Monday, January 22, 2007

Love, Pain & The Whole Crazy Thing

hmmm... how shall I start? I guess the saying 'all good things must come to an end' hold true for me.

It was doomed from the start. It would be totally untrue to say that I didn't know this was coming but I thought it might have taken a different twist. Yes... life is strange. It has a funny way of sneaking up on you when you thing everything's okay and everything's going right. So what next?

I guess listening to some Poison's 'Life Goes On' wouldn't be too bad. Wilson Phillips' 'Hold On' sounds like a very good choice too. But right now, Ace of Base's "Cruel Summer" holds the top notch. At least I still have the Amazing Race Asia and The Amazing Race All-Stars coming up real soon. I know it sounds a lil crappy; but we are allowed to be crappy once in a while. Plus, my favourite serials are back... will be able to get my hands on episode 12 of Tim Kring's 'Heroes' tomorrow.

Yea... I know! I gotta eat some of my words coz Starworld will be broadcasting 'Heroes' premiering 31st Jan... while TV3 is slated to show it somewhere in 2007.

Play with fire... and you'll get burned! OUCH!

The title "Love, Pain & The Whole Crazy Thing" makes reference to the 2006 album by Keith Urban featuring fabulous tracks like 'Once In A Lifetime', 'Shine', 'Stupid Boy' and 'I Told You So' among others. I highly recommend this album to all readers of my blog... this album is, for lack of a better word, BRILLIANT!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Something Good...

... but NOT SPECTACULAR. Yup! I'm talking about the Il Divo Concert I was at recently.

"Greenman in da house"

I invited Momma to this event, but not before meeting up with Styro-girl. Somehow, after our journey crossed path last year, we seem to be unusually closer than any acquaintance. That's besides the point.

"Momma is in da house"

At 7, Momma and I made our way up to the KL Convention Center Level 3 where there was a reception for invited guests and winners of the CIMB Il Divo Contest. It was a very glitzy and posh reception... lotsa clicks, magnificent attires and a breathtaking view of the Twin towers. Most of all, both Momma and I enjoyed the free-flow of finger food and drinks. There were the 'appetizers' first consisting of little breadlings topped with cheese and olives and many other things. Then came the main course of various flavours of chicken drumlets. Finally, we were offered 'dessert' in the form of strawberry and almond chews... Not bad!

The Two Towers... from another perspective.

Best of all, it wasn't like a buffet thingy... we were served. Seriously! The waiters were carrying the food and beverages around the room and politely asking, "Would you like to have some, Sir?" We didn't have to go to the food... THE FOOD CAME TO US! he he he... feels good to experience that for the 1st time.

Anyway, I was talking to one of them strangers. Me asked: "Are you one of them winners?" The well-dressed man and his companion said "NO... we are invited guests; big clients of the bank and they invited us for the show along with all the others." Suddenly, I begin seeing the logic. There is definitely truth in the saying "The rich will only get richer, the poor will only get poorer". While ordinary people have to fork out a lot to watch their favourite group perform, the rich do not have to spend a single dime (even though that is something they can definitely afford). Such a disparity is getting more common in Malaysia these days. In pursuit of money, many forget about those who get left behind and cannot catch up. Mind you... a pair of tix costs at least RM 500... the one I won was RM 1,000 per piece. Even fans of this group would be foolish to purchase such a price.

Il Divo in action... click on the pix for a clearer picture!

The concert started about 30 minutes late even tho everyone was already seated by 8.30 pm. Even the Agung & Permaisuri and the Sultan of Perak & Permaisuri was already in attendance. So when the lights went out, the orchestra started playing and the quartet started belching out their numbers, everyone was excitingly clapping their hands. Most of the songs performed were from their new album 'Siempre' and a few from their previous records. Like every concert that I have attended, this one also had what I called a "pseudo-end". The concert apparently ended with Il Divo doing a rendition of Frank Sinatra's "My Way"... then bid goodbye to the audience. The musicians however, didn't move an inch. And the audience started to chant "We want more!". Even Momma quipped to me that she wanted more. Predictably, the boys came back on stage to perform 2 more numbers, their version of Toni Braxton's "Unbreak My Heart" and then "Somewhere" during which the audience from the front rows were all over showering the boys with gifts, roses and leis.

Plenary Hall Stage
At the end of the day, these are the conclusions that I have drawn. The boys that make up Il Divo are actually talented and they have very good voices... but their showmanship still isn't comparable to that of the 3 Tenors or Sarah Brightman for that matter. It was good but wasn't that spectacular. One more thing... and I feel strongly about this. All good concerts should be held at the Plenary Hall of the KL Convention Center! The sound system, setup, design and ambience is nothing short of amazing.

The title "Something Good" refers to the 1992 dance hit by Utah Saints from their self-titled debut album.

Friday, January 12, 2007

A Night To Remember

I received them tickets yesterday. And judging by how exquisite the whole packing was, I have a hunch it is going to be a glitzy affair. I'm NOT sure if I will be blown away though... that remains to be seen. I mean I have NO DOUBT Sarah Brightman or Adrea Bocelli can BLOW ME AWAY COMPLETELY... but Il Divo? hmmm... Guess we'll have to wait and see. However, what I am certain is this will definitely be a night to remember.

Here's why... the ticket I won apparently costs a freaking RM 1,000 a piece. I mean, that's not what an average Malaysian would want to fork out to watch a bunch of hunks performing some arias. Besides, the dress code for the night is smart casual; faded / torn jeans, round neck tees, shorts, sports attire and slippers are strictly prohibited. Oh! One more thing... "latecomers will NOT be admitted into the auditorium until a suitable break in the performance."

Front view of the Il Divo Concert Tickets & its envelope

Back view of the Il Divo Concert Tickets & its envelope

Additional insert / Invitation

So I guess it is set. I'll be heading to KL on 16-Jan-2007 (Tue) for this concert at the Plenary Hall of the KL Convention Center. By the way, Momma! You know what to do... dun be late and I'll see you at this prestigious event! And if any of you CIMB people happens to stumble accross my blog; a BIG THANK YOU to all of you who gave me this opportunity. ;)

"A Night To Remember" was a very popular song by Shalamar way back in 1982 from their highly successful album "Friends". This song has been re-recorded by many artistes over the years including British boyband 911 in 1996 and British pop-group Liberty X in 2006. Even Cyndi Lauper had a different song with the same title in 1989 from her own album "A Night To Remember".

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Mama Said Knock You Out!

This is the part of the Amazing Race Asia that I have been waiting for... and the day has finally arrived. Let me say this loudly:


Here are the golden moments that led to their elimination, finally!

Starting 1st at Kolay Market, Kolkata

... on the way to Delhi... sidelined and alienated

SanFran putting LA to a stop... at least for a moment

yielded!... @ the Red Fort, Delhi


Laura's childish moment...

... and Andy's turn to be immature!

Andy the Ass-"whole" and his sidekick, Donkey.

Laura, playing with cow dung

desperately seeking taxis... even the taxis are avoiding them... lol!

Andy & Laura in "Last Place" and getting eliminated @ Jain Mandir Dada Bari

Here are a few quotes to celebrate the occasion:
  • you reap what you sow
  • what goes round, comes back around
  • You Asked For It!

"Mama Said Knock You Out" was a 1991 hit for LL Cool J from his 1990 album with the same title. I had reserved this title specially for Andy & Laura's elimination! This is an occasion to be remembered!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I Should Be So Lucky!

I guess good things and good news comes in droves. Yesterday was quite an eventful day!

1st I got a mailer from AirAsia saying that they'll be giving away 1,000,000 free seats. So I tried very hard and finally... it is confirmed; I'm going backpacking in MACAU and HONG KONG! (blossom_stoned, I think that answers your Q).

2ndly, I received a phone call from a CIMB Bank personnel. He said I won a pair of tickets to go watch Il Divo perform in KL. The location and date is still sketchy but I guess I'll know when the tix arrives in my hand; which should be tomorrow probably. I'm bringing one of my frens along... and she was screaming with excitement.

Last but not least, an sms came in at around 8.30 p.m. Apparently, I have just become an Uncle for the 3rd time! My younger brother Norman and his wife just had a new addition to their family. Baby Fion, born 9-Jan-2007 at 5.50 p.m. Both mother and daughter are in a safe and healthy condition!

Yes! I should be so lucky. Just when you think life is getting a bit dull and preordained... unexpected and exciting things happen!

"I Should Be So Lucky" is a hit by Kylie Minogue that was released in December 1987 from her debut studio album entitled 'Kylie'. The song was written and produced by famous English songwriters Stock, Aitken & Waterman.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Happy Dent Advertisement - simply hilarious!

A hilarious advert... we have so many lame and uninspiring ads on Malaysian TV; of course we have many good ones but also a huge chunk of very lousy one. More of this would be good!

Anyway, this ad has probably been flying all over the net for quite some time now. I thought I might as well post it here to put some smile on the faces of people reading my blog. Hopefully, a smile to last all year round.

Friday, January 05, 2007

What You Waiting For?

Leg number 9 of the Amazing Race Asia sees these guys going to India. I love watching Indian legs of the race... I hope to travel there one day. In the Amazing Race 10, the Indian Driving School Instructor was hilarious. He said something along these lines, "If you see cows on the road, honk honk! If you see children on your road, honk honk! If you see women on the road, honk honk!" while using an old manual honker.

This time however, these guys have to endure shoe-shining the Indians' shoes with feet still in it; gobble up lotsa Bengali food (must be a breeze for Mardy & Marsio, I think) and count betelnuts OR carry and balance milk on the head. It seems everyone had a hard time eating except Joe Jer; and with that they managed to pull themselves forward just a few notches ahead. Oh... and Andrew burped on TV watched by millions! EEEEWWWEEE!

"Imagine Christina Aguilera singing ... at the shoe-shine... woohh woohh woohh, starring Laura Kurk"

"SYEON's SHOE SHINE CENTER; sounds nice! Maybe that's what they can venture if they fail to win this race."

"That's the way to do it, Joe Jer! Shovel it all in!"

Anyway, altho I support Andrew & Syeon (& hope that they were the ones who won), I can't help feeling that it is quite farfetched for them. No doubt u need to decide carefully which 'Detour' to perform but, they have time and time again shown how indecisive they are. Even 30 seconds can be very costly. (They were the 1st to have found the clue to the 'Detour' rummaging thru sari-s, but not the first to leave for the 'Detour'). They need to stop hesitating or they r gonna fall behind.

Andrew: "I need 30 seconds to decide!"

Unfortunately, this was a two part Leg... so who will be eliminated next? Guess we'll find out soon! (I'm chanting Andy & Laura, Andy & Laura, Andy & Laura! tho I think the possibility at this point of the race is still quite remote.) Wait a minute! Didn't they steal Sandy & Francesca's taxi after rummaging thru the sari-s? Let's just hope there will be a penalty for that which will eventually cause them to be eliminated!

The title "What You Waiting For?" is Gwen Stefani's first single from her very successful debut solo album "Love.Angel.Music.Baby." back in 2004, away from her band No Doubt.