Saturday, October 13, 2007

In "Resident Evil: Extinction", the T-virus has taken over the world, and only a small handful of survivors remain to fend for themselves against an unending army of the infected undead. It's literally "you and me against the world" when Alice chances upon a convoy of survivors among whom are her old pals, Carlos and LJ.

With supplies running low, Alice brings the convoy a rumour of a safe haven in sunny Alaska. Too bad they're stuck in the Nevada desert. Solution: hit Vegas to stock up for the long drive ahead. Setting-wise, Vegas is a brilliant location for the movie as its distinctive landmarks have been ripped off the major landmarks of the world, so it really does look like the living fighting the undead within a microcosm of the entire world.

While scary-looking, the flesh-munching undead are, as usual, not the "Evil" the title refers to. Yet again, it's the self-serving Umbrella Corporation that seeks to enslave the undead, making Umbrella-ella-ella the largest employer the planet has ever seen. Having no needs of their own, the undead demand no wages, and hence, Umbrella would not have to contend with any future belligerent labor union asserting the rights of the unpaid, unwashed, unliving masses. Now, if only someone could remind all this potential zombie-power resource that they don't actually have to eat living people as they don't actually have to eat anything, 'cos they're, well, already dead.

That job, the Corporate President leaves to Dr Issacs, the Evil Resident of the US research facility. Issacs goes after Alice, whose mutated blood is key to his company's recruitment drive, while Alice just wants Issacs' helicopter so she can fly her chums to Alaska. Talk about conflict!

The movie is kept tight and tense, with a number of "boo!" moments to keep us on the edge of our seats. Somehow, I felt the fighting wasn't quite as intense as "RE:Apocalypse". Maybe the bright, open spaces of desert combat had something to do with that. Zombies don't have much impact in the light of day, and without the dank, claustrophobic crawlspaces to play hide and seek in, it isn't so much fun. Still, babes, guns, bullets that strike with palpable impact, and Milla; I'm not gonna argue.

I think the title, "Resident Evil: Extinction" is also appropriate to this hot news article about pet killings in Puerto Rico. The depravity of such human beings is unspeakable. If people can do this sort of thing to animals, it doesn't surprise me that we are doing it to each other as well.

Who needs a bloody T-virus? You know a dynasty's reign is about over when its members think nothing of committing such outrageous deeds. The human species has lived on earth for too long and it's time for our extinction so the world can recover from our infection. I, for one, am so not adding one more T-virus to the current infestation. Have to do my part for the planet.

I think of my Q-tip, Momo, and Kaiser, and I want to cry.
Attempted to catch the latest "Resident Evil" movie, but for the second day in a row, I've been thwarted by fatigue and inertia. Today was particularly bad 'cos while awaiting our scheduled departure time, we fell asleep watching TV. I only woke up past midnight, while June's still out cold in la-la land.

I don't have a big picture view of our college Open House event, so I won't comment too much on that. My job was to pull a team of student DJs together and schedule their on-air slots. Their role is less glam than it sounds; the kids are among the most harassed while they're on duty.

Apart from playing music (Dani was having a field day selecting the tracks to be played), they had to cope with making both scheduled and unscheduled announcements, while assailing our little secondary school guests with reminders, encouragement to participate in the various games and activities, and calling out prize winners' names.

I seem to have assembled a great team of DJs who were quite up to the task and who appeared to have enjoyed their stressful afternoon quite well. YY and Sumi were bright and chirpy, Tim and Dani turned up their 'tude attempting to interact with the audience, Zen and ZH kept cool, just taking things as they came.

Considering they have had hardly any training apart from perhaps listening to the radio themselves -- and I'm not sure Zen does, even -- I think they did ok. Thanks for being so enthu all afternoon. Wish I had the time and the expertise (maybe I can ask Howie, he's the pro) to train you all properly, though. We could be less ad hoc and aim for longer-term goals then.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Yay! Back to my usual self-indulgent bimbo self again. Got this quiz from YKM. Does seem acceptably accurate, maybe except for the mathematician part. Where did that come from?
You Are An INTP

The Thinker

You are analytical and logical - and on a quest to learn everything you can.
Smart and complex, you always love a new intellectual challenge.
Your biggest pet peeve is people who slow you down with trivial chit chat.
A quiet maverick, you tend to ignore rules and authority whenever you feel like it.

In love, you are an easy person to fall for. But not an easy person to stay in love with.
Although you are quite flexible, you often come off as aloof or argumentative.

At work, you are both a logical and creative thinker. You are great at solving problems.
You would make an excellent mathematician, programmer, or professor.

How you see yourself: Creative, fair, and tough-minded

When other people don't get you, they see you as: arrogant, cold, and robotic

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

We bade farewell to our J2s at their Graduation Ceremony today. A little prematurely, 'cos they'll still come back tomorrow, and the next day, and the next... for extra classes, mock papers, remedial workshops, and anything else we can throw at them to help them make the grade and move on to the Uni.

Their finals start in 19 days, and then, hopefully we'll never have to see them again. Out of the nest, at last; spreading their fledgling wings and seeing where the world will take them to next. But till then, they'll be clamouring for one last stuffing of pre-digested worm meal to prepare them for that step out the front door, and that step is gonna be a doozy.

Since Cara took a turn to organize one of these sentimental events, it's become something of a tradition for us staff, by departments, to videotape a farewell message to our kids, wishing them bon voyage, fair winds and good fortune. Over the years, we've been pushing the envelope of what technology, creativity and good taste can avail us in crafting these non-Hallmark approved last words of advice. Now that we have embedded video technology, everyone can view D NY EL's vid to the kids:

BTW, the advice about sleep is serious. Kids are screwing up their brains, being too busy to sleep enough hours every day!

Heh, I should take my own advice.
With limited time for lunch and the sun just beating us down with withering heat in the afternoon, we just needed someplace cool to grab a quick bite. B-lo could have rolled her eyes all she wanted, but trapped in M2 with Amy, Mel and Baggy, our general consensus brought us to McD's in Gardens. Not very imaginative, our choice, but we've eaten at Dju2 once too often already, and anywhere else to break the monotony was better than that.

But McD's here has one major pull factor: it's right next to Cardon Coffee Shop at which we can find the most gorgeous muffins this part of town. They come out of the on-site oven fresh and hot, and in a wide variety of different flavours: cranberry/walnut, oatmeal/orange-peel, chempedak (eew...) are some of the more exotic combinations.

These muffins are light, not oily, sweet without being overpowering. The muffins have a faint, milky aftertaste so the flavour stays in the mouth for a little while longer. And that's quite a pleasant memory.

Stocks sell out quickly, but that's no surprise. Just the 5 of us wiped out 14 assorted muffins, taking full advantage of the free muffin with every half-dozen purchased policy.

Mmm... muffins...

Monday, October 08, 2007

Took Q-tip to Kasey to get her microchip implant. It's unlikely that we'll lose her, since she'll always be wherever we have left her -- not that she's so deadset faithful, but that she's too scared to jump off whatever perch we've parked her on -- but it's best to be careful, anyway.

The implant is a tiny RFID chip that holds a unique identification number so that the person the number is registered to is indisputably the rightful owner of the dog, so there. It's great for identifying a lost pet, but it also makes dog abandonment a futile exercise, in case anyone could ever be so inhumanely inclined.

Kasey showed us the applicator, a small syringe-like device with a big, fat needle, about as thick as the one they use on us when we're donating blood. Yipes! On a little dog like Q-tip, that has gotta hurt.

We agreed to stay and help Kasey with the procedure. We held Q-tip's head steady while Kasey pulled up the skin on the scruff of her neck, where dogs are least likely to feel pain. The needle went in and out, and it was all over. So fast. And Q-tip doesn't seem to be feeling any distress or discomfort from the experience.

I wonder... now that all licensed dogs are "highly encouraged" to be thus chipped, could the military have a remote control device to recruit an army of canine "volunteers" should any hostilities break out?