It's been a week of sorts. Busy? Nahhh...you know me. There's been a flurry of activities these past few days. Just came back from an excursion to the North. Had a small detour to Penang too. My, my. How Penang has changed. It's been a while since I last visited, so I was in awe. Must arrange for a proper weekend holiday there. There's one for the checklist. And we're moving office here! From an old, turn-of-the-century, colonial type building to a new environment in the heart of Seremban 2. And you know what that means. Yup. Five minutes to the office. So now I can wake up at 7.50. And with less than 2 weeks to go before EE's big day, wedding bells are ringing in the air. Things are buzzing in the family. The phone never stops ringing. Never-before-seen relatives are dropping by. These are busy times for our little family. Which means extra work for lazy kid brother. Heh. And less I forget, the SEA Games have started! Even though I won't be spending time on the telly like I did 2 years ago, I'll be keeping a close eye on the Games. I love the SEA Games. It's the only time you can see Malaysia win gold medals by the sackful. No prizes for guessing which sport I'm hoping for gold. And so I'll end this like any good sports commentator, Hasbullah Awang-style:
Majulah sukan untuk negara saya yang kempunan kegemilangan sukan dan asyik-asyik merujuk kepada zaman-zaman lampau untuk mengingati diri sendiri bahawa Malaysia dulu boleh!
o this message was brought to you by The Narrator @ 11:16 PM
Attended Kuman's open house last night. It was supposed to be a normal makan-makan affair, but turned out to be a mini-reunion for the people I've known for the last 7 years. Every group was covered, from geng Banting to Collegians to even my faculty mates. I had a great time there. So thank you for making me realize I am at my happiest with the people I've known from the past. Which proves I am never in the present, always living the past.
o this message was brought to you by The Narrator @ 5:11 PM
Amir Muhammad said Ada Apa Dengan Indonesia? is a 'KBSM version' of The Year Of Living Vicariously. Meaning he added some commentary to the latter which was originally seen in film festivals. I felt that even with Amir's commentary, I couldn't quite grasp it. Maybe I'm not made for this kinda stuff. But what I did get is a glimpse into Indonesian history and politics, seen through the eyes of her everyday people. And that for me, is a true eye-opener.
o this message was brought to you by The Narrator @ 5:24 PM
And so Roy Keane leaves Manchester United. At 34 years of age, that would be expected. But in all honesty, I was quite shocked when I first heard the news. All this while, I knew there will come a day when Roy Keane will not be gracing the greens of Old Trafford in the infamous red jersey. I was just surprised he left while the great Sir Alex is still around, something ironic since both of them formed the foundation for Manchester United's success in the 90's up till now. Though I am not a big fan of Man U, I have the utmost respect for its captain. Keano is probably one of the greatest players to have graced Manchester United. His loyalty and passion for the club is envied by many. And why shouldn't it be? Loyalty is something you can't buy in today's multi-million dollar world of football. People will talk about Roy Keane for years. Whether it's good or bad, from the horror tackle that took Alf Inge Haaland's career, his infamous 'prawn sandwiches' remark on Man U's fans or even his gigantic display against Juventus that took them to the final frontier of European glory back in '99. For me, Roy Keane is the heart and soul of Manchester United. With his departure, surely Man U has lost one of its greatest servants.
o this message was brought to you by The Narrator @ 10:50 PM
This is so good I can't believe they left it out of our history books. After listening to Mamula Moon and Terang Bulan and learning about the origins of Negaraku, it gives me a deeper appreciation of our National Anthem. So tell me, how could that be a bad thing?
o this message was brought to you by The Narrator @ 5:25 PM
I really hate watching 'cinema copy' movies. I cringe at the sight of a less-than-perfect picture on my TV screen. Maybe it's the laughter from the audience that bugs me. I could understand that if it's 'Friends', but this is a movie, for Pete's sake! Or maybe I just don't like watching movies with silhouettes of people crossing the screen every 10 minutes. I guess I never learned my lesson. I've encountered this DVD 'gambar wayang' thingy since the days of VCD haram. Me, being the eager beaver that I am, always wants the latest from Tinseltown:
"Wahhhh...citer ni dah ada dah? (while browsing thru the ring-binded catalog of your friendly neighbourhood penjual DVD haram)
Which leaves me in possession of 'Green Street Hooligans' and 'Jarhead' all in glorious Technicolor cinema color. Damn you apek 'Gambar manyak cantek ohhhh while-giving-the-thumbs-up-sign'! Cilaka lu!
o this message was brought to you by The Narrator @ 2:26 PM
I've never been a big fan of Australia. Maybe because I'm influenced by the Mahathir era. Maybe because they're confused whether they're East or West. Or maybe because I just don't like Steve Irwin wrestling those crocodiles. Blimey! But honestly, when Australia was drawn to play Uruguay in a World Cup Qualifying Play-off, I was for the Aussies. The last (and only) time they qualified for the Biggest Show on Earth was back in 1974. 1974?? Where were you in 1974? I love it when sporting events are held in Australia. They're much more watch-able. With a time difference of just a few hours, I don't have to burn the midnight oil just to watch some mat sallehs kicking balls. So I was excited when kick-off time for the second (and final) leg of the playoff was at 4.45 pm local time. After work, I head straight back home hoping for the almost non-existent traffic jam in Seremban to remain that way. I think World Cup qualifying playoff games are up there along with the big finals in terms of nerve-wrecking. Just imagine, it's do-or-die. You win, you go to the World Cup. Lose, and you wait another 4 years, for another chance. How demoralizing is that? And after all those grueling group stages and the traveling and everything, you return empty handed. Don't even talk to them about disappointments. To the match itself: It was a great game. The build-up to it was more exciting. War of words between both sides. Psychological mind games. Who said football was just a game? Even I, as a neutral armchair supporter was getting into the match. I could feel the tension and anxiety in the Telstra Stadium as the minutes passed. And it occurred to me then, that I feel this way for some country I'm not even keen of. When am I going to feel this sort of excitement for the Malaysian team? Let's not even talk about World Cup qualifying when we don't even qualify for the Asia Cup. Dream on, Stone. Even the TV commentators were being emotional. It was quite un-professional, I feel. But I could understand that, as it was on Australian TV and they weren't shy to show who they were rooting for. And in the end, it came down to penalties. After 210 minutes, their fate was in God's hands. Penalties are quite unfair. It's like winning the lottery. If you were meant to win, whatever happens, you're gonna win for sure. But I'm not taking anything away from Mark Schwarzer. I think he made 2 great penalty saves to send the Aussies to Germany next year. As the stadium erupted as John Aloisi converted his spot kick, it was a sight to behold. People were jumping and screaming. Fans were invading the pitch. You could feel the whole nation celebrating as one on such a special occasion. That's the power of sports. It can bring us apart, yet it can also unite us all. As the celebrations carried on with the tune of Men At Work's 'Land Down Under' ringing around the stadium, I congratulate Australia and the other 4 playoff teams who qualified for the World Cup. With all 32 teams in place, the countdown to Germany has begun.
o this message was brought to you by The Narrator @ 5:19 PM
I rarely ever blog about my life in College. I find that quite awkward since they were some of the best times in my life. I never regretted one bit of it, even though I pretty much screwed up my 1st year in Uni. But it was a great experience and one that I would have gone through, if not better if I had another chance. I found this piece as I was going through my old computer during my uni days. It was meant to be published for the College magazine during my final year. But as with all things me, it never was submitted and thus, never saw the light of day. So, since this is my blog (insert I can do whatever I want cliche' here) I thought, heck why not? I tweaked a teeny bit of this just to make it more relevant, but I tried not to alter things much just to preserve its originality. With that, this is my A-Z of Life in Dayasari (that's Fifth College to you):
A is for Adiratna The highest honour bestowed upon a Collegian. The recipient usually becomes THE centre of attraction during Annual Dinner. They say it's also a babe magnet, but I noticed that only one of the past recipients graduated with an awek. Betul ke, Apai? :p
B is for Bangunan Peperiksaan Everything you learned for the whole semester (for some people, everything last night) is tested here. Also famous for its sub-zero temperatures.
C is for Co-op Just like 7 Eleven except that it's not open 24 hours and they don't sell Durex.
D is for DTC The place where we dream of collecting our scrolls, and not some sports complex in Bukit Jalil.
E is for Empty How it is in college during the weekends.
F is for FFC A group of die hard, fanatical supporters of Fifth College usually seen during SUKMUM. Also makes English football hooligans look like wimps.
G is for Gold The colour of medals usually won by Fifth College athletes.
H is for Home A place some seniors haven't gone to for a looooonnnggg time.
I is for Internet Something we wished we had in our rooms. Until then, we'll just envy 10th College...sigh (I heard the whole of UM is now wired. Wi-fi lagi. Demn.)
J is for Juniors What the seniors look forward to every time a new session starts.
K is for KFC They don't sell hot and spicy chicken, but they do have sup ekor, nasi pattaya and anything local you can think of. Even the Colonel would be proud. (For those in the dark, KFC stands for Kantin Fifth College)
L is for Lobby A favourite place to hangout after lunch and at night. Also functions as a meeting place, dance floor, and a place to open all sorts of useless counters.
M is for Master Beloved and respected. (This is for the Master at the time. When I was finishing, the new guy errrr...can I say sucked?)
N is for Nine The number we love to hate.
O is for OPAC Very useful when doing assignments and final year project, even though the computers look like they have the same age as we are.
P is for PSP Also known as Festival Seni, it's the only time of year where guys are forgiven for wearing lipstick and makeup.
Q is for Queue What you don't see at the bus stop but surprisingly, normally seen at the 'Dewan Makan'.
R is for Rimba Ilmu The place that houses and breeds the most devastating creature in Fifth College...monkeys. (The monkeys are long gone and extinct nowadays)
S is for SUKMUM An event we totally dominate to the point that you pity the other colleges that get beaten up every year.
T is for Tentera No shortage of these around when you have the whole PALAPES squadron here.
U is for Uncle The lovable guy who helms the office counter. The keeper of all keys. (Uncle has sinced retired)
V is for Video camera What the guys at KAVFO handles best.
W is for Water cooler Despite the name, the ones in Fifth rarely produce cold water. Also functions as a place for spitting and washing cooking utensils.
X is for Xerox machine What we wish to have available in College.
Y is for Yellow The colour of the toilet bowls and urinals in Fifth.
Z is for Zero The number of words that start with Z that I can think of that has anything to do with life in Dayasari and UM.
o this message was brought to you by The Narrator @ 10:48 PM
Setelah mendengar 'single' terbaru mereka, saya dengan jujur dan ikhlasnya merasakan bahawa JD sangat, sangat mengingatkan saya kepada Michael Hutchence. Gaya, persona, 'flamboyance' (dalam BM flamboyan ke? Macam orang Boyan je) dan 'cockiness' (ke'anu'an?) mereka seakan sama. Tahniah! Pilihan anda memang tepat, INXS.
o this message was brought to you by The Narrator @ 5:16 PM
I think Fly FM is too Hitz Fm-ish for my liking. Meaning? An overplay of hip hop gedebak gedebuk music. The only reason I tune in is to hear Fly Guy crack his stupid jokes.
And just when I thought Mix had replayed Fine Young Cannibals a gazillion times, they introduced Whatever Weekend. Wahlauu! Songs-that-I-used-to-like-but-totally-forgot-about (read: one hit wonders) are now playing during the weekends. White Town's 'Your Woman' and The Proclaimers' 'I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)' are examples of "Shit, lama sial tak denga lagu ni" while turning up the volume moments.
And because of that too, I am a recently turned Dire Straits devotee. Swing baby swing!
o this message was brought to you by The Narrator @ 5:31 PM
I've been following this weblog by some school seniors in the run-up to next year's OBW (that's Old Boys' Weekend to you). I was particularly amused by this certain entry. It brought up old memories of main railing (a cross between sepak takraw and football played at the dormitory railings), the multi-purpose and ever useful gayung (or Chez Bok :P) and even Friday prayer times spent up in the loteng. Ahhhh...it's ever so easy to reminisce about how things were great back in school. In all honesty, it wasn't all nice and rosy. Egos clashing (boys being boys), the post-puberty dilemma (not helped by being in a single-sex environment), hormones raging and experimenting with everything under the sun. Yet, these are all but a small dot on the bigger picture that is the great memory of growing up with friends brothers. It's funny how school ties can transcend boundaries. You may come from different generations, but there's always that feeling of brotherhood. Somehow, you always feel like you can relate. And being old boys, you always talk about how things were better during your time. Warga tua talk? Nama pun old boys. Actually, I have no intention of going to OBW next year. After attending in 2004, I thought I'd lay low for a couple of years before making my journey back to Ipoh. But after reading the weblog and seeing the spirit and organisation of the Organising Committee, I might think of checking into the 6 Seasons Ho(s)tel. And if they can get Marion, considered I'm there already.
o this message was brought to you by The Narrator @ 5:27 PM
Went to visit the dentist yesterday. It's been quite a while since I last visited, so I forgot how horrible a visit to the doktor gigi can be. I kept reminding myself that it's only a teeny weeny part of my mouth. It's not like he's performing brain surgery on me or something. But what is it with dentists and their small talk? Well, I know you're supposed to make the patient feel comfortable and all that but how the hell am I supposed to talk while you're drilling away on my teeth? And I think they have this mastery over gurgling, nonsense language:
So, where are you working? (while some metal thingamajig with a buzzing sound is stuck in my mouth)
Ohh..I see. How long have you been there?
Very good then. Well, you see...I have this problem with my house. Yada yada yada house yada architect yada MPS yada yada denda yada what to do??
Hmmm...so now I just follow up with them lah? Alright, we're all done now. Do you have a card or anything in case I need to contact you?
NO. I DO NOT have one. My teeth feels bloody numb, I almost choked on my saliva and my glasses are soaking wet from your drilling cum water dispenser thingy. And you keep asking me questions non-stop. What else do you want??!
No, I'm sorry doctor. I don't have one. Smiles.
I'm such a phony.
o this message was brought to you by The Narrator @ 5:07 PM
Another Hari Raya passes by. Another one for the memory book. My annual Aidilfitri actually looks roughly the same every year. Eid prayers at the masjid. Visiting my aunts and uncles in the Seremban area. Paying my respects to Atuk, Nenek and Adik who have passed away. Short detour to Mambau. And hosting the whole family at night before finishing up at Pak Yib's house around midnight. By then, all the ketupats, rendangs and chocolate cake starts to kick in and you really feel like it's been a long day. Going to bed on the first day of Syawal has never been a difficult task. This year's Aidilfitri has been significant in its own way. This year marks the last (Insya-Allah) Hari Raya for my sister as an anak dara. This time next year she'll be somebody's wife and who knows, I might become an uncle myself. I guess it will be kinda weird to have a new member of the family, but I shall look forward to these changes next year. The thought of EE not being around the house on Hari Raya eve is a bit sentimental too. And there were a few absentees this year as well. Hari Raya regulars such as Bang Dan and Bang Pit were not around in the country to celebrate with us. Not forgetting too, were those who have left us the past year. Their absence was really felt, especially for close family members. Though they might not still be around, the memories still remain and adds to the melancholic mood of the celebration. It also serves as a reminder to hope that we be lucky enough to greet the next Ramadhan. And me? It's a special time of the year and I count my blessings for the wonderful family and friends that I have. A simple greeting from an old friend who I haven't seen for some time really makes it all worthwhile. But it's funny that 2 certain greetings really touched me. Maybe because of the simple fact that it's from old friends. Or maybe because they don't celebrate Aidilfitri at all.
o this message was brought to you by The Narrator @ 5:11 PM
It's quiet here in the office. Typical day? Not quite.
Haven't seen some action for a while. You know what they say, absence makes you go weak. I'm not weak. Last week's fiasco at the joint proves that. You should have seen it. The fear in their eyes. Something to live for. They say the eyes are a dead giveaway. How true. Never show 'em the eyes. No matter how much you're pissing in your Calvin Kleins. You just don't. Never. Ever.
Miss J is still on leave. I miss her morning greetings already. You big mush. There's something about a woman's voice and smell that really makes your day. At times it can be blinding. You just gotta know the difference.
Am looking forward to tonight. The Keeper has something he wants to say. I wonder what he wants. I haven't seen the guy for quite a while. He rarely makes an appearance but when he does, you can bet your dimes and nickels people pay attention. He's one slick fella too. Never done business with the guy. Never had a reason to. But they say you don't mess around with him. You never mess around with guys like The Keeper. He knows everyone up there. He mixes around with the big boys. And you don't want to mess around with the big boys, do you?
The silence here is killing me.
Only the sound of an old Carrier buzzing away breaks the morning stillness. I wonder what 'ol Kay is doing. Maybe I should ask him if he wants to hear what The Keeper has to say. I don't think he's interested. Kay has been busy these past few weeks. I guess it's the new dame he's with. Nice gal, she is. Unlike the dames that hang around the neighbourhood. They're sharper than your double-edged razor blade. If you're not careful, you might cut yourself. And blood and dames makes a dangerous concoction.
I looked at the clock hanging on the wall. It's almost time.
I gathered my stuff and left the place. The town is quiet today. Must be the festivities. Hmph.
Holidays. They're so over-rated.
It's a nice town that I live in. But then things are always pretty on the surface. Let me tell ya sometimes things can get pretty ugly. And when it does, you don't want to hang around and find out. But it's a decent place. You've got your nice shopkeepers and your friendly townspeople. They're a bunch of okay people. Oprah would be proud.
I reached Joe's a little over past eight. There was a huge crowd there already. I wriggled my way through the crowd and found myself a nice spot. There was this huge runt beside me with a face that's seen a million brawls. I wonder if his nose is where it used to be.
"Hi." He nods half-heartedly.
"You're here for The Keeper?" "What does it look like to you?"
I just can't wait for The Keeper's appearance. This place stinks. Like the rotten eggs they serve down at the yard. And the air was filled with clouds of smoke coming out of their Marlboros and Camels. I could die breathing in all this shit.
And so the moment arrives. Finally. You could see the anticipation on everyone's face. Even Mr. Butt Ugly beside me was excited. Though I was excited myself, I put on my usual poker face.
The Keeper looked nice and healthy for a man his age. Only the old wrinkles on the neck gave away the years that he's been through. He started off by greeting everyone tonight. Then he went through the usual diddle daddle. Yada yada stuff. Hurry up, will ya?
And finally, it came.
What everyone was waiting for. We waited with baited breath. What will The Keeper say? Is it? Won't it? What??
And so the words finally came out,
*For maximum results, read in black and white film noir-ish tone.
o this message was brought to you by The Narrator @ 1:17 PM