Saturday, 19 September 2015

There Are Plenty Out There ...


Hello.

This is my first comic attempt.

I've always enjoyed drawing/doodling ever since I was old enough to hold a pen/pencil/colour marker, etc. 

Who do I owe thanks to? The creators of Sailor Moon

I was like obsessed with that anime, so much so, that when Malaysia decided to dub it in Cantonese, I learned it very quickly (I was like 5 at the time). All I remember drawing was Sailor Moon; I wanted the Super Sailor powers, I wanted to actually be Sailor Moon. 

So, not only did Sailor Moon grant me the focus and dedication to learn a new language, it also granted me the knowledge of Japanese comic art - manga. 

Granted, there was another Japanese comic I was introduced to at the time: Doraemon.
But ... Sailor Moon will always be my first love. 

My mother realised that I had some "potential talent" - this potential is actually the byproduct of A LOT of practice. 

As I grew up, my doodling juices waned. It was like a reserve that I emptied out as a kid, and it took forever to re-fill. I had bouts when I would draw for days on end, and then ... *POOF* Doodling juice gone. My laziness didn't help with the recharge rate either. 

And as with time, technology improved and still no mojo. Wish I could turn back time to spend more time practicing and gain more "social media" fame from the beginning. Now that I want to doodle, it's too late. All these new kiddos who took this opportunity at the time are already reaping the benefits - improved drawings/upgrade in their technique/technique exploration,etc.

Now, I'm stuck with pen & paper, a scanner and a cracked version of Photoshop CS3 ... with no pen tablet, so I've been outlining with my fingers on the trackpad. 

This comic is dedicated to the supposed "talent" I have. 

Wahh!


Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Braun Silk-├ępil 5 Epilator 5280 Review

I cannot stress upon the love I have for epilators! I took the opportunity to discard my old epilator when I moved from the Land Down Under - it was around five years old and the hair-plucking efficiency was lacking. 

Unfortunately, it took me about three months to order a new one as I decided to shave my pits (had some disposable razors). This was by far the worst decision I made in a long time. Why?

  1. Well, razors are expensive. Whether you purchase a disposable or "non-disposable/refillable" razors, at the end of the day,  it's going to end up in the bin. 
  2. Shaved hair grows back at a stupidly ridiculous rate - I don't know about you, but stubbles appear the day after shaving. 
  3. Additional shaving products needed - shaving cream. Doesn't last forever and again, goes in the bin after a while.
I hate shaving. Shaving sucks. Those unsightly, hideous stubbles return with a vengeance in less than two days. I am lazy and I do not enjoy having to repeat this process every alternate day. 

I also had a very, very, very bad experience in my early teenage years. I think I had a disposable razor with minute rust, ended up with a micro-cut (which I was completely unaware of), which turned into an abscess. Thinking it was a horrifically large pimple/boil, I waited a week to see if it will pop. Nope.  
The surface of the skin started showing hues of black and my mother took me to a skin specialist the very next day. The doctor said that he had to operate immediately. This involved a local anesthetic, a small incision, squeezing and A LOT of pus. 

Have you ever had someone pinch your underarm? It's one of the most sensitive areas with a lot of nerve endings. This is where the abscess was located. FML

Took my mother and the nurse to pin me down whilst the squeezing took place. I thought it was over when the doctor stop squeezing, but noo.... the nurse had a very long piece of gauze, dipped into an antiseptic (based on the colour, it could have been iodine) AND STUFFED IT INTO THE WOUND!! Had to return everyday for 3 days to get that damn gauze changed. 

Anyways, long story short, I was really unlucky. Might not have had it happen to you, but who knows?

Back to the original purpose of this post... I did a quick research for a new epilator candidate and decided on Braun

The website then directed me to a list of online shops which sold the product. I decided on Well.ca as it had a good deal at the time (I paid $77.95CAD with taxes included and free shipping). My purchase qualified for some free samples too! The best part? 1-3 business days free shipping for orders over $25CAD!!

So, it didn't take long before I received my parcel.


 Free samples! I love samples! Gimme more!

I love online shopping - every order delivered makes me feel like a child again during birthdays and Christmas!


 So sleek :D Definitely an upgrade from my old epilator


 Pivoting head attachment with pink massaging rollers


Efficiency cap 


Shaver head attachment


Shaver head attachment with the trimmer cap on.


 The cute, small cleaning brush.


 Cooling glove

It also comes with a white storage bag, which is big enough to store the epilator and its attachments, but not big enough for the cooling glove.

The Attempt:

The attachments were easy to swap around; no trying-to-break-your-fingernails in swapping attempts.

As of the writing of this review, I have yet to try out the efficiency cap, shaver/trimmer attachments, and the cooling glove, so I'm basing this purely on the performance of the epilator itself with the massaging rollers.

As aforementioned, as I had been shaving for a while, so my armpit hairs were course. I thought going back to epilating would be a breeze, but no....
After having the epilator hiatus, it felt like it was my very first time - it was painful!

I had to bite down on my lips to stop myself from yelping every time it yanked out those stubborn hairs.

To put this into perspective, my hairs were so course that after the torturous epilating session, I noticed a few small specks of blood. I did not take that as a bad sign, as with a good epilator, you want it to yank those little bastards out fully by the roots. This ensures a longer hair-free period.

The one thing I didn't like so much about this epilator is the bright light which is on the entire time that it was on. It is a very bright, white light, blinding at times. So bright, in fact, I think I might just be able to epilate in the dark. This feature would be very handy if you in a low-light environment, but I wish Braun would have an "OFF/ON" function for this light.

The massaging rollers... hmm. I didn't feel much of the "massaging", but I do like the rollers and the design of it. Makes it feel like it is "gliding" on my skin.

I forgot to mention that it has dual setting for speed. I tried mine out on the first setting for "extra gentle epilation". Gentle? Not really! I would probably recommend the second speed setting instead: the faster it plucks, the better. Efficiently get it over and done with.

Another good feature about this epilator is that you can wash this. I cleaned mine out with the brush only though (who has the time and effort to wash it each time?? Clean freaks) but I enjoy having the option to wash).

UPDATE:
I recently tried out the shaver head attachment and it works well. I used it on the bikini area, and was quite happy with the way it shaved. Mind you, it's more of a trimmer shaver rather than a clean-skin shave. Didn't use it with the trimmer cover.

The Results:

With any epilator, there is no 100% guarantee of plucking all of the hair by the roots - there will always be a few hair strands which breaks off. So, two days after the initial session, I did a very quick round to clean-up any missed hairs.

Flash forward a week and a half later (right now), I have like 30% of hair which has grown back. Most of them are fine hairs, with a few odd thick ones which survived the pulling of the roots.

I am so happy right now with my new epilator :)

Yes, it may hurt like a bitch initially, but with the reduction in hair growth and how fine is grows back, it won't be long before getting used to epilating. The best part is that I can expect a good several years of usage until it goes kaput/experience an electronic malfunction. Save your money and happy plucking days!

Pros:

  • Experience slower hair-growth (with finer hair as a result); longer hair-free period
  • Save a lot of money in the long-run - no additional products to worry about. Buy once, enjoy for years to come.
  • Comes with a variety of attachments and tools. [Update: shaver attachment is definitely a bonus!]
  • Yanks out the majority of hair by the roots - great tweezer hair grip.
  • Completely washable device
  • Has a guide light
  • Has a pivoting head
Cons:
  • There is some level of pain involved until your skin is used to it.
  • Initial out-of-pocket is quite high.

I'd give this product a 4.5 / 5 (the lack of 0.5 for the bright, blinding constant light feature), and highly recommend this to anyone. 



Thursday, 10 September 2015

A Confession: I Hate Kids



I suppose this underlying sensitive issue has been festering inside of me for quite some time now, and there's no better way for me to rant about it than to blog about it. Writing this, I am nearing my mid 20's and I fear that I will never change my mind on this topic (based on all the "advice" of women who previously never wanted children but ended up with some, apparently I will change my mind once the "maternal clock starts to tick" during the early to mid 30's) as I am slowly, but surely getting older. 

Sometimes I feel like I am the only person in the world who feels this way and meeting a person in real life who shares the same view is rare. Mostly I have to avoid the topic of conversation when it is brought up, just to smile, nod, and try my darnest to avoid mentioning my true feelings. Purely because if someone were to ask my true opinions on children, it would be more like this:

"Fuck, no."

This intense dislike of children popped up in my teenage years, when I asked some of my female classmates back in Kuala Lumpur how many children they would want. The average response was scarily identical. "Oh, I would want a boy and a girl. You?". Well, my answer back then was "Zero". Based on the responses I had received, I felt like I was the odd one out - a female who did not grasp the society's norms of bearing and raising children. However, that concern faded for a while as I was too occupied with the struggles of the teenage years and early adulthood.

It wasn't too long ago that this beast of a feeling reemerged from its deep slumber, and it is getting very hard to avoid as years pass. I am in a committed relationship for several years now, and well, sooner or later the topic of children finds its way into a conversation or comment. How do you tell someone you love that you really, really hate kids (or grandkids) and crush their dreams of eventual offspring? I feel that "I'm sorry, but kids aren't for me" doesn't really sit well with people, and the stares of impending disapproval is eminent.



Enough of incoherent rambling on about what I think, I'm going to start off with the whole blown process of my freak ideology.

Let's start off with the process of pregnancy:
Simple: a man and a woman exchange bodily fluids in the most enjoyable manner and if the healthy woman is not taking any contraceptive, naturally she's going to get knocked up. 

I'm going to publicly admit that I was once knocked up, and boy, the symptoms sucked balls. It can turn your favourite smell into the most nauseating experience ever, where you end up hunched over, hugging the toilet bowl, waiting for the smell to dissipate, and throwing up. The smell in question, was the smell of cooking steak. FML. I was about 4-5 weeks in. Let's just say I'm going to hell if there is one, cause my fear of having something growing inside me had led me to the decision to evacuate it. Steak was glorious once more. 

So, I didn't reach the stage where my belly was protruding with stretchmarks and swollen cankles & feet but the heightened sensitivity of the sensory system even in the early stages proved that the 9 torturous months was way too long.

I do not know if a man could ever empathize with what a woman goes through during this phase and men are lucky they don't have to. It is easy for a man to say "Oh, I want to have a family", when all he has to do is stick his body part into the woman's, exchange bodily fluids in a fun and enjoyable manner, and voila! Wait for 9 months and you get a kiddo whilst the woman suffers through it. Life isn't fair, is it?

As aforementioned, when I think pregnant, I think of the growing lump of cells as a tumor, rapidly growing and dividing until it forms a solid mass, which in turn turns into a parasite, leeching off the host of nutrients. What's the first reaction a person has when they learn they have a tumor? Normally, the reaction is to book an appointment with a doctor or surgeon to arrange a surgical removal. Just so happens that this sort of tumor is cuter than the normal kind.

"We rarely ask, “Why do you have kids?” Instead it’s “Why don’t you?”
 Lauren Sandler, TIME article

Onto the topic of childbirth:
How do you tell someone that when my mother and Year 10 Biology classes taught me about the female reproductive system, pregnancy and childbirth, I was so horridly scarred that I never wanted kids? I cannot fully blame my mother as she did the right thing by providing both pros and cons of bearing a kid (not many people are going to fully admit that a vaginal tear is excessively common, especially in Asian women who mostly have a smaller hip girth. To counteract this, doctors cut/snip the sides of the vagina). Yeah, no, fuck no. Like shitting yourself by accident in front of people and long hours of painful labour wasn't enough. 

Post childbirth: if snipped vaginal parts was the case, apparently peeing burned like a bitch. I have also read horror stories of unfortunate recovered women who were so turned-off by sex as it was no longer enjoyable due to the pain. I am too selfish for this shit; I am happy that my sexual organs will remain the same.

Of course, by stating that comment, the sure topic of the Cesarean will arise. Epidural? A needle to my spinal cord? Thinking about that alone is enough to make me cringe. Fuck, if you're going to cut me open for an invasive major abdominal surgery, I want to be solidly knocked out cold. None of that 'baby bonding science' bullshit. That kid can wait til I emerge from my slumber to fed and held, especially having to carry that damn thing around for 9 months. Or, the doctors can maybe plop that thing on my chest whilst being unconscious? Same thing right? Lol. Some people aren't designed to have children and I am one of them. 

The resulting offspring:
Most mothers have told me that the pain of labour and the sacrifice of the torturous nine months are all washed away upon looking & holding the newborn. The "love at first sight" is pretty much nature's way of rewarding you after being tortured, by making the female body releasing a huge amount of oxytocin, endorphin, dopamine and adrenaline. 

Sure, science has proved that the "love" thing does happen, but how do you love something that cries, eats and poops all the time?

I was recently surfing the web to see if I was the only person who feels this way, and so happen to stumble upon this forum/site. Seems like I'm not alone in this world. This user nailed my views (the IKEA reference was genius):

Couldn't have said it better

What I also do not understand is why some people want to have kids when they are poor? I respect the fact that some people are pro-life, however, it must suck balls. I wouldn't dare dream of having children if I am struggling financially. Hell, I can't even afford the things I want, let alone another mouth to feed. There is no doubt that raising a child is cheap. Think about it. If you have a child, for the next 18 years you are committed to feeding and clothing. Some articles to keep in mind:



With all that $$$ I could travel the world. Hell, if I have to wait 18 years to accumulate that sum and then go travelling, I can patiently wait. Costs of travelling as a family is extremely expensive! As a past travel consultant, plane tickets alone could have ranged from $6,000 ++ for a family of four (in this particular example, it was a flight from Brisbane to Danang). You'd, like, want to travel when the child is 0 - 1.5 years of age when fares are minimal (any child between 2 - 11 is considered a child, 11 onwards, an adult fare. Take care when purchasing airfares when your child turns two during time of travel - the airline will charge you a child's fare not an infant).

Being raised in the Asian (Chinese) culture however, makes me understand why people choose to have children. Based on my observation over the years, it is to my understanding that it tied closely to cultural norms; it is expected of the children to care for their parents as they age in return for the care they had received as children. It is considered quite shameful for their children to send them to nursing homes. In the Chinese culture, the eldest son is normally the first to take on the responsibility and even after marriage, he will live under his parent's roof along with his wife and child. Imagine living with your in-laws until they pass. Yikes!

Having children sounds highly unrewarding to me. Like what JerseyGirl1178 said, I am extremely grateful my mother made the decision to keep me and not throw me out a window.

Parents & Discipline:
Having been previously employed in a retail store which sells colourful stationery targeted at children as their target audience, I have learned to put up a fake persona and the ability to withstand kids. In my experience, I would say a large majority of kids that walk into the store are little shitty brats who throw an obscene tantrum.

I do not blame children on their behavior completely as it is natural for kids to be kids (tantrum and all), as they are in the developmental stage - I blame the parents and their lack of discipline. When I was a child, my mother never spanked me, but she would use the psychological, black-mail shit that would guilt-trip me into behaving (I'd much rather have the cane or a spanking as it would have been over and done with in comparison to the days-long guilt-trip affair).

I wonder if some of these parents just don't give a fuck or just oblivious to the fact that it is not normal to have running, screaming kids in public? I grew up sitting down next to my mother/grandparents in social events and behaving - unruly behaviour was shameful. If I was bored, they'd provide me with pen and paper to doodle on, whilst the adults were socializing. Kids were seen, not heard. In a parallel universe, where I had a kid, I'd be so embarrassed if he/she threw a tantrum, I'd drag their ass out of public view, leave immediately and give it a good caning at home. No one likes the sound of a screaming child - you are lying or in self-denial if you said you did (tell me a time when you enjoyed being in a plane/restaurant, only to have the experience ruined by an unholy screaming).

Schools in Malaysia still use corporal punishment for unruly children and boy, I must say it works. I'd never forget the time when I skimped out on my homework and our teacher had us kiddos who forgot to do their homework lined up in front of the classroom. Humiliation was worse than the cane, but that specific teacher had quite the cane. She gave us a nice swollen palm as a reminder. A nice enough reminder that even though a decade has passed, the memory is forever etched in my brain.

It doesn't help either that some countries are enforcing some bullshit "children rights" law which interferes with parents or teacher's ability to discipline children. I am not advocating child abuse where they are being kicked/punched/severely injured. Just enough discipline so that we are not having a generation of shitty, bratty kids getting away with bad behavior. Oops, too late. Wait, maybe there is hope for humanity.

Much to my chagrin, many parents these days are too fucking lenient with their children. Grow a spine and teach your child the consequences of misbehavior. You don't have to resort to my ideal discipline of caning, but grounding or taking away the internet etc., could be useful.

Judgement Time:
Gah! It frustrates me to tears that having children is the socially-expected norm. I maybe a sheep in a variety of ways, but this is one aspect that I absolutely refuse to be a sheeple. Reproduction in nature, is for the survival of the species and I think we humans are doing just a fantastically dandy job of doing so. I hate how I feel judged when I mention my views on this matter, like I'm some sub-human being or a bad person.

My partner asked what would happen when I grow old and who will be there to take care of us? Who was going to be at our death-bed? I do not know how to answer that, and the answer is normally family and friends. Having children doesn't guarantee the fact that you might still end up being in a nursing home with little to no visits from them, so what is the point? I feel that I am able to lead a healthy and fulfilling life without children.

Right now, as of writing this post, this topic also poses a slight problem in my relationship: he wants one eventually, whereas I do not. It is a strained conversation topic, normally shoved underneath a rug upon mere mention. It is the selfishness from both our parts: for him to expect me to maybe eventually have kids despite my strong feelings against it, and for me to think he'll give up the idea entirely.

Eleanore Wells, a market researcher in New York City, says that even in her mid-50s, she finds judgment at every turn. “So many women take my choice personally,” she says. Recently, she told me, a woman on the subway inquired if she had children and then asked, aghast, “Who is going to take care of you when you’re old?” Wells wanted to reply that nursing homes are filled with parents, but she says she just smiled, went home and packed her bags for an annual trip to Martha’s Vineyard with friends. “When I was younger I found it more exhausting,” she says. “Now I don’t give a s — – what anyone thinks. It gets easier.”
TIME article

If I ever get married, it's going to be a child-free/adult-only reception. In an ideal world, no kids at the ceremony too (if there's any, it's to please the groom-to-be's family not mine). I'd hate for a screaming child to ruin a vow and whatnot. Wedding photos only and off with it.

The stigma surrounding this topic should be erased - women should be able to able to make their own decisions of reproducing without being stigmatized. Some women want to have kids, some don't - it shouldn't be expected. It is also not fair to bully a woman to believe that her choice in procreating is wrong.

End note:
For anyone who wishes to have children, go for it; it is your choice to do so and go for it. However, I wish that people will respect mine, and not be under any scrutiny of sorts. I feel that I would be a shitty mother as I find the whole concept absolutely repulsive, and I really do not enjoy being in the presence of kids.

"And no woman should have to submit to society's relentless questioning on the matter."
- Erin Migdol, .MIC article