Friday, September 28, 2007


Managing people is not easy. Managing idiots are near impossible. I pity a colleague of mine who had a grievance letter filed against her. The reason? Well, the problem stemmed from the choice of menu for a Raya makan-makan. Someone doesn't want chicken, and another doesn't want beef or mutton. When fish was proposed, everyone else objected as it's not Raya like to only have fish. So chicken is back into the picture. Then the original guy gets incensed and soon they start bickering among themselves. Note, these people involved are all Malay clericals and something about a Union directive was also involved. Soon the exec (my friend) and some officers intervened. That's when they all decided to file a grievance because my friend and the officers apparently insulted and threatened them by saying "gaduh macam budak sekolah" and "the bank pays for our salary". I would have said something far worse were I to be there. Imbeciles.

I don't what is it about these people that they follow the Union's directive blindly. Maybe there's a flock mentality and peer pressure, but most times I think they're just being dumb. Have you seen the badges they wear to work? "We Deserve 30% Raise" and "The Bank Is Stealing Our Bonus". I would love to give them a piece of my mind about it, but that would invite grievances against me and possibly disciplinary action too. Sigh. You deserve a raise? Prove that with your KPI then maybe we'll talk more. The bank steals your bonus? Feel free to leave and seek employment elsewhere. Of course, not in a bank as all banks will do the same thing. No one is making you stay with that kind of negative attitude. I wonder if these people realize that they are losing their bonus because of the salary demands? They have the Union to thank for it.

True it doesn't apply to all. Most of them are just regular hardworking folks, and yes a lot of them just ignore the directives to not do extra work and not to join non-work related activities. I respect these people for having a mind of their own, to charter their own course. I hope these people will make the step up soon. They are the ones who deserved it.

I don't tolerate idiocy.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Story Time 1: Autumn

The breeze was refreshing. It is a cool evening, not unusual at this time of the year. The leaves are starting to yellow on the many maple trees that line the avenue where he lived. Further down the street, the Sterling geese are starting to appear again on the small lake at the park. They have returned south to breed, he suspects.

He stood up to catch the small slipstream, and soon his dark wavy hair is swirling in the wind. Tousled and tangled, his hair flowed freely with the wind. He smiled softly, the cool breeze is lightening his mood.

As he stood there, hair flapping wildly about his face, he recollected his thoughts. He was there for a reason. He sighed a long sigh. There's still time to pause and retreat, but he feels no reprieve. This is a promise he made himself one time not too long ago, and he intends it to be the only promise he ever kept.

He put down the piece of paper that he took out from his jeans' back pocket and put it on the floor, weighed down by his wallet and cheap watch. He looked across the horizon, over the town limits and towards the limitless expanse of land. A tear trickled from his eyes, he wiped it away roughly with his left arm. No time for melodrama, he said to himself.

He took of his Jack Purcells and put them beside the note and watch and wallet, but he kept his socks on. It's getting a bit chilly. The lights are coming on by batches all over the town, in respond to the encroaching darkness that this September night brings.

With one last breath, he took a step into the darkness and fell tumbling towards the hard concrete below.

The rushing wind soothed him for the few seconds it took for gravity to take him down. He closed his eyes all the way down, he dared not look at Death straight in the eye. And without pomp, it ended. Limbs broken like dry twigs underfoot, a crimson tide flows warmly from his head on to the cold concrete pavement. His hair, matted now with blood and gore, no longer flails about in the September breeze. He lies motionless, all skewed and battered. Just like that, he ceases to be.


Yes, lotsa grammatical mistakes. No, I don't care at this moment in time.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


I've been in the office since 4am. It's now almost 8am, and I still have no idea what time I can go back. Oh in case you did not notice, it's a Sunday. I wish the system would stop mucking about and let me do my work. I want to go home and sleep and enjoy whatever is left of my Sunday!

Bloody hell.

Friday, September 21, 2007

There's A Blues For Friday Too

Fridays are like this. My mind has gone into the weekend mode. Dragging my feet at doing work, can't wait for the end of day. My God it's only 10.27am. What have I gotten myself into?

8.45-5.45 for 5 days a week. Of course, the working hours only serve as a general guide. Commuting takes 30 minutes in the morning and 45 minutes in the evening. That's 10 hours and 15 minutes less off my life to live. Having only 5 to 6 hours of personal time every weekday is depressing. No wonder I have 5 books yet to be read (yes, I bought another one - Haruki Murakami's Norwegian Woods). My electric reclines in solitude against the amp while the Epiphone acoustic rests against the far wall by the window, the camera has been left untouched for many days, some DVDs still to watch.

I need more time.

Weekends? I fill it in with as much sleep as I can muster to recover from the week(s) past. But that would also be subject to family engagements, trips to stores to buy needful (and needless, just because I can) things, all the miscellaneous stuff. Sometimes even sleep has to take a backseat.

I long for the long lazy days of yore, when time ticks by unimportantly. When sleeps rules above all else, and classes comes somewhere next to last in my priority list. I had a close knit group of friends, we do crazy stuff, we sleep at ungodly hours, we talked and ate and watched and read and heard and basically did anything we wanted to. Time means n-o-t-h-i-n-g.

Being a corporate whore has its' perks, but at what price?

Thursday, September 20, 2007


I have an unhealthy interest in morbid matters. That is the reason why I started listening to death metal during my early teens (and I still do by the way). I've read occult texts and books, and devour all and any article that comes my way regarding the dark arts and things beyond my perception.

I enjoy horror movies above all else. I try to watch them alone at night just to give me a more conducive atmosphere. Well, what could be more suited when the reality hits very close to home.

First let me give a bit of a background. My mother has 2 sets of parents, the birth parents and the adopted parents. Adopted might not be the correct term as her adopted father is actually her uncle. The couple took her in because they are childless, and that she is her uncle's favourite niece. They also adopted 3 more children, my aunties Che Zah & Auntie and an uncle Pakcik Maarof (my mom also has another 3 sisters who are her siblings).

So time went by and let's move on to the more present timeframe. Back in 1999, Cik (my mom's adopted mother) passed away. Then strange things started to happen. I might tell them at a later time, be patient. Then only did my mom told me what she saw and what she experienced during her childhood. All in all, it's suffice to say that Cik used to 'bela' something. But the stories I've heard from the neighbours where Cik used to live always sounded far removed from my life. Until recently.

Behind Cik's house lived a distant relative of ours. She has 2 little daughters of preschooling age. The girls always tend to disappear during the day and only return home as it's getting late. It's been happening for quite a while, and the mother became quite suspicious. So the mother asked them where have they been. They said they've been spending time at the area behind their house with on old lady called Cik Bidah. The mother was dumbstruck, as there's no other Cik Bidah nearby other than my deceased Cik. Then the girls went on to say that Cik Bidah told them that she misses her grandchildren because they no longer came to visit.

Yes, it's a true story related by the relative to my mom early this year. Yes I was scared shitless. FYI, when she was still alive me and my sister used to go over to her house everyday with my mom to send her lunch and dinner. When I went to boarding school, my mom alone continued that duty. My other cousins rarely came as they lived quite far. So who else can the supposed Cik Bidah be talking about? Trust me, no movie ever made me feel even close to what I felt then.

Oh, someday I'll garner enough courage to head over to the old house and snap some pictures of it. It looks like the classic image of haunted houses people usually have. More interestingly, according to mom, the lawns are still well trimmed although no one has been inside the gates for years. Funny that.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Amante Del Libro

I am terribly excited. They are making Love In The Time Of Cholera into a movie, starring John Leguizamo, Benjamin Bratt and Hector Elizondo amongst others. Although I'm only halfway through the book (I only read it on my daily commutes to work), I am already anticipating the movie. But of course, I have to expect to be disappointed. Not all books successfully made the transition onto the silver screen. It is due for release year end, but I don't think it will make it's way to our shores due to the R rating though. Nevermind, that's what DVDs are for.

Which reminds me, I am still looking for A Very Long Engagement and Amelie DVDs. Anyone?

I have successfully finished reading 2 books in the past weeks, John Grisham's A Painted House and Kam Raslan's Confessions Of An Old Boy.

The former, superb. As eloquent as he always is, and for the first time he wrote something deviating from legal issues (later he would write Skipping Christmas, another non-legal fiction). I love it to bits, it's like reading the Alabama version of S. Othman Kelantan's short stories about Kelantan. Life in the rural backwaters in the 1950s, the issues they encounter, the hardship, the naivety, the innocentness, mesmerizing. I almost missed my stop once because I was too engrossed in it.

The latter, earlier parts of it is very good. Witty, charming, ironic. It's a good surprise for me that the fictional (semi-fictional?) Dato' Hamid is a budak koleq as well. That was my initial suspicion upon chancing on the title anyway. It is no surprise that Kam did his research by going through old issues of The Malay College magazines. However, the latter chapters tend to be a bit draggy and borders on being boring. Still it's worth my penny, I'd say.

What else on my bookshelf waiting to be read? Gabriel Garcia Marquez's 100 Years Of Solitude, Rehman Rashid's A Malaysian Journey, Khaled Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns and only last night I started Stephen King's Tales From A Buick 8 as a bedtime book. I'm thinking of getting Joshua Ferris' Then We Came To The End soon.

Ohh, if you are looking for a book to read, try Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Memories Of My Melancholy Whore and Paulo Coelho's Eleven Minutes. You won't regret it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


After sundown today, it will be Ramadhan again.

Forgive me for any slight I've caused over the course of time, truly this is a time to forgive (and possibly forget). For those who have wronged me, know that I forgive everything.

To those who never completed one whole month of fasting (without a valid reason), perhaps this is the time to actually do so. There might not be another Ramadhan to keep putting it off. Why not give it a try.

Selamat berpuasa to all Muslims.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Check Your Tyres

Last night I went to pick up my dad at KL Sentral and then drove straight to IAB in Genting. He was due to register for a course starting this morning. It rained the few hours before, and I was a bit apprehensive about driving to Genting in that condition.

Alhamdulillah, nothing went wrong on the first leg of the journey. Sent him to his accomodation safely and I turned back to head towards KL. Before that I drank some coffee to perk me up (which is a blatant lie to myself, caffeine doesn't work on me and I know it), and changed the CD to play some rocking numbers instead of sappy Indonesians ballads.

So I drove in the utter darkness (Genting Group, please install some street lights!), accompanied by a car or two every long while. Most of the time I can't really see that far ahead, thanks to the fog. I just followed the reflective cat's eyes on the road, and keeping myself vigilant by singing loudly (the plus point of driving alone, no one will complain about my singing voice).

At one corner, I made a wrong judgment. I thought it's one of those mild swerving corners that's abundant there, however it turned out to be probably a 150 degrees' turn instead. I braked hard and the tyres skidded.

I thought I'm gonna be dead.

Going into the deep ravines in the dead of night, with no other cars within my sight to witness me going off, I'll be dead by the time they found me even if I survived the fall.

Then the tyre threads gripped the road and the car straightened. All is well after a split second of scare. It took me a few seconds for me to regain my focus and composure. The rest of the journey home was uneventful and I arrived home safe and sound.

What went right for me was that :
1) The tyres are fairly new and the threads are still in good condition.
2) I wasn't going fast in the first place and was already pumping the brakes before I braked hard.
3) It's not raining there and then so the roads were dry.
4) I'm alone, no other cars to serve as extra hazard.

Take this as a precaution people, please drive carefully.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Sick Note

Dr Shantini offered me an MC but I declined.

"It's okay, I think I'll go back to work. Too many things to finish up"

Now I'm regretting that decision. I should've accepted the MC and just return to work. At least that's a free ticket for me to leave anytime.

I've a headache, I'm nauseous, I'm cold and my stomache is topsy turvy. My boss is leaving for KLIA at about 3pm, and I'm gonna leave afterwards. I'll just have to do my work tonight or over the weekend. Crap.

I'm in for a thrashing come Monday morning. Please be kind Mr Director, this is the best that we could do with such limited information and resources...

I think I might throw up.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Bitten By The Bug

Uncertainties - Amran (formerly of Hot Choc)

Don't know if I miss you
Don't know if I should
And with all the uncertainties
You will know the way I feel
You know I care about you
But will tomorrow see us through

Sweet words are often spoken
It's the same old confession
Maybe if we let ourselves go
Then perhaps we'll both know
You know I care about you
But will tomorrow see us through

The sun that shines in your hair will be gone
When the evening meets the lonely night
But the spark you left deep inside my heart
Keeps burning forever today


I was driving home after work when I saw a photo opportunity. I rushed home and quickly went to pick up my camera and headed for the top floor. It was about 7.15pm, and behold before me, literally, the evening meeting the night. Took several snaps, and one of them you can view here.

Photography is a new hobby. Something I've always wanted to do but never had the means to. I never even had a camera before this. It was a huge leap of faith when I decided to buy the 400D. Luckily for me I have friends who are willing to share with me some tips and tricks of the trade. The photographers at my sis' wedding also gave me some pointers. The rest, I learnt through forums and websites, and most of all through trial and error. Someday I want to emulate Shaliza, and take pictures of that calibre. That day might come, and then it might not. What matters is that I have faith.