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Term's over

Relief!

Time to balance my time between playing Persona 4 Golden on my brand new PS Vita, reading Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, selling off stuff I don't need on eBay, planning Easter and Summer trips, looking for a job ...

Had a chat with my personal tutor yesterday. He was surprisingly encouraging for some reason. Said something along the lines of me being a highly talented individual, getting a 2:1 in a highly numerate degree, belonging to an elite group of intelligent individuals that is less than 1% of the entire world's population, saying that I should also be thinking of what I can do for the society rather than just what I want to do for the next 10 years. He also said something about how it helps him sleep at night knowing that what he said could benefit me in terms of doing all that.

Did not expect that. All this time I've been thinking I should've done something less intellectually challenging and become a skilled worker rather than a professional, hah. Not sure why he went so overboard with the reassurance, but it did feel good, and I still feel inferior.

Hope what he says is true (even to a very minor extent)!
-Kritz

Just one of those days.

I've been doing this online course about behavioural science and came across this experiment some researchers did. Basically, the point they were trying to prove was that people make up opinions on things on the spot depending on various factors and are rarely consistent (at least that's what I think the main point was). Two groups of people were given adrenaline shots, but only one of groups knew it was an adrenaline shot whereas the other didn't know. When put in a room with someone slightly irritating, those that didn't know they had adrenaline shots felt more agitated than those who knew, with them being less agitated as they justified their feelings from having caused by the effects of adrenaline.

Today, I felt as if I had that adrenaline shot.

I just felt annoyed by the littlest of things today: the two constantly whispering chicks in class right behind me, the guy beside me that kept nudging me while I was trying to concentrate in class, that girl who always raises her hand to answer questions in the seminar when it is entirely unnecessary.

Of course, I told myself to chill.

There is no reason why I should be bothered by all these things, but I am. I wanted to turn around and pour water all over the phone that they were staring at and whispering over the whole time, tell the guy beside me to stop -- some people do not get the hint -- and just answer all the questions in class to steal the spotlight from the girl in that seminar. If only I could control the way my brain works.

If I only I could figure out what makes me tick.

Went for a career advice session a week ago, couldn't answer the advisor at all when he asked what makes me tick. Do people really know what makes them tick? At this point, a career choice just seems to me as some arbitrary decision that you make back when you clearly didn't have the sufficient knowledge to do so. So how am I suppose to make an arbitrary decision that I wouldn't regret? I don't want to be one of those adults that spends 9-5 (or longer) selling their sold to the devil and only seeking joy in the remaining hours of a limited day. If career progression isn't part of the consideration, I'd just do something deemed less glorious.

Okay, back to me being annoyed.

I don't know ... I just don't seem to find interest in anything. One of the main ideas of the online course that I'm doing (titled "The Mind is Flat") is that people often times make decisions based on preconceived thoughts, and there's no rationality behind that. So what if me not being interested in anything arises from the fact that I refuse to give in to my preconceived thoughts? Or that I'm merely telling myself that I'm not interested in anything ... but I don't think it works that way. Okay, well, I really enjoy cooking, baking, watching cooking videos, watching baking videos, but I'm aware that working in a kitchen isn't as glorified as all that, and it involves an entirely different mindset.

Could that stressful, underpaid kitchen job make me tick?

Well, I guess I wouldn't know. I'm worried that people might have the wrong idea I really want to venture into the food industry, although it's really my fault because I constantly bring up that example.  Maybe it's my subconscious mind talking? I had this crazy idea that I would do French culinary for like 10 years or so, head back to Malaysia and make Malaysian cuisine as prestigious as French cuisine. My idea of a great experience would be travelling to different places in Malaysia, learning traditional Malaysian recipes from aunties and makciks, somehow documenting them and making them known world-wide ...

I think I've officially lost it.

I'm graduating pretty soon, and bigger decisions lie ahead of me. Can some prospective employer just come across my blog post and hire me? Please? I actually wouldn't mind being a house-husband :/
-Kritz

Father-son Relationships

I'm really grateful of how supportive my dad is. In the midst of my quarter-life crisis, my dad has not once reprimanded me for being so whiny. While I'm half excited and half afraid to be part of the workforce, he's always there reassuring me that it's just the norm of things and to take it one step at a time. It's really daunting for me as I'm pretty much clueless right now in terms of a career path. I'm also give the choice to further my studies, but that doesn't make my decisions any easier to make.

Okay, let me break it down.

Working in the UK? Big companies are way too competitive, but smaller ones might not sponsor non-EU workers. But if I don't try, then I wouldn't be able to reap the benefit of getting some work experience here before heading back, which seems like a waste of opportunity.

Well, everything's moot if I can't get employed in the first place ...

Further studies. Awesome, no need to work yet. But it ain't cheap, and it will definitely be a burden on my parents. And what if I end up not enjoying that extra year of studies, wouldn't that be a waste of money? Also, if it doesn't contribute at all to my employability, then what the hell is it for?

That aside, I have to talk about the main thing I wanted to say, which is I really enjoy talking to my dad. I really enjoy Skyping him and WhatsApping him! It's not so much me complaining about my problems, but he talks to me about his life too, which makes it special. I really like that.

At this point in time, I really just want to spend more time with my parents. I want to bring them around, experience new things with them before it's too late and all. Hope some entity out there that controls the universe would consider granting me the opportunity, or at least not rob it from me.
-Kritz

600th post :O

Been keeping myself occupied lately, staying on campus and studying instead of chilling at home. Half way through today (Saturday), I was all "I guess I won't be getting any work done today ..." and went on a full blast chill-out mood. Feels so good, except for the fact that the lingering guilt is somewhere at the back of my head.

I should stay at home less. But I guess taking one day off isn't too bad?

Made a pretty complete meal last Saturday. Here's how it went:

Went out to Tesco to collect the groceries that I ordered online at 8 in the morning. Convenient, eh?

Made individual no-bake cheesecakes in the morning, then went out with one of my housemates on a walk in the wilderness. Didn't expect it to last for 3 hours.


It was pretty cool.

Went back, started cooking around 3 in the afternoon as I wanted everything to be done by 7. Invited 2 guests over to help finish off the food.

Pork shoulder :D


Look how cute it is. The crackling was conveniently scored, which was great. In hindsight, probably shouldn't have removed the butcher strings because the top part wasn't even connected to the bottom, but how would I have known that anyway?


End product.


Just simple roast potatoes, parboiled beforehand. Didn't turn out as crispy as I wanted it to, maybe too much oil.


Surprisingly managed to keep everything warm! Everything was pretty much done by 7, which I was pretty pleased about. Guests were late, though.


The big reveal! Roasted Brussels sprouts and made Yorkshire puddings from scratch (yes, batter and all). Never tried Brussels sprouts before, but I fell in love that night.


This makes the chef happy :D

And for dessert:


If only I had a sprig of mint. Made the blueberry compote from scratch too (not that it was hard or anything, just sounds more impressive).

Made 8 of these, fed neighbours too. They seemed to love it a lot. Added too much butter in the biscuit base :/

That was fun. Think the meal came up to about less than £24.
-Kritz

Drugs and Maple Story

Been reminiscing the days where I used to play Maple Story recently. Everything was so exciting and stimulating back then; the thrill of upgrading your weapons, doing party quests with friends, waiting for patches to be done, picking up something worth a fortune ...

Watched 2 critically acclaimed movies recently, Trainspotting and Requiem for a Dream. The guy in Trainspotting was pretty much not getting any thrill from life, hence taking drugs have a momentary extreme pleasure. It's kinda worrying that I can somewhat relate to that.

Maple Story was my drug. Only reason I got off it was because it got boring and people started interacting less. I would imagine quitting cold turkey at the peak of my addiction would be hard as well.

I wonder if anything could ever excite me as much as how Maple Story did back then.

What makes me tick?

I was looking at the programme for the annual International Conference of Undergraduate Research 2014 and went through several profiles of the participants. It's admirable to see people in the same position as I am having strong sense of direction. I can't possibly imagine being interested enough in something to actually dedicate months to do research on it. It's admirable, but not something I aspire to at this point of time. I wonder what is it that could make me tick? Being not excited for anything is kinda annoying.

Also, contact me personally if you're interested to look at a journal of my trip to Morocco :D (possibly only talking to an audience of 2)

Growing Up

I woke up today with the strongest feeling of homesickness ever. I never knew I could feel homesick. I felt absolutely fine the very first time I left for the UK. Felt like whatsapping my parents (yes, we have a group) that I miss them, but then again I don't want to make them worry or cause them unnecessary sadness ...

The thought of having to leave my parents, grow up and be an adult scares me. Evidently, I'm not going through this transitional phase well at all. I have one more year till I graduate. Everyone has been telling me to stay in the UK and not go back to Malaysia, but I don't think I'll ever feel like I fit in here. I guess most people just don't care about these things, but I somehow can't. It just doesn't feel right.

For some reason, my brain abhors work that requires thinking. Or maybe it's the uncertainty? I don't know. Maybe I just haven't found the one thing that excites me enough to overlook that. For now, I just want something that could make me go into autopilot and not give my brain the chance to develop all these reasons to be depressed.

Or maybe I am depressed?

Was playing Vice City for the past few days. It was sweet, sweet escapism. Is that why adults spend their free time watching TV shows? Is that what I'll eventually be? An adult that works for the sake of survival and spends every other waking moment numbing the dull pain by consuming entertainment?

I guess I don't really have a problem with that. Never wanted to be rich and successful anyway, just wanted to be well-to-do enough and have enough free time to spend rolling around in bed and just browsing the internet for laughs and giggles. How pathetic is that? All I could think of is whether I would find spending long hours in the kitchen of the restaurant somewhat satisfying. Stupid brain.

A few people that I've met so far in my work have asked me whether am I excited for my project. I guess I was, but not really anymore. I just hate how my feelings sway back and forth. Well, put on a façade, say "yes" and hope that things will be better I guess.

Maybe I have some deep-seated issue that I have yet to face. I'm not exactly suicidal ... yet I don't understand why I do not anticipate tomorrow. Can I fast forward this excruciating phase now?
-Kritz

Breaking Bad

*crosses out watching Breaking Bad off my list of things to do during my summer break*

You know that void or empty feeling you get when you finish a good movie, TV show or a book? I have that right now, and I've been reading discussions about the show and watching interviews to fill that void. It's now hard for me to describe why I love Breaking Bad without parroting what I've been reading or watching.

I initially thought it was just a very intense show about dealing drugs and stuff, but it's a lot more than that. Everything is so complex yet not complicated. This soft-spoken high school teacher become a ruthless drug lord, and this deadbeat junkie that's always screwing things up will eventually make you root for him. It's amazing. I can't even hate on the people that go against the protagonist because they are just doing what's right ... and at some points I wish the protagonist would just die ... but then again I want to see him fulfil what he set out to achieve in the first place ... It's just this really thrilling journey you get to go on with Walter White.

I wish I have someone to talk to about it ... Should've watched it when it was on air. I can only imagine how that experience would be like, the discussions and predictions ... sigh.
-Kritz

Happy (belated) Father's Day

Anyone else notice a lot less social media posts compared to Mother's Day? Either fathers are not as good as mothers or people do not like their fathers as much. Or maybe just my circle of friends ...

Me? I love them both, albeit for different reasons, but let's focus on my dad because it is (was) Father's Day.

It's stressful to be his son at times, because there is so much to live up to! He's great with kids, respects the elderly and is generally well-liked by everyone. I'm not just talking about basic etiquette, because anyone can do that; no, he plays with kids, entertains them for hours, spends hours talking to old folk, showing sincere concern, and all with a smile on his face. I often wonder how did I turned out so cold and emotionless when my dad is such a cheerful person ... seriously though, 99% of the time, he looks happy.

Another thing about my dad is that he is probably the most understanding father I've ever seen. Fathers are generally known as the distant one in the family, the one that doesn't really care about their children's studies as long as they are scoring A's, the one that doesn't really bother trying understand why their kids disagree because "I'm your father and I'm always right". I have to often remind myself to be extremely grateful that mine is the exact opposite, and it has resulted in me having more respect for him. He might not know exactly what I'm going through, but at least he doesn't impose irrational standards on me. For some reason, he trusts me and believes that I'm mature enough to make my own decisions, even at a young age.

Did I mention that he is very selfless too? Other than the obvious fact that he saved up a huge amount of money to send me off to study in the UK, he genuinely doesn't mind tending to my many needs. Remember when you were young and you needed your parents to pick you up and drop you off, and there are times when they are just lazy and seem reluctant or they might just say that they're busy ... well, my dad doesn't do that. Instead, he shows up a smile on his face. Maybe that's just part and parcel of being a father, but the attitude he does them with makes all the difference.

I could go on and on about how perfect of a person he is, but that would take too long. Did I mention that he cooks great food too? Now you see why I say there is so much to live up to?

I can't fathom how he went through so much hardship in his early life, and still have the will not spend money on himself but use it to make sure that I live a better life.

I guess the only thing I can do now is to make him proud. My biggest worry is that he doesn't live long enough for me to repay him.


Happy Father's Day, dee. Can't wait to go eat 虾面 and 鱼头米粉 with you again!

Your only son,
Kritz

Something worth celebrating

Taking a break from studying to write this ... who am I kidding, I'm really just here because I ran out of stuff to browse and kill time when I should be studying.

1 paper down, 8 more to go.

Before that, I have to head down to London on Monday to pick up my Moroccan visa, assuming that my application hasn't been rejected. Can't wait for my exams to be over so I can fly to Morocco. Kinda excited to spend 2 nights in the desert. I can almost imagine the unpolluted night sky filled with stars ...

Can't wait to go back to Malaysia too! So many things to eat do!

But not for long, because I'll be flying back to the UK 2 months before everyone else as I'll be working as an intern! Nothing coveted like internships in banks or other firms in the financial sector, but nevertheless it's still an opportunity to work overseas! Kinda excited for that too. What if I end up working in this field after graduating? Will the higher education sector be my calling?

So many things to be excited for, but 8 papers more. Gah.

There's also that considerably significant probability that I might fail my second year and have to redo it ... i.e. going through hell again. I might go crazy. Or become clinically depressed. Or both. Tell me why did I choose this course again?

Anyway, the midnight caffeine boost should be kicking in soon. Better get some studying done I guess :/

-Kritz

Happy Mother's Day

I am not a fan of sharing personal things on social media (mainly Facebook), but I do not want my mom to feel left out because she sees all these Mother's Day posts but not receive one of her own. So here's mine.

Happy Mother's Day, mee.

I guess you have always been more like a sister to me than a mom, and I'm pretty sure you wouldn't mind looking like you could be my sister. I guess you could say that our mother-son relationship is unique; although I can be rude at times and 'bo dua bo soi', but it's what makes our relationship special, right? You have to agree that you can be irrational at times too!

I remember you always trying to squeeze into my tiny bed when I'm trying to sleep and end up talking until 2 or 3 in the morning. I still remember that one time we went to Genting Highlands and spent the whole night talking until it was time for breakfast! That conversation always made me wonder what it would be like to know you as a friend than to know you as my mom.

I miss going out for dinners, just the two of us, driving around in circles looking for a nice place to eat. It has been a long time since we could do that together, and I don't know how many more of these dinners we could have in the future because there is no definite way to tell what the future holds, but I do hope that there are many, many more.

Since I came to study in the UK, I realise that I've always taken the work you do at home for granted. I can now see how lazy I was then, since I didn't have to cook or clean or do any house chores for that matter. Despite the fact that it seems like you enjoy cleaning (hahaha), I still have to be thank you for doing the laundry, cleaning the house, cooking meals (sometimes), doing the dishes, changing the bedsheets, cleaning the ceiling fans, sweeping and mopping the floors daily, ironing the clothes ... I hope you can rest assured now that I can do all these things by myself! But don't worry, I will not interfere with all these things when I go back!

I love you, mee. I wish I could give you a hug right now. I'm sorry for all the times that I've hurt your feelings. and I hope there are many more years ahead of us so we could go out for more dinners and spend more sleepless nights talking till dawn. (and you can do my laundry and clean my dishes)

Your one and only son/monkey/baby/pig,
Kritz

ps. do whatever you want to do with this lah, you can show it to whoever you want to. Happy Mother's Day :)

Something I gathered after 2 years of undergraduate studies [rant]

I realised that lectures are not my thing. I find it several times more effective to study a well-written set of lecture notes than attend countless hours of dry and dull lectures. I finally understand why some people don't bother going to lectures yet still manage to do well in exams.

Of course, the best option is to read the lecture notes before going for lectures, but that isn't an option for many modules. It's easier to study lecture notes because one can do it at their own pace. In lectures, you might not fully fathom a small but crucial part in the first 10 minutes and have to spend the next 50 minutes listening to incomprehensible jibber-jabber, or eventually, giving up and whipping out your phone.

I've tried concentrating in lectures, but sometimes it really doesn't work, which led me to come to the conclusion that lectures aren't the optimal way for ME to study. (note the emphasis on ME)

Why not read text books? Because no one really teaches based off a text book. What am I suppose to do when you decide to alter the notations and terminology and have materials taken from different sections of a chapter without specifying which parts are examinable? Before you get into how undergraduate learning is about exploring and studying more in depth, let me stop you there and tell you that it is not the case for the course that I'm doing. I wouldn't mind spending several hours on a topic if it meant that I had to refer to different sources and really create a personal relationship with it, but truth is, I have 10 modules from 4 separate academic departments, each with approximately 20 sections to cover, so there's no way I'm doing that. I can't be arsed. Nor is it necessary.

Now it irks me that some lecturers are hell-bent on sticking to their principles of not giving out lecture notes and expecting students to fully comprehend what they teach during lectures, offering no other options to study, making this wonderful façade of the ultimate study experience a really rigid and dull one. (Okay, I might be a little excessive here ... but hey, no one important is reading this right?). Other lecturers give notes so simplified, that it makes no sense.

Why can't they have recorded lectures? Why?! Then again I'm not too fond of that idea, since it means I'll have to listen to more than the minimum requirement of their voices. I might just go insane.

Best option would be to just GIVE ME A GOOD SET OF NOTES DAMMIT. Props to lecturers who do. I feel like I've wasted my time going for so many lecturers and learning nothing.

Disclaimer: This is just an off-the-top-of-my-head rant. Hope I don't come off as being immature and ungrateful. Even if I really am. Meh.
-Kritz

rant; thought; something else

I've been taking out the trash for my house and my neighbours' because we share the same backyard, where the bins are. Well, occasionally, they will put the bins back after being cleared the next morning. Occasionally. Maybe one out of 30 weeks, they would be the ones to take out the trash. (Well, a few times were necessary because they had guests over with bikes and it blocked the corridor leading from the backyard to the porch). So last week, most of the people in my house weren't around so no one took out the trash. Lo and behold, they took our theirs and left ours in the backyard. That's not even the worse part. Instead of moving their bin back to the backyard, they just left it in the porch and filled up ours.

Some people just do not give a damn, do they?

To summarise: neighbour doesn't take out trash. Only takes out their own when we can't do it for them.

* * *

I just don't like sharing my personal goals with other people. For some reason. Derek Sivers made a TED talk about it once, about how telling everyone your goals makes you less likely to achieve it. I don't know to what extent is that true, but I think it's something I would adhere to. It also irks me sometimes when people tell me what they are set out to achieve, again and again. I don't know why. I just think it's annoying. I guess I don't need to have a reason to think that way? Or maybe I'm just too lazy to conjure up a valid reason because ... who cares? A pet peeve, I guess. So stop telling me how you're going to do something different than me, or how you're going to make yourself more productive, or what your plan is. Ugh.

* * *

So 2 people commented on my appearance yesterday. Which was cool because I only had 2 actual social interactions (using the term here loosely) twice. Then found out about another one today through a friend. So there's that.
-Kritz

Easter break

A provisional exam timetable's out. 9 papers in the span of 4 weeks.

It's week one of my 5-and-a-half-week long Easter break, and I've since started to do a little bit of work, which is good. Since I'm not travelling this break, I've been more lenient with my spending on groceries and other ... stuff, heh. Went to a OneRepublic gig, again, 2 days ago, but that doesn't count because I bought those tickets few months ago. Going to Daughtry's this weekend, which I'm pretty stoked for!

Well, back to doing research for my essay. Just wanted to check in, for no reason.
-Kritz

Learning how not to be an asshole

I find myself being very, very judgemental at times. Of course, 99% of the time, I don't voice them out, so nobody knows. Then, I go through the cycle of telling myself to imagine what it would be like to be in their shoes, giving them the benefit of the doubt if necessary. That is then followed by me thinking about how flawed I am myself, and how I shouldn't judge others before judging myself. It can be tiring sometimes, but I have to stop my brain from thinking highly of myself.
-Kritz

A letter to my (near) future self

Dear Kritz,

Hope that by the time you are reading this, you will be preparing for the third year of this dreadful mistake you have made your undergraduate course, and not the second year.You have had your chance to redeem yourself, I hope you did not screw that up.

If you did well for your finals, then congratulations! One more till the end of one nightmare and the beginning of another (hopefully a fun one).

If you did not, you have no one to blame but yourself really. I know you hate having to do this, studying things that you just hate studying, but you have to. Think of all the hardship other people go through, think of all the effort people put into doing things they don't enjoy doing because they have to. Now you have to do second year all over again. It's really just a question of which is the lesser of two evils: studying your ass off for 2 months or be depressed an entire year.

Anyway, all the best!

Regards,
Kritz

Summer

2 more weeks till end of term 2, which means the beginning of a long and arduous journey to second year finals. I hope I don't screw up my five-and-a-half-week worth of Easter break by doing absolutely nothing, which has been a recurring issue since ... ever ...

Time to start thinking of what to do during the summer as well. It seems like everyone is peer pressured into getting an internship somewhere during the summer break. I wonder what happens to people who graduate without any internship experience? I admire people that just don't give a damn about these things. 

source: http://zappablamma.tumblr.com/ ... the first post is the comic above. I don't know why I went through the hassle of scanning my university newspaper ...
Just so you know, the green one is me. I guess I don't really care much about working in a big bank here, but any opportunity of a decent job here in the UK would suffice, really.
-Kritz

Introverts

Was reading this and felt like adding some commentary to it.

2. I love meeting new people, but only if you approach me first.  
If I have to make the first move, it’ll most likely never happen. I’m silently imagining every possible thing that could go wrong and by the time I work up enough courage to do it, I’ve thoroughly freaked you out by constantly glancing your way and you’ve already sprinted for the door.

It's a miracle that I have friends, really. Come to think of it, I can clearly remember making the first move only because there are a handful of them. It worked too! (well, the recent one that I could recall at least).

3. Small Talk for me is not Small Talk to a normal person. 
I get deep real fast. I genuinely want to know your life story, what makes you happy, and what makes you angry. Don't be surprised if I ask you how you really feel about your parents’ divorce within the first 5 minutes of meeting you. I’m not a gossip; I just genuinely want to connect with you.

Okay, this one is a wee bit exaggerated, but I get it. The fact that small talk is such a task for makes me mad when the other person doesn't even try. So you would rather just sit there quietly without talking? Okay, fine. (Note: said people are normally acquaintances, not random strangers).

4. We have a heightened sense for a fake or insincere personality. 
Our quiet and reserved nature allows us so much time to observe. I see your fake smile and can tell you just lied to that person. I hear you repeat the same exact joke to every single person you run into. I’m onto you, extrovert.

LOL. Okay, I try not to give myself too much credit and give the other person the benefit of the doubt.

9. Networking events = death. 
There is literally nothing I hate more than having to meet new people in an environment specifically created for that purpose. I realize that’s entirely the point of networking events, but I feel so much pressure to make myself sound and look like the most interesting person you’ve ever met. I can only be charming for so long! Pass me a glass of wine and let me mentally prepare myself for this first.

This is probably the reason why I think I'll never make it in the corporate world. Faking it till you make it is just so much work. I've probably had only a handful of socials though ... which isn't that bad sometimes.

-Kritz


Of arias and different milestones.

Went to watch Phantom of the Opera on Wednesday. Form 3 me (I'm guessing that was when we read the super abridged version of it) would be pretty satisfied.

It was great. Emotional and powerful and goosebump-inducing. I sat at the very front row, which was ... surprisingly pleasant. Not the best seats in the house, but I guess better than having to use a pair of binoculars. I even took pictures of the chandelier despite being yelled at by the staff repeatedly not to take pictures. To my defense, it was the intermission and I didn't interrupt anyone. Also, if I sat up straight, I could peer down into that ... pit where the orchestra is. (Looked it up, it's called orchestra pit! *pumps fist*)

Didn't like some parts where I couldn't hear what the singers were singing over the music from the orchestra. Wish I knew the lyrics to the songs. Also, I find it hard to pick out words from arias (the part where a female sings in a very high pitch in operas ... at least that's what I think they call them). That's probably just me though.

Hope I get to see Wicked or Les Miserables or anything interesting soon.

* * * 

This autobiography I'm reading seems to be giving me a lot of things to think about. Although being a successful actor is amazing, the journey towards it isn't easy at all. For actors (by that I mean male actors ... a little redundant maybe I just wanted to specify the gender), they normally peak at their late thirties or even later. All the serious roles require a mature actor, most of the time at the age of 40 to 55. That means that most of them are virtually unknown by the public for the entire period of time before that. Okay, maybe not unknown, but just minor roles and not enough to bump them to the A-list. To top it off, some actors may live their entire lives without getting a big break. I guess one should think of actors as people who act, not just the ones that are really famous ... It probably sucks to go to parties and have to answer the what-do-you-do-for-a-living question with "actor".

Everyone else on the other hand chooses the safest route. Work in a company, climb the corporate ladder, be rich or whatever. Oh you're working a bank? Good for you. The opportunities are vast. I don't know why is sickens me. I'm not condemning people who take that path ... I just wish I didn't.

I guess I took the road where the leaves have been trodden black. Not saying I would've gone off to be an actor ... but you get what I mean (there are many less travelled paths). Hopefully when I'm at 40 or 50, when I'm telling my story with a sigh, it would be a sigh of relief and not a sigh of despair arising from the desire of wanting to take the other path back when I was in the yellow wood. I kinda miss English literature classes now :(

It's so hard to fathom the fact that I'm not halfway to the age where people start looking back. There was this bit by Louis CK (I think) about how the media portrayed youth as being so coveted and desirable, when the truth is that maturity and experience that comes with age are the things that matter ultimately. Also, I can't just sit here and wait till I'm 40 to be able to tell my story, I have to actually work towards shaping the person I want to be for FORTY YEARS. Holy crap. How do actors toil through 20 years of just being an actor that wouldn't get noticed on the streets? Watching the musical gave me the same thought as well: how does it feel to be in the industry for decades without a leading role? Will immense passion or love for theatre make it all okay?

All this senseless ramblings aren't helping me at all. In fact, it kinda inhibits me from doing my best in the path that I've chosen/I'm stuck in. Also, I think a lot of my posts for the last year or so have been lingering around the same theme. Either my brain is crying for a change or I'm just way too whiny. Or both. Or just the latter.
-Kritz

Random anecdote

I've been reading an autobiography of some actor and found it amazing how he could describe incidents that happened when he was a kid so vividly. Sure, I guess the writing process wouldn't be easy, but it seems like a nice journey through time to be able to revive all the deep-seated memories. Maybe he really does have an ESTB?

Anyway, thought I might give it a go as well, trying to recall some childhood anecdote or something.

When Pokemon first came out, I was obsessed with the TV show. Really obsessed. If I'm not mistaken, it used to air on a local TV channel called NTV7 on weekends. Of course, this was back in the day of dial-ups, and not the era of torrent-everything-with-high-speed-Internet we live in now. Besides, I was way too young to be torrenting stuff anyway. Have you seen the ads on the side of torrent sites?

I remember the paroxysms of glee (my attempt of trying to incorporate new vocabulary into my 'writing', though it may seem more like blatant plagiarism ...) when Pokemon would come on the TV. It was a big deal back then, even though the episodes are short and the commercials between parts are obscenely long. I believe the feeling of how fast time passes is relative to a person's age. A year would feel longer for a 5-year-old child than for a 40-year-old adult (I went from man to man/woman and came to a conclusion of using the non-gender specific term 'adult' ... just thought you should know) since the time in consideration is only a smaller fraction of his or her entire life span up till the present.

That whole bit about time is a little overkill ... but I'll leave it there.

Anyway, I always had this lingering memory of me waiting to watch Pokemon when I went to my uncle's place for the weekend. I wouldn't be allowed to watch Pokemon downstairs since I'm a kid (how discriminatory?) and had to depend on the TV upstairs that functions archaically. Pretty sure we had Astro then, which I believe is what Americans call "cable". The one upstairs, however, still relies on ... the thing that's opposed to cable (can't be arsed to do more research, since this isn't really my autobiography now, is it?).

So I would try my best to be in front of the TV (as if kids have any say in where they could be at a specific time), ignoring the calls for dinner (oh god my vocabulary) which was deemed extremely rude just to watch Pokemon. I always resented how kids that do not attend to the requests of adults immediately were portrayed as kids with bad behaviour. I think we had moral education classes back in primary school where we had to choose the "morally correct" behaviour with questions like "Tim's mom called him to take out the trash when he was playing his Gameboy, what should he do?". Are you sending me to hell because I disobeyed my parents on such a minor issue? Doubt so. Then again, does hell really exist? Then again, moral education didn't mention hell at all, being not religious and all. Do I have ADHD?

Holy crap, look at the amount of digression.

There are days where I went though hell (rushing home, ignoring adults and risk being called disobedient) just to sit in front of the TV, only to realise that the TV channel decide to cancel Pokemon and replace it with something else that kids wouldn't give a damn about. It was utterly devastating. I could still feel how disappointed and angry and miserable I felt back then. It was devastating.

Actually, I think I still feel the same way when Modern Family decides to skip a week or two.

Holy crap, this thought journey made me realise I'm not exactly different from little me. Should I be alarmed?

ps. Frozen was not bad. The Railway Man was amazing.
-Kritz

The painful nightmare of being ordinary

It's Sunday night and I was just lying on the bed reading about one of my new 'obsessions'. Always wished I documented all my obsessions over the past. Would be interesting to look back at it.

I always find it interesting to read the "Early Life" section of the Wikipedia page of the people admire. Makes me wonder what life was like for them way before they "made it", or before they were worthy of having a comprehensive Wikipedia page written about them. Makes me wonder what life would be like for me when I reach the peak of it, what my Wikipedia page would be like (assuming everyone has one, not just the famous ones).

I wouldn't say earning big bucks is being successful in life -- although many would say the same, I doubt they actually think that way. Right now, I think I would be satisfied if I were to grow into a person I would admire; someone who is somewhat knowledgeable, interesting, articulate, presentable ...

I guess no one really grows up to be someone with a Wikipedia page, they just do whatever they think they should do and strive to be the best at it, and eventually become who they are now.

Then again, my opinions on this might be a little biased since only famous people have Wikipedia pages. Maybe I subconsciously want to be famous too? Where exactly am I going with this ... ?
-Kritz

Svíčková!

Wanted to talk about something negative, but something else came up which made my day! Better immortalise (okay, this isn't a novel or anything ... but you get my point) this moment instead!

As I have mentioned few posts ago, I visited Czech Republic during my December break. I then left a really heartfelt review on TripAdvisor for a restaurant in the city of Kutná Hora because the food there left a really strong impression on me. Also, seeing that the manager personally responses to each review, I just wanted to try my luck!

Svíčková!
I really, really, really missed the flavours of the dish in the picture. Not knowing the name (because our tour guide brought us there) of the restaurant nor the name of the dish, I had to do a little research. Lo and behold (do people still use this phrase?), it is listed as the top rated restaurant in Kutna Hora on TripAdvisor. The English menu listed the dish as beef baked in cream, which isn't really helpful if you're looking for recipes.

2 weeks after posting the review, the manager finally responded! Here's what he said:
Hello, I personally thank you for such a nice review. Meal you had is called "svíčková" in Czech and it is very popular all around. You can google its recipie and translated it. Of course every chef have own original ways, but find ours the best so far :). By the way it is not long way from UK, so if you have chance... you are always welcome. So till we meet again I wish you all best. Radek Cikler, manager of Dačický´s
Svíčková! Thank you, Mr. Radek Cikler! I wish I could go there again one day. In a movie, we would then proceed to become friends, keep in contact, then I would be spending my summer holidays working at Dačický´s, a restaurant with a name I can't even pronounce. Sadly, people don't live in movies. Well, some do. I don't.

Let's look at what Wikipedia has to say about this dish:
Beef (round or brisket) is marinated for up to three days before it is roasted and thickly sliced. A gravy is made from a part of this strained marinade, beef stock (optional) and sour cream. It is served with bread dumplings, rarely sauerkraut, and (as is currently done in the Czech Republic) sometimes cranberry sauce.

*jaw drops*
No wonder it's so amazing.
Time to book a ticket to Czech Republic ...
-Kritz

Of wishful thinking and limitations of capabilities

Woo, fancy title. Not really. People these days like to have titles for their Facebook photo albums or Whatsapp groups that start with "of". Is it a hipster thing? I don't know. Never mind that.

21 birthday was great! (Stopped myself from using the word awesome. Overusing it makes it lose its meaning). My friends sort of surprised me at 12am on 12 Jan of GMT +8 (Malaysian timing). Have to admit that it caught me off guard, haha. Was happily eating a bowl of instant noodles while watching YouTube videos.

Karaoke was amazing. Food there was good too! Best part of it was not having to worry about who-owes-what, because I'm often the one in charge of that. Got a lot of presents too! Probably the most I've ever had. Took pictures of them, but a little lazy to post them ...

Another surprise at 12am (GMT 0:00): cake. Then the neighbours came over with cookies. It's kinda like having 2 birthdays, haha. Made dinner that night (or the next? To be less ambiguous, it was still 12 Jan), some Guinness beef stew with mash. Would rather cook than wash up, heh.

Anyway, back to the point of today's post. If you scroll down a little, you will see a post dated May 16 of last year (holy crap that was quite some time ago), telling future me to not take a certain module. I'm currently doing that module, and deciding whether should I drop it or not.

You see (not exactly sure who "you" is, because this is gonna be even more uninteresting than the previous paragraphs have been), I signed up (or enrolled, whatever) for MMORSE, which is a 4-years course. I could switch to MORSE, which will be a 3-year course. For MMORSE, there are 4 streams, in which 3 of them have a core module that lists the dreadful module that I'm doing right now as a prerequisite.

I was pretty adamant on switching to a 3-year course, but I just read an alumni page where people who did MMORSE got really cool jobs or are doing other cool postgraduate courses. So much for being adamant. However, I should consider the fact that these people are geniuses that enjoyed their courses, to which I'm neither of that. But it just feels like I'm losing the chance of working in the Ministry of Justice (someone did that). What happened to the MORSE people that did more business modules instead? Alumni page seems a little biased ...

I guess one would say I could always study harder, but I just can't study harder for something I hate studying. At this point, I don't even know whether I like studying at all ...

Nah, I should save myself from plunging into severe depression in the future. 3 years of hell should be enough. I think I've made my decision.

p.s. Removed the chat box. So ... do leave comments on the post if you want to!
-Kritz

Guess this is what I'll be doing for 2014

Decided to just stick to this blog, despite the childish blog address ...

Week 1's over, just 9 more weeks till Easter break! Been spending way too much time in the kitchen ... one of the things you'd expect when you're staying with a bunch of friends.

I should probably just write on the day I have something to write. Now I can't remember anything ...

Anyway, since I was done with my assignment and exam on Tuesday, I've sort of been on a short break, kinda like extending my winter holidays by another week. Watched 5 episodes of Sherlock (the entire season 2 in one day and the first episode of season 3, then the second episode of season 3 the next day ... had to ration it out a little). I think I have withdrawals now. It's so good ...

My copy of Hyperbole and a Half arrived too. You've probably seen the "X all the Y" meme.

Few more hours till I'm 21. Let's hope things go upwards from here!
-Kritz

2014

It has been a long time.

Way too long.

Once again, I'm here, in front of my computer, procrastinating. It's like being stuck in a vicious cycle, like a kid growing up in a poor family, lacking the opportunities to equip themselves with whatever it takes to make it in the society, thrusting them further down into the depths of poverty and hardship ... except there's no cycle here -- it's just me being lazy time after time. I'm surprised I'm still in this course. For some reason, I keep anticipating my impending doom every time a deadline comes up, like in a movie, where this one specific incident changes the main character's entire life ... but nothing really happens. For some reason, I fantasise about failing this exam I'm about to take and end up having to decide whether to repeat an entire year or waste a huge chunk of my father's life savings, disappointing not only my parents but also relatives and teachers that have always considered me one of the smarter ones.

Sometimes, I fantasise being in a plane crash. Well, only sometimes mainly because I don't fly every day. So just the times I'm on the plane ...

Up till now, I don't know what went wrong since I started university. Studying has never been a thing I had to deal with before. I can't tell whether I just hate the course I'm in or I'm just lazy. There's really no point fantasising about joining a culinary school or pursuing something in the direction of writing, as I could be equally lazy in said alternatives. Guess I'm just used to things just ... being understood. Wonder why is it such a huge issue now?

Like someone in a relationship that has been way too long to just give up on, there's just too much sunk cost involved. Gosh, I'm so darn good at analogies tonight eh? Or maybe I just watch too many YouTube videos and movies ...


Anyway, 2014.

21 soon. Very soon. Feel like writing blog posts again. Maybe on Wordpress or something. It's nice to have an outlet for all these bundled up thoughts. It's also nice to write/rant a little.

Been checking out a few of my friend's blogs. No surprise that most of them are as dead as mine, or perhaps, deader.


I hate to be so whiny all the time, but I just really ... am. I wish things were more flexible. I wish there was time allocated to everyone for them to hop from one major to another ... kinda like in the US. I wish I could just accept the way things are like everyone else and just do what they are suppose to do.

So what happened in 2013? (In backwards chronological order, because it's easier)

Stayed over at a local family's place for Christmas, in some countryside place in Wales. Absolutely lovely.
Well, went on a trip with a few of my friends to Prague, Czech Republic and Vienna, Austria. It was fun. Good food, good places, good company, what else could I ask for?
Did an internship in some banking software company for 2 months. Kinda sucked, but nevertheless, good experience I guess. Colleagues (other interns) made it more bearable.
Finish year 1 with a second upper. Good, considering the amount of effort I put into it. Bad, because it isn't first class ...
Anything else before that is just a blur. My memory isn't that good ...

So ... I should be off to write my essay and study for my exam ... which is next Tuesday ... and progress so far isn't looking too good.

-Kritz