Wednesday, 27 September 2006

Better to look smarter than you really are

I get this call at about 3 p.m. and my train of thought suddenly comes to an abrupt halt as I wonder who would call me. The number is unknown to me. It could be the human-resource manager calling me for a job interview. Whoopee! I answer the call, on the other side this girl says Hello and introduces herself. I caught neither her name nor where she was calling from. Disappointed but not wanting to sound like an ungrateful sod, I greet her back. She says this call is in regards of a survey she’s conducting. It’s about a certain drink. She then proceeds to rattle question after question regarding when was the last time I bought Red Bull, would I buy it in the future, do I like to travel, do I play sports and finally what’s my age. I answer her questions, some in my trademark sarcastic tone, and by the end of it she says that if my “answers” are satisfactory then her colleagues will call me back. All right, I said, Goodbye was her response and the call ends.

So what could be possibly wrong? For starters, what the hell did I just go through? Was it a genuine survey to see if I liked isotonic drinks or was it a scam to acquire my personal details for an insidious plot? The questions didn’t make much sense. To what end is all of this? I knew I smelled something fishy when she asked whether or not I liked clubbing. I just couldn’t determine what type of fish.

But I’m more angry…make that furious at myself. I may sound confident and sometimes brusque in my replies but in actuality I’m pretty much hopeless when it comes to talking to people on the phone. All the things that I know are wrong, I commit them. All the no-nos become do-dos. I can’t help it, I know what I am about to say is wrong and might incriminate me but my mouth is faster than my brain. I should have questioned her back, like where did she acquire my name and my number, the legitimacy of her company, is she still available and so on. We all know how people are getting conned into revealing their personal details and I think I’m smarter than these poor souls. But that call apparently proved that I am not as smart as I thought I was.

Sometimes all it takes is for someone to speak in a nice tone and you might be hooked before you can say “Punk’d!” The male mind is probably the easiest to manipulate. Humans are highly visual creatures and men are attracted to all things shiny and pretty like male insects to pheromones. You see roadshows of any kind and you’ll see girls in very short skirts and tight tops revealing a hint of cleavage is enough to make men drop their brains and act like cavemen. Let’s face it, sex appeal sells and together with male stupidity and gullibility makes for a very potent combination and one with remarkable results.

Maybe it’s because I’m an honest guy. I’m also the kind that wants to get this kind of thing over ASAP and I hardly stop to formulate my answers thoughtfully. Every single time this happens, I bang my head on the table very hard, call myself stupid and solemnly vow to never repeat the mistakes. Till the next time, I’ll be ready. I hope.

Chris is signing off. For now…

PS: Never read H.P. Lovecraft at night.

Friday, 22 September 2006

Perhaps Love? Perhaps NOT!

What do 15 dismal and senseless men and 3 gorgeous women have in common? A new show on TV that is. The premise is simple enough: out of a thousand or so desperate males, 15 of the best that represent desperation in all its shameful glory “compete” with each other to win the hearts of 3 belles who could operate an airplane faster than the 15 can dish out an omelette.

Are the guys worthy? Are the girls worth it? Is this a game or is it something more? And who the hell wants to eat Cornetto ice-cream for a whole year? People are oh so gullible. They’ll do everything it takes to win. This is exploitation at its finest and the players have not a clue as to what they’ve gotten themselves into.

You may wonder, why am I so angry over a show? After all, I’m not related to any of the contestants. I didn’t audition for the part so I have no reason to be jealous. Two reasons, first is because I find the guys so boring, predictable, and abysmal in their wanting to look and sound so cool that they’re overlooking the fact that these 3 girls are smart, confident, level-headed, sassy and sexy that it pains me deeply to see them and their actions. Secondly, I’m angry because I knew I should’ve entered the show. Damn. All right, seriously, reason number two is because I feel that love isn’t game. I don’t what’s gotten into me lately but I’ve become rather craggy when it comes to the game of love.

It was only last week when I saw my old college friends during convocation. It was great to see them after so long. We chatted, we hugged and asked are you working and how is your pay? Standard talk. When it came to a particular guy friend of mine, Copacabana, when Fill told me his girlfriend was quite pretty I said, “Okay, let’s go see.” After 10 seconds I realized, what the…? Girlfriend? Copacabana? Huh? Fill gave me a wry and pulled me into the hall. True enough, there he was with his pretty girl and after exchanging pleasantries we were off to stalk more girls. It was only last year that Copacabana and I were somehow “competing” for this girl, Lewinsky. We never did say it out loud but it was a tacit agreement, look at me and I’ll whack you if you get her. Sad to say, neither of us got her. Then not long after, Copacabana went after another girl, Yawnster, who was also pursued by none other than Fill.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that 99% of the time I’m very glad that my money is all mine to spend, but when the 1% does happen, I do wish I had a special someone to share it with. Gosh, I sound like an emotional turd. It must be all the girly shows I’ve been watching. Someone please STOP ME!

Which brings me to my final questions, would have I entered? Would I even dare to show my face on TV, battle with 14 other shameless guys, put on a fake smile every time the camera is in front of me and eventually win the hearts of one the girls? Call me old-fashion, but I’ll find love the good ole way.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I feel like eating a Cornetto ice-cream.

Chris is signing off. For now…

PS: To the boy who said “There’s not enough time la,” in regards to speed dating, you are one stupid fella.

Thursday, 21 September 2006

The Chris Reviews

This year’s rock scene is pretty much boring. In terms of new bands that is. In its place however the world bore witness to the emergence of the Men Who Sound Like Women Only Much, Much Worse. Ever since Coldplay emerged with their “it is okay to sing like a lugubrious tit with highly depressing lyrics” together with their piano driven drivel, it seems that being a loser can make you an instant champion in the hearts of the similarly maudlin. Then came the likes of Jason Mraz, Daniel Powter, and Bo Bice who play sappy one-hit wonders and are now nowhere to be seen. But no-one comes close to the champion of the sad people, James Blunt. I swear if I hear You’re Beautiful again I’m going to bash my head with a guitar and use the strings to strangle myself. Which is why I decided to check out 3 of the best bands ever to walk this green Earth and their latest offerings.

Here is Chris’s Rockin’ Reviews:

Audioslave – Revelations

When I first heard that they’re going to release a new album I was like, didn’t the new come out already? Blimey, I was stuck in the past for this year is 2006! Forgetfulness aside, Audioslave delivers a much worthy follow up to their eponymous sophomore effort. The best way to describe this album is mature. The first two albums didn’t have the longevity or the staying power. I’ll listen to their albums day after day and in an instant I’ll put it down and never listen to it again. However this album doesn’t fall into that category. It’s certainly their strongest and most political to date. They’ve also turned up the funk on this, all the way to 11. At times it’s like 70’s funk but with much heavier rock riffs something the anathema entity that is Red Hot Chilli Peppers can’t seem to achieve (I blame the singer of theirs). The lyrics are scathing and the delivery just as harsh as they slam Bush for the war and the lack of help when Katrina struck New Orleans. Two word review: Highly recommended.

Iron Maiden – A Matter of Life and Death

I am not a Maiden fan. While these English blokes have influenced every single frickin’ metal and rock band there is, I never became a fan. I like most of their “hits” but I didn’t really consider getting their back catalogue. Their comeback album so to speak, Brave New World, churned out the crowd favourite, The Wicker Man. While the album was good at first, its initial delivery was quite boring. I got so bored with it I gave it away to my friend (you know who you are!). The follow up was Dance of Death. I didn’t even bother downloading it. So what made me even buy this? Aside from the fact that I had heard neither the single nor the other songs, it was the fact that it was priced low that I bought it. You can call it on a whim basically. So how does this album fare? In one word: Brilliant. I have to admit that it took repeated listens before I fully appreciated it. The guitars are as melodic as ever while the solos still blistering and Steve Harris’s basslines are still annoying. Bruce Dickinson still doesn’t know the meaning of mediocre and delivers yet another vocal masterpiece though they are parts where he sounds like he’s struggling. Three word review: Up the Irons!

Tool – 10,000 Days

This album is moody. One minute it is pensive the next it goes for the jugular. It has all the ingredients to drive anyone insane upon first listening to it. Tool is a band that doesn’t understand the word, easy. Instead you get an aural assault of the senses. Your brain can’t process anything else besides the music. The words drive into your skull like a lobotomy performed by a mad doctor. The only bad thing about this record is ironically the fact that it’s a Tool album. It’s that good. Some bands go through transitions. Some transcend. Tool is one of those rare bands. Critics may throw brickbats and try to say that Tool is merely “noise”, but I’ll show them the middle finger and walk off. Tool is by no means an easy band to get into but the rewards at the end makes it all worth while. One word review: Ohmylord.

And as a bonus:

Marc Antoine – Urban Gypsy

My Marc Antoine collection is now complete. I have all of his albums at last. 7 great works from a great guitarist. To me, the best description Antoine’s music was perfectly conveyed by famed saxophonist Chris Botti who said that Antoine’s music goes straight to the heart. He gets really technical only when the music requires it. I rarely listen to an album in its entire run. I tend to skip with most albums because I don’t want to get tired of it. But with Antoine albums I don’t have to do so. That’s the hallmark of an excellent musician. Few words review: Absolutely wonderful that even my sister likes him.

And there you have it. My 2 cents on this year’s rock and metal offerings. I know that it’s been a while since I’ve written something heavy and topical. I’ve a few partially written pieces but I just can’t seem to finish them. Is this some kind of blogger’s block? I for one hope it’s not extended any further. I do have fans to please! Till then, keep rockin’ people!

Chris is signing off. For now…

PS: The Audioslave review is for my good friend Fill, Maiden is for my running sifu Eirza, Tool is for all you beautiful people and Antoine is for Irwin, who has helped me burn holes in my wallet.

Monday, 18 September 2006

The Day Chris Wore A Silly Hat

Boy did I have fun. Serious! 17th September 2006 marked the day that finally I got to go up stage at a not-very-swanky hotel and receive my honours degree. And I had to wear robes that draped over me like an ominous shawl from the mediaeval days. What joyous fun.

It’s funny that I had left college for 9 months when memories of it are still swimming in my head as though it was only yesterday I kicked the CPU in class (it was an accident, I swear). Time passed by as I and my friends went about reminiscing the good and bad times, how intensely hot we were due to the silly heat trapping robes, and how working life sucks. Even when most of us hadn’t seen each other since college ended the camaraderie was as strong as ever.

So there you have it, after 9 months of waiting, cursing, registering and more cursing, my association with my former institution of higher learning (HAHAHA!) is now over. I am a proud holder of an honours degree of which I’m not that proud of. At the very least of it I feel that it enables me to knock on some employers’ door.

I honestly didn’t think I would have had a good time but I was proven wrong many times over. To all my friends, hopefully that wasn’t the last time we meet. Keep in touch everyone!

Chris is signing off. For now…

PS: I look like a dork I know. But that was on purpose. I swear.

Friday, 15 September 2006

Supernova are Superstupid

Firstly I have to congratulate Magni for delivering outstanding performances every week. He was by far the most old-school of them all and it showed in his overall outlook. Toby, I love his original song and some of the renditions that he did. I just dislike his nasally voice and honestly, he wouldn’t have suited them anyway. Dilana was a disappointment and that’s all I can say.

Lukas is one of the most conceited human beings to ever wield a microphone. There’s no denying that the diminutive Canadian has talent to a certain degree (he has after all, hoodwinked Supernova and the people who voted for him. That’s talent) but his arrogance coupled with the fact that he has the eloquence of a child in need of a massive smack to the face just makes me pissed. I’m also sad because people are equating that attitude and having a certain look is what makes rock stars. Sad people you all are. Just look at all the women who clamour about stage, they have the look that they just want to get laid by Tommy Lee who by the way acted like he had difficulty in coming up with meaningful comments thus resorted to the old and tired phrase of “You’re so awesome”. Thank God it’s all over now. Gilby surprised me. I have never heard his name prior to this. Of course the mere mention of Guns & Roses only conjures two names, Slash and Axl Rose, so it’s not surprising that he isn’t as famous. I would have thought that him being more on the old-school wagon he would have dismissed the fag that is Lukas who is about as rock as Click Five. Clearly I was mistaken. Of all the contestants, Lukas is the only one who did not improve. He obstinately continued with his singing style even though you can hardly call it singing in the first place.

Lukas is in essence, an emo singer rather than a rocker. He has the look, the sound and the lyrics for it. Besides Kiss, makeup in rock is just plain silly. Eye-liner is not rock. Wearing sparkly clothes is not rock. Singing like a constipated person who badly needs a dump is not rock. Lukas IS NOT rock.

I believe it was Tommy Lee’s decision to have Lukas. If you recall back the earlier shows, he was on Lukas’s side right from the start. Only Newsted had proper ears. But I have to say that it was the “fans” that are to be blamed. It was their votes that kept him in the top most of the time when it was evident that he was nothing but a poser. Again, it was looks and the illusion that Lukas brought the rock that won him the gig. Goes to show what the state of rock is right now which is downright pathetic and saddening. To the people who voted for that scum, thank you all for being such witless “rockers”!

Clearly Supernova chose that shit for a simple reason: they think he might be able to push sales of their soon-to-be shitty album. I for one have lost respect for them. I’m even disappointed in Jason. He should have continued to jibe Lukas for singing like a frog with a throat infection. Maybe, just maybe, the outcome would have been different.

So cheers to them, they’re one less band to like now. Supernova’s gain is certainly their lost.

Chris is signing off. For now…

PS: This diatribe was brought to you with liberal doses of reality and old-school rock.

Tuesday, 12 September 2006

Let’s watch some TV!

So there I was on my plastic yet comfy Ikea chair, wielding the remote control like a light sabre, changing channels like I was about to slash an imbecile into two when I stopped at the Discovery Channel. The topic: HOT ANIMAL SEX. Hoo yeah!

Seriously speaking, the idiot box is currently undergoing its biggest revolution and it’s called “Good Shows That Do Not Suck Like Seinfeld”. C’mon, I don’t get people and their fascination with the bland, whiny, and smarmy Jerry Seinfeld. The guy with the frizzy hair and incontinent-ish body movements is a hell lot funnier than him. The fat guy with the lowest self-esteem in the world is funnier than him while the woman with the frizzy hair is just forgettable. And guess what? Astro* is showing it till the end of the friggin’ year! Argh! Anyhow, this post isn’t a diatribe about some 90’s comedy, it’s about the shows that are currently shown on terrestrial television.

I present to you, Chris’s Favourite Non-Astro Shows.

First up, My Name is Earl. This show is so funny. It’s about this contemptible yet lovable buffoon Earl played to perfection by Jason Lee, who won the lottery but after a few minutes was hit by a car and loses the ticket. It was at this point in time that he saw an episode of Carson Daly’s talk show talking about karma. He then writes a whole list of bad things he’s done in the past and is going to correct all of them. Being a big believer in karma I fell in love with the show instantly. Its satire is so ludicrous that it makes sense. It’s so over the top that it stays grounded in reality. It’s like a morals class, what goes around comes around. And by the way, that Latina lady is so hot she made my nachos sizzle (That was very bad with a capital D).

Next up is Bones. My Friday nights used to be terrible. Shows were terrible and I didn’t really want to watch yet another repeat of World’s Most Amazing Videos. So when this show finally arrived on our shores, I was glad that my Fridays won’t be crappy anymore. I like Emily Deschanel. I like the way she delivers her lines, it is devoid of any emotion and is spoken entirely as matter of fact. Though I have to say that I prefer her sister’s (the girl from Elf, the only Will Ferrell movie I like) rather deliberate and eccentric way of acting (and unconventional looks too). I’m being picky so bah. The repartee between her and former evil turned sappy Barry Manilow lovin’ vampire is quite fun. I for one do not want to see them getting together. Remember when Niles got together with Daphne? Disastrous. Or when Mulder and Scully decided to do it after chasing their 53684184th alien? File that under BAD!

And last but certainly not least, Ghost Whisperer. Inane title aside, there are only 2 reasons why any sane, very straight guy would ever watch this show. Firstly, Jennifer Love Hewitt. Ridiculous and bloody hideous hairstyle aside it’s still Jennifer Love Hewitt. Secondly, Jennifer Love Hewitt’s décolletage and they way in which she helps ghosts while wearing gravity defying, boob jiggling tops. If I was the husband, I’d have to administer CPR to myself whenever those jugs pass me by. The show however is hopeless and repetitious. Thank you to those for creating Medium, while not as sexy as the aforementioned Ghost Whisperer, it’s a lot darker and actually quite creepy. That Arquette lady has the same horrendous hairstyle as Hewitt though. Sigh, bad taste is contagious. (Ghost Whisperer has finished its run here in Malaysia. I can’t wait for the second season! Honest! Pigs do fly!)

So there you have it. Some of my favourite shows that most people won’t watch because they’re stuck watching yet another lame reality programme. Anyhow, I’m off to watch this little show called Arrested Development. Hopefully I’ll be able to do the chicken dance soon. Till then, happy couch potato-ing!

Chris is signing off. For now…

* = Astro is the country’s leading cable operator. They suck massive donkey balls.

PS: I prefer to watch a good TV show than go to a noisy club and party with people I don’t know.

Tuesday, 5 September 2006

Of revelations and apparent dorkiness

It was an evening of miscommunication and forgetfulness. It started off all right, my friend—let’s call him Tall Dude—said he could be there early. He wasn’t. When asked where the other friend is, Tall Dude lets loose a choked laugh so loud it was actually heard by a school of one-eyed fish off the Straits of Malacca. Other friend turned out to be in another shopping mall. Whee. Yet another friend, Noraa, is on his way so there was no reason whatsoever we could miss him. So Tall Dude SMSes other shopping mall friend, Rowan, that we’ll be in Coffee Bean. Unfortunately Tall Dude forgot to say which shopping mall. Another round of apologies and I’ll-pay-for-your-frap later, 5 guys (I came with a friend, Irwin) finally got together and had a chat. From our proposed meeting of 7.30 p.m. I checked my watch and saw that it was 8.30 p.m.

And if you women are still wondering whether or not us males gossip, I solemnly swear that yes, we do gossip. It’s just that we tend to call it “topics for conversations that might leave us shocked, surprised, disgusted, happy, angry or whatever”. So imagine the shock and disbelief on the faces of the 4 other guys when Noraa said that one of our old college buddies—let’s call him Fish Head—is actually a womaniser. Or to pimp it further, Playah. This is the same guy that collects life-size Transformers toys that have to be shipped back to Malaysia from Hong Kong because his suitcase couldn’t fit. But then again his suitcase was already filled with smaller Transformers toys to begin with. Oh, and he already has a girlfriend back in his hometown. They’ve been together for 2 years now if I remember correctly. Funny how time makes the balls hornier.

We then started to dissect the information. How could this still immature, imbecilic and not very handsome (like the 5 of us resembled Adonis) punk could end up getting more action than most guys. After a lengthy discussion where I snorted my drink twice in a row, and many curses later, we came to the conclusion that he is one Big-time Fucker. Not so much of the fact that he is able to pick up girls, but rather the fact that girls actually think he’s worth the effort. To further boil our innards he goes after the young ones, 18 to 19. These young and naïve girls are idolising him! This punk who got so drunk at my birthday party I had to drag his ass to the toilet otherwise he would have peed on the pavement with his pants on. I may not look like much but at least my dorkiness isn’t as apparent as Fish Head’s. Is this a case of “some guys have all the luck” or have girls around the world find immaturity and childishness a turn-on?

At one birthday party held on the same week, there were some interesting revelations. Again the subject of banging the hot chick came about. Of course I couldn’t relate to them so I just smiled and dropped a comment or two. Most of the guys there were talking about how horny some chicks were or that one chick actually thought that they were the Messiahs of Pleasurable Intercourse. And there I was thinking about which book I was going to read later when I get back. Life can be pretty funny at times.

I am a one woman kind of guy. I expect the same from my future partner. My loyalty towards her is the one thing I can safely guarantee (but then again, if Jessica Alba were to ask me to dump her I’d do it. Tee hee. ). Personally I think that it’s okay to flirt albeit mildly when you’re in a relationship. Heck I wouldn’t even mind if she hangs out with some of my guy friends. I just need to know who the bugger is and all other necessary details (but then again I might just go ballistic and murder my friend, I’ll let you guys know when that time comes). I’ve said once and I’ve said it a million times, a relationship is about trust, respect, communication and love. Without them it is merely to get into each other’s pants.

I may be too straight. I may even be considered a monk (minus the colourful prayer beads). You can call me old-fashioned and prudent but I’ll take that any time. I don’t mind. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to finish reading a very informative book. It’s entitled “How to Pick Up Girls Using Transformers”.

Chris is signing off. For now…

PS: Fish Head, if you’re reading this, no offence dude. I still love you. But damnit, you’re one fucking asshole.