Sunday, March 31, 2002

Happy Easter, everybody.

The day starts off with one of those pseudo-nightmares. This one could only be called 'Return To eBX', because that was precisely where I was. My whole department was there - Pei Ling managing to look sad, Greg North being as morose as ever, happy Allan and Chian Hwa, weeping Jane ( because they suspended the module we were working on before we left ) and so on.

As in dreams, the scenery was significantly altered. Not so much that the place was unrecognizable, but enough that I just *knew* something was different. I think the building's interior looked more like my science labs back in Form 6, except for the people and the furniture. It was disturbing, like something out of Lovecraft's stories. In fact, it felt like last Friday ( the day I took leave instead of making it my last day at work ). But yet again, I felt like I was just visiting them.

Because just as soon as I got the latest updates from Pei Ling and went to see Jane about the suspension of the module ( I have this absurd sense of responsibility over the code I write ), they started clearing the middle section of the room ( which would be impossible in real life ), and then most of them went out to play in the rain. This would have been fine, but for the fact that we were supposed to be one floor above the ground, and I think those people left by the windows. I could still see them outside though. I'm not sure if they were floating or something.

Nonplussed with the events, I decided to leave. The exit was located on the other side of the building where the real exit was supposed to be ( mirror-imaged ). I went down the steps, and bumped into a woman in her forties/fifties near a pink umbrella ( although there was no rain there ). We were cordial about it - I suspect that she was the big boss' sister or something. But when I told her that I had already resigned, she got all hostile and started lecturing me while we took a walk through a very barren and disturbing landscape next to the company building. That ended in her office when some guy came in, presumably to get something signed while she was still lecturing me. And then something else came into the room. Something dangerous. And the dream ended with us all running away from it ( there was a nightmarish chase involved ). I never did get a good look at whatever it was. I only knew that I would have really big life-and-death issues if it caught me.

A creepy start to Easter and my new job tomorrow? Who knows? As the day ripens and the dream slowly fades, the apprehension I woke up with is disappearing. Oh well. At least this is a novel way to kick off Easter.

And so, Happy Easter, everybody.

Saturday, March 30, 2002

The spectre of my old company - eBX - haunts my steps. Easter Vigil Mass tonight, and de Simoniac and I, keeping to tradition, attended the Mass at the Little Sisters of the Poor. And Mr. Chan, the owner of my former company, turned up with his wife, his son, his younger daughter and probably some relatives. You would think that now I've resigned, I would have the guts to go up to him and tell him what I really thought about him ( "You... you... you, sir, are an EVIL man!" ). But... as de Simoniac cannot tell a lie in church, so I too cannot just unleash a hot load of hell on the man whom some regard as de Devil himself. It's sad, it's depressing, I was so tempted to throw him off the roof of the church when he went out to see them light the big candle. Mind you, those assasination fantasies pretty much went ballistic when the lights went off ( de Simoniac had his mind on groping the man's younger daughter though ).

But. BUT. There's always another side to the coin. The man cannot be completely evil. At least, given that he pretty much loves his family ( at least, I think he does ), I doubt he's beyond redemption. Okay, so he's big on employee exploitation. Which is just another way to get ahead in the world, I guess. Yes, you can be successful and be a nice guy to your underlings, but that's more of a decision, not a necessity.

So ends Easter Vigil. And a chance to rid the world of a supposedly evil man. But he can't be completely evil, can he? After all, he's keeping Gregory North, Pei Ling and gang employed. Sigh, these moral questions... they traumatize the mind. Too many gray areas in life sometimes.

Friday, March 29, 2002

Good Friday. de Simoniac, my sister and I went to Immaculate Conception again this year. And we had pizza again this year. If this continues, it's going to become a tradition. Good Friday = no meat pizza.

Thursday, March 28, 2002

I guess the worst is over. It's been a long day, with a gift exchange, a really weird final lunch guest-starring my old friend Tupai Tan Hock Zoon, an almost lethal encounter with the office's extremely cuckoo paper shredder ( damn near shredded my fingers it did ), two press releases - one internal, one external - to inform people of my departure from the company, a lot of people helping me countdown to the time I left the office doors for good and Gregory North being nice enough to bring his girlfriend ( back from Singapore at the moment ) to say goodbye to me. To compound matters, today was the season 1 finale of Roswell. Oh spare me the agony, the last scene was a little heart-wrenching, especially after everything today.

And how do I feel now? With sad depressing songs playing on WinAmp, I've got to admit that I'm feeling... utterly miserable.

I'm not unflappable, you know. I... flap. Damn, something in my eye. Damnable eyelashes...

Wednesday, March 27, 2002

Another long afternoon. It wouldn't be so bad if people didn't keep coming up to me telling me goodbye and reminding me that tomorrow's my last day here. The key to everything is perspective. And if showing the world that I don't give a damn about anything ( least of all my work colleagues ) is going to help with this perspective shift, then that's what I'm going to do. No photos, no farewell parties, no byebyes. It's just another Thursday, and then I cease to exist in this place. And you know why? Because I couldn't care less.
I love the weather these days. The afternoons are a testimony to Hell's Fury. The nights ( pre-midnight ) feature strong gales and ridiculous winds - the kind which blow clothes off the clothesline away to the sea. The only real comfort are the nights ( post-midnight ), just before the head hits the pillow. Unfortunately, that moment is usually too short, that moment of exquisite deliciousness as the whole body relaxes. These are the times we live in in Georgetown.

Tuesday, March 26, 2002

I swear the people in my soon-to-be former workplace are retards, or just pure insane. Who in his right mind will wake a sleeping colleague up to, get this, ask the question: "What were you thinking just now?" That effectively made me wide awake. I tried to sleep back, but then four lunatics ( the one who woke me up included ) sat down to watch Windows defragment the hard disk of the computer in front of me. And made a loud racket in the process. I don't know what's wrong with these people, but I'll hazard a guess that lack of inconsideration is one of their problems.

Now I'm awake. I lack sleep. The short nap would have done me good. A lot of good. But those bastards woke me up. Therefore, now I'm disgruntled. Very disgruntled. Pissed off with a capital P and a capital O. Primed for war. Developing a headache. How can these people be so inconsiderate?

Monday, March 25, 2002

The Oscars have come and gone ( during which my girlfriend ate ice-cream until she nearly exploded ). CoolChique's heartbroken that Nicole Kidman didn't win best actress. Pei Ling explained to me that Nicole didn't win because of the Sympathy Vote Factor. If she had won, people would have said that she won because everybody felt sorry for her over that breakup with Tom. The rationale makes sense. Although I suspect that they do not give away Oscars based on that criteria.

Otherwise, tragedy struck today. A part of my module, which I spent many, many hours fashioning and crafting from pure characters and raw logic, went MISSING. Just poof, like that. I'm very sure it was in there, because I recall having an almost perfect module last time ( the imperfection was something else ). Now I'm missing that part of my module. And I'm depressed. Going on suicidal.

Anyway, Gregory North went for a minor surgery over the weekend. The doctor slit his throat open and his large boil leaked green pus. The area around his throat looks a little pale and greenish now. I'm not sure if I should be disgusted or cheered up.

Sunday, March 24, 2002

Today is an auspicious day! Today is my girlfriend's birthday!

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday dear Mich C
Happy Birthday to youuuuuuuuu ( bebe )


It's just that she's currently on the other side of the world. She can collect her present when she gets back :).

Saturday, March 23, 2002

We got a new washing machine today. Sleeker, in rather pristine condition, doesn't make loud noises. Was a bitch to get it working though. de Simoniac, who happened to happen by, just sat in the hall watching the BAFTA awards while my father and I struggled to get the machine to work. Actually, it was just a difference of the pipehead which connected to the water supply. The old one was rather simple, while the new one had some funky stuff. So I removed the head, my father went down to get the spare parts, I took more things apart, my father cut the old head off and then we fixed everything together. Next, I'm going to try overloading the washing machine to see what happens if there are too many clothes inside.

Friday, March 22, 2002

The first Spycraft RPG session was held tonight. de Simoniac, acting as an Agent of the Vatican, helped some deviant Buddhist monks keep their appointments with God in his search for the Writings of St. Jonas. In retrospect, my inexperience as a GM turned the game session into literal bloodfest. Lots of guns, lots of bullets, monks with quarterstaves getting their brains blown off ( and weirdly, only their brains and nothing else )... typical action movie stuff. When my Call of Cthulhu campaign book comes in, de Simoniac will get to do more thinking.

Work was surreal. Everyone asked me if today was my last day. Damned manager must have told the whole world that today would be my last day or something. Even Gregory North was ATNoting me about last days. CoolChique was nice enough to give me legal advice. Pei Ling already knew the my masterplan to make them let me stay on, which I unveiled to her when I fetched her back last night.

And then suddenly my last day at the company is last Thursday again. The nice HR lady who started the whole thing was nice enough to inform me about it, but my manager was strangely angered, and went on about how she would have let me go if the choice had been up to her. The thing is, both of them already knew that I was going to leave on the 28th. I don't know why it was brought up again and dropped without any active action from me. I sense something else going on which I'm not aware of, judging from the smirk on the HR lady's face and my manager's suddenly bad mood. I suddenly feel so... so used.

Thursday, March 21, 2002

Hurray. Rain. It's still hot though. Maybe I should air the room. Feels like an oven in here. Rain usually follows bad news. It's like in the movies. You get the bad news, and then it starts pouring.

Pauline: "I'm leaving you, Willy! I'm leaving you and I'm never coming back!"
Willy: "Pauline! NOOOOOO!"
Cue rain.

Well, the news I got wasn't bad. It was more of a threat, actually. Manager came up to me all cheery ( which, as I explained to Greg North once, is a bad thing ) and went on and on about how I have FIVE MORE DAYS of earned leave and why don't I just burn them all by taking next week off? I nearly told her to go stuff her head up my department manager's ass because everyone's aware that I have that many days of leave yet. Management probably bitched because they're too stingy to pay me for my earned leave. Well I earned those days, damnit. I earned those days. And I'll take it if I want to take it. Or if they can force me to take it legally.

That put a damper into the day. And then, just as I was about to leave the office to drop Pei Ling off at the jetty ( some weird pain feelings in her right eye ), that so-called team leader of mine told me that I forgot to throw some exceptions. This after a whole day of ignoring me while the team prepped for QA. This after telling my manager that the team didn't need me anymore. Well, good thing I'm leaving this hellhole. People have a way of reminding you they're just a bunch of jackasses the moment you start believing that they might be decent folks after all.

Wednesday, March 20, 2002

I appear to have somehow completed my work here. It's a bit strange, going from 'can you get it done by 6pm today' to this strange, sudden silence which is truly unnerving. My last day here will be next Thursday - 28th March 2002 - which would probably account for why I'm not given anymore work to do ( duh ). I'm supposed to just kick back and relax until I leave the gates of the company for good. Or until QA finds the bugs in our program and send it back to us 'to be remedied, pronto'. Yes, I am leaving, but that doesn't mean I'm going to shirk my duties here. Not that there's any duty to shirk at the moment.

Mr. Gregory North, our resident security expert, has a boil growing out of his throat. If it grows any bigger, he'll start looking like an X-File himself.

Mulder:What do you think, Scully? Is he infected with some kind of unknown virus, or could he be an alien himself?
Scully:I really don't know, Mulder. But the evidence does seem to point to the latter.
Doggett:If you ask me, agents, I say we blow the son of a bitch to hell and ask questions later.
Reyes:( gently ) No one's asking you, John.

Tuesday, March 19, 2002

It didn't rain last night. Woe to the cause of adequate water supply. However, Pei Ling reported that it rained a little in Butterworth. About the time the great winds started. In fact, there was lightning and rather thick clouds last night over Bayan Baru around 1am. Quite impressive, really, especially with the wind blowing and all. Sadly, the wind was blowing the clouds away, and thus... no rain.

Today is yet another hot day. I took a short walk out to buy chicken rice, and came back suffering from heat exhaustion. Less than 10 minutes out in the sun and I'm feeling like a dessicated corpse. I think my brain is going to stop functioning soon.
There are winds tonight. Strong winds. The kind that blows through the corridors, overturning light baskets and scattering shoes all around. There is dampness in the air - I can smell it. But where is the rain which is promised? False hopes indeed. I do hope it pours. God knows, we need the water.

Boston Public started airing on Starworld on Astro tonight. The trailers were right - this series kicks ass. I suppose anything from David E. Kelley is a good watch. The fact that this deals with school life and the attendant issues which the teachers face is way cool. The cast is likable by the first episode. The head of Social Studies was hot, that old History teacher was really funny and both the principal and the vice-principal really rocked.

From now on, my TV nights are Monday ( 10.00pm - 11.00pm ) and Thursday ( 8.00pm - 10.00pm ).

Sunday, March 17, 2002

Today I got a simple SMS message. It said: PLEASE CHECK MAIL. There was a number there, but it wasn't listed in my handphone directory. As I was in the middle of Prangin Mall at that time, watching over my sister like some kind of unpaid bodyguard, I couldn't very well do that. But as I stood there reading over the SMS and wondering who sent it ( I found out who later on when I checked my mail upon getting home ), I started wondering why the PIQ ( Person-In-Question ) even bothered sending me a SMS asking me to check my mail. It wasn't like the person didn't know that I was this 'I check my mail every hour of the day' kind of guy. And it wouldn't have killed to just give me a call and tell me the message over the phone. Because if it was important enough to warrant an email and a SMS, I think that the PIQ would have been better off calling me instead, or just leaving things as they were because I would have checked my email anyway.

As it is, the SMS pissed me off needlessly. I have this subconscious resistance towards people telling me what to do when they already know that I'll be doing it anyway. It's like telling the world they have such little control over their lives, they have to tell people to do things those people are already going to do just to assure themselves that yes, they can still be in control of the situation. For example, this might happen over ICQ:

Person: hello
Me: yeah
Person: busy?
Me: yeah
Person: ok. continue doing what you were doing

Like I would drop what I'm doing at that moment to entertain them. Of course I would continue what I'm doing. Why do they need to tell me to continue what I'm doing? Why do they need to give me their permission to continue what I'm doing? It's my own time online, so I bloody hell do what I want to do with it.

I should learn to filter these things out. But at the moment... sigh. They still vex me. They still vex me greatly. And that, sometimes, is a good thing. Anger can be such a good stimulant. Just that the annoyance and irritation can sometimes be a pain.
Capsule movie reviews!

Dagon
Yes, the Simoniac told me it was a B-grade movie. Yes, Durnik Maxwell pointed out that he had never heard of it before. Pei Ling agreed that it was a B-grade movie ( after seeing the pictures on the Net ). But did they stop me from catching the first afternoon screening of Dagon on Saturday? No. Because Dagon is actually The Shadow Over Innsmouth with a different location ( set in Spain ), and boy, was it a good watch. Okay, not exactly, but close enough. Maybe I'm a sucker for anything H. P. Lovecraft. Maybe the idea of slimy tentacles is pretty appealing. Who the hell cares, I love the movie and if anyone sees the DVD lying around - tell me.

Dagon starts off with a storm assailing a ship. The ship gets stuck on a rock, one of the four passengers gets injured and two of the younger ones go to a nearby village for help. From the start, you'll get that feeling that there is something interminably wrong with the villagers. The story unfolds quite nicely from there. If you've ever read The Shadow Over Innsmouth, you'll marvel at how well the village was recreated. I thought it was fabulous. The boarded up windows and the constant rain was a really really nice touch.

As usual, the censorship board was hard at work on the movie ( probably some nudity snipped off, along with scenes of demon sex ). Their amateur efforts at film editing proved irritating as usual, especially with the sound cuts. Again crops up the eternal question: Why bother putting in ratings if you intend to cut off chunks of the movie anyway? Might as well slap a U rating on every movie screened on the cinema.

I'm just a little disappointed that no one I know would have appreciated the movie like I did.

Dragon Knight 4
What started out as curiosity to see if this was anything like Dragon Knight 3 the PC game ( by the way, it is ) ended with me falling in love with the story. The idea of the main hero travelling back in time to help his younger self win a war is like... wow. The story was pretty epic, although I think that the protagonist's one girl an episode ( 4 episodes in all ) made him out to be an asshole of sorts. I could have lived without the hentai scenes. In fact, had to actually turn down the volume a bit. Those moaning scenes might have turned some heads had anyone passed by my house. In a way, it kind of cheapened the protagonist.

But the story! The story! My heart did a little twitch everytime the protagonist saw his younger self and his younger girlfriend doing the courtship thingy. Aww, it was so sweet. And the fighting scenes were cool too. Instead of your usual party, they were bringing an entire army to do battle with the main bad guy. Not to mention lots of dragons.

Sigh. It was probably the best watch of the day, even better than Dagon.

Note: The capsule review of The Time Machine would have been here too, but for my Big Brother duties. Had to fetch my little sister around as usual.

Saturday, March 16, 2002

The Onion has done it again. Step right up to here for a press release on Gulf War 2.

Friday, March 15, 2002

Well, BlindFold Lady has yet to finish downloading, so...

Stool Review of the Day
Today's colour is darkish brown. The texture is almost falling apart, which is always a good sign given how easily every piece seemed to just slip out of me. It's a bit like that time when I went on an all-vegetable diet, but just slightly more solid. The last time, you could hear a hissing sound as the stools broke up upon contact with the water in the toiletbowl. This time round, there's a cheery plopping sound instead as they hit the water.

No pain, no discomfort, no agony. This probably came as a result of me shifting my lunch diet from mee goreng to more conventional non-fried Chinese hawker food, eg. chicken rice and such. Tonight's defecation affair does promise to be a bit more exciting though, given the extra hot curry which accompanied my roti canai and piece of beef earlier.
It's a public holiday today, and the skies are bright and hazy. What, I ask myself, am I doing awake before 10am? The BBB ( Big Brother's Burden - not to be confused with Big Bad Bastard, which I can sometimes be, or Babbling Baby Baboon, which, come to think of it, I can sometimes be too ) strikes again in the early dawn as my sister drags me out of bed to drop her off to school for *gasp* dance rehearsal. It doesn't help that I was up until 3am last night trying to figure out certain intricacies about Java's JTable ( okay, so I was trying to get it to work ).

And now, with a lightheadedness which is caused by lack of sleep, two pieces of roti canai, a deliciously tender piece of beef ( moo-moo ) and a hot glass of teh tarik, I shall go forth in my feeble attempts to understand tables while downloading a video of a blindfolded girl. Interesting video, that.

Thursday, March 14, 2002

Real life can sometimes be so surreal. Check out this goat story and wonder. Spontaneous act indeed. My only thought is: poor poor goat.

Wednesday, March 13, 2002

It's hot out there. Scorching. Burning. It's the Nine Hells all rolled into one. It's stepping out right smack into the middle of the Sahara on a bright sunny afternoon. The heat falls on you like a sledgehammer, and Mr. Disgruntled Employee who was bitching about error messages suddenly became Mr. Heat Exhausted It Is So Hot I Am About To Die.

In a fit of heat-induced insanity, I went to bitch to the new QA senior ( recently promoted from the Global Services department ) just across the aisle about how I resigned because certain parties in the company wanted to get me fired. She assured me that there was no such conspiracy behind locked office doors, and then went on to further aggravate my anxieties by revealing to me her knowledge of my name and my impending resignation.

I don't care if she's freckled eye candy for the bosses, someone here did have my name on the termination list. Those damn bastards. As if I'm not paranoid enough. I'm going to steal her blue little Elmo, cut its stomach open with my handy switchblade, spill its whitish cotton guts all over her table and crucify the leftovers ( skin and eyes ) on her monitor. That'll teach them to mess with a brooding programmer with homicidal tendencies.

Tuesday, March 12, 2002

I admit it. I'm a sucker for punishment. For my work, I code Java. When I reach home, I attempt to design a game in Java. I also study Java to make my design possible. No, I don't love Java. It's clunky. But I like the pain. I like the agony. Help me. I have no life.

Monday, March 11, 2002

Hangover. Poetic justice for the fool who decided to gulp down a bottle of something with 5% alcohol. Sure, it ain't much, but I don't usually drink. What began as a little 'drink while you surf' turned into a nightmarish 'my head is so heavy and I'm so hot and I can't sleep' on my bed as my father watched Antonio Banderas in The 13th Warrior in the hall outside. However, that little intoxicated stupor I got myself into last night wasn't all bad. I actually got up after an hour to start designing a tile-based engine in Java. Maybe I will be able to code Wasteland in Java after all.

Today, however, was hell on my team members. They most unwisely chose today of all days to inform me that my program flow needed serious alterations and that our deadline was *drumroll* this coming Thursday. I don't know why I even bother, considering that this is my last month at that company. The sheer excitement of it all, I guess.

The moral of this post:
  • Do not gulp down drinks, no matter how little alcohol they might contain. If you're thirsty, drink farking water.
  • Do not tell a guy with a bad hangover horrible news on a Monday.

Sunday, March 10, 2002

Le Pacte des Loups.

If there was ever a reason to take up French, this is it. Known as Brotherhood of the Wolf in English, it's the story about some great beast terrorizing a French countryside in those pre-Revolution days. Boasting really cool fighting scenes, beautifully artistic scenes, hot French babes and somewhat overdone slow-motion scenes ( but they're still cool ). Perhaps the film might have some draggy parts to certain people - the Simoniac was complaining about 'another boring hour' after the first VCD ended - but I thought it was really good, so-called draggy parts and all. Not bad for a French movie where the only subtitles which I could understand was Bahasa Melayu. And even then, the subtitles weren't complete.

Of course, incomplete subtitles during the whorehouse scene led the Simoniac to try to convince me that the crux of the entire story lay in that particular conversation between the hero and the hooker. Sometimes, people just ask for trouble.

Saturday, March 09, 2002

Okay, you should never take online quizzes which go something like 'Which Buffy Girl Are You?'. Especially if you're a guy. You might get really really disturbing results. But just in case you're interested, here you go..

Last night was the night of the Phantom of the Opera. RM95.00 for a double CD and the libretto, and worth every single cent of it. Of course, some people will probably think that it's a waste of money. Well, sod you all.

Friday, March 08, 2002

Tarot card equivalents for everyone courtesy of my darling girlfriend!



Which tarot card are you?

Thursday, March 07, 2002

Roswell. Initially, I didn't like it. In fact, I detested it for taking over Buffy's 8pm slot every Thursday on Starworld. I mean, instead of the Slayer dusting vampires, I'm supposed to watch a bunch of aliens run around and get into trouble with a bunch of humans? What's more, Roswell is like an almost zero bodycount series, while Buffy typically had bodies dropping like flies every episode.

But after awhile, I found myself drawn into the lives of Max, Liz and company. Sure, they look like humans. Sure, their powers aren't exactly anything to write home about. But it's the story! The story! That weird alien-human love affair! That Dido theme song! Super cool Michael being all pissed and assholic ( thus, supreme coolness )! Max being Mr. Rational Leader! Liz's soulful eyes! Maria being... Maria! Geeky loyal Alex! Isabelle's big... big... BIG EYES ( and Prosey does another Heather Graham here *cheer* *cheer* )!

Maybe I should have missed an episode or two, and then perhaps I would have liked those interspecies couples less. But it had to be the Thursday night slot. Buffy slot. MONSTER THURSDAY SLOT. I've kind of like made a commitment to just be there every Thursday ever since the Slayer and her ex-boyfriend/true love and Frank Black got me hooked.

Tomorrow morning: Roswell desktop at work!

And to think I hesitated.
It's happened. Nael and his girlfriend Nora broke up.

Bad thing? I dare not make any conjectures at this juncture. Things happen. God works in mysterious ways ( sometimes, very mysterious ways ). Is this going to be something final? Who can really say? I don't know how Nora feels about it. Nael is missing her already. A break up is always bad, and a break up and finding out that your cat was catnapped is even worse.

Wednesday, March 06, 2002

Like, who am I kidding? I can't even pass for human anymore. As if the Heartless One gives a damn about those paltry souls who meander around my workplace. They can all go drown themselves in a small little pail for all I care.

Me, I've been given the lowdown of Scotland's weather today:
Wintery showers, with strong, REALLY REALLY strong winds.

Looks like Wilhelm von Darke will be blown away by the winds today. As he ascends 1000 feet above the ground, he'll snap a picture of Scotland from the air. Granted, he probably won't survive the fall, but the film might, thus earning him instant worldwide recognition - posthumous, of course.
Sometimes, it is a mistake to get close to people. Cause when it's time to say goodbye, it really rips your heart out.
Rips. Your. Heart. Out.

Tuesday, March 05, 2002

Everybody's feeling down today. Everybody in my department that is. The one and only Gregory North aka 'Computer Component Melter' was feeling so low, he hopped over to my place, usurped Pei Ling's chair and discussed life and death with me and the ever happy Hock Zoon. Hock Zoon was so depressed he came over to my place and discussed life and death with me and the one and only Gregory North. Pei Ling was so out of character she displayed a never-seen-before side of her which hinted at the hidden levels of leadership within her. Crouching tiger, hidden dragon she sure is. However, she still ran away when the one and only Gregory North shooed her off when he commandeered her chair away for our life and death discussion.

And *I* feel down and depressed too. I realize I should never make friends with so many people. That's why I live such a solitary life, surrounded by a small - very small - group of friends, most of whom I meet only on the Internet. Sentimentality is not good. It worked so well back in Motorola - the cold, quiet chap with ice flowing in the veins. But sigh... solitude is good company, but it's also quiet company. After awhile, even the most brooding among us all must return friendship, especially if friendship has been given freely.

Sigh, sigh and yet more sighs.

Monday, March 04, 2002

Today is the first day of that tumultuous time known as the Tempering of the Beast. It involves controlling that inner rage which persuades me to let loose the dogs of war and floor the accelerator while on the road. It involves reigning in my anger and actually not try to cause other cars to hit other cars. It involves soothing the beast within, suppressing the homicidal urges to destroy, moderating the need for speed.

Why?

Because of my dream about Consequences last Thursday night. Consequences. When a dream stays with you - nay, HAUNTS you over the weekend, you just *know* it's a portent. You just *know* that something really weird's going on when you can still see with clarity how your hand indirectly caused the deaths of those two schoolboys. Responsibility reassumed, and the first thing I went to do was to kill some people? They didn't even deserved to die. They were just sitting on a bench waiting to get their names taken down for being late for school, damnit. The thing that disturbs me is that I didn't even bothered to remember this dream. There are dreams which I take the trouble to remember - this is not one of them. I didn't want to remember this dream. It was supposed to go away. To disappear. But it came back. With a vengeance.

Will I succeed? With the evil within be vanquished? I seriously doubt it. Already I can feel other unsavoury elements surfacing from beneath, elements which I have long suspected to be present but have never actually seen within me. They're here now ( *hysterical laughter from somewhere* ). Perhaps they were right. Perhaps in this world, good cannot win over evil.

Sunday, March 03, 2002

Saturday was spent reading. I started off with Iris Chang's The Rape Of Nanking, which is a thoroughly depressing book. Any book on the atrocities of war should be depressing. Then in the afternoon, SplashPage informed me that my comics were here, so off I went to collect Sojourn #8, Iron Man #51, Sci-Spy #1 and The Marquis: Danse Macabre.

Sojourn #8 - Why, oh WHY, didn't I collect this series from the start? Not only is this a good fantasy title ( dragons, baybee ), the art is also well done. This is no manga-anime bullshit, this is the kind of art which I like. Maybe they could have had even more dialogue, but at any rate, it flows along rather nicely. Bah, now I'll have to go for the trade paperback of issues #0 - #7. I'll probably collect all the trade paperbacks for Ruse too. CrossGen titles really kickass.

Iron Man #51 - I asked for more dialogue, and more dialogue I have. Iron Man has now taken a new direction, probably due to the events of 9-11. Instead of supervillain of the month, Iron Man saved some trapped firemen and another victim from a burning house. Yes, the obligatory villain is there somewhere - hinted in this issue is a very mysterious manner, but not shown directly. Do I like where this title is going? I'm not really sure, cause it's a bit too early to tell. But if they keep up the meaningful contextual dialogue, oh yes. This issue also came with a damn fine cover too.

Sci-Spy #1 - It's a Vertigo title. I must admit, I'm a little disappointed in this one. The art struck me as a little old school ( which is somewhat of a good thing in my books ). Perhaps I was expecting more swashbuckling action. It does promise to be a good scifi miniseries though. I like metal bugs which eat naked girls in seconds, leaving only the bones behind. Have to see the rest before I decide more on this one.

The Marquis: Danse Macabre - Black and white art. Story set somewhere in France, in an alternate timeline where the Inquisition rules. It's a trade paperback which will put Angel to shame. I think it's really cool to walk around killing devils and redeeming the souls of the innocent, instead of just saving some souls. Dark. Moody. Gritty. I think I can still hear the running footsteps over the cobblestones. Or maybe the story deals with ideas of the Church and devils. That always intrigues me. A very good read.

Regret: Never having collected the Hellblazer series.

Friday, March 01, 2002

Friday evening. I have this sudden urge to consume Kentucky Fried Chicken with insane abandon. I can actually see the pieces of chicken in front of me, smell the aroma wafting from the freshly-cooked meat, feel the hot texture of the chicken, taste that crunchy Hot And Spicy skin, feel my teeth dig into the tasty flesh...

Reality check, fool. Thou shalt not torture thyself with visualizations of fried food when one is stricken with sore throat.