Monday, 31 December 2007

2007 – What A Year

2007.

What a freaking strange and wonderful year it has been.

This is definitely the most bittersweet year of my (adult) life. I’ve experienced so many things; the one and only thing missing from my collection of experiences is the kitchen sink.

I kid you not.

Highlights of the year:

  1. Most definitely getting a job which I like a whole lot. And having the best colleagues and mentors ever makes the work much easier than it really is.
  2. Getting back my 32-inch waist. I can finally wear spandex without looking like an overstuffed sausage! (Think Nacho Libre and you’d hit the jackpot.)
  3. Singing Celine Dion’s songs as well as the nastiest and cheesiest rock song ever, Eye of the Tiger, when I applied for a stinking job at an insurance company. Oh, that was such joyous fun!

  4. I’ve become a lot more confident and assertive. In other words, I am now more of an asshole.

Remember my 2006 Resolutions List? Here are the results (or lack thereof in many cases):

  1. Get a better job.

I’d liked that. Really.

Outcome: I did!

  1. Improve my guitar skills.

I still can’t seem to tune my bloody guitar! And it’s been 5 months already!

Outcome: Urm. I haven’t practised in aeons. Damn.

  1. Run for more than five minutes and not pass out.

The current time is 4 minutes. Ah, the ignominy!

Outcome: I can safely (and proudly) say that I can run for minutes (not hours, that’s just crazy) on end without the need for an oxygen tank.

  1. Stop my mouth from spewing out rubbish.

I remember reading an interview with Deftones once and one of the band members said to the singer, “Your mouth is like a shit making machine. You keep talking shit.” I think that pretty much sums it all up. Think first you dolt!

Outcome: I’m still an incorrigible git. But I’m getting cheekier, though.

  1. Write better.

Damnit, I’d do anything to write like some of you guys.

Outcome: I’m still trying!

  1. Finally get me some Mandarin lessons.

China girls, beware! And all you Mandarin-speaking, peace-sign lovin’, silly dressing gals out there, too!

Outcome: I’m about as useful as an elephant in a cage. A very small cage. I still can’t string sentences together but I can sort of get the gist of conversations.

  1. Get me Neil Gaiman’s Sandman graphic novels.

I’m eyeing the obscenely huge, tome-like, 20-episodes-in-1 bonanza that would cost me a quarter of my pay. Actually, what I mean to say is, get me the rest. Behold!

Outcome: I still haven’t read it yet. Heck, I still haven’t even taken out the damn wrapping!

  1. Listen to more jazz, preferably guitar-based ones.

I have to let my Marc Antoine CDs rest. They’ve been spinning non-stop. Trumpets, saxophones and other instruments that require one to blow into them need not apply. That sounded somewhat disturbing…

Outcome: All right. I still can’t get into “real” jazz (whatever that is anyway) but I can appreciate the finer stuff, like Sophie Milman to really “feeling” heavy stuff like Christian Scott.

  1. Read AND understand better.

I love to read but I tend to do it fast as though the words might run away if I took my time to really understand them. Darn. I feel dumb now.

Outcome: Not that dumb. I hope. I think. Sigh.

  1. Attract more girls with my wit and charm.

LOL! (I’m not much a LOL! fan but I felt that that was appropriate.)

Outcome: Dreadful.

My resolution list for 2008:

  1. To be a better person.
  2. Enjoy life with family and friends.
  3. Work hard and play harder.
  4. Save the planet. One plastic bottle at a time.
  5. See Dream Theater in concert, which, is going to happen on the 17th of January!

I’m going to miss 2007. But 2008 beckons me with even greater mishaps and missteps. Here’s to me! And what the heck, you as well!

Happy New Year!

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: Sorry for the lack of updates. Been terribly busy trying to be busy.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Iron Maiden seriously rules

Oh, man.

I have so many stories to share.

So many things I want to say.

But dangnabit, time ain't on my side. (She's probably on my backside but, urm....)

Have a great week ahead, people.

Watch this space.

This is Chris, signing off.


PS: One line paragraphs are teh shiznit! Yo!

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Golf is the most useless sport. EVER.


When I was about six, my father took me to the driving range for the very first time in my life. He had just taken up golf himself, and I being the dutiful but not-quite-prodigal son, followed him to see how my daddy was going to hit white balls with steel sticks. He got better at it while I got more and more frustrated as to why I had to shwing my body like an idiot. After awhile, my father even bought me a golf set for me, which I used to hit balls no further than a few metres away from me. My technique was all about brutal power; I swung as though a small head of a person I despised was on the pedestal where the ball is placed, imagining hitting it with all my strength and hearing the screams as the mutilated head disappears into the horizon. By the end of the day, my hand would be blistered and my butt strangely skewed to the right. I was too young to go on the green but I did attend a golf tournament once. I hated it. The only thing I like about golf is ironically, not actually playing golf. I don’t mind hitting balls. I just don’t see the reason why I have to hit it so far only for me to retrieve it some kilometres away and eventually push it into a hole in the ground.

Simply put: Golf is retarded.

The cost of taking up golf is enough for me to put a down-payment on a small car. On top of that, the cost of membership is an astonishing sum. You could feed a whole African village suffering from abject poverty and still have a bit more for medicine. Golf courses are so vast that they could be turned into wildlife reserves instead of having foreign labour manicuring the grass twice a day. The haughtiness golf generates is absurd. If your set is second-hand or worse, a cheap one, the wealthier folk will turn their nose up and say that their sticks are better. They feel deign to talk to you, no matter what.

Have you ever seen an overweight badminton player? A rotund F1 driver? Besides bowling, which sport lets you get away with being stout and chunky while wearing your grandma’s chequered trousers? Golf lets you get away with being unhealthy by making you think you’re healthy. You hit a ball, get on the buggy, stop, hit the ball again, get on the bloody buggy again, repeat and go back to the club and enjoy a lunch featuring a spread that would make any food nutritionist gag.

Sports are supposed to make you healthy, not porky.

Golf is a selfish person’s “sport”. There’s no I in team and golf perfectly demonstrates that. There’s of course the Ryder Cup where there’s two groups vying for lots of money and bragging rights. But it’s a group of selfish individuals. There’s no teamwork whatsoever.

People are paying millions every year just to hit a ball with sticks of varying materials and number on its shiny head. Yet the same can also be said about football, with players earning an obscene amount of $100,000 per week. We pay basketball stars a lot of money just for them to slam dunk a rubber ball into a basket. We see tennis players shrieking (Maria Sharapova squeals like a pig at times), stomping, and make us eat overly priced strawberries and cream at Wimbledon. Why do we venerate these mere mortals? What makes them “special”? Is it a primal thing? Is it a man thing? (I say man thing simply because men are into sports as women are into shopping. Generalising, I know, but it’s the closest thing I can think of.)

Golf can disappear for all I care. Just don’t touch my football.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: Michelle Wie is kind of hot. Still too young for me, though!

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

ARGH!............!..................!!!!splat

I hate pretending to be busy.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: This is going to be an awful, awful week. Whee!

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Is life ours to create?

The queue was as long as a dinosaur and just as fat. I was nine; slightly podgy from all the good food I had been eating for the past nine years, and there I was, standing right in front of the rusty gates with a slight pang of hunger. I have been there for almost an hour, and in less time that it takes for a girl to make up her mind as to which black blouse she wants to wear, the crowd swelled to a huge number only seen in a National Geographic documentary about penguins. And this was a school day. Aren’t people supposed to work on school days? Heck, aren’t the kids supposed to be in school? All this was at the theatre or cinema house as we oldies called them back in the day when watching a movie of that bygone era involved queuing for ages and you’d still never see the counter. And they had people actually writing the seating position. It was that long time ago. Only a movie that promised so much could whip such frenzy.

So, what movie could have generated so much buzz and teachers teaching to chairs and tables?

You guessed it: Jurassic Park.

It is first and foremost, a very entertaining movie. Seeing dinosaurs roaming the lush (very fake-looking now but damnit, it looked awesome back then) green forests and devouring cows faster than you can say “Kobe beef are good!” made a nine-year-old Chris a very happy brat and was well worth all the effort after almost being crushed by two very large Indian women with their bulging flesh poking out of their already small saris. For those who remember: did you squirm when the T-Rex flung the carcass onto the unsuspecting visitors’ jeep? Or did you scream when the raptors were chasing the heroes? I remember devouring every single scene, laughing at all the funny bits and excitedly jumping on my stinky seat whenever a dinosaur was in the frame.

Of course, besides the dinosaurs the other thing that made this movie better was the inclusion of Encik Lalat nee The Fly himself, Jeff Goldblum. Up until recently, my recollection of his performance was the famous line he utters when the good lady palaeontologist was digging into poo, and his incredulous exclamations of “Droppings? Droppings?” It still manages to make me chuckle. Coupled this with his trademark delivery of delivering smart-sounding babbles and yodel, which at the time sounded pretty darn smart to a kid like me but all of it was totally lost in translation because I couldn’t understand what the hell the meanings were.

Here’s probably the best piece of dialogue from the movie:

“I’ll tell you the problem with the scientific power that you’re using here: it didn’t require any discipline to attain it. You read what others had done and you took the next step. You didn’t earn the knowledge for yourselves, so you don’t take any responsibility for it. You stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something as fast as you could and before you even knew what you had you patented it and packaged it and slapped it on a plastic lunchbox, and now you’re selling it, you want to sell it!”

It’s funny that we read about lives being lost every single day but when a cloned cow with an extra udder is created, people react as though a cacodemon was summoned by half naked eldritch interns. I think cloning a human being is wrong (who the hell, seriously, wants a clone of themselves?) and goes against the laws of nature, the cosmos and whatnot. But cloning animals and organs, to me, is something I’m okay with. After all, the reason why the dodo and countless animals have become extinct is because of us. And organ cloning is a no-brainer, do we want to keep waiting for someone just so that we can get their organs?

But let’s leave Lassie alone, shall we. Just like Goldblum said, “Life finds a way.”

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: I wanted to eat some sushi the other day, but an assortment of innards and other offal delights were on offer. I didn’t feel like eating anymore.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Email Madness

This was how I felt last week. Really. (No amphibians were hurt in the making of this blog post.)

I’m a liar.

Remember my last post? It said that I would post the dirty on what transpired during my one-night team-building bonanza. Well, I’m sorry to disappoint you, my ever adoring fans, but it ain’t going to happen. Not for this week, at least. For this week was the week that Chris got screwed. By his own screwdriver!

Dreadful analogy aside, I made more mistakes on Friday than I did the past bloody month and a half! At one point, I just couldn’t help but laugh at myself. My mistakes were sort of like gaffes: not terrible enough to be called bad mistakes but enough to be called downright daft mistakes. And from gaffes, it invariably morphed into snafus. The less said about them, the less agonising it is.

The biggest part of the shitty predicament I was in the last week is something that everyone working in a torture cha…office has to use:

Email.

To. CC. BCC. Holy weed cakes from Jamaica! I’ve sent the wrong email to the MD!

Imagine that were to happen to you. What you would do? Would you jump out of the building before the MD comes pounding to your station, demanding an explanation as to why he’s affectionately known in the office as Very Big Pain in me Arse?

Sometimes clicking on the Send button can be so damn nerve-wracking.

People always say you learn better when you make mistakes. I hate that. But it’s an adage that I’ve been required (for lack of a better, less discomforting term) to employ, whether I want to or not. The great thing about making a mistake, any mistake, at this point in time—and especially in my case—is that I can still hide it behind my inexperience and my look of absolute vapidity:

Boss: What? How come wrong, ah? Don’t know how to do, ah?
Me: (Shoulders shrug, benign look of utter dumbfoundedness). I don’t know la, boss. Can teach me, ah? Please? I give money!

Instant get out of jail trick! But I know that ploy won’t work for long. And I don’t want it to, truth be told. I want to do things that aren’t necessarily part of my job requirements because it'll be nice to know other things. I want to solve things. But I can’t because there simply isn’t enough time and manpower in order to bring me up to speed. I’m impatient, I know. People keep telling me it’s only your sixth week doing something they’ve been doing for years, so, take it nice and slow.

The week of 12th November will be the week I remember the most whenever I want to recollect my early days as a junior consultant. It was a tiring week, both mentally and physically. It was a week where I was at my most unenthusiastic and unmindful. But somehow, by the good graces of the Metal Gods up in the sky, I managed to pull through. With a few scars and a slightly damaged ego as souvenirs.

I’ve got a couple more emails to send out. Hopefully it doesn’t get sent to the CEO!

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: Getting hit with a paintball actually stings a lot. Especially if it explodes in the vicinity of the nether regions!

Sunday, 11 November 2007

C’mon, motivate me. I dare you.

You have the right to be rich!

How I made a million in my pyjamas, and so can you!

I used to plough the fields before dawn but now I’m skyrocketing up the stock market!

This reminds of the time when I went to a camp organised by the prefects’ board when I was a not-too-long-ago youth. As a senior prefect, I was required to oversee certain aspects of the camp, from safeguarding the well-being of my juniors to supervising the many activities that were to be carried out.

I didn’t.

This was my first and last camp (I was never much a camper) and I’ll be damned if I didn’t join in the fun! As with all school organised camps, this had We’re gonna motivate your ass right now! Yee haw! written all over it. Other “rousing” war cries included such gems:

  • Inspiring you and your future! And there’s nothing you can do to stop us!
  • You’re a champion! The rest are bottom feeders!
  • You’re better than that boy who fell into the sea wearing only his underwear!

It was propaganda. I would nod my head each time my teacher/motivational coach/football coach/shameless glutton said something that needed nodding. It wasn’t that I was rude or didn’t appreciate his talk; I just wanted to have fun, fun and FUN! Let’s cut the chatter and go to the beach to play some beach games. I reckon that’s more motivational. I also didn’t want to be told that in order to serve my school I had to blah yadda blah yadda blah…snore. I’m done with that kind of pointless pep talk and superfluous rah-rah. But the younger ones, oh my, they loved it. They lapped it all up like a cat taking to a saucer of fresh milk. Of course, to be fair, the said teacher/motivational coach/football coach/shameless glutton had the charisma to charm these wide-eyed dolts as well as motivating the bloody punks.

I don’t know about you, but motivational gobbledygook doesn’t work on me. If there was ever a pill for motivating people, I’d be allergic to it. Severely. The thing that irks me the most is how these motivational speakers tend to alter their tone of voice to that of a person explaining the intricacies of flushing a toilet while subscribing to the belief that if I can do it in my underwear, so can you! The only person that can truly motivate me is, naturally, me. More often than not, it is my constant vomit of words of encouragement that gets me going. If I feel tired after a jog, I’d look around to find a languid-looking person and say, “No way, man. I’m going to do another lap.”

Using people’s shortcomings to bolster your waning optimism can be very invigorating.

I used to be of the opinion that self-help books are books written for people who should know better. It’s all done in a didactic manner, no matter the style of writing, be it for gardening to buying the kitchen sink. People like Dr. Phil and other hack jobs are making millions from telling people what to do. If I had known, I wouldn’t have taken up IT and gone straight to marketing.

Bullshitting is so much easier than programming.

Of course, the times have change and I have altered slightly my opinion on self-help material. I draw the line at getting those “Let’s go and make money in our undies!” or “Why loving me is more beneficial than loving yourself,” type of books. Now, if you’ll excuse, I’m off to read How to be best Chinaman do Business Stuffs.

Trust me, it’s really good.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: Question:- Have you been—truly and wholly—motivated after attending some form of motivational camp or read book telling yourself that “You’re number 1!”?

PPS: Do look out for my next post as I’ll spill the beans (literally) on what transpired during my company’s GASPY! GASP! teambuilding thingy.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

You might as well tie a dead raccoon around your neck

By the time most of you read this, I would have entered the second month of my third job. And boy does it feel good. This is going to make me sound like a broken down recorder but I like my job, team and office so damn much. I’m literally the baby of the team, with the second youngest merely 5 years older than me.

The place where I work is the best. Nah. Others think that but I don’t. Everyone thinks it’s an exclusive place to work. Sure, my office is on the 63rd floor (if you fellas wanna know how high that is, just look up the sky, chances are you still won’t see my smiling face looking down at you an…people.) The Petronas Twin Towers, or more commonly known amongst Malaysians, Them Bloody Tall Tall Buildings, towers many other, um, tall buildings. It’s like Michael Jordan and a bloody hobbit standing side by side ‘cept that one slam dunks with his tongue wagging while the other doesn’t seem to wag tongues.

Guess what. I committed my first real and potentially catastrophic snafu! Thankfully, my boss came over to my station and explained to me the proper way of doing things. Midway through his explanation, he started to laugh, saying that maybe they should’ve provided additional information in order to complete the job. I nodded my head, trying my best not to laugh. I would have laughed for one simple reason:

I honestly don’t know much, but here I am, almost causing the entire system of a client to go bust! All I did was clean up the list of clients of ours and updated certain details. It goes to show that technology—while in so many ways is a blessing of sorts—can also be a curse. One minute everything is working dandy and gay but the next, it can prove to be the last thing you do. Furthermore, the big boss from UK was in a generous mood (odd, because the previous day he was practically livid with rage) and told my boss that maybe we should have given the (rather dim) fellow clearer instructions.

And this brings us nicely (oh dear lord, thank you) to the blog’s title. Having a lanyard wrapped around your neck like a really skinny python is one of the most annoying things any working person has to wear. It gets in the way, like for instance, when you want to pee. Since (most) men pee at the urinals, you have to juggle between your ahem and the dangling noose, assuming you’re not wearing a shirt with a pocket. It’s a symbol where a small percentage of the working community think that just by wearing it makes them superior. The thicker the lanyard, the more stuck up some people are.

What is it that makes people so proud to wear what is basically a string tied around one’s neck? It’s nothing but a form of advertisement. It’s like when a male peacock sees another male, he immediately becomes a competitor. The same goes with me. There’s another IT consulting firm, perched only 2 floors higher than my office. The minute I see one of their employees, I right away stand to attention and try to look as hoity as possible. I lose always since the competitors are usually more conceited and have better eyelashes than I do.

What else can I say? I think I’ll wear my lanyard. I look rather spiffy.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: For some strange reason, I find dangling my lanyard at the side of my leg is pretty cool.

Monday, 29 October 2007

I wonder who wears the trousers now

don't I look pretty?

Gender equality is a myth. Egalitarianism is something that your grandma heard on the radio and thought it was used to bake cakes. There’s no way that a woman can do things better than a man. It is preposterous. Inconceivable. So I issue this clarion call to all you feminists to gather your expensive bras to go ahead and burn them because I just don’t give a rabbit’s fluffy behind. Just be topless when you burn them. He, he, he.

Looks like I’ve just managed to stir up some controversy, eh? (Please say I did.)

If I’ve said once then I’ve said it a thousand times: I believe in peace and harmony. I believe in yin-and-yang like Lillian Too does in her choice of hair-dye colours, which by the way, is matched in its infinite horribleness by her own female offspring. I am of the school of thought where things should be done with care, respect and precision. I truly believe that jobs need to be done by the right person. I don’t care if you’re a guy with effeminate features or you’re a butch girl with bellbottoms, get the job done and get the job done well.

House husbands. These two words used to illicit giggles from bemused quarters. Who would expect a burly man hanging his wife’s undergarments? Would a man do grocery shopping with a baby in the trolley? And what about the tampons that he has to get for the missus? Would he suffer the looks and giggles? Back in the day it would have taken a man his all just to block out the comments and keep himself from becoming into the Incredible Hulk and start going on a rampage. But now it seems that is okay, normal even, for a man to give up being a man and become a father to his child. So where’s the harm in that?

Are these men brave? Yes, they certainly are. But is their bravery true in the sense of the word? Not really. The way I see it, it is about choice. They choose to stay at home because they know that the missus is able to provide for the family better than he could (or it could be something more implicit, I can’t be sure). If this choice raises eyebrows at dinner parties then so be it, there’s no harm done.

To me, it’s nothing to be ashamed of if the missus earns more than you do and the children need a parent to take care of them of their early years, then so be it. What’s important is that everyone is happy and comfortable with it. It doesn’t matter who pays the bills because the government doesn’t recognise gender or marital status when money is concerned.

I grew up with 3 strong, ebullient (when they weren’t screaming at me, naturally) and brilliant women. They’re independent and certainly are able to take care of themselves and others. I remember my mom teaching me to respect women and that they are not your personal maid that you can boss around. My sisters still continue to bash me whenever I make a rude comment. I kid you not.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s okay to be a macho man who hangs his wife’s undies. Just make sure he doesn’t hang his friend’s wife’s undies.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: Wearing a sari takes a lot of hard work, yo.

Friday, 19 October 2007

Boys and girls

I used to like watching a show called Child of Our Time. The children featured on the show were cute, cuddly and made me feel all warm inside. Of course, watching CSI (mainly for the women), Lost (only for Evangeline Lilly, she’s da bomb) and Grey’s Anatomy (used to, I hate the current storyline) makes me feel warm, too. If you know what I mean. He he. All right, fine, I’ll get on with the actual topic. People can be so impatient.

What makes a girl a girl and a boy a boy? Is it to do with upbringing? If a girl plays with boys’ toys is all right but heaven forbid if a boy plays dress up. It’s unnatural. Boys are boys and girls can be boy-like provided she wears pink outfits and takes an instant liking to Hilary Duff.

It’s weird to think that people actually equate that if a boy is surrounded by females, he will grow up to be slightly effeminate, or worse, a (please don’t say that G-word) homosexual. To me, that’s utter bollocks. I grew up with three women and look how I turned out. I eat so fast my food digests as I eat, I fart in public places (surreptitiously and skilfully executed, of course), I burp loudly and proudly after eating a hearty meal and I swear because I don’t give two shits. Or a fuck. Take your pick. If you want a better example, Tom “I like to buy medical equipments to check up on my baby” Cruise. He was also raised by women as well and he is in no way as hell a sissy. Scientology may be a hoot of a “religion” but it’s not the reason he’s such a macho chap.

It seems that being a homosexual and open about it constitutes bravery, self-confidence and all-round champ. Like, duh. They like people of the same gender. Hello! I for one have always maintained that you don’t have to be straight to be my friend. I could not care less whether or not you like men’s butts; just don’t touch mine and we’re all dandy.

If I have a daughter I’d like her to be feminine but also be able to kick some guy’s family jewels if he ever touches her inappropriately. As for my son, I hope he’ll be able to bash the guy even further for hurting his sister in any form. But if fate has it that either one of them prefers their own gender, then I’ll support them (I’ve watched Brokeback Mountain). I just want them to be happy. I admit my parents did project their wrongdoings unto me and my sisters therefore hoping for us to not turn out like them. They forgot one important thing: we aren’t them. It is this so obvious element that has left them confounded, unable to understand us properly and ultimately is the reason why I’m a rather strapping young lad.

You wouldn’t catch me wearing pink, though.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: Guys, please bring stop turning up your collars. You remind me of dogs who keep biting their own tails.

Monday, 15 October 2007

Isn’t Hello polite enough? / Save me

This blog post has two stories, since my blogging brain is currently undergoing massive overhaul. Bare with me, please. Thanks.

The second week of work has come and gone like a bat out of hell. Or worse, a Jerry Springer show. On Monday, I came in hoping to do some work. Anything at all. But it was wishful thinking. Again, I was reduced to looking as though I was handling a million clients but in actual fact I was reading a gossip blog. Yes, I have been turned into a slobbering, gossip-crazy nut. As far as gaining information on the company and other whatnots, I literally have to drop eaves just to find out basically anything at all.

A typical work day would have this scenario: I ask the team a question regarding the work I’m supposed to be doing. Their reply, well, since you haven’t gotten all your access IDs to the system, showing it to you right now is akin to showing a baby how to arm wrestle. With a crocodile. A shrug of the shoulders and I’m once again left to my own devices.

This is the first time I feel like a total con. I feel like I’m deceiving my colleagues but I know it isn’t true. But all the same, I feel guilty. Even my boss is nonchalant about my being about as useful as an orange in a ketchup factory. After all, he only joined the company a few weeks earlier than me and he still doesn’t have all the necessary access authorisations.

Everyone tells me the same thing: enjoy your “honeymoon” while you can because once you have work, there’s nothing else but work. You’re going to be cranky. You’re going to be scolded at. Heck, you may get your ear pulled if you keep committing the same mistake over and over again. But I know it’ll be worth it.

I really do.

PS: I got screwed from the big boss in UK all because I said Hello instead of sounding like a smarmy salesman. Where’s the justice?

Save me

The building fa├žade was orange; unlike the customary pristine white you’d normally associate buildings of this nature. The open-air carpark provided scant shade for my untinted 14-year-old car so by the time for us to leave, it would be hot enough to bake a cake. I no shit you.

Hospitals don’t scare me. They intrigue me. Morbid, aren’t I? Let me explain. I have never been one to be afraid of death, because if there’s something more terrible than death, it has to be Indian sweets, which takes the sweet to a whole new level.

A not-so-close relation to the family had fallen ill recently and my family decided to pay the person in question a visit. This being a private hospital in a rather upscale area, the amenities were equally upscale.

When I reached the ward where the ill person was, in another room was a premature baby born only the day before I came. If you look carefully enough, you could make out the baby’s tiny, tiny hand.

I’m not religious, but I said a small prayer to the gods above that they let this child grow up to be a nice person. Or at least a better driver in the next, oh. 20 years from now.

As I left the hospital, I couldn’t help but think of my own mortality. I workout almost other every day and I try as much as possible to avoid eating them “unhealthy” food. The discipline it takes to make me stop eating the vastly improving Malaysian food culture could make Shaolin monks green with envy.

The main point I’m trying to make is this: do I want to be bed-ridden for the rest of my life or do I want to go out before everything starts to fail?

At this point in time, I just want to be healthy and happy. And I think I’m doing a great job of it.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: You know you’re very old when your 10-year-old cousin says, “Who’s this man?”

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Geerow is geerow!

What do you get when you try to cross the road with a hammer?

I have not a single friggin’ clue. But I do know this:

It feels awfully good to earn your own money. Yes, ladies and old folks, I am officially off the jobless list.

In addition, this is the inevitable “first week on the new job” post. I must say, this is probably the best “first week on the job” week I’ve ever had. So far, I have done nothing. And I mean, nothing. And I find it disturbing. It seems that due to the fact that I joined on last minute thing, my IDs to enter the various systems in the office haven’t been set up properly. So I’m stuck surfing and chatting. Only a few times I was shown the work that I would be doing in the coming months. But I think I’ve settled in pretty well, I interact well with my team and others (I hope so).

I really, really wish I could say more but the more I try to come up with something, the less I get. But fret not, for I shall spill all the sordid details as time goes by. So, in the mean time, be happy, people. For there's nothing like being happy in a not-so-happy world.

This is Chris, signing off.


PS: The colleague that sits behind me keeps saying zero as “gee-row,” which is driving me up the wall. It’s ze-ro, gosh darnit!!

Thursday, 27 September 2007

If life was a talent show, I’d be voted off already…

This ain't me, folks. Really.

A thought came to me while I was on one of my evening jogs. (I was thinking so much that I almost fell into a drain. I fell nonetheless.):

What are my talents?

Hmm, let’s see, shall we? Is digging my nose to uncover green gems of gloop whilst typing out an SMS considered a talent worth bragging about? On second thought, I don’t think I want to list that when I go to an interview. I can burp the ABCs but normally by the time I reach M I’m slightly out of saliva. I can come up with the most inane conversation starters but the time I reach the middle it gets lame.

I’m not so sure myself. I can barely play the guitar. I find it difficult trying to hit shuttlecocks going at speeds even tortoises would laugh at me (if they had a sense of humour and a funny shell, get it? shell? hehe). My running skills are only feasible for five minutes and after that I’ll just pass out from embarrassment. My computer skills are limited to the things I know which aren’t much to begin with. I try to read five books at a time but I end up getting a headache from trying too hard to follow just one. My cooking skills are excellent provided I don’t cook in the first place. I try to sound all-knowing and burly but in the end I come out as slightly cocky and very cheesy nerd.

So what is my claim to fame? What makes Chris stand out from a crowd of talented, multi-talented, super-talented people? The answer is simple:

By being me, I guess.

I think that pretty much sums up everything.

Here’s something I wrote during my five-week course that I somehow forgot to include previously:

Wow.

The third week of my not-really-5-week course is now over. Just slightly over a month ago, I was busy doing nothing. I’m so preoccupied that I even forget to shave. My beard. No funny thoughts. The last two weekends just blitzed by like a, um, blizzard. And the next two will be no different. In fact, they’re going to go by so fast, I’ll have a beard of epic proportions by the time I get to the exam room (no hall, since the organisers are cheapskates).

Mr. Overachiever, who, henceforth shall be known simply as Bloody Idiot, confuses my confused face with my I’m-thinking-but-it-looks-like-I’m-confused face. He’s a nice guy; humorous (he laughs at his own little jokes) but his thick accent makes the jokes sound like a fish trying to spew water out from its mouth. But get him into a classroom, and he’ll transform into a 12-year-old with a beard of epic proportions. Nasty.

I’d like to think I’m one of those guys who can multi-task. You know, for instance, brushing my teeth and headbanging. That kind of thing. The last three weeks have been anything but.

Shucks. I have to go now. I have a course to finish.

And on a much happier note, I’d like to announce that I start my new job next week, Monday! While the job is somewhat dissimilar in area from the course that I took, nevertheless, it’s still under the same scope. I’m excited as can be, so much so I’m planning to get myself a new pair of trousers. Yes, trousers!

Till the next time, take care y’all.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: Oh, and if I were to quit in two weeks, well, you know where to find me.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Another lugubrious and angry as heck post!

Well, no.

With my last post being an utterly saddening affair, I thought I'd come up with something funny, witty and nonsensical.

It didn't materialise.

Instead, I present to you this:

Enjoy, people! And remember, even if you don't have the mood to dance, this will surely perk you up!

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: Mourinho no more! Muahahaha!

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Monsters are among us

Crap.

Since I failed my exam not too long ago, I’m in my little room, studying and studying and trying to remember what went wrong. It’s a Saturday and I should be out and about, scouring the scene on the lookout for some fun, right? Nah. I’m too parsimonious and my eyes for night driving are about as good as bat’s in the daytime. The realisation of it is that I now know the difference between a function and a decision operation. It’s Greek to you but it’s practically the language of love to me. But whenever I think that I’ve had a crummy and craptastic day, nothing, and I mean nothing, compares to the anguish suffered by families whose wonderful lives have suddenly taken a turn for the absolute worst.

A beautiful, young girl was “kidnapped” (no one knows for sure) in Portugal while her parents when out to get dinner but a few hundred feet away from their holiday apartment. One might think, how can parents leave their children—especially young ones—just to get dinner? Everyone knows it’s a hassle but isn’t safety more important? I reserve judgement, for as they say, innocent until proven guilty.

Not far away, a young boy, who after playing a game of football, was on his way home when he was fatally shot by a bicycle-riding youth. He was an eleven-year-old who, like me, a big football fan. The only difference is that he won’t get to see any more matches. Some sick bastard decided to end his life. Because of what? What sane reason could the killer give? What the hell is going when kids can just get on a bike and point blank shoot someone?

In the local front, on the front page was the simple headline “Girl Killed”. A day later in the same paper, it was reported that the girl’s mother and her boyfriend were remanded. They were under suspicion of murdering the child. Her own mother. The case was hot news but now the girl is just a distant memory. And since the Chinese are absolutely bonkers when it comes to superstition and all that feng shui shit, they said to themselves, “Let go to the bet bet store!” This is human behaviour at its most despicable and I hope the punters suffer some form of malignant fungal growth on their genitals for their seemingly lack of respect and compassion.

What the hell is the world coming to? Guns can be purchased from a back alley and now the customers are kids. Children killing other children are sick and depraved. I don’t care if there’s such thing as “effective rehabilitation” or something to that effect, once you’ve committed an atrocity against a human being, (or animals, even) you deserve to be punished accordingly. It’s the same with paedophiles and rapists, you may be able to wash away their stains but you can never cleanse their damned soul.

Some people deserve to live and others don’t.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: My heart goes out to all those who have tragically lost a loved one. May they find eternal peace, wherever they are.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Fuck

62.

Nope, that is not the number of children I want to have by the time I’m 30. That’s the score I got for the exam. The one that I failed on Monday morning. Passing mark? A not too distant 70. I needed eight more. A measly eight and I would’ve been a certified CONsultant. Fo sho, as they say. Lady Luck didn’t smile on me. I think she was on leave.

You know what’s worst than failing? Being monstrously hungry and dreadfully sleepy and, of course, failing. To further compound my wretched start to the day, my glasses decided to break while I was midway into the exam. It broke by itself, I swear. I started chuckling. The other people thought I was mad. They probably they thought I was an asshole for disrupting their concentration. I sincerely apologise. After getting over the fact that I didn’t get the highest marks I so dreamt about, and to console myself, I headed for lunch. I had spaghetti Napolitano, which essentially was spaghetti with ugly meatballs and even uglier mixed vegetables. The three sad-looking meatballs were surprisingly all right. They were so hot they burned my tongue. On the way back, the train decided to stop having air-conditioning. Someone’s shoes smelled really bad. I missed the feeder bus by a whisker. I had to wait 45 minutes for the next one in the stifling heat. Someone’s armpits smelled really bad. In the evening, Mother Nature decided to throw in her own brand of misery by turning on the heavenly sprinklers (an awful analogy, I know) just as I was about to go for a jog.

I'm gonna make cellophane tape on glasses sexy.

I can take the studying bit, and really I have no other choice since I’m already in it for life, but it’s the paying-for-the-re-sit that’s a major bummer. It ain’t cheap; it’s someone’s pay and a bit more. Maybe I can get my future employer to pay for it. Or at least subsidise it a little. I’m well worth it. I think.

Anyhow, here’s a big congratulations to the Cookie Man (have a safe journey back to Slovenia! I know you’re not reading this, but what the heck) and to my dear friend, Fill, for finally getting something good after enduring a tumultuous time the last couple of months. It’s nice to hear good news when you’re feeling like shit.

In hindsight, I think I did the very best I could. As disappointed as I am, honestly, getting a 62 is pretty darn good considering some of the questions just boggled me silly. Better luck the next time, was the invigilator’s words. He’s right. By the time I’m done posting this, I’ll most probably be finally unpacking my bag, sorting out my notes and preparing for the next round, which will be in a month’s time. I hope to get a job as well, hoping that any potential employers wouldn’t mind hiring a hardworking yet still uncertified dude.

In the mean time, I think I’m going for some retail therapy.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: Never, ever, study at 1 a.m. and then getting up later at 5 a.m. to study again on the day of your exam. It be bad, yo.

Friday, 31 August 2007

I am a Malaysian Human. Whatever that means...

If I was born and bred in Nigeria, I would be a proud Nigerian. If I was born and bred on some remote hilltop village which is located only by trekking for 8 hours and climbing treacherous mountainous regions located in Borneo, I would be proud to be a, um, village person from Borneo. If I was half Jamaican and half Japanese (Jamainese? Japacan?) but bred in Scotland, I would be a proud Scot.

But I was born in Malaysia. I was bred in Malaysia. And I’m not sure if I’m proud to be a Malaysian. Or a human, for that matter. But that’s really a whole different kettle of fish altogether…

Over the years, I have had the “not bothered” attitude when it comes to my nationality. To me, I’m in Malaysia and there’s no point in me doing patriotic things. Like attaching detachable flags on my car. Or jumping off a building wearing the national colours. I’ve never stuck the country’s flag on my car. I’ve never worn a t-shirt bearing the Malaysian flag nor do my handkerchiefs bear the distinctive colours. Heck, I don’t even remember the words to the national anthem, Negaraku. (I will surely be hunted down and killed and have my entrails on pikes after this. Mark my words.). I just know that I’m in a country that is both distinctive and every so often exasperating. I won’t do that and I don’t see myself doing it in the foreseeable future.

I won’t lie and say that I’ve never made a racist remark myself. When I was growing up, I was subjected to, at times, really disparaging remarks about my skin, my eyes, and heck, even my very existence. Never accuse me of being a racist. I hate everyone equally.

Racial harmony? Never heard of it.

It has been said that with the country’s current political situation and other whatnots, a number of people have talked about immigration in order to escape. Escape from what exactly, I’m not sure. I have heard of people citing reasons such as the many hiccups in the judiciary system, the lack of unity among the races, our RM5.68 (!!!11LOL11!!!OMG) cup of Americano coffee as catalysts to jump ship. I for one wouldn’t mind working in another country. In fact, I don’t mind if I had to work in another country for the rest of my work-able life, but when my bones start to ache and I develop a belly the size of a small manatee, I would love to come back, and ultimately, finally settle down.

I may hate it from time to time (which right-thinking Malaysian doesn’t?), the people, the road, cashiers, contractors, salespeople, but home is where the heart is. You can call me unpatriotic. I just call it as it is. Today, the country celebrates its 50th year of independence. I, on the other hand, will celebrate my “freedom” on the 3rd of next month. Now, that’s more meaningful to me.

Happy 50th Birthday, Malaysia.

Here’s to another (un)glorious 50.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: Exam is next Monday. Wish me luck, guys and gal. I’ll bring them with me.

Friday, 24 August 2007

Yikes

Wow.

The third week of my not-really-5-week course is now over. Just slightly over a month ago, I was busy doing nothing. Right now I’m so preoccupied that I even forget to shave. My beard. No funny thoughts. The last two weekends just blitzed by like a, um, blizzard. And the next two will be no different. In fact, they’re going to go by so fast, I’ll have a beard of epic proportions by the time I get to the exam room (no hall, since the organisers are cheapskates).

Mr. Overachiever, who henceforth shall be known as simply as Mr. Just-A-Question; Just-One-Question; This-is-Bad, confuses my confused face with my I’m-thinking-but-it-looks-like-I’m-confused face. He’s a nice guy; humorous at times, but his thick accent makes his jokes sound deadly boring. Get him into a classroom, and he’ll transform into a 12-year-old with a beard of epic proportions. Nasty.

I’d like to think I’m one of those guys who can multi-task. You know, for instance, brushing my teeth and headbanging. That kind of thing. The last three weeks have been anything but.

I’m so screwed.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: No loooooong posts make Chris sad.

Friday, 17 August 2007

I'm running on empty

As previously mentioned in the last post, there’s the overachiever who asks questions when there’s not even an answer to it. Yesterday, the funny fellow turned to look at me, and with an expression that was a mixture of disbelief and general WTFness, asked me, “How can you be so happy?” I told him, “Coz I took some weed?” He. He. He.


Well, fortunately for him, no. I didn’t say that but now I wish I did. It would’ve just whizzed by him faster than you can say “Dumbarse!” anyway. But I did say this, “There’s no point in being in a state of constant negativity and doubt. It’s unhealthy. And really uncool, too.” Not particularly Zen-inspired but it got my point across. I hope so because he still gave me a WTF look.


I hate to say this, but I’m so busy that I don’t even have the time to do simple things, like baking a cake. Not that I bake cakes to begin with but you get the idea. My body feels like it’s made of clay while my brain is number than a cold pack of sea cucumber. Every day for the past two weeks feels as though I was put into a blender with no Off switch. For some strange reason, I can’t seem to remember what I’ve learned so far. This is bad, as the exam’s only a couple of weeks away and I still have about twenty chapters to go. Woo. Pee.


I can only hope and pray that the next week will be better.


This is Chris, signing off.


PS: Somehow, I’m not that worried. After all, this is only just the beginning. I hope. My brain is benumbed from trying to cram in a fuckload of shit. Pardon my English.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Finally! An update! Woohoo!

The last five days have been a blur. Seriously. From having all the time in the world do shave my armpits to not having much to sleep, this five-week course has really put me in place. And it’s not even five weeks. It’s more like three and some. I don’t know how to count.

Anyway, the week’s been tiring as heck. Train rides to-and-fro the training centre have been fraught with idiots in all shapes and sizes. It also doesn’t help that the reference book I have to lug back every single day weighs more than my dumbbells, which aren’t the lightest things in the world to begin with. I feel like banging the book on some poor bugger’s head but I resist.

(Oh, how I resist...)

As usual, in my class there’s the overachiever who wants to know every single thing there is to know about something that has only one definition. It’s kind of weird seeing old men who have way more experience than me peering at their own reference book and slowly keying in data. I feel positively young. There’s also an old guy who knows a lot and always arrogantly points out things. He must be quite the charmer. And then there’s the lady who’s so polite, she’s actually annoying. Reminds me of me.

It’s all good, though. I’ve learned shit loads of things. Sometimes, I get lost, which is understandable considering that my only experience in the corporate world is sitting in a tiny room, keying in data for eight hours for two months. The only thing keeping me from going insane and start killing rabbits is the fact that I would be highly desirable once I pass the friggin’ exam. It’s a pipe dream, I know, but it’s still a dream.

I’m off for now. I have to study. Really. But don’t worry, I’ll keep on updating and visiting your blogs. Laters!

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: I find this really, really interesting. Has anyone heard of a gay Jesus before? I think not. I say, if your own belief system is as strong as sticks on fire, and you believe whatever that gets fed down your throat, then you deserve to be hit on the head with a sledgehammer. Either than that, I say bravo to the gay pastor. You, sir, rock.

PPS: As funny as this may sound, I'll be attending my very first night class today (Saturday)!

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

If you think you’re nice, you’re not

I’m a nice guy. Most of the time, anyway. I’m polite; I say please and thank you far too many times that after a while it sounds rude. I always queue to pay my facial wash. I am predisposed to avoid trouble because it’s too much trouble just to be in trouble. I like to think I keep chivalry alive and well. I do hold the doors for you females, you know. I am sometimes too effusive in my praise. I am known to be glib at the most inopportune times. Which brings me to this:

I can’t stand it when people are nice to me.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s nice when someone comes up to me, and says that hey, you’re nice a guy. It makes me go all Melinda “I think I can see it; me neck!” Doolittle, but only for awhile. But when people are very nice to me, I get uncomfortable. Agitated, even. Sometimes, the evil side of me would think that these people are fake and sycophantic. My evil side even has a name. It’s Evil Chris. Imaginative, eh?

I remember an incident in my previous life as a salesguy, one of the seniors told me to never say “Thank you” to the client at the end of a conversation. I gave him my trademark WTF + Huh? look, and asked the obvious, “Why the hell not?” He shrugged his nonexistent shoulders, cracked a wry smile, and unctuously said, “Because it means that they are doing you a favour.” I tried to digest it but since I had a pretty crappy lunch, I quickly nodded, scrunched up my face so that it looked like I totally agreed with what he said, and walked back to my station. All the way (10 metres) I called him many an impolite imbecile.

In shopping malls these days you’ll likely to encounter a helpful, sometimes annoying store help. I don’t like them. Starbucks employees have a proclivity to not say Hello! Good afternoon, sir! to me even though I’m dressed in my best singlet and shorts, but when a similarly dressed White Man who has a belly bigger than me, they’ll drop whatever and start complimenting the fellow with much aplomb. But I have to say that things are not as bad. Yes, there are still some rude bastards and even ruder mofos who think they are God’s gift to the masses out there and when you thank them they draw a blank look.

On a completely different note altogether:

I’m going back to studying next week. Woo. Pee.

Since currently my job as a freelance busybody which pays me a grand total of nothing, I reckon it was high time to go for an upgrade of sorts. The course is a five-week professional certification, which in theory, will make me highly marketable. (I hope so!) I’ve been at home for almost six months now. I have nothing but compunction for my ineptitude and the blameworthiness is entirely mine. But come next week, changes will be in order and hopefully, and I really do hope a lot, that everything will turn out according to my grand plan. Failure is not an option.

Wish me luck!

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: My new haircut makes me look like a gangster of sorts. Nice.