Monday, December 31, 2012

Why am I Grumbling While Reading the Storm of Swords?

Okay I am going to start by addressing the fact that i have not been updating this blog for like more than a year, and suddenly I have the whim to write something. 

The culprit for the reason of my not-writing-the-blog syndrome is because of my job which eats up every bit of my time. 

I know all of you readers (all 1 of you) will be like 'Heh, this is going to be just one update and then he will do the long hiatus and be gone from the scene again'

Well, folks, I am not gonna lie to you, i really dont know if i can keep this up... but here's hoping i can...


Well, enough about that. Now to my point, which is George R.R Martin.

For those who do not want any spoilers on the third book of the series 'Song of Ice and Fire' - The Storm of Swords or the third season of the HBO series 'Game of Thrones' please do not read on.


Okay, I started the series with the first book - The Game of Thrones, and let me tell you, it was thrilling. I was in a course for Form 2 PBS in november in some school, and the lady who was giving the speech was going at a diabolically slow pace, I fished out the book from my bag which i had left in trunk unnoticed since May 2012.

Well let me tell you, it was thrilling, waaaaaaay better than the series (as like all adaptations, i learnt that when I read Harry Potter AFTER I watched the first two movies). I managed to read more than 300 pages in just one hour while the woman ranted on about evidence, and filing, and instruments bla bla bla...

Well, the second book kind of mellowed a little but still thrilling enough for me to finish all 70 chapters in a week. And then i came to the third book, and i was like 'Enough!'

There's gore all over the pages, and unnecessary details! and the gores were not at a balance with any form of positivity at all.

You know, for example in Harry Potter - Dumbledore died, and that was like a stupid event ever in the saga, hell, i was ready to leave the series altogether. But then Harry still got his friends and they stuck with him till the end. You know when Dumbledore died that HArry will find some solace with Hermione and Ron somehow, so that would made you feel warm and hopeful that HArry will be ok.

However, with the Storm of Swords, ALL I GOT WAS EMPTINESS!!

I mean come on, it is like the writer enjoyed writing all this cool characters who I really like and root for and then kill them off for no obvious purpose to the plotline. I mean, why the hell would i want to read about all these efforts made by a guy and have him ultimately killed off?

And then there were these unnecessary details - like in this one chapter Arya was captured by the Brave companions, and then she tried to escape, shooting into forest and through rivers, and then I had to read pages of how her horse slowed down because there were knots of vines on the jungle floor and I really thought that she would have escaped but ultimately she was captured again... Why several pages of nonsense?

And then there was these foreshadows from previous books -

At the end of book one, I read all these dramatic scenes on how Daenerys let herself burn with Khal Drogo and those dragon eggs, and then she was magically unscathed by the pyre, and then the dragons hatched and lived again. And then I thought that here is another heroine who will made an impact in the second book, but all that she was in the second and thrid book was a big 'meh'

At the end of book one, I read about how Sansa had to watch her father being decapitated and there was this scene where she had the urge to push Jofrey off the bridge, but that didnt happen so I thought she will have her say in the next book, she will get Joffrey of Cersei or Tywin somehow but all through the second and third (until as far as i got), she was only a small victim.

At the end of book two, I read about how Tyrion had managed to win the Blackwater battle by wit and bravery only to have him mutilated and disgraced in the third book.

At the end of book two, when they say that Margery was going to marry Joffrey instead of Sansa, i thought that 'Yes, she will make an ultimate bitch-off with Cersei' but nothing happen so far, her existence in the book so far was only to make way for Tyrion marrying Sansa

I mean all the character which i hoped to find some solace in them all died in the most unfortunate way - Ser Rodrik was one, Maester Luwin was another, and the one which i cannot accept the most is Catelyn Stark, believing her two sons and one daughter had tragically died, another daughter married of to what she presumed to be a monster and have another son - who was only her source of comfort - to be murdered in front of her eyes, I thought she would find some consolation with meeting her daughter who she thought to be dead and who, by the way, was just outside the castle when Catelyn saw her son being murdered. But NOOOOOOOO, the writer thought that readers would enjoy it more to have Catelyn murdered too, having her throat slit from ear to ear.

And the bad guys, or the seemingly bad guys who has developed good qualities like Tyrion or Jaime didnt give me any other surprises by doing something really unprofitable to the really bad guys, but noooooo, they just lay there quiet, i dunno when are they going to act.

God, I read as far as Robb and Catelyn's death. I couldnt go on anymore, but i dont want to leave any book unfinished. So what i did was to go into the Ice and Fire wiki on the internet to read the upcoming chapter summaries.. and nothing good is seen in the horizon, nothing that could make me feel the emptiness that i get thus far. Sure, Joffrey is going to be poisoned, but i want him to be disgraced too, i want sansa to have something to do with it, but having him dead is not that bad either. and Tywin will die, but i dont know why that didnt bring me any desire to go on.

because those are all small victories compared to what the characters we are rooting for had to endure. I hope George R.R. Martin is planning to have Arya, Sansa, Bran, Rickon and Jon to reunite in the last book and put one of them on the iron throne. And if he kill Daenerys at any point, i will just burn all these books that i bought on the series.

I have to go on reading, because i spent like 150 ringgit on the 5 books box-set.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Of being jobless

I really, really didnt want to do this at first...

But somehow, i think that writing it all down will help me to feel better.

Nearly 200 Malaysians that i know of for the time being r sharing a similar fate.

Around January last year, each and everyone of us were very excited, we thought that in 5 months time, we FINALLY could stop from being a student. And then a month after that we would be working, happily complaining about boastful shitless kids who drive our days nuts. And then by October we would become Graduates - with a Job, happily reenacting how we changed a kid's life, and how sucky our pengetua is.

And by december, we would all be lounging in Pulau Redang/Langkawi/Semporna/Phuket/Singapore/Sydney/Auckland/Agra/Macau/Paris/London/New York sipping coffee with our hard-earned money complaining about our workloads and how a crazy colleague keep on dumping his/her work on us because we are young, vibrant new teachers in school. And also maybe talk about marriages, babies and stuff.

In January last year, i personally made a list of things that I personally wanted for myself when i got my pay;

1) A new laptop
2) A broadband/streamyx/unifi/w1max
3) an Ipad
4) Ticket flight to London
5) books and books and books
6) Food and food and food

-you know, disturbingly hedonistic stuff...

around July, when i was suppose to get my job, we started to worry, maybe i will get my Ipad a little bit later than expected.

Around August, we had suddenly been promoted into useless sons/daughters who are 24 year olds but could provide to the family... suddenly getting an ipad became a small problem, we started to worry about bigger stuff like helping parents to do more than just helping them clean the lawn, wash the dishes, do the laundry.

we worry about paying bills, and our age, which is not suitable to be a penganggur.

Some got married because it was already planned, but with worrying hearts since they worry they cannot provide.

In desperation, some of works in a McD or other junkfood franchises. Lucky few got a job as a sub teacher...

some outstanding ones got a call from multi-national company offering them a job that pays a lot - only to reject it since we were bonded.

we were trying our hardest not to burden our parents.... most of us had parents who were over 60... we cannot afford to let them feed us... but come september, still no work...

Plethora of promises, false hopes were given by local ministers... all were none but disappointments...

Still, we put up brave faces in October while our graduation, pushed the sad face to the back of our numbing minds and tried to smile and laugh because heck- we graduated.

and then we became void souls again, waiting for jobs - or anything to happen.

nothing came... some of us came running when they heard the postman's riding pasts.

We jumped up like explosives in Hiroshima when our phone rings.

Nothing but phone company messages and astro bills in our inboxes.

and then a few of us made meetings with the big people up there in the plush cushions in parcel E.

still. nothing.

and then they asked us to be interviewed. Finally we smiled in november, at least something for us to do.

came interview and gone. we became void again, like lost souls.

facebook became our only source of solace, only for some families who has internet.

we became bored, woke up to stare at walls only to have walls stared back at us as we fell asleep again.

wanted to meet our friends, cant drive - no money for petrol. Cant fly, use buses or trains - no money.

we made brave face as our aunts showed off her son who had now worked so happily and earning money as we feel useless and became a terrible burden to our parents.

still, we wait. A little hint was enough to make us cry with excitement, only to get fucked up again.

and then came December... we finished the year without having a job that we waited since July. we watched our facebook walls as our seniors complain about their heavy workload in the next year.

all we could think of was we wanted those workloads - we need the job. our life had became stock still, yet we aged.

we cannot move on.

and then 2012 came.

some of us moved into being 25... feeling so very ashamed that we still need to ask our parents for money to buy razor to shave our janggut/armpit hair.

feeling very ashamed that we had grew sideways.

feeling pointless since we dont have a job.

Feeling resentment as our seniors asked us to be patient and bersyukur since working world is not fun. being jobless is.

i bet all the pay made it feel better huh?

first week of 2012 is about to end, and good news is half of the 200 will get their job next monday. but the rest will have to wait until MArch. and i am one of those who had to wait again.

We feel like a person in a shipwreck, floating on the seas on a scrap of wood beating ourselves up on our stupid decision to board the ship (TESL program). And even the sea is not interesting sea with killer waves (angry students) or killer whales (workload) or sharks (senior teachers) or giant sea serpents (meetings). We are floating on still sea, completely still, with some small ripples (WKS tweets, SPP interviews, fights in FB pages) with nothing but horizons (no future) around us. We cannot see lands (solid hope) or rescue ships (Backup jobs that could free us from bonds). completely nothing. So we float, under the scorching sun (Shame of being jobless). Completely alone.

Maybe Allah is asking me to be patient. Maybe Allah is asking me to be thankful of my future job since we resent it so much when we were doing our practical.

Maybe Allah is asking my seniors to be thankful of their situation.

Maybe Allah is asking my juniors to be ready.

Maybe Allah is teaching me to deal with disappointments correctly.

Maybe I am needed more where i am right now.