Saturday, October 27, 2007

What a perfect weekend it was!

And I'm referring to the weekend of October 20 and 21.

1. It was success all around at the Malaysian 24 Hour Comics Day. My friends who organised the event managed to get a full house participation. I finished my 24 pages of comic.
2. Kimi Raikkonen and his Ferrari team provided a most perfect ending to this year's F1 season.

I was previously a McLaren supporter but I switched camps this year. I had been supporting them so many years but with the exception of Hakkinen's world title some time ago, it was to no avail.

Interestingly, just as I swore allegiance to my new team, McLaren improved a lot this year. They had arguably the most reliable car on the grid. They had two of the most talented drivers working for them. They gave both these drivers equal treatment...

and that last bit proved to be their undoing. You can't let teammates fight it out. There has to be a bit of team order. Alonso should have been given preferrential treatment. He came to McLaren having done a swell job at Renault. He deserves some respect.

In the end, McLaren got nothing.

Come to think of it, maybe I was more of a driver supporter. First it was Hakkinen and when he left, Kimi came in just in time to fill the void. So when Kimi switched to Ferrari, I switched accordingly.

All in all, the manner in which Kimi won the championship -- leapfrogging the top two contenders at the very last GP -- is stuff legends are made of. This year's championship will be remembered for a very long time.

Participants at the Malaysian 24 Hour Comics Day, as seen from the third floor of Cineleisure Damansara. There are two empty seats in the picture. Can you guess which one is mine?

This year's 24 Hour Comics Day was held at the concourse area of Cineleisure so Cedric and Wong were able to seat us in a circle to form a clock. And the clock 'ticked' every hour from 1 to 24. It was cute and clever at the same time. I'll bet this was something they had dreamt of doing for quite some time!

I went into the challenge with basically the same strategy as last year's: go with an empty mind. No character, no story, no plan whatsoever. Just my pen and a stack of blank paper.

If I could do it last year, I could do it again this year. So I thought.

But I (made the mistake of picking) a subject that I was not familiar with: punctuality. Because of that, I lost the first two hours trying to create a character and to piece together a story out of thin air.

Dinner time came and by then, I was doubtful whether I would be able to finish this year’s 24 hour comic. I had done basically 4 pages, had a character called Punktual Punk, but apart from those, nothing much to show for.

It was pretty scary.

At that point of time however, I realised it was still within me to decide whether I could finish this challenge or not. I decided that yes, I would go all out to finish this year's challenge.

As with many things in life, it takes a decision to finish a 24 hour comic.

It helped that somebody bought me coffee just before midnight (you know who you are!) because after that coffee, everything became clear as to what I had to do. :)

In the end, I got my 24 pages. I wasn't happy with my story (it will not win the Pulitzer prize) but I achieved what I had set out to do.

Here's what I came up with at the event.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tomorrow is the Malaysian 24 Hour Comics Day

and I will be participating again this year.

What: The Malaysian 24 Hour Comics Day 2007
It's an: international celebration of comics creation. This is the day when cartoonists all over the world take the challenge to create a 24-page comics story, normally months of work, in 24 hours straight.
Date: October 20 - 21, 2007
Time: 12noon Satuday to 12noon Sunday
Venue: Cineleisure Damansara

My friends from Cedko are organising the event. We had a similar event last year where I was also a participant, and it turned out to be one of the highlights of my life.

This year tho, it's even better. We're gonna have this simultaneously with the rest of the world. 16 countries altogether. And Cedko is targeting 50 participants and the latest news is that they have already secured all 50 seats. Now try to get that in your head. 50 people with nothing on their mind but to finish their 24 pages in 24 hours! They're not gonna sleep, they're not gonna bathe. It's gonna be awesome!

I am both excited and nervous about tomorrow. I know more or less what I'm gonna write about but I don't know if I should develop the idea into a more detailed one. Maybe not. I think I'll just go in there with an empty mind. It's more fun that way.

See you at Cineleisure!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Get well soon, Allan

It was a real shocker the other day when I learnt that my good friend Allan K met with a road accident.

Nak jadi cerita, this happened just before his birthday. I SMSed him on that day asking how he was celebrating the day. No reply.

Little did I know that he was already in hospital after the cab that he was riding in was involved in an accident with what eyewitnesses said a street racer. It was a head-on collision: the other car went up the divider and went straight for the cab. And I think Allan told me it collected a few other cars as well before coming to a stop.

I went to visit Allan on the third day of Raya at his home in Klang. He looked a lot better than I had expected: his left arm was in a sling and there were bruises on his forehead and shin (it was an open wound before this. God that must've hurt). But I suspect this wasn't telling the whole story. Allan said judging by the condition of the cab after the crash, he considered himself lucky to have survived. The cab driver lost both legs. His 11-year-old son, who was seated in the front passenger seat (yes, there was a kid in there!) was warded next to Allan at the hospital. He was drifting in and out of consciousness and each time he came to, he would scream and then faint again.

And what of the pelumba haram? No idea, but if he really did race, I have nothing else to say than good riddance. I think people who race on public roads have small dicks. They show off on the road to make up for their shortcomings.

So because of that pelumba haram, my friend is now bored at home. Good thing there's Facebook. Well Allan, get well soon okay. Then we can go stalk Rebecca at the Swedish embassy. :P

Monday, October 08, 2007

It was a nice little birthday celebration last nite

when 5 of us went out to Chili's at BSC for buka puasa.

In this picture: Gerald, Julia, Azira. Partially hidden: Azira's sister Nadia. The glum-looking guy on the right is the birthday boy.

Birthday boy's face finally lights up during this photo op.

This is what some of us had. It's really huge! I couldn't finish mine. Note to self: next time ask for their Happy Meal instead.

My birthday was actually on Sunday but I decided that Sunday was for me to stay home with the kids.

Also, Sunday was race day in Shanghai so it was just a nice excuse to laze around the house watching F1.

I can't remember when was the last time I celebrated my birthday with people other than my family. Usually it's just a quiet affair: we'd go out for makan and that was it.

It has always been a quiet affair because we are quiet people.

But this year was different. On Sunday Julia called and asked "are you free to talk?" and I said yes. Then she and Chris sang the birthday song over the phone. And they did that in public, at a bus station somewhere in KL.

Nobody had ever done that to me so that really made my day.

The next morning at the office, there was this coffeetable book on my desk, 'Living in Finland'. Apparently Joan left it there the week before in anticipation of my birthday.

Maybe becos I was always telling her about my Finnish (girl)friends and she remembered. Anyway, that was a nice gesture on Joan's part, especially since it was also her last week at NST.

And that night at Chili's was really fun. The pictures don't tell the whole story. These people really are a bunch of nice people to hang out with. Too bad Gary couldn't make it. And Chris, cos he went to Perhentian.

To top it all off, after we were done devouring our food, Chili's staff came out marching with a small cake, singing the birthday song. Guess who it was for? God, this was too much already! I waited for them to finish the song and I honestly thought they were gonna go, "happy birthday dear whathisname" becos there was no way they could know my name.

But they did!

Maybe they saw me on Facebook. :P

p.s: on that note, if any of the BSC Chili's staff is reading this, thanks guys!