Archives for category: Imperfect Writer

Less than a week ago, prominent blogger Jeff Ooi brought up the very interesting subject that Microsoft’s local Teched site (now down) was somehow “hosted” on a Linux box, with an addendum of how Teched Malaysia’s official registrars Crystal Edge has its site hosted on a FreeBSD box. I responded less than agreeably, and when he brought attention to a ZDnet story on how MS was hiding behind Akamai’s Linux boxes for security, I posted my thoughts again. Strangely, nobody replied.

I must admit to having felt a flux of emotions when writing those responses, partly because I have only what can be described as surface experience in these matters, and partly because I am impulsive and have to stop myself from shooting my mouth off whenever I feel idealistic. This is why I’ve taken refuge now in my own blog to say the things I could not say in Jeff’s blog. So as not to clog up his blog with my rantslah.

Being married to an MS employee and trying to maintain a neutral perspective on things to be a good journo is not always easy, anyone can tell you that. But this has nothing to do with Lokes or MS or anti-MS hate posts. This has, however, something to do with spreading information written within an opinion that may not be all that accurate BECAUSE it is an opinion. That is the basis of a blog. It IS supposed to be biased. So what damage can a biased blog do when the blogger is someone respected for his opinions, and when the opinion is based on information that has yet to be verified for its truth and all parties involved have been contacted to comment?

In short, what happens when a prominent blogger reports news in his blog in a biased manner?

Gosh, it’s been a while hasn’t it? My apologies, for work has been suffocating to say the least, and since blogging is so much like work, I did not want to choke!

Anyway, a nice chap by the name of Nick Fong reminded that I had something going here and like a devious chain-letter, it seems that one cannot stop blogging without inviting some sort of curse (haha no pun intended, Nick).

Life has been one helluva ride during the last four weeks that I have been kept away from this mildly enjoyable ‘pastime’. Having discovered that my hormones were to blame for my mood swings (not reflected here but you can ask my hubs), I was prescribed even MORE ‘monez, but the clinically dispensed sort in neat little tablets you take for a prescribed amount of days to ‘reset’ your reproductive cogs. Disgusting (and yet fascinating) but it’s a start.

But what have I been up to aside from having to turn and oil and turn and oil and burn my literary wheels during the past three weeks? I watched my daughter grow, for one. I have not updated her blog as well – again, curses be unto me, but read that for Raeven‘s side of things. My aunt and uncle from London have been staying with me the last few days, sorting out their paperwork because my English uncle wants to come to Malaysia and stay for good. I gave him a crash course on Surviving Malaysian Government Departments and Taxis before the two of them ventured into the Inland Revenue Dept two days ago. Being English and all principly, he didnt take too well to our “survival tactics” but after two days, he finally understood why, at the very least.

I went for the launch of the World Cyber Games here yesterday. Didnt win my free ticket to Korea. Sin Chew won again. I swear, they are too lucky for their own good. Now i HAVE to make sure I win in AoM to make it to Seoul.

Ok, there goes another month then. I’ll see you guys in Sept 😉

Maybe it’s denial. Maybe it’s strength. I have no idea, actually.

Yesterday went by in a blur. I took my time doing what I was supposed to do, really going through the motions, really being careful, and I hope I was perfect.

The fact is I hate doing anything repetitive. Lokes says it’s natural to hate repetition. I hope so.

Anyway, I went on a game-buying binge yesterday (Pastikan Ori!). You can call it retail therapy except games also let you vent out at aliens and goblins with I-Mod guns and schimitars. My Shadows of Undrentide disc had problems (cldnt install), so I’d have to go change it. Brigitte is asking for more reviews and I told her I’d have to play the games first. She’s giving me more than a week but I don’t think I should stretch it, which is also good for me so I get to play for work more.

In the meantime, I’m playing Elite Force II, which is surprisingly good. Graphics are quite superb and since I did not play Elite Force 1, being in Star Fleet Academy and all was a real kick. I actually tucked Raev in at 8.30pm and I myself fell asleep with her, only to wake up at 12.30am. I fired up EF2 and played til 3am.

My ‘aunt’ has gone. After 11 days. I was gonna visit the gynae today but since it’s gone, I’m hoping ‘she’ will return to her usual schedule.

My ‘real’ aunt is visiting 2 Aug from UK. She and Uncle Francis will be staying with us for a couple of days before going back to BG. Would be fun!

It’ll take a few days before I’m my opinionated self again. Having been stripped down can be a blow to your self-esteem, and I need to pull myself together again before having opinions. Justin tells me I’m too emotional, that I should detach myself from my work. I can’t. My passion drives me. Without it I am unable to write. How can I not feel?

Ah well. It’s the weekend and I’m going to enjoy it with my ever-positive, sunshiney hubby and my silly little girl. You get yours as well.

Firstly, my apologies for not blogging the last two days. I had deadlines up to my nose. Any of you writers out there use a recorder to tape your interviews and then hate transcribing because you hate your own voice, plus wished you didn’t ask some of the questions you did, which suddenly sound quite ignorant and/or stupid (something you don’t notice during the interview)? Well, I spent the weekend doing that and must’ve winced a couple of dozen times, that I had to stop for a while.

Happens EVERYtime.

The problem with me is that I tend to drift. I would be curious about one thing and then another, stray off the agenda, only to return to it to find most of my questions answered. And then you get an interviewee who keeps glancing at his list of questions, wondering if we’re EVER going to return, because he’s prepared all the answers neatly. I’m far from neat. In fact, I never really liked preparing questions in the first place, because interviews should be inpromptu, right?

Oh well. That’s why I could not blog. I was busy wincing.

I spent much on commuting this week in years due to the avalanche of appointments for both work and play. Just yesterday, I had to be at four places at once, starting with our Kotaraya bloggers‘ brunch at Dome KLCC, to which I brought Danny. Both of us got lost for a while because neither of us had an inkling how we would be able to make them out in a crowd of patrons enjoying their Citron Presses and lattes. In a roundabout manner, we located Aiz‘s number (Aiz being the only person both of us COULD recognise, and yea, I was gonna meet a bunch of strangers without any of their numbers! – typical Jennism) and finally found the whole lotta them tucked away in a ‘private room’ in a corner of the cafe.

We were an hour late and Aiz was already talking about Project Petaling Street. We tried slipping in unnoticed but that was hard to do, it being a small group. Someone shouted my name and red-faced (being SO late and all), I had to intro my sorry ass with Sarini ‘filming’ away. Danny was spared, being the tag-along’ friend. It was pretty unnerving, finally putting on a face in front of people who may have read your blogs about being a sham and other intimate bits of info you don’t really want to acknowledge you thought, much less wrote.

We mingled, talked about the things we blogged about, about blogging, about other bloggers. It reminded me of the IRC gatherings we used to have (what? 5 yrs ago?), where we would meet strangers and talk about things we IRCed about, about IRCing, about other IRCers. It’s always so nice to make new friends. It’s like traveling without moving (who was it who said that? alanis?), discovering new sights, new sounds, new ideas. Motherhood has definitely restricted my freedom somewhat, making such moments precious.

After the meet, I met Lokes for lunch, and then sped off to cover the closing of Liga Electronica. The turnout was quite good, despite it being a Saturday. When it was over, I rushed home to get the house ready for our lui pao birthday party, where three of my childhood friends would try as much as possible to unceremoniously turn 30.

We spent the night eating Ayamas and Suchan’s (is it spelt like that?) famous tiramisu (which has too much nuts, if I may say so – coz I hate nuts), playing a new group game I bought called Taboo (like charades but using only words) and chatting about life at the turn of another decade. I was the only one left in the group still clinging on to my 20-something-ship (I turn in October ;)) – and the only married person there. Having known each other since secondary school, each of us became increasingly candid as the wine poured, questioning marriage, motherhood, each other’s boyfriend(s) (I was spared by virtue of Lokes being there haha), growing increasingly agitated and pensive at the same time, stepping on each other’s toes and then soothing the sting over with the magical balm of familiarity that only old, old friends have. At the end of it, someone said that we should ‘celebrate’ properly by drinking ourselves silly the coming weekend. The vote was a unanimous yes.

So yea, it has been a most productive weekend, friends-wise. Thank you God, for old and new mercies.

Yesterday, while browsing a writers’ egroup I co-manage called Word Up!, I chanced upon a posting by friend Bernice Low which was in response to another member’s rant on the realities of getting published in a newspaper in Malaysia. One of the points, in fact the first, she brought up, hit the nail right on the head. It was that most writers endure the “I am a sham” syndrome, and that is what I still feel today despite having been published many times. From an unknown trade magazine which I thought nobody criticised because nobody read, I realised the overwhelming need for more credible ‘validation’, that what I had chosen to do for life here bore some purpose.

And then the direction of my career got sidelined, when after 3.5 years writing business articles, I could take a step on the management ladder and proceed to Features Editor at PC World Malaysia simply because the position was open. I took it, and a series of other editing jobs after that when I decided to take a leap of curiosity into the dotcom fray. During the three years, I seldom had a chance to write anything worthwhile because my time was mostly spent cleaning up after writers and making sure they got paid. Two years ago, I decided that I had enough and became a free agent. I began writing earnestly again, developing my craft in IT reporting, feature and review writing, while exploring other forms when a chance surfaced a year ago for me to write about sex and relationships in MSN Malaysia’s women’s channel.

Some time back, a prominent local journalist said that a ‘real’ writer must have been published in mainstream media, and those who have not (i.e. those who were only published online), were merely wannabes. This of course created an uproar in our little underground writing community, because many wrote for online magazines and news sources (there were no blogs then, or more like they weren’t called blogs but the odd online journal). Today, that writer is a prominent blogger, who is in fact known more for his blogs than his printed columns.

The thing here is, even having been published in mass media print, I still feel like a fraud. That’s why when I read what Bernice said about most writers enduring the syndrome, I was both surprised and relieved. Not that it completely expelled my self-doubt because I DO still have a lot of honing to do, but it has cleared away a fair amount – enough for me to take pride in my work seriously!

It’s been a helluva week, and it’s only Wednesday.

Yesterday, I discovered that I had only two pieces of wearable clothing for work purposes. An hour to a meeting with 3com for my first assignment as Content Editor for Citrineone, a PR/content agency, a new contract I recently picked up to pad up my cash-strapped savings account, this horrific revelation resulted in 20 minutes of frantic rummaging, yielding a moldy pair of black pants that had not seen “the light of day”, as the Chinese like to say, for quite some time. This is what happens when you quit the rat race and opt to be a stay-at-home mom-cum-writer. You forget certain necessities, like clothes you wear out in public. After the tech briefing, I made a mental note to shop, something I hated to do because I am 20 kilos overweight, making trying on stuff a depressing exercise.

A memo to all SoHo freelancers who live in shorts: Be wary of turning into a fashion hermit. Be sure to allocate some time and money to buy some proper threads for that emergency.

A memo to cubicle dwellers and corporate-ladder climbers: Please excuse that fat lady you see in yesterday’s duds.

On the other hand, I just equipped my home office with a spanking new speed demon: a P4 3.06GHz dream machine with a Gigabyte dualbios motherboard with onboard every-damn0thing, 1 gig of DDr 266Mhz RAM and the ATI Radeon 9700 (could not afford the 9800 because it’s about RM1,000 more), as well as the latest Samsung combo drive and a 19-inch Philips flat screen monitor. It’s so beautiful we got the iCute Blue Light Special casing so we could show its innards off. This beauty has four fans, not including one inbuilt fan on the mobo. And all this for the love of gaming. I can’t be sure but I honestly improved in my Age of Mythology rankings with the 2Ghz+ increase in speed. I’m not kidding!

The damage? RM4, 110, not including the chip (got that free). Not bad. Not bad at all…

Bernice and I have embarked on a project to write – tada – a fan script for – voila – Enterprise! Since I watch so much of the stuff, I thought I might as well give it a shot. I have a pretty good story mulling about in my head now, so it’s just a matter of putting it down. They used to have an open script policy for TNG but have somehow terminated the exercise, as Bernice discovered. DARN IT!

Oh well, I guess posting it up here would have to do. Maybe we’ll get spotted – who knows? 😉

Any Trekkies out there? I’ve just started watching some downloaded episodes of DS9 from Season 1. Im more a TNG fan but this is getting pretty good!