4 personal grooming to-dos that i wish would fuck off and die

Admittedly I am (way, way, way, way, way, way) far from being the best looking, or most well-groomed person in the world. The least I could be arsed to do is to appear in society draped in some semblance of clothing. Beyond that, I am part of the I-don’t-really-give-a-shit posse. Trust me, it shows.

However some things still need to be taken care of. That is what separates me from the street bums, and much to my mother’s relief, it is still somewhat important to me that I highlight the distinction (damn you, societal pressure!). Mind you, I don’t like doing them, but they are just one of the inevitable to-dos, rinse and repeat. I’d still like to share with you the 4 personal grooming to-dos that I wish would fuck off and die; these are right on top of my most hated list, and I’ll tell you why.

1. All the hair on top of your head
Throughout history there has been a fascination with hair. References and compliments to what people consider to be beautiful hair have been found in poems, songs, books, movies; basically in all communication forms since the usage of papyrus. Don’t get me wrong — I like my hair (except for the greying bits) and I am very happy that I am not going bald. But I also want my cake and eat it too. You see, hair grooming is one of the most tedious things there is to be done. I think I am at a phase — a stage of my life where I know that I want THIS hairstyle for the next few years or so. Not just that; I want it to be the EXACT length and flow as it was after leaving the hair saloon. Hair growth should be criminal. Do you know how expensive it is for a female to go to a hair dresser who will not do a sloppy job of unprofessionally chopping off your hair? Do you know how irritating it is to have your fringe growing back and becoming a nuisance by lingering at your forehead? Fuck you fringe, go back up 1.5 inches where you belong and stay the fuck there. There should be a super duper remote control that dictates the length and shape of your hair for X amount of time. I for one do not mind paying a small fortune for that. It would save me so much trouble, money and emotions. I have other stuff to get emo about. Hair should not be one of them.

2. Those pesky, unnecessary underarm hair
I hate underarm hair, mostly because I live in a country where the weather is hot and humid all year long. Sure, I can spend money on deodorants (which I do, so stfu), but that does not stop the fucking underarm hair from growing, does it? Even French women are shaving these days. Which brings me to another rant; why the fuck is underarm hair considered hideous and unsightly on women, yet men proudly go around shirtless and hairy? All those females picketing for gender equality should first leave their armpit hair unshaved and untampered before preaching their usual sermons. If you can’t do that, then you have no right to yadda yadda about gender inequality, because gender IS unequal. I have no time to debate on fluff such as; when fighting for gender equality, it means work opportunities bla bla bla. Bull. I am right and you know it.

3. Stop growing, you stupid nails!
Nails should be long enough for only two things — washing your hair and digging your nose. I hate trimming my nails. It takes up 15 minutes of my time, and they grow back so fast that you are forced to trim every fortnight or so. That is half an hour every month! Do you know how many 40 winks I could catch in that half an hour? Or various other world domination-related activities I could have accomplished by NOT trimming the damn nails?! If it were up to me, no one should have nails. In lieu of the useless keratin, we would have more flesh instead. Or money. Cold hard cash should grow at the tip of my fingernails. Chronic nail biters and those prone to nail diseases would be so grateful to me. In short, me = great.

4. Would you like that rounded or arched?
Till this day I wonder to whom we have to thank for making eyebrows a grooming statement. It’s eyebrows, for crying out loud — in all purposes of evolution, they are meant to divert sweat and rain from going into your eyes. But nooooooooooooo, some genius just HAS to remove a bit of hair here and there, then proclaim to the world that ‘THIS IS THE PERFECT EYEBROWS, FOLLOW MY LEAD, BITCHES!’. Hmmm. Fuck you. If I knew who the fuck you were, I’d go round your house and execute the bloodiest massacre that would make Don Corleone look like a rookie. If you were already dead, I’d dig up your coffin and set your rotting corpse on fire, extinguish it, repeat x10000. Unfortunately I have absolutely no information at all (lucky you), so I am reduced to scolding a nameless mental image I have on you on the Internet. You fucker, you.

I’m spent.

stroke of genius

It’s the beginning of the new year. Not only it means you making a bunch of resolutions you would never keep (in this lifetime, let alone the following 12 months), you would also end up with calendars of all sorts and sizes. You know, those calendars that you would probably never use, let alone remember you have them until your annual spring cleaning the following year. I don’t hate them, but I wish that people would stop giving me yet another calendar because I would invariably bin it when I get home. My N95 is all the calendar that I need. Sorry.

Nevertheless, I came across a calendar this afternoon that I think is too awesome for words, that I must share it with you. Not only does this gesture reflects my generosity and willingness to share, it also perhaps permeates my sense of humour, which some may find too subtle or even non-existence, in which case I am most sorry to tell you that mayhap you are too thick to get anything. Nonetheless in my endless efforts at world domination, at which point when I am High Empress of All Living Beings, you will be wise to laugh at the most un-humorous one-liners I shall bequeath upon my loyal subjects. In the words of lolcatz, lolz.

Noobs. This was the calendar I chanced upon while clearing my office’s mail box:

Loanshark's calendar - front
Front

What a most useful calendar, listing the various emergency lines, phone numbers of assorted government departments (Bank Negara, Bkt Aman, Customs, EPF, Immigration, Income Tax, JPJ), local authorities (DBKL, MPAJ, MPK, MPPJ, MBSA, MPSJ) and utility companies (Alam Flora, Indah Water, SYABAS, Pos Malaysia, Telekom, Tenaga Malaysia).

And at the back…

Loanshark's calendar - Back
Back

For when you run out of money to pay your phone bill.

I think it’s damn hilarious :D Maybe I’m just weird like that :D Now laugh, damn it! :D

short notes

I saw this ad banner on Technorati last week, and I just had to do a print screen:

Colgate is halal

I’ve never heard of an un-halal toothpaste (you mean they didn’t slaughter the porker BEFORE adding its juice with fluoride into the paste?!) so for a moment I was wondering why Colgate felt the need to declare their halal-ness. Then I thought that maybe there are some e-mails or SMSes flying around claiming that Colgate toothpaste is not halal. And knowing *some* Malaysians who are quick to believe everything they read or come across…

Oh well. Made me laugh for a bit, so it’s all good.

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Last Wednesday was drinkies at The Ceylon Bar, one of my two or three favourite drinking places. I am in two minds over promoting the place, because I’d be gutted if I were there and could not find a place to seat. Just like what almost happened last Wednesday anyway. Luckily Gervais is not a Malaysian, hence arrived on time, and managed to get us the remaining 2 tables there.

Here’s Mr. Tall canoodling with FA‘s wooly sweater, among his other poses. Next time he’ll graduate to giving us the pout.

Ceylon Bar - Mr Tall

And he having a heated argument with FA.

Ceylon Bar - Fireangel and Mr Tall

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Last Friday, we had a group of people for dinner in conjunction with Dabido‘s last night in KL. Since he’s a vegetarian, our dinner was at Jade Garden @ Centrepoint, BU (for selfish reasons on my part), and happily a healthy number of nice people was able to make it. Here’s Dabs with a few of them:

Dabido's last dinner

The food was surprisingly tasty. I am sure KY will blog about it later on.

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Also found out that evening that someone stole my money. Bitch.

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The next morning I was supposed to wake up bright and early to attend the AllMalaysia Bloggers Project gathering at 10 a.m. Unfortunately I could only wake up at 9.30 a.m. hence I arrived at Midvalley Gardens at only 10.15 a.m. (or thereabouts). Again, very unfortunately, I had to leave after an hour to make it for my next appointment (I make it sound like I am a very busy person, but actually I am not). But it was lovely meeting old and new friends, including Sammy who made me blush for a bit. We want more gatherings, aye?

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Over the weekend, I was in Seremban with a couple of people. The only camwhoring I did was at this pub at Era Walk, called Trilogy which IMHO was rather superb, a place you would not have expected in Seremban. I am not making fun of those from or living in Seremban, but you see, I come from a small-but-growing town, and we don’t have anything like that back home.

Suanie with Ringo
Me with Ringo

Suanie with KYspeaks
Me with KY

Suanie with Nicholas
Me with Nicholas

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Then came back to KL on Sunday, had a lovely lunch (as blogged by Tim), got home and found out that Mom cooked hong zhao ji with mee suah which I could not eat because my normally bottomless pit for a stomach could not take in another morsel. Grrr…

A most memorable trip to Chiling Falls, Selangor

A few friends and I decided to go on an outdoor activity sort of thing to level out the unhealthiness in us. From Waterfalls of Malaysia, I decided on Chiling Falls. The site listed its accessibility as ‘moderate’ aka some trekking required not as easy as parking your car right in front of the waterfall. Sounds fun already!

Since I have absolutely no idea how to get to Kuala Kubu Baru/ Ulu Yam/ Selangor Dam (aku orang Johor, ok) or what the trail would be like, I thought it would be wise to get a guide for the trip. Wrote to ‘Happy Yen’, he was available and we decided on a date for the activity.

On the morning of Hari Raya Aidiladha, we got together at a meeting point @ Damansara Jaya, had a light breakfast then headed for our destination. We had an extra person with us; an Ethiopian dude who was in the country for business, bound to leave for home later that day and had wanted to do something ‘different’ on his last day in Malaysia. I guess at some point, tourists in KL do not want to go on endless shopping mall trips.

Yen’s itinerary included a short visit to a Buddhist temple in Rawang where we had an interesting discussion on what is ‘real’ or ‘fake’ Buddhism (if there is such a thing). Then it was off to Kuala Kubu Baru for an early lunch of wantan mee, followed by a visit to the Sungai Selangor Dam.

Chiling Falls, Selangor - 01 - Selangor dam
It was a beautiful day. Quite windy at the dam, very picturesque

We spent about 10 minutes enjoying the breeze, admiring the scenery and taking photographs. Then went on our journey, reached the entrance to Chiling Falls at around 11am. Yen advised us to leave some stuff in our cars (i.e. change of clothes), then our adventure began!

The beginning of the trail to the waterfall was marked by a suspension bridge. After that it was more than an hour’s trekking (for beginners) along a defined but narrow trail. Within the first 15 minutes, the sole of ShaolinTiger’s Reebok came off. Yen was grinning all the way, telling us that he bought his ‘kampung Adidas’ for RM6.99 at Jukebox and how they’d served him well. I wore my Teva slippers (I usually do anyway) was happy with my decision.

Chiling Falls, Selangor - 03 - tricky trail
We plodded along the muddy trail, wrestled with thick jungle growth, yeah!

Yen proved to be an informative guide. While waiting for everyone to catch up, he would point at something interesting and tell us about it. For me I knew certain things already, so his commentary would benefit those foreign to the country, or a particular breed of urbanites who would excitedly point to a goat and exclaim, “eh, kangaroo!” It was a few years ago, he was my ex’s cousin, and boy did he get ribbed that day.

Chiling Falls, Selangor - 04 - Yen the waterfall guide
Yen telling interesting stuff, KY looked on

Since the last time I trekked was more than a decade ago, I had to pay extra attention to the trail as so not to hurt myself (really bad) or fall over (worse). Occasionally we’d stop for a few seconds to take in our surroundings, and we’d be rewarded with scenes like this:

Chiling Falls, Selangor - 05 - bottom part of the river
Bottom part of the river where it’s still shallow

Chiling Falls, Selangor - 06 - should we or shouldn't we
Yen allowing us to catch our breaths

Chiling Falls, Selangor - 07 - Suanie with Fireangel
Me with FA. You can sort of see how fast the water was flowing, judging by the splashing at our feet

Being an unfit sort of person, I kept thinking to myself “this wasn’t what I signed up for”. Don’t get me wrong; it was one of the most enjoyable trips I’ve had in a while but I was expecting something… easier? Yen laughed and said that this was an easy trail for him, but first-timers would do well to engage a guide unless they are old-hands at trekking.

Much later I was telling my bro-in-law about the trip and he scoffed at the idea of a guide, saying that he used to go to Chiling Falls with his friends, crossing the rivers and what-not without guides. Then I told him that at some point, the water level was rather high, there were rapids, and the river was gushing, and… and…

Still, he was not impressed. Bah!

Chiling Falls, Selangor - 08 - trekking the trail
Following the trail

Yen brought safety ropes with him and used them to guide us across the river (5 times each way). Sometimes it was difficult especially when the water was coming down really hard and fast. Sometimes we’d slip a bit, no thanks to the treacherous river rocks. At the 4th crossing, we had to wait around a bit because a fitter looking guide borrowed Yen’s ropes so his group of 17 kids (by kids I mean late teens – early twenties) could cross the river. Heh, it was a case of ‘my guide is better and more prepared than your guide even though your guide looks fitter hence proving the age old adage that physical appearances mean shit’. Later we found out that it was the same group who’d bought some cheap ass shoes for this trip. When the soles came off, they simply did not bother with them; instead they left the damaged shoes all along the trail, which Yen picked up (all of them!) on our way back. I hope they hurt themselves, those irresponsible ass wipes.

Chiling Falls, Selangor - 10 - ShaolinTiger and Kim crossing the river
At an early crossing

Chiling Falls, Selangor - 09 - Suanie crossing the river
Me using the rope to cross the river while Yen looks on, probably laughing to himself at us noobs

After 1+ hour, we reached the main waterfall.

Chiling Falls, Selangor - 11 - the magnificent waterfall
It was rather magnificent, really

There were only 6 other people there, including a group of 3 who brought some beer with them. One of them who was rather inebriated tried to pick up Kim, lol.

There was a small pool before the waterfall with plenty of fish. Yen brought some bread so we could feed the fish, though reading this comment at KY’s blog, it probably wasn’t a good idea. Yen also brought a disposable stove/ burner with him and made us hot drinks with water from the river. Don’t ask, don’t tell, right? Heh. It was lovely anyhow, and quite an unexpected gesture from him.

When KY saw all the equipment that was coming out from Yen’s magic pocket, he jokingly remarked to him, “It would be so perfect if you had a hammock as well…” To which Yen replied, “But I have a hammock!” and proceeded to pull out a rolled-up hammock from his backpack. “I just don’t have a string for it!” Jaws dropped, laughter ensued. Goodness gracious!

Chiling Falls, Selangor - 12 - Suanie with Val
With Val

The water was cold, but I swam for a bit anyway. At one point near the waterfall, I lost my footing because the ground suddenly went deeper. Could have drowned if I didn’t know how to swim. Dangerous, dangerous. Yen later told us that he believes there is a mini cave near the waterfall. A few years ago, a couple of people drowned there — one had accidentally fell off, and a couple others dived in to rescue the first person. Their bodies weren’t found until a couple of days later. Yen said that he once threw a ball into that direction; the ball disappeared for 10 minutes before resurfacing.

There are two other falls just after this one, but Yen said that the trail was closed as it was too dangerous. But this one was more than good enough. Yen’s itinerary included a trip to the Batang Kali Hotspring, but we decided to spend more time at Chiling Falls.

Chiling Falls, Selangor - 13 - a happy group

It was a one-way-in-one-way-out deal. Of course it was more tiring, and during one river crossing, FA’s slippers were swept away. So she had to trek the rest of the way bare-footed. I heard she got bumps and bruises later. Sang songs along the way to take our minds off our lackluster psychical conditions, and finally made it back at around 4 something p.m. We had a good meal at Ulu Yam, then went home.

I had difficulty walking and moving my limbs for the next two days, but it was all worth it :D

If you would like Yen to be your awesome guide to Chiling Falls, you can drop him an e-mail at happyyen [at] gmail [dot] com or call him at +60173697831.

Also blogged: KY

don’t buy me stuff kthx

That came off sounding rather ungrateful, doesn’t it? Well, in my defense, I think it’s a well-intended message on my part to friends or anyone in my life. They should be thankful to me, and I’ll tell you why.

You know how people go on holidays and they come back with trinkets and souvenirs ‘exclusive’ to the countries they’d been? Not only are they all made in China, they serve absolutely no purpose except to assure your loved ones and friends back home that you thought of them while you were out having fun. Or so you assume anyway. Why, thank you for the lovely koala bear key chain; I’ll just put it in my closet along with the 14 other koala bear key chains that I already own.

You see, if you go away for a holiday, I’d want you to thoroughly enjoy yourself without a burden on your shoulders thinking that you are obligated to get me something. If you are there for work purposes, work! Spend whatever extra time you have exploring new places, or holed up in your hotel room emptying the mini bar (hello G). If you think of me once in a while, well it’s nice and I appreciate it. But I am not a shadow constantly whispering to your conscience that I am in need of a souvenir from wherever you are at. If you know me well enough, know that I’d want you to utterly, exhaustively and soundly (how’s that for my Shift+F7 skills?) have fun! Feeling compelled to spend some money on something that I would probably never use (ever) does not sound like fun to me. And if it is not fun to me, I don’t reckon it’s fun for you.

A couple years ago, FA went to Thailand for a few days of sun, sea and sand. She came back with fancy incense kits for some of us. It was pretty, no doubt, but if you think of it, a waste of money. One year later I got fed up with the thing taking up space on my table, so I teared it open and proceeded to lit the incense. It went poof within an hour. When a few of us went to Redang, we felt obliged to get her something. So I got her a colourful paper fan, which I don’t remember if she ever received (since I mostly throw my stuff in various places and proceed to forget about them). But you get what I mean.

When KY went to Myanmar on a working trip, he came back with gifts for us — the first one was a rather heavy golden elephant key chain, and the second one was a jade-ish pendant. When he returned from Japan, we got a cute Japanese paper doll. I love KY, but I also told him off. KY being KY grinned, and I understand that it is in his nature to look out for people. But I think we established that we should no longer give each other souvenirs (FA included) from different countries.

Sure, I love presents. But presents should only be given if you sincerely wish to give, and it should be something special and unique based on what you think the other person would like and appreciate. If you do not think enough of me to get me something, then don’t. I am not going to sulk and cry :) And I don’t want any of you (family members included) to feel any need at all to get me anything unless I specifically asked you to get them. If you still feel beholden to the traditional culture that you should bring something back, buy some chocolates (that are unavailable locally) to share. Or spicy beef jerky from Taiwan. Or Brazil nuts in their kernels. Or macadamia nuts from Australia. Or a cup of sand for KY. Or a hunky male Spaniard. Now, THAT I would appreciate :D

Kthx.

pat & steffi’s farewell party… byes!!

Rather busy today, so here’s a quick update during my lunch hour.

Last Saturday was Patrick and Steffi’s farewell house party. They have been here for a while, and Patrick is going home to Sydney, bringing Steffi with him. Sniffs and sobs all around.

It was lots of alcohol and coke (for me), snacks, mini-performances thanks to Steffi’s gym class, and an elaborate karaoke session. I know I have stated multiple times that I am not one for karaoke, but sometimes you just have to go with the flow.

Pat & Steffi farewell party - group 2
From L-R: Mr. Tall, Adrian, Adele, Sheau Wei, Ester, me, Faeizah, Asish, Vikram, Toon

Pat & Steffi farewell party - collage
Clockwise: Me + Steffi + Ester, me with Patrick, me with Mr. Tall, me with the singing Pinoy

Pat & Steffi farewell party - group
The same faces

Pat & Steffi farewell party - bye
Me with those who are gonna ditch us…

Bye Patrick and Steffi! Come back soon for a visit :)

happiness is…

Credit card statement

Credit card statement close up

Now on to other debts!