30 October 2006

Show Me The Money

This blog seems to be clocking up more & more readers, and there seem to be local logins as early as 6am. WTF?

Recent discussions about my blog & blogging in general highlighted a very interesting area - what should a blogger blog about? I don't think there are any restrictions on this. What's important is your reason for blogging. Do you blog for yourself, or for your readers?

While I blog both for my readers as well as myself, I think it's more for the former than the latter, which explains why blog entries are far in between. I try to only deliver content which can capture my readers' interest, instead of just "I woke up this morning, brushed my teeth, washed my face, took a shower, surfed some porn, blah blah blah..."

And so, here's a topic which might (or might not) interest you - my sex life!

Nah, better to keep this page away from the 18+ rating. You're welcome to assume that my sex life is as dull as yours. ;o)

Do you ever find that social activities can be hell painful for your wallet/purse? Random stuff random people do socially - smoking, drinking, gambling, drugs - all bound to break your finances!

Ok, realistic examples & estimated expenditure on per session basis:
movies - RM10
shopping - it varies from zero to a couple of hundred bucks
breakfast/lunch/tea/dinner/desserts - RM10-RM50
bowling - RM20
snooker/pool - RM20
karaoke - RM20-RM30
mamak - RM5-RM10
designer coffee - RM10-RM15
clubbing - RM50-RM100

All the above are very general social activities everybody does. Only difference is how frequently they do it. In any case, it still costs money.

Here are my suggestions for cheaper activities you can try with family or friends, and even when pakthor-ing.
  • Scrabble and/or other board games
  • have a few friends bring their cars over to your place and team up for a private car wash (can do the same for pets - gather your friends & their dogs and let hell break loose. Bathe cats if you're crazy enough)
  • walks in the nearby park; jogging if you're enthusiastic; fly a kite to add a bit of 'spice'
  • do arts & crafts together, or on each other.
  • reorganize each other's rooms, move some furniture around & give some decorative suggestions
  • a dvd (or Chinese/Korean drama series) in the comfort of someone's home, but avoid porn.
  • picnics not too far from home can be quite cheap too.
  • community service - it doesn't always require money. A bit of time and a lot of heart can do wonders.

So next time your out of cash, it's not the end of the world (or your social life) until you get your next paycheck. Imagination knows no limits!

23 October 2006

Language And Such

Being Malaysian, speaking more than 1 language is the norm. I speak English, Malay, Mandarin, Cantonese, and a bit of Hokkien. I once attended a course on sign language, never practiced though. I'm also taking Jap class now, for business (and hopefully leisure/pleasure) reasons. And of course, vulgarities can be a whole other language on its own. Being able to cuss in all the above languages in just one breath, I consider myself a pro!

I recently chanced upon an article on social behaviour. One interesting topic which really caught my attention was body language. For guys who want to leave a good first impression on a gal... try the following:

  1. Eye Contact
    Most of us are too shy to openly check out the hot gal sitting across the room. The norm would include stealing glimpses through the corners of our eyes, or by using the reflection on a coincidentally strategically placed window/mirror hanging somewhere in the room. And what do we do when she notices? Look away as quick as possible and put on an innocent face, as if we were minding our own business the entire time. COME ON! As if she doesn't know!

    Tip: If you think she's hot, and she notices you looking... make eye contact and hold it until she shies and looks away. And if she doesn't shy and look away, give a friendly smile! If you're comfortable enough, wink even! This shows that you're confident and comfortable in the presence of beautiful women... and not the chicken shits that most guys are. And don't forget to go over and seal the deal... get her number/email la!
  2. Posture
    Yes posture! Men who women want don't walk lazily dragging their feet; they don't slouch; they don't walk with their eyes glued to the floor two feet in front of each step as though dying to find a penny. Many of us have our own styles of standing, sitting, walking, etc. Try to be conscious of the kind of posture you have, and ask yourself whether your posture exhibits strength & confidence.

    Tip: Hold yourself authoritatively... like you're the most powerful being around. Suck in your 3-month-pregnant tummy. Hold your head back, chin up, shoulders back, back arched... yea, like in the army. You think women like men in uniform solely because of the uniform?! It's all about power & authority! Fixing your posture is sure to be hard at first, but you'll live... and it'll soon be very natural.
  3. Gestures & Movements
    Some guys tend to be very animated and 'alive'. Giggling & laughing at your own jokes is a definite no. And laughing louder than the whole room put together is also a no. Swaying your body from left to right nonstop - no. Control your hand movements and gestures to avoid looking like some traffic police officer. And don't fidget.

    Tip: Move slowly. Walk a slower, comfortable pace. Any arm and body movements which are necessary, do it slow. Basically, you want to communicate that you're comfy, and just chilling... not an overzealous kid jumping up and down waiting to get on a themepark ride. But don't over-do the slowness and wind up looking like some street performer miming words & verbs.
  4. Speech & Conversation
    Your most important tool of communication requires just as much attention. Like all the above, speak slowly, speak confidently. Nervous people have the tendency to 'chase trains' when they talk. And don't let the occasional awkward silence bother you. If you really don't have anything better to say, don't say anything. If she's being quiet, tease her about it. Make the conversation fun. Don't start talking about marriage & growing old together, unless you're really good at joking about such stuff. Talking about your stamp collection or how you adore Jessica Alba isn't going to impress her either, unless she's into the same stuff.

    Tip: Speak with a lower, deeper voice. If you know how to, add more bass to your voice. Speak slowly, and learn how to use subtle but not obvious pauses to create anticipation and raise her excitement. Pick safe conversation topics, like friends & family, social activities, gossip, etc. Avoid politics & religion.

So far, that's what I've learnt. I have to admit that I don't practice all of it, but I'm probably not far off judging by my track record with gals. Will definitely try to use the stuff above now that I understand it better. Anyone else got any good tips to share?

20 October 2006

"I Like To Move It Move It!"

I got no rhythm, but I can dance... or so I'd like to think. LOL! Aiseh, with enough alcohol in the system anybody can dance! And if you still can't dance , make sure everyone else has enough alcohol in their systems so that you look like you can dance! LOL!

I tell you... some people look damn kao silly when they dance. Good for a laugh though. I've seen some hotties who can really turn heads on the dance floor while dancing with other guys/gals. But some try too hard for the attention and end up looking like sluts.

I've also seen average-looking gals who are just out there to have fun. And boy! They can really work the dance floor... to the extent that everyone just stops dancing and watches and cheers them on. That's what you call "murder on the dance floor"!

Ms.T: Mervvyynnnnnnnn!
Ms.T: Anything fun to do lately? Wanna learn Salsa?
Mervs: You going to teach me?
Ms.T: No. Learn together!

Hmm... now that's a thought to ponder on. Following a 20 year old female hottie for Salsa lessons is damn appealing. But if I decide to take up something new, I'll probably do it elsewhere, with strangers or something... so that if I end up dancing like a retard, not so pai-seh la! LOL!

Well, another new activity will be a whole lot of fun. And an additional group of friends to hang out with... why not. New places to visit... hell yea! My only concern is time & money.

Heck! I'm not going to be 21 forever (still in denial)... might as well give it a shot. Anybody want to walk me down this road?

14 October 2006

The Innocent Joy of Being a Kid

After a long week of work and more work, what would possess me to start my Saturday at 7 in the morning? Service of course!

This weekend began with an outing with many many many under-privileged children from various homes in PJ. Organized by AsiaWorks LP100, the event gathered about 60 children & over 50 adults, at Lake Gardens.

Today, with the time spent with this bunch of bright and cheery souls (both the members of LP100 as well as the children), I discovered the following...

  1. I don't feel as young as I should. Waking up at 7am is tougher than it used to be. Running around Lake Gardens on a scavenger hunt for 2 hours with hyperactive kids, it seems my batteries just don't last. And piggy-backing two 7-year-olds one after the other while running with the other scavengers is back-breaking.
  2. To keep 3 - 7 year olds entertained, just give them a bunch of crayons and a face to draw on. LP100 supplied the crayons... I just had to sit there. The first session of letting those cute angels conteng my face was great. There was a moment when I was actually proud to walk around with flowers, hearts & other random stuff colorfully drawn on my face. Unfortunately the kids went into a frenzy during the second session, and I wound up looking like an idiot (no change from the usual there). Pink on the left side, blue on the right, plus little dashes of yellow & green in between... it was horrendous! Good thing mum wasn't around to see me when I walked into the house.
  3. Do you ever think that children from homes for the under-privileged lack joy, attention and love? Spend a day with these kids and you might notice what I noticed today. The smiles on their faces and glimmer in their eyes are much brighter than some other kids I've seen from normal homes with normal families. They get so much care & attention, sometimes I wonder if there are other kids out there who feel jealous. I'm not saying that these kids don't deserve the love, care & attention. It's just an observation. Next chance you get, while playing with the kids, take a good look into their eyes. Then tell me if you really think they're under-privileged.

The angelic innocence, the adorable giggles, the playful antics, the psychotic laughters, the limitless energy, the endless dashing & jumping around. I miss being short, innocent & carefree. Joy came much easier & more often back then... wouldn't you agree?

13 October 2006

Random Thoughts

On success:
"People who quit while they're ahead lack ambition."

On persistence:
"The only reason why rain dances work is because they don't stop dancing till it rains."

And on a whole different page...
On HipHop:
You don't know the meaning of HipHop until you've watched 'Save the Last Dance 2' -

what she said: "HipHop is the convergence of the electronic musical movement and urban music culture... which happened after the world discovered that disco sucked."

what he said (with a lot of style): "(HipHop is) It's Rap. (HipHop is) Soul. (HipHop is) R&B. (HipHop is) Funk. To most people today, HipHop is about bling bling. But what was before the bling. What was before the Escalades and the 9millies and the hoochies..."

"It's a form of cross-cultural communication. It's a lifestyle. A Language. A fashion. It's simple and complex. It's about an individual questioning the establishment. It's about recombining combining everything that came before. HipHop is about finding a new voice. But what HipHop really is can be summed up in 3 simple words - I am here."

Boy... Izabella Miko is hot!

08 October 2006

Mid-Autumn Festival

Mid-Autumn Festival for 2006 fell on the 6th of October - the 15th day of the 8th month in the Lunar Calendar.

General practices during this festive day include praying to the Moon Goddesss, eating mooncakes & carrying lanterns around. For those non-Chinese who aren't familiar with the stories behind these activities, click here for more info by Wikipedia. For those Chinese who aren't familiar with the stories behind these activities, click there too. SHAME ON YOU!

So now that you know the background of the occasion (hopefully), notice how much it has changed?

The mooncakes...
Check out the variations of mooncakes now available. It has become so commercialized that even Hagen Daaz has dipped its hands into the pot. Ice-cream mooncakes - wth? Well, I can't say they're half bad... but the pricing - MY GOD!

Traditional mooncakes came with fillings such as kernels, jujube (red dates) paste, red bean paste & the most common lotus seed paste. Modern day fillings include ginseng, bird's nest, chocolate, cheese, green tea, pandan, tiramisu, and many more.

Oh, apart from the fillings, the skin/crust too comes in a number of variations these days. It's amazing!

And have you seen those jelly mooncakes? Some brown, some pink, some green, some a rainbow of colours. Some plain jelly, some with filling too. And check this out - konyaku mooncakes... this one takes the cake (pardon the pun)!

Okay enough about mooncakes. Let's talk about the moon itself. The lunar calendar is based on the lunar cycle - duh! So of course on the 15th of the month (Lunar), the moon is at its fullest & brightest. This is when the believers come out to pray to the Moon Goddess, and the others just enjoy the sight. So did you notice how beautiful the moon was this time? I surely did NOT. I could neither see the stars, nor the moon. I couldn't see the clouds, and not even the sky for crying out loud. @$!%#$# haze!

Well, at least there's still the children carrying lanterns around the neighbourhood. Well actually no. Sure their parents buy the beautifully designed lanterns and all. But what seems to be the case now is the focus is no longer on the lantern. Kids these days just want to play with the wax, the wick & the matches/lighter. If you observe, the lanterns just sit in one corner, or hang on the clothes lines while the kids squat in circles around their little wax bonfires.

And I'm surprised to see that their parents/guardians don't seem to have much concern, unlike back in the day where I'd get pinched or yelled at for even thinking of such an act.

When I was below 4ft and still into the idea of running around with lanterns with my childhood friends, showing up with a battery-operated lantern was a huge no-no. You'd just get laughed at and teased all night through.

That doesn't seem to matter any more because battery-operated or not, the lanterns serve no real function except as an excuse to have parents sponsor endless supplies of candles. And who ends up scraping the wax off the tiles the next day? The parents of course (or if they're smart - the maid)! Poor souls...

That sums up today's Mid-Autumn Festival - not quite what it used to be.

05 October 2006

Surfing on "Waves" & Dancing In "Storms"

At the age of 21 I received a wedding invitation - the first which wasn't addressed to "Mr & Mrs Tan Tiong Hing & Family". This one was addressed to a Mr Mervyn Tan. Since then, I have attended at least another 5.

It wasn't till recently that it struck me. People around me are growing up, going places, finding love, living life, realising dreams... not necessarily in that order. What about you? Are you growing up? Going places? Finding love? Living life? Realising dreams?

In my case...
I'm growing old, but I refuse to grow up
I'm going places... 'crazy' is a place too you know!
I'm finding love - I love people
I'm living life, with a huge smile on my face
I'm realising dreams... and now it's time to dream bigger and badder!

If you've ever wondered how I'm constantly so positive & happy, here's a hint... "You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf". Well-said PC!

When you start "surfing", you'll soon realize that the waves are what bring the ocean to life. And when you start "dancing in rain", you'll know that the sky would be dull and uninteresting without storms.

And so there you have it... I've learnt to surf on "waves" & dance in the "storms" of a beautiful life. So can you!

02 October 2006

Threading the Trail of MP3s and Discovering Malware

It's confirmed - being nice doesn't pay off. At least that's the case when someone came to me and asked for a 2 MP3s, and I agreed to scour the net for her. The silly thing was that I accepted the job even though I wasn't equipped for it. I didn't have any reliable download programs for downloading free music. And it was at an hour where no one who could recommend a program to me was awake.

So being the great surfer that I am, naturally the first thing that came to mind was "Google it"! That was either the worst idea any brilliant person could have; or the best idea and idiot could have. Either way, it's not something I'm proud of.

I successfully found a download link... the catch - must install plug-in. Of course I was suspicious, but it was late and I really wanted to get it over with. "What's the worst that could happen" went through my mind. And as you probably have guessed, as soon as the plug-in loaded itself, all sorts of popups appeared. My heart stopped for a quick moment as the size of my entire vocabulary was reduced to a single word – SHIT! My only consolation, the download went smoothly and I got the MP3.

I plead insanity!

But what’s done is done. I figured since I already fucked it up, might as well get on with the task at hand and figure it out later. While in the midst of the 2nd MP3, I decided to offer my friend 2 more songs, based on the time left before I turned in. The sad fact was I had to download each of the 4 songs from separate sources due to availability & connectivity. It couldn’t get much worse anyway.

None of my efforts to remove the spyware/adware/malware were successful. My antivirus is ill-equipped, and the free removal tools available online were ineffective. The last resort – FORMAT C:/. This is of course nothing new to me given my history of idiocy in the world of the Internet.

So I made a quick dash to Low Yat Plaza on Saturday to pick up the latest pirated copy of WinXP, with all the latest security updates. There’s even a crack for Windows Genuine Advantage… meaning I can get updates from Microsoft even though I’m using a pirated copy. Cool eh?! Cost – RM5. You really gotta love these software peddlers. They’re really up-to-date, the service is great, and the prices unreasonably cheap.

1 hour backing up files from the old platform, another hour formatting, installing & tweaking my newer Windows XP, and one final hour reinstalling all the essential software. Total 3 hours time expense for 3 minutes of stupidity. And you know me, there’s always a bright side. In this case, I’ve got a newer WinXP. I’ve also got a nice clean desktop again. I now have Media Player 11 which looks really cool. And… I now have reliable download software for movies (BitLord) & music (LimeWire).

Want any songs? I’ll be happy to get them off the net for you… at a price!