Tuesday, June 29, 2004

I'm Lovin' It Run 2004

The Olympic Day Run was launched in 1987 to commemorate the foundation of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) by Baron Pierre de Coubertin on June 23, 1894.

The Run was created to promote the practice of participation in sport by men, women and children from all corners of the world and all walks of life, regardless of athletic ability. In Malaysia, the run was organized last Sunday (27 June 2004) by the Olympic Committee of Malaysia (OCM).

This year’s sponsor was McDonald and they did send in the clown. This version of Ronald McDonald was a bit on the short and chubby vs the tall lanky dude that we accustomed to on tellie.

Somehow, it is difficult for me to associate the healthy Olympic spirits (Faster, Higher, Stronger) with imagery of McD greasy, sodium high and sugar-laden grubs that McD are offering. Hehehe. I have been trying to cut down my trip to fast-food outlets to once a month in my attempt to shed some stubborn blubber from my mid-section.

The warm-up session was a major disaster as the CD decided to do some skipping instead of hip-hopping. Haven’t they heard of the things that we do before going “live” like “sound check and rehearsal”? It was odd doing the mass warm up without the music but the show must go on.

Roll with it - Datuk Azalina (Sports Minister) and Datuk Jega doing tha' thang with a vertically-challenged Ronald McDonald....

The 7km run was smooth and easy-paced for me. I didn’t go all out to save some energy for my Ipoh run next weekend, will be plodding on the 21km route. (Wish me luck). A good effort by Famemas supporters group, cheering the runners as they turned into the finishing lines.

One boo boo made by McD. The coupons given by McDonald were of cheeseburger and beef burger. Both are made of holy cows. They should have been more considerate to those non-beefeaters by providing fish or fowl alternatives. Coke was served at the drinking station. I missed the Milo van.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Taman Gelora - Nature's Galore

Two weeks ago I had the chance of going to Kuantan for my cousin’s wedding. I joined my uncle for his training at Taman Gelora – a training ground and official "lepak" place for Kuantan Pacesetters. (My uncle is a Kuantan Pacesetter member. He is a hardcore runners who goes running anywhere in Malaysia with his Kuantan clique. When I run with him…I have to prepare to eat his dust…..)

Contrary to its name, Taman Gelora (Gelora literally mean rough in context of sea) is tranquil and great place to relax. It is a park with jogging track built by the seaside. Many placid lakes and ponds in the park add natural charms to this place. Abundant pine trees here provide much protection from the harsh sunlight to joggers. Great sea view, shady jogging path and gentle sea breeze. What more can a runner ask for?

Big Walk, Small Win

Yeo Hiap Seng Posted by Hello I won a hamper. Yeah! Yeah! I was pleasantly surprised when Jennifer called me to inform that she saw my name as a winner of the Malay Mail Big Walk Big Win Daily draw last week. The winners were selected from the pool of registered participants for the Big Walk that will be held on August 8. What were in my goodies bag? 2 Days supply of Yeo Hiap Seng food and drink – 1 carton of soybean drink, 1 can of baked bean, 5 packs of Cintan Instant Noodle (original flavour), 1 big can of Kaya and 2 cans of flavoured tea. Probably worth about RM15. That should cover my registration fees for the run already. (Insert greedy laugh here..bwah hah hah)

Monday, June 21, 2004

Harem Diva At Work

Sarah Brightman Harem World Tour CD and Ticket Posted by Hello I have Brian to thank for asking me to go for Sarah Brightman the evening before the concert. I almost missed this incredible show if not for him. No one wanted or could make it to accompany me to watch this concert earlier. We got the cheapest tickets available – RM122. That was still considered expensive by other artiste standard. Mariah Carey cheapest concert ticket was sold at mere RM 68. At the other extreme, a seat near the stage (close enough to see Sarah’s nostrils when she walked by) would set one back RM800 per ticket. I was f**king pissed by the management who printed the dress-code requirement on the ticket. I had to go back all the way to Sunway from PJ to change when I got an SMS from Brian asking me to dress up for the show – no faded/ torn jean round neck T-shirts, short sport attire or slipper. I changed my Bermuda and black round neck Tee to a “smart casual” (who the f**k invented this term anyway?) collared tee with a pair of crisp ironed khaki. Guess in what other people come in with? Slippers and shorts. (Insert eye-rolling ceremony here). Why bother printing something they don’t enforce? Same thing went to the starting time. Printed in italic “Show will start promptly at 0800pm. Patrons are advised to be seated well before then. Latecomers will NOT be admitted into the auditorium until a suitable break”. Guess what now? The show started half an hour late and people still thronging in by then. (Insert Hulk’s angry roar here). The stage was impressive. It was crescent-shaped with a catwalk like extension that led to a star platform at the end. Huge mid-Eastern drapes covered the stage, looking like what else but a HAREM. But what is a HAREM? According to MSN Encarta dictionary, HAREM is defined as 1. women’s part of a house: the separate private quarters reserved for wives and concubines in a Muslim home. (Hmmm..didn't know that Muslims are allowed to have concubines..LOL) 2. group of women: the wives and concubines who live in a HAREM(Insert a loud Hmmmmm...here) 3. zoology group of animals: a group of female animals of the same species associated for breeding purposes with one male (Insert a louder Hmmmmm...here) 4. women followers: any group of women admirers or followers ( humorous ) ( sometimes considered offensive ) The word originated from Mid-17th century via Turkish from, ultimately, Arabic - Haram “prohibited (place), women’s quarters”. I was hooked on Sarah since I first bought her Time to Say Goodbye album featuring her duet with Andrea Brocelli. Contrary to the sad connotation to goodbye, this song is about saying goodbye and to go to new places to be with the one you love. She got a voice that you either love or hate. Some of my friends commented that her voice is too shrilly, like a banshee on ecstasy or like a cat being held by the tail. I beg to differ. She opened her concert with HAREM (What other song could it be? Duh!). Throughout Sarah dominated the stage with voice and a little help from her belly-dancing posse. Truly a great diva with equally great hair extension. I must admit she was damn good. I didn’t understand half of her songs (me no speaking Italian…) but I could feel her emotion dripping over her sultry voice. She did a flawless rendition of her timeless classic – Time to say goodbye. The ambiance was marvelous. I love the part where her dancers walked around the stage, throwing red confetti that looked like roses petals. Then Sarah was lifted up in the air on her swing. She was swung high above the air while singing her mid-eastern tinged “What A Wonderful World”. Then suddenly a shower of millions of red petals started to pour from the top. I was visually stunned. In her final song, she was strung high up on air and then took tumble, 360-degree a few times and at the same time, millions of silver confetti were blown up on air and drowned the audience. I don’t think I have described her act best with my limited vocabulary. You have to be there to experience it. I recognized the tune of Who Wants To Live Forever, It’s A Beautiful Day, The War is Over (a duet with some Arabic dude), Whiter Shade of Pale, Nessum Dorma and Dust in The Wind among the tunes she managed to cramp into her show. After watching her 2 and a half hour show, I could safely conclude that this woman was not afraid of height. She was raised on a high platform a few times. Hung on air, flapping like a pterodactyl. Swung up air in her swing. Did that 360-degree tumbles hanging up on air. And she did all that without breaking her pitch or singing out tune. I was impressed. If you ever taken away all the lights, swing, crescent-stage, costumes, wireworks and belly dancers…I am sure Sarah would still be as captivating as ever with her emotive voice and diva persona. This HAREM, I wanna be in. I brought my Nikon CoolPix 3500 to the concert and here are the results CLICK HERE FOR THE AMAZING SARAH BRIGHTMAN HAREM KL TOUR PICTURES

Monday, June 07, 2004

Liquid Dream

Chocolate Fountain Posted by Hello

I was on my way to Yoga class when got called from Francis. I have totally forgotten that there was a food gathering that Sunday. So I took the LRT to Dang Wangi and walked to Shangri-la Hotel. Lee Siah, Lam, Poh, Joan and Francis were already feasting on the prawns and rock oysters when I arrived. Great meeting them again.

Question like "Why do men cannot aim properly into the toilet bowl?" and "Can girl pee standing?" were among our topic of discussion. I found out that girls do pee standing, in the shower. Lam just got back from Sydney. She got me a kangaroo key-chain, adding to my dusty collection of unused key chains from various part of the worlds, from friends and relatives. The amount of key chains I got probably can last me through 3 lifetimes.

She also brought some chili flavoured chocolate for us. Hmmm..I wonder who thought of this idea but most of us could not tell that there was chili in the chocolate. Our taste bud corpuscles probably dead by long-term abuse of chili padi and the spicy stuff that we gorged upon everyday.

The highlight of the day was probably the chocolate fountain. Whoever invented this was a genius. Five tiers of flowing melted chocolate waiting to be dipped into. My liquid dream indeed. We dipped our fruit, biscuits and marshmallow into the chocolate. It was heavenly with strawberries but did not go so well with honeydew. I must have made 10 rounds to the fountain. Wouldn't it be nice if they provide fountain like this at the marathon drinking stations? Heavenly way to refuel.

Saw a very nice yoga mat at Nike Shop at KL Plaza, available in bright orange, light blue & light green, complete with the "swoosh" logo. Tempted to buy one. Finally decided not to as mats are provided at my yoga class. Moreover, the yogis in India probably do all the asanas on the ground without any mat, let alone Nike yoga non-slip mat.

But then, I might just return to the shop and grab it later. Anyway, my motto still is – If you are not GOOD at running, at least you must LOOK GOOD running. I guess the same applies to yoga (Insert cheeky laugh here).