August 10, 2017

clarence


If you have a pre-teen or a young teenager in your home, you’d probably know who ‘Clarence’ is (pic above). It is one of the popular cartoon shows on Cartoon Network, featuring the adventure of a dimwitted happy-go-lucky rotund kid called ‘Clarence’. It is said that watching the show will lower your IQ by a few digits but, I think the number should be way higher than that.

There were a few times I watched this show with my daughter, and I couldn’t help but got reminded of a boy in my childhood that deeply resembled Clarence. He wasn’t my friend but, I did play with him a couple of times around the neighborhood (it was a ghetto). I wanted him to be my friend but, every time anyone sees him and asked him to join in with the group, he’d feign cool and walk away – which was funny in a way because he looked anything but cool. He always sport a pair of faded Doraemon sweat shorts, pulled way up above the waist, with his sweaty marked T-shirt tucked in. He looked like a more buffoon version of Clarence, and no one would take him seriously. Maybe he’s just not a people person (which is strange, because I thought I’m not a people person, and I was apparently better than him).

There was once, (I didn’t know how) I was at his place, probably talking about something and we had a disagreement. I didn’t know what we were disagreeing about but, we were just 7 or 8 years old. Probably arguing about how Ultraman eats with that stupid mouth. Anyway, the disagreement escalated into an intense moment, and seeing that Clarence was half a head taller than me and about 1.5x bigger, instead of foolishly take him head on, I used the door to my advantage and slammed it on his face. It hit his face so hard, that the door wobbled for a few seconds… and Clarence stood stunned for twice the time it takes for the door to finish wobbling. Then he broke out in a high pitched wail, like he had been clubbed with a medieval blunt weapon. I wasn’t going to wait for his parents to show up from the inside, so I skedaddled to the nearest elevator and disappeared from the ground zero.

I didn’t see him until a few days later with his grandma. He had a swell on his forehead that made him look even more ridiculous. When he saw me, he pointed me out and his grandma gave me an angsty lecture in Teowchew dialect, which I couldn’t understand shit. I only heard her say a lot of #$%^& and ‘Ling Ling’, which I presume was his name (until I came across the cartoon Clarence). I don’t remember how I reacted but, I think I flipped both of them a bird and got the fuck out of there. That was my last interaction with Clarence a.k.a. Ling Ling, but I did see him around the Air Itam district with his mom (never seen his father, he was raised by his mom after his grandma croaked)… selling lotteries for a living (never seen him in school uniform as well, probably too poor to go to school).

Till this day, I felt bad for slamming the door at Clarence. Did the door hurt him too bad that he couldn’t keep up with his education and that was why he had to drop out of school? Could he have had a better life if he didn’t get hurt by the door that day? I don’t know man. He was already wearing rubber band sweat shorts way above his waist before the incident… so… I use that fact to placate myself that I didn’t ruin his life or anything like that…

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July 25, 2017

first spam from my daughter

Gave Regine her own phone some time back, and she spammed me for the first time…

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July 22, 2017

Goddess of Mercy temple, Penang

My wife is a Taoist devotee (but I am an Atheist, I don’t believe in God). No she doesn’t pray at home but, once a while, she’ll go to a temple to recharge her faith. Her usual request to the deities are usually for health, safety and happiness for the family. Maybe in between the requests, a blessing for our daughter to have a better life. Her favorite temple? Goddess of Mercy temple (GoMt) at Pitt Street, Penang.

I haven’t been to that place for ages. Must be close to 7 years. The last time I went there, was when my mom died. I was there to say some prayers out of filial obligations… until last week, when my wife wanted me to accompany her to the temple with our daughter, Regine. I obliged… because I missed the place. But that day turned out to be one of the saddest day of my life – to discover that the GoMt I knew is no longer there. It has changed into something different.

You see, GoMt is a very old temple. It was built in the 1700’s. My grandparents grew up praying in it, my mom grew up praying in it, and I grew up praying in it (that was before I decided to be a freethinker). There were pics of our family that stretched over a couple of generations taken inside that temple. That place had remained the same through the years. It was smoky, everything was dark in color from the years of incense burning. It was always crowded and the temple was a din of devotees going about their business. One would not come out of that temple without tears as it was smoky as the clouds in heaven (I can’t say ‘hell’). It was beautiful in its own way. As a kid, I used to gawk at its giant Taoist giant deity figures adorning the sticky walls, marveled at its intricate pillars, curious over the 3 little ‘white tigers’ at the end of the middle courtyard, and amazed by the ever effervescent figure of Guanyin herself. I was even there during the 60 year-once festival that contributed to the infamous Penang jetty tragedy in 1988. Brought back a lot of memories.

So what happened to the place? It was repainted with red and gold. Guanyin figure now has a tacky gold plated face. There’s no more smell of incense inside the temple because it’s prohibited now (HELLO!? It’s a temple!). Devotees are required to light their incense sticks at the al-fresco section of the temple, in an unflattering rectangular aluminum (or chrome plated) censer that resembled a giant kitty litter (instead of the original round brass type). Inside, it was all quiet like an abandoned place. There wasn’t anyone doing any prayers there that day (which was odd to me), and there were no people getting their fortunes checked. There were no kids requesting for divine blessing for their education. There were no housewives smacking miniature evil paper men with their platform shoes to turn their luck around. I went around to check the 3 little nasty ‘white tigers’ – there were no pork lard in their pet bowl. Even the stalls that sells the praying stuff were mostly abandoned (it used to be busy like a morning market). The place is now like one of those museums that has no life in it. I’ve never seen GoMt so quiet and sad before. Fucking hell. What the fuck happened to my beloved GoMt!?

I left the place feeling really sad. I knew it will not be long before some jackass decided to put up some LED deco and LCD animations in that temple – like some of those tacky Taiwanese Taoist temple. I wanted to savor the place that day to relive my old childhood moments – the time when I got lugged along by my late mother and late grandmother listening to Sam Hui in her junk car… but I was apparently, too late. GoMt is fucking gone now, along with my mom, grandma and childhood (my wife told me it has been like this for a few years already… I was a few years too late apparently…)

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July 13, 2017

dumbass hafiz

If you’ve been following this blog closely (which I suspect you haven’t been), you’d have known about some blockhead contract engineer in my team who goes by the moniker ‘Hafiz’ in this blog (not his real name of course). He’s as dumb as a rock, and he never ceases to amaze me with bloopers after bloopers (you can read about one of the events here if you missed it).

Seeing that he’s posing more harm than good to the department, his contract was not renewed and he was asked to leave the team. But for some unfathomable reasons and a twist of extremely good luck, he managed to convince a sucker from another department to hire him and landed himself a sweet permanent position in Company T. Good for him. His last day at our team was last week, we bade him a good riddance farewell and sent this wrecking ball of a lifeform off to another poor sod’s misery.

But before he left, he was duly reminded to return all the departmental items (standard operating procedure) and because we all worked on trust, none of us checked if he actually did that. Andddddd…. that was a mistake. After he left, I discovered something was missing from the lab that’s very important. For the sake of confidentiality, let’s just assume that it’s a briefcase full of spark plugs. Those shit are expensive so, I had to go after him. After confronting him via Skype, I managed to arrange with that klepto for a meet up to get back the briefcase…

“Hafiz, bring the briefcase. We meet at your building’s lobby, today, 5pm. I will send someone to collect the briefcase. Don’t fuck this up, ok?”
“Sure, I will bring the briefcase. Sorry for the inconvenience.”

Simple, isn’t it? He just needs to show up on the agreed time at the agreed place with the briefcase full of spark plugs and goddamn hand it over to Igor, my trusted friend who is big and strong enough to wrestle a fucking hippo with his bare hands.

Guess what Hafiz did? He showed up WITHOUT the goddamn briefcase. He was standing there at the lobby like a dolt when Igor saw him. Igor then went apeshit,

“Where’s the briefcase Hafiz!? You better don’t mess with us!”
“Errrmmm errr…”

Igor was a short tempered person so, he grew tired of Hafiz’s shit, fast. Igor did a grapple on Hafiz’s skinny ass arm and made a Armbar legsweep maneuver on him, onto the lobby floor. Writhing in pain, Hafiz wriggled like he’s trying to embarrass himself with a lame breakdance move. Then Igor flipped Hafiz facedown and gave him a Stepover armlock camel clutch, which made Hafiz squealed in agony like he’s getting a colonoscopy with a forklift chain. Then Igor picked him up like a ragdoll and gave him a 360 piledriver onto a teak coffee table’s edge, sending splinters all over the fucking floor, cracking his skull open like a Japanese sea urchin delicacy. Then Igor picked up Hafiz’s brain, which is about the size of a rat’s left testicle, and ate it.

In an alternate universe, Hafiz asked Igor to wait at the lobby, and disappeared into the building to retrieve the briefcase – because he only remembered about the meet and forgot about the fucking briefcase. *facepalm*

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July 3, 2017

14 years old

This weblog is 14 years old. To put into perspective as to how long 14 years is:
– 14 years ago, our CPUs rocked at 130 micron. Today we’re at the advent of 10 micron or less…
– 14 years is enough to build the Penang Bridge, from the idea of conception up until the goddamn bridge is completed…
– it’s right about the time it takes to completely construct China’s Forbidden City…
– it’s longer than the time taken to release all the original Star Trek film series…
– 14 years ago, your phones still had lots of buttons…
– having said that, this blog actually existed 1 lifetime (7 years) prior Samsung’s successful Galaxy S series product line (started in 2010)…
– it’s long enough for you to COMPLETELY follow all seasons of The Sopranos + Breaking Bad tv series, week by week including the breaks…
– the age of this weblog is longer than whatever fucking career for most people born in the mid 80’s have today…
– if you conceived your kid about the time this weblog started, then your kid now has enough pubic hair to clog the shower drainhole…
– 14 years is about the span of The Jackson 5’s entire career, which saw the emergence of Michael Jackson and his oddities…
– it’s about twice the time taken for Cassini space probe to reach planet Saturn…
– it’s enough time to complete the construction for the majority of the Pyramid of Giza…
– the existence of this weblog is longer than the prison sentence for most political dissidents in Malaysia…
– it’s more than enough to complete your secondary school education with enough time wait for your uni reply…
– it’s longer than the French Revolution. FR only took 10 odd years to complete…
– it’s older than Facebook!

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