Archive for December, 2008

08
Dec
08

Holiday!! -pause- REWIND <<

After a long, hellish term at OxfordtheLandofNerdsGeniusesWackosAndNotablyCoolPeopleHereAndThere, it’s finally the holidays!!! HolySonOfaCrap. You can’t believe how at Oxford (or perhaps Cambridge for that matter), they push you like shit during term time, that when holiday finally arrives, you actually feel like crying tears of joy. Seriously. Oh,God. You survived! Can you believe it? The only thing stopping this particular Oxford student from crying out of joy is that the joy is partially killed by the fact that on the first week I get back from hols, there are COLLECTIONS (a sort of exam). The old me would just say, “Screw exams! I need my holiday!”. Unfortunately, at Oxford, screwing up your exams = getting your ass kicked out = shame to last a lifetime. As you can plainly see, there’s a pressure to perform 24/7, and it doesn’t let up even during the holidays. Complaining to the tutors would result in them saying the default, pre-rehearsed answer (in my case,anyway) , “This is Oxford. This is what you signed up for. Deal with it”. In other words, “Too bad,fool! Suck it up!” Haha! So now i gotta change my mindset. It shall be, “Screw exams! I need my holiday! Umm…okay. Maybe i’ll find some time to study. A bit.”

Cor blimey! Is Oxford, THAT BAD? Well, before that, are there any Oxford (or Cambridge) hopefuls reading my blog? Perhaps not. Truth is, Oxford isn’t as bad as THAT. Maybe i’m exaggerating. As far as i remember, I spent this term skipping lectures, watching movies, playing video games, doing a bit of rowing, handing in crap essays, and generally having a good time. Not really stressful,is it? So seriously, if you have good time management, it won’t be THAT bad. Unlike me, of course. Procrastinating at Oxford will come to bite you in the ass like a rabid rottweiler. Heheh

Regardless, i’m genuinely glad its the holidays. December, the month of festivities and celebration! Most of you would probably think of Christmas, but lets not forget Eid Aidil-Adha Mubarak tomorrow! (of the time of writing) 

So, whats this post actually about? A mish-mash of random stuff I find interesting really. Things I can’t really be arsed to write a single blog post about, but of course, deserves mention. Enjoy! 🙂


The return of ESQ???!!

Before us scholars of PNB were allowed to fly off, we were made to go through a series of ‘pre-departure’ programs to prepare us physically, mentally, and spiritually. Now while some would complain of the crappiness of it all, I thought it was all pretty fun and useful. Outward Bound School taught me the meaning of perseverance, BTN camp taught me to be a patriot (sort of..haha :p), while Kem Rohani enabled me to get in touch with my spiritual side. All the while I had a great time. And then, there was ESQ.

ESQ stood for Emotional, Spiritual, Quotient. It was a motivational program that originated from Indonesia. It was…how shall I put it….a very, ‘different’, experience. PNB scholars would of course relate to this immediately. It involved a lot of singing, dancing, and some pretty weird exercises. This cheerful man is the brains behind the whole thing.

Pak Ary Ginanjar Agustian

Pak Ary Ginanjar Agustian

Before I go on, though, DON’T GET ME WRONG! ESQ is a GREAT idea. Using the 5 pillars of Islam and 6 pillars of faith as a way to motivate is a brilliant method. The problem lies with the EXECUTION. Maybe they should cut down on the dancing and the weird exercises. What exactly am I talking about? You have to experience it for yourself, really. That, or you could ask any of the PNB scholars (and plenty of others who’ve gone through it). I guess my portrayal of it is rather unfair. Suffice to say, the whole program made me feel like a little kid. It was as if I had joined kindergarten again. Seriously. The songs. The singing. The ‘cute’ mascot. The extraordinary exercises and chanting. But I guess it wasn’t that bad. I mean, i’m just 20. I could still afford to be a little childish. But then, one day, while I was skyping with my Dad, something shocked me beyond belief.

Do you see what THAT is? An ESQ card! My Dad has joined the ESQ Alumni! Holy crap! I asked him, “Did you do all the dancing, singing, and stuff?” And yeah, he did. Apparently even 47 year-olds are not spared from ESQ. I don’t know why his employer (JKR) thought they had to send him there. Jeezlaweez. And I thought I had it bad. Thing is though, my dad enjoyed it. Well,i think he did, if this picture is anything to go by.

Remember this? Jujur, jujur, jujur!

Remember this? Jujur, jujur, jujur! Haha :p

I didn’t ask for it, but my dad was showing me the hand signal for ‘jujur’ (honesty). ESQ espoused seven positive characteristics (if I remember correctly). For each characteristic, there was a hand signal. My Dad would later go on to show amanah, kerjasama, and gigih hand-signals. He remembered all seven! Haha! Oh dear. But wait.

Later I got to thinking; maybe there is a reason they presented the whole program in such a supposedly childish way. You know, nowadays, guys especially, we all control-macho & shit. Yeah, but why should we? Controlling macho (or cun, for girls) is actually a sign of arrogance. It’s thinking, “I’m too good for this shit. I’m BETTER than this crap.” Maybe, by doing it in such a format, we’re forced to shed our arrogance and accept humility. We’re all born the same as humans, with everyone equal in the eyes of God. In that sense, ESQ’s execution is not only not weird, it’s actually PERFECT. Cor blimey.

(Damn, I’m good! Alright ESQ, I’ve given you your defense, now where’s my payment? Just kidding :p)

Now do yourself a favour and go sign up for ESQ. HAHAHA!

 

The three things I miss from KYUEM (problems & solutions)

1. Movie-Making

I heard from Syira that Kyuem was doing some sort of Movie Awards thing. AN EVENT ALL ABOUT MOVIE-MAKING? That’s a dream come true for me! Back when me & Muzzein ‘BigSmoke’ Malek were busy producing movies under Keep it Real Productions, the whole thing was a oft-overlooked event. Usually, each event in Kyuem would be accompanied by a movie-making competition, but it was never really serious business, with most houses churning movies just for the sake of it. Maybe guys like Rodhi are an exception. For me, it was a passion. Whenever there was an opportunity to make movies, I’d volunteer, regardless of academic workload. And me & BigSmoke would go out of our way to make our movies a cut above the rest. Seriously. So, for me, having a Movie Awards kinda event is a freaking awesome idea! Unfortunately, it had to happened while I’m here, a loooooonggg way away from Kyuem 😦 bummer.

However, i guess i’m glad Alif ‘Oggy’ Nurhaziq & Aiman ‘Tiger’ Rashad are keeping the movie-making love alive. Too bad i’m not there to experience it.

The solution: Slowly, i will integrate a culture of movie-making here in Oxford. And look at the possibilities! There’s a wealth of potential actors & actresses, from all parts of the world! Keep it Real goes international, baby! I’ve seen them, they can act, especially when drunk. Haha! :p Time shall be an issue,though

2. Basketball

Basketball provided me with hours of fun during the evenings at Kyuem. I’ve never been freaking awesome at it, but I loved it nonetheless. Here at Oxford, the only sport they really care about is football and rugby. And so far, the only chance I had of playing basketball was when I represented Oxford during The Nottingham Games 2008. Even then our team lacked manpower, and had to import players from other unis. Shows how sad the state of basketball is for the university.

 

More of this, please

More of this, please

 

The solution: Spread propaganda that in reality chicks really dig basketballers, and that playing football and rugby increases your chances of turning impotent and getting Erectile Disfunction. It can work. Brilliant!

3. Rapping

Shit, without a doubt, I miss this the most. I don’t think Oxford students would appreciate rap. They’re all into classical music and shit. The other day, I accidentally went into ‘gangsta talk mode’, and a bunch of girls laughed at me. They said it was ‘cute’, but what the hell? Who ever heard of a ‘cute’ gangsta? Aww hellno!

But seriously, for those of you who still don’t get it; this whole gangsta thing is a just a joke,okay? It’s all just for fun, and I know I’m a malay boy. Ye ye, saya tahu. Haha :p

Much love to Michelle, Josephine, Naim, Sani, and Ei-Jean for being my partners. And of course, Dj Muzzein ‘BigSmoke’ Malek.

Holla at KYUEM ft SuperSmooth Playa Naim

Holla at KYUEM ft SuperSmooth Playa Naim

 

Keep it Real Productions on our last song

Keep it Real Productions on our last song

The solution: I do believe i’m holding myself back by ‘assuming’ that these Oxford students don’t like rap. I should just give it a go instead of being such a wuss. And again, the potential for rap collaborations! Damn, i’m so excited now! Alright!! MC Surefire is coming back! 😀 (time will again will be a major bitch,though)

 

Time to enjoy the holidays! And to look forward!

I think it’s time to stop living in the past. Kyuem was great, with movie-making, basketballing, and rapping; but who says I can’t do it at Oxford? 

Anyhow, at the moment, all I really wanna do is just enjoy the holidays. My sweetie’s coming! Yeahay! 😀 haha

Let the good times roll!

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02
Dec
08

Nostalgic Gaming : Prince of Persia

Video games, i remember, during my childhood, used to be a hobby associated with geeks, losers, and the socially retarded. Only those with ‘no life‘ would play video games.

Fast forward a few years, and now, plenty of games have had movies made out of them, comics published, and even celebrities (the very definition of cool so they say) are now playing video games and endorsing them. For all intents and purposes, video gaming has gone mainstream.

But this post isn’t about the history of video games, as interesting as that is. It’s about a game that has been with me since my childhood, and is still with me today!

For every gamer out there, i’m sure there’s that one game that they played first; that one game that got them hooked on the idea of video gaming itself. For me, it was the Prince of Persia series.

Lets have a look at the game throughout the times! ( The ones i’ve played anyway. There’s actually more Prince of Persia games than the ones listed here)

Prince of Persia (1989)

The original classic , the game that started it all. I played this game on my first ever desktop PC, using the MS-DOS operating system ( THE operating system before Windows at the time). It came out in 1989, but i played it during 1994 i think, at 6 years old.

The plot was simple enough. ‘The Prince‘ in this game started out as a poor orphan, living on the streets. One day, he scales the castle walls and catches a glimpse of The Princess, whom he would later fall in love with (love at first sight? hellyeah). Despite their class differences, The Princess returned his feelings.

The game begins when the Sultan of Persia is called away to war. In the meantime, the Vizier Jaffar takes rule in his stead. Unknown to the Princess and her dad, the Vizier actually fancies her for himself. He would later imprison The Prince after knowing she had the hots for him instead. Seriously pissed, the Vizier gave an ultimatum to the Princess; marry him in one hour, or die. At the same time, the Prince escapes from prison. Now he has only one hour to save the Princess.

The typical damsel in distress

One hour! Get moving,boy!

The game was played in real time, meaning the player had exactly one hour to finish the game and save the Princess. When this game arrived, it was met with rave reviews. Critics praised its unique, groundbreaking gameplay, awesome graphics (at the time) and fluid animation. Me, being a little kid, didn’t give a shit about all this; it was simply fun to play. That wasn’t to say this game was child’s play. Most of the time, I never finished the game; my dad did that for me, as I watched. Haha! :p

Public displays of affection! Oh nooo! :p (Well,not really)

The Prince would of course in the end defeat the evil Vizier, and marry the Princess, finally becoming the Prince of Persia.

Prince of Persia : Sands of Time Trilogy

The next few games I played in the Prince of Persia series was on the PS2. There were three games in all, each a continuation of the story. The Prince in this trilogy was an altogether different character from the Prince in the original game. The plot in this game is much more complex than in the original classic, so I can’t really be bothered to write it all down here. There’s wikipedia for all that. Haha! Instead, feast your eyes on these lovely art and screenshots.

1) Prince of Persia : Sands of Time

2) Prince of Persia : Warrior Within


3) Prince of Persia : Two Thrones

Prince of Persia (2008)

And finally…we come to the year 2008. As is normal for the series, this time around there is a new Prince to star in this game. Coming out in December, the makers of this game claim they’re going back to the roots of the original classic Prince of Persia (to me, thats a good thing!). From the trailers and demos i’ve checked out, this is one promising piece of work. If you’re too lazy to check out these pictures (can that be possible? too lazy to even look at pics? haha!), do yourself a favour and check out the awesome intro at the official game site.


Woohoo! Alright, I think that’s enough hype for one post!

On another note:

Games recently finished – Mass Effect, Command & Conquer : Red Alert 3, Fallout 3

Games soon to be played – Prince of Persia (2008) , GTA IV, Left 4 Dead, Dead Space, Need for Speed Undercover