Tuesday, December 21, 2010

"Getting Used To It"

Will today's post be preachy? Will it be funny? Will it be *le gasp* SERIOUS?

I don't know, but I like building suspense. XD

So anyway, today I went for driving class. Now the instructor was real interesting cos he was supposed to teach us all about the fan belt and engine and all that sort of stuff, but he didn't. Instead, he handed me the wheel and told me to drive. I was like "Oh my god I'm so nervous what if I crash this itty bitty car or ram into a post and totally bend it?! Wait the thought of me bending metal is actually cool. OMG OMG."

So it was a manual car which means clutch, brake and accelerator. I kept messing up the clutch, didn't know when to press it halfway or fully or how to step on the accelerator properly while on the clutch, and the instructor was ,"Up clutch! No not all the way! Not so down! Feel the pedal feel the pedal oh no you've released it all the way oh great now the engine has stopped start it again please."

And I kept turning the steering wheel too much, I blame those PS2 Underground racing games I used to play. I always twisted the car too much, but then at least I didn't have the prospect of death or injury to worry about. I mean the worst thing that could happen was that I would lose the race. @_@

All in all I went ten rounds around the track and it was loads better after that. I actually had fun! I kept imagining Spock driving though, I don't know why. And how he'd have that poker face of his on. I hope that expression didn't end up on my face, when I get nervous my facial muscles become stupid and freeze there.

Actually, I do think I looked somewhat like this, gah.

The instructor told me, "You see, don't be nervous, otherwise it's just giving yourself stupidity in advance befor you actually do anything. When people say things like that a little light bulb goes off in my brain and I have this moment of epiphany and confidence where I say "OH YES THAT MAKES LOGICAL SENSE."

So I thought about it, and yeah, many times we are scared of new things simply because we have had no prior exposure to it. It takes getting used to, and then we don't feel that it's scary anymore. If anything, it becomes routine, and we become better and better at it.

I think most technical skills are like that--you HAVE to repeat them to learn them well. I like doing things with my hands, so that involves driving and also drawing right now. Geesh, it takes me forever to realise this sort of epic truth to life. Had I known/realised this earlier, I wouldn't have sweated so much about my violin (which basically involves a lot of technical skill) and instead put more patience into repeating movements until I got it right. I didn't have so much patience though, so I actually griped a lot and nearly burnt the instrument on a few occassions.

"Son, I am disappoint." (which is what my dad would say if my family were Vulcans and if I was actually a guy.)

So anyway more thoughts on this drawing thing. If you also draw, do tell me, what gets you drawing? What makes you want to improve?

For me, it's this sort of thing where I usually measure myself against other people's standards (WHICH IS NOT A WISE THING TO DO SO DON'T DO IT) Unfortunately this results in me feeling that my art is "not good enough" so I usually don't draw much, which is counterproductive. =.=

But after a while I figured that measuring myself against other people usually ends up in me measuring against my previous standards because what this means is that I want to surpass my previous level of drawing. So in reality I am measuring against myself. And that is a better form of encouragement because it makes me do things like draw a human body everyday, with reference to muscles and figuring out where they go on skeletons and stuff.

I used to hate learning all the muscle systems and stuff, but now it makes more sense to me because I see how they give the human body its form. That small logical part of my brain appreciates it too. So basically I'm just repeating and repeating those forms everyday. It's a small step, but a step nonetheless. Like I said this is technical, so it has to be done many times. In other words, practice~

Enjoy your day. =)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Because I Needed to Talk to Someone and the Internet Was My Best Bet

Hermitty life. I swear, I'm a bit of a hermit. Ever since my holidays started I've been spamming myself with drawing. I don't go out much, maybe except to swim and take photos of random caterpillars eating my father's plants. O_o

My art life has become rather active lately. =) I'm almost filling up my sketchbook which I started drawing in 2008, and I've finally discovered the powerful tool that is...


I was rather stupid last time when I used to draw because I never used reference (I don't know why, was it some foolish pride?) so I hate all my drawings from that time, they look rather spsastic at times haha.

I'm sorry, this IS going to be a ramble about my relationship with art.

Then I realised there's no shame in using reference (heck, almost everyone uses it) and I became addicted to reference images. I visit http://www.gettyimages.com/ for most of them... Deviantart has some pretty nice ones too.

I also recently purchased a book on drawing anatomy. It's wonderfully detailed and includes all muscle groups and the drawings are oh-so-pretty. I'm not sure if I want to go that much into detail just yet, I just want to make figures look convincing, y'know? And I'm staying true to this rule:

"The human body is NOT made up of straight lines!" (This is one rule I have broken quite a lot of times)

This guy breaks this rule all the time.
This is excruciating detail.

The guy writing the anatomy book, Peter M. Simpson, said that it's way better to draw figures from a skeleton than to use blocks and cylinders. That's cos with a skeleton you know where the muslces are attached to and so you can add appropriate bulk to your figures. It's not the same with cylinders because like I mentioned, the human body isn't made up of straight lines.

After I read that I thought, "Well there goes 5 years of drawing technique out the window." So basically I'm trying to make the transition to skeletons now, it's actually quite helpful though I can't for the life of me figure out where muscles go.

As I spend more time with my pencil and paper I realise that there is a lot about art which I can't do yet (Pretty backgrounds, foreshortening, beautiful colouring) and wow, it's overwhelming. I don't think I'll get that serious about art, but anyway I'll probably do it one step at a time. Well with the very small steps I'm taking I'll probably become decent in maybe in 15-20 years' time. XD

I've also met two entities which are the bane of my existence: hands, and couple sketches. Can't draw them to save my life. I end up laughing at myself. You know how Nelson laughs at Bart in the Simpsons? Yeah. I'm Nelson, then I'm Bart. : D
And drawings of couples? Immensely awkward for me to attempt. I end up giving them ridiculous expressions that look more comical than anything else. Just can't take them seriously. But since the best way to overcome your fears is to face them head-on, I'm spamming my sketchbook with a lot of hand dawings and the occasional couple bit (I still can't draw too many without laughing).

And the reason for wanting to draw couples? It's cos I'm a girl and I see stuff through a special mushy lens sometimes and cannot resist making cute little sketches of people being happy together in their own little world DAMNIT.

All in all, art is slowly becoming a more central part of my life, and I appreciate that very much. I don't know how far I want to go in terms of technical skill (like a professional illustrator, that's pretty far), but hopefully much further than now. Definitely

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Father-Daughter Bonding, Star Trek Style!

My father is quite an...odd man. Oh, I mean odd in a good way, the interesting kind of odd.

Today he realised that I had two science experiment planning papers to go next week, so he asked me and my sister in the car, "How would you get rid of birds in an area so that they won't poop on the cars parked under the trees? And don't kill them."

Well it was after dinner and my brain wasn't functioning, so I was practically just going "Uhmmmm..."

And this, my friends, is the problem.

Then my dad went into this impassioned speech about how this was just like an experiment.

"Point 1, you observe. When do the birds come? Do they nest? What do they do? What is the volume of excreta they pump out? What effect does this have on the urban people?"

"Point 2, you analyse. Look up some literature. Do the birds like only one type of tree? What do they eat? What drives them away?"

"Point 3, you do what you have to do. See, crows don't like ultrasonic sounds, so just build an ultrasonic device and play it during the evenings when they come. Easy, dude, easy."

I didn't know what to say, so I just nodded enthusiastically and said, "Yeah!" My dad picked a very strange point to illustrate a concept...

Then after that he went into another speech of why science is so important, and how it's based on Logic! and how Logic! underpins the mechanics of science and how you must always think Logically!

"Science is the mecahnics of this world, and art is its colour!" Ah, he was really on a roll now.

Well since he was in full Logic! mode I couldn't resist saying, "Quite Vulcan of you, eh, dad."

And he said, "Yes! I'm going all Mr. Spock on you now. You see, why did they put a Vulcan on the Enterprise? Human beings have all the science and technology and yet there are still problems. The Vulcan on the ship was laughing at them, damnit."

I remembered Spock and Bones used to insult each other all the time and I was like "OMG YES."

"And who created the Vulcan?"

"The producer of the show, Gene Rodenderry?"

"Yes, that's why Star Trek's interesting! It's like a human looking at human behaviour from a different perspective."


And because I was pretty much hyped from then on, I mentioned casually, "Oh, and doesn't Bones hate the transporter?"

"Yeah, he doesn't want to disintegrate and then reintegrate into something else."

That really brought out the geek/nerd in me. I remembered reading something about teleporting stuff. You had to take the properties of all the atoms, and then transfer it to an intermediate series of particles before transferring it to atoms at your desired location again. Something like that. Apparently scientists at Vienna have successfully transferred photons in this way under a river from one side to the other, pretty cool stuff.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/3576594.stm  <<--Here's the link to the Vienna article.

So the only thing I could do was think, "OMG I CAN'T BELIEVE I'M DISCUSSING STAR TREK PHYSICS WITH DAD."

And then my dad recommended this horror sci-fi movie called "The Fly" about a guy who tries to teleport himself this way, but a fly got into the machine and their DNA mixed so the guy became a fly-mutant thing. I'm going to watch it, just for the sake of old sci-fi.

My father concluded with this sentence, "And that's why you should always remember Mr. Spock. It's Logic! It helps you get by." I swear my dad is a secret Spock fan, he just makes it look like I'm the only one in the family who likes that pointy-eared hobgoblin.

...But now that's not a secret any more. O_o

I think if my dad and I were in Star Trek he'd be some wiseass Romulan (they're like Vulcans, but only more emotional) and I'd be some weird little Vulcan kid who tags along and asks him stuff all the time.

Tonight was a major geeky-nerdy moment. Seriously. So to balance things out, I'm going to say "Grey's Anatomy was good! Aww Christina and Owen got married!"

You see, I'm making a reference to a popular TV show here, so I am maintaining what little street cred I have. =D

Have a pleasant journey in your part of the space-time continuum! (aka, your Life.)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Old People.

Today's post is going to be a little...sentimental? Yes, perhaps that's the word. well, my dad invited some of his friends and a real special guest over to our house for dinner today. That guest was his ex-headmaster, when he was at primary school. So yeah, he's quite old now, in his 80's.

He's a Christian brother so we call him Brother Harold. He's Australian but doesn't reside there. He came to Malaysia to meet up with his students, and so...that's how he wound up at our house.

For an old dude, he's sure cheery. I had this snippet of a conversation with him:

Me: Well, at least Australia isn't as cold as the UK.
Brother H: Ohh, but English people are nice. Walk into a shop and they say, "Hi, how may I help you, love?" Well, no one calls me 'love' in Australia!

He's very alert. Apparently he still insists on planting his own vegetables for consumption. And when he got a bit breathless, he asked my dad "Why is this happening to me? It's never happened before."

My dad said the polite equivalent of "Dude, you're 80-something..." and the Brother just laughed. I had a chance to talk to him and I found myself laughing so much because he kept cracking little jokes. At first I was apprehensive because I don't really have elderly people as friends (well it was more because I'm just nervous making conversation with unknown people) but it was real nice talking to him.

You could tell that he had led one of those full, satisfying lives, because he was so genial overall, and also because practically all his ex-students asked him over for dinner as well. =)

*Sigh* I don't know, I think old people are quite interesting, mainly because they have so much life experience. Perhaps it's because they know that they are nearing the end of life, but they seem to live more in the present instead of worrying about the past or future. They're generally more relaxed and have a better senese of humour I think. Brother Harold is just the kind of old person I want to be when I'm old. =P

Ohh a Famous Old Person I want to meet is   

Leonard Nimoy! The original Mr. Spock.

I'm not really sure of his personality and stuff, but from the snippets of actual things he's said and what he's said in interviews, I think that conversation with him would be really interesting. Fascinating, as Spock would put it.

Oh, he's had stomach surgery recently! And this is what he had to say:

I'm telling you, old people have a sense of humour.

And in case you don't know what LLAP is, it's "Live Long And Prosper". Lol it sounds kinda like what Chinese grandparents would say. Longevity and wealth...two things essential to Chinese well-wishing.

So go out and appreciate an old person today!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Lucky Shirt? Lucky Shirt.

So today I had my Bio and Maths paper 3 exams. Double whammy, dudes. However, I came psychologically prepared because I had my lucky shirt on. *Ahem* here it is!
Heh. I know. Look it's cartoon Spock! Just the kind of shirt I'd consider lucky. Well, it is lucky, because I thought I'd never be able to find a Star Trek T-shirt in Malaysia. (There is a depressing lack of Trekkies here...)

But believe it or not, while my sister was stalking fashion trends on the Internet, she actually found some Malaysian girl wearing this shirt. Turns out Pull and Bear was selling them, so I hopped over to get one. Literally. I think I was skipping down the mall after I'd bought it.

Anyway, about being psychologically prepared. I think I've been pretty much eating and drinking my Bio and Maths papers for the past one week's preparation, and I was still nervous. But wearing this shirt just made me feel so...secure. Like I could take on anything. I don't know, maybe it's just because Star Trek works as anti-depressants for me or something.

And I suppose when you have a serious-looking Spock plastered over your front in a quiet exam hall, you kind of concentrate and try to be logical as well. So I think I did alright, concentrating and answering all the questions. I felt...peaceful? Yeah, quite serene actually. (Was I meditating?!!)

My football-crazy friend came in a Manchester United jersey, and my eco-friendly friend came in a green shirt. So I guess a lucky shirt isn't lucky because it has magical powers, it's lucky because you like it and it calms you down. It kind of reassures you that you can even answer weird questions if you just tweak your brain to think sensibly.

Hmm I think this luckiness doesn't just apply to clothing, it applies to anything that lands you in a relaxed and peaceful state of mind. I'd been drawing when I took study breaks, and that really helped because I happen to like doing it. It's good to have a hobby, mmhmm.

For today, I'd suggest to readers to really find out what totally relaxes you and puts you in that meditating sort of mind. It should be something that you can keep coming back to, and something that you really enjoy doing. Perhaps it's these little things that keep human beings sane.

Farewell, internet! Gonna draw something fluffy now.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

And Life Continues on the Earth's Axis.

Huh. This is an update on my personal life. I know, *so* exciting, right.

Besides the fact that I have exams (which I must be on my toes for), I have recently found drawing to be very therapeutic. Especially since I've been figuring out how to draw poses and stuff like that. Pretty frustrating though, I always feel I can never draw as well as I want to. But oddly, after staring at the picture I've finally done, there's a sense that it's somewhat complete. It's weird. Really. I never know whether to be pissed or happy with my art.

Anyways, here's some gay Spock/Kirk funny-ass comics for your viewing pleasure: They made me laugh like a hyena on drugs or something. Oh, and there's some Spock/Uhura too. I hope to do funny-ass art like that someday. =D



Anyhoo, I have some papers to practice on and some hair to colour. Toodles!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Review: South of the Border, West of the Sun

Today's blog post will be a book review by a Japanese author, Haruki Murakami. (I haven't finished Catcher in the Rye yet.) I was first introduced to this author by my friend Amanda, (click for her blog) when I was a wee lassie in Year 9. (Ok, maybe not that wee lassie.)

I started off with Kafka on the Shore and even now I do not fully understand it. Mr. Murakami is well known for his use of surrealism that ties in with his themes of human life, emotions and the philosophy of existence.

My friend lent me this shorter novel of his (it's only 200 pages) so I finished it in a few days. I have read some other Murakami novels since Kafka, and this would be the latest.

It chronicles the life of Hajime, a child born in 1951. Being an only child, he had only one friend, Shimamoto, a girl. But they lost touch when he moved away. Growing up into his teens and then his twenties, we see Hajime gain a better grasp of how his life is progressing, but yet we see his selfish side, in a few chapters where he wounds his high school girlfriend emotionally.

Upon graduation he gets stuck in a dead-end job, aimless and directionless in his life for 8 years, until he meets Yukiko and marries her, settling into family life with two daughters, running a jazz bar.

Then one day, Shimamoto comes back. The book explores his feelings and his inability to forget his first love. All this paves the way to infidelity, and at the same time, some self-discovery. I have noticed that most of the Murakami novels I've read deal with self-discovery, and how you don't really know yourself until you learn from experience.

Also, most of the protagonists in his books are average, decent males who are searching for something, some inner fulfillment. This somewhat fits Hajime here. As a female teenage reader, I can't really relate to Hajime's mid-life crisis, but I do suppose it is an artistic expression of what goes through men's minds at this point. These days divorces are so common and to me, having an artistic impression of infidelity somehow makes the irrationality of human emotional motivation easier to tolerate.

Hajime's selfishness is highlighted well, and is clearly seen in a short conversation with his wife, where she points out that he assumes he knows what she is thinking and that he has never really asked her a question about anything. You'd think that she would be outraged, but instead, she just takes the blow, quietly stating to him that she feels the pain but nothing else.

I think that deep down, Hajime is afraid of being alone, maybe alone with no one but himself for company. He describes a "force" within him that he cannot overcome. The force of a selfish desire for his first love, perhaps? Someone he may never have. Here I think again of Buddha's words, "Desire is suffering."

While this book does not have much of that ethereal glow that I savour while reading other Murakami works, (I have read about a Sheepman, and fish raining from the sky) I found it enjoyable, because you could see the feelings point-blank. Sometimes the misty metaphors that he uses in other books take a while to adjust to an interpret. It seems like a straightforward story, but because of the way in which Hajime's feelings are described, like something blurred, something which lurks incessantly, it isn't that simple.

In conclusion, I was able to feel Hajime's desperation, and was relieved that he found some closure at the end of the book. Murakami's language is simple--even in Japanese (I read the English translation), but the things he conveys are not. South of the Border reads a bit like a dream, yet at all times you are made aware of reality lurking behind it. Then Murakami asks you: what is reality?

Wow, I've been rambling on. I can't stop soon enough when I talk about books. This isn't a serious review, though, I just want to expound on my thoughts on the book. Try a Murakami sometime. You may be surprised, or you may be disgusted, or you may love it, but I think it would be a unique experience.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Time Keeps On Slipping

Alright, alright, I've ripped the title from a Futurama episode. If you do not know the awesomeness that is Futurama, I suggest you go Google it. Right. Now. And watch a couple of episodes too.

Anyway, time does keep on slipping because there are a few weeks left to the A2 exams right now. I am prepared, but things seem to escape my mind nowadays, squirming a bit to get out? OMG stay in stay in information.

And this is not a good time, but my right hand itches to draw. So. So. Badly. To somewhat escape my boredom I have taken to drawing little Star Trek cartoons in the edges of my past-year papers. I was so bored I tried doing a Kirk/Spock moment. Yes. ST slash. If you want to see my doodles, cbox me and I'll move it here for fun and laughter. Well more likely laughter, my own drawings are so bad sometimes they make me laugh.

Anyways, I'm really thankful I can doodle at least. It's fun! I used to be really suckass at drawing, and I'm not so hot myself even now, but I never thought I'd be able to draw. I think art saves my sanity sometimes. Granted, I'm not as talented as some brilliant! artists out there, but yeah, drawing is just for fun. After all, Matt Groening (creator of Futurama and the Simpsons) said he couldn't draw his own characters very well, and look where he is. =D

Sometimes I wonder what my life would've been like if I'd been an art student. Like, really artsy-fartsy, dissecting literature and quoting Lord Byron and studying art history. Probably I would have more time for drawing, and maybe I would have more time to practice too! I suppose I do enjoy expressing myself, but for some reason I've always preferred the sciences. (Maybe because it appeals to that small logical part of my brain, lol.) Art subjects...are too subjective! Nothing is right or wrong...but then I suppose 99% of life is like that!

Anyways, this is my brain right now. Pretty much self-explanatory. =D You guys should try a brain portrait sometime; it's really fun!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Brave New World: A Dystopia of Pleasure?

Today's post will be a book review about the novel "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley. It's a pretty iconic book, and if you haven't read it yet, please give it a shot. I'm just going to post my thoughts about it, and its underlying message.

I have never liked literature because of the way I was taught it (memorise, memorise, memorise) but maybe that will change as I'm slowly returning to my habit of reading.

To give an intro, Brave New World is set in the 2500s, where everyone lives under a "World State" and is perpetually happy. Humans are divided into five classes: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Epsilon. Gamma to Epsilon classes perform more menial work, and Alpha and Beta are more upper-caste.

No one is born the normal way; everyone is "manufactured" via IVF through sperm and eggs. Sometimes eggs are "Bokanovskified" so that they produce batches 96 identical individuals(for Gammas to Epsilons). Promiscuity is promoted and everyone is encouraged to "have one another". No one ages. At sixty you still look young. The word "mother"is a swear word, and "father" is a joke. The idea of marriage, family, and passionate relationships are over.

Kids are conditioned by having subliminal messages pumped into their ears during sleep. The first part of the story deals with life in this society. We are introduced to Bernard Marx (who somewhat questions the civilisation) and Lenina Crowne (who is a typical female).

The second part deals with Bernard and Lenina going to a Savage reservation in Mexico (where people still live lives much like the native American Indians in my opinion). They find a white man who was born there; he is John, known as "Mr. Savage" when he returns to London with Bernard, along with his mother, Linda, who has actually aged without the chemicals to keep her young.

The third part of the book deals with the Savage living in London and the struggles he faces with this "Brave New World". I won't say more here, except that in order to truly appreciate the many layers of this world you have to read the book yourself.

 My opinions on this dystopian world:
--It has some elements of early 20th century advancement, such as mass production, being written in 1932. Perhaps the most eerie one is the "baby in the bottle" way of manufacturing people and then putting them on an assembly line, where they have alcohol put into their bottles to dumb them down and exposed to heat or cold so that they can be adapted to future job conditions.

--Consumption and capitalism seem to play an important part. Deltas are conditioned to like certain things so that they would spend more on them, supporting the economy. Not very unlike our current world, where we have to "keep up with trends" and new products are always grazing the surface of the market.

--People are brainwashed since young to like their place in the Alpha-Epsilon caste, and there is always a "soma" drug to keep you happy should you ever feel unpleasant emotions. Everyone is happy. This is something the Savage questions. Given my never-ending quest to truly understand and live with human emotions, I couldn't help but be interested in this part. A world where everyone is happy?
It is ideal, but then we would lose some semblance of humanity. For what is there to work for, if everything you want is given to you? If happiness is something shaken out of a pill-box?

There is a part when the Controller reads a paper by Bernard describing a suspicion that the ultimate goal is not a stable Society, but perhaps some expansion of human intelligence and consciousness.

But then, he shakes his head and says "This cannot be published."

After reading the notes at the back of the book, I found out that Aldous Huxley was actually quite interested in this human intelligence and consciousness expansion. I am, too, after reading about "Boltzmann brains." These are supposedly random events where a conscious entity supposedly "pops up" in the Universe. But I digress. Wikipedia it if you want, it's something abstract that you can wrap your mind around.

All in all, I enjoyed the book, and am impressed at the scope of Mr. Huxley's imagination. It leaves me a little shaky because it reminds me of human beings' propensity for evil, and that some small parts of the book may already be showing up in our society, like consumerism. Maybe that's why I like sci-fi--it's full of "what ifs" and predictions of the future of humankind. Good as food for thought.

I know this is a long post, so thanks for putting up with it. I have a huge stack of other sci-fi and general fiction that I'm trying to finish. The next book review I think will be about "Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger. I'm looking forward to it.

At the risk of sounding like I'm spreading educational propaganda for young kids, Reading is Fun!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Utterly Perplexing Emotions and Star Trek Fluff.

Hello world! Today I will rant about my emotions. No, it's not about some boy. No, it's not about schoolwork. It's basically about...well, me. (Oh lordies another narcissistic post.)

I don't know. I do think emotions are the queerest little things that reside in your body and pop up suddenly. They interfere with everything you are supposed to do. They throw you off whack, and they're so incredibly distracting. You know, like "I don't feel like being hardworking and studying for my exams today."

And "I wanna eat so much and get fat even though I know I shouldn't." This one, friend, is LUST. FOOD LUST.
Ah I could just gobble you up so bad ya sexy thing. This pic is courtesy of http://www.foodwhore.tumblr.com/

And then, there's the Inferiority Complex. Oh mothership, I hate the Inferiority Complex. You think you're pretty damn good at something and then you find someone who does it a kajillion times better then you. Then you start wondering what sort of cosmic force would want to bring so much misery to you by rubbing your pathetic failure in your face.

You can tell I've had a lot of experience with Mr. Inferiority Complex.

Well, ever since I became a Trekkie I've looked to Spock for an answer. (Yes this is how bad my fandom is. So sue me.)Well you know I took a leaf out of his book and tried to not give in to these pesky emotions too much. Because emotions are what make us human, neh?

So I'd feel bad for a bit. Then I'd let the feeling sink in. Then I'd close my eyes and just let the feeling pass. Y'know, don't fight the feeling. Let it be.

Surprisingly, the feeling went. There was some sort of funny calm left behind, like when you stir your bathwater and it makes little ripples.
For the sake of irrelevance I shall put a pic of an adorable little kid sitting in bathwater. Heh!

So for a while the technique worked. Everytime I felt like an angsty teenager I'd let the feeling pass and return to my little bathwater calm place.

Then I started doing that for EVERY feeling. Even the happy ones. So I would be all "Yay!" and then suddenly all calm and introspective. I was kinda killing the happy feeling there. So, not the perfect thing to do.

I don't know. I seem to bounce back very fast from extreme feelings of anger/frustration/sadness/happiness. It's mostly good, but sometimes not so good.

So finally I've decided to just keep being curious about these emotions of mine. You know, treat it like a game, or an experiment. Because they're actually pretty interesting if you observe them after a while. Sometimes you laugh at yourself for even feeling that way. Sometimes you think you're an absolute idiot. But whatever it is, treating yourself like a lab rat actually does help you to see things clearer.

And I do like my little bathwater technique. I just have to make sure that when I'm really happy, my face will stay like that little baby's in the picture.

Oh yes, and that Star Trek Fluff in the title? I've actually done a little fluffy couple picture in the ST universe, and the bigger version is here. I know, I don't draw fluffy couple pictures. Or use Photoshop. But there's a first time for everything.

If you have deviantart and want to give me constructive criticism, please do so. If not, and you want Mr. Inferiority Complex to visit me, you can post a snide comment in the cBox on the left. Or a nice one. Or you could leave a message about bathwater.

Ta-ta for now, faithful cyberspace. XD 

Monday, August 30, 2010

How To Swear Without Swearing.

Are you prone to large amounts of swearing and want to swear a little more creatively?

Do you have a no-swearing bet that you have to fulfil but still want to swear anyway?

If so, then this article is for you! Today I will discuss ways to swear so that people don't realise that you're swearing.

Disclaimer: Author is not responsible for any insanity/social repulsion due to this article. Use tips at own risk.

1. Swear in another language. No, not Swahili. Or any other human language for that matter.

Instead, why not opt for an alien language? Taking a leaf from Star Trek's Klingons, a famous Klingon insult is: "Your mother has a smooth forehead!"

Why not put it in Klingon: Hab SoSlI' Quch!

WARNING: Do not use this on Trekkies, apparently it is bad enough to start a war. The last thing you need is a fan jabbing you in the eyes with his pointy ears.

Now you know why smooth foreheads are so insulting.

And if service is slow at restaurants, or if the darn salesgirl cannot get you shoes in size 37 1/4, you can say this: Heghlu'meH QaQ jajvam. (Today is a good day to die.)

Ah, and not to forget Vulcans! However they are a more...civilised race and I can't find many authentic language insults. However, I did find many intelligent Vulcan ways of putting standard English insults! These were taken from this forum.

English: Die in hell. (Dunno if this is accurate.)
Vulcan: Decease in a highly exothermic environment.

English: I fart in your general direction.
Vulcan: I release flatulence at the likely coordinates of your position.

Why don't you dudes figure these ones out:
1) You seem to be an entity that is entirely composed of the posterior opening of the alimentary canal.
2)I wouldn't mate with you if you were the last sentient in the galaxy and I was deep into the most powerful Pon Farr ever experienced.

Don't know what Pon Farr is? Click here!
Live long and prosper, you mother*censored*. I swear this was the message in the movie.

2. Make up your own swear words.

Think about it, if you do make up your own swear words no one will understand them except you, and you get the satisfaction of swearing too!

My sister calls me a Mohibi sometimes. Now it's supposed to be an awful insult from her, but every time I hear Mohibi, you know what I think of?

A Mohibi= Mohawk wearing baby. You can't get mad at someone who compares you to such an adorable thing.

So try it out. Call your annoying little sibling a Mohibi. Your dog. Your cat. Your gerbil/hamster/pet snake.

Because secretly, we regret the fact that our mothers never made us into cute Mohibis when we were young.

Kid, be proud of your hair.

3. Just swear without words.

Ah we have the Italians to thank for this one. Very eloquent. Express your anger using a simple shaking of your hands, and various twirling motions! Image below from http://www.wonkette.com/

Make sure you swipe you hand from under you chin appropriately. Otherwise it'll look like you're trying to tickle yourself to make yourself laugh. Which can look pretty desperate and give others the impression that there is no laughter in your life. Hmm...there IS laughter in your life, right? *raises eyebrows*

Ahh, who doesn't know this gesture?

All in all, maybe sometimes swearing is too much trouble.

And now I will leave you in peace. Have a nice day! 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Buddha Says.

I have not been the most religious person in my life. My visits to various Buddhist temples mostly involve some Chinese New Year prayers. I don't read the sutras everyday. I don't really go vegetarian.

But one thing Buddha says is VERY true. Its "Desiring is suffering."

But I mean, isn't it human nature to desire? We want to be so much better than we are now, to move forwards, to evolve and such. Then I realised it probably meant personal desire, materialistic desire.

Like how we want new cars, clothes, items, gadgets. I think so. I have seen so many fashion blogs and wishlists--sometimes I wonder what is the drive behind people that causes them to shop and buy and consume and use all these garments, all these accessories.

It's good to look presentable, but why do we keep chasing these fashions? Since they probably repeat every decade or so.

I've faced cases where I wanted things really badly. It was 'suffering', you could say. You want it so badly that you find yourself sucked into a vortex and you cannot come out because your oxygen tank is at the very bottom of that vortex.

For me, the things I have wanted are quite intangible. For example, more friends. Having grown up a painfully shy kid, I suddenly wanted to mingle more for fear of missing out. I guess I musnt've been terribly good at it, because sometimes I make friends whom I cannot keep. I'm not horribly close to people from my primary and secondary schools, though sometimes I wish I had been. It's difficult for me to maintain friendships by calling people if I don't see them every day.

Probably explains why my Facebook wall is so randomised. The people I know are random and all over the place. Friends come, and go.

Also, having grown up with a pathological fear of the opposite sex, there was probably a point when I would have traded my left kidney just for some male attention.

Heck, my left kidney and a slice of my liver. Perhaps I was 'suffering' whenever I'd see a dude with a chick and they were all so happy and la-la-land and all. It was a bit of a 'wallflower' moment, a bit of a 'why not ME???' moment.

I think, screw it. We only want the things that people have. We want the attention that someone else is getting, and we know it. I listened to Buddha. I tried to stop wanting stuff and just let my personality develop.

And at the end of 16 years or so, you have this semi-sarcastic, random, sci-fi crazy chick who is writing internet poop. You know what, I kind of like her. I suppose if you cannot like yourself you can't really expect other people to want to befriend you. And maybe once you feel at peace with yourself then other people won't see your insecurity. Ergo, much easier to talk to others.

When I stopped wanting I felt a bit better. And strangely, now I do somewhat have what I want. Buddha, you are one cool dude.

Pardon this somewhat narcissistic post. I like writing things out. At least I hope that this internet poop will benefit/entertain/make you laugh with pity in some way. 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Some Things I Learnt After Talking To People.

OMG, like hi, readerrsssss!

Pardon the beginning. I believe we should keep things interesting. So. Helllooo!

Anyways when I was young I hardly talked to people. Wasn't the most sociable Asian bugger you'd meet. Heck, not the most sociable bugger you'd meet.

But that's changed now. I'm still not wildly and fanatically popular, but people actually smile at me now when I walk down corridors. And we know each other's names. =D

But anyways, here are some valuable things I learnt in Social Skills 101, that apply to anyone in any conversation.

1. If the bugger is not interested in what you are saying, SHUSH.

I learnt this the hard way. You know, me being a sci-fi chick and all, I try to talk about rockets, space guns, Star Wars, robots, pointy-eared men aboard huge ass spaceships, more robots, things like that.

But if the girl/guy you are talking to is really not interested, don't continue talking. Even though it gets you hyped up. Even though you feel that you are gonna burst into a nice bout of verbal diarrhoea.

Because people don't like verbal diarrhoea.

The only thing people hate more than verbal diarrhoea is actual diarrhoea.

So bowels aside, if the bugger doesn't give a hoot about robots, he/she isn't going to be hooty about it no matter how hard you try. If you still keep on trying, here is how the convo would be like:

Youlin: Hey, I thought that movie was pretty spiffy. You know, guy stuck on moon, with only a computer for company, going crazy...

Sister: OMG, I like so totally dig that new Maria Sharapova perfume! It's like bathing in her sweat!

Youlin: The poor astronaut though, he couldn't contact his family, and he was just a tool of the corporation...

Sister: And you know what? It's only RM 158! Imagine spritzing on some Sharapova sweat everyday! Mmm. Fresh fresh fresh!

Youlin: Mmm yes. I hear her perfume has fruity citrus zest too. So anyways, what do you think of Star Wars?

Sister: OMG I love Maria Sharapova's fruity sweat/perfume! Star whatta? Oh Stars! Like Maria Sharapova! She's MY star.

At this point Youlin's verbal diarrhoea is probably being replaced by actual diarrhoea.

BTW, visit my sister's blog here: http://www.compulsivelychanel.tumblr.com/

Maria Sharapova, sometimes I hate you. And yes, I've purposely put a photo with cleavage so that more male visitors will come to my blog. Shameless, I know.

2) Perverted jokes are a good gauge of who you would hang out with for a long time.

When you were young and still unexposed, you may have been like me when you heard a perverted joke:

"Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh! Get it away! Go away! How could you even think of that?"

As I got older, I found them to be funny.

Then, quite funny. Wasn't too long before I started cracking a few of my own too. Usually involving space and double meanings of words. I'll leave you to figure that out.

I needed some victims to listen to my jokes, so I tried them out on my friends. Now here's the interesting part:

The ones who don't cringe at your terrible jokes are the people who can actually tolerate you. Who can stand you. Who will stick to you like two-month old porridge sticks to your digestive system. Because they let you be you.

I have a friend who actually sang about a "place in France, where the naked ladies dance". Loud. In public. You know what, I'm still here. Still listening to it.
Now France may seem a little more interesting to you.

3) The phrase "He/She's So Hot/Smexy/Cute" is really useful.

No, dear readers, this ain't about flirting. This is about the magic phrase that can spark friendships, forge them out of seemingly nothing. Next time you see an attractive male/female passing by/on screen, don't squeal to yourself.

Squeal to other people instead. Preferably like this:
You've got to get so close, they can smell what you had for breakfast.

Chances are, some people will be disgusted by what you had for breakfast or who you're actually finding hot. (I have yet to find someone in real life who appreciates eybrows like I do, even though people generally like what I have for breakfast.) 

But never mind that. If you happen to attract the attention of someone who agrees with you, than ki-yippee-ya-hoo, you could probably end up talking/squealing the whole day. The phrase "Matt Bomer's hot." has reinforced a few friendships for me. Not only that, Matt Bomer can lead to talking about Kryptonite and the latest laptops in the market as well as a very sorry comedy film. Oh yes, Mr. Bomer is a good lead.

Not to mention you could make a crack about "Boner" as well. Refer to point 2!

P.S. I am sorry Mr. Bomer.

You don't know who Matt Bomer is? Google! And then come back and squeal with me online, via the cBox on the left.

And one last thing:


Squeal with me if you agree!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Because Space Fashion Isn't Really That Far.

Hola mamacitas! And also those who aren't mamacitas.

Today's post will be an attempt by me to blog about fashion! For years, this subjct has bemused me, and even now, it mocks me. Because hell hath no fury like my mother when she sees me wearing plain clothes.

Not to mention the amount of designer brand-mentioning I hear these days forcing me to actually google some brands to find out what they have to offer.

Sometimes I find that the clothes shown on the runway aren't actually wearable in real life though. Unless you're Lady GaGa or something. That woman has earned my respect for trotting about in those porcelain shoes of hers.

My expereinces with porcelain always result in it breaking.

So anyway, those shoes were from Alexander Mcqueen. Have found more of his quirky shoes online:
These aren't called 'crabhammers' for nothing.

This is so shiny it could rival the sheen of any spaceship.

So anyways, I've always felt that way-out designs are quite similar to some of the old sci-fi clothes. You know, the hopelessly unfashionable ones. But modern fashion has made those sometimes very garish designs much better. Of course, we also discovered CGI and tight velour for sci-fi heroes and heroines. Let's see:
Tell me that marble-like texture of her skin and shellacked hair doesn't look out-of-this-world. Not only that but that shimmery fabric and mini-cut is reminescent of the 60s, where sci-fi was creatively explored.
"Lost in Space", a 1960s TV show. Just look at the shine. The SHINE!

Another fashion item is the high-shouldered jacket. I have enormous respect for people who can pull it off. I mean, I'd laugh at myself if I wore one. I'd be going "OMG like pointy shoulders lol!"
Pointy shoulders never looked better on anyone.
Well, this is Zapp Brannigan from Futurama, a sci-fi cartoon series from the creator of The Simpsons. Note: not shoulder pads, but shoulder hoops. Hoopla!

I am also aware of his abnormally short whatever-he-is-wearing, but I don't have an explanation for it yet.
Here is Miss Jupiter with her orange storm. And pretty funkeh shoulderblades--erm--shoulderpads.

Some of the wierdest, most minimalistic designs (note minimalistic meaning minimal cloth) come from the movie "The Fifth Element" with Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovich:
I wasn't kidding about minimal was I?
This guy from the movie is like a futuristic LaFayette(from True Blood) who sings and has really poofy hair. Yay!

To wrap it up I've found some pretty awesome sci-fi (koff it's just Star Trek) art which matches with fashion too:
No, I didn't draw it (though I wish I could!) It's by Annie Wu. Her website is HERE. Click! You'll like it.

She's made LadyKirk and LadySpock look really (for lack of a better word) hot. This picture makes my inner girliness surface just for a while. I mean, I find myself saying, those are pretty snazzy boots on LadySpock. Mmhmm LadyKirk's eyeliner looks good too.

Ye, LadySpock looks like cyber Morticia Addams. A very fashionable one at that. And LadyKirk's rocking that pixie cut.
Retro Spock and Uhura! Coolnessess. Look there's still that shine in Uhura's outfit, and Spock with grizzly facial hair! MmmMmm.Very hippie, in my opinion. Hey, but who's complaining? Oh yeah Uhura looks like Shingai Shoniwa from the Noisettes. Poofiness lol.

Artist is HERE. Clickety click again.

So looks like these days you can be a geek for pretty much anything. You could be a science fiction geek, or a fashion geek, but maybe it's the best when you find out you can be a little bit of both.

Channel your inner geekiness people. Let it all hang out.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I Have Found My Girly Thang.

Obviously Taylor Lautner's found his girly thangs.

Lord and Buddha and whatever other deity knows that I'm not the most fashionable kid on the block. Heck, I'm not even the most fashionable organism within a one-metre radius. When I was a kid, my grandma locked up all of my 'good clothes'.

Which basically was 95% of all my clothes. So I had to rotate the remaining 5% like no tomorrow. Traumatic. Especially when I had to wear a green shirt with red pants (Asian Santa's Elf much?)

When I acheived garment liberation at the age of 12 (I finally wrestled the key from her), I was happy. I pulled on whatever I wanted to wear everyday.

But recently, some FFFs have been talking to me.

Fashionable Females in the Family.

Like my mother. While driving me to the college, she was talking to me and then she suddenly noticed my very plain head.

"Youlin, why did you not use those absolutely cute hairclips I bought for you?"

Dude, I forgot. I actually forgot.

Oh well. Here I am, a kid who strives to do well in school and respect the Parents at the same time. And I don't complain when they ask me to do stuff. The only thing I'm doing wrong is forgetting to wear some absolutely cute hairclips.

"Tsk tsk Youlin. Disappointing. What is the point of me buying them for you?"

Sometimes words fail me. Even though I do like those hairclips. But woman, they're just hairclips.

So anyway lately I had to do a quick rescue operation to save my femininity. Or female-ness. Girly-ness.

Guys, I feel myself slipping. Into the realm away from the typically girly things. Into the Unknown!!

I'm not one to stereotype, but someone pointed out that there are some things that a typical girl would take an interest in. Ok. Not someone. It's my mother.

She says I cannot keep wearing lumberjack shirts and discussing physics with her. And no tough army skirt with that random T-shirt. And a little bit of floral would do me good.

Normally I'd tell my mother to please let me be me. But you know what? Sadly, I've found this hole within myself. This hole which I must fill with a bit of girlyness. Because secretly, I kind of like pink. Because secretly, I like little bows and ribbons and going all English Countryside Lass. Because secretly, I enjoy people playing with styling my hair.

Yes, underneath my tough, sci-fi hardened exterior, I'm floral and fluffy, Hmm. Very fluffy.

I needed something to represent this girlyness, so I resorted to stalking the discount-filled halls of the nearest shopping mall. Something that wasn't too pink. Something that wasn't desperately plastic. Something that would still allow me to wear lumberjack shirts and quote Spock AND be girly.

And then I found it. My girly thang. It was like an epiphany. Like when I found out Maggi Noodles were actually from Holland.
Yes, this is it. My girly thang. Hair bands. I swear as soon as I put one of them on, I feel fluffy. I feel some sense of liberation.

I even found one to match my lumberjack shirt. And to test it out I did the Vulcan hand salute while wearing it. I swear, I felt Leonard Nimoy and Zachary Quinto watching me.

Now imagine him with a hair band, Chinese, female and very much younger. That's me!

I swear, hair bands felt right. It felt right with my geekiness. My nerdyness. My inner girly cravings.

Now I'm off to buy them in every conceivable style and colour. Whee!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My Role Models are Big and Funny Guys

Once, I was a broken blogger who was fresh out of ideas. I stared at the empty screen, unmotivated.

Then I discovered http://www.tremendousnews.com/. It's a funny blog, written by the great Dee, who wants to be a screenwriter. He's tremendous, in his own words. Not only that, after I read it, I discovered that I could identify myself with him.

No one has seen Dee's face yet as far as I know. But he says he's a 30-year old man with moobs, who lives in his parents' basement, who cry-dances to various songs. And stalks Alyssa Milano.

Well, I'm a 16-year old girl with jiggly thighs, who spends 90% of the time in her room, and with self-esteem that oscillates between ridiculously high and ridiculously low. And stalks Zachary Quinto. Yes, some similarity there.

In fact, my self-esteem is so ridiculously high I actually imagine this conversation occurring:

Zachary Quinto: Oh look, you've got that South-east Asian girl following you on Twitter. The one with the jiggly thighs.

John Cho: Like totally, dude. Didn't she stalk follow you first though?

It's so ridiculously high I imagine people like to talk about my jiggly thighs. When actually it's only my family.

Scratch that. Only me. And I'm talking to my blog about it.
Well anyways folks. Follow tremendousnews on twitter. Fan him on facebook. Read his blog obsessively like I do. Because to anyone who has experienced the pain of jiggly body parts, this is something you can read while half-crying and half-laughing. Also if you've expereinced the pains of Twitter and Facebook. The man is wise to the social media. Wise, I tell you.

Courtesy of my friend Lina I have sought refuge in the antics of Gabriel Iglesias. Yes, another big and funny man. He does stand-up comedy. With no rehearsed lines. Just spouts out the stuff. In fact, he's not fat, he's FLUFFY! Here's a link to a youtube bit of him if you have not heard of him:


Check out all his other links too!
Here's some fluffy in your face!

Oh I love Gabriel Iglesias. He's a reminder that in our sad sad sometimes degraded world, there is always a big and funny guy you can watch and laugh along with.

Plus he makes me feel better about finishing those last few Oreo cookies that I swore I would not touch. (He likes cake too!)