Daily Log #70

I went out with my friend today to watch Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom at 11:00am. Before that, he and I had breakfast at a cafe call Old Town White Coffee. He went with peanut butter toast with half-boil eggs and ice milk tea while I went with Chicken Curry, Roti Prata and a cup of soy milk.

As for the movie, I quite like it, especially the Raptor named Blue. She’s really intelligent, ferocious yet knows empathy. I for one love animals which are intelligent. For example, Mynas, Crows, Dolphin, and Elephants.

After the movie, I began receiving WhatsApp messages from my team lead about needing to work tomorrow, which is a Sunday. I have to be there on site at 7.30am. Given the amount of time I need to prepare to go to work, it means I need to wake up at 5.30am. And if you are wondering what I mean by that, well, I never like rushing. I like to take my time. It helps to calm my nerves given how sensitive I am. I am doing it for my sanity.

Then I asked about whether is there any “time off” for working on the Sunday considering my contract states that I only need to work Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 6.00pm. My team said he will check and then later came back and say no.

I’m definitely not happy about it. However, I’m not irresponsible. Given how important the situation is, I’m still going to work. For myself. At least I want to be able to proudly say I went above and beyond my normal duties to myself.

But, Sunday is also a major writing day for me. It’s the day when I can put in more words to my novel. Since it will be spent at work, I will have to skip a day or I will try and bring it forward.

I have also checked with my friends and they all said the same thing. “Time off” is a given thing if you have to work on a weekend when your contract state otherwise. To me, it doesn’t really matter if the company later backtracks or what. A decision was made by management. I am not happy about it but I’m not irresponsible nor do I enjoy picking a fight. So I will do what’s best for me so as not to compromise my beliefs and values. I will leave and I am preparing the resignation letter.

So just know that if you work in Singapore, you better know your rights as an employee. Certain companies can be rather exploitative when given a chance. There are many routes to approach such situation. If you are assertive enough you can make a stand. I’m not. And it makes me extremely stressful if I try. So I will take the lower path. It’s my choice and I own it. You choose your own path.

Later tonight, I hope to bring my dad for a dinner to celebrate Father’s Day. We are looking at having crabs at a restaurant.

Daily Log #57

I skipped several days of Daily Log because I was quite busy hanging out with friends and family gatherings. Friends and family are two of the most important things in my life. Therefore I will put them first whenever humanely possible.

On Friday night, I met up with my friends from secondary school for dinner and movie. We had dinner at Sushi Tei and Deadpool 2 for movie. During dinner, we caught up with each other on things like work and life. The good thing about not having Facebook is that I’m forced to talk to my friends and share stuff. I don’t check my phone anymore to distract myself.

During the catching up session, it turns out one of my friend love money so much that he is willing to survive on just painkillers with caffeine so that he can work non-stop for seven days straight without sleep. In exchange, he earn nearly $7000 at the end of the seven days after delivering on a project. And in the day? He had a day job that pays him $5000 per month.

All I can say is, that approach just isn’t worth it. Yes, the society and our economy is cold and pragmatic. Money runs the world. But what if you drop dead from that and don’t get a chance to spend that money? His excuse was that he’s still young and he won’t die now. However, there has been cases of people as young as 13 dying of heart failure in their sleep.

For me, I’m going on the other path. I will put in the hard work but never, never at the expense of my health. I take into account my sensitivities when I do anything. If it’s time to sleep or rest or drop work completely, I will do those instead. And whoever wants to ask me to work more, I will tell the person to fuck off nicely. As a highly-sensitive person, getting into a serious fight or argument with someone is just not in me. It’s stressful too.

On Saturday morning, I went to the bank to update the name of my account so that it is in sync with my identity card. Banks, being banks, are very sensitive and particular when it comes to personal information. One wrong letter here or a change of certain things means you can’t get money out.

I also took some time in the afternoon to play Cities Skylines and I still find myself dealing with negative income. I have to look again at how my city generate income and what’s consuming so much.

Later that day, my family and I went to grandma house for a gathering with other relatives. After dinner, some quick chat, have some fun with my cousins, my family and I went home at around 10pm.

Sunday morning is another outing with a friend to catch Deadpool 2 again. Then we had lunch at our usual spot. If you are wondering why? Well, I think I mention before. It’s never about the movie. It’s about the company. Simple stuff. Simple catchup.

On the work front, I found myself rather exhausted mentally. I have had bouts of depression every other weeks or two and I could see signs of burnout too. Because of that, I decided to pull myself out of doing certain things. I am applying minimalism to my work life.

You see, because of my background, I’m doing both backend and frontend development but it’s exhausting. So I told my team leader that I don’t want to work on the backend of the application, with the exception of the identity access module because that’s something I have ownership over and is good with. He agreed but only when they actually manage to get a new hire. And nobody knows when that will be. Thus far, my company hasn’t been successful in getting the right kind of people and have trouble finding the really good ones.

If you wonder why I don’t want to work on the backend anymore, well… I’m having trouble tolerating poorly designed and written code. I’m also having trouble accepting poorly named variables, database columns, and functions that doesn’t really capture the essence of the use case or the domain in my view. I know deep down, this isn’t just some CRUD application that we are working on. So seeing those stuffs just irritates me so much that I felt like I’m a gear in a system that keep finding my gear teeth caught in some weird cloths, preventing me from gripping on to other gears or rotating properly. It slows me down so much that I couldn’t write codes fast enough.

I have only myself to blame for not being adaptable enough. Or that I am no aligned with what the team’s objective with regard to this application and that is delivering functionality as fast as possible. I know those are valid concerns but at the same time, it’s just who I am for the intolerance. I care about long-term maintenance, code readability, modularity, and zero-ambiguity in implementation. There is also the desire for form, perfection, control, and a dash of OCD coming from my core personality. So, I’m not sorry for that.

Now you see why I also love Apple and their products.

And my apologies if my Daily Log seem a little incoherent or jumping around. At least that’s how I felt about it. My only excuse is that… I’m exhausted from the constant outing and work-related stresses. Still, I’m putting it up because why not.

Daily Log #38

I read a few pages of The Shining before making my way to the mall where I met up with a friend for breakfast at Ya Kun Cafe before heading up for a movie. Now earlier on, right after I woke up, I actually had cereal and milk in order to stave off any possible hunger. For the movie, we watched Rampage.

I did enjoy the movie for it being a mindless action show. There were some funny scenes involving the Gorilla and the main character, Davis Okoye, starred by Dwayne Johnson that I found funny. In terms of story, I didn’t think too much of it because it’s an action movie. And I do appreciate the character development as well as the relationship between the characters for being not too rushed or non-existent like some show. Dark Tower specifically comes to mind.

After that we had lunch and shopped around the mall to get some toiletries and household products like detergents.

Once home, I spent sometime to draft out the this article titled Social Media – Don’t need it for news, you are only making yourself stupid before going out for a quick run. After running 3.2 kilometers and ending it with climbing up eight stories, I had a shower and went to finish up that article.

I did spend most of my late afternoon and early evening reading up articles from Halo wiki. Some of my fictional inspiration comes from it. Personally, I like that franchise quite a fair bit because of its expansive universe and science fiction genre but because it was primarily a Xbox-oriented franchise, I didn’t really play all the games. The only Halo title that I have is Halo 4, which I played and completed.

I hope the game developer actually remaster all the games for PC release so that I don’t need to get a Xbox One. Part of me felt that it won’t be minimalistic on my part if I get a brand new game console just to play a few game titles and then put it aside.

After all, look at my current collection of game consoles. I have a PS4 and PS3 there are all sitting there collecting dust as I don’t really play them. One of the reason was there aren’t any titles that I want to play and the second was lack of time. Even when I manage to find time to play, I had to be really intentional about which titles I buy.

Most of the night was spent on continuing from where I left off for my novel which was the second or third last scene (I haven’t decided yet) for Chapter 3. I put in about a thousand new words and a fifth of that came from me rewriting portions of the same scene to expand further on the descriptions and actions. I admit I’m feeling a little dry on motivation. I just don’t have that initial drive that I had when I was rushing to finish the first two chapters. The ideas aren’t flowing in.

I guess it’s a mistake on my part for not planning out what I want to write especially for the end. I only had a vague conclusion and that was it. I didn’t really have an idea about what to do in the middle-end portion—the part of the story at 75% to 95% mark.

So I will need to spend some more time thinking about it and plan it out.

Daily Log #27

I met up with a friend to watch Ready Player One at 1.15pm.

However, because of poor scheduling on my part, I had my breakfast at 11pm and was meeting my friend for lunch at 12pm. So naturally, I didn’t feel particularly hungry but I knew I had to eat something to at least keep me going at least until the movie ends. I went with minced pork with scrambled egg on rice while my friend ordered spicy ramen with extra noodles. Compare to the ramen, the rice didn’t have a thick broth that is filled with oil and fats that could have made me completely bloated. And I thought it between price and amount of food, it was good value.

As for the movie itself, I quite like it. Tye Sheridan put up a great performance in both the real world and inside Oasis. The supporting casts were equally good. The movie does a really great job of portraying Oasis as a collage of different things because anyone could be anything. There are references to some of the things that defined our modern entertainment industry. To me, it’s also kind of like a massive multiplayer online game but way bigger than what we have today like League of Legends, World of Warcraft, and Heartstone.

Now, according to Tye Sheridan, the movie is a metaphor for social media. Well, I can’t say I disagree with that. I could see how most of us can’t seem to live our lives without social media. I myself am guilty of that. We used it to run away from our reality. Come to think of it, I suppose the same can be applied to online games that people play and got addicted. We forgot how to be human and live in the real world where every action has real consequences.

After the movie, I went to get the OTO E-Cuddle for SG$99. I wanted to use it to deal with the neck problem I have been dealing with.

So far I have tried it for at least ten minutes and it did wonders. My neck is no longer that stiffed anymore and I don’t have that nagging mild headache. I’m gonna try to use it on my back and shoulder.

However, once I got back to using the computer, the pain came back  after a while and I need to use it again. Looks like the damage to my upper body has gone too far considering that I have already been experiencing these kind of pain for more than 15 years. And the chair I’m using has just plain bad ergonomic.

I also finished watching the last three episodes of Jessica Jones season 2. Now I could say I’m finally done with Netflix at least for a while. So I did the same thing to my Netflix account as I have done to Facebook when I decided to quit it.

I logout of my Netflix account.

Now in order to login again, I will need to open up my password file just to get the password and the file itself is password protected. However, I’m a lazy person. I’m turning my own laziness against myself. So that means there is a high chance I won’t open that file. This way, I can make myself focus on what’s more important which is fulfilling the word count for my novel.

Come to think of it, maybe I should do the same to my Twitter account and YouTube account…

I just checked. Somehow my Twitter account logged out on its own on Safari and I can’t be bothered to log back in. I suspect it got to do with Twitter itself. Their cookie must have expired. So it’s a good thing. As for YouTube, I will let it remain as it is. The only few things I watched are music videos and tech reviews. I don’t really watch vloggers anymore because it’s no different from scrolling through social media. Everything is curated to present a nice life that others can only dream of.

Daily Log #19

I spent my morning reviewing my facebook posts again and didn’t found anything interesting to reuse or save. It was mostly just me deleting post, unliking stuff and removing comments. It has reached a point where I think it’s safe to delete the actual account without any possibility of recovering anything substantial.

After breakfast, I spent quite a lot of time watching Dragons: Race to the Edge. I got kind of bored and decided to watch the following video.

I have been watching Kaskobi’s videos for the last few weeks because I enjoy his performance. That particular video is especially good. I love the visual effects and the amount of work he put in.

Actually I wanted to go out for a run but the weather decided to be nasty and started pouring mid-afternoon. So I end up taking a nap to catch up on any sleep debt that I may have accumulated last night.

After I woke up, I got myself ready to go out to catch Pacific Rim Uprising at 7pm. But first I had to get some dinner because I was starving.

While I was waiting for my food to arrive, I did find myself struggling to maintain my composure because I was dealing with both discomfort and anger. Hangry is the term to use. In addition, the restaurant was pretty pack so the service was a little slow. And I got a little concerned about being late for movie but I did think about what I chose. The item I picked from the menu was one of the easier ones to prepare since it was mostly diced sashimi on rice so I was expecting a fast turn around time. The food did came just in time for me to be able to chew my food properly, and stroll up to the cinema without breaking out into sweat.

After the movie, I got myself a rice roll from QQ Rice because I had dinner far too early. I know I would become hungry later at night. For the rice roll, I ordered black rice with Japanese cucumber, chicken floss, smoked duck, Burdock, braised egg as the roll’s core.

Once home, I spent some time working out with weights and do some pushups before spending some time to delete more Facebook posts. I also put up a post stating that as of 1800 Sunday, 25 March 2018, the account will cease to exist. After that, I logged out and started texting people on WhatsApp.

But first I had to check with a friend if he still had my number. Since he’s from the United States and someone whom I have known since 2003, possibly even earlier, I didn’t want to lose contact with him once my Facebook is gone. We were really close back then but did lose contact momentarily between 2008 to 2012 I think before he found me on Twitter. He’s just someone whom I have tremendous respect for and look up to.

Then after making sure we have each other’s contact on WhatsApp, I also texted a few other people asking very simple questions like how they are doing and catch up. It turns out to be a better option compared to just browsing Facebook feeds for update because I do feel kind of good about it. There’s some sense of connection when it’s a one-to-one chat.

For me, I have always found phone calls to be distant and cold. I say that because written words is my primary communication tool. It’s part of me. An identity. Therefore, for me, it’s the most sincere form of communication and there is solidity to it. The moment words appear on a piece of paper or in an app, they become real and permanent. It’s not fickle and doesn’t really fade away from memory. You can always refer back to some piece of writing you did.

But a friend of mine did say that phone calls are more sincere because you get to pick out stuff from spoken words. So at the end of the day, it’s up to the individual. I just hope that you understand when I text you, it’s a genuine desire on my part to want to talk to you. At the same time, I will try and understand the person on the other end and not get irritated by phone calls.

Daily Log #5

I must have been completely worn out because I only woke up this morning at 9.15am instead of my usual 7 or 8. I don’t even remember if I ever did wake up in the middle of the night like I usually do.

After breakfast with my dad, I met up with my friend for a movie marathon starting from 12.30pm. For the movies, we went with Black Panther and Tomb Raider. I have to note that I was almost late. I lost track of time because I was watching some videos online and had to deal with my MacBook not being able to shut down properly. I took a quick shower and made my way to the bus stop. While walking there, the bus came and I had to run. I knew if I missed this bus, I will surely be super late because the next bus is like ten minutes away.

As I have watched Black Panther before, the second time watching the movie meant that instead of understanding the story, it was about engrossing myself into the design and in-movie universe. I wanted to use it to help me write better. There are some elements I thought I could use like their melee-based weaponry based on vibranium. They don’t really use guns. Then there’s the cultural aspect of Wankada.

After we are done with Black Panther, we stopped by a restaurant where I ordered a plate of Fish and Chips for lunch while my friend ordered just a bowl of truffle fries.

This new Tomb Raider movie is definitely better than the original ones starring Angelina Jolie because it focus more on Lara Croft’s development and the act of tomb raiding while solving puzzles that doesn’t rely on guns. The movie is a reimagination of the Tomb Raider 2013 game reboot but doesn’t have the supernatural element to it, which is fine for me.

After the movie, I joined my friend as he wanted to get some rechargeable batteries for his Xbox controller.

Once he’s done, we went our separate way home. I was feeling super tired by now and had to take a nap.

After dinner, I binge watched the remaining episodes of A.I.C.O. Incarnation. The show also gave me some inspiration about how I could write my stories better because of some of the plot devices. I really like the Artificial Organism idea of the show and how it could be used to save lives or ruin lives. I think it could be further expanded to serve other purpose.

And that marks the end of my daily log.

Journal #272

Today, we welcome 2018 and say goodbye to 2017.

What Happened

The phone vibration at around 9am woke me up and I went to check it. It was from my friend who was asking to confirm if I want to eat breakfast before the movie. I agreed to it and asked to meet at 9.30 instead because I just woke up. I needed time to at least prepare myself.

So I took the bus at around 9.15 and went to the mall. Upon arriving, I bought the tickets first and waited for my friend to arrive.

When he arrived, we ate at Ya Kun Family Cafe. I had Mee Rebus and a cup of black coffee. My friend ate half-boiled eggs and toast.

After the breakfast, we went up to the cinema to watch Jumanji. The show itself is pretty funny and I had a good laugh. At least it help take my mind off. Once the movie is over, we went around the mall to look for a place to eat. The Hong Kong restaurant is packed full today. We ended up having our lunch at a Japanese restaurant.

I needed to get a pair of dress shoes and so we went Bata first. Even after I found the pair that I like, there was no one there to serve me (e.g. getting the right size). So instead of wasting time, I decided to go to BHG but couldn’t find any. That led us to Hush Puppies where I found a pair that I like. I asked the sales lady for a suitable size, tried it, and found it pretty comfortable. Paid for the shoes and left for the supermarket where I wanted to get some energy bars to snack on during my reservist.

With everything that I want to get in my hands, my friend and I parted way and went home.

I decided to write the journal early because later at night I need to be at a relative’s birthday party and I don’t know what time I will get home. Personally, I have no desire to be there. It’s a waste of my time and I am never really close to any of my relatives. But because my dad promised to go, we go. He just doesn’t like to break his promises or lose face.

How I feel

I still feel pretty depressed and tired in general. The tired part most likely stemmed from the depressive state. And I also feel unhealthy. I haven’t been eating healthily or doing any decent exercise.

Journal #265

Merry Christmas to everyone and today I got to spend a vast majority of my time outside of my house. This was necessary for my mental well-being. Staying at home for the whole day was just bad overall and detrimental to my inspirations and content creation.

What happened

I had a quick shower and had Subway for breakfast before meeting up with my friend at Jurong Point to catch Star Wars: The Last Jedi at 10.40am. I won’t say the movie was particularly interesting for me and the length of it made it a drag to watch through.

After the movie, we went to the Legendary Hong Kong restaurant as usual. I ordered Red Bean Ice for my drink.

Then Seafood Fried Rice with XO Sauce as my main meal.

I also ordered a rice noodle roll with Shrimps in soy sauce but I didn’t take any picture of that.

It’s not the best Hong-Kong style food that I have eaten. It’s just familiar.

After that, we walked around the mall before I left to meet another friend to go to the Prudential Carnival in downtown Singapore.

Turns out, I wasn’t really into carnivals because I just don’t like rides. So we just watched people screaming their lungs off on those rides and left early. We decided to go to another carnival also by Prudential and came upon the Red Dot Design Museum along the way.

That caught my attention and I wanted to go in instead. We got the tickets and went in. I found myself attracted by the various designs and ideas people have about urban living, user experience, and daily appliances.

Here are some random photos that I took to show you what I am talking about. Some of the photos are not really in focus because they were taken quickly. I just wanted to capture the ideas.

After we are done, we went to have some drinks at the cafe within the museum to use up the coupons that we got alongside the museum ticket. I ordered an iced Mocha, which turned out to be pretty good while my friend ordered bottled water.

Then we went to Esplanade and have dinner there. My friend suggested eating at Supply and Demand because of the Truffle Fries, which he said was very good.

I ordered a bottle of Erdinger Weissbier, which got poured into a Weizen glass

It went along with grilled fish of the day with two sides prepared in accordance to the chef’s wishes.

And the main highlight of the day are the Truffle fries, given the emphasis my friend put on it.

Spreading throughout the day was my activity of playing Sky Force: Reloaded on my iPhone, chatting with my friend, and looking for jobs.

How I feel

Throughout the day, there were various feelings depending on what I read, experienced or seen. My primary operating mode revolves around my feelings and my outputs are based on how I channel my feelings.

The commentary: Of course we don’t read poetry. We’re Singaporean published on Channel NewsAsia got me pretty upset at the state of art in Singapore though I know there are good Singaporean artists out there.

Going through the exhibits at the design museum got me to think about the state of design in Singapore. It was another thing that got me feeling despondent. Despite Singaporean children going through Design and Technology in school, almost no one end up becoming an industrial designer like Jonathan Ive or James Dyson.

The above two feelings are related to how I see the economy of the future is going to be primarily all about creation and producing original or innovative stuff with your skills backed up by great service and I’m not sure if Singapore is ready given the current state of affairs.

As I was going home, I also don’t feel like going to work tomorrow. And feeling a deep sense of trepidation regarding my upcoming reservist training, which is in a week’s time.

Other than the above stuff, I’m feeling good. It’s definitely better than yesterday since I’m not coop up at home, got to see stuff, and eat nice food (not the healthiest).

What am I watching now

I’m enjoying music by Madeon, a French DJ and music producer. I’m watching an old video of him performing live as I’m writing this journal.

I have grown to enjoy his music a lot and the tendency to put them on loop.

Being grateful

I’m grateful for friends that chose to hang out with me.

Journal #263

I was so tired that I slept until nearly 10am today.

What Happened

Other than waking up slightly later than usual, I didn’t do anything productive. I spent my time watching some shows on Netflix. One particular show that I decided to watch was The Indian Detective for about three or four episodes, followed by a horror movie called Temple. In between, there was a mixed of watching some YouTube videos.

After the shows, I decided to go for a run but I didn’t go far. First of all, earlier this week, I was pretty sick and now I’m still dealing with its after-effect. So that affected my breathing quite a little. Running through the streets with smokers (yes, again. Even I rolled my own eyes writing about this) caused me to suffer overall discomfort of my throat and nose, making it harder for me to breathe. So I stopped running.

After the run, I showered, read some articles online and go out with my family for dinner at Jurong East. We had western food. I ordered a Salmon pizza with Tuna Salad. Then I went to get a cup of iced Americano from Starbucks and joined my family walking around IMM.

At around 1030pm, we made our way home and that was it.

How I feel

Though, I’m struggling to narrow my feelings down today, I do know I’m feeling a little depressive for no particular reason. I also kept to myself for most of the day, focusing on my thoughts. You can call it being stuck in my own head.

It’s precisely because of this depressive state, it took a longer amount of time before I actually got down to writing.

What the plan?

Since it’s already almost midnight as I’m still writing this and have too much coffee (I don’t mind), I will watch a movie and write some more stuff.

Being Grateful

I’m grateful for my family and every occasion that we are together.

Journal #225 – Consuming too much

Alright, I admit it.

I have been consuming far too much these few days. I ran out of inspiration to write anything proper. My short story remains stuck.

At work today, I spent the whole day trying to figure out how to get ClickOnce to work and figuring out why it didn’t work. The application refused to start. It finally worked partially after I figured it out. You know, the task is actually rather simple and shouldn’t take the whole day but I got bored. I do get bored every easily when I have to deal with configuration-related stuff.

I know when you are a software engineer you do need to configure stuff: Configure your IDE, configure your machine. And when you are not configuring? You are installing stuff.

But I hate configurations. I hate installation. I prefer text. I prefer code.

So what do I do when I’m bored? I consume. I spent a lot of my time on Facebook, Twitter and Medium just consuming article, one after another.

After that?

The other day I mentioned I bought tickets to Justice League. The movie was today. So I met up with my friend after work for dinner and then watch the movie. It was a two hour plus movie. I didn’t feel particularly excited about the movie. Nor do I feel particularly bored by the movie. It’s just is.

Maybe I’m jaded somewhat.

Maybe I’m depressed.

It doesn’t matter.

Tomorrow?

Tomorrow I got some personal stuff to take care of. And I hope I could use the chance to rest up some more and get some inspiration for my short story.

Honestly, I’m just disappointed with myself…