Thursday, May 29, 2003

I wonder why this kept on slipping off my mind.

The new girl in my office has left the company. Not really with the woo and the hoo here - she was nice enough to get us all koala bear keychains when she went to Australia for a vacation. Hey. Did she go to Australia for some loyalty programme meeting? Hmm. Anyway, she's gone. So now we have the old girl ( her predecessor ) and her, the new girl, both of whom are out of the company. If another girl comes in, we'll have the old girl, the old new girl and the new girl. Currently, the office is girlless. The two other ladies in it no longer qualify as girls.
They fixed a counter at the traffic lights along Magazine Road, just outside KOMTAR. It's pretty nifty - the numbers indicate how many seconds you have left before the green light turns back to red. Really helps with deciding whether to speed up or slow down. The counter was turned off this morning though. It would probably be a good idea to install this at every traffic light. Much better than wasting money on traffic cameras.

Lack of sleep these past few days have resulted in a loss of interest in doing stuff. I think I'm just about running on auto now... wake up, go to work, work, go home, play PS2, sleep, repeat. It's routine, it's not really all that fun, but it's a cheap life. Cheep cheep.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Anger overwhelming.

That's the results of seeing no parking lots left after a mad rush through the morning traffic. 8.35am! And all the lots were taken! That Eurasian creep was early today, and he took up on the nice large spot under the tree even though his car is so bloody small. And there was this group of moderately well-dressed yuppies who took up a few lots. Car pool, you uberfarks. Spare a lot for us friendless ones.

Oh, I think I've finally found out the reason why there are little blisters all over my hands. PS2 marathons. I thought Sony designed the PS2 controller for long-term gaming. Maybe I should get gloves. Although finger blisters are cool, in a way. They're not exactly painful - they just itch. And if you bite down on them, they'll burst and blister water will come out. Perhaps I'll hold off playing the PS2 for the moment until they go away. Blister water tastes funny.

Sunday, May 25, 2003

Another lovely evening in the Botanical Gardens. A group of monkeys decided to migrate between one side of the road to another, so they were loitering in the middle of the road. I managed to wade in among them, but I accidentally startled a little monkey on my way out of the group. This prompted the largest monkey in the group, probably the leader or its mother, to charge at me. Pretty nasty moment, but I think we scared each other off. Stupid monkey. I can imagine what that monkey would be writing in its blog today:

"We were migrating to the other side of the forest, when some stupid human decided to walk in among us..."

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

The parking lots are filling up earlier everyday. Used to be I could slowly drive in at 8.55am and still find a decent lot. Then, after the damnable government started charging for parking outside the tower, I had to come by 8.45am. These days, I reach at 8.35am and I have to go park on the pavement. That's not such a bad a thing, but I'm worried that the area near the drain might give way, plunging my car into it.

And now, for the haze. I couldn't see Butterworth from my office yesterday morning, and I couldn't see Penang Hill from my house today. The Star says it's open burning in Sumatra again. Damn those bastards if that's true. But there's open burning in Penang too. Just yesterday, someone was burning paper money or something outside the temple where I parked my car. The ashes were flying all about, and a piece with some Chinese character still on it actually landed on my car seat. I tried to flick it away, but it just crumbled to ashes. Geez.

Sunday, May 18, 2003

The tides are rising in Penang. We're getting flash floods in a lot of low areas, especially those which are in proximity to the coast and the rivers. When Mich C and I fetched Hel from the Bayan Baru FTZ on Thursday, the sea had encroached upon half of the coastal road. It was pretty chilling to see the waves lapping away happily at the land. Is the island sinking? Always a possibility, though in my opinion a pretty far-fetched one. There is also the theory that the moon is getting closer to Earth. As it undergoes orbital decay ( as Von Darke would put it ) on its imminent collision course with our planet, the gravity goes haywire and places in Penang start flooding. Either way, things aren't looking up. Here's hoping that it's just a one-time series of freak events. The traffic jam along the Jelutong Expressway can get hellish when Jalan Sungai Pinang floods.

On the other hand, we're experiencing this phenomenally abominable heat wave in Penang. Scorching sun, hot winds or total lack of wind ( pick your choice - either one isn't fun at all )... the heat brought upon a lethargy which put everyone in my house to sleep. Well, nearly everyone.. I struggled and succeeded in keeping awake, but ended up feeling listless and hopelessly sluggish. I think there might be a sticky patch of dried feet sweat at the feet of my computer table, where I spent the afternoon languishing in a lack of interest in the PS2 game I was playing ( .hack: Infection ).

Thank God for the evening. Somehow, the combination of these twilight hours and classical music sends me back to a time when I believe I was happier. Nothing beats those lost childhood days.

Saturday, May 17, 2003

Colour change! Okay, this has been something I've been wanting to do for some time now. I've always liked the bright text on dark background look, even though my 'Computer Look & Feel' class said that that was a big no-no. Now, instead of living with a colour scheme which I wish had inverse colours, I have to live with a colour scheme which goes against my ingrained education. Everytime I look at my blog now, I'm going to go "Eh, but bright on dark is baaad." Bah. Habits.
First I had the epiphanies. Then the insights. And now, the nightmares.

Well, just one so far. But it's the first time I've been unable to shake it off and go back to sleep directly. So there I was at 4am, logging on to the Net. It's nice to meet a friendly face on ICQ at that hour though - my short chat with Foxy helped me forget enough to go dare sleep again. I swear, had I dreamt that serial killer dream again, I would never have slept again. Real horror in dreams is not that unseen creature chasing you down a dark and empty corridor. It's that feeling of powerlessness for the people you know and care for as someone goes around cutting them open. In this case, it was the potential "what-if my dream is real" which kept me wide awake. Nearly half an hour to slow my heart rate down. Urgh.

It was back to sleep again after that. And then came the demons-in-a-mall dream, which wasn't too terrifying. I'm not sure if I were a demon myself, but things got so bad in the end that we got a bunch of good demons to turn back time and call in the Heavenly Host this time to deal with the bad demons. Sounds B-grade? You just had to be there when those things started tearing people apart.

So what we have here is a dream about demons rampaging through a mall, and another about a serial killer which I never saw ( it was his handiwork which put the fear of sleep in me ). One I was directly involved in, running around trying to put things right while avoiding the monstrosities. The other I was chasing the antagonist with a whole squad of policemen, knowing where the killer would strike next but not knowing who the next victims would be. And that damned serial killer kept me up.

Friday, May 09, 2003

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Fourth Level of Hell!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Low
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Low
Level 2 (Lustful)Moderate
Level 3 (Gluttonous)Low
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)High
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)High
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very Low
Level 7 (Violent)Moderate
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)High
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Low

Take the Dante's Inferno Hell Test

Oh really? I thought that I would have scored higher on Lustful.
In the Star today, you can see a man clinging to the side of a building. His girlfriend is pleading for him to climb back up with her arm outstretched, while a fireman looks on. If you read the article, you'll find that he is a 27-year-old salesman, and that nobody can help him with his problems.

I can relate to the man. In this day and age, it isn't easy being someone in the twenty-something age range. There's your family to think of, marriage perhaps, your life ahead of you. The pressures of society are unforgiving - anything less than being rich and well-connected disqualifies you from becoming regarded as a success. You may claim that other people's opinions of you are irrelevant, but it's these opinions which can sometimes determine if you get that promotion at work or if you manage to make that sale.

Much has been said regarding gender equality, but societal norms still largely dictate that as a man, you keep your feelings to yourself. And even if society says otherwise, there remains the matter of personal pride. Will I appear weak if I confide my fears and feelings to someone? Will I be giving them the upper hand over me if they know my weaknesses? Do I want to risk being referred to as 'that whining problematic sissy' behind my back? Pride, the downfall of the Devil, can also be the cause of damnation for so many other humans.

And even if you do manage to overcome those feelings, there's no guarantee that the people you seek help from will be able to assist you in reaching a closure of sorts with your problems. There are few among us who are capable and sensitive enough to draw people's worries and fears out, get them to talk about it and guide them to the most appropriate solution. Some well-meaning ones, God bless their souls, do try to aid as much as possible, but these attempts might not always produce the best results. This does however alleviate the problem a bit most of the time, but more professional help might be advisable if the issue runs deep.

All these lead to the "No one understands me! No one gives a damn! No one can help me!" cries which some of the suicidal rally around. They may sound pathetic to those who have their lives in order. After all, if I can handle the problems in my own life, why can't you? I would say that the answer lies in a case-by-case basis. Suicidal #1 may have come from an abusive family, growing up to trust no one and believing that he's worth just a little more than a RM0.40 potato. Suicidal #2 might have difficulties expressing herself to others. Suicidal #3 may be suffering from a state of depression, preventing him from helping himself. Granted, it is possible for some to rise above their suicidal tendencies, to shrug away the inclination to end their existence and continue on with life. Others, however, might never get to that stage.

Do these unfortunates usually end up clinging to a ledge? Not immediately. Our survival instincts are pretty strong. The natural instinct upon finding yourself standing at the edge of a very high building is to step back to somewhere safer. But what if you've been experiencing a lot of difficulties in life? Or if you're in a situation which you just cannot cope with, or one which you're powerless to deal with? Slowly, the will to live is eroded away, to be replaced by a disaffection for life. Pretty soon, living becomes a chore, and the idea of ending one's life starts brightening up like a lightbulb in that growing darkness known as Your Miserable Life.

The end is near, perhaps. But not necessarily so. It doesn't take much to see the signs of imminent self-elimination. Personality changes. Depression. Low self-esteem. There's a whole list of omens to look out for, if you really care to. And when you do see it coming, do reach out a helping hand. Don't wait until they start attempting suicide. You might not get your photo splashed on the front page of the local newspaper this way, but helping to save people from killing themselves will be satisfaction enough.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

Aha... always good to relax to some classical music during lunchtime. Eases the frustration out of the day. Some people actually go out for lunch with other people ( when they do have other people to go out with, that is ). Others play Starcraft. But me, I go classical. It's not that big a deal, of course. Usually I try to grab some sleep. But that's out of the question today, so I go for the next best thing. Evelyn Glennie's Classics over BBC Radio. Lovely lass. She has that Scottish brogue, but you can understand every word she says.

I met my cousin over ICQ this morning and asked her if God existed. Now, my cousins are the fairly religious types, so she was understandably taken back. But my cousin's smart. Instead of a full-out debate, she offered to set up an appointment for me with a diocese priest who might be able to help me with my questions of faith. Okay, that was truly unexpected. And it was my turn to be taken back. Like, whoaa... priest? I thought about it, and found that it might be the next logical step. The Bentongless One is way too out of the game for religious tension. And if you're going head to head with another Christian, I've found that doubting the veracity of the Bible ( and thus refusing to accept anything from it ) pretty much ends any discussion before it begins. Unless, of course, you're going to be debating the validity of the Book itself. Memorizing everything in the Bible won't help when the person you're talking to doesn't accept it as fact.

Monday, May 05, 2003

There is more than one me in my company. Boss sends an email to me asking me some questions, ccing to a bunch of other people. Those punks start replying on my behalf. I typically don't want to give a shit, since I think it's really high time I left this shithole. However, I'm still hurting from being lumped into the bo-chap / tidak-apa / dont-care-less category in the Star a week or two ago, so I decided to give a shit. And found a lot of impotent anger in store. Like, what could I do? Mail them back telling them it's rude to butt into someone's scope without being asked? That would be unprofessional. That would reflect badly on me. Worst of all, that would be acting on emotions.

Now it's back to keeping all that grief, all that frustration and all that rage pented up inside. Bury it deep, deep inside. In the end I find that not giving a damn about things is a better option. It's not me who wants to be lackadaisical. It's the world, how it works and the way my my belief system reacts to it which compels me to turn the other cheek. So just smile, Prosey boyo, grit your teeth real tight and walk away like the pacifistic gentleman that you are. Someday soon, you'll get to vent. And then they'll learn the meaning of pain.

Friday, May 02, 2003

The call of Diablo 2. Yes, it's very strong. Very, very strong. It woke me up from PC gaming stupor and actually got me to dig out my Diablo 2 CDs and install it, complete with no-CD executable and Lord of Destruction expansion. And as I ran around with my Javazon raking up all them lovely experience points, my PC crashed and rebooted. Just like how it used to back in the old days. I should be pissed beyond belief. Yet strangely, I'm not. Well, maybe a little bit of seething inside. Some bitter feelings that I can't play the PC game to end all PC games. But apart from that, everything's kosher. I guess I'll be sticking to my PS2 for the meantime.