Thursday, December 30, 2004


Just by looking through your eyes
He could see the future penetrating
right in through your mind
See the truth and see your lies
But for all his power couldn't foresee his own demise

- The Clairvoyant, Iron Maiden, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son

If you could, would you like to know your future ?

Tempting prospect isn't it ? If you knew the ifs and whens that are coming, it would be easier wouldn't it ? It'll be like playing a PC game with cheat codes and a downloaded walkthrough. You'll know what to avoid and what to take advantage off. Think of all the mistakes you could avoid doing ! And all the opportunities that you might've missed if you didn't have the prior knowledge ! Life would be a cake walk !

Before I go on, this post is partly inspired by Sativa's post recently. Sativa is a very creative, thoughtful girl. I find her writing fascinating.

Anyway, sometimes I do wish I know what will happen. I think that'll save me many hours of anxiety and trepidation. Especially when it involves something particularly life changing like a new job or a relationship. Avoid all the pitfalls and go straight to the good stuff. No pain ! No hassle ! No agonizing about making the right choices ? This future knowledge thing is good, no ?

Yes it is good. On paper.

Humans being that we are, how fast do you think before life gets boring ? Everything's so predictable, so dull, so unsurprising. We're like that we humans, never ever happy for long with anything.

So do I want to know what my life will turn out to be ? Do I want to know the furure ? Do I want to know how and when it all ends ?

No thanks.

Life is what it is because of its impossibility to predict. A constant source of pain it is. But also a contant source of hope.

My life is still kinda rutty right now. There are times when I feel like a rifleman in the trenches of the Somme, being shelled and gassed and machine-gunned and not being able to do anything about it other than digging a hole in the ground and taking cover.

But even then and despite all evidence to the contrary, I feel that things can get better. Of course no one really knows what "better" is but lets not spoil the imagery shall we.

Therefore despite all the apparent advantages of knowing the future, I'd rather not know thank you very much.

Animal Instinct ?

The toll for Boxing Day's tidal waves are now stand at 77,000. And still counting.

In my books, this event has been upgraded from "cataclysmic" to "apocalyptic". For many communities, it was an apocalypse. I've read all over the Net about how some remote settlements and villages in places like the west coast of Sumatra and Sri Langka have been totally erased. No buildings, no survivors, just rubble and corpses.

Such is nature's power. Makes you think doesn't it ?

And for some, one thing that will emerge from all this is a healthy respect and awe for our lowly, much maligned, much neglected, much hunted animal friends. We all know the human toll. But apparently in Yala National Park in Sri Langka, overflights suggest that the local animal population did not suffer significant losses. In fact, evidence suggests that they knew what was coming and fled inland wholesale.

I'm not surprised at all. I have seen and read enough to believe that animals can sense things like earthquakes. I think all animals have it. Except humans apparently.

Anyone who keeps dogs at home will tell you that animals see and hear and feel things we can't. Which is one reason why dogs make excellent sentries (like ours, my house has never ever been broken in to, touch wood) and mine sweepers. But I'm digressing here.

Thus ends today's installment of Interesting Fact of the Day.

In other happenings, my New Years' Eve get-together is still a go. Perhaps it will be a bit less rambunctious than it might have been considering the circumstances, but I for one am determine to get moving and live normally. Still, I think I'll not be wallowing about in the surf this time around. Yes it will be at the beach.

Do to my unexpected two extra days of work, I had to rearrange a few things. I went to a friend's house yesterday to pass cash to buy stuff. I have to go and pick up my nice looking frameless glasses tomorrow and rush home to get ready.

And another good thing happening is the Bloggers' meet tonight. I hope people come. It'll be nice to meet up with them again.

And yesterday evening, I looked up at the sky and it was a gorgeous day. I wish I had a camera. Talking about the camera, there's a problem with my credit card application. It's been delayed due to a "problem". So no camera anytime soon.

It's time to go and do some work now. More later.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Worst Ever

There's no official word yet, but from what I know it's true.

Sunday's Boxing Day tsunamis are now the worst ever tidal wave disaster in modern history. When Krakatoa blew in 1883, the resulting tidal waves took out 36,000 people. And in 1896, another tsunami struck Japan killing around 27,000 people. One wave was 125ft high.

Up till this hour, the toll for Sunday's cataclysm now stands at 40,000. And the numbers are still climbing. So now we have a new number one.

Not a good record to have.

There's not a lot anyone can do about tsunamis and tidal waves. You could put up sensors and buoys. You could have monitoring and warning systems. But how fast can you react. Tidal waves can travel at 800 miles per hour. Can you evacuate whole communities in one hour ?

So what can you do ? Against Mother Earth herself ? Not a lot. Her wrath is undeniable and unstoppable.

I was talking about this just now with some colleagues and we came up with a survival tip. If you're on a beach and you see the ocean suddenly recede at an unnaturally fast rate, RUN LIKE HELL.

Receding waterlines are the surest sign of a tidal wave. Remember that. Don't trust your life with some warning system I say. They're only as reliable as the equipment and the people who operate them. And as we all know, people and equipment can fail.

So keep an eye out this weekend right ? I know lots of people will be at the seaside on New Years' Eve. Including myself.

Also I found this link. And many others like it. So do what you can.

So Tired...

Oh dearie me.

I'm at work right now and I simply cannot stress on how much I don't want to be here. And to make matters worse, I have to replace someone again, so two extra days of work (30th & 31st)!

While I know it was a genuine emergency, it doesn't make it any less annoying. Considering how much leave this guys's taken and how he likes to do it at the very last minute. Hence forcing me to make last minute changes, because many times I'm the only person that can replace him.

Still, I've managed to finagle someone to replace me on the 31st afternoon, since I have to be at the beach to prepare for the evening festivities. Which I hope will be fun.

I was about to write "maybe I'll meet someone interesting", but seriously I'm so tired of that, I don't really care right now. I'm tired in general, tired of work, tired of trying to reach out and make new social contacts and most of all tired of 2004. I wish I could be over and done with it. I'm tired and it's making me bitter.

Not that anything's going to be different next year. But please, let me revel in my delusions that it actually might be different.

I had a rather interesting Christmas, where my parents' many friends visiting all day both days. And relatives too, some of whom I haven't seen in many years. And of course, THAT question came up.

And when I said,"No, I'm still single and yes I AM aware of my age thank you very much" the inevitable suggestions that I was being fussy came up too. I didn't try to explain. Been there done that, don't want to be a broken record and repeat the same things over and over.

While I realize that it's just them making small talk and being concerned, I'm just so tired of hearing that. But what can I say ? What can anyone say ?

I peruse my own archives sometimes, and yes there's a lot of these entries lying around. I'm tired of writing about this same thing. But what can I say ? I try to forget it but people keep reminding me.

On a sidenote, the most retarded marriage based comment I've ever heard recently was,"You should get married, have kids and make your parents happy". Ok let's do a survey.

A. How many people do you know have done this ?
B. Can you seriously believe that people marry for this reason?

You know sometimes I wish it were that simple. Go find some accomodating girl, get my parents to talk to her parents, get married, buy a house in the suburbs, breed and live happily ever after.

I wish it were that simple. Actually I could go up to my mom and ask her to find said accomodating girl. And knowing mom, she'd pull it off in about six weeks.

But I don't believe in that. I like relationships to progress naturally. Maybe I'm too naively idealistic like that.

Whatever it is, right now I'm not really doing anything about it. I'm just so tired.

I hope you're not feeling that.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Three Things

One, Mother Earth is very upset. Did you hear the news ? It's all over by now. That's what my cousin said as we watched the evening news while I was at his house. It had to happen on Boxing Day too. My mom freak (as can be expected) and called my brother who is still in Shah Alam.

We're very lucky we Malaysians. We got our own set of problems but they are absolutely trivial in comparison with some of the other problems people are having. No volcanoes and no typhoons/cyclones/tornadoes/hurricanes to watch out for. And no earthquakes and no tidal waves. Until yesterday.

What can you do against the Force of Nature ? Nothing. I'm grateful we don't have to deal with Her on a regular basis.

I'm pretty sure there will be some kind of donation drive going up soon, so give what you can.

Two, Streamyx went down. Again. Strangely I'm not upset since the guy who I dealt with followed up deligently, was very apologetic and didn't make any lame excuses. Plus, it's Telekom we're talking about here. This happens quite a lot.

Three, I've been following the saga of Yasmin Ahmad and her new filem Sepet. This is a perfect case study of the Malaysian censorship board being completely out of touch with reality. I could write a thousand words about them and what they are doing to our film industry. Mostly unflattering words. And maybe some profanity. And maybe someday soon, I will. Watch this space.

But's really, it's a big joke.

Tarlia posted an excellent entry about this. Including reactions from the local blogger community. Go and read it all.

In other news, I had a nice, quiet Christmas. My uncle is coming to the house and I'm hungry. There might be another post a bit later. Stay tuned.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Christmas Night

...or rather, Christmas morning.

I was supposed to attend a 9.30pm mass just now. But I didn't. Last night, I went out and came home at about 4.30am.

I also went out shopping. I had all these things that I wanted to buy, but in the end I bought two pairs of jeans. Which I really needed anyway. This is why people make lists before they go shopping, I guess.

I'm on a long break right now. I'm relieved. It's been a busy month work-wise and I was thoroughly sick of it on my last day at work a few days ago.

As you may notice, unlike earlier posts this one doesn't really have a point in it. Which is fine.

So, today is Christmas Day. I hope to visit a few friends today. If I can get a hold of the car. My dad's ride is still busted, so my parents are using mine.

I felt like ranting today. I read a piece from MGG Pillai's website today. Sometimes I disagree with the man, he strikes me as someone who can be callously insensitive sometimes. But other times I agree with him, particularly on social issues.

I don't want to go into details but I'm grateful I live in Sarawak instead of the Peninsular. Why ? Cut a long story short, East Malaysians as a rule are far more tolerant especially with regard to race and religion. This is not a stereotype I dug up from some magazine. This is based on personal experience too.

But I choose to look at the positives. In this country, there's enough moderates around. People who are willing to live alongside others without the pathological need to impose themselves. They don't make the news. But they're there.

That is why Malaysia will never be a theocracy, despite the fact that they are quite prominent public figures who want this. The so-called silent majority will never allow this to happen.

Things are not as fair as it could be, but things are not as bad either. Perhaps in time, this will change ? Seriously though, it would take a long, long time. Habits are hard to change.

Enough of that. Today is Christmas. It is a day of hope, peace and goodwill between all people. Let us dwell on these things instead.

Merry Christmas and God bless us all.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

People are Strange Pt 2

There's a lot of news floating around recently. About people and behaviour that I personally can't understand.

For instance, the big hooha about Christmas being offensive to non-Christians. Huh ? And this is a global thing too apparently. It happens here and also happens in the US. (Thanks to Lucia for the later link).

Now tell me, how is a religious festival offensive exactly ? And why Christmas ? Are Christian people SO bad that anything they do is offensive ?

Ok, I'll be the first person to tell you that yes, some hardcore ultra-right Christians are absolutely the most intolerant, most judgemental people on this side of the Milky Way. I should know, being a practising Christian myself. I've seen it and I've heard of all the excuses why they have to behave like that.

But be fair please. The same thing can be said about Islamo-fascists, militant Hindus, ultra-conservative Jews and any other religion. And yes, the very same thing can be said about ultra-left atheists, freethinkers and agnostics. The point is the same - "Other people don't have the same beliefsas we do so they do not have the right to practise what they believe".

But just because SOME of us behave like that does it mean that ALL of us are like that ? Think rationally please. It doesn't add up right ? And yet SO many people jump on the bandwagon.

There are people who say that if a Christian hymn is sung in public or a banner says Merry Christmas instead of some politically correct seasonal greeting, it implies that Christians are trying to "impose" their beliefs on others.

Now tell me people, do you REALLY think that makes sense ? Yep, sounded like a pile of steaming crap to me too.

The problem again is people missing the point totally.

When you watch a lion dance during Chinese New Year and you are offended by it, where's the problem ? When you hear a call to prayer early morning during Hari Raya (Eid el-Fitr), where's the problem ? When you see kids trick-or-treating during Halloween and are offended by it, where's the problem ? When you see a Kavadi procession going up Batu Caves and you find it offensive, where's the problem ?

That's right you intolerant bigot, YOU are the problem here. Not them. You.

Some people have issues and hijack other issues to legitimize and justify their hatred and intolerance. Personally, I don't understand what the problem is. I don't get it. Why is it so important for some to put down others ? When did religion and tradition become a competitive sport ?

If you feel offended by a religious festival celebrated by many people, I have a tip for you. SUCK IT UP and GET OVER IT.

Honestly though, I don't think this "problem" is so bad. Most people actually have brains and know how to use it. At least in my case, my friends who are not Christians are clever enough to know that just because I have a huge crucifix in my house and celebrate Christmas doesn't mean that I want them to convert. Likewise, I'm aware enough when I go to my friends house to visit them during Hari Raya or Chinese New Year it doesn't mean that they are imposing their beliefs on me in any way.

Do you know what the real danger is ? There are always racists and bigots around, and unfortunately some of them sit in pretty high places. We have to watch out for that.

And so with that, I wish you all A Very Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year. And if you find that offensive in any way, then God help you.

Edit : Here's yet another article. *shakes head*

Monday, December 20, 2004

People are Strange

Ok. Before I forget I'll mention this rather heartwarming article from New Straits Times, which is another one of my favourite papers. As I drag myself exhaustedly to the end of 2004, the article is very timely. Go ahead and read it.

I went on an unintentional hiatus from the Internet the last few days. I haven't downloaded anything, haven't gone surfing much and haven't been doing much blog related activity. Sometimes, it's good to take breaks. Even from your hobbies. It can get a bit much, considering some of the things I've been posting.

So what caused this away period ? Well, there was that party I went to on Saturday night. Then there were a number of friends with PC problems and questions that needed attending to. Then there's the oil change for the car. And other life stuff. It's good that I was busy, I would've been extremely depressed if I wasn't. Again considering the stuff I've been posting.

I had a DVD fest throughout Sunday. I watched Resident Evil : Apocalypse, which turned out to be not bad despite all the bad reviews. I enjoyed this a lot, especially the ending. I hope there's a sequel. I watched White Chicks, which was just so-so. Typical seasonal feel-good comedy. The Wayans brother are hilarious as usual, but nothing much stood out.

And I watched The Grudge, which managed to scare the heck out of me despite the fact that I've watched the Japanese originals and knew what was going on. I love the bus scene, that was totally unexpected. It was great. Sarah Michelle Gellar was as hot as ever but her role didn't stretch her abilities by any amount. The woman's got so much more dramatic range than this. She should do an ensemble drama like The Hours or a historical epic. She would rock ! And she should do a romantic comedy, to raise her profile. She can do comedy, no problem.

Which reminds me of one or two rather unpleasant things I've noticed on forums, like the IMDB one. Some people embrace pseudo-intellectualism like it's some kind of religion.

You can spot a pseudo-intellectual easily by noticing their dismissal of any film that does well at the theatres as "pop culture trash", their dismissal of people who enjoy mainstream entertainment as "sheep" or "mindless" or having no taste, the fact that many their arguments don't hold any water when cross-checked and the how they resort to name calling when challenged.

Personally, I think it's probably some kid who wants to be "different" and tries to put him/herself above his/her peers by being "analytical" and "cultured". See ? Some people try to be different because it's can be trendy to be considered so. Paradox ? Yes. But true. Think about it.

And what better way to pass off as an "intellectual" than to put other people down as mentally inferior. Especially if you know big, big words and the titles of "art" movies, the names of obscure indie bands and Classical era philosophers. What can I say ? People have issues, some more whacked than others.

Having said that, I do enjoy those stupid internet arguments. Therefore I lurk around and laugh at the IMDB board and the board. I wish I had some links. There are some classics like the "Blade vs Angel" thread at the IMDB Blade Trinity forum. That was hilarious. I also
remember a "gear snob" thread at years ago.

What's a gear snob ? In the guitar sense, it is someone who insists that in order play seriously and skilfully, one must spend thousands of bucks buying top quality gear and all other lesser mortals who are broke and cannot afford to do so are amateurs and not to be taken seriously.

This long, long thread was settled when someone posted an mp3 file of himself playing a perticularly technical solo on a beat up electric guitar costing about USD100.

It's a pity. Some of us absolutely have to put someone else down just to be able feel good about themselves. It's sad when people need to judge themselves and others by their possessions instead of what they are.

People are weird like that.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Oooh my Head...

I've just come back from a social engagement 4.40am. I had a great, if slightly awkward time.

It's been an insane couple of days. I had wanted to post yesterday but i got distracted. This is the problem with the Christmas season. All these interesting games come out. Like Medal of Honor : Pacific Assault. Which is absolutely brilliant.

But I'm too stoned to write a game review right now.

I went a birthday party just now. Well, sort of. Well actually it was one of those combination gatherings. It was a friend's girlfriend's niece's birthday party, a friend's girlfriend's sister's birthday party and the tenth anniversary of a very good local band. And so as can be expected it was a large gathering, with a large number of people.

Unfortunately, I didn't know how big it was. I would've dressed more accordingly. I was severely under dressed.

At least it felt I was. Actually not really, since it was an informal gathering. But the feeling was there. Having inadequate self-esteem is rather annoying like that.

I'm not very good with parties. I like to go to parties but I'm the type to sink in the background instead of mingling. It's a skill which I lack.

Now it did occur to me that I may seem aloof. What can I say I can't really blame people who think so. I don't talk much. Especially to strangers. I'm little shy like that. I wish I wasn't.

But let's think. Why is it up to me to break ice ? What about those people who don't come and talk to me ? I can say they're aloof too right ? Who knows, I'm too stoned to analyse that now.

But I really did have a great time today. It was an awesome, if busy day.

At the party, I met old friends and acquaintances whom I've not met in years and years. Or at least it felt like that. Drinks, good conversation, what else can one ask for.

Then there was that friend's girlfriend, who along with some other friends tried to pair me of with her sister. Nice of them. She's a decent girl. But seriously ? I'm too scattered to indulge in things like that. I want to, but as you know what we want may not be the right want at the moment. So I was just cordially polite instead of overly eager. Which is okay.

I also bumped into a friend today. An old girl friend. As in friend who is a girl instead of the other kind.

I haven't met Diana in the longest time. And my God, she looked so good. Honestly she is the cutest thing you ever saw. She was and always will be. I miss her, now that I think about it.

She's finished studying and will be leaving for Labuan for work in January. I'd like to see her one more time at least. She's a nice girl.

Being alone isn't nice, but friends make it easier. And thank God for that.

Have to go to bed now. Stoned. Too much whiskey....

Thursday, December 16, 2004


I read this rather interesting article in The Star, which is my favourite daily newspaper.

I found it rather funny, even though I'm sure the people mentioned in the article would disagree with that.

I had several different reactions when I read that article. One thing, I'm surprised that even in the New Millenium people can be really old-fashioned. But I guess everyone knows that so I shouldn't really be surprised.

Also evident is the power of The Stereotype. Like the "intelligent women are arrogant and materialistic" Which is lame. And not true, mostly. If a woman is arrogant and materialistic, I wouldn't describe her as intelligent now would I ?

Anyways, for the most part I disagree with most of the article. But then again, I don't have the expectations that some of the men mentioned have.

I'm rather amused that some guys even nowadays seem to want a maid instead of a real wife/girlfriend. Fine, it'll be nice if she's the domestic type, is a good cook and is good with kids. But if that's all she is and nothing else, I'll be bored to tears. I think there's more to a person that domestic skills and intelligence.

But that's just me.

To me, the problems described in the article is a result of a huge, inter-gender misunderstanding. And also unrealistic expectations.

Again, that's just me.


In my last post some people left some really good comments, which I really appreciate. It's great when there's feedback, especially well thought out, non troll-like ones .

I read them and thought about it.

Yes it's true. I should be more of a go-getter. I shouldn't let rejection affect me as much as it does (and believe me when I say I'm very annoyed by this fact). I cannot tell you how much I wish I was a go-getter. The real kind, not the deluded pretend kind.

I wish so hard that I could just snap my fingers and instantly be totally secure and instantly be immune to the disappointment of being rejected. I want to be free of my flaws and stupid hang-ups and be up-front, funny, witty, intelligent, fascinating, warm, sociable, charismatic etc etc. But instead of being that guy, I'm just me. And I'm not any of those things.

I'm not the epitomy of manliness by admitting this but yeah, I'm not much of a so-called go-getter. For someone to walk up to a total stranger and have a decent chance of pulling off a good social encounter, the necessary ingredient is confidence. See ? I know that.

What I don't know is how do I get that confidence. From where ? As you can tell, confidence is not really one of my virtues.

And there's the Fear. Fear of rejection, fear of pain, fear of humiliation. Which apparently is more powerful than a fear of never knowing. See, I know I have to conquer that fear. And not just in relationships either but in everything. See ? I know this too.

And yet here I am with the clammy hands ! How do I get rid of it ? What am I supposed to do ? I don't know how.

I know I'll have to risk rejection and I know I'll have to try. But still, here I am writing about the same shit again. I can't seem to get it done and I hate it. Something is wrong here, isn't there ?

Ok, whatever happens in the nearest future is irrelevant. Right now, I still want to keep away. I'm exhausted and not a little disillusioned by this. I want to do other things and get the other parts of my life on track. Of course, since it's always there in the back of my head I'll be writing about this again and again.

Perhaps anytime now, something will click in my head and I'll find the key to unlock everything. Perhaps sometimes soon, I'll know exactly what to do, what to say, be confident and be unafraid.
But for now, I don't really feel up to it.

For now at least , it stays this way. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't happen, it doesn't. So be it.

As if I can do anything about it right now anyway...

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

What's the Time ?

Streamyx is back online at the house.

Now, we've heard many horror stories about inept tech support haven't we ? I'm rather pleased to report that in my case this week, this story has a happy ending.

I made the call to Helpdesk on Monday. The guy I spoke to had the thickest Indian accent that compelled me to ask him to slow down a bit, but he was polite, didn't make any lame excuses, didn't put me on hold longer than neccessary and asked the right questions. That very same day at about 4.30pm, a technician called me at home. Once again, this one was business-like, efficient and asked the right questions. He was also familiar with my case history. I asked him what was the actual problem and he told me without sparing any technical info. He said it might take a day or so. I didn't mind.

This evening, I woke up at 5.30pm to the sound of my brother playing an online Yahoo game. So, well done Streamyx Tech Support. That's the way to do it.

And so now I'm at work, waiting for the time to pass before I go home and do stuff like update my blog template. Which has been neglected for way too long.

Time is all about perception isn't it ? Seconds crawl and years fly by.

I sometimes wish I wasn't so aware of the passing of time. This is why I don't wear a watch. I haven't in many years.

If i wear a watch, I'm constantly reminded of the time. Being watch-less isn't as troublesome as some might think. I have a cell phone and like most cell phones, it has a clock built into it. So, if I need to know the time I look at my cell phone. This means I only know the time when I need to know.

Being constantly reminded of the time can be stressful. To me anyway. Being so aware of time makes it seem slow when you're anticipating something and makes it seem fast when you're enjoying something.

I do know some people who would be totally lost without their temporal measuring devices. Usually people with regimented schedules. Which is another source of stress for me. I don't like being confined to a schedule.

Remember when things we were simpler when we were younger ? I think part of the younger = simpler equation is time. Or rather awareness of. Time means less to a child than it would to an adult. A kid rarely has to worry about being late for something or wonder how long it would take to commute from point A to point B.

Or maybe I think too much....

In other news.... not much else is happening. I can't wait for this year to end. Not that it was a bad year. It's just that I'm bored of 2004. I need a change. Fast.

Sure, it's technically meaningless since the 3rd of January may be exactly the same as 3rd of December. Come January I'll be my same bored self, I'll still be working here and I'll probably still be single. Everything will probably be exactly the same. Except the date and time. It's nice to have an ending and a beginning with all its symbolism. Even if it is technically meaningless. As the cynic would say,"Nothing changes on New Years' Day". Probably, but it's important for me personally to begin again.

Can you imagine how dull (and not to mention confusing) everything would be if the days and months never change ?

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Feelin' Babbly

Warning : Long Post

Guess what ? Streamyx is dead. Again. So come Monday morning I'll have to call Telekom. Again. Since I have the technician's cell phone number I'll expect this to be resolved sooner than the last time. Going through Helpdesk just takes too long you know ?

This next section is my Rome : Total War post. If you don't want to read it, feel free to skip down to the dotted line.

And so I've been playing Rome : Total War the last day or so. I'm playing Macedonia right now, partly inspired by the movie of course. One nice thing about this game is that although each faction's campaign has a set aim, it's flexible and long enough for you to set your own aims too. For this current game, my latest concern is the reunification of the Greek heartland and the neighbouring Diadochi (Successor) kingdoms.

Largely, I have succeeded in doing this. The main Greek city states have been subjugated and Asia Minor (Turkey) is almost completely mine. Also, I captured Byzantium just for the hell of it from the Thracian barbarians. All that's left is to convince the Seleucids (my regional allies) to join me without resorting to war, eliminate the Pontics (they attacked me first) and fend of Egypt's attacks from the middle east.

I just had the most grueling battle just before I left for work. The Brutii Romans have been trying to start a campaign on the Greek mainland by landing troops by sea on the coast of Athens forcing me to expand the Athenian garrison to battalion size (about 800+ men). Just now, they landed 1600 + troops in two regiments north and south of Athens. This is their biggest foray yet.

It looked bleak. The Romans looked like they would likely surround and take Athens, turn it into a big staging area (Athens is a big city complete with walls and training facilities) for more troops who will wage war on the rest of my Greek cities. The saying goes,"The smaller army has to take the bigger chances". So I attacked them first despite being outnumbered 2 to 1.

Luckily for me, the two Roman forces appeared on the battle map on opposing ends (North & South). So I needed to beat off the northern force, turn 180 degrees and march onto the southern force).

That was one heck of a battle. If only I took screenshots.

Happily enough, the overly impetuous commander of the northern force took his entire army and attacked my phalanx platoons head on. Which is suicidal. Predictably enough, he got himself killed. The entire force broke and ran, allowing me to pick them off with my cavalry and archers.

The southern force marched too close to Athen's walls and were fired on by archers. By the time I completed my 180 degree turn and recalled my cavalry, they were too spread out and disorganized to offer any meaningful challenge. My men broke and routed them.

Final casualty count, Macedon Athenian garrison 280+, Roman Brutii invaders 1100+. The survivors boarded their boats and promptly left. I enjoyed this battle immensely.

Next, I plan to make a surprise move and land troops on the Italian peninsular. Starting with Tarentum (Taranto), then march north onto Rome itself. Already, my forces mass outside Corinth....

Boys and their toys. What can I say ? If you like strategy games, try Rome : Total War. You'll love it.


I've been so busy lately. Too busy to reply mail and too busy to even blog properly. Lots of people having lots of PC problems needed my help. In a way, it's kinda alright to stay away from the online world for a period of time. I read a news article about this somewhere. People need to go out, sit in the sun and do simple things like hang out. The news article said this is good for you and I believe it.

As busy as I was, things are also strangely quiet on the personal side. It felt like I was just going through the motions. I find myself feeling sorta blank even with all the people milling about.

I went out last night with the boys. We went to this club called 99. It's quite a decent place, with a nice, non-threatening crowd. We drank tequila, talked and watched people walk pass. Especially the women. Kuching has quite a good number of nice looking women. Whether they have personalities to match is an entirely different story. I suspect at least half of them to be the stereotypical vacuous, money grubbing tramps.

Which begs the question, why is it so bloody hard to meet a decent woman ? I kinda know some of the reasons, one being that it's hard to trust people you don't know and therefore hard to form relationships. Harder still if you don't stand out.

Oh deja vu. I've probably written about this before.

Anyway, looking at all these people last night got me thinking. Perhaps some of these women have the same questions as me. Why so hard to meet a decent guy ? Why are all the guys I meet seem to turn out to be creeps and abusive, possesive assholes ?

Begs another question, if we all look in the wrong places then how do we find each other ? We're doomed....

I read many blog posts and stories about the trials and tribulations of the dating game. And too often, these tend to degenerate to one of those "all men/women suck" litanies. Which is predictable.

The truth. Men and women both suck. Neither one has a monopoly on rejections and treating people badly. The fault lies in both and none at the same time. No, this doesn't make sense. Or does it ?

Personally, in my own case I think it could be my expectations that screw it up for me. And maybe a lack of finesse. And fear of rejection. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places and at the wrong people. Maybe I'm trying too hard ? Or not enough ?

I'm going to simple this up by saying this. It'll happen when it happens. If it doesn't happen then it doesn't happen. No need to know the why's and wherefores.

Ok. I need to go back to work now....

Now, who read all that raise your hands.

Saturday, December 11, 2004


A real quick one.

I'm having one of those periods where suddenly I'm extremely busy. I think I fixed four PCs in the last two days. Plus an impromptu lecture on correct PC usage and maintenance. It's a good thing I actually like doing this.

It's still raining. It rained since this morning. I think it'll rain until tomorrow. Or the day after. Have to brace myself for flooding. It's all good though, this incessant rain is reminding me of Blade Runner. Or Max Payne. Possibly both.

Tonight, I'm going out. I just noticed that I haven't gone out on a Saturday night in months. Yes, I lead a sad, hermit-like life.....

Tomorrow night, I have to work. I don't want to actually. The closer Christmas gets, the lazier I'm becoming. Ah well...

I'll post some more later. Gotta run now.

Friday, December 10, 2004

History Lesson

Near to the East, in a part of ancient Greece,
In an ancient land called Macedonia,
Was born a son to Philip of Macedon,
The legend his name was Alexander.

At the age of nineteen, he became the Macedon king,
And swore to free all of Asia Minor,
By the Aegian Sea in 334 BC,
He utterly beat the armies of Persia.

Alexander the Great,
His name struck fear into hearts of men,
Alexander the Great,
Became a legend 'mongst mortal men.

- "Alexander the Great" Iron Maiden Somewhere In Time

I watched Alexander last night. It was a long, arduous film. Hence the lack of post.

I had my misgivings about this movie before and I was rather hesitant. Some of my friends said it was boring, others said it was your typically bombastic Hollywood epic. In some ways, it was.

First, the bad. It had many, many Braveheart like epic war movie cliches like the pre-battle speech. Which was not all that bad considering that I get rousing pre-battle speeches in Rome Total War too.

Then there were bits of melodrama that in my opinion was a little over the top. Some scenes were just too overwrought with emotion for them to be believable. I supposed a movie can't be considered epic without the over the top moments.

And if you are prone to extreme homophobia, perhaps you should avoid this movie.

And now the good. I'm happy to say there are many.

I'm a casual fan of ancient and medieval history. The very idea that someone was going to actually make a film about Alexander's live had me salivating.

They did a very good job. But then, what else do you expect from Oliver Stone ?

I like the historical detail of this movie. It was awesome to see the Pharos in Alexandria, the Hanging Gardens and the fabulous lapis lazuli covered walls of Babylon. The Battle of Gaugemela was brilliantly done, especially watching the hoplites dealing with the chariot rush. I mean how many times do you see chariots in battle ? Ditto the battle against the forces of King Porus in India, complete with war elephants. Yes, I enjoy a good battle scene.

When I watch movies based on historical events, I do tend to get a little fussy about details. Things like names of places and people, uniforms, weapons, heraldry, markings, even tactics. Talking about this, there was a blooper I noticed. In a Macedonian phalanx company, the first FIVE ranks are supposed to fight with their sarrisae (pikes) lowered while the rest hold theirs at a 45 degree angle. I need to watch those scenes again to be sure but it looked like only the first two or three ranks deployed their pikes.

Impressive also were the costumes worn by the Persians and other Asian tribes. Nice detail levels here. Also quite accurately done.

Ok that's enough of details. What else ?

The acting. Was good. I thought Colin Farrell wouldn't work as Alexander at first. I always imagined Alexander to be much larger. But he pulled it off just fine. And Jared Leto was totally unrecognisable as Hephaistion. Watch The Thin Red Line and you'll know what I mean.

Anthony Hopkins as Ptolemy ? I like this too.

But I liked Angelina Jolie's Olympias most of all. She's a good actress. Really. Now I wait for her in Love and Honour, where she will play Catherine the Great. Should be awesome.

This movie is nearly three hours long. I know I like this movie because not once did I want to leave and go the washroom. I sat there and honestly it didn't feel like three hours.

If you're looking for a movie with lots and lots of fighting and violence, you shouldn't watch this movie. Also, people who can't appreciate history shouldn't watch it either. It'll seem extremely long-winded and dull.

I suppose a bit of prior knowledge about about ancient history is a must to maximise this movie's effect. If you like history and drama, this movie will be right up your alley. I give this 7.5 out of 10.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Miscellaneous Miscellany Pt III

I've been skipping lunch. I have no idea why. No, wait I do know why. Cafeteria food sucks ass. The "food" they serve here sometimes can be well & truly horrendous. Or maybe I'm just spoilt.

Ok, now that we got that out of the way I can talk about other things. I don't know exactly what yet. This is going to be yet another one of those rambly posts that I do just because. It's good to do things just for the sake of doing them. There's much less pressure and the so-called outcome doesn't really matter. The outcome is the source of the pressure isn't it ?

How dull would it be if we couldn't do things just for the hell of it ?

It was blazing hot today. But that's just temporary since we're smack dab in the middle of the monsoon season. Pretty soon the rains will get more frequent and I can expect Bladerunner style endless rain in about mid-January. Most of the time I do enjoy long periods of rain. Of course, the flooding that usually comes with it isn't something to be excited about though.

One of the drawbacks of living in an area that used to be a mangrove swamp.

Today was a pretty good day. Got plenty of work done. The hormones are at bay and there are no bad vibes at all. And still Christmas draws nearer. I expect to hear Christmas songs in malls any minute now, if they haven't started already. I haven't been to a mall in a long time. Which is strange for someone who used to practically live in malls before now.

I'm getting extremely domesticated. You know you're old when getting out of the house is suddenly such a chore. It's so difficult for me to get myself out of the house now, especially in daylight with the heat, humidity, the dust, the traffic and hordes of strange people running about like insects. To think that I thought nothing of standing in a bus for 45 minutes with 40 other people in my school uniform at 1.00pm on a Monday afternoon. Just to go to a mall and do absolutely nothing.

I'm suddenly grateful I don't live in KL. There, it's hotter, more humid and way dustier with worse traffic and even more strange people.

KL is a cool place. For a holliday. But work ? I wouldn't. Some people do go and make it over there, which is nice. Many of my friends and some relatives are there. But I find KL way too harsh and impersonal. I need a more languid place to chill. Like here.

I don't hate KL. I spent a good portion of my life there, walking the crowded streets and breathing the polluted air. Made some really good friends and great memories.

I suddenly remember a story. Some friends of mine hooked up with a bunch of girls from Miri. So they came down here to visit. And immediately one of them complained,"Oh, Kuching is so lame. The nightlife is so dull. The clubs aren't happening and there's no trendy, cool places to go to."

Well, I could write about obnoxious women but frankly I'd like to stop thinking about things like that for a while. I could tell you a little about Kuching though.

If you're looking for exciting nightlife, for a roaring good time, gallivanting, wassailing and carousing the night away in clubs, discotheques and rave joints while mingling with "famous" socialites, DON'T come here.

If you're looking to visit a metropolis with a million places to visit and explore, with millions of inhabitants with broad thorough-fares, megamalls with a million shopping opportunities and giant skyscrapers, DON'T come here.

If you're looking for a quaint, languid place to slow down and get away you will like it here. If you want peace and quiet, you'll find it here.

If you want to sit and watch the rest of the world rush by while drinking a beverage on the banks of the Sarawak River, please feel free and join us.

Have a good day.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Snapping Out of It

Guess who's feeling chatty?

It's the afternoon. I'm feeling much, much better. It was probably lack of caffeine plus lack of sleep that caused the early morning silliness. Heh.

Now that I've had some caffeine, I feel much better. Caffeine is nice like that. Unfortunately, I'm still sleepy so this is going to be another longish day.

Silly or not, the post in the morning was true. That's how I felt at the time. It'll come back. Right now, it's in the goes part of 'comes & goes'. Anyway, there's not a lot that I can do about that presently. Except maybe whine about it from time to time.

And now for your lunch time entertainment, I present to you a meme taken off
Kristie who took it off someone else.

Name the last four things that you bought - What? You mean I have to give my new graphic card a name? Why? (Jusk kidding). Errrm... ATI Radeon 9600 Pro graphics card, tube of blank CDs, a handful of hair bands and the Punisher DVD.

Name Four Drinks You Regularly Drink - Water, Iced Tea, Coke and that sweet coloured water the cafeteria provides.

Last Time You Cried? - Ages and ages ago, when dinosaurs ruled the earth.

What's In Your CD Player? - An mp3 compilation I made that includes The Bangles' "Doll Revolution", The Ultimate Buffy Soundtrack, The Once More With Feeling Soundtrack and Vanessa Carlton's "Harmonium".

What's Under Your Bed? - Several boxes containing CDs, VCDs, manuals for various electronic/electrical things, old computer games and old computer parts.

What Time Did You Wake Up Today? - 5.35am

Current Hair? -, long (past the shoulders), straightish. I need to get it trimmed before Christmas.

Current Clothes? - Work clothes - Grey polo shirt and blue cargo pants, which I like.

Current Desktop Picture? - At home - The Angel Investigations logo. At work - Plain black background on one PC and Buffy on the other.

Current worry? - Money, as usual.

Current hate? - I'm happy to say none at the moment.

Favorite Places To Be? - My room probably. I'm actually more concerned with who I'm with rather than where I am.

Least Favorite Place? - Rush hour traffic.

If You Could Play An Instrument? - I play guitar and a little drums.

Favorite Color(s)? - Black. Red.

How Tall Are You? - 5' 3"

Favorite expression? - I don't have any favourites.

One Person From Your Past You Wish You Could Talk To: - My late best friend.

Favorite Day(s)? - Fridays/Sundays.

Where Would You Like To Go? - UK and Western Europe, Southern California, Egypt.

Where do you want to live when you get married? - I wouldn't really care but preferably somewhere in Kuching.

Favorite food? - Anything meaty. I'm lousy with the green stuff.

Color of most clothes you own : Black, mostly dark colours.

Number of pillows you sleep with? Two.

What do you wear when you go to sleep: Shorts and T-shirt.

What were you doing 12AM last night: Asleep.

How old will you be in 10 yrs: 41

What do you think you'll be doing in 10 years: With me, there's no way to tell.

Do you have braces? Never had them.

Are you paranoid?! Ocassionally.

Do you burn or tan? Aren't they the same thing. Yes. Both.

What is the brand of your wallet? Don't know. Does it matter ?

First piercing/tattoo? None.

First enemy? None that I know of or care to know of.

Last person you yelled at? I don't remember. It's been a long time. Possibly my parents. Or my brother.

Last crush? Refer to previous blog entries from Auguts & September.

Last thing you ate? Mee hoon with eggs. It sucked. As usual.

The last time you had sex it was...? Not bad at all. Personally, I think sex is overrated.

Being Silly Again

I'm going away at the end of the year. Not "away" away, but away from town and my house. We're beachbound on the 31st. Last night, me & a bunch of friends met and discussed details of the planned beach getaway/party. It's going to be great fun.

I hope it doesn't rain on the night. There's going to be at least two chalets. There's going to be booze, food and loud music. I'm bringing my guitar. We're thinking about hiring a PA system. We haven't decided on the collection yet, but a bottle each is mandatory. I'm going to get my usual Smirnoff and orange juice combo. A surefire hit. Or try to make tequila sunrise.

And most importantly, there will be friends. And possibly women. Whom we hope will accept us for who we are and be cool with us instead of being all judgemental and whine about the lack of luxurious amenities and such.

There are times I hate local women (as in Sarawakians), especially those of my own race. Their superficiality, pettiness and shallowness have to be seen to be believed.

I know that's a sweeping statement and it's definitely not true. There are cool women here too. Only cool women are so hard to find and hook up with. Plus all that mutually jitteriness when meeting strangers doesn't help make it any easier.

Fine, I realize that I'm not the paragon of idealness for most of them, hence the dismissal and lack of opportunities.

Ok that's enough. I should stop thinking about women and myself.

I wish I could just deactivate that part of myself that desires company and feels alone when I don't/can't get any. It's just so inconvenient. Plus it makes me look (and more importantly feel) like a touchy-feely wuss. Like this morning, there's no one here but me. The rest of the people here work normal hours and haven't arrived yet. And I feel starkly alone.

It's making me sad. *tries to snap out of it* Maybe it's the weather that's making me feel like this.

I need to stop wondering and asking impossible-to-answer questions. Or is that questions-I-already-know-the-answers-to-but-won't-acknowledge-them ? I need to stop thinking about this.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Geek Post - Gecube ATI 9600 Pro First Impressions

Witness me revel in my geek joy !

I love PC fairs. I'm like a kid in a candy store when at one, what with it's bewildering array of goodies for my PC and promises of hard-to-resist bargains.

I bought a new graphics card on Friday. After many years of using nVidia products, this time around I decided to switch. I got me an ATI 9600 Pro with 128Mb RAM by Gecube. It was a real bargain too, as I discovered later when I plugged it into my PC at home.

The card cost me RM390 (approximate USD102). Considering how powerful the card is turning out to be, that's dirt cheap. My Need For Speed Underground 2 is a totally different game now that I get fog, lights, motion blur, reflection (both on the road and on the apparently very shiny cars) and rain. It actually feels cold when it rains in that game. Unfortunately, the improved detail levels made driving in bad weather kinda dangerous.....

And Rome Total War ? Also totally different now that I can run it in high-res and good detail levels. Now I can see things like grass and my army's metal weapons and armour will glint in the sunlight. The battles themselves are faster now too, since I don't lag quite as much.

Also, in both games I've been trying out a feature that I've never used before, primarily because it's a real perfomance killer - FSAA (Full Screen Antialiasing). It's supposed to reduce jaggedness and make round things appear round. And boy does it make a difference. Finally I have a VGA card with enough horses to power this feature without much loss of performance. I'm pleased.

Another feature that I've read about is ATI's hardware based video processing. ATI claims that this onboard video playback processing cleans up your AVI & MPG video and improves quality. I can vouch that this claim is true. BIG difference. I ran one of my Buffy AVIs and the improvement was immediately apparent. The colors are "warmer" and more solid while the contrast between light and dark areas more distinct. I tried streaming videos and playing low quality mpegs and the playback quality is less muddy and has less "noise".

The next thing I want to try is to hook up another monitor to the card. It comes with a DVI connector (as with most ATI cards) and happily enough, Gecube bundled a DVI-to-VGA adapter in the box. Coincidentally, at work one of my bosses is asking for suggestions on how to connect two displays to one PC so I've been reading up on this. One PC, two monitors - sounds intriguing. Now where's a spare monitor when you need one....

They say money can't buy happiness. I agree, it can't. But it sure does help. And being able to occasionally buy stuff beats being broke anytime.

Excuse me while I go and contemplate about which games to install on my PC. Oh damn, I'm running low on hard disk space !!

I'll post again when I get back home later.

Currently listening too "That Kind of Love" Allison Krauss

Friday, December 03, 2004

"I Think This Line's Mostly Filler" - Alyson Hannigan, BtVS, Once More With Feeling

I wanted to post on Wednesday. But that day was so unspeakably boring there was nothing I could write about. Except maybe work. And who wants to read about that right ?

I wanted to post yesterday but I got really sleepy and last minute errands came up at....well, the last minute. Like car payments. And the hounding of my insurance agent. Where's my frickin' credit card? I need my camera dammit!

I went to see Florence after work on Wednesday. She asked me how come I don't take her out anymore. I just shrugged, said I got really busy and made some other lame excuse I can't remember right now. I know, not the most judicious way of handling such a situation. I haven't really had much experience in dodging tricky questions.

Gee, I actually felt kinda sorry for her. Remorse can be inconvenient no ?

There was a time that I thought I could never reject anyone. I thought it was supposed to be straightforward. I couldn't understand why the girls I wanted rejected me and said things like "It won't work out" and"You're not my type" and "I don't want to spoil our friendship". I thought they were just being mean.

That was a time when they were the bad guys. And I was a poor unfortunate victim. A hapless innocent taken for a ride.

And then came a time when it was my turn to say no.

Lots of times we read about the pain and misery off being rejected. But how about rejecting ?

There really is no easy way to end a relationship. I remember saying "I'm sorry. But we can't do this anymore." If we belief all the sob-stories about getting dumped, this rejection malarkey is simple right ? After all, I reject therefore I'm the inflicter instead of the inflictee. It's not supposed to be that hard.

Well, I was wrong. Again. It tore me up.

There I stood, saying the things that only mere months previously I thought I was incapable of saying. It tore me up to see her ask to be given a chance. It hurt because I know how she felt. I've been there before, it seemed like a thousand times. I was causing the same hurt that I have felt.

I felt ashamed.

In that moment, I understood. I understood that those women who said no to me before aren't bad guys. I stopped villifying them. They're just people. Like me. And her.

They didn't go out of their way to hurt me. I just got in the way and I got caught. No malice there.

And so, if she hated me for saying no, for leaving then I can give her at least that right. She has every right to hate me and to curse me. I hurt her. That's a good enough reason. What else can I say ? I've said I'm sorry, but I remember that doesn't make the pain go away.

It's sad when relationships end. Even sadder when they can't even start. But sadder still is a relationship that is doomed from the beginning.

I get that now. And while it doesn't make it any easier, there's a bit of peace buried in that truth somewhere.

Currently Listening to "Walk Through the Fire" Buffy Cast Once More With Feeling

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Word Vomit


It’s the last day of November and I can’t wait.

Like I’ve mentioned before, I love the last month of the year. A month of joy and hope and closure and beginnings of new beginnings. A month of Christmas sales and shopping opportunities. And the PC fair this weekend ! It’s going to be fun.

For me, it’s more. It’s a month for (more) introspection and evaluation. A month for looking back and looking forward. And I also think with its hopeful vibes, a good month to meet people.

The cynical may say that I’m being overly sentimental and silly for equating a unit of temporal measurement to anything significant. And they’re right. I am being sentimental. And right again, the months and days and weeks are just temporal units. But for me, each month carries memories and things carried over from previous months from previous years. Each experience good or bad, helps colour each different month. And the most colourful of all the months is December.

So many good things happen in the December. I started my first (and so far only) relationship in December. In the mid nineties, I had a fling with someone starting in December. I had wild parties and fantastic jam sessions in December. So yeah, by association December is a great month. Pavlovian much ? Very.

I’m aware that I sound like a crazy person. So what, I can be crazed if I want to.

It’s been raining more frequently too. I like rain. I like the cool temperatures and the drizzle. Unlike most of the people I know, I don’t really mind walking in rain and getting drenched. Except when I’m at work of course.

It's really weird. Right now, I sitting here writing this rather sentimental post and feeling rather guilty about it. There's that social programming again. The one that says men such not entertain such things as feelings and vibes and must be practical all the time. There's this voice in my brain that tells me I should write about cars and chicks and computer games instead of my regular word vomit.

Social programming is hard to shake off isn't it ? It's also stupid. There's nothing wrong with writing about chicks and cars and computer games and gadgets of course. It's just that I somehow seldom feel like it.

I'm also thinking that this is why there are more female then male bloggers around, especially locally.

Actually, that's a good question. Why is it that more women blog than men ? Is it because women are more internet savvy ? Is it because women are better with words ? That women are more sentimental ?

Must there be a difference between a male & female blog ? Are there such things ? Am I insane and do I think too much ?

And is it just here or is it a global thing that happens everywhere ? Someone should publish bloggers' demographic data.

I bet it'd make an interesting read.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

There's a Point in Here Somewhere....

A good friend of mine has finally started blogging !! Come hither and give your support. She is an educator so expect good posts from her.

The more friends start blogging, the more pleased I am. But I think so far, only three of my friends have started blogs.

I remember talking to some friends about this blogging/online journal thingamajig. I remember them being rather incredulous and going,"Dude, you post your diary online ? Aren't you embarassed ? Isn't that weird ?"

I guess not everyone feels comfortable putting themselves out like this. Which is fine by me. Whatever rocks your boat. If you think it's weird to post thoughts on a public place like the Internet, that's fine. Don't do it then. But I don't think it's weird so here I am in all my longwinded glory.

A tip for the shy newbie blogger wannabe; if you want to blog but are afraid that someone you know finds out that it's you, try keeping the blog anonymous and don't tell anyone. It might make blogging more relatable.

Hey ! De ja vu. I may have written about this before. And if so, please forgive me for being repeato-guy. Aside from the usual introspection, not much blog fodder now.

Well, anyways back to the weirdness of blogging/online journalling. In our conservative Asian society, it is kinda weird to be so open about one's self. Most people would insist on you to put your best face forward and make the good impression. In our society, looking and acting "perfect" is a real big deal. Nobody likes to talk about the bad stuff going on. Everybody's got a broom to sweep the uglies under the carpet. In our society, impressions are everything.

How many times have we heard the phrase,"Aren't you worried about what people are going to say ?" I ask, who ? What people ?

Sometimes, I worry too. That's just an automatic response caused by years of subliminal social programming. But mostly ? Not really. Ya see, I believe that people in general have enough problems on their own. Sure there are your usual number of busy-bodies and nosy people around, usually people who have to much time on their hands.

But really, if these opinions come from people who don't matter to me then their opinions don't really matter either. It's too hard to take into account EVERYONE'S opinion. And yet how many of us are hamstrung by the thought of not fitting in to people's general perception.

Humans are social animals and therefore want to belong somewhere.

I'm not saying that people need to rebel and break the status quo. I'm just saying that if someone wants to do or be something other than the usual expected thing, they should go ahead and do it public opnion be damned. As long as it's not illegal. Or otherwise bad in anyway.

I have noticed one thing. Our conservative Asian society is opening up slowly. More people care now about things that matter. People are beginning to be less interested in sweeping things under the carpet and pretending everything's hunky dory. People are more keen on bringing out problems and trying to solve them.

That's a good thing.

Currently Listening to "Pictures of Success" Rilo Kiley

Friday, November 26, 2004


It's Official. Need For Speed Underground 2 is Evil. I've been playing it non-stop for almost two days. Streamyx is Evil too. Internet access used to be my usual excuse for stepping out of the house for a few hours.

I must get out of the house and away from the computer tomorrow. The fact that my driver's license is going to expire may help motivate me. Notice the use of the word "may".

Gosh, I've been so lazy lately. The unfortunate side-effect of my year end nostalgia-melancholy-reclusive-warm-fuzziness-fest.

I read a really good post on Sativa's blog. It got even better once the comments started to roll in. Something about being single at a certain age.

Society has many unwritten rules like that doesn't it ? One of them being females must be married by 30. To a lesser extent this applies to men too although the threshold is a bit more flexible. An older single male will tend to get labeled dirty old man if he's not married at a certain age, true ?

Let's ask a question. Which is more disastrous in society, the number of single women over thirty or the number of broken mariages ?

That reminds me, I've often been accused of being "fussy" about a partner. I bet many of my still single friends get this a lot too. Especially the women.

Let's ask another question. Define "fussy". How about the so-called non-fussy people ? Let's ask yet another question. Would you marry any stranger just to prove that you're not fussy ? I hear this "fussy" term bandied around a lot. I bet people who accuse people of being fussy don't know what they mean by that.

I agree, some people may have highly unrealistic expectations regarding life partners. If so, they need to reevaluate and ground themselves in reality. That's a personal thing so not much can be said about that.

I'm 31 and still single. To be honest, I'd rather not be single. But I've not had any luck whatsoever. Neither am I ready yet for such a thing as marriage. Okay, maybe people can say I should just settle for whatever's available. That sounds like a bunch of crock to me. I cannot imagine myself being stuck in a fake marriage just to have babies and satisfy a so-called societal requirement.

If I can't have the relationship that I want then I'd rather be single. It's better for everyone.

People can remain single because they want to be. They can also be single because they haven't found anyone yet. Or sometimes, because they haven't been found yet. It's hardly a question of being "fussy".

To me, being single can be a problem if you don't want to be single in the first place. Being single and being contented with you being single is not. Depends on the motivation.

One last question. Which is worse, being single and being ok with it or being married and regretting it for the rest of your life ?

Marriage is a big deal. Don't do it for the wrong reasons. Don't take it lightly. Could prove fatal.

Currently Listening to "Madhouse" Anthrax Spreading the Disease

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Middle of the Week...

In the last three days I saw FOUR accidents while I was out driving. Two on Tuesday morning, one yesterday morning and one more just now. And all of these accidents occured at roundabouts. Since we all know that all roundabouts are natural bottlenecks you know what that means ?

Instant traffic jam that's what. So driving about was less fun these few days what with the jostling for space alongside big dump trucks and SUVs and the riding of the clutch in 1st gear. And rude motorcyclists.

Which is a pity because I do enjoy driving.

I'm also sick again. The annoying not-really kind of sickness where I'm not sick enough to stay at home and not well enough to enjoy myself. I went to see the MA here yesterday and he said I'm suffering from exhaustion (!). That's never happened before.

Nevertheless, I'm determined to have a good time tomorrow what with it being an off day and all that. I'm going to go to a friend's house and we're going to have a nice, quiet relaxing barbecue. Which reminds me, I need to brush up on some acoustic songs to play. Also, I need to ask my friend to show me how to play Metallica's Nothing Else Matters.

I'm starting to play guitar again. I have been neglecting it for far too long. I doodled with my guitar yesterday morning for the first time in many months. It felt great. I need to buy a new acoustic. The one I have now doesn't quite satisfy and I don't want another electric since my brother's got one already. And he hardly uses that one. Plus I don't have a band anymore.

Speaking of which, we're having a band reunion somewhere next month ! This is going to be great. Being in a band is cool. The rest of the band will be returning from their various travels for Christmas.

The end of November is near. Soon the year will end. I'm probably going to write an ultra long post and do an assessment the year past. Overall ? It's been a good year.

And finally, some torrent news. I downloaded an "unofficial" Buffy soundtrack that beats the hell out of the the two official soundtracks. This one has THIRTY EIGHT songs, all of which appeared in Buffy episodes. It's got some very rare stuff on it. It's awesome. I likey.

For good measure, I also downloaded the Once More With Feeling OST. For you non-Buffy folks, that's the musical episode. Very nice.

PS - To all those people who commented on the last few posts, thanks. It's awesome that you guys take time out to share their thoughts and opinions with me. Happy Thanksgiving !

Currently Listening to "Charge" Splendid, Ultimate Buffy Soundtrack

Monday, November 22, 2004

Wasted Weekend

I had my timetable all figured out.

I was going to put extra links on my blog roll and links list. I was going to fix a broken PC for a friend of mine. I was going to send my wheel caps for respraying (I think white caps on a red car looks really spiffy). I was going to continue updating the info for my entire music collection (I'm up to E so far). I was supposed to call friends and give them things.

Since it's me & my life we're talking about here, I ended up playing this. For the last 36 hours (minus sleep & food time of course).

If you thought the first NFS Underground was good, this new one blows the old one far, far away. It's un-frigging-believable. The perfect racer to allow anyone to live out their Vin Diesel/Paul Walker-esque fantasies.

What do you get ? Apparently 30 plus vehicles (including SUVs !! I have a Hummer in my garage.) A huge city complete with suburbs, harbour, airport, freeways and flyovers that you can roam around in as you please in your souped up ride (since this game is American, please remember to drive on your RIGHT). New events to take part in. New mods. New vinyls, paintwork, wheels and parts for your engine.

And the absolute best part of all, tuning. The game now allows you to MANUALLY tweak stuff like fuel/air mix (ECU), suspension height & spring rate, the turbo unit, downforce (yes, that big ass spoiler you bought actually has an actual function now besides providing a place for you to hang your laundry from !!) and even brake and steering bias ! I also like the fact that you now can choose to mount 18" inch wheels when you buy them from the wheel shop.

EA nailed it perfectly this time. Fantastic.

Okay that's enough game talk. All I can say is this :- You like hot rides you can soup up and run really quick ? You like fancy cars ? Have a powerful PC ? Buy this game.


I did go out last night though (Saturday night). I went to pass a few CDs to a friend of mine who in turn passed me some Red Hot Chilli Peppers stuff. Later I went to see a girl.

Yes, I went to see THAT girl. The one I was so hung up on a few months ago.

It's official. THAT was a bout of temporary insanity. What was I thinking ? I went to see her and we ended up doing not much at all. She's still nice and all but I must admit one thing.

She's as boring as a cardboard box.

We have nothing in common. NOTHING. We have nothing much to talk about at all. Geez. Yes, I'm stupid like that. Please hit me over the head with a croquet mallet. Thank you.

So people (esp. the men), whenever you meet someone and go completely nuts over her despite not knowing a single thing about her please desist and step back a bit. This usually means you are exactly that. Nuts.

Besides when one is feeling that crazed about someone else, that usually leads to things like heartache, the saying & doing of wrong things and public embarassment. And any number of other unpleasant things and feelings.

And so, I do hope there is something to learn from all that. At least one thing, actions based totally on feelings = bad. Don't completely trust the heart folks. It doesn't have YOUR best interest in mind when it goes off like that.

Try it and you will see what I mean. Of course, I could still be wrong so feel free to correct me ok ?

Friday, November 19, 2004

Traipsing Down Memory Lane (Again)

"Do I Hate You?

No, I Don't Think So
Words Don't Describe What My Feelings Know
Do I Hate You?
No, and I Refuse to Go
Down to Your Level Just to Feed My Ego
Do I Hate You?
Yes, I Got it off My Chest
I Hate You for Making Me Regress"
- H8 Red, Anthrax, Persistence of Time

...and what better way to do it than with the sounds of
Anthrax's Persistence of Time roaring in the background.

I've just downloaded 11 COMPLETE Anthrax albums, all of which are no longer available in Malaysia (I've tried looking). They are (album title; release date) :-
  • Fistful of Metal - Jan 1984
  • Armed & Dangerous - Feb 1985
  • Spreading the Disease - October 1985
  • Among the Living - March 1987
  • State of Euphoria - Sep 1988
  • Persistence of Time - August 1990
  • Attack of the Killer B's - June 1991
  • Sound of White Noise - May 1993
  • Live : The Island Years - April 1994
  • Stomp 442 - October 1995
  • Return of the Killer A's - November 1999
The ones that I remember with the highest degree of fondness are State of Euphoria & Persistence of Time, which was the first Anthrax album I bought.

I tend to be very fond of anything that has to do with the years 1989-1990. I was 17. That was my last year in secondary school. I discovered extreme forms of heavy metal in a big way. I was in trouble with religious people for listening to "the devil's music". I fell in with the so-called "bad" crowd, which was not bad at all I found it. In fact, to my surprise my new disenfranchised metal friends were more accepting of me than the so-called "good" people. I wonder why....

I played two instruments in at least two bands. We jammed every week, despite being perpetually broke.

Despite all that and problems at home which I'd rather not talk about, I was an ace student. And a prefect. I met many, many fabulous women and became friends with at least half of them (the other half were not single and/or too stuck up). Life was simple and many things were still black & white, or at least they appeared to be.

The vibe I feel as I write this is identical to the vibes I felt back then. Ahh nostalgia. Good for the soul no ? I think so.

All these memories, swirling around in my head. Those were the best of times, those were the worst of times.

Damn I'm old.

Now if I could go to back 1990 again, would I do it any differently ? Honestly I wouldn't know. What would you do if you could go back in time with what you know now ?

Currently Listening to "H8 Red" Anthrax Persistence of Time

Edit: I'm listening to songs from the State of Euphoria album and I'm amazed at how relevant the lyrics still are even today, 16 years down the line.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

No Subject

I've got nothing to write about and it's very early in the morning. And yet here I am. Posting again.

It's hard being someone who generally has an aversion to work. The mere mention of the word makes me tired. Yes, I'm lazy and unambitious. So ? I do sometimes like my work but not when I've been infected by the holiday bug. How I wish I had 30 days of leave left. I would take them all right now and become a couch potato until the middle of January. As it turns out, I only have 3.7 days of leave and those days are already committed for Christmas week.

I hate how time crawls when I'm drooling with anticipation. I can't wait for this year to end.

Blogwise this has been the quietest 36 hours I've ever witnessed. Only 3 blogs in my list were updated. I know everyone is busy with the festivities of Raya (Eid) but nevertheless I found the lack of updates disturbing. It's as if everyone just disappeared. That's how much blogging means to me now. I've developed a dependancy.

It's too bad I have to work during this week. I'm missing out on all the visiting and other things we get up to during festive occasions. So friends who are celebrating, I didn't visit you all not because I'm antisocial but because I'm working. And how I dislike to work during festive season.

As you can see, once again this is a pointless rambly post. But that's the point. The point here is not to have a point. Sometimes it's just so exhausting to think of a "serious" subject to write about. I really admire those people who write about current issues & politics. Those subjects need A LOT of research. Some of these bloggers do it EVERY DAY too. I marvel.

But then again, unlike me these people are probably less lazy & unambitious. Oh well.

And while I'm at it, I actually have very definite opinions about what's happening around me. About Fallujah. About Ops Warta and the on-the-spot fine crap. About idiot drivers who block traffic and road hog thinking that driving excruciatingly slowly = safe. About Proton's inconsistent build quality. About people who automatically hate locally made products just because they're made here and not some foreign Western country. About the PBDS disaster.

I have opinions on these things and more. But I'm just so lazy you know. Imagine the amount of research I have to do.

And people who shoot their mouth of about things without doing their research makes excellent blog fodder too. Perhaps another day.

When I'm not too lazy.

Currently Listening to "Almost Happy" K's Choice, Ten Years of K's Choice

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Vibey Pt 2

Let's play a little game shall we ? I got this meme from here. Try it. It's fun. This is what you do :-

1. Grab the nearest CD or mp3 or wma or whatever song related media that applies to you.

2. Put it in your CD-Player (or start your mp3-player, I-tunes, etc.).

3. Skip to Song 3 (or load the 3rd song in your playlist)

4. Post the first verse in your journal along with these instructions. Don’t name the band, nor the album-title.

This is what I have. Can you guess what song that is ?

"Bravely I look further than I see
Knowing things I know I cannot be, not now
I'm so aware of where I am, but I don't know where that is
And there's something right in front of me and I"

I'm at work now and that was taken from my mp3 collection here. It's a gorgeous song.

I'm into jangly, mid-tempo, easy-going rock alternative music in a big way since I got sick. It's the hormones you know. The hormones affect the emotion. In fact, some may say the hormones ARE the emotions. I don't entirely disagree. I always feel like this when I recover from illness.

Talking about emotions, I was contemplating whether I should try to stretch my rather limited ability to describe abstract concepts by trying to describe what is it exactly that is so compelling about the end of year hols and the eve of festive occassions. Contemplate I did and here I am. I will now try to describe a FEELING. This is going to be a disastrous post, I just know it.

I've mentioned before that I'm a very vibey person. Each day, I wake up and the first vibe I feel will largely determine how I see the day. Some days, the littlest bad vibe early on will ruin the entire day. Likewise, a good vibe can save it even if I feel it in the last minutes.

Everything, everyone I meet and every situation I find myself in carries a "vibe", if you can call that. Call it vibe, undercurrent, aura and whatever else but I think it's the same thing.

There's this feeling that I get at the end of year, every year. It's a mix of warm fuzziness, a little bit of the awwww factor and a slight pinch of melancholy and nostalgia and a largish dose of dopey happiness all rolled into one. I keep to myself even more than usual around this time and some years I get very, extremely depressed and lonely(er). Not this year though. In fact I feel strangely content.

Am I crazy or is that a genuine emotion that I'm feeling. Is there a word for it ? (No, holiday blues is not it. It's something else for sure)

Crazy or not, that's what I've felt since the month started. It's a wonderful feeling. I wish it won't end. Better than the bright, harsh coldness of January at any rate. Or the seemingly endless days of March.

Yes, I'm a strange person. Perhaps that is why the typical Sarawakian girl finds me rather...errr untypical and strange. Which is a shame because the one thing that will top this now is if I had someone to share all this inexplicable euphoria.

I could really use a "harmless" fling right now. This reminds me, a few years ago (1996 I think) I DID have a "harmless" fling with the most perfectly gorgeous and sophisticated Iban girl at the end of the year. That was the absolute best time I've had during the Christmas season.

Unfortunately for her, instead of dopey happiness from me she got annoying whinyness and raging envy instead (she had many, many, many admirers). Occasionally I remember the things I said and done and slap my forehead. Hard. Stupid, stupid Mac.

It would so rock if I could have a fling like that right about now. My general mood is just right for it.

But not for me the furrowed brow. Bygones will be just that. Not this year. I have a feeling this year end will be a good one, whether or not I have any company to share it with.

Ok, I feel refreshed now. Unloading is nice like that.