Saturday, January 7, 2017

Of what I have left out

Few words: I didn’t have any post for 2015. So I would like you guys to pretend that this is a 2015 post, so I can still brag that I blog consistently every year.

My grammatical ignorance was on another level, I literally cringe when I read some of my earliest posts. But at least I realized them now, that’s a good start for 2017. Kudos to whoever that say/think my English is good.
I try my best to retain my half humor-half serious writing style, but today I might get a tad emotional judging on how long I have been away from casual writing. And maybe because I am listening to a sad song right now.
Just to fill you in, I still prefer casual writing – y o u c a n d o w h a t e v e r y o u w a n t. Like this! If I were to do that in a formal publication, prepare to resubmit.

Now, enough of nonsense, let’s go back to the part where I want to be emotional.
Four years ago when I made a decision to come out of my comfort zone to restart my ‘nerdy gigs’, it turned out to be one of the darkest moment in my life. Not knowing what to expect, I landed myself in a rather sticky position where I was literally being told to work like a Trojan for the next few years. Not wanting to slave away my next few years, I braced myself to fight for a change. But the level of bureaucracies and policies here are unreal, it make simple things complicated and worse yet my fight seems like going to waste.
When life takes you to the darkest place where you are surrounded by an overwhelming sense of hopelessness and absolutely no control of your life direction, you struggle for some time but eventually give in whatever outcome life give you. On the verge of giving up, I met some inspiring and helpful people that dragged me out of this slump. I thought to myself that nothing could be any worse – if I were to be expelled, I can pretend this ‘gigs’ to be non-existence and so I forced myself to go through all the politics again, this time aggressively.

Thankfully, somehow somewhat my fight went through but it also upset several parties along with my fight. In a way, I was part thankful and part repentant of the fight that I forced through. I learned that it is the decision we are forced to make during our darkest moment that lay the foundation on which to build for the rest of our lives. 

But even to date, I still have that repentant feeling with me.
I will never forget the moment that I collapsed at the middle of the road when I knew I lost my best friend. I have absolutely no strength in my legs when I got to know about it, while my mum was crying on the phone. I was shocked, lost, sad and part of me was furious. We absolutely take life for granted but trying to end it somehow enraged me. I know there will be times in life where everything gets on top of us and we might be making a decision that is not healthy nor the best – but didn’t want to live on, somehow enraged me. I resented him for being selfish and not seeking help.
It was only a year later when I finally visited his grave. Upon seeing his gravestone, tears flowed down uncontrollably. Maybe it was the quiet moment in the cemetery or maybe I could no longer deny his departure – for the next 10 minutes I was weeping like a baby reminiscing all the good/bad times we had. I paid my respect and sat down to talk but nothing came out from my mouth. For the next 10 minutes, I just couldn’t carve a word for the silent audience of departed souls. Somehow, I have accepted that his departure was a foregone conclusion, and I have to be on good term with that. I truly believe that there are times in life that our mind has to breakdown, and only through this breakdown experience, we are able to let go of the bad and pick ourselves up to continue moving forward.
As I look back right now, it was these darkest moments that turned out to be most profound and empowered me to get through the smaller battles of today. Things might not be the best right now, but if you endure, you will find a job be alright. And I quote from my friend "you just have to get back up where you fall".


Sunday, February 21, 2016

Truly Thy, Tee

Few words: This post might sounds a tad sissy but that is just because you don't know how to appreciate the feminine side of a gentleman. Really, you have no clue at all.
 
And so while i was reading something I downloaded from the internet. I realized that the weight of four A4 papers can be quite burdening ionic exchange can be quite severe in some cases involving protons from moisture.

Anyway...

Few days back, a girl told me that blogging should be from the heart and not by brainstorming or plotting some agenda behind words. Then later I asked myself, if I really blog from heart without filtering anything, there is a big chance, I am blogging behind bars now.

The same girl was really disappointed I don't take planning seriously, as I didn't put up an effortful celebration (in your words): "for a meaningful occasion together". But the fact is, I was trying to do it as simple as possible, so the celebration today will be *hopefully* something (I quote from your words again): "to remember for life".

And so here it goes,
Sawadikap Tee,

SURPRISE!!!

I really hope you enjoy the dinner here. I took the luxury of our monthly budget to buy you and myself some 'atas' dinner. Don't say full now, there should be a chocolate cake coming soon (if it is still nowhere to be seen, nudge me, I pre-paid for it already).

Initially I was planning to post this beforehand, but I didn't know you still visit my blog regularly (again, thanks for your contribution towards the visitor counts). And ruin the surprise is not my perfect reason to gain more visitor counts, so I took it down almost immediately.

I also bought you something, from the luxury of our next month budget *gulp*.

It better fits! I've been tricking you to try my watch so many times to gauge your wrist size. I hope it is better than the angrybird-self-proclaimed Pandora. And this is what I've been 'look look see see' for the past few days. I got to admit, there are so many charms out there and so many to choose. Nevertheless, I chosen only a few though (can't afford spending the next two months budget);
Bear Hug. Didn't I told you that I was going to give you a bear hug. Even better, with santa hat somemore.
Love Letter. Something that every girl should receive from their love one. You've just received one.
Lucky Penny. I don't deny I was going to force this name to you *cough* so that *cough* it can be more *cough* meaningful *cough*. Haha!
Happy Be-earlied Birthday, Tee!! 

Hope you like tonight arrangement.
Or perhaps, could the charms also represents Valentine, CNY and Christmas, in your words, why not let's celebrate all this "meaningful occasion together". But you are on your own to figure this out. *wink*

Truly,
Starbucks James  


Friday, August 1, 2014

Of twenty seven things


Few words: People celebrating massacre - I don’t understand, I don’t wish to. WORLD PEACE PLEASE!!
  
You know what. I will just go through my phone and randomly select 27 photos to blog.

WARNING: It is going to be a very long one, ultimately filled with irrelevant photos and few lines of words that don’t really make sense. Do not panic if it feels like a self-answered Q&A. Take deep breathe.

1. One year, 365 days.

 
It took me more than 365 days to update. All in all, just so I have an entry this year.

 2. Age got the better part of me.

 
Feeling old and signs of aging started to show. I wonder how Kobe keeps up.

3. Too much academic writing for the past two months.


Now it is so hard for me just to crack a joke.

4. Friends around me are all getting married.

 
Sigh, more angpow.

5. Met some really amazing people.

 
It is always a pleasure to have them in life.

6. Work over hobby.

 
You just drop out some hobbies to make room for work.

7. No cooking is allowed.

 
Hence I became a microwave cooking master.

8. My 8 years watch finally stop working.

 
It has been a long journey, my friend.

9. Achieved another milestone today.

 
But there is still a long long long way to go. Yes no typo, it is triple long.

10. Still at #10? I run out of things to say.

 
But let’s see how far I can go.

11. Developed immunity towards my phone alarm.

 
Overslept a few times, need a bigger alarm.

12. Sick for almost one week, terrible experience.

 
Always sucks to be away from home.

13. Lose yourself sometimes.

 
Lose yourself and forget everything else in the world. Come on, you need a break occasionally.

14. It is just a matter of being happy in life.

 
But don’t be too gay. People misunderstand.

15. Got first-runner up in a basketball competition.

 
Had fun and extra 30 dollars voucher in my drawer.

16. Even my second watch gave up on me.

 
I guess it is time to shop.

17. Make friend with McD’s squirrel.

 
He likes fries. I wonder if he wants coke.

18. Got a prank message.

 
I am flattered but I think you got the wrong person.

19. Stop visiting gym for some time.

 
Out of shape like Mister Potato.

20. A famous blogger visited and comment on my blog.

 
Not a big deal but I can add that to my resume.

21. Got myself a bicycle.

 
It is faster but tiring. Couldn’t conquer the slope.

22. Worry not to have 27 photos for this post.

 
Biarlah, nobody gonna read anyway.

23. Have a tendency to do last minute work.

 
Something gotta change.

24. Realized that I visited Chinatown the most during my two years in Singapore.

 
Thanks to Kambing’s skewer and beers.

25. Fly with Firefly for the first time.


Shaky experience, feel that bus is better.

26. A best friend of mine told me; to understand my blog – only read the last line.
 
I guess he is right.

27. Today, I am twenty seven.


So, read this, Ken!


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Suddenly Johor Mini Food Hunt

 
Few words: With Dwight Howard trade to Rockets, they are a promising 2014 championship contender. But wait, Nets just got massive upgrades too. God Bless!
 
Here is a spoiler for you: Dinner Crab.

If you are looking for what to eat or photo of good foods, please proceed to other food blog. This is merely a food hunt log with good friends.
 
It all started when three curious men babbled on the recent food victors of Singtel hawker foods challenge, we then came up with a rough idea to go food hunt for all these hawker foods that beat Ramsay in Singapore. That already sound attractive enough for me. Plus I haven’t had any nice food hunt recently, so why not?
 
But how we actually ended up in Johor, I have no idea.
 
To keep my story short - our friend, Mek who is a frequent traveler to Johor and also our driver that day decided to change course to his favorite makan place in Johor. We were told beforehand that the area is famous for their Bak Kut Teh (BKT) and Crispy Duck Rice. Of course we couldn’t have both for lunch, that would be too intense for our stomach to handle. So judging by the number of customers, we opted for BKT which has a larger crowd instead.

But how we ended up eating both, I have no idea too.
  
Anyhow, the foods weren’t really something to brag about. The BKT broth was really dilute, even it is safe to say to the extent of typical herbal chicken soup or perhaps we're way too used to the richer and more concentrated BKT herbal broth back in Perak. Meanwhile, crispy duck rice is just crispy duck rice, despite all the hype and publicity.
  
From my food hunting experience, the trick to good food hunt is to not set expectation too high. The point is to enjoy the ride and accompaniment, and the second is to always stay positive and hopeful for more good foods. With that being said, of course there is time when I came home frustrated with almost none good foods to share but the great accompaniment alone is already worth the shot.
Thus, with a hopeful heart and after a whole afternoon of burping, we arrived at Restaurant Todak for a scrumptious seafood dinner. The whole place is actually a fishing port or a port near a fishing port (whichever make sense to you) which is a good sign for fresh seafood. The crowd there were really no kidding; if you want a comparison, it would be at least 10 times the crowd in BKT.
This is actually my second visit to Restaurant Todak, so I do have a little experience on how to order fast. Upon arriving, first stop is to check their fresh catches of the day at the back of the restaurant. Then find the lady in yellow shirt with notepad and ask for her recommendation for fresh catches. Order everything there. Also, don't forget your table number. In the end, we ordered 2 kilos of crabs, a proclaimed absolute vodka drunken prawn by Mek, handful of escargot and suspicious snail, some mussels, stir-fry vege, butter sotong (squid) and later a top up of sambal crawfish and lala (small white clams).
 
Although the foods were overally good, one thing that annoyed us the most was their slow serving especially for the crabs. The crabs were literally cool when it reached our table, in fact the meat was a little soggy too. We suspected that the crabs are all cooked in advance and simply pan-fry with sauce prior serving to customer. Another thing is their magenta light which I guess is to keep the flies away. It distorted my camera white balance massively – foods turned to be not very appealing in photos. Thus, there are no photo of the foods. Blame the light!
 
Lively ambience, fresh catch, great seafood and that summed up our amazing seafood experience in Restaurant Today. It was by far, one of the best dinners that I had in Johor and was of good value. The damage was around MYR 60 per pax which I assumed still in a considerably cheap region. We left with a full stomach and a cheerful mind. In fact, Mek regretted for ordering so much.
 
But how we ended up in another place for burgers half an hour later, I really have no idea.

The burger was equally good as the seafood, nonetheless.
As I said, great accompaniment alone is already worth the trip. This is, after all, a very good food hunt.


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