Sunday, December 27, 2009

Back To Brunei

Sitting in the LCCT waiting for the flight to Bandar Seri Bagawan. Fed and stuffed from 2 days of stuffing my self over Christmas and yesterday's double wedding gorging session I'm feeling lethargic as a fully fed python. I've a meeting tomorrow morning which should be fruitful and an interview in the the afternoon which I hope to be able to carry off without coming across as the Grinch with Cactus Jack AKA Mick Foley stuffed up his ass, barbed wire bat included.

I'll be working right up to new year's eve so this year there is no such thing as taking a break at year's end. Its good in a way as we're getting a lot done. As much as we can anyway in the holiday lull.

I've not really been in any mood to write as it's been a trying coupla months and having to reevaluate my whole position in the universe at this stage of my life is weird. Not tragic, sad, catastrophic or even Tamil movie EMO. Just weird. I mean I've come to accept that Hannah Tan is not going to jump on my lap and stick her tongue down my throat anytime soon, NOT am I going to unsurp Kenny wathisface as Malaysia's top blogger but it's the overall feeling that I want to give up what I've done for the past 20 years for a fresh start.

Of course thats not going to happen. I am sorta good and what I do. A bit of one grumpy mother fuker but i have enough that there are folks out there who would like to work with me. But this gnawing feeling deep in my balls, no, gut? ass? whatever... fukit. its that itch I can't scratch that I need scratched. Bad.

This airport is quiet. Looks like Malaysia is feeling the post Christmas blues. OR the fukers are jamming up the roads leading up to every mall in the country and thankfully leaving the airport free of bawling brats, groups of loud loitering old ladies and old men grumpier than me. Yes, I'm not that grumpiest that ever was.

OK, the PA is talking something muffled. It should be me.




Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Carcosa Seri Negara - Last Call


The Carcosa Building

So we now have probably heard about the sketchy 'redevelopment plans' for Carcosa Seri Negara. All this is shrouded in typical Malaysian fashion where no clear information was obtained on tenders given and we understand that the current management was not even given time to put in a tender bid. This is Malaysia. I'm tired about the shadow play behind government doors.

SO.

I just hope they dont tear it down. This is the last lovingly restored piece of our history and it should be here for every Malaysian to bring their loved ones to immerse themselves in a time long gone and remembered only in old memories.

I spoke to a waiter and he said that the tender had either gone to Landmarks or YTL. Well if Francis Yeoh gets it he'll probably maintain the building but then afternoon tea would come at a cost of your first born child. Anyway the ends to the means eh wot old chap? Anyway the current tea set with scones, some tiny sandwiches will set you back RM60 per pax.


Upper floor corridors to the guest rooms in Carcosa

I come here about once a year. Either to spring a surprise on some unsuspecting date or to bring some English out of towner fresh of the plane from Blighty to let him enjoy some connection to his ancestors who ruled our land. But only this time around I'm buying and he's selling... (cheap ass thrill...)


Seri Negara Building

I normally come for breakfast where the crisp morning air compliments the strong coffee as I sit back and take it all in. In these century old buildings speaking in quiet tones is the order of the day. It's not enforced, just an automatic reaction almost, as if the buildings themselves were some regal old monoarchs who demanded your respect and discretion.


The main hall light at the Seri Negara entrance


The main entrace sign at the gates indicating directions to both buildings


Bart and Peekz having their afternoon cuppa.

On Monday I went with Peekz and Bart who figured we'd catch one last afternon tea at this grand old dame. Sadly they did not serve beer as they are closing down after Christmas. That means if you're reading this you've got a day and a half to enjoy a little bit of history! Pronto people!





Afternoon tea at the Carcosa

I wish many things. I wish we would love and protect our past. I wish we had people in power who would see this and embrace it. I wish a lot of things and just like that Megan Fox lap dance wish, many of my wishes bank on the actions of others. So it could mean fuck all OR the Prime Ministed is one of the few of you discriminating readers of this blog and he takes action to ENSURE that Carcosa stands till the end of times.

I found this note from Sir Frank Swettenham, the first Resident General of the Federated Malay States for whom the building was built for. He explains picking the name Carcosa. It is quaint and adds to the charm of it all.

Choice of name explained by Sir Frank Swettenham.

To the Editor of “British Malaya” [British Malaya, May 1936]

SIR,

In the April magazine your correspondent in Malaya asks me, in courteous terms, to tell him why I gave the name “Carcosa” to the house that was designed and built for me at Kuala Lumpur by the late Mr. C.E. Spooner, assisted by Mr. A.B. Hubback – as he was in those days – and I have no objection to answer the question even though the simple truth may spoil a number of excellent stories. When this house was finished and occupied I read a book which interested me. It was called “The King in Yellow” and at the beginning of this book there were some verses with a note explaining that they came from Cassilda’s song in “The King in Yellow”, Act 1, Scene 2. Here are two verses: -

“Strange is the night where black stars rise, And twin moons circle in the skies, But the stranger still is Lost Carcosa.”

“Song of my soul, my voice is dead; Die thou, unsung, as tears unshed Shall dry and die in Lost Carcosa.”

I did not call the Resident General’s dwelling “Government House,” or “King’s House,” because neither seemed an appropriate name in Protected States. I did not give it a Malay name, because it was to be the residence of a British Officer; so I took a book name as has often been done before.

As to the word Carcosa, I imagine it was the Castle of the King in Yellow, but the book explains nothing about either the place or its occupant. That apparently can be found in the play, to which there are only occasional allusions. Probably it is a word created by the author’s fancy, though it looks like a combination of the Italian words cara and casa and would mean “desirable dwelling,” as indeed I found it.

The only curious fact is that this name was prophetic for, as I understand, the house has lost its name and is thus, “Lost Carcosa.” The occupant, I am told, is now styled “F.S,” instead of “R.G.”

Yours obediently, FRANK SWETTENHAM

19 April, 1936.

For more on the background details on what is happening go HERE.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

But Then, Where DO They Come From?


Sign above a urinal in the Jusco Tebrau City Mall in Johor Baru.

I have NO idea how this is supposed to stop dudes throwing their ciggs into the piss pot. I assume its one of those mind fucking messages that get you to think "butt = shit = toilet bowl = throw cigg butt into bowl?. Who knows man... I dont claim to understand the mind of Johoreans (except the hot female types of course)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

James Cameron's Avatar - A Review



Oh this is one mighty fine looking movie. The graphics fleshing out the world of Pandora are truly magnificent, impressive and breathtaking. Oh wait... BREATHTAKING!

I guess the blase review is mainly as is the case with all big budget movies the actors or characters are mainly props to the CGI so you feel like you're just going through a guided tour of the world of Pandora.

You've got to watch it once at least for the love and attention given to bring the species, flora and fauna to life. The story itself is the same old cliche - soldier sent to spy on natives, falls in love, turns native, expected characters die, hero triumphs, hip hip hurrah.

Great scenes though, some literally breathtaking. Sorry, BREATHTAKING! Cool scenes -  The search and subsequent taming of the 'banshee' and when the 'enforcements from the sky' part of the final battle scene.

It seems like Cameron even recycled some prop elements from Alien - the power loader, the gunship looks like two drop ships from Alien glued together, etc.

Anyway did I mention that it was one darn pwetty picture to watch? It's quite fun in 3-D too.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Of Jakarta and The Hard Core Diaries

Over the years as I've raked up the travel miles I sometimes (a BIG SOMETIMES) try to pack according to the political and cultural nature of each country I visit. Don't wear red or yellow clothes at least for this year in Thailand, don't forget that the Philippine plug adapter and the Indonesian version dont fit into each other's sockets, don't bring fake dvd's in luggage if you're driving across the border to Singapore, etc.

Yesterday morning as I hurriedly packed my bags for a day trip to Jakarta I found myself contemplating the book I'm currently reading. It's called the Plunging Point by Lawrence Collins and Warren Read about the world of intelligence from an Australian perspective. With a mixed bag and sometimes strained relationships between the Aussies and the Indonesians I caught myself over thinking the situation. Well, my version of overthinking is,

"fukman,they'vegotstuffaboutheIndonesianshavingdoubleagentsinJakartaandthecrapfestthat wasEastTimorfuk(mental image of getting stopped at customs go tru mind for one half second), OKOKineedanotherbookfuk2hour flight....."

Yeah my over thinking is 2 seconds and a half.

I go over to my book shelf, a towerring celebration of the worlds greatest authors and thinkers and reach out instinctively for World Wrestling Entertainment's Hardcore legend Mick Foley's The Hardcore Dairies nestled between Marvel Comics Secret Wars compilation and Tucker Max's I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell (which I need to return to LCB).

Which immigration or home ministry officer would not be taken by the literary charm of Mrs Foleys boy? That and also that wrestling has a somewhat decent following in Indonesia (where at one time it was not called wrestling or WWE but instead 'smackdown' after the TV program title).

This trip I decided to chill it. No more rushing from airports to meetings. I got in early in the morning , went into a J Co donut shop, ordered up a peanut butter something and a blackberry something else with a latte. Pulled out Mick with the hot coffee enveloping me with warm fuzziness in the early morning air conditioning.



And I started to read. What can I say? It brought back memories. I had worked with Mick Foley once when he toured Asia. More on that in another post. I had loved the business of the WWE and respected the talent there. The book reminded me of what I've lost - belief and hope based on ideals and to make a simple yet meaningful life from what we've got. A Mick Foley book tells of one fat schmuck who got by by accepting his limitations and playing to his strentghs while never losing his love for his family or his craft.

Foley took chair shots for a living. He set himself on fire, got thrown off 20 foot steel cages, got hit by barb wired baseball bats, choke slammed on thumb tacks, etc BECAUSE he just wasn't talented enough. His only talent was absorbing huge amounts of pain and thus Foley and his various incarnations of Cactus Jack, Dude Love and Mankind went out there to make OTHER wrestlers look good.

BECAUSE I worked with the WWE for a while, his thoughts were my thoughts. References to events, people and mile stones were shared between the pages, myself and the two donuts on the table. Oh yeah, that latte too (dont want it to feel left out)

So I decided to smell some roses yesterday in Jakarta. I didn't rush for my meeting. I was early anyway. I went into the mall, found a toy shop, bought the Ice Dragon from McFarlane's collection, decided against buying the Warrior dragon as I would not be able to hide THAT when i get into the meeting. One just can't get a CEO to take one seriously with TWO plastic dragons peeping out from one's backpack.

Just before I board my flight, as i sit in the the chair getting a foot massage while playing sms ping-pong with the Tree Hugger and the Princess, I just realised that it was in Jakarta that I first met Mick Foley.

Ironic.

The first time a kind giant made me realise that sometimes we are lucky to choose to do something we love and get paid for it and it can only be ourselves that dictate our fates. That means we really can't blame anyone for the shit we may sometimes find ourselves wading through.


Have a nice day!

Friday, December 11, 2009

My 15 Minutes

I got interviewed for New Man mag last week and yesterday I got on NTV 7s breakfast show. I've been told to be a media slut to push the project i'm on.

The sacrifices one makes.

I've also been told I've a face only suitable for a WWE, UFC ringside action OR for an ad for constipation pills.

But seriously i WAS trying to smile.

Oh yeah and I've been told from the side profile I look presentable. Old ladies will flock to make me tea and serve me curry puffs. Full frontal and I look like I eat babies for breakfast.

My face is my bane for everlasting fame.

Damn you Kenny Sia, damn yooooouuuuu........

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Most Destructive Ball In The Universe



The Nike T-90 Ascente, official ball for the English Premier League. Dont think old George has played any sports in his life but his legacy sure has seeped onto the sports arena on a larger scale. Who woulda thunk that Nike designers would finally get inspired by Palpatine's ball of destruction? I would like to think that the 3 bands around the ball are also inspired by the lasers/death beam thingy that forms the Death Star's destructive planet killing weapon.

Does George even know what an offside is? Do geeks even play sports? Would anyone below 20 years old even recognise the Death Star?



The Death Star ver.1.0. The original inspiration.

Thin Crust Extra Cheese with A Thunderstorm Please...

I'm an asshole.

But I'm hungry.

So what if there's a freaking raging storm outside?

My fridge is empty.

Did I mention that I'm hungry.

Really can't wait for this tree shaking, crazy banshee screaming storm to ease off just to feed the rumbling belly.

Self satisfaction over a conscientious thought for the less fortunate?

Fuck it.

Hope that Domino's Pizza delivery boy has a good storm jacket...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Black Label - The Incredible Cure

It had worked before albeit unwittingly. Yesterday the pain in my lower back was not going away. I first hit Bar Madrid where Aileen the HOT owner kept me company as I downed two Guinness pints. Then I met Licia in, off all places, a KAROAKE. As me and karoakes go together like used tampons and chocolate ice cream I down Johnny Black.neat. from the bottle. I even play that dice game with someone's hot girl friend (double degree in engineering and law - how is it all the smart ones are taken?).

I start singing some John Denver song.

I realize I sound like a cat in heat.

I realize the room is silent as I wail on. Leslie Cheung fans stare in stunned silence.

I drink some more.

And some more.

Today AM. NOW.

The Pain is gone. just a teeny twinge but almost 100%.

SUCCESS. Thank you Johnny.