Still alive

Day 2 of my Cameron Highlands escapade. Nothing out of the ordinary, really. The only difference between here and home is that it was really cold last night and there was nothing I could do about it besides crawl under more layers of clothing. I’m starting to believe I’m really not cut out for living in cold weather (as evident in my previous posts).

I did wake up to some bad news though. I was thinking of using my laptop on the bed, but it died as soon as I unplugged it from the wall socket. I thought that was pretty weird, seeing how it was fine yesterday. I tried turning it on and it wouldn’t respond. I reconnected the power and it turned on fine. When Windows started, I checked the battery and apparently there was no battery present (impossible since this laptop has a built-in battery). I did some troubleshooting, and now Windows detects the battery but says that it isn’t charging. Computer still refuses to boot up without being plugged in (I’ve tried rebooting many times). I guess I’ll have to stick with pen and paper when I’m outside. Hopefully I won’t be having anymore problems. Am definitely going to take it back to the store since it’s not even 2 weeks old. Bah.

The rest of the day remained cold and started warming up towards the evening, which was good. But I’m guessing it’s going to be another cold night today – but I’ll be prepared for that. Ran out of toilet paper today (there was hardly any left to begin with) so I had to make a supply run. Also stopped for some lunch at Old Town because I wanted to see if it was any different from what we have in KL. It was the same thing, just a smaller menu. Food was still delicious (or I was hungry, I’m not sure).

After that I went to a tea plantation to drink some strawberry tea – that is some good shit. I’m probably going to start drinking it more in the future. Did a bit of writing and came back to the apartment. Messed around with the guitar and came up with a new tune, now I just to put in some words.

Had dinner earlier, walking distance from this place, substandard fried rice, but the food on the other tables smelt delicious. Came back home, and now I’m writing this entry while waiting for water to boil so I can make some coffee.

It might be too early to jump to some conclusions but I feel like this trip hasn’t been the best use of my time so far. I mean, sure I get the peace and quiet and nobody to bother me, but I’d get the same thing too if I was in a cafe in KL. The only difference is I can’t just pull out my guitar to start jamming whenever I felt like it.

I do enjoy the weather (when it’s not freezing) but Cameron Highlands feels like the kind of place people go to to die. Might just be this part of the highlands, but I’ll do more exploration tomorrow. So far, all I’ve seen are really old people or children. No one in between. Then again, there really isn’t anything for young adults here. I’m surprised there are schools though. And tons of Oppo shops. Also, I saw a Mary Brown and KFC on the drive up, no McDonald’s here (not that it matters – I’ve eaten enough McDonald’s for the month collecting the Adventure Time toys).

Welp, gonna get back to finishing my new song this evening before I call it a night.

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.

We got so high we couldn’t see the bottom

Dance Gavin Dance. If anyone asked me for a band to check out today, I’d recommend these guys in a heartbeat – unless that person hated heavy music, even then I’d still try my luck anyway. To be honest, it wasn’t until late last year that I got into these guys. Quick history – I heard about Dance Gavin Dance many years ago when they still had Jonny Craig on vocals. However, I wasn’t really into their music at that time so I ignored them until a few years ago when Tilian Pearson (their current singer) was rumored to join Saosin. Since I was a huge Saosin fan and was curious about who was going to fill Cove Reber’s shoes, I decided to check him out.

Continue reading “We got so high we couldn’t see the bottom”

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

A disproportional reaction to ‘sextortion’

The other day while having dinner, I caught part this crime show that was playing on TV. It was an episode about a Scottish kid who committed suicide after being ‘sextorted’ by some criminals in the Philippines. Basically he was tricked into webcamming with a fake girl over the internet, had his actions filmed and then blackmailed. Kid couldn’t fork out the money, so the criminals told him to kill himself – and that’s what he did. Now it may sound ridiculous, but that shit really happened.

So then, it got me thinking: why are people so worried about their sexual videos leaked online? What’s the worst that could happen? Sure, it’s going to affect those who are vying for positions of power (even so, I believe that having a sex tape online doesn’t affect how well you do your job unless it was something illegal then that’s another story) but for the rest of us (95% of the world? I made that number), it’s not going to affect our lives in any way. Maybe somebody recognizes you in public, points at you and laughs. So what? Take comfort in the fact that they probably jerked off to your video anyway.

Continue reading “A disproportional reaction to ‘sextortion’”

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).

Gig #106

Back from the US and UK, with no new songs – why do I even bother?
I’ll be playing some tunes tonight at La Frontera, drop by if you’re free!

Event Page
8-11pm
La Frontera
Jaya One, PJ

Open Mic de la Frontera is our weekly Tuesday open mic night that we run at our favourtie ‘lil Mexican joint Frontera Sol of Mexico in Jaya One PJ 😀

Sign up by emailing us@openmicmalaysia.org or dropping us a message!

#1 Sharlene Darshini https://youtu.be/BS_QlE62Mhc
#2 Sia Nicholas https://youtu.be/mxsfBhyjLLM
#3 Bob Brian https://goo.gl/b8iZom
#4 Ian Tai https://youtu.be/LvwBvf07Qow
#5 Andre D. D’Cruz https://youtu.be/URTxhsyAEIU
#6 Faith Ling https://youtu.be/87h41_SSCUI
#7 Qhotakmusica https://youtu.be/hWZV0Ah-1bw
#8 2storeyheart https://youtu.be/hFFZ3Y8-3KU

Oh and tacos go for RM6+ and tequila shots for RM9+ all night long yo!

JOM MAKAN DAN MABUKS!!!

s

#OpenMicMalaysia

http://openmicmalaysia.org/

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.

If I give more than enovgh grovnd, will yov claim it?

A bit late but I finally hopped on the Chvrches bandwagon. Holy shit, how good is this band? I know they had some catchy tunes a while ago but I never bothered listening to the rest of their discography. It was only after a Song Exploder episode where they broke down Clearest Blue I decided to listen to the rest of their songs. And man, I was blown away. I don’t have much to say other than this band has some of the catchiest synth pop beats and melodies I’ve had the pleasure of listening to.

Dark, moody, atmospheric and at times uplifting, energetic without being over the top. Also, some of their songs would fit in a Hotline Miami soundtrack (Lies anyone?). They’re also currently working on their third album which I’m looking forward to. In the meantime, feast your ears on these tracks:


Chvrches – Clearest Blue


Chvrches – The Mother We Share


Chvrches – Recover


Chvrches – Empty Threat


Chvrches – Playing Dead


Chvrches – NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert