Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Dark Age

On almost every Wednesday without fail, some people will receive an sms from me saying something to the meaning of "Wednesgay lunch, 1230 @ XXXX". Yes it's a deliberate misnomer, and I did it tongue-in-cheek because, oh nevermind.

It's a ritual I look forward to since I can count on a lunch where business is discussed in minimum. Trust me it's hard to get that kind of lunch when you work in the financial industry. This rate that sanction this bill that line this limit that wanker, you know the drill. Je deteste.

Of course what gathering like that won't invoke the old stories told to death many times (so much so that people who hang around us bunch a lot can tell the story themselves!). So today's lunch session was no different. We retold stories and jogged each others mind for the nitty gritty details of those days. Today's predominant topic was what happened to us during Dark Age.

Our Dark Age, or Zaman Jahiliyah to most meant Form 2. Secluded in New Hostel with only 6 prefects to watch over us and largely no warden supervision. We went apeshit to say the least.

I was in Dorm IT (beats me what does IT stand for, since the other dorms are named numerically), popularly known as Dorm Budak Jahat. Needless to say, I was shocked to learn I've been thrown in that dorm instead of the goodie two shoes dorms that I belong to. Hey, no sniggering! But then I had to blend in the crowd, so to speak...

Some of the things us Dorm IT folks did:
- play hockey, rugby, volleyball, footie, basketball, squash and tennis. Yeah, inside the small space of circa 25x30 feet, inclusive 7 double decker beds and 14 wooden lockers). Cue many broken window panes, lockers and shitloads of bruises and cuts. Kids are crazy.

- the dorm used to have 9 double deckers, but we send 2 of them crashing from our 2nd floor corridor. Reason? Because we can't find a better solution to remove those empty beds so that we can play all of the above. We also have an extra locker that initially served the purpose of holding the brooms and dustpan et cetera. Pretty soon it became the place we practiced our 'karate' skills. It did not last long, that locker.

- created a 'secret passageway' to facilitate movement after lights off. We simply used the space between the ceiling and the roof! We had 1 or 2 cases of people misstepping (you have to step on the wooden beams, not the soft asbestos(?) ceiling) and fell right through. Others just poked a hole here and there with their feet.

- have gigs using Gaban's top of the range walkman and someone's PC speaker (an arrangement we used until Form 5), headbanging to the likes of Green Day's Nimrod, The Offspring's Ixnay On The Hombre, Goldfinger, Rancid, Bad Religion et al. We were into punk back then, and the KL folks would feed our appetite for the best punk music available at the time. Ohh, Korn and Metallica was also included in the playlist at times. And of course, Butterfingers!

- organize outside food orders from the Rahmaniah restaurant just across the road from our farthest corner of school fencing. No phones needed, we only need a lookout and someone to to yell out "Rahmaniah!!!" until someone came over and took our order. The downside was that we can only yell when there's a car passing so that the prefects don't hear us. It also meant that Rahmaniah folks too can't hear us. Hoarse voice was the order of the day, but what wouldn't we do to get a decent nasi goreng ayam and fresh orange back then?

- fool around with a bottle of aerosol and lighter. It was fun to watch Tuah blowing those flames like it was a KRU concert (they were kinda cool then, and don't pretend you never liked their old songs!), but it was much more fun to see Tuah coming back to the dorm after getting caught by a prefect. Said prefect simply took those apparatus from him and blew a flame at Tuah, resulting in burnt eyebrows and singed hair. Tuah minus right eyebrow = funny as hell. Tough love indeed.

- Gets beaten up quite a lot by the seniors due to our behaviour. Some more than others naturally, but I think we all got our share in the end.

Before you panic and start thinking about yanking your kid (or future kid) off boarding school altogether, consider this next fact. That crazy bunch now are bankers, engineers (8 of us have engineering degrees from all over the world, imagine that), a pilot, a consultant and other assorted professions. We all turned out alright, even though people have written off some of us as hopeless back then.

Who would've thought, huh? So next week, anymore takers? Tak pakai tie kena bayar lunch!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bad Day

I took another day off yesterday to clear off my annual leave for the year. I woke up early (bummer) and watche dTV until about 11 something before getting ready to go out and service Renee (the car, I'm talking about the car!).

Drove the short distance to the service center and waited about an hour for everything to get done. After paying and just about to leave, I noticed my hands-free kit was missing from the car. After looking for it for 5 minutes, I got out of the car and complained to the manager that someone stole my stuff.

Disappointingly, he kept telling me that I might've left it at home. Are you stupid, I remember putting it away before exiting the car at your SC and I've been telling you that several times now. Then he asked the mechanics and seemingly no one has seen it (surprise surprise). So just like that, it vanishes into thin air.

Since they're not gonna refund me, I said it's alright. I told him I'm not mad because it's a very valuable thing, but I'm mad because someone stole my stuff from my car when I leave the car in their hands. Bluntly I told him "you better jaga your boys here, one of them is a thief".

I thought that's enough to ruin my day. I went back and check my mailbox for bills and was shocked to see my water bill for Sept-Nov was in total exceeded RM300! I was fuming mad, I called the management office, but they already left for the day (or just not bothered to pick up). I called up my relatives just to check on their rates and was quickly convinced that I've been conned. My aunt with a family of 5 in total + washing the cars and watering the plants, never exceeded RM30 per month.

I thought I would escape Monday blues by taking leave, I couldn't be more wrong *sigh*.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


There's so many pretentious blogs out there, I feel like gagging.

One of them writes in the manner you would expect of one or two famous Malaysian blogger. You'll see the resemblance instantly, but that impression was not to last. First thing that gave him away was his English. He wrote primarily in BM, sometimes being abstract and all cryptic. It was fine by me, whatever works for you man. But when he starts interspersing his entries with several lines in English, I start feeling sorry for him. My grammar might be bad, but his is atrocious! And to think that he's been quoting Rimbaud and Freud and poking fun at people who can't speak English properly, how sad. Did he use a dictionary everytime he wants to put in several lines in English?

Another girl is a famous blogger, but I think she is pretentious too. Maybe not as much pretentious as obnoxious. She writes about the pressure of coping with the popularity of her blog, WTF? Perez Hilton don't bitch about it, if you can't cope then stop blogging already. Ohh Ms Under-Pressure-To-Blog-About-Quality-Stuff, your entries are rarely of quality btw. You're just another blogger who happen to have a sizeable following, so it doesn't justify you condemning other people all the time too. Yeah, she has this stuck-uppish demeanour, telling people off for this, for that. And those people are people who reads her blog and probably idolise her too. Wow, this popularity thingy is getting to your head now huh?

Another guy posts pictures of girls in revealing dresses or just about in any circumstance he found blogworthy. He would rant and cuss those poor girls, all the while referring to Muslim values etc. Okay, first thing is, posting those pictures online does not help. You are spreading pictures of their aurat, I think you're getting a share in the sin too. Then all those cusses you throw at them, where's the Muslim value in that? Don't be an ass just because you think you're holier than the rest of us. One of the pictures is downright ridiculous, a picture of a girl eating with a male companion. She was condemned by this guy because apparently her feet is touching the guy's ankles (she was crossing her legs under the table). If you look at the picture, it's barely noticeable. I think this guy is a sicko who spends his time taking discreet pictures of girls and then acts as though he's saving the world while he's at it.

Oh well, for all I know there might be at least 1 out of the 5 readers of my blog out there who thinks my blog is just as bad =P

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Damnatio Memoriae

I was on leave yesterday, just clearing up my annual leave and averting Monday blues while I'm at it. Today I came in bright and early, sat down at my desk and check the e-mails. Then I saw one Facebook notification in my inbox.

You are more desired than less than 20% of all people

Wow, when you discount all the weirdos and freaks, I'm like at the bottom of the barrel. Welcome Tuesday blues~

Friday, November 14, 2008

List Of The Day

What I'd like to do:
- repaint my bedroom fresh crisp white, the original peach is downright ugly.
- repaint the furniture fresh crisp white too.
- DIY the closet idea I've had for weeks, I need the extra space badly.
- get on with the balcony mini garden plan, some greens would do wonders.
- rethink and redo the living room, it's getting boring after one year.
- print large size and frame some of my pics, the frames have been lying unused for months.
- make a second housewarming after redeco work is done.
- buy any of these: superwide angle lens, battery grip, pocket wizard.
- buy all of the three mentioned above, and not worry about how am I going to afford it.
- go for a long drive to somewhere nice, and not worry about exorbitant fuel price and toll charges.
- have a long lingering bath, with some Sade or Norah Jones or Missy Higgins playing in the background
- have a fruitful writing session on the balcony, with a mug or two of hot chocolate.
- start painting watercolour again, it's been a year since the thought last crossed my mind.
- actually go ahead and DO all of the above instead of just thinking about it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Last Sunday marked 2 years of me being with the bank, and it has gotten me thinking ever harder. Am I happy? Is this really what I foresee myself doing for the next 20-30 years?

I studied engineering for 5 looong years, and did not even thought about pursuing that line of career because I have not much interest in it. The ridiculously low pay and high workload just served to further guide me away from engineering as a career choice. But it served me well back then, somehow girls were impressed that I was doing an honours degree in electrical & electronics engineering. So yeah, that piece of paper now lying in its' folder in my spare room at home only served its purpose to get me a job. Any job.

I applied for only one job, after much prodding by The Haz. I had no idea what the work was gonna be like, no idea whether I want to do it. I applied just so that I can practice my interview technique. My HR Manager was shocked when I told him that, perhaps I shouldn't have been so frank with him? I went along with the phone interview, then the first round face-to-face interview, then the 4-level assesment process and whaddya know, I was offered the job!

I was very lucky I know. Lots of other people wanted this job so badly, but so happens I managed to convince the people assessing me that I am the man they want. Not lucky enough? I got offered the job while I was still in my final semester, with my thesis only halfway completed, and I was due to start work on the same day I was gonna sit for my final paper. The penultimate paper if you must. (If you wanna know, I rushed through the 3-hour paper in 2 and ran back to the apartment to shower and change and arrived at the office for my first day at work at 12.30pm, of course I've told them in advance why I'll be late)

Fast forward 2 years on, I'm starting to wonder if what I'm feeling lately is not just the normal grumbles of a peon, but it might be discontentment showing.

I love the artistic side of things, though admittedly my talent is rather lacking. Working in a bank is currently utilizing 0.01% of that part of me, and I feel stifled. I envy my friends who have gone on to become art gallery curator, news anchor, professional photographer, professional musician amongst other things. They are happy. Am I?

No I haven't decided on anything, and I won't jump into making a rash decision. I need to think this through, and when (or if) I have decided, you will know.

PS: jogging and Domino's Classified Chicken pizza both helps in bringing down the stress level.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Night Court Gig

It was a Saturday night, a free night we call it since we don't have to attend the otherwise nightly preparatory classes. Everyone would be up to their own devices, largely unsupervised until it was time for lights-off. Some of us would climb over, under and around the gates to go out to town and get some good grub in for a change, and some others would go out to the few cybercafes scattered around town. The rest would linger around the Big School, idling away.

This sort of idleness that bred the idea one Saturday night not unlike others, when someone had the bright idea to have a gig. A gig, at Night Court no less! Of course being the schoolkids we were, we had no access to the equipment necessary to have such a thing (except for the odd Kapok guitar or two). What we had was a Walkman that we connected to a PC speaker (a common set up then as a makeshift stereo system in the dorms), and we turn it up to max volume.

Night Court was a small place, and the attendees quickly filled up the space. Before long, we had many bodies rocking along to tunes of the day - Rage Against The Machine, Rancid et al. And you should have seen us! All decked out in our best 'gig-look' - Doc Martens, jeans, hair done up fauxhawk (this was way before Beckham did his, so there!) and instant dreadlocks (I belong to this later group, unbelievable).

Some souls even decided to make things more interesting, by splashing us with water! It was loud, it was hot and it was fun-tastic to that bunch of 17 year-olds. Just as we were enjoying ourselves, I saw from the corner of my eyes a slashing movement.


No doubt, the wardens has arrived. We scattered in all directions. The water splashed just now, bad idea. Now the cement floors are all wet and slippery, resulting in several guys slipping and landing in a painful thud and coupled with a lashing from the warden to boot. Vajie (bukan nama sebenar) panicked that he even tried to push his way past the warden. Needless to say, he got several lashings for his efforts. The wardens split up, and they hunted the rest of us.

I ran for my life, perfectly aware that my hair is still dreadlocked. I ran to the showers and washed my hair and then ran back to my dorm and tried to dry my hair as quickly as I can. I slipped out of my gig attire and pulled on shorts and old t-shirt (my usual bed attire) and jumped into bed. I was careful to even pose as though I have been sleeping for a while. I even tried to control my breathing so that my chest did not rise up and down too quickly.

Soon enough, a warden entered the dorm. My bed was by the door, so I'm instantly aware of his entrance. Taking care not to even blink (in case you don't know, even when you shut your eyes you can still blink and people can see you), I maintained my composure.

I sensed him standing right by my bed, and in an instance my cover was blown. He only had to put his hands to my chest and quipped "Laju berdegup jantung kamu masa tidur nih". Cheh, sia-sia berlakon =D

Epilogue: I did not end my charade there and then, and he left me alone too. Prolly it was because I wasn't known as a troublemaker, so he let me off. But I bet my face went flush straightaway after he said that. Malu weh! So kids, don't bother trying to fool your wardens in school. They know your tricks better than you think.