Monday, January 31, 2011

Tales From Brisbane

So, this morning our friends from Australia Kiong and Shona (with their kids) were on MHI to talk about their experience with the horrific floods back home in Brisbane.
The interview happened when I suggested to the producer to bring them on to the set knowing they would be in town. And I think it was a good and informative session and they related to the viewers their first hand experience in dealing with the catastrophe.

Hope you caught the interview as well, and if you didn't, here are just some of the pictures they shared with everyone this morning...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Welcome Home, King Kenny!

A couple of weeks late, but what the hey, WELCOME HOME KING KENNY!

Yup, after a disastrous start to the season, Roy Hodgson has left Liverpool and in steps Kop legend, Kenny Dalglish (My all-time favourite Liverpool player, btw). And as I write this, Liverpool had just notched up its first win under Dalglish, a sweet 3-0 thrashing of Wolves.
But really, I'm not expecting miracles in these next couple of months, but merely for pride to be restored (and a better league position than last year lah). Winning the Europa League wouldn't hurt either :)
It was great seeing the Reds playing with strength and conviction against Wolves, and this is exactly what every fan wants to see, basically. Kalah pun, puas hati.
I don't wanna go and an on about our chances bla bla bla, but I just want to recommend to everyone reading this to pick up this book...

Yes, especially for the young ones out there who have no idea who this man is, and why Liverpool will always be the greatest club ever. (Really, you can be champions and NOT be a bunch of twats)

Friday, January 21, 2011

American Idol 10: My First Impression

So, the world's most popular TV show returned to our screens yesterday after much drama during the off-season. But the promos must not be that good in this part of the world, cos a lot of people seemed to be unaware of it. And by "people", I mean "twitterers".

Anyway, I'm a big fan, and it was really a WOOHOO moment for me last night. Couple that with the fact that astro has been giving us a bunch of crap lately, I did indeed heave a huge sigh of relief when Mr. Seacrest announced: "THIS, IS AMERICAN IDOL".

On to the actual show now. Boy, have the stakes been any higher? I mean, last season was a bit of a downer with a bunch of so-so talents and a forgettable winner (although I DID predict that, um, that bloke would win it - hey, it's a Tolong Ingatkan Aku moment!), and not surprisingly, the ratings dipped quite a bit.

Then of course there's the whole thing with Simon Cowell leaving, Ellen quitting and Kara being fired. Well, you know what happened next: after all the guessing game and brouhaha, Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler and that missy from the block, J.Lo, signed on the dotted line (for loads of dough, or so we heard). Some rejoiced, some expressed horror. Me? I preffered to save any judgments until I watched how they'd actually do.

And so last night, we all got a taste of the new Idol. And my verdict? It's STILL a damn good show.

Well, for one, you can always depend on Mr. Seacrest keeping the proceedings smooth and very watchable. And I quite like the new audition set as well. It IS 2011 after all. As for the judges: No doubt Tyler and J.Lo look the part. And reverting to the 3-judge format makes it wonderfully breezier.

Steven Tyler really surprised me. He was fun, and definitely knew what we was talking about. Best of all, he brought a different sort of naughtiness to the table. Not quite "horny rockstar", but he did call out the obvious, letting us know which one he'd probably didn't wanna miss a thing with. (haha).

I tweeted that while we're missing out on the "horrendous" and "cruiseship singer" comments, Steven Tyler gave us "jujubees". And you could could see that the dude was enjoying himself, rhythmically banging on the table and singing a couple of lines himself now and then, putting the singers at ease. It was funny though when he happily sang along with one of the contestants, but when asked of his verdict, Tyler simply said "I don't think so". Haha.

J.Lo meanwhile was rather sweet and not as annoying I thought she would be. And probably because no one ever says "no" to her, she found it difficult to say "no" to people herself. But overall, a good debut.

And the Dawg... well, he's like that lah. Not terribly creative with his comments, but having at least one familiar face at the judging table gives you a certain sense of comfort.

And no, I didn't think too much about Simon. Although I did think it was a big case of missed opportunity when that boy scout dude attempted Sinatra's "My Way". I mean, if it was Simon, the dude would have been hung upside down and set on fire (probably literally), but instead, the "no" was rather soft and forgiving.

What about those who came to audition, you ask? Well, I think there were some real gems in the mix. Don't remember their names, but I think the last dude to audition, the girl from Kosovo and the singing waitress did pretty well.

So far, so good...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Destruction In Queensland: E-mails From Australia

There's not been that much coverage in the local press on the dire situation Down Under, but just flip to any international news network and you'll be saddened by the devastation there. Unprecedented flooding has caused chaos and the loss of lives and property.

The hardest hit area so far is the city of Brisbane, Queensland. I was horrifed to see houses completely drowned by floodwaters. Loads of areas have lost power supply, and will have to do without power for at least a few more weeks. Most of the major roads have also been closed.

I've been to Brisbane a couple of times these past couple of years and have some very fond memories of the place. ...

And it's quite devastating looking at pictures of what it's turned into.

My thoughts naturally turned to those I know living in Australia. My cousin Bernie, aunty Doreen and family used to live in Queensland, but thankfully they moved to Sydney recently. I emailed them to confirm that they're OK, and here are so excerpts from Bernie's email:
"Two of the three places we did live at in Queensland are flooded. We know quite a few of the towns that are flooded as we've been to those places. Very fortunate for some of these places that this is the second time they have been flooded in the past month. Two towns which were just evacuated around Christmas time the people had gone back to their homes and had cleaned up and now had to be evacuated again in the past few days.

Some of the stories are really terrifying. One guy in his 20s saved his 15 year old sister by punching a hole through the ceiling of their house and pushed her into their house so fast the furniture and walls were swept away. Thier mother got trapped by the fridge so their father tried to help her but the waters just swept them away. They heard their mother screaming for help."
My biggest worry was for our friends Kiong, Shona and their family who live in the suburbs of Brisbane. We went to their home in May last year. Thankfully, I received news from them as well.
"We are all safe and sound. The area of Brisbane where we live was affected quite a bit, with flooding cutting off many streets around our area. There was only one open road out of the whole area! The kids' childcare centre was completely underwater - I don't think they'll be going back for quite a while. And a good friend's house was also inundated. But luckily our home and Kiong's parents' home were unaffected.
It has been quite a surreal time - I would never have thought I would see major roads closed completely cut off an engulfed, almost like an inland sea."
Let's all hope and pray for the best for everyone affected by the tragedy.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Food, Glorious Food!: December Edition

We didn't exactly go crazy for the last month of the year, but there were some very delicious highlights...

Used to go to the Manhattan Fish Market a lot before, and I guess they've managed to maintain their quality and reasonable prices. What brought us back there recently was a special item on the menu: crabs!

But while it was pretty meaty, the crab was a tad too salty. Pity.

OK, next up, is our absolutey favourite Thai place (non-fancy category): Alisara. Yup, forget Viccudha and the rest; for a smokin' spicy, authentic experience, THIS IS IT, folks.

Although not pictured here, you MUST try the Gulai Kampung Ikan Keli! Be warned though: It might result in smoke coming out of your ears. But really, it's one of those things that will make you cry, but that won't stop you from continue eating.

Everything else here are pretty good as well including the Tom Yam, Somtam, Daging Matahari, Deep Fried Fish with Thai Sauce, and the Pineapple Fried Rice.

To find the place, simply click HERE

We also wanted some good Indian food on one of those off days and decided on Bombay Spice at The Gardens. We ordered only a couple of things and both delivered.
The Mutton Beriyani may not look much in the picture, but once you dig deeper and mix things up a little, you'll be delighted by the richness and spiceness of the dish. The Kashmiri Nan wasn't too bad either...

And finally, here's something we now often resort to for a "light dinner". Sandwiches at The Loaf! And this what I usually order, Salmon on Croissant. Simple, fresh and pretty filling.

Monday, January 03, 2011

MHI 2011: Here We Go!

A new year, and a brand new treatment and set for Malaysia Hari Ini. And what a big bang we made earlier today! The comments have been largely favourable and credit must go to all the MHI crew and its "orang-orang besar", including Executive Producer Ally Iskandar who now has a bigger hand in the show.

It's not only cosmetic changes though, so we had complete run through on Sunday, just to get things right. And it was also our first time checking out the new set. What a beaut!

With all that done, it was showtime earlier today! One of the major changes in the feel is to have the hosts standing up in the first segment of the show. Ditching rigidity, we're also free to move about and use the space as we like, and maybe break out some breakdancing moves. OK, I'm kidding on that last bit. ...

And definitely the energy felt different. With an established chemistry between fellow hosts, I personally had a rockin' good time. Even though it was 6.30 in the morning!
The show intends to be more interactive as well, so we've activated (and revamped) various platforms for the viewers and fans to interact directly with the show.

For starters, if you're on Facebook (aren't we all?), search for 'MHI TV3' and 'Like' it! It's a new fanpage, that went from 200+ likes before we went on-air this morning to over 2,000+ after we talked about it on the show. Thanks guys!

And the comments we've received have been tremendous! Loads of kind words and suggestions.
You can also find out more about upcoming content on our microsite, , courtesy of our awesome Alt Media team! There won't be any Catch-Up though, but selected videos will be uploaded from time to time.

Apart from those, you can also follow MHI on twitter @mhitv3, sms at 33399 (type MHI, space and your message) and of course, call us at 1-800-88-6636.

I personally read out some of the messages and comments on today's show and we'll continue to do this which I'm sure, the viewers would appreciate.

And yeah, we've got loads of awesome content coming up for 2011. Happy watching peeps!


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