Monday, November 30, 2015

3 Reasons Why the Nametag Ripping Game Should Be Removed

One of the concrete pillars in Running Man is undeniably the nametags. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Running Man is the first variety show in the world to implement the use of nametags, and the subsequent game of nametag ripping which stemmed from it. And what a game it is. Throughout all the episodes of Running Man, I can honestly say that my favorite episode include a lengthy amount of time dedicated to watching the members mercilessly rip off each other's nametags in a battle to the death.

BUT, and I know a lot of Running Man fans are going to hate this post, I think that the nametag ripping game on the show has finally reached a point where it should either be revamped, or removed completely. 

Don't get me wrong, I love the nametag ripping game as much as any Running Man fan.I have written in the past about how much I love the nametag ripping game. I mean, the nametag ripping game was what gave Running Man its unique side on South Korean TV. It's the most iconic part of the show, and if done properly, can provide some of the most exciting moments on Running Man. 

But why then am I even suggesting to change something so iconic? Well, here are 3 reasons why I think the nametag ripping game has gone way past its peak. 

#3 The predictability

The nametag ripping game has reached a point of predictability. When the Running Man members do it by themselves, ala the 1st Ultimate Running Man and Superpower episodes, the results are pretty much set. 

Kim Jong-kook will most probably win by ripping off everyone's nametags, unless there was a reflect or a particular plot twist that the producers put in. Otherwise, who else can face up to the Commander's strength? Wait, there is something that is better than the Commander; betrayal by either HaHa or Kwang-soo or a multi-pronged attack by all the members. 

It's happened so many times in the past that almost everyone can predict what will happen. 

#2 The skillfulness

Don't quote me on this, but I remember reading from one of the thousand tweets during Running Man's fanmeetings the question of why Running Man doesn't do nametag ripping as often as it did in the past. I remember reading that Ji Suk-jin, or one of the other members answer; the Running Man members have just gotten too good at ripping nametags.

It's to a point that most of the guests who appear on the show are no match for the Running Man members, which often results in the members going easy on them. 

#1 The injuries

If you think that the nametag ripping game is all fun and lollygagging, I'll please direct your attention to the epic 100 v 100 episode that Running Man did in episode 272. There were more than a few instances of people actually falling down hard, or slipping up when being chased. 

When the nametag ripping game is in action, especially when it comes to dealing with amateurs, there is a larger chance of getting hurt in the process. The Running Man members are all pros and have sufficient know-how in not getting hurt, but you can see how some guests just go all out with arms flailing to either protect or rip off the nametags. 

In such a physical game, there is bound to be injuries and unfortunately, a lot of companies and managements don't want their prized celebrities getting hurt. Plus, the members themselves aren't getting any younger, and such taxing games might further aggravate their injuries; like in the case of Jong-kook.

Again, I'm not saying that the nametag ripping game should go completely. But maybe the producers can find ways to change the nametag ripping game to something which would suit its aging cast and amateur guests. The Yoomes Bond Water Gun Specials are an example of how a nametag elimination game can be played. 

What do you think? Should the nametag ripping game stay, or should it be retired in a blaze of glory? Leave a comment below!


Thursday, November 26, 2015

My Mom The Ultrawoman

Elsie Tang Wai Keng. Mother, wife, Ultrawoman. That last one is legit because of how many times she just magically appears when we're in time of need. She is a person who says it as it is, something that she has passed on to the rest of us. So as she turns 53 today, I just want to take this opportunity to remind her that she's inching closer to getting cheaper movie tickets with her new status as a senior citizen. 

I kid, which is something she remarkably has no ability of. 

So in true Sarcasm Puh-leeze fashion, I'll be listing out some of the things which make my mom who she is, and the reasons why these little things about her make her that much more amazing as a mother and a wife.

My mom loves collecting things. I've never been to the National Museum here in Kuala Lumpur. Who needs to when my house is like a literal museum? My mom collects almost everything she finds nice (which is everything). Curiosity shops are her favorite because she can find the tiniest little china set and place it prominently on the top shelf in her kitchen, where it will remain until the aliens invade earth.  

My mom is a great cook. She used to scour bookstores for old cookbooks and then put her own twists to the recipes. She used the old school cooking technique of overcooking everything because it would mean that even the germs were cooked. Nowadays, she's upgraded to scouring the Internet on her iPad for said recipes, even if it comes from a dodgy site like The Breaking Baker, for example. If anyone would like a personal recipe from my mom's wide collection, I would suggest you don't. 

My mom has a green thumb. We live in a condominium but my mom is adamant about maintaining a garden. Not a few small potted plants indoors kind of garden but an actual garden, complete with tomato plants, cili padi and even a small palm tree. A garden also requires lots of earth for said plants to root. In case you didn't know, the second floor of our condo doesn't have any of those things. Therefore, a garden becomes as irrelevant as an autumn leaf in the middle of winter. Plus, a garden needed people to help water and weed the plants. Note that this is a time when child labor is already a criminal offence. 

My mom's English is amazing. Her English is a mix of proficient and whimsical. My mom is proud to announce to us that she took the Cambridge level English exam when she was in high school and passed with a B4. The only B4 I know is that the test is way B4 our time. Words are frequently mispronounced ("That dress is so ni che" or "I think I might have Alzizer's Disease") and meanings are very often taken literally ("What "join the club"? Why are you clubbing?) Any opportunity to correct her is met often with stony silence. And no mom, it doesn't mean the stones are silent. 

Her lack of literacy doesn't only extend to the books, but also to anything technological. How many times does one have to teach a person to drag and drop TVB theme songs into a flash drive before it becomes tedious? I mean, it's literally just drag and drop. It's so self explanatory. It's not rocket science. 

But even with all of her amazing patterns, my mom remains the person she is because all these pattern pattern has shaped me and my brother into who we are today. We may be a slightly dysfunctional family unit at times, and may even have the urge to brutally maim one and other, but it's my mom who maintains the peace and harmony in the best way she knows how. 

Y'know, like Ultrawoman. Happy birthday mom! 


Thursday, November 19, 2015

How To: Color Like An Adult

Adult coloring has become one of the biggest sensations sweeping the world since people discovered they could deep fry bacon strips. Almost everyone I know is doing it; some because they have an intense preoccupation with being preoccupied, and some because they are bandwagon jumpers. But at the end of it, adult coloring doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

Which is why I decided to take some time off to discover more about this intense fad that has taken over the world's womenfolk. In order to write this blog post, I went out to buy a stack of adult coloring books and a box of reliable color pencils that would start me on my journey towards the zen like freedom associated with adult coloring.

I had to get started with...

Step 1: Get stressed

Most people pick up adult coloring because they're stressed out. So naturally, the first thing you have to do is get stressed out. Luckily, I have a full time job, which fulfills my stress quota sufficiently.

Pictured: Stress.

Being stressed out is key to adult coloring, I'm told, because why else would you sit there for hours on end just coloring shapes?

Step 2: Picking your tools

Tools here would refer to your coloring book and color pencils. Can't I use crayons, you ask. No you can't because you aren't 12 years old and this isn't a children's coloring book. While it doesn't seem like buying an adult coloring book would require a step in itself, it has become increasingly difficult to pick out the best ones. Since the success of these books, there have been tons of publications who have started publishing their own series (see jumping on the bandwagon). You can get titles like Enchanted Fairies, Animal Kingdom, Secret Garden, and even the freaking Game of Thrones coloring book.

I guess incest must be pretty fun to color.

Step 3: Pick a reason to start coloring

Just like the time when your boss ripped you a new one in front of all your colleagues because of something that obviously wasn't your fault. Anyone could have made that mistake, but choosing you as the scapegoat was only too easy. Your colleagues avoid your pleas for help, your manager shakes her head, your cleaning lady snickers under her breath. After work, go buy all the adult coloring books available, get a set of sturdy coloring pencils, go home and start coloring. Color until your hands are numb and your vision swims with the underwater patterns you are filling in. Go to bed when you realize that the patterns you see are not actually from the book.

Listen to the rumours going on around the office about you and your working habits. Try your best to drown out Amy's screeching voice with thoughts of the blue-streaked tiger you were coloring last night. Head straight home after work and start coloring again. Color until your arms are sore. Color until the underside of your palms become chaffed and your skin starts peeling. Stop, eat, continue coloring.

The boss gives you an ultimatum in front of the whole office; get your shit together or get out. You imagine his face as the bald otter you were filling in the night before and a small smile appears on your face. This infuriates him further and he goes on an expletive-ridden rant that ends with you shoving him. Security is called. Go home with your box of belongings. Sit down at your table and start coloring. Don't stop for that cramp that is hitching up your right shoulder. Ignore that pain slowly working its way through your fingers. Remember the humiliation your boss gave you today. Remember his words. Find the strength to go on. Color.

Go to your nearest bookstore and ask about the adult coloring group. They tell you about a small group of enthusiasts who meet every Tuesday nights at the bookstore. Agree to join them. Attend your first ever adult coloring gathering. Discuss your favorite drawings with other enthusiasts. Agree to try out one of the newer pieces that never interested you before. Start coloring. Talk. Laugh. Color. Realize that these people you have just met have more in common with you than your colleagues. Continue coloring.

You see your ex-colleagues posting up pictures of company dinners, drinking sessions and trips abroad together. Feel a knot in your stomach as you remember what that job meant to you. You feel tired, depressed, jobless. You go to sleep.

You color every day. The pain in your arms and fingers are replaced with a need to continue coloring new pieces. Your pieces lovingly decorate every corner of your small apartment. You realize that you are running out of coloring books. Go online and browse through even more collections. Select those that you have never colored before. Click "Buy". Sit back. Wait. Color.

You look forward to your Tuesday meetups with your coloring group. You jokingly call yourselves The Skittles, because you color the rainbows. You exchange tips on shading, toning, techniques of coloring which make your works even more beautiful. By now, you know these guys and girls by heart. Jimmy's the joker, Freda's cookies are amazing. You feel a new warmth around these people. Thoughts of your colleagues erase from your mind.

A new girl joins your coloring group. She shows off her picture of a mandala, and you think that it's the most beautifully colored picture you have ever seen. She introduces herself as Emily. Her coloring technique fascinates you, mesmerizing strokes up, and down. You hit it off immediately with her as you share your own coloring works with her. You invite her to coffee, and she accepts.

You meet Emily more often outside of the coloring group. She's always eager to show you her latest piece of coloring work. You are hooked onto her every word. You won't admit it, but you have slowed down considerably on your own coloring works. You won't tell her because it's all she seems to talk about. But for you, your life no longer revolves around the patterns and shapes found in the coloring books. Your ex-colleagues call you and invite you for a night out in town. You don't return their calls. Your life has a new light. For the first time in a long while, you are content.

You decide that it is time to make the next move with Emily. You book a table for two at a swanky restaurant. Emily rushes in, a bit late. Traffic, she says to you with a smile. The smile that makes you willing to forgive anything she has ever done. You make small talk, mostly about the different kinds of coloring books there are. You order the chicken, she takes the fish. More talk about coloring books. You feel that it is time to switch it up. You ask her about her job. "Accountant", she says with a smile, "What about you?" You pause a bit before telling her you're in between jobs. She stops eating abruptly.

"You're jobless? What are you, some kind of bum?" her words echo throughout your empty room, hours after you get home. You remember the way Emily awkwardly left the restaurant after saying those hurtful words, leaving you with a hefty bill and a broken heart. Her words hurt, like a thousand little dagger stabbing you in the heart. You turn around on your bed, and a single tear rolls down your cheek.

Step 4: Get stressed

You realize that adult coloring was never for you because color pencils break too easily.

Just like your heart.