Friday, October 17, 2014

A little better

Tiredness was set in my bones; the words out of my lips were halting and awkward. I can't, for the life of me, recall why I thought it was a good idea to tell a dirty joke in that state. That joke deserved a better setting, stage player and audience.

That was painful, I thought, wearily. Pondered for a bit whether I should care... then decided can't be arsed to. Still, there was an uneasiness. It reminded me of the old me. But I've come so far, a little voice protests. 

Here is what I've learnt to live with, though; that part of me will never leave. All I had been doing is learning to control it a little better.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Thoughts on dirty eateries and a film

Walked past a street hawker with eyes brushing past a bevy of dishes, and rested on dirty plates tossed into a pail full of water, of extremely dubious hygiene. I figured that I've probably eaten often enough at places like that, and wondered how would this affect me. I knew that on my diet of healthy, superbly clean food, I get susceptible to falling sick in foreign countries. 

So I started eating more mamak food, and it seemed to have helped. I kinda imagined that those bacteria have resided within my system, and created a little Gang of New York in there, where regular street battles happen when new bacteria enter their turf. 

I could only hope that my boys win.

--------------------------

On the brink of falling sick after manual labour, lack of rest and caffeine overload, I've been finally pushed over the edge. Thanks a lot, freezing temperatures in Midvalley's Cinema 14. (Perhaps that box of popcorn wasn't a good idea either)

Besides the point on how the temperature ravaged my health, the movie was a surprisingly delightful ride. Directed by Wes Anderson, its name was The Grand Budapest Hotel. 

His name had bounced around the periphery of my possibly-to-watch, but I'm not too familiar with his work. Only a quick IMDB check later told me that I *had* seen his films; one that would illicit some some feelings of nostalgia, because The Royal Tenenbaums was my first experience in the cinema. And from what I remembered (because it only has been twelve years ago...), he still deals with quirky characters and plays with dark themes that goes smoothly down your throat.

So, thoughts on it, and spoilers ahead.

This movie broke one preconception of what I would consider good in a film, which is something that makes a point. Possibly a reaction to the recent Hollywood offerings, but GBH proved that one could be taken in by good storytelling. The illusion is not broken, and you are instead swept away. The striking part is how it plays out as if it was a written fiction, in its exploration of people, whether you understood them or not, and in its snappy quirky way in narrating events, especially the gory bits.

Of course, the visuals were well done. Evokes a charming past, lost in time, never to be regained. Colour palette-wise... freshly muted gaudy retro? Would love to examine the palette properly, if time permits. For now, this will do. The film also utilises miniatures, and some VFX. The goal for the latter doesn't seem to be a seamless blend, but it works here.

Characters seem quite 'surface' here, but it gives you intriguing glimpses of their history. Merely unexpanded. The role of Zero is apt, because that's who is he. An observer and participant in another's life, much like Nick Carraway narrating Gatsby's life in The Great Gatsby. 

All in all, a good watch. Maybe a Wes Anderson film run would happen.


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Wriggling feet

"You brought me here - now take me home."

But where is home? What was is now strange. Here you are, afloat in the middle of nowhere, wriggling feet dangling over an empty space. It is a quiet state that rises into unbearable awfulness. This was almost a plea, to bring me somewhere, where I could feel home again.

"I'm not obliged to." Said he, gently.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Seriously?

Why are you so serious? 

This wanders past my way a couple of times, and though I could be silly with a penchant for lame juvenile jokes, admittedly certain sorts of talk just renders me silent and uncomfortable. How do I react favourably (to them) if I don't agree with it?

Is it me? I wonder, the old habit of anxiousness peeks its head out.

Or am I acting within reason? 

     It boils down to my search for truth, or at least, wanting to adhere to its principles... which not only includes the searching, but in that you don't encourage more untruths. It does come with a price, especially with people. While exaggerations and oversimplification of issues, persons, religion and gender are easy to digest, it all boils down to your intentions. If it is to feel entertained or that it fuels your own self-righteousness, these caricatures would only further ignorance.

Caricature, as defined in good ol' Wikipedia goes as such - "... a rendered image showing the features of its subject in a simplified or exaggerated way. In literature, a caricature is a description of a person using exaggeration of some characteristics and oversimplification of others."

Within my understanding, caricatures could be brilliant in the sense that the creator of it are good observers, and that one could captures an essence so succinctly that people who see or read that are blown away. But the uncertainty and distaste comes in when it only serves to entertain, even if it is untrue. And it could be swallowed; hook, line and sinker. 

      The thing about caricatures is that it welds a power of entertainment - the holy grail of modern society. An ephemeral pleasure to be enjoyed till the next arrives. It's a circus, really, without getting to the bottom of things. While I try to understand that it is not a conscious output activity sometimes, that we (I do it too) resort to caricatures in casual talks, in things I feel strongly about, it's tough to not appear uptight about it... or serious. For even in casual talks, when the entertainment value leaves, the impressions do remain.

I am still trying to temper my reactions, because sometimes it's just flippant talks - not many would be keen to be asked if what they say is true or an easily accepted bias, or to embark onto a curiosity voyage if it telling of how we are brought up, why we believe so, what is being propagated in the media, how media literacy is needed to counter that the shit that they pumped into our heads, and on it goes. It's an exaggeration here, but you get the message.

It could be personally fascinating. I reckon, most people find this scary and try to run away, orz. 

What if you knew that in the effect of blowing up a positive or negative part of a person, you could effectively erase the other parts from consideration? That's my bone with this. It could also shut down genuine discussions on its root causes, and the interplay of things that knit together a more wholesome picture. I still love how things often don't exist in isolation to one another, even if it confuses the hell out of me sometimes.

An example off the top of my head - Hitler is painted as a devil incarnate who single-handedly slaughtered millions of Jews. If that is simply accepted as the whole truth, we neglect to check out the cultural, economic and historical crescendo that lead up to that piece in history. He wasn't the only one saying what he did. And who carried out his orders, whether willingly or unwilling? It could include a loving couple, devoted to their children, who kisses their partners as they leave for their respective jobs, where one goes to gas some Jews and another to teach about the Aryan race to kinder-gardeners. Ordinary people, like you and me, are capable of committing horrible acts. What if you didn't swallow the stereotypes, and is conscious of what is going on? 



I could imagine a friend's response to this: "... you need to get laid :P."

Hmmm. What does *that* say? And do? :P

I'll play along anyway.

Friday, February 28, 2014

男のこえ

Often melodious voices would be associated with music, and pleasurable ones from a sultry nature.

But there is a sort of voice that fulfills both for me, that neither fits the musical nor sultry box. Closest I could get of a descriptor is a gentle, quiet confidence. And almost like a sensory experience, because if one could smell it, delicate sweetness would be its scent.

It has the ability to caress my heart, and drown me.


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sakai

Replying a friend who wondered whether if it is okay to use the word 'Sakai' for orang aslis, because it is the name of their tribe after all.... and how did all these negative connotations came about:

When I hear the word 'Sakai', the first thought in my head were the native Americans. But according to a quick Google check, it refers to a tribe in Indonesia. In another source, it says, "Malaysian Aborigine/ wild, uncouth person". 
 
I think it has a huge relation on how Europeans viewed the people in the Malay Archipelago in that era, when they desired to lord over these lands, due to the goods available there as well as cheap labour (bordering on slavery). But you can't lord over people, if you treat them as your equal. Thus, you have to make them out as a lesser people. 
 
There is a whole study on the biasedness of Orientalists then... the idea of a 'lesser race' was prominent in academic and political circles there. In a crude simplification, it justifies their conquering as, "These people have almost like savages, thus they need our benevolent guidance to succeed in the modern world." They created an ideology on race and supremacy based on it. 
 
(Conveniently forgetting the industrious past of the Malay Archipelago, and how it was a vibrant and a dynamic empire. 
 
If 'Sakai' refers to only one tribe within the Malay Archipelago, but it is defined in the dictionary as a 'Malaysian aborigine', then it could be another instance of clumsy and not-truly-understanding of a 'historian' with intentions. A flawed definition, with its weight in derogatory assumptions, that carried on until today. 
 
Source: Farish A Noor's What Your Teacher Didn't Tell You. Naquib Al-Attas' The Myth of the Lazy Native. And my interpretation of it lol.


I have also heard one part where in the past, during the world war II, Orang asli were originally neutral but later was forced to help the communist. Thus creating a bad image of themselves by the British rulers and people of Tanah Melayu. 

I assume this is where it all started 

An extra note : The British authorities later decided to instead make use of the orang asli and instead use them against the communist. Being the middle of it all is very sad.


What dya mean they decide to make use of them? How? D: 
 
@ bad image: Yar. Actually they are not bad... it's just that they didn't serve in the interest of the British. So they are 'bad'. 
 
Like how they created the idea of 'lazy Malays', dismissing the fact that fishing and padi fields need some serious long back breaking work in the wee hours of the morning. By the time they wake up, the locals were resting from a long morning of working... then kena accused of being lazy. If I was a local then, I'd be like, "FML". 
 
I think the locals then also didn't see the point of working crazy long hours in the lombong or rubber plantations for super little money. Unlike the Indians and Chinese who didn't have a choice because they were in huge debt. So, also in that thread, the locals are 'useless' in the British eyes, while Chinese and Indians are 'industrious'. It doesn't mean that they were lazy... just that they didn't serve the British interest.


 I believe they were forced to hide/protect the communist in the OA villages. 
 
Next if I'm not wrong, British using OA as traps for communist who wants cover. so in the end communists would be torturing the OA because of their betrayal 
 
I have lost track of the video that I watch the other day.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Blame

(posted 26th October 2013 on FB)

... I should stop getting upset over people with annoyingly shallow opinions in regards to the female gender, especially in what they look for in their partners. 

Yes, there are women who look for loaded folks, just as there are men who treat their partner like opinionless objects. Are we to generalise that most women are shallow, materialistic and vapid, and most men are violent, disagreeable and cruel? 

Are relationships as simple as that? A man shows his Ferrari and a hot girl agrees to go out with him despite rejecting him earlier - would that even last? Do we not look for someone we trust enough to bare our hearts naked? That we are willing to grow old together with? I would concede that some women would look for someone who could support themselves (or nudge them to it if they are already dating), and if it's in their plans, a family in the future. But it's not as simple as dangling a wallet in front of them.

In my anger, I wonder if these boys have tried truly evaluating the actual women around them. Look at the girls who you're close with. Who laughed and joked and chatted with you. Who you could honestly call a friend. Now, could you straight-faced tell them, "You're so simple, materialistic and a money whore". 

Are you sore because you're alone, and it's easier to blame the shallowness of some, rather than embarking on a truthful examination of yourself? It's definitely easier to say that, "I'm single because I am poor. Those damn money diggers!!" Being alone is fine, but to hatefully blame is another.

And the shitty part is, because they believe in what they do, that might be all that they find. Or perhaps that's the sort of people they are attracted to, hence their conviction that women are shallow.

This is when I look at reality and comfort myself in that I know men in it are not like the ones I mentioned here. Sure, there are mean ones, as well there are amazingly big-hearted and kind ones. If I labeled all guys as misogynist just because I saw a youtube video, THAT is effing shallow. People shouldn't get an automatic label just because someone else did that. It's not their burden to carry, until they have shown themselves to be.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Random amusements

Studying at a cafe with a friend (different subjects) and his tote bag had watered-down brown stains on it.

Me: What's with the brown stains?
Him: Spilled coffee on it lar. What else could it be?
Him: Or ya know *fap motions*
Me: LOL! And it is brown because...?
Him: Drink too much coffee.
Me: ... so it's an Ejaculatte?
Him: That's so lame omg. 
Me: LOL

Friday, January 31, 2014

Happy Chinese New Year!

Me: Good lord, all the cookies :D + D:
Me: How could I control myself.
Friend: Oh
Friend: They have lard in it
Me: ....
Me: Thank you & *bleep* you


Monday, January 06, 2014

Recent thoughts at the crossroad

Fretting Over

"You're thinking too much," he said.
I'm making up for the people who don't.

I kid. There are far more important things to think about.

---------------------------

On Signs

Nearing 30, and a crossroad appeared. Echoing the people who had been in my shoes, this could both be liberating and scary. You're there with the road open wide... with a dwindling number on your bank account. And time. 

A strike off my bucket list, intended as a sojourn between careers, has gone a little deeper. Cautiousness and threading gingerly seems to be my mind now. How will it turn out? Time is not something that could be returned, and the longer I stay, the larger the risk in my career. And often, hearing the unspoken thoughts in the minds of others annoy me. Well, it heavily depends on how it ends, doesn't it? If the revolution in the Hunger Games failed terribly, Katniss would be a pariah instead of a revolutionary figure. 


Driving to my part time work today, every single traffic light turned red, just as I'm about to pass it... thwarting my aim to be punctual. 

I sighed hard, leaned back and tried to enjoy what's on the radio. And this crossed my mind; is this a sign? 

Is it? Some people say that sometimes you need to listen. Maybe all the hardships, setbacks and faux pas that has happened is a little call of, hey, this isn't for you. At that time, it did feel that way, due to several happenings.

But there's a danger into reading unnecessarily into things. What if life meant it as, I will put you through all these shit. Let's see how you get past all these challenges thrown at you, and only then your labour are worthy of the fruit.

How could you tell?

==========
  
Soul Sucked

The moment came from a combination of fatigue and a certain distress (on both sides of the career coin)... and perhaps too, from a lost of direction along the way.

I'm bored with this. Not too long ago it had been a road gleaming with potential, but as with everything, the rabbit hole goes deeper... Digging into something reveals a much much longer tunnel. And  that my self-imposed foray leash is almost reaching its end... 

==========

Crossing Over As A Curious Customer to the Other Side of the Bar

... is more loaded than I thought it was. I'm struggling with the change in how I would be perceived, and that care must be put in how I am in cafes in the future. 

As a customer, I enjoy talking to baristas (who are open to it), especially to learn more about coffee and brewing it. Recently, during a cafe hopping session, I brought a former colleague to a cafe I really like (and really wanted to work in, but alas, I think they didn't want me)... and it happened that they were working an espresso machine that I was curious about. 

And without any qualms, I asked the barista if he could show me how that machine works. 

Just to preface, the thing that drew me there was the dynamic aura of the place, and how passionate and inviting the people there are about coffee. There is also something that is intensely attractive in the way they approach this beverage.
So, he was cool with it and one of them will run me through the machine when they are free. Which they did, and more.

To cut the long story short, it was after, when it struck me - it might had put him in a position, as he knew after that I was part timing in another cafe. That's consideration on his side, not yet on the side of my employer. Very much hope it didn't... I'd feel awful if it did.

When I asked, I had asked as a coffee drinker who is curious about espresso machines, who hasn't internalised that she's somewhat in the industry too (well, a mere month). But one's intention is not advertised on my forehead, so who knows what went through their minds in this situation.

Big sigh.

I went into this to learn more about coffee... but not very sure if I may had, as an analogy, coffee-cockblocked myself. 

In this, I really hope that it's overthinking.