elb's hovel of thoughts

Monday, March 26, 2007

Election Deadline Rumour: 31st March 2007??

I have been hearing some rumours that the deadline to register to vote in the upcoming general elections is supposedly at the end of the week. A check with some of my overseas based friends have come to naught. Some friends of hours who are still in Malaysia are clueless, if not surprised. We are watching with interest, and would want to register and to exercise our rights to send in our postal votes (yes, some of the alleged 'phantom postal votes' are actually by real people, believe it or not) when the time comes.

We have not heard any news from major sources (or we must have been completely blinded that day); surely such news would have been announced very prominently on sites such as MalaysiaKini. Also, checks with the Election Committee website (http://www.spr.gov.my/) have shown nothing, leading us to speculate that this is just a scaremongering tactic to get people to register.

Attempted to check with the London High Commission but got started on the merry-go-round of extension numbers (and was a bit too busy to want to wait). Checks with the Malaysian Consulate in Los Angeles also resulted in a merry go round which finally ended with 'we have not received any information', which suggest that this is just a rumour.

So, any affirmations beyond hearsay would be appreciated.


Friday, March 23, 2007

The Neighbour

I paused what I was doing and listened. Someone was definitely knocking on the door, so I went to answer it:

"I've been trying to deliver a parcel to number XX. Could you take it in? I'll drop them a note saying that you have it."

I took a quick look at the parcel. It wasn't one of the neighbours that I knew; maybe it would be a nice way to introduce myself. So I signed and took in the package.

Soon enough, the door knocked. A lady in her 30s stood in front of me, quite possibly of Indian descent.

"Hello, I have a message that you have a parcel for me?"
"Yes I do," I replied as I took down the parcel from the freezer, and handed it to her with a smile.
"Thanks," she said quickly, and before anything could come out of my mouth, she had turned around and started moving.

I am so not taking in any of her other stuff again. As A said, its probably the British weather that's making her cranky. I agree. British weather is always one of the best reasons to leave this place.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Don't ask me how, but I woke up a couple of days ago to find that part of the insides of my mouth (at the cheek side, and between the upper and lower teeth) was feeling funny. A check with the mirror revealed that I must have somehow managed to clamp the insides of my mouth between my teeth as I was sleeping, because I found that part of my mouth was a bit swollen with the outline of the bottom (and top) of my teeth. Plus, THREE (yes, I saw the third one under better light onditions) big ulcers to boot.

It was generally unbearable, and I tried to cut down on the intake of anything because it hurt (That didn't stop me from going out for dinner with another friend though :P). Finally forced myself to gargle some warm salt water (boy does having three ulcers hurt), and been forcing fluids down because I've been feeling the effects of dehydration. Hopefully it all goes down soon!


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Deep Fried Soft Shell Crab

Craving some seafood, I defrosted a few soft shell crabs the other day.

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The crabs, looking sorry and sad as they meet their predator.

So, before the crabs are rendered edible, we need to do some cleaning first. Lifting the sides of the crab's 'helmet', we reveal the gills:

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To be removed, on both sides.

Next, flip over the crab and detach the triangular tail
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Finally, detach the face from the body using either a knife or scissors:
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Nip & tuck gone horribly wrong.

Then, wash and dry the crabs, and dip into your favourite deep-fry seasoning/ tempura/ flour, and deep fry.
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Hungry yet?

Serve with red pepper omelette and sushi rice (in my case, at any rate).


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Bought myself a Dali

Yup, the Metamorphosis of Narcissus is now in my room; I still haven't decided where it should go.

Tate Modern
Credits to: Tate Modern

Which brings me to:

J: What's a Dali?

M: A painter (and more). Salvador Dali.

J: No what kinda painter is that? to paint your house? or to draw paintings?

M: He's a surrealist painter

J: And you bought him?

M: No, I bought a copy of his painting. He died some years ago

J: Oooooo. Damn my logical thinking sucks huh?

M : No, its just that the vast majority of malaysians have very little exposure nor appreciation for art and theatre

J: So what kinda paintings does Dali dig?

M: Surrealism

J: Oh yea +_+

M: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvador_Dal%C3%AD

J: Mmm, I like the 'Disintegration of Persistence of Memory', but I don't understand what it means by 'the new science of physics above psychology'.

M: Dali's paintings began to reflect his thoughts and a renewed his associations with one of his previous paintings by painting the "The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory" between 1952-1954. In this painting, the persistence of memory is fragmented and breaking down into particles, Dali's way of acknowledging modern science and technology. Many of Dali's paintings during this period portray the concept that everything is in a state of suspension through the repulsion of protons and electrons.

J: Mmmmm ok. Maybe surrealism is a lil too heavy for me afterall

M: Its probably one of the most fascinating of all art types, if you ask me

J: Okay, but if my brain functions too much it hurts me. I still like light stuff.

M: Well, its my opinion that good art makes a person both appreciate and think

J: Good for you, that you're exposed to such opportunity and nice artworks

M: Well, its not like you don't have the opportunity to. With the internet, a lot is possible. Granted that its not quite the same as actually seeing the artwork in person, but its better than nothing

J: But with the internet, you have to come across such stuff by initiative, or by chance.

M: Well, i had to walk into an art gallery. Is that not initiative? The difference is that I had to spend an hour getting to the gallery whereas one could hit into stuff within seconds on the internet. Plus, there's only so much stuff in a single gallery. So for me to see even more stuff, I could go to continental Europe (or rather, all around the world), or I could go on the internet to look for it

J: It has relation to the environmental and culture factors, if Europe doesn't have that many galleries around, you might be exposed and attracted to something else instead.

M: See, that's a problem. In Malaysia, when the average child grows up, its all memorising memorising memorising. Horrendous. When I bring up my children next time, I'm going to take them to plays and theatre and drag them to art galleries, because as sure as bloody hell life isn't just memorising crap.

J: DAMN that's the prob! Sigh, that's the most depressin part in m'sia educational system
memorise just to pass exams.

M: Its not bad actually, it fits the government to have stupid people who are only good at memorising and regurgitation instead of critical thinking and application. And to be honest, its not helped by parents, those parents who like to send their kids for non stop tuition and the like

p.s. My interest in theatre/ plays has always been around since I was back in Malaysia. My appreciation for art was also around when I was a little kid, but was rather on and off for a rather many years, with the occassional visit into art museums in places such as Florence, Rome, Vienna, London etc. It has recently been revitalised by a few visits to the Tate Modern.


Roadside Gestures

A little habit of mine (especially if I'm in a hurry, which is pretty frequent), is to cross the road despite the fact that the pelican crossing is still red and the road traffic light is still pretty much green. Of course, this isn't a problem if there are no cars in sight, or there is a relatively large gap where one could briskly walk across. The interesting bit, however, comes when a car is approaching on the side closer to the other side of the street, with the green light in the car's favour.

Normally, one would just wait until the car fully passes before crossing. However, if I am feeling analytical in a hurry, I would observe the car for a second, and during that second I would quickly estimate the velocity and time that it would take for the car to pass. I would work on the assumption that the car would carry on at that speed, or accelerate, instead of slowing down, and decide on the speed that I would walk.

So, I would start crossing the road before the car is still, let's say, 20 meters from the light. Normally the car would have passed me at least a good two seconds before my foot reaches its lane. Of course, not every car driver has confidence when they see a pedestrian step onto the road before they have even passed their green light, as I found out earlier: the car driver had his horn blazing and had applied the brakes, and gave me the 'are-you-crazy' gesture.

I gave him the 'oi,-can-you-just-move-on-you-didn't-need-to-brake-because-I-had-calculated-my-crossing' gesture, and to top it off, the 'apa-lu-mau' upward sweeping hand gesture as the car moved away. Hmmm, I'm still Malaysian somewhere....

p.s. to a random person on the street: Don't give me that crap, because you never ever were willing to get out of your way to meet up. Always had excuses, and probably always will.


Sunday, March 04, 2007

Lunar Eclipse 2007

Here's a sample of what I took:

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More coming soon, hopefully. Off to bed now, hope many of you got to witness the event and took some fabulous pictures!


Thursday, March 01, 2007

Someone Stole Our Entrepreneurial Idea!

Just over a year and a half ago, me and some old university mates were given an assignment: to come up something entrepreneurial, and to pitch it in front of professors of the business school. Think Dragons Den, albeit marks were on offer instead of hard cash.

So we brainstormed, came up with some ideas, and finally decided on a surfing pool. We developed the idea and presented it come assessment day. This idea intrigued our professors, who liked the idea very much.

Last week, I was reading one of the two trashy free evening newspapers, and came across this article:


Its pretty much the same, except that instead of Stratford/ Greenwich/ Wembley, we had Surrey in mind.