Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Sorry I'm not sorry

I was apprehensive about publishing this post because I'm positive someone will take it the wrong way but let's be fearlessly honest. Be brave enough to hear the truth as well as to speak it.

Being Malaysian, I feel obligated to express my condolences for the victims of MH370, but I'm not a very sympathetic person and I fail to feel for those whom I don't know. Sure, I feel that it is unfortunate... But accidents happen every day, people die every day. Why is this more of a tragedy than the deaths of those who are not publicized or acknowledged? How is one person's life worth more than another's? I've gone on with my life, refusing to even acknowledge the false reports, too indifferent to look for verified information, believing that the truth will one day emerge and when it does, my curiosity will be satisfied. But for now, I'll stay skeptical and harp about my lost ipad instead.

Like I said, I don't empathize well with strangers. Say hi to me, tell me someone close to you was on the plane and I'll feel for you. But I can't feel for someone I don't even know for something I'm not going through. I mean, isn't that why we're shown pictures of children suffering by volunteers attempting to collect donations? Put a story or face (or both) to a name and it becomes real.

But at times like these, it makes me reevaluate the situation. There is nothing we can do for the dead, and unless you personally know the family of the victims, it is very possible that your condolences mean nothing to them. I can't say for sure, but I think it's highly probable. What I do know for sure is... There is something we can do for the living, and yet we do nothing.

Take this for example:


We suffer from delusions of how we should be or look like and in turn, it causes us to form disorders. We are the cause of our own destruction. Humans create, consume and conduct accordingly. The saddest part is while we have no control over the disappearance or recovery of MH370, we have utmost control over our creations, consumption and conduct but we allow ourselves to spiral into a pit of destruction. Consciously feeding our obsessions.

I believe the characters portray anorexia nervosa, anxiety or perhaps even drug addiction, bipolar disorder, body dismorphic disorder, suicide and silence.

Women strive to be beautiful and thin, stress drives them to develop mental disorders. How is silence relevant? Silence is as deadly as the rest. Most people suffer in silence, most people watch as others destroy themselves but keep their mouths shut. We go through our lives, purposely oblivious to each other's demons. For some, suicide is worth escaping their demons.

This is very real and this is happening right now. Not only to women, but largely. We are unable to revive the dead but we can save ourselves. Shouldn't our priorities be healing our world for those who still have a chance at life, rather than to publicize regrets for dead strangers?

It is great to see many of my friends and acquaintances memorialize the victims of MH370 because they are capable of a level of empathy which I lack and am unwilling to fake. But a week from now, maybe even by tomorrow, we will go back to our silence and apathy.

Movie: Divergent



Talk about visual satisfaction. Once I saw the trailer for Divergent, I got the epubs immediately and read them on my (now lost) ipad. I feel like there is a hole in my life because I filled my spare time buried in stories and read till I fell asleep. It was such a vital part of my life that I sometimes just stand listlessly in the middle of my room, wondering what to do with my life now that it's gone. OK, before this movie review turns into a rant... Let's dive right in.

Divergent was written for the big screen. The plot and ideas translated nicely across with the talent of the director who was able to rewrite the story in a way that nothing was lost - including precious time. He didn't waste even a second on unnecessary scenes - aside from one, which I will describe under spoilers below. What people seldom understand is the ability to visualize a book which takes place over the course of months into a series of footage that goes just a little over 2 hours. People expect the movie to include every single pedantic detail and many fans of the book will try their best to impress you with what scenes they felt were important which were left out or the discrepancies from the book. They imagine the scenes as they read and when what they see don't conform with what they visualize, they judge it to be crap. But Divergent took my breath away, the director threw in new elements which gripped me and never let go. It was as though I never read the books and made me want to reread them. But because some lowlife decided they need my ipad more than I do, I'm reduced to reading on my iphone. (I realize how much of a spoilt brat I sound like but I'm entitled to whine for at least a week, k?)

Divergent is the one book which I've read prior to watching the movie that made me think the movie was better than the book. Let me digress a little: I believe that if you read a book before you watch the movie, the movie will never live up to your expectations. Therefore it is always better to watch the movie before you read the book because while you most probably will enjoy the movie more, the book still has something to offer you and thus making both almost equally enjoyable. But this movie is one of the best book to movies ever. Period.

Shailene Woodley's acting is so realistic, I believe that Beatrice Prior exists. A simple pause conveyed her awkwardness and I could almost hear the whirring of her brain and see as she decides on a course of action or what to say. She isn't an actress, spewing out lines and acting accordingly... She is believable. You can relate to her because you recognize her behavior in yourself and the people around you. Theo (Four) falls a little flat next to Shailene, but I can hardly blame him because that's just the way his character is written. He is the quiet, steady man who lurks in the shadows, with time as his only ally due to his reserved manner. But the director's eye for subtleties is refreshing.

The movie's soundtrack is unparalleled. It matched the movie so well that I hardly even noticed it because it felt so right. That's all I can say about it because it was that perfect.

Overall, the movie is not your run of the mill YA dystopian flick because it questions societal values and humanity. The characters are not as one dimension as many other kinds of characters who are evil because they are inherently evil or kind to the point of bordering on retarded. There is a reason for their actions, reasons that they themselves may be unable to understand or accept. And from someone who has read the trilogy - nothing is as it seems. It is an intelligent idea, written by someone who understands the human mind. I truly applaud Veronica Roth although her words didn't flow for me.

Which faction would you have chosen?

I want to believe that I would choose Dauntless but I would most likely be in Candor. I value my life and I want to live it but that doesn't mean I should try to throw it away at every given opportunity.

I believe in justice over peace but I am too afraid of balloons, cockroaches, clowns, death and ghosts. I believe that truth will set us free, with crystal clear intentions, life would be so much easier... But easier does not always mean better. We might all drop dead from simplicity. Who knows?

SPOILERS
(Highlight to read)

The director failed to connect why Beatrice was un-disqualified after chasing after the train and joining them against orders. While it was implied that 'Dauntless never give up' in a previous scene, it was never exactly explained why she was able to continue being Dauntless. It was a half assed attempt at making Beatrice look like a fighter because he didn't drive the point across hard enough. Other than that, I don't have any real qualms with the movie. 


(Below is a personal thought, meant only for those who have read the trilogy. Write 'Allegiant' in the comments if you agree with me!)

Most abnegation are healed because at the end of the day, we are good. Nobody is born evil, only damaged. 


END OF SPOILERS

Since many people compare Divergent with Hunger Games... I feel obliged to write the following: Hunger Games is well written but it can't really compare to Divergent because plot-wise, Divergent wins - hands down. It's way better than Hunger Games and a perpetually grumpy Jennifer Lawrence's manly Katniss. Don't get me wrong, I like how spontaneous and real Jennifer is but she is no Katniss. She is... What's the word? Overrated. Click to read my Hunger Games review!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

♥ 220314

I have never been so unlucky in my life. I missed my flight from Melb back to Kch because my alarm didn't go off. Apparently that's a problem on ios7! I made a booking for the following day, setting alarms on 4 different devices. My iphone failed to ring again. But it's ok, cos the other 3 did.

But the gods weren't done with me. They sent an irony god to come fuck with me.

I found a wallet in the front pocket of my seat on the flight from Kl to Kch and left my ipad in its place.

How does that even happen?!! It's like I saved someone from a booby trap and after the guy left, I walked right into the exposed hole in the ground!!!

It took me forever to find the owner of the wallet. He didn't have facebook under his name - what he did have was a bunch of business cards. I picked one up at random and called the number. Turns out the person I called is some kind of christian leader. Apparently the guy I'm looking for is a christian on a mission. He was invited to Msia from USA to preach or something. Furthermore the person I called is in KL and my guy is currently in Kch and due to fly to KL tomorrow.

TELL ME JUST HOW LUCKY HE IS!

It's like he took ALL my luck. Unbelievable.

I've come to terms that my ipad is lost forever. I couldn't find it in icloud.com/#find, whoever picked it up didn't reply my imessages or attempt to contact me and I've called Airasia repeatedly but no one has turned it in. I guess the world is filled with disgustingly dishonest asshats. It has been 2 days and I'm sure someone else has claimed ownership of my lost ipad which was given to me by my mother.

It is one thing to lose something you bought yourself. It's an entirely different thing to lose a GIFT.

Although I don't believe in god - I hope the thief's mother n daughters burn in hell for his/her sins. I wish I could take the high road and say my mother taught me to forgive the actions of the less fortunate who weren't blessed with wealth, a good heart or an incorruptible mind... But I can't. Your decisions are yours alone - people make mistakes and it is never too late to do the right thing.

One thing I've learnt is how incredibly understanding my father is. He never once blamed me or mentioned how much money I wasted. I hope that I could be more like him. He laughed about my missed flight and told me not to worry about it because what's done is done and there's nothing you can do about it, so just book another ticket home. He taught me to find solutions instead of dwell on what cannot be fixed. While he didn't laugh at my carelessness of misplacing my ipad, he told me to put my belongings into my bag in the future instead of leaving it out in the open. Even if I forget about it, I'll still find it in my bag.

Both are expensive lessons which could have been avoided if I took that extra step to be proactive.

One day I will forgive the person for taking my ipad because it isn't his/her fault that I expect better of people. But not today.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Diet Recipe: Portobello Mushroom Burger

Whoever said diet food cannot be yummeh hasn't tried my mad cooking skillz. But self praise is no praise so try making this and tell me what you think!

Ingredients: (for ONE burger, so double up if you're making for 2 and so on and so forth)
- 2 x Portobello Mushrooms
- 100g mince beef
- Quarter large onion/Half small onion
- Salad (spinach, rocket or lettuce, etc)
- Cheese (cottage cheese if you're serious about dieting, cheddar if you're not)

Condiments:
- Light soya sauce
- Olive oil
- Salt
- Pepper

Instructions:
1. Rip off the mushroom stems!


2. Mix a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of light soya sauce together.


3. Coat the mushroom caps in it, pop them into the oven and bake for 10 minutes at 175 celcius.


5. Dice the mushroom stems. Cube the onion. Mix with mince beef with the rest of the olive oil and soya sauce.


6. Roll em into balls and set on frying pan.


7. Dress your burger with cheese & salad and ENJOY!


So... HOW IT IS?!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Review: Fairy Whitez

Ever since the Glutathione pills fail, I've been apprehensive about any consumables that tout of making your skin smoother, younger or fairer. But that all changed when I was introduced to Fairy Whitez. I really wanted to try it, probably because of the name of the product. I just didn't want to waste more money on something that might not work...

So, I couldn't believe it when I was chosen by HiShop to review the product for a month!!! How cool is that! Law of attraction, maybe? xD



Firstly, I'd like to point out that my skin condition is not the best. I have • Acne breakouts • Blackheads • Combination skin • Flaky skin • Dull skin • Redness • Enlarged pores! Sigh. Writing all that out really depresses me. How I wish that I could have flawless baby skin! Hopefully with Fairy Whitez, I can! :D

For the duration of the month I will be consuming Fairy Whitez, I will not be introducing any new products to my skincare regime, which is currently:

Cleanser: Dior Snow White Reveal Gentle Purifying Foam
Toner: Dior Snow White Reveal Moisturizing Lotion
Moisturizer: Skinfood Watery Berry Serum
Makeup Remover (when applicable): Hada Labo Moisturizing Cleansing Oil


1st Box 8 Jan - 17 Jan 2014


A day before I started taking Fairy Whitez, a hugeass pimple decided to make an appearance on my left cheek! The day after I started, I went for a facial and extracted that shit but it stubbornly stayed swollen until the 13th, but there is still a slight scar.

Other than that, I have noticed that my skin is significantly less oily with moisturizer. Previously, the moisturizer I'm using would cause oiliness in 15 minutes. I know that doesn't sound like a very suitable moisturizer for me, but I didn't know what other products to try because the moisturizer I'm using is meant for people with sensitive and oily skin! If there's one you can recommend me, please do!!

Anyway, Fairy Whitez seems to have reduced my oil production and my skin seems to be less irritated (no more redness!).

2nd Box → 18 Jan - 27 Jan 2014


My skin has suddenly become quite sensitive. But it's probably because I've been spring cleaning and dust irritates the hell out of my skin! Itchy bumps like mosquito bites appear for no reason on my face and neck and disappear just as quickly. I'm not saying the drink is causing it because there are too many factors to consider - it's just what I've observed in the past few days. Other than that, there seems to be a decrease in flakiness. I can now wear foundation with confidence!

3rd Box → 28 Jan - 4 Feb 2014

My time of month is approaching, and usually that means that 4-5 huge, painful pimples will pop up. This month, there is only one swollen pimple that - to be honest - is nowhere near as painful or swollen as previous pre-period pimples.

Other than that, I have noticed that I look a lot brighter in photos, primarily because I used to be rather dull despite my light to medium skintone. However, the sensitiveness has persisted... Today, I was terrorized by the itchiness of three areas - my forehead and neck in the afternoon, my cheek at night. One thing I have noticed, however, is that they only appear when it is humid.

Post Drink → 3 Mar 2014


My skin has been relatively good. Oil production seemed to have been normalized by the drink, I don't suffer from extreme oiliness anymore, which is ahmazing! My skin used to be so oily that I wouldn't be surprised if a bug flew smack into my face and stuck there for the rest of the day. I don't have anymore problems with the moisturizer I'm using too! Also, the flakiness has stayed gone while some redness has returned, although it isn't as bad as before.

However, the sensitivity of my skin (itchy red bumps appearing out of nowhere) has disappeared. I don't really know what to make of it... Maybe there's an ingredient in the drink that doesn't quite agree with me?

Lastly though, I'd like to mention that pre-period pimples are virtually gone! I got like two tiny pimples and one swelling which disappeared after a day! MAGIC.

Conclusion

Fairy Whitez has helped me with my pre-menstrual acne breakouts, oiliness, flakiness (honestly, no amount of exfoliating or moisturizing seems to get rid of my micropeeling skin problem) and redness. While it has not lightened the shade of my skin, I believe the drink has given me a glow which I have not been able to achieve through facial scrubs and exfoliation due to dull skin. It may or may not have caused my skin to become sensitive... But please do not be put off. Do not forget that everyone is different, so our bodies react to different compounds differently. Furthermore, our bodies are constantly changing. There are hormones, environment, mental and physical health, diet and a whole lot more that are contributing to the condition of our skin. The most important thing is that it is effective. 

* * *

HiShop is currently having a promotion on Fairy Whitez and Fairy Blossom. With every purchase of 2 boxes, you'll receive 4 free bottles worth RM35.60! Not sold yet? What if I threw in a rebate of RM20 for purchases over RM99 exclusively for you? Type in FAIRY2014 and checkout and receive my gift to you, but be sure to use it before the 31st of March, 2014!


Friday, March 7, 2014

Weekend Getaway at Damai Central (Kuching)

Disclaimer: Photos without my watermark are provided by BB Bunkers.



First off, I would like to thank Damai Central and Sarawak Bloggers for the weekend getaway. Sarawak Bloggers hooked us up with Damai Central, whose management generously provided accommodation, food and entertainment!

I never realized how self sufficient Damai Central is. I mean you can practically live there without ever needing to leave (guess that's the idea eh?). They screen movies at the Barok Amphitheater every odd Saturday from 7:30pm onwards at RM3 per person for two movies. They have a laundry and a 7/11 which takes care of pretty much everything. Not to mention, there's also a restaurant, a lounge and even a pharmacy! And there's no shortage of activities either:

Click to enlarge!




BB Bunkers is not your usual backpacker dormitory. I can honestly say I've never seen anything like it. It is an interesting blend of woodwork, cement and steel. Kinda like hi tech minimalism. Check out these lockers:



It can only be opened with their fancy bracelet. The bracelet is waterproof and is also the key to enter the dorm, making the place rather secure so you can rest peacefully. However, I must admit I was rather appalled by the steel structure surrounding each deck. While I appreciate the extra privacy and space, I felt caged. Also, do note that the decks for 2 single beds do not have curtains, unlike the other decks pictured below:




Despite everything, it is comfortable and really quite cozy. Being a dormitory, their prices start from RM50. Aside from single beds, they also have couple pods with queen beds and a family room with a sofa bed. Not sure how much they cost exactly, but feel free to contact them and get a quote!



Lastly, they have this little nook where you can chill and watch movies!



After my friend and I settled in, we went for a walk and found a place to chill at Escape Bar.





We watched two men attempting to get their kayak out into the ocean and failing miserably due to the strong waves until they finally gave up. Safe to say, I now know better than to try kayaking in high tide.

As dinner time rolled around, we headed to Escobar for a complimentary dinner!





If you ever happen to dine at Escobar, do try the Chicken Cutlet with Paratha because it is AWESOME. I also loved the Feta Cheese Salad. YUMMERS. I'm not a big fan of seafood so I don't have much to say about the Fish Umai other than... I DIDN'T KNOW FISH UMAI MEANT RAW FISH. AHHHHH I ACCIDENTALLY INGESTED RAW RAW RAW RAW RAW fish. D: The fettuccine was not to my liking because, well, seafood and it wasn't spicy at all. Furthermore, the pasta was a bit overcooked and I like my pasta al dente.

Then came dessert, turon de banana.


I don't have a sweet tooth but it is pretty nice. It's like banana fritters with honey and a dusting of sugar.

After dinner, we headed back to Escape Bar and enjoyed tuak cocktail.




The cocktail was sweeter than I could take so the manager kindly gave my friend and I a glass of pure tuak each. Tuak is rice wine, an alcoholic drink originating from the locals. While it ranges from sweet to spicy, there is a very satisfying aftertaste. Something you should definitely try if you haven't.


Being the picky eater that I am, I didn't have enough at dinner so we ended up back at the dormitory, eating instant cup noodles from the 7/11 right next door. :D


After supper, we crawled into bed and talked till we fell asleep. The next day, we were woken up by the organizers who have prepared breakfast vouchers, a tour of damai central and activities for us. Due to the rain, we opted out of jungle trekking and waited out the rain before heading back to Kuching, feeling refreshed and ready to face life again.