The End of 2011

Posted by mae on Saturday Dec 31, 2011 Under Football, Games, General, Limesong, Travels

Another year gone, another year to live.

As 2011 draws to an end I believe people are tempted to take a short journey backwards, remembering how has the year been – the milestones, the significant events, the revolutionary discoveries, the movies, so on and so forth. To actually describe the year in detail would be an ultimately excruciating task. After all, there’s so much that can be done in 365 days.

Mine has been hugely substantial to the course of my life in general. Why? SPM. Go figure. Here, my very personal review of the year!

POST-SPM: Hello MFI!

If I remember it correctly, the results for SPM 2010 were announced on the 23rd of March. Thank God I got a few sweet A’s and A+’s, good enough to apply for a scholarship. Petronas handed me an opportunity at the EduCamp in Tronoh… where I think I failed miserably. Khazanah is not worth mentioning, simply because I knew it all along that it was a long shot. A very long one, really. In the end it was only MARA who approved my application, albeit with an offer to enroll in a Pre-Spain Programme at UniKL MSI instead of  the preferred Pre-France Programme. After weeks of uncertainty finally we managed to find a spot for me in UniKL MFI for the PFP.

THE VOLCANOES: Beholding Anak Krakatau, Scaling Mt Bromo.

We love volcanoes and mountains, that’s not a secret. For me it all started two years ago when I conquered my very first mountain: Mt Marapi, the most active volcano in Sumatra. The activity which I initially regarded with scorn –  climb up, then descend, what’s the point? That was so ignorant of me 😆 – became one I look forward to all the time.

Mt Bromo, Mt Batok and Mt Semeru in the background; Mt Marapi from the town of Bukittinggi; the erupting Anak Krakatau.

In January we visited the highly active Anak Krakatau. The volcano, which erupts continuously these days, has the potential to be as fatally dangerous as its infamous mother Krakatoa. Unfortunately, for some obvious safety reasons, the limit radius was (and still is, I think) 2km from the volcanic island. We circled, and never touched her.

Six months later we flew to Surabaya, en route to Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, on my third volcano outing. A 1km limit radius was set up around Mt Bromo too, but it wasn’t taken seriously by the locals and the visitors. Therefore, we were able to climb it. Nice.

AUSTRALIA REVISITED: From Mt Gambier to Bright.

Part I, Part II, Part III. I have somehow, left out the last part – the one where we ascended to Mt Hotham. Just too lazy.

I have no recollection whatsoever of the first visit, about 16-17 years ago. I was, evidently, a hopeless little toddler. The only thing that convinced me that it did actually happen was some old photos.

We landed in Melbourne via AirAsia X, headed west along the Great Ocean Road to Mount Gambier, then back east to Bright, and lastly back to Melbourne. And hey, barring that first visit, for the first time in my life I played snow consciously, at Mount Hotham no less! 😀

Oh Bright, I love that little town.

A NEW HOBBY: Playing Classical Guitar.

In between SDAR and MFI there was a very, very big gap of idleness and emptiness. The terrifying 7-month-plus holiday. It could have been something else, but I didn’t look for job or anything like that. The only schedule that I had to follow was the guitar class on Thursday every week. I’m not saying that I wasted the whole holiday by literally doing nothing – I learnt new things, read some books, did the chores, travelled, etc – but heck I did feel like a big fat sloth. Oh, anyway, learning to play guitar was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, though I admit it would take years for me to really grasp all those musical theories and methods.

CHAMPIONS AGAIN: United Leapfrog the Scousers!

No one could have predicted it two decades ago. Heck, people even started doubting Fergie’s United early in the 2000’s, when the Red Devils lost grasp of the Barclay’s Premier League to rivals Arsenal and then Chelsea. That, coupled with their 2006’s UEFA Champions League group stage elimination (that year they missed out the league title for the third consecutive season) fueled speculations that perhaps, United’s time had indeed ended. How wrong they were. Duh.

It was a season where United were, honestly, below average, but so were other teams. That’s the only reason why we won it. Nothing else to say. United winning is not something out of this world, is it? It’s United 19-18 Liverpool. Err..while Liverpool no longer pose a threat to us, a new one has arisen. The noisy neighbors City. Heh.

THE END OF AN ERA: R.E.M. Disband.

From my point of view, R.E.M. were highly underrated. Seriously almost no one listens to them here. One of the pioneers of alternative rock, it took over 30 years for them to finally call it a day in September. I remember singing the Great Beyond in front of the classroom for God knows what. It was some sort of a test maybe. But oh yeah I sure did sing it. 😆
I just hope U2 won’t do the same just yet.

Some of their best songs, excluding the mentioned above:

Losing My Religion (1991)

Everybody Hurts (1992)

Imitation of Life (2001)

Man on the Moon (1992)

 

MOVIES OF THE YEAR: A Better Life and the King’s Speech.

Nah I will not review movies for I’m not a critic and I just can’t review movies. Don’t know why. But I assure you these ones are excellent, and thus I think I just leave a couple of trailers here…

A Better Life.

The King’s Speech – this one was publicly released early in January 2011. I just watched it last week. 😆

THE DRAGONBORN COMES: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

I used to be bla bla bla (like you), then I took an arrow in the knee. What an outdated meme. Anyway, this game is friggin’ gorgeous and highly both entertaining and addictive where one could spend hours of playtime without actually realising it. Set in the medieval world of Tamriel, the story is appealing, and the gameplay immersive, even with those tons of bugs. If you enjoyed the previous series or Fallout 3 and New Vegas, you should play this. If not, then Angry Birds would be fine.

Skyrim Timelapse!

Oh I think I should put the trailer here, too…

GAINING FROM GAMING: Barra’s FIFA 11 Tournament Champion!

Okay. It was a small and low-budget tournament held in July at Barra, a popular eatery in Shah Alam, absolutely nothing like those international ones or even Game Monster‘s for that matter. There were supposed to be 12 players, but only six turned up so I needed to beat just three other contestants to win the first prize – RM150, which I did. 😆

Hey at least it’s the real deal, no?

Well that’s about it I guess, I’m rather sure I’m missing something here. Wanna read about revolutions and life-changing events? Go somewhere else.

And comme d’habitude I’ll end this post with a rendition of one of the best themes ever! 😀

 

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Princes and Princesses

Posted by mae on Saturday Dec 3, 2011 Under Français, General, Movies

24 November 2011

It was our last french lecture with Mlle AA for this semester – we still had another lecture the next day, with Mlle SF. Therefore she decided to let us watch the movie Prince and Princesses – a silhouette-style series of short stories told by an old man and his two younger companions. All in French with French subtitles, so that we could in a way improve our listening and vocabulary.

The plan was très simple: The two-hour session would be divided into two part – the first hour working on our grammar, and the next watching the said movie. But when the time came, a grave problem arose. With snacks and drinks all set, the LCD projector couldn’t detect Mlle AA’s laptop. We spent over 30 minutes trying to figure things out, and she even went to the effort of borrowing another LCD projector from the new building, but to no avail.

We ended up munching the snacks sans the movie 😆

At last I offered my laptop, which she responded “si tu veux“. Without wasting one more second I dashed to my room, packed my laptop and brought it back into the class. Et voila, ça marche!

Her laptop served us well throughout the semester but perhaps that day it took a day off.

Here’s the trailer:

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