Sunday, October 28, 2012

Boy and his dragon

I read this book because it was recommended by a friend who gave me an appreciation for Stephen King and Neil Gaiman. I was looking for new authors to read (as usual) and was contemplating other genres than those I am comfortable with. So when she told that Robin McKinley is super awesome and I should try her, I looked for her books in the place where I rent the fodder for my habit. To my delighted surprise, they do have two books by her and I took this one.

I like dragons. I like the mythology of dragons, be it Asian or European. Sadly I don't get many (try almost none) books about Africa, African mythology (that is non Egyptian, that is) or written by Africans. Do they have dragons in Africa? I suppose they should.

But I digress.

This book was written almost diary-like, but more like a mental diarrhoea. The time stamps were only mentioned in passing, and the voice was completely written from a single point of view of the protagonist. This isn't necessarily bad; I like a lot of books written in the first person from a singular point of view. But the protagonist started off as a fifteen year old boy who thinks in sentences the length of an average paragraph. There was a great deal of emotional urgency in many parts of the book, particularly elucidating his bond with the dragonlet he adopted. I suppose that it is the only way to convey how intense and unusual the bond was considering biology and psychosocial adaptation (this is my personal brand of psychobabble).

However, I find this style of writing tiring to read. The story line was actually very interesting and gave me food for thought about people and non-human creatures and our relationship with them in this shrinking world. We humans think that as the vicegerent of the planet, it is only our plans and our convenience that matters when making decisions affecting other non-human life forms. This brand of arrogance is awful and often comes to a bad end, not just for the non-humans, but us as well.

I did finish the book, just so that I could wade through what the author had in mind for the perpetuation of the dragons. It took me ... three weeks of off-and-on reading? It was still tiring. I didn't like it that twenty odd year old Jake still thinks in sentence structures and vocabulary of the fifteen year old. I didn't like it that adult Jake didn't seem to make the leap towards thinking like, well, an adult. I also didn't quite like how self-absorbed Jake was from beginning till the end of the book. The other human characters are just like window dressing to give the story some extra dimension. There was greater character development for the dragons than for any of the humans. It's like the other human characters are just there to give support to Jake and very little else. I don't know, it just feels weird to me.

But if you are in it for a glorious story about a boy and his dragon, then this book is it. If you are character driven, the way I am, you probably wouldn't enjoy it as much. The pace is too slow for my taste and the only enjoyment I got at the end of the book is the sense of accomplishment that I finished the damned thing. 

Protagonist: 2/5 stars
Storyline: 3.5/5 stars
Pacing: 1/5 stars
Fun Factor: 2/5 stars
Repeat Reading Factor: 1/5 stars (only if I was stranded somewhere and had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ELSE to read)

Waving the red flag


Nearly all women between the ages of 8 to 58 experience the monthly haemorrhagic episodes. They have to deal with the inconvenience of leaking bodily fluid, physical discomfort that ranges from mild bloating to cramps that make you curl up and wish for death and emotional distresses brought upon by hormones gone amok.

Not just that, they have to deal with lousy jokes popped by men who snidely say, "Oh, it's that time of the month is it?"

And then this guy pops up on FB.

I would like to think that this guy was just being ironic. Of course, it actually just accentuates what a huge douche he really is and a total moron for thinking that the monthly bleeding is actually about puppy tails and candies for women.

And the reply by Bodyform?

Super awesome.

I came across this one and saw that many men would rather bleed to death than go inside a store to buy pad's for a lady.

You'd run through a hail of mortar shots to drag your friends from total annihilation but not walk into a store and buy tampons? What the fuck is wrong with this picture? Did you think that buying a feminine hygiene product will miraculously transform the junk you are so proud of with a bleeding vagina?

Women have to undergo cultural and religious persecutions for centuries because of misconceptions of a normal biological function. It is this self same function that allows women's body to accommodate a foetus (or more) and continue to perpetuate the existence of the human race. Yes, it can be messy and uncomfortable, but if men are the ones who have to suffer through menstruation and childbirth, I'll bet we'd all die out with Adam.

So gentlemen, next time the ladies in your life are going through menstruation, have a heart will ya?

Do you want to be another statistic?

Don't text and drive. Don't text and ride either. I've seen motorcyclists frowning intently as they look at their text messages instead of the road. While riding (i.e. in motion).

Just another gentle reminder to fellow Malaysians. And since it is Halloween this week, let's scare ourselves a little with some figures from MIROS shall we ?

For those who favour two wheels propelled by four stroke engines:

  • Motorcyclists are twice as likely as motorists to be involved in an accident.
  • Motorcyclists are twice as likely as motorists to be badly injured and/or die in a traffic accident.
  • Motorcyclist fatalities are increasing on an average of 2% each year for the past decade.
  • 25% of motorcyclists who die in traffic accidents are below age 20 (so don't let your children ride motorcycles without licence OR supervision).

For those who favour four wheels (or more) propelled by engines that corresponds to the size of your manhood/ego:

  • The number of traffic accidents are on the increase annually.
  • The number of traffic accidents with fatalities (i.e. someone or a lot of someone dies) are also increasing every year.
  • Malaysians hold the unenviable number of 23 deaths from traffic accidents / 100,000 population.
  • Cars and taxis are leading in terms of number of accidents, followed by motorcycles and bicycles, lorries, vans and others.

Many research has been done to pinpoint the cause of traffic accidents and what they all sum up: people are idiots and cause traffic accidents. It may not be you but another jerkwad, but that doesn't mean you are any less injured or dead.

Well, what has been known cannot be unknown, yes? So let's all work together to be less of an asshole on the road; don't matter whether you are on two wheels or more. Cos we all want to get home safely.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Holiday decorating for men ...

I bet you guys would be more enthusiastic about helping out with the holiday decorations if they can do it like this.

And any boy sniffing around your daughters will have the fear of God (i.e. your wrath) after seeing the pumpkin on your doorstep.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Self pimping!

Come stroll along my memory lane here.

Forewarning: it is almost completely in Malay (my mother tongue). If it sounds awkward it's probably because the only Malay book I have read in the past ten years is the English-Malay Dictionary.

*shame face*

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Natural gas explosion

I recently wrote a post about surgical fire, an event that could happen often enough that it merits a good few pages on the FDA's website (check 'em out, you don't need to sleep, do ya?). I thought, there goes the once a month (or maybe longer) medical scare I dish out to the lovely people who visits my blog (You love me! You really love me!  ♥♥♥!).

But I came across this and just had to share. I mean, colonoscopy (where a tube with a camera attached gets shoved up where the sun don't shine so the doctor can have a good look at the condition of your intestine) has become one of the most widely performed medical procedure, thanks to greater appreciation of how hard it is to survive cancer in your colon if you don't get rid of it. Colonoscopy is also performed when you see blood before flushing your daily load (I ain't talking about the ladies' monthly haemorrhage, aye?), you have problems with your bowel movement (too much, too little, too rare, too often, spurred by the food you love to hate) or you are so anaemic that Edward passed you over for not being nutritious enough.
Edward Cullen: a centenarian who still goes to high school. Cos high school is so *hard*, you know.

As much as you enjoy letting a loud one rip in the privacy of your loo, or releasing a silent killer in a crowded elevator, intestinal gas is not something to take lightly when the surgeon is trying to remove a nasty polyp using laser.

Because it could be a blast.

And not in a good way.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sanity is overrated

Good friends, good times.

Yeah to my Mom!

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Reality. Really?

I should be grateful we don't celebrate Halloween.


Mind when they step softly, aye?

Parents are people too. Sometimes, they make porn. So watch out when downloading porn. What has been seen cannot be unseen.

Not the nursery rhymes they taught you?

Collecting blackmail threats ... start early.

Kat vonD in her golden years, maybe?

When you really want something, go for it.

It's all a matter of perspective, innit?

Well water contamination is a serious problem. So is a missing child that went uninvestigated.

No kidding?

Heh. It has now been verified. You got to stand up for your right, ladies. Cos the men ain't just gonna hand it over.

The Civic Origins of Progressive Policy Change: Combating Violence against Women in Global Perspective, 1975–2005

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Monday, October 8, 2012

Mooning ...

You were born during a Waning Gibbous moon
This phase occurs right after a full moon.

- what it says about you -
You love to let people in on the story of how things come together. You know the background of ideas and have a deep understanding of things others just touch the surface of. You can surprise people with your wide variety of knowledge, and they'll remember and appreciate you for it.
What phase was the moon at on your birthday? Find out at

Do you think the description fits me?

 *blushes demurely*

Hearts on fire

You would think that the line above is only something out of a torrid romance novel, right? But what if I tell you that it can happen to you while you are lying helpless and paralysed?

Yup, I'm talking about surgical fire.

What's that you ask me? It's fire that can happen while you are under the knife for something as innocuous as an appendectomy (removal of that little caecum that nobody knows the raison d'etre of which that is inflamed, causing you pain and potentially fatal) or even something as scary as a quadruple bypass. The operation theatre is a ripe fire hazard what with the easy availability of fuel (e.g. surgical drapes, clothes, alcohol-based prep, the patient [yes, that's right. Spontaneous human combustion nightmare much? Hahaha!]), ignition source (you don't need a smoker to light up, just the surgeon happily working with lasers and lights and whatnot) as well as an oxidiser (i.e. oxygen for you to keep breathing while being sedated).

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Fire in the surgery may be minor (no one got singed, nothing got damaged) or even catastrophical (someone - usually the patient - has minor to third degree burns). If you want the gory stuff, there's this magical thing called Google. You can look it up!

However, I am not here to be a fear-monger and make you cancel that life-saving surgery you just scheduled. It's just a little educational tip for you to know that there are more risks to medical procedures than overdosing on your painkiller and permanently damaging your kidneys or suffering another heart attack when your insurance company won't cough up for the much needed quadruple bypass.

Surgical fires are preventable. There are training for the medical personnel and information made available to patients. So please ask questions before you go for ANY medical procedures and make sure that your health care providers are able to educate you on the risks

If I gave you another medical phobia, well, too bad.

*insert evil laughter*

Friday, October 5, 2012

You can't be what you can't see

As much as we would love to blame everything wrong with the younger generation on lousy teachers and the horrible education system, we should also own up to our role and responsibility in shaping and being the example for the younger generation to emulate. It is very hard to be something that someone TOLD you to be but not having SEEN what the example is really like.

(The rest is under cut due to lengthy rant)