Atchafalaya Swamp

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Blog Bash - A Bit Player's Perspective

MAT SALO, Tokasid, Shah Cakapjer, Kerp and Dato' Jaffar had some months earlier decided on an end of year blog bash, a bash to end all bashes - a tit for tat response to last week's wildly successful Indonesian Pesta Blogger, an event spearheaded by their information minister and sanctioned by its government. Fuuyooo. Since bloggers in Bolehland are vilified scum (as decreed by Syed Albar, Razak Baginda & Co) so a private initiative was deemed necessary. We do not believe, in the near-term at least, the Malaysian government care to sanction such an inane gathering of unlike-minded individuals...

But what do we care? The point is to gather a diverse group of losers, has beens, washouts and sprinkle it with a dash of winners and wannabes and see what comes out of the mix.

Also, it was to coincide with Chegu Kata Tak Nak's visit to KL to grade exam papers, or so we were erroneously told. It turned out he was here to audition for the inaugural Bloggers Idol...

The upshot was some bloggers finally came out of the woodwork, and truth be told, some were sorely disappointed that their heroes and heroines turned out to be, well,  - your boringly average Mat and Minahs.

The men are mostly thick in the middle and sometimes thick in the head, with receding hairlines, graying and are notoriously poor dressers to boot. Take Mat Salo. He came in a tee shirt which Lady Elviza promptly commented, 'as one size too small'. This was deliberate on Mat Salo's part you see, a rather sly attempt to accentuate his biceps but unfortunately had the unintended effect of emphasizing his belly. That man needs a stylist, yessir. Yeah like a fish needs a bicycle. If you really must know, MS has never owned a comb nor uses deodorant. The bar soap (always industrial strength Dettol) when he showers also doubles as shampoo. Furthermore he has a distaste for underwear (the local variant known as spender), and considers Lynnard Skynnard's Free Bird as the greatest rock ballad of all time, surpassing Led Zep's Stairway even.

But the women? Oh the women! They were all beautiful, just as God had intended them to be. Especially Raden Galoh, who 'escaped' from the cancer ward this morning just to be with us. She looked so radiant and happy, showing us it's certainly possible to stare death in the face, and with her strong unwavering faith, still come out smiling. She still has a long way to go but for our sakes dear God, we need her around just to show us mere mortals what life and love is all about.

And Acciaccatura too. Her strength lies beyond our human scope to comprehend. So is Pi Bani, whose selfless devotion to helping people with HIV/AIDS is legendary.

Tok Mummy, Nuraina Samad, Wanshana, Jeejah Mantra, Fauziah Ismail, Galadriel,Nurbaiti and celebrity lawyer-blogger Elviza were all present to give us the much need glamor, glitz and sex appeal.

But I haven't made an exception to the men have I? There are, of course, always exceptions.

Former High Court jude Dato' Syed Ahmad Idid was among the first to arrive. He is not a blogger but a guest of our fellow conspirator Dato' Jaffar Lamri. Unfortunately DJ himself could not attend due to an urgent family matter so unfortunately too for the learned judge, he was forced to have ME instead as his Host from Hell: listening to my stupid jokes while I blew smoke in his face. 

For those of you with short memories (and for some, shorter ahem) Dato' Syed is the Last Malaysian Hero. He was a High Court judge from 1990-1996 when he made the startling allegation of corruption involving twelve of his fellows in the judiciary. This was about ten years ago during the reign of CJ Tun Mohd Eusoff Chin and Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah. Not forgetting too the CEO of the Land at the time was Tun Che Det. The 'flying letter' episode had caused him to be investigated instead, forcing his resignation and losing his pension in the process. That's why it is so important that we get our lawmakers to pass our own Whistleblower Act. 

Ten years down the road the good judge was still subjected to another degrading ordeal: listening to Mat Salo's 'oilfield thrash' stories and inhaling second-hand smoke from his endless Dunhills. My apologies Dato', for being a such lousy host. I understand Your Honor frowns upon judges to mingle with riff raff  like me. But for you to bear such indignities in silence speaks volumes of the man you are, Sir. Thank you.

Of course the other exception was our guest of honor Chegu Kata Tak Nak. To me he looks even better in real life that tweaks in my Nikon settings could never do justice. Well, some people just have it. And this good chegu has it in spades.

Even Dato' A. Kadir Jasin showed up and slapped some fifties in my grubby hands. It's for the pot, you see. Thanks for coming, Dato' AKJ. And I do envy your waistline, Sir!

Other notable attendees (ALL were notable, mind you): Mute Audio, Al-Husseyn, Pak Idrus, Pokku, Bunga Telur Ballyshoes and not forgetting (arguably) the best (living) Malay writer (on Malaysian shores) in the English language: Mat Bangkai.

Finally, PAS Central Committee and Shah Alam Member of Parliament YB Khalid Samad (Yes, Minister Sharir Samad is his brother, believe it or not) came by. In the picture you can see Chegu KTN and him having a go.

As soon as the crowd faded off, A Voice showed up to dish some dirt up on our next generation of Ultra Malay National Organization leaders. Thanks for coming bro'.

Hope you like the photos. They were in-camera shots, hand-held in available light without the benefit of flash. Apologies to the ladies if the wide angled lens err, just made you go 'wide'. Yeah right, blame the equipment, never the photographer.

I have also deliberately not attached names to the faces in the hopes that you'd be able to tell anyway. (Truth is, I'm just a fat, lazy slob.)


Zawi said...

Been waiting for someone to blog about this epic gathering. I am glad you did bro as I really missed being there myself. Hopefully you will still be around on the 13th when I am on the return leg from Labuan and will be stopping over at the children's places around KL.
Again thank you bro.

Pi Bani said...

Hey, where's the pic of the guy who wore the one size (only?) too small tee shirt?!

Actually I brought along a camera, but since I tengok dah ramai paparazzi, I decided to just wait for one of them to post the photos. Thanks for the photos, and thanks too to the organisers for the perhimpunan tanpa permit. ;)

kbguy said...

Bravo !!finally you got it out ! I was waiting for your posting but dare not shout it out cos I myself didn't make it to attend. Thousand apologies though I do receive your sms, cos I will be there very soon, by next week on a very tight schedule. Let me see if I can meet you up by Saturday, if all is fine for you and me.
Seems like all the big guys and gals are there. Just that I didn't get to see your own photos. haha..what a bashful guy you are !
Bila kamu nak balik ke Indon ?

Anonymous said...

Bro Mat

Mat Bangkai? The best Malay writer in the English language? Isn't that a bit of a stretch, bro? But that's OK. I'll take it wherever I can get it :-)

I missed A Voice by a few minutes, eh? Used to go to school with him, you know. The cad!

Bustaman said...

Has beens? Who are they?
I saw only bloggers with a lot hope and future. Some are old no doubt.
Good pictures. My Olympus now has an inferiority complex.

The Ancient Mariner said...

Sorry I couldnt make it, bro. Had to rush back to Seremban for my niece's 'hantar tanda' do. Will try to make it again the next time.

elviza said...

Ahem! Scuse me,

While Mat Bangkai basks in his title of the best English writer in the blogsphere, all I got was Lady Elviza?

And of thousands of shots you apparently snapped with that horribly expensive camera of yours, you publish mine with face half covered? And Anu got the whole of her plastered on your blog?

I knew it, I just bloooodyyyy knew it!!!

Seriously, I love this straight from the heart write-up. And please, the ex-judge likes you.

And, and, and, course I was right on that t-shirt score. Heh.

mamasita said...

MS?Great photos!I can roughly guess whos who.Roughly lah.
Will make sure sak dresses handsomely if we ever join any bloggers gathering;cant do much about his pouch (malas nak exercise tu lah pasalnya).
And I will only attend kalau dapat slim down sikit lagi.Kalautak you must leave your camera at home ok?hahaha

Anonymous said...

Salam MS,
Alhamdulillah, and terima kasih yang tak terhingga tu Mat Salo! it means a lot to me.

wah, gambar i with my widest smile! i can never smile any better than that. though i may look as if i need to do yoga!! heehehee... thank you so much again.

Akmal said...

Man, not going to ask what I missed, because somehow it is obvious there were lots of things I missed. Sorry bro, exam ini minggu, can't afford to leave my book-crammed table and piled up notes. Though, I had my on version of fun hours as well, but still, I see more fun over there.

Nanti buat lagi, ajak ler saya. Next time, I'll kill to be there hehe >.<

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

Mas, dont forget, Madame Elviza was unofficially appointed as the sole lady in the committee. and we have to make sure to rope her the next time out.

thanks all who came and made the bash a great success. it could have been greater if those absent were around.

Pok Zawi, you were sorely missed!

Mat Salo said...

Waaah.. this post has generated the most-est comments in the in shortest possible time. Looks like some folks have been camping by their PCs. I'm so touched, ha ha.

Bung Zawi: Not too worry, there'll be other excuses to get together. Let's see what we can do with KBguy nanti, ok?

Pi Bani: Now that you mention about permits, ah NOW you got me worried. The guy with the 'one-size-too-small' is conveniently AWOL, ha ha. Actually I can only take pictures, not be in them. Not photogenic laa. Anyway, forgot to say how we appreciate you coming all the way from Ipoh. Means a lot to us, Pi. Thanks.

Abe kb: Lo Saturday ni I'm attending my cousin's wedding in Kuantan .. hoping to continue on to KB the next day. Jumpa kat white house jer lah. Sunday okay?

Bangkai: Yes bro' my other ex-Somban partner-in-oilfield crime was Roslan Noordin, remember him? Oh, I forgot. I meant the best MALE Malay writer... err, now I already got Elviza upset. Sigh..

Pokku! Thanks for the compliments, Sir. I actually like that pic you took of me with a headache! Has beens? Hmm, you got me. Who ARE they? I really was talking about myself, ha. BTW just sent a note to your S-I-L wishing him a Mabrur Haj.

Bang Yusuf: No worries, Sir. Thank God for Pak Idrus and Pokku to take care of that 'Col. Sanders lookalike'.

Lady Elviza: Again! A serious faux pas from me! What I meant was best MALE malay writer for Bangkai. The FEMALE award goes to you laa. Caveat: Malaysian shores only laa..

Err, there were other shots that featured you very prominently.. but what would the others think? :)

Mamasita: I think what ever the tomoi master of Pattani extraction wears would look good on him. I'm sure you will look great too. Come to think of it, what with the recent honors.. it sorts of ups the ante a little bit for you both when it comes to being out in public. I should be glad that even in a tee shirt in a 5-Star hotel, nobody (except for THAT WOMAN) would notice or care. For the record I don't even have any long sleeved dress shirts nor ties. Ah, I'm just making excuses for being a slob. To be honest I only felt bad afterwards after receiving a sounding-off from my spouse when I got home. How could I receive people like Ex-Judges, Dato' AKJ, YB Khalid Samad dressed like I was going to the mini-market for a pack of ciggies? Now I feel like an idiot.

E of Acciaccatura: Please.. YOU are the one we should thank for. It means as much to us as it did to you I'm sure. Yoga? Eh, sensitive tu.. :)

Akmal: Studies first bro! Good luck you hear.. Ni gathering bila2 boleh buat. There's a time and place for everything. Thanks for thinking of us bro'.

Mat Salo said...

Kerp! Hang tak tidur lagi ke? How bout' em Wenger's boys eh? Ye laa, next time Pak Zawi MUST come because we shall elect him as co-organizer along with Lady Elviza. How's that? Jangan dia suruh kita pi Pasir Mah udah ler...

Mat Cendana said...

Okay, GREAT!
At least I can see pictures of the gathering. Of course, that's a very poor substitution for the real thing - just like those guys at pusat serenti who make do with inhaling thinner instead of heroin!

BTW I hope the others who were also around would come up with their own posts. If it's not too much, can you provide the links here too, please?

elviza said...

Eleeeehhh, you wrote:

"Err, there were other shots that featured you very prominently.. but what would the others think? :)"

Bodek lah tuh... :-P

elviza said...

Akmal boy, please don't kill anyone on our account, I don't do criminal matters :-)

And Pak Zawi & Anmad Cendana & Capt: you were indeed sorely missed.

p/s: Sorry bad boy Mat Salo, I buat macam blog sendiri pulak yer?

jaflam said...

Hai MS,
Miss the get together sorely but then happy that it turns out well from your reporting. Many new faces and even Raden and hubby managed to come despite still under treatment.

Thank you for covering Dato Syed Ahmad Aidid in my absence, have to buy both of you lunch for missing in action.

Many thanks to you and Pokku for sharing the pics and moments at the gathering for the benefits of those who could not make it.


Mat Salo,

thank you for the invitation. I had a wonderful time meeting new blogger friends and catching up with old ones. If you hadn't told me about it, I would have surely missed it!

My regret is that I was not able to stay on a little longer to meet Cik gu and Khalid..

thanks again.

maria a samad (kak ton) said...

Yo brother,

I wouldn’t have made it if not for your last minute “invitation”. My sister, Nuraina, had asked me earlier if I knew about the “bloggers high tea”.

Apparently you’ve told her about it. She wanted me to come along but I was kind of embarrassed to gatecrash a “do” uninvited. Then you sms-ed me about it on Friday.

Glad I tagged along, had a good time and the pleasure of meeting among others, Tokasid & Mrs tokasid, Mantra, Mat Bangkai and Pak Idrus - for the first time.

Was happy, too, to meet up with some of the MRT regulars (there was no MRT last week and there won’t be one tomorrow because my significant other half hasn’t been well), especially Raden Galoh, MH and their lil ones. That was a pleasant surprise.

Indeed, she looked good. Alhamdullilah.

mekyam said...

mat salo averred... (Truth is, I'm just a fat, lazy slob.)

and heartless! ;p

i WAS so hoping to catch a glimpse of our mat roadkill.

so far i only know what his favorite fountain pen looks like.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

the kids were alright, beating the shit out of chelscum in front of their own fans! kihkihh...

yes, we should rope Pak Zawi in. this way dia confirm datang.

wanshana said...

Mat Salo,

Thank you for sharing those great pics. It was good to have had the chance to meet the Borneo Swampman in the flesh finally :) Hope tak serik lagi to invite us for future gatherings :) Both Haizal and I had a swell time with you all. Cool company indeed. Thanks again.

Mat Salo said...

Mat Cendana: I know you're inundated with water - lots of it - but believe and I personally pray that you would not be put in harm's way.. Err, if you right click on the names mentioned it would take you to their respective blogs, hombre...

Bang DJ: The pleasure is ours entirely although you were sorely missed. Hope things turned out well for you in Melaka 'bang...

Nuraina: No regrets, Sis. We're so glad both you and kak Ton could come. As for Chegu and MP Khalid, well, there'll be other occasions for sure...

Tok Mummy: Believe it or not, you were top of the list all along. It was my tardiness and poor event management that made us miss a lot of people. Take Marina for instance. I was sure I sent her an email but I screwed up. The errors and omissions are entirely my doing. Sorry. But I'm glad you came, Kak. I'm sure everybody's with me on this score. I hope abang Roslin will get better soon...

Mek Yam! I think it's quite obvious which one's the roadkill isn't it maam? The Meistertruck? I could never pronounce nor get the spelling right...

Wanshana: Glad you dragged Haizal along. Never know if I need to consult him one day. Come to think of it.. better not. Thanks for coming!

Salt N Turmeric said...

Photographer's face not in any of the pictures! But it is nice to see everybody there albeit through the pictures only. And it is good to see Kak D there!

cakapaje said...

Salam MS,

There's a guy in the same yellow t-shirt at the last meet - has he got nothing better to wear?

Kata Tak Nak said...

I really had a great time and I couldn't thank you guys enough. I was ecstatic when I saw Raden so cheerful but missed Pak Zawi though. Should you guys have a mini do for him just give me a tinker and I'll try my best to be there even if its only for a day visit.

Khalid Samad said...

Many thanks for the invitation and for the opportunity to be there with all of you. It was nice to meet everyone.

zackzara said...

Finally..the bloggers gath! Too bad am not within the radius, Sir..perhaps sometime next year :) Thanks for the invitation anyway.

And where is all the wengers' group photo..seems like you are not in the picture. And I can't tell who's who without their name tag. Hmm..

Mat Salo said...

Farina! How can the photog's face be in there? He's behind the lens remember.. ha ha... Next time you come back we'll do one for you ya... :)

Shahrir! Betul tu.. takder baju lain ke? Takut bau hapak from previous gathering... ;)

Alaamak ,, we missed a golden photo op la Shah. I should have taken you side by side with Dato' AKJ, the doyen of mainstream media... and with your 'boycott newspaper' t-shirt, baru laa ngam!

Chegu.. everybody was so happy looking at Raden so radiant... Anyway, ada mini ke maxi ke apa for sure we gonna drag you along... if not we can come up to Penang.. Kerana mu, Chegu. Hey THAT has a nice ring to it...

Y.B. MP for Shah Alam: Nice of YOU to come, Sir. Was hoping to trade some oil n gas stories with you.. hands down, everyone seems to agree you're a cool dude. Not just the Shah Alam folks who voted you in. Keep up the good work, YB. Shahrir and myself can't thank you enough... I mean OUR Shah, not talking about your elder brother, Sir. :)

Zara: Aiyoo, if you look carefully I think it's self-evident. Surely you know how ex- high-court judge Dato' Syed Ahmad Aidid looks like don't you? Macam Colonel Sanders... He... Really, he's such a nice bloke.

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Abang Mat,

Is it only me, or has blog gatherings becoming bigger and bigger? It's like...a...function already! What with all the VIP's, and photographers!

Oh darn...And I missed it...

I would have gone just for the food man...You know me, wherever there's food, there's me...;)

mamadou said...

Your meet up togethjer look very merrier.

Bon Tabaski