Tringkap means window

So, it’s been a while since my last getaway. When was that? I don’t even remember. If you’ve been following me on Instagram (shameless plug), you would’ve noticed that I’m not in KL anymore. I’m still in the country, just currently located in some place where strawberries grow. Yes, that’s right, I’m in Cameron Highlands.

What in the world are you doing there, George? Beats me. I wanted to get away from civilization so I could focus on some of my hobbies I haven’t been able to spend time on – namely writing and music. A couple of weeks ago, I decided that I should head to somewhere quiet, away from distractions at home. I remembered that Alvin had a place available in Cameron Highlands, so I asked him for the keys. He gladly obliged (thanks dude), so here I am.

The drive took slightly over 3 hours today, mostly uneventful – I passed by one accident on the highway but that’s about it. It rained lightly, but I was traveling in daylight so it wasn’t a problem. I didn’t speed at all – going as fast as 110km/h, which was the speed limit for one of the highways. The roads going up were winding and some paths were terribly bumpy. But for my first time driving up here, I think it wasn’t too hard.

When I arrived in Cameron Highlands, it took me a while to locate the apartment (I think it’s been ten years since I was here last). I had to ask for directions to find the unit. Came in, unpacked my shit, cooked some dinner (had enough of driving for the day), setup the ‘studio’ and started noodling on the guitar.

I would say I had a semi-productive day – I managed to come up with one song based on some old lyrics I had written. It’s not something I’d call a finished product, but hey – at least I didn’t waste any time coming up here.

On the drive up, I noticed quite a lot of stores, but most of them were closed. I’m not sure because it was considered late, or they aren’t open on weekdays. Anyway, I shall do some exploring during the day to find out more. Hopefully they aren’t weekend-only places.

I haven’t got a strict time-table set up for my time here – heck, I don’t even have a rough schedule of what I want to do. Not sure if it’s a good idea to be this organized – I’ll just try this out for now. If necessary, I can make plans for my next retreat. Also, it’ll probably be somewhere closer like Genting.

The weather is pretty good at this hour, though it was hotter than I liked when I arrived. I brought my hoodies for a reason! Come on, weather, get chilly for me ( ?° ?? ?°)

Anyway, this was a pointless blog entry, just wanted to write something for the sake of writing. I haven’t gotten back into the writing habit yet. Hopefully this getaway shall revive that part of my life. I brought my drawing tablet too. Maybe I’ll participate in Inktober – I’ve only got 4 days to catch up on.

You know, I’m kinda surprised that there’s 4G connectivity here, considering how many times my phone showed ‘Emergency Calls Only’ on the drive up. Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of data left until it renews next week, so I’ll have to use it sparingly. In the meantime, I’ll focus on being productive.

Tilian’s Patient EP is the perfect soundtrack for this place.

The Internet

The internet is a wonderful tool. Because of the internet, I can work from anywhere. From the office, from home or from my favorite cafe. In a car, bus or plane – the internet allows me to get my work done. I just get online and I’ll be able to download the files I need to work with. I can send out emails on the go, all I need to do is get online by connecting to my phone’s hotspot or a public wifi network. It’s wonderful – when you realize that you need to make some changes to a document while on the commute to your next meeting, or while taking a shit in the toilet. The internet makes all this possible.

No more expensive phone calls when you need to speak to colleagues or clients who aren’t in the same country. If you want videos or photographs to make the message clearer, that works too. Just launch your camera and hit send. The internet makes it all possible. I can work from anywhere.

The internet is a wonderful tool. Because of the internet, I am expected to work everywhere. Even while I’m on holiday a thousand miles away from the office. If there’s a deadline, it doesn’t matter what time zone I’m in. The recipient will be able to read what I send them immediately because they’ll have access to the internet on their phones too. In a car, bus or plane – the internet requires me to get my work done. I’ll get online and send them the files I’ve been working on, no excuses. If there’s no internet connection where I am or I don’t have access to a local SIM card, there’s a thousand free wifi hotspots I can access to make sure my work gets sent out on time. It’s wonderful – when you realize in the middle of a nice dinner that you’ve forgotten to make some changes to the last revision you sent out. You can easily change it and send it out again. The internet makes all this possible.

No more expensive phone calls means that colleagues or clients will want to get in touch with you, even when you aren’t in the country. And there’s no reason to miss a call because you’re always connected. You also have videos and photographs to make your message clearer. The internet makes all this possible. I am expected to work everywhere.

The Little Prince – an imaginary person or undead space traveler?

Note: this post contains spoilers for the book The Little Prince.

So today I finished reading The Little Prince for the very first time. It was an enjoyable read, filled with words of wisdom throughout its pages. Also, like Adventure Time and Spongebob Squarepants – it has something for everyone.

I loved how the writer managed to invoke the feelings of childlike wonder with his choice of words and writing style. The cute illustrations accompanying the text are also a treat to look at. I will never view a drawing of a hat the same way again. However, the end of the book raised some questions for me.

Continue reading →

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).

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.