Monday, September 18, 2006

Bday Week

My birthday week started rather prematurely this year. And let me quash that little voice in your head right now by saying NO, it wasn't self-inflicted. Will expand more below.

A few gratuitous shots, purely for the purpose of visual story telling of course. I have been instructed to include a few pictures of the grand present opening moment. Somehow, a 'few pictures' ended up to be 6 in a row. Shocking how the English language is subject to such open interpretation! Anyway, I love my new play toy [Canon IXUS 65]. It does many cool things - will expand on this point later on too.

My very generous and top-notch friends organised a quasi-surprise party a coupla weeks before my bday. I say 'quasi' because someone forgot to leave me off the email-invite ... oops! My amusement toward this faux pas was somewhat dulled as I was sick in bed with some nasty stomach bug the day the email was circulated. I had such a love-hate relationship with my stomach bug. (Love) - because I lost 2kgs; and (Hate) - only to gain 3kgs since then.
Quasi No. 2 occured during the night when people kept asking me whether the camera around my neck (belonging to Wayne) was my new camera. Deduction powers kicked into overdrive some time during the night.
So my one (and probably only) surprise party was comedy of mishaps, but it was a hoot and cheers! to everybody that was involved :) Special cheers! to Wayne & Sharlene for attempting to organise ;p I think my thwarting powers are too overwhelming.

Here is a sample of type of tricks I can do on my camera. Oh and that dero jumper in the last picture is also trick photography - wanted to recreate the early 1990's vibe. LOVE the colour accent/colour swap features.

So I spend my actual birthday playing Guantlet until the wee hours of post birthday. It was great! My green/red warrior is now spectacularly powerful, and even better, he can throw team mates away with the L2 button. Wish there was a L2 button in real life!

Until next time when I will have to post something on Linh's hen's night in the Blue Mountains. Suffice to say that it was bloody cold, but a fireman, alcohol and lotsa revolutionary gossip kept us very warm.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Go Storm Go! Beat L.A!

Cmon STORM!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Refused Classification (RC)

In the same vein as these classic Nova ads:

I experienced a similar, almost cliche, Nova-moment on a recent Melb to Syd Virgin Blue fight.

Predictably good looking Virgin Blue stewardess begins introducing the flight crew as passengers nestle into their seats.
She turns to introduce the "customer service" crew over the PA system:

"Up front, we have Paris and myself, Nicole.
In the middle, there is Hilary.
And finally we have Tom (who was
clearly gay) up the rear [emphasis added]."

*Cue screaming pandemonium*

[Names have been changed for protection of privacy]

I had a mini chuckle to myself. On the subject of unsavoury material, I attended the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) content assessment course a couple of weeks back now, i.e. the place that stamps the PG/M/MA15+/R18+/X18+/RC symbols. Can you believe that we got to watch FULL-ON PORN! Might sound good for some (HT), but when you have to watch 10 minutes of hardcore porn with 8 other people, all the while disecting every frame, e.g.
  • oh that's just lips on bits - not X18+
  • actual penis penetrating in the background on TV screen - X18+
  • the word fuck only once - can be PG

    ... it all gets a bit cumbersome. One interesting revelation is that if a computer game involves sexual gratification as a reward (think Leisure Suite Larry), then it is REFUSED CLASSIFICATION and cannot be imported, hired or sold to the public.

    And lastly, I heard on the radio the other day that a gang of what can only be described as unambitious idiots, confronted a man coming out of a car wash, and stole his TOYOTA CAMRY. Surely you wouldn't even bother flirting with the law for a Camry?

  • Wednesday, August 09, 2006

    Snowing @ Mt Hotham

    Day 3 @ Mt Hotham featured snow showers (yay!), but limited visibility. You take the good with the bad - this was the suggested mantra as I was stumbling over my feet. Today was a pretty cruisy day. We did a couple of black runs, during which I lost the group (on account of the nil visibility) and had to navigate my own route down an off-trail crevasse. There was no good in that equation ... it was just bad.

    We stopped for an early lunch @ Snake's Gully, where we continued our search for half-decent coffee. If there's one thing they could improve here, it's quality of coffee. The score stands at 2-out-of-2 for watered down, overly milky, fouler than instant coffee, coffee. After lunch, half the group hit the onsen to rejuvenate weary muscles. First hand account from Miso-Hot-Nat reveals that plaarstic-bag-HT was checking Wayne out during the sanctity of the onsen, hmmmmm.

    The rest of us mozied along, and enjoyed a fantastic afternoon of (the Australian version) of a blizzard. I took my chance (actually 3 chances) on the fun park rainbown ....
    [here's the gratuitous butt shot, minus the bruises for all you commenters]

    ... and failed miserably, all 3 times. Self esteem took a major battering.

    We ended the day with some snowman construction. "Bob" will be guarding our front door until the end of the week.

    Monday, August 07, 2006

    Mt Hotham

    Our Sun Apartments is fully equipped with wireless Internet ... bonus!
    This is my first 'on-snow' experience - the slopes are a mere 5-minute bus ride away. Vestiges of the prior week's massive dump can be witnessed all around our apartment.

    Day 1 is done and dusted. The snow was average, but the runs were fun. The only regret was the foolish decision to go down the black-no snow-all ice run. Both my ass and the bottom of my board are now feeling the pain.

    Everybody is now winding down, after a fantastic roast lamb dinner, danish & ice-cream dessert, plus hash cookies treat. The cookies is turning everybody into tired zombies - quite the opposite intended effect. And to add insult, HT's cycling sculpted legs are hotter than mine!

    Friday, July 28, 2006

    Annual Miss Universe Break Down

    Every year, at around this time, this deceptively named blog gets a seasonal influx of visitors searching for Miss Universe goodies - thanks to the supreme filtering of the likes of Google. In an attempt to pacify the bitter disappointment from the realisation that 'Marissa' is not even a 3rd world country, here is my would-be contestant entry form (see template here):



    National Costume

    (yes it comes equipped with mini samurai swords tucked inside the headgear)

    Evening Wear


    What are your interests and what do you enjoy doing the most?
    Self deprecation - because it's in the KS creed.
    What do I enjoy doing the most? Tacking on "the most" and "the worst" to the end of every sentence.

    Name one person other than your parents who has had the most influence on your life. Why?
    Australia said David Attenborough (although he would be an excellent godfather)
    Japan said Christiane Amanpour
    Singapore said her mom (she obviously can't read)
    Everybody else cited their grandmother
    So I'm going to go with the Bee Gees because of their song "I started a Joke".

    What is your career ambition and what are you doing or plan to do to accomplish that goal?
    Most immediately, beating Cherie in the Corporate Games @ Thredbo this weekend. I plan to resort to unsavoury tactics, like strategically planting human distractions at each flag; and/or sabotage her board the night before the race.

    If you want to buy photos or send me flowers, please forward them to Angela Asare (Miss Ghana/Miss Congeniality).

    Friday, July 21, 2006

    You like like a ...

    Someone once told me I look a panda (insult or compliment? undecided). If this is the case, this head device would be perfect for moi. Giant panda indeed.

    Friday, July 07, 2006

    The Zero-Sum Game of KS Golf

    It's been a hectic, tiresome couple of week, JAM-packed (only one man would dare give me the rasberry, LONE STARR) with bday celebrations galore (spring fever babies), sojourning friends, golfing trips, touch football mayhem, and copious amounts of food and alcohol.
    End result?
    A significant impost on minimum sleeping requirements. But of course, all worth the sleep deprivation because it's been lots of fun in the sun ... but now I weigh a tonne.

    The return of YDG (now full time magician) coincided with Sharlene's bday milestone, and Wayne's bday milestone (plus one). Such an auspicious occasion naturally warranted the revival of the KS GOLF CUP CHALLENGE @ The Vintage - Hunter Valley.

    Foregoing previous team pairings of Pandemonium (YDG & I) and Perfect Pairs (Shar & Wayne), instead opting for new teams consisting of Sic Bo (Shar & YDG) and Caribbean Stud (Wayne & I - me being the stud of course ;p)
    The prize?
    Bottles of wine (of winner's choice) and the usual bragging rights.

    We all started on par (oh the pun!)

    ... until Sic Bo found the rough

    ... and the double whammy sand bunkers. Poor SicBo, the bunkers were big enough to consume their self confidence.

    ... meanwhile Caribbean Stud was cruising along, casually wondering which semillion would go best with beef casserole dinner.

    Caribbean Stud - winners! And unfortunately, the zero sum game of KS golf dictates, what was a fairly predictable outcome: SicBo - losers! Perhaps next time you should go with the name 'Two Up'. The added advantage may give you a fighting chance in KS GOLF CHALLENGE Mark II.

    Before I sign-off, happy birthday all those Jun/Jul babies. I offer these pictures as proxy for your bday celebrations.

    Sunday, April 02, 2006

    April Fools?

    I went to a witch doctor on April Fools Day. He was very good. He came close to recounting my entire tragic injury-ridden history without the help of lead questions, or any information disclosures from me. I literally just sat on the witch-patient chair, and within a few moments, he pronounced knowingly "let me tell you what's wrong with you". Dr Phil eat your heart out.

    So he presribed me 2 packs of drugs. The pharmacist warned me not to consume any alcohol during the course. My life as a teetotaler beings ... *sob* In preparation, I drank as much red wine as I could on Sat night.

    I decided to 'google' these 2 packs of drugs. I'm very VERY scared about the information my eyes are relaying back to my now very drowsey brain.

    Pack One - Endep 10
    Used to treat depression, and can be used to treat bed wetting - OMG?!?!?!?!
    Google says: "The main ingredient 'amitriptyline' is used to relieve symptoms of depression such as feelings of sadness, worthlessness, or guilt; loss of interest in daily activities; changes in appetite; tiredness; sleeping too much; insomnia; and thoughts of death or suicide. Amitriptyline is also sometimes used to treat certain types of pain." OMG?!?!?!?!?

    Pack Two - Eplim
    Used to treat: Epilepsy ; Maintenance treatment as a mood stabiliser in bipolar disorder to help prevent episodes of ill health (unlicensed use); Treatment of acute manic episodes in bipolar affective disorder (unlicensed use) - OMG!?!??!!
    The news gets worse. Side effects may include weight gain, confusion, Shaky movements and unsteady walk (ataxia), and temporary hair loss - regrowth may be curly?! OMG?!?!!?

    Is this an April Fools joke or what??

    Sunday, March 12, 2006

    Culburra & Imaginary Friends amongst other things

    Last weekend, we spent a wonderfully relaxing and enjoyable weekend in Culburra, land of the kookaburra (no, I lie)

    Culburra is a close cousin of Wollongong. Despite not being as UBD/TomTom friendly, it offers the same pristine beaches & very monetary-generous accommodation. We scored a massive 'OC' type house that boasted a 2 minute walk from the beach. No s53 Trade Practices Act - false or misleading representations - contraventions here! Although the 2 minute walk didn't take into account the heavy toil of bacon and eggs (fried & scrambled), fresh oysters, fish'n'chips, prawns, wholesale KFC, BBQ octopus and a gluttony of food that the heart foundation warns you against.
    Did you know that you can purchase make-your-own KFC chicken? End product is somewhat similar, however less crispy and surprisingly more spicy.

    The surf was quite chaotic and a bit dangerous - ask Binny, she needed some baywatch assistance. Unlucky for her, there were no life guards. Lucky for her, there was an Asian novice surfer in close proximity.

    We also went fishing - I caught my first fish EVER. It happened so quickly and I really didn't know what I was doing, so suffice to say that skill played no part. It was under the legal size and Kathy had to throw it back with the hook still lodged in its mouth. Poor little fishy. Hope the other fishes don't start taunting it with "train tracks" or "I know what you did last summer" comments. Thanks Craigy for all the supplies ... he certainly knows how to 'go fishin' ... *snicker*

    We also visited an oyster farm - battlers of the sea. He had tears in his eyes as he was telling us the plight of the Georges River farmers during QX outbreak circa 1994. Stupid me flippantly mentioned that he must have been happy that the competition was wiped out. Ignorance is so embarrassing sometimes. *cringe* It takes 3 years to nurse those aphrodisiacs, and we gorge them for $1.33 a pop. The cost-benefit analysis for these farmers doesn't stack up, but I don't think they do it for the ker-ching!

    On something completely unrelated.
    I was watching a children's program the other morning, and a bunch of ppl in dinosaur(?) costumes were reading a letter from a kid. The letter read: "what makes a good friend and how do I meet one". Helpfully, the dinosaur-ppl listed some traits of a good friend, e.g. good at making lists (questionable), makes me laugh (tick), picks me when they fall down in the playground (tick). I was shocked when I heard their suggestion for the 2nd part of the question, i.e. where do I meet one. They suggested that this child conjure up an imaginary friend!! Is grand delusion really a solution? I never had an imaginary friend growing up, and I doubt having one would have alleviated those moments of nigel-ness. I can just imagine the solutions these dinosaur ppl would give to the following conundrums:
  • I think I'm ugly. Solution > cut out Charlize Theron's face and wear it as a mask ... permanently.
  • I want to be a doctor. Solution > get Mum & Dad to buy a play kit and treat your imaginary friends.
  • I want to be Hugh Hefner. Solution > read "The Game".

    Speaking of, we were @ Hugo's on Sat night for Malinda's 21st bday - HAPPY BDAY by the way. The scene reminded me of that "famous" magazine advert. Everybody was hot and glamorous. Some ppl really put mega effort for a night out. Pick up joint indeed, some more than others (go Shar ... heh heh).

    Vestiges of chilli crab is haunting me this morning. Coffee is not helping.
  • Saturday, February 25, 2006

    A Peak into the Subconscious

    My subconscious has been conjuring up rather bizarre dreams lately. The images left such an impression - like those cool watermarks you can imprint in the background of Microsoft Word - that it left me sitting in the dark wondering 'what the'. So along came Google to the rescue. Here are some brief interpretations of the symbols:

    Burning Forest
    If you dream of a fire in the forest, you need to pay close attention to your health.
    [My interpretation: I've been doing too much printing at work]

    To see a small ape cling to a tree, warns the dreamer to beware; a false person is close to you and will cause unpleasantness in your circle. Deceit goes with this dream.
    To dream of an orangutan, denotes that some person is falsely using your influence to further selfish schemes.
    [My interpretation: a) been observing too much primatial behaviour; b) I'm not eating enough bananas; c) I have an issue with my opposable thumbs *thumbs down*]

    Saving an animal
    To dream that you are saving the life of an animal, suggests that you are successfully acknowledging certain emotions and characteristics represented by the animal.
    [My interpretation: Perhaps eating too much McDonalds - doesn't $1 from every Big Mac go towards the save an organutan foundation or something? That could be a bit old school. Either that or my brain is telling me to watch Gorillas in the Mist again.]

    Anyway, hasn't the aerial skiing proved to be drama on snow?! Days of our Snow ... The Good (Camplin), the Bad (Cooper), and the Ugly (Ierodiaconou). The sequence of events is a reflection of life really. Which category do you fall into? :

    Darling child of the media. Blonde Aussie with pearly white teeth (sponsored by colgate of course). Suffers extreme adversity but life awards her for her Herculean bravery and effort. Can't put a foot wrong and comes up with the goods under pressure.

    Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. Aussie but not blessed with the blonde locks and cheesy smile. Also suffers adversity and not rewarded for diligence and perseverance. Chokes under pressure and justifies by referring to her new claimed world record.

    Young, of ethnic descent and probably would be mistaken for a Muslim if she was walking around in Cronulla. Had the best chance of the trio going into the competition but life serves up a crushing blow (to the knee ... and to our ear drums) and doesn't even make pass the qualifying rounds.

    (Did he tack on the 'Smith' to convince us that he is Aussie?)
    Young, good looking and drives a Ferrari. Canadian born, multi-millionaire due to successfully inventing and proliferating pop-ups. Friend of corporations, foe of society. While he's winning gold, we are cleaning virus' from our computers.

    Moral of the story? Perhaps evilness does come out on top at the end of the day

    Thursday, February 02, 2006

    Pub Motels are Hellacious!

    Last weekend, our DodgeBall equivalent touch footy team travelled down to Yass for the Yass Touch Knock Out Competition. Prize money was on the line, but the closest we got to it was forking it out - with the help of Balmain Association. According to Census (thanks Kathy), Yass has a population of approx 9000+ and an overwhelming total of 3 Asians. It must have been the gold-rush days revisted when we sashayed in our Honda convoy into the one strip of road that is Yass.

    If you ever stop by Yass, DO NOT STAY @ The Australian Pub Motel! HELLACIOUS:
  • 1st room (#33) we walked into had only (stained) mattresses on the ground - no bed, no sheets no nothing!
  • Bearing in mind that it was stinking hot in Yass, the room I was in had no ventilation - and the tiny window was facing the air con unit from the opposite building meaning HOT AIR blowing in all night. I didn't get one wink of sleep that night.
  • Someone attempted to come into the room @ 3am. They were fiddling with the locks for a good 5 mins
  • Insects/bugs/fleas/cockroaches galore!

    So my night in Yass was spent doing the combo of swatting away eeky things, wiping away sweat and crying tears (like Federer) of sorrow. I felt so sorry for myself. Luckily the rest of the team were just as traumatised so we promptly rang some apartment in Canberra the next day and booked accom for the next night - bless mobile phones!

    I have a slight suspicion that it was originally advertised as $6 (which would be still an inflated price considering the quality) but some smart cookie decided to tack on a ZERO due to the influx of tourists that weekend. Unbelievably, the luxury accomodation in Canberra turned out to be cheaper than the Aust Pub Motel. This world is not making sense anymore.

    The touch itself was enjoyable. We have improved as a team and I scored, not a try, but a nice golden tan. We managed to come 16th out of 32, which gave us the dubious privilege of playing the top team on Sunday morning. Definitely some dodgy draw rigging happening there. It was terribly hot both days. The heat was stifling. And as we left the grounds on the 1st day of competition, there was an announcement that the Australian Pub Motel had a couple of rooms available.

    Photos of interesting and enjoyable weekend available here.
  • Tuesday, January 24, 2006

    Super Slow-Mo

    The TV networks have discovered a new toy: super slow-mo. Channel 7 (tennis) and Channel 9 (cricket) are obsessed with the stuff. Interesting to note their super slow-mo choices:

  • Serena Williams vs Daniela Hantuchova - where the frames for Hantuchova were slowed down until they were almost freeze frames. It was literally the never-ending Hantuchova forehand story. Serena, on the other hand, was afforded normal slow-mo, and it only lasted a few seconds. Taking into account the extra pounds Serena has stacked on, and the leggy legs of Daniela, probably a logical move by Channel 7. They put the 2 side-by-side at one stage, and it reminded me of King Kong and Naomi Watts - I don't recall her character name.

  • Brett 'Binger' Lee - someone will have to educate me as to why 10 secs of Brett Lee profusely sweating (in super slow mo) is worthy of airtime. It's not like he was wearing short shorts, or headlighting a la the women players @ the Aus Open.

    I must say that the headlighting phenomena of yesteryear has not re-surfaced in 2006. More of a low beam style this year ... perhaps we can blame it on El Nino.

    Disappointing that my fave female player, Lindsay Davenport, lost tonight. Amazingly, Lindsay has been one of the most consistent female players having attained the No.1 ranking more times than any other female. Yet she doesn't get the recognition seemingly reserved for other flashier/younger players. Understated people are good.

    Have discovered a new term: "gay vague", borne out of the fact that it is increasingly harder to determine straight from gay men. Apparently there is a reason why 'men in Western societies are adapting, becoming more feminised and turning into over-therapied, over-sharing, over-emoting "emo boys" and metrosexuals who get facials and buy wrinkle cream and wear pink flowered shirts'. The reason is simply because the Y chromosone is degenerating and shredding genes. As the following article suggests: Better to be an X chromosome than an ex-chromosome. Interesting read.
  • Wednesday, January 18, 2006

    A note to buskers and bums

    Knowing your target market is absolutely vital if you are in the business of inducing strangers to part with their money.

    As I was walking through Chinatown last night, I came across a young fella busking (quite uneventfully) with recorder in mouth, blowing the tune of "I still call Australia home" ... in Chinatown. Perhaps he may have faired better in Cronulla.

    Unsurprisingly there weren't many coins/notes in his makeshift donation tray. Although that could be due to the fact that he ended up playing just 2 notes repeatedly after a while.

    Friday, January 13, 2006

    Under the Pump

    Ack! On the brink of a nervous -too much work- breakdown. I have decided, as of this morning, that my task for this month is to ring up AM talk back radio and contribute. All that needs to be determined is 2UE or 2GB; oh and subject matter. Suggestions welcomed.

    So what brought this about? YDG thoughtfully gave me a pressie all the way from the UK: 'this diary will change your life 2006'. It is the funniest book with self-improvement tasks including "volunteer for a medical experiment" and "stalk a well-known writer so as to become their muse". This week is pathological liar week, so everything I've written could have been one big fat lie. I am 5 feet 11 - perfect bball height.

    Wednesday, January 04, 2006

    Precarious Start

    Some idiot head had some kind of brain explosion and decided to vandalise my car. Not only is it now blemished to the factor of 10, it is also undrivable due to intrusive metal bits on front right tyre.

    Today I saw my favourite and most respected colleague flee for the proverbial greener pastures - even a CityRail toilet cleaner looks pretty green at the moment ... bygones.
    She was indeed a remarkable individual - passionate, diligent, incredibly bright and switched on, principled and inquisitive. Mind you, she was also rather anal, quirky and not one to suffer fools lightly - a category I may have fallen in one too many times. Despite the stark difference in fool-dom, knowledge and experience, it was a collaborative and never a condescending process. She is the truest example of 'leader by example'. I often marvel at her work & style with admiration. Both she and my (ex)manager have moulded my career-outlook (whatever you call it) in the most profound ways. Both individuals always had my best interests at heart (rare quality in the evil corporate world), and never treated me like a pleb. They challenged me time and time again. They have defined what, for me, success, intelligence and respect means. I question whether I will come across 2 such influential and remarkable characters in the remainder of my work-life. It seems somewhat unfair that I should be blessed with such an opportunity so early on.

    What makes it that much more precarious is that fact that I have come to know these people not only as colleagues, but also as friends. They provided legitimate work-related stuff; and I provided light entertainment, gossip, frivolous emails and GMAIL!

    Will be braving the not-so-green pastures like a nigel ... in the corner of the room (sing with me!)