Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy 2009

"I think New Year’s party countdown is the biggest anticlimax."

A Scottish guy told me while we were drinking wine on an island off coast Ho Chi Minh City on New Year ’s Eve a few years ago.

Isn’t it true?

What exactly happen after the count down? Other than it’s another day, nothing! Absolutely nothing. In fact you actually interrupted your merry making for a moment for that. Again by that I mean nothing!

How much fun did you have during your last New Year ’s Eve reveling? What was the significance of it? I don’t think many of us can recall as vividly.

How about your new year’s resolution? Let’s face it, how many of us actually resolute and resolve enough to see that throughout the year?

So, at the end of the day, what’s the point?

Well, I suppose we all can, and we should start the new year with as much cheers, joyfulness, enthusiasms and most important of all, hopes as possible, especially in the current gloomy and volatile economic climate.

So, go on then. Have a blast. Rock on!

There’ll be no plan for a big bash for me to usher in 2009. I’d probably be sipping wine and shooting fireworks from a balcony.

Happy New Year 2009!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Let's Party!

Georgetown and Malacca were in-scripted into the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO as the historic cities along the Strait of Malacca July this year. Malaysians should be proud with such honor, being acknowledged for our tireless effort in heritage preservation as well as being able to share such marvelous places of such importance to humanity and universal interest with the rest of world. We have all the reasons to party.

Party we did. There was a huge concert in town celebrating the occasion in November. In typical Malaysian style, there were so much pomp and pageantry, song and dance. Even the King and Queen were there. It was indeed joyous and colorful night.

Well at the same time, the UNESCO World Heritage committee was reviewing to revoke the World Heritage Site status of Georgetown, following the approval of FOUR high rise hotel development project in the heritage core zone and buffer zone. 

Such a big slap in the face.

Yay! Party!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Overheard #8

"When you make something idiot-proof, the world makes better idiots."

So why bother?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday Lunch Turned Dinner

What was planned to be lunch ended up becoming dinner instead, all due to the evil of procrastination and lazing around a little bit too long in bed. It was quite a lot of work and I did went through the whole shebang, not only cooking the spicy sambal, but roasting the peanuts, frying the anchovies, preparing hard boiled eggs and cucumber slices. In the end I totally enjoyed my labour of passion. I love to eat, a lot!

Yum yum! 

Dare I say it was really tasty. Really.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fatty Boonsky

It's official: I'm gaining weight!

Yay!

I've been maintaining this stick-like frame and this feather weight for like for ever. I've been trying my darnedest to pack on some poundage. Most importantly I'm just sick of everyone telling I'm getting thinner.

I'm now 143 pound. I gained 2 wonderful lovely pounds.

I'd just like to think that it's muscle mass, not lardy fat.

Oh whatever it is, yay again!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Scent of an Afternoon

On a gloomy rainy Saturday afternoon, I got my place permeated with the fragrance of the freshly baked blueberry muffins. Absolutely warm and delightful.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

CCTV

Last Friday I lodged a police report regarding my wallet got stolen at the gym locker room. I still could not shake off the echo of the question the police officer asked me resonating in my head. How ridiculous and how funny it sounded.

"Is there a CCTV installed in there?"

Dude, it's a gym locker room, not a softcore gay porn production house!

I'm still laughing my head off when I think about it.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Alien

My wallet was stolen at the gym locker room last Friday, primarily due to my own carelessness. (Read: Extreme stupidity!) I went in at lunch time for my yoga class. After changing, I slammed the locker door shut but forgot to yank the key along, leaving it dangling there for one good hour. There you had it, a free pass for any ruthless bastardy fucking opportunist. So, one did take the advantage.

Everything gone! Money, ID, driver’s license, credit cards, bank cards, medical card, donor card, and membership cards, all gone!

The only photo ID cards I have now are my gym membership card and my office security pass. Both are inadmissible and invalid to prove my identity in the eyes of law. I was without proper papers.

I’m now illegal, I'm an alien, for the weekend at least.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Home Invasion

My place was invaded by strangers again. Well technically the place is not mine, it's belongs to my brother who's currently working in Vietnam with his wife. And technically the strangers were not exactly strangers, it was the sister of my sister-in-law, but we hardly knew each other. 

So I got the text from her in the morning after coming out from a meeting. She was asking if she could come over and set up camp for the day with some colleagues to work at my place since there was a black out at her office.

I replied her with a green light. And then it hit me again, such a deja vu. I was reminded when my sister R and her family moved in unannounced some months ago. I was scanning my place in my head again. Oh damn! My place was not exactly presentable at the moment, quite a mess in fact. And I knew it! It was too late, they must have let themselves in already. They (my brother and the wife) keep a set of spare keys with her.

Indeed. Moments after my reply she sent me another text asking for the password for my wireless internet connection at home. 

OH DAMN! I knew it.

Damage was done. There was no point crying over spilt milk anyway. As long as they just worked at the living room it would be alright. More importantly, as long as they didn't get into my room.

When I got home that night I could feel that people were there, things were definitely moved. 

And they got into my room!

They went in and grabbed the extension cord for the laptops probably. I was rather surprised that they went into my room without informing me. I know it was just the extension cord, and they even put it back. But they were trespassing into private property. It was my room, my guarded fort, my secret garden, my personal space. 

Seriously, I felt violated.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Unromantic Paris

Standing beneath the landmark of love and romance, on a beautifully crisp summer morning, I neither felt any sense of romance nor passion, not the least bit. I was not overcame by any sort of emotion. I was simply indifference.

Perhaps it was the overflowing crowd.

Perhaps I was sleepy.

Perhaps I was tired.

Perhaps I was jetlagged.

Perhaps because you weren't there with me.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Treat


A friend brought these little colorful pastry cakes from home for me. Some were sweet filling, some savory. Honestly, I'm not really a fan. But on a quiet Saturday morning, it made quite a nice treat with a cup of coffee. 

Thanks a lot, A.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Note to Self

Friday evening.

I dragged my sorry ass into the locker room after an hour of twisting and stretching and balancing in the yoga class. A quick splash under the shower I went into the sauna room.

It was relatively crowded than usual. I grabbed a spot next to the door. Just as I sat down, the door opened, four young chaps came in.

They fucking left the door opened.

What a bunch of idiots!

I stood up and slammed the door shut. Then gave them a nasty look. I hoped they got the message.

They neither apologized for leaving the door opened nor thanked me for closing the door.

Moments later the door opened again. In came another 2 guys.

They fucking left the door opened.

Another bunch of idiots!

Again, I stood up and slammed the door shut. Then gave them a nasty look. I hoped they got the message.

Well, this time around at least they were apologetic.

These two little incidents over ten minutes got me riled up pretty good.

Then I realized it was Friday evening. What was the point of getting irked by a bunch of stupid strangers? Where was the negative energy coming from? Why was I running on such a short fuse?

I could have just closed the door with a smile just as easily, and be done with it.

Note to self: Don't get mad at the morons, there are just too many of them around.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Don't Give Up

R, as you rejoice solemnly in this Festival of Lights, remember and reflect on the spirit of the festivity itself, that light can prevail over darkness, the good can triumph over the evil.

Keep fighting. Don't give up.

Wishing you and your family a joyful Diwali.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Overheard #7

"Food is everything."

Definitely!

I'm crazy about Indian cuisine now. Love it.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Baking Adventure

Feeling adventurous and ambitious, I baked an apple pie. Pie making is perhaps the most challenging endeavor I have ever taken in my short but glorious baking career. (Ahem...) It was serious business, that required tedious and meticulous preparation and execution. The dough for the pie crust must not be over worked, the butter must be well chilled and the pie making dos-and-don'ts list goes on and on. In the end, it was risky business too, as chances to suceed and to fail are equally just as great. It would certainly be disheartening, if not annoying to find that the pie turn out crappy after slaving for hours kneading and whisking and cutting and chopping.



In the end, mine turned out like this: dough was not enough for the crust, pie crust slightly burnt and the apple filling was a tad too moist and too sweet. Well it was tasty nonetheless, according to me!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Overheard #6

"We were poor when I was growing up. When you have nothing, you make things."

So stop whining you rich spoiled brat, make things happen. Just do it.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

I Can Use Some...

Blue sky. Blue waters. Blue mountain. I can use some of those.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

"I'm OK." Am I?

Dad was admitted into hospital for an operation after a fall. I went home with my sister to play the good son part, talking with the doctors, seeking second opinions, camping at the hospital, attending to dad, updating families, dealing with visitors and so on. Gratefully, the operation went well. When dad was discharged, I stayed on at home for a little longer, mainly taking care of dad and helping mom around the house.

Dad is diabetic. The healing time, especially the surgical wound might be longer. Therefore we ensured he took his medication taken religiously. Mom prepared his meals accordingly and I would control the portion stringently. His blood sugar level was monitored at least twice a day.

I found that dad was perhaps slightly depressed and anxious about his recovery, his ability to walk again after the operation. He was becoming cranky and moody. I called a counselor friend in to speak with dad, trying to get into his head and get him motivated. We gained some insights, hopefully would be able to communicate with him better and cheer him on.

Dad was bed-ridden for almost a month prior to the operation. His muscle strength was deteriorating significantly, quite a challenge for him to even stand up on his own, let alone walk. I resorted doing simple work out with him two to three times a day. We helped him to start walking again with the walker frame, as frequent as possible, as ordered by the doctor. But how would he maintain the exercise routine when I return to KL for work? We talked about hiring a physio-therapist. Then my sister came back and we agreed that she would take over the working out part.

One of the most troubling troubles was whether mom would be able to cope with dad’s care taking when all of us kids go back to our work. While mom was adamant that she would be fine but we have our reservations. Together we explored several options such as getting a live-in maid to help around the house, and even sending dad to an elderly home. In the end we decided to sleep on these options and would just cross the bridge when we come to it.

Truth be told, those were a lot of work. They weren't some challenging laborious hard work though, most of merely some errands. But I supposed under such intense and stressful circumstances, it could be quite draining emotionally.

Friends and family had been calling, emailing and text-ing with the well wishes and to check how I was holding up. I told them I was doing OK, business as usual. I replied them very matter-of-factly. Indeed, I found myself getting through fine. Everything over dad's operation was dealt with mechanically and objectively, almost devoid of any emotion.

Business as usual!

Devoid of emotion!

I was, well still am, not certain if that was a good thing. One certain thing, to me, it sounded cold. Heartless. Emotion was cast aside. Somehow I was able to detach my feelings almost completely. Everything was an issue or just another problem at hand, which could be defined and clearly expressed with a problem statement. With some deep digging into the root cause, looking into cost benefit, identifying then mitigating risks, solutions were formulated, with contingency plan in place. All the who-does-what-and-when-and-where-and-hows were set. The problem could be resolved!

Perhaps I was being an optimist.

Dad was hospitalized and went through an operation. All that was reduced simply to a scientific problem with a means to an end.

Perhaps that was how I deal with things. That was my fight-or-flight response.

Too mechanical! Too objective! Too systematic!

Too cold!

I'm an engineer, well a man of science one may say. In science, everything must have got a sensible, scientific explanation. Facts are facts, universal and indisputable. Emotions have neither part nor value in the search of solution or making judgment call or drawing a conclusion. That’s how science works. That’s how an engineer functions.

I kept telling myself that.

I keep telling myself that, still.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

The Waiting Game

The medical orderlies and nurses came to get dad for the operation. The elevator was too small for all of us. They took the elevator. Mom, sis and I, we took the stairs, a floor down to the operation theatre. They stopped us at the door. That was as far as we were allowed to go. Dad was wheeled into the operation theatre. It was 9:30 am.

We were told to wait at the waiting area at the exit of the operation theatre. There were few stiff wooden chairs and a slouchy old couch. Why are all the waiting areas at the hospital so bare minimum, so awful, so grey? Good thing it was well lit, but still it’s lifeless. And worst still, hopeless.

So, the waiting begun. We sat around quietly and talked occasionally. A family friend was there waiting with mom, keeping her company. I flipped the magazine pages. Everyone fidgeted endlessly at their seats, trying to find that comfortable spot at the uncomfortable seat. Everyone tried looking at the clock, tried looking at the clock and not letting the rest knowing. The waiting was painfully slow, excruciatingly so.

The doctor said the surgery should take about 2 hours. By 11:30 am, the doors remained shut and still. If time had been inching by so very slowly for the last two hours, it was now zooming by at light years speed. Time could be healing but time could be so cruel at times. Everyone looked at the clock more frequently, wondering why was it taking so long. The minds were ravaged by an emotional tsunami, but the body must remain calm and collected. It was draining.

I remembered an afternoon during my high school years, I got so frustrated waiting for dad to fetch me home. Time ticked by annoyingly sluggish. I hated waiting. I still do. The afternoon heat was unbearable. It was hot, I was angry. I got so mad looking at the second ticked by on my watch, I yanked it off, started whipping in on the wall. I just kept going at it. Time finally stopped. I broke that bloody watch. I remembered dad bought me that watch.

Then there was one evening I waited for dad to pick me up after a tuition class. It was early evening when the class ended. I waited for about 2 hours and he have not showed up still. I started walking. To walk home, I think it’d take me a good two hours. It was getting dark, but I just kept walking. But I remembered very vividly I was calm, extraordinarily calm. My pace was slow and steady, in no way hasty. I was strolling in fact, almost leisurely. I was so calm that evening, to this day I’m still surprise at myself, why had I not erupted furiously? So did my sister Y, who came rushing, found me walking by the road. She pulled over, I got on the car. We drove home silently.

How I was hoping for that unperturbed calmness be upon me as I was fidgeting at the slouchy couch, waiting restlessly. But it never came.

The door suddenly opened. They wheeled dad out. He was groggy and exhausted from the surgery. The doctor said everything went well. We let out a collective sigh of relief.

It was 12:30 pm.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Festive Wishes

As we put on the colorful new garments for this wonderful festival of Eid ul-Fitr, may we find in our hearts the strength to seek forgiveness and to forgive, to accept and respect each other as equals, to come together making this a truly meaningful and colorful celebration.

Oh, may we find in our stomachs the ample space to stuff ourselves silly with the delectable spread of festive goodies too.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Walk With Me

Sometimes you just need someone to walk with you. Everything will be easier, lighter and clearer.

Everything will be better.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Paris Surprise

We hurried into Centre Pompidou to shelter from the downpour. As we left, the sky turned grey and the rain resumed. The rain certainly dampened my excitement and enthusiasm to enjoy Paris city. It seemed that my day, my only day in the beautiful and vibrant city was going to be a wet and gloomy one.

But as my friend Parisian, V and I walked towards to his motorbike, we came across a quirky fountain next to Centre Pompidou. What caught my eyes were the brightly colored cartoonish sculptures in the fountain. Then to my surprise, the music came on and the sculptures came alive, moving about the fountain, swirling and dancing to the music while spraying water, like the far away fantasy land in the children's books. It was simply fun and cheerful. 

See, if you look close enough and carefully enough, you will surely find beauty in any place, under any circumstance.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Running And Paying

My friend Y telling me that he's training for a marathon. It got my funny bone tickled. No, I mean running bone. Running a marathon has been always on my to-do list. It's always a dream. So far it reminds as one still. One beautiful dream. Hearing him going on about his training programs, getting new shoes and equipment, registering for prep races etc. got the amber in the back burner stoked again.

While the flame of desire and passion, for running a marathon that is, was burning hotter and brighter then ever, I climbed onto the treadmill on Friday evening for a good ol' hamster run. One solid hour later, I logged exactly 11 clicks.

I was pretty happy. Proud indeed.

Then, over the weekend, I couldn't walk up a flight of stairs or step on the gas without cringing (in my heart of course) over the tormenting spasm in my thighs and quads and feet.

Not too happy anymore. But still proud though.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Gone In 60 Seconds

Waking up to a beautifully sunny Saturday morning.

Wanting for some comfort food breakfast, something tasty, something sweet, something heavy, something greasy, something high calorie, something unhealthy, something sinful...

Then I slaved myself in the kitchen cooking away. OK I 'fess up: I used pancake mix out from a box, but all the whisking and frying were tough work. And the result...




5 minutes later

I was happy.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Better Place


On this very same day seven years ago the world changed for ever. Unfortunately, not for the better. With the change came along pain so tremendous and suffering so great. Are we ever going to recover from that terrible and dark episode?

So, on this day, cry your eyes out, grieve for those who parted, remember those we loss for both the sorrow of such abrupt departure and the joy we had with them, light a candle, say a prayer, have a moment of silence.

Then, count your blessings, learn about the lives of the others, embrace the difference, respect the diversity of values and perspectives, have faith in humanity, kiss your family, hug your friends, wave to passerbys, smile to strangers, trust each other, love each other, be brave, live life, just LIVE.

The world can be a better place.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Ballons

The brightly colored Helium gas filled balloons floating around a candy stall caught my eyes, as I walked past after dinner at a shopping mall some Friday nights ago. Immediately I thought of getting a couple for my twin nephews. Imagine how thrill they would be!

So I stopped by to check with the stall keeper if those balloons were on sale. Indeed they were. Excellent!

"How much each?" I asked.

"Sixty." She replied.

"What?!" I could not believe what I just heard.

"Six-zero?" I confirmed.

She nodded, smilingly.

"That's pretty steep, isn't it?" I said to stall keeper, which was an absolute understatement. What actually on my mind, I didn't think it was appropriate to tell her.

She nodded again, this time sheepishly.

What was actually on my mind that I wanted to say to her?

"What? Are you high on something? Or do you think I'm high on something that you can charge me such an atrocious price for a bloody balloon?"

I couldn't say that to her, could I?

I walked away.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I Swear

What is the best way to clear one’s name when it’s being dragged through the mud? The best way to do it, frankly I do not know. But the fab way nowadays, that I certainly know, it’s swearing in the name of the Holy Quran.

First, the alleged sodomy victim, M Saiful Bukhari Azlan did it to show the seriousness and weight of his allegation, that he was sexually violated by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, his former boss, the former deputy prime minister who now the de-facto leader of the opposition party.

Then there were calls from various quarters asking Anwar to do the same thing to counter-clear his name. Unfortunately he did not do it. Well, not yet anyway.

Later, the current deputy prime minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, did the same thing to deny any link of himself to the high profile murder case of the Mongolian lady, Altantuya.

Now, the Perak state UMNO chief Datuk Ser M Tajol Rosli also ready to do the same thing, the clear his name from being accused of master-minding the arrest of the two Perak State assemblymen, from the opposition party, by the Anti Corruption Agency, ACA.

Well, I'm not a muslim and I'm certainly not an Islamic scholar. But somehow I have a feeling that all these swearing on the Holy Quran things are not sitting right. It's gimmicky. It's cheap. And dragging religion into the mess, it's disrespectful. Hey, we all know politicians are spineless and gutless liars. Who would actually buy their words, even if they swore by the holy book?

Gee, I wonder who's next swearing on the Holy Quran?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

"Congratulation Beijing"

16 days of sporting competition of the 29th Olympic Games celebrating humanity, friendships, peace and dreams was finally drawing to a close. 

The opening ceremony was spectacularly amazing, the closing ceremony was just equally magnificent. 

Quoting Jacques Rogge during the opening ceremony.

"祝賀北京"

Job well done in hosting the greatest sporting event in the world.

Beijing, you rock!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Stuff I Saw In Mauritania, Africa

I saw a kid asking for leftovers at a restaurant while the waiter was clearing the table. I also saw families feasting on mechoui, a whole lamb slowly roasted for 8 hours to perfection.

I saw old junk cars, literally readily falling into pieces any moment packed with people roaming the street. Heck I even saw donkey carts on the road. I also saw monstrous 4x4s and big ass SUVs and fancy wheels like Jeep and beamer 5 series.

I saw kids running around in dusty and crusty old over-sized shirts. I also saw ladies wearing beautiful and brightly colored malaffa, a cloak wrapped around the body from head to toe, flowing gracefully in the wind. I also saw men wearing boubous,  a long robes with intricate embroideries and costing a bomb.

I saw a family living with their goats and chickens in a flimsy shed built from scraped metal sheets and tarps, needles to say with no running water and electricity. Life is certainly tough. But a 180 turn around I saw Jeep driving into a garage, door remotely controlled, of a solid brick house, fenced up by a 6-foot high wall.

I saw men coming back of the day from the violent Atlantic drenched in sweat and sea water and smelling like fish. I saw ladies in their pretty malaffa, all dolled up waiting on shore to pick up the freshest of sea produce.

I saw men sitting by the road in the scorching heat of mid day by the road, selling cell phone credit reload cards. I saw men setting up his sewing machine under a tree next to the main drag sewing for a living. I also saw men in the pin-stripe suits and silk ties sitting in front of the desktops typing away or discoursing away in meetings, in a air-condition office.

I saw kids with their little faces infested with flies. I saw ladies with faces delicate and smooth with cosmetic products.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sahara



I went to the Sahara again last evening. The sand was still warm to the touch, as the sun had been merciless to them all day. The wind was picking up though, sweeping across the Sahara dunes soothingly, dissipating the heat. The mid day sun was so ferocious but the fluffy clouds in the evening softened its rays. The desert was silent but the wind was howling. The dunes seemed calm but the sand was swirling restlessly. The vast Sahara was mighty and harsh but the sand I was sinking my feet in was super fine and super soft. The land is arid but certainly not lifeless. The elements of nature at work here are extremely powerful, and may appear to be contradicting, but they are very much in complementary and often amazingly breath-taking. The sun baking the sand golden brown. The wind shaping the dunes and drawing beautiful sand wave lines.

How does one not fall in love with such delicate beauty of the nature? How does one not in awe confronted with such magnificent demonstration of the power and grace of nature? How does one not feel small in the face of such endless greatness of nature?






Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I'm HAPPY.

Here I am in Nouakchott for almost 3 weeks already. 20 days 1 hour and 45 minutes to be exact, but who's counting anyway?

Tonight, I had my first beer!!!

I then walloped another 2!!

I'm HAPPY.

I know I'm easily amused. The simplest thing in life makes me the happiest.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Overheard #5

"Men age gracefully. Women age."

Women age... Yeah, if you are lucky.

I know, I'm a pig.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Wild Africa

Excited beyond words!

That's how I felt when my boss told me to pack up for a short gig for work in Nouakchott, Mauritania, northwestern Africa. It was quite a short notice thing, which left me excited beyond words  and panting heavily from rushing around arranging for visa, flight and vaccination jabs. Well, definitely a heck lot more excited than panting.

And of course I shared the wonderful news with my friends.

"Oh cool! Say hi to the elephants to me." A friend joked knowing my Africa trip.

"Beware of the wild beasts." My ex-classmate, C warned me.

"See any lion yet?" My buddy, Y asked me online when I logged on.

I've been here for almost 3 weeks. So far, the wild animals I've seen here are donkeys pulling carts on the street and a bunch of goats. Plus the few peacocks in the office yard. Actually there isn't a big chance for the wild beast encounters as almost 75% of the Mauritanian land is desert. I went to the desert at the edge of Nouakchott over the weekend, well, no camel sighting too. 


Friday, July 18, 2008

What Say You?

I saw these along the way on my train ride from the airport to Paris. I mean ALL along the way. Some say it's ugly. Some say it's cool. Some say it's rage. Some say it's expression. Some say it's trashy. Some say it's creativity. Some say it's illegal. Some say it's alright. Some say it's vandalism. Some say it's art.

What say you? 




And even this.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Je T'aime, Paris

Day-tripping in Paris while on transit to Africa. Hope to stay for a couple of days in the City of Lights on my returning leg. More pix to come.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Bottleneck

It hit me as the plane was landing at Charles De Gaulle. It's summer and the field flanking the runway was dotted with beautiful small white wild flowers. They reminded me of those pictures I took, and really like, in the Chilean Patagonia, Ottawa and even Miri. Then I found myself wandering when was the last time I shot and produced something I really happy with. Man that was so long ago! 

I think I've lost it. I no longer can take beautiful photographs. By beautiful I mean something I personally would like and be proud of. 

Perhaps I should take a few steps back, examining the reason for every click of the camera, evaluating my passion for the art of photography. Where am I heading with with this passion? What am I trying to share through the images? What are the stories the subjects in the pictures are telling me, telling us? How can I assist them best through my lens?

I took these at the park at the Eiffel Tower. Little white flowers, simple and graceful and pure, the essence of photography. Well, to me at least. 
 

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Tonight...

I'm going to AFRICA!!!

Well, it's for work. But hey I'm going to AFRICA!!!


Monday, June 09, 2008

Strong Legs

My friend, A (not a Malaysian) and I went to Krabi over the long weekend. We flew with Air Asia. Our flight back to KL was scheduled to take off at 12:50 pm on Sunday.

This was one hour plus before the flight AND there was no boarding call yet. These people, mostly my fellow countrymen were already lining up, wanting to get onboard, beating the rest and grabbing the best seat in the flight. Super duper fucking kiasu.

I pointed to the long line and told A:"Look at them, so bloody kiasu, such a disgrace to the country. It's this sort of people that make me ashamed of being a Malaysian.

Then A said to me:"Well, maybe not kiasu. They just have strong legs."

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Overheard #4

"Petrol price will be increased to RM 2.70/liter tomorrow."

WHAT THE FUCK!!!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Office At Night

I work here, once the tallest building in the world, now the tallest twin towers in the world.

Monday, May 26, 2008

I'm A Retard

This is going to top my all-time most embarrassing, most stupid moment for quite awhile.

Here's how the story went...

Monday night after sweating it out in the gym, a friend kindly offered me a ride to my car. As we were walking towards the elevator to the basement for his car, a cute chick, by cute I mean pretty face and fit body, looked me in the eyes and threw me a smile. It was definitely more than a courteous friendly stranger smile. I was captivated by such a beautiful radiant smile that it totally floored me with surprise, definitely a super pleasant one. And more importantly, I also sensed a flirtatious hint behind that gorgeous smile.

Perhaps noticing my slightly flabbergasted expression, she said:"Hi! You don't remember me?"

Oh great she does know me! But for the love of God, I just couldn't remember her, where, when or how we met. Sheepishly I said:"Sorry, I can't recall."

Then the elevator arrived and we all went in.

It bugged me big time that I couldn't recall meeting such a pretty chick. I just couldn't help myself, I leaned towards her and asked:"So, you are?"

She said:"I'm S, from Company M."

Well I know an S but she's a mother of one and we do not even live in the same city. And I definitely do not know anyone from Company M. Well, I do know a couple of people there but they all have dicks and none look as hot as S. And here came the most embarassing, not to mention the most stupid thing I ever uttered:"S who?"

I know, I'm such a super retard loser idiot. Why the hell would I say that?

She said, in all awkwardness and perhaps mustering all her dignity:"I often do yoga next to you in the gym."

But which class? I do 4 yoga classes a week in the gym. I normally occupy the back row and I hardly talk to people there before, during and after class. Needless to say it still didn't ring a bell. So I said:"Oh..."

Then we stood silently. Awkardness was so expanded so quickly in that little confined space, almost suffocating and about to explode.

"Ding!" Level 2. The elevator door opened, embarrassment rushed out, and she walked out.

That was the longest ever elevator ride.

Stupid retard!

Bloody idiot!

Anyway, I'm absulotely, certainly, definitely not missing any yoga class this week.

And when I find her, I'll ask her out so we can laugh about this over coffee and maybe more...


I think she's in my Friday class. Damn it's only Monday now!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Missing the Champs

My sister R and her family moved in with me unannounced. I just got a call from R that afternoon, they were already in my place doing all the cleaning. Imagine my panic as I was scanning every inch of the condo in my head for whatever stuff they might have discovered while scrubbing my place spotless. But when I got back that night, I got a double surprise hug from the twins. That was lovely. We had been spending loads of time together since of course.

Just as they moved in swiftly and unannounced, they were just as quick in moving out. I came back to a empty quiet place on Saturday morning (after spending a night out). After more then a month of camping at my place, R and her family move back into their new place, as the touching up of the renovation was completed.

Finally, they moved out.

Liberty regained and yeah, I can finally walk around the house naked again!

But the euphoria faded just as swiftly. The silence in the room sank in really rapidly. The air in the room is thick with loneliness. It's tough adjusting to that again. As I now sitting in the living room, I realized Uncle Boonsky wasn't there to wave and kiss them goodbye.

I miss their energy talking, no shouting endlessly and running around. I miss roughhousing with them playing pile up. I missed them hugging me and kissing me good night. I miss correcting them saying may I have something instead of saying I want I want. I miss those sheepish faces when they said may I after I corrected them. I miss calling the good one the champ and the bad one the chump.

A and J, I miss you two champs very much.


Monday, May 19, 2008

Cool Uncle Hot Chowder

My almost 3-years-old twin nephews have been camping at my place for about a month now. So I thought I’d play the cool uncle part by making them lunch over the weekend. I made them this simple seafood chowder, quick and painless. More importantly it was tasty, nutritious and healthy.

First of all, dice everything: a few cloves of garlic, an onion, a couple of potatoes, three celery stalks, two fish fillets, handful of de-shelled and de-veined prawns and a few crab sticks. Marinate the meat with salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce and set aside.

Next brown all the vegetables in the order above in a pot with a good dollop of butter. Upon smelling the fragrance of the vegetable, empty a can of chicken stock (or a cup of water) into the pot and bring it to a boil before turning it down into a slow simmer for roughly about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the potatoes and the celery turn soft and slightly mushy.

Then put in the fish, crab sticks and finally the prawns. To thicken the chowder, stir in a cup of pure cream. Simmer for another couple of minutes and remove from the heat, as the seafood, the prawns especially, turn chewy if overcooked.

“Oh boys, lunch is ready!”

That was an instant hit. They LOVED it.

Oh, of course I helped myself with a bowl of the seafood chowder, topping it with Parmesan and roasted thin pork rinds I saved from my bacon ham.

Super tasty!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Overheard #3

"I'm used to being alone."

I've been feeling a lot like that awhile back.

Well, I still am. 

It's sad, I know.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mothers' Day

This is late. And I probably do not need for this day to come to say this.

"Ma, I love you!"

To all mothers out there, all the best with your kids, and your life. Don't forget that you do have one. May everyday is just as special to you as today.

To all the kids, be good to your mother. If not, be careful, very very careful.

To all mothers-to-be, sorry, you'll have to wait till the next one.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Thanks For The Reminder

Do you use reminder in your emails? Putting a to-do list or marking the calendar for some events so that a little pop-up window will spring up with ring or buzz reminding you of your pre-arranged engagement. I don't use them because I find them annoying. Think of being woken up for work by the irritating ring of an alarm clock while you are deep in the slumber in the peaceful dawn.

I got quite a few this week. The first was ok, almost a pleasant surprise and I brushed it off as a mere coincident. A friend sent me an email of a survey that the insurance companies use for estimating life expectancy of their potential clients. It was a simple questionnaire asking for family medical history, personal life style, exercise and dietary habits etc. Based on the input, in the end it'll come up with the number of years you'd enjoy (hopefully). Mine came up to be 75, which I think is pretty good. Almost 32 down, 43 more to go. Nothing like reminder of your mortality on a Monday morning.

Came midweek I got this inflamed spot below my lips near my chin. It was a little tender, I thought it was a razor burn and left it at that. But wait, I didn't shave in the past few days. I went into the gents to check it out on the mirror. A HUGE zit below my lips near the chin was starring blankly back at me. OK, it wasn't HUGE huge but surely noticeable. A colleague actually pointed that out during a meeting. "Look at the zit on Boonsky's face, still not done his adolescence. Almost hitting 32 and I had this zit on my face, perhaps reminding me of my fleeting youth. Well, what fleeting, it's gone!

Then another email came. This one titled "Daddy How Was I Born?" Do I really need a the-birds-and-the-bees lesson now? Well it was actually a joke about how a father, presumably a computer geek getting hooked up with another computer chick geek, explaining to his son on how he was conceived. The whole sex thing was laden with computer geekery innuendoes, funny haha.

OK I get it! My birthday is coming up. I'm getting old.

Thanks for the reminder.

No, reminders!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Paying Tomorrow

I hurt my left wrist beginning of the year. So i cut off all upper body workout for sometime after getting a mild steroid jab from the doctor and then seeing a physiotherapist. As I was getting better I got back into lifting irons and yoga back in March. However, I was so conscious about my left wrist I placed more weight onto my right one, ending up hurting it during a yoga session awhile back. Again I stopped everything and switch to swimming for my upper body workout.

Going back for the follow-up last week, the doc jabbed me again, both wrists this time and ordered me more physio sessions. My wrists are certainly getting better but I'm not risking them again. Back to more laps in the pool. But as I was about to hit the pool this evening, the sky opened up and kept pouring buckets. I hit the gym and did my hamster run instead.

So I ran and ran. I ran for 1 hour and 8 minutes. I ran about 11.3k.

I opened up and kept pouring buckets too.

As a result I was freaking dehydrated. To re-hydrate myself, I've been drinking a bowl of soup (for dinner), 2 glasses of OJ, a glass of milk and a glass of water.

I'm still freaking dehydrated and I'm freaking beat now.

I'm hitting the sack. I'm going to sleep like a log.

I'm so going to pay tomorrow.

Damn the rain!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Overheard #2

Overheard while making coffee at the office pantry this morning:

"After today, it will be the beginning of the rest of our lives."

Get it?

Take it easy, eh.