Monday, December 31, 2012

My Favourite Stuff Of 2012

The Avengers
 Come on, was there another film as spectacularly fun as The Avengers in 2012?

Babel by Mumford & Sons
 The world needs more banjo-driven music. Especially when it's this good.

Blu Ray
The Dark Knight Trilogy
 Three awesome movies in a great package...

TV Show (Drama)
The Walking Dead
 Zombies have always, always been way cooler than vampires lah...

TV Show (Comedy)
The Big Bang Theory
 Who knew there's still a lot of depth left in this bunch of nerdy (and one sexy) characters?

Radio Show
The Evening Edition on Bfm
(Semi) serious discussions on the news of the day interspersed with obscure rock tunes. Well done, guys!

YouTube Channel
But of course!

 This book will change your life. Trust me.

"Train" in KL
Don't think they were in top form, but the hit-laden set was definitely crowd-pleasing enough

Kokopelli Travelers Bistro
 Nothing beats absolutely delicious food. And they have plenty of 'em here.

Westfield, Stratford City
 Great stores, fine halal makan places and a spectacular view of the Olympic Park. What more could
you ask for?

Nike Fuelband
Making fitness fun, and cool. Hurrah!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

My Favourite Moments Of 2012

Well for one, the day when the world did NOT end was pretty memorable. Phew! But it was yet another milestone-packed 365 days for me, and for that, I feel extremely blessed : )

Larian 40 Taman 100km
After catching the running bug last year, I started a community running project to promote healthy living and the appreciation of neighbourhood parks called Larian 40 Taman 100km. As I'm writing this, we have completed 37 out of 40 parks and it has been a really, really rewarding journey.

Harry Fotografi
Created and co-wrote this comedy series that went on-air on TV9 back in February.

Year 3 On MHI
Started out as an "accidental host" and now I'm truly enjoying every moment of it; from making potato salads and burgers, to interviewing local and international stars, and all manner of ordinary and extraordinary people. And oh yeah, even got my own Tia on the show. Cronyism at its best!

The British 10k London Run
Brunei was my first overseas run, and my personal best would have been clocked at another event in London in September, but this July event was the run of the year for me. It was challenging, emotional and fun, all at the same time. Read all about it HERE...

Moved To A New Pad

The Great Ocean Road Drive
It was our first time in Melbourne and we covered more than 1,000 kms, going up a mountain for snow fun and to an island to meet the penguins. But the highlight of highlights was indeed the drive along the Great Ocean Road that culminated in cool helicopter ride over the Twelve Apostles. What a day!

The Makeover
Got on the scale one day and saw that I've lost more than 15kgs since early last year. And I've gone from XL to M, and from 35 to 32 waist. Mission next year; to be good enough for a fitness mag cover model gig. Haha.

Back To School!
Left for the UK for a month to do an intensive film-making course and finally directed my first short film. Watch it HERE...

Mamak Cupcake
After a two-year wait, my first feature film went into production this past November. Yup, what a dream come true it was. The film will be released in late 2013, and in the meantime, more screenplays are on the cards. And hopefully, directing's in there somewhere as well for me :)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

41 And Lovin' It!

Before I forget, allow me to just say thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes, gifts and surprises! Yup, turned 41 on the 8th and it turned out to be a fine day for more than one reason.

On the eve of my birthday, I walked into my office very early in the morning and was totally surprised by the room makeover given by my team. The gifts weren't bad either :)

And on the 8th itself, I started the day by doing a Larian 40 Taman and having a quiet dinner with the fam later on. Nothing too fancy, but it was more than enough to commemorate the day...

And really, there's so much more for me to look forward to this coming year. I've never felt fitter in my life, and there projects and trips lined up that would hopefully see me hitting brand new milestones in 2013. Again, thanks everyone!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Larian 40 Taman 100km: Just THREE More To Go!

All the cliches fit here: "Pejam celik, pejam celik, dah nak sampai pun", "Time flies when you're having fun", etc. Yes indeed, it does feel like it was only yesterday that I launched my own community running project called "Larian 40 Taman, 100km". The objective's simple; to run at 40 different parks within one year with the local community and encourage a healthy lifestyle amongst Malaysians.

The first run was held at Taman Bandaran Kelana Jaya on the 14th of January and as at today, we have completed 37 parks all across the country, and yes, a couple international runs as well.


It's been a blast, really. For starters, I've made quite a number of new friends with a passion in running and it's been wonderful discovering all these parks in the country. Yes, Larian 40 Taman is not only a Klang Valley-centric project, but we've also been to Johor, Melaka, Negri Sembilan, Sabah, Sarawak, Perak, Penang and Putrajaya.

Youth Park, Penang

Lake Gardens, Seremban

Taman Tasik Ampang Hilir, Selangor

And as mentioned, I've also included in the list a few iconic international parks like Hyde Park in London and Albert Park in Melbourne.

Albert Park, Melbourne

To be perfectly honest, it's been a fun, yet challenging ride. I mean, it is quite a commitment to gather people every Saturday morning to run, and it's quite common to receive SMSes at the last minute saying, "Sorry bang, terlajak tidur!". Hehe.

And since I have early mornings on Thursdays and Fridays hosting MHI, I often do felt like it was tough waking up early on Saturdays myself!

We've also had two long breaks. Once for Ramadhan, and then in September, when I left to do my film-making course in London, something I hadn't planned for in 2012.

The run count also felt rather slow in the beginning, especially when people kept saying, "Ooo, banyak lagi!". Damn, that was a morale-sapper right there. But since hitting the 3-0 mark, things have felt rather  quick, and here I am, just three more parks to hit the much-awaited FOUR ZERO.

Taman Botani Perdana, KL

Taman Budaya, Kuching

Special shoutouts must go to all who've been such great supporters of the run. We now even have a "Larian 40 Taman" team, that will also be competing in our second relay race in January after the Ekiden Run back in May.

The handsome dudes of Team Larian 40 Taman. Hehe

And oh yes, if you're planning to join the final run, it will be at Taman Lembah Kiara, TTDI. I haven't decided on the date yet, but I am expecting a big turn out for this one. Till then, keep on running folks!

Malaysia 1 Thailand 1: Still All To Play For!

By now, everyone should know what's at stake; the AFF Suzuki Cup crown will slip from our grasp should we lose in Bangkok in the semifinal 2nd leg this weekend. A win or a high-scoring draw would mean we are through to the finals.

In all honesty, the 1-1 draw last Sunday was a fair result. We played well, but the Thais also played a good away game; waiting to pounce on any defensive lapses on the home team's part.

BUT, I am pretty confident of getting a good result in Bangkok. Thailand aren't superior in any part of the field and I believe our players have the character to pull this one off!

Meantime, here are some snaps from the first semi at Stadium Bukit Jalil...

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Mamak Cupcake Press Conference

Finally, "Mamak Cupcake" was officially revealed to the world this past Wednesday. The press conference was held at House Restaurant at e@curve and it was great to see a huge turnout by the press.

Almost all the key cast members were there, together with our director Woo Ming Jin and Grand Brilliance GM, Tengku Iesta.

And here's the official synopsis for Mamak Cupcake:

Filem ini berkisar tentang seorang anak jati Penang berketurunan Mamak iaitu MJ (Shaheizy Sam) yang mempunyai konflik minat dan matlamat hidup yang sangat berbeza di mana MJ amat meminati pembuatan kek cawan atau cupcake.

Malangnya, hasrat beliau terhalang kerana terpaksa bertarung hasrat bapanya yang menginginkan beliau untuk mewarisi perniagaan tradisi keluarganya. MJ hampir berputus asa sehinggalah beliau berjumpa dengan seorang gadis iaitu Juliana (Siti Saleha) yang mengembalikan semangat beliau.

Jadi, yang mana satukah pilihan MJ? Adakah MJ akan terus meneruskan perjuangan beliau demi minat ataupun meneruskan tradisi turun temurun perniagaan keluarganya? Nantikan kesudahan filem Mamak Cupcake yang bakal menemui anda tidak lama lagi.

And lastly, here's the official first look at the film. ENJOY!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

My Short Film: "Tweet"

The CD arrived from London last week, so here it is; "Tweet". This is the short film I wrote and directed while doing the film-making course at Central Film School London last September. I worked with four other students and we were given a budget of GBP200. The inspiration for it? Well, have a look and you'll probably see someone you know in here... : )

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Jalan-Jalan Cardiff, Wales

A day before I left for home from London in September, I headed out to Cardiff for one last day trip. I had initially thought of going to Dublin, but as they say, "Kalau tak dapat ke Dublin, Cardiff pun jadilah" (OK, I totally made that up).

Anyway, as opposed to my other day trips to Brighton and Oxford, Cardiff was a tad pricier. I mean, it was another whole different country and stuff. And oh, forgive me if I can't recall all the details of it in this post. But I do remember that the train ticket was GBP67.50 (RM337.50). Dah cakap dah, mahal sikit lah.

And yeah, I've learned my lesson from previous trips well and got to the train station early (was it Paddington?), to ensure myself a nice and comfy seat. The journey itself was a pleasant one with only a few stops in between.

I think I got there around 11am, and the sun was shining brightly, although the temperature was low. First thing I noticed was of course the Welsh language which was on all signboards and notices. I tried pronouncing them but gave up due to the lack of vowels.

Anyway, I exited the train station and immediately saw the Millennium Stadium. But of course my first mission was to find the Hop On Hop Off bus station.

I didn't have any maps or guides so I decided to explore the area around the Stadium first. It was a Saturday but the city centre area was rather quiet and deserted.

From there, I stumbled upon the entrance to Bute Park, one of the most famous landmarks in Cardiff. And yes, of course I wished I had my running gear on; I mean, it'd definitely be cool to have "Wales" on the list of Larian 40 Taman!

The views here was just wonderful and I also stopped at a cafe to have a plate of vegetarian lasagna while getting freaked out by the numerous large dogs the other restaurant patrons decided to bring along for their lunch!

After Bute Park, I saw the red Hop On Hop Off bus going in the general direction of Cardiff Castle, probably THE most famous landmark in the city.

I decided to do the castle thingy later on and got on the bus instead. And yes, I remembered that bringing a used City Sightseeing bus ticket would get me a discount for this trip, so I actually got 10% off.

We got a "live" commentary on the bus and the dude was indeed entertaining, especially with his anti-English jokes. Hehe.

I finally got down near Cardiff Bay where loads were happening. For one, there were tons of international restaurants here, so you could just take your pick (I ended up by crisps at Waitrose though).

 And the views of the Bay were simply wonderful.

Also interesting here was the Roald Dahl plass and of course the Wales Millennium Centre, the city's premier arts centre.

I finished the tour after that and got down at Cardiff Castle. And I must say that the castle is a must-visit of you're ever in town.

A medieval castle and a Victorian Gothic revival mansion, there's so much to discover here, especially with the help with the audio guide.

My last stop was the shops right opposite the castle. Blew most of my money here but it was really worth it as I got to bring home the famous Welsh Love Spoon, and the obligatory tees, keychains and other knick knacks.

There's plenty of restaurants around here as well, including halal ones and I had some pretty good Thai noodles here, while listening to some Malaysian kids from Taman Tun telling their Mat Salleh friends how Malaysian public transportation sucked. Seriously, I'm not making this up.

Then, it was a walk back to the train station for the journey home. Overall, a good day trip with plenty to write home about. But oh yeah, one very weird thing was; because of the Cardiff's football team's Malaysian connection, it's a pretty common thing to see people walking around wearing jerseys with the name "Malaysia" printed on their chests. For sure it made me feel damn proud :)


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