Sunday, December 31, 2006
I did a rather primal thing at the beach. I actually started a fire with some friends. And to make it a Charlie Brown moment, we roasted marshmallows. Then we went over the edge and sang Debbie Gibson songs. (I am not kidding!) We tried to redeemed ourselves by singing songs by the Police but it was too late.
Back to the fire. I strongly recommend that you start a fire. Or at least try. Maybe it is a guy thing but there is this sense of connection I made with the very core of me being a homosapien on this planet. Or maybe I just had bad fruit and I was feeling loopy.
But seriously, it's the most basic thing a man can do for survival. And it gave me some small sense of achievement. (Now it sounds almost pathetic when I actually think about it!) It also gave me some sense of control and power. It's a good thing. Go start a fire. Although I wonder, if I had failed starting that fire, would it have devastated me instead? What kind of man would I be if I can't even start a fire?
In other news, I have finally completed Farah Asyikin's album. Eleven tracks. Eight months. Rock. Please buy it when it comes out. Then you can read my blog. Otherwise, you can't read it.
And something totally unrelated but yet kinda...I recorded Mac Chew playing piano on Thursday. That was exciting and intimidating all at the same time. You see, Mac Chew and Jenny Chin were my heroes whom back in 1987, inspired and encouraged me to do music. Along with Helen Yap, they gave me the glimpse of the possibility that a Chinese can actually do stuff in the Malay music industry. And at that time, the new and interesting local music had Mac Chew and Jenny Chin on them: Sheila Majid and Zainal Abidin. Mac went on to do even cooler things in Taiwan. Mac also introduced me to Roslan Aziz and that was my first step into the industry. I've always remembered Mac telling me back then, "If you can do something cool in English, why not do it in Malay and sell it to more people?"
So, fast forward almost twenty years, I am in Babyboss Studio behind Mac's MacBook Pro recording him playing a baby grand piano for my production. How sick is that?!
Incidentally, Mac runs Windows XP on his MacBook Pro.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
The moral of the story: Not all Malaysians are Buddhists or Muslims. Or Christians and Hindus need to have more sex and increase their numbers so that their holiday season will be taken more seriously.
And this concludes my only remotely-social-and-racial commentary for the year.
In other news, I received an interesting request from someone very powerful in the entertainment industry asking me to quickly produce this new artist.
Mr Big Shot: I need you to produce this album for this new artist.
Me: What style? Direction?
Mr Big Shot: Err...rock.
Me: What kind of rock?
Mr Big Shot: Err...like something Ella would do today.
Me: OK. What's her tone like?
Mr Big Shot: Like Ella.
So in my mind, WHY would you want someone who already sounds like someone else sing the same kind of music that that someone else sings. (I am sure I've broken at least six grammar and sentence construction rules there!)
And Mr Big Shot is not alone. Every A&R meeting... (A&R is just a fancy way of saying "image, direction, and songs" where we decide on what kind of songs the singer will record and how tight her pants will be for the album cover)...at every A&R meeting, every label and manager decides on the direction of their artist based on what some other artist sound like. It is almost like cloning. That's another reason why I think the local industry is failing. It's the attack of the clones.
After this, I am pretty sure I will never work in the music industry again.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Then I went to dinner with J. It's my belated birthday dinner for her. We talked and talked. Things are not going too hot for her right now and in our deep self-searching, I asked if her life today is what she had expected when she was in her late teens. Then I started thinking...
No. My life today is not what I had expected it to be. I thought I would have been married now. I would have children. But then again, I had thought I'd be wearing John Master slacks at my age and will be saying things like "Back in the day, the songs we had on radio had this thing called melody." So, on those fronts, I am a failure. I am not married. No kids. Still in jeans. Still dig the stuff on radio. And I know what the Wii is.
I am not sure what all this means. Did I not grow up? All I know is, a little joy was sucked out of me.
I hope that 60 is really the new 40 because it has been a slow start.
But hey...I recorded Dayang Nurfaizah today.
And tomorrow is Christmas and I will be celebrating Christmas with meaning. I will be celebrating the birth of Jesus. And because I believe, I celebrate Christmas. (And by celebrate I mean, receiving gifts. Thank you Jesus for being born.)
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
I had some people from 8TV visit me at the studio today for an interview. I'd rather have my eye brows plucked than to be interviewed. And this time is for a Suki special. I get the usual questions. "How did this song come about?" "What inspired you to write the song?" "What do you think of Suki's performance?"
I wonder why people still get asked that question. You'd think viewers would be sick of questions like these. Celebrities get it even worse. If you're a singer, "Are you going in to acting?" And if you are an actor, "Are you going in to singing?" And then there's the "When are you getting married?"
I wish I get asked more interesting questions and I didn't have to be politically correct with my answers.
8TV: What inspired you to write the song?
Me: Everything around me inspires me. The morning dew. The chirping birds. The laughter of an innocent child.
What I really want to say.
8TV: What inspired you to write the song?
Me: The money. Rent is due.
Friday, December 15, 2006
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Pretty singer: I need a ballad from you.
Me: But I dowan to write another ballad. Children in Africa are...
Pretty singer: Here's five thousand ringgit. Shut the hell up and just write the ballad, monkey boy. Make sure you have real strings.
Me: OK. I also have some new bells you should check out.
Why do this? It's a very simple case of demand and supply. There are just too many ballads in the Malaysian music diet. There has been a ballad surplus since 1982. And with each new ballad written, some child in Africa dies! So don't do it.
However, if the label or singer insists on a new ballad, make sure the new song and production follow these simple rules:
1. No strings (especially real/live strings...which is really just two guys overdubbing.)
2. No modulation or key change after the bridge where the singer holds the note for 48 seconds to show how amazing he/she is.
3. The key of the song actually suits the singer and is not three keys higher in order to create that "dramatic effect." You call it "effect". I call it a poke in the ear with a sharp stick.
4. There are no synthesiser bells especially bell sounds from Roland synths.
5. Intro is less than 15 seconds and the song should not exceed four minutes.
6. And finally, no timpani or belltree/chimes.
Stop the senseless deaths of African children. Be a man. Do the right thing.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Rewritable compact discs are so obviously practical. I am still using the same CD-RW I bought in 2001 for RM8. And I use it to burn audio CDs of music that I don't care to listen to for long just so I can play it in the car.
OK. So it is not exactly the sort of thing that would make you cream in your pants but still exciting nonetheless. Save the planet and use CD-RWs.
Next time, we talk about another practical wonder called rechargeable batteries.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
I wasn’t going to say much about this whole thing because frankly, I don’t really care. Not because I do not love what I do but more because I have always thought these things were silly anyway. They should be giving money, awards and recognition to people who save lives and do good things for humanity. Name one famous teacher or social worker and I will name you eight composers who really needs the prize money from a song competition. (who are coincidentally the same people who are in the finals :-)
But I digress.
Now I feel I owe it to those who have been supportive these past few days to explain and give my two cents on the whole situation.
First of all, I am really OK. I am not in denial. Honestly, I don’t really care. I never did. I don’t need to cry. You don’t have to talk to me in a way that you think I am going to burst out into tears. Not all composers are emotional. I am not Bob Dylan.
Now I will tell you why I don’t care.
Because majority of people in the industry today will never understand what I do. Which is OK because all it really shows is how antiquated their tastes are and dare I say, how irrelevant as well. But I understand where they are coming from. They are looking for “real” songs. Songs with the right chords, right structure…in their world where there is such thing as “wrong” music. I heard “Caramu” didn’t make it because they thought the lyrics were too simple. With that same logic, a song like “Obladi Oblada” wouldn’t have made it. And Ruffedge’s “Da Bomb” is stupid and repetitive. But they fail to see that half the people leaving the hall that night probably had that song stuck in their heads. So for my next track, I am getting Usman Awang to write lyrics.
Also, the judges are learned, musically-trained, established and creative artisans. Compared to them, I am a hack job who got lucky. Can you imagine one of their kind actually saying they like something simple?
Judge 1: Eh. Aku suka lagu Ruffedge "Da Bomb" lah. Korus tu memang da bomb.
Judge 2: You, my friend, are an imbecile with tastes best suited for someone who lives in the outer rim of Kay-pong.
Judge 1: Oh pardon me luv. I must have lost my head. By the way, do you have some Grey Poupon?
Then they'd air-kiss and drink tea.
I will tell you what is important to me.
That there are people out there who like the stuff I do. I am grateful for the fans of Nikki and those who like my songs and even suggest to artists that they need songs from me. That’s what matters to me and that's what makes my balls grow bigger. The only thing now is that I wish you cheap bastards would pay for the music instead of downloading the thing. :-) But I have nothing but love for y’all.
Having said all that, I do feel bad. Not for myself but for Nikki’s manager, Vernon and her mentor Joe those who worked on getting the song to work for Nikki. And also for Nikki who worked her ass off having to dance in high heels. My two or three weeks working on the song pales in comparison to their many thousand hours of thinking and work they put in after I give them the final track. But enough of the ass kissing. My lips are chafing.
One last thing. Many people feel “Diari Seorang Lelaki” by Pretty Ugly do not deserve to be in the finals because it sounds too much like “Sunday Morning” by Maroon 5. Hell yes it does. But not the melody. If you strip away the music arrangement, and have them strum that song on a guitar, you will hear a good song and I think it does deserve to be in the finals like all the other songs in the finals. After all, it's all a matter of tastes, isn't it?
Friday, December 08, 2006
I was required to be at TV3's television studio for a live interview for "Muzik Muzik". That whole three-minute experience was almost as calming as having an airbag go off in my face.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
I actually composed a document in a word processor online using Google Docs & Spreadsheet. (You can tell when technical people come up with product names!) Yes, Google Docs & Spreadsheet (formerly Writely) is a very useful Word and Excel-compatible wordprocessor and spreadsheet application which you can get to via your Gmail account or at docs.google.com
This way, I can write my documents and have them accesible online. Of course, I am completely screwed should Google goes out of business, or if their server crashes, or I eat too much sugar and I forget my password.
Still, the prospects of doing everything online in a Web browser is just too exciting for me. It is really that great!
The Office guys at Microsoft must be pissing in their pants right now.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
One is LASIK surgery.
Second is V-Kool. Rather daft name but this is one fantastic product. I just had V-Kool recently re-installed in my car and after driving around without it for the past two months, I can tell you the difference is like the difference between “cancer-heat” and “sauna-hot.”
Third is the new iPod-with-a-phone, iPhone from Apple. Whenever someone mentions iPod with a phone, I’d say it won’t work until they sort out the battery problem. As a fan of these convergent devices like the O2, I would not use the PDA or tax it because I didn’t want to drain out the battery and be left without a phone. I figured, until they come up with a super battery that can go on for weeks without charging, the iPod phone won’t work. And this battery better not be nuclear that it has a warning that it might fry my nuts if I left the iPhone in my pants pocket for too long.
So, what does Apple do? They put in two batteries in the thing. One for the phone and another for the music player portion. Abso-ferkin-lutely brilliant! Touch screen and slideout keyboard too. Mama.
And I have also decided that my next notebook computer will be a Mac. I will probably still run Windows on it but I will at least look cool doing it. But this will probably be in three or four years from now. (You hear that Justin? I will get a Mac!)
Sunday, December 03, 2006
A lot has happened. Obviously.
The most life-changing of the lot is that I had LASIK surgery. Yes, I allowed another human being to touch and do things to my eyes. Hell almost broke loose. But I highly recommend it and it will be the best thing you can do for yourself.
And sometime in early November, I went to Bali with the lovely people at Fuse. Last year was Bangkok. This year, Bali. Do these guys know how to party or what?
Bali was excellent. The hotels we were at were excellent. So excellent that I almost didn’t want to leave the hotel to see the what was beyond the hotel. I have never been so close to nature before. (And I am not talking about feeling the need to pee in the woods.) George taught me how to swim. Kinda. I may be able to delay death by drowning by 30-40 seconds. I had bacon. The one thing everyone told me to try while in Bali was “Babi Guling.” I did. It’s gross. Then I had ice-cream. On the way to the airport, I left a little piece of me behind in Bali. To be specific, it was a bag of vomit which I was advised by the cab driver to just leave at the sidewalk.
That’s six days in Bali.
Back in KL, I finally did it. I’ve moved out. I no longer work at home. I am now renting studio space at Fuse which means I am no longer allowed to work without clothes on. It has been almost four weeks since moved all my equipment there with the intention of
Work has been fairly exciting. (It is almost wrong to call what I do “work”!) I am looking forward to next year. Lots of new songs coming out and I think it will make the local Malay music scene a little bit more interesting. I got Farah Asyikin (“Malaysian Idol 2” and “One In A Million”) coming out. Hopefully, Liza Hanim’s stuff is coming out. Kaer is coming out. Errr…OK. I am working on some new and interesting stuff for Faizal from “One In A Million”. I just recorded Dayang Nurfaizah last night. She was great. I think the stuff we are working on is going to make you want to listen to local Malay-language music again. I really enjoy working with singers like Dayang, Ning, Jaclyn Victor, and Vince who can do things with their voices on demand. And I don’t have to call up Auto-Tune™ too much. So, please go buy CDs that I’ve worked on. If you don’t want to, you can always download it. It’s illegal and wrong but go ahead and do it anyway.
I still miss my grandmother.
And I recently celebrated my 35th birthday, which by the way, I hear is the new age of youth. And 60 is the new 40. It was fairly quiet but it was one of the best birthdays I’ve had all year! Because you go “OH NO! I missed your birthday!” and start leaving me belated birthday greetings in the comments box, just know that I am still open for gifts and free meals.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Updating this blog isn't easy because I don't really have all that much to say that I think would be of interest to most people out there. And I spend 85% of my waking moments working. Truth to the matter is, I've never been comfortable with what I do for a living, which is writing and producing music. And I don't really like to talk about it. It might have something to do with the fact that I am Chinese and by default, I should have a more respectable job. I should be an accountant or engineer. Not a musician. (Which I am not, by the way. I don't read music or play an instrument well.)
So when people ask me what I do, I usually flat out lie and say I work at IKEA. I am the guy who names the furniture. Or I am a dentist. Which usually makes people suddenly aware of their teeth and thus wanting to keep their mouth closed. Works for me.
Again, I have issues.
Although in all honesty, part of the reason is me not wanting to explain my job and then have this most annoying question asked: "If I give you this song on a CD, can you remove the vocals?"
Anyway, I am going to deal with my issues. I am going to talk about my work.
I just finalised tracks for Kaer. It has been one long project. Since April. And it is almost over. It started with two songs and then it became six new tracks and two remixes. The final tracks are going to Nick Lee for mastering on Thursday. It has been an interesting project because Kaer is willing to try something different. None of those suicide ballads. Bless the man for allowing me to go hog wild. We have Malay dance music folks!
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Monday, October 09, 2006
Friday, September 29, 2006
Suki won. She sang a song I wrote for her, "Berdiri."
After that, six thousand people asked if she gave me any money from the million she won. So, as a preemptive measure to circumvent another six thousand asking me this same question. The answer is no.
I will be recording her this Saturday. Maybe she might bring me a hamper. Who knows?
The joys of life.
Monday, September 11, 2006
Today my Maxis service was interrupted. That’s Maxis’s way of saying my phone line got barred due to non-payment even though I’ve paid my bill. So my phone calls get routed to their collections department and I’m put on hold for at least 5 minutes for each call because their "consultants" are busy.
When I finally do get through, they tell me they will reconnect my line and I should be able to contribute to their revenues in two hours. But of course, given this blog entry, that does not happen.
I call again. I get this "consultant" named Zaima; whom I shall refer to as Consultant Bitch #1. Well, the line is reconnected because they have a problem communication with their reconnection people. Yes, it’s the "our system is down" response. She actually cuts me off after I ask to speak with her manager. Perhaps, just perhaps…like perhaps a monkey might fly out of my butt, perhaps the line dropped as it always does as a reflection of Maxis’s high quality of service. I am thinking, the least she could do, is CALL ME BACK (bitch!).
I call again. And wait some more. Lines get cut off again. I call again. And all this time, I am standing on one foot holding my breath, bending over at an angle of 38.5 degrees at the corner of my apartment that I know has the strongest Maxis signal.
After four hours, I get to speak to another consultant to actually gets her supervisor, Shanti to call me. And Shanti will get the line reconnect in 30 minutes. Why didn’t they do this in the first place and saved me the agony?
I am now in the market for a new mobile service provider. Please get someone from Celcom or Digi to call me and give me a nice number and help me contact all my friends to tell them of my new number. Also, please give our telecommunications minister the wisdom and courage, and on top of it all, the balls to set up an independent phone number manager so we call all keep our phone numbers even if we change service providers. Give this minister the strength to not accept any bribes in order to not make this happen. Help Malaysia out of the Third World. Give Consultant Bitch #1 nightmares tonight and give Shanti a raise.
Monday, September 04, 2006
Steve "Crocodile Hunter" Irwin died today. I know this because I am getting instant messages and SMSes from people telling me he died.
As a human being, I am sad and sorry for his family's loss. But as a smart-ass, I am thinking, it's about time. Honestly, how can I feel sorry for a guy who puts himself at risk with dangerous animals. And not only that, he once put his own baby at risk when he fed snapping alligators while holding his baby. This guy has always been an accident waiting to happen.
So, sorry folks. I don't feel sad for him one bit. Let the flames begin.
Friday, August 11, 2006
It started when I watched Kill Bill. It’s the scene where Uma Thurman’s character wakes up and finds herself buried alive. But God blessed that woman and gave her the strength to bust herself out of that grave situation with her bare hands.
Then came that CSI finale directed by Quentin Tarantino. One of the CSI guys got kidnapped and he finds himself buried alive. There is a tape recorder and a gun with a single bullet. And a light that comes on randomly, as far as he is concerned.
Now, if I were him, I’d be wondering if I’d ever be saved. Or I should just put a bullet in my head. But what if I start to panic? Or I feel the need to stretch? Or if I can’t deal with the darkness? Or what if I do decide to put a bullet in my head but I miss and shoot off my ears instead?
I am freaking out just from writing this.
I am thinking that the only way to get rid of this is to face it and deal with it. So last night, I dragged myself under the coffee table in my living room. The space between the floor and the bottom of the coffee table is a comfortable coffin-height of about 15 inches.
Five seconds was all it took. Five seconds and I was outta there.
The first disturbing thing was staring at the bottom of the coffee table at such a close distance. I could not focus and I lost all depth perception. That made me panic.
Now I can’t stop thinking about this. I need to find a way out should I wake up one day and find myself buried alive.
But I think all this at least proves one thing. That I may not have mental discipline to remain calm. But even if I remained calm, my physical state will stress me out. OK. This really proves another thing. That I have issues and I should consider professional help.
Monday, August 07, 2006
Under peer-tech-pressure, I had to do it. My social standing was being affected. I became even more uncool than I already was, for not having an active MySpace page with 583 friends, 28 vanity photos of myself trying to look cool, an obnoxious wallpaper image that makes my profile page impossible to read, and to top it off, takes five hours to load.
Ahhhh...to be 20 again!
Having said that...go nuts.
Saturday, July 29, 2006
Me: You are an idiot. Go away.
Don’t get me wrong. It is not that I have anything against Indonesian music. By and large, I am a fan.
But I need to get it off my chest. Local Malay pop, in essence, is Indonesian. It must have started off this way. Otherwise, we’d be listening to dangdut, keroncong, and joget. Even that, I am not sure if it is really local. But Malay pop probably started from Indonesian pop. The only difference is, Malay pop started with Indon pop and stayed there. This was probably the 70s. It developed a little bit into the 80s when producers decided to have the singer sing the song three keys higher than what the singer can comfortably sing in.
Then you fast forward to 2003. I am Malaysian Chinese. Like most urban Chinese in KL, I speak English. There was also a phase in my life when I thought I was black but that’s another story. I listen to Top 40 radio hits mostly from the US and the UK. But I also love good electronica, dance music, and jazz. I don’t listen much to Indonesian or Chinese music. As a music producer, I am influenced by mostly US producers and songwriters such as Quincy Jones, Pharrell, Desmond Child and many others. I hardly (which really means “never”) watch Astro Ria because it’s way up at channel 4 while I am usually hanging around channels 70, 71 and 72 for Star World, MTV, and Channel [V]. Sometimes I will watch the news too.
You see, Indonesian music has had very little influence on me.
Therefore, I am left to conclude that what Indonesian music is today, is modern pop music in Indonesian. What Malaysian music is today, is old Indonesian pop music in Malay. Why? Because if my music sounds Indonesian, it is only because the Indonesians and I have the same influences. I seriously doubt if the Indonesian producers and writers are listening to Malaysian music for inspiration. And you can tell. There are so many Indonesian tracks that almost borrow and sometimes rip off the music that comes out of the US and the UK. But why it works is because it is in the language of the masses. So it sounds new to the market.
Yet our local singers want to sound Indonesian. That just doesn’t make sense. In essence, they want to copy a copy. Look further people.
So, the next time you see me and want to make a comment about my music, go ahead and tell me that it sounds Indonesian and watch me bitch-slap you. Don’t. Do. It.
Suddenly, I feel so much better and my life can go on again.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
I lost my wallet. Thankfully, I am one of those minimal wallet guys as opposed to guys with fat wallets which really double as their portable filing cabinet. I lost my MyKad, my driver’s license, my insurance card, my ATM card, my apartment proximity card and a wad of cash. No pictures of family and pets. No notes. No business plans. No condoms.
Anyway, I spent the whole day today trying to replace the contents of the wallet. Made a police report last night, went to the bank, went to the Jabatan Pendaftaran place, went to JPJ. The whole process cost me RM65 and a lot of germ contact at the government offices. They really should clean the place more often and use brighter lighting.
But the biggest surprise to me was how quick and relatively painless the whole process was. I was expecting a whole day of waiting which had me mentally preparing myself for a day of soul searching. Got my journal and iPod all ready. Never used them
These people were quite pleasant and quick. Almost unbelievable. Especially the lady at the JPJ counter. I got my replacement license in less than two minutes. I am not kidding. She should get some kind of medal.
The unexpected annoyance came from people who unwittingly asks "Where did you lose it?" when I tell them I lost my wallet. Once is OK. After the twentieth time someone asks you that question, you want to hit someone.
Trust me. That is not the question you ask someone who loses something unless there is something you can do about it.
The more appropriate question is "May I give you some money to make you feel better?" or for some people within physical parameters, the more appropriate question and subsequent required action is "May I give you oral pleasure?"
Until then, the JPJ rocks!
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
There’s a Singaporean director who calls himself Oxide Pang. I am assuming Oxide was the name he gave himself instead of his mother giving it to him. Otherwise, Mrs. Pang is just cruel and explains a lot why his son does horror movies. But I am quite sure little Pang, besides not knowing what “oxide” means, wanted a name that stood out and wanted an X in his name.
Then there’s this one that falls under the “it-has-to-be-true-because-it’s-so-ridiculous-that-no-one-could-make-this-up” category. Her name is Choosy, who introduces herself with “Hi. My name is Choosy but I am not choosy.”
Then there’s Bamboo Chee.
A few years ago, I worked with a Vergina. She said it was a loose combination of two of her favourite names: “Virginia” and “Gina”. I was going to suggest to her the combination of two words what befit her personality: “Fuckingmoron”.
Also, there’s a Pansy.
And a Handsome Lee.
This is clearly a point that should be included in the checklist for identifying Type 2s and Type 3s.
Monday, July 10, 2006
Me: Err..yes I guess. The TV will be on in the background while I work and I will probably give it a look when I hear my neighbours yell out “Goal!”.
Felicia: Which team are you rooting for?
Me: I don’t know.
Felicia: How can you not have a team? It makes it more fun to watch when you are rooting for a team.
Well, Felicia, you are right.
However, I haven’t followed the World Cup much and I have decided which team’s players look cuter in shorts. So I ask the question every person would ask when deciding a team to support: What has that country done for me?
I then proceed to make this list which immediately puts me in the pathetic category of human beings.
French musicians (Deep Forest, Telepopmusik, Nadiya). +5 points
Hot French women. +3 points
Pretentious French culture. -3 points
The French loaf and croissant. +3 points
Making people around the world mispronounce “Jean”. -2 points.
Pierre and Marie Curie, Louis Pasteur. +5 points
NET POINTS: 11 points
Italians who went to New York City to come up with pizza. +5 points
Monica Bellucci. +5 points
Not-so-attractive Italian women. -3 points
Coffeeshops. +3 points
Leonardo da Vinci. +3 points
Italian pasta. +4 points
The Mafia which inspired the Godfather movies and the Sopranos. +2 points
NET POINTS: 19 points
As pathetic as it may be, I am rooting for Italy. Viva Italy.
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
"Please God. Send a lightning bolt of inspiration and make Batdude update me. Just a simple text update would do. Clever Photoshop-ed pictures are not necessary. Just a few witty sentences would suffice. I can’t look another blog reader in the eye when they visit me and see that I have not been updated. I can’t stand that look of disappointment on their faces when they realise they have to find another site to visit or else they’d have to get back to work. Let me entertain them. Update me."
Fortunately, I have a few things I need to get off my chest.
I hear Malaysians are rude. Some survey by Reader’s Digest said so. Well, I do think Malaysians are rude to strangers. We are nice to people we know but we are generally rude to strangers or when the people we know whom we are usually nice to are not around. Then we might say rude things behind their back.
Then there is this thing I have with the newspapers. More specifically, The Star. I lost all respect for The Star when they featured the story of Siti Nurhaliza’s relationship with Datuk K. Right there on the front page with a colour photo and all. For a moment there, I thought I had picked up the Malay papers. They may have finally found the cure for cancer but to the editors of the Malay papers, that piece of news will give way to something Siti or Mawi had done; whether true or not. Suddenly the local papers look like supermarket tabloids.
And finally, why do Malaysians have this problem with detail. If you are going to dot your acronym or initials, DOT EACH LETTER YOU FUCKING IDIOT!
See? The T isn’t dotted. Why? For the love of God, why?
I am glad I finally got this off my chest. Carrying this around was giving me a hernia.
In conclusion, Malaysians are rude, the local newspapers need to get their priorities right, dot your acronyms properly and never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
I wanted to see what the big deal was. And I did it at Bestari because I don’t have the sports channels on my Astro box. I don’t care for these things. Truth be told. I think watching sports is a complete waste of time unless there is something in it for you. So Australia won. I didn’t get anything out of it. Life goes on.
Having expelled all that negativity from this experience, I did make several observations. Firstly, watching grown men kick a little ball around can be entertaining. It’s like watching a movie you like that you’ve already seen. You start that movie and you get sucked into it even if you know the ending. The whole experience is of no consequence except you losing 105 minutes of your life that you will never get back.
And you know it is entertaining; almost hypnotic, when you sit and stare at the screen watching men in shorts kick a ball around. Then you realise your fingers are digging into your flesh. You haven’t moved and there’s a crick in your neck. And forty minutes has gone by. Forty precious minutes! Makes me want to smack Kenny Sia in the face. That’s what football does to ya!
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Despite my efforts, there are those out there who (unwittingly) want to ruin my day.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
First of all, it is almost impossible to get just ONE drop in. Maybe that’s why it didn’t work for me since I was getting more than one drop of 1-Drop. At least three drops of 1-Drop. Sometimes even four drops of 1-Drop. For when I squeeze that 1-Drop, more than one drop of 1-Drop drops out of the 1-Drop container holding all the drops.
Once you do get those drops in, you will realise is not all it cracked up to be. It’s not magic. Instead of having funky smelling crap, you get a sweet funky smelling crap. It’s not natural. When you take a crap, it is supposed to smell funky. Best case, it should be neutral. But not sweet smelling. Because when it is sweet smelling, you will walk in and say…
You: Hey. It smells nice in here. (Breathes in) What’s that smell?
Me: Oh. I just took a crap and I used 1-Drop. What you are smelling is really my crap being masked by perfume.
You: I hate you.
I guess, for that alone, 1-Drop does have some entertainment value. I am just glad I didn’t pay for this.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Penang - After undergoing 12 cosmetic operations in two years, bank clerk turned model Ma Lieh from Jiang-su province in China now wants to improve on her inner beauty.
“I want to learn new skills and gain more knowledge to achieve my ambition to be a talk show host,” Ma said here.
Somebody please stop me.... must stay away from blogger....self-control. Jojo.... Speak no evil...ugh. Help.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
A person: Batdude. Why no product endorsements on your blog?
Me: Nothing much out there impresses me enough.
Which is really another face-saving way of saying that no one has really asked me to.
But last night something caught my eye. Actually someone shoved it in my face and bought it for me. I am talking about 1 Drop, another great product from Oji.
"1 Drop" (possibly new and improved from the previous "2 Drops") is a "magic smell-eater". As it says right there on the packaging, “no more smell when and after passing motion”. So what happens here is you tap one drop into the toilet before you err... pass the motion. (Isn't that what a court judge does?) And the magical 1 Drop will neutralise your funk in seconds.
Did I mention that it works like magic? And maybe someone should tell Sparky here that he smells back because he is taking a crap in his pants.
Man...I can't wait to use it.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
I want a hand bouquet of flowers but….
…I want it simple.
Oh….you don’t want the colour paper and plastic wrap ah? Very nice one. Makes the flower look bigger.
I dowan. The only thing I want looking bigger is my.... Oh ne-mind. I just want the flowers in a simple hand bouquet.
Aiyah. OK. You want the gweilo style.
So now I know. In future, I will just tell the florist that I want the “gweilo style.”
Which brings me to my next question. What is it with our concept of bouquet design? Why is the local bouquet so complicated and in my opinion, tacky. I am sure Hong Kong has something to do with it.
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Then on Sunday, my grandmother died. She was already in the hospital for eight days prior to my sister and me visiting her on Saturday afternoon. Then Sunday, while at morning mass, I get an SMS from my sister telling me to go the hospital. This can only mean two things. Either my grandmother has miraculously recovered and is disturbing the other patients with her breakdancing and her constant requests that they all get up to do the Mexican wave, or she is going to die.
Sadly, no body-poppin’ windmilling grandma. No one did the Mexican wave. An hour or so later, the last outstation relative arrives from KL. It’s one of those moments. No one is crying. Then when one starts, the dam breaks! Twenty minutes later, the heart rate monitor flatlines. My grandmother breathes out two breathes. And that’s it. Grandma has left the building.
Lemme tell you about my grandmother. Born in Ipoh in 1918. That’s it. Just 1918. In her passport next to “Date Of Birth”, it says “In the year 1918”. No one knows the date. When I used to ask her when her birthdate was, she would say “Everyday is my birthday.” So we’d randomly select one day in the year and celebrate her birthday. I am not sure how that went because along the way, we just stopped the celebration.
My grandmother was just always there. After my parents and my sister, she has been the most permanent fixture in my life. She was just always there and I wanted her there. (It probably has a lot to do with the fact that she arrived on this planet before I did.) All I know until today was that she was my grandmother. My parents and I lived in her house until my mother could afford to buy her own house when I was about five years old. I think. Then she’d stay over at my mother’s house during the weekdays to look after my sister and I while my mother was at work teaching in the afternoons. I developed my bullshitting skills with my grandmother when I had to convince her to let me go out to play or to get money from her to buy food from the guy that comes around in his mobile hawker stall.
When Friday came around, I’d feel sad because she had to leave us and go back to her home for the weekend. And she’d take the bus. Two buses in fact, to get home. Then we’d see her again on Sunday.
My grandmother was the only person I trusted to clean out my ears with a sharp metal stick thing. (What was I thinking?!) She is the reason why I can speak whatever Cantonese I know. She is responsible for my love for all things preserved and sour. She gave me my sense of humour. She gave me that sparkle in my eyes that people say I have. She bought me my first 7-Up. She showed me funny and irreverence. She showed me not to take crap from anyone. She showed me self-worth, strength, and independence. She showed me you could pick up decent pieces of vegetables on the market grounds and use it to feed the chickens. And more importantly, she showed the various ways to cuss someone out in Cantonese.
She hid in the jungle during the Japanese occupation while pregnant with my mother. She loaned money to my father to start his business. She made her own clothes. She liked lettuce and tomatoes.
During the past two days, I learned a few things I didn’t know about her, most of it by going through her things. For one, her hair wasn’t always white. She did have black hair. And she was once young. (Yes, it is obvious. But it is as obvious as your parents having sex. Some things just do not cross the mind.) She was the second wife to my grandfather. She has only visited Singapore twice; in 1969 and 1974. Twenty years ago, she went out on her own to get her picture taken and framed which was to be used for her funeral. She even picked out the urn. No one knew this except my aunt who related this just a few days ago. She had a picture of my graduation in her personal drawer. (That was my “Touched By An Angel” moment.) She had very few possessions but I think she was happy because she had many children and more grandchildren who loved her and still do.
She wanted to visit China. She wanted to see me get married. She told me not to drive too fast. I failed her on those counts.
So that’s my grandmother in a blogshell. As far as grandmothers go, I am pretty sure my grandmother could beat up your grandmother any day.
She was given a Buddhist funeral but I hope she prefers hanging out with Jesus.
Before you click on that “COMMENT” link, here are a few rules. I know you are sorry for my loss and thank you for your condolences. Do NOT tell me to “be strong” or “take care k?” or ask if I am OK because honestly, every day has been Mardi Gras since. (Blame my grandmother. I picked all this up from her!)
Grandma has left the building.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
After about a month, I’ve decided to throw all the empty egg shells I have had sitting on the kitchen counter. I had maybe 20-30 egg shells. I had them there because someone told me that egg shells keep house lizards away. I had this one house lizard hanging out in my kitchen for awhile. In my four or five years living in my apartment on the fourteenth floor, I’ve not had one house lizard or mosquito. I figured it was too high an altitude for them to get up to. Perhaps their ears might pop due to the air pressure.
So I had egg shells. For awhile, I didn’t see the house lizard. Then yesterday, I saw it again. It was hanging out amongst the egg shells. So much for that home remedy. Then it occurred to me. Maybe someone was putting me on. Who would be stupid enough to lace their kitchen with egg shells in efforts to keep lizards away? (OK. Don’t answer that!) It is like saying “Pee all over your living room floor in order to keep evil spirits away.” (That might actually be something people do in some African country.) And then someone actually does it and we all have a good laugh.
If only I had pictures to show. I am not that bothered.
I would like to open the floor now to questions.
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Friday, February 17, 2006
Thursday, February 16, 2006
She trusts God.
She is amazingly strong in spirit and faith.
She is wonderful to be with.
She is charming.
She is sometimes silly.
She is smart.
She is rational.
She is wired right.
She is reasonable.
She is pragmatic.
She is prudent.
She is patient.
She is understanding.
She is independent.
She is strong.
She is perceptive.
She is logical.
She is resilient.
She is passionate.
She is confident.
She is courageous.
She is grateful.
She is funny and she doesn't even know it.
She is shameless and I love it.
She works hard.
She loves family.
She loves her food.
She speaks her mind.
She stands her ground when she knows she is right.
She doesn't give up.
She accepts people the way they are.
She knows what she wants for her future.
She is absolutely beautiful.
She is sinfully sexy.
Saturday, February 04, 2006
This year I didn't do the Melaka thing during the Chinese New Year. No family reunion. So, no Annual Batdude Blog Fest. Instead the family (by "family", I mean "my parents and my sister"; as opposed to "my wife and kids") and some family friends went to Cameron Highlands and Pangkor Island instead. Before you say, "That sounds like fun!", let me put you on pause for a sec.
Unless your idea of "fun" involves getting caught in the kind of traffic congestion that makes you sing praises to the Lord that you do not have diarrhea and you enjoy crowds in areas that are not supposed to be crowded, I strongly do not recommend that you do this during festive seasons.
I also have a few constructively passionate comments about the chalet at the Equatorial Cameron Highlands.
And in other news, I have been coffee-free for one month now. Didn't think I could do it but i did it. People at Starbucks and Nescafe are now wondering why there is sudden drop in sales in January. It's been good. I feel better and my poop now floats. (Although I not sure if that has anything to do with tea.)
Thursday, January 26, 2006
"God works in mysterious ways."
Yes. Be original. Please. Try something new like...
"Did an angel try to touch you? Was she hot?" or
"Who are you and what did you do with Batdude?" or
"You got punk'd."
For the love of God...anything but "God works in mysterious ways."
I haven't bitch-slapped anyone in a long time. Don't make me start.
Saturday, January 21, 2006
It's an occupation hazard that I am rarely impressed by pop/R&B music these days.
Then there's Raul Midon. State of Mind. Available now.
If you appreciate the concept of a melody and talent, you will like Raul Midon. There's good Stevie Wonder-esque R&B and pop melodies with an acoustic vibe but it is not this arty folk album. This guy sings and plays the guitar. He is so good it will scare you. The music will make your life better and fill it with joy. It is that good.
Friday, January 20, 2006
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
I hope all this will improve my personality and song writing skills.
You can't tell from this picture but I have a major erection now.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
We are all waiting for that iPod killer. There is a reason why the iPod has been untouchable. First, it looks damn cool. It almost hurts because it is so easy to use. Then there's iTunes; putting it in another way, it's not Windows Media Player. Finally, it's called iPod.
Yes. Plain and simple iPod. Four letters. Lower case "i", followed by a capital "p", lower case "o" and a lower case "d".
It's not even called iPod MP3 player. Or iPod Media Player. Or iPod, now with Easy-To-Scratch Finishing. Just vanilla iPod.
Apple calls it iPod. They have three models at any one time. iPod. iPod Nano. iPod Shuffle.
Let's look at what Samsung has for MP3 players.
According to the Samsung website, Samsung has some 19 models: YP-T6V, YP-T6X, YH-820, YP-W3LX, YH-J50, YP-F1Z, YP-C1X, YP-C1V, YP-C1Z, YP-F1X, YP-F1V, YP-T7V, YP-T7X, YP-T7Z, YP-U1Z, YP-U1X, YP-T8ZB, YP-T8QW, and last but not least, there's the YH-J70SB.
In case you think I am making this up, go here.
I don't know about you. But "YH-J70SB" just doesn't roll off the tongue like "iPod" does.
Me: Hey! Is that an iPod you have there?
Muthu: No. It's the Samsung YH-J70SB. How cool is that?
Perhaps Samsung enjoys the marketing challenge in branding.
Then we have the mother of all screw-ups and the former love of my life, Sony. The iPod should have easily been a Sony product. But they'd probably call it the Digital Walkman and they'd make us buy memory sticks.
I was almost right. Today, it's called the Network Walkman. What the heck is a NETWORK WALKMAN? Entertainment for your network? Music for networks on the move? Anyway, Sony has about seven models of these things in a variety of colours: The new NW-A608 A-series, NW-E103, NW-E105, NW-E305 Walkman Bean MP3 Player, NW-E307 Walkman Bean MP3 Player, NW-E503/5/7 part of the E500 series and comes in Licorice Black, Tropical Ice Blue, Cotton Candy Pink, Coconut White, and finally we have the NW-HD3 and NW-HD5 Hard Disk MP3 Network Walkman.
Me: Hey! Is that an iPod you have there?
Greg: No. It's the Sony NW-A608. And it comes in Licorice Black, Tropical Ice Blue, Cotton Candy Pink and Coconut White. How cool is that?
Me: Waaah. So cool. My iPod only comes in black or white. But I think they mean to say "Knight Rider Black" or "Clouds of Heaven White".
Then there's the almost-there-but-not-quite, Creative. They got it right with the name by calling it Zen. However, it messed it up by making it look like the iPod; from the colour of the interface to where the battery indicator is...right down to the colour. It just yells "knock-off" and ends up looking like the poor man's iPod. But it costs about the same as the iPod. So, why would you want to buy a Zen when you can get the iPod?
Me: Hey! Is that an iPod you have there?
Ahmed: No. It's a Creative Zen.
Me: It looks like an iPod. I thought it was an iPod.
Ahmed: Yes. It does look like an iPod but it is not. I wanted to be different but yet the same. It's called Zen.
Me: OK zen. I zhall zee you laterz.
So, the moral of the story here is to not name the MP3 player as if it is a spare part for an airplane or a turbine engine. Move past the number and letter combo. If IKEA can do it, so can you.
Secondly, do not make it look like an iPod. If I want the iPod, I will just buy the iPod since it is about the same price. Unless if yours looks as cool as the iPod, as easy to use, and it costs 50% less than the iPod, don't bother with the white or black iPod look.
Finally, it is not the iPod alone that makes it work. It is also iTunes and their nice little touches like the cool white earphone and USB cable, and the word "Enjoy" on the inside box. Having said that, Apple should also make their iPods a little more scratch-resistant. I am tired of handling mine like it is a newly circumcised penis.
Monday, January 16, 2006
I am not a fan of wedding dinners but this one is an exception. No "Final Countdown" or the theme from "Rocky" or any Kitaro track came on along with the first dish. No standard-issue menu. No Hokkien karaoke. And best of all, no drunk uncle at the back trying to pick a fight. I was just chillin' and enjoying the love fest.
Paul Morrison touching me inappropriately. We made fun of some singer we used worked with. Good times.
A box of chocolates for us. Mine's in the fridge and I am saving it for someone who loves chocolates. (There was also a CD with questionable unlicensed music.)
Reshmonu touching me inappropriately.
Man struggles with fish. These are not your typical standard-issue wedding dishes. I am sure the waiters had to go through special training for this evening.
Ling and I. That's the new look I am going for. (Too much Calvin & Hobbes!)
The original members of the Pussycat Dolls.
Paul Morrison. Me. Jit. Moo. Despite our looks, we are really good in what we do.
Big freaky hairy metal ball hanging from the ceiling at the Westin ballroom.
Winner of the "I Am Sure It Would Hurt Like Hell If It Fell On You" award.
Saturday, January 14, 2006
Monday, January 09, 2006
Friday, January 06, 2006
Not only does oat taste nothing like a Big Mac™, it explodes too; which immediately puts it in the "hostile" category for me. I had no idea it would be so risky preparing geriatric meals.
One good thing though. Kudos to the microwave oven people at Panasonic who designed the glass tray deep enough to hold one Grande Starbucks mug-worth of gunk in the event that people's oat explodes. But only the tray got messy. Not the walls. Weird. God works in mysterious ways.
Relax. No animals were hurt.
I have recently begun to appreciate that even the most fucked up people on the planet serves a purpose. They are there to remind us that we shouldn’t be as fucked up. In turn, we should appreciate and show these fuckers love and understanding with hopes that they will be less fucked up. Then it will help make the world a better place. Of course, there will always be another group of even more fucked up people waiting in line to replace those less-fucked up people you just helped, and they are just waiting to fuck you over.
We just have to remind ourselves, it will be OK. God put them there for a reason. It’s not to fuck up our day but to make us better people who can better deal with all these motherfuckers.
And thus my quota of cussing and swearing has been fulfilled for this year.