Time Internet Telemarketers

Earlier today I received a call from a Time Internet telemarketer. I’ve no idea how they received my phone number but they knew where I was living. He immediately started his pitch, telling me about faster speeds, lower prices bla bla bla. I told him I wasn’t interested. He asked how much I was paying for my current plan, I told him. He pitched again – cheaper, faster. I told him no. He hung up the phone. The whole interaction reminded me of my job in PR previously – I made a lot of calls to publications, sometimes cold, just to invite them to our events. I also had to call up other people for venue inquiries and bookings. It was probably one of the worst aspects of the job.

I always felt like I was being an annoyance. Personally because I’m not much of a phone person these days (I used to love speaking on the phone as a teenager, not anymore) and it felt so inefficient to me. You spend five to ten minutes on each phone call, with no guarantee of getting a positive answer. Compare that to sending an email or text message which takes less than a minute to send to everyone (after you’ve crafted it, of course) and it’s pretty much the same result. Interested media will reply/RSVP, uninterested ones will ignore it. On the plus side, you haven’t wasted half your day making calls to people who may or may not be in the office or attending another event/meeting. And you didn’t need to be verbally rejected, after all the effort you put in.

I don’t know if the media enjoyed receiving calls from PR people, but I sure as hell don’t enjoy receiving calls from telemarketers. I know these people are only doing their job and I shouldn’t hate them for it, but if there was a less annoying way to sell products to people. Like email or text messages? Hmm. Then again, people probably think that customer interaction is an important aspect of their company/product. I’d like to see the numbers for the success rates of telemarketers. If people are still doing it in 2017, I have a feeling it must be working somehow. If not, companies are just flushing money away hiring people for the job.

Personally, I’m okay with ads even though I use adblockers on my computer mostly because I hate pop ups and any possible malware risks. But the best form of advertising to me has always been recommendations by friends and endorsements by people who I care about i.e. esports players, teams, tournament sponsors, streamers. When I decide what product to purchase, they play a factor in my decisions. However, when it’s an endorsement by someone irrelevant (i,e. movie star or badminton player promoting anti-virus software) I immediately dismiss it. If someone I know has personally used something and recommended it to me, I think that is much more effective.

Like in the case for Time Internet – if my neighbor told me that he switched from Unifi to Time because it was cheaper and he could download Steam games much faster or his Twitch streams were 1080p with no lag, that would have probably pushed me over the edge into signing up for Time. Right now, Unifi works perfectly for me at home so I see no reason in switching. And it’s not something I can easily switch back to if I was unhappy with Time. Also, it would be a hassle setting up my home network again. Also, if more people switched to Time in my condominium, that should free up the congestion on Unifi’s lines and make life better for me, right? kek

Why I Don’t Vote

Disclaimer: most of you probably don’t agree with me and I don’t expect you to, but since I’ve been asked multiple times throughout my life about voting and politics, I’ve decided to put down my thoughts on the subject. I’m not expecting to change any minds and these are just my thoughts. If you think I’m ignorant or stupid for doing so, it’s okay, it’s your right. I don’t hate people who believe in voting, it’s your life and you’re allowed to do whatever you want with it. So am I.

I’m not a registered voter.
I’ve never registered and until they make it a crime to not vote, I don’t have any plans to do so.

Why?
I don’t care who wins. I have more interest in the winner of the next Dota 2 TI Arcana vote than whatever is going on in the political scene.

Stop telling me I need to do vote. I don’t.


Instead of worrying about who is going to control the fate of Malaysia, why not utilize your precious time and energy on how you can improve your own life or situation?
Selfish? Maybe, but it’s definitely going to be more effective than trying to swing the outcome of a public vote that isn’t even a guarantee.

Which brings me to the upcoming new year’s eve rally to protest the petrol price hike.

While you’re out there standing in the sun, think about what you can be doing with all that time instead. Perhaps preparing your contribution to your New Year’s Eve potluck you’re attending later?

I never understood the point of these rallies. What does it accomplish? Awareness? Oh, as if people don’t know prices of petrol are going up. I’m aware and I wasn’t even looking out for it.

How about working harder for a raise or getting another job to improve your economic situation? How about switching to a lower fuel consumption vehicle? How about commuting or walking? How about spending less on other things? How about anything instead of protesting? If you can afford petrol, pay for it. If you can’t then resort to other ways to get around. It’s that simple. I’m a smoker. Instead of joining a rally when the prices of cigarettes went up, I adapted to the situation. I could have quit smoking (I didn’t) but instead, I adjusted my budget accordingly. I also picked up vaping, which did cut down the amount of cigarettes that I smoked though it wasn’t the reason I started – it’s just something I enjoy.

But hey, you can go and protest if you want to.

“Don’t talk shit about things you know nothing about!”
Then stop asking me to get involved with something I don’t care about.
“But George, you’re just bending over and getting fucked by the government. We need a change!”
Oh, how sure are you that the new government is going to give you the change you want?
“We don’t know if we don’t try.”
Why not try working on your own life instead? I guarantee you that you’ll see more results instead of wasting time with politics. Spend your time doing what you enjoy or hone your skills in something that makes you money. It’s way more satisfying and you’ll accomplish more. Don’t sit around on your ass blaming the government for everything bad that happens.

You know why we’ve been able to survive for so long? It’s what humans beings do.
We’re adaptable. We can live in difficult conditions.
And to be honest with you, life in Malaysia is pretty damn good.

“George, you’re an immature, privileged, spoilt piece of shit. You don’t understand!”
Maybe I do. Maybe I don’t. Look, the people who are dependent on the government – they don’t want the current guys voted out. They want the hand outs and what not, good luck fighting that.
For the rest of us, the “oh-so-privileged” citizens of Malaysia – work to improve your own life. What’s stopping you from doing that?
If you’re too comfortable doing what you’re doing and expect things to magically get better, you’re out of luck. You’ll never strike gold if you don’t mine for it.

Be the change – in your own life.

The Stranger

It was just another night – or so I thought. Like everyone else, I liked to unwind at my favorite bar after a long day of work. I was minding my own business, reading tweets on my phone while taking sips of beer in between puffs of my cigarettes. “Heh,” I chuckled to myself after reading a joke about abortions. These people sure know how to make something cruel seem funny. It was a quarter to midnight, almost time for me to get home. I had work the next days after all.

The bar was almost empty save for a young couple seated at the other end of the room and the bartender standing behind the counter. 80s music was playing through the speakers at a low volume, while the TV was showing some football match I didn’t care about. Football was never that interesting to me, I found basketball to be a more entertaining sport. The faster pace and higher score line seemed much more exciting.

The door bell chimed and a man stepped in. A stranger to this part of town, I immediately thought. After drinking at this bar for the past ten years, I recognized everybody who visited. Everybody who frequented the place knew me as well. Apparently, so did this guy.

“Jimmy!” he turned to my direction and greeted me as soon as he entered.

I stared at him, puzzled. He was unfamiliar to me. He was pale skinned, dressed in black and had a bald head. He reminded me of a knock-off Lord Voldemort minus the fucked up nose, though he did have a creepy smile. The man walked towards me briskly and sat down opposite me.

“One bottle of Carlsberg!” he called out to the bartender.

The bartender nodded and headed to the fridge to get him his order.

“Do I know you?” I asked the stranger.

“Sure you do! It’s been a while though, and circumstances were very different. But I’m sure you don’t remember me, so I guess you don’t know me…” he trailed off.

I was confused. I was expected to know who he was, yet I didn’t. But somehow I felt that he was someone I should know. It was a curious feeling – like trying to explain a dream to your friend when you can’t remember every single detail even though it was so vivid moments ago. Or like trying to Google a song when all you have are the wrong lyrics and a tune you can’t sing for shit.

“Could you tell me who you are?”

“If I did, I’d have to kill you,” he replied, his expression suddenly serious. Then he broke into a smile, “jokes, jokes!”

I laughed nervously. Who was this guy? It was bothering me. I repeated myself.

“Who are you?”

“I’m death.”

“Death?”

“Did I stutter? Death.”

“What kind of name is that?”

The bartender brought the man’s drink over to our table and walked away.

“Well, it’s not really a name per se. It’s just what I am.” Death lifted the bottle of beer to his lips and took a gulp. “Ahhh.”

A chill ran down my spine. Somehow this creepy man in front of me started to feel familiar – but I still couldn’t remember why.

“Are you here to kill me?”

“Yes,” he laughed. “Oh dear. You really don’t remember?”

“No, I don’t. What should I be remembering?”

“How do I tell you this? You made a decision to be part of this world. You wanted to experience what it was like to live among mortals before you died. The devil granted you your wish and gave you some time to live on earth, exactly ten years ago. Also, we had to wipe your memory, for obvious reasons.”

“I only asked for ten years?”

“Well, the devil wants to take over heaven and can’t do that while you’re still alive, so he agreed to give you a maximum of ten years to live.”

“Huh. If I was god, then why was I going to die? Shouldn’t I be immortal?”

“Well, no. You’re impervious to death by ‘regular’ means, but the devil isn’t a regular person. Cosmic beings can kill each other. The devil managed to trick you and had you in his grasp.”

“This is all so strange,” I pondered. If I was a god, how could I be tricked? In fact, couldn’t I just have willed the devil out of existence? If I wanted to live on earth, I could have created a being that I could possess and control. It was strange that I’d give up my own life for something so trivial. It didn’t make any sense to me. Then again, for the past ten years I didn’t even know that I was a god. Come to think of it, I didn’t have memories of the time before I found myself living in this town.

“This is either a dream, or I’m tripping,” I said, breaking the silence.

“You are one funny fuck!” said Death. “Anyway, finish up your cigarette and your beer, it’s almost time.”

I sighed to myself. All the time spent on this planet had come to an end. I didn’t even get to go out of the country. I should have asked for more time. I finished my beer and put out my cigarette stub.

“Is it going to hurt?” I asked.

“Not really. The last bottle of beer you had was laced with poison. In a short while, you’re going to lose consciousness and you’ll cease to be alive.”

“Oh, that’s good to know.” Death was right. I began to feel drowsy and everything around me started to blur.

“Any last words you want attributed to you?”

I half-laughed as I slumped back into my seat. Like a drunk person who had too much to drink before passing out, I managed to mutter: “In the end everything must die, even gods.”


Writing Prompt from Reddit: Write a story with the last sentence being “In the end everything must die, even gods.”

Mechanical Me

I was thinking of ideas for a blog redesign today when I remembered what my original banner used to be and I realized – shit, I’ve actually been interested in keycaps for keyboards all this time without knowing it! Just kidding, I never had an interest in keycaps until recently, but I thought it was funny coincidence that my old banner used to look like this:

That was a vector trace of the keycaps of my old ass Microsoft keyboard (which was this, minus the wrist rest) that I used for over ten years. It took a long time for me to hop on the mechanical keyboard train because I always thought that they were too expensive and everything I could do on one I could already do with my existing keyboard.

Continue reading “Mechanical Me”

September Never Stays This Cold Where I Come From And You Know

So while going through bands I wanted to share about, I realized that I had yet to write a post about one of my favorite bands of all time. Taking Back Sunday – one of the first few bands that molded my music tastes to what it is right now. Without any hesitation, I can name my favorite song off each album and probably recite the lyrics to half of their discography. These guys have been monumental in influencing my music. Sure, I’m not as creative as Fred/John/Matt/Eddie when it comes to guitar but I try (haha). Their heart on sleeve lyrics were what sold me to this band, as well as their signature dual-vocals. Think Les Miserables with electric guitars. They’ve also inspired countless handles and blog titles worldwide. Teenage poetry for sure.

Continue reading “September Never Stays This Cold Where I Come From And You Know”

Thoughts on the 25th

My favorite cafe, Doiffee, is closed today. Strange, because it used to be open all the time, even on public holidays. Which was what I liked about the place. I had somewhere to go for good coffee and quiet environment to do my writing. No biggie, I relocated to Encore today. A pretty good cafe as well, known for its desserts. The coffee here is good, the tables are a bit small if you plan to use a laptop with an external keyboard, which seems to be the only way I write these days. Typing on your laptop’s built-in keyboard is for plebs. Just kidding, it’s just much nicer to type on a proper keyboard.

A few years ago, I wasn’t really into mechanical keyboards. I felt that regular keyboards could do the job as long as you could type on them. Now, I own four of them and I’ve been investing in keycaps to replace the stock ones I have. I’m browsing a lot of /r/mechanicalkeyboards in my free time as well. It’s become quite a hobby, dressing up these pieces of plastic. I guess the next step would be ordering a kit and building a keyboard of my own. I’m not enthusiastic enough to do that just yet. Because it would mean I’d have to pick up soldering skills. Hah! But I’ve learned to never say never. Thanks Justin Bieber! Thanks Seng Yip!

Yesterday I flipped through the newspapers – the first time in a long time. There was nothing that really interested me, and I didn’t feel like I’ve been missing out all that much. I mean, whenever there’s big or important news, I’ll see it on my Facebook feed or on the Reddit front page anyway. That means anything unimportant has been filtered out, and I don’t have to waste time reading about it.

Obituaries are still a thing. I’ve always wondered why people announced the death of somebody. Doesn’t it just draw attention for money-grabbing relatives to crawl out of the woodwork, looking for a slice of the pie? Does anyone have so many relatives that it would be impossible to inform all of them via text or phone call? I guess people use obituaries as a way of celebrating someone’s life, however necessary that may be. Then again, I believe that money can be better spent instead of being used on afterlife amenities. Dead people really don’t give a shit what happens after they’re gone (they can’t).

Last night, I drove by a couple of churches that were counting down to Christmas. I wasn’t interested in joining the festivities. I haven’t been to church to worship for about ten years. The same amount of time I’ve been working. Coincidence? Not really. During my first job, I stopped going to church because I was working six-day weeks and wanted to rest on the seventh day. I started going less, and after a few months I realized that it made no difference to my life. Eventually, I stopped praying and even thinking about God. Then I discovered how funny religious jokes were and how liberating it was to not live my life by some arbitrary rules found in a really old book. I mean, we already have enough rules to live by in this country and at our workplaces – why bother adding another set to the mix?

The best part about this time of the year is the music that gets played in public places. I think we should have Christmas songs playing all year-long. It always makes shopping a pleasant experience. Also, Christmas songs are fun to sing along to.

The world stops running for a day today, at least for most of the world. And in a week’s time, it’ll be another break for the start of the new year.

Another sunny day in Kuala Lumpur

This morning, I woke up at 6ish and thought to myself, this must be what it feels like to wake up on time for work again. Washed up, thought of having an early start to my day, and promptly fell back onto my bed. Woke up at a more reasonable 1pm. Ahh. The life!

What do you do in your spare time, George? I hear that question a lot. It’s always the same answer though. I game, write, watch shows, play the guitar, and sleep. Basically I keep myself occupied with things I enjoy doing. It’s the best way to make use of your time. I don’t have to go anywhere (maybe except Doiffee, since I can’t make myself coffee that good at home) to enjoy myself.

However, for the past 2 days, I did make a trip to two malls and I’m reminded of why I hate going to crowded places. Traffic jams and hunting for parking. Definitely not up there in my list of things to do with my time. Today, I was smart and Ubered to Mid Valley instead of driving there. As expected, the place was packed. Having someone to drive me around is so convenient. Promo codes are also great.

But it does make you wonder – why are shopping malls so crowded even on weekdays? Don’t people have work to do? Is everyone a student or a tourist? Is everyone jobless like me? Speaking of job, I’ve got a job lined up in January, so for those of you worried that I’d be a jobless bum – worry no more!

I’ve been watching a lot of movies by Martin and John McDonagh. All their movies are great. I have yet to be disappointed by any of them. Each movie I watch from them is turning out to be my new favorite one. They’re definitely going into my movies to watch every year list. I’m also looking forward to Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (which is never going to arrive in our cinemas, sadly).

I finished the first season of Attack On Titan, which is pretty good. However, I’m not a fan of the main character (Eren). He seems so whiny to me. I’m sure it’s because he’s a young teenage boy, but man, he’s probably the most annoying anime character I’ve come across. I should also catch up on Rick & Morty, Adventure Time, Regular Show, Gravity Falls, Archer, and Bob’s Burger.

I watched The Last Jedi in the cinema, and I thought it was an okay movie. I preferred the previous two Star Wars films that came out recently. It wasn’t terrible but I thought it could have been shorter. Also, I’m not a big fan of the Star Wars universe so I don’t really have much to say about it. I did enjoy some Star Wars games a long time ago though: Jedi Knight 2 and Jedi Academy. Those were pretty good games with solid lightsaber sequences. The Knights Of The Old Republic RPGs were also good (though I only got through half of the second one before I formatted my PC a long time ago, will definitely revisit it in the future).

Speaking of games, I’ve been playing Watch_Dogs (didn’t deserve the flack it got IMO, the gameplay is solid, with my only gripe being the driving sequences because I suck at driving in video games) and Battle Chasers (probably the best JRPG I’ve ever played so far – the game is also gorgeous). Dota 2 is still a staple, I’m also thinking of attending ESL One Genting if Na’Vi qualify. I tried a PUBG clone on my phone the other day, uninstalled it after one round (lol).

I’ve been getting visits to this blog from countries like Sweden and South Korea. I’ve no idea who’s living there and cares enough to read this blog, but hello!

The Night Out

The rules are simple: approach within three seconds, be funny, respond appropriately and try to lead the conversation.

“That’s it?” I said.

“That’s it,” Theodore replied.

“There’s no way in hell this is going to work out!”

“Trust me, I’m better at this than you.”

That’s it. Typical Theodore. The guy who had it all – brains, looks, and charm. The art of seduction was something he was good at and something I was trying to learn from him. The words that came out of his mouth made so much sense and no sense at the same time. Tell me how a backhanded compliment is supposed to make a girl attracted to me?

There’s no way what he told me was going to get me laid but then again, I’ve had no success with women – might as well do something unorthodox right? There was nothing to lose and everything to gain.

The bar was packed with women. There was definitely no shortage to choose from – the only question was if they’d choose me. Theodore was already making his move on a couple of cute girls sipping their cocktails – he didn’t waste any time.

“Three seconds – one, two, three,” I counted in my head and took a step forward to a pretty girl sitting by herself. Then I stopped. The shoes on my feet felt like they were filled with lead.

Theodore previously said that I had to let loose, relax and go with the flow. To me that translated into – fill yourself with drinks for that boost of liquid courage.

There was no line for ordering drinks, so pretty soon I had a drink in my hand. The girl I wanted to approach had already left the bar – probably dancing with someone else who had more balls than me.

Theodore was still working the ‘two set’, getting them out of their seats to twirl them around, making them laugh with his ridiculous stories (which were supposed to demonstrate his value) and making plans to ‘bounce’ to another location later.

Time passed.

Tonight the beer must have been watered down, because I wasn’t feeling it at all. The fact that I had seven beers and still feeling like a coward said it all – Theodore only had two drinks and already had five new numbers in his phone. There were none in mine.

“Thanks for bringing me out but I’m going to call it a night,” I told Theodore when he took a short break from chasing tail to order a new drink.

“The night is still young!” he replied. “There’s so many women here who want to get to know you, you won’t know unless you try!” Then he went back to approaching other women, as though somebody had unpaused a movie.

Typical Theodore, always full of encouragement and always right. There was no way I would get to know anybody by keeping to myself. There was nobody to blame but me. Taking the final sip from the bottle of beer in my hand I told myself, “fuck it.”

Then I lit up a cigarette, ordered an Uber and walked out of the bar.


Writing Prompt from Reddit: Write a story but have the words in every sentence start with the same letter.

1Partridge4Me

Promo codes are great. Especially when they help you save money on something you were going to buy in the first place. But sometimes, they compel you to spend money on something you weren’t even thinking about. Case and point – today I took an Uber to lunch in Kuchai Lama. Normally, I’d drive there but there were a few factors that pushed me into riding an Uber today:

1) Parking there sucks – if you can find a spot (a difficult task, especially during lunch hour)
2) My car was low on fuel, which meant I had to pump petrol before I headed out for lunch
3) I had entered the Uber Christmas promo code which gave me 4 free rides worth RM4 each (1Partidge)

Because I had the promo code, I decided to make use of it. It’s not a bad thing. I mean, the ride cost me RM3 after the promo code, which was cheaper than driving there and paying for parking. Also, I saved myself the trouble of looking for parking (I also did the same thing last weekend when I couldn’t find parking in Mid Valley, I drove my car home, parked and took an Uber instead).

If I didn’t Uber to lunch, I would have been very late. Also, I would have been stressed out in the car looking for a place to park. Fun fact: my Uber driver had over 1,500 trips which I found very impressive. He also didn’t try to start small talk with me. He just drove me to my destination with no questions asked. I gave him five stars, of course.

Speaking of five stars, do people even bother rating anything other than one or five stars? Very rarely have I encountered a driver who was just average at his job and didn’t warrant a five-star rating. I’ve met more bad drivers than average ones. Maybe Uber’s rating system should change to – would I ride in this car again? Yes/No. It’s not IMDB or Metacritic. There’s no subjectivity to this. It’s either the driver did a good job or he/she didn’t.

Have you ever bought something from a store just because you received a voucher for it before? I have. A few months ago, Google rewarded me for my contributions to Google Maps (I tend to leave reviews and answer questions on the app when I’m bored). I received a RM40 discount voucher (minimum order of RM160) for Zalora, so I went on the store, signed up an account and did some shopping.

Because I had the voucher, I felt like I would have wasted it if I didn’t use it. Even though I didn’t have to, and I could have saved RM120 by not spending on anything in the first place. But I guess that’s how vouchers work right? I did the same thing previously on 11street (but my order turned out to be the wrong product in the end and I was refunded after a long and troubling process – never shopping there again).

Steam sales and Humble Bundles do that to me too. When I see a game I’m remotely interested in playing that’s on a deep discount, I pick it up. Now I have hundreds of games that I’ll probably never play in my lifetime (I’m slowly making my way through them but Dota 2 has consumed me).


On a side note: I’ve torrented a lot of music, movies, books and porn for free – I’ll never finish them in my lifetime either. There’s just so much content available online, and even if you were strict in what you want to enjoy, you’ll never get to finish everything you want to. Maybe if you didn’t need to work for the rest of your life and you started at a young age. Maybe. If the internet died today, I would have enough content stored locally on my computer to last me for the rest of my life.

Also, if you don’t have an Uber account yet and are thinking of signing up, you can use the promo code: georgew3261ue ?

I Loved The Way She Said ‘L.A.’

Spitalfield is another one of my favorite pop punk bands I have on rotation. I discovered these guys when I heard the song ‘I Loved The Way She Said “L.A.”’ on a Victory Records sampler that I got with my Taking Back Sunday – Where You Want To Be CD. Yeah there was a time when I still purchased CDs. The sampler was full of gems that I had never heard before and grew to love – Hawthorne Heights, Bayside and these guys.

Spitalfield – I Loved The Way She Said ‘L.A.’

The song had relatable title and lyrics, which drew me into them. You know the feeling you get when you listen to a song and you think that it was written just for you? Yeah, that was me listening to that song. Of course I had to check out the rest of their discography, and predictably I fell in love with the band. Positive lyrics, upbeat music, and just enough gruff that made them more punk than pop and one of the smoothest vocalists in the scene.

Mark Rose, the band’s vocalist, had a soft singing style that wasn’t aggressive in the slightest. But it somehow fit over the band’s pop punk guitars, creating a mellow, easy listening experience. It’s much more evident in his solo records that his voice was meant for pop/blues, but with the band the combination was a unique combination.

The band eventually split up after their last release and Rose went on to release music on his own, as well as creating a songwriting service. I’m still looking forward till the day the band reunites (if it ever happens) but for now, here are some of my favorite tracks from the band and Mark Rose:

Spitalfield – Five Days And Counting

Spitalfield – Make My Heart Attack

Spitalfield – What Were You Thinking?

Spitalfield – The Future is Now

Spitalfield – From The Desk Of B. Larsen

Spitalfield – The Only Thing That Matters

Spitalfield – Won’t Back Down

Spitalfield – Novocaine

Spitalfield – 16:49 Army Time

Spitalfield – Are We Still Here?

Mark Rose – I Can See You (With My Eyes Closed)
https://markrosemusic.bandcamp.com/track/i-can-see-you-with-my-eyes-closed

Mark Rose – Watch The Water Dry

Mark Rose – She Doesn’t