Thursday, July 30, 2009

Nick Pitera

Ever find something so amazing that you feel that you need to share it with everyone you know? Seriously, this is one of those things, or people. Meet Nick Pitera...

He's 22 and just graduated from the Ringling College of Art and Design with a BFA in Animation. Why do I think he's so amazing? I won't into detail, these clips will speak for themselves.

Awesome rendition of one of Whitney's classics.

This was the first clip I came across, thanks to a friend in Facebook and it's definitely my favorite. It impressed me so much (it put the HOLY into holy shit!), I had to look for more!

Check out Nick's YouTube channel for the rest of his videos, awesome stuff! He's so talented and it's very rare to find a guy with such wide vocal range, plus he sings extremely well. Nick is currently working at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, CA and well, his favorite pastime is singing =)

I'm just surprised he didn't venture into singing competitions like American Idol or America Got Talent. He'd definitely go very far, don't you think so?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Touching Thai Ads

Damn, those Thai insurance people really know how to make ads that make you reach for tissues (to wipe your tears!). I stumbled upon these when searching for Yasmin Ahmad's work in YouTube. Seriously, don't say I didn't warn you. Just ignore the fact that these are ads at the last part. Watch only if you're ready to let out the water works...

My girl (sometimes acceptance is all we need...).

My son (don't you wish with all your heart that you can turn back time sometimes?).

Daddy (love this one too, tragic but meaningful).

Mae Toi (one of favorites, very meaningful and touching).

Marry Me (so sweet and touching...*cries*).

Shit lah, now I'm crying again! T.T

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Tribute To Yasmin Ahmad

Internationally-acclaimed movie director Yasmin Ahmad, also renowned for her advertisements capturing the essence of family and multiracial unity of Malaysia, suffered a stroke while attending a meeting at Sri Pentas on Thursday and undergone surgery following her collapse. She passed away from massive bleeding in the brain at the Damansara Specialist Hospital at 11.25pm yesterday. This is a tribute to one of the greatest directors Malaysia had ever seen, whose movies and ads are celebrated by and touches all races in Malaysia, and those around the world.

From all her award-winning movies, one of the most remembered would be Sepet.

Not forgetting Talentime, her latest movie released this year.

Yasmin will also never be forgotten for her ads, that are incredibly meaningful and never fail to tug at your heartstrings.

I absolutely love this one about a funeral. How your imperfections make you perfect. I'm moved to tears every time I watch this...

About family...

Her CNY ads...

And not forgetting the endearing Tan Hong Ming =)

Yasmin Ahmad, you will be dearly missed and remembered. Rest in peace.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Daring To Hope...

When I went online a couple of days ago, I never had any hope of finding much. Just randomly messaging out to anyone I found interesting, I never thought you'd return my reply. It was about a practice dance video that you made with your dance instructor, and I thought that you were good and very fluid. I never thought we'd end up chatting online and then on MSN for more than 2 hours before you wanted to sleep. During that time, I discovered that we have quite few things in common.

But then, you suddenly messaged me on MSN again, and to my surprise, opened up so much to me all of a sudden that we chatted for another hour. I really appreciated your willingness to share. Then, you gave me a short call, and let me hear your voice. It was nice and soft-spoken, with a hint of shyness, which I found charming. It's been 2 days now, and we've been texting each other constantly ever since. I actually did a bit of background check on you, sorry about that but I've had some bad experiences with CYTs (cute young things) before, and I don't wanna re-live them. But it turns out, words spoken about you were all good, and that intrigued me even more =)

I know you told me while we were chatting that you're not into meeting people and rarely do it. And, you also said that you'd see if I was worth meeting. So, I'm looking forward to meeting you in person this Saturday. I know that I shouldn't put too much hope into someone I haven't met yet, but I dared to hope a bit more this time. Having that, I'm having a little insecurity take hold. Will this be different and go a bit further after we've met, or will I just be another friend? Kinda nervous and anxious about seeing you soon...

PS: Mien, I'm not smitten lah! MAYBE just a smidgen...

Pessimistic Doctor

I hate it when someone takes a look at you and says that your problem can't be fixed or alleviated. That's exactly what happened when I went to see a reputable doctor about my skin problem 2 days ago. He knew straight away that I came to see him about pimple and complexion problems. I guess it IS very obvious. Anyways, he gave me a face wash and certain cream to apply across my face. But then, he went on to say that nothing can ever be done with the scars and that prevention was better than a cure. NO DUH! The damage has been done and that is why I'm seeing you to help me with it. Even if there is a slim chance of improving my scars, can't you at least TRY to suggest something that might help to soften them or make them seem less obvious? I'm NOT searching for a miracle cure or anything drastic here. I just want to stop recurring zits, kill the blemishes and soften the scars.

Why do you have to be so pessimistic and brutally honest? Why do all skin doctors have to be so negative? And this isn't the first time too. A few others have either commented the same thing or even worse, that I can't do much to improve anything. I come to you with hopes of medical help and you throw it out the door. It's like an oncologist telling you that your cancer was incurable so you should just curl up and die within 3 months. Even if things seem so bleak or even terminal, I think as a doctor, it is your responsibility to try as many alternatives before telling the patient to throw in the towel. Ok, forget I said that, you should NEVER tell your patient to throw in the towel, but keep searching and trying until you can possibly find something that can help. Even terminal cancer patients can recover and live on, why have to be so negative about pimple scars? Ok, my case might not be as terminal as someone suffering ffrom cancer, but this matters A LOT to me. Even if you don't wanna raise my expectations and risk being called a quack incompetent if you failed to help me, at least if you honestly tried to help me, I know that you've done your best and I won't blame you for it and would just go on to find another doctor who might have another solution.

Nevertheless, I'm going to give him a chance. He told me to follow up within a month so that's what I'll do. He hasn't prescribed any oral medication yet, but I guess this would depend on the results in a month's time. I told him I've had this problem since I was a teenager, and he concluded that my problem stems from hormonal issues, which I've always suspected. Sometimes, I feel that the doctors might be beating around the bush. If my problem stems from internal hormonal issues, why not give me something that will help me from within? Could it be that the oral medication might have some side effects? I don't know. All I know is I have to trust what he's doing. I can always move on if what he's doing isn't helping. Hope something works.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Only One Life, Live It!

Ever get the feeling sometimes that life is whooshing past, leaving you to eat dust? The days seem shorter, and every day/week/month feels kinda repetitive and routine-bound. Too much for comfort actually. One of my greatest fears is reaching the end of my life and thinking back of all the things I should, could and would've done, but I let the opportunities slip by in the past. Life is indeed too short, it's a one-way road and you can only have one. I've always come to believe that we should LIVE it and live it well.

DO ALL THE THINGS YOU LOVE and don't give a flying fuck to anyone who disapproves.

ALWAYS PURSUE YOUR DREAMS, don't just daydream it for the rest of your life. Give the 'finger' to anyone who thinks that your dreams are bullshit, a joke or unachievable. You should actually cut out all these people from your life. They are nothing but negative influences and are probably just a spiteful bunch because they themselves failed to or never even tried to pursue their own dreams. They are like weights attached to you while you are trying to swim to the surface, just pulling you down. Get rid of them from your lives, you'll be much better off. Even if you tried and failed, at least you tried and didn't abandon your dreams.

BE THE PERSON YOU WANT TO BE, not what others want you to be. I think it says nothing more than being yourself.

ENJOY YOURSELF TO THE MAX. Not to paint myself as an entirely hedonistic creature, BUT you only have one life, why waste it by making it boring and miserable?

LIVE IN THE PRESENT AND SAVOR THE MOMENT. Reflect on the past but don't let it hold you back. Anticipate and mold your future. I believe that your life is always in your own hands.

TAKE CHANCES as opportunities sometimes rarely comes by. When it does, it can be pretty scary and nerve-wrecking sometimes, but do you really want to think back 30 years from now and wondered how your life would've changed if you did? I think THAT would be scarier for me, because there is nothing you can do about it 30 years from now. Even if you'd made a mistake or bad decision, you can always learn from it and move on.

All in all, I've always wanted to fulfilling life. To me, a fulfilling life is being surrounded by great friends and people, being fit and healthy, having great food, enjoying MANY wonderful moments and achieving all that I want to achieve. A fulfilling life also means being the person I want to be in the end. I don't wanna end life being a negative, bitter and lonely soul who has an old widow who has 20 cats for a housemate. I want to be someone who is good-natured, funny, kind and positive (still working on the positive thing). I want to be someone who knows how to cherish their life and precious moments.

I can safely say, although I have my moody or negative moments, I'm indeed gradually working on getting there =)

Friday, July 17, 2009

This is just...ROFL!

This had me laughing out loud in office first thing in the morning. I still did after posting this!

The repetitive irony is freakin' hilarious, it's like watching a cartoon unfold in real life. ROFL!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Oh, For The Love of Chocolate!

Warning: A very long and chocolatey post!

I LOVE chocolate! I think it's one of the greatest gastronomic creations ever. So, I've decided to share some information I've researched from various sources and dispel certain myths about chocolate!

- Chocolate comes from the Aztec word "cacahuatl" or "xocolatl", which means bitter water.

- The Mayans and Aztecs were the first to discover chocolate and believed that the cocoa beans originated from Paradise and would bring wisdom and power to anyone consuming them.

- Chocolate is derived from cocoa beans. It was called cacao originally, but became cocoa as a result of misspelling.

- Cocoa trees require warm, moist climates and are largely found in West Africa - Ghana, the Ivory Coast and Nigeria. The scientific term for the Cocoa Tree is 'Theobroma Cacao'. This is the Greek term for 'Food for the Gods' (I couldn't agree more!).

- A cocoa pod contains about 40-45 cocoa beans. It takes about 135-270 cocoa beans to make a pound of chocolate.

- Chocolate is an excellent source of energy. A single chocolate chip can provide enough energy for an adult human to walk a distance of 150 feet. Napoleon supposedly carried along Chocolate on his military campaigns, and always ate it to restore energy. Nowadays Sports-persons are often given Chocolate energy bars after sporting activities to restore carbohydrates.

- Chocolate has over 500 individual flavor components, more than half of strawberries and vanilla. No wonder it tastes so good!

- A normal chocolate bar usually contains ratios of cocoa powder, cocoa butter, sugar and vanilla, and milk is added for dairy chocolate. The different ratios will determine what type of chocolate is made. For example, dark chocolate contains more cocoa powder, cocoa butter, vanilla and less sugar.

- Cocoa beans contain approximately 50% fat. It is primarily comprised of two saturated fatty acids (palmitic and stearic acids) and one mono-unsaturated acid(oleic acid). Cocoa butter and chocolate do not raise blood cholesterol. However, when consuming milk chocolate or lower grade chocolate where a part of the total fat content comes from milk fat or various other types of fat, the cholesterol level might be adversely affected.

- The cacao bean contains quite a lot of carbohydrates, but most of it is starch, soluble dietary fibers, and insoluble dietary fibers. A very small proportion is simple sugars. Sugar is added during the manufacture of chocolate.

- Cocoa beans contain polyphenols (similar to those found in wine) with antioxidant properties which are health beneficial. These compounds are called flavonoids and include catechins, epicatechins, and procyandins. The antioxidant flavinoids are found in the nonfat portions of the cocoa bean. The flavinoids also reduce the blood's ability to clot and thus reduces the risk of stroke and heart attacks.

- Chocolate contains theobromine is a very mild stimulant with a mild diuretic action (increases the production of urine) and helps boost blood sugar levels. Theobromine can be toxic to animals like dogs, cats, parrots and horses.

- Chocolate also contains chromium, which helps to control blood sugar.

- Cocoa beans contains a very low amount of caffeine, much less than found in coffee, tea and cola drinks. There are about 5 to 10 milligrams of caffeine in one ounce of bittersweet chocolate, 5 milligrams in milk chocolate, and 10 milligrams in a six-ounce cup of cocoa. Compare this to 100-150 milligrams found in a cup of coffee.

- Chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), which is a slight antidepressant and stimulant similar to the body's own dopamine and adrenaline. Phenylethylamine is also a substance your body manufactures when you're "falling in love." That's why so many people have considered chocolate an aphrodisiac.

- Cocoa and chocolate can increase the level of serotonine in the brain. Serotonine levels are often decreased in people with depression and in those experiencing PMS symptoms.

- Cocoa beans are rich in a number of essential minerals, including magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium and manganese.

- Chocolate contains vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, C, E and pantothenic acid.

- Contrary to popular belief, chocolate does NOT cause acne. Acne is usually due to an improper diet or a hormone imbalance.

- Dark chocolate may actually discourage tooth decay and lead to fewer cavities and whiter teeth, due to its high cocoa-to-sugar ratio.

- 98% of the world's cocoa is produced in only 15 countries.

- Cocoa butter, which is the fat extract from roasted and crushed Cocoa Beans, is often used as a massage cream.

- White chocolate cannot legally be called chocolate, since it doesn't contain any cocoa powder, just cocoa butter, sugar and vanilla.

- Chocolate was re-born in 1879 when Daniel Peter and Henri Nestle introduced milk chocolate to the world. In the same year Rudolphe Lindt introduced the conching process which makes chocolate smooth and soft.

- Chocolate syrup was used for blood in the famous shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock's movie, "Psycho". This scene, which is of 45 seconds, actually took 7 days to shoot.

- Americans eat almost half of the world's yearly supply of chocolate. Every Russian and American space voyage has included chocolate bars. At the same time, it's a lot less than the Swiss. While the average American eats 10-12 pounds of chocolate a year, the average Swiss eats 21. However, the Swiss have one of the world's lowest obesity and heart failure rates.

- Cocoa powder contains almost of all the antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients. The higher the cocoa content means a ratio of more cocoa powder and less sugar. So, the darker the chocolate, the less sugar it contains, the more healthy benefits it offers and the better it is for you. However, it still contains cocoa butter and sugar which raises the calories, so consume moderately. You will find that you don't need to eat a lot of dark chocolate, since the chocolate concentration is much higher and more satisfying! Usually a few ounces will be enough.

- You can use 100% cocoa powder in foods solely for it's nutritional benefits without adding the calories. (I use it freely in my protein shakes to add the flavor, depth and intensity of chocolate!)

- Chocolate can be used in both sweet and savoury applications. Did you know that salt, heat from chilies/peppers and certain spices actually go very well with and even enchances the taste of chocolate?

So, salivating YET? Had your chocolate fix today?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Neither Here Nor There

My life is a complete standstill at the moment. That's how I feel right now. I'm not really moving front or back in various aspects of my life such as love, career, financial and social status. Some people who know me think that I have a really colorful life because I seem to know quite a few people, go KL quite often lately or go clubbing (which I'm toning down considerably). In fact, its actually quite the opposite. My life can be quite mundane and routinely most of the time when I'm on my own. I prefer to spend time by myself mostly, and usually just indulge in social activities with friends when I'm free or when I plan trips down to KL.

It isn't really much, perhaps they just see or hear the colorful side of it. One of the reasons for the stagnancy currently might be that I'm just lazy or a little too complacent for my own good. I mean, it can be kinda self-absorbing on my daily routine of eat, sleep, work, pummel myself at the gym and plant my ass in front of the PC to relax. Yes yes, you might be secretly yelling,"Move your ass up, get the hell out and find something new to do!"

I have to admit that I'm lacking motivation and just a tad too comfortable indulging in my alone time, although I do feel that I need to pursue something more meaningful coz it can feel kinda empty and lonely at times. I've kinda stopped meeting up with people for some time now. I need to actively search for another job elsewhere (hope no one FROM WORK reads this!), and this goes hand in hand with improving my financial means. Also, I've always wished to work in a big city or in another country. Depending on where I land my next job, it would be a pleasant change in scenery or a big leap into the unknown. Socially, I think I'm good, although I'm usually with a select group of good friends. As I've said, haven't really met anyone new lately.

Sorry for going on forever, but can't really think of much to write about lately since life is pretty much uneventful and grounded. Having said that, I am off to KL again beginning of August to meet an 'accidental' friend from Facebook. It seems trips to KL is becoming a once-a-month thing these past few months. Not that I'm tearing up my wallet, but oh wait, there's the sales going on and I've already spent more than RM 500 last week alone. Mwahahaha, I don't care...I'm prepared not to save any cash during the mega sales period. Hey, gotta spend to save right?

PS: He's a cute doctor from Kuantan who just came back from Russia more than 6 months ago.

PPS: Since I'm having a mental block lately and life isn't exactly an action movie, what would you like me to write about? Any suggestions?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Move It Bitch!

Being a driver for 10 years, I've met a lot of inconsiderate people on the road. But, literally NOTHING freakin' irritates me more than these 2 types of road users:

1. Pedestrians who cross very slowly when you're coming or waiting for them to cross. They KNOW your coming. They SEE you waiting for them to cross. Yet, they take their own sweet time doing so, conveniently swaying their hips and sometimes giving you a cold glance, as if you NEED to wait for them to cross the road that probably belongs to their grandfather. I'm sorry ladies, this one is mostly about you, because I've seen SO many women do this. If I'm waiting for you to cross, then it's not THAT bad. I can handle being slightly annoyed and impatient even though you walk across like the slow-mo scenes in The Matrix. But if I'm actually on the move and coming towards you, no freakin' amount of slow-mo hip-swaying and cold glances is gonna stop me from mowing your bitch-ass down all over the road! So, move it bitch or I'll decorate the road with your ass! Unless you're a hot guy, stop doing that. How come cute or hot guys never do that? I know I sound discriminative but that's how it is!

2. People who take all the time in the world to move from their spot. Yes, I see this happen a lot at gas stations and parking lots. They KNOW you're waiting for them to move their ass. They SEE you waiting for them with your turn signal on. Yet, they get into the car, drink some water, shift their asses about, proceed to press whatever on their dashboard, sometimes turning to talk to the person beside them, drink more water, probably proceed to check their pubes for any crab infestations and doing their laundry in the process. I don't care! Just freakin' move your complacent ass coz people are waiting for you and are probably holding up more people behind! Don't they have an ounce of civic-mindedness? If you're waiting for someone or not making a move yet, then make a bloody gesture to let me know! Don't make me sit in the car growing an ulcer from the emotional volcano brewing inside!

Here's a PERFECT example for #2 that happened to me just weeks ago:

I went to Queensbay Mall basement car park, and it was full. Apparently, the guards were busy chasing butterflies or something to bother monitoring the amount of cars in the small basement to stop cars from further entering after it was full. As a results, cars were circulating the basement like moths to a streetlight, and I was one of those fools. After close to 20 mins, I FINALLY saw a chinese father/daughter pair (I think) pushing a shopping cart to a car right in front of me. So, I immediately put on my right side signal and waited for them to unload and get moving. Both of them SAW me waiting but proceed to move like a couple of turtles racing in peanut butter. The young lady SLOWLY went to the back and popped open then trunk, and proceeded to pose like a supermodel, when I swear she probably looks more like a tranny. So, her middle-aged father had to SLOWLY load all 5-6 large shopping bags into the trunk himself, making several trips from the front to the back, and his molasses-like movement was beginning to draw some annoyance from me. Can't she help? Must she behave like a freakin' arrogant diva? I was tempted to really give her a bitchslap.

After everything was loaded, the lazy bitch young lady went into the front passenger seat. Then, as the father returned to the empty shopping cart, he shot a glance at me waiting there, and to my absolute-further-ulcer-inducing annoyance, proceeded to TURN AROUND and began to SLOWLY push the shopping cart to the OPPOSITE END of the parking lot where the trolley station is! At this time, cars behind me were beginning to honk, as the lane I was waiting on could only fit one car, so I was holding up everyone behind me and maybe even the whole basement was jammed up because of me. When that happened, the young lady began to look anxiously at her father, who once again, very SLOWLY walked back to the car. What the hell is wrong with these people? They KNOW that I'm waiting for their asses to get off that parking spot. They KNOW that traffic is being held up, yet they couldn't care less. I swear, I was about to get out of the car and start yelling at them to move it. But, a friend of mine was in the car and I don't wanna risk scaring him. I'm sure those behind me saw what was going on too and was thinking of doing the same thing.

So all in all, MOVE IT BITCH!

PS: I wasn't really mad when I started this post. But, by then end of it after recounting what had happened, it got me pissed again. LOL!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My Biggest Regret

My biggest regret in life is not taking charge and turning my life around earlier in my youth. During my late teens and early 20s, when I suffered really bad acne problems and started gaining weight due psychological and emotional problems, I didn't do anything to reverse or fight it. Instead, I continued to let myself slip further into my problems. Either I was lazy, didn't believe in myself or just didn't care because I was depressed about it, or all of the above. As a result, I missed out on more than half of my youth, not fully coming out into the gay world and living my life to the fullest. When all my peers were out and about, dating or getting attached, I was still stuck in my own world, not wanting to emerge because I was fugly and fat. If I had done something earlier, my face wouldn't have suffered irrepairable damage from acne scars now and perhaps, I would've had more chances of finding love at a younger age.

I fully came out in the gay scene only when I was 26, after I had lost a lot of weight and my appearance improved a little. Yes, this does draw some laughs or disbelief when I tell gay people that I came out at 26, but I only have myself to blame for not addressing my problems and fixing them when they first came up. Some will tell me that it is not too late and the most important thing is that I did something about it and I'm so much better now, but there is still much guilt and regret lingering within. Now that I'm pushing 29 soon, I feel kinda sad for wasting a large part of my youth, and I can't blame anyone but myself. After all, my life is my own and it's my own responsibility to make the best of it. Looking at my younger friends and how colorful their lives are, sometimes I get envious and get hit with an overwhelming sense of regret. How I wished I had came out sooner. How I wished I had done something about my problems instead of feeling all shitty and complacent about it in the past.

But what's done is done, there is nothing I can do to turn back time. The reason I'm writing this post is to acknowledge my own guilt and regret, so that I can leave them behind. Time waits for no man and is a one way road. I've reminisced with regret on the roads I didn't take, traveled with guilt on the roads I did take, and now I need to gradually leave them behind and continue moving forward.

I also hope that this is a lesson for anyone reading this. If there is ANYTHING at all in life that's holding you back from getting the best out of it, do something about it now. It pays to be pro-active for a better future. Don't wait until it is too late because you'll never get back all the lost time. Do your best, be at your best and never let anything hold you back. You only have one life. Make sure you don't waste it and get the best out of it.