English: I poop rainbows     Bahasa Melayu: Ku terfikir     Personal Site

Sunday, November 4, 2018

My first Pokémon competition

I started playing Pokémon Ultra Sun on 18th of August 2018. At first, I was just playing it for fun, but at some point, I learned that people also play Pokémon competitively. I found out that there's a Pokémon Video Game World Championship which is held every year around August. This year, it was held in Nashville, Tenessee.

When I learned all this, I thought, "That's so cool! You could actually literally be the World Champion at Pokémon, like in the games and the Anime!" Of course I had to give it a shot.

And so I began to find out more about how to qualify for the World Championships, and basically, what you need to do is participate in official Pokémon competitions which can be at live events around the world, and also online competitions. This article gives an overview of what the Pokémon VGC (Video Game Championships) is about: https://www.pokemon.com/us/strategy/an-introduction-to-the-video-game-championships/

Fast forward to October, and there was an online Competition organized by the Pokémon company in conjunction with Halloween. It's called the Ultra Spooky Cup, and the rules were that you had to use Pokémon which fit the "Spooky" theme.

As a prize, everyone who participates in the competition and completes at least 3 battles would get a Shiny Mimikyu, so I thought I'd give it a shot, since I'd have nothing to lose, and I'd get a Shiny Mimikyu to boot.

And so I began preparing.

This was my first competition, so I didn't really know what I was doing, but I gathered that the basic steps would be to:

  1. Read the rules, know which Pokémon are eligible, know the format of the battles.
  2. Pick the main Pokémon I'd like to have in my team.
  3. Pick the other Pokémon that would complement my main Pokémon
  4. Acquire said Pokémon by catching them and breeding them to get the right IVs (stats), Nature, Ability, and Egg moves
  5. Training the Pokémon so they have the right EVs
  6. Level up the Pokémon so they learn the moves that I want them to know.
  7. Teach any remaining moves to them via TMs and Move Tutors
  8. Figure out what items to give each Pokémon to hold
  9. Acquire any items that I want to give my Pokémon, but which I don't have yet

How I got back into playing Pokémon

Recently, I decided to start playing Pokémon again. I don't really recall what triggered it, but I remember I was just in the bus one day, heading home from work, and I suddenly thought "Hmm, I haven't played Pokémon in ages! Let's download a Gameboy emulator on my phone and replay Pokémon Red".

As I played it, I recalled how much fun it was, and when I got home, I wondered if the new Pokémon games were any good. The latest Pokémon game I had played at the time was Pokémon Sapphire, which I played around 2008 - 2010 probably, and which I really enjoyed. And I had briefly played Pokémon Go when it came out in 2016, but it didn't have as many features back then, so I didn't play it too long.

So I checked online, and found that the latest version of Pokémon was Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, released on November 2017. So here was a really recent Pokémon game, not even one year old yet.

I went ahead and downloaded an emulator for the 3DS and started playing Ultra Sun on it. I don't have a  very powerful PC, so the frame rate of the game was atrocious! 1 minute cutscenes would take more than 3 minutes to play out, but I was absolutely loving the animations and that the game was 3D! It's come such a long way from what it was back on the Gameboy!

On the emulator, the gameplay stuttered, but I was so mesmerized by it that I played anyway, and eventually I got to the point where I could pick my starter Pokémon (It took waaay too long on my non-gaming PC). As usual, the choice was between a Grass Pokémon, a Fire Pokémon, and a water Pokémon. I've always picked the Water Pokémon as my starter in every Pokémon game I've played (Squirtle in Pokémon Red, Totodile in Gold, and Mudkip in Sapphire), but in Ultra Sun, the Fire Pokémon is Litten, which is such an adorable cat! And so for the first time, I picked a Fire Pokémon as my starter.

And then once I'd made my choice, the following cutscene played:
This scene totally stole my heart
This isn't my character or a recording of my gameplay, by the way. I took it from this Youtube video

And that is the exact moment I decided that I need to buy a Nintendo 3DS so I could play this game properly. And I did just that the very same weekend. Went out and bought myself a Nintendo New 3DS XL, a copy of Pokémon Ultra Sun, and that's how it all started.

Well, at least, that's how I started getting back to Pokémon. It all really started when I was around 10 years old and my parents got me a Gameboy Pocket with Pokémon Red. And I guess I've always liked Pokémon since then. 

Sunday, December 18, 2016


OMG I have friends! Friends who would throw a surprise birthday party for me! I could write a thousand words and it wouldn't even begin to describe how happy I am to have these people in my life. Oh my goodness. 

I thought I was just gonna have dinner with a small group of friends. Just eight of us. I didn't invite too many people, because I didn't want to put them in a situation where they would potentially have to reject an invitation. That would just be uncomfortable. And I'm uncomfortable enough already, trying so hard to not tell everyone that my birthday is coming up, so let's just not get other people involved. 

But then Selam told me if I could change it to lunch, because she "can't do dinner." So I thought, "so lunch it is then." I mean, what's the point of even having a meal on my birthday if my favourite people aren't there? And Anastasia said she could make it to lunch too, so all my favourite people definitely would be there!

These people surprise me. They surprise me in the way they're so happy and unapologetic about being themselves. It's just so liberating and it just makes me happy too. Like, I'm always telling Reena about all the ways she surprises me with her different stories. And Guillaume tells me the wildest stories that I would never expect. And Nkechi who's just so full of fun, it amazes me blind.  It's really cool because it makes me feel comfortable to be who I want to be. And that's a good feeling, I think.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Can I take a photo of you?

This morning, in the tram on my way to catch the bus to driving school, I was just stand-sitting against the butt perch (those high cushions around butt-height that let you stand up but sit your butt down at the same time), looking around at the different people around me. There were some interesting people, like this one old lady in a shiny leapord print jacket, orange hair and a red scarf made out of what looked like cat balls.

There was also this young man with a very nice wool jacket that had a colourful pine tree motif against a navy blue background. And there were three babies in prams in the tram too. There were handsome and pretty looking teenagers and there were the other teenagers, each equally interesting and boring in their own uniquely similar way.

Saturday, December 10, 2016


Last night, I did something embarrassing that I'm not very proud of. It was definitely not one of my better moments, but if I think about it, it's not really that bad. On a scale of one to ten, with ten being "I want to leave the country and go somewhere no one knows me", last night was probably a four. 

As it was happening though, I think I remember that it felt like a 7 or an 8 for at least a short while. You see, we were at a friend's place for some Karaoke fun, and I was talking to a couple of my friends, and I started flirting with one of them who then basically said "Not gonna happen."
Followed up with the other one saying "Oh snap!" 

I'm pretty sure I lost my balance for a second. I literally almost stumbled and fell over backwards.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Weekend in Paris

Current location
At home in my studio in Vieux Nice
istening to
Thinking about the discussion with my maître de stage that we’ll be having tomorrow so I can present my work so far, and decide on what needs to be done next.
I really should get some sleep.
Last meal
Subway sandwich with Muddin at Les Templiers
Optimistic, hopeful

This last weekend, I went to Paris. Here’s some photographic evidence:

I do not usually travel very much. In fact, in the four years I’ve been in France, I’ve mostly stayed in Nice and haven’t been to many places. Apart from Paris which I’ve visited twice before (not counting the first time I arrived at CDG airport in May 2010) I’ve been to Toulon, Toulouse, Monaco, Ventimiglia, San Remo and Amsterdam. Oh, and I was in the Frankfurt airport once for a whole hour. 
My friends however, have been travelling all over Europe, and so this year, I’ve decided that I’m going to catch up on the travelling that I haven’t been doing. For starters, I went to Paris to spend time with Tan Jun Yen and Elvin Lian Jia Ming

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Hari Raya & Breaking into my apartment.

Current location
In my studio apartment, in Vieux Nice! Woohoo! :D
Now listening to
Elated. Adrenaline rush. Really happy.
Last meal
KFC with Alban Haskaj and Paul Lavoine.
Other activities
Looking at the little edible gift I bought myself from the store downstairs. Cleaning up the house.

This weekends’s been really exciting. First of all, yesterday the juniors organized a Hari Raya open house at an apartment in Vieux Nice that they rented for 4 days. It was really well done, and the turnout was quite good, with students from Aix and Toulon and even one guy from Russia.
Hari Raya in Vieux Nice

Anyway, yesterday was great fun, and the food was awesome; there was the standard Raya fair of rendang and ketupat, which actually, has come to become rather expected. What really was a pleasant surprise was the effort they’d taken to produce enough kuih raya for everyone. A lot of them chipped in, and brought tasty home-made raya treats with them:

Friday, March 7, 2014

Why I'm so nice

I find it quite natural to smile a lot, be generous, be nice to people and all that, but not so much to make people happy as to make myself feel good. I believe that I am nice only as long as it fulfils a need within me to externalize and express different sorts of emotions, or to achieve certain goals – enjoy vicariously through my friends when witnessing or perhaps just imagining the pleasure they derive from my largesse? Make people like me more? Feel better about myself? All of the above.

It might sound like a terrible thing to admit, but that’s how I feel. If it didn’t make me happy to make you happy, I wouldn’t do it. It simply wouldn’t be worth my time and effort. Although you might be taken aback, if you ponder about it for a moment, it will seem less shocking. That might either be the result of you rationalizing and reaching logical conclusions, or just your brain activating a coping mechanism to make it seem less horrendous than you initially thought. Either way, I would have achieved my goal, so keep reading.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

My attempt at explaining the funnies

Today I was thinking about my favorite ways to produce humorous sayings and writings, and I think it boils down mostly to saying the unexpected, and quite often, precisely the opposite of the expected (there is a difference - think about it). But to go into a bit more detail:

Nasi lemak and friends

This photo is here specifically to show off the resolution of my phone camera. Go ahead. Click it. You know you want to.
    Today, to mark the end of many a sleepless night and the semester, I cooked up some nasi lemak and invited my team mates and some of my friends over to my place.
I also decided to punish them all, just for fun

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

My internal thought process this morning

Today, when getting dressed in the morning, I decided I would wear a floral patterned long-sleeve shirt and wear my grey wool coat over it and a grey wool scarf around my neck. The scarf is really long, so I let it fall down past the belt line and cover the front-tails of my shirt.

Then I headed out and discovered that it was drizzling, so I thought of something clever to say to my mates: “Aujourd’hui je suis habillé comme le temps; dehors il est tout gris, mais dedans il y a de la couleur”, I thought I’d say to them as I take off my coat once we’re indoors. I imagine we’d be coming in from outside after sipping on some hot drinks.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

2013: Year in review, part 4 – September to December

And here’s part 4, the last one!

I flew back to France on the 31st of August. Upon reaching Nice, I met up with my friends, and we went to the beach and walked around town a bit. Then I spotted this photo opportunity:

I call this photo “Malaysian in France”

2013: Year in review, part 3 - Summer

Hello, here’s part 3 of my series of blog posts that I should have written earlier. Vive la procrastination!

This post is mostly going to be photos that I took during the summer holidays which I spent in Malaysia. I spent some time in KK as well as in KL.
The weather was excellent (though a bit warm)

I got to see my family, and all my siblings were together for the first time since Abang Faisal’s wedding. Here’s a photo of myself with Abang Faruq and Abang Fadhil in front of Aunty Parimala’s father’s house:

2013: Year in review, part 2 - February to April

Hello again,

In part one, I’d mentioned things from December 2012 and from January 2013. I then looked in my Gmail archives to jog my memory about what I was doing from February till the summer, and I found mostly chats with my team mates discussing the two projects that we had at the time (DeVINT and Myrmes for OGL – outil de gestion de logiciel). No surprise there, I guess. I was really really busy and stressed out in semester 2.

Ah, that reminds me about what I did sometime around April of this year to de-stress: I went to Amsterdam! With Ariff and Afif and three other guys! Good thing I did, because the holiday really helped. I probably would have gone crazy without a nice relaxing break. This time, we went to Madurodam to see the Netherlands in miniature. I got to take plenty of photos of Domokun on holiday that day. We also went to Keukenhoff to see the colourful, pretty tulips. Here are some photos:

That’s one big spread (It’s called a Rijsttafel). It consisted of nasi kuning, rendang daging, ayam melaka, tempe goreng, satay, kerabu mangga, ayam goreng, sambal telur, sambal olek, sambal tempe, sayur lodeh, kacang panjang masak sambal, acar timun, keropok udang, keropok vegetarian.

Well, I guess that concludes the first half of the year, because I don’t think anything special happened between my return from Amsterdam and my return to Amsterdam again in June before heading to Malaysia for the summer holidays.

So that’s it for part 2, next up is part 3, perhaps the last in this series of long overdue blog posts.

2013: Year in review, part 1 - December 2012 and January

It’s 3:22 am, but I’m not sleepy yet. I’ll sleep in tomorrow. Right now I’m listening to Ana Tijoux’s album “1997” while I write about the happenings in 2013.

Now, let’s see, where do I start? I’m trying to think back to January to remember if anything note-worthy happened, but I’m drawing a blank. I have seriously NO remembrance of the first month of this year. Apart from that I was probably busy doing some project or other. 

Semester Three at Polytech Sophia

I was having trouble falling asleep, so here I am updating my blog. Just as well, seeing as how I haven’t written anything other than project reports for school for a while.
Besides, 2013 is nearly out, so I guess I’ll just make up for the lack of posts by giving a quick update of the stuff that happened this year.
Last time I posted, I was psyched about the second semester. Well, the semester was OK, though some of the projects were a bit stressful at times. But semester 2 is over now – in fact, I’m just about done with semester 3 (just the exams in January left).
This semester was hard. The subjects were harder, and there’s always something to hand in every other week (even as of right now, I have two reports to finish up for handing in January when school reopens). The subjects I had this semester:

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Second semester at Polytech Nice-Sophia

Hello world,

In this post, I’m going to tell you about the cool subjects I’m taking this semester in my Computer Science course at Polytech Sophia. Right now I’m in the middle of the first week of the new semester, so I still haven’t encountered all the subjects yet, (and I can’t guess what they are from the cryptic acronyms on the time table). So far though, all the classes I’ve been to are really interesting, and all the lecturers are awesome!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Some things I've learnt so far in life

As I sit here trying to put into words some of the important lessons that I’ve learnt, I realize that a lot of them are quite complicated. They are also quite interconnected and relate to each other, but I’m not sure that I can be both coherent and brief, so for the sake of brevity, here they are, presented individually:

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Mummy, I'm tired

If you’ve read my post from earlier today, you’d know that today hasn’t been really great. In fact, this whole week has been quite lousy, what with it being the anticlimactic first week of school after the lovely lazy week-long holiday where I pretended that I was a Snorlax and slept most of the time, getting up only once in a while to eat.
Today’s frustrating events made me snap, and I had an emotional breakdown. I felt so much frustration, annoyance, stress and self-pity that all I wanted to do was cry. And all I could think was “I want my mummy!” It’s quite a primitive response, certainly, but I think every once in a while, when we’re overwhelmed, we need someone to calm us down, and little is more calming than mother’s gentle voice.
So I called my mummy, and my voice cracking, I said “Mummy, I’m tired”. And she said, “Oh, what’s the matter?” Just hearing the gentle concern in her voice made me start to tear up and cry, and I proceeded to explain my distress, though I’m sure it was completely incomprehensible.
Mummy surely didn’t really understand what I was upset about – nobody could possibly understand my tear-choked blabbering – but the only thing that mattered was that I was upset. She didn’t interrupt me, she just listened, not asking for details, not asking for clarification. But when finally I’d finished my incoherent rant, she recited this poem which she’s always recited to her children:
When the road you're trudging is all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
When you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't quit.

Hearing that was all I needed. I felt like nothing else needed to be said. In any case, I couldn’t say much because I was holding back sobs. All I could say was “Mummy, please repeat that poem again for me.” Which she did of course, and that made me feel so much better.

P/S: Of course, when I collected myself a few minutes later, I called Mummy again, to let her know that I'm alright, and that she needn't worry too much. That I'm just having a bad week. And she said "Have you been getting enough sleep? Take a nice warm shower, sleep. And makan. You'll feel much better after a nice shower and some sleep. I love you, son." Perfect advice.  

A miserable day

Today, all the planets in some distant galaxy must have aligned ever so precisely to make sure that I would experience the suckiest day that I have in a long time. Today was one of those days where nothing is right and everything that could go wrong does.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Physical Intimacy

I like physical intimacy. I like hugs, handshakes high-fives and kisses. I like being pet, caressed and massaged. I like it when elbows, shoulders or knees touch when sitting and talking with someone. 
It just feels so good, to physically be in touch with other people. I’ve noticed that I like to touch not just people, but things that I like as well. When I like something or someone, I get a really strong urge to reach out and touch it or them. And when someone makes me really happy, I just want to hug them and smother them with kisses. In fact, at times, when I feel especially happy with myself for being such a good boy, I wish I could kiss myself, but I can’t – which is why someone else really should. 
Research has shown that physical intimacy has its health benefits. A hug or touch can result in the release of oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin as well as reduce stress hormones. It’s obviously good for us, so I think that people should hold hands with each other more. Or at least, with me. 
A lack of physical intimacy can lead to increased feelings of loneliness. And that sucks. So get intimate ;)