Does this page look sucky? Tell you what: it does not suck, I make sure of that. Only your browser sucks. This page works and looks better in a browser that supports web standards, though it's still accessible to any browser or Internet device. Please upgrade or switch to a better browser and this message will go away.

Sunday, November 24, 2002

Howmydoin', briefly

- My room is still a mess, but as a start I've bought file folders for all the papers lying around.
- I've pinned up a calendar. At last, a pretense of an organized life.
- I've been spending several weeks on Grand Theft Auto III. Right now I'm stuck in a Kenji mission.
- Fortran is so floorstomping easy. What the hell is wrong with everybody? I may not make a very good geek, but I guess in the land of the blind, the one-eyed guy always gets asked for homework help.
- Albert replied, in response to the post about him not. Amazing what a blog can do.
- I can finally cross "Lift ass to go educate self on ASP" off my to-do list. I stumbled upon W3Schools, a one-stop web development resource, while I was surfing on a fine, butterfly 'n daisies day. After skimming over a few pages of ASP primers, I found it to be simple as peanuts. Nobody told me it's that frickin simple! (Still doesn't mean I don't need help, Al.)
- Been laughing quite hard at a blog called Hello Pinky and the Brain. It's been getting hits alright — for the wrong reasons. A hot target for merciless taunting by blogroaches. (via largeanus)
- I forgot to do the homework I was supposed to hand in this week. Shit, I am so gonna flunk Materials Science.

Song in head: Rest of My Life by Flop Poppy. Apart from OAG's Slumber earlier this year, this is the most stubborn pop rock tune to ever mentally saturate my every waking moment. Definitely one of my favorite hometurf songs of the year.

| 11/24/2002 10:20:00 PM Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

Back in the habit

After a long absence from church, I went yesterday. After mass that evening, I hovered about to hi and howareya the friends and familiars. Sheena, as always, persuaded me to stick around for a fellowship gathering like a dogbitch tugging at the ankle of my trousers. Instead of giving the usual excuse that I gotta get back home with the girls I came along with, I decided, spontaneously, to stay on. I whipped out my phone, and without looking back, told the girls to not wait up for me cuz I'm staying on.

Thereafter I was ushered into room with a bunch of other... young adults. Shook hands. There were two dozen or so of 'em. I remembered all their names; I was pretty impressive. Anyway, we got through praise and worship, a sharing and a talk about, I dunno, sexual integrity or something. I had a great time. Everyone was friendly. I was still trying to fit in, being the cute shy Sabahan new guy the fast-talking Sarawakian church keyboardist Sheena dragged in.

It's been so long since I last communicated in English. Coming to a public university a semester ago, I was wrong about English being used more than Malay. Basically most lectures are conducted in Malay with adequate slips of English thrown in (Except of course with foreign lecturers, like the Pakistani and the Turk — I think — we have in our faculty, who use extremely rhetoric English coupled with their charmingly exotic accents... very sleep-inducing); I speak Malay everywhere with everyone, especially since my Mandarin is terrible. On some days the most English I get comes from a stray foreigner just outside campus asking you for directions around KL.

Because my Malay is pretty good, I do fine here. Besides, frankly I'm usually more comfortable speaking Malay. Sabahan Malay, that is. Not the horrid Semenanjung Malay, which even I have been quickly adopting into everyday speech. YUCK! (Semenanjung folks, bear with me.) Anyway, starting to openly converse in real English again was almost... awkward at first. But it didn't take long for fluency to kick in, thank frickin goodness.

We had visiting missionaries with us that night; three American young women. Surprisingly, I had no qualms chatting them up; even pulled off the American accent like it was the most natural thing in the world. I always find it easy to talk to people when you talk like they do. Of course, I gave them a few 'lah's to remind them they're not at home.

What fun. Almost promised Sheena I'd make another appearance next week.

| 11/24/2002 06:08:00 AM Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

Monday, November 18, 2002

Waiting is the hardest part

The last time I encountered the above phrase was when I got an SMS from a friend I haven't seen in over a year and planned to meet a few months ago; a meet I was 15 minutes late for. It read: "Waiting is the hardest part. Bye." Shit, he fucking freaked me out! I knew him as the guy who can sulk and walk off at the slightest push of a button, and I really thought I pushed it that day. How the hell have I been putting up with Mr Emotional all this time, I asked myself as I frantically got on my way as fast as I could. When I finally met him, grinning and explaining himself, I realised he was toying with me. Sial ko! Damn you! I squeezed his fucking neck.

That was just an interlude. This is something else. I'm actually patiently waiting for an email reply that is long overdue, which I expect anyway from Albert, a very busy person, I imagine. (He's juggling college and being senior developer for teen portal XFresh, and very likely several other cares in his life.)

As I've announced in my site log, I desperately want to move this site to a new webhost and start anew, so that everything will be okay (no more broken images, broken stylesheets, and hopefully no ads or popups). I've set my eye on a host which supports ASP, which I could use to create my own blog and guestbook from scratch. Man, I feel like setting up a shop! I'll have to take on a great glob of responsibility coming from the independence I'd suddenly possess. I'll have to wean myself off the automation I come to depend on from Blogger and all the guestbook services I've had relationships with before. Appropriately, I'm designating my future new site with a version number 4.0, which means big, kinda like the transition from Windows 3.1 to Windows 95 (version 4.0, without the proliferating gimmick). Hang on to your armrests.

Problem is, I still haven't yet bothered to learn how to use ASP, which should be easy given that I'm no stranger to self-taught programming. So, being shamelessly lazy, who am I turning to for help? None other than the ASP expert himself and the one who first brought ASP to my attention a long time ago: Albert. I emailed him for a favor: to help me get up to speed with the source code I need, about a month ago. Nothing yet.

I consider that normal. He usually replies late (and apologises each time); maybe he rarely has time to check his inbox, maybe he gets truckloads of email every day and he's taking his sweet time, or maybe he periodically falls sick and gets stuck at home and his folks don't let him have a computer with him in bed. Whatever the reason, this time I think he has already read my message, deducing from some clear clues (Hey thanks for fixing my XFresh articles like I asked). But there's no real response, the kind I'm still eagerly anticipating. Hello?? Hurry up will ya Al. I'm all fidgety over here, man.

Well, he's my best excuse for any site development being on hold. Just keep clutching onto those armrests, yeah?

| 11/18/2002 06:01:00 PM Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

New semester resolutions

Things I want to do this semester that I didn't do last semester:

1. Create a timetable.
2. Take study notes.
3. Keep my desk tidy.
4. Get the cobwebs off the walls in my room.
5. Wash my blanket.

I suppose the most shocking thing I didn't do was making a timetable, the very pivot of an organized student life. What else on earth could it be?

| 11/12/2002 09:12:00 PM Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

Not a winner

Haven't heard from the web design conpetition organizers. That should probably mean I didn't fucking win anything.

And I think I know why. I examined a copy of my website entry, and it seems there's a Javascript error, thanks to my forgetting to omit a single line of code I added for debugging means. Damn! It must've immediately disqualified my entry.

Oh well. It was a few days' work.

| 11/12/2002 09:11:00 PM Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

Festival Seni post-mortem

I should be grateful I'm in Tanjung Budaya, the residential college's cultural dance group. Just be a dependable member and participate in a show or two, and you're entitled to a host of benefits: from (most importantly) a guaranteed bed to sleep on for semesters to come, to a hearty dinner downtown courtesy of Mr. Hanafi, our college warden and Tanjung Budaya's advisor, whenever we win in a competition. Like recently, for instance.

Festival Seni is over. Bare facts: we had two teams for traditional dance, both doing different versions of a zapin and joget set. My team got 4th place (i.e. no prize), the other won 2nd. And we won 3rd for creative dance.

By the way, if it weren't for the creative dance competition on Saturday night, I would've been at the Bukit Jalil Stadium watching the Selangor-Sabah football match with practically every other Sabahan happening to be on the Peninsula. (We lost anyway. 1-0.)

Blissfully enough, I wasn't dwelling on missing a "historic" event, having seen that creative dance is just the fucking coolest thing there is to watch (with football out of the picture). Our piece, with a nelayan (fishermen) theme, was an elaborate set, having lots of exciting choreography, catchy music and probably having the most interesting props: from the handmade fishing net to flourescent paint on our fingers (for our coral reef depiction) to bubble-blowing apparatus (for our "caught fish" skit)... our show was so dishy, it appropriately pushed the score enough for us to win something. But we probably would've won 1st or 2nd place if it weren't for the lighting bloopers and our occasional out-of-synchrony, which we could've polished out if only we had more practice...

The winning creative dance that night was one with — guess what — a Sabahan Harvest Festival theme. Their set was darn! total perfection — everything in sync, excellent lighting, cool moves, enchanting music... the whole thing was spellbinding, I tell you! I especially enjoyed the parts when they made like sparrows and were convincingly pecking about like real animals, and near the fast-paced climax when they did a stylized interpretation of a ritual where the Bobohizan (Kadazan High Priestess) falls into a trance (to speak with the rice spirits, as I understand it).

I had always thought of Bobohizans as these placid, medicinewoman type great-grandaunts. Now inspired, I have only awe and reverence for them which they should rightfully merit from a young Kadazan like myself. (Really, I meant that.) I must say, on behalf of the culturally appreciative, the winning team had successfully re-injected mystery and magic into the Kadazandusun tribal ethos. Kudos to them! (I should think Sabah deserves as much recognition as her neighbour Sarawak, whose tourism ads have been heavily aired on TV for damn too long... *smirk*)

Okay, back to me being grateful. I should be happy doing this shit. Dancing. Dancing in this group. I like to think of it as the university's coolest traditional dance group, whose members are healthily multiracial, and where the girls are girls and the boys are boys.

Let me explain.

There's always the preconception going around that dancing is sissy and faggoty. And what could perpetuate that better than a transsexual in the dance group of one of the other residential colleges. Anatomically? I don't know. I've heard rumors about the, er, person having had an operation. As for his (her?) looks and mannerisms, they're a tangible reminder that drag queens exist.

And what about the other guys, the male half of their team? I've also heard that they're all somewhat like him, to an extent. And ONLY because I don't know these people, I'm going: Ugh! Ackk! Eeewwwwww! Look, they're even oscillating their wrists like girls when they dance the joget; that is so wrong! Deduct points for keaslian! (I'm sure the judges did.)

Sorry. Sorry. No, I'm sorry.

| 11/05/2002 02:30:00 AM Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!