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Thursday, 5 September 2013

Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall

"Well here we are again. It's always such a pleasure."
Want You Gone - Jonathan Coulton

It really has been a long time hasn't it? Five months have gone by without an update and I am feeling the bite of the guilt. Gone are those days when I blogged almost weekly and had all the time in the world.

Dear Princess Celestia,

Forgive me for the long break without updating. My bad. I have been very busy. Even when I had nothing to do, I would find something to keep me active at all times. It kind of expleains my workaholic habits I seem to have picked up.

Final semester in University is now in motion and it's off to a rolling start. It's barely even the first week and the assignments are already streaming in. Looks like a long semester ahead. Time has really gotten a hold of me and the world has changed so much. Things just keep getting worse by the day. Everytime I listen to the news I get a constant nag that I could be somewhere prettier or nicer than where I am. I guess some bad things have slipped though as well.

In the past five months I have seen dreams crumble before my eyes. The struggle and the pain of having to plough through life knowing that the next turning point is so closely within reach is quite frankly, crazy. Ideas start to run in my head and I suddenly change what I want to do.

Did you ever feel like this, princess? As great of a leader as you are, have you ever wanted to try something else or perhaps pursue a different line of work? It's probably a crazy job being a princess. I sure as hell can't do it. I don't have the leadership skills you posess. Though the prospect of becoming a princess is very attractive and sounds like the best damn thing, The entire package is more of a different story. Politics and having to attend to those whom you can't please is a responsibility I cannot pony up to.

But as for changing course, there have been meny times when I questioned what I was doing. 3 months ago I suddenly wanted to become a pilot. Why? I have no idea. Taking to the sky isn't really a passion for me, but being behind the wheel of an engineering marvel that makes this planet so much smaller is. Of course, it's unnecessary in Equestria. Pegasi ponies take care of that for all of you and plus, you're an alicorn. There's nothing better than having wings. It's the liberty that inspires me to want to take to the skies.

If I ever were to become a pony in Equestria, I swear I want to be a pegasus, but I'll take anything just to be there.

Then there were sudden moments when I wanted to be a baker. Perhaps with some inspiration from the local Ponyville bakery, Sugarcube Corner. And I can never forget my desire to become a forensics expert and also an engineer. What kind of engineer you may ask? I wanted to become a chemical engineer, mechanical engineer, software engineer, aviation engineer and even a quantum physicist. My life was a mess and still is.

Thankfully my choice in this course has locked me in this path and prevented me from pursuing these wild dreams. I have no idea what would have happened if I decided to pull out a tangent and follow it. Maybe I would find a new calling, but I will never know because I didn't do it. I simply couldn't.

Anyway, I though I would just enlighten you on my mental journey through university. It's time for me to buckle down and hit the road. The final semester is calling and I sure as hell hope I'm ready.

Your loyal subject,

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

A Slice of Life

"Isn't it wonderful to be exactly who you are? When you learn to start accepting yourself, you'll become a shining star."
Great To Be Different - Forest Rain feat. Decibelle

My, my, my. What have I done.

I wouldn't say I've been letting the clock tick time away in the past four months. I mean, I know what you're thinking. Daniel! Where the hell have you been!? Truth be told, I've been dead busy. Heck, I'm writing this now because there is no Internet on the bus to campus!

As you can see from my social media streams, I've become this monster who gets so angry over the little things. Simple derps like the ATM being out of order or a menu item not being served in a restaurant can ruin my mood. Thankfully, I still have friends and Facebook to keep me company and help me make it through the day.

Mornings have become a chore again. While I was interning with Malaysiakini from January till March, the work hours were the best damn thing since my second semester, but it took its toll as the industry raped me of my liberty and time. Needless to say, all that I had left just slipped through my fingers. I spent my hours polishing my podcast, wrestling with my faulty laptop and working on The MBS Show. Now that I'm back in university, things just keep getting worse. There's a thin line between real-world training and plain lousy customer service. In this case, however, it is clearly the latter.

I got digitally locked out of Taylor's today because of problems with the payment system. It seems like capitalism is hard-wired into their system. As soon as the clock hit 9.30, I was pretty much suspended. My WiFi dropped, my student portal stopped working and my computer lab accounts were locked. The best part is, my folks have already wired the dough before the due date. The bank balance and statement says so. All it took was one hiccup in the line to throw everything off.

Now I really don't know what Taylor's expects me to be. An engineer? A technician or what I really can't figure, but I can't be any of the above. Why? Because I'm not in that league. I'm not equipped with a brain for such endeavors. Even though I tinker with computers for a hobby and I do quite understand the nature of online transactions. Heck, I've been cheated online before. It's not the first time I have run into a mess with online transactions.

Even PayPal and AliPay can offer me better protection on tiny transactions as low as $1. Their escrow system is so strong and robust that it would take a demigod to break it. Why can't...

...oh wait. It's FPX. The local bullcrap payment system. It's part of the reason why we will never advance. Taylor's and FPX are a match made in heaven. Get paid and then blame the user. That's what I believe to be Taylor's second tagline - it's always your fault.

Alright. That's out. Damn it feels good to be back on the blog. It's like a splash of cold water to the brain.

Anyhoo, to help sharpen my digital art skills, surprise surprise! I'll be taking commissions on deviantArt (yes. I have a deviantArt account.) If you know what Ambigrams are, that's the only kind of art that I do other than basic logo design. If you want me to try to Ambigram your name, drop me a note!

An ambigram is basically a form of typographical art where a word when inverted either in a mirror or upside down, forms the same word or another word. Example below.

I'm just a beginner at this, but if you're interested in having your name ambigrammed, hit me up with a note on deviantArt, just head on over to my profile here:

With that, I shall get back to work. Till next time!


Saturday, 2 February 2013

Overdrive Distortion

"I don't want to hurt you but I need to breathe. At the end of it all, you're still my best friend, but there's something inside that I need to release"
Too Close - Alex Clare

Dear Princess Celestia,

Do pardon me, but what is going on?

Over here people are ballistic about the recent leak from Canterlot. What happened? Did somepony tell on you? It has surely gotten a lot of people here worried and moreso, angry. What upset me is that we had to hear it from somepony other than you.

There are so many implications. What is going to happen to our favourite bookworm? Twilight Sparkle had great promise when you brought her into the spotlight by taking her as your student. You raised her so well and so lovingly as both a teacher and a princess. There is nothing more a pony could ask for. I would do anything to be your student but I was not blessed to be born a unicorn. But I didn't need to be under your wing. The lessons you taught Twilight have come a long way and have radiated across boundaries far beyond Equestria.

But a coronation for her would be just...I don't know, not the right thing? She has five amazing close friends who need her. I don't mean as a walking encyclopedia, but as a friend. As a pony who grew up lacking the joy of friendship, don't you think you should let her stay with her friends where she is happy? All I know is that you have goodwill in your heart. I trust that you will do what is best for her.

Princess Celestia, you have truly built your kingdom with love and harmony as its founding values. I'm not just talking about Canterlot or even Equestria. You have followers everywhere who truly believe in what you stand for.

But even Equestria isn't perfect, neither is it a Utopia of any sort. It has its problems and shortcomings and nopony is perfect. We all can relate to that especially when governments are corrupt and evil. There are so many in this world and we never had a hero who can truly save us. Of course none of them were as bad as King Sombra but I really prefer if we do not bring him up.

I sense something isn't right, your majesty. I sense some unrest and disharmony brewing and I will be frank, I do not blame you for it. Equestria is taking a turn for something and I honestly do not like it. Maybe you don't realize it yourself, but from an outside perspective it is getting obvious. People are on the verge of leaving your kingdom. Some have even packed up and left already, leaving nothing but a note for the rest of us.

Plus, there have been rumors that humans were let in to Equestria. You probably had good intentions behind this, your majesty, by I am sorry to say that it could backfire on your subjects from this realm. It is hard to please us, I know. So many of us dream of being able to live in Equestria as a pony and settle in your wonderful kingdom.

I don't know how much of this is true, dear Princess, but please accept my heartfelt concerns that things might take a turn for the worse. I trust and believe that you will be able to fight for the greater good of your subjects within the limits of your domain. You have shown us that unlike many other leaders, you are willing to make sacrifices and stand up for your subjects. You don't back down in the face of a threat and you will always send your most prized student, somepony you truly care for, to fight the battles that you are no longer able to.

My feeling is that a new nemesis has risen, one that is maybe more powerful than you are. Maybe even more powerful than the Elements of Harmony. It's definitely worse than Discord, Chrysalis, King Sombra and Nightmare Moon combined. It has you by the throat and you probably cannot do anything about it. Queen Faust trusts that it will all be okay, but somehow I think that there's a destructive force behind this. It probably sounds ridiculous to you but forces like these move in mysterious ways and you probably won't even realize it once it has you. It's something like Dragon Greed - it corrupts from the heart, only that this is not your fault. I don't know how you feel but I feel terrible about it. For a thousand years you have raised and made a great kingdom that brought joy and smiles to everyone, not just the ponies who live in Equestria but everywhere. While we have only known of this beautiful place for a mere three years, it has grown very much on me and many others to be a place that we can only dream of going to. It has certainly been an honor to know about your kingdom, even though I sadly will never be able to be a part of it.

With much love, dear Princess,

Monday, 31 December 2012

The Beginning

"Arrow holes, they never close from Cupid on a shooting spree"
Battle Scars - Lupe Fiasco feat. Guy Sebastian

Where have I been? I'll tell you where I've been. Cracking my skull at home. The stress levels for December have become unbearable.

Dear Princess Celestia,

2012 has been a mess. there are so many things that I started and never finished. However, that does have a positive side. I know I have a tendency to not finish things. However, that isn't necessarily a bad thing. When you know you're that kind of person who doesn't complete everything that they start, the idea I have is to start a truckload of projects. eventually, the effort will be worth the experience and I even get something done eventually! turned five years old on the 27th of November this year. There was an update but time just got a hold of me and I couldn't drop an update. I just put my mind to getting one last post up for 2012 before I leave this year behind. My workaholic side kicked in right after my finals and I have been working on the LiNES server that crashed on the week of my finals. Things were har and it was an uphill struggle, but it was surely worth it.

LiNES hasn't been adopted well. The listener count is low and my glorious university has been pushing it to the side for years. I have no idea why I'm so motivated to keep it running.

I missed my alarm on Thursday morning and missed my final exam. It was a terrible feeling that hooked me in the balls all month. I've been trying to get over it, but i fear that if I do I might seem like the douchebag whom can't learn from his mistakes. I'm not a morning person, but then again it is entirely my fault that I didn't wake up for this. After frowning at people who walk into the exam hall late before, I can finally understand what it feels like to be in their shoes.

Anyway, I best be off. I'm spending New Year's on the swing with my dad.

Your loyal subject,
St. Pinkie

If you're celebrating alone, then celebrate with me on the LiNES Podcast! Download the New Year's Eve episode here: and play it at exactly 11:45pm to countdown with me!


Tuesday, 27 November 2012

The Pendulum Swings

"Her magic will not last forever. I think we can do it but we need to work together. We have to get this right, we have to make them see."
The Ballad of the Crystal Empire - Daniel Ingram

Dear Princess Celestia,

It took me a long weekend out with my father to bring to my mind a very, very important lesson about time.

No, it's not about schedules, deadlines and appointments. Those are silly things that rape us of our freedom and spirits. I've desensitized myself from rigid scheduling and I find myself with more time to be myself rather than to be what this world wants me to be.

I heard a terrible story from one of my father's friends whom we visited. He had just come back from burying someone else's father who passed away earlier this week.

What's so terrible about that, you may ask? Well, he collapsed and drew his last breath at his daughter's wedding reception. Tragedy struck the poor girl on what should have been one of the happiest days of her life.

It didn't get to me so fast, but as I lay in bed after coming home it hit me like a train. What have I been doing? November will soon pack up and the final stretch of what is thought to be the final year of our existence will be running full swing. There isn't much that I have achieved this year. I pretty much lost my job due to the price hike and inflation (no pun intended). I found my place in podcasting but in this sad capitalist world, it isn't going to take me far. Sure, I've learned a lot from it, and I will learn more as I go along. However, I can't be doing it all the time.

Other than that, studies have taken their toll on me. University life is a real dream killer, especially with our local (Malaysian) education ministry's stubborn insistence on the presence of traditional exams. Even the industry experts who provide us with our knowledge have requested for the removal of the written exam, but they rely too much on the paper qualification to make that change. The result? We suffer. Students like me are put under the gun. Pass and you survive, fail and you're material for the fabled Cloudsdale Rainbow Factory.

To put a cherry on the cake, everypony wants to be a Twilight Sparkle. Everypony wants to be the best and come hell or high water, they're going to make it or die trying. The saying that no one has ever died from hard work is no longer relevant. Ponies have died from overwork. Everyone wants to be at the top. those who don't want to try will either never make it or will find their way by dirty means while tho who are willing to try sacrifice their existence to make it even if it means trampling their own peers.

As much as we appreciate the magic of friendship, this world puts us on the spot. Everyone is your competitor. Everypony around you is a threat to you being able to reach for the top spot. Trust me, your highness. I've seen people deny friendships to reach the top. It's not about personal gain. It's about survival. When your existence is at stake, regardless for the short or the long term, you will deny everything that you ever cared for except for your family and the people whom you guard with your life.

The way we work and the way we have come to this has really made realize how much freedom and time university life has robbed from me. I have lost hours of quality family time to assignments and coping with deadlines. I've turned down calls and requests from friends who want nothing more than to catch up with me on what they have been missing out on. I'm severely sleep deprived and under high deadline pressure to produce the result of half baked assignments handed to us. The craziest part about this is that I'm writing to you at this late hour, when I should be asleep. However, this has reached too critical a stage to sleep over and wake up as if nothing has happened. I had to pen this down to you.

In the dead silence of the night all I can hear is my wall fan and a clock in the other room, ticking time away. It is at times like these I feel an uncomfortable vibe flow through me every few ticks. I believe that when you can hear a clock tick, it's because something is wrong with your timing, and it his case I haven't been spending enough time with the family. It is in my hands to do something before it is too late. Happiness can be ripped out of our lives at any time. A loving family is the only thing more magical than friendship. The power of love has proven to be more powerful than all of the elements of harmony combined, and it flows in all of our hearts.

Speaking of which, I sorta want to visit the Magic Mirror Pond. Copies of me would sound like a darn good idea to get things done faster with the same amount of passion I have for what I do, though it would be hard to cope with copies of me in the same house!


Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Whatchu' Gonna Do?

"You can't tell a lie, which sometimes makes me want to cry because then you would get in far less trouble"
Back to the Apple Orchard - Doomwad765

Dear Princess Celestia,

Please give me a moment while I address an issue here that is going out of hand and that would definitely need your attention. I'm sorry I haven't been writing to you much lately. I'll try to keep up.

Your Faithful Student,
Daniel Anthony


Ladies and Gentlemen, please direct your attention to this post:

Now I'm definitely someone who engages in a lot of idle gossip. I talk a lot of nonsense out there but here's one thing: I know when to be serious.

As some of you know, a brony convention called Canterlot Gar\dens took place over the weekend. The panels were awesome (I wasn't there but I was watching an online stream all the way on the other side of the world). I fell in love with Andrew WK, learned a lot from the Everfree Radio staffers and saw some of the best bronies alive. Heck, I would give my leg up to party next to people like Silva Hound!

However, there is always a bad side to events and I do not want to miss it. Life's sad and I've become pessimistic like hell.

Simultaneously, there was a little event over the weekend called Tink in a Box done by Purple Tinker (, the founder of BroNYCon, the world's biggest and most successful Brony convention. Being a transsexual, she put herself through a gruelling 72 hours of isolation with nothing but food, water, books and a camera looking at her and broadcasting what she was up to (unless she's attending to her sanitary needs. Let's not go there.)

But then, "horror" struck at Canterlot Gardens. Somepony suddenly, out of nowhere accused PT of being at the convention in possession of a knife and high on methamphetamine. Not only that, information went bouncing around that she was arrested after trying to murder a musician she's not on good grounds with.

Quick question, sir, how did this happen when she locked herself in her room under the supervision of THE OPEN INTERNET throughout the entire duration of the con?

And better yet, why am I talking about this?

PT is a technological genius and before she entered the box, she set up a system where her computer would be constantly monitoring her and streaming over the internet. Not only that, there would be a set of speakers in the room that would read out the names of those who pledged towards the Tink In A Box as they happen.

It so happened that I'm a genius too. Overexcited little me donated BEFORE the whole thing started. Right after I hit "Confirm" I heard my name (a little on the loud side) coming from the speakers, and you should have seen the look on my face when I realized that I just had that read to an empty room.

So after PT got in I sat around with the stream open and she spoke to whoever was watching, just quickly briefing us on the whole thing and how it works before she went to lie down. It was by a stroke of luck that I didn't close that tab. The audio was still playing softly in the background.

Moments later, she got up and asked "Hey you who donated that five dollars, can you increase it to five dollars and one cent? I wanna test the speakers."

I got right to it. The odds were in my favour that evening. So after hitting the pledge button I heard it again. "DANIEL JEYACHRISTI ANTHONY", right from the speakers.

So to those of you who are still insisting that Tink in a Box was a fake, try debunking this:

(click for full size)

Her stream is recall enabled and you can re-watch the videos of the whole event. Just hit up or It's all there.

In all seriousness, don't lie. If you know me personally you know that I can't tell a lie. It shows on my face. I think even a blind man can tell if I'm lying and I'm proud that I have this gift. There's no reason to lie. Really, it'll only lead YOU into more trouble. Lies are usually covered up with lies and yup, the grave will just get deeper.


Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Where's The Balloon Party?

"And in your eyes I see reflections of the good in me. We need both the sun and the storm to grow to our best and strongest form."
The Moonlit Garden - Scarlett Peace

Dear Princess Celestia.

Its been a crazy semester at University and I am so glad that it's over for a while. Life as been one big mess for weeks. If you received my last letter, I think you'll know why. Let's just put it like this. Doing something you hate within the field of something you love defeats the purpose. I love a lot of what I do and I put my heart and soul into it. It'll be a shame if it all goes to waste, no?

I've seen the Canterlot library and I must say, I'm fascinated. The books and scrolls that pile up leave me in awe. It's such a pity that we haven't discovered magic here in this realm. It would probably be my first choice to study.

Surveying friendship here is a mystery. Of late I've seen things, terrible things. When two ponies disagree it can be quite catastrophic. Heck, nations have gone to war over trivial matters. Looking at what happened, I feel bad for Queen Chrysalis. She could have done a better job and saved a lot of trouble, but I think power got the better of her. Needless to say, your sister was like that too once. All it took was a little trouble to ask. I'm sure some diversity with changelings wouldn't be a problem and if it becomes one, a little intervention would prove to be the right way out.

I frankly don't like talking politics. I'm easily disgusted at how the system here works, but I'll be honest. I don't take too kindly to the system of a monarchy either. However, you do a damn good job of taking care or Equestria and keeping everything in the delicate equilibrium that should exist. Furthermore, you've been at it for more than a thousand years! This world would kill for a leader of your caliber and responsibility but until we can find a candidate who can even come close, the number of people who would give up everything to live in Equestria will continue to rise by the day. I know of some who have even contemplated suicide with hope that your glorious kingdom and what lies beyond it would be what awaits them.

Equestria may not be perfect, but it's close. It is much closer than anything we can get here. Thank goodness we don't have to wrap up winter. Even when small community projects take place, one cannot shake the feeling that they're either going to get robbed or conned somewhere along the line. Just imagine the chaos of a full-on town-wide winter wrap up where we have good and bad people among each other, some hell bent on causing chaos. It only takes one grain of rice to tip the scale. Unless we can shove our personal, profit seeking instincts aside and focus on a greater good for everypony, it's hard for things to work out.

Of late you've probably heard of the numerous conventions around that have gathered people like me together to talk pony. There are just so many of us all over the place and everytime an event like that happens, it's sold out. Those who are fortunate enough to make it make the best of it while the rest sit and watch at the other end of a video stream, cheering everyone else on. It's what dreams are made of, and it's where dreams come true.

Our worlds are so different, dear Princess. If you spent just a day here you'll know what I mean. I'm sure you watch over all your subjects with utmost care and we salute you for it. For all that it's worth you are my personal inspiration. A powerful yet loving leader who puts her people before herself and doesn't even let the gut wrenching though of banishing your own sister get in the way of your ultimate responsibility. That said, I am proud to be one of your loyal subjects.

And I know. I really should write to you more.


Sunday, 22 July 2012

The Little Toy Shop

"By something really strong. It seemed very weird and wrong. It just doesn't belong like it came out of this world."
September - The Living Tombstone & Mic the Microphone

Dear Princess Celestia,

I've noticed that you don't talk about family much. Other than Luna and Cadence, everypony would love to know who your parents were. A family history is nothing to be ashamed of unless it's full of abuse and hate. A good history is one to be proud of, and a rough history is one you can be happy to have survived. That's just a little food for thought. I learned that appreciating your family is important no matter how they treat you. Never bring hierarchy into an argument. A family is a unit of people who should love one another not because they must, but because they know and accept each others' differences.

I haven't written to you in a while and I apologize for not doing so. It's been a busy week and there is so much that I have learned.

Let me just start by saying how things have turned over in the past few weeks. I've basically lost my social life since I became more interested in the magic of friendship lately. I'm not blaming you or anyone else, but I have some advice to offer since you're principal of your own school for the most gifted of unicorns.

Gifts certainly are half the battle. When you discovered Twilight's gift, it was really lucky. You happened to be around to see the drama. I'm sure a lot more things happen during entrance exams that may have gone unnoticed, but a dragon through the roof must have been something out of the ordinary. Needless to say, some ponies have more talent that others. That's the whole idea of a cutie mark, isn't it?

I've been bitten by the competition bug. University life is hectic and I can understand how Twilight needs such a concise schedule to keep up with it all. I do wish education here would be like that. What used to be a pursuit of knowledge has now turned out to be a mess of information. Nopony cares about what we think any more. Instead we've gone deep into a system where we have to believe in what others' have written. It's like the library has become our new god. Don't get me wrong, dear Princess. I don't condemn the works of the previous generations and how much work they've put into the pursuit of knowledge. If it wasn't for the scholars like Star Swirl the Bearded, much of today's magic in Equestria would have been yet to be discovered.

The competition bug changes the game. Knowledge is no longer top priority. Nopony cares if you're truly into the game just to be good at it. Nopony cares about how much passion you have to be inquisitive. Why? Because we're in a race. We're fighting with one another.

Grades were probably once thought to be a foolproof way of negotiating where we stand. Instead of honoring the diligent, it created a divide. It's divided us into groups that almost cannot mingle with each other. Thus we have superiority and inferiority. Those who are technically "Smart" become successful and on the other hand, the ones who fall into the "Stupid" range are failures and will never make it far in life.

However, The reason I am put into university isn't because my mentor is putting me on some lifelong learning journey. Instead of venturing into a new territory and learning new things, we're put onto a beaten path with twists and turns that lead to dead ends and traps. My job isn't to find new things or to seek a new, undiscovered road. The job is to get to the end first without running into any booby traps or dead ends. Finish the race. Nothing else counts.

The best part about all of this is that we can't get out of it. Starlight and Crescent Sparkle must have forked out a lot of money for Twilight to study in your school, but I believe that is one of the best investments possible. Here, we're given a rank. It isn't about how much knowledge you leave your degree with, but rather how well one can follow instructions.

All I can say, dear Princess, is that you don't let this happen in Equestria. Canterlot University may be prestigious, don't let it create a divide between ponies. Even the already existent racial divide among pegasi, unicorns and earth ponies is staggering. Sure most of it was overcome during the Hearth's Warming, but it's still there. It may be interesting to take a stroll around in Canterlot town square or the Ponyville marketplace. Ponies are still divided in a sense. A transformation scroll from the Star Swirl the Bearded wing of the library may help, since I recall one of my friends bumping into one when she was there.

Division is a bad, bad thing. It's what divided ponies once and even though we may have gotten over racial differences to an extent, it doesn't necessarily mean that nothing else can divide us. Unity, diversity and harmony are essential to make the magic of friendship come alive. It takes more than just magic to keep up together. Once again, it all boils down to accepting one another. Yes you're hearing it again. We're no longer here to put aside our differences, but to embrace them as what makes us who we are and to make up for each others' weaknesses with our individual strengths.

I'm sorry if I wrote a little too long this time and I hope this finds you well. Sending letters via candlelight isn't as quick as dragon breath so I've heard, but It's all that I've got.


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