Friday, December 26, 2008

4 Days Of Christmas

I woke up from a pleasant snooze this morning to find out that it’s already December 26 2008 - end of a, supposedly, perfect Friday morning. In 5 days time, it’s gonna be 2009, and looking back; ‘philanthropy' has been an especially resonant theme in my life and ….O wait, you know what, let’s not go there yet. Save that for the New Year’s Eve’s posting. Today, let’s be a bit less uptight and just look back a little 4 days before Christmas, shall we?

Mon. Dec. 22. Din and I watched Bolt in MBO Ampang. Though we were a little behind (it’s the movie fourth week in theaters), aren’t we glad we went to see the movie anyway. What a great little movie it was. It brought a lump to my throat and made me laugh out loud, slap my knees and laugh out loud again - all the same time. I especially enjoyed the part where all the animals could talk to each other. Wait, they can really talk, can they?

Tues. Dec. 23. O my, it’s that time of the year again - appraisal time, the most awkward time of the year. Seriously, how is it you’re going to say to your boss you’re the best without actually sounding off like a teeny wee bit ‘office scum’? It’s like a gruesome battle, I tell you. The only different is the ‘enemy’ is your own past 'missteps'. Anyway, while I see a little improvement in term of the rating as compared from the last year, somehow something whispers to me, “I could have done soo much better”.

Now, let’s just see how it turns out next March – bonus time. Hmm…

Wed. Dec. 24. My Boss was on leave and you know what that means – I get to attend meetings on her behalf. Crap! O yeah, this time, it wasn’t anything like I have been to before. It’s an eight hours, one whole day of soul-crushing boredom and futility headache meeting. I think it was more than a meeting - it’s a brainstorming! I bored out of my skull.

And the worst part was I had to do a presentation on something I hadn’t been briefed about before and armed with only two pages of previous meeting’s minute. Hate it. Hate it.

Later, I phoned my boss, “My brain bleeds.”

Thurs. Dec. 25. It’s Christmas day, and more importantly to me – it’s holiday. Yeah! No Santa to bother my late morning doze, isn’t it great? I guess the best thing about Christmas, or any holiday for that matter is the holiday songs. I believe, Christmas wouldn’t be complete without Mariah Carey’s zesty, my perennial favorite, holiday number ‘All I want For Christmas Is You’. It’s probably the best holiday song – like ever! (pretty much in a mold of Aishah’s Pulanglah). Never fails to put me in the mood.

Ah, I love holidays. Holidays make me happy. Don’t we all? The only thorn in the side this time? I have to work the next day.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Black T

This is absolutely true: yesterday, someone remarked, rather hastily, to me;

“Do me a favor, hon, stop wearing black. It doesn’t do you any good”

I was stunned. ‘Why’d she say that?’ What nerve, some stranger try to hanging clouds over me and offer me some fashion tips. While I know I am not exactly mingling with the Beckhams but she isn’t exactly Donatella Versace either, so puhhlease!!

I was about to put dagger in her heart, quite literally, when I realized, she probably didn’t mean no harm, so I let it slip this time. But I have news for you girl;

I do own more than one black shirt!

Erm, OK. So is exactly my point. But what’s wrong with that?

Call me freak-of-nature, nut-jobs or even Hannibal Lecter but I couldn’t be more normal than any of you folks out there. Surely as a perfectly normal person, I do have a quirk or two but owning a closet-ful of black T-shirts wouldn’t qualify me for psychological studies subject, isn't it?

Thus, I feel obligated to explain myself - now that my “nonconformist” fashion style is under scrutiny - so that the next time you see me wearing the same T-shirt for 5 days running, please take note, it probably isn’t the same shirt. I just don’t prefer other colors.

1. Black T-shirt makes me….urm less fat. The wonder of dark colors redefine my bodyline and shape. (You should see me in Orange)

2. It makes me a little bit fairer - as comparison (need I to explain this?)

3. It screams ‘takes me seriously!’ (I-am-in-emo-band kinda serious!)

4. Easy to clean. No visible spots after eating Laksa or Mee Kari. And no Clorox or pounding on the rocks is necessary for those hard-to-rid-off stains.

5. Finally, the fashionista world over mantra; “You can never go wrong with a nice, black t-shirt” (well, not exactly, but who’s wearing little black dress, anyway?)

So these are why I love the color black so much. It does wonders to my body shape and skin tone and more importantly - my self-esteem. Black is timeless and so is my style.

Muah Muah Muah.

Erm, Ok maybe a short visit to the shrink wouldn't hurt.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Very Bad Tonsil Of Mine

Let me tell you an old news: I am no stranger to many doctors and medical practitioners in this country. That’s right, since I was young I would always find a way to get myself acquainted to the neighborhood doctors; be it ripped earlobe, scalded skin, ruptured bones, slipped disc…I am the medical marvel! I bring in big bucks to the healthcare industry I tell you. (I once got myself a tiger-eyes bracelet all the way from Kuching on friends’ advice to ward off bad luck and guess what, it was chop off within weeks I was wearing them! So go figure!)

So if you have an aversion to descriptions of carnage, you probably don’t want to continue….

Well, it was all happened two weeks ago, when I suddenly felt a piercing cold in my stomach and the skin around my arms started to develop with some kind of itchy rashes. (Not very sightful but no photo is necessary to describe the condition…erm, you get the idea) That wasn’t always a good sign to me so naturally I went to see a doctor.

As expected the doctor said it was a normal allergic reaction to something I have eaten the night before – which kinda a lot! So he gave me some cream and Panadols but no anti-biotic. Anti-biotic is bad for allergy I was told.

And I thought I was taken care of and good to go but NOOOOO…. merely hours after that fated visit my temperature skyrocketing to the new height, over 40 Celcius! I was literally flattened and I swear I thought I was experiencing hallucination. No amount of Panadols and Paracetamol would do it for now.

So I mustered some strength and drove back to the clinic only to find another doctor manning the shift. I told her the whole story again and after much closer inspection, surprise! surprise! She came out with her own, different diagnose altogether - that I was in fact suffering from a very bad case, acute, swollen tonsil - and that rashes was just the side effect. I was stumped. How couldn’t I know better? I knew I should have insisted on their practicing medical certificates! Sigh, but I thought that was just rude.

I went back home, grudgingly, with the new “disease’ in tow, knowing too well it’s all temporary and it could change to anything worse anytime soon.

And I remained in my bed for the next five days after that – entertaining the hallucinations. What a rotten ways to spend your weekend and some of your weekdays! Erghh!

Truth be told, up until now, I still don’t feel 100%. I still feel weak and uninterested about anything. So typing this post is sort of the conversational equivalent of an out-of-the-body experience.

I can’t feel a thing.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Honesty In A Bucket

One week ago, Amir had asked me if I could be his referee for this all-important, make or break interview called Temuduga Tapisan Halus Keselamatan in Putrajaya. The catch was, instead of only him, I’d get to be interviewed as well. Little did he know I hate interviews - which I abhor more than waking up at 7 in the morning for a jog - and that’s saying a lot!

But in a slightly more tasteful gesture of friendship than a pendant vial filled with my own blood, I said Yes.

Anyone who thinks ‘honesty is the best policy’ wasn’t in this room the other day.

“Do you have any reason to believe, beyond the reasonable doubts that En. Amir is a heavy smoker?”

“Of course not, he loves his internal organs so much to ruin them”

(Gulp. The dreaded truth is that he’s probably the single biggest ozone-ripping producer in the world that I have ever had the displeasure of knowing.)

Think I committed a sin, did you? O No, I was only telling the ‘half-truth’, barefaced to the interviewer - he does, in fact, love his organs.

Yeah I know, I didn’t give the whole truthful answer but how could I? He’s my best friend and if my 'little' white lies can buy me lunch, I’ll be lying some more for him, I tell you that. But the real fact is I do care if he couldn’t be confirmed his position due to my reckless lying skills, so be it.

And just make it quite clear to everyone I am a big fan of honesty myself. You see, in a remote little country called Mus-land, lying is sinful and honesty is gold. But up until last week, only that I realized, in the real, ruthless world people lie as an easy way out in the name of survival.

The truth can often shame the devil pink. But it can also hurt, which is why a fib is sometimes better than the fact. O my!

Disturbing innit? I think I need to shower.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Plans And Promises

It was a normal, everyday moment; I was talking on the phone with a friend, about nothing in particular, when she mentioned something unsettling. Not earth shattering, not life threatening but still unhappy

“Whatever happened to your plan?”

No matter how she put it, the question triggered a bad sensation. I felt deflated and on edge.

“O that plan. Erm..still in progress”

Even after the conversation moved on, the feeling stuck with me. I know I shouldn’t be bothered by this triviality of everyday concerns but I still feel it in my body and my head. The crummy feeling stays alive.

March 2009. Must show result.

Yeap. I have made a promise to myself to lose at least 30 kilos by next March. You see the promise was made long before Obama and his change came into the picture and I was stupid then.

Now that I am much wiser and Obama won; the message couldn’t be more loud and clear; Change now or forever wish I had.

So the next time I talk about diet and weight, I am gonna actually show some result and then drone you guys on about my ‘secrets’ and ‘success’ until your eyes glaze over. You’ll be putty in my hands. So watch out!

But until then, I think I’ll have a bite.

Cause I know it’s a long, looooong waaaay to go. At least I have plans.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Silence of the Cockroaches

I’ve never been temperamental. Ask any of my family member and dear friend and they would happily describe me as docile, fun-loving, tree-hugging, mild manned guy - never the one who started a fight and such a good singer.

There’s nothing twisted about my childhood either. Never had troubled relationships nor ever being abused before. In fact I was raised in a very religious and sterile environment.

So it was came in as a surprise now that I confess;

I just (gasp!) murdered another living thing!

No one would have thought that my life would be ended the way it did. I didn’t mean to. I am sorry. It happened too quickly and I wasn’t thinking.

It was a stormy, wet afternoon and I was deep doing my work in the office when all of the sudden;


Tsk! Tsk! Please forgive me Rochie - you poor, poor disgusting pest!

If Wishes Were Fishes.....

I’ve always felt inadequate when talking about cars - it’s like hearing Lindsay Lohan talking about United States’ foreign policy. Heck, I couldn’t even tell a screwdriver from a screw. I know I am that pathetic. Now imagine my father suffering having me for a son.

So when my vehicle started making a strange noise the other day, like any other hapless lady driver, I sought help from a friend, a self confessed car nuts.

It turned out that the air-conditioning system needed some ‘tweaking’. Phew! While I took a deep breath that it wasn’t something major, I could see my ignorant driving days will be numbered. I want to be ‘the man’. Sheesh, you know what I mean!

There are two ways I can see me handling this ‘shortcoming’ in the coming future while preserving my much-talked about masculinity.

First I could learn all there is to know about cars. Yeap, sign up for auto mechanics class and buy myself a car repair set tools.

Or I could just wish our ‘generous’ government suddenly decided to award me with RM5mil ex-gratia and get myself this baby. O My!

It’s gonna take cash to fill up my tank
So let’s crack open your piggy bank

If there’s one word to describe this car, it’s elegant. And sophisticated. OK, two words. And sexy. OK, three and no more.

If wishes were fishes we’d all have a fry. And what a big, expensive fray that’d be.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Life's A Musical!

And then you twist and shout
For your favorite star
And once you've practiced every step
That's in your repertoire
You better come on down
And meet the nicest kids in town

I broke out into a song this morning in the office.

Yes I am this crazy. Despite the fact I am a grown man in my early thirties, I still pretend I am a teenage superstar a la Jonas Brothers. Maybe some people will find this cute (there are some seedy types out there that'd pay a fortune for this type of thing). Most will find it either sickening or a sign of a deep, underlying mental illness.

But how am I expected to get it together? It's in my DNA, I cannot help it. Singing is my passion and dancing on the street is the only thing that gets me going so far.

And then there lie the problem; the world we are living in now (at least mine!) wouldn’t allow us to be overly goofy and musical. Everything and everyone must be staid and somber in color. Why so serious?

So it’s the ultimate fantasy of mine that we all live in a world that every one of us can lose it up; sing and dance on cue and - God have mercy – in sync!

Watching ‘Hairspray’ the other night for the kazillion times nearly made me shout in a crazy fashion;

“Life should be like this!”

Ah, wouldn’t it be nice and merry and great if all of us can sing and dance and goofy around with out big hair-dos and colorful get-ups like there’s no care in the world?

God! The world would be a much better place….well at least until I break out into songs!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

When It's Over....

Words can’t even begin to describe on how relief I am…now that it’s all over.

The recently concluded, much hyped ‘turn-of-events’ had taken a toll on my nervous system. I guess, I was freaking out too much, letting the unwarranted emotions clouded my judgment and wreaking my sanity to the core.

And if you think I am making reference about other people’s "conundrum" other than mine, boy were you sorely disappointed!

My short, ‘unprepared’ stint as an MC for yesterday afternoon’s big do was not as disastrous as I thought it was going to be (blame it on my overdramatic trait!). It was quite a smooth sailing affair - unless if you consider the garish head-gear I adorned was the major ‘disturbance’!

O well, at least nobody died of mispronunciations by the MC….or gasp, worse, of boredom!

But will I do such things again?

Perhaps. It kinda felt like I was at home. I must say being in the limelight wasn’t all that too bad.

But right now please, don’t ask for my opinions, don’t look for any review and don’t beg for my boss’ feedback. Right this second all I want to do is relax - basking on the free and relief feelings. I simply want to get rest and get out from it all.

Finally everything seems safe and serene and it’s cool and lulling and perfect for sleep.

Umm…you know what, I think I might as well do that…

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


“Aku ingat ko takder baju melayu!”

“Ini first time aku bagi ko full mark for dressing for occasion”

“Finally Mus is dressed appropriately!”

I must say those off-remarks completely threw me off. Why would anyone has the slightest notion I couldn’t afford a pair of a decent Baju Melayu. Or for being ‘inappropriate’ all this while for that matter?

Honestly I really wanted to dignify that with an answer but then I decided not to. My conscience was working overtime and I pretended to be unfazed with all the brouhuha. I figured if anything worth an ounce of my emotional outburst, this wouldn’t be it. This is too trivial.

My past experience taught me the more you try to explain yourself to others the more confusing it gets. People will always get the wrong ideas - hormonal people. So it’s just best to keep your two-cents to yourself, smile if you must and walk out with some dignity. You may miss all the fun but the silence is the ultimate wise cracker.

But gee, that somehow didn’t stop me from wondering what the “could have been” answers.

“I am sorry to pop your bubble but…………………”

“Sorry I didn’t dress to your liking before, but I didn’t get the memo…….”

“The same cannot be said about you……”

Wow, that surely gonna blow someone’s stack but at least I’d just being honest….and I didn’t say it out loud!

Or….maybe they were just joking around or maybe they were right (that I never dressed appropriately before) and simply stated the obvious.

Which, in any case I am doomed!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ryan Seacrest

Earth is estimated to be about 4.5 billion years old and for much of that history it has been home to some unintelligent life in one form or another – and I am one of them.

Volunteering myself for the last-minute MC-ing job is probably the dumbest thing I ever done or inflicted myself upon to in my entire young, soon-to-be-short life. What was I thinking?

In 5 days time I am gonna be the “Ryan Seacrest” of one of the biggest events in the Bank and yet - get this – I still don’t have a partner, don’t know what to wear, never attended rehearsal, never been to meetings and the biggest cardinal sin of all; I haven’t even prepared the text!

And some moron I was, thinking that everything would be serving in a silver platter once I said yes for O-the-great Mus. Well somebody obviously “didn’t get the memo”!

“Mus, maybe you’re worry too much, you are only MC-ing, not, God-forbid, singing”

“Why get an ulcer over trivial things like this, just talk and be done with it”

Everyone thought I was whiny, overreacting 10-year old freak and they acted as if I’ve no right to my ‘concern’ and feeling. Urggrgh. Forgive me an ounce of cynicism but when it comes to my reputation, I don’t do half-ass job.

As I type this, a thousand and one unpleasant, PG-rated thoughts are coursing through my puny brain.

Can I do it?
Will I suck?
Am I sure about this?

Nope, I can be a lot of things but crazy is not one of them – stupid maybe.

And I am sure I am not the only one.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I Should Have Asked Her!

The time showed 2.55pm on that sweltering Saturday afternoon and I was supposed to meet Amir at Petronas Station Kota Damansara (the one with Maybank and A&W on the side). But he was nowhere to be seen.

I got agitated as I thought I was minutes away from collapsing from heatstroke. And a few exchanged “nasty” messages later I decided it was best for me to just wait for him inside the A&W while having a cold one.

Amir, you’d better be sure where we are going, or you’ll know soon the wrath of one hungry, sweaty man” I hissed.

After waiting more than 20 ‘boiling’ minutes, he finally showed up. He pulled his car, got out and headed towards me chirpily; but just as I was about to share a piece of my mind, he was having a seizure - or at least I thought he was!

“Acha!” “Acha!!”

Puzzled; I was completely clueless of what he was trying to say but I swear I almost thought he was referring to some kind of fruity dish. (But why?!)

And then I realized what made Amir went into a trance! – he wasn’t talking about any particular culinary, it was she! - ACHA SEPTRIASA – just a few feet away from us.

OMG, is that her? Is that really HER?!”

“I don’t know, why don’t you ask her?”

“Are you crazy? She’s with her boyfriend, why would she want to take picture with us…or kissing my forehead, for goodness sake?”

“Nah, maybe not….plus I am not even a fan”

We were just frozen in place while watching her as she passed us by – trying our best not to care. But the ‘little girl’ inside of us screamed “Damn, who are we kidding, the next time you’ll see her again probably in court when you caught trespassing her property?!’

So we followed her to her car. We acted as natural as possible just to make sure she wouldn’t even notice anything remotely suspicious about us. We didn’t want to come out as screaming little girls, do we?

She got into her car and drove away and by golly! We even stalked her for a good 200 meters or so. (Well, until she made a sudden turn at the nearby police station).

Then we decided it was just silly. A few moments of silent and awkwardness later, we were finally realized we were no-balls, star struck fools! We should have just said ‘hi’ to her right away, take a picture or ask for an autograph even and be done about it. But now, all is lost and we are beating ourselves for it, keep asking ourselves ‘what if’ and losing our sleep over it. .

Sigh! Imagine what a beautiful world would it be if I could just post our it-could-have-been picture of us together here.

That surely gonna make someone‘s life a one mean green monster-y misery. Ah.

………But I am not even a fan. I swear!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Change We Can Believe In

First up; Nope, I am not a key member in Barack Obama Presidential Campaign nor am I a Democrat supporter. Heck, I am not even an American. So when a friend asked me “What’s with the change?” I said “Why not?” I wasn’t resistant to change. I was just being cautious.

Despite of what some people might lead you to believe, I easily get bored – with anything or …even anyone. (I swear I have an interest lifespan of an insect!). I am not sure either if this is an in-born thing or a psychological thing, but I like to see some variations in my life every now and then. (Um, I guess that explains why I used to change my job more than the Thais change their government!)

I believe in life change is inevitable, especially when you usually find yourself in a rut. That’s why I have made few minor ‘adjustments’ in my life lately that I hope could give me a new light, a new perspective about things. Things, as you may think, maybe small and insignificant in nature but I do believe they are necessary nonetheless, at least to keep me sane for a while;

1. No more dinner/ no meal after 7pm. I have now gained enough weight to topple a pregnant rhino. (urghhh!)
2. Called my mom three times a week instead of once a week. I’m a momma’s boy alright! Deal with it!
3. Replaced my bed sheet with a new one, before it’s taking the life of its own – not that it’s never happened!
4. Changed my political belief. Don’t we all now?
5. Started looking for a new apartment – after that ‘dogs in an elevator’ incident.
6. Put aside RM100 every month for rainy days.
7. Changed my blog skin – Don’t think I didn’t know you had enough of Taylor Hicks!

Talk about ‘had enough’, at least one thing is imminent - my boss is currently contemplating over career move. I mean seriously. Not really sure why she’d want to do that especially in this trying time but she said she was doing this for her future.

She hasn’t decided on anything yet. She’s still unsure but she’s been with the Bank for more than 10 years now and she said she wanted to move on. Or as she said “I’ll be rotten in the abyss of irrelevancy”.

Maybe she’s right, to change is a huge step and everyone should feel nervous about it. A thing or two I learned about job-hopping is that you do that for your future and not because of money, position or anything else for that matter.

Should she decide to go for it and leave the Bank, I wish her well. And as for me, I will always be ready with whatever changes that lie ahead of me from now on. Isn’t life all about adapting and adjusting? Hence, the saying, the roller coaster rides.

I sure know now, why Americans are anxious to elect their new President next month - They are not resistant to Obama’s Change or McCain’s Reform, they’re only being cautious.

And why wouldn’t they be? It’s their future.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Good Food Never Lacks Friends

Now that Raya is all behind us, we would be sighing at the mere mention of ketupat, rendang or lemang or any of that greasy stuff. After all, too much of anything would make your guts blow up in a queasy fashion, don’t they? (Erghhh). So I try to steer clear from all those artery-clogging, heart-blowing Raya-must-haves for quite sometime now.

But ‘iron-willed determination’ has never been my strength; I guess open houses and after-Raya gathering are to be blamed.

So last weekend was all about 'pigging out' and 'stuffing in' for me. 'Eating to your heart contents' is no longer an expression, it’s now a clinical term. Luckily, I have friends with similar ‘condition’ to make it looks OK.

And usually, I don’t do open house. You see, my house is always opened for my friends to come over, but last Friday night, ‘coming over’ has taken a new meaning; ‘taking over’ was more like it.

It was a good night, at least I can fret less about comparisons to Pak Lah’s Open House; Hindraf leaders gave my open house a miss. But what I lacked in “raucous” atmosphere, it was more than make up with Reena, Azrill and Hafez presence; who sure know how to ‘tune up’ the party.

Hasmiron, Amir and Rick were visibly disappointed with an absent of my “Ayam Madu Oat Ala Yunani”. I decided it was too much ‘work’.

Ejam and Sham came a night earlier and it was their first time to my ‘crib’. Thank you guys for coming over. You know how I appreciate the gesture. I apologize if there was anything at all not to your fancy or liking. My little advice: Deal with it!

I guess it true when my mom says wherever there’s good food, there’s good people. I defy you to find any more enjoyable way to waste significant portions of your life than spending it with familiar faces; with good food on the side.

But NO ketupat, rendang or lemang please. One more mention about that I swear I’d go nuts!

Monday, October 6, 2008

To Hell And Back!

Raya this year is a lot of pain and a lot less fun. I guess it's true when people say, when you reached a certain age in life, Raya is just another obligatory holiday people take to clear their leaves. It's no longer a long awaited fun-time like it used to be; um, you know, when we were much younger. At least then we don't have to deal with offensive questions from our intruding relatives...and we get Duit Raya for behaving ourselves.

Which brings me to my next point;

Having a decent conversation with my relatives is (urghh) impossible, it is like taking a slingshot to a pistol duel, only that they armed with remote-targeting orbital lasers, um, I mean THEIR MOUTHS.

But I have long mastered the art of face-saving while being totally polite; I pay attention to the nasty remarks made about my recent surge of body weight. Now, if they tell me 'you are gaining weight', I hiss and try to eat less in my next house, if they say 'why so fat?' I correct their grammatical error. I feel much better after that.

And if you think my misery is over after that, think again misery-guts! Answering the next question is relished as much as getting a root canal.

"So when are you getting married?"

“I read somewhere that there's a one-in-five-billion chance that you'll get hit by space debris…but now I am not so sure anymore!” I baulked

(Multiply that line by a few hundreds thousand times)

I am so tired and bored of all these ruckus on why I am fat and why I am still unmarried that I resolute to please them all next Raya. To lose few pound is easy but to get someone to fall in love with me in the next 12 months? …Well maybe, I just better off faking my own death!

Why do I suddenly feel as if my boat is sinking and someone nailed an anchor to my head?

Gee, I lost my intellectual curiosity just in time

Note: I was writing this post on the 3rd day of Raya, where I spent another 2 days on my bed due to my fever flare up caused by - I suspect - its much depressing topic.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I Am Not Greek And I Can't Cook!

Berbuka puasa do at Faizal’s place last Saturday was such a big deal for everyone. I kid you not – I had been reminded over and over again through out the week that I almost lost my sense of life purpose. It was such ‘an event to be’ that since Faizal is new to this hosting business, he had to appoint another friend to host the event (talk about big deal!)

And as everyone agreed that this was going to be a potluck thing, I just had to make an unfunny joke about it and announced to the world I would bring my "specialty", passed-from-generations-recipe, much revered; Ayam Madu Oat Ala Yunani (wherever I got the idea!)

O boy!

No, that wasn’t even the biggest joke; the biggest joke was that everybody didn’t get it. They totally oblivious to the fact that I am culinary challenged (or that I just recently discovered fire) and insisted that they would eat a horse if I had it. And it seemed to me they were so taken with my made-up, legendary Greek recipe that they apparently couldn’t wait to have a taste of it. Oh boy, from there on, I knew there was no turning back for me

Truth is, there’s nothing Greek about me, except for, erm my dashingly mediteranean good look.... and the closest thing I get to Greece is owning a DVD; My Big Fat Greek Wedding. This is bad.‘What do I do now?’ ‘What do I do?’

Not wanting to disappoint anyone and since I didn’t have much choice, I decided to play along. I decided to go "Greek".

The real “ayam madu” but I was taking a shortcut, remember? So here’s the dirty, little “secret”;

Ayam Madu Oat Ala Yunani


1 Honeyed, Grilled Chicken (a.k.a Tesco Chicken)

5 tbsp of Oats (Preferably Instant Oats from Tesco)

Blend together

1 Honeyed, Grilled Chicken (a.k.a Tesco Chicken)
5 tbsp of Oats (Preferably Instant Oats from Tesco)


Put the chicken in a bowl and mix with oats
Heat a microwave and put the oats-blended chicken in.


Voila. Enjoy this “simple” dish straight from the heart (or Tesco cash register!).

I know writing this is akin to writing my own suicide note, but I guess I owe my friends an apology. Guys, I am so sorry that I am not Greek and I can’t cook. Please forgive me, I mean, O come on, it’s Hari Raya within days, or shall I remind you, the day of forgiveness and it’s not like I put melamine in it, did I?

Selamat Hari Raya AidilFitri to all of you and Maaf Zahir Dan Batin.

Have a wonderful holiday everybody.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Most Popular Guy In The World

Hari Raya is more than a religious holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, it’s also one of the biggest popular contest; Who serve the best rendang? Who got the coolest drape? Who has, ermm, the biggest lemang? and, O, of course the most important question of all;

Who got the most Hari Raya Cards?

That’s right, everybody wants to know how many Hari Raya cards I received this year – yeap, as if my self-worth and reasons-to-breath were very much depends on it (pah!). Well, you know what, usually I don't give a rat's ass about it...but this year, since so many people ask, I might as well tell you;

I was never been the Mr Popular guy nor do I think I will ever be…but seven cards? SEVEN?! This is like the new all-time low! Gosh! I could well be the most un-popular, un-loved, un-remembered guy in the whole wide world right now.

Anyhow (sigh!) don’t be alarm, people; it’s not like the life, as I know it would be over. In fact I think I am quite al right about it. (Looking at the bright side, I’ve probably saved a few bucks on postage and some good papers). It’s just, well maybe, irked me a little bit when my keeping-score friends rubbing their Hari Raya cards off of my face and asked me why all my cards were from the same person. (Hello, are we still in 5th grade?!)

Now, I tried to make peace with the only seven cards I have. I hold them in my hands and savored the moment as if they would be the only seven cards I’d ever gonna get this year (get the hint already, people!). I picked out one card and then slowly opened up the envelope, carefully took out the card and whispered the Raya wishes in it. I thought my eyes were a little misty.

Chrismas Disambut Bulan Disember
Deepavali Pula Bulan Oktober
Hari Raya Bakal Menjelma
Baju Raya Ade Saiz Ke?

Makan Ketupat Bersama Kari
Dipagi Raya Membakar Lemang
Dua Tiga Kucing Berlari
Mana Nak Sama Encik Mus Sorang

Pecah Kaca Pecah Gelas
Sudah Baca Harap Balas

I am probably not the most popular guy in the world right now, but it certainly doesn't feel like I am anymore.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Star Wars

If you could have 3 wishes granted, what would they be?

Fame and Fortune? Jessica Alba’s good looks? True love of Anakin Skywaker and Princes Padme Amidala? Or simply the abolition of ISA?

Whatever that you were wishing for, I wish you well. As for me, I don’t ‘want it all’. I only wish for one thing. I want to be a Star!

What happened when there are too many stars in a room? Answer: War. Luckily we have “rules” in this country

I hate tooting my own horn but despite what my karaoke rivals might have told you, my talents aren’t limited to flapping my arms or twisting my tongue, I can scream in tune. It’s almost - let’s one forgets – hauntingly melodic. But then again, its an acquired taste – just ask my ‘scream’ buddies/rival stars; Hasmiron, Zack, Nazrol and newcomer Reena. We mean business.

Even though we are so-called rival, sonically speaking, but we love each other to death. We endure terrible pain listening to each other – and if this isn’t what good friends are made of; gee, I don’t know what is.

The food wasn’t really gastronomically fantastic, but whatever!!

We are karaoke freaks! Since we were introduced to this wonder of human invention, we have long understood the calming effects of singing and its therapeutic benefits. We become less restrained when we sing and it helps us focus more on positive thoughts, while projecting our own feelings through our individual “performance”.

Like when I had a real load someone to have around or found myself in a pickle, karaoke allows me to relax by vocalizing me pent-up grievances through lyrics of popular songs like perennial favorite Saving All My Love To You and (gasp!) Nazam Lebaran.

Sadly, picture of me “vocalizing my pent-up grievances” were dutifully omitted, to so-called protect the national security. (Nowadays, “anything” can threaten our national security, so I just have to be extra careful about it)

The world is full of pleasing love stories, like to the denizens of Star Wars, how Anakin and Padme were meant for each other. Stranger still, two of the coolest karaoke singers in the world look pretty much amazing together.

Maybe we should record a duet together, wouldn't that be something written on the stars?

To quote Hans Solo: ‘I’ve got a bad feeling about this.’

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Goods For Being Good

OK, here’s the deal; yesterday I received one big, generous hamper from my employer – and I mean really really generous. Not that it was really unexpected at all. In fact I have been bugging our HR like a certain kind of err..bug since the first day of Ramadan. O yeah, I am that no-shame cheapo, just say it!

Anyway my effort was paid off big time, as the hamper was awesome!

O don’t you feel your life sucks by looking at this?

To cut others some pain, I only took these two piccies, plus I was using my cam-phone darn it!

Actually, this is an annual thing here during Ramadan that most of us take it as one of our perks. So everyone was camping outside HR Dept since very early in the morning so that they get to choose their favorite color of the bag. You see, the hamper comes in a very attractive bag complete with our imposing bank’s logo on it. No flimsy, pasar malam basket and shiny plastic please!

Boy, am I glad I am part of this. I sure understand why certain organization can be so generous at this time of the year. They are spreading the joy of giving to their staff so that they can be more thankful and spreading the same joy to others as well…plus I guess they probably get a hefty tax rebate in doing so.

So once I was home, I decided to do the same as well. I opened the hamper/attractive bag and separated all the goodies into three categories; family, the less fortunate friends, and why of course me.

I carefully picked out items for each category - making sure that every item is to everyone’s liking and put them nicely in a box. Woo, I feel really good doing it. It was put-the-grey-skies-out-out-of-my-way kinda feeling.

I could have been vaccinating the children against malaria in Africa or saving the planet from melting polar ice cap, but I think, this feel as much fulfilling.

It does feel good to do good, doesn’t it?

I don’t doubt that for a second.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Before We Know It....

“OMG, it’s been a year already?”

Sounds like I have just woken up from some frozen ice tube in a bad sci-fi movie. I am not amused.

The worst thing that could ever happen to anyone is when we completely lost track on where has all the time gone. A minute is in a blink, a month is like a flash and a year is like yesterday!

So it startles me a bit to know that my dear Hasmiron, has come home for good. O yeah, the one I sent to the Airport exactly a year ago to further his studies in emmpp…gee, beats the heck out of me.

Picture perfect of a dysfunctional “family” - Zack, Reena and Hasmiron are doing the best imitation of their “best” behaviors.

My weekend was filled with oh-so-not-righteous pigging out and creating ‘public disturbance’ since I was totally tuned up my ‘catching up’ mode. We chatted, showered ‘praises’ to each other while ‘bersahur’ and break fast together - kinda like what we used to do (please, this is not obituary!)

And we planned and planned over the top of other plans on what fun things to do next in the name of what-have-you-been–missing-out-all-this-time. (So next week is karaoke and then ‘bersahur’ and break fast at everyone’s house and such...but tarawaikh was eerily missing!)

Welcome home Hasmiron. I hope you like our ‘grownup’ selves and hope you wouldn’t find any more different in us than say a year ago that you decided to go away from in the first place!

Time does fly but we’ve hardly been to anywhere, really.

A month is like a flash and a year is like yesterday – people always laments there’s no enough time in our life but the truth is time is never on our side. We have to make do with all the time we have and try to make the best of it. Unless you’re busy “taking over the government” or “chasing MPs in Taiwan”, time is always up before you know it!

...And before anyone can say ‘Icantjoinkaraokenextweekcausemyttmworksmorningshift’, time flashes before your very own eyes.

Now that’s kind of stuff that will put me back in my ice tube.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Children Of The Corn

I was like the Kanye West of MTV Video Awards. I never won anything. Not even the pitiable ‘consolation’ prize. I mean, this is ridiculous; everyone had probably won something at any point of his or her life right? But na’ah, not me - Nada.Zilch.Zero.Nil

My sad, strings-of-bad-luck story goes back all the way to my childhood not a very long time ago.

Remember in our younger days where we used to have this little craze over little ‘prized’ toys they put inside a selected snack for those ‘lucky kids’ only? Ding Dang, Chikedees, Toro, Tikam-Tikam (You get the idea). O yeah that’s what I am talking about. I would have probably bought the whole sundry shop and still would have walked away empty handed. (Thank Lord, I still have baby sisters to steal the toys from). I thought I was one of the Children of The Corn but my mom wouldn’t let me believe that. She said my luck just wasn’t in those trinkets.

But today, something miraculous happened to me. I got a letter from PR and inside it there was a cheque - it got my name on it!.

Me won a logo contest? Pinch me...hard.

Whoa, I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. My eyes are still sore from the rubbing and – O don’t judge me! - crying. I am still basking on that glorious feeling. It’s a little bit overwhelming for me and then I called my mom.

“Mommy, hold me, I finally won something”

You've never been more right Mama - I am not the Children of The Corn. It was just a streak of bad luck but today my terrible bad luck was reversed. I am no longer cursed. I feel so, so…normal.

You must be very proud of me Mama. You should be.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Not Me!

I am sleepy but I cannot sleep
I am thirsty but I am not gonna sip
All day long I think when can I eat?
And wonder if I could outlast the afternoon heat

I am tired but I have to work
That’s why I am cranky and I can’t take no joke
I saw fault wherever I looked
And one poke on the rib, that’s all it took.

All day long I think about Bazaar Ramadan
And wonder if they opened throughout the month
I am counting the days when it will finally end
So that I can sleep and eat all I can

I am not eating ‘cause everyone is doing so
And I missed my tarawikh eight nights in a row

So I think I am fasting but my mama doesn’t think so!

2.31pm, 8 Ramadan

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Blame It On The Devil

Raya shopping came a little early for me this year. Not that anyone’s complaining. Let’s just say I hate putting off something that is so important and ‘of great consequences’ like this until the very last minutes. You see, I prefer to shop in ‘peace’.

But with prices of consumer knick-knacks skyrocketing by the minute, we’re going to have to be a bit prudent with our, sometimes frivolous, purchases, aren’t we?

O yeah you poor, poor kid!

So I had my Raya shopping list ready waaay back before BN lost 5 states to Pakatan Rakyat. The list is going on and on but trust me most of the things on the list are hardly frivolous, much less extravagant – it’s strictly ‘festive-related’ only, very prudent and sensible. Or so I hope.

Alas, two days ago, the words ‘prudent’, 'sensible’ and ‘festive-related’ took a tragic turn. I skidded to the darks side. The devil inside me was working overtime - wait, aren’t they supposed to be ‘locked up’ during Ramadan? – O well I guess it was just me being bad. Really really bad.

Say hello to these 'babies'. I guess this year Raya will be more about 'viewing' and 'washing' than 'visiting' and 'celebrating' eh?

I swear I hammered ‘NO’ repeatedly to the salesperson and then ran for a cover under the display sofa. Heck, I even pretended I lost my parents! But noooo, before I know it I received a call informing me that my purchases of ‘delights’ are on their way. Damn those! I could almost hear me banging my head on the wall right now.

God, I wish I had more money than JK Rowling – most of mere mortals can only dream about. They say happiness is the measure of true wealth. Rubbish; it’s money, and lots of it –all spend on those things you proudly show off to your guests on the first day of Raya and forget all about it the next day. Sigh!

Blame it on the Devil. I am innocent.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


I love my job – a little too much I guess. Up until last Friday, I still have about 20 days of annual leave to be cleared off - an achievement of some sort if you considered my murky past employment records.

So my boss was up on her toes, she suggested the obvious:

Mus, have all your leaves cleared before October, or you’ll disturb the entire cosmic balance!” (or something to that effect)

I was about to let it slip when I realized, “Hey! I still have a lot of annual leaves, so what in blazes am I still doing here?” I needed my break. I needed a rest. I’ve been working my ass off all these months and I seriously needed to ‘recharge’. The sign? Lately I have been in a bizarre mental space - I get irritated easily I could spit bullets.

It’s high time for me to get the balance. It’s called, wait for it, cosmic balance (sorry, can’t help it)

So how do I pick the week when to go? I have my own rules, some kind of ritual I have been following since the beginning of my working life - I look for these signs:

1. Public holiday. I can get my much-needed, longer, peaceful break at home knowing that nobody from office could ever call me.

31 August. Yeap, it’s Merdeka Day! It’s our nation’s 51th birthday and since it was on Sunday, so we got the Monday off (Yippe!). I don’t have any (new) wish for this year celebration. Having been kept disappointed for several years already, my wish remains the same – and I believe I speak for every Malaysian – stability, equality and trust.

2. It's Ramadan

It’s that time of the year again – the joy of giving, self-discovery and humility. Though the words “Mus”, “generous” and “unselfishness” don’t often find themselves locked together in the same sentence, but this year I vow to be a better Muslim, if not a better son, a better brother or a better friend. I dedicated the entire first week of Ramadan to observe religiously the true meaning of Ramadan. Sumpah!

3. Someone’s birthday.

Gosh it’s sure weird when it’s MINE. If there’s anyone should ever remind me on my own birthday is me. And only me! That’s why this year I try to be discreet about it. Try to get away from people who tend to have the stupidest idea that birthdays need to be celebrated aloud and with lots of surprises.

I hate surprises. So I guess the best way to remind that I am an ancient fossil is by crawling on my bed with my Kiki and Lulu. Age is only numbers, so I was told, but it's also the sign of maturity. Sigh!

And O just in case you are wondering, yeap, it’s 3 September.

4. Because my mother says so!

Well, How could you say No. How could you even begin to argue with the woman who gave you birth. If she says ‘come home’, you go and pack your bag right away. No argument. Being a good, mama’s boy, that pretty much sealed the deal for me.

Yes, I am on my weeklong leave since last Saturday and I still have another 5 days to go - to do absolutely nothing. I am gonna savour every single minute of it. No worries, no care in the world as if the clocks are completely stop ticking and nothing can bothers me at all.

So what am I doing right now? Picture me on a beach, sipping my non-achoholic drink, staring gleefully on the open water, wearing absolutely nothing. Pretty much sum up how I feel right now, liberating and naked. Now if you are offended by the notion of me in nude, please go check your meds. I am so not in the mood of caring.

See if I care next week.

Monday, August 25, 2008

"I'm Lovin' It!"

This is Nazrol. He’s my dear friend cum my karaoke buddy cum my former Boss. That’s right people! I used to work for him. I was his crew back in the days where I was scrapping grease at the back of oil filter. (Sob! Don’t ask!)

He’s also Hasmiron’s second cousin and interestingly we share the same passion – KARAOKE! Yes, though he probably "familiars" with a few more musical notes than I do, but I am still the champ in the ‘performance’ department (still unbeatable!). I guess that’s why we just clicked right away. We have such a deep admiration for each other.

So this is where he works - Equine Park Store. He’s been managing this store for quite while now - I just don’t have any freaking idea how long. For those of you who are not familiar with this area – tough luck guys, neither do I! Just Google Earth it, will ya! (But I swear it’s somewhere between Sri Kembangan dan Putrajaya

A couple of weeks ago, Nazrol called me asking for my favor and my first reaction was “u-oh!” - forgivable since he hasn’t called me for anything else except for karaoke. But as I found out later, his store was competing for Drive Through Challenge and he needed me to help him out to win the RM10,000 for the first prize.

“So what exactly do I do?”

“Use our Drive-Thru’, pay using the coupon I’ll be given to you and EAT!”

“ Just like that?”

“ Yes, and O, repeat the order until you collapsed out of dehydration and overeating“

“Cool, bring it on!”

“Bring as many friends as you can”

So I dutifully agreed - out of friendship and free lunch. And at the prospect of collapsing alone, I invited a few other friends to come over and support this event for a ‘good cause’. Guess how many came?

This hungry-looking dude is Faizal. He’s probably my most loyal and dependable friend ever!

Reena and her ‘soldiers’ looking very, very hungry

Eja and um um um her sister , or was it her cousin?

Flag off. The is the moment that we have been waiting for…

Ermmm..wearing a red wig at 12 in the afternoon is not my idea of fun afternoon. errgghh..

Things I’d do for free lunch and soft toys…arghhh…traffic jam…obviously I am not the only sucker here.

Awww...don't you think they are adorable? Of coure they are, they are free and they are MINE!

I am a sucker for free back off!!

If you think this is Ground Zero, you should see my bed…NOT!

Thanks Nazrol for the free lunch and soft toys. I had a helluva time. If there was anything at all I get from this Saturday-McD-Merry-Go-Round is that I have a lot of respect for you now. Participating in this nationwide-big-deal Drive-Thru’ contest on the top of running a big, 24 hours store like that is by no mean an easy feat. Not everyone could pull it off.

Even though we lost (yes, we lost!)You should be proud of your store and the supports you get. Sometime there’s more to winning that RM10,000 prize (I really have to come back to you on that ‘what’s it?’)

And you know what, I’ll come again sometimes and next time I am paying.

I just need time to shake those 5 McChickens and 3 McFlurrys off my guts first.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Love Machine

There is something you simply can’t understand – human are not the only thing capable of love, apparently robots are too. They, surprisingly, understand the true meaning of one of the human's most prized emotions. And as weird as it sounds, that’s the whole premise of this movie.

But human’s definition of love is a little bit showy don’t u think? We need to hear those words everyday. It doesn’t matter if we mean it or even bother to really show it, we’d be just as pleased so long as we hear them all the times. ‘I love you’ is as cheap as your next sentence.

Not with robots. Wall-E and Eve (Wall-E’s crush) are not programmed to talk, well save maybe for a couple of words, like their own names or in case of Eve – ‘directive’. So it was endearing (funny even) to watch them work the odds to show their affection on each other. (aw, come on, who wouldn’t at least get misty eyes watching Wall-E flew across the universe just to be with Eve). No ‘I love you’, no ‘you complete me’ cheapos. It was so sweet and tender and yet so much believable than say, snore fest – Sembilu. Tsk!

OK. I know I might irk somebody again if I say 'this is the best movie I've seen this year so far' (like many other movies I watched before and posted my 'opinion' here) but, come on, guys, is it anyone fault if I like to check out a couple of good reviews first before I even decided to watch ANY movie at all?

Well, you know what, I LOVE this movie. In fact, it is so much more than a movie to me - it's a breath-of-fresh-air entertainment cum education. It deals with a lot of other important (and dear to my heart) issues too like recycling and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. And on the top of that it really warms the cockle of my heart. So what's not to like about it?

Call me a hopeless romantic but I do believe in love. I don’t mind hearing ‘I love you’ once in a while, but to have somebody who could fly me across the universe is soo much better!

…and O, somebody who doesn’t litter too!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I Hope

We, Malaysians have long accepted the fact that we are no sporting giant – not now and probably never in the next 10 years at least. But that is not saying that we have stopped hoping. If there’s one thing I know about us is that we are just being realistic (after years of disappointments). We hardly believe in miracles but we believe in hopes. We like to dream.

The dream that someday our country will be.

Last Sunday night, I, like many other "realistic" Malaysian, watched our “golden boy” Lee Chong Wei tried to take on the giant – China’s Lin Dan. It was an emotional moment for me. There was a surge of overwhelmingly feeling of hopes and dreams. The chance has finally come by. I was ecstatic.

Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Our only hope for the first Olympic gold is still remained…a hope. It still pierces through my heart to think about it but I concur the time is not now. It has not come yet.

I won’t go over technical ground on why we lost - other sport pundits have already covered that - but still I think props should be given to Chong Wei. He managed to ignite a little spark of hope inside all of our hearts. After two Olympics and eight years, we finally got something more to be proud of. A silver is still a medal. A recognition of sport supremacy. There’s still a glimmer of hope.

I wish I would live long enough to witness our national anthem - Negaraku being played at an Olympic venue, as the Jalur Gemilang begins its journey up into the Heaven.

That would be the most remarkable thing I could have ever witnessed.

I can only hope.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Micheal And I

Who is Micheal Phelps?

Dumb question, I know - unless you were trapped in some time continuum, more people in the world know him by now than let's just say, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan (and I bet Micheal didn't even try 'that' hard to be in the news)

Yes, that Michael, the one who swims like a fish (a really fast one!) and collects Olympic gold medals like anyone who collects stamps!

Being an avid swimmer myself, I couldn't help but wondering what could he be doing more than I do, that I could never be as good as him. It's hurtful to watch him on the podium 8 times, while I just get to watch him on TV at home, wearing nothing but my XXL swimming trunks.

What was his motivation? Was it fame he after? His love for his country? Million dollars reward promised by US government? Or was he simply loves collecting metal things?

You know what, I should be in that podium too. I want to make my country proud. I want to prove my sceptics wrong and live up to to the true meaning of the cliche' "God has plan for everybody but you have time to change it".

OK. now I know what I really want and why I want it, but you think I still have time?

I think I do. I bet Micheal would think so too.