On tWHYlight

Posted in Quick by Sandra on February 21, 2009

Aurorine and I had a very amusing bitching session about the book Twilight some months back after the housemate recommended it to me, positively gushing and sure that I would love it.

Oh yes I loved it – I loved laughing at it.

Aurorine mentioned that her favourite part was when Edward and Bella were in the woods, and… his skin sparkled, entrancing Bella with his beauty.

Today, I found an answer that sums up what Twilight was for us.

Behold, tWHYlight.

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Mersault and I

Posted in Prose by Sandra on February 18, 2009

In my Philosophy 101 class last year, my professor introduced us to Albert Camus’ works. By that time I was beginning to feel a real despair for how subjective the class was. After the professor asked for our opinion on Mersault (of “The Stranger“), I voiced my opinion- that simply, to be Mersault must be very painful. My opinion was faced with silence and what I had thought was derision and dumb-founded shock that someone could point out something so silly and “duh” to everyone else.

In embarrassment and some anger at being embarrassed (because my opinion didn’t warrant a full-blown discussion), I started scribbling my on-going thoughts of the class discussion which proceeded with another student’s opinion. (Yes, I was a vindictive little kid, ill-adjusted too. Still am, probably.)

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Red Packets and Hot Dogs

Posted in Quick by Sandra on February 6, 2009

My mum sent me this picture of the red packets she’d received on my behalf during Chinese New Year – she’d be banking the money into my Singapore account soon. (My favourite is the matching “boy” and “girl” packets!)

I don’t really feel like I should take them because I’m not there, but it’s be plain rude to reject them in any fashion :) Still, a very pleasant surprise from home – I certainly wasn’t expecting any red packets of joy since I left the country!

I used to keep the packets even after depositing the money into my bank. It just didn’t seem right to throw them away, so I’d keep them in between books, in folders… until the next year comes around, then I toss them away – keeping the unique looking ones – to welcome the new red packets.

Hmm.. I wonder if it’d be too much to ask my mum to send me the physical packets too? :P

(Click on the image above for a slightly bigger version.)

I was uploading pictures from the camera last night when I found this little gem that I’d forgotten about. Dion was lying in his favourite position on the bed in the direct flow of cool air – he’d been sleeping there for hours, resting from the heat. I think this was last week during the heat waves that swept Melbourne.

Such a shameless little boy!

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Heat + Glass = Art

Posted in photography, Uncategorized by Sandra on February 5, 2009

A week ago, temperatures in Melbourne soared to heights of 47°C. Even I was exasperated by the heat, not to mention The Murloc and dog!

The pictures show a glass which had cracked from the heat. In the second picture I’d upturned the baseless glass upside down to balance it on the rim. Notice the smooth edges?

The Murloc had taken it out of the cupboard and thought it was pretty hot already, but went ahead and poured cold (not iced) water into it. A tiny cracking sound was heard, and inspection of the glass was made visually.

Odd, no cracks.

So the Murloc picked it up… lo and behold, a beautiful work of art with no sharp edges.

He’s damn proud of it, and wants to display it as his masterpiece.

I’ve no further comment.

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Posted in Words by Sandra on February 5, 2009

Wikipedia Says:
Catch-22 is a satirical, historical novel by the American author Joseph Heller, first published in 1961. The novel, set during the later stages of World War II from 1943 onwards, is frequently cited as one of the great literary works of the twentieth century.

The novel follows Yossarian, a U.S. Army Air Forces B-25 bombardier, and a number of other characters. Most events occur while the airmen of the fictional Fighting 256th (or “two to the fighting eighth power”) Squadron are based on the island of Pianosa, in the Mediterranean Sea west of Italy.

I’ve been re-reading Catch-22 these few days, at a much more leisurely pace than the first time. I tore through the book the first time, finishing it within two days because it was just so good.

Issues are often looked at from several perspectives, thus completing a joke, pun, or story.

The explanation of Catch-22 in Heller’s own words is as follows:

There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one’s safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.

“That’s some catch, that Catch-22,” Yossarian observed.

“It’s the best there is,” Doc Daneeka agreed.

The confusion is of an enjoyable nature to me. The almost overwhelming verbosity tickles my fancy. Heller just goes on and on and on and on and links so naturally to the next chapter/topic that it almost seems right. The strict adherence to using full titles and names in the military as Heller writes it seems comical. All of the characters have endearing flaws, like Orr and his crab apple cheeks. Or poor Major Major who wanted nothing more to have friends, but just as he was becoming accepted in the squadron, was promoted to Major Major Major for no reason at all, and was hence alienated from everyone else again.

The action is fast, colliding often, and barely clear enough to prevent panic from rising in the reader. It delivers jokes and puns and contradictions with a straight face and stiff upper lip.

A fantastic book, and I’m still gushing about it after reading it one and a half times… It should be a measure of how much I love this book!

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