March 16, 2009
Ah, I guess happiness is transient, after all. Just as you thought you’ve attained nirvana with your LCD monitor and a workstation that won’t give up the ghost when running the latest version of Office, an accursed son of a female dog went ahead and swiped it. To make it worse, he/she/it replaced it with a PC that should, for all intents and purposes, be scrapped two years ago!
Oh by the way, I’ve started working. It’s an entry-level position, but nevertheless I am now officially part of the workforce and on my way to become a respectable, productive, tax-paying (siiiiiiggggggghhhhhh) member of society.
October 8, 2008
Right now, my life sucks.
They found cancerous cells within the nodules that was removed from my dear old Mum’s after her last mastectomy. Now she had to undergo six courses of chemotherapy and hope for the best.
I can’t pay my university fees.
I kept sneezing all the time I’m in my room. Apparently 5 day’s worth of dust when I was gone is enough to ensure a hellish existence for me.
And yet… with the heavy rain falling outside, bringing forth the calming scent of warm earth, how can I fail to convince myself that there is, after all, a silver lining in all this? I’m never much of a religious person, but as I observe the landscape come to life under the showers of rejunevating rain, all I can think of is “for the greater glory of God*”
I guess it’s true what they say, “hope springs eternal”. Plus, I must not complain; wretched as I am, my standard of living is FAR higher than, oh, 3 billion other people on the planet. I worry about being able to pay the university my fees; for other people, they worry about not starving to death in some fly-ridden hell-hole.
The resilience of the human spirit never ceases to amaze me.
*from the Latin phrase Ad maiorem Dei gloriam, which incidentally is the motto for Ateneo.
August 22, 2008
Last Monday, while I was fretting and fussing about the little things in my insignificant life, Mom had an operation to remove a lump from her right breast.
How do I know this? Because just now, at around 17:15, she sent me a text message telling me about it. And telling me to not worry, she’s doing fine, and anyway they don’t know if it’s really cancer yet.
And all this time, I’m worried about my stupid tuition fees when something this big is happening in my house. How could I be so blind? No wonder Dad seems sort of insistent that I go back home for “a casual visit”. But dammit, I wish he’d just tell me head on; I don’t like things to be kept hidden from me, no matter how unpleasant it might be (but to be fair, I can understand his desire to shield me from this).
Now I honestly don’t know how to feel.
Am I worried? Ob-fuckin’-viously. I love my mom, and now I’m worried sick (the whole “don’t worry, I’m fine” is not going to work… she has always put our needs first, so she might be saying that so that I can concentrate on my studies and whatnot).
And I don’t know what I’m supposed to say to her. “Cheer up”? That’s way too impersonal. “I love you”? Yes I do, but I just can’t get those words out… in Malay culture, you’re never very open with your emotions. I don’t even know if I should reply to her text message… I honestly don’t know what to say. And I’m scared.
July 21, 2008
Debate training resumes today.
And I enjoyed it thoroughly.
My current policy now is to work part-time and squirrel away the maximum amount of revenue so that, if I am chosen for World’s, I will NOT have any financial problems. Academic-wise, I think I’m making good progress towards full recovery both in terms of performance and financial, so I might actually look forward to a New Year in Ireland.
In that case, I have to brush up my debating skills even more.
July 20, 2008
I should be happy right now, I have the two things I cherish most in life: privacy, and unlimited use of free broadband connection. And yet, I feel like the vilest, cruel, unimaginably evil man to have ever walked on the surface of the Earth. Move over, Palpatine.
See, right now I’m in what economists will call a “financial crisis”. I’m totally broke, and I mean that in a “oh shit I can’t even get a proper meal” sort of broke. But that’s fine; I’ve prepared plans for this, so I’m surviving. All right, so a diet of bread and instant noodles aren’t exactly very appetizing (or healthy), but I’m still alive — at least, until next week when cash inflow will be restored. Life’s all about trial and tribulations, right? As the nihilistic German philosopher once spouted off, “what don’t kill you will only make you stronger”.
But just now, Dad called to check how I’m doing. Now here’s the moral conundrum: should I tell the truth, and therefore burdening the Family even further, or make the unethical choice and lie? Mom kept asking about when my student loan will kick in, and it’s bad enough that I can’t give her any (because it’s not in yet, fuckin’ stupid governmental regulations), and I feel incredibly guilty about asking for some emergency funding. My parents aren’t exactly well-off, and I am far too soft to burden them further.
So anyway, I finally confessed that I’m broke yes, but I’m well-stocked with provisions so won’t necessarily starve to death. In other words, I’m doing fine, and I actually tried to change the flow of the conversation (lol Ateneo tactics). But Dad’s not gonna have none of that, and now he’s gonna send some money later on. Now my stomach’s happy, but not my brain.
To be honest, I honestly think that I should stop attending international debating tournaments. It’s extremely fun and I learn a lot of things, but I just can’t justify the expenditure. Plus, I know a certain dickhead is just looking forward to get me off the squad anyway, so I might as well preemptively quit. And this whole fanatical ideology that “you can’t have fun if you’re not in a pub drinking until you can see your dinner coming out again” — what the hell? I’m a libertarian — it’s totally fine with me if other people wants to drink until they puke, eat pork or go to clubs every night — but why drag me along? I’m willing to respect your way of life, so how about some reciprocity, huh?
And of course, my IOUs have been piling up steadily… so I guess it’s time I set aside my selfish desires and not go to any international tourneys (so goodbye, Worlds). Debates are about trade-offs, and this is one I’m gonna make. Besides, I’ll still go to training twice a week, and although it won’t give the same rush as tourneys, hey beggars can’t be choosers. Now the hard part will be to tell the idiots “no, I don’t want to go” and make them actually listen (although in retrospect, after my atrocious performance in Australs, they might actually be more willing to cut me loose)
June 20, 2008
WARNING: LOTS OF BITCHIN’. In fact, this post is all about bitching and complaining and whining
… do you:
a) study your darndest to try and get the last byte of info into your head, or
b) read online comics
If you choose (b), then congratulations, your thought processes work the same way as mine did.
See, I have this pretty serious problem; I know I have the exam coming up, and I know that my knowledge of the subject is pretty shallow. But nevertheless, I just can’t marshall the necessary willpower needed to seriously read up on the subject (in D&D terms, I failed my Will save and must spend 10D10 rounds reading online comics).
But then again, “despair” seems to be the season’s new fragrance in the air right now. How many ways can Life piss me off? Let’s start the countin’….
a. I’m ho
pmeless – at the start of the term, I am absolutely flabbergasted by the high prices they’re charging for a place in Cyberia. Being true to my (apparently) xenophobic nature, I’m blaming this squarely on the foreign students, since they are rich, therefore they can pay good money, therefore sending the prices up.
b. Finance forced me to bend over as they extracted 2000 bucks from my bank account. I don’t know which pisses me off more, the fact that my bank account now is about as fat as Ms. Beckham, or the fact that I am burdening my parents. I’d write a strongly-worded rant against them, but just in case they’re reading this…
c. I’m going to the Philippines on a shoestring – yes, another debate thingie. While the opportunity to clash heads is always welcome, I question the wisdom of me going — especially since my financial portfolio has been thoroughly razed by MMU. Yesterday, it looks like the whole thing will actually be cancelled, but alas, no such luck. Guess my luggage will consist primarily of FOOD (although in restrospect, this could be fun… I gotta remember, it’s RM1 = 13 pesos)
d. PTPTN is being colder than a witch’s teat. I mean seriously, why can’t they release the funds, oh, I dunno, WHEN PEOPLE ARE STARTING THEIR SEMESTER? You know, when there are fees to be paid and rent deposits to be settled? But instead, they’re gonna delay the whole thing to August because — get this — “to synchronize with the payments made to the public university students”. Yeah, I guess NECESSITY loses to bureaucratic fuckwit-ery
If I am a drinking man, I would’ve ended this post with “I need a good, stiff drink”.
January 4, 2008
One of the shop owners down the cafeteria in my block serves the best Malay food within the 30-mile radius; and apparently, today is the last day of business for this semester… so she invited everyone to a free buffet! Rice, noodles and a variety of other victuals flow freely, plus bananas! Everyone is in high spirits (since for most of them, their exams are over), so all in all, today is a good day. One of the few things that can cement inter-racial ties between all is the prospect of free food, and even a few foreign students are dragged in for the festivities.
Even though I’m feeling a bit restless, even I cannot help but feel infected by this show of good will. I hope she’ll be tending the shop in this block at least until I leave MMU. Parting is such sweet sorrow (her fried chicken is the juiciest I’ve ever had — and it’s cheap, too), but God willing, we shall meet again in 3 weeks.
December 5, 2007
A recent NIE (National Intelligence Estimate) released by the United State’s 16 intelligence agencies (16?? I know of the CIA and NSA… what are the other 14?) concluded that the Iranians have stopped weapons research in 2003, although if they choose to, they can produce enough enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon in 3 to 8 years.
Which means, a) they are not developing WMDs (contrary to some media reports), and b) there are no longer a justification for bombing “the mad mullahs of Tehran”. Regardless, President Bush insisted that the report is a “warning signal” and that his views on the issue haven’t changed.
Err… what? Iran developing nuclear weapons – yes, that might be threatening (frankly, I think they should go nuclear… what harm could it do?). But now that the cat’s out of the bag and it seems that they are NOT developing ‘em.. it’s a warning for what? I honestly don’t want to think of the current US Administration as a monolithic, idiotic, warmongering, bloodthirsty blob of protoplasm, but they do need to explain their case clearer.
I believe that both sides should begin friendly negotiations, which is more likely to bring peace than any sort of war between the two. Iran should get over the fact that the US and co. installed the Shah; and in return, the US should stop being a dick and start *gasp* respecting other countries for a change and not suck Israel’s cock any longer. ‘course, it’s more likely that I will be marrying a supermodel than any of that happening, but a man can dream, can he?
November 15, 2007
Well, finally made my peace with Finance Department, and duly registered for my subjects this evening – three core subjects (security, data mining and something about design) plus an elective – theater. Why theater? Because I’m vaguely interested in acting, and all the other alternatives (chess, volleyball, etc.) suck. Plus, there’s a higher percentage of chicas there (which is correct, yay!)
Still, this semester got “long day” written all over it. I’m supposed to go for an interrupted 4-hour block on Fridays, and on Thursdays I’ll be having classes from 2 to 8! The long, idyllic breaks from yesteryear, how I miss thee!
But again, theater. There’s this girl who looks Chinese, but has a Malay name, and her nickname is Japanese. Sort of cute, I do hope she’s in my faculty, once a week is not enough for the sort of “meaningful interaction” that I have in mind.
Totally exhausted, gonna sign off, play a little game, then hit the sack. Tomorrow’s gonna be a long, probably boring, sleepy day.
November 13, 2007
(lol made-up word, I wonder if I can copyright it)
So, the good news; in what can only be described as miraculous, I actually managed to score a 3.30 on my last semester’s exam, thus bringing my CGPA back to the “+3.0″ region. This is unexpected because I never dreamed that I can actually managed to pull an “A” out of my Operating Systems subject. WHOO!! GO ME!!
Bad news is, I got a frickin’ B- on my Object Oriented Programming. A “B” on a programming subject… that’s unheard of! I knew that stupid project is going to come back and haunt me… I just never expected how much! If only things are different… granted, it’s not really that bad, but still my ego is hurt and bruised.
Finally, the ugly – I got barred from continuing on into the second semester – unless if I cough up another 2k in fees (on top of the 4k that I already paid!). I really don’t see how I can get around this, the lady in charge seems really determined to get her… uh, I mean the university’s dough. Negotiations are under way, but it seems that I might have to sit out this semester… not really devastating by itself, but it will most likely delay my graduation for a year.
But on the plus side, at least this is one of those rare things that I can say that “it’s not my fault”. Well, whatever happens will happen, on the bright side I’ll get an extra 2 month’s holiday, so it’s not really the end of the world.
Iä! Shub Niggurath! Black goat of the woods with a thousand young!
July 14, 2007
This is a weird dream that I just had. I’m writing it down while I can still remember parts of it.
For some reason, me and my family immediately sensed that there’s a basilisk outside of our house, trying to break in and kill all of us. My mom’s out working and my older brother’s not in the house, so that leaves just me, my younger brother, my elder sister and my dad. My sis and dad went up to the second floor and barricaded themselves in their respective rooms; so that just leaves me and my bro to deal with it.
For some reason, my bro went outside, and hearing nothing after a while, I concluded that the worst happened. So, somehow (again), I managed to run to the nearest grocery store in the neighbourhood, one run by a Chinese couple that I and everyone in my family have known for generations. I asked the aunty there for “a live rooster”; and surprisingly, she had one in stock (she kept it in a sliding door closet outside the house. And for an old Chinese lady, she seems to know surprisingly a lot of basilisks. She told me that’s the last live chicken she has.
Cock in hand (*giggles*), I went home, walked straight until I”m near the basilisk, and as if on cue, the cock started to crow. I peeked a little bit and found some sort of weird maze-like structure starting to hiss and shrink; the more the cock crows, the smaller it gets. Finally, it gets really small, and I tried to make the cock eat it and be done with it. Unfortunately, the thing is quite poisonous, and the cock dies. Oh well, it has done its duty.
I went inside again, and told everything to my father. He asked me if the basilisk is totally gone, and I said no, there’s still some of the weird maze-like structure left. Smiling (huh??), he said I need to finish it off, since the basilisk can still regenerate out of that. I rushed down to confirm it myself, and already the thing has grown into a small, dandelion-puffball-like… thing.
I rushed to my dad and asked him for money to buy a second rooster, but he just laughed and said no, it’s too much of a waste. I screamed at him saying how he can think about money at a critical time like this; deciding to do something, I ran down, where I found my brother already recovered from the first attack. With much difficulty (there’s as if some sort of force is going against me), I closed down the door, yelled at my brother to help me barricade it, while I snuck out to the nearest wet market.
Then I woke up.
July 3, 2007
I have done the unthinkable, a betrayal of trust, an act of Evil that will forever stain my soul. A lapse of ethical behaviour, in return for cold, hard cash.
The horror. The horror.
July 3, 2007
Today turns out to be a not-so-bad day, after all. I was grinning half the time and looking contemplative (i.e., dozing off) on the other half. Let me start from the top…
The Operating System tutorial today went without a hitch… although I think I did messed up on one question, the lecturer nevertheless asked me whether I’m interested in continuing my studies (fully sponsored, yay!) after I graduate in South Korea. Now, maybe he’s just asking people this question randomly, but nevertheless I’m gonna interpret this as him being impressed with my performance in class (so far), so maybe I have a shot for this. Well, he asked me to contact him once I finished my degree, and I intend to – assuming, of course, that I can remember to do so, hehe.
But wow, South Korea. The land of hardcore online gamers and… hot dogs. The yappy kind, no less. That should be interesting…
To my surprise, SPARC did have a booth after all, albeit a bit amateurish. To be honest, I’m a little bit sad that I’m not picked to serve the high committee this year, but surprisingly I am not actually very upset about all this. Well, all I want to do is help out and meet new and interesting people (read: chicks) anyway, so who cares about posts, eh? Besides, from the looks of it, MNTA is in DEEP trouble, so maybe this is for the best, after all.
And wow, the new President really reminds me of the old one… I won’t be surprised if she’s also in FOM. Is there like, a set of rules that states how SPARC Presidents should look like? *chuckle* But disturbingly, the first thing about her that I noticed is her big earrings… and you know what they say, “if you notice a woman’s accessories before her, uh, “assets”, that means you’re gay”. Ahaha… *weak laugh* Anyway, first impression is, she’s okay, so I don’t think we’ll have problems. I just wish S would stop glaring and being angry of me… *sobs* I mean, I haven’t even started anything yet!
In totally unrelated news, I find Nelly Futardo to be incredibly, intolerably hot.
Am totally digging Promiscuous (although I keep misspelling it); everything about her just oozes hawtness. Her body (I mean, look at her abs. LOOK AT IT!), face, voice range… I wish she’d do a concert over here, I’d definitely go (and that speaks volumes on the level of how highly I regard her, since most of the time I loathe going out to such events). And Timbaland’s pretty good too, I can’t find any fault in his performance.
But what I don’t get is, why is Justin Timberlake there? He’s an eyesore. Seriously. An out-of-place character, really. It’s like seeing a huge bird dropping messing up the beauty of Mona Lisa.
Well, I’m off, I’m about to do a highly illegal thingie… despite the risks, it pays well, so meh. Life’s all about taking risks, right?
June 20, 2007
Isn’t that like having the KKK supporting your cause? No matter how well you might try to articulate it, people would immediately assume that you’re in the wrong due to guilt by association. Are Bush and Olmert that dumb?
Okay, here’s an elaboration. The United States isn’t exactly having a glowing reputation in the Middle East, right? And of course, Israel is the regional bogeyman and no-one there likes ‘em, not even their so-called “friends” (the so-called “moderate” Arab states… ¬___¬ ). So, any entity that is endorsed by the two will, quite obviously, be tagged by pretty much all non-Israelis there as corrupt / US-Israel puppet / suicide bomber target.
If Bush/Olmert really wants to support Abbas, can’t they do it in a less flashy way? Or better yet, go support Hamas (and see popular support for them quickly ebb away, ha!).
Speaking of which, I don’t quite get the whole “boycott Hamas” thing. For years, the International Community have been saying, “embrace democracy”. So the Palestinians did… and they get punished for it? Why not be honest and say, “embrace democracy but pick only people we like?” Sheesh, talk about double standards.
June 18, 2007
WHOO!! I have returned for the second year of my course. Wow, to think that I’d last for more than 8 months; it’s quite an achievement. God willing, I will graduate from this place, instead of hopping to yet another institution of higher learning. Two universities is enough for me, thanks.
Here’s my report card :
Mathematical Techniques II – FAILED. NOOOOO!!! Well, seriously though, I don’t expect to pass this, I can barely answer the exam questions and everything. Oh well, will face the supplementaries on the 20th, hopefully I’ll do better then.
Data Structures and Algorithm – PASSED. Well, no surprises there… my strong subject. Failure will be deeply embarrassing, although with me not handing in my assignment, I do get worried a bit.
Logic Programming – PASSED. Ugh, I hate this subject and to a lesser extent, the lecturer. Thankfully, my prodigious programming abilities mean that I do managed to scrape through.
Ethics and Professionalism – PASSED. Seriously, this subject? Who can actually fail this? Yes, I do recognize the irony.
Introduction to Machine Architecture – PASSED. Hohoho.. I’m pretty proud of being able to pass what arguably is the hardest subject in the year (except maths… okay, so it’s the hardest subject that I like). Guess that last-minute revision on floating point numbers did pay off, after all.
On a more sombre mood, my best friend is away for her industrial training… *sobs* What will become of SPARC? Do we even have a 2007/08 high committee? I worry about the future of the society…
May 14, 2007
I have to say, shops in Cyberia will ream you. A small burger would cost RM2.50, and I found out today (to my great annoyance) that they mark up the price of butter by 37%! FUCK! If I were ever to move to that place, then I’ll buy a week’s worth of groceries and live off that instead of shopping there.
Speaking of which, it seems that butter is giving me a sense of ennui and lifelessness. I feel so uninterested in everything I do… I wish I can eat something more nutritious, but right now I’m totally broke, so I’m afraid I’m on “starvation mode” until the end of next week. Which means, I’ll be living off bread-and-butter for the next 5 days… and on exam week, no less. This is academic suicide at its worst.
Speaking of exams, I really gotta say that Introduction to Machine Architecture seems to be written as a cure for insomnia. It’s dry, boring, complicated and a complete snore-fest. I studied a few chapters tonight, and at the end of it it knocked me cold for 3 hours. And I just woke up a few hours earlier, too… if I ace this subject it will be a miracle.
Of course, that would be *if* I actually get to sit on the exams. Still having trouble… there’s a very real possibility that I will be barred and have to repeat the semester. Worst case scenario will be me quitting the university (not likely, but it is a very real possibility, and I’d peg the probability at 10%), although I hope that wouldn’t happen; I actually liked it here, I love the subjects, and I don’t want this to be the third university I dropped out of.
So there you have it. Sucky exam situation, bad diet and friends that is acting like a spoiled brat (just why the hell do I keep believing in people? Guess it’s sort of my fault too…). Why do problems keep piling up on me on such a crucial time? I want to rage, rant, scream and smash, it is as if everything and everyone in my life is conspiring against me. Not the “kill Amry’ sort of conspiracy, more of a “let’s annoy the hell out of him until he breaks down and cry like a little baby”.
Ah, this sucks. I wish my university is located at a place that’s a bit more cosmopolitan, instead of being in the middle of nowhere. Even if I want to go out and relax, there’s really no place I can go to. Correction: no place that I can go to where I won’t stumble into horny teenagers trying to score a quicky. People, bushes and dark places are for dogs and possibly ghosts / vampires, please spare a thought for the people who would have to clean up all the used condoms afterwards.
This picture made me smile… don’t understand it? Get out more, then
May 12, 2007
So it’s 4 in the morning, and I can’t sleep. I was lying in my bed, reminiscing about my days in Ireland ages ago, when suddenly I thought, “hey, why don’t I jot it all down, to serve as reference for my future self?” If I happen to get famous along the line, it’ll save my autobiographer a lot of time.
So let’s start, shall we?
In The Beginning…
In late 2000 / early 2001, some representatives from a medical college that shall remain nameless (for now) made a presentation in my matriculation college. I am totally NOT interested; I have my eyes set on studying computer science, which is reflected on the fact that I gave up Biology in favour of…. Computer Science. Pretty clear-cut, right?
Anyway, I went for the presentation because my best friends insisted that I accompany them — nothing more. The whole thing is mildly interesting (and short, too — which is good), I filled out the forms that were given (why? WHY?) and the whole thing slipped out of my mind afterwards.
A few months later (after I finished matriculation, and got my mediocre results), I am told that I am to attend an interview with the college authorities. Now I’m starting to get slightly annoyed, and I made this mistake of telling my parents. Big mistake. My dad, who never stopped dreaming of having at least one of his sons to become a doctor, got majorly enthusiastic. If I didn’t stop him, I’m pretty sure he’d bought me a pair of leather shoes of my own.
During the interview, I am the only one who turned up in coat and tie (overdressed!). The session went quite well, I think my English conversational skills at that time is above average (probably), and while I don’t quite remember what the question is, I do remember my answer — something about Siamese twins and the ethics of letting one of them die so that the other may live.
Yosh, will stop here for now. Will walk down the memory lane later.
May 11, 2007
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”
I was listening to Black Eyed Peas’ Where Is the Love? when this bit of the song struck a chord in my heart. But rationally thinking, can pacifism and non-violence — ahimsa, and refusal to take up arms against your enemies — work?
Why It Won’t Work
– not defending yourself will only make your enemies’ work easier
– some people would think that self-preservation, and righteous hostile action made to defend yourself — is a fundamental duty of every human; therefore, refusing to fulfill this duty will put you in the “you deserve to be killed” category
Why It Might Work
- shame is a powerful force. An armed person, assuming that he’s just a normal human being, may feel ashamed to strike and attack a person who will peacefully just take it. Of course, with these days and age, predator drones and missiles means that combat is getting increasingly depersonalized, so this argument might not be true for long.
Ah, forget it. Just random thoughts in my head.
May 9, 2007
A certain annoying, pathetic, furry purple dinosaur should be:
a) Help up as a loving role-model for children’s morals and values
b) Hung from a tree
c) Hung from a tree and shot
d) Hung from a tree, shot, gutted and run over by a Buick
Oh man, how I laughed.
You know, I missed games of old. The current trend for videogames these days is, “more l33t graphics, franchise a popular movie / book / both, and throw in some scantily-clad women”. I mean, seriously, whatever happened to interactivity, to getting your audience’s attention apart from waving some boobs? In the olden days, developers will try to make the game as immersive as possible, to make up for the shitty graphics. So yeah, the picture’s not exactly a Monet, but at least it’s *fun*.
I say, we bring back the era of 486s; enough with stupid Harry Potter / Spiderman / [insert movie here] games. Bring back the creativity, the fun-ness, the enjoyment of the games of old. I’d rather have a very engaging adventure in a roughly-drawn world than stare at an amazingly-rendered rock.
May 9, 2007
So… for some reason, alpha FCMers in MMU are constructing wooden boxes… well, they’re not exactly a box, more like a frame of a box (i.e., there are no sides, so you can’t store anything in it). So… what’s the deal with the box-wannabe?
Still, I saw pretty nice work of arts around… there’s with a spider’s web in it, and another with a fake bonsai… it’s all very nice, and very creative, but again, I ask you, what’s the deal here? Man, if it’s an assignment, then I have newfound respect for ‘em.