火曜日, 9月 28, 2004

Life's a musical journey

this is for the guys (and gals, if you're that way inclined).

the neon and i used to diss the usher-cd-in-the-impreza-lets-hang-in-bangsar-with-ditsy-chick-in-von-dutch-vests-in-tow types. i once joked (really?) that the ideal other half should be on the same musical wavelength. oh, yes. stories of guys getting nagged by the other half because of a new guitar/amp/pick. i've heard 'em stories before.

imagine: the wife who marvels at the new marshall catalogue. one who'd want a taylor 614ce as a birthday present. who'd jam with you in your home studio when the kid's asleep.

anyway. there are different sorts of the she-muso that would probably tickle one's fancy. who would you go for?

1. the brody dalle: one tough chick, very hardcore/punk rawk. may spit and tear your gonads apart, if you ain't careful.

2. the michelle branch: the exotic and demure singer/songwriter, pretty matured in her outlook in life. probably needs to smile more often.

3. the allison robertson: girl-next-door charm. sweet, yet into ac/dc, gibson les pauls and marshall stacks, and goes, "what's a strat?".

4. the d'arcy wretzky: enigmatic and silent. or in shahid's own words - tak ada perasaan. maintains a calm demeanour with her bass guitar onstage even when the band is going at breakneck speed.

so, what's your poison? one thing for sure, you can expect a conversation in the vein of:

"sayang/hon/'ling (take your pick) ... kita singgah bentley dulu ok? i rasa nak beli jtm45 yang kita tengok hari tu lah..."

ok. off to the uk premier (of sorts) of some kind of monster now, courtesy of metclub. till then, a pleasant day to all.

月曜日, 9月 27, 2004

Pelanduk lima setengah serupa

i thought i'd cut someone some slacks[sic]. let's pick on someone else this time.

they say there are six other facsimiles of oneself. doppelgangers. yeah.

Jonny Santos from Spineshank, Zahid from Disagree, Ahmad Dhani, rlsar, Shahrul of LMB, Jack Black. Not in any particular order!

i am actually one short, and i swore i had the 7th.

oh, well. let you be the judge.



日曜日, 9月 26, 2004

Desperate measures

What if I make the notebook my iPod?spend a better part of last night creating a lil' playlist for the media player. the mini iPod's not really out in this neck of the woods yet, as i gathered from looking up reviews on the net. i know. the battery's crap. push comes to shove i'll get the 20Gb version. getting it direct from the apple store gets you a free laser-engraved message on it's back. *leleh* it's suckers like me that makes evil conglomerates like apple and starbucks flourish. the fact that it's not out yet also gave me time to ruminate on why i need one (need? more like want). the more i think about it, the more reasons for not getting it becomes plausible. someone up there's giving me a sign!

coming back to the windows media player. i just realised i could hear parts previously inaudible (i think it's just my inattention!) in songs that i'm familiar with. the notebook's linked to a pair of cheapo sony speakers, for heaven's sake; but still, i like. i could make out what the guitar widdling sounds like in coldplay's in my place during the prechorus. or making out the key for the backing vox for stp's creep. or reach the deepest plane of depression and anger more successfully with radiohead's exit music.

or listen to the clarity of the rough cut from a studio session from a little known jazz band, with superb bass playing.

hahaha. really.

off to the hospital for some quiet revision time now.

Omnes honorate

Honour all men. And woman.
Back row: S. Cunningham, I.W. Breen, A.J.C. Murray, H.H. Robinson, N.J. McKee, M.E. Smyth, S.J. Hopper, P.G.A. Irvine
Seated: M.A. Howe, A.J. Brownlee, R.L. Bennett, esq. (headmaster), R.M.R. Muzaffar, D.J. Moore

土曜日, 9月 25, 2004

Blackie, brownie and the fire at Monterey

An old ad for the stratas i was driving to work this morning, i opted to listen to radio 4 (it's been a while) rather than listening to the mindless pap they put on the breakfast show. i am old.

the today programme had a little segment on the 50th anniversary of the fender stratocaster. the strat was designed by leo fender after several comments made by players on the limitations on the then current telecaster and esquire models. three pickups, a tremolo and a double cutaway body later, the strat was born in 1954. a 50th birthday concert was held last night at wembley arena, with the likes of brian may (he was influenced by strat players, as opposed to being a strat player himself), joe walsh and jamie cullum (what? what? what?) performing.

Jimi at Woodstock, 1969

that aside, the main issue that was discussed in the programme was actually about the relevance of the guitar solo in music. it was great listening to comments made by david gilmour on the significance of a signature sound in a guitar solo (gilmour is pretty much underrated, yet if you listen to his blues-based licks on the likes of dark side of the moon, you'd be pretty much impressed). hendrix don't sound like townsend. page don't sound like clapton. listen to apache, and you know it's hank marvin. you can learn all the b.b. king licks there are, but it doesn't mean anything if one merely imitates a style without any sense of originality.

Gilmour, Page, Clapton and King

Eruption!a comment was made regarding whether technical prowess on the fretboards means loss of the soul in playing. in my opinion, there is nothing wrong in being an ace in the art of sweep picking and other fretboard acrobatics. virtuosity is a much envied, and strived for, skill for all (or most) guitarists. the problem of soulless playing occurs when you get players who are pretty much one-trick ponies. when eddie van halen started off his style of playing, hundreds of players followed suit (which is a trend that happens to this day with any musical fad). after the nth hairmetal band, the virtuosity is neither here nor there. i have also heard some really good technical players who can't really pull off a classic and bluesy blues scale. my point is, it won't sound bluesy if you do a blues lick in the style of 80's hair metal. yet, there are players who are inspirational to listen to. take b.b. king for example. there is so much soul squeezed out from one vibrato-ed note when b.b. plays his lucille. the best analogy i can make is i'd best learn how to ride a bicycle well, as opposed to being able to ride a unicycle on the tightrope: a trick that will only impress the circus audience for so long.

it has to be said that with any art form, there is no right or wrong. as it is, the guitar solo arrived with a bang in the 50's, evolved wonderfully over the decades and disappeared with a whimper when a flannel-clad seattle-ite southpaw played his fender jaguar in a brownly-lit basketball court with his two mates in the early 90's. you get bands evolving with the times. cynics may call this selling out. the upcoming rockumentary some kind of monster, shows, among others, the decision made by metallica on eschewing solos in their last dismal effort otherwise known as st. anger. in the mid-90's rock music evolved in such a way, you get the likes of korn and limp bizkit, where the solo has been replaced by alternate guitar tunings and processed/effects-driven guitar tones. bands like rage against the machine would still have solos, albeit unorthodox-sounding.

Head, Dave 'Brownsound' Baksh, Jack White

yet, the guitar solo is returning. the darkness' cock rock (guitar!) is a superb example, reminiscent of the guitar sounds the likes of angus young, brian robertson and scott gorham. then you get younger bands like sum 41 who grew up on a staple diet of metal like iron maiden: just listen to their double leads. hey, even slipknot are doing solos nowadays.

is the guitar solo still relevant? it is when the song needs it, i think. even if you are able to, it doesn't mean you have to.

Stone Gossard. THE man!

as for me, i'll stick to my aspiration to be like stone. without the chequered pantaloons, though. i'll be happy on the right side of the stage.

Yang mana satu?

Spoilt for choice. Hard disk size or physical attributes. Which one, then?

水曜日, 9月 22, 2004

Backawa! Backawa!

"That's no moon. It's a space station."
-ben (obi wan) kenobi

on monday evening, i bought the new star wars trilogy dvd, surprisingly for cheap at hmv (as opposed to my favourite store of much cheapness, play.com). seeing ultra-sharp images took my breathe away. ok, i don't have 6.1 speakers to fully enjoy the thx/dolby digital surround ex aural experience, but my decoder on the pioneer emulates the surround sound pretty much ok on my floorstanders.

i have heard rumours of new additions, namely on episode vi, but i didn't expect a few more surprises!

So much better... check out the lines on that Hutt!

Nice one, eh? Eh? Eh?

Who's that?

for the jedi geeks out there, go here to see more of the changes.

i enjoyed the audio commentaries as it gives one further insight on the making of the trilogy, albeit a little redundant if you had watched the fourth bonus making-of dvd. the snag was, the commentaries (george lucas, dennis muren, ben burtt and carrie fisher, with the addition of irvin kershner on episode v) could have been more spontaneous if they had recorded it together (like most multiple person commentaries) as opposed to recording it individually. it would've been better if they had commented on the little mistakes, like the stormtrooper hitting his head on the blast door and the badly dubbed vader still gesticulating to moff tarkin after finishing his lines! oh. oh. bib fortuna's huttese is also transcribed in episode vi's subtitles. es tosit!

(i can hear you people saying, "what a geek...")

the easter egg on disc four is worth checking out. for the likes of gamers out there, watch out for the making of the episode iii ps2/x-box lightsaberfest which will be out next spring!

my other grudge was that they didn't include the original releases in the dvd. i love the special editions (apart from sy snootles' backing singers and additional musicians), but the old ones would've been good to have for old times' sakes. anyway, this was well worth the 27-year wait. really. ok, back then i didn't know there would be dvd's by now. i was there in 1977, and i remembered vaguely the shitty trailer that i saw at cathay cinema, kl. it was star wars geekdom for me since then.

so, man your ships. get the dvd box set. and may the force be with you.

[photo credits: www.thedigitalbits.com]

日曜日, 9月 19, 2004

Begun, the Clone War has

Episode II.V!

this is a week when i will miss the first twenty minutes of anything. toonami was showing all twenty episodes of the clone wars at seven this evening. each episode lasts approximately five minutes, and they were shown at such odd hours of the day that i practically miss them when they were first shown on air. not any more. besides, gone are the annoying cliffhangers as we get to see all twenty in one shot. we get to meet some new characters, even one which we'll get to see in episode iii: the jedi killer, general grievous. when you see how he handles multiple lightsabres during combat, you'd realise no wonder the jedi got such a hard time.

the best sabre fight was of course between anakin skywalker and the sith upstart, asajj ventress, the meanest bald woman since... er... sinead o'connor. okay, with twin red sabres courtesy of darth tyranus/count dooku. location? try the massassi ruins on the fourth moon of yavin. yeah! expect a taste of shaw brothers wire fu in this fight!

the episodes all have a fast momentum to it, commensurate with the five-minute length of each episode. no wonder mace windu could easily decimate entire droid armies with just a purple lightsabre. i just hope they are gonna release these episodes on dvd!

All the world's a stage

pack up all those phantoms
shoulder that invisible load
keeping on riding north and west
haunting that wilderness road

ghost rider
(music: lee, lifeson words:peart)
©2002 core music publishing (SOCAN)

last wednesday evening, as you'd gathered from a previous entry, i was at the nec arena watching a rush concert. as luck would have it, i missed the first 20 minutes of their performance.

i can read. the ticket said doors open 6 pm, performance at half 7. what i didn't know was that they didn't have a support act, hence the tardiness. and to think that i've always turned up early at every other gig before this. i missed spirit of radio. they were playing animate when i was buying a tee and a programme book. thankfully none of the the other tunes i like hasn't been played yet.

they played two main one and a half hour sets with a half-hour intermission in the middle. rush hasn't played any uk dates since 1992. with this being their 30th anniversary tour, and a 12-year absence, neil peart, alex lifeson and geddy lee were making up for lost time. the band appeared very laidback (they only time they dressed funny was in the 80's, but then, who wasn't then?). geddy has reduced his maytag backline from three to two, with an addition of a sandwich vending machine you'd see when you are on-call at an NHS hospital. alex is still using his hughes & kettner setup. neil's dw drumkit is new, apparently with gold-plated hardware and new sabian paragon cymbals he helped designed.

as with any prog-rock band, it's the instrumental ones that keep my ears (and eyes) extra peeled. unlike ultra-precise bands like dream theater (the neon is seen to be convulsing with derision now), rush makes precision playing seem less contrived. neil peart has the best drum chops known to (wo)man. think of a human version of a quartz crystal. that's neil "the professor" peart. the band is a mere three-piece, yet they sound big. there is a keyboard which geddy plays occasionally, while filling in the bass lines with his moog taurus pedals. otherwise, keyboard sequences are triggered by the three band members, while playing their individual instruments. proof that men can perform multi-tasking as well.

Note Geddy's maytags!

i didn't quite like the first half (i did miss a third of it), apart from roll the bones, red barchetta, bravado and the trees. the last song in that half, one little victory, had a funny cg sequence of a dragon and a cigar in the background (hence, the pyro pic as seen in that entry). the second half was so much better (apart from their grace under pressure stuff, so kajagoogoo). started off with tom sawyer and it was rush heaven from that point onwards. the drum solo was pretty similar in parts (the rhythm method, o baterista... i don't know what neil is calling his solo that evening), but you just have to marvel at his drumming. his solo performance encompasses the many styles of drumming known to man. african, middle eastern, latin, swing... mind-blowing! horn section samples were triggered in time with the drumming which followed by neil jamming with a 1920's swing band at the end of the solo.

alex and geddy did a couple of acoustic renditions of resist and heart full of soul while neil takes a breather. most of the greats like the downtuned 2112 and xanadu were dealt soon after. for an encore, they did an excellent rendition of robert johnson's crossroads (the cream version).

i have been to a few reunion gigs (black sabbath, er... duran duran). rush may have gained a few inches around the waist, but they sounded fresh as they were in 1974 (which reminds me that the likes of ozzy should call it a day and stay at home with the family!). they surely rocked the nec arena that night. click here for the complete setlist.

Hidup berjasa cogannya

i got this in my email this morning:

[iklan ini tak berbayar... hehe]

the one next to sean ghazi is my ex-classmate izlyn in standard six, who's in the music scene now. it's great to see what your old schoolmates are up to. since my 22-year primary school (you heard right) reunion last february, i get stuff regularly from our class of 1982 yahoogroup. the said reunion was a resounding success. they managed to get like almost/more than half the year to turn up. we also had a handful of our beloved teachers. our principal as well as some of our other teachers had sadly passed on. i am sure they would have enjoyed the evening immensely.

the food was a lovely three course chinese dinner, but most of us were so caught up with catching up with old friends, the food was given a miss! the best thing i noticed that evening was the fact we had a mixture of people of different race and social status (as far i am concerned, this wouldn't have mattered, but in the real world, unfortunately, it would) dining on the same table, under the same roof. there were solicitors, one puan sri, anaesthetists, one singer (see above), managing directors, one nasi daun pisang restaurant owner, teachers, dentists, one ex-semipro soccer player, one cab driver, entrepreneurs (including a fashion designer)... oh, i could go on. i still have their namecards to remind me what they do!

all because of the fact that we were once kids who learnt in the same classes and played the same schoolyard games together in a school that we all loved. none of the melayu/india/cina/etc kind of nonsense that i see in the world around me now ever existed then, as far as i can remember.


oh ya, the neon. perhaps after seeing the above ad you may be interested to enjoy an evening of big band music. zeeppedeedap bedoobedoo bedabap! get your tickets now! we undeserving torn and tattered souls are only fit for the likes of layar tanchap and the portsmouth blues festival (as in new hampshire, usa, as opposed to near southampton, uk). hahahaha.

土曜日, 9月 18, 2004

No blondes today

was in hmv this afternoon. saw this blonde girl surreptitiously reading a twenty blonde jokes poster obviously featuring a scantily clad blonde. i thought the sight was worthy of a candid snapshot with my finepix. the only snag being this was in a middle of a shop. on a weekend, chock-a-block filled with shoppers. oh well.

what did i buy?


Guns and flying white doves A much long-awaited title from Studio Ghibli

金曜日, 9月 17, 2004


Knock yourself out

木曜日, 9月 16, 2004

The rhythm method

The reason I drove 176 miles last night

火曜日, 9月 14, 2004


aku tak cukup emo, but at least tak de la mengaku tak main lagu orang.


I AM 34% EMO!
34% EMO
Hmm.. I should stop listening to Dashboard Confessional.... enough said... Now that I stopped looking at my shoes, I know how the real world looks.

I give up...

if you notice from my feeble attempt at a gmail competition below, i have struck off the first question as a gmail a/c holder answered it correctly. i then put a new question, and another gmail a/c holder answered that one correctly:

(m1 + m2)v = m1v1 + m2v2
(300)(0) = 290(-1.5) + 10(v2)
0 = -435 + 10v2
v2 = 43.5 m/s



who wants one?

aku kasi free. if you have gmail already also aku kasi.



日曜日, 9月 12, 2004

Gmail lagi

another easy quandary. during my short vacation in kl, i stumbled across my old spm exam papers whilst a spring-cleaning sesh (that's some holiday) at home.

the answer to this question gets you a Gmail account (i think millions of people would have 'em by now, but what the heck):

which science subject taught in the pure science stream would these questions you see above come from?

the first two people person with the correct answer gets a Gmail account each. as usual, answers, along with email address, in the comment box below.

oh ya. if you already have a Gmail address please don't bother. :)

UPDATE: since the answer is now known to all, and the person who answered the question correctly already have a Gmail address, i have a new question:


oh ya, do it in BM as well. hahaha.
[Jisim meriam + peluru = 300 kg, jisim peluru = 10 kg]

土曜日, 9月 11, 2004

Sumbangsaran at the ACP Management Course

following the aptly titled previous blog entry, i was driving up north to sedgefield (the constituency for a certain MP called tony blair) for the association of clinical pathologists' annual management course held at a gorgeous countryside hotel a few clicks off the A1(M). no rest indeed.

Absolutely gorgeous!

i was greeted first of all by my hotel room. i'd say, as far as i was concerned, it was fit for a king (see pic above). with a bathroom/shower/toilet bigger than my kitchen. okay, kitchenette. widescreen telly with dvd player. if it was the premier room, it'd be of the plasma variety.

management issues are pretty new to me, although i've probably involved myself in some way or other in lab management throughout my working life. as a potential consultant histopathologist, however, i have to show in my CV that i've been to a management course. already on the first day, we were divided into large groups of 10 to develop a business plan for a make-believe NHS trust pathology directorate. it went really well, actually. for 10 people who never knew each other, to work together! lucky for me, i didn't have to do the presentation. craftily volunteered to do the powerpoint bits for the presenter. hehe.

throughout the 3-day course, we've been bombarded with information on the NHS, staff management, health and safety issues, pathology directorate structures/roles/yadda yadda and budget management. those were fine, until we had a session on personal development. yeah. with wank-a-tastic buzzwords like "emotional intelligence" and questions like "...lessons learnt about oneself from one's career". we also had latihan dalam kumpulan sesh-es for this one. hohoho.

that aside, food was excellent. on thursday evening, we even had one of the consultant microbiologists from the RVI in newcastle to perform a little mind-reading/psychic pre-dinner entertainment, a la david blaine. he didn't levitate, though.

i have learnt a lot, surprisingly. it goes to show that when the speaker is good at conveying the information, even the most tedious of subjects can be made interesting. for once, things in the lab that are outside the day-to-day reporting of cases, make more sense to me!

火曜日, 9月 07, 2004

No rest for the wicked

i'm back in britain. in fact, i'm writing this on the 1715 to leeds from st. pancras, while listening to ayumi hamasaki. looks like i will be following the same behaviour pattern that i'd adapt on arrival from kl. for the next 4 weeks or so, it'll be asian music/vcd's/dvd's for entertainment, all the way. i will also find myself complaining of everything that is british. like the weather (thankfully london is sunny on arrival today, although a little on the humid side). i will probably have nasi goreng as pack lunch, eschewing the usual paninis or sarnies at the hospital deli.

i was suppose to take the coach to victoria, from where i will wait for the 1800 to sheffield. no effin' way, man. i wanna be home asap. so, i have repeated the seventy-odd quid heathrow express-london cab-midlane mainline combo back home. i rather be home earlier than stinge on cheaper travel and long waits at coach stations. the coach would also take 4 freakin' hours to reach sheffield. i reiterate, no effin' way!

i need a holiday. to recover from a holiday. hehe.

what do you expect? my unplanned daily itinerary was packed, every single day. OU lah. midvalley lah. low yat lah. family and friends' dinner invites lah. serves me right to go home for a mere 9 days, but then, i needed the break. and i just can't be arsed to go to a foreign country where i wouldn't know what to do anyway. kl is easy. hehe. family is important. europe and america will always be there (unless wwIII starts next week). i will visit these places one day, no rush!

since the holiday was a short one, i realised that i:
-hadn't had a big mac/mc chicken/mc nugget meal
-didn't have time to go to taiping and makan the m. jabardeen combat kuey teow at the casual market
-didn't go to klcc
-didn't makan pau or jalan bellamy ikan bakar
-missed a seven collar t shirt/love me butch gig
-hadn't taken enough pics with my finepix digicam
-didn't manage to buy the ghost in the shell: stand alone complex dvd set

in this short vacation, i also:
-discovered the joys of ayumi hamasaki
-got my dad to join us for a movie at the tgv multiplex
-bought more books (yup, after that permaidani entry)
-got to eat kuih sagu with santan and gula melaka (thanks to my aunt!) last night

however, the biggest disappointment for me was the fact that butterfingers still hasn't released selamat tinggal dunia/urusan seri paduka baginda. BILA OI?

anyway, despite all that, my batteries should be fully recharged. exams coming up, so it'll be work harder than usual.

which also means, i will blog less frequently from this point onwards. i'll do a weekly entry, though, knowing how addictive blogging can be.

so, till then. catch ya later.

月曜日, 9月 06, 2004

Wrestling princess

Epic!nothing beats watching a movie on a school/working day. no queues! i've just gotten back from watching saw teong hin's puteri gunung ledang. i guess you'd probably have read a dozen or so blog entries on this movie, which in my humble opinion, is a fine piece of cinematic work made locally so far. the interior sets were great, as were the exterior ones, although one would wish that the istana would look more rustic. bah! what would i know anyway?

m. nasir was quite the pahlawan, but everytime he appears onscreen, his presence evoked his mentera semerah padi video in my mind. or his between-song banter during one of his concerts. tiara jacquelina was mysterious... and beautiful. in the jolene blalock sense. apart from the crying bit. damn. adlin aman ramlie's portrayal of the ever so useless sultan mahmud shah was on the money. i wasn't that surprised to see the presence of heavyweights the likes of rahim razali and christine hakim, albeit in supporting roles. most of the other actors are noted for their theatre work, like sabri yunus' sang setia which provided some comic relief in the film. however, if sabri had done just another one of his repetitive routines, the comedy would've been token and merely tiresome.

anyway. the acting on the whole was great. the photography was simply excellent. i just loved the telephoto shots. tan yan wei's orchestral (played with real strings, as opposed to a synth) score was superb, especially the ones with the javanese chants.


until 1 hour and 50 minutes into the film, where we were treated with a shaw brothers wire fu action sequence between tuah and gusti adipati.

damn (again).

why? why? why? why? why?????????????????

everything was soooooooooo peachy until that bit. i loved kill bill and the matrix too, but this? actually, it was the fact that it had explosions, and the inter-dimensional fight bit that made me went aiyo. just having the shaw brothers-esque wire fu bit in the area of the batu hidup would have been perfect.

again, only my humble opinion. :)

The delectable, and sauntering, princess of Mount Ophir

it's a great film, nonetheless. for one, i'd never seen a local production (with some outside help, but who cares?) made in such epic proportions. c'mon. compared with the anak mamis and the yusri/erra fare bombarding the local film scene, this is definitely a breath of fresh air. yes, they did spend RM15 mil on this. and before anyone spouts off about how a great film like reservoir dogs costs only less than USD1 mil to make, i still think PGL is a great movie. i'd say in a hollywood sense, as opposed to the sundance film festival (it's a pity i will have to miss u-wei's new opus, buai laju-laju). may this be the beginning of more epic films. pelayaran abdullah would be great. any takers?

just go watch this.

[post-script: anyone knows where i can get local indie films, the likes of amir muhammad et cetera?]

Another reason to come home

the pasar malam obsession. my vacation planning actually revolves around the pasar malam. say i'd go back for two weeks. i'll make sure i'd squeeze in three pasar malams in that period. ok, that'll mean adding a day or two to the said two weeks. as one commentor said in a previous entry, this ain't sad. i'd probably say a tad obsessive, though.

i remembered my first pasar malam experience. which was in bangsar, along lorong maarof, methinks. by the way, before any of you say telawi or wherever the current bangsar pasar is located nowadays (does bangsar still have one?), this was in 1975. when we moved to taman tun, the nearest pasar malam was the old jalan damansara (where the sprint highway is now) in DU. my arwah mama used to do her grocery shopping there, whilst i would look forward to have my murtabak daging, apum telur and air tebu.

Apam balik, rambutan, tebu, the nasi dagang man

the pasar malam started in taman tun some time in the mid-80's. as the years went by, market items were preferably bought at the nearby pasar tani in ss5. the pasar besar/malam prices are a tad ridiculous, to tell you the truth. well, that's kl for you. while groceries may be the order of the day, makan was mine. the list of delectable goodies goes on actually. other favs include soya bean (especially taufu fa) and apungs (the chinese version of the indian apom, made in an array of small woks). the thing is the apung man is nowhere to be seen, for the past 3 years. the last time i had one was last february, and that was in pudu! i realised one day that some of these traders sell their wares in other pasars around the klang valley. and some of them are around to this very day. like this malay chap from whom i buy my murtabak since the mid-80's.

since it's my last sunday before flying off to ol' blighty, i had my second fix of pasar malam. the nasi dagang chap was back! ayam percik and for ayah, nasi kerabu. yum. apam balik, keropok lekur and, yeah, air tebu were... side-dishes.

gimme a break, will ya. this is the reason a vacation is called one.

and the reason i wear drawstring trousers on the flight back to the uk.

this entry is dedicated to ash and ecrivez.

日曜日, 9月 05, 2004

Halcyon days

Clockwise from left: SPM Bahasa papers, Methode Orange, Seruling Jaya, add maths exercise book, orientation nametag, Portora school lost, badges, 5 al-Razi  raya card, kad balik kampung

did a mini spring clean this morning. the kind of activity that'll definite take you down memory lane. the old school tie. badges. spm 1987 exam question papers. methode orange textbooks during my french club days. my name tag during the form one orientation in 1983. the school list from portora royal school. my ppp/itm kad keluar bandar. old letters and birthday cards.

actually, my hoarder hat needed to be on the rack. did get rid of most stuff, but at the end of the clean, memorabilia like this (even if they fetch the crappiest price at a car-boot sale) is priceless to me, and eventually retained.

Random glances

i've got some random images here. taken in the past 6 days. from the pics, you probably can tell i don't walk much, and i wasn't exactly dedicating what little time i have for photography! :)

土曜日, 9月 04, 2004

Bangun pagi, gosok gigi

Harum semerbak!

early morning start to the weekend. click here.

The sun has risen, again.

Karya enigma studio

last night, the neon and king kiasu made a rendezvous at karya enigma. three quarters of sun redd sun (damn, firr... where were you, man?). trabye helped out big time for this sesh. this was our first jam in about a year or so. nothing ultra spectacular, just a bunch of friends playing some music. a myriad of the neon's jazzy compositions, covers and a one-off deklamasi of salleh ben joned's rentak haram jadah was pretty much it. the vibe? think the beatles' volatile let it be period. hoho.

"aku pathologist je..."

金曜日, 9月 03, 2004

Hari ini dalam sejarah

In the papers this morning

Eh, lapar lah! (Malaysian edition)

one of the main reasons of my coming home to malaysia: makan. everyone has their favourite eating spots. some would travel hundreds of kilometres to get their nasi kandar or ikan bakar fix. yes, i’ve heard the many stories. kl-ites travelling far across the city itself for, say, the ultimate roti canai brekkie. as for me, i just can’t be bothered. i’m a resident of taman tun (hidup ttdi!). i have all i need here. like the nasi lemak at the bus stop behind the sekolah menengah.

Roti tulur wonne'!well, okay. anywhere within a three kilometre radius is considered near enough for lazy ol' me.

a perfect morning for me would be breakfast at restoran mosin, home of the nasi buhara. i’ve got mates who’d go for sembahyang jumaat at the ttdi mosque all the way from as far as bukit jalil, so as to increase their serum cholesterol levels. a morning paper, teh tarik kurang manis (that’s actually quite manis) and mutte’ roti*. i know. what’s so special about a place like this? i know people swear to rotis at rajoo’s in pj, for example, but when you frequent a place for years on end and the people know your name, give me this place any time! yes, i can get ‘em to make my roti garing and minyak-free. why bother go drive and face morning pj traffic, when this place is only 5 minutes away from my house.

Restoran Jaipur

for thosai garing and nasi daun pisang, jaipur at tun mohd fuad is highly recommended. it is one of the cleanest eaterie i’ve ever been to; it even received a grade A in cleanliness from dbkl!

Clockwise from right: yong tow foo, kuey teow kari, chapatti and kari ayam, mee hoon soup

another way to make my mornings (or lunch time) perfect is subang ria in kj. i think everyone knows this place. as always, after touching down at klia, we’d drive down here immediately for makan. this has been my routine for the past 16 years, without fail (this place was on the way home from subang airport then). ah yee’s penang-style char kuey teow is best eaten before office lunch hours, as the servings are slightly larger and fried a couple of minutes longer (your kuey teow will be fried in less than 2 minutes otherwise!). my favourites would also be the noodle soups (mee hoon soup or sometimes a permutation of other forms of noodles and soup/curry would do fine for me), chapatti and yong tow foo. as mentioned above, this is another place where saying the word "biasa!" would get us our drinks in no time at all.

Rooooooooot beer and the eponymous coney dogthe only western fare that i’d go for in malaysia would be… fast food joints! like a kid, i look forward to a&w’s large mug of ice cold root beer and their ever-diminishing-in-size coney dog (my dad says that it has like halved in size since the days of the papa/mama/baby burger in the 70’s). used to enjoy my root beer at their 24-hour establishment near amcorp in pj, but with OU having almost every franchised eaterie known in kl, i don’t have to look any further now. no a&w in the uk lah. as far as i can tell, the brits don’t really drink root beer. those who’ve tried say that it tastes like cough medicine. their loss.

this is another item that is a must-have for me:


it must be my taste buds or something, but personally i just don’t see much difference between kajang and non-kajang satay. my local satay haunt is behind the pasar besar taman tun next to li’s gerai nasi campur. as far as i’m concerned, as long as the beef satay is succulent and tak liat, it gets my stamp of approval. kajang or whatever. if you ask me, the best satay that i’ve tried was satay endut in ipoh which i had many years ago. no lemak. zhang! li is a taman tun institution for the past 20 years. every evening you get a disorderly queue of people after work ordering their nasi bungkus dinner. li also does a mean mee jawa and roti john. and the four-ringgit nasi lemak and ayam gorengi like.

Clockwise from right: fried rice, san kong tofu and mixed veg, fish in black bean sauce, deep fried squid, szechuan prawns and lemon chicken

muhibbah seafood is another of my favourite spot for dinner. noel’s three-shop lot establishment started as a humble stall years ago at the aminuddin baki precinct. apparently, he used to be a hotel chef, which explains the scrumptiousness of his dishes. i have to say muhibbah used to be so much cheaper years ago, where RM30 would get you all the dishes you see in the photograph above. although a little pricier now, the food is still great. most of the dishes come in three platter sizes, most of which, like the deep-fried squid, mixed vegetable with japanese egg (san kong) tofu and lemon chicken, can never go wrong in my books.

well, of course, there is home-cooked food, but i’ll give that a mention some other time!

*roti telur

水曜日, 9月 01, 2004

Buku dan permaidani


mph at OU depleted more of my funds this afternoon. bought some local stuff. i don't really read malaysiakini, but i've heard of the commentaries of farish a. noor. hishamuddin rais, that one i know. :) i saw a. samad said on the plane recently, and since i thought lantai t. pinkie was simply excellent, i felt i should try reading some of his works. apparently, i found out that i just missed (by one day) the special offers they had for books by malaysian authors. oh well.

i remembered in secondary school when we had to do sajaks and puisis for the bahasa malaysia paper (how i attained such a grade in the real test escapes me, to this very day!). i never understood it, nor did i really like it. i also cringe when i hear the sajaks that get read on telly. do all sajaks have to be read in such tones? i thought puisis were easier on the ear, especially when rendered in song form (think kopratasa).

i've commented in someone's blog some time ago about being introduced to sajaks again after reading mat som. i was intrigued by the beauty of the prose, probably because the handful of poems cited by lat in his work were more of the social commentary types as opposed to the ones about flowers, love and patriotism.

i am, and never was, much of a reader. let alone of contemporary fiction and especially poetry, may it be local or western, but after reading mat som and listening to songs by the likes of kembara, i became fascinated with it. i remember resisting my arwah mama's suggestion of reading dewan sastera during my spm years. i wish now i hadn't. i now know that it ain't just a bunch of sentences that simply rhymed.

you may think of me as lacking in imagination. i need pictures (a reason why i prefer comics as opposed to penguin classics, and also why i can never read law... no pictures in their text books). when i found out that lat was a regular contributor to the likes of dewan sastera, i saw poetry in his drawings. i began to see the poetry in his description of our nation's capital, especially when, in mat som, he went on about:

"... kuala lumpur di waktu malam. aku sudah kenal dan aku sudah rasa."

mat som also introduced me to the existence of salleh ben joned, latiff mohidin and tongkat waran. in fact, a good friend of mine in primary school is the son of a sasterawan negara ("kau tak tau? kau dah berapa lama kenal aku?"). apart from his caustic witticisms found in his excellent wednesday as i please articles in the nst literary section in the 90's, salleh ben joned's an excellent poet. an unnamed laureate once described that, to salleh, "nothing is sacred"; thus, prepare to read poems with titles like bladi bastat! and rentak haram jadah. his sajak collection (aptly titled sajak-sajak salleh) was ever so difficult to find.

until this afternoon. when what followed suit was a little spree of beli buku.

i hope to discover, with what little number of tomes i purchased this afternoon, further enlightenment with what we already have in our own backyard.

in the spirit of merdeka (no raping of mother earth here), i would like to share with you an excerpt from salleh's I (you may find this poem familiar as it was entitled aku in mat som):

"kehidupan i anggap satu cabaran
untuk mencapai idaman
yang disahkan oleh kaum i:
kerja senang sebagai kakitangan kerajaan,
sebuah rumah teres di desa jaya
lengkap dengan mesin basuh, tv dan seorang suri,
sebiji proton saga yang dicuci tiap-tiap hari;
beretika kerja berdikari
untuk bangsa, agama dan negara
lapan jam sehari (hari minggu tak kira;
hari itu i khaskan untuk mingguan perdana
dan tv sepanjang hari)

i warganegara merdeka:
kemerdekaan negara kemerdekaan i.
kebebasan kapada i hanya satu beban:
apa pemimpin kata
i ikut saja;
akal yang diberi tuhan tak payah digunakan -
kecuali untuk cari makan.

syurga -dunia dan akhirat- dijaminkan
oleh sembahyang lima kali sehari,
amanah saham 50 ringgit sebulan,
dan dallas dan dynasty
seminggu dua kali.

keraguan dan kerinduan
jiwa (jika ada),
i bawa berlari, berlari
dari rumah ke pejabat,
dari pejabat ke rumah,
hingga hilang segala sangsi
dalam bunyi lantang peti tv
tiap-tiap malam hari.
sambil ternganga tengok tv
i menjilat jari -
begitu sedapnya ayam kentucky.

dan i akan lebih tidak peduli.
i mahu hidup begini
seribu tahun lagi."

Salleh ben Joned. Sajak-sajak Saleh. In I. Kuala Lumpur: Pustaka Cipta, 2002.