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.

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:

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.

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!

The specieist in me

So today, I was linked to an article about some folks in China shaming a rat – literally. They strung up a dead rat, hung a sign on it saying “Is that all you’ve got? You can kill me and I still won’t admit it was me who stole your rice!”

While I was amused by the picture, I found it cruel at the same time. I mean, if they had done the same thing to a dog, I would have been outraged. Which got me thinking – is it wrong to favor an animal over another? Like, let’s say a dog stole some rice, or maybe it killed a child. Then it was slaughtered and hung out to be shamed. How would I feel about that? I don’t know.

But then again, China gives no shits about what kind of animal you are when it comes to punishment.

We gave ourselves the right to put down animals without any fear of retribution. Imagine if animals could band together to avenge their fallen ones? Would we reconsider how we treated them then?

Sometimes pets are treated better than human beings.

Is owning a pet equivalent to keeping a child in captivity?

I’ve read a quote saying something like “if you claim you love dogs but you eat meat, you’re a hypocrite”. Would that mean someone saying they love eating carrots but hate potatoes is a hypocrite? Where do you draw the line?

If animals like dogs and cats were bred to be slaughtered for food (like chickens and cows), would that be any better? What makes eating one animal versus another frowned upon (assuming that neither of them are endangered)?

I enjoy eating meat. I also love dogs a lot and would probably never eat their meat under any circumstance. I love most vegetables except bitter gourd (that isn’t deep-fried), lady fingers, and other slimy vegetables. I don’t mind people who are vegans. However, I don’t like people who feel the need to shove their beliefs down the throats of others (though this isn’t limited to just dietary habits *cough*religion*cough* sorry, I used to be one of those people). Also, eating meat isn’t such a bad thing.

Snow comes and snow goes

Being away from home makes me appreciate home more. You miss the convenience of having your own car and being able to go anywhere you like. You miss the convenience of calling up your friends to meet up for a drink just because you feel like it. You miss not having to wear a jacket every time you want to go out for a smoke. Oh wait, you’d be able to smoke indoors if you were in Malaysia.

I experienced snow for the first time in my life. Mines Wonderland when I was a kid doesn’t count. So, yay! I never thought it’d be so mushy to step on. Maybe it wasn’t cold enough. I smoked my first cigarette in the snow. I put my first cigarette out in the snow. I didn’t open my mouth to catch snow flakes in my mouth though. Didn’t feel like it. Don’t think I’ll be making a snow angel either, I have a feeling it’ll just soak my clothes.

Even though I’m not traveling alone, I do get my own room wherever we stay, which has been pretty good (not that I don’t miss you, Sherman, leave the army and come back dammit). I don’t have to wait to use the toilet. I don’t have to decide which bed I want. There’s no shortage of power sockets. I can throw my shit all over the floor and bed. I can walk around naked ( ?° ?? ?°) I can put on whatever music or shows I want to fall asleep without worrying about having to wake anybody.

I’m gonna be here for another week. I’m looking forward to the Ciana Book Fair. It’s going to be my first time.

My jam for the night:

Airport hues

It’s been awhile since I had to spend an extended period of time at an airport. The last time this happened was when I was in Japan. I had arrived after midnight, and there were no more trains and buses out from the airport. I had no choice but to wait until the first bus of that day.

I remember walking around the airport aimlessly. Almost everything was closed so there was nothing much to see. Nobody else was walking around. People were all strewn across chairs or on the floor, sleeping. Waiting for their next flight or like me, a bus out of the airport. I managed to find an open restaurant and bought a bowl of Udon noodles to fill my empty stomach. After that, I just loaded up Twitch on my iPad and watched some games to pass the time.

Fast forward a few years later and we have me in a similar situation. Waiting for my connecting flight to Heathrow, sitting at a Shake Shack, listening to some tunes by Dance Gavin Dance and typing out this post. Dubai’s airport is a hell lot busier at this hour. It is brightly lit, there are tons of people walking around in search of food, a place to rest, their departure gate, or just walking because it’s better than sitting around.

I was sitting alone until 5 minutes ago when this stranger just took up the seat on the table connected to mine. I didn’t acknowledge him. Not that I needed to. He was a person looking for a place to sit, like me. I don’t think I’ll engage in conversation with him. According to my laptop’s clock, it should be 5am in Malaysia now. I would be asleep at this hour. However, I slept almost the whole flight earlier so I’m not tired.

It was an uneventful flight. I watched This Is Spinal Tap for the first time. I fell asleep about 20 minutes from the end of the movie so I’ll probably finish it later. I had the aisle seat, which I didn’t mind at first until I realized it meant that I would have to give way to the two passengers next to me if they wanted to use the toilet. Good thing it only happened once. I would’ve been annoyed if I had to do it a few times.

The food was pretty good. I had some chicken curry and rice. And carrots and long beans. And a piece of chocolate. Oh, for some reason I received two prawn salads. I didn’t complain. Also ate some bread sticks. Had a lot of water. A glass of gin and tonic.

When I was sleeping, I kept feeling my hands getting wet. I have no idea if I was sweating or it was just in my head. But it was a weird sensation. I did drool a lot. One of the passengers next to me had a strange laugh. She sounded like she was going to die. I just put on my headphones to listen to the Giant Bomb podcast and ignored her. I pulled my beanie over my face and fell asleep.

My flight to the UK departs in about an hour. Great. I’m looking forward to freeze my balls off.

Oh, 70 AED = RM85, I found out today. Priciest fast food I’ve ever paid for in my life. At least it’s cheaper than rap CDs.

MPEG-2 Audio Layer III stories

MPEG-1 and/or MPEG-2 Audio Layer III,[4] more commonly referred to as MP3, is an audio coding format for digital audio which uses a form of lossy data compression. It is a common audio format for consumer audio streaming or storage, as well as a de facto standard of digital audio compression for the transfer and playback of music on most digital audio players and computing devices. [Wikipedia]

One of the best things about the internet is the amount of entertainment available for people to consume at any time. With a quick search and a click of a button, your favorite artists’s latest song can be playing in your ears in seconds. Compressed music is one of my favorite things about the internet. Without the internet, my music library would be a thousand times smaller than what it is right now. There’d be so many bands and singers I would have missed out on because they don’t get any airplay on radio over here.
Continue reading →

I’m on fire and now I think I’m ready to bust a move

When I was young, I used to record myself talking into a tape recorder, pretending to be a radio DJ. Now I have the ability to record my own ‘radio shows’ (podcasts) and broadcast them to the whole world but I don’t do it.

I’m sure what I said was full of cringey shit, talking to an audience that didn’t exist, and not even fading tracks in/out while talking in between them. Then again, those fades always annoyed me.

Now I just sit behind my screen and type out my nonsense onto a screen. I hit publish and the whole world can read what I’m thinking about. All my stupid thoughts and stupid songs. It’s mostly garbage. Sometimes I come up with something that people find interesting to read.

Most of the time I don’t. And I end up with half-assed thoughts like these.

Ever since I started listening to podcasts, I’ve had countless ideas for podcasts of my own. Mainly just me and a friend sitting opposite each other, drink in hand and shooting shit. I don’t think it would be entertaining to anyone besides myself, so I’ve never done it. Also, I think I have a shitty radio voice.

I would probably need to train myself to speak differently if I want to sound better over the air. I know because I hear my voice all the time (when watching playbacks of my Twitch stream (shameless plug – come hang out if you enjoy watching Dota fails), and listening to my WhatsApp voice messages to Milin).

Also, your voice sounds different on recording because you hear yourself in two ways – the first is through vibrating sound waves hitting your ear drum, the way other people hear your voice. The second way is through vibrations inside your skull set off by your vocal chords. Those vibrations travel up through your bony skull and again set the ear drum vibrating. However as they travel through the bone they spread out and lower in pitch, giving you a false sense of bass. Then when you hear a recording of your voice, it sounds distinctly higher. [source]

I have no idea where I’m going with this. I guess that’s why I’m writing this for my Thursday thoughts.