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Less Calls, Replacements

How many times can I write about having terrible memory? I can’t remember and I’m not bothered to check. Is old age a valid excuse for not being as sharp as I once was? Maybe. Or have I been filling my head with important information that pushed out all my trivial thoughts? Unlikely.

I can still recite most of the lyrics to Stan or The Way I Am even though I haven’t purposely listened to the songs in ages. Those words remain etched in my brain. Why is it harder to remember the lyrics to songs I listen to now? Probably because I put in much less effort.

There are only so many things I want to spend brain power on these days and memorizing lyrics is not one of them. Also, it’s not a very useful skill – unless you perform covers for a living. The only time I find it useful these days is when I’m driving. I get to keep my eyes on the road.

I think memorizing lyrics was a product of the time – back then we didn’t have powerful computers in our pockets. We had to rely on magazine cutouts, album booklets, or transcribing songs on our own. Before I had a CD player or access to MP3s, I would patiently wait for a song to come on the radio so I could record it on a blank cassette.

Then I would play, rewind, and repeat the recording to my heart’s content. It allowed me to listen to songs until I could write down all the words. I have no idea when lyric websites started popping up, but that’s what I did back then. Shit was wild.

These days we just pull up Musixmatch/Genius on our phones. Are we too reliant on technology? Or just making the most of what’s available? I mean, what’s the point of people spending their lives researching and advancing technology if nobody fully utilizes it?

Imagine you work your whole life on something important and life-changing, but people decide not to use it because it makes them ‘lazy’. What would life be like without remote controls or escalators? Maybe we’d be really jacked as a society. Who am I kidding, we’d still find ways to be lazy.

Like the other day, before I left home, I put my wallet in another pocket of my pants instead of its usual spot. As I was walking out of my condominium, I felt different. I put my hand in my usual wallet pocket and noticed the wallet wasn’t there – it was sitting safely in my other pocket.

I was convinced that my wallet wasn’t with me. So I turned around, retraced my steps, went home, and searched for my wallet in my room. It wasn’t there. I started to panic. I looked in my bag, it wasn’t there. Maybe it was in my car, I thought. So I went back down to the car park.

Checked my car, and nope, it wasn’t there. Where could it be? I thought to myself. So I started patting my other pockets. Lo and behold, the wallet was sitting right where I had placed it earlier.

If I had examined all my pockets in the first place, I could have avoided the whole incident. There was no need to retrace my steps, search my room, and make myself panic. Was I so lazy that I couldn’t frisk my own pants before doing all those things? Also, why couldn’t I just recall where I had put the wallet? It was barely 10 minutes ago!

How many times can I write about having terrible memory? There’s a good reason calendar and reminder apps exist.

End Of Another Year

I started writing this post a few days ago but didn't have the motivation to finish it, so it's going to be my end of year and hello 2023 post. A two-in-one special.

It’s always fun to load up the previous year’s end-of-year post to see if I did anything I said I would do. Spoiler: I didn’t. But that’s okay. It’s just how life is sometimes. Life doesn’t have to be a constant state of progress. It would be great if it did.

A related image showed up in my Instagram feed recently:

Coincidence? Or algorithms at work? Probably the latter. That’s just how social media is. It used to where you’d get the latest updates. But if you follow too many accounts, it would be a mess if your feed wasn’t curated. You’d miss many posts that you’d care about.

On the other hand, only being shown posts that you care about creates a feedback loop. You like things, so the algorithm will show you more things it thinks you will like. Eventually, you’re shielded from everything else. This can be a good or bad thing.

Social media feeds are completely made up of what people you follow want you to see. And if these people don’t open up to you, you don’t really know what’s up.

Nobody’s life is perfect, but that doesn’t mean it’s terrible either. Life is a balance of ups and downs; there will be days you love and days you hate, and sometimes your feelings can change within minutes.

Life’s not a fairytale

2022 was an alright year for me. Overall, I’d say it was a neutral year, kinda like most years. The biggest win for me was my new (now current) job. Doing something I enjoy, working with chill colleagues, and having a positive atmosphere.

It’s been great, don’t get me wrong, but there are downsides too. Check out this table:

Negatives of my current jobBalancing factor
It’s not easyI’m no longer unemployed and I get to learn new things doing it
Lower take home salary (due to taxes and EPF)I don’t have to make manual prepayments for taxes and my company contributes to EPF
No more sleeping inI have work-life balance
Back to the office, terrible traffic jamsI get to spend time outside of the house, also I’m sometimes more productive in the office anyway
Expensive parkingFree coffee, fruits and beer in the office
It’s tedious to go for smoke breaksI don’t have to smoke alone, and smoking less is supposedly better for health

As you can see, even though I my job is great, it’s not without its downsides. But those downsides are neutralized by other factors. So overall, I consider it a win.

In terms of personal projects, this year was bad. I didn’t come up with new music or original YouTube content and haven’t been writing much. And I still haven’t played a live show since the pandemic. However, I’ve somewhat balanced that out by covering songs.

By making cover song videos, I learned to play and sing new songs. I discovered chords I never used. I also gained knowledge and experience in recording and video editing. I’ll be able to make better videos when I eventually create original content in the future.

I had some issues with Facebook Live which gave me a reason to move back to Twitch. It’s sad to say goodbye to all my Facebook Gaming followers, but until they fix their false copyright claim nonsense, I’m not going to bother returning.

I guess that covers what a neutral year for me is like.

To those of you who had a shit year, it’s okay. Look forward to the next one. One shit year doesn’t discount all the good ones you’ve had in the past. And nobody knows what the future holds. In the grand scheme of things, one bad year doesn’t even mean that much.

If you zoom out and look at your whole life, you probably have a lot more good or neutral years than shit ones. It’s just that we tend to remember the bad times more. Life sort of balances itself out that way. Unless you die before that. Then, that’s too bad.

If the year’s been great for you, be prepared for terrible shit to come your way. Or not. You could also die before your life balances out too. Then again, it’s not like you’ll care about what happened in the past once you’re dead. How can you care if you cease to exist?

In any case, while you’re still around, do what makes you happy. It’s your life.

Since we’re on the topic of the new year, I’ve got some goals for myself. Public goals to hold myself accountable.

  • Fully migrate this blog to and give it a facelift
  • Post 12 blog posts (not counting this)
  • Create 6 YouTube videos
  • Record a 6-song EP
  • Play 12 shows
  • Create 12 pieces of original art
  • Go back down to 70kg and un-tighten my pants

We’ll come back to this post in December and see how far we’ve gotten. Happy New Year everyone. Hopefully, this year will be better than the last.

Case of the Drizzles

The week before last, it rained cats and dogs. Since I spent a lot of time walking outdoors, I decided to buy myself an umbrella.

Fun fact, did you know umbrellas are expensive? At least the one I bought from myNEWS was. RM22. More than a pack of cigarettes.

You see, for the past 37 years of my life, I never had to buy an umbrella. There was always one lying around, at home or in my car. We’d get them as gifts, or they were purchased by my parents. I never spent a single cent on one.

Until last week. But let’s go back further in time.

A couple of months ago, I sent my car for a deep cleaning service. I had a tiny roach problem and since there was no way in hell I could deal with it on my own, I sent it to this place for the whole package.

They took my car apart, removed the seats and mats, gave it a good scrub, got rid of the roaches and eggs, and put it back together – not before unloading a hefty dose of lemongrass throughout the whole vehicle.

My car smelt brand new for weeks. And I had no more fears of roaches running across my windshield or dashboard. It wasn’t cheap (six hundred bucks), but it was worth it. I mean, it was the first proper deep cleaning my car had had since I got it over a decade ago.

Along with the roaches, they threw out many things that were lying around in my car. Receipts, random pieces of string, spoilt pens, and whatever was caught in between the crevices I never bothered to look down.

However, there was one thing they got rid of that they shouldn’t have. My umbrella. It was a large, sturdy, well-built, blue brolly, given to me many years ago during my stint in PR. It had the Microsoft logo printed on its surface(™), but that didn’t bother me.

It was my favorite rain shade. I kept it for so long because it never failed to do its job. The sliding mechanisms worked perfectly and the spokes never poked out as they do on cheaper, lesser umbrellas I’ve used before.

Because it worked so well, I made sure to never lose it. Even when I did leave it behind, I made sure to return and retrieve it. It was an amazing brolly, and it was free.

Anyway, when I got my car back, the umbrella was nowhere to be found. I asked the cleaners who went through their stash of items removed from cars and they said it wasn’t there. Some fucker’s enjoying the best sunshade of his life right now.

Things like that don’t simply go missing. I guess that’s the price I paid for letting roaches breed in my car.

And readers, that’s how I lost my umbrella.

I was tired of walking in the rain or waiting for it to stop. Nobody gets to decide how wet I become or how I spend my time. So I put matters into my own hands. Buy my own umbrella so I could stop living by the rules of the sky.

It has been a week since I purchased my lovely silver-colored umbrella with yellow trim and I have used it a total of zero times.

Now, why is that? You might ask.

Because I haven’t needed to.

It simply hasn’t rained when I was required to walk outdoors. I didn’t have to go out on days with light showers until the rain was already gone.

So in my car lies the most unused (useless?) umbrella I’ve ever owned. At least until I get to use it for the very first time.

But today, it hit me. Isn’t life all about perspective?

Did I waste my money? Or did I cancel the rain for only twenty-two bucks?

For now, I’ll use it as a stick for self-defense when walking around my neighborhood. I’m not planning to get mugged again.