Thursday, December 29, 2005

watch your back

Not too long ago I was driving along the highway, minding my own business and keeping to the speed limit. It was a nice evening, the weather was great, I was comfortable, and I had good music in the car. Then I hear screeching of tyres. I've grown so accustomed to the moronic elements of our drivers that I just ignore it. But it kept going for more than what I felt was three seconds, and that's not normal.

The thing about screeching tyres is that either the sound of collision follows, or nothing happens and they drive at the speed limit finally. But anything lasting that long deserves a look, and so I check my side mirror, and what I saw was a car, just smoking its tyres trying to avoid crashing into the other car on the fast lane, but swerves behind my car to avoid hitting the car on the fast lane. I just floored it and went. Amazingly that stupid Honda was still skidding when I took off. It was surreal, like some overly dramaticized computer game of driftmaster. I turned around and shot them a dirty 'wtf was that about?' look, although I couldn't see into their cars, but its become an instinctive response for all moronic drivers.

So the lesson here is always watch your back, and you can just walk away from an accident based on reflexes. I would've hated to have my car smashed into. But what if that was really the case? Most people would blame it on bad luck, or fate. Everyone's plagued by an Aunt Agony syndrome. They want to be sad, they want to be unlucky, they want to be sympathized. Perhaps subconsciously we don't care for our surroundings. I know a few people who practice this thing I call walking-into-a-place-you-shouldn't-dressed-in-something-inappropriate, that would conjure up images of miniskirts and dark alleys. Their usual response is 'nothing is going to happen-lah!'. Until of course something happens, then they blame everything, the alley was too dark, the city is too corrupted, I feel so vulnerable, I need to get away from here.

For me, whatever happens, good or bad, its your fault. The map of our lives are based on the decisions we make, at every turn we are presented with options, and with these options, the decisions we make. If we make a wrong decision, we can't blame the consequences, because that is reality. Life is tough, and so should you be.

Just this morning I was listening to the radio, and one of the DJs commented that '...things need to change. We need to go back to the way it was,' in reference to all the violence and terrorism and the negative things that plague our society. But you know what? Things *have* changed. You can't change change, and hope to reset everything back to when terrorism didn't exist. It always existed, we just didn't know it that time. A statement like that sounds foolish to me, because its inevitable, it's happening, and you can't just close your eyes, click your heels and hope that it never happened. But some people do that, they join a society, starve, and hope for world peace. Perhaps that has some ritualistic or religious intonations but that hardly turns anything around. It will draw some level of compassion from people who aren't terrorists (aww, how nice, isn't that nice, dear?), but the best thing you can do, really, is to watch your back.

That's the ugly reality of the new year, and the other new years to come.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

the elegant solution

For the longest time I would never walk into the Bose store at KLCC. Why? Sticker shock, perhaps. As with most products I usually go into research mode and start reading up on everything and absolutely every aspect of it. Habit keeps that going, I suppose. That in the end when I do walk into a store like that I know their products inside out, and thereafter the remainder of the time spent would either be used to test the salesperson's depth of knowledge, or to acquire something new that I didn't know, which is absolutely rare.

The thing is I like someone who knows what they're doing, who knows what they're selling. For me nothing builds confidence like a well trained salesperson; not too pushy and intelligent. So the other day after much mulling, I decided to waltz in there and see what happens. In my t-shirt, jeans and black beanie I looked like I was on a yakuza tea break, but it was designed to see if I would be entertained, monkeys not included. Surprisingly our fellow salesman was kind enough to show me around, test a few systems, and knew his product inside out. I liked that but of course, wouldn't be buying anything soon.

Today I went back there again, this time on the company account and was looking for a sound system for our meeting room, which has and is slowly becoming an entertainment portal of sorts. Let me tell you one of the joys of my life now is shopping on the company account, as long as it's logged and logical, I hardly have any issues once its approved by the shareholders. I love it!

After purchasing the system our friendly salesperson decides to push it on a trolley to my car. Very nice but no thanks. The box weighs about 20kilos(yes, research beforehand tells me that), and in reality doesn't really require a trolley. So I decide to carry it, and there is a shocked expression on his face like it was the first time anyone has carried anything out of his store. It was a mixture of, are you sure, and I don't think I've ever seen this before. It was weird, but I figured all the rich sissy dudes buying these things don't want to be bothered carrying their own stuff anyway. For me, I just hate that awkward silence out of the store when you're in the elevator and you're trying to make small talk to pass that excruciating few minutes. I hate small talk.

So tomorrow is a new day, I'm gonna set up the Bose, and its gonna be great. I tested it in the store and the acoustics just blew my mind. Did you know that Bose puts all of its profits back into research? Hence their motto, better sound through research. That makes sense, and it feels good to fund that kind of forward thinking.

Friday, December 16, 2005

waste not

I love KL for many reasons, for the most obvious that I was born and raised here. There are certain sights and smells like the unexpected scent of fresh fruits as you walk past the city and the various hawker stalls that seem saturated with vivid colors from the overuse of plastic approaches at every bend.

But one thing about KL, is that people seem to want their few minutes of fame, coupled with imminent stupidity and the tendency of waste, you'd almost always make it to the front page of the papers. Such is the case today where a woman received 999 roses that cost the sucker about RM3,500.

For me that's waste at an unprecedented level. There are many ways of expressing one's love, but to splurge on temporary vegetation is not one of the methods that seem viable anymore. It spells one thing, though, perhaps he will be one of the few celebrated customers of the florist. I don't get it, no matter how insane anyone is, I don't know how one can wake up one morning, and say, alright, I want to buy flowers. Lots of flowers, and then I want everyone else to know about it because I think what I'm doing is rather exceptional.

I think if you want to do something special for a loved one. Keep it to yourself. The moment you publicise is your motives for your actions will be questioned. Is it for personal gain of fame, or is it for true love?

As an urbanite who's got no tolerance for these things I just mutter to myself, what a dumbass.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

I died from not knowing, I died because I knew

Arising from the dead brings back a lot of Hollywood notions of drama and intrigue. Its perhaps one of the most dramatized unnatural occurences that seems to give it an aura of fear or an element of cool. But in more realistic terms, arising from the dead may not be as pleasant as it is portrayed. The reason why these beings are making such gnarly noises is because it hurts like hell, and their head is spinning and nothing they can do that will ease that pain.

Everytime I OD, (Over Drink, which is legal), I feel like I died and then the next morning I have been given a new lease of life. I hate hangovers. I hate the feeling of confusion (who did I call? what did I say?), and the paranoia, which happened only very recently. A few hours ago I imagined my liver finally giving up on me. I felt like regurgitating everything from inside but there really is nothing left to come out. I can feel my body floating over all ends of the room, refusing to stay with the body like similar poles of two magnets. I imagined what everyone was doing and what they were saying as I hovered above them spiritually. In the end I couldn't tell reality from fiction: and I don't even do any mind-bending drugs.

I used to die from not knowing certain things. Answers I was seeking. Its funny how things like that progresses and eventually you find what you were seeking when you have stopped altogether. Then I realized that perhaps some things without a definitive answer spells hope. I don't need hope. I give it the finger and send it packing. Last night I died because I knew, and I hope that the story ends there.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Smirnoff, my friend

Its not easy to get over one's phobia of something. Something as deeply ingrained in the psyche doesn't just go away immediately, but after a few years I think one ought to face one's demons in a head on combat, and in my case, its with vodka.

Its no secret that vodka remains one of the popular spirits for its mixability in cocktails, as compared to say, whisky. Vodka becomes the automatic poison of choice when you don't want to reek of beer, or hey, whisky. But many years ago I valiantly celebrated my new year with half a bottle, and I was gone. What happened after that can be described in as few words as: regret, dizziness, despair.

Since then it has always been my kryptonite or sorts. Vodka? No thanks, I'll drink anything else, but please, hold the vodka.

A few months back I tried it again, but this time with mixers, yes, signs that I've grown smarter, but of course I immediately realized that it wasn't the smartest of choice. Whatever goes down easy, brings *you* down easier. Needless to say that night I was gone. Perhaps it was out of frustration with life, or the need to vent my frustrations that particular night, but I did, and I wasn't proud of what I did that night, but I didn't regret it either. I had accomplished what I had set out to do that night, which was to go all out, forget myself, and have a good time.

Recently I've been reintroduced to my own evil, arch-nemesis, albeit in the form of a rather classy Grey Goose. What was it that it could command a RM174 price tag? From the supermarket, no less. So that night I had Grey Goose. Its probably psychological then, that nothing interesting happened, I wasn't anything, I was actually fine. Perhaps it was the weeks of training beforehand, but since then I realized that drunkeness has a positive correlation to psychology. If you think you're drunk, you probably are. Of course many times I tell people I'm not drunk but they think I'm in denial, so who's to say what's true right?

Damn it I hate my bloodshot eyes.

My recent consignment, which roughly translates to (the stash of liquor directly behind my table in the office), consisted of 4 bottles of Smirnoff. I still remember this stuff from my party way back. Oh how I loved my parties. Such detailed planning and organization and such happy times. I still have remnants of the bottles of booze left behind. I never consumed it because it was opened like 5 years back so I don't think I ought to dig into an old bottle of alcohol, but there is a theory that alcohol lasts forever. I don't know if that's a valid statement or something concocted by thrifty alcoholics, but as long as I have new consignments I will not want to dig into an ancient bottle of *anything*.

But my appreciation for all things with an alcoholic content has greatly increased since those days of wanton purchasing. Which mainly consisted of going to the supermarket - Tequila! Vodka! Rum! Gin! Without much thought or afterthought even, and then we'd just experiment with everything that night, watching as our helpless victims get plastered and nodding to ourselves knowingly that we have done our job and delivered a great time. But this time, I'm actually *tasting* the Smirnoff. I drink much of my liquor neat these days for fear of a)dilution, b)introduction of foreign elements in my otherwise pure drink. I know if I'm getting something weird in my drink if I'm used to what it tasted like originally, see? If you don't know, then they could add other cheaper spirits and you wouldn't be the wiser. Except of course in a few hours when you have a splitting headache and you wonder why that is. Its much like olive oil. I love olive oil, and if its extra virgin, then that's the way you should go. You don't want adulterated, skanky oils. I wonder what other olive oils would be known in that world. Perhaps it would always be tormented on the shelves with something that starts with an 's' and ends with 'ut'.

Well, its a lovely Friday night. I'm all tired from woodworking the whole day, with the finale tomorrow, so I'm just taking it easy with some stuff from the 60s in the background. Just me and my Smirnoff.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Jaded canines

After months of construction unrest they've finally completed work on Phase One. Phase Two begins after we get the CF for the building which should be approximately a month to two from now, which gives me enough time to kick back and relax and now worry about anything.

Which is pretty much how it is like every year. I like Decembers for its relatively laid back holiday mood. But of course being laid back has its drawbacks. Especially if there is real work to be done.

What I don't like about Decembers is the fact that its the season where the bills seem to exceed the income. I hate that. Every year its the same thing. The season of merriment has its price, and we love to be merry.

My two dogs of different characteristics are funny, though. Freida is an excited dog, a show off, a howler. Asta is the uglier, realistic, daring one, and recently I noticed she's picked up on something I didn't even teach her, its a command called 'jaded', and you don't even have to tell her that.

'Sit!' I say. She looks at you with a puzzled look. She's got that 'what does that really accomplish?'

Then you begin to think, yes that is quite true. Apart from our dictator-like satisfaction of being able to tell her what you want her to do, it really doesn't accomplish anything. The real question would be, why should I sit?

I recently taught them the command called 'Quiet!' or 'Shut up!' or sometimes 'Shut your mouth!' but of course when they're really worked up they really can't be bothered to listen to you. So I remembered this technique of giving treats. The theory is that if they do something right when told you have to give them a treat so it registers in their head that if they do that particular something, then they get treated. Of course they dont respond to their dog food (yes, the jaded thing comes up, its like, 'I eat this') so the other day I tried beer.

And they like beer.

So everytime they shut their mouth, they get some beer.

Problem is everytime they look at me now they have this lip-smacking look on them. Perhaps I should've kept to canine products.

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Penang trip

My first time to Penang was a short trip. The stay was about 24 hours but I think it was an interesting preview of the island. The photos generally says it all, click on them and read the description, no point blogging about it!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

sertraline, anyone?

The other day I was doing these online tests at WebMD, after I did some reading up on some pharmaceuticals that I prescribe to anyone who's sick (yes, prescribe, *then* read up on it). These were basically tests by leading antidepressant drug companies, and I was attracted to the little animated Zoloft mascot. These tests were simple 2-bit questionaires about whether you're having suididal thoughts, or if you've been exceptionally happy, or sad lately.

Problem was the questions were so generic, and the symptoms were so common in our society that eventually I answered 'Yes' to most of the stuff, for example 'Do you sometimes have violent tendencies of causing harm or injury to others?', which I thought hmm, if you drove on our roads long enough, of course!

And so I was diagnosed as Bipolar II. Which required treatment, of course. Sertraline HCl, or Zoloft would do the trick.

Almost at the same time I started playing Grand Theft Auto. After much hype about it, and of course my disappearance from the gaming world, I decided to see if it'll run on my pc, and it did. GTA is a game of organized crime, and its appeal lies in the fact that you are allowed unprecedented freedom in the game. You can run over people, shoot strangers, hijack cars, total the hijacked car, run into another car, run over another car, hijack a police vehicle, hijack a bus, total a bus, well, you get the idea, and that was just 15 minutes into the game. Best part was GTA doesn't need a prescription. So why the big fuss about being politically correct?

Monday, November 14, 2005

sleeping with eyes open

Sunlight trickles through the vertical spaces, forming symmetrical lines all over my desk. The clouds aptly shade the sun for a brief moment providing an illusion of cool when in fact the temperatures soar upwards of 30 in the outdoors. But I am unfazed in my climate controlled comfort zone of a constant 20.

Noise levels are kept to a minimum, construction has all but halted here as the workers regroup at the old place, working on the roof there instead. The dogs are quiet as well, with nothing interesting to see, nor bark about. Thus they lie motionless like bags of potatoes on a lazy day.

It feels like a Sunday, although everyday feels like it. Nothing changes if you're always in the same place doing the same thing, after a while you lose track of day, week, or month. Of course you can't possibly lose track of time since you have a watch, that would be dumb. Life still follows schedule, and the rushing is kept in check. If there are more things to rush, then perhaps it would feel like a Monday.

I just need to take a break even though it feels like I am having a break. I need to get out of here. This place. I need this place to be done once and for all so I dont have to deal with people. So I can just take off and be someplace else. I need to get to Sydney.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Solving a mystery

There was recently the mystery of the dropping sand. My sister had been complaining about the mysterious appearance of sand in her room recently, to which I had no idea. The attic where I'm staying is right above her room, separated by timber flooring which has begun to shrink thus forming hairline cracks in between the timbers.

But there is no sand up here in the first place. I thought long and hard, and the worst case scenario was that it was indeed being attacked by termites or some other pest. But then...termites do not usually attack hardwoods, especially since its only been a few months. That didn't make sense.

So I became my own CSI, gathering evidence. That sorta thing. I love that kinda work although I wouldn't work in a crime lab because I'd go bonkers. The dust compounds were sand, and fine sawdust, which I was afraid. But grains of sand? If borers attacked the timber they'd leave behind fine sawdust residue but that doesn't explain the sand which accounted for almost half of the dust.

Then it struck me. When they installed the flooring the lousy bastards filled up the cracks with ...sand and sawdust which was just scattered in heaps here. Now that the boards are beginning to shrink the grains that were used to fill up the grooves begin to fall underneath with no way to stop this process. There's only this much vacuuming you can do.

My theory is that the air-conditioner is cranked up so much so that the temperatures in here dropped so much that the timber started to shrink, thus causing this interesting phenomenon. Looks like I have to let go of my sub-zero sleeping habits until they cover it from the bottom. Mystery solved.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Yes, today I turn 26. Seems like age caught up with me and I've fallen into the its-my-birthday-but-I-can't-care-less phase of my life. The same phase that pooh-poohs the birthday song and eventually the whole candle business and motions for another shot of Anejo 1800 tequila instead.

So what has changed in the last 2 years? Not much. I'm in a relatively similar spot I find myself after every year of hard work. Just that over the years I've built more and more things to surround myself in. It seems too, that I've grown accustomed to injuries and pain inflicted from the injuries. Just a few days ago I fell on my ribs and nanoseconds later on my left ankle climbing the temporary gate into my house. The pain from the twisted ankle was almost instantaneous. I could hardly stand up, but I had to get inside the house anyway so I climbed the other side of the gate. I guess its not necessarily the smartest thing to do once you're injured. My mom thought I should've went home. But I didn't think that climbing into the car to drive home in that state was a good idea, while calling for help on such trivialities might make it seem like I was a pansy.

So I went in, and only after realized that there was a bright red gash right at my left ribs. Oh man that really hurt more than the ankle, as is the case now. I guess a little pain does remind us all of who we are and how fragile life is. Things like that. It just seems more apparent when birthdays come up.

I'm happy to say that I'm taking life a lot easier right now, which might be misconstrued as laziness or complacency, but seriously, as long as I get my things done on time, and there are a lot of things, my resolution is that I:

a) Do not explain myself for any action or decision I make
b) Make calculated decisions so that every decision has a reason and it has went thru a selective process
c) Do not take criticism so seriously because everyone else is probably wrong anyway.

I think for me thats the guidelines that I live with that seems to have served me well. I'm happier, more confident, and my performance is glitch free. Just that at 26 a lot of people would think oh what a big time dictator this guy is. I just reached my saturation point of trying to make everyone happy, and I'm not going to explain to everyone that I'm actually not angry, I'm just indifferent. Just like my fall the other day. I can blame a lot of people for not fixing the gate on time or the poor construction of the temporary gate, or my lack of skill in manouvreing the structure, but that just takes too much energy. I rather be indifferent, let the wounds heal, and get on with life.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Quick update

Now that the house is almost done I breathe a sigh of relief. Well, a slight sigh of relief. At least its livable. I've been camping here for the last few weeks I've forgotten about the joys of hot water. In the beginning stages we didn't even have a working toilet, I had to sleep on the floor with *gasp* unfiltered water running at the taps. Then it progressed to a proper mattress, a makeshift bed, and the dust. omg. The dust has ruined everything good and clean about everything organic.

Which doesn't really matter since we didn't even have mirrors in here anyway. There is one now, but the rest are still waiting for my lazy butt to take measurements and get it to the shop.

I've gotten almost sick of hearing excuses as well. The whole thing about people not keeping to their time, or being professional can not be better expressed than if you were to deal with separate groups of people doing various things. So far I've identified a few professional workers but the ratio is certainly too low to even mention.

Thats the kind of stress I've been putting on few months back. Perhaps it's been longer than that but I wasn't as directly involved hands-on in the beginning, not quite like now.

But honestly speaking at this point when you see it develop to what you'd imagined it to be, its ultimately fulfilling. I actually don't mind all the missed dates, all the months of disappearing out of the scene, if I have something to show for it, and this is it. Its an organic piece of work. Every tile, timber and brick, chosen by hand and meticulous calculation. Every color scheme, material specification and drawing coordinated and analysed.

I'm just so tired.

But feeling good about it.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Just one slick move

The heightened heartbeat occured for a few seconds. Much less than it was previously when the adrenaline hit and the heart races to what feels like 180 beats per minute. But this time, as soon as I stopped my car, so did the adrenaline rush. He came over with a smile. I immediately knew that this was going to be an easy one.

But it shouldn't have been the case. Yet, understanding the system and going with the flow seems to be the most natural thing I can do. It has become instinct for me.

'Did you know that was a red light you just ran?'

'Oh? I didn't notice that. I assumed that I could turn since the other side was turning as well, therefore I thought that it would be safe to negotiate this turn'

'License and registration please'

(Real time events have been omitted for legal reasons)

And then I was on my way again.

Just one slick move to maintain a record free profile.

Yeah, I sound like a regular crook. That's why I'm growing a beard.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Odds & ends

Its usually the final stages of something grand that will test one's patience to see if you'd crack under pressure. The next few weeks will test mine. Dealing with people in general is a fairly simple process, yet its complicated in its execution. There are intricacies that you have to notice and make sure that they can work around various issues that come up every now and then, but it is towards the end that my patience will wear thin. When it does things can go either way; I crack under pressure and fail in my task, or it is then that clarity rears its head. To me, clarity came when I realized I'm not exactly the PR guy that I was being for months on end, I needed to make sure things get done, and on time. When time is of the essence then it becomes a 'whatever it takes' situation.

Indeed, whatever it takes the building would have to be fully operational by then. I am indeed getting impatient.

Just the other day I realized that socializing has been so far down my list it virtually got wiped out altogether. Is it good? No. Can it be helped? No, either. When faced with such negativity of consequence is it wise to jump ship and change it just like how one would decide to alter fate? Never, as I realized. By forcing oneself to be immersed in a different pool just because society tells you that the one you are in does not necessarily serve your best interest only shows that a)you do not posess a spine and b)you will fail miserably in the new environment.

This is by no means to say that one shouldn't explore, but when weighing risk against calculated risk, I will place my bets in the science of mathematics. And in the end if one so wishes to label me a blind, reserved, unadventurous dictator, I will accept that, but at least I'm doing a fine job while I'm at it.

Friday, September 16, 2005

the grain in my shoe

like an epic story told,

just a click and it unfolds,

the organized destruction at one corner,

an organized construction at the other.

like yin and yang of reasoning,

to add some spice like seasoning,

had life been bland? i thought t'was good,

could it have bettered with the mood?

had i been asleep that long?

that life just passed by like a song,

a structured membrane of activity,

masking the reason of identity.

the grain that sits in my shoe,

surely its fear, or something askew,

perhaps when i stop anticipating pain,

only would i be human again.

Friday, September 09, 2005

iPod nano

Sometimes I think that the Apple designers have it easy. It really doesn't take much to replicate an iPod's success, just make sure that you have a technology department that enables you to make things smaller, thinner, better. When you look at clean lines it usually means that for a designer, he doesn't really have to do much. No complicated curves or anything of that sort, and that's what good design is all about, eliminating everything that's unnecessary until everything becomes clean, pure.

And so they made the iPod nano. I once told myself that the next iPod I buy will be one that can play DVDs, but thinking of it, ripping a DVD isn't an easy task, well yeah it IS easy but it simply takes too much time. On further thought, no matter how much I liked a movie I probably wouldn't watch it all the time so portability isn't really such a big deal. So it comes down to just this, music, and that's whats ensuring the success of the iPods. Sony has created its own range of Walkmans that I must say look pretty cool even without a color screen, but the eternal problem with Sony is they name all their devices in numbers and letters, and quite frankly, I can't be bothered remembering any of it. Probably at one point, yes, it was the futuristic thing to do, but now, common sense will tell you to give it a name so that people can call it something human.

The iPod nano is unbelievably small, and I believe it. By just looking at the measurements this thing will definitely fit anywhere, and being a flash player it will never skip, and I reckon that parts failure will definitely be reduced as compared to harddisk MP3 players like the iPod mini. Available in white or black (Love black), and in 2 or 4Gbs, you can hold a sizable amount of music in there. In the CNET Asia site one of the cons listed was that it would be great for newbies but 4Gb might be a squeeze for experienced users. Experienced?! Its an MP3 player! But their reviews have that sort of mentality where every device has to have to best specifications just because its possible.

What I believe is that although they could have done it, it defies the purpose of the device itself. Think about it, every device is created for a target market, as long as the target market buys into the product, the product will sell itself, and thus the task will be deemed a success. Would iPods have gained a more significant market share if they packed it with an FM radio? I hardly think so, but I suppose they could generate a slight increase in sales from the folks who listen to the radio. The fact remains that they have successfully marketed their product nevertheless.

I nearly purchased an iPod mini due to its size, but nothing seemed to propel me to do it, but the nano with its color screen, that I can work with. I'm already envisioning it lodged in a coffeetable playing hours of music, if only I can figure out how to fit a subwoofer into the enclosure. Ah, technology allows for much creative freedom, and I like seeing it go further every now and then. iPod nano scores a 10 in my books for its design, simplicity, color screen, dock connector (for vast array of accessories), flash storage, and its size definitely. I's only 1/3 the size of my phone, and I thought my phone was slim!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


We've known it for a while now: the fact that we have counterfeit currency in circulation. We hold it in our hands, and we feel that its different, and of course the ever present frustration when the autopay machines (like I always say, it ain't auto when you're the one doing all the work), refuse to accept the RM1 coin no matter how you try to drop it in the coin slot. Its funny when people (including me) try to do it anyway just to please our curiousity: drop it fast, drop it slow, add some force, push it in diagonally.

But of course we already know that these machines have been programmed to not accept your coins anyway, so it isn't a big surprise that Bank Negara Malaysia declared that the coins will therefore cease to be legal tender by year end. What do you really expect when you make that kinda announcement? Pure chaos. How these people are handling simple situations like these really dumbfounds me, there isn't a three-pronged approach to reap back as many coins as they can get before they announce. Nothing. Its just -we're taking it back, you have about 4 months, good luck.

Naturally vendors will cease to accept any form of RM1 coins, as some already have done so way before the announcement. What does this mean for the average Malaysian citizen? We are just regular folks, earning regular (and non-increasing) salaries, with the prices of everything going up, now we have less money to spend. It isn't because the average Malaysian isn't working hard enough, some of us work several jobs keeping it together so you can pay off the bills, but its mismanagement of the elements that weave the fabric of our society.

Newspapers report that one po' folk went to the bank with RM100 worth of coins and only got RM70 in return, is it his/her fault that it was counterfeit? Who really should be punished? Apparently the sentence is dropped on the bearer of the fake currency. What of the kid who saved for years in his piggy bank that consisted only of RM1 coins because 'sikit-sikit, lama-lama jadi bukit', but apparently that won't hold true anymore, because by the time this poor child gets his coins rechecked he'll notice that for some strange reason quaint practices such as keeping a piggy bank doesn't work anymore.

As for me, I have to feel like a thief everyday trying to clear my RM1 coins. Buying nasi lemak and pretending its the only cash on me, or paying the toll with it, that kinda thing. But the real question is, why do I even have to feel like I'm in the wrong?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Obsessive me

I recently been exposed to some great television. Not that shows like 24 weren't great, they were, but we continually see an influx of good programming that really puts the whole reality tv theme to shame, and one of them is 'House M.D.'. This series casts a sarcastic, truthful and painfully intelligent doctor with a limp, Gregory House, as he solves medical situations that usually you'd see people give up on, or simply just prescribe wrong medication, which in my experience is extremely common here, or at least that's what my experience with medical practioners lead me to believe.

One thing about House, that I noticed is his intensity, and that is no better showcased than in Episode 9 of Season 1 called 'DNR' or 'Do Not Resuscitate', where he encounters a fictional trumpet player called John Henry, with as intense a personality as Dr.House himself. When it seems that all solutions fails, and John accepts his fate of death, House refuses to give up, and this conversation that they have had a profound meaning for me.

John: So, you came here to tell me that even if I can't walk I can still hear the birds sing? Enjoy the rainbow, and feeling the sun shine on my face?

House: Those things are fun. Okay, life sucks. Your life sucks more than most. It'?s not as bad as some, which is depressing all by itself. But do me a favor. Just let me find out what'?s wrong with you. And if you still want to kill yourself, I'?ll give you a hand. That sound fair?

John: Yeah, sure. I'll stick around to indulge your obsession. It'?s over. I lost my air. The session the other night, with those kids? That was a test to see if I could still play. I can'?t.

House: And that'?s all you are? A musician?

John: I got one thing, same as you.

House: Really? Apparently, you know me better than I know you.

John: I know that limp. I know the empty ring finger. And that obsessive nature of yours, that's a big secret. You don'?t risk jail and your career just to save somebody who doesn'?t want to be saved unless you got something, anything, one thing. The reason normal people got wives and kids and hobbies, whatever. That's because they don't got that one thing that hits them that hard and that true. I got music, you got this. The thing you think about all the time, the thing that keeps you south of normal. Yeah, makes us great, makes us the best. All we miss out on is everything else. No woman waiting at home after work with the drink and the kiss, that ain'?t gonna happen for us.

House: That'?s why God made microwaves.

John: Yeah, but when it's over, it'?s over.

[End transcript]

It reminded me of my thoughts a few days ago. I had become immensely jaded of late, and this is perhaps the first time I have used that word to describe my position although many have known all along that eventually I would end up jaded what with my work schedule. Its not that you've given up as much as you've just grown to accept things as it is simply because changing takes too much effort and all you want to do is just to get it done so you can move on.

In the midst of the jadedness is the intensity and determination to finish 2 outstanding projects, outstanding as in overdue, and not exceptionally excellent, although the latter is what I aim for all the time. It is then that I realize that I, too, have only one thing, and that makes me different from a lot of people, which is why the concept of me having a normal social life seems to take a lot more effort than normal. Granted real life isn't what it is on TV, but think about it, its the concept that's what I'm asking you to look at. The possester that I posess encourages me to improve and improvise and create and focus, and its almost impossible to penetrate the barrier unless I remove it altogether, which will make me complacent altogether. I love and hate that feeling. Well, to think about it, I lean towards dislike more. I hate being complacent.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Air Quality Index

In another attempt to downplay the significance of our API(Air Pollutant Index) ratings, which hasn't been released over the last couple of years because in 1997 Malaysia practically banned the publication or the release of any API readings for fear that it will affect our tourism industry. While API might not sound the same as AQI, it is essentially the same reading.

0-50: Good (green)
51-100: Moderate (yellow)
101-150: Unhealthy for sensitive groups (orange)
151-200: Unhealthy (red)
201-300: Very unhealthy (purple)
301-500: Hazardous (maroon)

As of 5pm yesterday, the API levels in Kuala Lumpur reached 295, Petaling Jaya 326, Port Klang 486, Kuala Selangor 527, Shah Alam 430 and Putrajaya 354.

The media has thus led us to believe that anything from 300 to 400 is dangerous, but still acceptable, since it isn't in the 'Hazardous' bracket, but was that category created to alleviate panic? If you look at it carefully, we already have reached hazardous levels in most areas, and shutting down Port Klang and Kuala Selangor is just the first step; although if you look at it properly, those two locations have already went off the chart in the AQI readings. How soon will we be informed of the exact dangers that hang over us like the plague? Will surgical masks save us then? Or just like any other year will we just sit tight and hope it blows over? What of the long term effects that follow?

Simply too many questions and not enough answers.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Code Red, people

If I had written the other day about how bad the haze was, it would have considerably worsened as I write now. Approaching and exceeding the danger levels, there doesn't seem to be any panic at all except for the constant front page exclusives. What did we get actually? First was a couple of pictures, then an apology from Indonesia, and only yesterday was the readings officially released (after how many years?).

Sidewalk cafes emptied out, and masks being sold in huge quantities that demand exceeds supply. Only now are people questioning, and when a large group of people start questioning the whys then a fraction of the people will get angry because of the lack of transparency, the lack of action. It seems as though we have a serious crisis on our hands, the air outdoors is almost unbreathable, and yet schools continue to open, awaiting for the Education minister's response on whether schools should be closed or not. I shudder to think that the classes are held without enclosures and the haze circulating thru the ceiling fans as the kids actually have to try to pay attention in class.

And yet there is no foreseeable action from any parties. On one hand you get the Indonesian government assuring us that they are doing what they can to stop it, extending their apologies. Well, I suppose its not the right thing to tell them what to do, but if their actions, or inactions affect our people then who is responsible for any form of action? Are we right to voice our opinions? Where is the voice of leadership to tell us that everything is going to be alright and that all measures are currently being deployed? Every day I open the newspaper, all I get are photos, and virtual silence. This silence is almost as unbearable as inhaling the pollutants I'm imagining coating my lungs as they prepare to shut down and die.

Try listening to Singapore radio or even international news, you'd have slightly more information on how drastic this is being viewed at an international level, and yet somehow we are shielded from the sense of urgency the media fails to deliver.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Global warming

It was 37 degrees Celsius out today.

Which on any scale is massively hot. You don't see it but you definitely feel it. The haze that's brought in from Sumatra and peat fires in our country even have formed a seriously disturbing blanket over our heads and trapping us in with all the heat that cannot escape.

Everywhere I turn I see sickly people, coughing, sneezing. Watery eyes, that sort of thing. I have a theory that when the haze strikes people seem to get more aggressive on the road. Perhaps its the heat that irritates the nerve endings in the brain but they do tend to facilitate near-death maneuvers on the road in an attempt to get to their destination quicker.

But at the end of the day, there's only one thing that resonates in my mind.

It was 37 degrees out.

But how could it be?

I remembered when I was young my mom's car had a stick on thermometer in the car. It was one of those plastic ones with the mercury level in the centre that you just stick with the supplied double sided mounting tape on your car's A-pillar, and everyday we'd check to see how hot the day was. I remembered that once it touched 30 we'd be complaining about how hot the car is, and before we get in we're water the car, literally. If we take that into consideration, that would mean that our climate has increased nearly 1 degrees Celsius yearly, more rapidly over the recent years.

Which doesn't make any sense, because by the time I reach 50 we'd all have to live in climate-controlled enclosures because its gotten too dangerous to even step out and smell the fresh air. What fresh air? We would be entirely dependent on nanoclusters to refine the air we breathe. Have we progressed so quickly? Development can take place rapidly but restoring nature will definitely lag behind indefinitely no matter how concerned a few organizations get. Humans react as a whole entity so unless something is killing or affecting us by the masses only then will something be done. But isn't decisions like that to change the mindsets of people be left best to the leaders of the masses? Such is a terrible loss for one not to posses a gift of foresight.

Welcome to our future. I do need another bath.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

The Zen of LRT

To discover one's own self, balance must be sought. To discover balance, you must first seek your fears, and live, and relive them until they disappear.

That is the wisdom of self discovery.

Every force has a counter-force. Every direction has an equal and opposite direction. This force of the other side must be realized before one's true strength can be developed.

Always be aware of your surroundings. The wise will be observant and yet discreet. Commit to memory the faces you see, the colors and the scents, for you never know when trouble will strike. This is the art of awareness.

Once you have mastered the above techniques, your skills will quickly develop, your senses will greatly be enhanced, and you will be vastly knowledgeable about life and death, right and wrong, darkness and light, standing and falling.

Only then can you laugh at the other passengers trying to remain at peace with themselves as they find themselves fluttering all over the cabin like peas in a can, while you stand motionless, feet rooted firmly to the ground you stand without the support of the handle straps that hang above infected with the bacteria of a hundred men.

And only then, will you have achieved the Zen of the LRT.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Falling 12 feet

What is 12 feet? Merely 3.65 metres.

Perched up on top of the attic that's still under construction I begin to wonder about my initial fear of heights. Walking on plywood boards and the fear of falling through them and breaking a kneecap, or hitting my head on one of the support beams before falling thru and breaking a kneecap is quite prominent. I would've felt better if it was much higher, then at least I would be sensible enough to wear a harness of some sort, which is why my stand that skydiving is relatively safe, still stands. Its this in-between heights that are the deadlier ones. You know you won't die, but run a great risk of being in great pain - all a matter of how you choose to land, that's all.

Then there's the question of, why do you even want to fall? As long as you keep your legs still and step surefootedly where its safe, then the risk of falling is minimal, not unless you account for the loose sand/cement that will alleviate the slip. The only way to really get over the fear is to revisit it, over and over again. Even then you never really get over it, but you're more in control of it. We all have fears of our own, its just a question of understanding it, and learning from it.

I stood there for the longest time that day, looking down at the ground below. I didn't feel like I quite belonged there yet. But I knew that its not going to be as challenging for long, once they put a proper stairs and the railings and flooring comes in, it'll be safe again. We take safe for granted sometimes.

In other news, I'm suddenly sold on an ATV, or all terrain vehicle. What will I use it for? Why, I don't know...what won't I use it for?

Thursday, June 23, 2005

The Motorola HF850

After a routine round at the gym yesterday, I instinctively headed towards the juice bar for a regular wheatgrass shot, only to find that there were none. Perhaps it was in due course that the popularity of its health benefits would soon take its toll on the scales of supply and demand, but I had already foresaw that from the beginning.

The shop beside it though, sold accessories. I'd read the papers in the morning that material things do not buy happiness, and wondered what all the fuss was since I had nothing left to buy anyway. At least for now, it was then that it struck me. For someone who has nothing to buy I sure do have a long 'get stuff' list. And lo and behold, as they might have used centuries ago, lay the Motorola HF850.

Not everyone knows what this device is, or what it is capable of. Few in the industry have even heard of its existence. But I began a personal search for it many days and moons ago. Sure you had to put up with strange stares and persistent sales people trying to sell you an entirely different product because they were programmed to do just that, sell you stuff. The thing about marketing and sales people are if they were good, that meant they can sell you anything, whether you need it or not. And if you couldn't find what you wanted, they'd sell you something else. Sometimes they don't even know what they're selling, but they wing it anyway.

The HF850 is actually a car handsfree kit. As opposed to the ear handsfree kit that seems to be quite popular these days. 'Em late adopters. I figured that realistically I only use a handsfree in the car, and talking with the supposed 'handsfree' function on the phone seems pretty strange. If your hands are supposed to be free then why are you holding the phone in the first place? A lot of laws imposed on us creates this whole new generation of features that simply doesn't make sense, but was created to abide by the law. How is talking while holding the phone going to cause any less accidents than if you held it to your brains?

On the box it says 'Professional installation required'. I opened the box to be presented with various components and wires of different colors in a dazzling array of electronical gadgetry. I love this kinda stuff, but at first glance it overwhelmed me. Reading through the manual and corresponding it to the car manual to check only strengthened my suspicion that yes, I can do it myself. But yet I was not confident. I wasn't a certified electrician. So I sought professional help.

The first stop was at the wiring technician that I know. He took a look at it, and said that it wasn't his thing. So I engaged in a rather deep conversation about Amperage, and fuses, and electrical wiring. We ran a couple of what-if scenarios, and I came out that little bit smarter. Apparently I could've done it myself, and wing it because the packaged wires came with individual fuses in case fools like me decide to hook it up to the wrong outlet.

Second stop was at the audio specialist, and the routine repeated itself. They questioned their abilities too, I think, but I had a fairly good idea what to do. The young lad who would undertake this task flipped through the manual, and lost himself halfway through. I said lost, not to be confused with immersed, for confused he was. So I broke it down to him, I need you to hook up these 3 wires to the ground, the ignition, and the constant fuse on the car. Only 3 wires, I said in the best cantonese I could muster. I knew he'd done this hundreds of times but after he started work on it only then did I realize he was wondering what on earth he was hooking up to my car. He did everything that I imagined I'd do. Its strange isn't it? To want to place blame on someone if they screwed it up, but the other way of looking at it was, I simply brought it to the store to assemble, and I knew what needed to be done. Whether they screwed it up, with or without my research before that, would have been irrelevant as someone would still be held liable, wouldn't it?

And so it was. Now my car has wires running all over the front, and I'm happy. Why? The technicalities are figured out, thats why. All I have to do now is to secure the various components, tie up some loose ends, conceal as much wiring as I can and I'm good to go. The controls for this kit is so small, so well designed that I want to just look at it. It seems to be the case with almost any new thing I buy. Does that mean happiness? Well, I am happy. So I guess money does buy happiness.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Destiny's little hands

The air swirled with a nasty addiction, with every swirl the echoes of abstinence. I sat there looking at the world I chose to leave behind and progress forward but at the same time curious of its current development. We never really leave. We merely relocate, but yet we are the same.

Its this similarity that drives us to make the same decisions each and every time albeit in different forms but essentially they are the similarly themed ones. Every time. Its like a bad dream that one can only dream about running away from but don't know how.

Method; derived from various sources, self-help books, know-it-all friends, or the occasional cynical one would offer suggestions on how you always should make the other choice. Its perhaps the only way they stay in business, by telling you why the other option is the better one. Sometimes it makes me sick reading about people's opinions on life. My life especially, or the lives of people around you. People seem to have such colorful descriptions on life! While mine is forever looped in a faded technicolor that seems to be making a comeback. Its so pretty to look at sometimes, I can stare at it forever, even though it may just be an imaginary technicolor loop.

My fingers shivered at the thought of tying up loose ends. Some things were better left in their vegetative state but what I am not one of them. Perhaps it was due to my naturally carnivorous personality that I wouldn't allow it to become so. The origin of meat, in any form whatsoever; diced, sliced, minced, sauteed, broiled, fried, comes from the a live source. The more backtracking you do, the more you become vegetarian. I have my vegetarian states at various points in my life. Its funny how weak I get, its not even really funny and you just want to bite into a cow. Maybe that would be a bad idea, I heard they smell pretty lurid.

250 minutes to go before it'll happen. When you think about your life in terms of time, it seems to become more significant. Every second wastes away in decadent thoughts as you wonder what your next minutes will be spent doing what where. When faced with a difficult crossroad no trigonometry professor will be able to solve, the wisest decision will come from a fool, who will tell you to 'get off the damn intersection' coz you're holding up traffic.

If a fool makes sense, then what of me? I ponder as I gracefully sidestep into the darkness. For what lies beyond may not make much sense to me now. What of fate? and what of destiny? If we altered our fate by taking chances, would it lead us closer to our destiny?

real Bat

Like many little boys, I'd always been fascinated with Batman. Perhaps it was the epitome of mystery and the fact that most little boys had at one point or another, wanted to be the world's greatest detective, and look cool doing so. But times change and eventually these little boys grow up to be men, and the question here is, how do you keep the idea and fascination of Batman alive, years later?

It is here that Batman Begins shines brightly. Set in realistic Chicago as Gotham city, it is a far cry from the cheap amusement park sets of the earlier Batman movies that we've loved at that time. The new Batman is dark, gritty, and most of all, real. There were doubts in my mind about how Christian Bale was to pull off the role of Batman, but he does it marvellously. I remembered at one point I thought Michael Keaton was the best Batman ever, and Val Kilmer was not nearly as good, but this is by far the best performance ever.

Its surprising for a long movie that I haven't encountered moments of boredom due to its lengthiness as the storyline flows rather nicely, and at least the relationship between Katie Holmes' and Bale's character is solid and believable. The fact that she figures out that Bruce Wayne is Batman is a plus point from the usual Hollywood horsing around that leaves me sick and frustrated. Point to note was Spiderman with his wimpy 'I love you but I can't tell you because I want to protect you' nonsense. Then again I have little tolerance for petty behaviors, the worst being Frodo's whiny, 'Oh I can't go on...its so difficult.' Makes me wanna smack him, and Spiderman.

And finally, without giving too much details away, the Batmobile looks like something I'd make. Ok, well, design. It's furious, its tough and it'll run over things and destroy everything in it's path. That's real good fun! Finally they make something that you'd say, 'Man, I wish I had one of that,' because every element in the movie was created with realism in mind, so everything from the Batsuit to the cool metal Bat shurikens to the Batmobile can actually be in production if you have the time, money or effort, that itself captures the enduring spirit of Batman.

I just wish I can see the technical drawings and specs of the Batmobile, I wonder how many horses it has under the hood, though.

Friday, June 17, 2005

the Kyuri protocol

I'm in one of my cooking moods now, and yesterday I went grocery shopping. I've always liked grocery shopping, with due emphasis on freshness, of course. Stale produce makes for dull dishes. As I only had limited time I really have to rush for most of my shopping since most of the time is needed for preparations. It was there that there was a Kyuri promoter, a somewhat elderly lady promoting fresh produce.

Kyuri is a Japanese cucumber, its much smaller, dark green in color, and has a creamy taste that is very unique, and great for salads, since it has a soft, crunchy texture. So the promoter said, 'Do you want to try some Kyuri?' referring to the samples on the pedestal. I said, 'No thanks, I already bought some,' in Cantonese.

I don't know if she saw it in my basket or not, but she went on and on about the goodness of Kyuri, and I basically said, 'Yeah, I know. It has a crunchy, creamy texture, its very good.'

Then she asked in Cantonese, 'Uh, are you a chef?'

I suppose I am, since I'm cooking. But my culinary skills are just because I happen to be in front of the stove at that particular point of time. Just as how if you get behind the wheel, and somebody asks you, 'Are you a driver?' yes, I suppose I am. But my guess was that there weren't many, well, any males for that matter, of my age doing grocery shopping at that time, or at any time for that matter, now that it's been brought to light.

So I stood there for a few seconds pondering about the paradox of that question, and replied, 'Nah, I'm just cooking for myself.' She replied with a slightly amused, 'Well, that's a good practise.'

But I should have replied, 'Someday, I will be.'

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

BLVK announces new products!

BLVK Carpentry today announces the development of 4 new products; Sunset, xJoint:beta, glsQb, and caché.

Production of Sunset and xJoint:beta has been successfully completed and they are currently being tested for quality while glsQb is awaiting new materials and project caché is still at its design stage.

Sunset is currently being tested in highly aquos environments to test its resilience towards water. Created using 1.5" thick Selangan Batu boards, it utilizes cross and stopped housing joints and is designed initially as a bath rack, but it was constructed so sturdily that it could also be used as a stool. The idea was to create a simple design so that only the essentials go on top whilst the lesser used items go on the rack beneath. Anything that is extra is deemed to be unnecessary. Sunset essentially eliminated a whole bag of toiletries that I haven't used in years.

xJoint:beta is a test project that incorporates a custom F-groove joint that is extremely tedious to fabricate. Its design is derived from the traditional Japanese groove joint and the Indian joint methods. I fused both methods into one simple design and wondered if it would work. xJoint:beta is the result of that test and it turned out to be fabulously sturdy, which will eventually be used in a myriad of other BLVK projects as the base structure of choice.

glsQb is currently awaiting new materials so when that occurs I'll start on it. Otherwise the drawings and measurements are already done. Yes, it's 'glass cube'.

Project caché is the most exciting development along the line. caché is French for 'hidden' and that is the basis for the entire project. Material acquisition is almost complete except for a few accessories. I hope that it'll be available soon, there had been nearly 3 major revisions ever since the initial drawing, and I expect that there'd be more. I'm not proceeding with it yet because I think that it can still be improved.

Finally, the look for BLVK Gallery changed today with standardized product buttons instead of the irregularly shaped wireframe models previously. Many more products will be released in the next few months so stay tuned!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Intel Macs??

Its disheartening to think that in about 12 month's time Apple will no longer be using its PowerPC chips and the slew of Intel based processors will be running the show. Apple has so far sold its products by design and performance, which was generated by the PowerPC chips. Its interesting to me that on their websites they do benchmark tests over their rival Intel-based CPUs and now they are switching instead.

At the WWDC 2005 Keynote address when this was announced. Silence.

Is this a good idea? Steve Jobs has a gift of foresight, and independant thinking. Perhaps we can't see it, or perhaps we are shutting off. But the real deal is that Apple has created a community, that some have labelled as a 'cult thing'. That could be true, and cults are pretty much fanatics. Worse if the lack sense of humor.

And talking about sense of humor, it was indeed funny that Jobs used an Intel-based CPU running OS X to do his presentation, and despite the initial shock of the Intel transition, it went pretty well, actually. The process of switching means that applications has to be recompiled in XCode, and with the latest version of XCode, it is possible to compile a universal binary that runs on both PowerPC and Intel processors.

Creating a universal binary may be simple for developers. But will it be enough to convince Mac loyals that it isn't really a big issue? My guess is with Apple's design and marketing team, that won't be a problem at all.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Belt clip

I recently got a belt clip that came with the phone. Its pretty handy, that the phone isn't swishing in my pockets all the time. Then I thought...what if I got a belt clip for my PDA as well? Wouldn't that be handy!

Then I figured I might as well use the belt clip for the digital camera too!

Just for kicks, I might even be sporting a walkie talkie, via belt clip of course.

Man, I need a bigger waistline.


I recently discovered a cool (expensive, but cool) thing called LifeLogger. You can view mine at This service allows you to post lifelogs via MMS thru your mobile (or email coz its cheaper. Cheapskate), so it sorta documents your life, with a picture and a one liner. Its interesting I guess. For now the space is unlimited, so you can post as much as you want.

Standard messaging rates apply.

Friday, June 03, 2005

amo il mio blk v3

I love my black v3.

After the whole fiasco with the Sony Ericsson P910i (its not necessarily a bad phone, it just wasn't good enough). I had it switched with the Motorola Black V3, at a massive loss of course. But was it justified? I waited a week to fully test the product inside and out (well, mostly out) for an unbiased, ethical, and practical review. The answer, is yes.

Finish: Anodized Aluminium
Internal Memory: 5MB
Colour: Black
Dimensions (h x w x d - mm): 98 x 53 x 13.9 mm
Size (cc): 65
Weight (g): 95
Internal Display: 176 x 220 pixel, Up to 260k TFT dispaly with ATI Graphic Accelerator, 9 Lines of Text
External Display: 96 x 80 pixel, 4k CSN

Like most people, or perhaps its just me, I whip out a ruler to check on the measurements. Perhaps its the tradesperson in me to visually verify the measurements on everything, but it doesn't compare to how well implemented the size is. If you want to talk about thin, this phone is thin, but of course there are smaller, slimmer phones out there, but none would have the quality and finish that the V3 is made of.

When I held it for the first time, all without its plastic wrapping, you can feel the texture of the aluminium, and in black, at that. Of course to everyone else it may just be a black phone, but the process of sputtering the color to this material is a complicated process few would understand, and most would underestimate. The end result is what they call a 'soft touch' finish. The contrast of black and chrome is perfectly implemented, and just like love, you hold it cautiously, and at the same time afraid that it'll go away (stolen, actually). I held it for the first time and admired this work of art for a good 10 minutes, well, I wasn't counting, but if I said 30 minutes I'd sound like an obsessive compulsive freak, right? Right?

It was 10 minutes.

Anyway, I was pleasantly greeted with a clear, bright LCD inside, which was to be expected. The resolution isn't great, but its not like you're viewing any hires photos on it anytime soon. The menu system has improved vastly over the V66 that I had, which I still like if they only made the screen more visible and fixed the ultra-confusing menu system. I found the bug fixes in the V3, so the menus were at last, logical, and usable.

When you talk about something being stupid, it mostly relates to something that doesn't work, or doesn't make sense. Some reviews I read noted the 'stupid' phonebook system where every entry is separate for the same name, as compared to Nokia or SE where one name has multiple entries. Its just a different way of working around it, and they have fixed it, well, kinda, with the Primary number feature, so for one name, only one primary contact will be shown, unless you wanna dig deeper, which is fine for me, since one person should only have one number anyway (g). Its a different way of working it out, but not stupid. If you look into it some more you'll figure out why. They're using a CSV tab delimited format, so when you backup your phonebook it saves it as an Excel readable file, and there is no way you can save it in this format if you are going to employ some complicated multiple number tagging system for one name. Enough rambling.

The first problem started when I couldn't send SMS out. It kept saying failed, and there was no indication that it was sent, unless you go to outbox, and check individually the status of the messages (or look at the status icons). I remembered a reviewer who said something along the lines of (stupid phone, cannot even send sms, so expensive and cannot perform basic function, I returned it after a week). I started to doubt myself. Had I made a mistake? Was it true? Has my hastiness...consumed me? Of course it hasn't, there is a setting in the SMS that indicated if you want to 'Use GPRS' for SMS, I turned it on when I got the phone, thinking that my SMS can be sent faster (yes, silly am I), and so I turned it off and it was fine.

Second problem was I couldn't send phonebook contacts like my Z600. Which was a hassle coz ppl call me up and ask me for numbers all the time, and I'll say, ok I'll sms it to you. I can't do that now. One other problem people tend to have is they say that they can take photos, but there is no way of sending it out except for MMS or Email. That is not true. I have successfully transferred stuff via Bluetooth, and via the PC with no problems. Read the manual! Its just done differently.

Charging is done via a mini USB cable that is provided. It's like any generic mini-USB cable so wherever you have a USB port you *could* charge your phone. I think. Well I charged it with my PC but I'm not sure if you need drivers to be installed so that you can charge your phone. I'm not a techie or anything aight. Battery is superb. Battery for the first day lasted a full 24 hours of intense Bluetoothing(?), syncing phone book, transferring photos, making calls, receiving calls, using handsfree, playing games, opening flip, closing flip, taking photos, taking videos. Yes. 24 hours. Now the next charge lasted me 2 days or fairly normal use. Ok, so the third charge, I turned down the screen brightness to '2', and turned off the screensaver and anything that might suck battery. I left Bluetooth on, though. And after 3 days the battery was still full. (???) I reset the phone just in case the battery meter was acting crazy. Still full. But it can't be. So last night I recharged it again just in case coz its gonna be a busy weekend. But could the battery be that good? Was I hallucinating? At any rate it was better than my P910i that was begging to be charged before the day ended, and I had to turn down the screen to 40% even. Sigh. Good riddance.

My complaint was also in the memory department. 5mb is not enough! But enough for photos and taking some more photos (try the camera function, its pretty cool. Decent VGA photos), but not for MP3 ringtones. I would've liked more, but I think I would've put too much crap in it anyway. My P910i had a 512mb memory stick and I had difficulty finding the right song for the ringtone. Then I figured that people don't like to be kept waiting so realistically I only hear the first 10 seconds of the song, which doesn't make sense. I decided that if I wanted to listen to songs I'll turn on my iPod, not wait for someone to call. Therefore 5mb is...*sigh* enough.

After a week, I have to say, that despite its shortcomings, the fact that they managed to squeeze this much technology into this marvel, the fact they used alternative materials on a phone, the ingeniuity of the chemically etched keypad, which upon closer inspection, really is a work of art with the clear EL backlighting, the bright screen, and good speakerphone (at first I thought the bottom part was the battery, its actually a speaker), the long lasting battery, just the whole feel of it, makes it a very good package, and a very good phone.

Just don't drop it. Aircraft-grade aluminium doesn't mean that it should fly.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Urban parking

The problem with Autopay machines is that its not really auto when you're the one doing all the work.

Did you know that we have one of the most advanced currency notes in the world? When you talk about vertical index number printing or security strips, or polymer notes to prevent forgery, we are way ahead if you would compare it to say, the US Dollar.

Autopay machines.

Created because life exists outside the collecting booth.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Signs of disturbance

I always knew that there was something about me that was different. There are times when I know that I am going nuts - when I feel mentally unstable, but it seemed more apparent a few days ago.

For a long time I had my suspicions of seeing things that I thought existed but they actually didn't. Perhaps they moved, perhaps the world was playing a huge practical joke of moving things about so I thought I saw them but when I turned around to check they moved away and snickered at their successful attempt to mess with my mind.

About a few weeks back I had my suspicions on the KL Elevated Highway in Ampang that I frequent. Now, I know how many lanes there are, and what those lanes are for. We have your regular cash lanes, the Tough N Go lanes, and the SmartTag lanes. That's all well and clear. Until one day when I saw a Tambah Nilai lane, which would enable me to top up my Touch N Go card without getting my lazy ass out of the car. Now here's the best part. Since I missed it the first time, I told myself that the *next* time that I use the highway, I'll reload my card.

With cash in hand, I eagerly approach the toll gates on the next trip, 500 metres from the toll gates, I look desperately for the Tambah Nilai counter. I don't see it. I slow my truck to a crawl. Cash. Touch N Go. SmartTag. An uneasy feeling creeps up my spine. I distinctly saw that lane the last time. Had I been hallucinating? Am I seeing things all over again? More importantly, am I going crazy?

I drive out of the SmartTag lane very, very confused. I start to question myself. I start to question my sanity. I wonder if I really haven't been talking to anyone for that long.

On the way back from town, I approach the toll gates again, but now from the opposite side of the highway. Curiosity gets the better of me so as I exit the lane, I glance at the side mirror to check on the opposite side. On a small corner of the tiny mirror, I make out the ever shrinking the labels 'Tambah Nilai'. By the time I take a second look I've already passed it to be able to take another look. So do I trust a 2 second glance?

This would happen for about 5 times, leaving me mentally more disturbed than ever.

I almost wanted to ask the customer service downstairs. I ran the scenario in my head. I would walk into the counter, where it was always dim. I would ask, is there a reload counter on your toll booths? The woman would look up and say, 'Sir, we never had a reload counter on our toll booths outside. This is the only one.' (cue scary music). I decided that that would leave me more disturbed, so I never asked.

Not until the other day, as I passed by the SmartTag lane, I drove really slowly and looked back. Using all my brain processing power, I scoped the entire area, and it was then that I noticed something that I should've done at the very beginning. The sign that said 'Touch N Go Sahaja' had a pulley system on its side, and on the flip side, in reverse, was 'Tambah Nilai & Touch N Go'. I don't know if I was relieved, or angry, or happy. Well, I suppose the best word to describe what I felt was: Screwed.

Then I wondered - how can someone actually create a flipping sign? Where they flip it as and when they like?? Signs are supposed to mean something. They are permanent means to display information. If they wanted something that displayed seasonal information they would've used one of those digital boards where if they changed it it would be understandable.

At least now I know that my sanity is still intact after all. For now, at least.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Pedestal bleeder

against my will,
prod me onto a pedestal,
and bleed me dry,
as I dissolve into the background.

see my reluctance,
acknowledge my objections,
ignore my thoughts,
for what is important to you?

the act of embracing,
a global thought, a unified decision,
is impossible to orchestrate,
by myself.

as I drift away slowly,
consumed by illness,
weakened by prescription,
fading away into darkness.

lapsing in and out of consciousness,
I seem to think clearer,
balancing on a thin line,
wondering which end I'll collapse to.

my arrival at this station,
bears no regret, for I've done it all,
till I can do no more,
as the road ahead suspiciously masks itself.

but I tire of investigation,
for empathy requires strength I lack,
so fate, work quickly,
and time will no longer require management.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The quick thinking squirrel

It is reported that in adverse situations we tend to stall, as our brains try to grasp what is happening instead of reacting the very next moment. This is caused by a lack of information on what to do next, so we take a few moments to analyze the situation, ask for reassurance, before we can formulate a plan B. For many, these moments of analysis would be their last.

Taken from a Time magazine article 'How to get out alive', May 16, 2005, it reports that during the 9/11 attacks most people inside the building had sufficient time to escape via the fire exits, and stairs, but they froze in shock, trying to grasp what was happening, and seeking affirmation from one another, looking for what to do next. It seems that in moments of shock, we really sit there and do nothing. That is a scary thought to me, asking myself questions like 'what if...?'

We all have this belief that we can overcome any situation, that we are efficient, and better than other people, perhaps it is this mentality that encourages our ever worsening traffic, or perhaps it was the spirit of 'Malaysia boleh' that spurred this bad habit. But in real danger, are we the natural born leaders that these situations will call for?

In a split second, anything can happen that will change your life forever, but what if you had 60? What would you do in that minute? That's the real question here. Because split seconds, although notoriously prevalent in movies, has little impact in real life. Computer simulations are drawn to predict how a crowd would react in the face of adversity, therefore fire exits and escape systems are modeled according to these simulations so in case there is a fire, the people are given sufficient time to exit the building. But most people are in shock. 'What should I take with me?' or the ever popular 'Just stay where you are, things will be better soon.' It is interesting to me that people don't generally scream, as they do in movies, things just get serenely quiet, and people take a while to find out what to do next. But there is no screaming, no panic, just shock, and silence.

Perhaps we are all too carefree. Most people do not think of the consequences of their actions, or don't have the imagination for the what-ifs. People are too busy to generate scenarios in their heads, they rather think about ducks and daffodils. If you are sitting in the plane, it is better to know where the fire exits are, just in case you need to evacuate, because in the event you don't have this information, it is these precious seconds that you will need to analyze where you NEED to exit, and by that time, it may not even be relevant.

In an ever dangerous world we live in, it may not be wise to live in paranoia and fear, but it would be foolish to sneer at the step ahead. We all have an instinct to survive, using it is a good idea. A squirrel flees at the first sign of danger, hopping from one tree to the next. If a squirrel pauses a minute to look at his nuts and whether he should take 'em with him, that would be wrong, don't you think?

Monday, May 09, 2005

Keep it down, yeah?

Over the past 30 days I've been hearing the phrase '...the best thing since sliced bread' a lot. I don't know why that annoyed me a little, so I sat there and thought about it. What really is the big deal about sliced bread? To me it is doesn't even qualify as an invention at all. Bread has been a primary diet in European history since about 1000BC, the bread slicing machine was invented by Otto Frederick Rohwedder in 1928, well, he started work on it in 1912 but factories refused to use it because they were concerned the bread would go stale. So in 1928 he had this machine that sliced AND wrapped the bread. Big whoop.

If humans were able to live for over 900 years without sliced bread, what made this any different that references as one of the 'greatest inventions mankind has created'? Beer was brewed in ancient Egypt from about the same time bread was introduced as a significant part of food preparation, but you don't see people referencing items as 'the best thing since brewed beer'.

By placing as much significance on sliced bread when one shouldn't really be doing, it demonstrates our dependance on it, and really makes mankind appear weak. Oh no! We don't have sliced bread, surely we will perish!

Now if you don't have any beer, then you have a major crisis on your hands.

Friday, May 06, 2005

A refueling dream

I had a strange dream last night - could it spell the beginnings of a chain of dreams to come? I hope not.

The air was dense, damp, you could almost smell the musky odors of algae. I don't know where I am, but somehow in my dreams it always seems to be dark, as if I've been trapped in 18th century France forever. I was in a black shiny car. It was an old car, vintage by today's standards, but perhaps it was brand new at that time. I don't know. I just sat there looking through the windscreen. Nothing.

I looked around the vehicle. It was certainly very quaint. The dials and rudimentary instruments that indicate that each part was painstakingly handmade. The detailed leather trimmings and hand stitching was also evident. But what was I doing there? The car, just as I was, stood at a standstill. Were we looking for a place to go? Some sort of direction? Each awaiting the other to make the first initiative. I had no keys.

I felt the bottom of the steering column. It was cold steel. Perhaps it was an intuitive gesture in a feeble attempt to hotwire the car without the knowledge to do so. I plopped back into my seat after knowing that fact. I was strangely calm, I didn't feel as if I was trapped, nor did I feel anxious, or that I was rushing anywhere. I actually enjoyed just being in that place without direction.

The clouds of mist swept past the car as I stared blankly in front of the car through the windscreen. I could make out silhouettes of large colonial buildings but they were nondescript to say the least. Two friends appeared, one at the passenger seat, and one at the rear. I would think they were friends, chatting away whilst I remained silent. Then they started to dismantle the parts of the car. Within minutes what used to be the dashboard was a mess of exposed wires. I stepped out of the car.

It was cooler out, although 'fresh' would've been an overstatement. I was at some sort of petrol station. I opened the trunk at the back of the car and found a fuel handle. Curiously heavy, I lifted it and felt the tension of the fuel hose extend from the trunk. Strange. I pulled it out and walked to the right side of the car, bent down to look. The fuel cap was in the oddest location imaginable. It was below the rear bumper. I twisted the cap, and the feeling of metal rubbing against metal sent chills down my spine. I inserted the fuel nozzle into the hole while pondering about how strange it is that the car is refuelling itself, when at the back of me was a fuel kiosk. All this while the car was slowly being dismantled.

And about this time I woke up.

I looked out the window and its raining. I glanced at the clock. 5.30am. How perfect it is to return to sleep when the bed is at its most comfortable.

And so I did.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Spate of bad choices

For some strange karmaic reason I seem to have been making a spate of bad choices. What is it that would deprive me of my regular analytical good sense, I wonder? Have I been not sleeping well? Yeah. Have I not been eating well? Irregularly, but fairly well.

Disappointed with my new phone. How could I be so impulsive.

And now wondering what really is wrong with my bathroom. I could imagine it in my head, but, the longer I look at it, the more I want to do something about it. But what? I don't know where the problem begins, and where to fix it.

I keep wanting to go shopping too. What's wrong with me?!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Anxiety attack

Its a strange month, April. So many things seem to happen and yet there are moments that seem to slow things down to a point of boredom. It is these slow times that you tend to just keep quiet, and that's what I've been doing, keeping relatively quiet, relatively still.

You know that eventually one must come out of one's shell, meet different people, and do different things. Somehow I've been doing the same thing for the longest time. I can't complain, although it really does prevent me from doing anything new. The fact that I keep telling everyone I've been busy, its true. Finding it difficult to have time for myself even, I wonder why its a never ending streak of having something to do.

Last weekend was the first, in a long time, that I just sat at home, and did nothing. The idea bugged me at first, to wake up in bed, and not get off and do anything. I checked my PDA (now, phone), and Saturday was a blank. I could've filled it up as easily as I could've just laid there and do nothing about it. I chose the latter. So there I was, watching the ever growing stack of DVDs. Sleeping, napping, snacking, watching more movies. And then...when I woke up, it was 1.20pm. Apparently time didn't pass all that much from the time I woke to after I tried to relax. I resolved to try harder.

About 3 movies and more napping later, it was 6pm. By then I just felt sick, I couldn't find my centre of gravity as I felt like I floated around the house, looking for dinner. I hate that feeling, like you aren't rested and just being unproductive all day. I was reliving my college years, how sad was that!

So this weekend will be different. Go out and do something. Its just this anxiousness that I can't get rid off for some reason or other. I don't exactly know what it is. I can't seem to focus, like I'm expecting something big to happen. I don't know what that is at the moment, but I know something is. I've been trying to trace the root of this problem, is it because I attended 2 funerals? Is it because I might be overspending again? Have I filled my income tax forms correctly? Or, how do I even begin to fill up the enterprise census forms in time? All the way to the feeling of, what if the house I'm designing turns out...bad?

The thing is I'm accustomed to making the best use of limited resources, or limited spaces within the means or budget allocated. But when you hand be a blank canvas, and I have to create something that will hopefully be error free, the depth and level of thought and analysis required just increases tenfold because I'm not fixing people's mistakes, I am creating mistakes and hopefully I can fix them in time before they build it. Mistakes cost money, and budget isn't allocated for mistakes. Why then, you'd ask, are you thinking so much? Why don't you just relax?

Everyone tells me to relax. I do that too when I run out of things to tell someone who's stressed. Its perhaps the ultimate answer to every crisis. Relax! Be cool! The problem is the moment I relax, I become unproductive, and start popping DVDs in the player like ngan yin groundnuts. Scary thought, ugly sight.

Reasons - or goals are important. It helps you focus and gives you something to look forward to. Most of us constantly tell ourselves, yeah we have a goal. But its there at the back of the head, not something that's driving us to make the decisions we're making, or do the things that we do. That's my mistake, and when someone or something suddenly re-highlights this very important fact (my re-highlighting episode lasted approximately 5 minutes), life becomes clearer. Work has reason. And stress is the fuel that keeps me going.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

In memoriam

Cake. That's the only thing that crosses my mind briefly before it slowly becomes a fuzzy memory...

I remember a photo of me, a few years old, a scrawny little boy with a big smile, eating cake with my aunt, with a spoon. Everyone was happy, everyone was smiling. I remember the last time I saw the photo it had a yellow tinge from discoloration. I suppose that's how old photos are supposed to look like.

She's always liked me, mostly because I was the only boy in the family who will carry forward the family name. So I was at least, important. I used to cook then too, I made burgers and there was a time I made lasagne...and I didn't even cook the sheets at all(well I was young and I didn't know), but she ate it anyway and said mm, that's crispy.

There was a period as well when she'd pick me up from school in her old, beat up Honda Civic. That's travelling 17km from PJ to KL just to send me back to my house on a 10 minute drive. I told her I could've walked but she insisted anyway. I didn't know why I felt embarassed. I guess I was too influenced by the crowd or something, but I shouldn't have been. Was I feeling like that because it wasn't necessary? Or was it because I felt out of place heading back in that old white car? As much as I hate to admit it, it was the car. But when you're that young you don't recognize effort. Somehow the things your 'friends' say have more effect. Then you spend your whole life making up for your stupidity.

As time passed by, she recessed into her own life a lot more. She was a private person, similarly like my character, didn't really like people getting close to her. But towards the end she didn't pick up her phone so it was very difficult to contact her, lest meet up for coffee. The last time I saw her we went for dinner just down the road from her house. She looked a lot older than the previous time I saw her, and some sadness in her eyes that I couldn't explain. But generally she seemed happy to see me. We had dinner, chatted about my life and the things I wanted to do. And she'd tell me that she hopes I can find a nice girl to settle down with one day. I never knew why that was important to her but it seems clearer now. It really was important. The saddest thing is that she won't live to see it.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

2 Days in Bangkok

There is much to like about Bangkok, from its modern Skytrains, the thoughtful Skywalk to the simple 25baht a meal by the sidewalk. I was there on a time limit, with the thought of either kicking back to relax or to explore as much as possible. Strangely enough, I managed to do both.

Exploring is one of the many interesting habits that one can pick up in a foregin land, along with learning the language and observing your surroundings, it allows you to come within close proximity to the lifestyle and the people. But of course as a foreigner, one must always be prepared to pay a lot more, for a lot less. But our mindsets are such that in retrospect we tend to convert to our local currency and think 'ah! This is cheap!'.

One thing I learnt this trip was...'You can always get cheaper!' You do this with a few methods. One is the theory of halves. This means that whatever the price has been quoted to you, half it and work from there until you come to a satistactory price. Its even better if you can speak a little Thai. The second method, is just to walk. I went to the market at Chathuchak and thought that some of the handicraft were way cheaper than the ones in the city, but as I walked into the market, the deeper inside you went, the cheaper it became, up to a point where you don't even want to be bothered to ask for a discount, even though you could. But of course I did! The market is unlike any I've seen, you want food? Drinks? Wood craft? Lamps? Pets? Pet food?? Just go to the market.

Massages are one of the more well known things you can experience. Traditional Thai massages stretch the muscles, your spine, and your acupunture pressure points. When you get out of it you'll go 'huh...' and wonder what really happened, but you're going to feel much better later in the day. This you can find at about 250baht, where I think in KL nobody will even touch you for 250baht.

Of all the things that is Bangkok the scariest of all was...the tuk tuk. Its funny how annoying they are, and rides range from 20baht to 100baht, depending on how desperate you are. In the middle of the night when you really want to get back, its 100baht, naturally. And they're CRAZY. You're just hanging on the dear life while they laugh at your incompetence. Yes of course they can laugh because they can always jump out from either side in case anything happens. And of course the next day we found out that for 100baht you can get a taxi to send you to the hotel. A nice, safe, Corolla Altis, for the same price. But again we the middle of the night, tuktuk drivers can sense desperation.

Its a beautiful place, with equally stunning people. Would I go back? Of course I would...I haven't even finished shopping yet.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


I found wheatgrass shots!

When I was in Sydney it fascinated me that you could actually get fresh wheatgrass shots, not the powdered kind you're used to. Fresh wheatgrass contains all the vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids that are vital to the removal of toxins from your body.

Juiceworks is at the Curve, next to Watsons. Fitness first members get a 10% off. And doesn't hurt that they're all super friendly too.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Crossing borders

Last weekend I took a drive down to Johor. Pasir Gudang is a good 330km away, which doesn't look that far but when you are stuck in a major traffic jam due to an accident that really saps your energy and patience. The ordeal lasted about 2 hours, after which I had to continue another 2 hour drive to my destination.

As I was driving past the pile of twisted metal and cargo that ran into the ground, I can't help but wonder how these things can happen, even though we repeatedly witness and hear about these accidents. Don't people have it in their right mind to just listen for once, and tell themselves, man, I wouldn't do that shit if I was you. If only they said that, would our accident rates decline?

The story surrounding this accident was sketchy, and even the papers didn't give a full report, except that a couple were in the car, lost control and smashed into a lorry carrying logs. The driver and his wife died on the spot. I was about 100 metres away from the scene, and it was a straight road. How is it that you lose control, smash head on into a lorry causing it to overturn, on a straight road?

As I drove by keeping to my 110kmh as constant as I could and checking my side and rear mirrors for any incoming hell, I encountered a couple of speed demons with their Satrias, and another breed of drivers that, for some strange reason will not let you get in front of them, even though they are driving a lot slower than the limit. Now this, is a major puzzling factor. You know how if you're keeping to 110, on the left lane and you approach this other car in front driving much slower, you will signal to the right, overtake and then get on your way. Now this driver, however, refused to admit defeat, and overtook me again. I was thinking, ok, fine just keep to the 110 limit. No. He would hover about...100? 90? Then I would have to overtake him again. This would happen a couple of times along a stretch of road. What gives?

Perhaps it is this sense of 'kiasu-ism' that causes us to lose concentration on the road. Its just simple courtesy, and knowing that the other person just wants to get to their destination safely, that should be the priority. And maybe then can we feel safer on the road, knowing that the term lose control does not refer to a person's mental state of mind, but the actual definition of an event that is beyond your control.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

The fluttering leaf

It feels like forever since I last seen those eyes,

of curiousity and slight puzzlement,

with every glance it delves deeper and deeper,

wondering who I am, and who you are.

Amidst the curiousity I began to find,

things I knew at the back of my mind,

but there would be no conclusion,

and I could go on forever, wondering.

Sometimes you know by the smell of the air,

sometimes you feel the breeze on your skin,

but yet you can't explain why,

how someone can suddenly appear,

and bring with them happiness,

that makes you feel alive again,

after dying a slow death for the longest time.

Just like a leaf in the breeze, swept away,

fluttering in the wind, not knowing the way,

braving the obstacles come what may,

till it settles down one day, forever it will stay.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

conversations with fate

Bleed me dry, till nothing runs from my veins,
till I am speechless as I run out of breath,
for I am exhausted beyond my means,
as every organ experiences death.

Why do you look at me,
so intently that I can see,
what you feel behind those eyes,
but yet be presented with lies.

Why do I bother,
when I don't really want to,
is it guilt one way or other,
why am I happy to hear from you?

Suppose it is better this way,
living our lives day to day,
trying not to go insane,
till next time we meet again.

Monday, February 21, 2005

a quick lesson in fate

Imagine being immersed in a state of hyper realism and yet everything seems to be at a standstill. I always thought that fate was something that was evidently in your control, since it is ultimately influenced by your choices, therefore each person controls his own so called 'fate'. Fate is not a coincidence as much as being in a higher state of awareness of the consequences of your actions by means of observation, empathy and emotional quotient.

Supposing you heard that a certain somebody is going to be someplace at a certain time and you make the effort to stage an appearance of your own, that would not be fate would it? It could be to the other person. In that instance, fate itself can be deceiving.

But what about the real kind of fate? The accidental coincidence, where the presented options are derived from the tiniest, most insignificant things you said and did, or didn't do. When you take a step back and take a hard look and marvel at the way events happened for a reason, would that be considered fate? Or are we drawn to the illusion of magic that perceptions are skewed and judgements are not trustworthy. But we like knowing the fact that these coincidences can happen. Its like winning the lottery, a rush of adrenaline.

Just that if you win the lottery you can buy more stuff with it.

Friday, February 18, 2005

messed up, enjoying it

The spicy aromas of leather and vanilla started to swirl the room as he lit his Siglo IV. With every draw the pleasure to burn increased tenfold as he watched the swirling smoke dance with the wind. It was calming, and the mind was at ease, at least for that brief moment.

Funny how things works out. You get what you want, but you may not want what you get. Life is an endless pursuit of happiness, an expedition to locate the meaning of life when life seems meaningless. It all seems meaningless now. Not necessarily the end, but the inability to trace the beginning, thus losing grip on the entire situation.

Ah, the champagne golden amber color reflecting through the light. If you look closely you can see that its swirling within its liquid state. Little strands, little swirls. It was as if the entire concoction was alive. Trapped amongst the cubes of ice, but flowing endlessly like there was no tomorrow. Ice cool, yet burning hot, like ravernous flames that destroys everything in its path, disguised as an object of desire. The nectar of the Gods.

Quit while I'm ahead..? But why should I?

Monday, January 31, 2005

Remember anything?

I always had a knack for forgetting stuff. Classically I can be holding a lot of stuff and then put my keys in my right pocket(its usually on the left), and 5 minutes later, spend another half an hour looking for my 'missing' keys.

Most of you might know that I have little or no recollection of much of my childhood stories. Its mostly a smattering of memories, but that is about it. I don't remember names, I hardly remember faces. I just remember the strangest something someone said, or something someone did. I have excellent recent-event memory, perhaps things from 3 years ago. Which is interesting because it becomes relevant most of the times.

Today I did an interesting Face memory test which can be found at, what this test does is they will show you 24 photos in 2 sets, these are photos of people, and then in the last set they will show you 48 photos, some are in the earlier sets, some aren't, and you have to remember from which set the face appeared in. Its fairly simple, and my results were quite surprising.

My recognition score was 100% (avg: 92%), and Temporal memory score was 91%(avg:68%). What I didn't remember correctly was just 2 faces in the wrong sets, that was all. Which meant that I actually remembered if I saw a face, and if I didn't see a face.

So I do remember stuff, I just need to put in a little more effort I guess. Which probably explains why sometimes I remember every single detail and sometimes I don't even remember if I'd been someplace at all. Another explanation is that my memory loss could be alcohol induced, in which case...I don't think its a bad thing after all since its not a physical defect on my part, its just substance abuse. Yay!