Wednesday, 27 April 2011
Sites I Frequent

I don't know why it's taken so long for me to realise this (probably because it's really narcissistic to do so, but I don't care), but I've only just thought about putting up a list of websites I frequent when I'm online. There are 10 of them in total, in no particular order.

1. Mashable

My favourite site for tech news! Last year or so I suddenly became one-hundredth techie. This site features a lot of different news, like product releases from Apple to tips on using social media for your company. It's founded by this guy called Pete Cashmore, who is actually very young as well, comparable to Mark Zuckerberg, even.

2. The New York Times

Although they recently created a paywall, it's really easy to bypass it. NY Times is exactly how I want to write like if I were a journalist or writer. The articles are mostly extremely well written, with language that's vivid and sophisticated at the same time. Here's an article about a geisha who survived the recent Japan tsunami.

3. E! Online

Although E! isn't the most popular entertainment website, I really like the way they construct, write and market their news stories. Also, they don't give too broad a definition as to what's a celebrity. Half the people featured in TMZ I've not even heard of. And yes, I do enjoy getting my regular dose of entertainment news.

4. Beers and Beans

This is a travel blog, written by an American couple. I do wish to travel after I graduate, perhaps go on a trip around the world. There are some very interesting updates and insights about the countries they visited (backpacking, of course!).

5. Follow Our Footsteps

One half of the duo

Another travel blog by a couple. Also very enjoyable, although I think they've completed their round the world trip judging by the lack of updates recently, but all the entries are there, so it's still worth a visit. Reading it will make you want to travel too!

6. Nicole Chocoa Heaven

A local travel blog! Her entries can be very unrelated to travel, sometimes downright annoying (the type you'll find on random blogs- emo stuff), but I'm assuming that's when she's taking a break from travelling. Link's at the right sidebar.

7. KampungboyCitygal

A travel/food blog. Nothing special, just makes you hungry sometimes, that's all.

8. VKeong

Another travel/food blog. Really good photos, which can make you even hungrier than the previous one.

9. WorkAwesome

I'm not sure which category does this blog go into, but it provides very nice tips on making your working life much more enjoyable, like redesigning your office space. Here's an entry on how to have an effective team meeting.

10. FailBlog + FailBook

Ahhh. Fails. How could this list ever be complete without it? If you don't already know what it is, go through my previous entries. You'll find many pictures from both sites that I used. Of course, there are videos too, which can be hilarious.

And that's all! Will update about my Easter trip soon!
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Saturday, 23 April 2011
Easter, Easter

It's slightly annoying that RMIT's Easter break only lasts for a week. UniSA has its mid sem break coinciding with Easter for TWO whole weeks! Even Melbourne Uni has a 9 day break. But I intend to fully enjoy it anyway.

One thing I've noticed about us Malaysians is that we never seem to give our own country credit for things that we are better than other countries in. When I complain about Adelaide and Melbourne (and possibly the rest of Australia except Sydney, but I'm not gonna stereotype) not having much nightlife besides clubs and pubs (I was thinking about something along the lines of mamaks), the standard reply would be 'Australia memang like that what...'

In Sydney

But then think about it another way. If I were to complain about Malaysia's public transportation (which can be really horrible) it would be something like 'look at Australia's public transport. So efficient'.

We never learn to appreciate Malaysia for what we have, and always see other countries as being better off than us. Sometimes I do think that way, but I have to admit, coming here has made me much more appreciative of the quirks and idiosyncrasies of our home country.

I lament the fact that there are no mamaks here, that the people are not as friendly as people back home (even though many would disagree with me), that so many things have to be so procedural.

This time last year, I would've simply complained and withdraw from everything. This time around, I came to terms with how things are, and just accepted it. I guess that's another thing one year of living abroad has done to me, I'm now much more willing to forget about the negative side and simply focus on the lighter side and not take things too seriously. Of course, at times I still blow my top, but most of the time I do not. A testament to having to live independently, I suppose.

Ahhh... College. Good times.

But here's something very interesting I read on someone's blog recently about being in America. Note: there are quite a lot of profanities!

I swear, it's like a recurring sickness. I am still not okay with this place. There are times when I feel okay, and then there are times when I feel so fucking blah, like now. But I've never felt great. I fucking hate this place, it's so God-awful, I want to leave and never come back.

I'm sick of having conversations for one. I'm sick of wanting to be wanted. This place is fucking cold and distant and unwelcoming, just like its people. I'm sick of reaching out into thin air, nothingness, because this is exactly what this place is. Nothing. A big pile of nothing.

I have no connection or relation with anyone here. It's been a year. I've tried. In the past two, three weeks, I've been trying so hard. The door was slammed in my face a couple times, but I kept going, and I tried. For God's sake, it's my fucking last two weeks here. Possibly forever. Don't I deserve a chance?

Sometimes, that is exactly how I feel. But most of the time I tell myself to forget about it and move on. And it's worked really well.

Anyway, my point here is that we never seem to credit Malaysia when we do something well. Like the high speed broadband (which by the way is wayyyyyyy faster than the Internet I have now). Like politics. Trust me when I say the Aussies aren't very satisfied with their government, either. But hey, everything that the government does that seems good, it will be reasoned that an election is drawing near. There is always an ulterior motive, and pure politics of appealing to people or gaining more popularity apparently does not count.

Granted, we do have problems, and someone does need to speak up, but we also need to give credit where it's due.

Okay, I've ranted enough for now. Here are another two trailers (I've amassed quite a collection of trailers on one day when I was taking a break from assignments, hence the continuous flow of trailers). The first one is actually a documentary, and a really interesting one too!

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Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Right now as I'm typing this, I'm also watching a TV show on my laptop. Although I know from research that your performance actually deteriorates as you focus your attention on more than one thing, but hey, this is the only way to be able to get everything done on time AND have enough rest (which is extremely important for me, I get cranky with sleep deprivation).

Anyway, today something really embarrassing happened to me. So first, let me introduce you to this thing called self-serve checkouts. Basically, at supermarkets here you can do your own shopping and make the payment yourself as well, just bring it to the counter, scan the items yourself and make the payment via a debit card (they call it EFTPOS here).

Sunny Melbourne, something I miss.

So I was doing the usual grocery shopping and thinking about what I need, which today was mostly vegetables. And today was a rather different day because I was flitting between many different types of vegetables.

But when I was finally done, I headed to the self-serve checkouts. Then I started scanning. The thing is, how it works here is that for fresh food like fruits and vegetables, or things like ham and chicken meat, you look the item up and then put it on the weighing scale and viola!

So when I started, I scanned the items with barcodes since it takes less time. Anyway, it was done really quickly, coz like I said, I had more stuff without barcodes. So the first thing I picked up was a brinjal / aubergine. Then it hit me. Here they don't call it aubergines. And they don't call it brinjals either. And I couldn't remember what it was called! Starting to panic, I tried to think, and came up with nothing. So I thought, that's all right, I'll do the rest and then come back to it.

With the last two items left, I was doomed. I still could not recall what that thing's called. So many options were going through my head, but I had to call for assistance. And she said "it's under E. Eggplant".

Right! Eggplant. It was so embarrassing! But in hindsight, extremely hilarious as well. Thankfully the lady was not an Australian (she looked Indian), otherwise I would've thought that I had given a wrong perception that Asians aren't good at English.

So that's that. An update. Also, a movie trailer below.

P.S. Easter break's begun. Hopefully you'll see more of me. Or not, considering all that I have to do!
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Wednesday, 13 April 2011
Feeling Good About Yourself

I'm here, again.

I figured that I should probably update today considering I'll be busy tomorrow and during the weekend, and after that it's another week of classes followed by a short Easter break which I'll be using to get away.

I know that I made a promise to myself to get a job when I'm here, but so far I have not been putting as much effort. I keep putting it off and focusing on other things, and the places I've applied to so far have not gotten back to me, so I'm guessing they don't want me. Which is not good since my plan is to get a job to save up to go travelling after I graduate.

Algebra of the Seven Sins 

Okay, since I'm guessing you read this blog purely for my opinion on an issue, or updates on my life.

So here's an update: After all the sacrifices and effort I made last year, I was the top 5% in my Division! That's the division of Education, Arts and Social Sciences which has the School of Communication, School of Psychology, etc under it. And I finished top FIVE percent! How unbelievable is that!

Growing up, I never really had that experience of being top of my class or being the best at something. I still rarely feel that way, which is why just today I felt slightly happier when a friend told me that my clothing choice always look very well put together and is normally the best among our group of friends. Yay! (I guess this is where I also brag that I actually have a trophy in my room back home that says 'Most Fashionable Prefect'...)

Darn... should've done that in high school

And that's not all. I also got an invitation to join this club called Golden Key Honour Society. It's an invitation ONLY club for students who have performed well in their studies at uni. So of course, I jumped at the chance of being in an exclusive society. I almost feel as if I am a part of the Greek system at American universities already.

If you hadn't guessed, yes I only said those to brag, and to feel good about myself. I trust that you, dear reader, would tolerate this since I rarely boast (or do I?). I read in that introvert book I blogged about before that introverts tend to perform better at tertiary education. When I return I'll blog about another personality test I did.

And as for other updates, I'm coming to see that despite so many people viewing high school as insignificant, I actually think it's important because so many of my behaviour today can be attributed to what I experienced in high school. Also, things that I learned as a prefect actually came in handy.

Is that enough updates?

Have a good time while I'm gone!
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Thursday, 7 April 2011
This Will be a Quick One

It is now week 6 of uni. Week 6 out of 12. So yes, I'm halfway through finishing my first semester this year. Seems like my coming here wasn't too long ago was it? But I don't mind, I'd rather have a speedy semester and get this all over with.

But because everything flies by so fast and with me procrastinating I really haven't thought about blogging much. Even my tweeting has decreased. I think living independently makes me so much busier, there are so many other things to think about!

Anyway, have a read at this. So this is how Blogger is going to look like sometime this year. What do you think about the design? I personally think it looks great, it allows me to not think about changing my blog theme too.

And I'm sorry but I haven't got my blogging mojo back. So I'll end this post with another video.

Don't you just hate people like that? It really won't kill anyone (especially yourself) to turn your phone to silent, after all.

Do you know anyone like that?
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Saturday, 2 April 2011