Thursday, June 05, 2008

We meet again

And I'm back from the two-and-a-half year hiatus since my last post. I've cleaned up a lot of my older posts, written when I had too little blogger wisdom and too much Maddox.

It is with heavy heart that I revive this little piece of cyberspace. Truly, if there wasn't an event so big that I have to write it with such urgency at this late hour, otherwise my chest might explode from all that pent-up rage. I've been a long-time reader of Malaysia Today, Jeff Ooi, Lim Kit Siang among other political blogs and news sites. It is until today that I feel the need to voice myself out over this matter, lest I might mistake myself as someone who condones such actions.

And I refer to the sudden announcement of Malaysian petrol price hike.

The announcement was made at 5pm today (yeesterday), and the pricing change takes effect seven hours later. Imagine in those seven hours, every car from every household rushes forth to the nearest petrol station to have its tank filled. Imagine that happening to every petrol station throughout the country, because petrol prices are fixed by the central government. The only good thing about this was that the announcement was made five hours earlier compared to the last one.

Of course, back then, I didn't drive. Now that I have my own set of wheels handed over by my father, I really feel the pinch. I left for the petrol station at 8pm, fully expecting a two-hour wait at least, and indeed the line of cars stretched 500 meters from the station to the nearby junction. I didn't bother, so I took a U-turn and went along my merry way.

Two hours later I came back to the same station. The line was much shorter, but for the next two hours I barely moved 50 meters. People were getting desperate. I saw people getting down the car and running over to the station with empty water bottles, cars cutting in from the other side of the road. I swapped to my oldies CD and hummed to the tune.

11.25pm. I yelled at the lady in front of me, for stopping her car in the middle of the road (to fill up the two bottles of petrol her son had gotten her from the station), causing five or six other cars from the other lane to cut in. Trust me, you don't want me to yell at you. I sang Bass in one of the top school choirs in the country for four years.

11.40pm. I was practically screaming to Starship's 'Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now'. I was still in the line, still some 30 meters away from the station. The cars in front of me still aren't moving. I looked at the fuel meter needle pointing at 1/3 full and felt like I've been stabbed in the gut. I snuck a U-turn at the next car opening (many cars are already doing the same thing) and drove home. I spent two hours of my life sitting in a cramped space, and made an ass out of myself for something small that I would have usually overlooked.

Now look, motherfuckers, you said that the announcement was for the price hike in AUGUST. Just ONE DAY AGO. Not only that, you motherfuckers also said that there will be no price hike after the elections. Wait, what's that? "...last year, the government paid RM43.4 billion for subsidies, of which RM35 billion was allocated for fuel."? That wasn't subsidies paid, that's just money not earned. Money that even earned, would probably only benefit a small group of cronies anyway.

One day we're all going to run out of fossil fuels, and by then we would have already be driving cars that run on water. But before that, dear oil-exporting country that charges importing-country rates for petrol, please, please, please use the extra money you get from this 78-sen increase WISELY. No more of sending 'astronauts' into space when you can't even design your own car engine. No more spending of the people's money for private purposes. No more hiding of the truth where our money is going to.

In return, use that money to revamp the whole public transportation system. When I was studying in Singapore I could afford to miss two buses and still arrive at school on time. When I was in university here, just to get to the nearest decent mall, I had to change two buses and walk for another twenty minutes. To be honest I hate driving, and I'd gladly pay for public transport IF IT WERE ONLY A TENTH AS EFFICIENT AS THAT IN SINGAPORE. All I want is an integrated bus and rail system where I can go downtown in half an hour. Not an hour and a half.

My dear government, now that the damage has been done, it's up to you to minimize the after-effects. By tomorrow I'll still be going to the petrol station, feeling RM23 poorer for a full tank as compared to if I had brought along a passenger to help me 'bungkus' oil. But that's because I have no choice. I still need my car to bring me to places, and I shudder at the thought of getting an 'entry-level' graduate job that pays like RM1500 a month and requires me to spend at least an hour travelling every day.

As I end my post and go to bed, I hope for the day where I have no need to yell from my car window, because I would have been on the bus that comes every ten minutes, reading an Isaac Asimov story.

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Saturday, November 05, 2005

How I spent the last day of my teenagehood

Wow, how time flies. November 5th is the last day I'm going to be 19. So anyway,

10.00am: Woke up
10.01am - 11.59pm: Played We Love Katamari

Happy birthday to me.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Chicken... balls

This afternoon I had lunch at KFC. Upon tearing apart the skin from a piece of chicken, I saw...


Well they might not be rooster jewels, but they certainly were scary to think that I nearly ate these.... balls. They're of a bright yellow and somewhat soya bean-shaped.

I didn't pay attention to them until I finished my meal when it struck me that they could be some cancerous growth or just... balls.

My friend assured me that they're just batter.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Good to be healthy again

Phew, after a five-day fever bout I'm finally fine again. Thank God (whichever) for health.

Friday: I was supposed to pack up and go home on Thursday night, but I got lazy. We went out for The Myth. The show was at 11.55pm and we've already gotten our tickets by 10.30. We headed over to the arcade and naturally, I go for the dance machine. Pump it Up Exceed 2 was very kickass.

That left half of my shirt wet before we stepped into the theater, after three credits of PIU. One has to eventually try the 'Crazy' difficulty anyway (I failed. Stupid handplants). By the time we got out of the theater and went supper, I was already feeling quite feverish and my hands were shaking a bit. The minute I reached home, I changed, drank a bit and slept. Well, tried to sleep.

The strange thing is, I always dream that people are wrecking things in my brain whenever I get a fever. Thi one could be the most destructive ever, I had a whole league of superheroes demolishing a city in my head. Ouch.

I woke up two hours later, about 6am, feeling very thirsty but alas, my bottle was out of water. I rolled around a bit until the thirst and heat got me to climb out of my blanket, hobble downstairs and get a drink. I can't really sleep after that, with all the city-demolishing and all. My hands were cold and my face was hot, so I put my hands to my face.

I lay outside my housemate's room come dawn, hoping that he'll wake up soon enough to car me to clinic. He woke up alright, and his girlfriend gave me some Panadol, which definitely made me feel better.

The university clinic didn't open until 9am, and the doctor didn't come until 9.20. We waited a bit, the fever was kinda subsiding, thoughthe coldness is still there. The doctor prescribed viral fever and gave me some pills, advising me to get a blood test after 3 days.

I safely returned home after that.

Saturday: I was getting fine by now, the fever was totally gone by afternoon. I even wrote a game review. Heh.

Monday: Somehow, the fever wasn't totally gone yet. Maybe because I was sleeping late for the past two days. There's still a slight rise i heat when I'm not taking my pills, and all the pills were making me very dizzy. We went to another clinic, the doctor advised me to get a blood test the next morning if the fever doesn't subside.

That night, I dreamt of martial arts masters fighting in my head.

Tuesday: Blood test day. I hate blood tests. I still cower at the thought when I had to take daily blood tests when I had dengue fever. And expected, it was painful. Fucking painful while we're at that. The results came in hat afternoon and thank god it wasn't dengue. I'd be pretty close to dying if it were. Apparently here were 4 strains of the virus or something, each one deadlier than the other so if I get it another time I'm pretty much dead.

Well that's all about the fever, the dizziness was making me crazy, I can't eat well either. I've heard somewhere that people won't eat food that they've eaten when they're sick. I guess that's true. Goodbye Ruski Tom Yam noodles. And if you're wondering why I was eating Tom Yam noodles while I was sick, I can't put anything tasteless into my mouth at all. I slept a total of 32 of the past 48 hours.

Wednesday: Finally! There's still a bit of dizziness, but I was fine enough to eat more and eventually play DDR, which brought me back to my normal lifestyle. Huzzah DDR!


from budi.

Your Brain's Pattern

You have a dreamy mind, full of fancy and fantasy.
You have the ability to stay forever entertained with your thoughts.
People may say you're hard to read, but that's because you're so internally focused.
But when you do share what you're thinking, people are impressed with your imagination.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Fun with camera phone

Random pics that I took at random places. Again, photo quality is bad because hey, it's just a damn camera phone.

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THat ice cube was hanging on the edge of the can for a while. It fell the moment just as I took the picture.

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Taken in front of a lift in my university. Yes, university.

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Lift messages say the darndest things.

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My shadow. Was wearing my favorite pair of pants.

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Uhum. No comment. The single Chinese character reads 'pretty' by the way.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Talking to friends nowadays

Pretty much means 'getting Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children spoiled to you.'

Friend A: You know? Sephiroth in AC was *spoilerspoilerspoiler*!!

Friend B: Yeah, and Tifa *spoilerspoilerspoiler*!!

Me: Uh, I'm going out for a walk, call me when you're done with the AC discussion. You know, I haven't watched it.

Friend B: But I like giving out spoilers!

Me: And I like causing grievous pain to people who can't keep their mouth shut.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Sigh... (a.k.a. a book review)

There weren't many books where I could finish in one sitting - usually one would take me about a week, some - like Les Miserables or Pride and Prejudice - never got finished after trying several times. I could recall each of those books where I spent one single night going through them.

The first one was four years ago, when I borrowed Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling from a friend who in turn borrowed it from another. That was my first book to the Harry Potter series. It might be blasphemy to some that I never heard of the series before that, I just wanted something to pass time. So I turned on my bed light and got myself comfy and started reading, and before I knew it the sun came up.

The second was The Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, which I finished not too long ago. I woke up in the middle of the night and tried to force myself to stay awake for some reason I couldn't remember, so I dug my collection of E-books and settled on HHGG. It took me about four hours to finish it, it was a very enjoyable read.

I just finished my third book-in-a-night a few minutes ago, so I should write this up while the memory is still fresh. The book, Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, is one hell of a read.

The story in short is about this super-genius boy Andrew Wiggin, or better known as 'Ender'. A backstory tells us that future Earth has been under attack by insect-like aliens, known as 'buggers' in the story. Earth also has its internal problems like overpopulation and tension among countries. Ender was recruited to the Battle School, a military school on a satellite to train children between ages six to sixteen to fight against the buggers.

Ender's Game is that sort of a fantasy stor where you wished you could be in the shoes of the protagonist, but feel daunted about the events that he has to go through. And Ender went through a lot of things. To be brought away from home into outer space at six years old, to be picked on by other students because he was smarter, to be manipulated into the person he did not want to be, and ultimately to carry the fate of mankind on his shoulders, and after all that, he was only twelve.

Emotion in the story flows very well, though Card might have went slightly too far. After going through a particularly emotional section, I have to remind myself Ender is still a boy, and no boys at that age would act like that. It's probably that thought that depresses me as I progress from chapter to chapter, the emotional burden that Ender - and Ender alone - has to go through. It saddens me to see a young boy being foced out of his childhood and into the battlefields, to hold back his tears and to bite it, to be deceived into committing atrocities. Each page I flip increases that 'bleh' feeling in my heart more, but I read on, hoping that Ender would pull through just fine.

And pulled through he did, though not in the way that I expected. His status made sure that he did not have a normal childhood. First of all, he was a Third, the third child in a family, a position in that time would mean that he was extra, unwanted. His intelligence made him stand out in Battle School, he made some friends, but at the cost of more enemies.

Ender's Game is definitely one of the better books I've read so far, but I wouldn't recommend it to everyone. One might not be comfortable reading about certain situations where these boys might be in, and the overall setting is just too bleak.

If I were to rate this book upon 10, I can't give it a rating. The story is excellent, but by the 'bleh' feeling I get after reading that book, I just feeling like curling up in my bed and dream of something else.