Clown Feet

It’s been a while since I’ve had to wear shoes. Working from home for the past two years and rarely going into the office meant that my shower slippers were what I wore 99% of the time.

A few weeks ago, I put my shoes on because I had to visit the office. All seemed fine until midday when the soles of my shoes started falling apart. I had to hobble back to my car with half the class of the Mentos lady.

I figured, old shoes, untouched for a long time, they’re expected to deteriorate.

Fast forward a couple of weeks, I put on the nice dress shoes I hadn’t worn in years. The soles literally crumbled as I stepped out of my house onto the welcome mat. What the fuck was going on?

I looked it up. Basically, shoes are designed to crumble so they don’t clog up landfills when they have been disposed of. It’s called Hydrolysis. The materials in your shoes are broken down by water and this process is accelerated when they are kept in places where moisture can’t escape (like in a regular shoe cupboard). The solution to this is simple though it sounds counterproductive: wear your shoes frequently so they can dry out.

With two pairs destroyed in this manner (and one more falling apart, though I think it can be saved with shoe glue, will be bringing that to the cobbler), I decided to shop for new shoes.

My requirements were simple: footwear suitable for formal and casual occasions (so I can wear them more frequently), brown in color, and within my budget of RM500. I didn’t want to spend over a thousand bucks on something that is meant to be replaced.

Which led me to the most unfruitful shopping trip of my life. It wasn’t that I couldn’t find shoes that matched what I wanted – far from it, I’m not that picky. There were many pairs I could see myself wearing if only they came in the correct size.

I walked into almost every shoe shop in Mid Valley and Gardens (Aldo, Clarks, Isetan, Aeon, Metrojaya, Tomaz, Bata, Pedro) – none of them stocked shoes that fit my feet. Geox and Ecco were out of my budget but looking at online stores, it doesn’t seem like they have larger sizes either.

For context – I wear a range of sizes, from UK 11 to 13. Even though size 11 shoes are the correct length, they usually aren’t wide enough to be comfortable for me. I have to buy larger sizes to accommodate my extra-wide feet. This width isn’t standard across all brands and types, hence the variation in my shoe sizes.

Initially, I thought it was a budget thing – maybe cheaper brands don’t have so many sizes, nope. After talking to everyone at the different stores, they don’t stock shoes for people my size. Even Zeve Shoes, a store which a few friends recommended, told me they don’t stock larger sizes anymore – nobody bought them. They recommended I get custom-made shoes instead. How crazy is that?

For feet lovers

I thought, maybe it was an offline store issue. They have limited inventory space, so they can’t keep every single size in stock. Would you believe me if I said Zalora has the same issue?

I filtered men’s shoes > formal > brown > size 12 UK. I got a whole bunch of shoes, but almost every shoe I clicked on was out of stock for UK 12. The only brand that had shoes that size was called Kings Collection (3 out of 27 listings) and I had never heard of them before.

After some deliberation, I decided, fuck it, pulled the trigger, and purchased a pair. I never buy shoes online because of my need to try them out (also, I find the process of returning goods such a hassle) but seeing how I don’t have many options, I might as well go through it once. Let’s hope they fit properly first try.

If I can’t walk into one of Kuala Lumpur’s largest malls to pick up a pair of shoes that fit, something’s very wrong with this country – or me. Am I the only person with clown feet in Malaysia? How do other people deal with this?

Song Requests Over The Air

While I was driving today, I switched to my car’s music player radio mode by accident, and kept it on after I realized my mistake. I thought I would see if I had been missing out on anything after all these years. After a minute or two, I concluded, “nope” and switched back to Bluetooth mode. But before I switched away, the station played an ad about itself, and one of the voice clips used was a lady requesting for a song.

I then wondered to myself, “why?”. Why would anyone make a song request in this day and age? It’s 2020, for crying out loud. There’s no reason to make song requests over the air anymore. Do you know how long it takes to: call up a station, wait for your call to get through, hope that your call gets chosen, speak to a DJ to ask for your song, and then wait for your song to come on?

A very long time. You could probably drive home, slip into something comfortable, lay down on your bed and put on that song in a shorter amount of time. Maybe pour a nice glass of wine too. It’s also very easy to go on YouTube or Spotify to search for a song that you want to hear. You can even rewind or replay the track as many times as you like. 

If you’re requesting a popular song, why? It’s going to be played within the next hour regardless. Something obscure? The DJs don’t have it, and nobody wants to listen to your shitty taste in music anyway. If you want to share a song with a loved one – send them a link on WhatsApp, and say “thinking of you”. Heck, you could even record your own voice message to accompany it. Or share a link on Facebook and tag that special person. It’s kinda like the same thing. Except that they won’t miss it if they happen to not be listening to the radio at that specific moment. I mean, that is the beauty of music on demand.

Radio song requests are dead, use that airtime to play shitty prank calls instead. Or run another ad.

Flaw(ed) Academy

It’s been a while since I signed myself for an online course – the last one being many years ago when I had plenty of free time in one of my jobs. But a couple of weeks ago, an Instagram ad caught my eye – it was a free Creative Writing course from Shaw Academy. Since I’m always looking for help to improve my writing, I decided to give it a shot. I clicked on the ad, followed the instructions, and signed up.

First hiccup – there was no Creative Writing course for me to choose from. It had automatically signed me up for some Social Media course which I had no interest in. Puzzled, I tried digging around the website to no avail. Seemed like I was stuck. I decided to ignore it and move on with my life.

Last week the ad popped up on my feed again, and in the comments someone left their email address to get in touch with for support. I decided I would give it another shot, so I reached out to them and wrote about my issue. Support was quick to respond, to my surprise, and they added the Creative Writing course to my account. Sweet. I logged in and scheduled my first set of classes.

The next day, it was time for my lesson, I was late by a few minutes when I logged in, so the video was already playing. Imagine my surprise when I discovered there was no rewind or pause button. Strange, I thought. Regardless, I continued watching the video until the end, where the instructor mentioned that these lessons would be rewatchable from the Course Toolkit.

So, off I went in search of the Toolkit – turns out it was something I had to pay to access. The only other way for me to watch the portion of the lesson I missed is to reschedule the lesson to another day. The assignments for the course are also part of this toolkit, looks like I won’t be submitting anything for this course.

I understand that having this strict schedule might be an attempt to discipline students into following deadlines/schedules – I get it, but this is not a real school. It’s not even a live stream broadcast where a student coming in late could disrupt the session. Just give us playback controls! Isn’t that the point of technology? Isn’t it the point of online courses? They’re meant to be flexible so people with busy days can learn whenever they have the time.

And why call it a free course when students can’t complete it without paying any money? I might sound like some spoilt brat but I’m comparing this to edX – an online school that is actually free (with the option to spend money for a physical certificate if that matters to you).

I’ve completed eight courses on edX over the past few years, and I can tell you it does everything right that Shaw Academy doesn’t. Videos can be controlled, and you can watch them at any time. No need to spend any money to access lesson materials, or bother trying to squeeze it into your schedule – it’s all available when you have the time. There’s human interaction if you’re interested (most courses will have a forum for discussion and to comment on each other’s work).

Shaw Academy, thanks for the free trial, but I won’t be continuing with my course even though the lesson videos were informative. Unless some drastic changes are made to the whole learning experience, I can’t imagine anybody paying for this. Especially when there are much better and free alternatives out there.

Uncontrollable Lights; a First World Problem

Been a while since I wrote about a first world problem – I guess it’s time for a new one! Last night, for the first time in a long time, I had an internet outage (which was scheduled by Time Internet – just regular maintenance (on a side note, that’s one word I haven’t learned to spell. I get it wrong 50% of the time)). I had forgotten about it and was still awake when it happened.

Since I could no longer use the internet, I decided to go to bed. However, I tried turning off my lights with my Google Home Mini and was told that it couldn’t work because it had no access to the internet. And because of that, I had to turn my lights off by flicking the switches – something I hadn’t done in months.

Smart light bulbs are cool. In addition to letting you choose what color and brightness to flood your room with, they can power on and off automatically or at scheduled times. Honestly, they’re amazing and I doubt I would ever go back to regular light bulbs, but if they have one drawback, it’s their reliance on the internet.

When they’re offline, your only options are to turn them on or off – not too bad if you’re okay with their default state and color. Because once you turn off the main power (i.e. the wall switches), they reset to their default state when powered on again (note – this is just my experience with the Yeelight, maybe other smart bulbs can store settings).

Writing this post made me realize this isn’t a common problem at all. I did mention it was a first world problem. Also, it sounds like a really dumb rant. But I missed out a post last week and needed something to write about, so here we are. Smart lights are still cool, I’d recommend them if you enjoy controlling things with your voice. Or phone.

Speaking of phones, that iOS 14 announcement was something eh? iPhone users, welcome to Android!

Frustrating Investigations

During the lockdown, I’ve had some time to catch up on shows that I hadn’t watched before and a large chunk of them turned out to be crime/investigation series. While I enjoyed watching the shows (i.e. Broadchurch, The Stranger, Safe), there was something that irked me a lot about all of them – the people interviewed by the police are never upfront about the truth!

Everyone seems to have something to hide, and for some reason, they don’t care enough about the murdered victim to be upright with the cops. Because by the end of the show, I find myself thinking – this would have all been over in a day instead of weeks if they had spoken up initially.

Sure, it makes sense if guilty people are hiding the truth, but the majority of these people are just bystanders or have nothing to do with the case! Yet they keep silent even when opening up wouldn’t get them into trouble.

I’m sure it’s just the writers’ way of dragging the show past a single episode, but wouldn’t it be more compelling if detectives had to do actual crime-solving instead of verifying false statements? It’s obviously working because I keep watching these shows, but whenever the series end, I feel like I’ve wasted my time.

Maybe I’m just watching the wrong shows, but Netflix recommended them to me and they were interesting enough to sit through. So, whatever. It’s my own fault for indulging in them. I frustrate myself. Ugh.

The Case for Diet Soda

One thing I’ve noticed since switching to diet soda is that I get a lot more people chiding me for my drink of choice compared to back when I drank regular soda.

I get it, drinking either form of soda is unhealthy, there’s no need to tell me that. Plain water is always the better choice (sparkling ftw btw). It’s nice to have the taste of a sweet beverage on your lips every now and then. Like the occasional pint of beer I drink – funny how I never get any flak for that.

Anyway, I’m not here to change anybody’s minds about drinking diet soda – it’s like religion. People can drink or believe in whatever they want, just don’t force your preferences onto others. However, I do want to clear the air on the topic.

While doing some research for this post, I came across this video and it sums up everything better than I ever will (it even has sources):

If you don’t have 24 minutes to watch it, here’s the lowdown: consuming a safe level of Aspartame does not increase your risk for any disease. Don’t drink more than 24 cans of Diet Coke a day and you’ll be fine. So, you can stop spreading tales about how I’m going to die faster because that’s not trueThere’s no concrete evidence to say otherwise.

Also, as an active smoker, I can probably say that being killed by diet drinks is the least of my concerns.

For people arguing over how ‘natural’ foods are always going to be healthier vs something created in the lab – just because something is artificial doesn’t mean it’s bad for you. Whether something is made in a lab or found in the wilderness does not determine the safety of food substances. Perfectly safe substances can be made from toxic materials and vice versa. There’s also tons of shit out there not made in labs that are harmful to humans.

For the record, diet Dr. Pepper tastes like ass. It’s the only non-diet soda I drink these days. Occasionally I’ll drink a regular Coke or Pepsi when their sugar-free variants aren’t available, but I’ll usually order something else instead.

Angry at a Thief

“Life is what you make it” is a common phrase that I say all the time and believe in. Sometimes it becomes interesting even if you don’t do anything. I guess you could say this was my fault, but let me begin.

I leave my flip flops outside, on the welcome mat of my home. I have been doing that for years with no issues until a couple of days ago. There’s always a first time for everything.

As I was about to head out of the house in the afternoon, I realized my flip flops were missing and in their place was a hideous pair belonging to a stranger. “What the fuck?” I exclaimed.

I asked my mom if she had brought my flip flops into the house – negative. I told her that they were gone. She laughed. I wasn’t so amused about it.

They were my favorite pair of flip flops! And they weren’t cheap! And last I checked, Miniso had stopped selling them. I was pissed off. Immediately, I began to wish the worst upon whoever had switched my footwear. I was talking to myself, calling the thief all sorts of names. My mind began generating evil thoughts – leaving out another pair of flip flops with diseased needles protruding from the bottom, the thief getting his/her foot trapped in an escalator, the thief stumbling down a large flight of stairs to their death – everything under the sun. I had never hated someone as much as I did that day.

It took me a day to cool down until I returned home and saw that my flip flops weren’t on my welcome mat, which reminded me of that miscreant. I was still mad.

I haven’t been this angry in a while. I know my words don’t hold any power, but it is cathartic to let it out.

To the owner of the flip flops above (who knows if they were stolen too): fuck you, you lowlife degenerate. I hope stealing my flip flops will be the cause of your downfall. May you and your family be plagued by foot diseases, victims of abuse, and robbed blind. Sooner rather than later. You don’t deserve such comfortable footwear.

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

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.

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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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).