Thursday, December 31, 2009

Fear of The Tiger


365 days has just passed. Just like that. How the eff?

And today, we welcome 2010. The numbers seem very futuristic, and probably ong, so those who wanna get married on the 10th of October this year, better secure your bookings, pronto.

And oh yeah, it's the year of the tiger. MY freakin' year. Awesome, huh?

NOT.

So frickin' frickin' not!

It's the year to embody the spirit of the awesome beautiful tiger, to roar with all my prowess and to pounce on the world.

But I don't feel like it. I'm not looking forward to this whole brand new year.

I'd rather stay here in my 2009 cave and sleep whole day.

You could say I'm like a little wet, frightened kitty.

More precisely, a pussy.

For 2010 fucking scares me.

It scared eight out of my nine feline lives, and now I just only have one life. I am human after all.

Did I mention 2010 fucking scares me?

OMFG.

It's my final semester in my whole 6 years course of studying.

I'm going to enter a class full of hormonally charged teenagers for the first time.

As a teacher in practice for my practicum for three eternally long months.

Then as a REAL motherfucking teacher entering a class full of hormonally charged teenagers for the rest of my freakin' life.

OMFG.

How on earth do you transit from being a student to being a teacher? HOW?!

Frick. I'm not ready for this.

I'm not.


FML.

Here's to a whole new life.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

For Auld Lang Syne


So the year is ending;
We've jumped over the edge
and pulled ourselves back in.
We've touched the sky
and we've also fallen
We've lost, we've found
And we'd do it all over again.

So the year is ending;
Friendship's been forged
some broken.
Some love rekindled
some forgotten.
We've laughed, we've cried
And we'd do it all over again.

And so the year is ending
What have you done?
Have you done enough?
Or you haven't done anything at all.
It's okay if you haven't.
Tomorrow is another day.
And you'll have another year
to do what you set out for.

But first let's take a cup of kindness -
and let past grudges never come to mind
For auld lang syne.


Happy new year people.

Be good.

No, seriously, listen to the cat and be good.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Santa Claus is a Pedophile! You've been warned!


Don't believe me? It's all in the lyrics.

You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
I'm telling you why Santa Claus is coming to town
He's making a list

And checking it twice;

Gonna find out Who's naughty and nice

Santa Claus is coming to town
He sees you when you're sleeping
He knows when you're awake

He knows if you've been bad or good

So be good for goodness sake!

O! You better watch out!

You better not cry

Better not pout

I'm telling you why

Santa Claus is coming to town
Santa Claus is coming to town




Creepiness aside, I want to wish everyone a very merry Christmas. And if you see a man dressing up like Santa and he gives you a few candies, do not hesitate to let a stray animal to give it a try first before popping those potentially drugged sweets into your mouth. You can never be sure. Be safe this Christmas people - a whole new year is waiting for you :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

How To Ruin Your First Sushi Rolls


I recently discovered that I'm into sushi rolls a.k.a. maki.


So like other food I love to eat, I have a habit of trying to make it myself so that I don't have to resort to burning my parents' pockets on food I indulged. Well of course, buying the ingredients is still on them...but at least it's cheaper and we get more out of it. Or, that's how I convinced them.

I'm not here to teach you how to make sushi rolls - I'm an awesome failure. You can just google up the recipe yourself. And here's the tutorial if you're interested.



But if you've been thinking of making 'em and it'd be your first time, I'm here to share with you on what you'll be doing to ruin your virginal sushi rolls. 'Coz they don't fucking tell you that in the tutorials.

First of all, you need short grain rice or Japanese rice. However, it is freakin' expensive. RM39.90 for 5kgs of rice in Giant Supermarket. RM40 worth of the everyday rice we eat could feed a small, low income family for a year. If you feel bad about that, just use the normal long grain rice found in the tub in your kitchen.

You need a big bamboo rolling mat. But if you've done this mistake:

A small one will do:


It's cute and it only costs RM5 (and it comes with an equally cute and tiny wooden rice spatula!). A smaller rolling mat means double the work, and double the mess.

Before you start making your sushis, throw away utter patience and sheer determination out of the window. The less patience and determination you have, the more unrecognizable your sushi will turn out to be.

Like in the Youtube tutorial, you need to place your rice neatly on the seaweed sheets (nori), and just roll 'em up using the bamboo mat. But since you're using normal, long grain rice and a tiny almost nonfunctional bamboo mat, it will fall out of your seaweed wrap immediately, creating a huge white sticky mess.

Now that you have succeeded in making long sloppy rolls, just use any knife to cut it into small rolls. Because if you just use any knife, especially if it's so blunt that you can hand it to a baby to play with, it will not be able to cut through the seaweed causing your fragile long grain rice to be pushed out its seaweed wrap and once again scattering the table causing a huge white sticky mess.

And voila!

First attempt

Second attempt

The sloppiest, meanest and most uneven sushi rolls ever made! You have ruined your first sushi rolls!

And throughout your failed sushi making process, you'll be eating your mistakes as you go, literally, as they are too fug to be presented on a platter. By the time you're done, you'll realise you've eaten a plate of rice, two if you had dinner prior to the mess you were about to embark on.

As you can see in my first attempt, my makis are about two inches long as I couldn't cut through the nori. For my second attempt, I had to use my dad's trusty parang ikan:


And as for attempt number two too,the process was getting on my nerves and well, the rest is history. They still tasted like what they're supposed to taste like though.

I've read somewhere that this maki is actually the hardest of the sushi styles to perfect. You need patience and determination. I don't have that. I've decided I'd just buy those RM2.50 maki in a box at a local supermarket. I'm done slaving in the kitchen till the rice on my fingers dries into white crusts, eating my mistakes along the way.

And I also heard somewhere that making sushi is an art itself. The way you wash the rice, spread the rice, arrange the fillings, roll the sushi and even cutting it into smaller roles is an art. Heck, I'm an artsy person, but more of the 'messy art' kind. Hence the failure to create neat, perfect, even rolls. So if you are a 'neat art' kind of artsy perfectionist with sheer determination and the love for sushi, this is your game.

Now I'm sure the Japanese will be willing to assist me in my harakiri if they see how I botched up their 100 years of perfected art in sushi making.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Halfway


How do you fix something that is broken?
When you don't even know how you broke it?
You said, "Meet me halfway."
Alas, you stood alone.

Why are you still standing alone halfway?
Turn around now - save yourself;
It might be till your wedding day.

So the gel eventually dissolve into water;
You should know - save yourself;
Some things just don't last forever.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Annoying misconceptions about Sabahans


Fact: Most people from the Peninsular don't know nuts about Sabah and Sarawak, AND they always, always can't differentiate between the two states - just like your sirih sucking nenek at your kampung who thinks the whole peninsular is just one big long state made up of that big, evil city that makes their children who goes there to study or work adopt that cringe worthy Semenanjung accent when they come back, called Kuala Lumpur.

I'm not saying ALL Peninsular people are ignorant. 'Most' refers to the group who have never met Borneo people, what more befriending them and those who never drop by for budget cuti-cuti. Hence the total, utterly annoying ignorance.

I'm also not here to bash the Peninsular people - heck, KL is awesome and so are my Peninsular friends.

But this is just something that I've seen and experienced throughout my stay on the 'other side', and the things that irked me. And of course, just to clear up a few misconceptions.

First of all, Sabah and Sarawak ARE TWO DIFFERENT STATES. Yes, the two states plus Brunei and Kalimantan makes Borneo, but nevertheless, THEY ARE TWO DIFFERENT STATES. You might think I'm insulting their intelligence, but really, there ARE people who can't tell the difference.

And one of those people is my own Masters degree holder TESL lecturer. She's our tutor, so she's supposed to be like a mum to us. Even after almost six years being under her wing, every time we came back from our holidays, she'd always ask me, "How's your flight from Sarawak?" At one point I'd just answer her, "My flight from Kuching was okay."

And there's one time that made me really wonder whether she is blonde under that sparkly tudung of hers. We were gonna have a Raya party, and bring food from home.
And no surprise there when she asked me, "Amanda, can you bring those kek lapis Sarawak?" And I answered her, "But we don't have kek lapis Sarawak in Sabah."
"You don't?" she asked, looking genuinely shocked.
"Yeaah...we don't."
"But I thought it's the same?" she asked, sounded slightly disappointed.
"See, Sabah and Sarawak are two different states?" I said with hand gestures to clarify my point.
I waited for her to blast me with the you-think-I-don't-know-that come back.
She just said, "Oh."

Point proven.

Another thing that annoys me is that, when Peninsular people found out that I'm Sabahan, they'd ask me, "Naik belon ke datang sini?"

I wish I could tell them, no, saya naik kapal terbang, because only the Sarawakians refer airplane as belon.

And sometimes I just feel like punching their teeth into their skulls.

Secondly, our Sabahan accented Bahasa Melayu DOESN'T SOUND LIKE THE INDONESIAN LANGUAGE. AND NO, I CAN'T UNDERSTAND WHAT THE ACTORS ARE TALKING ABOUT IN AN INDONESIAN MOVIE WITHOUT READING THE ENGLISH SUBS. I have nothing against the Indonesians, heck, they are people of nation too just like us, but since they make up more than 80% of the rough labor force here, and sometimes they do things that are illegal here causing an unintentional prejudice against them, it is insulting when the Peninsular people keep insisting that we do sound like Indonesians. We fucking don't.

Besides that, there are real idiots out there who think we still live on trees and wear barks and leaves to cover our privates. Seriously?

An ex-roomate didn't think I still live on trees, but she did think I live in a long house. I said I stay in a terrace house. And she made a really surprised face. What the what.

Another thing that they always get confused is our status as Bumiputeras. People have asked me before, "Do the Bumiputeras back at Sabah fast during fasting month too?". "Uh, yeah, those who are Muslims do." "So they are those who don't fast?" Duh. It is one concept they can't grasp - that they are Bumiputeras who are non-Muslims. Lots of 'em, in Sabah and Sarawak. They just couldn't fathom that.

I guess you can't really hate them for their misconceptions. They're just...uninformed? You can only be irritated by their purely innocent ignorance.

And oh, radio lady commentating about the Pesta Kaamatan? It's pronounced as it is spelled. Stop saying KEAMATAN. Can't you read?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Low Down on Pussy Town


Ok, before there's a misunderstanding, I'm referring to Kuching, Sarawak. Pussy cat, get it? Not that kind of pussy...sorry pervs.

we is taking ova ur city

First of all, upon arriving Kuching International Airport, I couldn't help but thinking that the plane that we boarded had made a U turn back to KK International Airport, as the resemblence is uncanny.

The first thing we did was find our pre-booked B&B.

Nomad Bed & Breakfast

I thought I made the right choice when choosing this B&B, for it looks like every tourists who went there seems to be loving the place.

Where the fuck's the door?!

I was dead wrong.

The bathroom has no fucking door! And we still have to pee at the communal bathrooms, 'coz that was it - a shower and uncompleted wall. What were the Mat Salleh's thinking?!

We decided right then on to go lodge hunting. But we still have to sleep on their garish, flowerish bed sheeted bed for the night 'coz we couldn't get a refund.

But at least we spent the next two nights at Singgahsana Lodge. The room and communal bathrooms are such a dream.

Aah...so much better!

Being tourists under budget and putting up in non-bathroom rooms, the most touristy thing we could do was to go to the Sarawak Museum.

Grue-awesome!

And look at weird statues.


Huh?

But the most awesome thing I did at the museum was...

lolwut

Pay the souvenir shop keeper ten bucks to dress me up as an Iban girl! And pretend I can dance their traditional dance!

The next touristy thing to do was of course to go to the Waterfront, and see some old buildings.


Seriously, I won't do this back at my own place

These touristy things are fun, but it gets tiring by the end of the day. And the excitement only lasts until your camera runs out of battery.

So we decided to ditch the touristy stuff, and go shopping instead.

I know there's more shopping malls in KK but...

And guess who I bumped into?

Should've worn my 4" heels...

Sabah's very own beauty queen, Madelyne Nandu and our Miss Earth 2009 representative. And my roomie during my Unduk Ngadau State level days. I just had to mention that :D.

Another less touristy thing that we did while in Kuching is of course...

Ay caramba!

Clubbing!

The club that we hit was Victoria's Arms, at Merdeka Palace Hotel. It was just okay for me - it was full of 'ladies of age' and probably cougars, and a live band entertained us. We just went there for the Ladies' Night free flow. Later on, we went club hopping from Piccadilly to Barzing, entering each and every joint at the Travillion.

After an untouristy day, the next day, we decided to go back on being lame tourists who visit zoos too. Yes, we went to the crocodile farm here, Jong's Crocodile Farm to be exact.

rawr?

We all know that a crocodile farm is a place where crocs are taken care of, and where humans can gawk at them. But I didn't think I would see this at their souvenir shop:

R.I.P.

They costs around RM400. I guess they don't bury them crocs when they die. If they have the chance to grow old and die.

While we're at it gawking at animals, my friend suggested to us to go see the orang utans at Semenggoh Wildlife Centre. As if there's no orang utan sanctuary in Sabah...

"Why do they always have to take photos of me eating?!"

And did you know about this?

If there's record on chimpanzees, then why most humans act like one?

Maybe Darwin was almost right. Anyway, I did the most idiotic thing to do when going to a jungle:

Never again...

I swear the going to the wildlife centre thing was an impromptu decision. We were supposed to go to the mall because it was raining earlier. Really!

And it did rained while we trekked up and down the jungle. FML.

Back at our lodge at night, there was an end of year party, up at their rooftop.

Just chillin'...

It was really awesome that our little lodge has those kind of things: free food, free flow and a live band - too cute. I couldn't hang around too long though as I went to meet up with an old friend from my school. I haven't met her for more than five years!

bowling!

The verdict:
  1. A nice place for tourists - lots of touristy places to go.
  2. Love the old, quaint, victorian era buildings scattered here and there.
  3. Transport wise, you really need somebody to bring you around.
  4. Kuching is so clean! As in, you don't see illegal immagrants loitering around. Even the waitress serving your food is a local lass. You don't see that in Sabah. At all.
  5. The people here are so friendly! Maybe 'coz we're Sabahans? You know, they have this neighbourhood-brotherhood kinda feeling.
  6. As for shopping, well, your choices are quite limited. Sabah is more gripped by capitalism. But who goes to Kuching to shop anyway?
  7. The clubs here are definitely very mod, especially at the Travillion, but, they are more of the 'drink and hang out' kind of joint. There are few with dance floors. My only gripe!
  8. And lastly the food. OH THE FOOD! It's cheap and is so.damn.good. Love the mee hijau the most.
Droool...

All in all, Kuching is awesome. I didn't forget to advertise I mean leave my mark at our lodge like other guests from all over the world did:

In case I'll be famous someday, I'm getting my royalties

I'm coming back again next year.

For the Rainforest Music Festival :D

Monday, December 7, 2009

Cat invasion on the internet (see I told you they are taking over our world!)


Have you ever come across this cat on the internet?


It can be any cat, doing absolutely anything, and saying completely rubbish English.

He is a Lolcat:
An image combining a photograph , most frequently of a cat, with a humorous and idiosyncratic caption in (often) broken English—a dialect which is known as "lolspeak" or "kitty pidgin" and which parodies the poor grammar typically attributed to Internet slang.


Harry Whittier Frees created the first Lolcat, on postcard in 1905.


And the world went crazy with Lolcats.


There's even Loldogs - which by the way are waaay cuter.


The invasion of kitty pidgin is really making our job as English teachers much more difficult.


But as they say, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.


Oh yes I am :D

Ketch ya laters, kthxbai.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Durians: Love 'em or hate 'em


When it comes to stating your thoughts on durians, you can't just say, "It's aight."

It's either, "It's SUPER MOTHER FARKING AWFUL, I'm cutting my tongue off!" respond, or, "It's SUPER MOTHER FARKING DELICOUS, I think I just came."

British explorer, Alfred Russel Wallace wrote a pretty poetic description of durians in 1895:

"The five cells are silky-white within, and are filled with a mass of firm, cream-coloured pulp, containing about three seeds each. This pulp is the edible part, and its consistence and flavour are indescribable. A rich custard highly flavoured with almonds gives the best general idea of it, but there are occasional wafts of flavour that call to mind cream-cheese, onion-sauce, sherry-wine, and other incongruous dishes. Then there is a rich glutinous smoothness in the pulp which nothing else possesses, but which adds to its delicacy. It is neither acid nor sweet nor juicy; yet it wants neither of these qualities, for it is in itself perfect. It produces no nausea or other bad effect, and the more you eat of it the less you feel inclined to stop. In fact, to eat Durians is a new sensation worth a voyage to the East to experience. ... as producing a food of the most exquisite flavour it is unsurpassed."

You can image how huge his boner was while eating durians.

These people beg to differ though.

- Anthony Burgess, British novelist
"like eating sweet raspberry blancmange (sweet, pudding-like dessert) in the lavatory"

- Andrew Zimmern, chef,
"completely rotten, mushy onions"

- Anthony Bourdain, chef & American author
"Your breath will smell as if you'd been French-kissing your dead grandmother"

-Richard Sterling, travel & food writer
"... its odor is best described as pig-shit, turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock"

And other comparisons are made to a civet, sewage, stale vomit, skunk spray and used surgical swabs.

Oh come on people.

Burgess, do YOU eat your pudding in the loo?
Zimmern, you could finish up eating all those insects, satay-ed bats, beating frog hearts and yet you surrender at a bite of a durian? Pussy.
Bourdain, Nana is very disappointed with you.
Sterling, you drama queen.

As bad as it people think it smells like a ferret, your sewer pipe, your little nephew's puke, a prank fart bomb and (eugh) pus coated surgical swabs, I. FUCKING. LOVE. IT.

Mr. Wallace, you rock.

A little trivia:
- durians closely rival chocolates in terms of its addictive nature.
- and they are aphrodisiacs.



NO (Ooohhh!) WONDER.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Real Super Heroes


Ok, here's another series of photos where I destroy your idealistic cartoon characters. This time, it's the Marvel and DC comics characters. However, I'm just showing you WHO are the real super heroes out there.

Spider-man

BERNABE MENDEZ from the State of Guerrero works as a professional window cleaner in New York. He sends 500 dollars a month.

The Hulk

PAULINO CARDOZO from the State of Guerrero works in a greengrocer loading trucks.
He Sends 300 dollars a week.

The Thing

LUIS HERNANDEZ from the State of Veracruz works in demolition in New York. He sends 200 dollars a week.

The Human Torch


OSCAR GONZALEZ from the State of Oaxaca works as a cook in New York.
He Sends 350 dollars a week.

Aquaman

JUVENTINO ROSAS from the State of Mexico works in a fish market in New York.
He Sends 400 dollars a week.

Flashman


ALVARO CRUZ from the State of Mexico works as a cook and runs with Los Compadres team.
He Sends 300 dollars a month.

Elastic Man

SERGIO GARCÍA from the State of México works as a waiter in New York.
He Sends 350 dollars a week.

Green Lantern

ROMÁN ROMERO from Tlapa Guerrero works as a superintendent in New York.
He Sends 800 dollars a month.

Batman

FEDERICO MARTINEZ from the State of Puebla works as a taxi driver in New York.
He Sends 250 dollars a week.

Robin

ERNESTO MENDEZ from Mexico City works as a gigolo in Times Square New York.
He Sends 200 dollars a week.

Cat Woman

MINERVA VALENCIA from Puebla works as a nanny in New York.
She Sends 400 dollars a week.

Superman

NOE REYES from the State of Puebla works as a delivery boy in Brooklyn New York.
He Sends 500 dollars a week.

Wonder Woman

MARIA LUISA ROMERO from the State of Puebla works in a Laundromat in Brooklyn New York.
She Sends 150 dollars a week.

Chapulin

ADALBERTO LARA from the State of Mexico works as a construction worker in New York.
He Sends 350 dollars a week.

Santo

JOSÉ ROSENDO DE JESÚS from the State of Guerrero works as a union organizer in New York.
He Sends 700 a month.

Works courtesy of Dulce Pinzon where she tells the story:

After September 11, the notion of the “hero” began to rear its head in the public consciousness more and more frequently. The notion served a necessity in a time of national and global crisis to acknowledge those who showed extraordinary courage or determination in the face of danger, sometimes even sacrificing their lives in an attempt to save others. However, in the whirlwind of journalism surrounding these deservedly front-page disasters and emergencies, it is easy to take for granted the heroes who sacrifice immeasurable life and labor in their day to day lives for the good of others, but do so in a somewhat less spectacular setting
.

The Mexican immigrant worker in New York is a perfect example of the hero who has gone unnoticed. It is common for a Mexican worker in New York to work extraordinary hours in extreme conditions for very low wages which are saved at great cost and sacrifice and sent to families and communities in Mexico who rely on them to survive.

...The principal objective of this series is to pay homage to these brave and determined men and women that somehow manage, without the help of any supernatural power, to withstand extreme conditions of labor in order to help their families and communities survive and prosper.


Don't they make the fictional super heroes look like completely obsolete pussies?