Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Take a Bow. Curtain Closed.

Do you realize that we're coming to an end of a decade?

Seemed like only days ago we sang and danced to Jennifer Lopez's 'Waiting for Tonight', with its millennium-ushering theme video and now, 10 years have passed by just like that. Okay, maybe not you but I did sing the song in my room back then.

I mean like, really? Has it really been 10 years from there to here?

Maybe time doesn't do the justice but in terms of what I've endured in that period was worth telling through a memoir. A decade full of colors.

The end of the year signifies my, ehem, birthday as well. I don't celebrate it in a grandeur way and I don't know how to either. Maybe I wasn't brought up in that way.

Thankfully, some still remember it, earlier than expected. Megat sent me a card across the sea, way ahead of everyone else. Come to think of it, the last birthday card I received was like 3 years ago from Farra (complete with a gift, Pride & Prejudice novel by Jane Austen - our favorite!).

This year has got to be my gadget year. I got new awesome-schmosome PC, a cordless rumblepad, a new phone and now to complete the list is an 8 gigabyte iPod touch - courtesy of Mr Khairi. Initially he wanted to get me the Bottega wallet but I prevented him from doing so. Come on, I'm not that evil to gold-dig him (or anyone else).

So this little gadget easily won my affection and as any other stuff which I owned, I named this one as 'Bobiyu'. That's after what my 2-year-old nephew Muhammad Aisy referred to his father's iPod after playing a game of a blue ball ('Ball Biru') on it. Thus, Bobiyu is the name.

So, if you think this decade had been a rather dark phase in your life, fret not! The new one is coming up in a matter of days so let's make a full use of it.

To quote a line from the movie Precious, 'The other day I cried, I felt stupid. But you know what? Fuck that day. That's why God make new days.'

Starhill Gallery. December 2009

Have a blessed new year 2010 and a great new decade ahead! Happy birthday Khairizan Yaacob.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Baptiste McStormy

So this is Boboy's replacement. Meet Baptiste McStormy (pronounced as 'Bap-Tee'), a new addition to my family. He's a BlackBerry Storm 9500, a touchscreen smartphone with only four real button - call, end call, menu and back buttons. To Firah, I'm sorry I had break our pact of no-touchscreen-phones!

I still haven't got over Boboy but I really need to reconnect to the world. So, I reached out to my sister who's (surprisingly) sorry for my loss and provide me with an adequate stimulus package a.k.a loan, to buy a new one. How I hate the idea of being indebted to anyone, financially or not.

I don't believe in downgrade. I only believe in upgrade. The only times you need to downgrade are when you are being polite to others and when you're praying to God - that's when you have to be submissive. Other times, uh-oh, you only have to go up, up and up. Broke or not.

So, I better upgrade myself then. Bold is too expensive and totally out of the budget and Storm fits the bill well. Plus, it looks nice too. So why not? And my pal Azha has warned me 'Eh, kalau you pakai 3310 nanti jangan keluar dengan I ok. Malu.' Haha. I knew he was kidding and that got me cracked up in laughter.

Opening the black box is really like opening a Christmas present on one moment, and the next moment I realized I still owe my sister money. Crap. However, this little baby comes in standard set of any BlackBerry phone - a charger, micro USB port cable, BlackBerry earphones, a leather pouch, installation CD and of course, the guide.

I'm not a fan of touch screen phones and as I've mentioned here in my birthday wishlist, I'd chose Bold over Storm any given day as I've become used to the handiness of QWERTY keyboard. The last time I used touchscreen phone was with my Motorola PDA, which caught virus and had me bought Boboy (the Curve) as its replacement. So, it does takes a while for me to get used with its touchscreen keyboard. However Bold is certainly out of the option since it exceeded my budget and Storm looks like a equally-perfect substitute.

Unlike most touchscreen phones (like iPhone), Storm clearly distinguished itself with slightly different manoeuvrings. In order to select a button, you need to really press the screen (instead of just tapping it) and each time you do so, you'll really feel like you're touching a real deal keypad. This is a good transition for existing QWERTY keyboard user like me who are still getting used with the touchscreen and the press-sensation really helps especially in texting.

Since my last BlackBerry was a Curve 8300, I must say that I'm really impressed at how RIM has developed its line of phones over the year as Storm aced in most parts. The graphic/resolution is fantastic and the media player has definitely improved a lot especially in video playback. With its 3.2 Megapixel camera with auto-zoom, it also capable in video-capturing. The only downside is the lack of WiFi capability but I don't really mind as I never had that either with my Curve. It's slated that Storm 2 with WiFi will be released next year here in Malaysia, so hold your breath for that one.

The built looks stunning, the graphic is awesome and the specs are more than adequate for me - there's nothing I would complain with this one. Even file sharing, transfer and synchronization are made easy with the BlackBerry Desktop Manager. Even Stuff magazine for December 2009 gives this one 5-star rating (out of 5, of course) as one of the best phones of 2009. Oh, if you're wondering how I came up with the name, it's named after the dreamy muse of Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld, Baptiste Giabiconi.

In case you're wondering and too lazy to Google him, that's Baptiste Giabiconi on the left with Karl Lagerfeld

Baptiste imitating the designer

I must say, this Storm (or Thunder, the pre-launch name given) looks as awesome as Mr Giabiconi. Thus, the name - Baptiste McStormy.

Welcome home, Baptiste. And I'd never put my phone on the table in any restaurant again. EVER.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

December Read

I've known Dr. Maya Angelou through her numerous appearances on Oprah and captivated by her personality. Her wisdom, her ideas and the way she talks as if a mother talking to her children. No wonder Oprah sees her as her mentor and I definitely learned a thing or two from this interesting lady as well.

This book was first published in 1967 as a memoir of her life thus far and reprinted for its second edition this year, 2009. I saw it couple of weeks ago in Borders and the title is enough to entice me to read it more. I didn't buy it that day though, and ended up returning home feeling guilty and miserable. So, the next time I was in Pavilion, I dropped by Times bookstore and quickly made a purchase of this book.

Though the first few pages seemed confusing and rather slow-paced, I simply couldn't put it down after moving on to chapter 3, 4 and so on.

Miss Angelou shared her bittersweet childhood in this memoir and unlike most memoir where the story-telling seemed formal and drab, this one is written in proper, formal way too but at the same time, it didn't look too uptight. There's casual feeling in her writing without forsaking the appropriate, serious tone in sharing her story.

I must admit I liked how the book started. She recalled a time when she was five or six, reciting a poem which she neither remember the lines nor finished it, in her church in front of huge audience. People laughed at her, mocked about her outfit and she ended up peeing on stage from nervousness. She left the church, ran back to her home - all with a huge smile on her face despite the shame and misfortune she faced moments earlier. This is how Maya Angelou looks at life - she takes everything that comes her way with an open heart and still able to laugh at herself, and that's how I wish to lead my life.

This book revolves around her life which she spent with her grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas, alongside her brother Bailey before moving with their mother in San Francisco and back to Arkansas after a year. She grew up way ahead of her own age, managing difficult country life in Arkansas and overcoming numerous obstacles and adversities, including being raped at the aged of eight years old. Despite all shortcomings, she still managed to shine through, excelled in school and discover the pleasure of loving God.

Throughout this book, I shared her pain and feel the trouble she had to go through - especially the trauma she faced after being raped and not being able to confide entirely during the trial, due to security purposes. But when she shared the brighter side of her childhood, I smiled and laughed along with each lines. That's how the book is - it won't make you feel miserable by the time you finished reading it, but you'll be entertained and appreciate it especially with the candid & comic storytelling.

Being used reading books with simpler ways of writing lately (like Mitch Albom's), this one takes time to get used and comprehend each chapter perfectly, at least for me. I'm a slow reader but this one makes me stayed up all night reading it and hungrily flipping through the pages. I look forward for a copy of her other books and poems from now on.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou retails at RM49.90 (paperback) and distributed by Random House Trade Paperbacks, New York

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Boboy the BlackBerry (2007-2009)

In Madam Kwan KLCC circa October 2008

I still remember clearly that evening. Tired and wasted, long train ride back home from Subang Jaya. Ayi accompanied me. Despite all, I wasn't even complaining with a new phone on the palm of my hand - a BlackBerry Curve I named Boboy.

It was pure joy. That's one of the perks being neither rich nor coming from a wealthy family - I learned to work hard to get things in my way and when I did, it really paid off. This wasn't just a 'thing' - it was a momento of a dream come true for a 20-year-old boy, a hard work paid off and a passion realized even when people around me were going like 'BlackBerry what?' at that time.

It has become like a midget friend, a companion to class, to leisure and everywhere else in between. A gadget that also acted as an instant accessory the moment I flipped it out of my pocket. Boboy was loved beyond comparison and he deserved too after much desiring and wanting.

It was a single slip of fate last Saturday, around 2.00pm when I lost him perhaps forever. Though my head was saying 'Do NOT put him on the table', I insisted since I was eating in a corner table of that restaurant. The chances of it being 'lifted' might be less as he's under my eyewatch, I assumed.

Boy, I was wrong. At least, I was wrong in thinking that I'd be extra careful with him around. I left the eatery without him and only realized an hour later when I got to my sister's place since I got so occupied with my nephew, Aisy and helping out my mom with house chores. By that time, no surprise, it was too late.

The workers claimed that they didn't see any phone lying around unattended and according to them, if they did, they'd surely hand it back to me. I think it's pure BS.

My BlackBerry looked worn out. It has scratches in every corner. The trackball's light no longer worked. The keypad was equally bad in shape though still usable. Nut shell, it looked bad enough and un-tempting at all.

I didn't care about it as a phone, but I cherished it as a small accomplishment in my life. Getting him 2 years back was major. The joy it has brought to me was beyond words. Those are the things that money can never buy and can never be replaced.

Though badly hurt and shock, I accepted it as a fate. I can't have everything at one time, so maybe this one has got to go for now. I return home so forlorn and emotionally drained. So, those of you who have made plans with me, I'm so sorry I couldn't fulfill it at the time being including my bestie, Ann Jie who turned 23 today, December 21. How I wish I could celebrate this day with you but I just couldn't seem to comfort myself yet.

Perhaps my birthday wish has (some sort of) jinxed everything. Anyway, I'm sure God must have something in store for me, something better.

To the potential worker of the restaurant who might have lifted my beloved Boboy and lied to my face that you didn't, a big fuck you. Amen.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"Hoyy, I'm Dave Nuku"

Couple of days back, my friend Hannah Azmir posted on my Facebook wall:

"OMG Kye, you look like Dave Nuku!"

Today, another pal the lovely Miss Hana Amira text me:

"You should watch the Biggest Loser Asia. The trainer from the Blue team looks like you!"

Seems like girls with name 'Hana/Hannah' really digging the similarities between he and I. I mean, I do notice the same tan skin, receding hairline and big nose but that's it. Maybe there's a slight similarity after all.

Only from neck up, of course. Dave Nuku would probably laugh at my muffin top and recruit me ASAP into the blue team.

Now, excuse me. I better start practicing my Aussie-British hybrid accent to role play him and get a sleeveless blue top.

A Monologue with Koko

Koko with his Juicy Couture baby bib (Photo taken last year)

Hi Koko, I bet you must be feeling rather drab there. Sitting around for months in the same spot, here beside my CPU and resting your back against that LV paperbag - don't you feel lonely or bored? I bet I'd be if I were you.

Hey, wanna know something? 2009 is almost over and - yeah! - my birthday is coming soon. Yeah, I can't believe it too, I know! Seems like I did nothing for the past one year except groaning, moaning and whining here in front of you.

Do you know what I'd like to have for my birthday? There are three things actually. What did you say? Yeah, nobody would even care to give any of it to me, but no harm daydreaming and wishing for it, right?

You know what, I'd love to have this inreciatto wallet from Bottega Veneta. It's something that I could use even after 10 years from now, I totally see it. The last time I checked, this one is around RM1500-RM2000. Kind of silly to spend that much on a wallet, considering I usually have less than 10% of the price of the wallet IN my wallet. But, hey, it's Bottega anyway and it's here to stay. It's a timeless piece of exquisite workmanship.

On second thought, I might not need a new wallet since mine is still in good shape (though it's not Bottega). So, something that's more useful might be a new phone, more appropriately, a BlackBerry Bold 9000 or as Farra put it, 'Beri Hitam yang Berani'! Oh, I totally adore this one gadget. I mean, BlackBerry might be the best gadget ever for me since I started using Curve a year and a half back.

They can bring on the new Curve, Javelin, Storm, Tour, Pearl or even the new Bold, but I'd still pick this old BlackBerry Bold 9000 because of the oh-so-glam and masculine design. Not only the design, the specs are really impressive too. Just looking at its leather-clad case is enough to make me go ga-ga for it. Don't you agree with me, Koko? Come to think of it, it costs nearly as same as that Bottega wallet.

My wishlist is not always about the price though. This final item is slightly affordable than the previous two, costing about RM400-500. I'm talking about this super stylish Bang & Olufsen Form 2 headphone with its silver finishing and it's as light as almost weightless (is it even a valid comparison?) With this headphone, I'm telling you, I'd be so fly. Even if I don't use it, it can be an accessory around my neck with that 'Bang & Olufsen' tag emblazoned. Yeah, I'm vain, I know.

It's free to daydreaming, so why should I care, right? It's my upcoming birthday anyway and I deserve to be loopy a little bit. Yeah, Oprah says you can't have everything at one time, so I believe I'll get it one by one, even if it means getting it myself.

So, are you with me Koko?

A Family Affair

My awesome brother-in-law was recently admitted to Prince Court Medical Centre due to some knee problems. So, he had to undergo a surgery to reconstruct the ligament.

Now, don't you ask me about the technical stuff here because I know nothing whatsoever about it, except that it sounds complicated, painful and expen-to-the-sive.

Since I'm on holiday and had nothing to do except updating catalogue for my sister's online store ( - go and see it!), I've been travelling back and forth to the hospital. Of course I have an ulterior motive as well - to check on the swanky hospital too, alright.

For KL-ites, PCMC is best known as that new hospital situated along Jalan Tun Razak and Jalan Bukit Bintang, which is also a stone-throw away from Pavilion and other retail havens. Thus, finding it isn't hard at all for me as I've passed it gazillion times before.

If the outside facade looks amazing, the inside looks equally breath-taking - if not better. There's a 2-storey high steel sculpture resembling a helical chromosome greeting you at the main lobby. If you're quick to notice, the layout of the building looks significantly similar to its sister buildings (cue Suria KLCC and Alamanda Putrajaya) as all are made under Petronas subsidiary, with two building wings connected to a central court in between.

The room in which my brother stayed was a standard room, located on level 5 and it's already better than any other hotel room. But if you're a VIP and willing to fork out more cash, there are more spacious rooms in level 4 complete with - get this - private balcony. How cool is that?

So, all of us lounge freely in the room which also comes in full Astro channel on a plasma TV with high speed WiFi connectivity. It just keeps getting better, especially with the fabulous view from the room.

The road was jammed from the heavy downpour when I went there yesterday, so I took a snap of the view from my driver's seat for fun. Gotta amuse myself during times like this though.

This is one of the perks for not being rich - like me - because you'll learn to appreciate things like this and try to grasp it and digest it as best as you can. Well, it won't be everyday I get the chance to be in a place like this, even if it's just a hospital. Haha.

Now this is some place I wouldn't mind being sick and bed-ridden. Then again, nah. I still chose to be sick, smelly and rot in my own small home because, well, it's my home. Money can't buy that. Ever.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Friends - or Something Like That

It's December and tonight it's raining. Probably, this is why I love December. A month filled with melancholy and damp air, but most importantly a month where we would always stop and reflect of the outgoing year. Has it really been a year, we would definitely ask ourselves though it seems silly to do so.

I love December for as long as I could remember. This is the time when my walk slows down, my heart softens and my emotions get mellow. Everyday isn't as hot as the remaining eleven months. Almost everyday it rains. Suddenly, people all around care about each other and get together in the mood of ushering the new year and of course, the Christmas for our fellow Christians.

I'm not spared in this mood of togetherness. I kept thinking about how wonderful the people around me are and what an exquisite bunch they have always been.

Growing up was hard for me. Jeering and ill-words lingered around me as I grew up. Life was not always all-sunshine-and-butterflies, both at home and outside. Because of my eccentricity, I became the outcast most of the time. An ugly duckling, a black sheep - aren't you amazed that we have names for people like me? They call it a flaw but I never saw it as such even until today.

Neither have my friends.

I'm sure God blessed each one of us with extra gifts but social skills was definitely not one of it for me. Thus, I didn't have many friends and still the number hasn't improved much. But the ones that I have are more than enough and I daresay some of the most fabulous people ever existed.

Couple of days back, I had a rather heated arguments with my mom, over me refusing to attend a relative's function. Then she said, "You were so good to your friends and why can't you be the same to your own relatives? What have your friends done to you?"

I was silent, though I had the perfect answer for that. More than you know, mama, more than you know.

My friends aren't only puppets for superficial joy. They are the ones who call me thousands of miles away just to ask how I was doing, across oceans from different continents. They drive in the middle of the night to come and comfort me from terrible sadness. The ones who shed tears and shared my grief, my loss, my misfortune. They are the ones who accompany me to here and there, never asked for any compensation or anything in return.

They are the ones who knows about me what my family doesn't. The ones who take myself as it always is, and never judged me even when I was going through my ugly phase. They see past through me, as more than what meets the eye and I see them as well. They never took me for granted, never made a qualm about me being a lousy friend in return. When nobody cared about me, they did, and when nobody believed in me, they stood firmly behind me.

For those of you who are interested, I made amend with my mom shortly after that. No worries.

I'm not here to brag about my-friends-are-better-than-your-friends. I'm here to share with you one of the most overlooked blessings in our life and believe me, this one surpasses every other ones. Even if you lose all of your fortune, your health or your will, (God forbid), as long as there are true friends standing right beside you, you'll do just fine.

Take it from someone who has been there and back - me. No other test is better to prove it than to experience it yourself. When you finally do, you'll be touched, amazed and most importantly grateful that you still have some people in your life whom will always be there with you.

We live and we die. Both are not important, what's important is how we live in between. We learn to give and take in order to live in this world, because humans are not perfect after all. That's why we need other puzzle pieces to complete the missing gaps in our part.

We wouldn't know when we will depart, neither do I. So, take this as my eulogy to my friends and I dare not mention names as I'm afraid some might be left out, but they know who there are. We have had so much great times knowing each other and enriching each other's life beyond imagination, so may the coming years bring us more joy, blessings and opportunity to know better of ourselves.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

It's Alright, Just Dance

Although now the exams are finally over, the busy part hasn't end just yet. We still need to figure out about our coming internship and I tell you, finding the right place can be very tiresome.

But, why not take a break for a while for a much-needed mind-easing activity with your good old friends. So, since all of our papers ended simultaneously on Tuesday, we decided to kick back and head to the karaoke box and be silly like we always do.

I tell you, it was worth every moment of it.

The last time we went out for our karaoke session was, like, last year, I guess. For those of you who thought you have had the best time with your karaoke buddies, you have seen nothing yet. When we got together, it wasn't just about singing, but dancing, cracking jokes and other unimaginable silly things - totally fun.

Hana recommended us this new place (at least for us) in Sunway Pyramid, called Amp Square Karaoke and it was quite cool. The place was cosy and we only paid the student's price, which is much much lower than the normal ones.

While waiting for the organizer of the event, Sakina, we had lunch in Kenny Rogers Roasters and I rekindled with its sumptuous beef spaghetti bolognaise while the rest had quarter chicken meals. It wasn't until we had finished eating when Sakina arrived. Sorry dear!

'Budak gedik'

Pretty girls in a row - Sakina, Hana and Fifi

Just dance!

There isn't much to say about the singing, dancing part. You can probably see the picture and decipher it for yourself. Hana and I did Beyonce's Single Ladies dance and I had to pass the next 3,4 songs to catch my breath afterwards. Sakina brought the Bollywood mood into the room with a couple of its number, Faris did his all-time favourite song in karaoke byA1 - totally old-school. Fifi did her interpretation of 'Zafirah Monica' with 'Matahari' while Ayi brought the house down with Phantom of the Opera - complete with the high notes in the end part. Sarah Brightman would be so proud.

It will take a while for the next rendezvous to take place with all of us are up to something this holiday. Hana and Faris would probably be tied to dance practice and part-time work, respectively while Sakina and Fifi would go abroad for holidays. I would probably hibernate myself at home and playing games in between. Duh.

Have a great holiday ahead, girls and fellas!