Friday, November 24, 2006

Crash Boom Bang

I finally had a go at Daytona for the first time in my life. The bf and I went to the Subang Parade entertainment outlet in the morning. It was deserted naturally. Which was the only reason I agreed to play. It is so much fun! And I soooo suck at it. I think I crashed into everything at least once.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Sweet dreams are made of these

I had an amazing dream last night.

I dreamt of a wedding. MY wedding.
And the groom was Richard Dean Anderson.
I was mildly suprised but hey, I am marrying Colonel Jack O'Niell aka MacGyver (post mullet), so I am not complaining.

In my dream he was Scandanavian. And my in-laws happened to be Allan and Inge, the Danish couple from K's office.

It was a simple ceremony that was over in 3 minutes. It was held in a large conservatory glowing with lamplight. It may have been snowing outside. There was a queue of couples lining up to be married by the official.

We were the third couple to get married. I wore an cream coloured empire styled wedding dress and I had great looking hair too, if I may say so myself. The groom cut a dashing figure in a sombre black suit. In my dream I remember thinking, "Ooo, he is so handsome." I could swear he kissed the bride.

I woke up from sleep giggling like an idiot. I wonder if I can dream about Hugh Jackman next.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Evolution of dance

You are old enough to know these moves, admit it!

Complaint letter to Astro

To: Astro

Since my Astro statement for October hadn't arrive, I called your Customer Support last week to enquire about it as well as to seek clarification on whether I could pay the sum due together with the coming month's bill. I was assured that this was possible.

I also asked whether my Astro service will be cut to which your customer support assured me that it would not. I was told that another statement would be issued to me.

However today I was shocked that my Astro service was indeed cut regardless of what your customer support told me.

And when I called your customer support again, I was told that this was due to the said non-payment and that I would necessarily be further charged for reconnection.

I am very dissappointed with the turn of events as my purpose of contacting your customer service was to avoid this problem in the first place.

I hope to settle this matter amicably and I am seeking Astro's goodwill in waiving the reconnection fee that I have been asked to incur through no fault of mine.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

A fluffy baby emperor penguin

I watched Happy Feet today. It is so sweet. Watch it if you like music and dance and watching a penguin do both. It is essentially a musical so it might drive some people bonkers (Sean, I am refering to YOU).

The animation is flawless and it if wasn't for the voices, you would think it was national geographic. Yet while it has some great laugh out loud moments, it is no SHREK. So it is not fair to compare. But it still a movie with lots of heart. W was bored with it. Well, it is not really a movie made for the average male seeing that there are no explosions, car chases, military, mutants or murder. Plus the only nudity involved artic creatures.

Nevertheless I am so blown away by the animation. Not in a jaw dropping oh-my-God-it's-a-Balrog kinda awesome but the magic lies in the tiny nuances, gestures and downright spot-on kinks and quirks of human character made to look so natural that you'd swear all penguins do it.

Nevertheless it does leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling and happy tapping feet. I am going to look for the soundtrack now.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Happy Feet

I am really anticipating this movie. It looks so cool. (pun intended)

W remarked that the characters don't seem to have cartoonish voices. Defending the movie, I said that the mature voices were necessary to make the characters become real.

Sure, like a tap dancing penguin with the voice of a ex-hobbit is going to make it all the more believable. Hah!
(In case you are wondering, the lead character Mumbles is voiced by Elijah Wood of the Frodo Baggins fame.)

Enjoy the trailers!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Cultural identity

BBC 7 is currently running its Indian Summer series, showcasing myths and legends, historical dramas, tales of identity, documentaries and award-winning comedy, heavily infused with fiery Indian flavour.

I relate to the stories just as I suppose a Briton does, which is to say, with a little culture shock and sometimes even despair.

Despair not because the programmes are bad - they are in fact written and performed exceedingly well, but rather because they tell tales of humanity set against a landscape of inequality and inequity, corruption and caste, narrated without the slightest pretence and apology.

Like most literary gems that come from India. All tragedies exquisitely told.

Although I lay claim to one of the oldest names in Hindu history, I have never truly embraced this sultry culture.

I don’t speak the language, I don’t visit the temples, I don’t know which caste I belong to and neither do I know the where in India my bloodline originates from. Not that anyone has asked. It would seem that if one is the result of a mixed marriage, cultural ignorance is expected. I am the proverbial break in the link.

In a country where one is defined by race first before anything else, growing up without cultural identity forces one to develop an independent mind and liberal attitudes because there are no other alternatives.

I doubt anyone else during their childhood would be asked,
“When you grow up, would you like to marry a Chinese or an Indian?”
And after I randomly pick one over the other,
“Why, ah?”
How does a 7-year old to respond to that? I had not come into sarcasm then.

Generally my parents did not try to assimilate us into one culture or another, perhaps knowing how people can be cruel.

I never really cared about creed and race until I found myself a victim of the country’s infamous university quotas. I lost all faith in the ruling party right then and until there is an able and credible alternative government, I will continue to refuse to vote, as I have done for the past 9 years. But I digress.

Then the race issue came up again when I was dating. One guy I dated was given some ‘friendly advice’ by his friend for dating a non-Chinese girl. The nerve! I can understand how old folks are prejudiced but I did not expect it from my generation. I am glad that there are more young couples now whose relationship transcends race and colour.

So you can understand my horror on the current wave of xenophobia, for the lack of a better word. I am the very result of the melting pot that is this country hence I belong to nowhere else but here and the only race I can actually claim to is this bangsa Malaysia. So I get extremely upset when people shoot it down.

The benefits coming from a mixed marriage is of course manifold. I get exposed to not one culture but two! Topping the list are celebrations and food. Speaking of celebrations, the national oil company, Petronas, came up with this brilliant Deepavali TV ad. Made in TYPICAL tamil movie fashion, it is soooo funny. Watch it here.

My Call to the Bar (the non-alcoholic one)

The blog has been a little quiet of late owing to my mom and dad coming over for my call to the bar. Now that they are safely back home, I can actually begin narrating the whirlwind that was last week.

Essentially a call to the Bar in Malaysia entails the High Court giving an order granting the petitioner (the pupil) admission as an advocate and solicitor of the High Courts of Malaya, hence qualifying her to practice as a barrister and as a solicitor.

Digressing a little, in England - the heartland of our common law inheritance, only barristers are licensed to appear before the courts while solicitors concern themselves with out-of-court legal practice. And only barristers are called to the bar. A solicitor is "admitted and enrolled as a solicitor". So there you go, I have equip you with a morsel of utterly useless information.

Anyway, my call ceremony went quite smoothly, despite both my master and my mover arriving at the court house on the dot, hence rendering me close to a cardiac arrest during the final minutes before Dato' Wan Afrah, High Court Judge, entered the courtroom. My mover is a highly respected litigator and a partner of one of KL's more outstanding legal firms and so I am very glad he took the time to move my call.

After the bloke before me was called, the court interpreter hollered my name and petition number. My mover stood up with me and he narrated my personal history to the court beginning from when I was born (I am not kidding. This is standard procedure!).

Then my mover deviated from the script I sent him earlier by mentioning how I failed the darn CLP exams so many times only to rise again from the ashes to finally become a lawyer. He was of course making the point of reaping the rewards of hardwork and dedication but that didn't stop me from cringing when he mentioned how many times I had to retake the exams. While his delivery was flawless and inspiring, for which I am forever grateful, I wished he had warned me first so that I didn’t look so shocked.

And after the representatives from the Bar Council, Attorney General’s Chambers and the KL Bar disclosed their non-objection, Dato’ Wan Afrah granted the said order. My master then helped me put on the heavy black robes. And that was it. I felt like walking on air.

There were 8 other pupils after me and it was a long wait before court was dismissed. Besides my mover and master, KC, Sean and SSL came to my call too and I was so glad they stayed for the tea reception afterwards.

While it felt fantastic, I did feel a deep pang of embarrassment as I had made an enormous faus pax. I had not personally invited a senior partner to attend my call. Apparently he was quite taken aback as not to have received an invitation.

It all boiled down to how differently we each perceived the significance of the long call. I for one did not invite that many people to attend the ceremony as I viewed it as a vulgar display of vanity. Getting people to take time out from their busy schedules to come hear my virtues is altogether a bit embarrassing for me. However as I discovered to my dismay on that day, to most lawyers, the senior ones especially, such invitation is an honour. And oh, how I insulted him by not inviting him for the occasion. I doubt that the hastily misspelled sms I sent him in the morning was enough to sooth him.

It was a wonderful day.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Long Call

My Long Call will be held on the 9th of November, this coming Thursday.

I have filed all my papers, called the relevant bodies, contacted my mover, called the firm, wrote my speech, attended briefings etc.

My parents are attending the ceremony. So will the family and friends of the 9 other petitioners who will be called on the same session.

But, I don't feel the buzz. There is no excitement for me.
Sure it is a big thing, but I fail to see it as an achievement. I guess I expect too much of myself.

Thing is, I don't feel that I am a better person now from when I started. I sure regret that I don't have a passion for legal practice. It would have been so much easier if I did. Sacrifices would not be so hard to make.

I am still frustrated that I have yet to find my calling.

Yeats at midnight

The wires are smoking with news of Saddam's death sentence for his crimes against humanity. So the world will be rid of a tyranical despot.

What separates a war criminal and a war president is the ability of his spin doctors.

I would like to see George W. Bush or Tony Blair brought to court for their crimes against the people of Iraq. When genocide in Rwanda and Darfur was received little more than political verbiage. And what of Ehud Olmert?

And in a time when unity is most needed, we have insecure politicians saying things like this:

Taken from The Star,
Monday November 6, 2006

Bangsa Malaysia wrongly interpreted

JOHOR BARU: The implementation of a wrongly interpreted concept of Bangsa Malaysia (Malaysian Nation) will jeopardise the stability and Constitution of the country, Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said.

In his policy speech at the Johor Umno convention, Abdul Ghani questioned the need for the different races in the country to be ethnically diluted or mixed up (dileburkan untuk menjadi rojak) merely for a concept that was still hazy in its meaning.

“After 49 years of Independence, we should be mature enough not to try and introduce vague and unclear concepts.

“The term Bangsa Malaysia continues to be lauded by our friends under the name of unity and understanding without proper thought for its definition,” he said.

He reiterated that even if the term Bangsa Malaysia had to be used, it should be limited to the definition of the people of Malaysia with the Malays as the main race.

Abdul Ghani said that the Constitution did not encompass the concept of Bangsa Malaysia with the only definition of the different races being “Malays, Sarawak and Sabah bumiputeras as well as other races”.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Carbs, wonderful carbs!

The nation conspires against me.

I just discovered that McDonald's delivers to my neighbourhood.
I wonder if they deliver breakfast.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Back to Civilization

I would so love to afford to be a housewife or the single equivalent.
Forget all my preaching about how a woman needs a career for the mental stimulation, a sense of purpose and worth.

And watching day time soaps not make me shallow. That I swapped my BBC’s Hardtalk for Spongebob Squarepants is not indicative of anything, OK?

On to advance geekdom.
My graphic card can no longer support the latest PC games in the market. I was quite upset when I was not able to run Scrolls of the Elder IV: Oblivion that everyone is raving about.

Nevertheless there is Civilizations IV!

Don’t know why I have not discovered it before. This game is MASSIVE.

It is a turn based strategy game where, you guessed it, you create a civilization. You start with a settler in 4000 BC and you build your empire up to the space age, if you can survive that long. You have to figure out trade, religion, technology, war and all such wholesome things. You can trade stuff with your neighbours or declare war and have his head on a pole.

Plus you still have to keep those little ingrates (also called – citizens) happy by ensuring that they get enough religion, clean air and food.

It is quite overwhelming for a beginner. For my first go, my leadership ability was judged to be akin to Dan Quayle’s. Yeah, rock bottom.

But I am getting good.
For my last round I was crowned Julius Caesar after my aggressive expansionism.

There is an amazing sense of well being that comes from annihilating the opponent.