Farewell Doiffee

Back in 2014

I’ve never frequented a place long enough for me to see it open, shut down, reopen, switch owners, and then close for good – until l discovered Doiffee. It was a tiny cafe in my neighborhood, run by a husband, wife, and their sons.

I remember my first visit – I was there with my sister and my nephew. I had my first taste of the shop’s signature beans, a cup of hot long black coffee. It became my go-to taste for years to come. From that night onwards, every cafe I visited led me to compare their long black against Doiffee’s. Doiffee always won.

It was the perfect blend of bitterness and thickness and perfectly priced. Since it was cheaper than coffee at western cafes everywhere, tasted better, and was a few minutes away from home, I had no reason to go anywhere else. I have yet to discover a cafe that uses the same beans.


Coffee and cigarettes

I spent many nights there after work, on weekends, and on public holidays. They used to open till 10 PM on weekdays and midnight on weekends. It was quiet, they had fast internet and plenty of seats. Perfect conditions to work or chill on my laptop. I’d even go there to read.

They were rarely closed. If I wasn’t anywhere else, I’d be at Doiffee, on my laptop while I sipped coffee and smoked cigarettes. Occasionally I’d order beers or food but I was mainly there for the coffee.

Unfortunately, times got tough for the cafe. Over the years they started losing customers. It wasn’t common for me to be one of their only customers for the whole day. I’m not sure why, perhaps it was all the other new places opening up in the neighborhood, or the location of the venue. I didn’t care that much. As long as they served the coffee I enjoyed, everything was alright. However, one customer does not keep a business afloat.

Then the pandemic hit. Doiffee had to close its doors. They tried doing deliveries for a bit but it wasn’t sustainable. I couldn’t visit the cafe for a long time. Many months passed without any change. Then one day, when I was in the area, I saw the shutters opened for the first time and wandered in. I met the new manager of the place and he told me that the previous owner had sold off the business. He was the new person in charge. They were making some renovations before they reopened it in a few weeks.

I was ecstatic. Doiffee was coming back! And it did. I resumed my trips to the cafe again, as soon as possible but one important thing had changed – they weren’t using the same beans anymore. Despite the fancy new food menu, their coffee was no longer the same. But that didn’t stop me from returning.

I spoke to one of the staff about the beans and he said I wasn’t the only one who noticed the different beans. I wasn’t the only customer who had brought it up. Eventually, he convinced the manager to switch back to the old signature beans. All was good in the world again.

At this point, traffic to the cafe was decent but it was still nowhere close to what it was in its heyday. Their closing time was now 6 PM but it was better than not being open at all. Things weren’t looking promising.

A few months after the reopening, the new owner pivoted the business. They were no longer interested in cafes and turned it into a Chinese restaurant. They renovated the place, gave it a new name, and changed the staff. That was the end of Doiffee. Though the food there was decent, it was no longer a place to get coffee or to sit and work at. The business was much better for them, but I no longer had a reason to work there.

I’m not sure what happened but a few months later, the Chinese restaurant closed down and turned into a western food place.


One day I’ll find a replacement

Since then I have found another haunt to frequent but I doubt anywhere will be able to replace Doiffee for me. The number of hours I’ve spent there – writing, working, finishing online courses, reading, performing, and chilling with friends – have made it a significant part of my life.

Although I wish it was still around for me to enjoy, a part of me is glad it’s gone. Like a dying animal put to rest – it no longer has to suffer. Would it be right to equate it to your favorite TV show canceled early? Or ending before it dragged on and turned into a mess?

I guess that’s how life is. Everything has an expiry date, we’re merely not privy to that info most of the time. That limited lifespan teaches you to appreciate them before they’re gone. You never know when your favorite cafe (or pet/person/place/thing etc) is going to disappear. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Music for Writing

When I think of habits, the first thing that comes to mind is bad. Bad habits. But then I realized, not all habits have to be bad. What is a habit?

According to Google:

noun

1. a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.

“he has an annoying habit of interrupting me”

While most habits can be considered neutral, the obvious ones aren’t. Smoking, biting your nails, forcing yourself to vomit after each meal can be objectively classified as bad. Eliminating such habits should improve your life.

I’ve written in the past about conditioning myself to work with a cup of coffee and a cigarette. The coffee isn’t harmful (though it gets pricey in the long run) but the cigarette probably is. However, I get work done more efficiently. Does the good cancel the bad?

Imagine if I cut out the bad habits, I’d be able to churn out work without relying on caffeine and nicotine. I’d save money and have healthier lungs while being extremely productive all the time! No way that could work, right? Life is all about balance and without the bad, there can’t be good. I’m a mere human being trying to live a balanced life.

What started as a way to keep me up when covering events in a different time zone turned into a key aspect of my daily routine. What started as a form of amusement while sloshed in nightclubs is why my insurance premium costs a little more. 

We’re two-hundred words in on a post titled “Music for Writing”, George. When are you going to approach the topic? Now, I guess.

It began when I was thinking of what to write about on my blog. I had just finished my coffee and cigarette for the evening. I put on a random playlist from my “writing music” folder and stared at the blank page in front of me.

What is “writing music”? For me, it consists of relaxing music with no or minimal vocals. When I listen to music that I know the words to, I can’t help but sing along (it might be a disease), which distracts me from writing. By listening to music with no words, it’s literally impossible for me to sing along so I don’t get distracted. Therefore I have many playlists of such songs. I was going to share about that.

While still staring at the blank page, I noticed my legs shaking to the music playing in my ears. Which got me thinking about habits and thus, a new post was born. This was more interesting than what I initially planned anyway. The joys of freestyle writing.

Here’s a poem I wrote for #NPRPoetry last year which you might have missed:

it starts with a spark
a parting of lips
I hold you close
and draw you in
my heart beats faster
I feel dizzy
for that brief moment
time stops
everything is okay
I exhale
and do it all over again

It has been over a decade since I started inhaling cancer sticks and consuming coffee. Here’s to many more years of productivity!

“Bullshit, you fucking miss me,” there I said it. I’ll talk to you in a few months

Another December, another post about how little I’ve accomplished this year, how little I’ve written on this blog and bla bla bla. Oh wait. It doesn’t have to be. I like breaking tradition or acting out of the norm. I like doing whatever I feel like.

That’s how I thought I would start this post and as I put those words down, I realized it was a lot of padding for what would be essentially nothing. A collection of my thoughts translated into sentences for viewers to read. Which doesn’t mean it’s futile. Not everything needs a grander purpose. If everything had meaning, nothing would. Right?

2021 has been an interesting year. Spending most of it within the confines of the walls I call home. Waking up in my office (very different from my Inspidea days) was something I hadn’t done since I was in Ubergizmo. Moving from my bed to desk didn’t involve getting dressed or enduring a commute – an experience that not many people shared with me pre-pandemic. Now, other people know what it’s like.

That’s not to say it was something I truly enjoyed. I had left the work from home routine to rejoin the “regular” workforce in 2015 for a reason. The pandemic sent me back in time. Fortunately, restrictions have loosened a bit and I’ve been able to work outside. Despite it being a mental thing, I enjoy the distinction between my bedroom and workplace. I used to revel in the fact that being in my room meant I had no reason to think of work at all.

I guess this living-in-the-office mindset has contributed a lot to how I’ve been feeling about work. Knowing that I’m capable of writing at any hour of the day to cover breaking news has led me to work way past my office hours. Sure, I didn’t have to – nobody was holding a gun to my head, but if the opportunity is there and news is all about serving the freshest content, why wouldn’t I do it?

On the other hand, I have also spent a lot of time indulging myself in things I enjoy. Gaming, watching shows, playing music, and so on. I probably do the former too much, to compensate for my working routine. As a result, I’m sacrificing sleep. Not the wisest of choices (in the long run), so that’s something I’ll hope to rectify in the near future.

In terms of productivity, I finished Animal Bus, which was a huge achievement for me. It was an ambitious project that took up more time than I liked but I was happy that I made it through. I’ve also been hosting a weekly podcast for over a year. It started off quite easy to do, became routine, and I’ll admit a bit difficult to power through for a bit. But once I realized it was only about an hour of my day each week, it wasn’t so hard anymore. Last week, we took a break for the first time in a long time. I didn’t want to treat my audience to another poorly executed, unrehearsed, live performance 😂.

I thought I would spend some time getting back into game making or learning a new skill but the burnout is real. A new year isn’t going to change anything (for real, it’s just a calendar reset, there’s nothing significant about that. However, research has shown that these resets are great starting points for humans to try out a new behavior, it’s a psychological thing). I’ve relaxed enough since my last creative project, so I guess it’s time to do something about it.

There are still some fun goals I want to complete – playing the Dark Souls series (I’m on 2 right now, 50% complete), reading Berserk (only a few more volumes until the finale 😢), watching Adventure Time (5 more seasons to go), and some other low priority stuff (more games, books, and shows). If the world permits, it would be great to continue playing at open mics. Performing online isn’t the same. Properly recording my songs should also be a thing. I’ve been linking people the same 2010 EP for years now and it’s about time I share tracks that were written over a decade ago. Also, I should make use of all the recording equipment I invested in.

This blog also needs a new banner – I don’t even own the two keyboards featured on it anymore. Fun fact, people keep finding this blog through my Tokyo 60/Tofu HHKB post that I wrote ages ago. Another two keyboards I don’t own anymore. I guess there is demand for keyboard content, so I could explore writing about that more. I’m not sure what I’d write about though. Feel free to give some suggestions.

My streaming hobby hasn’t taken off, but that’s okay. I have two regular viewers (you know who you are, Good News Gang) I am thankful for. The other day I played Dota 2 with some viewers. That was fun, they carried my ass. Maybe I should pick up Tagalog to increase my demographic.

This has been one of the longest pieces I’ve written (not for work) in a while. It feels good to know I still have the ability to spew out bullshit. Hope this was enjoyable for you to read. I’ll come back to this in a few years just to see how far I’ve come.

Happy new year everybody, happy birthday to COVID-19 in a couple of weeks.

“There’s no telling how much longer your world and mine will remain in contact.”

A long-awaited (by nobody) update to this mostly ignored blog. Hah! Thought it was dead, didn’t you? Not a chance. The domain and hosting expire in April 2022, so we’ll still be around. Also, I intend to keep it going. So nope, this blog won’t die, just yet. But what’s the point of a blog that isn’t frequently updated? I’ll tell you.

It lets me know how much time I’ve spent doing other things instead of updating my blog. Previously, I had plenty of things to fill these pages with. An update a day because I had so many things to talk about. As time went on, I found myself spending time on things other than writing because writing for fun isn’t that enjoyable when you do it for a living. To me, at least.

I can pinpoint my blogging habits according to the amount of writing I had to do for work over the past few years of my life. I wrote a lot more when I didn’t have to write much for work. I guess my body has a limited word output capacity. Also, it’s a mental thing. I’m sure I could keep on writing if I wanted, it’s just that I choose to spend my energy on other things instead.

Like Animal Bus. In case you weren’t aware, one year and eight months after the comic launched, I have completed it, and I couldn’t be happier. This means I get to work on other projects without feeling guilty (self-imposed, mind you). Nobody was making me feel bad other than myself and now I don’t have to anymore. While it’s not the best comic I have ever done, it is the first full-length I have completed and it was a great learning experience.

The art and story are terrible, I had the chance to make changes to them and I didn’t. Why? My goal for the comic was to mess around with my Wacom tablet and experiment with the graphic novel format. It was never intended to be my magnum opus (on a side note, do people ever know that what they are doing is going to be their masterpiece?) but a chance for me to prove to myself that I was capable of working on larger scope projects and seeing them through to the end.

What did I learn? Making long-form comics as a hobby is not easy. You need a lot of motivation to push yourself to keep going, especially if you’re working solo. In a team, you can be held accountable. If you’re being paid, you’re expected to deliver. When you’re doing something this ambitious for fun, you’ve got nobody to blame but yourself. If you don’t feel like working, nobody can call you out. You’re just doing this for fun! It took a lot of willpower and faux discipline for me to complete all 50 chapters.

Things that appear simple aren’t so simple. There’s a reason major, scheduled comics have teams working on them. You have a writer, artist, inker, colorist, and letterer. It’s not so easy doing everything by yourself. For someone with no experience in laying out comics, I had to fall back on making simple layouts (4 panels per page, somewhat equal sizes). Speech bubbles were another thing to consider – where should they be? How much text should I put inside each one? What’s the reading order? Does it look good visually? What about the text? When should I break sentences up? There’s a lot I had to learn during the execution of Animal Bus.

Unless they were written with the intention of being comics from the beginning, stories are hard to translate into interesting comic panels. The original draft for Animal Bus had tons of monologue, character thoughts, and other non-visual elements. Because I originally didn’t have plans to turn it into a comic, I had to make a lot of changes while drawing it. This ‘translation’ process took up a huge chunk of my time. I had to be clever when deciding what to cut out, include or change.

If you’ve read the comic from the start, you would know that I initially wanted to color the whole thing. I mean, it’s just line drawings – I could use the paint bucket to color everything right? Maybe if I was more careful with my drawings, that would have been possible, but I had to use the brush to manually paint them, and that took up so much time. A few chapters in, I decided that it wasn’t worth it and skipped coloring altogether.

In any case, it was probably too ambitious of a project for me to tackle as my first comic but if I didn’t complete it, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you this. That being said, when I do go back into making comics, I’m definitely going to work on a smaller scale. There’s no need to bite off more than I can chew. It won’t be anytime soon though – I’m done making comics, for now. I might still doodle stuff here and there (find me on Instagram) but I’m going to spend more time on music, dive back into game development stuff and maybe experiment with video essays (I’ve gotten very interested in them recently and am curious if I have the chops to pull one off). I also recently got back into Dark Souls, so that’s a good time sink.

Hope everyone is staying safe from COVID-19. The world kinda sucks right now. Take care.

Not Quite a Black Mirror

I was browsing through a local Facebook Group earlier today to see what was going on and I noticed a strange phenomenon. There were a lot of people who didn’t use their own profile pictures in the group. And I don’t mind if it’s some anime picture, cartoon, or landscape and so on. But a bunch of accounts used profile pictures of celebrities/models – people who they clearly weren’t. I know gravure models don’t live in Malaysia and share the same interests as me. Also, they don’t even pretend to be the model by using the same name, they have their own names attached to the profile.

What does using a cute Japanese girl or K-pop star in your profile picture accomplish? I’m befuddled. Does it give other people a better impression of you? Do you get better prices or responses to your items or comments? Does it make you feel good when you’re on Facebook? Does it make you feel closer to that person? Does it make you smile whenever you launch Facebook and you see that profile picture looking at you? Why in the world would you do that? What do you gain from it?

I’m not saying it’s wrong to do so, I’m really curious why people would do that. I understand being shy or wanting to remain anonymous – there are literally billions of other images you could substitute your profile picture with to not come out looking like a creep (or a weirdo…what the hell are you doing here? you don’t belong here).

Which brings to mind another topic I wanted to discuss in the past but forgot about: why do people use their own portraits as wallpapers for their phones? I get it when it’s a photo of a family member or your children, but when it’s a solo photograph of yourself? How narcissistic does one have to be to put themselves on their phone screens? Maybe I’m insecure about my own looks and don’t feel confident enough to put my own face as my wallpaper, and I’m the odd one out here, but never in my life have I ever felt compelled to do such a thing. It boggles my mind. Again, it’s not wrong to do so – put whatever the hell you want on your phone, it’s your phone and not mine.

Apparently, it can be helpful for some people to cope with their own lives. TIL.

30th Post of the Year

30, thirty. Three sets of tens. This will be the 30th post that I write in my blog this year. It’s something I’ve realized in the past – whenever I do a job related to what I do in my free time, I tend to spend less time on it. Now that I work as a writer/blogger for eGG, I hardly update this blog.

Is there a correlation between getting paid for doing what you like vs the amount of time you spend doing it in your free time? Maybe. But I’ve also seen plenty of exceptions. I know a lot of people who still draw for fun despite needing to draw for work. There are musicians out there who churn out music like nobody’s business despite getting paid to do so. So I might be an anomaly. Or there is an equal amount of both kinds of people – just my own confirmation biases at work.

Regardless, I’m happy to say I haven’t completely abandoned all creative pursuits in my non-working life. I haven’t stopped making music, drawings or writing. I do it a lot less than before due to how busy work has been, but I have also spent hours playing video games. It’s all about priorities. I know the solution to not ‘wasting time’, it’s a matter of whether I want it enough.

There are plenty of people out there who constantly complain about things in life, even though they have the power to change things. It’s probably because their problems aren’t as big as they make them out to be. They’re not feeling the ‘something’ which pushes them over the edge.

Think about it – desperate people will do anything to get what they want or to get out of a situation. ANYTHING. This includes illegal, unethical and immoral actions because they believe that the consequences of whatever happens will be better than their current situation. Most people aren’t that desperate when it comes to making a change in their lives. They accept the inconveniences and resort to complaining instead.

We all get too complacent with where we are in our lives. Most of us don’t live terrible lives, and there’s not much more to ask for. Sure, life can be better, but how many of us are willing to put the substantial effort into it for a minimal increase? If we’re content with lives, why make a change?

I don’t fault them. It’s their own life after all. But complaining doesn’t do anything unless it’s to the right people who can make a difference (usually I’m not that person who can make a difference).

I’m sure this is a biased take based on the people I know or hang out with, but hey, it’s a blog after all. Everything here is anecdotal, if not fiction.


30. This year I turned 35. 30 feels so far away now. I remember the days when I used to think – I’m not ‘old’ until I cross 25. That was over a decade ago. This month, I woke up with a back pain that lasted 4 days. I had to consume medication and use Yoko Yoko to get rid of it. That was never a problem for me in the past! Also, I learned that there’s a correct method of sleeping with a bolster. You learn new things every day.

Would life be better if I had ‘taken care’ of myself when I was younger? Possibly. I think my body is paying me back for all the abuse it has taken for me. Can’t really complain about it, since I set myself up for it.

People place a lot of importance on age. If you think about it, every year is just another collection 365(.25) days. There’s nothing that sets one year apart from the previous one besides the numbers we write at the beginning or end of a date. A new day marks the completion of the earth’s rotation – that’s it. A new year is no different. People believe the new year means so much more than it actually does. How much a new year or day means is determined by the value we give it.

The world isn’t going to suddenly get better when it completes its journey around the sun tomorrow. The pandemic is still here, and people will still get infected and die. Work isn’t going to change. I’ll still be terrible at Dota and Dark Souls. It’s just another day.


30. Way past the halfway point of life and another year closer to death. Too young to die? There is no too young or too old. If you think about it, you’re always going to die too young. That’s what people who miss you will say. You were taken too soon. You could have done so much more with life. All that jazz. But what if you didn’t want to do anything else? What if you felt like you had lived to your full potential and there was nothing more you wanted to look forward to? Isn’t that possible? People will say, you can’t say such thing, you’ve barely done anything with your life. Who are they to say what we should have or shouldn’t have done? It’s my life, I decide what I do with it. There’s no checklist of things to do before you die – unless you write it yourself. And that list can be as long or as short as you want it to be.

Life has as much purpose as you give it. That’s why some people give themselves lofty goals and ambitions, and some people are easily content with what they have. We’re all different people. It’s expected. No two people will think the same or have the same values. Unless they’re twins (not the conjoined ones though, they usually don’t live long enough to set goals).

Am I happy with what I have so far? Pretty. It could be better but that could be said of anything and everything. Perfection is rarely reached, and things can always improve. But for what it’s worth, I live a happy, content life. Sure it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles or the glitz and glamor, but that’s not what I’m looking for. My ligaments are all attached to my body and functioning properly. I don’t have difficulties doing what I want, I have a close set of friends and a loving family. I have a job that pays the bills. I’m not sure what else I’d ask for to be honest.

It would be great to never have to work another day in my life, but if a genie granted it, he’d probably turn me into a paraplegic to cash out that sweet insurance money. Life wouldn’t be worth living at that point though. And I’m not sure if insurance companies can dispute the work of an evil genie. So I’ll just wait till my friend hits that sweet jackpot and gives me the million he promised (this paragraph is for posterity).


30. We’re no longer children. We think about life as adults. Our future. What we want in the coming years. I’ve thought about a lot of things over the course of the year, and in the process I’ve ended up hurting people. Now do I try to fix things? Do I let things be? Why am I so indecisive? I haven’t experienced such conundrums in the past, it’s completely new to me.

I ruined a relationship because I was unwilling to compromise. I didn’t want to be the one who caused someone else to give up a dream for me. But in leaving that person, it also ended their dream of being with me. Either way feels like a selfish move. And I don’t know what I should do.

The way I see it, I’m never going to emerge from this a good man. Maybe I’m just a terrible person after all.


30. Cats have 30 teeth and there are 30 tracks on The Beatles’ The White album. I don’t own a cat or listen to The Beatles. Over the years, many people have recommended them to me though I still don’t get why they are heralded as one of the best bands of all time. Millions of people around the world love them, I still don’t get it. For me, the best band of all time are Dance Gavin Dance. No one even comes close. Also, I’m sure that will change one day, but that’s my answer for now. I don’t own a cat and I think dogs are the superior animal, but we know there’s no need to justify that statement.


Thank you for reading this drivel.

Obligated (to myself)

Hah! Thought I wouldn’t write a post this month? Wrong. This blog is still alive and well, I’m merely alive. I’m just writing for the sake of writing, so this blog isn’t a dead piece of shit. Regardless, I’m alive and well. Not dead yet (damn). Just evading Covid 19 like Sajid Mir the FBI, while keeping Evening Drama Rebooted going.

What’s been up, George? Well, I’ve been very unproductive in terms of creative projects, since breaking my posting streak for Animal Bus, I’ve lost all momentum, and I’ve let work overtake my free time (that I don’t allocate for relaxing). Kinda sucks, but I’ll bounce back (eventually). On the bright side, I’ve been playing a lot more guitar than before. Wrote a bunch of new songs and I’ve been practising “Both of Us” by You Vs Yesterday (what an amazing band I discovered randomly, will write about them in the future).

THIS SONG IS FUCKING AMAZEBALLS

Keyboard wise, I haven’t built anything in a while. I rebuilt my Daisy cos when I initially built it, I didn’t think about the Mini USB port tolerances, which meant I had to use specific cables with the keyboard. Now it’s reset, all of my cables can work with it (yay). Still waiting for a keyboard kit (Terrazzo) which is supposedly in Malaysia but untrackable at the moment. Then I have an ergo version of the GNGKB75 in the works (need the acrylic case cut for it).

Other than that, life’s just been an endless cycle of work, relax, work, relax. Sometimes work, work, relax, work. Am thinking about taking a long break at the end of the year. Maybe make another trip to Cameron Highlands (if conditions allow). I kinda miss the solace I get from being alone. Probably won’t bring too many things (a single guitar, mic and laptop is enough).

Speaking of laptop, I made some upgrades to mine. Back in September, my laptop was crashing constantly. Did some diagnosing on my own and learned that the SSD was dying. Decided to pay the Asus service center a visit to find out what I could do. They told me that it would cost RM50 just to find out what the problem was since my warranty was expired (finally). I told them I knew what the issue was, all they had to do was replace the SSD. They told me they were selling the SSD for RM450. Felt like I was going nowhere, so I told the guy, “thanks (for nothing)”, and left.

Did some searching online and turns out that the SSD they wanted to sell me only cost RM88 on Lazada. Real fuckers. Apparently service centers overcharge you for parts to dissuade customers from coming back to them (if the replacement part fails, they don’t want to deal with it). Not sure if it’s true for all companies, but I got annoyed. Anyway, I decided to give myself an upgrade by buying a larger capacity SSD 512GB for RM270 and replaced it myself. Wasn’t very hard to do. Most difficult part was figuring out where the hidden screws were for my laptop (under the back feet), and replacing the SSD was a straightforward task. After reinstalling Windows, everything is working as normal. I haven’t had a laptop crash since I put in my new SSD. I also replaced my battery since the old one was at less than half the original capacity, which was easy to do.

With the amount of fixing I’ve had to do over the past few months, I feel pretty confident with my PC building and soldering skills (I had to desolder 6 keyboards for a friend). I enjoyed doing it, a possible change in career? Maybe one day. For now, I’ll keep them in my repertoire of skills.

One thing I realized ever since I started working is that doing a job related to something you enjoy somehow leaves you with way less time to enjoy it than before. Honestly, when I was in animation, I hardly drew, when I was blogging, I hardly blogged, when I sold books, I hardly read, and now that I’m in gaming… fortunately I still get to spend most nights still gaming, but there have been stretches where I didn’t.

On the plus side, I’ve resumed reading. I finally finished the book I started earlier this year – Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. It’s a good book, I enjoyed it a lot. And the fact that some of the characters felt so relatable made it even more interesting. I guess you could say I’m a fan of his work now. Can’t wait to get started on his other titles.

However, I do wonder if any meaning/tone was lost during the translation of his books. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t think they did a bad job at all (not that I could tell, since I’ve never read the originals in Japanese, I wouldn’t know), but I wonder if some parts were funnier/sadder etc because of the translation. Something to ponder about. Regardless, he inspires me to write characters who are deeper and more complex than the typical token stereotypes.

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.

A Day at the Park

We were just kids hanging out as a family, at a park, playing with our dog. The sun was coming up, so we decided to go home before the heat became unbearable. Heading back to our car, we passed by a playground which had some children playing on a swing. As we walked by, a kid on a swing fell off and started bawling.

Suddenly, this lady (who wasn’t the mother of the kid) came out of nowhere to chide us for walking with our leashed dog. She blamed us for scaring that kid off the swing. Obviously we had done no such thing. Looking back, I wished I thought about our dog attacking that lady. I bet that would have made young George laugh.

My mother, being the protective woman she was, stepped in between us and that lady and told her to mind her own business. We ignored that lady and continued walking to our car.

Many years on, I still remember that experience without knowing why it was such a significant event. Maybe I remembered wrongly, and our dog did do something to scare the kid. My confirmation bias refuses to let me believe it though. Our doggo could do no harm.

That was over twenty years ago, and today I finally realized why. That incident in the park marked my first ever encounter with a Karen.

Attention Seeker

Why do people stream? For money? Sure.

What about people who don’t make any money from it? I have no idea. I asked myself that question, and don’t have an answer for you.

I guess it would be nice to have an audience? But why?

Usually, I’m averse to attention, but also I’m someone who enjoys playing live music to a crowd.

Maybe I only think I don’t enjoy the attention.

Because there’s no other benefit for me to do such things. I’m not getting paid to play shows (most of the time) and I definitely don’t make any money streaming.

I moved my stream from Twitch to Facebook because it’s supposedly easier to grow an audience there – after all, my few hundred friends can see when I go online. I literally made it easier for people to find my streams.

But who wants to watch me play games? Especially when I don’t offer high-skilled or very entertaining gameplay? No idea.

Why do I stream then?

I guess it doesn’t make a difference if I do or not. On the off chance, someone tunes in, I have somebody to interact with. If not, it’s just a way for me to make full use of my sick rig and fast connection.

Tune in and follow my Facebook Page to catch me playing video games. I could be your next favorite streamer. It’s unlikely, but if you don’t watch, you’ll never know.