My PS2

So my DVD was stolen. There's a silver lining in every cloud, you know. I now could buy a better DVD player. One that had a fast processor and a great graphics card attached to it.

That's right, I bought a PlayStation 2 to compensate for all the stress I got when I was burgled.

I'm not sure if I got a good deal, but people tell me it's not so bad: RM970 for a modified PS2, two 'regular' controllers, an 8MB memory card and 15 games. There are cloned versions available for as low as RM500, but you really don't know what you're getting with them. I wanted to be sure that the DVD component worked fine, so I want for the 'original' version.

Many thanks to E for getting the ball rolling by buying me the Lord of the Rings:The Return of the King PS2 game. On Valentine's day, no less. "So, does that meant that there is a PS2 waiting for me at home?". Of course not - all I had gotten her was a couple of pieces of red thread and cardboard, so it wouldn't have exactly been a fair swap.

Now the games - I haven't really had much of a chance to play them, but here's what I've tried so far:
Some of the more observant of you may notice that this is nowhere near fifteen games. This is because I have not tried every single one yet. Where on Earth do kids find the time to play?
posted on Saturday, March 20, 2004 - permalink
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I met Chew Mei Fun the other day. She's the MP for Petaling Jaya (North), and she seems a fiesty, independent woman who knows what she wants and fights for what she believes. Residents in my area were having a dialogue with the police about how to lower crime in the area, and the local MP dropped by for awhile.

By "awhile", I mean relly "awhile". All of thirty minutes at the most. She did the following:

Now, I'm registered to vote in a different constituency, so I actually have no choice whether I would vote for her or not. But, even if I did, the choice would be simple: give somebody else the chance.

For what she demonstrated that rainy night, in front of nearly a hundred residents, may have been leadership. And it may have been commitmment to the cause. But I don't think that she was representing us. Not once did we get a chance to provide feedback. The policemen that we talked to later were more amenable to listening to us.

Sure, she may have been in a hurry, but she could have just said what she needed in five minutes and then opened the floor to questions. But she didn't. Instead, she nagged us, lectured us, tried to educate us. I almost wanted to stand up and say, "So why aren't you fighting for more money for the police?". But my better angels were shouted down by the devils of self-consciousness.

On top of that she had the cheek (yes, I use that word instead of termacity, because its juvinility), the cheek to tell us that she had a hand in establishing the Royal Commission. So let's add to her habits of nagging and lecturing one of taking false credit.
posted on Saturday, March 20, 2004 - permalink
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I suppose it's time to update this. Yes, if you're in Malaysia, you're more than a little aware that elections will be held this weekend, 21 March 2004.

(I'm making use of the excellent wikipedia to provide background reading material on the Politics of Malaysia, as well as other links.)

posted on Tuesday, March 16, 2004 - permalink
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Script Writing

Can you believe it? I spent fifteen minutes typing up an entry in Blogger about scriptwriting and it failed to save it as a draft. It's out there somewhere in cyberspace, probably transiently sitting on a router, words never to be exactly recalled. It's like watching your scripts being polished by your producer.

I wanted to say a little bit about my experiences as a scriptwriter. It was a result of fortuous coincidences which are unlikely to ever happen again in my life, but when opportunity knocked, I grabbed it by with both hands and dragged it in kicking and screaming.

A friend of mine is a TV producer. He's actually been doing this for years, but apart from an occasional "good show" comment, we never really talked about it.

One day, he sent me a pilot script for a new series he was doing, I made a few disparaging comments about it and I decided to back up my words with a spec and offered to write him some scripts.

He said yes.

I have never ever been paid for professional writing work before this. Never. I'm not counting the reams of business reports I've done - I'm talking about fiction.

It's now been a month since he made the offer, and I am proud to say that I have been paid money for not one but two television scripts. Whether or not the final product bears any resemblance to my writing remains to be scene.

(I now pull out one of my writing tricks and reproduce bits of email that I've sent to other people on the subject)

It's a bit of a surprise, the kind of series that I'm working on. It's actually an English-language sitcom without a laugh track that focusses on a couple and the difficulties of a new relationship. It's a little bit like Sex in the City meets Mad About You, except without sex or Helen Hunt. The sex I don't mind so much, but Helen Hunt would have been a nice thing to have (and I shan't say what I think about sex and Ms. Hunt together). Oh well.

The writing has actually been quite easy, overall. I don't have to do a West Wing type of fast, intelligent banter, nor do I have to write dialogue that is too snappy. In fact, I've been asked to Malaysianise the English a little bit more and to bear in mind that the lead actor's accent isn't too hot.

And thus we come to the down-side of this whole experience. I am just short of selling myself to the devil with this project. The Great Satan I am talking about is Ponds Skin Whitener. There was an ad campaign last year where a pretty girl said that this boy in college never noticed her until she used Ponds Skin Whitener and then all of a sudden he did, so he took her out on a date to the movies and then he stuck his hand in a popcorn box and when she reached over to get the popcorn she got his hand and was pleasantly surprised and then things went brilliantly after that.

Now, Ponds are paying good money (some of which will hopefully trickle into my pocket) to produce a 12-episode series that carries this story along.

However, I am a big, big, big opponent of skin whitening products (why? Why? WHY? I ask), and the only saving grace is that I don't have to write lines like "It was a tough day, but at least I have Ponds Skin Whitener on my face". Product placement is someone else's burden.

The other problem is that the two lead characters were selected to look pretty in the ad, and not with acting ability in mind. The guy isn't too good in English (I had to break down his monologues after I was told that) and the girl has an extremely tight schedule (so there's one episode I've written that doesn't include her at all). However, they are good looking bods and if bad South American soap operas with pretty actresses can sell in Malaysia, then this has a fair chance.

Anyway, I hope that this puts a frame on what I've been doing lately.
posted on Wednesday, March 10, 2004 - permalink
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I Feel A Fever Coming

Some of you out there may be aware that it's almost election time in this country. There's speculation, of course, on everything, ranging from when parliament will be dissolved to who is contesting which seats.

And when you see a storm coming, the smart ones out there prepare for it, so I give you my list of things to do before the election breaks:

I'll be posting more stuff as they come along. Until then, Happy Electioning!
posted on Tuesday, March 02, 2004 - permalink
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