Monday, 28 December 2009

2 more years to disaster. Nah!

In the movie, 2012, the world ends. If yes, then I will look back at 2009* fondly.

2009 has been an up-and-down year. Thankfully, it's mostly been ups. The beginning was rough, I tell no lie as work was filled with one terrible story after another. I was going to work dreading the hours, the day, then the week, then week after that. The stress was explicit and implicit; when I didn't bitch about it, it would simmer within. I wasn't alone in the malaise of Work Hell, thank goodness, but each of the sufferers had their own form of purgatory. But the best thing to come out of that was the solidification of friendships. Yes, more than one happened. In a strange twist of fate, a special friendship was formed out of turmoil. I take nothing away from it apart from a lasting bond between me and one Akka.

As the months went by, so did my colleagues. One by one, the good people from my team managed to procure themselves newer and much greener pastures elsewhere. Whilst I was happy for them, I felt sad as I didn't know when my nightmare would end. But I kept telling myself that my time would come and then the call came. The call that would change my life. Unfortunately, that call would have changed life if it weren't for the intervention of a former colleague whom I thought was a friend. I cursed him, thinking my ticket out had disappeared and that I had to face my doom.

But Fate had something else in mind...

Before I go on, I would like to regale you with another story. It was the beginning of the month of August. We were all excited as finally the long-awaited teambuilding escapade to the island of Perhentian was drawing near. The break from work was much needed and the best part about it was the fact that I got to spend it with my colleagues who I know wouldn't spend it with me if it was to be borne by ourselves. One of the nights, the full moon was shining at its brightest. The sea was gently beating in the background while the air was crisp and warm on the face. That night shall forever be etched in memory as it was the night of magick.

I met the one.

When the hullabaloo of me not getting what was thought as "sure get the job one!", and when everything cooled down, I still sent out my CV in the hopes of securing myself a way out. I was either well below qualified or too qualified. Frustrating, but I kept on going. The last interview I went, I thought, this is it, if I don't get this I'm going to stop for the time being. Though, you know what they say: save the best for last. I managed to convince the boss that I was the right person and voila! I'm now awaiting for the 4th of January next year to start my new job.

Happy times are abound!

Of course, if I were to put in everything that transpired in 2009, this post would be 10000 pages! I'm just glad to say that the last four months have been blessed. I can't think of a better way to say goodbye to the year than with having wonderful memories. As the year draws to a close, I am reminded of all the good things that have happened and what will happen.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: No special resolutions for 2010 because I've accomplished what I've wanted in the last two years.

* - Duh! I have yet to go through 2010 and 2011!

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Goodbye and thanks for the chicken.

Goodbye* can be a sad or happy thing. Most of the time it's just a normal thing. "Hey, take care and goodbye!" That sort of normal thing. But this time, it's a sad and happy thing.

After 2 years and 2ish months, my journey with my current employers will come full circle this Wednesday. Leaving a company where you got your teeth cut is never going to be easy, especially if you've made a connection with the people. No matter how crazy things had happened, you'd still feel a sting in your heart when your time to leave is approaching. It's very much your first love that wasn't to be; you'll never forget it and you'll never feel any bad feelings towards it.

Without this company, I wouldn't be the person I am now and will be. Aside from gaining the work experience I need so badly for my career, I've learnt a lot about dealing with people of all types (the bad ones have helped thicken my skin but it's still surprisingly smooth). Confidence and belief are at an all-time high, thanks to the working conditions and what transpired during my stint. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, so goes the saying but thankfully no-one wanted to do that.

I think.

So here comes the thank you list: I would like to thank the management (SH and Janhot), for hiring me in the first place, my team (you know who you are!) for helping me to develop my career. Special thanks and eternal gratitude go out to these beautiful people: Bill, you're such a fucking asshole but you're an absolute riot, thanks for being the older brother I wished I never had. Badul, you and I have a lot of things in common, so much so it scares me and while you act like a right dickhead, you're just a big goofy oaf. Akka, thanks for everything, I have no idea why or how you've become part of me but I'm glad I'm part of you. Since I'm not that kind of person but I will be this time: thank you, my dear RM. You've made me happy and hopefully we'll be together through thick and thin and in between. I will cherish what this company has given me and you're the best.

I guess this is it. I won't lie and say I don't feel sad writing this. The memories are starting to flood in my thoughts and it's not easy to not remember the good times. I will truly miss this place and its people but the time to move has come. I can only wish that the new place will have people half as good.

If any of you people are reading this, don't forget me. I know won't forget you.

This is Chris, signing off.

* - Or is it good bye? No-one says badbye or bad bye, right**?
** - Psst, I do.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Who would've thought?

Friends. Who needs them?

If you're a loner then the above statement might just pique you. But you (yes, YOU) know me, I am gregarious lad who loves nothing more than to chill-out with his friends (at cheap establishments, no less!).

This story is 7 years in the making. It all started in college; I was then a quiet, fat tub who spoke to no one and thought he would be the class loner. But Fate had a funny card to deal...

As the days went by, I started to mix around with anyone who would talk to me, be it about college work, computer games or whatever that came to mind (i.e. crap) and just being usual self. Of course, as with any place I am at, I would meet characters of all sorts. It seems that all the TV shows are true, you will always find the arrogant one, the goody two-shoes one, the boisterous one, the know-it-all one, the darn-right idiotic one, and of course, the one that everyone hates. I was the class clown and joke maker (I had two positions in the class!), so this made the one that everyone hates to dislike me!

I remember vividly the first time I saw him: he had big headphones, had his hair spiked to the heavens, and holy crap of cows, he was a skinny fucker! He was also loud, kind of abrasive, but that came from him being very opinionated and meticulous. It also didn't help that he had all the latest gadgets that I wanted badly but could never afford.

He and I never got along in the beginning. We had this animosity where the mere presence of each other would send us in the angry zone. We never meant any harm to each other but neither did we mean good. Yet, somehow, we began to talk to each other, work together even. After some time, the animosity disappeared completely. In its place, a friendship bloomed (sounds pretty gay, I know, but I'm telling it as it is so bear with me.) and now we're best mates for life. We may not agree on a few things but we always try to understand each other. Also, we share a lot of personal things, stuff only we can relate to and feel extremely comfortable telling each other our history and feelings.

As I write this, he's now in the state of California, probably sipping on fine wine. Or knowing him, a cold glass of beer, designing the next big thing.

This post is for you, Irwin. Please don't forget me when you've made it to the top. I'll send you my wedding invitation and I don't give a fuck if you're supposed to be designing for the Queen of England, you're coming, damnit!

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: I am not getting married anytime soon. I repeat: I am NOT getting married anytime soon.

PPS: Maybe next year.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

I can't seem to finish my sen...

The writer's block has afflicted me greatly.

Will update this blog when the block has been lifted. Till then, stay beautiful.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: Next post will be about what happened in the last 12 months so stay tuned. It'll be worth it.

I hope.

Monday, 30 November 2009

I wouldn't mind having buttguns!

Last Saturday was a movie marathon so here's a quick and dirty movie update (cos I don't have anything constructive to blog about):

Ninja Assassin

By jove, Rain is superb. I can't believe I just said that. Really, the rather unhandsome one (ya, ya, he's good-looking and tall and cute and whatnot but his long hair makes him pretty in this so get off your high horse, k?) delivers an adroit if not smart-alecky performance as he says lines drier than an undried bacalao that's a 100-years-old. Storyline is a no-brainer; you go in, have a good time and try not to squirm every time a body part gets severed from its owner, blood gloriously splattered all over the place. And, ladies, yes, he does have a killer body.

You may now scream in delight.

Astro Boy

I went in the theatre hoping that it'll be good (because I didn't want to watch that* movie) as I have never watched the cartoon. Thankfully, I was pleasantly entertained. There are a few gripes, though, chiefly Nicolas "I'm an overly paid actor because I look mopey" Cage whose soporific voice did not convey the sense of loss and hope of Dr. Tenma. There was also a lack of urgency, especially later in the movie when Astro Boy had to battle the evil President Stone. But then again, watching Ninja Assassin before this does make you somewhat bloodthirsty.

A Christmas Carol

Let it be known that apart from the first Ace Ventura and The Mask, I have not enjoyed another Jim Carrey movie. Yes, I enjoyed the movie only because of the story as well as the phenomenal graphics. Carrey was surprisingly good while the supporting cast were not short on talent, too. Speaking of the graphics, golly, the detail on every single object is just mindblowing. And to add to its near-realism, some of the character design and sequences actually, GASP!!!, made me startled like a little boy accidentally seeing his grandparents kissing after a game of Solitaire (huh???).

Three movies in a day, wow, that's a record! Have a productive week ahead, folks!

I know I won't!

This is Chris, singing off.

PS: I love my

* = New Moon, pfft!!!

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Don't you be cheatin', yeah.

When I was a wee lad, I used to love toys. Gundam, Transformers, Smurfs* and Dragonball were some of the stuff I wanted so badly but I could never have them because a) I was poor b) Dad hated buying toys for me. So whilst I saw my friends and cousins getting the newest toys, I had to put up with books that were tattered and were dog-eared so badly even my own ears turned upside down just by looking at them.

There was a time when I was no more than 6-years-old at Yaohan's (renamed The Mall or whatever it's called now) toy section, looking at all the nice toys and wishing I owned 3/4 of them (the other 1/4 was Barbie dolls and there's no way in Hell I want any of it). I was scurrying from aisle to another when I came across this mousy man of about 40. He was looking from left to right in the manner of someone about to do something bad. In his hands I saw him clutching a Transformers toy, and a moment later he ripped the back and quickly put the toy into his plastic bag. I stood there dumbfounded. There was only one thing on mind:

Why didn't my Dad do the same?

All right, all right, tasteless and unfunny joke aside, what would drive a man to steal a toy worth 20 bucks for his son? You could say that the father just wanted to please his son but to do it in that manner, well, that's just plain wrong. But since the son would never know this, surely this all right?


The debacle of last week comes courtesy of Thierry Henry's Hand of God act against the Republic of Ireland. Now, he's come clean after admitting that he did for a fact used his hands to control the ball (very beautifully if I may say so) and then deliver it to his mate who promptly used his head to score the crucial winning goal. FIFA (sort of the world football's police minus the guns and uniforms) has thus far rejected all forms of protests, no matter how polite or vehement they were, and calls for a rematch. Yet, FIFA is the same organisation that wants to be the paragon of sincerity and honesty but has remained noncommittal over this fiasco. Henry himself has called for the rematch to be taken place but FIFA doesn't want to because it is afraid people are going to think of them badly.

Well, it's too late. We all think you fucking suck, FIFA.

What Henry did is inexcusable, we all know that. He's a legend but this will surely sully his legacy somewhat. Nonetheless, I do commend him for coming out, admitting his deception and his pleas that the right be done. But since FIFA are a bunch of old men who are worried about their red cheeks turning redder in embarrassment then the truth and justice are denied their rights.

If you think deceiving a child is bad, what about FIFA? They're cheating football, a whole nation and what it means to do the right thing.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: I wonder if cheating is hereditary and the son is now doing the same for his own child now? Scary thought, eh?

* = My cousins thought they represented Satanism. Yes, they are bloody dumb.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Ah, yes. I'm back!

How has everyone been?

Great, I hope. Last weekend was an absolute blast. The much-needed holiday in Singapore came and brought immense relief to me and my friends. The two weeks prior to it were incredibly stressful; so much work needed to be done before I felt the holiday spirit rising in me. But when we touched down at Changi airport did I feel finally at peace. Four days without checking emails and answering various idiotic questions from idiotic users was afoot!

With every visit, I grow to like the island more and more. I've always maintained that I would love to work there someday, for a few years even. I don't know why exactly but whilst the pace on the island is so a lot faster than back here I feel as though I am at ease, that I don't need to rush to get to somewhere. Even when we got lost in some remote part of the city at 8pm (the bicycles were everywhere!!!) I didn't feel like we were going to end up in the newspapers: 3 Malaysians and a Filipina, lost in the wilderness that is Marina Bay, amid a million bicycles. I dare not walk outside my house after 8pm. That's how safe I felt.

I won't get into the boring details of the holiday as nothing out of the ordinary happened. Funnily enough, it was the guys who came back with the most stuff as our respective partners were wonderful and patient in waiting for us and tolerating our inanities. On behalf of my friend and myself, Terima Kasih and Salamat to the girls who made this trip a whole lot more special.

And, now, I shall leave you with this nugget of a video. He may be wooden as a brick in the Potter films but, by jove, does he impress me with this cameo. Enjoy!!!

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: Same time, next year, guys and gals?

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Time out!

Folks, by the time many of you read this I'll be in a land far-away than mine.

Well, it's a far-away land if you consider a 45-minute plane ride, urm, a far-away one.

Take care and as usual do not fret as I'll be back next week to post yet another illuminating diatribe on why Singaporean food sucks.

You know you can't wait for it.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: I'm super duper excited!

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Take a look around you. It's an unfair world.

I'll be in Singapore (what, again???) next week, having a much deserved holiday. I say much deserved because the last month has been an absolute mindfuck. I've always maintained that you won't hear a sound from me about a job unless I absolutely and truly despise it. And I do. Very much. I've some made mistakes. A few of time highly embarrassing when found out but I laughed at them and worked on my next task. After complaining the heck out of it, of course. But I don't want to talk about work, especially the things that make me angry.

The trip to Singapore will be a special one as I'll be going with friends and my girl instead of family. And you know what this means. Yes, I don't need to treat them for breakfast, lunch or dinner! Yayness! Parsimony aside, this trip is going to be one of rest and relaxation. It's going to be a really great trip. I can feel it in my bones.

Sadly, a few children will not even know that Singapore existed. In the papers this past week, schoolchildren from across the country have had their lives taken away abruptly. And a new colleague of mine had his young son passed away.

Makes all your holiday plans seem petty, doesn't it?

May the Big Guy in the Sky watch over them and let them play in the eternal playground of Heaven.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: Happy Halloween to all. May all the ghouls of your fears not come out and bite your toes tonight.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Where the wild things are not...

First off, I apologise for the lack of an update the week before. I was very occupied with work,* what with my seniors going off on holiday and me running the show like a partially beheaded chicken. Also, my Internet connection was severely hampered by the supposed ineptitude of my service provider but the real truth was that my contractor accidentally incapacitated my connection due to a mix up of the wires.

It's been 2 years since I stepped into the my current employer's doors. If you know my working history, I never lasted more than a month at one place so after 3 months here I thought, this is it, I'm going to retire here.

How awesomely mad could I be back then?

There comes a time when you know you're not getting any satisfaction when you wake up thinking, fuck, I hate this shit. I know the feeling very well; I've been waking up with this feeling over a year now. Back when I first had it, it was very bad. I had immense hatred burning inside me just by launching Outlook. Reading emails proved torturous as every email seemed intended to push me even further away with impossible requests. Though, the last couple of months have seen a significant drop in me bitching about how crappy my job is thanks to a certain girl in my life. Without her, I think I would've committed mass murder, on rabbits no less. (You know who you are and I thank you for giving me a renewed passion to be a better person.)

Of course, no one goes to a single company and works there for the rest of their career? Not in this generation, anyway. It would be great if the company you joined provides you with every thing from job satisfaction to a nice life but if one of those is suffering then you need to regroup your senses and think properly: Is this really worth it?

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: We're going to crush you, Liverpool! Mark my words! Glory, Glory Man United!

* = Honestly, I wanted to use busy but using that word would imply that I had no time to take long lunches, frequent tea (I don't drink coffee while I'm at work) breaks and walking about the office, disturbing other people. I did all those. And more. But, seriously, I was busy.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

I want to be the President of the United States when I grow up.

Because, seriously, after 9 months, I'm bound to get something, right? It could be an MTV award (what the heck for, anyway?), maybe I'll get a hamper consisting of healthy stuff like organic manuka honey with placenta (WTF???) and various herbs with names only people of tribal ancestry are able to enunciate it perfectly.

Or I'll could be awarded the Nobel Peace prize.

Seriously, Obama winning the Nobel Peace is like giving me the keys to the Playboy mansion. Wait, scrap that. In all honesty, when I saw the news I just went, "Heh?" and continued checking out Facebook.

C'mon, we all know he's good but is he that good? We fete him as though he was some sort of the second coming of Christ. But he still has a long way to go before any of us can call him anything but a visionary.

Alfred Nobel must be turning in his grave right now.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: Then what about people who are really doing something about world peace? I can't name names but Obama is certainly no where in the top 100.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

I am thankful.

My previous mobilephone started giving me problems about 2 months ago. It didn't respond to my commands and I thought maybe it was being bitchy so I cared for it like how one cares for a sick person:

I threw it on the floor.

Okay, okay, I kid. Of course you don't throw someone on the floor. Sheesh. But I did throw it and it worked. For a while. Then it started acting up and this it became so much worse; it started to send out text messages on its own, it hung up without me knowing, lines were getting cut because my phone didn't like to be used so much. Then it all became unbearable to the point where I just turned it off in the hopes of it resolving its internal struggles.

It didn't.

So after deliberating much, I decided to get me a brand spanking new mobilephone which cost half of my fridge. And my fridge ain't cheap. While I was busily fussing over pixels and whatnot, people from the Philippines and Indonesia were trying to save their lives. There I was calculating how much money I need to fork out whereas the people over at those countries had only one thing on their mind:

Will I survive?

I read the papers and sighed. I watched the videos of the aforesaid countries' natural disasters and was left stunned and mortified by how devastating Mother Nature can be. Mother Nature is angry and she's angry at the people who have been put here to safeguard but instead have raped it of its vigour and vitality. It is as though She is fed up with everyone's increasing ignorance and apathetic attitude towards protecting this one world we live in. Have we become that diffident to the plight of the world? We are a plastic nation with plastic everywhere we go. We love our material possessions yet we do not spare a moment's thought on how a child is going survive after such catastrophes.

But here I am whinging and whining when I do nothing to help, to offer my hand to those who need a helping hand. Why? Am I lazy? Or am I ignorant as well?

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I salute those who bravely risk their lives to save strangers. If only the human race can forget about chasing the next thrill we'll probably be onto a much position in our lives. Something needs to be done, we all know that. So why are we still concerned over pixels and whatnot?

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: I may not be the most religious person around but my thoughts and prayers go out to those who've lost their lives, struggling to live and to those who are making that difference in this world.

Friday, 25 September 2009

It wasn't that bad after all!

The week of Hell has finally come and gone. The best part is that I've come out of it mostly unscathed and have a deeper of understanding of the work that's available to me.

Wow, indeed.

I feared the worst as I was assigned to not one, not two but three areas of which I'm terrified of. Not anymore. In fact, I sort of enjoyed the rush of things; I had to deal with sometimes 3 requests from 3 different sources and in the end still be focused on my main task.

Hopefully next week will be more of the same as it makes the time go by much quicker rather than feeling like time is slow and you feel like jumping off the damn building because of the sheer ennui that permeates the work place.

Am not going to go into boring details but I will say this: it was fun being the goto man. It made me feel...important.

I just need to remember to eat.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: 3 more months and it's 2010!

Monday, 21 September 2009

From nought to 300mph...

The last week has been simply and utterly...


From not doing much work to having practically a truckload of work dumped on me, it was the first time in a very long time I understood what it meant to be busy. You see, I'm not particularly fond of the word as I believe that being busy implies that you either have poor time management or you're actually busy. I have this allergy-like reaction towards this certain client of ours; the mere mention of its name is enough to induce me into a fiery ball of virulent madness.

I readily admit that I was overwhelmed. A certain wave of indecisiveness tends to hit me whenever I do something for the first time; am I doing it right or am I potentially screwing up an entire business? These thoughts need to be banished, I know, but when the enormity of the situation is presented onto me I can't help but feel a little bit bewildered by all that is going on. A smile is etched on my face when a new email arrives asking me what the hell is going? and there I am booking the most suitable slot to watch a movie this Saturday afternoon.

This is going to be yet another trying week but I'm going in with all guns blazing. I may duck and I may run, but I'll be damned if I don't give it my best. After all, I've already booked the tickets for this Saturday afternoon.

Selamat Hari Raya!

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: Even taking a few sips of white wine is enough to get to my temperature boiling. No kidding!

Friday, 11 September 2009

Weird and me go hand-in-hand like butter on bread. And sometimes corn.

You know, sometimes a single word is able to encompass a person's nature so well it can be quite eerily uncanny. Like, for example, George W Bush. The words idiot, dumbass, Dubya, any one of those can be used on him and people will go, "Ahhhhh. True. Pass me the mash potatoes, thanks."

I've been labelled all sorts of derogatory terms growing up and even till now I am still receiving sobriquets of all sorts. But the one title that has been a part of my structure, my being, me, has to be Weird. You can call me strange, peculiar, odd, amazingly fooking hot (to those who've watched District 9, you know what I'm talking about), Weird has and will always most likely be the first thing people will associate me with. Besides new titles such as lovable, adorable, macho, etc of course but lets save those for another post...

As some of you might know, growing up I was always the one kid who didn't seem to fit in any where. Whenever festive season came about I would be placed with my cousins and when they played I was either not invited or I acted diffidently to their (reluctant) invitations. While now I consider myself the dark horse of the family during those times, I was able to assimilate myself to any situation that presented itself so it wasn't a case of that fat kid being antisocial. As such, I've always been comfortable doing things on my own. I find it cathartic; I can eat at my own pace, walk as fast or slow as I want to, scratch my bum when an itch came about, all that can be done without having to worry about someone else beside me. I never considered myself as being a loner, and I certainly don't think that was in any way weird.

I have the tendency to spout utterly random, inane things at times. Family and friends know this fact very well; they either think I'm talking to myself or that one of my screws is loose yet again. Such things are triggered by just about anything at all; it could be a word that I can put a pun or something I've watched in cinemas and is applicable to my daily life. And if I've a friend who can help me make the nonsense even more fun, the more inane I can get. (Thanks be to Frorinder Singgins. Really.)

Waffle Girl said that all people are weird in their own way. Yes and no. They're only thought of to be weird only if they have a certain foible or idiosyncrasy that is deemed anomalous to the norm. What's normal is weird and vice versa. It's just a matter of perception and the general acceptance of what is normal that sometimes confounds people. But that's how life is: one big pile of weird.

So, the next time you call someone weird, be sure that they are weird. For all you know, you're the weird one.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: Sandra Bullock is aging mightily well, no?

Friday, 4 September 2009


If some random person walks up to you, and asks coolly, “How would you describe yourself in 10 words,” what would you say? What would you honestly say?

After recovering from the initial shock of a person, who out of thin air (a bit hazy, too), is asking me about me, I’d say “Huh?” loudly with a look on my face that’s a mix somewhere between a stunned rabbit and a puzzled potato. I guess my answer would be (and said with utmost confidence):

I’m a boring guy with an exciting life.

I sense puzzlement. I’m 25 but I still think like a 24-year-old.

Are you capable of letting complete strangers know who you are in 10 words? Heck, I couldn’t even describe myself in a single blog post. Is it even remotely possible to give them a clear-cut representation of yourself in a sentence? If you’re brave enough you could do the three-word vend: Cool, Content, Confounded. But since I don’t fall into that category, my explanation would include a whole lot of Um’s and Ugh’s.

Coming back to the question: if this was thrown at me during a job interview, I would say that I’m hardworking, conscientious and able to adapt to any situation (except for ones that involve accountants or lawyers) that is presented to me. I do have to sell myself, you know. Of course, in interviews, such cover-ups are sometimes justified, especially if you're currently employed in a draconian company that preys on its minions and you really, really want to get out.

To truly describe what I'm like is to know me. Really. I can be goofier than a college kid high on carbonated drinks and fast food but I can delve into the psyche of someone who is like Donald Trump, minus the silly hair-do, naturally. I wasn't like this, no, it took some time for me to differentiate silly and serious. I interject silliness into serious proceedings once in a while, but only to alleviate the air of pervasive dread and provided if I know the people are fine with a little lighthearted moment. Or two. Or three.

I've noticed that I am a little more juvenile when I'm around my college mates, as they have known me longer and we are able to tolerate each others' ramblings. Around my work mates, though, I'm still me but not as hyper. I guess I'll assess the situation and tweak my character accordingly. There are times where being yourself is the right thing to do but sometimes a little less of your true self can lead to a much better place. Like, for example, being accepted at your potential employer's company!

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: Ladies, I am cool and confident. Really.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Of flying houses, talking dogs and undying love.

Over an extremely greasy lunch, a good friend of mine, Marie, and I were discussing about greatest fears and what is ours. I told her that mine is growing old and being alone with no one that loves me (pretty deep, huh?). Of course, being the lovely little thing that she is, told me that I won't be alone as I'll be surrounded by family and friends. I smiled, told her I hope so and continued eating the greasy as heck food. But the feeling of being alone when I'm old lingered.

This feeling came about after watching the brilliant Up. Now, I'm not one to go gaga over an animation but this really hit home. Apart from the beautiful Wall-E, I have not been so touched by such movies. The scenes in Up where the old man and his wife were together just pulled at my heartstrings. It is exactly I how envisioned myself growing old: with a loving wife beside me, with children and their children in the house, (of course, in the movie, that never happened so just bear with me) all happy just to be in each other's company.

The other thing that got to me was when his wife passed away. Can you imagine the love of your life no longer with you? Thinking of it simply saddens me. Have you read stories where an elderly couple died either a few days apart or together? And that they were known to be a loving couple? Those stories touch me and give me hope that one I shall grow old with my one and only.

To the girl out there waiting for me, I'm coming. Let's grow old together.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: I hope to be remembered when I die. Or at least be known as the Crazy Uncle Who Terrorised Kids With His Walking Stick.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

An open letter to Anger.

Here’s my attempt at writing one of them Letters post. I hope it doesn’t suck.

Sometimes you don’t need to come out when I’m buying bread, you know. Sure, that old lady was asking for it but you didn’t have to say those words. Likewise the old man when you yelled at him, “Old baggage! Go away before your spleen ruptures from over-excitement!”

There are times where your timing is impeccably dreadful. Like the time that fat kid pushed me aside with a bit too much enthusiasm. You responded well by calling him, “fucking fat kid.” Thankfully, his mother wasn’t within earshot. Too bad about the father being just beside him, though. He got quite the earful, eh?
So, Anger, can you please stop being a prick?

Thank you.

That was a short, succinct letter, no? I have a short temper. I get irritated when people do irritating things, for instance, when they irritate me. But I cool down easily, too. I don't like being angry. It perturbs my macho-dude persona very much. While this may sound all Zen-like, and even strange, I'm learning to rein it all in.

For the sake of the person's face I may use my fists on as target practise.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: I'm more of a lover than a fighter. Oh, yes I am.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Grab that crotch!

Caveat: Long as heck post up ahead!

I like beaches.

There's something about having sand underneath your feet, the gentle breeze breathing down your neck, the crisp salty air; it all comes together to create a calming feeling. Of course, after nearly drowning in 20 feet waters makes you appreciate the feet being on land even more.

Last weekend was spent with my mates from work on a team-building expedition that involved the worst team-building activities known to man, the toughest beef from cows who certainly weren't slaughtered with justice, and me jumping into the sea wearing an odorous life jacket with nothing more than a wing and a prayer to the gods of metal.

Man, I miss those times.

The journey began at midnight (there really couldn't be any better time, seriously) with everyone gathered at the foot of Tower 2, KLCC. We boarded the bus full of buzz and departed the hustle and bustle of the city towards tranquillity (oh how we got it wrong) of the island. As sleepy and tired as I was, it took me some time before I could count sheep. Or deer. Some weren't as fortunate, as they battled comfortless chairs and a ride smooth like butter on jagged rocks. We stopped at a little shack by the side of the road for a quick break at the ungodly hour that was 4 a.m. Essentially this was a smoke break for the driver so everybody took this chance to pee into a hole in the ground. The relief was immense across the board. The next 5 hours or so seemed like endless tarmac and gloomy trees as we travelled using the trunk roads which snaked through village after village.

We arrived at the jetty bus-lagged and famished. After eating our less than spectacular breakfast we got on speedboats to the island of Perhentian Kecil. I'm not too fond of the sea (damn you Mr. Spielberg and your Jaws!) so the vastness of the open ocean was quite breathtaking to say the least. But I enjoyed every wave-filled second of it. As we approached the beach a veritable jungle with chalets dotting the surroundings was seen. The view was simply beautiful. I'm not one to fawn over my country's places of interest but this comes highly recommended. Just stay away from the food (more on this below).

As usual, I tend to get the short end of the proverbial stick, but, this time I got to share it with two of my best mates. We're big guys and even with me being the shortest (but most built of the three) the room just barely accommodated us. The beds were small and emanated a strange odour with unidentifiable stains on the sheets. Hmm. Have I forgotten to mention that there wasn't any hot water? Well, we showered with water so cold it froze our extremities. The room was terribly stifling so much so that every single fart lingered for ages. Hmm.

The restaurants and food stores on the island close early. Like, 930 p.m. early. This pissed us all as the food provided by the hotel was first-rate crap. Dinner for the two nights we were there consisted of the most supple beef steaks that could only be cut with swords. There was also endless supplies of chicken necks and vegetables so limp one look turned them into vapour. And don't get me started on the misspellings of the food. Pankages, anyone?

The team-building "training" we had to go through ranks as the pinnacle of terribleness. Granted, we came to the island not wanting to attend any classes but due to the sensitive issue of wanting to claim fully this shebang from the government the team-building aspect necessitated it that we attend the classes. I've never wanted to get out of a class so badly in my life. The trainer was a real douchebag; none of his activities gave us any impetus to do better in our daily work. Heck, it made us even more nonchalant about our colleagues. We obliged his harebrained games that resembled more like clown curriculum (wonderfully said by Waffle Girl) with activities ranging from throwing colourful balls at each other to butchering My Way with about as much passion as watching paint dry in an igloo. Though, it was nothing compared to what he did on the last day of training...

Remember when I said I'm not too fond of water? Well, I strapped on a life jacket and went snorkelling for the very first time. I kid you not. I was frightened as I don't know how to swim and there's something about being in such an open environment with your feet primed for shark attacks that panics me. But once I got over the initial fear of being in the water and breathing through the goggle's tube apparatus it became quite exciting. Heck, after finally peering into my goggles to look beneath the surface of the water to see the fish and the sea it was quite a rush! Thankfully I had Waffle Girl and Billy to help me along as I couldn't think of two better people to share this experience. And save me from drowning, too.

I'm of the opinion that if you take people from out of the office and put them in a completely different setting you'll get to see the other side of them. And, boy, did we get to see some sides. Give them booze and whoosh! they'll be able to crack some of the funniest jokes you thought only black comedians were good at. Of course, there was a deluded individual who tried his hand at comedy but received a big WTF right on his face for telling us utterly inane jokes instead.

On the last day, Sunday, we were required to attend training at 0800. Since we only had less than 3 hours of sleep (thanks to Billy for keeping us awake with his pseudo-male stripper ala Fully Monty antics) even eating breakfast was a battle of trying to not have our heads hit the plates. But by golly nothing, and I mean, NOTHING, prepared us for what was to come. It all started when we came in late, thus we were greeted sarcastically by the rest. We were too knackered to even grin. What followed next defies everything I stand for as a man of principle, a metalhead, and most importantly, a man who hates to dance! The trainer made us do silly exercises which reduced us to kindergarten children. At the very end of the training, I nearly lost it when he broke into song; an impromptu karaoke of a truly annoying Thai song that can only be described as horror of horrors.

As we left the island, I couldn't help but wonder how simple life is on an island; no bloody computer screens, no traffic jams, no idiots, no grinding it out in the big bad city. But that thought lasted till I reached the boat and started thinking of what I'll be doing next. It's a nice thought, but just that. It wasn't so much a holiday, more like a company visit that lasted three days. A holiday would entail relaxation, calm waters and good food. Instead I was weary, nearly drowned in open sea and fear and had crap for sustenance.

But it was damn good fun, man.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: This post took me a week to complete. And it's only half of what truly transpired during the entire trip. Some things are best kept secret. Don't you agree?

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Just because you want it badly doesn't mean you deserve it.

Some people are spoilt rotten.

I am talking about people who want things they cannot get. And these are adults with sensible sensibilities we're talking about here. They desire things they think they want but actually they don't. Desire is confused with actual need.

I am a person who doesn't give in to temptation easily. However, when I do I end up not regretting, but rather, feel a little embarrassed. Take the new pair of working shoes I just bought. They cost me RM250. I already have another pair of shoes that cost just as much. Do I need two of them? I think so. And therein lies the problem: I think I need them. I could've just lived my life with just that initial pair but I chose to purchase the new pair on nothing more than a spur of the moment whim. This here is Desire. (But I have to say that them shoes are pretty friggin' comfortable.)

Or take one of life's most consequential yet potentially most hurtful conundrum: Relationships. It can disappoint you like no other. Be that as it may, it can be the most fulfilling and wondrous thing a person will ever experience.

I wonder how on earth can some people get together with just the snap of the fingers. Did something set off in their unconscious mind that told them, yes, lets get together! Why was it so simple for them and not others? I know one story where one party really and truly liked another with all the might in the world but each time disappointment was met as there was little to no response. (Granted, the pursuer is rather hopeless in the game thus didn't realise that maybe a little more perception would've been beneficiary to the cause, but, lets not dwell on that.) Despite all the setbacks, the person hasn't given up and gets back up each time. Any normal, sane person would've (in fact, should've) given up after the third strike. But not this person. Don't know how to give up, the person said. A veritable never-give-up attitude is strong in this one, doesn't understand the meaning of surrender.

Commendable but still rather myopic, aye?

The question this person has to answer is this: is your heart and mind the same? Are they both in synergy? Guys have a tendency to use their other head to think so getting it right is paramount. Most importantly, do you want the other person because you think you want or do you genuinely, with all your heart, know that all the pain, tears and suffering of the pursuit is all worth it?* These are questions that need to be addressed and answered otherwise there's no point in pursuing in the first place.

Last question: how do you know that the right decision isn't the wrong one? Think about it, people, do we really need what we feel we want?

I know what I need. How about you?

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: Am posting this early as I'll be off on official work-related holiday. Whatever that means. Have a nice weekend, everyone!

* - The answer may surprise a lot of people. Maybe it won't.

Friday, 31 July 2009

Son, you gotta put that dumbbell down.

Family and friends think I'm a peculiarity. More so when I whip out my pink Tupperware at 3:30pm sharp every week day and they find a chicken sandwich. I don't blame them. Their eyes get even bigger when I tell them I eat 6 meals a day, spread over a 3-4 hour interval. And when they find out I don't eat fast-food or imbibe carbonated drinks they'll burst a vein. An apoplectic fit is experienced when I mention that the gym is my "Happy Place".

What's the use of being able to lift 100kgs with your back? Or why does one curl a 15kg dumbbell to their shoulders? Why do we see so many men and women do a million sit-ups yet still have beer bellies? Because people like them and me are nothing more but a bunch of narcissists. We are vain. We are aroused by compliments from family and friends. Our own volition drives us to pretty ourselves.

All in the name of health, of course.

It's been nearly 2 weeks since I've touched let alone lifted a dumbbell. And it feels good. Nay, it feels absolutely fucking great! Ever since I got back from my last holiday trip, I've become less obsessed with gym. If I don't go today, I'll go tomorrow. If that doesn't happen then I'll just do it when I can. In the gym I am very pedantic and idiosyncratic about how I go about my training. It's unorthodox to say the least. I won't bore you with the exactness of my regime but think of it this way: I have a regime that doesn't follow a set pattern but I have everything planned out beforehand. Pardon me if you're puzzled. Although, lately, I've been slacking. My once unyielding mind now gives way to random thoughts. Jogging and running have always been a favourite; I just love how it allows my mind to wander and ponder about things but even those two don't seem to do the trick these days.

Perhaps this is what a gym burnout feels like. This has never happened before. Once, when I fell ill with a fever hot enough to cook eggs, I still worked out albeit with an intensity equivalent to a baby crawling over 10 metres. Heck, when I nearly dislocated my right shoulder, I stopped for a week but resumed heavy lifting the following week. But this is a different feeling altogether and it's worrisome.

Admittedly, I'm having difficulty staying completely focused. I'll go from one thing to another; work problems to problems of the mind and heart. I'll be jogging at 10km/h with a 5% incline and while I'm gasping for air the aforesaid problems come into play, sometimes in my field of vision, and there I am, trying to wrench them away lest they make me trip and fall. That will not be nice at all.

Life's to be blamed for all of this. Yes, you've read that right: Life. But that's juvenile. Life is to be blamed and commended. Without Life, I wouldn't be here, whining like a kid who's lost his lollipop. And without Life, I wouldn't be grateful for the life I have now (albeit it stinks a little now). I guess putting down them dumbbells have been the best thing since lifting them in the first place.

My so-called "happy place" was never the gym. It is where I am most comfortable.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: People, I am gym NUT, not a FREAK. For, if I were a freak, I won't be here. I reiterate: I much rather hang out at a nice bar or Starbucks if the chance presented itself.

Any takers?

Friday, 24 July 2009

Red Devils are amongst us!


This one word alone conjures a wide spectrum of feelings: excitement, passion, commitment, anger, disbelief, pride, and even love.

Yes, 22 men chasing after a ball on a field can do that to a person.

As many of you should know by now, I support Manchester United (MUnited), arguably the greatest club in the world (thank you very much). And on 18th July 2009, I witnessed them in the flesh (albeit a good 500 metres away) plying their trade against the Malaysian national team. It was an all right match; MUnited played their usual game on 10% effort whereas the Malaysians played as though their heads were attached to a bomb. Everybody knew that MUnited held back a lot so as to not embarrass the host nation but we caught glimpses of the genius of the players. But guess what? We actually played well! Kudos goes to the curi ayam dude wearing number 17.

The day started out hazy and although it was not blistering hot it was the humidity that totally drove everyone bonkers. Sweat trickled down my forehead and unto my feet. Every pore opened up like someone forgetting to turn off the tap. The people with me didn't fare much better as they had to battle their own bursting dams. We cheered every time someone warmed. We cheered even louder when the match began and I remember losing it when Michael Owen (quite the diminutive this fella) scored the winning goal 5 minutes before time.

It was bloody sensational.

Of course, not everyone will understand. You either get it or you don't. Come football season you'll notice a lot of sleep deprived faces, people with tempers flying about (attributed to their team losing i.e. Liverpool falling spectacularly to MUnited!), maybe even a brawl or two when rival teams clash over who has the better free-kick style. I just hope that my future partner is understanding enough and while I would love to spend as much time with her as possible there comes a time a man has to do what a man needs to do.

Buy a gift for her and dinner.

But that's how it is. Football is intangible yet completely full of feel. Most of all, football fucking rules! Here's to the upcoming season!

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: To all the peeps who came along for the ride, Angie and et al, thanks for sharing this experience. Next one will be even better, I'm sure of it. Glory, Glory Manchester United!

Friday, 17 July 2009

You never know till you've tried.

"Life's like a box of chocolates; you never know what you're gonna get," so goes the saying from Forrest Gump.

Never a more apt saying for life has been said.

I, on the other hand, would've said, "Life's like a box of shrooms; you never know what you're going to hallucinate."

Anyway, life's been a real box of surprises. One minute when I think everything's dandy, something gets thrown into the mix and switches everything up. Sometimes it's a nice and pleasant surprise. Sometimes they've been painful. This year has seen me at the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Yet I still come back for more. Guess that makes me a sucker for punishment, eh?

The problem with me is that I can be obtusely obstinate. I can be very aware of things and my surroundings but there have been times where I have been so myopic it's ridiculous. Like, for instance, the complete eagerness and earnestness of me trying to please this girl (she's a nutjob now so there's no need to pity me) that I didn't realise I was being made a fool. But I kept going on and on till one day it dawned upon me that she's just a waste of time and effort (money more so as I was still in college and perpetually broke) so I fucked it, moved forward and never once looked back. In these kind of situations, it'll take something really drastic to make me see sense and it has to get knocked into my thick skull with much force otherwise I'll go on still. Or, if she says stay the fuck away from me, then that's my cue to scram the fuck away.

In simpler words: as much as I would like to give up, I don't know how, so, I might as well just go on and see what happens. Good or bad, I need to know the answer. The worst thing is not trying. There's nothing worse than to regret something you didn't even try. If things don't work out, feel sorry for a bit, cry a little if you want to but make sure you pick yourself up and move on. And be absolutely certain that no one gets hurt (or stays hurt) to eliminate any awkwardness in the future. The last thing you want is to have an estranged relationship with the person you've made a startling confession to as it will lead to nowhere.

Go on, give that box of chocolates another peek. It might give you another surprise. You never really know till you've tried.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: 2009 is shaping up to be the most eclectic year, ever. Don't you agree?

Monday, 13 July 2009

Chris's Guide to Ask a Girl for a Movie and Possibly Tea.

Actually, I mislead.

This post is about things I've noticed in my years of being an observant (read: inquisitive) person:
  1. People with handphones/mobiles: The younger you are the further away you see the screen. The older you are the closer your nose is to the screen. I've seen old men go all squinty-eyed when reading a text message. They'll push up their glasses, squeeze their eyeballs till they're about to pop and mouth the words of the text. Sometimes loudly. I hope I don't end up like them.
  2. Don't you just hate it when people expect you to give way on the escalator, with nary an "Excuse me," while the steps are conveniently located next to it? Guess what? You're a lazy ass!
  3. Queuing up sucks. Even if it's just one person ahead of you, it still sucks. But if you're lining up to buy your favourite burnt-to-a-crisp pancake, for the life of me, don't stand so near me! What makes you think I will go any faster by knocking your chest on me? In fact, I will purposely make your life slower by being an ass myself. This applies to all the morons and airheads who are lining up with me at the ATMs, movies, supermarkets and general queue-up-ness.
  4. To all the short guys who try to out muscle me: give it up. Now.
  5. When I'm in a semi-swanky shop, for instance, Gap, do not look at me as though I cannot afford your overly priced, Made in Cambodia, clothes. I can. So if you ignore or size me up, you are in trouble. Also, do not follow me around like I'm going to pull a Winona Ryder. I do not need to steal underwear.
  6. How does putting up your collar make you look cooler? I think I've said this before in an earlier post but this bears repeating: putting it up makes you look like a dumb dog who can't help it but bite its own tail for comfort.
I think 6 rants shall suffice for now. Till the next rant list!

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: Guys, if you want to ask a girl out on a date, just ask. It's as simple as that.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Moonwalking to the stars, moon and beyond.

The one and only, Michael Jackson.

The feeling is very odd. It's like waking up one gloomy morning and thinking you're missing something but you can't quite put your finger on. You think to yourself, hmm, what the heck is it. Then it hits you. Ah, I left the keys in the car. Again.

Bad analogy, I know, but it's the best I can come up with.

Michael Jackson is no longer on this planet. Weird, right? One minute we (yes, YOU and I are the guilty ones) are ridiculing him the next we are stupefied by the news of his death, jaws agape. I remember going to work thinking, "huh?" and when I met Waffle Girl for breakfast she was visibly stunned by the news (she still is). I was nonchalant, I mean, lets be real.: yes, he did come up with some of the catchiest, timeless pop songs ever but why would his death bring you to tears? What did he do besides entertaining you for but only a few minutes every time one of his songs was played on the radio? If I sound insensitive then so be it. I won't hide the fact that I didn't feel anything when official news announced the death.

However, the surreality of it didn't hit me until recently. Like how I left my keys in the car, twice, whence I was in college, hearing people refer to him in past tense seems like an odd thing. It didn't sound right. So I can only imagine what his family and his children are going through.

I'm surprised that there has been no dissertation of some sort on the songs that he wrote. Just read the lyrics to You are Not Alone, Leave Me Alone, Stranger in Moscow and the like, and you'll find a man who has everything and nothing. All the money and adoration yet he was a tortured soul. His past shaped him but you would never have known it due to the fact that he was such a tremendous entertainer than you forget he is mortal. You think, "hmm, this is a sad song sung beautifully." But have you even listened to it properly?

Unquestionably, he loved children so much so that ofttimes people thought he was a pervert, a monster, child eater. No, he viewed children as who they were. In essence, Michael was indeed a man-child in a man's world. Neverland was an escape from the real world. It was his refuge, haven from all the bad of the world. And he brought children inside to show them joy that he never got to experience. For that, I give him my utmost sympathy and acknowledgment.

I can only relate to his childhood, or rather, the non-existent one. Not the early fame, of course, when I was five I was still chewing on my Ziggy toy whereas he was belting out hit tunes. But I can relate to the loneliness and the longing for father-and-son moments. They never came but we had hope. Which is why I am driven to be the best father to my unborn child(ren) and give them the childhood I should have had.

I was and most likely never will be a fan of his. Nonetheless, I'll always respect his works no matter what. After all, growing up in the 90's it was near impossible to not like any of his songs. The King of Pop reigned supreme.

Rest in peace, Michael Jackson.

This is Chris, moonwalking...

PS: ...tried moonwalking but I ended up tripping and falling on my butt. Damn.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Devil horns and bhangra. Who knew it could be good?

Music makes the world go round.

I thought it was because it was spinning on its own axis?

Wise-ass remark aside, music has left an incredibly profound impact on my life. I grew up listening to classical and oldies courtesy of my dad while I was forced to listen to my sisters' favourite 80's and 90's pop. Of course, you now know me as the most unmetal-looking metalhead.

So is it a funny image if I were to tell you that this metalhead actually enjoyed fusion music last night? Let me be more specific: this metalhead enjoyed local fusion music that combined bhangra and modern sensibilities? Oh, I also forgot bagpipes. The Diplomats of Drum performed at The Curve and I was there with my friends. I've always had a thing for live performances, especially if it involves instruments and not 5 pretty boys lip-synching and dancing in tandem to standard beats. No, this was something special. After a lifeless demonstration on Capoeira which had exponents performing windmills on each other, came the main attraction.

I didn't know what to expect so I sat on my high stool and waited. The wait, humidity and smoky surrounding was worth it. Remember all the Bollywood movies you've watched? Remember the music? The unmistakable rhythm of the drum beat? Now hold that sound and add in guitar riffs, flutes, a didgeridoo and massive amounts of melody and you'll probably get a whiff of what the music is. If you're having a tough time then it's only understandable. It's not like this kind of music gets played on the airwaves at all. When it comes to local bands I will be wary always as a good chunk are just bad imitators of their influence.

But not this band.

The only downside of an otherwise brilliant performance was the audience. It has to be said that Malaysians are idiots, morons and general dumbasses when it comes to live performances. The people just sat on their seats, drinking and smoking, while the band kept urging them to get on their feet and wave their hands. What's the reason for our ineptitude and lassitude? "We're a shy people, we don't do that sort of thing." No wonder Singapore still gets all the action. C'mon! You have a great band who plays great music and there you are nodding gently. There I was, unleashing the devil horn on one hand while the other clutched a Heineken* looking like a poseur. But I didn't give a right damn as I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Ginormous kudos and devil horns to the Diplomats and their Drums. You've made me a fan.

This is Chris, signing off.

* =
Did I really look that red? Damnit, I still can't drink for nuts.

PS: I wonder if the Diplomats wouldn't mind having me doing vocals...

Sunday, 28 June 2009

The middle is upon us!

Man, 2009 sure has been one thoroughly interesting year, hasn't it? It's the year that I turn the big 2 and 5. 25, to me, is neither old or young. It's a good number. It has a nice ring to it, no?

Actually, it sucks.

There's just not enough time to do everything that I like. Gym time has been severely hit as work is piling up (I'm not a fan of working out on weekends as the second statement shows why). To hang out I will need to check in advance as there's only so much time in a weekend to meet up with friends and family. But being 25 also means more responsibility. In my last post, I mentioned that an old friend of mine is doing well career- and life- wise. Cool, eh? Here I am thinking about the next outing whereas he and other people like him are changing diapers. Work has been up and down. Admittedly, there are more downs than ups. I keep telling myself that in 10 years' time I'll look back at all this and just smile. "I went through all that shit to get to this level so suck it up!" will be mantra that I will tell to all the wide-eyed trainees under me. Maintaining a positive mind is a must in such situations lest I let my anger to take over me. To paraphrase one big green dude said, you won't like it when I'm angry...

My feelings and thoughts have been a real tangled mess the past few months. I can't explain them here for highly personal reasons but to those who know a bit and who've helped me along the way, thank you. I really wanted to write an insightful and long post but I think I've said enough.

I wonder what the second half of the year will bring. I hope it's good stuff*.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: I wish good things upon you, too.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

I would shake your hand, friend.

He was a playboy, this person is. He was known to flirt with every female that came his way, even with friends' girls, trying his best to win them over with his charm and wit which he had in spades. And, boy, did he had them. If that wasn't enough, he was blessed with looks that could kill and a smile that could light up a house. Oh, he has a killer body, too. Some people have all the luck, eh?

Unfortunately, this is what most people think when they see him. Everything is untrue except for the charisma and appearance.

You see, back in the day, this guy was a real showboat; every single thing about him screamed "jock!" It didn't help that I had a little crisis with my own looks so when he came strutting into a room, I would groan and say fuck softly. He was always smartly dressed whereas I was content with my creased as can be shirt. He had the girls mesmerised while the guys wanted to be his best bud. The thing that always got to me was his holier-than-thou attitude. Come presentation time, he would lead his team and present a slick and engaging topic. He had the confidence and the panache to pull it all off. Did I forget to mention that he is also smart as heck?

There was this innate animosity between us, like how a gorilla when upon seeing another gorilla will want to puff up its chest and start pounding it silly. Well, I was a chubby, clumsy and comical gorilla whereas he was a silverback. This continued for some time but it died slowly and surely as we got older. So you can only imagine how far and hard my jaw dropped when I found out he is married and now has child! He, of all people, has settled down and is now a proud father. I didn't have his number otherwise I would've called and congratulated him.

I hated him, but why? you may ask. Back then I would've said that he was a damn prick. But now it all seems like trivial dribble. All the piercing glares we gave each other and the inane posturing all are a distant memory. I've always had a deep respect for him and his methods even though I agreed with them less than half the time.

So I raise my cup of milk and congratulate wholeheartedly to you, the missus and your newborn. Have a blessed life and hopefully we'll have a coffee together some day.

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: I am humbled.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Hooters was a bust.*


Thanks be to the women of Singapore. More on this later.

Is it just me or are Singaporeans absolutely bonkers about their shopping centres? Or in local patois, malls? See any building that has "mall" etched on its facade and chances are you'll see, oh, hundreds and hundreds of people crowding an area that comfortably accommodates 5 people at any time. It it insane. Even Kuala Lumpur (KL) does not experience such waves of humans. (Except for when petrol prices are hiked up. You'll even see old women clamouring to get petrol for their cars.)

Granted, the Grand Singapore Sale is currently ongoing so that sort of explains things a little but it's as though the entire population is out and about. Don't they ever stay at home? If they're not shopping, they're eating. But most of the time they're shopping and eating. And boy do these Singaporeans eat a lot, from deep fried duck innards to squid on a stick, they eat it all. Yet they remain thin and in relatively good shape! It must be all the walking they do and it's what I did most as well. I could walk literally every where in Singapore, not get bored and best of all, feel safe even at night. Doing the same in Malaysia would leave me completely drenched in my own sweat, severely dehydrated and utterly frightened for my life as every passing motorcyclist is a paranoid person's nightmare.

Singaporean females, I have to admit, are hot, sexy and downright pretty. They are also unbelievably conceited. And that's just the teenagers. The more made up ones, whilst undeniably pretty and tall, were so full of themselves that I had no choice but to look at them. The level of pretentiousness is so great I am left amazed and thankful for my Ray Ban's. Surreptitiously glancing at said girls is full of win. That's the culture over there, I guess; it truly is a Singaporean thing. However, to me, the prettiest girls weren't the ones in 5-inch heels, push-up bras or decolletage-baring outfits, rather it was the girls dressed in a simple tee and jeans that caught my eye. While Malaysian girls are steadily upping the ante when it comes to fashion, they still fall three steps back to their counterparts. Even going to the nearby mall you can see young girls in dresses. Small dresses, mind you. What more can I say about the adults? Though, I have to say that my country definitely has the better looking girls. Looks-wise, it's almost equal, give or take the mixed girl or two but there's something that our girls have that many Singaporeans lack: pureness.

Patriotism never looked so good.

This is Chris, signing off.

* = Get it?

PS: To the women of Singapore and especially those in Hooters, I still love you all long time. I'll be back.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Man on Man. This doesn't sound right at all...

If you've been following this blog (you absolutely must, by the way) you probably noticed me dishing out praise like it was the Singapore Mega Sale.* Well, when praise is deserved I will praise, sometimes too effusively, I know, but I really mean it. The same goes with me criticising or unleashing a customary diatribe; I will go all out to make my point clear.

Anyway, this post is going to be about the L-word. Not that L-word, but, you've guessed it, Love. To be more specific:

Man Love.

In my Penang/Langkawi/Penang posts, I mentioned that my friends, Waffle Girl and G-Milo Girl, had this strong bond that seems to get stronger (I think they're drinking calcium-enriched milk) as time goes by. It made me think about my own friends; my brothers from another mother. There are only two guys in the world that I trust wholly with my secrets and emo, Fill and Irwin.

Fill, and I have this tacit understanding, a very manly bond, that allows us to work really well together. I'm more of the planner whereas he's the executioner. Together, we rocked the presentations during college. Except for one. We presented a Java program but instead of prepping ourselves we decided to just wing it which was the norm for us for all our presentations. But, boy, did this one implode in our faces. Midway through the presentation it was clear we were just blathering about everything except Java-related stuff. We were silly. We made a mockery of the classroom and the lecturer but the worse was that we made ourselves the biggest fools. At the end of it, we apologised to the class and walked back to our seats, heads hung low in shame. Life sure does know how to embarrass a person. So from that day onwards we made a pact that the next presentation we will sit down and plan everything in advance to avoid any more screw ups.

Irwin is someone I don't see often as he's in Italy for studies but when he comes back here for holidays I'll make sure we hang out as much as possible. He's someone I can talk to about anything yet have nearly the same thoughts and opinions. He and I have experienced things growing up that not many people can relate to, therefore, I guess that's why we're close. Which, is weird, considering we hated each other back in the day when we first met in college. It was a mutual thing: I hated his over-enthusiastic self and his endless gadgets while he hated me in return as I was this portly crap-spewer who kept saying stupid things to entertain people. But as we got to know each other, we learned to appreciate each other's foibles and flaws, the better the friendship became.

Guys are exteremely straightforward with each other. If we find that one of us has been acting like a prick, we'll say it. Loud. It's who we are. We love chilling with our coffee and talk about cars, chicks and comics but we can shut those all out in an instant and talk about the important stuff: Life.

Cos we're manly men!

This is Chris, signing off.

* = Which, coincidentally, I'm going to next, next weekend. Goods at bargain prices and vacuous but totally hot Singaporean chicks? Hot damn, yes!

PS: Bill, I know you're reading this, so, here's a big mug of milk for you. Thanks for being a total jerk in front of the other guys and a great friend when they're not there. We will have a very good friendship.

Friday, 29 May 2009

The Hunt for the Forbidden Drink.

One of the more interesting tales from the holiday trip was the search for a most mysterious drink. This drink is said to be so wicked it was even banned in some countries you'd think, whoa, this is gotta be some drink for them to even think it not safe. But more on that later.

As most Malaysians know, Langkawi is known for its rich history, laidback attitude and friendly people. But that's the tourists' brochure version. Langkawi is most known for its tax-free businesses. Want to buy branded chocolate and perfumes? This is the place for you. However, most people come here for the alcohol and cigarettes but most are here for the former. Alcohol is pretty pricey outside tax-free zones so getting nearly half the price on the island is seen as really good deal.

After getting our rented car, we headed to Kuah, a 25-minute drive from our hotel. The journey there was pleasant; people were really laidback as evident in their driving. Back home in Kuala Lumpur even in the more rural areas you can still find rickety cars driven by even more rickety people zooming by. Over here, the people are just happy to cruise. At 40kph. My mother runs faster. But the slowness didn't take away anything from us, apart from time, of course. We got to view how life on this island, unhurried and languid, at its natural pace. After guessing to where to turn into we reached our destination and thus began the hunt...

The heat was unbearable. Our outfits were soaked, skin slowly being burnt brown by the scorching heat and the blazing sun. We walked from shop to shop with G-Milo Girl showing to the storekeepers her mobilephone the name of the drink. Being a 99% teetotaler*, I assumed she wanted to get a drink that was not commonly found back home. Just under half an hour, when we arrived at what was store 6 in our quest for this elusive, enigmatic drink, I decided to ask G-Milo Girl for the name. Lo and behold! Immediately, a wide grin was etched on my face as the name was finally revealed:


Yes, people, absinthe. The is the same drink that was banned in America till early 2007 and is legendary as it is infamous. I knew right away of its reputation and difficulty in acquiring it. The trio of Waffle Girl, G-Milo Girl and myself soldiered on. Undeterred, we went to practically every store that had hard liquor before being tipped off about this one big shop. If that shop doesn't have it, then surely the rest won't either I had jokingly said to the girls that I can only imagine that we enter a small, dark and dingy shop owned by a storekeeper with only one eye and a patch, following him into a labyrinth under his shop to the location of the unholy substance Instead, we ended up in a shop which was brightly lit and manned by an impudent boy. Alas, no shop on the island did not carry it but it was worth a shot.

This got me thinking, the more something is forbidden, the more it is infamous yet is somehow reachable, the more curious we are. I know for a fact that absinthe ain't Jolly Shandy, unless you view being jolly with hallucinations is fun. Curiosity killed the cat, we all know that but maybe a little curiosity is good.

Being a little bit naughty can't be wrong? Right?

This is Chris, signing off.

* = I probably imbibe alcohol typically once in a while but when I do I normally go for beer or liquor with low levels of alcohol.

PS: Upon digging further, I found this link. I normally do not advocate the consumption of alcohol, but if anyone were to check out the places listed in the link and can vouchsafe the existence of absinthe, do buzz me ASAP!

PPS: Post number 3 in a week! New world record!

Monday, 25 May 2009

Deep fried chicken skin. Cream on legs. Tight embraces. It was surely great times.

Considered to be Malaysia's premier island, Penang is a fascnating state that is as modern as the capital, Kuala Lumpur. It's been called a food paradise. It blends the old and new like no other.

Pfft. Only a true Penangite would say that. We all know the truth. Yes, we do. Malacca is where it's at, yo!*

Anyway, enough talk about state pride, let's get on with the show. The story begins when Waffle Girl and I had to take a flight down to Penang in order to catch up with G-Milo Girl who was there earlier on business. I've always been fascinated with being in an airport; I love the hustle and bustle of it, the constant rush of people wanting to get on their flights to see their loved ones or seeing secretive people trying to smuggle durians. The plane ride was pleasant, 30 minutes in the air and back down to terra firma. My only gripe is why do all stewardesses have to put on a tonne of makeup? I could bake cakes with the amount of foundation one uses. Anyway, Waffle Girl got hit on by a couple of just pubescent boys which upon looking at me decided it best not to try further with her. Comedy at 10000 feet above sea level was ensured.

As soon as we landed, we headed towards the jetty to get our tickets for the next day's trip to Langkawi. Then it was a dash to the the hotel to wait for G-Milo Girl. When everyone was freshened up, we went out for dinner together with a friend of G-Milo Girl, Sifu, who said that people driving cars had to be wary of people not driving cars. It was apparent that the people of Penang were fearless as heck as oncoming cars would have to swerve dangerously to avoid hitting them. Later, Sifu was gracious enough to bring us around Penang even though it was getting late for him.** Supper was a short trip down the road from the hotel to a quaint eatery called quaintly, Mr. Pot. Along the way, we saw transvestites. I have no comment. The food was all right. Nothing happened, actually, but I do like the name. Then I spent the first night with the girls and I must say this to all the guys out there: girls will be girls. One of the reasons was that all manner of products were used to tone, moisturise and do things to the skin that I never thought possible. Guys, take note: if a girl is putting cream on her legs, don't ask, just compliment her.

The next day was when we went to Langkawi so you already know that story so I'll just jump to when we got back to Penang after spending only the night on the other island. As you know, besides being nearly frozen to my seat, the journey back on the ferry was 3 hours, a good 30 minutes later than expected. When we got off, we were tired, hungry and smelled. (Actually, it was mostly me.) We re-checked in the hotel we stayed earlier, got prepped for dinner and it was out to Gurney Drive, roughly 20 minutes away. The first thing you'll notice is the congestion, long lines stretching from the beginning of the road till the very end. Then, you'll see the row upon row of shops, hotels and restaurants. My kind of town. Parking space was going to be an issue as everyone (I noticed a lot of old women, c'mon, give this poor guy a space to park so that he can eat!) wanted any space. So we found one quite right at the end, and while this is going to pain me greatly, hot damn can G-Milo Girl drive a car. She managed to squeeze her car into a tight spot which would've made some driving instructors green with envy. Dinner consisted of local fare; fried noodles, noodles in soup, and fried stuff. Stuff meaning deep fried chicken skin and squid. Now, the squid, I loved a lot but the chicken skin? Oh, man. The last time I ate chicken skin was KFC's when I was 10. But the minute I bit into it, damn, this is some good skin. Sinfully delicious was the phrase and rightly so. I wonder if my skin is smoother now. Hmm...

On the last day of the holiday, we woke up early, and headed towards the bus station to get tickets for me and Waffle Girl home as G-Milo Girl had to stay back for work commitments. It's never easy to say goodbye so we tacitly agreed to not talk about it instead focused our attention to make the last day as good as it can be. So we chatted in the hotel room's floor, crossing our legs and start regalling each other about our experiences. It was nice but what made it more intimate was to see how close the bond between Waffle Girl and G-Milo Girl had. It was special even though I know Waffle Girl would beg to differ since according to her I only saw a miniscule of it. I can only hope that my own friendship with them would be even a smidgen as good as theirs. As we finally parted ways at the bus station, I could see sadness but also happiness between the two girls as they embraced each other tightly. Words fail me. Folks, this is what real friends are all about.

The trip not only recharged the mind and body, it also recharged the spirit. I am already looking forward to the next adventure.

This is Chris, signing off.

* = I still love you, Penang. I mean, 30 cents parking? Unbelievable!
** = For that, thanks be to Sifu. Worry not, I will find a way back home if I was stranded in Penang because of your clear and concise directions.

PS: As you may already know, I don't post 2 entries in the same week let alone in 2 days but I felt compelled to get this story out. At least it's better than doing work.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Nearly heaved my breakfast out. Got sunburnt. Almost froze to death. Man, I wanna do all that again!


I haven't even changed from the smelly clothes I'm in but here I am blogging about the holiday I just came back from. You want to know why?

Cos it was damn fun, man.

Let me explain: my colleague and her best friend were planning a trip to an island called Langkawi, Malaysia's version of Hawaii minus the Alohas, half naked Polynesian women and flame-throwing, grass-covered males. So I jokingly said to my colleague, Waffle Girl, can I join? That was about two months ago. Then one fine day last month or so, she comes back to me and says, hey, remember that trip I told you about? Would you like to join us? I immediately said, urm, you do know that I was just kidding? Do you want to go or not, she said. If you're really, really, really, sure about this, I'm in. She shrugged, smiled, and said, we're absolutely fine and we'll be at the beach and you know what that means.

Which sane man would've said no?

Thus, four days ago I spent my first holiday of the year with two chicks. We had a blast, right from the get go. It started on the ferry ride as we nearly heaved towards the island. It was horrendous. I had to summon all my energy and mental strength in order to keep myself from heaving my breakfast of 5 eggs onto the front passanger. Yoga practitioners would've been proud of me. And when we reached the island we checked into the dinkiest hotel on the island, dropped our luggage and headed out on our first adventure. The weather was blazing hot while the humidity was sensationally, urm, humid. We explored the island, took pictures while I posed for them like an escapee from a mental institution and ate and ate and ate everything on sight. Then came dinner which was a feast big enough to feed double our number. I swear to you, them prawns were as long as Waffle Girl and her best friend, G-Milo Girl (don't ask), arms! So after stuffing our faces with delectables island-inspired dishes, we went to the only reggae-themed bar on the island, Babylon Mat Lounge. Now, I'm not a fan of reggae at all but the ambience and the beautiful company made the music sound great. Don't worry, I won't do dreadlocks. I won't go into detail as to what entirely transpired so I'll just skip to the end and say that when it came time to depart, a big sigh of sadness was released as we waved goodbye to the island. Oh, before I forget, the damn ferry back home was freezing cold. Even some English folk that were with us were cold. Brrr! Lastly, when it came to go on our own ways, the sadness multiplied tenfold as it had been an incredible time albeit a short one. But we know we're going to see each other pretty soon*.

It's funny how holidays can change your perception of things as you tend to come back from them a little wiser unless you're a dingbat, of course. You become more aware, more in-tune with yourself and others around you. Especially if you travel with your friends for the first time. You'll learn their quirks and their idiosyncrasies, what they like to eat, what they do when they sleep (sorry for the snoring, I swear, I didn't know I did), but at the end of it you learn to really appreciate their company. And that is what made this trip even more special; friends help you but great friends are there for you. If that doesn't make you humble and appreciative of them then I don't know what will.

The last four days have been mightily interesting and satisfying, to say the least. In some ways, it was like the Amazing Race: we hopped from one island to another within 24 hours. (Okies, it was 2 islands, but we did do the hopping.**) It was hectic. It was moist. It was draining.

But most of all it was helluva fun!

Thank you, Waffle Girl and G-Milo Girl, for this great trip. And if I seemed quiet at some parts, my sincerest apologies. I just wanted to savour the moments where I got to be with the two of you. Also, thank you for entertaining this clown at times as I know I've enlightened you two more about me. I can now get struck by lightning knowing that I slept in the same room with two gorgeous women. 


This is Chris, signing off.

* = I took G-Milo Girl's stuff by accident. So, yeah, I have to give it back to her. Tee hee.
** = Actually, it all started in Penang but I'll save that for the next post.

PS: Deep fried chicken skin should be made illegal. They taste so good but so wrong!

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Number 18 and counting. Glory, Glory Man United!

Real men don't cry. Sometimes real men do.

I nearly did.

Manchester United drew with Arsenal but that was enough to see them clinch their 18th Premier League title last Saturday. It was one of the best moments of my football life. I may not play the game, but I sure as heck love it!

But the thing that got to me wasn't the end, it was in the 67th minute when a diminutive player from Argentina came off to be replaced. It was emotional, not just for him, he waving to the crowd as though it was his last game, but to all who watched him in person and on the telly. Carlos Tevez may not be as prolific as a goal-scorer he was once when he first started out but his ebullience, tenacity and never-say-die attitude has made him a much loved character to the Old Trafford faithful. All I can say is, keep the bugger. He is worth it. And if Lady Luck has a sense of humour, she'll make sure he punishes Manchester United were he to play for another club. I'm sure of it.

Besides that, while Wolverine was a complete bore and utter disappointment, Angels & Demons was surprisingly good. Tom Hanks for once didn't annoy me with his nasally voice, he actually endeared his character to me. Not bad, Forrest! And, of course, Ayelet Zurer is what a woman is: beautiful, strong and smart. Ooh la la.

Also, I'll be going on my first holiday of the year. Yes, before anyone thinks I'm a workaholic (only if the job is worth it) I thought I might as well unwind a little, especially since the last few months have been trying. I so can't wait to get me some, in my humble opinion, deserved rest and relax.

Here's to better weather and no more cases of H1N1!

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: Star Trek is absolutely friggin' brilliant!

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Bye bye, my friends.

You never really feel the sadness until it finally comes.

The last month or so has brought many departures. It's never easy to lose a colleague, especially a dear one, to another company because you feel, why are they leaving? Did I smell that bad? After awhile you get used to it and working life* goes on. But the spirit of the team is no longer the same. The camaraderie has now been replaced with silence and instant messaging.

So, this post is dedicated to those who've left for much, much better pastures. I would like to thank my two seniors, my brothers Einstein and Jyaki, for teaching me everything I know and helping me to bullshit my way to where I am now. I hope you two boys get to do more things than here. And Angie, I'll see you at Rakuzen with 30 helpings of salmon sashimi.

Good luck to all and may your future be bright.

If you'll excuse me, it's back to the hellhole. Till 3.30pm!

This is Chris, signing off.

* = Working life is not the same as life. Err. Yep.

PS: The weather is so friggin' hoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooot!!!