Sunday, June 24, 2007

There is always ... hope

There is a packet of cigarettes in my room (vestiges of Japan trip .. and yes it remains untouched - why am I justifying?) that embodies such delicious irony.

I'm not sure if it is deliberate mockery, but hey, if a tobacco company can get away with "hope", we deserved to be mocked. I wonder if the characters in the box is a caveat of some sort, which is a perfect segue to an article I read on titled "Seven Laughable Warning Labels". My faves were:

Product: Frankel's Costume Superman costumes
Label (on Web site): Warning: This costume does not enable flight or super strength.

Product: Rowenta's irons
Label: Do not iron clothes on body.

So I have promised myself a quasi-epicurean banquet of the arts this year. I started off with a Beyonce entrée. Irreplaceable Bootylicious Beyonce probably fails the remoteness test for arts, but pop culture can be considered artistic - ask Nicole Kidman, who turned up with her daughter. She is the lady on the left side of the 5 empty seats (1st photo). Highlights included the all girl band, the inclusion of a variety of musical genres, and the various set designs/costume changes.

Banquet mains featured a serve of faux foie gras - Swan Lake @ the Capitol Theatre.

I must admit, ballet is not my preferred choice of artistic expression, but there's something rather majestic and spine tingling about 32 human-swans gracefully moving en masse in perfect harmony. So if you are complete ballet-newbie like me, you will not have known that many different endings exist for Swan Lake, ranging from romantic to tragic. We got a tragic ending, for more reasons that than one. The principal Prince Siegfried injured himself just before the intermission and couldn't continue on to Acts III and IV. His understudy was not particularly adept at twirling the swans, and was also slightly vertically challenged.

I now understand why there is a Matthew Bourne version of Swan Lake. The Prince did seem rather obsessed about dancing with the boys. The only thing that pulled his attention away was a swan, despite a plethora of willing female suitors.

More banquet mains basting in the kitchen ... stay tuned ...

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Virtual World

All these virtual worlds are getting out of control.

Starting with Second Life where the following real-life cases have taken place:

  • someone suing the game developer for wrongfully seizing his virtual land. The case is actually going to the Fed Courts and the guy is expecting $8,000 in restitution. Only in America ...

  • virtual rape case whereby Brussels police were called upon to enter Second Life and conduct an investigation. Wonder if they had to create policeman avatars?

  • FBI investigation of virtual casinos

  • Virtual child abuse case where two avatars (one adult male and one child) were engaging in depicted sexual conduct. Turned out that the child avatar was actually an adult recasting him/herself as a child. Did someone say Michael Jackson?

    Not to mention virtual adultery, virtual riot etc ... it's all virtually ridiculous.

    As if all this isn't bizarre enough, it seems that someone has been trading my blog on a fantasy blog-stock market?!? There is one majority shareholder monopolising 80% of the shares (4000) and the price is currently at $127.37. My opinion - highly undervalued!

    Hmmm ... perhaps I should create a virtual miss-universe pageant.
  • Monday, April 16, 2007

    I have whooping cough

    Before you know it, we have exhausted more than half of our yearly quota of public holidays. This Easter, thanks to some insidious bug, I had the misfortunate bestowal of a 5 day weekend. Sounds great ... but for the fact that I had to WORK FROM HOME on my sick day.

    Perhaps the rigours of long weekend activities were partly to blame:

  • Attempting to play a 18-hole links-style championship golf course when: a) you have a 40/45 (depending on mood) handicap; b) your golf set has been sitting in the garage untouched and uncleaned for the past 6 months; c) suffering from whooping cough; and d) play well as an exception rather than the rule. Taken together, it's fair to say that it was a tough day all around.
    I didn't play the game. Nay, the game played me (into the rough, the bunkers, the water hazards etc etc etc).

    The salvaging moments? Finding 5 new golf balls (after losing 3); making donuts in sand with the golf buggy (then getting bogged); winning the day by one point (what that must say about Wayne and Sharlene's golf game .. mehehe). The not so-salvaging moments? Throwing a hissy fit on the 10th hole.

    We need Sic Pandy from SicBo/Pandemonium fame to return!

  • Having to endure an entire Bulldogs game without being to cuss or curse due to malfunctioning voice box. Very trying! I won't get started on my close to intense antipathy for that football club. Just within this past week, the Bulldogs club has had TWO controversies over two of their star players. It's only Round 5?!? I recognise that there may be some historical reason for supporting the Bulldogs club, but what's the point of supporting a team where you can't respect the players that make up that team?

    These pictures speak for themselves ...

  • Easter show was fun, despite not being able to eat meat. Not too easy when you are constantly surrounded by farm animals and seduced by taste testing treats. See Bec's colourful pixelated recount.

    No point puffing up your chest ...

    ... unless you can hula hoop

  • Monday, April 02, 2007

    Mr World .. and his motorbike

    Perusing through the hard-hitting SMH headlines this morning, the following newsworthy item caught my [optically modified] eyes: "Battle of the Cheekbones". The narration accompanying the headlines reads: Aussie boy misses out on being crowned Mr World 2007.

    Being an avid admirer of beauty contests of all variations - as reflected by this part blog-homage to the vast wonderfulness of the Miss Universe Pageant (to be held on May 28 in 2007), I encouraged my fingers to do some Mr World google-ing (is Google-ing in the dictionary yet?). Lo and behold: - worth a visit if you are in the mood for some frivolous fun.

    The Mr World contest claims (or boasts) to be a competition that filters out "the world’s most desirable man"; the beau ideal man.

    Interesting to note the criteria for the beau ideal man. Clearly they have to possess "great looks and well-toned bodies", but it goes much further. They must excel in the following "immensely challenging" tasks:

    • Traditional raft building
    • Jungle survival exercises in Tropical Rain Forest
    • Mountain River Rapid Series
    • Scuba Recovery Challenge
    • Martial Arts and Tai Chi Training School
    • Elephant Pull
    • Cooking & Cocktail Challenge
    • Beach Fashion Show

    Sounds like a frick'n summer camp to me! How tugging an elephant makes you desirable is a mystery to me.

    Perusing through the 80 odd contestants, it seems to me that the real criteria for the title of the world’s most desirable man is:
    • to speak more than 1 language
    • hobbies that include either football or basketball
    • ambition to excel as model, actor and singer
    • ability to ride a motobike
    • ... and of course, the ability to pull an elephant?

    One of my faves, Mr Norway, comes with the following credentials:
    "He also works part-time at a news-stand ... In his spare time, Silvert enjoys motor sports, diving, tennis and climbing in the beautiful Norwegian countryside, while his other main passion is restoring a spectacular 1971 Jaguar XJ6. Silvert speaks Norwegian and English."

    Perfect concept for a Ben Stiller/Owen Wilson movie

    Although ... Mr Philippines is a bit of a looker!

    Tuesday, February 13, 2007

    Bucketing Coconut Shavings

    Am currently in Niseko, and it's been snowing like crazy. I've been told that it was snowing at a rate of 10cms/hr. Sometimes, powder is not your friend. One example is when you become marooned on a flat in knee-deep snow (in a roped off area) with nil visibility and nil helpers. I seriously thought I was going to die, a la Titanic (or similar) tragedy. Managed to 'save' myself after 15 minutes of seemingly futile wriggling/jumping/crawling/sobbing etc. And all I got out of that exercise was a pair of FOGGY GOGGLES!

    Took the train to Sapporo yesterday for the Sapporo Snow Festival - very pretty sight despite the cold weather. However some of the sculptures were starting to have the Dali effect due to the unusually warmer weather (didn't feel warm to me):

    Can't finish a blog with an Anpanman reference:

    Thursday, February 08, 2007

    Oishii = Delicious/Yummy

    Today's blog title is courtesy of Andrew Murphy, and the lovely lady we met at the traditional tapas style Japanese restaurant.

    Short entry today: too much saké and early start tomorrow morning to maximise the last day of boarding in Furano.

    The day started with an extremely early bus ride to Asahiyama (1.5 hrs) to catch the "Penguin March" at Asahiyama Zoo. Below is the main road leading to the mountain, aka Furano Prince Snow resort. There is enough snow on the footpaths for us to sit on our boards and toboggan all the way back to our Pension - very convenient mode of transport after an entire day's worth of boarding.

    Asahiyama was ridiculously COLD. Nice for penguins, polar bears etc ... not so nice for yellow-skinned Asian with bad circulation. Asahiyama Zoo is infamous for the marching penguins. This essentially involves a bunch of locked up Penguins that have been trained to walk between 2 pink tram lines. It was very kawaii (cute)... and the Japanese do seem to have a heightened appreciation for anything cute - lots of clapping and squealing. There were other extinct/rare animals locked up in various enclosures. Pacing was the common behaviour, including those of us that had to wait forever to use the SQUAT toilets *shudder* What are we?? Animals?? ;p
    We did see some pretty funny things e.g. the male lion deciding to fart/pee at bystanders - there was some force in his expulsion; and the snow monkeys going at it with hammer and tongs. Both instances were greeted with clapping and squeals.

    We bummed around Asahiyama city after the zoo. Despite the extremely cold weather and the heavy snowfall, people still insist on the minimalist look with the added effect of stiletto heels. How they don't catch pneumonia or slip on the very slippery, icy walkways is beyond me.

    The day concluded with a fantastic dinner at a traditional Japanese restaurant in Furano. Our host was, as with most Japanese hospitality, gracious, sweet and entertaining. We taught her elegant words such as: yummy, opera house and Melbourne Cup. She in turn gave us oishii (delicious/yummy) food, sake and origami as gifts. She was very cute, despite using the sake ember to stub her cigarette. But hey, for 320 yen per pack (less than $4 AUS) ... who can blame her.

    The search for the elusive Anpanman toy in vending machine continues. I think I have all but for the crème de la crème

    Wednesday, February 07, 2007

    Totemo Sagoi! (Very Fantastic)

    We were treated to a full day's worth of snow fall. And not just the dandruff stuff, but the mega 6-fold dihedral symmetrical snowflakes. The generous conditions allowed us to engage in some riding through the trees. However, getting stuck in the thick snow (between trees) is NOT FUN.

    In fact, it snowed so much that giant snowballs were starting to wreak havoc:

    There has been a two-fold increase in the level of pain/soreness ... Wayne's crash in my kneecap did not help. Right knee is currently sporting a hard boiled egg. So tonight, I am relaxing in bed with not Asahi, but some cheap-ass Japanese "original brew" beer. Taste like VB ... guess all cheap beer taste the same huh?

    Request for more snowboarding pictures has been acknowledged:

    We started the day with Pension-provided brekkie (oh so healthy); and ended the day with sushi train.

    The sushi train joint had vending machines jammed packed with Japanese goodies, including Anpanman and friends. We spent around 7 Aust dollars trying to score THE ANPANMAN ... but alas, all that spat out of the machine were his dodgy friends.

    Think we might be going to the zoo tomorrow. Time for bed ...