GLOCCOVNAA is an abbreviation for 'Great Life of Conflict, Climax or Virtually Nothing At All'. That was the long and ridiculous name I came out for my blog when I was 18 years old. Do click on the colourful icons on the right to check out different types of posts in this blog.

28 February, 2013

H&N February

Some say time flies when we are having fun. In just a blink of an eye, I have been a PRP for more than 50 days. One day I was that new dude who couldn't find my way to my work place in the huge hospital, then now I am getting my first paycheck and soon starting to have shifts and lunch calls.

How am I coping in this working environment? I wouldn't say I am the worst example, but I sometimes feel that getting used to certain departments can be slightly challenging with sharper learning curves. To be honest, I find outpatient pharmacy somewhat enjoyable. I don't know whether it is the job itself, the setting or the people I worked with there. Maybe it is the satisfaction that I get when I am actually assisting the patient in managing their illnesses.
I am currently new to the drug monitoring department and am still getting used to the working procedures. I must say that it has its own charm and pays off seeing patients get well when doctors who follow our recommendations. In a way, it is like saving the patient's life.
I think I am starting to understand the motivation in working people. It is not always about the money, but the contentment that we get whenever we are making a difference in someone else's life. A job is like a cup and life is the water it contains. The beauty of the cup does not change the water in it, but the satisfaction we get when sipping from a beautiful cup makes the water taste better than it actually is.
Unless you are looking for the holy grail *Indiana Jones reference*... lol

23 February, 2013

H&N: Trek-hibition

*Disclaimer: Some of the pictures you are about to see were taken where photographs were not allowed by the organizers, so if you are offended by these things, do not proceed beyond the SPOILER ALERT.

The Chinese New Year holiday was a week ago. I took a weeks worth of leave and returned home to celebrate this wonderful event with my family. So as usual my uncle's family would come over to my house to have reunion dinner the day before CNY. So what does that have to do with this post? I'll come to that now...

During my family reunion dinner, my uncle and cousin mentioned about a Star Trek exhibition held at the Pusat Sains Negara (National Science Center) that they were going very soon. If you did not know already, I am a huge Star Trek fan. Without hesitation, I searched the web for all information about this exhibition and found that it was the first ever official Star Trek Exhibition ever held in Asia, practically at my door step! But the problem was that there wasn't any appropriate time to visit the exhibition .

The awesome thing was that my dad was also very interested in this event and we somehow squeezed some time during the "hectic" CNY visiting period towards the end of the holiday for a short visit before I traveled back to Kuantan for work. One thing I realized then was that I have never been to this science center before this, so I guess Star Trek give me reason to pursue "Science"
Never expect to see "Selamat Datang" and Star Trek in the same photo.
If you are interested already, these are some details you might want to know:
Venue: Pusat Sains Negara, Bukit Kiara, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Opening Times: 9am - 5am Saturday - Thursday even during public holidays (Closed on Fridays)
Ticket Price: RM20 (Adult), RM10 (Children/18+ Students), RM5 (School Groups)

Anyway, back to the exhibition. Or I mean before entering it, because the Science Center itself was decorated with awesome Star Trek banners, stickers and posters. While walking towards the exhibition, you might notice many trivia questions printed on insignia shaped stickers guiding visitors to the venue. So if you haven't been doing your revision, those will start your hype again.

When entering, the first thing we noticed was a small station dedicated to photograph souvenirs where visitors were allowed to get their photographs taken by the official photographers at 3 specific sets (TOS captain's chair, TNG Enterprise Bridge and Transporter from the 2009 Star Trek). Obviously they would cost a few bucks, but for fans, this is definitely a fantastic souvenir... in essence, I didn't get them.
Yup! That's the bridge I am talking about!
Before coming this exhibition, I have seen almost all the Star Trek episodes from every series and all 11 movies multiple times, so seeing it right in front of my eyes somehow makes it feel a little too real. Don't get me wrong, I love the feeling, just that sometimes fantasy worlds and sci-fi are just meant to be imaginary. If you are interested in props and models, check out the Beyond The Final Frontier documentary below.

The detail in many of the costumes on display were really beautiful and really invoke that nostalgia feeling of the movies and episodes. And after walking through the whole exhibition, the final room contains a detailed 7m enormous model of the original Enterprise as seen in the first 3 movies. I was in awe when I saw that model and comparing it with my crappy unfinished RM99 TOS Enterprise model at home.
To finish it off, at the end of the exhibition is a Star Trek store, if you can call it that. To most Star Trek fans who can afford fancy merchandise and souvenirs, the store would be the best place to purchase those uniforms, keychains and magnets. Believe it or not, this is the worst souvenir store I have ever seen in my life. There were hardly anything worth buying and the number of items are pitiful to say the least. So don't bother visiting if all you want is some souvenirs, you are better off getting them from Ebay. Come to think of it, the store may have got those from Ebay as well.
Wow... just wow!!!
Overall the exhibition was not spectacular in any way but still passable. If you are a Star Trek fan from this region, just drop by the science center before the end of March. You may regret passing this opportunity.

13 February, 2013

Show Stoppers

Have you ever gone for a movie experience only to be ruined by other annoying movie goers?
I recently watched a vlog complaining about this and made me think about all those show stoppers. This can apply anywhere although most of the time it happens in the cinema. So let me countdown the
Top 5 Show Stopping Acts

5. Kickers
I remember once I went with a friend to watch Toy Story 3 after hearing all the good reviews from a bunch of other classmates. We entered the movie hall as usual, sat at our seat and found ourselves surrounded by little children with their parents.
Before the movie started, I experienced the first 4D feeling when the cute KFC advertisement played. It was literally like an earthquake or a bad massage chair whenever something amusing happens. My advice is "if you want to watch children's movies, wait for the DVD or blu-ray and watch at home".

4. You're in my spot!
Another time I went to watch King Kong only a few days after it was released. Almost every seat in the cinema was filled and we were lucky enough to get 3 seats. As usual the advertisements went on and just a few seconds before the movie started, a man hit me lightly asking me to get off my seat.
He was quite angry and insisted that my friends and I were seating where he and his girlfriends were supposed to seat. At that moment I was very certain that we were at our seat but he even showed me his tickets. Guess what, they were going to watch Memoirs of a Geisha and were in a wrong hall.

3. Hello Baby!
It has been years since cinemas urge audience to switch off their handphones before the movie, or at least switch to silent mode. I am generally impressed that these campaigns actually worked very well, but somebody has got to urge people not to use their phones at all.
Imagine watching a horror movie when the atmosphere is dark and creepy, everybody is getting tensed and all of a sudden a bright light emerges among the audience. Could it be that the monster is among us? No! Some bloody cinema goer is updating their Facebook status... there goes my horror mood! In summary, turn the phone off!!!

2. Shhhhh...
Have you ever encountered a situation when someone suddenly stand up to go for a toilet break in the middle of a movie? I am sure it is not unusual. But some people can be very rude when they squeeze pass other audience.
I remember once a plump man was squeezing pass me and almost knocked my drink over me. I yelled at him and told him to be careful but the responds I got back was a middle finger and a hostile warning. I never knew I could get in trouble even in the cinema?

1. Shut the hell up!
I think most people should have encountered this at least once. There are many movie goers who just like to talk while the movie is going on. Some are predicting the next scene, some are narrating and some are reviewing it on the spot. Do they ever know that others are trying to concentrate on the movie too?
There was once, a friend and I were watching a movie with a fairly complicated plot. Instinctively he started asking me "why this" and "who's that" for latter half of the movie. Believe me, I may have similar questions while watching the same parts, but please keep those questions to yourself until the end of the movie, I am trying to understand the plot too!!!

As usual, those are just a sampling of show stoppers that really annoy me. I may not have encountered other irritating situations in the movies, so if you have anything to add, do make a comment below.


P.S.: This post was initiated due to my observation from my mom and grandma while they were watching shows. *They love narrating plots and events*

05 February, 2013

The Not-So-Magical Number 3

Around three months ago I wrote a post about the magical number 3 in movies, the Hollywood staple of film trilogies. Unfortunately 3 may not be the best number for all movies. The usual progression is as follows:

1. The awesome one.
2. Awesome, but not as good as the first.
3. Thank you, that's enough...

But there are some franchises that do not have a strong start that somehow managed to secure themselves two more sequels. This might be the first time you are reading about these, so I'll start with the Best Worst Trilogy...

1. The Troll Trilogy
The top two are self explanatory, but the bottom two are the infamous "Troll 3"s.
Just three years ago, there was a very interesting documentary about film making called "Best Worst Movie". It tells about the making of one of the most infamous bad movies called Troll 2, which is known for the OMG meme. Before that meme and documentary, most people should not have heard of this so-called trilogy. As you can see, instead of three movies, there are 2 Troll 3s, and none of them have any connection with the first two. In fact none of the sequels have any trolls in them, only the first one has the title monster. Like the many little monster havoc movies of the 80s along with Leprechaun, Gremlins, Critters and Ghoulies, Troll was one of them and probably the weakest entry to that genre. But this film caught the attention of Italian B-movie makers Joe D'Amato and Claudio Fragasso, who made the sequel and both Troll 3s.
These two movie makers were infamous for their low budget movies which capitalize on making as many movies in the shortest time, and linking them up so that people would buy or rent them from video stores. When Troll 2 was made, the director Fragasso spoke little to no English, so he made actors follow the script word by word and that may be one of the main reason why actors in the movie had some ridiculous and awkward lines in the scene above. If you watch his other English movies, you will see that same trend of outrageous acting and dialogue.

*Fun fact: Troll 1 could also be the first Harry Potter movie because the main character and his son are named Harry Potter and Harry Potter Jr.

2. Xtro Trilogy
If you didn't already notice, trilogies that are bad are usually the ones that have no link to each other whatsoever. The Xtro trilogy is one of the best example of this trend since the only similarity between them is the use of monster props. The first one is one disgusting and gory film with a weird and incoherent plot which is difficult to explain. The second one is an Aliens rip-off but introduces the monster from another dimension instead of another planet. The third one is a Predator rip-off with an interesting found footage clips, and lots of foul language. By the way, notice the subtext of the second movie saying "the second encounter", I wonder whether it is referring to the first movie since the in that movie has no relation to the monster in the first movie.

3. BloodRayne Trilogy
Before I say anything about this series, there is one person you must know, Uwe Boll. This German movie maker is infamous for his lack of originality, not that he is a bad director, just that all people ever think of his movies are video game adaptations. He managed to enter Hollywood with two successful video game adaptations for House of the Dead and Alone in the Dark. The first BloodRayne movie had great potential with Michael Madsen, Billy Zane and Ben Kingsley, but was a commercial failure and was ridiculed by critics *Rotten Tomatoes gave it 4%!". Uwe Boll went on to direct the next two sequels, both direct to video and starring a different actress as the title character. I did not think these movies were bad, but certainly not good enough to start a franchise.

4. Sleepaway Camp Series
I know there are other Sleepaway Camp movies but these are the first three. First of all, if you haven't heard of the first movie, go to Google and type "Sleepaway Camp Ending", then watch the first Youtube video you see *sure to give you a nightmare even without context*. The rest of the first film is just the usual slasher movie staple which is not very impressive if not for the ending. What's interesting is that the famous singer Bruce Springsteen was a fan of the first movie. The second and third movie was partially funded by him and starred his sister Pamela Springsteen as the main character. Those movies were definitely low budget productions trying to cash in from the first movie with barely any scares and shock values which was the main selling point of the first movie (we already know who the killer is). Besides the "trilogy", there was an unofficial Sleepaway Camp IV, Son of Sleepaway Camp and a recent Return to Sleepaway Camp. Who could have guessed that a Friday the 13th rip-off could spawn a franchise of its own?

So that sums up some of the not so magical trilogies out there... Of course there are more trilogies that should not deserve so many like the Ninja trilogy, Species trilogy and Dr Dolittle trilogy which may have a cult following but they are definitely not good enough to be exploited with two sequels. Speaking of which, there are some other movies that have way too many sequels which also started from a weak movie. Have you heard of the Witchcraft film series. The original 1988 film wasn't a horrible horror movie but does it really deserve twelve sequels? You be the judge...
Seriously? Thirteen?