Thursday, March 31, 2005

You know, I'm like almost Chinese, and I still make fun of them. Then again, I'm rather Christian too and I'm just boiling over with Christian jokes. So anyway, there's this genuine Chinese guy from China which we're working with. He's genuine Chinese because he comes from China and speaks with a Chinese accent. Kinda like a Ming vase, and I suspect he's as old as one too. This guy, he has a tendency to spout wise sayings. Sorta like, Confucius says, "Do it right is more important than do it quick." I never really liked that aspect of him. He would have been labeled a smartass, except that he's old. That makes him an ancient know-it-all. However, the longer I work with him, the more I've come to appreciate his little nuggets of wisdom. Sometimes I even catch myself quoting him. And this is how I lose myself even more.

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

Fat. I'm starting to feel the effects of all that additional fat. I get tired after I walk up four floors. It's harder to move around. My reactions are slightly slower. I'm clumsier. Man, how do people stand being fat? My flabby legs are killing me. It's sick feeling meat under my thighs swing everytime I walk. I even feel lazy at work. Living la vida Jabba isn't much fun. I wonder how people can stand it. Aargh, the jowls on my face can shake around if I turn my head left and right fast enough. To top it all, all this heavy weight makes me tire easily. So by the time day is done, I'm more than ready for bed. No PS2, no reading, no watching DVDs. Just straight to bed.

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

Workwise, it's been a productive day. I've managed to pretty much finish up quite a lot of the stuff I needed to get done. The company has a new rule now where you have to wait for someone to wait for someone to create a new file in the server, so instead of twiddling my thumbs, I filled my time with more workstuff while waiting for someone waiting for someone. Actually we're all still playing the waiting game. I don't see it ending soon. It'll just go on and on.

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

I guess the three of us who went to Plantation, Florida are still missing the place. We take delight in torturing each other by reenacting Scenes from Plantation.

"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

I. Fat. Penang. Hot.

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.

Dead End
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.

JEEpERs CrEEpers
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

Things you read in the office when you're severely jetlagged:

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

Japan is freezing.

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.