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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Evel Knievel Makes Final Jump

Another one of my childhood heroes bit the dust yesterday. Daredevil Evel Knievel, 69, dodged death in spectacular motorcycle leaps and crashes in a life full of showmanship. He died in the Tampa Bay area of Florida where he recently made his home.

"Anybody can jump a motorcycle," he once told Esquire magazine. "The trouble begins when you try to land it."

He spent almost a month in a coma in 1968 after he crashed while jumping the fountains at the Caesars Palace casino-hotel in Las Vegas. There were more serious injuries when he tried to clear a tank full of sharks in Chicago in 1976.

Knievel -- who retired in 1981 after breaking more than 40 bones in his body, including his back seven times -- had been ill for some time, suffering from a lung disease. He recently gave what he said "may be the last interview I ever do" to the December issue of Maxim magazine and battled rap singer Kanye West for infringing his trademark in the "Touch the Sky" video, in which West appears as "Evel Kanyevel" and wears a white jumpsuit like the one Knievel made famous.

The two reached a settlement on Tuesday.

In his heyday, the king of all daredevils dressed like a superhero in a red, white and blue leather jumpsuit with a cape and cane, his hair sculpted back in a tall pompadour. Knievel's greatest stunt turned out to be a failure when on September 8, 1974, he tried to ride a rocket-powered motorcycle across the Snake River Canyon in Idaho.

With a pay-per-view television audience watching, the parachute deployed when his Skycycle X-2 was only two-thirds across, sending the cycle into the canyon wall. It landed partly in the river but Knievel walked away with minor injuries.

For a jump over 13 double-decker buses in London's Wembley Stadium in 1975, he was paid $1 million, a fortune at the time, according to Maxim. One of Knievel's motorcycles - a 1972 Harley-Davidson XR-750 is in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

His final years were plagued by pain from his accidents, as well as pulmonary fibrosis, a scarring of the lungs. "God never made a tougher son of a bitch than me," Knievel told USA Today in an interview published in January.

The reporter described Knievel, who was 68 at the time, as feeble and reliant on an oxygen tank and an implanted drug pump to relieve his pain "If you don't know about pain and trouble, you're in sad shape," he told Esquire. "They make you appreciate life."

Knievel's personal life was at times almost as painful as his job. He had trouble with the law starting as a teenager, went through bankruptcy and was estranged for years from his son, Robbie, who also became a motorcycle daredevil.

Knievel did not quit drinking until undergoing a liver transplant in 1999. Born in Butte, Montana, he said he was inspired at the age of 8 when he saw an auto daredevil show.

He was dubbed "Evil Knievel" by a jailer in Montana after crashing his motorcycle while fleeing from police. He later changed the spelling to "Evel" as his daredevil career took off to avoid being perceived as a bad guy.

Knievel was married twice and had four children.

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

5 Things You Should Never Say To A Woman

It all started a couple of weeks ago with a phone call from my friend Glenn. He wanted advice. “It’s my girlfriend Shirley. She’s angry with me, dude. Won’t say a word. Won’t cook or clean or do my laundry. I haven’t even had sex for three days. I feel really bad man”.

I told him that I know nothing about relationships. That I was a big time loser. That he was better off asking Britney Spears for parenting advice. I couldn’t shake him off. “What about all the good stuff you write in your blog?” he asked defensively. “That’s all bullshit man. It’s all made up phony ramblings” I shot back. “Well, ramble me some phony advice then” he pleaded.

“Ok. Let me guess” I said smugly “You pissed her off and now you miss her madly, right?

“No, dude. I miss the sex madly” replied Glenn.

Thinking fast, I made up some advice that I thought was appropriate. Then a few days later Mark calls me. “I heard you gave Glenn some advice and now he and Shirley are all lovey dovey again” he said, sounding totally disgusted. “Err, could be. I’m a very busy guy and I can’t be expected to remember everything” I replied evasively, deciding to play it safe.

“Well it’s like this dude” said Mark “Nancy gave me the Jimmy Choo” “Huh? What the duck are you talking about?” I asked. “She gave me the boot, man” Mark said sadly. “I thought Datuk Jimmy Choo only made shoes, not boots” I said, totally confused. “Will you bloody get serious, mate? I’m like totally miserable here” Mark said through gritted teeth.

“Ok. Let me guess” I said smugly “You pissed her off and now you miss her madly, right?

“No, dude. I miss the sex madly” replied Mark.

So when I got a frantic panic call from Suresh at 3:17am last night that his girl Renuka had just fled the coop, I cut him short. “Let me guess” I said smugly “You pissed her off and now you miss the sex madly, right?

“What kind of a sick pervert are you, dude? I miss my darling ren-ren so much” replied Suresh indignantly.

*Sigh* …so in order to avoid future calls at ungodly hours, here goes…*sigh*….

5 Things You Should Never Say to a Woman

Women freak out. Often at you. Often for no discernible reason. You say something that you consider totally innocuous, or even downright nice, only to find that you've offended, enraged, or annoyed them.

Your first problem is that you’re attracted to women, a very weird group of people, That’s not going to go away. So here's a problem that you can solve: word choice. You need to know the phrases that, once introduced to her volatile atmosphere, will result in an explosion, quiet contempt or constant arguing, withering stares, and no sex, which is no picnic either). Therefore you need to strike them out from your vocabulary.

Forbidden Phrase #1: "Relax."

It might seem logical to tell a woman who's freaking out to relax. And if "logical" meant the same thing as "stupidest idea ever," you'd be correct. Understand this - a woman screaming and carrying on in anger or frustration or panic thinks that her response is 100 percent appropriate. If the situation has anything to do with you, she feels she has a responsibility to freak out extra to compensate for you remaining so maddeningly calm.

So when you tell her to relax, you're implying that your response (i.e. nothing) is correct. You're denying that there's a reason to be upset. You're telling her she's crazy. Women may sometimes feel crazy and joke about it, but anything smacking of an accusation of being crazy will be far from soothing.

Say..."I'm just as upset about this as you are. Let's deal with it together." This way she knows you're totally sympathetic. This should help her to...oh, God...relax.

Forbidden Phrase #2: "I love you." (During a fight)

In the movies, "I love you" is usually employed by men during appropriate situations like lovemaking, walks on the beach, airport reunions. In real life, a woman hears "I love you" most often at that point in a fight when she desperately wants to get to the bottom of the issue, which is exactly when you desperately want to stop this nonsense and watch CSI:NY - which you don't normally even watch.

When you come home shirtless from a bachelor party or forget her birthday and stand there in the face of her rage and crushing disappointment, do you really believe that merely stating the powerful existence of your love is going to make everything okay? Hello? Here’s a newsflash - it's not.

Say . . .

1. "[Insert detailed explanation of what you did and why you did it.]"

2. "It won't happen again."

3. "I love you." (It's okay at the end of the apology, just not at the beginning.)

And the next time you go to a bachelor party, you doofus, take along an extra shirt.

learn why silence isn't golden...

Forbidden Phrase #3: "It's up to you." ("Whatever you want to do is fine with me")

Relationships are full of decisions. You decide where to eat, where to go on vacation, what brand of condoms to use. Most men wouldn't dream of looking at their wife or girlfriend and say, "You know what? I just don't care." They would, however, say, "It's up to you." And immediately find themselves in a world of hurt and disappointment that they never saw coming.

Men think of decision-making as work without pay. For women, it's like window-shopping for life's possibilities, and they want us to help them shop. So when you say, "It's up to you," they feel abandoned.

Say . . . "I could definitely do A or B, but I'm not crazy about C. What are you thinking?" This shows you're listening, suggests you care, and very neatly gets you out of deciding.

Forbidden Phrase #4: "You knew I was this way when you married me."

Well, the truth is that she didn't. Or she knew deep down, but she was so busy enjoying her fantasy of you that she chose to ignore what was really there. It's not your fault. It's just that when they were little, girls spent so much time daydreaming about having the perfect life. Now that they're actually in grown-up life, they can't turn off their daydreaming switch.

Telling a woman, "You knew I was this way when you married me" is like saying the way your life is right now is the way it's going to be forever and ever. That may well be true--in many wonderful and not-so-wonderful ways. But if she were to accept that, a little part of her would die.

Say . . . "It frustrates me too, honey. I'm working on it." You know it's a big fat lie. That's okay. We’re talking survival of the male species here.

Forbidden Phrase #5: (Saying Nothing)

Many times, you may be afraid of saying the wrong thing. You think, If I just keep my mouth shut, I'll be okay. Well, ahem, no. Imagine you're playing in a football game in which there is no defender and no goalie. You would not enjoy that. Imagine yourself, head hanging, going to retrieve the ball yourself and, once again, kicking a goal to no one. That's how women feel when you don't talk to them.

Say . . . Anything. Kick the ball back. Kick it badly. Even risk kicking a wild shot and letting her take an extra free kick. Just keep your head in the game.

the magic words that will grant you forgiveness...

3 instant get-out-of-jail-free cards

When a woman wants to kill you, you have one thing going for you: Deep down, a tiny part of her wants you to make her not do it. She just might put down the samurai sword if you say one of the following sentences.

"Just tell me everything." I don't think a man has ever actually uttered this statement, so make history. Here's the thing: Their most violent anger is often the result of anticipating being forced to shut up. So once they're told they can give their entire, endless account--no rushing or defending ourselves--they cool off. Side benefit: They also get a little intimidated. They think, is this part important or interesting or relevant? They edit themselves.

"You are just so beautiful." The trick: You must say it as if it's just occurring to you at that moment, as if her pulchritude were a rainbow suddenly in your path, so stunning that it has left you incapacitated, emotionally stunted, but in a good way. Say it as if you can remember little else--certainly not whatever irksome matter you were just discussing. Works well as an alternative to "I love you". In the same way that butter makes anything taste better, it's an all-purpose remedy.

"Sorry. It was all my fault." So classic. So hard to say. Because it's never all your fault, of course. It's a very rare case in which she shouldn't also say she's sorry. Everyone likes to save face. Truly, there is nothing hotter to a woman than a man who's willing to admit he was wrong because he just loves her so damn much. You might feel like you're losing her respect, but unless you're always the one to apologize (which means you have a crazy woman on your hands), trust me, you're going to ace it.

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Wimp's Guide to Approaching Women

11:00pm Friday night and I was seated at my usual table in the outdoor patio of Borneo Baruk Club with a couple of my dancers. They wanted to check out the stage and ambience in preparation for their performance.

The GM of the outlet, Melvin Francis, spotted me and rushed over, waggling his index finger at me. “you! Dave Avran!” he bellowed. “Hi Melvin” I said “nice of you to tell me who I am. Meet Nancy, Judy and Azi”. “Ya, ya hello hello” said the preoccupied feller before turning his attention back to me. “You caused me a lot of trouble lah” he said.

“Watchoo talking about, bro?” I asked in my best Gary Coleman impersonation. ”Don’t pray pray this is serious” admonished Melvin. “Ever since you blogged about Carmen Wong I’ve had nothing but trouble. All the guys come here and expect me to introduce her to them. And when I can’t do that then they want me to teach them how to approach all the other girls!” He said in exasperation.

“Has your clientele increased?” I asked Melvin. “Yes” he answered. “Has your F&B sales increased?” I asked again. “Yes” he replied again. “So what’s the problem?” I asked him.

“The problem, my friend, is that I am kept so busy entertaining these horny buggers that I have no time to do my work, and since it’s all your fault you are gonna write another article on how to pick up women to rectify this” he thundered in my ear.

“But…but…bro, I’m a loser when it comes to women” I whined. “Yeah, right. You’re sitting here with a coupla babes and everyone’s staring at your table wondering what this ugly fu*k has got that they haven’t” said Melvin sarcastically. “Just bloody do it, ok?” “Yes, bro” I answered meekly.

So after two sleepless nights surfing the internet, 74 cans of beer and 20 packets of potato chips, I proudly present …

The Wimp’s Guide to Approaching Women.

We've all found ourselves, at one point or another in our lives, wanting to approach a beautiful woman. Whether she just walks past us, or is seated at a table across from us in a restaurant, the thought has crossed our minds. When the time came to approach them, we simply sat back and rationalized that it was not the appropriate time to make a move.

Most men refuse to approach women because they have no idea how to go about it. Hey, it's hard enough approaching women in clubs -- where the environment invites social communication so imagine how much harder it is when it comes to the outside world. You never know who you'll meet. I've met a lot of beautiful women over the past few years, but the most interesting ones were those that I met by chance: at an event, in a café, club or at a restaurant. These women were also the ones I found most difficult to approach.

The main problem is that the situation is a little tricky. Firstly, you only have a few moments to make a courageous move, unlike a dance club, where you have all night to break the ice. Secondly, because you're in a not so welcoming environment, some women might be afraid and suspicious of you.

Men hate it when women reject them. There's nothing worse than having your ego smashed to little pieces when the woman of your dreams turns you down for a chat. You really thought she was interested, but somehow you must have misread her signals.

From the male point of view, women are often far too subtle and indirect or just plain confusing when revealing their romantic interest (unless you happen to be really good-looking and loaded with cash, in which case your worries are over as they will stalk you). And yes, women often send mixed messages because they're not sure of what's going on inside their own heads.

The Common Mistakes Men Make

Unfortunately, some men don't realize that certain factors will deter a woman from accepting an advance or invitation from a total stranger.

Forgetting a woman's comfort zone
Just because you know that you're a nice guy, doesn't mean she does too. It is important for you to realize that most women will be on their guard when you first approach them. This is normal, and the important thing is for you to come across as a normal and harmless guy. A little humor usually helps to break the ice.

Trying to fool women
The second biggest error most men make is that they don't give women enough credit and respect. Most men think that they can fool a woman into giving them their number. Duuuh! Women know that you're trying to pick them up, so don't beat around the bush. Be direct and let them know exactly what you want. By doing so, you'll come across as a confident and straightforward guy.

Approaching without a plan
Some guys can improvise successfully, but regardless of the case, having a plan always helps your chances of coming across as a person she might consider dating.

Acting like a pervert
Many men keep on sabotaging any good chances they have by keeping their eyes aimed down at a woman's breasts. Instead, keep your eyes locked onto hers. You want her to think that you're the knight in shining armor that’s going to romantically sweep her off her feet rather than a dog that’s just sniffing any old fire hydrant ready to mark his territory.

Overcome the paradox
When you go to a nightclub, you'll see many women who are acting out a paradox: They're dressed up in sexy clothes (obviously to get attention from men), but they're acting like they don't want men to talk to them most of the time. Of course, this isn't always true all the time, but if you go to nightclubs and bars, then I'm sure you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Work your plan
Remember that beautiful women are usually hit on a lot at clubs and bars. Most of the guys are drunk and stupid or using lame pickup lines or acting like wussies or offering to buy drinks etc. The first thing to do is not act like other stupid guys who have no game plan.

Don't kiss up to women in nightclubs, and don't give them your power. In other words: Hold yourself and communicate like you are in complete control of yourself and your surroundings and behave like nothing she does can upset you.

Keep the conversation going
Remember that for the first few minutes you're probably going to get some resistance from most women. One of the big tests when meeting women in clubs is whether or not you can keep talking to a woman who isn't being overly friendly. In fact, some women will be completely cold and uninterested.

If you encounter a rude or cold woman, just move on; you need to be selective and not put aside your own standards just because a woman is attractive. On the other hand, if a woman seems a little bit resistant, keep the conversation going. You'll find in many cases that after 5 or 10 minutes she'll begin to warm up.

If you're having a conversation (as opposed to just getting her e-mail/number and leaving), then you need to turn up the confident and funny comments and just play it cool like a friend. Pubs are a great place for palmistry, astrology, face reading, and other "cold reading" techniques. Learn a few tricks if you want to start a great conversation.

Watch her body language
She points in your direction with her leg, foot or shoulders. She leans toward you while talking. She plays with or tosses her hair. She fidgets with a piece of jewelry (like an earring) or strokes the stem of her glass. She keeps her eyes locked on you while she talks or drinks. She mirrors your body movements (for example, if you put your hand on the table, she does the same). She smiles when you check her out. If you become aware of a cluster of these signals, you can be sure that she's giving you the green light for romance.

Get the digits
If, like me, you're not very skilled, get a woman's e-mail and/or number and go. There are so many distractions in bars and clubs that it really makes it difficult to have a conversation. There is loud thumping music, other guys, her girlfriends, etc., and if you don't really know what you're doing, then you're likely to fumble somewhere. Just get her digits and follow up later.

Also, it's a great idea to find guys like my bro Melvin Francis who are smooth operators at meeting women and to watch them in action. You'll learn a lot from doing this. Notice I said “watch”. Don’t bug the guy. Lastly, don't worry about what happens. Just go over and talk to the woman you fancy. The women expect it, and even if you get rejected, it's still great practice!

There you go Melvin, you’re off the hook now.
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Thursday, November 15, 2007

All Men Are Bastards

Now, you and I know that not all men are bastards, but we also know that they can behave like absolute bastards if they want to do so.

Today I heard that a friend and fellow editor Yasmin passed away from cancer. Fine, I hear you say, we’re sorry to hear you lost your friend, but wake up, Dave shit happens all the time, nothing to get worked up about. Quite.

Yasmin was being treated by Dr Wong at the same alternative health clinic I go to. Diagnosed at stage 4, she did not undergo any chemotheraphy or take the requisite drugs. Under Dr Wong’s care she was making amazing progress.

Then her husband of twelve years asked her for a divorce so that he can be with his girlfriend. She confided to a small group of close friends, including me. I was gobsmacked. There’s honesty and then there’s sheer dumb stupidity. “Moron” or “retard” doesn’t even begin to describe it.

We advised her to be strong and fight to live for the sake of her 11 year old son. Her husband started pressuring her to transfer the house and her EPF savings to him. Long story short, he dragged her sickly body to the Syariah court and got his divorce on account that she couldn’t provide him with sex anymore. She stood there propped up by her parents and cried her heart out because she still loved him.

Yasmin refused to answer my phone calls after that. She also refused to go to Dr Wong’s for treatment. She gave up.

She died today, two months after her husband broke her heart. Two miserable months. If only he had just shut his gab, he would have emerged as a hero who stood by his wife through thick and thin. Instead he chose to think with his dick.

Yes, as an adult I fully recognise that sometimes people marry the wrong person, and sometimes you fall in love again. Yes, I accept this as a fact of life. But what I cannot accept nor condone, is this cavalier attitude some men have towards their own children. Leave if you must, but don’t make your child suffer any more than he or she already has to.

Oh, and newsflash - once you get married, there is another person sharing your life. Kiss goodbye to your bachelor days when you can hang out with the guys 24/7, and don’t expect her to just meekly wait and look after your brats whilst you go gallivanting about painting the town red and bonking other women.

Goodbye, Yasmin. I console myself with the thought that you are no longer in pain.
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Sunday, November 11, 2007


This post is gonna read very suspiciously like another round of Chinawimmen bashing on my part, but I am merely relating events as they unfold. It was my first outing in a year and we were at the very hip and happening Borneo Baruk Café in Jalan Kia Peng to discuss a series of shows for Prabu, the stand-up comedian that I manage.

It was 6:00pm and we were seated in the open air patio. At our table were Melvin Francis, an old friend and GM of the outlet, V Casey another old friend and National Sales Manager of Guinness Anchor Berhad, Prabu and myself.

I had forgotten how good beer tasted. The ice cold amber liquid slid down my throat effortlessly and I almost snapped my neck as I tried to ogle all the gorgeous Chinawimmen streaming into the outlet from all directions. They were in shorts. In miniskirts. In office wear. They were everywhere. My friends laughed at me as I wiped the drool from my chin.

“Take it easy, brother. Baby steps, ok? You just got one eye done lah” advised Prabu. “Baby steps my ass” I growled “I have one year’s worth of ogling to catch up on. Holy Cow! Did you see that gorgeous creature?” Melvin excused himself and disappeared into the outlet.

He returned five minutes later with said gorgeous creature in tow, and nonchalantly said “Dave, meet Carmen Wong”. “Hi Dave,” she gushed, offering me a perfectly manicured hand. “Melvin told me you’re recovering from an illness and that you’ve just had your left eye operated on…you like?” she asked, striking a pose.

“Hell yeah! I like” I answered. Obviously pleased with my enthusiasm, she bent over me till her face hovered 2 inches from mine. “Then what are you gonna do about it?” she asked, smiling mischievously. I was transfixed, feeling her breath on my face, smelling her perfume and taking in every detail of her little pixie face

“I…uh…I…err..I… need your email address” was the best I could manage as the table erupted into laughter. “Its” she shot over her shoulder as she sauntered back into the café. I was busy writing it down and couldn’t understand why my friends were laughing so uproariously.

“Brother, with you around I cannot cari makan lah” grinned Prabu, wiping tears from his eyes. Whateverlah. I’m glad to have spread some cheer around. “Eh Dave, what’s the big deal with Chinawimmen anyway?” asked Casey, who is himself married to one.

It’s like this boys and girls. They are the nearest you can get to having a white woman but much cleaner and with Asian values (did I just commit hara kiri here?).They’re independent, smart, hardworking and sassy like hell. Of course I’m talking about the sophisticated westernized variety and not the China bukit type you find sprouting everywhere like common garden weeds.

Part of the problem is that their market value is so damn high. Farkin Kweilohs go gaga over them (don’t even open that door and get me started). Malay guys fish for them Every Indio I know will bust his black ass to get himself a Chinawoman, and of course Chinamen go for them too, naturally.

Another big plus point is that you don’t have to worry about converting to another religion as most of them are either Christians or Buddhists. Then there’s the fact that they’ll eat any damn thing so you don’t have “halal” issues and your diet can remain pretty much the same. They’ll also go anywhere with you and best of all they drink alcohol.

They are not clingy octopuses like a certain other race and they will hold their own quite nicely, thank you. Neither will their entire extended family get involved and meddle in your affairs like another certain race.

“Wah, so good one ah?” asked Melvin. “They got nothing bad meh?”

I was getting to that, brother Mel. But beware! Beneath that beautiful porcelain complexion, almond eyes, cute little button nose and petite stature lurks danger of the highest order. Like eating the Japanese Fugu fish. It’s expensive, very rare, absolutely delicious and its poison can kill you in an instant if not removed properly.

All Chinawimmen possess a switch in their brains that when triggered on will render them completely cold and heartless. They will then proceed to delete your file, empty their recycle bin and defrag their hard drives, thereby effectively deleting you from their memory bank and lives completely and forever.

After that they will lay into you with their samurai swords, de-boning your body and filleting your flesh into paper thin slices to make any sushi chef beam with pride and joy. Finally they will walk away and never look back. You will never recover. Never.

“Wooiyoo! So serious one meh?” muttered Casey, quickly ordering another two jugs of Tiger beer to shut me up. Okay, I’m done talking about Chinawimmen. For now.

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Monday, November 05, 2007

The Spanker's Back !

What a terribly difficult year its been. I have not blogged since Nov 2006 simply because my vision was reduced to 30% by cataracts.

For those of you who just surfed to this channel, a short re-cap: I had been on a daily heavy dose of steroids since 2004, to correct a nerve disorder. Early this year I switched to alternative medicine and found out that the steroid did not repair my damaged nerves, it merely covered up my condition and allowed me to function "normally" under a false sense of security.

In Nov 2006 my sister Moni "kidnapped" me from my apartment and took me into her home to look after me upon learning of my blurred vision. One of her fellow teachers introduced me to Dr Wong, who specialises in alternative medicine, and Saroja. Dr Wong made me gradually stop the steroids as the side effects were terrible, causing weight gain, glaucoma and cataracts. As I reduced the steroids my body jammed up proportionally and It was only then that I realised the extent of the damage.

Long story short, I have been confined to bed for a year as my body is jammed up . To make things worse, I could not see clearly, not even dial my handphone or read text messages, check my email or read the newspaper. I had to depend heavily on my 13 year old nephew Amrin. Most of the time he obliged me without any complaint but ocassionally If he happened to be in a foul mood he'd screw me up by saying he'd attend to me later. For one year my life depended on the whims and fancies of a 13 year old kid. However, all said and done Amrin's been an angel and I bless him everyday in my prayers.

Try this simple experiment - close your eyes for 5 minutes and try to navigate your way around your house. Imagine doing that while you're in pain from a jammed up lower back, jammed up knees and numb hands and legs. Now imagine living that for a year. I was forced to drop out of the social scene and hibernate.

Its not been all bad, though. Being in this condition gave me plenty of solitude and I regressed into my mind, reliving memories and evaluating my life with the benefit of hindsight and a stone cold sober mind. Did you know that abstaining from alcohol makes your mind sharper, clearer and faster? I also found out who were my true friends as a few of them took the trouble to track me down and visit me, while some others kept in touch via phone. The majority however, couldn't be bothered to find out if I was still alive. It was mostly my blog readers who sent an avalanche of emails and sms-es demanding to know why I'd stopped writing. Ahhh...isn't life beautiful?

I lost 66 kg in weight. I learned to be patient and to accept life as it comes, virtues that I had been sadly lacking in. Convinced by another of my sister's friends, I also went back to religion and started praying again. Nothing spurs you back to GOD so quickly like being in trouble.

So after two delays I finally had my left eye operated on 26 Oct. at the Selayang Medical Centre. I must commend the Doctors and nurses for a job well done. They were dedicated, caring and truly professional, explaining in detail what they were doing at every step. However I was a little disappointed at the eye bandage removal. Perhaps I've been conditioned by television...but I fully expected the Doctor to carefully remove the eye patch and then I would blurt out in wonderment "I can see! I can see!".

It was 6am 20 hours after my op and the staff nurse comes to my bedside and starts to fiddle with the bandage. I expected her to clean my eye. Instead she unceremoniously rips off the eye patch and asks me " Can you see me?". I went *blink*blink* and said "uhh yes" and that was it. Off we went to read the eye charts. I was photophobic for a while as everything was super clear and bright in my left eye. They had removed my original lens and replaced it with a synthetic one which returned my vision to normal 2020 without me having to use my glasses ever again. Yay! no more contact lenses. My right eye is scheduled for 24 Nov.

Having put on my wrap around dark glasses, I started to read the instruction booklet that came with my new lens. If you think I'm lying at this point, I don't blame you as I was equally incredulous. The first page goes like this: Thank you for purchasing an Alcon Acrysof Intraocular lens. Your Alcon Acrysof Intraocular lens will give you years of trouble free vision with minimum maintenance and care. You will be able to live a normal life and carry out sporting activities like swimming and playing racquet games. If you feel any eye irritation please refrain from scratching your eye with your finger as your nail may damage your new lens. Use the corner of a clean soft handkerchief. Do not attempt to remove your new lens on your own under any circumstances - consult a qualified eyecare practioner.

At this point I was laughing so hard tears were streaming down my face and I had to stop for fear of damaging my brand new Alcon Acrysof Intraocular lens. My Mother called shortly after to enquire about my op and she was shocked that the patch was off so fast. "What's the first thing that you saw clearly after so long?" she demanded. "An ugly old Chinawoman staffnurse" I answered truthfully. My poor Mother went ballistic. "you and your blasted Chinawimmen! Sick and half dead also Chinawimmen, Chinawimmen! Can you for once forget about them ah?" she wailed pitifully. So much for honesty. I never learn, do I?

Roll Call: This is something I absolutely have to do so I enlisted the help of the Academy Award scriptwriters. I wish to thank my family - mom Baljeet, stepdad Daljit, brother Avi and sisters Moni and Manjit for their love and support. Moni and her family Zahrul, Azrin and Amrin for taking me into their home and putting up with me for a year. You guys deserve an award for patience and understanding. Drs Devraj, Hamisah, Ho, Fazilawati, Aidila and Loh, Staffnurses Lee and Merisah and student nurses Marianna, Jenny Ling and Jessica Bujang of ward 6B, Selayang Medical Center. You were professional, caring and dedicated and I am proud to have such an excellent standard of medical care in Malaysia. My friends Dale (Hong Kong), Steve (China), Gary (Aust), Brian (UK) and Jessie (US) who spent a fortune in phone calls to cheer me up, Grace Chen, Regina Goh, Regina Robin, JD who kept me envious with accounts of his weekly exploits in the KL nightlife, Arvind, Sha and Ravin (S'pore), Amizan Ariffin who regaled me with news from the live music scene, Pete Teo who promised to take me "feng tau", Daniel Dharanee who was always there for me, Arun Chandran, Patrick Teoh who said I'd pull the babes if I shaved bald, Prabu, Kavin, Matthew and Nigesh of Jesters Inc who kept me laughing through the pain, Shanghai Stephen, Rocky and the newsboys of the press club, Musicians Leonard Tan, Bala, Vijay David, Gerard, Sherman, Albert Sirimal, Colin Jensen, Raymond. Nancy Kaur for introducing Dr Wong and Saroja, and Sheila Victor for twisting my arm to pray again. Mama and Papa Chan for caring, V Casey and family. My blog readers for caring enough to ask me where the hell I went. Thank you for the prayers, well wishes, flowers. fruit, candy and visits, but most of all thank you for your friendship. It means the world to me. If I have inadvertantly left anyone out, my sincere apologies - the anaesthetic hasn't fully worn off yet. Heh.

I know this maiden post is rather boring, but its something I had to get off my chest. I promise to return to my sparkling self next week. Till then, Happy Deepavali everyone.
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