Pink shirt guy belts out an off tune (but heartfelt) song

I was at the karaoke last night and asked one of the staff to film this (admittedly horrible) rendition of the ABBA classic “The Winner Takes It All”. Mamma Mia was the first musical I went to with my better half and this song was in it. I think the staff member was quite confused as to what I actually wanted coz I had to use her phone to open the lyrics page while I sang outside.

I told her it was for my girlfriend and she happily agreed to do it. :)

Here it is for your weekend entertainment:

I don’t want to talk
About the things we’ve gone through
Though it’s hurting me
Now it’s history
I’ve played all my cards
And that’s what you’ve done too
Nothing more to say
No more Ace to play

The winner takes it all
The loser standing small
Beside the victory
That’s my destiny

I was in your arms
Thinking I belonged there
I figured it made sense
Building me a fence
Building me a home
Thinking I’ll be strong there
But I was a fool
Playing by the rules

The gods may throw a dice
Their minds as cold as ice
And someone way down here
Loses someone dear
The winner takes it all
The loser has to fall
It’s simple and it’s plain
Why should I complain?

But tell me does she kiss
Like I used to kiss you?
Does it feel the same
When she calls your name?
Somewhere deep inside
You must know I miss you
But what can I say
Rules must be obeyed

The judges will decide
The likes of me abide
Spectators of the show
Always staying low
The game is on again
A lover or a friend
A big thing or a small
The winner takes it all

I don’t want to talk
If it makes you feel sad
And I understand
You’ve come to shake my hand
I apologize
If it makes you feel bad
Seeing me so tense
No self-confidence

The winner takes it all
The winner takes it all

World Suicide Prevention Day 2015

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. I’ve seen a lot of resources offered to people who’re contemplating (Befrienders etc) which is good and all, but some people don’t want to talk and they’re past the stage where they want to talk.

If you’re one of those people, I can totally vouch for this site. I had linked it in the past, in 2004 and it’s a very good read.

It has helped a lot of people and I highly recommend taking a minute to read this before you decide anything:

If you’re thinking about suicide, read this first.

My teeth stopped hurting!

Ill Fitting Aligners

I’ve been having problems with my teeth lately…or more specifically, my gums. I’ve been on Invisalign for several months now and I noticed that the back of my jaw hurts whenever I put the aligners on.

I chalked it down to the Invisalign treatment working its magic and ignored the pain each and every time I had to put them back on after I finish my meals.
It makes sense that aligning your teeth would sting (at least a little) right?

Cutting Aligners

However, it started getting worse and the next time I was at Imperial Dental Bangsar, I told my orthodontist about the discomfort. She told me it doesn’t sound normal at all and after showing her where it was tender, she immediately isolated the problem.

It wasn’t the Invisalign treatment that was hurting my gums after all – it was due to the very back of the aligners pressing *into* my gums! It turns out that everyone’s teeth is sized differently and the standard set was a little too large for my molars so it impacted the gums.

Cutting Invisalign

I didn’t even realize it was my gums that were sore, I thought it was my teeth!

Thus, the good people at Imperial Dental Bangsar helped me to custom cut my bottom aligners. The back of the bottom right side was taken off quite a bit – scissors were used to make a sideways L cutaway so it won’t touch my gums. I tested it and found out that the ache on my right was gone but my left side was starting to smart.

Cutting Invisalign Aligners

Heh! It turns out that BOTH sides were in contact with my gums but since the right side was much more painful so I didn’t even realize that the left side was in distress!

It takes a very good orthodontist to be able to isolate and treat conditions like this. I felt comfortable talking to the people there, or I wouldn’t have brought it up. I’ve always thought I had a high tolerance to pain and tend to suffer in silence.

Fixing Invisalign

Good thing Dr. Salma and Dr. Stephanie (my orthodontists) diagnosed what was wrong and fixed the bottom aligners on both sides by cutting it to my teeth size and sanding it down so the edges aren’t sharp. They helped me cut and sand the next few aligners too, so I don’t have to do it myself – they all fit properly and painlessly now.

Invisalign Fix

It’s little details like this that gives Imperial Dental Bangsar the good name they have (really, ask anyone who’s been there about their service) and I’m glad they’re the ones taking me through this 2 year journey to a perfect smile. :)

The day won’t be quite as bright…

Cut Hand

I accidentally cut my hand just now while trying to slice a mango (of all things). My better half gave me a bunch of mangoes to eat and what I’ll do is slice the top off of each one and peel downwards.

However, this particular mango was rather slippery and the knife slipped and I sliced into my right arm instead.

Deep Cut

It turns out that the skin at this particular area is actually quite thick, and it took considerable force to make such a deep cut. I think the fact that my knife is about as sharp as a pair of children’s scissors helped, or else it’ll have been much worse. :x

Invisalign updates!

Invisalign Updates

I have gotten my next four (4) Invisalign aligners from Imperial Bangsar Dental! :)

I’ll be heading back to Sibu for a couple of days so I got 2 months worth so I won’t need to go back until July. I’ve been wearing the aligners for more than two months now (going to switch to my 7th set later today) and I’ve gotten used to the routine now…so much so that I actually forgot to take it out a few times!

The worse bit was with my 6th pair of aligners, I drank coffee without taking them out, which stained the aligners a bit, but I used regular toothpaste and a toothbrush to clean them and they’re as good as new. Haha.

I’m actually quite excited about my progress! I know it takes 2 years to get perfect teeth but nothing good comes easy and having a brilliant smile is definitely worth the time.

I’ll be doing regular updates on my progress with Invisalign so you’ll know how it goes. I’m really happy with the results to date – you can see the sides actually straightening from the 3D scans and my better half tells me it’s getting more even by the day (after I forced her to peek into my mouth). :D

Freedom of speech does not include bullying

I was a victim of cyberbullying.

I’ll share the details of how it started, how I realized what was happening was getting serious, and how I managed to resolve the issue and start criminal/legal proceedings against the perpetrator.

Cyberbullying can come in many forms on the Internet. It doesn’t just include direct attacks but other forms of harassing behaviour. I wasn’t equipped with enough information about my rights until I did a bit of research, which I’ll like to share with all of you. I’m sure every blogger or social media personality must have run into these things.

However, I’m not talking about the common trolls or haters, but people who have stepped further than that – committed identity fraud, impersonation and libel.

There’s a huge difference between freedom of speech and libel. You can hate all you want but when you step over the line by using other people’s identities and writing libel, you have committed a crime. The Malaysian government does not look kindly upon people committing cybercrime and they’ve taken a lot of steps to prevent that.

In my case, there was a single person (mostly) with a core group of 2-3 supporters, coordinating a libellous personal attack using other people’s identities to comment on my blog and on other blogs to defame me and others.

I can’t talk much about this since there is a police investigation and at the same time, I also plan to report this to MCMC so I’ll just write about the basics.

I first thought it was a common troll, but I realized that this person has gone on other forums and blogs impersonating me (using my name and blog) to make false and provocative statements. I only realized that when I got a bunch of emails asking me about “insider information” for a property.

The person intentionally put my email on a forum and created an account using my name to spread false and libellous statements. I had never even HEARD of the forum, much less commented there.

I got in touch with the forum administrators to get the IP address and other details of the cyberbully.

It was at that time that he started commenting on my blog (usually posting libellous and false statements) first using obviously fake names, and then when I banned him, started using other blogger’s names and email addresses.

He also went to other blogs using *my name* to comment and I realized that after some bloggers got in touch with me to ask about some unusual feedback I was leaving.

The first mistake this person made was that he seemed to have access to email addresses and names of a certain demographic of bloggers, suggesting he is more than a casual reader – he’s either a blogger or someone in the media/advertising industry, or he wouldn’t have access to such a laundry list of personal email addresses so that’s the first break I got while making the police report of a list of suspects.

This second mistake this person made was believing Tor would completely mask his identity. I’m just using the male pronoun for ease of writing, as I said this is going to be a legal case so I can’t put specifics.

The third and most vital mistake he made was that he usually copied and pasted a series of stock comments he had written (probably in a text file) and spammed them in quick succession at very specific and certain times during the day, the first batch of which is earlier than when most people wake up which helped a lot in the investigation.

It probably says a lot more about him that he’s obsessed enough to want to do this several times a day, which takes up his time but not mine (due to my spam filter) and to go further and spam comments on other blogs too. This, the authorities say, is very indicative of a CLOSE and PERSONAL relationship – someone I probably know in real life, gone slightly unhinged due to competition or work related stress/demands.

That was the nail in the coffin, since it narrows the suspects down to less than 5 people, which can be easily monitored for Internet usage and access patterns.

Cyberbullying doesn’t seem to fun when it’s not anonymous anymore eh? Be smart, don’t think that the Internet is the wild west, coz it’s not. The normal rules and laws apply if all the charges are upheld, the perpetrators will have to go to prison and have a civil lawsuit for damages waiting for them when they come out.

…and it’s not just from me, but from all the people they have impersonated so not only is their freedom affected, their future earnings and current assets will be to. Be smart, and know the difference between freedom of speech and libel, fraud, defamation and threats to property and life.

You are responsible for what you do so make sure to be a responsible online citizen. Contribute to the positive Internet experience, the law is very clear about this, as the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (Act 588 Section 233 (1) (b)) states:

(Anyone who) initiates a communication using any applications service, whether continuously, repeatedly or otherwise, during which communication may or may not ensue, with or without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any person at any number or electronic address, commits an offence.

The Internet is a wonderful place but some people just seem to think that anonymity can provide them with a license to do whatever they wish without consequences but truth to be told, there’s no real anonymity online. Everyone can be tracked with the digital trail you leave behind.

Cyberbullying is a very serious issue as the suicide of Tyler Clementi, Megan Meier and many others have shown. Don’t be disheartened or feel down if you’re a victim of cyberbullying – that’s just what the bully wants and it can have a very strong impact on you emotionally. I was lucky in that I was mature enough to shrug off the daily barrage of comments (over 13 years of blogging can do that to you)…

…but more importantly, I knew what my legal rights were and how I could get justice. They say revenge is a dish best served cold. I’m not big on revenge but I believe in personal responsibility so I’m going ahead with the criminal and legal proceedings. I know it’s not easy, especially for younger people, but if you’re a victim, please remember that you’re not alone – find out more about cyberbullying and how to get the help you need at the Klik Dengan Bijak initiative by MCMC.

My birthday conspiracy (which makes for reasonably good reading)

It’s times like these that I think there’s a higher power somewhere looking out for me. smirk It just so happened that I was back in my home town during my birthday (which coincides with Ching Ming) so I didn’t have much to do on Saturday night. I thought I’ll give a friend of mine a call and get some ketamine and treat myself to a nice k-hole for my birthday.

He didn’t pick up when I called him.

(I learned later this was a blessing in disguise)

Right after that, I went down and my dad asked me to pick someone up from the airport. That’s highly unusual, especially since he didn’t say who (my sister and her family had already gone back).

I pressed him for details and it turns out that my better half (whom I love to death) is coming to Sibu to celebrate my birthday with me. My dad had known since Tuesday (!!!) when she contacted him to arrange this conspiracy surprise.

The phone rang right after he told me – it was my friend, calling back. He said he missed my call since he took his daughter out and asked me what was up. I said nothing much and hung up.


If you have skipped the beginning of this tale, this is the same friend whom I was about to arrange to get some ketamine for a personal birthday treat to myself.

What would have happened if my dear had arrived smack dab while I was in a dissociative state where I was thinking more about 4th and 10th dimensional beings and pondering the reality of our existence?

(or maybe that she was some kind of ketamine induced visual and auditory hallucination)


Like I said, there is a God.

I’m kidding. That’s a heavily Photoshopped picture of salt (sodium hydrochloride) crystals packed in baggies to look like the real thing. It was pink Himalayan salt to boot, which had me adjusting all the contrast and levels and RGB details to make it look white and similar to ketamine crystals.

(either that, or I really digged out the real thing from my photo archives from years and years back action)

This is a highly elaborate running inside joke that I have with my dear, I seriously have quit all recreational substances, pharmaceuticals and anything that might even remotely alter my state of mind. No wink wink, nudge nudge stuff, this is for realz yo. I don’t even drink much anymore.

There’s no ketamine.

I love my dear to bits and she’s everything to me – I have always been true to her and haven’t touched anything mind-altering for almost three (3) years, ever since I have been with her.

Sarawak Laksa

Me and my dad picked her up from her airport and we went to Aloha Cafe to eat her favorite Sarawak Laksa.

Payung Cafe

The three of us also had a very nice dinner at Payung Cafe at night.

Braun Buffel Birthday Gift

She came bearing gifts too – a Braun Buffel wallet and a UNIQLO shirt.

Braun Buffel Grey Wallet

My wallet has been a sad specimen for a long time and I think she noticed that and got me a really expensive and nice grey one from the German premium leather designer.

Frankfurt Passport Stamp

I love that she has a passport stamp of last year, when we flew to Germany and France – it’s dated 5th of April 2014, my birthday.

Sibu Passport Stamp

This year, she has a stamp on 5th of April 2015 but this time in Sibu. It’s small things like this that means a lot to her and a lot to me too coz it shows how much she cares that she spends every birthday with me (despite telling me she will not this year coz she’s busy with GST to make the surprise better).

I love you dear. I’m glad you flew down all the way to surprise me and planned it with my dad. Thanks for all the gifts and most of all for gracing my birthday with your presence, even if it was just one day.

Birthday 2015

It’s the best birthday ever! You make my life better and you make me a better man by just being in it. <3

My late mom’s first Ching Ming (Tomb Sweeping Day)

Arranging Flowers

I was holding the nice arrangement of flowers awkwardly as we loaded the car, before deciding to put it on someone’s lap instead of inside the boot. We were headed for my mom’s burial ground (technically it’s a tomb since it’s aboveground) to pay our respects during the Chinese festival of Ching Ming (similar to All Saints Day).

Mom Ching Ming

It was then that my aunt told us we’ll be better off getting a new mop since having it makes it easier to clean those really hard-to-reach nooks and crannies so we all packed into the car (my sister came back with her husband in tow) and I drove to a nearby grocery store to pick out an appropriate one. I was quite surprised to find them retailing for RM 17.50 each!

Buying Mop

I guess it’s a temporary price increase, just like flowers, to rake (mop?) in the profits during Ching Ming.

Methodist Cemetery Sibu

The actual date is next week on the 5th of April, which happens to be my birthday, but our family has always done it one week in advance, as most people do nowadays since the day itself is really packed with people and it can take hours just to *reach* the burial grounds. It was also close to the exact date when my mom was called home last year.

Cleaning Tomb

My mom was laid to rest almost exactly 1 year ago after her battle with lung cancer at a Methodist cemetery.

Wiping Moms Face

I helped clean the tombstone (said I was wiping mom’s face, to a few quiet twitters) and everyone pitched in as well. The mop turned out to be an AWESOME idea as it allowed us to clean the top and sides easily.

Singing Hymns

These new tombs are meant to be easy-to-clean – unlike my late grandfather’s where you have to pluck grass growing in the cracks. The hardest thing I had to do was to borrow a bucket of water from a nearby construction crew, which they were happy to give, knowing what we were there for.

Flowers Mom

My sister had printed out Amazing Grace and another hymn from the United Methodist Hymnal (my mom loved to sing during church on Sundays) and the entire family sang both before my dad lead us in prayer. He gave a very touching dedication and I could see how so many decades of marriage has cemented these two lives together, making the parting hard even after one year and my heart went out to my dad.

Late Family Portrait

Goodbye mom. You are still missed.

My experience with Invisalign Treatment (and how you can win yourself a FREE full Invisalign treatment)

Invisalign Aligners

Oh no!”, I thought. What have I gotten myself into?!?!?!

Invisalign Full Treatment

I had a moment of panic as I struggled with putting on my custom-made aligners after my orthodontic attachment have been fixed. I imagine having to struggle with slipping them on every day for almost two years but soon the discomfort faded and I found it very easy to take on and off. It’s just like a tongue piercing – the (white and invisible) ligatures makes your teeth feel like there are multiple foreign objects inside and you can feel the Invisalign aligners working in your mouth but the feeling goes away very quickly.

It lasted just a couple of hours for me before I forgot I even had an Invisalign aligner on and ate an orange segment. The fruit actually popped in my mouth before I realized I had it in.


Now that I’ve been wearing them for almost a month, I love my Invisalign aligners. It’s virtually invisible and no one seems to notice that I have them on until I take it out right before I have a meal. There are so many celebrities using Invisalign treatment in movies and real life (like Claire Danes in the latest season of Homeland, I believe) that it has become cool to remove your Invisalign aligners before eating!

Clear Invisalign Aligners

That’s part of the appeal too – Invisalign aligners are removable so it’s unlike metal braces, which presents a whole set of problems – there are a lot of foods you can’t eat and it’s time-consuming to keep them clean.

Eating With Invisalign

I can take them off whenever I want to eat something so I can eat whatever I want without having to worry about food getting stuck inside.

BTW, just to show how invisible the Invisalign aligners are, I actually still had my aligners on in that photo above – you just don’t notice it! :)

Custom Invisalign Aligners

It’s also very comfortable to wear. There’s a slight feeling of tightness when you switch aligners every two weeks, but you won’t even notice it’s there after a while. I have had two incidents to date when I have accidentally started eating without removing my aligners, that’s how comfortable they are!

I have heard stories from users of regular metal braces who experience irritation and inflammation, but the BPA-free plastic that the Invisalign System uses produces none of those symptoms.

Tooth Surgery

I had three (3) of my teeth extracted in between my second and third set of aligners too. This had to be done due to an existing tooth that’s missing and it’s purely for cosmetic purposes. My experience with the orthodontists at Imperial Dental Specialist Center in Jalan Telawi, Bangsar is top notch – one of the teeth was a bit tricky to remove since it’s almost at a 90 degree angle so it required surgery but they did it without any pain at all!

Invisalign Bill

It just cost me RM 460 for the 3 extractions too; it’s actually RM 80 per tooth but the bottom one had complications and required surgery so it was RM 300. I thought the prices were very reasonable too! It’s great service with awesome bedside manner from a solid team of orthodontists.

Full Invisalign Treatment

The Invisalign treatment is also very convenient! My orthodontist is at a very busy location in Bangsar and I’m going home for the Lunar New Year so I can just get an extra set or two to bring back to my hometown of Sibu so I can just switch to the new set of aligners every two weeks without having to go back to my orthodontist.

Invisalign Full

Each Invisalign treatment is customized for you and only you! There’s complex 3D software which mapped my entire oral cavity with X-Rays and photos and I could see my teeth and what’s needed to correct my dental issues. The software is really quite remarkable – there’s two sets of treatments I can go for – one which requires the extraction of three of my teeth and one that didn’t but lasts longer.

Invisalign XRays

I opted for the extraction and just clicked and typed in my name as an electronic signature and the order was sent off to Align Technology in the United States!

Invisalign Ligatures

My extraction is due to a missing tooth I had in my lower left jaw and it’s purely for cosmetic purposes. My orthodontist told me that removing three other teeth will make my jaw look smaller and more streamlined and I signed up! I didn’t even know you could do cosmetic improvement like that!

I also can look forward to perfectly straight teeth after my 41 custom-made aligners are finished. I actually have rather crooked teeth that I’ve never fixed but I have seen that straightening teeth actually make people look more attractive! I notice myself noticing that and that was a huge catalyst for me to decide to go for Invisalign treatment.

Invisalign Treatment

It’s just natural for people to be attracted to straight teeth and symmetry in faces. Even babies are naturally attracted to facial symmetry and attractiveness! This has been well-studied so Google it if you don’t believe me. Babies already love me, mothers are constantly amazed when their babies stare at me and smile, I just want them to still look at me when I smile back. smirk

You can have the chance to get a perfect smile too! Check out Nuffnang Malaysia Official Blog for more information, sign-up to participate, and you will stand a chance to win a full treatment sponsored by the makers of the Invisalign System! Read more to understand about how Invisalign treatment works and how it can change your life at Invisalign SEA and check out the official Invisalign Malaysia Facebook page to interact.

Disclaimer: I have received complimentary Invisalign treatment and/or compensation from Align Technology, Inc. in exchange for voluntarily promoting and sharing my Invisalign experience. The experiences shared and views expressed are my own.

I lost (and found) my groceries at Ben’s Independent Grocer!

Missing Groceries

I’ve been shopping at Ben’s Independent Grocer (BIG) in Publika for a few years. It carries a lot of imported fruits, vegetables and dry goods like candy which appeals to me. I remember a lot of my wacky cooking adventures are based on products bought here, like Gordon Ramsay’s duck breast with Madeira jus, tomatillo apple cranberry chutney and parsnip purée, How to Make Stuffed Artichokes and Buttered King Grouper with White Wine Reduction in Bouchees Poissons. I also got our turkey from them two years running – for both our 2013 Christmas dinner and 2014 Christmas dinner.

No, this is not a sponsored post or an “invited review”. I’ve never met the people from BIG – I’m just a customer, like everyone else. I just wanted to highlight a rather interesting experience that happened over the weekend.

BIG Lost Found Maxim

It’s very easy for people (including myself) to slam a brand/store/restaurant when something goes wrong. However, I don’t think enough thanks go to them when something goes right – it’s like the toast falling buttered side down theory, it seems like we’re less inclined to remember the good but never fail to recall the bad.

Maxim Egg Rolls

Anyway, I was at BIG in Publika to check out their Chinese New Year stuff and bought some items made by Maxim (the famous Hong Kong bakery). I love their stuff and the Mahjong pineapple tarts I got last year was a huge hit. I got a metal tin of Mei-Xin Egg Rolls (Classic) and Mei-Xin Almond Mille-feuille to try out with my better half.

I thought if they were good, I can buy more to bring back to Sibu and stock up over here. The point is that, we wanted to try them first.

CNY Goodies

However, I noticed that the Mei-Xin Almond Mille-feuille was *missing* when I got home 3 hours later. I think the cashier might have packed it in two different bags and I only brought one back.

I called the number on the receipt and spoke to a guy who identified himself as Fikri, and he said my Mei-Xin Almond Mille-feuille is there and I could pick it up anytime. I’ve done this before at other hypermarkets (having atrocious short term memory) but never had any success getting it back before – either someone else took it, or worse, apparently the cashier did (at a memorable instance in a local hypermarket chain which I won’t name).

It goes to show how good BIG is and the clientèle they attract that none of these things happened.

BIG Receipt

My missing Mei-Xin Almond Mille-feuille (RM 49.90) was logged in their log book and they were waiting for me to call. I was unable to pick it up the next day so I sent a photo of the receipt to my better half for her to get it on my behalf.

She didn’t need it at all – the lady at the counter just picked up another Mei-Xin Almond Mille-feuille from the large display they have there and she signed off the log book and I got it back at night.

BIG at Publika is my favorite place to shop, not just coz of good incidents like these but due to the overall customer experience. It’s the reason why I only shop at Coles when I was studying in Australia – they have a great policy where if the cashier scanned a wrong item, the entire bill will be free (not advertised anymore) and you can open a drink in there for a long shop and just scan the empty can at the end.

BIG used to have the same policy about drinking in their store too, but there are signs prohibiting that now. I think the trust system doesn’t work very well when it’s open to everyone so that’s understandable in Malaysia.

Found Groceries

Still, it’s a great place to get groceries and small positive experiences like this makes it all the better. :)

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