May, 2009

Missing Granny

Missing Granny

What happened to the world?

I look at kids these days, and tell my friend, “kess ekht hal jeel” [fuck this generation]… I see kids, barely having any shape, sporting all sorts of hairstyles, clothing, accessories, and worst of all, attitude. They’re not even hormonal teenagers – let’s not open that door. Every kid these days thinks they are the zgirty, the Conan or whatever of the world.

Generations before me thought the same of my generation. I know, at least, how my parents spent their time, when they were kids or when in college. And then I look at how I spent, and spend, my time. And look at the younger ones.

And I realize life’s becoming antisocial.

Even when kids these days hang out – in malls – they’re each preoccupied with a gadget in their palm (be it PSP or cell phone), or being in the movies (two hours of silence) or in coffee shops with laptops open on Facebook. Of course I do see (and know) kids who go sleep over or do the “traditional” things kids do – sports, classes (be it music or extracirricular education), birthday parties and the works. But I just imagine kids calling each other on the phone and say “hey let’s go check Facebook together at Costa, am bored checking it at home. My mom is such a nagging bitch!”

And I look at myself, right now, and how I spent the past three years. As much as I boast how I love my granny – and I honestly do – how many times do I call her? Once a month? What a shame… when I should be calling her every day. She’s the one who raised me, and the one who saved my life from severe diarrhea. And I can’t be bothered to call her because I am so distracted, at my age, with other things – namely the basement I used to work in.

I keep asking myself, what really should I be doing at my age? I can’t believe I allowed myself to be depressed for two or so years! And now when I do sit alone at home, I think of grandma who is also sitting alone, except that my friends are still alive and I can call them. I go against the flow in almost everything, why do I tend to go to the flow when it comes to what I should be doing, according to this day and age? Why can’t I just do whatever I feel like doing?

And therefore we watch a lot of TV, because people’s lives on TV reflect what we’ve been missing out on. Be it action or romance or social drama. And we keep envying those who “have done it”, those who went against the flow to do what they want. We get inspired until the show hits commercial breaks. And we’re brainwashed into buying some eco-friendly plastic or a hideously choreographed tampon or cheese commercial. Or STC or Zain Saudi. Everything is Saudi Saudi Saudi, even my job offers. I am getting allergic already.

I keep thinking maybe I should move to Syria. She would love it. Last time I was there, she said “ma teddaya2 teta, hada betak w masroofak 3andi, wojoodak wallah barakeh w byeshra7 el alb” [don't worry about anything, this is your home, and I will take care of your expenses, your presence alone is a blessing and makes me happy].

Am glad I wasn’t born a bit later and had to go through Pokemon card trading. Or yu-gi-oh or whatever it was called. Am also glad that videogaming is shifting from a solitary experience to a social one. By time it did.

My grandma used to call my laptop/PC/console as “el khashbeh” [piece of wood]. Looking back, it is. That’s what my facial expressions were anyway. Turn on your webcam and record yourself for 30 minutes browsing the web or doing whatever. Look at your facial expressions.

We’re robots in the making! And granny at her age knew it and was trying to protect me from it.

Am thinking too much, and out loud this time – you’ve just read my disjointed thoughts! The worst part is that I didn’t write it in my journal, because am addicted to LCD.

Gladly, I still read books, and that irrepraceable smell. Aaaaah.

Idiotic Parents!

Idiotic Parents!

Don’t get me wrong, I love kids, and I never mind them crying, or yelling. They’re kids and that’s what they do.

It’s a different story however when it’s early in the morning and you decided to be a parent and punish your kids by locking them OUTSIDE the apartment.

Where’s the logic? Seriously? Let’s forget the fact that they will wake up the entire building with their wailing. Let’s ignore the lesson they will learn and the fact they won’t disobey you ever again (for the upcoming two hours).

What the FUCK where you thinking? Who the heck locks their kids outside the apartment for 15 minutes? Have you no shame? No heart?! What if the kids decided to do something funny, like, run away, or something? The poor kid was banging his head on the door begging to be let in!

Now I understand parents may have unorthodox ways to raise kids, but you can go to great lengths and be creative in ways of punishment but there are psychological limits and throwing your kids outside the house… let’s hope they don’t get a liking to a maul when they grow older.

The Most Popular Cat on Twitter

Argh, Twitter, the cursed messiah of future entertainment, the future newsroom, the plain future.

When I joined I didn’t know what to make of it, report news, report daily stuff, report humor, report what? Apparently, just report whatever comes to mind.

But then I stumbled upon Sockington, a cat that twitters, and by far this cat this the most successful and interesting twerson ever!! Makes me want to make an account for my Moogle LOL!

If you’re on Twitter, follow Sockington, and if you’re not, RSS the feed to enjoy the hilarious life of a cat!

Movie Review: Terminator Salvation

Movie Review: Terminator Salvation

Just to make things clear, I have not seen T3, so you might want to catch that movie (or read about it) to remove some of the plot holes.

In any case, Salvation without a doubt formed lots of hype around the world, though some people have been quite skeptical about how well the movie would be given the series’ history and Arnold’s “absence” in the flick. Rest assured, the film isn’t bad, but its not something you would be discussing for a long time either.

Terminator Salvation

Revealing any details in the story will spoil some of the narrative, which isn’t epic but pretty good for an action movie and pays homage to the previous titles as well as the overall story arch. You start off with a character called Marcus, played by the brooding Sam Worthington, who agrees to give up his body postmortem for scientific research. If you’ve seen the trailers  you’d know what sort of research was done. Flash forward some years and you’re presented with Connor (Christian Bale) all bushy and dirty and at an all out war with the machines. I kept thinking Matrix the whole time, and reminding myself that Terminator came long before the Matrix saw light.

Terminator Salvation

In any case, the situation is dire for the remaining humans and the machines are experimenting new prototypes that would destroy Connor and the resistence once and for all. Connor won’t take that as a resolution and will fight back. It’s the battle-of-the-titans sort of story you’d expect, basically the same plot as the other Terminator movies except on a different time line, with little time travel.

Bale’s acting is pretty good here, certainly better than his performance in the Batman flicks (though to his credit, being in a rubber suit does limit your abilities to perform). The film’s tones and lighting in some of the important scenes does put lots of emphasis on facial expressions, though you’d quickly notice that Worthington’s performance in those same scenes do in fact surpass Bale’s at times, mostly because his facial features are more empathetic and his back story is more dramatic than that of Bale’s (though, due to Connor’s role in the story of course,  not more important).

Terminator Salvation

The visual effects are superb and have the “retro” feel to them – ie they’re not overdone nor polished as you’d expect from a modern sci-fi. The humanoid-Terminator models look like they’ve been taken straight out of 1984, while the new entries look nifty but still dusty and retro for consistency. The special Terminator at the end of the film does sport upgraded graphics and a shiny alloy skeleton, but the same can’t be said about its clumsiness, which is a nod to the rest of the series. An Easter Egg is also there and would certainly make you smile if not laugh out loud.

Terminator Salvation

All said and done, Salvation did get everything a Terminator film could do and then some, making it a solid addition to the series, though in my opinion the story needs to shift from the tried and true “dual terminator” formula to something more epic – but that’s just my tastes and I am aware of the cult following to the series, just like Star Wars and Star Trek. Purists may not like the new heroes, and certainly no one in the audience was amused at Bale’s rendering of “I’ll be back”, but other than that, the production values, settings, acting and fresh paint of coat will make it a movie to enjoy.

Damascus, from the West

Damascus, from the West

Damascus measures time not by days and months and years,
but by the empires she has seen rise and prosper and crumble to ruin.
She is a type of immortality.

She saw the foundation of Baalbeck, and Thebes and Ephesus laid:
she saw these villages grow into mighty cities,
and amaze the world with their grandeur -
and she has lived to see them desolate, deserted ,
and given over to the owls and the bats.

She saw the Israelitish empire exalted,
and she saw it annihilated.
She saw Greece rise,
and flourish two thousand years,
and die.

In her old age she saw Rome built;
she saw it overshadow the world with its power;
she saw it perish.

The few hundred years of Genoese and Venetian might and splendor were,
to grave old Damascus,
only a trifling scintillation hardly worth remembering.

Damascus has seen all that has ever occurred on earth,
and still she lives.

She has looked upon the dry bones of a thousand empires,
and will see the tombs of a thousand more before she dies.

Though another claims the name,
old Damascus is by right,
the Eternal City.

- Mark Twain, Innocents Abroad

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