Tuesday, November 29, 2005

My Hump

I did some pretty hardcore headbanging over the weekend.

I was alone at home giving my dog a much-needed bath. After adjusting the heater knob to rinse her down, I bent back down without looking where my head was going, and ______ it against the ceramic soapdish on the wall. My teeth clattered.

(If you can find a superlative of the word 'hit', please insert it in the blank space above.)

I crouched back down and swore generously as I rubbed my forearm against my forehead. Blood. My future looked bleak, but I was not intent on dying in a shower with a soapy dog.

I rinsed Pepé up as fast as I could as my eyes welled up from the pain. I continued to swear generously. I started to feel nauseous. But no, I was still not intent on dying in a shower with a soapy dog.

Once the water ran remotely clear, I turned off the water as Pepé shot out through the shower curtain to shake herself dry. I groped my way toward the mirror. There was a small cut above my right eyebrow, surrounded by an intimidating smudge of red and purple. And black. Black? I first deemed it the normal headrush from getting up too quickly, but I was gravely mistaken. It was an intense pitch black that refused to budge out of my vision. My chest started to burn and my knees began to buckle. I bent over the sink, held on tight, and waited. Crap. I lowered myself into a squat with my hands clasped around my cranium, and helplessly watched my dog shake herself silly and make a slippery mess of the bathroom floor. If I died now, at least it would not be in the shower, and the dog would be clean.

Once the feeling dissipated, I staggered out and into my room. I collapsed onto my bed, my ears shrinking under a deafening ring. It morphed into an orchestral crescendo.


I need my Mommy.

I grabbed the mobile phone coincidentally lying next to me and gave her a ring. Thank goodness the family was already on their way back from breakfast. As she repeated to the rest in the car about what had happened, I could hear my father in the background blaming me for not taking my vitamins, not exercising and not eating right, amongst other universal reasons for unfortunate circumstances befalling his sugar dumpling of a daughter.

The folks got back, and Mom came upstairs with the dreaded ice pack. The swelling reduced significantly, and I regained some sense of orientation to get back on my feet. I cancelled my plans with friends and stayed at home to recover from a persistent daze.

I felt stupid for the rest of the day. I was not sure it it was at the fact that the accident was a result of my clumsiness, or if my IQ really dropped a few points from the trauma. It reminded me of an interactive Joe Cartoon which I came across a few years ago. (If it rings a bell, Joe Cartoon was responsible for the Frog Blender and Micro-Gerbil internet craze circa 2000.)

I never thought I would have been able to say it in this lifetime, but I can relate to James Brain.

Friday, November 25, 2005


I unscrewed the lid off my tub of protein powder and took a peep inside before taking a scoop. Half empty - already?! But I just bought it last month!

I walked into the grimy haze where mom was preparing wantans for dinner.

"Mom, I think Malcolm has been drinking my protein shake..."

She frowned and rose her voice above the crackling oil.

"Are you sure it would be him? He hasn't been spending much time in the house at all..."

I thought back and indeed, I was not able to recall the last time I saw my brother lazing around at home.

"Then why is my tub finishing so quickly? I don't even drink it that often!"

She paused.

"Which tub have you been taking from?"

"My own! This one..."

I knocked the large white container next to the rice cooker.

Mom left the wantans frying and stepped into the kitchen.

"That belongs to your father! He moved your own tub over here!" She pointed to a ledge flanking the entrance of the kitchen. "His is vanilla flavor, yours is banana! As IF you can't tell the difference... "

"Well... well... I can't tell! The flavors are so fake and they all taste the same!"

"...You crazy woman."

I shuffled over to the living room where my dad was watching his Chinese soap opera.

"Uhm, Dad, I've been drinking your protein shake by accident..."

"You WHA-? And I here I was wondering why it was finishing so fast! I drink that for my weight-lifting and you don't even exercise! And it's double the price of yours! You don't even need so much protein! What a waste..."

I apologized and slunk away. But hey... Double the price? Don't need so much protein? I ran over to my tub and read out the chunky font on the label:


I bent over to my father's tub and read out the chunky font on the label:


I leapt upstairs into my room, pinched my sides in front of the mirror and suddenly felt a surge of undistilled power course through my veins.

So this is what muscle feels like.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


I make a U-turn back to the large white house now on my right. Could that be the one? I give her a call.

"Hi, are you outside?"

"I think so... does your house have a black grill gate and white walls?"

"Yes that's the one, I'll be outside in 2 minutes..."

I make it in one piece in damp weather to my boss's house. It is lavishly simplistic. I turn off the engine and keep an eye on the front door, agitated fingers drumming the steering wheel.

Okay. Straight to the point. Yvette. I'm going to be doing a movie. Damnit, I can't believe I'm doing this... Yvette. Um. I've always had a passion to be an actor and an opportunity popped up and I want to be committed to your company but at the same time this is something I have always wanted to OH MY GOD OH CRAP SHE CAN'T COME OUT NOW I'M NOT READEEEEEEE

The soft silhouette of my employer wafts out of the house and toward the front gate. I get out of my car with the elegance of a retard, and she opens the gate to let me in.

Yvette has been on maternity leave for the past several weeks so I have not seen her in a while, let alone visit her house. But I am desperate to do two things: get her to personally sign my final documents for my internship, and tell her something which had been arranged a year and a half ago, right before I had switched full-time jobs.

She welcomes me inside and sits me down in the warmly-lit living room. Yvette looks subdued but blissful. She glows like a mother. I dread the thought of extinguishing it tonight.

She obligingly signs the final reports and it lifts the first weight off my chest. She then tucks her hands back into her lap and looks at me attentively like a little schoolgirl in front row.

"Now, you said there was something you wanted to tell me?"

I sweep imaginary hair behind my ear, scrunch up my face and force it out.

"Um, yeah... I've been... sssssssssselected to be in a movie."

I look at her. Time goes slow enough for me to watch, through her eyes, the information processing in her head. I almost don't want to know what is going to happen next. I could be mauled by a Rottweiler and not flinch.



Her reaction is not anger. It is not disappointment. In fact, she looks intruiged. Something is wrong. What happened to the apocalypse?

Yvette continues to ask about the movie, her curiosity unwavering: the cast, crew, director, release dates, auditions... And then her eyes widen with a new concern.

"You know, after this movie... Are you going to...you know, come back?"

She makes it impossible for me to say anything but 'yes', so I say it three times.

Then comes the question that is to determine my near future:

"How much time do you need off?"

"We're set to shoot in the two middle weeks of January, 9th to 22nd."

"...Oh, only? Okay."

My bomb has been diffused. As if the anti-climax is already not overwhelming enough, Yvette decides to make it worse.

"You know, my husband was one of the producers for Spinning Gasing..."

I leave the house in a daze, and step into my car. I drive off to the nearest petrol station to fill up, and the moment I hit the highway, I slam my palms on the wheel and scream until my lungs give way.

I love my boss.

Friday, November 11, 2005


Hey there kids! Let's do something fun!

Today we're gonna try a conventional artform using a slightly unconventional medium, particularly in favor of those who can't afford paint.

Just to let you know, as much as I'm a notorious animal lover and all, I personally do not support the existence of purely parasitical creatures. And as you shall soon see, ticks are fairly high up on the list.

All you need for this activity is

1) A pair of hands

2) Some old newspaper

3) A wide-heeled shoe

3) A dog infested with ticks. In this case, I will use my ever-obliging, 14-year-old spitz-mix, Crystal. Smile for the camera, girl!

First we gotta get the ticks out. Gently pull the fur back in the opposite direction of its growth to assist you in finding them. Hot spots include the ears, armpits and between the paws. Sometimes if you're lucky, you can find ticks in clusters, like a bunch of grapes. They look really cute.

There are two types of dog ticks:
- The teeny weeny flat dark red ones that look like spiders and crawl pretty fast
- The Mother-o-Mary fat juicy gray ones that move, if they REALLY have to, at an extremely contented pace

Aim for the latter. Pull them out delicately. Don't yank them out, the dog's skin might bleed more. And the ticks might burst between your fingers. (Which is fun, but we gotta save them for later.)

Get yourself a good bundle, maybe about 30 or so if you can.

Spread out the newspaper, and make sure there are a lot of layers underneath... Things could get messy!

Pour the ticks out right next to the centre fold...

...And pile them up according to the desired shape of your blood-erfly.

Fold the paper over neatly. Make sure there's ample paper space surrounding the ticks.

Now this is my dad's favorite part.

Take the flat-heeled shoe and flatten the little cretins to smithereens. A more effective option is to wear the shoe and stomp on the concentrated area. (Do not be alarmed by the shallow popping noises, they're meant to do that.)

Open up your paper, and ta-da!

An instant masterpiece for you to frame up in your living room!

When friends come by and comment on your artistic flair, flash your megawatt smile and reply, "What can I say? It's in the blood."

Give yourself a pat on the back, you genius you.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Thriller Night

I opened the passenger seat and hollered a big hello. The hooded figure looming over the driver's seat remained motionless. I froze in my boots. Just when I had begun to wonder if I had gone to the wrong car, the hood was flung back and I was greeted with a face that almost made me urinate in my cargo pants.

"Oh my GOD! ASH! You're so good!"

The thing curled its upper lip to reveal a set of gnashers deformed beyond redemption.

"Okay, you're scaring me... Hey you can stop it already!... Ash...?"

It continued snarling.

"Okay Ash, you're freaking the sh*t outta me... I'm sorry, I can't bring myself to get into the car yet..."

I slammed the door and howled with laughter. I had to admit, Ashvin was effing hideous.

It was Ashvin's first halloween night out in Malaysia and the both of us were pretty psyched. He didn't tell me what his costume was going to be beforehand, which wasn't really fair since I had told him what I was planning to wear. Earlier this year I was so tickled at the sight of a balaclava hanging at a pasar malam stall that I just had to buy it. (It did worry me though, how easily accessible it could be to others with less-than-noble intentions.) I worked my costume around my headgear, but on the day itself I had realized that I didn't have the appropriate attire for a robber; rather, I didn't know what robbers typically wear. I pulled the next second best thing in my wardrobe. I flipped to the back of my Evolution sweater and read the movie's tagline in canary yellow:

Have a nice end of the world.

I humbly accepted my upgrade to terrorist.

Ashvin just pieced something together and hadn't the slightest idea what he did to himself, so I just categorized him as a ghoulash... Ghoul-Ash, geddit? Whoo! I am good.

So here we are before being beaten with the ugly stick...

And after.

We arrived to a lukewarm crowd at Zouk's Disco Bloodbath. We were accompanied by Coery and Sarina, who weren't up to dressing up for the occasion but looked smashing as usual. The scene wasn't as manic as the previous year's Halloween party, particularly since this time it coincided with the Ramadhan month.

I got halted by the security at the entrance to the club. "Is that a knife?" one of the burly guys asked gruffly. I flexed the blade like a drinking straw. "Sort of," I replied. He also eyed my gun, but seemed to loosen up after noticing the flourescent orange nozzle and questionable army motif.

Ivan, the usual dude at the Velvet entrance, looked absolutely adorable in an outfit which Ashvin assumed was purchased from Victoria's Secret.

Upon entering, I was tapped on the shoulder by a Japanese soldier. He wielded his knife. I pointed my gun. It was a tense moment until the cheeky bugger smiled and snickered off.

I also recognized Jon from his blog; I went up to introduce myself to him and his girlfriend Jinjung, but only after much deliberation... after all, I wasn't exactly dressed to impress. Thankfully Jon and Jinjung greeted me with a friendly handshake instead of the foreseen can of pepper spray.

The night was wierd and wonderful... Whilst stomping to electronic beats on the dance floor, we got chummy with our homies from the South Side.

The dude in white didn't say much.

Aw c'mon mate, lighten up.

Even baddies can be super kawaii.

Don't worry, I'll be gentle... *Cue sadistic snicker*

Ashvin playing Mr. Reaper,

and Pimp Daddy.

We weren't really attired for a proper jig, but Ashvin and I ended up giving in to our instincts and got down and dirty. Things started to heat up and I found it hard to hide my... gun.

We called it a night after I felt an impending asthma attack from breathing through the wool and Ashvin's face paint started to crust up and stink of paraffin. We did pass by an attractive little Ferrari on the way out, and I saw it as a fortunate chance to brush up on my small-scale criminal acts.

I also aimed my gun at random passing cars, after which I heard a meek, trembling voice behind me go, "Hey! Hey! Hey!" I thought nothing of it, until Ashvin turned around and noticed that the voice was coming from a girl whose face was filled with genuine terror.

After reaching the car, Ashvin admitted that he relished the opportunity to act like a fool in public without being recognized. On the contrary, I was a little let down that for once, no-one knew who I was.

It was a night of good laughs and good music, where Ash and I did the Monster Mash and put the word 'boogie' in boogie man. It was a different experience from the party Zouk held last year, where the craziness factor was literally tweaked...

But that's another story.