Tuesday, July 07, 2009

A tribute to an icon.....



"Billie Jean is not my lover
She's just a girl who claims that I am the one
But the kid is not my son
She says I am the one, but the kid is not my son"

Those were the lyrics that I first heard when I watched my first Grammy awards on TV way back in 1983. I was 8 years old then and just learning to enjoy the beauty and joys of music. As Billie Jean was playing on tv, my feet started tapping and I started to get the taste of what dancing would be. As I sat in front of the telly, I was wondering to myself, "Who is this guy?". He kept winning grammy after grammy, and I have never heard of him in my entire short life. This guy went on to win 8 grammys that night. That was the beginning of my exposure to a soon to be worldwide phenomenon and icon. The icon was none other than Michael Joseph Jackson or MJ.



As the days went by, I became obsessed with listening to Beat It, Thriller and Billie Jean over and over again. My parents bought me my first ever cassette a few days after that from the nearby pasar malam, which was the cassette recording for the best songs from the 1983 Grammys. The grammy winners cassette compilation was a big thing those days. I was so thrilled to get the cassette and naturally, Billie Jean, Thriller and Beat It got played over my old radio over and over and over again. I trully enjoyed the beat and rhythm of the music. The Thriller music video at that time was in a class of its own. What a breakthrough music video that was. No one could have done it other than MJ. I was 8 and my ambition at that time was to be a MJ back-up dancer. :)



As the years went by, I started to learn more about music and other artistes. I just enjoyed listening to music so much. But at that age, I could not afford to buy my own cassettes, so I was left to listening to old cassettes and all the music played by radio stations. Then "Bad" appeared in 1986. It was such a huge phenomenon. The music video of "Bad" was so eagerly awaited by everyone, that I literally stayed up with my parents to watch the release of it. I was hooked. Then came all the classics "The Way You Make Me Feel", "Man In The Mirror". Lets not forget the movie, "Moonwalker" which introduced the cool "Smooth Criminal" song. And in typical MJ style, "Smooth Criminal" was accompanied by a breakthrough music video! I learnt the moves and danced to the music. My best friend was the VHS video cassette at that time. I taped and watched the music videos over and over again.

In 1990, at the age of 15, I was scheduled to perform in a school play. My role was to play MC Hammer on stage. I practiced for the role for close to 4 months. I was supposed to follow the moves from MC Hammer's video called "U can't touch this", but I also brought out my old VHS cassettes, played "Bad", "Smooth Criminal", "Billie Jean", "Thriller" etc. over and over again, and learn the moves coz MJ moves were cool. The MJ/MC Hammer moves were a hit on stage and I have never stopped dancing ever since then. Dancing is amazing especially when accompanied by awesome music.



My only regret was that I never got the chance to watch MJ live on stage. In 1996, MJ was in Malaysia. I was so close yet so far. I was in University at that time. I was in my second year, and the night of the MJ concert at Stadium Merdeka (or "Stadium Muurrrdeka as MJ pronounced it") was the night before my 2nd year final examinations. I was so tempted to screw the exams and go for the concert, but common sense prevailed and I was left to listen to the stories from my friends who went for the concert. And I will never be able to feel the spectacular MJ performance live ever again.

I felt sorry for him in the last 10 - 15 years for all the abuse that he had to take from everyone. His weird antics surrounding his personal life was not helping at all. I guess his eccentricity came with who MJ was. The many different stories and rumours drove many away from MJ in the latter years, but no one, and I mean no one can take away the musical genius that this guy was.

On June 25th 2009, an icon passed on, but his legacy and music will live on through all the lives he touched with his music. MJ broke racial boundaries and was known by the world over. I am willing to bet that more than 70% of the world's population of 6.7 billion would have at least known who MJ was or at least heard one of his songs. The last 2 weeks, his old videos have been played over and over again on television. Each and everyone of his videos brought back so many memories of my childhood. And looking at the tributes from the world over the last few days, you can really see how much of impact MJ had on people all over.

Today, July 7th 2009, he will be remembered by all in a once in a lifetime memorial expected to be watched by billions worldwide.

MJ was an inspiration while I was growing up and he will always be an inspiration. Nothing can take that away.

Your legacy will always be with me. Rest in peace, MJ.

Rgds,
Your fan for 25 years... and counting.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Smile...

So I went to the gym today. After a long day at work, I was in the mood to release some tension. Not many people were at work today, so no distractions for me and I managed to put it some decent hours to finish up some long overdue items that I have been procrastinating for some time. When arriving at the gym, the regular gym receptionist was not there, but I remembered her words to me a few days back, as I was signing in. She says I never smile enough, always showing a tensed and angry face at the gym.... hmmmm. So I told myself, okay, today I am going to work my face muscles and put in more effort to smile...



I thought about her words again, "You don't smile enough". I was thinking to myself, "Ehhh, but my face is like that one, what can I do. God given mah. If I go around the gym with a permanent smile on my face even when I am trying to do some workouts, I'll look like the bloody Joker..won't I?



Anyway, perhaps what she says has some truth in it and I do acknowledge it. I don't smile enough. Perhaps its because I am always thinking, especially when I am alone, my mind works overtime. So when I am thinking, I rarely get a chance to smile. Now when someone is alone, and is thinking about something, and this person suddenly breaks into a smile... won't you think he or she is nuts? Even people who smile at their computer monitors are almost always labelled "Crackos" when in reality they are actually chatting on MSN. Nevertheless, I thought perhaps its worth to try to smile a bit today, just to see what happens.

So I got changed to my gym attire and smiled at a few people in the changing room. They smiled back, I just hoped that they didn't think I am some gay freak trying to get somethin'. :p Anyway, I walked towards the stationary bikes and smiled at a few people along the way. Some smiled back, some thought I was some weirdo. Okay, not bad, at least I got some responses. Then I saw her. The hot babe who's been coming in to the gym for quite some time now. I don't know who she is, but she's oneeeee hot chick man. I thought, "Hmmm, what better candidate than to try my smiling technique?" I was trying my smiles as I was working out... so much so I think I looked weird to the next person using the stationary bike. Then, she walked in, all changed in her gym attire, calm, cool and hot as usual, listening to her iPod through her headphones. I smiled. She looked at me, and didn't smile back, but all the while holding her gaze. I smile again and said "Hi". She looked at me again and walked away. I was like... What the heck? Okay, maybe she was listening to loud music like Metalica or Aerosmith and didn't hear the "Hi". I'll try again when the time comes.

I moved on to the other exercise machines, which were in another room away from her. I was going about my business for half an hour or so, when she walked in. I looked at her, she looked at me and looked away. I was like "Kanne". She started to do some weight lifts. As she was putting her weights down, I walked past her as I was leaving the room and looked at her again, smiled... but she freaking looked away again. What the hell woman? At this point, I seriously looked like the Joker with a permanent smile on my face. The only explaination I had left was that on any normal day, perhaps she wore glasses and was half-blinded today, because she was not wearing glasses during her gym sessions.. and I looked like black blob to her in her blurred eyesight. If she doesn't wear glasses, then she's a bitch! You think hotness means you can give attitude to all guys who try to be nice? Beauty doesn't last long babe.

I was wondering what the hell was wrong with my smile anyway. I left the gym and got home. Had dinner, and turned on my computer, and there was my Chinese Zodiac for the day staring at me on my computer monitor.


"You'll have to beware of fabulous proposals which may lead you to nothing; also, certain apparently charming persons will prove to be worthless; all this should remind you that all that glitters is not gold."

At this point, I started to smile from ear to ear at my computer monitor. If I did this at the office, I'll be labelled a freaking ham sap lo for sure.

So there you go, lessons learnt today:

1. The smiling at gym doesn't always work.
2. Hot doesn't mean cool, hot most of the time means bitch.

Till my next smiling experience at the gym!

Peace!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Gong Xi Fa Cai!


Here's wishing everyone a very Happy Chinese New Year 2009 and a Happy Holidays to all! Enjoy the festivities, but please don't drink and drive.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

How does Obama do it?

I got home late on Tuesday night, just in time for the US Presidential inauguration ceremony. I did not want to miss this for the life in me. I wanted to hear what Obama had to say and I must say that President Obama has done it again. He spoke, and the people listened, on his first hour as President at that. The man can really speak. I was extremely impressed. A brilliant speaker, he is also a dotting family man who clearly shows lots of affection for his beautiful wife and daughters in public, but this guy can really pack a punch when he speaks.



On a side note, one incident that happened before the speech was a cause of ridicule though. The Chief Justice apparently fumbled the taking of the oath ceremony by missing a word during the oath taking ceremony. This was what happened:

Chief Justice Roberts: ... that I will execute the office of president to the United States faithfully ...

Obama: ... that I will execute ...

Chief Justice Roberts: ... the off -- faithfully the pres -- the office of president of the United States ...

Obama (at the same time): ... the office of president of the United States faithfully ...

The two got the rest correct, including the nonobligatory "So help you God?" "So help me God."

And because of that small fumble, Obama had to re-take the oath the next day, which took place at 7:35 p.m. Wednesday in the White House's Map Room. Funny how Americans take such things so seriously. If it was in Malaysia, the people in charge would have just brushed it aside and say that it was lebih kurang correct la, no need to repeat. Buang masa je!

Anyway, back to the inauguration speech, I was really inspired by the words spoken, which goes to show how much an impact a person can give if he can speak well. He spoke on a lot of topics, covering a broad range of areas, but the whole intent of the speech was to show that the new government is here to change things and to deliver hope. People were definitely insipred. A check on blogs all over the world were however divided on their views about whether Obama delivered a good inauguration speech.

Nevertheless, the overall inauguration speech made me wonder.... how can a person achieve such an extremely impressive public speaking ability? Is it really in-born or can a person grow and learn to have this skill? A search of blogs and websites shows that you can learn this skill by incorporating certain postures, gestures and pauses in the way you speak. Just google "Learn to speak like a Obama"... and you will get quite the list of websites that teaches you this skill. But I am not too convinced. I think it takes a certain god given gift and talent to really know how to speak and connect to the people. I wish I could speak in front of a group of people like what Obama did 2 days back.... only time and practice will tell if it ever happens I guess.... :p

Peace!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Shoe Saleswoman...

Why is it that the majority of Malaysian sales people, sales promoters or shopkeepers do not believe in customer service? Customer service should always be their number one priority, which is basically another way to say that they should always see to their customer needs and make sure that their customers are always happy regardless whether the customer wants to buy something or not.

I was in the mood for shopping today. Plus I've been getting some bad comments from friends and colleagues alike that it was time I got some new black shoes, coz the ones that I have been smarting the last few months were not really fitting for my current day to day work attire. I finally gave in and decided to go buy some shoes, furthermore I might get some good deals since its the Chinese New Year. I decided to stop by Sunshine Square in Bayan Baru, thinking that other shopping malls will probably be too crowded with people, so near the Lunar New Year celebrations. I was in my work get up, with long sleeve, long pants but with some pretty old shoes.

I approached the Crocodile and Alain Delon counter, since I saw like 20%, 30% and 50% discount tags spread all over the different counters that they had. I browsed through the different shoes that they had. None of the 2 sales girls who were on duty bothered about me. I was actually quite glad, because I normally hate it when the sales promoters just follow you around when you are shopping for something. I am sure you know what I mean... its like they are stalking you all over their counter, just waiting for you to make some mistake!

Anyway, I was freely browsing around the shoe area, when I found a shoe that I liked. So I picked up the sample shoe on display and approached the sales girl and asked her if she had the size that I wanted. She just grabbed my shoe and checked her stock book, and then disappeared into the store room. She came back with the shoes in hand and I tried it. It was too big and tried to make conversation with her. She just remained quiet and did not even smile. Just gave me sulky look like she wanted to die there and then. I then asked her if she had a size smaller. She just grabbed the shoes back from me and took it back to the store room, all the while saying nothing. She came back and said that the size I wanted was not available and they only had two sizes smaller. I said I only want one size smaller. The moment she heard that she just turned around and walked away, like it was a waste of her time. I was stunned. Not a word of thanks nor trying to show me other shoes. I was patient. I gave her the benefit of the doubt. She probably was just having a bad day or she probably got some screwing from her boss earlier.

I saw another shoe sample that I liked and brought it back to her. I was telling myself, if she shows me attitude again, I am so going to walk away. She just took the shoe sample from me, and checked the stock book again. This time she brought the size I wanted. I tried it on, but the shoe didn't feel comfortable and felt a bit tight by the edges. I was just asking her opinion, and told her that the shoes was quite tight. She did not bother answering anything. I took out the shoe and gave it back to her, saying that I didn't want it coz it was too tight. And she just took the shoe back and walked away without saying a word. (*)#*)@( What the heck is her problem?!?! I just immediately walked away from her counter not looking back.....

I walked over to the counter next to hers. This next counter had such a wonderful sales person that I immediately bought a pair of shoes and was even thinking of buying a second pair from her because the discounts were so high and good plus the service was good. She even told me about how to break in the shoe etc etc. She knew how to sell shoes. All the while, I did not even look back to the earlier bitchy sales person to see if she saw me buying the pair of shoes from the counter next to her. I just ignored her and walked away with the receipt of my new purchase. Some people just don't deserve your attention.

She's probably one of the worst sales persons I have ever seen in my entire life. I was thinking to myself, "Yeah, screw you b**ch, just because I am dark and have bad shoes doesn't mean I cannot afford to buy your shoes." I kind of suspected that my old shoes gave her a wrong impression of me, or was it because I was dark skinned.... hmmm... si keling punya pasal. But I think she probably thought I cannot afford the luxury like others can afford... and did not intend to entertain me. She only did her half assed job just because her senior sales person was watching... bitch! Ehhhh bitchy sales woman, you do not deserve to be a sales promoter for shoes or for any products whatsoever. All customers deserve better treatment, whether or not you are having a bad day, or if your boyfriend's not been giving you enough. Learn to entertain clients properly regardless of how they look or how they might perceive themselves to be.... B**CH!!

Peace!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The day Liverpool threw it all away!

I am pissed. I am so pissed. I am so freaking pissed off that I want to break all the tables and chairs at home. I then want to drive to work and on the way ramming into a few cars on the road, hoping that the majority of the car owners are Man U and Everton fans...... ARGHHHHHHHHH!! Idiots.. idiots... idiots.... I cannot believe Liverpool just threw away the lead like that.



Liverpool does not deserve any support from their loyal fans anymore. The way they have played over and over again the last few seasons have been just ridiculously bad for the heart and for the soul. Where is the passion for winning? Where is the solid build-up play to win games? Where is the loyalty to give it all for the club? Its all washed down to the gutters of the city of Liverpool because players get paid no matter if they win or lose, thats why. Its just a job to them, not a matter of winning. And who suffers, us fans, who have to put with idiotic sarcasm from Man U fans especially, who hardly know the meaning of fair play.

Time and time again, its this man, Tim Cahill, the bloody Australian who has given us shit by hitting his last minute goals and almost always dooming Liverpool. This time he did it again last night by hitting a last minute goal to draw with Liverpool at Anfield!



It pains me to say this, but it looks almost certain that Man Utd are going to win the premier league this season, unless a major miracle happens. God, save me from my misery....... I don't think I want to go to the office today, coz Man U and Everton fans will be all around!

I've had it...*Throws hand in the air*

Peace!

Monday, January 19, 2009

A dawn of a new era....

In a few hours time, a new era will be dawning upon the world. An era where only a few years ago, the majority of us would have thought that it would have been impossible. An era where the minority is given the oppurtunity to rule the most powerful nation in the world. The oppurtunity for Barack Obama to be the President of the United States of America.



Never did it cross Abraham Lincoln's mind, when he freed the slaves in 1865, that they would go so far as a race. Today, African-Americans have done so well in all areas of society in the United States of America, may it be in sports, corporate organizations, politics etc etc. And on 20th January 2009, the oppurtunity arises for an African-American to rise to the throne of the most powerful nation in the world and to make decisions that can only be done by the most powerful president in the world.

From humble beginnings in Kenya and growing up in Indonesia, Barack Obama has definitely come a long way to arrive at the Presidency. History was created when Obama defeated John McCain to win the Presidential elections on November 4, 2008. And now the moment waited by so many has finally arrived. The world waits anxiously as this great man ascends the throne and shows each and every human being that change is possible and nothing is impossible.

I have been following the US Presidential debates very closely since February 10, 2007, when Obama announced his candidacy for President of the United States in front of the Old State Capitol building in Springfield, Illinois. I was initially stunned and brushed him off as someone who was probably looking for attention. But as time went on, and I listened to what he had to say, I became a believer. Every speech by Obama was all spoken with facts and backed-up by facts, with Obama himself very calm, cool and collected,. I was impressed, very impressed. I was throwing my support for Obama from afar. In 2008, I was beginning to believe, that this guy could actually be the real deal and he had a decent chance of really winning the presidency. And with all the struggles, he finally did. The road to the White House was a long one, but definitely well worth it.

Obama showed me that if you set your mind to it, you can do it, no matter what others say about you, your looks or what you say. He has brought a beacon of light to a time when we all thought that there is no hope in this world. In Malaysia, he has inspired people to fight for their rights and believe that we can change the injustice that is happening around us. The first phase came on March 8, 2008 ("308"). The people spoke through votes and we have been fighting bit by bit ever since. I am also thankful that we have our own beacon of light in this country who has shown the people that you can make a difference... he is none other than RPK (Raja Petra Kamaruddin). A man who fights for what is right, even if it means personal suffering. I salute you Pete. Things have taken a turn in Malaysia which I thought would never have happened in my lifetime. I am hopeful that things will change for the better in time to come coz I cannot imagine myself living anywhere else except my beloved "tanah tumpahnya darah ku".. Malaysia.

I am not saying that Obama will do well as a President, that all depends on his policies in the White House and the staff that is going to be under him. But getting this far, he has done a decent job which has inspired not hundreds or thousands, but millions of people around the world. That itself says volumes about this man who has already gone down into history at the tender age of 48. I wish Obama all the best and although I am just a little known blogger from a little known country called Malaysia, I would like take this oppurtunity to thank him for all the inspiration that he has given me thus far. Obama, you da man!

Peace!