About Me

I have done a lot of things in my life and have also worked in many different jobs to make a living and to experience life. This blog is just some of my musings, sometimes funny, sometimes inspirational, sometimes sad, sometimes angry, sometimes simple but all the time, it's just me.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Courtesy is dead, long live Curtness

"Life is short, but there is always time for courtesy." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Holding a door for a stranger, especially a woman or child.
Saying "Please" and "Thank You" often and with sincerity.
Giving up your seat for an old, ill or pregnant person in a bus or train.
Standing when you meet a person for the first time, and extending your hand openly in friendship.
Begging the pardon of others when you have unintentionally wronged or offended them.
Actively listening to the thoughts and ideas of others, and acknowledging with gratitude their willingness to share them with you.
Ignoring your cell phone when you are in a conversation with another.
Showing respect to your elders by using "Sir" or "Ma'am," if you are not already acquainted with them or you know it to be their preference.
Replying to emails, SMS messages or missed phone calls, even if it is a few days later or even if it is 1 week later especially if you are overseas.
Speaking kindly of others to people you, or they, do not know.
Many more courtesies, hardly ever seen now.
Simple hello, thank you and genuine love and compassion, gone.
Is common courtesy dead?
Being curt has become en-vogue.
The results surveyed cities, but curtness has become a Malaysian thing.
We no longer tolerate our neighbours, my neighbour once called us "bloody bastards".
We no longer say hello, we no longer care.
Courtesy is dead, I mourn my dear old friend.
Rest in peace and I will see you again,
this curtness in the world will kill us all,
before our time.

Take care and be well.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hope, Despair, Hope

I refuse to be depressed,
'cause I'm totally obsessed,
with the feeling that I'm really lying.
It's an idea that I detest,
but once gotten off my chest,
I know I'll feel less and less like crying.
I won't yield to grim despair;
I must just grin and bear,
'cause I've other irons in the fire, frying.
If I'm burnt out or I scar,
when my words have turned to char,
it's not because this Smithy's stopped trying.
So life goes on and on,
and I know I'll carry on,
with the hope of a song in my heart.
I know I must be strong,
lest my quest to belong,
is diverted or goes wrong from the start.
By now I think you've guessed,
that life is no idle jest;
what scares us most is not just the fear of dying.
It is the panic and the stress,
of emotions long suppressed;
the narcotic of self-love and self-denying.
With the passing of the days,
I know I'll find a way,
to keep that song singing in my soul.
If my life begins to fray,
at ambition's sad dismay,
there is resource in disarray controlled.
So if you find you're not impressed,
by the things that I express,
and the knot of love between us is untying;
will you not think me a pest,
if I honestly confess,
that my life with you was truly satisfying.
Though there's no objective test,
we must know that we're possessed,
of a love that's true and real and gratifying.
And if we live our lives with zest,
and keep striving for the best,
we cannot lose unless no one is buying.
So as time begins to fade,
I'll keep the promises I made,
to press that song forever to my breast.
And as the closing act is played,
when the bill of death is paid,
my final breath will sing me to my rest.
~ A song of Hope by David Smith White

The memory of you emerges from the night around me.
The river mingles its stubborn lament with the sea.
Deserted like the wharves at dawn.
It is the hour of departure, oh deserted one!
Cold flower heads are raining over my heart.
Oh pit of debris, fierce cave of the shipwrecked.
In you the wars and the flights accumulated.
From you the wings of the song birds rose.
You swallowed everything, like distance.
Like the sea, like time. In you everything sank!
It was the happy hour of assault and the kiss.
The hour of the spell that blazed like a lighthouse.
Pilot's dread, fury of blind driver,
turbulent drunkenness of love, in you everything sank!
In the childhood of mist my soul, winged and wounded.
Lost discoverer, in you everything sank!
You girdled sorrow, you clung to desire,
sadness stunned you, in you everything sank!
I made the wall of shadow draw back,
beyond desire and act, I walked on.
Oh flesh, my own flesh, woman whom I loved and lost,
I summon you in the moist hour, I raise my song to you.
Like a jar you housed infinite tenderness.
and the infinite oblivion shattered you like a jar.
There was the black solitude of the islands,
and there, woman of love, your arms took me in.
There was thirst and hunger, and you were the fruit.
There were grief and ruins, and you were the miracle.
Ah woman, I do not know how you could contain me
in the earth of your soul, in the cross of your arms!
How terrible and brief my desire was to you!
How difficult and drunken, how tensed and avid.
Cemetery of kisses, there is still fire in your tombs,
still the fruited boughs burn, pecked at by birds.
Oh the bitten mouth, oh the kissed limbs,
oh the hungering teeth, oh the entwined bodies.
Oh the mad coupling of hope and force
in which we merged and despaired.
And the tenderness, light as water and as flour.
And the word scarcely begun on the lips.
This was my destiny and in it was my voyage of my longing,
and in it my longing fell, in you everything sank!
Oh pit of debris, everything fell into you,
what sorrow did you not express, in what sorrow are you not drowned!
From billow to billow you still called and sang.
Standing like a sailor in the prow of a vessel.
You still flowered in songs, you still brike the currents.
Oh pit of debris, open and bitter well.
Pale blind diver, luckless slinger,
lost discoverer, in you everything sank!
It is the hour of departure, the hard cold hour
which the night fastens to all the timetables.
The rustling belt of the sea girdles the shore.
Cold stars heave up, black birds migrate.
Deserted like the wharves at dawn.
Only tremulous shadow twists in my hands.
Oh farther than everything. Oh farther than everything.
It is the hour of departure. Oh abandoned one!
~ Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda

A lonesome seed lie cocooned in dirt;
dormant in well-packed ground.
He lies and waits in his blackened tomb,
of the day he will be found.
He sings his song of hope within
of vibrant petals on an emerald stem.
He sings of niche and promises which,
give his life some meaning.
For what he longs he can't be sure,
but he knows there is a calling.
But its golden rays are only his dream,
while he sings his song of finding.
As cool rains fall on his grave of fear,
his kernel's walls begin to tear.
He sings his song as he reaches through;
as if it were a prayer.
Pushing dirt and wiggling forth;
a twisting, squirming, grope.
Inching up through fractions of ground;
and singing a song of hope.
At last, he's through to sun and air,
and cries in joy at his new found lair.
He sobs to a breeze in a pasture fair-
and he sings his song of hope.
~ Song of Hope by John Emmett Anderson

Take care and be well.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I'm tired of being what you want me to be
Feeling so faithless, lost under the surface
I don't know what you're expecting of me
Put under the pressure of walking in your shoes
(Caught in the undertow just caught in the undertow)
Every step that I take is another mistake to you
(Caught in the undertow just caught in the undertow)
I've become so numb I can't feel you there
Become so tired so much more aware
I'm becoming this all I want to do
Is be more like me and be less like you
Can't you see that you're smothering me?
Holding too tightly, afraid to lose control
Cause everything that you thought I would be
Has fallen apart right in front of you
And every second I waste is more than I can take
And I know I may end up failing too
But I know you were just like me
With someone disappointed in you
I've become so numb I can't feel you there
Become so tired so much more aware
I'm becoming this all I want to do
Is be more like me and be less like you
~ Numb by Linkin Park

There is no pain, you are receding.
A distant ship's smoke on the horizon.
You are only coming through in waves.
Your lips move, but I can’t hear what you’re saying.
When I was a child, I had a fever.
My hands felt just like two balloons.
Now I’ve got that feeling once again.
I can’t explain, you would not understand.
This is not how I am.
I have become comfortably numb.
~ Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd

Loss of feeling.
No sensation.
Lack of love.
Ice cold frozen.
Unalive, deadened

Take care and be well.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Who's to know if your soul will fade at all
The one you sold to fool the world
You lost your self-esteem along the way
Good god you're coming up with reasons
Good god you're dragging it out
Good god it's the changing of the seasons
I feel so raped
So follow me down
And just fake it if you're out of direction
Fake it if you don't belong here
Fake it if you feel like affection
Don't be such a fucking hypocrite
And you should know that the lies won't hide your flaws
No sense in hiding all of yours
You gave up on your dreams along the way
I can fake with the best of anyone
I can fake with the best of em all
I can fake with the best of anyone
I can fake it all
Fake it if you're out of direction
Fake it if you don't belong here
Fake it if you feel like infection
~ Fake It by Seether

I do not have any original DVD. I never had an original VCD or VHS before either. I have all fakes.

And yet, all my music CD's are all real. My books are all real. My software in my computer is all real.

But what is real and what is fake?
Sometimes, life is fake and sometimes life is too real. But what is it?
Are the prophets real or fake? Is the Bible and Quran and Mahabharata a work of fiction or fact/non-fiction?
Sejarah Melayu (Malay History) ~ is it real or fake? Whose version is right, whose version is wrong?
It actually all does not matter at all.
Fake or real, it is a matter of belief and satisfaction.
Watching movies from a fake dvd satisfy my requirements enough but listening to a fake music CD does not, thus it is about satisfaction.
Religion or reincarnation or heaven and hell is also about what satisfies you the most, and what satisfies your needs is what you will believe in.
We are all fake and we are all real.
It is finally what you yourself think that matters the most. Someone once said that it is important to be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because character is what you are, but your reputation is merely what others think you are.
But sometimes, I am such a fucking hypocrite as I lie to try to hide my flaws, I gave up on my dreams along the way, I gave up on love and hope and I gave up on myself.
There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it.

But how do you walk away from yourself?

You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad, and focus on the good.

Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don't.

Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living.

It ain't going to be easy, but it must be done.

Take care and be well.

Monday, August 22, 2011

I do not know how to write

I had a dream. In the dream, I woke up in one morning as usual, but nothing was usual anymore. I could not write anymore, maybe I could never write, but now, I could not even write a simple sentence

Maybe it was not a dream or is it.

I have been attending this creative writing course but my writing has not improved much. I guess practice makes perfect but when there is so many other things in life, so many other issues that takes precedence, writing get's left in the back burner.

To be a good writer, or to be good at anything, one must practice. How to practice if you do not have the time? Well, time is a funny thing. We tend to waste a lot of time in a day doing things that are not important. And we waste a lot of time in general. If we only took half an hour or an hour daily and cut off things that were less important like watching television and do something which was important and taught us something, then we would get better.

There are many things that can be deemed important in writing.

Opening lines in a story are very important. You must hook your reader. The tone of the writing should be fresh and distinctive. Create an immediate narrative pull; make the reader want to know "what happens next?".

Get the reader into the story straight away, and use crisp and unassuming language. Don't make the reader want to reach for the dictionary.
  1. Avoid Alliteration. Always.
  2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.
  3. Avoid cliches like the plague. (They’re old hat.)
  4. Employ the vernacular.
  5. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
  6. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.
  7. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.
  8. Contractions aren’t necessary.
  9. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.
  10. One should never generalize.
  11. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”
  12. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.
  13. Don’t be redundant; don’t use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous.
  14. Profanity sucks.
  15. Be more or less specific.
  16. Understatement is always best.
  17. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
  18. One word sentences? Eliminate.
  19. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.
  20. The passive voice is to be avoided.
  21. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.
  22. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.
  23. Who needs rhetorical questions?
  24. Parenthetical words however must be enclosed in commas.
  25. It behooves you to avoid archaic expressions.
  26. Avoid archaeic spellings too.
  27. Don't repeat yourself, or say again what you have said before.
  28. Don't use commas, that, are not, necessary.
  29. Do not use hyperbole; not one in a million can do it effectively.
  30. Never use a big word when a diminutive alternative would suffice.
  31. Subject and verb always has to agree.
  32. Placing a comma between subject and predicate, is not correct.
  33. Use youre spell chekker to avoid mispeling and to catch typograhpical errers.
  34. Don't repeat yourself, or say again what you have said before.
  35. Use the apostrophe in it's proper place and omit it when its not needed.
  36. Don't never use no double negatives.
  37. Poofread carefully to see if you any words out.
  38. Hopefully, you will use words correctly, irregardless of how others use them.
  39. Eschew obfuscation.
  40. No sentence fragments.
  41. Don't indulge in sesquipedalian lexicological constructions.
  42. A writer must not shift your point of view.
  43. Don't overuse exclamation marks!!
  44. Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents.
  45. Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.
  46. If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
  47. Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
  48. Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.
  49. Always pick on the correct idiom.
  50. The adverb always follows the verb.
  51. Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors.
  52. If you reread your work, you can find on rereading a great deal of repetition can be by rereading and editing.
  53. And Always be sure to finish what ...
Take care and be well.

Friday, August 19, 2011

I will find hope, peace, joy, strength and truth .... I will, I surely will

When life seems lost and so alone
No loving arms to hold you close
And time just passes by 
The emptiness inside wont fade away 
Till He came to show the way
We will find hope
We will find peace 
We will find joy 
That He brings
We will draw strength 
We will know truth 
Eternal life revealed 
Through Him
Like a ship out in the sea 
The raging tides sweep endlessly 
Blown forth from left to right
This sinking soul of mine can't hardly breathe 
Till His guiding Hands lifted me
I have found hope 
I have found peace 
I have found joy that You bring
I will draw strength 
I now know truth 
Eternal Life revealed 
Through You
~ Through Him by Patrick Leong

I have yet to find hope, or peace, or joy, or strength or the truth.

But I have hope that one day I will have hope, peace, joy, strength and the truth will be revealed. It is a journey, not a destination. I will surely find it one day, not today perhaps, but one day.

Take care and be well.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Indeed, a mad world

All around me are familiar faces
worn out places, worn out faces
Bright and early for the daily races
Going nowhere, going nowhere
Their tears are filling up their glasses
No expression, no expression
Hide my head I wanna drown my sorrow
No tomorrow, no tomorrow
And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I'm dying
Are the best I've ever had
I find it hard to tell you
I find it hard to take
When people run in circles
It's a very very, mad world, mad world
Children waiting for the day they feel good
Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday
And I feel the way that every child should
Sit and listen, sit and listen
Went to school and I was very nervous
No one knew me, no one knew me
Hello teacher tell me what's my lesson
Look right through me, look right through me
And I find it kind of funny
I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I'm dying
Are the best I've ever had
I find it hard to tell you
I find it hard to take
When people run in circles
It's a very very, mad world, mad world
Enlarge your world, mad world

It is a mad world indeed.

Sometimes, when one does not know what to write or how to write, they can always rely on what others have already written.

A mad world right now indeed.

Take care and be well.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Say nothing at all ... see where it will get you

It's amazing
How you can speak
Right to my heart
Without saying a word,
You can light up the dark
Try as I may
I could never explain
What I hear when
You don't say a thing
The smile on your face
Lets me know
That you need me
There's a truth
In your eyes
Saying you'll never leave me
The touch of your hand says
You'll catch me
Whenever I fall
You say it best
When you say
Nothing at all
All day long
I can hear people
Talking out loud
But when you hold me near
You drown out the crowd
(The crowd)
Try as they may
They could never define
What's been said
Between your
Heart and mine
The smile on your face
Lets me know
That you need me
There's a truth
In your eyes
Saying you'll never leave me
The touch of your hand says
You'll catch me
Whenever I fall
You say it best
When you say
Nothing at all

I have always liked the song above, it is quite a nice tune, but when you look at the words, it's bullshit.

Try it.

Try saying nothing at all and see where it gets you.

Try being honest all the time, and you will soon learn that sometimes, it is best to tell a lie, to be dishonest.

Sometimes, we just learn lessons late.

Take care and be well.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The laughing heart

Your life is your life;
Don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
Be on the watch.
There are ways out.
There is a light somewhere.
It may not be much light
but it beats the darkness.
Be on the watch.
The gods will offer you chances.
Know them.
Take them.
You can’t beat death
but you can beat death in life, sometimes.
And the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
Your life is your life.
Know it while you have it.
You are marvelous.
The gods wait to delight in you.
-- by Charles Bukowski

Your life is your life.
Whether you believe or you do not
Whether you care or
you have a heaven can care attitude.

My life is my life.
I get knocked down.
People talk behind my back.
There is the sharp pain
of a knife poked in my back.

But my life is my life.
I get up.
I move on.
I trust and
I have faith.
I believe.

Your life is your life.
Live it how you want to.
Live your life.
Don't judge how
I live mine.
And I will offer you
the same courtesy.

Take care and be well.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Fasten your seatbelt and enjoy the ride

Can a weekend change your life? Actually all it takes is a second, maybe a nanosecond, a thought to change your life or they way you think.

In Malaysia and in many other countries, people born into a religion are forced to remain in that religion and have no free will.

But in all honesty, as adults, we all have free will.

Whether one chooses to be a Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jain, Bahai, Jewish, Sikh, or even just follow a Buddhist lifestyle or be agnostic or even atheist is their own free will.

However, many of us are stuck in a rut, of just following because of fear, because of persecution and because of comfort.

In my many years in search for religion, I have read many scriptures, including the Bible, the Quran and many other scriptures. I even read L.Ron Hubbard's Dienetics to understand Scientology and went to a few Scientology meetings.

Somehow, when it comes to religion, people become very sensitive in nature.

But if it is race, it is ok lah to criticize each other. If it is gender, it is okay to make jokes or make fun of the transgender person or treat women as the weaker sex. If it is politics, we can make all the fun we want about DAP, PAS or UMNO or WhyMCA and MICkey etc.

When it comes to religion, everyone is too bloody sensitive and scared.

In my meditations to try to get out of the despair and anxiety I was feeling, my guardian asked me to go to the house of the Lord to seek some comfort and solitude.

I asked him, aren't we all the temple, our body is the temple, our flesh is just a vehicle and our spirits are connected to the holy spirit.

Of course, sometimes I am a wise ass and I will get wise ass answers back.

I am somewhat a clairvoyant but more a clairaudient and clairsentient. Read this blog of mine for more clarity of the differences. But mainly, I hear things and I feel things.

When I randomly open a religious book or any other book, sometimes even an autobiography of someone, I get the answer that I am seeking at that moment in time.

I am guided and my guardians and angels are always there to help me.

So, when my guardian tells me to go to the house of the Lord, I actually know what he means and I just sometimes try to be funny.

In the religion that I was born in, Jainism, it does not believe in temples or places of worship. The place of worship is within yourself. Of course, over the thousands of years, people interpret their own way. They want to create a place to meet, so they set up Jain temples. First they were empty, then they start to put statues in them. Soon enough, a religion that does not do idol worship ends up doing idol worship.

Anyway, my guardian Mahavira, a tirtha in Jainism often appears with his good friend Jesus. Yes, they are all friends, even Muhammad. And yes, Jesus is also my guardian angel, and more than that.

Nevertheless, if I was in Miri, I would normally just go to my good friend's church where I am familiar with the people and feel at home.

So over here, when the boss says go, I go. I prefer some cosy places of worship where people know you, so I went to a church my friend attends. I went to his wedding last year and quite liked the closeness of the church which reminded me of the church in Miri.

I texted my friend on Saturday to inquire if I would be welcome and he was happy for me to come. I went on Sunday, early as usual when I am going to a new place.

I came out 3 hours later, not feeling so much in despair and my anxiety was less. My energy and aura was more positive. When I got home, even my wifey commented that I had brought home a positive energy to the home.

It was simple worshiping. A lot of genuine love and compassion in the praise of the Lord.

I learned something new which led me to investigate, well, Google rather than investigate, but this is what I have learned. This search was mainly led by the news articles about DUMC (Damansara Utama Methodist Church) that was raided by JAIS (Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor - Selangor Islamic Religious Department). The news said that a multi-racial fundraiser by the church was raided by the religious authorities and particulars of 12 Muslims attending the dinner were taken down.

Al Jazeera once reported that there were 6 million Muslims converting to Christianity. I figure that the numbers could be the same for people converting to Islam but of course that is never made clear. In Malaysia, it was reported by JAIS or PAS or UMNO or someone that more than 3 thousand Muslims have been converted to Christianity.

I now personally know of two, I do not know their details but I know their testimonies. There are websites out there giving testimonies of people who have converted from Islam to Christianity and there are some testimonies from Malaysian Muslims as well. There are many sites about testimonies given by people who have converted to Islam like this link. Of course, the famous people I know are Muhammad Ali who is my favorite boxer of all time and Yusuf Islam aka Cat Stevens who is one of my favorite singers as well.

For a Muslim to convert out of Islam, he is a "murtad" or an apostate and this is a crime punishable. The Qur'an states that Allah despises apostasy, with severe punishment to be imposed in the hereafter, but not mentioning explicitly any earthly penalty for apostates. However, many humans Muslim scholars have interpreted that the punishment for apostasy is death and there is many debates about this.

In Wikipedia, there is a long list of converts from various other religions to Islam as well as a long list of converts to Christianity.

What we need is a tolerance of all religions and an acceptance that an adult will make up his or her own mind when the time is right.

People are guided by their angels and their guardians to the right path for them, I am guided and I know that the right path may not necessarily make other people happy but what is important is that I am at peace with myself and God, the Universe and the powers that be.

I am not God to judge you and you are not God to judge me. Let's be friends and let's have compassion and love for each other and leave it at that.

Take care and be well.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Push pineapple, shake the tree! Push pineapple, grind coffee!

Agadoo-doo-doo, push pineapple, shake the tree,
Agadoo-doo-doo, push pineapple, grind coffee,
To the left, to the right, jump up and down and to the knees,
Come and dance every night, sing with the hula melody.
I met a hula mistress somewhere in Waikiki,
Well, she was selling pineapple, playing ukulele,
And when I went to the girl, "Come on and teach me to sway,"
She laughed and whispered to me, "Yes, come tonight to the bay."
The lovely beach, in the sky the moon of Kauai,
Around calypso sarong we'll all be singing this song.
Agadoo-doo-doo, push pineapple, shake the tree,
Agadoo-doo-doo, push pineapple, grind coffee,
To the left, to the right, jump up and down and to the knees,
Come and dance every night, sing with the hula melody.
Agadoo-doo-doo, push pineapple, shake the tree,
Agadoo-doo-doo, push pineapple, grind coffee,
To the left, to the right, jump up and down and to the knees,
Come and dance every night, sing with the hula melody.
And down on the shore they gather romance,
She showed me much more, not only to dance.
Agadoo-doo-doo, push pineapple, shake the tree,
Agadoo-doo-doo, push pineapple, grind coffee,
To the left, to the right, jump up and down and to the knees,
Come and dance every night, sing with the hula melody.

The year was 1984, Black Lace performed the song Agadoo. Since then, despite popularity, Agadoo has been voted as the fourth most annoying song of all time. In a poll for Q magazine in 2003, a panel of music writers voted "Agadoo" as the worst song of all time, saying: "It sounded like the school disco you were forced to attend, your middle-aged relatives forming a conga at a wedding party, a travelling DJ act based in Wolverhampton, every party cliche you ever heard." The panel also described it as "magnificently dreadful".

Bah Hambug! What do the so called experts know, right?

I was 15/16 when this song came out, just the right party age where we were partying with friends. I used to breakdance when I was younger, at that age. But now, these old bones of mine creek even when walking normally. Oh how those breakdance memories remain and memories of songs like Agadoo, Funky Town, Mandalay.

I remember the 1st time I bought a Pet Shop Boys cassette and was listening to West End Girls, I expected that my parent would hate it but I was surprised when my friends disliked it as well. However, five years later when I had moved on to other music, these were the same friends who were now fans of Pet Shop Boys.

Push pineapple, shake the tree. Push pineapple, grind coffee.

Simple things, simple pleasures.

I like to sit and write under a tree.

But in Bangsar, the council has been chopping down trees because the house owners have complained saying they fear the trees or branches will fall on their house and damage their property. These are the same homeowners who then complain and say, "These DBKL buggers have been chopping down all our trees and taking the nice greenery and shade away."

Furthermore, if I were to sit under any tree and write in Bangsar, people will likely call the cops to haul me away. I remember fond memories of sitting under a tree and writing when I was in St Xavier's in Penang. I particularly like a raintree by the basketball courts. I used to write under a tree even in winter when I was in US. And in Miri, I used to go to the beach, sit on an old fallen tree and write. Here, I sit, in front of my computer. Maybe at most with a computer screen saver or wallpaper of trees.

Push pineapple, shake the tree. Push pineapple, grind coffee.

I used to have a place of solitude to think, meditate, rest my mind, to talk to God or guardians or the Universe, to reflect, to think of Enki and Enlil, remember my Mayan ancestors, say hello to Jesus and Mahavir and Buddha.

The writing and the solitude comes from within the mind. It can come anytime. But a place to encourage it does help although never mandatory but sometimes necessary.

To the left, to the right, jump up and down and to the knees, Come and dance every night, sing with the hula melody.

Let's go and dance the hula melody, let's go down the beach, let's plant a tree for me to sit under, let's build a lake.

Sometimes I wish there was a chill pill in the city but sometimes all I need is a tree, some pencil and paper and relax under the sun and the stars and the moon, talk to the ancient spirits and souls, guardians and angels, God and His Son.

Some days, just need to push pineapple shake the tree and push pineapple grind coffee.

Take care and be well.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Obstacle Course

Obstacles, by their very nature, challenge you to grow, change and adapt. As Abe Lincoln said, when the occasion is piled with difficulties, we must rise to the occasion and we must think anew, we must do things differently. The same old way does not work anymore and we must find a different and better way of doing things.

All of us, including me face obstacles, but God or the Universe is putting obstacles in our path to overcome them. We could trip over them if we want and sometimes we will, but we cannot keep tripping over the same things over and over again. If we are, then we need to do it differently, maybe walk around that hurdle rather than trying to jump over it.
Whether they arise from my personal past or are part of the life path I have chosen, obstacles are good for getting me out of old habits, teaching me about the way the world works, and making me grow stronger and more flexible.

Of course I hope and dream that life can be simple and easy, but the obstacles I face makes me work for what I want. Life can be either a merry-go-round or a roller coaster -- you can either keep going around in circles or take a ride with lots of ups and downs.

The secret of how to overcome your obstacles is learning how to turn them to your advantage.

Many things stop or delay us on our journey through life. Yet behind every hurdle, there is a reason for its existence. Sometimes to keep us out of dangerous places, sometimes just opportunities to learn.

To turn obstacles to my advantage, I have started to see the cause and reason the obstacle as well as the opportunity it brings to me. Maybe it is time for me to learn something new, develop a latent skill, or find a better way of overcoming my issues.

I just have to think seriously about making some changes in life and when I do or when a serious change happens, suddenly obstacles can appear.

Often obstacles make us slow down or stop so past unresolved issues. We cannot be Energizer Bunnies all the time and we need to stop sometime. Sometimes our old perspectives and ideas need to be re-looked and resolved. Sometimes we have to get a virus or a bacteria to help us to slow down. It is all God's or the Universe way of telling you to stop for a while.
By having to slow down to get around the road blocks and speed bumps of my life, I have time to make sure that I wholeheartedly want to arrive where I am headed. The very things that slow me down will help me choose the right path.

Sometimes, obstacles make me change my course or rethink the approach to a person, issue, or next step. They often work as guides pointing me to the Polaris or the right direction of a better path.

There are many causes for stress and obstacles in life. Amongst which are
  • Money ~ When I lack money and constantly struggle to just meet basic needs of life – I find that it can be tough to focus on the bigger picture.
  • Emotions ~ my negative emotions as well as the negative emotions around me really drains me out sometimes and again focus becomes an issue.
  • Stress ~ I need to find my happy place in KL, a tree or something that I can sit down under. In Miri, I would just go take a walk on my beach especially during sunset.
  • Decisions ~ barely two years after having moved from Miri to KL, I have to make decisions again and there are changes again. It is easy to say make a decision and go on with life, don’t fret on whether or not it was the right decision or not. But it is not easy to make a decision when it involves others and not just yourself and your personal happiness. But only time will tell.
  • Distractions ~ Today’s hectic life is full of distractions. Be prepared for them, try to avoid them or just accept the distractions as part of life and obstacles and keep your eye on the ball.
  • Relationships ~ There will be times that we disagree with our spouse, children, parents, siblings, friends and business partners. They may strongly disagree with your goals and dreams.
  • Faith and Self-Esteem ~ lack of our faith in our self to succeed sets us up for failure before we even start. Not believing in self often leads to self sabotage.
  • Belief ~ Do I truly believe in my goals and dreams? Do I even have clear goals and dreams? How will I find happiness if what I am doing is against my beliefs?
  • Knowledge ~ Sometimes we don’t have the knowledge needed. This is easy, go get it.
  • Grief ~ We will all lose people we love. When I lost my mom, I allowed myself time to grief. But sometimes it is not just people, it could be grief over something else. Either way, allowing myself time to grief will help me not to get swallowed up in it.
  • Conflict ~ I will always have a difference of opinion with someone, not everyone at every time. Just have to accept, be grateful and not be in conflict.
  • Nature, Illness and Addictions ~ luckily none of my obstacles are currently in this nature but most certainly an earthquake or a sickness within yourself or family or even an addiction to alcohol or drugs will create obstacles.
  • Perfection ~ Nothing or no one is perfect . I am not and will never be, so don;t expect me to be the perfect person. If I was, I will be God rather than this man facing all these obstacles. 
  • Time and procrastination ~ I sometimes manage my time well and I sometimes procrastinate. I know that I can make time to do anything I truly want to do but sometimes I just procrastinate.
There are some very common reasons for obstacles to occur but what truly matter is how we overcome them. There is always guidance available but sometimes we dwell on the obstacle itself too much that we do not look at a simple solutions.

Not sure if this is a true story but it has been mentioned many times. During the space race to send man to space, the Americans spends hundreds of millions to develop a pen that would be able to write in zero-gravity in space that the astronauts could use. They finally invented the pen at cost of a few hundred thousands and were very proud of it. The Russians, on the other hand, got their cosmonauts to use a pencil.

Sometimes, to overcome an obstacle, all we need is a simple solution. Use a pencil.

I know I will always be guided, by God and my guardians but sometimes I need to seek their guidance. They will not come to me automatically, they got other better things to do. BUt if I do trust and call upon Him, He will light the path.

So, someday, if you see me writing with a pencil, you'll know I have just overcome an obstacle.

Take care and be well.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

We only come out at night

We only come out at night, the days are much too bright
We only come out at night
And once again, you'll pretend to know me well, my friends
And once again, I'll pretend to know the way
Thru the empty space
Thru the secret places of the heart
We only come out at night, the days are mush too bright
We only come out at night
I walk alone, I walk alone to find the way home
I'm on my own, I'm on my own to see the ways
That I can't help the days, you will make it home o.k.
I know you can, and you can
We only come out at night, the days are much too bright
We only come out at night
And once again, you'll pretend to know that
There's an end, that there's an end to this begin
It will help you sleep at night
It will make it seem that right is always right
We only come out at night

I sometimes do not know what to write. Sometimes I do know what to write but am at a lost of words to write it down.

Today is one such day. I want to write about the gratitude we should feel. But instead, I am going to write about some late night visitors. By the way, have you ever wondered why people only encounter ghosts or restless spirits at night? Have you come across someone who encountered a ghost during day time?

I have not and my stories are all night time stories as well. Some are true and some are fictional, the following is a true story, or kisah benar as we would say it in Malaysia. So here goes, my story about some visitors at night.

"Thong tong tong,” someone knocked on the door and jolted Neil up from his slumbering sleep. He looked at the clock on the Astro decoder, it was ten past one in the morning.

He had just returned from his afternoon shift in Texas Instrument where he was working as a supervisor. He did not like the rotating shift work especially the afternoon shift which started at 3 and ended at 11 and with all the paper work  he had to do, he was rarely back by midnight.
He lived on the fourth floor of the walk up flats in Taman Kosas which he had rented when he started working in Texas Instruments. It was cheap and it was bare and sometimes the walk up and down the stairs was the only exercise he ever got.
It had been a long day and he had barely got to sleep before the loud knocks on his apartment’s heavy wooden fire door.
He had no peephole, so he yelled out, “Who is that?” wondering who would visit him at that God forsaken hour.
No reply from the other side. He yelled again while looking below the door in the tiny gap to see if there were any feet. There was no sight of feet or shadows. He heard some footsteps and then there was silence.
It was nearly 3am when Neil finally fell asleep again. Then he was awoken again by some loud music at 4:30.
He got up, looked out from his balcony to try to source where the loud music was from and noticed a guy in the school canteen across the road from him flats. The guy was flipping roti canai while listening to loud Tamil music from his boom box.
Neil shouted from his balcony, “Oi, diam lah, orang tengah tidor sini.” Of course nothing was heard through all the noise and Neil was just too tired and lazy to walk down the four flights of stairs. So, he stuffed some cotton into his ears, covered his face with a pillow and went to sleep.
That was not the end of the story.
“Thong tong tong,” someone knocked on the door and jolted Neil up from his slumbering sleep. He looked at the clock on the Astro decoder, it was twenty past one in the morning. Was this a dream, did this not happen yesterday.
Again, he went to the door and shouted, “Siapa tu, hantu kah?”
Again there was no reply. Again no shadows or feet under the gap at the bottom of the door.
After a few minutes which seemed like eternity, Neil took a rolled up paper and opened the door, but there was nobody there.
This really spooked Neil and he could barely sleep.
When the roti canai maker came across the street to prepare his roti canai with his loud Tamil music, Neil was wide awake. The Tamil songs, although giving him a headache, were a distraction from the spookiness.
The next morning, he quickly goes to the locksmith that is in one of the shop lots near his flats and ask the locksmith to install a peephole.
Then he calls his mom. He explains what has occurred in the past few days and asks his mom for advice.
“You’ve not been saying your mantra at night and in the morning have you? You need to pray daily. Just say your mantra. Go to temple if can and try not to pass by any graveyards on your way back home.”
“But Maa, I have no choice, there are graveyards everywhere, I have to pass them to come home from the factory.”
“Then go to temple. And for crying out loud, wash your feet before you enter the house. This will wash away any evil spirits that have come along with you.”
Neil wondered how he was going to wash his feet on the fourth floor outside his apartment. There were no taps outside or on the ground floor.
At work, he told the story to a few of his operators and asked for their advice, most of them chimed the same advice as the mother. Wash your feet. Go to temple. Some suggested go see a bomoh.
“Thong tong tong,” someone knocked on the door and jolted Neil up from his slumbering sleep. He looked at the clock on the Astro decoder, it was half past one in the morning. Three days in a row.
Again, he went to the door and shouted, “Who is that? Why are you coming here at this hour? I have nothing for you, please go away.”
Again there was no reply. Again no shadows or feet under the gap at the bottom of the door. He looked through the peephole and there was nothing. He opened the door and nobody was there.
He was really spooked now. He went to the 7-Eleven around the corner, bought some cashew nuts, peanuts and beer and just sat up watching re-runs on Astro.
Again at 4:30, like clockwork, the roti canai man started his racket.
The next day, Neil decides to put a baldi full of water outside his flat and he goes to work and inquires about some bomoh’s in that area. Nobody seemed to know a bomoh but knew a cousin third removed or my mother’s cousins sister in law or someone who went to one. But personally, nobody knew a bomoh in the area which he found to be a lie considering he was in Keramat area of Ampang/Ulu Kelang.
During his dinner break at 7, he went to the Raja Rajeshwari temple in Ulu Kelang and spoke to a priest who could barely speak much Malay or English. Neil was not a Tamil and could not communicate well. The priest however gave him something tied on a string with a saffron yellow cloth that seemed to have something in it, apparently Sanksrit mantras to ward of any evil. He was told to wear it or keep it in the pocket.
That night, Neil went home, braver, with the temple blessings. He reached the top of the stairs and removed his shoes and socks and washed them thoroughly and wiped them with a face towel he had hung on the railings of the grill.
He was sure that thing or person will not dare come back again with all his protection. He even lit a sandalwood joystick and did his mantras.
He waited for the hour to be prepared. 1am, 1:10am, 1:20am, 1:30am, 1:40am …. Nothing.
He just nodded off around 1:50am then suddenly “Thong tong tong,” someone knocked on the door and jolted Neil up from his sleep. He looked at the clock on the Astro decoder, it was two. He had barely slept ten minutes.
He quickly went to the door, yelled, and without even bothering to look through the peephole, he opened the door suddenly.
The sudden movement shocked the intruder outside. It was a transvestite who immediately went,, “Sorry lah Abang, salah rumah.”
Neil was going berserk. “What do you mean wrong house? Have you been the one knocking on my door for the last four days? Why did you not answer me? Did you not realize it was the wrong house? Bloody hell, stupid bloody …..”
The trans apologized profusely and started walking down the steps and before Neil could say anything, vanished in thin air. Literally disappeared. Neil opened the door and went down a few steps, but the trans was nowhere in sight.
Was it a dream or a reality? Neil was wondering was the trans real or a aberration, a ghost?
He was no longer scared yet he was spooked and wondered whether he had witnessed a restless trans spirit.
While he was thinking about the occurrences of the last four days and having a nice cold Tiger beer on the balcony, he noticed the roti canai men set up his station and boom box in the school canteen. Neil was no longer in the mood for Tamil songs and immediately called the Ampang Police station and reported a disturbance of peace. The police said that their patrol car was making its rounds and they will get the patrol car to warn the guy.
As he continued drinking his beer, he saw the patrol car pull up and yell something at the roti canai man and pointed towards the row of Kosas flats that Neil lived in. The man immediately went to the boom box turned it off and came back profusely apologizing to the two policemen and pleading something. They had their summonses book out and were about to issue him a summons when Neil noticed a common exchange. Of course no summons was issued in exchange for a few red notes.
Neil smiled and went to sleep soundly and only got up at noon the next day to get ready for his last day on the afternoon shift. Peace at last, thank God almighty, Peace at last.

I hope you enjoyed the story above. It really did happen.

Take care and be well.