Monday, November 28, 2005 

the wheels on the bus go round and round (Part I)

(I've split this post into 2 parts to accommodate IE users who have problems scrolling down completely with the 2nd part being the previous post so its in order while you're reading it. if this course of action doesn't fulfill Vulcan standards of logic, don't fret, most things I do tend to only make sense to me anyway. just click on "Part II" under the "Previous Posts" heading)

Its approximately 6:30pm and while snuggly listening to the contents of my ipod and reading quite possibly the funniest book I’ve laid hands on (Mike Gayle’s “My Legendary Girlfriend” – brought to my attention by Miss Shakkour), I was overcome by a sudden urge to write. Admittedly so, this is a rather unique, albeit exceptional setting for blogging (hey, no time like the present right?): y’see, I’m on one of those executive buses enroute to KL via the North-South highway. The Malaysian sun’s setting behind plantation-laden hills simultaneously emits outreaching rays of light and shadow as it filters through mature oil palms while setting ablaze the fiery ocean of clouds above the horizon. Tres cool.
Furthermore, from the reports of winter “bliss” (re: treacherous white-out conditions – at least they can expect a white x-mas * guffaw *) compadres in Southwestern Ontario are experiencing, my banana republic doesn’t seem all that terrible all of a sudden.

That’s right…I be gloating * places hands behind head and reclines * ; )

(oh…and a couple of curious kids have begun to congregate around my now war-riddled Powerbook…..aaaand they’re gone. No games I guess * snicker *)

at any rate, not much to report right now as the bus is parked at a rest stop in Machap while John Mayer’s “covered in the rain” blares between my ears (great solo….love the sound of his Fender on this track). Its done and my random setting now presents………..ah hah “nothing compares to you” – Sinead O’Connor. Love this track. Haven’t heard it in awhile (with 20G of music, it happens).
My first experience of Ms O’Connor was through this particular song. Walking out of the shower while getting ready for afternoon school as a prepubescent (circa 1990), I immediately noticed this bald Irish lass staring back at me from the confines of my (then) 21” Sony Trinitron. She was crying. Quite stoically I might add. I was prolly too young to fully grasp the weight and significance of the confluence (or more accurately, the tirade) of emotions of her current predicament. What I did know was that this bald woman was gorgeous (nothing but eyes) and the song was a breath of fresh air compared to what the musical zeitgeist of the time was offering (i.e. hair bands and white rappers). A few years down the road I read in Rolling Stone that Brian May (Queen) considered it to be one of the best songs ever written. I don’t know about “ever written” but its pretty good….and I’m not about disagree with Brian May.

ANYWAY….my weekend was, for the most part, relaxing. Spent most of it completely engrossed in the book (its worse than crack-I’ll review it in subsequent posts). Although I did manage to go out on Saturday. Met up with a childhood friend (we’re talking I still have pics of the both of us in diapers being hoisted by our respective parental units during the Mid-Autum Festival) of mine Wenxiong, who currently goes by “Alex”. I call him Ong (family name). He was down from KL for a few days as he was in the throes of a “vocation transition”. Good to see the guy (even if it was a default friendship due to both our families knowing each other. Here’s the weird part: not only are we the same age, our younger siblings also share chronological congruence. Furthermore, the four of us have “Wen”/Boon as the first part or prefix of our given names)…we didn’t get to see each other much in recent years due to my foray into the Canadian wilderness and his subsequent posting in KL. .

 

the wheels on the bus go round and round (Part II)

Spent sometime at Yongqiang’S BBQ for some Malaysian engineer’s society….Zongren was also there. The irony of the event lay in the fact that this event set up to socially engage the area’s engineers and students were completely lost on its participants. Case in point….

Me: * noticing someone walking towards me * hey how’s it going?
Engineer 1: * looks, pauses, rescinds into the darkness *
Me: hmmm….* checking to see if I had the rotting carcass of a guinea pig hanging from my shoulder *

Methinks prior to such an advanced level of social interaction, all engineering freshies in the country ought to be issued a handbook (complete with graphs, tables, and formulas) entitled “Introduction to Society: basic conversation”. (disclaimer: Yongqiang is an exception….coz well….he’s my buddy ; ) )

But hey….the food was good.

At any rate, as I increasingly found myself hanging out with Ong and Zongren (NON-engineers), I took up an offer to go over to Ong’s place to say hi to his family who I hadn’t seen in years. The rest of them were going to a club….and for those who know me, clubs and I don’t get along. So to Ong’s. Think the last time I was there we were playing “Michael Jordan vs. Larry Bird” on his “new” Sega Genisis. So I went over, said hi to uncle and auntie Ong….hung out in his room as my cousin Chin made his way over. We were going to be partaking in the ancient ritual of “mamaking”. While we were waiting, Mei (sp?), his sis who I hadn’t seen in over 10 years walked in to say hi. Lets just say that I did NOT remember her to look like THAT….I was more in shock of the “transformation” (I’m sure it was more gradual to those back home) than anything else. In a coincidental twist of fate, the first thing she mentioned was the fact that I looked very different. In any event, with those sentiments in my mind, I found myself chatting her up while being VERY conscious of the awkward semi-incestuous situation unfolding. Nevermind the fact that Ong was quietly sitting not 3 feet away. Really sorry buddy….my bad. I stand before you, spastic retard – par excellence.

Anyway…Chin finally shows. Mamak soon followed. Night came to a close.

I’m in KL now (the next day)…at Al’s. The first interview with the architectural firm went well (1.5 hrs!!), scheduled to have a second interview with “the man” before I leave. Wish me luck. Apart from that, the day was occupied with lunch at Chilli’s with Al, and copious amounts of caffeine and reading (book + National Geographic).

k…I tire. Going to succumb to one of my other vices….TV.

b.

Friday, November 25, 2005 

on rain, false advertising, Batu Pahat, and marcom

g'day fellow readers.

must admit, I'm digging this rainy season thing. afternoon sleeps are so much more pleasurable.....on the flip side, I'm sleeping too much. hey, I figure now's a good time to catch up on all those sleepless nights in uni. yeah.....that's it *grin* ; )

on the topic of weather, I must admit that lately I've been a little under it. got a case of sniffles and a slight cough. although, it seems to be subsiding....not to get too graphic but one of the signs of recovery is the "changing colour" of phlegm. ok, that was a bit graphic.

k, let's see...stuff to report:

1. the interview. a bit of a bust. it turns out they were being quite "creative" with their advertising. apparently "management trainee" equals telemarketing and sales in as a recruitment agent. the interview itself was great in the sense that I had a great time speaking with the interviewer....fellow Soc. grad her. but in the end I politely declined and added that the ad prolly needed to be a bit more specific. oddly enough, when I was waiting in the lobby, I peered into the office where I would've potentially been placed and recalled saying to myself "man, I would HATE to work in there". it was loud, chinese speaking...very HDB housing estate void deck. not my idea of professional....
in a way, I felt a little sorry for my interviewer as she worked in the middle of all of that. and on top of that, she was a relatively quiet German lady....prolly didn't know what was going on half the time. hell, I'd be confused and irritated as hell in there too.

2, Janice invited me to her sister's wedding in Batu Pahat on the 26th. she hooked me with a variety of flowing single malt scotches. chinese wedding's are always fun. although, I dunno how chinese this one's going to be....the dude's Swedish. hmmm, I've always enjoyed small town Malaysia. she also said something about inviting our weird mutual friend....Oi Pat! come down lah! we can watch the white people squirm in discomfort ; ) good food, free booze, small town....promises to be a good time....

3. KL. it looks like I'm going to spending a few days in KL next week. I've got 2 interviews lined up, and after the debacle of the last one, I made sure that these two were legit before I committed (although.....you NEVER know). there're both internal/external communications positions. sounds "marcom (marketing communication) -ish" to me. one's with this architectural firm opposite the towers (technical writing/web publishing and public/media/client relations...or somesuch) and the other one's with Deloitte (project executive.....communications and PR work for their projects I believe). we'll see how they go...Boon might be on the move again pretty soon. soooo yah, some of you should expect phonecalls from me : )

anyway....nap time....literally falling asleep in front of the comp (shaddap yous, I get up at 6/7am daily - don't ask...plus, just had a BIG meal *rubs extended stomach*).

b

Tuesday, November 22, 2005 

juust stocking up on good karma

hmm...looks like my days are filling up quite nicely (and about bloody time too).

just a little update, I've committed to not one, but two voluntary organizations.

I had a little chat/interview with a lady at Beyond Social Services (hola Ying Yik!) about contributing some of my time. generally speaking, this place provides mentorship/leadership/counselling to at-risk children and youth. from what I understand, its not so much of a sterile one to one counseling gig, but more of an activity-based, self-esteem building peer support thing.

aesthetically speaking, the centre itself is pretty cool. as far as I can remember, there was a lotta wood trim, earthy colors, tropical plants....well, you get the idea. there was this internal coffee "enterprise" for people involved in the organization run by the kids. apparently its meant to impart a sense of responsibility and basic skills....at any rate, seems like a worthwhile endeavor to me. what else is cool....apart from the a whole bunch of activity rooms, there's emmm....the "jamming room". guitars, drums, amps, etc....pretty self-explanatory.

ANYWAY...it seems as though I'm going to be assigned to this new programme that deals with older teenagers who've spent time in well, correctional facilities lets just say. should be interesting....and potentially quite challenging. lets see if all this developmental social psychology I learnt in school applies here ; ) the first meeting/training begins on the 2nd of next month.

....and secondly, the good people at Make-A-Wish Foundation. most of you are prolly familiar with this organization. in a nutshell, its an international organization that fulfills the wishes of terminally ill children.
ok...I know what some of you're thinking, *slapping forehead* "you with your infamous lack of tact with terminally ill kids? god help us" actually my mom actually said some to the effect of "just don't agitate them" at any rate, message received, zero distortion...jackasses ; )
I'm not too sure in what sort of capacity I'll be involved but it sounds like writing in their newsletter and quite possibly working in a fundraising committee...honestly speaking, it doesn't really matter if I come into contact with the kids in the process of "wish granting". if I do, I'm sure the experience would be simultaneously rewarding and ummm..."difficult".

so there...between these two commitments and helping out with coaching....I'm actually kinda busy. add the fact that I'm going to be working soon (hmmm, I hope....gotta interview on Thursday. "management trainee" o_O) and above all, I could actually say that I'm too busy to have a girlfriend. which sounds leaps and bounds better than "yeah...errr...sorry, I'm simultaneously crippled and action packed with issues" ahhh...denial's such a good friend of mine : )

so in short, STUFF TO DO!! w00t!! plus...you really can't go wrong with the accumulation of good karma....with my track record, I def need it....

k, I'm out.

b

Sunday, November 20, 2005 

(insert witty title here)

Sunday night....Approximately 8:30pm. its still, very still. the only other sounds are emanating from my retro pink and white table fan and Billy Joel's "She's Always a Woman to Me" (don't ask....its on random - and back off, its a good song).

don't really know what to write but its just one of those nights where I simply feel like writing...we'll see what comes of it.

oh hey...it was my cousin Boon Ping's 21st b-day yesterday. we had a little "family and friends" gathering at the family headquarters...otherwise known as "Ah Kong's (Grandfather's) House". there were slabs of beer, there was catered food....OH WAS THERE CATERED FOOD. lemme see if I can remember what was on the menu. there were the 2 roasted lamb lags. Penang Laksa (I'm not going to attempt to explain what this is, if you really want to know, google it)...which is really not my fav but its not bad, not bad at all. there was some bryani, many MANY different types of meat/spice/curry dishes, some nice dhal, springrolls, fruits and various forms of kueh.

the upside...YUM.
the downside...heartburn and an over-extended stomach.

thinking back to all those b-days and family gatherings from days of yore....nothing ever changes...the same uncles are telling the same stories....the same aunties are doing well, auntie type things....the caucasians are huddled at a side table trying their best to blend in.....and, instead of soy bean milk, the "kids" are polishing off cans of Tiger and doing shots of vodka ; ) (guess....there're a new bunch of kids who've taken our place in from of the video game console)

anyway...good time all in all. I'll post some pics when I get them.

what else has been going on....
umm...had a good couple of sets this morning (9:30 game...nice). not bad considering its only been a week since I picked up the racquet after a close to a 3 year hiatus. with this group, my fitness was still a little off but at least I managed to hold my own and more importantly, not to faint in mid-rally ; ) speaking of the group, I guess its safe to say that everyone was a seasoned player who had been playing on the "circuit" for a good number of years. hell, there was even a former national team trainee around. needless to say, I was just trying not to look like a complete noob.
as predicted, there was some serious napping when I got home. out cold. I was d.r.a.i.n.e.d.

what else....continued the search for a dog. one thing I've noticed....there are loads more kennels then there were in the past but its only because of this this recent fad of girls wanting small furballs. nothing against it, whatever floats your boat right? but it bugs me when these store owners fail to provide adequately sanitary housing for these animals in the hopes of having enough "stock". its quite clear that they're more concerned with the sale than the animal. I personally walk out of such places. something ethically wrong about supporting such practices.

so the upside, more kennels.....the downside is that they're filled with furballs. personally looking for a black and tan German Shepherd. a healthy, good looking puppy from a solid lineage is not easy to come by.

hmmm, life's changed quite a bit huh : )

in any event, I hunger....time to raid fridge. got some meetings with a few volunteer organizations next week...will update on that.

b.

Friday, November 18, 2005 

getting sleepies....

*yawn*.....falling asleep soon. I'll make this short and sweet.

highlights from the past few days include:

1. a Turkish visitor. Caglar's dad was in the area and my "expertise"(and I use this term VERY loosely) in tour guiding was requested. after some preliminary phone conversations, Kadir and I agreed to meet at Starbucks (ahh...the great equaliser) in Raffles City. my fellow Malaysians would prolly agree with me on this: the name Kadir conjures up a distinct image....more specifically, that of a pakcik sitting outside his kampong house smoking Gudang Garam. needless to say, I had to fight to reprogramme some mental imagery enroute. furthermore, my experience with Turkish names for the most part have been uniquely androgynous in the sense that at face value, apart from a few exceptions, its almost impossible to tell whether a particular name is male or female....we're not exactly talking "Tom" and "Lisa" here.

anyway...we met up, chatted, I was invited to join in on a business meeting (don't ask), walked around soaking in some sights in and around the CBD, the emmm..."Padang area" and colonial "racial" quarters (go figure, a Turkish visitor comes and at every other corner in town is a Turkish restaurant - when did all this Anatolian stuff happen??), had some seafood at East Coast Park....

in any event, good day all in all. Kadir was good conversationalist with lots of wisdom to impart. oh, and there was also that bottle of local wine Caglar passed to me ; )

2. watched the latest Harry Potter film today. not that bad of a movie I must admit....ALTHOUGH, once again, I do have a bone to pick with the the overall experience....phone etiquette or the lack thereof. I mean, come the fuck on guys....are your lives so pathetically bankrupt that you can't sit through a movie without turning off your phone? on top it all, there were a select special few who, much to my astonishment, actually answered their phones in mid-movie.
it actually gave me an idea.....next time round, I'll actually bring a gunny sack and a hammer to the movies and...well...you can paint your own pictures : ) seriously, guys....not really asking for class here, just some courtesy.

proceeded to have a late dinner with my cousins and some mutuals at this Taiwanese place.....long story short....NEVER AGAIN.....VERY QUESTIONABLE GRUB. "trendy" Chinese food hardly ever works for me.

3. been helping out training the kids my Uncle coaches. sparing...drills....etc....I'm slowly getting my fitness back, body doesn't breakdown the following day anymore. although...I seem to walk away with a new pseudo injury after every session. case in point, it was my lower back on Wed and today I seem to have strained whatever muscle is covering the side of your ribs. feels like a slight tear to be honest.

in any event, gonna get some good games in this weekend...who knows, might even enter a tournament or two in the future.

right well....gonna get some job applications in before bed.

b

Monday, November 14, 2005 

still crazy after all these years

*drawn out sigh*.......

I'm tired....a little hurt......

I was reacquainted with an old flame yesterday. hadn't thought about her for over 2 years. y'see, what we had was, in all essences of the word....turbulent. she had given me both ecstatic levels of glory and horrible pits shame and disgust. it was one of those co-dependant relationships y'know? I always had to be on the ball and there wasn't much room for air as one small error or the second it seemed as though my interest fluttered was the precise moment I was reminded of her scornful fury. the relationship was quite bipolar to be exact. things were either great or painfully miserable. although, I knew I couldn't stay away forever....we just had too much of a history. furthermore, she gets along really well with the family.

needless to say....I was a bit apprehensive about this meeting.

her name's Yonex. Yonex Carbonex 21 Special to be exact. and she's a bitch.

alright well....stupid analogies aside. I went to the club for a game of badminton after 2 years. my cousin's coaching session was in full force as I arrived. the usual lingering smell of stale sweat, goose feathers and adhesives, hardwood floors, and isotonic drinks were present. although....with the windowless green walls providing a great enclosure for a greenhouse effect at the zenith of punishingly hot malaysian afternoon, the smell of stale sweat was quite bloody rampant. ahh...memories ; )

anyway, after an embarrassingly stuttering start (lets just say that my timing was waaaay off)....I finally managed to get back into the groove of things. aside from my utter lack of fitness and some more fine tuning, it was a good practice. considering the 2 year lay-off. think I'm going to spar with the kids and old timers for a few more sessions before joining my cousins and co. in the mornings for more intense games (I hear there's now a former national youth team player in the group of other fellow former state players...eep!). it would just be all sorts of embarrassing if I join in now.

plus...."old man doubles" has left me in a woeful state of creaking pain. need. more. fitness. don't who don't understand the game shouldn't laugh. my horrendous fitness state aside, its physically VERY taxing.

anyway....dinner time.

b.

Saturday, November 12, 2005 

on one hot and steamy Saturday afternoon.....

quick quick post, reason being....not much I really want to talk about.

and so, in point form with descriptions.....happenings in the past few days since returning home.

1. food. for those who witnessed a complete and utter lack of appetite during my trip back to London, you can rest easy. my appetite is doing quite well. my cousin and I have been going on these almost daily expeditions in the search for the ultimate makan spot and in the process, "testing" 3-4 places a day.

2. mamak sessions with yongqiang and zongren, roadside, big tree, 5 hours of tea drinking, need we say more.

3. le job hunt. back in the saddle....relatively assuring to know that I'm getting regular interested callbacks amid the scores of PFO (please fuck off) letters. heheh, or as my buddy in Toronto calls them, PFODs (please fuck off and die). in any event, went for an interview in Singapore yesterday for some human capital consultant position. sounds interesting enough. we shall see what comes of it. for those interested in positions in the Asia Pacific region, I'd recommend www.jobsdb.com. I use it almost exclusively as the listings are "serious" (unlike the fucking jokes monster and workopolis are).

4. www.skype.com. regular skypers of mine so far include ted and suha (well....and to a certain degree, pat. but I think he just uses the IM function for the emoticons). free VOIP long distance....I'm still stuck in the novelty of it all. plus hey, it keeps my canadian accent in good practice ; )

anyway....going to find some food. thinking fried chicken, biscuits and gravy.

b.

Monday, November 07, 2005 

"If I leave here tomorrow...."

right....currently stuck in Newark Airport.

I'm on hour 5 on an 8 hour layover. here are a few things I've noticed.

1. this airport is dismally small and cramped. attempts to modernize it have resulted in utter failure. there's simply way too few seats for the amount of traffic. for instance, as we speak, I'm sitting on the floor next to a potted plant.

2. to describe the american businessman (or businessmen in general) can only be summed up mindless drones decked out in J-Crew and Brooks Brothers who are absolute slaves to their blackberries. case in point, I've been watching this one gentleman eat dinner and not a word of a lie, he checks his blackberry every 2 minutes for email. the other guys at the table also exude identical behaviour. so this is what we strive for in live huh?

3. Indian travelers. fascinating lot. they travel in hoards. much like cattle actually (no pun intended). its prolly a cultural thing but its mind-boggling to fathom traveling across continents in groups comprising every member of the extended family from wheelchair bound grandparents to yelping infants. and the luggage they carry....trucks upon trunks of god knows what.

4. marathon runners. the new york marathon just ended and the airport is filled with its participants. I guess people who complete it get a medal and a t-shirt. at any rate, its very interesting to observe complete strangers giving each other the "gun" and high fives before returning to their respective european countries. group mentality? I think so.

5. last but not least, as I was switching terminals, I noticed this business lady sprawled out on her back wailing into her cell phone about dislocating her knee. 2 things piqued my interest. firstly, how does one dislocate one's knee by walking? I say this as there was nothing to knock into. and if she did, its sure as hell wouldn't make sense for her to crawl into an open area. and secondly, apart from a very very small crowd, no one really seemed to care. hmm, guess they didn't want to bug her coz she was on the phone. *snicker* word to the wise, watch out for those floors, they're vindictive entities.

nothing much else to say right now but that the trip back was good. didn't get exactly the type of closure that I wanted but at the very least, it was closure that I got and needed. saw some people, had a few drinks, said hello to Brock's brand new baby boy Tate, and said goodbye to Leyuze for well, *counting fingers* lets just say, the umpteenth time *sighful chuckle*. ahh life...."you can't always get what you what but sometimes if you try, you might find, you get what you need"

and finally, to harken back to the previous post pertaining to songs and situations, as ted was driving me to the depot, Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Freebird" came on the stereo and lets just say that we were both in silent agreement.

its been a wild ride and I'm glad I spent it with you guys.

B.

p.s. cheers to Ted for putting me up for the past week.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005 

thanks for the memories 234 Central Ave

finally moved out of the pad. chapter closed guys. as Ted somberly mentioned whilst driving away from the property at night, rain drizzling, with "Knocking on Heaven's Door" playing on the radio, " you ever realise how sometimes music just comes on and it perfectly fits the situation?" here's a pictorial homage to the place.


IMG_0283
Originally uploaded by boonaroo.




IMG_0284
Originally uploaded by boonaroo.




IMG_0290
Originally uploaded by boonaroo.



*sniff*

B.

(p.s. thanks to Ted, Duane and Brock for the hand in moving. especially the 600 lb church pew)