic fanatic, although I might have been if I’d had access to more comics when I was a kid. I did love X-Men and read other affiliates like Cable, X-Factor and Elektra whenever I could get my hands on a copy (they always seemed like rare finds to me. It never occurred to me that there were specialized stores for comics. Duh). Earlier this year I discovered Watchmen, and after reading it I now understand why it’s been hailed as the best graphic novel in existence, plotwise. The politics, the ambiguity of good and evil, playing God, the gloomy backdrop – all of it lent the most realistic air to the superhero universe that I’ve ever read. Reading Watchmen, you’ll start to think that it’s not impossible for superheroes to exist among us. Now, if only Warner could come out on tops in their battle against Fox, 03.06.09 is going to be THE day to look forward to.


2) President Barack Obama
For now he’s still the President-elect, and the afterglow of the election results are still present. But Obama will definitely bring interesting changes to the U.S. of A in 2009, for better or for worse. So far, he’s off to a good start with lauded choices of the important posts for his team, but he’s got a steep journey uphill with the recession and leftovers of the previous administration. After the horrendously poor leadership of Bush what’s-his-face for the last few years, though, the next year should be a refreshing change.


3) Employment
While we’ve been saying it since the dawn of time, the phrase “life gets harder” only really resonates when you find yourself in a survival-of-the-fittest situation. I hope to end this phase of job-hunting soon and settle down in (hopefully) a job I enjoy that pays my bills (and that Harajuku jacket I saw at Sunway today *drools*).


4) Convocation
Since I still visit campus to see Significant Other regularly, it still hasn’t really sunk in that I won’t get to see my old classmates and friends as much as I used to. I even miss the people I never really knew but saw and smiled at in classes and frequently bumped into around campus. The convo will probably be the last chance for us all to gather in one big group...the way it used to be.


5) Caribbean Blue Myvi
Refer to this post. Am still shopping around for a name for my future sweet blue treasure *Grinch-like indulgent grin*


6) Preservation of Enlightenment
I don’t pretend to be any more religious than I am. But I never forget my Maker in everything I see and do every day, and in the people surrounding me. I’ve strayed further than You like, but I’m grateful for the fact that for all its other shortcomings, UIA did serve as a sort of safe bubble of knowledge and reminders. I’ve been getting a taste of the real world in the past month since graduating, and I don’t want to forget everything I learned from You just because I’m on my own now. I’ll try to keep reading the signs.



7) Music
2008 was the mother of all years when it came to assignments and extra-curricular activities, to the extent that I rarely kept up with new music this year unless it was something Significant Other recommended. Some new bands I did discover and other older ones with new releases coming in 2009 that I do look forward to:



Handsome Furs – Face Control (10th March 2009)

The Artificial Sea – Their Myspace page says a new album is coming “soon-ish”; since their last album was out in 2006, I hope “soon-ish” means 2009.

Trespassers William – The Natural Order of Things

Poe – Egh. I add this to my list every year hoping that she’ll resurface from wherever she disappeared to. Even Chinese Democracy has come out after aeons of waiting, so why can’t you, Poe?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Woes of Watchmen: Why, Fox, Why??



As most comic aficionados know by now, the already murky future of the Watchmen film looks set to be in for even more trouble. Last week a US federal judge ruled that Warner Bros, the studio backing the film has violated 20th Century Fox’s copyright in the film. Fox had the original rights to the film way back in 1986, but after they decided not to go through with production producer Lawrence Gordon shopped it around to other studios and eventually settled with Warner. Now Fox is alleging that they never completely lost their rights over the film and that by rights (are you getting tired of that word? I sure am), they are responsible for at least the distribution of the film. With the case officially being heard in court in January, many are worried that this will mean a delay of the film’s 3rd March 2009 release date.


Personally, I lost my love for Fox a long time ago. This studio has been responsible for butchering movies that would have probably been brilliant in other hands. Let’s take a look at Fox’s track record in recent years: Jumper, X-Men: The Last Stand, May Payne, Alien Vs Predators: Requiem, X-Files 2, The Happening, Fantastic Four: Rise of The Silver Surfer. I think this list speaks for itself, critically and commercially. Fox also cancelled some of my all-time favourite quality shows like Wonderfalls, Serenity and Dark Angel. Oh, and the Wolverine trailer has all the excitement of a dead duck too.


One question, Fox: why bring up all the chaos now, when production has already wrapped up on the film? I’ve read that Fox did send Warner a warning that they were infringing on Fox’s copyrights before production began, but Zack Snyder says that nobody interfered with the actual production of the film. Plus, Fox made it absolutely clear that they weren’t interested in producing the film when they had the chance.


According to Wall Street Journal, Fox’s operating income fell by 31% in recent months thanks to the fact that their releases have sucked really badly and failed to net any real profit. Surprised, anyone? It figures that they’d want to get their hands on a film that actually looks like it’s going to be great. Being buruk siku is not going to win you any faith back, Fox.


I really hope Warner wins their case against Fox; at this point, I don’t care if the release date is delayed, I just don’t want a movie that looks this amazing and this faithful to the comic to be unreleased forever. Because if there’s one film that looks like it’s going to live up to the original comic (short-listed in Time’s 100 Greatest Literature of the 20th century and generally agreed to be the most renowned graphic novel ever), it’s Watchmen.


Hey, Fox? Go lick your penniless wounds elsewhere. I’ve already wasted close to RM100 over the years from going to watch your stupid films in the cinema. Please don’t ruin Watchmen for us all.

Duino Elegies: An Excerpt

Who, if I cried, would hear me among the angelic
orders? And even if one of them suddenly
pressed me against his heart, I would fade
in the strength of his stronger existence.
For Beauty's nothing but the beginning of Terror
we're still able to hear and why we adore it so is
because it serenely disdains to destroy us.
Every angel is terrifying.


~Rainier Maria Rilke