Tuesday, October 9, 2012

My Art : Blood on a Letter

Right ! I just created another art.
Laugh at myself but I kinda of enjoying it.
So, again for another art blog.
There are 5 photos alltogether.

The story :
Somebody writes a letter to another somebody, maybe a lover.
Suddenly, the bad guy comes from behind.
Scuffles ensue.
Spilling the ink on the unfinished letter.
Then, loud bang !
Brains on the wall.
Part of it on the letter.
Sorry, for being so gory...
But please read on.

Bad guy escapes (I hate it !).

Photo 1 : A few hours after the murder happened. Ink still fresh.
Brains still fresh ! (eeeeuuuw !)

Monday, October 8, 2012

My Art : Army

Just a few more I created !
Enjoy doing these.
Hope you enjoy looking at them too ?
I also make a few variations.
A few more below :

My Art : Just Another One

Just another silly 'artwork' from me.

It's nice making computer art like this.
You'll never know unless you try.
But don't take too much time doing it.

My Art : Born to Die

Just another 'bad art' from me.
Influenced by Lana Del Rey's Born to Die album.

This is one of my favorite albums this year.
Most people hate it anyway.
I like Lana.
There's a somber mood throughout the album.
I know the lyrics are just bad, little girl stuff.
Watch the videos below :

My Art : SDC68: Weather

Created this for a blog.
Just showing my arty side.

I like the wet paper as the background.
I also like the image being disintegrated by the weather through time.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Travel : Uzbekistan (2008)

I was in Uzbekistan in 2008.
Where is this country, I heard most of you are asking.
Here's the map :

I had to go there because I love ancient history.
This is what I wrote in my other blog page :

"The Hot & Historical Uzbekistan"

I was in Uzbekistan in June, 2008.
Avoid this month as the heat is pretty unbearable !
I could actually feel my head burning underneath my smelly cap !


History-wise, I went to Samarkhand, Bukhara & Khiva.
3 main old cities where the ancient sites are renovated for mass tourism.

The most impressive for me is the day trip from Khiva to Elliq-Qala.
There should be more than 50 fortresses which lie around the region but only a handful which are still visible through their crumbling outer walls.
Quiet impressive really.

Music : Yoko Ono, Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore – Yokokimthurston

In my previous post, I was telling you guys about the band Sonic Youth, releasing an album called Goo back in 1990.

Now, in 2012, 2 band members from Sonic Youth : Kim Gordon & Thurston Moore just released an album called Yokokimturston, the cover above.
It's a collaboration with Yoko Ono (you know, John Lennon wife).

Goodness me !
This album is freakingly strange !
It's so strange & this is my recview :

Music : Sonic Youth - Goo

Sonic Youth is an alternative band from USA.
It's not a new band & they've been releasing records since 1980.
I remember reading about their records in music magazines but I couldn't get any of their records then before it's not available in my country, Malaysia.
I was like bawling, feeling angry of not able to listen to something that I wanted to.

Life before Internet was like that.
You read things in magazines & books but not able to actually touch 'the real thing'.

So, they signed to a major label & released an album called Goo.
It was released in my country & I got it right away !

At first, I hated it.
Simply because I had never heard anything so strange.
I mean it's a noisy record & I love noise in music but not musically strange noises !

The more I listened to it, the more I started to feel strange.
I was asking myself if this is what 'alternative' band was all about.
I mean radios won't play their music.

Anyhow, long story but now it remains one of my favorite albums.
The album just grows on me, again & again.

Watch some of these videos :

Travel : Iran : Tehran (Part 2)

More of my photos that I took around Tehran back in May 2006.
Some night photos as well.
Anybody knows about the hostage incident in Tehran in the 70's ? Read about it on HERE.
If you don't know about what happened during the hostage incident in the 70's, then these photos wouldn't really mean anything to you guys.
I am not that old of course but when planning about my trip to Iran of course I read about all these things.

Also some night photos below.

Travel : Iran : Tehran (Part 1)

My trip to Iran is definitely one of the best trips for me.
It was back in May, 2006.
I did good research on the Internet.
In touch with some people, mostly students who could tell me a thing or 2 about their country.
As a Malaysian, I didn't need a visa to enter & could move around Iran for 2 weeks.

You can read & view photos of my trip around Iran on HERE.

Now, I'm showing photos that I took around Tehran.
Tehran is the capital.
Lots of people.
Women were covering themselves with black robes, though fringes of hair is permissible.
Foreign female tourists must cover their hair.
A colorful scarf is not a problem.

Sorry, I know my photography is not good.
I had 2 cameras.
A cheap film camera (yes, I even carried that).
A digital camera too.
I didn't care about 'tuning' those cameras to suit the condition of the lights, so you can see my photos are 'washed out'.

Travel : Lebanon (2005)

I was in Lebanon in 2005, combined the trip with Syria, Jordan & Egypt.
Fly into Beirut (Lebanon).
Traveled around, fly home from Cairo (Egypt).

Well, it's not a life-changing journey but I learned many things about people.
Especially people who live in The Middle East.

Malaysia is an Islamic country too but Malaysia & its people are where I would call home.

This map below, created it to show my itineraries around Lebanon, before entering Syria.

Read the diary below of me traveling around Lebanon.

Travel : Syria (2005)

I went to Syria in 2005.
Co0mbined with Lebanon, Jordan & Egypt.
I love Syria.
President's Assad posters were all over the country.
The people seemed to be friendly.
Better than in Egypt for sure.

I love Syria as there are many ancient sites for me to explore.
Some of these sites were not even excavated yet, at least during the time when I was there.

This map below, you can see my itineraries around Syria (entering from Lebanon).

Below is the diary of my times around Syria.

Travel : Jordan (2005)

I traveled to Jordan in 2005, combined with Lebanon, Syria & Egypt.
Jordan is more expensive than the other 3 countries.
 I met some people with whom I had been in touch with on the Internet.
This map I created it, also on my Live Journal page.

Below is the diary of me, what I did around Jordan (entering from Syria).

Travel : Egypt (2005)

I made a trip to Egypt in 2005.
Again, another great great backpacking trip.
I combined this trip to Egypt with 3 more countries.
Started in Lebanon, then entered Syria.
Next Jordan.
I entered Egypt from Jordan.
Well, I wanted to enter Israel but as a Malaysia, I'd face more problems.
Maybe next time, I'll see Israel, in the next life, maybe ! ha ! Ha !

This is the map that I created of my itineraries around Egypt.

Below is a diary when I was in Egypr.
Reading them now brings back memories

Travel : India : Fatehpur Sikri (2007)

I reached India in 2007.
Travel extensively for anout 1 month.
Started in Chennai, flying from Kuala Lumpur.

I find India easy to travel around.
Many tourists.
I was there in the hottest month of the year !
It was so hot, even my bed emanated heat !

India, one thing to be careful is the foods.
Like people advice to just be careful on what you eat.

Throughout India, I only ate rice & omelettes (egg).
That was enough for me.

Anyway, here's photos from Fatehpur Sikri.
Read about it HERE.

When I was there, there's some kind of insurgent so I had to stay miles away from that town.
I still made my way there by bus.
I just want to see the old city of .

The sun was blindingly hot.
Having a cheap camera with me was enough to capture what I saw.
No fancy beautiful photography from me.

Music : The Tallest Man on Earth - There's No Leaving Now

It's likely that my best album this year (2012) is this great melodic album from Sweden.
It's a man show but he's known as The Tallest Man on Earth.

This is already his 3rd album.
People say that he's sounding like Bob Dylan.
The singing, the song writing.
It's not wrong.
But the more I listen to it, the more it's sounding different than Bob Dylan.

 I'm showing some videos below.
These videos made me liking him as a performer.
I think if you want to get to know an artist, watch their performances.
Sometimes, just listening to the music is not enough.
We need some kind of visual to go with the music as well.
It's easy to discover music these days as we have Youtube to go to.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Puzzle : Solving My Ghost Cube

I love the Ghost Cube !
This is not a mass-produced cube.
It's a custom cube.
It means that we can't buy this cube anywhere because it was created somebody in limited quantities.
I got mine from Vietnam.

Solving is easy only if you know how to solve the 3x3x3 cube.
Below are my photos showing step by step on I solve it.

Film : It Happened One Night

This old classic Hollywood movie is from 1934.
I'm a sucker for black & white movies !
Just love watching the stories.
Love watching the actors/actresses doing their things in old movies.

Clark Gable &    Claudette Colbert.   
Well, screwball comedy, they called this then.
Something like silly comedy to us all these days.
I really like this movie.
There's a sweetness about it that I couldn't feel in romantic movies these days.
Both of them are just brilliant !
I'm too lazy writing what the story is about.

Puzzle : Axis Cube

This is called Axis Cube.
One of my favorite puzzles.
No, not easy to solve.
If you have the experience of solving the normal 3x3x3 cube, then I could teach you how to solve it.
If not, it'll be hard for you to understand.

Here, I'm showing you some photos on how I solve it.

TV : So You Think You Can Dance

This is one of my favourite TV programs.
Not shown in my country, Malaysia (maybe the earlier seasons).
I think Malaysian TV thinks the dancers/dances are too saucy for our viewing !
Thanks to the Internet, I could still watch this good program.

No, I'm not a dancer.
Right, we all dancers but not all of us are professional dancers.

Anyway, the last season of SYTYCD was the 9th.
The winners were just announded a couple of weeks back.
One male dancer and one female dancer.

These are the last 4 dancers from Season 9.
2 of them were chosen as winners.

Why I love watching this program ?

Film : The Truman Show

One of my favorite movies is The Truman Show.
It's also one movie that I cry at the ending.
I'm not a fan of Jim carey.
Never liked his other movies prior to this & even after this movie.

I thought he's just great in this movie. Like the part was meant for him.

What's the movie about ?

Travel : Iran : Persepolis (2006)

I made the trip to Iran in May 2006.
I was so excited going there, like not many people would want to go there.
I went there in the month when America was supposed to attack Iran !
Damn you America !

Friends advised me not to go because of the situation.
My answer to them, "If I don't go now I'll never go there !"

For a Malaysian, we can enter Iran without a visa.
We could stay there without visa for 14 days.
It was then, I don't know now in 2012.

Here's a gif map that I created, posted on my Live Journal page.
Looking at this map now, I praise myself for creating it.
Self-taught myself !

As you can see from the map, I travel almost all over Iran.
Yes, in 2 weeks !
I travel alone so it's easy to make decisions if I want to stay at one place a few days or just for a few hours.
The place that I want to share my photos with is called PERSEPOLIS.

I had 2 cameras with me.
A digital camera & an analog (film) camera.
Both are cheap cameras so no fancy photography from me.
I remember the sun was blindingly hot at Persepolis.
I hired a taxi to reach there & asked the taxi driver to wait for me for a few hours.
I remember him asking me for money while he was waiting for me.
(I was supposed to pay him after we finished the tour).
I asked him why.
He said that's the deal.
I didn't know that.
I realized in my subsequent trips that we have to pay the drivers if we ask them to wait for us.

Music : PJ Harvey - Let England Shake

My favorite album last yeas was Let England Shake by PJ Harvey.
The cover below.

PJ Harvey is not a new singer.
She's British & she has been releasing albums since like more than 10 years ago.
When this album was released last year, everybody gave good praises.
Me, I just wanted to wait.
I don't want a good album to be influenced by what other people say.
So, I started listening to it end of last year.
Just like all albums by PJ Harvey, it's not an easy album to listen to.
I mean she's not exactly singing pop music.
It's more indie pop than pop pop, you know.

Craft : Paper Folding

Right ! I always love arts.
That's why I started to collect puzzles.
Collecting them would be useless if I don't know how to use them.
A friend told me that he just got this book.
He's happy (actually I didn't know he liked art).

It's about Paper-folding.
Well, he got kids so they'll have hours of fun for sure.
I told him that I should just stick to collecting puzzles.

This photo is not mine, just a random pic I got off the Net.

Puzzle : 2x2x2

Hi, if you have owned the 3x3x3 & you can solve it, you have managed to overcome the hurdle of solving one of the best puzzles around.

The next puzzle that you should get is 2x2x2 cube as this picture below.

 This is much easier to solve. Easier than 3x3x3.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Travel : Belgium (2001)

Hey ! Hey ! 
My first European trip started here in Brussels, Belgium. 
Back in June 2001.
Prior to that, my flight had stopped in Zurich, where I went out of the flight to have a smoke while waiting for the passengers boarding for Brussels.

I arrived safely in Brussels, the capital of Belgium.
Greeted by a friend, Patrick. 
But I somehow I felt that I was not too welcoming for him.
Feeling good, feeling great ! 

Patrick took me back to Antwerp 'cos that's where he's living. 
I rested for a while before we had to come back to Brussels to fetch another friend arriving from UK, Paul; Also known as Reg.

Patrick left me in Brussels with Reg (maybe Patrick was angry because I also asked another friend to come with me like I didn't trust him ?)
Well, it's no that I didn't trust him but it was my first trip, I was feeling scared of so many things.
It had got nothing to do with Patrick at all.
in fact, the main reason why I chose Belgium as my first European city to visit was to see him (he had visited me in Malaysia).
That was the last time I ever saw him in my life.
His choice.


Music : Bill Evans - Sunday at the Village Vanguard

I love music. Now I want to talk about this Jazz album, piano-laden music.  

Bill Evans - Sunday at the Village Vanguard (1961)

I love the simplistic cover.
Bill Evans was a pianist.
I think most people (maybe non Jazz fans) would regard this album as 'Dinner' music.
You're not wrong.
In fact, this album was recorded live.
So, we could hear the clanking glasses & people talking to each other.
For me, I just playing this album in the background.
Sometimes tapping my feet.
Slow-moving pace for me.
The music doesn't sound old although it was recorded in 1961.

My Trip Overview

I started traveling outside my country (Malaysia) in 2001. It was such a big step for me. I wanted to see the world. Maybe I started to get tired of seeing things around me. I was so ready.

2001 : Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg.
2002 : Austria, Slovakia, Poland, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary.
2003 : Italy, Slovenia, Croatia.
2004 : England, Iceland, France.
2005 : Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt.
2006 : Cambodia, Iran.
2007 : India.
2008 : Uzbekistan.
2009 : China, Macau, Hong Kong.
2010 : Vietnam.
2011 : Turkey.
2012 : Indonesia (cancelled).

So many things that I saw.
So many things I experienced.
Some are good, some are bad.
I am just so proud of myself.
Saving money for each trip.

This photo was taken in India, on the train.
I was tired.
Dusts all over, sands all over.
But it was a bliss moment for me to travel around India alone for a month !

Monday, October 1, 2012

Hello !

Hello ! I love going places.
I love listen to music.
I also love playing/solving puzzles.
Anybody out there who share the same interests as I do ?

For this first post, I want to share this cube puzzle that I got.
It's called Ghost Cube.
I don't know why it's called that but I love it.
When in 'solved' state, it is in a cubic form.
When in 'unsolved' state, it's all jumbled up !
This cube is not easy to solve.
I had to spend weeks to finally figure out the solutions.  

On top : Unsolved & bottom : Solved !