this is a coconut shell, and i am it's frog

Saturday, April 29, 2006
my com my com my com
It has been a long time coming, ladies and gentlemen. But it has finally arrived. I type now from soft new keyboard er... keys. The words flow easily, I wax poetic. hoho.

This is my first blog entry from my NEW COMPUTER. I feel like a little boy given a new toy.

I got a shuttle. No, not the kinds that fly in space delivering huge orbiting satellites that spy on our daily lives. It's kinda like a cross between a desktop and a laptop. Once I figure out how to work my webcam I'll take a photo. But that will take a while. I still am a tech fossil.

It's er... about a quarter the size of a desktop, without built in monitor and keyboard. The price also therefore, sits in between desktops and laptops. Kinda like the middle child of computers. I hope it doesn't face middle child syndrome and the identity crises that come with it.

Time to play with my shuttle! eh wait that doesn't sound right...
posted by theycallmecruel @ 6:26 PM   8 comments
Friday, April 28, 2006
A few things to get off my chest... and USMLE and I the sequel
Has anyone read the what Pas Rantau Panjang MP Abdul Fatah Harun said the other day? Oh my dear and they wonder why westerners laugh at us sometimes. The most absolutely ridiculous statement issued from this man's mouth.

He said:
"Most of these divorced women go to parties and are gatal. It is quite obvious why they ended up divorced or why their husbands left them. They are gatal"

"We must analyse if divorces are due to the men or the women. Divorced women are easily spotted at functions through their gatal behaviour.

"It is as if they do not regret that they have been divorced. Women who are widowed do not behave in a flirtatious manner. They are sad and quiet"

Adjectives fail me. How can anyone, much less a representitive of the rakyat make such an idiotically insensitive male chauvinistic remark? If I had any control of this country (and it's probably a very good thing that I don't. Very.) I'd sack him on the spot. Wasn't this country built on tolerance, understanding and knowing when to hold our tongues? Anyone with such a narrow minded, self righteous, condescending view of himself should not be in any position of authority. We need leaders that we can respect, not ones who make utter fools of themselves, projecting an extremely backward view of the country to those on the outside.

The matter is further complicated by the global world-view at this point that is so warily suspicious (and rightly so, if you ask me) of Muslim countries. Statements such as these serve only to cement the image of us that they have in their heads. Images of big-bearded, white-robed, bomb-making men claiming on the one hand that God is great and merciful and killing his fellow man with the other. Images of women-beating, one-tracked idiotic PIGS for lack of a better word.

Naturally, women's aid groups and the women's branch of the government reacted violently. And very much rightly so. Remove this joker from the government, PLEASE.
Read more here. Take the time. It's worth the read, if for nothing more than to see how childish some men can be. Sighz.

Now that that's off my chest... Grace's blog is back! Link is up on my sidebar. Story's hers to tell. hOho.

And the ECFMG have FINALLY got back to me. I think they musta read the rant on my blog, cause the letter arrived a few days after I wrote that entry. What they basically said was,
"The ECFMG handles applications from medical students/graduates from outside of North America. Since you are currently enrolled and have a place in Dalhousie University, Canada, we cannot process your application. Please write to the so-and-so board at so-and-so address to apply from Canada"

Well I suppose it was my mistake that I failed to mention that I was a good 6 months away from starting in Dalhousie at the time of my application... but anywayz. I shall be sitting for it in the near future, methinks, and this time, I'll remember to write to the right examination board. I hope.
posted by theycallmecruel @ 9:28 PM   0 comments
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Footie rambles IV


seems that all I can write about nowadays are rants and raves about the lack of good fortune (and money) in my life. The only thing I can write about besides the unfairness of the day to day grind are the vagaries and controversies of the beautiful game, football.

Football. Ah! What a game. 22 grown men chasing an air-filled piece of leather, trying to stick it into a 8 yard wide, 8-foot high net, only to pick it out again and try all over again. And breaking each other's legs on freshly-mown grass the whole time. 'Zis be-yoo-ti-fuol!

My latest rant focuses yet again on a certain messrs. Mounrinho and Wenger. Rename them Moaning-rinho and Whiner, please.

Chelsea were roundly beaten by Liverpool, 2 brilliant goals to 1. I've never had much love for Liverpool (which true-blooded Man Utd fan does?) but I was rooting for them the whole match through, such is the ire that moaning-rinho has provoked. Arrogant in victory, bitterly sore in defeat, the self-proclaimed "special one" has quickly become English football's most disgusting character.

His appearance at a post-match conference (which is required of all EPL managers) after losing a match is a rare sight indeed, such is the small, immature manner in which he handles defeat. When asked the obvious question "will Liverpool challenge Chelsea for the Premiership title next season?" he said a simple, dismissive "'In the Premiership they have no chance. Over 40 matches no chance. Maybe they will surprise me and they can do it."

WAH.

Then he went further and said, "Did the best team win today? I don't think so. In the last 30 minutes we deserved extra time. In the first half nobody was better. They had a good start to the second half but then we dominated the game. I cannot wish them luck in the final. Middlesbrough and West Ham will be there and I must respect them."

WAH WAH.

Instead of acknowledging the fact that Liverpool scored two pretty good goals, he blamed the referee for giving away the free kick that led to the first goal. Hello, moaning-rinho, your players routinely use their hands to score goals. I don't hear you blaming refs for not making those calls.

WAH WAH WAH.

And Arsenal drew to Tottenham, 1-1. The pivotal moment was when two Arsenal players RAN into each other and lost the ball. Such an amateurish mistake right? A Tottenham player obtains possession and runs to the sideline with the ball, wondering whether to put it out of play so that the Arsenal players can get treated. The referee takes a look at the Arsenal players, they look a bit dazed but ok, and so logically waves play on. Michael Carrick, the Tottenham player who got the ball, passes it to Edgar Davids, who crosses for Robbie Keane, who scores.

Arsene Whiner explodes. Like, literally. The best part is this. He bellows, french accented, at the post-match conference, "Their bench claim they didn't see the incident on their first goal, but I say they are liars". This, coming from the man who repeatedly, repeatedly, over and over and over again will say "I did not see the incident" if one of his players gets a red card or scores a controversial goal. Selective myopia indeed.

He claimed that "Until this moment, we have had fair play in English football, but not any more," mere minutes after refusing to shake hands with his opposing manager, Martin Jol. So since fair play is dead you don't even afford your opponent the courtesy of shaking hands, mr. Arsene Whiner?

I've seen greater maturity in defeat from 6-year kids playing catching. Grow up, you two. It's sickening to hear them rant like the entire world owes them favours. Like everyone's supposed to bow down and get out of their way while they achieve what, in their mind, is rightfully theirs. What complete, absolute, utter nonsense. My only regret is that no one significant in the football world will read this.
posted by theycallmecruel @ 12:40 PM   0 comments
Monday, April 24, 2006
ARGH
I GOT SAMAN-ED 3 TIMES IN 4 DAYS

ARRGHHHHHHHH

*vomit blood*

So to the government that rules this hot stuffy country that I live in, here's my 300 bucks.

SIGH
posted by theycallmecruel @ 9:16 PM   0 comments
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
USMLE and I
This is the story of the USMLE and I. For the uninitiated, the USMLE is probably one of the toughest medical exams there is, if not the toughest. That's United States Medical Licensing Exam.

So it came as no surprise that when I, laziness personified, boldly told everyone that I was going to sit for it (and pwn it for fun nonetheless), that I was confronted with endless ridicule about my inability to score anything worthwhile on the exam. In fact, there was a pool put together predicting how low I would score. I am grateful to those who expressed faith in me and bought a pass, in gambling terms. To those of you who predicted failure on my part, die slow endless deaths many times over and over again. May worms and maggots grow fat on your flesh, and may they defaecate all over your ravaged rotting bodies. So there. Hmph.

Being the stubborn ass that I am, I resolutely went ahead and applied for it, the ridicule of my so-called friends ringing in my ears. When someone tells me not to do something, the more I would wanna do that something just to spite that person, irregardless of how embarrased I might be later. Not a good trait to have, trust me. Male ego FTW. What a headache it was eh, driving back and forth from IMU to get papers verified, trying to decifer the instructions and conditions for application, getting bank drafts etc etc etc it almost drove me mad.

SO finally after sending off the forms and what not to the states via courier, I sat back and waited for the ECFMG to reply. And waited. And waited. And waited some more. And then some more. Many moons passed and many maggots were hatched, ate, defaecated, metamorphosed, mated, had great-grandchildren and died. All from the rotting bodies of aforementioned persons. Screw American efficiency, it's now midway through April and I still haven't heard so much as a mid-diastolic murmur from them.

SO I wrote to them, basically saying "hello, I'm a chinaman from Malaysia, I want to pay you lots of money for an exam I don't really need so that I can stress myself out unnecessarily and be the laughing stock of all my friends, why don't you reply and take my money? Is my money not good enough for you?? wai? wai? waiiiiiii??"

No reply. No surprise.

I wrote again, this time saying "hi, I'm that chinaman from Malaysia, and since you don't want my money I'm telling the credit card company to cancel the debit, so there hmph. I'm going to Canada to study instead just to spite you cause Canada rocks and America will one day be ruled by Chinaman just like me whose money you refused. Plus Americans suck donkey snouts."

So in a nutshell, contrary to what I've been telling everyone and much to the dissapointment of those who put together that pool of money,

I'M NO LONGER SITTING FOR THE USMLE

In hindsight, though, it's probably a good thing that the ECFMG didn't reply. It would most definitely make me unable to enjoy my last month here, irregardless of the fact that I've already been bumming for a good year. And the best part is, it's not my fault!!

Oh, added a few links. Decided to broaden my cyberspace horizons, so to speak.


posted by theycallmecruel @ 10:34 AM   0 comments
Sunday, April 16, 2006
... and then some
My speakers have disappeared. To where, I do not know. My hours spent in front of my PC are now silently spooky. Jaco and Pat no longer accompany my midnight ramblings. Add the recent cold weather into the mix, you've got the beginnings of a horror movie here. Picture this

A cold wind is blowing, an average-good-looking-guy hunched over his computer, a mug of hot drink in his hands, covered by a blanket. He types feverishly as he tries to keep up with his work. The wind gets stronger. Suddenly his shutters fly open, accompanied by a sudden shriek that is the wind, branches scrape against his window. He looks up, thinks it's just the weather, and goes back to his work. Suddenly a dark shadow looms above him...

*Cue theme from psycho*

Well my uncle from Brisbane came down. whoopedee. I remember staying in his house when we visited them, and his wife tormenting me with squeals of "so cuuuuuteeeeee!!!!" and lots of cheek-pinching and hair ruffling. Just thinking about it brings shivers down my spine. *shudder* I was 8, k? I was cute then. But still. The anguish... The torture... *curls into fetal position, rocks back and forth, sucks thumb*

No child should have to go through that experience. The stereotypical scary aunt IS REAL.
IT'S NOT A MYTH, PEOPLE.
Good thing she wasn't the big-bosomed, bad-breathed, bad-haired type. I would have been permanently mentally scared if she were...

So yes, they're back, and their two daughters who used to bug the cows out of me are all grown up. They're ok now, less squeaky, less irritating, though I can't remember which one was the one I dropped when she was little. Probably the less bright one... So anyways, there was this big dinner where the whole of the Leong side of the family came back together, and oh my dear it was pure torture.
Stretched-on-the-racks kind of torture.
Cold-water-dripping-on-forehead kind of torture.

It's not that the food was bad. Nor the wine (which was ok ok only). It's not that my aunt morphed into a big-bosomed, bad-breathed, bad-haired type and tried to suffocate me between her assets. She was, in fact, as slim as I could recall. It wasn't that the place was dodgy, the lighting bad, or the company boring. It was the plain fact that my half-tipsy uncles and aunt THOUGHT THAT THEY COULD SING.

Let me get one thing straight. I consider myself marginally musical. I don't have perfect pitch, it's taken me 6 years of piano training and 10 years of guitar to be able to only begin to guess what chord it is I'm hearing. I still have trouble differentiating a myxolidian from a phrygian, a diminished from a sustained, but you get my drift. And that small drop of musical ability in my blood comes in no way whatsoever from my mother's side. My mom's sense of pitch is about as good as a drunken wild donkey high on speed in heat running away from hunters. And that's insulting the donkey and the speed. Her brothers and sister fare very very very slightly better.

My aunt (not the one who traumatized me) was belting out Whitney Houston and Unchanged Melody and stuff like that at the absolute top of her lungs, probably hitting a note by accident every now and then, screeching, nails-on-blackboard, waking up the dead kind of stuff. And that's when she's sober. She wasn't on this occasion, nor were my uncles who still had the sense to know that they weren't great singers and thankfully, thankfully, thankfully, thankfully, kept the decibels low. But they were still amazingly off pitch. I never knew anyone could be so tone deaf. Take the worse from Malaysian Idol auditions and imagine something worse. They were worse than whatever it is you're imagining now. It's painful, I know, don't tax yourself that much eh. Just for you to get a sense of where I'm coming from.

It got to the point where my grandmother, good ol' poh-poh, was sticking her fingers in her ears.

To make matters worse, my tone deaf and tone dumb aunt started dancing in the middle of the room. And my mom joined her. In the most absurd manner possible. Pirouettes and circus clown style poses. Then they both pulled my cousins out to join them. I was a quivering jellied mass of shame... They only had a glass of wine each... The only saving grace was that it was a private room, so no one (save the waiters) saw anything. Thank freaking goodness. Thank absolutely freaking goodness.

The entire spectacle was caught on camera though. I would post the video if not for the fact that their blood runs in my veins... and a cold finger of fear touches me when I think about watching it again. One day when I have kids I'll show it to them and teach them about the dangers of alcohol.

Speaking of alcohol...
posted by theycallmecruel @ 9:31 PM   0 comments
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Footie rambles II, and then some
Manchester United 2 - o Arsenal. What a glorious game. Not just for the fact that we beat our arch-nemesis again, but also for the sheer openness and fluidity of the game. It was, without a doubt, one of the best games I've watched this season, maybe even of all time. Flowing, attacking football accompanied by incisive through balls, cheeky little one-touch passing and plenty of tension in front of goal was the order of the day.


The moment that sealed the day. I was at Safiz's in Hartamas with TJ and my yuppie friends, and when this happened, my goodness the mamak just exploded. Little korean brother making all us asian ppl proud. Watered down, unhygienic, diarrhoea-inducing drinks aside, the day was perfect. Absolutely perfect... Nothing rivals the high that you get when watching football with friends. Nozing, indeed.

Screw Chelsea. Those exponents of effective, yet amazingly boring football. Joga bonito, my brothers! I thought it was in the bag when West Ham went 1-0 up and Chelsea one man down, but kudos to them, Drogba bullied the entire West Ham back four into submission, Crespo ran circles around them, and Chelsea went 4-1 up. Oh well. Perfect days can only get so perfect. Such is life.

Incidently, a poll on soccernet.com shows that out of a select sample group of football fans (bout 64000 ppl),
16% love Chelsea,
30% don't care about them,
and 54% hate them
ROFLMAAMHAMAALAEEO.
That's rollingonthefloorlaughingmyassandmyheadandmyarmsandlegsandeverythingelseoff.

HAHA.

By the way, if you've got the time, surf on over here and check out the joga bonito adds. Too many for me to post on my blog, but take your time, let them load, they're worth the watch trust me. Personal favs are Rooney's and Ronaldinho's. Freaking amazing stuff. And Cantona is more than worth checking out with his Pavaroti-esque beard and his pretty lame attempt at acting dramatic. These French. They think just cause they're French, they can do anything.

Did anyone catch Thierry Henry's expression after he took the free kick just after coming on as a sub? He had a free kick in a dangerous position for us, coulda made it 1-1 and changed the entire game. As fate would have it, he missed it, and all he did instead of hanging his head in his hands or show any sign of regret was to give the most nonchalant expression, smile wryly, arch one eyebrow, and walk off. And the French wonder why the rest of the world think they're arrogant. It was like, "ey am too gooed four dis game... dis ees beneath mee... ey em french, ey em better than eeveri-won. en garde!"

More rambles. Anyone remember FC United? The breakaway football club that was formed in protest to Malcom Glazer's take over of Man Utd? Well in their first full season in the North West Counties Second Division, they've earned promotion to the First division. Pretty amazing inspiring stuff. Plus, they've played to crowds that are probably 40 times as large as one would expect for this level. To get a full picture of where they stand,

Man Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea etc etc are in the Premiership
Then comes the 1st Division
then 2nd Division
then 3rd Division
4th Division
Non-professional League
probably 3 or 4 more divisions here
1st north west county division
2nd north west county division <---- That's where FC united stands.
nothing else here.

Basically as low as they can get, but that's where every new club starts. About 300 league positions below Chelsea right now. Make us proud, FC united!!

Lotsa rambles indeed. Now for the "and then some". This is turning into a pretty long post, so I'll keep the "and then some" for another day. Tired wfrgtzzzz

Oh wait. Happy belated birthday Yap Su-Ann. Well I was waiting for the photo to get to me, hence the lateness of the post.
So cute right. Makes feel warm and fuzzy all over. Thanks for the free food Su-Ann. May you be less of a pain to your friends in the years to come. o_O

Happy belated birthday also to Raymond Choy, the reason why I have a few basketball medals,
to fat Jon, the reason why I have a ringing in my ears every now and then,
and to Uncle Ho Mun, the reason why I started drinking.

Speaking of which, at the Leong family reunion the other day, sights too embarrasing for me to describe took place. I shall attempt to do so anyway, at the expense of my mom's credibility and my own personal pride, for her blood runs in my veins. NOOOOOOO. I will do so in the "and then some" to come. Suspense right? Right right right?
posted by theycallmecruel @ 3:13 PM   1 comments
Friday, April 07, 2006
...
My parents went for a company dinner right? So as the door gift, they get this cute little paper basket with some egg-shaped chocolates inside, right? Each one is brightly wrapped in colourful metalic-foil paper, green red yellow blue etc, sizes ranging from slightly bigger than a 5-cent coin to slightly smaller than a 50-cent one.

So as I open the fridge in the middle of the night like I do so extremely frequently, I spot the little white basket and the cute little miniature easter egg chocolates. And as I greedily reach for the basket to sate my unsatiable hunger, I find, to my total shock, horror and amusement, the words

"wwj, you may have ONE if you want"

scribbled untidily on the top of the little white basket. I kid you not. The "one" really was in bold. I recognize my mom's handwriting. She actually took the effort to ward me off her chocolates.

I was like, "..."

And I complain that they don't know me.
posted by theycallmecruel @ 3:54 AM   0 comments
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Pasta and dental hygiene.
I've been having some really surreal conversations lately.

So I was at Giant Supermarket the other day, buying stuff to cook. Yes I cook nowadays. I am domesticated. What is this world coming too?? Soon I'll be cleaning my room without anyone yelling at me to do so. And later, I'll actually arrange the shoes on the rack. NOOOOOOOOO

ahem.

So back to Giant. I had a can of tomato soup in my oh-so-metro green shopping basket along with some cheese and bacon. And this totally random aunty behind me tapped me on the elbow and asked, in Cantonese;

"Can you just eat it like that?" (indicating tomato soup)
"Can can, but I'm not doing that," I said, after taking a step back and recovering from the shock of being addresed so directly.
"Oh so what are you doing with it?"
I was tempted to say I was a famous artist and I've been commissioned by the government to build a sculpture entirely out of used soup cans to reflect modern-day over-commercialization and the loss of our national identity, but I didn't know how to say that in Cantonese.

"I'm putting the cheese and bacon inside and..."

*at this point her aunty shopping kaki friend butted in*

"This brand not so nice warn. man-man tei only"
"Yes, but I'm not eating it just like that so it's ok"
"Oh so how are you cooking it?" said the conversation-initializing aunty, determined to find out why a bracing young lad such as myself was holding a can of tomato soup in a green metrosexual shopping basket, when he should be out flirting with bracing young lasses and making sexist jokes with other bracing young lads.

I decided that the truth would be best. Besides, I can't lie convincingly in Cantonese. And I was still off-balance from the aunty's persistence.
"I'm making pasta"

*they stare at me blankly. I mime frying chow mein in hopes that they understand that it's a type of noodle.*

"PAS-TAH-AH"

Then it's my turn to pay and I quickly scurry away avoiding the second aunty's disapproving stare. It seems she doesn't approve of using man-man tei only tomato soup to make pas-tah-ah, if she even knows what that is.

And it hit me. Like a professional wrestler off the corner ropes. Like a 32-wheel truck hauling a solid block of concrete. Like I was standing between a blue whale and it's plankton.

I WAS TALKING ABOUT COOKING RECIPES WITH A COUPLE OF AH-SOWS.

What is happening to me??? I mourned the passing of my manly veneer as I stir-fried (with a shrit on this time) the bacon and made references to the cookbook I was using. A single tear breaking the testosterone-induced sheen (aka acne) slid from my eye and plunged daringly into the saucepan, and as I saw that I thought, "oh well, better not add so much salt. Not healthy..."

Another day I was doing the dishes with my dad. All of a sudden he asks me;
"Boy do you take care of your teeth?"
?
"uh. What do you mean?"
"I mean do you take care of your teeth. Do you floss or not?"
"er. Yeah..."
"Cause it's important you know. I had gingivitis when I was younger, and only after I started flossing and brushing regularly it went away"
"er. ok, pa..."

I WAS TALKING ABOUT PERSONAL DENTAL HYGIENE WITH MY DAD.

Ok so you're going "what's so weird or surreal about that?" But take a moment to consider, he usually doesn't even bother to acknowledge that I exist, only grunting occasionally from behind his newpaper when I ask for money. It was an extremely surreal conversation cause it's not as if we were at the dentist or I had fish breath or something you know? If we were, or I did, then it would be ok, expected even, but we weren't, and I don't, so it was just plain w-e-i-r-d. I DON'T have fish breath ok. Stop saying I probably don't notice it. I doN'T. Have fish breath that is, not not notice that I do have it.

Plus it was completely out of the blue. If you want to talk to someone but don't know what to say, you go "nice weather eh" or "how was your day?" or something. NOT "eh do you brush your teeth?"
Imagine being on a hot date. It's getting uncomfortable cause you're running out of things to say to her. She's looking bored. You've tried family, food, philosophy and she still looks like she's wasting her time. You're not exactly going to go, "so... brushed your teeth lately?" now ARE YOU???

I left the kitchen feeling very very confused. Like, "wha...?"

Talk about throwing me off balance.
posted by theycallmecruel @ 8:39 PM   0 comments

    LIFE is like a glass of coke, it may seem full but it's actually just all froth.

wheeeeeeeeeee

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ribbit Chinaman in Canada, no more. i still can't come up with a better phrase.
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