Monday, June 30

Hey people. Another Monday. Just came back from Najah's blog..and I must say am feeling a wee bit erm..inconsequential. I've always struggled with some self-esteem issues, and I guess this is one of those inopportune times when it resurfaces. As much as I know it's not good for me, I like to make self comparisons to other, more successful people. be it my friends, relatives, other bloggers..Urgh.

I'm 25, going on 26.. and where people my age have already started planning for the future (not to mention have their own cars/houses) I'm still stuck in a job that's not confirmed, with not even a credit card to my name. I must admit, being in the Kotaraya group is a privilege..but still, rubbing shoulders/elbows with these high-flyers does tend to make me nervous. A few years ago, I set a target for myself to achieve by age 30. 5 years to go..and have to catch up soon.

So how do I feel for the upcoming meet? Scared/nervous/excited/ecstatic.

Later, folks.


Saturday, June 28

Just downloaded w:bloggar myself, lazy bum. Am now testing it.


Holy cow. I have no idea what happened, but am very very sleepy. Urgh. It's been a v. fast moving Saturday for me, since I had an early meeting at the faculty, which finished at about 11. (Oh, I didn't mention that I managed to coax an agreement with the dean to give me and my 3 unlucky colleagues priority to do our PhDs. Which essentially means I can leave as soon as I can procure a scholarship. Yippee!) Then, it was a rush to beat the traffic to Summit USJ, where I had a short karaoke session planned. RM7 for 3 hours including lunch? Count me in. I dunno why I'm so partial to karaoke, heheh. Maybe it's just that the group I go with is so laid back, we don't mind making fools out of ourselves and each other. Not to mention belting out We Will Rock You or My Sacrifice at the top of our lungs (no matter how out of tune it may be) feels good.

Hmm. Saturday night. I COULD go out, but somehow I think this week, at least, I'd like to be able to just laze around and not move. Too much. Never been much of a clubber, and I don't know if that's a good or bad thing. I suppose I'll put it into my To Do list.

Besides, I - UrRRKK! (Hello, lovely ones. B Jones-like persona taking over for a bit.)

Note to self: must absolutely stop making whiny noises/excuses about not being social, etc, etc. Find it v. irritating and also degrades online self-image, which is v. important. Also v. irritating, is tendency to lapse into periods of missing the-ex . Therefore must concentrate on filling every available moment of time with things to do, or at least, happy thoughts. Hmm...wonder if happy thoughts can be bought at Tesco? Ah. Thinks should scoot along now, since main "bullish" persona gets v. bitchy if left inside too long. Control back to you, Ash ;-)

I hate it when that happens. Er..well, have a good weekend, everyone!


Friday, June 27

Morning, people. After looking at last night's post (and wondering what the hell was I thinking?) I've decided that today shall be Tech Issue Friday. Yeah, enough of my whining about the girlfriend who left me, the state of my notes and whether I'll get to do my doctorate. For today, at least. Anyhow, back to Tech Issue Friday!

The browser wars have new combatants. Apple just unleashed version 1.0 of its Safari browser for the Mac, boasting faster speeds, tabbed browsing, integrated pop-up killer. Yum. On a related note, Mozilla 1.4 RC 3 has just been released, giving us one more option in the race to force MS to make IE at least competent.

Are you a music/software/video downloader? Have you ever used Napster. Grokster, Morpheus, AudioGalaxy, Imesh, Kazaa? If you have, and like me, have several folders of music/downloaded stuff on your hard drive, well our days may be numbered. As anyone who's been keeping up knows, the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of Good Ol' America) has launched a massive campaign to nab file swappers on the net. The extent of their power also includes scanning the public directories of P2P sharing apps so as to identify swappers and their ISP. Oh, and did you know the FBI could be knocking on your door, too? Apparently, just because we don't live in the States does not make us safe. Once they identify you as a major swapper, they'll put pressure on your ISP to release your personal information. And after that, well..God help us all. They project that the first round of lawsuits will be underway as early as August. For more details, get the article here.

I could write an endless tirade on why I think this isn't right and what the recording industry SHOULD do. But I found this article written by a fellow "pirate" that sums it up better than I ever could. Obviously we DON'T want to buy pirated stuff. Or download songs off P2P engines. But as the article puts it, even when you buy an original music CD, you DON'T own the music. At least not in the way you think you do. So WTF?

Link this to the current crackdown on pirated VCDs, DVDs and what not in Malaysia. Hell, if I had the dough, I'd stick with original DVDs all the way. I'm a DVD freak, and look at all the beautiful special editions (including boxes, figurines, tags, what have you). So the government wants to make these products controlled items. Well, it's a start. But also, bear in mind that the Malaysian public does NOT need to be shielded so much anymore. We can take a little gore, death, mayhem, even sex. Find a way so we can get original editions at good prices WITHOUT the censorship. Until that happens, I'll stick to ordering my DVDs from Amazon (where it's actually cheaper than Speedy!! Don't believe me? Go here.) or, from my secret pirate somewhere in KL.

This also applies to uni/college students. How on earth do we expect students to keep up when an original copy of Photoshop 6.0 costs several thousand bucks? Or Director/Flash/Dreamweaver MX? Me being an IT grad myself, I can safely attribute most of my software knowhow now to good old Imbi and its 10 (5 now) ringgit CDs.

I had a conversation with a friend last week and he had a theory. He says we're putting so much pressure on the pirates so that in the end, we'll have no choice but to all go out and buy sub-par Malaysian stuff, original. Sembilu XIII: The Wrath of Wati, anyone?

Till then, I pirate on, albeit unwillingly. Whining continues next week.


Thursday, June 26

Since am feeling whimsical, shall now post in the style of B. Jones, wanton sex goddess. However, must also remember that self is not a sex goddess, although may be wanton. Have just come back from meaningless day at office, where majority was spent trying to finish notes for v. ungrateful students. Grr. However, since am filled with newly-found sense of public duty and so forth, will do the best to ensure said students can excel in chosen course.

Ahem. Although v. worried about current status of career., am finding self somehow filled with strange hope. Mum and Dad must have done something right to give birth to absolute optimist. Reminder to self: get appropriate Thank You cards and send home immediately. Must also remember to pen nice, fuzzy feeling inducing notes in cards so as to get appropriate effect.

Comments left in blog by visitors v. much appreciated. Shows that am on right track, although may be wandering a little. Again, newly found status as Singleton still needs some warming up to. Expect things to get better as we go along. Too tired to post thought-provoking/debate inducing entry tonight. After dinner, shall relax and enjoy post-meal gaming session on PS2. Ahhh.


Morning, people. Slow day at the office, and disregarding the mountain of work I have to do for a few minutes, I have decided to post. Catharsis, remember? The dean just sent all of us another e-mail...calling all staff members who intend to continue their studies for a special meeting on Friday. Man oh man, I really hope it's good news. It would really, really make my week.

In any case, as I was trawling through the ever-growing list of blogs in Kotaraya's links page, I was struck by just how varied the content is. No longer is blogging just an electronic substitute for a diary (albeit one that's open for the whole world to read). It's also a sounding board for so many issues, rants, announcements..the list goes on and on. I feel inadequate sometimes, as some of these blogs talk about really DEEP, SERIOUS issues. Philosophy, politics, the state of the world..makes me feel quite shallow indeed, talking about myself.

I contemplated actually starting over, following their example. But then it hit me: I could probably make it work, but it would no longer be MY blog. It would just be me trying to impress other people with my (konon) intelligence, awareness, wit and writing. And besides, I don't think I'd be able to keep it up for long. (Ergh. That last part sounds vulgar. Shall change it soon). Trying to impress people doesn't really work for too long.

Well, back to the grind. So maybe no thought provoking, deeply psyche-shattering and socially reengineering posts. Yet. We'll see how the future pans out. Later.


Wednesday, June 25

Just finished watching yet another episode of CSI. Ahh..Wednesdays. My favourite day of the week. Nicely around the middle, with good TV to enjoy after a long day at work. A strange thought occurred to me right after tonight's episode. I suddenly realised I'd been celibate for almost 5 months. Yup. 5 months without any sexual contact whatever. Surprisingly, I find that I'm still functioning as usual, if not better. So at least there's some good news. Also, working my arse off and being too tired at the end of the day helps.

It is NOT easy, however. Everywhere I look, the temptation is there, taking many forms. I turn on the telly, and it's there as Ashanti tells Ja Rule just HOW she likes it. I drive to work, and I pass girls walking to the private college nearby with what I swear is spray on clothing. The internet..well let's not even go there. So how's a red blooded Taurean 20 something to survive? Check with me later. Am still figuring that out.

Urgh. Well, I suppose we have to miss some things to appreciate them. And right now, I think I'm missing a lot of things. Definitely. Oops, looks like a cold shower is in order.

I think I'll end this rather risque post. Goodnight, people.


>>ANNOUNCEMENT: Blogger's Meet<<

From: "SaRiNi B."
Date: Sun Jun 22, 2003 1:52 pm
Subject: FINAL: Blogger's meetup - 2nd Edition
Okay people! Final details about the meetup:

Date: 5th July 2003, Saturday
Time: 10am
Place: Dome Cafe, Suria KLCC
Rules: BYOB - Buy Your Own Breakfast!

Confirmed Attendees:
* Sarini -
* Aizuddin -
* TV Smith -
* Hani -
* Ash Yusof -
* Zejune -
* Irene -
* Brian -
* Khalilur -

NOTE: Any bloggers who wants to come to the gathering,
please add your name at the list in The Wiki

* Introduction of self and blog - from all attendees
* Blogging Technology and Law - from the sifus (can Oon Yeoh, Aiz, Jeff, TV Smith and Dinesh cover this? If there are any other person who would like to contribute especially from PPS core group members, you're very welcome! Guys, if you can come, please email me, thanks!)
* Kotaraya group: Mission and Direction? - brainstorming session conducted by TV Smith (can aa, Uncle Ho?)
* PPS: Direction and Development - Aiz and Jeff, can you guys cover on this one?
* Promoting blogging to the nation - brainstorming session
* Socialize, socialize and more socializing! And eating! =)

Please help to promote this event by announcing it on your blog or by forwarding this message to other blogging friends. To be informed on upcoming Malaysian bloggers' activities and recent developments, please subscribe to Kotaraya Yahoo Group.


Oh man. Am sitting in the office, trying to complete my notes for my classes, coming up in the next 2 weeks. Am teaching two topics: Input/Output devices and also Memory and Storage. Each of these will take up one week. Judging from the reports I've been hearing, it doesn't sound so good. I have to admit: this year's students are exremely..bad. I don't really blame them, since almost 95% of them didn't choose to do IT in the first place. They were just kinda dumped into the faculty. A quick look at their entrance forms showed that almost half of them chose the Education faculty, while the rest wanted to do either medicine, dentistry(??) or some other applied science course.

So how do you convert 540 kids, most of whom would rather be somewhere else, into IT-savvy and technological literates? I've seen these kids as my colleagues teach..and they need a spark. Yesterday my roomate even (deliberately) gave them wrong information, citing 4U2C (a now defunct Malaysian rap group) as a complement to UTP cables. Yup, they swallowed it all. Hook, line and sinker. He actually had to TELL them to strike the thing from their notebooks.

God save us all. Storage can be quite technical..and I don't think I'm going to want to shave any of the material off. These are uni I trust that somewhere along the line, some sense will get into their empty heads. I'd rather be slightly cruel now than be responsible for spoon feeding them all the way to the convocation.

Later, people. Back to work.


Tuesday, June 24

Yawn. Hi people. Just a wee little post before I hit the sack. Been a tiring day, most of it spent in front of me PC checking out scholarship options. In the long run, I may make it for the 2004 intake, which would give me more time to prepare a proper proposal (sounds like a tongue twister to me). A big thanks to prof sadin for giving me some very needed heads up. Head on over to her blog, give it a read. Insider tips like these help make my day. And again, it just goes to show how the internet (and blogging) has changed the face (and body) of how we communicate.

As I write this entry, am actually on Yahoo Messenger with the esteemed prof. And we seem to agree..trying to further our education in Malaysia can be downright disheartening. But hey, there's always hope..and me being me, as some people who know me can rightly attest to, I tend to cling to that particular emotion quite a lot.

Tomorrow's another day, and there's a load of things to do. Grr. I hate it when my plans go awry. However, I figure the Big Guy has something else planned for me, perhaps..and why should I get so angry when I have no idea if all this is good or bad?

Goodnight, people. Need some shuteye. Very urgently.


A quick morning post. HaloScan is down today, but at least they were nice enough to leave a message explaining the nature of the problem and also post a quick workaround so that our pages won't load so slow. That may not mean much to most people, but to a seasoned web user like me, it makes all the difference. It's the effort, and for a free service, providing that even when you don't have to, ensures that your users will return and perhaps even try your paid product.

Okay. Enough plugging the company. Now have to concentrate on the predicament I'm in. Still hunting for scholarships, and there are a wealth of options. What I don't really have much of, is time. Most of these scholarships require a complete proposal by October this year, and for a new lecturer-wannabe, that means researching your field of study and coming up with an idea that is good enough to be considered for a place in the university of your choice. Sounds easy, until we factor in the fact that most people take up to a year for preparation. I have about...oh 4 months.

Damn. Stuck between a rock and a hard place...being a measly tutor or running the risk of flunking my PhD?? Urgh..

Later, folks.


Monday, June 23

What a shitty afternoon. back home after meeting the dean. As expected, me and my friends' application for lecturership was denied by the new Vice Chancellor. To new followers of the blog, this may evoke a blank stare. Allow me to explain. I started doing my masters in May 2001. Under the understood terms of agreement, after the masters was completed and the holder returns to the parent university, the applicant (or tutor) would then have to sit for an interview (usually a formality) where after 2 months or so, said tutor would then receive a letter appointing him/her a full fledged lecturer, with a heavier workload and better pay (yes!!).

Unfortunately this was not to be in my case. During the final months of our masters, we heard rumours of a change in the university policy. This being that starting 2003, the uni would only take in PhD holders as lecturers, with all other qualification holders below being tutors or research assistants. However, since we all fully expected to be back by November 2002 (regardless of where we were) we pushed on, with most of us back at work by the 25th of November. Another stroke of bad luck was that since everything was in a state of instability, our interview (which was scheduled shortly after) was delayed until May 2003. Which is when the trouble started. Since, technically, we were interviewed in 2003, and we, being only masters holders, the new VC decided to turn down our applications. Just like that.

In such a case, the normal course of action would be to remain as tutors while the uni proceeds to speed up the process of sending you away (again) for your doctorate. Not so this year. Due to some very mysterious circumstances, each faculty may send only 3 members of staff a year to pursue their PhDs. And in front of us (according to seniority) there are already 17 people. Simple math: 3 people a year, with 21 people in the queue, means that I'll be going somewhere in the next 7 years. Or, the year 2010. Which would mean I will have served for NINE years in the uni, but none of those years will be counted as years of actual service (confused? so am I).

Therein lies the problem. The dean very frankly outlined our options. We could continue as tutors (but with a lecturer's workload), remain full tutors (with only a limited amount of work) or strike out and find outside funding for our doctorate, in which case the dean will be happy to let us go. What this means is, unless I find a place and funding for my doctorate within the next year, I am well and truly fucked.

What a nice way to end a day. Of course, something else happened (which I'm not gonna go into here) but all in all..ain't life grand? Wish me luck, people..and I mean it. I need all the help I can get. Time to get down and dirty, I'm afraid.

G'nite, people.


Ugh. True to Irene's prediction, enetation decided to crash on me. Am now testing a new version of Haloscan. Hopefully this will prove to be more reliable. For those of you who've commented in the past, am very very sorry! Will definitely rectify this once I move to my own server!

Song of the moment:
Soul to Squeeze, Red Hot Chili Peppers


Oh dear God. Am reminded once again why I don't really buy the papers anymore. Every morning it's either death (served in several varieties), rape, or endless political posturing..from all sides. Yet, every single day I surf on, hoping to see at least a glimmer of good news. Or doesn't good news sell anymore? Must we instead rely on sordid stories of murders, crime de passionel and who did what with who's digital camera? Maybe that's why I like the Fortean Times so much. Or even the Onion. Escapism, it's true, but sometimes, after all that blood, guts and politics, you just need a little light reading.

In a lighter vein, Order of the Phoenix is out! Shall I join the throng? Or will I wait until the fever subsides? Either way, I KNOW I want one.

Holy cow. Just got an email from the dean calling all the interviewees for the lecturership. Damn. This never happened senior colleagues all just went for interviews and got confirmed 3 months later. Am very very worried, because if we don't get the post, it means we'll all be stuck as tutors until they see fit to send us for our doctorates..which could be anywhere from 1-3 years away..not to mention being bonded for an additional SEVEN years. Living on my salary until then? I don't think so.

Will keep updating as it happens. Wish me luck, people.

Plug o' the day is:

Digital Fugue


Sunday, June 22

Hi people. Am finally back after an extended weekend. Unfortunately for me, I don't have the dough to have me own server, OR be lucky enough to be in the states where textamerica resides. Imagine blogging from your mobile device. Snapped a photo? Post in online, and add comments later. It's almost impossible NOT to blog. Anyhow, the break these past few days was good. Had to rush quite a bit, since me modem decided to fry on friday. Yeah. Fell asleep the afternoon, and the biggest lightning bolt I've seen in awhile struck my apartment, rendering me awake, but unfortunately destroying my DSL modem. Since I DO consider my modem slightly less important than my aorta, I decided to spend 300 bucks getting a new one. Yes, and I am now officially poor.

A big thanks to the commenters and taggers. Seems like I struck a nerve somewhere. I agree, the education system has its downsides, but in the end, you can't blame everything on the system. It's easy to point fingers, but never so to actually start something. Which is what, in a way I hope this group may catalyse. IMHO, it's the individual that needs to change. Our ministry has to stop changing education ministers every few weeks, too. It may take a long time, and personally I doubt I'll live to see a change happening. This thing is bigger than just me, you or some school. This needs people, actual living, thinking people who are in the profession and outside to sit down and think of how to salvage what's left of our kids. As for the system, we'll get to that too.

Ugh. I hate to talk shop during the weekends. Anyway, even though we were hampered by the rain, I still managed to get some swimming lessons in. There's something just irresistible about the pool at 8 am. There's almost no one, and there's no sound except my breathing, and the rush of water flowing past my ears. Am I mad? Perhaps.

Updates resume tomorrow, people. Right now, am waiting for my parents to visit. Urk. That means clean up day. Later.


Thursday, June 19

How time flies when you're having fun. I am very, very impressed with the state of Malaysian blogging. Have been perusing for the past hour or so, all the while taking down notes on layout, technology, and most important of all, content. Being in the education sector, I find it very gratifying that I don't need to look so far anymore to see smart minds at work. I think I finally am starting to understand what drives people like Chris Pirillo and his team. It's not the technology itself, rather the intelligent use of it to enable people to do more than It's a whole new bag of tricks, and if this group is any indication, this may be one wave we won't be too late to catch and ride.

Am currently thinking of what to contribute to the meet. Maybe the state of affairs in our public universities? How the new batch of students demand to be spoon fed? Why we love technology? I have no idea, but somehow the thought of actually connecting and sharing all that knowledge..that makes me giddy as hell.

This may be the start of something good indeed. Gnight people, time to bathe!


Testing the new commenting system...

If this works, that ought to hold for awhile at least, till I get this whole blog thing right. In the meantime, a big thanks to rock!


Hmm. Seem to have some visitors already. Am back from work, folks, and man oh man, has it been a loooong day. Am quite glad for the leave tomorrow actually. For those of you kind enough to leave some tags, much appreciated. For the spoilt ones, this particular web programming newbie will try to put in a real (or almost real-time) commenting system to fulfill all your wonderful sharp creative commenting urges (phew!).

So my weekend looms earlier. In one word: COOL! Plus I get an extra day for my swimming lessons, if I can get to Johan's tonight. Am very full now, since my dinner is now being reduced to its component vitamins and minerals by my stomach. The couch looks promising..and tempting. Hmm..

Oh well. Time to get some rest and sort through the mountain of mail. Urgh. Microshaft really pours it on with Outlook. Later, people.


Ah. Have done the unexpected. Took leave tomorrow, since I got some errands to run. Besides, a three day weekend sounds very attractive. My monitor died on me last night, flashing yellow twice briefly. After a couple minutes of ranting and raving, a quick check under the table revealed that one of my cats have finally suceeded in chewing up the vga cable. Yeah, trust them to pull a fast one on me. Since I was already heading to Kelana for dinner, I decided to drop by Fauzan's after. Lucky he had an extra set lying around, not to mention a 17" Philips flatscreen he's willing to let go. 2 months old, but still under warranty. Hmm..

In other news, I have come to the conclusion that some professors are just asking for it. These people earn truckloads and stay at 5 star hotels, but they won't spring a measly 50-100 bucks for a faculty family day outing. Go figure. Yeah, that's one very visible (and to me, downright disgraceful) flaw in government servants. After a while, they seem to think they DESERVE special treatment. Hopefully I won't fall into that very tempting trap.. All this makes for a very stressful meeting. What a way to start your day.

Well, it's off to the notes and whatever nots again. Updates later.


Wednesday, June 18

I have now officially sold my soul to the devil. Have joined this wonderful group of fellow Malaysian bloggers..and reading their stuff prompted me to do a bit of shameless self promotion by joining (or at least applying to join) their group. Of course, I stand the risk of having all my personal bits (not THOSE bits) read and pored over by at least 2 people. But hey, I figure it's worth the risk. I do feel a bit foolish, tho, as these other blogs are often very intelligent...and not even half as self-absorbed as mine. So that's why now, with notepad and Palm in hand, I shall sit down, read, and attempt to learn, not to mention socialise.

So for those of you from Kotaraya who came out of curiousity, Thank You very much. Hope it wasn't THAT much of a waste. But thanks anyway, and feel free to leave some droppings in my guestbook. Need to get myself home soon, have a dinner to go to. Bye, peeps.

p/s: Oh, and a small little bit. Am thoroughly ashamed of my whiny posts the last few weeks. Need to get it out of my system, I think. As for my story, it's sitting in a thoroughly unfinished (and unsatisfiying) state on my hard disk. I will put it out soon, I hope, if this damn block that prevents me from remembering what I wanted to happen to the protagonist ever goes away. Heads up to Mel for pointing that out.

*end of file*

"Spoon? There is no spoon!!"
Dog Soldiers


Interesting evening yesterday. Turns out one of the people on another forum I go to is a news producer for NTV7. Naturally piqued, I scheduled a little meeting thing at coffee bean near parade. Would have been a dinner thing, but she had a meeting to go to..UMNO General Assembly around the corner and what not. Very pleasant mid 30s lady, married, but definitely cool. So we spent about an hour and a half shooting the breeze about things ranging from the state of the news in Malaysia to why TV3 chooses to resize it's viewing window so that a Tongkat Ali ad can show. And of course, at the same time, I was able to get some inside scoop on what goes on behind the scenes at NTV7..which is definitely worth the coffee.

Ah..good company. SO hard to find, and when I usually do, turns out they're older. Most of the time. I guess in some fundamental way, that's my flaw. I somehow cannot relate to my age set. It's like we live on two different platforms in two different universes. Or something. Still, at the end of the day I suppose it's how comfortable I am with myself. And frankly, my dear Scarlett, I don't give a damn. So what if I'll die alone in my apartment and be eaten by my cats? At this stage in my so called young life, I figure I'm not doing too bad. Although pining for a girl 8000km away WOULD be considered bad in some circles.

Anyways, now I finally understand why I was always a hit with the senior girls and not my own batch. They would always compliment me on being.."mature" for my age. I never DID actually get it, since I had no idea I was mature in any way. Hell, if I was so mature, I wouldn't act like I had a couple screws loose all the time. Erk. All I know is I was and still am, a geek. Too late to turn back now, but I think it's an okay situation.

Ah. That should be just long enough. Later, people.


Tuesday, June 17

Ahem. Another update. Figured I might as well do another one before I mysteriously disappear again. Had another of those fear-of-rejection dreams last night. Nothing major, but enough to leave me staring for almost half an hour before I could fall asleep again. Details? Me, Johan, Lia went to see her and a couple of friends in this..audition place. It was fine before she came near me and then suddenly it was like she got a whiff of something really bad and said "What's that smell? Forget it, I don't want to know" and brushed me off like that. In the dream, I ran out of the building to surprisingly empty streets screaming at the top of my lungs. I wonder what THAT says for my psyche.

In other news..I joined an RHCP (Red Hot Chili Peppers) fan club/ forum of sorts. Don't know if it even IS active, but word is they've been going to concerts and stuff. Well maybe it'll give me something more to do. Well, back to the grind for now. It's nice to know there's always the drudgery of routine to save us from the evils of a free, unbridled, roaming mind.

God save us from anally retentive minds, or mentally retentive arses. Amen.


Monday, June 16

Oh dear God.. I've went and done it again. No updates for almost a week! My fault, definitely. Lecturing is definitely more than I expected. It's 20-30 percent actual teaching, with the rest allocated for research, admin duties, consulting..the list goes on and on. Had a pretty good weekend, with my swimming lessons coming along nicely, and topped off with a brand spanking new board game: The Lord of The Rings. For once, a game that doesn't pit everyone against each other, but instead forces everyone to cooperate as they struggle to bring the One Ring to Mordor and destroy it before Sauron arrives on the board. Now before I go on and on about it, how do I measure it's level o' fun? Simple..Rosalia simply canNOT stop playing it. So much so she made us play again and again until we finally beat Sauron and she destroyed the Ring (although regrettably with the loss of Pippin and Frodo, Read: me and Johan). Even though our characters were out of the game, we cheered her on to the final moment when Sam cast the Ring into mount Doom. And the sacrifice seemed very worthwhile, in the end. As I said, my type of game.

In other news, my sister has gone home for a week..since her semester break has started. What this essentially means is I'll be handling the 7 menaces alone! Not to mention any messes they may make. I guess there's a price to pay for love. In this case, it's loads of poo. Oh well.

Looks like a suitable size for an early update. More later, as I travel through the weirdness and desolation that is my life. Later folks...long post about swimming coming soon.


Wednesday, June 11

Song of the day: Wherever you may go, The Calling (also known as my favourite karaoke song)

So lately, I've been wonderin
Who will be there to take my place
When I'm gone, you'll need love
To light the shadows on your face
If a great wave should fall
It would fall upon us all
And between the sand and stone
Could you make it on your own

If I could, then I would
I'll go wherever you will go
Way up high or down low
I'll go wherever you will go

And maybe, I'll find out
The way to make it back someday
To watch you, to guide you
Through the darkest of your days
If a great wave should fall
It would fall upon us all
Well I hope there's someone out there
Who can bring me back to you


Runaway with my heart
Runaway with my hope
Runaway with my love

I know now, just quite how
My life and love might still go on
In your heart and your mind
I'll stay with you for all of time


If I could turn back time
I'll go wherever you will go
If I could make you mine
I'll go wherever you will go


Tuesday, June 10

I hate myself. I'm crying like a baby as I'm typing..and I'm 25! I tried to sleep..and I found that I couldn't. I keep telling myself to move on, like she has..and I'm drawn to everything she said in that last conversation. I suck. I can't even move on properly..even after being told almost to my face that my ex (my ex!!) is now starting again with another guy..the guy who..who..


Get a grip, Ash. She's gone. You can cry your way to kingdom come, and it won't change a thing. It's not your game anymore..not your part to play. It's Duncan's..and he may never know how lucky he is..or how to appreciate what he has. You knew this was coming, but you were always so stubborn. And you always had too much faith in love.

So get on with the show. Block those thoughts from your mind. You know which ones. The ones that come into your head especially on the weekends..when you're all alone and you imagine her..with..him..and then, you imagine what it will be like when he does..all..the things..

She's not yours, anymore. Not in the way you want her to be. Not yours. So think about it. Will going to see her change anything? Will it be worth it for you? What will you get? A reminder of things that were once there? Or one of the things you no longer have?

Shut the fuck up. Shut up!


Hey blog. News today: she's moving on, and I cried in the office. Full story at 10.

Amazing how the human mind works. Here I am, hurt and a little shaky..and I can still crack jokes like that. So it's official, she and Duncan are heading off. Yeah, I can say the name without flinching. I just finished a long talk with her, and she wanted to know how I felt about that. Rotten, of course. But what else can I do? She's a grown woman, and she needs..she needs someone near to her. So there, officially..she's moving on. I'm sure there's in more to their relationship..but me being me, I didn't ask. I don't know if I can take the answers. Some imagination tends to fill in. Am jealous as hell..but it won't change anything. So she says she's not discounting us, and that's a nice thought. It all depends on me, I guess. Will I still be here waiting for her? DO I still want to? I have no idea. I'm just tired, now. And the prospect of being alone, although scary, is less daunting, since I guess I've been thinking about it a lot..and expecting it.

So what peeves me? It's always difficult when an ex starts again, especially if you still feel strongly about her. I guess it's all the things I miss..and the things he'll do with/to her that I used to. In a way I resent it, since..well I think I don't have to outline what exactly those things are. Life goes on, I suppose. She's moved on, and so must I. It won't be easy, since I'm practically living in her apartment, feeding her cats and all that. But I suppose like all stoic hero types, I let go of her (unwillingly), lock up the memory palace, pocket the key and go forward. That's the only thing left TO do.

So, Princess..if you're reading this, go ahead and start again. You deserve it, I guess..after all you've gone through. Good luck..and..give it your best, both of you. It was a hell of a trip..and I think my stop's coming up next, where I get off this particular track. Fill me in from time to I'd better stop before those tears come out.

Bye, you.

Ash "You read fantasy, ah?" Yusof


Sunday, June 8

Song of the day: Like A Stone, Audioslave

on a cold wet afternoon
no room for love and emptiness
by a freeway
i confess i was lost in the pages
of a book
full of death
reading how we'll die alone
and if a god will lay to rest
anywhere we want to go

in your house
i long to be
room by room
i'll wait for you there
like a stone
i'll wait for you there

and on my death bed
i will prey
to the gods and the angels
like a pagan
to anyone who will take me to heaven
to a place
i would recall
i was there so long ago
the sky was bruised
the world was black
and there you led me on


in all i read
till the day was gone
and i sat in regret
in all the things i've done
for all that i've blessed
and all that i've wronged
in dreams till my death
i will wonder on



Hi people. Sunday morning beckons again, and it's time for my weekly late night update. Just got back from a bowling session with the gang (as I like to style it) and it was alright..although I did lose rather badly. This weekend's not been exactly restful, but hey, I had quite a load of that's cool. Let's start with Friday. Got home rather late..since traffic was a bitch. Johan asked me if I wanted to tag along to Klang to look up a present for Phil (leaving soon). After that, we had dinner in FAB ss 15 (nasi telepon, as Johan likes to say) and later that night, we met up at his place for some board games and what not. Fell asleep very late, but as is usual for me, woke up at 7 sharp the following morning.

After sending Rosie's cousin Damien to the airport, we dropped by Johan's new house to check the defects..still unresolved unfortunately. We were roaring hungry by this time, so we decided to have Dim Sum at the Marriot. Ahh...the wonders of those dumplings! Feeling very full, we retired to his apartment for some shuteye, after which I (drum roll) went downstairs to partake of my first actual swimming lesson! Rosie and Johan were very nice and patient, and since they had such a nice (not too deep) pool, I found I quite liked the sensation of floating about. So much in fact, that I may go down again early morning for a quick dip. Am very proud of myself..and plan to return for more lessons. The day finished with the bowling..and all in all..quite a satisfactory way to spend a Saturday.

It's been a crazy week, with revelations galore..and I'm finally starting to accept the facts. As much as I'd like to think so, I no longer have a girlfriend..or a relationship. I know now that I WILL get jealous of other couples and I WILL be lonely most of the time..but I guess it's a cross I have to bear. I just need to channel those feelings productively, somehow. It's gonna be tough..restructuring my life like this..but maybe I can find the strength to drive myself..and let the pain remind me of how much farther I need to go.

G'night, people. The bed beckons. Tired and lonely, Ash.


Thursday, June 5

Hey again, peeps. Damn..seems I'm getting less and less time to do proper updates these days. As usual, I apologise and try to make it up by posting as long an update as I possibly can. Yeah right, as if that will make things better. But still, it's a start. Friday looms again tomorrow and am anxiously looking forward to the weekend..oh yeah. This week has been a rough one, with work from last week to finish and some more waiting even before I can take a breather. Classes start next week..and it's gonna be another whole world of hurt. Oh well...I suppose everyone has their own cross to bear. All I want this weekend is to kick back, relax and not worry..for a couple days. Oh, and some sleep would be good too.

Went to Aunty Fazi's..we drove to Sg Buloh to this very out of place Thai restaurant..good if slightly pricey food. I think I know why I love their company so much..Rosie, Jo, Aunty and Uncle..even Ida (heheh). They accept questions asked..and I don't think I've ever felt so at home in my entire life..well except of course when I'm with the Princess. I'm home, at work, in heaven..all at once. And yeah, that includes all the arguments. Seriously. Times like these, when she's no longer just an arm's reach away..I'm glad I can remember so many things. They're maybe the only things keeping me sane.

Life is funny that way. You get used to some things, and then all of a sudden everything changes and you're left trying to sort everything out. But I guess if it's not that way, we'll never learn to appreciate the stuff we live with. And also, you forget the little how a little kid's eyes can just drown you..and make it all seem better.

Am not making much sense now, peeps. Later tomorrow!


Tuesday, June 3

Yawn. Final update before I hit the sack. Been a tiring, but interesting day. Spent most of it in Putrajaya, visiting the PM's office and what not. Would have been very nice actually, if it hadn't been for the irresponsibility of some of those present. Anyway, as a result of their wonderful actions, ended up arriving home at 7 o' clock. Missed the chance to meet my parents. However, the day did end on a nicer note: as I went to collect the camera from my uncle's house, I met my older cousin, his wife and kid. Haven't seen em in ages, and was the first time I saw the kid. Cute young boy by the name of Daniel. Here's where it got strange..the moment he saw me, he reached out and sat quietly on my lap. For about half an hour. My sis quickly took some pics..will probably post them soon.

It occurred to me then that it was perhaps the most peaceful moment I had in the past couple months. Every thing else seemed to fade away, and it was just me cradling a child..sharing a quiet moment. I know it sounds weird, but it was beautiful. I don't get many such moments anymore..but that will definitely go into the memory palace. It's only fitting. Thanks, Daniel. You wouldn't know it, but you helped your uncle Ash sleep better tonight.

Tomorrow a very busy wednesday ahead.


Tuesday. One of my favorite days..due to the fact that the Drew Carey show and Whose Line is on. Somehow they always make me laugh. And then of course, there's Law and Order: SVU. Which I'll also watch if I can get my work done first. Will be leaving for Putrajaya soon, since I'm involved in a visit to the PM's dept, to see their ICT facilities. Hopefully it'll be fun. Later tonight, my parents are dropping by, since my sister's hearing aid needs to be remolded. Loads of things to do, all in all. With any luck, they'll bring the digicam so I can snap some shots of the kittens and what not.

Well, leaving now. Later folks.


Monday, June 2

Hey peeps. Again, the end of a long, hot Monday draws near. Have a ton of work to do, and am damn hungry. But the heat makes it just too hot to eat. Had a long conversation with her today, after nearly a week. The result: I still am no nearer to telling her how I really feel and what I want than I was when all this started.

Meetings and course contents to write..sometimes I wonder why I bother. Then I remember that someone has to pay the bills..and life goes on regardless of who you're with..or without. Something she said touched a nerve today. Do I really enjoy twisting the knife? Is it really as hard on her as it is on me? What is real and what's not? Where am I going? Is any of this making sense? I have no friggin idea. All I know is my work is the only escape I have. That, and making (or trying to make) money.

So where are we now? Here's a secret: in my mind, I envision the both of us as still in a relationship..albeit on a different level. She may not realise it, but in many ways I still think of both of us as a couple. Maybe it's all an illusion, and I'm just kidding myself. To her, I may just be the best friend who's always around..and the I love yous the same as the ones she tells her father or brother. Or maybe I'm just too stubborn, and won't give up until she's with someone. In any case, I still am a sad, sad person.

Oh heck. Time to go home now. Got a university course to teach.


Sunday, June 1

Hello again. Once more I apologise for the late updates. Had a very very very tiring (not to mention emotionally challenging) weekend. Would start to pour everything right now and here..but I don't think I have enough brain cells active for anything more than a short mail check and then sleep. I am THAT pooped. The coming week doesn't promise much in the way of relaxation either. I guess it's necessary, since it gives me something to do...and also something to take my mind off the..situation.

Later, folks.