Tuesday, December 28, 2004

All I wanted for Xmas was my Ultimate Matrix Box Set but I got taxed for it.

Was in Singapore for Xmas. My first time to experience Xmas in such grand scale. Took the Senandung Malam train again on Thursday nite (23 Dec). Reached Sg in the morning. Checked in to Holiday Inn ParkView, in Orchard Road area. The Music

Wasting no time, I went around music shops in Orchard Road like a butterfly, flying from flower to flower. At the end my bag was filled with the following titles: The Ultimate Matrix – 10 DVDs box set (Matrix trilogy and then some) Britney Spears - Greatest Hit: My Prerogative DVD (My eyes almost popped out watching Britney steaming up my tv screen with Toxic karaoke video. She was practically naked underneath those strategically placed diamond studs with whatever left of her decency covered by the karaoke lyrics.) Kylie – I Believe in You CD Single (very Erasure-ish, very 80’s hummable tune) Brandy – Who is She 2U CD Maxi Single (one of my fave R&B songstress) Hilary Duff – Fly CD Single (This is an impulse buy…I regretted it) Josh Groban – Live at The Greek (1 CD + 1 DVD) (Great voice, bad hair dude) Stephanie Sun’s The Moment (2 CD greatest Hits + 1 VCD) Dolly Parton – Live & Well (2 CDs) (No…This is not for me. It’s for a friend) I, Robot (Will Smith) VCD Yesterday Once More (Sammi Chang & Andy Lau) VCD Ashes of Time (Wong Kar Wai directed) VCD The Movies

In between the shopping, managed to watch 3 movies, all sequels. (Warning: Spoilers)

1) Blade 3 – Trinity : Crappy storyline, even crappier lines for the actors. I like the first and sequel but this one sucks. The vampire villain is not even menacing – looks a lot like a weak cousin of the Predator. Not even Wesley Snipe can save this bloody (pardon the pun) movie. 2) Meet The Fockers – Hilarious. I enjoyed it very much. I felt like I was the only one laughing out loud in the cinema. Was it me or the Singaporeans? 3) Bridget Jones – The Edge of Reason. Hilarious but sometimes I just wanna give that Bee-shit Jones (as the Thai pronounced it) as good slap for not knowing how lucky she was having a wonderful guy who cares very much for her. Stoopid woman! Happy ending with great soundtrack. The Xmas

The Good: Colourful lights. Great atmosphere. Caroling. Cute girls with Santa hats and cutesy raindeer horns on their heads. Dancing Xmas trees. The Bad: Traffic. Hordes of people. I think the whole population of Singapore flooded to Orchard on Xmas eve. Human stampede risk at its highest. The Ugly: Colour String and fake snow spray war. Spraying each other with fake snow from aerosol cans equal Xmas fun? I just don’t get it.

The Tax (Insert Expletive here!)

At the Tanjong Pagar KTM check point I was told to open up my bag for custom inspection. Insert Expletive here! Previously, I could go pass the checkpoint with no problem. This time a custom officer named Lau insisted I open up my bags for a thorough inspection. (Insert expletive here!). He took out my DVD box set and all my CDs and told me that he had to tax me SGD 60. (Insert expletive here). What? 30% Tax? That would be RM144! I didn’t know of such tax! Puaka cekik darah! I told him that I didn’t have that much money. I flipped through the notes in my wallet…All I had was SGD 30. He agreed to take it. I tried to “bargain” it down to 20 but that son of a biyatch won’t budge. (Insert expletive here!). It was horrible. At last, with trembling hands I hand over my money. Puaka Cekik Darah! (Expletive! Expletive! Expletive) This ranks as the worst Xmas I have ever had. All I wanted for Xmas was my Ultimate Matrix Box Set but I got taxed for it.

CLICK HERE FOR THE AMAZING SINGAPORE XMAS PICTURES

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

5 Things about Singapore Marathon 2004

Dec 3 (Friday Night)

Watch Mr. Incredible @ Midvalley – second time. Still as funny as the first time. Love Edna Mode.Dahlink! Bought some bread at Bread Talk for breakfast in the train. They ran out of flossy buns. Darn!

Had a strawberry sundae at McDonald. There was some commotion caused by a young guy with some elderly people. Not my problem. Continued to indulge in my strawberry swirl. Strawberry sundaes made me happy and forget about the world

Boarded the train – Senandung Malam. The only senandung (serenade) I heard was the noisy chatter of a bunch of annoying Indian who were on their way for an architectural study visit to Singapore. Reminder: To pack earplug next time.

Train left for Singapore approximately 10:30pm. Had fallen asleep despite the bone-rattling movement of the train

Dec 4 (Sat)

Awakened by some noisy kids. Loathe them. Arrived at JB. Malaysian passport were checked on board. Noisy Indians awakened and their chatting seemed unstoppable.

Got down with luggage into Singapore checkpoint. Long queue there. Filled up the immigration card. Was not offered one board. Decided to take some cards for future use.

Reached Tanjung Pagar train station. Took the bus to Chinatown for breakfast. Tan, CL, Amy decided to have bak kut teh for breakfast. Not my bowl of Teh! Don’t think I can ever choke on that stuff. Went to a café called “Kopi and Toast” for some what else but Kopi and toast and two ½ boiled eggs. Yummy!

Took the MRT from Chinatown to City Hall. Walked through the Citylink Mall to Suntec City. Got distracted by HMV. Almost walked into it but managed to pull my legs out of it and continued walking to Suntec Mall. Saw many people passed by, whom I assumed runner with the Sg Marathon as they were carrying the elegant dark blue new balance shoe bag. Hurried my pace.

T-shirt and race pack collection was well organized. Got mine in a jiffy. The only interesting booth at the expo was the New Balance. Bought 3 pairs of socks at SGD10.

Cheap I guess.

Checked in into Marina Mandarin at noon. Kinda fancy.The atrium was breath taking.

Top 5 Reasons I love to stay at Marina Mandarin (MM) for Singapore Marathon

1) Suntec City is practically at the doorstep. Suntec houses Tower Record and Blue Max DVD store.

2) MM is linked to Marina Shopping Mall with linked to Cineplex and funky looking Marina Food Loft.

3) MM is linked to City Link Mall which in turn linked to City Hall Interchange.

4) 5 min stroll from Esplanade, starting point.

5) Great view of the Marina area – Can see the Merlion doing a projectile vomit into the sea. Hahah!

Unpacked my stuff and had a light lunch of pita bread with tuna spread.

Then, I went out to do the

5 things that I shouldn’t be doing on the day before Singapore Marathon:

1) Spend hours browsing books about running and yoga at Borders

2) Walking up and down Orchard Road looking for a magazine to redeem some goodie bag (It seemed to be a good idea then to look for the SGD2 Chinese magazine in exchange of a Nivea Men Toiletries Goodie bag)

3) Spend hours looking for a Six Sigma book in Kinokuniya for a colleague

4) Spend hours at HMV and Gramophone flipping through thousands of CDs and VCDs.

5) Watch a 3 hours butt-numbing epic movie like Alexander the night before the run. (It seemed to be a good idea at first but then my legs couldn’t be stretched, adding to the tiredness. The movie was the bigger (epic), longer (3 hrs) and uncut (no censor) version. Seem them all – Alexander bed romp with his butt naked wife- Roxane, homo kiss between Alexander and some Indian male dancer and Colin Farell’s posterior. Was impressed by Angelina Jolie’s portrayal of Alexander’s mommy, bewitching with tongue-rolling accent and her fondness of snakes. Sexy this!

Arrived back to the hotel at about 11:00pm. Gobbled up a McD Savoury Beef Burger I bought earlier. No pasta party this. Went to bed with my tired soles. Regret! Regret! Regret!

Dec 5 (The day has come) 5 Things I did right for Singapore marathon that I might do it again next year.

1) Eat 2 whole meal pita with peanut butter. Never felt hunger or acid reflux. Drink load of 100 Power plus.

2) A relaxing bubble bath in the tub with lavender soap the night before. Love this aromatherapy shit.

3) Leg Muscle rubdown with analgesic balm before the run. Reminder: Wash hand properly after rubdown. Do not touch scratch the groin area without washing the hand. Ignoring this reminder might cause some fiery consequences.

4) Chewing gum. (Is this still illegal in Singapore??) Keep my mouth moist and my breath fresh. Haaaaaahhhhhhh!!! Smell that? Heheh!

5) Stopped at 10, 20 and 30km to make my Power Gel shake. Don’t really like to suck on the sticky sweet goo. So I squirted a pack into the cute 2Tang 250ml mineral water supplied, closed the cap and shook the bottle as I ran. The 2 Tang bottle is cute and practical for running as it fits in the palm and enable running while drinking.

Was at the starting point quite early at about 4:45am. The girls were nowhere to be seen. Walked up and down the Esplanade. Slowly moved to the back where the slow runners were – 5-6 hours pen. Saw a guy wearing a huge birthday cake suit. My vote was for him to win the best dress entry.

I followed the crowd, jostling down the street after the blast off. Not able to run at all at the start. Stepped on the timing mat while U2’s Beautiful Day was playing in the air. Great song to start the day.

I have got nothing much to report on the run except that I took my own sweet time to “baby jog” and took photographs till 33km where I completely hit the wall. Then, I did the Big Walk all the way back to the Padang.

5 Things I love about Singapore Marathon

1) Highly well organised. Effective and efficient. I have nothing but praises for the organizer. Good traffic control. Drinking stations well stocked. So far the best marathon I have ever run. I only ran two so far but my first marathon; KLIM 2004 was light years behind Singapore Marathon. I still can’t forget the traumatic experience that I was made to wait under the hot sun, queuing up to return my timing chip and get back my cash deposit after running 42km in KLIM. Hope these people can learn something from our neighbour.

2) Great carnival like atmosphere – spunky cheerleaders and fun expo.

3) Scenic route – skyscrapers, beaches, park.

4) Motivational sign boards along the way. Keep the spirit high.

5) Very nice finisher medal and T-shirt.

After completed my run, I dashed back to the hotel to shower and check out. Returned to the Padang to collect my medal and finisher tee. Had a bowl of yummy beef noodle at Marina Food Loft – a great place to chill out and grab a bite. If you sit outside, you can enjoy the scenic Esplanade area.

Left Singapore at 3:30pm from the Golden Mile Complex which pratically can be known as Thailand in a mall. Took the express bus back.

I discovered that one of my middle toenails has turned black. Soon it will fall off. Same thing happened to me in KLIM 2004. I guess my feet are not made for running marathon heheh. It will take 3 months to grow back, just in time for the KL International Marathon 2005. :)

CLICK HERE FOR THE AMAZING SINGAPORE MARATHON 2004 PICTURES

Monday, November 29, 2004

Packing for Singapore Marathon

Singapore Marathon is just 6 days away. I am starting to freak out now due to lack training. Blame it on the rain that was falling every evening. Blame it to the boogie.

Blame it to the bassanova. But don't blame it on my lazy bones. Ahaks!

Yesterday's Siemen 10km run was my last on the road training. Will do some kickboxing, pilates and yoga to keep the endorphin flowing. I guess 6 hours time limit is not impossible. Worst case scenario - walk if I can't run anymore. Or worst worst case - the sweeper bus...No..I think I'd rather die than climbing up a sweeper bus. Ahaks!

Started to gather stuff into my backpack. Plan to travel light. Not to bring additional clothes except my running gear. What you see on me, will be all the clothes I bring. Must remember to bring some heavy duty anti-perspirant or I will knock 'em all dead. Ahaks!

Things that I will stuff in my backpack

Train ticket

Travel Pillow

Eye Mask

4 packs of Power Gel

Passport (Very important!)

Vaseline (for my sexy nipples and toes haha)

Running Vest

Running short

Cap

Digital Camera with fully charged batteries.

A book - been wanting to read "Chi Running".

HMV loyalty card (Few more to go to get my free CD)

Registration Confirmation Slip (Very important!)

Reservation at Marina Mandarin Hotel

Electrolite drinks

Snacks

First Aid Kit - loaded with drugs LOL!

Imodium (for tummy upset)

Norgesic (muscle relaxant)

Panadol (headache)

Ponstan (painkiller)

Plaster (for blisters)

Deep heat & Sloan Analgesic (for tired muscles)

I guess I am all set. Singapore Marathon here I come. Choo Choo....

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Charming Bali

My Bali Travel Page is ready. Enjoy viewing the pictures. Click here for the AMAZING pictures of Bali

Monday, November 08, 2004

Mamamia! My Ipoh Medal Finally Here!

These are my finisher medals hanging on my Ikea floor lamp. I think I need a new floor lamp for 2005 onwards....Haha.

I finally received my Ipoh run medal. It was send by Poslaju. After 4 months waiting in agony, I found it in my postbox when I got home on Saturday evening after a trip to Singapore for Mamamia!. Great show if you like ABBA songs. Story line is simple and the songs flow brilliantly into the story.

It has been a month plus since I last blogged. My excuse: Busy. I miss blogging actually. These could have been the titles October blog.

1) Pink October - Breast Cancer Awareness Walk

2) Sunway Extreme Park Fun Run

3) Blue Concert @ Bukit Kiara

4) Alycia Keys Concert @ Stadium Negara

5) Bali Trip

I plan to update my blog during the Deepa-raya holiday. Please visit this blog again after Raya. I have got loads of pictures especially from Bali.

Wishing everyone Happy Deepavali and Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri. Maaf Zahir & Batin.

Monday, September 27, 2004

World Tourism VS Terry Fox

Last sunday, I was torn between two runs, feeling like a fool... (sing to the tune of 70's hit by Mary McGregor). It was like Alien VS Predator and not unlike Freddy VS Jason. Both runs were interesting in their own ways. "How now, brown cow?" as Ms. Emma Peel used to ask. Being a true kiasu, I decided to go for both.

I started with World Tourism Run at Dataran Merdeka at sharp 7:30am (after the annoying aerobic session with that uncle). I baby dashed the 7km route in my spanking new Adidas shoes I bought from Isetan Sale, Lot10, a day before. I was not there to buy shoes but I grabbed a pair anyway as it was on 50% discount. Reminded me of my first pair of Adidas. Comfy, airy and plenty of cushioning. Completed the run in 38 min, slow and steadily like an old man (Insert cough here..Uhuk! Uhuk! Uhuk!)

My Terry Fox tee was still dripping wet when I run to Lake Perdana where Terry Fox Run was held. By the time I reached the end point, most of the runners have returned home. I collected my certificate of participation. It was a very nice colourful certificate. Hey..not bad at all, two running certs in a day!!! Wow!

Was wondering where have the Milo van disappeared from the World Tourism Run earlier….I found it parked in the Lake Garden, serving those yummy cool chocolatey heaven to Terry Fox runners.

Terry Fox run has never disappoint me in term of quality of the T-shirt, event management, abundant food...(fresh fruit - apples, banana & oranges, yummy pastries from Regent Hotel, KL and drinks (canned fruit juice, canned Horlick and Eau Claire mineral water).

I stayed for a while at Lake Perdana watching runners went by while munching into my cinnamon roll and egg croissant. It was like a picnic at the park. Loads of Mat Salleh and Minah Salleh around. They must have come in truck loads. Blonde, Blue and Hairy! (I am not talking about the men alone!! women too LOL). And suddenly, I felt like a minority in my own country. Ahaks!

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Angry Letter

It is coming to three months now since we were promised that we would received our finisher medals via post. My fellow runner, Boy Wonder is pissed with the Ipoh Marathon organizer, so pissed that he wrote this pissed off letter to the Datuk Bandar Ipoh. We are waiting, Datuk Bandar...

PER : PINGAT IPOH INTERNATIONAL RUN 2004

Tuan

Saya telah memasuki larian tersebut dan sampai sekarang saya belum dapat pingat penghabisan saya. Saya amat kecewa dengan pengurusan pingat larian ini. Saya sudah banyak kali menelefon pihak-pihak yang berkenaan (Encik Zainal Yau, Encik Faisal 05-2442260 dan Encik Aziz 05-2442266) tetapi tiada jawapan atau dikenakan semacam bolasepak ditendang ke sini ke sana. Tidak ada orang yang bertanggungjawab keatas hal ini, ke? Kata selepas larian itu, pingat akan dihantar ke semua peserta yang layak. Kita sudah mengisi keratan kertas yang dikehendaki! Apa pula sekarang? Sudah berapa bulan tunggu, batang hidung tali pingat pun tidak nampak. Sia-sia saya bertungkus lumus untuk mendapat posisi 300 peserta untuk layak dapat pingat itu!

Inilah kali pertama and terakhir saya akan menyokong larian Ipoh ini.

Harap-harap tuan dapat membuat sesuatu secepat mungkin.

Yang benar

………………….

Monday, September 13, 2004

THE TERRY FOX RUN 2004

My Terry Fox T-Shirt Collection that goes way back to year 2001. The slogan for 2001 was “Every 1 makes a difference”. Year 2002 and 2003 – “Lead By Example” and “Unbreakable Spirit” respectively.

I like this year’s slogan best. Cool eh? That is why I keep all my Terry Fox Run tees and gave all my other run T-shirts away to Salvation Army.

The Regent Kuala Lumpur and the Canadian High Commission are jointly organizing The Terry Fox Run for the ninth time in Kuala Lumpur. The objective of the run is to continue Terry's dream of raising funds and creating awareness for need to carry out cancer research, until a cure is found.

Terry Fox knew personally the importance of the need for cancer research. At the age of 18, his right leg had to be amputated above the knee as a result of bone cancer. During this crucial period, Terry saw the intense pain and despair of other cancer victims. He decided to run across Canada and along the way he'd asked each Canadian for a C$1.00 donation in support of cancer research. He called the run 'The Marathon of Hope'. With one good leg and one artificial leg, he ran the equivalent of a marathon (42 km) every day for 143 days. Terry died before he could complete his crusade but his legacy is carried in the hearts of all who participate or donate to the Terry Fox Run each year around the world.

Proceeds from this year's run will go to the Cancer Research Initiatives Foundation (CARIF) to carry out cancer research in Malaysia. CARIF is committed to an understanding of cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment through a fundamental basic research programme. As a centre dedicated to understanding cancer in the Malaysian context, CARIF seek the integration of new technologies towards the long-term goal of reducing the devastating impact of cancer. This year the Run will be held on:

Date: Sunday, 26 September 2004

Time: 7.00 am

Venue: Taman Tasik Perdana (Lake Gardens)

Around the world, the run has been in existence for 24 years. The Terry Fox Run at the Lake Gardens is a fun and a non-competitive event. Participants can walk, run, wheelchair, jog, roller blade or bicycle the 5 km distance – once or several times. Participation in The Terry Fox Fun Run is by donation. Donations of any amount are welcomed and appreciated.

Donations of RM30 per person will each receive a special commemorative 2004 Terry Fox Run t-shirt. T-shirts are available in the following sizes: children size 32 and 36; Adults S, M, L, XL and XXL. Donations for the run can be made at the Kiosk at The Regent Kuala Lumpur on Jalan Bukit Bintang or at the Canadian High Commission at Menara Tan & Tan, Jalan Tun Razak.

Enquiries on the run can be made by contacting: The Regent Kuala Lumpur on 03-2149 4155 The Canadian High Commission on 03-2718 3333

So, everyone, what are you waiting for?

ADIDAS KING OF THE ROAD

Adidas KOTR was held at Dataran Merdeka on 5 Sept 2004, organized by Adidas, sanction by FTAAA and co-sponsored by DBKL.

One of the runs to look forward to. Not because of the scenic route. Not because of the lucky draw prizes. Not because of medals. It was the event t-shirt - branded Adidas tee was said to worth RM49.90 (but was selling at a bargain bin price at RM20 at the Adidas booth on the event day).

I managed to capture some teenage cheerleaders rehearsing their routine at the START line with my mobile phone camera. Slick and funky...

Had my foot scanned at the Adidas booth while waiting for the lucky draw . Found out that I am an over-pronator. On both feet! In layman term - the foot roll too far inward (collapses) during running, leading to lower leg, knee and back injuries over time.

Hmmmm...Sound serious! This calls for serious measure – some serious shoe shopping to fit my over-pronating feet! Shopping therapy! I like that but on second thought, my faithful FILA shoes are still working fine – no blisters, no bloody chaffing, snug fit, well conditioned and look good.

I think my old faithful can still last me one more marathon. (Singapore Marathon..Here I Come). I will probably start shopping for new shoes during Chinese New Year Sale! (Insert lion dance drum here!)

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Standard Chartered Marathons Here I Come

I have signed up for Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon on Merdeka Day. It will be my sophomore effort after my debut in KL Marathon 2004. This time I will be more prepared for it. My initial plan early in the year was to run 3 marathons this year and then take a bow. But then Penang International Bridge Run was cancelled without any notice. So I was left with two. I was tempted to run Ipoh Marathon but my instinct told me not to. True enough, Ipoh Marathon turn out to a disaster due to incompetent organizer. I am still waiting for my 21km finisher medal. Johor Marathon? I didn’t even want to consider running it. It turned out to be a bigger disaster than Ipoh. A marathon without water stations? Unthinkable.

My worst fear in a marathon is a bad organizer. It can really flush three months of training down the drain. I can’t imagine myself completing a marathon without a medal to show. I will not leave my passion in running in the hands of incompetent bumbling idiots like those of Ipoh and JB Marathon. So, I have been very careful in selecting my marathons, as there is no one else to blame if I ended up with a lousy marathon. Can’t blame the organizers cause I fill in the registration form willingly and even if I f*ck them left and right, top and bottom, do you think they care?

I am looking forward for the Singapore Marathon as I have missed it last year due to some unforeseen circumstances. Amelia and Boywonder gave rave reviews on how they enjoyed themselves during the run last year. Great organization. Wonderful cheers and support from public. Flat scenic route. Can’t wait to start my training regime again.

My uncle also asked me to join him for Bangkok International Marathon, which I declined. Why? It will be held week before the Singapore Marathon. I am passionate about I don’t want to run myself out. I might do Bangkok it next year if the review is favourable from my uncle.

Speaking of my running uncle, he has already preparing to Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon next year – 27 Feb 2005. He told me that it will be like a family vacation with my auntie and my cousins and will scout for cheap tickets during Matta Fair in Sept. My parents liked the idea of the family vacation too. I told him I would think about it. My heart is itching more than my feet to go for this marathon. The thoughts of running in HMV and other CD/VCD stores send my heart to a flutter.

I have written to HK Amateur Athletic Association for more details and the told me that more info will be available in Oct in the updated website. On-line registration is available. Better start saving now…

Monday, August 30, 2004

CT Nurhaliza Fantasia Tour 2004

I would have given this event a skip if not for Boywonder’s VIP invitation card. I caught her performance three times already – Hiburan Miggu Ini (HMI) – pop, traditional (dress code – traditional costume) and Hari Raya Special; all which I enjoyed very much but mama said, “Too much of a good thing is no good for you". Siti is sweet but after awhile she gets disgustingly sweet. Thousands of fans thronged the fiesta site at Bukit Jalil Stadium before the concert – Maxis Hotlink, Kelisa, Samsung, Astro etc. Visited CT Nurhaliza booth – selling souvenirs items like a range of gaudy T-shirt called C-Tee (pronounced as Siti, of course) and tea – her very own tea bags called C-Tea (Yes…Siti again..Everybody repeat after me,…Siti….) What will be her next range of product, I wonder? Toilet Seat-ee? Ahaks! The show started quite late. I was falling asleep at the so-called VIP seats, which was way way way far from the stage. Most of the CT pictures were snapped on the giant screen. I was very far from the stage that she look as big as a safety pin.The opening acts were the groupies from Akademia Fantasia 1 and 2. Didn’t give a toot on their performance. Didn’t get the “demam”. Siti emerged with her horrible pink drapes at 9:40pm (very very late for a concert!). with two fast numbers – Cahaya Seribu Like and Debaran Cinta followed with some of her slow hits. I left the show early after her monstrous hit, Aku Cinta Padamu – done in several beats -waltz, dangdut (she tried to shake her booty but she was no dangdut queen, Amelina) and jazz. Interesting but not enough to keep my butt glued to the seat. She offered nothing new in terms of her vocal, wardrobe and showmanship. Thanks to her sponsors that this concert was free. CLICK HERE FOR THE AMAZING CT PICTURES

Friday, August 27, 2004

Malaysia Idol - Classics

I love this show. I have been following MI show since the auditions and have never missed a single show.

It is natural for me to continue watching our very own Malaysian Idol after having followed Fantasia Barrino's winning trail in American Idol.

I was estatic when I received a few tickets from my colleague (Thank you Khim!) last Friday. The show was held at Sri Pentas 2, Plaza Alam Sentral. Marianne brought her honey, Khai, a sweet guy. We reached the Pentas about 8:45pm and the queue was already long. Some promo girls were giving away Clean and Clear Daily Pore Cleanser.

Saw Jien sitting on a sofa while walking into the auditorium. We were seating the furthest end from the stage.

Idol family members and friends were given the privillege to sit in front, near the stage.

Show started promptly at 9:45pm (It's a live show, so they have to start promptly). The theme this week was "classic".

There were 10 finalists - Jac (excellent rendition of When I Fall in Love), Zamil (Fatty, the aunties killer), Dina (cool favourite, with sassy "Jelingan Manja"), Saiful (cute face but horrible pitching), Fahmy (sweet but ordinary), Rydee (her "I Will Survive" made us got up and boogie...), Nikki (My favourite gal - great voice but not that popular..I actually SMS voted for her), Vic (pretentious brat!), Victor (the next one voted out) and Andrew (the stiffest and most boring singer I have ever encountered).

Really had fun that night. The atmosphere was great. Can't get that if I was watching at home. One down side in a live stage versus TV is we cannot watch the expression of the singers. Anyway, for MI, we can watch the repeat on TV3 on Sunday. Have to skip my yoga class again for this.

One of my colleague GeeKay managed to squeeze herself through the crowd and got hold of Paul Moss. She was smittened by Paul's charm (what's with chicks with white hairy apes?). She deliberately clinged herself to Paul's arm, squeezing his biceps while taking photo. I could imagine the fear in Paul eyes....Poor dude.

I found this comment while surfing for MI sites in the net. The descriptions fit. "Paul Moss sour Kiwi fruit.....Roslan pasar malam rambutan - sometime sweet, sometime over-ripe, sometime bad. And Gee....well she lychee you buy in tin.....too much sirap" (sic). Fruity, eh?

Monday, August 16, 2004

The Most Boring Run of All

Larian MPAJ was organized by Ampang Jaya Municiple on15 August, 2004, starting and ending at Padang Perbandaran Pandan Indah.

On the Run...

This has to be most boring route I have ever run. Concrete, concrete and more concrete. Nothing much to write about this run except it was very boring.

Aliens vs Predators...A Must see movie!

The lucky draw was very long and boring. It ended at 12:00pm..I could have sworn that they were going for the Malaysian Book of Record of the longest lucky draw. There has to be a more efficient way to handle this, people!!!!...

The colouring contest results announcement was boring (hey..what’s a colouring contest doing in the middle of a run? Can’t they do this during a family day or something?).

The flag handling ceremony was boring (why can’t they do this during their office hour so that they have some excuse not to do routine work?).

The prize presentation for the VIP winners are boring (they picked 12 so called VIPs to go on stage yet, in other categories, on the first 3 were asked to go on stage (I figure it was a good was to suck up to the so called VIPs).

The prize collection was boring. My friend, Casey has given up on his prize money because he has leave for work in the afternoon.

The saving grace from this boring event has to be Bienda performance. She was sweet and pretty in pink (pink dress pink scarf, pink eye-shadow, pink lipstick...)

Bienda charmed the pants off this vertically-challenged dude.

Ewah! Ewah!

Tiny dancer

I even got her autograph, it is not pink though. (Insert Awwwww…..here).

To sum up, The Larian Ampang Jaya is one heck of a boring event. Don’t bet your money to see me here next year.

p/s. A very nice looking medal. I didn't get one but my uncle did!

Sunday, August 08, 2004

The Notorious Biggie

Malay Mail Big Walk is a walk event organized by Malay Mail newspaper on 8 August 2004.. It is one of the oldest and grandest walk event in this country. It used to be held in Padang Merbok but has shifted the start point to Dataran Merdeka.

National floater walker, Yuan Yu Fang warming up for the race.

Which one is harder? Running or walking 10km? My vote has to be walking. It took a lot of efforts to do ARM SWAYING, HIP-TWISTING, ASS-WIGGLING walk.

Still, I join the Malay Mail Big Walk every year. (Partly because of the goodie bag and the lucky draw).

The walk was well organized and grand (almost carnival-like). I enjoyed myself at event though I didn’t have the luck to drive back the grand draw, a spanking new Proton Waja.

10km and 20km events for walkers.

The carnival-like Malay Mail Big Walk.

Yuan Yu Fang didn't get disqualified for floating this time and clinched the top prize.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Slim Medals and Garbage Heaps

Klang Quarter Marathon 2004 was organized by Majlis Perbandaran Klang on 1 August 2004. It started and ended at Padang Sultan Sulaiman, Klang.

I broke my own record. 56 mins. Can't believe it. I think everyone broke his or her record last Sunday in The Klang Quarter Marathon. Rumours had it that the course was actually 1 km short of a quarter marathon distance. But heck, I think I did my best. Not slowing down for the hills. Not slowing down when my legs shouted to stop. Not stopping to take pictures of "scenic" Klang. And finally, it is all worth it - I got a finisher medal. Even though it is thinner than digestive biscuit and slimmer than a Swatch Skin, I was ecstatic to receive it. By the way, I am still waiting for my Ipoh Marathon finisher medal. (Insert The Carpenter's Mr. Postman tune here).

Klang Quarter Marathon has to be the stinkiest of all runs. I remember we had to run pass some fish market last year and some garbage dumps. This year, even though they change the route, the stinky air still enveloped the first few km of the run. We passed by some kampongs where garbage heaps seemed like part of their landscaping plan. Thank God it was at the beginning of the run. I would have fainted gasping for air if this should happen at the last few Ks. This will be my memory of Klang run forever – Stinky route.

Met my uncle at the starting point. He confirmed that he would be going for Bangkok Marathon on 28 Nov. Asked me to join him and his Kuantan gang but I think I will pass. Not that I don’t like Bangkok, but I better save my money and energy to go for CD shopping in Singapore, er...I mean going for Singapore International Marathon – 5 Dec.

This time I do not have pictures to show, as I had to concentrate on running (for the first time ahaks..). 300 medals for grabs, and I went all out for it. I will be running with my camera again in the Ampang Jaya run on 15 August. No medal pressure this time and I will take my own sweet time to enjoy the "scenic" Ampang on foot. Hopefully Ampang Municiple is doing a much better job than Klang one in terms of garbage disposal.

Adidas King of The Road will be held on 5 Sept. I have already signed up. Look forward to received the Adidas blue T-shirt. It’s worth signing up, even just for the shirt.

Monday, July 19, 2004

In the Shadows of THE RASMUS

The Rasmus @ HRC Posted by Hello     It’s been a while since I have dinner with celebrities. I still remembered my first celebrity dinner date with Dave Koz (Pop-jazz saxophonist) which I won from a contest. We were pratically blown away by this warmth and friendliness. A dinner with pop teen-queen Tiffany followed. Over the years I have been lucky enough to dine and wine / meet and greet with pop stars like 911 (where are they now?), Boyzone (before the split), Tevin Campbell, Code Red, Trademark (German pop group), Wild Orchids (three va-va-voom chicks with power lungs from LA), Bachelor Girl (Aussie pop duo), Donna Lewis and last but not least a trip to Sydney to spend a weekend with Aussie then famous R&B group – Kulcha. I have stopped participating in these contests due to lack of interest and mere laziness.   This time thanks to Boy Wonder, I was invited for a dinner to meet THE RASMUS at the Hard Rock Café, Kuala Lumpur. THE RASMUS is a rock outfit from Finland with one killer song that has been played to death on the radio – IN THE SHADOWS. They have  just released a new album called DEAD LETTERS. The whole album was pretty listenable despite the morbid title and lyrics.     At about 8:30pm, the group arrived with applause and shrieking from the winners and friends. I felt a little out of place, as the other people at the tables were young pimply college students as I was once was. Age is catching up with me. And that was when I went to the buffet spread for some comfort food. (Insert saliva dripping sound effect here).   They came, they signed the autographs, they posed for pictures and off they went. They didn’t even eat with us. I was expecting tall blonde Finnish rock dudes but we got some cute little hobbits. Mean hobbits that can rock. (Grrrrr….)   We were made to line up like little school kids to take pictures with the group. My pictures with them turned out shaky and overexposed, thanks to the idiot whom I pass my camera to. Hope the picture taken with Boy Wonder antique camera would turn out all right.   Didn’t stay back for the showcase, which was scheduled at 11:00pm. It was a bit late for weekdays. Rather have my sleep. Is this sign of aging? Sigh…I think I will go grab a bar of Crunchie, my comfort food.    CLICK HERE FOR THE AMAZING DINNER WITH RASMUS PICTURES  

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Singapore CD Shopping Spree

I skipped Seremban ½ Marathon last weekend and decided to head further south to Singapore for a CD shopping spree. Took the Senandung Malam Ekspres on Friday night. Arrived in Singapore on Sat morning. Train was delayed due to technical problems for a hour. Headed straight to Orchard Road upon reaching Tanjong Pagar Train Station. Noted that there was a sign “WELCOME TO MALAYSIA” in front of the train station. Strange but true. Spent the whole Saturday in and out CD shops. Here are some places I raided in Singapore. a) Borders – Good to buy US import CD. Prefer Border to Kinokuniya. Books in Kino are wrapped with PVC while I can freely thumb through the books in Border (except those explicitly titled books like Illustrated Guide To Kama Sutra or of the same sorts). Bought Nicole Kidman Dogville limited edition 4 disc VCD. Nice packaging. b) Popular – Orchard MRT Station – Bought Jessica Simpson – In This Skin (Expended version with bonus DVD- footage of her wedding..Yikes! ) c) Sembawang – Orchard MRT Station & Cineleisure Building. Stock latest singles. Bought Fantasia Barrino- I Believe, Diana Degarmo – Dreams singles and the Season 3 American Idol Soul Classics album. I love Idols!!! d) HMV – Closed at 12am on Sat night!! 3 –floors of CDs, VCDs and DVDs. Damn Shiok! Singles selection is better than the rest. Bought Janet Jackson – Don’t Stop (All Night), 2 Britney singles, Anastacia – Left Outside Alone, Michelle Branch – Breathe (The Remixes) and a DVD – YOGA for RUNNERS. e) Gramophone – The Specialist Centre & City Hall. Great selection of DVDs. Discounted music CDs. Got Celine Dion – Live at Paris (with Bonus DVD, the local Malaysian version comes with a VCD only…) and Beyonce – Live In Wembley DVD (She wriggles and rocks!!!) f) Blue Max – Suntec City. Reasonably priced VCD and DVD. Good selections. Also dropped by at Tower Records at Suntec City but the selection here sucks. Went to Times Bookshop and got myself a copy of Kiss and Tell (Sex and the City official book, updated with season 6). Great buy. Got 10% discount as I still can use my Malaysian Times Bookshop Privilege card here.(Insert laughter like the girl in the Watson's ad) Discovered a little café at Raffles Hospital – Ya Kun Kaya Toast serves exorbitantly priced Kaya Toast and Kopi O. A set of 2 slices of kaya toast, two half-boiled eggs and a cup of Kopi-O set me back SGD 3.60. I can’t believe I actually queued up for it. Anyway, the ambiance was great (mind you this was in a hospital building) and the toast was actually very tasty. Wanted to watch movies but nothing special was playing in the cinema here. Bought a Spiderman combo came in a nice Spiderman cup with Spidey figurine crouching on the cap. This will go nicely with my Queen Amidala, T-Rex and Arnold T-3 combo cups collection. Had coke and popcorn for dinner.(Insert burp here). Retired for the night at Holiday Inn Parkview. Nice cosy hotel in the heart of Orchard. Bought some buns from Break Talk and had them in the hotel for breakfast. Watched Malaysian Idol (theater elimination) on TV3. Thank God that Holiday Inn has TV3 as I missed the earlier show on 8TV previously. Glued to the TV for two hours watching some pathetic sods got their ass kicked for fumbling over the lyrics and singing off keys. Hailed a cab to Golden Mile Complex to catch an express bus home. Discovered another surprise upon entering the complex. My nose detected and familiar yet distance smell. Pungent. Spicy. Hot. I smelled Thailand! True indeed the place was swarmed with Thais. Restaurants (complete with Thai karaoke). Shops selling everything Thai from magazine, CDs, food, spices, vegetable, meat, durians and clothings. To top it all, there is a big Thai Supermarket. Thailand in a building in Singapore. What a pleasant surprise!! I'm glad that I skipped Seremban Run as I heard from my fellow runners that the traffic control was appalling. I got lost once during the Seremban run and I have yet to return ever since. Look forward for the next CD shopping spree in Singapore. In Dec perhaps, for Singapore Marathon 2004. CLICK HERE FOR THE AMAZING PICTURES OF MY SINGAPORE SHOPPING SPREE

Monday, July 05, 2004

The Yummiest Run of All


Limau Bali Ipoh Posted by Hello Ipoh International Marathon was organized by the Ipoh City Council with co-operation of Perak State Government and Perak Amateur Athlete Association (POAP). The run started and ended at Dataran Ipoh, Greentown, Ipoh. 3 July 2004 7:40am Arrived at Food Court at Petaling Street. Amelia, Boy Wonder & Tan already there gobbling up their breakfast. Didn’t feel like eating breakfast there. Bought a Mexican bun, egg tart and chicken siew-pau for breakfast in the bus. 8:30am Bus Transnational left Puduraya Bus Station. The ride was smooth. Took some pictures of the sleeping beauties but was avenged later. (Insert snoring noises here). 11:30am Arrived in Medan Kidd. Greeted by Tan. He took us to buy some local biscuits at Yee Thye. Amelia did some serious shopping here. Had lunch at Pak Kong Nasi Ayam restaurant. The chicken rice was reasonably good. The rice was fragrant and not too oily. Chicken was tender, soak in dark soy sauce. Our gastronomical marathon began here. Tan drove us around town highlighting various recommended eateries. 1:00pm Checked into Syuen Hotel. Met uncle and auntie at the lobby. My uncle drove all the way from Kuantan. He has signed up for full marathon. 2:40pm My sister picked Wei Yee and I up for shopping. Went to Jusco and some video stores at Ipoh East. Checked out some running apparels in Fila. Didn’t buy anything despite the sale was on. 4:30pm Got backed to Syuen. Join the rest of the gang for shopping at Ipoh Parade which is just a stone throw away from Syuen. Combed the mall and realized that Ipoh Parade is a clone of IOI Mall in Puchong. Had a turkey ham sandwich at a German sounding café, don’t recall the name. Went to XTRA and bought some cereal, a carton of low fat milk, 2 oranges and an apple for breakfast. Very healthy, indeed. 7:40pm Shenny came to pick up for dinner. Was drizzling. Went to a placed call Yeolde English in Greentown that serves western-styled dishes. Ordered a banana smoothie (runners love bananas, don’t we?) and some stuffed crab for myself. KK ordered house-specialty Yeolde chicken – it was dry and nothing special. 10:00pm Went to Y2K bar for some beer with Shenny, Shenny’s sister and KK. Y2K is located in Ipoh East, a stone throw away from Jusco. Second time today to pass by Jusco. We were the only customers there but all the stools and sofas were reserved. Hip and happening place when the night grows older, I think. KK yakked about his trip to Paris and Rome. 11:00pm Drove pass by Lou Wong and spontaneously decided to have supper. This place was touted as the most famous chicken bean sprout noodle in town. This place was packed but we managed to secure a table. Ordered half a chicken, some taugeh and noodles. Chicken was smooth and tender. The noodle was a bit sweet, laden with MSG I supposed. What I loved best was the taugeh – clean, fat and crunchy. What a yummy was to carbo-load! 4 July 2004 12:00am Sweet dream. (Insert snore here) 4:00am Amelia gave a wake up call. It was way too early. Returned to dreamland. 6:00am Woke up. Had a light breakfast. 6:30am Rushed to the Padang for registration. Glad that the starting point was basically at the doorstep of Syuen. There was a minor accident involving 3 cars at the roadside. Couldn’t be bothered as I was a bit late. Registered at the counter and was tied with a plastic cable tie on my right hand. Ate my chocolate Power Gel. Yuck. Tasted like shit. 6:45am Huddled at the starting point. Almost fainted because of the B.O galore. Haven’t these people heard of deodorant or shower? These people make running hazardous to health. The run was set off by some Perak royalty. Didn’t get who was the person with the gun as I was busy fainting. The run was pretty smooth as the road in Ipoh is relatively flat. The sky was pretty with hues of orange and blue as the sun was peeking from the clouds, greeting the runners. The run took me from Dataran Ipoh to Jalan Sultan Abdul Jalil, Persiaran Greenhill, Jalan Sultan Idris Shah, Jalan Gopeng, Jalan Dairy, Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, Jalan Tasek, Jalan Kg. Simee, Lebuhraya Cecil Raa, Jalan Hospital, Jalan Chin Choon Sam, Jalan Sultan Abdul Jalil, Jalan Dato Ahmad Said to Persiaran Bandaraya and finised at Dataran Ipoh. As usual, I was ready with my camera. Running my own race, slowly and stopping for those Kodak (In my case, it would be Nikon) moments. The weather was perfect. The sun was merciful unlike the scorching sun during the Melaka Historic Run in May. I did my personal best in this run – 2 hours and 29 minutes, one minute below the qualifying time. (Insert applause here). Was given a pink card to collect my medal. I was hugely disappointed when was told that they were out of medals. How could this be? The nerve that they call this an International event! It is not like they knew about the race and the medal allocation the day before the rest. This is totally unacceptable! We were made to queue under the hot sun to write our addresses so that the medal can be mailed to us. I was robbed! Robbed of my joy to receive my hard-earned medal at the end of my run. (Insert a loud wail here). KK, Amelia, Tan and Boy Wonder went for Dim Sum at Foh San. Didn’t join them. Don’t really fancy pork-laden Dim Sum. Instead, I drink some milk and ate an apple. Fell asleep in bed while reading the Sunday paper. What a wonderful Sunday. 12.30pm Checked out from Syuen. KK drove us back. Boy Wonder kept KK awake while driving as Amelia, Tan and I were sleeping at the back. Stopped by Tapah rest area and bought a big bag of jambu air (rose apples). Sweet and juicy. Will I come back to Ipoh Run next year? Yes. Despite the major boo boo on the medal, I enjoyed the trip. Where else can you find a venue with flanked by a major hotel, a shopping mall and food, glorious food? (Insert a burp here). CLICK HERE FOR THE AMAZING 21KM IPOH INTERNATIONAL RUN PICTURES

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