I knew your mom before she knew how to rock

I went to an Offspring concert in Melbourne in 2001. I knew it was before my blog started coz I didn’t have a digicam and got a disposable camera just for that. I also remember someone from #Sibu (the IRC channel on DALnet) who happened to be in Melbourne at the time asking if she could come with me.

Your Mom

Now, this girl would claim later to be very much of a punk rocker. As Fat Mike put it, she should have been on the cover of Drunk & Disorderly (or Maximum Rock’n’Roll). But she wasn’t always like that. Back when she just arrived in Melbourne, she was a timid little country mouse, afraid of everything in the city.

OMG are you sure it’s going to be safe?
Yes, I told your mom. It’s a concert, FFS!

What if they are racists?
I’ve lived in Christchurch, New Zealand when I was 15 and can attest that Melbourne is way more cosmopolitan and there’s not much in the way of racism – I can go to raves and doofs and frequently I am the only Asian there but it’s always fine.

Oh fuck, there’s skinheads over there!
No, they’re just punk rock enthusiasts, I assured her.

I don’t wanna be in the mosh pit!
Now this, this statement really tested my chivalry. There are limits to what I would do for someone I barely know and have just met for the first time in person. This was pushing it, especially since I feel no particular fondness or even the slightest bit of affection/attraction for her. I told your mom I’ll be happy to get her a ticket to the seated area but personally, I am going into the mosh pit.

Oh, please don’t leave me!
It’ll be fine, I told your mom. It’s a regulated concert, not some underground event and I would have said its fine even if it’s the latter. Melbourne is a very safe city compared to most other cities its size.

I’m scared!
Keep in mind that I was not out to fuck your mother. I had no such designs on her fa plus sized ass. I couldn’t have done it even if I wanted to, swear to God, I am not your dad. My first experience with full penetrative sex to completion was at 25 due to a fear phobia of HIV.

Nooooo, you said you’ll come with me…
This is something I did do but in all fairness I did tell your mom that we’ll be having MOSH PIT TICKETS and we’ll be going into the mosh pit. I never knew your mom would turn up in heels (!!!). She didn’t even know what a mosh pit was back then, even though I had patiently explained via IRC and ICQ and told her not to wear anything that can’t be spilled on/torn/ripped the fuck apart.

…and in the end, being the nice guy that I am, I ended up going on the Rod Laver Arena stadium seats instead so we could be seated together. Our seats happened to be just overlooking the mosh pit, with a 2 meter or so drop down via a metal bannister. I could see a few people slipping down into the pit and getting chased by security so I thought I’ll wait till the concert starts.

The opening band (Bodyjar/28 Days) came on and more people jumped down to the mosh pit. Some managed to run/crowd surf *deep* into the mass before security managed to reach them and thus got away, while others were snagged by the long arm of the law mall cop right before they could reach the haven of jumping bodies.

I was one of the latter. I told your mom that I’m going in (Nooooo don’t leave me aloneeeeee she wailed, to no avail, coz the Offspring was on and I was really caught up in the moment) and jumped. I saw the security opposite me say something into a radio and two security beefcakes ran up from behind me – they were previously obscured by the wall so I didn’t know they were there.

I tried to leg it, running as fast as I can to reach the mass of sweaty bodies. One of the security dudes caught my arm and just before he could apply pressure, I flicked it out of his reach.

I saw a few moshers at the pit fringes looking at me and shouting encouragement, hands held out, waiting to pull me in, to where the security can’t reach me…

Offspring Concert 2001

I reached out, my left hand almost connecting with a sympathetic fellow-concert goer, who dragged me into the protective custody of her bosom, wedging me between her sweaty melons and her friend in front while I tried to weasel my way further into the crowd…

…before two tree trunk sized arms grabbed me from behind and forcibly hauled me off my feet and dragged me to the fire exit.

I was given a stern talking to (Do that again and you’ll be out of the stadium) before I was let back to my stadium seating.

It should be noted that the mosh pit tickets are the same prices as the stadium seating, this wasn’t an issue of money but a fire code violation. You can’t have too many people in the mosh pit area in case there was a fire – the amount of people need to be able to be evacuated safely by the existing fire exits, which is also why there’s a queue into popular clubs – something which is foreign here in Malaysia, so I feel like I have to explain.

…and when I re-appeared next to your mom she was so relieved. She thought that I was kicked out and was about to walk out to find me coz she didn’t dare be in the arena alone. In the 2 minutes or so that I was gone, she had a mild panic attack, an existentialism crisis, and did some hand-wringing to boot.

Next time I saw your mom was 5 years later when I started working and in the ensuring time, she had re-invented herself as some kind of rock goddess, the person the song Punk Guy by NOFX was talking about (except she was a girl) and every time she said something, I’ll think back to that day in Melbourne when I first (and last) met her and just had to laugh.

LOL

Another bumpy road, there’s so much wasted booze

drive shaft

I sent my car to the workshop over the weekend coz it was behaving rather strangely – it kept making quick and sudden swerves to the right on it’s own (!!!). Either the car was possessed by a vengeful and malicious spirit intent on causing me grievous bodily harm or there was something very wrong with the car.

Being a relatively pragmatic person, I thought the latter was more likely. smirk

My initial suspicion was that my right front tyre is running flat and so I leaned out for a quick peek during a traffic light stop (and nearly got my head taken off by a speeding bike). It looked nice and inflated.

Puzzled, I drove on, hoping that the problem would resolve itself when the next uninitiated swerve took me by surprise and I went *entirely* into next lane. I could see the steering wheel move. After my heart resumed beating again I decided to ground the car and send it off to get checked.

fixed car

I knew what happened too – a long time ago, when I was a functioning alcoholic, I decided to impulsively drift through a wet corner on my way home. It’s just one of the things you do when you’re shit faced drunk and it seemed like a good idea at the time. I ended up in the storm drain, with the rear of the car stuck inside the crevice. I gave permission to the tow truck to attach itself to the drive shaft (or suspension, I can’t remember) so I could get home quicker and without a trip to the workshop.

workshop bill

It turned out that the drive shafts were worn and the suspension was pretty much gone in the following 8 years, so the repairs on that alone cost me RM 3,043. I also fixed my long-running problems with the car air conditioning, which set me back a further RM 1,280 for a total of RM 4,323.

energy sandwich

I know, I’m still recovering from the price too. I guess I’ll have to eat bread for the time being while I save up to go to Japan next year. I’m glad I was alone when the problem manifested though, and I managed to fix it, coz that was very dangerous indeed and I have people I love and commitments in my life now.

The Curious Case of the “Half Price” Bakery

half price bakery

I was getting a loaf of bread from my usual bakery when I overheard a couple of students whispering and gesturing excitedly beside me. The bakery is open 24 hours and thus attracts a huge clientèle of mostly college kids who hang out there to “study”. It was about 2 am in the morning and I was just about to go to the cashier when one of the students leaned in consiprationally and murmured:

The butter milk buns are “half price” today, if you want to get them.

half price buns

Puzzled, I looked up and saw it was RM 5.20 for a small bundle of five buns – there was no mention of there being a 50% discount. This bakery doesn’t do discounts since it’s open 24 hours and they just cycle out their products instead.

What do you mean?”, I enquired, slightly baffled.
There’s a new guy behind the counter and he’s ringing up the buns as RM 2.50 for a pack”, the student breathlessly told me.

I’m not as excited as the college kids about potential savings by shafting it to a faceless corporate entity, but it did seem funny to me. I know that there’s a single bun version for RM 2.50 – the lowest price point of anything in the bakery. I’ve also had the 5-pack bundle before and thought they were quite good – especially if they’re just 50 cents per small bun instead of the RM 1+ it usually costs. smirk

I grabbed the pack and went to the cashier, and sure enough, the new guy rang it up as RM 2.50 when it came to the students turn. He also rang it up as RM 2.50 for me. I saw the supervisor beside him and was about to tell him about the mistake when I thought, why ruin the students fun?

half price bill

Let’s see how long they can keep this up.

I went there again the next night, and lo and behold, there was only a single pack left! There’s usually about 6 packs stocked on the shelves, it’s not a very popular item, but word seems to have gotten around and it’s *open season* on the “half price” butter milk buns.

I glanced outside and saw that the new guy was still on duty, and added it to my purchases to see if he’ll still do the same. Surely, he must have learnt of his mistake! How can a bag of 5 buns be as cheap as RM 2.50? Doesn’t he know better? Has he never looked at the bakery’s offerings? Most items are around the RM 6-10 price point!

buttermilk buns

Nope, it turns out that he was totally unaware of his mistake, and rang it up as RM 2.50 again.

I went again earlier today and saw that the new guy has left. I had a bag of the butter milk buns with me and it was finally tabulated at the correct RM 5.20 price. It was the supervisor behind the counter and I finally got the chance to ask him – “Did you know the new guy was scanning the bag of 5 buttermilk buns as RM 2.50 for a couple of days?”.

full price

He replied in the affirmative and said he’s been let go as a result of that. It turns out that they were selling out of the bags every single day, so they made more as a result but the books at the end of the day didn’t add up. They just realized what he had done after 4 days!

Oh well, I was sick of eating buttermilk buns every day anyway. :)

The potentially deadly dinner at O’Viet by Du Viet

duviet oviet

“She saved me from embarrassment and potentially poisoning myself to death!” smirk

oviet duviet

We had dinner at O’Viet by Du Viet last night as part of our weekend staycation, which we just came back from. It’s a restaurant that markets itself as having food influenced by the ancient royal capital of Hue in Vietnam.

duviet booth

As we perused the menu before going in, I remember a lot of the dishes from my trip to Hanoi. The place just shouted out to us while we were walking around the mall beside the hotel and my dear decided to have dinner here.

duviet bill

The ambiance is great and they have a secluded back booth with period decorations which I thought was really nice. The service is great too but the prices are a little on the high side. The bill for the both of us came up to RM 104.39.

fish soup price

I wanted to eat the Sour Fish Soup Noodles (RM 33) and noticed that it had a *sticker* with a revised (!!!) price on it. Curious, I peeled it back to see what the original price was.

price revealed

It was RM 19.90. I understand that black cod is seasonal though, so since it’s out of season (and thus probably not that fresh – low food miles, eating in-season ingredients and all that) I chose their flagship dish.

vietnam spring roll

My dear ordered Nem Saigon (Fresh Summer Rolls) for appetizers. This is what people normally associate with Vietnamese steamed wrapped rolls and costs RM 9.90. We had made Vietnamese rolls at home before and while mine wasn’t successful, she managed to perfect it. There’s options of chicken, prawn, beef and vegetarian. We went for the prawn.

prawn spring roll

It’s served with a peanut sauce that I found rather intriguing. It has a bit of heat in it but just right to balance the sweetness. The perfect dipping sauce! The downside is that there was just a tiny shrimp in each roll.

pho

She also ordered the Pho Hai San (Special Seafood Soup Noodles) coz she wanted to eat pho. It came in a huge bowl with fresh prawns, fish fillet, fried shrimp balls, squid and cuttlefish in a mildly spicy soup. It was priced at RM 15.90 and I loved the soup base – it’s seafood-y goodness! :D

vietnamese hot pot

I ordered the Du Viet’s signature dish – Beef in Vinegar Hot Pot (RM 49.90).

hue winter hotpot

It’s marketed as a classic Vietnamese winter dish from Hue.

hue hotpot beef

It’s basically a communal soup hot pot with thin slices of beef topped with a raw egg yolk on the side.

duviet condiments

You’re supposed to swish the beef in the soup and then make your own roll with the large plate of condiments (rice vermicelli, various traditional vegetables etc) and there’s a salty fish sauce dipping sauce too.

winter hot pot

This dish came with four (4) separate plates, each with it’s own translucent wrap. There’s four wraps in total and it’s meant to be a shared dish, which I didn’t know.

hue roll

However, the beef tasted really nice when dunked into the hot pot – the soup is a medley of ingredients that makes it slightly sweet and it’s a real pleasure to drink from.

vietnam roll

However, the fuel source burned out before we could finish eating, and we didn’t even notice it until after a while. This prompted us to chuck the remaining pieces of beef into the hot pot to cook in the ambient heat. It worked. :)

fresh egg soda

I also noticed that they have a drink I’ve been craving for since I came back from Vietnam – Fresh Egg Soda & Cream (RM 8.90). It’s basically raw egg mixed with ice cream soda (that’s vanilla flavored soda for those of you unfamiliar with the nomenclature) and cream – you can find it in various street vendors in Hanoi and it’s delicious.

vietnamese coffee

I also ordered Vietnamese Drip Coffee (RM 8.50). It came in the same nifty ground coffee drip system I’ve seen in a Vietnamese restaurant in Sibu way back in 2004 and also while I was at an authentic coffee shop in Hanoi.

duviet us

I had asked for condensed milk and ice on the side and I thought that the bowl on the left is a nicely decorated wooden ice bucket that’s supposed to fit into the drip system. I thought:

deadly ice cubes

“How interesting! They made ice cubes in a similarly sized metal container that *connects with* the Vietnamese drip coffee. I’ll put it under the drip so it’ll cool down my coffee”

flame

…and that was what I was about to do when the waitress re-appeared and *lit* what I thought was ice cubes at first glance in the dark back booth. She just saved me from potential embarrassment and the likelihood of a deadly poisoning. Haha!

hue hot pot

The “ice cubes” turned out to be the fuel for the Hue Winter Hot Pot that I had ordered.

Funny video of guy running after lighting fireworks

funny fireworks

I know, the title sounds like it’s straight out of “Spambots for Dummies”. Haha! I couldn’t think of a better description though. I’ve been going through my fireworks videos recently – uploading, tagging and sorting them so I’ll actually get my annual fireworks and firecrackers roundup done in time this year when I saw this gem.

firecracker sweep

It happened a couple of nights ago when we strung up 3 strings of long firecrackers and set them off *at once*. Of course, by ‘we’ I meant the spryer young men. smirk

lighting firecrackers

One long 39,0000 firecracker string was pulled up alongside 2 x 3,000 firecracker strings and all of them were lit at once with a sparkler. It’s something we’ve done more recently since it puts up quite a nice show.

However, this time the guy who went to light the fuse did so rather slowly and was jumping around while trying to avoid the firecrackers, which were popping all around him, yet *determined* to finish his mission of lighting every string before he ran away.

I hope that makes your Monday morning as much as it did mine! :D

How I won SGD 1 in Singapore

singapore pools

Heh! I did this during my first trip to Singapore to see my mom, there’s a supermarket near my sister’s place that has an outlet for legalized state betting *right inside*, of particular interest being football and motorsports.

This is different from the common lotteries that most countries have, with much lower odds compared to online betting sites as a form of taxation.

singapore football betting

It was the start of BPL and I bought SGD 10 for West Ham to win at 2.10 odds. I won this one, getting me SGD 11 nett (after deducting the original SGD 10 – the total winnings was SGD 21).

It’s basically winning a pack of smokes, just did it for fun.

sports betting singapore

I went for a random K-League match after collecting my winnings the next day while grocery shopping, also with a SGD 10 bet for a return of SGD 28.50.

There are various permutations possible – total goals, HT/FT, etc with corresponding odds (highest I’ve seen is 300 – which will net you SGD 3,000 with SGD 10). The minimum bet is SGD 5.

I lost this one, and stopped playing – the queue was wayyyyy too long and I just wanted to see how Singapore Pools works.

singapore dollars

…and that is how I won SGD 1 in Singapore. :)

Boracay and the flip flop disaster

boracay white beach sandcastle

After a long day diving and ATV riding at Boracay, we walked to White Beach to catch the sunset and I somehow managed to get my trusty flip flops stuck in the sand and the right pair finally gave out.

white beach sand

I could still use it by stuffing the bit that got loose back in – this pair has actually been relegated to my balcony back home, but it’s at best a temporary fix. It would come apart again at the slightest provocation, such as walking on the beach, or even sneezing for that matter.

I figured it was time to get new flip flops.

biggest pair of shoes in the world

The first shop I went to had one I really liked but unfortunately they were not for sale. It’s a display only item and anyhow, it was soooo large that I could practically *sleep* on it.

giant joke flip flops

I managed to get a pair for 400 pesos (about RM 30) at the next outlet but after I got back to the resort, I realized a little too late that it was slightly too big for me. :(

smirk

Posted: 9:50 am Boracay time (GMT +8)

A typical day in Macau

macau ferry

Board ferry from Hong Kong to Macau

new world first ferry

Puke on the ferry

macau immigration

Spend 2 hours clearing immigration

macau complimentary shuttle

Get accosted by representatives of various casinos and board one of their free shuttles

macau casino

Lose an insane amount of money

pork chop bun

Eat a pork chop bun to try and cheer yourself up

senado square

Walk aimlessly around Senado Square

grand lisboa

Contemplate suicide, settles for shaking fist at Grand Lisboa

hong kong

Return to Hong Kong

Guide to marrying the right person

You’ll all heard of my disastrous relationships. This makes me somewhat of an expert in these things if you follow the logic of what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. smirk

guide pea

I have devised a rather ingenious method based on countless personal encounters to qualitatively research and determine if the girl you’re with is:

  • Just a tiny annotation in the tome called Your Great Journey Through Life

or

  • The princess you’ve been looking for all your life. You want to marry her and live happily ever after till-death-do-you-part-amen.

It involves a pea.

baby peas

Step 1

Buy some frozen peas from your local supermarket

Step 2

Insert pea under the bed

Step 3

Wait and see if the girl comments on it

Specifically, the fairy tale calls for your princess to be able to feel the pea under a mound of mattresses but since that would be logistically difficult to pull off (who sleeps on a stack of mattresses anyway?) – just chuck the pea under your bed.

princess and pea

The height required would be well fulfilled by the empty space below your bed.

Trust me. I have tried this numerous times before. The conversation in bed the first time usually goes like this:

Her: Hmm…that’s a very small pe…
Me: OMG! YOU FELT IT?
Her: Baby, I don’t want to offend you but I can barely feel it.
Me: IT DOESN’T MATTER! DON’T YOU SEE WHAT THIS MEANS? WE’RE MEANT TO BE TOGETHER! :D
Her: Is it in yet?
Me: My princess! <3

Works like a charm.

Of course, I'm still single but...

Oh, wait. Damn.

How much floor should you use to make a pizza?

pizza floor

I’m much more interested in the pounds of ceiling and wall the toppings are made from. ;)

The funny thing is that this came out in an issue where there was an insert apologizing about a misprint in the previous one saying that Kadazans are from Sarawak with an addendum that more care will be taken for future publications. Kadazans are from Sabah, with the exception of Karen Mayer coz she’s just special that way.

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