moo_t’s cultural substances meme

moo_t wants me to list 5 cultural substances and elaborate a little on them. Hokay… this is really easy for me thanks to my previous job… bwahahhahahaa!!! And I am going to do this without any references, just to see how much I remember.

1. Feng Shui
Feng Shui originated from China, it was originally known as ‘kan yu’. Some emperor or minister gave it its proper name, Feng Shui, which literally means ‘wind’ and ‘water’. Translated, ‘wind’ means ‘qi’ which is basically life force, and ‘water’ means water lah ;) It is short for ‘qi disperses with the wind and rests at the boundaries of water’.

First there was only the ‘luan tou’ method, which is now popularly known as ‘san he’. The ancient Chinese who practised this literally walked the mountains for months or even years (or their whole lives), just to locate good spots. Last time there was no Feng Shui for the living (yang), it was all for the dead peps (yin). Then some people looked up the heavens and say something along the lines of, ‘what is in the heavens is reflected on earth’ and began research on that. This became known as ‘li qi’, which you would recognise as ‘san yuan’ these days.

Basically all the good luck items you place in your house in the name of Feng Shui, are not Feng Shui. Kthx.

(yes, I got lazy typing so much).

2. The Dragon Head tortoise
… also known as the ‘lo shu’. It is a mythical critter, said to rise from the river lo bearing the ‘magic squares’ on his back. The ‘magic squares’ is in use in Yi Jing and Xuan Kong Feng Shui, a sub of ‘li qi’. It is actually a Chinese mathematical, astronomy and divinity thing, and most likely the person responsible for it created the story of a mythical critter just to add value to his work. You know how the Chinese thrive on superstitions.

Today Lillian Too makes a lot of money selling the Lo Shu figurines. She says it brings you good Feng Shui luck. Suckers.

3. How the Qing Dynasty got fucked, no thanks to Feng Shui
The Emperor Qian Long was great in many ways. He also fancied himself to be a geomancer, and he went looking for his burial spot that would have like, the greatest qi ever for the continued prosperity of the Qing Dynasty. He finally found it, and consulted his harem of geomancers to know what they thought.

If you were a geomancer living in times where you could be beheaded at the whim of the rulers, and the emperor asked you what you thought of his chosen burial spot, you would say yes, wouldn’t you? I would.

Actually the burial AREA was great, and had great qi that would have benefited the Qing Dynasty for many generations, IF ONLY Qian Long’s tomb had faced a different direction (or something).

I am not making any of this up okay.

4. CNY firecrackers
Once upon a time the Chinese were terrorised by a monster. The monster ate up shit loads of people, and finally the villagers got sick of it. So they set off firecrackers to frighten off the monster. It worked and they lived happily ever. From then on, firecrackers are set off to ward off evil spirits, basically ill fortune brought by the unknown.

Then it got banned in Malaysia and Singapore, but you can still buy it, if you know where to go lah.

5. Once Upon A Time in China
Jet Li acted as the great Chinese hero, Wong Fei Hung. The movies were massive hits and became deeply embedded in today’s Chinese culture. Then Jet Li flew to Hollywood and his career sucked for a few years. I didn’t really like him in ‘Fearless’ either, maybe because I watched the Cantonese-dubbed version, WTF WAS THAT ABOUT?!?!?!

Erm.. okay :)

suanie americanised (p.s. pls ignore the british spelling)

Every morning I wake up to my Sony Ericsson K750i’s alarm. Sure, Sony Ericsson may be a Japan+Sweden venture, but their head office is in London, and we all know that the UK and the US are BFF. Hence Sony Ericsson is American.

Then I get ready for work, the process usually involves going through the motions (literally), then checking my meager wardrobe for an outfit that could nearly pass me off as a professional. If we go by Miranda Priestly’s logic that every design available in the cheapest of all marts is inspired by the fashion heavyweights and glossy magazines, then it stands to reason that my entire closet is American.

I drive to work and around in my zippy Perodua Kelisa. Yes, the Perodua Kelisa is a Malaysian car and, boy aret the proud of it! Nevertheless the concept of the compact car materialised in the form of the Ford Model T. Henry Ford was American and so is my Perodua Kelisa.

Sometimes I have the radio on when I am driving. The majority of Malaysian radio DJs speak with pseudo-American accents. Malaysian airwaves is ruled by the Americans (wannabes).

The first thing I do in the office is to switch the computer on. and I have to thank IBM for creating personal computers. Obviously my office desktop is American.

The computer boots up SuSE, which is owned by Novell, which is American.

Then I am on-line. If certain leaders of this country, past and present are to be believed, the Internet is owned by America.

I get hungry about five minutes before the official lunch time. Maslow said that the need for food is one of the basic requirements to be fulfilled for survival. Maslow was American and so is my hunger.

Thanks to the American Thomas Edison, I say ‘hello’ when I answer the telephone.

I am certain the Americans invented traffic jams… No? Ah well, ignorance is largely perceived to be an American problem anyway :D

When I reach home from work, one of the first things I do is to watch recorded Oprah Winfrey shows. She is an American woman who talks a lot about American-ish stuff, she has famous American personalities on her show all the time, she helps catch American pedophiles, she is concerned about American schools and surprise of all surprises, the Oprah Winfrey Show is based in Chicago, America.

I also watch CSI Las Vegas, CSI Miami, CSI New York, TAR, The Apprentice, Seinfeld, Heroes, Third Watch, Ugly Betty etc. The one thing they have in common is that they are American TV programmes.

I indulge in Starbucks, McDonalds, KFC, A&W, Kenny Rogers, Burger King and Chilis. Ahh, not forgetting Reese’s awesome peanut butter cups! American, American and more American!

I have a thing for John Cusack. He’s American, and he does not know it yet (that I have a thing for him and not the latter).

Most of my dealings with my local Uncle Ho involves American-made movies.

I like to make fun of George Bush. He’s American (though I suppose he would be exiled if it were up to some other Americans. Or not, because of the First Amendment thing that is foreign to me).

I dream of naked Americans.

In a nutshell, my daily life is heavily influenced by America and Americans.

How to boycott like that?

pimpin’ the boots of bmw 7-series and toyota hilux

Wahey, it’s the return of the ‘Car Boot to Fit a Suan‘ series! Rejoice?

I don’t quite know why I do these things. A couple of people who don’t really read blogs asked me, “did I really see a photo of you inside a car boot?”

Yes, me. Blush. Put on thick skin, shrug shoulders and exclaim, “IT’S FUN!!!!!!!!!”

So it is. We always have lots of laugh when taking the pix. Here goes…

Da BMW 7-series, the 730Li!!!!!!!!!

BMW 730iL 7-series boot - Suanie

Blah, the position is so FA :P But then, how many poses can you strike in a bloody car boot?!?

But yes, the car boot can fit a Suan. Heck, the entire car can fit 8 Suans!

But can the 7-series boot fit a Suan AND a Fireangel?

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BMW 730iL 7-series boot - Suanie and FA

Friggin’ amazing!!!

Next is the Toyota Hilux.

Toyota Hilux back - Suanie and FA -1

Toyota Hilux back - Suanie and FA -2

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner!

one dimensional me

I think KY is right.

I only have one look for photographs.

:(

one facial expression Suanie

Actually that is what I look like most of the time.

This is the state of my face, I am not angry, I am not lansi, I am not sad, I am not grumpy, I am not moody, I am not emo… This is just what it is.

It’s quite funny sometimes that people suddenly get worried that they have offended me.

Nah, I can’t help what I look like, I can’t help it that I look like an unfriendly bitch.

Good to have it sometimes, keeps the creeps away :D

please use the p’s and the q’s, thank you

Today I am going to be anal and remind everyone their ‘P’s & Q’s.

The word PLEASE is used when you need someone to do you a favour, especially if the other person will not stand to gain anything from doing you the favour.

So instead of saying:

Pass me that bottle of water now.
Run to the shop and get me some ice.
Tell me what happened anyway.

You should really try saying:

Could you please pass me the bottle of water?
Could you please run to the shop and get me a packet of ice?
Could you please tell me what happened?

with a big ‘Thank You’ at the end.

These are to be used in everyday life, even in e-mails especially if you are talking to someone new, having never contacted them before, and would like to get them to help you with something.

Well for one, it would make me less pissed and I might actually do you the favour instead of telling you to go bug someone else.

(Yeah there’s a reason for this post, but Asian manners deterred me from divulging the full story.)

i am a lonely blogger unlikely to change the world

So says Prof. Michael Keren from the University of Calgary. According to this article (courtesy of ST):

[…] Michael Keren, who has written “Blogosphere: The New Political Arena,” suggests individuals who bare their souls in blogs are isolated and lonely, living in a virtual reality instead of forming real relationships or helping to change the world.

“Bloggers think of themselves as rebels against mainstream society, but that rebellion is mostly confined to cyberspace, which makes blogging as melancholic and illusionary as Don Quixote tilting at windmills,” the author says.

I don’t know if I want to change the world, but as someone who owns a blog for x number of years, I find it very blah that people would write books about blogging.

“The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Blogging”, “Ultimate Guide to Blogging”, “Blogs Rocks: and other blogging delusions” etc with simplistic, overwhelmingly general bold statements such as the one uttered in CSI: Miami (or NY) not long ago; “Bloggers love to leave hidden messages in their blogs”, are utter crap.

Maybe 5 or 10 years down the road, yes feel free to write whatever psychological theories associated with blogging and how it has affected teens and their transition into adulthood and how bloggers *did* change the world, but right now, I *think* it’s a mash of rubbish, even when talking about blogs in the US and UK (and of course Canada).

Sure, the Internet has taken over many people’s lives; today I can’t imagine what it is to be without Internet connection (though I can go without Internet for a week), e-mail is so easy to use and plays an important role in communicating with lots of people that I normally wouldn’t contact, and websites and blogs give me an alternative view of the mainstream media, which is fabulous.

But I actually have a blog, and as for now I am comfortable enough to say this: there are no rules in blogging, not really anyway.

Feel free to read all the “Top Ten Blogging Mistakes” written by other bloggers. But if you are all right with your blog, what do you care what other people think? (obvious rip-off from a Feynman classic).

One of my favourite blogs, Demented Reality has a layout that I rather dislike. Yet I return to his blog every week (in high hopes that he would have updated). Michael Ooi writes on a blog that’s grey on black, which my eyes in their advancing years cannot take (hence I highlight whatever I’m reading, and so on and so forth). But he likes his blog, I like that he likes his blog, so what right do I have to comment on the template? Zero, nada, zilch.

If you are not looking to compete with the network of bloggers making $$ via blogs, and you feel comfortable with your blog, don’t change (since you are not likely to change the world anyway :P)

What about getting into trouble with the law, as Jeff and Rocky so recently exemplified? Apparently according to Jeff and Rocky, they have the right to write within jurisdiction of the law, and that includes writing and exposing NSTP’s flaws so obvious in their faces. Apparently according to NSTP, that’s defamation and they are within their rights to take action against defamation.

It is going to be a landmark case for bloggers and the blogosphere in Malaysia, but honestly speaking, I wouldn’t want either party to win. Don’t really feel like elaborating.

The only example I could associate with blogging is this: blogs are like cars. You double park your car somewhere, you get the summons, not the car.

(Cars have rules, that is for JPJ to deem it fit to be driven. Blogs on the other hand, if the html and css are not correct, then it would be published in a weird way, and would be un-read-able anyway. So, in this case, tak pass.)

That is why I quite tulan with people who have never driven a car before in their lives, bought one, pimp it up and exclaim to the world how hot it is to drive in the car. Wrote a manual on the car too.

Fuck, I am really deviating from the topic. Will continue tomorrow. Or something.

random memories from teenage years

While I was sitting here merana-ing for a prosperity burger, I suddenly thought of food-at-odd-hours in the past. Or rather, the people who brought food to my doorstep at odd hours in the past. They were so great and I wish more people would emulate their nobility :P

Save the whales, feed the Suan.

I was… I don’t remember exactly, 14 at that time? Okay I was 14 years old, and I was the friend to this girl one year my junior. She was not really physically hot and I am not saying this out of jealousy, but she had a feminine, manja-ish appeal about her that drove some guys crazy.

Anyway she was seeing this guy and they ran into some problems and somehow or the other I ended up talking to him most of the time. They broke up not long after, she started seeing some other dudes, and he called me often. I don’t remember what we talked about — heck I don’t even remember what he looked like, but I do remember a feeling of pleasantness, a rather comfortable presence. I can’t recall his name to save my life, so let’s call him SS here.

Sometimes, maybe once or twice a week SS would come over my house on his motorbike bearing gifts of food and sometimes books and music tapes. Even my mother remembers him as the guy who brought me fried chicken. She of course didn’t like it, but she didn’t really say anything about it at that time.

This friendship continued for a couple of years, then for god-knows-what reason, died. I believe he liked me, I certainly liked him but nothing happened from there.

A few years later I met my ex-bf. One night we were hanging out with some other friends in a hotel pub, having a good time when suddenly I spotted someone familiar. Turned out that our waiter was SS! He saw me, shock registered on his face, saw my ex-bf, even more shocked, then quickly walked away. I didn’t know how to react so I turned to my ex-bf and saw his troubled face.

That was when I found out that SS was the brother of HIS ex-gf, the one that he didn’t properly break up with — which I thought was weird, since my logical deduction was that if you saw your gf getting chummy with another guy, that would mean instant goodbye. But my ex-bf was like that one lah, always wanting to save the world type.

And the girl SS was seeing, she is now married to a guy who lived near my house, whom I had a tiny crush on when I was little.

That was why I left Batu Pahat, it was too small for comfort :P Don’t believe me? Well one time I was grounded (which nobody outside my family knew), but when my parents were away I secretly drove the car out to meet my friends. The next day I got a hell of a scolding from my mother. One of her friends had seen our family car zooming around town and for god knows what reason, went and told my mother about it.

I really, really like big cities.