Monday, December 31

Reflections

Got tagged by Bakawali and Seademon.

1. How has 2007 been for you in a nutshell?
Delicious and exciting

2. Apart from your family members, name one person who has made you happy in 2007.
Lynn

3. Do you feel you are better off, or worse off, in 2007 than you were in 2006?
Definitely better, especially since I’m way better looking now than in 2006.

4. Where was the best holiday trip for you in 2007?
My best trip would be the two weeks Cambodia/Vietnam backpacking trip. But the most memorable one would be the Pulau Sembilan cruise.

5. Name two positive things that you have achieved in 2007
I look more like McDreamy now, have a sexual appetite that can rival McSteamy, and an innocence that is almost like McVet.

6. Name the best movie you saw in 2007.
This is a tough one. One of the best would be Stardust.

7. Name five friends that you have made in 2007.
Lynn, Khaz, Rahmat, Najib and Avhtar.

8. What New Year’s resolution for 2007 that you have not achieved?
To make my first million by the time I’m 30.

9. What would your New Year’s resolution for 2008 be?
To make the first million by the time I’m 31.

10. Name 3 people you would like to tag.
I’ll pass on this one.

Sunday, December 30

At a glance

It started off pretty slow and lame; I couldn’t even remember where I was on New Year’s Eve. Most probably at home, sleeping, as I did the previous year. January was a breeze, filled with mundane activities and work and basketball. Come to think of it, the first 6 months were like that, with nothing much happening to excite me.

The second half of the year was much better. I managed to squeeze in a few trips in between work, met new and wonderful friends, and finally got over my disappointment of a failed relationship from a year ago. Yes, it has been a long and arduous journey, but every journey is a self-discovery, and I have discovered a lot about myself that I was unaware before.

But mostly, I have learnt that you can be sad and miserable and depressed all your life if you want to, but you can also be happy, cheerful and optimistic about life.

It’s all about the choices you make in life.

And I will always remember this year fondly, as I believe it is a start to something meaningful and precious in my years to come.

Let’s end it in a high.

Saturday, December 29

A hundred

I have been reading blogs for a very long time, and I have always imagined myself writing one. But I wasn't sure at first, because I was afraid that I couldn't commit myself to it. To me, there is no point in having one and only updating it once in 6 months.

But then, a friend (whom I refuse to mention here because I wasn't mention in her acknowledgement page for her thesis - yes, I am still bitter about it!) kept on pestering me and went so far to create this blog for me, and I have not looked back eversince. There is always things to write and share, and I'm glad that I've started it.

I think it wasn't that hard for me, because I have always kept a diary and wrote in it whenever I have the time. Of course, it's easier then, because I can write anything and anytime I want. But with blogs, I need to be online (and not having the facility at home means I am now a frequent cyber cafe visitor) and I can't simply write anything. Private matters should still remain private.

But with blogging, there is always opportunity to make new friends, and with that alone as a reason, I am glad that I started to blog. Not only do I get to make new friends, I also get to try new things, go to places that I never imagined of going before, and dine at places I never know existed before.

This is my 100th post. And I hope there will be more to come. I'm sure there will.

Thank you for sticking by.

Friday, December 28

Interlude (5)

“I know you’ve been looking for love, that you’re hoping for love,” she said.
“I’m not looking for love,” he told her, while staring into her deep brown eyes.
“I’ve already found love.”

With that, he left her there, on the bed; letting his words sink into her guarded heart.

“He’s in love with me,” she suddenly realized.

Thursday, December 27

Thursday teaser

It’s time for another brain teaser, but first of all, here are the answers for the previous one.

  1. Philip. They would sit in this order: John, Philip, Sally, and Gerald.

  2. 26 minutes

  3. 240

  4. He said, “I will be shot.” If he were shot, it would be the truth, and if they hanged him it would be a lie. So they set him free.

  5. Every month has 28 days.

Congratulations to Bakawali and Najibest for getting 4 out of 5 correct answers. Prizes should be in your mailbox in 2 weeks times.

Now, for another round of questions.

  1. You are at a meeting at which there are only liars and truthtellers. A woman comes up to you and says that the chairman of the meeting told her he was a liar. Is she a liar or a truthteller, and how do you know?

  2. A man goes to visit his friend thirty miles away. He doesn’t mind speeding, so he travels at 60 miles per hour and arrives in half an hour. On the way back, however, he has a little trouble with his car, and it takes him an hour to reach home. What was his average speed for the round trip?

  3. You have just tossed a coin that has come up heads for the tenth time in a row. What is the probability that it will come up heads the next time?

  4. What word, when you add additional letters, becomes smaller?

  5. Paul usually beats Patty at croquet, but loses to Joe. Tom wins most of the time against Patty, and sometimes against Paul, but cannot beat Joe. Who is probably the worst player?

Well, good luck!

Wednesday, December 26

It's too late to apologize

They have been friends for more than 7 years. The best of friends. He was always there for her, and she for him. He was there when she went through a bad relationship and felt depressed after her break up for a year. And she was there when his mother passed away and left a void in his life.

Their friends thought there was something going on between them. It's impossible, they said, for two people of the opposite sex to be so close together and not having a relationship. But he always insisted that they were like brothers and sisters. Nothing more than that. If there was anything going on between them, they really hid it well.

Of course, there were always moments where things might just happened between them. Like the time a few years back when they went for a trip together to an island, and they were caught in the heat of the moment, walking down the beach and enjoying the warm breeze from the sea. He glanced at her and thought she never looked so beautiful, and she was thinking in her mind what would it feel like to taste his lips. And their lips brushed that day, but they both withdrawn at the same time, blushing overly red and bumbling over apologies.

And there was the time when she came over to his bachelor's pad, and he was clad in his towel when he opened the door, and she thought he looked so sexy and hot, and she leaned towards him just to get a whiff of his odour.

And now, he was dating her best friend. She was okay with it at first, but after a while, she noticed the things that she miss by not telling him how she really felt. Like how he always whisper secretly to his girlfriend, and how he always squeezed his girlfriend's shoulder when she was feeling down.

And when he told her that he was going to propose to his girlfriend, she knew that this was the time. She had to tell him, she had to let him know. And she did.

He didn't say anything to her after her confession. Instead, he walked away. The week after, he and his girlfriend parted ways, because he told the girlfriend about what happened, and she, being a good friend to the girl, asked for the break. He was devastated, for he really loved her.

He was confused. He had always like the girl, always loved her, but not in the capacity of what she wanted. Is he going to lose the two girls that he really cared about, his true love and his best friend?

Things will never be the same again. He knew that. And she knew it too. Somehow, whatever they had before, was broken. And as he explained it to her, he saw her tears flowed freely down her cheeks.

"It is but a shadow and a thought that you love. I cannot give you what you seek."

Monday, December 24

A bladderful of burden

It was unbearable. Sitting at the back of the bus, I squirmed and tapped my foot impatiently. The bus had only been on the road for 5 minutes, and I was already fidgeting. I crossed my legs every now and then, trying to keep myself distracted long enough to forget about the problem at hand.

Looking at the scenery outside didn't help either. There were traces of flooding everywhere, and at certain places, there was still water on the ground. Yellow muddy water. The ones that you wouldn't want to step into. Who knows what lies underneath?

The next exit was still 30km away. I wasn't sure if I could hold that long. I suddenly thought of my water bottle in the bag. Sure, there was still some water inside, but I could empty the bottle and slowly refill it. But to do it inside a bottle, now that would be a challenge. At least I was at the back of the bus, sitting on a single seat. The man next to me across the aisle was sleeping, and the pretty lady in front of me won't notice at all. All I need was to be discreet, and quiet. But I have never done this before, and what if it overflows?

The roadside. I can always ask the driver to stop temporarily and run down and do it by the roadside. But it was daylight, and the highway was packed with motorists. But at this moment, does it matter? I was on the verge of exploding, and now my fists were clenched tightly as I tried to keep my bladder in check.

15km away to the next stop. I can do this. I can wait another 15km. But I need to distract myself. I know, I should think of something sexy. Something stimulating. Like a naked Beyonce or Rihanna. But I just can't concentrate. Beyonce suddenly turned watery, and Rihanna was holding an umbrella walking under the rain. That didn't help at all.

10km. Calm down. Close your eyes, you can do this. Just a little bit more. I was now sitting very still, for any single movement might just triggered it out. Maybe a little pain might distract me enough, so I started to bite my fingers. Okay, that didn't help at all.

5km more. So close, yet so far away. The bus is now travelling at a constant speed. It shouldn't take long now. My legs were now shivering. And as another signboard flashed by, stating the next rest stop is a further 2km away, I jumped up and walked to the front. I begged the bus driver to stop at the next incoming stop. The driver just grunted, and I sat there next to him. Almost there, almost there. And as the bus swerved to the left, I said a silent prayer. The door was only halfway open when I jumped down and walked as fast as I could to the toilet.

And I have to say, it was the best 5 minutes ever. I stood there at the urinal, sighing and enjoying myself tremendously, glad that I finally managed to empty my full bladder. For a moment, I felt like a huge burden was lifted of my shoulder. The ecstasy was too much.

That ought to teach me not to drink too much before a long journey.

Sunday, December 23

Clever inventions

We could use some of these to make life a little easier.

Are you fed up with bringing bananas to work or to school only to find them bruised or squashed? Banana guard allows you to safely transport and storage individual bananas letting you enjoy perfect bananas anytime, anywhere.

One Click Butter Cutter controls your portion as an important part of staying healthy. This ingenious butter cutter delivers one standard pat with each click of the handle. No more scrapping cold hard butter with your butter knife.

What day is today? You don't know? Then you need a DayClock. It's uniquely designed to keep track of weekly events like your golf day, poker night, movie night and so much more. It's ideal for cruises and vacation when it's easy to lose track of the day.

"Who left the toilet seat up?" The PeaceMaker will end the battle of the toilet seat. Merely step on the pedal to activate the lifting mechanism. When finished, remove your foot from the pedal and the seat gently comes to rest where it started.



If you are travelling a lot and don't always know the language of the country you are visiting, then this T-shirt is for you. It has a phrase book printed on it so just a point of a finger at the pictogram you need and then point it twice at the question mark, which means, "Where is it?" and in no time you have found what you were looking for... or not.

You love toast, but you always burn it? Than this invention is for you. This transparent toaster allows you to see the bread while it is toasting so you just have to take it out when the colour is right. This is based on a transparent heating glass technology.

Saturday, December 22

I will move the stars for you

How do you make a woman fall for you? Do you keep on trying even after she tells you that she is not interested in you? Or do you keep your distance, but never too far away, so that whenever you are needed, you are always available for her?

There is nothing more heartbreaking than a rejected love. But that doesn't mean it is the end of the world, or the end of your life. There are other loves out there. There are other chances, other opportunities. You shouldn't shut yourself up, build an invisible barrier so that no one can penetrate. No, you should let yourself fall again, and let yourself get hurt again. Because in that process, you will be better person, if not bitter.

I particularly enjoyed an episode of Futurama, where Fry tried to woo Leela and asked her to date him. He tried a lot of things, said witty (more like stupid pick-up lines) remarks, yet Leela still wasn't interested. Some of the examples:

Fry: Psst! Leela. I've set up a time-proof shelter in the closet. There's only room for two, and you're the one I wanna share it with.
Leela: Fry, that's so sweet. Let me see... How exactly will this protect us from time jumps?
Fry: Because when we're together in here, baby, time will stand still.

Leela: Your face can take a lot of punishment. That's good to know.
Fry: There's a lot about my face you don't know! Perhaps you and it could get better acquainted over dinner.
Leela: Alright! Cool your jets, hotshot.
Fry: C'mon, Leela, why won't you go out with me? We both know there's something there.
Leela: No, I mean cool your jets. They're melting Bender's face.

Fry: So, Leela, how about a romantic ride in one of those swan boats? They're kinda dangerous but I finally mastered them.
Leela: Those aren't swan boats, they're swans.
Fry: Oh. That explains these boat eggs.

Fry: Leela, I want you to know I think the way you moved those stars around was really wonderful. I got you something.
Leela: Moderately-priced, domestic, non-vintage champagne? How did you know?
Fry: You deserve it. I mean, nobody ever stops to tell you what a great captain you are.
Leela: Aw! That is so true and sweet.
Fry: You're smart, you're beautiful, and best of all, you'll go out with me-e?
Leela: Fry, please try to understand: You're a man, I'm a woman. We're just too different.

Fry: Look. I've been studying how to pilot the ship. Impressed?
Leela: Yeah, actually. You're doing OK. The core reactor temperature's nominal, the blinker's off.
Fry: I learned how to work the gravity pump too. In case we need to move more stars. So, are we dating now?

Fry: Look, Leela. I know there's some perfect, amazing thing I can do to make you love me, and when I figure out what it is-
Leela: Fry, stop. I don't wanna hurt you, but there is absolutely, positively no way that you and I will ever, ever-

Of course, Fry never gave up. They ended up being married, but that's not the point. He finally got Leela to love him by using the gravity pump to move the stars, and formed the words "I love you, Leela". Now, I bet any women would fall for that.

Still, you need to watch that particular episode to understand the whole story. I find it really romantic in a weird way, although it wasn't meant to be so.

So what was the best thing you ever did to make someone fall for you?

Tuesday, December 18

Lost in time

Love is supposed to be eternal. When you love, and lost, you do not forget the love as easily. Somehow, you hold on to that love, and you carry it close to your heart. Eventhough the love has died, deep inside of you, you still secretly nurturing it, hoping that one day, maybe one day, it will come back.

And you keep holding on, afraid of letting it go, afraid of moving on, and afraid of betraying the love. You stay the same, follow the same routine, wear the same clothes. You shut yourself from the world, and you close yourself up. And you cry yourself to sleep every night.

I do not know about you, but I'm a sucker to romantic movies. I saw Lost in time last night on TV3, and eventhough I have already seen that movie before, it never failed to mesmerised me with its plots and storyline.

The story is simple. It's about a girl who lost her fiancee in an accident. The girl, played perfectly by Cecilia Cheung, struggled to accept the fact. Her fiancee was a bus driver, and when he died, she had the bus repaired and took to driving the bus. The bus was where they first met, and had romantic time together, and by keeping the bus around, she was also keeping alive the memory of her true departed love.

She also had to take care of her fiancee's five year-old son, while struggling to earn enough money to feed herself and pay the rent. But when things looked doomed, a friend of her fiancee (also a fellow bus driver) came into the picture, and developed a relationship with her. Not a romantic relationship at first, as he was mostly helping her out with the son and also with the bus. But soon enough, something developed between them, and they embraced the feelings hesitantly.

She was holding on to her past love. And he was also doing the same. In fact, his wife walked out on him with their son a long time ago. He was a drunk and a gambler at that time. But he changed, and he kept on hoping that his wife would come back to him. But he was just holding on to something that he knew would never happened.

Of course, the ending was a good one. But yet, it doesn't stop me from thinking about how sometimes, we believe in something so much that we are afraid of letting it go. We keep on holding onto it, even when we know it will just cause more heartbreaks and suffering.

Why?

Maybe because we are just human. And we make mistakes.

Monday, December 17

Random questions

Tagged by Hazyr and Guile.

1) Name of a person who made you laugh last night
William Gallas (his hairdo to be exact)

2) What were you doing at 0800?
Sleeping, what else?

3) What were you doing 30minutes ago?
Had tea and nasi lemak at the friendly neighbourhood mamak.

4) What happened to you in 2006?
Can you believe me when I say I don’t remember?

5) What was the last thing you said out loud?
Monday is a half-day? Drats!

6) How many beverages did you have today?
One. Hot tea.

7) What colour is your hairbrush?
I don't have a hairbrush. But my comb is brown, and I’ve been using the same comb since 1995.

8) What was the last thing you paid for?
RM2.80 for two nasi lemak and tea.

9) Where were you last night?
Watching the big game with a friend in Cheras

10) What colour is your front door?
Brown

11) Where do you keep your change?
I stack them on my dresser.

12) What's the weather like today?
Cold, just nice for a long slumber.

13) What's the best ice-cream flavour?
It has to be strawberry

14) What excites you?
Sports (and sex)

15) Do you want to cut your hair?
Definitely. Maybe this time I’ll do a McDreamy

16) Are you over the age of 25?
Yes

17) Do you talk a lot?
At times.

18) Do you watch the O.C?
Once upon a time, when they were showing it on 8TV

19) Do you know anyone named Steven?
Nope.

20) Do you make up your own words?
Yes, at times

21) Are you a jealous person?
Yes I am.

22) Name a friend whose name starts with the letter 'A'
Anne

23) Name a friend whose name starts with the letter 'K'
Khaz

24) Who's the first person on your received call list?
Lynn

25) What does the last text message you received say?
017******* has been successfully top up with RM30

26) Do you chew on your straw?
Nope. But sometimes I use the straw to clean my teeth

27) Do you have curly hair?
No

28) Where's the next place you're going to?
Petrol station

29) Who's the rudest person in your life?
I don’t know any.

30) What was the last thing you ate?
Nasi lemak

31) Will you get married in the future?
Definitely. Of course. For sure. Absolutely.

32) What's the best movie you've seen in the past 2 weeks?
I read the review of I am Legend. Has yet to seen it though.

33) Is there anyone you like right now?
Yes.

34) When was the last time you did the dishes?
A month ago

35) Are you currently depressed?
Nope.

36) Did you cry today?
Nope.

37) Why did you answer and post this?
I’m taking a break from work.

38) Tag 5 people who would do this survey.
Nevermind that, since everybody I know has already been tagged.

Friday, December 14

Friday teaser

It’s been a cold gloomy Friday, and I can feel my brain freezes over, clanking away mechanically at work. It’s been raining all day long, and at places not far away from here, people are being made homeless and trapped because of the floods. It’s a depressing thought!

So let’s get that brain of yours working a bit, and try to solve this puzzles and questions below.

  1. There are four seats in a row at a concert. Philip will sit next to Sally, but not next to Gerald. If Gerald will not sit next to John, who is sitting next to John?

  2. How many minutes is it before six o’clock if fifty minutes ago it was four times as many minutes past three o’clock?

  3. How many odd pages are there in a book 479 pages long?

  4. A soldier has been captured by the enemy. He has been so braved that they offer to let him choose how he wants to be killed. They tell him, “If you tell a lie, you will be shot, and if you tell the truth, you will be hanged.” He can make only one statement. He makes the statement and goes free. What did he say?

  5. How many months have twenty-eight days?

See how many can you answer correctly. Answers will be posted up next week.

Thursday, December 13

Miracle in Stade Velodrome

Not that many people gave Liverpool a chance after the finished the first round of the Champions League group stage with only 1 point. Staring at elimination, they bounced back and trounced Besiktas 8-0 and trashed Porto 4-1, before ending the group by demolishing Marseille 4-0. Coupled with a bit of luck on the other results, Liverpool managed to secure their passage to the knockout phases, albeit finishing second in the group.

That means they are looking at the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, AC or Inter Milan as their next opponent. Fernando Torres preferred to play his old adversaries Real Madrid for the next game. Torres told the clubs website: "I hope that we draw Real Madrid, that would be a great tie. We have a chance to play a team from Spain or Italy, but playing Madrid would be really good".

The built up for the game against Marseille was tensed. With Benitez at loggerheads with the club owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks, plenty of wild rumours were flying around. Failure to progress to the next stage would have definitely added fire to the rumours. Benitez's future remains uncertain despite an apparent thaw in his relationship with the co-owners following a disagreement over transfer policy. Even the weekend game against Reading was played half-heartedly, with everyone’s mind on the big game. Needless to say, Liverpool lost tamely 1-3 and Gerrard, Carragher and Torres were substituted early to ensure that they are fresh for the next game.

The game against Marseille started perfectly with Liverpool scoring two early goals, one being a gem by Torres with his superb finishing, and another one from Gerarrd. Another two goals by Kuyt and Babel stamped Liverpool's dominance over the home team. No other English team has came to Stade Velodrome and won before previously, with Marseille holding a 6-0 record against them. But records are meant to be broken, and Liverpool did just that with a flourish.

Now that qualification is out of the picture, Liverpool will be looking forward to the next game this weekend against Manchester United. If the game against Marseille was to determine their fate in the Champions League, then this weekend game will see if they can be considered as the real contender for the elusive league title.

Let's hope for the best.

Wednesday, December 12

When I fall in love

When was the last time you fall in love? You feel weak on your knees, you have butterflies in your stomach, your throat feel so dry and you can barely construct a sentence without blubbering. All you can do is gaze and stare, and you feel like your heart is going to explode, but at the same time, it is beating so slow that you could barely feel it.

And you know, at that precise moment, that you are in love.

I’m not saying that is how we should fall in love. There are many types of love; friendship love, security love, romantic love and unconditional love, to name a few. Friendship love is a love between yourself and someone that is totally honest, open and comfortable. You can share everything with that someone, and feel comfortable talking and sharing even your deepest secret with that person.

Security love is more like a bond between parents and their children. It is a nurturing and caring kind of love, where we thrive on in order to be happy. It is also a love between human and God, which can also be, the ultimate love of all.

Romantic love can be love at first sight, someone you are attracted to because of the person physical appearance. Sometimes you can feel a certain connection with that person. But most of the time, it is also associated with lust.

Then there is unconditional love, a sincere love that last forever. When nothing else matter, as long as the other person is happy and safe.

But how do you know when you really fall in love, and not lust? For starters, lust is a temporary emotion, you like someone based on the person physical appearance. You might find that as soon as you get to know them for their personality, you are no longer interested in them. Lust is also not enough to sustain a long-lasting relationship. Most of the time, the relationship just fizzles away once you get past the infatuation stage.

Then comes the next question, what is true love? Does it even exist? And do you even dare believing in it? True love is rare. True love is a part of unconditional love, and also romantic love. True love is what sustains a relationship through eternity. But how do you know when true love comes knocking on your heart?

Let me tell you how I know. For me, it involves intimacy, passion and commitment. I feel strongly about her, strong enough to miss her when she is not around but respect her enough to let her pursue her own goals and interests. I care about her well-being and want the best for her, even if it means that I may have to sacrifice some of my time with her. And I should be able to get angry or disappointed with her without it ever changing how I feel about her.I also know that I’m interested in her both physically and mentally. I don't think it is enough, for example, to love someone because the person is nice. There are a lot of nice people in the world, so it should be more than that. They need to possess many different qualities that you enjoy and admire.

Yes, I do believe in true love. And yes, I am in love.

If only I have the courage to tell her how I feel.

Tuesday, December 11

Fitness first

I used to run a lot. I used to run everyday. Then it dwindled to 4 times a week. And slowly, it became twice a week, until finally, I stopped running. I don't know why. Maybe I was busy with work. Maybe I thought playing basketball 3 times a week is sufficient enough to supplement my running needs. Maybe I'm too tired, or too lazy to run anymore. Maybe I'm using the weather as an excuse not to run.

But today, I started again. And as always, it felt good. Which kind of made me wonder, why did I stopped in the first place? I have always love running, because once upon a time ago, running was my key out of depression. A good run always make me feel better afterwards. And it make me feel good about myself too. So if you know someone who is depressed, get that person to run. And really run, till you get breathless and a sharp pain in your gut.

There are many reasons why people joined the friendly neighbourhood gyms that keep sprouting in every new malls nowadays. Most of the time, the joining fees are waived, and the monthly fees are not that expensive as before (more gyms mean more competition). It's affordable, and it's a good excuse to be out of the house, if you're married.

"Honey, I'm going to the gym," said the husband.
"Again?" Complained the wife.
"Well, I'm paying for it every month, so better make good use of it," replied the husband.

Of course, it's better to get the wife to join together, so that you can sweat it out together and have a better and healthy relationship. But I guess the husband is more interested in sweating it out in the bedroom with the wife, while checking out other targets in the gym. If you don't believe me, go and visit the gym, and check out the studio where the aerobics classes are being held (such as body combat, steps, coyote dance), and you will also notice a bunch of guys sitting outside watching the girls jumping up and around (I was in that crowd previously).

But that besides the point.

It's good to be fit and feeling good about the shape of your body. And yes, round is a shape, but it's not a good shape to begin with. Round should be only associated with doughnuts, and not the shape of your body, or your tummy. Don't you think it's good to stand naked in front of the mirror and admiring your nicely-toned abs? Or your muscular chest? And don't you think it's good to be able to look down and see something (hopefully huge) dangling about and around instead of seeing your tummy potruding out and blocking the view?

And what about being able to reach the top of the mountain and not feeling totally out of breath while doing it? And also being able to play basketball, or futsal, and outlast those who are even younger than you are? And being able to finish the 10km race well within the appointed time?

Don't you think all that is worth achieving?

I do, and that is why I'm starting to run again.

Monday, December 10

Burning the bridge

Time seems to crawl when you are waiting for the day to end. Especially when things aren’t going so smoothly at work. There are too many things happening at once, and the influxes of news, most of them bad, are not really helping at all. Where will all these lead?

Most probably nowhere, but worse come to worse, it might be the sign that I’ve been waiting for all this while. If that is the case, then decisions need to be made, and choices need to be considered. Knowing me, it will be a struggle for me, being someone who hates changes and new routines.

But that doesn’t mean that I can sit on my butt and hope for things to work out by themselves. Maybe this is for the better. Maybe this time the grass will really be greener on the other side. Maybe this time a change of scenery might benefit me in the long run. But I need to make the first step.

And making the first step is always the hardest part.

Friday, December 7

What women want

I can live up to the ripe age of a hundred, which sounds ridiculous, and still not understand women. I can date 100 women, which sounds more ridiculous, and still not understand them. I can devote my whole lifetime to study them, and at the end of the day, I will still be back at square one. And I can love one woman, and one woman only, and may die a happy man, yet I may still not understand her completely.

If you’re a general in a battle, one of the ways to defeat your enemy is to think like the enemy. Anticipate your enemy’s every moves, and you might just win the battle. It’s like a game of chess; the one who can see his opponent next moves is as close to winning the game.

But women are not the enemy. So we do not think like them. And dating women is not like playing a game of chess, so we do not plan our next move and anticipate their next move. Although I got a feeling that is what we do most of the time anyway. There are times when we even tried to hard that it repels them away.

You put little effort, you put too much effort, you put just the right amount of effort, and nothing seems to work. Better not to do anything then, you might think. But you do not want to live alone and lonely for the rest of your life. You might not need them now, but further down the line, you’ll be wondering, and pondering, what would have happened if you had made that extra move, taken that extra step. Maybe life would be a little better. But then again, maybe not.

Come to think of it, it’s a huge gamble. You can live without them, you can’t live without them. I’ve known friends who are happily married, and I’ve known friends who were married for a short time, and got divorced. But that doesn’t stop them from dating other women, and for some, remarrying. And I known a friend who divorced his wife, and 5 years later, ended up remarrying his ex-wife. Now, how weird is that?

And there are also some who are single, and they look happy. But I have no idea what goes on in their mind, especially late at night. (I’m not in that category, since I’m single and miserable)

Somehow, I believe women secretly do not know what they themselves want in the first place. Maybe that’s the reason why men can never understand them. Everytime we thought we had everything figured out, they throw a curve ball instead, and there goes strike one. In the end, we’ll end up hitting air instead of the ball.

Strike three, you’re out! Back to the dug out, buster!

Thursday, December 6

The other side of the coin

We are, by nature, a bunch of pessimist. We are also selfish, and would rather hurt others to get ourselves to a better position in the hierarchy, be it at work, or in social standings. We look at things negatively, always complaining and never thankful enough for what we have in the first place.

I think that is the problem plaguing humankind nowadays. That is why so many people are unhappy. That is why we go to war with other nations. That is why there are way too many crimes happening all around us. And that is why, we will end up destroying the earth, one of these days.

Sure, the government sucks. Which government doesn't suck? I'm sure if the opposition run the country, it's going to end up pretty much the same, if not worse. Corruption, red tapes, finger pointing, those are the essence of a government. We learnt it all in our history lessons, over and over again. We know why things never work as they are supposed to. We know why billion dollars project went ashtray when the money has already been pumped into it. And we know why the people are staging protest over protest, demonstrating their displeasure and unhappiness on how things are shaping up.

Yes, we have a choice. We can fight, and we can sit quietly, and go about our business. We can complain and bitch about this minister, or that minister, over a cup of teh tarik at our favourite mamak hangouts. We are paying taxes, and we have the right to know what is happening with our money.

Look around. Do you not see the road, even if it is a bloody mess and filled with potholes? Do you not see the schools, the houses, the hospitals and the malls? Do you not see the buses, the lrts, the trains and the cars? And do you not see the factories and the offices and the tall buildings around you?

It's always the same for us everyday. We wake up and we go to work and we come back home after work. At the end of the month, we get paid, and we spend our wages to get by, we pay the home loan, car loan, credit cards and we shop at the malls. We cheer for our favourite football team, we hang out with friends till late at night, we go on holidays around the country, and sometimes abroad, and we join the local gym so that we can look good and feel good about ourselves. Sure, the pay is not that much, but we still get by every month. It might be tight sometimes, but what is life without a few challenges?

If only we can cherish what we have, if only we can be thankful with what we have, instead of being jealous and bitter because someone else is having a better life than we are, then we would be a lot happier. So life is tough, what's new? People everywhere all over the world would kill to be in your shoes. You don't believe me?

Next time you see someone really poor, ask him.

Wednesday, December 5

Guilty as charged

I do not know about you, but I got a sick feeling reading this particular news. The guy was convicted of three counts of rape, two counts of sodomy, one for forcing one of his victims to perform oral sex on him and for illegally confining one of his young victims between 2004 and 2006.

And he had the gist to appeal for a lighter sentence? Just because he wanted to spend more time with his family? Well, Mr. Serial Raper, you should have thought of that before you went around cajoling little girls and raping them. You should have known better than using religion as a facade to your crime.

He was sentenced to 30 years of jail and 24 lashes of the rotan. I say he deserves more. He should rot in prison for as long as he lives. He should be whacked with the rotan everyday. It's one thing when you commit the crime, but to do so without remorse and guilt, now that is another thing. How can you say your victims were not hurt and can be cured in the future, while your sentence will cause you to suffer for the rest of your life? The victims might not be hurt physically, but what about their emotional and mental state? The nightmare of being raped at a very early age, I don't think that is curable. The trauma will always be there.

I really pity the wife and the kid. Maybe they are better off without him. Who needs someone who goes around and seduced little girls anyway? And next thing you know, he'll be turning on his own flesh and blood.

It's alarming to see this kind of cases happening all around us. What happened to our education system? What happened to our society? As we strive to achieve the status of a developed nation, is it tolerable to have a high crime rate?

Tuesday, December 4

The deafening silence

Could it be, that I have forgotten how to write? Or am I just plain lazy? Whatever the reasons are, it's been too long, too long even for my own liking. The lack of activity, the lack of updates, it feels like I'm walking through a ghost town. Come to think of it, it feels like I'm here. But I'm not dead yet.

I am still alive.

Now, the real reason for the long silence is I was away on a long-deserved vacation. After years of slaving and saving, I finally have enough cash to go abroad and enjoy the different types of bread along the road. It helps when everyone can fly nowadays, although the seats on the new airbus could have been designed better, leather or no leather. Luckily I wasn't on one of those long haul flights, mine lasted barely 2 hours, not even enough for a proper nap.

I have always believed that you can go anywhere, and have the best of times, as long as you go with the right group of friends. The ones that share the same interests, passions and do not mind the occasional patch of bad luck along the way. Heck, you can probably have fun in hell if you're with the right company, literally speaking. And I am blessed to have such friends. Thus, the awesome trip.

Of course, after being away from work for such a long period of time, it is expected to come back with triple amount of work waiting at my desk. Luckily there are other distractions, else I would have gone crazy in no time. Still, it's going to be a busy and hectic December for me.

Let's hope I'll have enough energy to last me through the month.

Tuesday, November 13

Chaotic weekend

Italian football was thrown into disarray and more controversies last weekend when a fan was accidently killed by police officer while trying to quell a clash with some supporters at a highway rest stop. News of the shooting prompted violence on the terraces at the game between Atalanta and AC Milan, while later in the day, fans in Rome armed with batons and stones attacked one of the police units near Stadio Olimpico before raiding the Italian Olympic Commitee (CONI) headquarters.

This happened after 9 months of the incident where a policeman was killed after a violence broke out during the Sicilian derby between Catania and Palermo. Measures were taken as a result of this, with the formation of the L'Osservatorio nazionale sulle manifestazione sportive, an independent body to combat football violence. The clubs involved were punished and had to play their games in front of an empty stadium. Other than that, security measures were adapted by the Italian government with numerous stadium closed until they made improvements to ensure better security.

However, there are voices in Italy that suggested that the violence was borne out of frustration within the Italian society as a whole and should not be viewed solely as a football problem. The people are generally unhappy and they are coming to the stadiums to express their feelings. A small incident can easily provoke the people and something as small as rumors can escalate into a nationwide riot with massive property destruction and in some instances, death. For a better perspective on the matter, you can read it here.

In a way, it was not so much different with what happened in our country last weekend. A peaceful demonstration got out of hand, and forces were used and people got hurt. It wasn't as bad as what happened in Italy, maybe because we were more restrained and too afraid to ignite a bloodbath, or maybe we were just too polite. Nevertheless, from what I heard, almost 40,000 people showed up and created havoc in the middle of the city in the middle of the afternoon. Traffic was at a standstill, and businesses were interrupted. But they managed to achieved their goal, which was to pass a memorandum to the King.

What made all this unbearable was the involvement of certain politician figures who intended to use this rally as a stepping stone into the limelight. By pushing up and so-called supporting the people, this despicable politicians probably hope that they will get elected in the upcoming election, and therefore supposedly make a difference. But we all know, power-crazed politicians are all corrupted, and with more power, come more money, instead of responsibilities. It's disheartening to see how many innocence have fallen to their ruse, and blindly supporting their cause.

The rally was intended to secure a more transparent voting system, and to introduce some changes in the electoral processes. But certain quarters twisted it and tried to ignite racial disharmony, while creating tension among the people and the government. And the government was trying very hard to quench the event, wiping it aside as an annoyance instead of tackling it as a real problem. Even the mainstream media played down the event, and only certain aspects were reported.

We do not want the problem to escalate into a nationwide problem. We have always pride ourselves as being a peaceful nation, where everyone regardless of their race and religion co-exist and live tolerably with each other. Let's hope for a better future, but at the same time, let's not jeopardise what we have built and achieved all this while.

Monday, November 12

Moving thoughts

When the door of happiness closes, another opens. But often times, we look so long at the closed door that we don't see the one which has been opened for us.

It's true that we don't know what we've got until we lose it, but it's also true that we don't know what we have been missing until it arrives.

Don't go for looks, they can deceive. Don't go for wealth, even that fades away. Go for someone who makes you smile because it takes only a smile to make a dark day seems bright. Find the one who makes your heart smile.

Always put yourself in other's shoes. If you feel that it hurts you, it probably hurts the other person too.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your live so that when you die, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.

The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along the way.

Never take someone for granted. Hold that person close to your heart because you might wake up one day and realize that you have lost a diamond while you were too busy collecting stones.

Saturday, November 10

Interlude (4)

Suddenly, everything moves in slow motion. It's like time suddenly decided to stand still, and delayed his departure. He could see everything moves in absolute slowness; the girl standing next to him talking on her phone, the man at the ticket counter punching buttons on his keyboard, and the stationary red bus, with the doors closed and the driver missing.

Everything might be in slow motion, but his heart wasn't. His heart was beating at an unusual rate, racing against time, rushing towards the finishing line.

He could almost see her face, waiting for him patiently, with a big smile on her face. He could almost feel her arms wrapped around his body, and her sweet breath on his face. And he could almost feel her happiness, radiated warmly like a wildfire, spreading and engulfing him in joy and ecstasy he could never describe.

Yet, the bus laid stationary, still.

Friday, November 9

The jungle and I

There is something about the jungles that attracted me towards them. And there is no better feeling than to be enclosed by the huge trees and surrounded by the greenery with an orchestra of various sounds playing in the background. Of course, the occasional leeches and mosquitoes and those small bugs that bite can sometimes be annoying, but that is a small price to pay for the peace and tranquility surrounding the place.

My first jungle experience was when I was in school, and we had an expedition to Gunung Angsi in Kuala Pilah. Being near my school, the mountain turned up to be the place that I go to when I needed to be alone and surrounded by nature. When there was an opportunity, I will pack my bag and head to the place, sometimes staying there for a night. I will always remember Gunung Angsi as I remember my first love. My first sweet innocent love.

I've been to a lot of other mountains eversince that. And it was always the same feeling I get when I first stepped into the jungle. The calmness that radiates in the surrounding, the fact that knowing I'm at the mercy of the elements, and the thrill that I get when I run and walk the small mountain path. I guess it is the same feeling that divers get when they are underwater. That's why I can't wait to go for my first dive, because I believe, it's even more challenging and thrilling since being underwater is something that not everybody gets to do.

Nowadays, my favourite haunt is Taman Negara Pahang. Getting there is easy, with the new road leading all the way up to the resort. A drive from KL will only take around 3-4 hours, and I can just leave my car at the riverside and take a boat across. The place is so huge that it will take my whole lifetime to explore every nooks and crannies and to get acquainted with every trees and animals. Eventhough it is highly commercialised, the beauty and calm are still untouched by technology and globalisation.

When I was younger and reckless, I went for a-week hike to Taman Negara alone. I was planning to go to Mount Tahan, but somewhere along the way, I got sidetracked and followed the wrong trail. Needless to say, I was lost, and it took me almost 5 days to find my way out to civilisation. The weird part was, I didn't panic nor was I worried. It's a feeling that I have that somehow, the jungle will look after me, and I am safe as long as I respected the place. And so, I went about my trek, and camped when it was dark, and eat whatever food I have, and drink from the small streams and rivers.

It was an experience that I will never forget. And every now and then, I will fit in a weekend where I set off to some mountain or jungle. Most of the time, I will be alone, but every now and then, there will be a few friends who will check with me on my next trip and tag along with me.

I can't wait for my next trip.

Thursday, November 8

My first love letter

My dearest Ardy,

Hullo, how are you now? have you missed me yet? Don't ask me about my true feelings right now because I am feeling rather miserable about everything... my studies, the weather, my mom, my dad, my brothers and sister, everything! I miss everybody, whom I left in Malaysia, especially YOU. I don't know whether I would survive this feeling thinking that it's only 3 days and not even a week yet I start wishing that everybody is here with me.. urghh.. what a feeling.

Actually, there's so much things which I wish to tell you until I don't know where to start. Hmm.. let me tell you from the day I left Malaysia and you. Do you remember when I told you that Subang will be flooded with my tears and everything? Well, I thought that I was going to cry but through some miracle way, I didn't shed even a tear. So, don't you ever cry when you leave your family okay or I'll be the first person to laugh at you there. Believe me, I'm everywhere you go! Heh.. heh...

Hmm.. I don't want to talk much on that because I know that you'll be bored to death to hear everything. Well, to be frank, as I write this aerogramme, your photos are safely on my study desk and your letter is still in my hands. Before anything, thanks a lot for the cute and lovely present. I promise to treasure it forever. Telling you the truth, I reread your letter 5 times on the plane. I want to reread it 10 times but then, as the tears started to brim in my eyes, I gave up. I don't know what would you say about that... maybe you will say that I am silly, but as the song goes "wise man says, only fools rush in - but I can't help ..... ". Really, forgive me for all this stupid things I've said but well... I don't know. I've never been in this state of mine like this before!

For your information, I did sent you a present especially for you from UK. I don't know whether it would reach you safely before your departure but I am praying to God that there's nothing going to delay it anyway. Wow.. it seems that the space is really limited. Would you promise me something? Would you write to me immediately after you've known your real address? If you want to know something, I'm really looking forward for your reply. I do miss your voice here and I was tempted a few times to ring you up but thinking twice, especially about money, I cancelled it. Maybe sometime, somewhere, someway, we would be together again, maybe... only God knows. Lastly, do keep in touch and take care of yourself 'coz I really care about you. I miss you very much. Adios!

Wednesday, November 7

8 stars performance

I think it all started with the draw against Porto in September, where Liverpool were lucky to get away with a point playing away in the Champions League game. The game was dubbed as Liverpool worst performance of the season by the coach, but being the first game of the group stages, everybody thought that it was a one off thing, and things will start to pick up after that.

However, with only 2 wins (plus another 2 in the League Cup), 4 dull draws and a further 2 losses, the alarm has started to ring in Anfield. The coach has been heavily criticised for his squad rotation policy, and the captain has been accused of being burnt out for playing too many games. The midfielders lack creativity, and the strikers couldn't find the back of the net. The only consistent factor (thus saving Liverpool from further losses) is the rock solid Carragher, and his minions of defenders. Always present (except for a few games when he was out injured), Carragher has been the driving force at the back, making sure that the goal is well protected.

Liverpool is still undefeated in the Premier League. The two losses happened in the Champions League game, which pretty much dented the hope of advancing into the next stage.

Things looked bleak, until last night, in front of the home crowd, they trashed Besiktas with 8 goals to nothing. The win was the biggest margin in a Champions League game, and suddenly, things look hopeful and rosy, even if it was only one game.

Peter Crouch started the goal fest, and he must have felt relieved to finally score his second goal of the season, after being rooted to the substitute bench all the while. With rumours about him leaving the club during the January transfer window circulating like wildfire, it was good to see he is still passionate about playing for the club. With Torres not 100% fit, Crouch and Voronin were paired upfront to spearhead Liverpool's attack. However, the night truly belonged to Yossi Benayoun, who scored his first hat trick for the club and created a few goals in between.

Voronin was unlucky not to score himself, but his tireless and selfish effort was truly appreciated by the other players. Liverpool had the lion share of possession, with 31 shots on goal. After week after week being frustrated by their boring and out-tempo game, it was good to see everything clicking again. Of course, consistency is important in football, and Liverpool being Liverpool, consistency has never been their strong point.

But the big result will amount to nothing if they do not beat Porto and Marseille. And at the sametime. they have to hope that the other results will favour them. And hopefully, they can play as beautifully and confident as they did last night this weekend against Fulham.

Then I'll be more motivated to watch their game.

Tuesday, November 6

Bad day

Have you ever woke up one day and felt that today will be the longest day of your life? You wake up in the morning, and you have such a heavy feeling in your heart. And you know that it's going to be a long day. You look into the mirror, but all you see is a reflection of a face you do not recognise. And you feel like going back to sleep, just lie down in bed for the whole day, so that you can wake up tomorrow to a new morning.

Where is the moment we need at the most
You kick up the leaves and the magic is lost
They tell me your blue skies fade to grey
They tell me your passion's gone away
And I don't need no carryin' on

But you need to work, so you drag yourself to the office. And things do not get better over there either, your work is piling up, your boss is not in a good mood, your reports are due, and your customers are screaming at you.

And it's only 10 o'clock in the morning.


You stand in the line just to hit a new low
You're faking a smile with the coffee to go
You tell me your life's been way off line
You're falling to pieces everytime
And I don't need no carryin' on

The only thing that goes in your mind at that moment is to get through the day. Everything will be better tomorrow. Everything has to be better tomorrow. But you just need to get by today. So you shut out all your emotions, and work like a zombie, feelingless and careless. But your face might look like a zombie, yet you know you can't lie to yourself.

You cannot run from the feeling. Nor can you hide from it.

To get to tomorrow, you need to go through the hurt and pain.

I'm doing just that right now.

Today, is the longest day of my life.

Monday, November 5

The X factor

I like to push myself to the limit. That's why I love sports. That is also why I love to run, and climb mountains.

It's amazing what your body can do when pushed to its limit. But what is more amazing is what your mind can do at time of stress. A trained mind will tell you that impossible is nothing, and you can achieve almost anything if you just believe in it. The power of the mind. It's a very handy thing to have when you are standing at the edge of the cliff staring into a huge gorge. I'm not saying you should jump over the gorge to get to the other side. But then again, if it is a small gap, and you know you can make it, then all you need to do is jump. Of course, the difference between making it to the other side and failing is death, but that is another matter.

When I run, I run hard. I can feel my breath laboriously leaving my body. I can feel lactic acid building up in my legs. I can feel the twitch in my gut. But my mind keeps telling me to take the next step, to go a little further more, to exhale out loud, and keep on going. It's all in the mind.

When playing basketball, and the scores are tied and I have one final shot to win the game, I will step up and take the ball, and make the shot. And as the ball loops over the air, I know it will go into the hoop, because I told myself that I would make the basket.

And most of the times, it does.

But if it doesn't, I will tell myself that I did my best, and when the opportunity arises again, I will still make that shot.

In sports, winning isn't everything. Okay, maybe it is a huge part in sports; nevertheless, there are things that are more important than winning.

Like trying.

And playing it passionately.

And giving your all, not holding back.

When I was younger, my competitive edge took hold of me. I play to win. And I will do everything in my power to get the win. I am still competitive as ever, but now I understand, it's not just about winning. It's about how you win and how you motivate your teammates and get the best out of them.

I might be older as the years pass by, but I will keep on playing and pushing myself.

After all, age is just a number.

Tuesday, October 30

Love actually

I am a firm believer of love. I believe everybody deserves to love, and to be loved. I believe there is love out there for everyone.

But having faith alone is not enough to make it real. Because you can believe in something so deep in your life, but if you just sit on your faith and never go about seeking it, it will not come to you. Instead, it will stare at you from afar, wishing that you had come seeking it instead of just believing in it.

Yet there are some of us, who have faith, and who seek for love, but never finding it. There are some who found a semblance of love, and embraced it, only to realise later on that it was not what they seek in the first place. And there are some who got so misguided in the search that they embraced the darkness instead.

But can you feel love, when your heart is shrouded in darkness?

Darkness exists in the absence of light. Just as cold exists in the absence of heat. And hate. Hate exists in the absence of love.

The opposite of love is apathy, and not hate. Hate is really the same as love. If you're so consumed by hatred for someone, you might as well be loving them, because you're thinking about them for the same amount of time. So what is a love-hate relationship?

They always say that you shouldn't hate someone so deeply, because in time, your hate will turn into love. I know this girl who hated this guy so much that she once kicked him in the groin. But they are happily married now, and she has long stopped kicking him in the groin. Instead, she does something else there, to the delight of the guy.

I wish a girl would hate me so much and kick me in the groin and later marry me. But then again, maybe I should be careful of what I wish for.

Because I'm sure there are girls out there who wouldn't mind kicking me in the groin. But that's as much as I get.

Not a comforting thought, come to think of it.

Sunday, October 28

The room next to the kitchen

I'm home. After a year of exile. And I'm writing again. After months of profound life. Being home always let the floodgate opens again, releasing all the torments and so-called creative ideas pouring out like rain in a hailstorm. And yet, the mind refuses to cooperate, and I am dulled into oblivion.

I'm still in one piece, the tears still hold check inside me, the tongue-lashing hasn't started yet. But the mood is sour, albeit the festive air, and I know as a crow knows it's next meal that it is forthcoming. True as toasted toads. Not that I would want to have any.

I have one week. One week to remember it all, one week to eat all the food I love, one week to get acquainted with my darling bed. For one thing I really love is my room next to the kitchen, with my solid bed, and my hundreds of books and my well-kept secret. For lots are hidden in here, a broken heart is just in one of the locked drawers, the glorious past is another, and all hope buried in the last one. But alas! The white dressing table is mark for deletion. I have to find a way to save it, for it holds more than memories for me. Probably load it up and carry it back with me. But I'm glad I'm in my room now. Probably I should be back more often. Probably.

It's good to be home.

(6th December 2002)

Friday, October 26

The end is near

Being rooted at the bottom of the table in the Champion League group stages is indeed an unfamiliar position for Liverpool. But with two losses and a draw so far, they are at the bottom with one point and 3 more games to go. Of course, 3 more games equal to 9 points, considering they win all 3 remaining matches.

The lost against Besiktas last night couldn't come at a worst time. With a league game against a consistent Arsenal looming over the weekend, Liverpool looked out of sorts and short of ideas. Their long ball tactics were not really producing the goals, and their deployed wingers failed to make a big impact too. They were lucky to win last weekend against Everton, helped by two penalties converted by Dirk Kuyt.

That being said, Liverpool always have a good record in Europe in the past three years. On most occasion, going though the first stage of the group stages have always been a walk in the park for them. Last year, they went all the way to the finals while the year before, their campaign was cut short by Benfica in the quarter finals. And of course, the year before that was the historic win in Istanbul over AC Milan.

Still, they are doing quite well in the league, by their standard. A poor start has always derailed Liverpool's championship hope, but this year, they have done well to keep pace with the early pacesetters. Of course, the game against Arsenal this weekend is very important, firstly because it's a home game for Liverpool, and secondly because they need to stop Arsenal from being a runaway leader in the league.

Winning the league is the top priority for this season. Going far in the Champion League is a bonus, but looking at the ditch the are in at the moment, it might take a miracle for them to qualify for the next stage. They need to beat Marseille in the State Velodrome, and past records indicate that it might be a task too hard to achieve. But, they need to go all out from now on, because at least even if they finish third, they can still qualify for the EUFA Cup, a scant consolation, but it's better than nothing.

Now is the time for Rafa Benitez to rally his team and start building up towards a more consistent and convincing results. Being consistent is important, because in the long run, only the most consistent team will be challenging for the honours. Whether Liverpool is one of them, that is yet to be seen.

Thursday, October 25

The lying heartbeat

I am losing a battle that hasn't even started. A battle with myself. I am empty inside. My life is going nowhere. I am going nowhere. I am stale, stagnant and dead. The truth really eats me in the inside.

God help me!

The moment of reckoning is upon me. For my life until this point is hanging on the axis of uncertainty, being tilted on both sides every passing breath. There is no light to lead the way, only emptiness and darkness. Even the darkness is seeping away, leaving behind a hollow emptiness. And my heartbeat pounds with every single step that I take.

Dup dap, dup dap, dup dap, dup dap.

Will it ever cease to function? For every breath is a misery. For every living moment is a torment to me. My life is not real, nothing is real anymore. I'm not even in control of my life. A wayward life, that is my life now. Living a lie each single day. A fantasy of realism. What can I do? Where is the faith that has always be my sustenance back on the old days. I guess I must have lost it somewhere along the way.

I am falling, and worse, I am dying. Prematurely. I have to let go, release the fear. For the fear is consuming me. Eating me alive. And spitting out the remaining of my pathetic life. For in the end, my own doings will be my ending.

God, help me!

(29th May 2001)

Wednesday, October 24

The waiting game

Have you ever waited for the bus? You stood there at the bus stop (because there were not enough bars to sit on) with a whole bunch of people, peering over the road every two seconds or so, hoping that your bus would appear next. And every now and then, you glanced at your wrist watch wondering how much longer you have to wait there.

And you looked around you, and noticed that everyone else were pretty much doing the same thing. Looked at the road, and glanced at their watch. It was some sort of a ritual, and you looked at the stranger next to you, and for a moment, your eyes locked, and you can feel the irritation emmiting from his eyes, the patience ebbing away, the frustration gnawing slowly, because deep down, you felt the same way too. Both of you were waiting for the bloody bus.

But that's life. It's a big waiting game. Don't you think that your whole life is another big wait? Even at the very start, you waited 9 months before you could finally see the light. And the moment you got out, you see all these different shapes and colours. Then, as babies, you waited to be fed, changed, clothed and carried.

And as you grow older, you waited for more things. As a kid, you waited to grow up and be an adult so that you can stay up late and do the things that your parents forbid you to do. And as a teenager, you waited for the exams to come and go, for the next concert and for your first love to happen. And when you reach adulthood, you waited for the end of the day so that you can leave your workplace, and you waited in the traffic jam to get home. And you waited for the day that you can finally retire and live comfortably for the rest of your life.

And in the end, you waited for death to consume you, and finally, when darkness enveloped you, you waited for the white bright light.

My whole life, I've waited for things to happen.

And I'm still waiting.

Monday, October 22

The big L

"Hi, my name is Ardy and I am a loser, with a capital L."

"Hello Ardy," everyone is the room would greet me.

Welcome to Loser's Anonymous, where you find comfort with the people with the same predicament as you are.

The L word.

No, not love. Not even lust.

But loser.

Now, what constitute a loser? How do you know that you belong in this group? You have to achieve certain life experiences to qualify yourself as a loser.
  1. You're 30 and still single, not by choice, and not because of the lack of trying, but just because you just can't get the opposite sex to stay interested in you long enough to initiate a relationship.


  2. You have more than one cat at home, and you talk to them most of the time, not because you wanted to, but because you don't have anyone to talk to and it's better to talk to another living creature than to talk to yourself or have a conversation in your head.


  3. You only have 7 real friends and more than 30 cyber friends.


  4. You work your butt off but still earning the same amount of money as you did 5 years ago.


  5. You can't remember the last time you had a relationship, if you ever had one and didn't imagine it. And you can't remember the last time you had sex (pleasuring yourself with fantasies of real women does not count as having sex).


  6. Your mum is hinting about matching you up with her friend's daughter.


  7. You eat oatmeal alone while watching TV for dinner, and that is actually the high point of your day and you can't wait to do it again tomorrow.


  8. The opposite sex doesn't give you a second glance. Heck! They don't even glance at you. At all.


  9. You watch Martha Stewart's Show and text/call your friend during the show expressing your profound love for Martha and commenting about the show.


  10. You love to dance, but the only place you do so is in front of the mirror, naked, while drooling over your own body.


If you have more than 4 of the above, then you can join me in our next meeting.

Friday, October 19

Falling pieces

I'm thinking of you right now. I'm also thinking about myself and my predicament. About life ending prematurely. About life without anyone. About her.

Why can't I stop thinking about her? Lately, I haven't been dreaming at all. I used to dream every night, and I cherish every dream, come nightmare or sweet dreams. Because dreams are my escape from reality. Dreams are real to me. Everything can happened in a dream.

But now, I don't dream anymore. I don't know why. A part of my life has gone missing. And I need her to fill up the missing part. I need her to accompany me at nights, when dreams are scarce and I'm all alone. Her, and her alone.

I need you like water like rain like air.

Slow life. Crawling like an injured insect. I am dying and rotting away. Pieces of me is falling apart. I need something badly. I need to believe again. I need to live, to forget about the past and look towards the future. And until I do that, I will forever be falling into a bottomless pit. Where light and darkness do not exist at all. And all there is the void. Just the void. And me, falling and falling. Thinking of my previous life, thinking of my life, thinking of my predicament, but not of the future.

And most of the times, thinking of her.

(11th May 2001)

Wednesday, October 17

Book of revelation

Sometimes, we got confused and disorientated with the things that happened around us. It might leave us feeling helpless, and rendered us incapable of making a decision. We can't think straight, and all our options seem limited.

So we sleep over it, with hopes that we'll wake up as a different person, in a different world. But that never happens, and we'll still wake up being ourselves, facing the same problems.

It is very important to identify the feelings involved when faced with a problem. Most of the time, we are at lost because we are unsure of how we feel about a particular situation. A feeling of apprehensive and anxiety will exist, but apart from that, there are many other feelings that surfaced at the same time. The ability to know and acknowledge these feelings is very important, because it is the first step towards recovery.

I never dealt with my problems properly back then because I was never alert with what my real feelings were. When I was unceremoniously dumped in my previous relationship, I let myself wallow in self-pity, and let my emotions got the better of me. For a very long time, I went through life feeling dazed and confused, and being unhappy with life. I shut myself out, hid away from the world, and stopped seeing other people. I spent most of my time sleeping, hoping that it was all an elaborate dream. I turned myself into a social outcast, believing that I did not deserve the best of life, knowing that whatever I did will never bring me happiness.

Ever again.

Boy, was I wrong, big time! I have never been so wrong in my life. But this time, I let myself aged a hundred years before realizing that life never screws you up. Life never spits you out and leaves you in the ditch. Life never abandons you and let you rot alone in an unmarked grave.

You did all that to yourself. And only you can undo the damages.

But to do so, you need to know your own feelings. You need to be able to empathize with yourself. You need to go through the hurt and pain head on, and embrace it to your bosom. You have to face the truth, and endure the backlash. And finally, when you realized the enormity of the situation, you will finally understand.

And you will never be the same anymore. Because you have evolved. From a mere mortal, to an immortal. You have attained the secret to happiness. And you hold the key to life's greatest mystery.

But most of all, you will be happy.

Tuesday, October 16

Questions, no answers

Life is short. Death is forever. And hell is eternity. There is no such thing as reincarnation. Yet, there is redemption. Heaven and hell. Reality and fantasy. Eternal suffering or eternal peace. Choose? Can we? Can I?

Is everything predestined? Fixed by a higher order and power? God does exist. That is true, and I believe it. Then how do we live our life? Freedom of choice? Choice? Choice? Do we ever have a choice in the first place?

I need to be next to you. I need to be near to you. I want to understand you. I want to understand myself. I want to understand life. I want to live happily, fulfilling my hopes and dreams. I want to be someone, not anyone. I want to be loved and love. And I want to eat dried apricots when I feel like it. I want to eat seedless red grapes on Monday, and seedless green grapes on the next day. I want to be cold at night. I want to love someone. I have so much love in me, it's spilling out going to waste. Why can't I love someone, and have the love return back to me? Why can't someone become the meaning of my life?

Questions, so many questions. Yet no answers.

Seek the answers someplace where there is no sun and no moon, yet there is day and night. Where the river runs upstream, and life has no meaning whatsoever.

(1st April 2001)

Sunday, October 14

Don't have a cow, man

I miss being a cow. Yes, once upon a time, I was a cow. I started to notice that I was a cow when I was able to eat anything all the time, thus reaffirming that my stomach has 4 compartments, just like a cow, the rumen, reticulum, omasum and obamasum. Nowadays, I'm stuck with just one chamber, thus limited my capability to eat non-stop.

You know how in school kids like to give you nicknames (most of the time bad nicknames) based on your bad traits, or just simply to mock your father's name, or because of a physical defect? I have a friend who was called Mamut, because his father's name was Mohamad. Mamut is the name of Mumm-Ra's (the ever-living) dog is Thundercats. How silly is that? Another friend was called toyol, not because he likes to steal things, but because there was one time, he was coming out from the toilet with just a towel wrapped around his waist, when another friend came along from behind and pull his towel, leaving him completely naked. But instead of running for cover, he started to chase the prankster around the block, for about 10 minutes, completely naked. Of course almost everyone witnessed the incident, and thus the nickname.

Another friend was called Tom, not because he looked like Tom Cruise, but because his teeth was like A.R. Tompel's teeth, a bit potruding. While another one was called Bad, because he suffered the same fate, but since Tompel was already taken, he was called Bad based on A.R. Badul. How funny is that?

When I was in form 1, I liked to be at the front of the queue in front of the dining hall. Dinner was after Maghrib, and normally, after prayers you walked up to your dorms and changed before heading to the dining hall. But me being me (greedy and wanting to grab the biggest piece of chicken or fish), I wore my pants underneath my sarong, and as the prayers ended, just grabbed my bag at the back, took off my sarong and ran to the dining hall. Needless to say I was always at the front of the queue, and always ended up with the biggest portion (sometimes even double portion) of everything.

This eventually earned me the nickname Sprinter Dewan Makan (SDM). One thing about me, I really love to eat, even boarding school meals, which has the reputation of being yucky and disgusting at times. I eat everything, from the ikan jacket, to the wormy vegetables and the rotten potatoes. I guess I pretty much damaged my tastebuds, that's why until now, I can never tell whether the food is really good, because to me, most food tasted good (to a certain extend).

Anyway, my friends called me sprinter for a few years. Then one day, it all stopped, because I turned out to be a long distanced sprinter, and started winning races and represent the school in athletics competitions. That was when the nickname was retired, I guess being a real sprinter defeated the purpose of calling me sprinter (and I stopped running to the dining hall by then, because I've made friends with the makcik dewan makan, and it was a whole lot easier to get more portions for my meals that way).

Luckily enough, I remained slim and fit even after all these years of gorging myself away. I guess I have my high metabolism to thank to, and my active lifestyle also helps. But lately, I've noticed that I don't eat that much anymore. I guess age is catching up with me, and I'm more concern about what I put inside of me now. It can be frustrating at times, because I know I still want to eat, but I can feel my bloated stomach weaving away painfully, and I know it is time to stop.

Saturday, October 13

Books galore

This tag is long overdue, but since I have to recall the books that I've read for the past few years, it took a while to compile the list. Thanks to Seademon, for sensing that I am a bookworm and read to fill in my time (I don't do anything else, come to think of it). The original tag was supposed to be 50 books, but Seademon limited it to 30, but as promised, I'm listing down 100.

Dragonlance (Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman)
1. Dragons of Autumn Twilight
2. Dragons of Winter Nights
3. Dragons of Spring Dawning
4. Time of the Twins
5. War of the Twins
6. Test of the Twins
7. The Second Generation
8. Dragons of Summer Flames
9. Dragons of a Fallen Sun
10. Dragons of a Lost Star
11. Dragons of a Vanished Moon
12. Dragons of the Dwarven Depths
13. The Soul Forge
14. Brothers Majere

Death Gate Cycle (Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman)
15. Dragon Wing
16. Elven Star
17. Fire Sea
18. Serpent Mage
19. The Hand of Chaos
20. Into the Labyrinth
21. The Seventh Gate

Jeffrey Archer
22. Not a penny more, not a penny less
23. Shall We Tell the President?
24. Kane & Abel
25. The Prodigal Daughter
26. First Among Equals
27. A Matter of Honour
28. As the Crow Flies
29. Honour Among Thieves
30. The Fourth Estate
31. The Eleven Commandment
32. Sons of Fortune
33. A Quiver Full of Arrows
34. Twelve Red Herrings
35. False Impression

J.K. Rowling
36. Harry Potter & the Philosopher Stone
37. Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets
38. Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban
39. Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire
40. Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix
41. Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince
42. Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows

David Eddings
43. Pawn of Prophecy
44. Queen of Sorcery
45. Magician's Gambit
46. Castle of Wizardry
47. Enchanters' End Game
48. Guardians of the West
49. King of The Murgos
50. Demon Lord of Karanda
51. Sorceress of Darshiva
52. The Seeress of Kell
53. The Diamond Throne
54. The Ruby Knight
55. The Sapphire Rose
56. Domes of Fire
57. The Shinning Ones
58. The Hidden City
59. Belgarath the Sorcerer
60. Polgara the Sorceress
61. The Redemption of Althalus (with Leigh Eddings)

Sidney Sheldon
62. The Naked Face
63. The Other Side of Midnight
64. A Stranger in the Mirror
65. Bloodline
66. Rage of Angels
67. Master of the Game
68. If Tomorrow Comes
69. Windmills of the Gods
70. The Sands of Time
71. Memories of Midnight
72. The Doomsday Conspiracy
73. The Stars Shine Down
74. Nothing Last Forever
75. Morning, Noon and Night
76. The Best Laid Plans

John Grisham
77. A Time to Kill
78. The Firm
79. The Pelican Brief
80. The Client
81. The Chamber
82. The Rainmaker
83. The Runaway Jury
84. The Partner
85. The Street Lawyer
86. The Testament
87. The Painted House

Paulo Coelho
88. The Alchemist
89. Eleven Minutes

Jean M. Auel
90. Clan of the Cave Bear
91. The Valley of Horses
92. The Plains of Passage
93. The Mammoth Hunters

W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neal Gear
94. People of the Earth
95. People of the Wolf
96. People of the Fire

J.R.R Tolkien
97. The Hobbit
98. The Fellowship of the Rings
99. The Two Towers
100.The Return of the King

I can list another 100, but let save that for another time. And I also owned all the books listed above (except for the Deathly Hallows, still waiting for the paperback version). Come to think of it, I can open my own library. Okay, maybe a mini library.

And when folks ask me why I have to buy all these books, when I can just borrow them from the library, or those rent-a-book shops, or from friends, I told them, because I read them more than once (and because it is my hobby).

Nerd!

Friday, October 12

Why does my heart, feels so bad?

Describe a pathetic life. Look at mine, and you've got one. I have such a pathetic life. I have no close friends, I eat alone in my room, I have no girlfriend, I sleep most of the time, I don't talk much, I'm very moody and most of all, I don't have a purpose in life. I look at myself and I feel sorry for myself.

What happened to me? Life wasn't as bad as now before. I've been hitting a downward spiral for the past six years. Down and down I go, without hitting the bottom. And it's an endless journey, for the pit is bottomless. There are no ups and downs in my life, just downs and more downs. I don't even feel the joy from doing the things that I like, such as playing sports. It's like my soul is empty, so empty and hollow. I can hear the echo of my voice when I speak alone to myself.

Yet, I still breathe, I still wake up every morning. I look at the sky sometimes, and I see my life flashing before my eyes. Am I reliving my past? I see no future in me. I see only emptiness and sorrow. Not even darkness exists.

Why does my heart, feels so bad?

Aching. Hurting. Empty. Sorrow. Lonely. The clock is ticking. I can stop the clock, but can I stop the time? I can never stop the time. Time moves on. And so does my pathetic little life, whether I like it or not. I feel so lonely. I feel beaten by life itself. I have lost in my own game. Check, and checkmate.

Why does my heart, feels so bad?

(10th April 2001)

Thursday, October 11

Space: Above and beyond

Did you watch the launch last night? The rocket launch to take the first ever Malaysian into space? Yes, it was a defining moment. A history in the making.

For over a week now, Astro has dedicated a channel to publicise the event. And it was on for 24 hours a day. Not being hooked to cable, I was not privileged to watch the show, which is a blessing in disguise, because to me, the whole thing is being blown out of proportion. But then again, we are talking about sending our own man into space, the final frontier.

So the guy is an eye candy. Elton John looks better on his bad hair day. So the guy is a doctor. McSteamy can beat him anytime, anyday. So the guy beat thousands of applicants for the title of angkasawan. That was only because I didn't apply for the job.

Okay, I might not be a doctor. I might also not be a pilot. In fact, I'm a nobody. I'm not even an eye candy. People don't give me second glances.

So, why do I think I can beat him?

I don't. I'm just bitter that I was not in the rocket blasting into space, and creating history. I'm jealous because I'm just a lollipop, while he is a cotton candy.

It's just a matter of time. Sooner or later, we'll have our first astronaut. Sooner or later, we'll have our own space shuttle (maybe we'll have to buy from the Russians), our first space station, out first nuclear weapon. Of course there is a price to pay for everything, but in the name of development, and putting our nation in the world's map, it is all worth it.

And I wouldn't be surprised, that upon his return, he will be conferred awards upon awards, starting with a Datukship.

The lucky bastard!

Tuesday, October 9

For the love of the country

We are all soldiers in our own little way. We might not be in the army and serve the country directly, but we still fight for its honour and freedom as much.

Military warfare is a thing of the past. It has been more than 60 years since the last major war ended. Small wars and battles still happen every now and then, but it did not involve the whole world and didn't put everything into chaos. Of course, oppression and communism still exist in some part of the world, but we tend to get along well with each other to the extent of settling disputes diplomatically.

Nevertheless, there are still bullies among the nations. Like in a schoolyard, the biggest and most powerful boy will always pounced on the weak and smaller boys. We have the USA to push everyone around, dictate the world like they are the kings of the world, and invading nations they deemed too dangerous to be left alone.

Their reasoning? These nations are developing weapon of mass destruction. These nations are researching and building nuclear weapons. So they should be crushed, and sanctioned before they get all strong and powerful. When in fact, the USA themselves have nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction. But it is okay for them to have these, because they self-elect themselves as the ruler of the world, and it is their duty to safeguard the world.

We are fortunate that we are not embroiled into all this business of chemical and biological warfare. But that doesn't mean we don't have our own defences; armies and fighter jets and the latest tanks. We train our armies, we buy the latest equipments, weapons and vehicles to assist us in protecting our country. We teach our soldiers to be vigilant, disciplined, honourable and most of all, loyal beyond measure. They are supposed to follow orders. They are supposed to obey, and not to question.

It's the same with every other nation. They deployed their armies across the globe and without questions; these armies fight and destroy the enemies. Some of them might die along the way, but that is a small price to pay for peace and freedom. Worse still, some might get injured and lose a limb or two, or get mentally scarred. War can do a lot to men and women, it can change us completely. And it can scar us for life.

But that is of course, a small price to pay, for the love of the country. We are told to look at the bigger picture. We live today for the future. Today's wars are for tomorrow's peace and tranquility. Yet, there are always reasons to go to war, to invade and destroy.

If that is the price to pay for a better tomorrow, then we are all living in denial, and ignorance.

Monday, October 8

What's in the bag?

Yet another tag. This time from Lily and Spena. A double tag, so I guess I have to do it.

5 things in my bag (gym bag, since I dont use a handbag)

1. My trusted green pallas jazz
2. Clean pair of underwear
3. Gatsby deodorant (got it free from Sportsbarn)
4. Head & Shoulder shampoo (Menthol)
5. A small padlock

5 things in my wallet

1. Identity card
2. Gym card
3. Small calender
4. Driving license
5. Train timetable (Clayton to city)

5 Favorite things in my bedroom

1. My hundreds of books
2. My TV remote control
3. My CDs collections
4. My TV
5. A map of the world on my wall

5 Things I wish to do (in no particular order)

1. Start diving
2. Have sex
3. Form a band
4. Travel the world
5. Skydiving

5 Things I am doing now

1. Using SAP to generate the stock report (I'm still at work)
2. Browsing through Soccernet
3. Trying to figure out Facebook
4. Thinking about sex
5. Typing this line.

And I won't be tagging anyone, since everyone I know has already completed this tag.

Missing death

Right here with you is where I belong. Do you believe in love of a lifetime? That everybody has somebody? In fate?

Fate. Yes. For the rest of your life. Here with you, near with you. Need to be next to you. Mumbo jumbo plane in a gumbo.

How many days left for me to breathe in this life? I lost count. But the end is near, so near that I can feel it breathing at the back of my neck. Every single breath is precious now, for never will I know which one is the last, until the moment arrives. Melancholy. Infinite sadness. Death is inevitable. Unavoidable.

"Do you want to die?"

"I...I.... I don't know."

(8th February 2001)

Sunday, October 7

Bad hair day

There was a time when I was obsessed with my hair. I was getting bored of seeing myself in the mirror with the same hairstyle I've been wearing for the past 15 years. Not that I spend much time on my hair anyway. A quick comb will just set it in place, and I'm all ready to go. I don't use hair cream and gels, because I never liked the smell and the greasy feel they left on my hair.

When I was a teenager, I used to keep my hair long. It got so long that it annoyed my dad so much until I had to cut it short. Anyway, I guess it was about time I cut it, since the hot weather was really driving me nuts, and it was getting hard to play basketball with my hair flying all over my face.

After a very long deliberation, I finally decided that I should change my hairstyle.Get a makeover. Change how I look. Easier said than done, that's for sure.

I set on a quest with a friend of mine, and we asked around for a reputable hair salon. Now, I have never been in one, truth to be told. All this while, whenever I need a haircut, I will just frequent the friendly neighbourhood barber who charged me only RM10 for a haircut (used to be RM8 back in the old days), and still have time to do a quick head massage and a nice neck twist. Cheap, and convenient.

To cut a long story short (because I've listed down a few salons and did some research on them), we finally settled for a local salon (something within my budget). It came highly recommended from another friend of ours. So we made the appointment, and went there to get our hair done.

Of course, me being me, I still haven't decided on my new hairstyle, so the stylist had to endure my indecisiveness for quite a spell. Magazines upon magazines were flicked, and I finally chose one, out of desperation. Worse come to worse, I can always change it again in a few months time.

And so, I walked out that day with a new look. Not much of a difference, but at least it was something new. I was happy with it, until after a few days later, I noticed that my hair was turning back to its usual self.

I guess, the next time I'm thinking of another makeover, I need to do something drastic, like cutting my hair really short, or shave it clean.

Come to think of it, I wasn't really looking for a new hairstyle. What I wanted was a new life.