Thursday, June 28, 2007

changes - surprises

Today's theme seems to be surprises. Actually, it's the theme of the week. It started out as an innocent offline message from a friend from deep past wanting to meet me and introduce me to her husband. Fine, ok I'll go but I need to get my opinion known on this blog (which I will not give her the address) that I think you're crazy marrying before you turn at least 25. That's building up to be the awkward conversation of the year, if not the decade, for me.

And that is only the start of the surprises. Today, I found out that another (not close friend) is engaged to her long time boyfriend. First off, that is 2 surprises right there. One: I didn't even know she has a boyfriend at all (as I am not a close friend obviously). Two: engagement when you haven't yet finished the second year of uni? Granted that this "engagement" might turn out to be nothing, it's still crazy.

Third on the list of surprises: Paris found God in prison. First, I thought God was supposed to be everywhere, why do you have to go to prison to find him? And really why not the special places that were built specifically for people to find God? This is really a huge surprise for me, more so than the married and the engaged friends. I feel like the rug has been pulled from underneath my feet. If there is anything in this world I can depend on it is "Paris is a stupid airhead who has no talents and goes to too many parties". OK, I exaggerated a bit, that and "the sun will rise tomorrow" and "channel 9 breakfast show makes me wanna go back to bed". From the interview she did with Larry King, I feel that I can no longer depend on that fact. Why oh why? Why Paris, why do you change on me? You are the one that I can always depend on to cheer me up because no matter how fucked-up I become I can't beat you in that department. That was very comforting for me and now you've announced that you've reformed and you found, of all people, God.

OK, I've finished being sarcastic, I think it's a good thing Paris is out of prison and is cleaning up her acts. At the very least we will not have to put up with more tabloid news about Parison (Paris + prison = Parison). Now we have to put up with tabloid news about Paris going to churches. I wonder how is she gonna squeeze church time in her busy party calendar. Maybe if you hold parties at churches then she can do two things at one time.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

does it really need to be this drastic?

A video my sister came across on youtube. I don't know what she was looking for when she found this video but definitely not looking for glue to make double eyelids. Oh man, those Japanese women are crazy for double eyelids. I never really understand why, maybe just because I was born with double eyelids. Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

why I don't like instant messages

Here's one question I kinda got a lot: "Why are you never on MSN/Yahoo!/etc..?". I often reply to that with "Because I don't like to chat". And that answer usually provokes more questions. I guess in the end it all boils down to this: I'm not the chatty type plus instant messengers make me nervous, frustrated and under-appreciated.

I used to like instant messengers. A lot. Back in the good ol'day (i.e. year 10). I was kinda addicted to it, went online just to see if there is any "friends" online and struck up conversations with strangers in weird chat rooms and all. Some of the conversations I got was quite interesting too. I once chatted with this total stranger who was in Moscow during winter. He said that it was a nice warm winter day there and that it was -5 degrees Celsius there. Gee, if that is warm I wonder what is the definition for cold.

You grow out of the things you used to like in your early teen years eventually. I was addicted to Hip-Hop and R'n'B at the time too. Needless to say, I don't necessarily enjoy any of the things I used to like in year 10 now. Have you ever had that sudden realisation that you had horrible tastes back in your early teenage years? I was at a party recently and Backstreet Boys (the old stuffs, not the horrible Incomplete stuff) was on. I haven't listened to any of their old stuff since 2002, it was quite an elating as well as appalling experience. On the one hand, you start to feel whatever emotions you used to feel when you first heard the songs (which was sort of an elated feeling for me), it's like reliving your primary school days. On the other hand, your present self really listens to the godawful tacky lyrics and just wanna shut down your ears (but the music is still freaking catchy).

Back to why I don't like to chat, I don't exactly know when it started but I guess I stopped chatting and started reading some time in the beginning of year 11. I tried to get back into the habit of chatting but it wasn't much of a success for a few reasons.

I hate to wait. With instant messages, you have to type, hit send then wait to get the reply. Sometimes you typed out something that is quite thought-out and witty and the person on the other side for whatever reason (usually it's chatting with multiple other persons) is too busy to fully read and realise how much effort you put into your message and replies with the stupid LOL or sometimes if they feel exceptionally generous with their muscle use they'll type ROFL and adds a smiley and then nothing else. Naturally, once you see ROFL or LOL you'd think (or maybe it's only me) that they're too busy laughing out loud or too busy rolling on the floor laughing because of your oh-so-witty message to type out a coherent reply to it and they would do so once they've fought off the urge to LOLing or ROFLing. But no, you receive no other message after that, not even a stupid "[insert witty username here] is typing a message" from the messenger. So you wait, and wait and nothing happens. Naturally you assume they're not interested in having a "conversation" with you any more so you turn off the chat windows and get on doing whatever you were doing before they started the conversation with you. Two hours later, up pops the messenger window, complete with doorbell sounds (which always, always makes me jump with anything but joy and which makes me nervous) and with one deadpan question: "where did you go?". Huh, funny you should ask, I got such a hilarious reply from you I haven't stop LOLing and ROFLing for 2 hours.

Chatting online is, of course, a great way to keep in touch, no one can deny that but do we really wanna keep in touch with the people we see every single weekday? Is there really a lot of things that can happen between the time you say "see ya" to them at 5pm and the time you log on your instant messengers at 8pm? Really. And if something really exciting did happen between 5pm and 8pm, I would think that you'll be able to wait until 9am the next day to tell them to their face and see their reactions. Of course it would be an exception if I win five million dollars from a lottery ticket that I picked up on the train on the way home, but then I'd be too excited to log on to the messenger to start chatting and too rich to even care about phone bills to use messengers anyway. I'd much prefer talking and if you know me I don't usually like to talk much so you know it really is a special something when I say I prefer talking. At least with an actual conversation, you know, the oral kind, you can be sure that the person talking to you isn't talking to umpteen other people.

What about the friends that you don't see everyday, you might ask. Well chatting with them is always fun for me as long as I don't do it every single day. Ever heard of the saying "absence makes the heart grow fonder"? It really does, or rather lack of regular contacts makes the heart grow fonder, try it sometimes.

With that said, sometimes I don't like chatting with old friends at all. The really old friends, like the ones you know back in primary school in another country before you move to country you currently live. Those are not fun at all. They don't like chatting in English and I don't like chatting in Vietnamese since it's confusing and I have to spend a lot of time trying to spell everything correctly to actually enjoy the conversation. So naturally, they assume that I'm a snob for using English to chat with them or for using Vietnamese with the occasional English words for whatever words that I can't remember how to spell in Vietnamese or can't even remember what the equivalent of that English words in Vietnamese are. And then there's the wow-how-much-have-you-changed conversation which always makes me feel like they don't like the way I've changed. What do you mean how much have I changed? Of course I have to change, you can't move to another country and stay exactly the same, can you? You stay in the same country and you've changed, how can I not?

Yahoo! Mail has just got this new feature in their Beta. Now you can chat in the browser without having to install the messenger. I didn't care about this much at first. I put it on invisible or offline all the time so no one would start talking to me. But then the offline messages from deep past friends started to flow in. Before I can use the excuse of not having a messenger installed on my computer to avoid those messages, now, there's no way of escaping. It's not that I don't like to hear from them, I just don't like to feel judged and snobbish every time I chat with them.

So to conclude a very long post: I don't like instant messages.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Book browsing

I went to see "Ocean's Thirteen" yesterday however, the movie wasn't the highlight of the evening. It was the time spent in Borders waiting and browsing books that was more interesting. I ended up buying 2 CDs and found 2 books that look quite promising. The first one is "God is not great" by Christopher Hitchens. The other one is "The Atheist Manifesto" by Michel Onfray. What's with the religion bashing books huh? I didn't buy any of those since I still haven't quite finished "The God delusion" yet.

Another book that caught my attention was "Everybody Hurts: An Essential Guide to Emo Culture". It almost won the 'what the f*** book of the day' award had it not been for the metal clad bible I saw 5 minutes later. The guide to emo culture book is really a guide to emo culture. I thought it was satirical but no, it's a straight and narrow guide to how to be cool and yet so uncool at the same time. What I can say about that is, make up your damn mind. Do you want to be cool or uncool?

While we're still on the topic of emo. Let me introduce you to Emo Google. It's Google with an all black emo finish. It gives you the exact results as the normal Google, (sorry, no emo related search results yet) with the benefit of a seriously ugly black background on the main page to hurt your eyeballs and visual cortex.

The metal bible however was hilarious. So much so that I had to take some pictures of it.
The obvious question that popped into my head when I saw these metallic beauties above was "What can you possibly do with a metal bible?". I came up with an answer for that as well. Imagine this:

You are a proud owner of metal bible, you love it so much you bring it with you everywhere because really, you like to have a bible with you at all time and a normal leather bound volume can't withstand the stress and strain of being bounced around in your bag with mobile phones and all the other unholy modern crap like coins, keys and credit cards (but seriously, don't bring it with you all the time, the bible alone is heavy enough, add the extra hard metal cover it's as heavy as a four 30-gig ipods). One day you encounter a mugging and you decided that you will dissuade the mugger to give up his evil deeds by some cleverly chosen passages from your metal clad bible. (In my honest opinion, you gotta be crazy to think that but hey there are some crazy people running around all the time). But surprise surprise the mugger doesn't appreciate old sacred writ and turns the knife on you instead. What are you gonna do now? You have the perfect weapon in your hand. If holy words can't dissuade the mugger, heavy metal applied straight to the head can at least knock him out and give you enough time to run.

This is a shot of the back of said bible. Strange how people say that you can find answers in the bible. I was at a crossroad of sort the other day during my exam. I was stuck on one question: Is Atenolol a beta agonist or is it a beta antagonist. I went home and try to look that up in the bible, guess what? It doesn't give out that sort of answer, it doesn't even give you any direction to where you can find the answer. I propose that we change the saying that "answers can be found in the bible" to "relatively reliable answers can be found on Wikipedia" instead.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

3 glorious weeks of holiday

Finally exams are over on Thursday, I thought I would be doing a lot catchup on sleeping but as it turned out, I spent more time awake than when I was studying for exams.

I think I have a motivation problem. I'm motivated to do anything but studying apparently. At least I'm taking the first step in solving my problem: I acknowledged that I have a problem with motivation, great to know I'm not in the denial stage. Now let's see what's the next step? Find something to motivate myself I guess. I hit a brick wall there, there's nothing, absolutely nothing. That's when I attempted to start reading "100 ways to motivate yourself" by Steve Chandler. I said attempted because, so far, I haven't found the motivation to read the book yet.

One thing I don't need any motivation to do is procrastination. And my current favourite place to procrastinate is If you don't know what it is, here's the wikipedia entry for it. And if you're not motivated enough to click on that link and read a whole page of explanation, here's my one paragraph explanation: is a internet radio and music community where users can track their listening habits, display them for anyone with an internet access to see and get similar artists recommendations. Or at least that is the intended purpose of the site. There is always some crazy dickheads who would turn everything into a big competition for "who can listen to more songs from their favourite band so that their avatar can appear on the band's page for one week".

Anyhow, it doesn't sound very interesting and frankly I had misgivings about this when I first signed up in January. I didn't feel like it was a good idea tracking my listening habit which was why I didn't install the tracking program. But once you get started, it's awesome. I discovered my favourite band this week through Actually, I discovered more amazing artists this month than I did the last 2 years. Some of my current favourite artists are quite a surprise for me. Take Feist for example, I didn't think I would like her music but it was actually crazily calming and addictive.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is, get a account, start scrobbling and discover awesome music. I did and, boy, I love it.

And now to some new music to listen to: Interpol. Their new album "Our love to admire" has leaked so go to wherever you usually get your illegal leaked music and download it then buy the album when it comes out on July 10. My verdict after 3 listens is: I like it.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

3 down, 2 more to go

I'm extremely relieved and relaxed at the moment. After days of having sudden panic attack every time I read a past exam question, having finished the 3 exams relatively smoothly is a great relief. This year I've developed a strange habit. After every exam I would get out of the venue as quickly as possible and preferably alone. Nothing wrong with my friends really, they're great but they always unintentionally make me depressed after every single exam because they discuss the questions. I used to like to do that in year 12 but now I hate it. It makes me feel stressed and anxious.

So what's the big deal with discussing exam questions that you've just finished doing anyway you might ask. Well, the problem is before I hear any discussion I only had an inkling that I was wrong. After I heard the discussion I know 100% sure that I was wrong. An inkling of being wrong is better than being sure in this case, trust me. I like to receive my results and go "Oh well, I guess I was wrong on question such and such" rather than sitting at home waiting for the results and trying to work out what questions I did wrong and how many more question can be wrong before I fail the freaking exam.

So I took to running off after every exam to get home and cram some more before the next exam, but that's the only thing I can do to stop myself from hearing any discussion of any kind that relates to exams. Until I can find out a way to shut my ears like I can shut my eyes that's what I'm gonna do until I graduate.

I guess I would be singing a completely different tune if I was at least a little bit competent at the subjects I'm doing. But I'm not so I'm singing this tune now: "please don't talk about the exam that I've just done near me".

I've finished more than half of my exams and I've got 4 days until the next one so I take today's evening off studying. I really should go to bed early tonight, I've been awake since 3am this morning. I usually get up early but today I got up extra early for the freaking pre-exam cram. What I found out is that when you have a panic attack you can't cram. I had one last night at 9.30 pm and everything I read went straight over my head. So I thought "what's the point? I might as well go to bed". Got up at 3 am and no panicking. Sleep really can calm you huh?

Sunday, June 03, 2007

What can I say? The excitement in my life never ends

It's been a while I know but I have no intention of calling it quit with this blog. After all, there's not much else to do if I don't blog.

So what's up, you might ask. Pretty much a whole lot of shit's going on in my life at the moment, the biggest one being exams in one week. Read that ONE, if there's a time to start panic and cram it's now. And if I learned anything at all from my first year at uni, panic doesn't serve any purpose but screwing up your performance. Knowing that makes me even more panicked because I can't stop panicking. It's like the "feed forward" thing in metabolic pathways, you have substrate A going in one end and product Z going out the other end with a gazillion enzymes involved in a convoluted reaction pathway, the more substrate A going in the more product Z going out. To make things short, panic feeds panic and I'm a panicked wreck.

This is a bit worrying, I can't believe I'm relating normal things to the stuff I'm trying to force into my brain for the Biochem exam. Shoot! This has got to stop, I started this post to take my mind off the freaking exam in the first place!

Let's talk about something else, how about that model who was arrested this week in Sydney for being the mastermind behind the plot to hire a hitman to kill off some witnesses? That's almost an oxymoron right there. One can't help but wonders what those witnesses witnessed, something quite serious I hope, like said model throwing up after every meal to stay in shape? I never expected the words 'model' and 'mastermind' to appear in one sentence like that. Ok, that's an exaggeration, I fully expect those words to appear on one sentence but the sentence would be something like "Model arrested for being the mastermind behind sabotaging rival's sugar-free, fat-free, carb-free, protein-free mineral water with cholesterol". Maybe that's why the whole plot went astray, she's a model after all!

And that's all I have to talk about without any reference to exams, really, the excitements never seems to stop. When I don't have anything to talk about I talk about the weather so here it goes. It's freezing in Melbourne. Why does it always have to be so cold in winter? I thought we're having all these environmental warnings about "global warming" because it's actually warming up throughout the year and that includes winter months and not just the already scorching summer months. Dammit, every year I get almost frozen to death waiting outside the exam venue, on Queen's birthday. Every single year!

It's been a great week for me if I completely erase anything that has anything to do with uni, exams and the weather. That leaves sleeping and listening to some awesome music. Sleeping is always great, it's my favourite past time activity during the months that I have uni, if I have any free time I sleep. I don't watch TV anymore because I always fall asleep during the ad breaks, what's the point in sleeping uncomfortably in front of a TV when I can do so wrapping in my blanket in my bed?

Now, now, I'm only that much of a sleep addict during the three quarters of the year that I have to attend uni. Really, uni is a lot of work, especially if you take biochemistry. If you don't like it you'll never be able to study this. I'm so glad I didn't put biochemistry or whatever I thought to be great back in year 12 on top of my preference list. I'd be miserable in that course. Not that I'm not miserable to a degree in the course I'm doing now.

How come every paragraph I wrote up til now in this post comes back to exams and uni in the end? May be I really should stop this and get back to studying. What a exciting prospect! I never quite get around to the reasons why I haven't been posting regularly. Let's see, I spent May dreading June and I spent April dreading the dreading I would do during May. In between the time I devoted to dreading and dreading the dreading, I discovered some awesome indie music.

That brings me to the album of this week. Not really the album of this week, more like the leaked album of the week: Tegan and Sara's "The Con". The album's supposed to be out in late July, but it was leaked a good 2 months before the release date. I've been looking forward to this album ever since I got hooked on their last album. I know I should have been a good fan and get the CD on the release day but really, my life's been shitty these past weeks, I'd do anything that would make it less depressing and that includes downloading the leaked version. However, after I read their blog post that addressed the leak, I felt guilty. But not guilty enough to stop listening entirely and delete the song from my hard drive and my iPod. I was gonna buy the record regardless and I still have, the intention to do so, actually I really really want to buy the record now that I've listened to it about 20 times. One problem though, I don't know when it's gonna be released in Australia.

Another new favourite band of mine is The Shins. I don't know why I didn't start listening to them earlier. The song that's currently stuck in my head is "A comet appears" from their latest album "Wincing the night away". The reason why I like this song so much is this part of the lyrics

Every post you can hitch your faith on,
Is a pie in the sky,
Chock full of lies,
A tool we devise,
To make sinking stones fly.


Current obsession:
Current forced obsession: biochem. It's really fascinating, really, I can now explain why I have diarrhea every time I consume too much dairy products. Fascinating huh? Too bad I hate it.


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