29 November 2006

The Camwhore Experience

For something very different today, I inversed the ratio of text to images. This is also the first time I posted so many clear photos of moi. Enjoy!

The proud graduands (from left): Alvin, Catherine, Jason, Jackson, YY, Gary, me

Catherine stood out in the crowd with her striking saree

Mobile porn does come in handy while waiting for our turn ;P

Calvin adjusting his "son's" mortarboard

So happy I had to struggle to keep my mortarboard on!

What else could we do while waiting for our turn to take the group photo?...

...Camwhore, that's what.

More friends: me, Calvin, YS, her BF, Alvin

Caught off-guard while sharing a light moment

If we knew each other earlier, we might have ended up BFFs

My good friend Joey - I've mentioned him in older posts

The supervisor who gave me Hell (with capital H!) so I could experience Heaven that day

With one of my all-time favourite lecturers EVER, Ms. Fairuz. And I'm not saying that just because I found out she's a regular reader :P

Another one of my favourite lecturer, Ms. Mazlyda. Had the pleasure of being her student for 2 semesters!

And saving the best for last...
With the man who paid my tuition fees, bought me my iMac, paid my car loan, and so much more (though he didn't give me the flowers). And of course, the person who took most of the photos in this post.

27 November 2006

I Feel Like Peter Jackson

By that I don't mean I feel excessively fat and have an urge to not shave because I was too busy directing blockbusters. I mean I feel like Peter Jackson when The Return of The King won 11 Academy Awards out of the 11 it was nominated for.

I had my graduation ceremony last Saturday. It was quite a low-key affair which ended early (before 11am, in fact!). However, the highlight of the day was the special student awards. In a briefing before we entered the hall proper, the MC announced that those who will be receiving awards must go and sit in the front row after collecting their degree certificates.

So he began announcing the award recipients. I was hoping to hear my name at least once because I was certainly not the valedictorian. And that was a huge bummer because I had wanted to give an inspirational speech while standing on the stage, looking over all the other weaklings graduands.

The MC announced the first award, "The Sun Java Technology Award goes to Catherine...." I burst into applause as Catherine was just sitting beside me, and I think she definitely deserved it after the stress she went through for the project. But the MC wasn't finished, "... and also Zemien." I was shocked. My project? A worthy Java program? Why, I never!

Then he continued announcing the other winners, specifically the Best Student Award, Best Project Award, and the MNEBay Book Prize. I was very, very surprised to find out that I bungkus and sapu all of them as well. I shared the Best Project Award with another student I don't know, but basically I won all 4 awards I was nominated for.

Not bad, kan? If I was capable of any shame, I would have been blushing but I didn't, so I graciously accepted the gratuitous applause given by my friends. I think some of them might have felt a little envy, but I accept that as normal. It is lonely at the top, after all :P

I didn't get any standing ovation for winning so many awards, but Dad did say the parent sitting beside him commented, "HIM again?!?"

The final event of the day was the valedictorian's speech. Suffice to say, I was no longer feeling deprived of my valedictorian status. By winning 4 awards, I knew in my heart that I didn't need to give a speech to bask in any valedictory glory. Plus, I wouldn't have been able to match the valedictorian's speech. It was eloquently delivered, but like most of these speeches, it was the same thing but with the words changed. I don't think I would be able to cheat myself by delivering such a pre-packaged speech. But the student who did it delivered it with aplomb, so congrats to him as well!

Still, I'd like to think of it as sharing the limelight, as it wouldn't be fair if I had won 4 awards AND gave the valedictorian speech. It would be Zemien Overdose, literally.

I'm really sorry if I sounded a little sombong, because I really am. I set the record for most awards won by a student. Takkan tak kembang kan? As a side note, the national anthem was played at the end and I really enjoyed singing Negaraku after 4 years of neglecting it.

After the official ceremony, we adjourned to have tea break, and more importantly, to camwhore. Dad took lots of photos, some of which I will post up after I'm done doing virtual plastic surgery on them (those pimple scars have got to go). I also received a bouquet of sunflowers from Buddhist Society, which proved to be one of the best things that happened because it was even more unexpected than the awards themselves.

On the whole, it was perfect. More short notes when I post up the pics.

Exciting Teaching Techniques

In a Star article today, Deputy Education Minister Datuk Noh Omar was quoted:
Meanwhile, Noh urged teachers to apply “exciting techniques” when teaching Science and Mathematics in English.

What does it mean by 'exciting techniques'? If these ministers do not define their words clearly, we'll soon have such things happening in schools:

Pretty female teacher enters her Science class in an all-boys school. "Good morning class!" she addresses her students in her sexy, sultry voice.

"Good morning, teacher!" the boys enthusiastically replied.

The teacher started her lecture, "Our lecture today covers the female anatomy. Now, the Deputy Education Minister has instructed teachers to apply exciting techniques when teaching Science, so for today we're going to try something different. Let's examine the female mammary gland, or more specifically," (rips open her tight blouse) "my mammary glands".

The whole class gasped.

"Don't you boys worry, you'll get to examine it up close personally later if you all pay attention. For now, let's focus on labelling each part of the... Jeffrey, why are your hands covering the front of your pants? Alex, Velu, you too! Now, it's ok if you're a little excited- it's a normal reaction for boys. The scientific term for that is an erection, and we'll learn more about its importance when we go into the topic of reproduction soon."

"And for those of you not having an erection, that's normal too. You're just gay, and we'll be covering that in next month's genetics lecture."

Come to think of it, that's not half-bad at all. You have my vote, Datuk Noh!

Wrong Way to Die

My Streamyx is misbehaving. I will write about my last weekend's graduation ceremony soon!
In the meantime, this is such a salah way to leave the world: Man killed with a flower-pot

21 November 2006

Popularity Contest

How do you know if a movie is expected to do well in the box office? When you are shown 5 beer advertisements before the movie starts, as in Casino Royale.

20 November 2006

Casino Royale Ain't Bond Enough

Like 99.5% of Bond fans, I screamed incredulously when Daniel Craig was revealed to be the next 007. I thought, “How the heck is this possible?” After watching Casino Royale though, I have to concede that he was a good choice.


If so, why the negative title of this post? Despite its many raving reviews, it just doesn’t feel like a Bond film to me. It’s a very solid action and spy movie, but it’s just not Bond. I don’t care if this Bond movie is touted as being true to Fleming’s vision. A true Bond movie is a Bond movie with megalomaniac dictators, Q’s gadgets, and funny double entendres with vixens named Pussy Galore. You’ll find that none of those appear in this installment. Another thing – I don’t know about you, but I loved it when the James Bond theme plays whenever 007 pulls off an action sequence. Well, in Casino Royale the 007 theme appears only during the ending credits and wasn’t used at all in action scenes. In other words, it’s like any other action movie.


I’m of course being a little unfair. I enjoyed myself thoroughly throughout the 2.5 hour running time. The movie song is not bad at all, while the opening montage/collage is commendable. I still encourage everyone to watch it, even those who hated the earlier movies. But if you are a Bond traditionalist like me, you’ll find that it doesn’t rise to the occasion quite hard enough.


On another note, I’m upset that I can’t find my Die Another Day and Goldeneye DVD. I loved those two movies very much! Guess it’s time for another trip down to my friendly neighbourhood DVD seller.

09 November 2006

The Profanity Button

Last week I watched The Departed in the cinema, and I totally regretted it. It's a pretty good interpretation of Infernal Affairs, but the whole experience was marred by our morally-superior censors.

It's a violent movie, and because it depicts criminals, they are often very liberal with their curse words. And that could only mean one thing for censors - pure pleasure.

When I was buying the tickets, the girl told us that this film is for adults only. "No children, ya?" If only adults are going to watch it, why censor it in the first place?

But the biggest thorn is not that they censored, it's how they censored. In the good old days they would just silence the offending word. We would see the actor mouthing that well-meant "muthafucker", but our ears would be spared the pain.

But did our censors do that? Oh no... they couldn't risk having our sharp eyes deciphering the words "cock sucker" on the screen! So they used some fancy splicing technique to make it look as if the actors never said those words at all! Problem is, it never works. It makes it look as if the film is stuttering and the actors magically shift places in 1/10th of a second.

Not only did it feel weird, but they didn't even splice it properly. Quite often, the beginnings of the swear word can be heard, but it is immediately joined by the end of the next word.

For example, take this sweet sentence ripe for censoring:
"You motherfucker! I'm going to make you regret eating my girl's pussy, you cocksucker!"

After going through Malaysian censors, it would sound like:
"You mo-'m going to make you regret eating my girl's p-u coc-!"

Now, imagine listening something to that effect for 2.5 hours. For a more humorous take on the issue of censoring in press, check out Scott Adams' blog entry The Most Obscene Letter:

If you ask me, the most obscene letter in the alphabet is the asterisk. It appears in almost every naughty word you see in print, from f*ck to p*ss to m*th*rf*ck*ng c*cks*ck*r. You can’t even pronounce the word “asterisk” without saying *ss. That smutty little character is attracted to obscenity like flies to sh*t.

Down a Slippery Slope

Here I am at another boring (and technical) company training. I'm not sure if it's the lack of rest or the instructor's sheer monotony but I keep dozing off in the middle of his explanations, thus missing out large chunks of the logic behind the theory.

To help me stay awake, I have resorted to energy drinks that contain 25g of sugar, colourful Mentos candy, and lots of tea with milk and sugar. Another colleague is also using sugary treats to keep her alert. In fact, her drawer is so full of candy that any ant reading this would have orgasmed when it read "her drawer is so full of candy".

And then we wonder why we get diabetes at 50.

07 November 2006

Knowing the Weather

Working at my company is like being in the safety of a mother's womb. It is lighting-controlled, temperature-controlled, and I suspect humidity-controlled too. We have fresh air circulation systems so it never feels too stuffy. All our drinking water comes from a central, filtered source. Security is adequately tight. Furthermore, from my cubicle it is difficult to see a window to the outside world.

In other words, during my working hours I cannot tell if it's cloudy, raining, or scorching. This is more troublesome that you might expect, because usually when met with strangers the first thing we do is comment on the weather. Can't see weather = No conversation topic. And boy, there sure have been many uncomfortable silences so far.

However I have discovered a way to tell what the weather was like during the day. My shower has no heating installed, so I have to make do with whatever comes out of the shower head. And I've found out that if the day was hot, the water will be warm. If a thunderstorm happened, I would be understandingly shivering during the evening shower.


04 November 2006

... in Small Packages

(You must read yesterday's post for this one to make sense)

I gasped. A package from Durex! For me! And then, a light of realization dawned and I smiled cheekily.

Every year, Durex holds an International Sex Survey. I joined the latest one many months back. After completing the VERY LENGTHY survey, I browsed their site for a little while and stumbled upon the product page for their (then) new Easy-On condoms. The name should be quite self-explanatory - it allows the condom to be put on easier.

At that time they were looking for survey participants to try out the Easy-On condoms and give feedback. If I remember correctly, they were looking for sexually active males aged 24-35 (or something like that). Well, you can't expect me to turn down the chance to get free condoms, so I lied about my details in order to make me eligible!

They did not reply me about my status so I had forgotten about it in a month's time. And lo and behold! It's been about 6 months and they finally sent a small 3-pack, in addition to a simple survey I have to complete and mail back.

When I realized what it was, I SMSed Dad:
"Oh i remember. Saw they were giving out free samples on their website abt 6 months ago while I was still in college. Thought they juz tipu tipu. Thanks again!"

As if to compound the embarrassment that I was already feeling, Dad asked:
"Sample wat? Durex famous 4 condom."

At this point I think he's being really ignorant and I just SMSed back:
"Yes condoms of coz. Dunno wat else they put inside. Feel free to open and inspect"

Being in the traditionally conservative Chinese family, parents never talk sex or about sex to their kids. In fact, I think this is the closest we ever came to discussing safe sex!

Anyway, the one they sent me was Fetherlite:

You can apply for a free sample, but I tried that last time and they didn't send anything to me. Don't bother asking why I need so many condoms. Let's just say they're not for baloons.

03 November 2006

Good Things Come...

Yesterday Dad came into my room and handed me a small pink card. "Are you expecting a parcel?" he asked. I wasn't, but the pink card itself is a request for me to pick up an item from the post office. Apparently no one was around when the mailman came, so he left the card to ask me to collect my item within 7 days.

I was very puzzled - I did not buy anything online nor was I expecting a registered letter of any kind. I cracked my head, trying to figure out what was sitting quietly in the post office, waiting for me? Unfortunately I had to collect it from the head office, which is located smack in the city, so I asked Dad to do it for me instead.

This morning during the training I SMS-ed Dad about the item. I was very anxious to know what it was. Dad replied, "Durex with small package".

I gasped.

(To be continued...)

02 November 2006

A Flickering Daze

The company has an in-house Learning Centre which houses a Computer Lab for training purposes. Yesterday, several colleagues and I started a 3-day course on Digital Signal Processing (DSP). I'm not going to write about how difficult and confusing it is because my boss might just read it and realize that I'm either incompetent or lying (or both!).

Unsurprisingly, the computers in the Lab are really old and discarded models. Performance is one issue, but a major headache (literally) are the CRT monitors. Since changing to LCD displays years ago, I've been unable to withstand the flickering on CRT monitors. It drives me nuts and gives me headaches! Plus, the lights are dimmed in the lab so I have to face a glaring, under-refreshed, low-resolution screen!

Arrgh! My eyes! My eyes!

01 November 2006

Chronic Curlyhair-itis

I'm this close to giving up on my hair. Maybe what ShaZ wrote was right - I need an iron perm or else it will all be wasted. Just this morning I noticed that some of the hair near my sideburns have started to go back to its curled-up glory. So either Wellastrate didn't do its job or I just applied it incorrectly. I'm now deciding on whether or not to do a re-application next week, you know, just to straighten things back a bit.

People have already begun commenting on how much better I look with my new hair - I ain't backing down!