Tuesday, June 29, 2004

I detest the need for despair and forlornness before my inner demon can kick in and start getting stuff done. Yet somehow, that is how things appear to work. Strike me down, and I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine. Well, maybe not that powerful, but at least something inside starts rollin' rollin' rollin' and all of a sudden, hey, some things actually get accomplished during work.

It's like, pain is the fuel that motivates. So does anger and a whole hoard of other negative feelings but nothing's as good as that wretched heartbreak which swallows you whole. Occasionally, you get one which is so overwhelming you shut down for the better part of a year. And then you come back. More powerful than you can possibly imagine. And if not more powerful then at least you've gotta be glad that you didn't do anything really dumb when you were really down. Well, marginally glad, at least. After all, if one were completely at peace... why, then, what is there left to life?

Only the truly dead are at peace. The undead shamble around somewhat, and the live ones among us, we go around making a bigger mess of the mess our ancestors made before us. Along the way, we gather all manner of pain and suffering onto ourselves and somehow, that kinda makes life worth living. Not to the extreme that we go around killing each other and beheading other people. Nah, that's completely missing the point of the whole issue that is life. I'm talking about the crapfest that life seems to be. Work. Romance ( or lack of ). Sex ( or extreme lack of ). Emotional baggage. Family. Friends. Those farking bastards who like to park in my lot at work ( "And if you shiteaters are reading this, you stay out of my farking lot or I will park my car up your soon-to-be extremely bloody and enlarged ass!" ).

Yeah. Well. I needed to get that out. With the rain these days, no one's been able to come early to play musical parking lots with me. But you know, issue's been around for sometime. Now's as good a time as any to clear the air up on that. Bleh.

I digress. Back to the pain and the horror, the horror, the blablabla... come on, man. We get hit, we get up again. Our friends drag us down, our other friends who might not be so real after all drag us up again. Our boss shafts us, we plan to stuff both our legs up him in the near future. Life is all about the PAIN and the CHALLENGE and the HORROR. And yeah, we're supposed to tell life to BRING IT ON.

It doesn't matter where we come from, what we've done or suffered, or even if we make a difference. We live as though the world was what it should be, to show it what it can be.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Sarah McLachlan's songs bring to mind the more carefree days of university life in UM. It doesn't matter which song she sings - they all have that Sarah McLachlan quality to them. Back in the day, I used to listen to Mirrorball songs played over the air, and even Bentong Chris had the entire album. These days, we have Afterglow with 'Fallen'. And everytime I hear it, I suddenly get this swift glimpse of me driving down Jalan University pass the Section 17 traffic lights towards SS2 during the day. It's very Frank Black in a nostalgic not-really-useful way. I'm thinking, it either means I've somehow developed reactionary nostalgic flashbacks ( which would be cool if it were a harbinger to a more useful yet deadly talent ), or I've been watching one episode too many of Millennium.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

I think there is a nun.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Things have to get bad after they get good, don't they?

We have last night. Minute apocalyptic event, more on the scale of "end of the career" than of the usual "end of the world". Last minute work, a semi-all-nighter I would only attempt on a Friday. But we do what we must, and so there I was, punching away frantically ( I think the 'D' key is dying ) at my keyboard while the IronKok next to me provided technical support to a bunch of Israelis. But no matter how futile my efforts were, I was ready to take on the world. For a good thing happened, and when there are such things in our lives, we feel that life is worth fighting for. And so we fight.

Today, the good thing was taken away. No, ripped away cruelly without a second thought. This action is accompanied by a massive deflation on my part. Massive. I faced the possible end of my career last night with an impish grin, but now that the dust has settled, I once again look at the desolation of my life. Grim. Grey. That still blasted landscape of dead dreams and shattered hopes.

Which, come to think about it, isn't so bad. I especially like the different shades of greyness and the black jagged rocks. Makes for a nice break from all the colours I'm exposed to everyday.

At least the soupy beehoon I ate last night by the Seagate seashore is killing my stomach now. All that extra chilli sure can work wonders. I probably shouldn't have taken so much black pepper gravy for lunch today, but if I hadn't, then I wouldn't be in pain now. And what would my toilet sessions be without SKIN-SCALDINGLY HOT SHIT? Geez, I think the toilet paper totally wilted away when I wiped my ass earlier. That's what I call chilli.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Part two of Malaysian Idol. This one's held in Kuching, which actually has statues of giant cats. And I thought the name was just a name. Then again, Penang has pinang trees on the flag, so I really shouldn't be poking fun at other states.

Maybe I'm just feeling too tired, but this episode seems somewhat meaner and less fun than the last one. Or perhaps the novelty of seeing my fellow Malaysians autohumiliate themselves on national television has worn off. I couldn't bring myself to watch the whole show. Not that I watched the whole show the last time round, but at least there was a little bit more interest and concentration.

Here's the phrase that brought me out of my room to see what was going on:

"It's amazing how someone as beautiful as you can sing so horribly. You're beautiful. But please don't sing."

And then we had a shot of the girl in tears.

It wasn't all bad though. Julian the dance instructor actually came back for Round Two. Apparently, he took offence when Roslan told him that he couldn't sing, so he flew to Kuching and sang "Go the Distance." And managed to get himself a ticket to the next stage of the show! Man's got game, yeah. Shows what GOING THE DISTANCE ( Penang to Kuching ) can do for you.

Things really went out of whack when it came to that girl in white who wrote her own song or something. After they told her that she was not singing but shouting, she kept on begging for a chance to sing another song because the song she sang wasn't suitable for her. Come on, lady, even *I* know when to quit. So she went out, ranted ranted ranted, cried a bit and then, apparently went on record to tell the judges what she REALLY thought about them. And the nice thing was, those kind people over at Malaysian Idol put her rant up when the credits rolled. I wonder if she felt pride or embarassment when she saw herself on television.

So, yet another transvestite:

Roslan: "You're the singer who looks like a girl and sounds like a boy."
Paul: "A man! man!"
Roslan: "And I think you're the most beautiful contestant."

Maybe Roslan's kinda gay. I don't know. At least the guy won a spot. On the other hand, we have another pitiful one:

"I really really love this field. Just because of this malaysian idol and... i waiting for one weeks."

Dude, I love writing and programming too, and I'm still a mere hack at both. Like what the judges said, I too fear that your voice is not at that level yet, and I do appreciate you coming from so far away to take part in the competition, but you've really got to go.

And Aleya just gets hotter and hotter. And hotter. And hotter. You get the idea. She should have more air time. Maybe they could make a sitcom for her... "Hanya Aleya", where we get to see A LOT of her. It's odd how someone can be so annoying yet strangely desirable in an abusive kind of way. Grrrr... check this article out. The first photo where she does that host thingy at the jazz band awards. She can do elegance so well! And perky annoying equally well too! Versatile! We should make her Malaysian Idol!

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Bosses sometimes work on a logic different from the common person's. If you want an engineer to stay back late, you would think that letting him eat during tea break would be a good idea. Eat during tea, fill up the stomach, engineer can stay back later in a grudgingly happy state of mind. But, if engineer doesn't eat tea, engineer is already hungry by the time it's time to go home. And that wouldn't be a good thing if the engineer is going to run off home for dinner and is not planning to go back to the office until the next day. Don't hold the engineer back during tea break! It adds to the negative feelings seething inside and it'll only erode the will to work hard for the company.

Ah, the joys of working life. Sometimes it makes you feel like opting out of this chickenshit outfit and migrating to Springfield, Missouri to join the farming community there. The occasional flood might raise the mortality rate occasionally, but at least the food's good and the beer's cheap. And there, I will be master of my own destiny. And master of my own farm. But not master of the floods. Or master of the lack of money to set up a farm to begin with. Or master of the economical embargoes which might be imposed on immigrant Asians who have a tendency to speak quickly in a strange and off-putting way. Oh dash it all, you just can't win.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

War Journal Entry

The pain I inflict upon myself is but a reminder of how much pain the world is in. It is also a foreshadowing of how much pain I will inflict upon the world in future. I push myself hard - harder than I've ever pushed myself before. Suddenly, the trappings of work fade away from an overwhelming responsibility to an annoying itch. The allure of earthly pleasures become but a mere whisper in the woods. There is nothing left but the MISSION.

All will soon come to pass, but the time is not now. And that is good, for I am not yet prepared. I have been caught unawares before, but this time, I shall stand for judgment. And I don't intend to be found wanting. It is my judges who will be found wanting, and I will give them the same lack of mercy they have given me.

They will pay! The whole world will pay! YEAAAAAAAARGH!

Saturday, June 12, 2004

The early morning sky was still dark, with just a hint of light starting to creep in among the clouds. Jeff guided the Impala into the Avis parking lot slowly. As we went over the one-way bumps, something at the back of my mind wondered if this time, the tyres would explode on the sharp spikes of those bumps.

"Check out that bump," Shrish had said on the day we took the car out of the parking lot. The three of us looked out of the Impala and were impressed.

"That's how Avis keeps their cars inside the parking lot. See the way the spikes point inwards? Cars going in will go over the bump and over those spikes safely. But those going out will get their tyres punctured. The only way out is through the other lane."

"Nasty," commented Jeff as he drove us out of the lot. I had nodded agreeably, wondering why the tyres never hit the spikes when we drove in.

The Impala was eased into one of many long rows of cars. Jeff killed the engine, and I handed him the Avis documents. I realized that this would probably be the last time I hear the warning chimes that sounded when the engine was off with the keys still in the ignition. The sound of our doors opening woke Shrish up.

"Let's go, Shrish," Jeff said as he got out of the car.

The trunk door unlocked with the press of a button, and I lifted it up. The three of us started to unload our bags silently. The cold morning air washed over us, a gentle reminder that this was our last morning in America.

As Jeff went off to settle the rental matters with the Avis attendant, Shrish and I slowly transported our luggage to the shuttle terminal. I took a glance back at the Impala. Unlike the Blazer we rented earlier, this one I managed to drive around quite a bit. By then, I had really grown fond of it. And that's quite a lot for a guy who didn't like automatic gears and power steerings, everything the Impala was about. There was a thrill about slamming your foot down on the accelerator and making the car leap forward, the gears automatically changing themselves. The bulkiness and the handling took a little getting used to, but the awkwardness soon wore off after a few trips from the hotel to the plant. It was a car to be missed.

"Well, that's that," I said to myself as the shuttle bus pulled up next to the terminal.


"Nothing, man," I turned to Shrish as I caught sight of Jeff hurrying towards us. "Let's get these bags on the bus, eh."

As the bus started heading out, I gave the Impala one last look. All nice and white in the brightening day. Maroon 5 started singing over the bus' speakers.

I was so high I did not recognize
The fire burning in her eyes
The chaos that controlled my mind
Whispered goodbye and she got on a plane
Never to return again
But always in my heart

This love has taken its toll on me
She said Goodbye too many times before
And her heart is breaking in front of me
I have no choice cause I won't say goodbye anymore

Friday, June 11, 2004

Because of Paul Moss.
What did he do?
He said I'm terrible.

And that's how I got sucked into Malaysian Idol. Never thought much about American Idol - bunch of people from the other side of the world singing... bleh. We have that on MTV too, and those sing better. But this... this is local. The Malaysian flavour. It's very different when you see your fellow countryfolks giving it their best shot. It's kinda like how local porn is always better than porn from anywhere else ( with the possible exception of Germany ).

The auditions for this - the first episode - were held in PISA, Penang. Like all little sisters are wont to do, Vicky and her little friends actually went over there to have a looksee, but they only let contestants in ( well, duh ). The hosts appeared all over Penang when they were doing that commentating thingy - there were shots of the Penang Bridge in the background, some Chinese temple and then they were standing at Fort Cornwallis. So they got to tour the state and commentate. Wonderful.

The show itself is really fun. If the contestants are not females, they're transvestites. Or very very sensitive guys. What will people from out of the country think when they watch Malaysian Idol! And the songs! I do so love listening to Isabella getting destroyed on national television. Isabella and a whole bunch of other songs in all the languages. Most of them offkey and offtiming. I look forward to voting in future!

The Judges:
Roslan Aziz aka Randy Jackson
Fauziah Latiff aka Paula Abdul
Paul Moss aka Simon Cowell

The Hosts:
Sharifah Aleya [ HOT ]
Soo Kui Jien

You know, the judges are pretty close to their American counterparts. Roslan's funny in a Malay pakcik manner though. Overall, the three are pretty likeable. And Aleya... OMG. Damn, how can a girl be so annoying and sexy at the same time? She... uh... <mega unprintable thoughts>. Maybe I should go write a story or touch myself about her. Get it out of the system, yeah. At any rate, she and Jien weren't so bad at doing that hosting thing. Von Darke and I might have been able to do a better job, but then the censorship board would be dealing with rather politically incorrect comments and possibly quite a number of strong vulgar words.

And then, of course, we have the stars of the show. Those nice Malaysians who were Entertainment Tonight. There were a whole lot of them auditioning - here are a few I can remember off the top of my head.

The Contestants:
Vic [ IN ] - The guy who wept on TV as he talked about how his mother helped him reach the pinnacle of Malaysian stardom. He emits "soft" vibes. People might just see him as the next Clay Aiken or something. Unfortunately, he got to go on to the next stage. Knowing how the world likes to work against me, he might just end up as this year's Malaysian Idol. Or worse, a bloody social virus like Clay.

Shima ( or Sheema ) [ IN ]- Proposed to one of the male judges ( and got a "I'm married." for her efforts ) after they told her "yes dear, you can move on to the next stage". She's not so bad.

Julian [ OUT ]- A dance instructor ("Put your right hip forward!!"). Sang Edelweiss. Got booted out for being Most Nervous Guy the judges had ever seen. And there was something about the nose moving about too much. He's very photogenic though. Poor chap. At least he's not giving up. That's the spirit!

Hoshi Sato's Twin Brother [ OUT ] - Sang Four Non-Blondes' What's Up?. So the guy has long hair and a feminine voice. I thought he sounded pretty good, but maybe the judges have something against cross-gendered idols.

Alan [ MOST PROBABLY OUT ] - Who danced as he sang a Chinese song. I nearly killed my kidneys laughing.

The Guy who Bought a Bow from Kamdar and could Sing in Multiple Languages [ WRONGFULLY OUT ] - Damn, how could he not go on to the next stage? Dumbass judges. I suspect he got kicked out because he didn't look good. Dude, if you really understand all those languages you're singing in, go run for Chief Minister of Penang instead.

Some male dancer who has ambiguous sexual orientation [ SO FARKING OUT - AND FOR GOD'S SAKE DON'T COME BACK ] - I thought he was going to put his dance moves to work, but he just stood there and massacred some song. Got booted out for inventing new notes for the song he 'sang'. They should have shot him instead.

Well, that sure was a fantastic start. I like, even though there was much relief after the show ended ( ow my head ). Next week... Kuching! Here's hoping East Malaysia will provide us with more fun and laughter. If not, there's Aleya. And if all else fails, I'm sure the judges will utterly humiliate and demoralize another bunch of hopeful wannabes. And that's fun to watch too.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Tonight we spin the bottle.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

I have found the solution to my jetlag issue.


Vasparov, to be exact. Three shots gulped down in a sequential fashion. That got my head pretty heavy last night. Heavy enough to keep me asleep until the annoying beeping of my alarm clock woke me up. But it was a good sleep. I'm delighted I didn't do that 4.30am rise-from-the-dead ritual which I seem to have been doing ever since my return from America. All that sleep is almost worth the price I'm paying now.


Oh my head. My facking - FACKING - head.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

I just came back from watching Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam and OMG it's FANTASTIC. I can't remember the last time I've been so engrossed in a local Malaysian production ( not counting Kehidupan Seorang Pramugara Yang Terlampau and that Datin home video *cough* ). The haunting song, the pretty decent acting, the story... maybe I've been watching too many mindless slasher flicks, but this movie, I like.

But what is there to like, detractors of the local film industry might ask? Quite a few people thought I had lost my marbles when I told them I was planning to watch this movie.

"You want to watch a Malay movie? Come on!"
"But it's a pontianak movie!"

As you can see, not many people I know have faith in local productions. Me, I'm game as long as we have hideously beautiful women flying around. Cause deadly long fingernails, long hair and the ability to levitate? I've always found that fascinating in a girl. Anyway, following do find a list of points I feel strongly about regarding the movie.

1. Maya Karin
Hotness. I prefer her looking lost and innocent ( second half of the film ) as opposed to her having that primadonna look ( first half of the film ). Not that it really matters. I'll do her even when she's in pontianak mode, with blood running down from her eyes et al. This is why I always advise my guy friends to have a nail and a hammer handy at all times. You never know when a pontianak looking like Maya Karin is going to swoop down on you and attempt to gut you. Sidestep that lethal lunge, grapple that supernatural hottie to the floor, pound that nail into the back of her head and make her your bitch. Or you could pound the nail into the back of her head last after you've made her your bitch ( to, you know, make her your bitch for life ). I imagine it's quite an experience, making it with a pontianak while she's still in pontianak mode. You know what? Let's just toss the nails and the hammer away. Instead, knock her out with something heavy ( like say, a wrench or a laptop ) and then chain her to your basement for future make-her-your-bitch fun. There's nothing like your personal pontianak sex slave.

2. The Haunting Song
Which is still stuck in my head. Ow. It's... it's beautiful. There's something really eerie and sexy about the tune, sorta like the soundtrack of the Mask of Zorro meets the soundtrack of the Mummy meets traditional Arabian music. It helps that beatiful Maya Karin was humming / singing it a lot in the movie. I think the song will fit in rather well with a fast-paced Mexican motif. Damn my lack of musical talent! It would have been fun turning it into a polyphonic tone for my T720.

3. The Story
Some people might find it slow. Too slow. There're entire scenes filled with just dancing. But since it's Maya Karin doing the gamelan, it's pretty engrossing. I don't know how this movie will hold up during future rewatches, but for a first watch, things didn't get too slow for me. Plotwise, I think it could have been better. Maybe a few more deaths and a little more bloodshed. Instead of expanding more on the pontianak mythos, they went the way of the drama and the people-oriented plot. Not a bad thing, but just something I wished was done differently. The pontianak just didn't get enough screen time!

4. The Acting / Direction
IMHO not one of the stronger points of the movie. I feel that they tried too hard to make things obvious. That Marsani character was really annoying in the 1947 segment of the film. Kudos to Maya Karin for her portrayal of standoffish Meriam and innocent Maria. And I really liked that Danial character - he was likeable from the start. If I were a primadonna, I would marry him too.

5. This is a Pontianak Movie
Americans have Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Malaysians have pontianaks. I grew up reading stories of those American and European bloodsuckers ("I am... Drakula."), but I also grew up listening to my grandmother and my grandaunty telling me stories about pontianaks. So pontianak movie? A must-watch for me.

6. This Is A Malaysian Production
It's not often I feel proud to be a Malaysian. In fact, I haven't felt proud of my nationality in a long time. But as the credits rolled, there was much pride as I thought, "Man, we did that." I mean, I'm proud to be Malaysian because we have excellent roti canai along Transfer Road, but that just isn't on the same level as this. This is like, transcendent, man. I think it's a good sign that the censorship board let this one get screened. Here's hoping that Malaysian films are finally heading towards a more enlightened ( and less religiously constipated ) age.

Should YOU watch Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam? If you like beautiful women ( Maya Karin ), pontianaks ( flying Maya Karin ), a decent storyline ( which involves Maya Karin ), haunting music ( Maya Karin doing the gamelan and Maya Karin singing ) and would like to see what Malaysia is up to now that America is delivering to us that paedophile fantasy Harry Potter ( Emma Watson... MMMMM ), why not?

Website: Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam

By the way, my colleague informed me that 'sundal' is actually a very not-nice thing to call a lady. So now, whenever a lady driver crosses me wrong on the roads, I yell "Sundal!!!" and wave my clenched fist at them animatedly. If anything, 'sundal' is so much faster to spit out vehemently than "you c***-******* b****!". And so much more Malaysian too.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

The moment I plan to go out and tan my pale hide, the rain decides to visit. Not really unexpected, but you would have thought the heavens might have cut me some slack. Especially after my Internet connection went down for two days because someone unknown went to install Webhancer on the computer and I went to run Ad-Aware to remove that spyware shite. Yes, Webhancer is evil. Here's how to remove it from your computer if it's skulking around somewhere in your hard drive.

WebHancer modifies your Windows Sockets configuration, binding itself to Winsock so that all packets are passed through WebHancer. Incorrect removal procedures will destroy your Internet connection.

Using Ad-Aware 6 is an incorrect remove procedure, apparently. Or maybe it's time to go update my version of Ad-Aware. Nevertheless, I lost a whole night trying to figure out why I could connect to the Internet but yet couldn't surf around. At least things are working now. Those bastards over at Webhancer should choke on their own intestines or something.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Jetlag ( 12 hour displacement ) + tendency to sleep at midnight = A Bad Idea

Especially when my auto-wake up time is now set to 5am with no way to return to slumberland. I'm going the way of the coffee, but the severe cutting down on food lately and the lack of sleep is making me feel faintish. Gah... I'm hoping the purported holiday next Monday isn't a joke. Deep hibernation is in order. Deep, deep hibernation. So deep, I should be suffering from oversleep by the time I wake up. That would be a decent change. Maybe I should have taken a few days off. Like, the whole bloody week. Then I wouldn't be dripping nose mucus all over my keyboard. And people say the stickiness of my keyboards is caused by indiscriminate masturbation when no one is watching during lunch hour. Well fark you, you Philistines. It's nose goo. Most of the time.

The world's all twilight now. That happens a lot when I lack sleep. I don't like the dizzy spells when I try to stand up. Neither do I fancy the blurry visions. A little torn between whether I need more sleep or more food. Probably more sleep. And more food. Something I'll need to rectify in the very near future before I slip into unconsciousness during a meeting.

Mmm... lovin' that thunder. Not so lovin' the freezing hell that will be my office once it starts pouring though.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Going to work today - not one of my brighter ideas. Should have taken the hint when I woke up at 2am, 3am, 4am, 5am and 6am in the morning. These sequential waking-ups... they're usually a sign of things to come. Like thunder before a storm. Or the phonebill in the mailbox. Or the shudder before the spurting. But did I heed the signs? NO. I did not. I decided to go ahead and go to work and lookee me, I'm a wreck of a man. Flabby wreck, but a wreck no less. Yay me.

Christ, this is really too much. I feel so tired I can't longer think straight. Excuse me while I go pass out on my bed.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Hello everyone. Welcome to the world of the jetlagged. Choosing not to go to work today was one of my better ideas, cause I'm feeling utterly wretched now. Wretched. Utterly truly wonderfully. There's this overwhelming desire to just fall into bed and close my eyes. But I know - yes, I know - that that is a no-no. So I'm just sitting here smiling looking at the clouds while peacefully munching on my fingernails. Nice clouds. I think it's gonna rain. Nails are pretty tasty too.

I haven't been jetlagged the whole day. In fact, the morning was pretty productive. I paid off some of the people I owe money to ( the rest will just have to wait until next month cause I think my bank account's empty, and it's just the beginning of the month ). I did my banking for June. I changed my money back to RM. I'm even going to go get a haircut later. Not too shabby for a jetlagged guy. I even bought two cartons of fruit juice ( for farks ) and a couple of PS2 games ( for farks too ).

But now... now... now it's pretty bad. I can feel the chemicals in my body protesting against the shift in timezone! I think I'll just sit here and further amuse myself by feeling my muscles slowly converting back to fat.