Thursday, April 28, 2005



Last night, the Usual Suspects and Shob gathered at Suzie's Corner for a very late dinner after watching a series of short plays at our highschool (to which Han brilliantly directed one of them entitled "Room"). As we chowed down our food and drank cheap drinks, I could not help but feel overwhelmed from visiting the place which I used to refer as ISK"Hell".

It has been six years since we graduated! I shouted. Shit, we're old! We're almost thirty!

Immediately, Khaylis and Zales grumbled at my matter-of-factness, and told me to shut up. In order to reassure ourselves that we are indeed still very young, we went on to tap into our inner kid and reflect on how much we enjoyed watching great shows such as :

1) The Smurfs.
"Can't believe they even had a gay smurf," Khaylis said.
"Which one?" asked Zales.
"Vanity Smurf."

2) Transformers, and how much I wanted to buy the robot which had a tape-deck feature on its chest "because I thought if I bought that robot, I would get many robots with it. Was I wrong..."

3) Jem, and how Zales would make pink paper stars as earings, hoping that Synergy would change her clothes.

4) CareBears, and how I pointed out that I used to think that the animation was brilliant back then. "Now, I realised that the colors are too sugary, and what's with too much pink?!!"

5) Voltron, and how Khaylis and Zales always wanted to be the pink princess.

6) And how we secretly currently watch new shows like Sponge Bob, Lizzie Macguire, The Amanda Show, All That (old seasons) and That's So Raven.

It was 11 pm and was time to go. Can't believe tomorrow's Friday, I said. Don't wanna go to work... Because, deep in my heart, I would rather wake up in my pajamas, drink milk and eat sweet Oreos, and swith on the tv to watch great morning cartoons. Like how we all joyeously used to do.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005



Since the beginning of January this year, I made a promise to myself to quit smoking AND drinking. The smoking part was easy (only a social smoker since 1995), but the drinking part is tough. Despite that I haven't drank a drop, at some nights, I crave and itch for a cold glass of frozen lime margarita. I know it is such a pooh pooh drink, but it tastes so good, god-damn-it! Anyway, to add onto the checklist for a healthier lifestyle, I recently joined a gym at Menara Maxis.

Most of the time when I do go to the gym, I would go on my own. Khaylis was suppose to be my gym buddy but her work schedule and mine haven't coincide recently. So, it felt great when I bumped into someone who I knew and who agreed to be my gym buddy yesterday. (Yay, I have a friend.) However, he is no ordinary friend. He turned out to be the ex of my ex.

It was really weird to have bumped into him. The grounds of our association was this girl who totally screwed both of us up, but both of us were too proud to admit it to each other. Until now. Coincidently, after the gruesome class of Body Combat, he tapped on my shoulder and said, "Let's chill after this." Nodding my head, I knew what that chill was going to be about.

Around 8pm, both of us headed towards the central food court at KLCC, ordered our food, sat down and tried on some small talk. But, predictably, he zoomed in into the crucial matter of the meeting, and said, "You know what happened."


"Oh, I broke up with her a year ago."

Without a pause, he continued telling me that things were rocky when he discovered that she was stealing his money and his credit card details. "She even had the nerve to tell me not to be down after a week my father passed away!" After sharing me some endless historical data, he said that he could not tolerate the distrust and ended the relationship. "But, the thing is, she never cheated on me though," he said. Silence.

It was already 9.15pm and I told him that I had to go. We exchanged numbers, and he told me to call him up next time I hit the gym. Yeah, no worries, I said.

As I walked down the escalator to the car park, I could not help but feel this need to tell him something he did not know. That she did cheat on him. With me. But I decided not to tell him and promised to myself about it. Because just like that margarita, I will refrain from it. Period.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Breakfast Secrets


This morning, while I was eating cold cereal, my mom walked quietly towards me, sat down at the kitchen table and whispered, "I have to talk to you."

She first looked over her shoulders as if to check whether the coast was clear. It was obvious that whatever she wanted to tell me, she did not want Pa to hear. As I continued munching on CoCo Crunch, I realised that Ma was telling me a family secret:

"Your Aunt L married this guy when she was a teenager. She had a son with him. When the marriage did not work, she and her husband gave that kid away. Now, her son, at 30 years old, is looking for her."

I did not know what to say. All I continued hearing was that my aunt did not want to meet with him, fearing that it would have negative implications towards her new, 3- years-old marriage.

"But A'cho has met him," she continued whispering. "She said that he looked a lot like your brother Wari."

As I finished my breakfast, assured Ma that I won't tell Pa, walked out of the house and drove in my Waja to work, I kept on thinking about the possibility of meeting a new cousin. And despite whatever my Aunt wanted or didn't want to do, I wanted to know who he is. Where he has been. What he is like. And eventually, to welcome him to the family.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

From Scratch


I remember on the second day at my current job, during an internal meeting, my boss tapped me on my left shoulder and casually said, "Make coffee for me."

My immediate thoughts included :

Say what???
What the...
Who do I look like, YOUR TEA LADY???

I guess my face reacted the same way, and he quickly responded with "I just want to see how versatile you can be." I did not know what that meant, but like any other employee, I quickly flashed a fake smile and beamed "Sure thing!".

I dragged myself into the pantry, and opened the cupboard to see half-filled bottles of black coffee, Milo, sugar and powdered milk. Damn it, I thought, there's no 3-in-1's! The truth is, I rarely make my own coffee. I am more of a heavy tea drinker, and if I did drink coffee, the good fellows at Starbucks or Dome would have done it for me. So, it was another case of unwanted coffee circumstances, like the times when relatives would come over, mom was sick, I had to make coffee for them. And, like a bad dream, noone would finish the coffee I made. :(

So it was no surprise that my boss sipped the coffee I made and said, "This is bad." Oh well, there goes my reputation...

After a few months down the line, my boss did the same thing. During another internal meeting, he turned to me and said, "Make me coffee." This time around, I also let my face did the talking. I guess it said, Don't you remember? I suck at that!. I guess he read my face again and said, "I will tell you how to make the best coffee" :

2 teaspoon of coffee (heapful)
2 packets of sugar (or three teaspoon of sugar)
3 teaspoon of powdered milk

Add all three incredients into the mug, and mix it with a little bit of cold water. Dilute and mix, and then fill it with hot water. ("This is the secret," he said, "to dilute with cold water first. This is because if you pour in hot water first, it will burn the coffee.")

I took his recipe in good faith and followed through like a careful rocket scientist. And, when I passed the mug with the secret brew to him, I smiled with full confidence.

He sipped the coffee and said, "Hmmmm, that's good coffee."

Hurrah for me! I finally did it! I can make coffee!

"But," he continued, "It's not great coffee."

Damn you.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Under the Spotlight

Strumming Away

It was a typical scene at Alexis that night: pretentious people everywhere, flashing crystal glasses filled in red wine, laughing like there's no tomorrow, and eyes dotting you up-and-down when you stepped into the dimly lit restaurant. As I sat onto the table Khaylis booked earlier, my eyes zero-ed in onto the the area by the bar where three microphone stands and stools stood under the yellow spotlight. Shit, I thought, that's where I am going to sing...

It's been awhile since I did this. Singing. The last time was a stone-carved moment when I auditioned and made it into the top 135 in Malaysian Idol. I remembered and laughing to myself, what have I done, when I sat among the other 135 hopefuls in a circus themed auditorium, listening to Paul Moss, Roslan Aziz and Fauziah Latiff directing us what to do for the next three days of auditions:

Day One: All of us had to sing a solo acappella styled. Trying to prove that I could sing a Malay number, I sang a classic P. Ramlee "Jeritan Batinku". Roslan loved it. I made it to top 75.

Day Two: The top 75 were segregated into groups of three. The girls had to sing Sheila's "Sinaran", while the boys had to sing a Malay number "Fida". When it was my group's time to sing, a group member of mine completely forgotten his words. Trying to be helpful, I whispered the lyrics to him, hoping that it will trigger his memory. When it was all done, Paul Moss asked why I helped him, and before I could answer, he theorecticaly asked, what if I chose him (the one who did not sing a word) over you? And that's exactly what happened...

...Three hours later, Pete Teo talked over the microphone and said, "I met up earlier with this bunch of guys and I would like to introduce them to you all. Let's give it up to Acoustiq 39!" Through the crowd of applause, I looked to Aiman and Fairil, and signaled whether we were ready or not. I guess my body took control of me, and before I knew it, I was sitting under this blazing light, looking into the darknesses where I could see many unknown faces. Watching.

As Fairil strummed the guitar, I realised that I was singing again. And it felt great. Like Hell Yeah! great.