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Monday, July 17, 2006

B'day Boy

Last Friday, I was in Penang with my paternal extended family to celebrate my grandma's birthday. Actually, her birthday falls on April 1st (April Fools' Day :P), yet we postponed it to July for unknown reasons (have to inquire my cousin as she was the event planner). My grandma knew nothing about this celebration we made for her. It was such a huge surprise to her when she found out that she was the main character of the whole journey!

We had dinner at a restaurant (it's actually a Chinese community centre cater for weddings and functions), where we savoured typical Chinese dishes (those served in Chinese wedding banquets). The food was not bad, yet expensive! 2 fully-seated tables costed us a staggering RM 9xx --- that's nearly RM 1k! Oh my... Penang is such a costly place to live! :/

After returning to our hotel (The Gurney), we had another surprise for our grandma --- a delicious specially-made ice-cream cake from Häagen-Dazs! The whole cake was made of ice-cream, and absolutely no cake bits! There were 2 layers of ice-cream --- Macadamia Brittle and Belgian Chocolate (the flavours were meticulously chosen by my cousins). After my grandma blew out the candles, my cousin instantly replaced them with new ones. I first thought they were going to ask my grandma to blow out the candles once more (which seemed so strange to me), yet I didn't take much notice since I was so busy taking photos of the lovely cake. Then there came the birthday song. I was so shocked and surprised when I realized that the song was actually dedicated to me! They celebrated my birthday with me 3 days earlier than the actual date! I couldn't believe it! :touched: Later, I made a birthday wish before blowing out the candles and slicing the oh-so-damn-hard cake (we actually had to use the stainless steel knife instead of the plastic knife used for slicing cakes!)!

Let's fast-forward to today's morning --- July 17th. During recess at school, my friends took out a lovely birthday cake to celebrate this day with me. I was really pleased. What a nice bunch of friends these guys are! At night, me and my closest pals went to dine at Kenny Rogers Roasters. A good buddy of mine actually wanted to treat me to this meal. I was very surprised, yet at the same time very touched by his sincerity. Later, we went to a nearby café to chat and have some drinks. It's been a really great day for me!

Lastly, what I wanna say to these great buddies is thank U, thank U and thank U! I really appreciate every single bit you guys have done for me today. Merci beaucoup!

Happy Birthday to me! :P

Yeah... It's my birthday today! Anyway, here's my top 10 birthday wishes for this year:

  • 4 flat in STPM examinations! (dream on my friend...)
  • I want a Sony Ericsson K800i!
  • Every day is a beautiful day
  • Endowed with great health all year long
  • Never feel fatigue nor lethargic
  • Get over all sorts of complicated problems and trivial matters
  • Receive support and encouragement from pals and buddies at difficult times
  • Family and friends are blessed with infinite prosperity and longevity
  • A peaceful world!
  • All my wishes come true! :P

That's all. Now I'm waiting for my crystal ball to work its magic! :P

***** Happy Birthday to me! *****

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Euphoric Italy... Sombre France...

It's been nearly a week since the 2006 FIFA World Cup ended controversially at the Olympiastadion in Berlin, Germany. It was certainly an unforgettable night for soccer fans around the world --- thanks for the infamous head-butt controversy by the French soccer superstar skipper, Zinédine Zidane, which had made tabloid headlines across the globe.

Italy once again claimed the prestigious title as the world champions for the 4th time since they last won the championship 24 years ago in Spain, rivalling Brazil, which is currently on top with the most number of titles in hand. Though somewhat overshadowed by Zizou's controversy, Italy's triumph was not totally unnoticed. The great news was celebrated nation-wide in Italy and by Italian fans and supporters around the world. It was definitely a lucky day for Italy, as they were quickly tied with France 1-1 after lagging behind for a mere 12 minutes, and the score remained still even though extra time was given. This thus dragged both national teams into the heart-pumping penalty shoot-out in order to determine the winners. Unfortunately, David Trézéguet's nearly-successful-yet-failed attempt completely shattered France's dream to reign as the world champions for the 2nd time. I have to admit --- 2006 is not France's year. :(

To my utmost disappointment, Zinédine Zidane ended his glittering career disgracefully, not in a glittering way which all his fans wanted to see. The hero who once led Les Bleus to lift the coveted Coupe du Monde for the first time ever back in 1998, was now leaving the pitch as well as international soccer after being red-carded for head-butting Italian defender, Marco Materazzi in the chest. The exact reason that had prompted Zizou's violent offence remains unknown to public.

Despite the humiliating elimination from the final match, this soccer legend was awarded the adidas Golden Ball award as the most outstanding player in this tournament. At least he was not leaving without any glory, ain't he? If you're a great soccer fan of this elegant midfielder, come and recall all his glorious moments at the pinnacle of his career and the strong legacy that he has left behind in the soccer world.

Zinédine Zidane --- a star so bright that one shall always remember and revere him for his virtuosity on the football pitch as well as being a genuine symbol of French national pride.

Zizou, au revoir!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Nach Berlin!

It was another great night for Les Bleus, as they thrashed Portugal 1-0 via a stunning penalty kick by Zizou in the 33' of the game, successfully barring the Portuguese from advancing to the final. Though their performance was kinda lackadaisical compared to their previous 2 matches (against Spain and Brazil), it was unbelievable and amazing that they still managed to emerge as victors despite having a lesser share of ball possession for the 3rd consecutive time. Honestly, Portugal played a better game in that match. They were fierce and vigorous in ball attacks. What's more, the ball nearly hit the goal for quite a lota times! I suffered quite a few heart attacks throughout the game, and lucky for me, the Portuguese couldn't make it to the final. Guess France's lucky star is with 'em all through the tournament, and is twinkling brighter than ever, much to the delight of all their supporters!

Furthermore, this match also signified the final reunion of soccer world's 2 greatest legends --- France's Zinédine Zidane and Portugal's Luís Figo on the same pitch. These 2 sensational players who're retiring from international soccer soon after the tournament had even exchanged jerseys after the match. What a heart-warming scene! Strong rivals on the pitch, yet buddies outside of it, both veterans were even teammates during their years at the prestigious Spanish football club, Real Madrid.

The tournament's most anticipated match will be another remake of the 2000 UEFA European Football Championship final between the French toast and the Italian pizza, in which Les Bleus defeated Azzurri 2-1. This World Cup is full of remakes of history for France's many matches (in which France won all of them), including Brazil vs France (1998 FIFA World Cup final), Spain vs France (2000 UEFA European Football Championship quarter-finals), Portugal vs France (2000 UEFA European Football Championship semi-finals), and last but not least, the one stated above. It's also a blue-blue clash in the final, since the nicknames of both national teams mean blue in their native languages.

So which national team do you guys think would outplay all of the World Cup qualifiers this time? The Italians are certainly hot favourites, yet the French aren't gonna give way that easily, especially after their unexpected triumphs over initial favourites --- Spain and Brazil. There's a huge possibility for France to emerge as the eventual champions of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, since France not only won all the matches against Brazil, Spain, Portugal and Italy in 2 great tournaments held several years ago, but also won the remakes of them in this year's tournament, except the final match, in which we're still guessing the winners.

I'm an ardent supporter of France right from the very beginning, but I've absolutely no animosity against Italy. Still, I'm praying hard for France as I want them to claim the title for the 2nd time since they first ascended the throne in the 1998 global soccer phenomenon held in their homeland. Hopefully my prayers are heard and luck is on France's side.

Anyway, allez Les Bleus, Zizou and mates! And to everyone on Earth, nach Berlin!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Miracles can happen... and they did!

Once again, I woke up at 3 in the morning to catch the intense match between my favourite, France and the defending champions, Brazil. I know a lota guys (and gals of course) have been predicting that Brazil would definitely win this match and send France home.

Muahaha... I'm soooooo glad that not only Les Bleus don't have to pack their things up, they have even qualified for the semi-finals to meet with the Portuguese (and once again I'm damn pleased that the overrated English team has been defeated in their match against Portugal on penalty shoot-out. Looks like England is cursed to taste defeat on every penalty shoot-out in World Cup history! They just sux in that, aren't they? Big names yet terrible performance! Oh yeah... Mind you, I'm the world's biggest anti-England fan! :P)! Miracles do occur! Nothing is really impossible in this world --- including defeating the defending world champions! Poor Brazil... Their dreams to defend the prestigious title and to lift the World Cup for the 2nd consecutive time (6th in total) were shattered completely by the French. Too bad that these samba boys would have to wait for another 4 years to fulfill these dreams, and yet that's not 100% guaranteed!

So who amongst you guys dare to underestimate the strength of France again? Who amongst you guys would want to mock at Zinédine Zidane's rising age and sluggish movement again when he's been one of the greatest playmakers in those matches against Spain and Brazil, and debunking criticism by proving to the world that he's still able to play skilfully and score goals at his age? Think thrice before you guys wanna flame France again!

It's now down to 4 --- France, Italy, Germany and Portugal. It's an all-European semi-final, which seems more like a UEFA European Football Championship than a World Cup! With the elimination of Brazil, Europe once again dominates the football pitch with great passion and emotions.

France, kick the Teamgeist to the final and lift the coveted Coupe du Monde for the 2nd time! You can do it!