Monday, March 29, 2010

Vampire On Valium

It's 3.00 in the morning and I can't sleep. I had an incredibly vivid dream. I don't exactly remember what it was about but I am sure as hell it involved Mariah Carey, a pony and me causing a twenty-two-car pileup on the PLUS highway. OK maybe not that “vivid” like scene-by-scene replay, but I swear I can still smell Mariah and blood in my hands.

I woke up soaked in cold sweat.

As I am writing this on my Brazillian Oak table in my RM900++ hotel suite; I wonder, “Was the dream – though in subtlety - trying to tell me something completely mental?" – like maybe Mariah would divorce her child-fish husband, Nick Canon and marry me, the devastatingly, inhumanly beautiful vampire? But then, what was it about me causing the bloody pileup on the highway? And what it has anything to do with her at all? And since when I am a vampire!? Man, interpreting dream is such a confusing business. Pah!

Or maybe I was just a bundle of nerves and that caused an incoherent, plotless nighmare like that. Oh that's right! Of course I am kinda nervous right now.

I am actually organizing a leadership program for our management team in this exotic out-of-town resort. We invited consultants/speakers from Australia and it costs the Bank a bomb. I have been here since Friday and tomorrow is the last day - the evaluation day. Gosh, what might the participants say about the program? Would they find the program beneficial to them? Would they even like it? It's pretty nerve-wreaking for me.

Just this afternoon, my boss came up behind me and put her hand on my shoulder; I almost vaulted to the ceiling. “Wow, I guess you're a little jumpy, huh?” she laughed. She didn't know the half of it.

Oh God!, I just heard a noise. I hope it's not a serial killer. Ever since I saw that "No Country For Old Men" on HBO, I am paranoid about serial killers. Any of the staff here could be one. Especially that crazy cleaning lady who always makes up my room. I just look at her and she creeps me out. She looks like she would eat a baby. Not that she's fat. She just looks hungry in some dangerous way that can't be explained. She's always so nice and friendly. Exactly the disposition of a baby killer.

Great, now I need a Valium.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


It’s official: This was the longest, mind-draining, soul-crushing, back-breaking, totally-overstuffed-and-unnecessary, train wreck they called it “training program” in the whole wide world or at least I ever attended.

How could it not? It was running 14 hours a day for two weeks non-consecutively including weekends in two venues that I swear would make any WW II concentration camp general panting in excitement. It was grand but completely overreaching.

And the torture chambers, or should I call it, classes; they were all long and super boring, kinda like watching the weekly AF concert on rerun. One really needs to have mechanical eyelids controlled by robotic arms just to keep them opened - it’s a cure to the insomniac!

But I managed to “appear” interested throughout the class (good acting skills didn’t hurt!) because I had a plan that worked – I asked a lot of questions. Not that I really needed to know what “quick ratio”, and “Basel II” were, mind you, but snoring loudly in the full view of others wasn’t really the other option. So I shook the foundation of the trainer’s confident and rocked the desk (literally!) all the same time.

I guess I may have disrupted the class a little bit too much to a point, without me realizing it, I’ve became the poster boy of kiss-a** nuisance. I wasn’t aware I was that annoying until I received this from one of the fellow inmates, ahem, I mean, participants.

I folded the note back and passed it to the next person with a wink. And then I made my thank-you note to the sender.

If I don’t ask questions and keep myself awake, my mind would wander and think about:

a) Sleep
b) Food
c) That Glee episode that I missed for this hogwash.
d) The trainer’s hairy earlobes.
e) YOU!

…..a lots.

And I thought that would’ve silenced the sender but no, before long, I heard a loud burst of laughter at the back of the class.

"Yes you, you have any question?,” the trainer looked directly to the source of the commotion with slight annoyance.

Without looking back, I heard the voice muffled a chuckle;

"I am sorry. No. I do not have any question.”

So did I.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Pancake Killer II

I am so bumped. Nothing was working out for me lately. First my favorite American Idol contestant was booted out, and then, I ran over someone's cat, and now this? Maybe it’s that karma thing or maybe I was just being overdramatic silly, but I do feel like a first-class loser.

Let me tell you something, I am a man with a simple dream. I don’t ask much out of this life. In fact I am pretty much content with whatever God has given me – zits, cellulite and all. But when my second time attempts in preparing an instant pancake for human consumption failed miserably (twice!), I took the whole sad episode to the heart and really *sniffle* cried. Of course I was devastated.

It’s hopeless. I can’t even feed myself without risking a major health disaster. I can’t even make that damn pancake fluff! Without a can opener and God forbid, ‘How To’ steps at the back of the box, I tell you, I’ll sure be dead.

I was about to give up the whole AFC chef host dream altogether, when I bumped into a friend at the supermarket and we got to talking, you know, just catch-up stuff. I mentioned about the pancake debacle for some reason, I forget why. And before long, she agreed to help me with my non-existent kitchen skills and she even promised to share with me some of her cooking-for-dummies recipe. At first I thought ‘Isn’t that a hoot?’.

"Anyway, why sudden interest in cooking and baking? Isn’t it a little too…effeminate even for you?”

Great, now out of nothing, she attacked me with the only thing I am prided myself on: my polished, chromosomally-damaged, testosterone-pumping masculinity.

"No reason, I just like the idea of preparing something decent for you whenever you might come visiting”. I gritted my teeth to dust.

...So I can poison-feed you with my killer instant pancake! You, sexist, fake, snooty bitch!!

Speaking about bitch-ing, remember last week I ranted about how I didn’t care about people knew a bit about my past, about my former school - Sains Muar and former friends?

And now it’s in the news.

A couple days go, my former school was in the news. I freaking do not believe it. I mean, can’t say I was particularly surprise, it’s always been a good school. After all, it produced me! Erk! Anyway, it’s just that I never expected to see it still performs so well after all these years.

Quite honestly, I used to really hate the school very very much. I hated the students, I hated the teachers, I hated everything in it or associated with it. I’ve always felt like out of place. I never felt happy or belonged to that school. Two years was a real torture. I remember I only agreed to stay, just to please my parent and more importantly to be out of that sleepy hollow they called it Segamat.

But it doesn’t really matter now. Looking back, I realized I got as many good memories too. I’ve met many great friends, friends like Hasmiron, Zetty and erm, few others. I guess I just suppress many of the good ones because the bad ones are more prominent. So it’s easy to associate all the memories – good and bad - with all pains.

Maybe I don’t say this often enough, but I am proud to be part of the school's legacy. I really am. I just need a little reminder like this, every year when the SPM results come out. Heck, should the school come up top again next year, I might even consider coming for the reunion, who knows, snort, I’d even bake and bring a cake or two! Noo...

Monday, March 8, 2010

I Don't Remember Seeing Him

I hate having to come for training during weekend. Waking up as early as 7.00am on Saturday morning was like a military campaign. Why there’s a need to spend a full 8 hours of futile boredom on the I-care-for-nothing day?

And the rest of the participants weren’t particularly discreet about our displeasure either, so the trainers promised a shorter hour while doing a really 'fun stuff’ together. (Snort, after discussing the whole economic impacts on Iceland for 2 days straight, what could possibly be more fun thing to do today? Would boiling family pet be next?)

So I sat serenely (half-asleep) in the corner, disassociating myself from the unearthly clamors around me. I need my sleep. I need my sleep. I chanted loudly to myself.

I didn’t expect any intrusion, but then there this one participant came to me unannounced. I was alarmed. Gee, I hoped it wasn’t about my nasty remark about his stripe shirt over morning tea break yesterday.

"Mus, semalam ko kata ko Sekolah Sains Muar kan?”. I nodded, a little surprise but swollen with self-important.

"Ko kenal adik aku, Taib Tariq kan? He just told me about your dirty little secret”. He chuckled and seemed quite devilishly pleased.

I was unmoved. Being a perfectly normal, hot-blooded teenager many years ago, I could have done a million and one things that I probably wouldn’t be proud to admit now, but hey, that’s just that.

In fact, I assure you, I do not have any problem when someone, somehow knows a little bit about my past. I have nothing - seriously, completely hideous - to hide. I’m not a psycho who pulled the legs off ants as a child, nor do I have any outstanding arrest warrants, so like I said, I wasn’t particularly concerned.

"He told me what everybody called you back then. Pretty nasty nick huh?”. I felt the blood seeped from my ears. He just made a pretty irreversible, unforgivable mistake.

I swear I couldn’t remember a thing what happened after that. Only that, it was the last time, anybody ever heard about him, ever, again. *Shrug*

And Oh! The class went really, really well.