Friday, June 29, 2007

Hard Candy: A Review

"Everybody will be safer if I do a little preventive maintenance"

Hayley Stark, the 14-year-old girl
in Hard Candy (2005)

Sounds tame, huh? That's because you don't know what she meant by "preventive maintenance".

Cool shit poster, right?

This is a review of the 2005 flick, Hard Candy. If you haven't watch the movie, stop reading now. If you haven't watch the movie and don't plan to anyway, please continue reading. If you're the sort that likes to find out the plot twists and ending of a movie before watching it, you can continue reading too if you like.


Hayley Stark (left) played by Ellen Page, and Jeff Kohlver (right) played by Patrick Wilson.

First off, I don't know which genre I should categorise this flick. It's either a horror, a psych triller or a artsy-fartsy-I-wanna-win-the-Palme-d'Or-at-Cannes sort of feature. Personally, I type flicks into five distinct groups;
  • Intelligent - Movies that are clever without appearing that it consciously think it does. Infernal Affairs and The Usual Suspects are good examples.
  • Pseudo-intelligent - Movies that makes you feel as if the director constantly pats himself on his own back all through the film's production thinking that he's OMGGENIUS to direct such an incredibly clever flick e.g. The Departed *coughmassivecrapcough*
  • Fucking Incredible - Beautiful, expensive, big-budgeted blockbusters with more stars than the Milky Way. Case in point; The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
  • Mindless Fun - Non-existent storyline, but heck of a lot of fun to watch anyway. The best example of this category is 300; THIS... IS... SPARTA!
  • Flicks that makes me feel as if I learnt something but I'm not quite sure what - Movies that would haunt my waking hours for weeks to come after I watch them, such as Ghost World, American Beauty, Lost in Translation, etc.

Hard Candy
belongs to Flicks that makes-me-feel-as-if-I-learnt-something-but-I'm-not-quite-sure-what group, with a slight tinge of Pseudo-intelligent and a bit of Mindless Fun in it. The central theme of this movie is paedophilia. In fact, the title "Hard Candy" is an internet slang for an underage girl.

Hard Candy is a gabby show, I must warn you. The whole movie is one long conversation between the two main characters. They'll talk...


... and talk...


... and talk *yawn*...


... and talk,

Nonstop through the whole near-two-hours of the entire film; flirting, arguing, accusing, insulting and shouting at each other while all the other characters only has about 5 minutes tops of screen time combined - not that there's many other characters anyway. In fact, there's only three other actors; Sandra Oh from Grey's Anatomy who played a housewife living next-door to paedophile Jeff, an unknown guy who was a clerk in a cafe, and a non-entity who acted as the paedophile Jeff's ex-girlfriend. That's it. You'll only get to see five humans in this entire movie, which goes a lot to explain why the whole show feels so desolate, as if no one can hear you no matter how much you scream.

As for the plot, this picture summarises it all;

Yeap, that's basically it.

The movie starts off with an internet chatroom conversation displayed on a computer screen (did I mention there's a lot of tête-à-tête in this?) where 14-year-old honor student Hayley and 32-year-old photographer Jeff flirts shamelessly with each other, before finally agreeing to meet in some local coffee shop for real. Then, after more yada-yada, Hayley suggests that she should go to Jeff's house to listen to some recording of an obscure band's concert which she missed.

At Jeff's place, Jeff offered Hayley a glass of water which she refused, saying that she was taught to never ever drink anything she didn't mix herself. She then proceeded to the kitchen and made screwdrivers for both of them. Unbeknownst to Jeff, Hayley added a little something extra to his glass.

After more talk, Hayley insisted that Jeff should take out his camera and snap some pictures of her, like those Jeff displayed on his walls (all underage models; what sort of photographer was Jeff really anyway?). Hayley was posing seductively on a couch without her shirt when Jeff blacks out from the 'Chemical X' Hayley spiked his drink with earlier. I must say; Ellen Page has a really hot bod which we totally didn't get enough of when she played Kitty Pryde (or Shadowcat, who can phase through walls) in the third X-Men movie. I'm not a paedophile, okay? She's only a year younger than me!

He found that he was tied to a chair when he woke up, and both him and Hayley yakked some more. The girl however had a total change of character. She became abusive, sarcastic and harsh. She called Jeff a paedophile and insisted that he was the one who kidnapped a local girl who had went missing and claimed that he had murdered her. Then she gave brief, angry monologue on how 'girls may act like women but they are not women' and that he was the 'responsible adult' and shit like that. I find that overly preachy - powerfully delivered, but sounded too much like a community service message. Props to Ellen Page. Pffft to the scriptwriter.

Hayley then stormed through Jeff's house, practically tearing the pad apart in her search for evidence that Jeff's a paedophile (one of my favourite scenes in this flick). She finally uncovered a combination safe hidden under some pretentious indoor-rock-filled-ornament-thingy. She cleverly deduced the password but she was knocked out by Jeff, who managed to land a solid kick in spite of being tied down to a chair. Lesson to be learnt here; Never tie your prisoners to a chair with wheels.

He frantically wheeled his chair to his room, picked up his handgun, and came out again, finding that Hayley had disappeared. She reappeared behind him and subdued him with some plastic wrap around his face, but not before he managed to smash Hayley repeatedly into the wall.

When he woke up for the second time, he found that he'd been tied to a table without his pants and a bag of ice on his pee-pee. It turns out that Jeff kept his kiddie porn in that safe, confirming that he was indeed a paedophile and blowing all his lies to pieces. Besides that, Hayley also found a picture of the missing local girl posing in front of that same coffee shop Hayley and Jeff went to, implicating Jeff with her disappearance. What happened next (after more talking, of course) was my favourite part of the show;

This is where she spoke the quote at the start of this post.

She shaved his pubes and cut off his balls. She then tossed them into the waste disposal unit where they got ground to mush. I cringed an awful lot through that (and clutched my own nuts in mental agony). Strangely enough, I also kept laughing through that. I simply couldn't help it - Hayley was being so incredibly cute through the whole ordeal.

Jeff: What the fuck are you doing?

Hayley: I have to shave you down here down here. I mean, I can't have any hair on the incision site, right?

Jeff: What?!

Hayley: Oh, I've been using my dad's medical library at school, and um - what you said - I was pretty bright, right? I think I'm smart enough to perform a successful castration.

That happened right in the middle of the movie. The rest of the show involved a couple of unexpected twists and a slow and clinical psychological torture (which means they talk a whole lot more) where Hayley managed to persuade Jeff to hang himself. The end. Sorry, I got lazy writing out the whole tale. Let us just skip that and go into this;

What I like about the flick;
  • Ellen Page is hot.
  • And yeah, Ellen Page is also a superbly convincing actress, by the way. She's the gullible teenager, the sarcastic, sullen teenager, and the teenage psychopath all-in-one. I like the way she talks. So the insane amount of talking you get in this flick is a good thing - at least it is, in my book. I'm going to catch every movie she stars in from now on.
  • Someone's testicles got cut out.
  • That someone is conscious through the entire balls-cutting torment.
  • The fact that next-to-nothing is revealed about the character Hayley. We aren't told why she's hunting down Jeff. We aren't told why she hates paedophiles so much. In fact, Hayley might not even be her real name. She's like some sort of deviously clever, sadistic, 14-year-old force of nature.
  • Ellen Page is hot.

What I hate about this flick;
  • Patrick Wilson (that guy who played Jeff) didn't scream enough when he got his balls cut out.
  • Ellen Page didn't take off her training bra.

What made me say "What the fuck!" out loud;
  • Turns out that Hayley didn't actually cut out his balls after all but just clamped his nut-sac with a big bulldog clip.
  • When Sandra Oh's neighbourly character, Mrs. Tokuda talked to Hayley, she acted as if she the nasty, bloody cut on Hayley's forehead was invisible. I mean, wouldn't you be concerned if you're talking to someone with an ugly, bleeding gash above her brows? She should have shown at least a bit of curious suspicion, like keep trying to steal glances at the cut, for example, instead of having bricks-for-face. That goes a lot to show what kind of crappy actress she is, and while I'm at it - Grey's Anatomy sucks. House MD roolz!

What made me show my middle finger at the screen when I was watching this flick;
  • The paedophile Jeff let Hayley talk into him into committing suicide by threatening to reveal his dark, lurid fetish to Jeff's ex-girlfriend, who he was still madly in love with.

What we have here is a movie that is cool and crappy at the same time. This flimsy collection of plot-holes and badly motivated character actions (especially Jeff's) are fortunately held together by intelligent dialogues and top-hole performance from Ellen Page, of whom I could not get enough of, despite the fact that she already got at least 2/3 of the total screen time in this entire film.

I give Hard Candy a 6 out of 10. This is most definitely not a good movie for those with short attention spans. However, if you're into sick, sadistic psychopaths (like me!) and intelligent conversations, this flick is definitely worth a watch. And if you're a paedophile, consider yourself warned; The next cute, innocent underage chick you bring back home might just cut off your balls for real and eat 'em.

Ellen Page's newest fan,
k0k s3n w4i

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Tee Offed

"Ohya.. they r making ur shirt design. U shud promote too..lolz"

Inn Shan, my Class Dictator Representative,
in an SMS nearly two weeks ago

I meant to blog about this ages ago, but there seemed to always be something else I'd rather talk about. In fact, there's about 7 other posts that I'm simultaneously working on which I'd rather finish writing than do this post. But since the design was already exhibited to all the other batches/classes (and before the news becomes staler than it already is) I decided that I can no longer put off writing this.

If you guys don't already know, a couple of colleagues from my class and I were approached more than a month or two ago by Inn Shan (along several others esteemed individuals from other batches who were in turn approached by their own class reps), to design this year's T-shirt for my college - which I suspect is too cheap to hire a professional to do the job. Of course, at that time Inn Shan told me about this design thingamajig, he also told me that I only had the weekend to work on it *WTFonlytheweekend?@&#@^*;%*

I voluntarily joined this no-prize-for-winning-except-for-bragging-rights-which-is-good-enough-for-me competition last year and lost. This year, I honestly wasn't thinking of joining at all. My previous entry sucked donkey nuts. I used *falsecough* colour pencils for it1 because I can't paint to save my life. Hell, even a chimpanzee has more water-colour painting talents in its penis than I do in my entire body.

I'll see what I can put together over the weekend," I told Inn Shan. Of course, this time around, I'm not going to be fiddling around with cissy colour pencils or crayons - not since I managed to bring my Photoshop skillz up to a roughly do-not-suck-donkey-nuts-anymore level [evil_overlord_laughter.mp3 not found].

I managed to complete my design after dinner on Saturday night (or Sunday, I don't remember2) and passed the "blueprints" to Inn Shan over the MSN Messenger. Of course, when he told me later than the submission date had been pushed forward a week later, I felt like smothering him under the derrière of a morbidly obese woman. I don't like to rush my work. I like to spend weeks and weeks procrastinating before panicking and actually doing any work the night before the deadline.

But strangely enough, mine got picked. I have a nagging feeling that not many people submitted their entries. Gosh, maybe NO ONE submitted and I won by default! Okay, okay, don't tell me. Just let me pretend that my design beat two or three hundred other kids', alright? It does my ego good.

So, that's all for back-story. Here's my original entry;

The boobs side.

The butt side.

Clean, decent design with a lame, generic tagline (derived from the college's motto of "Inspired by Life"); the sort of design that the living fossils the lecturers would love.

Afterwards, I have a sudden attack of conscience for lying so blatantly on the t-shirt that I immediately rustled up a more honest version;

I'm definitely printing one for myself. Stickin' it to the Man, yeah!

The man-shaped thing on the Butt Side was based on one of the cute cut-outs of smart-ass people exchanging wisecracks exhibited at the landings of the staircases at the Lecture Hall building3. They reminded me of the monolithic stone heads of Easter Island;

My college's idea of humour.

Just a couple of days ago, Inn Shan came to me and told me that I have to make a change to the Boobs Side of the shirt. It turns out that the fossils faculty liked my design just fine (especially the Butt Side, I was told), but they didn't like the idea of the big checkered letters of MMMC being placed so near the groin.

Damn, they saw right through my frame of mind.

I find it odd that the same bunch of stuffed shirts that authorised such wiseacre-ism in the interior decor of their lecture hall complex (picture above) should be so touchy about the college's initial being displayed near their students' genitalia. I mean, what's wrong with that, really?

Of course, if they actually figured out the real reason for the positioning of the letters, they'd boot me out of school (or worse, into the formalin tanks where they keep the dead bodies4);

Nothing expresses love for the ol' alma mater like a big gun to her name.

So, the order I got was to shift the letters higher up (and I was to perform this feat in one night). One night is more than enough, yes, if I merely shift the initials to say, the level of the right breast (heck, even fifteen minutes is enough for that) but doing just that would make the shirt look daft. Really daft. Retarded-IQ daft.

So I had to redesign the entire Boobs Side of the shirt and that took me till late in the night (and a huge chunk of the a.m as well - I slept at four). A large amount of the time was spent staring at the original design waiting for some half-baked idea to pop into my oven. There was no "Eureka!" or "By Jove, I got it!" moments when I finally thought up the new front. All I had was a pretty sedate "Err, maybe I can do it this way" moment.

Here's the result;

The new boobs side.

The new butt side.

Last year's winning design got screwed pretty badly by the lousy printing job done by the local t-shirt mill (mainly due to the design complexity, I suppose) so I made mine with only two colours (three, if you count the shirt's colour too).

My only complain about my design was that it's white. I hardly ever wear white myself save my lab-coat, which I put on before I go to class everyday5

Anyway, I think the shirt looks better with its colours inverted like this;



What do you think?

Adding commercial apparel design
to his repertoire of talents,
k0k s3n w4i

1 Don't laugh. It's unkind to laugh at the "slow" kids.
2 Well, if you've been following k0k bL0k all this while, you'd realise that I'm really, really, really bad with dates and time. I once asked a friend of mine which month it was while filling up my examination answer script.
3 Better known as the Interact Building.
4 Now you know why my college seems to have an endless supply of cadavers for us to dissect. Lesson: Don't mess with medical school faculty members.
5 Not because the weather's cold or that it looks stylish - but because it has huge pockets for me to keep my camera in (which I carry with me every I go, as many of you guys suspected I do).

Monday, June 25, 2007

Guilt in the Quilt

"If I touch a burning candle I can feel no pain
In the ice or in the sun it's all the same
Yet I feel my heart is aching
Though it doesn't beat, it's breaking
And the pain here that I feel
Try and tell me it's not real
I know that I am dead
Yet it seems that I still have some tears to shed"

Helena Bonham Carter as Emily the Corpse Bride,
Tears to Shed, Corpse Bride (2005)

... with little difficulty, I managed to turn the familiar iron key in the lock. It was an old-fashioned affair, and the black paint around the keyhole was flaked, betraying a layer of aging rust right beneath it. Not many people knew how to unlock this door. There’s a trick to it; a minute twist of the wrist to make sure the tumblers click just so. It’s a trick that could neither be described in words nor on paper, nor taught to another. It’s a trick that had to be learnt through empirical means – through a lifetime fastening and unfastening that same old lock on incalculable occasions till the necessary skill becomes instinctive, ingrained. I suspect that the feat involves the memory of the movement to be programmed not just into the head, but also into the fine muscles of the fingers and wrist because my left hand is wholly incapable of performing the deed. I know, because I have tried.

It’s the sort of lock that would only open to three types of person; a locksmith, a housebreaker with a mallet, and someone who have lived in that house all his life. I am that third kind. Ever since I could remember, I’ve lived in this house with my grandparents and my great grandmother, who had only hair as white and as clean as snow in all the memories I have of her. She was already ancient when I was small.

My father and mother often have trouble with the lock, and could only open it if they wiggle the key in the keyhole till the teeth find the right angle and position by chance. They didn’t live here as long as I did. They are Outsiders.

The grille door slid silently open with the barest tug of my hand.


It’s the same door I knew all my life. I recognized every detail, every organic curl of the grille’s design, and every crack of paint on it – yet, it didn’t make the familiar noises I knew and remembered. That old door I knew would screech till my molars felt like exploding. The door had changed - but in what way, I cannot discern. What I can say for sure was that it wasn’t oiled. It was more like the sound simply didn’t reach my ears.

I stepped into the half-lit living room which invaded me simultaneously with the polar sensations of familiarity and screaming foreignness. It looked exactly the same as I’ve last seen it. The sofas were in the exact same spots they have been standing on since the day they were brought in more than twenty years ago. The television – the third this household had welcomed into the family - was perching on the same wooden altar its predecessors were installed. The massive ornamental shelf filled with knick-knacks and bottles of liquor, my grandmother’s little “work cabinet” which I was told to never touch when I was little, the lumpy old beanbag that had long lost all its plushness – everything was exactly where I expected them to be.

But deep down inside, I knew it’s a different place. There were a thousand different microscopic things that collectively and simultaneously vexed me, and many of which I could not even name. The air felt… heavier. The marble tiles did not have the same cool feeling the soles of my feet recognize. Little, insignificant things. Things I did not knew but nevertheless remembered.

"Older," I whispered, finding my own voice to be distant, "Much older."

The house felt as if it had aged considerably – like a thousand years or two. Somehow, it was frozen in the almost precise condition I left it, with not a single mote of dust added or subtracted. If this house had a soul, it had left it centuries ago. It’s just like a man at the very moment of his death; the colour remains in his cheeks and the warmth has yet to leave his fingers. He looks like he’s only sleeping, but the heart within his chest no longer beats.

Something was watching me with unfeeling eyes – and I felt its gaze grazing my left cheek. From the corner my left eye, I spotted a tiny, grey and white figure which was only about as tall as my kneecap peering at me from under the coffee table. I turned instantly to face my diminutive observer but I saw nothing there - nothing save a pile of back-issue Reader’s Digests where I thought 'it' must have stood. I insisted sternly to myself that I must have imagined it. The other possibilities were simply too eerie to be even entertained.

I ascended the eighteen parquet-covered steps leading upstairs two steps at a time – the same way I’ve been climbing these stairs ever since I discovered that my legs had grown long enough to do it. On the first floor, I found that the roof have completely disappeared without a trace, leaving the four bedrooms and two bathrooms exposed to the noonday sun right above.

It’s peculiar that the ceiling and roof have apparently vanished, but what I found to be even more peculiar was that the sun, in spite of blazing in its full noontide glory, failed to radiate any warmth. It’s as if the roof was still there, blocking the sun’s rays, though for some inexplicable reason I could not see it. The most peculiar thing of all, of course, was that I wasn’t at all surprised or alarmed by all these peculiarities. It was as if I expected to see them, though I did not know why.

Then, in the peripheral regions on my vision, I saw the little grey-white ‘thing’ again peeping at me from under the dark-wood altar of the Goddess of Mercy. This time I resisted the instinctive urge to turn and face it. I just stood still and tried to focus my sight on it without turning my head.

A deathly chill was birthed at the bottom of my spine and it crept slowly all the way up to the top of my skull, raising the fine hairs on the back of my scalp and neck as it crawled underneath the skin there. I managed to make out a face on the creature’s tiny head, and it had decidedly feline features in it. It was a cat’s face on a cat’s head attached to the sleek, feminine body of a cat. It looked exactly like a cat in every aspect from its whiskers down to its languid tail – except that it wasn’t. I knew it wasn’t. It simply couldn’t be.

Because cats don’t stand upright on their two hind legs.

I turned and looked at the ‘cat’ square in the face, hoping to make it disappear like the first time I did that but it just looked back at me with its strange, limpid, fey eyes. It was at that moment I realised that its orbs were devoid of whites. They are like shiny black marbles which for some reason reminded me of a drug addict’s – all desire and no soul; voracious and all-consuming.

I broke the stare and flew down the stairs, hurdling six steps at a time, and found that the living room below had changed again. The front door which I have left open was deceptively close by, but no matter how hard I ran, there seemed to always be two or three steps left before I could reach it. I looked down on the floor beneath me which assured me that I was moving at a great speed but yet, I was going no where at all. And at the fringes of my vision - that blurred region where I could never tell whether what I saw was real or imaginary - there was a great number of 'cats' which all stood like humans on their hind legs, and each watched me solemnly through their moist, black eyes. When I looked directly at them, they would never be there. But they would reappear exactly where they were when I looked away…

Confiteor Deo Omnipotenti, quia peccavi nimis cogitatione.

Mea culpa,
k0k s3n w4i

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Clubbed House

"A good lecture class is like a good skirt. It should be short enough to garner interest, but long enough to cover the contents."

Some lecturer from some other college,
during the pre-UTSAV Faculty Skit Competition,
which, according to Kit Sze, recycled the quote
from something Winston Churchill said

The Block 1 Examination had finally finished its loathsome run. Never mind that I've probably flunked everything (thank heavens our batch still can drop the scores of one block exam from being considered into our internal assessment average). What's important is that it's over. Done with. Finito. Kaput. There's important lessons to be learnt from this debacle of being woefully ill-prepared for exams, and the deadly evils of procrastination, I know. I'll put that on a post-it note and learn those valuable lessons tomorrow.

Today, I just want to relax.

The first order of business is to purchase 100 rupees worth of semi-synthetic junk food and watched all the old Disney classics I've downloaded during the course of the entire past week. You guys should try watching those flicks again now that you're adults. It's like you're watching entirely new and different movies! Really, I kid you not!

So watch cartoons and eat junk - that's the plan.

And plans have a tiresome habit of going awry.

It was about 3 pm in the afternoon - I was already fifteen minutes into The Emperor's New Groove and halfway through my second packet of Cheetos - when I heard a thunderous crash so loud I'm sure my ancestors buried all the way in China would sit up in their graves and go, "OMGWTF?" I paused the movie, went upstairs and headed for the door to the balcony (where I fancied the source of the din to be).

Once I opened the door the insane wind grabbed the door out of my hands and flung it wide open, I saw this;

See the smashed railing of my balcony?

Of course, at that time I surveyed the scene, it wasn't nearly quite as tranquil as it is in this picture. Here's a video (yes, I took one!) of the meteorologic mayhem that got my lil' homestead besieged;

It's called the 'force of nature', I believe.

So here's the situation, if you haven't worked it out yet;
  • The massive wind-power of the storm managed to snap a tree's trunk (not uproot - but snap) midway. Anyway, the tree had no business growing so tall anyway with a trunk that disproportionately slender.
  • The falling foliage pawned the railing of my balcony. "Slender" was a relative term. It's a fucking LOG, I tell you.
When the typhoon slowed down a little a quarter of an hour later, I decided to check out the damage from outside my house. This is what I saw at my front door;

Let's play 'Spot the Timber'.

Here's the broken bits up close;

The bit still attached to terra firma.

The aerodynamic bit.

And for an idea of how far the two parts were separated;

Some wind, huh?

While I was pacing about the courtyard trying to get a good angle, Fifi decided to join me in the drizzle. I think she must have heard the shutter-sound effect of my camera and decided to come and camwhorebitch. She's a vain one, that Fifi. I mean, just look at this shameless display of canine charm;

Fifi, shooting electricity from her eyes.

Anyway, back to the story.

Aside my balcony, that length of lumber also body-slammed the roof over Vincent's room and smashed some tiles to bits;

The devastation perpetrated by Log-zilla.

The biggest bother, of course, was that the electricity line was snapped. If they don't get some repair-bloke on that soon, we'll be sitting in the dark tonight. Then, I can neither read nor find out what on earth is this 'New Groove' thing belonging to the emperor. This is a serious code red, grade A1 tragedy!

And I doubt that my inverter and battery can hold out much longer now. Pretty soon, I'll be cut off from the Great and Beneficent World Wide Web as well. Consider this post a shout for help before I am thrust into a modern day's equivalent of the Dark Ages.

Sigh. There I was, thinking that I could finally loosen up and relax after the exams.

Considering my run of calamity this entire year, I won't be surprise at all if the broken half of the tree chooses the precise moment I'm walking under it to slip from its perch and bean me for keeps.

EDIT: Hey, the power's back! Huzzah! I get to watch my cartoons animated movies tonight after all!


Okay, I was going to start a new post actually regarding the aftermath and sequelae of the maiden flight of the tree-who-was-Humpty-Dumpty - but I decided to just write the update here.

I was wakened sometime in the morning between 8 am and 12 pm (it's Sunday - does it matter?) by what sounded like a tree falling from someplace very-high-up. I bolted straight up in my bed, shook the sleepy-clouds out of my head (I physically do that everyday I wake up actually - funny habit, I know) and debated whether the crash I heard was a figment of a particularly noisy nightmare or that my brain exploded out of my ears.

Then, with a small and private "Eureka" moment, I remembered that I actually did have a tree (or half of it, whatever) perched on the rather very-high-up second-floor balcony.

Case closed. I went back to sleep that very instant.

When I really woke up about noontime, I saw that all-the-King's-horses-and-all-the-King's-men was still hard at work chopping our botanical Humpty Dumpty to ickle, teeny bits. Here's a photograph;

panoramic cleanup
All the King's lumberjacks.

See that bloke in a clean white shirt and a pair of black slacks at the top right quarter of the picture - the one diligently and industriously watching everyone hard at work while not lifting even a pinky to help? That's the King. The Patrician. The Landlord-in-Supreme.

The King owes me a new railing for my balcony.

jiffy roof
Vincent's new skylight!

Vince suffered the most in this incidence of nature's vitriolic violence. His entire room was soaked and one of his nifty, pricey, electronic gadgets got killed in the deluge (I don't remember exactly what it was but I suspect it's an MP3 player or something like that). He had to move all his stuff out of his place and sleep in Nickson's room that night - or in their joint kitchen-come-dining room (I didn't ask).

It's raining now even as I write this update. I hope the insta-roof-fix held. Poor Vince.

A creature of technological comfort,
k0k s3n w4i

1 A for Apocalyptic.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Claude Frollo

"It's not my fault
I'm not to blame
It is the gypsy girl
The witch who set this flame

It's not my fault
If in God's plan
He made the devil so much
Stronger than a man"

Judge Claude Frollo, in the song, "Hellfire",
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)

I can't function. All I can do is replay the scene where Frollo sing the "Hellfire" song over and over again on my laptop.

Some perspective.

I just watched Disney's (very loose) adaptation of Victor Hugo's novel, Notre Dame de Paris, and it was;


What other Disney flick you know would even DARE mention religious bigotry, racism, discrimination against deformed people and sexual lust - all in the same movie - let alone address them the way The Hunchback of Notre Dame did?

None, I tell you! At least, none that I'm able to name at the moment's notice *cough*.

First off, let me warn you that this post isn't a review (if you want to know more about the movie itself, go HERE). No sirree - this is a shoutout; a loving tribute to the coolest villain ever to be hatched from the foul, twisted minds of insane animators chained to the walls by their feet in the dank, dark cellars of Disneyland! As the title of this post blatantly and shamelessly endorsed, I'm talking about the sinister Claude Frollo, the horniest judge/minister/whatever-he-was1 to ever terrorise fictional Paris;

Protect me, Maria
"Oh crap, my neck is stuck this way!"

Of course, a villain's CV would not be complete without his Big List of Misdeeds and Awesome Naughtiness? Let's me just briefly (I'll try) enumerate his crimes against other cartoon characters;
  • Racism. Frollo actively prosecutes the gypsies of Paris and dreams to one day stamp out their existence from the city. Why? Because it's just a bloody evil thing to do, bwahahahaha!
  • Horniness. No kidding. Go watch the video I've embedded somewhere lower down in this post and hear him sing his lusty ditty. The object of his lecherous desires is the gypsy Esmeralda (voiced by the once-delectable Demi Moore). And what more, he blamed his sins of horniness on Esmeralda's for being so darn sexy. He also captured her and burnt her on a pyre for rejecting him. According to him, Esmeralda would be pardoned from eternal damnation in hell for her sins of being a bootylicious gypsy if she lets him rape her (go figure). What more do you want in a villain?!
  • Murder. Damn, I absolutely love the scene (right at the start of the flick) where he pursued Quasimodo's gypsy mom on a huge, black, emo stallion. Then when he caught up to her, he grabbed the infant hunchback Quasimodo from her clutches, thinking it was stolen goods2 and pawned Quasi's mom with a kick.
  • Discriminating Against Ugliness. A few seconds after he managed to grab Quasimodo from his now dead-as-door-nails mother, he's raring to chuck baby Quasi into a well after he saw that he was a congenitally deformed child, referring to him as a "monster" and "demon from hell". Fortunately for Quasimodo, the Archdeacon of Notre Dame intervened and insisted that Frollo pay penance for pawning Quasi's mom by raising Quasi as his own son. Guess I can add Attempted Baby Pawnage Infanticide too to this growing list.
  • Lying and Slander. He told Quasimodo that his mother was a heartless gypsy woman who abandoned him and that he willingly chose to raise Quasimodo as his own, insisting that anyone else in his position would have drowned Quasi in a well for his ugliness. How freakin' cool is he?
  • Religious Bigotry. Considers himself to be OMGHOLY. Everyone else is corrupted and is heading to hell. How can you not like a guy like that?
  • Negligence of Duty as Judge. That's an understatement. He the living embodiment of injustice in Paris.
  • Arson. Frollo torched half of Paris in his hunt for Esmeralda. That's what happens when a guy did not learn how to masturbate.
  • Ignorant Zealotry. He thought the gypsies's street magic tricks were witchcraft and for that, they should rightly be burnt in the name of God. Haha, what a nut. Just like those folks who considered the Harry Potter books to be the works of Satan.
  • Crimes Against Fashion. Big voluminous, black robe with a massive, mushroom-shaped hat. 'Nuff said.
And for a man as vile as he, Frollo can certainly sing. I totally blown away when he started this musical number in the flick. I don't think I can ever get tired of this song (watch his hands, they are incredibly expressive);

If you choose to pass up on watching this, I pity you. You'll never know what you've been missing all your life.

I guess what I truly love about the characterisation of Frollo is that he thought he's blameless and righteous till the very end (Yeah. End. Splat) - and that he's just basically a very, very ordinary human with extraordinarily pernicious traits. I mean, if you've watched the movie and have seen the way Frollo talked and acted, you'd find very easy to spot the insanity hidden under the thin veneer of authority and self-proclaimed piousness. Of course, we all know that authority (or power) corrupts, and extremism in piety can completely consume a man, leading him to believe that all his actions are divinely permitted. With this volatile mix of personality, it's no wonder that Frollo is such a complete psychopath.

And I love psychopaths. They make the strangest, most enigmatic villains in the realm of movie magic and literature. A good flick or book, I believe, is only as good as the bad guys in it.

Okay, this is the last in my series of (relatively) short lame posts. Normal postings resume this weekend. Many apologies for being such a gormless rambler all week. It's the exam's fault.

P.S. Now, a moment of silence for Tony Jay, the brilliant voice actor behind the powerful character of Claude Frollo, who had passed away in August last year. I sincerely wish that he's still alive.

Frollo's #1 fan,
k0k s3n w4i

1 He's supposed to be the Archdeacon of Notre Dame according to Victor Hugo's novel but in this cartoon, the Archdeacon is a separate character. The folks at Disney reckoned that they might get lynched or burnt at the stake or something by an Anglican mob if they choose to proceed with the original characterisation. So much for religious open-mindedness, eh?
2Frollo considered everything that the gypsies owned were stolen goods. He's so deliciously vile.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Randomness Continues

"... his first wife, Ludmilla Feodorovitch, suffered from tuberculosis, of which she died in 1873. Her death, combined with other problems, caused Mechnikov to unsuccessfully attempt suicide, taking a large dose of opium. He married again in 1875, and his second wife, Olga, caught typhoid in 1880, causing Mechnikov to again attempt suicide—this time by injecting himself with relapsing fever, which didn't kill him, but made him very ill."

An excerpt from an Wikipedia article
on Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov A.K.A. Elie Metchnikoff

"... he also developed a theory that lactic acid could prolong life, and drank sour milk every day to prove it. He died in 1916 at 71 years of age..."

Another excerpt from the same Wikipedia article
on Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov A.K.A. Elie Metchnikoff


It's official. Elie Metchnikoff is the coolest Microbiologist ever lived!

Anyway, some Japanese bloke was impressed by Elie's masochistic sour milk diet and went on to invent Yakult.

k0k bL0k IS educational. Go tell all your friends that.

I like storms. The booms of thunder, the drowning pitter-patter of silver-dollar-sized raindrops pelting the courtyard, the iciness that lingers in the air, the wheeze of fey winds ravaging the beaten trees, the cold and sobering spray of frosty vapour on my face, the chaos, the unrest, the plain 'emo'ness of it - it all really appeals to my gloomier side.

Yeap, storms are tops.

Especially when it's outdoors.

And especially when I'm inside - inside sitting on my comfy, cane study chair at the window with my legs cocooned inside my blanket and a piping mug of whipped-cream topped hot chocolate resting in my hand to be exact. But it's so totally uncool when the tempest starts a-blowin' before I managed to do the "get inside" bit.

I left Snack Shack at about 5 pm. I was wearing my Reebok sneakers because my black Timberlands just refused pointedly to dry up (it'll sprout mushrooms, I'm sure of that). At that time, it was just a wimpy drizzle. No problemo. Wimpy drizzles, I can handle.

Then the storm just didn't want to play fair anymore (pun so intended; please notice).

The result?


Not bad for a first attempt at a Cyanide and Happiness comic strip, eh? I think I'm omni-talented.

The road between Nehru Hostel and New A.C. Hostel1 was a wind tunnel. I think Manipal University's capitalistic big-wigs built the apartment blocks in precisely that way so the storm winds would get trap in that street during the monsoon season and blow the knickers off our butts. Don't ask me why. Evil is strange that way.

Then midway down that road, the rain-force doubled in a blinking and gale-grade winds began whipping my poor brolly about like a cat would to a mouse it got in its maw. It had arrived in Manipal finally;

The Horizontal Rain.

And because the way the blocks on that road was arranged, the wind would keep changing direction without the slightest warning. Imagine this; me, holding my umbrella in front of me to stem the watery onslaught when SUDDENLY, the wind stopped and rain pelts down on my head from above. For a moment, I panicked, unable to guess where the wind was going strike next. In my moment of vulnerable hesitation, the crafty hurricane doubled back and thrust at me from the rear before I could swish my umbrella around fast enough to parry its blow - and a hundred little marble-sized raindrops splattered on my back.

When I finally managed to wrestle my umbrella from the wind to shield my 6 o'clock, I found that the wind had started assailing me from starboard and I got watered like a wilting azalea from that direction.

Then rinse, rinse, rinse, rinse and repeat. And no, I didn't accidentally write any extra 'rinses' there. That proportion felt about right considering that when I reached my front door, I got enough fluid on me to supply a Sub-Saharan village for a year.

My Reeboks are now sitting in my anteroom exchanging fungal spores with my Timberlands. I'm going to go hunt for my other pair of Reeboks now.


Anyway, I'm suffering from a bad case of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell withdrawal syndrome here at the moment. It all started when I revisited JS&MN's official site last night where Susanna Clarke (Author-in-Supreme) had posted up two fictional letters - one supposedly written by the cool, Byronic Jonathan Strange and the other by ol' Stuffed Shirt Gilbert Norrell - showing their individual reactions towards the publishing of a novel based on their efforts in the revival English Magic.

For those who have not read this wonderful, wonderful, (YES, WONDERFUL!) novel yet, here's a bit of back story so you can enjoy these two letter too. Mr. Norrell was a magician who supposedly brought back the art of magic back to England during the Regency/Napoleanic Wars era (somewhere between the Georgian and Victorian, I was told). Jonathan Strange was his apprentice - a brilliant magician in his own right - who eventually quarreled with Norrell and became his rival.

Here's Norrell's letter;

A Letter to the Editor of The Times

Mr Norrell. Illustration by Portia Rosenberg


A report has reached me of a most alarming nature. It appears that some people called Bloomsbury are taking it upon themselves to publish a pernicious book - a novel no less! - that purports to describe the Glorious Revival of English Magic. I do not read novels - I am happy to say that I have never read one - but I understand that they enjoy a certain popularity among the more frivolous classes of society. Young ladies; married ladies; old maids; thoughtless young persons of both sexes; gamblers, profligates and libertines; servants who, whether by accident or design, have acquired an education beyond their station: these are the idle creatures who may be found at any hour of the night or day with a novel in their hands.

I despise all novels whatever the subject. I am told they promote a weakening of the intellect, moral stupor, morbid curiosity, and tend to encourage infections of the chest and eyes. All this is very dreadful but happily it is no concern of mine. But when that novel pretends to disseminate information upon English Magic - ah! then I must protest. Then it is incumbent upon me to warn the British Public of the terrible danger they run merely by opening this book.

As the architect and founder of the aforesaid Glorious Revival, I hope that my disapproval, my severe disapproval, will have some weight with these people called Bloomsbury (whoever they may be). I hope that when they learn they have incurred my displeasure they will cease upon the instant and not print this wicked book. If they remain obstinate, then I shall apply to my friends in the Government. I am not without hopes of success.

I am told that Messrs. Bloomsbury intend to publish this book in other countries. If some gentleman at the Foreign Office will be so kind as to furnish me with a list of those countries we consider our allies (I confess to experiencing some confusion upon this point), I shall be happy to have this letter translated into the relevant languages at my own expense. With the Former Colonies of the Americas, however, I have no sympathy. It is scarcely more than thirty or forty years since that impudent Nation severed itself from its lawful King with acts of wicked rebellion. By all means let this book be published there! If the Americans try to learn magic from it and if they accidentally turn themselves into cats or summon up manticores which consequently devour them, then I cannot see that it will be any great loss to any one.

Gilbert Norrell, Magician-in-Ordinary to the Admiralty

And here's Strange's;

Extract from a letter from Jonathan Strange (Magician-in-Ordinary to the Duke of Wellington) to his aunt, Mrs Erquistoune in Edinburgh.

Jonathan Strange. Illustration by Portia Rosenberg

"...Have you heard? Some people called Bloomsbury are to publish a novel recounting the history of the Revival of English Magic. What an excellent thing! I could not be better pleased. What more agreeable way is there to receive instruction than by reading a well-constructed novel? If the author has done her work properly (and I hope she has), then the British Public will soon benefit from a much more precise understanding of the arguments that have threatened to rend English Magic in two. I shall send you a copy as soon as it appears in the London bookshops.

I for one am proud to declare myself a novel-reader. It is of all pleasures and pursuits the most delightful to me. One may sit quietly by the fireside and be transported around the world. One may pass through the most terrifying dangers; be entertained by all the diversity of which humankind is capable; be saddened, amused, uplifted - all within the space of a page or two. The next moment one hears the sounds of one’s servant bringing in the tea-tray, and one is instantly oneself again, drinking tea and eating toast in the most tranquil fashion imaginable. I only hope that this book (I mean the novel about English Magic) will not be too solemn. I detest books that have no jokes.

I have some slight acquaintance with the people who intend to publish it. (The title of it escapes me). They are neighbours of mine in Soho-square. They seem a pleasant enough set of people, and of rather a sociable turn. They regularly send me cards for their parties. But I do not go. Now they have sent me a letter asking me to lend my support to their publication. I shall certainly do so. I shall talk it up wherever I go. I have not actually read it, but that is not important. What is important is that Norrell will hate it. Nothing else could cause him so much anguish. An article in one of the Reviews explaining the principles of weather-magic makes him ill for a week. A three-volume novel will in all likelihood kill him..."

Hilarious, shit. Ain't it? Here's a huge chapter excerpt from the novel if you want more;

And here's a link to my old review of it;

The next time's Shaki's going back to Malaysia, I'm making him bring his copy of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell here for me to read (I've only read it 3 times!). He won't refuse me. He still owe me for accidentally burning off a patch of hair from the back of my head with a lighter last year.

No, the exam ain't over yet. I got a Forensic paper to sit for tomorrow.

P.S. Old header's back up cos' the new on didn't beat it by at least 5 votes. Oh well, back to the drawing board then.

Mushroom farmer,
k0k s3n w4i

1 The hostel was New. And it had Air-conditioning. India's creativity hath runneth as dry like a camel's buttocks.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Ain't Life Bitchy?

"... estrogen cream applied vaginally has produced gynaecomastia in the male partner."

Essentials of Medical Pharmacology,
by K. D. Tripathi MD

Gynaecomastia means "man-grow-titties".

Listen girls. If your boyfriend is dumping you and asking for one last fuck, just say yes. Tell him you want your last time to be special and that a girlfriend of yours recommended this awesome lube...

Everything felt wrong while I was walking back from my Pharmacology paper this evening.


The rain is coming down at the wrong volume. It's too heavy for me forgo the use my umbrella but at the same time, it's not quite heavy enough for me to NOT look like some fag-fairy that's too much of a princess to close my umbrella and weather a wimpy drizzle. My socks were soaked and I was making, "squish-squish" sounds with every step I took. Near the Greens, I spotted a dead rat. A crow flew down and landed on the carcass and proceeded to rip its little stomach open. I groped for my camera in my bag, hoping to get a photo of the scene - but what d'you know? - I left my camera at home today! Of all the devil-damned-days I can choose to leave my camera at home, I have to chose today!

I totally lost all mood there and then - not even the sight of a crow eviscerating a dead rat with its beak could cheer me up. With a long sigh, I went on my way with my cissy umbrella keeping the cissy rain off my cissy head, and with a pair of cissy "squish-squish" shoes on my cissy feet.

Everything felt wrong.

You know what else is wrong? The Bernoulli's Principle of Aerodynamic Lift, that's what.

That crap they force-fed us with in upper-secondary school and college; about how the air moves faster over the upper-curved surface of an aircraft's wing and thus creating a low-pressure region there, allowing the higher pressure below the wing to lift it? That crap is nonsense. Here's an ARTICLE - go waste half an hour of your life reading through all that Physics bullshit.

Yes, we're still in Lame-Meaningless-Posts-Week here in k0k bL0k. Here's a Lame-Meaningless-Picture for you;

That's me right there. I was a Fifth Former at that time (when they were still trying to teach me that Bernoulli crap). I was a prefect back then, hence the shiny white slacks. I sure as heck didn't wear them because they were at the fucking pinnacle of high fucking fashion.

I wish I can shout to him through this picture now and tell him to stay the fuck away from med schools.

Look at that nitwit - all smiling and oblivious of his hellish fate three years later stuck in a place that has cows but no Big Macs.

What a twit.

Two KFC drunksticks.

I was in a really foul mood. It was so foul that I bought two - not one, mind you, but TWO KFC drumsticks from Your Choice Fast Food. The 'K' in KFC stands for Karnataka, by the way. You should hear how the boss of Your Choice Fast Food sounded every time he gets a chance to use that catchphrase of his;

"Boooss, KFC - Karnataka Fried Chickin!!! Hot hot, boooss!!!"

He must really think that he's OMG-genius in realising that he could substitute 'Kentucky' with 'Karnataka'. And yes, that's how he pronounce 'boss' and 'chicken' too.

You might ask how two KFC drumsticks were going to help my mood.

Well, this was how;

By devouring both of them with gusto while Fifi and her Mom watched on hungrily.


Who's got drumsticks now, BITCHES?! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Well, what d'you know? Misery does love company after all. I feel so much better now.

Okay, that's all for today. Don't any of you even dare ask me how the Pharmacology paper went, or you'll win a free trip to see the Taj Mahal. By the sole of my boots I swear,
I'll personally kick you there.

Monday hates me,
k0k s3n w4i

Sunday, June 17, 2007

A Series of Disjointed, Unrelated Events

"Diazepam is administered to patients suffering from febrile convulsions in the form of a rectal suppository."

Dr. Rajendra Holla, Professor of Pharmacology,
and Associate Dean of MMMC

Was I the only one who found the idea of shoving-something-up-a-patient's-ass-while-he's-convulsing hilarious?

I'm having a bad case of acute examinitis right now (with an additional side helping of flu as-if-I'm-not-screwed-enough) so the posts you guys are getting this week would be lame (like paraplegic-lame), patchy, shallow and borderline incoherent.

And short.

Thank the gods for short.


Okay, now for the first item of the day;

I spotted a firefly floundering in a puddle three nights ago near my front door. Here's a pic;

You gotta admit that I got good eyes, no?

See that pinprick of light on the floor there? That's the bugger. It wasted nearly an hour of my time which I planned to spend studying Pathology - because I just have to rescue the microscopic idiot, dry him with a a microscopic towel and gave him a microscopic cup of hot chocolate before sending him out in the streets again.

Here's a video of him floundering on the floor of my anteroom and spilling that microscopic cup of hot chocolate I gave him. How's that for gratitude, I ask you?

The cup is in there somewhere. It's just too darn dark for you to see it.

Good luck in deciphering what the bugger said.

I wanted to attach some head-banging music to the video actually but I simply don't have time. Pharmacology exam tomorrow, peeps.


Yesterday when I came back from my Pathology exam, I discovered that I have stupidly locked myself out of my own house. I already wasn't in a good mood at that time *cough-that-Pathology-exam-I-just-sat-for-cough*. When I discovered that I didn't have my keys with me, I can swear that I heard Simple Plan's Welcome to my Life playing at the back of my head.

And the lock itself mirrored my emotional state at that time;


I tried futilely for a few minute trying to open the window at the side of my door so I can reach the spare key I keep inside (it's a loose-latch affair and I thought maybe I can dislodge it with a good shaking). I was on the verge of breaking the window with my Pathology textbook (two birds, WTF) when one of Acharya Compound's groundskeeper came running to me with what appeared to be *pinches-self-to-check-if-it-was-a-dream* my keys!

My door and window. Fifi just won't bugger off for me to take a proper picture.

Turns out that my Aka came by to clean while I was out and noticed that I have left my keys behind. She then proceeded sensibly to give them to the groundskeeper for him to pass to me when I come back.

She's a gem, my Aka. I'm glad I raised her pay.

Fifi, Socks and Mom at my front door.
This picture has nothing to do with what I'm writing, I know.


From my extensive blog-hopping experience, I found that the most common names bloggers choose to call their blogs are;
  • Life's Like That (oh, really?)
  • C'est La Vie (Life's Like That, in French - to prove that they are sexier than their English counterparts)
  • Pieces of Me (when I first heard this Ashlee Simpson song, I just knew people are going to start calling their blogs that)

Blogging is a medium for celebrating one's individuality - not murdering it by stabbing its still-beating heart with a generic catchphrase. Sorry. Grumpy mood. Welcome to my Life is still playing in my skull.

And the most frequently used post title is;

  • A Series of Unfortunate Events

Every time I see this, I feel like driving an ice-pick through my eyes. For the benefit of my sanity (or whatever left of it), please restrain yourselves from using it. Please?


Okay, that's all for today. I'm signing off now.

Have a nice life.

And good evening.

Molesting his Pharmacology textbooks,
k0k s3n w4i