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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Uncertainty

It's been almost a year since I blogged. I am terribly sorry. To compensate the loss, I have found a piece of anonymous letter 4 months ago. I felt sad after I have read it. Hope you all will not blame me for ruining the holiday mood...

"I met him almost 10 months ago. We were once strangers but as time goes, we become alright. But there is this feeling in me that doesn't feel right. I can't say I love him. But I do know I adore him. We take care of each other and we never leave each other alone.

It's enough to rouse a gayness between us. But I am not sure whether he is a gay. If he is, I can be very true to him and I will care for him more than like a friend.

He didn't admit he's a gay but I hope something in us will sprout. I don't know. I don't think gay has something to do with our relationship. I only want to know who we are.

I'm trapped and I can never know due to.my awkward cowardice. I am not brave enough to ask him that straight in the face. I can sense that he has the similar thoughts about me. Neither of us want to jeopardize out relationship by destroying hopes and destruction...

You are my only electronic sea messenger. Help me please."


*sea

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Gravity of Love

Gravity Of Love
 


"O Fortuna velut Luna" ["O Fortune like the Moon"]

Turn around and smell what you don't see
Close your eyes ... it is so clear
Here's the mirror, behind there is a screen
On both ways you can get in.
Don't think twice before you listen to your heart,
Follow the trace for a new start.
What you need and everything you'll feel
Is just a question of the deal.
In the eye of storm you'll see a lonely dove
The experience of survival is the key
To the gravity of love.

"O Fortuna velut Luna"

[Whispers:]
[Woman :]
The path of excess leads to the tower of Wisdom
[Man :]
The path of excess leads to the tower of Wisdom

Try to think about it...
That's the chance to live your life and discover
What it is, what's the gravity of love

"O Fortuna velut Luna"

Look around just people, can you hear their voice
Find the one who'll guide you to the limits of your choice.
But if you're in the eye of storm
Just think of the lonely dove
The experience of survival is the key
To the gravity of love.

"O Fortuna velut Luna"
"O Fortuna velut Luna"

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

God's Demon Fanatic Review

God’s Demon, by Wayne Barlowe. It is the book I came across before I know there is a book. Well, you can be sure I love sci-fi and fantasy stuffs, especially flora and fauna, myths and legends. I first knew about Wayne was the documentary Alien Planet. I loved the show and went to ‘wiki’ it. When there’s a hyperlink on Expedition where Alien Planet is based upon, I found the name Wayne Barlowe. Being itchy for anything new, I clicked on his official website for a new work called God’s Demon.

Voila.
 

The pictures amazed me so much that I had to get that book to read. It’s very fascinating, even quoted by Guillermo del Toro, director for Hellboy, Hellboy 2, Pan’s Labyrinth and the latest film: Pacific Rim. Guess what is so common among Barlowe’s works? Hint: Avatar, Pacific Rim and Alien Planet.
No?

*Sigh* They are luminous creatures! Yes, Barlowe contributed on Pacific Rim as well as Avatar creatures and monsters (with collaboration with del Toro if I am not mistaken)!

God’s Demon (simplified as GD below) is one Hell-of-a-kind book. The story is set completely in Hell and the place is… fantastic. You have arteries and veins cutting across vast landscapes, a slow river made of tears which named as Acheron, a dull star that makes no difference to day and night called Algol etc.

From the first few pages, we can witness how Sargatanas (the main protagonist) build his empire Adamantinarx-upon-the-Acheron with souls almost immediately after he has Fallen from Above (heaven). He uses the souls and manipulates them into bricks! Piece by piece, unfazed by the wailing and whining of the poor souls, he compresses and squeezes them into cuboids. 

Guess what, even when they are turned to bricks, they still can open their eyes or pop their ears as they are very much alive. 

Here's a pic for you to see Sargatanas holding a soul-brick.

There’s one scene when a giant Demolisher gnawing its way through the city, the buildings started to tilt as each individual soul tries to run away. Imagine that! Look! Here's the Demolisher: 

Oh, so you don’t know what is a Demolisher? Here’s the picture, a tank made up of thousands of compressed souls, chewing all the way and excreting necrotic flesh from its ‘anus’.

While everything in Hell is depicted as disgusting and hot, there’s one character I fell in love with: Lilith. Lilith is a being in white with no clothes on and with animal paws. Almost every demon yearn to copulate with her, but she is a strong, feminine and powerful being to be messed with. Here, let me show you:
 

Well, before the Fall, Hell is already populated with ancient fauna, like the Abyssals, which comprise of countless species and kinds where almost every ten pages you might find a new species. They are luminous (duh!) and many would use their skins as pouch or decoratives.

Here, Abyssal for you:

Speaking of skins, there is this antagonist place called Beelzebub’s Keep.
This is the Keep I am talking about:

There are flaps of skins hanging from the domed ceiling. Yes, those skins are from poor souls devoured by Beelzebub and they still sway around gently as they try to wrench free.

Eww. But cool.

Besides, the war scene is epic. I recalled a scene where a Pyromancer conjured the entire mountain of souls to wave their arms, each hand wielding a flaming spear and threw them against the enemy. Ouch! And please, if your imagination isn’t up to date, please do so. It’s amazing! We even have Emperor Yen Wang from the Eastern kingdom (in easier terms, oriental hell god) to bring us some delicious siege beasts called Behemoths, which are enlarged souls from Asian ruthless, evil and savage kings. Here, let me show you:

OK, enough showing off, the review is simple.

GD is a good, condensed and epic memoir of Demons. Their journey to attempt to reach the Above and their rebellion against the Regent of Hell. The plot is straightforward and simple but hefty. Worth it! It’s like Snow White and the Seven Dwarves where you know the plot is short but children love it. I love Sargatanas, especially the bromantic part with his apprentice/servant Eligor, the Flying Guard. I felt sad at the end even though it is a happy ending. Well, no spoilers, go and find the book and read it!

The bad part? No pictures in the book, but you have to look it up on his site. Booooooo. No, I didn’t say I hate novels. I love novels, it’s just that, when you know there are pictures on his site, you would wish he include them together in the book as part of it. It would be COMPLETE. =).

The part where I got my eyes into @@ is, hmm, well, number one: Lilith bends over a bed and she gasps as the movement becomes more urgent. But I see nobody with her. Is she masturbating or there is actually someone effing her from behind whom is not significant enough to be mentioned? Number two: Adramalik, a Demon Chancellor-General, has sex with an Abyssal till its death. Remember that an Abyssal is a creature? How can a Demon sexed an Abyssal till its death? Bestiality? No comment, perhaps I was too horny to interpret it right. Number three, Sargatanas dunks himself into the teary and salty river of Acheron. Why?

All in all, great book, great work, great artist. Even now, I wish I had a figurine of Lilith on my table whenever I see the book cover of GD.

Oh Barlowe, how can you be that good?

Extra images:
 The soul is being examined and the black sphere embedded is the Burden, used for Demons to manipulate the souls, twisting them or morphing them.


 Semjaza, the Watcher. They are the Ancients in Hell. He is stupendously huge. And you will be surprised what he does.

 Moloch. Vicious and Evil even without legs. He is one big bad-ass you should run (if you can run away from him)

 Sometimes Demons need some pleasure, like what Adramalik, a Demon, mentioned: "They deserve their entertainment. I use them like a knife [...] and like a knife, they need to be kept sharp edged."

More pictures can be seen from Godsdemon.com or just Google it.

Monday, October 21, 2013

老师无言了一个星期



我是一所中学某班的班导师。
我自认我非常严肃。是的,我会开玩笑,可是对我的班,我很少如此。

我犹记得,78日,当我刚刚上任为他们的班导师时,我问了他们这么的一句话:
你要我做天使般的老师,还是恶魔?

无可否认,他们选择了天使。
然后,我就警告我的学生,说:“老师的性格是由你们而定。请记住。

日子久了,一个月过去了,我发现,他们好懒散。功课不做不要紧,而且课业非常差,就连简单的乘法都不会。我出了一道题:“二分之一加二分之一是多少?”

吓死人的是,竟然有三成以上的学生不会。怎么办好?

我回想起,以前的我,华语特别烂,常常令老师哭笑不得。但是,我记得,一年级时我的级任老师,赖锦虹老师对我的耐性,慢慢一步一步教导我。我,最后不得不使出这个方法——一个一个学生轮流坐在我隔壁,一步一步慢慢解释,教导。

起初,学生很害怕我,因为我骂人特别凶。有哪位学生被训导处记过,我就再骂。再加上,我班的学生非常懒散,吩咐他们交上表格都需要等上三个星期,而且还被一名学生揶揄:“老师,你能够在三个礼拜内收齐表格已经算是厉害了。以前我们的老师要用上六个月。”

气死人了。

再说 ,我有这么一次说:“来,等下我要看到白板抹干净 。”岂知,没有人出来抹。被问起时,有一位学生说:“老师,你都没有讲要谁抹!”

糟糕。这么样的班怎么带?

结果,我出狠招,开始对他们又唬又喝,威胁说只要有任何科任老师投诉,有关受害者就要被罚抄五张纸,道:“我xxx来自xx班永远不会在班上xxxxxxx。”

九月的一天,一位女同学跟我哀求:“老师,你变回天使啦!”

我狠狠地瞪了她一眼,还微微的“哼”了一声,再加上粗重的口气说:“不可能!”

102日,弟子规老师跟我投诉班上学生讲不听。我一气之下,喝令他们去扫树叶,做苦工。到了第二天,我开始对我班的学生不闻不问。学生问我什么,我不答,连瞄一眼都没有,最多凶凶的瞪他们到他们不敢跟我做眼神交流。

103日,我赫然发现桌子上有一封信。打开来看,发现是一封短短的道歉信,信中原文:

老师,对不起啦!
我们又害你被老师投诉,我们也是不想的。
对不起啦,老师。
我们答应你我们再也不敢让你被老师投诉了。
我们尽量啦!
老师,不要emo了!快点跟我们讲话啦!

心狠就是心狠,我把信收起来,当作没看见,连华文老师也摇摇头,说:“你怎么可以那么样?心还不能软?”

我铁石心肠。

过后的那几天,我讶异了。

平时,当我一进班,班长会大大声喊:“起立!行礼!”接着,“老师早安!”然后就等我说:“早安,坐!”他们才肯坐。可是,因为我默不作声,他们想听的“坐”字久久未从我口中溜出。结果,整班就站着上课。下课时,有一群学生向我深深的鞠躬,拉长说:“老师,对不起!”

我的脸依然如此冷冰冰,可是心里笑了几下。你们活该。
109日,班长再次喊:“起立!行礼!”但是,声中带有“老师,快点被我们大声地请安感动吧!”的语气
我还是无动于衷,转身就在白板上龙飞凤舞写出一道道习题,而全班仍旧站着上课。

随后的那一幕,我愣了。

全班都在努力的回答习题。

他们从来没有这样过。他们数学很差。他们害怕我。但是,不知为何,他们鼓起勇气开始作答,努力的向周围的朋友请教。这一幕,我看傻了眼。因为这一幕,只有在优秀班才可以看到。

然后,有几位女同学在放学时,追上我,拉着我的假丝绸衣裳,说:

老师,你快点讲话啦。
老师,你知道么,我长过那么大,读了那么多年的书,没有一个老师不会讲话。
是咯,老师,我求求你,快点讲话。你不讲话我们很怕的。

我扯开衣服,回办公室去。

1018日,年终大考。第一天,很不幸的,考数学。我心里想,看你们厉害!

1021 日,我批改他们的试卷。


我……


他们的分数……

一个星期多没出声,没教书,分数竟然比起上次高几十巴仙。


我心里想:这次是我错了么?

在此,我懂了。

Monday, October 7, 2013

Excession Quasi-review


For those who are unfamiliar with Mr Reynolds' works, I can say you can start reading Pushing Ice and Terminal World. I strongly recommend these both. The tone of these two works is very different. Pushing Ice is more towards a TV-drama with super-episodes which it narrates how life is hard for humans on Janus, a fleeting moon from Saturn. But Terminal World, wow. Steampunk. Meaning there isn't any room for spaceships and fantastic physics. The exile of a doctor and his journey back looks more like a pilgrimage to me. His noble acts make me think of Merlin. (If you do not know who Merlin is, I suggest you to wiki it. No offence.)

Excession, written by the late Iain M. Banks, was (no longer 'is') my first attempt to keep off my addiction to Alastair Reynolds' space operas. Yes, in case you wondered, I am indeed addicted to Alastair Reynolds' works and I am waiting for his latest novel On the Steel Breeze and I will definitely grab it from the bookstores and burn it with my eyes and heart.


OK, see how much I flood (and flirt) myself with Reynolds' works?

Back to topic.

Excession is bought, mainly for the reason that... erm... I love blue colour. Notice the book cover and you know what I mean. It's the same reason how I broke my novel virginity with Reynolds. Yeah, I know I am stupid. And, yes, there is another reason. I love BDO.

You may ask what BDO is. It's a literary device meaning "Big Dumb Object". It means a huge object appear in the arc of the story but plays little or no significance to the story. Like the yellow brick road in Wizard of Oz, the brick road serves no purpose.

In Pushing Ice, the BDO is Janus, the huge (tiny) moon from Saturn. And in Terminal World, a relatively significant BDO is Spearpoint, a megastructure.

For Excession, we have - no prize for guessing right - a perfect black-body sphere that does absolutely nothing except protecting itself for no reasons (till the end is a different story, though, it even bid me farewell).

So, this novel is a very different novel. So different that my brain stops functioning for days before continuing. Reason? OK, so usually a story is written in any person's point of view. Like Snow White's story, you can get what Snow White did but never know what the Queen is doing due to the view is focused on Snow White.

In Excession, man, the point-of-view of characters are not living things at all! Gosh, you can see ships talking to each other, AI speaking and scolding a human etc. My mind suddenly requires additional time to settle things down. It's like listening two tables having a chitchat over a tiny table with a glass of weird coffee.

But all in all, the story is fun. You get to see a huge narrative on different subplots that makes you slowly sinks into the couch before continuing. The late author gives you time to set in, that's a huge plus otherwise I think your mind will go bluescreen and open in safemode.

If you wonder whether I will recommend this book, I say, three-and-a-half out of five yes! Try reading things in a weirder perspective! You can have more surprises than before!