Saturday, May 26, 2007

Living Next Door To Alice

In the song, Alice had been the girl next door for the past 24 years. That long neighbourly period had made the singer/songwriter taken things for granted and procastinate any action which would have developed the relationship onto the next step...till, Alice called him to say goodbye - she was moving away! Hmm...can't remember what happened towards the end as I have totally forgotten the lyrics.

In a real life scene though, Alice did not make the telephone call; she and that cakapaje bloke was on the opposite side of the fence when the news was told; Alice will be moving off to Singapore to continue her studies and at the same time teach the lower levels. After slightly more than 24 months as a neighbour, we never really did get to know each other aproper, prefering to talk through the fence. Have to admit, I will miss her.

Can't say about the character in the song, but the Alice here, is a sweet young chinese lady, whom, had I not known her better, would have thought she is of the baba-nyonya descendant. A devout Christian, she currently teach English at a local college and in her spare time, a private piano teacher. Alice real life name is Sandra.

For the past 24months or so we've been neighbours, I have had the pleasure of listening to her playing the piano. She keeps the piano in the rear upstairs bedroom, closing all the windows in an effort not to disturb the neighbours. Though faint the sound may be (I don't think she use the damp pedal), I do enjoy listening to those classical pieces, they make me wish I have of my own. Does not matter whether its grand or upright, so long as I can play my pieces.

Hmm...that last sentence does not seem quite right. Before anyone gets the wrong impression, let me just say this: after more than 2 decades of not having a place to practice playing the piano, my wrist and fingers are as stiff as nails. But I would love to, given the chance, play several pieces. Its not difficult to imagine. Just picture an orangutan hitting the keyboards!

Back to Sandra, here's to you sweet lady! May Allah grant you hidayah and make you a muslim.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

A WWF We Will Go!

Way back before I was forced into blogging, I wrote about WWF and that they're not what they seem to be. I mean, get real will you - how can anyone save anything when they're bashing their heads silly on the wrestling stage with loyal viewers from around the world? Or, perhaps, its the heads of those viewers who are being bashed in by meaningless violence which begets more meaningless violence? Perhaps its a good thing the wrestling show changed its name and acronym to WWE. Still, within the same vein, it could read World War Earth! Oops! I forget, some of my close buddies are their fans. Sorry guys!

When I wrote about the WWF last, it was actually about having to visit one of those (much dreaded) masseurs. Now, I don't mean the kinky type, but those real 'tukang urut'. Those makciks and pakciks who can help heal even a broken bone, off course, with their crunching pain as well. The wrestling part I mention comes in this manner: one minute you're lying flat on your back with the pakcik picking out your veins, and the next, you find yourself crawling for the nearest exit, in vain hope that the pakcik won't notice. Well, tough luck fella! Not only are the makciks and pakciks hands like the clutch and talons of an eagle, their eyesights are as sharp too! Worse still, just like the WWE series, you have a live audience watching - those other patients queueing up with some bodily ailments of some sort! What a sadistic world this is!

Anyway, as much as I do dread stepping onto the stage, I find myself in dire need to do so; my right leg does not seem to be getting much better. In fact, its the heels which is bothering me more than before. Perhaps I need to unlearn the military walk where each step begins with the heel touching the ground first. Hmm...that's a good thought! Wonder why I never thought of it before. Heel, cakapaje! Heel!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Licking My Wounds

Wak and I arrived at Masjid Ijok around 2.30pm. We had made our way around several polling centers, recording the events of the day. It was a real hot afternoon with very little clouds in the sky; earlier in the morning while making my way to Ijok, the radio station mentioned that it might rain in the later part of the day, and advise voters in Ijok to cast their before lunchtime. I whispered to myself "That was a message meant for the phantom voters".

Soon as we were in the masjid, Wak lay his body down to rest. I felt a pang of guilt at not helping the BA in bringing the voters from their homes. But Wak had a point, he wanted to be at the SPR Operation Center - just a stone throw away from the masjid - early, to avoid any traffic congestion that might arise later. So as soon as I performed the Zohor prayers, I too took a nap, waking up just before Asr.

At about 5.30pm, after we had refreshed ourselves at a nearby coffee shop, we walked to the center with our equipments. This time, I didn't have to carry the stepladder. Rather, I had asked Wak to bring the other large camera for me to use. And a cameraman I was for the day. Hooray!

At 6.30pm, I received a call from Roslan, the wtv8 bigwig. He advised us to return as the forecast results did not seem encouraging. But Wak and I, being Wak and I, we insisted on staying, come what may. And stay we did...only to record the loss of PKR's Tan Sri Khalid. By the time the last vote was announced, Wak and I made our way through the crowd, back to our car in the Masjid's compound. No, we did not feel dejected, though we did expect a very close result.

By the time Wak drove me to my car, I was almost exhausted. The pains in my legs had worsen. To support and balance my body caused by the slight defect on my left leg, my right leg felt like it was...well, in pain. It, my right leg, had, for the life that I can consciously remember, been absorbing my entire body weight. Where once, as a military cadet in school, it was able to take various punishments, it now feel like an overused and abused vehicle - battered and old. Before I received my military boots, the only drill my legs could not afford my body, was the 'pacak'; a killer drill where one had to march double quick time on one's heels carrying real rifles. A point of interest was that during my first year, we were trained with SLR rifles which was taller than most of the younger cadets, yours truly included.

Oops! A side note here: whilst at one of the polling centers, there was a slight disturbance between the opposition and BN's supporters, one that saw the police bringing in reinforcements. When they arrived, I could have sworn that one member of the police voluntary reserve force, was carrying an old Lee Enfield! Except for the butt of the rifle being small, the entire body of the rifle certainly looked like a Lee Enfield! The bolt-like cock of the rifle and the short magazine clip was a definite giveaway! I do not know any other rifle with such features. And Malaysia is buying 2 submarines! Wow!

Anyway, soon as I slid into the driver's seat of my car, my right leg felt like it was dragging a cement block. My mind was wondering which route to use to get back home, one that would require me to use my legs the least. But a car being a car, you need to press the accelerator pedal to get it moving. Thus, it was literally a slow drive back to Kota Damansara.

For several days after, I did not leave the house, preferring to rest my legs, all soaked in different ointments I could find at home. I was, literally, licking my wounds, and not, figuratively, my, or rather, our pride. What's a defeat in the election when you compare it to the faith you uphold? Nothing!

Monday, May 07, 2007

The Napoleon Syndrome

Prelude: A couple of years ago, I was wooing a sweet girl from Terengganu. She responded positively towards my advances (nothing physical, mind you) and we got on rather well. One day, we had a silly argument, one I believe, where every couple experience once in a while. In trying to get even with me, she had a male-friend sms-ed me, asking him to claim she's his fiancee. He later gave me several missed calls, in hope - I think - that I'll call back; I couldn't be bothered. The girl then asked why didn't I return the call. I simply told her: "Your so-called fiance values the RM3-4 price of a call to me (assuming we would have talked a lengthy bit) over you! If I were him, I would not have just made the call, but I would personally come over to where ever the guy who is disturbing my fiancee is, and sock him in the eye, to say the very least! I wonder what kind of a man he is, and I sincerely do pity you being engaged to him! Off course, that is assuming he is your fiance as he claims!" The matter died there and then, and so did the relationship.

4 days ago: My mobile phone rang. By the time I took it out of the pouch, looked at the name of the caller, it had rang 3 times. And that was just it, it rang no more. I waited and waited, but there were no follow-up calls from the same person - my new boss! A boss giving a missed call?!! Huh! With a salary way above me and perhaps the telephone bill paid for by the office, he's giving me a missed call? I couldn't be bothered!

Present day: I was informed that there's an anomaly that afflicts certain people. Though this anomaly have been traced to exist several centuries ago, the rising number of cases in the present times is a cause of concern amongst certain quarters. It is only of late that independent researchers have found that this anomaly is not related to the genes of the afflicted individuals. Though the physical physical attributes do play a role, researchers have found out that the social upbringing and standing of the afflicted play a major role in what is now been unofficially named 'Napoleon's Syndrome'. In blunt words: Short people have tall ego!

I guess, by now, you would know where this piece of writing is heading to. If you guessed correctly that its about my boss, then you deserve a 'no-prize'. I repeat: Short people have tall ego! If you don't believe me, go and ask Dilbert!

Hey! I am never the one to judge people nor hold any prejudiced or bias thoughts about them. Well, I do admit that once in a a blue moon, the devil does try to entice me with such thoughts. And perhaps they're succeeding now. But no! Though time and again proven wrong - much to my dismay and sometimes, peril - I try my best to push such thoughts away. But I am also human, and thus susceptible to the frailties of the human mind and emotion. In simple words, I do feel hurt.

In another time and another office, I was forced to play office politics when the Chairman wanted to elevate a new guy in the office (coincidentally, his close friend), to take over my role in the office as the number one guy! Though the Chairman and I were also childhood buddies, it seems greed (read: corruption) and skin colour were the factors for the Chairman wanting to elevate that new comer. Greed, as there plenty of ways they were devising to pull funds away from the organisation; skin colour, as they were both of the same colour.

'Kaf-Lam-Ye-Nge!" In my entire life prior to that episode, I was never a racist, nor have I ever uttered such contemptous swearing against any one, any race. But the misdeeds and cunning plans they laid before me forced me to act. Both later resigned without ever showing their face in the office after that. As for my part, I had no choice but to commit 'career sepuku'; it was the only honourable thing to do.

Back to what-is-now-formerly my new office, things that were discussed in a large 1st meeting between the office and its counterparts were never put into action. By the time I accepted the offer, the whole scenario changed; I was in limbo! Do forgive that stupid, silly, cakapaje bloke who, when shocked by drastic change, becomes a pull-by-the-nose oxen! But, that's typical cakapaje! In trying to keep matters to himself, he becomes stumped, stupefied and an idiot!

Anyway, after 2weeks of waiting for the simple matters of 1) a calling card; and 2) sales report from counterpart offices; things were just begging to explode. Around the same time, Ijok by-election was on the cards. Now that its to make room for me at the 5-foot corner?

But the icing of it all must be when a girl from the other office asked why I did not call her boss. I told her that he is her boss, not mine! Twice he promised to drop by in the office, only to reneged on the promises without even a note! Further, I called him twice previously. Shouldn't he have the courtesy to call me? To all that, she replied "Men, and their male ego!" Hello...!

Friday, May 04, 2007

What's your VisualDNA?

What's your VisualDNA?

Uurgh! That sound pretty much like a pickup line. Sort of nerdy, but a pickup line it would most probably be translated by many. Hmmm....

Ok. I'm a sucker for teasers, personality tests and so on. I don't go searching for them, mind you, but can never resist when one is brought to my attention. And so it goes with VisualDNA. It is another of those personality test of sorts which I had just taken. Pretty accurate these darn things, and I do enjoy taking time out with them. Why don't you give it a try at:

If ever anyone is interested, my username there is Shahrir.

Hmm...this is not the thing I wanted to write here after a week of absence. Quite a number of things actually, but I just can't put myself to it yet. However, I'll write the titles now so I won't forget:

1. The Napoleon Syndrome
2. Licking My Wounds.