Saturday, August 22, 2009

Body2Body - 2nd Edition

I have just been told that Body2Body is going into 2nd edition by next week. The first 1000 copies is almost sold out. Kinokuniya and Times Pavilion are already out of stock. Damn.

I've always wished it'll do well but even this caught me by surprise. But extremely pleased, nonetheless.

We're getting there, people.

Seksualiti Merdeka!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Body2Body Launch

The launch is scheduled to start at 4 pm. That was 5 minutes ago. I’m still looking for a parking space at Dayabumi. I’m late. But, then again, have I ever been otherwise? To my unpleasant surprise, however, the people at The Annexe Gallery are very prompt. Almost German-like. Certainly very un-Malaysian.

I was ushered to a seat right in front of center stage (which wasn’t really a stage but a just a mic and a stool) as soon as I arrive. At first I thought it was reserved for writers or more explicably writers who are reading to the audience (already I was letting it go to my head) but when I saw my mother (the only woman in the place wearing a tudung) take the vacant seat next to me, I realized they were just filling in spaces.

Reading his story, currently, is Brian Gomez and he looks exactly like his photo in KLue a while back. Down to his cargo pants, tshirt and army cap. A simple dresser he may seem (as opposed to me, dressed in a sandy taupe Massimo Dutti sweater coupled with a Club Monaco shirt adorned with a black knit tie), I look up to him because he has a published book of his own, Devil’s Place. More so, his discussion on What Do Gay People Eat? is both funny and intriguing.

As Brian finished his reading and returns to his seat, Amir, the host, begin to talk about me and, of course, my father’s name, and why it’s the only reason I was included in the book. I joined in the laughter just to be polite. Seriously, I have been getting that stick ever since that other Nik Abdul Aziz came into power. So you can imagine how friggin’ long that was. It’s like being Paul McCartney and is constantly asked to sing Yesterday. Still, unlike Sir Paul, I’m willing to tolerate it every time I meet new people.

Anyway, I was primed to come up and read my story (which I volunteered for a weeks back, not because I wrote a masterpiece) but since I haven’t got hold of the actual book just yet, I was given a pass to get myself acquainted first with the edited version of The Friendship Dictator.

Taking my place in the meantime is Shanon Shah. I may look up to Brian Gomez, but as far as Shanon is concerned, his accomplishments are the things I can only dream about emulating. He’s a singer, songwriter, he won a Boh Cameronian Arts Award, wrote the successful play Air Con and even has his own Wikipedia entry! And judging by the reading of his essay Muslim 2 Muslim, he is one hell of a writer too. His talk about being different, especially in a Muslim world where the unusual are normally ridiculed and tormented, evokes a deep sense of emotion. Perfect, considering if before I have to upstage Brian Gomez, now I have to upstage Brian and Shanon as well. No pressure, right?

In the end I managed to make it through. Not great but well enough, I suppose. My jokes didn’t work and I even got tongue-tied on my own words. But, hey, there’s a first time to everything.

Another writer, Cheryl, came up to read her piece as well and hers just about ends the reading segment. As a sign-off, Amir announced that they are now planning to create another Body2Body but in BM. So, another open call. Am I up for it? Let’s just finish the day off first.

As everyone start to mingle, Pang (one of the editors) shouted for the attending writers to gather at the end of the room so that anyone who wants their books signed can do so with ease.

So I made way there, thinking how many would actually come up to me and to have their books signed? At least by going up reading earlier they can put a face to my name. Little to my surprise at the end of the room is a long table covered in white cloth with empty seats aligned on one side. This is going to be a proper book signing session! I am gob smacked. Never have I thought I’d be on the opposite side of the queue at a book signing session. This is so exciting! And it gets better. Just as I am making myself comfortable, Shanon Shah pulled a chair and sit right next to me. This is so fucking cool! I wonder if I can ask some tips for the Kakiscript Playwriting Competition.

But the best part of all, he doesn’t carry all this accomplished aura around him. He is really easy to talk to. And, opposite to what he displayed earlier, carrying a serious tone of voice while reading, he is quite a jovial character. At one point, when I realized this is a proper book signing and I don’t have any pen on me, I asked Amir, who happen to walk by, ‘Amir, do you have any pens?’ Know what Shanon say? ‘Kau tanye die ade pens ke tak? Nasib baik die tak bukak seluar,”

O… M…Geeeee!!

Shanon Shah just made a dirty joke at me! And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the ultimate ice breaker. Once two strangers share a dirty joke, awkwardness is no longer a possibility. By the way, Amir did hand me a pen. The one you write with, that is.

In between signings and chatting up fans (him: many, me: none), we managed to talk a bit more (and I just want to point out that my story comes right before his so we were like duos in a tennis match, taking turns hitting the ball) and one thing I realize why he is so easy to get along is he reminds me so much of Ikzal. In fact, they are almost exactly the same. If they are both seated side by side, I’d be downright confused. Soon I was giggling thinking about the uncanny resemblance.

After doodle-ing about 30 odd books, I managed to get Brian’s and Shanon’s signature, including Cheryl’s for my own copy (it’ll be priceless!). And as an added souvenir, I received a Seksualiti Merdeka t-shirt from Annexe.

The book is launched, now let the feedback come. That what’s on my mind as I walked back to the Dayabumi car park with a proud mother in tow. That and the new nickname Shanon just gave me.


Body2Body - Out Now!

I just googled ‘It’s not the kill but the thrill of the chase’ and found out it’s part of a Deep Purple lyric from a track called ‘Knocking at Your Back Door’ which is actually interesting considering what I am going to talk about today.

Anyway, I swear I saw that phrase printed on a food packaging somewhere but now that I think about it, that makes no sense at all. But I do love that phrase. I loved it so much that it stuck with me throughout these years. And I am reminded again of that intriguing phrase today as I am writing this.

I have my kill. It’s there for public viewing. Spread across Kinokuniya, Times and Borders all over the Klang Valley. At a price, of course.

Ideally, I would have preferred to emerge into the local literature scene with something like My Legendary Girlfriend or I Love You, Beth Cooper. A story about love from a man’s point of view told in an incredibly humorous way. But I guess being one of the 23 contributing writers for an anthology about gay, lesbians and bisexuals in Malaysia would have to do in the meantime.

However, despite whatever minor inhibitions I have about writing for Body2Body, make no mistake I am still damn proud of my work. As I have said before, what I have achieved by just sitting in front of my computer, typing rubbish, for just one whole day (as compared to you office working folks doing it for the whole week) is nothing short of a miracle. And, maybe it won’t be a runaway bestseller like a Harry Potter novel but I do know this – it’s one hell of an important book. Plus, it’s controversial. Really up my alley. Because, seriously people, one thing about controversies, it gets people talking. It elicits response. Even powerful and emotionally charged at times. Nobody remembers what happened at the end of As Good As It Gets. But mention M Butterfly and people will recall. Or Sorority Boys for the younger generation for that matter. It’s how I started out his blog anyway. And how eventually I got myself into trouble. But that’s old news.

But, as I said earlier, The Friendship Dictator (in the end, I couldn’t come up with a better title) is my kill. What next? A natural progression would be to write up some more short stories. I mean, how hard could it be, right? Well, unless you’re me (already I can hear Watai saying, ‘negatif!’). I am much too comfortable with my life. I live in a nice home, I drive a German car. Sometimes I go see a movie, sometimes I go out with friends. Sometimes I go out with even more friends. Sometimes I meet a nice girl. Most of the times they don’t want to meet me. And that’s even before Thursday.

I don’t live in the slums of Rio. I haven’t discovered my own Nazca Line nor have I, on a whim, decide to go on an African adventure in Zambia. Shit, the farthest I went was to Australia where I stayed at a posh hotel, went to theme parks and pet domesticated kangaroos.

Damn, I need to get out more.

The only things I know are football, food and women. Probably in that order too. And what man does not know about football and food anyway? Women? Who are we kidding? I know jackshit about women. What man does?

So, in the meantime, while I seek around, if possible, for new ideas for my own anthology (cewah berangan), tell me what you think about The Friendship Dictator.

At stores near you!

BODY 2 BODY: A MALAYSIAN QUEER ANTHOLOGY is in limited release. More than 100 Malaysian shops that normally stock Matahari Books titles will NOT be carrying it. Because this is a special book that, erm, deserves special treatment :-)

Let's support the 4 shops that have it right now:

1. Kinokuniya KLCC, in the Social Science section (Tel: 03 2164 8133)
2. Times Pavilion (Tel: 03 2148 8813 )
3. Times Bangsar Shopping Centre ( Tel: 03 2095 3509 )
4. Silverfish Bangsar ( Tel: 03 2284 4837 )

As well as these 6 that will be stocking it in the next few days:

5. Borders The Curve (Tel: 03 7725 9303)
6. Borders Berjaya Times Square ( Tel: 03 2141 0288 )
7. Borders The Gardens (Tel: 03 2287 4530)
8. Borders Tropicana ( Tel: 03 7727 9203 )
9. Borders Queensbay Mall, Penang (Tel: 04 646 8758 )
10. Bookzone Penang ( Tel: 04 226 5585 )

Please call ahead to make sure it's in stock, and reserve if you wish. You can cite the title or the ISBN: 978-983-43596-9-0 .

If you want to be absolutely certain of getting it, you can order online from Kinibooks:

Kinibooks is run by Malaysiakini, an organisation whose take on expressive freedom I find more agreeable than the stance taken by, erm, some actual bookshops.

By contrast, it will be more widely available in Singapore from next week. It's primarily the Singapore orders that have ensured that the book goes into its 2nd print next week.

For those outside the region, there's Amazon:

Thank you for your support lah :-)

Friday, August 07, 2009

KL's Comedy Scene

In Down To Earth, when Lance Barton’s life was taken a slight too soon by an incompetent angel, Heaven agrees to give Lance another body to continue his life on earth. The body is one of a wealthy but greedy, old white man. The thing is, Lance was played by Chris Rock. And he’s an aspiring comedienne.

One of the first things he did with his newfound wealth is to buy a small comedy club where he can practice his materials every single night. And this is where I thought, why don’t we have anything similar here in KL? Not the rich, old guy thing but the small comedy club scene. And it soon became one of my life’s ambitions to check out one of these establishments myself if I ever get the chance to travel abroad. To this day, the farthest I ever got was to Gold Coast. Not exactly a renowned comedy scene. Plenty of dolphins and koalas but not so much in the form of Russel Peters in sight. Besides, I went there on a family vacation. The wildest night time activity was going doner-kebabing. For take away. From a middle-eastern eatery right across the street opposite the hotel entrance where we were staying. The meat was wicked.

Anyway, not all is lost, because comedy has finally found its way here! Yeay! I should probably wish for a strip joint to be establish here too. Who knows maybe that will also come true. I’m thinking Lorong Haji Taib.

Anyway, back to comedy. Thanks to my new fav local mag, Time Out KL, I was made aware that we do have our own comedy scene right here and it’s been around for more than a year now. My first show was coincidentally their 1st anniversary and I was quite lucky as they were having a special night and they have 8 comediennes to perform that evening (it’s usually 5 or 6 at most). For 10 bucks, that’s one hell of a bargain. Even the likes of Douglas Lim and Harith Iskander were among the attending crowd that night. So you can imagine this is something promising going on here. And that’s why I haven’t missed a show yet. Even if one time it did cost me a photo opportunity with Yuna. But I’ll op for Yuna the next time around.

But, as with any shows, you tend to have a bad one once in a while. Like last night, for instance. It wasn’t really disastrous but it did lack the usual energy. But you have to give them some credit. Most of them are first-timers and amateurs. It really takes some guts to go up on stage and try to make people laugh. Comedy is tough, man. Jerry Seinfeld said that.

I felt sorry for Davina. She’s Miss FHM September 09 and the only female comedienne of the Comedy Thursday scene (apparently, she’s a little loony too). Last time she was on was during the 1st year anniversary and she was quite good that time. She talked about the calendar photo shoot and how fake she looked from the end result (she looks to possess the smoothest arm pit ever!) and it’s always an interesting subject to discuss. Especially when you have a large male crowd. But her horoscope angle last night did not hit off quite as well. But, come one, she’s miss September. She could just stand there just holding the mic doing nothing (which she did for a few times) and still be pleasing to the eye even if only dressed in a pair of sneakers, cargo pants and hoodie.

But there were a few lifesavers yesterday. Notably Jimmy North, a Canadian expat with an American accent and just loves life in KL. He performed his updated version of his ‘I Hate Singapore’ song and got the crowd to sing along the chorus. I mean, come on, how can you not love that?

And the always funny Kavin and his legendary curry-flavored condom story. He found it being sold out of a vending machine at the airport the first time he landed in UK. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Chicken curry or mutton curry? That’s Kavin’s line by the way.

Apart from the TOKL organized show, we have something called the The Comedy Club KL which came up recently. Now this is the more pimped up version of stand-up comedy. No first timers here. Only well established comediennes are invited to perform and, yeah, mostly from abroad. So, no 10 bucks entry charge. More like RM50 plus. But guaranteed laughs. I haven’t tried this yet. But maybe soon enough. Like TOKL’s, their shows are monthly and held towards the end of the month as opposed to TOKL’s early month trend.

Truth be told, KL is still light years behind the likes of London and New York in terms of the comedy scene. But the scene is growing. I can now jot off visiting a comedy club in the states from my life list. Because black and white jokes are so yesterday. As demonstrated by the Young Comediennes of Malaysia, we can take the racism jokes to a whole new level.

Just another thing to do in KL. Oh, by the way, I drove there last night and the show ended at half past eleven.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

A Night of Comedies

I have been frequenting Time Out KL’s Comedy Thursday for the past few months. I mean, 10 bucks for a good 2-hour of stand-up? Who wouldn’t mind that? Especially in these dire times.

It’s held the first Thursday of every month and their previous ‘homeground’ has been Little Havana at Changkat Bukit Bintang. But since Little Havana are going under new management and a considerable amount of renovation at the same time, TOKL has moved its comedy nights to the Velvet Underground at Zouk.

Now, I know the Changkat area so I’m familiar with the sweet and free parking spots. For Zouk, on the other hand, I have never been to the damned place. They never had anything that really made me want to check it out over there. Until last month that is. Since I have no clue where the parking lots are (and if I do, they’d probably cost me another tenner at least) and one could only imagine what the traffic is like at that part of Jalan Ampang at around 9 pm Thrusday evening. It’d be hell.

So, I thought, why not go there by train and just walk the distance? It’ll be night time anyway so it’ll be pleasant. I figured they would end right before midnight so that would provide me ample time to hop on the last train home. Sounds like a plan, eh?

As it turns out, as I expected, the traffic was nightmare and I, for once, am glad to be on the sidewalk making considerable pace compared to those in the cars. And it was a pleasant walk. It was cool, a little breezy. A bit deafening from the traffic noise but all was well. Even Zouk turned out to be a very nice place. Velvet is certainly cozy. The air-conditioning was well ventilated. Plush cushions everywhere. And a lot roomier too than Little Havana. I didn’t have people brushing against my shoulder every 2 minutes.

And the show? Well, let’s just say if there ever was a Papi Zak fan club, I would very much like to sign up.

But this when things start to become rather askew. Despite it says 9 pm as starting time, Matt Sully (the host) only came on stage a quarter before 10. That it turn push the end time a little beyond midnight and that means train services has ended for the day.

Like it or not, I had to get a cab, at double rate since it’s past midnight, but couldn’t get all the way home because I had to pick up my car at Taman Melati. So instead of saving a few quid on petrol and traffic headache, I ended up spending more than if I had bothered to drive myself all the way to Zouk and pay the damn inflated parking charges!

Well, today is another brand new Thursday of a new month and it’s at Velvet again. Would I go? Haven’t decided yet. But if I do, I’m certainly not going there by train.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Not As Sweet

Maybe it was too much to ask in the end. I was already in line to be published at my very first attempt at writing a short story. Hoping for the same kind of result in the Short + Sweet open call was probably a little too writer-fantasy.

The verdict came from the Short + Sweet people a few weeks back. My 10-minute play didn’t make the cut. Naturally I was disappointed. Even though I know, even at the structural level, the script had telling flaws. I guess Steve Coogan was right when he said in Hamlet 2 – writing is so hard! But, again, it was a last minute effort. I can’t help it. It’s hard-wired into my brain. This time it was even worse than the Body2Body episode. At least, back then, significant progress can be seen 4 days before the deadline. This time however, 4 hours before submission time and I was still staring at a blank screen! You have no idea how tempting it was just to give it all up during those final edgy moments. But I couldn’t have forgiven myself if I did. And so, I trudged on. Albeit unsuccessfully. At the very least, I gave it a shot. If this was kindergarten, I would have received a participation trophy.

However, looking back, maybe it was a good thing my script was unsuccessful. A kind of blessing in disguise. Just like when Iniesta scored that injury time winner. Shit, that still hurts.

Anyway, Lady of the Evening (which is a rubbish title, by the way), should it had been accepted, I think would have driven my complacency level to an all-time high. Look what Celebrating A Birthday (the Body2Body title) did to me. Since those so-called final hours before deadline, I haven’t written anything worth reading. Anything! Or, as Davina Goh would put it – I got jackshit! At least, after this S+S setback, I managed to write a decent history for Incarnation’s press kit. It wasn’t a classic but still there are a few nice touches in there. And, c’mon, it’s a press kit. It’s dope.

As for future endeavors, well, for starters I need to come up with a better title to replace Celebrating A Birthday. The Matahari people think it’s too generic. A fair argument considering I came with it in under two minutes. It’s definitely not Love in the Time of Cholera.

So, they came up with a few alternatives. They are Segregated, The Party Addict and (their favorite) The Friendship Dictator. First of all, ‘Segregated’ reminds me of the movie Partition which tells the story during the difficult period when Pakistan was separated from mainland India and starred an incredibly smoking hot Canadian.

Still, it’s a sad story and I do not do sad stories. Or anything that reminds me of it.

The Party Addict, on the other hand, suggests a bucketload of joy. Problem is, it sounds too much like a Candace Bushnell title. I enjoyed SATC but chic lit isn’t the kind of theme I’m aiming for here.

As for Friendship Dictator, well, the word ‘dictator alone conjures up images of Mussolini and that German guy with a funny moustache.

Bottom line is I hate all of them. None of them carry the right message that I want to portray. First of all it’s supposed to be kind of funny which makes the use of negative words in the title a big turn off for me. And it’s also about friendship, loyalty and some of the outrageous things that can go on when a group of 20-something friends get together on a Saturday night. Although, I’ll admit Celebrating a Birthday does sound generic. But the absence of an alternative title really bugs me down. And it does boil down to me. The Matahari people have 20 other stories to worry about. It is up to me to save Bianca and her buddy friends.

Bianca is my female protagonist. Although not clearly defined, when you do finally read about her, imagining her as a somewhat Chritina Ricci lookalike wouldn’t hurt.

As for a reminder, Body2Body will be launched sometime in August. Let me repeat that: A-U-G-U-S-T. Even though I do appreciate the support of friends who continually asking me the same question every time I see them, please, ask me again in one and a half months time. Especially Najmi. Dah, jangan ang dok tanya aku lagi.

Apart from that, well, let’s solve this first. My brain is beat. Forcing oneself to be witty tend to do that. Writing is SO HARD!

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Bunny That Got Away

Hunny bunny is getting married. It is inevitable really. Deep down I knew this day would come. Although at front I wouldn’t naturally admit it. Besides, she is a woman.

There was a moment in time when I thought this will be the last time I’ll be writing about her. I’m moving on. There are certainly far more beautiful women out there. And they are. Example in point, the hot chick from Mawar’s birthday party years back. Of course, I forgot her name but, damn, what a rack!

Yet, here I am, late into my twenties, reminiscing about her, putting it into words, again. Haven’t I learnt my lesson? Will I ever move on? Hopefully, yes. Because if this is not closure, then I don’t know what is. It’ll be the perfect transition from hopeless romantic to creepy stalker. Not that’s anything new. Especially when Ellie comes to mind.

As to how much it hurts, well, I have been through worse. Whether that’s a good thing or not, it’s kind of like Darth Maul’s lightsaber – double edged. But the fact that it did, still surprised me. Even if it is was just a little twang. But, in a way, it did call for it. Considering the significance of the news and the fact that I did not heed any sort of warning. I think the denial part of me may have something to do with that. But, if I had to do it all over again, I’ll do the exact same thing. Men~.

The wedding reception will be held in Kedah, of course. The one I’m invited to anyway. But, Kedah? That is way up north. Waaay up. I know I’ve been to KB and Segamat on the same weekend for the same purpose of weddings but that’s for bros. Bros are always before hoes. However, an awesome did come to me. Well, it was her suggestion really when I gave her a call. Yes, I gave her a call. And I was totally cool being ‘just friends’ and all. I even cracked jokes about her fiancĂ©. See how awesome I was? Could you see Vince Vaughn doing that to Jennifer Aniston? You’re right, he probably did. Point is, when you talk about Kedah, a boat trip away is that magical place called Langkawi. And so, why not? In the afternoon, you go to the wedding, dress properly, put on a happy face, say your congratulations although deep inside you wonder, what if that had been me on the pelamin? But then, you look up towards the sky, and slightly angled your head eastwards and you imagine the half-naked tourists sunbathing on the beach and thinking, in a few hours I could be on that beach, in my shorts and sunnies, sipping a cool drink watching the sunset. And this, I believe, is what we call a ‘what-up?’ moment.

Now, I need to pitch this idea to Tompok.

Oh, by the way, the chick with the nice rack at Mawar’s party? I think her name is Lynn.

Or it could’ve been Syikin.

Nah, it’s definitely not Eiwa.

You Want To Write?

For the past two days I was reminded of Forrester's words - just write.

Friday, April 10, 2009

OT! = Oh Tuhanku!*

Dude, I just got a call from Amir Muhammad. I’m in! I’m effing in! I’m psyched! I’m totally psyched! Forget about Korn or Jamiroquai, this is the most awesome thing to happen in 09! This is it! Anything is possible~!

And to think that I almost given up on it.

Now, I need to go mandi.

*dicilok dr melayu minimalis**
**juga cara perkataan 'dicilok' digunakan

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sunburst-ing This Saturday

I hope it doesn’t rain. Because that was the only downside last year. And we’re not talking about a 5 minute drizzle here. It was one of those monsoon-like downpours. Water droplets so big it hurts when it hits you. And, if I remembered correctly, it lasted for nearly two hours. And it didn’t stop there. Consequently, they were pools of water everywhere. If that didn’t ruin your shoes then the globs of mud formed afterwards definitely will. Thankfully, it was a 12-hour long event. So, eventually, the water dried up, the ground became less squishy but, sorry, your feet will continue to stink long into the night. Just don’t ‘air’ them until you get home.

Any hoo, Sunburst will return this Saturday. (Can I get a boo yah? BOO YAH!!) And all music fans nationwide rejoice. Even though it almost didn’t turn out that way.

All I can say is, thank you, Korn, for agreeing to come and give us something worth to shout about.

I am one of those who bought the early-bird tickets so that I can save a good 60 bucks, especially important in these economic downtimes, and, I’m sure as with quite a few people, I did have my doubts. It was the final day before the RM60 discount expires and in that moment in time the headliners were N.E.R.D. and below them, Butterfingers. No disrespect to these people as they are much better musicians than I can ever hope to be, but I did gave a pass on seeing Rihanna and Jason Mraz because I thought paying that much to see them perform just wasn’t worth it. You think I’m going to spend 12 hours outdoors for an event that culminates with Pharrell Williams and friends ‘moving’ people? Exactly my thought. But, there I was. Sitting in my car, a Sunburst ticket in my hands, shaking my head in disbelief. I could be making my first big mistake of the year. But, if anything to go by, they had to make it better, right? That’s what you normally do after a successful first outing, right? Much to my chagrin, and I think with all early-bird ticket holders, all we can do is hope. Like when Liverpool had to play at Old Trafford. See how well things turned out over there, eh?

Rumours from last year said they were planning for Smashing Pumpkins. That never even comes close to materialize. But the one people keep hampering about was Coldplay. Judging from the success of their latest album, they are certainly big. And I mean globally. Publicity wise, it would have been brilliant for them to come to Sunburst. But, for me, personally, Coldplay isn’t exactly what I’d want to finish off a music festival. They’re sort of mellow. Sort of soft rock. You couldn’t really imagine a mosh pit forming at a Coldplay concert, do you?

But, thanks to that Grammy win, they’ve raised their price a bit (or so goes my theory) and so Coldplay no longer became an option. And I couldn’t be more excited when I found out Korn was the back-up plan.

I have wanted to see Korn live for so long that I’ve given up on that dream. Now, it became so ridiculously simple. This Saturday I’ll be seeing Korn live. With my early-bird ticket. I’m psyched. And, come to think of it, I don’t care if it rains.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Best Calendar EVER!

Meet Jarah.

Jarah Mariano, 25, was born in Kauai, Hawaii, and raised in Mission Viejo, California. At age 15, she was stopped by a scout in Santa Monica and hasn’t stopped modeling. After high school, Jarah moved to NYC where she attended Pace University, earning her degree while modeling for Victoria’s Secret, MAC, Armani Exchange, Roxy, Quiksilver, bla bla bla…you know what? It doesn’t matter. What matters is that Jarah now features on the door of my bedroom. Whoo! Go Jarah!

I’m happy for my door. It used to be such a lonely door in 2008. Not a single scantily-clad babe for the whole of 12 months. It was such a dark and gloomy period. But the good times are back again!

Ever since the Malaysian version of FHM magazine came about, there was only one thing I really was excited about. And that is their annual calendar. Because, before we had our local version, I once came across the said calendar but from the UK edition FHM. Needless to say, the semi-nude (and some topless!) women, posing in great provocativeness, printed on high quality paper just drove me berserk. From then on, I couldn’t stop wishing how I would love to get one of those some day. So when Malaysia decided to have its own version of the male magazine, my prayers were answered. Or so I thought.

Take the 2001 edition, for instance. It was filled with celebrities. Normally, this should be considered a good thing. But when you talk about Paula Malai Ali, Asha Gill and Kavita Sidhu, these are established industry players. They have achieved fame. They didn't need to expose too much skin just to make a staement. Let alone topless (well, maybe not Kavita, but that’s another story). Sexy poses, yeah. But most of them were fully clothed. Like Louise Redknapp and Joey Mead (Okay, I’m not too sure about Joey Mead). And some of the choices were awful. Alicia Silverstone? Lene Nystrom? You wouldn’t believe some of the difficult months I had to endure. Suffice to say, I was disappointed. But, just like our national football team, it’s the best we’ve got. No use complaining. There were no other alternatives. It sure as hell beat nature themed calendars. And, even with contempt, I continue to adorn my bedroom door with Malaysia’s FHM calendar year in year out.

Until late last year.

I was still bummed out for missing out the calendar issue for 2008. It had to do with my laziness that I’m trying to curb nowadays. Generally, I was PO with myself.

But then, the trip to Gold Coast happened and I’ll be forever grateful for the day before we had to come back home.

The trip to Paradise Country to see the kangaroos and the koalas ended surprisingly early. It was just a half-day affair. So the family had plenty of time to spare. And, naturally, with Mom leading, we ended going to the largest shopping mall in town – The Pacific Fair Shopping Centre. Personally, I’d rather lounge all day at Hooters (and remains one of my many life's obsessions). And, since her children are no longer 12 and share almost nothing in common interest, we decided to split up and venture where ever we please individually and meet back at a spot after a designated time. Fine.

As I walked around, trying to look for some Oakley shades with the hope that they cost less over there (they don't), I stumbled upon the new Mustang displayed on centre court as part of a marketing gig. I was stoked, of course, because it’s quite a nice car, even more in real life, and what’s more, there’s no chance I’ll be seeing one on Malaysian roads.

However, half an hour later, with no Oakley store in sight and a black Mustang smothered with my breath and finger prints, I head back to the family meeting spot. Along the way, I’m not sure but it was probably habit, I stepped into a stationery/convenient store. I was walking along the magazine aisle and almost stopped breathing when I came up to the calendar section. There on display were some cool calendars. A very funny Dilbert and Futurama calendar, among them. But I couldn’t take my eyes off the 2009 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit calendar. Right there, on the shelf. It was a gem. I stood there, motionless and just couldn't believe my luck. I picked up a copy and today, it hangs beautifully on my bedroom door. I think it goes without saying, it’s my best calendar EVER!

Jarah Mariano is one thing. I had Brooklyn Decker for January.

And there’s still plenty more where that came from!

Life was good. I was basking in glory. Adorning my door is one hard-to-get-locally item and it’s hot and I smuggled it from 4000 miles away. I was happy. I’ve never been so excited to look what date it is every time the occasion calls for it. But, perfection was not to last.

Something really did ruin my euphoria a few weeks later I returned from Australia. Again, my habit kicked in again and I walked into a Borders store and just guess what I came across on the shelves displaying calendars for sale. The same Dilbert and Futurama calendars. Okay. But, beside them, the exact 2009 SI calendar that I had painstakingly flew in from another f-ing continent! Damn it! And mine had Australian holiday reminders on them! Just what the heck is a Waitangi Day!?

At least a dose of comfort is that the one at Borders would cost me RM52 to get. While the one I bought at that stationery store at Aussie sold at 15 dollars. That’s about RM36. RM16 difference. Damn right I got the better bargain! I refuse to think otherwise.

However, even though my SI calendar is no longer as unattainable as I would have liked, it does provide the future with good impetus. From 2010 onwards, I could kiss goodbye to FHM’s calendar and get my hands on SI’s. Even if they are not stacked close by to men’s lifestyle mags like Zoo and Playboy Australia. (No, as much as I would've liked to, I didn’t smuggle them). Lainla kalau ade orang nak bawak balik kan utk aku dr US. kann, Aritha?

But, for the sake of fun, I also bought this year’s FHM calendar and guess what? It continues to disappoint. This time they have this Girl Next Door theme but how am I suppose to get excited with chicks named Moon Ko and Chan Siong Meay? (but I have to hand it to Jezamine Lim and Gail James. They are hawt!) What’s more, the air-brushing techniques is just so telling. They’re so obviously fake as Pam Anderson’s boobs. Although, I wouldn’t deny SI also does its fair share of air-brushing but theirs is so much more difficult to distinguish. Besides, when you have someone like Jarah, you wouldn't even bother for such things. And, last but not least, I appreciate the swimsuit route taken by FHM but swimsuits are one thing. One-pieces are another. And on some of them, where the words Arena and Speedo can be clearly seen, doesn’t exactly translate into hotness. Lainla kalau Jessica Alba tu pakai D&G. Always two-piece. Always full-bodied view. And why, are none of the girls wet!? How can you have swimsuit shoots without water? You are getting way too sloppy, FHM.
'Til then, join me next time for more gender biased discussions. Aloha.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Body 2 Body and Curbing Your Laziness

I didn’t know why stopped buying KLue. It’s a pretty decent mag. It’s colourful and lists down all the very interesting things happening around KL during the whole month, unlike some mags which usually concentrate just on the nightlife. Plus, it’s dirt cheap. It’s about one fifth of the price I pay for the silly foreign mags that features a naked Jen Aniston on the cover. And Gisele Bundchen in boys underwear? Megan Fox in a pink bikini? Oh the nerve!

Anyway, I bought a copy of the January issue because, I can’t exactly remember why but I think it’s because I had one of my ‘why not?’ moments. And maybe it was because Top Gear was sold out and the thought of leaving the store empty handed is slightly annoying. Could be that. But I was glad I bought that copy of KLue because it offered me an opportunity that could pose a significant moment in my adult life. Yes, using the word ‘adult’ to define anything towards my own personal context is quite freaky.

Matahari Books and Amir Muhammad (the man behind Malaysian Politicians Say The Darndest Things series) made an open call for entries for their latest anthology project entitled Body2Body which carries the theme Alternative Sexuality. Think Will & Grace and The L Word. Or Olivia Wilde.

Naturally, I’m excited as Hammy about his. Mostly because I blew the last chance such an opportunity came along – the KL Stories project, which now available on MPH bookshelves across throughout the country and titled Urban Odysseys: KL Stories. And it hurts to think that it could have been my name among the contributing writers.

As such, the hell I’m going to let this one slip away. Although, truthfully, I almost did.

I bought the mag around mid-January and let me iterate how much it was truly a lucky break since they were the only representative from the print media to sound it out and it could have been a big possibility to have missed it. Unless you’re an avid follower of Amir’s blog.

Anyway, I bout the mag in mid-January and the deadline for submission was Feb 28. Which means I had about a month and a half to come up with a piece of my own. And, although as Hammy as I was, the theme alternative sexuality is not something that I am familiar with and hence, not much ideas going around in my head to conjure up a tantalizing story then and there. I needed help. Normally, I’d give up at this point but in this case, I am filled with determination. And when there’s a will, there’s Nieta, one of my more colourful friends which springs to mind (I thought of Kak Seri Siantan but since all of his mis-adventures usually concerns racy topics, I gave it a pass). If there’s one person who can shed light on this topic for me, it is him. Or at least I though he was.

And, just to add unnecessary drama to the creative process, my penchant for procrastination nearly come full swing again and almost costing me the same mistake twice. I had the idea of meeting up with Nieta for weeks beforehand and it was only during the last 7 days before deadline that I actually did meet him. Not really a clever move, I know. Personally, I blame it on global warming.

But, as it turned out, meeting up with Nieta became one of those moments. You know, when you sat down and try to remember those funny stories that you always tell to your friends during those get-togethers and nothing comes to mind? And that what exactly happened. Not really helpful when considering the time constraint. But he did direct me to Cik Sal in which he says a prime source for hilarious anecdotes. And Ms Sasha Fierce also helped in handing me Imah’s latest blog add (which is always good for a dose of humour).

And let me explain why I decided to go with humour. The thought brings me back to Silverfish New Writings 2 (in which I haven’t returned to Cipoi since I borrowed it nearly a year ago *hai saigok*) and it was filled with morbid stories. Technically the writings were excellent but I end up being depressed every time I finish a story. So I thought, screw that, I want to be entertained when I read something. I’m going to write comedy because, let’s face it, every body likes comedy.

So, I decided to go funny. And Imah and Cik Sal were good sources for these lighthearted tidbits. As the week dragged, I became more confident in getting a piece done and beginning to see a way.

But, my procrastinativeness was still a problem as my conversation with Cik Sal only took place by Wednesday evening and by Friday morning, I was still looking at a blank Word document. I had a few plans for the weekend but it seemed some of them had to scrapped. One of them being playing futsal with/against Ellie (I hope that’s the correct way of spelling it). If she had come, that is. (Ellie :)~). Futsal with Bonzek can wait another month.

So, it was crunch time. I worked out a draft and by 4am Saturday morning, I was a writing machine. I was in the zone. Taking breaks for only meals and baths, and the occasional stretching.

And I learnt a few things about my style of writing along the way. One of them was, since the limit was set at 3000 words (4000 if you couldn’t help yourself), I was initially worried that this can be quite a challenge and of course, I worried too much. I ended up writing more than 3500 word spanning 8 pages. No writer’s block there.

And second, it was probably I was inspired the Royale with Cheese conversation between John Travolta and Samuel L Jackson from Pulp Fiction, which forms the basis of my story, but I tend to include a lot of dialogues in my writing. So much, it almost resembles a screenplay. Which gave me the thought, maybe I should do that one day. God knows how rubbish the writing are these days on Malaysian TV and most part of the movie industry (a haunted congkak? Really?).

I finally managed to finish at around 5 pm Saturday which roughly translates how much time I had spent in front of the computer monitor. Still, some editing work was due and after going through it a couple of times, I was ready to submit and did rightfully so at around 9 pm. The earlier optimistic thought of probably submitting a second entry just so to increase my chances of getting published evaporated almost as quickly realizing the level of exhaustion I was under.

Funny thing is, looking back, it was the first short story I have ever written, more so to be considered for publication. And while I am proud of it, and the glorious prospect of getting published, there were a lot of things I wished I could have improved. The too much dialogue is one thing but the flow as well. It’s not as smooth as I would have liked it. And there’s too much characters. And some of the character’s name, oh you wouldn’t believe how hard it is to create a fake name, was so troublesome. You just can’t create a common name off the fly. It has to be unique so it will stand out and remembered. And it has to fit with the personality of the character. And since ambiguity is a strong notion in my story, that made it much more of a challenge.

However, in the end, as Amir Muhammad declared, a total of 59 submissions were received and 20 will be selected to be compiled into what will become Malaysia’s first queer anthology. So it seems I have a pretty good chance. Although, mathematically speaking I only have a 33.8% probability. Not exactly favorable but I’ll take it as it is.

So, fingers and toes crossed, come August 2009, if things go well, I’ll achieve my 2008 resolution (or was it 2007?).

Which brings me to my 2009 resolution. Apart from the trip to Ko Pha Ngan which now seems more difficult to be realized since more and more of my friends are tying the knot (3 in the last month alone), I want to add another for this year. That is, to curb my laziness. From now on I just want to do things. I used to think a lot before committing myself to something but I want to skip that part now. This can also be linked to my newfound ‘why not?’ mentality because that is always the more interesting question. Needless to say I was inspired by the Yes Man trailer and more so by the movie. Red Bull!

But I have to warn myself and maybe to some of my friends, this is a resolution. Don’t expect a miracle. Laziness has a very strong relapse tendency. It’s not like quitting alcohol addiction when you have to go to a pub (or in some cases the nearby 7-E) to slip back. Or sex addiction when, well, that really takes a lot of work. But while we are on the subject, at what point does sex become an addiction? It’s not exactly abusing the body like Heroin or cigarettes. And, honestly, is three times a week really that much to ask for?

Anyway, nothing ever comes close to laziness when it comes to overcome it. Because, you know how easy it is to relapse into laziness? You can do that by just doing nothing. And men are big fans of doing nothing. In fact it’s one of our favorite things to do. Which explains a lot to why we love watching sports on TV and take long toilet breaks at the office.

So, curbing my laziness is, at this point, quite an ambitious project. And one of the first things I’ll be doing to mark this new vigorous me, is take up Italian lessons. Mainly because it was always one of those things that I want to do but never got around actually doing it. Plus, I watch too much mobster movies and never got tired of Marisa Tomei in Only You. That’s right. Il destino. It is written in the stars. Capische?

‘Til next time, folks. More on the ‘why not’ mentality. Cheers.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

"M-League Is NOT Football"

As I watched the Steelers celebrate their record sixth Super Bowl (and their dire attempts at singing), my mind could not help but wander back to a GQ article (the one with Jen Aniston on the cover) about another franchise on the other side of the spectrum: the Detroit Lions. In which they have been branded ‘the most embarrassing franchise in football’. Rightly so considering they went through the 2008 season 0-16, thus becoming the first team in NFL history to lose 16 games in a season. Of course, this was added to the fact that they managed to register only one play-off win in fifty years. Apart from the people in Detroit, every NFL fan will tell you it’s five decades of suck.

Naturally, one would ask how could have this happened as bad as it has? Seriously? Well, some attribute it to a longtime curse by its last successful quarterback, who was drafted out after breaking his leg, thinking he was done. On his way out, the legend goes, he vowed the Lions wouldn’t win another championship for fifty years.

On a more usual route, the blame went to the coach. Matt Millen took a team from being 9-7, reshuffled it, and went to 2-14. No arguments there.

However, back in 2000, Drew Sharp of the Free Press was able corral owner Bill Ford Sr. and said to him, ‘You realize, Mr. Ford, that you’re the one constant in all of this.’ And his response was: ‘What do you want me to do? Fire myself?’

Now, doesn’t that sound all too familiar, oh dear Malaysian football fans?

For the umpteenth time, Sultan Ahmad Shah has once again promised to convey a meeting of sorts to (supposedly) fix the national team in light of their latest embarrassment. And, as always, made the coach the scapegoat. The one her personally endorsed after the 2007 Merdeka Tournament victory.

The friendly against Chelsea is still fresh in my mind and when I said Sathianathan is one of the better coaches we’ve ever had in a long time, I still hold true to my word. He may not be a world-class coach but he made the Malaysian team play football again. From the long balls Wimbledon style to the sleek passing of the Arsenal game. And he deserves every credit for it.

And to add further insult, the legendary Soh Chin Aun was also dismissed, simply for doing Khairy’s dirty work. But you only have to admire the man for not displaying bitterness towards this incredulous decision. He was disappointed, no doubt, because, Malaysians know (apart from the people in FAM) he wasn’t doing it for the money nor fame. He did it for the love of the game and the love for his country. But the powers that be came to the conclusion there was no place for such a person to be involved with the team any longer. If you think the way Mike Ashley treated Kevin Keegan was bad, this was much, much worse.

However, the one thing FAM did get right was the finger-pointing at the State FAs for the obvious lack of professionalism within their ranks. Because it’s what they do best: finger-pointing. But, honestly, with only 3 fit players, even Sir Alex Ferguson would have a tough time defeating the likes of Luton Town with his Manchester United team even if those players were Rooney, Ronaldo and Ferdinand. And they dare call themselves professional football players. Even Datuk Seri Hishamuddin would be slightly aggrieved.

And what’s this I hear about FAM seeking the government for about RM18 million in funds to finance its activities for 2009? You would think that after decades in charge, they should have found ways to be financially independent. But no. For large chunks of the years, they have been counting on sponsorship money from Dunhill. Only when they realize, you know, promoting tobacco brands on a nationally televised sporting events, is kind of a bad idea, did they begin to panic. Did they not foresee this? What are you? Children?

But enough from me.

This is just another frustrated local football fan venting his feelings. Suffice to say, all the above is merely a gist, because I spent most of the time being angry thinking about it. People like me are just one of many. But, when an angry fan decides to calm himself down and give much thought about it, well, that’s’ when things like Tronoh Tranquility gets born.

If you call yourself a concerned Malaysian football fan, you would at least read his piece Bicara Bola. It’s lengthy, I know, but it’s something worth spending time on. He just took all that frustration normally associated with a disgruntled fan to another level and you could not help but agree with him. On everything. In fact, I’m his newest fan. If a man with a computer can thought of this, why couldn’t the people at FAM? Well, that’s one of the many things he covers.

Before I end this, let me just say I still think Sultan Ahmad Shah is the biggest culprit. While he is still around, cronyism prevails and any housecleaning would be impossible. Borrowing the words from Lomas Brown, an ex-Lions tackle, ‘they need to do an enema up in there.’

Here, here.
excerpt from Bicara Bola:
Kita harus melihat kegagalan kelab bolasepak tempatan dari sudut kewujudan kelab itu sendiri. KL Plus, UPB-MyTeam, Kuala Muda Naza, Proton FC, Felda United, Sinar Dimaja Mai Sarah FC dan lain-lain adalah antara kelab yang bertanding di dalam Liga Super dan Perdana. Persoalannya ialah apa relevan kelab-kelab ini kepada peminat bolasepak tempatan?
Adakah KL Plus khusus untuk kakitangan Plus Berhad, Kuala Muda Naza dan Proton adalah kelab untuk pemilik kereta Naza dan Proton dan Felda United untuk para peneroka Felda? Dan Tuhan saja yang tahu agaknya dari siapa dan untuk siapa kelab dari Pulau Pinang yang bernama Sinar Dimaja Mai Sarah FC itu.
Setiap individu menjadi penyokong kelab mereka kerana minat. Tetapi apa yang menjadi faktor lebih utama ialah kerana adanya hubung kait sesuatu kelab itu dengan latar belakang penyokongnya. Borussia Dortmund mempunyai gerombolan besar penyokong mereka dari bandaraya Dortmund, kerana di bandar inilah tempat lahirnya kelab tersebut. Di bandar Kashima (Jepun) pula, rata-rata penduduknya menyokong Kashima Antlers, kelab yang berpengkalan di bandar Kashima.
Begitu juga PSMS Medan (Medan, Indonesia), Adelaide United (Adelaide, Australia) atau Columbus Crew (Columbus, USA). Tetapi bagaimana agaknya Felda United, yang bermain di Stadium Petronas di Bangi dapat menarik kedatangan penyokong dari Felda Lurah Bilut yang terletak jauh dari Bangi? Atau menarik sokongan penduduk Bangi yang bukannya peneroka Felda, melainkan nama Felda United ditukar kepada Bangi United barangkali?

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

To Boycott, Or Not To Boycott

You know, all this talk about boycotting all US products and goods as a form of protest in regards of what’s happening in Gaza? Yeah. Well, thing is, I’d like to think of myself as a good person. I think most of us do. But, is it just me or is it really that hard since they make some good shit over there? I mean, I get a copy of GQ magazine every month and, if they put Elijah Wood on the cover then maybe, yes, I’d give this time a pass in support of the protest. But, no. Things are just not that simple. This month of January they put Jen Aniston on the cover wearing just a tie. Let me say that again just to be clear. JUST. A. TIE! And it’s not even tied properly. She just fiddles with it. How can I discard that? How can any man discard that? The fact that she’s 40 and Brad’s ex is merely inconsequential.
In case you were wondering, the tie is from Brooks Brothers

And this doesn’t end there. I haven’t seen Yes Man and The Spirit yet. This isn’t Rachel Getting Married or PS I Love You. These are two very bloke-y films. I can not consider myself a movie fan if I don’t at least see one of them. A Jim Carrey comedy and a 300-style epic (plus Mendes and Johansson)? How can you argue with that? Now, before you start wiggling your finger at me and accuse me of not be more supportive of locally made films, okay, I’ll admit it was my bad for missing Antoo Fighters since I myself would have really liked to see how Alin fared in her debut role. But I did catch Lost Dan Faun and thoroughly enjoyed it. As if I would have missed any Afdlin Shauki flicks anyway. As for Histeria, well, not yet but that’s because, let’s face it, Malaysia just could not make a good horror film. And, yes, that includes Jangan Pandang Belakang. The reason Histeria is doing so well at the box office is because of the lesbian kiss scene. No matter how much you deny it, sex sells. Especially a girl-on-girl action. Which makes me wonder why haven’t Astro started showing The L Word? C’mon, we had Will and Grace!

And this is just me. If you really like to broaden the picture, then picture this. For you ladies, no more Oprah or Gossip Girl. For you men, no more Marlboros. Music lovers, no more Beyonce or Justin Timberlake. Nor Rihanna nor The Jonas Brothers. The new season of American Idol? Ha!

And the biggest heartbreak of all? I’m afraid it’s you, Star Wars fans. You have to stop fantasizing about Queen Amidala.

We can keep going on and on but I think you get the picture. But, any how, look at the bright side. At least we’re not boycotting products from China.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Headlights Not Foglights, MyVi Drivers

I don’t know about you but I’m having serious issues with MyVi drivers and their inappropriate use of fog lights.

What are fog lights, you may ask? Well, in the case of the MyVis, there are those beady-eyed lamps mounted low on the front bumper.

Fog lights, as the name suggests, are meant to be used when visibility is poor due to rain, fog or snow. And they are meant to be used in tandem with the normal headlights to act as an assisting tool. Malaysian MyVi drivers, however, chose to use the fog lights as their main illuminating device in, more often than not, clear weather. Which culminates in other motorists, such as me, coming from the opposite direction, receiving unnecessary glare. And render you invisible every time you come up behind me. I don’t about you but I very much prefer to avoid rear-ended collisions.

Do you know why a car’s head lights seem temporarily brighter when you see it go pass a speed bump? It’s because all head lights on all matter of road vehicles are slightly aimed downwards towards the road surface to firstly, lets you see the road because that’s really important, and secondly, so that other drivers coming at you would not have to cover their eyes and scream in agony because of the glare coming from your car. Head lights are meant for you to see the road and others see you. It works both ways.

And fog lights are there to help when the weather is shit. As such, tiny as they are, are pointed straight ahead and offers a stronger light density to penetrate the fog and sleet. Which means, under normal conditions (which is most time in Malaysia), it gives out more glare.

Bearing this in mind, MyVi drivers now are under the impression that since their fog lights gives them better illumination of the road markings, their opted to use solely that instead of using their normal head lights. Let alone using both under clear weather conditions but to think that fog lights are substitutes for head lights? That’s not just wrong. That’s stupid. Head lights are not called head lights just because they are bigger. They need to be at a pre-determined height on a car. It’s the reason why they are not mounted low on the front bumper like the fog lights or on the roof. So that when a car comes up behind me, I would know.

Once I was driving on Federal. I was on the right lane and doing 80. Out of the blue, a black MyVi appears behind me. I reckon it was there probably I few seconds before I realized its presence because of, well, you guessed it, the misappropriation of fog light use and the lack of head light use. Since it was tailgating me I would normally get out of the way but since it was one of those ignorant dimwits, I decided to share my annoyance by just taking my foot of the pedal and let my car drift ever so slower. By the time it overtook me from the left I was pretty sure the lesson was never learnt but I was pleased with myself anyway.

So, people, driving in Malaysia, you don’t need fog lights because fogs here are only found on the way or down to or from Genting at dawn. Or the stretch between Gua Musang and Kuala Krai at 3 in the morning. In KL, only when it rains that requires the closure of the SMART Tunnel do you find the slight necessity to use fog lights. Other than that, please, use normal head lights. Why is it so difficult? Forfeiting head lights does not make you look cool. It makes you look like an ass. A dumb ass, as a matter of fact. And why does MyVi drivers tend to do this? I do not know. But they do. I’m confident if I go out for a drive right now, I could easily spot one in matter of minutes.

I never do this but it’s such a shame we do not have any road regulations on this. In Germany, it’s illegal to switch on your fog lights during clear weather. It’s prohibited in the UK as well. Which is why our car makers have been making extra bucks by offering these unnecessary and annoying options to their customers. They don’t care. It’s all about profits for them. Like the small wipers for head lights on a few Merc models not long ago. C’mon, really?

Educate yourself people. Or so help me god if one ever drives up my alley again without switching the head lights on.

Unless you’re driving a Hilux then we’re totally cool.

Ushering In The New Year

Luckily, I did go out for a new year’s party. Well, not really a party. More of an outing, actually. But I could not believe the volume of people (yes, I use the word ‘volume’ to illustrate just the point) came to The Curve for a bit of music and fireworks show. It was jam-packed beyond the brim. The area was so dense I had to park just a little outside of Mutiara Damansara. Bulu actually had to park in the middle of Mutiara Damansara. Wait, that’s putting it lightly. He parked more to the far end, to tell the truth (enjoying a night walk with some fellow Indonesians). Point is, The Curve that night, was close to 300% capacity if not more. And closing the main street between Curve and Ikea really didn’t help the traffic flow. Then again, where else were you going to erect the stage?

I’ll tell who had fun though that night. The people selling those foam spray cans at RM2 a pop. And they sell it in a package of 5s. That’s 10 bucks every transaction. And people were gobbling it up more than they would on hot cakes. And those things run out pretty fast. The pavement was littered with empty cans. Sands on beaches had fewer amount. Yes, all in the name of celebration but all I can see all those foolishly hysterical people were doing was spraying their hard earned money onto unappreciative strangers. They might as well set their wallets on fire (which I once saw can be quite an impressive trick).This what happens when the credit crunch hasn’t reached this part of the world yet.

As for me, well, I chilled out with friends and we had a reasonably good time. But the time we ventured from The Street to Cineleisure was really like cutting through a battlefield for the said reasons. We were muscled about throughout the way but no worries. However, I do feel sorry for the kids who ended up crying because of the loud noise and, again, the amount of people that made it an almost hostile environment. Not to mention the foam spray cans. Celebrating the new year should be a family friendly activity but in KL nowadays it doesn’t. Honest to god, there are simply too much people in KL. And that’s a point I’ll make a few more times in the future.

Which now begs the question. In 12 months time, would I do it again ushering in 2010? The answer would be, well, yes. It sure as hell beat being in front of the TV. Sure it can be noisy, inconvenient and generally unpleasant but it sure isn’t boring. Unless, of course, I would not be celebrating in KL by that time (and not get left behind) then it will definitely not be boring at all.