The Gamer's Litter Box is now open. From here onwards, all future blog entries relating to anime, videogames, and other pop-culture matter will be posted there. The old Away From Keyboard Journal will be retained for everyday, personal entries. Please update your bookmarks accordingly.
Last night I watched Jason Mraz perform live in concert with a bunch of friends.
Long story short, it was awesome. Even though we were seated quite far away from the stage, the sheer fun and raw energy of his performance could be felt throughout the stadium. It's a pity the stadium's air conditioning was down, so we all felt so sweaty and hot after the event. Even Jason and his crew had someone on stage between songs to wipe them.
I'm now typing this from KLIA as I'm waiting for the departure gate for Beijing to open. There's another 50 more minutes before they let us through, and I'm just passing the time here checking my email. I think I'll spend a little time practicing my writing skills now.
I'll be in Beijing for a few days to attend Helmuts wedding dinner, whom I haven't seen a long time. I haven't seen him in 5 years; I wonder how he looks now? I feel a little embarassed as the last time I left Sydney, I was 10 kgs lighter, had colored hair, and was clean shaven. Now I'm overweight, my hair is back to its natural jet black color, and I sport a goatee. I really should go back to the gym one of these days. But yeah, it's been a really long time since I last met both Helmuts and Jessie, so I'm looking forward to meet them. I'm really happy that they're finally tying the knot.
If I recall correctly, China bans LiveJournal accounts, so I thought I'd blog here in Malaysia while my address isn't blocked. If it is blocked, I'll probably update through http://gamerslitterbox.com. Well, I doubt I'll have much to blog about anyway since I'll probably be freezing my butt off there while sending off articles back home.
It's just a week away to Chinese New Year, and there's a lot of Chinese passengers milling about the departure gate, sitting and waiting for the gates to open. Some are dozing, others are engaging in conversation with their fellow passengers. When I checked in earlier, I was told that the flight was overbooked so I couldn't choose my seat. I hope I get an aisle seat. Or at least some place that will accommodate my long legs.
Two rows in front of me, there is a group of young men wearing identical-looking tracksuits with the Nike logo on their shirts and pants. I think they're local athletes though I can't really say for sure since I don't follow sports.
Earlier in the evening, my sis and mother was fussing over my flight details as they furiously sent SMSes to me reminding me to bring my passport and air ticket. Christ, I've just turned 27-years old and I've gone on so many overseas trips. Yet they're still treating me like this is my first flight going overseas. I understand that it's their way of caring for me, but at the same time I also feel greatly irritated because I feel like they don't trust me to take care of myself. Well, this isn't the first time that they've done this and I doubt that they'll ever stop doing this, so I guess I just have to be a little more patient. Or remember to shut off my mobile before I go on a flight.
I'll be back in Malaysia on Friday, so it's really a short trip. Sunday morning I'll be driving back to my hometown to join my family for the reunion dinner though frankly speaking I'd rather stay back in KL and rest.
While playing through Cooking Mama: World Kitchen, I decided to actually put into practice the cooking instructions from the game. The end results were actually pretty tasty, though on hindsight I should have diced the onion a little more finer and made the patty less thick. I added a fried egg to complement the hamburg since I didn't have a little flag to perch on the steak. ;)
I'm gonna try more recipes from the game. Hopefully they turn out as nice as the first one that I made!
I am the editor of my magazine Paper is my body, ink is my blood I have created over a thousand articles Unknown to the public and unknown to my friends Through the years ; have withstood great pain to wield many pens Yet these hands shall never hold anything So thus I pray : Unlimited Deadline Works
Credit goes to Ker Vin, who actually had time to come up with this.
Also, The Gamer's Litter Box is currently offline. It should come back on Monday.
P.S. Fallout 3 is a real time sink. Yesterday and the day before, I went on a game marathon for over 12 hours just playing it. Christ. And I'm planning to buy and play Princess Waltz next week. Ugh, I really wish there were more hours in a day.
I have Coldplay's Viva la Vida looping on Media Player. I love the richness of the strings in this song, and how much it contrasts the lyrics about a fallen king.
I used to rule the world Seas would rise when I gave the word Now in the morning I sleep alone Sweep the streets I used to own
I used to roll the dice Feel the fear in my enemy's eyes Listen as the crowd would sing: "Now the old king is dead! Long live the king!"
One minute I held the key Next the walls were closed on me And I discovered that my castles stand Upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand
It's nearly the end of 2008 and it's around this time that we get super busy around the office. But I didn't do a lot of stuff today, and I felt quite tired all day. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to pick up my mojo tomorrow because I sure didn't feel like I had it today.
It was the wicked and wild wind Blew down the doors to let me in. Shattered windows and the sound of drums People couldn't believe what I'd become
Revolutionaries wait For my head on a silver plate Just a puppet on a lonely string Oh who would ever want to be king?
Right now, I'm also in a blue funk because my Xbox 360 has gone RRoD on me and it has been sent to Singapore for warranty. And Guitar Hero World Tour is expected to arrive at Gamer's Hideout tomorrow.
Plus Gears of War 2 is out.
So is Mirror's Edge.
And Fallout 3.
I hear Jerusalem bells a ringing Roman Cavalry choirs are singing Be my mirror, my sword and shield My missionaries in a foreign field
For some reason I can't explain I know Saint Peter won't call my name Never an honest word But that was when I ruled the world
I wonder if I should do something for Christmas, even though my denomination doesn't celebrate it. Maybe I'll go get plastered or something. I haven't gone to a good nightclub in ages, and I feel like doing some dancing, which I haven't done in a long, long time.
It may be a few days already since I last came back from Japan, but I still actually feel a bit groggy during the afternoons and early evenings. I guess staying nearly 2 weeks in Japan where night falls much earlier does that to you. I'm actually starting to sleep earlier, which is waaaaaaaaaaay out of the norm for me!
Besides dealing with the backlog of work, I'm also busy reviewing a couple games for the upcoming GaX November issue; hence the blog updates. I'm also watching more anime this week, which is an encouraging sign as there are quite a number of interesting shows this season.
I'll be leaving my house for the airport in about 10 minutes time. Strangely enough, I don't quite feel super-excited or anything, even though I'm about to embark on one of my biggest trips ever.
Maybe the anticipation still hasn't hit me yet. Maybe once I touch down on the airport asphalt my heart will drop like a ton of bricks. Or maybe the allure of Japan isn't so alluring anymore since I've already traveled the world quite a bit.
Oh wait, it's just Pala-chan, Toshiba's uber-cute seal mascot. Still, look at how bad-ass he is. See that furrowed brows? Pala-chan means business. SERIOUS business.
Pala-chan is also somewhat of a pimp. He's got a harem of all kinds of fine ladies. From little ones to big ones, he's got a ho in every stable. See that flipper on Haruka's fine thigh? Yeah, he's claiming dibs on that one.
He's also an avid Starbucks coffee drinker. Every morning, he guzzles a cup of java like no tomorrow. If he doesn't get his daily dose of caffeine, he goes apeshit and goes beat up a seal hunter with a club.
Pala-chan is all for white-supremacy because he thinks there's nothing more fine than the color of his fur. White power, yeah!
Next week: Pala-chan meets Poring.
Bonus shot: an empty pedestrian bridge that connects MidValley Megamall to Northpoint Mall.
When I was in high school, I wrote a short story about a young woman having breakfast at a cafe, reminiscing about her one night stand. I naively thought it was a masterpiece, and I was so proud of my work that I showed it to a few girls in maths tuition class. They giggled at it, probably out of amusement at a 14-year old trying to write about a meaningful love story. Whenever I think back about what I did back then, my face feels flushed with embarassment.
For the last week, I seem to be in a writing mood. To be exact, I seem to be in a writing mood for things other than IT, videogames and anime. I suppose I want to take a break from the usual spate of writing that I normally do for HWM and GameAxis. So over the weekend, I typed out a couple of short stories in mind with brief outlines of how I want the stories to end.
My only concern is that like most of my other writing projects, they tend to peter out and then die, caused by neglect. It's quite ironic considering every month I write thousands of words for my line of work and they are read by hundreds of readers (or at least I hope my work is being read). Yet I can't seem to self-publish my own creative stories here.
(Well, I tried a couple times. With varying results)
Let's see if I can push one out by next week, even if it turns out to be a lemon in the end just like my first story. If it can at least amuse someone for a short while, then I'm satisfied...even if the story wasn't meant to amuse in the first place.
I dream dreams that can't be unexplained; others so lucid that their meaning is clear as day. Most of time, I cannot tell whether I am dreaming or not. But for the very few times that I am aware of my dream-like state, I still let myself be taken over by the flow of the dream, to see the uncharted waters it will take me so I can understand better the undercurrents that lies within me.
The third day of my London trip was devoted to solely exploring the city on my own. Armed with my 1-day Tube travel pass, I stopped at St. Pauls first to check out St. Paul's Cathedral, which is truly a magnificent sight to behold. I'd have explored more of the cathedral, if not for the entry fee of 12 quid. 'Course I could have gone in for free if there was a church service.
Feeling reinvigorated by the cathedral, I decided to walk around the city. I soon find myself at Embankment, which overlooked the Thames River. The London Eye was in my sights, and I knew that the Big Ben and Parliament buildings were nearby. I didn't go up the London Eye as I've went on it before. But I did check out the Dali exhibition at the County Hall Gallery. Although there weren't many paintings from the Spanish Surrealist master, there were a good number of intriguing sculptures of his classic works, including this classic depiction of Venus with an egg in her center.
Wanting a change of scenery, I took a train to Leicaster Square afterwards. From there, I walked around Chinatown and Covent Garden, before eventually finding my way back to the Casino arcade at Goodge Street. Unfortunately, there was a sign on the KOF2K2 arcade cabinet, indicating that the 1st Player's D button was broken. I decided to go home.
The next day was mainly spent with my family, helping out as a photographer. I only had a point-and-shoot Canon IXUS 900 to take pictures. *Sigh* If only I had a DSLR...
In the morning, I walked around Oxford Circus to check out the shops. That's where I saw HMV having a sale and I happily wandered around the movies and games section. For lunch, I ate a Salt Beef with Mustard on Rye sandwich at a place called Selfridges. The helping was really huge and filling. It's the first time a sandwich made me feel so full.
Later in the afternoon, I met up with Gunsmith and played a few matches of KOF98 with him. He later showed me a couple used game and DVD shops nearby. We later got a call from another KOF player, Giga D, who wanted a few matches at KOF2K2. We went back to Casino on Goodge Street and met up with him. I got my ass handed to him a few times but after I got used to his K9999, Joe, and Kula Diamond team, I think I managed to play a bit better.
If I were to ever work in London, I think my favorite hangout spot would be HMV. It's quite incredible to see such a wide range of original DVDs and games here. I picked up Shaun of the Dead and Batman Begins at 12 quid all together. As for games, I bought 2 PS2 games: Odin's Sphere (20 quid) and Bully (8 quid!). Later on, I bought Silent Hill 3 at a used game shop for only 8 quid. I wish there were used game shops in Malaysia like there are here in London.
Today I may meet up with him again in the afternoon, but I'm planning to do a little sightseeing in the morning. St Pauls and Temple are on my travel list...
After dinner last night, I went with my 2 sisters and dad to the nearby Tesco. The one thing that strike me the most about London now is that it's still very bright out even in the evening. Even when we left the supermarket at around 9 p.m., the sky wasn't very dark at all. It looked like a typical evening at 7:30 p.m. in Malaysia. My sis says that during winter, night falls very quickly; sometime around 5 p.m.
Bought a load of junk food from Tesco. Gonna share it with my colleagues when I get back. :)
So far I don't seem to be very jet-lagged. I purposely forced myself to stay awake until around 11 p.m. here, so that I wouldn't wake up in the middle of the morning.
Although it's summer now, the high temperatures haven't hit the country yet. So it's a nice combination of sunny outlook with cool breezes, which around 20 degrees Celsius. It reminds me a lot of Sydney in winter. It's really a good time to go about the city, which I'll be doing later today. I'll also be meeting up with Gunsmith from the Orochinagi forums. Hopefully I won't lose too badly to him and his friends in KOF98/2K2 this time. :)