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    Wednesday, December 31, 2003

    Final Words In 2003
    It's the end of the year. This is when we reflect on the things we've done or did not do during the year and we make resolutions for the new year which we don't really intend to keep. We come up with our "Best Of" and "Worst Of" lists. And then at night, we show off our ability to count backwards to zero at midnight.

    I, on the other hand, do not succumb to such traditions. I like to relax, stay home, and kick back with a puzzle. If I feel saucy, I'll do laundry.

    But wait, I do have a list. I'm calling mine "Things From 2003 That Must Go Away In 2004".

    1 Creepy Baby T-Shirts: Those t-shirts with pictures of babies printed on them but the ear-piercings or nose stud on the baby picture are real. I have one word: Why?

    2 Designer-Workouts: Enough with joining the gym or going for yoga or pilates. Every one seems to be joining a gym in 2003 and I had to hear their righteous health soapbox spiel for two weeks and then surprise, it’s over. But not their gym membership dues.

    3 Polyphonic Ringtones: This is wishful thinking. It will not go away until it's outlawed and banned by law. Do we really need to hear the theme to "Mission: Impossible" when your phone rings? At what point does it stop being annoying and it becomes cool?

    4 Camera Phones: While I'm still on the topic of phones, camera phones should be banned too. It's stupid and silly and was invented by the phone companies to make more money off your silly ass. It serves no purpose other than to annoy people around you and to clog up the phone networks. Until the picture quality of these camera phones improve enough to be printed or be wallpapered on a computer desktop, I'd tell it to go to hell.

    5 Gollum Impressions: So everybody loves "The Lord Of The Rings" but if I hear another person going "my precious", I will bitch-slap his Hobbit-ass back to Middle Earth. (And this will also be the last time I make any references to LOTR.)

    6 Ketchup Trays At McDonald's: I've been having fits of rage since McDonald's did away with their ketchup/chilli sauce packets and brought in its place, the ketchup pump which looks like something a plastic surgeon would use to suck out the fat during liposuction. What I can't stand is the ridiculous 2mm-deep snot holder of a container they give us to hold the ketchup. So I use three containers and then I become the Great Audi, Ketchup Balancer, the new circus act who walks really slow back to his table.

    7 Spanish Soap Operas: This may the very cause of decay of our society. As if there isn't enough crap in English, Chinese, Malay, and Indian, they had to go and get more crap in Spanish. The bigger losers are those who watch these shows, pick up a few Spanish phrases and then think they can hable español.

    8 The Cheeky Girls.

    Sunday, December 28, 2003

    I watched "The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King" again. I really like this movie although I can't help but wonder if they could have made just one movie instead of three. You see, it's long.

    Each movie is long. And to be honest, I fell asleep at each movie but each movie has its moments. And that's when I wake up. Here's a bit of trivia: Peter Jackson, the director, originally pitched one LOTR movie to Miramax. And it was Miramax who suggested three movies.

    I also watched "The Sound Of Music" for the first time on TV today. How our values have changed. It's amazing to me how they managed to get away with musicals back then. I still can't get over bursting out in song in the middle of a conversation. Wait a sec...don't they still have Bollywood movies like that? And gosh, could Julie Andrews be possibly more virginal?
    Last night I had a post-Christmas dinner at Wendy's. She prepared this super meal with lots of food which I won't make myself because it requires more than five steps of food preparation. So we had this "Secret Santa" thing going. I am supposed to write about it since I'm expected to but I won't.

    Christmas day and Christmas eve was quiet for me. I was home watching TV and working. So much fun I had to contain myself. Again, I am amused how many Christmas greetings I received on Dec 25. Perhaps many don't know but I am not a Christian. Sure, I call out to Jesus sometimes but it's not in praise.

    Don't people realise that Christmas is a religious holiday? It's not like National Day or Labour Day. It wouldn't make sense for me to randomly greet people with "Happy Hannukah" or "Happy Kwanza" just because it falls on Dec 25, would it?

    I can only reason that we, as in society at large, are just hung up on the commercial values of Christmas more than anything else. And we get suckered into it as well. Just look at Bangsar on the eve of any holiday; religious or otherwise. Just to satisfy the Malaysian fetish of counting down at midnight, we are willing to pay 20 bucks for Coke and shorten our lifes while increasing the risk of cancer by being sandwiched in a smoky bar. Hey, whatever makes you happy.

    I watched "The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King" again. I really like this movie although I can't help but wonder if they could have made just one movie instead of three. You see, it's long.

    Each movie is long. And to be honest, I fell asleep at each movie but each movie has its moments. And that's when I wake up. Here's a bit of trivia: Peter Jackson, the director, originally pitched one LOTR movie to Miramax. And it was Miramax who suggested three movies.

    I also watched "The Sound Of Music" for the first time on TV today. How our values have changed. It's amazing to me how they managed to get away with musicals back then. I still can't get over bursting out in song in the middle of a conversation. Wait a sec...don't they still have Bollywood movies like that? And gosh, could Julie Andrews be possibly more virginal?
    Last night I had a post-Christmas dinner at Wendy's. She prepared this super meal with lots of food which I won't make myself because it requires more than five steps of food preparation. So we had this "Secret Santa" thing going. I am supposed to write about it since I'm expected to but I won't.

    Christmas day and Christmas eve was quiet for me. I was home watching TV and working. So much fun I had to contain myself. Again, I am amused how many Christmas greetings I received on Dec 25. Perhaps many don't know but I am not a Christian. Sure, I call out to Jesus sometimes but it's not in praise.

    Don't people realise that Christmas is a religious holiday? It's not like National Day or Labour Day. It wouldn't make sense for me to randomly greet people with "Happy Hannukah" or "Happy Kwanza" just because it falls on Dec 25, would it?

    I can only reason that we, as in society at large, are just hung up on the commercial values of Christmas more than anything else. And we get suckered into it as well. Just look at Bangsar on the eve of any holiday; religious or otherwise. Just to satisfy the Malaysian fetish of counting down at midnight, we are willing to pay 20 bucks for Coke and shorten our lifes while increasing the risk of cancer by being sandwiched in a smoky bar. Hey, whatever makes you happy.

    Tuesday, December 16, 2003

    Bye Grandpa!

    T'was an interesting day. We buried my grandfather today.

    Needless to say, it is an experience I won't forget. We started the day at 8.30 in the a.m. with a lot of people at the funeral parlour, including the she-monk who was here the night before. To cut a long story short, we prayed, she-monk chanted, there were kneelings, sitting, and butt-clenching (my ass?, hard as a rock!), more chanting, I nailed the coffin, kinda did the jig, got onto the mourning bus filled with mourners in the morning, went to the hill, more praying and chanting (those monks sure know how to drill a song into your head!), got rice and beans thrown on me, got myself a facial steam from the fire burning the fake house and the Mercedes with the Michelim tyres, removed my socks, and got my a ticket to hell for the unnecessary and inappropriate comments I made during the whole process. ("When I'm dead, I'd like to be marinated with BBQ sauce and then cremated.") And then there's this blog entry.
    And as if I was not getting enough from my mother's side, my aunts had to bring up the fact that as the oldest grandson representing the third generation, I did not make my grandfather a great grandfather. Oooh...this is new!!!

    I almost wanted to tell them that I am gay or that I only have one nut, therefore greatly reducing my sperm count. But I figured thëy wouldn't get it. Although, I did meet a nice girl there. I'm waiting for my cousin to hook us up and hope that she is not related to me.
    And of course, my father had to do the encore reminding to get married before it's "too late". So, I proposed to Pam just now and asked her to shoot a couple of kids out for me.

    I'm disappointed with myself for not taking the time to know my grandfather. We all say this about people we lose but then we take for them for granted when they are around. But I think life is fair process. My grandfather's passing serves as a reminder to not let the same missed opportunity happen with my parents. Life is short. Go start my record label. Visit my grandmother more often. Most importantly, have a good headshot of yourself for the tombstone. (And remember, it's not the camera that makes you look fat. It's the fat that makes you look fat.)

    I'm sure we all know this. This is so "Cats In The Cradle." Three months later, this will be nothing but a memory and I'll be back in the rat race until someone I know and/or love dies. I must change.

    By the way, blogged on the iPAQ.

    Wednesday, December 10, 2003

    It’s day four! After three long days of sitting around doing nothing but folding, we finally had a break in the monotony. We had the pre-burial prayers. Man, that was fun.
    We all had to sit on the floor and listen to this lady monk (who, by the way, has the same hair style as I do), chant for about 15 minutes. After that, we turn and she chants some more. Then we walk around the coffin a few times. She chants some more. Then we stop.
    We stop. After 20 minutes, we do it all over again. And again.

    That's three times.

    With all that sitting, I did managed to squeeze in a few hundred butt clenches.
    Other than that, it was as interesting as watching a 80GB hard drive defragment. (Geek alert!)

    Tomorrow we bury my grandfather.

    The Funeral Day 4

    It’s day four! After three long days of sitting around doing nothing but folding, we finally had a break in the monotony. We had the pre-burial prayers. Man, that was fun.
    We all had to sit on the floor and listen to this lady monk (who, by the way, has the same hair style as I do), chant for about 15 minutes. After that, we turn and she chants some more. Then we walk around the coffin a few times. She chants some more. Then we stop.
    We stop. After 20 minutes, we do it all over again. And again.

    That's three times.

    With all that sitting, I did managed to squeeze in a few hundred butt clenches.
    Other than that, it was as interesting as watching a 80GB hard drive defragment. (Geek alert!)

    Tomorrow we bury my grandfather.

    Tuesday, December 09, 2003

    The past few days have turned out to be eventful and yet uneventful at the same time.

    First, I finally made up my mind and took the plunge. I got an iPaq last Saturday. I am not sure if I really need a PDA, given my line of work but I love how it looks. I am not to thrilled about Windows CE but I am quite confident Microsoft will continue to make it better. The PalmOS on the other hand, didn't excite me too much.

    Later that day, my grandfather died. Which was ironic because earlier in the day, Pam tells me her grandfather passed away. Sigh.

    So, off I go to Melaka that evening. And I'm still here in Melaka! Basically, we are hanging out at the funeral parlour waiting for the burial. It has been an experience. Let's put it this way. I have mastered the art of sitting around doing nothing.

    Which also brings me to my next observation. I believe the so-called traditions and customs in Chinese funerals are all made up by the people who sell the stuff you need in a Chinese funeral.
    And the traditions. Gosh...the traditions. I'm held up by traditions given that I am the oldest grandson and the son of the oldest son of my grandfather. I feel like I am being prepared for something.

    But the traditions....

    I can't go to parties or "enjoy myself too much" for the next 100 days. Frankly, I welcome this one since I managed to get myself out of a wedding dinner. But it also means, no Chinese New Year for me.

    I am also the reluctant vegetarian for the next five days. I'm in the second day and I'm starting to be like one of those cartoon characters when two of them are floating adrift on a raft in the middle of the ocean. And when I look at someone's pet chicken (they have chickens for pets in Melaka :-), I see it as a roast chicken ready to eat.

    This is also where my definition of what a vegetarian is expands each day.
    And to top it all of, I'm thinking about my plants in KL since no one is watering them.
    The pus-bucket award will go to my notebook catching a virus.

    I guess the plus side was that the whole event was not as sad as I'd expected it to be. Largely because my dad (being the oldest son) was quite cool about it. It was subdued mourning. There were smiles and laughter. My grandfather lived to 84. He died peacefully. We can be thankful for that.

    Friday, December 05, 2003

    This is one of those things that will make me sound like a dolt.
    Did you know that green chillies will become red chillies over time?
    Yes! What a revelation it is for me.
    So, green turns red and it gets hotter. All this while, I thought green and red chillies were from different plants.
    Which brings me to my next thought as to whether it works the same with apples.
    "I want to have a boob job so bad that it's not funny!"
    "I want to vommit so bad that it's not funny!"
    Who came up with that line? And why so many people tend to use it? The "...it's not funny" part. Do people actually think it's a cool line to use?
    I think it would be funnier if someone said "I want gravy so bad that I could poke my eye out."
    But "...it's not funny", I don't get.
    Why would they think that the other person would find it funny in the first place. I think this is one of the lamest lines of the 20th century right up there with "Big Time!" and Mariah Carey's dog-frequency high-pitched pig squeals.
    Could someone enlighten me? I want to be enlightened so bad that it's not funny.

    Thursday, December 04, 2003

    There is this Citibank credit card commercial on TV. This newly-wed couple goes on their honeymoon and the hot babe goes on a shopping spree. And she flashes her gold card and acknowledges that her credit card allows her to live the life.

    What a load of crock!

    I can't stand how banks are promoting credit cards in Malaysia. They make it sound like its free money and it's their ticket to the good life.

    Come on. We are Malaysians. The fact of the matter is, by and large, we have been so sheltered that we don't know how to manage our finances. And now, we have these banks irresponsibly telling us we all need credit cards.

    It is only a matter of time before our society become a nation in debt. And we'll be paying that debt for the rest of our lifes.

    Say if you have a RM5000 balance. And you are paying RM200 a month because you it makes you feel good that you are paying slightly more than the minimum required. At the usual rate of 2% interest per month, you would have ended up paying about RM7000 in 35 months. That's about RM2000 in interest. And on the condition that you NOT use the card anymore.
    But I am sure you already knew that.

    Why don't these banks ask that the consumer just bend over and so they can shaft a metal pole up their ass?