Friday, November 30

The Laptop Cooling Pad Seller...

Just got back from my fourth day at work at the SITEX exhibition at the Singapore Expo. Lotsa things have happened over the past four days. Some really interesting, others downright irritating.

I work at A1 Computer station, a shop that sells mostly computer accessories (cos Fujitsu nor Asus wants to hire me). The first two days at work involved setting up the racks and putting the stall layout together, as well as putting up the products on the racks. I work alongside quite a large army of part-timers, around 20 of them. But even this figure wasn't enough to settle everything in twenty-four hours over two days, so we actually ended up working way longer than intended (we intend to clock 12-hour sessions of 10 to 10, but just two days ago, because we were pressed for time to set up to booth, had to start at 9 in the morning and end at 2 in the next morning. Absolutely frustrating.

Yesterday and two days ago saw me standing beside a large stack of assorted laptop cooling pads. The more I sold and demonstrated the products on my very own glass shelf connected to an electrical outlet via an extremely lousy USB adapter, the more I learnt about all the different kinds, so much so that I can easily quote the fan speed, power usage, voltage and current ratings, and most importantly prices, off the top of my head. I mentally prepared a set of quotes and statements to use like 'good investment' or 'I can't demonstrate the fan's full speed because of my lousy USB adapter' or even 'if you find any defects within the next seven days you can come over to our store at Sim Lim Square - the address is printed on your receipt - and we can get you a replacement immediately'. I managed to sell a whole lot of pads two days ago, and I sold even more yesterday. Yup, despite me feeling jealous at the people receiving better pays at branded companies like Sony and Microsoft, I love this job. Do come and visit if you have the time, and if you live in Singapore. Forgive my non-constructive English, I'm pressed for time. I really need some shut-eye now.

Wednesday, November 28

(Pictures galore!)
Because my AB.net site is still awaiting help (WTF still?!), all my Otaku rants will have to be sharing space with my personal life posts here in this blog. This is bad, because my IRL life is not that Otaku after all. The fact that my blog is listed under 'Otaku' ay dannychoo.com (yes, my blog showing up in dc.com and otaku.fm is probably the biggest thing on my mind right now), I kinda feel awkward. Whatever it is, just to spice up my boring-looking blog a little bit, every posts from here on shall contain an anime pic from my ever-expanding anime pix folder. (Currently at 1 GB+. I'm so proud ay my collection!)

Here's one I found at 4chan, which reminded me just much of Houjou Reika from Ninomiya-kun!:


I put this pix up at kawaiiheavens.net once and the members there tell me they get nosebleeds out of it. I don't understand the concept of nose-bleeding at ecchi pix. It apprently does not work on me. Anybody care to explain?

If I'm in the mood I'll share more pix. I'm in the mood right now. ^_^


Sayuri-rin!

My fave Sayuri-rin quote, of course. DO WANT MOAR?

I HAEV THEES PIX. I WINZ.

I can die happy after seeing this.

All that Kanon goodness...

Top it all off with an ED-style motivational poster. My favourite, of course. Very accurate, of course. (It's from ED, duh!)

Thank Blogger for the 1GB upload capacity. I'd dump my whole pix folder here to garner as much attention as possible, if I had the time.

Speaking of garnering attention, I do aspire to, one day, using my m4dsk!11z blogging skillz, become well-known around TEH INTARWEBS, or at least among my community. That's why I try to do something new every yime, though it hardly actually seems that way. Of course, what I'd hope to do as a first step would be to join the ranks of Tsubaki, TJ Han, Lian YL and Darkmirage. You've been given a tip-off, now watch this space.

Monday, November 26

First Completed Chapter!


My thighs pumped vigorously as my weight pushed down on the pedals, with my behind hovering high above the seat. The bicycle swayed sideways with each alternating stroke. I kept my eyes peeled to the dark road, devoid of any vehicles at this hour. Planting myself back onto the triangular seat, I released a gloved hand from the handlebar and held the free wrist before my line of sight. The Casio showed nine twenty-eight with its glow-in-the-dark digital display. I instinctively pulled faces to stretch my facial muscles and generate heat as the chilly air brushed past my exposed cheeks.

I shot a quick glance at the wire-weave basket in front of the handlebars. Nestled safely within it were a medium-sized pink cardboard box and a bulging gift shop plastic bag. Assured, I focused my attention back to the road.

I reached the meeting point ten minutes before the agreed time, as expected. Leaping out of my bike, I looked round for the designated landmark where I was supposed to wait, and found it, a circular bench running around a tree in the middle of the walkway. I pushed the bike towards it and kicked out the stand, before plopping myself onto the seat, pulling off my black fingerless gloves and cracking my knuckles. My gaze descended onto the train station a short distance away. The lights were still on, but no movement can be seen within it, nobody going in or coming out.

Tonight was the night, I reminded myself. I was determined to make sure of that. It was the night when I would let it all out, having kept it to myself for such a long time. Many past opportunities had been wasted as I had always swallowed everything back in just when it was on the verge of spilling out. I’m not going to be as cowardly as before tonight, I promised myself, grudgingly. There’s nothing to be afraid of.

“Afraid of?”

My mind was yanked suddenly back into reality. Realizing I had been staring at the station the whole time, I turned my head towards the speaker, whose voice I was too familiar with.

There she stood, leaning casually over the bridge of the bicycle on her elbows, half her face illuminated by the distant streetlights. She looked beautiful, from the shoulder-length dark brown hair that framed her adorable, smiling face, to the spunky pink sneakers accompanied by striped knee socks. She sported a beige sweater zipped up to her neck, and a frilly sky blue miniskirt. I grinned to myself; that was the skirt I had bought for her during my recent trip to Ginza in Tokyo.

I got to my feet, stuffing my gloves into my jeans pockets, and flashed the megawatt smile I always reserved for her. There’s nothing to be afraid of, I repeated.

“Sorry to call you out so late. I couldn’t make it for the party.” I hoped that was a valid excuse.

“It’s alright. At least we get to spend some quiet time together now,” she enthused, a heavy hint of delight in her voice. “How was today’s study-buddy session?”

“It’s going really well, thanks for asking. Diji-san’s improving a lot. I’m starting to see her potential to do well in school. If only she wouldn’t sleep so much during class…” I said. Her lips curled higher, making her eyes squint a little. I adored that smile.

“Oh, right. I have something for you.” I approached the front end of my bike and reached into the basket with both hands. Positioning them on opposite sides of the paper box, I carefully lifted it out and presented it to her. She straightened up in surprise.

“It’s cake,” I declared. She clapped cheerfully.

“Thank you so much!” She lifted the cover to reveal the cake inside, a vibrant ornament of chocolate hearts, mounds of whipped cream with cherries sitting atop, and snow-white icing over jam-filled layers of pink sponge. A near-illegible message was squirted in red syrup to one side. She observed it curiously. After a fruitless attempt at deciphering the scribbles she nonchalantly scraped some icing off the cake with her finger and sampled it thoughtfully. “Yum. I had a lot of cake at the party, but I won’t mind sharing this with you.”

The situation was running smoothly, better than expected.

“Of course, not forgetting…”

I moved the cake away and sat it on the bench behind me, and plunged a hand into the basket again. She watched intently as I heard the rustling of plastic, indicating that I found my item. I fished it out and presented it in front of her with a flourish.
“You said you didn’t need anything fancy for a present, so I had to hunt for something you would like and can use as an everyday item as well. Sorry I didn’t wrap it, I just came from the gift shop,” I told her, slightly guiltily. She eagerly took the plastic bag, and shook her head at me.

“No, it’s alright, I’m very glad you took the trouble to buy it for me.” She peered into the package. “Also, I’ll be sure to like anything you get for me,” she added, lowering her head a bit more. I felt warm blood rush to my cheeks.

She lifted the present from the bag. In her hand was a sunflower-yellow hair bow, with matching-coloured ribbons on both sides. At the shop an hour ago I had spent a ridiculously long time picking out one out of a vast display of hair bows which was outstanding but plain enough, and which suited her personality as well, a tall order for any piece of apparel. My eyes oscillated from the hair bow to her fringe rapidly as I tried to visualize how it would look like on her head; I ended up feeling dizzy instead.
“How cute! I love it!” She exclaimed, turning the hair bow around to admire it from different angles. “I’ll put it on every day.”

I could not help but grin even wider at that comment. It was as though her joy was contagious. I caught my happiness from hers.

It had always happened like this ever since we became good friends; right from the first time we met at the baseball stadium. A sense of pride, of knowing I have her in good care, had always accompanied each instance I could get her to laugh or smile. I figured it was the same feeling an older brother would feel with regards to his younger sister, as she was two years my junior; though, I sometimes think it could be true, deep affection that drives these emotions.

I stepped closer towards her and helped put the hair bow on. It was easy for me as I was a head taller. She looked towards the floor as I did so, perhaps to allow me a better view. I adjusted it over her fringe and tucked the sides neatly behind her ears, then rested my hands on her shoulders and leaned back to inspect my work.

“It looks wonderful in you,” I concluded. “I’m glad I picked this one.”

She nodded silently, raising her head a tiny angle. Our eyes made contact, and I suddenly noticed that the hair bow also matched the yellow hue in her irises. She opened her mouth to speak, and words came out after a few seconds of hesitation.
“I… I’ve never felt this happy before in all my past birthdays. In fact, I’ve never been this happy before I met you. Thank you so much. For everything.”

Her voice trailed off. My heart stopped for a brief second. I could tell very well where this was going, having had almost 4 years of experience in visual novels and shojo manga. The fact that it was happening for real this time took me off-guard.

Five full seconds later, and she had not picked up where she left off. Her eyes resumed to staring at her feet again. My mind dived into panic; I was going to lose another opportunity if I did not act now. Determination set in amidst the mental frenzy, and I drew a deep draught of air. I mustered as my confidence as I could, and drove out all second thoughts. I was not frightened now. Not entirely, at least.

“Nah.” Frustrated at myself for plucking up so much courage just to utter one syllable, I forced myself to continue, and gather more momentum. “There’s something I want to tell you, actually. I’ve been wanting to tell you this for a very long time now, but I’ve always been holding back at the last moment.” I had encountered this phrase countless times before in anywhere a love story exists, and thus managed to remember it perfectly. It came out clich├ęd and dull, but her attention was captured at once. She faced me again, her yellow eyes fixed to mine. I squeezed her shoulders in assurance. She was blushing so furiously I could feel the heat on her face undergoing convection through the chilly evening air and warming my cheeks. I pressed on.

“We’re been friends for a quite long now, and I feel that our friendship is very strong, but…” Doubt got the better of me once more, holding my speech back. I clenched my teeth in self-irritation, and inhaled strongly again. The next sentence had better be the deciding blow, I warned myself. The whole time, my eyes had not strayed away from hers once.

“I love you.” The words felt rigid with confidence, thankfully. I quietly sighed in relief and exhaustion. I instantly gained the will to say more. “I love you very much.”
She gasped, surprised. Her stare turned into one of shock, even disbelief. My smile faded slightly.

“Akira-sempai.” Her voice was a tiny wisp. That was the first time she said my name this evening. That aside, questions riddled with regret started to drown my mind. Was she going to say no? Had I spoiled her good mood tonight by breaking a piece of unpleasant news to her? Is she going to avoid me forever after tonight?

Out of the blue, two limbs curled around my waist. She leaned towards me and pressed her body against mine, burying her head against my neck. My skin flushed immediately as I felt her body warmth; this was the first time I had ever embraced somebody outside the family. I quickly recovered from the stun and returned the gesture, shifting my hands from her shoulders to her back. I felt like I could remain in this position forever. My body tingled all over in euphoria. I had never felt this way before, and it was pure bliss.

“Hearing those words… Is definitely the best birthday present I could ever receive,” she whispered, brushing her face against my collar affectionately.

It was confirmed, there and then. I was bursting with satisfaction. My fingers ruffled her sooth hair from behind, a habitual action also for her enjoyment only. I caught sight of the cake sitting in the bench, waiting expectantly.

Today she turns thirteen, and today my companionship with her had tightened a large notch. It was a memorable day for the both of us.

“Happy birthday.”

A rather early part of the story. Nothing spectacular has happened yet up to this point. And no, I don't know the exact date either. This would sort of explain the relationship with Akira during the early periods. Despite how you might make it, no, it's not a personal fantasy fanfiction. I actually dislike her a lot, I just felt this scene was necessary to make the rest of the story more interesting.

A Change of Heart!

Today I woke up feeling a lot fresher than I was yesterday. I figured, why bother getting yourself so worked up over all this? It's not like your life depended on it or something, right?

Also, I've decided to brighten up my blog a bit for potential viewers who might drop by from dannychoo.com through otaku.fm.

I start working at the SITEX Convention tomorrow (boo to you, Darkmirage! Why didn't you go, when you said you wanted to?!), getting a pay of $5 an hour, for 12 hours a day, over 6 days, lunch and dinner provided, all amounting to $350, plus a bonus of anything between $30 to $80. from this money I'm getting, $300 goes to a new Compaq Presario my mother might be getting along with a new Starhub MaxOnline broadband subscription (just think, $1699 to $300! It's highway robbery!). Of course, while I'm there I'll be sure to snap lotsa pictures for ya! (I'm beginning to see just how much me blog's lacking pix.)

The rest of my money will go into my very first foreign exports goods - A collection of Sangokushi Taisen 2 cards straight for Japan. Following that would most likely be this:


Speaking of whom, I've most recently done a few chapters of this story I'm working on. Because I like Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu so much, and because I like being different all the time, I've decided to show my support and flaunt my writing skills all at the same time by writing a sidestory to the Haruhi light novel series, to shed some light on my take of the background behind this story.

It is being told from the point of view of a young man known only as Akira. Three years back in the story, he had a lot to do with a adolescent girl named Suzumiya Haruhi. How has that made him, right up to the present? It features plenty of events that are mentioned in the story but never featured first-hand, and provides valid explanations to the things that happen in the story itself. You see, I did my very best in enslaving this story to Tanigawa Nagaru's original, so I don't default him anything. (Almost) everything that happens in this story I'm cooking has something to do with the original. And no, I don't regard this as fanfiction, my level way transcends that. It's an original work by me, with original characters and an original plot, except I take characters and references from the Suzumiya Haruhi light novel series. I'll be putting up my first completed chapter here pretty soon, cos it explains a lot about the story's background. Two others will follow shortly.

Sunday, November 25

Boredom

An increasing occurrence that's happening to me is the lack of things I can think of doing while I'm spending valuable time with the computer. When I turn on the computer, I immediately turn on Windows Media Player, MSN Messenger, and Mozilla Firefox. Player loads first, I run my playlist. MSN opens up, I sign in. Mozilla comes last. Check my subscribed dannychoo.com feeds. Drop by at darkmirage.com. Drop by at animedesho.animeblogger.net. Drop by at kurogane.animeblogger.net. Check out Windbell's blog through dannychoo, along with another random Singaporean blogger featured at that website. All done in a matter of 15 minutes. When there's nobody to talk to on MSN, I log in to Facebook. Frag a random guy in Rise of the Rebellion, then in Counter Strike: Red Team Go. Go off exploring the galaxy in Rise of the Rebellion. Check my Warbook account. Recruit soldiers, build more mines, attack cities. Done in ten minutes. Check out kawaiiheavens.net. Barren wasteland as always, nothing ever happens there. Check out animeb.com. Crumbling before my very eyes. No place for me there, ever since I took off months ago and only returned recently. Ten minutes gone. It's not even an hour yet. If I'm in the mood, and my Internet connection works well, I'll catch up with my anime dosage at Youtube, thus killing me lots of time. If I'm not, I'm left with nothing to do.

Except come here and rant about me being left with nothing to do.

Creating a blog with the theme 'Tokyo in Singapore' turned out to be a very bad idea. I used to have tons of ideas for this blog, but by now all that studying and IRL business has made me forget most of them. In the end I'm left with a blog that betrays its title. It's not fit to be linked from other otaku sites anymore. That's why I had decided to open up an animeblogger.net account so I can revert this blog back into a personal one, while using the ab.net blog for otaku-related posts. This is have turned out to be not such a sound idea either, since the ab.net staff already have 1000+ other clients to look after when it comes to site setup. As of now I'm still awaiting support for my site...

Sometimes I wonder why I still posts in this blog. Really, nobody's reading it anymore. Or perhaps I'm hoping for something to happen in future that will draw attention to my blog, so that readers would go back into the pst and read all these rant posts and learn a bit more about this blog's history and how I used to feel before?

Perhaps so. There's always hope, as I say. Even when there's no hope, there's always hope. Yes, I tend not to make sense sometimes.

I really hope there's somebody, anybody, reading this post, needless to say my blog.

I just hope.

Wednesday, November 21

My First Paycheck: $109.50; Even more Obscurity; Depression

After working for three days at Xpress Works, a telesurvey company, doing administrative nonsense and all that, I am finally relieved of active office duty, and presented a paycheck of $109.50 (seems like they want to be accurate to the nearest dollar). No, that doesn't mean I got fired. I was only supposed to provide extra manpower over a few days to help sort out some stuff. By the way, that company was run by 6 other people around my age, plus a 30-something year-old boss. The environment was very office-like, but the fact that all my colleagues are actually around my age takes a bit of getting used to. We do telesurveys by the way, and I was the main man for keying in data into the computers and generating numbers for my colleagues to call up.

Prom night was dealt with promptly too. Nothing too fancy, just classmates with make-up and fancy dresses. No pictures right now, unfortunately. All I can say was my performance was not worth it. I hate my band. I'm disbanding. Nuff said.

Currently searching for a spot at the SITEX convention. newspaper ads aren't doing very well at the moment, it would seem that my first interview with a minor comp accessory company had failed (woman promised to call me back the next afternoon to confirm my spot, either that or she forgot), so I'm gunning for another one that only goes for 4 days at the exhibition instead of the full 3. Now I know how hard it is to get a job (that everybody else wants as well).

If you're reading this, you most probably chanced upon this blog, either by mistake or by Blogger-surfing. I say that because I'm pretty unimpressed at how unpopular my blog is. It seems as though nobody's reading it at all (or, at least, nobody who's got a Blogger account and can pass comments). My faith and commitment to this blog is slowly fading, and at this rate I'm getting too lazy to even post pictures. Whatever it is, I still have the will to type. And that's all I need.

I wish animeblogger would hurry up with my support ticket. I'm still having problems with my account and they don't seem to care. I have links at various other blogsites but it doesn't really matter cos no one's clicking. It's very depressing, this all is. I can't do any anime or Japan-related blogging while it's still awaiting support (yes, I'll be changing the name and theme of this blog too).

I'm still committed to my other commitments, though. It's a good thing a new gym opened up within my residential district. It's not a good thing it's only open at night.. My story's coming up very nicely too. But at this rate I'll need to put it more hours so I can get it done... As for the plot... A Singaporean guy living in Japan. FYI, my blog was inspired by this story, not the other way around. Even though I created this blog first, I had the story forming in my mind way before.

Speaking of which, I have a lot of things forming in my mind which I find very hard to conceive into action. Well, that's cos I'm lazy. Good thing I know it, so I can find ways to solve this problem. Too bad I'm lazy, so I don't feel like doing anything to help my laziness at all. See the conflict here?

I've decided to get myself a new graphics card for this computer too. Looks like I can't install any more games on the laptop without getting screwed up by my mummy. Beh. GeForce 8600 sounds good... Wonder if I could pick it up at SITEX, too.

I still have my quiet self-thinking times, and whenever I do I always think about myself in relation to the world. I used to be confident in my upcoming O level results, but after all that 'I don't believe you' crap from my dad, I'm starting to use these quiet times to worry about my O levels instead. Not healthy. Also, I still get envious of people at better positions than me, in terms of popularity, skill or even money (not quoting names). I keep thinking of ways to make myself special, to make myself admired. Yes, I'm an attention seeker, and it was all derived from that precocious thinking of mine when I was very young that went something like 'it's my life, I control it, so I want it to be special'. That's why I'm usually always the oddball of the lot, and people tend to want to make fun of my attempts to be different. They may laugh at me for being different, but I laugh at all of them for being the same.

Ah, whatever. Enough said. Time for a serious workout.

Wednesday, November 14

Exams are OVAR!!!


Yup, it's official. It came and went, so quickly that I'm left asing, "what, already?"

Overall, the exams were quite breezy. The subjects weren't too hard, except for geography and perhaps Physics (surprisingly). English went well, I made sure not to go off-topic this time. My A. Math levels have improved a lot too.

Now that the exams are done and the holidays are at hand, it's time for me to set out to do what I've been planning to do since months ago. In fact, I sorta dreaded the end of exams, because I'm left to pack my schedules with all sorta stuff, mostly tedious work which I'd hate to embark on, though I very must have set my mind to doing. The list is as follows:

1. GET A JOB. (during exams, I compete against my peers in academics. After exams, I compete with them once again for job vacancies)
2. Revive my BF2142 account (currently getting the new patch).
3. Revive my PangYa! account.
4. Remove the excess baggage round my tummy.
5. Build up some bulk on my arms and torso.
6. Fix and get started with my animeblogger account (still awaiting a reply from the staff to my support ticket).
7. Watch and review some anime (Goshusho sama Ninomiya kun and such).
8. Get me some PVC figurines (targeting Minase Nayuki from Kanon and Asakura Ryoko from SHnY).
9. Write a few short stories / novellas (aiming for three).
10. Build a personal custom-built desktop computer.

By the way, this is the first post I'm making on this blog using my new Lenovo Laptop computer. Mom bought it about a week ago. It's even more advanced than my existing desktop computer that's about three years old already. Runs on Vista, 1GB of RAM, Nvidia graphics, and Intel Centrino duo.

speaking of new stuff, I also happen to have a new Sony Ericcson K530i. I've long since been a supporter of Sony Ericsson, and since I didn't want to spend a hundred bucks or so for a Walkman 880i, I went for the $0 K530i model instead (comes with student plan). The cool thing about my plan is that can finally use a mobile device to access the Internet. At the moment, I'm using it as a Feed Reader for dannychoo.com.

Pictures of them up soon.