Monday, February 27, 2006

New and Routine

It's Monday and I'm not at work today.

I'm picking up my new glasses tomorrow. As well as new rims. I'm using Rin's phone, so technically I got a new phone. I have a new book to read, Forbidden History. Actually two, I also need to read Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. I had that sound system upgrade some days ago and I've finally tuned it to my satisfaction. So many controls and settings to adjust.

A whole lot of new stuff I got. I'm thinking about going out and buying DVDs later. I think I want new clothes as well.

No new games are out, at least not the ones I'd like anyway. So I'm playing old games.

An old friend mailed me a few days back. That was a nice surprise. Surprises are nice.

Life, in general is extremely quiet and extremely routine. Usually, now would be the time for me to write a post complaining how boring everything is and how I'd wish for more excitement. But no. Why would I want to do that? It's a bad habit, complaining just for the sake of complaining.

I'm not in trouble nor am I in pain nor am I tormented or depressed or broken hearted or frustrated. The quiet is good and this time, I'm going to enjoy it. Trouble after all, will come when it does. No need to wish for it.

Everything is quiet. It's very peaceful and I appreciate that.

PS. I originally thought about writing an entry about something else but I decided not to because:-

a) I'm too lazy and I want to play New Horizons again.


b) This post contains nearly everything I wanted to write about and probably says it better.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Then and Now and Then Again

The new Bananarama album, Drama, is actually very, very good. Great dance music. I'm quite surprised at how good it is. The CD had been sitting in my car for three weeks before I got around to listening to it.

I particularly like the track "Look On the Floor". Awesome.

It's quite strange. The last time time I listened to them regularly was in the early 90s. That's quite literally a lifetime ago.

Somehow, the new album really gives time an age a perspective.

Despite my age, I still find it quite impossible to "act my age" as it were. I guess I'll always be like this. Somehow, whenever I think about it, I'll never really "grow up". I don't think I'll ever acquire that certain degree of responsibility, stability and seriousness that is required as an "adult".

I still haven't decided whether that is a good or bad thing. Neither have I thought about how serious and important being "my age" really is. I really don't care so much. It's just a thought.

There's that generation gap again. A generation ago, a thirty three year old would've stopped doing 75% of the things I still do. Perhaps during those times, it was necessary to evolve like that.

How different are things now.

I suddenly feel sorry for my parents again. I bet they had hoped for a more successful, mature and altogether more stable child who would be sitting somewhere in a prestigious position of employment who is also married to a nice woman. Instead, they got me.

When I think about it, I understand why they might feel disappointed. Unfortunately, there's little I can do about that.

Anyway, my life so far is nothing like what I envisioned it to be during those heady days of the early 90s.

Am I disappointed by that? Sometimes I think I am, but mostly, not really.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Cool Stuff

I've just finished installing a new 1200watt amp and a 12" woofer into the car. It's very, very impressive and I'm very, very pleased with it. Very, very powerful. Big, huge sound. I actually had some reservations about the woofer. I thought it would be too big. I originally wanted an 8" or 10" one. But it's actually quite nice. It was very loud without sounding muddy. Very clean sound.

Of course, it got a bit confusing at first since the amp, the pre-amp and the CD/MP3 player all have separate settings controls, but after lots of twiddling, I think I got the balance just right. I'll just max out the amp and preamp and control the settings from the player.

It's time to make another mix CD now.

I now understand why some people spend tens of thousands buying junk for their car. It's actually quite fun. Not that I would spend THAT much money, of course.

And talking about confusion, I'm getting new rims next week. I've decided to just get new alloy wheels instead of plastic wheel caps. 15" wheels should cut it. And just now, me and a friend of mine went to this wheel shop and they must've had 6 tons worth of alloy wheels there. Everything from teeny weeny 13" Kancil wheels to big ass 20" ones for SUVs. And lots of different designs. Very confusing, but in a good way.

This should set me back around one and a half to two grand. Sounds like a lot, but considering how gorgeous some of those wheels were, it's actually pretty good value.

Car modding, very expensive hobby. Good thing I'm just a casual user. Maintaning my PC is expensive enough.

In other news, I've managed to find a good sound emulator for old DOS games, VDM Sound 2.1.0. And I've downloaded a copy of Uncharted Waters:New Horizons and it works with sound now.

I've been having some trouble with sound in old DOS games when I try to play them in WinXP. All the other emulators I've tried aren't very stable. This one works quite well so far.

Tomorrow, I go back to work but next week I hope to finally have my extended break. Hopefully, there will be no emergencies that will require me to come in.

I'm still tired.

Monday, February 20, 2006

A Bizarre Dream

This week continues to be somewhat confusing. I'm working on days that I shouldn't be working and I'm not working on days that I should.

I had a bizarre dream two nights back.

I fell asleep and I dreamt that I fell asleep and dreamt that.... well you know. It was weird. After waking up from that and falling asleep again, I dreamt that I fell asleep and had a nightmare.

It was very weird. And very vivid. In fact, it was so vivid, I'm not exactly sure which part was real and which part was the dream.

The nightmare within the nightmare itself was quite strange. In it I was just petrified of something. I don't know what. It was just me frozen with fear. I actually shook (or at least I felt like I was shaking). Usually, a nightmare involves being chased by something or drowning or falling or piloting a burning aircraft into a ship (yes, I actually dreamt this a very long time ago) or other sundry badness.

But not this one. I was just standing there being very, very afraid.

It was extremely weird. And a little too intense for my liking. Happily, I don't have bad dreams very often. I'd like to keep it that way.

In other happenings, there isn't that much happening.

One night, I was out with friends and we had this conversation about torture devices and methods. That was very interesting, especially the more twisted, sick ones.

Like the blood eagle. And the brazen bull.

The conclusion? People are generally very bad to other people and people who think up these torture/execution methods have too much free time on their hands. Or maybe they were angry at their parents.

Sick and twisted as it may be, I do find things like these morbidly fascinating. Not that I'm a sick, twisted person, of course.

Anyway, here's to hoping that the week will be more interesting than usual.

It ought to be. I'm getting my extra audio equipment installed in my car this evening.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Crazed Week

I've had the most crazy week with not enough rest and too much work. The only good news is at least next week I'll be free nearly the whole week. I've decided to take some days off.

Which means I can catch up on some admin work. There's bills that need paying and shopping that needs doing.

I need new specs. Might pick a pair that would change my look. Hopefully, I won't end up procrastinating about it as I usually do.

Kind off tired. Been a very long week. On Valentine's Day, I had to come back to work. Emergency situation.

And talking about Valentine's day, I cared less about it this year than any other year. It's really no big deal anymore, I don't even feel like writing about it much. It's cool like that. I guessed I've really gotten over it this time.

I watched Eddie Izzard last night with Shel and Rin at my house. It was brilliant.

I also bought RAM and just now I bought some audio equipment from a colleague. I might pick up some more new toys next week.

It's almost time to go home now and I'm very tired...

Sunday, February 12, 2006

No More Mr. Nice Guy?

No more. No more Mr. Nice Guy.

It's always quite unnerving to read something, a book or a newspaper article or something on the net, and see yourself in it.

I've always known that there's something not quite right about myself, especially when relating to women. There was I kind of knew what it was, but I could never articulate it.

I knew something wasn't really right and I know many people who are my friends and people who leave comments everytime I write about this here know this too. But somehow, no one really knows how to describe it.

I was blind surfing yesterday, when I came upon this article about the so-called Nice Guy Syndrome. I laughed and wondered, wow, they have a name for it now. But the more I read, the less funny it became. Incidentally, the article has a link to which was recommended to me by a friend. I haven't checked it out yet, but now I think I might.

Anyway, I digress.

So, I went around some more, looked up Wikipedia and found more links. Links like this one. Kind of harsh, but a really good article nonetheless. I also checked out all the other links.

I personally know a few more guys other than myself who could use this all information. Anyway...

Ahh Mr. Nice Guy. He's very confused. He's kind, reliable, safe and dependable. And yet, he can't find a mate. Women keep telling him that these are the things that they want in a man, but it doesn't look like it's enough.

The problem is, Mr. Nice Guy is also.....well, insipid and to be honest, not very attractive to women. And he doesn't know that. Is it any surprise that he's always single?

I knew there was something wrong with me when it comes to women. I knew I was doing something wrong, something that chases women away, something that lands me in the the so-called Friend Zone.

As can be expected, I didn't know what was wrong.

You see, Mr Nice Guy is also clueless and places priorities in the wrong areas. He tries to sell himself but he's selling the wrong things. Things that he thinks women would like, but in reality these things aren't enough.

As can be seen from all my related blog posts and conversations with people, I'm clueless as well. I keep asking why, don't I?

Yes, a woman wants a nice guy who's good to her and is kind and dependable and all that. But none of these things are attractive enough, not by themselves.

Mr Nice Guy needs to be more that just be "nice".

I think I have a clearer idea now. I think I need to rethink everything again. At least now, I have more insight and more importantly, a potential solution to a deep seated flaw.

Being "nice" is not enough.

Saturday, February 11, 2006


"Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let not this blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful. Strive to be happy."

- Desiderata, Max Ehrmann

Usually, I don't react very well to cheery, "inspirational" writing. But there 's something quite different and direct about Desiderata, something very.... simple and honest.

Yesterday was the first time I read it in years. And how timely.

I was reading blogs and the news yesterday, and really, I felt as if the whole world has gone mad. There's more news about war in all the newspapers, news about conflict and disagreement. I read blog posts written by men blasting women for being manipulative and conniving and posts written by women blasting men for being insensitive and untrustworthy. I read more stories about innocent scapegoats being sacrificed on the altar of political convenience.

And then there are things in my own life that cause headaches.

So much disagreement, so much anger, some much recrimination. I felt so tired and drained.

And then, I read the Desiderata. I felt better.

Life is not meant to be easy. No such thing as happily ever after. Can't be helped. Overthinking and over-analysing everything makes things much harder. It's so easy to get lost in the details of life that before long, we get overwhelmed by it. I know I feel like this sometimes.

This however, can be helped. It's possible to stop and pull away to see the big picture.

I've been overthinking again, about things that happen around me and things that happen inside my head. I've been thinking about the future and how it doesn't look very rosy at the moment. I thought about the ifs, whens, whys and wheretofores and so on and so forth.

In short, I lost sight of the forest for the damn trees again. Introspection can sometimes be a bad thing.

And so, I stop. And now, I'm reminding myself to have a bit of faith and go with the flow. Let the future unfold like it does.

It's hard to "let go" of life. Us humans feel this need to always grab life by the horns and steer it where we want it to go. And course, we can't do that. Life is so much bigger than us. Perhaps, it's a better thing to let go and let it work itself out? I think so. It has to be the right thing, since it's so hard to do. Yeah, letting go is very hard to do, unnerving like riding a roller coaster without holding on to railings.

Control the things that can be controlled and let the uncontrollable things go wherever.

Suddenly, I'm not sure about this posts lucidity. Lucid or not, these are the things that I've been thinking about the last day or two.

I've been reading about the concepts of altruism and egoism. Very enlightening stuff.

And so, I hope to not forget too soon that it's better to keep things simple. Like what Desiderata says, life need not be so complicated.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Return of The Wolf

Before anything, I would like to thank everyone who commented on my last post once again. I appreciate all of it very much.

Anyone remember Lone Wolf? A very, very long time ago, I was a big fan.

Actually, I'm still a bit of a fan. Unfortunately, my old books are gone, ravaged by time.

So, imagine my surprise and delight when I found out that some fans got together to eventually publish all of them online. This endevour is known as Project Aon. The best part is that it's sanctioned by the author.

It's also totally free. Not surprisingly, I've downloaded the entire set already, including books that I couldn't get.

Included are Joe Dever's other works, like The World of Lone Wolf: Greystar The Wizard which I love so very much. Too bad we don't do D&D anymore nowadays. The world of Aon would have made an awesome setting.

While I'm on the subject downloading old stuff, I've managed to download Buffy Season 3 and recovered my four missing episodes. I'm very relieved.

I've had a peaceful few days off work. On Monday night, me, Sheldon, Rin and my brother went to my former favourite watering hole to hang out. As usual as it is for a karaoke place, the lighting is dark. One of the waitresses mistook me for a girl. Again.

I found it quite funny.

Perhaps, it is time for another haircut.

I'll be working starting tomorrow all the way through the weekend. I don't feel very enthusiastic about it. Next month, I'm planning to take a few days worth of leave and take an extended break.

I might do some shopping.

And, apparently I am white.

WHITES are motivated by PEACE, seek independence and require kindness. They resist confrontation at all costs. (Feeling good is more important than being good.) They are typically quiet by nature, they process things very deeply and objectively, and they are by far the best listeners of all the colors. They respect people who are kind, but recoil from perceived hostility or verbal battle.

WHITES need their quiet independence and refuse to be controlled by others. WHITES want to do things their own way, in their own time. They ask little of others, and resent others demanding much of them. WHITES are much stronger than people think because they dont reveal their feelings. WHITES are kind, non-discriminate, patient and can be indecisive, timid, and silently stubborn.

When you deal with a WHITE, be kind, accept (and support) their individuality, and look for nonverbal clues to their feelings.

What Color Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

So, does this sound like me?

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Two Facts

We've tried to wash our hands of all of this,
We never talk of our lacking relationships,
And how we're guilt stricken sobbing with our heads on the floor,
We fell through the ice when we tried not to slip, we'd say

Can't be held responsible,

I so love that The Verve Pipe song, The Freshmen. It's totally brilliant. Totally, completely, utterly brilliant. Masterful.

Every now and then, I look through old posts, read old comments etc. I think I can say quite safely that Riding The Mellow's lost quite a bit of it's old intensity.

Which could mean that I've lost a lot of intensity. I'm not sure if that's good or bad.

A lot of that intensity was derived from my troubles with women (or rather, lack of). I used to talk about that a lot to anyone who would listen.

I don't really do that anymore. At least, I don't really talk about it all that much and when I do, only with one or two persons. Lately, it's only been with one person.

I guess it's probably partly because of fear. I worry that I might bore people. I worry even more that I might get scolded for it. I know that sometimes the telling off might be justified. I can be quite the fool when talking about women and love and relationships etc. Still, it's quite unpleasant.

Fear. And talking about fear...

..the other night I was talking with a friend at my house about boys and girls and relationships and about what could attract people to each other when I came upon two facts.

One, everyone has a "thing", a charm that they have more than other people, something that might make them stand out. Some people have a very overt, immediately noticeable "thing" like physical beauty, presence, eloquence etc. For many others, that "thing" is more subtle, like a natural sense of humour, empathy or kindness.

Perhaps the trick to being successful in getting noticed and starting a relationship is to know what your "thing" is and how to put it in the shop window.

It sounds like the most obvious thing right? If so, why is it most of the relationship advice floating around revolves around general things like "confidence" and the like? Not that having confidence wouldn't help, but for most regular people who otherwise need blind luck to succeed, more specific advice would help more.

No sense in competing head to head against someone else who is more beauiful/richer/eloquent/glamourous/all of the above than yourself, that's what I say. Even if you're "nicer" and a "better" person than your competitor. That's just like committing social suicide, just like begging to be brushed off.

It sounds negative, but everyone will give more chances to more overtly charming people. That's more true than when people say they like so-and-so because he/she is "nice". Nice is good, but nobody falls in love with nice only.

If that was true, how come magazines don't say so? How come so many people can't admit that they fell in love with their partner because of some overt characteristic like beauty or sense of humour or wit?

That's the thing with life I guess. We grow up listening to all these idealistic platitudes and we try to emulate them, only to find out later in adulthood that 98% of it is bollocks.

And we wonder why so many people are jaded and cynical.

The other fact concerns me.

The reason why I can't seem to get any kind of meaningful relationship going is not because I'm "choosy". In my entire life, I've only ever rejected one person. That hardly qualifies as being "choosy".

I can't get anything going because of fear.

I know I've already written about this before, but it goes deeper than that. It isn't just fear of failure and rejection and the resulting humiliation.

For me, it's a fear of what that failure and rejection might do.

I've been rejected and passed over lots of times and it made me feel worthless. Try as I might, I just couldn't handle it. I got really, really depressed.

Since then and since I started blogging, I managed to claw my way out of that and things don't seem so hopeless these days.

And now, everytime I entertain the idea of meeting new women, I worry that if I fail again, that failure might cause me to slide right back to being permanently depressed again, thus affecting my work, my friendships, my life, everything.

I'm not willing to risk undoing everything that I've done to get this far. The thought of going back to where I was is just terrifying.

I guess that's my latest issue and if I don't get over it, I'll never be able to get involved with anyone again.

As usual, I don't quite know what to do.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

No Time Yet

No time for serious thoughts, the kind that is needed for good blogging. Actually, yesterday I came up with a good idea, but that one will have to wait. Need to sort it out, lest I confuse myself.

I've been watching Buffy again. It's great to revisit all the old stuff that I like so much. Watched a documentary about army ants in the Amazon. Very fascinating. Much more interesting than documentaries about lions and elephants again, for sure. It's not like I don't like them, it's just that it seems that everyone who makes animal documentaries seem to want to make one about lions or elephants. It gets very boring after the 40th lion/elephant documentary.

However, I remember one that I watched last month about the dark side of elephants. That one was cool.

Right now, I'm copying some mp3s that I bought. Very hard to get old malay songs from the late eighties and early nineties. Brilliant!

I feel like writing, but I can't get sorted for some reason. I'll write more soon.

Current Music - Suraya, Headwind