After leaving my last job, I kinda figured I was done with working 12+ hours/day events. Turns out, life has a funny way of catching up on you. For the past four days, I’ve been helping out at a company event (a children’s concert), and it really threw me back to my Big Bad Wolf days. Coming home just to shower and crash my aching body into bed, just to wake up the next morning to repeat the cycle. I honestly felt like my bones were sighing with relief every time I laid myself down.
Although it has a lot to do with the fact that I’m nowhere near in shape, it brought to mind the things that I took for granted as a child. I think all the damage I brought unto myself is finally showing itself. Back then, I would read in bed, play games on my GameBoy under covers, fall asleep in funny positions, and I’d be okay (I guess you could say I ruined my eyes). These days, all I have to do is sleep on my side and wake up with neck aches for the rest of the day. It’s crazy.
Which reminds me of this meme I saw a while ago:
While it’s funny to laugh at such images (thanks to whoever created it), I can totally relate. I haven’t stopped using the stuff mentioned for earlier stages of life; yes, baby powder is great – especially for dealing with groin sweat, I never realized it was a thing until not too long ago when it started happening to me; deodorant and cologne is still part of my life.
Look at what’s on my desk at this very moment:
Also, I remember people telling me that Poy Sian inhalers were something old people used. I guess I was just ahead of my time.
Eight months have passed since the beginning of the year. It’s insane how time flies when you’re not keeping track. Also, me noticing that every year doesn’t seem to have an effect on how I’m spending my time (hint: I still waste it).
I have been slipping on my blog updates, but that’s okay. I’ve been writing at least once a month. I’ve resumed some work on Animal Bus and started making electronic music at home (which isn’t great but it’s better than nothing). Other than that, I’ve been keeping busy with work. Thinking of new ideas for a new show gets tiring, but it is hella fun!
I have also been watching a lot of shows recently – I think it actually helps my creative juices flow. Recently started watching the final season of How I Met Your Mother (about time I finish it, also – I was reminded of how glorified New York was in that show), Twelve Forever (totally a reskinned Adventure Time, but I love it), Infinity Train (it has come a long way since the pilot, can’t wait to finish the whole thing!), The Naked Director (not sure how factually accurate it is, but it is super entertaining), and Money Heist (I’m not very far into the first season, but I’m digging it).
The International also begins in two days, so that’s something to look forward to! It’s been so long since the last Tier 1 LAN, I’m really excited to see all the top teams gathered in the same place again. Here’s to hoping Virtus Pro, Na’vi, or Alliance snatching the aegis, I believe in them!
On the keyboard front, I’ve run out of new projects – but I think my bank account appreciates it. I do have some keycaps on the way and some group buys I’m looking to join though. I’m probably going to sell off some of my least used keyboards. I think I have way more than necessary. Admitting the problem is the first step right?
I’ve got a holiday coming up in a month – that should be fun. Other than that, it’s just life as usual. I’m happy that Snuggles has been doing well in Austin. All my worries about her acclimating to a new environment have vanished. She’s doing fine over there (thanks for the photos and videos Beth, don’t stop!).
My nephew recently turned six. He’s going to school next year! Can’t wait to hear what he thinks about it. He’s a bright kid who shouldn’t have any problems. At least I hope not. If not, his uncle will be making an appearance to set things right. Look at me, talking about beating up little people. What have I become? His school hasn’t even started yet and I’m thinking things might go wrong. I don’t even know what schools are like these days. I wonder if kids are all nice and tolerant now.
Sometimes I wonder why I type these things, then I remember – it’s fun to stroll down the memory lane of my blog, and many years in the future, I’ll probably look back at this post and think to myself – “hey! I was feeling like that at this point in time!”. I wonder if Animal Bus or EP2 will be completed by then?
Also, no announcements for any upcoming gigs yet but I’ll try to lock some dates down in the coming months. How’s your year been so far?
Over the past two weekends, I took the next step in my mechanical keyboards journey – I started soldering my own keyboards. It was something that I was initially hesitant on picking up because of my lack of experience, but after spending over a year in the hobby I decided that it was the correct thing to do.
While this post isn’t going to be useful for anyone who’s already experienced in soldering, I thought I’d share some pointers I picked up firsthand and hopefully help some beginners out there.
Building a keyboard isn’t difficult, and soldering switches is probably the easiest part of building a keyboard. The fact that I, a 33-year old man with no experience or DIY skills, could follow instructions to put a kit together is a testament to how easy it is.
The most beginner-friendly way to begin is to pick up something like a simple numpad kit that has all the onboard components already soldered in. This way, you can get a taste of what it’s like to put a keyboard together by just soldering the switches in, which was what I did.
I picked up this numpad kit from AliExpress and managed to build it in under half an hour. It was that straightforward.
This technique mentioned in the Soldering is Easy comic is correct. You place the component between the iron and the solder – this way, you’ll ensure that the solder will stick to the component because it will only melt the solder if the component is hard enough. This site has some pictures of what a good solder joint should look like.
I might be wrong on the theory here, but what I’ve discovered is that solder will only stick to parts if they are hot enough (or coated with flux?). This is something I did not know at the start. If solder isn’t sticking to your iron instead of your components or the PCB, that means it hasn’t been heated long enough. I know that flux is involved here as well, but I haven’t figured out how that works yet. I know that if solder isn’t sticking to a joint, I continue heating it until it does.
Initially, I did not know why my solder wasn’t melting despite me holding the iron against the component for quite a long time. This resulted in me sticking the solder directly onto the iron to melt it to form a connection – which was the wrong move. This could result in cold joints where the solder is only formed around the joint and PCB, but not creating a connection.
It might seem obvious, but use as much of the soldering iron tip as possible to heat your components. When I first started soldering, I was wondering why sometimes solder would melt instantly vs other times when they wouldn’t melt at all. It was by accident I realized the whole tip of the soldering iron could be used to transfer heat to the components. That was a game-changer for me. Once I learned this, the task became so much easier to do.
Speaking of tips, I found it easier to work with a cone-shaped tip than the fat square tip that came with my soldering iron (TS80). Even though the fat tip was much faster when it came to heating up components, it felt so unwieldy in my inexperienced hands. From what I’ve heard, it can be the better choice in some cases, but I guess I’ll find out in the future. Having a small and precise head to work with turned out to be the right choice for me. If you’re struggling with a square tip, maybe changing to a smaller cone might make the difference.
Fortunately, the fine folks over at The Board Podcast Slack gave me loads of good advice before I started soldering, and one of the best tips was to pick up a solder sucker. I’m very glad I listened because if I didn’t have one with me, I doubt I would have managed to finish any of my keyboard kits. These things are invaluable. Because unless you’re perfect and know how to use the right amount of solder each time, and never make bad joints, they will come useful in the future when you’re desoldering switches. I think there are much more advanced tools you can use for the job, but this SS-02 Solder Sucker has served me well so far. I’m pretty sure I’ll get a lot of use out of it in the future.
As for maintaining your solder sucker, it’s not too difficult – make sure it isn’t clogged up with solder – use some tweezers to get rid of solder stuck in the head every few uses.
Another good tip I’ve picked up is to reflow your joints after you’ve finished them. It might be troublesome, but sometimes it’s better to be safe than sorry. Sometimes joints may look good or functional even if they’re not. After you’re done soldering, it’s a good idea to use your iron to reheat the components and the solder again to reform a connection. If you don’t have a multimeter to test your connections, reflowing solder can help reduce the number of bad connections on your board.
Other tools that I’ve found useful: flush cutters (for trimming stab legs, pro mico headers and switch-legs for shorter cases), tweezers (to hold small components like SMD LEDs or wires in place, and to bridge connections if you ever need to test something), and a screwdriver set with multiple head types (you never know what kind of screws you’ll be getting with your keyboard). A multimeter is also a useful tool for you to test if you have any faulty components, or to test if a switch has been soldered in properly – very useful when you’re building a keyboard that can’t be powered on without a controller.
Lastly, I’d recommend a good place to work while you put your keyboard together. Besides having adequate ventilation and bright lights, you want a table that’s high enough so you don’t get neck strain (like I did) while spending hours soldering components to a PCB. Clamps with adjustable hands would also help for certain components (I’m definitely going to pick up one of these in the future) because trust me when I say it’s no fun trying to solder wires to headers without one of these. It feels like you need three hands just to do the job.
On a side note, desoldering a pro micro has got to be one of the most challenging things to do. I haven’t been able to do it properly yet, but it’s one of the skills I’ll need to pick up in the future. I’ll update this post when I get that down!
Some answers to questions I’ve seen floating around the internet:
What kind of solder do you use?
I use some cheap solder (photo above) available at my local Ace Hardware which is 60/40. It probably isn’t as good as some other well-known brands but it works for me. I’m no expert but I think most leaded solder with rosin core will do (you need rosin core so it can work for electronics).
What temperatures do you work with?
I initially started at 300° Celsius, but I found that the solder I used melted way faster at 350° Celsius, so I’ve been working at that temperature. It really depends on what you have, so experiment to find out what works for you. If you’re fast and more experienced, you can go even higher to reduce the wait time for your components to heat up. Also, don’t be too afraid of damaging your PCB/components. Unless you’re heating at a super high temperature (something I wouldn’t recommend if you’re new), you shouldn’t be too worried about causing any damage, especially if you’re only doing through-hole components.
Basically, that’s all I have to say on the topic for now. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to drop a comment below. I’d be more than happy to hear tips from those with more experience than me.
This post was written on my Fourier and Tanuki – the two keyboards I put together over the past two weekends.
So, I have this recurring dream. It’s the same scenario played out in different ways each time. It’s kinda terrifying, but at this point, I’ve had it so many times that I know it’s a dream while I’m dreaming. But I can never get out of it until I wake up.
Here’s my dream last night: I’m at home, in my old house in Happy Garden. The doorbell rings, I open the door to see who’s outside. It’s a man with a gun. Now the right play would be to quickly shut the door and hide behind a wall – bullets don’t go through walls right? I never do that. Dude outside threatens to shoot me if I don’t let him in. I refuse. More people from his gang show up. They all have weapons. Soon, my front porch is overrun with men with weapons. By this time, I shut the door and try to exit my house through the back door. But these guys somehow surround my house and are waiting for me there too. So I’m stuck in my house, with nowhere to go, panicking, worried about my life. When one of them manages to enter my house and is about to attack me, I wake up.
This dream (nightmare?) has occurred many times in the past. It’s always me, in my Happy Garden home, and the men are trying to get into my home to attack me. The other bits change. It could be day or night time, sometimes they have knives or parangs, the men look different. But I always wake up when one of them enter the house and is about to kill me.
It feels pretty terrifying at times (I wonder if I yell out in my sleep), but I don’t do anything different. I’m not sure if I even have the option to. It’s like a movie that repeats itself now and then. I’ve become accustomed to having it, and have stopped looking for any meaning. But if there is a point to it, I wonder what it could be?
On another note – why do you wake up just before you are attacked or killed in a dream? Is it a coincidence? Do you happen to dream right before you wake up? Does your body know that you’re going to wake up? Or do you only remember bits of the dreams before you wake up? Does dream time work like in Inception (where hours in the dream world could mean only seconds in real life)? What is my mind trying to say?
I shall start with a disclaimer: this is purely anecdotal. It’s what happened to me over the past two years with my ASUS Zenbook (UX430U).
As you can see from the image above, that was the icing on the cake of my terrible experience with this device and ASUS Malaysia’s service center. Let’s start from the beginning.
I purchased this Ultrabook after leaving my previous job as I needed a laptop to work on. I only had an old Linux machine at home to use with a dying battery and keyboard (despite be replacing the battery and hard drive earlier, it didn’t help much). I know I wanted something slim, lightweight and powerful enough for me (I hate slow laptops, there’s never an excuse for it). I didn’t need to game on it, so an ultrabook with no discrete graphics card seemed right up my alley.
After doing some research and shopping around, I settled on the ASUS Zenbook UX430U. It had everything I wanted, and the price tag wasn’t unreasonable. Bought it, and started using it daily. I loved the weight of the machine and the performance I got out of it. It was a joy to use – until the first problem reared its head up less than a week in.
1) The laptop’s charging port stopped working for no discernible reason. It just stopped working, and I couldn’t charge my laptop. Now, you might say this is a case of bad luck, but the fact that I couldn’t get a replacement laptop on the spot was annoying. They wanted to send it to the service center to get it checked up and fixed. It only took about a week and was good to go. I was unemployed then, so it was acceptable to me even though I was unhappy about it, but I should have taken that as a sign of things to come.
2) Fast forward to about a year into having the laptop – everything was fine and dandy. Until I noticed something odd about my device – one of my USB ports wouldn’t charge my vape when I plugged it in. It could read files off drives and my phone fine, but it wouldn’t provide any charge. This bothered me as it was a laptop with limited ports (only two USB 3.0 ports and a USB C port), I had to make sure they were fully functional. I sent it to the service center to get checked out and fixed, which resulted in me in not having a laptop for a couple of days.
3) When the laptop was fixed, I noticed something odd with its display. It was randomly showing grey dots and lines on the screen, which was especially noticeable on black/dark backgrounds and images. It took another trip to the service center and a week to be fixed. This time the laptop took another week to fix.
4) My laptop’s speakers stopped producing sound. I normally listen to music using headphones, so this was something that took me a while to notice. I had to send it to the service center again, and they got it fixed within a few days. They said there was an issue with some connection.
5) The straw that broke the camel’s back. A couple of weeks ago my laptop was having issues with my SSD. It was an issue that I had encountered in the previous months, but it was usually fixed with a reboot (sometimes multiple). My laptop would somehow stop recognizing that I had an SSD installed and give me the BSOD while I was working. Sometimes during boot, it would fail to recognize that I had an SSD and throw me to the BIOS. This time around, restarting the laptop wasn’t doing the trick, so I had to send it to the service center again.
I informed the staff of the issue clearly – verbally and by writing it down. The lady at the ASUS service center acknowledged it. I passed the laptop to her and went off. I received a message the following day telling me that my laptop was ready for collection. I thought that was strange because I’ve never had a one-day turnaround from them before.
Reached the service center and asked them what the issue was – they told me that they formatted the laptop and it should be fine. I was distrustful of them. I told the lady that this was not a software issue, why would a format fix it? She just told me to go back and use the laptop and to come back if there were any problems. She also told me that one of the screws holding the bottom case of my laptop was missing. No shit, Sherlock. Why did you tell me that instead of just putting in a new screw? Were they short on screws?
Anyway, as I expected, the same SSD issue happened again. I even sent them photographs of the problem (at their request). Drove my ass to the service center, passed them the laptop again, with an “I told you so” look on my face. The lady apologized and said they’ll get it fixed as soon as possible.
About a week later, I collected the laptop from them. I turned it on at the shop (it was on sleep mode), and everything seemed normal (the missing screw was still missing). The lady told me that they replaced my SSD to solve the issue. Everything seemed normal to me until; I got back and rebooted my laptop after updating some drivers.
The first thing that pops up on the action center is Windows Defender telling me that my machine was infected with a trojan. I did some digging through the Defender logs and noticed that it wasn’t the first time the trojan was detected. There was a backlog of when the warnings started appearing, and what files caused the trigger. Turns out that Windows Defender detected the trojan on the thumb drive that was used to install Windows updates on my laptop.
This meant that whoever was installing Windows on my laptop was clueless or had a complete disregard for basic PC security. I’m pretty sure it is completely unacceptable to be using an infected thumb drive while working on a customer’s machine (correct me if I’m wrong). That technician had also deliberately ignored Windows Defender’s warnings and continued installing files off that infected thumb drive. What kind of fucking moron does that? I’m pretty sure I said “are you fucking kidding me?” aloud to myself. I was furious.
I sent photos of the message to ASUS and told them that they had an incompetent technician. They had the cheek to tell me to just restart the PC. Holy shit, whoever ‘fixed’ my computer deserves to be fired and be hit by a car on the way home, with their box of belongings in their hand.
If by some chance you’re reading this, technician, fuck you.
Instead of sending it back to them and risk my machine falling into the hands of another idiot, I fixed this problem myself (created a bootable Windows 10 install on a USB drive, and wiped the SSD before installation).
For almost two years, I’ve had to visit the service center way too many times. This is not okay for a device that you rely on for work daily.
In the future, I’m not going back to ASUS if there’s an issue with my laptop I can solve on my own, and I’m not purchasing another ASUS laptop. They’ve taken more than enough of my money and my trust. I still have faith in their hardware like graphics cards and motherboards (haven’t had issues with those yet) but their laptops are a definite no from me. Based on my experience, I will never recommend an ASUS laptop if you need something reliable.
Side note: in addition to all the time spent waiting for the laptop to be fixed, there was a lot of time and fuel spent driving to service centers, paying for parking and tolls, and loss of productivity from not having a laptop to work with. Oh yeah, I had to back up all my files and remove my logged-in accounts every time I sent it to be serviced (huge pain in the ass).
Also, if you remember, I purchased a tablet to serve as a working machine during the various times my laptop was out of commission and it’s been a lifesaver (it’s still running great btw!).
Ever since my blog was attacked multiple times last year, I’ve done a lot of things to improve its security (except switching away from wordpress because I didn’t want to bother learning a new blogging platform) and I’ve become aware of how much my blog is being targeted.
Every day I get notifications about attempted logins to my blog (that have been successfully refused), along with attempted injections and so on. Previously, I didn’t have any security and wasn’t aware of any attacks.
I’m aware I’m not some big time blogger or anything – it’s probably just random bots scouring the internet looking for websites with vulnerabilities they can exploit. Regardless, I’m glad I’ve made the changes to improve the blog’s security.
You know the feeling of using a computer after a fresh format? Or a brand new laptop after you’ve uninstalled all the bloatware? (speaking of, I’ve got a rant about ASUS laptops I’ll publish in the future) That’s how it feels like to have a website that’s completely safe to visit. Feelsgoodman.
Also, to anyone out there thinking of hacking this blog – there really is no benefit for doing it. You’ll gain access to my 30 or so daily readers (thank you guys) who probably wouldn’t even care if this blog died. I’d be inconvenienced, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world.
I would be bothered because I have years of writing archived on this space. Tons of thoughts, memories, ideas, and all sorts of random shit. It’s nice going through them, like a stroll down memory lane. Except that it is more accurate than a memory because my words don’t change (unless I intentionally change them, which I don’t – however I have updated an older post that still gets traffic – yes, don’t ask me why people still find my blog when they search for whorecraft – it’s still one of the most common search phrases people use to get to this blog).
This post was written a few months ago to celebrate my blog’s anniversary – but I had forgotten that I renewed it for 2 years the previous year, so the reminder to renew my blog didn’t come in this year which resulted me in forgetting to post it. Today, received a spam comment on my blog which reminded me about this post.
Even if the comment was legit, no I’m not interested in monetizing this blog. No thank you. Anyway, happy belated birthday to blorgy.net – 12 years and counting. You’re almost a teenager now!
Funny story: saw a comment on reddit saying that my URL was blocked at a person’s workplace – probably due to orgy in the URL. That was the first time I thought about changing the domain name of my blog in a while. After all, it was a reflection of who I was many years ago when I first registered it. I don’t think I’ve matured much since then.
If there’s one thing I learned the importance of a long time ago, or something I know very well – it’s that momentum is a real thing. Once you start something, it’s easy to keep going. But when you take a break for whatever reason and you walk away from it – coming back to pick up where you left off is a difficult thing to do.
There are a lot of things I wish I was doing, but I don’t bring myself to do them because it’s so much easier to be lazy and indulge in video games or watching shows. It’s already 7 months into 2019 – and have I accomplished any of my goals for the year?
The main issue about taking a break from something for a long time is that it’s difficult to pick up and resume where you left of. Before you say, George, “You’re just being lazy!” Yes, I am aware of that. “There’s no such thing as momentum, it’s just your lack of willpower and discipline!” I wouldn’t argue with you about it. But this is something that I’m not the only one who struggles with. It’s a common thing. However, that doesn’t mean it’s something that I should accept. Regardless, it didn’t stop me thinking about it, after all – momentum is a very real thing (and it exists not just for physical objects, but in the metaphysical world as well).
For example, there have been countless moments in video games like Dota 2, where a team that has been doing poorly at the start of a tournament, picking up steam in the later stages to win the whole thing. On the other end, there have been teams on hot streaks who then have a day off (because they’re in the winner’s bracket) and lose their next match. Even on a lower level, some games are won by momentum because one team keeps its cool under pressure better than the other one. Winning one team fight despite being very far behind turns into winning two, three more, and then the whole game.
Reeling it back in to something more relatable – is this why some bands find it so difficult to follow up their debut albums? After spending so long on their first one and releasing it, they’ve expended all their creativity and energy, they can’t pick it up for the second release? Or is it why some bands churn out hit records after hit? Or maybe it’s a different reason – in that time between the first and second release, you’ve changed as people, and don’t create the same sort of art as before. You don’t have the same thoughts, you’re no longer in the same head space, maybe you no longer have the same struggles, maybe you have a different set of restrictions this time around. Who’s to say? Not me, I haven’t released an EP since A Million Different Weddings (which remains unfinished til this day if you remember my promise of creating album art for it).
I’m sure it’s just my lack of willpower.
Momentum is important. I remember last year when I was blogging on a daily basis – it was easy to keep up. I wrote something everyday, I forced myself to do it. Sure, it hampered the quality of my writing (to be honest, it wasn’t that great to begin with) but at least it was consistent. These days, I find myself looking at the calendar and going – oh, it’s been a week since my last post. I guess it’s time to write a new one.
It’s kinda difficult to write when you’re not doing it everyday (work doesn’t count). Like my comic. Animal Bus – I haven’t been working on it for some time – we’re way past the December launch date I set for myself last year, and I’m nowhere near the state I want the comic to be before I release it. My game – no progress, ideas. Songs – I’ve managed to write something new, but I haven’t branched away from my usual acoustic guitar, 4-chord song structure nonsense.
I guess I’m making excuses for myself when I don’t need to. I’m not even on a deadline, and nobody is holding their breath for my stuff. What I’m trying to say in so many words is that I haven’t accomplished anything this year. What’s new?
When Keyhive announced the UT47.2, I was immediately interested: a hotswap staggered 40% keyboard kit for $38 (group buy price – excluding shipping, switches, keycaps and case) – what more could you ask for?
I purchased the optional 3D printed low-profile case since I wanted more protection for the PCB than the default kit provided, and I’m more than happy with it. Despite the case and plate being 3D printed, I had no issues inserting switches into the plate, which lined up with the PCB and case perfectly. Assembly was a breeze.
Kailh Box Pink were my switches of choice and after using them for a day, it’s safe to say I’m in love. Box Pink is my new favorite clicky switch. It makes me wonder why nobody is talking about them? They feel like a slightly heavier Box White switch with a much deeper click – similar to how a Box Navy sounds, but softer! I’m definitely picking up more of these for future clicky builds. If what I’ve said sounds like what you’re looking for, give them a shot. You won’t regret it. Great job, NovelKeys!
After testing out the switches, the next step was putting the keycaps on – which took more time than putting the board together, I kid you not. Major props to Keyhive for the wonderful experience. Keycaps are DSA Granite, which was what I had on my (sold) Vortex Core. They couldn’t have asked for a better new home.
Flashing the keyboard was straightforward – just remember to set your QMK Toolbox configurator microcontroller to atmega32u2 (something I missed initially), and you’re good to go. I’ve been using 40% boards for a while now so I already knew what layout I wanted on it – there was no need to experiment. For this keyboard, I used a combination of my Planck and Kumo (Minivan) layout. If you’re interested, you can preview it or download the .hex and .json here.
While there is a lot to praise about the UT47.2 – I do have some minor complaints (none were deal-breakers for me, but I thought I’d point out). Firstly, it uses a 1.25u (enter) key on the home row. This isn’t an issue if you’re using flat profile keycaps like DSA, but on sculpted profiles (i.e. Cherry), it’s going to be difficult finding keys for it in the right profile (almost impossible if you want the correct legends). A handful of upcoming keysets will be addressing the need for this extra key. But if you plan to use an existing sculpted keyset with this board, you’re going to have mismatching profiles for that 1.25u key since most 40s kits in the past only have one of those (usually with the Tab legend).
The kit didn’t come with stabilizers for the 2u space (unnecessary, but supported by the PCB and plate), rubber bumpons (also unnecessary, but something I appreciate) or a USB-C cable. Those are my only complaints.
If you’re interested in picking up one for yourself and missed the group buy, fret not. Keyhive has some extras for sale here ($50) and you can purchase the optional case here ($25) – Keyhive has tons of different designs. SpaceCat also has the UT47.2 on sale here.
Conclusion: the UT47.2 is one of the best staggered 40% keyboards I currently own. If you’re thinking of trying out the form factor, on a budget and not looking to solder – this keyboard is right up your alley!
I’m the king of procrastination. Believe me, there’s so many things that I wish I would finish and haven’t gotten around to it yet. One of those things was cleaning out my room. Despite starting it in January 2018, I finally finished it last weekend. And if it wasn’t because of certain motivating factors, I bet my room would have stayed unclean for the rest of the year.
What motivated me? Believe it or not – mosquitoes. Yes, those pesky flying blood suckers. Last week I had the worst bout of mosquito attacks in my room. I’d wake up every day with new bites on my legs or arms, and when I was awake, I would notice them flying around the room. Despite my constant spraying of Ridsect every time I went out for the day, and tubs of mosquito repellent I left around my room – they still wouldn’t leave me alone.
I knew that there was one thing left to do: I had to clean my fucking room. And so I did. I took me two days to go through the boxes of stuff I had (things I had been hoarding for over ten years), packing them into trash bags and other boxes. I threw out tons of stuff. I turned off sentimental mode. I didn’t care that it was a book of drawings I did as a kid – they were rubbish anyway, I threw them out. After that, I gave my room a complete wipe-down, getting rid of dust, dirt, hairs, and whatever left that was lying around.
The mosquitoes haven’t completely disappeared – I’m sure there are some left for me to destroy, but the bites have stopped. On the plus side, I now have a clean room and boy, it feels good. Also, it felt great to finally finish something that I started back in 2018. At least this year wasn’t such a waste. The next step is maintaining my room’s condition.
“I’m sorry,” said an unfamiliar voice. I looked up from my seat to see Lisa standing in front of me. My mind raced – “What the fuck? She speaks?”
Everybody thought Lisa was a mute because she refused to speak to any of us. Ever since her first day at school, she had never uttered a word. We knew she wasn’t special needs or deaf because she raised her hand during roll call and did the same homework as us.
We’d invite her to join us for lunch, but she never accepted – declining by smiling and shaking her head at the same time. After a few weeks, we figured she was either mute or introverted. Regardless, she was a part of our classes – except when it came to discussions. The teachers would never pick her. I believed they knew the reason behind her silence and refused to tell any of us. We left it at that.
And now, on the very last day of school, Lisa decided to speak to me. Of all people.
“It is time for me to say goodbye,” she continued.
“It’s time for me to go.”
“But I don’t even know you, why are you telling me this?”
“Maybe I’ll see you again.”
“I don’t understand,” I replied. I looked around the classroom – nobody seemed to notice that I was having a conversation with the mute girl. They were in the midst of making plans for the summer, drawing dicks on year books, and snapchatting farewell posts.
Lisa turned around and walked out of the classroom. Immediately, I rose to my feet to follow her out of the room.
“George, where are you going?” my teacher asked as I began to open the door.
“I’m going after Lisa!”
Silence fell over the room as all eyes focused onto me.
“Lisa, the mute girl?”
Everybody was looking at me as though I was crazy. Low murmurs of students whispering to each other began to filter into the air.
The teacher got up from her seat and walked towards me. She put a hand on my shoulder and said, “George, you better sit back down.”
Writing Prompt from Reddit: [WP] Everyone thought that one student was mute, though no one knew why. Today, on the last day of school, she speaks to you.