Kampungkayell

Food, life, and fun in my "kampung,"(village), KL (Kuala Lumpur). Did I mention "food?"

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

Let's see. As I sit here listening to a cockroach trying to crawl it's way up out of the bin, where I just zapped it with Shelltox, I am somewhat amazed at the number of things that have come to pass in the last week.

1. Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King - Watch our for a future installment
2. Wine tasting at Asiaeuro
3. Dad's Surprise 70th
4. Dad's actual birthday
5. Christmas Eve
6. Christmas Day
7. Yeen's Pre Wedding dinner
8. Yeen's & Will's and Ryan's & Yee Ping's wedding dinners
9. Bar Sa Vahn
10. Meeting new people and getting to know others
11. My cousin's ill health - very poorly

I think I'll leave it at that. Whew!

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

The Return of the King is one of the most powerful and faithful cinematic renditions of a book I have ever had the privilege of watching.

I just read the review in The Star. S.B. Toh writes.

First, he compares The Return of the King to Braveheart!

Braveheart is a biopic. Sort of. LOTR-ROTK is surrealistic fantasy.

Second, he actually says "... is Mr Jackson's massive and decent adaptation rife with homoeroticism?"

Say WHAT?!

Am I supposed to give him leeway because he said "decent adaptation?"

He goes on to add "Not that I have a problem with that, mind."

GOD! I'm so eternally grateful we've got an enlightened critique here. I should just fall on my knees thanking and praising the Lord because this moron has no problems with homoeroticism.

Men obviously can't be tender with each other without accusations of homoeroticism cropping up. Or so the knowledgeable Mr Toh believes.

The fact that he brought it up illustrates beautifully what sort of filters we wear when we watch a movie. Which is probably why most of us can't agree with anything. But it get's better....

"The third and final instalment is a movie for the metrosexual in us, in the way it alternates between tender male bonding moments and vigourous testosterone-fuelled postures."

Mr Toh, do us all a favour and get your mind out of your crotch and try and think for a change. Oh yes, AND do SOME homework. Or maybe I know no better and that is indeed optional when we write a story for a major English daily in Malaysia?

Tolkien's book, when taken at face value, like 90% of us do, is a fantastic read. It has parts which could charitably be called, ponderous. But the entire style of the book switches from pastoral to stylised and back again without you realising it until you've finished all 3 tomes. But in my humble opinion, the fact that warriors do fall back on each other during times of battle, for support, and yes, for platonic love does not make it homoerotic. Except perhaps in Mr Toh's most fevered imaginings.

Further on in his "critique," if it could be called that, he goes on to mention that Tolkien's saga is many things, among them, an elegy for a passing era of nobility as represented by the elves, making way for the bourgeousie as represented by the era of the mortal man, and an "escape into the tranquility of pastoral England as a reaction against rampant industrialisation at the time.

Well, Mr Toh, I must certainly say that you seem to know Tolkien intimately, to have the arrogance to actually speculate on the great author's state of mind while writing this "critique."

With his closing paragraph, he continues to miss the point with "...the painted on mask and the bunting on his flanks, he is but a Beijing Opera performer remodelled," in reference to the mahout on the Oliphaunt.

But that IS the whole point! When you read the book you realised that the way it is written seems to signify a highly stylised dance, chase and fight, in parts. If that isn't opera, what is?

And with a final flourish of martyrdom, he closes "But pay no heed, please, Enjoy."

You're right Mr Toh. At long last!

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

And here we are.

On the cusp of another Christmas and New Year.

It's almost as if, all the stuff that happened this year were on some accelerated time scale.

I remember Chinese New Year this year...and then it was exactly like a DVD movie being fast forwarded scene by scene. And next thing, I'm sitting here writing this blog, sparing time I don't have.

I'm not complaining. I'm just observing with morbid astonishment how time can fly when you're busy.

Allan and I have finally fallen into some form of routine and being partners as well as business partners can take its toll.

But I think we're coping with it very well and trying to build a life together is a goal which figures largely in my list of priorities. I have told him that the business is all well and good but if push came to shove I'd leave the business to protect our relationship. He's my heart and conscience and there's no way I'm going to risk that.

My Dad's 70th birthday is coming up and we're in the throes of organising it at the moment. We've got all the hard stuff ready for the weekend. Like Wine, Whisky, 1 bottle of Tequila, and food. Canopies and decorations are taken care of as well.

Looking forward to it.

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

Got a frantic (ok, I'm embellishing) phone call from Angie on Friday.

Apparently, they'd left it to quite the last minute and it turned out that tickets for the Phillips International Jazz Festival thingy were sold out.

Quite coinkidinkally, at the time I received the call, I was just heading out to pick Paul up and go prep for the bbq and at the back of my mind was this thing about picking up tickets for the show.

A couple of quick phone calls later and tickets secured, Angie was I believe, relieved and reassured that they wouldn't be coming up to KL for nothing. She mentioned that 4 people would be coming with her. More on that later.

The BBQ on Friday night was lovely and we even had a bit of a sing along with Lew on the Piano and Paul videoing (is that a word?) us.

Saturday night was the clincher though.

I was running late, as is my wont, and when I almost breathlessly ran into the shop, Angie and her 4 boys were waiting there. Thank God they had just arrived and were sampling our rum balls.

And here's the rub...I hadn't expected her boys to be so young. I should mention at this point that I think Angie's done a marvelous job in promoting young talent in A cappella. The average age interested in A cappella in Singapore is WAY lower than what it is here. Angie actually goes to schools to do workshops and teach. Fantastic! What a passion!

Angie's lads', as they shall forever be called, were well mannered, polite, and mature beyond their years. Really fun to hang with. Allan loved it. I don't think I've ever mentioned before but Allan has an affinity for youth. He knows how to relate to them and he's unflinching when it comes to the truth. Which I think they appreciate. Rather than talking down to them, he knows how to talk with them. A very great difference and something I admire in him. As he puts it "treat them like adults."

Bryant, Jer (so nicknamed because there was another "Jeremy"), Jeremy, and Hao Ren had this Acappella group with another who could not make it this time round. The name; SWAT! They told me what it stood for but damned if I can remember now.

After the relative fiasco of the Jazz Festival which was anything but, we all went out and had supper. They loved our Rum Balls so we promised to get some to them the next day, Sunday.

By the time they were dropped off at the Bus station on Sunday, I think we had made some fast friends and I know I for one, thoroughly enjoyed their company. From Angie to the boys. I also know that Allan and I are looking forward to seeing them again in the not too distant future. We're in the process of thinking about going to Singapore to perform and hopefully the next time we see them, we will be doing just that.

Hmmm, that Jazz Festival.

Everyone I met felt that the Jazz Festival was misnamed. It should have been something like "Concert In the Park." After Idea of North opened it was downhill all the way. Did I mention that Idea of North were absolutely superb? As good as our benchmark, The Song Company. And I'd love to learn how to use mikes.

As I mentioned, after Idea of North, came Krakatau. World Music by any charitable definition. Then Camellia. hmmm. Ballads anyone? Then Ning. To my mind, there was this HUGE break from any sort of Jazz music until we got to Ning, who did well but she's really more a Soul and R&B singer. The Sheila came on and saved the day and promptly went on to this group called Silk. World Music again. The night finished with Anggun who by dint of her star power and vamping saved the night. But was she jazz? NO!

I have half a mind to write to Philips and Light & Easy, the sponsoring radio station and point that out.

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

Allan and I were just running through our schedules for the next few weeks.

Surprise, surprise, surprise (as made famous by Gomer Pyle ), it turns out that our next few months were totally mapped out.

Sigh! On the one hand I love being busy. On the other hand, I sometimes feel like events run away with us.

Our friend Chris is in Sydney for a job interview. All the best babe!

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

Wow!

It's so easy to let things slide and the next thing you know it's days and weeks since you last blogged.

Let's start at Raya.

Great fun! Went to 2 open houses - Dian's & Ina's and my cousin's - and ate ourselves silly. What's new? I'm inflating again. I can feel it and see it. Time to get back to the gym. I know I keep on saying this but there's this visceral urge coming on again.

Sigh...it's a constant battle to keep a, well, somewhat "girlish" figure! ;-)

The best part was meeting up with Chas Sweeting at Dian's & Ina's open house. How surprised was I when he walked in. He's someone I knew when I was in boarding school in the UK. Being junior to me, you didn't keep company with the sprogs too much. It was unseemly, according to the warped hierarchy of the time. But he's a really nice bloke. And girls, and some guys I'm sure, consider him good looking! ;-) Very active in snow boarding and all sorts of action oriented sports has kept him fit. Exchanged numbers, emails etc and have vowed to get together for a potluck or something.

After Raya, The Pitches upped and went down to Singapore sans 3 of our merry band. At the last minute too. I was rather peeved about 1 of them especially because there was absolutely enough time to get some administrative work done before they left. And there didn't seem to be a concerted effort in that direction. But hey, it was their right to do so!

Fabulous weekend of shopping, eating and just hanging out with people you love. What could be better!

The reason for going was really to attend the Swingle Singers concert. I was severely "underwhelmed." There were some highlights. And I had fun. But I've heard better.

We also took the opportunity to meet up with Angie Choo, who is the President of the Acappella Society of Singapore. She was absolutely lovely and I totally liked her the moment I met her. I know Allan did too. Having sung Dahil Saiyo, which in retrospect was really not that great a song to sing when you're in front of a group for the first time, we were warmly welcomed and sat with them for a run through of "Only You."

All of a sudden though, I see everyone walking for the door. I was like "SHIT!" and followed suit. Turns out that a couple of our merry band had other commitments and wanted to leave.

I know that a few of us felt really bad for walking out of the Vocal Jam so precipitously and I shall apologise to her when I see her next. Which hopefully, is in the next week or so. She's coming up for the Philips International Jazz Festival with some friends.

Lovely to make new friends.

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

Why do people wait until the eleventh and a half hour before they order anything???

Everyone knew Raya was coming up next week. But noooo, they have to wait till Friday evening before they even begin to consider WHAT to order for friends and family!

People, it's a long weekend. Most Malay muslim families are going to be on holiday cum Saturday 21 to 22nd of November. If people take just 3 working days off, they get the entire week.

Guess what? I think that many of them have done that! So asking us to deliver cakes on Monday is going to be an exercise in futility.

But the businessman in me says, hey, if you want to do it, I still will try to accomodate! ;-)

One of the sweetest things in a business like this is that you get to mingle with people who are usually celebrating something.

Yesterday, a lady, let's call her Mrs Lim (not her real name) called and ordered a cake. Her husband saw me doing a song and dance routine at the Kelana Jaya Rotary Club - not literally you understand; I have no wish to e the elephant in the pink tutu from "Fantasia" - and he asked his wife to order a cake from us for their 26th wedding anniversary.

Mrs Lim tells me that in the 26 years they have been married, this is one of the VERY few times he has actually remembered their anniversary and she was literally bubbling over with excitement. She called at least 3 times to clarify her order.

I felt as fuzzy as Abby's ears. And almost as warm.

On a more sombre and sad note however, my cousin's wife's father passed away. I suppose you could call him my uncle. I spoke to her today and expressed my condolences. But what with work commitments and rushing about yesterday, I totally could not attend his funeral and cremation.

Sigh! I felt sooo bad!

Anyway, she was very understanding and frankly, she was taking it all very well. The father was about 80ish, so he had had a long life. And I guess that was what was keeping them going.

We're in the business of celebrating life. But sometimes you get reminded that without that stepping stone we call death, there would be very little to celebrate in the here and now. In a way I think the mortality that we face conditions us to watch ourselves and celebrate the moments.

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

Hmmmm...

How the hell did that arabic get into my last post?

Oh well...I think I was never meant to put those thoughts down or to complete that blog so I'm just going to start a new one. Tried to post it twice but the first time the electricity went off before I could post and the second time, this happens.

Onward ho!

This weekend was a mad mad weekend. We have a relatively large order going out tomorrow and it was one of those weekends where we had to work Saturday, Sunday, AND our usual day off, Monday!

I'm not complaining mind you.

Orders are coming in for the Raya boxes and as Martha Stewart says, "that's a really, really good thing." For those of you who read "Martha Stewart Living" and Weddings, you'll know what I mean.

My Mum, Allan's Mum, Sarm Yee, Tai Yee, Ng Yee, Yue Ling, and sundry other warm and able bodied people came over to help which took a lot of the pressure off the both of us.

Having said that, this is still a stressful time of the year for both of us. And I really need to try to control my temper. Say no more!

It's now 9.11pm according to my computer clock and I'm off to watch Scooby Doo and take a break. Minus the kit kat. But that Lemon Meringue Pie in the fridge is another story!



By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

Arggghh!

Wrote something profound on Saturday only to have it WIPED out by a power failure.

Oh well...

Where was I? Oh yes...

What was Tun Mahathir's one pivotal act which defined his tenure as Prime Minister?

IMHO, it was the fact that he resigned. Wait! Wait! Hold the rotten eggs...

For many literal minded people in Malaysia, that would not be a compliment. But for him, it is. 6 months ago, I had doubts that he would actually go through with it. I was not alone in that regard. Heck, forget 6 months ago...3 weeks ago I was speaking with someone and he was of the opinion that a scenario would be invented to keep him on.

I stopped for a moment. While I felt it was too late for him to invent something, when you have a cult of personality around you, sometimes that cult can take on a life of it's own.

Anyway, before I go off to far on this tangent...

Why do I think that his one pivotal act is to resign? And yes, I use the word deliberately.
- آخرين فيلم شيرين نشاط، The Last Word، به دغدغه های يک زن نويسنده ايرانی ميپردازه و به تازگی در نيويورک اکران شده. نميدونم اين فيلم به خوبی فيلم "طوبا"ش که پارسال در موزه هنر های معاصر نشون داده شد هست يا نه. ولی شديدا مشتاق ديدنشم.

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By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

Another day. Another dollar?

Made a sales call on a potential client for our gift boxes. They were really enthused about the retro-ness of it all and it looks good.

Was just checking out face-pic.com. It's amazing at the number of people, especially gay men, who post their piccy there. I'm sure many of them are fakes but it's obvious that the ultimate goal of humanity is to connect with someone on some level. There are so many lonely people out there.

So to that end, I've put my pic up there so that if people want to talk to someone who has no ulterior motive, there is that opportunity. Well, I guess that's strictly speaking not true. The ulterior motive is really to give those younger ones of us who are just coming out the opportunity to speak with someone who may be able to offer a perspective on the whole thing.

I've also posted our photos of our new stuff up on the website. Actually, the stuff for Hari Raya. Check it out!



I'm rather proud of my old clunker actually.

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

I feel battered.

No, it's not been an unusually busy day. Though I must admit, it does feel like the orders and the demands are ramping up somewhat.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining. But I do feel drained. I think I need to get back on the wagon where exercising and eating my vitamins are concerned. I did feel much more alert and able to think better. I seem to be looking through a piece of muslin at everything I'm doing.

Got the gift vouchers for the gift boxes done today. Those and the press release as well as the new cake menu. Hey! I actually achieved quite a bit.

This is therapeutic!

The new cake menu is a bit more well organised and although I've dropped the descriptions, I feel it's clearer and easier to read now. The only thing is that with additions and all, it now prints on two pages. I was trying for a page but the text was just too small and if it's too small for me, can you imagine all those aunties who order from us trying to read it?

Darn crows...it's about the time that they all come back here to roost. And it's a most unattractive cawing that sets my teeth on edge.

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

Sigh!

Another weekend over...

Monday night...no, Tuesday morning actually and this week is set to be one of the busiest weeks of our calendar yet.

I think I've perfected the Coconut Souffle enough to put it on the menu. Last Saturday, we made it for Pauline's "last supper" before she left for Oz to go home. And it seemed like everyone enjoyed it as it was polished off. Bryan practically scraped the glaze off the plates.

The Knorr Function was also on that night at Mango Tree. Something we decorated. The Knorr folks and Mixfm seemed very happy and promptly paid us in full. Which is always nice.

I was trying to take a few pictures with my Sony and of course it decided to pack up right at that moment. What with the rubber grip about to fall off, the batteries with about as much energy as I do, and the chassis as scratched and pockmarked as my chicken pox scars, I think it's almost time to pick up a new digital camera.

As I contemplated that prospect, I felt a flush of excitement and then regret. My old clunker has served me well. There have been some really good shots taken with that camera but after close to 4 years, I guess it is time to let it move on to the digital camera playground in the sky.

The fantastic thing was Allan and I were home at 11pm and comfortably cuddled up in front of the tele at 11.05. Can you imagine? Home before midnight...on a Saturday night.

Sunday dawned bright and clear and I was gripped by an overwhelming need to be alone surrounded by quiet. Instead of going to church, I stayed at home after promising Allan that we'd go view a cake chiller together at 12.30pm.

After doing exactly that, we took a short walk accross the street to "The Vanilla Box Cafe" and was invited in to have a chat. Upon finding out that we were the "Just Heavenly" boys, Beatrice, one of the owners kept on enthusing about our so called "celebrity" status. Never am I more uncomfortable when people do that! I don't see myself as a "celebrity" and I know that it's something Allan finds very hard to believe as well. We both left the cafe after a nice little chat and an Iced Chocolate and Iced Green Tea Latte rather nonplussed.

A quick lunch at the "Yee Pei Wantan" place and I zipped off home while Allan decided to spend some time with his Mum and Aunts, who, I later discovered were baking cookies/biscuits. Later that evening, we had the most wonderful home made "apum" and "dhosai" with the Soosays', Dad's & Mum's old friends.

Monday, the last day of our "weekend" was spent running errands and finishing up some backlogged paperwork. Well, we're always backlogged, if truth be told.

Got the opportunity to spend some time with Glenn. A rather cute guy. Both of us have fun flirting with each other and he's obviously in the stage of his life where he's taking stock and making a choice of where he'd like to go. Did I mention that he's got a cute butt too?

A last minute call from Mum meant that Allan, myself, Mum and Dad managed to have dinner together before I zoomed off to my first Phil rehearsal in 2 and a half years, while Allan stayed back with Serena, JP, and Mum to play a few rounds of mahjong.

I must say the Phil's improving and this time I get to sing with the tenors! Should be fun!

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

Pulling out the rest of my hair thinking of what I need to do!

Just checked the coconut souffle and it seems to have set very nicely, thank you very much, even with the reduced gelatin.

Gosh! It's amazing how time flies when you're having...errrmmm...a lot to do.

What with staying out too late on Jadie's last night and what seems like a million activities and deliveries a day, I don't seem to have time to think about anything substantive, let alone, change my underwear.

Jade left on Thursday morning so on Wednesday night, after having dinner with 2 Mums and 1 Dad at this place called Sin Kee in Brickfields (mental note: take people there for c&g food) we met up with her for a last hurrah at TSB.

Literally dragged Kevin along. Kevin is one of Allan's younger cousins. He's just turned 18 so Philip is determined to "show him the ropes" somewhat. I must admit that I really like Kevin. Level headed, unfailingly polite, and a generous old soul. His siblings Bryan and Bins are also lovely kids.

Not one for partying obviously as he drank a couple of beers and then had a sip of a Caipirinha, which tasted more like a Long Island Ice Tea. Would have thought that it would be more...zippy, somehow.

Was all ready to take it easy on Thursday night after the night out on Wednesday but felt like company for dinner since Allan had gone to get his bum massaged or something. So having splurged RM50 on a wetsuit at Johnny's, Chris, Chui, Daniel and I went to Grand City in PJ for Indian food. Good Thosai. Good Price. Dinner for the 4 of us came to about RM30. Yum!

Good news is we have an intern, who didn't expect to be paid but we're paying anyway. We believe you should be paid what you're worth and are trying to keep that practice. Her name is Emily, a pretty little Korean girl studying Hospitality Management at Taylor's College. She came to us courtesy of Eddie Tan, one of our good friends.

Fully expected to stay in on Friday night but again was "persuaded" to go see a movie. Unfortunately, said movie, "Seabiscuit" was only showing at 1130pm so Allan and I decided that we needed to be good boys and have dinner at home and then call it a night. Only problem was, a few crossed wires later, we found ourselves sitting having drinks with Chui, Dan, and Chris at Mid Valley. Had a good giggle planning evil vengeance on the dark dominatrix of wedding planning herself, yes, HERSELF, Stephen Foong. Not going to carry it out of course. But just because I'm not, doesn't mean someone else isn't. From what I hear he's offended pretty much everyone he comes in contact with unless he wants something from you. Then he's saccharin sweet. *shudder*

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

Shang Penang is asking us if we can go up there to sing for them. Yay!

Chwee yeen, one of our good friends, who also happens to be a wedding planning client, just told us that Stephen Foong called her up after seeing me and her in a fabric store. He was actually nosy enough to ask her why she was with me!

When she told him that we're her wedding planners, he then proceeded to grill her about how much we were charging and that she should be careful we don't cheat her and asked if she has everything she needs. He then asked who's doing her cake and he told her that this wedding he did had the cake provided by us and that it was really dry and that no one wanted to take it home.

To say I was infuriated would be an understatement. Every vindictive instinct in me was geared up to take revenge on him for his unscrupulous and underhanded manner. And in many ways, we have enough information on him to ruin him. But upon consideration, I will NOT allow myself to stoop to his level.

We have made it almost like policy that we will never badmouth him or say anything bad about him or anyone else for that matter. It is not right! And it's always so easy to give in to that instinct which is only counterproductive. But this idiot really pushes my buttons!

For one thing, the man is as gay as anything. And worse...he's a married gay predator! He's gayer than I am for goodness sake! Has admitted to Allan that he has affairs with young men! He actually told Allan once that so long as he looks after his wife and children, they have nothing to complain about!

He doesn't pay his caterers. Once he's used one, he goes on to the next and the next, so much so that the caterers don't want to have anything more to do with him.

That's the sort of person he is!

And that's why we're not going to stoop to his level. Instead we're going to have a chat with him. And tell him that he needs to stop badmouthing us and that it's really silly to do that in this city. And we're going to do it in front of someone so there's no chance of him misquoting us. Goodness knows whether that will do any good but turning the other cheek doesn't mean that you must just back down from a fight. To me it means doing everything possible to alleviate the situation in a manner that is above board!

Why do you think I call K.L a kampung? Everyone else knows what everyone else is thinking and saying, let alone doing!

I actually had to say a short prayer just to calm myself down and stop myself from imagining all sorts of grisly entertainments that I would have LOVED to visit on him!

Having bitched about that, and gotten it off my chest, somewhat, let's MOVE ON....

Allan's cousins, and my "in laws" I guess, came over for dinner last night. His family have been awesome. Never in my wildest imaginings did I ever envisage being "accepted" as an out gay man in Malaysia. But his family have to every intent and purpose, accepted me as part of their own. I recognise it's because they love Allan very much and have basically made the choice with that in mind, but it still never ceases to amaze me. And whenever I think of that...well, my cup runneth over.

Not to mention how my Mum and Dad have taken the entire thing.

Talk about digressing...

As I was saying...we had dinner with most of Allan's cousins last night, including the other halves. Well, Chui and I made up "the other halves." It should have been Robert as well, Caroline's relatively new other, although a last minute cancellation on her part nixed that notion. The actual intention was to get together with Jade before she left for Oz on Thurs morning.

It turned out to be really fun. Without the parents and aunties there, the "kids" were a lot less inhibited and were very chatty. Especially Kevin, Bins, and Bryan. It seems that they've never actually done that before. So, it would seem that they might like to make it a regular thing. If we do, I think we need to find a way to split the cost. But I must admit that it would be good fun.

Mum's & Dad's place is also really good for things like this because the front lanai is great for sitting and shooting the breeze.

Absolutely no mood to work. Oh well, nose back to the grindstone...

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

The Wicked Pitches get their TV break!

Richard Gardner of Gardner & Wife fame invited us to participate in an RTM Christmas special and the shoot was scheduled for Sunday, 19 Oct morning. Like 7am in the morning. It was tough getting up let me tell you. But well worth it. I really do have fun singing with the Pitches and am really grateful I'm a part of that. It hasn't always been a bed of roses but it has been something worthwhile that we've built together.

In any case, we got the shoot done by 10am and Richard bought us breakfast at Coffee Bean which was much appreciated. Coddled eggs and Panini bread. The shi shi style of half boiled eggs and Chinese bread with kaya.

In the evening, we finally got ALL the Pitches together again. The main reason was really to give Chris, our performance "lau ser" his cheque and to celebrate 2 birthdays but only the latter was fulfilled, the former being put off again because Chris basically forgot, thinking it was next weekend. Oh well! We'll just have to hand him the cheque without the rest of the group there.

Quite a few of the Pitches had never been to Chekers before, so I think that was a really good start for them in terms of getting to know the restaurant. Uncle Tan was at his best as usual and almost everyone ordered the Porky's Best ribs. Allan had the Knuckle, Serena the sausages, and I had the steak. With an addition of Tempura Prawns for the centre, the meal was fab as usual.

After lazing around for almost all of Sunday and hunting for a very important document (which I did not end up finding) it was nice to unwind...some more.

Yue Ling had planned to go to, as she called it, the "PCP" or Post Concert Party of the Philharmonic Society of Selangor. NOT to be confused with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.

The "PCP" was in Damansara so along we went.

From the outside it sounded like a frat house/halls of residence party. Screaming, wet things were running around in relatively skimpy (this is Malaysia, so we don't usually wear too much anyway) outfits, dripping. Either that or they were bumping and grinding on a makeshift dance floor by the pool area. If you haven't figured it out yet, they had just leapt out of the pool.

Shame on you for thinking anything else!

Right! where was I...oh yes...bumping and grinding. Got a few sweaty hugs and had to surreptitiously wipe it off my cheek so as not to offend. And then I bumped into this girl again. The one who had shrieked "OMIGODit'snigelskelchy" at a rehearsal the Pitches attended to promote Funkappella. Exactly as I wrote it. In one breath.

Unsurprisingly, she's been teased about that but very surprisingly she's taking it rather well. Now, I find it hard still to accept compliments or possible crushes with any great degree of equanimity. Frankly, they make me somewhat uncomfortable.

Especially in light of the fact that Allan and I are open about our relationship and I thought everyone in the Phil knew about it. If they do and no one has told her, I'm just afraid that it could be extremely embarassing for her when she does find out.

Sigh!

She did not help matters when she sang this song from "Lady & The Tramp" and kept on looking at me the WHOLE time! I complimented her but must admit to being disconcerted. Nicole did not help matters when she came over and added to the teasing.

Hmmm...

The good thing was that we did get to chat with Danny and Soon Yoon more. Allan and I did get to start a friendship with Soon Yoon, who I think is one of the cutest things I've seen in a long time. He's someone who seems extremely loveable and huggable. And has a huge passion for performing. We're going to try and catch him in Viva Voce II at Actors Studio in early November.

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

Hopefully Haloscan works better than Squawkbox.tv. I've been asked to include comments and I blithely agreed, not quite knowing (as usual) what was in store.

What with all the "a href" and instructions to copy the "script" and put it in between the "headers," my head is swimming.

It was nice to see the dive gang again when we met last night at Chef Ken's. I felt the steak, while scrumptious, was rather emaciated. I think steaks should take after the cattle they come from. Thick, beefy, and juicy. Having said that, I've always believed the measure of a good steak joint is in the way they make a steak. Steaks smothered in pints of some obscure viscous fluid aren't steaks. They're stewed beef which have been seared and the so called gravy liberally applied for the specific purpose of disguising a cheap cut.

Dessert was our Tiramisu which seemed a touch bland this time round. Must have a chat with Yoke Mun. There didn't seem to be enough Rum flavouring in it.

All in all, a lovely evening, capped by conversation which quickly proceeded down the slippery slope to the shameless depths of The Puppetry of the Penis. Say no more!

Sometimes it's nice to speak with people who don't agree with you all the time. You know who you are! Only because it does force you to think about what you do stand for and why you do so. Though I must admit, I'm sometimes in the mood to exercise the grey matter rather than get exercised about why people don't agree with me when I'm usually right about...well, most everything!

Singing rehearsal tomorrow for Sunday's show. Should be fun to appear in a Christmas special even if it's on RTM.

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

Hmmm...Blogging!

Maybe it's to satisfy my frustrated yearnings to be a writer.

Maybe it's narcissistic soul searching.

Maybe it's just fun to have a diary of thoughts and happenings when it actually happened.

I know that it's partly because I was reading a friend's blog that inspired me to do this. Yes, Chui, "do or do not. There is no try." I'm doing ok?!

Joy's back!

Never thought that I would actually have fun driving a VW Beetle. An old one at that. But I am. My mantra used to be faster, flashier, and faster. But somewhere along the way, I think my horizons expanded enough to accomodate sentimentality. The benefits of ummm...maturity?

Well, Joy, as she is known, is a gorgeous copper gold, with a nice CD player that plays MP3s and WMA files. Shh! I'm still downloading music. Don't let the music industry know please!

The car is actually Allan's but I did put time and heart into her restoration along with Allan, so I feel that I can claim some bit of her.

Sharon and Giles, cuz in law and cuz respectively just squeezed a bun out of the oven. A bouncing baby boy named Alexander Mark Goonting. AMG, for those of you who don't know, are a premier tuner of cars. You know, the faster, flashier, faster thing. But I'm so happy for them. It's taken them a long time to have a child and knowing them, they will be marvelous parents.