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Monday, March 18, 2013

Blue



This
is the blue I am obsessed with. Often, I just call it "Copper (II) Sulphate Blue" (CSB) because that's the blue (approximately) it exhibits. I don't know why I am obsessed with it, but it happened suddenly during my primary school years.

It's like asking why some girls love pink. I can't give you an exact answer. This blue has troubled me over the years which I failed to understand the reason I fall for this.

What I do know is that, I love Neptune the most when I was four, fascinated but unable to quench my own thirst about what lies beneath Neptune since space exploration those days (till now) hardly made it to Neptune.

Pleiades large.jpg


Then I developed a strong taste for the Pleiades Cluster (above). I don't know. I've heard these stars had significant effects on New Age people. I am allegedly naming myself a New Age person. If you want to ask me how to define New Age, it's hard to tell, because we feel it coming, like the surge of an invisible tsunami overwhelming your spirtual sense, heightening your spatial sense and emotional level.

OK, back to topic. You want to know why I posted this?

I want a marble, jewel or crystal with that blue. Maybe an orb or irregular crystal, I just want to take it! The urge of that is unbearable! Can somebody please buy me that?

Please...

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Please Insert Your Parking Ticket

Automated voice is unpleasant, sometimes, especially at those malls where their ticket payment requires an autopay machine. The pre-recorded female voice (maybe it's a male voice at your area) keeps repeating the sentence till it drives you crazy.



"Please insert your parking ticket.
Please insert your parking ticket..."

It can repeat a zillion times if you are a slowcoach in pulling out your parking ticket.

Monotonous and yet deeply annoying. I know it serves well for people who have special needs, but at least make it more melodious and cheerful than a flat tone "please insert your parking ticket". Maybe you can have it repeated twice or thrice, but not everytime whenever the sentence ended.

This supermarket near my home is specially made for annoy people. The full "conversation" of the machine goes like this:

Please insert your parking ticket.
Fee is One Ringgit.
Insert XXXXX card for discount.
Please... etc

And it repeats at least twice per sentence. I wonder these variants are good for fun:

#1:

Please insert your parking ticket.
Fee is Two Ringgit.
Insert One Ringgit for discount.

Say what? Insert another Ringgit just for a discount? Work your maths and you can see you incur losses no matter how cheap your fee is. LOL.


#2:

Please insert your barking ticket.
Fee is Two Ringgit.
Insert your dog tag for discount.

Dog Mall. Definitely. Either that or dogs have evolved.


#3:

Please insert your parking ticket.
Please insert your parking ticket.
... (silence)...
"Hello? I am waiting for the amount needed to pay!" a payer screamed.
I'm still calculating your fees by entering logarithms, differentiation, Kaluza-Klein theory, higher spatial dimension math... etc.

Maybe this wil happen in a future Silicon Valley, or somewhere high-tech.


#4:

Please insert your parking thicket
Seen is too small
Buy fertilisers from the machine.

Florist, perhaps.


#5:

Please do not insert your parking ticket.
Fee is credited from your account.
Please pay to compound.

At the bank, surely. Prepare to be LIQUIDATED.


#6:

Please insert your f**cking ticket.
Fee is One Dollar
Insert your co*k for this cu*t

Rude! My goodness. Maybe this is for the prostitute house?


#7:

Please...
Puh... p-puh...
Pt.

SYSTEM MALFUNCTION. PLEASE EXIT THIS BLOG NOW.

SYSTEM MALFUNCTION. PLEASE EXIT THIS BLOG NOW.

SYSTEM MALFUNCTION. PLEASE EXIT THIS BLOG NOW.

SYSTEM MALFUNCTION. PLEASE EXIT THIS BLOG NOW.

SYSTEM MALFUNCTION. PLEASE EXIT THIS BLOG NOW.

SYSTEM MALFUNCTION. PLEASE EXIT THIS BLOG NOW.

SYSTEM MALFUNCTION. PLEASE EXIT THIS BLOG NOW.

SYSTEM MALFUNCTION. PLEASE EXIT THIS BLOG NOW.

SYSTEM MALFUNCTION. PLEASE EXIT THIS BLOG NOW.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Letting Go

Never let go, many would say. And some would say, let go. It depends on the situation. You get someone or something so precious and valuable, and you wish to have them forever, that's not letting go. But sometimes, somehow, something just came knocking at your door, demanding that the precious to be taken away.

Not forcibly, I hope.

But when the time comes, will you fighting your way to stop that from happening? Or, will you just let it go and watch it slips away from your grasp?

Certain things are very certain. If you fight, you get tired. If your let go, you get sad. How much do you treasure your treasure?

I remembered a story posted on Facebook about a guy's life. It's all happening to me right now (I think). OK, main point is, shitty things do happen in your life, but it's your turn to make the best out of it.

I have pondered on the issue for very long and I think I have got an answer. I think. Nothing is for sure right now. But if it goes right, it might be a very drastic change in my life story, something that makes the readers angry. It's not reading the next chapter, it's stopping at the right chapter. Imagine you are reading an intense part of the novel and before it continues, it wrote below:

"YOU'VE FINISHED THE STORY"

Pissed off right?

I know, but I can't help it. Every time I smile and talk, or sometimg bitch about, it's nothing reflecting my inner heart because I know, if I reveal my heart, it's too ugly to be seen. So, I pretend. Everything is not real around me.

I have made up my estimated decision, and it is up to my willing heart to continue it.

God Bless!

The Piano Boy


 
 
Play this song before you read!
"The saddest thing about a masterpiece is that it often portrays the deepest emotion and thought of the master but never quite understood it and when interpret them, it is either too late or misinterpreted, like Chinese whispers."
 
 
I met this brain child, five years old, sitting upright with awkwardly accurate bent elbows but graceful fingers dancing around on the ivories. His eyes were closed and his lips twitched occasionally as if mumbling a mantra. He was playing a piece so beautifully written that each key hammered into the depths of my heart.
 
I waited till he had finished playing. He would slowly open his eyes and breathe. He turned and stared at me, waiting for my reply.
 
"Wonderful!" I nodded as I touched his scalp of thin hair. "Who wrote this?"
 
"Me," he forced out a smile. His blue eyes locked into mine. Eerie but deep.
 
"Amazing!" I couldn't think of any better answer. I had to stop scaring him at each exclamation. "You know, I wrote a piece when I was eight and I thought I was already a genius."
 
He chuckled, either in disapproval or in amusement. I didn't know which.
 
"You want to hear it?" I asked.
 
He nodded rigorously, like a child being offered with a big lollipop.
 
I moved to the piano seat, and he carefully sat on one edge. "It's OK," I said. I wrapped my hands around him and hugged him closer. "I want you to hear it nicely. I want you to feel what I feel. I want you to see the moon and the stars hovering above the lake as little glowing fairies dance with the petals of a cherry blossom."
 
He stared at me.
 
I began, with a soft E note an octave above the middle C and entered into the key of A minor. For me A minor is blue and melancholy with a little sense of hope and joy. It's beautiful. The tune echoed around the room and he stared at my fingers closely, as if my fingers were making the music rather than the keys.
 
I finished with a pianissimo ritardando A note two octaves above middle C, accompanied by a slight Tierce di Picardi, to show the last ray of moonlight casting on the grey mountains before being clouded over again.
 
He clapped. "It's nice, Mr Wavericky. I like the birds soar and the white cottage near the alley!"
 
I grinned, his picture was not too far off the mark. "You can see it?"
 
"I feel it, Mr Wavericky. It's pretty but fragile, like a thin mosaic glass on the verge of falling."
 
"Genius!" I exclaimed. I reminded myself not to scare him with my booming voice again.
 
"Three C sharps are used in your piece, mister. Did you wish for hope much often?" he asked, looking at me. "C sharps in A minor are rare but exotic when used in appropriate places."
 
It's my turn to stare at him. How did this five-year-old boy talk like a professor? I fumbled for an answer. "I guessed so. My mom was seriously ill at that time. I wished for her recovery."
 
"What illness?"
 
"I don't know. Something to do with heart. Infection, I think."
 
"Did she - "
 
"No, she didn't," I breathed, held my tears. I am a man who never cries. I reminded myself this.
 
"I'm sorry," he looked down.
 
I tipped his chin. "It's OK. So, tell me what's your song is about. It's too beautiful that it clouds my perception and heart."
 
"It's a C major song. The chord goes from C, to A minor, then G, then back to C again, E minor, going to D minor chord before going to B diminished chord, but I think I sharpened the F in that. With a few random chromatic notes, I transposed it to G major, then to the seventh chord of it, and to B minor, A minor and to F major. There was a long two bars of A minor and B minor and ended with a imperfect chord of D major."
 
"Hefty chunks," I nodded.
 
"It supposed to mean something."
 
"Such as?"
 
"I thought you could feel it," he slammed down the piano cover and left.
 
*
 
The next day, he died peacefully in his sleep. The cancer couldn't be stopped. It anchored into his mind, rewired them into a genius pianist. I wanted to cry, but I told myself again I am the man who never cries.
 
His song entitled Sky was played on his funeral. He had no father or mother. He was raised in an orphan house. His interest on piano and music brought me to him by his superintendent. Nobody attended his funeral, that was sad enough. But at the very last minute, his superintendent came to see him one last time.
 
"Charming boy, he was," she wept.
 
"He is," I corrected softly, staring at the pale cheeks of the boy in the coffin.
 
I held back my tears.
 
*
 
I remembered the song. It hammered into me. I rewrote the piece again. At first I didn't notice anything about the chord progressions.
 
Till then, when I found out...
 
I cried.
 
Very bitterly.
 

 

 
 


Saturday, March 9, 2013

A Biased Review on TERMINAL WORLD

Alastair Reynolds, or simply just Al, is somehow a master in crafting sci-fi. Have to say, hard sci-fi. I know, I have heard of Paul McAuley or Iain M. Banks, but trust me, I haven't read either of them yet. I have bought one book from Iain M. Bank's collection, Excession. But anyway, I am not going to point on that book because I haven't started reading his book yet.

So, this time, the biased review will revolve around Al's Terminal World. OK, first thing to mention before I continue: I am reviewing against his works not across the global span of sci-fi literature and authors. So don't shoot me down just yet. I am telling and characterising the difference each book Al has written.

When Al announced that he is going to write a steampunk fiction that doesn't include interstellar travel, spaceships or planetary environment, I couldn't help revealing my disgust. I am sorry, OK? I am too addicted to those high-tech-but-not-too-high-till-tractor-beams-or-FTL-exists. I have already been flung into deep space and time by his Pushing Ice, travel through umbilical cords to Alternate Earth in Century Rain, to the crushing gravity of a neutron star in Revelation Space and to the frigid environment of a Kuiper Belt Object in Blue Remembered Earth and the list goes on and on. It's not easy to adapt his sci-fi in a whole new level.

Steampunk? Yes. The word 'steam' and 'punk' turned me away. I cannot imagine Jedis using sabre (instead of lightsabre) to duel or a pilot riding on a Wrights Brothers' plane. Or occasional trespass of a chugging steam locomotive. It's... wrong. I felt it was lacking of something. Something 'profound'.

So, I waited three years. Scouring every single review I can dig out from websites and blogs. So far the reviews were not bad at all. In fact, someone even rated a five-star on this book. RM72.90, hardcover, on local bookstores. Convert that to USD at that moment was around $17.80. Or more or less.

It is expensive for my budget. I can only afford RM35 to RM50 (do the maths of the conversion yourself) but in the end, I bought it. I ripped open the plastic and start to set in a thought "I hate you Al for Steampunking (if that's a word)".

I regretted for that thought.

The Big Object (no, not Big Dumb Object in the case of Spica structure in Pushing Ice or the shell wrapping Alternate Earth in Century Rain) is the towering Spearpoint, or Godscraper. It's so tall that I can't help visioning it next to me. It rises to the zenith, tapering from a flat base to a needle sharp tower (as seen on the bookcover)

Spearpoint has a strange property: it is divided into zones where one technology is different from the other and crossing a zone will have danger to physiology as well as other objects. The lowest zone is Horsetown, then Steamville, Circuit City, Neon Heights, Cyborg zone and lastly Celestial Levels. From the name we know how technology is more superior when one crosses from below to the summit (called the Ascension Day).

At first, I felt it's too much medieval magic here. No science could make this happen. It's not hard sci-fi anymore. Al screwed it! I screamed in my heart. It's the tractor-beam sign! No! But wait for it, more to come:

The action, which compared to other works of his, started right at the first 30 pages. Fast, quick and dark. Quillon, a doctor (or pathologist) was warned by an angel - nothing religious, it's a post-human with wings and strange midnight blue eyes - that other angels are coming after him from the Celestial Levels. He is forced to leave Spearpoint immediately and never to return. Exile. Poor prince. (No, he's not a prince)

Mix and match, mix but not match, whatever it takes, Quillon was paired with a very strong character Meroka. Mind you, this woman can give you laughs if you are in it, or make you curse if you are a very noble parent who never cuss (oops!). Quillon looks weak all the way, except when he deals with the things he know best. A professional. Meroka on the other hand, wow, talking about support here. She is one tough woman you can never touch.

When I read this book, I felt very unsafe. The world is dying upon me. Trees stop growing and air turns colder. I wonder will this happen to Earth. I took pity on the inhabitants. I wanted to help them. The desert world. The desperate need of needs. The desperate need of antizonals (things that make you wow when you want to cross zones)

There is other medieval magic too: the tectomancers. The people who can control zones. My goodness! Had Al finally loses his charm in hard sci-fi? Witches, the people called those tectomancers. And they burn them wheneer they see them. Medieval much huh? Wait, there are even caravans and gondolas.

But, I need to say this, all these medieval magic? It's not magic. There is speculative science and sociology on it. Nothing like abracadabra-ey here. Read properly about what zones are and who are the witches.

I am sad towards the ending. Many readers wanted a sequel. The cliffhanger was bad. In my humble biased opinion, there wasn't any cliffhanger. The loose ends are tied up properly if you read it slow. Read nice and slow, with some cappucino, I suggest. No, I don't wish for a sequel. Al has made his point too. The story arc is complete, but it's up to the readers to think the "right" ending when it's already given.

And one more thing I would want to praise Al for is the riddle of landmarks around the "Earth". Read properly about the Mother Goddess mountain and the Night Maze, Long Gash, Spirit Landing and two halves of the moon. Dying world, red soil.

Yeah, I have revealed much about the location of this planet.

Overall, when you read this book, you will know what is the true nature of Spearpoint and what happened to the zones. I cried (softly and invisibly) at the ending of the book because I don't want the tectomancers to be like this! (oops!)

Go buy one and read it. Trust me, it's a sister of Blue Remembered Earth on world building. These two books are better than the rest of his collections (not really) and please, read it SLOW!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Message in a Bottle (1)

Dear Sea,

I don't know whom to talk to at this moment, so I chose to cast my bottle to you.

I have been a little lonely. I remembered my tutor told me, the older we get, the lonelier we are, until only family is the one who clings on to each other. Is it true that this is happening to me now?

I am quite confused about something about myself. I don't know how to speak out. I need someone with an exceptional good ear to listen and help me. But in my heart I know, there is nobody. Not even one in the entire Earth population. LOL. Because if that person really do exist, he might explode by the sheer fact of information overload.

Dear Sea, I am reaching to another stage of life. My dreams are not realised. The sense of frustration and guilt overwhelms me while I try to keep it down. Nobody understands me at this time! They may have simple life, and so have I. But at some point, it is tangled way beyond hope.

A tight knot in my life.

I want to be alone, forever. I want to live a place where nobody knows me or my existence. Why? Because I tend to find 'the One' quickly. A symmetrical complement of myself. Sigh! I am now very 'emo'. I want to cry.

I am about to lose many important things in a few months time. My heart can't cope it. I can't! Why do I make such silly mistakes? Is it just for me to learn? Or?

Sea, I trust you. You are my friend for now. I wish I can be with you forever, even if that meant I jump and drown myself.

I don't want to face my life like this anymore.

From
Sad loner.