the backstage epiphany

where reality is so subjective it's entirely optional

Category Archives: Fun

Surprise, surprise, Afhamio!

After a month of planning, Facebook invitations and messages (one of the few things Facebook is actually good for), endless BBMs (“Who is BBMing you at 3AM?”) and calls (“Why is Angah suddenly calling you?”), Afham’s 27th birthday surprise finally happened.

The good thing is that he was born on Christmas Eve, so all the restaurants are just raring to help with the planning of a big private party. The bad thing is that he was born on Christmas Eve, so all the restaurants are also raring to make sure that they don’t lose out on any business by calling and prompting you for a deposit and confirmation on the number of guests as early as two weeks in advance.

After deliberating over which restaurant to hold this do, I went with Eza’s suggestion of doing it at Top Hat. This worked out very well because the restaurant is a converted bungalow on Persiaran Stonor, away from the Christmas barbarism that is Bukit Bintang (which still couldn’t diminish the problem of finding a parking spot because I was made to park on the street). And despite being persistent and annoying with the reminders, the staff were very helpful in putting together a buffet dinner in a private room to accommodate our number (final tally: 21).

And to top it all off, Afham got a Nike Air Force 1 DJ Clark Kent cake specially made by Raindough Desserts. It was a sign of how much he loved it that we were only allowed to eat the box it sat on (made to look like the Nike Air Jordan Retro Silver 25th Anniversary packaging), and to this day it sits in our refrigerator intact, save for the heel that I made him part with in order to give Eza and Aziah their share.

Looking back now, and even when I was looking at Afham with all his friends that night, at Top Hat and later Phuture, I remember wanting to do this for  him not only because he had a comparatively quiet birthday last year, but because with age comes life, and with life comes the difficulty of getting  together as often as we would like to. And so this birthday was my gift to him, a way for him to be with all his friends and just forget the trifles and burdens of life for one night.

And indeed, forget pretty much everything…

Happy Birthday baby!

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The Curse of Facebook

20 Facebook Personalities You Love to HateCLEO Magazine, November 2010

I miss the old Facebook. When I say ‘old’, I mean old; like back in 2004 when it was confined to only a selected number of U.S. universities (the University at Buffalo included), and we all had to use our [insert university name].edu email addresses to sign up for it. Photos were limited to only one — the profile picture — per user, and the Wall was this big yawning space where people could write above or below other people’s messages. Applications, Pages and the Like button were nonexistent.

Today, Facebook has become the new MySpace: far too public and teeming with stalkers. It has opened the floodgates for the repressed narcissists to make known everything that’s going on in their lives — from what they are currently eating to how they are currently feeling (most of the time they would be ‘bored’) — and brought out the narcissistic side of many others who never even knew they had one.

So when I came across this in the November 2010 issue of CLEO — a magazine I would normally never pick up unless I’m getting my nails or hair done (it was nails on that particular Sunday morning) — I was so tickled by it I had to post it here.

Not a single person reading this will be able to say they can’t relate to at least three of the Facebook personalities shown below, and every single person reading this will feel the horror of recognizing themselves in at least one of them.

Homestyle Eid

This year is the first time that I’ve ever been such an active participant in Eid, not only because of Afham but because, for some strange reason, I actually genuinely felt like it. The first day was a flurry of activity, running from one friend’s house to another and making sure to eat small amounts at each house so that it wouldn’t snowball to alarming proportions. Fortunately, the first day was the only day that we did this, because I realized I couldn’t justify eating every two hours to raise my metabolism when it involved rendang, laksa or soto.

Despite the mass transit and onslaught of food, I did have a rather good time and didn’t get as cranky as I normally would have if traffic hadn’t been so smooth and if it hadn’t finally rained in the late afternoon. Also, as last year’s Eid was a very quiet one, this year’s made it Afham’s first real effort at celebrating it. It was, as usual, like standing outside a window looking in, and seeing all these boys coming together in this capacity and house-hopping (and actually behaving very well) was an extremely refreshing sight for me.

Happy Eid!

Jeff, Afham, Rus, Angah, Abby, Elfi. Yes, this was, indeed, taken in a 7-Eleven. But it's Jeff's 7-Eleven so all is forgiven!

Prongs 2

Found this on someone’s Tumblr, as part of my new hobby, and I was so tickled by it I had to repost it too:

HARRY POTTER WOULD HAVE BEEN SO MUCH EASIER IF THE CHARACTERS JUST HAD CELLPHONES

(Never mind that electronics can’t function inside Hogwarts)

like order of the phoenix.

harry could have called sirius and been all

“hay bro, you okay?”

and sirus would just be

“oh hey james harry. just chillin wit mah betches.”

DEPARTMENT OF MYSTERIES CRISIS AVERTED

sirius totally has harry in his contacts as “Prongs 2” by the way.

and harry could be calling dumbledore whenever he’s away from hogwarts to keep him up to date on the whole HOLY SHIT SORCEROR’S STONE IS UNDER ATTACK.

and when the entrance to 9 and three quarters sealed harry could have went “HEY WE R LOST CAN U PICK RON AND I UP. THX” to dumbledore

during goblet of fire he could of just texted fleur when he was with the mermaids and been all “hey. u OK? ur sister is here.” and instead of waiting and getting last place, she could of just been all “LOL GOT ATTACKED BY GRINDLOWS I’M OUT.”

also, bellatrix would have a fucking ball with a camera phone. she’d be sending nude pics of herself to voldy and trying to impress him and he’d be all

OH MY GOD BELLATRIX STOP TEXTING ME YOU HO

and snape probably sent pictures of his dick to lily after she married james with the caption “YOU’RE MISSING OUT ON ALL OF THIS, LIL.”

i can see sirius and remus sexting non stop.

and deathly hallows?

snape wouldn’t have had to fuck around with the whole LETS PLACE THE SWORD IN THE BOTTOM OF A LAKE AND HOPE HARRY FINDS IT. he could have just texted him from an anon number and been all “hey dumbass, go three feet west and get that fucking sword. BRING A COAT.”

when ron got lost he wouldn’t have to screw with the deluminator. he could have just texted harry “IM LOST CAN U TELL ME HOW TO GET BACK.” and bam, we wouldn’t have hermione crying or anything.

they would totally prank call voldemort too. “HEY UR MOM IS A WHORECRUX, TOM. LOLOLOLOL.”

and the luna missing thing?

“luna what can you tell us about Deathly Hallows.”

and she could have just told them and stuff without them getting nearly killed. again.

and those answering places where you text a question, hermione would be using that all the time. and ron would be asking them how to pick up babes.

GOD IT WOULD HAVE MADE ALL OF THEIR LIVES SO MUCH EASIER

Happy Tumbl(r)ing!

Because I like looking at pretty things, and I don’t have much to write about anything these days except the fact that I hate my job and love my boyfriend, I am now spending some time here:

You’ll be amazed how looking at pretty things can lift your spirits even just the tiniest bit. So bear with me while I go through what seems to be another bout of writer’s block. I will still post here when I have something of significance to say, or when I just need to find a place for the ever-snowballing effects of my job to crash into, but for now, I’m a right happy little Tumbl(e)r.

Mabuhay Boracay

Boracay is like an all-day, 2.5-mile-long, beach party, something I don’t remember from my last trip there, either because it was so long ago (give and take a decade, perhaps) that my younger eyes failed to see what my current eyes — old, it seems, in every sense of the word — saw, or because that many years ago the party hadn’t started yet. With hundreds of stores, bars and restaurants all lined up along the beachfront, with as many small stalls peddling massages,  sunglasses, watersports, henna tattoos and cornrows (which I would have gotten if I didn’t have an office to come back to), Boracay is like a seaside version of New York City. And yet, for all the activity and crowds there, the busyness was more pleasant and laidback than, say, Phuket, which is a seaside version of Kuala Lumpur.

Some of the key things I’ve deduced from this trip:

1. Diving has spoilt me rotten. I tried swimming further down from the surface, remembered that if I inhaled it would be seawater, and not air from a tank, zooming into my lungs, and panicked. Suffice to say, I came away from snorkeling feeling a little cheated.

2. Unfortunately, Filipinos are just like Malaysians in one way: they will accept bribes and tips for any and every damn thing — from swatting flies away from your food (50 pesos), to carrying your luggage 70 feet (20 pesos per bag), to getting you into the airport ahead of everyone else because you’re about to miss your flight (RM10 if you’re out of pesos). And if they sense your reluctance or ignorance of this custom, they won’t hesitate to remind you either: “Don’t porget, Ma’am! Don’t porget!” Those who budget and record their expenses may want to widen the Miscellaneous Expenses column.

3. The best form of exercise in Boracay is not swimming, but running. With so many street peddlers trawling the beachfront, it is impossible to walk 15 paces before being ambushed by racks of sunglasses and flyers for massages. In the end I concluded that the only way to avoid them must be to run so that they won’t get the chance to stop you.

4. Filipinos are also like Malaysians in that they don’t tell you everything you need to know all at once. They will tell you that your flight may be diverted to another airport because the plane can’t land in the assigned airport due to bad weather. And unless you ask, they won’t tell you that your flight has been delayed, but they don’t know for how long. Then when you wait to ask again, they will tell you that your flight has been canceled instead and they will give you a new boarding pass. And just as you are about to board the van for the hour-odd journey to the other airport, they will tell you to pay 175 pesos (per person!) for the transfer.

5. I need to stop deluding myself into thinking that SPF 130 sunscreen would be all I need to prevent getting tanned. There can be no denying that it was really the long-sleeved rash guard and knee-length board shorts that preserved my lily-white skin every time I went diving, and this time around, with naught but the required life-vest that I wore for parasailing and jetskiing, I’ve come back to Malaysia at least three shades darker.

Nevertheless, it was still a wonderful trip, and as I sit here thinking about the past week, knowing that it will be a very long time before I am able to go on another vacation like this, I realize that this trip has achieved what I had hoped it would. It has renewed my faith and my gratitude for everything I have now, and reinforced the beliefs I’ve been harboring for the past few months. And now that I’m back, I’m more aware than ever of what I have to do in order to set my life right and to start doing something for myself.

Shopping for a cause

Yesterday was the Mikka Green Eco Bazaar, held at Kaiyisah’s home, to raise awareness and promote environmental-friendliness. Despite the heat and fatigue of having just returned from Boracay the night before (plus an extremely blond moment which had me wondering aloud what in the wide world a TMP was and which Afham dispelled with a patient “It stands for Tengku Mahkota Pahang — I think”), we got ourselves out to Taman TAR, Ampang, to join the festivities.

The effort that went into the planning and setting up of the entire event was beyond commendable. From sorting out old clothes, shoes, jewelry and books to be sold for or donated to charity, and hunting out other organizations that work towards promoting environmental awareness to aid in the event, to just putting that much passion into a cause that will always have to be kept alive down through the generations, Kaiyisah and her friends really started off with a bang to be heard all around.

By the end of the day, I came away with two very cute organic cotton T-shirts, some pretty jewelry, cupcakes made by Raindough Desserts, and the Mikka Green eco bag. If there were ever a good excuse for shopping, this would be it.

Only white noise

I’m off again! In 12 hours I will be waking up on the beautiful island of Boracay in the Philippines, where I can finally feel at home once more by the sea and shores of White (yes, literally white) Beach. Unfortunately, I may not be able to go diving this time — although I’ve threatened on several occasions to leave Afham snorkeling on the surface whilst I dive — but this trip will be a time to rediscover some of the things that have brought me to where I am now, and hopefully regain the peace that has eluded me for so long. And as this may be the last vacation I can go on for a long time, I’m going to try and shut the rest of the world out.

I’ll be back on Saturday, and hopefully I’ll see you in all your green sexiness on Sunday.

À bientôt!