Wednesday, December 31

Time To Pull Out The Auld Lang Syne

Another year wraps up and as usual, we stand (or sit, or lie down, depending on how drunk we are) and reminisce while trying to figure out if we've actually accomplished anything in the past 12 months or so. As I type this, it's about a day or so before 2004 sets in, and it always hits me just how bloody fast everything goes and how in the twinkling of an eye some of your most treasured truths can be shaken and your world spun like one of those BeyBlade thingies kids are playing in the malls nowadays.

It's been a really full year for the Ox. He's lost himself some, found bits and pieces again, lost a whole lot of himself (yet again!) and is currently in the process of yet another rebuilding. He's accepted the fact that life IS like that: a whole series of gambles and compromises and reinterpretations of sometimes the most lovingly held beliefs. As much as he'd like the world to fall into place the way he thinks it should (yes, I have dreams of ruling the world) there will always be fifteen (at least, last time I checked) other different ways anything can pan out, and frankly he's willing to accept that.

So for this new year at least the Ox decides to foreswear any manner of resolutions and instead concentrate on some of the smaller, perhaps less obvious things. Like how he has a tendency to fall into various pits and mires located in the vast land of Self Pity, how he sometimes throws too much of himself into things until clear judgement (and more often, common sense) is abandoned, and finally how the Ox sometimes falls into the "Too Much Of A Good Thing" trap. There are many more to be listed, but these are things that he'll start with and with any luck (as well as copious amounts of help from God) the Ox will greet the coming year slightly more mature and with a little more sense.

Of course, there's the issue of his PhD coming up soon, and it's going to be one of the more important career/life choices he will make in the coming months, since it's not only going to be a work-related issue (how wonderful if it is). Serious thoughts will be put into the final decision, and he'll have to make sure he's really ready when the time comes. As for other aspects of his (boring but sometimes tumultuous) life, he'll work at them slowly and with the realisation that nothing ever worth getting is easy.

As Dream (again!) says: Any view of the world which is not strange is false.

Simple truths, perhaps..but they are the best ones. So we bid goodbye to 2003, with all its fun, faults and flaws, while we open our arms and embrace the coming 12 months with as much spirit, gusto and joy de vivre we can. Heck, someone tell me a better way to do it.

Have a good new year, folks, and be safe.

Signing off one last time (in 2003 at least)


Thursday, December 25

This May Be A Good Time To Fall Back And Regroup

Sometimes, when you fall, you fly.

Hopeful words from Neil Gaiman, perhaps after God my only source of strength these days. It's after 1 am on Christmas day, and the Ox is so, so tired. A long morning and afternoon left him bleary eyed and barely able to dress for a dinner with family and friends. I even had to miss Meesh's little pre-Christmas gathering, and for that I am so very sorry. I wish I could have been there, dearo...and maybe one day we'll talk, yeah? For now, all I can offer are my sincerest regrets and apologies. I can only wish it will be enough for a treasured friend.


There are times when all of us have to concede defeat, I suppose. Too often it's the last resort, the one thing we hope we never have to do. No one likes losing, and the problem with it is sometimes we don't know if we are, and even if we do we ignore it and push on, regardless of all the warning signals our brain (plus common sense) sends us. Which brings us to where I am right now.

Absolutely nowhere.

I've never done this before, never actively pursued someone who's already obviously in love with someone else. So why can't I be happy with my new role? There are days when I loathe myself, so much so I cringe when I look in the mirror. And then there are days when everything makes sense and some weird spring of hope inside tells me it's perfectly alright and that you have as much chance as the next guy, bro. I wish I knew what to do, and sometimes I get so angry at myself for not being able to do the simplest thing: let go.

Whatever good my NZ trip did me, I sure wish I can find it now. (Almost) every fiber of my being is screaming for me to shut up and walk away, but I can't. Or maybe I won't. Someone once told me that Taurean men are clingy, and as much as I hate to admit it, that statement may be very very true. I mean, how else do we explain my reluctance to just swallow the pill I've been handled and walk away? Why can't I just accept that there's a relationship ALREADY going on and I don't need to stick my nose into it? Do I NEED to get stressed and jealous every single day? Do I WANT to? No, and no.

But I do, regardless. I fight the waves of resentment when the text messages come and her face lights up, when they talk over the phone making plans and knowing no matter what I do, he'll still be the one who gets the "I love yous" at the end of every SMS and phone call, that he'll still be the one who knows exactly what to say to make everything better and at the end of the day it's him who'll be waiting for her there. So she doesn't love me that way anymore. Fine. Maybe she will again, someday. Or maybe she won't.

So I tell the part of me that screams for me to hightail it out: Fall back, Ox. Live to fight another day, but be prepared to accept (when the time comes) that sometimes we win, and other times we lose. The war's not over yet, and who knows? Maybe the effort will pay off. And like Dream tells the Playwright in Fear Of Falling:

"It is sometimes a mistake to climb. But it is always a mistake to never even make the attempt. If you do not climb, you will not fall, this is true. But is it that bad to fail, that hard to fall?"

So yeah.
Watching the storm clouds roil over the crag, I know I have one more good climb in me. Right now I just have to wait till the weather settles a little and make sure I'm well rested. I'll probably come out of this with nothing more than a bruising and a boot on the arse but hey, I can give as good as I get.

And there's always another day to live for.


Tuesday, December 23

(Because It's Christmas, and at Christmas You Tell The Truth)

Forgive my weak paraphrasing of British love-comedies. Must be Colin Firth.
Not to mention am a bit love-sick at the moment.
Bloody 'ell.

I can't believe it's nearly Christmas again.

Man, does time fly. As I am blogging this, viewtru's latest entry is still sitting in a tabbed window on what must be my favourite browser ever, MyIE2. As the day draws near, there is a palpable difference in the air. Sure, there's no snow or anything, but like Raya, CNY or any other major festival the atmosphere feels charged, somehow. Maybe it's everyone anticipating the long weekend, or the gifts they'll exchange. For others perhaps it's the thought of spending a nice little romantic getaway with their significant other, or partying the night away (like some people I know). And of course, there'll be those who cringe at the thought of yet another Xmas spent alone, with no presents, not that many friends and no kisses (even if the mistletoe's there).

There's a different little Christmas for everyone.

I'm not even supposed to celebrate, according to some people. Since it's a Christian celebration with some pagan roots, even more so. Unfortunately, IMHO at least, I see no fault with enjoying the spirit of the thing. You know, the season of giving, sharing and what not. As I've often noted in previous entries, I'm an idealist. I'd like to think that in a world where more often than not we're alone and always rushed, there's a time of year we stop being such grumpy, depressed grinches and actually enjoy being with the people we care about. It's not even about the gifts (although it's nice to receive them). There's something about spending a nice quiet (or not so quiet) evening with the most important people in your life and (fleeting as the moment may be) feeling that just for this one day, things are fine, and there's hope yet.

The Ox, of all people needs a lot of that these days. To everyone who celebrates (even those who don't) have a very merry, pleasant, safe (please! safety first!) enjoyable, and ultimately happy (or a reasonable facsimile of) Yuletide.

BTW, doesn't Yuletide have a very nice fantasy-ish vibe going for it? Hehehe...


Monday, December 22

What's The Word That Means Time Is Happening?

Reading Gaiman's Sandman definitely does things to your head.

Having received the final few instalments of the celebrated series from my benefactor, I quickly dug into the first of them with the result that I began to view everything that happened this weekend in a very Gaiman-esque (read: weird, sometimes moody) light. As some of you may have noticed from my phlog, I'm currently in a bit of a dilemma (but then again, aren't we all?). The line between Desire and Responsibility is a hard one to make out, and sometimes we cross them inadvertently. Where does one stop and the other begin? Is common sense truly enough? And when is a risk ever safe?

Oh man. I feel like a dozen construction workers are hard at work with HUGE sledgehammers in some part of my feebly functioning grey matter. Ugh.

Good form dictates that I shouldn't even be thinking of attempting what I'm about to do. On the other hand, I've been such a clean cut good boy most of my life that frankly, I'm starting to get sick and tired of it. I've lost count of how many times for the sake of "good sportsmanship" I step back and let things (and people) go, only to regret my "correct" actions painfully later. I realise I'm still (relatively, at least) young, and that once in awhile it's perfectly alright to make mistakes.

So, while JC (aka my conscience) does attempt to make noise from time to time, I figure it's worth a shot, just to see if I've got it in me. This may be folly and it may even be painful, but I figure we ought to make use of all the shots we can get, 'cause if it's one thing I've learnt in the past year is that some opportunities have to be made. They don't come a-knocking anymore.

To answer the question at the beginning of today's entry: it's Change.

Read of the week: Gaiman's Endless Nights, and Herobear and The Kid (yay!)

She don't want to be alone
So they just keep pouring in
Pretty soon they've got her heading for the door
She comes home to find they cannot hang around no more
She says, 'I'm ok, its alright, hey look what do
we want to do tonight?'
She says, 'I'm alright, I just can't get home

Counting Crows, She don't want anyone near


Friday, December 19

Of Timing Belts and Improper Timing

Right. Apparently the sudden trip to and from Perak (and after that, the office) did something to my car. I'm invigilating in Wangsa Maju tomorrow, and I was there earlier tonight sourcing out which roads to take, and what not. On the way back though, my car started stalling every time I pushed it into the fourth gear. A quick look at the tachometer (is that what you call it?) confirmed my suspicions: something was definitely wrong with my timing. It was way, waay too low.

Thankfully, we managed to limp our way back to Subang, where I quickly arranged for it to be sent to my friendly neighbourhood workshop (yeah, there goes my mobility for the rest of the day). It DOES throw me a little off course since I'll probably have to take a cab to Kelana LRT station and then to Wangsa Maju, but it doesn't bother me too much. Weird, but I guess growing up does that to you.


Speaking of improper timing, I realised (yet again!!) that I happen to say the most incredibly arsey things at the most unsuitable moments. Usually this happens when s (stress units) interfere with my r (rational brain waves) to achieve RSM (Really Stupid Moment). When this happens, I'm usually the one to blame and I end up wishing I never opened the hole in my head in the first place. There's a time and place for everything, so they say. Unfortunately the Ox still has to find out if it's true (and if it is) how the hell to apply it in Real Life.

I used to hold to this particular adage: All good things come to those who wait.
That might have been true in the '70s, but as I age (yes, I age, folks) I begin to realise that though there are many things worth waiting for, there are sometimes even better things that don't wait. It's a difficult line to walk, between rushing blindly and taking a measured, calculated move.. but God willing, I'll learn my lesson (and also learn when to keep my mouth shut).

I'm reminded almost every day now why I chose this path. I sometimes think it's easier to just sink back and let go, but how often in your life do you catch a piece of heaven?
And if you do, what would you do to keep it?
What indeed?


Tuesday, December 16

There's A New Sheep In Town

Hi folks. A bit of pleasant news. A new blogger has just entered the scene tonight! You can check out her site here. It's still early days yet, but she's got a lot of promise and I hope everyone'll welcome her to this little piece of real-estate we call home.

And as for you, little lady:
Good to have you aboard. Really.


Big Brother Goes Home

I'm making an emergency trip tomorrow morning, folks. The Ox is headed back to Perak. My mum called earlier this afternoon, and she sounded upset. I admit, I haven't been the best son these past couple years and sometimes it does rankle on my conscience, but there are things I've had to do and choices I've had to make that my parents will never really understand. Maybe I'm being selfish here, but in my view at least it's better that I not worry them too much about myself and let them concentrate on my younger siblings. Sometimes I just wish my family could be like some others I know, but I accept that everyone is different, and that any mistake I've made (or will make) will be my of my own choosing, and done with full knowledge of the consequences.


Funny that as we grow up (in my case, at least) our perceptions of our families change. We slowly shed our naivete, like a butterfly shedding its coccoon and we begin to perceive truths, half truths and in some cases even lies that would never be apparent to us 10 or even 5 years ago. I sometimes wonder if it's a bad thing. Growing up in my adopted hometown, I remember always asking if there was anything more to life, if the strange restlessness I felt was normal or if it was only me. I never questioned my mother's strange reluctance to go out, or why she would get so sad. Neither would I understand until very much later why she always seemed stressed when my grandma was around. As for my father, I still remember him as the silent, logical man of the house. Never complaining, always with that formal air that (I guess) MCKK and later UM planted in him. Sometimes I wish I knew more about them, and I try from time to time. After 25 years I realise I can't wait for them to start talking, so I do. Admittedly that's easier said than done. My sister and I until now, endeavour to save anything that might tell us something about what they were like.

When I was thirteen I left home, and I guess in a way my friends (and the outside world) took over my parents' place then. They were sorely missed at first, but as time went on I could feel myself getting more and more distant until the only things left were the values they taught me when I was a bright-eyed, chubby cheeked kid, and the world seemed so big, and so promising. Though much of me has changed, (thank God) I still remember the basic advice they gave me, and though many were my misdeeds, I did my best to protect them from anything that would hurt. Then again, of course you could argue that it's an amazingly selfish take on things. Oh well.

Amazing how much a person can change. I've changed an awful lot in the past few years, but I like to think that inside I'm still pretty much the same boy they kissed goodbye 12 years ago, and that I still love them, regardless. Right now without their knowing, I'm going through one of the most difficult periods in my life, and I wonder what it would be like to be able to talk about it like some of my other friends do. Some things we'll always wonder, I guess.

I wonder if I'll be man enough, or if I'll ever be ready for the time when they won't be around anymore.

Mak, ayah, I AM sorry. I wish I could tell you everything, but if there's one thing I CAN and WILL tell you, it's that I do love you both.
And whatever paths I may walk in the future (though you'd probably disagree with most of them), you'll walk with me.

Pray for me, yeah? (you too, kay? you know who you are)


Monday, December 15

Speaking in Tongues

I ask:
Usukushii no wa kowarekake da to shitteru kara?

Whatever the answer, I know this much is true:
Suihensen no saki ni ashita ga aru to shitara
Namikaze mo waruku wa nai.



Options, Options!

Another Monday finds the Ox back at work (slightly late) but suitably refreshed after what can be termed a somewhat relaxing weekend. Friday was a mad dash in and out of campus, as a much-missed visitor came down to visit. It also saw me in a frantic almost-buying spree in Midvalley, as I experienced wave after wave of shopping goodness (I didn't buy anything however, proof of the insane amounts of self control I have to exert). I saw many, many heavenly things, so much so my Taurean side almost lost its mind.

Note to self: Midvalley is dangerous to the wallet. And oh, no one'd better buy that leather jacket from Zara, lest I kill myself.


Friday evening was even better, since after experiencing first hand taking 3 hours to travel from Subang Jaya to Bangsar, we managed to secure a nice leetle spot in Paprika's (also known as Racheal's Bordello) to have a much needed dinner. And did I say it didn't stop there? Not one but TWO wonderful ladies graced the evening with their presence and more than made up for last weekend's disaster, heheh. To the both of you, the Ox will be eternally grateful. Finally, to top it off, there was nice music and good conversation (yum!) in Vintages which to me at least, constitutes a pretty much awesome beginning to the weekend (did I mention I met TV Smith? I have to admit, I was a bit overwhelmed, and was reduced to meaningless whimpers...)

And that was only Friday. The rest of the weekend pretty much zoomed by, and for the first time in months I felt quite alive again. Not as alive as "B. Jones, wanton sex goddess with extremely nasty man between her thighs" alive, but suitably so. Enough that I actually bounced to work this morning (note: this in no way alludes to the way I drive). Ever since I clocked in today, I've been bombarded with:

5 students whose final year projects I'm supervising (the other 7 thankfully didn't show)
34 emails in my Yahoo! inbox
Shooting off another several emails to various prospective supervisors in universities abroad (including Sydney! Yay!)
Another 20 emails in my office inbox
Notes to complete for my 3 o'clock class
One blog entry
AirAsia tickets for a leetle mini break
5 exams to invigilate (which translates to days off, heheheeh)

and diverse other amusements. It's prolly going to be a v. busy month for the ol' Ox, so I apologise before hand if the updates are slow in coming (and notice I use "s" in apologise and other words of its ilk. So I'm a snob. I drink with my pinky out too, LoL). Till then, have a good week, stay careful if you can't be good...and good luck with the Xmas Shopping!

*wink, wink*


Thursday, December 11

I Have My Own Country Now, Mwahahah!

Hello, people.

Just got back from the second part of my Tascam audio mixing workshop. Interesting, especially from a geek's viewpoint. Plus the knowledge that there's a full-fledged (well, as near full fledged as it can get) audio and video editing solution near my office gives me extra incentives to come to work. And that can only be a good thing, heheh.

Anyway, got a nice little surprise in my inbox today. Jennifer Government is an online nation building game based on Max Barry's novel. To start off, you choose a name for your country, a flag, and your basic political leanings. Every day or so, an issue will pop up in the cabinet, and your choices will affect your country's economic, social, and political achievements. You can also vote for a delegate to represent the region your country is in (the South Pacific, for me) and have discussions among fellow nation-states including declarations of war, peace or why you think the llama makes a good national animal. Still unsure how it works? Give the site a visit, or read about Azshlan, my little island in paradise.

It looks promising and gives a chance for us armchair politicians to see if we've got what it takes to run a nation. Heck, it's still funny anyways (since there's a strong RPG-esque flavour here). So if you think you've got what it takes to be king/despot/sultan/what have you, come on in and join the fun!


Wednesday, December 10

Is There a Cobbler Who Mends Souls?

11 pm on a midweek. There shouldn't be anything different from any other night, but something feels off, somehow. Nights like these there's a stirring in my chest, a familiar tightness that I know now is born out of fatigue, fear and worst of all, loneliness.

Frankly speaking, I'm tired of it. It's at times like these that I can feel the layers of my personal shield are at their thinnest, and that the all too familiar chasm of self pity and despair is peeking (yet again!) through the frayed edges of my sanity. Reminds me of the those old Lovecraftian Elder Gods trying to get their unnameable appendages into the world of the living. In my imagination sometimes, I can almost feel their claws/tendrils scrabbling for purchase, needing only the tiniest crack to slip through and unmake all that I've done. I'd like to think I can fend them off, but ultimately I'm only human.

I have a feeling I'll be in some teeming spot this weekend (probably Bangsar), breathing in the atmosphere, the lights, the noise. Amazing how a place I'd never really had a taste for before now provides a helpful (and sometimes even necessary) escape. Someone told me earlier this week that Bangsar might secede from Malaysia and become a republic. As I laughed at that, I remembered how similar it was to the world as portrayed by Neal Stephenson in Snow Crash. Hmmm.

In any case, there'll be issues I hope will become resolved in the next few weeks as I desperately need to refocus my life.

Did I say desperately? Make it VERY desperately.
Good night, people.


Tuesday, December 9

Like Humans Do (Radio Edit)

Does the title sound familiar to you? If it does and you can recall where you first saw it, then give yourself a pat on your back. You're officially a geek. For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, read on. The thrust of today's post has nothing to do with geekdom, unfortunately. Spurred by Aiz's bewildered posting, this entry is about the human capacity for cruelty, and why it's scary that now more than ever lives are being lost in increasingly hideous ways.

I'm a fan of true crime, and I remember spending a lot of rainy days in my younger years reading stories of murderers and sundry other criminals. Ed Gein, Dahmer, Manson, Bundy, Lizzie Borden and more recently Milat and too many others to mention. They made for interesting reading, but more importantly they made for a frightening (but tantalising) glimpse into the dark side of the human psyche. What possesses a human being to take another's life? We understand the behaviour in war and some of us even commend it (especially if we think we're the Good Guys) but when it happens in times of peace, it's like our lives have been suddenly derailed. Have we actually made any progress? Are we truly civilised?

In American Psycho, Christian Bale's character killed for the simple reason that his dates didn't know enough about Phil Collins. In 8mm, the Machine told Nicholas Cage that he killed because he could, and because he liked to. Ed Gein killed the women he fancied because his mother told him that sex was dirty and the instrument of the Devil. Albert Fish kidnapped, cooked and ate parts of little children before writing down the recipe to mail to the parents. We call these people monsters. And in my books at least, even if he's never even raised a hand to anyone before, Noritta's killer is a monster.

Perhaps it's a classic example of crime passionel, so popular in France. Maybe it was a crime of opportunity. Whatever the cause, a young woman's life was prematurely ended by the selfish act of another human being. He could have had his way with her, tied her up and left. Instead, the perpetrator(s) chose to end her life. To make things worse, the resulting media fiasco throws words like "rape" around, in an effort to rouse the sensationalist in us. Admittedly, we fall for it. One tabloid had a little sidebar about how she allegedly had premonitions of her own death during Raya. I don't know about anyone else, but I'm sick and tired of reading stories like that. Noritta may or may not have had premonitions of doom. She may or may not have been raped either, but until the true facts are known (if ever) add me to the list of people who think that the media should leave well enough alone. Whatever it is she may have done, Noritta paid the ultimate price: feeling her life being squeezed out of her while looking into the face of her killer. I shudder to think what her final thoughts were.

I won't go into the many sociological theories regarding crime, or speculate if our low-synergy society is starting to spawn more and more killers. That needs its own trilogy of books. Suffice to say that the human capacity for hurting and being hurt is almost inconceivable. One needs only look at the Inquisition's instruments of pain and torture to see that these twisted minds have been here with us a very long time. Man is a cruel, cruel beast. We can only pray that our (hopefully) better nature will prevail against our baser instincts, and more importantly that the murderer is caught and punished.

As for the geek reference: it's the title of the default song that plays when you install Windows Media Player on a new PC. 'Nuff said.


Monday, December 8

The Mouths of Babes

Really, the stuff that people can come up with. I go to every once in awhile to read up on stuff you probably wouldn't be able to find anyone else. Most things you have to take with a grain of salt (as always) but this little article really caused my head to spin.

Oh man. And I haven't watched any movies in the past few days!


Of Open Houses And The Roadmap To Futility

Few things cheer the Ox up more than a good conversation. One could say that it's a criteria for when he chooses his friends, or that in essence the Ox may be a snob (hmmm). In any case, Sunday afternoon found me sitting in Subang Ria nursing a hot cup of teh o limau and finally catching up with someone I've been meaning to meet a long time.

No, it's not Britney or Madonna (although I wouldn't have minded as well).

I was pleasantly surprised to find out during the open house I was attending that Sharizal was in the neighbourhood. After informing the hosts I'd be back in time for the cleanup, I drove over to Auntie Lin's bustling little shop. It's amazing how at the very last minute, what started off as a so-so weekend received a nice little kick up the arse (thanks to the luverly open house) and transformed itself into an interesting learning experience (well, for me at least).

History, politics, education..there seemed to be no end to the things that we discussed. I found myself feeding off this guy's knowledge and experience, and it struck me (again) that some of the more interesting lessons life can teach you will never be found in any classroom save the big one I like to call The Real World. For the Ox, it helps to talk to people who're more successful every once in a while. Helps me keep on track. And best of all, there's always something new to learn.

Thanks, bro. I went back with plenty of food for thought, and some interesting ideas for my next class. I remember saying Hail to The King in a previous post. Well, for now the throne's just been taken over by Conversation.


P/s: If anyone wants to join me Thursday night at Sobranie, let me know. They're screening Terry Gilliam's Brazil. Yum.


Saturday, December 6

2:30 Music

Stars shining bright above you
Night breezes seem to whisper "I love you"
Birds singing in the sycamore tree
Dream a little dream of me
Say "Night-ie night" and kiss me
Just hold me tight and tell me you'll miss me
While I'm alone and blue as can be
Dream a little dream of me
Stars fading but I linger on, dear
Still craving your kiss
I'm longing to linger till dawn, dear
Just saying this
Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you
Sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you
But in your dreams whatever they be
Dream a little dream of me

Dream A Little Dream of Me, Laura Fygi


Thursday, December 4

A Slice of 8.45 pm

It's night.

Still in his work shirt and a pair of shorts, the Ox squints at the monitor. There are notes to make, a requirement to feed what he hopes are hungry, inquisitive students' minds come tomorrow. The desk is as always littered with scraps of paper, bills and reminders to call someone sometime do something somewhen. The low humming of the partially open CPU mingles with the whoops and whistles coming from the Xbox outside, as his sister navigates Spongebob Squarepants through yet another peril-laden level. It is a comforting sound, one that reminds him he's not alone.

Behind him, on his left: today's clean clothes, more reference material, books. He's had to put Neal Stephenson away for a couple days and the Ox hates having to put away a good book. He realises he may be the ultimate procrastinator, hates it but finds himself lapsing every once in awhile. The open IE windows shine in their blaze of phosphor glory, little words and little diagrams in the neverending tide of information. The Ox knows it's a veritable sea, and that it can be rough, but it's a familiar one with (mostly) friendly islands.

He Alt-Tabs deftly, stripping the screen of their content, hoping that come tomorrow at least some of it will become knowledge. There's still so many things to do, so many questions unanswered. The temptation to just flip over 2 feet behind and find the cool sheets against his body is overwhelming, but he's put this off long enough.

He needs a shower, and bad. The remains of the day cling to his body like a grimy layer of sweat, and the Ox realises it's not only physical. He wants to wash off the confusion, yearning and the hurt, too.

It's night, and the Ox is typing, typing. Though he doesn't dance (and probably can't to save his own skin) he finds himself doing it anyway. He dances for tomorrow.

Whenever it comes. Hail to the King, baby.


Wednesday, December 3

Interesting Developments

Funny how things work out sometimes. My younger brother (whom I have a niggling suspicion is actually smarter) told me yesterday he's finally decided on what to do with his life after SPM. He wants to be a sound/music engineer. I guess that shouldn't surprise me too much, coming from someone who taught himself how to play the piano just by downloading stuff from the net. The guy's got an aptitude for music (and games, LoL) and I don't see any reason I should discourage him from this particular path. Besides, he may even come in handy when my multimedia empire finally comes to fruition, heheh.

Of course, there's a leetle glitch (as always): my mother's not too fond of the idea. It's only natural, I guess since her other son decided to grow up and be completely different than what she imagined (and most probably'll end up with a wife that's even more different :p). And then there's that strange socio-religio-political cloud that permeates my hometown. Having spent most of his childhood there, my brother realised he's yearning to go somewhere else. Maybe a place where it's less complicated, where people aren't too quick to judge you based on what you wear or how you act. I recognise that urge, cause it's the same one that caused me to skip town at the tender age of thirteen.

It's going to be difficult for him, if only because my mum's strictly ultra-conservative now and maybe she sees it as being...unreligious? Let's not even go there. All I can do for now is do the brotherly thing and support him. I've got faith in his brains and his tendency to actually work hard (since I'm more of a planner, hehehe) to know whatever field he decides to jump into, he'll probably do well. It might not turn out to be for him in the end, but knowing he's also a Taurean I'm sure he'll put in his damned best.

And I guess that's the most we can ask of anyone.

Responsibility's a tough act, and one that demands the utmost commitment. At times like these however, it's a welcome distraction from the gaping hole that's still very much present in my life. Every little bit helps, I guess.

Have a good midweek, folks.


Monday, December 1


It's the first of December and the Ox is back at work. As per the usual, the good ol' office has seen fit to add some more weird-ass rules into its already long list of insane ones. One that really rankles me is the new "Vice Chancellor has to approve every overseas trip taken by a staff member, personal or otherwise" rule. Now someone please tell me what purpose that serves. Then it's the usual "we want you to go overseas for your PhD as soon as possible" token gesture while at the same time they add more rules/regulations/conditions that make sneaking out of a Russian gulag seem easier.

Hooray for the bureaucracy.

Come to think of it, hooray for the wonderfully flexible education system that pretends to seed knowledge when it's actually just a rote driven exercise in futility. Oh, and the final cheer goes to the non-ambitants (my own word, describing people with no ambition AND sense) who seem to be put on higher and higher positions every year. On this cloudy Monday morning, I am completely and utterly disgusted. I procrastinate (I admit) and sometimes slack off, but there's just no excuse for enforced (and rewarded) incompetency.

Whatever sense the British thought their bureaucracy would bring into our system, they definitely took it back with 'em. Maybe it's not their fault. Maybe we're just too used to our "daun keladi" skins that anything that remotely resembles intelligent conduct just slides off. Or perhaps (God forbid), it's all MY fault, for wanting to study abroad, for wanting to do something with myself, for always wanting wanting wanting. I can see it now:

"You're still young, no need to rush things."
"Why the hurry? You'll get there anyway."

No. I may not be destined for greatness (despite what I want to believe), but I know I can make something out of my life and hopefully, make a difference in others' as well. There's a whole wide world out there just waiting for me to see, hear and breathe. And God willing, maybe I'll even have company on the ride. Even if everything turns to dust and I fail miserably, I'll know I gave it my best, and hopefully those non-ambitants will be smarter than to stand in the way of an Ox.