Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My “Explosive” Fears


I have a most radical and crazy imagination sometimes. I don’t know if it’s because of my seasonal OCD and ADD or whether it is because of some kind of forgotten trauma in the past (drama queen).

How do I describe this nonsensical fear? Well, I guess I can through singular examples. Let’s see…

I once had a large TV in my old dorm. I used to watch soap operas on it after work, as I was having my dinner. It was a routine activity. After a while, I got bored of the soap opera (most Indonesian soap operas are so cliché sometimes, I don’t even know why I bother, LOL). I resorted to watching stuff on the internet from my laptop. So the TV was neglected. Dust covered it for many months. After a while, I wanted to watch it again but I was scared to turn it on. Why? I thought that the dust had coated the hardware beyond compare. I thought that it would get to the wiring and block the smooth flow of electrical current. Then the hardware would get hot and it would explode. So I never turned it on, not until my friend decided to turn it on. I was anxious all the while it was on and couldn’t wait to turn off.

I thought of the same result when my laptop had its first fit. I have written about it in my previous post. I thought that the internal hardware would get hot with the noise and then my laptop would explode.
You know what I fear most from the explosion? The object would break into a million pieces in the explosion and the sharp pieces would come flying at me and shoot into my eyes, stab my eardrums, and pierce my skin. Then I would bleed to death (honestly, I don’t know why I torture myself with such a horrific scenario).


The same fear applies to many other cases. If I watch the TV for too long I am afraid it would get too hot and explode. If I leave the computer on standby for too many nights in a row I am afraid it would get too hot and explode. If I talk on the phone for too long I am afraid it would get too hot and explode.

My friends say that I am crazy and unreasonable. If it were to happen, there would be very little probability. However, I dote on that probability like a prick. i don’t know when I’ll get over it. I wonder if it’s some kind of phobia, like my mom’s fear of kittens, my sister’s fear of grown cats, my little brother’s fear of cockroaches, my dad’s fear of eating a chicken’s neck (that is weird). However, my fear seems so systematic compared to theirs which are solely based on the fear of the object for no special reason. I’m starting to think I’m psychotic. LOL.

I have other anxieties too, if not fears. I always blow everything before I use it. I blow my spoon before I use it to eat then I wipe it with a tissue. I always blow on my food before I eat it, even if it isn’t hot. I even blow on my tissue before I use it to blow my nose. Why? Because I don’t like dust. I don’t like germs. I don’t like dirt. Somehow, my brain is making me believe that I can banish them by blowing on everything before I use it. It’s already a habit and sometimes I don’t even realize that I do it until my friend looks at me as if I were an alien and asks me what the heck am I doing.

I am one of the most consumptive users of tissue and tissue products. I need tissues, mostly to wipe everything (yes, I also wipe my utensils before I use it. I also wipe the table with it before I eat at public places. You never know.). I can never feel comfortable eating something or using something if it isn’t clean. I don’t like handkerchiefs because you have to use them over and over again even before you wash them. Or you would just have to use the side A side B theory. That doesn’t assure that the germs or dirt haven’t switched sides before I used them, right?

Yes, maybe I am insane. Maybe I really do have OCD apart from my hypothetically strewn ADD. However, my habits give me comfort and I haven’t seen any detrimental effects from them just yet. So I won’t seek for any treatment or therapy. I don’t need it yet.

Or maybe it’s just my imagination.

Oh, well. Let the imagination run wild!

Scream 1: Attack Of The Microphone


My laptop is pretty new. I got it with my friend about half a year ago at Mangga 2. It’s an Asus Netbook, EeePC 1015PEM. I chose it for its durability, with a 10-hour-long battery, dual core CPU, and super-light weight. It’s pretty convenient to bring everywhere. It’s got a slick black design, part of the seashell series, so the material is kind of glossy and metallic but light. At first, I wanted to get the new and colorful Acer netbooks. They had a choice of blue, green, pink, and purple covers with white interiors. I wanted the green one. However, when we compared the prices and the specifications, Asus won.

Anyway, I usually use it for working, writing, and browsing. It doesn’t have to go through many ordeals. I don’t like playing computer games, I can’t code and make programs, I don’t fuss with the configurations, and I don’t have multiple user accounts. You get the point.

What I also like to do with my laptop when I have free time is make covers. I love downloading karaoke versions of my favorites songs on youtube and then sing along to them. I record it then just stash it up in my private collection. It’s not for public consumption. Just a hobby of mine.

In the meantime, I take care of my laptop pretty well. I update my anti-virus regularly. I pay attention to PC notifications. I clean it well. I’ve never had much trouble with it.

One day, as I was making a cover of Avril Lavigne’s “4 Real” (for the hundredth time because I could never get it right and I am a damn perfectionist), I noticed that the laptop microphone was picking up a lot of static. My bedroom fan wasn’t on and there was no other noise to be heard in the house. I recorded a few words to test it out and, yup, there was a lot of static in the recording results too.

So then I wanted to hear how I sounded while I was recording, just like how I could hear myself talking into the headset microphone sometimes, if I wanted. I never tried that with the laptop microphone. So this is what I did:


Then I clicked apply. That was the stupidest and most regretful thing that I have done in my entire life. It was the darkest moment of my life (exaggeration).

The laptop literally screamed at me. It was like the sound of a tortured animal, a combination of a howl and a screech. It was an ear-splitting and deafening high-pitched sound. I panicked.

The cursor froze. I couldn’t undo the settings. I couldn’t click anything. Then I couldn’t move the cursor. So I did what I always did with my last laptop when it decided to hang. I yanked out the battery. It shut up.

The next moments were scary and frustrating. I shoved the battery back in. I turned it on. SCREAM. Battery out. Scratch head. Battery in. Laptop on. SCREAM. Battery out.

I did the above several times in a row until I called it quits. I was afraid that if I let it scream for too long, it would explode. If not, I’d at least bust the speakers.

So I did what I usually did if I ever had a laptop error. I contacted Blue Spy. He is an IT whiz and I always ask him for free advice on IT stuff, which I mostly don’t understand, hehe…

I contacted him via chat and told him my laptop was having a fit. After a brief chat about the condition, he told me to try toggling the settings via safe mode. So I turned it back on and chose the safe mode, something I usually ignored as I turned on the laptop after a forced shut-down. Then I got to meet the simple and minimalist view of the safe mode for the first time. I searched the control panel for the recording settings but, alas, they weren’t there. I tried system restore too but I then realized I never made a restore point. There was no default restore point either. I tried my luck and turned it on again. It screamed at me again. I was devastated.

Then Blue Spy started talking gibberish, something about specific procedures in restoring the system. He was ready to give me a step-by-step by chat (bless him) but I couldn’t understand. So I tried something else I had just thought of. I didn’t want to bust my laptop speakers, but my headset speakers… would they be busted?

I plugged in my headset and turned on my laptop. Silence. Golden Silence. The cursor had decided to start moving on my command too. The first thing I did was turn down the volume. It was set on 100 before. No wonder. Then I unchecked the “listen to this device” box, clicked apply, and waited. After waiting a few moments, I unplugged the headset.


Praise Allah! I sighed with relief. I abruptly and most unceremoniously told Blue Spy, in the middle of his chat, that I had fixed it and then thanked him for his help.

I checked my laptop speakers. Fine. I checked my headset speakers. Fine. A huge sigh of relief.

I promised myself that I’d use more common sense when changing any settings next time. I didn’t have any desire to continue doing my cover that day. However, I did find out what caused so much static in my laptop microphone.


I felt like an egg head. Haha… So simple. I cranked down the volume and boost and my microphone was fine again.

So, in the end, I found a rather simple but dumb way to solve my laptop problem, although sacrificing my headset in the process. Luckily, it proved to be immune to the attack.

Was it dumb luck? Oh, well. The point is, I was lucky this time. Knowing me, I am enough of a klutz to be a hazard to myself and my surroundings every day. I hope I have more luck to spare.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My Mom’s Food Corner


My mom is a great cook. I pride myself in having a mom that can cook really well – even if I can’t cook something as simple as rice to save my life. However, I reassure myself with the fact that she was as clueless as me before she married. So, I think I can catch-up. For now, I’ll take the liberty to share some of the pictures of the fabulous things she cooked today.

Here is the delicious Ayam Bakar Kayu Manis. In English, its cinammon-spiced roasted chicken.


I love roasted chicken, especially if it is spicy. However, this is a milder cuisine suited for a more general taste. It’s great for special occassions like wedding receptions, gatherings, and reunions.

Next is my family favorite: Chocolate Brownies. Here are the pictures to tease your tastebuds.



These are brownies with chocolate icing and chocolate sprinkles. Its a triple chocolate feast. I love it. Wanna try? (hehe)




These ones are brownies with melted dark chocolate icing and crushed almond topping. Simply a chocolate-lovers delight.

Both brownies are made from the same base. They just have different toppings. However, the topping does compliment the original taste exceptionally and different toppings give different nuances. I think the first one is more “party” and fun, while the second is elegant ad romantic.

Brownies are also great for parties. My mother went to a party and bought some samples for the guests and they were instantly a favorite for adults and kids alike. Orders from others came straight away. But the recipe is still a secret. Care to order too? ^-^

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Cure for Constipation


I am constipated. Yes, I am unable to flow at my usual rate because there’s something blocking the way.

This may sound disgusting. No, I am not having any trouble in the bathroom. I am having trouble executing my writing ideas. They’re crammed in my head, too much of them at the same time, yet I can’t execute any of them. So my blog is neglected, my stories unfinished, and who knows when I’m gonna write another poem or prose to add to my shabby collection. Let alone the freelance article-writing jobs that are in queue. Deadlines are looming, yet I can’t find a laxative for my thoughts.

So what did I do? Yes… I stared at my blank page and started to type anything – slowly, but sure. Then the ideas just came flowing through my fingers.

NOT (laughs).

You know what I really did? I opened my youtube account and checked the latest installment from the handsome and hilarious Shane Dawson. It was something about a Christmas treat, if I’m not mistaken. It wasn’t too interesting and didn’t feed my hunger for amusement.


So, being quite disappointed in my Shane, I browsed for other options. I remember my sister showing me a video of a funny Canadian-Indian man named Russell Peters who did stand-up comedy. My internet connection was quite fast at that moment so I could load the videos easily. The first one I watched was entitled Russell Peters - Beating Your Kids. My first impression was: What kind of sadistic argument would he make fun of here? Beating kids? That was not the fashion anymore.

I watched the video anyway and found myself LOL-ing in at 2 am. This Indian is extra funny (don’t mean to be racist there, I like Bollywood). He starts by comparing the “white people’s” and the “Indian people’s” style of parenting. The victims who supplied his examples were his dad and a person referred to as “Paul’s Mother”. I don’t know who the heck Paul is. He said it was his childhood friend: an obnoxious kid who liked to swear at his parents.

Well, he argued that when he was a kid, a good beating was something he would get every time he did something wrong. His dad would stare down at him (he acted his out) and, with his distinct Indian accent, say, “Somebody’s gonna get a hurt real bad”. The audience thought this was really funny and laughed and clapped simultaneously.

Then Russell would argue more about how scared he would be and how he would never go against his father. Then he compared himself with Paul, who addresses his mother with a “f*** you, b**ch!” and rarely forgets to show off his middle finger. With a smile and shrug, his mother just says: “what am I gonna do with him?” (something like that, I forgot the exact words).

One day, Russell and Paul play together and Paul says that the way to reply to your parents was to say what he usually said to his mom. So Russell goes home and says “f*** you, b**ch!” to his dad with a hilariously gleeful and proud expression on his face. His dad’s answer was, “do I look like Paul’s mother?”.

He got another “somebody’s gonna get a hurt real bad” from his dad and got a beating. The audience loved it (what a sick audience we have here. I am included).

So he went to Paul again and told his story. Paul said that his Mom wouldn’t ever do it to him. The easiest way to scare her off was to say that he was going to call Child Services. She wouldn’t want to be put in jail because of that.

So Russell goes back home and does some mischief. I think he swears at his dad again. The dialogue went something like this:

Dad: “Somebody’s gonna get a hurt real bad.”

Russell: “I’ll call child services.” (Smugly)

Dad: “Oh really?” (Unbelieving)

Russell: “Yes.”

Dad: “Fine, I’ll go get the phone.”

Russell: (Panicking, not knowing the number) “But they’ll arrest you.”

Dad: “Yes, it’ll be trouble. But they would take 23 minutes to get here. In that time, somebody’s gonna get a hurt real bad.”

Russell was dumbstruck. His trick had backfired. The audience laughed all the way through and applauded.

So Russell kept saying, “White people, beat your kids” just to crack the audience up and then made more assertions towards his background and culture. It was really funny. People reading this should go check it out if they haven’t. It was an old video, uploaded in 2008, I think. Thus, he has been doing it for years. Where have I been all this time?

There are loads of videos about his shows. He has a tendency to make fun of all the races. However, he isn’t mean. They’re all honest and true facts, and he does it nicely with a kind sense of humor.

However, I do warn viewers who are more rigid about the racism issues. This isn’t for the faint of heart. Coarse language and sexual references are also used, so this is definitely for mature audiences.




Anyway, Russell helped me cure the constipation by lifting my mood. Suddenly I had the will to write and out came the ideas. So I’m dedicating this blog entry to him.

Thanks, Russell! ;)

Monday, November 7, 2011

One: Vertigo



“Eyes and ears and mouth and nose,

mouth and nose,

mouth and nose.

Eyes and ears and mouth and nose.

We all clap hands together!”

The nursery song rang through Lisa’s ears very clearly as she stood in front of the mirror. She touched the contours of her dark eyes, full lips, and pointed nose. She mouthed the lyrics softly and closed her eyes.

Like a thick fog, a mild darkness surrounded her, forming a cocoon enclosing her body. Rays of early sunlight pushed their way into the walls of the cocoon. There were glimpses of faint light in that darkness, followed by splotches of color here and there. Dark lines rippled in and out of the dark, like sea snakes dancing in the black waters of the deepest oceans. The Ocean. Yes, that’s where she was. In a cocoon shaped underwater vehicle sinking through the trenches of the ocean.

She kept feeling her face. She saw something appear in her ocean. The two eyes. The mouth. The Nose. It was creating a face before her. Her face. There was a softness in her eyes. They were kind and calm and reserved. She looked back at the face she knew so well and smiled.

They said she had her mother’s eyes, pretty brown eyes that emanated warmth and compassion. They were eyes that sparkled when she laughed. They were eyes that were honest - and innocent, like those of a child. Age could not deprive them of youth, but supplied them with wisdom.

The two eyes stared back at her. Her mother stared back at her. There was a characteristic look upon them. It was the look she wore when Lisa had done something good, like the time she got straight A’s at school or when she won the talent competition. It was also the look she wore when she was listening to her story about how she fell in love with the boy next door. It was open and understanding.

The face smiled at her. It was her smile and her mother’s smile. A dimple dug itself into her left cheek. Then the mouth split open, revealing an array of white teeth, and it transformed into her father’s smile. This smile was wide and full of merriment.

Suddenly, the splotches of color around the cocoon started to move faster, appearing and disappearing rapidly. It was magenta, blue, and green all at once. Then they swirled into a frenzy while the snakes swum in and out of the walls, glowing like bright neon lights. It was chaos. The sea had gone. But the face remained, smiling widely at her.

A low rumble started to sound, shaking the inner walls of the cocoon. The sound waves bounced off the walls echoing the noise. It was cacophony and ecstasy at the same time. It was painful. But strangely, there was something exciting about the animated vertigo.

The face started to laugh. With its laugh, the cocoon shook uncontrollably, spinning wildly. It was both earthquake and cyclone at the same time. More color’s appeared from a volcanic eruption. The face disappeared in a whirl of color, but its laugh remained… and the song came back…

“Eyes and ears and mouth and nose, mouth and nose, mouth and nose…

The song repeated itself and the storm persisted. The tempo multiplied itself, peaking in a crescendo, while the volume increased. Amidst it all, a small voice uttered a plea for help. However, it was soon drowned by the sound of clapping. Then there was laughter. Who was it? Beneath the shelter of her eyelids, she could not recognize the high pitched and slightly sinister laugh that reverberated across the walls.

As the curiosity began to engulf her, a blinding light appeared amongst the chaos. It pierced the current of colors, forming a straight white line in the middle of the wall. The spinning came to a halt and everything exploded into a final burst of color. A thundering bang followed shortly afterwards.

Lisa opened her eyes.

She could see only white. She was in a bright mist.

The mist dissolved slowly. She could see the silhouettes of the objects in her room coming to focus. First, it was her bed. Then her desk. Her cupboard, coat stand, and the rest of the contents in her room followed soon after.

Lisa was sitting down on the floor of her room. Everything was back to normal. But it was also alien.

She knew she had just experienced another seizure. It was getting more frequent. It was real and definite, like falling asleep and eating. Thus the time in between the attacks were getting slimmer. It got difficult to determine what was supposed to be normal and what wasn’t.

They happened often, more so when she was alone. The self-therapy she had tried didn’t seem to work. Maybe it was because there was no sure reason of how it came to be.

“It could be stress,” they said.

“She’s too tired.”

“She just likes the attention.”

“There’s something terribly wrong with that girl.”

People didn’t know how to regard her illness. It was not a normal headache – she’d exchange it for that any day. She never saw a therapist. She knew she wasn’t crazy. It wasn’t an act. But some people doubted her.

She stood up and looked at herself in the mirror. There she was, same as ever. She was moderately tall for a twenty year old, but rather scrawny. Her skin was pale and looked even more ghostly beneath the black clothes that covered her body. She didn’t like her current reflection. They said she used to be prettier, healthier. She wanted to look away from the sight in front of her.

Instead, Lisa took a step forward, and another, until she was an inch from the 6-foot mirror. She could see her face very clearly now. Her lips were dry and chapped. Her cheeks were sunken pits resting on each side of her face. And her eyes… There was something new, something strange about her eyes. She leaned in closer towards the mirror…

Panic closed in on her. She couldn’t comprehend what she was seeing. How could it be? She rubbed her eyes and looked again. The reflection didn’t change.

Her heart raced and she took several staggering steps backwards, distancing herself from the mirror.


In the depths of her soul, a small voice cried out.


Those eyes. Those eyes aren’t mine!



- end of first segment -

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Breaking Point 1#


It's not giving up...

Just tired of accomodating to the majority's perception of success and achievement.

Bored of the paradigm, and the bureaucracy, and the unwritten regulations that defines whether or not you've succeeded, whether or not you deserve to be prided and respected, whether or not you deserve to be credited for the small but meaningful things you do in life...

Who's to say whether or not you have the right to alleviate from the traditional expectancies, postmodern ways - that have even proved to be a failure of defining one's honor and dignity...

So it's not giving up.

It's just an ounce of resentment towards the "tolerance" that one has to deal with.