Tuesday, 27 January 2009


For the past few days, I've been in and out of my blog thinking of what to write next. After the previous post, I thought it'd
only be fair for me to lay low for a while. Fair for both the writer & the readers [whoever you are], since we all have things to be done. But then again, one thing keeps bugging me and I can't seem to get it off my mind.

A few weeks ago I met a few ladies, strangers you might say, who are acquaintances to some people I know, dearly. Of course we didn't talk much, I was quiet nearly all of the time because they were plural and I was singular. And later as they were departing, we shook hands, a common custom in our community, a gesture which simbolizes polite manner & respect. So if one decides not to show politeness or respect then please forget about doing so because you're only making a fool of yourself.

So, let's talk about handshakes!

Shaking hands is a relic of our ancient past. It is usually performed both on initial greeting & on departure. Of course in some other countries they bow, touch noses, or even hug. We Malaysians shake and if you're a woman you'll hug those that are 'close' to you. Most men just shake to avoid over-contact from disturbing their ego...ehem. In the Malaysian community it is considered impolite not to shake, I know this for a fact because when I was little I was always scolded for avoiding hand shakes. I was shy, I think.

Even so, muslims avoid shaking hands with the opposite sex because touch can be a powerful tool. But in this modern world, as our country becomes more Americanised, people tend to pay more attention to what the whites do than what our God tells us to do. So the men freely hand out shakes to us females [this happens the other way around more often], and though it would also be wrong to leave it hanging because it's wrong to embaress them, why should I care. Serve them right to be embaressed. You know you shouldn'tve held it out, so you should know better. A-holes!

Anyway, like I said earlier, if you're not gonna do it properly then don't do it at all. You'll end up looking like a homo or a bitch. Sorry, I mean you'll end up offending the person you're shaking hands with. It doesn't take a genius to figure it out, it's human nature. Unknown to ourselves, body language play a big part in communication, a bigger part than verbal communication. Facial expressions are the best indication to honesty, other than looking behind to see if anybody's stabbing your back.

How To Shake Hands Appropriately...Unless If You're A Villain, Please Wait For Next Week's Post:

1. Look at the person you're greeting.
Eye contact is optional, I mean some people may feel a little intimidated by the other but at least be face to face. You can look at their teeth or nose or forehead instead. This shows affection & sincerity. It's saying, "I am greeting you". If we don't do this, then I of all people would be very confused, "you're touching my hand but I don't know what it means, is this an assault?". In our community, according to my observations, most elderlies wouldn't do this. It may be ego, I'm not sure but what's the point of teaching us respect when they're not showing us any.

2. Smile.
For goodness sakes, please smile. That's the whole point of greeting somebody, making them feel welcomed or accepted. How can you do that without smiling? Okay, so she stole your boyfriend or she murdered your dad, what the hell are you doing shaking their hands for? You don't have to overdo it, just a simple smirk would sometimes do, for me at least. I'd know you're trying.

3. Grab the whole hand.
Please avoid this if the other party has some disease or open wound on their hands but other than that don't just go for the tip of the fingers, that's utterly pathetic. This is very disrespectful. I'd be thinking to myself, "Am I that disgusting? I think your personality is much worse". Other than that, there's this thing that we Malaysians regularly use to show politeness, the 'Double-hander'. Like in the photo below, my Granny is pulling a double-hander towards my Grandy. In the political world, the double-hander is used to counter the 'upper hand' position which is the dominant position and is simply saying, I'm empowering you.

4. The right amount of pressure.
This is tricky since it's different for everybody. Don't squeeze the life out of their hands and at the same time don't just slide the hand without pressurizing. How much pressure you apply corresponds to how powerful or dominant you are towards the other party. So, not squeezing at all would mean you're weak and the other party may feel they can overpower you easily. In politics, this plays a big role and in employment, make sure you don't squeeze harder than your potential employer during first impressions.

5. The right length of time.
In most countries it's usually 5-7 pumps, in certain others such as Germany 2-3 pumps. A pump is that up & down movement of a hand shake. In Malaysia it's occasionally just 1 pump followed by the submissive or younger party bowing to kiss the upper hand or touching it to their forehead. Sometimes I just bow when I'm confused of the power level but still want to be polite.The hands leave the shake and touches their own chests. I don't really know what this means but I think it has something to do with being modest.

That's most of it. It's meant to be quick unless you really like their gripping hands.

There's a lot more to handshakes than we think. But until next time...

Later days...

Monday, 19 January 2009

The Edd Identity & Ultimatum

Dear Brook [who I recently retrieved],

Last year I nearly lost my sanity from the shock of realizing how blind I was towards the possibilities of me leading my OWN life. Chances had been flashing themselves tirelessly but I shunned them down because I felt so sure that the path I was on was the best path. As I saw it then, it was grand, it would lead me to a luxurious life for eternity, and it would make my parents proud. The best luck anyone could have. But it's not the right path, at least it isn't for me. It never had been and it never will be. I'm sorry if I have been feeding off somebody else's luck but I thought it had my name on it. And being someone who has a very common name in this community, I should've anticipated it.

[Relax, this is not a post about me whining my regrets off for sympathy. I wouldn't call it an epiphany either since I've been formulating this concept for quite some time. Let's just say I'm recapping and re-evaluating my current psychological status.]

I'd like to blame the world for this mistake but it was the world that made me realize this whole thing. So I thought a little closer to home, me. It was my own fault, I was too much of a coward to rise up, I was too lazy to push out, and I thought too little of myself and life itself. I have no right to blame it over my family the way I had over these years. My parents had no other reason but to give me the best they could for my success in life the way they know & feel what success is. They had no idea I would encounter this boulder in life, they had no idea I would take this turning point and blow it out of proportions just so I can get down to the details of each mind-boggling thought.

What the hell is so mind-boggling to you, oh bewildering Edd??!!

I call it the ultimate purpose in life. I know it's no petty nonsense whispered to me by some devilish being because:

> I found who I am today by dwelling on that question for the past year.
>> I am 10 times happier and comfortable with myself today than I had ever been since ever.
>>> I stopped lying to myself to make things appear okay.
>>>> I
recently found a book that kind of agrees with my concept. They call it 'the core motive'. It's a little different from mine but there are similarities. My concept is a little too extreme but it works for me.

So obviously I'm not the only one who feels it. Which primarily means that it's a gut-feeling that may erupt in whoever seeks it. You can trust your gut-feeling because we are born innocent and our insides are the only matter that won't be tainted by this world full of influences. If you are still unsure, pray to the higher power [the Almighty] for guidance. He will help you.

Anyway, I sound like I'm promoting one of those self-motivate books. Now you know what I've been reading. :P

I basically started asking myself [this happened a few year ago], "Why am I not happy?"
I had all the basics that a human being needs to lead a fulfilling life. I was well equipped financially, spiritually [insyAllah], socially [just about enough], a close-knit family, and I was on a full scholarship to get a degree in dentistry. I couldn't quite point out the cause of that hurt.

And then I realized how this whole course is really boring me. Not like yawn-boring but like I-can't-breathe-anymore-boring. I know mind over matter works but what the hell?! I'm no robot, I can't program myself to love something my guts hate.

That's when everything spun out of control. Everyday, all that went through my head was, "What the fcuk?!" over and over again.
And then I said it, "I don't belong here, it's not what I'm made for". It took me a while to get the strength to say it out loud. I was flabbergasted, I was furious, it was all too ugly to swallow. I was overwhelmed with regret.

Then came the 2-year period of chronic depression where I did nothing to overcome the whole ordeal of realizing the many years I have wasted to prepare myself for something I decided not to do. I was angry nearly all of the time, I lost my sense of purpose, and all I did was just float along hoping the frustration would wear off just so I can please a few people who cared. 'Surprisingly', it didn't wear off.

I managed to pass my 2nd year by floating along. Unfortunately in my 3rd year, I fell into the bottomless pit after 2007's raya celebration. You know that 'calmness' before the storm? That raya holiday with my wonderful cousins was the calmness. I had so much fun, I missed how happy I could be when I'm not doing what I was doing. I missed being happy. The storm came when I realized that all those time when I was trying to be happy floating along, it never happened.

Eventually, the flood dried up and I was no longer floating. I was lagging, deliberately. I kept myself busy by looking for my real self. I neglected studies, I skipped classes, I ignored the world. I was being selfish. Believe me there are the right ways of being selfish and this wasn't it. But however wrong I have been, I didn't regret taking this turn because I learnt much more about myself than I ever would if I took this feeling just for another hiccup in life.

I locked myself in. It was kind of a self experiment other than being a withdrawal from the society. I wanted to know how much of myself had been influenced by the outside world. Then the concept of my ultimate purpose came to be. I wanted to know what I was actually engineered for in this life, what kind of carreer would be fitting? Could it be that only then I would be happy? After ridding off what wasn't me, I was left very dried up, miserable from the emptiness. All these years I failed to grow up. All I did was grow old, serving as a waste basket, eating up what everybody else was eating, doing what they did, no questions asked. Wasted.

All it did for me then was turn me into a ball of emotional rage. Simply said, emo! The thoughts of taking my own life invaded my sanity. The only thing that kept me from doing so, my religion and my family. May I remind everyone that nobody knew what was going on, even though I did express my hatred of the course to my ex-classmates and once to my mom, they had no idea of the depth.

Just 2 months from the final examinations, finally, somebody noticed I was troubled and decided to take action. She talked to me. Though it didn't help much at that time,
one day I really want her to know that she inspired me to become a better person. I ended up telling my family what was going on and like any other, they worried. The actual reason why I kept it from them, the fear of hurting your loved ones. But it had to be done.

Consequently from all those days of searching for my soul, I lost points in attendance and thus was barred from the finals. I must admit, I was asking for it, literally. All the pressure from too many people trying to get me up back on my feet was making me feel claustrophobic. After I found out I was barred, I smiled. I was relieved. I wouldn't be able to pass anyway, trust me. So I'm behind a year, so what! There's a reason for everything.

And so during my year end break, I exhorted myself in doing a lot of activities.
> I was on a road to self improvement, or better yet I was re-building certain features of myself and took a break from looking for my ultimate purpose.
>> I read books of psychological theories and listened to a few of my idol's life story and decided that I shouldn't just follow blindly but take into consideration of how it could affect me the way I want it to.
>>> I understood the meaning of being an individual and decided to turn myself into one.
>>>> I started this blog the
day after I found out I was barred [thanks to Ib].

And though, yes, I am still in this course and not where I think I belong but as I said before, there's a reason for everything. I still hate what I'm doing but I can deal
with hate & anger much better than before. I recover to happiness quicker than before. It's better to be here doing this while I'm wandering for my soul instead of being nowhere doing nothing & end up empty handed. Life is all about looking for answers anyways.

I have formulated that my ultimate purpose isn't a single item or goal because life is a journey through time, not a spot. Whatever or wherever I am from now on, if I live by my principles, I will gradually be living my purpose. One of the principles is to follow my bliss, which for now is writing, psychology, and music. Another principle is to be moderate but thorough at the same time, just in case I get a little over-excited.

It might not seem like anything to you but to me it was a rock-climb. I know it will get steeper from now on but it would be fun to discover more of myself from now on.

Dear God,
Let me be more than what I am today. I ask you for wealth but not of money, fame, & status but of happiness, knowledge, & clarity. Thank you.

I am happier.
I will be more.

Later days...

Saturday, 17 January 2009

30 by Demetri Martin

30 minutes is 1/2 of an hour or 1/48 of a day or 1/shitload of all existence
30 seconds on a treadmill feels longer than

30 hours in a really comfortable mill

30 milliseconds from now is already over

30 decades ago there was way more bad breath
30 aunts at a picnic is better than

30 ants at a picnic

30 years from now people will probably wear more shiny fabrics
30 weeks since i had that giant sandwich

30 fortnights is 60 weeks

30 light years is fucking far

30 dark years is not as fucking far but kind of a bummer

30 letters in this line - i am pretty sure
30 steps from here to my door
30 days until a very new tv series starts*
*it's called "important things with demetri martin" on comedy central - february 11 at 10:30pm

30 ..............................dots

Later days...

Monday, 12 January 2009

[sighs loudly]

Dear Brook [who I've lost temporarily],

I feel down today.
Damn that emo song, really got to me. Don't know who it was though, heard it of a friend's blog [yes
naqqib,it's you]. Plus, this splitting headache has somehow displaced my center of gravity in all aspects of Edd-ness.

How crappy today twas...
My screenplay was presented and was likened by some few but because time is of the essence they think it would be too complicated to pull off with less than a day's practice away. Okay, s
o I work a lot better under certain amount of pressure [in this case, time]. Don't we all? My plan was to keep the play simple & goofy with absolutely little or no props at all. The only catch was we had to find a good narrator & exaggerate facial expressions. Now I know what creative differences means.

Oh well, anybody out there who wants my screenplay can buy it over lunch. Tis nay free, wasted 3 hours of jamming time.

I'm thinking of more ways I can exhibit my ideas of sketches or sceenplays. I wish I was exposed to more of these stuff earlier in life. This includes guitar playing. I was involved in Silat a lot [years back] but a knee injury is kinda discouraging me now. At least I have my cousins to act out music videos with me, so that's still good enough. I think I should keep that going, let it become a bonding tradition. Hahaha! But seriously, this means I'd have to invest on a working digicam & some editting skills. By invest, I mean time & money. I should. I really should.

Later be thy days!!!
Do nay forget to rock!!!

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Productive Week!

Hey Brook,
It's been a while since I dropped by to let things out on you. I've been really caught up dead busy with all my Uni crap. I'm not gonna talk much about that as you know it only constitute 5% of my life. I know, I know, I'm an ungrateful piece of nothingness. Well hey, let's just say I'm in that teenage era of adulthood. I have yet to see it's effects & goodness to my personal bubble.

Anyway, I'll let you in on the activities I'm joining for the annual colloquium my Fac is holding. I'm in the friggin choir. I know we won't be singing the hits of today [Negaraku & Varsiti Kita... what?!!] but come on, the NC is coming. On any other day, I'd be out there with my guitar rocking the house to dust. Other than that, we should be doing a play about 'The Dress Code in Dentistry - Past, Present & Future' but we're all empty right now. There are ideas but nothing has been conducted yet. So, being the show off that I am I decided to use my writing skills to write a whole screenplay for them. I haven't gotten anybody's opinion yet since it's the weekends and nobody's really around. So...let's just leave it there for now.

fyi, it's the first screenplay I wrote to be completed in 3 hours [plus some fussing around]. All my other screenplays are stuck somewhere in my laptop, mEg@3n.


Last Thursday, two of my guitar strings snapped. So I decided to replace all the other strings as well...all new! Friday was a lousy day, all I kept thinking about was my guitar, Vypress. GenMeds class was boring as hell, the MedDoc was annoying. After class, I went straight for Vypress and took apart every piece that could be taken apart, cleaned them, & fixed it all up. Fun. Now I just have to play those strings until they've stretched out properly coz it's still painful right now. They're still hard. It hurts to type. But I'm still typing. Type. Type. Type.

I won't be going home to Bangi until Chinese New Year because time away from the family can do me good. I can study [if I wanted to] & think more. I did do some dentistry related tasks yesterday, and I'm proud I did because it was fun & productive.

Today? I have a headache. Somebody is headbanging in my head. I woke up anyway, thinking that sleep would further aggravate it later on. Plus, it's the weekends! I wouldn't wanna waste the whole day by dreaming [it's fun but they're for weekdays]. After breakfast with the Simpsons & the Office, an old school friend YM-called me and we jammed for an hour...waking my roomate..hahaha!! Then later I ate lunch with a roomie. Mee hailam...aweful.

Next weekend I'll be at Kepong, helping my sister move apartments. I'm gonna be babysitting that little rockhead, Firdaus, my apprentice...huahaha!

And now, I have to do laundry. Sorry, no pics.