Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Kidz

Okay. Kid++. Male. I adore the little thing, probably more than I let on. There's something about seeing something you made crawl around the place and try to climb up the couch. Thing is, I'm the kind of guy who's just waiting for him to grow up so that I can start playing with him. Cowboys and Indians. Aliens. Sea-Mon. Call of Duty. World of Warcraft ("You tank and Daddy will DPS behind the boss"). Time for that later, I guess. Right now, it's all about making sure he doesn't hurt himself too much and that his milk is ready when he's hungry. These activities are more difficult than they sound. Kid's starting to move fast. And his appetite can be a mite unpredictable.

On the workfront, things aren't going to well. Have they ever been? It's the same story day in, day out. Just that I now have the additional challenge of keeping myself motivated enough to do work. It's a tiring task which I suspect is leading me to be this jaded old guy in the department. Sullen. Grumpy. Makes strange statements ("So tell me frankly... what do you think about sex with female gorillas?"). Sometimes, I think they're only keeping me around because there's a lack of resources around here.

I might have finally found a way to stop gaming. Call of Duty: Black Ops. I suck so much at it, two rounds and I call it quits for the night. Is it my 250+ms ping? Is it my slower reflexes after years of not playing FPSes? I don't know. All I know is that I suck at it, and it's actually given me more time to go do other stuff. Like continue working from home.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Haunted

The rain brings floods, stalled cars and among other things, strange dreams. Submerged beneath waves of sleep, the past clawed out, grasped, pulled me under.

And then I was back in the old house of an old friend, an apartment in the sky. Going in, I realized that she was going to move out the next day. The place was dark - it was late evening, and no one had turned on the lights. The television and the couch was gone, presumably sent off to her new house. Where the television used to be were some mattresses - ah, her family was over, probably to see her off. The balcony was empty, cleared of the hanging apparatus she used to hang her clothes out to dry. I looked out - instead of the swimming pool and the other blocks of apartment, it was the edge of the sea. There were marshes where the sea met the land - I could clearly see a man walking in it. I walked to the kitchen - which now looked different. The old place was now mixed with the structure of my house, although at that point, all I could do was note that the built-in furniture was still there, and that there was some weird hanger hanging off the ceiling.

Dawn snatched me back from the depths of sleep before I could visit the three bedrooms and the toilet. As I lay awake, the structure of apartment came back to me. Sometimes, I think my affinity for locations (as opposed to people) can lead to really strange dreams. Dreams where the house itself haunts me.

Monday, September 29, 2008

First Day at Work Again

Today marks the first surreal day of work in my previous company (the one I've been in the last 4+ years, the one I was in before I left for my two month stint elsewhere). They couldn't give me back my old ID, so there's this general bad feeling all around that I could end up having to take *all* the training courses again. Yes, even the absolutely mindbogglingly boring ones. Yes, even the ones where I need to travel to a building far far away and sit in a room and listen to someone who really shouldn't be teaching conduct classes. New ID, bye bye seniority. The kid whom I used to pwn... can now pwn me with his years of service (right now I only have day of service).

So the first thing to do was to go make my access card. Everyone knows that without access cards, going to the toilet will be at the mercy of whoever's willing to lend you his / her access card. There are few - everyone's afraid of you dropping their card into the urinal or worse, the toilet bowl just after you're done with your business in the old shithouse. This fact landed me at security at slightly past 8am. The lady there was all mumbling and half-asleep (high?). She couldn't speak English, and half the time I didn't know what her strange Malay dialect meant. It was all very confusing. I ended up leaving after she directed me to some HR lady. At 8 something in the morning, "call so-and-so at HR" is just another diversion.

It turned out later that the nice HR lady handling my return had gone through all the trouble to retrieve my access cards (the new one and the extremely old one which had chipped off) from the company's artifact vault in the US. It had been enshrined in some reliquary after I left, but since I was back, she justified that I and only I had the actual right to those artifacts. And thus, they were flown all the way back to Malaysia, and delivered to me later in the day. I must admit that I'm glad to get those cards back. The idea that anything I've used is being kept under lock and key beside other artifacts of great power is strangely disturbing.

My old cubicle is lost, of course. Horrible timing in my two-month company meant I reached back a whole month late. So they gave me a new cubicle (or quarter-cubicle, as cubicles are known in this company). It was filthy. Dust covered the surface of everything like it was trendy to be dusty. There were stickers pasted all over the place. Stickers, from a time when some shortsighted freak somewhere in the company thought that giving people company stickers would boost their morale. Fool, you give people money to boost morale! Money, sex and power! Even I know that.

Anyway, I sought out the cool-looking janitor who looks like Johnny Depp in "From Hell". He was nice enough to rummage through a huge sack of cleaning cloths to locate the lemon-flavoured cleaning fluids. And that was how I spent the morning, scrubbing away at everything diligently and removing the stickers with a vengeance. In a fit of red anger, I also decided to throw away everything in the cupboards and the drawers. I even donated some of the more valuable-looking stuff to other people. So sue me. I left, they gave away my cubicle. Whoever who left my new cubicle, I'm giving / throwing away your stuff too. I did contemplate bribing / threatening to murder the family of the new guy in my cubicle. But after seeing how that area has gelled together, I decided against it. If I moved him out now, they'll see me as the interloper (especially with my n00b ID and my day of service record). I'll probably stay in my recently-cleaned cubicle in the meantime. At least I'll have a Very Good View of any pretty girl who's visiting the office secretary.

My job scope's already been defined. I'm sure my face turned green when I got the manager I would be working with briefed me about it. I'm sure it stayed green throughout the day, especially when the manager of managers came to brief me about it again. And my new manager dropped by with his complimentary frown. It's all very nice, but once again, I see impending doom on the horizon.

My colleagues were all very nice, warm, welcoming. Although I sensed that they were all a little muted. Downtoned. Granted, it's probably because most of them had already buggered back to their hometown for the Raya holidays. The office's usually quiet when only a few are around. Or it could be because of the rain. The extremely heavy rain. You know, for two months in my previous company, there was no rain interference at all when I went to and fro the carpark. Yes, it would rain in the afternoon, but not when I wanted to go to or come from my car. Today, however, it poured. What kind of sign is that!?

Hooking up with the colleagues I'm close to was more fun. I had souvenirs from them - something shiny - which I don't think the wife approves of. But they're good people, and I really wanted to get them stuff. Which I did. Only that some of them didn't bother showing up for work - I guess those will have to wait. But, after the horror that was cleaning up my cubicle, I settled down, started installing stuff, started talking to people again.

...and I realized just how normal it felt. How like I've never left. I go to the toilet for the familiar feeling of peeing and warming myself up. When I walk along the corridor I watch the floor diligently for water so that I don't slip. And there's a total dearth of hot chicks. At the same time, I feel like I could wake up any moment and find out I'm still in the previous company. No, I don't really miss my ex-colleagues save one fellow who turned out to be a really standup chap. But I do miss the endorphin-inducing pretty girls. Damn it.

So there we are with my first day of work. Is this all a dream? Is this a mistake I shouldn't have made? Is this what's meant to be? Horror of horrors, time will tell.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Turn

Wait for your turn. That's the typical civilized way of doing stuff. Get in line. Queue up. This is, of course, something which Malaysians can never seem to do. Instead, they tend to live just to cut queue. It's all very rude. Ill-mannered. Savage. One of the reasons why I've always felt that we as a nation has so much further to go.

Why can't we be more like the seasons, waiting for their turn patiently? Spring waits for winter, winter waits for autumn, autumn waits for summer, summer waits for spring. Nature itself shows us that for everything there is a time and place. Like the leaves which grow in the spring, to flourish in the summer and ultimately to fall in the autumn. Life itself is a series of stages waiting to play out in their own time - childhood, adolescence, adulthood, old age, a rotting corpse which the worms eat. Even the worms know when their turn is to come out of the body for the final cleanup.

This tendency to go out of turn is unnatural. It is a betrayal of the natural order of life. It is a lie which we who do not follow the order of things help perpetuate. For it is easier to do that which is wrong than it is to do that which is right. Are you cutting my line? The resentment build ups within me. If you can do it, why shouldn't I? Next time, it will be my turn to cut someone else's line. And that someone will feel the same resentment I did when you cut my line. This fundamental element of life gets twisted. The chain grows longer. Order breaks. It is neverending.

So do your part. Queue up. Get in line. After all, it's the civilized way of doing stuff. Wait for your turn.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Second Wind

The last few days have seen me getting worn out very fast. I come home from work, I fall asleep on the bed (after my bath, of course). I go for dinner, come home, and I feel utterly bonked. By 11.30pm, I'm crawling towards my bed. Crawling. No watching of horror movies. No genocide for traits in LOTRO (Lord of the Rings Online). No working towards my canonization as the Saint of Pr0n :S. I'm just bonked! BONKED, I TELL YOU!

I come home! And I die on the bed! I don't even wear a shirt! What on Earth is going on with me? Used to be: come home, bathe, party the night away. Now sometimes, I can hardly find enough energy to drive out and fetch my wife back.

Anyway, that's how my week has been. I wonder if the weather has changed. I'm pretty sensitive to weather changes. Usually I simply fall sick. Weather hot -> weather cold = sick. Weather cold -> weather hot = sick. It's how I welcome the weather. On a subconscious level, it also shows my dislike of change. It's also because I'm a walking human barometer.

Today, though, after falling asleep numerous times, I've finally come to a state where I'm wide awake. At 2am. YAY.

Sidenote: How I Spent the Evening of My Last Day of Work at the New Company
  • Ate alone in Subway (wife went for birthday dinner) - delicious Subway Melt!
  • LOTRO: Killed enough wolves in the Trollshaws to get the trait there
  • Fickle-fackled around about rebooting this blog - decided AGAINST
  • Tried to get people to talk to me over Facebook - marginal success

The End, The Beginning

So. Here's the sitch:
  • I'm married! Woohoo!
  • I changed jobs for 2 whole months before going back to my earlier job
  • This blog survived yet another desire to mothball and reboot it
It is true in life that what you want may not be what you need.

Memo 1: Do not post stuff when one is feeling drunk without having consumed any alcohol.
Memo 2: Perhaps one might want to see a doctor about Memo 1?

Action required: Need to work on the reason why I went back after 2 months.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Nothing At All

It was a time long ago in a place far south when I still had more friends than I could count on one hand. We were standing outside the cineplex when it hit me. There she was, her face plastered on every poster on every wall. And, trick of light perhaps, or fanciful imagination, I saw her instead. And realized, then, that she said it best when she said

I stood outside the house, with my family inside with the family they had chosen to surround themselves with. He lay in the coffin, a cooling corpse long deserted by its soul, still garnering attention from mourners around. The stars were out in force, and as I watched them, I got the creepy realization that ultimately, life was for

Night. They sat together in the garden, two lost souls finding a brief respite in the storm of life. A moment of quiet after the chaos. She was grateful. He had found himself. His epiphany: what mattered was what he did if what he did meant