Monday, March 27, 2006

Good Movies

I managed to check out two very good movies over the weekend. I enjoyed them very much eventhough the reviews were just mediocre. This weekend was the start of Spring break so most of my buddies were either out of town or going to be. Dave and Em were venturing out to Portland, OR/Seattle; Matt went to gay mecca San Francisco(I regret it now but I was originally invited to go but declined); Joe's on NG duty and Steph is heading south to Austin, TX.

Nothing major happened, just took it easy. Went to watch Transamerica with Justin, Dave, Lim & Marshall on Friday night, night before Dave's trip. The next day, Dan from St Louis visited over the weekend and we went to watch V for Vendetta on Saturday night.

Nick's Reviews:

Caution possible spoilers

This movie was definitely funny, charming and entertaining considering that this movie was an independent/low budget film shot in a very constrained time line. I know some of you were turned off at the idea that Felicity Huffman (a woman) played the role of a male to female transexual but she did it very well with her talented acting/voice along with the magic of Hollywood make up and clothing. She definitely deserved the Oscar that she won for this movie.

I noticed that the make up was often one shade too light or dark and the mismatched/outdated clothing definitely gave her an awkward look that somehow made her look less feminine.

The makers/actors of this movie managed to portray the emotions of the characters very well and yet the movie felt very care free with its constant humor. Everyone should give this movie a chance despite the genre and check it out

I give this movie 8/10

I went into this movie with not much of an expectation. I've heard such mixed reviews that I didn't know what to think. But this movie captured my attention the entire time. I know this is quite a controversial movie with possible anti-Bush agenda but we must remember that this is based on a comic book that was written ions before this administration. It's just a mere case of life imitating art.

One of my favourite lines in this movie is "...people should not be afraid of their Government, the Government should be afraid of their people..." how true, right? I also liked "...remember, remember, the 5th of November..." very catchy. This movie is from the same makers as the Matrix and interestingly just like the Matrix, this movie provokes its audience to think and question, very powerful in my opinion that a movie can achieve this feat.

The beginning of this movie confused me a little. There was a short clip of a person hung to death. Then right after that it moves on to the future. There were no explanations or follow ups. I later found out from Joe that the clip was of a man, Guy Fawkes, who tried to rebel by trying to blow up the parliment because the King/govt was opposed to Catholicism but he was caught before it happened. I guess the entire premise of this movie was based on that little clip. I feel that most of you will enjoy this movie more if you don't go in expecting tons of action and violence. The previews definitely did portray it as an action movie, in my opinion.

I give this movie 8.5/10

Friday, March 24, 2006

Career Fair

The weekend really started on Thursday 3/16 when Justin said that Chadd really wants to go to Soco. After Justin successfully persuaded Dave and me to go out, we all went and guess who was the first to leave Soco? Surprise, was Chadd...he just disappeared without letting anyone know. But that's Chadd's signature, he makes dramatic exits ;) The next day we didn't really do much, I had dinner with Steph at El Maguey's and then later Dave, Emily, Justin, Steph and me met at Steph's condo and played a very uneventful game of Cranium.

The next day, Dave and I got on the road and headed to St Louis and got in around dinner time and was invited to have dinner with Dave's family. It was a great seeing Dave interact with his family members(Father, Mother, Aunt, Grandmother, niece and nephew). I made small talk here and there but the most rewarding part was noticing the little details that reminded me of my own family meals back when Mom was alive. It made me feel good seeing Dave's Mom hurrying around the kitchen preparing food, his grandma playing with the grandkids and the little jokes between Dave and his Dad. This experience made me feel good inside and definitely brought back my own memories. We went out to Magnolias, Complex and JJ's later that night. Nothing too dramatic happened...

Sunday started out with me wondering around Delmar by myself eating the much craved beef stew noodle and mango custard bubble tea. It was so yummy...:P I then hung out at a Starbucks and finished Memoirs of a Geisha (which is a GREAT book by the way) waiting on Dave to get done with his lunch/interview with the St Louis public defender's chief (0r something like that). I didn't have to wait long when he soon showed up and we went on to the Galleria and spent a good deal of time shopping. Later that evening we went to dinner with Charles and later hung out at a lesbian martini bar and Bill's home.

I took a vacation day for Monday and went to the Marriot for the diversity career fair. Met up with Barry (coworker who was recently laid off) there and passed out some resumes and managed to rack up a bunch of free shit. The fair wasn't especially big but I did not have any expectations going in so I was not disappointed. We all had lunch and then drove back to Columbia.

Below are pictures from the Mardi Gras weekend in St Louis which you can read all about here.

At Denny's after we got kicked out of the Complex

Shane was really drunk and funny (L) & Mingling at the Complex, there were so many ppl from Columbia there that weekend (R)

Don, me, Matt and Bryan at the Comlex

Monday, March 13, 2006

Weekend Madness

Before I begin with my usual posting, I just wanted to say that it has now become apparent that my boss is not very fond of me. It is 7pm and I am just walking out of my office. It has been a long 10 1/2 hr day. I've had a sneaking suspicion that he doesn't like me for a while (who the hell knows, could be because I'm the only asian engineer) but the latest sign of discrimination is when I was sick 3 weeks ago and I had to take 2 sick days and 1/2 vacation day and today in his office, he mentioned that I had to make up for these days "somehow"....WTF?!?! I am so defeated. There has been so many other stories in the past and I don't really want to get into it. So in order to please him, I told him I will wrap all my backlog by Wednesday which is almost impossible but I'll do it anyway...just like the fat balding fuck wants me to.

I have become very good at leaving my feelings of depression, imprisonment and hatred at work the very moment I step out. I have hated my work the last 3 out of 4 years I have worked here (for those of you who don't know me, you might be thinking "well just leave!" but I can't due to my immigration status). It takes a whole lot of mental control to handle this crap. That's the reason I am so happy when the weekend comes. Not just the standard happy but I actually give out a sigh of relieve when I leave and get into my car on Friday evenings. I get so happy to not have to see the faces that I've come to despise for another 2 days. I just can't wait for the day when I can finally tell them to go fuck themselves! Oh well, moving on...

Super fun Saturday (St. Patrick's 5K)

H2, Sue, Me and Joe before the race

So anyway, here's my story for Saturday. It was fun and very productive. I woke up early, around 7am and headed towards the court house. That was where the St Patrick's Day 5K started, there was so much energy (hundreds of ppl participated). Anyway met up with Joe, H2, Mas & Sue and we all ran the 5K except for Mas who was there for support :) The 5K was challenging, maybe because I haven't worked out in a while but thankfully I finished at a better time (around 26 mins) than the Cranberry Crawl 5K (28 mins) that took place last November. Here are the results.

After the race, we all went to have brunch at the the very yummilicious Cucina Solera. The weather was just perfect on Saturday around 70's (and winter's not even over yet!). Went home to take a shower and a short nap and sometime around 1 went downtown again just to walk around because the weather was so awesome. There were ppl everywhere walking around, eating icecream and just having a good time. H2, Joe and myself gobbled down a frozen concrete from Shake's (I know, defeats the purpose of running a 5K) and shortly after got caught in a hailing storm. Later that evening, went to Chili's with Dave and Em and then to Justin's for a little impromtu cocktail party. It was fun and later to Soco where the music was freakishly good. We danced all night long and headed to IHOP afterwards. By this point, I was so tired I could hardly feel my legs ;) There was some drama in IHOP, too long for this post. I finally went to bed at 4am, where I've been up for 22 hours! Craziness...

Scary Sunday Storms

All the white specks are golf ball sized hail! Remember this day was in the 70's

After a super crazy hectic Saturday, I had no more energy, totally spent. So I just took most of the day relaxing but little did I know a storm was approaching. I woke up around 11am, went to Gerbes for a little grocery shopping with Steph and came home and relaxed. Weather was still nice at around 70s. Soon after I got home from groceries, the clouds started to turn black. I was just sitting around watching "Tim Burton's: The Corpes Bride" when I heard the sirens go off. It freaked me out, so I turned on regular TV to see a Tornado Warning (for those not familiar, a tornado watch is when conditions are right and tornado warning is when there is an actual touch down sighted) and live coverage of the storm! Shortly after that, the storm was probably one of the strongest I've experienced in the last 9 years living in the Mid-west. There were reports of hail sizing from pebble to even soft ball size! My area got hit pretty hard with golf ball sized hail, thankfully my car was in the garage so it survived some major damage. Other neighbours were not so lucky.

So immediate I went into my interior bathroom praying that nothing major is going to happen to my 1st time purchased real estate. Peeking out the window, the golf ball sized hail looked like they were little bombs coming down hard, punching a small crater in the ground each time one hits and there were hundreds if not thousands coming down. The water on the ground would splash each time a hail would hit, my entire backyard looked like a war zone. I could hear the hail hitting my front windows and at one point they were so rampant and were hitting with so much force that I actually thought my windows were going to be busted open. The entire ordeal lasted 15-20 mins if not less and then just as sudden as it approached, everything cleared. I stepped outside just like everybody else to inspect what had happened. The day was still warm but I could feel a strange coolness from all the hail/ice laying on the ground evaporating, creating a foggy environment. I noticed my first casualty: a wind chime I bought while living in Dallas, TX which I've owned for almost 5 years. I have yet to inspect my siding and grill/patio furniture in the back yard. I hope that they are all still in 1 piece.

Little did I know this was the first of many storms to pass through Missouri. According to AP News "more than 100 twisters touched down in a weekend wave that stretched across five states, from Oklahoma to Illinois. Nine of the ten dead were in Missouri." Later in the evening around 8pm, another storm passed through and several others through the night. Thankfully they missed Columbia. I heard that one county in west Missouri got pounded with 3 major storms. I later saw on the news that Missouri was the hardest hit state with the most damages and people killed. There were also homes that were not too far from my area that were quite badly damaged with holes in their siding and damaged roofs. Check it out on the Columbia Daily Tribune and Yahoo News. I'm glad that no tornadoes touched down in my area and nothing major around my house got damaged. It is times like this when I appreciate Malaysia's relative "safeness" from natural disasters. I guess this is just the introduction to Tornado season that is yet to come...

And so this wraps up another weekend....

Next weekend, I'm off to St Louis for a career fair, wish me luck!

Monday, March 06, 2006


I know I have been totally MIA (Missing In Action) lately but I have just been busy/sick/you name I've got it. Feels like it's been months..ok..couple of weeks (I have to be dramatic, what can I say) since I last wrote anything. In the last two weeks, I went to St Louis with Justin, Chadd and Dave to celebrate Mardi Gras along with the rest of Columbia, came down with cold/flu AND.....that's about it. So as you can see nothing major has really happened either. Sooo no big loss =D

Let's start with the weekend in St Louis which was the weekend of Feb 25/26, on that Friday I took 1/2 day off and hung out with Joe. Weather was just fabulous. Later that evening, Justin and I hitched a ride with Chadd in to St Louis. We got in around midnight and tried to meet up with Dave at Freddies but with much drama between Dave and Charles we ended up meeting at The Complex at around 1:30am. Staying true to our very dramatic theme for the night, Dave got us kicked out again for the 2nd time...well at least got me kicked out for the 2nd was Justin and Chadd's first. So anyway here the story goes:

Dave got thrashed at the Mayor's Ball in St Louis, Charles wouldn't take him to Freddies, drove him all the way back to Oakville, Justin and me bitched Charles because Dave was our only lodging for the night and weekend, Charles brought him back to Complex, they were both in tuxs, Dave wanted to change, Dave drank water and choked in front of lesbian bouncer, lesbian bouncer got bitchy, lesbian bouncer concluded Dave was too drunk and barred him from The Complex, we all had to leave AND finally we all just ended up chillin at Denny's.

So what do you think? Enough drama for one night?

The next day was the big day. It was Mardi Gras, 2nd largest possibly largest celebration in the nation since New Orleans got hit by Katrina, we were all excited. So we drove downtown, parked our car at Novaks and took a shuttle there. All the excitement but nothing could prepare us for the disappointment. We missed the parade :( on top of that it was WAY too packed and the weather was really cold so we stayed for an hour and left. Well at least I can say I've experienced the St Louis Mardi Gras. By the time we left, it was around 3pm neither of us has had anything to eat all day, so we drive to the Galleria and headed straight for the Cheesecake Factory. Everybody was hungry and therefore bitchy so it was definitely not a pretty scene. We had to wait and finally got seated and got our food at around 4pm. Gobbled that up, and went back to Dave's to rest and later headed out to the Complex again (Hoping that the bitchy lesbian will let Dave back in). Now this night was the most fun all weekend. We saw a bunch of people from Columbia, we all danced and it was GREAT! There was minor drama with Chadd but overall it was great time in Complex as always on Saturday nights...

The following week, I was pretty much down with some weird form of cold/flu and had to take Monday off, half-heartedly went in to work Tue, Wed and Thurs but was still feeling bad so called in sick on Friday again. I mostly slept those 2 sick days. By Sat I was feeling a little better, I went on a Movie marathon with Joe at Hollywood Cinemas. We watched Capote (good), part of Date Movie (stupid but funny) and Ultraviolet (stupid and more stupid). Word of advice, DO NOT WATCH ULTRAVIOLET! Worst movie ever! The next day was spent doing chores; laundry and grocery shopping. Later that night, I wasn't planning any kind of party or anything but Steph, Em, Dave, Justin and Chadd ended up coming to my house to watch the Oscars. It was disappointing that Brokeback didn't win more awards. Especially best movie but at least it garnerred a lot of publicity and got a huge audience that would not usually go watch a movie in this I guess that's good enough.