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Saturday, January 28, 2006

happy new year

So, in between all the rushing in and out of the house to collect food and stuffs, I thought I would pop by and wish all you N00Bs...

HAPPY DOGGY YEAAR!


On Tuesday, I'll be off on a fishing trip till Saturday. Till, then folks, enjoy the sumptous Chinese New Year delicacies. And oh, being the year of the Dog, I hear they taste pretty good stewed in black pepper sauce.

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Thursday, January 26, 2006

awesome

Allow me to indulge a little self-praise. Today, it is all about me. Well, actually, it's always about me anyway. But heck, a lot of people never seem to understand that, so here's a warning. If you don't like people with big egos, that's probably because you suck so bad, you feel inferior when you hear of other people's greatness.

Anyway, I once went for an interview with a fairly large company. After you've been for a few, they all seem the same. They start off by getting you to fill up a form which basically requires you to copy every single thing you typed out in your CV and write it on that nifty little custom made form of theirs. I once spent close to 40 minutes filling up the form that this large American company had. They went so far as to ask for PMR results.

Anyway, as far as the interview goes, they always start off by asking you to tell them a little bit about yourself. As far as fun interviews go, I reckon that's a bad question to ask. Most of the time people do have custom made answers prepared way in advance, so these kinda questions I feel are redundant.

However, I went for an interview once which lasted close to one and the half hours. I reckon, those dudes either loved me or they had not much work to do. So anyway, it was a pretty 'different' interview. We talked about Manyoo kicking Chelsea's butt and we talked about the AP issue (both were hot news at the time). And then the engineering manager who was a Malay bloke, asked me whether I was ok speaking in Malay because I needed to interact with the workers who were mostly Malay kids with an SPM qualification only.

And so it went :

So, Vincent, boleh cakap BM tak?

Boleh, takde hal.

Ok, tell me about your family...in Malay. Pretend I am one of the workers.

Ah, okla. Macam ni. Bapak I, dia dah retire. Mak I........

Wah ok stop! That's enough. VERY GOOD! You punye bahasa kampung bagui oh.


I made some jokes, they made some jokes, and it was a blast. To top it off, one of the interviewers, the big boss dude told me that I was by far the best 21 year old he had EVER interviewed.

Well, if that's not awesome, I don't know what is.



*based on experience, 8/10 companies don't bother asking to see your results. those that do are companies that have reputations for turning people into zombies. true story, kids. study hard, play harder.*

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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

life's calling

Sod it.

I take back everything I said yesterday. Nature has a funny pull on things you know. Just as I was pondering over the uncertainties in life, not knowing what I wanted as such, then comes along a day like today and gives me a sign. I have it in me now. I have found my life's calling.

Well, to speak ill of today would be unjustified, yet it was, shall I say......refreshing. It's not so much a beautiful day as you might think it was. Just your ordinary mundane day, I would say. But that all changed in the evening with the occurance of just a single event.

The solution to the great puzzle of uncertainty lay in the predicament I found myself in this evening. You see, my brother usually takes the bus home from work, but he got held up and since we like having our meals together as a family, I had to go pick him. He works about 7km from our house, but it took me one full hour to get there and get back home. Thinking about it, I can run those 14km in under one hour, so that sums up how sucky it is to drive these days.

And then it got me thinking, there are too many cars on the road. Most of us urbanites drive everywhere. In most houses in my neighbourhood, there are on an average 3 cars per house, which means that almost everybody who can drive owns a car. Everytime we go out to eat, it is quite an effort finding place to park your car.

There lies the problem. There are just too bloody many cars on the road. The problem with that? Well, after reading this blog, you should have learned that there are a lot of idiots around. They are everywhere, so it is not surprising that when you put idiots in a machine that moves, you get a walking disaster.

Of course you know what I am talking about. Like, the asshole him front of me today who was doing 80km/h on a road in a residential area, and then for no reason just decides to slam on his brakes. Or, like those hippies who double park their car just because there isn't any more parking space left.

Speaking of which, let me sidetrack a bit (actually, I have been sidetracking all this while, since I was supposed to talk about my calling in life, but stay with me alright?). There was once a Singaporean dude who grew up in Malaysia, who plonked me down in a coffeeshop in KL during the daytime. And there he was, going on and on about how he thought Singapore was a better place to start a new business. Not knowing my ferocity when it comes to defending my country, he went on, "There are a lot of things Malaysia can learn from Singapore." Well, to be fair, I wasn't going to argue with that but I knew he was going to say something stupid, so I humoured him, "Oh yeah? Like what?" "Oh, loads of things! They are more efficient, more competitive and even more civic minded."

Simply put, if I had any intention of arguing with him, he sure did his best to put me off due to him utter idiocy. Here he was, talking about civic mindedness, just a few minutes after deciding to double park his huge 4WD in front of the coffeeshop just because he was lazy to look for a parking space elsewhere.

But heck, let's get back to the 'idea' I have. You see these idiots everywhere. They cut queues and they double park (or triple park) their cars. It is not uncommon in PJ to see people creating their own road dividers with their cars. If a road in front of a coffeeshop is wide enough, people would park on both sides of the road, and when all those parking lots are taken, they will park their cars smack in the middle of the road to sort of create a divider between the two lanes. Now, this is not something you get to see everywhere, and my friend Keng had this awesome idea of taking tourists to the SS2 area in PJ and show them how we park our cars.

Of course, now this is where I get to my life calling thingy I have been rambling about. Heck, I have been beating around the bush all this time that some idiots might have buggered off somewhere else, probably to read view another blog with photos and shits. But never mind them.

You see, you can't teach old dogs new tricks, which is why it is next to impossible to educate people to drive courteously. I mean, if assholes don't even bother moving aside for an ambulance to pass, do you expect them to park courteously? There is a chance they might do that, but those chances are probably as fat as Rossie O' Donell. Quite simply, assholes like that can't be taught lessons in a civilised manner, so we have to do something that would really jolt them to their senses, even if we break the law in the process.

I figured, being a very civic minded person, I think I make an awesome vigilante. You know, sort of like Batman. Batman breaks all kinds of rules (speeding, driving modified cars, carrying dangerous weapons around in public, etc..) but he gets away with all those things simply because he is doing it for the greater good. So, I figured, if I had all that money like Batman, I would BE a Batman. Ok, maybe not the ridiculous costume but certainly the car and the gadets.

Everytime I see an idiot cutting the queue at a junction, there I go with the Dogmobile (the year of the dog is coming so I figured it would be good fengshui to talk about Dogs) and ram that bastard Kancil's ass until it gets so smashed up that it won't be road worthy anymore. Problem is, we shouldn't go around harming idiots even if it is for the greater good. Let's face it, if we ram a Kancil with a Dogmobile, the driver is gonna get fucked pretty bad.

So I got this idea from James Bond. Maybe the Dogmobile could have some sharp stuffs stuck at its side that can puncture the offending asshole's car tyre(s). Also, I could have those small pellet bombs on my utility belt. Those would be for the cars that double park by the road side. One bomb on the undercarriage and the car is as good as scrap. No assholes harmed and a very expensive lession for them, but a lesson nonetheless.

And heck, on another sidenote (I seem to have a lot of that tonight), I think I am beginning to enjoy writing stuffs again. Ok, never mind that again.

There we go then. It's decided. There is no more confusion in my life. I have to make money, and then I get to enjoy being a science geek developing the Dogmobile and the Dogbomb (teehee....actual dog bomb might work you know) and I get to be a superhero vigilante. So there we go folks, I've already decided on my objective in life.

Now.....time to get me one of those big chested blondes that Batman always seems to get.

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Monday, January 23, 2006

wants vs needs

For probably the first time in my life, I don't know what I want exactly.

Sure, I WANT a great job, I WANT a successful career and I WANT to enjoy life. Who doesn't?

And then of course, the million dollar question is - How the hell do I do all that? I promised myself never to be a zombie. I refused to conform to the rigours of student life. I fought against being a walking dead in university - and I bloody enjoyed it. I figured out early that there are some sacrifices worth making and I made those compromises.

But heck, here I am today, eating my own words, working - doing the same thing everyday, which is just fine, but what I have yet to understand is why I am doing it in the first place. Of course, every other fool can tell you that you need a job to get money and well, we all know why we need that money after all. So in other words, we NEED a job.

And you know, we grow up in life knowing what our next objective is. In primary school, we need to do well so that we can have a strong foundation for secondary school. That in turn is so that we can do well in SPM (hah!) and get into a good college, which gets us into a great uni. And we know that good unis make good professionals, which is all we grew up thinking we wanted to be. A doctor, a lawyer, an accountant.

Ok, now that I've been through all that, what next? Whooops, I've come around to a complete circle. I've been through that. The problem is I knew all along that this is what I want, but now that it is in front of me, I am reaching out hoping to grab what I expect to be there, but it's not. There's a whole chunk of void which I conveniently forgot about, and being delusional doesn't help either.

You probably have no idea what my incoherant rambling is all about, but this sums it all quite fittingly.

Confusion.

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Thursday, January 19, 2006

you're no spiderman

Never mind the supposed elitism, never mind the supposed cliques. Everybody seems to have a favourite pet peeve when it comes to the big name bloggers. Whatever floats your boat, I reckon. I am all for elitism, but I think cliques are juvenile. Again, never mind that. Whatever gives you the jollies.

However, I noticed something those biggies have in common. They preach their stuffs until somehow the small fish pick it up too. I had a flamer the other day who asked me whether I talked like that in real life. Now, this is where we can sort out people into two distinct categories. The bloggers read that line and totally understand the question. The non-bloggers, however are probably scratching their head wondering, "Real life?? Isn't this the real life?"

Somehow, every blogger (whom in this article, I will now refer to as 'The Dumbasses' or a similar noun) seems to think that they have one identity in 'real' life and one blogging identity. Some of The Dumbasses even go as far as writing about their dual identities and keep harping about 'The real me is not like that' or 'My real life friends know me as a birdbrained blonde'. How about a dose of 'I am not so chatty in real life' ??

Well, shut up already. Your stupidity is killing me. Wake up you idiots. This isn't a Spiderman comic. There ain't no Matrix. What we do is who we are. We are what we say, we are what we blog. We are the same person at work or at school, we are the same person with our friends and family, and we sure as hell are the same person on the Internet.

Nothing changes. You may act differently, but you are that same person. Acting differently does not equate to having a dual identity. You can turn and say, "Well Vincent, I am usually not as vocal with my real life friends as I am on my blogs." Well, I say to you, that's because you have an inferiority complex around them and you are hiding behind a shroud of anonimity on the Internet.

But then you scream back at me, "What anonimity?!? I have photos of myself plastered all over my blog!" SO WHAT? Who knows who you are? How many people see you on the street and wave? One? Two? Ten? So I say back to you, "It's still the inferiority complex, my dear, you don't get attention from people on the streets, so you get attention from people on the Internet." And heck, if you didn't already know, that makes you an attention seeker, a lousy one on the streets but a good one on the Internet, but STILL an attention seeker nonetheless. You see? One identity there only.

"Okay," you admit in resignment, "but how do you explain the fact that I am more serious in real life but on my blog, I am the funniest person around?" Well, my friend, that's because you're not really funny. You're serious because you're boring. Everybody finds you boring but everybody you know is resigned to that fact, and hence everytime they talk to you, they talk serious stuffs only. And so you look for an outlet - your stupid blog. But there's a problem you see - you weren't funny in the first place. So, in a desperate attempt to shed your serious image (the image of which only you see in the mirror), you spend hours pondering over your article, trying to think up a joke.

The end result? Oh no sir, you confuse that as a dual identity. You think you have a serious 'real' life and funny 'blogging life'. Truth is, neither of that spells your identity. Your identity, your personality is marked by the characteristics of your actions. That you choose to be serious in 'real' life and you attempt to be funny in your blogging life. That spells your personality loud and clear. You might be a loner who can't cut it socially in the mamak stalls face to face with your friends, but you excel behind a faceless computer. Or, it could be that you are one that holds his personal image in high esteem and wouldn't do anything in front of his friends to embarass himself. But again, behind the so-called 'anonimity' of the Internet, it's a no holds barred affair.

There we go then. Those are your identities, your personality. It is unique. 'Being serious on the streets, but funny on the blog' is NOT your personality. It is merely a concequence of your actions. So, don't try to be a goody-two-shoes by saying "We fight on the Net, but we are good nice people in real life". Bollocks. You are who you are. It is your fingers, your real life fingers of flesh and bone that does the typing. It is your brain that decides what it types. This is who you are. Your blog speaks volumes of your personality.

Don't kid yourself. Don't kid your readers.

If you are an asshole on the Internet, you are just as big an asshole on the street.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

a quickie

I love my job.

I get to work 10 straight hours drawing some technical mumbo-jumbo and designing a system that makes sure that all of you n00bs sitting at home don't get power cuts, while satisfying the lust of some crazy foreigners in a freaking large MNC who have the tendency to enjoy watching their consultants suffer as they take their own sweet time to make a decision, only to change that decision 4 times.

What's not to like?

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Saturday, January 14, 2006

hannibal

No, he covets. That's his nature. And how do we begin to covet, Clarice? Do we seek out things to covet? Make an effort to answer.

No. We just...

No. Precisely. We begin by coveting what we see every day. Don't you feel eyes moving over your body, Clarice? And don't your eyes move over the things you want?

Truest shit if I ever saw one......


(I am working on a long assed thesis like article. I'll post it when I post it. Now stop bugging me for updates. Alternatively, you could keep refreshing my page every 5 minutes and give me more hits.)

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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

for the geeks

Note : This is quite a geeky entry, and quite informative I hope. I have tried to keep my explainations and scientific terms as basic as possible with the hope that it can be understood by everybody - even those without a science background. However, if you still do not understand some stuffs and you are really interested, drop me a comment or an email and I will try to humour you to my best efforts.


Some time back, I managed to land my hands on a fair bit of dry ice. If you had been paying attention in Science Class in school, you would know that dry ice is actually frozen carbon dioxide which is about -78.5 degree celcius. There are loads of uses for dry ice and if you are free to indulge in some reading material, click here.

Of course, since I had no practical purpose with it, I started by doing what I used to do as a kid - dumping a fair bit of it in the toilet bowl and watch it 'smoke'. The 'smoke' is actually water vapour mixed with carbon dioxide which is released as the dry ice 'melts' from solid to gas.

After a while though, that's not much fun. You do get to hear the gurgling sound of air bubbles being discharged through the water, but that's about it. You could of course pee in it and watch your piss dissapear through the 'smoke' but all of that is pretty pointless.

And so, I proceeded along with an age-old experiment I came up with when I was a kid. I've actualy blogged about it before. It basically involved filling a water bottle with some water, dumping in the dry ice, capping it shut, and watching it explode. Now, bearing in mind that I did that as a kid and had not much inclination towards safety, the approach this time around was way different. Besides, this time around, I knew the theories behind the explosion of a so-called 'pressure vessel'.

When dealing with pressure vessels, or in this case, the water bottle, the two main stresses in the vessel are the hoop stress and longitudinal stress. The magnitude of these stresses and the build of the vessel determine whether or not the vessel fails under the intense pressure.

Longitudinal stress

Hoop stress

*pictures sourced from http://www.efunda.com/formulae/solid_mechanics/mat_mechanics/pressure_vessel.cfm. Click here for more reading info.

So basically, longitudinal stress is the stress acting in the longitudinal direction of a cylindrical vessel. In the case of the water bottle, this is the stress acting to pop open the cap and the bottom of the bottle. Hoop stress, however is the stress acting against the walls of the cylinder trying to split open the cylinder. In a cylindrical vessel, the hoop stress is twice that of the longitudinal stress. This is explains why, when grilling a sausage, the sausage splits along the length of the sausage. This is because the larger hoop stress due to the steam from inside the sausage breaks up the skin, and hence splitting it along its length.




And now, to the experiment itself. Please note that playing with pressure is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS and should only be done by someone who understands and respects the danger involved. Yes, I did it when I was a kid, and looking back, it probably wasn't the smartest thing I did. Proper safety precautions have to be taken. While researching some info for this article, I bumped into this piece of news about kids playing with dry ice, and oblivious to its effects, blew up a plastic bottle which effectively left a mother blind in one eye.

I took A LOT of precautions here, and yet I cannot stress how dangerous it is unless you have access to a proper lab with a safety barrier which you can stand behind. I wore safety glasses and worked behind a shatterproof Plexiglass sheet. I worked in the middle of the driveway at home, with NO spectators. Using a glass bottle or a metal container is a strict NO-NO, not something I would do even if I had a proper lab to work with. I even chose a small and light 300ml plastic bottle - which is considerably less dangerous I feel - than the average Coke bottle.

Starting the experiment - the stuffs I used



Dry ice up close



Chopped the dry ice into small cubes that can fit into the bottle


I filled up the bottle somewhere about 2/3 full. There is a logic behind this number. We know that water is incompressible. This means that the amount of free space you leave would directly influence your explosion. Imagine a balloon filled up with water until it bursts. When it bursts, it just burst. No loud bang, no bits of rubber flying everywhere, nothing. But if you blow a balloon till it bursts, you get a loud bang and if you are unlucky a random piece of balloon will smack you in the face or lips.

Therefore, the more water you put in the bottle will give you a smaller explosion, which in hindsight MIGHT be safer. However, that would also mean that there is less space in which the air can compress and hence would explode faster (maybe even in your hands after you cap the bottle). Using less water would mean that more air would compress, which produces a bigger bang (dangerous) but would give you more time to get away from the bottle. The danger here, especially if you use a large bottle is that you leave too much space for air and you underestimate the amount of dry ice required. This means that it is possible for all the dry ice to have turned into gas, but the pressure isn't enough to explode the bottle. In this case, you would have a great trouble disposing the bottle. Even approaching the bottle which is under high pressure would be dangerous the say the least. What would you do then? To be honest, I don't even know. That is why, I preferred to make certain of a successful and safer experiment albeit with a smaller bang.

The effects were nothing short of astounding. The results didn't match that of the experiment I did as a kid, but that was one done with a 1.5L bottle and a huge air space. I have positioned the bottle in a horizontal position (which thinking about it, wasn't very clever). The bottle flew like a rocket about 10 metres and hit the brick fence seperating my house and my neighbour's.



The bottom part tore apart and flew in the opposite direction of the bottle (ie. bottle flew 10metres to the right but the bottom tore apart and flew 1 metre to the left).



I tried to piece them together, but as you can see, a large sizeble chunk is missing. I searched the whole compound but couldn't find any distinct blue plastic bits.



Perhaps not surprisingly, the whole chunk came off quite cleanly, that is to say, an almost circular section. This is because the pressure is uniform inside the bottle and hence it would tear apart the bottle 'uniformly'.





The damage done to the cap was nothing short of devastating. The cap is probably the hardest part of the whole bottle and yet it got busted that easily. Unfortunately, as you can see from the picture on the right, in addition to the 'cracks', the cap sustained a 'bruising' which was probably a result of it's impact against the wall. Therefore, it is impossible to tell whether the cap broke due to the pressure from within the bottle, or from impact. Nevertheless, it still gives you an indication of the magnitude of the forces we are dealing with. If you were to take your average Coke bottle and banged it against the wall with a quick swing of your arm, I still doubt that you would be able to crack the cap as such.

Ok, if you had been paying attention in the earlier lesson about hoop stress and longitudinal stress and the sausage, you would be wondering - why did the the cap and the base crack? If the theory holds, shouldn't the bottle split along its vertical? Truth is, I don't know. Theoretically, it SHOULD.

However, there are a couple of explainations I can think off. First was the position in which I left the bottle. I left it lying down on the floor on it's side. This then applies a force (which is equivalent of it's weight) on it's side which might have slightly countered the pressure acting from the inside.

The more probable explaination is the way in which it is manufactured. The theory accounts for a cylindrical vessel. The bottle, however, is not a cylinder per-se. It has grooves running around its circumference. Unless we do an in-depth analysis (only possible with the help of certain software), there is no way we can figure out what effect the grooves have on the pressure. Also, since it is common knowledge that the hoop stress is twice that of the longitudinal stress, and the cylinder will fail along the vertical, designers might have countered that problem by making the bottle thicker around the vertical section.

There are loads of ways to improve this experiment - like hanging it from a string to prevent it's deadweight from having any effect on it. There are many variables as well - the amount of dry ice used, the original temperature of the water (might affect brittleness of the plastic) and the volume of water vs air. One day, and I am serious here, one day, my house shall have it's own lab in which I can work in. This would be the first real experiment which I would properly conduct. Till then, one last message...

KIDS, DON'T FUCKING TRY THIS AT HOME!

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Monday, January 09, 2006

vincent, the flamer

Boy am I a big hypocrite. If you scroll down to the bottom of the page and read the fine print, you will find a paragraph that has been sitting there, unedited for ages long. Heck, I'll even throw in an excerpt of it :

It you wish to leave a comment, please do so in a civilised manner. If you wish to criticise, criticise the message and not the messenger. I will gladly start a lively debate with you.

And it is by that mantra which I based my blog upon in those days gone by. I had loads of controversial topics, I had loads of arguments around back then. And somehow, I always advocated that disagreements, while inevitable, could be done in a civilised manner befitting our educated backgrounds.

However, being on the Internet for ages has taught me that there are loads of idiots around, and sometimes, for a certain breed of people, patience and tolerance is not possible. As of late (and I mean within the last few months), I have started flaming assholes with random comments.

And then I realised.............goddamn it's fun to do.

So, if you want to indulge in a little flaming, please proceed here to read a fucking ridiculous article, no less. Flaming is welcome, especially for a moron who should be able to acknowledge it himself. There is no reasoning there. He tries to justify his points but they fall flat on his retarded face. So folks, here it is again : Malaysia, the country in between Thailand and Singapore.

I'll even go a step further and humour you with my first comment to him:

vincent said...

No, I don't think you'll be called racist or get your blog banned. Afterall, its not your fault that you are a fucking retard.

1:25 AM

Who said flaming assholes wasn't fun??



UPDATE : I am beginning to indulge in this a little too much, I fear. Someome told me not to argue with kids, but heck, since I am already at it, let me present to you another dumbass retard. Head along there, folks!

update 2 : The retard just deleted a large chunk of his original article. Hooorah for flamers!

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Thursday, January 05, 2006

of growing up

Some days just have a proper theme to it. Today was just like that. Everything I did today, every conversation I had, and everybody I met seemed to reflect the same common denominator.

I was chatting with a friend of mine from high school, a guy about 25 years old I reckon. He asked me how I spent Christmas and New Year. I told him it was a quiet affair. I spent quality time at home with my family, we cooked a great meal. We had a proper family chat. We watched tv and played a little mahjong.

"You mean you didn't go out!??!"
"Nope, like I said......I spent time at home."
"Dude, that's just sad."

Now I don't presume to understand what he terms as 'sad' and 'happening', but this is how I chose to spend my time. Partying? No thank you. I've had my day. I've partied enough in university. I've drank my fair share of booze. I think we reach a certain stage in life where all this stuffs probably isn't that important anymore. I had a chat with most of my colleagues at work and everybody says the same....we had enough of this when we were young. Enough of this shit.

And then I realised the situation with my friend. This bloke was a top student in school and in uni. He probably didn't get to have fun back then. He probably spent his Friday nights cooped up in his room studying. A deprived student life. A wasted youth. Now, he goes clubbing every week without fail and gets pissed drunk everytime. He's probably making up for all that lost time.

Me, I've had my fun. 'FUN' for the lack of a better word. I still have fun these days. It's just that I consider other things to be fun. Things other than puking my guts out and popping pills.

And just now, I was talking to my friend Joe. Joe still keeps in touch with a lot of guys from school, something that I never bothered doing. And he was telling me of people who 'just didn't grow up', the kids who were still stuck in Form 5.

There's the guy who threw away his job in the UK (which is awfully hard to get) just so he could come back and be with some random girl. There's also the guy (who died, btw) who modified his car to wrap around a big fat tree somewhere around Bangsar. Most of the people in my batch have graduated, except the few of them who bummed around their time and wasted their education. Like the bloke from our class that Joe bumped into the other day who was too lazy (NOT that he didn't have money) to go to university, so he was selling Hotlink reload cards. Like a skanky girl I remember from before who just got married with a protruding front belly.

Yes, I am being a bit arsey today. In fact, I have been arsey for the last few days trying to be a moral police preaching my values. But heck, don't look at it that way. I am merely reminding myself why I shouldn't be stuck in my student life. Forgive me, because I have in the last 3 days learnt more about the world than I ever did in the last 3 years.

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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

anti social

I was listening to my friend complain about the anti-social antics of her boyfriend when I realised that she was complaining of something someone else would complain about myself. Yes, I am anti-social. No, I don't believe in 'making new friends' just for the heck of it. Yes, I like to keep to myself. No, I don't like faking a smile and making small talk with random people at a random party.

Which reminds me of a party when I was a kid no older than 5 years old. This particular girl from my class had a birthday party that happened to fall on Mooncake Festival. I actually got dragged along because my mum and her mum were good friends. And....for kids, we even got to bring our colourful lanterns to play. Heck, I was waiting to show off my Batman lantern to my classmates, whom I presumed were invited.

And so I arrived at the party proudly carrying the Mini-Batman and off I went looking for my friends. Suddenly, it hit me. There weren't any friends of mine. Heck, I don't think there were any friends of the birthday girl either (cause lets face it, we're Standard 1 and the only friends we had besides kiddy neighbours were our classmates). And then I realised all the kids were kids of the mother's housewife gang.

But never mind that. I didn't like seeing unfamiliar faces and so I started finding fault with everything. I observed the other kids' lanterns and scoffed at their lameass round paper lanterns. Mine was awesome and nobody could match it, you know. So I decided that I didn't want to play with any of them and their ugly lanterns cause their stupid 50sen piece of paper caught fire easily (I was kinda of an elitist even back then). I think they were just as fine playing amongst themselves too.

And so, Batman and I got left alone in the corner. But no fear, since Vincent was a naughty kid. If he couldn't have fun, neither could the rest of the kids. I distinctly remember going to the table where they kept all the spare lanterns, and seeing that there wasn't anybody around, I nicked all the candles and hid them. A young asshole, I was.

But that story wasn't so much of me being a total dick. I was, from an early age an introvert. I only talked to people I was familiar with. That was partly good because I didn't talk to strangers and hence wouldn't get conned into following someone into a car or something. Nothings changed. I still don't talk to strangers and I only talk to people I am familiar with. For everybody else, I crack insulting jokes poking fun at their names and appearance.

I also remember that when my parents' friends came to the house to visit, I would hide upstairs in their room because I refused to say 'hi' to some random people who would most of the time remark, "WAH YOUR SON SO BIG ALREADY!" like as though I wasn't there. Sometimes, if I was lucky, they would pinch my adorable cheeks.

But it was not as if I was a mute or refused to talk to people. I just took a little more time to warm up to people. Like for instance, if my mum forced me to come down from my hiding place to greet her friends, I lost all akwardness and shyness after the first, "hello auntie, hello uncle". After that I could yell and even play with my toys in front of them.

And since today was the first day of school for many kids, let me tell you that I fared no better in school. I cried every single day for a month when I first entered Standard 1. I remember saying things like, "I don't want to make friends. They all stupid-stupid one." Weird kid I was. By the time it got to tea-break time, I was happily playing with everybody else. But the next day, I would cry that those stupid monkeys thought that Michelangelo was 'more stronger' than Donatello, which no self-respecting 5 year old kid of that era would ever claim.

So parents...a word of advice, because it's true. If you see your kid sitting alone playing by himself. Don't worry too much. In fact, you could look at them and be proud that your kid is such an elitist prick. When he grows up, he could be just like me - awesome.

But I have changed a lot since then. I no longer hide upstairs when guests come. I no longer mumble greetings to the guests. My parents didn't even follow me to uni (least I can say for some bapuks I know). Heck, I don't even go around ruining kids parties anymore. But for the rest.....I guess somethings never change.

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