Daily Log #140

I’m feeling very restless and just didn’t know what to talk about in this log but it had to be done. There’s just so much feelings going on inside of me that I’m having trouble articulating. Regardless, I decided to write them down even though it may not be a close representation of what is actually going on.

The first thing that came to mind is how I feel about work tomorrow. You see, despite spending three-quarter of the week at home and away from work, I still didn’t feel like going back to work tomorrow. The amount of WhatsApp messages I’ve seen over the week is making me “stress” even though some of the things mentioned has nothing to do with me but I have an inkling that those issues will indirectly affect me. The most dominant feeling that I can determine is dread. It’s weaved into my whole body right now and it’s making me depressed.

I have also been thinking about what I would do next if I quit software development and it made me realised there was no answer.

Yes, I talked about wanting to make writing my full time job but it turns out I’m no where when it comes to non-fiction writing. Other than my own life, there was nothing I could think of to write about. Even when it comes to fiction writing, I’m nowhere. And I still need to pay the bills, which means I need to keep going back to doing the one thing that I know how to do. That’s writing code.

But if I’m being honest with myself, I admit that it’s my laziness that is the cause of everything. I just didn’t want to put in the work (e.g. think of a word to write about, find a topic to write about and do the research) and tend to give up way too early into the game or process.

Maybe I just shouldn’t attempt to do so many things at one go. Or maybe it’s because I have a backup plan and that’s my current job. It’s still feeding me and psychologically preventing me from doing the work…

I was suddenly overwhelmed feeling sleepy that a nap was in order. After waking up, I actually felt much better but now I’m afraid it will affect my sleep tonight.

Oh, I have also been putting in fifteen minutes to learn common German phrases and idioms. As part of learning, I wrote them down in the notebook bought yesterday, added my own description of what I understood and attempted to pronounce the phrases. And it was pretty awkward.

Even as I write, I’m still feeling sleepy and wanted to go back to sleep.

Daily Log #139

I’m struggling with my decision for some reason about my purchase of this new MacBook. I know it’s really contradictory considering that the machine is exactly what I wanted with its bigger screen, more powerful processor, more RAM and great speakers. The space grey look is just great. I know it’s something that could definitely served as the desktop replacement for at least a few years and something I can bring on the go as part of my minimalistic lifestyle. Typical Apple computer can last 3 to 4 years before needing replacement due to slow performance or expensive repairs. So it’s definitely worth the amount of money. It’s only $4 a day over 3 years of use. And the value I extract out of it is way more than that.

But at the same time, the price tag of the machine meant my savings account is missing a few thousand dollars, money that could put me closer to going for a mini-retirement by mid-2019. Now I need to spend the next few months savings a lot of money to put back what I have taken out. Not the mention the credit card bill I need to pay back next month. By my estimation, it’s gonna be about 3,500 dollars at least. Not that I can’t afford it. It just…just not sitting well.

I hope to recoup some of those money by waiting for the repair of the 13inch MacBook Pro to complete so that I can sell it away afterwards. Yes, I sent it in today (20 Oct 2018) to the authorised Apple service provider and was told to expect it in 3 to 5 working days. Weekends and public holiday not included. Data corruption or problem is expected but I not that worried because I do have backups and have already pulled out what I needed. And the FileVault 2 disk encryption should keep my data safe from prying eyes since I didn’t give the service person my password.

I did also went searching for a screen protector and keyboard cover my MacBook Pro but hasn’t had much luck since I wanted glossy screen protector and a really thin keyboard cover to protect my machine from spills since there’s always water near me. By that I mean cups and I’m a rather clumsy person.

Regardless, I did manage to buy something else. It is an adapter that can connect via USB-C and give me a HDMI port, a VGA port, USB 3.1, and ethernet. That thing is also expensive, costing me $180. After I bought it, I suddenly remembered about me having an Apple TV that I could use to project my Mac display to a secondary display. But I swatted that idea away quick since my Apple TV is an older model that doesn’t support 2560×1440 resolution. So if I didn’t get that adapter, my Dell U2717D monitor will sit there unused except by my Xbox. And two, I normally dislike using wireless for computer because it could interfere with me using the AirPods, not to mention slow connection. Well, I do have a 1Gbps fibre broadband and if I’m not using wired connection, chances are I’m not using fully what I paid for.

And earlier on when I was out, I went to get myself a new paper-based notebook…not really a notebook but rather a journal-type booklet where I can jot down ideas and topics. Originally, I wanted to use it to store all my password in a easy to access manner but then I realised it would be a security risk although it’s convenient since I don’t need to find a multi-platform, non-cloud password manager app that I can use. I will evaluate again and maybe use it for password storage again…

I figured out how I will write down my password on that notebook that isn’t cleartext. It will be in cipher text that I can reverse based on the hints I will scatter throughout the book.

Daily Log #138

I just didn’t know how this could happen as the amount of time spent in front of a computer is less than two hours and yet neck and shoulder pain is all I feel. I didn’t get to use my computer a lot due to the ongoing renovation at my house. I was “busy” patrolling my house as the workers and contractors did their work. That’s my paranoia at its best.

Anyway, the renovation has been ongoing for the past week but I wasn’t at home to experience it on Monday and Tuesday. There was no need for me to take time off from work as my younger sister didn’t have any lessons and could stay at home with my mom. I only started staying at home from Wednesday onwards. In fact, the Wednesday and Thursday stay at home was unintentional as my initial plan is that I apply for paid leave for Friday only. But my depression, started since Sunday (14 October), is already becoming unmanageable. Every little thing at work was setting me off. And if I continue to go to work, I will probably snap at somebody that I shouldn’t or messed up my work. So on Tuesday night, I went to see the doctor and told him how I feel, including the fact that I was diagnosed with depression before. He gave me two days of medical leave by issuing me what we call Medical Certificates.

My mood has been going up and down throughout the time I was home because of the sheer amount of things going on at home. The noise. The paranoia that I am experiencing due to strangers walking around in my house. The strong desire to do something but watching the workers do their thing. Came to realise my previous macbook had a bulging battery and needed repairs ASAP. And spending SG$4407 on getting a new 2018 15 inch MacBook Pro as replacement since I only have one computer for my personal use at home. Then at the same time, the WhatsApp group for work is going off like crazy due to an important demonstration of a specific feature to the customer and there were a lot of issues with the data provisioning. And the reason for that? The requirements continues to change even when there is a demo slanted for the next day.

Just argh!!!

And honestly, despite me not being able to catch up with my previous job’s demand and it sent me into moderate depression that took me a month to get over, I can appreciate why my ex-boss continued to push us so hard on chasing the customer for stuff and get the preparation done right using different environment, starting from the lab. At my current job, everything is done in a hazard manner despite the management’s constant call for quality output. They aren’t even following through the processes and tell the customer to hold off.

Even on Friday, the WhatsApp groups keep going off with lots of messages about bugs, requirements, demands, etc. Meanwhile at home, we had to deal with the trouble of no toilet or water to use. The contractor cut off the water supply so that he could install new pipes in the bathroom/toilet beside the Master Bedroom. Even using the washing machine was impossible as the water pipe to the kitchen was cut off by the contractor as they needed to remove all the pipes that was in the shared bathroom/toilet. It was so that next Monday, the person doing the tiles can put down waterproofing screed and get ready to put on new tiles.

After the toilet was done, my family and I spend the whole evening cleaning up. It was dusty as hell. Even after sweeping the floors thrice and mopping the floor twice, the floor still feels very sandy. By the time we went for dinner, it was already 9pm.

And by then I’m tired as hell…

Ok, enough ranting.

I want to talk about my feelings about the new MacBook Pro I got.

Maybe it’s the “new” feeling, but as of this moment, I truly love my new MacBook because of the size, the power underneath, the display, and the keyboard. Despite the dangers of having dust trapped underneath the keyboard, I love it due to the short travel but clicky feel. That TouchBar is also useful in a way that allow me to access certain functions quicker than using shortcut keys. Like you know locking my computer. The speakers is also heavenly with great bass and mid-range as well as being louder without the sound becoming distorted.

With that, I need to head down to the Authorised Apple Service Center on Sunday and pass them my old macbook to repair. I have already deleted all the sensitive documents and I just need to do a final run through to make sure I transfer all the important ones over. I have also disassociated my Apple ID from that Mac by signing out, deauthorize iTunes, and delete all browser sessions. As the Mac is still under Apple Care, I really hope I don’t need to pay a lot for the repair. Otherwise, if I put it up for resale, I can’t recoup back the repair cost. If the repair cost is really too high, I may just consider just reformatting everything, reinstall MacOS Mojave, and sell it back to Apple for a small amount of money and let them decide what to do with it.

And I may consider doing that with my iPad Pro too. I really don’t see my use for it anymore. I mean I don’t really write notes on it with Apple Pencil. Hell, I haven’t even use the Pencil for almost five months. I don’t really read e-books on it either. I do use it to watch Netflix from time to time and that’s it. As for writing, yeah, I do that from time to time but not often since I got my MacBook that serve that role very well.

So… applying minimalism again? I think so.

Ok, that’s all for tonight. I need to get some rest tonight as I got an important family gathering tomorrow morning.

Daily Log #137

OH.MY.GOODNESS!

It is the first time I have ever encountered something as scary as this!

As you all know, I use a MacBook Pro as my primary driver these days after getting rid of my desktop PC. And today, after months of dealing with the MacBook’s lid not closing properly, I decided to take out the plastic shell that I had installed to protect the Mac from knocks and scratches to test if the lid will close properly. It didn’t.

On closer inspection, I realised that the chassis of the Mac is bulging around the spacebar. And without the plastic shell, letting it sit on the table gave rise to a see-sawing Mac. Press down on one side, the other side comes up.

That was when I realised the battery of my Mac is actually swollen. And it has been like that since the start of this year and probably even earlier…

You see, this Mac actually gave me problem once. A few weeks after I bought it, the logic board decided to die without warning. The Mac refuse to power up after it shut down without me noticing. And it happened at my first job back in 2016. The company allow BYOD (bring your own device) and thus I bought a Mac then. I sent the Mac for repair and it came back to me a week later.

After that, I felt like I couldn’t trust my Mac anymore and actually embark on a rigorous process of backing up my data to three different locations. As time went by, I kind of treated it like a tool and didn’t really bother to take superb good care of it.

Not wanting to have the Mac explode in front of me when I use it and since I didn’t have a second computer to use, I decided to buy a brand new Mac. This time, I went with the 15 inch, 2018 model. It’s the most expensive model you can buy from the stores without customising the hardware.

So I finally got my wish to get the new MacBook Pro as my desktop replacement. But it cost so much money that I actually felt the pain. It would take me a few months of savings to put back the money spent.

But this situation also showed me something else.

It turns out I didn’t really have a lot of data to move. My digital minimalism has reached a point where I only care about my writing projects, my synced photos from my iPhone, my password database, documents related to my insurance, banking details and the government letters, maybe some desktop wallpapers and my freelance work. Everything else, I didn’t really care. Id didn’t even bother to use any migration tools. All I needed was my Samsung T3 SSD drive to back up any additional files that I have created since September of this year and use it to transfer the files I need over to my new Mac. Everything else is in the cloud and all I needed was to download them.

It took me a few hours to get everything the way I want it. Right now, I can’t even be bother to install the virtual machine so that I can run windows on it. The initial purpose of that windows was to run SQL server for my freelance work but then Microsoft has released a linux version of their server, which I can install using Docker if I need to. But as of late, the freelance job is pretty much dead. My client no longer has anything for me to do. So there’s really no point for me to waste my hard disk space.

Thinking back, I can think of a few reasons why the battery on my Mac swell up so much.

Earlier this year, I ran Folding@home on my Mac to contribute to research. And then when I need to do programming for my client, I will start up the Virtual Machine to run Windows. And if there’s Windows update going on, it will cause the CPU utilisation to shoot up to 100%. Not only that, I had that plastic shell wrapped around my Mac to protect it from knocks and a silicon keyboard cover to protect the Mac from spills and crumps but because they are poor heat conductor, all the heat are trapped inside the machine, cooking the battery.

So at the end of it, it’s really my fault. And I hope it’s a lesson for others too. Let your computer breathe as easy as possible. Don’t block the exhausts vents, or any other places that allow quick dissipation of heat. With that, I decided not to get a keyboard cover or plastic shell for my new MacBook. I will use it as it is. I suppose scratches and dents are part everyday use.

As for the old MacBook Pro, I will reinstall MacOS and erase the disk as part of the process before sending it for repairs by an Apple authorised service center. After that, either I will sell the machine away or give it to my family members.

And right now, I’m actually pretty happy with my purchase. I really love the new keyboard despite the short travel. And it’s not that loud too. Not only that, I love the new speakers, the True Tone display and the larger screen size. The Touch Bar, well, I do use it for certain action like locking my screen or jumping straight to desktop. When it comes to volume, brightness and what nots, it’s just pretty easy to use. I just don’t think there’s any difference from the old function keys.

The only issue that I have now with the machine is that I didn’t have the right adapters for wired internet and to connect to my Dell monitor. For internet connection, I had to rely on wireless, which I’m not exactly comfortable with since I use this machine to do extremely sensitive internet transactions with the banks and government agencies. But I don’t think I want to be spending money to buy a ethernet to USB-C adapter. But for the Dell monitor, well, I guess I have no choice but to get the USB-C to display port adapter.

That’s all for today.

Resident Evil 2 Remake – Why I think it’s the best survival horror yet

The first time I played a survival horror video game was during my early teens years at somebody’s house. This somebody was one of those temporary friends you make when you are playing with other people outside at the playground, etc. And that game was Resident Evil Director’s Cut on the Phone.

That game was one that I remembered vividly where I couldn’t seem to get past the first few zombies of the game. The reason probably could be I was too young, naive, and didn’t quite understand the game mechanics.

As I got older, I got to play every single numbered Resident Evil game. Until today, I always saw the franchise as one of the best survival horror entertainment product. And the Resident Evil film series is really enjoyable, not for its survival horror element but for what it actually is: a science fiction action series that has its own take on the franchise.

The other survival horror game that I liked was Dead Space until Dead Space 3 where Electronic Arts decided to bungle up what made the first game so good. Nonetheless, I still enjoyed all the games for the reason that I want to know what happened. I wanted to know who invented the Markers that convert organics, especially humans, into necromorphs. Until today, I hope that someone decided to buy the Dead Space franchise from EA and make it good again.

But I digress. My intention is to talk about the remake of Resident Evil 2 and why I think it is survival horror done right.

The first three games of the Resident Evil series relied on fixed-camera view of the game world as we move the characters using tank control. Due to the limitation of the hardware at that time, the implementation serves its purpose of making you panic when a zombie is coming after you since you will struggle to make the character move to get away only for the camera view to change to another angle, creating a somewhat disorienting experience where you know there is an enemy coming but you may have the best view of what’s around the corner.

Then there is the audio, limited ammunition, monsters jumping out when you least expected it on the first play through and your character do move slower when injured, with the latter being found in Resident Evil 2 and 3. All those elements contributed to making you feel more weary. I do remember quietly cheering my characters to move faster as I was running away from a horde of zombies.

Then with technological improvements, Resident Evil changed to a third-person view mode, starting from Resident Evil 4. This time, the game takes on a more action-oriented style with limited ammunition and sudden appearance of enemies, either in waves or a couple, to make it slightly more “scary”. But the real selling point by then was the storyline, the characters and environment design. As least in my view.

The remaining games just kind of further improve on the third-person, over-the-shoulder view until Resident Evil 7 where it got changed into first-person mode.

During those years between Resident Evil 4 to Resident Evil 7, Dead Space served as what I would call over-the-shoulder view survival horror done right. The dark, poorly lit game world with blood all over, necromorphs jumping out at you and attacking you when you least expected it, limited ammunition and the general creepy and eerie audio all contributed to make it the true survival horror game.

Resident Evil 7 then went ahead to redefine what it is to be a survival horror game by making you only able to see what’s in front of you with its first-person mode. But I personally found it to be nauseating because it was too close to the action. I didn’t quite enjoy that game

Then came Resident Evil 2 remake and there are a few reasons why I think it’s the best survival horror game yet.

The game went with using the same over-the-shoulder view pioneered in Resident Evil 4 but this time, it looks like they took elements from Dead Space to make it the perfect survival horror game based on the various YouTube videos I have watched. The dark corridors that are sometimes claustrophobic. With the over-the-shoulder view, you just don’t really know what’s behind you or around the corner until you turn around. Then there is good use of lighting. You need to rely on a torch light to see dark areas. Enemies like the Licker could be hiding up on the ceiling. The other game that I played which uses that to good effect is The Evil Within. I had to light up certain candles, lamps and whatnot to see what’s around me. Then there’s the enemies jumping out from certain places and hunting you. The good old jump scare technique.

Second, characters can make or break a game and there are few game characters that resonates with the players. You have got Aloy in Horizon Zero Dawn that’s very well received and resonate with a lot of people. She’s a strong female character who fought against the traditions that defined the village from which she was birthed in to explore the world and understand what’s going on while still show compassion for the world around her, though she’s cold at times. Then there is Issac Clarke from Dead Space that’s memorable. And I love him because of his so call ingenuity in crafting weapons using tools used in engineering work in the game universe. He resonates with me considering that I’m a trained engineer too, though on the software side. For Resident Evil, the characters would be Leon and Claire. Unlike Jill Valentine or Chris Redfield, Leon and Claire are the more average characters in terms of skills and abilities who got thrown into an impossible situation. Over the course of the game, we get to see them grow and survive the outbreak. And that’s in the original game. Now we get to see and experience their stories in Resident Evil 2 in a different way.

Third, we get to revisit a favorite location in the Resident Evil series. Raccoon City. That’s not the say the European setting in Resident Evil 4, the Africa setting in Resident Evil 5 or the multi-nation setting in Resident Evil 6 aren’t good. For the record, I actually like the Tall Oak or Lanshiang part of the game. I always love a good survival horror setting set in a metropolitan area or a place where ordinary people have to live their lives only to die from a disaster. Just like Titan Station in Dead Space 2. It’s just a personal thing. I’m morbid that way. That’s why going back to Raccoon City where it all started is a great thing in my view. And I believe there’s more story to tell there. I actually wish there are more single-player, numbered Resident Evil game set in Raccoon City to show the outbreak from a different perspective. And no don’t cite Resident Evil outbreak 1 and 2. I hated those games because they are so lacking in focus with so many characters, short missions and poor story telling.

The fourth thing is the inventory management system. I think it’s what made survival horror survival horror. And I dare say it’s more realistic. Put it this way, short of having a large haversack on your back, there’s just no way for a person to carry so much stuff. And even if you do, you won’t be nimble enough to move around zombies. In Dead Space, you also got limited space to carry your items. It makes you think about what to bring as you go through the game and then make you backtrack to a “safe location” to retrieve something if you forget it. The journey back sometimes is dangerous since enemies that weren’t there before may just appear. It adds a little bit of tension there.

The fifth reason is the limited resources. In a major disaster, I really don’t think you would be able to find caches of bullets lying around unless you raid an armory before it all began. Even so if you get to raid an armory, you will eventually run out of ammunition. So having you conserve your ammunition by having you decide what you shoot at or run is a great game mechanics. The Evil Within 1 and 2 are the two games that does a great job at this. It can contribute to creating a sense of helplessness when you run out of ammunition or health kits.

Finally, there just isn’t another survival horror game coming out anytime soon that could fill the shoes of Resident Evil. I have personally completed The Evil Within 2 and loved that game. Until the next The Evil Within or someone proceed to make Dead Space 4 the way it is supposed to be, Resident Evil is just the best-in-class survival horror game.

And I digress bit for a rant. Seriously, I just disagree with EA’s stance that they need to change a game so much to cater to a diverse market to make the most money and then killing the franchise just because it didn’t meet sales expectation. To me, it’s just not the right way to go. We have seen enough success stories where companies continue to build their niche products so that it is the best in class product and people will buy.

Now, I’m just really pumped about the game and looking forward to get it when it’s out.

Daily Log #136

By the typical metrics used to define how successful a writer is, I probably failed miserably.

Do you know that of all the posts I have put up on Medium, 50% of them have fewer than 5 views? And even lesser amount of posts received any claps.

Seeing those stats is definitely depressing. It led me to question myself about the ROI of posting anything there from time to time.

But you see, posting there doesn’t take up a lot of my time. Only certain writings are placed there and those are the same ones that I have already put up here on WordPress. And for one, daily logs don’t go there because it just isn’t the right platform. At least from how I see it.

There are two purposes for me to post there.

The first is to understanding what the market wants. Or at least attempt to understand. To me, Medium is like the platform for “professional” writers and WordPress is like a playground. But that’s just my perspective. I’m sure there are other people who made use of WordPress for professional writings.

The second is to expose myself out there to make myself known.

Yet, the funny thing is, I don’t put my daily log there. With Daily Log, I can pretty much swarm the platform with at least one post every two days. But I’m just not comfortable with that idea considering how much I complain in my logs.

Earlier today, I shared with my friend that some of the older content I posted on Medium suddenly had claps and views. And I mentioned something about patience being the key. I told her my writing is to share my story.

She mentioned that since I’m not a commercial writer, then it’s all about the pleasure of writing. And then I will have to wait for the story or the rant to resonate with someone.

However, I also mentioned that I don’t feel like I deserve the title of “writer” since I’m not commercialized. I don’t make money out of my writing. Even my fictional stories aren’t published anywhere else but here. I’m not even part of any publication.

So the conclusion I got was, your job title is something that you make money out of. Whatever label you give yourself is invalid if it doesn’t make money. It’s basically the exchange of money with skills. With that in mind, don’t call me a writer. No one pays me for my content. I still need to have a day job that make me write lines after lines of code, firefight, argue with colleagues and go for meeting to pay my bills.

And it’s depressing to even think about it that way. It’s probably one of the reasons why I came down with depression on Sunday. Having gone through it enough times, I know the symptoms. It’s almost like clockwork. And you know what? Just this year alone, I have had three depressive episodes. Three! But it’s crippling in a way. It prevent me from doing any work.

Thus, I had to go see a doctor. Then I told the doctor I’m depressed and sick of everything. He asked if I’m going to do anything stupid. I told him no. I can manage it. Just that I didn’t want to go to work. Deep down, I wanted a change in my routines. A change in my life.

He gave me two medical certificates to indicate I am unwell to work for two days. Also gave me an anti-anxiety medication that’s also a sedative and some painkillers for the aches and chills I have been feeling.

But I seriously need to re-evaluate if the company I work at is really suitable for me and ignore the opinions of others.

Ok… writing this gave me some relief and make me feel better but doesn’t change the fact I’m very tired, physically lazy but can’t really sleep well. So I will probably take the meds and go to sleep.

Daily Log #135

To write or not to write.

I spent some time contemplating whether I want to write this log with the intention to document what I was going through.

Then it got me thinking about why I started this blog more than eight years ago. It was with the intention to share my writing, my thoughts and feelings. Then over the years, I documented down my life until a spate of data breaches on multiple social media sites, websites and forums in 2016 and early 2017 that I had an account with. Those incidents got me really upset that I deleted everything with the desire to erase myself from the internet. I didn’t have a backup copy of all my writings from that period of time.

Then an incident at work in 2017 got me to start writing again, to document my life and help me reflect on what I was doing. Back then, I had trouble processing my emotions and thoughts. It was also to serve as a way to develop myself further.

Over the last few months, I have been documenting as much of my days as possible and ever since I deleted my Facebook account, I found myself devoting quality time to my writing, instead of mindlessly scrolling through the news feed.

But it didn’t stop me from wondering whether my writings will hurt my professional career. I just had this recurring thought, or should I say assumptions, that if you are an engineer or working as a professional, you are supposed to show the world this invulnerable facade and that everything is done objectively. You are not supposed to be whining, complaining or do anything of that sort.

Supposed to…

You are supposed to do this. You are supposed to want this. You are supposed to behave like this. The list goes on and on. The society one lives in has definitely created a lot of “supposed to” rules that he or she should follow. But does he or she?

The reason I asked that was because of what a friend asked me this afternoon.

You see, I was feeling extremely moody and upset, probably also extremely angry at work. Most comments by people are almost immediately seen as personal attacks even there is none.

But then, am I sure there’s none? Some people have really good poker face when they tell you, “it’s not personal” when it really is. I can’t speak for another person. For me, almost everything is personal. That’s…just how I see the world and navigate through it. It would take a lot of self-control on my part just so I’m clear-headed enough to clarify what the other party meant.

Today is not the kind of day that I will say I’m at my best.

When certain colleagues talked to me, I didn’t really reply or speak much. Including when my team lead spoke to me. Well… he did pull me aside to talk to me about what happened over the weekend and that I didn’t reply his message. I also had a sulky face. He asked if there’s anything pent up inside. I just told him no, when it’s a yes. I told him everything is great. What has happened happened. Can’t do anything about it.

After that, it was all about focusing on finishing a series of tasks so that the application can be deployed for the demo tomorrow afternoon. And there are two in two different sites. One is a user-acceptance and the other is a demonstration of a feature.

Although I don’t feel like doing any thing, I still went and do it, finishing the task to the best of my ability. Still, mistakes happened. Some bugs slips through my fingers. My fault again.

I was pretty upset then that it got me thinking that if the sun were to go out tomorrow, it probably is my fault too. At least based on how my colleagues put it across. Whether they meant it that way or not, I won’t know as I just couldn’t be bother to clarify. I know what’s my emotional state and if I am to clarify, I will probably misunderstand and cause more problem. So, I kept quiet to prevent worsening the situation or creating a situation when there’s none in the first place.

There were also a few conversations I had with my friends over WhatsApp that resulted in conflicted feelings. They mentioned two things that are valid. One is, I should stay on and develop thicker skin. Another few is saying I should just follow my heart. If it says quit, quit. Otherwise, stay.

I have written the resignation letter but I’m still holding on to it because of fear. I know there’s enough funds for me to go without a job for two or three months and still pay off my debts. I know I wanted a sabbatical so that I can focus on writing. But at the same time, I’m also scared of what’s next. I really don’t know what I do next, considering that software development, or tech jobs in general, have pretty much make me sick.

And that led me to think of a conversation I had with my friend. She asked what do I actually want.

I could summarize what I want as this: Continue to be this sensitive guy who can be moved by the arts and enjoy great creation who prefer a slower pace of life.

The rational mind knows being sensitive and working in a “engineering” company don’t mix. Usually, it’s the sensitive that will die first. Some people may disagree. But my personal experience tell me my sensitive hasn’t help me in anyway except for when doing or working on something that needs my “love”. Firefighting at work is not my cup of tea. Climbing the corporate ladder is not my cup of tea. Managing people is not my cup of tea.

So, I will need some time to figure out what I can do next. I will still hold onto the resignation letter. As all the required content are there, I can just update the last working day and send it out. It saves me from spending time to draft the letter when I need it the most. Who knows, maybe I will submit the letter later this week or end of the month. It depends on whether I finally have enough of the culture at my current work place.

I will end this log here as I started dozing off as I write this. I’m that tired. Or maybe I’m just depressed. Not a full blown depression but it definitely feels like it. I will sleep and see if it helps.

The Tainted Forbidden Love – Chapter 2

Shane lived in a rich suburbs called Rosepond some four kilometers east from the school. He had to avoid the most desolated part of Dunk and sticked to lighted areas as he made his way to the bus stop. He didn’t like coming here but he didn’t hate coming here either. The state the town was in brought forth the feeling of euphoria because there were people way less fortunate than he was while the threat of being attacked by some lowlife made him feel alive, just like how he felt on the court.

The late evening bus came just shortly after seven and he took it to the bus station just on the outskirts of the main city, Pinepond. He transferred to another bus that would take him directly to the main road near his house. He could have called either of his parents to pick him up but he didn’t want them to know he frequented Dunk or was carrying something he shouldn’t have. Besides, they were out of town and in the city for work purpose and won’t be back until tomorrow night or the following night, depending what extracurricular activities his parents wanted to do in the city.

The journey home took an hour. When he alighted at the bus stop, he saw a girl sitting on one of the benches. It looked as though she was waiting for something. He recognized her almost immediately when she looked up and their eyes met. Shane started feeling both guilty and surprised.

“Shane, where have you been? I have been waiting for you for the last hour.”

“I’m so sorry, Shirley. I had to get something for us. I promise you, the wait is worth it.”

“If you say so. Now can we go to your house?” Shirley asked as she wrapped her arms around her body and looked distressed.

Both of them walked beside each other, spending the next ten minutes walking and chatting until they arrived at the side gate leading to Shane’s house.

His house was one of the larger ones in the town with three stories. It had eight bedrooms and four bathrooms on the upper levels. The ground level hosted the family room that doubled as living room, a dinning room, a kitchen and one bathroom. Attached to the side of the house was a garage big enough to hold two SUVs. The house also had a basement that his dad converted into a wine cellar where some of the best wines were kept. The front of the house was a garden maintained to perfection by a team of gardeners with a roundabout for vehicles to drop off passengers. A yard behind the house hosted a custom-designed olympic-sized swimming pool. Surrounding the house was a concrete wall eight inches thick with state-of-the-art security system designed to keep people out.

Shane punched in his own key code on the keypad beside the gate before scanning his right iris at the scanner. The gate unlocked a moment later with a click sound. He led Shirley through first before closing the gate. He waited for the lock to engage before moving on. They walked through the garden path and enjoyed the smell of roses planted on the side.

A sexless android butler with a fake tuxedo walked up and greeted Shane as they stepped through the front door of the house. Behind the android was a large hallway that had a spiral staircase to the far left. There were three arch doorways leading away from the hall. One located beside the staircase led to the kitchen while two other arch doorways to their left and right lead to the family room and dinning room respectively.

“I will be up in my room with Miss Shirley here. I wish not to be disturbed. Do give me a warning if my parents ever get home early.”

“As you wish,” the butler replied with its usual monotonous voice before moving to the living room.

Shane grabbed on to Shirley’s hand and led her up the spiral stairs until they reached the third floor. They turned to the left and made their way to the first room on the right.

Upon opening the door, the room no doubt belonged to sporty type of guy. There were posters of great basketball players on the walls. The only desk in the room was messy with books and papers everywhere. Dirty laundry piled up high in the bottom right hand corner of the room. The king size bed was unmade.

Shirley beelined towards the bed as she took off her jacket and tossed it to side. She sat on the edge of the bed and faced the door. Shane dropped his bag on the floor and took off his sweater and t-shirt, tossing them onto the top of his bag before taking out the packet from his pocket and waved it in the air with a smile, “That’s what I meant.”

She knew what Shane had in his hand and grinned, “Now we are talking.”

He tossed the packet over to her while he went to get two piece of paper from the desk. He rolled one of them into a straw. He went over and sat facing Shirley, placed the flat piece of paper on the bed for her to pour content from the packet. He went first, breathing in almost half of those powders through the rolled paper. Shirley went next, taking in the remainder.

It didn’t take long for the twenty-second century version of unisex viagra to take effect, heightening their senses to a level where they could smell each other’s pheromone, and raised their sex drive.

“Dim the lights for sex,” Shane called out and the smart home system dimmed the lights in the room according to the sex preset. Now they could just barely see each other’s faces and body.

They began making out. A couple of minutes in, Shirley took off her black blouse and revealed a pair of red bras. Then they were kissing each other all over the neck and chest. Moments later, Shirley’s bras came off and tossed aside. She laid down as Shane got down to suck those pink nipples as he massaged her breasts with his veiny hands. She moaned uncontrollably and gripped his back so tight that it hurt. But it only made him want some more. He undid his belt and pushed down his pants and boxers in a single action to his knees, showcasing a seven-inch thick erected penis pointing straight up. As though on cue, she took off her skirt-pants and pants before lying back down again, spreading her legs wide to reveal a clean shaven and wet vulva. She didn’t even wear panties.

He bent over and continued to suck her nipples while he pushed two fingers into her vagina and rubbed the insides until his hands were full of female secretions. The combined attacks sent incredulous amount of information up her viagra-enhanced nerves making her quiver with cries of astonishment. Whatever brief moments of consciousness she had, she took that hard penis and stroked it, focusing her thumb on the frenulum. She knew how sensitive an uncircumcised cock was. He too moaned and quivered while he continued to stimulate her breasts and vagina.

He switched up the act, now pushing his penis into her vagina and made her moan. He combined thrusting actions with massages of her breast with the occasional sucking and licking. It went on for what seemed to be forever until they both reached orgasm at the same time. Ropes of warm semen went deep into her vagina, helped by the contracting muscles.

But neither of them were done yet.

They went on a few more rounds of intense sex until the drug wore off. By then, both of them were completely exhausted. He laid on top of Shirley with his penis still inside, now too raw and painful to pull out. He buried his face between her breast. Before long, both of them fell into deep sleep and didn’t wake up until it was noon. Lucky for them, there was no school on a Saturday.

***

Dexter got up of his own accord rather early in the morning but didn’t quite know why. It was a Saturday and he could sleep in. His mom definitely won’t mind because she won’t be in. She would be at the nearby convenience store helping to stock up the shelves. His father would be out at the shipyard working, at least that was what initially he thought until there was pounding of his bedroom door. His dad was home. Judging from that pounding, he wanted…no…needed something.

“Dex! Dex! Time to wake up! I’m hungry!”

He leapt off his bed and almost ran towards the door, “I’m coming!” Once there, he undid the lock in the quietest manner possible and opened the door. His dad, stepdad to be precise, was standing there with a bottle of beer in his hand and without his shirt. He had sloping shoulders and sagging man breasts. His eyes were half-closed and had grey stubble that spanned his lower jaw. Like most poor men around the planet who relied on alcohol to get through his day, he had a huge belly that if Dexter were to curl up into a ball, he could probably fit in.

His dad, Sam, took the chance to admire his stepson who was only wearing a pair of boxers and sporting an erection. If not for his mop of hair and a tad scrawny, Sam found him to be a handsome lad.

“I will make you breakfast,” Dexter said nonchalantly as he walked past Sam, walking to the kitchen in a measured manner. His dad followed closely behind moments later.

While he went about preparing breakfast, his dad sat by the dinning table and drank from his bottle. He knew Sam was watching him intently but he learnt to ignore and focus on the task at hand.

Just as he was about done with cooking, he felt his dad standing close behind, drinking the last sip from the bottle. Knowing what would happen next, “I don’t want any accidents. Let me turn off the stove and serve this.” He waited for a brief moment before turning off the stove and put the pancakes on the plate he had placed beside the stove. He placed the pan in the sink and rinsed it with cold water for a brief moment.

Dexter stood by the sink and waited.

He heard the sound of glass touching the marble surface of the kitchen counter and felt the air behind him shifted. The wooden floor panels creaked as something heavy moved about on them. Large arms wrapped came from behind, wrapping him up like a python around its prey. One hand caressed his naked chest slowly moving down to his abdomen while the other reached down to squeeze his private parts through his boxers.

Sam’s fat tummy ensured that Dexter couldn’t get out of the embrace. Not that he even want to try. The last time he tried, a slap went across his face that sent him to the floor, landing on his side. His dad fucked him even harder until his butt bled. His face was swollen for the next three days and could barely eat. He was lucky he didn’t lose his hearing or teeth. This time, he let the ordeal run its course, for his own sake.

The caressing stopped and one hand was on his shoulder tugging to get him to turn around. He did. Sam’s face came closer and started kissing him all over the face, leaving behind a trail of alcoholic breath. Dexter found himself lifted into the air and boxers pulled off. The next thing he knew, he’s on the dinning table seated. Sam’s mouth were all over his upper body while the hands were all over his lower body and groin.

Sam undid his belt and took off his loose work jeans and undergarment in one fell swoop, revealing a hairy bottom half and a huge, hard eight inch penis.

Dexter swallowed a lump of saliva. He was scared but powerless. With hands around his shoulders, Sam gave him a light nudge and Dexter lowered his body as commanded until he was laying on the table. He stared at the grey ceiling above, trying very hard not to think about what’s next.

Sam took Dexter’s legs, spread them apart and slung them over his shoulders. Dexter started quivering. His heart pounded so hard that it almost came out of his body. He wished it did. At least he would be dead and not have to deal with this crap anymore.

The moment that huge penis entered him without any kind of lubrication was excruciating. Sam wasn’t being gentle about it either. He yelped.

“Good! You think I don’t know you have been stealing from me? This is your punishment,” Sam yawped and started thrusting. The table shook and creaked with each motion. Dexter’s whimpers were barely noticeable.

The pain gradually went away. It became rather pleasurable. He allowed his mind to wander while Sam did his thing. After it was over, Dexter got off the table, collected his boxers and went back to his room. He spent the next half an hour scrubbing himself in the bathroom to wash away the stench and bodily fluids his stepdad left on him. As he started scrubbing his private parts, he started sobbing. He felt a wave of weakness hit him and he dropped to the floor, curling up into a ball, and let the warm water ran its course through his body.

He didn’t mind being Shane’s punching bag every now and then or even being forced to go hungry because his family ran out of money. He didn’t mind to have to steal drugs from his father’s stash and risk his life for Shane. He didn’t mind not having friends at school. But what his stepdad did and had been doing for the past three years to him was unbearable, no matter how well he prepared himself. His mom knew about the abuse but could do nothing about it. He too knew there was nothing else he could do. They both needed the money Sam provide with his shipyard job. It wasn’t much but combined with what his mom made working as a store assistant, they could scrimp by.

He wasn’t sure how long he was in the shower curled up as a ball. The next thing he knew was the water stopped running. Soft and small hands were on his shoulders, shaking him. He looked up to see a familiar face.

“Mom?”

Hayley responded with a soft spoken voice, “I’m sorry, baby. I came home as fast as I could once I knew Sam was home. Now let’s get you dry.”

Dexter started crying, “I’m not done. He left his sperms inside of me. I need to get it out.” He tried to stand but slipped. She caught and stabilized him. He tried to turn on the showers again but stopped when she embraced him.

“There’s nothing you can do,” she caressed her son’s wet hair and kissed him on the forehead. “But you will fall sick if you don’t dry up properly.”

He whimpered and nodded.

She helped her son out, who had some trouble walking and grabbed the towel. They stopped beside the bed and she started toweling him dry. He offered no resistance and stood like a log. She took out a set of fresh, recently bought set of clothes from the wardrobe and laid them out on the bed.

Dexter looked at the new clothes on the bed then at his mom with a puzzled look.

“Baby, the last thing you need is to stay in this house. It’s Saturday. You should be out.”

He went over and started putting on his clothes. He was wobbling when he was pulling up his pants that Hayley had to step in to make sure he didn’t fall over.

“Looking all nice and handsome,” Hayley smiled. “Wait for me while I changed out of these wet clothes.”

“What about dad?” he asked the moment she opened the door.

“Don’t need to worry about him. He’s already gone when I came back.” She was out the door and it closed behind her.

Dexter went out of his room, albeit with a limp because his butt was still sore from the ordeal. He stood outside his parents’ room, which was directly opposite his, to wait for his mom to finish. When she was done, they strolled across the living room towards the front door. The kitchen was on their left when they walked past it. He stopped for a moment to look at the table where it all happened. He quivered with anger and his fists tightened till the veins were visible.

Recognizing what just happened, she pulled him close with an arm around his left shoulder and whispered, ”Baby, it’s over. It’s in the past. We should get going.”

It took several gentle tugging before Dexter started moving again and followed his mom out the door.

 

The mall in the city was the furthest he ever went with his mom. There were only three occasions in his life they would be here: when it was his birthday, when his mom earned extra money from sex, and after he was fucked by his dad.

He loved the mall with all the colorful holo-advertisements and store signs. Those always reminded him how great it was to be alive. There were people from all walks of life roaming about with cheerful faces. There were the occasional cries from children who didn’t get what they wanted. There were countless families too. At times, Dexter envied them, especially the kids who had great and loving parents. But he knew he would never have that. It was too late for him. All that matters was he’s here and alive with his mom. Despite all her flaws, she did her best she could to ensure her son could survive and be someone better than she ever could.

They walked around the mall window shopping until they came across a fancy Japanese restaurant on the third floor that served authentic and fresh sushis instead of the typical 3D-printed stuff found in other cheaper stores. Dexter looked at the storefront, bit his lips together, and walked away only to feel a hand tugging at his sweater. He turned around to see his mom smiling.

“I know you love sushis. Let’s eat here for lunch.”

Dexter frowned, “Mom, we can’t afford it. We can have something cheaper.”

“Oh baby. I made quite a lot of money this month. It’s enough to last us for three months straight. And I found a better paying job. Just don’t tell your dad.”

He went wide-eyed and his jaw dropped, “What did you do?”

Hayley narrowed her eyes with a sheepish smile, “It’s nothing you need to be concern with. Come on, let’s go in.”

One of the restaurant’s staff standing by the counter overlooking the entrance, an android designed as a female dressed in traditional kimono, bowed and greeted, “Irasshaimase”

They nodded and went in. The inside of the restaurant was spacious with original Japanese decor. Even though it was lunch time, there weren’t many customers in the store judging from the amount of empty tables. They suspected it had to do with the price tag.

Another restaurant staff, this time a human, came over, “what table would you like? Western or chabudai?”

“Western,” Hayley responded without thinking. Neither of them could tolerate sitting on a zabuton or tatami. The staff guided both of them their table deep in the restaurant by the window, offering them a view of the city outside.

Dexter browsed through the food menu on the ordering tablet by the side of table. Just by looking, his mouth was watery until some of his saliva landed on the table. His mom had to tap his foot underneath the table and point to the spot on the table where his saliva landed.

His face turned red and started wiping away the wet spot with the sleeve of his sweater. He went back looking at the menu. It didn’t take long for him to add a few of the sushis and a plate of Japanese curry with Tonkatsu and rice to the ordering cart. He handed the tablet to his mom who ordered a bowl of hot Udon noodles in light brown broth with aburaage and kamaboko.

After they had their fill, the bill came out to be two hundred dollars, bulk of which came from the sushis which had fresh sashimi as topping. Dexter felt guilty over having ate so much and was visibly upset when his mom patted him on the back of his head with a smile that made him feel better.

They spent the next few hours walking around the mall, mostly just window shopping. They did stop by some stores to get some new clothes and kitchenwares to replace some of the older stuff they had at home. They also got some perishable food, snacks and drinks.

It was already evening when they got on the bus and went home. With the amount of things they had with them when they alighted at the bus stop in their town, they chose to take a longer and less frequent path home, not wanting to bring any attention to themselves. When they arrived, they went to the back of the house as quiet as mouse.

“Wait here while I make sure your dad isn’t home,” Hayley said as she put down the bags she was carrying. Dexter nodded and she made her way back to the front of the house.

Hayley opened the front door and went into the house. She creeped around, hiding behind whatever walls she could find to have a peek. It became clear that Sam wasn’t home for the night. She went back out to get her son.

“Nobody’s home,” she said with a sigh of relief. “But to play it safe, let’s hide these stuff in the shack.” She picked up the bags she left on the ground and let Dexter lead the way to an unassuming patch of grass just beneath his bedroom window. The grasses weren’t real. It was a perfect illusion formed by nano-holographic projectors installed around the entrance way.

He put the bags down. His right hand went through the projection and started feeling his way around. He found the door ring and without hesitation, he placed his right thumb on a smooth surface beside the door ring. The sound of bolts releasing followed a gentle beeping sound. He yanked on the ring and lifted the door up, revealing a stair leading down. Over the years, his mom and him had been saving up whatever money they had left monthly, sometimes even going hungry for the day, just so they had enough money to build a basement, which they nicknamed ‘shack’. It was completed in secret on Dexter’s fourteenth birthday by friends of his biological father. He was involved in the project too. He programmed the projectors and implemented the biometric lock during his free time, using whatever he found in school or the nearby scrapyard.

They kept reserves of basic necessities, stacks of cash worth at least two thousand dollars and some weapons in the shack. It was also shelter of sorts. There were mattresses, an air-recycling system, a desk-size computer, and a micro-fusion power generator. On bad days, both his mom and him would hide in there until it was safe to come out. Sometimes it was just him hiding in there when Sam was outside his room pounding away in a drunken state, refusing to go away. They both knew one day they won’t need Sam anymore.

Hayley went through first with Dexter following closely. He made sure the door was closed before going deeper in as none of them wanted Sam to find out. They carried the bags to a room in the basement where they keep the food and started filling up the shelves and fridge. The clothes were next, going into the respective wardrobes. Then it was the kitchenwares.

They filled one bag with some of the older stuffs and expiring foods from the shack which they would take out to replace what they had upstairs. It was dinner time when they came out of the shack. Hayley made them pasta with tomato sauce.

Since Sam won’t be home for the rest of the night, Hayley decided to sleep in her son’s room as she wasn’t comfortable leaving him alone, especially after what he’s been through. And his bed was big enough to accommodate them both.

Dexter turned in first, stripping down to his boxers and got in bed after brushing his teeth. His mom made sure the locks on his door were in the right positions before joining him. She wrapped her right arm around his body, forming some sort of protective shield and kissed him on the cheek before slipping into deep sleep.

***

Shane was aching all over when he woke up. Somehow, his now flaccid penis was still inside Shirley who was still sleeping soundly. When he took it out, he moaned from the pain. He tried to use the toilet but it was near impossible to pee. Not with the burning sensations every time he pushed urine out his cock. His urethra suffered badly from all those ejaculates blasting out at forty kilometers an hour throughout the six sessions. It took a long time before his bladder was empty. He didn’t realize that Shirley was up and watching him pee while outside the bathroom. She wanted to use the toilet too.

He went over to the sink beside the toilet bowl to brush his teeth and rinse his mouth. Shirley lowered the seat cover and whimpered as she peed. While he was brushing his teeth, a thought struck him. He realized he had forgotten about his two cousins who were coming over in the afternoon for a video gaming session.

With mouth full of toothpaste, “Shirley, my cousins are coming over today.”

“What? Which cousins?”

“Blake and Carter.”

Shirley wanted to scream but managed to hold back with a grimace, “Blake? Shit! I need to get out of here.”

“Relax…”

“Don’t tell me to relax. If Blake sees me here with you, he will freak out and tell everyone at my school I’m slut who double time his cousin. My reputation is at stake!”

The house AI announced with a female voice and showing no regards to how Shirley felt, “Shane, your cousins are here at the gate.”

Her face turned bright red. She didn’t even clean herself, dashed out of the bathroom to put on her clothes and took her belongings. She was already gone when Shane came out of the bathroom.

Having been at the house several times, she knew where to go. She ran down the main stairs, into the kitchen and out from the door there. Once she was out, she ran across the pathway alongside the swimming pool until she went past the outhouse. A right turn, a left and then a couple more steps forward, she reached the back gate. She put on her shoes, pressed the door release button, and went out to the street. She sent Shane a private text message from her wristband computer that doubled as a communication device, telling him she’s out and safe.

Shane got the text message while he was washing his face. He went out to put on his pants before picking up his wristband computer from the table. He pressed the button on the side and the hologram of the home screen appeared beside it, showing a grid of colorful application icons. He tapped on the message icon and read what Shirley sent him. He replied with a smiley emoji followed by a ‘I love you’.

He put on the wristband computer and pulled out a shirt from his wardrobe. He gave it a good flick to shake loose any lint. A piece of folded photo fell out of the chest pocket. He bent over to pick it up and unfold it. His lips parted way the moment he saw who was on it. The memories came rushing back and he remembered how he felt. He started to remember he had secretly taken the photo, printed it out on paper and deleted all digital traces of it. He did spent several days in panic mode when he couldn’t find the photo. He was afraid someone may have pick it up and ruin his life. When nobody came forth or mentioned anything remotely close to the photo, he went on with his life.

He folded the photo and put it into a small box he took out from the drawer underneath his desk. The box was the perfect place for the photo since it also contained discarded stuffs that once belonged to the same person. This person had captured his heart the moment their eyes met. Unsure if it was right, he denied and suppressed the feelings for two years.

“Blake and Carter are in the house and waiting for you in the family room,” the AI announced.

“Tell them I will be right down,” Shane responded in a hurried manner as he put the box back into the drawer and closed it. He went out of his room, down the stairs two steps at a time and greeted his cousins in the family room. He led them up to the second floor to the converted bedroom on the east side of the house. It was where the latest holo-game console resided.

They spent hours playing games, cheering or jeering at each other depending on their progress in the games. The butler also came up several times to serve them food and drinks.

It was past midnight when they grew tired from the games and laid on the couches in the room. It didn’t take Blake and Carter long to doze off.

Shane on other hand, laid there thinking about the person from the photograph and the interactions they had. The more he thought about the recent ones made him grimaced. He came to the realization that he was the one at fault. And he didn’t love Shirley as much as he thought.

Shane didn’t know when he fell asleep after all that thinking. He woke up to the sound of his parents chatting away downstairs in the dinning room with the sound of glass clanking. He glanced at the clock on his wristband computer to see it was four in the morning.

He went downstairs to join his parents. Even though he was underage, his dad poured him a glass of wine. He took sips from the glass and started sharing what happened at school over the past week and his progress on the basketball team. However, it wasn’t a full disclosure. He remained aware enough to leave out the part where he bullied some of the students or had sex with Blake’s girlfriend, Shirley, using a prescribed drug. Parents being parents, they questioned some of the things he’d done or suggested what should have been done. But they were candid about their day in the city too, sharing all the glory details about their activities in hotel rooms.

By the time they finished the bottle, the sun was up and they were too tired to continue. They went their separate ways to their bedrooms and slept until it was almost noon.

Daily Log #134

Originally, I had plans to meet up with my friend on Friday night for a dinner and just to chat. However, issues at work got progressively worse that I had to cancel the plan, only to be told she had already paid for the restaurant.

Combine that knowledge with the amount of on-the-fly bug fixes, my mood just went down hill from there. Furthermore, I’m told by my team lead to go to work on Saturday morning to deploy fixes on the spot. I hated working on a weekend as it would take me away from doing the things I need to do to reset myself. So that news made me even more pissed.

You see, not only the features I built had bugs and quite a lot of them, the features built by my colleagues too didn’t work as well in a production environment. So we had to deploy real time fix. In the meantime, I have had another colleague who kept calling me about bug fixes for the parts she worked on. She’s not with us at the customer’s building because she’s pregnant and the place just isn’t suitable for her.

So the amount of stuff that’s going on pretty much overwhelmed me and that got me all flustered and irritated. I did definitely raised my voice during the phone call. Or when my colleagues there asked me stuff.

And the thing about the Saturday work was because of my failure to test thoroughly of a deployment I did for a laptop meant for site use by the support team.

So yeah, it’s my fault for not spending lots of effort to test everything. And I’m just not emotionally strong enough to handle multiple things at one shot… or at least in a manner I’m expected to.

And I want to add one more thing. My highly-sensitive nature is not helping me do my job well, especially when there is a need for fire fighting or work in a non-calm, controlled environment. And the lack of sleep affects me so much more that my mind simply stop working the way the job requires.

But if I’m being honest with myself, there’s something really wrong with the way my team operates. We are all out of sync and never quite gel well enough. Everyone has a different aspiration and path in life that they want to take. I for one like the chill path. Another is heading towards retirement. Another is about reducing workload. So on and so forth. Finally, the project planning and execution is just very poor. It’s no wonder that we are constantly firefighting.

And from what I have observed, it’s what my company is all about. Always in firefighting mode like it’s a good thing.

I also came across an article written by a programmer who know that he isn’t the kind of person who enjoy the fire-fighting culture typically found in tech companies like Netflix, Google or Facebook. And he also mentioned, one doesn’t need to be in that kind of culture to do their best work. It’s really about what is one looking for out of a job.

One more thing.

During my “pissed off” moments at work on Friday, I drafted my resignation letter on my phone. I know deep down this just isn’t really for me. Neither is working for a startup. So it’s a matter of updating the last day of work, putting my signature on it and sending it to my manager to officialize it.

You know what’s funny too when I mentioned I want to quit my job?

My parents and sister said I’m too soft and unable to handle life difficulties. One should continue to grind through difficulties. Well, they didn’t know I have suffered from depression before and still working to keep it at bay. They also don’t understand what is it like to be highly-sensitive and the need to live a designed life. Or at least as reasonably designed as possible given the randomness of life.

But it doesn’t change one thing.

Life is just too short to keep doing something that make you miserable and hate. And again, I go back to part of my tagline: “Live stress free.” Since it’s statistically impossible for you to be born (400 trillion to 1), why make yourself so miserable? But hey, if you enjoy living life like your ass is on fire or prefer to jump out of perfectly good airplane every week, that’s your call. It’s definitely not my cup of tea.

I rather just be reading books, watching a couple of shows, go out with friends, create something meaningful and learn new things at my own pace. For as long as I got a roof over my head and I get to consume quality food, it’s good enough for me.

You do you, I do me. I’m trying my best not to give a fuck when it comes to your comments. Parents, sibling or friends.

That remind me of something.

I tend to take a much longer time to eat, shower or to simply get ready. When my colleagues hear this, they will compare me with their kids and say their kids can do it much faster.

Well, you know what? I’m actually sad for them. It probably meant they won’t feel as intensely as I do or see the world the way I do. Or at least with the ability to pick up minute changes in my environment. Or sense other people’s negative feelings. Maybe they won’t even be able to pour their whole soul into doing that one thing the way HSPs do.

Daily Log #133

I finally decided to publish the first chapter of the novel that I have been trying to finish since Feb of this year. It’s been sitting here in my computer, never seeing the light of the day for so many months that if I didn’t take any action, it probably will never be out there in the world.

Anyway, the novel is called The Tainted Forbidden Love. It’s about two teenage boys trying survive an alien invasion and navigating through their feelings. You can read the first chapter here. I also published it on Medium here.

The novel is set as part of a science fiction series called Intertwined Fate. I have plans for multiple books to be set in it. So I guess time will have to be made for those books to be written.

There is one truth that I will also admit. The novel isn’t complete. A story thread remains unclosed and I had planned to close the thread in Chapter 4. But I procrastinated for so long because I couldn’t find the right way to close it. My perfectionist trait reared its ugly head. And that’s just one excuse. The other was that I hadn’t really been putting in the effort. I was running away from it by drowning myself with video games and doing everything else but that.

So now that the first chapter is out, I will have to finish that scene no matter what and then proceed to editing that chapter. It’s to incentivize me to finish the novel.

I will also find the time to edit Chapter 2 and put it up soon.

And you know what?

I love what I wrote and proud that I could even write a decent length short novel but I just don’t feel that this work is anywhere good. In other words, I feel that none of my works are anywhere good.

You see, I have written a couple of science fiction short stories and they are on this blog. However, because of my lack of effort in “marketing” and “sales”, my stuff isn’t out there. So I’m not getting the feedback or comments necessary to improve.

But I won’t stop. Only by writing and publishing more do I get to improve.

Also, deep down, I acknowledge that because I’m not depending on writing to pay my bills, there’s this lack of incentive to do it good although I do enjoy writing.

Shit… You know what? I just realized a mistake I made in my novel…and I’m not sure if it’s a mistake…never mind, you as the reader will decide. I have already noted it down what I thought my mistake was for my own reference.