If Everyone Followed Advice On The Internet

Imagine waking up one day, and – BAM – just like that, the entire Earth’s population automagically started to follow the hundreds and thousands of advices dished out over the Internet each day. What would the world come to?
A wise one commented, “Accepting that interview shows that you did want the fame. If you didn’t, why did you accept it in the first place?”

Great Advice on the Internet #461: Thou shalt not accept newspaper interviews for fear of being called a fame whore.

Gone Saratok

I’ll be absent for 3 days. Project #2 is happening in this small town called Saratok, about 6 hours drive from Kuching city. Not sure what I can expect over there but I’ve been told ‘not much’. *groans*
Be nice to each other while I go prostitute myself to the corporate world.

kennysia.com In The Media And My So-Called “Fame”

I’ve been collecting newspaper and magazine articles that mentioned me for quite some time, but it is only until now that I decided to post them up.

September 2005, HardwareMag Malaysia. Also appeared in HardwareMag Singapore (scan thanks to Mr Miyagi).

Being on semi-hiatus can be quite therapeutic in a strange kinda way. It certainly is blissful to stay away from all the limelight, all the ugly bloglitics and return to blogging at its most basic level – updating whenever I want without putting in too much of an effort to think of a punchline or be entertaining. Admittedly, doing so has made this blog stale and it has lost me a couple of readers.
That’s ok, at least I hadn’t received a single negative comment against me since World Toilet College.
I remember it didn’t used to be that way.

15th June 2005, The Straits Times (Singapore). My virgin appearance on a national newspaper lost to Ms Melissa Lwee – the journalist who gets paid to read blogs.

There was a time when I was able to write whatever I want sincerely and honestly without having to see critics jumping and posting retaliating entries against me on their sites. There was a time when I noticed that almost every single day, minishortsand Wendy‘s blogs would be filled to the brim with entries of them responding to their critics. Secretly I’d be rejoicing inside knowing I don’t get attacked the same way they did.

4th July 2005, LianHe ZaoBao (Singapore). The day I was mistaken as a Singaporean. Click pic to read.
Translation on the caption: “Local [Singaporean] blogs are actually very funny! Kenny Sia (www.kennysia.com) quickly paid tribute to SPG, and took a photo in a similar but shocking pose.”

I was still writing as an asshole, but I still made people laugh and to my knowledge there wasn’t anyone out there openly declaring their hate against me. Comments by anonymous trolls are always present but they were mostly far and few in between and too easy to ignore. I considered myself very lucky I wasn’t involved in any bloglitics. I never wanted to be.
Things then started to go awfully wrong.

20 June 2005, StarTwo insert of The Star (Malaysia National). By Michael Cheang.

“Are you ready to handle fame?” Michael asked.
I scrunched my eyebrows quizzically, “Huh? Fame?”

At the dawn of the SPG controversy, Michael Cheang’s StarTwo feature on four Malaysian bloggers (the other three being minishorts, Peter Tan and Suanie) drew mostly praises for his attempt at “fixing up” the blogosphere. However, my decision to accept Michael’s request for an interview in turn, raised the ire of some bloggers and I subsequently received my first online spat from Su-Yin, Michelle and Tim.
At this point, I wish to urge readers who clicked on the links posted here to just read what they wrote for an ‘alternative point of view’ about me. But please, DO NOT attack the bloggers and DO NOT engage in meaningless online bitchfight. I’ve gotten over it a long time ago already and I do not wish to add fuel to an extinguished fire. Its not like I still bear any grudges against them. Besides, Su-Yin got into a car accident soon after that entry, so all’s fair. (I take that back. Sorry I stepped out of line.)

August 2005, KLue Magazine (Klang Valley, Malaysia). Click pic to read article.

For days, I sank into disillusionment . I simply could not fathom why people would so viciously attack me like that. Unlike anonymous trolls who disappeared as soon as they jabbed, these are actually real life flesh-and-blood people with their faces and real names attached to their blogs.

September 2005, KL Lifestyle Magazine (Klang Valley, Malaysia). Click pic to read article.

It hurts a lot more when attacks like that came unexpected. I did not write anything controversial, I did not insult their grandmother, and I most certainly am not fame-whoring. My only crime was that I politely accepted an interview when a journalist requested. What am I supposed to do? Turn him down?

29 June 2005, Today (Singapore). Reprint appeared on ChannelNewsAsia. Pimped by Mr Miyagi. Click pic to read full article.

I never think I’m famous, nor do I regard myself as a celebrity. For the record, it wasn’t me, but others who jumped in and described me as “Kenny Sia, famous blogger”. It’s not entirely true. I can always argue the accuracy of that description, but who am I to do that?

7 August 2005, Today (Singapore). Original blog entry here. Click pic to read full article.

The PPS 2nd Anniversary Bash marked a turning-point in my blogging “career”, if you could even call it that. kennysia.com came in as an underdog finalist for the Blog of the Year (only because Jeff Ooi pulled out) and stole the award. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I do not feel I deserve this award.

30 June 2005, Star InTech insert of The Star (Malaysia National). By Shom Teoh. Click pic to read full article.

No, I’m not being modest. I know I’m supposed to be proud and all that for winning. I know its common for bloggers to put up buttons on their sites flaunting their awards. But for months, I did not even want to see that button up on my blog proclaiming how kennysia.com is Malaysia’s Blog of the Year. The way I look at it, being Blogger of the Year is more like a weapon others use to attack me than an award I can truly be proud of.

21 July 2005, The Star (Malaysia National). Actually I took it down to protect the innocent parties from getting shit-slunged. It has nothing to do with the furore. But never mind. 🙂

Even my patriotism gets questioned. “He kept saying he wants to go back to Perth. So much for Malaysia’s best blogger.” said one commenter.
Things went downhill since that initial trip to KL and Singapore. I carried on blogging as usual, only this time I got a lot more critics nitpicking and scrutinising my every word. Links were pulled. Friendship lost. Strangers who once stood by my side during my toughest times, suddenly turned and stabbed me with a knife on my back.
I was lost. I didn’t even know what I did wrong. Once again I did not write anything controversial. All I did was writing about my trip to KL and Singapore, and I didn’t even say Singapore pretty much sucked.

21st July 2005, Star InTech insert of The Star (Malaysia National). By Associated Press. Reprints appeared in other Associated Press affiliates.

It got so bad that at one point, I couldn’t even post an entry without expecting someone to get upset over it. Bloodthirsty commenters on xlx roared to put me up for public execution. Even my work on charity got brushed off as a personal agenda to advance my so-called “career”. If my entry on Furong Jiejie or SPG rubbed people off the wrong way because I came across as being harsh or sleazy, I can understand. But I know I’m fucked when even a review on hair salon would make people angry.

4 August 2005, The Borneo Post (Sarawak, Malaysia). Click pic to read full article.
The BloggersAreMorons crew also appeared in 7th August edition of The Star.

The point of this entry isn’t to gain sympathy or what not, so with all due respect please save the “ignore them, we still love you” comments. Critics aren’t meant to be ignored. They’re meant to be proven wrong. And this is what I want to say to my critics:
I didn’t choose the attention, attention chose me.
I didn’t ask people out there to talk about kennysia.com, they just did.
I’m not famous, people just say I am. I never once said that I’m famous on my blog. Never. So spare me the “Fame has got to his head” comments EVERYTIME I wrote something you disagree with.
I didn’t choose fame. Fame came knocking on my door and I had no choice but to answer it. Unless I go on Malaysian Idol, I don’t think its even remotely possible for someone to choose fame.
If I can put fame for sale on eBay, I’d sell it off to people who can choose fame and make a handsome profit.
Strip me off the glitz and glamour, the vanilla and the icing, the awards and the connections with femes people. You’ll find that I’m just a plain and regular guy working 9-to-5 (sometimes 9-to-10) documenting his life much like what everyone else is doing. Why are you so upset at me?
There’s no “blogging career”. There’s nothing special about Kenny Sia. There never was.
I just write.

Snippets of Saturday Night

Kenny: “Rich bastards. I don’t get it. Why do girls like them so much?”
Irene: “Heh, don’t ask me. It’s just a coincidence all my boyfriends turned out to be rich bastards.”
Rozie: “Actually, we only like the rich part. Not the bastard part.”
Kenny: “Oh, come on. I know guys who never made it through school, live off their rich parents’ money, bum at home without work or education, and still gets more action than most guys around here. Girls love rich bastards.”
Hedo: “Yeah, but if their parents stop giving them money, they’re just gonna be bastards. Full stop.”
Going out with Irene can be quite a traumatising but strangely profound experience. It must’ve been ages since I last went out relax and unwind, so when Irene called I took up her offer. Our Saturday night was spent drinking at SoHo, with new friends John, Rozie and Hedonistics joining in.

This the same Hedonistics who called me Mr Orgasm-Inducing, and the same Irene whose mom thinks I look very ‘lau sik’ (innocent). Hohoho, if only she knew what kind of a person I really am.
I don’t understand why the mothers I met all seem to like me leh. Irene’s mom met me only once, and she so excited go and tell her happily-attached daughter to date me. Wtf? So wrong. Must be my Swee Mei haircut I tell you.
Irene: “yak yak yak yak yak…”
Kenny: “yak yak Oooh, that girl is hot. yak yak yak…”
Irene: “WHERE?”

Hedo: “Cheh… this kinda girl. EVERYWHERE!”
John: “Cheap dress.”
Kenny: “Hoiyo. She pretty whattt.”
Without me noticing, Irene swiftly grabbed my camera and walked towards that girl.
Irene: “Hi! My friend thinks you’re pretty and he wants to take a picture of you.”
WALAU! Where got so direct one?! People just wanna see see look look only, not get into her pants lah! Stupid Irene. I had my head down throughout the whole ordeal. So embarrassing.
At least I got the photo of the girl that night. 😉 Everyone, say hello now to this sweet Kuching bombshell, Emma.

Ayam That Guy

I am that guy who hates memes that requires tagging someone in the end, like the recent Se7en meme.
I am that guy who still thinks memes are cool, voluntary ones only.
I am that guy who likes to eat ayam.
I am that guy who, other than being exceptionally good at Maths, never thought I was anything special in high school. I am that guy who lived on an AUD20 a week allowance. I am that guy who didn’t have a mobile phone. I am that guy who didn’t drive a sports car. I am that guy who was repeatedly rejected by girls I liked.
I am that guy who once thought that I’m never ever gonna have a girlfriend because I’m just not part of the cool gang.
I am that guy you kicked out from the chatroom the first time you talked to me because you thought I was being hamsup. I am that guy who talked to you till 7am in the morning that night.
I am that guy you asked to pretend to be your boyfriend, just so you can ward off unwanted attention by guys you don’t like. I am that guy who didn’t stop being your boyfriend since then.
I am that guy who stepped on your foot the first time I met you. I am that guy who didn’t want to hold your hand because I was shy.
I am that guy who bought 90% of all your soft toys. You are that girl who bought 100% of all my soft toys, eventhough I am a guy and I’m not supposed to even know how to appreciate soft toys.
I am that guy who had to put up with you giving each of your soft toys a name, a gender and an identity.
I am that guy who rejoiced when you told me you’re coming to Perth to study.
I am that guy who frequently made you grilled chicken chop for dinner. You are that girl made me omelette for breakfast, at least until you decided sleeping is more important than making breakfast for me.
I am that guy whose life turned into a living hell because you couldn’t get along with my mother. I am that guy who still wished the two of you could be nicer to each other.
I am that guy whose mouth you shoved a chocolate into when I was halfway telling you I’m trying to lose weight.
I am that possessive bastard who broke up with you because I caught you smoking once. I am that same bastard who changed my mind the very next day.
I am that guy who told you I didn’t like being asked to buy you extravagant gifts. You are that girl who smiled as you pressed on my nose playfully, treating my face as an ATM machine.
I am that guy whose 2-year-old nephew you adore, whose 9-month-old niece you dote on.
I am that guy who gave you more silly nicknames than a dictionary could give.
I am that jealous asshole who forced you to stop seeing B eventhough he made it clear that he was just a platonic friend.
I am that guy who rolled you up in your comforter and called you a kebab.
I am that guy who encouraged you to work in Gingin to earn some cash while waiting for your permanent residency to be approved.
I am that guy who got upset when you returned from Gingin a different person. You are that girl who told me you needed your own personal space, and that we should see each other less often and meet more people. You are that girl who told me that, knowing full well I was about to leave Perth for good.
I am that guy who left you all alone in Australia, three days after your permanent residency was approved.
I am that guy whose father passed away. You are that girl who flew in the next day to be by my side, to give me strength.
I am that guy who spent half the time of our relationship physically apart from each other. I am that guy who never spent a single Valentine’s Day by your side.
I am that guy who sometimes wonder if we’re ever meant to be. I am that guy who fear we couldn’t survive this perpetual long distance relationship.
Yet, I am the guy who cherish every single one of those five years that we spent together.
Yes, I am that guy who gave you those tulips sitting on your table.
And on this day, I am just that guy who wanna say to you, “Happy Birthday, Nicole.”

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Singapore Trip Videoblog

While trawling through my photo collection, I noticed I had recorded a few video clips from my two Singaporean trips a few months back but I never really bothered to put them up. There’s nothing too interesting about them, but I’m still gonna post them up for the sake of documentation.
Some of the things you can expect to see in this videoblog:

Super ultra realistic tanks blowing each other up like CRASH!!! BANG!!! BOOOOOM!!!

Wanyi’s singing prowess!

Sizzling pseudo-erotic display by the bellydancers from the Singapore Bloggers Convention! All the guys there saw it, and they gave it a three thumbs up. (Don’t act dumb and ask me where the third thumb is, ok.)

Audio of someone squealing orgasmically while watching the Singapore National Day fireworks! I leave it up to you to guess who exactly that person is.

‘SarongPartyGirl’ Izzy lashed out against bitched about viciously attacked shared her profound thoughts on ‘Xiaxue’ Wendy Cheng.
Also featuring the mysterious Cowboy Caleb’s voice!

Clarke Quay’s seedy underground dance scene!

The recently unmasked Scarlett Ting and Sassyjan showing off their heartbeat-accelerating, nosebleed-inducing, uber sexxxy dance moves! Hot damn! Anything sexier and it’ll have to be classified as softcore pornography.

Actually I was just exaggerating, but you’ll never know if you don’t check out the video.
Download hi-quality video here. (WMV format. 13 mins. 52MB.)

Swee Mei Beauty Saloon Review

Swee Mei Beauty Saloon is this very old barber shop along Jalan Sekama that’s been in operation for as long as I could remember. I’ve been getting my haircut there since I was a young enough to have to sit on an elevated wooden plank. Almost 20 years later they’re still cutting my hair.

I kept going back there not because I like them, but because its becoming such a habit I didn’t bother going anywhere else. It wasn’t until much recently that I decided to get my hair done at other hair salons and I’ve neglected Swee Mei since then. In fact, my last visit was probably around 12 months ago.
Feeling a little nostalgic, I dropped by one day to pay them a visit.

This is the inside of the barber shop – the messy desk, the stench of lubricant, the mat on the chairs, Aaron Kwok on the radio singing ‘Dui Ni Ai Bu Wan’. Waliew, its like stepping back into the same barber shop 20 years ago.

Check out their tools. Screw those shit they use in modern hair salons. Swee Mei uses brushes and talcum powders and freaking BRYLCREEM! That’s 100% old school, baby. I don’t know what Loreal what Schwarzkopf wtf lah.
Swee Mei is too cool for that crap. They use Brylcreem and Brylcreem only, just like David Beckham. Until he went botak.

Heck, they are so old school, even their prices are the same as they were 20 years ago. How they manage to survive in this day and age of inflation and rising petrol cost, I have no idea.

Here’s a shot of me desperately in need of a haircut. My apologies for the bad lighting indoors. The Canon dSLR camera isn’t mine, but its the same one I borrowed to gatecrash the Miss Tourism Pageant. Note the Bloggercon T-shirt I was wearing, compliments of the Tomorrow.SG crew. 😉

Meet my barber. He’s still my favourite among the usual three in the shop. I’d like to introduce him, but 20 years of having my hair cut by him and I still have no idea what his name is. I just know him as the Ah Pek on the second chair in the barber shop.
Ah Pek is a genuinely nice guy alright. Every year, for 8 years, I’d returned from Australia and he’d attempt to strike up a conversation with me in Hokkien. And every year, for 8 years, our conversations would be the exact same topic.

Ah Pek: “Lu ding Orh Jiu tak chek hor?” (You’re studying in Australia right?)
Kenny: “Si lor.” (Yeah.)
Ah Pek: “Tak hamik?” (What course are you doing?)
Kenny: “Tak kar ji peng eh gao hor siang eh.” (I’m doing the equivalent of level 9 over here.)
Ah Pek: “Oh… Orh jiu ji zhong eh ti si jing leng hor?” (Oh… it must be very cold now in Australia isn’t it?)
Kenny: “Bo lah. Ji zhong jing juak leh.” (No lah, its damn hot right now leh.)
Ah Pek: “OH! Si ar hor. Orh Jiu ga Tiong Kok si toh peng eh!” (OH! That’s right. The seasons in Australia and China are opposites of each other!)
Kenny: “Mmm… tiok loh” (Mmmm… Correct.)
*awkward silence*

Anyway, I always tell my hairdressers to “Feel free to do whatever you want to do with my hair. Be creative.” But there’s no need for me to tell him to do that. As soon as my ass touch the seat, Ah Pek would start the session by spraying excessive water all over my head like I’m a potted plant.
After trimming most of my hair with an electric trimmer that smells like its been soaked overnight in motor oil, he picked up a huge pair of scissors and began cropping my hair slowly and carefully. His modus operandi was once again, the same as it was 20 years ago, except now the scissors is becoming blunt and squeaky, and his hands are shaking uncontrollably like he has Parkinson’s.

I requested for a shampoo like I always do at modern hair salons. Ah Pek politely declined, informing me that the shampoo girl grandma has gone home so I decided to let it go. Aiya, I don’t think I want to let him to shampoo my head lest he breaks his finger bones when he massaged my scalp.
I was getting my hair happily when suddenly Ah Pek stepped on a pedal on my chair and made me fall on my back. Skarly he pulled a knife out no where and held it against to my neck. I got so scared my balls almost shrank.

This picture could very well be mistaken for an al Qaeda hostage video in iRaq.

Actually I’m just getting an old-fashioned shave lah. Before Gillette comes along, this is how real men shave.
Ah Pek didn’t use any shaving foam, just some soap water to lubricate my chin with a bristle. He shaved everything he could shave too – my chins, sideburns, my face, my neck, monobrow. No lah not my chest hair. No aftershave afterwards either, just Vicks Vaporub to soothe the burns. He even trimmed the hair inside my nose and cleaned my ears with a cotton bud. So nice.
I know all these sounds very gay lah, but Ah Pek is so fatherly you wouldn’t even think about it. Anyway, 30 minutes later and this is how I look like.

Ya, I’m very shocked too. Nabeh, like I’m wearing a helmet right? I think I’m just a pussy moustache away from looking like Mr Adolf Hitler. I wonder if Desperate Addict is still gonna like me after this.
Still, at RM8.00, cannot complain lah. Its just an old-fashioned barber shop. How to compare right?

So, what do you think?

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Matta Fair

MATTA is an association for Tour and Travel Agents in Malaysia, and the MATTA Fair is a twice-a-year expo where travel agents get to sell air tickets and tour packages at some ridiculously low price. Theoretically anyway.

I popped by the Matta Fair earlier yesterday to book my tickets to Perth. A return air ticket to Perth costs me RM1500 (tax inclusive), which wasn’t as cheap as I hoped its gonna be. They were going out for less than RM1000 last year.
Most European and American destinations are about RM3,000 after tax which means I can pretty much forget about my European backpacking dream. There are some extremely good deals at the fair though. Phuket is RM608, and Hong Kong is just disgustingly cheap at RM708 return.

I almost laid down the deposit to fly my ass to Hong Kong next January, but I realised I won’t be able to afford accomodation over there. Cheapest I could find is a 3-star hotel that costs almost RM250 a night in Kowloon. Bloody expensive ok?
Anyone have any suggestions on accomodation in HK that does not involve a cardboard and the sidewalk?

Tourism Malaysia had a nice booth, but it was the Singapore Tourism Board who showed up at the fair in full force, along with their flat plasma screens and the works. Too bad the only thing they seem to be promoting is everyone’s favourite budget hotel chain.

Man, I can’t wait for my two dreadful projects to finish. I got two getaways penned down in October: a trip to Shanghai early October to visit Furong Jiejie for business (let’s hope they don’t ban kennysia.com in China), and then onto Perth on the 13th October to visit friends and family. So tired from overworking right now I’d prostitute myself to get me out of the office.

Nothing beats a well-deserved holiday after 3 continuous days of slaving yourself 16 hours straight at work.

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Mooncakes

Legend has it that many years ago, Hou Yi the Archer became separated from his wife Chang Er the Moonwalker after she swallowed a magical pill that made her float to the moon. Four thousand years later today, sad heartless people like us still celebrate their long distance relationship by eating mooncakes.

I cannot help but to be intrigued by Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s signature range of mooncakes, featuring specially-made mooncakes with ingredients like espresso, green tea and such.

I happen to pass by the one and only Coffee Bean outlet in Kuching on my way to work every morning that eventually I succumbed to temptations and bought myself a box to try out.

Don’t be fooled by the advertising material stating that it costs only RM32 because RM33.60 is its actual price. I hate it when I prepared the exact change at the counter only to be told I was RM1.60 short because their prices are subject to compulsary 5% govt tax. Dammit, how difficult is it to incorporate the tax DIRECTLY into your menu prices? Not everyone can do differential calculus in their head to calculate how much money a mooncake costs after tax, ya know?

That said, I quite like the packaging of the mooncake. The box is made of wood and it locks into place beautifully by a mechanism featuring the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s logo. The inscription in front is some lame Chinese poetry on flowers falling and how round the moon is.

Here are the mooncakes, chilled and sealed to ‘gerengtee’ freshness. The refrigeration had a side effect of making them hard and flaky, instead of soft and chewy like it should be.

Unfortunately, the mooncakes are disappointingly small. Each piece is only about 75g which makes it about 1/3 the size of your average garden-variety mooncakes.

I picked the ‘Soothing Green Tea Mooncake’ first and took a bite off it. Its looks pretty but the taste is nothing to shout about. The aroma of green tea is there but it was too subtle to detect. Definitely too sweet for my liking.

This is the ‘Mochalicious Mooncake’ and its my first ever taste of a coffee-based mooncake. The whole thing, including its crust, is made with mocha flavouring. Like the green tea variety, the effect was too subtle and the excessive sugar unfortunately somewhat spoiled its flavour.

Next up, the ‘Chocolaty Coffee Crunch Mooncake’. I noticed I hit a hard spot when I sliced the mooncake. Turns out that Coffee Bean had put real whole coffee beans in this one for its crunchy effect. I like it. It starts out with sweet chocolate paste slowly followed by nice aromatic coffee aftertaste to round out the effect. The result was fantastic!

Now here’s my favourite – the ‘Ultimate Espresso Mooncake’! This must be the weirdest mooncake I’ve ever had. Imagine them taking whole espresso beans and blend it into a paste for their mooncake. Its something like that, bitter and all. I took a bite off it and the caffeine effect was like WHOA!
A lot of people probably wouldn’t like this variety, but like drinking macchiato without sugar, eating an espresso mooncake is an acquired taste. Personally, I love it.

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s mooncakes are a nice deviation from boring red bean and lotus seed paste mooncakes. Despite it being so expensive, I say its still worth a try if you’re on a lookout for something different this Mid-Autumn Festival. Mooncakes are notoriously high in lard and sugar so just remember not to overdose on them lah.
Otherwise if you eat too much mooncake, your face will also become round like mooncake.

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For some strange reasons, I woke up yesterday morning with bumpy red spots all over my arms.

See? Like love bites liddat.

I took off my shirt and discovered a lot more of them on my body. Man, those babes last night were wild!

Stop staring at my tits or they’re gonna shoot lasers at you.

Initially I suspected I might be allergic to the dusty environment where I’ve been working at these past few days, but that couldn’t be the case since I was fully clothed at work (duh) and I’ve got rashes all over my body. Then I went to see the doctor and he said he suspected virus. But I scanned myself with Norton Antivirus and I turned out clean leh. Stupid doctor.
The rashes aren’t particularly itchy or anything. They’re just ugly as hell.

If you look really closely you might be able to see the world map on my back.

I wish I could tell you red polka-dotted skin is the latest fashion statement right now, but the fact remains that I got some weird ass skin disease. 🙁