Supreme Master of Loving Huts

In today’s episode about technology, we’ll talk about going down the never-ending rabbit hole that is the internet. Have you ever found yourself on a site or a video where you read a comment or you think to yourself, “How the hell did I end up here?” The depths of YouTube, some call it. It also happens when you’re browsing Wikipedia or TVTropes. It’s not something new. I’m sure everybody has been down that road at least once in their lives. I think it’s been prevalent ever since the dawn of the internet. Just that these days, our internet speeds are so fast that it becomes trivial clicking on a link because you don’t have to wait for anything to load. My trip today took me to some interesting places.

I was doing some research on Indonesia for work today, and found out that the country was known for having birds of paradise. I decided to then look up if there were any cartoons featuring birds of paradise. I entered it into Google and a few links to the same animation pops up. Oh cool, there’s one cartoon about the topic. I decided to check it out. While watching the intro to the animation, I started reading the description of the video. Nothing out of the ordinary, except that it was attributed to a story by “Supreme Master Ching Hai”. That piqued my interest. I mean, come on – who wouldn’t want to look up information about someone called the Supreme Master?

And that’s where the rabbit hole begin. It started from me reading a Wikipedia entry about this person, putting their name in Google, looking up some Reddit threads and watching some YouTube videos. So, today I learned about the Supreme Master Ching Hai, her story, her mission, and her chain of restaurants around the world. I’d do a write-up about her, but Phoenix New Times already has a well-written piece on her that covers everything you need to know and how I feel about it, and there’s nothing else I can add with my limited knowledge on the subject. I quote from the article:

“In one such setting, Hai informed her supporters that crop circles are a kind of alien road sign through which extraterrestrials leave messages for each other. In another, she contended that the pyramids are meant to act as lighthouses for UFOs, showing them where to land safely.”

However, I learned something from today’s little adventure: while I (and a lot of other people) may find it easy to make fun of or laugh at an outrageous religion, it’s only because I know so little about it. Not that I’m an expert on other religions, but the fact that it is new compared to other religions, it hasn’t had enough time to settle in the world as something that’s accepted worldwide. Just like Scientology, except that the Quan Yin followers don’t seem intent on doing horrible things to its members or other people in society. They’re just vegans who are fanatic about their Supreme Master. Maybe one day they’ll turn violent and start terrorizing people, but for now they seem like a pretty chill bunch. Maybe in the year 5000, those religions will still be around and they’ll be as accepted as Christianity or Islam, who knows?

Start a religion so you can sell merchandise and stay exempt from taxes (the Supreme Master has her own line of jewelry and artwork available). Seems like a pretty good business model. Anyway, if you spend your money on such things, you probably deserve to have that money taken from you.

Other interesting things I discovered going down the rabbit hole today: she actually has a sizable following here in Malaysia. There’s a Loving Hut outlet in Malaysia (which I’m keen on checking out, even if it means supporting her), and last year there was a screening of one of her musicals in KL. Today I experienced the same feeling I did when I discovered that there were Mormons and Scientologists here in our country. I don’t even know why I was surprised. Anyway, like my favorite saying goes: you learn something new everyday.

If you’re keen on learning more about the Supreme Master and her teachings – there’s the Supreme Master TV channel streaming her content 24 hours a day:

You can play it sensible, a king of conventional or you can risk it all and see

Sometimes I just enjoy sitting with a cup of coffee in a cafe, with nothing on my mind and my laptop opened in front of me. I know I should be writing but I have nothing to write about. So I launch FocusWriter and start writing about not having anything to write. I think it’s because I enjoy pressing keys on keyboards.

There’s just something therapeutic about pushing buttons on a keyboard and watching characters appear onscreen. It doesn’t even have to make any sense. It doesn’t have to be meaningful. I guess it’s like jerking off, except that you can do it in public without getting arrested. I mean, technically, there is no reason for anyone to jerk off. It’s just fun to do.

I’ve been listening to the soundtrack of The Greatest Showman for the past few days. It’s really good. I was pleasantly surprised by how contemporary the songs are. When the first song started playing, I genuinely thought I was in the wrong cinema. My expectations were surpassed for the film. Sure, the story is nothing to shout about, but the songs and the choreography are top-notch. Definitely worth rewatching or relistening to. I thought the movie felt a bit short (probably because I enjoyed it so much) and I was surprised when I learned that it was 2 hours long.

Also, I stayed to watch all of the credits because I half-expected to see Fall Out Boy being credited for the movie’s songs. I can easily imagine Patrick Stump performing the songs on it.

I’ve been at my new job for two weeks, yet I’ve worked for less than 10 days. Thank you blessed public holidays.

I’ve had phlegm-filled lungs for the past 3 weeks. I wonder if I’m extremely sick. Coughing everyday and blowing your nose every hour gets kinda annoying. A part of me thinks I should get it checked out. Another part of me thinks that it’s going to go away eventually. Other than that I feel fine. Then again, there are quite a number of sick people in the office. Maybe it’s just a bug going around.

Having experienced keyboards of all sizes, the only thing left for me to try are Topre switches, the HHKB layout, and ortholinear/split keyboards. I’m currently doing fine with the Core and inserting apostrophes are almost second nature to me now. Still struggling with numbers, brackets and symbols like !@#$%^. But I think I’m getting better. I also started pressing Shift with my left pinkie. I’m also liking the arrow cluster on the bottom right of my board instead of using Fn + IJKL – it makes text selection so much easier.

I wonder how much coffee I need to drink before one cup isn’t enough to perk me up. I can go for days without drinking any coffee, so I don’t think I’m addicted to it. Cigarettes on the other hand, haha. Wedding dinner to attend later, been a while since the last one. Should be fun mingling with people I don’t really know. Who am I kidding? I’m just going to hang out with the people I know. To vapers out there – do you keep a bottle of juice with you if you don’t have a bag to bring? Feels odd to me. Which is why I usually just go out with cigarettes. They’re much smaller and I don’t have to worry about running out of battery or fluid.

I recently read that if you haven’t used your Steam Community Market account in a while, it gets disabled. Decided to put up all the trading cards I’ve collected over the past year on sale. Feels good getting a notification every few minutes about receiving a few cents. Eventually I’ll make enough to own a Dark Artistry Cape, you just wait!

New clothes for the new year

I’ve never been one to do any Chinese New Year shopping because I honestly don’t think that just because it’s a new year, you need new clothes. You only need new clothes when your old clothes become unwearable, there’s no other reason. If you want new clothes, that’s another story, but you never need them.

Anyway, I haven’t been shopping for new clothes in a while, so I took advantage of the CNY sales going on to do some shopping today. I managed to get myself a couple of T-shirts and shirts for reasonable prices at a warehouse sale. One thing I’ve learned about purchasing clothes is that while something might look nice hanging from the rack, it might not look good on you. I discovered this a while ago while going through photographs of myself.

I used to have a bright orange shirt that I enjoyed wearing but I don’t anymore – I think I gave it away. The problem with that shirt was, while I thought it looked good, it clashed with my skin tone. I think I’m too tan to pull off a bright orange shirt look. However, I only realized it after wearing it for a few years. Since then, I have never bought another bright orange shirt.

Today I discovered a new color that looked good on me – mint. Prior to this, I didn’t own any mint-colored shirts, so I was pleasantly surprised by how it looked in the fitting room mirror. I picked up a red T-shirt as well, because everybody needs a red shirt for Chinese New Year, and two smart shirts because why not?

While writing this post I came to a realization that I’m no good with words when describing clothes. I guess that’s why I haven’t spent a lot of time describing them in my stories. I tend to write from first person anyway, so it’s not a big deal. But I guess I could do a better job of describing what characters wear. Definitely something for me to work on.

I still need to get a pair of new sandals but that should be an easier task than picking out tops. Later this year I’ll probably also need to update my jeans selection. I might give blue jeans another go.

Also, why do people tuck in their T-shirts? Honestly, I have no idea, but I see it all the time, especially by older people. Unless the T-shirt you have on is over-sized, I see literally no reason to tuck it in. It’s like, people who tuck in their T-shirts are actively trying to make themselves look worse because as far as I know, your T-shirts don’t tuck themselves in automatically. Maybe it’s a fashion statement. Or some trend I’m missing. I probably should work on my own dressing before I comment on what other people do. Fashion is confusing. Regardless, it’s almost as bad as popping your collar. Brr.

Also, catch me wearing these someday:

Seen on Reddit

To those of you who have yet to do your CNY shopping, have fun!

Generic Karaoke Videos

One of the funniest things about the karaoke is the generic videos they create for songs that don’t have official videos. These generic videos usually consist of white people (usually attractive girls) running around beautiful scenery, doing random moves and maybe looking into the camera or staring into the distance. They never have anything to do with the songs, so it makes you wonder how such videos were conceptualized in the first place.

Who thought those videos would be a wonderful idea? I’m pretty sure a lot of people thought they were good because they caught on. If they weren’t successful, there wouldn’t be so many of them around. Somebody definitely thought – hey! that’s a wonderful idea. They’re easy to shoot, and can be applied to any music video. And so the trend was born.

After doing some digging, it turns out that these karaoke videos were commissioned by companies to circumvent copyright. Initially they were even weirder videos of random shit, but they were eventually replaced by the stock footage kind I was talking about. They were mostly low-budget and done by young, aspiring directors. Interesting read.

Anyway, I don’t know why I decided to write about karaoke music videos today. I have a story idea about karaoke music videos though. It’s about a guy who goes karaoke singing one day and sees this extremely attractive girl in a karaoke music video. He falls in love with her and goes on a mission to find out who she is, so her can track her down and ask her out.

Pay To Die

I’ve always told people who asked that I intend to leave this world when I’m forty. I figured that at that age, I would have experienced everything I would have wanted to experience and it would be a good age to go. But when I first started saying it, I had a long way to go. It hit me recently that forty isn’t too far away. Eight more years, that’s less than a decade.

I still think it is a good age to go, but I was recently asked – what if you’re really happy and successful when you hit forty? I really don’t know. My plan at forty would be to do all the life-threatening activities like bungee jumping and skydiving and hoping one of those activities would kill me. But if you think about it, people don’t die that often doing those things. There’s probably a higher chance of my body developing cancer from smoking or my liver failing from drinking too much alcohol before that.

In case you’re wondering, I’m not planning to kill myself. I just don’t want to be old, sick and a burden to people around me. Also, I’ll save a lot of money for people who plan to take care of me. I won’t have to let them decide if they should pull the plug on me. I’ll be too young to develop the usual old age debilitating illnesses. They can also save even more money with no funeral!

Insurance. Why are people so comfortable with partaking in a business that is predicated on its customer being ill in order to reap any benefits? It’s kinda crazy if you ask me. For the longest time I didn’t bother with insurance because I thought it was a waste of money. I mean, it still is a waste of money – if you live the remainder of your life without being treated for anything major, you’ve essentially given away thousands for nothing. If you do end up using the insurance, it’ll be worth it. But it’s pretty much a gamble – like playing the lottery, instead you put your health on the line in order to win it. Anyway, I still have an insurance plan, but at least it has a savings component so I can get some of that cash back even if I don’t fall sick. I just have to be old enough to withdraw it.

Today, I went to visit my grandmother in the hospital. She’s not doing too well. I’m not sure what’s going to happen. I hate jumping to conclusions but chances are high that she’ll be parting this world soon. She’s had a long and good life, and this may be a heartless thing to say – but she’s going to be happier when she’s gone. I hope she has a speedy recovery or passes away painlessly. Love you, grandma.