Friday, August 04, 2006

The Shadow.

It was a friggin cold and windy winter morning. I was walking from the train station to the office with the cold wind blowing against me. My nuts were shrinking fast. Pretty soon, my face was starting to feel numb and I started to shiver. So, I decided to tail this guy about half an arm's length back so that he would act as a wind shield. I honestly didn't realise that I was that close to him but I guess I was too distracted in trying to get out of the chilly wind gusts.

After about a block, I was still behind him as we crossed a set of traffic lights and made a left turn. I was starting to feel fortunate that he was going in my direction when I noticed that he kept turning to his side. I soon realised that he was doing this to check if I was still there with his peripheral vision. He must have sensed that I was there for a while and I could see him trying to stretch his eyeballs at my direction to get a good look at me instead of turning his torso. About another half a block in, I was still shadowing him but he started to slow down, and because he was such a good shield, I didn't realise that I had slowed with him.

He must have been really nervous because after tailing him for nearly 2 blocks, he came to a complete stop and started to turn around. As he was turning, I could see him trying to bring out the words he wanted to say to me but I had already started to make my way towards the revolving door of my building. From my peripheral vision, I could make out that he was just standing there looking at me dumbfounded with his mouth opened. I resisted laughing when I realised what I'd done and how freaky it would have been if I was in his shoes. I can't believe how impeccable the timing was. Just when he had had enough and wanted to confront me, I was at my destination and moving away from him before he could even finish turning around.

The Shadow lives to strike another cold and windy winter day...

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

‘Hon, does my butt look big in these jeans?’

‘Hon, does my butt look big in these jeans?’

I was ambushed. Nowhere to hide, too late to run.

On a normal day, the mere thought of loitering from store to store for hours trying to look interested is scary enough, but doing that when a sale is on is fucking insane! Ever seen those poor saps with faceless expressions outside a women’s store while their partners are probably enjoying their 2nd hour in the same shop trying to decide whether to buy a white tee or a black one?

I reckon the judicial system should incorporate shopping with a woman as a community service sentence. In most cases, the man is tortured mentally, physically and financially. I say physically because when it comes to shopping, you can never out-walk a woman even if they’re wearing heels. They should really document this phenomenon in Ripley’s Believe It or Not.

When I was out there, joining the chorus line of brain dead men wishing that they could somehow conjure an out-of-body experience and be at a beach or a pub somewhere, I almost felt compelled to ask them, ‘So, what are you in for?’ but I think they’re probably so spaced out that if I kicked them in the nuts, it’ll take them 30 minutes to register the pain and another hour to come up with a spontaneous reaction.

The things we do for love.

I got restless and couldn’t wait any longer so I made my way through the war zone to find the woman that put me in this inhumane and torturous situation. When I found her in front of a mirror jostling for position like Shaq, she dropped that bomb of a question on me. I felt as if, the whole store suddenly fell silent and all eyes were on me for a response. Basically, balls shrinking stuff!

Why can’t women understand that men are simple creatures? If any of my male friends or colleagues were to ask me if they looked fat while grabbing a fist full of flab around their stomach, I’d agree in a heartbeat and mocking them for at least a month would be a prerequisite if we were to stay friends. However, with women, it’s different. When they ask a man for an opinion on their physical appearance, they basically want you to lie your ass off and be condemned to hell for all eternity.

It’s almost as if the bigger the lie, the more believable it is to them. Ever seen those grannies in their 60s walking around a shopping centre with permed red hair, make- up that could provide a serious smokescreen if they were slapped and wardrobe that made you think Gianni Versace’s alive and designing again? Heck! They’re probably wearing a g-string underneath all that. (FUCK! I visualized!). Anyway, when a bunch of these beasts have a gathering, you could be forgiven for getting your kids’ hopes up by telling them Cirque du Soleil is in town. Why do you think they dress this way? It’s all their husbands’ fault. Instead of saying, ‘For fuck’s sake, you look like Mimi from The Drew Carey Show!’ when they had a chance, they chose to lie. Each lie compounds itself to make a woman more bold with each appearance. Those beasts don't just happen overnight you know? It takes years of encouragement and compliments from men to concoct such a potent blend of courage and delusion.

You think we should be more sensitive to their feelings? HELLO?!! If women can pour hot wax on their pubes and fucking yank them out by the roots, I’d say they’re tougher and more sadistic than us don’t you think? Besides, having a woman walk out like that should be a crime. They freak the kids into inducing nightmares, put mental images into guys that cause them to turn gay, or never marrying or having a relationship, therefore reducing the birth rate and population of the country.

So, tell them what you really think.* Do it for your country!

‘No, it looks great. Did you lose weight?’, I responded.

What? You think I have a death wish or something? I was surrounded by a bunch of crazy women high on massive discounts on clothes and had no cyanide pill to make the pain easier to bear. What's a guy suppose to do?

*Due to the high risk of not having your reproductive organ ever functioning again, it is ideal that you have at least 2 litres of the little torpedos stored in a sperm bank before doing this.

Friday, July 28, 2006

WTF #1

It has been a while since I've had to buy a textbook. Little did I know that these days, walking into a bookshop is like walking into a high-fashion boutique like Prada or LV. At least, when I go into these places, I am prepared to be shocked by the prices that are as long as the numbers at the bottom of their barcode. Maybe even crack a wise joke on why they insist on using the rupiah as currency. But never in my life did I think my friggin' textbook would cost $160! That's like RM$450! A whole month's wage for some people. Man! Screw wearing designer outfits to show off. Next time, just carry a few textbooks.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Well, lecture 1 is in the bag.

It was a pretty good lecture. The pace was manageable and the environment was, well, cold at first but it was not because it’s the middle of winter. It was more to do with the bunch of stone faced lawyers in the class coming straight from work with their power suits still dripping with blood from the day’s toil. There weren’t many full-time students seeing that the course is pretty much catered for the working crowd but I certainly didn’t expect so many lawyers.

The lecturer was a bubbly young lady probably in her early thirties. I shall call her Berlei seeing that she kept adjusting her bra strap every few minutes. Berlei kept it light with her bad jokes but it certainly bought a few laughs for being so lame. I hope the other lecturer that we’re having for the second half of the semester is as cool.

There weren’t any chicks that made me do a double-take from scanning the room so I tried to refocus and lowered my standards a notch or two. Heck! I think I must’ve lowered it so much that it sunk to Hugh Grant’s Divine Brown standard. There were a couple of knockouts (bear in mind we’re talking about a whole new standard here). There was this Asian chick which looked alright considering that I could only see her side profile (I was referring to the face) and there was this tall and slim brunette. I think she’s either from South Africa or Eastern Europe. Maybe even Germany judging from the language she was speaking in. I can’t really tell what language it was but it involved a lot of hawking (Achtung baby!). She has a nice face but a really crooked neck… like a vulture.

As predicted the nerds were at the front row. Their textbooks were out and already tagged. There was this dude, probably in his mid-thirties, with gold rimmed glasses, scruffy hair and a really red complexion like he’s about to explode. There was no mistake that he was the king nerd (Urkel). Urkel stopped Berlei explaining the definition of ‘capital’ and ‘income’ to give us the story of the ‘tree’ and the ‘fruit’. I will never look at the words ‘capital’ and ‘income’ the same again. I guess he must have warmed up after this because he was murmuring answers whenever a question was asked. This guy could be the source of entertainment with the lack of hotties around. Who knows, there might be more stories forthcoming and I might actually learn something.

I think I’m gonna’ be just fine.

Monday, July 24, 2006

School's in!

Dangit! First lecture tonight and I'm already dreading it.

I remember the whole study and work routine which I had to endure years ago. I don't know how I did it the last time but it seems like it's getting harder to find the motivation to get back into the groove.

Lecture 1 is usually a reconnaissance mission. I would normally skip this but I think being out of the game for so long, it's important to get a feel for the class or at least to establish a position in the lecture theatre. The players to take into account are:

1) The lecturer
2) The nerds
3) The hotties

The lecturer should be in top form tonight seeing that we're a new bunch and should show a more human side as we all get a feel for each other. Who knows? Maybe at the end of the semester, some of us might actually need to 'feel' him/her to get a few marks on our papers. I have had my fair share of zombie lecturers in the past where they would write on the white board or talk into the projector screen as soon as they come into class while we scribble frantically into our notebooks (looking back at some of my notes, I think it can pass as Arabic). Some smartasses actually bring tape recorders in at the beginning of class and come back at the end to collect them. With lectures like this, I find that there is no time to process a thought let alone ask questions so, I need to cut out the fat and scout for the work horses/nerds.

They are usually the ones sitting at the front row with their super duper fantastico calculators, multi-coloured highlighters lined neatly on the bench, text books that are already tagged for the first 3 lectures and crowds the lecturer like a groupie at a concert after every lecture. These are the ones that you can rely on for the most concise notes. Plus, they're generally pretty cool and easy to get along with. Just ask a lot of questions.

Then there are the hotties. The hotties serve 2 functions for a man like me. With a license (more like a probationary pass) to perv only, they are a source of motivation to attend the otherwise boring sessions by zombie lecturers or to keep me awake during the lectures. It's good training for the eyes too. A game where I try not to get into any weird eye contacts with the target.

Then comes the positioning of my royal ass. You see, it's important not to be in the front row. Not because the nerds are there but it's rude and difficult to make a getaway if I need to split mid-lecture if it gets too boring. Being way down the back means I would be squinting my eyes half the time which could affect my relationship with the hotties seeing that it throws the whole cool look that I will be trying to establish. So, I shall see y'all within diving distance from the exit.

It's game time...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Officially yours.

I was talking to a mate of mine recently about his progress on this girl that he fancies. He reckons that they might be an item but when it comes to relationships and paktology (slang) you either are or you aren’t. It’s like asking someone if they’re a virgin. There’s no maybe but apparently a lot of girls I know claim that they would be if it wasn’t for the darn bicycle seat or gymnastic lessons when they were young. Hmmm…

Anyway, when is a girl officially your girlfriend? When you hold her hand and she doesn’t flinch? When you kiss her and she doesn’t give you a high-five right across the cheeks and crack your balls with her knees? Maybe it’s when you put your arm around her at the movies and she doesn’t look across at you and go, ‘DA FUCK ARE YOU DOING?!’ with kuaci flying out of her mouth and right in your face.

With me, I’ve always liked confirmations or a definitive answer. That way you don’t have to second guess things all the time. When I was a teenager many moons ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I remember having crushes on a few girls (not at the same time la!) and dropping hints here and there but nothing really serious eventuated because either my hints weren’t obvious enough or the girls were about as smart as inventing a helicopter with ejector seats. Of course, they could be avoiding the obvious but nobody asked for your opinion smart ass! Now where was I? So, thinking back to my love life, after going out with my girl for a while and the time was right to make the move, I finally mustered up the courage to say, ‘Will you be my girl?’. I was expecting a response along the lines of, ‘You had me at hello’, like Renee Zellweger’s character in Jerry McGuire. That would be the ideal scenario but of course, I ain’t Tom Cruise. So being just your regular Brad Pitt look-alike, what happened next will be etched in my mind forever. She laughed like a crazy hyena and said, ‘What are you? A dweeb?!’. Anyway, this dweeb could proudly say he’s got a girlfriend. A done deal. That's why I wonder, how else does one do it? What if a night of passion is just a one night stand and nothing serious? What if a kiss is just a kiss and nothing more? How else can you get confirmation if you don’t ask or talk about it? If one asks? Can the question be done romantically?

Speaking to a number of friends, a lot of them can’t recall the exact moment when they could officially be deemed a couple. A few said that it just happened because after going out on a few dates, it was a natural progression. Maybe that’s the female version. The guy’s version would probably go like this - got to third base and was still safe. Called back the next day. Batter up! Okay, okay. That might be a little crude but I think if a guy does not make a move within a certain period of time, the risk of running into ‘the friendship zone’ is very real, a real bummer that is. I’ve seen this happen to one of my dearest buddies and it wasn’t pretty. The girl is now married and he is left thinking of what might have been. He’s still the perfect gentleman after what he has been through. Did I mention that he’s still single? So, if anyone is interested in a hookup, holla’. Sex is optional. You initiate. Perfect isn’t it? Females only please. Males will have to wait a little longer. He’s not desperate enough yet. I’d say give it another year.

I digressed. Where was I? I know there’s a point to be made here somewhere. Ahhhh, fuck it. Lost is starting soon so this entry has no ending or point to it. Kind of like Lost, which is really starting to get on my nerves.

Monday, July 17, 2006



There are times in every person’s life where an event can have an impact great enough to set off a chain reaction that shapes part of who we are and why we do some of the things that we do. I’ve nailed down one of those events in my life.

June 11, 1989.

The world recognised. I recognised.

A teenager by the name of Michael Chang became the youngest Grand Slam champion the tennis world has ever seen. Standing at 5 feet 9 inches and having been on this earth for only 17 years and 3 months, he battled against the heavyweights of the game and against all odds, came out on top. Some might call it a fluke but after beating cramps and Ivan Lendl in a marathon 5 setter in the semis, and then Stefan Edberg in the finals, those that witnessed these two incredible matches knew that it was no fluke. I was in awe. Mesmerized by what he had accomplished. Like so many kids around the world that day, I wanted to be like Mike.

I wanted the same shirt that he wore, the same shoes and even the socks. I even had the exact racquet he endorsed later in life. I wasn’t alone in this. Going to tennis coaching in the afternoons, plenty of other kids were decked out in the exact gear. We fell for the marketing hook, line and sinker but hey, we were impressionable kids then. No harm being a dreamer (and a poser). It didn’t matter that we couldn’t hit the ball for peanuts but at least we looked good. I can’t help but think that this was where the seeds were sown.


The beginning of a new decade. I don’t think that the somewhat conservative world of tennis was ready for another John McEnroe, let alone a new and 'improved' version. McEnroe was still on the tour then but the last thing parents wanted to see was the 90s version of him being a role model for their sons or worse, a sex god for their teenage daughters. Andre Agassi was not a guy you wanted your daughter to date or your son to become. The long peroxide hair, the earring and the denim shorts, these were some of the signs that made a lot of people nervous. A rebel without a cause? Maybe in the early stages of his career but I think that he is genuinely expressive and he was a character that would bring excitement, flair and colour into the game. And boy, was there going to be a lot of colour.

“Did you see those shorts?!”. Everybody was talking about Andre when he unveiled the fluorescent lava red outfit. Personally, I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing those shorts but I have got to have those shoes. I don’t know what it was but those shoes had a hold on me and I couldn’t shake it. I can still remember the day I got those shoes and the feeling that it brought when I had them in my hands and on my feet for the first time. It was ecstasy. I wore those everywhere. Dinner functions, tennis, football in muddy fields, hanging out, you name it. Within a year, it was trashed. My beloved shoe had a huge hole in the soles but that didn’t stop me from wearing them or cherishing them.


Nike made the second of the Air Tech Challenge series. It was just as beautiful as the first. I’ve got to have it…again.

These babies were as hot, if not hotter than the first. I would have traded all my Transformers toys for them if someone had asked me. (Ok, so I wasn’t as cool as those GI Joe kids. You happy now?) . As luck would have it, things don’t go according to plan. My trusty chant of, ‘Mum, can I PUUUUHLLEEEEEEEEEEZZZZZZZZZZZ have them?! PUHLEEEEEEEEEEEEZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ?!’, did not work. I could put a seasoned monk to shame with my devotion to that chant. I can remember my mum laughing at me because I would be slurring those exact words even when I was so buggered and falling asleep. Mum was having none of it because another pair of expensive tennis shoes within such a short period of time just was not going to fly with her. Fortunately, my dad had a weakness. My chants. He probably wanted to save himself the public humiliation that my mum was immune to.

Since then, I have had a fascination with sneakers. I would wander into a sports store now and again to check out the latest releases and drool at the odd pair. As a kid with no job, I have missed out on my fair share on ‘must haves’. Birthdays and Christmases provided me with much joy and anticipation as they were a kid’s pay day.

That fascination has manifested itself to something pretty ugly these few years. As a grown man, with disposable income come many temptations. One of which is to feed the inner child in me. To have what I could not have when I was a kid.

The vast majority of people outside the sneaker-loving community have a hard time understanding the passion. I’ve been through my fair share of weird looks and comments. I think this is mostly due to my age and profession. I have had acquaintances from work come over to my house to chill and as soon as they see my displays, shoes and shoe boxes, they have that look. Not the, ‘Wow! That’s so cool’ look but the, ‘Why is your penis growing on your forehead?’ look. The kicker is when I tell them that a lot of them are brand new and I don’t plan to wear some of them. At this point they’re probably looking for the quickest exit and getting ready to kick me in the balls to make their getaway. That is why I would say that I’m careful in who I tell my addiction to.

I guess I can find solace from other avid collectors that I have had the privilege to meet over the years via the many forums and websites dedicated to us crazies. Just knowing the amount of sneakers I have pales in comparison to some fanatics out there makes me think that I’m not that bad but am I? All I can say is, ‘I am what I am’. Wait. I think that’s a Reebok commercial.

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Nike Air Tech Challenge II Commercial

Friday, July 14, 2006

Be afraid. Be very afraid...
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