Quote of the day:
“We have so much time and so little to do. Strike that, reverse it.”
– Roald Dahl

And so the last post I’ve written properly was recorded some two, maybe three months ago. It’s the first of July and I can’t exactly determine the right way to calculate the months; but that doesn’t matter. Many things have occurred in the past 182 days of year 2012, today being the 183rd day of the year. Given how much attention this blog had lacked, I figured it’s about time I did some actual logging of some sort. The best part is I just had some good ice cream, and I have good music to accompany while this post is being composed.

Again, it’s the start of July; a whole half year has passed since this year had started, and judging from the total number of posts I’ve accumulated this year, things have been rather busy, stressful, enjoyable at times, but all meaning to say I should begin the storytelling. At times like these, the numbers from my Facebook would prove to be extremely useful. So let’s recall what’s happened since this year started, beginning with New Year.

January had been excruciatingly bland as far as I could recall. It was a new year like every other year. School would’ve resumed for my brothers on the 3rd, but being in college, I had an extra week to myself and would only resume on the 10th. My CD which I use in my car of course was gradually expanded, but all the while different in content if I were to compare it with today’s content. Somewhere before 2012, I got myself a Lego Technic Supercar model which consisted of some 1,200 plus pieces. I remember spending three non-consecutive days working on it, even ignoring meals at times just to speed things up. The car itself has a motorized trunk, doors and spoilers too which could be controlled by a switch at the rear of the car when it was completely assembled. Measuring about half a metre in length, the car now sits on display in my room. The AKB48 Request Hour Setlist Best 100 for year 2012 took place from the 18th to the 22th of the month. Sometime later in the month, Chinese New Year came around. If I recall properly, it’s that same day when the AS results were released. To my relief, I managed to score all A’s but one B for it. Not too bad a performance, but it honestly could have been better. My classmates had some previous celebrations in light of the festival; a little more extravagant than the ones I had during secondary school anyway. And as with every year, I made a visit to my grandparents’ home all the way in Negeri Sembilan but this time, the family was introduced to the Alienware. The CD I had continued expanding from here, and I had already pre-ordered what seems to be Team S and Team KII’s stage recordings.

Surprisingly, I had absolutely not much of a record for February at all. Facebook provided little information. And my hunch was right; I had become busier around this time due to preparation for the upcoming exams. The 5th of February was my brother’s birthday and like every year, he seems to complain about it to some degree. The package I ordered in January had still been placed on hold. After all, the item would only be released on the 14th of March. Having said so though, I had received it a day earlier than expected. On the 22nd of February, due to a sleeping error on my part, I encountered what seems to be my first “proper” car accident. I was late one morning, or maybe exceptionally late one morning, and had to drive in a rushing fashion. As I was about to switch lanes, I didn’t notice an oncoming motorist on my left and as a result, he drove and crashed into the front left side of my car. He immediately fell off his bike, without much injury apparently, and left my front bumper hanging. I would explain the details more in-depth, but the idea is I had to rely on my cousin to hit college for the next few days and my car required some three-day maintenance. Oh, and worth noting is how this year is a leap year, so we have a 29th of February this time around.

And once again, the oddity that I have little record whatsoever starts to show itself again. Now that I think about it, the A2 trial exams were carried out sometime in March. Of course, the A2 trials weren’t to be underestimated. And even though I recall doing not so well, it was a rather troublesome time back in those two months. Every day, hour and minute of my life was clouded by the fact that these exams are so important. Not a moment goes by, whether I’m relaxing or doing something else, without worrying about those exams. It might be just the trials, but that alone seems to have panicked my every move, deciding whether or not I should’ve done any activity at that time. It’s also around this time when I completed my UCAS applications, only to ignore them several months later. That would be another story entirely. On the 13th of March, I received the package containing my two stage recordings of Team S and Team KII. Sometime later, maybe a day or two, I also received my first proper ALL48 photoset; that of Takayanagi Akane of SKE48. From March 27th onwards, my A2 trials would have started.

As I go into April’s memories, I remember that Mass Effect 3 was released on the 6th of March. Despite the trial exams that were going on, I had actually attempted to rush and end the game within three consecutive days, spending at least 10 hours on the game per day. It’s not like that was the end of it. Even after the trials, moving into the holidays, nearing April, I had been replaying the first two games to achieve what some call the perfect ending. That alone took considerable amount of time given how I was being rather “completionist” for those runs. The trial exams have ended on the 7th of April and my class decided on watching a movie right after the exams, The Hunger Games if memory serves. That same night, I had another movie with my family just for the sake of relaxation. This entire month had been nothing but thinking and exam preparations. Almost every syllabus of A-levels was done by the end of this month and students would be left to do whatever preparation it takes to gear up for the exams. Despite all of that, I had four other sets of photos of Takayanagi Akane on the 23rd of the month. Without anything else particularly interesting, the month ends just like that.

May was the month when everything counted; when you start realizing things you were supposed to realize a long while back. It was more of a contemplating sort of month, when you would reflect everything you’ve done in the past 18 months, or in my case 15, as a Cambridge A-Levels student. The exams were coming and no doubt, every student would wonder where to go once the exams have ended. The actual A2 exams would’ve commenced for our class on the 14th of May. Despite knowing how close the exams were, I managed to find some time to catch up on the How I Met Your Mother series and picked up several lifelong lessons along the way. The only reason this is possible is because the papers I had were split rather far. Some papers had gaps of two days in between and some had five, making studying a little easier, albeit the subjects were still difficult to begin with anyway. Some time towards the end of May, but still in the midst of exams, I brought myself to complete a drama I’ve been watching last year but never managed to finish it on time, five months late to be specific. The drama was entitled 私が恋愛できない理由, literally translating to The Reason I Can’t Find Love. A rather short drama of 12 episodes spanning about 47 minutes each, the drama elaborates on the lives of three characters as they deal with their daily problems and jobs. Of course it sounds simple to actually describe it like this, but to watch it is another one. I would continue describing, but there’s simply not enough space and time for that. And so May ends with our last papers, the further mathematics papers. After the paper on the 1st of June, that would mark the end of the entire A-levels program.

With the closing of May draws June, the sixth month of the year and unofficially the midpoint of the year. As mentioned, the first day of the month served as a closing door for the A-levels program and for some of us, possibly the last time we see each other until the far future. That same day, all but one of my classmates had already arranged for a movie right after the exams, namely Men In Black III. After the movie ended, we said our last few words, but all hope wasn’t to be lost, for there would be prom on the 15th later that month. On the 4th, I’ve managed to obtain yet another two sets of five photos of Takayanagi Akane to my collection while also getting other necessities for what came next. So on the 5th of June, my family had arranged for a trip to Penang Island for three days, mostly to try some local food and doze off half the time. For the first time in my life too, I was in charge of the long drive from home to Penang and the return trip. The distance to Penang was a rough 330 kilometres for both the forward and the reverse trip, and each trip took about 4 hours and 6 hours respectively. I admit, even though I was exhausted badly after the two sessions, it was fun to have the responsibility of taking my family there. Some of the food in Penang was particularly exquisite, including the simple hawker food in Gurney Drive, as well as the luxurious Italian cuisine restaurant Bella Marino in Straits Quay, which had been around for about a year or two. On the 6th of June, while I was still in Penang, I managed to catch AKB48’s 27th Single Elections live from the hotel. Even though the 3G reception from my phone had been laggy from time to time, it was still watchable nevertheless. And as per my guesses, Oshima Yuko won once again, having yet another opportunity to lead the next single.

Once we were done with Penang, life was pretty much stagnant for me from that point on. My brothers had school to get on with, while my parents resumed to their duties. It was from the 8th of June until today that I’ve yet to do anything particularly productive. I had my eyes opened to a few windows of life and picked up several other things along the way, but nothing practically useful. Having realized what free time I had, I spent them on The Legend of Korra, a sequel to the original series Avatar: The Last Airbender which was around several years ago. It was nothing short of amazing and it had just ended its first season in the recent days. Despite how great it is though, I still found the plot too fast-paced and this might sound strange; too modern. As mentioned earlier, prom was also held on the 15th. I honestly had no idea what a prom would’ve been like, and frankly I’m still not sure until today. All I know is I got a blazer, a really expensive one at that too, almost arrived late, had some dinner, took a few pictures, and danced rather senselessly into the midnight before returning home exhausted. And it was that time when I would finally see my classmates one last time until the next time in the far future. A few days after that, or something along those lines, I had the time to “revisit” my previous times by watching the second and third season of Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Towards the end of the month, I found myself deeply interested in higher-end cars. On the 22nd of June, my car got itself an upgrade; the upgrade being a subwoofer. Depending on what music one plays in the car now, it could sound either a billion times better or a billion times worse. But in most cases, the music gets better and better. While the upgrade and installation was taking place, for about two hours or so, my dad took the liberty of taking me to a Toyota showroom nearby and let me test drive a Camry 2.0G. I must admit that car was by far more luxurious than what I have now, and it’s certainly gave me an idea of what I would like to drive in the future; but that’s not the end of it. Apparently the newer Camry 2.5V model had already been out, but no unit was particularly available for testing at that moment. However, it still gave me something to ponder about. In those recent days, I also found myself to drink a lot of Tonino Lamborghini chocolate; just some really good chocolate powder we got from the Italian cuisine restaurant in Penang. One must take care to mix the right ratios of ingredients, and of course, take care to make sure the powder doesn’t run out that fast; it is that good after all. Five days ago on the 27th of June, I managed to snag a look at an actual Camry 2.5V while I was shopping for other things with my brother at 1 Utama. Toyota had a roadshow that day so I figured I take a good look or two. Other models including the Corolla Altis, Vios, Prius, Prius C, and 86 were on display as well.

A day or two after, an old friend of mine introduced かたわ少女, Katawa Shoujo, to me. The title literally translates to Disabled Girls and is a visual novel about a male student who suffers from a heart attack and is transferred to a school for the disabled. There, he meets five girls, each with a unique and different disability, and depending on the choices you make throughout the novel, he would lock paths with one of the characters. From there on, the story develops and a positive, neutral or negative ending could be achieved depending on the character as well as the choices. The novel itself was inspired over four years ago by a non-profit organization. As a result, the novel is fully available in English and can be downloaded absolutely free of charge. The novel itself has changed my outlook in several ways; if one needs to know, then he or she needs to really try the novel out. Even though the novel was created out of a non-profit group, the effort they put into the novel has been nothing short of outstanding and unbelievable. From the story to the art and the music, I have to say this novel hasn’t failed in any aspect whatsoever. More importantly, how touching it can get and the feeling the novel gives you that you just want to inquire what’s just going to happen next. So far, I’ve completed three of the five paths, and I would find some time to clear the rest of them in a short time.

As for the 30th of June, well this day needs a paragraph or two of its own. So I woke up in the afternoon like any other. My first brother had his first awards ceremony in four years and returns surprisingly late, due to a new plan by the school. So my dad returns home with my mom, brother and his friend, and invites me out for some simple food and a chance to look at other cars for a change. After several slices of bread and some Milo, my dad take me over to a showroom of sorts containing mixed cars from BMW to Mercedes Benz to Audi to Wolkswagen somewhere around Penchala. In the end, we managed to sit inside about 5 of the cars, just to get a feel of handling the wheel. Due to it being a showroom however, there was absolutely no test driving involved. Moments after viewing a few Audi models, we went over to the main section of the building containing Wolkswagen models. While some of the model names were particularly weird, all of them seemed rather exquisite. After even more viewing, we walked over to the BMW dealer showroom to take a look at some of the higher end models including the 328i, 335i and 520i models. If it’s anything every car we sat in had in common, it was the crammed and congested rear seats. While the exterior looked particularly sharp and attractive, the interior was another story. I get the feeling that while the driver might have some comfort, and that’s not all-comfort, the rear seats were rather tight. For cars which seemed so big on the outside, the inside was contradictorily small. After taking a few brochures and concluding our small trip, both of us happened to agree that the most comfortable cars would still be the Toyota Camry or Mercedes Benz models. All this discussion really brought out the prospective of getting a new car; but I’m certainly not ready for it yet. After all, my current car is only less than 15 months old.

The night resumed as per normal as well. After having what seems to be a late dinner, I resumed with Kawata Shoujo. By midnight, I would’ve finished the third character’s path, and as with the other two characters, contemplated about the story and started appreciating the designer’s efforts quite the bit, up until this time of the post. The same music that was playing since the beginning of this post is the exact same track right now, and is actually part of the Katawa Shoujo original soundtrack. The soundtrack of the game is too available for download without charge. And as per the album title, the songs are definitely nothing short of enigmatic. Maybe enigmatic isn’t a good way to describe it, but why the music is so good could be described as such. The usage of guitars, light drums, and some other wind instruments, arranged in such a way, proves to be just so soothing and without fail, indeed music to the ears.

I’ve probably been on this post for about an hour or two now, but it was definitely great to write something this long without too long of a pause. I’d promised myself to compose something for so long already that writing some 3000 plus word post just seems about right. If it’s any consolation, it would also contribute to anything I may lack in the future; but the past has already caught up to the present. What the future holds will be yet another mystery. Until then, it’s time to let life resume, and the time to blog, will be another day to come.