Saturday, December 31, 2005
But you know, I kinda like the gym thing. It actually cleared my sinus. And the sauna really rocked. They should open something like this in the Bayan Baru area. Then I will seriously consider joining a gym.
Thursday, December 29, 2005
This afternoon, in our quest for a hard drive to replace my ( once thought dead but apparently only faking then ) dying hard drive, Von Darke the elder managed to convince me to go for a foot massage. They call it foot reflexology, but I call it paid torture aka the pain which is not free. I give them RM30 and for the next 45 minutes, they destroy my feet and my back. It was half an hour on the feet and 15 minutes on the back and shoulders, but it felt like forever. Especially the feet part. Von Darke's masseur seemed to be of the lepak kind, but mine is a professional. A specialist. An artist. Someone who takes great pride in delivering the best massage session possible. A person who will stop at nothing to ensure that you get you RM30 worth of massage. He attacked his job with gusto and since my feet was his job, OH MY GOD you can imagine my agony. He poked HARD. He squeezed HARD. He pulled HARD. He pushed HARD. He is an artist, and my poor battered feet was his canvas. I'm a little surprised that I'm still able to walk properly.
Von Darke assures me that I will sleep well tonight. Given the amount of pain my body has been through these past few days, sleep will be my only reprieve.
So the pain from the piles seem to have subsided. For now. I dozed off at around 11.30pm while reading the Da Vinci Code. I've eaten my brunch and the piles didn't cause me extreme pain like yesterday, but the lumps are still there. I'm hoping it'll go away in time. In the meantime, I'll be consuming a lot of psyllium husk. Lots. Oodles. So much that I'll turn myself into a fiber monster. Anything to prevent a brief vision of hell when I go to the toilet.
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Here are some survival tips for the constipated:
- Do not clench. Trust me on this.
- Move slow. Like we have Speed in Quake III, right? Do the opposite. Do Slow.
- If walking / standing / sitting is painful, lie down. Assume the position. Anyone walking in might take advantage of your ass hanging in the air, so lock the door or wear some pants when assuming the position. With your ass up like that, you will not irritate the lumps.
- Consume some kind of fiber like there's no tomorrow. If I hadn't taken psyllium husk earlier, I would be dead now, and this post would have been blogged from Purgatory at least. When you have painful lumps causing you grief right next to your shithole, take evasive action by making your excrement delightfully soft.
- Do not clench. Really.
- Consult the doctor if you start experiencing pain overwhelming. The doctor might tie a thread to the lump and pull, but I might have misunderstood the doctor when he told me that.
Sunday, December 25, 2005
And you thought you had issues.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
POUND AWAY, GENTLEMEN. MAKE THEM THE HAPPIEST WOMEN ON EARTH.
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Saturday, November 19, 2005
For sixteen. Bloody. Years.
The 34-year-old man from Kuala Lumpur, known only as Kelvin, said he felt very tired every night as the long-haired ghost would lure him into making love with her by appearing in different images.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
BALTIMORE: Iranian-American filmmaker Caveh Zahedi says his addiction to prostitution was more about anger than sex, an issue that he takes up in his latest biographical film, I Am A Sex Addict.
Yes, but what about addiction to masturbation? Someone needs to make a film about all those compulsive masturbators out there. I think there might be a difference between a sex addict and a compulsive masturbator. Sure, it's all about the sexual pleasure, but if having too much sex with prostitutes indicates you're angry at your mother or the female sex in general ( thus you treat women like sex objects ), would compulsive masturbation indicate you're angry at yourself ( thus you treat yourself like a sex object)?
He was able to get over it by attending Sex Addicts Anonymous meetings, he added.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Thursday, October 20, 2005
It is strange, but it takes the death of someone important's wife to get classical music playing on our radio channels. I thought I was in the Twilight Zone when I got into my car after work and tuned into Mix FM. That or the rain accidentally diverted Astro's Opus channel to 91.0. It wasn't until the end of the current piece that they announced that all programmes had been put on hold in respect for the PM's late wife. What a shame. As I was driving home, I realized that it would be so nice to have a classical channel we could tune in to anytime of the day. We really could do with a pure classical channel.
In the office, I received that 'Monday is a public holiday' hoax email. Again, Monday is not a holiday as speculated. Look, the poor lady died. Lay off the fake news. My company even had to send out a circular stating that it was work as usual next Monday.
Also, my cubemate's father got hit by a lorry from behind while riding his motorcycle. It's really fortunate that he got away with just some broken ribs. I mean, motorcycle and lorry ( going fast too, apparently )? Not many motorcyclists walk away alive from those kinds of encounter.
And for our scandalous news item of the day, we have seeing red over sex romps on luxury buses. How can anyone resist news which begin with:
SEX romps and discarded condoms and panties on long-haul luxury buses – this is the gist of a saucy front-page report in Harian Metro that tells about the goings-on among some passengers in the express coaches after dark.
Here's the Harian Metro article.
And so Endon leaves us in this state. May she find peace in the afterlife.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Someone should do something about the mess of undergrowth all over the place, and that abandoned construction building just after my workplace's carpark is just the breeding ground for mosquitoes. Earlier, we were afraid that the abandoned site would play host to a bunch of pervies. Now I fear it's filled with dengue-fevered perverts.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Take a look. And remember, stay away from the beaches in the meantime.
In other news, when I went to draw money from HSBC after dinner today, there was this suspicious guy in a red shirt there which gave me the creeps. Firstly, that balding fellow kept on looking at me. He was in front of me in the queue to use the ATM, and he used the ATM pretty fast before going over to the deposit machines. After I withdrew my money, he followed me out of the bank. I headed to the lift, which required a left turn at a junction in the building instead of going straight, which led out to the carpark. And this fellow followed me to the elevator area. I was armed with my umbrella ( thought it was going to rain - guess not ) and the lift area was exposed to the outside world ( they hadn't closed the grate down yet ). He appeared there, then did a detour outside out to the carpark.
Asshole. I do not like people following me. I do not like people encroaching on my personal bubble. I'm still in the office at 11.45pm and with the quake and all, I am not in the mood to be friendly.
Regardless, that was kinda creepy.
And so I waited patiently behind the other car, dum de dum de dum, when lo and behold, this other car comes up along the lane next to us ( which was empty because it was the right turn lane ). You know how hunters know when the deer is going to run away? Like that, I knew that the cocky bastard in the car was going to cut our lane and go straight. So I just waited and see, and then this police car comes sidling up behind that cocky car. And then, with the light still red, the cocky bastard went off straight down the road. The police car crept up to the front a bit - probably to check the traffic - and then it too went off in hot pursuit of the car. I wanted to give chase too, just to see what happened, but instead decided that I didn't want to get caught in a firefight in case those two were packing heat ( I just know the police are armed ).
That was the end of Monday's strangeness. I mean, there was other stuff going on. Like how my tech paper became a marketing promotion for an application I was supposed to write about. Or how the Doom trailer is horribly... horrible ( I dread the movie ). Or how Serenity might be having less than stellar takings in the box office, but somehow I'm feeling... serene about it. It's just another Monday, complete with weirdness and all. Oh wait. It's Tuesday now.
Friday, October 07, 2005
So I drove steadily to the Bayan Baru roundabout, keeping an eye on the lizard. I had this fear that it would suddenly find its way into the car, but that didn't happen. After the roundabout, the lizard headed further up the windshield, its head facing upwards towards the roof of my car. And I stepped on the accelerator.
120km/h, and still the lizard clung on to the windshield. It was motionless all the time as I accelerated and maintained that speed for quite awhile. Finally, fearful of speedtraps and the occasional hidden police, I finally slowed down to a decent 80km/h. At the highway outside Sunnyville, I realized that the lizard had suddenly moved much further to the left of the windshield, its head now facing the front of the car. A moment later, the lizard was gone. I surmise my little reptilian friend must have tried to move around a bit as the car was traveling at 80km/h. That's a good way to get yourself blown away.
Thus ends the tale of the lizard on my windshield. In other news, as I reached the Georgetown end of the Jelutong Highway (where we have the half-completed flyover), there was this car going down the highway very slowly in the opposite direction. What a doofus. I hope no one gets killed on account of the driver of that vehicle.
Monday, September 19, 2005
The weekend has come and gone, and we had a beautiful moon this weekend. Happy midautumn festival everybody. Also, Happy Mooncake Day. This year, I didn't get to eat a complete lotus seed mooncake. Damn, but I love lotus seed mooncakes. Unfortunately, they're extremely sweet and unhealthy for me, so I try to cut down. My cubemate did give me tiny slices of lotus seed and coconut mooncakes though. And Sharon the Vampire Slayer gave me pieces of jelly mooncake. And now I also have cheese and chocolate mooncakes in the fridge, but the skin tastes kinda crappy. My lil sis and I suspect that it's cheap mooncake.
Right now, I'm working on some training slides. I'm starting to think that maybe it's a good idea I never got into the training profession. Not only do I not know how to explain something to people so that they can understand it, I also absolutely detest the mindcrippling task of preparing training slides. It's not something I'm good at. Somehow, this ranks as one of those tasks which I do very slowly. Very. Slowly. Slower than two snails engaged in a competition to see who is slower. Slower than metal rusting in a vacuum-sealed environment. It's a good thing we have people like Sara Cox to keep me company. BBC did the right thing putting their radio shows online.
Anyway, we caught Land of the Dead on Saturday. Fantastic zombie movie, I absolutely loved it. It felt very different from the rest... Night, Dawn and Day were humourless and bland in comparison. Of course, Land has the ever-delectable Asia Argento. She's the kinda girl you want around when all hell's broken loose in the world. Well actually, Lt. Ellen Ripley is the woman to have around when all hell's broken loose, but we're talking about Land of the Dead, not Aliens. Right now, it's just too bad that my company frown upon beautiful artistic expressions of the human body, cause there's this nude picture of Asia Argento which so belongs to my desktop at work.
I can't help wondering how the movie would have turned up if they had gotten Marc Blucas play the title role of Riley. "Yeah, well, I once had a girlfriend who would have known exactly how to deal with this zombie outbreak. Yes, Buffy Summers would have opened a whole can of whupass on them all right." Sigh.
Friday, September 16, 2005
Next on my to-do list is to migrate over to Blogger comments. YACCS is nice and all, but it has different downtimes from Blogger ( not that Blogger has all that many downtimes these days anyway ). The one thing stopping me from moving over now is the fact that I will lose all my old comments if I do that. Actually, I think I remember an article over at Blogger somewhere which says that I can use my old comments along with the new Blogger comments. I must go look for that article again later. And then I'll have to choose between popup comments and comments which are on the same page as the post. Decisions, decisions.
Actually, you know what? My titles are horribly pedestrian. I really need to start sexing them up. Talk about a serious lack of imagination.
Thursday, September 15, 2005
But, such pretty fireworks. They let off the loud types which exploded in a nice fountain shape. Not that many colours though. I guess they can do that now that no one's living there anymore. Government's chasing everyone away so that they can make that grand highway of theirs. Hail the Jelutong Highway. May it bring even more traffic jams to this already besieged area of town. Curses!
Right. Now heading back to Sleep Part II. And please. No more fireworks tonight. I really need sleep. No, really really.
Thursday, September 08, 2005
So. Ow. I really want to go home now and nurse my wounds / cheat through the last couple of missions of The Frozen Throne because I want to start and finish Dungeon Siege ASAP, but I'm still waiting for some guy who's at 10am Wednesday to get back to me about something.
Monday, September 05, 2005
We had a paintball teambuilding outing last Friday. According to the mutual masturbatory mails being sent around now, everyone had a good time and the outing achieved its objective of forming teambuilding spirit. Well, yay them. I've never felt so isolated in my life. The teambuilding outing completely destroyed my sense of belonging. I can't seem to relate to any of my "team" mates anymore. This is why I never want to go for teambuilding events. They totally wipe out any sense of team for me.
Actually, the outing put certain things into perspective for me. I'm pretty much the normal loser I've always suspected I was. I should be happy I'm just normal. Mundane. Run-of-the-mill. Pedestrian. I wanted to be different when I was younger. And then when I discovered I was different, I wanted to be normal again. And now that I finally realize I'm normal, I want to be different. You can tell that I got my sense of fickleness from my mother.
It's sad that after such a well-praised teambuilding event, the only friends I feel I have left are people not from my team. Sigh. *Headache*. It's definitely me, isn't it? After all, the rest of the team gelled well. And me? The farking cheese stands alone.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Sword & Sorcery Studios to release electronic manuscript for VAN RICHTEN’S GUIDE TO THE MISTS
Atlanta, GA and Renton, WA; August 15, 2005 — Arthaus Publishing, Inc. and Wizards of the Coast, Inc. today announced that they have reached an agreement for the reversion of rights to the RAVENLOFT and GAMMA WORLD campaign settings. Wizards of the Coast has tentatively agreed to allow White Wolf, which solicits and sells all Arthaus products, to continue to sell back stock in both lines under its Sword & Sorcery umbrella brand through June of 2006.
This reversion means that the RAVENLOFT supplement Van Richten's Guide to the Mists will not see print. Sword & Sorcery Studios will release the unproofed manuscript (by authors Carla Hollar and Rucht Lilavivat and outgoing developers Jackie Cassada and Nicky Rea) as a free download available at http://www.swordsorcery.com. The manuscript will be available this September.
"It has been a pleasure to publish and work on these two classic properties," said Stewart Wieck, Managing Editor of Sword & Sorcery Studios. "These are icons of the RPG culture, and I think we did them justice, added to their lore, and gave them a fresh treatment for this generation of gamers."
Arthaus Publishing licensed the rights to RAVENLOFT, the gothic horror brand of DUNGEONS & DRAGONS®, in 2001 and—under the Sword & Sorcery banner—has released 19 different products in the line over the last four years. Van Richten's Guide to the Mists was to be the twentieth product in the line. Arthaus licensed GAMMA WORLD in 2002 and released six products in the line.
"Sword & Sorcery has done a great job with both lines," said Rich Redman, Wizards of the Coast's Assistant Brand Manager for Licensing. "We never had any doubts that these lines were in good hands."
The end of another Ravenloft era. What will it take to kill off Ravenloft? This is the second time it's died. First was TSR. Now it's Arthaus. Sigh. It's horrible. I guess I'll go start writing up notes for my own campaign world now.
Ravenloft... The End
The Beginning of... WORLD OF PROSECRAFT
Thursday, August 18, 2005
On the haze, a pox on whoever who started the forest fires which has caused us all to be enveloped in smoke. It's tempting to just call every Indonesian a dirty forest-burning bastard, but I doubt the entire country turned up en masse to set their forests on fire just so that we can suffocate. No, this is the work of a few people, and we must hang them. Or burn them. I kinda prefer burning them, since they're so fond of burning trees. What would the Night Elves do if they found out that us humans are still burning their precious little trees?
And then there is The Star. On the day the haze hit Penang, I woke up to find the words "WHAT A RELIEF!" all over the front page of The Star. Outside, visibility was so low I couldn't see the Jelutong Highway anymore, let alone the hills or Butterworth. And what did The Star had to say about it? "WHAT A RELIEF!". This front page "rubbing it in because you have the haze and I don't" continued with pictures of children playing under blue skies and bright sun. They should tout it as 'The Klang Valley People's Paper'. Bastards. Karma has gone around and now the haze has come back to haunt us all by blanketing everybody equally. Please, don't start a civil war between the north and the south by snubbing your northern cousins when the haze decides to take a walk to the upper peninsular. Sometimes, I think Lim Kit Siang had the right idea when he went "BURRRN THE STAR!" so long ago.
Monday, August 08, 2005
And you know? We shouldn't stand for it. Yes. We. We shall not stand by and watch while our government destroys the natural habitats of these precious white owls! Ask yourself! What would Harry Potter say if he finds out that you're just standing around while dozens of near-extinct white owls are deprived of their living spaces and forced to relocate, a relocation which might fail and end in certain death? How would you explain to your children when they ask you why you allowed the white owls to fade away by not doing anything when the government was destroying their homes?
Our time is now! Our hearts must now be one as we embark on the...
SAVE THE JELUTONG OWLS CAMPAIGN!
Here, have some little mini-banner thingies to show your support for the Jelutong Owls.
All together now:
"Save the owls! Save the owls! Save the owls! Save the owls!"
Save the Jelutong Owls. For they are our future.
Sunday, August 07, 2005
Father saw a white owl perched on a car when he came home from work. It flew away when he approached it.
Friend in Vietnam thought she saw something.
I helped set up hungry ghost prayer stuff. Candles, joss sticks, hell money.
I saw a white owl flying over the Jelutong Highway.
Well, the Vietnam thingy turned out to be a hallucination ( I *think* ). The core of the whole "fun start" experience is the owl, but my father has a theory. Lately, the swamp area and the many patches of wild vegetation around my house has been cleared to make way for the next phase of the Jelutong highway. It's not something I agree with, but there's nothing I can do while the government just tear apart whole parts of town and turn my quiet peaceful neighbourhood into the slums ( for real this time ). Anyway, all this destruction has made quite a lot of patches of trees extinct. So the poor owls have been displaced, and now they must seek out new homes. Poor little birdies. Farking government.
And now, a Hungry Ghost Month community awareness message:
"Do not stay out after 10pm".
Friday, August 05, 2005
HAPPY HUNGRY GHOST SEASON!
FYI, today's the first day. I should known it was that time of the year when I saw the fire on the road and the burning papers whirling around in a circle when I was driving home last night.
Yes, it's the month-long Halloween. Dust off your Ouija boards. Polish your RM0.50 coins. Buy another bottle of beer and go break it for a piece of glass. The spirits are here and they're here to staaaaaaay ( for one month, at least)!
Thursday, August 04, 2005
With lack of sleep and all, I'm starting to regress to my less civilized more brutal self. Back to the one who broods and meditates upon the destruction of all speed trap police while waiting for his build to finish. Back to the almighty violent unforgiving Man-God who walks this earth with strife and suffering beside him. Back, you might say, to the basics.
[Reality check: This means I'm just grumpier and melodramaticer... melodramatiker... more melodramatic than usual.]
Rage, yeah. Rage against the speedtraps in the morning when you're late for a meeting. RAGE, my brethren, against idiots who do not understand that the only people who are in a hurry in the morning are people who are late for work - the rest will be half asleep turtles causing everyone else behind them consternation and grief. You wanna organize a little speedtrap party, you cocksuckers, you hold them in the night when aimless young people who should just DIE anyway are racing up and down looking to turn each other into blood confetti.
Man, you can tell when the ulcer is getting to me. I'm more subversive and rebellious than ever. At my age, that's saying a lot. It's the quarterlife crisis, I tell you. The red sportscar and the underaged 16-year-old chick is not too bloody far away.
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
I met one of my old schoolmates in the toilet today ( he's now a colleague I don't work with ) and he said, "Yeah, I miss the US too". If not for him, I won't be missing the land of big cars and bigger portions of food now. Jamie Dunbar isn't helping by playing all those old 90s songs. We used to tune in to a radio station which played a lot of old songs when we were driving around in the US ( driving was something we did a lot ).
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
And then again yesterday, while waiting for a meeting, one of my colleagues told the others that I looked like a papaya. In Mandarin. And of course everyone laughed. And then they laughed again when someone was kind enough to translate it to me. Actually they're still laughing about it today. I don't care how old they are, humans ARE cruel. Little bastards.
So I started off the day all weary and severely demotivated. The development emergency is a justified emergency ( kinda ), but I wish they had told us about it earlier. It's trudgingly painful work when the coding you do is akin to bashing a cement wall really hard to make a hole through it. The "fried brains" feeling I get at the end of the day would be equivalent to the bloody fists with shredded flesh and exposed bone.
Well, here I am now at the end of the day. Fried brains? Yeah. Feeling like my body shape is papaya-ish? Yeah. I can't really hate them for speaking the truth. It's not my fault that they derive enjoyment out of poking fun at other people's lesser points.
No wait. I must do away with the passive aggressive shit. Now that I'm aware of that, I'm starting to realize a) how passive aggressive I can get and b) that there are a lot of passive aggressive bastards around me. This is bad. We musn't be bad. We must be good and treat each other like proper human beings.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Monday, July 25, 2005
Of course, I could be seeing assassins where there are only shadows. The gift of paranoia is mine, all of it. And from paranoia, I experience other personality disorders in lesser ( but nonetheless worrying ) degrees. Or so my paranoia tells me. I mean, I could just be mildly paranoid, ready to see the worst in everything. Or maybe I'm really constantly almost losing it but never really quite. Whatever the case, hehe, at least I know why life isn't all that boring for me as it is for some other people I know. Cause seriously, can life be boring if it's constantly under threat of crumbling apart?
Thursday, July 21, 2005
If they want to charge so much for it, why couldn't they make it taste BETTER? Damn, but that was horrible. I think I know how this increases your metabolism rate. It tastes so bad that it evokes nausea in the stomach, and that causes the whole body to revolt against the essence. Or maybe I shouldn't have downed it after a slice of papaya. Well, we shall see if I doze off at work again today. My colleague gave me a multivitamin yesterday which was also supposed to increase my metabolism rate, but I ended up sleeping after lunch.
Update at 2.51pm:
Damn thing didn't work. I nearly fell off my chair earlier at around 2.15pm.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
And if you go to the KWSP website, you can register yourself (requires EPF pin number). Then you can go collect your PIN from the EPF office ( the new building near Citibank in town ). And then you can start checking up on your EPF account online. Apparently you can't do any transactions, but you can see how much you've accummulated so far. Apparently.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Daylight Savings Time begins on the first Sunday of April and ends on the last Sunday of October.
And I'm just a little bit more knowledgeable today than I was yesterday. All together now...
In the city
Of blinding liiiiiiiiiights
Friday, June 24, 2005
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Monday, June 13, 2005
Oh man, it's only Monday and already I'm cracking. It's ONLY Monday. I can't believe it. *crack*
Sunday, June 12, 2005
THE local blogging community is buzzing after a girl posted nude pictures of herself on the Internet.
Writing under the moniker Sarong Party Girl, her weblog chronicles her life and numerous sexual escapades.
But though she is posing nude, most lawyers said that she is probably not breaking any obscenity laws.
And here we are with a quote from the conservatives:
But others like Ng Heng Ghee, a 33-year-old IT technician and father of two, thought otherwise.
"What she has done reflects badly on her parents."
Spoken like a true father of two. Given the chance though, I bet he would do her the sex too.
Personally, if I'm abuzz, I'm just wondering how news like that even got into the papers. There's a little box on the front page of my The Star about it! Although the liberal part of me shakes his head in disgust at this waste of space, the asshole in me is quite happy that we're covering sordid regional news. Not really all that juicy, but good enough to start off the Sunday morning.
Thursday, June 02, 2005
And then I flip that bitch around and it's time for war again. And then I go to sleep, wake up and feel shitty all over. Doesn't help that it hurts like the devil to expel those gigantic black turds from my body. No sirree, they're insisting on staying, even if it gives me hell. Aw crap, another pointless rant about shit. I have SO progressed with my blog.
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Oh WELL. My career has always made for depressing talk. Personally, I don't know where I fit in. Programmer? Consultant? Destroyer of worlds? There's that line where nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it, but I find the focusing of such energies to be beyond my grasp. It makes you wonder how other people do it. Those *driven* bastards who forge forward no matter what the cost. Kinda like a bulldog who won't stop biting your leg. Or a soldier who keeps coming at you no matter how many bayonets you stick up his ass. Now that's determination.
Sadly, not everyone can be such powerhouses of will. It's different when you're forced to do it. I doubt many pregnant women just give up during labour and go, "Hey doc, you know what? To hell with this push-it push-it some more thingy you're trying to get me to do. Get me a shot of vodka and let's try this again next Wednesday." That may be determination, but it's more of the "get out of me now you little shit so that I can look thin and pretty again" brand of determination.
When you're *not* forced to do it... ah. It's like exams all over again. You know the paper's next Monday. You know you haven't read anything about it yet. You know you really really need to start studying now if you want to just barely pass. But you know what? Fifteen minutes into reading and you're so falling asleep that you soon find yourself back at your computer, exterminating the hordes of hell in Doom 2.
Yes, those were the merry old days. Apparently, those were these days for me too, albeit the task and the distraction are no longer the same. That's what differentiates us normal people and the successful ones. Force of will. Discipline of mind. Rare qualities, both of them.
Monday, May 30, 2005
I would like to talk about my lizard today. No, this is not a cryptically veiled reference to my penis. This is the rubber lizard I bought from Toys'R'Us when I was there with my lil sis a long time ago in a toyshop not too far, far away.
My lizard has no name. It's a fair indication of how far I have progressed into the realm of the insensitive. I used to give names to everything. My car. My pen. My other pen. And the other one too. My water bottle +1. My hard drives ( it's actually just one hard drive, but it's partitioned into two, so I gave them both different names ). One might say I am too sentimental. But I have been working hard to get rid of my sentimentality. And now, I stand at the peak of insensitivity. So my lizard has no name.
I brought my lizard to the office to scare the girls. It actually works very well with a couple of people. I remember a couple of screams - they were musical. Unfortunately, after nearly half a year of having the rubber lizard thrown at them, they've gotten pretty jaded with it. One might say that all good things come to an end. It is time to throw real lizards around the office. You know, the ones which can potentially crawl up your ass and lay little lizard eggs in your lower intestines.
Not too long ago, an American engineer was sent from Plantation to help some of my colleagues in Penang. He was big and hairy, and worthy of a cameo in Planet of the Apes. My feelings towards him were neutral, until he started abusing my lizard in ways that were both inhumane and revolting. To go into detail would be too troubling. Suffice to say, my lizard is no longer the same lizard it was. Worse, after he left, my colleagues started taking sadistic pleasure in repeating the perverted acts on my lizard. Now, my lizard undergoes physical abuse everyday. It is a sorrow to watch, but such is life.
Thanks to Von Darke for this. His blog might be dead, but his spirit lives on in the Internet. Amen.
I was talking to a friend of mine about this, and she said that it's not only a racial issue - it's also a matter of economic class. The other races might think that they're getting shafted, but I guess if you're of the right race but living on the wrong side of the economic divide, you're getting shafted too. Hey, anytime you live on the wrong end of the great divide, you're so shafted.
What can I do? This is my country. I love my country, although on occasion I harbour homicidal thoughts towards those bastard motorists who turn without turning on their signal lights. Is it SO HARD to turn on the signal lights? What, retarded ar the hand? No strength to flick the light on is it? Backside so heavy until hand also cannot lift aR? KANEH.
This is why *I* should run Malaysia. In order to ensure our security and continuing stability, I will establish the First Malaysian Empire, for a safe and secure society which I assure you will last for ten thousand years. An empire that will continue to be ruled by an august body of advisors from all the races of Malaysia, and a sovereign ruler chosen for life. An empire ruled by the majority, ruled by a new constitution. We will annex Thailand and Singapore. Thailand, because they let those Japs-on-bicycles through during WW2. Singapore, because apparently they're very kiasu ( or so I've been told - all the Singaporeans I've met have been friendly so far *shrug* ).
And of course, if our countrymen don't turn on their signal lights when they want to turn, we will chop off their fucking hands and hang those severed limbs from the lamp posts.
Long live the Malaysian Empire.
Ya, Tuan Ku.
It's odd, but I don't remember that part being in Star Wars: The Revenge of the Sith. Either I really missed it or the radio trailer was FABRICATED. We caught the movie over the weekend, after which we caught Madagascar, after which we caught House of Wax - not a bad way to spend a Saturday.
This is the end. I might never see unfamiliar paragraphs of scrolling Star Wars text again on the big screen. I felt a little sad when I saw the scrolling text, but that all faded away with the glorious opening battle. Very nice. They could have done away with the ridiculous buzzdroid sequence and focused on more ship-to-ship combat though.
Episode 3 was good. I liked it a lot. There was a lot of action. There was a lot to like. It was more to the spirit of the original Star Wars, and had none of the weird aura that permeated episodes 1 and 2. Anakin finally looked good, and I think Obiwan was approaching the look of Alec Guinness. Which is a good thing.
On the home front, I've been busy with work. When I'm not busy with work, there's my new PC taking up my time and of course, TGIQ. TGIQ is undoubtedly my favourite pastime. Doom 3 is taking up my gaming time. It's anathema for the guy who's afraid of the dark, which just spurs me on to finish it. So instead of the "Doom 3 is my DESTINY" line I used to spout, now it's the "I WILL force my cowardly ass to finish Doom 3". Yes, I like scaring my shit white.
Doom 3 is good. It is scary. The shadows are dark, and there's nothing more thrilling than running backwards screaming with a horde of lost souls chasing after you... and then finding out that the door you came through earlier is now mysteriously locked. Or painstakingly clearing out an area and then having some zombie marine appearing behind you to pump you full of lead. It is dark. It is scary. It is glorious. By midgame I was still a little jumpy, although I was starting to get jaded. Or maybe the game was turning from "in your face" scary to "hell is breaking loose" scary.
Doom 3. Good game. Before that I did Painkiller and the Battle out of Hell expansion. Frantic is the word, similar to Serious Sam.
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
In other news, Happy Labour Day. FYI, I was down with fever headache diarrhea swollen eyes during the whole weekend plus the Monday replacement holiday. While this allowed me to finish up my Police Squad! and Doctor Who episodes and also progress in Painkiller, it also left me stuck in my house and left me wide open to a lot of feverish dreams. Why are the dreams you get when you have fever always the weirdest and therefore, the most interesting ones? I do not *know*, but I could probably do without dreams where I'm shocked back into the waking world by large furry caterpillars crawling all over the wet rock I'm on. Or dreams where I meticulously slice off someone's head. I knew watching those terrorist hostage head-cutting videos were going to have a bad effect someday. I just didn't realize that I would be doing the cutting.
Right now, I'm weak. Too much water in me. Not enough solid food. I get a rush everytime I eat something, but soon after that the burst of strength fades away and I'm less than Clark Kent. Heck, right now, I'm feeling like a wad of tissue paper floating in the toiletbowl right after someone's done jacking off into it. Full of something liquidy and ready to be flushed. And I can't even fart anymore you know. I fear that I'll accidentally shit soft smelly yellow liquid stools into my pants. It's really smelly. Like something died and was left half-submerged in a pool of faeces. I've actually smelled that before a long time ago. Throw in the crawling maggots you don't realize until it's too late and you get one fun experience.
Ohkay. So maybe the fever's still having some kind of after effect. All I know is I'm feeling very weak now. And a little dizzy. Which is why I ate meat for lunch. Meat. MEAT. Nice chicken meat. *cluck*. I hope I don't go puking around later.
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
We left Penang shortly around 10am and reached Ipoh just before 12. The sun was up and contrary to our fears, it didn't rain. We missed the elusive Gunung Lang on our first search for it, so we headed off to Perak Tong first to see the caves.
Arch from Within
The caves were dark and cool, like all caves are wont to be. There are numerous Buddhist statues all around, including one mega gigantic smiling Buddha. Very impressive. It must have been some feat assembling the statues AND carving the steps AND smoothing the surfaces out AND drawing the writings on the wall. Previously unknown to me, there is this long-assed stairway in the caves which leads up to the hill above. Bear Hill, I think it's called. So of course, we decided to hike up to the top of the hill ( I mean, all the way to Ipoh and NOT hike up to the top of Perak Tong? Be serious ). Lovely place. Has a view of industrial Ipoh and a couple of shady gazebos. Because it was smack in the middle of high noon, there were very few people around. God, it was high. I guess climbing up four floors five days a week helps with the stamina.
Gazebos on the Hill
After the slow but sure journey down, we had coconut juice in one of the shops by the temple. Then it was off to Gunung Lang, which is *south* of Ipoh's North exit. Remember that. Perak Tong - North of the Ipoh North exit. Gunung Lang - South of the Ipoh North exit. Gunung Lang is just after the petrol station, and the road to the recreational park is opposite Wing Onn Garden. Again, since this was afternoon, we were BAKING.
To get to the recreational park proper, you need to pay RM3 per person for the boat ticket. A nice Indian guy aka the boat guy gave us a brief history of the place. We then paid for the tickets and then he took us to the park.
Park from Jetty
It was HOT in the park. You would think that a park would have a lot of trees but nooo, not this one. I mean, they had plants all around, but my idea of a park is a whole lot of trees, which translates to shady walkways and a lack of dehydration. No such luck though. They have two towers you can climb up to and see the area. They have little kampung chalets - a couple we saw were locked, and the one which was unlocked was incomplete and rather empty.
Park from Tower
Park from Tower 2
After about forty minutes, the boat guy came back with more unsuspecting people who were apparently unaware of the heat and we hopped on the boat back to the main jetty. I figure that more people will be coming in the evening, which is when we plan to come back someday. They have really nice streetlights here, akin to the old London types.
And then it was off to Jaya Jusco for lunch in Dave's Deli there and some walking around. After cooling down considerably, we finally decided to go home.
Aye, it was fun. It was hot. Something I'll want to do again though. These roadtrips might be a mite tiring, but they're really fun. People should consider going to Gunung Lang. But in the evening, please. Otherwise you'll end up red like me. I expect that it'll be fantastic for a picnic or an evening stroll.
Sunday, April 03, 2005
Saturday, April 02, 2005
Front full-length shot
Distant shot of entryway
Front top-down shot
Thursday, March 31, 2005
Of course, I do it all with a booming voice preceded by "CONFUCIUS SAYS...". Bleh.
In other news, Easter's come and gone, and so did the followup earthquake. Kinda like how Christmas came and and earthquake came in its wake. Poor Indonesians. My flat swayed though. Amen to 21-storey flats.
Friday, March 11, 2005
The big stomach is heavy too. I figure now it's all divided into organs, shit, water and air. And it really stinks inside. For no particular reason, my excrement's turned all black and smelly. I'm hoping that this is just a transition period - from the dairy-rich relatively oil-free food of Plantation to the extremely oily and spicy food of Penang. It was so easy going to the toilet in Florida. Everything came out in one giant brownish-green lump of smaller pieces and that's it - I was done for the day. Nowadays, I look down and the black stuff pooled at the bottom of the toilet bowl reminds me of the spicy beef I ate at the mamak stall for breakfast. Not only that, but the need to shit might also hit me a couple of times in the morning. Oh woe, man. Woe.
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
It's back to one of the lessons they teach you in Planescape: Torment. Tradition without reason. In this case, process without reason. At least, they don't tell us the reason why a simple ten second task has turned into a huge time-consuming hulking white elephant utter complete waste of time tedious half day process. Or in certain cases, a full day or so. This is how you lose employees. You make it harder for them to do their jobs without bothering to explain why and then you expect them to get more done. I saw this day coming a long time ago but hey, let's not listen to the loser engineer with the fake degree ( software engineering? be serious ) from the wrong side of town.
It's been a simmery day. That brainless process completely annoyed me after lunch. By the time darkness fell, I was feeling feral. At more than one point I was tempted to bite my arm off, just to save the company the trouble of rehiring new engineers ( on account of a massacre ). Grrr. Right now though, I'm more than a little tired. Perhaps some sleep will help.
A room costs 10 gold per night. Rest here [y/n]? _
Monday, March 07, 2005
"What time should we go home today?"
"Let's go to Publix to buy some chicken."
"Oh wait, it's Monday. Macaroni night."
"We'll cook tomorrow cause Tuesday's dinner won't make us full."
"Make sure we go home early on Wednesday to get a seat for BBQ night."
"It's 5.30pm - let's go."
"Let's go to BestBuy - I wanna buy some walkie-talkies."
"Good idea. I need to look up some games myself."
After two months of pretty much the same thing every week, we've gotten very comfortable with the routine. Leaving work at 5.30pm, going to Publix to buy chicken and groceries, cooking rice and boiled vegetables and soup ( good soup too ), paying occasional visits to BestBuy or Circuit City or Borders or Barnes & Noble, spending weeknights with American television... it's a quiet life, but it's a good life. It's the kind of nice idyllic life you want to have. Blue skies, clear traffic, clean cool air, patient drivers... add wife and family and you get the good life.
Which is why coming back to Penang can be so hellish. Where the heat itself is stifling. Where the roads are an exercise in skill and divine tolerance. Where the people you just want to strangle and leave them hanging from the ceiling of your 4-story office. Yup, this is home, but after Plantation, home is gonna be rough for awhile.
Sunday, March 06, 2005
And the jetlag has not totally gone away yet too. Hello there, and welcome to yet another pointless exercise in rambling courtesy of your craven host, Nicholas Prose. Tonight we bring you mini reviews of the movies I've watched during the weekend. Mind you, mini reviews equates to me bitching about the movies while feeling slightly sleepy.
I hear from people who have not read the comic that it's a pretty good flick. There's action, horror, angels, demons, Keanu Reeves... what's not to like? I, on the other hand, am a firm believer that John Constantine was meant to be played by someone who's British, blonde and more rascally. Keanu's Constantine is less of a right bastard and more of a serious bastard. While the John Constantine of the Hellblazer comic was somewhat of a rascal and a manipulative magician, this American incarnation is more of a supernatural Rambo. As a standalone movie totally unrelated to the Hellblazer comic, it's probably all right. Personally, I do have to ask this question: Why on Earth couldn't they have made John Constantine British and blonde? It's like casting Shawn and Marlon Wayans as Starsky and Hutch.
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
That Violet Baudelaire, played by the delightful Emily Browning, is HOT. And she's almost legal too. Good Lord, she can give that Emma Watson chick ( aka Hermione Granger of Harry Potter fame ) a good challenge. In fact, if I had to choose between the two, I would go with Miss Browning. She seems less inclined to grow up and turn into a sassy bitch. Not that I have anything against sassy bitches - it's just that serious gloomy proper ladies are so deliciously gothic. Anyway, before I get arrested, let me just say that you might not want to watch this movie. Yes, dear reader, it is my solemn duty to warn you to stay away from this most horrible audio-visual recording of the lives of the poor, poor Baudelaire children. Yeah right, who am I kidding? It cracked me up a few times, and the weird settings in the movie seemed rather... Tim Burtonesque. I'm lovin' it, and not only because of Emily Browning.
The only reason why I got this movie was because a) Zombie Keeper gave it a pretty favourable review awhile back and b) I saw it in One-Stop in a 2-in-1 DVD along with Joyride. So I got it, I sat down to watch it and I was quite delighted that I found it pretty good. Not bad at all for a movie about long distance trips. A good thing I didn't watch it before I came back from the US. Back over there, we did a lot of long distance trips, all of them usually running late into the night. But you folks out there should catch it, yeah. Especially those of you who are about to embark on long distance trips via car. The lady in white in the movie was hot though.
The only reason why I watched this movie is because it was on the 2-in-1 DVD with Dead End. To be honest, I've been meaning to catch it for awhile now ever since it came out. Yes, it came out in 2001 and now it's 2005. That's procrastination for you. Do I like this movie? A bit. Leelee Sobieski could have taken a lot more of her clothes off. Joyride turned out to be a pretty straightforward movie of road rage and cruel pranks. It wasn't terribly exiting, but neither was it downright horrible. A pretty good way to spend a couple of hours. I don't see myself watching it again though. One thing I learned from this movie: Don't fool around with them CB radios. They're dangerous.
Gawd, this was a pretty horrible movie. I can't believe I've been hunting for this DVD ever since I came back. The protagonists started out pretty likeable. And then the brother became so annoying I was rooting for him to get killed. "Please kill the retard brother already!" I screamed at the bad guy everything he menacingly appeared. The sister was kinda cute although she looked pretty old. And there wasn't any nudity to remember although I think I read somewhere that there was brief nudity - the only tantalizing part was when the sister stood up after she peed ( but she had her panties on, so, oh well ). Horror movies without nudity? Humanity is really falling apart. But even if we don't factor that in, the movie is still pretty bad. Like, bite off my own arm bad. I bought it along with Jeepers Creepers 2 - I so hope that one is better.
And that's all for today. I do so want to turn in right now, but the tomyam I had for dinner is troubling me a lot. I'll go pump myself full of water and hope for the best. Toodles.
Friday, March 04, 2005
Please keep the panties dry at all times. Cleanup if there is any spillage. Thank you!
So yesterday was productive. We got a day off on account of us taking that long ass flight home. Got myself a haircut, went to make a pair of spectacles, visited Times the Bookshop for the 25% discount ( it was World Book Day after all ). Got a couple of DVDs and PS2 games from Prangin Mall. Even managed to sleep at 11pm. Had a nice long weird dream within the span of an hour. And then, at 2am, I woke up. And couldn't sleep anymore.
Which brings us to Friday ( aka today ). It has been surreal so far. I feel a little floaty. I did a 180° turn on the road during lunch. Not because it was stylish, but because I couldn't turn right, so I had to head left then then do that 180° thingy. I also very nearly hit another car after pulling that off, but my Plantation driving habits are wearing off. Every second behind the wheel in Malaysia just helps me get more reacquainted with my wicked driving skills. Farewell automatic transmission. Farewell carefree driving. Not so farewell to accidentally turning on the wipers when I want to hit the signal, but I'm hoping that'll go away soon.
I've been awake since 2am. Before that I've only had 3 hours of sleep. Yes, I like repeating that a lot. I think I've told everyone that I've been awake since 2am. The effect? Horrible. I think I'll doze off if I close my eyes and lean back in my chair for too long.
You know, someone left a strand of pubic hair on my desk. I couldn't identify if it was a male or female pubic hair. Either way, I think it's pretty unclean. Bastard.
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
We reached Narita around 4pm on Tuesday and whenever we were outside, our breath turned to wispy white steam. I think it was around 8 to 6 degrees Celsius. The place is still pretty much the same as it was the last time I was here. Just very much colder. Because we have a temporary Japanese visa, immigration was so much faster than the last time round. Maybe the cold weather helped too, cause the immigration line was also much shorter.
So we went through immigration, took our luggage, went through customs, had a pee and then went to Terminal 14 to catch our bus to the Narita Excel Hotel Tokyu. After checking into the hotel and taking a nice hot bath, we then proceeded to the 11th floor for dinner at around 6 something. Night had already fallen by then. And they served the same dinner I ate the last time I was here too. Right after that, we went to downtown Narita by bus. That was a mistake on my part. I should have stayed in my room and paid 1365 yen to watch adult videos on pay TV instead.
Firstly, the shuttle bus no longer stopped outside the mall anymore. Maybe we took the wrong shuttle bus, cause I kinda remembered paying for the bus trip. But there we were, smack in the middle of a bus station with no visible malls in the vicinity. And secondly, and this is the most horrible part, it was freezing. I don't know how low it got, but it was low. Very low. And there was that chilly wind blowing around. My intermittent cough nearly cured itself of its intermittentness. Every breath I took was cold, and later I found out that there was blood in my nose again. Breathing in through the mouth was one giant no-no - there was extreme coldness and no small measure of pain.
Admittedly, I wasn't prepared for the cold. All I had was my jacket while the other two were packing winter clothing similar to the one wore by the killer in Urban Legend. Now, my jacket is spiffy for keeping out the cold in an air-conditioned office. It's good when you're in a plane and it's cold. It's good when you're in Plantation, Florida and the wind is chilly. But not Japan when all that's missing is the snow. At one point I thought I was going to come down with instant pneumonia and die on the spot, but fortunately that didn't happen. It's a good thing I put on so much weight when I was in the US. All the excess fat helped a lot. Thank God the bus came on time. We bundled back inside, returned to the hotel and that was it. Nice warm hotel.
There's something about my hotel room which makes me horny. Maybe it's the nice pajama-like clothes they leave on the bed. It comes with a belt, and if you sleep in it, like I did, it's almost like sleeping naked. There's no way to button it or zip it - all you do is cover one side over the other and use the belt to hold it in place. Or maybe it's the toilet bowl which washes your ass or your asscrack for you. Press a button and warm water sprays out. With adjustable pressure too. Man, I really should have stayed in to watch the adult videos.
Anyway, the jetlag's started. I had trouble sleeping, waking up every now and then. And finally at 4.18am I woke up and couldn't sleep back anymore no matter how much twisting and tossing I exacted on myself. Oh well. At least I'm up now. I'll go take a nice bath, have a good shit, play with the toiletbowl waterspray thingy a bit and then I'm off for the complimentary buffet breakfast. Which, if the standard has not dropped ever since I was last here, is excellent. Japanese and Western breakfast.
And then, the last two flights home. It's about eight hours to Kuala Lumpur, and then another 40 minutes or so back to Penang. Ah, home. Where the weather is going to be quite the opposite of Japan now. I will console myself with the fact that the weather will just simply melt off all the fat I've gained while I was in the US. Expect puddles of sweat beneath my computer chair at home.
Monday, February 28, 2005
Anyway, here I am again in the Admiral's Lounge of the airport in Dallas, Fort Worth, Texas. I think that's how the location is like. I'm not very sure if Dallas is in Fort Worth or Fort Worth is in Dallas or if Dallas or Texas is just nearby while I'm in Texas or Dallas. Maybe it's a little like Tokyo, Narita. I'm pretty sure Tokyo is not really near Narita, but the location's known as Tokyo, Narita. I could be wrong, of course.
Well, the jetlag's starting to set in. I woke up at 3.30am to wash up and do the final packing. With all the chocolates and stuff inside, I couldn't close the luggage bag. Now there is much anxiety regarding my luggage bag. I keep thinking it'll burst open and spill the contents of my bag all over the airport runway. What a horrifying thought. To calm myself, I'm listening to big band music now and pretty soon I'll go have myself a good cup of tea and a good shit. Stuff like that is good for the soul.
The bad thing about American Airlines lounges is the lack of food. All they serve is coffee, tea, hot water, cold water and an assortment of peanuts and pretzels. The MAS lounge serves food. Real proper food like fried rice, seafood chowder and spaghetti with the delicious white sauce. And free beer. Now the three of us are feeling peckish. The omelette they served us on the flight from Fort Lauderdale to Dallas was good, yes, but it would be nice to have something other than pretzels and peanuts to munch on while waiting for the next flight.
Speaking of the next flight... sigh. Approximately thirteen long hours. I think I bagged myself a window seat, but I'll probably spend most of my time watching the inflight movies, sleeping or playing my Nintendo DS ( yes, I got myself one during my trip ). Take-off and landing would be nice though. I remember the first time I touched down in America. It was this very airport, in fact, and from my first class ( a most fortunate upgrade ) window seat, I saw the grass and the flowers along the runway. Ah, flower of Texas. Wasn't a yellow rose though. That was quite the experience, the semi-excited "wow I'm finally in America after countless years of yearning and not so many years of bitching" feeling which was kinda suppressed by the jetlag and the drunk Japanese bastard next to me. But, I will probably never forget those flowers. That was the first time in a long time I looked flowers and went "hmm... pretty".
Now we're relaxing in the relaxation lounge. They hand out Bose headsets here, but because each one of these babies is about USD299, they hold on to your credit card while you use the headsets. I don't know how secure that is, so after using the headsets for fifteen minutes, I returned it to the front desk and used my own earplugs instead. Sure, it doesn't have noise reduction capabilities, but at least I won't have to worry about my corporate credit card disappearing. Actually, no one else seems to be using the headsets. That might be a tip of some kind.
These past few days, my other two colleagues have been saying that China and Japan hold much temptation for the single male Malaysian traveller. Apparently the girls over there throw themselves at us males. I'm not sure how true that is, but due to my upbringing, I think America is the country which holds the most temptations for me. Of course, American women never throw themselves at Asian men, so the place which should have the most temptations for me has in actual fact no temptation at all. Womenwise, that is. I do admit that's a little sad. But maybe I just haven't been tested. I mean, the US of A hasn't thrown much at me this trip. There were the South Carolina girls, but they're only fun because we're strange to them. "Do you eat cats? Don't touch the walls or you'll die!". Heh, crazy little girls. There's Natalie Mamysheva, with authentic Russian accent too, but she's not American, and we kinda unfairly gave her the extra chocolates we had so that we didn't have to cart so many chocolates home. There's Heather the TGIF waitress, which everyone agreed smelled good. And that's it. Like, come on! I'm sure the United States of America could have done much better volumewise. I'm in freaking Florida, for God's sake. Miami, yeah. The bleeding Sunshine State of America. And you know what were the two places which held the most temptations for me? Bloody Borders and Barnes & Noble. I swear to God that if it weren't for the girl in question, I'm turning asexual.
Oh well. It's been a trip with ups and downs. In America, I managed to feel alienated because I mixed with Malaysians. They were all speaking Mandarin, so I always ended up looking at the architecture of the places we were in. I'm getting to be quite an architecture connoisseur. I think there's some kind of irony there somewhere. Due to my colleagues' inability to auto-absorb American food and also because we three were stingy bastards, we ended up cooking most of the time. We also ate in a lot of Chinese restaurants, so this American trip really didn't have a very American feel to it. I don't know if that's a good thing. I really wanted to find out if I could miss Malaysia, but with the very family atmosphere we had every other night eating dinner together, I fear we brought a lot of Penang along with us to Florida. A lot. Heck, I don't sit down and eat with my family like how I eat with these guys. You know how you try not to let people get close to you because in the end they like to betray you and break your heart and basically tear your soul apart in a very non-physical way? Well, after two months with these two, I can't help but start to like them a bit. Camaderie born of eating a lot of meals together is very hard to push away. Of course, things will probably change once we return to Penang, cause we've all solemnly agreed to reset ourselves to how we were before the American trip. It's sad but as Neo so succintly puts it at the end of Matrix Revolutions, it's inevitable.
One of the nicer things about this trip is the friends I've made. I've met people working in the same building as I do in Penang whom I would never have met otherwise. But go to Key West with them, go to Universal Studios with them, have a few meals with them and you realize that maybe that faceless engineer in the hall isn't so faceless after all. Two months away from home and I actually made a couple of friends. So if I had rejected this trip, I wouldn't have known those people. I wouldn't have my Nintendo DS ( and that itself was really an odd incident ). I wouldn't have been to Key West, the Kennedy Space Center or Universal Studios, Florida. I wouldn't have finally gained the confidence to just leap into a strange car and start driving it like a madman. I wouldn't be pining every night. I wouldn't be so fat. I wouldn't be worried sick that my luggage would pop open. I wouldn't be filled with a lot of indecisions and doubts. There's usually a core change after one of these long trips. Hong Kong 2003 had one, although that swiftly died. America 2004 had one, which was slowly suppressed by months of painful work. But I realized that that aspect does resurface at the oddest of times. So I guess the change was incorporated. But this trip? I'm not sure if there's one. I know the other two have changed somewhat until they need a reset hehe. But I feel unchanged. I still feel like the same person who boarded the plane for Plantation, Florida so long ago.
Oh wait. Yeah. There're now the doubts, the lack of focus, the lack of motivation. I think I'm feeling kinda lost. There's this sneaky feeling at the back of my mind that maybe I'm just missing Florida. That finally, maybe, the idea that I could actually fit in here has crossed my mind. This won't be too different from how I felt about Springfield, Missouri. Oh well. I'll have to wait and see. After all, truth takes time.
It's going to be a long way home. Right now though, there's a whole lot of mixed feelings about going home. There's the girl in question, family, roti canai and the business of losing a lot of excess weight ( about 10+ kgs ). On the other hand, there's the comfortable life, American television, no housework, no excess issues and no traffic jams. Maybe I've just gotten too lazy. The good life has a way of doing that to you.
I've nearly packed all my bags. Tomorrow morning, at about 4am, the chocolates go in. I keep my room as hot and as humid as possible, so I can't pack them into my bags yet. Due to the amount of stuff I'm bringing back for people, I'm finding it impossible to fit everything into my luggage bag. After spending the better part of two days squeezing everything inside, I'm beginning to feel homicidal. We went to the mall to pick up some straps for the luggage bag, but the shops were closed. They close early on Sunday nights. Apparently, that's not only a Mid-West thing. I'm just hoping my bag doesn't pop open halfway.
So it's goodbye to Plantation, Florida. Perhaps it's a good thing they're shipping us back now. One month would have been too short. Two months, like now, and we're missing the place already. Three months or more, we might no longer want to go home. We would have gone native by then. Heck, I'm watching Bad Boys now, and the Miami scenes are starting to look kinda familiar.
Oh well. Homeward bound in a couple of hours.
Thursday, February 24, 2005
5th February 2005
We went to the Kennedy Space Center to see the long rockets and the space shuttles. It would have been more fun if I were more interested in space. Unfortunately, my passion for space flight was severely dampened when I found out that space was not as advertised on Star Wars. "What? No Death Star? What the hell do people do out in space? Walk on the moon?" It's tragic how dreams can come to a sudden and halting stop sometimes. Quite recently, my interest in the stars were awokened by Lovecraft's Mythos stories, but that's no longer about flying off into space and engaging Tie Fighters. These days, it's more about watching for when the stars are right.
So, Kennedy Space Center. Very low babe-factor. Cold and chilly too. We spent most of the time there bundled up in our jackets. I guess it was educational in a way. They had exhibits all over, like the robot exhibit where they gave the poor Hubble telescope a low male voice ( figures - only guys would ever need a telescope that powerful ). There were bragging rights to be had. I can now say that I've been around the building where they build and assemble rockets and space shuttles. I can also say I've stood only a few miles away from where they launch rockets into space. Minor bragging rights, unless you're a space geek.
The most fun I had there was in the Mars flight simulator, where they packed us into a dark mock-up of a shuttle, played a 3D movie of the flight we were supposed to be in and shook the fake shuttle a lot. A LOT. I damn near puked.
19th February 2005
Universal Studios, Orlando. Home to infinitely long queues. We spent an average of half an hour waiting in line, depending on the ride we wanted to get on. I can safely say we sat on everything worth sitting on except for the MiB Alien Attack ride, cause one of my colleagues got really queasy. I blame the Revenge of the Mummy ride, although it was pretty ho-hum to me. The Mummy ride was the only truly fun ride in the whole place, unfortunately. ET had exactly one spectacular moment, which is when the ride we were on took us over a mockup of a city. Since I had ET in the basket in front of me, I could make believe that I was really cycling over a city. Tear in the eye moment, if I weren't so jaded.
We made friends in Universal too. While waiting in line for the Mummy ride, a bunch of young girls from South Carolina started telling us "goku" and "shan-ke". My queasy colleague entertained them while the rest of us chatted with them a bit. They didn't know where Malaysia was, but they knew where Thailand was. They asked me if we ate cats. And one of them, the one who liked to scream a lot, kept telling me not to touch the walls or I would die. Her friend was not as loud, but she did tell us a story about how there was a hospital in China named after some ancestor of hers, some Wilkinson guy. The scary thing is, there's such a person on the Internet. Or maybe it's just delusions of grandeur. Heck, my family tree - the imaginary one - has a lot of weird people in it too.
There was some Mardi Gras celebration in Universal that night. After snapping some pics with some skimpily-clad ladies on stilts, we took off for dinner cause it was a bloody four hour drive back to our hotel. We stopped by the super huge Nike shop where my queasy colleague bought a pair of shoes, and then we all headed back home in our Ford Expedition. Oh yeah. The elephant.
Saturday, February 19, 2005
After about two and a half hours of lunch ( the service was pretty slow ), our manager gave us each a debit card with 110 points. The rest of the afternoon was spent in arcade bliss. The Australian Kristian and I finished L.A. Machineguns - Rage of the Machines. We did 8-player Daytona cause there were so many of us. After so many years of never touching an arcade machine, I finally spent the whole afternoon catching up. The fun came to an end at around four something.
So we went back, and after all that arcade action, I finally got around to solving that silly bug. The class finally found the other class.
And so endeth the tale of our teambuilding activity. Man, that was kickass. Makes me wonder why we never do such fun stuff in Penang.
Sunday, February 13, 2005
Not the one in New Orleans, but the one at the Miami Bayside. At 6pm, which is when the sun starts setting over here, we left Residence Inns and headed south to Miami. Hit a relatively minor traffic jam when we reached the Bayside, and then we paid US10 to park our car in the multi-storey parking lot. That's a lot of money for parking.
After parking in our very expensive US10 lot, we went for dinner at the foodcourt. And then we adjourned to the area at the Bayside where they were having the concert. The place was filled with A LOT of African-Americans and Jamaicans and Latin Americans and okay, I'm not very sure who else were there, but their asses sure ain't white. Therefore my colleagues, who have yet to grasp the idea of black appreciation, didn't really like the event. Idiots.
We squirmed our way to the middle of the concert area. There was a lot of body-rubbing, and I saw guys grabbing girls' asses as they walked by. The temptation was there of course, but I try not to get myself killed. For some reason, the girls here have perky asses. Really perky. They walk by you, your macho instincts scream to pinch or squeeze or grab those luscious buns. And when they start bending over, you stop wondering why there are so many unmarried mothers in America. Good Lord, I *am* the earthly incarnation of the god of self-denial.
Anyway. I inhaled a whole lot of smoke. Cigars, cigarettes, possibly some weed too. The traffic to the center of the concert area was really heavy. We had to squeeze around, shove, push, get pushed, get pushed, get pushed, push back, get flattened, elbow others and basically be pretty violent just to move a step. Was it fun? Pretty much. I like standing out like a sore thumb in the middle of a crowd. A quartet of Asians in a predominantly black crowd. Damnit, I should have attended Martin Luther King's birthday festival.
After we got to the middle area, we stood there for awhile to watch the concert. They mostly sang reggae songs. Not sure if it was in Spanish or some South American language or Jamaican. But it was pretty fun. They got two girls to go up to dance, and man did they know how to shake their booties around. While watching the concert, a mini parade of people with musical instruments cut a swath through the crowd, resulting in more pushing around. Much fun. I think this is the first time I've attended such a concert. Usually it's violins and cellos and a piano. This time there're people rapping in Spanish(?) on stage with girls shaking their booties everywhere. A Caucasian girl was shaking her booty pretty well in front of us. Booty-shaking on stage. Booty-shaking in front of us. So what were we missing out here?
The boobie flashing. Yes, no one flashed their boobs. You know what? They didn't even have to flash at us. They could have flashed at other people and we would have been happy too. But did they flash? No. They didn't. I guess it's partly because everyone was watching the concert, dancing with the parade or just hanging around with their friends. Also, it was very cold there. Yes, everything was very nice and warm and fragrant ( weed? ) in the concert area cause there were so many bodies pressed closely together. But once we reached the outskirts of the crowd, the chilly wind hit us and we started turning into human iceblocks. I'm thinking that the cold would harden nipples, thus making them more photogenic, but I think the girls there don't see it that way.
I would have loved to stay at the concert until ended ( it was warm there, yeah ), but my colleagues weren't really into listening to reggae songs they didn't understand and inhaling sweet smoke ( from weed? ). So we went back to the Bayfront area and walked around a bit. I've been there twice in the day, but nothing beats the Bayfront at night. Such beautiful lights, reflected on the water. Arturo Fuerte was playing Spanish dance numbers with two pretty girls dancing along. I think it's salsa. The Simoniac would know for sure, but he's humping elephants in India. The wind was chilly, but it was nice. The small cruise ships left with people partying on the upper decks. A couple got on the gondola ride while another couple looked on, considering the ride. And we saw more girls with slim stomachs and perky butts. Yes, the macho instincts threatened to take over, but like Angel, I am on the road to redemption. And the road to redemption is one hell of a bitch. I wonder how I would be now if I decided to emulate Austin Powers instead. Probably a whole lot more fun than Mr. I Can't Do Anything Fun Tonight Cause I Have To Count My Past Sins Then Alphabetize Them.
So, that was Mardi Gras in Miami. I did enjoy myself in that special very reserved way I have of enjoying things. "You should stop internalizing fun," my shrink tells me. And she's probably right. Of course, without boobie flashing, Mardi Gras isn't really Mardi Gras. I should really go to the one in New Orleans, Louisiana if I can. Not only is that the bona fide Mardi Gras, it's also where Gabriel Knight started off in. It's where we can do that voodoo we do.