5-Minute Warning XIX

December starts tomorrow, meaning that my girlfriend is turning another year older. Oh my God. Oh. My. God. Am I ready for tomorrow? I do have a gift though, but should I buy another? But budget is tight. And beside I already bought a gift she really wants. I have not given her a gift off her actual wish list on her birthday. I do not want to make another mistake.

I am nervous. But why should I nervous? I already bought her something. Something she really wants. Good grief. I need to relax. Goddamn coffee. I should stop drinking coffee at night. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

XII: On Waking Up Early I

In my workplace, operating hours start at 9am and ends at 6pm. We have a grace period up to 10am so we will not be marked as late. Unfortunately I have made a reputation to be really tardy—a reputation I am totally not proud of, and I have been working for 3 years already. It went to the point that my workmates just got used to that, and I

Yes, there are a few contributing factors that I cannot control like (1) living in a place with terrible daily road traffic and (2) unfortunate accidents that make traffic worse for a few hours. But in the end, I totally blame myself for not fixing my sleeping habits and not having a good morning routine. In short, I’m a big failure.

But enough moping and more direct action: I kept looking on YouTube videos, adjusting my sleeping pattern and trying other new ways to be punctual. And after a few years of adjusting and trials-and-errors, I made an simple yet significant achievement last week: I was at work early from Monday to Thursday; 4 out of my 5 work days, I was not late. Hot damn. And not only am I happy about that, my office mates’ reactions vary from “Congratulations!” and “Traffic was not bad, huh?” to “Holy shit!” and “What happened to our friend? Did you kill him?!” (Perhaps the last one counts as a positive reply?)

But anyway, how did I do it? Well, here are my first three tips on how to be at work on time. They may not work for you, but they definitely work for me. Continue reading XII: On Waking Up Early I

Sunday Night Questions III

Hello, dear Dispatch. After another month of inactivity here, I am back and here’s another set of Sunday Night Questions! If you are new to my home on the web, this is where I answer at least 5 questions about anything in my life and under the sun as long as it can be answered by a “Yes” or a “No”. Explaining the answer is optional.

Are you ready? I am. Let’s go! Continue reading Sunday Night Questions III

X: A Fork in the Road

I was so tired after my Friday overtime that I stayed for another hour just to drink more water and take a nap. I did not bother going home right away. And this has been my nth overtime in almost 3 months.

It’s 10:40pm that I logged out of the office. I opened my smartphone and stared at the Uber icon. Should I book a ride? No. I chose to walk for a while and look for a nearby Mercury Drug.

During my walk to the drugstore, my heart started beating hard like a mad gorilla pounding a bass drum. My feet was trembling and almost failing. The quiet and dark streets are whispering somber thoughts I am not supposed to think about.

I need to breathe. I do not need another anxiety attack. God damn it. I need to breathe. I need to close my eyes and take deep breaths. Breathe in. Breathe out. Slowly. Deeply. Breathe. I will be fine.

After a few minutes of my breathing exercise, my anxious heart calmed down and I opened my eyes. There is red and black smoke, and a deep church bell rang as if The Undertaker will start his slow march. But no. I saw more familiar face—the face of The Character, a dear friend of mine that only gifted eyes can see. Wearing his white mask, black hood and black gloves, he presented me a literal fork in the road.

“I will leave it up to you to interpret the paths.”

In the left, there is a contract. What can I say? I have been working for the same digital production company for 3 years, and the past 2 were assured by that contract I signed out of motivation to earn more money, out of my desire to learn more about UI and graphic design and helping out my colleagues, and out of fear of being unemployment for 6 months before I got my first job. My contract’s end is drawing near as my fear of unemployment is creeping back, so there is this want to extend my stay.

In the right, there is a newly-furnished door. This brand new path could mean many things: a new job that pays better yet still stressful or the total end of my current job. But all I can say about the new door is that it symbolizes, well, new. It symbolizes something I have never done before during my 3-year corporate run.

Two paths, and I feel like I’m running out of time. I need to make a decision. I must make a decision. Or…

“But seriously though,” I asked The Character. “How about a vacation? Can I just go to an excursion to Singapore for the weekend or something? Or just watch Foo Fighters in August there? October is a bit far away for me.”

“Well, then. The clock is ticking still,” The Character warned as he slowly disappears from the fog, and the fork in the road dissolves into dust.

And then I woke up. I found myself in a Family Mart resting. I need to go home. Or probably get some new breakfast pancakes at Starbucks before going home. Whatever.

I want a long vacation. I do. But he is right. I need to make a decision soon.

Sunday Night Questions II

Hello, dear Dispatch. I’m back, and I’m doing another Sunday Night Questions! This is where I answer at least 5 questions about this week’s happenings, discoveries, and anything in between, as long as it can be answered by a “Yes” or a “No”. Elaboration on the answer is optional.

Anyway, let’s get to it!


1. Have you learned something about someone this week?

Yes. A thousand times yes! In fact, I’ve learned a lot about more than one person actually. I mean, I totally believe that everyone has a story waiting to be told and it’s up to you if you want to know them.


2. Was your work this week much easier than last week’s?

No. Good grief. Last Friday night was the worst.


3. Have you seen any new movies this week?

Yes! But it’s not really new. It’s Moana. I know… I suck for being this late.


4. Is your pet cat Vienna eating well?

Yes. In fact, she has been eating more than she has ever had in years! Good thing I am alternating what I serve in her bowl. (Whiskas or Friskies seafood platter in the morning, plain tuna chunks in the evening.)


5. Was everyone replying to your messages?

Yes. Fuck yes. (smiles)


That wraps up my second set of SNQs! And oh my God. I have a feeling that I will be another overtime streak this coming week. Wish me luck?

The 13 Books Project

Have you ever made a Tumblr or an Instagram account, started a “Project 365”, have great progress in posting day by day for a few months, and then started posting less and less and less until you abandoned the whole thing?

No? Good for you. I am envious of your accomplishment. Aside from those 30-Day Music Challenges on both Tumblr and Twitter, I have never completed any month-long project, let alone a year-long project. Even if I pray to seven deities or gather all of the inspiration from the entire universe, I still end up being a lazy piece of work.

And here I am making my own year-long project that involves reading a number of books. Because why not! Why not create a new burden and stack it over the other burdens in my goddamn life?

Oh. Sorry. That got, um…

Anyway, seriously, I have been struggling into reading books more often ever since college—a time when I paid more attention to comic books over plain text, when Batman and Deadpool captured my imagination first and then Theodore Boone and Smaller and Smaller Circles. And I have taken upon myself on a project that will hopefully help me ease back into reading books regularly again. I call it the 13 Books Project.

The rules are simple:

For one whole year, I am going to read any book I can get my hands on—fantasy, crime, self-help, whatever book I want to read. I just have to make sure I finish 13 books by the end of the year.

With that main goal, I think 1 book per month would not hurt a busy, slow reader like me. I could modify the challenge along the way, but the goal is still the same: 13 books for one whole year.

I already started the challenge by dwelling on Neil Gaiman’s short short Fragile Things

You can join in the challenge, if you like! Just let me know if you in the comments section or on Twitter if you fancy that. (My handle is @DerangedWriter, of course.)

Good luck to me!


Sunday Night Questions I

Have you listened to the greatest prank call in all of mankind? If you haven’t, please do yourself a favor, click the play button on the video above and listen to the glorious audio clip. Please do it now. I will wait. I’m not kidding. I. Will. Wait.

Done? It’s so funny, right? And what really cracked me up is when he prankster asked “is champ there?”, the woman asked back “who is champ?” and a loud “that question will be answered this Sunday night!” was heard complete with John Cena’s theme song.

Weirdly enough, that is the inspiration for my new segment on The Dispatch, Sunday Night Questions! This is where I answer at least 5 questions about what happened during my week, discoveries and reviews on selective media, and anything in between, as long as it can be answered by a “Yes” or a “No”. I can elaborate on my answer, but it’s not really necessary.

Anyway, are you ready? No, I should be the one answering that.

Yes, I am ready. Let’s go! Continue reading Sunday Night Questions I