Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Horror that is DOTA

Imagine a rectangular table cramped with eight laptops on it, two on each sides and people staring straight onto the screen. Imagine the frequent cursing with these words "fuck you", "shit" and many other unmentionables. Oh, and once-in-awhile screams. All this happening while there is nothing to be seen outside in the pitch darkness. Now, imagine this situation on a round table, on a square table. Somehow, I have been through them all these past few days.

It all started last Thursday when everyone declared "holiday". Out came the computers into one of our kitchens. I only got to play on the last day as
1. Mine's a Mac.
2. I did not believe that DOTA could bring such fun into a person's life.
3. I kinda had better things to do (finishing my seminar work for the next day. In the end, I went to class without any sleep!)

Well, the initial hostility was quelled two nights ago(third round so far). It was sort of the final round before everyone left (i.e. Paul and Ka Chuan flying back home. One happy, the other not soXD). And my god, even though I just got pushed around (when there was something bad happening in the middle, Rui Zhe will say "Sam, don't come here.". And the constant running away. And the constant panic attacks throughout the whole game.) Roar.. Feels like two nights ago even just by thinking about it.

The horror that is DOTA. Yet, you still want to play it so so much. Roar. Can't help it. Tsk tsk Sam.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Holiday Commences NOW

Even though life has been quite a holiday ever since being here, having endless weekday nights chatting, touring around to different places (i.e. Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester so far), nothing is quite like an official holiday! Nothing feels better than having fun guilt-free, without work to dampen the fun-filled mood.

The holiday is going to be a month long until the end of the first week of January next year - 2010! So, that is four weeks of absolute bliss is this new place!

For the first week, I will be in Warwick, hopefully having lots of fun with the people here who are not going back to KL (lucky peeps!). This weekend is going to be very interesting. Yeah~

From next Friday (18/12) to probably the first Monday of January (4/1) (although I already have a return ticket on 8th), I will be in London. So anyone there interested to catch up, give me a buzz or leave a message here and I will get back to you. Anyone back in Malaysia interested to come to UK for a short holiday?XD

If anyone is wondering why I am up at 4.40am typing this, it is because I am not sitting in a friend's kitchen with another 6 of us. They are currently playing DOTA! Hahaha. My com is being the router here and I am reading up for a seminar at 11am tomorrow. I really do hope I even manage to wake up for it. This DOTA thing have been running for two nights ever since all of us announced MERDEKA. We are such fun-holics. OK, I am high.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A long and expensive Saturday

It is 8.55pm here now in University of Warwick on a rainy and unfortunately, gloomy Saturday. I have been up 6.00am to participate in the Ultimate Indoor Regionals Open (our team made a women team). We did not go to win, but to brush up on our skills. There were no other women team and many of them were all-male teams, as there are no gender ratios for open tournaments. It goes without saying that we got our arse kicked... BADLY. Nonetheless, we learned a lot. We improved our stack and practiced the 2-1-2 strategy. Anyways, the game did not dig a deep hole into my shallow pockets. Well, not directly. UK is a very dangerous place, it is very easy to splurge for nothing and it is mostly necessary.

I had to meet the team at Coventry Train Station at 7.50am. So at 6.30am, I went to wait for the bus at the bus stop (even when I knew there would be no bus that I could catch in time to meet at the train station, I just wanted to try my luck). Well, bus drivers do not drive when they do not need to. In the end, I had to take a 9 pounds taxi ride to the train station (at that time, I had exactly 9 pounds in my purse, should I count myself lucky?). Furthermore, I had to buy a 4.20 pounds return train ticket to Birmingham.

The games finished at around 2pm. I hurried my way back to Coventry to spend time with my "cooking buddies" (More on them in later post). Arriving in Coventry, I found out they were half an hour away by bus from Coventry at a huge Tesco Arena. We decided to meet at Morrison's later on. In the two hours of alone-free-time, I walked around Coventry buying some necessities (which amounted to 14 pounds, don't ask me what I bought! They really are necessities.). Then, I left on Bus 4 to Morrison's, that single trip costs 1.20 pounds. They were to arrive later so I wasted time in Morrison's and bought some groceries (which amounted to 4.08 pounds), all the food to last me until Thursday (as long as you buy your own food to prepare, food is not too much of an issue). After a very long while, I called them, they said they were in Morrison's for quite some time, yet we didn't see each other. Then it hit me, I went to ask a salesperson whether was there another Morrison's around. Apparently, there was! Arrgghh.... Nothing can quite described how I felt there and then. Nothing. Life was toughest then, really.

I decided I would just return back to university by myself. Took bus back, transiting at the main bus station (that cost 2.70 pounds).

Came back, cleared everything, bathed and now I am in front of my com typing this. One lesson I learnt: Want to save money? Stay in university and don't go out.

Total expenditure today: approximately 40 pounds = RM223 (current exchange rate)

What's more? I have to go back to Birmingham tomorrow for the second day of competition (more like practice). That's gonna cost 7.20 pounds, just for the necessary transport. Unless I start walking 2 hours before, hmm.. It actually sounds tempting.

My brain is quite wrecked at counting everyday, my mind is stresses by it, my mood is also influenced by it. It can't be helped. Thank goodness staying in campus, I don't feel it cause it is possible to go through the whole day without spending a penny (other than for dinner, which averages at 1.50 pounds, which is pretty decent. Own cook of course, this is where my "buddies" come in, I am sure I cannot be bothered to cook everyday just for myself.)

That's all, for now. Time for dinner. At 9.40pm, which has also become VERY normal.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Week 6

OMG. This blog has been left alone for 7 weeks (6 schooling universit-ing weeks + 1 orientation week).

Thankfully by now, everything has settled down. Amazingly, I have started calling my room "home". I utterly shocked myself when I said that absent-mindedly the first time. But of course, actual home is always back home.

Life here is probably as routine as it gets now, which isn't much other than my late dinners. Dinner is always a highlight everyday because of all the fun! It's rare for me to sleep before 12am these days. And youtube-ing is a new recreational activity for me. It can take up to 5 hours. It can go on forever.

And.... the actual sports. I am happy to say that Ultimate is very much still part of my life. Although, the enjoyment definitely does not beat El-Ninos in any way=) Apparently, Warwick Bears is one of the top teams in UK. Many of the members play in the Euro Championships, which must be something. The women's team (over here they lack girls too. Can't say that it is a problem for me. Hehe..) is by far the best in UK. They play drills a lot. More on Ultimate later on. I did fitness training today, ass tiring. Sprint, sprint and sprint. I salute you, Bryan! Over here is definitely nothing like US, I bet. Or maybe I have not seen the first team training, but I doubt they are as crazy here. Most players start in university.

As Warwick is a kampung, there's really nothing much else to do. Good thing, cause most things need money, which I lack. After seven weeks, I think I have adapted to frugal living. Every penny that leaves hurt. I have gotten used to constant counting, constant budgeting. And of course, under-budgeting. It is not that bad, it is a good habit and sometimes, good fun. Of course, it certainly is more fun having more money. So if anyone is feeling generous, donations are welcome=)

That's all for now.

I miss Roti Canai.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Unusual Sunday

Yesterday was a day of many last, for this year.

Last time seeing my sisters and family.
Last time going wherever I went today.
Last time sitting at the playground fooling with a certain bunch of friends.
Last night in my own room.
Last sunset.
Last Ultimate training with El-Ninos.

Today is going to be sober day. It should be a glorious and joyous day.

I miss everything already, even before taking flight.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Party on Friday

Above is a map to my house. My house is located on Jalan SS21/54 (next to the mosque on the right in the map), house no.50, white walls and black gates. To get a more detailed map, click on the map and enter "Jalan SS21/54 Damansara Utama" in the search box. An unknown neighbour marked their house there. Thanks Vincent.
If you are unsure, give me a ring. Call earlier so you can reach me.

Party starts at 7pm.

It would be better if as few people drive as possible, because alcohol is available. Drivers are forbidden from drinking.

See you guys tomorrow:) It's going to be quite crampy.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

World Domination in Disguise

Facebook wants to be our only friend, so it can "indirectly" manipulate our lives to its wishes. It does it by seemingly bringing us closer together, with wall postings, sharing quizzes, tagging photos. But, it is all just a cover-up.

All those fancy gadgets are meant to break our relationships. Just like two end of a chopsticks, when we try to bring them closer together, it would eventually break. How does Facebook do this?

...Rather, we're breaking a cardinal rule of companionship: Thou Shalt Not Bore Thy Friends...

It works with this rule: We don't like being friends with boring people. (Whether or not it is true is yet to be determined) Thus, Facebook makes us boring. To be more precise, Facebook causes us to bore people with unnecessary nonsense. Take a look below.

"It's called narcissism," says Matt Brown, a 36-year-old business-development manager for a chain of hair salons and spas in Seattle. He's particularly annoyed by a friend who works at an auto dealership who tweets every time he sells a car, a married couple who bicker on Facebook's public walls and another couple so "mooshy-gooshy" they sit in the same room of their house posting love messages to each other for all to see. "Why is your life so frickin' important and entertaining that we need to know?" Mr. Brown says.

What can we individuals go to go against this powerful enterprise? They have programmers to woo our every desire and bring down our defenses. They can create games even better than Restaurant City, quizzes more interesting than "Which L4D zombie are you?", heck, they could even create a better you.

There is still hope. We are humans, there is nothing we have not been through. We have been eaten by tigers, we have been to the moon, we have been to the lowest place, highest place, coldest place, hottest place on earth. Which other species can claim to have done all those things? There is also no other species on Earth that kill each other for reasons other than survival.

To prevent Facebook from controlling humans, thus the world, we must refrain from every temptation of entering the enticing pages of Facebook. We must not enter Facebook after checking our e-mail. We must not stare at friends' photos. We must not tag ugly photos of friends. We must not try nonsensical quizzes (telling you that you are a witch). We must start wishing friends' happy birthday in person or by phone, not through Facebook. We must not rely on Facebook to remind us of friends' birthday. We can do it!

Let's be frank with ourselves: We can never do all that. Facebook is an addiction, like drugs and cigarettes. Once you are in, you can never come out. Facebook will rule the world. Facebook is King.

Quotes are taken from: How Facebook Can Ruin Your Friendships - WSJ.com

Monday, August 31, 2009

Rainy days

Over the past three full days I have been here in Singapore, it has been raining every afternoon. How timely! What was suppose to be the hottest time of the day turned into the most windy and cooling time of the day. Add on the tick-tack sound of rain droplets falling onto the ground. It is the perfect recipe for.... AN AFTERNOON SIESTA.

The rain would leave the night pleasantly cool, especially yesterday, when my family and I walked to the nearby German restaurant to have my mom's one-day-belated birthday celebration. (My mom is exactly 6 years and 354 days older than Malaysia. Hehehe.. I just blurted out my mom's age to the whole wide world!)

I am possibly spending my very last few days with my whole immediate family, for the year or so. It is pretty saddening to think that when I return, my nephews may all look very different? act very differently? One may not even recognise who I am. That would be Samuel, the youngest one. The poor boy had to go to the hospital yesterday because he had difficulty breathing. My mom stated that it was her first time hearing a baby cry that way. It was pretty terrifying. In the end, the doctor said he was infected with a viral infection in his voice box. Nothing big, thankfully. He sounds fine and dandy today, albeit the crying.

Lately, I constantly fall into this daydreaming mode, contemplating how different my life will be once I am in UK. (Assuming I have no sudden accident here and the visa application goes through without a hitch) How will my life there be? I really wonder. There would be the BIG THREE, which are the three things that I plan to prioritise on. 1. Studies (duh!) 2. ULTIMATE!!! 3. Part-time job.

Oh, I am also imagining how "poor" I will be there. I read an article in the newspapers recently about the author's years in Toronto as a student doctor. Let me summarise for you all the important points.
1. Her meals 7 days a week is ONE chicken leg, which she roasts weekly (all seven together) on Sunday, while doing some house chores. (She skips breakfast and lunch)
2. She wakes up at 5am. She finishes at 9pm.
3. Even though she skips breakfast and lunch (sial), she goes to the gym and swims 2km every morning.
OMG. Well, that was back in 1992. She is now a very successful (probably) neurosurgeon. If I am not mistaken, she ran off (elope?) with either an Indian or Black man, later divorced. Wow. Maybe she needed some excitement in her highly routine life? How do I know all that? Well, she happens to be Singapore's senior mentor's daughter=) Wah hao. Don't want to mention names here.

Rainy days are perfect for sleeping and daydreaming=) (Wait, this sounds wrong. I do not daydream about eloping off with either an Indian or Black man. WeirdXD)

P/S: I downloaded on Picasa the photos from the Port Dickson trip. Those who want it, go ahead and take it=) The link to Picasa is above.