Thursday, January 31, 2008

Reality Online

I saw this ad on Bee Ree's blog, and knowing that she earns a certain amount if I clicked it, I did. It brought me to the page - Malaysian Dreamgirl - which is a model search reality program, run entirely online (but public voting for the winner is carried out through SMS... because voting online cannot earn the organizers money. Duh!).

The site is calling for girls to attend the auditions on Feb 16 and 17, and behold - the requirements for this:

"You are welcome to audition so long as you are a Malaysian female between 18 to 28 years of age from any race. You should also not be professional model, TV or movie artiste."

Just that? No minimum height requirements nor maximum weight limit. No mention of possessing favourable looks and personalities whatsoever. No mention of marital status requirements either. This is just great! I qualify for this! I should go for it since it will be an experience of a lifetime! If I'm lucky to get through it, I can even get a taste of a model's life and if my luck doesn't run out, I'll be famous! Wait, what is this? Under "terms and conditions":

"The Contest is open to female citizens of Malaysia between 18 and 28 years of age in the year 2008, except for full-time employees of Capxion Media."

GAH! I am too old! Don't mind me then. Are there any of you out there who think you are too short / fat / ugly / grumpy to be a model? What are you thinking?! The only requirement is to be between 18 & 28 yrs old - so go and audition! :P

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The (fluff)Fren-zy

A few close friends of mine joined Facebook not long ago, and eventually, I got invitations from people whom I don't say "No" to, and there I was. It was a little overwhelming at first, because there are so many things in it. After some time, we got the hang of it, and thereafter, started to get addicted! There are endless applications that can be added to a user's account and the activities are simply infinite.

The real addiction for me and my two Roomees - Bee Ree and Mee Mee - came in form of (fluff)Friends. In this application, the user adopts a (fluff)friend - a "fluffy", cute little animal - which has to be petted and fed, and can race with other fluffs. A fluff gains speed (fph) from the food fed to it (so the more a fluff is fed, the faster it becomes, and the higher the chances of it winning a race). The user can earn "munny" to buy food for her fluff by petting other users' fluffs and by winning bets on races. The most obviously damaging addiction is the betting on races. We do realise how bad gambling is and how we shouldn't indulge in it uncontrollably, although it was only munny we lose... but still - we are addicted to racing our fluffs and betting on the races. Expectedly, big winnings are not easy to come by, so to support our compulsive gambling needs (not to mention the necessity of buying food to feed our fluffs), we began to wander all over the place, petting strangers' fluffs to earn that miserable 5 munny per petting (gosh!)

As if the vicious petting-racing-betting affliction was not enough, somewhen in December last year, (fluff)Friends gave special minis (miniature fluffs that can be included in a fluff's habitat) as bonuses for fluff owners who invite their friends to add the application. For 15 invites, we get a

and for 30 invites we get a

These minis are not available for purchase in the Minis Shop, unlike the usual fluff minis. Now, I am not the kind who would blindly and indiscretely send invites to my friends, especially those I know who wouldn't be interested, or wouldn't have the time. But this offer of exclusive minis was too appealing, the temptation impossible to resist. The only way to get rid of a temptation is to give in to it (Oscar Wilde). So we gave in - all three of us. We spammed every single person in our friends lists with fluff invites, just so we get our Rains and Dears. Bad enough? No - there's more to come.

Earlier, last November, (fluff)Friends held a habitat-giveaway contest. Users were asked to give habitats to fluffs who never owned one, and earn points along the way. The top 1000 scorers get a limited edition
"mini Uniko"

which of course, cannot be bought with munny. At the time, we were not obssessed enough to be caught up in the habitat-giving frenzy. However, recently, there was another contest - minis-giveaway. Users who give minis to fluffs who never owned minis earn points. The top 1000 scorers will get the not-for-purchase grand prize -
"MegaMini (pink) Uniko"!

Mee Mee was so infatuated by the pink uniko that she went all out to earn points. She gave minis to every single eligible fluff she could find, and at the peak of her insane desperation, she gave away her Rain and Dear! The two minis that can't be bought back!! (someone ought to had splashed cold water on her the moment she thought of that!) Since there was the constraint of a limit of 5 minis per day to fluffs who are not her facebook friends, she went to lengths to send invite reminders, pester her facebook friends to adopt fluffs, even add strangers (whose fluffs had no minis) as friends. There were days she woke up at 6.30am just to give minis! She managed to stay in the top 2500 list for most of the contest period, managed to squeeze into top 1000 once or twice, but sadly, did not win the prize she so wanted.

Despite invite bonuses and contests, (fluff)Friends still happen to think that we users aren't driven crazy enough. So they introduced the
"(fluff)Race Trophies".

These are challenge trophies that a fluff can win when it challenges other fluffs to race. There are several criterias to fulfill to win each of the bronze, silver and gold trophies - but the main one is that the fluff must be fast enough to win most of its challenge races. So there we go again - feeding frenzy, racing frenzy, betting frenzy (will this ever end?). Mee Mee doubled her fluff's speed in a day or two and increased her winnings percentage very rapidly. Bee Ree increased her fluff's speed almost tenfold within days! Needless to say, both of them very quickly, through extreme over-feeding and continuous racing, won their 3 trophies.

I was left behind with just the bronze one. So what do the Roomees do? They supported me like mad - Bee Ree dedicated her fluff activities to feeding my fluff for days, and Mee Mee shared her contest winnings, a +250fph (fluff) food, with my fluff. I was told to concentrate on racing. "Just keep racing. I will keep up the feeding" Bee Ree said to me, more than once, during my quest for the ultimate trophy - the gold. I raced all my friends' fluffs and raced as many strangers' slowpoke fluffs (of course I don't race fluffs with speeds higher than mine) as I could find - every day after work, and continously through the weekend. I kept it up a while, but it got too intense, and very tiring. In the end, in my desperation, I overcame the limit of 8 races per hour by hijacking my other half's facebook account, and using his fluff to continuously race mine (and lose to mine, because his is considerably slower), in addition to my fluff racing others, to increase my winnings percentage. And yes, finally, I got the damn gold trophy I wanted so much - and I can't even hold it because it's virtual! #*%$&

So, are all the craze and frenzy over? I don't know - but Bee Ree said she hopes there will be something new on (fluff)Friends soon. Hasn't she been driven crazy enough? Apparently... NO. (SOS!!!)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Disgusting Men

My friends and I walked into this foodcourt and ... there he was, sitting at a table with his man-friends, apparently having finished their meal. They were chatting casually, and he was sitting easily, slouching, one leg crossed over the other - one bare foot on top of his other knee. His hands were on his foot, nicely picking or plucking (or whatever the term is) his toes with his fingers. You probably can imagine the level of disgust I felt, without me having to describe how sooty and dirty his feet looked, or how his fingers moved in and between each toe, like he's trying to scratch or scrap whatever out. Ugh! It took a lot of will power to sit still, order and have lunch like we intended.

I had just finished my meal, and was nicely relaxing, sipping my tea, when I heard one of the teenagers seated at the next table announced, very audibly, that he was full. To emphasize, or prove his words, he slouched the maximum he could on the chair, pulled the front of his shirt up all the way to his chest, exposed his rounded belly, and began rubbing it with his hand, while going "Aaaahhhhhhh". He actually kept it up for a couple of minutes, shamefully revolting and irritating as it was. Ughh! Of course, his friend didn't share my opinion - they laughed and enjoyed his tummy-rubbings as though it were the most endearing act one could pull in a public restaurant.