Monthly Archives: October 2007

Of Fairytale weddings & bloopers………

When Fat Dragon and I were on the way to a Chinese wedding dinner last Saturday…I said, “You know, I never craved to wear a bridal gown, never yearned for a fairytale wedding…..am I weird?”. He answered, “No, just ECCENTRIC.” Ahahahahahh – Well…that makes two of us, Fat Dragon!

I never regretted our decision 15 years ago for a very simple civil wedding with lunch after for family & very close friends only in KL. We had a 3 table dinner for Fat Dragon’s family at a later date in Seremban. The highlight was our Langkawi-Penang-Cameron Highlands honeymoon.  Simplicity was the order of the day.

The dinner last weekend was a textbook case of why we preferred a more personal affair…….…….

1. “Strangers in the night, exchanging glances….” the tune kept ringing out in our heads and should have been made the theme song for the newly weds that night during the dinner. Out of the 50 tables of guests consisting of family and friends, its not hard to guess that they were mostly the mum & dad’s friends. Most people there were elderly people. (Heard that even the school bus driver & wine seller was invited. Hmmph…wonder if the wine seller was there to sample the fruits of his labour for free…coz he sure was piss drunk later – as in TKO – he had to be lifted to his car…..). 

2. The “Dad” was so excited that he started making his private rounds from the beginning. Oooh…bad mistake. Now what happens when ”Dad” is too tipsy to accompany the dearly beloved kids for the Yam Seng session? ……Well,  time to tune in to “Strangers in the night, …..” again, folks.

3. If you can afford a 50 table dinner in a community hall, you darn well make sure you can afford a wedding coordinator too. DIY is for civil weddings, not mammoth affairs like these, full stop. In this case, DIY ruled. Tables were not numbered. People just sat wherever they liked…Peer groups were split. Stragglers had to hunt for empty slots here and there. Guests probably did not RSVP too, quite a number brought children – causing guest overruns……..sigh…. mini disaster in the making. 

4. If you have a 50 table dinner, for goodness sake get a Best Man who can drink like a fish to represent you. Don’t be a HERO! Heck…..you wanna risk having alcohol poisoning by the end of the Yam Seng session? You want your wedding night ruined? Well…..  the Groom was a pretty sight at the end of the night – tomato red, and holding an ice pack over his forehead! He seemed to have spilled water on his coat so yours truly graciously asked him to take it off and offered to hold on to it for him. I found out later that it was wet with “Dad”’s PUKE …….. YIKES! Double Yikes. Thank goodness for the absence of solid matter. Maybe it was just all alcohol. Wishful thinking. 

5. DON’T even ask how the wedding night for the lovebirds went.      

6. Bands are always welcome but please make sure it comes with a professional singer. Ban Teresa Teng and Lui Fong wannabes. Why? Oh! Why is it that people always find extra courage to go up and sing during occasions like that…..sigh??!!! Be ready to choke on your sharksfin soup when a 50 year ol’ crooner whose hair shines like an oil slick, belts out ‘Yi Duo Hua” for your listening pleasure! …..(Hey you guys take requests???…. – I want “Strangers in the night…………”)

Talk about fairy tale gone bad, whether the couple was filled with wedded bliss that night is a million dollar question but hey…….who’s complaining….there’s always TOMORROW yah?

Just an after thought, wonder if ‘Groom’ & ‘Bride’ will be game to relive this experience 20 to 30 years down the road when THEIR children get married….. Wouldn’t be surprised if the answer is YeS!  Hey – Payback time! Do unto your children, what was done unto you! 🙂

p.s. Hey, gonna be a Best Man anytime soon? The latest tip we heard on how to prevent yourself from getting drunk (too quickly) is to eat loads of chocolate and drink loads of milk. Apparently it helps coat your stomach and slows down the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream. Disclaimer: Although the someone we know swears it works but….do stay away from any Groom’s coat, just in case!

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Sleep Apnea…..zzzzz

Snoring. It sounds like a whistle, or a grunt, or a roar sometimes & one of the worst cases I heard produced enough decibels to compete with a revved up motorcycle…..I promise I read it somewhere…….and snoring is one of the symptoms of sleep apnea.

We caught up with a old Filipino friend who now resides in Vancouver….and he looked so very fit….he has probably dropped about 40 lbs & he looked youthful in his jeans and tight (obviously he can afford to wear it now) T-shirt. What caused this new look? Sleep apnea. I kid you not.

It started out with a trip to the doctor’s for a high blood pressure problem.  He was then referred to a doctor specialising in sleep disorders to help understand the physiology behind his ailment i.e. how his body came to develop the high blood problem.  True enough he was diagnosed with sleep apnea and this was caused by his weight problem. 

Let me give you a layman’s explanation. You see, the excess fats in the throat  become relaxed when you sleep thereby narrowing and sometimes constricting your breathing passage. So this causes snoring. For severe cases, the breathing function is compromised as the oxygen intake is not enough and what does the body do? The heart pumps faster to compensate for this and this can lead to another ailment, high blood pressure.

So the solution…… lose weight.

Well the problem was, our friend was already laying off pork, laying off red meats ….. eating mostly fish and vegetables….ahhhh….but he had not laid off his simple carbohydrates bread, rice and noodles.  Apparently that did the trick and ouila….he is a ‘hunk’ now. …..with lower blood pressure of course…..(In all fairness, it is rather difficult for Asians to exclude rice, noodles etc from our diet what with wantan mee’s, har mee, pan mee, chicken rice etc….of which carbohydrates form the bigger chunk of the meal….sigh….but if it helps, it proves to be an effective weight loss method in this particular case)

How to know you have sleep apnea? 

1. Do you snore?

2. Do you stop breathing momentarily, choke or gasp when you sleep? (Get someone to monitor your breathing when you sleep?)

3. Do you always feel sleepy and doze off in the afternoons even after a good night’s sleep?

4. Do you suffer from high blood pressure along with all the above?

Well…if you have answered YES to all the above, you probably might have sleep apnea and time to pay the SLEEP DOCTOR a visit….that is if you can find one in Malaysia!!!!!

p.s. Don’t worry, apparently up to 90% of people suffer from sleep apnea without even knowing it.   

DVD Orgy………..

Panda

Fat Dragon and I sported the last of our Panda look last weekend….. The reason being, no more late nights….we finally finished the last episode of the 2 seasons of the Prison Break series which comprised of 4 DVD’s, 12 episodes each disc which lasted about 45 mins each…….  

Trust me, if you plan to watch a TV series like Prison Break…be prepared for long hours…and if possible get the DVD, or get it downloaded. It’s filled with cliff-hangers….and believe me it’d be frustrating to have to catch weekly episodes on cable or TV….its just too tiresome and for sure the momentum cast at the end of each episode would be lost….. 

We took a total of 5 sittings which worked out to an average 8 – 9 episodes each sitting…. and we normally started viewing around 10pm or 11pm at night….. the latest we slept at one sitting was 5.30 am in the morn … another about 4.30 am……Can’t help it…you tell yourself…OK…last one….then it hits you with a cliff hanger and then you con yourself….OK let’s watch another episode…just the beginning and then you’re hooked through the whole episode and the vicious cycle continues….. Warning: Do not use this as a means of testing your self discipline…

Love the FIRST season….the plot, Michael Scofield (played by Wentworth Miller) a Magna Cum Laude scholar and structural engineer for a reputable firm robs a bank and gets jailed. Why would a successful professional do that? To help his brother Linc Burrows (Dominic Purcell)  breakout of jail. Both know that the older brother has been framed for the murder of the US Vice President’s brother. The plot is two prong….there is a conspiracy by ‘The Company’ whose influences go to the highest level to frame the brothers and the prison breakout. The intrigue lays in the unfolding of the body tattoo on Michael’s body which holds the key to the breakout, it being the blue print for prison grounds. This blue print was made available as the company that employed Michael was responsible for the refurbishment of the prison site. How convenient!     

One might be tempted to think back of prison scenes from the Hong Kong’s TVB series Man in the Net  starring Chow Yuen Fatt in the 80’s..(I always remember this scene where ‘Ching Wai’ played by Chow is forced to eat this gunk from a bowl like a dog…) …

Well, DON’T. It’s got none of the soppiness and the protagonists hold their own and eventually succeed in breaking out of the Fox River prison. It even gets you rooting for the ‘bad’ guys sometimes, knowing that they’re instrumental in the success of the prison break.  

Which is why the ending for the first season is such a shocker. They BROKE OUT! This causes the second season to lose a bit of its intrigue given that the central theme of the series was lost….after all it is named Prison Break…and so thereafter, what happens????  The plot gets loose as it traces how each of the escaped convicts try to elude the authorities especially the formidale FBI agent Alex Mahone. Some go after a USD5m loot and the season ends with Michael’s incarceration into Sona, a prison in Panama and Linc’s exoneration with the confessions of secret service agent Peter who was instrumental in doctoring a video of Linc killing the VP’s brother. 

The MAGIC is lost in Season 2…. The intensity of the brothers mingling amidst a colourful mix of hard core criminals and two bit criminals jailed for the pettiest of crimes, was lost. Some of the memorable characters were a mob leader Fibonaci, a charismatic rapist murderer  T-Bag (a fan favorite), a misdirected Puerto Rican called Sucre who commits robbery with an unloaded gun to buy a ring for his lover Maricruz.  The tension and finger biting moments when the cons have to elude the sadistic and corrupt C.O. Bellick and a prison warden called POPE (the name says it all), is also missing.  How could the show maintain the electricity of season 1….? There was no way…. but that’s just season 2.

Season 3. Shown in the US already but I haven’t watched it. DVD’s not out yet …… :-).

In season 3,  Michael is imprisoned in Sona, a Panama prison where anarchy rules. The tables are turned and Linc is the one plotting to help his brother get out. No blue prints this time round. (Besides no more skin left in Michael’s body to act as canvas). But Bellick’s in jail with him. So is T-Bag. ….and last but not the FBI agent Alex Mahone. The plot thickens. 

But, ratings are down and I heard the third season kills off a major female character Tancredi, the prison doctor who helped with the escape and who is Michael Scofield’s love interest…. she is apparently beheaded by a member of ‘The Company’ and her head delivered to Michael in the Sona prison. 

Well one would like to think this move was an attempt to increase ratings but ummm…NO…..  apparently it was sparked off by a contract dispute between the actress and Fox TV…….

Fans are angry and there is word of a spin-off to garner lost audience……PRISON  BREAK for GIRLS  is tipped to introduce a female character very much like Michael Scofield… intelligent and armed with info against ‘The Company’. Needless to say she ends up in jail…..and dying to break out…….. nope her name will not be Michelle…..it will be MOLLY!

Will the spin off be successful???….Well let’s just wait and see if you see another blog about sleepless nights & DVD orgies….  

Who’ll have the last laugh indeed!

Way back in March 1997 we said our goodbyes to Manila, Phils which was our home for 2 1/2 years ……. it was a moment of mixed feelings as we were leaving behind a bunch of great friends, a fun city with loaded with excitement, great pastries & cakes and  MEGAMALLS …… But we were really happy to leave the traffic jam and flash floods behind…. always secretly proud that KL folk never had to suffer through these inconveniences ……or so we thought!!!

Well, its 2007 now. Last Sunday as Fat Dragon drove at top speed in the torrential rains to help me make my 2.20pm dental appointment in PJ State (Yup….believe it or not the dentist was working during the Raya hols…Bless the Man as my tooth was killing me….), our progress stopped short in front of PJ Hilton as the road disappeared and a ‘river’ appeared in front of us….. most cars stopped but desperation overcame us and we decided to test our Perdana’s boating skills….. (hey James Bond does it right? His cars almost ALWAYS double up as cars and boats) ….. Our beloved vehicle rose to the occasion and waded right through the wheel high water & we were exhilirated coz I managed to make the appointment only 10 minutes late……. phew… but the venture yielded casualties to the car after all ….. i.e. a missing number plate & a faulty locking system for the doors as the said items were subjected to an involuntary bath that day….. 

Jun’s story comes to mind…. it was 5 am…. he was fast asleep and his whole bed seemed to be floating and his arm was half submerged in water….. Hey, was it a dream? NO. Was it a nightmare? NO. It was happening REAL TIME time, man. He woke up in the middle of a flash flood in his very own home.

Well this story happened in Pasig, Philippines but it could very well happen to anyone in low lying areas in KL nowadays….especially in Tmn TTDI Jaya, Shah Alam etc… YES….. flash floods has also become a common occurence in KL …….  Not to mention traffic jams….. it only takes ONE car broken down in the MRR2 and chances are you can be stuck in the car up to 2 hours (during peak hours) to clear that stretch…..

In our country’s bid to achieve a developed nation status … it begs the question…… Have we also regressed in some ways? Wonder who has the last laugh now….sigh!  

P.S. … in case of you need to set dental appointments for Sundays… try Lim Dental Surgery Sdn Bhd…. contact no. 03-79569100. 79569443. Be warned though, endodontists like Dr. Bernard Au are so popular that you need to set appointments way ahead of time ….. (in my case 1  1/2 weeks….)

Of Space Participants and Space Tourists……

10th October. At exactly 9.23pm (Malaysian time), the Soyuz-FG rocket launcher blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan…… and in that flight contained our very own Dr. Sheikh Muzhaphar Shukor.

Well, the event has its fair share of controversy but what interests me is this particular one…….What role does Dr. Sheikh  play in the flight….. Astronaut, Cosmonaut, Space Participant….Space Tourist?????????

FACT IS, HE IS THE FIRST MALAYSIAN IN SPACE be it as a space participant, space tourist, astronaut, cosmonaut. We cannot deny him that! I however agree that use of the latter two definitions has a ring of pomposity and arrogance to it………. Forgive my ignorance but according to my layman understanding…..don’t astronauts need to have flight knowledge, don’t they need years of training and education, etc? So yeah,.. …you form your own conclusions from there.

But hey, …………….Check out the definitions below.  According to  Wikijunior Solar System and tooter4kids……..perhaps Dr. Sheikh CAN be termed an ASTRONAUT after all…..(don’t worry – its not only the kids that say so)….. even Macmillan agrees although it is under the  grade 3 glossary notwithstanding… -)

Definitions of ‘ASTRONAUT’ on the Web: