Monday, 31 March 2008

Duffy – Rockferry

I am, by and large, not one of those people who say, “Oh, I listen to everything.”

It’s utter bollocks.

No one listens to everything. Because if someone actually did, they would list polka as music that is Nice to Listen to Whilst in the Company of Old Folk with IBS. I am first and foremost a metalhead that is (somewhat) open to other genres. Polka is definitely not one of them.

What we have here is Duffy. Nope, this is not Sean Combs consolidating his previous moniker of Puff Daddy into a simpler one but still outright inane. And if he did, he wouldn’t use this. Duffy is apparently the winner, oops, sorry, runner-up to the Welsh version of Pop Idol. Yes, no one I know watches it, so I can’t vouchsafe anything. But she must’ve impressed Jools Holland enough for him to let her sing on his (rotten) show.

Distant Dreamer is a nice ditty that shows the softer side of Duffy. What am I yammering about, they are all slow! It’s not Corrine Bailey Rae slow, thank God. It’s one of those songs about dreams that actually work, because the music doesn’t annoy me with annoying accompaniments like saxophones and xylophones.

By now, you would have heard Mercy. This is a song that evokes 70’s soul set in a modern tone. Well, any song in this day and age that tries to sound like the past sounds modern but not that modern. Kind of like Joss Stone without the excessive Yeahs and Oohs.

The title track is reminiscent of Distant Dreamer, in terms of speed and overall atmosphere. Nothing new here, really.

Serious could have been released in the 70’s and it would’ve been a hit. Add in some Bee Gees runs and falsetto, this would’ve exploded the scene. But the only people who would like this would probably serious people. Get it? I certainly didn’t.

Warwick Avenue speaks of love lost. That’s what I think. Still, it’s a nice song with some soulful runs.

I love the fact that she doesn’t try to hit high notes higher than the Petronas Twin Towers. There’s control and a real sense of optimism. Duffy is of the same breed as one Amy Winehouse. Both possess distinct voices. Both sing with a certain swagger only heard in 70’s soul music. Both are actually worth listening to.

At least until the next girl with that certain 70’s swagger comes along. Hopefully she won’t polka-fy anything!

Friday, 21 March 2008

If you’re gonna strut, ya might as well strut with panache

Picture this: maybe not-so-slim dude drops his towel. Oops then turns to ewww.

The only time a guy is fine with seeing another guy’s nekkid bottom is in the locker room of the gym. I can see the crack of a smile on your face. Pardon the pun. Thank you.

Anyhow, I’ve been going to the gym for almost a month and half. I feel and look good. I keep telling myself that because no one does. I wonder why. I go to the gym every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Or more easily known as The Entire Damn Week ‘cept on Wednesdays. It sounds excessive. It is. But I’ll tell you why I do it. Because I want to, and theoretically speaking, I pay about RM11 for every one of them 4 days. So far, I’ve only used the machines and the weights. I haven’t used the spa or have partaken in any of the classes. I’d love to join the yoga ones, though. Very flexible the women are, and their outfits seem awfully tight. Hmm.

The parsimony is strong in me, I know.

A typical 1-hour-or-so workout session:

First 10 minutes: Treadmill. I would normally scan my surroundings while jogging at about 10km/h for any pretty lass and at the same time trying to not fall on my face. Burns loads of calories, it does.

Next 5 minutes: Some machine that supposedly tones your thighs. It makes me look I’m giving birth to an elephant.

Short break: It’s “Strike a pose whenever mirror is in view” time!

Next 5 minutes: Another machine with strange handles designed to sculpt your shoulders without the need for 80’s shoulder pads. Its seat is normally warm at this point. People have warm bottoms. Hmm…

Next 5 minutes (what’s with 5 minutes?): I would probably be gasping for air now.

Next whatever minutes: I’d finally go up to the weights section. Over here I do a couple exercises where the emphasis is not on working out, but rather, trying to not embarrass myself. For instance: not dropping the bench press bar on me. Or someone’s toes.

Last minute or so: I do a few stretches, stalk a couple of cute girls and then leave.

For those with better math, you would have noticed that it all doesn’t add up to an hour.

If you’ve been as regular as I, you will notice the other, um, regulars. First up, there’s Dork, who for some strange reason, wants to challenge me. Of all people, he had to pick me. Compared to the trainers, I am but a clown fish swimming in a school of barracudas. But whence compared to me, Dork is nothing more than fish fry.

Next we arrive at Ms. Gawddamn Cute. I swear, I nearly dropped the weights I was at when she passed by. But I haven’t seen her lately, could be because I’ve changed my time. Or she’s stopped coming altogether. I think I creeped her out.

Finally, we come to my favourite: The Clothes Hanger Man. He struts with about as much grace as a hyena eating with a knife with no fork. He keeps doing the same exercises over and over again. And over again. While I’m one to talk about muscle definition (I have nothing), the dude is pretty small considering he pumps weights twice mine. More power to him, though. Whoopee.

So that’s that. I’ve always maintained that to workout effectively and consistently, you must firstly be dedicated and have the discipline of a bald monk with nice trousers. Working out is for yourself.

Happy exercising, people!

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: No gay men were hurt in the writing process of this piece.

Thursday, 13 March 2008


The banners have been taken down. Some of the luckier ones (the “losers’” banners) can still be seen gently flopping blithely whenever there’s a cool breeze. Numerous gasped at the results (read: Samy Vellu and friends @ Semi Value), left in shock, some of them were. A good number were overjoyed with the results (read: people not supporting Samy Vellu @ Semi Value). Others felt something more. The people have celebrated in their own quiet way while some have done so in various ways that I don’t even want to repeat it here.

The ruling party has been dealt a big blow. A blow so crushing it left the cockier ones ashamed, their tails tucked underneath their bums and the not so smarmy ones despondent and in disbelief. They knew they were going to go up the opposition, the same opposition that had been gathering massive support right up to the final second of elections. Even I, Nonchalant Chris, was busy refreshing the webpage of one of the country’s premier no bullshit news site. Even my family were flipping the channels for the latest news of any kind. Friends were sending SMSes advising to not go out for fear of riots and the occasional Festival of Throwing Teargas into Illegal Gatherings.

Things have slowed down considerably. The fervour that once gripped the nation has been replaced with more a calm and collected vibe. It is now time for action. The opposition are making a difference. Or so I’ve been informed. The papers these days…

Passion for whichever fascination is an intrinsic essence of a person’s being. You either are born with it or you have to cultivate it. In any case, like all good things, having too much passion for something can be bad. It can blind you. I’m not saying that if you had a fervid fixation of knitting it will blind you (careful now with the giant needle thingy), I’m just saying that you need to relax and see if YOU like it if someone comes up to you and says that your passion stinks and that you stink and that you should get deodorant while you’re at it. And it hurts more if it came from someone you know, respect, love and all that jazz.

I will exercise my right to vote one day. Maybe the next one I will do so. Maybe the one after it. I don’t know. I do know this: I didn’t vote this year because I just didn’t want to. It’s as simple as that. It wasn’t because I didn’t like this politician (I don’t like any of them) or that one, I just decided that my time was better spent at home with my family.

Yeah, maybe some of us are wusses (hmm? why exactly ah? I honestly don’t get it). You could say that Father Apathy got the better of us.

I must say this, though : apathy feels like eating pancakes. I’m hungry already.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: To those who voted, good on ya. To those who didn’t, there’s always the next time…

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

C’mon y’all! Let us be votin’! For nothin’!

There’s a strong profundity in the air. It smells vaguely like lies. This is, of course, only natural when the general election is around the corner. A very sharp corner, if I may add.

Malaysians have a very emphatic, often bordering on the inane outlook when it comes to the elections.

I am not one of them.

Make no mistake about my insouciance; it’s not that I don’t care at all, I just could not give a shit whatsoever. Not right now, anyway. I’ve got facials to go to. But seriously, this would be the first election that I will “miss” and it will certainly continue well into my later years. You see, I was brought up to respect people, to treat them as equals. Politicians treating people fairly is like asking a lion to treat a young gazelle with a bit more care. Maybe it could gently pat its tiny head before ripping it to burger-sized young gazelle. Yum.

Promises and politicians go hand in hand like butter on margarine. Let’s take a look at Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Both are excellent orators. Both seem genuine. Both are minority of sorts (Barrack’s black and Hillary’s a woman, in case you’ve stuck your head under a rock in Timbuktu). Both are salespeople of the highest order. This is something none of the politicians here in Malaysia have:

The ability to charm the Victoria’s Secret undies off you.

They can talk, all right, but can they convince? Can they convince me, an irascible poser of a strapping young lad, that what they say is nothing but the absolute truth? I’ve watched lots of Law & Order so I think I have a pretty good radar for detecting liars. Maybe our politicians should Youtube the American presidential elections. They could do with a bit more improvement. Especially in the clothing department. I’m sure the pantsuit will ignite the inner pantsuit-wearing makcik’s senses.

The newspapers have nothing but elections, elections and sometimes erections of a non-sexual nature, in their daily content. This has been going on for the last two weeks or so. What happened to good ole cops and robbers? Or some poor kid, who after repeatedly told to not play with matches, burns down not only his house, but also his friend’s house and a few more neighbours within the vicinity of his stupidity. And my personal favourite: a “boyfriend” who was so nice to a girl, bought her nice things and all, and has decided to circulate naughty naughty pictures of them eating ice-cream with nothing more than the wrapper on the World Wide Sordid Web.

Everyone knows the current majority will win. The opposition know it. Even my grandmother knows it. Yours might, too. But it has to be said that this year’s elections has a different atmosphere from previous outings. It’s hard to explain exactly what it is but I’ll try to make it as simple as possible. The people are no longer stupid (some are still stupider than germ, but, hey, no one’s perfect, right?), and they want results. Real, tangible results. They’re tired of the same speech about bringing equality to all. They want it realised.

As for me, I have a facial to go to. All this election talk is making my face tight around the cheeks.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: Vote wisely, people. Don’t vote for someone who promises the stars but ends up getting you Starbucks. (Horrible joke, I know! Bleh!)