Thursday, 27 December 2007

Because I do not speak their language

Oh boy! The EU version of the No More Heroes website is out. For people who cannot read Japanese (ie. me), this is awesome. Also, more (new) wallpapers, coming in January? I hope so!

The shame. I am actually more excited about NMH than I am about MGS4. Now Australia just sits tight and hopes that it doesn't get banned when it gets over here.

On an extremely similar note, another game I am excited about is the new Bionic Commando. Looks like the old school is getting a makeover. Fingers crossed that the old school doesn't become a pile of crap like Final Fight: Streetwise did.

Monday, 24 December 2007

Asian Drink Special #2

Today we have the Baige Aloe Vera drink. Some of you may cry foul here and say that since I enjoy aloe vera, it's not really a test for a bizarre Asian drink. I am inclined to agree, but the main reason I bought it was the colour of the drink itself. It's this creepy greeny-yellow colour, like someone had pissed straight into the bottle and added aloe vera.

Thankfully it doesn't taste as bad. Not that I know what piss tastes like.

1. Originality - I know for a fact that whenever I have aloe vera (to consume), people who haven't seen me drink it before exclaim "What is THAT?" So I guess if one did not know that there is more to aloe vera than just for health purposes, you'd be pretty surprised too. However, putting the aloe vera in some weird juice concoction gets extra points. Hell, after reading the list of ingredients they put in the drink, I STILL didn't know what I was drinking. [7]
2. Taste - Surprisingly enough, it didn't taste too bad. That being said, I did wince slightly everytime I made a sip. How to describe the taste? It's sort of sour, with this pleasant aftertaste. I have to say though, that it smells a lot better. It smells delightfully fruity. [5]
3. Packaging - The second reason I bought this drink was the delightful bottle it came in. It's pure glass with some fancy print on the front. It is lovely, but it was a real trial trying to get it open. My whole family took turns trying to open it. Buy this drink if you want your family to bond. [6]

4. Price - $3. Seriously, for a crazy drink with even crazier packaging. Though if you ask me, the bottle is worth $3 alone.
5. Other - I spent ages trying to figure out if Baige was an ingredient before realising that it was, in fact, the brand name. Oh, those crazy Asians!

And while I'm at it, Merry Christmas, y'all. Hope you get everything you wanted.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Oh look!

Looks like my Michigan review was finally posted on the K7 SINdicate.

So maybe very few of you have heard of it. Maybe you'd like to come over to my place sometime and sample its bad-ness. But you could always just read the review and it would put you off it. Maybe.

Michigan: Report from Hell

Also, OPs. It sucked balls. Which I thought was kind of strange considering my marks were better-than-average this year. Fuck you, QSA. Fuck you. Did any of you dudes get OPs you were not expecting? If so, I guess we can blame the grade.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

A rather long look at the bestselling novel that is now a major motion picture!

The following entry is really actually quite lengthy. Just sayin'.

I have these fundamentalist Christian relatives. They're not bad people. Actually, they're quite ok. Well, my male cousin and my uncle are. The aunt and the female cousin are too uptight for my liking. And I mean, they DID make us watch a documentary on how the United Nations was a Satanic affair, but hey. I'm sure it was just because there was nothing else on TV.

Being the only of my dad's brothers who permanently resides in Brisbane (a mere three minutes away!) my uncle's family are REQUIRED to buy me birthday presents each year. Not really. I'm sure they'll stop next year when I can surely afford my own religious books that I don't need. Yes, they buy me religious books each year for my birthday. Last year for Christmas, they did buy me a book of Singapore ghost stories, which I thought was hardcore for them. Yes, this gives you an idea of what they usually get me...

Last year or the year before, they bought me a novel called Left Behind, the first in a series of books about the apocalypse. The Christian apocalypse. It's under 'inspirational fiction' in Borders. Apparently it's a real hit, hit enough to spawn 15 other books, an album, a PC game, graphic novels, four movies and a decent amount of spin-offs. Note that I used very neutral terms. Anyway, I decided, yeah, the Apocalypse is a pretty neat concept. So I sat down and read it for its entertainment value. Let's just say that after five chapters I became so mind-numbingly bored that I had to stop reading. The book's somewhere in the storage room. I was also given the movie on old-school VHS. Needless to say, that, too, is somewhere in my household where no one cares to look. I'm not saying I'm ungrateful. It's just that, well... let's just say that the words 'don't judge a book by its cover' really applies here. And I could just as easily have buried it under a mound of stuff when I realised it was a religious book.

Anyway, back to the real point of this entry, which is to share with you the book I was given for my birthday this year, titled One Night with the King.

Read that title again. Maybe it was just my horrible, tainted mind that clouded my innocence when I ripped open the packaging, but I thought... you know. It sounded like a bad porno film. But I supposed I'm not alone - my dad agreed with me.

But it is a religious book. What could a book with a name like have to do with religion? Well, anyone who attended Sunday School and/or a Christian school (or is just plain smart) is likely to have heard of Queen Esther, the lady who became the King of Persia's main squeeze and saved a bunch of Jews. This book is basically a dramatisation of the biblical tale. When I say dramatisation, I actually mean sappy, romantic reworking. It was also turned into a movie, which apparently sucks balls. Thanks to the former school captain (who knows her biblical stuff), the whole tale of King Xerxes and Queen Esther was that they didn't fall in love. I guess those romance novelists are willing to try anything to rake in the bucks.

Entertainment-wise, it's not as bad as Left Behind. I did manage to get up to chapter fourty (they're relatively short chapters too) before deciding that the sheer hilarity was not enough to keep me going any more. Although I do wonder why I waded through 323 pages. There were some amusing parts (although I'm about 99.9999% sure that the humour was NOT intentional) which I present to you here in a less-than-concise collection of laughable quotes from One Night with the King. Yeah, you can stop giggling about the name now.

Page 40, Chapter 3:

When he awoke, the tent stood dark but for a few candles his servants had lit in the corners. He rolled upright and fought to regain his clarity. And then he was reminded of his impulsive threat to Agog:

I have some raping to do.

No comment needed.

Pages 97 and 98, Chapter 11:

Realising that God was real, palpably so, actually filled me with a fresh resentment that I could barely contain within my reserved demeanour. Somehow, dealing with my anger toward Him was easier when He had simply been a relic of tradition, a remote institution of my ethnic heritage. Knowing that He was real and approachable, and that I could personally experience those realities, made Him the perfect arm's-length target for my rage.

Oh, so you wanna do the barroom tango with God, eh, Esther? Boy, I wonder who would win. I honestly do.

Page 164, Chapter 20

Rough hands groped at places no one had ever touched before.

That is the absolute weakest way I have ever seen molestation described.

Page 202, Chapter 25

As for matters of the bedroom, Hegai knew far less, yet more than anyone else. Xerxes was an adventurous lover, I was told - assuming he truly fancied the girl. He had spent his youth with captures beauties from Alexandria, Damascus and Cush and had found that a woman in fear for her life made for a vivacious and compliant partner.

Oh... oh my. I can imagine my fundamental Christian aunt reading this and saying "Oh my goodness! This kind of filth should not be allowed on our shelves!" Seriously though, I haven't seen her since she gave me the book, but expect details of a confrontation during the Christmas season when I see her next. GATHER YOUR WHORES FROM ALEXANDRIA, DAMASCUS AND CUSH! WE'RE GONNA BOOGIE LATE TONIGHT!

Page 218, Chapter 27

"What's the matter?" I finally asked.
"What do you mean, my lady?" asked Shakel, the handmaiden nearest me at the time.
"Everyone is acting strangely. Is it my request for quiet? Did I offend you?"
Shakel looked over at the others, then turned to me with a faint smile. "It's not that. It's just that you look so beautiful. You truly are the loveliest woman in the whole Palace. Truly. I imagine we are all asking ourselves the same question. How could Xerxes see you and not fall in love on sight?"

Well gag me with a spoon. Turns out Esther is a Mary-Sue. A pretty hardcore one too.

If that wasn't enough, we now have a fuckload (first and last swear word, promise, unless you want to count the phrase 'sucks balls') of typical romance-novel dialogue and description. Not that I ever read them, of course, heh heh. The romance-fest goes on for, oh, I dunno, five plus chapters? But the ultimate part of the book, its climax (no pun intended) is in these next two paragraphs.

More than ever before, the world consisted of me and the King. The closer we came to the bedchamber, the smaller the world became - until it had shrunk down to little more than the space between our lips. The moment our litter nudged the landing of the Palace entrance, the King was on his feet. He turned to me and swept me up into his arms. Xerxes nearly sprinted through the short hallway into his bedchamber, calling good-humoured condemnations of death along the way to any functionary who dared intrude.
I was still held closely in his arms when we entered the room. He used his back to push the giant door shut. Then, as soon as the great clang of its closing stopped echoing, he looked at me with deep longing and, yes, love. His next kiss was both intimate and powerful. I was shaken to the core of my being. Next, he laid me on the bed, and I can tell you no more.

What have we learnt from this escapade?
1. You should never turn biblical stories into works of romantic fiction
2. You should never turn biblical stories into works of romantic fiction and turn them into movies
3. My fundamentalist relatives should really just give me cash from now on
4. I have far too much time on my hands.

Monday, 3 December 2007

Asian Drink Special - An Introduction

Everyone who read my previous blog knows that I did some crazy stuff for the sake of entertainment, such as hooking up with boys while pretending to be a 13-year-old girl and cooking some weird foodstuff off the top of my head. Consider this to be the newest addition to the group (possibly bumping the 13-year-old saga out of the way - all interest has been lost).

Asian supermarkets. I don't know about you, but I find them to be just a tad dodgy. Chinese herbs? They smell so weird that even if they were expired you'd probably disregard the use-by date and throw it into your soup anyway. And why can they sell everything so cheaply? But if there's one category of Asian consumables that has always fascinated me, it's got to be the beverages. And I'm not just talking about the green, black and whatever-other-colour-you-can-think-of tea, I'm talking about stuff like asparagus juice. Combine the weirdest drinks with one of the dodgiest supermarkets to shop at and I'm usually afraid to drink things as simple as carbonated apple juice because I can't read Chinese/Japanese/Korean for shit. As I result, I really do not know what I'm getting, unless the bottle or can has one of those nifty translated stickers on the back. Alas, this is not the case all the time. Oh, and my paranoia might have something to do with this as well.

Without further ado, I welcome you to the Asian Drink Special, where I review an Asian drink. Well done, Captain Obvious. Review scores are based on:
1. Originality - Let's just say that if I ever pick anything like asparagus juice up, it will get a 10.
2. Taste - It may taste really, really good. Or if it causes me to throw the can in horror on the first sip, it will get a 1. Or a 0. Or a negative number.
3. Packaging - What's the point of having a drink if you can't drink out of the bottle? Bonus points for frickin' sweet packaging that you will never EVER see the Western world willingly use.
4. Price - No sir, I would not be happy if I had paid $5 for a drink I hated (see point 2). Then again, if I had paid $5 for a drink I liked, I would probably still be unhappy. 5. Other - Was there some crazy thing that happened while I was drinking (or attempting to drink) the beverage? Other notes here.

First up, Sangria melon soda.

Gettin' cool. Seriously.

1. Originality - I guess in the Eastern realm, there is nothing TOO weird about melon-flavoured soda. But if you were to shove it in a Westener's face, there is a relatively high chance of them either freaking out or wondering (out loud) what the hell melon soda is and what it would taste like. [4]
2. Taste - It tastes pretty good. I'm sort of a fan of the artificial melon flavour though, so feel free to take three or four points off the score if you don't think it's your thing. [9]
3. Packaging - As you can see in the pictures above, the Sangria melon soda comes in a nice aluminium bottle. Forget glass, aluminium is the way to go. However, the bottle is a bit too flimsy for my liking, which is probably the only thing stopping me from using it as a bottle I carry around with me. (That and I haven't been out of the house.) [7]
4. Price - At $2, it's cheaper than most soft drinks that are available. [10]
5. Other - True Fact: Whenever I took a sip, I could hear this weird buzzing in my head.

OVERALL: So it's not too weird. And it's pretty tasty, not to mention cheap. It's definitely something I would buy again. [8]