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Thursday, January 30, 2003

Revamp update

Not much done yet, actually.

ASP is more complicated than I thought.

Need to set aside some quality time to figure it out, but only after I've dealt with the final exams this February. There's a convenient three-month term break after that, which is plenty enough.

Clear one hurdle at a time.

| 1/30/2003 12:14:00 AM Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

Sunday, January 26, 2003

Movie roundup

I'm so missing The Two Towers on cinema. Go ahead, bloggers of all the world over, strike your pots and pans and announce that you've all watched it and witnessed a swollen Middle Earth battle. I'm trying to be thrifty for the time being.

Still, there's a lotta good stuff to watch when you're in the VCD-swapping circuit.

American History X, you know, that buff-Edward Norton-as-a-niggakiller-Nazi-skinhead drama. This one's priceless. I think I described the film quite well with the last two sentences — but I'll go on. The lead character, after some jail time, made a striking 180 turnaround from skinhead prince to mild-mannered citizen, much to the joy and relief of his family, save one skinhead little brother... now he's gotta save his little brother from from a cult he once captained. Norton does excellent work; the best Hollywood actor around, hands down. I'm a fan.

Ada Apa Dengan Cinta?, that Indonesian teen flick everyone's talking about. What's up with Cinta? Cinta's a popular, outgoing, friend-loyal girl. She meets brooding, cynical, antisocial pretty boy. She changes. Hates herself for being torn between girlfriends and secret boyfriend. Tearjerking moments included. Simple story, but pretty damn good movie. Though girly teen romance is nothing I'd shout about, I have to admit, I really enjoyed this one.

Barbershop, a refreshing change from your basic trashy African American comedy. Stars Ice Cube as Calvin, the owner of a barbershop — and neighborhood landmark — who's tired of running it, and soon quietly decides to sell it, though everyone else clearly harbours affection for it. Meanwhile you've got interesting barber characters excellently clashing and bitching at each other. You gotta watch and love this feel-good flick; I recommend it.

Trainspotting, starring Ewan McGregor. Like American History X, this is another famous, not-so-recent movie you'd expect to to see only on pirated VCD. This comedy is a sorta colorful, cheerful approach to the lives of a circle of drug addicts in a Scottish suburb, which went on to become such a hit in the US. It got a bit slow for me in some parts, but then again there's a lot you've probably never seen in a movie before and will never see again...

Death To Smoochy, starring Robin Williams as Rainbow Ruldolph, TV kidshow superstar fallen from grace, and Edward Norton as Smoochy, the hit Barney-esque replacement. This comedy is not for kids, however. Profanity, corruption, organized crime, Nazis, queen bitch execs who fuck with kidshow hosts, and hitmen who are ex-kidshow hosts turned junkies, on the side. Cool, eh? That's the showbiz underworld for you. Go see this, it's so funny.

I'm waiting for a Two Towers VCD to come my way.

| 1/26/2003 10:26:00 PM Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

Saturday, January 25, 2003

Any comments?

Righto. I've finally got commenting installed, albeit the popup kind. Now you can blast away about any post here all you want. Just one of the few improvements I've made around in this shitty wreck.

Uh, is it too obvious that my site revamp seems really far off?

| 1/25/2003 05:11:00 AM Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

Sunday, January 19, 2003

Blog entries are like assignments are like mutant genes

Nope, I'm not dead yet.

I strive to avoid posting about posting; I don't even ever dare declare hiatus, the way many bloggers politely do on occasion. Often because I can never foresee an unplanned hiatus in advance. But anyway...

I have a very bad habit of postponing the publishing of posts, which has been ugly obvious in the last several weeks. That's probably blogger misconduct number one... perhaps more serious than violating weblog ethic number four? "Write each entry as if it could not be changed; add to, but do not rewrite or delete, any entry." In attempting zealously to practice this ideal, I often find myself holding back from publishing a post, just in case I want to rewrite it tomorrow or decide not to publish it at all. I'm so stuck in a perplexing dichotomy of blogging principles.

Sounds fulla crap. Not much of a justification, is it?

My recent bout of blog slacking seems to be analogous to how I've been doing my coursework assignments lately: slow. And handing them over late.

I hate assignments. Not the fascinating, idea-exploring assignments that those arts/literature/social sciences students get to do. Nor the intriguing, solution-inventing computer programming projects the IT students get. I'm talking about "calculate the load-bearing strength of a steel I-beam with the given dimensions," and "tell me in five to ten pages all you know about the properties and applications of this so-and-so material" civil engineering assignments. Yawn, man! YAWN, YAWN, YAWN!

A better and more interesting analogy would be one that comes from my reading a recent New Scientist article about the natural suppressing of the effects of genetic mutations in cells. Apparently, a protein called hsp90 serves to hinder the expression of wayward mutant genes that control growth and development, keeping them from causing havoc (it's done because mutations are usually never beneficial and potentially fatal). This way, genes of the kind can accumulate mutations silently, even over generations. In times of environmental stress, hsp90, which also has the task of dealing with that, starts to stray from keeping bad genes in check; thus — like lifting the brick off a rabid jack-in-the-box — the suppressed mutations would manifest. Surprise! New species, if it works.

Because mutation is supposed to be key in the mind-numbingly long, dreary process of evolution, hsp90 can explain a lot of things, some of which I've always wondered about; like why, in the name of diversity, don't in-betweeners between species as we know them exist — e.g. hippos with elephant trunks, lions with leopard spots, or giraffes with short necks (like hellooo, zebras do fine with them). Though the process of evolution would still need be slow for the fairy godmother of natural selection to work, this discovery may substantiate that it actually happens in leaps and bounds, and not as gradually and neatly as Darwin had everyone thinking.

Suddenly the idea of the X-Men doesn't seem so far-fetched...

So the analogy is that my pending-for-publishing blog entries are like accumulated mutations. Now wasn't that pointlessly entertaining?

I'm just a poor little slacker boy, see. Have pity on me.

| 1/19/2003 07:12:00 PM Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

Friday, January 03, 2003

New Year's Eve party pooper

Couple o'weeks ago Donny asked my if I wanted to accompany him to go attend Rock The World III, which he described as the local Woodstock or Big Day Out, on New Year's Eve. That got me excited. Almost literally jumped to my feet saying yes, to make it clear that I did. We had high hopes of going to our first RTW concert in KL.

What could suck that joy away from us?

Well... our residential college is to gear up for an Open Day Fest on January 1st. I had to shape up for some traditional dance gigs, and Donny had to get busy with the hall decor and other engagements. Plight of all plights.

Why can't they pick a different date? Hellooo, no holiday? We're not in Johor, yo! Human beings need to be out on the fricking streets for New Year's! (Those poor Johoreans.) Help, I've been robbed of a New Year! Can't they take one of my kidneys instead?

I was helping with some heavy bulky stuff in the relatively quiet hall when the clock struck midnight. Imagine my dismay when I heard the faint crackling of fireworks in the distance, triggering a miserable envisaging of all those kids screaming with awe at the glorious bangbangs over the picturesque Petronas Twin Towers while jiggling their tits to Butterfingers, the band I was hoping to catch at RTW. Bummer.

By the way, I'm on the side of the UM campus that faces away from the city centre. The view of the night sky over here was as dead and black as a Shieldtoxed gnat.

Here's to a sullen, uninspiring 2003. *pout*

| 1/03/2003 07:33:00 AM Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!