Sunday, October 30, 2011

Media Prima TV Screenings: D'Kechewas Rocked The Stage!

We came, we saw, we rocked people's socks off! Nothing more, nothing less; if I may say so myself : )

So yeah, Friday was a big day for everyone at Media Prima, as it is every year when the screenings arrive. For the uninitiated, it's a show we put on for clients, partners and the media to reveal next year's biggest programs and where we are in the industry now. Yes, it's a big deal.

It's a grand show indeed and this year, D'Kechewas (MZul, Izham, Azhar, Eddie, Johan, Iesta, Datuk Kamal) were picked to entertain the crowd at the post-party. Yes; pressure, pressure.

All of us came early to the KL Convention Centre just to get ourselves psyched up, and most importantly, to avoid the jam and lack of parking spaces!

Also got a chance to do one final soundcheck...

We eventually got on stage at around 6.30pm. Most of us were nervous, but all the butterflies disappeared when we got on stage and rocked out the first number.

Must say that the crowd was awesome. While some were busy with food and drinks, the "mosh pit" in front of the stage was filled with the enthusiastic and the curious. Thanks to everyone who sang, clapped and rocked along. You know who you are!

Anyway, here was our set list:

-- Are You Gonna Go My Way / Cryin (Iesta on vocals)
-- Plush / Don't Look Back In Anger (MZul on vocals)
-- Mustang Sally (Iesta)
-- Kiss (MZul)
-- I Saw Her Standing There (Iesta/MZul/DKK)

Before the good pictures come in, allow me to share some snaps contributed by peeps who were there. Thanks!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Media Prima TV Screenings: It's Gig Day!

Yes, it is! After months of blood, sweat and tears (chewah), our band D'Kechewas will rock out at the after-party of Media Prima's Annual TV Screenings at the KL Convention Centre today!

I've been feeling a bit under the weather, but the show must indeed go on! Gonna be on guitar throughout and also belt out a few favourites of mine including gems by Stone Temple Pilots and Prince!

So if you're attending the Screenings later, you MUST make it to the after-party. We're gonna give away some cash as well!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Picture A Day: A Week To The Gig!

I've kept it on the downlow, but for the past couple of months, D'Kechewas have been jamming hard and loud. And next Friday, we'll be rockin' out at the Media Prima Screenings' after-party. Stay tuned for the setlist and all the backstage happenings!

Monday, October 17, 2011

MHI @ Universiti Teknologi Petronas

Amidst the sadness of the passing of a friend, I was obligated to fulfill a work commitment for Malaysia Hari Ini last Thursday. Just an hour after I received the news, we left for Bandar Seri Iskandar Tronoh, Perak as MHI would be broadcasting 'live' from the campus of Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) the next day.

The journey took more than three hours, including a lunch break, and we reached the beautiful campus without a hitch.

UTP is located at an old USM faculty, but they've built on the land significantly and have added buildings that are architecturally astounding. Managed to snap these as we arrived...

The technical crew had arrived a day earlier, so the set-up had more or less been done. So it was then time for the production crew including the hosts to be briefed by the producer on the next day's TX.

Personally, I was impressed and surprised by the structures and surroundings. The centrepiece of the whole academic complex is the Kompleks Canselor that was designed by Foster and Partners and won the Aga Khan Award For Architecture in 2007.

And the one thing that really caught everyone's eyes was the library aka Information Resource Centre. Look at the pics and come up with your own description...

After being treated to some fruits and drinks, we were then shuttled to the hotel we'd be staying at, which gave us a chance to look at what Bandar Seri Iskandar had to offer. Yup, they are not without the obligatory 7-Eleven and KFC, so life shouldn't be that bad, even when you're miles and miles away from civilisation : )

Hotel Putra Seri Iskandar's a decent establishment that was just opened earlier in the year. The room I stayed in had two single beds, shower, closet and a very, very tiny TV set.

The next morning, we gathered outside the hotel at 5am and made our way to the campus. Again we were impressed by how they've thought of everything, even the lighting, to enhance the beauty of UTP.

We started TX as usual at 6.30am and soon the place was buzzing with those involved the convocation, performers, school kids who were there to showcase their innovative ideas and other UTP students.

The show went very well actually, and I was impressed by our own technical crew who went the extra mile to get some very beautiful shots. The one from the top floor at the Resource Centre was particularly magnificent.

We finished at 9am and after that it was time for some photo-taking and we also had breakfast with the UTP Vice Chancellor Dato' Dr. Zainal Abidin Haji Kasim. And I'd like to take this opportunity to wish everyone involved a big thank you for the cooperation and hospitality. Don't know when I'll be back, but it was definitely a cool experience.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Run For Tuan Senang Besar: The Putrajaya Night Marathon 2011

It was a late decision for me. To run, or not to run? Quite a few of my friends thought I should do it in memory of arwah Kharis while my own emotions said no. But after giving it another thought, I decided to run the 10km for him.

A few friends and I are putting together a "Run For Tuan Senang Besar" campaign, but before that happens, I thought it'd be a good idea to create some awareness last night. And so, I ran with this sign on the back of my singlet...
But I almost didn't make it though. Left home rather late, and most of the access roads to the Start/Finish area were already closed. Had to make a few rounds around Putrajaya before I finally managed to get there, 20mins before the 10km start.

Didn't get to warm-up properly and this made things rather difficult later on. And as usual, I started at the back.
After a few hundred metres, one of arwah's best friends, Adit caught up with me. He was wearing a tribute t-shirt he had made at Pertama earlier in the day.

Quite a few people then came up to me and gave me the thumbs up, and I assume all of them were arwah's friends as well. Another group was also wearing a tribute sign, their's with arwah's photo on it.
As for the run, I did well for the first 3km. Then my left leg felt a bit of pain and was cramping up. My body wanted to move even faster, but my leg didn't want to cooperate.

Then Adit caught up with me. Told him about my problem, so we brisk walked for a bit. We talked about arwah and the day he passed on. Adit was the one who BBMed me the news. Told him how I was in disbelief since I had received a BBM msg from arwah earlier in the morning. Adit thinks I might be the last person to receive a message from arwah. That made me a little emotional.

We then jogged and walked till we got to the 2nd water station at the 6km mark. I asked the medic for some deep heat rub but she didn't have any. She then pointed me to a bagful of ice. I took some and rubbed them on my feet. That gave me a bit of a relief.
Continued my run before someone else caught up with me. She introduced herself as arwah's wife's cousin. We chatted for a bit and she took a photo of the sign I was wearing.

Soon, my iPod indicated that I had done 10km, but we still had some way to go. To motivate myself, I used this guy who was running in Hawaiian bermudas as a marker. I caught up and passed him. Adit was a few hundred metres in front.

The last few hundred metres were the hardest. Although we were on the last straight, the Finish line seemed miles away. But I got there anyway...
I wasn't too bothered about the time I did, but it was more or less the same as my Siemens Run. Putrajaya at night is really humid, and everyone was just sweating buckets.

Met up with some colleagues from Media Prima later, including Johan who did the 5km. Everyone was way off their best times apparently.
I'm glad I did the run. Arwah Kharis would have patted me on the back and said "good job" and we would have had a bit of an argument about the Liverpool vs Man U result as well.

Next up, we will be running for arwah on Nov 13 for the Terry Fox Run. Do join us. No registration needed. Just pop by Padang Merbok on the day, buy a t-shirt and run. See you then.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Al-Fatihah Tuan Senang Besar

Finished MHI and received the worst kind of news; my friend Kharis (affectionately known to his friends as tuansenangbesar) had passed on just minutes before. A couple of our mutual friends contacted me to convey the news and I am still in disbelief. Arwah had sent me a BBM message at 5.52am and we were supposed to run the Putrajaya Night Marathon together this weekend. I was told that arwah collapsed while jogging near the Kelana Jaya Stadium. I can't believe he's gone. Al-Fatihah. (update below)

Updated 7.12pm:
I'm writing this in a hotel room somewhere in Perak. I regret I wasn't able to pay him my last respects due to work commitment, but I am happy to read and see that so many people did turn up at his home as well his final resting place in Kajang.

I still have tears in my eyes just thinking about arwah Kharis. I had only known him for a couple of years, but arwah's the kind of friend who'd go the extra mile for people he cared. And I know he loved his family with all his heart.

I may not have agreed with all his opinions on things, but I respect his conviction and honesty.

When I first started running, arwah was the one who spurred me on and all the milestones I reached, I had him by my side; the 6km at Taman Tun park, the 7km at the ntv7 feel good run and yes, the 10km at the Siemens Run just a couple of weeks ago, which proved to be our last run together.

We've actually made some plans together. I wanted to take up cycling and he offered to lend his bike before I buy one of my own. And of course, he offered to ride with me.

We also talked about going for the Gold Coast Airport Marathon. He's more than confident I could run the half-marathon.

Then there were the makan places he wanted me to try, like Kudu, and a couple of places in Kajang. Yes, he loved his food and it was thru food, specifically the Las Vacas steakhouse, that we bonded.

Arwah loved rugby as well and he was supposed to join me and some of our friends for the quarterfinals last weekend, but he couldn't make it at the last minute. He supported the All Blacks and I hope they win the world cup for him.

There's nothing left that I could offer him now save for my prayers. Brother, you will be missed.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Picture A Day: French Toast On The Go!

My cooking "skills" was put to the test today when I made some french toast "live" on national TV this morning. The result? Nothing got burnt (although I did spill some milk), and the french toast tasted good, if I may say so myself. Phew!

Friday, October 07, 2011

Changing Lifestyles

Nope, I'm not talking about the upcoming Budget and how life has been hard on our pockets (probably I should though), but more on the physical needs of it. They say Health is Wealth (don't ask me who "they" are, just read lah), and a few month back I decided to return to a more active lifestyle for my own sake. (It was also because I agreed to do the ntv7 Feel Good Run, and I didn't want to create a scene by passing out during the event, but let's keep that on a downlow).

I mean, once upon a time, I was fit as a fiddle. If I wasn't out there hitting the gym or shooting some hoops, I would be restless as hell.

But for the past few years, I've been hit by the lazy bug, to be honest. And of course, doing 2, 3 different jobs on a daily basis doesn't really give me time to spare for other activities. Especially those that require the changing of clothes and actually getting off my butt to do. The magazine and iPad are better alternatives, thank you.

But since I started running on a regular basis, I'm relishing that feeling of being fit and lean again. And seriously, I never thought that even competing in a 5km run would even be possible just a few months back. So, woo-freakin'-hoo.

And the great thing is, I feel like I'm not done yet. I need to get out more and do more stuff, especially when the big 4-0 is just around the corner.

So, what's next? Wifey did ask me a few days back if I was gonna take up golf. My response? "Pfffttt" with a big fat "P". I told her that I'm looking to do more "lasak" stuff, and not something my fat-ass colleagues at the office can do (I'm kidding only, don't lah too sensitive. Haha). So I'm thinking of one of two things, or maybe both.

1. Trail running. It's running (and walking), but in jungles and stuff. Looks robust and challenging, and I'm up for it. I'm not a jungle-y person to be honest, but I think it will be great fun.

2. Cycling. It's a toss-up between the road and mountain bike, but I'm currently learning towards the latter. Been checking out the web on cycling groups and communities in the country and the scene is definitely thriving. I would need to invest some moolah though as a good bike would cost at least RM1.5k. Then I would need the other accessories including helmets, tights and jockstraps (kan?). But I'm game for it.

 So like I always say: Do watch this space...

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Food, Glorious Food!: September 2011 Edition (Shook!, The Loaf Bistro etc)

Yeah I know, I skipped the August edition and to be honest, I've not been to many new makan places of late. But let me just share these with you folks...

I've not been to Shook! at swanky Starhill Gallery in ages, so it was quite a nice re-surprise when we decided to plonk ourselves there one weekend. Service was as excellent as ever, with the staff being super attentive and actually know about the food that they serve. 

And speaking of the food; well, we had no complaints whatsoever. The Italian Bento had stuff that I love. Mostly simple dishes like the soup and spaghetti, but with everything done perfectly.

We also had some Prawn Tempura and it was one of the best we've ever tasted. There was just something about the batter that made the tempuras so good and satisfying.

But it was the Honey Roasted Chicken that was the star of the whole lot. The chicken was deliciously tender and the way it was roasted resulted in the perfect blend of taste and texture. Highly recommended!

Of course the bill came up to nearly RM200, but with a great ambiance and faultless service, we had no regrets.

Next up is a place we go to quite often these days; The Loaf Bistro at Pavilion. Yup, not the bakery, but the bistro on the floor above. And yes, just like their breads, the prices here are also above-average. Just wanted to say that upfront : )

Anyway, they do have quite an interesting fusion menu with local, Japanese and the Western cuisines given their own unique twists. Of course you can't start things off here without their excellent breads...

The Caesar Salad was pretty good too.

And here are some of the mains we've had so far there:

This was the Royal Seafood Pasta (RM55).  And look at that; big and chunky seafood bits topped with a portion of lobster.

Definitely for the seafood pasta lovers, although others might get "muak" rather easily.

For burger lovers, their Grass Fed Beef Burger (RM38) is a must-try.  Don't get intimidated by the sheer size of it! As the saying goes; if you pay, there must be a way. Haha. Yeah, I just made that up, but you get my point...

And here's the favourite of the little one; The Salmon Twist Pasta. A healthy meal definitely, I liked it as well, although it was just a tad salty.

Finally, to something local; Fish Head Curry! I'm not a MAJOR fan, but I do get the craving once in a while. And the most convenient place for us to get stuck in would be at the Subang Jaya Pelita Nasi Kandar branch.

And this would usually be our spread:

But on this particular visit, there was only one fish head left, and it wasn't that fresh, I must say. The curry though was really good and so were the rest of the stuff we had, including the Sotong Goreng and Ayam Kurma.

So, that's it for this edition. Happy Makan folks!


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