Let’s do it again

2 years ago, I didn’t know what to expect when I decided to join Big Bad Wolf Books as a purchaser. It turned out to be one of the most memorable experiences of my life. Scratch that – it became my life. Nothing prepared me for the job. I didn’t have any experience purchasing books in the past, and all I knew about books were my limited knowledge of authors in genres I was familiar with and some of the bigger names. I had to learn everything from scratch.

It was a trying time in my life. I ended up sacrificing a lot of personal time in order to finish my work, and while I don’t regret it, I realized that it wasn’t something that I wanted to do anymore. Also, the thought of going through sales data to see whether a book was worth purchasing didn’t exactly pique my interest after the first year. Still, I held on and decided to see if things would get better.

2 months ago, I decided that this was it for me and I didn’t want to continue working in the industry. It’s not that I don’t love books, (fun fact, I love books but haven’t had the time to read much since I started working with books) but I realized that purchasing them wasn’t my thing.

I’m a fiend for creating stuff. Be it random blog posts like these, song lyrics or stories in general. Heck, even writing press releases and speeches were the most interesting part of the job for me when I was working in PR.

I’m going to miss the purchasing trips to the UK and US. Despite not having free time to do any exploration or touristy activities, remainder book suppliers are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. I’ll miss the nice dinners and drinks with them. Easily the best part of the job.

Thursday was the last day of my tenure at Big Bad Wolf Books. It was a pleasure to meet and work with you guys. All the best to the you guys and all your events in the future. I’ll definitely be dropping by the KL sale to restock my library that I’ll have time to actually finish the books I’ve bought from the sales over the past 2 years.

Today marks the return of my Lubuntu laptop (farewell office laptop, you were a wonderful machine to use).

Also, this blog post is all over the place, but whatever. Treat this post as a free-writing exercise I’m doing. I haven’t sat down to write in a long time and this post marks my return. I’ll definitely have more time to collate my ideas and write more meaningful posts starting again (at least until I get another job).

Gig #106

Back from the US and UK, with no new songs – why do I even bother?
I’ll be playing some tunes tonight at La Frontera, drop by if you’re free!

Event Page
8-11pm
La Frontera
Jaya One, PJ

Open Mic de la Frontera is our weekly Tuesday open mic night that we run at our favourtie ‘lil Mexican joint Frontera Sol of Mexico in Jaya One PJ πŸ˜€

Sign up by emailing us@openmicmalaysia.org or dropping us a message!

#1 Sharlene Darshini https://youtu.be/BS_QlE62Mhc
#2 Sia Nicholas https://youtu.be/mxsfBhyjLLM
#3 Bob Brian https://goo.gl/b8iZom
#4 Ian Tai https://youtu.be/LvwBvf07Qow
#5 Andre D. D’Cruz https://youtu.be/URTxhsyAEIU
#6 Faith Ling https://youtu.be/87h41_SSCUI
#7 Qhotakmusica https://youtu.be/hWZV0Ah-1bw
#8 2storeyheart https://youtu.be/hFFZ3Y8-3KU

Oh and tacos go for RM6+ and tequila shots for RM9+ all night long yo!

JOM MAKAN DAN MABUKS!!!

s

#OpenMicMalaysia

http://openmicmalaysia.org/

What to wear at a wake?

After receiving the news tonight of a relative’s passing, I found myself googling what to wear. The last wake I went to was right after work so I didn’t have to change – I was in working clothes and so were the rest of the people in attendance. However, I don’t wear formal clothes to work anymore, and also – it is the weekend, so I wouldn’t be at work anyway.

Anyway based on my search results, I should be wearing something dark and formal. I don’t think I’ll need to bring a blazer. It’s too hot in Malaysia right?

Wakes are not something I enjoy attending – heck, I don’t think anybody enjoys attending them. Maybe the pastor/monk being paid to run the ceremony. I’ve been to a fair share of them, and even though I wasn’t close to most of the people who passed away, I still felt sad. The collective mood of all the miserable people in the room just amplifies and washes over everybody. Nobody walks out happy.

He was a young man and I didn’t know him very well – the kind of relative I’d only see at Chinese New Year reunion parties. I feel sorry for his father who lost his wife to cancer not very long ago. He must be devastated right now. Nobody wants to see their own spouse or child go off before themselves.

Which made me think about dying. Death is inevitable. It causes so much grief – unless you were someone hated, then happiness (and this point wouldn’t matter anyway). Would it be better to run away and be declared missing rather than dead? I’m not sure which one is sadder but at least being missing does give people hope that you’re still alive. Nobody has to bury your body. There’s no need for a funeral.

I guess some issues will rise – like your unpaid debts and so on, but I doubt it’s any harder to settle than if you had passed away. Is that why pets run away before they die? I did some googling on it, turns out it’s not really true (for dogs anyway).

Wherever you may be now, I’m sure you’re in a better place.
Rest in peace, cousin.

If I give more than enovgh grovnd, will yov claim it?

A bit late but I finally hopped on the Chvrches bandwagon. Holy shit, how good is this band? I know they had some catchy tunes a while ago but I never bothered listening to the rest of their discography. It was only after a Song Exploder episode where they broke down Clearest Blue I decided to listen to the rest of their songs. And man, I was blown away. I don’t have much to say other than this band has some of the catchiest synth pop beats and melodies I’ve had the pleasure of listening to.

Dark, moody, atmospheric and at times uplifting, energetic without being over the top. Also, some of their songs would fit in a Hotline Miami soundtrack (Lies anyone?). They’re also currently working on their third album which I’m looking forward to. In the meantime, feast your ears on these tracks:


Chvrches – Clearest Blue


Chvrches – The Mother We Share


Chvrches – Recover


Chvrches – Empty Threat


Chvrches – Playing Dead


Chvrches – NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

Soon we’ll be living in the future

Not writing on a daily basis really takes a toll on your ability to write. At least that’s what I’ve discovered after not writing consistently for quite a period of time. I mean I thought it would be the other way – write less often, ideas build up, and you can unload your brain on the internet.

Nope.

I mean, I sat down here in front of my computer for a good five minutes before even writing the first sentence of this blog post. While thinking of what to write, I shaved my face. The wonders of an electric shaver – I don’t have to shave my face in front of a sink because there was no mess. The electric shaver pulls the hair from your face and cuts it. Most of the hair is then trapped in a chamber instead of falling all over the place. Or maybe it’s because I have pathetic facial hair, so it didn’t really matter in the first place. Every now and then you just open up the chamber and release the hairs. You can then wash it if you like. Make sure you leave it to dry properly if not it’ll end up with a funky smell. Like a T-shirt that hasn’t been dried in the sun. Except it’s a lot worse because you hold the shaver so close to your face, it’s impossible to avoid the smell without holding your breath.

It’s day 25 of my almost month-long trip. It feels good knowing that the end is near, and I can go home to see my family, friends and dog. Sleeping on my own bed. Not having to worry about whether I have enough underwear or cigarettes for the rest of the trip (spoiler: I do – I picked up 3 packs of boxers at Walmart at $7 each – what a steal. Also, bought a carton of Malboros duty-free before my first flight). I also brought plenty of vape juice, cotton and coils.

I bought an overpriced hairband because I lost the one I brought to the US. I don’t know why those things aren’t .99 in the US. They’re just bent pieces of plastic! Not a big deal because I didn’t spend that much else on anything anyway.

Getting a SIM card in the UK was a good idea. I don’t have to worry about being bored on long drives. Then again, I’ve been spending a lot of time sleeping in the car. Something about being in a vehicle that puts me to sleep easily. The constant motion while not being in control? Beats me. Sleep rules anyway.

I wish sparkling water was more common in Malaysia. It’s a fizzy drink without the calories! What more could you ask for? Dr. Pepper. But that’s a bit too much. I wonder if there are Dr. Pepper vape juices. Hmm.

I was genuinely disappointed when Google decided to replace their awesome blob emojis with generic looking faces. I was already annoyed at apps not using Google’s emoji on Android (how is that even a thing?) and now I won’t even get the chance to use them anymore in Google’s own apps. Ah well, they will be missed. By me.

Birdy is a really good singer, with really good songs. More people need to listen to her. Here you go:

Cutting cords

It took a while, but I finally did it. I took the plunge and purchased my very first pair of wireless headphones. They aren’t completely wireless, there are still cords that connect the earbuds to the Bluetooth receiver which hangs around my neck, but compared to the regular earbuds I was using before – it’s a world of difference.

Previously, I was put off by wireless headphones because I hadn’t used a pair before. After a few weeks of using these wireless headphones on a daily basis, I gotta say, they’re a pretty damn good step up from regular headphones. Makes me wish I shelled out more money for my initial purchase. Oh well, I’ll be using these a while longer, at least until they break or I lose them. Any bets on which one happens first?

Wireless headphones are the shit. Especially when you’re traveling a lot. You don’t have to fuss around with your cables when you need to stop listening to music. Just press the button to pause it and remove the earbuds and let them fall around your neck. Previously, I had to take out my earphones, roll them up and put them in my pocket. Making sure my headphones didn’t fall out accidentally while on a flight was no longer an issue (those wires liked to get caught on arm rests or in my jacket for some strange reason). And on the rare occasion they do fall off, they’re still hanging from the receiver.

Sound quality (on the set I purchased) is decent – I’m sure it’ll be much better on higher end models, but I didn’t want to splurge on something I didn’t know I would enjoy. Also, I’m no audiophile. As long as I can listen to music or podcasts clearly through the earbuds in my ears, I’m good to go. Bluetooth also works pretty damn well. I didn’t have any trouble pairing my headphones with any of my devices. However, it is unable to pair with multiple devices and switch between them quickly (I don’t even know if it’s a supported feature in higher-end Bluetooth devices). Battery life has been great (I get about 9 hours+ of use), it doesn’t take long to recharge, and it works with my exiting micro-USB cables.

I’m not ready to replace all my wired headphones yet (what’s the point of replacing the headphones I use at my desktop?). I still keep my regular one handy for the rare occasions I run out of juice or when I need to save battery on the wireless. But I’ll definitely pick up a pair of wireless headphones again in the future. Conclusion, I’m now a fan of wireless headphones and I wholly recommend for people to pick up a pair if they’ve been on the fence about it.

Key things to look out for: sound quality (do you like natural sound, extra bass or treble?), weight (I prefer them light), battery life (9 hours is a good place to start, more won’t hurt), type (in-ears are my preference, headphones don’t work well with thick frames) and appearance (haven’t seen any outrageous looking ones yet, but it boils down to personal taste).

Coffee sans Cigarettes

Sitting at a Starbucks in Charlotte Douglas International Airport, waiting for my next flight out.

Today marks the end of my first week on a very long buying trip. I haven’t written anything substantial on this blog in ages so I figured I’d just launch notepad, drink some coffee and see what comes up.

In the grand scheme of things, one week isn’t a very long time. But the duration of my trip is probably going to be the longest I’ve spent in a single stretch out of the country. Not that it matters. Personal milestone. Not really. I mean, it’s part of work, so it’s not really an achievement. Speaking of work, whenever people find out I get to travel for work, they think I have a dream job. I mean, sure it is great. You get to go to nice places, you get to eat fancy food, you get to see the world (albeit mostly through airplane and car windows), but that’s it for ‘fun’.

Besides the rare downtime (like I have now, which I should actually be using to get some other work done but I can’t be fucked because I’m exhausted getting up at 5 today) – our schedules are full. No days off, even on public holidays or weekends – after all, time is money and we’re here to work, not play.

So all I’ve been doing for the past week is buy books. Going through sales history of books. Going through our suppliers’ inventories in showrooms and warehouses to look for books. Suggesting how much books should be priced, and how many copies we need to take. It’s not difficult, but when you do it all day, every day, it does get tiring.

I hope this doesn’t sound like I’m complaining about work, because I’m not. I have a good job. It’s not my dream job, but it is very interesting, and it pays the bills. Also, I love books, so I can’t complain about being surrounded by books all the time. Like every job, it has its ups and downs.

Again, I don’t know why I typed out a whole essay about my job but I did.

Waiting at Charlotte Douglas International Airport is kinda annoying. To smoke, you have to exit the airport and go through security checks again just to reenter. I’m probably going to smoke 2 sticks when I land.

My flight leaves at 8pm. It is currently 5pm. I’ve got 2 and a half hours to kill before I head to the boarding gate.

This trip I noticed I’ve been listening to a lot less post-hardcore and pop punk. I’ve been listening to a lot of Birdy and Tegan And Sara. And Oasis. Catfish and the Bottlemen. And more Kavinsky. All great artists. I’m still a fan of palm mutes, chugs, power chords and breakdowns. But I guess I’ve just been feeling more mellow and chill. Lil Dicky is still on constant rotation though. That guy is too good to get rid from my playlist.

Last month I created a Spotify account for the first time. It’s pretty cool, but I don’t find myself going back to use it. Somehow I’m still a fan of locally stored music. Also, Spotify player is pretty ass. Foobar 2000 is life, don’t think I’ll ever replace it. However, access to brand new albums the day of release and easy way to share tracks with friends is great. Also, it’s nice to see what the people I follow are listening to on it. I noticed a lot of surprising scrobbles.

This airport is bustling. People just walking up and down past Starbucks nonstop since I sat down.

Yesterday, while having a smoke, I met a veteran. He was in the area for his son or grandson’s graduation. He told me he was stationed in Korea and Vietnam in the past. He told me about his injuries (apparently he had broken his legs, arms, fingers before). He told me that he was trapped in his hotel room last night because for some reason their door was stuck from the inside. He said his wife almost passed out due to her claustrophobia(?). He told me that in his spare time, he went camping alone with his two knives and an AK-47. He hunted snakes and sold them. He was an interesting old man who smoked orange Pall Malls.

This morning on my flight to Charlotte, the guy next to me started talking to me when the plane landed. He told me he was on a business trip and that he and his colleague were flying their wives in for the week to stay at their hotels as well. Get this, I wasn’t even smoking on the plane! He just opened up to me. Maybe I have a face that signals ‘I care’. If I didn’t write this down, I probably wouldn’t remember all this in a week’s time.

Anyway, I think I’ve rambled enough on my blog for now. Maybe I’ll write again sometime this week. Maybe not.

I miss Snuggles. Hope she’s doing okay without me. She deserves a better friend.

Gig #105

Been a while since I’ve headlined a show, so I’m pretty psyched to announce I’ll be one of the main acts for tomorrow’s Feedback Open Mic at Jaya One. I’m also going to be away from Malaysia for almost a month, so this will be my last one for some time (doubt I’ll be playing any open mics in the US/UK haha). I haven’t prepared a set list yet, but I believe it should be a mix of some old tunes and newer ones. Hope to see you guys there!

Feedback Open Mic Jaya One ft. Yi Fen & 2storeyheart
Event Page

9th May 2017, Wednesday
8-11pm
The Bee
Jaya One

Details
Hey folks! Feedback is happening at The Bee Jaya One again, bringing to you one of the busiest open mics in town!

Featured acts for this show include:

Tan Yi Fen
2storeyheart

Here, have some easy-to-digest bite-sized info:
– Signs ups are at 7pm and are first-come-first-serve basis
– Show starts at 8pm
– It’s a 2 song slot
– Bring your own cables
– The Jaya One edition is ACOUSTIC only
– Because you are awesome, best open mic-er gets to open for one of our Lot 36 slots and the chance to win recording time with iseekmusic!

Remember to tag us in your pictures with our #FeedbackOpenMic hashtag =)

Entry is free. See you there!

***
Feedback is a collaboration between Moonshine & The Bee. It happens every 2nd Tuesday (Jaya One, acoustic only) and 4th Tuesday (Publika) of the month and has been running since December 2011.

Gig #104

Nothing much to say except that I’ll be performing tomorrow night for the first time at Ril’s Bangsar. Should be fun! Drop by for some good music and drinks.

Ril’s Warehouse Sessions | Event Page

Thursday, April 13th
8:30 PM – 11:30 PM
Ril’s Bar
30 Jalan Telawi 5, Bangsar Baru, 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

THIS JUST IN! We are running a pilot open mic night 8.30pm onwards at Ril’s Bar, Bangsar on Thursday, April 13th! πŸ˜€

#1 Kahlilfornia https://youtu.be/z7CKYJ2lRkw
#2 Jess A Craig https://youtu.be/OOtChwFLR6M
#3 Arisha Akhir https://youtu.be/669-klj4qBc
#4 Sarah Daniella https://fb.com/sarahdaniellamusic
#5 Sia Nicholas https://youtu.be/mxsfBhyjLLM
#6 Darryl Thomas https://youtu.be/b_TKjP9ddwU
#7 Maha Jeffery https://youtu.be/vTp_Xzn6icE
#8 2storeyheart https://youtu.be/hFFZ3Y8-3KU

Sign up by emailing us@openmicmalaysia.org πŸ˜€ slots are limited so get in touch ASAP! It’s gonna be a mad one! πŸ˜‰

P.S. Shaneil Devaser of The Endleaves will be kicking off the night, Ian Tai of The Propositions will be in the middle, and Boy Bravado will be closing!

We’ll also have a lot of drink promotions, so don’t miss out this Thursday night!

Completed: Renewal of blorgy.net for 1 years/Gig #103

Is it so hard to remove the s at the end of years if the preceding number is 1? Why not just make it year(s), that way you don’t even have to change anything?

Man, this blog is almost 10 years old now. I’ve spent a third of my life writing on it. 10 more years to go before I die a triumphant death. Can’t wait. I wonder if anybody will bother to help me keep it running. I guess I could pay my hosting fees for a hundred more years before I die. Maybe blogs won’t even exist in the future anymore. Everything would be VR and shit. This site would be a relic of the past.

Like paper. Not really. People still read physical books. And magazines. And newspapers. Maybe only hipsters will read my blog next time.

Anyway, it’s that time of the job again – where I get super busy right before a sale. This time even more so because Jakarta 2017 is gonna be bigger than before. I’ve cut down my dota time to once a week. I haven’t even been able to keep up with all the DAC matches. But OG has been kicking ass, so I’m rooting for them to win the whole thing.

Tomorrow I may be playing my 103rd gig. Not confirmed because I don’t know what time I’ll get off work – but if I am able to make it on time, you’ll be able to catch me at:

Open Mic de la Frontera #29 | Event Page

April 4 2017
8 PM – 11 PM
Frontera Sol Of Mexico, Jaya One

Lineup:

Open Mic de la Frontera happens every Tuesday night! #OpenMicMY

#1 Sarah Daniella
#2 Ian Tai
#3 Arisha Akhir
#4 Jojoe
#5 Shavkat
#6 Darryl Thomas
#7 Cikicikiboomboom a.k.a Harissa Halim
#8 2storeyheart (maybe, maybe not, but definitely maybe)

See you if I see you!