As a self-proclaimed hardcore sci-fi and fantasy geek, I am probably a failure in the eyes of my fellow geeks for not having read A Song of Ice and Fire. In my defense, most of my years of geekdom have been consumed by Star Wars and it's only fairly recently that I've branched out to other series, with a few exceptions (Ender's Game, Lord of the Rings, Wheel of Time). I stumbled upon (via StumbleUpon, no less) a list of must-read sci-fi and fantasy novels and authors, and of course George R. R. Martin's books were there. I was fully intending on buying A Game of Thrones sometime in the near future. And then this TV series comes out, which seemed fortuitous; I could get a taste of the series before committing to buying the books. As you might have guessed, this didn't turn out as well as it could have.
My ignorance of what the books actually contain is probably to blame for my reaction to the first episode. The show starts out slow (which would normally not be an issue, but for a pilot episode it seems risky) but eventually escalates into a level of gore that blindsided me. Dismembered corpses, sudden decapitations, festering roadkill - and that's only in the first 10 minutes or so. The violence diminishes as the episode progresses, only to be replaced by nudity and sex. There are a whole lot of naked breasts and butts, but no penises (which could probably be construed as sexist but in this particular case, I'd rather not look a gift horse in the mouth). And this is a big spoiler, but it needs to be said: what the heck is with all the incest? Granted, there are only two instances, one of which is ambiguous, but that's two more than I expected to see outside of fanfics and porn. It's not called the "universal taboo" for nothing.
Far be it for me to judge people's sexual proclivities, but it's not like this show is porn. All of these things are mundane and probably even vanilla in the context of porn, but not on a network show. Or am I being naive? Does True Blood showcase the same (or an even greater) level of depravity? I wouldn't know. My point is that, questions of morality aside, are all those things essential to the story? I'm referring to not only the plot, but also character development, setting, mood, etc. Looking back, it seems like the people engaging in lurid sexual acts were the same people we're being led to think are evil or villainous, but that seems like such a cheap way of portraying antagonists. For the most part, all the sex and violence just distracted me from the plot. Unfortunately, they could not completely distract me from what was, in my humble opinion, sub-par acting, but I won't go there.
I'm not sure if I'm going to watch the second episode. Maybe it's unfair to judge the entire series based on the first hour of content. But that's exactly why pilot episodes have no room for error; more often than not, your viewers won't give you the benefit of the doubt nor a chance to redeem yourself. That said, I probably will give the next episode a chance. People who have actually read the books are raving about the first episode, so maybe now that I actually know what I'm getting into, I won't be so scandalized next time.
I am annoyed. My thesis adviser will be away all week and will only be back next Monday, which means I might have no thesis work to do until then. My initial reaction of “yay, I won’t have to wake up early for the next few days” was quickly overshadowed by “what the hell am I doing here one week early then??” So even though having to wake up early (yes, is early) is not my idea of fun, I refuse to have my time wasted like this. As workaholic as it sounds, I actually emailed my prof and asked her to give me something to work on. Besides, I need to keep myself busy while I’m here or I’ll go insane.
I made a new friend today. Well, more of an acquaintance really. There was a guy at the bus stop who was having trouble figuring out the campus map so I gave him directions. We talked for a bit while I was waiting for my bus. He’s a postgraduate student from
It’s really a good thing that we’re playing DotA later. I need to destress. And to think, I’ve only been here a day. I just want school to start already so I can forget everything else.
So, last Saturday I had my most difficult exam (on Protein Structure and Function). I wasn't particularly stressed about it (not because I was feeling confident or anything; it just takes a lot to stress me out), and I went to sleep on Friday night not expecting anything unusual to happen. Unfortunately, I had a hard time getting to sleep that night because, frankly, it was hot as hell and I was (and still am) too stingy to turn on the aircon. I apparently still managed to get some sleep, because I woke up feeling like the end of the world was coming. I couldn't breathe very well and I felt really tense, but I decided to ignore it and went to school thinking that it would pass. An hour before my exam, while I was eating lunch, I still felt like crap and I had to consciously stop myself from hyperventilating; I remembered enough of my Psych class to recognize it as something like an anxiety attack. Obviously, I needed to do something about it before my exam so I did the first thing that came to mind - I called my mom. I described what I was going through and she said it was an anxiety attack, but I told her that I wasn't stressed enough for that. Then she asked if I had gotten enough sleep and I said I hadn't because of the heat. Apparently, not getting enough sleep can sometimes cause a level of stress that can lead to anxiety attacks. So basically she just told me to take deep breaths, try to find a place with airconditioning, and meditate. I swear, my mom can be such a hippie sometimes. Anyway, I managed two out of those three things and felt reasonably better (although my breathing still wasn't normal yet) by the time my exam started. I thought I was in the clear when suddenly, an hour into the exam, I started to feel nauseated. As in I really thought I was going to throw up on my test paper. Fortunately (although I don't know how I did it) I managed to finish the exam. Which is funny, because apparently a lot of my classmates couldn't finish it (and the expression on their faces when they found out that I managed to finish even though I was sick made me feel a bit better).
So that hellish day eventually came to an end. At least I thought so. And then I emailed my dad today to let him know that my exams were done and to update him on various things such as the Bangkok trip Cassy and I have been planning. He replied pretty quickly, and I wouldn't have been surprised if he had scolded me about not emailing sooner or something. I certainly wasn't expecting him to say how relieved he was that my "ordeals" were over and that he'd heard from my sister that I'd "overstressed" myself and had "panic attacks". And then he scolded me for not telling him! It's funny (and annoying) how easily information can be mangled when it's transmitted secondhand. First of all, a panic attack is very different from an anxiety attack. A panic attack is what you see in movies, when a person suddenly collapses and curls up into a little ball and can't move and goes all hysterical. That's obviously not what happened to me. And that's the reason why I didn't bother to tell him - because it was nothing. I hadn't "overstressed" myself, nothing was wrong with me, so what's there to tell? Then I thought, maybe he's miffed at the fact that I called my mom instead of him. But if you take a moment to think about it, it was the logical thing to do. My mom is a psychiatrist. My dad is a brain surgeon. If I happen to have an anxiety attack, who would be able to help me the most? And if I understood his email correctly and he really can't tell the difference between a panic attack and an anxiety attack, it was a good thing I didn't call him. But still, my sister should know better; she's a Psych grad. And she should know how calm my mom was about it (she was telling me to meditate, for crying out loud), which means that it really wasn't a big deal. *sigh* My family is so weird.
In case anyone's wondering, I'm not really annoyed at my family for overreacting. I just needed something to rant about, and given that nothing ever happens in this excitement-forsaken place (I think Singapore exceeded its excitement quota when they let that terrorist escape), this was all I could come up with. Oh well, only two more days until our Bangkok trip. At least that's something to look forward to (I hope).
I know, this was a complete and utter waste of your time. I did tell you to ignore it.
Now that I've survived Hell Month January, I have a wonderful five-day weekend to look forward to. I'd like to sincerely thank the Chinese for inventing a calendar that is so out-of-sync with the Gregorian calendar that we get to celebrate New Year twice. And thank you to my Philo prof who so kindly decided to cancel classes tomorrow despite the fact that it's only Chinese New Year's Eve and is thus not a national holiday. I fully intend on sleeping until noon (or later) tomorrow to destress. Yes, life is good (for now).
I'm still trying not to remind myself that I might not have a summer vacation this year. I applied for a summer research fellowship in Caltech so, if I get accepted, I'll be in California for 10 weeks (June to August). I had my interview earlier today and I think it went well, i.e. I think I completely fooled them with my haphazard research proposal that I had to conjure up in two days. It certainly helped that the guy who interviewed me (the vice dean of something) apparently knows little or nothing about biology. In any case, this whole thing is a win-win situation for me anyway. If I get in, then I get to go to the almighty Caltech (scyphs, I know you'd want to argue the "almighty" thing but you might as well just let it go :P) and rub shoulders with all their world-class researchers. If I don't get in, I get to loaf around at home for 2 months, and of course I'll be able to celebrate _chimoms' and Cassy's and everyone else's birthdays with them. And I'll have the option of going back to Singapore a few weeks early to work on my thesis, which I'm actually starting next week. I think it's obvious which outcome I actually prefer. But this was too good an opportunity to pass up, especially since it's an invitation-only thing. There are only 10 applicants in total, and NUS is only sending one. If nothing else, this would add considerable icing to my CV.
I'm sleepy, but I don't want to go to sleep yet so I'll play Warcraft instead. Let's pretend that made sense.
EDIT: I changed my layout just for the heck of it. Here's hoping that I'll eventually have the time to just stare at a sky as blue as this.
Dattebayo is the world's most recognized fansubbing group, with over 500,000 unique views of its products per week.
Third world country according to their own inhabitants. For more information, see http://pepper.idge.net/slashdot/
Note their inability to spell our country's name and our nationality correctly. And apparently a big-time fansubber is now more important than an entire nation, if only because it's in the Third World.
I took a look at this website, and I was completely appalled. It was blatantly insulting our country and the Filipino people as a whole. Now, I would never call myself nationalistic, but this just went too far. Basically, the author was accusing Filipinos of "pretending" to be Asian. He/She claims that there is nothing Asian about Filipino culture, and that our supposed pretentiousness is an insult to "great" Asian countries like China and Japan. He/She is also "disgusted" at how prevalent Filipinos are in the U.S. and went so far as to call us a "disease". Here's part of the last paragraph of the text:
Please recognize yoour ROOTS! You come from the the Third World! Your country is a disgusting and filthy place. Most people there live in poverty! Your culture has MUCH MORE SPANISH influence than chinese, and absolutely no JAPANESE influence whatsoever. People in Japan and China, do not act like you.Does this person think that the only countries in Asia are Japan and China? And supposing we drop that point, does he/she know how much influence the Japanese had on us when they occupied us in World War II? Does he/she even know anything about Malay culture and how similar it is to ours? I'm probably being overly sensitive, but I really HATE it when people decide to write opinionated articles on things they know nothing about, especially when it's as racist and discriminatory as this one. I'm not just saying this because I'm a Filipino. I would honestly feel just as outraged if this were about any other nationality, simply because it's based on nothing but ignorance and a misplaced sense of superiority.
Anyway, I don't really have time to be ranting about this. I have work to do. I really shouldn't have let such idiocy interfere with my studies :P
"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
I don't know why I keep checking the NUS Choir forum. I must be masochistic or something. Oh well, at least I got a copy of the midi file. Now I can be all obsessive and learn the song by myself :P
Ugh, I have two midterms coming up. I shouldn't even be thinking about this. I shall go immerse myself in the wonders of basic psychology.
( Warning: Not proofread, may contain grammatical errors )
Blah, I’m hungry. I’ll blog again some other time.
• I woke up 30 minutes late
• I got to the bank late (see above) and got stuck in the queue (which, contrary to what the noisy American guy who was behind me in the line said, was NOT a long queue but a short one that moved very very very VERY slowly).
• I missed the correct bus stop nearest the Canadian embassy and got scolded by the bus driver and some random passenger; I’m not actually sure if they were scolding me because I couldn’t understand a word they were saying (even though they were speaking in English).
• The consul at the Canadian embassy wouldn’t accept my visa application because I apparently did not have one of the requirements that, for the record, was NOT on their website and I don’t know why she was saying “I told you to bring this blahblahblah” when I’ve never talked to her before (and I hope I never will again).
• I was walking back to the bus stop, all depressed and thinking that the only way this day could get worse was if it started raining, when it started raining. Some higher deity out there has a nasty sense of humor.
• I was playing with my DS Lite on the bus when some random woman sat beside me and started chattering in Mandarin. I somehow understood that she was asking me how much I bought the DS for. I answered “San bai”, meaning 300 (in Singapore dollars; I got it for 8000 pesos, but I didn’t have a calculator on hand so I just made a rough estimate). And then she went on and on about some other console that was black and had a bigger screen, and I didn’t process it immediately so I said “Wo bu dong.. (I don’t know how..; I was going to say that I don’t know much Chinese)”, which led her to repeat her entire explanation. I eventually realized that she was talking about the PSP, so I said “PSP?” and she couldn’t understand what I was saying. She eventually just apologized and shut up. I’m kinda hoping she wasn’t the source of the horrible B.O. that I eventually noticed in my vicinity.
• I paid for the wrong plane ticket. I misheard the confirmation number that I got over the phone from the Jetstar people and ended up paying for another (hopefully nonexistent) ticket. Fortunately, they’ll be able to transfer the payment to the real ticket number.
• My dinner (beef hor fun) has tofu in it XP
The day isn’t over yet, so there might be more things to add. Let’s hope, for the sake of my sanity, that I’ll be able to get through the next hour or so without any more mishaps.
EDIT: After consulting with Cassy the Chinese guru, I corrected some of my translations.
When I got home from UP this afternoon, I heard my sister yelling on the phone. She and her boyfriend were fighting AGAIN. I honestly don't understand why she puts up with him; from what I've seen and heard, he's little more than an arrogant yet insecure brat who hardly thinks of anyone but himself. If you're wondering why I'm not saying this to my sister, it's because I don't want my head bitten off; she doesn't respond well to anyone bad-mouthing her "hunny" *shudders* I find it more than a little strange that she always becomes a doormat in her relationships. She certainly doesn't cut me any slack when she lectures me on "standing up for myself" and "not acting like such a mouse" when I'm having problems with my dad. Not that she's a mouse with her boyfriend. Far from it. Yell at her and she'll yell right back. But she won't break up with him; she LOVES him (note the skeptical tone). Even though he's made her cry more times than I want to remember. Even though she's had crazy rumors spread about her by his crazy ex. Even though he acts like such a CHILD (he's around 33 or 34 years old) that it takes a lot of effort for me not to cringe when he's around. I suppose I can't really understand what she's going through because I've never loved someone that way, but her behavior really defies all logic, which makes me think that the saying "love makes people crazy" is true in the literal sense. You've got to hand it to my sister, though; when she loves someone, she goes all the way. My mom says she's like that too, and we're both grateful that I seem to have taken after my dad in that aspect. I don't think I'd be able to respect myself if I acted like that :P Sadly, my respect for my sister has gone down a bit because of how irrational she's being; she should know that outside observers often see best because we're more objective and not prone to bias. And what we're seeing is an idiotic, self-centered man who makes her miserable more often than not.
People aren't meant to be doormats. Quoting a piece of advice from azra_il: "If you're not having fun, or feeling good in the relationship, end it the moment you realize that. It's like yanking out a splinter. Hurts when you pull it out, but everything will be fine once it's gone." Maybe I should tell my sister that. It seems like plain common sense, but being in love seems to make people stupid :P Then again, my sister is the person who told me that "mahal mo ang isang tao kapag natitiis mo lahat ng mali niya", so that might not work out so well.
EDIT: I just realized that this entry might possibly sound just a teeny little bit hypocritical :P For those who know what I'm talking about, inunahan ko na kayo so huwag na kayo humirit :P
IF YOUR LIFE WAS A MOVIE, WHAT WOULD THE SOUNDTRACK BE?
So, here's how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc).
2. Put it on shuffle.
3. Press play.
4. For every question, type the song that's playing.
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button.
6. Don't lie and try to pretend you're cool.
Opening Credits: Yellowcard – Life of a Salesman
Waking Up: Linkin Park – Session
First Day of School: Fullmetal Alchemist OST - Brothers
Falling in Love: Parokya Ni Edgar featuring Jay of Kamikazee – Okatokat (LOL)
Fight Song: Rurouni Kenshin OST – Tactics
Breaking Up: Switchfoot – Beautiful Letdown (how appropriate)
Prom: 6 Cycle Mind - Alapaap
Life's just ok: Vertical Horizon – You Say
Mental Breakdown: Avril Lavigne – I’m With You (LOL. Mental breakdown = hooker)
Driving: Tsubasa Chronicle OST – Yume no Tsubasa (Wings of Dream)
Flashback: Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children OST – Tatakau Mono Tachi (Battle Theme)
Getting Back Together: Jewel – Near You Always (again, appropriate)
Birth of Child: NUS Choir – Linden Lea (at least it’s.. peaceful)
Wedding: Sponge Cola – Movie
Finale Battle: John Rzeznik – I’m Still Here (Woot.)
Death Scene: South Border – With A Smile (Aww.. I’m going to die smiling :P Or will everyone be smiling when I die? LOL.)
Funeral Song: Vertical Horizon – Give You Back (interesting)
End Credits: Parokya ni Edgar featuring Francis M – The Yes Yes Show
I'm freeeeeeeeee :D Actually, I've been free since yesterday, but I was enjoying my freedom too much to blog about it. But darn I hate packing -_- Oh well, 4 more days to go. FF XII, here I come :D
Random rant: UROPS application is a LOT more complicated than I expected (UROPS = Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme in Science). The departments I'm interested in didn't upload any research topics so I had to email the professors themselves and BEG them to give me a project, which I really didn't want to do but what the heck -_- On the plus side, one of the former members of NUS Choir happens to be an assistant professor, and her research topics seem interesting (the role of annexins in regulation of cell proliferation and immune response) so I'm hoping she'll remember me (we were both in the Soprano section) and give me a project. But I don't have much time left since I'm going home on Saturday, and I still have to meet with whoever decides to be my supervisor before then. Gah. Stress -_- Tapos na nga exams pero ang dami pa ring problema. Tsk.
Anyway, lazy day today. I only have one class on Thursdays: Gender Studies from 10-12. And then I'm freeeeeeeee :D So I shall now vegetate while waiting for my laundry to finish.
I was supposed to blog about my trip, but I don't really feel like it anymore. Stupid day.
Hay nakakatamad magpack.. I thought I was done with that for another 3 months at least.. Yes, I sound really whiny and unappreciative right now, but anyone would feel the same if they had to do something they didn't really want to do (even if it is a trip to Palawan). I'm smart enough not to whine in front of my mom :P Besides, she spoils me like heck anyway. It's kinda strange how one minute she's practically in tears, ranting about my aloofness and general state of apathy, and the next minute she's asking me if I want to go clothes shopping. I don't pretend to understand her irrational desire to pamper me more than her other children (who are considerably more appreciative). Maybe it's a mother thing.
I must remember not to think about transferring to UP ever again. Enrolment was torture (and I wasn't even the one enrolling). It's absolutely insane that Chimoms and I had to wait in line for 3 hours just to get the first or second step (the pre-advising thing) of the enrolment done. In the same amount of time, I had already finished my entire enrolment in NUS, and even that took an unusually long time because I shifted from Engineering to Science. Thankfully, enlistment for PE went faster than expected, and there were other Pisay people around so it wasn't terribly boring (not to mention that it was like an oven in Bio; it was pretty windy in the gym). It was nice to make tambay with the Possie again, although Mel went home early because apparently the Chem department is a lot more efficient than the people in Bio (for the record, Chimoms said that, not me :P). Chimoms and I spent most of the afternoon with Cassy, Nina, Patag, and Abby and we hung out for a while with David Sta. Rosa and Annie at the gym. Then we went to Math for a while so Patag could talk to Ma'am Bargo and just spent the rest of the day chatting and hitting Cassy when she became too bangag.
Anyway, it's getting a bit hard to multitask (blog, YM, and text all at the same time) so I'm done for now. I'll blog when I feel like it (or if I come back from Palawan with the desire to rant) :P
Blah. Matutulog na nga ako. I think too much when I'm awake. It just gives me a headache.
Gusto ko na umuwi..
I must remember to make my Mondays less hellish next semester.
Very few big things have happened since my last entry. Actually, the only significant event was my mom and my sister's visit. They stayed here in Singapore for a few days during my mid-semester break, which wasn't really a break at all; I only had a day or two of rest and relaxation before reality burst my little bubble. But I digress. As I was saying, my mom and my sister were here for a few days, throughout which we were mostly walking around and shopping. Because of several factors, foremost of which was pure, unadulterated STRESS, I was unable to show much enthusiasm during the course of their visit, which of course resulted in much drama and criticism from those involved. Unfortunately, also because of the aforementioned reasons, I was also unable to show much remorse for my shortcomings. Yes, I'm a terrible daughter (and sister), but when you haven't had more than 5 hours of sleep everyday for a week, it's kinda hard to feel guilty about your zombie-like state. Nevertheless, I have realized that I was acting very selfishly, especially since my mom kept buying me so much stuff despite her disappointment (and her not-so-large budget).
After the measly respite of our so-called break, everything seemed to go on overdrive. For example, this week I have TWO MIDTERMS and THREE LAB REPORTS (not to mention the not-so-little things like answering tutorial questions and studying for lectures and choir practices). And it doesn't end there. Next week, I have ONE MORE MIDTERM and TWO MORE LAB REPORTS. And at the end of the month, eternalmortal and I have TWO PROJECTS due. But I've trained myself not to think about all of these things at one time; the last time I did that, I nearly had a nervous breakdown. All good things have an end, so bad things have to end sometime right? Right.
To make things worse, my hyperacidity has reared its ugly head once more. And it's gotten worse; even taking four antacids at a time doesn't help anymore. I'll have to ask my mom about this.
On a more positive note, October na! Two more months.. Time isn't exactly flying, but it's not going as slowly as I expected. Two months nalang..
Hmm. To eat or not to eat, that is the question. I'm feeling a bit ill again; my notorious stomachaches are back with a vengeance. Part of the reason why I didn't get a restful nap was because my stomach kept hurting. I don't feel like eating but if I don't eat, my stomach will hurt even more when I get hungry. Stupid vicious cycle.
Fine. I'll go have dinner.