Pesta Perdana 9 – Dull Affair…

Ok I guess you guys have been waiting patiently for this Pesta Perdana 9 update. Normally I would report things like these weeks after the event has passed, but since I’m at home recovering from stomach flu, I guess I have some time to type it out. So here goes…From my last entry and those of you in my MSN contact list had noticed my nick last week, you guys would have noted how I lamented at the fact that my weight had gone up and shirt sizes seemed to have gone “smaller”. In the spirit of the event, I thought of wearing something chic, wear a tie and jacket / blazer, you know that sort of stuff. The week leading up to the event, I went to VivoCity and Bugis Junction just to hunt for those kind of clothes. Heck I even went back to my bridal shop, Fatimah Mohsin’s Wedding Gallery, just to see if I could rent some clothes.

Kak Nana, the shop’s assistant who had liaised with us during our wedding didn’t dare to quote me a price but she said it’s in the region above $150. She told me to call Fatimah directly for the correct pricing. She also suggested going to the various costume shops in the Arab Street vicinity in case I could find something cheaper. I went to the big costume shop at Aliwal Street which I couldn’t quite remember the name but I recalled seeing a Batmobile car outside the shop. However when I was there, upon seeing the clothes, I thought it was too extravagant for my liking. I would have taken them if I was a Suria artiste but since I’m just a normal paying guest, it would be extremely over if I were to wear them. Furthermore I bumped into Fatimah herself along with two other Suria artistes whose identities I will not disclose but they were nominated in the Best Actress category. So I thought a simple shirt on the inside and jacket will do in due respect towards the event I was attending.

You can imagine the headache I was in when I went to the various boutique shops like G2000, Marks & Spencer, Armani Exchange, Zara etc and found out that I could not even fit into XL. I felt extremely disgusted at my apparent ballooning and told myself, “That’s it!!! I really need to lose weight…” In the end, I ended up buying zilch and settled on something I wore at last year’s Anugerah Planet Muzik. It’s recycled I know, but that’s the only thing I had at such short notice.

I went to the event with Aida and my distant cousins Faizal, Shahran and his wife Rafidah. Some of you might wonder how come one can be quite close to distant cousins. Well Faizal and Shahran started off as one of my neighbourhood football friends. When Shahran got engaged to Rafidah in 2002, I found out that we had a common cousin in Zaid Syah, the lead actor of the 6-part drama series Geylang Si Paku Geylang. Zaid‘s mother and their mother are sisters while his father and my mother are cousins. So that’s the link for you.

Upon reaching Caldecott Broadcast Centre, we saw a long line already queueing from the walkway going up to the reception area. We thought that we could get good seats by jumping the queue and waiting at the reception area. But then we found out the crowd had already gone in via the gate along the walkway. The place has changed so much since my internship back in 1998. Security is indeed tight. Had I known the crowd would enter by the basement 3 carpark, I would have parked there instead of Basement 2. Compared to my experience watching Sinaran Hati, this was a different scenario. Then, we entered through the reception area and down the lift towards the Mediacorp TV Theatre.

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Pak Wahid receiving the Perdana Emas award. He certainly is a worthy winner. I can feel the pride felt by his family members seated in front of me who were whooping and beaming.

By the time we reached Basement 3, the line had already taken up the full length of the carpark. I met a few familiar faces amongst the queueing crowd, most of them being my fellow RIA listeners. When we entered the doors leading towards the auditorium, we were asked whether we were Taufik Batisah / Aaron Aziz fans or whether we were just normal paying audience. I had a hunch that the normal paying audience would be shooed up the upper levels. So I decided to make a white lie or what we might refer to as “Bohong Sunat“, and said we were fans of Taufik. And so we were let into the lower levels of the auditorium but we did not sit with the Taufik fans. There was no way I was going upstairs and not enjoying a good view. We sat behind Pak Wahid Satay‘s family seated to the right of Taufik‘s fans. Actually we wanted to sit in the middle but that was reserved for those with invitation cards.

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Taufik performing “Sombong“…

I then noticed 2 of my friends Shaiful and Azlyna walking in and sitting at the invited area. I called Shaiful and asked if I could borrow his invitation card cos Aida and me would like to observe our responsibilities at the prayer room on level 3. To go to level 3 from the auditorium, we had to exit the entrance where Shaiful came in, which was different from us. And since we had to return to the lower level of the auditorium, we needed the invitation cards. However we were extremely disappointed when we reached level 3 cos to access the prayer room, one needed to have access to the password / security pass. So we ended up not being able to carry out our responsibilities.

The good people at Suria should set aside a place to observe prayers in events like these. Imagine the few hundred odd people who came did not observe their responsibilities. And God knows since what time they have been queueing up. They should take a leaf from Warna and RIA who always set aside a place to observe Maghrib during Anugerah Planet Muzik. We returned to our seats just in time to see the security checking those who were seated at the invited area if they had their invitation cards with them. I handed Shaiful back his cards just as the security was about to question him. Luckily they did not see me handing over his cards.

The whole event was so-so. I dunno how to describe it but it lacked punch compared to the previous one in 2005. The singing performances were credible. I actually liked the segment where Mahirah, Nadirah, Elfaeza, Haizad, Ashmee and that plump guy whose name I didn’t register. However, I was disappointed that most of the singing segments were mimed. It did not give justice to the vocal prowesses of the likes of Hyrul, Eka Mairina and Ismail Haron. Speaking of the latter, I really pitied him for that technical glitch. He was in such a state of shock that he could not even answer properly when Suhaimi asked him a few questions to cover up the technical fault. At such a prestigious event, this was so unexpected, especially when you are miming. I feel for the guy cos I was in his shoes before when my group REALISASI had our first show after being crowned winners of the Impersonation Category at Kriatif in 1997, RIA‘s talent show. Back then we were halfway through singing Belaian Jiwa which we recorded and mimed but when the disc backfired, so was our vocals. But we made up for it by doing it acapella but somehow it wasn’t what I expected it to be. My cousin Ezaad can vouch for me in that respect.

Suhaimi as usual was in his element. I really love his hosting skills. Even when we were going through the commercial breaks, he took the time to make fun of the audience, the dancers getting ready for their next segment, the stagehands as well as the floor manager. But Najip Ali certainly did not see the humour behind Suhaimi‘s acceptance speech when he subtly digged that winning an award does not make you greater and more visionary than others in response to Suhaimi. Most of the winners were kinda expected though I did not see the Best Actress and Most Popular Female Artiste going to Era Farida. And funnily I did not expect Daud Yusof to win even though he had 3 nominations in one category. A hunch told me Othman Bohari would win it and he did. I’ve known Othman when I was doing my internship with Warna and RIA in 1998 and the award was deserving for a nice and hardworking person like him.Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Us taking a group photograph with the best TV presenter and host of Pesta Perdana 9, Mr Suhaimi Yusof

After the show, the artistes and invited guests were invited to attend the post-event reception. I was fortunate that Shaiful handed over his invitation cards when he passed through the security barrier. Initially only Faizal and me got through and the rest were not keen to attend the reception as they were afraid of the tight security but after meeting Zaid, he helped us to bring in the others into the reception as well. I’ve been to countless post-event receptions, Anugerah Industri Muzik, Anugerah Juara Lagu, Anugerah Planet Muzik & Anugerah ERA in 2003, and God-knows how many more but this was my virgin reception for Pesta Perdana. Compared to the other receptions, this was much better as I felt at home and having a few friends in the industry.

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This is the guy that links me and Shahran (left) and Faizal (right), Mr Zaid Syah. He’s quite a hunk isn’t he??? I call him “Hero Bollywood“. We do have some resemblance after all, especially the nose and cheeks, but of course we don’t look like Bollywood hunks…

I wasn’t actually interested in the food but more towards congratulating the winners and saying tough luck to the non-winners. I even finally got to take photographs with two of my favourite local artistes Huda Ali and Fizah Nizam, which I did not get to do after Sinaran Hati earlier in the month. Actually I wanted to take more photographs but my Nokia N93 went dead on me as I was going round filming the reception and Faizal who was holding the camera was missing in action. I managed to say “Hi” to Nurul and Rima and they each enquired respectively if I had brought my daughter and wife along. At that time, I was still waiting for Zaid to bring the others down so I told Rima that my wife was on the way down. By the time they got down, half the artistes had left to change back to normal clothes or left the building. But we still managed to grab a few mementos especially Faizal who is head over heels over Mahirah, Pak Wahid‘s grand-daughter who resembles Siti Nurhaliza. And I’ve never seen how easy it was to take a photo with Taufik cos he’s almost always elusive.

I did not eat anything at the reception, as I did not feel hungry. Just drank the fruit punch as I was more thirsty. But my last meal on that day was at 10 plus in the morning. So you can imagine the empty stomach led to me suffering my stomach flu on Sunday night even when I had a very late dinner at 2am on Sunday morning. We just packed food from Jalan Kayu and headed home.

On a watching audience’s perspective, I expected the show to have more pomp than the props on stage. While Huda Ali did a credible job as an exaggerated diva, her partner-in-crime, Nity Baizura, was a bundle of nerves as she had trouble knowing when to hold the microphone and speak and when not to cos there were times when she spoke without holding the microphone towards her mouth. And there was certainly a lack of chemistry and banter between the two. To be fair, this was Nity‘s first foray into television hosting and she should use this experience to better herself when the next opportunity arises. She’s still new in the business so to hit out at her with a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am would be unfair. Just that I felt, to tap her talents on such a prestigious event was a bit of a big risk. She was good when she was alone interviewing Era Farida and Rafaat Hamzah. That I have to credit her where it’s due.

Like last year’s APM, the event ended on a whimper with no grand finale. It was such an anti-climax after we had a good introduction to the show. Not even pyrotechnics were used. Speaking of APM, I was definitely surprised it won Most Popular Programme but it just goes to show how much the locals value our own local product and have come to love the show just like me. Once again, I appeal to the good people at Warna and RIA to keep it in our shores in years to come.

Revisiting History…

I’m sick of blogging… Really, it’s one month since my last entry… How else can I explain this long hiatus??? And how many times have I said this only to come back with more entries??? How not to feel this way??? The novelty seems to be wearing off plus the fact that work and fatherhood occupy most of my time and the non-events happening in my life make it all the more that blogging has lost its zest on me. Which explains why this is only the 2nd entry of 2007 that I’m doing. So do forgive me if subsequent entries come at odd days or if this blog looks as though it is going through a hibernation. I wish I have more things to say and more stuff to highlight and discuss…

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A few weeks ago, my favourite cousins Ezaad and Julie, held a Tahniq ceremony for their newborn prince, Eshaan. It was quite an event, almost resembling a wedding reception with the gifts for the guests as well as the reception being done at the void deck. With a guest list that numbered 300, the void deck was a logical place to receive the guests and yours truly helped to double up to entertain friends and family members who came. The little prince himself was in his best behaviour, oblivious to the surroundings and just doing his own thing. He’s a good boy and he’ll grow up to be an even better man, Insya-Allah.

As usual, whenever there is a wedding reception or any form of gatherings within the family circle, my dad would be entrusted to make his signature drink specialities – his fruit punch and his carbonated Bandung. He has passed down the knowledge of brewing his signature concoctions down to my uncles, cousins and me but I still need time and more practice to master doing up the fruit punch. If some of you had attended my wedding, you might remember that the fruit punch was served to the guests but it was done by my dear uncle, since Dad had to receive the guests. I dunno if I should list down the recipe to this carbonated Bandung that people have come to love and remember every time we hold gatherings at our place. If you guys want me to share it with you, just leave your comments and I’ll share it in my next entry.

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On the same day as Eshaan‘s Tahniq ceremony, Singapore played Malaysia in the 2nd-leg semi-finals of the ASEAN Football Championships. Thanks to Eshaan‘s grandfather, ex-Singapore international Mr. Dollah Kassim, I got complimentary tickets to watch the match at the National Stadium that night. I went with my distant cousins Faizal, Shahran and his wife, Rafidah. I had wanted to go since I had lifted a personal ban on not watching any matches as long as Singapore was kitted by “Tiger Beer“.

Now that Nike has taken over the kitting of the national team (even though I am an Adidas freak), it would lend a lot of credence to a team from a developed country with sporting aspirations. Honestly, being kitted by “Tiger Beer” is a laughable prospect for me, cos a team like Singapore deserves to be wearing internationally-renowned sporting brands. The alcoholic beverage company behind Tiger Beer, Asia Pacific Breweries, should just stick to churning out what they do best. Which is why I read a weekend report in the papers that said sales of the previous jerseys were low compared to the orders for the current jerseys which are still not out in stores.

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The view of the stadium from the North end…

Also, I had wanted to go as I missed being part of a 55,000 strong crowd from the days of the Malaysia Cup. Back then, I was at almost every match and modelled my playing style on the pitch to the likes of David Lee, Sudiat Dali, the late Borhan Abu Samah, and Fandi Ahmad, depending on which positions I played in. Against the auld enemy Malaysia, you can bet that the National Stadium was going to be packed to its brim, with the fans sensing a victory on the cards and since afterall the English FA Cup took precedence on cable television with Manchester United playing at 1.15am, Chelsea and Arsenal playing the next day and Liverpool being out of it (I love to rub this in!!!).

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The Kallang Wave being executed…

I thought I could get a good parking space but I ended up in a massive traffic jam all the way from the Pan-Island Expressway to the National Stadium. By the time I got a parking space at Jalan Benaan Kapal, near the Kallang McDonald’s and KFC outlets, it was already 15 minutes into the match. And I got in at 8:30pm!!! It was a good thing that there were no goals at that point of time and I managed to locate my distant cousins at the North side of the stadium behind the Malaysian goal where Singapore scored the equaliser through Ridhuan Mohd.

A clip of the crowd awaiting the start of the 2nd period of extra-time…

It was fun reliving the past, with the Kallang Wave going round the stadium (spoilt only by the unsporting Malaysian fans’ unwillingness to do it), and all the chants printable or non-printable. I feel that only at the stadium can one get away with shouting expletives, especially the favourite 2-syllable word that means “in need of something” in Indonesian. Not that I condone it especially with families and small kids around, but I gotta admit I too am guilty of joining in the bandwagon when things did not go well on the pitch but I try to tone it down by saying “Button” in Malay instead of that favourite 2-syllable word.

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The finalists lining up before the game…

I repeated going to the National Stadium again for the first-leg final against Thailand, this time sitting at the grandstand along with my cousins, Ezaad, Julie, Jid, my elder sister and Julie‘s younger sister Kyla. Singing the National Anthem has never been done with gusto but I felt the back of my hair standing at the pride being shown. I even had a red Adidas jersey on which I customised myself by sewing the national flag on it and my name and favourite number printed on it. I must have shocked quite a few people with my jersey since Singapore is sponsored by Nike.

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The Thai mascot gamely posed for the cameras…

I don’t think I need to describe what happened during the Thailand game as it had already been widely reported and discussed in the local media. But what I want to point out is that Singapore, under the tutelage of Raddy Avramovic is a boring team to watch. We have flair players like Khairul Amri, Itimi Dickson and Shahril Ishak who are all mostly kept on the bench. We tend to play the long ball game and hope for the best. Watching Malaysia and Thailand running rings around us was painful to watch especially when they played a one-touch game.

Celebrating Noh Alam Shah‘s goal…

Aide Iskandar is also past his best. He was caught out God-knows-how-many-times that following his good friend S. Subramani, who recently retired the international scene, would have been welcomed. The coach needs to have more faith with Baihakki Khaizan who I felt was one of the stalwarts in the 2005 edition. Not playing for long resulted in the drop of his form when he stepped onto the pitch. And I dunno what’s the fetish with playing Shi Jiayi when he’s no more than a headless chicken running aimlessly on the pitch.

Clearly Singapore‘s style of play was reminiscent of Euro 2004 champions Greece, whose soak and strike strategy paid off against the big guns. With the championship retained, no one is gonna complain about their style of play but imagine if they were to lose??? People pay to watch attractive football. The only thing I can give credit is the boys’ never-say-die attitude and their rate of turning what few chances they got into goals.

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2 days after that, again along with Ezaad and Julie, Aida and me attended the live telecast of Sinaran Hati, the charity show on Suria channel in conjunction with the Tabung Amal Aidilfitri. I dunno how long this charity drive runs cos we’re well away from the last Aidilfitri which was a good 3 months ago. I attended the event since I had received an invitation from a good friend who is working for Eaglevision. While the items were forgettable, the efforts put in by those who had performed like the four actresses (Huda, Fizah, Nurul and Farah) who opened up the show with the dance item was commendable as it took great effort to come up with a performance like that.

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The introduction to the show with Nurul, Huda, Fizah and Farah doing the dance item.

Coupled with Hazlina‘s ever-improving hosting skills, it made watching an average show turn into something which one would appreciate and feel for those whose problems were highlighted in the show. Iskandar Ismail (Eiss) proved once again, he has the vocal prowess to upstage his fellow performers when it comes to hitting the high notes. I still dunno how and why this guy’s market value is still not going upwards compared to the younger counterparts like the Idols and the Anugerah Boys. We don’t have a dearth in talent, that’s for sure, but people still value overseas singers compared to our own breed.

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The Anugerah Boyz minus Syed Azmeer with their own rendition of “Ikhlas Tapi Jauh“.

I had wanted to stay back and take photos with the performers and congratulate them for their hard work and efforts but since the rest looked as though they were tired and hungry, we left immediately after the show ended. So where did we go for dinner??? Well, we went to the latest Mad Jack Cafe outlet at Jalan Kayu, which is near our homes. Food was good, especially the salmon fish and fries set. But what was more enjoyable was the company. I’ve always cherished whatever time spent with close friends and favourite cousins. Wished that we could have more of it in future.

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The Finale…

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I took a walk down memory lane last Friday to my old home at Toa Payoh Lorong 8. You see, I was there to service my car at the Tan Chong Motor (Nissan) Centre. The building so happens to be a stone’s throw away from my old block (230). So whilst waiting for my car to be serviced and cleaned, I took a slow walk towards Lorong 7 where my late paternal grandmother used to live (Block 9). Lots of things have changed over the course of 21 years since I left the area. Even though I had schooled at Beatty Secondary which is also in the Toa Payoh area, I did not venture out to reminisce the memory of staying at my old place.

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The Lorong 7 market was one of my favourite places as I always accompanied my mum to do her marketing on Sundays. It is here that I always bought my favourite Putu Mayam at Block 18, an Indian seller putting up a makeshift stall to sell his foodfare.

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Across the road is Block 12. This block is famous for what had happened in early 1981, when 2 kids were murdered by a Chinese medium, his wife and mistress (see report). The Adrian Lim case is still remembered till today. His apartment is on one of the upper floors. A famous blogger known for his wit also stays at this block (identity will not be revealed).

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This view is from the lift lobby of Block 9, my late grandmother’s block. Before, this basketball court was not fenced up and a lot of events were done here like weddings, funerals, mass-viewing of movies on a giant screen, getai shows, community events, you name it, they’ve done it.

From what I’ve observed, old blocks have been demolished and new ones have replaced them. The open-air carparks behind my late grandmother’s place and my old block have been replaced with multi-storeyed ones. The big playground with a big slide and sand where I used to play with my cousins, have been replaced with an even bigger one sans the sand. Old shop tenants have also made way for new ones. I still remember the few “Mama” shops there where I used to buy crackers, small toys and comic books. The two wet markets at Lorong 7 & 8 have also been given facelifts and still bustling with activity.

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The home with the clothes hung outside was my late grandmother’s home. I presume a Malay family is staying there. One of the old neighbours is still staying there after all these years as I still remember the photograph of Jesus being hung at the door. A lesser-known trivia is that famous Malaysian movie director Aziz M. Osman and his family stayed at this block too and knew my paternal family. In the past, this walkway and hedge was just a grass patch where we kids would play catch or football outside my late grandmother’s home.

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The old playground with sand and a metal merry-go-round have been replaced by this new and bigger one. I wonder why they’ve done away with the sand nowadays.

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This walkway linking block 232 of Lorong 8 and block 9 of Lorong 7 brought back some sweet memories for me. Before, this was a steep slope and there was a staircase and slide on this slope which I will never fail to slide down whenever I return from the market. Behind this block, before this new one was built, there was a grandmother who was famous for cooking Mee Rebus and Mee Siam and my mother always bought them from her. God bless her soul if she’s no longer around. I still remember what a kind lady she was.

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This multi-storey carpark never existed before. It was just an open carpark where we had a clear view of the shops opposite and yes that point block on the right was where I used to live and my home was facing the shops.

The East Payoh Secondary school which was notorious for its bad hats back then have been replaced by Pei Chun Public School, whose original building have been taken over by MUIS. Even though the area looks new and well maintained unlike the past, the smell of cat poo still lingers fresh, which made me a little dizzy. My old block has also been given a facelift. The lift now stops at every floor and there’s a CCTV monitor at the lift lobby. As a resident, I believe I would feel safe with such security measures. I went up to my old place and saw that a Chinese Christian family had bought over my old place. I thought of knocking at the door and wanting to go in and see cos I missed it a lot and was sad when my family wanted to shift to Hougang in 1986.

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This block where my old home is facing was where I did my mini shopping of crackers, comic books and stuff at the Mama shop. If I’m not wrong, the second shop on the left was where it used to be. This block was also used as the scene where the sitcom Police & Thief was filmed.

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The lift lobby of my old block. First time I notice such security measures cos I thought only condominiums have it.

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The view from the main road. This mini park was just a grass patch in the past. My father taught me how to play football and fly a kite here. There was no walkway linking the two point blocks too. Amazing what changes they’ve done to the place…

Walking along the area, seeing the new things that have replaced the old, made all the past memories flood back into my mind. Naturally, I felt all nostalgic and sad that how I wished I could rewind back all those years and be a kid all over again. A lot of my adolescence were spent there and things that I did wrong and got away with murder were all done there. And I also wonder what had happened to all those friends and old neighbours I used to play with at the playgrounds. I felt a lump in my throat as I remembered what I did back then and seeing the changes…

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Speaking of the past, sometimes what you did before would leave a lasting impression on others. I recently caught up with an old poly-mate on MSN. Actually I’ve known her since primary school as her best friend was my neighbour. I had a crush on her back then cos we regularly meet during Inter-School Malay Language competitions and I even taught my younger sis who was 3 years old then to call out her name when we were shopping for groceries with our respective families at the neighbourhood NTUC supermarket.

When we were in polytechnic, some of the crazy stuff I did made people remember me for the wrong reasons. During the orientation activities, I had the audacity to engage the watching audience by celebrating extravagantly (making a gesture by cupping my ears and then doing a bow) after scoring in a game of Captain’s Ball, of all games, can you believe it??? She was of course part of the audience and I remembered her smiling and shaking her head at my antics. I’m sure all those crazy antics are still fresh in her mind as my conversation with her showed. She asked what am I doing for a living and I said I’m in the R&D line and she did not sound convinced. She thought I was pulling her leg. Naturally I wondered why and she replied, “You’re always up to your nonsense what???

So there you have it. My past reputation precedes me in that respect and I dunno whether to laugh or be angry at the apparent disbelief on her part. I remembered being pissed off at the remark, but then again I’ve not met her since my polytechnic days so definitely whatever memories she had of me were the not-so-good ones. Out of courtesy I just replied, “One does not stay or be nonsensical throughout one’s life what???”. I still dunno if she believed what I said or think I’m still fibbing. Come to think of it, I should have replied, “Nonsensical does not have to include being a liar!!!

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Got my tickets to next week’s Pesta Perdana 9 event. Come to think of it, it’s the 9th edition, yet it’s only the first time I’m attending it, knowing how religiously I attend events like Anugerah Planet Muzik, Anugerah Juara Lagu and Anugerah Industri Muzik annually. I was fortunate I bought my tickets within two hours it went on sale. I noticed that there were less than 10 tickets left when I was paying for them. I’m still in a conundrum as to what I should wear to the event, seeing that it is a black tie / evening gown theme ala Broadway style. When your weight has ballooned up like nobody’s business, your wardrobe choice becomes limited. You must be wondering what has happened to my California Fitness membership???

I’ve been guilty of not going to the gym for the fact that I sprained and twisted both my ankles whilst playing football and just by walking normally. My ankle joints are loose already after years of wear and tear playing football. It’s frustrating to sprain it just by walking on a normal surface. It’s embarrassing when it happens in a public place and people see how gullible I am. So when you can’t do vigourous activities with your feet, you tend to let food be your source of solace, thus the weight gain. I decided to invest in ankle straps for both my ankles and I’ve recently returned to the gym after almost two months out. It’s a waste of my membership fees I know but there’s no reason not to avoid it anymore now that my ankles are on the mend.

Speaking of Anugerah Planet Muzik, it’s into its seventh year this year. As most of you know, I’ve been maintaining my record of never missing the event yearly. When talk was going round that the show might be brought over to Jakarta, I thought, “There goes my record…” cos really even going to the one in Kuala Lumpur in 2003 was such a rush and a hassle. I remembered saying that the event is our product and it should remain in our shores when the other countries don’t quite give a hoot about our local artistes. It’s one of the things we look forward to attending every year and going abroad means we lose that essence to have something to look forward to. Initial plans to do it in Jakarta would have meant having to pay for airfare, hotel accomodation etc. I’m not keen on going there after my first experience going in 1991 was filled with bad encounters with corrupted police officers waiting to cash in on very single opportunity.

So you can imagine my joy when I found out that they decided to do it here after all, albeit in June. Since its inception, the dates have constantly been pushed forward. I still remember the first one was on 20th January 2001 and then subsequent ones were in February and March. My only wish is that whatever points I raised, which resulted in the bad review I gave in this blog about last year’s event, will not be repeated. I know the good people at Mediacorp Radio knew about my negative review. Even without it, they would somehow have noted the shortcomings and strive to improve on this year’s event and subsequent ones. I know I am confident of a better edition than the last so here’s wishing them luck and all the best in planning and executing a product I’ve come to love and cherish, for the simple fact that it is our own local product.

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I’m now basically a bloghopper who reads and seldom give comments unless I have to. I’m starting to become a bit like my readers who come in and read my blog and just go. Sometimes I feel like a voyeur, sometimes I feel guilty for trespassing someone else’s property and leaving unnoticed. Oh well, I guess this blog thingy is common behaviour already amongst us all. Till my next entry…