Monday, June 30, 2003

A New Start and A Sad Farewell

The whole dept got treated to an appreciation lunch today. It was held at a nearby hotel as a show of our company’s appreciation of all the effort that we had contributed in the past. I also like to think that this was a gesture of goodwill to smooth out any ruffled feathers from the outsourcing deliberations these past weeks. I have to say that there were times that the discussions got a bit tense for both sides and no doubt that some people may have taken offense to some of the things said. Now that everything has been completed, it is time that will put all of that behind us and start fresh. At least that is the impression that I got from it.

Tomorrow will be a big day. It would be the first day that we officially start our duties with the new company. Good thing that our offices do not get changed or I’ll have to adjust my daily schedule so I can get to work on time. This is really a wakeup call for me to get off my butt and get that driver’s license that I’ve been delaying for quite some time. I can’t continue to depend wholly on others to get me to where I need to go. Anyways … we are expected to attend an orientation briefing at the HQ tomorrow and fill up the necessary HR forms at the new company. I’ve never been to the place so it would be an interesting day tomorrow.

Hopefully I could get a good night’s sleep tonight. I’ve always had this problem that I would always end up tossing and turning in bed whenever I feel anxious about something. I’ve tried almost everything short of sleep medications before and nothing works. I hate for that to happen tonight and I end up with waking up tired and still sleepy. Maybe if I try to really relax myself before I go to bed tonight, it can help me sleep better.

BTW … I just read today that Katherine Hepburn passed away yesterday. She lived to a ripe old age of 96. I will never forget the first time I saw her in “On The Golden Pond” playing opposite Henry Fonda. The image of her as a feisty old woman endeared me to her because it reminded me a lot of my own late grandmother. I’ve never actually seen any of her earlier movies but from what I’ve read about her, she was quite the gal. Her passing will be remembered.

Sunday, June 29, 2003

Movie Review: Ada Apa Dengan Cinta

From the very first 5 minutes, the movie hooks the audience in by showing shocking evidence of familial abuse. Although not the main subject of the movie, this subplot successfully reminds the audience that this is not just another teen love story. This is something totally different. This is a story that touches the realities of growing up, friendship and, not forgetting, love.

This is Rudi Soedjarwo’s “Ada Apa Dengan Cinta?”

It has been ages that I’ve seen any Indonesian films. The last time that I’ve seen any was when I was terrified as a child from watching those gore-filled Indonesian horror movies. As I grew older, I lost touch of Indonesian (as well as Malaysian) local productions, favoring Hollywood produced blockbusters instead. I never realized how much I have been missing out until quite lately when we started seeing the resurgence of Asian movies in the local market.

“Ada Apa Dengan Cinta?” or was popularly known as AADC was one such spike with the Malaysian movie audience. The film played quite some time ago and has been since shown on of the local public TV stations. I remembered reading about how much of a stir this small production made in the media when it first came out. For many, this was the first time they had revisited the movies produced by our neighbors and saw how much they have changed from the Indonesian movies of old. What many of them saw was nothing short of phenomenal. Word of mouth spread like wildfire and at a time, everyone was talking about it and began to compare to our own locally produced movies. This was a fresh face from Indonesia’s movie making industry. An entertaining yarn that is both commercial and yet not fluffy or heavy handed.

Of course, I’m always the last to embrace any sort of trend so I didn’t really get on the bandwagon when it first came out. It fact it took me until today before I finally sat down to watch AADC. My initial though is that I hoped that they would have subtitles on the VCD copy that I bought last week since I could never understand Bahasa Indonesia completely. Although quite similar with my own language, Indonesian language uses different words, terms and even some pronunciations that may cause a problem for me. Once it was established that the VCD did have English subtitles, I sat back and enjoyed this brilliant production.

AADC tells the story of teenage friendship and love between Cinta and Rangga which blossomed in spite of their initial dislike of each other. As the story enfolds, Cinta finds herself tore between her burgeoning feelings towards Rangga and her loyalty towards her group of girlfriends. The subplot involving Alya, one of the members of Cinta’s inner circle, further complicates the situation which leads Cinta to regards Rangga as a distraction from her fulfilling her loyalties as a friend. Rangga, who has been a loner before, finds himself alone again after allowing himself to fall for Cinta and suddenly dismissed by her. In his disappointment, he decides to follow his father and move to America. This revelation invokes Cinta to face her own fears and, with the help of her friends, finally face Rangga with the truth of how she feels toward him in an emotional climax.

In line with the premise of the movie, principal actors in AADC were selected from up and coming teen actors that I have to say that I have never seen before. They might be young but they showed a lot of promise and talent. If I had to point out any particular one, my choice would be Nicholas Saputra who had the unenviable job of portraying “Rangga”. His brilliant portrayal of this character pulls in the audience as we shared his journey. To me, he is Indonesia’s answer to Joshua Jackson’s Pacey from Dawson’s Creek in terms of delivering the “goo” factor just with his expressive eyes. Of course I may be a bit biased with my assessments of him for obvious reasons. Whatever it is, he has it in spades and it shows beautifully on screen.

The soundtrack to AADC is another refreshing change from the Indonesia movies of old. The selection of Indonesian pop songs by Anto Hoed and Melly Goeslaw beautifully complements the scenes as they play out on the screen. I enjoyed the soundtrack so much that I know now what CD to get the next time I go to my local CD store. The VCD set that I bought also included a bonus CD that tracks the making of AADC which I also enjoyed. It is very rare that we get a glimpse of how the Indonesian production was made and for me the bonus VCD was a welcomed addition.

AADC was both entertaining and inspiring to me. It got me thinking about beginning a new screenplay that follows the concept of AADC but of course not in the same vein. I have been playing around with the story idea about someone turning 30 and the trails involved with that for quite some time now. That might be the next thing that I might try. It may not be as successful as AADC but I will do it for just the satisfaction of being able to.

Friday, June 27, 2003

Blog or Diary?

The latest interview on Nizam’s weblog today on Oon Yeoh got me thinking that what I am doing here cannot be considered a “true” blog. It seems that my daily musing and rants qualifies more as an online-diary. Come to think about it, there is some truth in that characterization. Most of the things I write about in my entries are outward expressions of my thoughts and emotions. Of course those thoughts and emotions would not really have any links that I could include in my entry for other people to browse further for more information. So by the given definition of a blog, my entries clearly do not fit the description.

It actually does not matter is my daily entries are blogs or online-diary entries. We all have ways to express ourselves here in the net. For some of us, the Net is the only place where we do have the freedom of expression that some people take for granted. For some that freedom is taken to the extreme in both content and taste. Maybe they are the ones who warrant the label of “exhibitionist” or maybe not depending on who you ask. To label online-diarist as those hungry for attention does smack of elitism if not outright generalization. We all have different reasons for venting our emotions on the Net. Even if some do it to grab attention, to lump everyone else in the same category is not exactly wise.

I may just have a knee-jerk reaction to the interview. I may also just be brewing a storm in a teapot by putting these thoughts in words. But at least I am doing them so I move forward. I don’t really care if anyone reads this rant because the attention is not what I seek. I seek the self-satisfaction of knowing that I exercised my right of freedom of expression and of choice.

A choice to speak out even when there is no one listening.

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Misc Ramblings

Don’t really know what to write for today’s blog entry. Nothing interesting or unusual happened at work today that would be worth noting down. Nothing happening on the personal life front either. I could have easily skipped today’s entry but I don’t want to set a precedent of skipping an entry when I have been so good at keeping up with my entries. This was a problem that I had before with my old writing journal that I eventually abandoned. I kept on thinking that I have to write something insightful or it wouldn’t be worth to enter it into the journal. I know now that you don’t need to be insightful all the time. Each thought that is noted down into these entries are unique and they represent a snapshot of how I feel at that particular moment.

So … anyway, I got the latest issue of the “Impiana” magazine today. I just only started to read this interior design magazine recently in hopes of getting some ideas on how to design my new condo. Of course the new place will not be ready until 2006 but it doesn’t hurt to start planning from now, isn’t it? At the rate of the price increases, I may not have sufficient funds to decorate the place if I waited until the end before I start planning. I kinda have an idea of the concept that I would like to have but I must say that it would take a minor treasure chest to get it all. I may not be able to afford it all at once but if I plan it well ahead of time, I can spread out the purchase over a period of time and still end up with what I want.

At the moment, I’m really interested in making the place up like something out of an IKEA catalogue. I actually like their minimal designs and clean lines rather than the rustic look. On the other hand that may look too cold and sterile. You can tell that I don’t really know what I want at the moment. This is where the magazines come in. Hopefully they would have something that I would like and hopefully it will be within my means to obtain. At least I still have ample time to plan.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Leaving Legacies Behind

Late this afternoon, I was surprised with an afternoon tea gathering held in my honor by my peers in my company’s volunteer corp.

I had told them last week that with the upcoming transfer to the outsource company; I would no longer be able to chair the group as I have done in the past 5 years. I decided this as it would be unfair to them if I could not devote as much of my time as before once I start my assignment with the new company. My decision was met with a little resistance but I convinced them that it is for the best. I have done my very best to help them develop as a cohesive team and have groomed several of the members to be capable team leaders to lead the rest. I felt that I’ve left the team in good hands.

Late this afternoon, I received a call requesting me to come to the cafeteria for a short meeting. What I didn’t know was that the whole team was there and the short meeting was actually a tea gathering in my honor. Regardless to say, I was shocked speechless by the turn out. It got even more embarrassing when they put me on the spot for a farewell speech. They even had a cake made for me and everything. I blushed even harder when afterward they presented me with a small token of appreciation. This was happening in a cafeteria full of other employees! I don’t think that I have ever blushed as much as I did at the gathering.

I have never been good at being the center of such attention. I’m more at home working in the background and celebrating our successes quietly. I wished that I could be more gracious with their show of appreciation but I was too stunned to react. I kept quiet about it but I truly felt that I did not deserve this much attention. All I did was to guide them as a team to initiate and execute the activities that we planned together. I tried to give them as much respect to them as individuals as they gave me. Come to think of it, I didn’t really do a lot for them when compared to what they all did for each other when they come together as a group.

As I am writing this entry, I realized how much little things that you do affect others a lot. Their overwhelming show of appreciation and the team’s success is proof positive that I can make a difference to the people around me by just staying true to my ideals. If the team takes this lesson to heart then I would have left a good legacy behind.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003


I woke up this morning with a terrible headache. I think that I have some sort of gum infection or something. There was this throbbing pain that kept me up all night and it still hurts a bit throughout the day. I think it’s from the 2nd molar that I had capped a few months ago. I don’t think that I bit on anything hard and chipped it but it hurts like hell so I’ve must have done something to it. At least the pain is down to a dull continuous throbbing now so it’s a bit bearable. I have to get some aspirin when I get back today for the pain. If things get worse, I may have to pay my local dentist a visit. I hate going to the dentist.

Well … actually hate is a harsh word. I’m actually afraid of visits to the dentist. It’s one of my pet peeves, right up there with my phobia of snakes, clowns and drag queens. The thought of having someone put metal instruments in and poking around in my mouth scares me shitless. I always try to avoid going to the dentist if I can so when I do go, the bill is astronomical. Somehow, I need to find away to overcome this phobia so when the next time I go, it won’t be too expensive and dreadful. Maybe I just need to find the right incentive to go regularly. A cute dentist might work.

It’s still raining heavily outside. It seems to rain every evening lately which is strange since it’s suppose to be the dry season until early Aug. I guess that the weather patterns have been screwed up lately. Since there is nothing much on TV tonight, I just have to amuse myself with some DVDs. Good thing that my copy of “Giant” arrived from today. Yay me! Although I’ve seen that movie at least 10 times, I can never tire of watching James Dean in that movie. Every time I see it, I can’t help but wonder how far he might have gone had his not been killed in that terrible accident soon after completing “Giant”. He was taken far before his prime and I guess that what makes his appeal enduring generations after generations.

Monday, June 23, 2003

Movie Review : Hulk

Warning: Contains some spoilers to “Hulk”

After paying my bills at the bank this morning, I decided to catch the new “Hulk” movie at the local cinema near my apartment. As with other popular titles, the movie started only after 20 minutes of advertisements on the big screen. I don’t know if this is unique to Malaysia but sometimes they do tend to get overboard with the ads before the movie. I guess it’s a way for the cinemas to get some extra revenue with each showing. At least they also show the new trailer for T3 which looks cool. I’m going to have to see that movie when it comes out.

The “Hulk” starts out a bit sluggish for my taste. I guess that it had to as to set the audience who may be unfamiliar with the story. The first “X-Men” movie had to do the same thing although I did think that they did it better. I have to say that the pace of the first act for the “Hulk” was so slow that I can’t help myself from nodding off a bit. For those of us in the know, we were looking for the appearance of Stan Lee in the movie. I’ve haven’t seen “Daredevil” yet but Stan has made an appearance in most all Marvel comics adapted movies produced to date. I don’t think he made a cameo in both “Blade” movies but I have to check that movie again. Anyway, Stan got a few lines this time out with the original Hulk from the TV series. That gave some of the crowd in the packed theater something to chuckle about.

Once Banner starts to transform into the Hulk, the pace of the movie started to pick up. The first reaction to the CGI Hulk was a few giggles from the audience, me included. I keep having this picture of Sherk on steroids jumping around in the desert. Once the initial reaction passed, I found myself admiring this version of the Hulk. A lot of people put in their time and effort for this CGI and it shows beautifully on the big screen. The action scenes involving the Hulk are straight from comic book pages. Hulk smashing tanks and throwing helicopters around is reminiscent of early Hulk comics which this movie captures beautifully.

I did found the comic panel like split screens intriguing. I don’t think that this narrative device has been seen in any other movie that I know of. It adds to the feel of the movie as a moving comic book. I think that they successfully integrated that device in scenes where the action is taking place in multiple locations as the same time. Although most of the movie was a bit dark in terms of lighting, there were a few scenes that I noticed that they choose to light it with a greenish tint. Though it may have fit in with the main subject of the movie, I was distracted by the choice of making the characters look like they were nauseated with that lighting scheme.

I have to say that I didn’t really like the ending of the movie that much. The climax of Hulk battling his father who happens to get the power to transform himself into anything around him seems too rushed and uncreative after seeing how Hulk trashed the army that was sent to capture him. I can’t help but laugh a bit when his father turned into what I can only describe as a giant jelly fish because it was a silly to me. If you take out the anti-climax ending, the movie was a good way to spend an afternoon. I’m sure to get the DVD once they release it to add to my collection.

Friday, June 20, 2003

Done Deal

I’ve finally went and put down my signatures to all the transfer papers today. In a way I do feel sad leaving the company that I have been working in for the past 7 years. It being my first place of employment after graduating college makes it even harder. I’ve learnt and grown a lot with this company. To have to go, especially in the manner of being outsourced, does leave a bitter taste in my mouth. I guess this is the reality of current business conditions. Everyone is competing to give their product with the lowest cost that some of the less profit-making sections of the business have to be sacrificed. At least they did us the courtesy of ensuring employment with the new company.

As for the new company, I have no idea what the future holds. There are too many horror stories that I’ve heard about them that sometimes they are hard to believe. I guess that I just have to experience it for myself. My plan now is to take it all in and evaluate them once I get all the info that I need. If the need arises that I seek other employment then that will be something that I have to consider. For now, I’ll stick to the plan and observe.

On a brighter note, I’m planning to take a 3-day weekend. Need to go to the bank and complete my monthly transactions on Monday since they have been closed for the past 3 Saturdays. Can’t let my bills go past due. I’m also taking Mum for a nice lunch this Saturday since I couldn’t go back home to her place this weekend like I promised earlier. With everything that has been happening this week, I thought that it would be better for me to be at my own place for a bit.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

The Next Best Thing

I am proud to say that I am a government and UMNO supporter.

To be a government or UMNO supporter in Malaysia in my current age group seems to be the unpopular choice nowadays. Most often than not, they are viewed as ignorant of the so called injustice against the people and supporters of homophobic policies that continue to persist. As a result, a lot of us who support the government and UMNO tend to stay in the background and become the silent majority while our peers continue to be vocal about their displeasure with the current administration. While I may agree on some of their points, I deplore their methods of execution. Unnecessary public disturbance and character assassinations are not the tools to incite policy changes.

What other alternatives do I have to UMNO? On one hand I have a hardline Islamic political party whose main goal is to implement a fundamentalist theocracy in Malaysia. Leaders and members of this political party are not above using religion to suit their own political aspirations. I find their methods distasteful and they represent Islam in the narrowest interpretation which suits their goals. They tend to promise heaven while all the while pave the road leading to it with acts that by all accounts makes one be condemned to the inferno.

The other alternative is to join another opposition party that espouses the fight against social injustice. While the ends are noble, the means to the end are not clearly defined or identified. If the fight is to end social injustice, why does the so-called justice party be more concerned with the release of fallen personages and not the release of downtrodden individual from poverty? They want to change the inequality that persists in Malaysia even and yet they have no clear plan on how to do it. Without a clear manifesto of action and goals, even those among us who are sympathetic to their cause would later be disillusioned by their incompetence.

By process of elimination, I believe UMNO is still the current best choice for me. I may not agree with some of their policies but at least they do have clearly defined goals and, for most of the time, been honest with their execution. This is not the perfect choice, this is the next best thing. This choice may not make me popular at my local coffeeshop but for now, I am happy with my choice.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Outsourcing on My Mind

I have a lot of things to think about in the next 2 days.

This coming Friday is my deadline to decide whether to accept or reject the new job offer that was given as part of the outsourcing package. While the new job does offer an increase in my monthly paycheck, I’ll be losing much in terms of comparable benefits that I’m currently enjoying. I know that I don’t really use much of those benefits but it does provide me with a safety net knowing that it would be there should I need it. I have been enjoying that security for such a long time no that to think about losing it is a bit frightening.

The new job that they are offering me is basically the same thing that I’ve been doing for the past 7 years. The only difference is that I’ll be working for a local company instead of a MNC as I do now. I guess that the way that local companies do business is bound to be a lot different from how I’m used to. For one, they require us to submit daily work reports which I have never done before. In fact, I really hate the fact that I have to report every minute of my day to some nameless/faceless supervisor who I’ll be answerable to. I actually much preferred it if I was let on my own devices to complete the task on hand rather than having someone always hovering over my shoulder.

If I decide to refuse this offer, my options in my current company will shrink to next to nothing. For one, my whole department will cease to exist and I have to be transferred to a different operations. While my current skill sets are totally suited for my current position, I am wholly lacking in the skills that are required to work effectively in other departments. Guess that this is the curse of being too specialized. I probably end up being put into some task that would bore me to death while I try to catch up to others who have been around for quite sometime. Worse case scenario would be that they put me in cold storage for as long as I can stand it until I submit my resignation letter!

Either way, I have the next 2 days to weigh my options and decide the next course of action. Whatever that choice may be, I have promised myself that I will stand by my decision and never regret it once it has been made.

Monday, June 16, 2003

Thoughts on National Service

I caught a bit about the upcoming mandatory National Service for secondary school leavers on the news this morning. The way that I understand it, the way that they will decide on who will be called up for National Service will be based on a random selection of their ID numbers from the group of 18 year olds. It sounds similar like the draft that US went through in the 70’s. Penalties for dodging the draft sound pretty severe to “discourage” parents from preventing their children from joining the National Service.

As a whole, I support National Service for these youngsters. When I look at my brother, who will be turning 18 next year, and his friends of the same age, there seem to be a lack of direction for them after school. Most of them whom I’ve met seem to lack the drive to do something other than hang out and watch TV! I’m sometimes astounded by the apathy that teenagers nowadays have towards themselves and those around them. Are we that well off in life as a society that taking things for granted has become second nature?

I realize that National Service is not the only answer to the issue here but at least this is a good start. Hopefully this will help build a better generation of leaders who will in the future hold Malaysia’s destiny in their hands.

I just realize how old I feel writing today’s weblog.

Friday, June 13, 2003

Hectic Weekend Ahead

It’s already end of business on Friday and I still don’t have any firm plans for the weekend. Initially I thought of going to the bank tomorrow to pay up my CC bills but the I realized that they would be closed this Saturday as replacement for last weekend’s public holiday. Looks like I have to take 1 day off sometime in the next 2 week to pay up my bills before they are overdue.

Since that plan is scratched, I guess that I could just go through the DVDs that I haven’t had the chance to watch yet. Received another 2 from today. One is “The Sum of Us” with a young Russell Crowe and the other is “It’s My Party”. The reviews that I’ve seen looks favorable and they do come with audio commentaries so that would be enjoyable to go through. On that same note, it seems that they finally release the whole set of Indiana Jones on DVD. The price of the box set seems reasonable for 4 DVDs. Can’t wait for that to come.

I also still have to fix my home internet connection. Somehow the setting crapped out on me when I reformatted my laptop. Hopefully I could fix that this weekend or else I have a whole boatload of email to go though next week. Not that any of them are important but I just hate it when my inbox become clogged by spam.

The only other thing that I can think of doing this weekend is to go down to 1-Utama to pickup my monthly comics from the shop. I’ve been doing this for the past 14 years so much so that my mum always rag me on the obscene amount that I’ve spent on comics throughout the years. But I find myself hard pressed to stop from buying those comics month after month. It’s like I have to know what happens next to the characters that have been a part of my life for so long. I’m like the character Michael in QAF-US. Maybe there is some truth in what they say about gay boys and comics.

Reading this it seems that I do have a lot to do this weekend. I just wish that I had someone to do it with.

Meadering Thoughts of A Frustrated Writer Wannabe

I started this weblog in part to keep myself writing. It has been awhile since I’ve put any serious effort in my writing and sometimes I feel guilty about it. There was a time that I felt driven to write, to exorcise my inner demons out by the flow of my words. I’ve always seen my writing as therapeutic since I’m actually quite shy in person and would never be able to express myself freely. Through the anonymity of the Internet and the shield of this computer, I would always be able to let myself go with my writing without any barriers.

I mainly write fiction since it is what I’m most comfortable with. My writings would usually be dictated by how I feel at that particular moment. In a way, I invest a lot of emotions into my work which by the time I reach the end would totally drain me. Of course this means that when I read back things that I’ve wrote before, I keep thinking about what on earth would motivate me to write something like that. I remember one particular piece that I did in college that my lecturer actually commented as being “a bold but disturbing piece”. It was something about an abused multiple personality killer and was written in 2nd person POV as part of a conversation between him and the victim i.e. the reader. I wished that I still had that paper but I lost it when I brought my things back home after graduation.

My latest pride and joy is my very first English screenplay. I’ve been trying for ages to do one but I’ve never written anything in screenplay format before and had a lot to learn before I was confident enough to start. Once I started, I found out that I actually liked this format better since I get to let my imagination run wild while I wrote. Writing about stage directions and dialogue allowed me to visualize the story better and I found myself more careful about how I ground the story in the realm of what is possible within an imaginary budget. I also found myself thinking about the impact of every scene that I write and how it impacts the pacing of the “movie” that I had playing in my head. It took me a few weeks of 2 hours block of writing before I completed a full feature length screenplay. BTW … the screenplay I wrote was an unauthorized sequel to “Beautiful Thing” by Jonathan Harvey. It was more of a fan-fiction project that went a wee bit overboard.

Of course being able to write doesn’t mean I write well. I’m terrible with grammar and could never pick those mistakes out when I’m editing. I guess that’s why it is always better to share one’s writing with others.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Fire !

At 3am this morning, I was woken up from deep slumber by the sound of sirens blaring. After checking to make sure that it was not from my alarm clock (heh), I stumbled out of bed to check out what was going on. From my apartment I could see flames coming out of the hardware shop across the street. The first thought that crossed my mind is that this could be dangerous as I knew that the place had some paint for sale. All those paint cans in a fire … definitely not good. By the time I snapped out of the minor panic, I realized that there were already 3 fire trucks on the scene and the firemen were already in the process of putting the fire out. It was kinda scary for a bit seeing the flames towering over everyone. Good thing that the wind wasn’t really blowing hard last night of it could have been worse. Once I was sure that the fire would not spread out to the surrounding area, I went back to bed.

This morning, as I was leaving to work, I managed to see the extent of the damage. It seems that the fire completely destroyed the main office of the store and some of the storage area. I couldn’t see how much damage the place sustained further in but I would guess from the fire last night that the damage was extensive. A few guys from Tenaga were also on site to repair the power lines that were impacted by the fire. I have to say that this is the closest I’ve been to this type of disaster. I tried not to think too much about it or about how close it was to the place I lived.

BTW … started on the “Real World: Las Vegas” DVD set last night. I actually sat through the first 8 episodes in one sitting. “Real World” is one of my vices. I know that it’s trashy TV but I just can’t pull myself from watching it. The same goes with other reality TV shows. Must be for the voyeuristic thrill of the whole thing. And also for some eye candy especially in the seasons when they have a majority of cute guys. First impression of this particular season is that the guys are all hotties, especially Frank whom I would totally fall for, but dumb as rocks. Not to mention totally slutty. As for the girls, they are totally beautiful in a Christina skaky way.

It’s raining heavily outside now. The first time it rained in 2 weeks, I think. At least tonight would be cooler. The heat has been totally stifling the past week. I keep getting up in the morning with sweat stains on my bed and smelling pretty bad. Hopefully tonight would be better.

Monday, June 09, 2003

DVD Review: X-Files Season 7 & Children of Dune

Since nothing much happened today that is blog worthy, I thought that I’ll fill in today’s entry with my thoughts about the DVDs that I watched this past weekend.

First up is X-Files Season 7. It took me awhile before I got through all the episodes in this excellent DVD set. On the whole, season 7 was a mixed bag of good, bad and god awful episodes. Among my favorites of the season are “Hungry”, “Closure” and “Signs and Wonders”. I think that the worse of the lot is a toss up between “Hollywood A.D.” and “FPS”. I really hated those 2 episodes. Image and sound quality for the set seems to be acceptable to me but I’m not really skilled enough to tell if there is any defect. The price for the package is a bit steep but having all the season’s episode in one neat package makes it worth it for a fan like me. Plus this season had an appearance of Krychek which is always a good thing.

I also got a chance to watch the “Children of Dune” DVD set in one sitting. I’ve always been a fan of the series but it has been awhile since I read them. This series was shown earlier this year on the Sci-Fi channel in the US but being in Malaysia meant that I have no access to see it during the original airing. I had a love/hate response to the first series “Dune” since I remember that book most vividly and also had the feature film version of “Dune” for comparison. So watching “Children of Dune” this time around is a bit refreshing since I’ve forgotten how the stories continued.

“Children of Dune” is actually two stories, “Children of Dune” & “God Emperor of Dune”, rolled into one. So undoubtedly some of the details were compressed and some others omitted totally to fit into the mini-series format. I have to read the books again to figure out which details got cut out but overall the story flowed smoothly, except from a few loose plot threads, so I guess that the cuts didn’t impact the story that much. CGI shots this time around showed improvement over the predecessor so I guess that they put in extra money after the first mini-series. Costume design also looked better than the first one except for that awful wedding suit that the groom wore in the last episode. Man … it was ugly and I’ll be happy if I never see it again.

The special features of this DVD set are a bit on the slim side. I wished that they could have added some audio commentaries that could explain the effort that they took to combine 2 fairly plot heavy books into one story. Picture and audio quality is quite clear and I must say fairly enjoyable to experience due to the dense amount of action happening on screen at one time. Price wise is acceptable for this polished production.

Both sets are available from

The Company Dinner

This blog was supposed to be posted on Sunday but I had the most difficult time uploading to

Sunday, 8th June 2003
The company annual dinner yesterday went smoothly better than I expected. It was truly worth all the time and effort spent in the last few months. Everyone seems to enjoy themselves at the dinner and the food didn’t receive any complaints this year. Most of the attendees came dressed to theme and we had a difficult time choosing the winners for best dressed male and female. Funny thing was that I was told that I was a shoo in for best dressed male that night! I, of course, asked to be disqualified on account that I was part of the organizing committee. But still, it was exhilarating to be a contender.

I must say that during the dinner, I was distracted by one of the banquet staff on duty that night. He was kinda cute and kept throwing glances at me all night long. He was not the only one since I was also stealing glances at him. But being the chicken that I was, I was not about to do anything especially in front of so many people from work. That would just be suicide. So I spent the whole night standing not two feet from him and occasionally catching him look at me from the corner of my eye. Needless to say, I had a lot of frustration to work out by the end of the dinner. Good thing they had an open dance floor at the end of the function. I think I must have been dancing for a good three hours non-stop last night with anyone who would join me! I didn’t even care that they played some heavy metal Metallica shit that nobody can dance to at the end of the night.

Woke up this morning just deliciously aching from head to toe. Age must be catching up to me. Used to be a time that I could just dance to the wee hours and not feel anything the next morning. Guess that I’ll be hanging up my dancing shoes soon. Spent the whole day just vegetating in front of the TV watching DVDs to recover. Anyway … tomorrow is the start of another week.

Saturday, June 07, 2003

More outsourcing discussions

This blog was suppose to be posted earlier but other things got in the away so here it is better late than never.

Today we had our outsourcing benefits meeting. Coming into the meeting, I promised myself that I don’t set my expectations too high about the benefits package that would be offered. I didn’t want to get disappointed if the package was not as high or as good as I wanted. True enough it was neither. While the new company met all the current benefits, I did lose some minor items. I’m thankful enough that at least all the major ticket items like pay and health benefits were comparable to the one I’m enjoying today with my current company. Well … in order to be comparable with some of the current benefits, they had to increase my base pay to match what I would no longer enjoy. So I did get a pay raise out of it. This means more taxes to pay but I’ll manage.

After the meeting, my boss called me in to discuss about my future plans. I frankly told him that I need to look deep into myself before deciding if this is what I want for myself. He commented that he noticed that I’ve been lagging behind in my work lately and that he understand that it was related to the stress and uncertainties with the outsourcing program. I basically told him that I’m just a little burned out having to do the same thing at work for 7 years. Day in and out, I come to work feeling numb and sometimes bored out of my skull! He did promise me that he’ll look into it and see if there is something new that I could try. Hopeful he could find one before I drop dead from boredom. BTW .. he did mentioned that I spent too much company time surfing the web. Hahaa … BUSTED!!! Got to do something about that soon.

Tomorrow night is the annual company dinner. Finally decided to spend some money and get a kurta to wear to the function tomorrow. Got one from Jln Masjid India at a reasonable price (I think). I don’t know how many times that I would wear it but I have one now. I guess I could keep it around for the next function like I do for my tuxedo. Just hope that it would still fit the next time I have to wear it. Anyway … I have to be there early tomorrow for the preparation so better get some shut eye now. Need to be bright and bushy tail tomorrow.

Thursday, June 05, 2003

Notes on my dad

Transfered RM1500 to Mum's bank acct today. She called me yesterday to ask for the money to pay for my sister's enterance fee for her diploma. My sister promised me to pay it back once she gets her student loan approved. Fortunately I have my house fund set aside to cover the bill and was able to advance them the money. I don't really care when they refund me back the money since I'm not planning to use it until my apt is ready in 2006 but I was really dissapointed by the seemingly lack of interest on the part of my dad in all this.

I can't really say that I'm very close to my dad. He and I have had some problems in the past and have only recently started to really reach out to each other. I guess partly that is because both of us are bull-headed and stubborn. I mean ... I still love him and that he's my dad but sometimes the things that he does or ignores infuriates me to no end. Sometimes it feels like he is so involved in chasing his pipe dream that he lose sight of people who are still depended on him.

No doubt that my dad is a dreamer. I inherited that trait from his side of the family but I also have my mum's practicallity which sometimes I think he lacks (based on the decisions that he makes). Ever since I was a child, I could recall all the unrealistic plans that he would come up with that would one way or another blowup in his face. When I got older, I tried my best to support his decisions but sometimes he doesn't make it easy to do so. He would always have these plans for quick money and stuff which basically never pans out and in the end leaves the whole family in a lurch.

I think that I liked him better when he was still in the Army. At least the Army provided him with a solid ground to work from although that meant that the family didn't see him that often. He retired early to chase after some quick money plan that his friend conned him into and since then things have never been the same. He still continues to dream of making easy money and not learn from past mistakes. I think that his pride won't let him. It's this same pride that makes him ignore our warnings time and time again.

I maybe harsh on him sometime but he is still my father. Good comes with the bad as it is in a balanced universe. I just hope and pray that it is not too late for him to realise how his action affect those who love him.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Outsourcing and cruising

In our staff meeting today, there was a discussion about the upcoming outsourcing offer letter briefing session this Friday. Generally everyone is a bit apprehensive about the offer. Everyone is feeling that they might get the short end of the stick in terms of the benefits offered. It was truely demoralizing to say the least. I mean ... we've been working in the same company for years and suddenly now we feel so expendable just because some higher muckity muck want to see better profits per quarter. What they should do is stop giving the BOD those inflated annual bonuses that every body else feel that they didn't earn.

In away, with this oursourcing program, this marks an end of an era for me personally. Up to now, I've felt pretty secure in my position and future outlook. Now all of the things that I value, security and possibilities, are being yanked out from under me. It's truely a scary thing to have to go through. Suddenly I'm faced with lingering doubts whether I made the correct decision to not leave the company with better terms much earlier. I really hate this second guessing and yet that basically all that I can think about!

BTW .... read an article today that was forwarded to the JS mailinglist. The article which appeared in a local newspaper basically points out to the public most of the cruising places for the local gays in Klang Valley. The detail description leads me to the conclusion that the sender must have close connections to PLU or one of us himself. Like it our not, all our hang outs have been outed for all the public to know. No doubt that there will be more scrutiny to people who frequent these places. What I worry more is that now that they are known, would we expect more trouble in the form of raids by the local authorities or even groups of gay-bashers on site? Will we be safe going there anymore?

I actually just got to know about these places just a few months ago and have never been there personally. From what little I know, these places are the only places that PLUs feel comfortable to congregate in large numbers. Now that they are put in the spotlight, where will we turn to next? In a way, the security and comfort has been violated by the writer of that article. Little by little, they take away the thing that we relate to and in the end we'll be left with nothing to hold on to. What happens then?

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

My life as a dinner planner

Another end to a so-so day.

At the meeting for the run up to the company dinner this weekend, the team picked me to set down the criteria to pick the best dressed male and female attendee. After five whole minutes of laughing out loud, I kinda wondered why of all the people in the team, they picked me to set the rules for the damn thing. I mean ... I have no fashion sense to speak off in the first place and I don't have the foggiest idea of what makes an outfit attractive. To me as long as the outfit fits comfortably and doesn't stink like it hasn't been washed for a week, then it's OK with me. Good thing that they didn't make me judge the whole thing or I'll might be biased towards the men (hehee).

So while I think about what would be the best criteria to select the best dressed male and female for the night, I have 2 new DVD sets to enjoy. My copy of "Children of Dune" and "Real World: Las Vegas" finally came in today after weeks of waiting. Can't wait to get home, pop it and and just vegatate in front of the TV tonight. I'll submit something in tomorrow for the criteria.

Monday, June 02, 2003

Same old, same old

A few things before I sign-off for the day.

The Amazing Race 4 recaps have been posted on TWOP today. As usual I have to catch myself from laughing out loud while reading it. Looking forward for this season actually since it does have it share of eye candy. Of course I don't actually have Astro or AXN so I would have to be content on reading the snark rather than watching it. BTW ... there are some really *interesting* pictures in the forum thread about the current racers.

Planing to go though 4 episodes of X-Files season 7 DVD if there is nothing good on TV tonight. Since it's Monday, I think this will be the case. My friends always rag on me for watching too much TV. It's not like I have any choice ... I don't have a life !!! I'm too introverted to go out and meet people. Too lazy to join in any chat sessions. Too scared to pickup a phone and call someone. Not that I'm being swamped by offers for dates anyway.

Why the fear? I guess its too long being in the mindset that people look up to you and that you have to set an example to other people. Maybe just because I'm too scared that once I cross that line, I won't want to turn back or even that I don't want this in the first place. BS aside ... I'm definitely scared of finding out. Petrified of coming out of the closet.

Until I overcome this fear, I live life to the fullest and to the best of my ability.

Slice of life

Wanted to update my blog last weekend but got caught up with stuff and that plan fell through.

Any way ... a nice weekend all around. Decided to get my nephew on of those RC cars instead of a stuffed toy this year. It was only after I've paid for the thing that I remembered that my brother got one for him a few months ago. Turns out that my nephew already trashed that one a few weeks back so my gift wasn't so bad. Also we decided to celebrate by other nephew's birthday early as well ... since my family won't be around on his birthday next week. For him I bought a bunch of hard cover children's classics since you can never go wrong by giving people books. I hope that he'll enjoy them but from the look from his face, I could tell that he was expecting something else. Kids nowadays just don't appreciate the power of curling in a warm bed with a favorite book!

Decided to get a hair cut last weekend. The usual ... buzz cut on the sides and back, leave the top. I've always had this thing about buzz cuts. For one I can't never stand having my hair grow long ... it's just drives me crazy. I've always like the feel of a buzz cut on on my own head or anyone else for that matter. Kinda reminds me of this barber place that I used to go to when I was in Madison. I think it was called "BuzzCuts" or something and they mainly cater to the college students. It was cheap and most of the people who went there were either frat guys or the football team (who were not that bad to the eyes anyway). I had some of the best conversations there while waiting for my turn on the barber's chair. Oh ... glory days.

This week would be something to look forward to. We'll be having our outsorcing briefing this coming Friday. The outcome of that will determine whether I'll be staying with my current job or be taking off to other pastures. Also I've got that annual dinner this coming weekend. The theme this year is "Hindi Movies" ... god knows what I'm going to wear for that!