Wednesday, July 31, 2002

It's about four farking twenty in the afternoon. I'm feeling sleepy and shitty. Someone stole two out of four of the rambutans a colleague gave me earlier this morning. Easy come, easy go, I say. But tonight, some stupid dickhead in Hong Kong who's probably being paid shitloads of money is insisting that someone stay back and call somebody else in America because he wants to make sure that those folks in the US are working on their part of their project. And of course, the prime candidate for this screwed up job is ME.

As if our US counterpart hasn't had enough hints that this is a very important project. If it were that important, then maybe the other guy in Hong Kong, who's also quite highly placed, shouldn't have waited nine whole days to send out an email regarding the project. That stupid email held up the whole process, cause the reply, which was very prompt, triggered off the whole "let's get the underpaid overexploited employee to stay back call somebody in US who might, for all we know, be on vacation". The shit people pull off in these times when employment is so hard to come by. The utter crap that is being done after they abolish the concept of paid overtime. Because of a stupid email, the work's been held up, and now everybody has to rush to meet the deadline this Friday.

Everyone tells me that I have no planning and no foresight and no preparations but heck, these lameasses, whose salaries could probably feed an African nation, are probably worse off than me in the damn planning department. Cause I won't be sending off emails asking for help on the very week of the deadline if I got the email nine days beforehand. Doing things at the very last minute isn't exhilarating - it's bound to get you killed someday. If the stress doesn't get to you, the extremely disgruntled underpaid overexploited unconfirmed pissed-off homicidal programmer will one day throw you off the 26th floor of a building. And then said programmer will go to your gravestone and piss and shit all over it and then maybe draw a smiley-face on the front with the faeces.

Tuesday, July 30, 2002

Some mistakes takes a lot of paying. Consider another bout of 'leave your car keys in the car'. This time, the ignition coil burnt out, resulting in an emergency leave from work and half a day around my car as the mechanic put it back into working order. That was the bad part of the day. That part of the day also nearly put me out. It got hot after awhile there. The Simoniac dropped by, and after the mechanic was done, we went off to 1-Stop to top up our Jaring account and buy some stuff. I later went home to console myself with one rather B-grade movie ( 'Boa' starring Dean Cain ), one very nice serious cartoon which seemed like a cross between the X-Files and Buffy ( Blood: The Last Vampire ) and then watched the 3rd tale of Kwaidan.

Now, I think I'm going to go lie down and turn my mind off.

Monday, July 29, 2002

I woke up with an aching body today. The arms are aching at the elbows, my bones make cracking sounds everytime I move around, I feel dead sleepy and I can sense a terrible case of fatness coming up. Apparently, my ass has healed up considerably, but not completely. When the doctor said it would take time, I think he was grossly understating the situation. So now, the feasting begins anew. Like how my gaming has begun anew, with my spanking new Athlon 950 that doesn't hang or crash every fifteen minutes into a game. I knew there was something wrong with the old motherboard. Something terribly, terribly wrong. Maybe I'll keep it somewhere instead of throwing it away. Future scientists will be able to analyze the motherboard and perhaps someday shed some light on just why it kept on crashing everytime I played a game.
It was another eventful Sunday of vacuuming, fetching the little sister around and watching VCDs. Mich C and I had lunch, and then after I had to do some chauffeuring around, my sister and I watched the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie ( starring Kristy Swanson and Luke Perry ) before I watched Resident Evil by myself. I remember the Buffy movie well. My cousin and I watched it so long ago, and watching it now once more, I realized that I actually thought Kristy was hotter than Sarah back when I first watched the Buffy series. Kristy can do gymnastics pretty well. Although Milla in Resident Evil was pretty much burning up the screen. All in all, it was a high quality horror night. I'll probably sit down for another round of Resident Evil sometime soon. My Buffy marathon somewhere around the fourth quarter of this year will start with the Buffy movie, and on to the Season One DVDs, and finally ending with the Season Two DVDs. Winter 2003 - Season Three.

Saturday, July 27, 2002

Attended Intel's 30th Anniversary celebration on Saturday with Mich C. It was pretty full of Intel folks. There were Mich C's colleagues. There was Bernard from Splashpage. There were lots of people. And there was also free food ( McEggs and soggy McNuggets ). There was also this free movie, but I was so poofed that I finally got Mich C to go watch Men In Black 2 next Tuesday. Instead of waiting for another hour and a half, we bought some DVDs and went back to Mich C's house to watch them. After the first two stories of Kwaidan nearly put Mich C to sleep, we then watched Osmosis Jones, which is a really nice movie / cartoon. And then we went off for dinner, and now I'm back home again, messing with my new Athlon 950 courtesy of the Simoniac's technical skills and Captain Insano's connections.

This gamer shall game again.

Friday, July 26, 2002

It's so *brr*cold*brr* in the office. Especially after I accidentally dripped papaya juice all over myself and had to douse myself with water. After realizing that my jeans and my seat were soaked with papaya juice, I took a rather uncomfortable walk to the toilet to wash it off my jeans, and an awkward walk back to the office looking like I just wet myself. A good thing it's lunchtime and no one's around.

The project I've been slaving over is finally ready for testing, and before the bugs start marching in, I have this short respite where I get to actually breathe and bounce around the office. I'm putting my time to good use, of course. There's the weekly review reading of the Buffy and Angel episodes which I just watched last night. And then, of course, there's all the work which accumulated over the week when I was busy with the project. All of which, you know, should keep me busy until the end of next year.

Everything would be peachy keen, except that the office's damnable leased line decided to BREAK DOWN TODAY. I think around 15+ people are sharing a 56k dial-up line now.

Thursday, July 25, 2002

It's been a loong hectic day. I nearly missed Angel because I had to give my team leader a crash course in some weird application. After a hurried lecture, I jumped into my car ( after a speedy 26 floor descent ) and sped off home. Gurney Tower to Macallum Street - in less than ten minutes. And now after all that rushing around, I'm feeling a little poofed. Tired... weary... and Buffy's on at 11.30pm! Sla-yer! Sla-yer! Sla-yer!

It's gonna be weird watching Buffy after Angel.

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

On and on and on I go. I must be the only busy guy loaded with work who can blog, reply emails, check out the daily D20 RPG news and doodle all over my notebook. Apparently, I'm not that stressed yet, although this morning did turn more of my hair white. I feel pretty beat - I believe the fatigue is more of a condition brought upon by staying in the office for far too long. Strangely, I never feel this tired when I'm working at home for an extended time period. Something wrong with the feng shui of my seat, maybe. The guy whose seat I'm occupying now left the company, after all. And strangely, the new administrative assistant who has moved to my old seat doesn't leave the office for lunch anymore. I used to do that too when I was sitting there. I think this place is jinxed.

And now, back to work... no rest for the wicked! No rest for the wicked!

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

It's past 11pm, I'm working in the office and some other people here are playing network games ala Starcraft. Jesus Christ.

Monday, July 22, 2002

Och, but it's bleedin' cold in here. A man could freeze in an empty office if the air-conditioners were turned on full. My team leader promised me that I could take leave once this week is over. I think I'll probably need to sleep - a lot - after this week. It's not the long hours which are bothering me now. It's the cold. It seeps into the brain, freezing up certain parts of it. It seeps into the body, slowing down the blood. I'm sure there's something they teach you about ye olde metabolism rate back in Biology class, but I can't remember. In fact, come to think about, I can't remember much at this point. There's something vague about frogs in my mind, but I don't know where that came from. I'm spending so much time in the cold, I think the skin around my mouth is peeling off again. Hail the incredible skin-peeling man ( only near the mouth area though ).

Sunday, July 21, 2002

Yay. Another jolly Sunday in the office. I'm still a bit poofed from work last night, and I think my little cold is developing into something bigger courtesy of the super-cold air-conditioners in my office. Brr... but it's cold. Probably my fault for wearing bermudas, but my jeans are in the washing machine.

When I leave it'll probably be night. I'm beginning to miss sunsets. It's odd to walk into the office in the middle of the day and walk out at night. I don't think it's healthy. And tomorrow promises to be another such day. I keep reminding myself that the more I do today the less I'll have to do tomorrow. Not much help that's doing though - I just keep wanting to bolt out of the door. It's a weekend in the office - who doesn't want to bolt?

Saturday, July 20, 2002

Okay, it's a merry Saturday spent at the office. Here I am, at almost 9pm, still in the office. I've been here since 10.20am, but since no one was in yet, I had to sit outside the corridor until 11am. It's not as miserable as it sounds though - had one of my printouts to keep me company. That's why, as I always say, one should always have something to read in one's bag. Actually, I wouldn't be blogging now if my colleague hadn't rebooted the database server. Was feeling rather bored and strangely, panicky at the same time the whole day. My deadline's on Tuesday, and I've been assigned work I don't know how to do. Go figure. Throw the new guy stuff he can't do and expect him to get it done in time. What a bunch of bitches. Someone should come over here and spank my team leaders' asses blue.

To entertain myself, I've been downloading MP3s from the 80s. Nothing like a good 80s song to brighten up your day, get your feet tapping and almost making you burst into song.

( won't you come out and play with me? )
STEP BY STEP, HEART TO HEART
LEFT RIGHT LEFT, WE ALL FALL DOWN
LIKE TOY SOLDIERS


See what I mean? A shame there's still people in the office. Otherwise, oh God, I'll be having a real party. Of course, there's always the eternally-popular Pauline song to sing along too:

Years go by I'm lookin' through a girly magazine
And there's my classmate Pauline on the pages in-between

My BLOOD runs COLD
My MEMORY has JUST BEEN SOLD
PAULINE is the CENTERFOLD
PAULINE is the CENTERFOLD


I bet Darke, William Von gets a kick out of singing that song too. There's something really agonizing yet satisfying about seeing Pauline in the centerfold.

Friday, July 19, 2002

My flats encountered a blackout yesterday evening. I was justifiably pissed, as Buffy started at 8pm and the electricity was still non-existent at 6.40pm. So the Simoniac ( who happened to be in the neighbourhood ) and I went cruising around town in THE CAR ( aka his Mini ), and ended up in the same place we always end up whenever we go cruising around town.

Saint Xavier's Institution.

Each time I go back to my old school, I get assaulted by 13+ years of memories. Memories which really should remain forgotten. And after every visit to that place, I swear to myself that I'll never go back. Months past, and there I am again, walking around the place like a bloody tourist, criticizing anything which has been changed.

It's sad, sometimes, as I walk down the same old corridor which I must have walked down millions of times before. I close my eyes and for a brief moment I'm back in school, with my old schoolmates like ghostly shadows walking around and the oft-missed noises ( sounds? nah, noises ) of school echoing in my ears. I look at the much-renovated canteen and I don't see the new 'improved' structure, but rather the old dark dank hellhole which became a constant source of agitation for me the moment I signed on the board of break monitors ( those were, by the way, good times ). Blink, and it's a Saturday morning with those scout HQs sitting outside the old teacher's eating room while we normal scouts basked in the morning sun. I take a turn and end up in the motorcycle park, where late evening fades to early morning, the old tree which has been chopped down has grown back again and I'm suddenly among rows of motorcycles, soaking in the dew with my fellow traffic wardens.

It's depressing, really. Every step taken in school just serves to remind me how much my life has changed. This is why I don't usually go walking around my old school - nostalgia overwhelming isn't something I really like. It clouds the mind, dulls the senses and suddenly you're seeing ghosts of living people you haven't seen in ages walking around. Brings a tear to the eye, it does.

Now, if I had seen the ghosts of Brother Casimir and Brother Ulrick, that would have been cool. At least I would have known that the school misses me as much as I miss her. Of course, the only way I can probably see them is if I pee all over the corridor. Hmm. Some other time, perhaps.

Thursday, July 18, 2002

Yesterday I ran off to BJC with Mich C, where we had dinner, walked around, investigated the availability of tabasco habanero ( which they don't have in Cosmart anyway ) and bought lots of stuff. Mich C got a Linux book along with a Sex and the City VCD, while I got 2 DVDs and 3 VCDs. Oh yeah. Spending spree. And you know why? Cause it's Merry farking Christmas. Well, maybe not, but it's not everyday you find the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie on the VCD rack. When that happens, along with finding the DVD version of HP Lovecraft's Re-Animator... now that's Christmas. Heck, I also got the Vampire Hunter D DVD, the Blood: The Last Vampire VCD and even Doctor Who: The Remembrance of the Daleks VCD. It's been a long time since I've had a Christmas which was as good.

This Moment In History:
Location: Office in Gurney Tower
Physical status: In anal hell
Listening to: Aerosmith - Crazy
Waiting for: Mich C to reply my mail
Doing: Reading up Core Servlets & JSP
Rather be doing: Brushing up on my English grammar

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

It's amazing what a hearty breakfast and enough sleep can do. With at least seven and a half hours of sleep every night and a decent plate of instant mee, I no longer fall asleep by 10am. What's more, time passes faster than ever now that I'm sleeping and eating more. This is not necessarily a bad thing, although my scheduled exercises have been put on hold due to a return of the anal pain. Then again, how fat can a guy get by eating vegetables and fruits? My papaya amount per lunch has been increased to two pieces. This doubles the chances of me eating an irradiated papaya and turning into Papaya-Man. This also helps with the outbound bodily processes. I actually felt very little pain this morning. Now that, is a good thing.

Last night, while typing out an assignment for my little sister, I watched a movie called 'Creatures From The Abyss'. I probably shouldn't have watched it while I was typing, cause I ended up laughing rather hysterically in quite a lot of places. It was a B-grade flick ( duh ), complete with cheesy plot ( teenagers stranded at sea stumbles upon research vessel with monster fish ), cheap special effects, gratuitous breast shots, bad dialogue and er... questionable acting. I thought it was really funny, especially when one of the girls held up her bare breasts and said "I think it's time to get a new bra". And of course, the part where a guy turned into a monster when he and a girl was having sex ( but sex in the movies is a bad thing, as all horror movies can tell you ).

So do I like this movie? Oh God, yes. It's not as classy as Dagon ( which isn't really B-grade in the first place ). The plot's no Schindler's List. The special effects isn't even up to the standard of Komodo. But it's a B-grade movie, damnit. I wonder if there's a sequel...

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

The haze got me yesterday. It was a horrible thing - visibility fell like a stone, and I could hardly see the far end of Gurney Drive from my office at Gurney Tower. Heck, the hills disappeared, and for a surreal period of time I felt that Penang was just another island lost in the mists. Only that the mist was haze, and as a result of mingling out of the air-conditioned office for far too long, I ended up feeling very - very - sick. I felt feverish, my eyes turned red and swelled, my brains felt overheated and I nearly hit the office door a few times when I went to the office.

Under all those sickly feelings, however, was a brain which was very nervous. Am I dying? Am I down with meningitis? Am I going to spontaneously combust? Goes to show how much I can still think, even when I can't think straight. When I got home, my father's banana papaya apple orange juice made me feel a whole lot better, and Mich C's song-and-story hour close to bedtime helped put me together again.

Nothing else was done last night. Well, I did manage to download the NeoGeo bios for Mame, so those Mame ROMs of mine which need ng-lo.rom to run finally work again. I also did a little Unreal Tournament map editing - being the lameass in 3D map editing that I am, all I did was two rooms, a corridor and a little underwater passage which ran underneath them. I think I'm getting the hang of the UT map editor though. Somehow, carving out rooms from a huge block of something is much easier than creating rooms in open space. But I still miss the glory days of Doom, when map editing was a simple ( albeit less powerful ) 2D occasion.

Monday, July 15, 2002

An extremely dreary Monday. This is the Monday that all Mondays are made of. A mosquito or some dust mites were plaguing me last night. I kept on waking up with my whole body itching like mad. Probably the work of dust mites - mosquito bites would have at least left a little swelling in the morning. Now why did the dust mites decide to strike back at such a weird time? Could be because my father went to dry out pillows out in the sun earlier yesterday morning. Maybe it was some ritualistic revenge that dustmites do when you burn out their relatives in the sun. I don't know. All I know is that I really lack sleep now, and I really need to sleep now, and my mind can't bloody work.

That alone, of course, does not a Merry Monday make. During my toilet trip in the morning, I realized that my ass was painful again - probably an abrasion or something due to semi-hard faeces. Bummer. It's back in hell whenever I go to the toilet. At least I've been maintaining my vegetables - fruity diet. You know, a man can develop a liking for *gasp* leafy vegetables.

Sunday, July 14, 2002

Some antimiracle happened, and my car's headlights happened to be switched on since 3pm yesterday. I have no idea how those lights got switched on - you do not switch on your lights when you're driving around in the afternoon - but switched on they were, and I was left with a car which refused to even whisper when I turned the ignition on. So my father and I ended up running around Penang looking for a tyre / battery shop which was open. Advice from the Simoniac landed us in Batu Lanchang, where we acquired a new battery from an air-conditioner / exhaust pipe / battery shop.

Mysteries to solve:
1. How come all the shops selling car batteries in Georgetown are closed on Sundays?
2. Why were my lights on in the afternoon?

Like, my God! What was I thinking? Shame! Shame!

Saturday, July 13, 2002

I've never imagined that eating could make a person tired. Mich C and I went to Shangri-La for the high tea, and after eating more than RM31 worth of food, I felt... worn out. Tired. Exhausted. I couldn't even focus my mind properly after that. And now, after having supper with Mich C and her ex-classmate, I feel a little dead. I think I need sleep. I think I shouldn't have eaten so much. I think that lots of rich food after a long month or so of vegetables and even more vegetables is... lethal. Not necessarily fatal, but I bet my digestive system still hasn't coped with immense amounts of ice cream and waffles, heh heh. See, when people tell you that gluttony is bad, just take it at face value and accept the fact that gluttony is bad. God knows, I'm still so full that I'm both tired and sleepy. My bed... must... find... bed...

Friday, July 12, 2002

Apparently, I have to stay back at work tonight. Not because I have workload overwhelming. Oh no, that comes later. No, it's because I have to call someone in US. Now, I actually wouldn't mind, but it's a Friday night, I'm supposed to meet some old friends tonight and there's a high percentage that the person we're about to call might not even be in theh office. Naturally, I am most unhappy with this development. I think it's stupid and pointless, especially if they make me stay back until 12am and the person we're supposed to contact is actually on holiday.

So it's a Friday night and I'm going to be at the office. I can probably switch off the lights and brood away ala Angel, but there's going to be other souls in the office, and they might not take likely to me switching off the lights as they try to do their work. But, you know, it'll be so cool to be able to brood in the office. In the dark. On a Friday night. And I'm all decked out in black today too.

Sigh... I'll probably go read the copy of Newsweek I just bought after lunch. And, er, surf. A lot. Apologies to the Simoniac and the rest of the guys. At least they're not the ones stuck in the office... brooding away... in the dark... ( damn I've really got to turn off the lights later ).

Thursday, July 11, 2002

Okay okay okay. Accumulated late nights are VERY BAD THINGS. I slept earlier last night, and I just dozed off in my chair in the office. At least I didn't lose more time, but when I woke up with a start, I heard footsteps in the office. It could just be sounds travelling down from the floor upstairs - in fact, given that I'm usually the only person in the office during lunch when everyone else goes out to eat together, it had better be sounds from the floor above. Cause the footsteps and that scratching sound I just heard from behind the other partition does not get along well with the tranquility of my mind.

Oh great. I was supposed to blog and doze off again before everyone comes back. But I really can't account for the scratching sound, not even after I went behind that partition to take a look. It's amazing how creepy a bright empty office can get in the middle of the day. Yup, and suddenly my senses are all on hyper mode. I've never noticed so many things in the office before. Really, this place shouldn't have any excuses for having funny sounds and those 'things at the edge of your field of vision' thingies. It's supposed to be a new building damnit.

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Last night marked a successful resurrection of my PC. After a lot of sweaty minutes plugging RAM and the hard disk in and out of the motherboard ( it was a hot night ), the computer finally decided to work with 256MB to boot. A good sign - perhaps PAS will die off like the lame-ass religious manipulators they are.

Anyway, the late nights and the stress ( "WHY DOESN'T IT WORK? WHY, LORD, WHY?!" ) have taken a grievous toll on me. More hair on my head has turned white, and I can barely think now. I even experienced time loss today - was studiously researching some stuff earlier when my mind suddenly wandered off to the episode of Buffy I watched last night. Suddenly my mind was thinking along two different thoughts concurrently - my work and Buffy. That was only for a split-second - I know we multi-task mentally all the time, but this was different. After that weird split, I realized that half an hour had passed by without me knowing. I think I fell asleep or something.

And in conclusion, what is the price of fixing a computer and going on a Buffy DVD marathon with your little sister? Extreme sleepiness, the inability to think straight and this fervent wish for my bed and a nice rainy weather ( like now ). Also, funny thoughts running through my mind like "I wish I were a pillow", "Beware the glow-worms" and "If I were a question, would I be a good one?".

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

I knew that my entire Win XP partition disappearing last night was a bad omen. It wasn't the reinstallation effort which bothered me. It was just this strange nagging feeling that things were just not right. And when I woke up this morning and spotted the papers, I realized that the disappearing partition was but an omen of bad things.

The PAS party in Terengganu, apparently, has managed to pass a bill implementing the hudud law in that state. Not content with depriving themselves of having a normal life, they will soon force all non-Muslims in the state to abide by the hudud law. If they actually pull it off and the people there actually fall for it... Good Lord, what a bunch of sheep.

Now the hudud law is interesting. Taken unaltered, it calls for rather heavy punishments. If you're caught stealing, you'll get a hand chopped off or something. This will of course disallow you from stealing stuff efficiently from that point onwards. This will also reduce your capability as a human, and even if you actually repent, you'll still have one hand left. Tough luck, eh?

Anyway, the laws they're going to / about to implement in Terengganu are rather discriminatory too, if the papers are to be believed. Females and non-Muslims stand to lose a lot, but I suppose that's going to be okay with a state full of Muslims anyway. They'll just push the womenfolk down and the men can all have more fun than your average Malaysian. Below is a link to The Star's coverage on the law. Especially interesting is the NGOs' counters and the implications of the law.

Hudud law articles at The Star

So they've banned alcohol in Terengganu, and will soon do away with most other form of entertainment. If they decide to take it to the extreme I might just end up with a Taliban copycat right here in my own bloody country. I say we send in the assasins NOW before things escalate out of control. Of course, people might actually be able to think and instead send PAS back to hell where they probably crawled out from anyway. Any government which is going to force you to follow the edicts of another religion is a bullshit government. Non-Muslims fasting during the Muslim fasting season because it's the LAW for EVERYONE to FAST is just too ridiculous.

Sigh... this malarkey would not have happened if the people involved actually studied history other than the history of Malaysia and other nearby countries. Religion and politics should not go together. The Roman Catholic Church taught us so much about that... why can't people just learn?

Monday, July 08, 2002

Oh happiness. Our CTO's back in town, and a rather uneasy silence has fallen over the office. As irritating as I find colleague noise, this silence is even more disturbing on a level I can't really fathom. Everyone seems pretty edgy. Not that I'm not. I'll be having a meeting with him later ( shudder ). I don't look forward to it. I never look forward to such meetings, unless it's of the "good job and by the way we're giving you a big raise" nature.

On a sidenote, the guy who joined the company shortly while after me has resigned. I think. I don't see him around anymore, and his name has been cancelled off the sign-in list. Either he's resigned or he's been fired. This is worrying in a certain fashion. The last-in, first-out practice comes to mind. Oh boy.

Sunday, July 07, 2002

It's the end of the weekend, and I'm really sorry to see it go so fast. It's amazing how fast time passes when it's Saturday and Sunday. Back when I was working in eBX, time passed at a relatively linear pace. The working environment was so fun that I actually looked forward to Monday. Now when my PC is my only friend at work, I look forward to Fridays religiously. I guess I finally know what Pei Ling meant when she told me how much she looked forward to Monday just so that she could look forward to Friday. A person should always have something to look forward to. It enriches life, and makes everything all the more sweeter. The water I taste is sweeter because I know Friday is coming soon. The air smells better because Friday is just a matter of days away. Okay, I know I'm losing it. I'm trying to quit my mud now. I've been mudding since 1996, and now that they're probably going to ditch my crowning achievement in area coding, I realize that I've nothing to show for all the years I've been mudding. I might as well be off writing a story. Or making more Doom levels. I can't believe I still have my old Doom levels.

Am I rambling? Yeah. Cause my sister had two of her giggly friends over last night, and the three of them made giggly sounds the whole night. Damn near chopped them into pieces with the local house knife. Giggly teenage girls making giggly sounds is a good cause for homicide. Especially when you're all bothered and irritated patching up Windows XP after the close shave yesterday.

Saturday, July 06, 2002

So I somehow managed to work a miracle and my computer is working again. Sans 64MB of RAM. One thing led to another and I started plugging RAM in and out of the motherboard until I got a configuration where the PC didn't hang every five seconds. And then came the Windows XP repair/reinstallation, after which everything is working again. I'll probably need to test out my 64MB NEC RAM sometime soon - that was the culprit. And somehow my games still insist on hanging, so I'm pretty sure that my hardware woes are not over yet. Well, you know what they say. Adversity builds character.

Friday, July 05, 2002

Well, the shit managed to hit the ceiling last night. Mich C lost her car keys and then something in my computer hardware died ( probably the damn memory, as Warcraft 3 reported earlier ), followed by my Windows XP installation. Well at least Mich C managed to find her keys today, but my hardware and software remain dead. I should be getting a new motherboard and CPU tomorrow, but I still need a heatsink / fan to use it ( which I'll be looking around for today in 1-Stop later ).

Do I feel pissed? In a major way. This is why I hate dealing with hardware so much. Three hours last night and in the end the memory still wasn't working properly and the stupid OS conked out. The aggravation didn't end there. After a really tired sleep, I woke up today and went to work. Well, not really work, since almost everyone in the office was shouting around about totally non-work related stuff. Thank God for my headphones - the ruckus would have really driven me up the wall otherwise. I wonder if everyone feels like shooting their colleagues in the eyes with a stapler gun at least once a week. I don't think it's healthy, but since I've only uttered two words today ever since work started ( "Hi" and "Hey" ), maybe I'm the exception.

Lunch was pretty dismal too. The economy rice lady decided that I've been taking too much vegetables when I'm serving myself, and today she ended up dishing out pathetic amounts of food for the overexpensive price of RM3.00. That's the same price I pay every other day for much more food. Not that I should really complain about this, since the more I eat the more I shit and the more I shit the more pain I scream. Perhaps I should just stop eating altogether. Anyway, not only did the economy rice lady decided to cheat me, even the coffee lady gave me waay too little patpoh in my drink. Probably less than half a teaspoon, cause my hot patpoh tasted like water with just a slight aftertaste of patpoh. So there I was, sipping hot water with a dash of patpoh while contemplating the benefits of killing everyone in my office before "end of business" today. For one thing, I'll feel a whole lot better that these scum no longer walk the earth. And of course, there's the satisfaction that from now on, I'll be talking more - oh so much more - than those buggers.

Well, no PC at home for the time being until I somehow work a miracle. It's called reinstallation and decreasing the amount of memory used, but until then, no blogging during the weekend. This promises to be a loooong night...

Thursday, July 04, 2002

So Mich C and I managed to catch Windtalkers in BJC last night. The situation at work got pretty tensed towards the end, but I managed to finish up everything and thus could run away from the office. They might just fire me for doing stuff like that, but that's another blog for another time...

Anyway, Windtalkers is a war movie. Made by John Woo, starring Nicolas Cage and to a lesser extent Christian Slater, it depicts the taking of Saipan away from the Japanese by the Americans. It shows how the Navajo codetalkers, using a code based on the Navajo language, sended messages which the Japanese couldn't decode back and forth. It was quite fun, really watching Nicolas Cage blaze his way up a hill massacring Japanese soldiers by the truckload with a few hundred soldiers or so behind him. Whenever he reached an obstacle ( large humongous cannon ) which bullets, grenades and flamethrowers couldn't handle, he'll call in his codetalker, Adam Beach, to pass on to his codetalking counterpart Roger Willie the coordinates of said obstacle. Then the cruisers would point their big big guns at the problem, and everything goes to hell.

Watched Saving Private Ryan? Know the beach landing sequence of the first part? That's what Windtalkers is like for about two hours or so ( the half hour was used for quiet time to develop the characters ). Mich C and I were pretty much deafened by the sweet sounds of artillery fire and machineguns. The movie's suitably violent, with people getting charred alive by Allied flamethrowers, people getting riddled with bullets, people getting blown into bits and pieces, people getting pounded into ground paste by bombs... it's a beautiful movie. Yes, everyone should go out and watch Windtalkers, but try not to do it when you're dead exhausted. It's a bit loud.

Now, I especially liked the part where the battles were in Saipan. God knows how much I love the Nazis with all their Jew-gassing and SS troops and Nazi Super Soldiers ( them the uber-villains ), but sometimes, you just want to watch other theaters of war. After playing WW2: Iwo Jima, watching Windtalkers was a treat. I mean, Saipan and Iwo Jima isn't all that different, and the weapons they used... it was so cool watching the Allied troops using the same weapons as depicted in the game. Okay, so maybe I'm a fan of crappy first-person shooters, but the bottomline is, WW2: Iwo Jima did make Windtalkers a much better movie. Especially that "been there, done that" feeling when the Allied forces were taking on the Japanese.

So Windtalkers? Watch it. You owe it to yourself if you're a fan of war movies. And if you're not, heck, it's Nicolas Cage. And it has Japanese ( everyone loves the Japanese - just look at people gush over Japanese serials and pop idols ). You cannot lose with Windtalkers!

Wednesday, July 03, 2002

Bananas and a cup of Berri orange juice makes for a rather...tedious breakfast ( but it's still food, at least ). Today's bananas were quite overripe - a few more days and we'll have cheery little fly-thingies zooming around. Couple a couple of overripe bananas and the orange juice and we had me in the toilet for too long, causing me to be late for work ( by, er, 10 minutes ) and out of parking lots. I ended up parking under a tree not too far away from where I usually park, but it's still a sucky place. I fear the insects. And the tiny leaves which somehow always manage to fall through the narrow edges of the car into the engine below.

Anyway, vege check. I've been eating too much vegetables and fruits for too long. I think I'm turning green and my finger nails are turning yellow. It's scary. It's freaky. Damn the papayas too, they cause me to leave a distinctly papaya-ish aroma in the air whenever I shit. But in the end, everything from the prune juice ( the juice of PAIN ) to those leafy vegetables I eat for lunch and dinner helps towards my full and complete recovery, after which I'll be heading towards the nearer MacDonald's for a Big Mac. It's been way too farking long. Just way too farking long.

I'm supposed to go watch Windtalkers with Mich C tonight, but some stupid misunderstanding / blame-shifting / redirected anger has somehow made me look really bad for missing a deadline when I've already stated that I would need until Friday to make the deadline. You try working on a server which requires a minimum of thirty seconds to respond between each mouseclick and you'll have a rough idea what it's like for me now. In fact, if I get a response within thirty seconds, I'll be SO happy. As it is, sometimes it takes me twenty minutes to get a result. And that's on a good day. So here I am, relatively pissed. I was pissed as hell earlier, but the rage has somehow diminished, leaving only a seething mass of emotional pain and hatred behind. Someone's got to pay for this someday.

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

The effects of sleep deprivation are quite consistent. Almost everytime I have only six hours of sleep at night, I end up zombified at work, occasionally nodding off at my desk. My nose starts clogging up, occasionally my left palm itches and sometimes I need to scratch my right eye. It's amazing how a sane person, knowing that he has a full day of work the next day, will still stubbornly insist on watching television or playing some comically-weird strategy game on the computer instead of going to sleep at the proper time. Why, Lord, WHY? Why can't people sleep at the proper hours and continue whatever they were doing the next day?

*I* can tell you *why*. It's called addiction. It's called a weak will. It's called possessed by Buffy Season 2 DVDs. In certain circles where watching television and playing computer games are known as not having a life, it's called not having a life. Sometimes, it's called lack of focus. Every now and then, I call it fed-up with life so much that all I want to do is to sit down and watch so much Buffy that I start talking like Xander.

I'm not bored, you know. Just that it's another one of those phases in life where you're given a choice on whether you want to continue doing something, or ditch seven years of effort and go do something else. I would ditch it all happily, but I'm not sure what I'll be doing after that. I like to know where I'm going off next before I burn down the place I'm in. Maybe I'll go work on some D&D modules. Or write again. Or hell, I'll spend my freetime writing haiku just like how Mr. Leonard taught me to. Oh man, what a gay idea.

Monday, July 01, 2002

Mich C and I watched The Eye yesterday in Bukit Jambul. It's a Cantonese horror flick with some smatterings of Mandarin and Hakka and maybe some other dialects. For a Chinese horror movie, this one was a cut above the rest. Well, it probably is, judging from the way most other people received the movie. After spending the past week reading my Ravenloft books and watching my newly acquired Buffy Season 2 DVDs, I'm pretty jaded with horror and things which go 'Boo!'. So when I watched The Eye, I kept on expecting the main protagonist to whip out a stake, say something witty and slay the bugger. The fact that she didn't was a bit of a disappointment to me, although I guess she was supposed to scream and run around. I mean, this IS a horror movie after all.

The Eye does have its moments. For those not in the know, at the risk of spoiling the movie for you, the movie deals with a blind girl who goes for a successful cornea operation to restore her sight. Her operation goes well, but after that she starts experiencing weird stuff.

Okay, now spoilers ahead. People who haven't watched the movie come back and continue after you're done watching it. And you know that you should watch it. It's rare that a horror movie of this class comes along. It's actually one of the better horror movies I've seen in awhile.








-- SPOILER SPACE: CONTINUE NOT IF YOU HAVE YET TO WATCH --








Actually, these are just some rants about the movie. Parts which can be safely skipped.


1. When the doctor removed the bandage around her eyes after the operation. They closed the curtains so that the light outside couldn't come in, and then turned on the lights inside so bright that she had problems opening her eyes. WHY? Why couldn't they do it in the dark? I thought that was a little cruel. The poor girl! Imagine being blind and the first thing you see when you get your sight restored is a big white nothing because someone turned on the lights.

2. Death ( or whatever ) who comes for the dead to lead their spirits away. A tall shimmering figure dressed in a black full-body turtleneck skintight leotard or something. Hello? Meet Joe Black? The urge to just scream "Brad Pitt! Brad Pitt!" was really hard to suppress. I guess hiring Brad Pitt and a decent suit would have been much too expensive. However, instead of overinflating their budget, they at least did something memorable with it ( see below ).

3. The old woman's spirit in the hospital. I bet she was cold, and the Death guy who came to take her away should be exorcised for letting her appear around the poor protagonist, scaring the poor girl and most of the audience.

4. Girl sees dead people. Girl sees dead people everywhere. Girl ends up helping ghost resolve issues which is holding ghost back. Familiar? As soon as that plot point sank in, I couldn't stop thinking of the movie as yet another twist on The Sixth Sense ( The Others was yet another twist on The Sixth Sense too, albeit from a different angle ).

5. Why the hell must ghosts talk in a low monotonous voice? Have we not learned from The Others? Or heck, even The Sixth Sense? I suppose it helps us differentiate the dead from the living, but I still think it would be creepier if the person you were just having a nice chat with had to go to the toilet and just walked through the wall of the men's room. That would be unexpected, and would definitely send a cold chill to my heart. But the moment they start speaking in that monotonous voice... oh Lordy Lord, spare me.

6. The calligraphy room scene was hilarious. I kept on expecting the protagonist to kick the table over and use a calligraphy brush as a stake or something when the ghost was lunging at her. Sigh... WAY too much Buffy. My bad.

7. I like the violin solo part. For no particular reason, the thought 'tortured soul brings forth tortured music' came to mind. It was beautiful in a dark way.

8. The explosion at the last part was cool. Definitely a plot device to help the protagonist get rid of her sight, but the many Joe Blacks rushing towards the scene before the gas explosion was so cool. And it was one nice parallel of what the protagonist's corneas' former owner had to go through when she tried to help people get out of the way of disaster. You see what happens when you don't hire Bruce Willis or Brad Pitt to act in your movie? You have enough money for one good special effects ending.

9. The movie is called The Eye. The girl had a cornea transplant, and so she can see ghosts. I can accept that. Heck, if you told me that was possible in real life, I'll even believe you. But then she also starts hearing them. Uh... did she have an eardrum transplant or something too? Damnit, she can SEE. That should be enough already. But she has to go hearing things too. That wasn't fun. I know it's a movie and it shouldn't be too logical, but come on already. It's called The Eye. Not The Eye And Ears. Let her see. Don't let her hear. At least that way, we can dispense with the monotonous voices and have more creepy scenes. Like the guy in the lift. Not a single word said, and yet it was one of the better parts of the film. I thought that was precious, although I can't imagine what's wrong with his head.


All right, enough rants for now. Don't get me wrong. I do not hate Hong Kong movies. I don't hate The Eye. But sometimes, there comes along a movie which is just ripe for the plucking. Or maybe I'm just feeling like an ass, and after reading too much Ravenloft and watching too much Buffy... you know, horror movies just aren't really the same anymore. At any rate, The Eye is a good watch, and I might not have loved it, but neither did I think it was a waste of time.