Joe Kidd: What To Do When You “Demam”?
So I was “demam” for the last two days. In fact today, it’s the third day, and I’m still suffering from sniffles, a bit of a headache and the intermittent nicotine-withdrawal (which I must admit, being occasionally fed with much regret).
However I do feel a bit better, and this is why I’m feeling quite fit and sane of mind; enough to get on the computer and update Ricecooker today with some comments here and there.
But how did I face the long boring sniffly, toilet-frequenting, jugs-of-water-drinking, profusely-sweaty days and nights?
Well, first of all, I was banned by the missus from using the computer, so for the first time (barring some holidays and the usual Streamyx-centric disconnections) I was off the net for more than 48 hours! Gasp!
Yup! 2 bloody days without the net. No emails. No mp3 downloads. This is not usual boss! No macsurfer.com. No malaysiakini.com.my. No ricecooker.kerbau.com. No working on websites. No MySQL databases, no PHP and err, no porn. No life basically.
But I must admit, there were some torrents being downloaded as I lay ill, the most important one being How To Play Rock Guitar, an instructional DVD which would teach me the tricks of guitar solos! Soon, that naughty guy the Verykurangajar will have nothing to crow about! I will float like Jimi Hendrix and sting like a Caspar Brötzmann!! Hehe!
I was also banished to the front room, since the missus don’t wanna get any jangkitan. The bedroom was off-limits. Even the bedroom’s tandas, so I had to use the general bathroom outside and over there the toilet seat has cracks in it and they would bite yr arse off!
It’s a cold thing to do, I believe my missus is a fascist.
You know the song by The Police, Bed’s Too Big (Without You)? Anyway, it was the “couch” and there I was cast; dozing away, watched TV, reading and sneezing my nose off for two days and nights.
It’s a big couch though, we inherited it from some friends of the fascist’s sister who went off to live in Beijing. It’s so big that two persons can lie on it and have a good night sleep. It has been serving us well over the years, so many visiting punks have been laying their weary heads there. And yes, we’ve washed the covers after them crusties. Once at least!
So there I was, condemned to rot, sweating away in my sarong, jams and sweaters, sometimes accompanied by some or one of our five cats. (BTW; That picture shows me dozing away with Ben).
As per usual with meeting a demam session head-on, i would get one “papan” of good ‘ol Panadol, have two tablets with warm water, sweat it out and repeat. If that doesn’t work, I’ll add in more layers of “kain selimut”, put on a t-shirt, with a sweater on top, and a pair of jogging-pants, and do all the above allover again.
So it’s mostly sleep. But it can get very boring boss! Besides, these days them nyamuks are pretty nasty. The buggers kept me waking up in the wee hours.
I tried going through Harry Potter’s last book (the one before the new utterly hyped-up one) but that didn’t work, so I tried reading George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia, but that didn’t do the trick, then I decided to read something much lighter than wizards, wands and the Spanish revolution; good ol’ magazines and punk rock fanzines!
MacWorld UK: I’m a Mac user and actually very much a nerd when it comes to Apple computers, so I try to get the magazines, especially MacWorld UK and MacAddict (but MacAddict is no more, it’s now called boringly as MacLife).
Web Designer: an excellent read filled with great step-by-step tutorials for web designers. I would read this religiously. It’s my prime bedside reading. Another good one is also from the UK, .NET (website here)
Maximum Rock’n’Roll: always a good read, even though not as excellent as before. Now I only go through the columns, some reviews and definitely the scene reports. The interviews can get really boring sometimes. And the letters page? The same shit since the early 80s!
Short, Fast & Loud: Managed to get all the old issues from issue 10 onwards, so I’m checking them out.
Read through #16 but I find the writing quality left so much desired. It’s filled mainly with crap writing but good pictures. I think a lot of punk rock columnists have lost their art somehow. This is why MRR still tops when it comes to good write-ups.
Mojo: The Stooges reunion issue. Mojo can get pretty boring since most of the articles are so back-to-the-60s-and-70s rock gods worship, and so I prefer Uncut which features a hell lot more good, knowledgable writers on good music no matter from what era it is.
But this Mojo issue (April 2007) features Iggy and gang, the whole story of the Detroit monsters who created punk rock and comes complete with a CD featuring tunes selected by Iggy as The Stooges’ influences-by-numbers collection.
Now that’s one very important read!
Wire: Found an old issue but selling very cheap at the neighbourhood Kiosk store a month ago.
An excellent feature on The Melvins! And comes with a free CD too! Yeah!!
If you wanna get into the more adventurous part of the musicscape, the truly progressive angle to punk and post-punk and beyond, do get yourself a copy, every month.
It’s a bit difficult to find nowadays here in Malaysia but maybe Borders have it. Borders also carry MRR.
Mantra #1: First issue of this poetry collection featuring 12 writers (including Nizam Zakaria, Rahmat Haron, and many more) with artworks by our friend Zaxx.
A very good read, but I have to comment that printing done in colour (all the pages in colour) is a bad idea. The total cost of each book (32-pages, A5 size) comes up to.. a lot!
If it was printed black’n’white with one sheet of colour as the cover, then it would be much, much cheaper. Maybe the 2nd issue then.
note: Mantra #1 is available at The Ricecooker Shop for RM7.
Then I have The Star and theSun newspapers, which I subscribed daily coming in through the door hot off the press every morning.
I particularly in support of The Sun nowadays, they have a lot of good, inquisitive reportage nowadays. Giving some city councils a lot heat in terms corruption and abuse of power.
The Star is full of shit stuff manoeuvred by MCA, so I don’t really know why i still subscribe to it. Well, reading between the lines in pretty fun tho’.
Anyway, a lot of reading there. But I also got bored with reading lah. So I watched movies.
I started out with bad movies, movies that would make you stupid, if not totally an imbecile. I find them comforting in some ways, just turn it on and laugh at the stupid jokes. No need to think lah.
Later on I moved to much better ones, modern classics. Here we go:
Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo (2005): When it comes to Hollywood brain-draining exercises, Rob Schneider movies have always been top of the heap. Not even Jim Carrey can top the guy lah. I mean just look at that face!
This is the sequel to Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo (1999) and it’s about Deuce being a “man-whore” in Amsterdam, working with his old pimp TJ (now accused as “The Extremely Gay Serial Murderer”).
Very bad scripting, infantile ribbings and worse jokes but I lasted through it all with some great laughs. Very racist, sexist and homophobic fare gone upside-down. serious PC-types should avoid at all cost!
American Wedding (AKA American Pie 3: The Wedding) (2003): Yup! The third retarded instalment in the American Pie saga. Again another no-brainer, skipping along with one crude joke after another, bits of tits’n’arse in-between, and more utter stupidity from the college-frat pile of shit. Enjoyable but not as good as the first though. Again, not for the faint of heart.
note: Before I go on, here’s the disclaimer: Me and the missus didn’t go and buy those DVDs above. It was left here by the missus’ lil’ bro, who also bought Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift (which was really fun! Better than the 2nd and 3rd) and The Pathfinder (AKA Pathfinder: Legend of the Ghost Warrior) (which is okay, that is in a very cheap Lords of The Rings meets Pocahontas way)
He also bought this Korean movie, The Ghost Train (AKA Red Eye or Redeu-ai) (2005): An absorbing thriller which found me hiding between my toes at times.
Tell you the truth, I like “cerita-cerita hantu” like most but hell, cannot watch it alone. But there’s nobody to teman me, so i watched this alone at 3pm in the afternoon lah. Tak takut pun, tapi seram jugak especially when the train in the movie stopped for 10 minutes and then changed into a gory, murderous ride; all green tint and bloodied.
It’s very well done, from the acting to them creepy characters to the art-design and lighting. I like. But the ending is a bit all over the place lah. But it’ll worth your while. I cannot compare it to other Korean horror movies as I’ve never managed to finish watching them. Heh.
Keeping Mum (2005): I would describe this as a delightful “sinister-sheenanigans-in-the-suburbs” kinda movie but the DVD started to jerk around at the 4th quarter. I would have to finish this up by watching it on the computer but hey, I was banned from there remember?
Anyway, I always liked small English movie with their villages and small townships as the backdrop. I don’t know why but I have always liked that. I have never been to ENgland to see that sort of places myself but I’m keen.
Keeping Mum features the very sexy Kristin Scott-Thomas and Mr. Beans (Rowan Atkinson) and the astounding thespian Maggie Smith. Rowan Atkinson, however is NOT in a funny role, but as one Reverend Goodfellow who’s wife is having an affair and his daughter sleeping with all the local kids and his son being bullied at school. Out came a helper, or maid. An old lady who somehow managed to solve all the problems… by killing everyone who has inconvenienced the nice family!
I love it. Simple stuff but a bit of twist which I need to see later tonight.
I ended my movies-spree with two very good movies:
Junebug (2005): Ah, another simple movie, this time an American one with the redneck, rural country of North Carolina as the backdrop and mannerism. A newly married couple drove there from Chicago with two reasons, one (for the outsider-art gallery owner wife) is to entice one major but newly discovered artist into her outfit and the other, to meet the husband’s family.
It’s a dour, awkward family though. The other son (Johnny) is an angry, confused young man (AKA a typical redneck), while Johnny’s wife is a talkative young lady, pregnant with their first kid. The parent both, keep to themselves, firm and never joyful.
So here’s this “city” couple going to the backwaters, trying to fit in and be a part of a family that hardly understands them.
It’s good ride with sparse musical accompaniment and great acting. Some of the music is actually made by indie-darlings Yo La Tengo but I didn’t hear them much.
This is a must watch if you’re into small movies with big hearts.
And finally, Chinatown (1974): People say this is one of the most important movies ever made. And for the first time, I watched and thoroughly enjoyed it as the tragedies unfold, both as past events and also unravelling on the screen.
Directed by Roman Polanski and written by Robert Downe with the amazing early Jack Nicholson and femme fatale Faye Dunaway, this is a well-written achievement and well-executed noir (or “film noir); a detective film of the Raymond Chandler school of writing with bits of differences which made it more powerful.
Basically, a dapper, successful private-eye got himself carelessly embroiled in a political scandal threatening the Los Angeles city’s Water and Power Department’s Chief Engineer.
When the Chief engineer was found dead, trails of corruption, greed. murder and intimidation started to crack through. Throw in classic the femme fatale figure and John Houston as the corrupted industrialist father and things started to heat up…
Do check it out! Here’s a review.
OK. That’s it I guess. Apart from some nice chicken soup (by the fascist)! And yes, the increasingly predictable CSI TV series. And of course, some music. It was all Bob Dylan’s tunes from 1978 onwards, crammed up as mp3s on a DVD-R, going on repeat!