Gig #122 Urbanscapes 2019: The Spotlight, and Some Ramblings

See my name on the poster?

This year, the opportunity to perform at Urbanscapes arose and I seized it immediately. There was no audition or filtering – just put your name down on the time you wanted. Sweet! I always had the impression these big gigs were usually by invitation. So for those of you who are wondering if I suddenly became some bigshot, the answer is no.

I can’t remember the last time I performed at a large scale event. It might have been a youth festival with Jason back when Doppelganger and The Wishing was a thing. I know Facebook shows me photos from that even every year. Good times. Maybe I’ll get to play in a band again next time.

Anyway, if you’re interested in watching the show (there are going to be tons of acts besides me) I’ll be performing on 23rd November 2019 at Medan Pasar [Map] at 1 pm. Facebook Page. Drop by for some cool tunes on a weekend.

Sometimes I think to myself, why the fuck do you have so many hobbies? Why are you interested in so many things? Why not just focus on one thing and maybe get good at it? Beats me. I like variety in my life. Maybe that’s why I have multiple keyboards I can switch between.

I mean, can you imagine wearing the same clothes for the rest of your life? I’m not sure if that’s an accurate analogy, but hey.

It’s my life and I get to do whatever I want with it. Like this month, I’ve been participating in Inktober. Sure, I’m not using real ink but I’m still doing drawings (almost daily anyway – had to do multiple per day to catch up). I’m hoping that by doing all these drawings, I build some momentum with my art and finally get around to pushing out my now almost-delayed-by-a-year comic – Animal Bus.

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inktober day 5. build #inktober #inktober2019

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In addition to that, I’ve been meaning to read a lot of books I have purchased over the past few years (thanks Big Bad Wolf). I think that the lack of reading in my life has been hampering my writing ability. Which makes sense because you should be surrounding yourself with what you want to do.

Back when I was writing a lot of music, I was always listening to music, playing the guitar and singing daily. These days it’s more like an occasion if I pick it up. And it’s usually to practice for an upcoming gig. So why bother performing in the first place? Because I enjoy it, duh.

Anyway, this is more of a ramble than anything. I felt like writing something today.

The Power of Prayer

Why do people even bother praying? Whenever something bad happens to someone, people say send your prayers to X or keep them in your thoughts and prayers. Does it even matter if you do?

I keep hearing all the time that something is ‘God’s plan‘ so why even bother trying to ask for otherwise? If something is going to happen because it’s destined or predetermined, then what are you praying for?

Isn’t trying to change an outcome going against your god’s plan? Why are you not going along with it? Are you saying he/she/it is wrong? Can god be wrong?

Why would god listen to the words from your lips? Unless you’re saying you’re so powerful that god listens to you. If that’s the case, then why can’t you pray for everything you want in life and get it? People say you can’t pray for selfish things – isn’t praying for someone’s health selfish in a way? You want someone to survive so you can spend more time with them. If you didn’t intend on ever seeing that person again, you wouldn’t have bothered.

What if someone else was praying for the same person’s death? Who does god listen to then? Does god even listen? How does god decide who to listen to?

If god doesn’t listen, then why pray? Why aren’t we questioning god’s ‘shitty’ decisions in the first place?

“Oops, I accidentally gave your grandma cancer. Deal with it.”

Does an almighty and powerful god need to listen to people to know what to do? Does god even give a shit?

Pray if it makes you feel better, or if you want to. Just don’t pray and expect anything to happen. If anything does happen, know that it’s because you worked to achieve it, or it was a coincidence. It wasn’t because you prayed for it.

Change things you know you can instead of trying to invoke some mysterious force in the sky. It’s much more effective.


Here’s a wonderful bit by a comedian I came across a few months ago on Netflix:

Check out Daniel Sloss on Netflix

Too Many Choices

Thanks to the advent of fast internet connections, I’ve been spoilt for choice when it comes to things I want to waste my time on when I’m in front of the computer. Previously, I was limited by the amount of space I had in my hard drive. Terrabytes weren’t a thing yet, so I couldn’t store all my favorite MP3s and movies. Then came CD-ROM burners, which helped, but not as much as external hard drives. Those used to cost way more for less storage than you get now, and beyond the occasional thumb drive (to replace the lost ones I got for free from events) I haven’t purchased one in ages.

my local MP3 collection

Now I don’t even back up most of my files on physical media anymore. Thanks to Google Drive and Photos, there isn’t a need. Not to mention, Google does a great job of automatically sorting and tagging your photos (I know people care about their privacy, but I enjoy the convenience of typing noodles in the search bar to remember where I’ve been). Machines have come a long way thanks to all the captchas we’ve been doing.

Google Photos

If you want to watch a movie these days, just load up Netflix, or your favorite streaming site, type in a movie name and click watch. It’s that convenient. If you want to listen to music, just load up Spotify or YouTube, type in a song name and there you go! No more waiting for songs to download to your PC and launching them in a media player to listen to them. I still do the latter for music, but streaming services are great to check out new artists I have not listened to before.

But like with all things, there are good and bad sides to them. While people might see it as a ‘first world problem’, it’s a problem nonetheless – having too many choices makes it difficult to decide what you want to consume. Yes, that’s right. You ever sit down in front of your TV, and browse Netflix endlessly looking for something to watch? I know I’m guilty. I see a show I think I might be interested in but I don’t watch it immediately. I add it to ‘My (neverending) List’, and look for something else that I might want to watch. Repeat this for maybe half an hour and decide that I’d rather do something else instead of watching a show. Come back to Netflix a week later and repeat the same process. It’s the same with Spotify. I have playlists of countless unwatched shows and unlistened music.

my Netflix playlist

While it’s not an issue having large playlists of unconsumed content, it could be a problem one day – when record companies or movie distributors lose the rights to the material, leaving empty spots in your playlists. And then you kick yourself for not checking them out earlier. Fortunately, there’s always the alternative coughpiratebaycough but most of the time you’ll look for something, download it and end up forgetting about it (at least that’s what I do).

I guess it’s more of my consumption habit than a problem of too many choices. I should learn to pick and choose and stick with it. Which is why I’ve been choosing not to finish some games in my Steam library. When I feel a game is more trouble than it’s worth to complete, I uninstall and move on.

my Steam library

I’ve been doing the same thing with music and shows too. If I don’t absolutely enjoy something, I turn it off and jump to the next in line. I don’t have that much time in my life, shouldn’t I spend it on something else that I like instead? This philosophy has helped me to clean up my playlist (it’s still long but I’m getting there) and it is also why I play so much Dota 2.


Also, interesting video about choices:

Double Parking

The other day, someone decided to do a double park, blocking my car from exiting. I had to turn on my lights and beep the horn a few times. Fortunately, that person happened to be in a store nearby, so he ashamedly ran out to move his car. Also, I wasn’t in a rush, so it was no big deal but he did waste a couple of minutes of my time.

Now imagine, if I had to get somewhere urgently, and that person was out of earshot? What if I had an important job interview? Or had to say farewell to someone who was on their deathbed? What if I drove faster because I was late (due to the double-parker) and ended up in a car accident myself? I know I’m being overdramatic, but hear me out.

This scene always comes to mind when I think of what ifs

Unless it is a matter of life and death (which isn’t the case 99% of the time), there never is a reason for anybody to double park their vehicle. It doesn’t matter if you’re seated right outside so you can see when the car you’re blocking needs to leave; would it kill you to just find less inconvenient parking so you don’t have to inconvenience anybody else? Sometimes those 2 minutes you cost somebody could make a big difference in their lives.

Besides the vehicle you block, double parking also causes issues for other vehicles: you turn two-lane roads into one-lane roads. This makes it so that people have to drive around your vehicle to move forward, which can create jams. People trying to reverse their car will also have no vision of oncoming traffic thanks to your car blocking the road. People having issues reversing can also create more traffic jams.

All because so you could get some roti canai a couple of minutes earlier?

it’s very easy to just park further from your destination and walk a bit. Sure, the weather sucks, but your body will thank you and you don’t inconvenience anyone but yourself. Don’t be a dick. Don’t double park.

Elevator Silence

Ever been in this situation? You and your friend are busy chatting in an elevator when the doors open and some strangers enter. Suddenly, all conversations halt and the floor number display is the most interesting object in the container (room?) second to your own shoes. I’ve always found that to be quite interesting – the fact that the lift becomes quieter the more people it holds. However, this rule doesn’t apply when there are more people who know each other than strangers.

It’s not like the conversation was about anything offensive – people just feel compelled to stay quiet in the presence of strangers. Kinda reminded me of the no phone calls in trains in Japan ‘rule’ I’ve read about.

I thought I had more to say about the subject but I didn’t so I googled the topic and found this really interesting article on elevator spaces. Elevators are basically small rooms, and that’s just how people seem to behave in confined places. This bit was hilarious:

 We would be – we would really distress people, though, if we stepped into an elevator and kept staring at the back wall, would we not? I mean, everybody else would get a little bit uncomfortable.

Turns out there’s a lot of material you can read up on about elevators. From the article I linked, I also learned about a magazine called Elevator World. Also, unrelated but related to elevators:

We definitely need some of these shaming elevators here

These Old Bones

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:

I didn’t plant them there for the sake of this post

Also, I remember people telling me that Poy Sian inhalers were something old people used. I guess I was just ahead of my time.

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my favorite travel companion

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Now that I’m done typing this, I just realized it was a long-winded post to tell the world that I’m an old bag of bones (with loads of belly fat).

August Check-In

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?

Nightmare/Dream

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?

Blog Security

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.

a snapshot of my inbox

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.

lul

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.

Don’t Call It a Comeback (Momentum)

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?

Nope.

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?