Friday, 28 August 2009

Of flying houses, talking dogs and undying love.

Over an extremely greasy lunch, a good friend of mine, Marie, and I were discussing about greatest fears and what is ours. I told her that mine is growing old and being alone with no one that loves me (pretty deep, huh?). Of course, being the lovely little thing that she is, told me that I won't be alone as I'll be surrounded by family and friends. I smiled, told her I hope so and continued eating the greasy as heck food. But the feeling of being alone when I'm old lingered.

This feeling came about after watching the brilliant Up. Now, I'm not one to go gaga over an animation but this really hit home. Apart from the beautiful Wall-E, I have not been so touched by such movies. The scenes in Up where the old man and his wife were together just pulled at my heartstrings. It is exactly I how envisioned myself growing old: with a loving wife beside me, with children and their children in the house, (of course, in the movie, that never happened so just bear with me) all happy just to be in each other's company.

The other thing that got to me was when his wife passed away. Can you imagine the love of your life no longer with you? Thinking of it simply saddens me. Have you read stories where an elderly couple died either a few days apart or together? And that they were known to be a loving couple? Those stories touch me and give me hope that one I shall grow old with my one and only.

To the girl out there waiting for me, I'm coming. Let's grow old together.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: I hope to be remembered when I die. Or at least be known as the Crazy Uncle Who Terrorised Kids With His Walking Stick.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

An open letter to Anger.

Here’s my attempt at writing one of them Letters post. I hope it doesn’t suck.

Sometimes you don’t need to come out when I’m buying bread, you know. Sure, that old lady was asking for it but you didn’t have to say those words. Likewise the old man when you yelled at him, “Old baggage! Go away before your spleen ruptures from over-excitement!”

There are times where your timing is impeccably dreadful. Like the time that fat kid pushed me aside with a bit too much enthusiasm. You responded well by calling him, “fucking fat kid.” Thankfully, his mother wasn’t within earshot. Too bad about the father being just beside him, though. He got quite the earful, eh?
So, Anger, can you please stop being a prick?

Thank you.

That was a short, succinct letter, no? I have a short temper. I get irritated when people do irritating things, for instance, when they irritate me. But I cool down easily, too. I don't like being angry. It perturbs my macho-dude persona very much. While this may sound all Zen-like, and even strange, I'm learning to rein it all in.

For the sake of the person's face I may use my fists on as target practise.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: I'm more of a lover than a fighter. Oh, yes I am.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Grab that crotch!

Caveat: Long as heck post up ahead!

I like beaches.

There's something about having sand underneath your feet, the gentle breeze breathing down your neck, the crisp salty air; it all comes together to create a calming feeling. Of course, after nearly drowning in 20 feet waters makes you appreciate the feet being on land even more.

Last weekend was spent with my mates from work on a team-building expedition that involved the worst team-building activities known to man, the toughest beef from cows who certainly weren't slaughtered with justice, and me jumping into the sea wearing an odorous life jacket with nothing more than a wing and a prayer to the gods of metal.

Man, I miss those times.

The journey began at midnight (there really couldn't be any better time, seriously) with everyone gathered at the foot of Tower 2, KLCC. We boarded the bus full of buzz and departed the hustle and bustle of the city towards tranquillity (oh how we got it wrong) of the island. As sleepy and tired as I was, it took me some time before I could count sheep. Or deer. Some weren't as fortunate, as they battled comfortless chairs and a ride smooth like butter on jagged rocks. We stopped at a little shack by the side of the road for a quick break at the ungodly hour that was 4 a.m. Essentially this was a smoke break for the driver so everybody took this chance to pee into a hole in the ground. The relief was immense across the board. The next 5 hours or so seemed like endless tarmac and gloomy trees as we travelled using the trunk roads which snaked through village after village.

We arrived at the jetty bus-lagged and famished. After eating our less than spectacular breakfast we got on speedboats to the island of Perhentian Kecil. I'm not too fond of the sea (damn you Mr. Spielberg and your Jaws!) so the vastness of the open ocean was quite breathtaking to say the least. But I enjoyed every wave-filled second of it. As we approached the beach a veritable jungle with chalets dotting the surroundings was seen. The view was simply beautiful. I'm not one to fawn over my country's places of interest but this comes highly recommended. Just stay away from the food (more on this below).

As usual, I tend to get the short end of the proverbial stick, but, this time I got to share it with two of my best mates. We're big guys and even with me being the shortest (but most built of the three) the room just barely accommodated us. The beds were small and emanated a strange odour with unidentifiable stains on the sheets. Hmm. Have I forgotten to mention that there wasn't any hot water? Well, we showered with water so cold it froze our extremities. The room was terribly stifling so much so that every single fart lingered for ages. Hmm.

The restaurants and food stores on the island close early. Like, 930 p.m. early. This pissed us all as the food provided by the hotel was first-rate crap. Dinner for the two nights we were there consisted of the most supple beef steaks that could only be cut with swords. There was also endless supplies of chicken necks and vegetables so limp one look turned them into vapour. And don't get me started on the misspellings of the food. Pankages, anyone?

The team-building "training" we had to go through ranks as the pinnacle of terribleness. Granted, we came to the island not wanting to attend any classes but due to the sensitive issue of wanting to claim fully this shebang from the government the team-building aspect necessitated it that we attend the classes. I've never wanted to get out of a class so badly in my life. The trainer was a real douchebag; none of his activities gave us any impetus to do better in our daily work. Heck, it made us even more nonchalant about our colleagues. We obliged his harebrained games that resembled more like clown curriculum (wonderfully said by Waffle Girl) with activities ranging from throwing colourful balls at each other to butchering My Way with about as much passion as watching paint dry in an igloo. Though, it was nothing compared to what he did on the last day of training...

Remember when I said I'm not too fond of water? Well, I strapped on a life jacket and went snorkelling for the very first time. I kid you not. I was frightened as I don't know how to swim and there's something about being in such an open environment with your feet primed for shark attacks that panics me. But once I got over the initial fear of being in the water and breathing through the goggle's tube apparatus it became quite exciting. Heck, after finally peering into my goggles to look beneath the surface of the water to see the fish and the sea it was quite a rush! Thankfully I had Waffle Girl and Billy to help me along as I couldn't think of two better people to share this experience. And save me from drowning, too.

I'm of the opinion that if you take people from out of the office and put them in a completely different setting you'll get to see the other side of them. And, boy, did we get to see some sides. Give them booze and whoosh! they'll be able to crack some of the funniest jokes you thought only black comedians were good at. Of course, there was a deluded individual who tried his hand at comedy but received a big WTF right on his face for telling us utterly inane jokes instead.

On the last day, Sunday, we were required to attend training at 0800. Since we only had less than 3 hours of sleep (thanks to Billy for keeping us awake with his pseudo-male stripper ala Fully Monty antics) even eating breakfast was a battle of trying to not have our heads hit the plates. But by golly nothing, and I mean, NOTHING, prepared us for what was to come. It all started when we came in late, thus we were greeted sarcastically by the rest. We were too knackered to even grin. What followed next defies everything I stand for as a man of principle, a metalhead, and most importantly, a man who hates to dance! The trainer made us do silly exercises which reduced us to kindergarten children. At the very end of the training, I nearly lost it when he broke into song; an impromptu karaoke of a truly annoying Thai song that can only be described as horror of horrors.

As we left the island, I couldn't help but wonder how simple life is on an island; no bloody computer screens, no traffic jams, no idiots, no grinding it out in the big bad city. But that thought lasted till I reached the boat and started thinking of what I'll be doing next. It's a nice thought, but just that. It wasn't so much a holiday, more like a company visit that lasted three days. A holiday would entail relaxation, calm waters and good food. Instead I was weary, nearly drowned in open sea and fear and had crap for sustenance.

But it was damn good fun, man.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: This post took me a week to complete. And it's only half of what truly transpired during the entire trip. Some things are best kept secret. Don't you agree?

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Just because you want it badly doesn't mean you deserve it.

Some people are spoilt rotten.

I am talking about people who want things they cannot get. And these are adults with sensible sensibilities we're talking about here. They desire things they think they want but actually they don't. Desire is confused with actual need.

I am a person who doesn't give in to temptation easily. However, when I do I end up not regretting, but rather, feel a little embarrassed. Take the new pair of working shoes I just bought. They cost me RM250. I already have another pair of shoes that cost just as much. Do I need two of them? I think so. And therein lies the problem: I think I need them. I could've just lived my life with just that initial pair but I chose to purchase the new pair on nothing more than a spur of the moment whim. This here is Desire. (But I have to say that them shoes are pretty friggin' comfortable.)

Or take one of life's most consequential yet potentially most hurtful conundrum: Relationships. It can disappoint you like no other. Be that as it may, it can be the most fulfilling and wondrous thing a person will ever experience.

I wonder how on earth can some people get together with just the snap of the fingers. Did something set off in their unconscious mind that told them, yes, lets get together! Why was it so simple for them and not others? I know one story where one party really and truly liked another with all the might in the world but each time disappointment was met as there was little to no response. (Granted, the pursuer is rather hopeless in the game thus didn't realise that maybe a little more perception would've been beneficiary to the cause, but, lets not dwell on that.) Despite all the setbacks, the person hasn't given up and gets back up each time. Any normal, sane person would've (in fact, should've) given up after the third strike. But not this person. Don't know how to give up, the person said. A veritable never-give-up attitude is strong in this one, doesn't understand the meaning of surrender.

Commendable but still rather myopic, aye?

The question this person has to answer is this: is your heart and mind the same? Are they both in synergy? Guys have a tendency to use their other head to think so getting it right is paramount. Most importantly, do you want the other person because you think you want or do you genuinely, with all your heart, know that all the pain, tears and suffering of the pursuit is all worth it?* These are questions that need to be addressed and answered otherwise there's no point in pursuing in the first place.

Last question: how do you know that the right decision isn't the wrong one? Think about it, people, do we really need what we feel we want?

I know what I need. How about you?

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: Am posting this early as I'll be off on official work-related holiday. Whatever that means. Have a nice weekend, everyone!

* - The answer may surprise a lot of people. Maybe it won't.