Thursday, 30 July 2009

Perfect* - Simple Plan

"In the end, it's these small things that you remember - the little imperfections that made them perfect for you. So to my beautiful children, i hope one day you too find yourselves life-partners who are beautifully imperfect as your father was to me".

In memory of Yasmin Ahmad - tho i never knew her personally, yet she manages to touch my heart and cause my eyes to cry.

I know i am far from perfect. I'm not the perfect son (ask me mom), not the perfect brother (ask me sis), not the lecturer (ask me students)... and the list goes on. But i hope that in my imperfection, i can still be beautifully imperfect to you.

*Their final single from their debut album and their biggest hit on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

All by myself* - Eric Carmen

They say that it's lonely at the top. Being the leader means usually being alone - and it's the same when it comes to the church.

I'm beginning to see it so clearly again as i study the Life of Moses in BSF. I'm glad that God is revealing new stuffs to me in this very familiar study.

Like for example, i never realised that Moses had to put up the tabernacle all by himself!!! But that was how important the job was - and God wanted him to do to ensure everything is done properly and in order.

We're not talking about a 4-men dome tent here! It was big. It was elaborate.

(Pic taken from online)

And Moses put it up all alone. Not easy being the leader!!! And very unlike a lot of leaders these days who will happily delegate these kinda physical tasks to others.

Yesterday, we learnt about the Day of Atonement - arguably the most important festival for the Jews. It is a 'public holiday' for everyone - a Sabbath day rest. Mind you, these kinda public hols are serious matters.

But the one person who had to work full time was the High Priest. It was a tough job. All alone, he had to carry out all the bloody rituals - no, i did not use the word 'bloody' as a swear word. It was literally a bloody job! He had to personally take the animals and then slaughter them to be sacrificed! We're not talking about chickens here - bulls and goats!

So while everyone else sits around literally, he does all the hard work, get all bloodied - and doing all that for the people!!!

Not easy, not easy.

As was said in the movie Watchmen - the Watchmen watch over us but who watches over them?

May i humbly suggest that we take time to appreciate our leaders and to give them our full support at all times.

*Written by Carmen too, it borrows heavily from the second movement (Adagio Sostenuto) of Sergei Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Opus 18.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Alone again (naturally)* - Vonda Shepherd

My ex-girlfriend told me once that the reason why she knows that our relationship will not work out is because i am not the 'type' that can carry on a long term relationship.

It's so ironic that she felt that way - cuz that only showed how well she knew me. And because she knew me so well, she decided she could not be with me anymore!!!

Well, some things never change. So it's back to being The Lone Ranger or Han Solo again. Watched Harry Potter by meself last Friday. Satisfied my craving for spicy food with a nice banana leaf meal just now.

The scary part of it all is that it felt so normal!!! It's like i've been on me own for so long that it is natural for me to be alone again. There was a strange sort of comfort that the familiar feeling brought. No awkwardness. No longing for company. No regrets...?

There was a funny kind of contentment, of freedom, of liberty.

Yet, deep inside, i'm hoping for things to revert back to how it was.

*Her version of this Gilbert O'Sullivan's song.

Shape of my heart* - Backstreet Boys

The signs were not good. Had H1N1 scare the week before. I was still just recovering from my phlegm-my cough when the race suddenly came up and surprised me!

I woke up that morning with a stiff neck and a sharp pain in my shoulder. I tried to get as much rest as i could but i just couldn't sleep.

As i drove to Putrajaya, i used my 'Touch n Go' card only to be informed that i have insufficient credit left. Hello??? It was merely RM1.60!!! The car behind nicely reversed to allow me to back up and move to a cash lane.

I was there early and alone. Actually, another fren wanted to follow me - but i knew that tGiF wouldn't be happy if i went with her. So she ended up not going and i had to kill time all by meself. I just took some random pics here and there and people-watched.

The Palace of Justice - the starting and ending point.

Sun setting

It was a really hot day and as the sun set, it blazed upon us all. The sun soon left but the heat remained.

I really did not enjoy the run at all. It has been so hot and humid even at nights - can u imagine running in those kind of conditions?

The plus points - there was enuf water! More than enuf!!! As it was a hot day, they even started giving out water before the race started. But what was bad for me was that they started giving out water really early!!! And it was given out in bottles. So even tho i wasn't thirsty yet, the 'Malaysian' in me kicked in and i grabbed a bottle - just in case. It turned out to be a real burden. Since they gave out water quite liberally, i decided not to drink from my bottle. So i ran with an almost full bottle of water for more than half the race!!!

I was so totally unprepared for the race. It was rather difficult. I walked for most of the way. At one point of time, i was psych-ing meself up and was about to start running again all the way to the end - when i was greeted by a sign telling us that there were 5 km more to go!!! The Indian uncle next to me read it out loud, with a tone of irony in his voice! To me, that sign was like a bucketful of cold water over my enthusiasm!!! It really killed me. What???? I've only completed half of the race????

So i trudged all the way to the end, telling meself tt i'll run the last 2 km. I tried but my calves started to cramp.

In the last km, there were ppl encouraging us on. One guy was spurring us on and asking us to give him a high 5. I theatrically used my right hand to lift up my left to give him a weak high 5. He ended up having a good laugh.

To my disappointment, there were none of the usual Milo or 100 plus booths. I was feeling so tired and hungry. There was a 1901 stall and eating the frankfurter only made me feel nauseous. Thankfully, there was a can of isotonic drink in the goodie bag (which interestingly, they only gave out after the race).

Along the race, i was thinking - as usual - of what to eat after the run. When it was over, i lost all appetite and all i could think of was going home, having a nice cold shower and going to sleep. No carbo replenishing. I sorta did that for lunch the next day when i stuffed meself silly with a Jap buffet at Hilton PJ. But not much carbo, tho.

I timed meself and it was pretty bad. I only comfort meself with the fact that this was a 11.5 km race and i prolly completed the 10 km mark at a much better time when compared with the KL run a few weeks ago.

I din enjoy the run at all. I must admit that while waiting for the starting gun, i was getting restless and excited. I entertained meself along the way by keeping up with strangers whom i only remember by their bib numbers. There's the irritating A1111 kid who stepped on me toes 3 times b4 the race started. There's this B2423 auntie and her running mates. There was this running bride too!

Running along the bridges wasn't that much fun. Not like running along the Penang Bridge!

Would i do it again? Possibly. Probably. But at least it was a good warm-up for next week's King of the Road! And it was a reminder of what a bad shape my heart is in. Still, it was a nice feeling when waking up the next day with aches - you know, the nice kind of muscle aches, the kind that reminds you that u worked hard! :-)

*Their first single from their 4th album, Black & Blue.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Ain't no mountain high enough* - Diana Ross

A chance encounter almost 3 years ago in a land more than 10,000 km away resulted in a hasty(?) promise which has returned to ... well, i won't say "haunt"!!! It's not so bad, really!

It was ... no, not ironic but more serendipitous that i was thinking about that promise at around the same time that she did. But she din just stop at thinking. She sent me a message reminding me of it - and cashing in on that promise!

So i guess that means i'll be going mountain climbing this September! As agreed, it'll be a mountain climb that is somewhere in between the can-die-kind-of-climb and the stroll-in-the-park-kind-of-climb. Tentatively, it'll be 3 to 5 days kind of climb. Yes, to some of us, that is the can-die-kind-of-climb.

Still, i need ideas and suggestions! And also, if u wanna come along, great!

*Her cover of Ashford and Simpson's classic.

Monday, 20 July 2009

One more chance* - Madonna

So what does one do when one is sick during the weekend? Watch cable TV, of course!

It was a pleasant surprise when i rewatched 2 movies which i have seen so long ago! The surprise was how good it was!

The first was Titanic.

I've never been a fan of the movie. I thought it was just overrated. I did not have a good time watching it too. I remember who i watched it with and where we watched it. It was at Sunway Pyramid TGV cinemas.

It was after a long day at work. I was also having flu. So a very exhausted me went reluctantly to watch the movie, sniffing away. The people in front of me must be thinking that i was crying thruout most of the movie!!!!

Put yrself in me (DocMarts) boots - would you enjoy a 194 minutes movie if you were in my condition? No! I hated every moment of it!!! I was just willing it to end as quickly as possible!!!

But this time round, i enjoyed it! I laughed out loud when Rose shut her eyes and swung the axe to free Jack from his hand-cuffs! I was moved seeing the poor people all panicking - and eventually dying. It was actually quite exciting seeing how Jack and Rose try to get off the ship safely - even if i know how it would all end!!! The effects were really good.

And i was also touched by Kate Winslet's portrayal of Rose! This was true love! Love that put her own interest aside. Love that was willing to risk her own life - even when all seemed so hopeless, she never gave up. Instead of being dray and safe on one of the life boats, she braved the sinking ship to rescue her lover.

And of course the musicians! True gentlemen and heroes!

May i add tho that i did not watch the whole movie again - i only started watching when the ship was starting to sink. And even then, it did feel a tad bit long before the end!!!

Next movie - Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Now i never dislike this movie. I'm pretty sure i watched it when i was in London during my undergraduate days. But it never really struck me as one of the bests! I love rom-coms and i'm a big fan of Hugh Grant. But this movie never really made it to me heart. It was good, ho-hum and tt's it.

But after watching it again, the sneaky little fella has crept its way into me heart! I missed the starting but still managed to watch all 4 weddings and the funeral so i guess i din really miss much.

I din remember it being so so funny! And i din remember being moved to tears too! But there i was, laughing like a madman and tearing at other parts. The characters were all so lovely! The bond of frenship they shared! The witty and dry humour. I loved how Fiona had such strong feelings for Charles but it was never reciprocated. So bittersweet.

Yes, it is now ranked among the top on my list - nowhere near Love, Actually or About a Boy but not far behind!

So i leanrt a very important lesson - in giving things a second chance! I may be in for a pleasant surprise! :-)

Pics taken from online

*One of her lessor known singles but it is my favourite song of hers!

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Black or white* - Michael Jackson

The new kits have been revealed!!! Both the new away kit and the new Euro kit. One is black and the other is white. Have a look:-

So now the big problem is - which shall i get? The black one or the white one? Hhmmm... tough choice, eh?

Well, tGiF made it a little easier for me when she bought me the black one edi! So now, shall i oso get the white one? How, how?

Pics taken from online

*Why this song has so much memories for me? See here!

Friday, 17 July 2009

The flu song* - Jewel

So i woke up with a bad throat. Must have been the fried chicken? Lack of water? Ah well...

But things got interesting late in the evening when i started having chest pains! That's ok - until tGiF told me that chest pains is one of the symptoms for H1N1 flu!!! So tt's 2 symptoms - sore throat and chest pains. I checked online for other symptoms - but they were all too general. Headaches - i get that almost on a daily basis. Shortness of breath - well, i am out of shape so i do suffer from this once in a while. Lethargy and unable to get up from bed - i go thru this EVERYDAY!!!!

But just to be on the safe side, i agreed to go and see a doctor. I was honestly more worried about the people around me - me mom and sis, and especially the small kids! On top of that, i'm supposed to go to Ipoh this weekend and among other things, have to attend a wedding dinner.

Checked in at the Emergency Ward at Subang Medical. I was wondering what would happen if i was really diagnosed with H1N1!!! Was planning to ask me sis to bring me laptop over so tt i can spend the next few days being quarantined and watching movies - while being attended by 'astronauts' (using the cute description used by one of my students when she was quarantined). Perhaps they would have to close down my college too! Woohoo! Big news! I'll be famous - the guy who shut down Taylor's!

A nurse attended to me first. Did the usual stuffs like checked blood pressure and took me temperature. She was more concerned about the chest pains and decided to do a Electrocardiography - an ECG.

Before i knew it, i felt like i was a stalled car with a dead battery and was about to be jumped started with around 10 cables connected to me! See the diagram below:-

(Pic taken from Wikipedia)

Initially, there was a perplexed look in the eyes of the nurse. Oh no - the truth is gonna be out. i am actually a heartless person!!!! But eventually, the machine thingy detected my heart and recorded the relevant info.

To cut the long story short, my heart is well. The chest pains were a symptom (most probably) of common flu, and not H1N1. Since i dun have fever or pneumonia, i should be alright.

The damage? RM216.80!!!!! But to sleep with a clear mind tonite? And for my loved ones not to worry? Priceless.

Praise God!

*I heard this song as it was included in her single for 'You were meant for me'.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Make me lose control* - Eric Carmen

Marking exams papers are always stressful. Especially since i have to do it within 48 hours. It doesn't help that last night's weather was perfect for sleeping - which was exactly wat i did!

It is stressful cuz the answers do drive me up the wall. After telling them again and again, they still make the same mistake. The dead person can 'take a criminal action' against the accused!!!

But it can be rather entertaining!!!

There was this question about how a fight took place during a sale. What really cracked me up was when one student suggested the accused - who was a woman - was suffering from DR ("diminished responsibility")!!!!! Lol!!!

What is DR? Well, basically, it's when a person 'should not be held criminally liable..., as their mental functions were "diminished" or impaired'. I guess during big sales, all women suffer from diminished responsibility??!!

*I used to be so crazy over this song and it's infectious bass riff.

Relax* - Frankie Goes to Hollywood

I din realise initially but the new place i'm staying at is just next to a park. So i decided to take a walk in the late evening. It was nice! :-)

It was right smack in the middle of the city but so many people were there. I almost regretted not taking along my dslr with me.

There was a group of boys doing all kinds of tricks on their bicycles. A lot of people were playing a 'sepak raga' like game. It's keepy uppey but using something like a feather shuttlecock thingy. A lot of people were playing it, some in big unisex groups, some in pairs!

Many others were playing badminton. Others were just jogging or doing stretching exercises. Not long later, someone turned on a mini compo and all the women got together and started doing aerobics open air. I walked further down to the other end and found another group of women there too.

The park there was like an oasis! In the mad mad hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City, this was like everyone's secret getaway - only that it wasn't a big secret!!! At the end of the day, this is where people go to relax - to borrow the lyrics from the theme song of an old sitcom, to go where everybody knows your name, and they're always glad that you came!

I manage to catch this little amusing scene with me mobile. No, they were not doing the 'Locomotion'!!! The ladies were like massaging each other's back!

I've been told that houses are very small and cramped there. That explains why people like to hang out outside. They would just go on their little 'cub chais' and sit by the road side, chatting or eating from the various food vendors.

I noted that they love playing chinese chess too! They'd play by the roadside. If it rains, that will not deter them. i saw this group huddled in the back portion of a stationwagon playing the game!

This was their way of relaxing - cheap but effective!

*Their debut single.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Everything changes* - Take That

I was looking down at my Tevas today. Soon, i'll not be wearing them anymore. I remember when i used to swear by Karrimor sandals. I loved them. Then came Teva. And soon - very soon, mind ya - i'll be joining on the Crocs bandwagon. Gonna be sad to say goodbye to me Tevas - it has been with me thru much. And has travelled to places that some can only dream of going to.

I remembered a post not too long ago where i talked about changing from Maxis to Digi. That was like a full circle.

Eventually, i'll be converting back to a Nokia handset too. yes, the circle will be complete then. I started off with a Nokia on Digi. And i'm heading back in that direction.

But it's not just tastes. It's views and values too. I remember i use to be a strong believer in "it's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all". I just read the same thing in someone's blog recently and i just said under my breath, "Loser".

*The title song for their 2nd album.

Monday, 13 July 2009

There are worse things I could do* - Stockard Channing

The girls wanted to go there because they wanted to drool over a waiter. I din mind cuz they serve some really good pork there!

So off we went to Eurodeli! The place has since been renovated!!! The only thing i cannot stand about the place is the paper table mat they use. To me, it has a pretty sick drawing!!!! Have a look at it yourself!

Pigs eating pork??? And they all look so happy!!!! Are there worse things they could do?

*This was the version found on the soundtrack of the movie version of the musical Grease.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

All you need is love* - The Beatles

Here are a couple of photos that i took of photos found in the War Remnant Museum. After looking at this photo and reading the caption, i had to sit down - and made sure the tears dun come flowing out.

And i knew i must share it with everyone - and remind meself constantly of it.

*Brilliant song by the Fab Four!

Friday, 10 July 2009

Hands* - Jewel

The second trip to Ho Chi Minh City gave me an opportunity to check out the many museums there. One must-go museum surely has to be the War Remnants Museum. The strange thing - for moi - was that they closed during lunch time. But that only gave me more opportunity to try out street food!

The other thing that amused me was the sight of this which greeted me when i was about to enter the museum:-

But it really shouldn't be a big surprise. Prevention is better than cure. Better safe than sorry - and a whole lot of other cliches can be said. With the H1N1 flu going around and with so many tourists from high-risk areas, this is a good thing to have.

Especially when there was this french girl who suddenly broke out into a sneezing fit near me. I avoided her after that like a plague pandemic!!! But somehow, she was always nearby! *shudder*

The more i think about, the more i feel sad about it. Washing our hands are such a basic thing. Weren't we taught this even from a young tender age? Yet, such a simple act could have prevented the spread of this virus - and others.

Our hands are very important - but it is a good reminder that we should also keep our hands clean at all times.

*The first single from her brilliant 2nd album which is the favourite of mine!

Thursday, 9 July 2009

A change would do you good* - Sheryl Crow

I finally did it. I change service provider for my mobile phone. After so many years!!!!

Yes, i've GAVE UP ON MAXIS!!!!! I'm back with Digi.

I just could not take it anymore. Maxis is so bad IN my house. It is so frustrating - when i cannot use my mobile phone at home, in my room!!!! The worse thing is that it is not completely no service. There is just sufficient line for the call to come in or go out - but not strong enuf to have a conversation.

Yes, i admit that outside, i do not have any problems with Maxis. But enuf is enuf.

I realised that i have come a full circle! When i first started, i was using Digi. The reason i changed to Maxis was cuz at that time, during my practice days, i traveled around the land a lot. And i found that Digi was very lacking in a lot of other States. Maxis was really good!

Now, back with Digi, i am reminded at how inferior it is!!!! When i'm indoors on campus, the line is very weak. I have to step outdoors!!!! Sigh...

But when tGiF calls me when i'm at home, i can talk to her now! So yes, the change is good! :-)

*Her 4th single from her 2nd album

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

A song for mama* - Boyz II Men

Well, this may seem out of the blue. Mother's Day has gone and passed. Why am i suddenly blogging about mothers?

Well, we need not only appreciate our mommies on Mother's Day, right?

Just a couple of incidents.

Incident #1

The first was when i got back from Ho Chi Minh City recently. One thing which i do which drives me mom up the wall is how i lock up my room when i'm out. She finally thought she'd outsmarted me when she started coming into my room thru the bathroom door.

So I figured out how to ensure she cannot do that - using a piece of rafia string, an old bad strap and a carabina!!! Connecting the bag strap to the door knob on one end and the window grill at the other, me mom could not enter me room anymore!!!

What really surprised me when i got home was that me mom changed the door know as it was faulty. On top of that, she got the lock smith to install a bolt on the door!!! Yes, i do not have to use that bag strap contraption anymore! I got a nice proper door bolt!!!

Why did she do that? It was totally against her self-interest!!! She did not stand to gain in any way!!!! But she did it cuz she knew i wanted it! And even tho she didn't want it, what i wanted was more important to her than what she wanted!

Is this true love or what?

Incident #2

I was staying at a tGiF's place when i went for the Ipoh Run. When i got back, they had all gone out for church service. I took me running vest which was still all soaked - with rain and sweat. I draped it over the front gate on a part which caught the sun.

When tGiF got back, her mom saw the vest. She took it IMMEDIATELY to the washroom and started to hand wash it for me!!!! She was still in her Sunday clothes when she did that! In a jiffy, me vest was nicely washed.

That's something that me mom would have done too! I always wondered why is it me mom would never put off doing something like that but her son procrastinates as much as he can!!!

Thank God for moms!

*This song which was written and produced by Babyface was also the theme song also for the movie Soul Food.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Thank you for the music* - Abba

Alright, this is really late. But better late than never?

This is my post as a tribute to the King of Pop! The reason why this post came up so late is because i needed to locate some really old photos - and then scan them so that i can post them up. Yeah, scroll down and look (and laugh!) at photos of me which were taken almost 20 years ago!!!

Was i a fan? Well, i guess so. Everyone around my age would be a fan! We grew up listening to his music and loving them all!

The earliest song i heard from him must have been "One day in your life". I loved that song. It could - and still can - move me to tears!

Then during my early secondary school life, he came up with Thriller!!! And along with it, his classics like Beat It, Billie Jean etc. There was also a point of time when everyone was singing We are the world - a song he co-wrote with Lionel Ritchie. Listening to that song again brought back so many memories.

i can go on and on and on about his songs - how he entertained me as i grew up. How he entertained all of us with his songs, his dance moves, his wonderful video clips!

The best - if i had to choose - would be Black Or White. If only for the memories attached to it. I was at Summit the other day and one of the shops was playing the video to it. I stood and watched it - and shivers ran down my spine while tears formed in my eyes! It was still soooo good, after all these years.

What made it so special? Well, during our first year as law students, we together with the 2nd year students performed a dance using that song and inspired by the music video. In the video, MJ dances with all kinds of people from all over the world. We decided to add a Malaysian touch to it. So we got Michael to dance with different kinds of ethnic dances!

It starts off with a Malay dance, followed by a Chinese fan dance. Then, there was an Indian dance. By the time that finishes, it would have reached the rap part of the song so we had a group doing a modern street dance with Michael. After that, it would be a Punjabi Bhangra dance!!!! The finale will be everyone reappearing in their costumes and dancing in unison til the song ends!

I was part of the bhangra team! here we are together with a lecturer from UEL

2 guys doing the modern dance flanking me and Chris who was doing the fan dance

That's me, 'Michael', Stephan and Caryn (Indian dance)

We practiced so hard - and we won the best item!!!! :-)

Everyday, after class, we would stay back and practice over and over and over again. Meaning that we would have listened to that song countless of times!!!! We knew which part was meant for who. And we had so much fun!

On top of that, i thought the song was pretty meaningful! Don't discriminate based on our colour - "I'm not gonna spend my life being a colour"!

What can i say now except to thank him for his songs and music. He had his issues and problems. And i feel for him sometimes. I watched a documentary last December when i was in the UK about him. And seeing the kind of life he had, the abuse he received, the influences from his family members, it is no surprise that he turned out quite abnormal. But perhaps it was because of all that he managed to emerge as a musical genius. I guess we'll never know for sure? I mean if he grew up as a normal kid, would he be just as successful?

But let me end off with the lyrics of a song which arguably the most famous one now - Man in the Mirror. The lyrics - you cannot deny - are so relevant to each of us today.

I'm Starting With The Man In The Mirror
I'm Asking Him To Change His Ways
And No Message Could Have Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World
A Better Place
Take A Look At Yourself, And Then Make A Change

*Their final UK single released in1983

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Better* - Boyzone

It had all the signs of being a disaster!!!!

My plan was to travel up to Ipoh on Saturday morning and have plenty of time to get my bib etc. Then i found out on Friday tt i was 'on duty' on Saturday!!!!

As i was rushing up the highway to Ipoh, i realised that unless my Wira can transform into a F-22 like Starscream, i'll never make it on time!!!!!

Then, i couldn't find any sort of confirmation tt i have indeed signed up for the race!!! No e-mails. no confirmations, no reminders. Oh dear... did i even sign up for it? If i do not have any confirmation, how will they give me a number???

When i finally got my bib, it was D 354. My fren was saying that it was missing a '5' at the front (only those who understand cantonese will understand!!!).

I was still feeling very tired from my trip to Vietnam earlier this week. No running since last Sunday for the KL one.

I tried to sleep early on Saturday nite. I was totally tired. Slumber should come easily. But it eluded me. All night!!!!! It was very warm - but that wasn't the reason why i couldn't sleep. The road outside suddenly seemed very busy. Each time a vehicle pass by, i could hear it loud and clear. And if the came from the junction opposite the room, the headlights will shine into my room. But that wasn't the reason.

I had an iced mocha earlier that night - but c'mon. Even the extra strong coffee at Vietnam have no effect on me.

So i tossed and turned. It was an uncomfortable night. When i managed to doze off, i dreamt of Transformers and the music video to Michael Jackson's Black or White!!!!

At around 2 sumthing, my tummy din feel too good and i had to go to the toilet.

My alarm was set at 5.10 am. At 5.09 am, i turned off the alarm. But something else alarmed me. What was that i am hearing? Rain drops? I turned off the fan and listened. Yes, it really was. Louder and louder, more and more and then the heavens just opened up and it poured like mad!!!!!!

My tummy stil din feel too good. I decided to just go back to sleep. Sleeping while it's pouring outside. That would be lovely. Surely they are not expecting us to go and register at 5 am under these sort of conditions!!!! And will Raja Nazrin brave the rain and flag us off? Under a yellow umbrella?

But things worked out well. Thank God for wonderful Joseph who agreed to relieve me of my duty on Saturday afternoon.

A fren at Ipoh kindly went to collect my bib on my behalf. Even tho she din have any confirmation of mine, she managed to get my bib and t-shirt!

I din dare eat anything before the race - nightmare from my Penang run last year still lingers. But i felt hungry during the race and decided that i would have McDonald's breakfast after the race!!!

And yes, i braved the rain!!!! It was total madness. Pouring like crazy. It was so so cold. I was soaked to the skin and my white running vest was so obscene!!!! But it was worse for the ladies who were running in white t-shirts. It was like a wet t-shirt competition!!! The spectators must have had quite a spectacle - esp the police and army volunteers! Me? I ran without me specs so i couldn't really see much! ;-P

The registration was just them tying a plastic 'string' around our wrist!

It was quite an experience running in such heavy rain. I thanked God that i kept my old running shoes in my car boot and i used them instead of my newer one. It was amusing seeing some run carrying umbrellas, some running in raincoats or ponchos!!! The funniest part to me was when we ran past the sponge table!!!! It was pouring with rain, we were all drenched and soaked - why do we still need wet sponges??? But in typical Malaysian kiasu attitude, many runners took the sponges - some took 2 or more!!!!

It felt quite bad for me initially. I sprinted from my car to the stadium thinking that i may have missed the start of the race. That really threw me off and got me tired b4 the race even started!

My ankles started to hurt early in the race and i told meself tt i'll stop and walk after a mere 20 minutes. But i was glad i managed to overcome a 'mini wall' and pushed meself. In fact, i achieved a mini runners' high after a while and i started to really enjoy the run! New sights, cool weather, good feeling! :-)

I was reminded why i enjoyed running like this so much last year. After this run, i immediately signed up for another one. Well, i tried to sign up for the Siemens Run too but that was closed.

So all things worked out. I even started to play 'Smooth Criminal' in my head just for fun (see previous post) and i must say that this time round, it sounded pretty good, not like the slowed down broken record version last week!

And the best thing about it all is that i managed to shave off 15 minutes from last Sunday's KL run. It still wasn't good but a great improvement! I did better. And i'm happy. :-)

*Their cover (do they do anything else???) of Tom Baxter's song which i first heard in the movie, Run Fatboy Run.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Bad* - Michael Jackson

Last Sunday was the KL International Marathon. I had to go for it. After all, the KLIM 2008 was the first ever competitive long distance running i ever took part in!

But it was bad. :-(

I went there late. So i had to park quite a distance away!!!

By the time i got close to the starting point, i had to pee. Now here is a good thing about not being a girl. The queue for the guys was way much shorter! So tt's good. But the condition of the portable toilet... ugh... tt's something i need not have to see! It was filled almost to the brim - with... toilet stuffs la.

Anyways, no rush since we all have the timing chip on the running bib.

I had a bad time with the runners. i realise tt Malaysian runners run like how they drive!!!! Those who run slow or walked kept to the far right!!!!!! I used to get quite unhappy with ppl like these. I remember i would run pass them and shout out "please keep to the left". But those were the days of when i was running AND passing people!!!

Women runners piss me off just like women drivers!!!! There was this one woman who just suddenly stopped without much warning!!!

When i came to one of the water stations, i followed behind this woman. She took the cup... AND STOOD THERE DRINKING ALL THE WATER BEFORE MOVING ON!!!!! Take the water and bugger off, would ya?

And the same thing happened after the race. I was nicely queuing up for 100 Plus. This woman forced her way ahead of me. She had 2 cups in her hands so i concluded she was going for another round. She stood in front of me and drunk both cups and asked for another round of refill!!!!

Speaking of water, they ran out of water at the last running station! I expected better from Standard Chartered!!

But what was really bad - in fact, the worse thing - was meself! I was so unprepared for it!!! When i tried walking the other day, my feet hurt after walking for around 20 minutes!!!! How was i to run?

The last song i was listening to before i got out of me car was "Smooth Criminal". So that song stayed with me all the way!!! But it was 'playing' according to the pace i was going. So it was hte slowest version of Smooth Criminal you'd ever hear! Lol!

My time was really bad. It is embarrassingly bad!!!! I walked for most of it!!! On the bright side, i can't get any worse, can i? We'll see this Sunday at Ipoh!!!

(p/s - the photos were taken from this Quite cool. Wonder how they actually tell who is in the photo. If you note the photo on the right, my hand was blocking my bib number! Good thing they had photos of me actually running!!!! I was walking most of the time)

*One of his no. 1 hit, apparently, it was supposed to be a duet with Prince!

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Bad day* - Daniel Powter

So today was the real start of my holiday! Woohoo!!!!! I was gonna go for a walking tour based on me guidebook - supposed to last 6 hours!

But I got stuck in my room cuz me laptop kept on acting up! It just refuse to respond to anything. It really drove me up the wall. By the time i dragged meself out, i was shocked to realise that it was all dark and cloudy (i had a sad windowless cell room). It looked like it was gonna pour. Cats, dogs and rats!!!!

And it did.

I took refuge at a coffeeshop. I over-ordered and couldn't finish me food. I decided to pack the remainder so that i can snack.

I left and got drenched. Couldn't afford to waste the day away. I forgot to take my food! :-(

Soon, i was soaked to the skin. It was really difficult. The rain drops were big. And icy cold. i was soaked with my sweat mixed with icy acid rain. Wonderful, isn't it?

I almost 'poke kai' - but thankfully, i regained my balance in the middle of the road and made it safely to the other side.

The rain refused to subside!!!!

My sandals got all wet. The insole of it almost came off and it became very uncomfortable to wear.

Later, my toe started cramping up.

All day loooooooong. Poured and poured and poured.

I finally got back. But it wasn't over. They couldn't find my room key. When i got to me room, the cleaners LEFT THE DOOR OPENED. Not unlocked, but OPENED!!!!!!! And i had my laptop, my PDA, some money.

Thank God nothing appears to be taken.

I decided to have a hot shower. I almost 'poke kai' in the toilet when i was washing and soaping my soles!

After the shower, i went down to get some hot water to make coffee. The water they gave me wasn't hot enuf. So no coffee.


But still, it wasn't all bad. I took lots of photos! I spent time in a gallery and a museum.

And lastly - certainly not the least - i felt bad for the locals. If i was having a bad day, theirs was far far worse!!!! Most people are too poor to drive so they travel by bike. They were all drenched. Most of them use 1 raincoat for all riders on one bike.

Not only that, a lot of them work on the streets. Literally! The food stalls by the roadside, the road peddlers - they sell everything!!!! From food to ciggies, to snacks, to drinks, to books, to hardware etc etc. they cannot not work just because of the rain. So the stall are set up and they squat by the roadside using one umbrella to protect themselves.

But surely there will be less people on the streets so 'business' is affected.

Speaking of which, i was told - and i believe - that the locals like to hang out on the streets. It gets too hot and too crowded in their tiny homes. But the rain made them change their plans.

For me, it was just an inconvenience. For them, it affected their livelihood and live style.

What a bad day.

*Made famous when used for American Idol as the 'loser' song!!!