Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Movie: Prometheus

Source: Google Images
Thanks to Hoyts for giving me a pair of 3D passes. I finally got around to using them due to finals and all! We picked Prometheus because it seemed promising. I remember watching 2 movies in 3D back home (in the Spring) and decided then and there that we would never watch another movie in 3D because it's crap. But since coming to Melb and experiencing movies on Xtremescreen (you people back home will never believe how clear everything is!), we were open to trying 3D one more time. It was amazing. Although we did come out of the cinema feeling overwhelmed and had a headache but that's because everything was so crystal clear that we couldn't help but focus on taking everything in, not sparing a single detail. I will never be able to look at 3D the same again! Crisp details and so damn pretty. Ok, enough raving about the 3D! Moving on the the movie...

I read a few reviews, and people either hate it (poor storyline! cliqued! expected more!) or loved it because they thought themselves to be philosophical thinkers which I think is pretty damn absurd. Other viewers try to pick the movie to pieces but it's still a freaking movie! Understanding its subtext does not make you a genius, and since everyone has their own taste (or reasoning), there's no reason to bash viewers who didn't enjoy the movie (or interpreted it differently). I, for one, thought of it more as an action sci fi, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. I don't think that it is meant to be an intellectual movie at all. 

This is how I judge a movie: 1. Do I want it to end sooner (bad movie) or later (good movie)? 

The logic of the question is really simple. GENERALLY, movies are supposed to reel you in and stimulate your mind (if applicable). If it doesn't have appeal or it is so vague that one has to dig deep for better understanding, then it has failed. Movies are produced for a mass audience, which means that its logic or explanations (in the face of intellectually challenging material) should not surpass one of an average person. 

That being said... 

** spoilers **

The visuals were really breathtaking. The movie starts off real mysterious and full of wonder, up till everyone was woken up and you realize that an idiot billionaire (or trillion? who cares?) threw together a team that is supposedly the best but are amazingly unprofessional. The expedition was based on two scientist who "chose to believe" that these alien engineers created them and foolishly thought they could just waltz into some planet and demand answers. The idiotic billionaire who enabled them, joined them on the expedition while under the pretense of being dead (due to him having only a few more days to live but kinda redundant, who cares?) believing he could escape death, only to die. The idea of taking off helmets on an alien planet? Genius (sarcasm). And redundant. Nothing happened because of it yet they made such a big fuss about it lol. The baby bit blew me so far out into space I died for a moment. Nobody thought of chasing or stopping Shaw when she operated on herself? Nobody thought of retrieving the baby alien that she conceived? Even if everyone else conveniently forgotten, Shaw herself should have informed someone else to take care of the matter. But no, not even when she stumbled upon the supposedly dead billionaire and roboboy - who was the one who found out about the baby - who did not even acknowledge the baby, but rather, complimented Shaw on her survival skills instead. Not to mention, she didn't seem quite sufficiently surprised at the sight of the dead man - but then again, I guess after going through such a traumatic experience, you'd have reached your limit, eh? How is it possible she was still able to run after having her abdomen stapled together? Adrenaline? Seriously? For so long? HAHA. How did she even get pregnant despite being sterile? Okay, so maybe this is not that relevant because I don't think she wasn't exactly pregnant, I think she was just a host for the alien life form.

I could go on, or you google and go wild. Like I said, people tend to over analyze and expect some semblance of logic in the movie they are watching. But why, why couldn't it be about a bunch of unprofessional idiots, thrown together by a billionaire, travelling 2 years away from home to find answers? There are so many crazy people on this planet, so why not? It is a private expedition afterall. It's just the Shaw part that's reasonably unbelievable.

I like how there's so many things happening at the same time. I believe that it's not that the director can't make up his mind which direction to go in, but there are so many characters and despite not having enough time to decipher their motives or develop them individually, they are perfectly human (except the robot but even he had his issues). If you throw a whole bunch of strangers together, there will be conflicts, there will be mistakes, flaws, blaaas. What's so unrealistic about that? And as for the black matter... What is it? Who cares? I think that's the whole point. Sometimes there's just no rhyme or reason. It just is. It destroys, it creates. U mad?

I knew that this movie was going to be an ambiguous one, no moment of enlightenment in the third act or any truly profound sentiments so I wasn't disappointed. Although, it did try, I think, to instill wonder in audiences. It tried to infuse religion with science. But it failed, nonetheless. There were no questions which has not been addressed before. I think it's quite beyond us to create a flawless explanation so vagueness will have to make do.

I enjoyed it purely because of it's visuals and action. But take that all away and it's nothing, really. Although I felt that this movie wasn't so much so about who created us or where we came from, it focused so much more on life and how far we're willing to go to evade death (even the robot wanted to preserve what life he has). I actually enjoyed this movie a lot, even if I seem to have criticized it a lot hahaha. I really didn't want the movie to end because I was hoping for more. There could've been more. Should have. I liked the idea of the engineers, humans and robots and the relationships between the three, I wish it had been elaborated... Maybe in the next film? Overall, it was so visually satisfying. If it was philosophical though, it would've been perfect. But it's not, so stop pretending like it is. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Review: Physicians Formula Shimmer Strip Smoky

I won a Physicians Formula Shimmer Strip from @PricelineAU on the 4th (yay lucky June) and I received the parcel on the 7th! I believe this is the first time I've won anything from a giveaway so I'm pretty ecstatic. Thank you thank you thank you Priceline for hosting a giveaway! :) I was aiming for the nude palette because I don't own any nudes but then again, I only wear makeup for occasions so I think having a nude palette is kinda redundant because I won't use it. I only wanted it because its packaging was more appealing to me - it had a bow! And fine... It's pink with lace details. HAH. Here's the whole collection:

Source: Google Images
Isn't the Nude super cute and chic? I'm a sucker for aesthetics. Ugh. Anyway, the Smokey casing is actually quite flimsy, it felt like it was made out of shiny cardboard and the shadow holder was made of plastic? I might be wrong but that's how it felt like to me. Overall, its attempt at being glam was a complete failure, complete with a cheap plastic crystal, especially if you compare it with the packaging of the Nude shimmer strip which totally worked the cardboard! Tip: Matte finishes are way classier than glossy when it comes to cardboard or paper.

Anyway! I'm going to be reviewing the Smoky palette but be kind because this is the first time I'm reviewing makeup and I may not know what I'm talking about because I do not know much about makeup nor am I a professional makeup reviewer in any way so take whatever I say with a grain of salt!



Applied with a cotton bud on bare skin. 
See my totally n00b attempt at swatching? There are a total of 9 cool shades which may not be the most pigmented but be warned! They are very shimmery which is great for me because I love glitter. The texture varies between pasty to powdery. They don't glide on as well as the Maybelline eye shadow palettes I thought to bring with me to Melb. However, they are versatile which Maybelline isn't. They can be applied both wet and dry, as a shadow, as a liner or as a finish. I'm assuming the smaller strips are liner and the rest are shadows and the white is a finish.

I am a big fan of using my fingers to apply my makeup but using the windshield wiper motion with the glitters is not the smartest thing to do because for some reason they emphasize wrinkles I didn't know I had! I would suggest patting them on instead or using an eye shadow brush.

I went out for a friend's birthday last Friday, using the 1st, 6th, 8th and 9th colors (from the left, in the last picture above) to create my party look. Their staying power was not the best. By the time we were through with dinner, it has smudged all over my lower lid! I took a few pictures of the look but honestly, the colors don't show up very well (if at all)... So I'm not putting any of the pictures up because what's the point if you can't see the makeup I've applied, right?!

The verdict is.... *drum rolls please* I probably wouldn't purchase this because it's so shimmery I'd only use it for clubbing or partying and when I party, I want to take lotsa pictures and since it doesn't show up (well) on camera, it kinda defeats the whole purpose. So no, this is one makeup palette you could skip.

Anway, let me know what you thought of my first review! Or if you've tried them out, I'd love to hear what you have to say. Link me in the comments if you've reviewed them as well. :)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Simple Recipes for the Uni Student

I remember back when I was harping on about how I was going to learn to cook because I didn't want to be one of them whiny good-for-nothing girls who prided themselves in not knowing how to boil water. Anyway, I think I'm somewhat good at cooking now - I mean I am no longer disgusted by my creations - obviously thanks a lot to Happy who is an amazing cook. And to prove I can cook, here are two of the boyfriend's favorite homemade meals! He likes them so much he lights up like a christmas tree every time I tell him I'm planning to make either one.

Baked Potatoes
Left: Mixed veggie version * Right: Onion version

Ingredients:
- Potatos
- Bacon
- Mixed Vege
- Mixed Herbs & Salt
- Cheese
- Water

1. Slice potatoes and season with mixed herbs and salt.
2. Slice bacon and fry.
3. Add potatoes and mixed vege.
4. Add water (don't drown the potatoes in it, but don't be ngiaoci (stingy) either; pour enough just to cover the potatoes if I make sense at all lol), let it simmer till the potatoes are soft.
5. Add everything into an oven proof pan in layers, topping with cheese at every layer. Meaning: Put a layer of the potatoes/bacon/veggies and scatter cheese, then add another layer of potatoes/bacon/veggies and cheese again till you use up all the potatoes/bacon/veggies.
6. (Optional) Pop into oven at 160 degrees (make sure you preheat the oven, I don't know why you should but Happy says I should so do it!) till cheese turns brown.

I usually make the above with sliced onions without veggies or herbs (pic on the right) but I thought it could work. And it did! Both tastes awesome so try em or chuck it all in and mix it up to your preference!

This next one is an attempt at recreating my aunt's shepherds pie so kudos to her for inspiring me.

Simple Shepherds Pie

Ingredients:
- Potatoes
- Butter
- Milk
- Beef
- Mushrooms
- Cheese
- Black pepper
- Onions (or mixed veggie or broccoli, which is our favorite)

1. Boil potatoes (I usually boil then peel the skin off cos it's a lot easier that way, but potatoes vary, so to be on the safe side, just peel them first)!
2. Slice mushrooms and chop onions.
3. Fry onions till fragrant, add beef and fry while adding pepper and salt till you're happy with it and lastly add mushrooms.
4. Fill an oven proof pan with the beef/mushrooms and add a layer of cheese.
5. Mash potatoes, mix with salt, butter and milk till you're satisfied with its taste and spread 'em all on top of the beef/mushrooms/cheese.
6. (Optional) Pop into preheated oven, bake till the cheese is brown and potatoes slightly dry.

I realized I'm really horrible at instructions ahahaha but if you get what I'm saying go ahead and try! Anyway, the baking bit is optional because prior to getting an oven, I didn't bake either one and it still turned out nomable! Good luck. :*

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Plastic Surgery?

Like I said in my previous post, I was googling about plastic surgery. It's purely out of vain interest, wondering what I could do to improve my looks, just in case anyone was interested. Anyway, I came across this critique of Xiaxue's post "Psyche of Plastic" which, Xiaxue herself responded to.

I agree with Xiaxue that if I were to compare between being girls who are born pretty or made pretty... I would have to say that I have deep respect for those who worked to be pretty than those who are naturally pretty because where is the effort in that? It's just a roll of a dice. Obviously, I admire those that are naturally pretty, duuhhh... But that's besides the point.

I'm too damn lazy for my own good. I would love to be one of those girls who put on contact lenses, makeup (complete with fake lashes) every single effin' day but I just can't be arsed! Especially when I think about all the discomfort and the effort I have to put into applying makeup and removing it at the end of the day!

Not everybody can deal with putting on makeup everyday or go under the knife. Personally, I hate the idea of needles and knives (which is very ironic, really) poking and cutting into me. Aside from that, how about the pain, how about the consequences, how about if things go wrong and you'll have to live with a fked up face for the rest of your life? Do you have the kind of guts it takes? Don't give me shit about how you've never thought about plastic surgery or how you don't need it bla bla bla it's just a rhetorical question.

The answer is most probably no because it's so much simpler to live with the face you were born with than to strive for what you wish you had. There would be no brash remarks about your appearance, your self esteem, your pride... BLAH! You wouldn't have to go through the fear of what if it didn't turn out the way you wanted it to etc. Of course, if you're absolutely happy with the way you look, you wouldn't have to deal with any of that either... But people with plastic surgery don't condemn you for not improving your looks, why should you condemn them for taking the initiative?

Anyway, Sharon-Ann Gladden (who wrote the post about Xiaxue) apparently is unable to comprehend (or refuses to accept) the logic laid out above. But that's ok. Realistically, if everyone agreed with one another, there would be world peace and people would start killing themselves out of boredom (sarcasm but you get the point). Everyone's entitled to their own opinions. However, she wrote that "this type of inane reasoning will do nothing but further the plastic surgery craze that is already on the rampage". I fail to understand her point because... What's wrong with plastic surgery? What is so wrong with wanting to look better? The age old argument is that grooming and makeup is part of vanity as well and plastic surgery is nothing more than permanent makeup. Although that may be true, I would also like to point out that everyone tries to improve themselves in other aspects as well such as renovating their house to make it more desirable. It's as shallow as plastic surgery, it's all for aesthetic reasons. You could argue that the house is collapsing, well then why don't you just replace those beams (or whatevs, I'm not an engineer) and fix what's broken instead of remodeling the whole damn house?

Let me tell you why I think people are so strongly opposed against plastic surgery:
1. It goes against nature.
2. It feels like cheating.
3. It is not justifiable.

I used to feel that plastic surgery is taking the easy way out - but there's nothing weak about it. Unjustifiable? So what? It's unnatural, but tell me what's natural left in our world? Is it natural that we're sitting in front of a computer screen the whole day, eyes glassy, nails tapping? But at the end of the day, it shouldn't affect anyone else but that person who went for plastic surgery... Let's say you realized someone took extra classes to study for a test (getting plastic surgery) and scored better than she originally would (is so much more prettier)... Some people might mind, but why should they? It's her life, she decided to work for what she wanted. So what if now she looks like a million other girls who have gone under the knife? Inner beauty is overrated. Can't you be both beautiful inside and out? At least she is happy with what she has achieved. What is it to you?

She also mentioned something about Asian (by Asian, I'm referring mainly to Chinese) women getting plastic surgery to look less Asian. I absolutely loathe people who assume that Asians are trying to look less ethnic by desiring a higher nose and more expressive eyes because TRUTH BE TOLD SLANTY EYES AND SQUASHED NOSES ARE NOT UNIVERSALLY ATTRACTIVE. I think that it's not because we want to look more 'White'. Whites don't have the 'perfect' (perfection is subjective hence the quotation marks) noses (Asians generally do not like hooked or overly large noses, we like distinct but small noses which are slightly rounded at the tip) or eyes (while colored eyes are beautiful, what we really want are double eyelids and perhaps, slightly larger eyes and long, thick eyelashes) or skin (Asians generally do not like freckles, we like porcelain white skin free from blemishes or any discoloration/pigmentation), either - so stop feeling superior if you're White/stop worshipping Whites if you do. If you haven't noticed already, there are Asians with naturally high noses, very pale skin and pleasing eyes. All three features have been highly desired way back before White influence. I think that this association with Asians trying to be White is because hey since the features you want are found on a White person, it must mean you want to be White! Oh please.

OH GOD I DIGRESSED SO FAR AND SO MUCH.

This post was initially titled "A Blogger's Dilemma" because I wanted to throw light what a blogger faces. Xiaxue commented on Sharon's post and both of them had opinions, on top of that, there were so many others adding fuel to the fire, twisting and turning, attacking and provoking... For a moment I thought seriously about blogging... I thought of Xiaxue, her very recent post(s) about haters (Part I & Part II), the forum I stumbled upon in my previous post and this! I wondered if it was worth it to be so famous yet simultaneously loved and hated. It was like catching a glimpse of reality. And then I realized that I enjoyed shoving my opinions up the noses of others too much to ever give blogging up. There's always going to be someone who disagrees with you, why let it get to you?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Dirty-Mouthed Men Are Uncouth

Source
I was googling about Xiaxue & plastic surgery (specifically, looking for her blog posts regarding plastic surgery - I have another post lined up after I get this out of my system, amazing how a simple google search can supply me with so much fodder lol) when I stumbled onto the above. How the hell did "Xiaxue blotched her plastic surgery & castigates Malaysian doctor" turned into "Xiaxue's vagina"? 

I can't stand guys that degrade women by saying that they have "big", "smelly", "ugly" or (insert derogatory term here) vagina (read: ccb, dcb, sh, tmd - if you don't know what they stand for then good for you). Eh hello, please. You should be thankful for those big, smelly, ugly things. They are the only reason you're here.

I don't understand why men can be so shamelessly explicit. You were conceived by one, born through one and spend the rest of your life facing one (unless you're gay). How can it make one feel empowered by making such statements? Everytime I hear a man say something negative regarding a vagina (doesn't have to be targeted a girl), I automatically think that they are referring to their gf or wife. My assumption is that they are so frustrated and disgusted by the vagina they face everyday that they take it out on other females. Sometimes I'd look at the offender and think how his sister or mother must feel (obviously they must feel very ashamed on his behalf), having a brother/son that constantly degrades women by attempting to hit below the belt (yes, pun haha very funny, not)... It's so disrespectful. I feel that guys that say shit like that have fallen very far away from grace. 

It's not cool. It's not chivalrous. It's not nice

I seldom hear women remark about men's private parts as obscenely. The most I hear is "small penis" or "you don't have any balls" but the implications are nowhere as rude! However, I have heard women discussing other women's vaginas... I guess women has more right to because it's something we all have? But it also makes women sound classless. Anyway, this post is not about women. It's about the foul-mouthed, mean-spirited, bitter men. 

Guys, respect women. It's not because you're male and you're expected to be kind towards the female sex, because that's sexist (but, honestly, chivalry gets extra brownie points). Respect women because it shows you have class, that you're cultivated, that you're above that kind of behavior. Do you really want to be one of those men who have a filthy mouth which implies they have a filthy mind? What you say shows what kind of person you are: if you're filled with kindness, you'll speak kind words; if you're filled with anger, you'll spew angry words and vice versa. 

Remember that quote "calling someone ugly doesn't make you more beautiful, calling someone fat doesn't make you skinnier"? There's nothing to be gained by calling a woman's vagina big, ugly, hairy, etc but a lot to lose! Trust me, whatever impression others have of you will deteriorate, you will never get a self-respecting gf/wife, and the implications! Where to begin? You may come off as a loser, or a bitter person, or bokasi (no upbringing), or uneducated or all and more.

Just to be clear, guys saying ccb (smelly vagina) at an intimate object is derogatory as well. They could very much as have said clj (smelly penis) or ch (smelly testicles), but nobody does, do they? Why do you have to throw "smelly vagina" or "his/her mothers'" (tmd) around? I had no idea vaginas and your mothers are so vile in your mind that you feel the need to yell it out every 5 seconds. Ok, I curse a lot. But I'm more than entitled to... A unicorn could curse, "stupid horn!" cos it has a damn horn. Do you have a vagina? 

Also, I'm sorry to all those who can no longer eat mussels without thinking of a vagina. I'm thankful I dislike mussels hahaha. Lucky me!

Friday, June 1, 2012

How to Gain more Traffic on your Blog!

Gain? Traffic? Blog? 

I'm probably not the best person to write about this, seeing as I haven't "made it"... But even if it doesn't make you famous, it'll make you a helluva better blogger.

Tip #1: Write about ways of gaining traffic!
Seriously, it works every time. But don't give people recycled trash, nobody likes reposts - obviously this is a sarcastic jab at those that do.

Tip #2: Be interesting, be funny, be controversial, be anything but yourself!
Seriously, I'm so tired of all the be yourself crap cos quite frankly, most people are incredibly dull and lead mundane lives. If you want to blog about your day, make it interesting or make it funny or even controversial. If you think you're special because you can sing or do makeup/hair, honey, wake up. Anyone can do anything if they put their heart to it. But people can never say no to interesting or funny! It also helps if you're hot.

Tip #3: Promote yourself. But don't spam.
Do it at any given opportunity, if the opportunity presents itself. Nobody will take kindly to those who spam. Personally, I share my link across Facebook and Twitter almost every time I update my blog.

Tip #4: Don't feed or acknowledge trolls & don't argue with haters.
Cos you'll come across as a loser. Trolls are a part and parcel of the internet world. They are put there to test you and if you can't handle it, quite frankly, you are not cut out to be a part of this world. U mad? Haters don't like you, why do you think they will listen to what you have to say?

Tip #5: Use coherent English.
Leave the big words for your academic essays, alright? And don't write like a pre-pubescent teenager. If your English isn't good enough, improve yourself by reading! If people can't understand you, don't think for one moment that anyone would enjoy reading your blog. Unless you're hot. In which case they are only 'reading' your blog for the pictures!

Tip #6: Reciprocate
Leave a comment on someone's blog if you have something to say because people blog for audiences and would love to hear what they have to say. If someone leaves a comment on your blog, visit them back and leave a comment as well. It is also a great networking method and in this field, there is no such thing as not enough friends or followers. So be active in the blogosphere, don't just pay attention to your own blog.

Tip #7: Try, but don't try too hard.
Who cares if you only have 24 25 followers on your blog or the fact that almost nobody comments? Love what you do and do what you love.

Tip #8: Pictures, please.
Humans are very visual creatures, we like pretty things. Enough said.

Tip #9: Space out your posts. Added 29/08/12
While people appreciate a new update every time they visit your blog, they definitely would not appreciate seeing 25 new posts shoved in their faces. Especially if they visit your blog regularly. One thing to understand is that, even the most religious readers would seldom visit your blog daily, what more the say about other, less committed readers? Secondly, readers want to be entertained and may lose interest quickly if they think that they are unable to keep up. So, what you want to do is to keep your readers in suspense (when is your next post going to be?) but do not leave them hanging too long, because they will move on and, surprise them occasionally (woah! 3 consecutive posts!). What I do is, I schedule or publish posts at least 2-3 days apart so that when readers haven't visited in a while, they won't have too much to catch up on and the more regular readers will be rewarded every time they visit! TL;DR? A general rule of thumb is to limit your daily posts to a maximum of 2 posts and leaving a 3 day gap before updating again.