Planking

beach

I just came back from a trip to Kuantan where I got to swim in the blue seas and get some planking photos done. Heh!

sandcastles

You’ve all heard of the phenomenon that started in Australia and swept worldwide…unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past few months, that is. It really only hit mainstream news when someone died while planking on a balcony.

balcony planking

I’ve seen some crazy stunts by plankers on the Planking Facebook page which started it all. What is planking? In a nutshell, all you do is lie face down with your hands by your side at the most ridiculous places. It’s just as simple as that.

rail planking

I did the heated swimming pool rail at the resort (or at least tried to). This is a totally failed planking attempt since it’s really hard to balance on a wet and slippery 10 cm rail and perform a perfect plank.

heated pool

The good: I was cheered on by a bunch of people vacationing there and chilling in the pool. Plus, since it is the Hyatt Grand Regency Resort, none of the staff wanted to be the one to stop a paying guest at a 5 star hotel. Heh!

fail planking

The bad: I have bruises everywhere and my family jewels hurt like nobody’s business. Why? Think about it. It’s a 45 degree railing. You’re planking on a steep downward incline, trying to get the perfect form. It’s wet. When you lose your grip (what grip?), guess which part of your anatomy hits the rail before you slide into the pool or fall on the side? Yes, ouch indeed. -_-

planking

I also did the notorious balcony planking photo there. We were at the 4th floor so it wasn’t very high up and the rail was relatively large enough to do it without an excessive chance of you falling down and ending in the ER. It’s not the perfect form but it’s close enough without being too dangerous. Also, if you look, there is a safety awning which would probably hold my weight if I fell down the wrong side of the building.

I have to say though, planking is a very idiotic meme that has swept the net for reasons unknown. It’s dangerous and it’s stupid. I suggest you do something better with your time…like playing the Funbots Dance Facebook app!

facebook

It’s also another Facebook activity so there’s that in common. Heh! It’s basically a game by Munchy’s to celebrate their 20th anniversary. They’ve been around since 1991 and this year, in the spirit of the Share the Fun campaign, four Funbots have been created – Michael Oven, DJ Mixer, ChopChop, and BeatBox. Witty! smirk

funbots-origin

There’s a real life parallel to this – the Funbot characters will begin their physical journey from 19th May, starting at the Munchy’s factory in Batu Pahat and ending in 1 Utama Oval Concourse where there will be a grand celebration from 1-5th June. Mark your calendars now coz fun and games await! Come and join the celebrations! :)

funbots-melaka

In the meantime, stay out of trouble and play the Funbots Dance app on Munchy’s Facebook page. It’s strangely addictive and you get to win prizes including a Macbook Pro, iPad 2 and other Apple products instead of a trip to the hospital. ;)

You can also track the progress of the Funbots journey to 1 Utama on the page. Come and beat my score now! w00t!

What is your first car?

aussie-car

My first car was a second hand vehicle I picked up during my university years in Melbourne, Australia. The cars are cheap over there, especially used cars, and it’s served me well during my time there. I was rather sad to see it go.

However, it does make me wonder – if I were in Malaysia at that time, what car would I choose as my first car?

Well, if I used the same selection criteria, it would have to be economical, fuel efficient and yet look awesome. I can really only see one possible selection here.

roads

Did you know that the Myvi is the bestselling car in Malaysia for 4 years running? I can see why it’s so popular – it’s priced cheaper than most other cars in the market and unlike other Malaysian made cars, this one actually looks great!

The Myvi is a result of a collaboration between Perodua with Toyota and Daihatsu and even Richard Hammond (of Top Gear fame) praised the Perodua Myvi. I know a lot of people who owned Myvi’s as their first car – some of them still drive them. It is a rather neat car and the size and engine makes it very practical for use in Malaysia with our traffic congestion and parking problems.

myvi-boot

On another related matter (you’ll see), the song Marry You by Bruno Mars has been stuck in my head for ages. I saw the glee version of it first and I didn’t know who the original artists were. I was a bit appalled when I found out it was Bruno Mars coz I don’t listen to pop music so I decided this would be my secret guilty pleasure. ;)

I’ve always liked how the cast of glee can break into song and dance at the drop of a hat and pull it off so well. I can’t sing to save my life. People PAY me to stay out of their karaokes. ;)

Okay, I’m exaggerating there but you get the point. I’m basically tone deaf but I like to sing anyway. I love singing in the shower, when I work, and I occasionally also inflict my horrible singing upon all and sundry. This is one of those times. smirk

telawi

I made a video with my own version of Marry You – I totally butchered the lyrics, of course. It’s meant to be a bit of a parody, like the fun and quirky Singaporean “remakes” of popular songs back in the ’90s, and most importantly, leave a happy vibe. Don’t let my singing put you off, check out the video that I made:

This video is for The Perodua Auditions in conjunction with the launch of the Perodua Facebook page. They’re running a contest where you can win RM 10,000 by making a video and sharing it with your friends. The video can be about anything – sing, dance, act, jump, scream or just show why you’re Perodua’s biggest fan and upload it. Don’t forget to include the line “Perodua, lagi best” as part of your video – it’s the only requirement. :)

perform

Feel free to submit as many videos as you want as this contest does not require proof of purchase or anything ridiculous like that to enter. You can get a better chance at winning the RM 10,000 grand prize if by sharing it with your friends and getting them to vote for you. There will be also 5 consolation prizes of an iPad 2!

ipad2

Well, not this one, this is the custom engraved iPad 2 that I just got, but a new iPad 2.

boot

Like the new Perodua Facebook page now and start uploading your videos and sharing them in The Perodua Auditions to be a winner! RM 10,000 and iPad 2’s are up for grabs, so it’s nothing to sneeze at, and it’s just so easy to join. :)

First landing

christchurch

I remember my first trip to New Zealand – my entire family went with another family for our first landing (one of the prerequisites to get a Permanent Residency). We arrived at Christchurch and rented a caravan large enough for our family of 4 and their family of 4 and did nothing except go to prospective high schools to prepare for our education there two years later.

The first few days were a drag – we went to several schools before deciding on either Burnside or Riccarton high school. Next was the search for a home stay since we were minors and my dad finally settled for one right behind Riccarton High School (which was the one we ended up going to).

auckland nz

The rest of the time however was marvelous – we spent a couple of days in Christchurch, swung down to Dunedin (primarily to prepare me and my sister for medical school – she made it, I didn’t), met with the steepest road in the entire world before heading to the North Island.

rotorua

We pretty much toured the entire NZ in 3 weeks just by driving. My favorite place would be Rotorua – the air smells like sulfur and everything is more expensive than other towns but I loved the mud baths and our motel even had its own private spa!

luge

I was also an adventure fiend back then and went for this precarious ride called the luge (and got teased mercilessly by the other family’s twin sisters for pronouncing it loo-gee) where I nearly shit my pants by intentionally steering down “Advanced” instead of “Beginner” and careening down the side of a hill with sheer cliffs and nothing but centrifugal force to avoid you from tipping over.

I got out all wobbly legged and was properly chastised for heading down the Advanced route when I’m not supposed to.

bungee

I also went bungee jumping – AJ Hackett originated from New Zealand, but to be honest, the luge experience scared me more than the bungee jump coz I was supposed to steer but I didn’t know how to.

riccarton high school

Fast forward two years and I found myself studying in Christchurch. My parents decided on RHS primarily coz it had a low ratio of Asian students compared to Burnside. They are firm believers of fitting in and immersing yourself into another culture, which I guess rubbed off on me during my travels.

I joined the drama club (best thing that happened to me) and had a leading role in the end-of-year school play Peer Gynt. I also got kicked out of school for disciplinary issues but we shall not be discussing that today. ;)

fishandchips

The year that I spent in Christchurch was a lot of fun. The temperature drops down to the negatives in winter and despite being only 15 years old, I was very active in the rave scene. I can be seen at Ministry most weekends, which is where most of the good raves are found. I love eating fish and chips loaded with ketchup during the colder days of the year and explored every nook and cranny of the city (as much as a 15 year old who hung out with uni students who could drive did).

Christchurch is a beautiful city and although I’ve been to Auckland late last year to see my mom, sister and niece, I still prefer Christchurch to Auckland. It’s like how I love Melbourne but can’t get into the groove of Sydney.

christchurch-tram-nz

It’s a perfect place with quiet spots like Church Corner with its quaint dairies (a grocery store of sorts where you can get hot food and drinks) and yet with a vibrant night life, if you know where to look. You can even hang out in the city square where there is a huge ass chessboard with equally gigantic pieces.

Christchurch is also great as a base to REALLY travel around New Zealand. Just rent a car and explore the South Island before hooking back up north.

dairy

It’s been ages since I’ve been back to Christchurch and I’ll really love to see how much it has changed (and perhaps see my old principal, whom I had a lot of run-ins with and show him I didn’t turn out to be a total delinquent after all ;)) so it was great news when I heard that AirAsia X is now flying to Christchurch from an amazing RM 499 one way!

Man, you gotta give AirAsia X kudos, they’re adding more and more destinations exponentially – it really makes travel much easier at a great value!

You can also get the chance to win an awesome 7D/6N holiday in New Zealand courtesy of AirAsiaX by participating in the Faces Go Places contest on their Facebook page. Just upload a photo of your face to their Facebook application, which has a variety of activities you can match an expression to. Add a caption and share it with your friends to get votes. It’s that easy!

manic

This is my maniacally excited face. Heh! The Faces Go Places contest is where it’s at. Come on then, give us your best shot mate! ;)

An awesome start to 2011

jeanie

Well, for those of you who don’t know, I’ve just gotten into a relationship over Chinese New Year. It was a bit of a surprise to even my friends coz I was busy most of the time while I was back in my hometown. I’ve not been in a serious relationship for a long time so I’m glad all my friends are really supportive and happy for me.

facebook

I think being in a relationship is awesome!

relationship

Sure, it’s not smooth sailing, but nothing ever is.

couple

Awesome. It’s one of the words I tend to overuse but in the right situations there is nothing else that can substitute this adjective.

I’ve been up to quite a lot of things that would fall into the “awesome” category this year. It has been a very fruitful 2011. I spent NYE on a plane to London for almost a month long vacation in Europe.

wicked

I managed to catch Wicked the Musical (wicked is synonymous with awesome btw ;)) in West End.

amsterdam

I spent several days in Amsterdam – it’s my second time there within 4 months and I still love the place to bits. The tolerant and easy going nature of the Dutch makes this one of my favorite cities. I love chilling out at one of the many coffeeshops there too.

friends

Meeting new friends while backpacking throughout Europe was an awesome experience for me too. You get to see things from different cultures and some of the people you meet makes such an impact that you keep in touch even after you’re back.

georgia

I also went down the road less travelled and took a flight to Georgia. Now that was one of the highlights of my trip. It’s a post-Soviet country and there’s a bit of saperatist rumblings in South Ossetia but in general, Georgians are a very friendly lot.

georgian

In fact, I’ll say they’re hospitable to fault. I met people who bought me lunch and drinks and were curious about where I came from. Apparently, not many Malaysians visit Georgia. I think their hospitality in the face of poverty is downright awesome.

cny

Moving forward chronologically, I spent about 2 weeks in Sibu for Chinese New Year. It’s the place I was born in and even though I never spent much time there since I went to New Zealand for my high school at the age of 15, I still consider it my home.

reunion

The best part about Chinese New Year for me is the reunion dinner. I look forward to it every year and I’m thankful that my grandma is still around. She is the poverbial thread that binds us all. She’s getting along in the years and it always makes me happy to see her and give her a huge hug.

You know, hugging is not something that the older generation of conservative Chinese embrace (pun not intended) but my grandma has taken to it with a passion that surprised even me.

niece

Ever since I started giving her hello and goodbye hugs, she’s been wonderfully touched and even took to giving me affectionate carresses and pecks on the cheek. I wouldn’t have imagined she would ever do that, but it’s surprising how much she likes it and more than a little heartwarming that it has become part of our family tradition. :)

sister

My sister came back with her husband and my niece in tow this Chinese New Year, which was part of the reason I spent so much time back in Sibu. The last time I saw my niece was in the middle of last year when my mom had her lung cancer operation and she was a wee little thing back then.

She’s all grown up now – she’s a year old and for some reason she’s all smiles and laughter when she sees me, which makes me deliriously happy. Heh!

My niece doesn’t like strangers to hold and touch her but she’s taken to me and it’s an feeling I can’t explain when she gives off her baby coos and holds out her arms to be picked up. I love hugging her – she’s small, soft and she smells like milk. :)

kara

She’s awesome!

Do you know what else is awesome? A trip to Italy for 8D/7N, exploring over 11 cities plus a 3 hour ride in a Ferrari in Tuscany! All you need to do is to grab a Sunkist pack with the word “Awesome” and take a photo with it. You can upload it on the site or MMS it to 016 339 9950 and type . Start sharing your photo and get people to vote for you and you might be on your way to Italy!

There’s also a RM 500 prize for weekly winners and you can snag RM 100 just by being the highest weekly voter so there’s another good reason to join the contest. Sunkist is awesome!

sunkist

I think I’m awesome too! Everyone should feel this way. I read this article about control – if you let what other people think about you affect your mood, you’re basically giving up control of your emotions to others. Think positive and be awesome! :D

Surf over to Sunkist Daily Dose of Awesome for more details on how to participate. There are other amazing prizes up for grabs so hurry up and join the contest before it’s too late. I love Sunkist coz I’m always a bit lazy when it comes to eating right so it provides me with all the vitamins I need to be…

awesome

AWESOME!

…and please be awesome too and vote for my photo here. smirk

Behind the Scenes: Love The Way You Lie

bloody hand

I wanted this video to be as real as possible. I really punched the wall and that caused the various scabs from my Krabi trip to open up and stain the walls with blood. You’ll notice (if you have eyes like a hawk) that I was wearing a Band Aid during some of the scenes. smirk

It’s not that visible though since Cindy (who has just about anything in her condo) has one that is flesh colored. I only put it on coz it won’t stop bleeding and it’ll keep on dripping…like on her floor. Anyway, we had a lot of ideas for this actually:

Particleboard fake wall
This is something that you can actually punch through. Plywood would splinter while particleboard will have the same effect as the original video. Trust me, I’m from Sibu – Timber Town. :p

However, due to time and budget constraints we couldn’t do this.

Simulated bar fight
Actually the only reason we didn’t do this was due to logistical issues. We didn’t have a breakable bottle prop but it’s easy to use some blunt object to the same effect. However, it is highly unlikely that any bar would let us use their premises to do even simulated violence so we scrapped this. Sigh.

Self immolation
I REALLY WANTED TO DO THIS. I searched high and low for heptane – the only safe way to do this. Of course my definition of “safe” means there is a better than 10% likelihood of not getting third degree burns and a 50% chance of actually pulling it off. I read that heptane is used in anti-bacterial washes so I went to a lot of pharmacies until a kind pharmacist told me that it’s not used in Malaysia.

I called up several chemical suppliers but none of them will sell it to me. hmph

Heptane produces a warm flame just like gasoline (it’s also added to the petrol you pump at the gas station) instead of a sissy blue flame. The trick is NOT to douse yourself in it (that would send you to the hospital or the morgue) but to saturate a piece of mop (or something like that) with it and have someone run it over your body.

It will feel warm but it won’t burn you per se. It’s the vapors that burn in this scenario, not the liquid. However, you have to remove all your hair though so I shaved my pits and wanted to shave my head but alas, no heptane.

This video was actually shot over two weekends – the first weekend was spent doing the storyboard and we actually completed filming in 5 hours. We had another 2 ½ hour shoot the next weekend where we roped in strangers to help us and it turned out pretty good.

vitamin c

This is one of Cindy’s quirky notes around her house. I haven’t had my Vitamin C but I did get a good dose of Vitamin B from the Guinness that I drank. smirk

The Arthur’s Day Man of Action contest is still on. Just film a video and post the link to Guinness Malaysia’s Facebook. Each qualified entry will automatically win two passes to Arthur’s Day. w00t! I can’t wait! =D

Check out my original post.

Here’s the video again just in case you missed it.

Stink or swim

souvenior

You need souvenirs when you’re on vacation right? No, not her, you can’t take her back. :p

alam sensasi girls

I mean real souvenirs – and those souvenirs shouldn’t be your garden variety items which anyone can get so you’ll want to get something that reflects the culture of the place you’ve been too. Alam Sensasi has got it covered.

masks

Masks to scare people with?
Check!

sabah tea

Sabah tea?
Got it!

alam sensasi

“I was here” t-shirts?
Got ya covered!

You can even choose:

stink

S(t)ink

or

swim

Swim

Quite witty right? Right? Erm…can I at least get a sympathy smirk?

drums

Local drums?
They haz it! Large or small whatever rocks your boat.

gamat soap

There’s even Gamat (sea cucumber) soap that claims to cure just about any dermatological condition…

sabah pearl

…and other items like Sabah pearls. I was told these are pearls harvested from oysters from the seas around KK.

They even have more esoteric items like local gongs if you feel like lugging it back home with you.

That’s part of the local retail experience you get. Perfect for last minute souvenir hunting.

books and magazines

There is also the obligatory bookstore to save you from boredom during long haul flights (Kota Kinabalu International Airport flies to places like Korea and Taiwan, to name a few).

I love this local seafood store too. It’s called Dried, Frozen Seafood & Bird’s Nest Shop. Very straight to the point, they believe in pragmatic naming, none of that vague artsy fartsy creative stuff. ;)

dried frozen seafood and birds nest shop

It brings the fresh seafood of Sabah back from where you’re from. The best thing is that everything is flash frozen so you can bring it back!

sabah abalone

Sabah is famous for its fresh and cheap seafood – they have abalone going for RM 50 in packs of 2-4 (depending on size). That is REALLY cheap and I wish I bought some but my freezer is a little full right about now.

huge fish

There’s even large (HUGE actually) cuts of fish which you can bring back and claim you caught it while deep sea fishing in Kota Kinabalu if you’re so inclined. smirk

nice girl

This is the girl that was manning the Indulge & Win contest. She’s really friendly and helped me a lot in filling out the form.

I submitted my forms and now I hope I win. BTW, here’s a tip for you – the answer is 5 for the number of international airports MAHB handles. ;)

i with a cute chick

I’m with a cute chick. smirk

Love The Way You Lie

working

I love this song to bits! I’m a huge fan of Eminem and when Cindy suggested that we team up to do Eminem feat. Rihanna – Love The Way You Lie, I was more than intrigued. The first time I watched the video, it provoked a very strong emotional response. It’s just one of those music videos you wish you directed. Pure ingenuity distilled into a 5 minute AV clip.

I’m very proud of the final production but let me just ramble on about how this materialized. I have watched this video countless of times and gotten the gist of the story behind it. It’s has a theme that most of us can relate to and the powerful message behind it acts as a warning against how relationships can go really bad and raises awareness of domestic violence.

movie shoot

The all star cast features Eminem and Rihanna singing with inter cuts to scenes of Megan Fox and Dominic Monaghan (best known as Charlie from Lost) – a chronological mashup of how they met and their current situations and attempts to salvage it. Megan Fox donated all her earnings to SOJOURN – a charity for battered women and their children. It is ultimately about empowering women.

Anyway, back to our filming, I realized that we hit a snag coz my sunburn from Krabi was starting to peel really bad at the time. It had to be peeled off before we can start filming so I started with the storyboards.

sunburn

The camera angles are replicated almost exactly as in the video and although there were some scenes that we cannot do e.g. setting myself on fire (it requires heptane to be even remotely safe) and the bar fight (don’t have a breakable bottle prop) we managed to somehow do the video and still remain true to the original.

There are multiple shots from multiple angles and it took 5 hours of shooting to complete the video. I tried to edit the video myself but Windows Live Movie Maker does not have the capacity to do this so I engaged Haze Long to help me with it. She’s really good considering there are over 100 video files and managed to capture the essence of what we wanted.

The spitting scene in particular was rather hard to do – it appears that normal saliva does not propel in an arc that we wanted so Cindy used water inside her mouth to do it instead. She has the exact same outfit as Megan was wearing in the video and had to dry it with a hairdryer several times due to the number of takes we had to do.

cindy drying clothes

Special thanks to Fresh for being our videographer!

I present to you – our finished production:

It was a lot of fun to do this project and see it come to life. I am very proud of the final cut and even though it was a lot of work as well, the satisfaction of doing a video that came out as good as this is nothing short of nirvana.

Here are some outtakes from the video:

This is how we know spitting doesn’t look good on video.

I had to blow out Cindy’s candle while not appearing in the frame and what made this really funny was Fresh’s deadpan comment at the end. Heh! We both laughed so hard.

The reason we did this video is to participate in the Arthur’s Day Man of Action contest. This involves you getting creative (like our video – we did the parts in between so it sounds like Eminem and Rihanna is singing about us) and filming a music video involving your favorite artist or band.

Just post the video on YouTube and the video link at the Guinness Malaysia Facebook page with your name and video title (it must start with Arthur’s Day 2010:) and you’ll get a chance to win a trip to Dublin to visit the famous St James Gate Brewery and have a pint of the black stuff – it’s as fresh as it gets, any closer to the source, you’ll be drowning in the vat. ;)

Oh, and each and every qualified entry will automatically win two passes to Arthur’s Day (which requires no further introduction)! Everyone knows about the legendary Arthur’s Day and you don’t want to miss it – I went to the last one and enjoyed it thoroughly. Arthur’s Day to me is an outdoor concert with great music and smooth pints of Guinness. It’s the ambience that pulls me rather than the lineup! You can purchase your tickets at the site.

There’s also a Man of Vision contest going on where you play Robert Langdon and decipher clues in an image at the same site!

Anecdote: The original video has Dominic’s hand with “Cindy” and a 555 number. We used “Megan” for this video as a tribute to this coincidence.

Watch it in full screen for the best experience! You want to go to Ireland? The winners will be announced 21st September. You’ll have to top this video to do it, else watch out for blog updates involving titles like “Top of the morning” when we win the contest. ;)

Time rules over us without mercy

We never turn our back on it and we never ever allow ourselves the SIN of losing track of time.
– Cast Away

fuck i'm late

I am very particular about time. It harks back to an incident where I got locked in the public library when I was a kid coz I went to the gents near closing time. We didn’t have cell phones then so it took a while for my mom to realize I was missing and even longer to get security to open the grill. Needless to say, that experience was rather unnerving since I still remember it.

ellesse time

Ironically, I’m not much of a watch person. I keep track of time by using the computer’s lower right clock feature when I’m at work and a cell phone when I’m out. However, I can appreciate having a fine timepiece. A lot of people consider a watch an important accessory for men – a status symbol of sorts. Personally, the importance of a watch can be summed up with one word:

HINT

This only works with watches. Let’s say you have an important appointment to go to and you’re in a similarly important discussion. Dilemma! You wouldn’t want to be late for the next meeting and you ALSO don’t want to offend the people in the current discussion.

Solution:

michelle watch

Make sure you discreetly glance at your watch when the other person is watching. This will generally project a hint that you’re in a bit of a rush and allow you to exit gracefully without a social faux pas smirk.

This won’t work with my Blackberry since people would assume I’m just checking work emails.

That’s the importance of a watch and now I know why so many working professionals wear one. ;)

I’m not in the habit of wearing chronographs so it surprised my friend Michelle when I had the ellesse Sportivo on. I have to admit, it looks very nice and she was rather impressed with it as well.

ellesse

ellesse started out as a sports apparel brand from Italy but have since expanded into timepieces with ellesse TIME. I got one of the Sportivo collection for men. This stainless steel ellesse watch contrasts well with the black textured PU middle links around the bracelet. It has a very cool black dial too – large and stylish with three separate counters and a date display.

ellesse sportivo

This watch has all the features a good timepiece would have, like a tachymeter, but the best thing about the ellesse Sportivo is that it looks good and feels solid. The black/silver color scheme works very well – the red highlights is a real attention grabber too! It’s also water resistant up to 100 meters so you won’t have to take it off when you’re in the pool.

underwater

1 SECOND. YOU. THE WORLD.

ellesse is running a contest where you share a photo and story about a touching moment in your life. It’s really simple to join and here is my entry:

mom pre op

If I have 1 second with the world, I won’t give the usual Miss Universe crap about “World Peace”.

I don’t exactly have a very close relationship with my mother. We were always at odds for as long as I can remember and truth to be told, I used to secretly blame her for a lot of my personality traits. She worries a lot, over small and insignificant matters and somehow that passed on to me during my formative years.

She expects nothing less than perfection from me, using the rotan and vacuum cleaner tube liberally when I got anything less than 90/100 for my school exams. 90 would get a disapproving frown and a scolding. 95 would get a nod of acknowledgment, not approval. 99 got me a slight smile in the form of an almost insignificant upwards twitch in the corner of the mouth, which is quickly replaced by the oft repeated comment – “It’s just 1 mark short of 100. You could have done better.”

I remember that very well coz my dad wasn’t around when I was in primary school so all the insane expectations kinda left me with very low self esteem. I figured I just wasn’t good enough for the world. I was never going to be exceptional. I will always be mediocre.

I don’t blame her now though. I guess time and age changes perceptions.

It’s hard to be a parent.

(I also don’t want to be like Eminem – constantly whining about his mom for causing his problems smirk)

My mom was diagnosed with lung cancer a couple of months ago and had to undergo an operation. I flew down to New Zealand before she went for the surgical procedure and one thing that surprised me was how well she handled everything. She trusted in God and was never fearful.

She was strong.

The trip also made me realize how estranged we’ve become.

She made it through and is recovering now, and I think my newborn niece had a lot to do with that. I wonder though, would I ever forgive myself for not setting things straight if she didn’t make it through?

mom post op

I’m always closer to my dad and although my mom nags a lot, she does it coz she loves me in her own twisted way (and I mean that in an affectionate manner). :)

I’m not going to pretend to be magnanimous and go on about stopping poverty, helping starving kids in Africa, or somehow magically cease the tense situation in the Middle East when the UN couldn’t even accomplish it in decades.

If I have one second with the world, I would just like everyone to be happy about themselves. No anxiety, stress, or self doubt. I want everyone to accept themselves and be proud of who they are.

I’ve learnt to appreciate all the things in life that I have now. The important things – my friends and family. Especially my mom, since our relationship has always been strained and I aim to improve that. I’m just thankful that it’s not too late for that.

ellesse watch

Do you have you own story to tell? Join the Touching Moment contest and stand a chance to win an ellesse watch!

Fear of the dark

overexposed fire

Fear of the dark, fear of the dark, I have a constant fear that something’s always near. You know that Iron Maiden classic? I always get reminded of the chorus whenever I have to take photos at night. It always comes out terrible – noisy if I set the ISO too high, overexposed if I use flash.

Case in point(s):

jestina

Birthday karaoke session gone wrong due to low lighting

overexposed

Flash fail

beach

This pristine beach in Kota Kinabalu looks like a sandbox in a playground

fire

Overexposed…and not in a good way

mystery meat

WTF is this? I can’t even tell if it’s chicken, beef or pork. I am forced to caption it as Mystery Meat.

Another beef (no pun intended) I have with my digicam is that it can’t record in High Definition. HD is the way of the future, even YouTube supports HD uploads now. I feel like I’m in the Stone Age (okay maybe not, Bronze Age can?) whenever I take videos with my digicam – the details are lost and with a lot of people connecting their computers to large screen LCDs now you really need to film in HD to keep up.

This is what my videos look like currently:

640×480 – VGA. It’s a marvel…back in 1994 when that was the resolution of most monitors. Now with large LCD monitors running on high resolutions it just looks like a postage stamp. :(

Enter Sandman! (another song reference)

Cyber-shot_DSC-TX7

The new Cyber-shot TX7 is loaded with the BIONZ IPE (Image Processing Engine) which I am really familiar with. I can vouch for the image quality. Combine it with the Carl Zeiss Vario Tessar lens and a respectable 10.2 MP “Exmor R” CMOS sensor that reduces noise and you have the perfect digicam for night photography!

blurry

Blur be gone!

The Cyber-shot TX-7 has features like sweep panorama and anti-motion blur in addition to the impressive Handheld Twilight mode. You won’t have to worry about shaky photos and with the AVCHD Full HD movie recording mode, you’ll be able to present your nights out in full glory!

At 1920 x 1080 @ 50i movie mode, you’ll be hard pressed to find another digicam with similar qualities. It’s a touch screen digicam too, and having had 3 Sony digital cameras in the past, I have to say that it’s very nifty. The best part about it is that you only have to touch the LCD screen to focus on the subject.

uncover-the-night

Alright party people! You’ve had nights out where you think you captured awesome photos but when you go back home and upload it to your computer, you find out that it’s crappier than a lavatory full of excretion. Right? Right?

Don’t be ashamed of them photos – play “Uncover the night” or submit the pics to the “Night gone wrong” contest and stand a chance to win your very own Cyber-shot TX7!

fire eating

Enjoy your nights out without worrying about taking horrible photos!

How I met my girlfriend through football

football

I remember the 2006 World Cup like the back of my hand. I was single and earning quite a bit so I had a little something riding on each of the matches. I was on a total winning streak, raking it in like nothing else. I supported the underdog in every match and stayed up late to watch the matches.

Anyway, after a long winning streak (and a couple of losses) I decided to bet higher during the semis. I lost in both of the matches as well as the 3rd place ranking game so I was forced to try and cover my losses by putting RM 20,000 in the finals on France.

I went to a sports bar with a couple of my friends (who were all betting on Italy) to watch the kick off of the final match of The Beautiful Game (TM). I thought it would be wiser to put it on Zidane, despite having to concede 1 goal. I was right.

Zidane scored at the 7th minute! SEVENTH! It was a penalty kick and I downed my beer in celebration while my friends complained about the controversial goal. I just needed ONE MORE GOAL to seal the deal. Unfortunately, Italy equalized within the first half and I kept on waiting for another goal for the rest of the match. By the 80th minute, I was practically praying for France to score just so I wouldn’t lose any money. I just needed 1 goal to keep my 20k – I’ve already given up on winning so I wasn’t gunning for 2. Alas, it was not meant to be. It tied 1-1 at the 90 minute point.

fortune reversal

It was fortune reversal most foul.

I had to be extremely frugal after that and stopped seeing my expensive psychiatrist and went to another one at a private hospital. I remember seeing a cute pharmacist there and it so happens that my bookie takes bets from the hospital as well. I still remember the conversation when I passed him the 20,000 smackeroos:

Me: Hey, I saw this really cute girl at the pharmacist today.
Him: Oh, that’s Stephanie.
Me: Really? You sure? I thought her name starts with an A from her tag.
Him: Yeah man, her name is Stephanie – hottest girl in the pharmacy.
Me: Hmm…alright I’ll call her.

I did just that and went out on a date with her the next day. She asked me what car I was driving and the licence plate and the next thing I knew, I saw this girl smiling while walking towards my car.

I was aghast

It wasn’t the person I had my eye on.

She was hot but it was not the cute girl that I was interested in.

sri_shan_meal

I couldn’t very well bail (gentleman here k?) so I opened the door for her and we went out for lunch. That was a very memorable lunch coz halfway through it, she told me she knows me and reads my blog. Next thing I knew, a bottle full of DF-118 slid across the table.

It’s for you. A gift. I know you like this so I got it for you

I was delighted and abashed at the same time. I didn’t even bring her flowers!

We started going out after that and went to Thailand together during a pharmacist’s convention there. It was a whirlwind romance and she was the person I loved the most – I was 24 and she was 29 and oh so worldly and wise.

fansign_hc

She even did a tattoo of a stylized “6” for sixthseal.com on her chakra.

iberry_sorbet

She dumped me about six months into the relationship though.

You know what they say, with one hand He giveth and with the other taketh away. ;)

tuk_tuk_me_driver

BTW, I never did tell her I was originally interested in her friend, who I later found out was called Amanda. Heh!

What is your football story? Living in a football crazed nation where “World Cup Fever” (Symptoms: Unexplained medical leave, fatigue in the office, et al) I’m sure you have a lot of interesting stories to tell! It’s every football fan’s dream to watch a football match live. Sony Ericsson is running a contest where you just have to email your football story in to stand a chance to win a trip to South Africa to watch not just any football match but a FIFA World Cup 2010 match live!

Zakumi

Yes, the prize is an all expenses paid trip to watch a FIFA World Cup 2010 match live! Fulfill your dreams and get bragging rights by writing your football story, posting it on your blog and sending the permalink to extratime@waggeneredstrom.com. Your entry can be in the form of pure text, a photo story, video, slide show or just about anything, so go crazy with your creativity!

The Sony Ericsson Extra Time contest is only open to bloggers in Asia. Please submit your entries before 31st March 2010. The blogger with the most public votes from 1-15 April 2010 will win the contest! You can also email extratime@waggeneredstrom.com for more information.

More details about this once in a lifetime chance here.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...