Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Friday, January 26, 2007

Wanted: Some football action

The thing about travelling is that I don't get to catch up on football as much as I like. People gripe about Starhub holding the subscribers ransom with ever increasing prices for the sports group. Compared to other countries though, really we are getting good value. Sure sometimes they'd rather show some lame games than the more exciting local derbies, or not show them at all. All in all though, they do a decent job of covering my favourite sport.

When I get to another hotel in another country now, I quickly surf the in-room TV for sports channels. The US is a disappointment, that's the place where they call it "soccer" instead of "football". So go to a pub you say? With the time difference I'd probably already be in one by breakfast, and still not be guaranteed any "soccer" at all. Maybe when David 'I wanna go to Hollywood cuz my playing days are over, but mainly cuz my wife said so' Beckham goes to play "soccer" with that whachamacallit team, they may show some EPL matches, just so that they know how it's actually done.

Australia is warming up to the idea of football, with the Socceroos (there's that S-word again) doing well at the last world cup and a few of their exports playing in the EPL. Point to note is that they'll always feature the match with the Aussie export in the team before any others. Like when Liverpool beat Chel$ki recently. They went on and on about how Mark Viduka of Middlesbrough scored 2 goals in a match against Bolton, and oh yeah Liverpool beat Chel$ki 2-nil(Harry Kewell didn't play in that match, maybe that's why). C'mon, where are your priorities dude??? Can't complain though, they have a channel dedicated to The EPL, good on ya mate!

I'd be flying to Seoul, then Vancouver next week. In addition to missing out on a fantastic Singapore Gooner outing to the Kallang Stadium to support the Lions, I'm also not here for the FA Cup clash against Bolton, the return leg against Spuds in the Carling Cup, and against Boro in the EPL. Only consolation is I'm not 40 000 ft up in the air while all these matches are being played. So I be channel surfing and bar hopping till I find some football action.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

AhTiong jin kiang...

After predicting correctly the 1-3 score against Liverpool in the FA Cup, I went on to guess the result of the Arsenal v ManYoo match. Gazing into my crystal go-li, I left my scorline forecast with SG Gooner, Siren, afcsingapore and even the NewPaper (with an Arsenal non-believer sports desk) Postman Blog.

2-1 to the Arsenal I foretold.

Well, well... If I were a gambling man I'd have cleaned up at the betting windows. Sure, it was not a set piece that sealed the win. It was even better! An Eboue cross finds King Henry who heads in the beautiful winning goal in injury time. When the young Eboue delivered that cross, it reminded me so much of the following clip...

That was the cross he made for Henry to head in during last season's Champions League match against FC Porto.

Compare that to last Sunday's match against ManYoo, the similarities are uncanny...

Of course, let's not forget the equalizer from Rvp before that. Good work by Fabregas and Rosicky to win the ball back from Scholes...

And yes, I also kena the Arsenal-double-over-Man-U-nitis.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Rub-a dub-dub, 3 Gooners in a club

So it was decided that Thurs will be a boys night out.

I met up with Shai at Clarke Quay and found our way to The Clinic. The only reason I chose that joint was cuz it allowed free entry for crew (me) and a guest (Shai). Plus drinks are 1 for 1, so it won't hurt to check it out right?

1st impressions? Perhaps we were there too early, cuz all we saw were the male of the species, aside from the waitresses, there. The fact that the bartenders were acting in a non-professional way (read:like monkeys) killed it for us. Too many young boys celebrating their ORD (my time hor they call it ROD leh), too little eye candy. We split without asking for our 2nd jug of beer.

Pump Room was dead. Enough said.

I thought we should head down to my usual haunt of donkey years back, Velvet@Zouk. We msged SgGooner of our last minute diversion, and met at the taxi stand. I was surprised, even shock, to see that there were no one hanging around outside the club even though it was close to the witching hour. I ventured in and found the club almost empty. After enquiring from my fav waitress Margaret, I understand that many of the fickle clubbers are sussing out the new clubs that are sprouting up like the aedes mosquitoes, each offering their brand of crew/media/whateva night. I couldn't come up with where all the crew are partying now, as I am more a shorts & slipper night out kinda guy now.

Still us Gooners had our fair share of drinks, with Shai and SGGooner doing their shuffle together which reminds me of Henry and Adebayor dancing at the sidelines. Me? I did the only thing I ever do at Velvet, watch the crowd. The heydays of seeing a crew at every turn are gone. In their place; tourists, the uninitiated, the ugly...

I reminded the staff that their excellent service will eventually lure the crowd back. Zouk fought off Centro360, they will triumph over the minnows at Clarke Quay too...

So what does 3 grown men do after a night out without much action at the clubs? Go look for chicken la... the Boon Tong Kee type of course.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

It takes 2, baby...

Who should play upfront, if we go for a 4-4-2 formation this Sunday? We may know in days to come, but here's my take on the matter for now.

Some say it should be Robin van Persie (RvP) & King Henry, while others prefer the Adebayor & Henry formulae (they do make nice dance partners, don’t they?) Still some, a very small minority, say that the Beast Baptista should get a start.

Against Man U, I feel that RvP/Henry can do good work up front. Adebayor works hard, but lack creativity. We’ve seen RvP twist defenders inside out with his frequent darts towards goal. When it comes to set pieces, both RvP & Henry are good takers from outside the box. When was the last time you saw Adebayor take a free kick?

With RvP alongside Henry making those runs, and assisting I might add, they will give the Gunners more than a dozen ways to goal.

Full credit to Adebayor, but I feel RvP and Henry should start this one.

End of the day, The Professor will know best...

Note: Nabez...have to be in Auckland for this cruncher, arrrggh!!

Latest: RvP injured during training, so it's Ade/Henry?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Moblog: The simple life

Sitting down to Katong Laksa...priceless

The other New York

My week long flight to Frankfurt/New York was ... cold!

The weather dropped to 1 degree celsius on some days, and although I should've packed more warm clothes, I was lucky not to catch any cold throughout the whole trip.

This was my 1st flight with a new team. Some are familiar faces, otherwise it's a case of taking mental notes of my new colleagues. I wouldn't say they are a riot, yet they seem to like to hang around so that's always good when one is far from home.

I've never ventured far out when I get to Frankfurt. Crew almost always do the same things; eat at the same restaurants, buy the same chocolates ... It's a nice place to recover from a 13 hr journey from Singapore.

New York is another story altogether. Almost all crew clear out their bags for this station. There's always something to buy, if not for oneself then for friends/family back home. I like this city, it's so alive all hours of the day. You feel like you're in one of them US drama series or sitcoms like Seinfeld, CSI NY, Third Watch, or Friends.

I am lucky to have a very good friend in New York. She's studying her way through school there and I usually bring some comfort items over when I fly there. This time it's KoKo Krunch. I'm surprised when she told me that they don't have Nestle cereal there in the US. So 3 large boxes were presented to her when I checked in.

As with all New York flights, my colleagues are scattered all over the city, and we usually only see each other for breakfast. From then on, own time own target liao. I decided that I've had enough of uptown Manhatten with its 5thAve and Broadway, and asked that for a tour of SOHO (SOuth of HOusten). The major shopping labels are here too, alongside more street brands. The profile of the shoppers here are different too. It makes for an interesting shopping experience.

DSC00281Yellow Rat Bastard

Very near SoHo is Chinatown. This is a place so thick in everything asian/oriental you wouldn't notice the difference until you get Americanised-sized dough fritters and see hispanic delivery men at the morning market.

Pork Porridge

I've always wanted to watch the Blue Man Group while in New York and I chanced upon the theatre that they perform out from. Ticket prices are high, but I didn't watch mostly because I don't have anyone with me to share the experience with. I made a mental note to watch the show next time I visit, with a friend.

Astor Place

That and a day out at MoMa.

At least, I did something different this New York trip.

Click on my Flickr for more photos.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Absence, the fonder maketh the heart, grow.....

The thing about being away on a week long flight is I almost always miss the Gunner matches. Either they don't have cable there (Frankfurt) or their TV stations are not into football (New York).

I missed watching Arsenal thrash Liverpool 3-6, with the "Beast" Baptista scoring 4, 5 if he made his penalty count.

The Blackburn match was a bruiser, with the Gunners whittled down to 10men after the cunt Savage started acting up, and poor Gilberto got a red card. Arsenal still found it in them to score 1 goal in both halves and walked away winners at 0-2. I especially am in awe of the Henry goal in the 2nd half, this man is finding his 2nd wind!

I had some help from fellow Gooner SGGooner who sent sms to me everytime there was a score in those matches, my Mickey also helped. Reading his updates, as well as Siren's, and browsing afcsingapore , helped quench my thirst for all things Arsenal. Still, nothing like being there with the Gooners at Liz Pub...

Next match up is Arsenal v Man Yoo, and again I'm away, this time in Auckland. Have to try me "darndest" to stay in town for this, namely at Liz Pub.

Once more, the reason they call him "King" at Arsenal

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Liverpool 1 Arsenal 3

I'm getting good at this...

I told SG Gooner that the final score will be 1-3 to Arsenal.

After 90min, and 4min of injury time...

Arsenal advances in the FA Cup


Friday, January 05, 2007

Wala Wala is the cancer-free!

Reason 2579 one should go down to Wala Wala;

Have copious amounts of beer celebrating pal's birthday when he doesn't want people to know that it's his ... well, birthday.

And so it came about that SG Gooner decided to swing by Wala Wala to catch The UnXpected as part of his birthday celebrations. I've mentioned before how it's a trend these days to spread the celebrations over a week so that as many people share the joy as possible with said birthday person. I'm glad that SG Gooner chose this joint to kick start it.

The place is packing the crowds in, thanks to the management's great idea to go smoke-free one year ahead of the rest of the island. Most people thought they were crazy to do it at first, but looks like Wala is having the last laugh now.

Nice atmosphere + great bands + decent looking crowd - smoke = Packed joint. Simple formulae isn't it?

Queues start snaking to the back dumpster from 830pm, and that's on a weekday. On weekends be prepared to have beer food (their chicken wings are da bomb) for dinner cuz that's where you should be having it if you want a chance at a comfortable spot upstairs where the bands play. There are actually many who prefer not smelling like a bad cigarette after a night out that hangs out here.

Of course there's a way them smokers can catch a break at this place; walk across to the opposite side of the restaurant to get their fix, join the band on THEIR smoke break at the dumpster, or keep hands busy by drinking insane quantities of beer instead of sticking a cancer-on-a-stick into your mouth.

Wala Wala...good for your lungs!!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007