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Friday, February 29, 2008

My Previous 24 Hours

Unlike a few lucky PC-hogs, I don’t often have the chance to hang around in cyberspace as often as I wanted to. Not only would sitting in the LCD-illuminated corner of the bedroom enables me to grow mushrooms in my ear (fungus infection actually, had it before), my ability to communicate with flesh-and-blood people without the aid of a spellchecker or C-programming stipulations would rust and shrivel to awkwardness.

I still want to be a PC-hog though.

But I have a second great love that must be appeased so with the aid of a Kenari car, dual parental units, a Down-Syndrome aunt and a midget under 3 years of age, I was in Ikano Power Centre yesterday for its book fair.

Mak only dragged me along because given the choice, she would rather just take my Popular Discount Card and be done with it. Well you can’t have your 500 tarts and pastries recipes and Popular card too (and I’m not leaving until I get my own paperback).

Popular store book fair will be going on until 9th March, me thinks. I didn’t ask anybody, I just read the big schedule board of events.

After that, the rest of the day was pretty okay. I don’t want to go into wordy detail about my yesterday (as I strayed to do) mainly because today’s February 29 is more than a specially once-in-four-years day.

It’s also my homework deadline (eeep!).

So I’m just going to throw out the photos I’ve taken with my Sony Ericsson about the last 24 hours in sequential order.

7.11am: In the shoplots area next to some big ol’ apartment complex.

I was shaken awake from a very nice dream about me falling asleep and dreaming about me falling asleep and dreaming about falling asleep ... well, you get the idea. But I had to wake up and take the car to the new 7Eleven store because someBABY abhor brown-grain bread and demands white bread.

Anyway, took the opportunity to snap a pretty interesting reverse perspective photo. The mirror reflects what’s behind me but the line of perception looks as if the side view mirror is just a frame instead of a mirror. Lucky shot, me thinks.

9am: At home...

Along the way back from the shoplots area, I’ve learned something today. When you park next to a 24-hour mamak restaurant that always serves yesterday’s rice to a flock of too-heavy-to-fly-anywhere-else fat pigeons, always, ALWAYS make sure that you’re not parking under a freaking tree.

And I already have enough trouble with crows at school. *gerrrrrrram-nya!*

11:30am: An Ikano trip.

From the back, you can tell that they’re both related. This is the 1st-generation male parental unit with the 3rd-generation infantile unit. The minor can’t be told to stand still and the elder can’t scream too loud to command the minor.

But surprisingly enough (actually, it’s not a really big surprise), minor kid did stop to check the girls in front of him (he stood still long enough for the whole escalator trip; Wow, new record!).

2pm: At home...

No major picture here. Mak just brought home a book of making 500 types of pie recipes, of which 99.9999% will never be made according to exactly instructed by the book. Currently, she’s contemplating a radical approach to apple pies. This will be the last time this forbidden fruit shall be witnessed in its natural state before it condemns under extreme pastry mutations.

Actually, it turned out pretty good. Pie was gone before there was any chance to share photo evidence (burp!).

6pm: At Kelana Jaya. Click photo for 800 by 600 pixel image.

Okay, I said I didn’t go to school yesterday. Well, not completely. I didn’t enter the workstation compound, just needed to drop a package of nicely printed paper about the merits of virtual reality into the IT faculty pigeon box. I had parked in the residential area and it was a pain trying to get back to it, mostly because the damn cars kept making U-turns where they aren’t supposed to be making U-turns and I couldn’t cross to the other side.

In irritation, I photographed a row of organized disobedience. Some of them were kind enough to signal their U-turn before they break the law. Click the photo for a bigger picture.

7pm: At home... Again

Previously I’ve mentioned that there’s a shiny new faculty that had opened at school with their shiny new kitchenware. To complete this illusion of grandeur, there’s also a shiny new café, complete with indoor plants and wooden furniture.

The food, however, is better left to the imagination. This is a lasagne set that costs about RM$4.50. It’s a bargain but then again, you stomach what you paid for. It’s nice but it needs Ajinomoto. I’m not going to completely diss my school’s first attempt at the canteen business however. I’m going to try the cheeseburger next, maybe that’ll go down better (with a litre of Coca-Cola maybe).

8pm: At Santai Restaurant in Muatira Damansara...

Hehehe, okay, taking photos of a pregnant lady due in May would probabaly not be under the merits of sisterly love but I just wants to show the person who’s been eating most of the mushroom steak MySis ordered. Just confirmed the gender; a little brother for BabyNabil. No name yet but it’ll probably start with the letter ‘N’.

The family tried the Santai Restaurant yesterday, taking all the western stuff. The portions are big, we’re practically stuffed and our bellies were round. But the next time, I’ll go with the black pepper (mushroom was too tame, me thinks).

So some 15 hours after the last photo was taken, here I am, back at school. My next 24 hours (though with or without pictures is yet uncertain) would be
-finishing up that homework report,
-giving Host Café’s cheeseburger a try,
-checking car for anymore essence of avian menace,
-going back to Ikano to sneak-buy that paperback (Ayah hates me reading storybooks; they’re the bane of my CGPA)
-gather every available coins in all the couches in the house.

Now I really, reeeeeeeaally wish I’m a PC-hog.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

What’s Your Favourite Death Wish?

I was listening to Pop Shuvit’s Mara Bahaya mp3 while tip-tapping away at the keyboards when it dawned to me how the music really makes me want to get up and going, do something that gets the adrenaline pumping.

Hardly a blog entry would achieve that.

It was either I stop listening to our local music bands (hehehe, not really...) else I get out of my chair and play chicken on the LDP freeway. Luckily there is a third option because the former would upset the local music industry and the latter would upset the MBPJ (chicken lady on LDP, news at eight).

My substitute was to look for a few good death wishes online (heaven praise to Google).

A death wish usually mean a person who is contemplating a last-act, final-resort action before succumbing to death. This term usually applied to depressed, nothing-left-to-lose folks.

However, in the confidence of a better outcome, to describe a death wish associated with an adrenaline junkie is just to say, “He’s plain crazy”. Hooked on the natural body’s response to a fight-or-flight situation; these things really get the juices pumping and is a healthy thing to do.

Of course, if in doing the said death wish don’t get you killed.

Mmm-mmmm, fast cars. A key to a girl’s heart is a key to a silver Mercedes Benz SLK (well, at least it works with this girl). Brutally honest fact, I love to drive. I take every opportunity to get into any of my parents’, siblings’, relatives’ friends’ car and be in charge of the steering wheel. Ask me to buy sugar in 7-Eleven at 3 in the morning? No problem! Let me get the car keys...

I suppose it’s one thing I inherited from my grandfather. He owned cars during the British era, when cars are so scarce, the roads are practically empty. His last car was a Kancil, since it’s so light and speedy.

Speedy is what I do best in a car. My death wish is to drive a real Mercedes Benz SLK and take it on the longest, straightest, emptiest highway in Germany (they got no speed limit!).

Aaaah yes. The gloves, the ropes, the carribena, the tight-strapped hip harness men won’t wear without a really good reason... I took a youth camp course when I was 14 and my favourite activity was definitely the rock climbing. Though it was a damn huge rock I was tasked to conquer, in retrospect, it was probably pretty tame.

In reality, I’m so scared of heights, I get nauseous just trying to walk on a pedestrian bridge. I’ve once got so nervous on a flying-fox at one course in (Outward Bound, Lumut), that I practically cried like a baby (the instructors let me down by ladder *shame-shame*).

Even so, given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity (or rather the last-thing-I-might-do-in-a lifetime opportunity) and with a rock this big and precarious looking, I shake out my tracksuits.

Haha, the piece-de-resistance. Yes, I might be tempted to jump through the open door of an airplane with an oversized umbrella. Still, it’ll definitely be my ultimate death wish, suspended only by clouds. On a whimsical note, I often wonder if what skydivers felt is what birds feel on their first belly-flop before flight.

Believe it or not, there’s a sky-diving centre in Malaysia. Located in Segamat, Fras Skydiving Centre offers beginners’ static-line course (whatever that means). Read a first-hand report from someone who was probably forced to do it, here:

Racing cars, rock-climbing and sky-diving would be my favourite death wishes, the thing that I might do before I’ll die happy (Dear Big-Guy-Above, please don’t play ominous music, that was not a literal prayer).

So I’m going to throw this question out to all readers. What’s your favourite death wish? Do you think you can achieve it? How old would you think you’ll get around to it?

Games Review: King’s Quest 2 (VGA Remake) by AGD Interactive

After I’ve updated my anti-virus yesterday, I decided to clean up my old-old-old folders. You wouldn’t believe all the junk I’ve collected and backed-up throughout all the 3 PCs in my lifetime (Mak was a pioneer systems analyst before she retired so our family was computer oriented since the early 1980s).

I was checking through a file that’s almost 5 years old when I came across this pretty piece of a gem. Dusty gem, faded colours with rusty fittings but still a gem.

King’ Quest 2: Romancing The Stones

Your humble, loyal, utterly devoted servant. He’s a bit... strange.

A long, long time ago before there was Playstation 2 (yes, there was life before Playstation), there was the PC and the games that depended on them. I’m practically old enough to remember original Sierra Entertainment Games (before it became Sierra On-Line).

However, this game is not it.

Look, a house! Maybe if you ask politely for directions, the mysterious inhabitants won’t try to eat you.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T spells ‘pumpkin pie’, lady!

Actually, it’s only half-and-half. You see, the graphics here are from a remake of the second of one of the first games ever built for the PC, King’s Quest series. You can tell by its generic title. Before there was Everquest, there was King’s Quest 2: Romancing the Throne, a 12-bit graphic and text-based gameplay.

Oh, please don’t make me explain what is 12-bit graphics or text-based gameplay. You’ll make me sound old.

The game utilizes every animal known in the monster book.

Just because he’s the only river-taxi guy doesn’t mean he could charge a freaking $$$&%*...

Riding on Sierra’s success, AGD Interactive is a small-profit development team that is remaking some of Sierra’s old games. For fun. So this means that this game can be downloaded for free.

I don’t mind classic as long as the gameplay (and visual) are pleasing so I took a nostalgic trip last night. Following the continuation of King’s Quest 1, your hero is Sir Graham, now the king of the nation, albeit a very lonely one.

Oooo, spooky church. What a welcoming façade.

Stop for a moment to enjoy that nice woody digitised scenery.

You need a pretty girl to occupy the big red chair next to your throne so in the impulse of a dream, you set off to a land far away on an adventure of point-and-click proportions to save baby ducklings, fetch a basket of flowers, trick a half-blind witch (no difficulty there; really...), deal with grumpy librarians and get in the middle of the clichéd vampires vs. werewolves war.

Oh yeah, you have to remember to rescue a damsel in distress somewhere at some point.

Ol’ King Neptune wants something for you just as you wants something from him.

Welcome to Surrealism Isle. Please follow the completely safe route to the tower.

Although this is a games review, I’m not going to be totally serious on the aspects of the Four Commandments of a Good Game as I always do, mainly because this was a classic of elderly proportions. I liked it, it’s nostalgic to me and mostly, you still can download this game for free (took me a while to find a working download link; haven’t I mentioned that this game is almost 5 YEARS old?).

The download includes both the game, the speech package and its music package as well. Beforewared though, it’s over 100MB... (hehehe!).

Click here to Download this Game:
Click here for complete walkthrough:

Click here to Download the Previous Game (Quest For the Crown):
Click here for Quest For the Crown’s complete walkthrough:

You’ll Never See These In Any Bookstore

I’m supposed to be having my semester break starting last Monday. I’m using the term ‘supposed to’ in purely rhetorical terms because come hell or high water, I’m still going to battle NKVE morning traffic to secure my place in the PC workstation for the internet.

Cyber café? Naaaah...
I’m saving money to buy a new book. Witness my totally serious stance to literature.

I know what you’re thinking. Damn, my thighs are huge...*sigh*

I’ve read every book you see here at least once and it’s still not as much as I would like. I haven’t read enough books to declare which one would make an interesting review. I’m practically starved for fiction at the moment and my Nuffnang pay doesn’t come up this month. Checking around for second hand books though.

Granted, the book I planned to buy is something I’ve already sneak-read in The Curve’s Borders bookstore (if anybody found a RM$1 bookmark - that's literally is one ringgit - please, please return to this absent-minded beggar *boo-hoo*).

And the real book I would love to buy is still in hardcover and really, reeeeeeeeally wanted book... is no longer in publication (see my Wishlist). Most of the books I’m targeting are either in the romance or fantasy or mystery section. Preferably something with a third of each.

But you know what I really like to see? Not necessarily to read but something definitely interesting to browse through. Bookstores stocked with these titles. I swear you’ll never see books like these unless probably in a shady cult store.


Santa Claus’s Travel Guide: Includes nice places, not-so-nice places, nice-to-be-naughty places and regions hostile to unidentified flying sleds.

War and Peace; written in SMS language.

Pop-out Children’s Book: Teach them the Birds and the Bees Caution: illustrations in the pop-outs may or may not have been exaggerated.

Oxymoronic Dictionary: Where everything means the opposite of what it is.

Do-It-Yourself Acupuncture: A step-by-step instructional guide from ‘pincushion’ to ‘pufferfish’ to ‘Stick It Like How Julius Caesar Popped’.

Guide to Profanities and Obscene Hand Gestures: Get ready to spit the ***king crap out of your grandmother and her favourite lesbian stripper.

Must Watch Movies as divided into New Rating Scheme:
G-ratings (nobody gets the girl)
PG-ratings (good guy gets the girl)
R-ratings (bad guy gets the girl)
X-ratings (everybody gets the girl!)
XXX-ratings (everybody gets the girl, her mother-in-law and their Chihuahua)

Chicken Overkill Recipes: The best ways to prepare ayam kampung (free-range chicken) after you’ve ran it over with your car. Try the ‘Chicken Die Standing’.

Complete Illustrated Works of Karma Sutra: *no really, where the hell can you find a thorough and explicit comprehension anywhere nowadays?*

Fun Ways to Nearly Kill Yourself While Travelling: North Korean Edition (note: 1100 pages thick).

Malaysian Judicial System: Step One; cellphone etiquette. Step two; pretend ignorance of any video. Step three; escape to remote locations in Southern Hemisphere...

1001 Excuses You Can Use for Not Doing Your Homework: “...I’m currently going through déjà vu and amnesia at the same time. I think I’ve forgotten this before.”

PS: On a more useful tip, I recommend Sams Teach Yourself Programming with Java by Rogers Cadenhead if you want to advance on Java programming. Either the author was high on a caffeine-beer mixture when he wrote this, or he really did have a candy-apple red thong underwear with embroidered text “My dog can beat up Paris Hilton’s dog.”

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Gave The TwoSuperHeroes Their Own Award

Hahaha, really I liked the tagged blog awards. As it turns out from yesterday, the twosuperheroes had been passing a tag award of bloggy-ness to some folks who in their estimates.

Actually, which by standards of their estimates, I was at first, dunno either to be grateful or suspicious. Baaaaah, having a blog of only 3 months old and coming from an established twosome of infamous recognition, I suppose gratefulness should come first (I’ll be suspicious later).

Unfortunately, how am I to answer to such is totally no clue. With examples from the recent Oscar thank-you-thank-you-thank-all-of-you speeches. Just goes to show that I’m going through a bloggers’ block phase. You could probably tell as I’m blogging about this instead of usually diverse, purposeful and intelligent entries.

Okay, my posts are at least best two out of three.

These are the awards they so nicely had passed around to not only myself but to Yozoranitesky, L'abeille and X-T, Dreckker and their statistical rival Andrew Ooi.

I’ve been to all these fellas’ blogs and I’m glad to having another thing in common with them. Unfortunately, they are also some of the folks I would have had wanted to pass the awards too.

Aww, damn...

Well, time for another blog hunt. I’ve yet to fix up the other 8-Facts-About-Me Tag by ImamKhalid (shucks!). Hmm, looks like my bloggers’ block is slowly being... er, unblocked.

In the meantime, I’ve thought to placate them superheroes with a midget GIF picture and hopefully this will satisfy them until I find some real links.

A tinnie animated pic for their sidebar. Mine would had already been on display at the header ages ago (hahaha!).

William Blake's Auguries of Innocence

I bet that not a lot of Malaysian can say that they had ever been enamoured of historical poetry. Nowdays, words that rhyme are either from a primary school class learning nursery English or something out of the music billboard charts. Then again, in retrospect, lax in the rules of rhyming is forgivable in the former and yet doesn’t necessary apply to the latter.

Screw me, at times my English is too good, me thinks.

I often surf to other blogs - and I sincerely won’t name them - and at times felt a bit smirky or mixed emotions at the state of the written English amongst Malaysian bloggers. Words like mixed Manglish-ness and the -larr at end quote.

That’s not enough, at times bloggers even colourize their words with fancy italics, bold font and multi-rainbow text in sections to the over-pimped extend that brings attention to the subject matter, but sort of flops in the overall concept of being an intelligible and professional entry.

Blame it on the SMS generation, were we all speak in so many abbreviations *sigh*.

I’m no English genius. Hell, I don’t want to lecturer English (of course, I confess I sometimes intentionally slip into street language myself; sorrie-lee...). But it’s kind of getting hard, to find a nice, interestingly written piece that’s isn’t wordy-pimped, graphic-overused and is not some online thesis instructional guide.

Blog entries and the language used for blogging, I think, should be more like Wikipedia entries. Clear-cut, precise, understandable to read and with relevant content.

Granted, not a lot of us got A1 in their SPM scores and consistent A+ grades in their university English papers (being a female Malay, I’ve been bullied of being a cheater amongst the rich Chinese girls at Puberty Institution, aka Secondary School), but when it comes to having an international target in mind, maybe it helps with a little grammar discretion.

Bah, I don’t know how you put up this far. I’ve intended to post one of my favourite historical poems (yes, I love old-fashioned Romantic-era poetry. That’s not odd, is it?) and here I’ve strayed to lack of high-quality local English blogs (though, they do pay some damn good attention when they open emotionally-charged discussions).

This poem is the very first long poem I had found myself being drawn into without some sort of educational requirement. In simple terms, I didn’t find it because I had to write a report of something poetry.

Maybe it’s because I was 13 when I read it for the first time. Suddenly I realized, I shouldn’t have been so quick to wish wanting to quickly grow up and face adult life. To me, William Blake had reminded us not to take the importance of having a childhood phase for granted. Who he wrote Auguries of Innocence was as if through the dreams of a child...

William Blake - Auguries of Innocence

To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.

A robin redbreast in a cage
Puts all heaven in a rage.

A dove-house fill'd with doves and pigeons
Shudders hell thro' all its regions.
A dog starv'd at his master's gate
Predicts the ruin of the state.

A horse misused upon the road
Calls to heaven for human blood.
Each outcry of the hunted hare
A fibre from the brain does tear.

A skylark wounded in the wing,
A cherubim does cease to sing.
The game-cock clipt and arm'd for fight
Does the rising sun affright.

Every wolf's and lion's howl
Raises from hell a human soul.

The wild deer, wand'ring here and there,
Keeps the human soul from care.
The lamb misus'd breeds public strife,
And yet forgives the butcher's knife.

The bat that flits at close of eve
Has left the brain that won't believe.
The owl that calls upon the night
Speaks the unbeliever's fright.

He who shall hurt the little wren
Shall never be belov'd by men.
He who the ox to wrath has mov'd
Shall never be by woman lov'd.

The wanton boy that kills the fly
Shall feel the spider's enmity.
He who torments the chafer's sprite
Weaves a bower in endless night.

The caterpillar on the leaf
Repeats to thee thy mother's grief.
Kill not the moth nor butterfly,
For the last judgement draweth nigh.

He who shall train the horse to war
Shall never pass the polar bar.
The beggar's dog and widow's cat,
Feed them and thou wilt grow fat.

The gnat that sings his summer's song
Poison gets from slander's tongue.
The poison of the snake and newt
Is the sweat of envy's foot.

The poison of the honey bee
Is the artist's jealousy.

The prince's robes and beggar's rags
Are toadstools on the miser's bags.
A truth that's told with bad intent
Beats all the lies you can invent.

It is right it should be so;
Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Thro' the world we safely go.

Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine.
Under every grief and pine
Runs a joy with silken twine.

The babe is more than swaddling bands;
Every farmer understands.
Every tear from every eye
Becomes a babe in eternity;

This is caught by females bright,
And return'd to its own delight.
The bleat, the bark, bellow, and roar,
Are waves that beat on heaven's shore.

The babe that weeps the rod beneath
Writes revenge in realms of death.
The beggar's rags, fluttering in air,
Does to rags the heavens tear.

The soldier, arm'd with sword and gun,
Palsied strikes the summer's sun.
The poor man's farthing is worth more
Than all the gold on Afric's shore.

One mite wrung from the lab'rer's hands
Shall buy and sell the miser's lands;
Or, if protected from on high,
Does that whole nation sell and buy.

He who mocks the infant's faith
Shall be mock'd in age and death.
He who shall teach the child to doubt
The rotting grave shall ne'er get out.

He who respects the infant's faith
Triumphs over hell and death.
The child's toys and the old man's reasons
Are the fruits of the two seasons.

The questioner, who sits so sly,
Shall never know how to reply.
He who replies to words of doubt
Doth put the light of knowledge out.

The strongest poison ever known
Came from Caesar's laurel crown.
Nought can deform the human race
Like to the armour's iron brace.

When gold and gems adorn the plow,
To peaceful arts shall envy bow.
A riddle, or the cricket's cry,
Is to doubt a fit reply.

The emmet's inch and eagle's mile
Make lame philosophy to smile.
He who doubts from what he sees
Will ne'er believe, do what you please.

If the sun and moon should doubt,
They'd immediately go out.
To be in a passion you good may do,
But no good if a passion is in you.

The whore and gambler, by the state
Licensed, build that nation's fate.
The harlot's cry from street to street
Shall weave old England's winding-sheet.

The winner's shout, the loser's curse,
Dance before dead England's hearse.

Every night and every morn
Some to misery are born,
Every morn and every night
Some are born to sweet delight.

Some are born to sweet delight,
Some are born to endless night.

We are led to believe a lie
When we see not thro' the eye,
Which was born in a night to perish in a night,
When the soul slept in beams of light.

God appears, and God is light,
To those poor souls who dwell in night;
But does a human form display
To those who dwell in realms of day.

Monday, February 25, 2008

February’s Flight Image Story: A Slave’s Memory

Previously: January's Journey (2008)


The rain was beginning to pour heavily when she left the Crosswind Isles. She wondered what the local villagers would think of her. She and her sudden disappearance from the islands long after the last mainland ship of the season had sailed.

Would they blame her for Mrs. Marble’s demise? Would they suspect foul play? Ireulun decided that it was too late for thoughts of turning back now as she is already high in the cloudy, wet atmosphere.

Riding a flycraft.

Sitting in the cockpit, she probed the controls. They were less complicated than she had feared but still more than she expected. It was half a relief for herself, because it was too long ago since she remembered the last time she flew any kind of machine.

And the cockpit she sat in held only a vague reminiscent of the ones she was familiar with. Back in her childhood days at her family’s farm.

Unlike the crafts of her childhood though, the flycraft bequeath to her by Mrs. Marble - late Mrs. Marble, angels bless her - was coated in metallic chromium finish. Its surface was as smooth and glassy as river pebbles. It had a sleek, aerodynamic leaf-shaped body, flanked on either side by a short wing panels that ended with a small jet propelled engine.

Jet-wings, they were called, thought Ireulun. Having two small engines on the side of the craft was to help steer and stabilize the massive energy engine mounted behind the cockpit. The energy engine was the main propulsion system for the craft, flanked by four long ‘tails’ surrounding the exhaust of the energy engine.

Long buried in the sand, the craft had been kept in fairly good condition. Its system was of a long outdated design however. But to Ireulun, a traveller and historian by choice, the vehicle was dream embraced from the past.

It was no doubt in Ireulun’s mind that this craft was built for speed. She thought back on the story Mrs. Marble had told her before she died, that her people had tried to escape the invisible threat of her city but failed.

She inwardly said a prayer for the lonely lady who had been a close friend and companion, even though they met only three months before.

The craft must have been the chosen vehicle. But Mrs. Marble never left the islands. Proof of it was Ireulun being the current flycraft’s pilot, sitting in the cramped cockpit of a machine that should have flown decades ago.

The machine’s cockpit had a more traditional W-shaped, front-side steering wheel instead of the modern two stick, two-handed sideways steering. The basic interface, those that she could recognise, were the small virtual grid-map screen, visual sensors indicating the craft’s conditions and adjusters to the craft’s internal and external environment.

But there seem to be little methods for her to manually make adjustments to the craft’s mechanism. No dials to regulate fuel flow, no switches that indicate references to flight optimization, no programming interface to directly communicate with the auto-pilot.
In fact, Ireulun was beginning to suspect that the flycraft had no auto-pilot, despite the rapid ease of flight.
“Maybe you’re automated learning?” Ireulun thought aloud.
The craft answered with its never-changing monotonous hum, the sound coloured faintly by the splatter of heavy raindrops outside, flinging against the craft’s body.

From the outside, it had been hard to distinguish the windows from the rest of the body of the flycraft, so uniformed was its shape and colour. It had taken her a great deal of probing, dusting away the covered sands, until she located the hatch.

Ireulun stared through the chrome cockpit windows. The afternoon sky, already cloudy by the seasonal storms, was slowly turning to darkness. Ireulun checked her wristwatch. It had been hours since she took off and she had been flying at a cautious speed, just enough to counter the ever changing winds, following the land route across the archipelago’s biggest island.

Soon she will reach the white seashore and then onwards, to an even longer flight across the sea. Ireulun hoped she could outrun the seasonal hurricanes. Though the rains and strong winds she faced now were difficult enough with her limited experience to manoeuvre, she risked not flying through the heart of the storm.

Risk not losing what she had yet to discover in that dream forest in the east.


A loud noise, like the explosion of a hundred simultaneous fireworks, shocked suddenly on her right. The impact made her swirl sharply to the opposite side, nearly turning her over; the sound had been deafening. There was still ringing in her right ear when a large dark object passed her overhead.

While she was trying to distinguish what that object was, another explosion erupted on her lower left, almost as loud and juddering as the first. She held tight to her flycraft’s controls and flew a downward right, greatly reducing her speed.

She glanced again to the skies above her. Within the grey clouds were pinpricks of flashing luminous lights, darting and spinning in an odd pattern. Between the greyer rains are large dark objects; there were three, one more massive than the other two, flanked on the side by two flashing lights.

Other flycrafts? Her suspicions were confirmed when the three objects descended lower and appeared out of the misty rain clouds.

Ireulun flew even lower, closer to the flat grounds, out of the clouds and where the rains were less, thick and more dispersed. She checked her map screen. The field showed the three flycrafts in her sensory field, the two smaller ones were about the size of her flycraft. About same metallic body as well. And the same shape...

“Holy crap!” blurted Ireulun. Her verbal profanity came out half in a gasp as that the last minute, a second bomb - missile? - flew over her before it broke into a shattering blast.

Ireulun’s mind quickly thought back. Her departed friend had never mentioned of any other flycrafts - hidden or otherwise. The inhabitants of the isles were ignorant - by choice and stubbornly so - of anything that had to do with their fallen occupiers.

So where did these flycrafts came from? Opportunistic pirates? Lost survivors?

She quickly dodged out the way of a speeding flycraft, barely missing it by a few hundred feet. When it turned around and engaged to close in to her again, she realized that the craft, perhaps even all three of them, was trying to engage her in some sort of combat. She suppressed the urge to cry out another expletive, redundant as it was.

Before she had boarded, Ireulun had not bothered to check for any means of flight communication or combat mechanism, either digital or magical. She had no idea how to contact the other crafts, did not suspect she would even need too, at least, not until she reached the mainland.

Even less did she expect was being targeted by dangerous projectiles that, even on missed impact, generated a shockwave vibration that could jar her bones to pieces, if the sound blast didn’t rocked her to confusion first. Ireulun had thought she was the only flycraft in the area. She was still in Crosswind Isles.

Wasn’t she?

Concentrating at best on speed, she took off from the ground and into an opening space. Her aim was to run away and give as much space as possible to avoid them. And to separate them; it was two flyers against her and unlike her, they have intentions and methods of bringing her down to a crash landing. If they didn’t explode her to a fireball first.

With the two maniacs circling around for a second engagement, Ireulun turned her attention to the closer, larger, more silent flycraft. It was huge, but not overly so, about 10 times the size of hers. It was still large enough to bring an icy tinge of fear down her spine, despite its passive stance.

It was, in many ways, greatly different from the smaller crafts. It was subtler in its outlook, of earthen browns and dusty greys. Its main body was less sleek and streamlined in design; rather, more like it was coated in insect-like armour plating. Its titian-sized twin engines were mounted on either side of its wing-body fusion; those were similar to the main energy engine of the smaller flycrafts.

It was the larger ship that gave Ireulun a sudden flash of insight. She blinked for a moment; her mind rapidly calculated the revelations growing within her. Her hands faltered on the controls. Had she really seen it before?

Granted, the design and shape and structure showed nothing, betrayed nothing of its origins. In spite of the incoming threat of two offensive machines behind her, she raised one hand to caress softly against the cockpit hatch, her finger tracing the lines of the larger craft, still a great, silent, yet ominous distance away.

There was one way to put her theory to the test. It was a crazy one but if Ireulun suspected what the true situation was, she will take charge of it. Immediately.

Her mother always said that she had a streak of her father’s madness in her.

Muttering a quick prayer to the divine protectors, Ireulun grasped her flycraft’s control firmly with both hands. In a sharp forward thrust, she flew upwards into the sky. High into the storms until her field of vision were covered completely by white and grey mists. Relying completely on the virtual map, she estimated her position and leaned slowly to fall into a wide arch.

Falling out of the clouds. Falling straight toward the larger craft. Speeding toward the larger craft.
Dead centre.

Maybe her mother was right about the madness part.

More explosive shells rocked beside her. The offensive twins were bombarding her with missiles to try to shake her out of her resolve. She outflew every one of those missiles; they missed her but she had expected that. Even if Ireulun wasn’t falling a straight downward path so fast, speeding on a single-minded suicidal path toward the larger flycraft, she knew that those missiles would not have hit her.

They had been only to scare her.
Just as the larger flycraft had scared her.
But she wasn’t scared now.
Now it was her turn to shock and scare.

The larger flycraft loomed even larger as she closed in on it. It attempted to turn away, out of her path but it was slow and cumbersome. In the last moment, close enough just before point of impact to hit the armoured body of the craft, Ireulun released the controls and switched off the engine.

On instinct, she curled her body close, her arms around her knees and braced for impact. She shut her eyes tightly. If she was wrong, the collision might be strong enough to... but it would be quick.

It didn’t come.
Ireulun slowly opened her eyes. She was still falling forward. The larger flycraft was nowhere to be seen; neither were the offensive twins. But she was still falling downwards, but this time, the earth was her target.

Still, she did not move.
The controls in front of her shook violently as her machine threatened to spin into a corkscrew. Ireulun started at the steering, half in deadly fear but her resolve was stronger. In the very centre of the steering was a glassy white stone. She had thought it to be decorative but now she knew better.

The flycraft was truly falling now. There was no stopping it, even if she tried, the force to turn against gravity in time for safety was too strong for her.

The ground loomed ever closer. She could see in the corner of her eye, the long rivulets of water swimming in a criss-cross on the barren, grassy terrain like slimy snakes.
“You’re going to crash,” she spoke to the white stone.
Almost instantly, the white stone turned blue.

The flycraft suddenly came to life. The engine restarted and flared to life. The control stopped jerking and swiftly yanked the craft into rising. It barely collided with some bush trees; one was too close that it scraped the underside of the craft.

All the while, Ireulun only watched the stone on the steering controls.
She touched nothing.
The flycraft was flying by itself now.

Ireulun smiled to herself. It was safe to do so. Not even a machine could detect how wildly her heart was still beating, her tension, her fear still gripping her like painfully sharp thorns; her damn crazy idea had nearly got herself killed in the wilds of nowhere.

Even Papa would probably have agreed with Mama about her uniquely stupid wild streak.


The rains were at its heaviest when the flycraft landed itself on a muddy but high ground. It turned off its engines by itself. There was no glowing light outside the windows. Darkness of the evening, made even darker by the storm, made her small, enclosed cockpit seem very much smaller and very private. It was surreal.

It was also a sham.

Ireulun knew that she was not alone in the cockpit. She had never been alone since she first eagerly placed herself into the cockpit. Was that event only happened that morning? It felt like days ago. The bright light of revelation she had when she studied the shape and structure of that larger flycraft had faded into a memory.

Basking in the revelation’s afterglow, she continued to watch the stone on the steering controls. It had turned to white again, but it still tinged with a blue radiance so soft, it would not have been noticed if her surroundings wasn’t so pitch dark.

She touched the stone with the tips of her fingers.
“You don’t like to fly do you?” asked Ireulun softly.
The stone’s bluish radiance grew stronger.
“I thought so.”

She sat silently, her thumb brushing against the stone. It was a long while before she spoke again.
“You could have told me. I don’t like to fly either.”
The stone immediately turn a deep red and at the same time, the still air in the cockpit turned a definite chilly temperature.

But Ireulun just chuckled, a smile that was too brief.
“Not really. I like it only a little bit but I don’t prefer it,” said Ireulun with a humourless tone.
“My dad flys all the time though. He has his own set of flycrafts.”

She had thought to placate the stone - the entity of the flycraft - but the stone turned to an even brighter red, until it looked like it was glowing with a fierce fire. The dark cockpit was bathed in red light. But Ireulun knew what it was thinking.
“I know what you’re thinking. You think my dad had enslaved flycrafts, don’t you?”
Red, red glow but it no longer felt so fierce.
“Naaah, he owns dead flycrafts. Metallic ones. Most of them he build himself.”

Ireulun turned away from the sight of the red stone and leaned back on her seat. Granted, there was not much room to lean back against; her action was more of trying to seat comfortably than trying to relax her guard.
“He’s friends with a clan though. Actually, he’s friends with several clans of living-crafts, flying or landed or seas. But his favourite were always the living flycrafts because they helped him find my mother once.”

She knew she was babbling but Ireulun was becoming more nervous as she continued. She was relieved when the ever-changing colour of the stone no longer seemed aggressive or hostile, though it still maintained its bright red glow. Then she dropped a risky question.
“Don’t you have a clan too?” she asked in a purely innocent tone.

The light from the stone disappeared. Everything turned black. Pitch dark so deep, Ireulun could not even see her hands in front of her face. She took it as a signal that the flycraft no longer desired her chatter.
“Gotcha,” she smiled.

She tried to ease herself on the cramped chair. Though it had seemed to be designed for someone who was obviously larger than her, it still felt small and cramped, more so in the darkness. Stalemate. She can’t stay in the machine, reluctant as it was to bear her.

Still, she knew she could force it to obey her command. Mrs. Marble had bequeath it to her. Such was what the metallic flycraft was forced to do. It hankered back to the older warring days, when infant living-crafts were forcibly taken from the clans, subjected to slavery. Metallic armour, welded to the body of the young living-crafts was to toughen their structure. It also served as a branding of ownership between master and slave.

Such practises were banned, prohibited, but some groups of people still follow it, citing traditions or obligations or greater good or such crappy excuse.

This flycraft had been a slave.
But to be a slave, one must have a master.

She probed to the space above her head, hands groping for feel to compensate her lack of vision. Ireulun’s fingers found the heavy catch in the expected spot. She tugged, tested it and then pulled hard. With a loud click and a burst of pressurised air, the hatch of the cockpit opened.

The noise of the rain became very loud, and the chill of the wind crept inside the machine, slowly dispersing the last warmth.
Ireulun sucked in a lungful of wet outside air before she turned to the stone, now silent and white as dead.
“I’m not your master. In fact, I don’t know how to be a living-craft’s master.”
She continued to prod in the dark. Her rucksack should be at that small space behind her seat. There’s a cloak in it that she could use.
“You can stay here if you want. But I need to leave. In this storm if I have too.”

Inwardly, she groaned. If she had to walk out into the rain, she would. The storms of the archipelago were nothing to sneeze at; the winds were always freezing cold. If it does become cold enough, the rains would turn into small hailstones. In the flat open plains, there would be little to no shelter. Her only option was to find a way back to the town where she had started.

A trip, which by foot, could take days, maybe weeks, depending on how far she had strayed because of that illusionary fight. A very realistic fight, but illusionary nonetheless. They had been holograms, projected on to the cockpit windows. Were those flycrafts were part of this flycraft’s family? Fallen comrades?

It was the larger flycraft that made her realize what her flycraft was, a machine that was eerily similar to one of the most celebrated - and most tragic - enslaved living flycrafts in history.

So many questions floated in her head. But she couldn’t learn something that couldn’t be taught. She won’t force. It’s just not her nature with forgotten slaves, rebellious or otherwise. Still, the truth needed to be told.

After she found her rucksack and covered herself with a thick cloak and hood, she spoke softly.
“Captivity is only in the mind. Oppression is only as you receive it.”
She bit her lower lip as she thought of something else, something wiser to say. She didn’t particularly felt very wise, - witness her jumping out into the storm and at night, what’s more - just needed to say what should be said to something - someone - who had been too alone for too long.

She pounced on the words her father once told her.
“Isolation is no way to survive.”

She pushed the hatch all the way open. The raging storm greeted her; its raindrops were wet and cold but the winds seemed to have lessened a bit. A few drops that fell from the sky struck her face. It was stinging on her cheeks. Ireulun groped for the muffler around her neck and covered the lower half of her face.

She took one last peek at the stone on the steering.
It stayed silent and white.
In normal circumstances, she should have felled maybe some irritation or at least inwardly groan in frustration. The tiny, cramped cockpit never looked so dry and comfortable.

In stead, she was filled only with pity. She could not stay.
The flycraft didn’t need to go anywhere. It also never had anyone who did not command it to do anything.

Ireulun hoped that it was thinking about that fact.
“Later,” she said with false brightness. And said it quickly; she was getting wet and will be even more wet.
Taking a firm hold of the overhead fittings, she pulled herself up and out or the cockpit.

In two seconds, the hatch closed shut. A few bumps and bangs against the hollow body before Ireulun slid herself on the wet surface of one of the jet-wings, carefully gripping in every possible place for hold. Eventually she splashed on the muddy ground.

She walked, going west. Back to the village. Eventually she disappeared from the flycraft’s field of sensory vision.

Inside the cockpit, the stone on the steering glowed to cobalt blue.

Next: March's Magic (2008)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Image: The Gates Beyond Time

Portal Gates.

Believe it, you can't swing a cat without hitting two fellas with their nametag that reads 'Gatekeeper' or 'Keymaster' or one each with both. I think the awe about gates is that they represent an entry larger than a window, an option, should they choose to accept, to cross over from one place in the universe into another.

As a fantasy-fag***, I was not immune. In fact, I upped the stakes on my vision on what portal gates are and should be. That's this week's amazing images, found in CGSociety website. I present two of them with the theme, Overly-Ridiculous-Gianormous-Gates.

Hey, as Mythbusters would say; if it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing...

Old Gate

I loved this image immensely because it fits perfectly of the imagination I had of a fire-ridden continent (not Hell, though. Hell is too cliche'). The red robbed fellows are not guardians of the gates or magical disciples of some long-lost civilisation or vanguard knights preparing for the arrival of an exhaulted master. They just peasant folks in maintenace.

You see, the gate is so big, it take a whole village to maintain it. Every evening, several men wear red robes that protects them from the dust and clean up the large magic circle on the floor. And this isn't the main gate either, just one of the energy fields use to maintain the gates.

This is the Main Gate.

Lost Gate

Well, at least, ah, what's left of it. This image is for an idea I had about the same Gate, but about saaaay... 5000 years in the future. Yeah, those are guys in hazard suits inspecting the structure. The region of which this gate had been built had shifted and changed and gone through some major climate changes but the portal gate (what's left of it) still stands.

It will be this image which how I'm going to describe the portal gate in my private book project. Wishful I maybe but hey, when don't you wish that when you have an idea and built the story, wouldn't you want a Tolkien worthy backdrop to go with it?

Intestine in the Sky!

Lil’ bro Genius was around last week. Since my PC is faster than his laptop, it’s only natural that he takes over my room (unlike most guys, he doesn’t mind being surrounded by girly wall posters).

I tolerated him as long as he pays the fees (one Santana ft. Chad Kroeger’s Into The Night mp3 for 3 hours, yes? If you want to use my cellphone internet, that’ll be the entire Torrent movie of The Last Mimzy from your UMalaya WiFi).

Mostly it’s games that Genius plays. Unlike my role-playing-storyline-intense, he prefers arcades and dash-time stuff. He SMS’d me what he likes, I download and crack for him and he plays for up to 5 hours when he comes home during the weekends, while I’m at weekend class.

But here’s something we both like.

My PC desk. Usually the dark-haired skinny kid isn’t supposed to be here.

And right out from the cereal box too!

I think Genius purposely choose Milo cereal because he knows that if he takes the Honey-Waffles cereal (really great!), his sister would chomp it to milk-and-dust before he even re-packs his laundry bag.

When it comes to cereals, me and Genius make Cain and Abel look tame.
Mine! My preeeeeeciioussssss...

But enough about sibling eating habits. Nestle’s Milo had upgraded from being choke-able plastic toys (Made in China lagi...) to throw-able plastic disc (still Made in China!). This is a simplistic, Flash-type game called Microsoft Flight Simulator Demo.

Does it come with complementary soft drinks?

It’s like an eeny-meeny-mynie-tiny version of the actual game Microsoft is making to distribute to the terrorist market-, er, help future pilots experience realism. It’s a cheap toy really; targeted for the middle-class who wants to keep their kids out of their Astro Cable TV (low income kids can still play Frisbee).

Take off!

This game apparently comes with a warning label; may cause seizures. And it wasn’t long for us to realize why. Trying to steer this plane is like trying to manoeuvre a school of fish.

Steer too soft, you don’t turn at all. If you steer too hard, you start to make loops and spins to such a dizzying degree that you can actually feel your stomach making flip-flop (urg... sick... barf-bag-barf-bag-barf-bag-bag-bag-bag...).

Accck! Hard left! Hard left!

There are 4 versions of this game (I forgot what the first was, me bad); a cruise through the Grand Canyon, a helicopter emergency through New York and the one me and my lil’ brother had was something you make smoke to write letters in the sky with.

Like I said, steering this damn hell of a machine (virtual machine, what’s more!) is nothing like making donuts on the grass with your car. I was trying to make an ‘A’, which either ended up as ‘O’s or swiggly lines that showed nothing but chart my fail attempts as an ‘A’.

So if you’re thinking of going for that Milo cereal with the CD airplane in it, you don’t expect some easy how-to-fly manual (I swear this thing needs a real lessen terbang).

So just enjoy yourself and might as well bring out your artistic creations. Soft of...

Look! I made a tapeworm!

Look! I made a large intestine!

Look! This is tapeworm going through large intestine!


Random Jumble from My Photo File

Gosh, how long have I been in school? I starting to forget, (actually, I rather forget) just really need to get the work done and stop think of how hard it was to do them. Kind of a 3rd world mentality but no matter how tall we can make our twin towers or how far out of space we can wave our flag, we still need to do a lot to improve the more basic aspects like roadways, medical facilities and stop-giving-free-water-to-Singapore.

Sorry, election jitters ran over me like a truck. It’ll be my first time voting and I have no idea how to start, where to start, to decide the right choice. Personally, I’m not too picky; just get someone to reduce petrol prices.

Bah, the country’s not the only one trying to pimp-their-infrastructure. My school’s riding on the wave of change as well.

This big room used to be the library.

Well at least on the wave of food aroma. Yup, now we have a Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism Management. As if the deans here need to be fed any more. I’m not sure what they cook in there but me guessing it has something to do with the littlest café that opened just next door (serving coffee and cakes, I’ll check it out later).

FHTM students have to wear UNIFORMS?

So now on one side of the building is the well-dressed, white-coated, clean-looking FHTM students while on the other side of the building (and I kid you not) are the sloppy, torn jeans, ripped bags, dark-eyed, messy-haired FIT students.

Gosh, this is going to be a fun 2008. *evil wink*

Dark, dark road.

I wasn’t kidding back in my entry Maybe a Flashlight to Get to My Car? that I go home late at night. Granted, it’s not as deep a darkness as some city alleyways but this route give a clear shot right towards the LDP road. I’m always careful here and as you can see, any of these dark parked cars can be the (as read in SMS!) ‘Girls! Pls watch out 4 a grey wira aeroback. Btwin 2-5 malay guys, age late 20s-early 30s. Kes samun & pukul around ampang, pj, dsara & bngsr. Aim & attack wmen driving alone @ nite. 2 cases reported oready. PLS TAKE CARE!’

Just because SMS aren’t always accurate doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be wary when walking at night.

This guy will have trouble if he wants to turn right!

Other than bullies, Malaysian roads have quite an interesting array of road monkeys. I’ve captured this one on the Kota Damansara road last year (forgot to put it in older post-lar...). Possibly going to a recycling centre, me thinks.

Hairy, peeping Tom!

Speaking of monkeys, heh. This was also in the last-year folder. Some primate left the jungle and never went back in it. His fellow ate all the curry leaves on my Mom’s curry tree and practically pooped on the neighbour’s windows. But as you can see the neighbourhood kids adored him.

Tiny thing, isn’t he?

See how he charms the kids? Our local politicians could learn a thing or two from him in the coming elections. Or maybe he was just around the neighbourhood because Mak was experimenting in the kitchen again... Maybe I could recommeded her an FHTM healthy-cooking course for a semester?

I don't know what this is (fried chicken, potatoes, spinach and carrots) and it taste only as ... good... as it looks.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Spoken in Anger

J. M. Coetzee, a renowned South African author, once said, “Truth is not spoken in anger. Truth is spoken, if it ever comes to be spoken, in love.

I disagree.

Anger is a strong emotion linked with thoughts such as dissent, denial and self-control. It is a survivalist thinking to express anger and thus, I believe some of the most truthful words uttered are spoken from anger

Truthful, hurtful words.

No matter how spontaneous it seems, angry words have more truth, revelations about the speaker, than any other emotions which words are expressed with. A man who is disappointed with his subordinates reveals his lack of trust, when spoken in anger.

Spoken with regret, not of his words, but of having had to say those words.

Most people don’t understand the lingering effects of communication. What you say, what they say, impacts human perceptions to the outside environment. How we think, what we think and... innermost thoughts revealed by a moment of outburst.

At times, their expression would fall and excuse themselves, saying things like, “I didn’t mean it”. I wonder, if they didn’t mean it, why did they speak it? And if they spoke without meaning, what has this anger been worth for?

No rational words is ever said in carelessness.

A time not so long ago, my dad once told me that he regretted having children, if he had known that two of them would turn out the way they did. The first had wasted his foreign university money and only now steadily rebuilding his future and the third child... was me.

He never said or acted that he was sorry he had uttered them. And I have since washed my hand from any effort to seek his pride in me.

Some of those who spoken quickly without repent don’t apologize for their words. Merely regret accidentally revealing their true feelings.

Such as in the after-effects of obsessive anger, we can be doomed to recall painful words every time paths are crossed. Either familial disagreements, relationship break-up, employer-to-employee arguments, even political debate.

A Chinese proverb said this;
Not the fastest horse can catch a word spoken in anger.

Truthful, hurtful or both, whatever our thoughts reveal, spoken through words and coloured by anger, should never be said lightly.

Corrupt a Wish

Don’t you always wish for something you can’t have? Me and a billion people in the world. Whenever I’m at risk of day-dreaming myself away to near-unforgivable accidents (like slamming on car brakes or trying to impress a crush), a good does of reality check gets me back to focus.

Haha, of course, checking authenticity of reality doesn’t always count in getting back to authentic reality.Just to remind myself to stop day-dreaming and get back to work.

Recently, I’ve been day-dreaming a hell of a lot, need to think anti-dreaming thoughts. Here’s Brainy and Baddie to show you what I mean.

: I wish I could get a double cheeseburger.

: Granted, but your double cheeseburger is made out of worms, artificial cheese and, even worse... TOFU!

: I wish this homework project will write itself.

: Granted, but it also creates a virus that mutates into a dog. Now let’s see if you can explain that your Dog.EXE ate your Homework.DOC.

: I wish I could find my misplaced my Touch n’ Go card.

: Granted, but you can’t reach it because some fellow with a Malaya University jacket (you damn well know who you are *grrrr...*) is currently using it to take his girlfriend on an LRT cruise.

: I wish I could convert Lara Fabian’s No Big Deal video file into an MP4 file or an MP3 file.

: Granted, but all the circus ghost freaks in that video now haunts your Sony Ericsson phone, making ghostly wails every time your mother calls.

: I wish I could play a guitar like Santana.

: Granted, but now Santana sues you for identity theft.

: I wish someday my prince would come.

: Granted, but he also bring his mother, sister, uncles and aunties and cousins to the 3rd degree. And they all want to live in your cramped castle. Urg...

: I wish I could go to the Nuffnang Pajamas Party.

: Granted, but you’ll be struck with an incurable fear of the dark and could no longer go out after 7pm without going insane.

: I wish I have a way to actually get these wishes granted without them getting corrupted.

: Granted, but then you’ll be back to square one; day-dreaming away to near-incomplete jobs not-so-well done.

Helpful, aren’t they, these two?

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