Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Facebook: Friend or Foe?

I have never been able to look at this and resist:



For the most part, I think Facebook is fabulous. I see it as a lazy man’s/woman’s device for keeping in touch. It’s a wonderfully welcome alternative to that other old-fashioned mode of communication - the one that’s So-Last-Century – the dull, one-dimensional email (despite being a writer, I abhor writing emails).

I can never find the time to send regular emails to everyone mainly because I can never bring myself to send out those awful “group emails” that some people seem to think is an acceptable form of communication. It’s SO impersonal (especially if it’s from someone you consider as a close friend). One step lower are forwarded jokes and at the very bottom of the bin are ‘chain’ mails. Imagine not hearing from someone for a while and then receiving one of those ridiculous mails that insist you’re going to grow a third nipple if you don’t forward the mail this-very-second to 5 more people! I’ve refrained from indulging in any of these but unfortunately, this also means that I hardly ever email anybody.

In fact, I’m one of the worst correspondents I know and if they were handing out grades for Keeping in Touch, I’d get an E or gagal altogether! Only Trixie has miraculously been spared my notorious habit of not sending regular email. This is only because of her inexorable and tireless efforts of sending me email after email after email until I finally caved and began to reply regularly!

Most of my other friends, whom I love and miss, have to tolerate my long and complete silences between my visits to Malaysia. Thankfully, these are my true friends – that’s why they still stick around (there have been others who have completely dropped of my radar and I can’t say I blame them).

This is where Facebook is a lifesaver. The best thing about it is that you don’t have to write a thesis every time you think of someone or miss them. Instead, you can just ‘poke’ them, add flowers and gnomes in their garden and try to get them virtually drunk by sending them dangerous sounding booze like El Chupacabra and Screaming Viking. This is a very welcome change from those long emails people used to expect from friends who live far away (let’s face it, the Jane Austen days are long gone – who has the time to write long mails, ‘e’ or otherwise, to everyone they know, anyway?)

Another plus point is that you get to ferret out long-lost friends (or vice versa) and ‘trout slap’ them or ask them burning questions like “boy shorts or thongs?” without coming across as a total loser.

Unfortunately, like all great inventions, there are some drawbacks to Facebook. Firstly, it has got to be the most addictive thing invented since alcohol. I wouldn’t be surprised if Facebook Fanatic Rehab Centres don’t start sprouting up soon. I’ve spent hours and hours sitting at my computer, looking at friends’ profiles (it has a delicious voyeur feel to it) or answering stupid trivia questions like what speed did the DeLorean, that Michael J Fox drove, have to reach before it took him “Back to the Future”. Absolutely ridiculous! Still, it’s harder to pry my fingers off the keyboard than it is to pry me away from the latest Aldos .I sit down at 9am and then get the shock of my life when I notice my computer clock : 2pm!!! Horrors!

I also wish someone would come up with Facetiquette – an accepted set of rules on dealing with the unwanted side effects of being a Face-bookie

For instance – what the hell do you do when someone you don’t really like attempts to add you as a friend? Do you do the hypocritical thing which is to accept and then proceed to ignore them or do you just ignore them from the start and wait for the invitation to expire ( I think it does in 30 days) hoping they’ll get the hint once and for all. That might seem a tad childish and petty plus you might keep coming across them again and again in other people’s profiles. How awkward!

I’m also very curious to know what to do about some people’s profile pictures. There’s this one guy – he’s a friend of a friend – whose profile picture looks like an image of Early Man in National Geographic – absolutely hideous. It does him no justice and the worst thing of all is, he asks the question: what do you think of my profile picture? Do I tell or do I not tell?

Finally, there are those strange people who suddenly send out a message like Hi! I wan be ur friend. Next to this message will be a picture of someone you’ve never seen in your life and don’t really want to see either!

All in all I think Facebook has kind of complicated my life but like all junkies – I just can’t-say-no!!!

image courtesy of www.dailymail.co.uk

Monday, October 22, 2007

The "Pig" and the "Comb-Over"

I know I watch too much E! and not enough CNN/BBC so I tuned in to CNN this morning hoping to absorb some knowledge about Seriously Important World Events (it would be nice to think about the state of world economics or finance for a change and not the state of Britney Spears underwear situation - panties-no panties,panties-no panties)

Unfortunately, my attempt at avoiding entertainment news totally failed when I happened to be just in time to catch Larry King Live. It would have been fine if Larry had Barrack Obama or Hilary Clinton as a guest but guess who Larry was interviewing today? None other than the very outspoken and in-your-face Donald (as in Trump) sporting, as always, his even more in-your-face hairdo(n't).



I stayed tuned hoping that The Donald might still assuage my sudden and inexplicable thirst for Seriously Important World Events by spewing worthy information about - say- the rise and fall of the real estate market and how it affects the American economy ( I seem to be obsessed today with economy or some reason).

I presume he'd been invited to appear on Larry's show to promote his new book Think Big and Kick Ass in Business and Life but there seemed to be very little talk about the book. Instead he sat there, with his unfortunate hairdo, going on about...celebrities! Despite myself, I was intrigued. The Donald isn't known for being shy and today, he outdid himself.

He proceeded to describe Angelina Jolie as not very beautiful, George Clooney as not very tall and Rosie O'Donnell as a pig (its harsh but Rosie isn't exactly svelte).



I looked it up and apparently there was a huge feud with Rosie last year and the two have been verbally sparring ever since.... much like how kids in a kindergarten argue over who should get the larger biscuit at break time.

They degenerated into calling each other names with Rosie calling Donald a pimp and a 'comb-over' and Donald calling Rosie a slob and a mental-midget ( I must say if this were a contest on meanness, Donald's insults are much better than Rosie's - not to mention more entertaining!)

I can't imagine why grown men and women would stoop to this level. Maybe its just publicity or maybe they're really crass people who happen to have fame and money. Either way, its all highly amusing!

I immediately turned to the E! channel after Donald's interview with Larry ended. Who gives a @#$$ about world economics when you can entertain yourself with a battle between a pig and a comb-over!

pic courtesy of www.golfblogger.co.uk and poxline.buzznet.com

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Stupid Rapper Names

Ooops! I just realized that I'd accidentally published this post without the pics so here it is again, with pics and paragraph indentations included this time : )

Has no one else noticed that rappers have the most stupid names - ever? How are we, the general public, supposed to take people like Ludacris seriously when his name can be instantly linked to the word ludicrous which is what he must be to have a name like that! (he certainly looks the part in this pic)



Next on my hit list is 50 cent (it just occurred to me that Rappers, of all people, know all about making hits and getting hit!).


The man must have no sense of self-worth. He could have, at the very least, called himself 500cent or 5000cent but nooooo… he had to go cheap. Now, according to the E! channel, he's known only as Fiddy which is just as well.

While we're on the subject of stupid rapper names, I can't possibly leave out Nelly. For one thing, Nelly is, as far as I know, a woman's name. For another thing, this particular Nelly looks more like a Felly (that's my original rapper-slang for felon). I don't care how good his music is, he really shouldn't be allowed to get away with making people call him that.



But if Nelly is bad, Snoop Dogg is even worse! Previously known as Snoop Doggy Dogg, he apparently changed his name to Snoop Dogg when he left Death Row Records (there's another absurd name for you!) to No Limit Records*. His mum used to call him Snoopy when he was little because of his love for the comic, Peanuts. This is all very sweet until you take a look at the adult Snoop Dogg...Doggy or whatever.

This tall, emaciated rake of a man, doesn't look anything like Charlie's Brown's Snoopy. Instead, he looks like he's just smoked something that you can't buy at 7-11. Here's proof (only someone high on something is going to go out in public looking like this!):




There's really no end to the Stupid Rapper Name List. Snoop Dogg not only forced us to accept his own silly name but he's responsible for spawning Lil' Bow Wow who has now renamed himself Bow Wow (does he think that he's going to gain any more respect for dropping the Lil' when his name is essentially the sound dogs make when they bark?).

There are others who deserve special mention. There's Diddy who was previously Puff Daddy, Puffy, P.Diddy and countless other equally absurd variations of a basically stupid name. I think Ice Cube wants himself to be associated with ice because it's cool. Listen, man - Vanilla Ice tried it years before….it didn't work then, it's not going to work now. The lesser-known Coolio also probably thinks he's linking himself to the word 'cool' in people's minds but sadly, you hear Coolio you think coolie - laborers hired for minimum wage.

Besides having asinine names, not many of these rapper types have much in the looks department. More than half of the really famous ones look like they're either stoned, drunk or both (see above). The rest look like they've escaped from a nearby penitentiary and I always expect to see the police come and grab them by the collar in the middle of one of their concerts (this might actually happen - a large number of these gangstas have police records or seen the inside of a prison).

I suppose everyone forgives their lousy names and even lousier looks because of their talent but I personally think the music industry is in need of a serious revamp when people like Da Brat and Yukmouth (l didn't make these up) are allowed to flourish.

Fascinating fact: I was looking up rapper names on Google when I came across www.rapstarname.com . It generates a rapper name for you. Apparently, I'm supposed to be Kandle Valentine if I ever went down the rap route (not too bad - at least it wasn't Da Gangsta Gurl or Talant-lass!).

*info gleaned from Wikipedia

image of nelly courtesy of www.nndb.com, snoop - pursepage.com, 50 - nymag.com, ludacris - daveyd.com

Stupid Rapper Names

Has no one else noticed that rappers have the most stupid names - ever? How are we, the general public, supposed to take people like Ludacris seriously when his name can be instantly linked to the word ludicrous which is what he must be to have a name like that! (he certainly looks the part in this pic)
Next on my hit list is 50 cent (it just occurred to me that Rappers, of all people, are familiar with more than one kind of hit !). The man must have no sense of self-worth. He could have, at the very least, called himself 500cent or 5000cent but nooooo… he had to go cheap. Now, according to the E! channel, he's known only as Fiddy which is just as well.
While we're on the subject of stupid rapper names, I can't possibly leave out Nelly. For one thing, Nelly is, as far as I know, a woman's name. For another thing, this particular Nelly looks more like a Felly (that's my original rapper-slang for felon). I don't care how good his music is, he really shouldn't be allowed to get away with making people call him that.
But if Nelly is bad, Snoop Dogg is even worse! Previously known as Snoop Doggy Dogg, he apparently changed his name to Snoop Dogg when he left Death Row Records (there's another absurd name for you!) to No Limit Records*. His mum used to call him Snoopy when he was little because of his love for the comic, Peanuts. This is all very sweet until you take a look at the adult Snoop Dogg...Doggy or whatever.
This tall, emaciated rake of a man, doesn't look anything like Charlie's Brown's Snoopy. Instead, he looks like he's just smoked something that you can't buy at 7-11.Only the real Snoopy can get away with a name like that and that's because he's a cartoon dog!
There's really no end to the Stupid Rapper Name List. Snoop Dogg not only forced us to accept his own silly name but he's responsible for spawning Lil' Bow Wow who has now renamed himself Bow Wow (does he think that he's going to gain any more respect for dropping the Lil' when his name is essentially the sound dogs make when they bark?).
There are others who deserve special mention. There's Diddy who was previously Puff Daddy, Puffy, P.Diddy and countless other equally absurd variations of a basically stupid name. I think Ice Cube wants himself to be associated with ice because it's cool. Listen, man - Vanilla Ice tried it years before….it didn't work then, it's not going to work now. The lesser-known Coolio also probably thinks he's linking himself to the word 'cool' in people's minds but sadly, you hear Coolio you think coolie - laborers hired for minimum wage.
Besides having asinine names, not many of these rapper types have much in the looks department. More than half of the really famous ones look like they're either stoned, drunk or both. The rest look like they've escaped from a nearby penitentiary and I always expect to see the police come and grab them by the collar in the middle of one of their concerts (this might actually happen - a large number of these gangstas have police records or seen the inside of a prison)
I suppose everyone forgives their lousy names and even lousier looks because of their talent but I personally think the music industry is in need of a serious revamp when people like Da Brat and Yukmouth (l didn't make these up) are allowed to flourish.
Fascinating fact: I was looking up rapper names on Google when I came across www.rapstarname.com . It generates a rapper name for you. Apparently, I'm supposed to be Kandle Valentine if I ever became a rap star (not too bad - at least it wasn't Da Gangsta Gurl/Talant-lass)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Malaysian Star

One Malaysian Muslim will be completing his Ramadhan and celebrating Raya in outer space! Right this minute, our very own astronaut, Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, is floating above us - out in the deep black among the stars. The whole idea of it is mind-blowing...literally out of this world!The news is so big that it has even filtered out to me here in Tanzania and penetrated my news-free existence.

I looked it up on the net and discovered that our astronaut is not only an astronaut but an orthopaedic surgeon and as a HUGE bonus, he's a hot, hot, hottie!




I didn't manage to unearth any news on his personal life so I have no idea if he's attached but if he is, I feel sorry for his girlfriend!This guy has got to be Malaysia's most eligible bachelor right now and I suspect plenty of prowling women aren't going to allow a little matter like a girlfriend get in their way!

Forget about dangers like radiation bombarding, nausea and all the other zero-gravity related problems Shukor will have to grapple with. The most astronomical (*grins*) predicament he'll have on his hands is fending off all the ladies who're going to be bearing down upon him when he gets home.

I bet our national heart-throb will inspire plenty of astronaughty thoughts among them!

Okay, I think I'm nauseating everyone with my astronaut wordplay so I'll stop here (I tried it with Angkasawan but couldn't come up with anything punny!)

pic of hottie courtesy of codewolf.com

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Boys's Night Out

Boys' Night Out. Three little words that I have never really understood . I've always believed that Boys Behaving Badly would be a more appropriate term to describe the antics that these boys (and sometimes elderly men) get up to when they all go out together to drink themselves into a coma.

I've happened to be at pubs when some of these Boys' Night Out gangs appear. They usually start off thumping each other on the back and looking pleased with themselves. After a while and a substantial amount of alcohol things start getting a little out of hand. That's when the whooping and whistling at everything that looks vaguely like a woman begins (this activity is often mighty dangerous in bars in Asia and especially Thailand where there are many lovely ladies who are lads).

As the night wears on, the thumping and whooping carries on, albeit, louder and in a more rowdy fashion. Eventually, someone decides that he wants to 'get some action' and cheered on by the others, makes his drunken way toward an unsuspecting woman somewhere in the bar.

Normally some kind of bet (the prize usually being more alcohol) will be involved. If the would-be Romeo is lucky, the woman is as drunk as he is and might actually allow herself to be pursued. If the Romeo is really lucky, this woman won't turn out to be a man.

I've had the wicked pleasure of witnessing one such drunken idiot approach and begin to chat up a man pretending to be a woman. Supported enthusiastically by his pals, the rather geriatric fellow proceeded to buy the "woman" a drink. I have no idea if his friends knew the truth and just wanted to watch the fun or if they were too smashed to know or care.

I'm pretty sure that the old geezer who was doing the chatting up was by no means gay. I'm also pretty sure that he didn't notice the "woman's" Adam's apple because he was by no means sober. I suppose I can't blame an inebriated geriatric if he attempts to pick up someone who looks like the one on the left without knowing that she's actually the one on the right:




I saw them leave the bar together a little later that night. Something tells me that, if the old dude had not had a fatal cardiac arrest after discovering the truth, that little escapade wouldn't stop him from making a fool of himself all over again in the following Boys' Night Out. That's the thing about men, they're not quitters. If they make a fool of themselves the first time, it never stops them from trying again!

picture of RuPaul courtesy of crossdresing.pl

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

My hero, my friend.

Today, I found myself suddenly drawing a blank about the difference between its and it's. I can't believe this has happened to me especially since I belong to the group "If You Can't Tell the Difference Between It's and Its, You Deserve to Die!" on Facebook.

However, as I have often done during my darkest hours, I turned to my loyal, dependable friend, my rock and my secret weapon - Google. I typed "its and it's" and within seconds, the answer I was looking for appeared like magic before me and my world is right once again.

Its = possessive
It's = it is

I think people struggle with the two because, usually, a possessive includes the apostrophe as in Trisha's Johnny Depp or Johnny Depp's Trisha. So people tend to think that it's is the version that indicates possessives of nouns and pronouns.

Mixing up the two is an unforgivable sin - especially for a writer. I blame Lynn Truss, the author of Eats Shoots and Leaves, which I'm reading right now. According to the front jacket, it is a book with "the zero tolerance approach to punctuation".



I'm sorry to report that all it seems to have achieved is to confuse me about "it's and its" because of the numerous (hilarious) examples Lynn has included on the wrong way to use the two in a sentence.

Thankfully, Google was there to save me once again. My hero, my friend!
images courtesy of booksamillion.com