Super Mario Bros. Crossover!

This, my friends, is a free videogame review.  That is, the videogame is free to play.  Then again, so is this review, but I just thought I should clarify.

I'm pretty sure that almost anyone who would consider themself a gamer of any sort had played the original Super Mario Bros. at least once in their life.  Extrapolating from that, anyone who would consider themself a gamer worth their salt had also played a whole slew of other Nintendo1 games during their childhood; Mega Man, Zelda, Contra, and Castlevania, among others.  What if I told you that you can play Super Mario Bros. using characters from the aforementioned series?

This simple but awesome game runs on Flash, and you can get it from the official website,  First and foremost, you get to pick your poison:

Deliciously delightful decisions, Batman!

That's right, people.  Choose from Mega Man, Samus (Metroid), Bill (Contra), Simon (Castlevania), Link (Zelda) and Ryu (Ninja Gaiden)!  Mario (Super Mario Bros.) doesn't count because, seriously, why the heck would you want to play him when you get to do so much more awesome with someone else?

My first test run for this review uses Mega Man.  You can do everything that Mega Man could in his games, i.e. charge and shoot, slide, etc.  Unfortunately, high jumps are unheard of in Mega Man, so you'll need Rush to lend you a hand.

With Rush Coil, our little friend can actually jump higher than Mario himself.

The levels in the game were modified a little though, in order to make it possible for characters such as the Blue Bomber to overcome tough obstacles.  For example, the end-of-stage flagpoles.

Mega Man in Flame Man garb (after you pick up a Fire Flower).

Next to Mega Man, my other favourite character to play in SMBC is Bill Compton Rizer, the Contra guy.  If you want to unleash inordinate amounts of death and destruction in the Mario levels, pick him.  Just like in Contra, Bill can shoot in all directions.

Just so you know, the music changes according to the character you pick, too.  Do you remember the Contra music?  It's positively mansome.

And since he has rapid fire, shooting on one of those "?" blocks with multiple coins yields the following result:


That's not all, folks.  The fun really begins when you pick up a Fire Flower.  Remember the spread-fire gun from Contra?  It makes an appearance, with delightfully devastating results.

Illegal in 13 states.

For a greater challenge (read: not as fun), you have the option of using Samus Aran from the Metroid series.  You start off naked though.

I never played any of the Metroid games, actually.

Samus jumps as high as Mario, fire bullets like Mega Man (but weaker), and she can plant bombs while rolling like a ball (in my opinion, one of the most useless abilities for this game).  Once you pick up Mushrooms or Flowers5, Samus suits up, increasing the damage of her shots (still weaker than Mega Man's charged shots) and her bombs.  Yawn.

It's tough being Bowser when everyone you meet has a projectile attack.

Up next is Ryu Hayabusa of Ninja Gaiden fame.  His special abilities include throwing shurikens, slashing enemies with his sword and, of course, the staple in every ninja's arsenal, wall-climbing.

Joke:  What do you call a ninja who's afraid of Goomba mushrooms?
Answer:  Pussy!

Unfortunately, there are so many vertical surfaces in Super Mario Bros. that the ability doesn't translate well from Ninja Gaiden.  You'll find yourself wall-climbing at the most inopportune of times, e.g. when trying to avoid a flying Koopa Troopa.  On the plus side, avoiding death by bottomless pit is much easier when you can grab onto a ledge.

Moving on, I perused everyone's favourite Hyrulian resident, Link.  Firstly, he is a high jumper just like Mario, but he has a projectile attack, too... which merely stuns enemies.  You can quite safely say that Link got the short end of the stick in this game, and by that I mean that he has a really short stick sword.

Link's downward thrust looks awfully wrong.

In this case, you can't even use the common phrase "It's not the size that matters, it's the way you use it"; why bother with a downward thrust that takes several hits to kill a Goomba instead of just stomping on it for a one-hit-kill?  I guess that's what they call balancing the game, but Link really can't compare to any of the other characters in SMBC.  Heck, even Mario's better; at least he can run, and his projectiles kill in one hit.

Finally, we arrive at Simon Belmont from the Castlevania series.  I played very little Castlevania in my time, but I know that his weapons (a whip and throwing axes) definitely work much better in his original game than in Mario.  The axe is especially unwieldy as it has a fixed trajectory, resulting in Simon missing his throws all the time.  Thankfully, he makes up for it by having the ability to double jump, which is pretty fun by itself.

Mario can only dream of getting this high, even while on mushrooms (see what I did there?).

With that I end my free videogame review of Super Mario Bros. Crossover.  Even though some of the characters you may choose feel like fish out of water in the Mushroom Kingdom, it's still extremely fun to go back and play the original Mario classic every once in a while, just for the nostalgic kick.  May you find great amusement in this little gem!

1 - I'm pretty sure most of you played your old-school Nintendo games on Micro Geniuses2; back then barely anybody owned an actual NES.  If any of you actually owned an Atari of any sort, I salute you.
2 - The cool thing about Micro Genius was that they continued innovating (or pirating) way into the late 90s.  By then, you could play SNES titles on your Micro Genius, but the machines being sold still looked the same from 10 years earlier!  Nowadays, they just look like really ugly Playstations3.
3 - I don't know who buys any of these these days.  They cost upwards of RM100 for the machine and cartridges are around RM50.  Don't forget that everything can be found online, too.
4 - Definition: Awesome in an extremely manly way.  Someone should add this to dictionaries.
5 - The Mario brothers are heavy users of magic mushrooms and flowers, plus they cause reckless destruction while searching for coins.  My guess is that they're both drug junkies.

Ramblings 1

Earlier this year, my mom finally took the leap and started learning how to use a computer, egged on by her ex-schoolmates who could all be found on Facebook.  As a result, she has begun invading politely accessing my room on occasion to use my old desktop, if six years can be considered old.  And for the past couple of months, I've been wondering if there were something wrong with my computer as it would still be running when I get home from work, despite my mom's insistence that she always turns it off.

Just last week I discovered that for her, 'turning off' means clicking on the Start button, clicking on the Shut Down button, clicking on the Turn Off Computer button, and then waiting for the computer to go silent.  After that, she will press the button on the computer monitor, followed by the big round button on the CPU.

Mystery solved.  When I told her about her mistake, she told me she didn't know that pressing the button on the CPU starts the computer up again.  I'm also pretty sure that, when my mom reads this (hi mom), she will come up to me and give me the usual "You don't need to tell the world about your mother!".  But I have to!

Two weeks ago, Carrie and I went to catch the new Prince of Persia movie.  First of all, it's a Jerry Bruckheimer production, whose name had become synonymous with action-adventure films that are loud on the bangs and generous with the laughs1.  Jerry and Disney collaborations had thus far been generally well-received; National Treasure was engaging and the Pirates films were just awesome (okay, maybe just the first one).  Prince of Persia didn't fail to disappoint, although the characters seemed to keep taking unnecessary detours that didn't lend anything credible to the story2.  I mean come on, if they wanted Prince Dastan's head for the king's reward, they had approximately 1,349,217 opportunities to kill and/or capture him waaaay before the ostrich race.

Nevertheless, my movie-going experience was enjoyable.  In fact, I was just as amused watching trailers to new movies as I was watching Prince of Persia itself.  Normally, the trailers that are screened before the start of each movie tend to be in the same genre or have the same audiences as the film being screened.  As Prince of Persia is a Disney untuk tontonan umum film, we were treated to the trailers of films such as Toy Story 3 and The Last Airbender4 (aka the Avatar that won't make as much money as the other one).  And then there was the trailer for Chloe.

Chloe was anything but an untuk tontonan umum film.  Wikipedia describes it as an "erotic thriller", and the trailer was highly suggestive.  By highly suggestive, I mean that the audience was treated to Amanda Seyfried (hot) looking like this (sans the censorship stars and the play button):

And this was in a trailer for an umum film.  Not just that, later you also see Ms. Seyfried locking lips with Julianne Moore, as well as actual boobies in all their glory (you can see the actual trailer here).  Considering that most films screened here get their kissing scenes censored, seeing naked people in a movie trailer must mean that the country is taking a step in the right direction.  Either that or somebody in the Malaysian Censorship Board decided that kids here (there were so many in the cinema that day) needed the early exposure to sex education.

While still on the subject of movies, I finally watched The Sound of Music in its entirety for the very first time.  I don't think it's that big of a deal, but apparently it is somewhat of a beginner's course6 (I can't think of a better analogy) for anybody remotely into musicals or choir music.  I've actually seen bits and pieces of the show throughout my childhood like everybody else, but I don't recall anything about the Nazis.

Speaking of childhood and sex...7  When I was a child of eight or nine, I got my first view of the nude female form thanks to my parents and relatives who decided that they needn't put me back in the room when they were watching Species.  I also remember that there was this one scene where a guy was putting on his pants after doing the dirty deed, and I helpfully exclaimed to my amused relatives that he didn't put any underwear on first.

And that wraps up this edition of ramblings from me; have a good weekend.

1 - As opposed to Michael Bay action-adventure films that are even louder on the bangs, but fail epically on being cerebral.  I mean seriously, a pair of twins from robot ghetto?  And who could forget "I'm directly below enemy scrotum"?  I could go on and on.
2 - Except for the trader dude3 and the Ngbaka guy.  It seems that Disney adventure films cannot work unless they have a bumbling, semi-useful buffoonish character as a comedic foil to the suave lead.  Except for the time when the lead is the bumbling, semi-useful buffoon, i.e. Jack Sparrow.
3 - I didn't even realise that it was Alfred Molina (of Dr. Octopus fame) playing the part.  Did you know that he was Tevye in the 2004 Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof?
4 - I watched the trailer and determined that it was probably not going to be a movie I'd pay RM11 to watch (it was boring).  Then I saw the Japanese trailer which was infinitely more awesome than the clich├ęd American one5 and changed my mind.
5 - You know how a typical American movie trailer looks like.  It always finishes with a montage of action clips accompanied by loud, rousing music, but just before the end the music will fade off/stop, followed by a one-liner from a character.
6 - Sondheim material would make excellent advanced level reading.
7 - Childhood and sex; two words you should try never to use in the same sentence, unless the latter refers to the "Are you a boy or a girl?" kind.  Incidentally, I don't think I've ever heard the question "Are you a boy or a girl?" directed to anybody else except to extremely confused toddlers.


Hai gais!  Here's a rendum banch of pitcheers two endthirdtaint yew toodei.

Hei!  It's Kristy, duh fehmeelee silky terrier.  I wuz hanging the lawndree two drai and she forrowed me out end beegan sleeping awn duh lawn.

Laturz, I put her in duh lawndree busgate juz four kicks.

Butt (hur hur butt) she cooden figurr out hao to come out off duh busgate, so she beecame depwessed.  Aww...

Ooh ooh, wan dei I was bored at dee mamak's, sew I doodled wif de tuhmahtoe sos.

End hef yoo checked out Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal?  Is a nais webcomic.

Knot four getting two is Sinfest!

Tanks four leesuning listening reading in!  Auntie-eel next taim!  Kthxbai.

Romeo, Juliet, and Solid Snake

If March had been merely busy for me, April soon came around and decided to turn it up a couple of notches.

As I had mentioned in my previous post, Carrie, Annette, Chow Shern and I helped out with a Universiti Malaya production called Ju & Meo.  First, a little background.  Megat, a student at UM, had to direct and produce a theatre performance as part of his evaluation.  The story (written by another UM student, Nur Ahmad) was a novel take on the famous Romeo and Juliet tale, imagining what it'd be like if, after snuffing it, Romeo and Juliet's spirits continued to roam the world together for 500 years in a never-ending honeymoon.  Apparently, 500 years of ghostly romance bores the shit out of people, so the play explores how Ju and Meo1 cope with their lives metaphysical existences.

So, the four of us YKLS peeps were to provide ambient music and/or chanting, depending on the mood and flow of the story.  To prepare for this, we had between two to three practices each week for slightly over a month before the show opened in Istana Budaya.  Thankfully, the singers and other musicians (there was a cellist, two pianists including Chow Shern, and a guy on the sax) didn't have to do too much; most of the heavy lifting were done by the lead (also the only) actor and actress, Amri and Mardiana.  Needless to say, they had a crapload of lines to memorise.

Stolen from Picture courtesy of NST Online

Chow Shern

To contrast the white costumes of the leads and to create a deathly mood, we were given rather interesting costumes to wear.

The saxophonist buat hal.

Aku pun boleh buat hal.

It was quite an eye-opener performing for this play, with the script being especially intriguing due to the language; they made the Malay sound contemporary at the same time completely avoiding the use of English2.


And now, for my story on Video Games Live.

A little bit of background first; you can say that I'm sort of a video game music enthusiast.  Unfortunately, since I can't play any musical instruments, I have resigned to merely being a listener.  It sort of began when I was studying in Singapore, and I needed music to keep me awake on all those late nights I sometimes spend mugging.  When it was time to pack up my belongings and leave the hostel for good, my iPod (may it rest in pieces) had over 700 Final Fantasy songs in it4, as well as the discography of several other games.  I really liked listening to them because having played those games, the songs sometimes gave me that goosebump-inducing nostalgia that could sometimes beat coffee at prolonging my lucidity.

My sister, also an avid gamer, was naturally a fan of video game music like me, too5.  She was the one who, about two months ago, told me that Video Games Live will finally be coming to Malaysia on 17th April.  As soon as tickets went on sale, I got ourselves some RM71 student-priced ones (though I've graduated, my card's expiry date has yet to lapse).

And then one day, at Chamber Choir practice, Tracy sat us down for a briefing.

Tracy:  So we've got two upcoming gigs to prepare for.  I've got a friend from NSO (National Symphony Orchestra) who asked me for a favour, since they're just the orchestra and they don't have a choir.

She proceeds to write the number 1 on the whiteboard, then 7, after which I prayed out loud "Please, please, please not April"... And then she wrote April.  I sighed and let her know that I've already got prior plans.

Me:  What time is the gig?  I've got an appointment in the afternoon, so if it's at night I might be able to make it...
Tracy:  It's for the entire day, they're doing two shows.
Me:  (Sighs again)  Where is this going to be?
Tracy:  At KLCC.
Me:  MPO (Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra)?
Tracy:  No, KL Convention Centre Plenary Hall.
Me:  Huh?  But on that day Video Games Live is happening at the Plenary Hall-
Tracy:  Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you, we're performing for Video Games Live.

I totally did not expect the briefing to end that way; in one night I went from being a mere ticket-holder into concert-performer.  Also, I actually spurted many other expletives, but you get the idea.  It's not often that shit like this (the good kind) go down in your life.  Thus, I was justifiably jubilant (awesome alliterations, Batman!).

And so, that's the story of how I became part of the VGL Choir that performed on 17th April.  Because over half of the Chamber Choir members couldn't make it due to prior commitments, Tracy brought in her students from SMK Damansara Jaya as well as some of Susanna's Malaysian Institute of Art students to fill in.

Together, we sung the songs from Metal Gear Solid, God of War, Shadow of the Colossus, Sonic (we just sang the chords for "Sega", that you hear at the beginning of the games), Warcraft/WoW, Guitar Hero (we just yelled "Jump" throughout Van Halen's song), Halo, and the perennial crowd pleaser, One-Winged Angel (incidentally a very easy song to sing).  My sister was so jealous of me.

We took a picture onstage, because we're hardcore like that.

It's also times like these that I'm so thankful that I'm in the Young KL Singers; it has given me the opportunity to do so many things that I never thought I'd ever do in my life.  Singing the Lord of the Rings Symphony, backing up for Sarah Brightman, and now this.

I wonder what other surprises lie in store for me at YKLS in the future.

1 - You have no idea how fitting the Malayanised names of Romeo and Juliet are; "Ju & Meo" sound right just about right.  The same could be said about the show's subtitle, Cinta Agung Melayu; not "Grand Malay Love", but "Grand Love Wilting", as in Me-Layu.  Of course, I didn't get it at first, and I doubt anybody would have unless explicitly told so.
2 - There was an exception, though, when RoMeo sang a song called Aku Playboy Suci. For serious.  The song was a fun, uptempo jazz piece composed3 by Chow Shern based on the original script.  One of the themes of the show was that despite being unfaithful, Meo is so pure and loyal that he will return to the arms of the one he truly loves.  I wonder with whom did he cheat on Ju with, actually... other ghosts?
3 - Every other song sung/played in the show was adapted from varied composers such as Faure, Debussy and Evanescence.
4 - Once again, for serious.  The runtime is almost 8 hours, and the files are just over 3GBs.  Of course, some songs are rehashes, remixes, orchestra versions, piano versions, etc.
5 - This is probably the first time I'm plugging her blog.  She blogs a lot more consistently than me, and she even did the skin for her own site.  She's got mad skillz.  She's even a Grade 8 pianist while I... sing.  I'm still cooler, though.  Unfortunately, the title of the coolest sibling in the family probably has to go to my hip-hop dancing brother.  I just take pride in the fact that my England is better than his.  Thing is, he can converse in Mandarin and Cantonese, whereas I can't (without sounding like a rambling idiot), which makes this point somewhat moot...

What's been up man, how's your daughter?

Cookies (omnomnom) to anyone who remembers where the above line came from.

It seems to me that I'm slowly returning to my quota of one blog post a month1, which isn't good.  But what can you do when your weekly activity timetable's like this?

Monday: Choir practice
Tuesday: Ju & Meo2 practice
Wednesday: Ju & Meo practice
Thursday: Tuition
Saturday: Chamber choir practice
Sunday: Choir practice

In other words, I'm occupied on all nights except on Fridays.  I considered permanently swapping tuition from Thursday night to Saturday afternoon, but after getting caught in an hour-long jam getting to Bukit Jalil, I stuck to my original schedule.

Work isn't that much better either as March marks the end of a financial quarter, i.e. I've been working really hard at chasing clients for cash.  Still, I managed to find some things to do over the weekends.  For example, celebrating Sarah's birthday when she came back from Australia for a short while.

  That's Sarah with her default deer-in-headlights expression.

You can't tell from this photo, but that's durian cake.  Mmmmmm...  Durians...

And, celebrating Cze Wien's birthday when she came back from Australia for a short wh ever.

You guys should vote on whether or not I look good in a hat.

Besides, there was also Grand Prix: Kuala Lumpur on March 12-14, giving me and my Magic-playing kakis an excuse to spend an entire weekend geeking our brains out.  A few of us even took leave from work on Friday to have a Bak Kut Teh brunch before heading out to the tournament centre in Cititel, Midvalley.

Nope, I don't smoke. I just carry a Sharpie around.

Pork!  I'm actually referring to Peck Yun here.

I didn't take many pictures of the event, so here's a picture of me and the guys eating at TGI Fridays after all of us failed to make Day 2.

Since we didn't make Day 2, we decided to simply hang around the venue, chatting with other players, and taking in the sights.  Brendan wasted no time in selling cards, though3; so much cash and cardboard were changing hands that E-Foong and I had to act as bouncers4 to ensure that no hanky panky went on.


We later adjourned to Chili's for dinner.  As per my usual practice, I ordered from the kids' menu5, eliciting an incredulous look from the waiter.  He asserted that it's only meant for kids, so I protested.  "I've ordered from the kids' menu before!" I said.  Then I added that I was only twelve years old, slumping in my seat.

Twenty minutes later, everyone else were already digging into their meals, prompting me to check with another waiter about my order.  Some time after that, a third, different waiter walked past our table with a dish in his hand, looked around, went back to the kitchen, then came back out again to ask if any of us ordered a kid's meal (as though it was a crime for me to do so).

It is a lot more filling than it looks.  Also, Cheap + Chicken + Broccoli = Win

If that wasn't enough, it also happened to be Wen Ching's birthday6!  That means he gets a free cake!

Check out the "Cheese Cake Beeezdeyyyyy Promotion" in the receipt.

The evening ended with everybody clandestinely spiking everybody else's drinks with salt, pepper, tabasco sauce, and what-have-you.  Despite not playing that much Magic anyway, I felt that we really made the most of that weekend (and in Brendan's case, he made some cash, too).  Good times were had all around...  And then it's back to work the next day.  Bleh.

1 - I actually started writing this blog post at the end of March, but I've been doing so many things lately that I didn't have time to finish until now.
2 - Ju & Meo is a Universiti Malaya play that Carrie, me, and two other choir members helped out with by providing ambient music, speech, and/or screams.
3 - Brendan had been "trying to quit Magic" for years now.  I've postulated the hypothesis that Brendan has a ten-year quitting cycle.  I may be wrong though, especially since nobody really quits Magic, ever.
4 - We're as buff as it gets, as far as Magic players are concerned.
5 - Try eating a full Chili's meal after you've gorged on their bottomless tostada chips; I always feel like I'm overeating and/or overspending.  Once, me and four other guys from choir all ordered from the kids' menu, had a glass of drink each, and shared a serving of the chips.  We left completely stuffed, and spent only about RM15 per person.
6 - It wasn't, actually.

Handicraftin' for some lovin'

I suck at coming up with gift ideas, but every once in a while, this little light bulb goes off in my head, usually followed by a sleepless night of cutting cards, pruning paper and sticking sthings stogether.  The last time I did something like this for the girlfriend was back when we were only about one month into our relationship; that time it took me about seven or eight hours of trial and error before I managed to come up with this little beauty:



This was the second pop-up card I've ever made, and since then I haven't bothered making more because it takes forever.  And if I made them too often, it gets old really fast, too.  Anyway, I'm still really proud of this one, though.

On the other hand, I got a major epiphany for what to make as a belated Valentine's Day gift for this year.  So, last Friday night, after testing a modified version of Kyle Sanchez's Bant Mill deck until 2.30am for Sunday's Grand Prix: Kuala Lumpur Trial (holla if yer a Magic playa!1), I started working on my next project; a mix tape (or in this day and age, a CD):

Front cover

Back cover

Side A

Side B

For those not in the know, this was a reference to our favourite musical, Avenue Q2.  There's this song in there called "Mix Tape" which was, for the most part, a list of songs from a mix tape.  So, from the vast, powerful pool of knowledge and piracy known as the internets, I procured the playlist and pressed my own CD.  Of course, I've already done this long before I started working on the CD cover.  With such projects, I usually begin with an idea, go out and buy the materials, and then figure out the specifics.  Needless to say, I made a couple of errors along the way, but thank goodness I didn't screw it up too much3.

In any case, the CD cover project took slightly over four hours.  I ended up sleeping at 7am, and then waking up again at 9 because I was gonna meet her at 104.  And if you're wondering why the hearts on the CD covers are orange (I know it doesn't exactly look like orange in the photos but I promise you, it does in real life):

And now you know!

1 - My testing went to waste somewhat, as I audibled after watching Tom Ross's Naya Boss being shown on Deck Tech.  Obviously, at least six other people thought likewise for the tourney.  Oh, and I went 4-2, placing 9th and missing the Top 8 due to tiebreaks.
2 - Have you heard of the song "The Internet is for Porn"?  The one that became a smash YouTube hit? It's from Avenue Q.
3 - For example, I needed the "C" on the orange heart about half a centimetre to the left.  Unfortunately, I used double-sided tape and thus couldn't redo it.  Pros of double-sided tape: Neat.  Cons: If you screw up you're screwed.
4 - It was quite an epic weekend; in between testing and playing Magic, visiting Carrie's relatives, choir practice, etc. I had only nine hours of sleep over the course of two days.  It's not as crazy as my times back in Monash, but it's actually nice to feel positively alive every once in a while, even if it means sleep deprivation.

This Day of Remembrance

I know I just posted a while ago, but the occasion is right and I'm in the mood, so...

At one time, I tried my hand at writing poetry.  Three years ago, just a couple months after my first breakup, I found myself single again for the 20th straight Valentine's Day of my life.  Feeling a little down, I wrote a poem and blogged about it; you can read the poem (and another, even older one) by clicking the link above.  For your convenience, though, I have Ctrl-C-ed the poem here.  But first I gotta warn you, it has a slight tinge of emo.
This Day of Remembrance

And so it arrives, knocking at the door,
The day of remembrance of an overlooked saint
Whose name remained in popular lore,

Yet causes unwarranted stress and strain,
Birthed from tales of sacrificial lambs,
An excuse for birth of affection feigned.

Though love so pure can from normal men stem,
More often than not, the heart does lie,
Catastrophes blamed on bodily phlegm.

Pitiful are flowers that wantonly try
To draw in a bee with petals of flame
When nectar alone will get them by,

For even Venus beat the fly at the game.
So thus I lie in waiting for the one
Who pierces my being by the whisper of her name,

And then I shall make this day of this month
No more or less important than another;
Every moment burns, fiery like the Sun.

The foolish are not mistaken, but rather
Seizing the day for unconditional love.
I too realise the folly of my endeavours,

But never will I let the florists and cardmakers gain
From this day of remembrance of an overlooked saint.

I'm significantly less poetic now, I believe.  Maybe that's because I'm actually kinda happy with life the way things are going (especially since I'm no longer single, yays).  I'm not miserable; the best artists are often really miserable people.  Seriously.  Emily Dickinson, Vincent Van Gogh, Michael Jackson...  They're all wackos in one way or another.  Come look for me again when I'm a thrice-raped paraplegic burn victim with lung cancer and a bowel infection.  Oh, and syphillis.

Touch wood.

Oh, and Happy Chinese New Year!  I'm sweltering here in Melaka, though...  Thankfully, I'll be heading back to Subang Jaya in about 18 to 20 hours, methinks.