Saturday, July 31, 2004

Absence of Light

I'm actually having trouble posting. Not because I have nothing to write (I do actually), but I don't really have time. Or I wouldn't if I didn't postpone things just so I could post.

Like right now, I'm supposed to go and pick Susan up. And yesterday, my friends and I went to karaoke for a farewell sing-song for someone who was going away to Miri on Sunday. People leaving, lots of that going on now. Am I in danger of getting a life ? Naaahh...

Since I'm in a rush, I'm not going to be overly verbal today, despite the fact that I do so want to ramble today. Got a lot on the mind.

I've been reading Daniel's blog. If you read Miss Cayce you'll know that he is Cayce's friend and not local in origin. Anyway, it's always so eye-opening to hear/read a foreigners account on things local, be it the rain forest or the local lifestyle or people, languages etc. Often I'll hear/read things in these accounts that I never think about before or take for granted. Very enlightening.

Whilst reading Daniel's rain forest walkabout, I recall something that I noticed when I was in a longhouse a few years ago (no, I'm not talking about leeches). Something that you'd think should be familiar but infact when I noticed it, was completely new.

That thing was total darkness.

I went to Sg. Klampai a few years ago. It's a long house near Saratok. I don't come from there. I went with friends.

Being without electricty, we had to use lanterns and candles in the evening. We ate, we chatted and joked. It was great, always cool to go to places far from home. So the time came for lights out and to go to sleep. We said our goodnights and out went the lights. And boy did they go out....

In the city, towns, suburbs and other places with electricity, there will always be some kind of light source however small. Streetlights, cars, nightlights. That night in Sg. Klampai, the darkness was TOTAL. No stars because of the overcast weather, and new moon. I couldn't see my hand in front of my face.

Have I mentioned I used to be afraid of the dark ? I found that I wasn't anymore. So I took out my Marlboro reds and lit me one. So there I was sitting in this black cocoon, the only visible light being my cigarrette. I found it strangely comforting.

I'll never forget that experience.

Thursday, July 29, 2004


When is off day not off day ? When you have to rush back to the office for a meeting at 7.00pm, that's when.
I'm still feeling a bit rushed. That meeting threw me out of my rhythm. Still, work is work.
Got some bad news. Remember that chopper that disappeared sixteen days ago ? They found it. Less than five clicks from its point of origin. Five bodies, two missing. I don't know what to say, especially to Jemima. So people, hit her blog, show some blogger solidarity and show your concern. I hope that she's not alone right now. She says that her last entry might be...well, her last entry. It's so sad when a blogger quits. I hope she doesn't stop. But whatever her reasons, what can we do but respect her decision should it come to that. It's her blog after all...
Death is always a shock.
I had a best friend once. We met in kindergarden and were friends throughout school. I knew him for 13 years. Then one day in KL in 1991, I was having breakfast after church when one of my friends came up to me. She said that my friend got into an accident. He didn't survive.
Death is always a shock. But sudden death is even worse.
I still remember what my reaction was, although I can never ever describe it with words. You had to be there to know. There was I, trying to absorb the fact that my bestest buddy whom I had known for 13 years is no longer here.
Me & Leon (who was also very very close to him) so desperately wanted to go back to Kuching. I wanted to go to the funeral. I wanted to be there when they put him in the ground, to send him off like a good friend should. But alas, I couldn't. People tell me that his funeral was well attended. He was a cool guy and had lots of friends. Even his enemies and people who didn't like him turned up and paid their respects. Until this day I refuse to look at the pictures they took of him in the casket. I just want to remember him like the last time I saw him, alive & kicking.
There's an epilogue to that story. Of all his many, many friends, only me & Leon still visit him until now. Every anniversary of the day, we go to the cemetery. We'd bring smokes and booze. We'd sit at his grave and talk about the old days and what could've been. We'd tell him what we've been up to. We'd tell him that we wished that he was still around.
It's such a shame that such a good person can be forgotten like that. But me & Leon, we don't forget. I guess I don't blame the other guys & girls for not visiting him. I know some of them may find Batu Kitang Anglican Cemetery to be morbidly depressing and sad. Some may it too painful to remember. Some may not go for whatever reason. It doesn't matter. I still remember and I still go.
I do ask sometimes. When I die, will my friends come & visit ? Who will remember ? Who will forget ?
Does it even matter ?

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Redefinition ?

Random Thought:-
Isn't it weird how some parents who send their kids for higher education with the reason that they want to see their children go on to do better things, are often the very same parents that are horribly disappointed when their kids don't turn out EXACTLY like them ?
People are just weird like that.
And I just noticed that that was one hell of a long sentence.
I've been tracking down some old friends lately, googling some and digging through old address books for others. I sent mail out yesterday to two of them. One of them wrote back. I'm pleased. Old friends (either friends who have known you for a long time or friends who are just old or both) are important. Our friends define who we are to some extent. Whether we realise it or not, our choice of friends affect how we turn out to be. I think so anyway.
And talking about old "friends", I've been thinking about resuming contact with a woman I knew once. Unfortunately we had a big fight years ago (actually two big fights). And she will not have anything to do with me any more (and who can blame her). And she blocked my mailcity e-mail address. But I now use yahoo & gmail so I'm not blocked anymore. Should I or should I not ? I thought about this and I've decided... No. I Shouldn't. That part of my life is gone. Mere memories. In the past. Water under bridge. Smoke in wind. Remember I said I did some "housekeeping" ? Well, this was one of the hardest thing to throw out. The faint hope that somehow that this woman would go easy on me and give me second (actually a third) chance.
Gee, I'm so emo sometime I disgust myself. No more of that now. Ancient history and forever will it remain as such.
In another developing story, I received a call this morning. Something about an employment opportunity. Right now I work at a large American company. Well, this possible new job opening is at an even bigger company that EVERYONE recognizes. Good wage is guaranteed as well as advancement and security. The catch ? (isn't there always one ?). It is possible that I may have to relocate.
Changes are difficult are they not ? Especially when concerning ones livelihood. That is why I have so much respect to people out there who have the guts to quit the day jobs to follow their passion.
Should I or should I not consider moving for a better opportunity ? Why yes. Don't mind if I do.
So once again it's time to break out the CV and dust of those college papers. Wish me all kinds of luck (except the bad kind).

Monday, July 26, 2004

Older and Far Away

I need to do housekeeping.
Not my actual house, since I'm lazy and don't like physical labour much. I'm talking about this blog. Some of my links are dead and some bloggers have new blog urls or even new blogs, which I know about but am too lazy to update my links area to reflect the changes. I've also discovered some new blogs that are superb. Three or four of them that I will be adding soon. Hopefully they'll link to me too. Yes I admit, I want many people to read my blog. It makes it more meaningful if I know that my posts are being read (which they are and I'm very very grateful to all of you for taking the time).
Housekeeping is important. It's important since it basically means throwing out junk and replacing broken things with new ones. It's very important if you have a PC since junk will take up hard disk space. And make your PC extremely slow. And unstable.
Same thing goes with people I think. It was my birthday nearly two weeks ago and I decided to do some housekeeping of my own. No, I didn't dig through all my stuff in my room and threw them out or gave them away (actually that's not a bad idea. I'm running out of space in my room). I'm talking about things inside. My old thoughts and memories. Regrets and remorse over actions/inactions commited. Excess emotional baggage. Dreams and grand master plans that didn't come to pass.
My birthdays aren't usually punctuated with parties and alchohol fueled hijinks. Sometimes I go have dinner with my parents where I will get my annual You're-Getting-Older-So-You-Have-To-Be-More-Responsible lecture from my mom (except this year strangely enough. Maybe my parents figure I'm too old for that now). Mostly, I go and reflect. There's a lot of stuff that usually comes up in my mind during this time, mainly about where I've been and where I'm headed.
I'll be honest. My life didn't turn out the way I had planned. Of my many dreams and ambitions, none have turned out the way I wanted them. Not even one. Even my choice of career isn't what I imagined it would be when I first graduated, although I am grateful that I found my niche when I did. I'm 31 years old and most of my friends are married, going to be married or in stable long term relationships. Me ? Not even close and I'm prepared to accept that maybe it'll never happen. In a nutshell, the place I'm at now is nowhere near the place I thought I would be when I got to my age now.
I've been passed over, lied to and rejected. I've been disillusioned, jaded & cynical.
Despite all of that, I don't have any regrets. So my life is different that what I wanted, but it's a good life with it's own share of great things. My life isn't perfect though. Of course they are things that I wish I could be or I could have , but what is life without wants and desires ? Everyone can have everything and still want more right ? Isn't that a human thing ?
So this year, I made the concious decision to bury some things in the past where they belong. The disappointments, regrets and dreams that will remain just that. I'm not sure what to replace these things with yet, but I figure since I'm 31 it's time to reset the timer and move forward to whatever else that's coming.
It's like being 21 all over again. Maybe things'll get better. Or maybe not. We'll see.

Friday, July 23, 2004

More Me Talking about Me

I broke down and bought three DVDs just now. I promised myself not to buy more than two this month, but I got so bored yesterday. I'm supposed to save money for my camera, but looks like that plan will have to wait a few more weeks.

I'm not good with self-discipline. I've gotten myself in trouble more than once because of it. I'm getting better at it now, but somethings I just can't help. Like when I'm bored, I sometimes go and buy things that I don't need. So girls, when you talk about "retail therapy", I do know what you mean.

I'm rebellious by nature, which has also gotten me in trouble more than once. I have problems with authority and am always questioning the motives of others when they imposed rules & restrictions, especially when they affect me directly. I believe that too many rules do more damage than good. I do agree that some measure of control is good but I get angsty when I feel that people make up rules & regulations just because they can.

This characteristic (flaw ?) is why I can't work in the government sector. Happily my current position at work allows me to be flexible and take liberties with the approach I take to solve problems and implement new ideas. Also it's a good thing my supervisor isn't the paranoid type. I hate it when people check on me and watch me like a hawk when I'm doing something. It stifles.

 I'm not big on procedures and guidelines. I'm more of a mission oriented type of guy. Don't care how something is done, just as long as it's done expediently and efficiently. Rules aren't written in stone after all, right ?

In other news, I found
Jemima Tagal's blog through Gette's blog. For those not in the know, she's the daughter of Asst. Minister Dr Judson Tagal. And for those who still don't know, Dr Judson along with six others disappeared 12 days ago when their chopper went down somewhere in the Ba'Kelalan area in the far northern part of the state. Jemima wrote this article which appeared in The New Straits Time today.
So be a good netizen, read the article, visit her blog and send all your prayers and good will to Jemima and family and also the families of the six other passengers. And also send your good will to the members of the search & recovery operation. Hopefully they'll find something soon.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Normal Again

I'm not supposed to write today. I should be too exhausted to think of anything, since I've just had  a long and hectic three days at work and have just got out of a meeting that lasted two hours. But somehow, I feel compelled to come here and post. I'm quite severely stressed, enough in fact to contemplate going to Kilkenny to grab a pint of draught. Alone. Thank goodness for blogs. God only knows where I would go to spill.
Now, have you ever had days when varied thoughts swim in your head like carp in a pond ? But like carp in said pond everytime you stick your hand in the water to grab one, you get nothing in your hand. Thoughts are there but I can't grab a hold off anything, like elusive carp. I sounding pretty nutty here aren't I ?I'm having one of those days (nights actually) right now. So I'm not going to think and just tap away at this cheap ass generic OEM PS/2 keyboard here in this cybercafe (which incidentally doesn't even serve coffee, which would be good right about now).
What is a "normal person" to you ? When I say "normal person" or "normal people" what do you see in your head ? How is it even possible to label someone "normal" considering the fact that people are supposedly unique ? Is "normal" in this case an absolute value or a range of values, in which if a person falls within parameters then they are considered "normal" ?
During the bloggers meet I mentioned that I had a theory that bloggers are not "normal". Now, if that were true does it mean that a "normal" person doesn't blog ? And if that were true, then I contradict myself when I say that the beauty of reading blogs is to delve into a "normal" person's life.
We do contradict ourselves a lot. We say things we don't mean. We give compliments that aren't sincere. We extol truth and honesty, yet lie to protect someone's ego.
I've come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as a "normal" person, at least not in the conventional sense. Maybe what I meant by that are people who instead of being valiant and living their true lives and exploring their capabilities, instead life the lives that are expected of them. The kind of life expected by their parents, their society, their religion, their social norms. Some people have no choice but to go along. Some people don't know any better. Some people do wonder what lies on the road less traveled, but have no courage to "stray".
Am I a normal person ? I can say with some conviction, No, I Am Not. In the very least, I don't think my life is that of the typical Malaysian/Sarawakian/Iban person. It's certainly not the life my mom wanted me to have. And certainly not the life that many colleagues and friends live. My life is more interesting than many peoples' but not quite as interesting as some others'. Since that makes my life in the middle of the spectrum, does that in fact make me "normal" ?
Okay I'm going round in circles here and I'm dizzy. And if you are dizzy, I'm really sorry. My bad. Really.
And I'm not even drunk. Can you imagine what I would write if I was ?

Tuesday, July 20, 2004


I've been quite the busy beaver the last two days. Nothing really serious, just regular work things. Except that during these two days, these work things have been coming at me faster and harder than usual. I hardly have any time to sit. And tomorrow evening, I have to attend a meeting. I don't like meetings. A least I don't have to take minutes this around.
My colleague just bought himself a camera. It's the immensely cool Nikon Coolpix 4100. An itty bitty little thing. Despite that, it takes 4MPx pics and has more features than you can shake a dead cat at. I'm thoroughly impressed. I'm probably get the lighter one, the Coolpix 3900. Exactly the same except it's 3+MPx instead. To aid my cause in acquiring this handy little gadget, I've also applied for a Mastercard today. About time I got one. I'll probably buy the cam in August or September. Then we'll have yet another person taking pictures during our blog meets.
Despite the day's hecticness, I did manage to have one pleasing experience today. During lunch, I had to stay in and troubleshoot a tape drive. So while doing that I decided to google names of friends. But first, some back story.
Back in college, I knew this Dusun Sabahan girl (for those not familiar with Malaysian ethicology, Dusun - her race, Sabah - state of origin ). Her name is Mimy Connie Indra. Now in the college student stereotype line-up you have them gorgeous but otherwise vacuous tramps who are also not very adept at academica, and you also have your brilliant brainiacs who also have severe wallflower tendencies.
Mimy had the best of both worlds. She's been in beauty contests where one time she finished second. She had a string of admirers, enamoured by her dynamic charm and personality. She was always the centre of attention, with her exotic looks, hair and the way she walked. But she was also an accomplished student, a real academic powerhouse who scored 3 plus pointers semester after semester without batting an eye-lid and despite severe personal problems. Despite all these things, she was never stuck up and never forgot who she was and who her real friends were. She's not perfect (who is these days ?) but to most people she was the complete package. But to me she was more than that.
She was my friend. We were in the same class together and I remember the times when we would reserve seats for the other if the other was late. Those were good times.
Before I met Mimy, beauty & brains did not exist together. Up til then I thought these two traits were mutually exclusive and I thought I had the evidence to prove it. She took care of that theory within the first 30 minutes of me knowing her (by the way, we met at 5.30am on July 14th 1991 during orientation week).
To cut a really really long story short, she was one highlight in my maddeningly depressing college life. We weren't always close especially in the middle of my 3rd year in college. But we started hanging again in the final year when she was preparing her thesis (if I'm not wrong I think it was "Protocol for voice transfer over network". No big deal nowadays but in 1995-96, this technology DID NOT even exist) while I was struggling to wrap up my diploma, which was delayed due to ill health and worse results.
We went our separate ways after graduation but hooked up again a few months later while I was in KL for a training stint. She graciously invited me to stay with her at her apartment. I was flattered even though when I think of it now it was probably because her housemate was away and she didn't want to be alone. We caught up on old times and when I got back to Kuching, we called each other quite a lot.
And then not long after that she got involved with this Italian guy. We talked about this a lot. Later she told me that she was thinking about going to Italy and working in Europe. I told her to go (I think, I don't remember). She went and I've not heard from her since. That was 1998 if I'm not mistaken.
Right now I'm suddenly recalling one conversation we had. She was talking about her friends and some guy that one of her friends were interested in. Turns out that that guy was interested in Mimy instead. So her friend (who in fact I also know) got really upset and said some spiteful things. So we were talking and she said (and I'll never, ever forget this),"What am I supposed to do Mac ? What can I do if (some guy's name) likes me and not (friend's name) ? She keeps saying that,"Mimy is so much prettier than me, that's why all the guys like her ? She's my friend. Do you know how bad all this makes me feel ? What am I supposed to do ?".
Dear God how I miss her.
Well, anyway back to the Google story. U googled her name and it came up top of the list.
It was an old (2002) newsletter from some American software company.  And one article mentioned a product demo by a Mimy Connie Indra, an expert network engineer. It could've been anybody right ? I read the story again and I'm 99.988% certain that it was talking about the Mimy I knew in college. The Mimy I used to hang out with. The Mimy who once passed me her completed programming assignment, source codes, hard copy, lock, stock & two smoking barrels so that I could "refer" to it to finish mine (which was overdue, naturally).
I did some more digging and found that she may be working at a company called BMC Software, a multinational with world wide offices. The Net trail went as far as there.
Now, I'm quite pragmatic. She may have forgotten about me. She may be impossible to trace and she may not want to be traced. Perhaps I'll never, ever see her again. I get that.
It's just so good to see that name again and re-awaken all those memories (she once told me that she thought my memory and attention to detail was amazing *heeheehee*). I always say that my college years was a dark, damp & depressing time of my life.
But I knew Mimy and we were buds and we trusted and helped each other. If it weren't for her, college would have been so much worse. I think back and I knew guys who'd KILL to be that close to her. In retrospect, college wasn't so bad after all...
And for that and so many things, Mimy I'm eternally grateful. I hope one day I get a chance to say that to your face.
And in the off chance (or rather infinitesimally small chance) that you've stumbled on this blog, leave a note and I'll call you.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Melancholy Sunday

I'm all alone today. Sundays are like that aren't they ? Lonely and slightly blue, with most people winding down and getting ready to go to bed early and go to work on Monday. Sometimes I feel that Sundays are worse than Mondays when the melancoly factor is considered.
Earlier I was contemplating whether I should go and watch King Arthur, but since this is the first weekend after the opening I decided not to. I'd rather wait till next week for the crowds to thin a bit.
Last night I went to Kilkenny, that pub that
Shook was telling me about with Leon, Angelie & Susan. The place was okay, not exactly a standout but I've been to worse places. The one thing that did stand out was the Irish draught. Dark and bitter like stout (but not as thick) but much, much smoother than any beer I've ever tasted in Kuching. Despite its rather exorbitant cost, I had three pints. I'm going to drink this again very, very soon. Me & Susan was supposed to go and meet her friend somewhere later but neither one of us was feeling up to it. The three pints that I had earlier was enough to render me unable to speak, literally. I could not string two words together without me sounding like a jammed Gatling gun. I guess three pints is a bit much. So there went my Saturday evening.
I'm feeling strangely melancholic today. Strange because I haven't been feeling any melancholy for a good to months now. Sometimes I do that, be melancholic for no apparent reason. It usually happens on Sundays. I haven't been able to explain it properly, but if there's one day of the week that I feel a little bluish for no good reason, it's usually Sunday. I've also noticed that I'm the only person I know that has this pattern. Maybe I should get myself analysed by a psychiatrist to help figure this out ?
But never mind. The melancholy is temporary, blowing over a bit later this evening usually. I shall enjoy my alone time and not entertain any sad, negative thoughts. Being alone is nice sometimes. I've been doing a fair bit of socialising the last two, three weeks so I think I'll chill out by myself today. Just to keep the balance, you know.
And tomorrow I'll have an early morning at work. I hope that kam pua stall in Tabuan will be open.
Have a good week and hope that I can post something more interesting next time.

Oh and check this out. It's really interesting.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Sucky Site That Doesn't Suck

I having a good day today. Firstly, I got out of the house earlier than usual and had lunch with the Kuching bloggers as a going away gathering for Aida. She'll be going to KL to study. Besides her Shook, Fina, Joyce, Dee, Georgette & Andrea were all there. We ended up chattering away for three hours and the girls had a whale of a time picking on me, like they always do while Shook played the bewildered observer. I'm sure the Elephant staff hates us now. No I'm exaggerating a bit. It was a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone again. In fact I might organise somethinng myself. Preferably with some alcohol so that I can hear Andrea repeat the same story over & over again. What fun !!
Later I'm going to check out this new bar that supposedly Irish (or Irish themed at any rate). I like the Irish. I think they're cool. I especially like their accent. I met this Irish girl once at Liquid before it closed down. I loved the she talked. Unfortunately I was to drunk to do things like string a coherent sentence together or ask for her contact info. I wish I could see her again.
And finally, just now Shook showed me an awesome site,
Mucho Sucko. (Warning: Not Safe For Work). It's a huge collection of videos, pics and other weird things floating around on the Internet. I saw some amazing videos, like a superbike cam showing the bike going at 336Km/h (!!!!). You have to see it to believe it. There's more so if you have broadband, check out the videos. Entertainment guaranteed.
Well, I'm going to go check out that Irish bar now. Who knows I might meet someone Irish. A female someone preferably...
Have a nice weekend.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Fun with Dayak Languages

Wow...! *chuckles*

It seems that my last post generated quite a bit more interest than I expected. If you are foreign or otherwise unfamilliar with the Melanau language, go here. Go ask Shook to translate for you. Or Aida.

I was supposed to post yesterday about something totally different yesterday. I wanted to talk about blogger burnout and Spidey 2, which I saw with Leon (my cousin) on Tuesday night. It was a good movie. I didn't post because I was at Leon's office and he wanted to show me Star Wars Galaxies. Very nice game. I saved yesterday's post as a draft and was going to continue today but I read my comments and thought this topic is more fun.

How come I never write in Iban ? Same question I'm asking myself. Okay there are few excuses I can make. Firstly, despite being Iban I don't write well in Iban. That's because I didn't take Iban in secondary school (Iban is offered as a elective in some highshools here, although not at St. Thomas' apparently). I don't even speak Iban as purely as some of my friends. My Iban is a mish-mash of at least two different Iban dialects, the Sri Aman Iban and the Lundu Iban and maybe a smattering of words from other Iban dialects (Sibu, Betong/Saratok ?). Purists will tell me off for having a "impure" dialect/accent. I don't speak Iban as well as English actually *embarassed*.

Secondly, I want this blog to be internationally accessible. I could write in "rojak" (mixed) language but I don't know how. I'm not as "terrer" (good) as Lizzy. If you want to read hilarious posts written in English/Malay go and check her out.

Varying languages, one of the cool things about being a Iban in Sarawak. You hear and can learn so many languages, it's mind boggling. Even dialects are different from one another, although technically they are the same language. Like Bidayuh, one race (again technically) but SEVEN completely different languages (Serian, Bau, Padawan etc. I can't remember the rest). And various Iban dialects, same language, but not the same at the same time.

Spend time with enough Iban friends and you will hear Lundu/Sibuyau, Simanggang, Betong/Saratok, Sibu etc. All the same, but different enough to be obviously different.

And I haven't mentioned the Orang Ulu peoples yet. Mainly because I don't know many of them and therefore my knowledge of their language is non-existent.

And finally....

aku suah berunding nama kebuah bala kitai Iban tauka suku bansa Dayak bukai (lebih agi ba menua Sarawak tu) enda entu ka nguji ngereja pengawa IT tauka utai bukai ti bisi kena menegna enggau komputer ? Selama aku udah gawa nyadi technician IT, aku jarang sekali betemu ka bala kitai ba pengawa IT tu. Aku ingat maia aku agi sekula ba UTM suba, kelas Dipl. Comp. Sci. aku bisi lebih ari 300 nembiak. Aku siku ajak Iban enggau bisi siko indu Kenyah. Dua Dayak dalam 300. Nama kebuah nemu bakanya ? Engka diatu udah maioh agi, tang aku bedau agi tepeda.

*Apu, tusah amat ka nulis dalam jako Iban tu. (Translation: Wow, it's so hard to write in the Iban language.) I need to practise. Maybe I should hook up with a girl from some remote longhouse so I can write her sappy love letters. In Iban...

And are there any Bidayuh's out there who blog ?

*This post was reedited for grammar & spelling.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Dayak in Cyberspace

I decided to do a bit of housekeeping on here blog. A new link here, another one there, that kind of thing.

I just got off work actually. Strangely, I'm not feeling as exhausted as I'm usually am. Perhaps it's the anticipation of the coming long break. I mean, FIVE work free days ? There is no bad there.

You will notice that this entry doesn't carry as much weight as the last few. Although I did say that I wasn't exhausted, my brain is in snooze mode.

I did have an interesting time on Saturday night. By myself. So I went to this karaoke bar, which is now called e-Balcony apparently, previously it was called Sadau Kumang, which was in turn previously known as Pengkalan. I don't get the many name changes. Maybe the place's management's been changing, but you won't see that since the place still looks & smells the same. Even the folks who work there are the same, more or less.

I got my bottle of Guinness and sat by a window, which was open. Bizarrely enough, the place was DEAD. It was nearly 11.00pm on a Saturday night and there was NOBODY there. Not even when I left at close to midnite. Maybe everyone is broke since it is the middle of the month. But actually, it is nice to have a bar all to yourself. And Guinness...what a relaxing beverage, stronger than beer but without the nasty hangover. I recommend having one before bedtime, it's very soothing.

I just have a thought, aside from Dee how many people of Dayak ethnicity have blogs ? Not that it matters but if one were to consider the composition of the population of Sarawak, there's a descrepancy there somewhere (background note: Dayaks from as many as 27 different distinct groups make up nearly half of the 2 plus million people here). To be fair, us Dayaks are still fairly new at this technological thingamabob known as blogging. I wish more of us would blog. I'm thinking a blog written in Iban/Bidayuh (with subtitles ?) would make fascinating reading. And blogs from Sarawak people who don't live in Kuching/Sibu/Bintulu/Miri would be nice too, regardless of race. Life outside the major towns and cities is different I can tell you. There is the question of internet access, but I do know some of the smaller towns have regular service and cybercafes.

I'm actually trying to get my cousin to start blogging. We need more Dayaks in cyberspace !

Damn I'm bored.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Timeout with Me

I'm going out tonight. By myself.

There's a kind of stigma about going out by yourself, isn't there ? Especially on Saturday night. I was inclined to think that this is true in Kuching, then I thought about it some more and I think this is probably true everywhere. By default, society seems to think that going out by yourself is strange.

I had a conversation with a colleague about this a few months back. I told him that among other things, I've gone to the movies alone, went to the mall alone, had lunch/dinner alone, went to clubs alone, a whole lot of stuff alone. My colleague said that he would rather vegetate at home than go out for any reason alone. If there's nobody to accompany him, he'll actually bring his mom. Now, that is weird to me. The same way that going out alone is weird to my colleague (and to a lots of people I know). See, we all got our idiosyncrasies. Not that it's a bad thing to bring your mom along to go the mall and shop or go to catch a movie. But can you imagine me going to a club with Mom ? Can you say "scary visual place"?

I'm a loner by nature. I like to hang with company af course (after all I did post about the fact that humans are pack animals), but there are times that I want to do things by myself. Like tonight.

I did get a call earlier from a friend. He proposed that we meet somewhere and we could hang. So far he hasn't called yet so I assume that the plan's off. But I'm going anyway. Maybe to a club and get me a nice mug of guinness before bedtime, which will be early tonight since I'm working tomorrow. Have to make like Cinderella and be home by midnite or else my car will turn into a pumpkin or a chilli pepper or some other vegetable/fruit.

In other news, Susan (my-ex) went to get a medical check up on Friday. She's been having trouble sleeping, so she's having herself check out at the GH for any potential. She should, since she's not been able to sleep properly since two months ago. I hope she'll be okay.

And yet more news, I'm finally a member of The Ricebowl Journals Society. I'm pleased. There's some kick-ass blogs on there people. Check it out.

I think I'll go and grab that mug of guinness now. Have a nice weekend.

And to all those people who commented the last few entries, thanks !! I owe you guys drinks.

Friday, July 09, 2004


What a boring day. And what a boring weekend it's going to be. I had to wake up early-ish this morning (which is something that I loath to do on my off days) and go attend a three hour training session. I have to be at work on Sunday morning, so that means no galivanting about town on Saturday night. Also the Rainforest World Music Festival is on this weekend and I can't go !! Dammit ! Some of my buds have gone today and are participating in workshops as we speak !

The good news is next week I'll have a FIVE day weekend. Yes !! I've decided to take leave on my birthday so I'll be off for FIVE days ! And I'm getting paid next week too !! Much wassailing and carousing possibilities next week it seems. All I need now is company.

Well, I could go out with my friends. But I want to try something. You see, this whole Esther episode from last week made me think,"Gee, meeting new people is fun, if somewhat nerve-wracking. Maybe I should do this more often." This might not sound like much to some people but for me, it's a big change.

As a rule, I'm not much of an extrovert. I'm more of a quiet, stand-offish, observe from afar type as opposed to the life-of-a-party type. It's hard for me to meet with new people, especially women. Just about the safest way I can think of is if I get some of my friends to introduce me to some of their (female) friends. Who in turn can introduce me to some of theirs'. But I'm thinking, this is something I have to learn to do myself, past screw-ups be damned. After all, how long can I leech off my friends' contacts ?

In theory I do know what to do. I do know I have to be confident and not worry about getting turned down. I do know what to say and how to say it to break the ice, so to speak. But only in theory.

Take this example. I know this girl (vaguely). I've met her once in a group. We talked. We had a good time with our mutual acquaintances. She's quite nice. I have her phone number. And yet, it's been like two months (maybe more). And have I called her ? Just to say hi ? Of course not. Even though there are days that I'm dying to call her to say hi or go for drinks. I can't seem to do it. I'm frightened by what her reaction would be. And bear in mind, I'm NOT EVEN in love with her. I just want to make with the friendly and I can't even do that. I know why. I'm scared.

I do really need to get over some issues.

I'm scared of a lot of things, some of it pretty juvenile come to think of it. I'm scared that she'd say no. I'm scared that I'll make a bad impression and that she'll think I'm a dork. Or boring. Or coming on too strong. Or some other thing my mind thinks up. My craziest worry is that she'll look at me and tell me to "get real" and that she'll never go out with the likes of me. Outlandish right ? Probably, but I've had the misfortune of being rejected and publicly humiliated like this in real life. More than once.

That, my dear reader is probably the seat of all my fears. The scars from events like these are still there. Everytime I want to pick up the phone to ask someone out or open my mouth to say hi to a strange girl, I instantly become the awkward college kid that I once was. And I don't do it in the end.

Geez, I've got to get over this. If I were to ask me for advise, I'd tell me to well...get over it. Deal with it. So what, the bitch who humiliated and dismissed me as being "unworthy" is probably just that anyway. A bitch. I'd tell me that not all women are like that. Just pick up the phone and say hello. Or when I meet someone I might like, just smile and say "hi!". What's the worse that could happen ? Whatever it is, it can't be that bad right ? I mean I'm not going to die if I don't get a positive response, right ?

See I do know what to do. I've been giving this advise to other people. Other people have tried this and it works. And yet I can't. I'm such a basketcase.

What the hell. I'm calling her next week. If she wants to go, great. If not, then fine. Whatever.

Sometimes, it sucks to be me.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

The Girl in Question


I just got off one heck of a week at work. Busy as hell. And I got to do fun things like set up Dos 6.22 & Windows 3.11 on an a n c i e n t PC in a warehouse full of toxic chemical fumes for three hours. That's the most fun anyone could have without know, actual fun. Did I mention the a n c i e n t (read: slooow) PC ? And the toxic fumes ? And the three hours spent breathing in said fumes ? I did ? Okay then.

Over the last few days, there were in fact many things I want to write about, but couldn't because of me being busier than usual. Mainly what happened over last weekend.

But I'll sum it up by talking about Esther. That's the girl I've been going out with. Well, the conclusion to that little adventure is..... I'm going to keep a low profile and just be casual with her. I turns out that although she is very, very attractive (physically) and quite a fun person, somehow I'm not quite as attracted to her as I thought I would be. Plus, she isn't attracted to me. We could be friends. And not much more.

While we at Soho, she spoke to my ex about me while I was in the loo. Basically what she said was that I was too "nice" for her. To which my ex replied,"That's why we're introducing him to you. How much longer are you going to go out with bad boys ?". Then Esther paused and said,"I don't know. One day, but not now."

The next day, me and my ex went to to Discovery with Sharon (another friend of a friend). We called Esther and she said she was out having dinner. Later we went to Sadau to check out the crowd. And guess who we saw there ? When Esther saw that I was there, she was visibly shocked.

I just smiled at her and lifted my glass of screwdriver in her direction. She was with Carol (her regular clubbing buddy) and two other guys I've never seen before. After finishing my drink, I felt like getting out of her face. So I split. I haven't called her since.

Strangely enough, unlike my usual drama king reactions in the past I'm pretty cool with this one. I don't feel bad at all.

I've decided to suspend my activities with her for a while. This is so that she'll know that I'm not stalking her or anything. I also told my ex and another friend to mention the fact that I'm not crazy about her, just in case she talks about me again. Judging from the stuff she said and her reactions (and the very strong,"I don't want to be alone with you" vibe that I'm detecting from her) safe to say this won't end well if I persist. Plus the fact that she's still in the "Bad boys are hot" phase is a heck of a major turnoff. My cousin says that this is a defensive thing, since she had a very bad past with men and therefore finds it difficult to open up to anyone right now.

Still it was fun. I haven't done anything like this in a long time. Will I go out with Esther again ? Yes, but next time she has to open the conversation.

Gee, I hope I'm making sense. I actually having trouble arranging my thoughts right now.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Small Changes

I've decided to make some ammendments to my weblogging credo.

One, I've decided to allow myself to edit posts to correct spelling mistakes (the no-edit clause for content stays). I got this after reading delightful posts from Divine Distractions and Motor City Bad Kitty. Great posts about the (ab)use of the English language, especially in regard to blogs. I figured it's only fair to go back and proof-read my writing, since I have been making some horrid spelling & grammar mistakes lately. And since I can be quite anal about language use myself (especially oral), I think I should start getting fussy here first. Also, I guess typing slower helps too.

Having said that, there is one point I need to clarify. Now, I did say that I wanted to be more careful with spelling & grammar. However, in the case of this blog and all my online writing activity I would like to stress that I write English as it would be spoken. So that means I will NOT be following certain so-called written grammar rules. I want to preserve my blog's informal, spontaneous nature. Besides, following rules cramp my style. I think informal oral-style writing language give blogs their unique "voice". And I can begin sentences with "But" or "And" if I want to, so get over it...

Another ammendment is concerning name dropping. From now on, I will use real names of real people if there are no negative implications (like threats and lawsuits. I really can't afford a lawyer these days). Or even using fake names for real people if I really want to get trashy. Most of the time, I write about people that are my friends and these are nice people. All my friends are cool. So why shouldn't I let my readers know their names ? Why shouldn't they have their names plastered all over the Internet, right ?

Talking about writing online, I'm not saying that I disagree with any blogger who insist that their blog be written in pristine Queen's English (or any other language spoken by any monarch regardless of gender), where all the T's are crossed and I's dotted in all the right places and in the right order. If that's the style that a blogger wants, then so be it.

I don't want to do that. I started blogging partly to improve my self-expression. I find it easier to write if I don't have to mind the language. Before this, I used to be quite strict about my own writing, probably because in school and college I had a rep for perfectly written pieces. But looking back, some of the "stories" I wrote sound like a prologue for a sophomore Physics text book. Cold and lifeless. But times have changed and I want to try something else now. And it's more fun...

There is one thing that I find really annoying though. I can't stand it when people write like the way they do on IRC or when they're using SMS. I don't know why exactly, but it's just annoying.

But in the spirit of free expression online, I'll tolerate it. Whatever rocks your boat, right ?

Now, I'll post this and see if I miss any spelling mistakes.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Storm in Teacup


Me, what a drama king.

I went out with E & friends last night. Had dinner at Top Spot (buttered prawns !!), then went to Soho, then went to Sadau (vodka !). Fun !

I've also found out that my so-called fear is just not justified. I was overreacting. Good thing I caught myself in time. She's nice and all that, but last night I decided that we're better of being friends (for now at least). I'm not going to force anything. Cool as they say. And she said some nice things about me, which is always nice hehe.

I guess the only reason I had that much fear is that I haven't met with anyone new in so long, I forgot what it was like. And my poor track record didn't help with confidence. But if last night was any indication, I'm not as inept as I thought I was. We had fun, had great conversation which was exactly what I wanted. I also managed to keep my inner angsty teenager at bay and kept things light, which made her more comfortable. It was great. For once, I did not say or do the wrong thing.

On a darker note, this morning one of our friend's dad (and E's uncle) passed away.

My cousin is already there at the longhouse to help out and he asked me to come along. E's supposed to come up together with me but she's having trouble convincing other friends to come along, so we might have to skip it. Which is sad, because I do want to go. I can't go without E (who won't go if she has to go alone) because I don't know where the longhouse is exactly. And I don't feel like looking around and asking for directions because the place is 200 plus clicks away.

What a bummer after a great night.

But such is fate and not much we can do about this.

I hope my friends are okay. I'll see whether I can go and I'll write about it.

Thursday, July 01, 2004


I'm relieved.

It's my last night of work for this work and it's been tiring. But I'm relieved. I tied up all my loose ends and have nothing to worry about, workwise.

Which is more than I can say about my life right now ? For the the first time in the longest time, I'm feeling anxious. Big time.

It just occured to me, what if E saw my blog and read my posts about her. Would she know ? Are the posts ambiguous enough for me to claim plausible deniability ? And if she knows it's about her, what would she feel ? Would she be flattered ? Or would she think, "what the f__k !!?" Have I inadvertently shot myself in the foot (again) ?

Whatever. The posts stay. If she did see them and is freaked my them, then I'll just have to write it off as fated. Not meant to be.

I wish it didn't have to be this hard. I wish I had the confidence to be nonchalant about this.

And for that matter, what do I want out of this ? Do I want a relationship ? Do I want to be just friends ? Or something in between ?

The sickest part of this whole thing is the fact that I'm so bloody frightened at the outcome, good or other wise that I'm actually tempted to just run and bury the whole thing. Would that be a good idea ? What a powerful effect a person can have on another person. Amazing...

I've also been thinking, "what is the root of my fear ?". Now, that is an extremely difficult question. And of course I am nowhere near the possible answer. Or perhaps the answer is right in front of me but I'm too blind to see it.

Geez, I'm sorry to you reader, if my rantings for the last three days sound mentally deficient. But what can I say, the anxieties are real.

And I hate myself for being weak, overtaken by fear. Is there a way out ?