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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Wedding Season

This year seems to teem with loads of weddings of people whom I know and I was not invited to any of them. I'm not mad with anybody for not inviting me, but one of my friend who spoke to me regarding this matter does have a strong point. He said, "Weddings are a person's most special occasion. It is one of the most joyous event in that person's lifetime. Hence, to make a special occasion even more delightful, the saying 'The More The Merrier' applies. With the exception of not inviting people whom is dislike by one of the 2 parties. Hence, anybody would've been invited should there be no friction between the bride or bridegroom with the individual."

But seeing as to how many times I was not invited, his remark has begun to make me wonder of my relationship with my friends. It made me wonder, what was the reason that I was not invited to my FRIENDs wedding. Is it because I'm a single guy with no proper job hence they figured that I wouldn't be able to afford a gift for them? Or is it because they were angry with me over something? Was it because I was never close to them at all and all those many times we hung out together were merely a facade? Then, why hang out together in the first place? This is the part that I just don't get it at all. I was even invited to a former colleague's wedding whom I'm not very close to (I don't have much time to talk to her at all). But the surprising thing is she invited me, even though it falls on a working day, was held in another state, yet she still wanted me to attend. In fact, she wanted the whole office to attend jokingly suggested the idea of a holiday but in the end none of us could make it since we had to work.

But I was thinking what gives, friends not wanting to invite me? People who don't know me well invited me? This is very confusing. Well, invited or not I don't care less, cause I have been to many weddings in my lifetime plus I don't need to get a wedding present for them. hehe :P

But it does incur a curious inquisition in my mind, how deep are my friendships? I think on this matter I don't mind being completely alone since it was my own fault for being an introvert. Would greatly aspire to do my works in the shadow. Wouldn't even mind not having any commendations just as long as it doesn't get creditted by someone else.

Hmm, maybe I should change my nick to 'Shadow Member'. 'Shadow Member', I do like the sound of that. :D

Thursday, September 22, 2005

I Do Not Speak Alien

Some people might have been having strange symbols showing when they're at my page. Well, I can tell you one thing, it's NOT alien language. It's actually Japanese. The example of it would be on the right hand sidebar after the 'Other Places' section and before the 'Old Stuff' section, there's a section with funny symbols as the header. It's suppose to read, 前のポスト (mae no posto), translation as previous post. But I found out that even if your computer is not set to display Japanese character's, it doesn't matter! It's actually in Unicode format (UTF-8) hence it will display once your browser setting is set to display Unicodes. Besides, those whose browser settings is set to display Japanese characters get a few strange symbols and characters too! Just something I would like to inform. Nothing much.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

The End of One Great Story

It's over. It's finally over. The manga 'Ichigo 100%' has concluded with volume 18. I feel somewhat lighter with the end of volume 18. A part of me was glad the story finally finished and a part of me felt sad. Why I was glad it finished is that the story finally moved on instead of being stuck with the same old storyline. The main guy character finally made a decision and stuck to it. Obviously I was sad because the story is no more.

I do think however that the ending was a good one even though I'm not quite happy on how some characters turned out in the end. For example, I don't like how the other two girl characters (東城 - Toujou and さつき - Satsuki) turned out to be without a mate when they already had no chance with 真中 - Manaka. Why do they have to continue their lives like that, not moving on in life? It feels rather sad. And although 真中 - Manaka is quite happy living his life, yet I also feel that he should've ended up with a better life. Instead of working hard labor to support himself and to fuel his dreams, he should at least be working in the world of movies, be it cameraman or somewhere along the lines. But one thing I was satisfied with is that he stuck with 西野 - Nishino right to the end (which he should have in the first place. Slow guy indeed.)

Now with one good story gone, I'm wondering where to get my next piece as my source has been shut down! ~What a cruel world~ :(

Thursday, September 15, 2005


Puppy Playtime

Where's My Bliss?!!?

In this few recent weeks, I have been working like a mad dog. It saps my energy to exhaustive level and leaves me with little to amuse myself. Weekends are usually my off day, but recently I've also been working on weekends. On top of that, my nights too are filled with work. Due to the enhancement that I've been planning to implement, I have no choice but to comply. Well, at least it's better than the time when trouble arose and I had to stay till midnight to try to rectify the problem. The odd thing about that day was while going back on that night, although already pretty late, yet there was a jam piled up near my workplace! I soon found out that it was due to a soccer match held at the stadium nearby whereby the match had ended not too long ago. What a day that was. Somehow despite my emotional rollercoaster that I'm in, I still don't feel as tired as I always do with my previous job. Attempts to smile and put on a friendly facade comes somewhat easy. Used to be that when I was really exhausted in my previous job, I would just slump in my mattress immediately after I reached home. Nowadays, when I reach home even though exhausted from work and hot weather, yet I feel excited to continue with my hobbies and relaxed after taking a shower. I always end up sleeping late since I usually fail to pull myself away from my computer. No matter. I'm not complaining a single bit since I'm getting extra cash with the added overtime work. Nothing to shout about though, since I always prefer to laze around than work.

So again I'm wondering, where's my bliss??? I can't find a time when I can truly relax myself. I wish I could travel. But with limited funds nowadays, I couldn't afford a holiday. How I envy the two friends of mine who went to China for awhile. I was suppose to go to China too!!! My family planned up a trip to do so early this year. Unfortunately they scrapped the plan once they heard about a bird flu epidemic going on in China and ever since still haven't planned up anything yet. They went to Hong Kong last year leaving me out of the picture :{ I wanna go to Hong Kong too!!! I guess I shouldn't complain that much since I went to Japan in 2003.

That was surely the best trip I had ever taken. I get to brush up my Japanese, I get to experience autumn season in Japan, I get to see Mount Fuji from a distance at Yokohama, I get to see a truly breathtaking view of Japan, I get to try various delicious authentic Japanese food, I get to experience 7 degrees celcius in Otaru, I got to visit the musical box factory, and so forth and so forth. How I wish that period would never end. After such experience, I am considering to return to Japan again!!! *sigh* Looks like that would still be a long way off for now cause I'm having difficulties financially, plus my parents don't like to to visit Japan. What a disappointment. Whatever. Hope the trip to China will be realized one day. Shanghai or Hong Kong or Beijing! AH, the thought of it just gets me excited. I wanna go back to Japan too. This time it will be Kyoto, or anywhere in the Kansai district area! Then will probably return to Hokkaido as well and visit the bears and get 白い恋人 (shiroi koibito , direct translation -----> white sweetheart!!!) a kind of biscuit which has chocolate in between. It was HYPER GOOD!!! I truly miss that.

Well, I can go on and on about Japan because I love the place so much. If only I was born there. If only I am able to live there (although too much of a good thing is no good). But till now, it's still very much a fantasy.
^v^ **~dream~**~dream~** ^v^

Friday, September 09, 2005

A Play of Emotions

These past few weeks have really been a rollercoaster ride on my feelings. I guess it's because I'm having access to so many inspirational materials with me. This year has truly put me in a situation of finding things that affect me deeply. Started off with getting Corrinne May's CD which was inspiring to me (even moving me to tears with her first two melodies). Then there was that ever eventful day of despair and helplessness when I plunged head first into moving to an apartment by myself. The start of a new job excited me, fearful of unable to meet up to expectations too. The evermore beat around the bush hospital visitations to find out of my health condition. And last but not least, the discovery of the world of Japanese anime and manga!

In the beginning, I have never been interested in Japanese anime and manga. The thought of watching and reading those stuff just doesn't seem to interest me. I've always shunned it even though I was already sucked into the world of comics. (Especially enjoyed the Wolverine and X-Men series). My friends whom I hang out often with were rambling on non-stop about it at one time especially when the Initial D series came out but always, I would tuned off to what they would have to say replying that I'm not interested.

Then one day, upon stumbling on a really good website about tv shows, I've been madly watching TV shows on my computer (ironically) on a daily basis. That was the time when I decided to watch an anime for a start. After watching the first anime, I figured, "Hmm, that's not bad" and started to watch the Initial D series to find out what's the hype about. When I started watching it, I couldn't stopped. Ended up I had to play the next episode to find out what happened to satisfy my curiosity. It surely started me to like animes. Hence I moved on from there. From there, I grew to love animes more and more and started to read mangas to get the story of the manga (as most adaptation of mangas into animes had different storylines although the main story remains the same). Now I'm totally immersed in it and all these got me pretty worked up.

I remember a similar thing happened during my high school period. That time it was about Jpop. I've never liked Jpop then as I find it noisy and in a language I do not understand at that time. But once one of my friend introduced me to Utada Hikaru (the song of course, not the person!) I gave Jpop a listen. And it started to grow in me. Nowadays, I love Jpop too! I also use it as a tool to help me improve in my Japanese sometimes.

Hence, I believe these are some events that have led me to become quite an emotional person recently. No more of that violent temper flaring up nowadays (used to be easily provoked) but more of the easiness of crying when I feel moved or sad and getting overjoyed and cheery when I'm happy. The downside is feeling extra nervous when I do get nervous. This really contrasts to what I was last time. People say I have no feelings because I always have the same expression. Okay, fine, I have a strong feminine side of me! But I'm still very much of a guy compared to many people! Plus I'm not a fag! Hey, I grew up with two sisters you know. Of course I'll be influenced!

Anyway, there's nothing wrong in letting my feelings go, though I still prefer to bottle up most of the time. In fact, keeping to myself although is not as fun but it does portray a sense of coolness, doesn't it? Doesn't it? :P

Monday, September 05, 2005

Corrinne May

I've been rambling about this lady for quite some time now, ever since I was moved by her version of 'Close to You' (original song from The Carpenters) from the movie 'So Close'. It took me about a month, frantically scouring the Internet and music stores in search of the song before I finally gave up. I even went to the extent of asking music soundtrack reviewers and music magazine editors and journalists to help me out to search of it (thank you for those who made an effort for me) but all had negative replies. Finally, upon stumbling on her website (simple back then), I manage to locate a way to contact her. Having doubts that an artiste would ever reply, I tried anyway as I had no more leads to go on. To my surprise, she did reply! However, I was disappointed to know that it was never released to the public at all. Instead, they released a version by Karen Mok in the soundtrack.

After that fiasco happened, I found out of her album. I sampled her song 'The Journey' which was given free on Amazon.com and found out that it was a soothing piece and nice to listen too. After reviewing comments from people who had purchased her album, I was surprised to find that everyone gave such a good comment about it. "Is it really that good?" I thought to myself. With that, I decided to purchase the album to listen for myself. When I got ahold of it, I never got to listen to it first. My friend sampled the album, said that all the songs were excellent and decided to take it home to listen first, promising to return the album the next day.

The day came, I got the album back, and I listen to it with eagerness. When I finished listening to the whole album, I was awe strucked by it. I kept wondering to myself, how could such a wonderful and inspirational album exist without ever being popular?

A few months went by. By that time I was completely in love with the compositions. That's when the second album came out. Although I'm quite certain the second album wouldn't move me like the first album, nonetheless, I'm also sure that it would surpass any others according to my taste. That prompted me to import the second album. I listened with glee and was surprised that I'm not disappointed even though my hopes for the second album were not that high.

One thing that baffles me is with the released of the second album, Corrinne gained popularity tremendously especially in Singapore but right up north in Malaysia, I have yet to meet a person who actually knows who Corrinne May is. Not even the people who work in record stores know who she is. (This does not mean that there aren't anybody in Malaysia who knows who Corrinne May is as I've seen Malaysians posting on the Internet before). As this was the case, I took the initiative to introduce some of my friends to her songs. I even went to the extent of purchasing her album and distributing it to one of my friends (who liked it very much) as a present for I don't condone ripping the songs out without having the album.

What intrigued me most of all about this singer-songwriter however, is not her masterpieces nor her colorful choice of words for lyrics, but rather her down to earth personality. Okay. So I've never met her personally. But judging from the many responds of her fans, I'm convinced to believe so. She's even responded to my e-mails twice. That's already a record for me. To top it off, selling autographed CDs to anyone who buys from www.pinkarmchair.com? Signing autographs to each and everyone who lined up to meet her? That's the first I've heard.

Anyway, that's just my opinion. The facts are determined by oneself. I'm just glad that I've received such a great inspiration to write songs again. Now if only I got the money to get my instruments for writing my songs. *sigh*.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Joys of Life Called Luxury

Aaaaah. Such a joy it is to indulge one's life into the comfort of luxury. I surely got a wonderful luxury going on for me since the date of August 23, 2005. What is it? A CHAUFFEUR!!! I've always had friends to pick me up for an occasion or event or even people picking me up to hang out together but never in my life do I have someone hired to specially pick me up and drop me off to work. (a school bus don't count!) Yes, ever since that fateful day arrived, my boss hired a taxi cab to pick me up everyday from Mondays to Fridays at my condo to my workplace. Come to think of it, I have been able to salvage quite a number of luxuries this year. I feel guilty and dumb in applying all these and I still do not know why I get myself all these luxuries when even at times I can't afford it. But no matter, I am now in the situation that I'm in now.

You see, in the beginning of the year, I started off fresh from being unemployed (as my former job was affecting my health and job performance, I had no choice but to quit). I was squeezing on a tight budget and being a real scrooge as much as possible. However, when my room rent increased, I've decided to move (it just isn't worth paying the amount for the tiny room). Fantasizing of the freedom I would possess should I rent a house, I went for the idea as I had a few friends indicating to me that they're moving and was thinking of somewhere in the area of PJ (Petaling Jaya).

Everything seemed to be going as planned. Two friends had decided to join moving in with me while I had an interview which they decided that they would offer me the contract to the job once I'm done with the medical checkup. Seems fine, until everything started to crumble when I was finalising my plans. The two friends of mine backed down from sharing the place I had already agreed to rent with works already being done. The worse part however came from the job I'm suppose to have. My medical checkup came back a bit of a problem. They found blood on my urine when they ran the test and although it's not visible nor serious, I was rejected for the job. From that point, I was feeling hopeless, not knowing what to do. I have arrived at a situation where there is no turning back. I have put myself into a locked position without a solution.

Oddly enough, I do not feel depress about the situation even though, I couldn't think of a way out. All I could think of was to ask God for help. This is the 1st time ever that I've felt so helpless. those who know of my situation tried to help me out as much as they can but more often than not nothing could be done about it.

After a few days passed, with works already finished with my new place and it was time to move, I still don't feel sad or depressed surprisingly, but rather helpless. Then, God's help came. まじで. Really! One Japanese guy, who was staying at one of my friend's place was coming back from Japan. However, my friend's place was already full, hence he decided to move in to my condo.

Next came another blessing in disguise! My current boss' employee was resigning which leaves the position opened! I was recommended to him as a replacement and voila! just like that I landed myself a job.

Not even a week went by, another pleasant surprise met me! Another Japanese guy, who's currently studying here in Malaysia was interested in renting my last vacant room. In less than a week I was set back on course. Indeed, a helping hand from God. What's more, after a month or so went by, more and more people were interested in moving in to my place, including the first two friends who backed down in the first place. Unfortunately, I have to turned down most of 'em for I had no more room to spare.

Actually, I do know why I did such a drastic change even though I do not have much to spare. I had a dream of providing cheap lodging for people who are in need. I was moved into action when chatting with some of my friends. One told me of the burden of being the head tenant and was contemplating of moving to a cheaper place since she was having problems with the other tenants. Another was thinking of moving to Petaling Jaya area to be closer to his place of worship. Still another wishing to have more for his daily living as he struggles to make ends meet. After speaking to such ones, I was moved to help people like them explaining my rash behavior. (By the way, I never did tell anybody about this reason of moving into a condo which is the main reason) But I could never break free from helping people. I could never stop trying to help people even though I did force myself to do so before. It ended up me feeling rather unhappy as my conscience bothers me non-stop. Hence, I decided to keep doing as best as I can, even though I would need to suffer most of the time. What to do? I'm a slave to try being helpful although I'm not much of a help. That's why my favorite scripture used to be Acts 20:35. Used to? Yup. It's now Malachi 3:10 where God says, "Test me out, please, in this respect, and see that I shall not open to you the floodgates of the heavens and actually empty out upon you a blessing until there is no more want".

Well, currently I'm managing financially (not as good as I used to), I guess luxury always comes with a price. But it was priceless to experience such a turnover, that a way out was provided for me. But I still wish that I kept a simple life, for humans could never be contented if they don't want to. And added luxuries merely meant added burdens and responsibilities.