Saturday, July 24, 2010


Ever since I started this blog a few years back, I have made a number of embarrassing confessions here, haven’t I? Some of them were quite juvenile, like when I admitted I ate my own fingernails; and some were downright chilling - that I have 2 pillows with porn star-like names like Kiki and Lulu. But nothing will prepare you for my next confession that I am going to let you know here:

I had never been to Penang before.

You heard me. Well, at least not until last Thursday.

Truth be told, I’ve never actually been to anywhere else. Yes, I work in KL and once a month I travel south to my ‘fully urbanized’ hometown, Kulai, Johor, but other than that, my so called ‘domestic vacations’ were mostly limited to southern part of peninsular of Malaysia, like Melaka, Kuantan, Port Dickson, Muar, Seremban and Alor Gajah.

For me, anywhere else weren’t even worth seeing or visiting. Okay, I was that smug. I liked places with better roads and clean tap water (Don’t hate me, I was misinformed). So when friends accused me of being arrogant, closed minded snob, I categorically denied it (I lied), but now I wish I just fessed right away, because that fib totally backfired on me. How so? My boss somehow came to know about this and so I was finally got an opportunity to go to Penang for work.

Ask me now how I feel again and I’ll confess I was in fact, a pompous jerk and soo damn wrong - they are places much better and more happening in Malaysia than just Danga Bay or Hang Tuah Mall.

And if you wonder whether I just said that because I am getting paid from Penang Tourism Board, hear this ‘love letter’ from my dear friend, Eijam, a true blue, hopelessly romantic Penang boy, as he put it succinctly.

“Penang has a bit of everything-beach, food, history, waterfalls, forest reserve, culture, unlike Singapore the make-believe island. And estuaries, paddy fields, fishermen village, lush verdant hills, and we are just talking about the island itself”.

So there you have it - a heartfelt, understandably enthusiastic confession of love (though, at the expense of other tourism-driven economy island down south). No argument there from me, dude! The descriptions are vividly telling and spot on. I am impressed.

I fond of Penang and that’s saying a lot from a guy who hates buah pala (pickles nutmeg), nasi kandar and mami jarum. I find the island, particularly Gurney Drive and Batu Ferringi are very exciting and wonderfully vibrant. I thrive in lively places like that. From its flashy night life to cheap pirated DVDs/VCDs, there’s no end to what you can do for fun here. I feel like in Macau though, minus the mobs of course.

Okay, okay I guess it's time for me to come clean and finally admit that I actually LOVE Penang! There I said it! - my next truest, straight-from-the-heart confession in 2 days and I am pretty much think I mean it.

Eijam on the other hand, probably was paid by the tourism board or harrassed by the mobs to say so. You know, just saying....

Monday, July 19, 2010

Confusion State Of Mind

I hardly go to the cinema without actually know exactly what I got myself into. And that means, most of time I would rely heavily on the “experts” (or reviews) before I finally decided to get into the car, brave the traffic, wait in line for the ticket and popcorn and sit through the entire movie run.

Usually, I read credible reviews from the internet and magazines. I buy a lot of entertainment magazines, like Galaxie, People and a certain malay magazine that I refuse to name here. I prefer magazines though, cause I got to read my horoscope and look at pictures of some movie stars without their make-up on, so I was definitely entertained.

Anyway when Christopher Nolan’s Inception caused a lot of reactions from critics, mostly positive ones, I was curious. I needed to check this out. So I did.

Okay, the story is quite ‘simple’. It’s about Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), a spy who specialises in extracting people’s secrets by entering their dreams (only in those G-rated ones). He believes that you can also plant thoughts in your victims’ minds too: a technique called “inception”, though never proven successful. Japanese businessman Saito (Ken Watanabe) hires Cobb to do just this to Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy), heir to a dying tycoon. And Yes, of course there’s always something, somewhere went wrong.

Get it? No? Me, urm not really. But that doesn’t stop me from declaring this is one of the best summer movies this year, other than that highly enjoyable Toy Story 3.

How so? Because it was so deliciously confusing, that to even admit that you get the story totally, you will end up having even more questions than before. You know, like, if the world you live in could very well a dream, as the movie suggested, why the hell am I dreaming a 20 kilo overweight dude in shorts typing this craps?!

Anyhow, there was very little not to like about the movie. All the actors gave superb performances all around, especially Leonarda Dicaprio and Oscar winner, Marion Cotillard as Mal, the dead wife. The cinematography was stunning, as was the imaginative set designs, gravity-defying stunts and a pulse-pounding musical score by Hans Zimmer.

I am not really sure what makes a movie “classic” to begin with, but I think it has to be at least 50 years old and some person or animal has to die at the end. Okay, not necessary true, but good movie these days are hard to come by and considering all the garbage the Hollywood keep churning out lately, ‘Inception’ wasn’t that bad after all.

The only complain I have is that, it was a teeny wee bit long and darkly depressing sometimes. I got home from the movie at 4 in the morning and I could barely sleep after that. There were so many questions that drove me crazy that I thought I must be losing my marbles.

Thank God for my trashy mags, I still have a good grasp in reality. And I must say, seeing Paris Hilton without her make-up really do the trick.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Paul And Mr. Schuester

So Spain won the World Cup! Isn’t that the biggest, most awesomest news you heard all morning? Being a half-Spanish myself, I can’t help but rejoicing with a grin as big as the strait of Gibraltar all day.

I stayed up all night last night, not only to see Andrés Iniesta scored the winning goal but to see if the octopus was right too.

I don’t know the first thing about football and that pretty much killed any chance of me to accurately predict which team will come out victorious, so I went the way of a certain prophetic, spineless aquatic creature that goes by a name, Paul; that the Spanish will kick the Dutch’s butt! And they did.

Still, supposed the octopus turns out to be a fraud and just a ‘spineless aquatic creature’, you can trust on this; I definitely won’t be bawling eyes or running naked around a football pitch. It’s - dare I say it - just a football game.

But it was indeed a beautiful game. And this year’s World Cup, though I might have missed a lot of matches, especially from those of pompous England, was super successful one. Still, I can’t escape the feeling that the real winner here is Paul, the octopus. Why? Cause I bet he will a get a bigger tank now.

Last week also marked the end of the journey of the other worldwide cultural phenomenon - or at least in my world - Glee. The season finale aptly titled ‘The Journey’ follows the Glee kids to the Regionals, the High School Choir Competition ultimate prize.

As you all now, I am quite emotionally invested in the series, so it was quite devastating for me to see my group of choice, New Directions being beaten by other supposedly "inferior” competitors, namely Vocal Adrenaline. I mean, O come on, third placing after Aural Intensity? This is travesty. They were robbed.

Anyhow, maybe Mr. Schuester was right. Sometimes in life, it isn’t always about winning or losing. It’s the journey that makes the memory more enjoyable and more meaning. Getting to where we want to be and winning the race isn’t half the fun as compared to busting our ass in getting there.

And speaking about being robbed, my weekend is 'robbed' next week. I’ll be away to Penang for work. I was supposed to take domestic flight, but I politely declined and opted to drive all the way to north, which by looking at my current driving record would take around 4 hour to get there. I guess I enjoy the in-between time before all the work starting to pile up over there. It's must be the most liberating feeling ever. Driving alone and pumping up your car stereo while holding a map in one hand are, well, priceless!

I hope Mr. Schuester is right, when he says, ‘It isn’t about when we get there that’s important but how we got there that makes it soo much fun”.

Wonder what Paul has to say about that!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Dream A Little Dream

I am hungry. It's 32 minutes pass midnight. I can't sleep. I guess I am still over the moon about the fact that the mighty Brazilian just got tossed aside by the lesser Dutch. Ha Ha. Oh wait, I know what is wrong with this picture - I talk about football?! Gee, I don't believe it either. But, before you go around and ask frantically, "Has the world gone mad?!" Let me get this fact, erm, straight; No, I don't go sweat for sports, for any reason, I just got a kick seeing my die-hard Brazilian supporters friends wept. And boy, didn't they really weep?

It must be the work of my sick, devious mind that I did the unthinkable - ditched watching Cerekarama on TV3 for unheard-of 90 minutes football match - just to see the much-beloved South American team got thrashed. I guess I really did relish seeing their fan licking their wounds. I am that baaad.

Anyway, other than enjoying feeding on other people misery, truth be told, I have always had a soft spot for the underdogs. I used to be an underdog myself. Though not exactly on the pitch, but 'perennial non-threatening underachiever' tag seemed to have become a permanent prefix in my younger days. I mean who would have guessed that I had actually won a singing competition when I was 10 or something? (Err, or through the first round or whatever). And no one would believe that.

And how about when I managed to complete 10km Nike run a couple years back? No one thought I could do that. Not even my close friends. They all said I would only deny the more deserving's and old people's right to the ambulance ride. But I said to myself, 'That's OK, let 'em talk whatever they want to talk'. It had only motivated me even more (Though, quietly, I wished all of them be eaten by a lion!). When I finally completed the race, for months and months after that, I NEVER let them forget that I actually did it.

It feels so good to prove others wrong, especially when no one expects it at all. That's why, I have always been rooting for the underdogs. It's akin to supporting to your own self, in a strange, inexplicable way.

Having said that, coming back to this World Cup stuff, secretly, I really want Malaysia to win the cup. Or at least qualify for final. I know it's a long, long shot and a gross act of collected denial on my part, but seriously, what would have been a more, bigger dream for some 'perennial non-threatening underachievers' than seeing our home-grown 'underdog' lifting the glorious cup? Alas, some dreams are never meant to be realized, just like my singing career. Urg!

All these talk about football and unrealized dreams make me hungry. Suddenly I have a insatiable urge for hotdogs. Anyone?