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[13 Aug 2011|11:04pm]
Happy Feast of the Dormition! Mmm, I will not fast as I am a bit lazy... but I will pray...
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[04 Jul 2011|10:54pm]
Selamat Harijadi kepada badanku. Jiwaku lebih tua darimu, dicipta Ilahi jauh di masa lalu.
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[14 Apr 2011|07:30pm]
i feel like a failure

i also bought 'Atlas of Empires' from Kino today.
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[23 Aug 2010|12:30pm]
i like kuih seri muka. tapi muka i taklah berseri sangat.
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[21 Jul 2010|12:36pm]
Argentina legalizes homosexual marriage. I don't recall God giving humans same-sex marriage rites in scripture. I don't mind homosexuals wishing to have legal arrangements that marriage confers, go ahead if they want to. So, next, can I marry my dog or my house plant or my sister? Do we let homosexuals adopt children?
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[05 May 2010|11:28am]
Personality Disorder Test Results
Paranoid |||||||||||||||||| 78%
Schizoid |||||||||||||||||||| 86%
Schizotypal |||||||||||||||| 62%
Antisocial |||||||||||| 42%
Borderline |||||||||||||| 58%
Histrionic |||||||||||| 46%
Narcissistic || 10%
Avoidant |||||||||||| 42%
Dependent |||||||||| 38%
Obsessive-Compulsive |||||||||||||||||| 78%
Take Free Personality Disorder Test
personality tests by similarminds.com

So, what else is new? I think I took this quiz a few years earlier, and the results were about the same.
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[24 Mar 2010|03:06pm]
Happy Rama Navami.
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[14 Mar 2010|10:28pm]
Haven't been writing much. I've been good, rise and fall.
Hmm, don't know what to say, since I've been expresing myself in other ways.
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[24 Jan 2010|02:10pm]
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[22 Jan 2010|10:43am]
Tomorrow is ratha yatra.
I should feel happy, I want to.
But I feel shitty.
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[11 Dec 2009|11:16pm]
So today at my brother in law cousin's wedding I met a man who asked me if I was a Hare Krishna, since I had my tilak (forehard mark) on.
Then he said I have to go to Dvaraka in India where Krishna lived with His 16108 queens.
Later he told me to sit next to him and he said when one takes to Krishna, other things start becoming bland. He said I should close my eyes when chanting because when our eyes are open, we tend to get distracted. Which is true but I look at pictures of the Lord when I am chanting.
He advised me to take insults nicely and just be simple, thinking of the next world and the Lord.
I wonder if I can do this. To be in the world but not of the world.
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[08 Dec 2009|08:24pm]
I think swami once said 'Always remember Krishna and never forget Krishna'
I find it hard and easy to do. I wonder if I had a more socially vindacated physical body, I'd be as religious? I miss yoga today as I had to proctor an exam until 5.30pm. It was dull but I got toilet duty, so I just sat and took attendance of those who went to toilet. Two colleagues accompanied me, so we talked a bit. One of them said I am boring as I was planning to spend my vacation at home. I have a new book on typography, can't wait to highlight it with my yellow highlighter and scribble in it.
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[03 Dec 2009|09:53pm]
Today I met an old friend from Ukm and we had an eatnchat scene for 4 hours. She has been through a lot and I am glad she is improving now.
She told me she's into Judaism now and she's reading more on it. Interesting, since she was Protestant, then Catholic and now into Judaism. Reversal in time, haha.
I am waiting for next Sunday, as there is a charoit festival in Seremban. I cannot wait to see the deity form of Krishna and be with the devotees, as well as sing adn dance on the streets of Seremban with them. Chariot festivals are really lovely, I wish more people will join.

"O Arjuna, whatever form is generated from all the wombs of every species, the entire expansive material energy is their womb and I (Krishna) am the seed bestowing father"

(Bhagavad Gita, 14.4)
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[20 Nov 2009|10:55am]
I miss chariot festival, ratha yatra, seeing the deity form of Krishna going around town. :-(
I think there will be one in Klang and Seremban in December, and I'd like to go. Hopefully, the Lord makes it possible. I cannot wait to help pull the chariot and sing and dance with the devotees, heh. It is very simple to please Krishna, jeje.
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[19 Oct 2009|11:14pm]
I’ve read The Consumer Society by Baudrillard. I didn’t read 2 of 11 chapters and I did skip some parts since they were irrelevant for me now. If Uncle Felix and Aunty Marisa read this book, they would have more insights but I’d like to get it out of my mind now.

Baudrillard’s writing divides society into then and now. By now, it could be society after industrialization. I disagree with his constant praise of society then as it paints a positive picture of it and poses society now as its negative reflection. I think both societies have their good and evil sides. He writes that ‘we are at the point where consumption is laying hold of the whole of life’. It has laid hold of life as many things we do today require some form of consumption, as they did yesterday. I think today, consumption has become unquestioned, having more of the same, the illusion of unlimited choice, giving more than mere products and services.

It is clear that Baudrillard dislikes consumption. He writes that the profusion of products and services (Henceforth P&S) is a sign of abundance today. But this abundance is also a sign of scarcity as not everyone is able to benefit from P&S. This profusion is packaged, in a literal and figurative sense, to appeal to people, becoming a commodity. Such a commodity is replete with signs. A sign can be color, image, language (speaking and writing), layout, body language… He mentions the washing machine that serves to wash clothes but acts to indicate comfort and prestige (Remember, he wrote in 1970). This harks back to the denotative or literal meaning of a sign and the connotative of figurative meaning of a sign, also to de Saussure’s langue and parole. Baudrillard recognizes that the sign is ambivalent, it can have many meanings but such meanings must be anchored as P&S cannot mean anything and everything. I’d say signs are motivated, like Kress & van Leeuwen, as they are chosen for purpose(s). I don’t like his way of saying that we live ‘sheltered by signs, in denial of the real’. This begs the question- What is real? To whom? Why? The sign is always subjective.

Consumption manipulates both use value (literal) and exchange value (figurative) of a sign but it’s the exchange value that is more variable, more profound, more magical, as there is less in way of regulation, I think, compared to the use value (Law, ethics). This then, makes consumption a sort of magical thinking, giving joy to consumers. Of course, we know such joy is fleeting and has to be replenished, because the exchange value of P&S is relative.

I like his statement that waste is a sign of abundance as only if you have abundance can you waste. While waste might have been common of consumption in the 70s, it does seem that consumption is trying to reduce waste, to green itself, in order to perpetuate itself. I wish to be cynical here and doubt the sincerity of corporate social responsibility.

Baudrillard writes that growth produces inequality. We experience this as poverty does not expire despite economic growth, like the NEP has not helped all Malays. There must be other factors to attend to before growth can benefit all. And to ask the type of growth, its sustainability, the people it influences…

The point that struck me was his line that ‘Consumption… is a class institution’. We all participate in consumption, apparently, but at distinct levels in distinct degrees, to distinct ends. Baudrillard writes that class provides entrance to P&S and also interpretation of P&S. I think he means some people can afford a Mercedes and some people can benefit from the prestige and pride of a Mercedes. It is such entrance and interpretation that come to simulate status. He uses stimulate here as P&S in themselves do not mean status, but their use value and exchange value. Plus, I feel that such P&S must come in company with related P&S for status. Status is not a Mercedes alone but in company of Chanel and um… (I lack brand memory). As he says ‘a particular individual is a member of a particular group because he consumes particular’ P&S. Consumption becomes a ‘whole system of values in terms of group integration’, layered by class, status, entrance and interpretation of P&S. Well said. He later writes that we should have the lowest common culture (LCC) to access this consumer society, but it would be better put to say an individual or group has need of a LCC to access a particular class.

Baudrillard mentions personalization, the event P&S try to become ‘different’ from other P&S. Personalization can be from your bank services with Priority Banking or Typical Banking, unit trusts for hedge funds or overseas stocks, your MSN color options, your browser decisions, your Zara or your Top Man, all to create the smallest marginal difference (SMD). While we think P&S have catered to our individuality, we are not individualized because such personalization has been predetermined. You do not have free choice in your MSN color options. So, by being you, you are actually conforming to some mould. P&S exploit the signs available (color, image, language (speaking and writing), layout, body language…) to give the veneer of personalization. And this is a focus of my own work, like when I did brochures. Some language used to this end would be the use of pronouns like we and you, the decrease of formality, more imperatives, the use of select adjectives/adverbs, nouns and verbs/tenses. This makes consumption an act of solicitude, of gratifying the consumer (Smile and greeting at McDonalds, beauty consultant at Bella, personal trainer at Fitness First, May I Help You? at Carrefour, service points for bank counter…), servicing the consumer, to construct him/her as a free and ready consumer. And we are becoming better at this.

There are Marxian strands here because he realizes that consumption requires production. We consume food to produce shit and companies produce P&S to consume resources to make P&S. Both cannot be separated but consumption has taken the front seat although production does peek in front at times, as when we are told where our coffee beans come from, how organic products are manufactured, how movies are produced…

In this book, we find the early mention of the simulacra but Baudrillard mentions it as simulation, where the original is lost and all we have are signs collaged to imitate the original. He writes that simulation is a trend, like the housing estates that bring nature closer to you (Were the original forests they replaced any further from nature?), our Little India, Geylang Serai, China Town, Fort Cornwallis, retro clothing, cetak rompak… all in a way simulate original(s). He thinks such simulation leads to kitsch and gadgetry but I am prone to think that simulation brings new signs into being by recycling, adding and subtracting old signs. I do not see it as depression but progression.

I feel that Baudrillard laments the loss of sincerity that supposedly characterized society then. Communication is no longer uncomplicated but manipulated. He tries to lay bare the code or structure as to how this is. Baudrillard comments that consumption is a ‘process of absorption of signs and absorption by signs’. Hasn’t this been so for any period of time? Maybe now it is more pervasive and we are less critical of such signs but I don’t feel consumption per se is negative. Rather, its execution must be regulated. Change is a constant in society. He ends by saying that the discourse of consumption provides a counter-discourse against consumption. Capitalist vs. Socialist, in simplest terms. But the very negation of consumption serves to strengthen it, as by exposing its faults, it can or cannot right itself. What we need is to dis-identify.

I started the book pumped up, that I would accept all his words. But I must have become soft, as I am not and do not want to be in this wave of anti consumption. How do we deal with this, transparently?
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[24 Aug 2009|12:15pm]
Harmony-seeking Idealists are characterised by a complex personality and an abundance of thoughts and feelings [Yep]. They are warm-hearted persons by nature. They are sympathetic and understanding. Harmony-seeking Idealists expect a lot of themselves and of others [Yes]. They have a strong understanding of human nature and are often very good judges of character. But they are mostly reserved and confide their thoughts and feelings to very few people they trust. They are deeply hurt by rejection or criticism. Harmony-seeking Idealists find conflict situations unpleasant and prefer harmonious relationships. However, if reaching a certain target is very important to them they can assert themselves with a doggedness bordering on obstinacy.

Harmony-seeking Idealists have a lively fantasy, often an almost clairvoyant intuition and are often very creative. Once they have tackled a project, they do everything in their power to achieve their goals. In everyday life, they often prove to be excellent problem solvers. [Yes, I am OCD like this] They like to get to the root of things and have a natural curiosity and a thirst for knowledge. At the same time, they are practically oriented, well organised and in a position to tackle complex situations in a structured and carefully considered manner. When they concentrate on something, they do so one hundred percent - they often become so immersed in a task that they forget everything else around them. That is the secret of their often very large professional success.

As partners, harmony-seeking idealists are loyal and reliable; a permanent relationship is very important to them. They seldom fall in love head over heels nor do they like quick affairs. They sometimes find it very difficult to clearly show their affection although their feelings are deep and sincere [Yes, I've seen this many times but nobody waits until I'm sure enough to express my emotions. I like to take it slow]. In as far as their circle of friends is concerned, their motto is: less is more! As far as new contacts are concerned, they are approachable to only a limited extent; they prefer to put their energy into just a few, close friendships. Their demands on friends and partners are very high. As they do not like conflicts, they hesitate for some time before raising unsatisfactory issues and, when they do, they make every effort not to hurt anyone as a result.

Adjectives which describe your type: introverted, theoretical, emotional, planning, idealistic, harmony-seeking, understanding, peace-loving, sensitive, quiet, sympathetic, conscientious, dogged, complicated, inconspicuous, warm-hearted, complex, imaginative, inspiring, helpful, demanding, communicative, reserved, vulnerable

As a Harmony-seeking Idealist you are one of the introverted personality types. Therefore you prefer a quiet work environment where you can intensively deal with your responsibilities and are not disturbed by too many people and repeated distractions. You need a lot of time to dwell on your thoughts, to put them into words and let your ideas take shape. You are grateful for a certain measure of order and structure in order to achieve this, and being able to deal with one project after the other, thus not having a number of responsibilities at one time. You don’t like being overloaded because it is important to you to deal with things thoroughly. Your capability to concentrate is unusually great and very often you become engrossed in something and forget everything around you. [Which is why uni life suits me, structured and independence in the right measure]

You are one of the feeler types. This fact is partially the reason that you have a very strong insight into human nature and enjoy dealing with people. You are interested in the people around you and have a real sense for their motivations, needs and abilities. Your talent to see the best in everybody and your keen wish to understand others and somehow contribute to their wellbeing predestine you to work with people. [Really? Don't experience this much but yeah I do take a personal interest in my kids and help them as best I can]

Due to your propensity to be introverted you are not into holding major speeches for large audiences [No, I enjoy talking to an audience]. Your real strength lies in working individually with people like therapists, physicians or priests [HAHA]. In those professions, when advancing others in their personal development or to help them in any other way is the issue, you are unbeatable. You are extremely sensitive, and your social competences are developed above average. As a result you have no problems working with people or being a team member. Still, you should watch out to primarily surround yourself with persons who are similarly profound and eclectic [Ya, most of my friends are weird in some way]. During the working day you abhor thoughtless, superficial, and insensitive colleagues.

Even if you can fall head over heels in love - like all Idealists - all in all you are still the reserved personality type. With you it takes a relatively long time until your counterpart has figured out that you have developed a romantic interest in him/her. You only show your feelings when you are very sure of yourself and the prospects for the relationship. In matters of love the word “flighty” is not a part of your dictionary. You incredulously notice affairs of others and can’t imagine how anyone can play that furiously with their own and the feelings of others. You are a very consistent and faithful person and you are looking for a partner like that - sometimes it takes a very long time. [Yes, very true. Luckily, God knows all this, so no problem. Men, bah, who will wait to discover me in this age of quickies?]

When you are too reserved and hesitate too long before you really trust someone to open up to him/her, you make it very difficult for potential prospects. There is no question that your personality is one of the most complex and complicated types around. So it is no wonder that less complicated types sometimes become demoralized and give up before your flirtation has gained momentum. [I don't know if this has happened before. But now I can say the boys I meet are 'less complex' mwahaha]

Once you have committed yourself to a partner, it is for life. There is no going back. Since a relationship is that important to you, one of your most important goals in life is to keep the given promise. Your obligation is sacred and you expect your partner to feel the same way. Because it was difficult for you to trust [YES], you have a real problem forgiving a betrayal of confidence like an affair as well as other behaviors that you see as treachery. All your aspirations are focused to form emotional oneness with your partner and to merge with him/her as much as is humanly possible. If your partner feels as you do and opens him/herself up to you, it can form the basis for a close and exclusive relationship. You run the risk of disappointment and hurt though, if you give your love to someone who wants no part of this intimacy. For you, it is either all or nothing. [This is only possible with God, who is perfect. I doubt there are people like this in real life in KL. I can reduce my expectations but even then it'd be hard for men. It is hard but I've learnt to deal with it. Why whine? You loose human love in search of divine love, which is permanent, loyal, transparent, trustable. What else compares? And they say in loving God, one comes to love all beings.]
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iPersonic [24 Aug 2009|12:15am]
Take the free personality test!
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[30 Dec 2008|10:23pm]
This year has been one of unexpected events. I hope next year is an improvement of myself.
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[10 Oct 2008|04:01am]

New temple in Penang by 2012.
Gaura Nitai installed this year, I only knew last minute, so I couldn't go. The kirtan looks fun, all those happy faces. And oh, 588 offerings of food, yum!
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[02 Oct 2008|01:43pm]
I think I am asexual. I fit the bill. And I thought all this while I had a low sex drive. I need to explore this. If I am, it is a blessing as I can develop pure devotion to God unhindered by such base needs.

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