Pre-Marathon Jitters

It’s 3:30am as I typed this.

I arrived in Singapore yesterday morning.
In two hours time, I will be joined by 16,000 other runners at the starting line at the Esplanade. If all goes well, by 11am I’ll hopefully be dragging my sorry ass past the finishing line, wear my new overpriced LV belt as a reward, and hop on that flight back home by Monday night.
Yes. Another year. Another city. Another 42km. 🙂

Last week when I was in KL, I went shopping for some new running gear at The Gardens in preparation for my race.
I needed new running shorts ‘cos I’ve lost much weight that my old pants were getting too loose for me. I was also looking to get new marathon shoes as the adiZeros I wore for the Borneo half marathon was were beginning to feel a little stiff.

(Disclosure: adidas subsidises part of my sporting gear.)
The adidas outlet in The Gardens has this humungous box labelled born again adidas. There’s a hole on top and at the side it reads “FEED ME YOUR OLD SPORTS SHOES AND GET UP TO $50 OFF A NEW PAIR”
For reasons I cannot explain, I stuck my head through the hole.

Words cannot describe how much those shoes stink. The collective stench from the bunch of old shoes were so overwhelming, I dieded on the spot.
The staff there looked on helpeless as I croaked and sprawled my lifeless body across the floor, one finger pointing towards my mouth to indicate to them that I needed CPR.
But then I noticed all the staff in the outlet were GUYS. So… *ahem* immediately I woke up.
“Are you ok, sir?” they asked. “Ya ya I’m fine,” I replied. “Impossible is nothing. Right?”

I heard of this born again adidas thing from Mr Miyagi’s blog a few months back and I thought it was a pretty neat campaign they’re doing over there in Singapore. Didn’t realised they had it in Malaysia as well until I saw the big box.
The idea is to get people to trade in their old sports shoes in return for a RM50 or RM100 discount off a pair of new ones.

The collection bins are located at various adidas outlets throughout KL. It’s a nice gesture they’re doing. For every twenty pairs collected, they’ll donate a new pair to the Harvest Centre, a charity organisation helping out underpriviledged families in Sentul.
It’s a win-win situation: you throw away your old sports shoes, they give you discount off your new shoes, some poor kids in Sentul also get new shoes, and you earn yourself some feel-good karma points. 😉
The good thing is, they accept any sports shoes from any brand. Not just adidas, y’know?

For me, I sacrificed this pair of bombastic-coloured bright red Nike Air to the big box. It was in such a bad condition that the air-cushioned bits of the shoes have fallen off and it should be renamed Nike No Air.)

I bought this pair of Nikes almost ten years back, about the time when I started taking up running as a sport. It was the first pair of running shoes I ever bought for myself.
Until that day, I never had the heart to throw it away even with the pathetic state that it was in.

But hey, it’s just taking up space in my cupboard anyway.
So like breaking up from a relationship, it’s time to let it go and move on.

With the RM50 discount voucher, I got myself this is my pair of blue-coloured adiZero LTs. The price was RM350 after discount, which is still fairly expensive of course, but I know what I’m getting.

These flats are lightweight and built for long distance racing. It’s also got a stronger grip on the soles compared to my older pair of adiZeros, which is useful in the likely case that it rains in Singapore – considering it’s the monsoon season and all.
Anyway, the most important gear for a marathon is always the shoes, so I ain’t gonna compromise on that.

Let’s see if I can outrun 42km of kiasu-ness in these babies.

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Delaney’s Irish Pub & Restaurant Review

Delaney’s is a homely little Irish pub and restaurant tucked at the back of Federal Hotel, KL.

It’s a welcoming escape from the maddening chaos from Low Yat Plaza opposite, which is great especially after you’ve endured endless assault from various credit card sales teams bombarding you with “Siryouwantcreditcardornot?Nowgotnoannualfeeandgotfreegiftforyousir!sir!?SIR?!”

The first time I came to Delaney’s was earlier this year. I was gonna get myself a Sony PS3 from Low Yat, but after balking at the RM1,600 price tag I thought money could be better spent on food than ridding the world of aliens and terrorists.

That time I had the Beef & Guinness Pie (RM25) which I was told is the signature dish of the restaurant.
I remembered it was so damn good I promised myself I have to go back there again. The puff pastry had the right degree of crisp and fluff, and the succulent gravy contained a good amount of mushrooms, onions and beef chunks. It was awesome.

Encouraged by my initial experience there, I went to Delaney’s again last weekend for lunch with a friend I was meeting. He initially suggested going for roast duck at Jalan Alor formerly known as Jalan Kejora formerly known as Jalan Alor. But I managed to convince him to go for a proper restaurant instead.
This time round, Delaney’s was running a little promotion as we were given a separate Christmas menu in addition to the original one.

The Christmas menu was similar to the one we had from the Guinness Gastranomic Workshop I attended earlier. The Kakuni Style Braised Chicken, Fresh Herb Risotto & Guinness Poached Osyter in particular sounded familiar. 😉
Each main course comes with a free pint of Guinness Draught too, which is a pretty good deal considering a pint of the premium black beer usually costs around RM15.

So I went for the classic Thanksgiving meal of a Tom Turkey Roll (RM39) from the Christmas menu while my friend took the Oysters Baked in Puff Pastry (RM38) which was not from the Christmas menu, but still came with the free pint of Guinness Draught nonetheless.

To be honest, we were kinda shocked when the oysters came.

Somehow I thought they were trying to bluff us with the oysters by putting a couple of rocks on a plate. Then secretly laugh their backsides off when our teeth fell out as we try to bite it.

One thing for sure, the puff pastry oysters did taste better than they look. I won’t say I’m in love with it, but they’re not bad.
I’m an oyster lover (literally and err… figuratively speaking) and yet I’ve never seen them done in pastry format, so it’s something different for once.

Luckily, my turkey roll came slightly better presented than the oysters. There are three slices of turkey roll, each came with a bit of pork sausage in the centre and served with generous amount of giblet gravy. The steamed vegies and the soft fluffy chestnut bread stuffings accompany the dish.

The gravy is what made the dish work. From what I understand, it is made from the “spare parts” of the turkey. Although most people will find the saltiness a bit overpowering, it tastes fantastic when you wash it down with a pint of creamy smooth Guinness Draught poured straight from the bar. The roasty bitterness of the beer goes down surprisingly well with the savoury bite of the turkey roll. So very satisfying!
After all the Irish goodness, I couldn’t leave without trying something sweet. So I ordered from the Christmas menu a mocktail called “Rudolph” (RM18).

It’s a concoction of cranberry juice and grenadine. And girls will love this drink.
Personally, I had no clue how girly it is until it came bright red in a fancy cocktail glass. Got cherry on top some more.
It’s too much of a girly drink for me, so don’t order this if you don’t want your manhood to shrink by two inches. Like mine has.

Instead, opt for the caramelised apple tart. It came with a scoop of sweet corn ice-cream and a chocolate wafer stick, and is a great Irish way to finish off a hearty meal.

When when we asked our bill, the waiter asked us to fill out the form and gave us this voucher in return.
We get a RM12 discount and a free limited-edition miniature glass if we order 3 pints of the black beer on our next visit to Delaney’s. Nice!

“Eh friend, can borrow money to me or not ah?”

Delaney’s is a charmingly rustic Irish pub catering towards tourists and the working class who needs a place to dine and unwind while they catch their favourite sports on the big screen. The prices are reasonable, the service is swift and the food is fantastic. I was not let down both times that I was there.
Come here for the relaxing and unpretentious ambience, and say hello to the big bearded bartender who’ll give you a genuine smile and a thumbs up everytime you yell out for him.

Delaney’s can be found at the rear entrance of the Federal Hotel KL at 35 Jalan Bukit Bintang, and is open daily from 12 noon till 1am.

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Sale Siao

It is officially the year end and everyone is having sales.

Everywhere you go it’s 30% off this, 50% off that, buy this one and get that free.
Every shop, every store, every shopping mall are doing their year-end sales, and everything is really cheap right now.

Even a funeral parlour is joining in on the fun.

From now until 31st December, if you purchase an urn compartment, we will cremate you ABSOLUTELY FREE!
Hurry! Die now and save money!

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Photoshop Challenge

WAH LAO. Did you see what Xiaxue did to my picture or not?

She took this ugly photo of mine (from back in June I think), did some Photoshopping work THEN transformed it into this.

Who. The. Heow. Is. THAT!?
Got some people even say I look like Korean actor, after Photoshop.
It is an example of “a compliment that’s not a compliment.” It is the equivalent of Vanessa Hudgens saying she’ll marry me, if my bank balance has six more zeroes behind it and hell freezes over. Looks like these can only exist on computer graphics.
What’s more, while everyone else had one of their pics Photoshopped, I was treated to TWO!
From this.

To this!

Bugger, pick randomly also cannot pick until two right. Must mean I’m really ugly lah.

Don’t you think it looks like some dodgy before and after pic they use to sell you some bogus overpriced weight loss pills?
When I got your ass served on a plate like that, I gotta respond. But of course, Xiaxue is not the only one who knows how to Photoshop. I also know how to use Photoshop to enhance HER photos!
I ain’t gonna manipulate Wendy’s photos because frankly she does a better job at it herself. Instead, I’m gonna victimize the one thing she loves most.
Her hamster!


I made her smile!
What’s that you say? It’s not that difficult to Photoshop ‘cos it’s just a hamster?
Fine, let’ try something more difficult shall we! Take Singapore’s biggest celebrity poster boy as an example.

No, not Phua Chu Kang!
The OTHER poster boy.
Can you guess who this is?


It is Mas Selamat!

Work done: slimming, skin-lightening, beard-trimming, eye white-brightening, undereye puff elimination, forehead reduction, added dimples for him and I made him smile.
Doesn’t look like that much of a wanted terrorist now does he! He can escape to Hollywood and become like Orlando Bloom.
Xiaxue’s boldest move, however, was when she photoshopped Barack Obama from this.


Now, that’s asking for trouble. The guy is the future President of the United States and is well-loved by a lot of people. Although Xiaxue has Photoshopped to make him look younger, better and more similar to Darlie toothpaste, I reckon she’s gonna upset a lot of sensitive Americans out there.
I mean, imagine if some American were to take the photo of the founding father of modern Singapore, Lee Kwan Yew.

And then PHOTOSHOP him to make him look 30 years younger.

Surely that’s gonna upset a lot of people right!

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