Saturday, November 29, 2008

CHIKV!

It's my birthday tomorrow and I don't feel like celebrating. It's not that I feel that I'm too old for that sort of celebration. In fact, I can always give young people half my age a run for their money when it comes to having fun and letting my hair down. It's just that I've been infected with CHIKV or better known as Chikungunya virus. Me of all people! Can you believe that? I was unable to get out of bed for two days and all my joints ached. I did not feel like eating at all and had to depend on fruits for energy since everything tasted bitter. I had mild rashes all over my arms and my head throbbed like hell. I am still in shock actually. I don't usually get sick and I consider myself very health-conscious. I don't live in a mosquito-infested area and I spray my bedroom before I go to bed. Still, Murphy's law rules. What can go wrong, will go wrong. So, I'm taking a different approach to celebrate my birthday this year. I'm going to be a good boy and stay at home, take my medication, watch a little bit of television, reply whatever e-mail that is long-due and have my milk and cookies. Maybe next year, if I feel like it, I'll paint the town red or whatever colour that takes my fancy.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

MEMEY AND HER BABIES

One of my cats, Memey (not related to Memey Suhaiza who was caught with Norman Hakim by the anti-vice agency) gave birth to two kittens yesterday. I came home from work and she was nowhere to be found. I had my suspicions that she was about to give birth since she had been a little bit restless for the past two days. This is her second batch of kittens. The last time she gave birth, only one of her babies survived. I'm not sure whether her kittens will survive this time or not. Memey is a little bit small compared to other cats and to me, is still a baby. But I guess any creatures no matter what the size is, will start to mate once it reaches maturity (just like the human Memey). It's amazing and at the same time, ironic to see how animals know what to do instinctively and yet, humans, who are supposed to be superior than the animals, can sometimes be dense and thick.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

HELLO! IS THIS THE POLICE STATION?

I lost my cell phone yesterday and I'm really mad as hell. I can always get a new cellie but I hate losing all the numbers stored in it. I have a feeling who took it but I'm not the type to accuse anybody of doing anything without proof. The weird thing is it was only a day before that when a good friend of mine told me that his house was broken into. He was away at that time attending a wedding in his hometown so his place was left unattended. Not much was taken from his place but knowing that a stranger had access to his place when he was not around is enough to give him the creeps. A few weeks ago, an elderly neighbour of mine was taken for a ride around town before she was stripped off of her jewelry and belongings. She was later dropped off near a fast food restaurant still in a daze. As modern as I am, I believe there must be black magic involved in this. The crime rate is rising at a very alarming rate and I hate to think it is no longer safe for us to walk the street like we used to.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

STRANGELOVE

There'll be times
When my crimes
Will seem almost unforgivable
I give in to sin
Because you have to make this life liveable
But when you think I've had enough
From your sea of love
I'll take more than another riverful
And I'll make it worthwhile
I'll make your heart smile

Strangelove
Strange highs and strange lows
Strangelove
That's how my love goes
Strangelove
Will you give it to me
Will you take the pain
I will give to you
Again and again
And will you return it

There'll be days
When I'll stray
I may appear to be
Constantly out of reach
I give in to sin
Because I like to practise what I preach
I'm not trying to say
I'll have it all my way
I'm always willing to learn
When you've got something to teach
And I'll make it all worthwhile
I'll make your heart smile

Pain will you return it
I'll say it again - pain
Pain will you return it
I won't say it again

I give in
Again and again
I give in
Will you give it to me
I give in
I'll say it again
I give in

I give in
Again and again
I give in
That's how my love goes
I give in
I'll say it again
I give in

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Monday, November 3, 2008

A CAT STORY I : JOINT CUSTODY

I have this book called "Collected Cat Stories" by Stella Whitelaw which I accidentally found in a secondhand bookstore in Ipoh. It contains 53 stories about cats ranging from the ordinary to the magical. Here I would like to share a story with those who share my love for cats. This one is called "Joint Custody."

She swept into the police station like a gust of autumn wind. Her streaky brown hair flew about her small round face, rustling like leaves, her bright brown eyes flashing with indignation.

'I believe you've got my cat,' she said, with a touch of haughtiness that added inches to her five foot nothing.

Sergeant Brady was used to strange requests, and they often concerned lost or strayed cats. However, there was a difference in this case, for indeed they did have a cat, a large marmalade cat at present eating fish and chips from the police canteen in the comfort of cell number five.

'A cat, madam? he said slowly, as if he had never heard of the species. Now how do we know if we have got your cat? Perhaps you would like to describe your cat.'

'He's beautiful with long fluffy fur and great big eyes and he can talk to you,' said Lisa all in one breath.

'Not much description to go on so far,' said Sergeant Brady, opening a ledger at a blank page.

'What colour would you say?'

'Russet...every shade from the deepest red mahogany to the palest creamy salmon.'

Sergeant Brady wrote down: 'One ginger cat.'

'Excuse me,'said a firm, aggressive masculine voice. 'But that's my cat you are talking about.'

The owner of the voice was a tall young man, not a single ginger hair on his city suit, carrying a leather brief-case with brass hinges, very expensive-looking and executive style.

Lisa sniffed. He did not look like the owner of a large ginger cat. He looked more like a small dog person.

'I think you must be mistaken,' she said crisply. 'Rubens definitely belongs to me and I've come to to take him home.'

'Although I'm sure you have lost a cat or not, Marmaduke is mine, and I've his travelling-basket in my car to prove it. We could match hairs.'

'Marmaduke?' Lisa scoffed. 'What a name.'

'No more unusual than Rubens,' the man said, dangerously cool. 'It is four weeks since I am home from a business trip and found my cat had disappeared. I will not say stolen. Merely disappeared.'

'Fancy going away and just leaving your cat. Disgraceful.'

'Left in good hands, I assure you, with my neighbours. He may have been lonely, but he was not neglected.'

'It is true that I have only had Rubens for a few weeks, but when I found him, he was lonely, friendless, starving and longing for a little love and affection,' said Lisa.

'Marmaduke is a born actor.'

'I took him in and he immediately put on weight.'

'Starch, merely starch. Now if you don't mind,' said Stephen Randolph turning to Sergeant Brady. 'I'd like to take my cat home.'

'But how do I know who this cat belongs to?' said Sergeant Brady. 'You both seem to have mislaid a large ginger cat.'

'It's definitely Rubens,' said Lisa.

'Positively Marmaduke,' said Stephen.

'Would you care to identify the incumbent?' Sergeant Brady offered, coming round to their side of the counter. He led them down a green-painted corridor and took a key from his watch-chain and opened the heavy-plated door at the far end.

'I always thought that cells were in the basement,' said Lisa, following the burly back of the sergeant.

'Only in films, madam. Our cells are on the ground floor. Number five, if you please. Allow me to unlock the door.'

The marmalade cat was curled up on a blanket on a bunk-bed, the shades of his reddish fur warmly glowing in the electric light. He had opened one eye sleepily as he heard footsteps coming along the corridor. His new home with bars across the window was strange and he did not know why he was there. He was hoping that someone would tell him.

'Oh, it is Rubens,' said Lisa with a cry.

The cat immediately leaped into her arms, hooking his claws into her hair, nuzzling under her chin, purring ecstatically. It was quite moving.

'There,' she said triumphantly. 'You can see he's mine.'

'That's Marmaduke,' said Stephen bluntly, clicking his fingers.

At the sound, the cat jerked his head round and began to struggle in Lisa's arms. He sprang to the floor and twisted himself round Stephen's ankles, arching his back and miaowing.

'Obvious, isn't it,' said Stephen.

They glared at each other, seeing nothing but the struggle for the ownership of a charismatic marmalade cat.

'I suggest you sort it out between you,' said Sergeant Brady. 'We only keep cats a short time and them we pass them on to the RSPCA. We're only waiting for the little fellow to be picked up by the inspector. Why don't you talk it over having a cup of coffee? There's a nice little cafe on the corner of the street.'

Lisa was seething with anger as Stephen steered her towards the cosy lights of the cafe. She crunched through the leaves scattered on the pavement, brittle red and gold under her feet. She tucked her hair into her collar and set her face determinedly.

'It's no use thinking that you are going to make me change my mind,' she said. 'I'm going to keep Rubens. He likes living with me.'

'I can well imagine that Marmaduke likes living with you. He adapts very easily," said Stephen smoothly. 'But the fact remains that he began living with me, and he should return to me.'

They did not speak as they stirred the froth into their cups of coffee. The silence hung in the steamy atmosphere, clinging to the mirrors and curling advertisements on the walls.

Lisa looked at the man carefully through her lashes and through the steam. He looked tired, jet-lagged perhaps. She met his eyes. He had been looking at her, noting the bright defiance in her eyes that hid some kind of hurt.

'Did you notice the way Rubens began to talk to you,' she said at last.

'A noisy devil,' said Stephen, with half a smile.

'I like the way he talks. Makes me feel less lonely. I'm sorry if I've been a bit sharp this evening, but I'm not quite myself these days. Something happened... something personal... and Rubens has been a kind of life-line.'

'I'm sorry,' said Stephen, more gently, but not probing.

'You can have him back. He is your cat really. I guess he just strayed when you were away.'

'He seems to like you... a lot,' said Stephen, remembering the picture of the cat nuzzling in her arms, purring like a steam-engine.

They talked over second and third cups of coffee, and eventually, when the owner wanted to close, they wandered back to the police station. Sergeant Barry had his eye on the clock. He could go off duty in ten minutes.

'Well, whose cat is it?' he asked. 'What have you decided?'

'Joint custody,' said Stephen. 'That's what we've decided.'

'One week Rubens will live with Stephen,' said Lisa.

'And one week Marmaduke will live with Lisa,' said Stephen.

'He's very adaptable, you see,' Lisa added.

Stephen put the cat's travelling-basket on the counter. 'If we could have our cat back now,' he asked. 'I'll give you both a lift home, Lisa.'

'Oh, you can have him the first week,' she said generously.

Stephen shook his head. 'I think you should have him. He'll need a lot of extra loving after his terrible experiences in the police cells.'

The marmalade cat awoke from his terrible experiences and wondered what was going to happen next. He allowed the sergeant to carry him out, leaving ginger hairs all over his uniform.

The two people he cared for most in the world were smiling at each other, and he recognised his travelling-basket. He stepped into it, full of fluffy dignity, handing them his life with implicit trust.
THE END

Sunday, November 2, 2008

BACK TO BLACK (NEVER!)

Losing someone that you love definitely can be very numbing and some people get into permanent unconscious mourning without any realisation when they are going to recover or go back to their former lives. The pain can be very deep and subliminal and it takes a lot of courage and determination to go on. Some people liken a break-up to death and feel that they cannot survive and go on in life without the presence of their former partner. It is crucial that those who are undergoing such process not to be left alone since not all of us are likely to think rationally during this difficult period. Some people succumb to their own definition of love and romance which indirectly causes them self-harm and self-damage. It is not healthy to indulge in self-pity and stop living a life just because a part of your life doesn't go they way you plan or want it to be. Mourn for a while if you have to and after that, put on your most colourful clothes, face the world right in the eye and say,"I'm back and better than ever."

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He left no time to regret, kept his dick wet
With his same old safe bet
Me and my head high and my tears dry
Get on without my guy

You went back to what you knew so far removed
From all that we went through
And I tread a troubled track, my odds are stacked
I'll go back to black

We only said goodbye with words
I died a hundred times
You go back to her
And I go back to, I go back to us

I love you much, it's not enough
You love blow and I love puff
And life is like a pipe
And I'm a tiny penny rolling up the walls inside

We only said goodbye with words
I died a hundred times
You go back to her
And I go back to

We only said goodbye with words
I died a hundred times
You go back to her
And I go back to

Black, black, black, black
Black, black, black
I go back to
I go back to

We only said goodbye with words
I died a hundred times
You go back to her
And I go back to

We only said goodbye with words
I died a hundred times
You go back to her
And I go back to black

Friday, October 10, 2008

HAPPY EID!

I guess it is still not too late for me to wish everyone who knows me to have a happy and blessed Eid. My Hari Raya celebration went as it did the previous years so I guess I had nothing much to complain about. Except for the time constraint I was having preparing for the celebration itself. This year, somehow, my mum decided that it was time that we started making our homemade cookies again. I stopped making cookies a few years ago due to a few reasons but I am not going into details why I did that. And to my surprise, I managed to bake five types of cookies this year (successfully, Thank God). I left the rest of the 'cookie business' to my other siblings whom I knew would be back for the celebrations and as usual, they would come laden with their store-bought cookies and 'kerepek'. So the very not personal and so the very malas! On the first day, we went to the graveyard and I only went to visit one house. I went to see Coco and Nuar whose mother had just passed away a few months before. That night, my first sister came back with her family from Seremban and this time, there are two new family members. Now I have two more 'grandchildren'. (This makes me feel really old!) On the fifth day, FooArt, one of my dearest friends, had an open house at this salon for his customers and friends. They later congregated at my house for a late night snack and that was that. I believe most of us must have had a wonderful time during the Raya holidays. It gave us a break from our usual hectic life and I hope it has given us an insight on what is important and precious in our life. So again, have a Happy Eid and enjoy the rest of Syawal.

Monday, September 22, 2008

THE SIGHT, SOUND AND SMELL OF RAMADHAN

It's already the final week of Ramadhan and I think the atmosphere is not as cheerful as that of the previous years. The only indication that Syawal is approaching is the Pasar Ramadhan during the day and the prayers at the mosque. I have been getting a little bit nostalgic lately, recalling how we used to celebrate Ramadhan and prepare for Syawal. Those were definitely the days. Nowadays, a different scenario has taken over and most of the time, we no longer hold on to certain traditions. Working mothers no longer hurry home to prepare dishes for the family. Now, everything can easily be bought and I have to say that the choices can be quite confusing. Daughters no longer labour in the kitchen preparing cookies and other traditional delicacies. Sons no longer help to give the house a new coat of paint or even clean it. We no longer send Hari Raya cards to our relatives and friends. They have been replaced by text and multimedia messages. In fact, only a few houses in my area have been putting up the lights to welcome Syawal. It is sad but true. We have definitely become a modern society. A modern society which thinks time is so precious that we don't have time for time-consuming activities such as choosing appropriate greeting cards for different people, slaving away in the kitchen preparing food and dishes for our beloved families or even exchanging kuehs with our neighbours. A modern society whose joy comes from shopping for new clothes and enjoying Ramadhan buffets. A society so robotic, automatic and plastic. Ramadhan and Syawal, sad to say, have become so commercialised nowadays. Everything is about reaping profits from the spirit of Ramadhan and Syawal. But this has not dampened my spirit. I will try to do my part to ensure that certain traditions live on. I guess this is the only way I can still hold on to the happy memories of yesteryears.

Monday, September 1, 2008

RAMADHAN AL-MUBARAK

Today is the first day of Ramadhan and I am taking this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Ramadhan. This year is going to be the fifth year I'm spending the fasting month with my mum and the fourth year without my dad. He passed away in 2005, a year after I got my transfer back to my hometown. The heavens shed their tears last night which makes the weather cool and nice today and I see it as a blessing from Allah. Today is also a public holiday and it means that a lot of people will be able to enjoy the breaking of fast with their family members. I'm not sure what I'll be preparing today. Something simple and wholesome maybe. I'm hoping I won't be seduced by the aroma of the food and kuehs sold at the Pasar Ramadhan. Every year, we tend to spend unnecessarily on things that we don't really need during the fasting month. I also received quite a number of text messages from friends and colleagues last night and I apologise if I did not reply some of them. So to those who did not receive any reply from me, I'm wishing all of you a Happy Ramadhan.

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Friday, August 8, 2008

GOODBYE MIMI

Sweet, gentle Mimi, one of my cats died yesterday. She was only about seven months old and one of the most gentle cats I have ever known. She had never given me any problems and never made any noise in the house. In fact, she rarely made any sound at all. She would be waiting patiently for food to be given to her and after that would snuggle up to me or my mum. She had a habit of trying to get onto our laps and would start sucking on whatever we were wearing at that time. Her mother had never fed her and I believe this was the reason why she sucked on cloths. I will definitely miss her waiting for me at the door when I reach home from work or her trying to follow me to the weekly night market. She slept either with me or my mum. Although some people might think it is unhygienic, their opinions don't matter to me. She would creep into bed and curled up on our feet. Somehow, I would feel content listening to her purring and feeling the warmth emanating from her body. I buried her behind my friend's house where she joins other cats which have gone before her. I guess it is true when they say that only the good die young and this applies not just to humans but other God's creatures as well. Thank you,Mimi, for sharing a part of your life with me. Goodbye and sleep tight.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

MY FRIENDSHIP BRACELETS

I was going through some of the stuff that I have been keeping for years at the back of my closet when I came across these friendship bracelets. I used to make a whole bunch of them and give them to close friends or people whom I cared for (yes, I was a semi-hippie back then). These friendship bracelets came from a time when life was much simpler and not as complicated as today. Their association with friendship, honesty and simplicity was what first attracted me to learn how make them. Undoubtedly, times have changed and it is hard for us to find people who can appreciate something as simple as a bracelet made from strings. Now, we tend to spend a fortune on gifts for friends, colleagues and family members. I am not against buying expensive gifts if one can afford them but most of the time, the art of giving has lost its meaning. It's even rarer to find home-made gifts and cards anymore. Almost everything is mass-produced, commercialised and unnecessarily over-rated. With time, I, too, have lost my innocence and tend to see only the face-value of things. I sometimes wonder if it is possible to retain our innocence and yet be mature at the same time.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

DURIAN TIME!

It's the durian season now (at least in Perak where I'm staying) and you can get a whiff of its smell almost everywhere you go. My brothers came back for the weekend last week and we had a wonderful feast of cucur durian, santan durian, fresh durian and everything durian. I am not so keen on fresh durian as I prefer to have it prepared either with cooked or fresh santan and eaten with pulut. I also went to the wet market to get my supply of tempoyak from this makcik who owned a stall selling bananas and other kampung produce. She is the only one whom I trust for my tempoyak. I guess by the end of this week my weight will have gone up a few kilos. One thing for sure is I will be burping my durian breath which can be quite hazardous to those who are not prepared. Burp! Excuse me (in a very sweet voice, nevertheless).

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

AMY, KAK PAULA ABDUL AND THE SNAKE!

Hi guys, it's been more than a week since I last wrote here. I have been a little bit moody lately and I guess it must be due to the unpredictable weather. I received a phone call from a good friend a while back and I'm sorry I could not spend more time giving out my two cents worth about love and relationship. So to summarise what I intended to say, here is a Paula Abdul's video back from the 80's when she was still young and hot! To Amy, I know you love dancing so now you can dance to your own story. Call me,okay?

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He's a cold-hearted snake
Look into his eyes
Oh oh
He's been tellin' lies
He's a lover boy at play
He don't play by rules
Oh oh
Girl don't play the fool--no

You're the one givin' up the love
Anytime he needs it
But you turn your back and then he's off and runnin' with the crowd
You're the one to sacrifice
Anything to please him
Do you really think he thinks about you when he's out

He's a cold-hearted snake
Look into his eyes
Oh oh
He's been tellin' lies
He's a lover boy at play
He don't play by rules
Oh oh
Girl don't play the fool--no

It was only late last night
He was out there sneakin'
Then he called you up to check that you were waiting by the phone
All the world's a candy store
He's been trick or treatin'
When it comes to true love girl with him there's no one home

He's a cold-hearted snake
Look into his eyes
Oh oh
He's been tellin' lies
He's a lover boy at play
He don't play by rules
Oh oh
Girl don't play the fool--no

How come how come he can he can tell-a tell-a you're-a you're-a
Always always number number one without a doubt
(He's one cold snake)
When-a when-a he is he is always always squirmin' squirmin'
Like a little snake under-a e-ver-y-a rock
(No give, all take)
You've been you've been workin' workin' on the on the love
And he's been only only playing undercover all the while
(One smooth sharp tongue)
Take a take another 'nother look into his eyes
(He just talks)
And you will on-ly see a rep-tile

You could find somebody better girl
He could only make you cry
You deserve somebody better girl
He's c-cold as ice

He's a cold-hearted snake
Look into his eyes
Oh oh
He's been tellin' lies
He's a lover boy at play
He don't play by rules
Oh oh -- Girl don't play the fool--no

He's a cold-hearted snake
Look into his eyes
Oh oh
He's been tellin' lies
He's a lover boy at play
He don't play by rules
Oh oh
Girl don't play the fool

Thursday, July 3, 2008

AL-FATIHAH

My friend's mother, whom we fondly called Kak Minah, passed away peacefully in her sleep yesterday. She had been bedridden for the past few years but would still chat happily with us every time we went to visit her. Before that, we could still wheel her around in her wheelchair and take her out for dinner from time to time. To Coco and Nuar, all my love to both of you for giving her your best. I know I will miss her deeply and so will the whole gang.

Monday, June 23, 2008

SLEEVE FACES!

I was goofing around with a couple of my friends when we decided to take a few sleeve faces using my old record covers. For those who would like to see more sleeve faces, just go to flick.com. There are a lot of funny pics there. Here are two and wait until we do more sleeve faces using Anita Sarawak, Sharifah Aini and Noorkumalasari's record covers. (they are my favourites!) How I miss going to the record shop and looking at the covers.

Ogy Ahmad Daud - Bintang Harapan

Gaya Zakry - Derita Hati Kutanggung Sendiri

Saturday, June 21, 2008

A JUNE WEDDING

My colleague's daughter got married today. It seems like yesterday when she was still a schoolgirl. Her 'akad nikah' ceremony took place yesterday morning. Congratulations! This is the picture of the bridal dais.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

LOVE IS IN THE AIR!

I finally had a good night sleep last night. I was unable to sleep well for the past few days (except last night). All this was due to my cats. I have four at home and two of them were in heat! Somehow, they did not want to do it at home and the noise that they were making was unbearable. (especially the female). To make it worse, the whole thing could last for hours. Starting with the suggestive catcalls, flirtatious rubbing, sniffing etc et etc before they get to the real thing. I tried to put them out but they insisted on doing it in the house. Finally, I locked both of them in the bathroom! What a relief! When I let them out this morning, both acted as if they did not know each other. The first thing that they did was howling at the top of their voices for food. I guess their all-night-long lovemaking must have made them really ravenous!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

LOVE TO INFINITY!

I adore my 'Kak Whitney'. I even attended her 'Live 'N' Loud' show last year. Despite her present vocal quality, I am still her number one fan. Enjoy her 'Love To Infinity Megamix' video!

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WEDDINGS!

I love weddings! Having friends who are bridal boutique owners and make-up artists has enabled me to attend a few weddings especially during these school holidays. Here are a few pictures of the bridal dais that I have taken.