I Hate Women Drivers…!!!

Ok, I know I’m gonna sound like a “Male Chauvinistic Pig” with this posting but I think I’ve just had it with the fairer gender behind the steering wheels. I make no apologies to my gal friends and females who drive and read this entry. Heck even my wife has a driving license and yet she’s always at the receiving end of my rants whenever I come across women drivers who piss me off. I’ve always wanted to post something like this for God-knows-how-long, but couldn’t find the right time to do so. Something happened to me on my way to work today and I almost became a road bully as a result.

Traffic was quite bad everywhere we went. We took a longer route via Toa Payoh estate, just to beat the Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) gantries along Central Expressway (CTE). As we stopped at the T-junction along Lorong 6 & 8 since the traffic light in front was red, the car in front which was in the yellow box, reversed suddenly to avoid the vehicles turning into our lane. I was actually looking at my mirror to see if I was blocking the lane for the motorcycles to pass through when Aida shouted that the car in front was reversing into us. I immediately honked and pressed the brakes.

As I got out from the car, I was already fuming as I thought the car had banged into us, even though we felt no impact. The driver, a female looked out from her window and grinned at me sheepishly. It was there and then I felt like going up to her and slapping that grin off her face. I did a quick glance on my car and saw no dents so I thought I did not want to slow down the traffic. The people around me were already anticipating some action or drama but I think I disappointed them by going back to my car and driving off. That lady driver thought she had really rammed my car so she switched on her hazard lights and went to the side when the traffic lights turned green.

Well actually I regretted not stopping and reprimanding her, cos upon checking on the car after I parked at the office, the plate number was slightly jutting out and the front bumper had two big scratches which I’ve minimised by applying wax polish on it. But one can still see that the paint had come off. The only good thing I could derive is that there were no dents but definitely this has served only to affirm my hatred for women drivers.

This was not the first time something like this have happened to me. A few months ago, a lady driver almost caused an accident when she swerved into my lane without signalling, when the lane she was in had stalled. Another incident of the same nature happened a few years ago in Pasir Ris. Turned out that the lady driver was a friend of mine upon chasing after her to reprimand her. And I’m sure some of you out there have encountered the lady drivers who love to hog the lanes at such a slow speed when the speed limit is much higher. 

It’s difficult to find a moderate lady driver in Singapore. They are either too reckless or too slow. I somehow wonder how the hell they got their driving license cos their judgement really sucks big time. They are so afraid and so unsure on when to switch lanes, when to pick up or slow down speed. This is not to say some male drivers are not guilty of these but most of my bad experiences happened when females were behind the wheels. So if any of you female drivers who read this and hate me after this, I’m sorry but I make no apologies for my rants.

*********************************************************************************

Lest I forget, I would just like to show my gratitude, appreciation and thanks to all who have left encouraging notes, asked if all is well and sharing their opinions and experiences via this domain, my Multiply account, emails and sms-es with regards to my father’s condition. Alhamdulillah he is back at home after spending six days in the hospital. If you would like to know what’s the diagnosis, heck we dunno ourselves as all tests showed that he is fine, save for some ulcers in his stomach. Other than that, his eight weeks supply of medicine is keeping him well. So thank you again everyone for all your kind and positive words. Oh, and not to mention the prayers as well. May Allah reward you with more sustenance in the world and hereafter…

Is It A Sign???

Dad has been ill for quite some time now, ever since he was doing his Hajj as recently as seven months ago. We dunno what is actually wrong with him as all tests done on him have proved negative and that he is normal. He’s lost almost 10kg now as he cannot digest his food properly. The family is worried sick now with regards to his condition. He was warded for a night last Friday at Singapore General Hospital but again tests done on his blood sample and heart proved he is ok.

But something about him lately makes me feel extremely uncomfortable and my deepest fears were heightened yesterday when I helped him do the house chores. As I was busy adjusting the cushion covers, he said something cryptic which is still ringing in my ears till now:

“You’ve got to learn to be the man of the house quickly as I dunno how long I’m going to be…”

What he meant by “learn to be the man of the house” is doing all the repair work on the electrical stuff and other things associated with handy work at home. To him, if one can do that, then we don’t have to spend money calling the likes of electricians, plumbers etc to fix our stuff when they need to. I can do the little stuff like changing a light bulb, basic carpentry and repairing the sink but of course my level of expertise is unlike his, since after all, he was a technician by trade. After he said those words, he then showed me the main electrical power box and told me not to touch it as much as possible. My mind went blank went he showed me everything as his words kept hitting me hard.

Since then, my head has been in a spin and I can’t help but think if it’s a sign that we won’t have much time to spend together. I’m sure you guys know what I mean when somebody’s time is almost near and the little signs they show us. I hope I am wrong but the signs don’t look that good at the moment especially now that he has just been warded again today…

Anugerah 2007 Final Review…

I’ve been jotting down notes during the commercial breaks, as a guide to type this entry. If not, I would have easily forgotten some of the forgettable performances. Felt as though I was being an entertainment journalist being pressed for a midnight dateline. Fortunately I did not attend the show at Mediacorp TV Theatre. I was offered a ticket by a very good friend of mine earlier today which might have given me a good seat amongst the distinguished guests in the lower tiers, but as it is, we both had the same feeling in that we could not be bothered to attend and preferring to watch from the comfort of our homes. Anyway, am nursing a bad flu and slight fever, so going there straight from work was an absolute no-no. Ok, so we all know the results already. But let’s do a very quick recap on all the performances and what I thought of them. 

Intro: Kitalah Bintang (Ella) – Hyrul Anuar Feat. Nurun Nuwarrah, Roslan Mohamad, Maiya Rahman & Aliff Aziz.

This was supposed to be the ice-breaker, the warm up song to ease the tensions being felt by the finalists. The nerves were there for all to hear. Fortunately this song was not judged upon. Somehow I noticed even Hyrul was not that comfortable singing this song. I might be wrong though but that’s what I felt. Nonetheless, I applaud this move to let them ease into the show so that they could get themselves accustomed to singing throughout the night. Nothing like a punchy song to start the night rolling, even if the delivery was not top-notch by the finalists. A forgiveable and forgettable performance no doubt.

First Set: Finalists’ Choice

First Song: Tak Ada Logika (Agnes Monica) – Nurun Nuwarrah

She had the responsibility to start the ball rolling. A pity that we got to know that she’s not feeling well. Her forte is singing catchy numbers, but I must say not many can hold a candle to Agnes Monica‘s screaming vocals. Nuwarrah‘s voice cracked a few times during the chorus and she could not reached the high notes. This has been her Achilles Heel for the past three weeks.

Second song: Bonda (Potret / Mike) – Roslan Mohamad

Ok I have not heard this song myself to judge if he was good or bad. But, I felt he did well since his strength is in the ballads and just by listening to it raw. The intro where he mocked the painting / sketching was also a plus point in terms of showmanship. What amazed me was Rahimah Rahim‘s comments about Roslan being pitchy and flat, even though she herself admitted she had not heard that song before. So tell me, if you have not heard the song before, how can you tell if that person went off-key and flat??? Duhhh…!!! Definitely a bimbotic and unfair comment.

Third Song: Gemilang (Jaclyn Victor) – Maiya Rahman

As usual, she was in her element and I agreed with judge Eddy Ali that up till then, she was better than Nuwarrah and Roslan. But somehow, I felt the performance was too safe for her comfort. She could have gone higher with those notes but I guess nervousness got in her way.

Fourth Song: Mungkir Bahagia (Hazami) – Aliff Aziz

Like Roslan, the boy’s strength is also in ballads and sappy songs. From the start of the competition, we know he can sing them, and sing them extremely well in his own version without killing the essence of the song, save for Anuar Zain‘s “Mungkin” during the semi-finals. This was a performance that just proved he is the better balladeer than Roslan in this round, even if the former had more feel.

Second Set: Duets

Fifth Song: Apa Artinya Cinta? (Melly Goeslaw & Ari Lasso) – Nurun Nuwarrah & Roslan Mohamad 

I must say, Nuwarrah made me forget about her earlier performance this time with a more assured and controlled performance. Roslan surprisingly was a bundle of nerves when one expected him to nail another song of his forte. The worst of the four in this set, his voice was simply patchy and eventually cracked even when the note was not that high for him and he could not execute the falsetto properly. Falsetto is an art which only exceptional singers can execute. Think Imran Ajmain.

Sixth Song: Menari Denganku (Siti Sarah & Zahid AF2) – Maiya Rahman & Aliff Aziz

I have to agree with guest judge Syafinaz that this second set was a disappointment. For all their strength in their vocal capabilities, I felt Maiya and Aliff had little chemistry between them and the harmonising was wayward to say the least. But individually, they were better. Definitely the set that I did not enjoy the most.

Third Set: Judges’ Choice

Seventh Song: Tanpa Kekasihku (Agnes Monica) – Nurun Nuwarrah

By now, I feel this girl had eased into the competition. Her best performance of the evening and I must say, she seems to like Agnes a lot, even if this choice of song was not her’s in the first place. Calm, confident and assured. However, that stage presence was still lacking in her.

Eighth Song: Izinkan Ku Pergi (Kaer Azami) – Roslan Mohamad Feat. Genevieve on violin

He started off very well like how we know he could deliver a song like this. Somehow, the song was too much in his comfort zone and I was hoping he would sing a fast number to test his versatility. Too safe and somehow his performance level dipped towards the end. This boy was simply not himself this evening.

Ninth Song: Pilihlah Aku (Kris Dayanti) – Maiya Rahman Feat. Atan (Flybaits) on saxophone

A song of such moderate tempo is not a good test in such a competition. Yes Maiya delivered it well, but not well enough to make one say “Wow!!!“. I was expecting more from her cos up till then, her aura and stage presence were still missing.

Tenth Song: Sedang Ingin Bercinta (Dewa 19) – Aliff Aziz Feat. Addy (Cradle) on guitar

Honestly I was sceptical when I heard Aliff was going to sing this song, seeing that it has a mixture of pop rock and dangdut elements. I was sceptical because I did not expect him to excel in this song seeing how lacklustre he was when he sang Menari Denganku with Maiya earlier. But lo!!! If you ask me, this was the performance that truly nailed his status as the newly crowned champion. He started off low and when he reached the chorus, he really set himself loose. The showmanship and stage presence also appeared when he pranced around the stage and held court with Addy, his guest guitarist. To top it off, he was the only one who gave credit to Addy when the song ended. Now that is the mark of an entertainer in the making.

Fourth Set: Group Singing

Eleventh Song: Jangan Bilang-Bilang (Tangga) – Nurun Nuwarrah, Roslan Mohamad, Maiya Rahman and Aliff Aziz

I just felt this last song was a formality, sort of like going through the motions. And since it was the final item for them, we saw how relaxed and at ease they were. Perhaps singing together was less stressful than singing alone. My mind was basically made up as to who would be champion after seeing Aliff sang “Sedang Ingin Bercinta” and it was up to the voters and the judges to back me up.

Summary

And so, we have just crowned a new champion in Aliff Aziz, someone who is entrusted to carry the torch and at the same time add more variety to the already strong pool of talent we are slowly churning out, in terms of vocal capabilities. Yes I know, some of you might be banging your heads on the wall with the results and hating his whispery voice. Not me though, even if I did not get my predictions right. Why??? Well let’s just rewind back to my entry on 6th July 2007 and recap what I said about Aliff Aziz:

“…But I still love this boy and prefer him to win the competition as he has been so consistent, more than any of the other guys left. No, I’m not related to him and neither does he know me. So in case anyone says I’m biased, I’m not cos this boy is genuinely good. He just needs to polish up, work on his breathing techniques as well as have better voice projection and he’ll be there. He has time on his side based on his age. Even if he loses out on the winning contract, I know of a prominent songwriter who would not hesitate to take him in as his recording artiste. This boy’s future in the industry is more or less secured, even if he is booted out…”

Ok, I might have said in my predictions the previous day that Maiya had been the most consistent performer. But so too was Aliff, save for the semi-finals, which did not bring out the best in him. It was all down to consistency and who could maintain that level of performance tonight, which was their crunch night. In a competition like this where both the judges and the public have equal say, anything goes. With looks playing a major factor when it comes to attracting fans, the better looking one comes up trumps. I was not surprised that Aliff got the most sms votes, cos not only is he a looker, he backed that up with his more-or-less consistent performances throughout the night. I knew he would nail the competition the moment guest judge Syafinaz said she would go out on a date with him if he was older and after watching him hold court with “Sedang Ingin Bercinta“. But the sms results did affirm the fact and my previous observations that our local industry is still very much obsessed with male talents.

Speaking of the judges, the only one who should have been the mainstay right from the start is Syafinaz or at least someone with her calibre as a day-to-day vocal lecturer. Ok, I’m not saying this cos I’m astounded by her beauty but I’m very much attuned to the honesty and direct comments she gave as compared to the other four. Which judge throughout the competition was brave enough to slam the contestants for giving a lacklustre performance??? Even if the performances sucked, we still hear phrases like “Class!!!” and “Power!!!“. And why in the world did they pick someone who has limited vocabulary to be the guest judge. Almost every comment from Gani Karim is “You sold the song!!!” and I for one think, if I was paid to sit there and utter the same thing, then anyone can do that too. Another one with limited vocabulary and findings is Nuraliza Osman who kept urging the finalists to “Lose Yourself“. In general, the judges have been EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTING throughout the competition. Is there a Roslan Aziz-type of judge in our industry??? Or at least have Najip Ali and the likes of Rafaat Hamzah to tell it like it is??? Syafinaz was brave enough to stick her neck out and criticise the second set whereby the finalists sang in duet. You know they have really lost it and lack originality when they had to borrow Hafeez Glamour‘s quotes into the picture.

Hosts-wise, I thought they were at their very best tonight. One can really see that they were enjoying themselves. Nurul I’m sure we all already know what a good host she is, even if certain quarters might say she can be exaggerating at times. But isn’t exaggeration part and parcel of hosting??? Fiza O‘s continued confidence on camera have long been observed by me so I don’t have to say much. Fauzie Laily to me, was the one who enjoyed himself the most. His ad-libbing is top notch and masked whatever flaws he might have made when he constantly referred to his cue cards. Give him more of such assignments and I’m sure he will soon be another versatile player on Suria Channel.

To Aliff, if you are reading this, congratulations my boy. I knew you would make it some day when I first saw you at Imran Ajmain‘s album launch last year. But I did not expect this to come sooner rather than later. Your journey has just begun but don’t let it hamper your progress in school cos you still have a long way to go. I hope your journey will be smoother and much better than those before you and I know you will do us proud if you were to carry the flag abroad. Keep your head down and continue to improve cos there’s a lot to be done and I’m sure you know it too. Enjoy the win, but not too much cos the hard work has only just begun, and I don’t just mean your singing career…

To the other finalists Nuwarrah, Roslan and Maiya, this is not the be all and end all of your journey. I’m sure if there are avenues to carve a niche in the industry, your paths will be made easier. Use Syed Azmir‘s career path as an inspiration to move forward and realise your dreams. Now that the gloves are off, it’s time to improve, improve and improve further so you’ll be good entertainers in future. I’m looking forward to seeing what all of you have to offer to our growing local music industry…

Anugerah 2007 Final Predictions…

Ok what else is there for me to say after all I’ve said over the past fortnight??? I guess whatever views I have on the four finalists will not matter now and we all already know what they are capable of on stage. I’ll cut to the chase and give my predictions:

My Anugerah 2007 Final winner is:

Maiya Rahman

Why???

That’s easy… Her fanbase is huge, or at least stable enough to sustain her survival week in and out. Coupled that with consistent performances week in and out and a voice that is controlled in pitching, she should be able to win the judges’ hearts. And if you want to talk about looks as a package, she is much sweeter looking than her direct rival Nuwarrah, with a captivating and warm smile to boot. My only fear for her is that she might suffer like her predecessors. Or in our local Malay music industry’s context, the female singers suffering from the fans’ obsession with the male singers.

I’m not entirely convinced with the terms mapped out for the other finalists. There is only so much they can do being under Suria‘s Artiste Management Unit (AMU). Not that I’m looking down at Suria but I feel more could have been tapped from the previous Anugerah 2005 cohort. Syed Azmir did a good job by turning them down and going on his own. We can’t blame the other three for signing up cos like everyone else, they too had hoped for a good and meaningful career in this line under the AMU. As it is, only Fauzie Laily‘s star is shining and we see his versatility in singing, acting and now hosting, though I’m still not convinced with the latter seeing how he stumbles on his words almost weekly. But I can see a lot of improvement when it comes to ad-libbing.

Suria should take a gamble on Hyrul and Khairil, since afterall the former I believe, is getting good training from the Singapore Armed Forces’ Music & Drama Company where he’s learning the tricks of the trade to be an even better entertainer. Maybe they do have plans in store so I guess the waiting game is still on. Just hope that the four finalists tomorrow could carve a niche in the industry and do well in their future endeavours. It will be futile for wannabe stars in two years’ time to enter such competitions if the state of the industry is still as such. I hope for their sake, that is not the case…

********************************************************************************

Over the past week if you guys have been listening to the Bistro segment on RIA 89.7FM, you would have noticed I’ve been accused of being smug and arrogant with my views and comments on radio or maybe agree with those accusations. Simply because:

a) I’ve been very critical of Kassreeal‘s & Wan Arshad‘s fans, who I deemed as “tone-deaf” and “musically and artistically blind

b) I’ve revelled in my spot-on predictions, albeit for just a day last Wednesday

c) Any comments made on air were deemed as me trying to be a know-all

It’s like the old syndrome of the listeners have returned once again. New nicknames emerge to give their own backlash on yours truly, when I know damn well it’s from the usual names I hear and know, just that they are afraid I might ostracise them if they were to use their normal nicks. Their comments really have no effect on me cos I’m not asking them to take my words wholesale. And with regards to being arrogant, my conscience is clear. “Pujangga Malam™” is not about shoving his ideas on people. He believes in sharing knowledge and since afterall sharing is caring and I certainly do care for my community.

When one does not have any substantial views to debate, counter or agree, one tends to find the other person’s flaws to get back at them and sow even more seeds of discontent. Sadly, these people are barking up the wrong tree. While I appreciate their comments and in turn keeping myself in check, I see no reasons to change as I know my intentions to change the community’s mindset and mentality is clear as the ocean. This is my personal mission on radio, even if I receive flak and disheartening comments. If they can rid themselves from their cocoons and see the world in a bigger perspective, I’m sure there’ll be more Ashley Ishams out there…

Of Fears & Being Paranoid…

Ok I don’t normally type two entries in one day, cos I was planning to type one tonight with regards to Anugerah 2007 Finals. But I need to get something off my chest, hence this extra entry.

In my previous entry, I stated how fearful I was with regards to my daughter’s back development and that she might suffer in the long run if I were to subject her to sitting on walkers and Bumbo seats. My entry has got nothing to do with slagging off anyone for being an irresponsible parent, nor was I hinting directly on anyone. It was my own observations and personal fears based on what I heard from my mother and what happened to some of her cousins. I likened the Bumbo seat to the walker, just like one likens an eagle to a hawk in that they both come from the same category of carnivorous birds.  

Fear and a bit of paranoia overtook me over the course of time and I have to admit, I did not seek professional opinions to understand that a Bumbo seat is indeed ok in medical context. You have to remember I too am human, and not everything I say is politically correct, the be all and end all. You can choose to understand my beliefs or you can just read and move on if you disagree. I’m not a perfect parent (yet!) to shove whatever things I know into my readers’ faces and I never set out to do that. Whatever we know, we share. I guess this is what blogging is also about – Knowledge Sharing, and I certainly learnt quite a few stuff just reading other people’s experiences. I am still learning and I believe so is everybody else…

So please don’t take my previous entry as a personal attack on anyone. I was merely stating my own fears and paranoia. Don’t be too quick to jump to conclusions and cause distress on others who might have been coincidentally linked to what I was talking about, even if I was not referring to them…

P.S. Thank you for the tips, sis… Am surely gonna buy a Bumbo seat very soon now that I know it’s most definitely ok for my daughter to sit on it…

Parenting Fears…

SyahindahSitting

7 months have gone by in a blink of an eye. I sometimes don’t realise how big my daughter has grown till I look at some of the things she does. Like how she acts coy whenever I whisper sweet nothings in her ears, or when she wants me to carry her when I reach out my arms to her, or most recently last Saturday when I see her sitting on the baby chair at the restaurant.

We were doing a spot of shopping at Vivocity when the hunger bug struck us, well Aida to be more precise. So since we have not sampled eating at Earle Swensens, we thought it was a nice time to try something different there. I was blown away by the decor and interior design of the restaurant. But by the end of the meal, we were blown away by the expensive bill we picked up. You see, we just shared a Fisherman’s Catch meal, plus a Hot Latte for her and a Tropical Float for me, washed down with a double scoop ice-cream which we both shared. Oh and not forgetting taking away an Old-Fashioned Vanilla pint tub home. I was expecting the meal to be about $40-$45 at the most but we ended up picking a hefty bill of $57++, of which 7% is from the dreaded GST and 10% for service charge.

In times like these, one really needs to tighten up one’s belt and not splurge unnecessarily. We don’t eat at posh restaurants that often, maybe about once every three months or so, so it’s ok if we had burnt a small hole in our pockets then. Yes, it’s mind boggling thinking of the prices just by looking at the small amount of food we ordered. We are most definitely going to be more stringent, picky and thrifty from now on. I guess the good old hawker food is still more affordable and more filling if you ask me.

Anyway, back to my daughter Syahindah. She was not content on sitting in her stroller while her parents sat on the lush, cushioned seats. So she made a lot of noise and yours truly had to request for the baby seat. She was all smiles when she sat on it and it was then I realised how much she had grown. And it was her first time sitting on a baby chair in a restaurant cos previously before this, she had always been in the stroller.

Previously, Aida and I were not brave enough to let her sit on walkers or Bumbo seats till much later. Cos my mum did warn us on the dangers of affecting the child’s backbone in the long run. Some of my mum’s cousins are suffering from back problems when they grow older cos their late mother put them in walkers when they were just 3-4 months old. Fearing that, we took the safe route in not getting ourselves a Bumbo seat or a walker, even if I had secretly wanted the former, seeing how cute she would look sitting in there. Yes, I’ve seen some friends putting their kids on it and how cute they looked. But this fear of upsetting her backbone development was too strong to resist. Cos we all know the backbone and spine are two very important components in our anatomy.

If you think I’m hitting out at parents who buy their kids stuff like these for their child’s development in this entry, no you are so wrong. Each set of parents have their own ideologies and methods of bringing up their kids. I have the utmost respect for the way all my friends bring up their kids and I always use the better ones as a form of guide to bring up my own child. No matter how much their styles differ from us, the one common thing we have is we want to bring our children up the best way possible – to remain healthy, to get the right education, moral and religious values. As parents, we are just afraid of what might happen in future so we set out to nip things in the bud, learn from people around us and share knowledge, with a lot of fear and worry along the way, but I guess that’s normal being parents, eh??? So cheers to all parents out there…!!!

Cease To Exist…

Ok, I guess the time is right and ripe to delete my Blogspot account, even though I said I was going to keep it for a few months for posterity sake. However, it seems when someone types my nick in the search engines, the first hit is always the old blog and you guys seemed to enter it first before coming here. The blog stats also showed a high number of traffic who entered this latest domain via the old one.

So to ease your burden and minimise unnecessary search hits in the engines, I’ve decided to pull the plug on that old account for good since this domain is here to stay after all.

And so at 9:20am yesterday, I said goodbye to the old blog for good. The Blogspot account will still register as one of the first hits, if not the first, in the search engines but I guess it’s only there for show. Click on it and you’ll be greeted by this:

BloggerError

Hopefully you guys who haven’t updated your links can do so now. Don’t say I didn’t remind you… 🙂

It Gets Better…

Blogstats

321 visitors at press time, 345 in total: A New Record…!!!

Thank you my dear visitors…

And thank you Hyrul for promoting my blog in yours. Honestly I can’t read people’s minds but I can definitely put myself in people’s shoes and understand what goes through them. Be strong, be patient and most importantly don’t lose faith and self-belief. Your time will come soon, God willing…

Anugerah 2007 Semi-Final: The Fallout…

This is for those who have scorned my comments over the past seven days, who think that I was being biased, who think I was being a smart aleck, who think that I was being a know-all, be it on radio and in cyberspace: 

I TOLD YOU SO!!!

For those who have vehemently pooh-poohed my observations and analysis of the contestants last week in my review, the results just awhile ago have spoken for itself. I feel that justice has been served and my findings vindicated. The four strongest vocal exponents are rightly in the Final. There is only so much one can rely on looks but at the end of the day, your talent is the one that will be remembered by many. Granted, I would have substituted Nurun Nuwarrah with Liza Sanat or Shakillah if I had my way, but still I know the Final will be battled by four of the best from the Top 10 and rightly so…

If you had been watching the results with me, you would have seen me dancing a jig of delight and punching the air when the two guys I never favoured in the first place got eliminated. And when the remaining four were left, it was a no-brainer as to who would go through. Really, I can’t help grinning from ear to ear thinking about how I was proven correct. At least it goes some way into redeeming the wayward predictions I did for Anugerah Planet Muzik 2007, which I must say punctured my self-belief somewhat.

I know all the teenyboppers, the aunties and tone-deaf supporters out there are gonna cry foul over the results for the next few days or so. At the end of the day, I know at least amongst the four finalists, they have the in-born talent that could be nurtured further. As I had mentioned last week, Aliff has the strongest vocals amongst the boys with Roslan a close second who could give him a run for his money. We all know how consistent Maiya has been all these while and prior to the Wildcard, so too was Nuwarrah. So you really can’t complain about the results.

My only hope now is the 2-hour Final will not play out into a whimper. I really hope the four finalists will now muster all they have left for one final push. Anyone of them would be worthy winners. The only obstacle will be their jitters and nervousness coming into the show. We saw how confident Hyrul Anuar was in the final of Anugerah 2005 even though Syed Azmir was the overwhelming favourite. That’s when we saw the aura and his stage presence appearing and upstaging the crowd favourite. I just hope that all the four finalists this time could up their performances and steal the thunder on their biggest night…

In the meanwhile, forgive me as I revel in my spot-on observations…

Thank You My Dear Visitors…

It’s been a week of records for my blog over the past week, with two rather sensational entries made by yours truly (“A Singapore Sporting Legend Humiliated” and “Christina Aguilera’s Back To Basics Tour & Anugerah 2007 Semi-Final Reviews“), perhaps capturing the attention and imagination of those who are curious about what I have to talk about and relay for your eyes to see. Anyway, for those who have been avid readers of my blog, you would know it’s very unlikely that I would come out with two entries per week, what more an entry every fortnight or so before this. But like I said when I first switched to this new domain, I feel a sense of added responsibility to blog more often and strike while the iron is still hot, and not to wait 2 months or so to update what’s been going on.

Based on my blog statistics, the number of visitorship jumped from an average of approximately 113 per day since I switched to this domain, to about 198 per day over the last seven days. That’s roughly about 75% increase in the number of visitorship. The highest number of visitorship on one day alone was recorded last Friday (6th July 2007) with 295 visitors. And these figures alone do not include my visitors over at my Multiply blog, which is a cross-posting of this domain. Don’t ask me about the figures when I was still using Blogspot and Sitemeter, cos even though I loved to know how my visitors came to know of my blog’s existence, I did not really look into the number of visitors taking a peek. Maybe now I’m more inclined to look at it on a daily basis because I’m always greeted by the graph whenever I click on “Blog Stats” in the domain site admin. I have a feeling that the factor which resulted in the apparent jump in visitorship was based on my review on the semi-finals of Anugerah 2007.

Before anyone thinks I’m blowing my trumpet or say that having an average number of 198 visitors per day over the past week is nothing to crow about, I say hold on to your horses and hear me out. For a non-celebrity and I still maintain I’M JUST AN ORDINARY BLOGGER, I guess the number is indeed overwhelming for me. And no, I’m not going to act all cocky and say I’ve reached celebrity standards, far from it. On the contrary, it has made me feel all the more humbled and appreciative that people even bother to read my long-winded thoughts. Doing my own trackings, I also came across a few sites which recommended my blog as a good read / having good reviews, even though personally I feel I’m too naggy and hard-to-please to be exalted to such a status. Really, I cannot say or do anything more other than thank you people who have come in and read my entries. I hope that sharing my experiences and thoughts have been worthwhile and I’ll try not to bore you in future entries.

I have to be realistic somehow. Not all my visitors are those who enjoy reading my thoughts as I know there are those who agree with my comments and those who do not. That’s perfectly normal in life. We can’t be agreeing to everything we put forth. And I’m sure some of you out there would think I’m acting smart with my analysis and observations. Thanks to my wife’s astute findings, I stumbled upon one posting in a local forum that allegedly said I was being very biased with my review on Anugerah 2007, I had no right to comment unless I voted for the contestants and that I hate people with good looks. I could have easily been angered by such allegations, since I definitely did not sway in those directions I was supposed to be heading, but since it came from a teenybopper, I chose to laugh it off. In case he reads this entry of mine, well little boy, let’s set the record straight once and for all.

First and foremost, I do not hate people with good looks. If I do, I wouldn’t make friends with so many good-looking people. Well heck, everyone’s beautiful in the eyes of God. In fact looks are only skin-deep, it’s the inside that counts. No amount of good looks can bring you places unless you have a good heart. Likewise in the entertainment industry, you can only live off your good looks for a certain period of time. If you are fortunate, it’ll be long, if not, it’s goodbye when the next big thing arrives in the scene. At the end of the day, what is there on your dinner table for you and family is the result of your hard work and in-born talent. As for biased comments, I don’t see anything of that nature unless of course if he was pissed off that I didn’t have good things to say about his two favourite contestants Kassreeal and Wan Md Arshad who I deemed as good-lookers, but having limited singing abilities. A newspaper article in Berita Harian today even stated clearly some of these contestants do not deserved to be in the semis, if not for their fanbase. Yes I do not hate people with good looks but I do have a big problem with those that concentrate more on their outlook and presentation above what is required of them, which is their talent.

As for me acting smart, well it’s up to him and you my dear readers to judge. All I can say is any decent, mature audience can hear for themselves if a particular contestant is singing well or not. One does not need to be a rocket scientist or a vocal coach to hear and say if that person is good or bad. Votes-wise, I have to admit, I haven’t seen any of the semi-final contestants who have really wowed me or deserved my votes like Taufik and Hady did in Singapore Idol or Syed Azmir in Anugerah 2005. I don’t like to waste my sms-es for nothing cos when I vote, I VOTE WITH RESPONSIBILITY, not because the guy or gal is cute, but knowing the talent I vote for would do us proud in time to come. I can go on and on with my theories and reasonings but I have to remember the one who commented against me was a little boy almost half my age so I have to forgive him for still being wet behind the ears.

I love feedbacks and responses. I really do. And it’s actually nice to hear something negative for once. But I hope it can be done in here and not through finding out from another platform with the rants against me sounding emotional and personal. I can take in negative responses but please do so with proper homework and not just by shooting off with unadulterated ease. I would be more than happy if my visitors share their thoughts even if you disagree with me. My blog’s not about saying yes and agreeing to everything I say. I might look at things in bigger perspectives but being human, sometimes I also miss out on the minute details and fine prints. I feel kinda amazed myself when I see the number of visitorship being high but only a handful come in to comment. I’d love to have my blog become a platform for discussion with things to do in the entertainment industry or about football or anything that does not have any contact with politics and denouncing other races and religions. And you my dear readers, are keys for me to realising that…

Thank you once again for visiting this blog…!!!