Friday, October 31, 2008

Sugarcanes and Watermelons

What I'm about to share is creepy enough that I'm only brave to type this out in the broad daylight. This story was told by a friend of my sister's, and apparently happened in a location not too far away from where I live (and the sister was under the impression that I used that route to work and told this story so I'd be careful - but how, I don't know)

The place in question was once an oil-palm estate. Today, oil palm trees still sway in the wind in a patch of land which goes almost as far as your eyes can see, but most of the area is now littered with medium sized industries, a road leading to/from the highway, the local Road Transport Department building and some small stalls, a mechanic's repair area and trees. It looks like the most normal area there ever was.

At night, the family members of my sister's friend set up a stall in that area, and one day (in the early am) which was as normal as any other day, one of the family members saw something from a distance carrying a sugarcane and walking towards the highway while they themselves were getting ready to pack up for the night. She stared at it, wondering why was anyone walking around that area at that time - unless they needed help of some sort. Apparently it noticed her as well, and turned to look at her, and immediately she felt as though she was pinned to the ground, while experiencing the creepiest feeling ever. She knew it was not human. It changed it's direction and started walking towards their crowd in what she described as an intimidating manner.

She somehow managed to point out what she saw and the whole family panicked as they hurriedly packed their stuff into their van. The thing was getting nearer to them as they worked. Finally they got into the van, and drove off. Nevertheless, the creature was still trailing them from afar, and the person who was driving the van (the mother, if I'm not mistaken) almost rammed the van into something on the road, which she couldn't see, but the others in the van saw. If it weren't for one of the kids who pulled the wheel aside, they would have all been injured. Speeding off, they finally managed to leave the thing behind.

Some time later, they got to know that the particular area has this resident "haunting" which we locally refer to as a 'penunggu". Apparently this one walks araound with either a sugarcane or a watermelon which signifies what it wants from the victims. Either death or injury. Although I do not use the road on a daily basis, it is near enough to give me the creeps.

That said, I've always been frightened of Asian horror... I remember watching this one episode of the Chinese X-files (the female investigator even had a similar hairdo as Scully, except that it was in black), and the images haunted me for weeks whenever I went to the bathroom alone at night. Well, you can't really drag anyone else with you into the bathroom, but I used to get my sister to sing some happy songs outside the door when we were younger, but she sometimes would let out a howl and run away and leave me doubly frightened. Thai horror is the creepiest of the lot, but very realistic - which is why it is so scary!

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Terra Turns Pink

She can't say why. Her sister thinks it's so unlike her. And after about an hour and a half of copying, saving and deleting and republishing, she still asks herself why. Pink is good, she thinks, and the yellow/orange/white combo has served her well. Maybe for a tad bit too long, she thinks. Besides, we can't live without shoes, and ahem! nice legs...

Her only regret is she can't change the font to Arial unless she goes back to each and every post (about 298 or so) and republish them one by one. Not a very appealing idea she thinks. She's a bit crazy but not that crazy. And then there's the time factor as well. Hehehe... And then there's the issue of not having the dashboard at her disposal... Nevertheless it's not such a big problem, she says to herself... Nothing she can't solve, anyway.

A bit of tweaking needs to be done, she admits, and if she doesn't like it in a few days/weeks/months/years (ha! ha!), she can always revert to the old one. She remembered to save it in case this one became a failure.

The template loads just fine on her laptop. She's not sure how it will look elsewhere. So, to all those who drop by here, do tell her what you think. Thanks :)

Ugh

It must have all begun with the strange weather we've been having lately. Rain, either in the form of sheets so thick you can hardly see 10 meters in front of you, or in droplets that somehow manage to wet you even if you're exposed to it just a bit, extra cold temperatures from the air conditioning units, as well as too much talking led to a scratchy throat, and perhaps an overdose of Fisherman's Friends, and eventually the infamous influenza, which sort of hovered for only a day or so.

I was supposed to get back to work today after a short break earlier in the week, but I was a bit weakened from the fact that I had not eaten any solid food from the night before due to a situation whereby eating/drinking anything would have led to worse consequences. A visit to the doctor confirmed one particular suspicion of food poisoning (I beg to differ, though), but how, where and why remains unanswered. Others who have been eating the same meals as me seem to be in the pink of health. How unfair is that?

Ah well, I still haven't started on solid food at the moment, but I'm feeling much better than I was last night. Besides, one day extra for a break is not going to do any harm, right?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I am a Jackie...

Quiz borrowed from Aunty and Lizza

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are a Jackie!

mm.jackie_.jpg



You are a Jackie. "I do everything the right way."

Jackies are realistic, conscientious, and principled. They strive to live up to their high ideals.


How to Get Along with Me
* Take your share of the responsibility so I don't end up with all the work.
* Acknowledge my achievements.
* I'm hard on myself. Reassure me that I'm fine the way I am.
* Tell me that you value my advice.
* Be fair and considerate, as I am.
* Apologize if you have been unthoughtful. It will help me to forgive.
* Gently encourage me to lighten up and to laugh at myself when I get uptight, but hear my worries first.

What I Like About Being a Jackie
* Being self-disciplined and able to accomplish a great deal
* Working hard to make the world a better place
* Having high standards and ethics; not compromising myself
* Being reasonable, responsible, and dedicated in everything I do
* Being able to put facts together, coming to good understandings, and figuring out wise solutions
* Being the best I can be and bringing out the best in other people

What's Hard About Being a Jackie
* Being disappointed with myself or others when my expectations are not met
* Feeling burdened by too much responsibility
* Thinking that what I do is never good enough
* Not being appreciated for what I do for people
* Being upset because others aren't trying as hard as I am
* Obsessing about what I did or what I should do
* Being tense, anxious, and taking things too seriously

Jackies as Children Often
* Criticize themselves in anticipation of criticism from others
* Refrain from doing things that they think might not come out perfect
* Focus on living up to the expectations of their parents and teachers
* Are very responsible; may assume the role of parent
* Hold back negative emotions ("good children aren't angry")

Jackies as Parents
* Teach their children responsibility and strong moral values
* Are consistent and fair
* Discipline firmly
Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz at HelloQuizzy

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Time to get out the Light sabres, yo!

Ah, what a wonderfully festive October we have here. Barely two weeks after one major festival (Eid), we are once again greeted by another (Diwali/Deepavali) which will arrive without much aplomb, I'm afraid on the 27th, which is totally awesome because festivals translate to public holidays, which I always look forward to every time. Just checked the calendar and regrettably there are no public holidays listed for November.

For the uninitiated, Diwali is the festival of lights, about the forces of good winning over the evil and mankind rejoicing because of that win, though seeing the world as it is today, I think the good never won at all. They were just in denial over their losing the battle and the evil forces for once left it at that and chose to remain silent. And it is almost always commemorated with the lighting of oil lamps all around the front porch at night, and visits to family and friends houses, as well as eating (yes, even people who claim that they are on a diet forgo all plans on dieting during festivals because the food is just too good - and as I might have mentioned in passing over the entries of the blog, food and Malaysians are inseparable. In fact, most people set their diet plans for after Christmas and New Years, and some even after the Lunar New Year!)

Growing up, festivals were always cool. New clothes seemed an exciting prospect, and receiving money from older people was something to look forward to despite the fact that it was all collected and put into the bank once all was over, and there was always fire works at night that you could play with and lots of smoke hanging in the air that you could inhale once the colours faded. Even the morning cartoons were tonnes of fun. These days, it's mostly about the food and the opportunity to take a rest as we would on any other holiday, and the day is no different from any other rest day because (I don't know if it is just me, or is it how it is these days) the shows on the television are either for the very young children, or the older adults. Thank goodness there is the internet! Even as a small quantity of excitement builds up during the preparation - nothing lifts your spirits more that the smell of freshly baked cookies wafting through the house, the excitement quickly dissipates into thoughts of the things that need to be done once it is all over.

I don't think we do the lamps much, either seeing how windy it can get and of course fire hazards and such. I wonder if it's too late to go and get a light sabre?

PS: Happy Diwali, people!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Ahem! or Lost in Translation

It's been 6 days since I last blogged, and it feels like I'm starting blogging from scratch all over again. In fact, my very first post over 3 years ago seemed to have come off much more easily. Otherwise, I would have never stuck to it for this long. Anyway, it has been a long week. Longer than usual, and longer than I expected. A combined total of about 9 hours of talking about an important topic in two days has left me with a scratchy throat, which I believe may leave me voiceless over the next few days.

Scratchy throats aside, I have a story to share. It seemed funny at that time, and hopefully by the time I'm done, it will still be funny. This story relates to one of the three day sessions with our foreign advisers on the unavoidable 10 year project the other day.

Bearing in mind the need to be punctual when dealing with these foreign people who shake their heads (contemptuously - if I may say so myself) at our so called "Malaysian time", I practically ran downstairs with a file that weighed almost 2 kgs and an assortment of other things. As I entered the discussion room, I noticed that everyone else except for me and another person was there. I put down my file, walkie-talkie, and diary on the table and sat, and the person on my left handed me a box (of what seemed like to be a box of cookies with a foreign label) and a marker pen and requested me to sign it.

I took it and signed it without much ado although I thought it was weird and handed the box to the adviser who looked at our little signatures on the box. He caught the attention of the translator, and said something to her a tad bit too quickly for me to understand. She then stood up and caught our attention by saying "Ladies and gentlemen" in her highly pitched voice and informed us that we were not meant to sign on the box, instead he had told her to look at the box and check out the ingredients and see if we could eat it (some of the members of our 10 year project are from a certain religion that prohibits the ingestion of certain types of food and the checking of the label was for their benefit) and she had mistakenly given the instructions to us in the first place.

Of course everyone laughed at this silly mistake of hers, but what amazes me is the fact that we all just quietly signed the box without asking any questions although it seemed weird.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Economically Unsound


Markets everywhere are tumbling just like sandcastles crumbling after a rogue wave. And yet, the finance portfolio holder says everything is just fine and dandy, and we shall all be happy and continue with what we've doing all this while. Oh, what a pretty picture!

Admittedly, my knowledge on economics is almost non-existent thanks to the education system I grew up in. If you're a science stream person, you stick with chemistry, physics, Biology and Additional Mathematics, and put your nose far away from the Social Sciences, arts and economics classes. No school (except maybe private schools, but I'm not sure) gave the option for you to take up a selection of subjects that you dig. I guess, inadvertently, it may have been some evil ploy to keep us only knowledgeable in certain areas so that we don't end up being too smart and start asking dangerous questions... hehehe. And due to that, most of the stuff I 'learned' about the economy is from a fellow blogger Zewt - who paints the picture in a terribly worrying way.

When you hear of banks folding, and big companies laying people off, you can't help but worry. I can't remember the 1984 economic slump (I was a bit too young to understand anything back then) but I remember the 1998 Asian Financial Crisis, and it is due to that I ended up doing what I do now. Well, not only me, but most of them born in around the same year as me had to re-evaluate our dreams and go with the flow... take whatever opportunity that comes, so to speak.

I read somewhere that the Malaysian Indices didn't drop as far as it should have because all the investors took off after the political tsunami in March (I'm sorry I can't specify the source of this info because I read too many things, and remembering where I read them is usually the last thing on my mind) A few months ago, I actually invested a bit in Public Mutual. I'm not sure if it is time to worry yet or not.

Nevertheless, people don't seem to be worrying as much as you'd think they should be. Being in the automotive industry, I can see that cars are still in demand (which is good for us, because cars can't go out without a good coat of shiny paint!) although the interest rates for loans have skyrocketed like crazy. People still throng the shopping malls at all times, which shows that they still have the buying power, and yet, deep down inside (and mostly after reading Zewt's stuff) I can't help being worried.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Start Me Up

I have a thing for:

a) Numbers (Not the tv show although I think the main character is kinda cute!) And it's pretty cool to have hit post number 100 for the year... especially after the slump in blogging for 2007

b) A lot of other things which I can't seem to remember because I thought of this post before sleeping last night and I've forgotten everything right now. I sure will most probably win an award for most forgetful blogger if there ever was such a thing!

c) Music, which brings forth this meme I pilfered off Woozie's blog because I think it's awesome, and yes, I have a thing for memes :D

1. Put your iTunes on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS!
4. Tag your friends who might enjoy doing the game as well as the person you got the meme from.

IF SOMEONE SAYS "IS THIS OKAY" YOU SAY?
Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd

WHAT WOULD BEST DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY?
So Much To Say - Dave Matthew's BAnd

WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL?
Hold On - Wilson Philips

HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?
Starry Eyed Surprise - Paul Oakenfold

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE'S PURPOSE?
Curse of The Tollund Man - The Darkness

WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
I'm in Love with my Car - Queen

WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?
Alive - Pearl Jam

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN?
The Scientist - Coldplay

WHAT IS 2+2?
Nada Valgo Sin Tu Amor - Juanes

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND?
Come To My Window - Melissa Etheridge

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
Walking Away - Craig David

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?
Interstate Love Song - Stone Temple Pilots

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
Handbags and Gladrags -Stereophonics

WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
Teenage Dirtbag - Wheatus

WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?
Love is All Around - Wet wet wet

WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING?
Januari -Glenn Fredly

WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?
Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out- U2

WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?
Ana's Song - Silverchair

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?
Somewhere only we know - Keane

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?
This Love - Maroon 5

WHAT'S THE WORST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN?
Is it Just Me - The Darkness

HOW WILL YOU DIE?
Square One - Coldplay

WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU REGRET?
Promiscuous Girl - Nelly Furtado

WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH?
Song 2 - Blur

WHAT MAKES YOU CRY?
Seaside Rendezvous - Queen

WILL YOU EVER GET MARRIED?
Paper Bag - Fiona Apple

WHAT SCARES YOU THE MOST?
Bigger Than My Body - John Mayer

DOES ANYONE LIKE YOU?
Freedom - Rage Against the Machine

IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE?
The Loser in the End - Queen

WHAT HURTS RIGHT NOW?
Something Stupid - Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman

WHAT WILL YOU POST THIS AS?
Start Me Up - Rolling Stones

To tag or to not tag.... I guess once again I'll leave it to any of you who might want to use this. It was fun! And the results are hilarious. Imagine Stuck in a moment you can't get out of for a funeral... how appropriate, seeing that once you're dead there's no getting out unless yo're a zombie! Even funnier, is that I never knew that I even had some of the songs listed above for instance Januari or even So Much to Say for that matter.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bursting Banks

To get to work, I have to cross the same river in two places using an old motorboat that lost it's motor a couple of years ago. Ok, that was a joke, a bit bad in taste perhaps seeing that some people still need to cross rivers that way...

Naturally, with rivers, the water occasionally decides to seek higher ground especially when their friends from the sky visit, and then there's also the fact that my glaring at people who indiscriminately throw rubbish on the roads, floor or everywhere else but the bin (and only god knows what monstrosities are thrown into the rivers... so sad!) seems to not have any effect whatsoever, which most probably leads to this crazy flooding after a few hours of rain which seems to happen oh so frequently these days. The road that I usually take was partly submerged in water in one small stretch and a double lane was reduced to a single lane. Even last Friday, I ended up staying back in work until almost 9pm because I heard about the road conditions from some other who got stuck.

For the same reason, I was late to work this morning (thank goodness my boss who uses the same route as me called and asked me to take another route through town, which saved me from being stuck for a few hours on the road) For a clearer picture, I give you this: Colleague A (almost same route as me but a little further) leaves the house at 6:40 am and reaches work about 7:15 am.Today she reached work at 8:10 am. I usually leave about 7:20 am and reach about 7:40 am, but at 7:35 today, I get the info about the massive jam, switch routes before I'm stuck there for good and finally reach work at 8:15 am.

This brings forth an important question... who or what do we blame for these recent occurences? (I've been using the same route for the past 4 years and this is the first year where such a thing has happened - 3 times in 4 months! Scary...) The people who haphazardly throw everthing into the rivers because they are too miserly to pay for proper disposal? The increased number of cars on the road? Unplanned development that is too fast and unhealthy? Does this mean that global warming is finally showing it's true colours (a murky brown...)?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Static Electricity and a Revelation


Firstly, I should make it clear that in the actual process of conducting the activities listed below, no one's hair stood on ends, no one suffered from static electricity shock per se, and the best part of all, it was not necessary to get any firemen involved (although I personally am of the opinion that they have one hell of a cool job despite the heat they have to face) Now that all wild ideas have been put aside, we shall continue.

A couple of days ago, I found myself in front of an audience of about twenty per session (we had to split it into three sessions) which makes it about 60 guys where I attempted to make them understand the shaky concepts behind static electricity, why we give such a damn about it and what we can all do to reduce the effects of static electricity even though I was completely unprepared for it (mentally, that is... because we're supposed to kick off these marathon training sessions, and this topic was selected to be the first and so there I was - doing some last minute mental preparation, as well as gathering some last minute material. As a measure to keep things interesting, I printed out copies of this document that would later become a pop quiz)

Now, I haven't done this (speaking in front of so many people in the name of training them as they sit at their seats taking in the information you're giving them while they silently appraise you) in a long time, and I was worried that I would be nervous and my overly active imagination worked overtime by conjuring up several unnecessary disasters that could most likely happen.

Surprisingly, despite all the insecurities that come with something you don't do on a daily basis, I somehow managed to maintain a cool disposition and was saved from any long term embarrassment. I have a strong feeling that the guys were able to comprehend what I was saying (I speak a bit too quickly sometimes - wish I could have such speeds when I'm typing, but I believe that it shall remain as wishful thinking till the end of time!) as they asked very good questions when I opened the floor to them, and most of them aced the pop quiz I gave them.

Strangely enough, while I was at it, I thought the training process was kind of fun.... weird!

Monday, October 13, 2008

When Nothing Else Works

Stupid blogger's block
You are nothing but a pain
And a great big joke

There's nothing like a haiku to save the day, and then there's only this... (although there is no connection, whatsoever)

Friday, October 10, 2008

THE CHILLS

It's cold. It's been cold for the past few days and it's an odd feeling saying how cold it is seeing that I'm here, in a country that is 'hot and humid' according to geography lessons from the yesteryears. Nevertheless it is still cold, and my fingers really, really don't like it.

Anyway, it was last Friday I think when I noticed an increased occurence of goose bumps caused by involuntary shivering. And it takes a few minutes of heating my hands together so that they're warm enough to put the bumps back where they belong. I was in an air-conditioned place when it first started, so I thought it was because it was cold, but it didn't stop there. Throughout the week, I'd be doing something I normally do, and the next thing I know I'm all in shivers even when everyone else is not.

My mom thought I might be having some sort of internal fever and told me to see a doctor. But then again, how do you tell a doctor that you think you might be having a fever but are devoid of any symptoms save the occasional shivering and a bad case of goose bumps when you sort of feel fine... the only question here being is getting the chills every now and then a sign of you being fine or not?

Based on how I'm feeling at this moment, I'd say... maybe not so fine after all. Ugh.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

EXPRESS NOVEL

People say the third time's a charm, but I'm fervently crossing my fingers and hoping that the second time can be a charm as well, because I don't know if I could attempt it the third time (not that I'm giving up so easily even before the attempt, but just because you never know what may happen)

So, I've gone and signed up to torture myself for 1 whole month with the yearly writing frenzy that is best known as NaNoWriMo after not doing so last year because I knew beforehand that I was to be away for about a week in November, unlike the previous year where I went on with it despite having a major exam, but gave up somewhere in the final week of November when I realised that I had to pass the exam by hook or by crook. That sucked big time, and till today that old story still remains at 34,000+ words and unfinished.

Enough with the old stuff... So far, I don't see anything impeding my progress in getting those 50,000 words this year besides myself, sudden bouts of laziness that may occur, writer's block, limited vocabulary and the fact that I haven't the slightest clue what the story is going to be about! I still have 3 weeks to come up with something, though. However, I'm going to go with the flow, plunge the fork in the cake and write like there's no next month. (there really isn't)

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Burning Bridges

It has been quite awhile since I ever acknowledged to having a best friend. Growing up, I had a small belief in best friends, those you share your deepest darkest secrets with, from silly crushes to favourite tv shows and books and secret desires to push annoying people down the stairs because I had read about such things and lived mostly in the world of make belief due to lack of entertainment.

I've always been surrounded by people, so called kindred spirits but rarely had anyone particularly close whom I could call my best friend. The closest friend I ever had was when I was in my early teens, where we rode the school bus together, joined the band in school (although only for 1 year) and spoke in F language about everything under the sun (much to the annoyance of some others who didn't know the 'language'). And then one day, without any warning, we just drifted apart (where she got chummy with some other kid whom I thought was the most boring person ever) none of us able to figure out why. They later on ceased being buddies as well. Today, I still hang out with this friend occasionally, and although we stopped speaking F language mainly because we are too old for such childish things and there's no need to keep our current conversation matters a secret.

Anyway, I met this friend last night, and we remembered an incident where another 'friend' of ours went ballistic because none of us (3 people) could make it to her wedding dinner, due to various reasons. She sent us a terrible e-mail which I almost wanted to reproduce here because I never imagined anyone who could be so mean (I'm sort of non-confrontational, so the e-mail came as a surprise) but I didn't because by the time I wanted to do so I wasn't so annoyed anymore. A discussion with victim no 3 of her e-mail reached the conclusion of allowing the matter cool down on it's own. About a year later, the ballistic friend starts communicating again, even though it's only through facebook.

About a week ago, she (ballistic friend) celebrated her birthday, and according to the friend I met yesterday, she was invited to a 'small birthday party' at the last minute. She couldn't go because of the last minuteness of the invitation (and I just realised that I wasn't invited! Tsk tsk) and now our ballistic friend is giving her the cold shoulder. So, I guess my friend will only be hearing from her in the following year?

Some of the friends I'm closest with (those who did Chem Eng with me) are the most understanding bunch ever. Invitations are sent out much earlier, and e-mails are circulated so you can plan, and even if you can't make it, no one is offended. Especially not to the extent of snubbing you for a year!

On a different note, I'm a bit perplexed by certain friends who suddenly decide to cut you off for no apparent reason - deliberately not replying messages/e-mails/yahoo messenger messages although they previously did so quite regularly. I've had two cases happen within the last year (2007) and can't seem to find any reason for such an action. Like I said, I don't go around picking fights and arguments with people. I'm thinking if it's time to start burning bridges on my own.... you know... clear up that cluttered phone book and e-mail addresses book.

PS: Edit on 6/10/08 - The two friends who cut themselves away were actually quite good friends of mine and also knew each other quite well. I was handpicked as a proofreader (of a play) for one of them and even contributed a haiku for the play. The other one I would consider a lost twin due to our similar interests (except for reading) which is why I think it's weird of them to do so, but then I also think I need to add that both of them have done this cutting off people thing once before (that I know of, anyway) That said, after giving it a bit of thought I've decided against burning the bridges with these two after all... (because they did it already) :)

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Stuff about Food

There has been an argument since the time people ceased having to hunt down game bigger than them, club it to death or spear it (to death as well) and drag it home to their caves so that the whole group could sit down to a decent meal of uncooked meat torn off with crude cutlery, or worry about when they themselves would be food for someone else or some other creature. The argument is, do we live to eat, or do we eat to live?

I was watching the local news this morning, something which I don't usually do due to the holier than thou approach they use in addressing issues and their reporting which quite a lot of people agree is slightly biased. So much for clear and transparent reporting. Nevertheless, once the local news segment was over and done with, they ventured to the world news, one of it being an International Hamburger eating competition in which the contestants are required to wolf down as many hamburgers they can in 8 minutes.

Now, no offense against the competitors who must have practiced really hard in order to eat all those hamburgers, not to mention the damage that their digestive tracts could face regardless if they allowed everything to get digested or if they had to throw it all up later. The thing is, it is quite pointless (in my opinion) for such a competition when there are so many kids starving out there... those who can't even get their hands on half a hamburger. I also have similar sentiments towards some of the so called records broken in the Malaysia book of records which I think were not necessary at all such as the 14 metre layer cake

Sorry about the grumpy post

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Revisiting Sherlock Holmes


The other day, when I blogged about what I've been doing with my life for the past 4 years, Aunty Helpful Dictator's mind went straight to Sherlock Holmes. And another evidence about how everything is interconnected, my sister happened to mention Sherlock Holmes in one of our many conversations about a few weeks before that. The thing is, for the past few weeks, I have also been reading Sherlock Holmes and his adventures in solving crimes.

I first got to know the amazing detective (yes, I know he is fictional, but...) at the age of 13 during Literature class (my teacher at that time seemed to be a big fan!) have become a fan myself ever since. At that time, however, our books were abridged versions with a controlled vocabulary of (I can't remember how many) words, which the English Language Department thought was the appropriate number of words any 13 year old should know... (after all, English is only thought as a second language here)

I've always been fascinated by crime solving characters. It started with Enid Blyton's Secret Seven and Famous Five to the Five Find Outers, to Alfred Hitchcock's Three Investi, gators, and Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys and finally followed by the abridged versions of Sherlock Holmes . It reached a point where one of my ambitions included being a private investigator, but was kept aside after a sudden realisation that it could never materialise no thanks to the career advisor at school.

I recently came across a collection of Sherlock Holmes stories (unabridged and with the original illustrations, or so they say), and discovered that they are still as fascinating as ever. I guess crime novels never run out of fashion even when you're spoiled with all the modern technology available in the CSI series. The best part of all is after all these years, I also finally found out how he and Dr. Watson became crime solving buddies.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

RESIDENT EVIL

They say there are unseen being lurking around us, trapped in a place where no one wants them to be and yet, when they show their existence even for a mere second, people run helter-skelter, sometimes swearing to never return to that place.

There are rumours going around that the place where we work has it's own group of unwanted guests. One of our guards had seen a headless creature after midnight once and was sick for a week. Some have seen a short 'person' with brush like hair, and there's also one tall one with long flowing hair.

There are some unseen ones who choose to make noise when you're all alone. Right above the office building, there's an utility room where the compressors and pumps are, and as far as we are aware, people don't work there at night, but sometimes, when you're sitting all alone, unaware that you're the last one sitting there finishing a stubborn report, you hear sounds of things being moved around in the utility room. Sometimes you can ignore them, but at times, it just gets a bit too creepy.

I had a dream last night about the work place. Now, when you're at the factory floor, you can clearly look into the office which is especially helpful if you want to look for somebody. I don't recall what I was doing there, but as I looked into the office at the area where I sit, I saw the creepiest apparition ever, 2 dark black figures with shocking green hair, and glinting green eyes. They seemed to be standing there, and one of them touched the shoulder of the guy that sits behind me, and he was totally oblivious to it. The other one stood near my table and looked around.

This image creeped me out so much I think I woke up in horror after that and had some difficulty sleeping again!