Thursday, September 29, 2011

Stalker Much?

Picture taken from here
We have all had some experience with stalking at some point of our lives. At some point, we even did the stalking ourselves (Think back to high school and the boy/girl you had a crush on. Ring any bells yet?) Maybe you've even looked up your ex on Facebook or Twitter or stalk his/her current squeeze. But what's the big deal? It's harmless, right?

Not really, no, because stalking could be dangerous as well. Surely you'd have friends who had fallen victim to an ex-boyfriend-turned-stalker. More often than never you'd find yourself dispensing some half-baked advice you'd probably heard from somewhere. I mean, what else could you say but "I'm sorry this happened" and "I hope you're OK", right?

But no matter what you say or do, nothing is ever really OK. You probably wouldn't truly understand how someone feels until you've experienced it yourself anyway. No, I do not mean you should wish yourself a stalker (that would be a stupid, if not suicidal, thing to do). But IF you were put into that position, you should be well-prepared and know how to deal with it.

So, here's how to deal.
  • Seek help. Avoid denying the problem or keeping it to yourself. Quit making excuses or delude yourself into believing that it's not going to happen again. Confide in your family and friends. Seek their wisdom.
  • Avoid all forms of communication with the stalker. This should be your first priority. Cut off all forms of communication. This also means no exchanging text messages even to ask "WHO R U?" or picking up his/her call just to scream "LEAVE ME THE HECK ALONE!" Unfortunately, stalkers are made of sterner stuff than that and would not be so easily deterred. 
  • Consider getting a dog...and no, I don't mean a palm-sized chihuahua that squeaks. Get something bigger and fiercer; those with more teeth and slobber comes highly recommended for this situation.
  • Document everything - every phone call, every text, letters, gifts or details of any suspicious behaviour. Keep a log for evidence.
  • Consult the local police if you receive a threat. Or, as a colleague of mine said, "don't wait until you're in a body bag to make a police report."
  • Leaving home and returning from work are the two most vulnerable points for potential victims. Ladies, invest in pepper spray. And don't go into dark alleys.
  • If you feel like you're been followed, run like hell. If you're in heels, abandoning them would be a good idea. It's not worth losing your life over a pair of shoes.
This might sound like a movie, but having a potentially-dangerous stalker is no funny business. No funny business at all.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

MYC! Movies! Awesome!

Hi MYC! readers!

Right after that sombre post about addiction - let's move on to something more CHEERFUL!

MYC! is giving away "What's Your Number' in-season double movie passes (each ticket admits 2!) that opens 13th October all across Malaysia.

                                                                         It has a cute guy in it

All you have to do, is tell us the FUNNIEST, MOST MEMORABLE joke you know.
The funniest 5 will win! (but keep the jokes tasteful, and non-offensive)

You have until 6pm tomorrow (29th September) to send in your entries!

Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn't seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy whips out his phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps, "My friend is dead! What can I do?". The operator says "Calm down. I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead." There is a silence, then a gun shot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says "OK, now what?"

*Remember, get your friends to join cause there won't be any winners until we receive at least 20 entries from different people!!* 


While some people find great comfort in things like coffee, chocolate, cough syrup, cigarettes, other people indulge in three-legged cats, sport cars, cross-dressing, straw effigies that bear a close resemblance to your work rival.

Photo taken from here
My point is, everybody indulges. Some keep it locked up in the closet, some flaunt it. Broken relationships, overkill, luxury, guilt, sadism, morbidity, love, the past, the need to pamper the matter how much you try to deny it, you long for something. For some, it might not be so apparent and could thus live without it. For the others, we would wither and fade away if we don't give in to our indulgences.

Photo taken from here
Some forms of indulgences kill. We damage ourselves - often we know it, often we don't. Even if we do, we don't stop. Won't stop. There is a certain sense of satisfaction at the knowledge that we are rebelling against our natural course of life. Considering the fact that this is one of the little things in life we could rebel against, this is well-justified, I believe.

So what's your indulgence today?

Monday, September 26, 2011

MYC! Movies!

Hi MYC fans!

Interested to watch "Killer Elite" starring Jason Statham tomorrow night - before it even hits Malaysian cinemas? Here's your chance!

Just tell me a lame joke in the comments section of this entry - and the lamest 5 wins a pair of movie tickets to the screening!
(make sure the jokes are still rated 'U' and contains no vulgarities and nasty stuff yea!)

"What do vegetarian zombies eat?"

Beware of What You Eat!

Some are blessed with the uncanny ability to consume (and probably digest) anything – may it be succulent meat or cold steel, and unfortunately, some do not. Allergies get into the way. 

This post is a tribute to my fallen comrade, who unfortunately, had to discover this through the harder way. (hint: it involves food being eaten) She's now swelling up like a pink scarlet balloon.

Here’s a informative list of commonly found foods that people have been allergic too – and the potential reactions you can expect if you’re allergic! 

·         Garlic!
Reactions are mostly skin related! You could possibly start shedding your outer skin layers (like a snake), or develop rashes all over. In more severe cases, anaphylaxis. 


·         Milk!
Sufferers are usually allergic to a particular protein found in cow’s milk (alpha S1-casein) – means they can still drink milk from other animals. In general however, milk allergy stems from milk that originates from animals. Anaphylaxis is commonly the reaction stemming from milk allergy. 

·         Fruit!
Apparently, you can be allergic to fruits too! Reactions could possibly include mild itching and rash breakouts to blisters at point of oral contact. I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t be a pleasant experience – especially if you’re a messy eater.

·         MSG!
MSG is probably the 2nd most used component in Malaysian food after Good Taste. There are reported cases of people being allergic to this – and their symptoms are neurological. No, they don’t suffer sudden personality changes. MSG Allergy can be identified by sudden onsets of extreme headaches/cluster headaches.

·         Peanut + Shellfish
I branded these two under the same category as they both come in shells. And the side effects of accidentally consuming these could be rather bad. They can range from: ridiculously itchy rashes, to swelling of the joints and random parts of the body – to anaphylaxis that potentially results in.. well, you know. 

 So dear readers, i wish you the best of luck, and hope you give it an extra thought the next time before you put each spoonful of food into your mouth! 

Friday, September 23, 2011

College Survival Skills

Remember all those horror stories about college you always hear from your older sisters/brothers/seniors about how college life is so complicated and lonely and scary and whatnot? Well, guess what! They are all true (maybe!) but this doesn't mean that you have to succumb to your doom and attend your first semester dragging your feet all around campus! Here's what I've learned during my college years, which seem like light-years ago:

  • Take responsible for your own learning - If you think you'd be mollycoddled and spoon-fed just like in high school, think again! Be responsible! Take necessary notes during lectures! Visit the library! Nobody is going to hand you all the answers on a silver platter or remind you when your papers are due. If unclear, ask. As far as I know, lecturers don't bite.
  • Building A Good Relationship with the Roomie - Roommates from hell will put a freeze on any hopes for a smooth-sailing first semester...take this from someone who went through seven (or more!) roomies in the span of four years. You don't really need to be friends...just be sure to ask for her/his mobile number. Trust me, it WILL come in handy one day (especially when you accidentally lock yourself out of the room).

Photo taken from here
  • Time Management - Neither studying or partying is everything. There's a lot more to torturing yourself in the pursuit of excellent grades, and there's certainly a lot more to partying non-stop. Don't let your obsession with either keep you from enjoying college. And one more thing: if you think that four subjects per semester is a breeze then you're sadly misinformed.
  • Getting a New Hobby - Undeniably, college life comes with LOTS of pressure and stress, but methinks that there is no point overwhelming yourself unnecessarily. Collect stamps! Go learn how to fix a car! Join a theater group! Get recharged and motivated after a week of intense coursework. Taking time out from those pesky assignments would keep you from going cuckoo.

Photo taken from here
  • Emotional adjustment - Being far away from home is always difficult, and homesickness always come a-knocking sooner or later. Call home to ask how Pookie the cat is doing, have video calls with your family or send a simple text to your best friend. Just remember, moving interstate is not the same as disowning your family and friends back home.
  • Be positive! - So what if you feel disorientated or overwhelmed for the first few weeks of your first semester? So what if your lecturers grade your assignments as if they have personal vendettas against you? Nothing beats having a positive attitude. Being an average student in your pinafore-wearing days doesn't automatically mean you're doomed for failure in college.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Gothic Fantasies for T(w)eens

Go to a bookstore and head directly to the teen/tween section and what do you see? This is a no-brainer, so let me just tell you instead: there would be one section for the likes of Meg Cabot and Cecily von Ziegesar, one section for RL Stine and Russell Lee and the gang who specialize in horror, a section for all Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew mysteries...

But wait, that's not what's important or interesting here.
What I'm more interested here, ladies and gentlemen, is the section on vampires, werewolves and the rest of the supernatural that seem to overpopulate the shelves these days.

Don't believe me? Just go! Go sit there and absorb all there is to absorb about our fanged and furry friends (and a few winged ones as well). Let's just face it, hey? Ever since the 90s, or more accurately, since LJ Smith's ever-so-popular The Vampire Diaries graced the bookshelves around the globe, there has been an invasion of vampires and werewolves and witches in the horror genre (remember Christopher Pike?), and almost twenty years later, there's no indication whatsoever that the craze is dying out. Oh the woes.

What I'm saying, however, is that not all the books in this genre is crap. There are, despite recycling old plots and characters, some pretty awesome ones (excluding, of course, the Twilight Saga). For instance:

Picture taken from here
  • Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead - A young adult paranormal romance series consisting of six books, Vampire Academy tells of Rose Hathaway, a seventeen-year-old Dhampir (half-vampire and half-human) who is training to be a bodyguard for her Moroi best friend Lissa Dragomir. While learning how to defeat the Strigoi (the undead vampires) of St. Vladimir's Academy, she also finds herself falling for her handsome (*rolls eyes* aren't they anything but?) instructor Dmitri. Note to self: protagonists are usually either pretty or handsome; if stated otherwise, the books tak laku.

Picture taken from here
  • Wicked by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie - Here comes the witches, and it's like Romeo and Juliet all over again. Wicked is the story of an ancient family feud between a coven of witches called the Cahors and a coven of warlocks called the Deveraux. Holly Cathers, a witch descendant of the House of Cahor finds herself fighting romantic feelings for Jer, the warlock from team Deveraux. It's kind of a fun/tragic book with loads of stuff about witchcraft and religion thrown into the loop.
Picture taken from here
  • The Wolves of Mercy Falls Trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater - Consisting of the books Shiver, Linger and Forever, the story is about Grace, Sam and the werewolves with a bit of family drama added into the mix, all written from several key characters' points of view. I shan't tell you much, though, only that it's an entertaining read (check out my review of the last book, Forever in the October issue of MYC! News). The good thing about this series is that the author holds no disillusions about the 'wolves' physical features (as in, not all 'wolves are hunky teenage boys with six-pack), unlike a certain Ms. Meyers.

Picture taken from here
The Fallen by Thomas E. Sniegoski - If anybody remembers, there was a TV show adaption of this series which stars Paul Wesley (Stefan Salvatore in The Vampire Diaries). Anyway, this is a four-book series which consist of The Fallen, Leviathan, Aerie and Reckoning and it tells of Aaron Corbet, a Nephilim (there's already a half-vampire and a half-werewolf, so why not a half-angel, eh?) who is pursued by a group of angels called the Powers who believe that Nephilims are abominations and must be thus destroyed. And then there's a girl. And a dog. Hmmm.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Urban Legends

Imagine this: it's the witching hour, moonless and chilly, and you and your friends are huddled close to the fire in some rubber estate, taking turns to tell horror stories. Someone has just recounted a horror story, insisting that it's really true, that it really happened to a friend's friend's grandmother or something. You sit there silently and try not to let the story spook you into paranoia. And then, someone in the shadows clear his throat and says, "Have you heard the one about..."

Picture taken from here
#1. Bloody Mary - This has to be one of the most famous urban legends around. There are many variations of the tale, but basically, it tells of a group of girls (all the stories I've read tell of girls, i wonder why) who stood in the bathroom in the dim candlelight chanting "Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary" and on the thirteenth (some say seventh) time, something came out of the mirror and none of the girls survived to tell the tale. Like many horror stories, this particular one has been adapted into various novels and movies, the most popular incarnation being the 1992 movie Candyman. Check out also the episode of Supernatural featuring Bloody Mary.

#2. Satan's Face in the Smoke on 9/11 - Now this is a funny one, but many television viewers were actually convinced that they saw the face of Satan in the cloud of smoke billowing out of the World Trade Center after it was struck by a jetliner on September 11th, 2001. Seriously. With horns and all (the video can be found here). However, Psychologists have a name for this phenomenon (apart from 'stark raving mad', I believe) - "pareidolia" (the tendency to perceive human-like faces and other familiar visual images/patterns in places that they don't belong). Hey, children see shapes of animals in the clouds all the time, right?

#3. Numbers station - OK, this is more conspiracy theory than urban legend, but hey, this is kinda cool. Anyway, numbers stations basically broadcast artificially-generated voices readings streams of numbers, words, spelling alphabets or Morse code in a variety of languages, usually in a female or a child's voice. Who's behind those transmissions, what's the purpose of the transmissions or where the stations are broadcasting from, nobody really knows. Over the years, there are quite a number of theories circulating around, the essential one being that number stations are secret mode of communication for (a) spies and black ops teams; (b) drug dealers; (c) aliens *snickers*

Picture taken from here
#4. The Mysterious Hitchhiker - This is, again, one of the oldest and the most often repeated urban legends around the world. It tells of a man picking up a hitchhiker (often a woman) on the side of a deserted road. He drives her to her address, and when he turns around to say goodbye, he finds that she has vanished from the backseat of the car. Confused, he rings the bell of the house, whereupon he learns that the woman has been dead for years, killed in a car accident on the spot where he had picked her up. In the Malaysian version, however, the ending is slightly different - the young woman pays the taxi driver, but upon reaching home he discovers that the notes are paper monies for the dead.

Picture taken from here
#5. Kuchisake-onna - translated to the Slit-mouth Woman, the Kuchisake-onna is a well-known Japanese urban legend that sparked some unnecessary furor in Japan in the summer of 1979. Anyway, children walking home alone, especially at night may encounter a woman wearing a surgical mask (this is not at all odd in Japan as people wear them to protect others from their coughs or flu). The woman will stop the child and ask, "am i beautiful?" and if the child says no, they will be killed with a pair of scissors which the woman carries. If the child says yes, the woman pulls away the mask, revealing that her mouth is slit from ear to ear (something akin to the Joker in The Dark Knight) and asks, "what about now?". At this point, regardless if the child's answer is yes or no, the woman will kill the child either by decapitation or by slicing the child in two.

So there you go, urban legends. Feel free to share, if you have any  :)
Til the next time, folks!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Waste Not, Want Not

No, this is not a post about recycling or saving mother earth (not that it's a bad thing anyway), so don't worry.

Welcome back from the Raya break and I hope you're all warm and satisfied from the over-indulgence of rendang and ayam masak merah during the week-long break  :)

As I have lamented many times in the past, the first post of the week (even though it's not Monday) is always the hardest to write as it sets the momentum (or lack thereof) for the rest of the week. During the break, I was bored-browsing through fashion websites and came across an interesting concept. I shan't tell you what that is, though, and instead, will let the next few pictures speak for themselves before providing a lengthy explanation.

Photo taken from here
Photo taken from here

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Photo taken from here

 What's so special about these pictures? you ask. Well, it's the outcome of being too creative with human by-products, if you haven't figured that out already. No, we are not talking about fake eyelashes, faux fur or even wearing the tooth of some poor exotic animal around your neck - this is worse. Much worse. 

See those cute teddy bears in the first picture? I doubt you'd think them cute if you knew what they are made of, anyway. Yep, the teddy bears are made of belly-button lint. American artist Betty Rae Case takes belly-button lint and shapes them into teddy bears before putting them in glass bottles and sealing them with a cork.

Moving on, we are looking at human teeth jewellery. Polly van der Glas, an Australian jewellery designer takes donations (I suspect most of you'd think donation = $$$, but not in this case, sadly. I meant donation as in...teeth) from family and friends, sterilises them before setting them into sterling silver as necklace pendants and rings. Tooth fairy, anybody?

OK, the third one isn't that bad. After all, it's just hair. Croatian fashion house Artidjana caused a big fuss in the fashion industry back in 2009 when they used 165ft of human hair to create the dress (the one on the far left of the picture).

I thought the pendant picture was just plain gross. Why? Because those are toenail clippings you're looking at. This is another one from Betty Rae Case (the navel teddy lady), made into pendants and rings. Imagine giving your girlfriend/boyfriend a memento to remember you by - a toenail-clipping pendant to be worn around the neck *chokes* 

Whatever happened to proper teddy bears, silk dresses and real jewelleries, eh?

Anyway, if you must know, this is something called 'cannibal couture'.