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Saturday, June 16, 2007
losing it.

One more exam to go. Gaah. Can't wait for it to be over. Starting to lose it. So bad that I'm procrastinating from my usual procrastination of going through the student network with blogging.

Chaser's War on Everything
(Wednesdays, 9 pm on ABC) is such a funny show! Funniest show in all Australia!* I was watching some of the earlier episodes of season two on the network, and there was a parody on the "Lose yourself in Melbourne" advertisement.

This is the original Ad. Slightly pretentious little thing, but in a really (really) charming way. The girl in there is kinda hot too.

And click here for the parody. The Chaser boys in an Ad RoadTest segment (where they take an advertisement's premise and see how it plays out in real life. good stuff.)


*Doesn't seem take a lot of effort to be the funniest show on Australian television. Everything else just seems bland. Or so I thought at first.

Then I discovered Wilfred (series about a girl, her boyrfriend and a talking dog who's really a man in dogsuit but only the boyfriend seems to notice this). Absurdist and funny as.

(as? as what? I saw this phrase in a JB Hi-fi catalouge :"cheap as." Just that. cheap as. period. is that an Australian thing? comparable with the filler "like" and "uhm". Or a shortened version of a phrase so common [cheap as chips?] that it need not be said in full? Or perhaps a sanitized spelling of ass, cheap ass! cheap ass? yes, please.)


I hope by this time you've seen the two loopy videos. If not, please do so now.

Meanwhile, I spy a massive Bloomsday group outside my window. Its that James Joyce fandom thing celebrating his links with the Jesuits. Here I am trying to study and they're bloody singing and dancing.

Noisy as. Would love to see them get lost. Somewhere else.

Friday, May 18, 2007
selections of exemplary penmanship.

Hey guys,

Here are answers to your colourful queries.

1) New Deadline for list of participants : 21st May
2) Hazeril's question : Yup.
  1. Referring to the table provided in the Pre NCG Booklet, am I right to assume that the upper one is the first day (i.e. 1st July 2007) followed by the day after? Correct me if I'm wrong, on the night of 30th June '07 there'll be a lecture/seminar; 1st July night AGM of MASCA National to be called to order, and 2nd July will be the closing ceremony-cum-Malaysian Night ?
3) T shirt Colours : The spinning bottle has spoken.
Committee - Red
QLD - Green
SA - White
WA - Orange
TAS - Brown
ACT - Dark Grey
NSW - Light Blue
VIC - Dark Blue

4) Futsal
a) Futsal will not clash with netball. Same day, different time.
b) Futsal is 2 male teams and 1 female team (website was mistaken, woops.)
c) Futsal is 7 a side (7 players per side in court at one particular time)
d) Two leagues - Round robbin. Top two from each league will play in semis

5) Accomodation.
a) Late arrivals. Call the Quartermasters (Anthea : 0421392999; Umar : 0424377980) on the day. Prior to games, please indicate in spreadsheet so arrangements (meals etc) can be made.
b) There are no curfews (except for veleong. boo.), although self-restraint is advised when enjoying the Melbourne nightlife. Especially if you have a game the next day.
c) Room allocation will be done during registration, and done by state. Males and females are to be kept separate. Especially if you have a game the next day. heh.

6) The $180 cost. I am told (correct me if it was not so) that Sydney charged $190 and Canberra charged $160 (add $40 for Malaysia Night). Our $180 includes Malaysia Night, superb accomodation, unparralelled location and food you will call home about. For all these and more (we are in the world's most liveable City after all! [joint first with Vancouver]) we believe the price is more than reasonable. We applaud the state committees for their support and understanding. We also appreciate the concerns put forth, so we are currently working on the available options to cater to special cases. Await a reply latest by Monday.

7) Malaysian Night Venue is yet to be confirmed. Seating arrangements will be announced once we confirm your numbers. Tentatively it is free seating, but requests can be made during registration in Melbourne.

8) Only Malaysians are allowed to participate. And make sure they are students. We'll know.

9) Venues. Albert Park is not confirmed. But to answer your question, Luqzan, it would be quite a challenge to walk there. Due to the drought experienced by the 'garden' state of Victoria, rugby/soccer fields are hard to come by. Supposing the final venue is a considerable distance from the accomodations, we will be providing adequate transport for the players. Supporters may hop on the buses once all the players have been transported.

10) We have hired St. John's Ambulance to be available during contact sports. Transport will be provided to our many hospitals (Royal Melbourne Hospital, Royal Children's Hospital, Royal Women's Hospital, Royal Dental Hospital. Take your pick) which are all between two to five minutes away.

11) Hazeril's question : Exactly what we had in mind =)
  1. I was made to understand that each state are to send two teams for Soccer and Futsal. As the whole championship runs on points basis, it is best that despite having two teams each, points will only be awarded based on the order of state-wise i.e. Let's say for Futsal, the champion is Victoria A, runner-up Victoria B, 2nd runner-up QLD, and third runner-up NSW; Points tally will be considered as VIC,QLD,NSW instead of VIC,VIC,QLD (Bear in mind that this doesn't affect medal presentation). This is to ensure a fair go for all visiting states which have to consider players availibility and selection disadvantages.
12) Masca Idol : One performance per state. Group or solo. You are welcome to perform interpretive dance, trapeze acts or even syair recitals, but we really (really) recommend songs. 7 minutes per group. Microphone(s), stage and speakers provided. Musical instruments are available on request, though it would be best if you provided your own (where possible).

13) All participants will receive certificates (but of course!)

14) Supporters. In the cost breakdown sent previously, you can see that we hardly charge for the games themselves. The $180 covers accomodation, welcome pack (shirt etc), food and Malaysia Night. Hence, supporters and players enjoy the same benefits at the same price. If money is still a problem, perhaps they could just come on their own and cheer the team. We don't charge admission. =)

15) Netball - 10 per team (7 + 3 subs)

16) The cost ($180) covers 2nd of July Night Stay and 3rd July breakfast. Checkout time for the 3rd of July is 12 pm (no lunch).

I guess that's it for now. We look forward to receiving your namelist by Monday the 21st.

Feel free to ask more questions if you feel the itch.

Hazwan Razak
NCG 07

Tuesday, December 12, 2006
ma description (honnête) de l'egypte

Its been two weeks to the day since I arrived in Cairo. And boy, do I have stories to tell. But we'll go over them bit by bit. As I type this, am looking over my back lest the egyptian secret police jump me from behind. Like this poor sap.

The basics (one) : Money and Living

The currency here is the Egyptian Pound; Guinea to his family and friends. The cents are piastres. In my whole two weeks here so far, i have only seen a piastres coin once. Its mostly in paper currency and they're usually so dirty and that they're definitely on my list of Things That Can Unceremoniously Kill You In Egypt (TTCUKYIE). Coincidentally I found a 5 piastres note (which is supposedly really rare) and I intend to bring it and all its middle kingdom germs back with me.

One Australian Dollar is equivalent to about 4.45 Guineas. One Ringgit is roughly 1.60 Guineas.

You could survive a day on one Fu'ul (beans) sandwich per meal, which would set you back 1.00 Piastres. Food is cheap like Malaysia, which is endearing to the heart and the tummy. For those craving a bit more, there's the Shawarma, Kofta or Kebab (basically meat sandwiches), which at 5.00 Guineas, is a real bargain.

The Big Mac index (you nerds) : 12.50 Guineas for a small value meal. But don't eat that pro-Zionist garbage (in front of your pious arabic teachers) if you know what's good for you. An anecdote I shall leave for later.


This is later. The following is a patched recollection from my visits to various museums and memorials and they may bore you. You have been warned.

Anti-Israeli sentiments are moderately high in this region, despite Egypt's 1979 acknowledgement of Isreal's right to exist. These two nations have quite a thing going on with their wars. Click here to read more. The last war which was the Yom Kippur war or Ramadhan war began as Egypt attempted to regain the Mt Sinai - Suez area that was occupied by the Israeli forces. Asleep yet?

There's a big expensive tribute to this war called the 1978 war Panorama to commemorate the glorious might of Egypt's Military forces. The irony is that they didn't actually win in the end. Ooh, the minor details.

Mr Hosni Mubarak (Egypt's current president) was a general during this war, and came to power shortly after the then head of state (Sadat) was killed by a progressive element (ixnay on the erroristtay) during a parade. The reasons for his assasination : A fatwa on his head for betraying the Arab League's stance on Isreal (by acknowledging it).

What we can learn from this episode is :
a) Don't mess with Israel
b) You don't really have to read every single thing at Museums and Monuments. Its best to just go "ooh" and "aah" and move along. Especially in a country with 40 Centuries of History. I now know too much.
c) A Fatwa goes on the list of Things That Can Unceremoniously Kill You In Egypt (TTCUKYIE).
d) Being at the right place, at the right time and having your immediate superior die from the TTCUKYIE can be a catalyst to success.

Sunday, November 26, 2006
ahlan wa sahlan!

packing's a drag.

In a few hours, am heading off to Egypt for a month of Arabic classes. Packed with a guidebook, some cash and a travel buddy whose idea of immersing in the rich culture involves a bevy of cute egyptian locals (and a bathtub and handcuffs, but lets spare the details), I can't help but wonder how I got myself into this mess.

Aside from the arduous Visa application process, the flight ticket arrangements, the dealings with the language centre and a large helping of 'yeah-why-not?'-ism, this trip actually did just happen by itself. At least that's how I will remember it.

Here's to a trip filled with good pleasant memories. Good and pleasant being the operative words. I'll have none of that horrific, therapy needing aftermath (likely to happen if i ever ended up in a bathtub with handcuffs and a sexually repressed Izzy al-Hashimi) thank you very much.

Flight path : Melbourne - Dubai (a 4 hour wait) - Alexandria -(and by local land transportation [hoping this does not mean camels]) - Cairo.

Micheal Blackman wrote a reply to the many supporters (and a handful of dissenters) to his article. It can be read here.

Saturday, November 18, 2006
telling it like it is.

I present here two articles that are worth a read :

1) While Malaysia Fiddles, its Oppurtunities are running dry. by Micheal Blackman from theage.
Blackman's assesment of the state of our nation hits straight to the point and presents arguments that are hard to deny. But alas! as a true red-blooded patriot, it is my duty to denounce this evil evil man for coming up with his unsubstantiated fantasies.

(On the Petronas Twin Towers) "Malaysians are very proud of these towers. Goodness knows why. They had little to do with them. The money for them came out of the ground and the engineering was contracted out to South Korean companies."

See what i told you. LIES! LIES! The foreign media has called in a hit on the nation's credibility. Its a global conspiracy as they are jealous of our numerous achievements. We are standing in the eyes of the world!

"Next year, a Malaysian astronaut will go into space aboard a Russian rocket — the first Malay in space. And the cost? $RM95 million ($A34.3 million), to be footed by Malaysian taxpayers. The Science and Technology Minister has said that a moon landing in 2020 is the next target, aboard a US flight. There's no indication of what the Americans will charge for this, assuming there's even a chance that they will consider it. But what is Malaysia getting by using the space programs of others as a taxi service? There are no obvious technical benefits, but no doubt Malaysians will be told once again, that they are "boleh". The trouble is, they're not. It's not their space program."
There's more where that came from. So if you know what's good for you, DON'T READ this well-written, insightful and often humourous article. DON'T be swayed by the stubborn things called facts. Have faith in the Government for they are rich, wise and knowledgable!

2) Bangsa Malaysia: From The Perspective Of Today's Youths by Widyawati Sharkawi, a close personal friend, writing for Bernama. The title says it all. Definitely a must click. Especially if you happen to be a Johor Idiot Menteri Besar. =)
"The brouhaha over Bangsa Malaysia erupted when Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman, during the state Umno convention recently, denounced the concept on the reasoning that it implies no more than a 'mishmash' of races and puts the special position of the Malays as enshrined in the constitution in a limbo."
Hail Glorious Leader! Hail His Wisdom! Hail Hail!

A note on sarcasm poisoning: This entry has been rated 0.5 on the Sievert scale. It contains enough sarcasm dosage to cause mild sarcasm sickness with headache and increased risk of apathy due to disruption of brain cells. Temporary male sterility is possible.

Friday, November 17, 2006
"I, I, I, I'm still alive."

Yep, alive and well, but the stuttering speech belies an excited state that only a dose of highly illegal (in most places) narcotics can produce. or at least that's what a combination of dramatic license and bad acting has taught me.

But drugs can kill you. And I'm planning to live forever. Well, so far so good. (And since we're talking about longevity, here's a funny harry potter spoof that has nothing to do with it. Its just funny and I thought I'd share it.)

I am pumped cause I just came back from watching Pearl Jam live. Having kicked back on the caffeine and with sleep still in heavy deficit, I was awake on pure adrenalin which they amply supplied. Admittedly, I wasn't that big a fan (only knew the lyrics to probably four songs.) but even i wanted to throw eddie my hypothethical panties. Yeah, they were that good. Much better than the analogy.


Isn't it always the case that you always have got so much planned for the holidays, these plans being made in the midst of a hectic studying period that include everything from learning how to divide by zero to feeding your cat, that when the holidays do come, they pass by just as quickly and the only thing you actually end up doing is the least important one (i.e. feeding the cat. and that only to prevent the more annoying task of having to get rid of a dead one.)

Well, to my dearest holidays (or the various assorted godly creatures that govern space and time, particularly the creatively named father time. and his civic union partner father space.) you're not going to pull a fast one on me this time. I'm going to do the things I plan to do and I'm not even going to cheat by making the list short. Gonna finish that list of important stuff.

You know, stuff like facebooking and catching up on the latest season of Grey's. While awating each week for another installment of Heroes. =)

Now wishing I had gotten tickets to the MakePovertyHistory concert as well. Dangnamit.

Thursday, November 16, 2006
sometimes courage is the little voice that says "fuck this, i've had enough."

i'm done. my last exam was today, and surely no other end was more anticipated, well, except for that time i read through AngryMedic's more personal entries. (yes, Aaron, NOW would be appropriate for that *bada-bing* soundeffect. heh.)

The exams were good-ish, and its just a great relief to cap a week-long marathon of sleepless nights, frantic protestations of imminent failure and enough coffee brewed to put starbucks to shame.

And finally the holidays.

Will be blogging more as the caffeine withdrawal symptoms subsides. In the mean time, today's Archived-Suprise-Twist-That-Everyone-Saw-Coming is brought to you by the my wikipedia addiction : Britney and Kevin are splitting up.

*So* didn't see that one coming. Just like that time the NSync dude turned out to be the curve to the tangent. (nudge nudge wink wink say no more)