Sunday, May 28, 2006

Listen and Learn

I've been having some internet difficulties at home for the last few days. I had trouble signing on to Blogger and when I could sign on, I couldn't post anything. I couldn't really download anything either. Very erratic speed. I could play World Of Warcraft but the lag is higher than usual and I would get occasionally get disconnected. It's quite frustrating, really.

It seemed ok today, although the speed wasn't that great. I did get disconnected once while on WoW. I hope things will get better soon. I still have Friends season 5 to download.

It's a good thing the connection at the office seems to be ok. Maybe it's just my area. I heard other people are complaining too.

Blogwise, it wouldn't have made much difference. I don't really have anything to write about yet.

Except maybe my appointment on Friday night, which was great. It's kind of a big deal because I usually have company when I meet new people. I don't do this kind of thing by myself a lot.

My companion for the night wasn't exactly a stranger but we don't really know each other that much. This is the SECOND time I met her. It's a good thing for me that she's quite charismatic and isn't the quiet type, so there was no awkward moments. Quite chatty. I like that. Chatty people are very easy to go out with.

Occasionally she also reads my blog. Not very often though, she's very busy.

I kind of wish I could see her more often. We had a very good conversation. But alas, time and distance and work get in the way.

Which reminds me of that thing I mentioned in one of my Definition post. The thing about talking about what one CAN do well, instead of weaknesses.

While I have mentioned before that I'm not the most vibrant party person and not the most energetic club patron, I more than hold my own in a quieter setting. I do much better when there is opportunity to talk (without extremely loud music in the background). I think I'm pretty good at that. I'm also a pretty good listener, I think. I feel that I know enough about most things to be able to talk about almost anything.

Therefore, should I meet someone interesting in the future, I need to remind myself NOT to bring her to a bar. I should go to Seattle Coffee House instead and chat. Or dinner somewhere. Or a movie. That kind of thing. Suddenly, I hear a voice saying,"Dude, that's lame." That would be the party person wannabe part of my brain, which I will ignore today.

Of course, whether this person will actually enjoy non-party situations is another story.

I remember that bar wench I used to like last year I think, I can't remember exactly when. She was probably a nice person when she's not working, during the day. I wouldn't know, we didn't really talk. That was the problem with that. We never really talked and got to know each other one on one, away from her colleagues and her friends and her cousins etc.

And she didn't like to watch movies. She didn't read, she didn't really have any opinions about anything and she wasn't attentive enough to actually ask me about myself. She just wanted to go clubbing. And it so happened that I have a car...

In the end, I was the one who got taken for a ride. What was I thinking?

This isn't really her fault though. She probably didn't know what she was doing. She's just a child, so maybe she'll deepen when she gets older. But I wouldn't be there when that happens, I'm sure.

And so, what did I learn about myself on Friday night? I learnt that I wasn't completely hopeless at social interations. It only needs to be the right setting. That's all.

What a nice reminder it was too.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


It's sad.

The last few days, I've read a few things that showed that bigotry and hypocrisy is alive and well. It's not what you think, actually. It's not just about big picture issues like politics and religion. Of course, the religion one is very big and very distressing actually. There's not a lot that I can say about this particular issue. I just shake my head and hope cooler heads prevail.

Anyway, I think it's kind of appalling that some people are so fixated with the idea of their own superiority. It sickens me. Low self esteem is often bad, but unrealistically high self esteem can often be worse.

Take some people for example.

On one hand they may complain that good potential relationship partners are hard to find. But as soon as a person takes interest in them, out comes the pedestal. Of course, being on a pedestal doesn't help with the getting to know people part of relationship. Neither does it help that some people have a preset prejudice about certain people of certain races and those who belong to "inferior" societies, especially in relation to "superior" western ones.

While I do try to understand where such a perspective may come from, I also believe that one must try to adapt to their current environment, which may include people who are totally different. Among other things, this will make it easier to make friends. Most certainly, it will make it easier in a job setting. And of course, this will allow for a more realistic expectation and a more open mind when it comes to people.

We are all guilty of having expectations that are either too idealistic or too unrealistic in our lives, either now or in the past. That's not the worse thing though. The worse is possibly having said expectations and prejudices and being blind to them. You can't change what you can't see.

So what's this all about then? A lot of things actually. Social issues, work, friendship etc. I could write individual posts about each, but they all will say basically the same thing.

The minute you think you're "better" than everybody, life pays you back for that, often by cutting you off from people, whether you realize it or not.

In other news, I have an appointment on Friday evening that I'm very excited (and nervous) about. It involves an engagement dinner, a beautiful woman whom I've not met in years, a roomfull of strangers and NO backup.

Wish me luck...

Monday, May 22, 2006


A few things to note.

The state elections are done and the result was predictable enough. And I'm not talking about BN winning. These days, it's a foregone conclusion. What was interesting however, was the fact that the opposition won some very important seats, particularly in the urban areas.

I'm pleased with this. The BN government is in need of a strong slap in the face and they've received it. I'm particularly happy about DAP's performance.

By the way, I'm not a DAP supported per se. But I do see the merits of having opposition in the government and of all the opposition parties in this country, DAP is the only one I trust enough. The others are all very fishy.

Next, the Da Vinci Code. I was supposed to write something yesterday, but my internet connection went haywire.

All in all, a potentially interesting movie marred by lousy editing. It was decent enough all the way until Act III, where it screeched to a grinding halt. Pacing was very bad.

And what of the so called "controversy"? I looked hard, and frankly there was none. If anyone's faith is threatened by this movie, that person's faith was not very strong to begin with. So no problem here.

The only thing I was unhappy about is in fact, the editing, which really sucked. Really.

That reminds me of something else. Up until the day I saw this movie myself, a lot has been said about it. One of the "funnier" things I read about is how some people accuse Christians for not taking their religion seriously enough by not protesting this movie with vehemence.

People who say this (a) obviously don't read the news enough and (b) don't know what being a Christian is all about.

It's not to say that Christians are not upset by the ideas presented in The Da Vinci Code. That's a given. It's always uncomfortable to have your belief system questioned out in public like that.

At the same time, this is opportunity to have faith tested and to identify with the suffering and humiliation of Christ. Christ's greates work began with humiliation after all. Without that humiliation, there can be no salvation.

For centuries, Christ and his people have been mocked and hated by the world. This is foretold in the New Testament. Did God tell us to retaliate against our detractors? No. Instead, we are told to be patient, be truthful and bear with it. Longsuffering is a fruit of the Holy Spirit no?

People who think that Christians don't take their faith seriously enough for their lack of affirmative action don't know what Christianity is all about.

This reminds me of another thing. People who say things like that about Christians are seeing us from the point of view of their own beliefs.

This is why most of the time, interfaith dialogues won't work.

It won't work unless people can stop seeing other faiths and beliefs through the filter of their own beliefs. For example, I am a Christian person. If I see other religions through the eyes of Christianity, of course other faiths are "wrong". If I was to see clearly as to be able to understand other faiths and religions, I need to try and see through the eyes of the believers of other faiths. Not as a Christian person.

Does this mean that I'm "abandoning" my own faith while I do this? Absolutely not. It takes a LOT more than that to undermine faith.

Interfaith discussions can only work its participants go undertake it with a completely open mind.

Funny how the phrase "open mind" and religion don't seem to mix well. This in my opinion, is a sign of weak faith.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Da Vinci Code

Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.

-Matthew 5:5-8, NIV

Just came back from The Da Vinci Code. For all the fuss, this film was completely harmless. Really.

Will write more later.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


A friend of mine runs a sort of internet zine. In this month's installment was that ever elusive question:-

"How do you define yourself?"

That is a damn good question.

I've been asked that before. And now, like before, my answer is still the same.

I don't know.

Actually with me, the difficulty with a question is the difficulty of knowing what exactly does definition mean. I've thought about this a lot. It boggles the mind. It might help if I read someone else's answer first.

I can't really decide how exactly do I define me. Is it the things I do? What I belief in? The things I say? The way I relate to other people?

Out of curiosity, I Googled it. Apparently, there's no single way of dealing with this. There's a thousand different ways to answer this question.

I also wonder if the questions "How do I define myself?" and "What defines me?" carry the same meaning. Do they? I feel that before any sort of definition takes place, the How must be decided before the What.

This is quite a challenging bunch of questions isn't it? Or maybe it's just me....

Anybody who's reading this, feel free to answer. How do you define yourself?

Moving on now.

Last post, I said that it was going to be a long week. Mercifully enough, it hasn't turned out that way. I'm not feeling too exhausted. Must be the sun. I still have 2 more days to go. It doesn't sound too bad, at least not right now.

Also last post, I mentioned (again) my inability to do well in a club or party situation. Yeah, without someone else helping to break ice, I tend to get all wallflowery.

It hit me suddenly.

All the while whenever I write about my thoughts concerning matters like this, I always write about the stuff that I CAN'T do. I write about weaknesses, flaws, mistakes etc.

I never write anything about the things that I CAN do. I never really write about any strengths and good points. I may not have been very good at building relationships etc, but surely there are things that I am capable of doing right. Right? Maybe part of the equation is to work on strenghts instead of dwelling on weaknesses.

Perhaps I'm afraid that I might delude myself if I do think about my plus points. Perhaps it's too much like bragging? I don't like to brag, really. Maybe that's why I never dwell on the good and the right things that I may capable of doing in a relationship.

If true, then I've uncovered another mistake I have been making. That is, I always look at the half empty without looking at the other not-empty half of the cup. I don't think that's the best way to look at problems.

Maybe next post I will try that. So that makes two things to write about next time.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Just Sayin'

This week will be a long one. I have to work one extra day on Thursday and maybe one extra night on Friday. That means I have precious little time (and more importantly, energy) to do anything on the weekend. All this after working at night for three weeks. I say, it's not good for health, working nights for that long. At the end of that, I was not in the best mood.

I know I say that I like my job and most days, I do (emphasis on "days"). But sometimes...

I wish I could just NOT work. I wish I could just do something because I want to and because I enjoy it, not because I have to earn a living. You know what will make anything seem like work? When you have to do it when you really don't want to.

Of course, this is the Real World(TM) and not some MMORPG where I can move to another server and start a new character. Anyway...

How amazing it is that some people can come out of 18 hour days smiling and beaming. And the discipline for such things.

I've never really been what people might describe as being very disciplined. I'm more impulse driven than thought driven, more prone to act on want rather than need. It's not the best way to proceed with life, I have to say.

In hindsight, I might have been more contented and satisfied had I been more straightlaced. People who know mean would say that I seemed like that, but most of that was just an act to gain favour from people. Unfortunately, it didn't work as well as it was supposed to. Seriously. I might as well admit that.

I don't know why I said that, but it does bring a little bit of relief. It's a relief to admit something on your own without being pressed. Plus, having someone press you to admit a mistake brings with it gloating possibilities for the pressurer. That's just an upsetting thought.

I guess today is one of those days where I feel like rambling. I haven't really done this in a while.

I've been downloading Friends recently. So far, I've managed to get seasons 3,8 and 9. Season 7 should be done by tonight. Despite my never following it religiously, Friends is a really good show actually. While watching Friends, I had a thought.

Despite all the trauma I've experienced involving women, I actually miss having a crush on someone. To lose all sense of logic, rational thought and the ability to speak coherently within someone's presence, the madness of falling in love, the sweaty palms, the butterlies, I actually miss that. I vaguely remember how that was like.

I vaguely remember the joy of discovering that the object of your affection actually feels the same way too. Of course, the last time this kind of thing happened was 1991, so vague is quite a good description here. I might be seeing this through rose tinted glasses, that might explain the extra goodness of the memory.

I usually think that it's a good idea for people to wait until their older to settle down in a long term relationship. Suddenly though, I'm thinking, maybe the ones who do it while they're young are doing it right? After all, when you're 22 you're not jaded yet. Not most people anyway. You still believe in love and soulmates and you still think that all those emo scenes on daytime TV are plausible realities. Foolish? Maybe. Maybe not.

And what if you wait too long? What if suddenly you find that your heart is stone and your emotions are dead? What then?

Timing is everything. So sad that it's absolutely impossible to know when the "right" moment is,when you have that perfect balance between youthful naivete and world weary wisdom.

And what if you're me? What if you spend 12-15 years wandering around your own life looking for the wrong thing in the wrong places wallowing in depression and low self esteem, only to find out what was wrong with you only when it seems too late? When you've become too defensive and too emotionally cold to allow such a thing to happen?

What do you do then? Despite all this, is it possible to recapture the magic, that rush of blood when you get to know someone new that likes you as much as you like her?

It's not really a matter of choice. It's a matter of whether it can ever happen again. I'd like it to. Really I do.

Which reminds me, I should never, ever try to meet people in a party or a club situation. That requires guts and overt charm and those aren't my strength. If I play that, I'd lose. I know that already. And now that I've written it down, I have no excuses if I try it and screw up.

Perhaps if I can shed my defensiveness and gain some bravery and confidence, things might start happen.

Not anytime soon, I'm afraid.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


I'm very disappointed by news regarding this over the last few days. I'm not alone in this disappointment either, which is a small comfort.

There are times I think we Malaysians are a lot like sheep and have too much fear for authority. With me, that's no problem. My rebellious tendencies have gotten me into much trouble before. So sad to hear that one reason why we as a people tend to be very sheepish is that our reps in Parliament are also expected to be conscienceless sheep. Sheepish behaviour is endorsed by the government. It's official now.

What good is your Wakil Rakyat if he can't disagree with something that he feels is not right? This voting along party lines is bullshit. What does it mean to be a BN rep if you're not allowed your own opinion in Parliament? He might as well be a mindless automaton. Or a syncophant. I bet the federal government would love them like that.

I'm shocked and kinda speechless too, at the moment.

To me, this no conscience rule sets a deadly precedent. If government MPs can't vote on motions according to their own conscience, what else do we have left to stop potentially unjust laws from being passed?

Why should I even be surprised? This after all, is the very same government which deals with difficult public inquiries with a steaming hot cup of STFU. Jangan mempersoalkan.

Malaysian "democracy" is a sham.

I wonder if the Sarawak State Assembly has the same ruling? Can anyone enlighten me on that?

Enough of politics, less I be even more upset.

Now for some good news.

I read that there is a Knight Rider movie in the works. How cool would that be huh? Too bad David Hasselhoff won't be in it this time.

Even better than that, I read on the World Of Warcraft website that Blizzard has finally decided to do a film based on the Warcraft universe! About time they did something about that, at least 6 million people would want to watch it. That's a certainty, because 6 million people have World of Warcraft accounts. Not to mention others who have played the various Warcraft games.

This is so exciting and timely. My only hope is that it won't turn out to be crap like that ghastly Dungeons & Dragons movie. I also have this hunch that this movie will be shot in New Zealand....

In WoW, I've decided to create some characters in the medium population Illidan realm server. I'm usually on Ticondrius, but lately that server's been kind of iffy. Just now, I signed on and for the first time, my latency was actually very good(around 500ms). Unfortunately, picking things up, opening bags, selling/buying things and using the auction house took 10 seconds. Per item. It was unbearable.

I have a bad feeling that the Tico server is going to crash again. Which is too bad because I love Tico really, especially Barrens chat! And there are so many players around to interact with.

I also have another pair of characters in the Oceanic Jubei'Thos server. Unfortunately, that server is usually so full, there is a waiting list to sign on. I'm going to move my Jubei'Thos characters to Illidan (which is a US server) after Blizzard reenables the player export function.

Tomorrow I have no work, but my car battery needs replacement.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Racism and Politics

The nice thing about not being at work is that I feel less inclined to read blogs and newspapers. That way I don't get pissed off or depressed by what I read. The bad thing is, blog posting goes down the toilet because nothing happens when I'm off work. There's only so many "I fed the cat and played WoW today" type posts that I could write before I get bored.

Before I begin my rant, I would like to share some nice things first. Marina Mahathir wrote another nice article last week. She's very cool that way.

Also, the Star is carrying some stories about the upcoming election. I urge people to read those stories. There are quite "human", not of your usual political rhetoric stuff. I especially urge those who are not from here to read more into those stories. In them, you will find hints that although Sarawak is part of Malaysia, East and West are so, so different, both socially and culturally.

Which brings me to the topic.

I found out that Amir Muhammad's Lelaki Komunis Terakhir got banned because according the minister who was responsible for it, the "public" protested. Personally I think if he had changed the title and removed the word "Komunis", Amir would have gone through a lot less trouble. After all, according to the Censorship Board, there was nothing wrong with the content.

But, there is something else under the surface there. Apparently, some local newspapers didn't like the film because the subject matter and the lead character is an ethnic Chinese.

There it is again people. Racism. I read this and this and got even more sad. Sad because I've seen things like this before though. But strangely enough, not in Kuching.

I lived in Semenanjung for 5 years while I studied there and one of the most shocking things I've experienced is how some people can be so bloody overtly racist and be totally nonchalant and cavalier about it.

I'm not saying that there are no racists here in Sarawak. Of course they are. In fact, some local politicians built their careers on it, much like most politicians in Semenanjung, sad to say. But here in Sarawak, I can hang out with whatever part of my large and multi-ethnic circle of friends anywhere and not worry about being disliked because of my race.

Not so in Semenanjung. I remembered some students in UTM who could not fathom the concept of a non-muslim Bumiputera and asked me out loud why I'm not Muslim and why Ibans and other Dayaks (especially my Sibu based Melanau collegemates, who happen to be Muslim) are not Malay and refuse to consider themselves part of the Malay people.

Ok, maybe that's more ignorance than racism.

For the record, I'm not going to generalise by saying that people in Semenanjung are more racist. That's silly and of course that is untrue.

I am going to say however, part of the reasons why racial lines are thicker there is because it's kept that way by politics. I blame a lot of this racial polarity on the politics.

Weeks ago, I read some things in The Star (or was that NST?) about a survey they did and most people agree to this unfortunate fact about racial politics. Even the politicians who try to defend it admit that playing up racial sentiments is useful to fish for support.

That's the funny thing about this country. On one hand the government, as a single entity, wants the people to be united and live in harmony. On the other hand, some politicians who make up that government secretly don't want this to happen because that will erode their support. To appear as heroes and champions, some politicians need to promote a siege mentality amongst their own people.

Unfortunately, this filters down to the grassroots level. You know, where regular people live. And that kind of mentality doesn't help at all.

So how is Semenanjung politics and Sarawak politics different?

For one thing, not one race claims supremacy, at least not out in the open. Yes, there is Bumiputera and non-Bumiputera here too. Since that is federal law, it covers all the states.

But unlike in Semenanjung, Bumiputera politicians don't go out of their way to alienate the Chinese and Indian by talking shit and to constantly remind them that they are kaum pendatang and that they should be grateful that they are allowed to live here.

That again, filters down to the grassroots level. You know, where regular people live. Hence, people here tend to be more relaxed and accomodating and less overly hypersensitive about race.

I mean, look at the coming state elections. How many of the issues are racial?

Racism exists here too, as it does everywhere. But here, it isn't so in your face blatant. In fact, be a racist in the public eye and be prepared to be chastised by people around you. Ain't no kris waving circus travelling to my town, no sirree.

That is THE biggest difference, in my humble opinion.

The rest of the country (especially those kris waving politicians) could do well do learn from the way things work here. Sorry if that sounds condescending, but it's true.

Overt racism is also the reason that I, and I'm pretty sure most other Sarawakians, don't want UMNO or any other Semenanjung based racial political parties here. Whether they mean to do so or not, parties like MIC, MCA and UMNO perpetuate racism as a means to achieve their objectives.

We don't need to import that kind of culture here.

PS. This post in strictly my opinion and was never meant to be well researched or well balanced or fair in any way. If anyone disagrees with my opinion, they are welcomed to disagree as long as they don't try to force their opinion on me.

PS. PS. My God how embarassing is this. So many grammatical mistakes in this post! I've corrected most of them but I'm pretty sure I missed some.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Last Few Days

Blogger seems very slow today. It's rather annoying.Thankfully, that's the only annoying thing to happen this last few days.

Went to watch Mission Impossible 3 last night. It was a lot better than I thought it was going to be. Certainly, it was better than the two previous movies. I enjoyed it.

There's a whole bunch of movies to watch in the coming months. I'll be watching The Omen when it comes out. I hope it's better than Water Spirit, which rather poor and very unfrightening. Odd, I can't find it's IMDB entry. I remember it had another title but now I can't remember what it was.

I'm very excited to find out that a Max Payne movie is in the works. Still early days, but this has the potential to be a noir masterpiece if done right.

The last few days have been good. I've been hanging out, watching movies, downloading stuff and playing World of Warcraft. Yes! My copy arrived recently and my trial account is now a full one. I've been playing constantly the last few nights. Lots of things have happened in the game this last few days.

See that picture above? That, is Thunderbluff. It is a city. There are other REAL people in that city. I finally went raiding. It was great. I got invited yesterday by some strangers who needed a priest to heal them. I got some good items from that raid.I'm working tomorrow night so I'm going to play WoW for quite a while tonight.

I've also discovered that I can download and play simultaneously without affecting my speed. That means I can continue downloading Friends. Currently downloading season 8.

All in all, a fun few days.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Generation Gap

I'm feeling kind of irked the last two days. Just a minor irk, nothing to worry about.

One of the suckiest things in life is that point of time when you discover that some of the so-called "truths" you learn when you are young are in fact, not as true as they should be.

Like for example, the truth about older people like our PUs (parental units).

When we were young, we are taught that adults and the elders around us are wise. They are supposed to be larger than life, with all the answers and solutions to life's problems. In any situation, we need to listen and learn from them. No problem with that. That's why we need to respect them right?

And then, decades later, we find that the so-called wise older people are in fact, often as confused and as screwed up as we are. Often and usually disappointingly enough this so-called wisdom is just an illusion.

Just look at some of our politicians. I rest my case.

I'm not saying that we should wilfully rebel against our elders for no good reason. I'm not playing that "either you give face or you don't" kind of zero sum game here.

What I feel like complaining about is the lack of respect and lack of reciprocity.

Respect our elders. We should. After all, they've done it all and been through tough times and all that. There is much to learn from that kind of experience.

No problem there.

The problem here is, while everyone wants everyone to respect our elders and especially our parents for what they've done for us, I haven't heard anyone say "respect younger people" much these days. Or ever, in fact. Especially, respect your children. Especially when they are not kids anymore.

I have however, heard things like "Good children should be seen and not heard". Apparently, to some people, this also applies to adult children as well.

I try not to be an ungrateful snot, but I wonder, just because someone is a parent and has spent all that time, money and effort to raise their children, does it give them the right to treat their kids with disrespect? Does it give them the right to veto everything the kid says and declare it irrelevant just because?

I'd like to think not, but I'm pretty sure some parents will disagree with that.

I wonder what is the right response to such a thing.

My parents have the hardest time treating me like an adult and this annoys me so much, there are no words to describe it. I'm 33 years old, for the love of God. Not 12. Don't I deserve some face?

So what do I do about this?

Rationally, I could try talking to them. I did actually. Usually, it degenerates into a shouting match and my parents will dig up stuff that happened 20 years ago to prove what an asshole I am. That's right, since I failed to live sinlessly since I was 24 hours old, I'm scum and should be treated as such.

That's the problem with the calm talking approach thing when it comes to parents.

It will never work if the parents see their child as an inferior. It can never work out if they cannot or will not see their adult child as their equal. If the child is not on the same level as they are, why should they listen to anything they have to say?

And so there it is, the root of the evil in my house. I'm just my parents' idiot son. To my parents, I'm not a real person, much less an adult. They will never listen to me. They will never tolerate it if I ever try to disagree with them or ask that they stop nagging me like I'm still 11 or something. They will never ever be able to to have a conversation with me because I am their inferior. I'm beneath them. They talk, I listen. That's it. Not negotiable.

There is no solution to this problem. The only thing to do is what I've always done all these years. Stay out of their way and avoid unnecessary contact. To expect my parents to change their way of relating to me is to ask for way too much. At their age, their habits are set in stone. I'm just going to have to live with that.

I don't hate my parents. And I'm not saying that I'm always right either. Of all the people in the world, no one is more aware of the wrong I've done more than me. I'm the one who bears the shame of every single mistake that I've ever made. Me. Not my parents.

I only wish that maybe one day, my parents will talk to me properly and give me room to answer them with what I have to say rather than talk down at me and expect me to just shut up and put up. I only wish that they just ask me when they wonder about what I do or where I go instead of making assumptions (which are usually wrong and negative).

Is it really rude to disagree with your parents? Is it better to pretend to agree with them even when they are being wrong? Where did this come from? Who makes the rules?

There is no way to fix this, is there? This is how my "family" will always be, isn't it?

Sometimes, I feel great despair when I think about it. I just wish so hard that things were a little different.

But this is real life and in real life, wishes aren't horses.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Football and Videos

Over the last few days, many good things happened.

I witnessed with some satisfaction how Chelsea trounced Man Utd and took the this season's English Premier League title in the most appropriate fashion, i.e. by beating their biggest challenger.

To me, being a Man Utd anti-fan, that was a great result. But having said that, I do hope Chelsea does not totally dominate English football. That would be dull. I hope Liverpool can step up next. Doesn't seem likely however, but I'm still crossing my fingers.

In any kind of sporting event, I really don't like to see any single competitor dominate for long periods. Takes the fun and the edge out of the competition.

Anyway, it's been an interesting season of football everywhere.

For once, Spurs finished above Arsenal. That's very strange. In Scotland, Glasgow Celtic has the title wrapped up but the real surprise lies in second place. For once, it isn't Glasgow Rangers, but Hearts of Midlothian.

Reading and Sheffield Utd got promoted. Reading! And Preston North End qualified for playoffs. Imagine PNE in the Premier League!

In Spain, Osasuna are in the top 5. I read a whole bunch of other interesting football news, but I can't access them now. But no doubt this year's been great for football.

I know of some football fans who get very disturbed when the status quo of any league is challenged. You know, when a supposedly inferior team has a good run against the big guns. To me, that is the magic. And the romantic notion of a small team finishing high in a top league or winning a cup (think Wigan this season, Chievo Verona in the Serie A a few years back and Leicester City during the Martin O'Neill years) is so appealing to me. Certainly, it's more appealing than watching ManUre win year in year out and looking at Ryan Giggs smug face.

So the domestic seasons are closing, and next?

The ultimate show. I'll be supporting the underdogs again as usual. I'll be firmly behind Australia! Go Socceroos!! And of course, supporting England is like, compulsory for me and my friends. Seriously speaking, I hope they win it this time.

I hope Japan does well too, as well as the US and the new boys like Angola and Ivory Coast.

Football aside, I've had a good few days.

I finished downloaded Friends Season 3 yesterday. What a great season of Friends that one was. Janice, Frank Jr, Pete the rich guy, Ross and Rachel breaking up. Classic.

I don't follow it religiously, but I do like Friends.

And so, I've decided to go nuts and download all the episodes to keep. That's right, ten years worth of friends. 30Gbs of video. Luckily, I have many blank DVDs and a humongous but well kept hard drive.

I'm also contemplating downloading CSI now. I watched CSI and CSI:NY early this morning and I enjoyed it very much. Damn good show.

I'm doing a lot of video related work this week at home. I've found a decent DVD ripper and am ripping those Angel DVDs I borrowed. It's a slow process, but at least it's faster than downloading. I've done season 4 and going to do season 3 next. Anybody want the ripper software? It's a small file that can be easily emailed.

Last night Rin and I went to Sarawak Club to meet Velvetraven and her cousins, who are from Norway. Syuk and Jerome were also there. We had a good time. I kind of wished they stayed longer. At time of writing, one of them has gone home and the other two are preparing to leave.

It's always great to have foreign guests come over, especially in a non-touristy kind of way. The best way to absorb and understand a foreign culture is to do it in a non-touristy fashion I think. The tourist friendly part of travel is a little too sanitized sometimes, especially in this country. Not "real" enough.

And look at the calendar, it's May already. My birthday is fast approaching. I'm kind of nervous about that.

PS: I nearly forgot. I was reading NST just now and Suraya Al-Attas is fast becoming one of my favourite columnists. I find her opinions very similar to mine. Her latest column is great.