Archive for February, 2017

CD-RW

I remember having to learn the difference between CD-R and CD-RW. 

I was usually burning MP3 archives or mix CDs. Learning the difference between both caused me much money and time. Back then, being mad at your computer was a way more common occurrence. “Control alt delete” was essential knowledge. I learned how to burn CDs by fucking up many, many times. And the rules! Like cannot touch the computer while burning a CD so the quality doesn’t run. Last time, I was at the mercy of an inconsistent disc reader. It was heart-stopping when I accidentally dropped a CD (must quickly pick it up, and check for scratches). 

Now, I would just do a simple search online. I would never actually have to work it out myself. 

(Do my younger cousins even know what a CD-RW is?)
 

5%

I didn’t know diabetes could so broadly affect my health. I’d been putting off doing the few exercises I did before, because I didn’t want to see how much worse I would be at them. 

In a way, losing weight has helped with pain management in some movements, especially my lower back — but at the cost of strength and stamina.

I used to be able to plank for 100-110 seconds. Now, it’ll be flattering to call it 6 seconds. That’s 5%. I also can’t really do push-ups anymore. I don’t want to compare nothing to anything and turn it into a statistic that sticks in my mind. 

It quietly upsets me. But at the same time, I’ve improved my diet, and taking less dairy means I can breathe a lot better too. Maybe this means I’m giving myself a better base to restart building my health. 

Well, I have to tell myself something. 

“Clarity comes from engagement, not thinking about it.” — Marie Forleo

What an imprecise sentence. 

Met Jac for dinner today. We talked about how we can’t work together — basically, I guess, we would need someone to rein us in. 

Probably the first glimpse that we have similar work brains is when she came to a work meeting, and her three suggestions were exact matches for my first three content proposals when I joined the team. 

I’ve been a bit disengaged from the world. Like being sick dragged me into an envelope of a dull alternate universe, and I’ve returned out of sync with reality. I need to engage a bit more. 

I can’t tell if that’s also my instinct to not rest, not slow down or take the time to do what I have to do to heal. Well, I’m not in the position where this can continue until I figure out if it is optimum behaviour. I need to get back to work. 

We are hunting murals, returning to the bercham field behind my house. I saw a body floating in a shallow pool of water, wearing tattered clothes — but I’m not 100% sure the man was dead. I had met the people I’m with in the van earlier, the driver is taking us about town. We drive by a huge wall with murals. I don’t love the murals, but they are decent enough to warrant attention. Something cheesy about loving each other. Big simple murals, pastel colours. We screech at the driver to turn back — at first it feels like he’s ignoring us, but he does turn back. 

When the car stops it’s close to the field, so I run to see if the body is still there (no). When I turn around the others have gone in, I can hear the excitement. It looks like an entrance at the top of a wooden steeple by the cliff side (Witcher 3 dream inspired by Devil’s Pit bandit camp, probably). 

I enter through a tiny tiny green wooden door, about three feet high, that has a round arch and a round brass door knob. Upstairs there’s a grumpy Chinese lady eating in a restaurant, two tables with one dwarf customer each (male and female – look like travelers), and two other tables occupied by 1-2 ppl. It’s a darling place. Pastel colours. Nostalgic designs. Like the old coffee shop place, but everything is scaled down dramatically. The chairs are only about one foot off the ground. Every table has four places set – plastic cup, red melamine plates and bowls, triangle folded serviettes. The lady owner towers above her seat. There is also the backdrop of shelves where the owner should sit in a kopitiam, also filled with things of a smaller scale. I wonder if this place is popular with dwarves because of its size. Grumpy lady turns out to be quite nice. Says I can take photos of the place. The rest have gone ahead. 

I take a look around and see the ceiling rises higher in one part of the kopitiam follow it to the outdoor part of the bed and breakfast building. We are behind the murals we saw earlier now. The path I’m following is a bit like a tunnel. The path isn’t whole, there are multiple long planks to step on that are suspended from the invisible ceiling. The planks are made from mostly rectangle pieces of iron — like the pedal of sewing machines, but with some extra corners. As I walk, the pieces jangle against each other, producing a clear tone lighter than I expected from these heavy foot swings. It is for the sound to reach god. Every step here is a form of devotion, sending messages to divinity. I already love the place for putting so much thought into the experience of just stepping into another area.

There are huge spaces carved into the hill on my left. It’s near closing time though, so instead of stepping in I decide to walk farther and get more glimpses — one is a gallery with many framed artworks. The next is an artist studio, with big red and orange colourful strokes in abstract art in the making. There are more shops up ahead. I feel a Jalan Sultan vibe coming from this place. The clearing is vast, there’s plenty of space to walk — but it doesn’t feel like nature was destroyed to make this place. 

Clearing out 

Finally giving my possessions the spring cleaning session I’d wanted to when I first moved into this apartment three years ago. 

It’s strange how my life has changed since Kakiseni made me redundant, giving me more time, and being diabetic has given me more responsibilities. I don’t resign myself to spots of mess around the house. As my energy returns, I find myself cleaning more, clearing out areas that have been still and cluttered for months at a time. 

I’m keeping some of my work-branded T-shirts, but giving away many. Over 30. Every time I pick up a T-shirt from a festival or event I worked on, I allow myself a thought of it. See what stands out in my memory. 

The Kakiseni clothes I’m keeping: two from my festival, one from Unesco day where my ASEAN Puppetry exchange and conference was launched, a generic Kakiseni tee that I like, and 2 spare black t-shirts that say “Saya Kakiseni” (I have nearly 30 in total of just this design). 

Some of the items were left behind by exes, or flings, and a little bit of me thinks I should attempt to return them. But I think it would be so, so, so much easier to dispose of them. It’s not like they came back for these things or asked for them anyhow. I realised all their clothes are so much smaller than mine, which I had not thought about before this. Have I only been attracted to smaller-sized people? Or is it just because there are so many more of them around? Or are they just more careless with their stuff? Once you hit a certain size (say, past XL), clothes aren’t easy to replace in Malaysia. 

I’m going to try the Marie Kondo way of folding clothes. Haven’t even mastered one basic way, already moving on to the next. 

I think it will feel great when I wheel all these things out of the house.