the backstage epiphany

where reality is so subjective it's entirely optional

Category Archives: Webthings

Permanent residence

I’m not sure what brought it on: the tendency to get bored quickly, the sudden urge to try something new, or the mounting desire learn to conquer what other people seem to find so easy. In any case, after more than two years of having my blog hosted by WordPress and nearly four years by Xanga, I’m moving yet again to a new website, hopefully for the last time.

It has not been an easy process, and it’s still very much a work in progress, but with Jeremy’s help, WordPress’s extremely user-friendly software, some prior knowledge (i.e. the measly amount that I learned in school) of HTML and PHP scripts, and lots of reading up on other things like databases and cPanel, I’ve finally managed to set up house at a place that allows me to just be a http://www.[domain name].com as opposed to a http://www.[domain name]

That’s right; I’m self-hosted now. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time now, but the many attempts at understanding the documentation and processes involved always left me too frustrated and confused to actually set it up. It was only after I realized it would be easier to learn from watching someone do it that I sought Jeremy’s help with setting up the web host and server. Then I paid Namecheap 9.28USD for a year’s registration of my domain name before I could change my mind and chicken out yet again on learning how to manage my own website.

As I’ve mentioned, this is still a work in progress — I have yet to find the perfect theme for the website and manually and painstakingly change ALL the hyperlinks in ALL my posts (right now they ALL redirect to this website) — but from here on out, I will be operating out of


Playing the Facebook part

Every few months I do a little cleanup of my Facebook friends list. I go through the list of people and deliberate over whether or not my absence from their friends list would be noticed, as it has been at least 8 years since we spoke and we would have nothing to talk about now. And then I decide that since they have 883 people on their list already they would never know when or how it went down to 882. So I remove them from my list, in an attempt to keep it restricted to people I have personally met and actually spoken to.

Then I wonder, Have I really met that many (current tally: 454) people in my lifetime? And if I get rid of a good 20 people every few months, does that mean I’ve actually met more than 500 people in all my born days? And if, according to TNS Research, I know extremely few people by Malaysian standards, is it really possible for some to have known as many as 3087 (and counting) people in their lives? It’s no wonder they end up developing those bizarre Facebook habits we see and eventually have to hide; it must be exhausting having to keep up with so many other people who are simultaneously promoting the color of their underwear and ingredients of their lunch-hour sandwiches.

After reading the results of the TNS survey, which state that ‘Malaysians have the most buddies in online social networks’ — half of whom I’ll wager they don’t even know, a very disturbing fact in and of itself — I have to wonder if this curious knack for collecting ‘friends’ is somehow related to the same mental disorder/national epidemic that has people excessively self-promoting on Facebook — even going so far as to incriminate themselves when they’re malingering, creating false occupations and engaging in very public warfare. Is this some form of self-validation or self-gratification that makes them feel the need to be known, liked or even taken notice of, thus breeding the insincerity and patronizing behavior that are so often mistaken for friendliness? And is this what fuels the love for partying, dressing up and going out to be seen — channeling the Western culture, so to speak — that this country is so notorious for? It would appear so, if the numerous photo albums splashed across Facebook while nursing hangovers the next day are anything to go by.

The disturbingly unanswerable question is: Why do people do this? In this day and age of staggeringly advanced technology, where whole identities can be conjured online and nobody would be the wiser, are we simply trying to appear better than what we really are, and if so, to what end? When all the adulation has been soaked up and wrung dry, what else is there left to sell but ourselves, just the way we are?

The Curse of Facebook

20 Facebook Personalities You Love to HateCLEO Magazine, November 2010

I miss the old Facebook. When I say ‘old’, I mean old; like back in 2004 when it was confined to only a selected number of U.S. universities (the University at Buffalo included), and we all had to use our [insert university name].edu email addresses to sign up for it. Photos were limited to only one — the profile picture — per user, and the Wall was this big yawning space where people could write above or below other people’s messages. Applications, Pages and the Like button were nonexistent.

Today, Facebook has become the new MySpace: far too public and teeming with stalkers. It has opened the floodgates for the repressed narcissists to make known everything that’s going on in their lives — from what they are currently eating to how they are currently feeling (most of the time they would be ‘bored’) — and brought out the narcissistic side of many others who never even knew they had one.

So when I came across this in the November 2010 issue of CLEO — a magazine I would normally never pick up unless I’m getting my nails or hair done (it was nails on that particular Sunday morning) — I was so tickled by it I had to post it here.

Not a single person reading this will be able to say they can’t relate to at least three of the Facebook personalities shown below, and every single person reading this will feel the horror of recognizing themselves in at least one of them.

Prongs 2

Found this on someone’s Tumblr, as part of my new hobby, and I was so tickled by it I had to repost it too:


(Never mind that electronics can’t function inside Hogwarts)

like order of the phoenix.

harry could have called sirius and been all

“hay bro, you okay?”

and sirus would just be

“oh hey james harry. just chillin wit mah betches.”


sirius totally has harry in his contacts as “Prongs 2” by the way.

and harry could be calling dumbledore whenever he’s away from hogwarts to keep him up to date on the whole HOLY SHIT SORCEROR’S STONE IS UNDER ATTACK.

and when the entrance to 9 and three quarters sealed harry could have went “HEY WE R LOST CAN U PICK RON AND I UP. THX” to dumbledore

during goblet of fire he could of just texted fleur when he was with the mermaids and been all “hey. u OK? ur sister is here.” and instead of waiting and getting last place, she could of just been all “LOL GOT ATTACKED BY GRINDLOWS I’M OUT.”

also, bellatrix would have a fucking ball with a camera phone. she’d be sending nude pics of herself to voldy and trying to impress him and he’d be all


and snape probably sent pictures of his dick to lily after she married james with the caption “YOU’RE MISSING OUT ON ALL OF THIS, LIL.”

i can see sirius and remus sexting non stop.

and deathly hallows?

snape wouldn’t have had to fuck around with the whole LETS PLACE THE SWORD IN THE BOTTOM OF A LAKE AND HOPE HARRY FINDS IT. he could have just texted him from an anon number and been all “hey dumbass, go three feet west and get that fucking sword. BRING A COAT.”

when ron got lost he wouldn’t have to screw with the deluminator. he could have just texted harry “IM LOST CAN U TELL ME HOW TO GET BACK.” and bam, we wouldn’t have hermione crying or anything.

they would totally prank call voldemort too. “HEY UR MOM IS A WHORECRUX, TOM. LOLOLOLOL.”

and the luna missing thing?

“luna what can you tell us about Deathly Hallows.”

and she could have just told them and stuff without them getting nearly killed. again.

and those answering places where you text a question, hermione would be using that all the time. and ron would be asking them how to pick up babes.


Happy Tumbl(r)ing!

Because I like looking at pretty things, and I don’t have much to write about anything these days except the fact that I hate my job and love my boyfriend, I am now spending some time here:

You’ll be amazed how looking at pretty things can lift your spirits even just the tiniest bit. So bear with me while I go through what seems to be another bout of writer’s block. I will still post here when I have something of significance to say, or when I just need to find a place for the ever-snowballing effects of my job to crash into, but for now, I’m a right happy little Tumbl(e)r.

Brave heart

What is love, anyway?

Ah, best for last. If I were Spock from “Star Trek,” I would explain that human love is a combination of three emotions or impulses: desire, vulnerability and bravery. Desire makes one feel vulnerable, which then requires one to be brave.

Since I’m not Spock, I will tell a story.

Say you decide to adopt a baby girl in China. You receive her photo, put it on your refrigerator and gaze at it as the months pass, until finally you’re halfway around the world, holding her in your arms, tears of joy streaming down your face.

But later in your hotel room, after undressing her, you discover worrisome physical signs, in particular a scar on her spine. You call the doctor, then head to the hospital for examinations and CT scans, where you are told the following: she suffered botched spinal surgery that caused nerve damage. Soon she will lose all bladder and bowel control. Oh, and she will be paralyzed for life. We’re so sorry.

But the adoption agency offers you a choice: keep this damaged baby, or trade her in for a healthier one.

You don’t even know about the trials yet to come, about the alarming diagnoses she’ll receive back home, the terrifying seizures you’ll witness. Nor do you know about the happy ending that is years off, when she comes through it all and is perfectly fine. You have to decide now. This is your test. What do you do?

If you’re Elizabeth Fitzsimons, who told this story here one Mother’s Day, you say: “We don’t want another baby. We want our baby, the one sleeping right over there. She’s our daughter.”

That’s love. Anyone can have it. All it requires is a little bravery. Or a lot.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

– Excerpt from Explaining the Irrational by The New York Times

10 Things You Don’t Know About Women

by Alyssa Milano for Esquire

1. Women are innately self-conscious. This is not a choice; it’s a genderwide condition. On a bad day, I look in the mirror and see my ten-pound-heavier alter ego. Her name is Bertha. On a really bad day, Bertha sees her two-hundred-pound-heavier alter ego. Her name is Brian Dennehy.

2. Women produce half the world’s food but own only 1 percent of its farmland. So we’re fine with you picking up the tab. And after about three thousand dinners at Nobu, we should be even.

3. Women like porn, too. We just hate it when you hide the porn.

4. Women remember everything. Don’t believe me? Ask your girlfriend where you met. She won’t tell you it was at a party. She’ll say it was a Thursday, she had just come from dinner, where she ate a veggie burger, and she was wearing her friend Cathy’s pink top, which was big on her because Cathy is a big girl. You were wearing a blue button-down, drinking a Jack and Coke with two straws, and talking to Bill, that mutual friend. She waved and you gave her the “what’s up” nod. This still infuriates her. (“How could you give me the nod?”)

5. An eyelash curler, while mean and ferocious looking, is not a weapon.

6. No matter how much your woman loves you, there are going to be three to seven days each month when she wants you dead. (She may even quietly fantasize about turning her eyelash curler against you.) You have two options: Tie yourself to a tree and wait out the storm, or stock up at Tiffany’s, toss a blue box or two into the wind, and hope for the best. We recommend the latter. (The key chain doesn’t count.)

7. We think it’s weird when you watch sports and concentrate to help your team.

8. “Hey, Melissa, who’s the boss?” Not a good pickup line. “Hey, Phoebe, where’d you park your broomstick?” Not a good pickup line. “Hey, Alyssa, you look 250 pounds lighter than Brian Dennehy in that dress.” Surprisingly good pickup line.

9. Women hear better than men. That’s before you even factor in listening skills and attention spans. Come to think of it, I should have listed this one first because I’m sure I’ve lost you by now.

10. You may be surprised to know that women were responsible for inventing all of the following: the circular saw, the signal flare, the space suit, the bulletproof vest, and the windshield wiper. You’re welcome.

*          *          *

I can’t say I agree with all of them. No.10 I will discount because I didn’t know it in the first place either, but the only ones I can relate to are numbers 1, 2, 4 and 9.

Most of it is nothing we don’t already know, but it’s amusing to revisit them every now and then, not in the least because, as No.9 states, men could use a little repetition every once in a while.

Oprah Winfrey: The Do’s & Don’ts – Men/Relationships 101

Also known as the story of my life

* Taken from Facebook, in which Eza very thoughtfully tagged me. The number of points that apply to me is staggering.

1. If a man wants you, nothing can keep him away.
If he doesn’t want you, nothing can make him stay.

2. Stop making excuses for a man and his behavior.

3. Allow your intuition (or spirit) to save you from heartache.

4. Stop trying to change yourself for a relationship that’s not meant to be.

5. Slower is better.

6. Never live your life for a man before you find what makes you truly happy.

7. If a relationship ends because the man was not treating you as you deserve then no, you can’t ‘be friends’. A friend wouldn’t mistreat a friend.

8. Don’t settle.

9. If you feel like he is stringing you along, then he probably is.

10. Don’t stay because you think ‘it will get better’. You’ll be mad at yourself a year later for staying when things are not better.

11. The only person you can control in a relationship is you.

12. Avoid men who’ve got a bunch of children by a bunch of different women. He didn’t marry them when he got them pregnant, why would he treat you any differently?

13. Always have your own set of friends separate from his.

14. Maintain boundaries in how a guy treats you. If something bothers you, speak up.

15. Never let a man know everything. He will use it against you later.

16. You cannot change a man’s behavior. Change comes from within.

17. Don’t EVER make him feel he is more important than you are… even if he has more education or is in a better job.

18. Do not make him into a quasi-god. He is a man, nothing more and nothing less.

19. Never let a man define who you are.

20. Never borrow someone else’s man. If he cheated with you, he’ll cheat on you.

21. A man will only treat you the way you ALLOW him to treat you.

22. All men are NOT dogs.

23. You should not be the one doing all the bending; compromise is a two-way street.

24. You need time to heal between relationships.  There is nothing cute about baggage!

25. Deal with your issues before pursuing a new relationship.

26. You should never look for someone to COMPLETE you; a relationship consists of two WHOLE individuals.

27. Look for someone complementary… not supplementary.

28. Dating is fun… even if he doesn’t turn out to be Mr. Right.

29. Make him miss you sometimes. When a man always knows where you are, and you’re always readily available to him —  he takes it for granted.

30. Never move into his mother’s house. Never co-sign for a man.

31. Don’t fully commit to a man who doesn’t give you everything that you need.

32. Keep him in your radar but get to know others.

You should know that:

You’re the best thing that could ever happen to anyone and if a man mistreats you, he’ll miss out on a good thing. If he was attracted to you in the first place, just know that he’s not the only one.