Allie's 8 Month Birthday

29 March 2009 | sila | | Family Pics

This past month has also gone by in a whirlwind. I can't believe it, but Allie is now 8 months old (last Sunday, March 22)! She's just continuing to grow and develop before our eyes, and we feel blessed to have her in our lives.

The birthday girl

Allie sits like a professional now, able to balance while she plays with her toys, reaching with impressive yoga-like stretching ability to pick up the toys that she has thrown everywhere. She expresses her emotions in so many different ways (not just crying). She giggles and squeals, hugs and kisses, and kicks her feet happily. She loves peekaboo, and loves to run around in the house in our arms, chasing and being chased by each other. She rolls all around the floor as her means of "crawling" - she does get where she wants to go! When she sees you walk in a room or if she comes into the room, she will greet you with a happy shriek. She also calls out to get your attention. (Still no words even though I keep encouraging her to say "mama"). She sometimes will even wave goodbye when she's leaving. She's just an incredible amount of fun! At nights, we are still reading the Michael Chabon-edited anthology of short stories. She is still waking up, usually once, to eat. And two teeth are ALMOST sprouting! It has caused some uncharacteristic grumpiness in her, and a few nights of multiple wakings and feedings, but other than that she is a good natured and cheerful baby. Her personality is coming out, and her telatah (antics) make Vin and me laugh and laugh.


There Is A Hole In The Bucket Dear Liza Dear Liza

26 March 2009 | Hisham | | Misc Sci-Fi, TV

First things first: SPOILER ALERT... This entry will be discussing the series finale of Battlestar Galactica, the double-length episode entitled "Daybreak, Part 2". But before the day breaks, there is nothing but utter darkness and despair. Death and destruction. As ably illustrated by Tricia Helfer below:

When things get bad, Head Six goes nuts


It's been dark for quite a while now. First there was that extinction of the Human race with only less than 40,000 survivors being pursued by genocidal robots thing. Then there is facing the reality of having to live out their entire lives in space boxed up in small ships with dwindling resources... if they don't find Earth. Finally, just before the mid-season break they find Earth and it's a radioactive wasteland. So, after the darkness, when does day break for the story?

There's News, And Then There's News

25 March 2009 | Hisham | | Humour, Trawling The Net

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the city...

KUALA LUMPUR — Amid an excited Malaysian public, Proton today launched the first of three variants of its latest model, the MPV Exora.Cheap car is cheap

The ‘C’ variant (for Cheap) comes without the frills traditionally included by car companies, like engine, transmission, seats, doors, windows and steering wheel. (The other two variants, “Premium” and “Standard”, will be launched next month)

Proton managing director Datuk Syed Zainal Abdin Tahir said that the MPV was designed for families which were conscious about doing things economically. “While the other two variants, with the usual package that includes items some see as ‘basic’ would be sold at around RM80,000, the ‘C’ variant is sold at below RM5,000.

For more news like that visit Nose4news, a clever Malaysian news parody website. "Abominable Snowman seeks name change"? "Loss of Life main cause of death among males, females"? "Crime industry announces 400,000 job vacancies"? It's the Onion website, but with a local flavour.


A Universe Ahead To Explore

24 March 2009 | Hisham | | Misc Sci-Fi, TV

Coming to television this fall is the third series to be set in a very well known, visual-media-based science fiction universe. This time instead of having a proper base of operations (in this galaxy or another), the characters are trapped on a automated ancient starship travelling out of and away from the Milky Way galaxy. That's one way to put your characters in a spot and have them undergo weekly adventures, I guess.

Recently the teaser trailer of this upcoming series was released, showing us a glimpse of some actors involved in the pilot episode.

Here's Robert Carlyle.

Holy crap! It's Begbie!

Here's Lou Diamond Philips.

The Aquaman pilot got flushed... here's hoping for a hit series

Aiman Joins Irfan In The Pool

23 March 2009 | Hisham | | Family Pics

Earlier this month, Irfan's cousin Aiman came to join Irfan for a quick dunk in the pool. Ain whipped up some bihun goreng with keropok, and off we went to a mini-picnic. Aiman came prepared with arm floats and trunks. At first he eyes the giant bathtub, probably wondering if it was scientifically possible to have a bathtub that big.

... but the trunks are a couple of sizes too big

Then, his dad, also known as Irfan's Ayah Long, began submergence procedure. Theoretically, he would not be taken to crush depth. Not even on a lark.

10 degrees down bubble

Dog Carcass In Alley This Morning, Tire Tread On Burst Stomach

06 March 2009 | Hisham | | Comics, Movie Review

L-R Peacemaker, Nightshade, Captain Atom, Thunderbolt, Blue Beetle and The Question
The limited series comic book Watchmen was released by DC Comics more than 20 years ago. Written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons, this comic was the start of a new age in the medium. Along with its contemporary, Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns, it deconstructs the superhero genre by showing us what extreme conditions can produce costumed crimefighters, what kind of personalities they have and what happens to them when they are considered illegal... all existing in an alternate 1985 timeline where Nixon is still the president of the United States and the world is living in the shadow of imminent nuclear war.

Because of the very rich and detailed storylinetold within the space of 12 issues and several fictional documents per issue, such as book exceprt, interviews, letters, news and magazine clippings to support the main narrative, almost everyone wants a Watchmen movie adaptation but decided that it was too complex and too nuanced to be distilled into a two hour (plus change) feature film.

How difficult would it be to translate the Watchmen to the big screen? From my point of view, the star of the Watchmen aren't only the characters. It's also the world which they live in, the quotable script, the story, the situations, the flashbacks, the narrative structure. They can make a thousand different variations of the origin of Superman in the movies and TV, live action or animated. But there can only be one way to tell Watchmen: the way Alan Moore written it.

Last night I saw the Watchmen movie adaptation directed by Zack Snyder, and did I like it?


Allie's 7 Month Birthday

02 March 2009 | sila | | Family Pics

Last Sunday, February 22, Allie was seven months old. I know I can't believe how quickly time is flying by, and that it is already March 1st. How did that happen? It feels like we just celebrated the new year, no? And I don't mean Chinese New Year, either. I mean Times Square, ball dropping, happy 2009! I am hardly even used to writing "09" on my checks (cheques to us Malaysians) and it is already March. :-)

Reaching for the camera

At any rate, Allie has progressed further in this last month. We are done with reading stories from the Crab Orchard Review at bedtime. Now we are reading another short story anthology (I forget what year the book covers but I know that Michael Chabon edited it). For the most part, Allie sleeps well - from her 8 PM bedtime to 6:30 AM, with usually only one night-time feeding. She loves to play, babbles and laughs at our silly antics, and is learning to kiss, having become a master hugger. The kisses are still kind of hit or miss though, usually wet and drooly. But she is attempting them! She rolls backwards and forwards effortlessly, and can stay sitting up without help for short periods of time. And of course, now she is an eater of solid foods! Here is a tally of foods that we have introduced to her to date (observing the 4-day rule in case of allergies) as well as Allie's rating of them:

1. Rice cereal - Thumbs up
2. Sweet Potato Puree - Thumbs down
3. Carrot Puree - Thumbs down
4. Mashed bananas - Thumbs up
5. Yellow squash puree - Thumbs down
6. Yellow squash puree + mashed bananas - Thumbs up
7. Applesauce - Thumbs up
8. Pea puree - Thumbs up

Makan time is definitely not boring - it can be fun and fast with her reaching for the food (for the thumbs up items) or she may turn her head and try to run away and refuse to keep eating (for the thumbs down), but that is all part of growing up. We are making all of the food ourselves (rather than buying baby food in jars) except for the cereal of course. And this process is fun, and quite rewarding if Allie happily eats it up.

Here come the boatload of pictures, showing how Allie spent her 7 month birthday. As always, please mouse over the pictures for captions.