Sunday, 30 May 2010

Half way there. Half way here. Where am I heading?

In two days' time we will be entering the second part of 2010.

Holy shit.

Earlier in the year, I was a like a happy bunny, hopping around with a carrot in my mouth thinking how great life was. I hopped and hopped then stopped. Stopped completely and utterly. Carrot finished. Euphemisms aside, what was supposed to be the gateway to a great career ended up nearly choking me. But you know the rest of the story so I might as well go on to now.

Now is very busy. Nay, now is very bloody busy.

Ever since I joined I've not had an easy day. I've had easy first half days but have yet to experience a full day of ease. Yet I wouldn't change a thing. I'm in charge of things. I'm the goto guy whenever there's a problem (it can be tiring being the goto guy but it feels great). All in all, things are going great.

Till the next time I bitch about my job, naturally.

On the life* side of things, it's been more than great. My woman and I have gone from strength to strength and it's it'll get, urm. strengther. The family has accepted her as one of our own; so much so that me ole grandma kept talking to her in own mother tongue even though R had no clue whatsoever what was being said. 

So what can I expect in the next six months? More work and more fun, that's for sure. But it's the unexpected things that I'm most looking forward to. After all, what's life without a little mystery, the unknown, what you never imagined.

I need to go to toilet.

This is Chris, signing off. 

PS: You didn't expect that, yes? :p

* Life = not staring at damn servers and whatnots.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Tarzan, you rock.

Seriously, people, hanging above 17 metres above the ground can either be the most exciting thing in the world or it could terrify the bejesus out of you.

This was a two-in-one thing.

Yesterday, 220510, was the official date of Chris Hangs on to Dear Life at Skytrex, located somewhere not near Kuala Lumpur city centre at all. (If you have GPS, please use it, you'll thank me profusely when it saves you and your friends from taking 10 U-turns and second exits.) It was a humid afternoon as it had rained, hard, earlier in the morning. This was a blessing as you'll find out. After regrouping with friends and ex-colleagues we all proceeded to gear up and be briefed on the horrors we were going to face.

The tutorial was easy, the guide explaining slowly and clearly on how to not die. With the harness slightly constricting my thighs, I went first and did the first of what would be the most terrifying set of obstacles I've ever done. (Now, I don't really remember all the obstacles as I was a) battling dehydration b) trying to put out the fires in my arms c) trying to not curse at every tree d) ensuring that my glasses stayed on my face) First up, a climb up a 3-storey high ladder. Pretty easy after the a while but the PVC pipes being your steps doesn't give off much confidence. Next, if I remember correctly, was a short flying fox to two obstacles. These obstacles turned out to be the most difficult and the most annoying.

It has to be said that smarmy college kids make the best stewards. As much as I wanted to hit them in the head for being jackasses, their nonchalance propelled me to get through the obstacles as fast as possible. One kid, in a nasally know-it-all tone of voice, repeatedly said, "Sir, it's like walking, one foot then the other." This obstacle in particular had pipes dangling where a misstep would certainly call your harness into action and immense embarrassment to ensue. He will do well in life, I'm sure.

Subsequent obstacles proved to be less annoying but no less taxing on the body. My arms were on fire as I used more upper body strength to haul my carcass-like body. Since I have about as much grace as a sumo wrestler on thin ice going the flying fox was a breeze, literally, as my heavier weight proved to be like a bullet speeding across the terrain. A bullet made of papier-mâché. I envisaged myself gliding through the canopy, the wind on my face, and landing beautifully on the tarp. It never happened. I kept spinning and my landings were all brutal as I hit full on the trees to stop myself. Lets just say the resulting sounds could be heard on a different continent.

Then there are some obstacles where you have to go through what look to be nets. Nets designed to ensnare wild animals. I felt like a trapped, endangered animal being roped in for a documentary on National Geographic. Zigzag obstacles were prevalent and, boy, did it annoy me. I had to ensure my hands didn't get cut off as I pulled myself forward (I know, I know, I'm supposed to not put my hand in front of the carrot binder thing), watch my balance and tried to keep my glasses from visiting the ground.

At the last big obstacle, a long flying fox, I breathed in, exhaled and told myself I'm Bear Grylls. That was before I hit the tree with a loud bang and an even louder curse. As the first to finish, I felt a ginormous sense of accomplishment. If it weren't for my gym training, I would be in a much worse condition. Calloused hands are cool. My glasses were safe. My crown jewels were intact. My ego still solid but body bruised.

Bring on the extreme trail!

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: A massive dedication goes to Ronnie James Dio. Thank you for shaping heavy metal. Without your voice, I wouldn't be here, really. R.I.P, Metal God.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

To bag or not to bag...holy crap, it's RM10000 for a bag!

The sparkly floor was so spot-free I can see the inside of my nostrils. A faint smell of leather and polish emanated from every corner of the store. Oddly enough, an odour more commonly found in a dingy coffeeshops serving mixed rice could be detected as well. I believe vegetables and two sides of meat were involved. A store help sees us as we push the heavy iron doors but doesn't help nor smile as he greeted us, his eyes scanning my stained (first time wearing!) Timberland tee. I cough into the help's direction, mumbling sorryassholeyoulooklikeahedgehog. Them polishing liquids do give off such strong smells. We browse the shelves, inspecting the bags diligently whilst trying to coolly locate the price tag. We baulk at the price but without so much as a surprised look, we shake our heads and say we don't like the colour.

We walk away and into another store, hoping our skittish bourgeois-yet-want-to-be-uppity behaviour won't make us drop a RM5000 bag onto the floor. We did that a couple times already.  

With the proliferation of upscale shopping centres mushrooming across the city so are the high of high-end brands making their presence known. It must be said that business is booming as women are bagging (pardon the pun) one bag after another with nary a blink of an eye. Not surprisingly, the women who are buying the bags are like you and me, not poor enough to be called poor (we always say we're poor but we still end up getting Starbucks or Coffee Bean every other time, hmm...) or rich enough to be called rich. It's funny that these women are so into the brands they can't pronounce them properly: Plada, Bluebelly, Looeeee Vooooton, Herpes, the list goes on.

You can literally see the vulturous look in their eyes, the glint of insanity behind their oversized sunglasses, even saliva dripping down their neck as they eye a tote that holds brilliantly one pack of tissue paper. And that's just the daughters. Their mothers are worse, grilling the store help with one question after another and shouting at their friends whom they've brought along, "Wah, this bag so nice wan la! Got red colour for this ah?"

And I thought having a Crumpler was the zenith of bagdom.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I hear an aunt wants to go to Crotch.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: High-end bags are more of a craze here compared to high-end shoes, so I've noticed. Not sure why but maybe some aunties don't cut their toenails.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

I want to privatise world peace.

Can one man save the world? Can one man be the saviour for all us? Can he protect all of us when we are in dire straits?


No one person can bring the world together. Yes, that includes you James Cameron. Peace comes when all of us come together and forget the boundaries history had set for us. Scoff all you want, but Star Trek did have a really good message: peace comes when people are united one roof, regardless of creed and beliefs. Among the humans, of course, screw them aliens with odd foreheads.

Society gladly accepts falsehoods and whatnots because we have become slaves to our own creation: convenience. We are lazy. We have become inured by events that it longer shocks us that wars have killed mothers and babies. A gasp at the headlines and it's off to Prada for the new bag mom wants. The miasma is thickening and will blanket our eyes and senses if we do not fight back.

Funny how Iron Man 2 has this effect me.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: The movie was much better than I expected. The action sequences were fast and rather in your face but begged for more. Acting? Please, you've got a special ensemble and they delivered in spades. Mickey Rourke sure did look weird in his costume. 

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Roaming in Melaka requires an igloo.

The streets of Jonker were alive with people of all ages.

Most of them were idiots. The heat was searing, unbearable at times. Our clothes soaked through in our sweat.

Man, I miss those times.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: This is going to be an awesome month.