Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Here he is again!

Posted in Uncategorized on December 22, 2008 by smoothcriminalmagic

Salaams everyone 🙂

I must apologize for my extremely late update. Yes, do not rub your eyes, this is indeed an update 🙂

In the past couple of months, blog-wise, I’ve gone from “Where is he?” to “Here he is again!” and I must say, it is indeed amazing what can happen in just a couple of months.

Since I last blogged:

I traveled to my country of origin…

photo-0174

*Tarim – One of the major cities in Hadramaut, Yemen*

I’ve put another semester to rest…

dsc02500*Believe it or not, I got a grade for playing a bad guy! 🙂*

Photo taken from His Royal Wackyness.

I won a talent competition…

champ*Had a lot of fun that night!*

Photo taken from Metaphorical expression, thank you!

dscf0278

and most importantly, I got engaged 🙂

photo-0276*:)*

I’ll elaborate on each of those topics soon hopefully, but each in it’s own due time. To be frank, they each deserve their own blog post.

* * *

YEMEN

Yemen was absolutely AMAZING! And I’m not just saying that because I’m Arab 😛

photo-0263*Roots*

It really is a whole new world there! The people are always friendly and courteous; and they’re always smiling. Even the poorest of the poor there smile and greet you 🙂

As I mentioned in my last post, my family and I did our ‘Umrah before heading to Yemen, Alhamdulillah 🙂

With the tour group, we managed to check out all the sites worth seeing in Yemen, both in the North (San’aa) and the South (Hadramaut; where I originate).  As expected, we visited our families and relations. Didn’t help that my Arabic was next to pathetic; our conversations always lasted less than 2 minutes and always involved how I was and how I liked Yemen. Any other questions they asked me, I just nodded earnestly not knowing what I was nodding to. I got scared once because after nodding to some unknown question, they told me to get into a white thobe and get ready to go out!

“Where am I going?” I asked in Arabic.

“******************”, was their reposonse.

Well, it was to me anyway! I couldn’t understand!!! :((

I thought they wanted to match make me with someone or something and I got scared because they were so excited to get me out of the house. Didn’t help that the questions before that were along the lines of, “Are you married yet?”!!

I finally found out that they wanted to take me to this celebration that was going on. I told them I was tired after my trips across Yemen and that I would like a quiet night instead.

You can bet they were befuddled as to why I was nodding so earnestly one minute and declining the next!

I’m sure they asked me why; not that I would understand, either way I just nodded earnestly again 🙂

By then they correctly assumed that my Arabic was atrocious.

I confirmed their assumption by once again, nodding earnestly 🙂

Another hilarious moment involved two boys in an airplane.

photo-0206

These boys were the sons of a lady that my mom made friends with at one of the female gatherings. My grand aunty, Amati, asked me to perform magic for them and so I did. I did a couple of simple tricks, ending with a magical transformation of a 50 Yemeni riyaal bill to two 200 Yemeni riyaal bills and handed one to each of them. They were stunned and with mouths agape, all they said was, “How…?” (in Arabic of course). I smiled and headed back to my seat, plugged in my MP3 player and listened to my music.

The younger of the two boys came up to me while we were in the air and handed me a pack of gum. He spoke Arabic and pointed at the gum and then pointed to his ears and made a “pulling” gesture with his hands in front of his ears. He then stood there as if waiting for something.

Not knowing what he said or meant, I did what I always do:

I nodded earnestly at him 🙂

He still stood there.

“Oh uh” I figured…what should I do?

Does he…does he want me to lend him my MP3 player in exchange for some gum?

I pointed at my earphones in my ears and looked at him.

He nodded.

“Oh…”

Then he just walked away and sat back down on his seat.

“Huh?”

I sat there for 15 minutes trying to figure out what I’m supposed to do with the gum…did I interpret him correctly?

I asked my mum to go and double check.

After much hesitation, my mum went to check for me.

Turns out, the kid wanted to help me out on the flight by giving me the gum. He wanted me to chew on the gum so that my ears don’t pop, which as anyone who has ever flown knows, hurts!!

Sweet kid 🙂

Dumb pseudo-Arab adult!!

photo-0246*The pseudo-Arab trying his best to BE an Arab 😛. That’s Booga at the back by the way 🙂*

Anyway, my mother had signed up for a summer course at the ever famous Darul Mustafa centre of Islamic learning there.

dar-mustafa

Famous and knowledgeable Islamic lecturers would be lecturing in English and with English translators for the Arabic speaking ones. A wealth of knowledge for those who seek it. So we left her there as I had to escort the two golden old ladies (Siti & Amati) back to Singapore. Furthermore, I had that trip to Mulu to go through. So we departed from Yemen…little did I know, that I was going to come back sooner than I thought… 🙂

* * *

Alrighty, that ends our little update!

I will elaborate on the other happenings in due time, but for now, this should suffice 🙂

As Met once told me, “Update it in chapters bro!”.

Thanks buddy 🙂

I am due to perform my thesis research with Dr. Ulmar at Belalong in a couple of days. I’ll be at Belalong for 2 weeks in total because in addition to 1 week of solid thesis research, I’ll be there for the Field Ecology 2 course which is also 1 week.

Please pray that I come back safe and sound 🙂

Insha Allah, once I return, I shall update my blog once more.

Till then, salaams, stay safe and remember that nodding earnestly is not a sufficient substitute to learning a foreign language! Especially when you look like you’re supposed to speak it! 😛

Aman

* * *

I really wish I could come with you,” she said.

But there’s mosquitoes and insects and…” he said.

I don’t care! I’d wear long sleeves and everything. It doesn’t matter…” she replied.

As long as I’m with you.

He melted.

🙂

The Barber Shop

Posted in Magic, Uncategorized on April 16, 2008 by smoothcriminalmagic

So I just got back from the barber shop…and…well…I don’t feel so good.

See, “here’s the thing” (Metis, 2008), I’ve been going to this barber shop for well over 12 years. Everyone there knows me. Some of the barbers have left, some new barbers have come in, but I always go there cos it’s cheap and the service is good.

Recently, this new guy, let’s call him A, starts working there, he’s cut my hair a couple of times. Now, A is a great guy, he’s nice to talk to, makes you feel comfortable, establishes good PR basically.

However…his haircuts are…

Well, I’m not gonna say they’re bad, but I’m never fully satisfied with his work. Now, there’s nothing wrong with him or what, it’s just I have a preference for the way the other guy, B, cuts my hair – he’s cut my hair before and I’ve always liked his work.

So, I was wondering, how am I going to get B to cut my hair because I know A is ever enthusiastic about cutting a new customer’s hair, and seeing as how we’re friends (we have our own handshake and all) I didn’t know how to go about doing this without hurting A’s feelings.

I asked my mum and my mum just told me to kindly ask for B the next time I go there, she said A would understand…sounded simple enough.

Went to the barber just now, saw A and B side by side, both cutting a customer’s hair. I sat in an empty chair behind B. A smiled at me and nodded, I returned the favor. I somehow felt that A was trying his best to quickly finish up his customer so as to not make me wait.

Didn’t make what I was going to do any easier I’ll tell you that.

I was hoping that B would finish sooner, so that I wouldn’t have to say anything. I was hoping that B would just finish up and say, “Next” and I’ll just hop in.

But before I knew it, the customer got out of A’s seat.

A looked at me and invited me into his chair.

I cringed as I said, in my pathetic broken malay, “No, it’s ok, I’m waiting for this guy”.

I swear, if I could hear a heart break, it would be then.

A looked really…lost. Hurt even. He just nodded, wiped the counter and left. I hung my head, couldn’t really look at the guy anymore.

B’s customer finally finished.

Sat in, got my hair cut…and it was nice 🙂

Alhamdulillah.

My mind wondered about whether A took it personally.

He shouldn’t. He’s a professional, I mean…it’s not him, I just like B’s work…I mean, is that wrong?

Right?

B finished and I paid and when I left, I saw A sitting near my car.

He had his arms crossed and he looked really disturbed.

As I walked to my car he called me over, and extended his hand to salaam me. I salaam-ed him and said good night. Then he looked at me with a sense of betrayal in his eyes as he said, “You don’t like the way I cut hair?”

Oh God 😦

This is exactly what I was trying to avoid.

We were friends after all…I didn’t know what to expect…nor say.

I ended up blurting something out that went along the lines of, “I wanted to try someone new…”

Tried to tell him not to feel bad about it but with my horrible standard of malay I think I probably told him the Sun was blue or something.

He nodded despairingly as I left.

Got in my car and as I drove off, I turned to wave good bye to him, he waved back…with a sulk on his face and then returned to crossing his arms as he looked into the night sky.

Did I do something wrong?

I mean…don’t I have a choice?

I understand that we were friends and all…but…yeah…

I always try to make sure I don’t hurt people’s feelings…though once in a while it’s unavoidable…and when I do, I always apologise…but I try to steer clear of such situations whenever I can.

Hate being in such situations.

Now what am I gonna do?

Why do I feel so crappy about it?

God…it’s just a hair cut…

Re-reading this post it sure sounds like some messed up love story involving alphabetically named barbers and a promiscuous customer.

Now I’m not too sure what to do or say the next time I go there…

* * *

Anyway, on a brighter note, I uploaded a new video!!! Yay!

Well, Met did it for me already (thanks big guy!) but just in case you haven’t seen it (*gasp* you haven’t seen it??!), here it is 🙂

And if you’ve seen it, you can watch it again, I won’t tell anyone 😛

*The Hat*

Stay safe everyone,

And A, I’m really sorry, don’t take it personally 😦

Aman

A Who?

Posted in Uncategorized on March 16, 2008 by smoothcriminalmagic

Salaams to every who and every one!

You may be asking, “Hey, what’s going on?”

I’ll tell you what what and a fiddle dee doo,

Just watched a movie and so a review for you.

* * *

In case the rhyming hasn’t tipped it off yet, I just watched the latest Dr. Seuss movie, ‘Horton Hears A Who!’ (HHAW!) last night.

Wanted to write the review then, but that poem in the previous post was ringing in my head, so I had to put it down.

Yes, I tend to write poems when I am emotionally stirred and like all poems, the interpretation of it is yours 🙂

I was told recently, by a friend, that the best poets of the Middle East, were from Yemen.

Why am I not surprised 😉

Alright, so my poems are pretty cruddy but they’re heartfelt.

To those who are concerned, please know I am feeling a little better.

They say music soothes the savage beast…but I beg to differ.

I think a Booga’s prayer for the savage beast does it better 🙂

I love my mum 🙂

ANYWAY, on to the review!

Before we continue, you have to know that contrary to popular belief, Dr. Seuss’ name is not pronounced with an S, but it’s pronounced with a Z. ALSO, it’s not supposed to rhyme with ‘juice’, but instead, it’s supposed to rhyme with ‘voice’.

That’s right, his name is pronounced ‘Dr. Zoice’.

That’s German for ya (where Seuss’s family originally migrated from).

Aren’t you glad that you always learn something new on this blog? 😉

Hehehehe, alright, alright, on to the movie!

horton_hears_a_who.jpg
*Horton Hears A Who! the movie*

HHAW! is a heartwarming adventure/comedy for kids (and hairy 24 year olds) that’s obviously based on Dr. Seuss’ book of the same name.

horton_hears_a_who_.jpg
*Horton Hears A Who! the book*

First off, the animation is fantastic. And not only that, but the Seuss-ian characters were really well made , i.e. they look like how they do in the book (fur-covered fingers and all).

As you pass through Whoville, in the movie, the scenery was adapted straight from the book, i.e. so many complex and precarious things, like riding a unicycle and balancing a stack of books, whilst talking on a phone, were taking place. I always loved that about Seuss’ books, how completely impossible things appear so perfect… and how they all looked so nonchalant about it 🙂

What I love to look for in any computer animated movie that stars big names (in this one it’s Jim Carrey), is how the character the voice actor plays tends to look like the voice actor. You see, the animators make the character bear a slight resemblance to the voice actor because it enables the animators to use the expressions of the voice actor ON the animated character, making whatever he’s saying, more believable. And looking at Horton (played by Carrey), you can see a slight resemblance.

I know Carrey can play many roles but I never imagined an elephant to be one of them. The man of many faces does it again!

Whilst I haven’t read the book, I can definitely tell that the movie was ‘padded out’ a bit. In other words, they added things to the story to make it longer. Let’s face it, all of Seuss’ books were over too soon, they were never more than about 15 pages. So understandably, they added some stuff which I can’t quite say I appreciate but I don’t blame them either.

What’s nice is that it doesn’t deviate much from the ACTUAL story; that being Horton doing his best to take care of Whoville – you’ll get the idea when you watch it, cos I ain’t ruining it for you here!

14621665_horton1.jpg

Somehow I half-expected the entire movie to be in rhyme, but I guess that’s a bit too much to ask, even from Hollywood 😉

But a rhyme does break out every once in a while and that’s when you’ll see the original Seuss moments come to life. My favourite rhyme and coincidentally the tag line of the movie, is “After all, a person is a person, no matter how small“, it’s so typically Seuss-ish, ya gotta love it.

Ok, so apart from the very decent story line, voice acting and visuals…what else is there?

Sentimentality.

The movie brought me back to my childhood days. Where I used to play all by myself, living in my imagination and making believe that completely useless and meaningless things…were important. Like, ‘Don’t Let The Balloon Touch The Ground’ game or ‘The Floor Is Lava’ game. Why? Because in this movie, everyone else in the story thinks that Horton is imagining things, and trust me, it sure looks that way when you watch him talking to that flower.

But it reminded me of me, when I was young and tender, perhaps not talking to flowers…but talking to kittens, my slippers and even my own body 🙂

I also particularly like the movie because it touches on a few topics, that, if you were to watch it without paying much attention, you wouldn’t notice.

Due to the nature of the story (which I won’t ruin for you little munchkins 🙂 ) many important child development principles come into play, like the big protecting the small, about telling the truth and being honest with yourself.

Other themes they touched upon would be to stand for what you believe in, and trying to convince others when they are all against you.

I couldn’t help but think about how I would make my kid (if i am blessed enough to have one, Insha Allah) watch this and then point out how the Prophet S.A.W. had to face similar obstacles during his life time, spreading the truth and trying to change the way people think. This movie is the PERFECT medium for trying to get the child to connect with principles he would otherwise not comprehend.

There’s just so many lessons, acted out in this movie that any parent can ask the child to recall the movie and show that ‘if Horton can do it, so can you’ kind of thing.

Am I making any sense?

Basically, it’s not a brain-dead children’s movie. There are morals and lessons here that children AND adults can learn (re-learn for the latter group).

Ok, right now we know two things:

1. The fact that I’m talking about parenting is a bit…weird.

and

2. It’s a great movie 🙂

So what’s the score?

Well, since the movie made me feel like a kid again and think about the upbringing of my unborn children…I give it a solid 9 out of 10 🙂

* * *

Stay safe everybody and do take care,

Just do not forget, who has the most chest hair!

Aman 😉

Imitation

Posted in Michael Jackson, Music, Squash Da Sheen, Uncategorized on March 4, 2008 by smoothcriminalmagic

…is the best form of flattery, or so they say.

whitehouse_visit_1990-crop.jpg

This post is going to be about Michael Jackson, so if you don’t particularly like the topic, feel free to click elsewhere. Don’t worry, I won’t be hurt 🙂

But if you’re neutral on the subject and you don’t mind reading a little bit about one of the best entertainers who ever lived, then by all means…read on 🙂

One has to understand that when you’re the most famous man, in the world (seriously, go to the most ulu part of Indonesia or Africa, where they don’t even have Internet…say ‘Michael Jackson’ and you’ll get a positive response, say ‘Aman Alhamid’ and you’ll probably be slapped with a trout or a rock, depending on the country) you are bound to have impersonators who wished they had your kind of success.

Now, I love MJ to bits, I must say, but I am NOT an impersonator, nor would I make a very good one. I just take fashion advice from him 😉

Now, one thing you NEED in order to be a good MJ impersonator is a good, tall, slim body frame. I am the opposite of all that. Plus, with the amount of fur (100% imported from South Yemen. Please ah, I only have the best of the best quality stuff) I am covered with, all those spins and moves aren’t going to go down so smoothly. Too much wind resistance 😉

Plus I have a rather large gluteus maximus. So that’s not gonna work.

There are basically 3 main rules about being a good MJ impersonator:

  1. Get your dancing steps down…pat.
  2. DO NOT sing.
  3. Re-read points number 1 and 2…especially 2.

Let’s face it, you’ll never be as good as the original. The original can sing and dance. You’ll be lucky enough to be able to do ONE of those…and seeing as how his voice is like a bird (and yours is more like a crow)…you’re best bet would be to stick with the dancing.

Heck even the real deal, MJ, can’t sing and dance most of the time (during concerts), he gets out of breath and usually lip syncs (mainly for the fast paced songs, i.e. Thriller or Jam).

Now I cannot sing and I most definitely cannot dance, but I have seen my fair share of good MJ impersonators, so I know what I’m talking about here 🙂

Why am I telling you all this? (Bet you wished you clicked outta here when you had the chance huh?)

The reason is because of this gentleman you see below.

He is everything, an MJ impersonator does NOT want to be…well, except maybe having the good frame.

It started out promising…until he opened his mouth.

Oh. My. God.

WHAT WAS THAT?!

He RUINED the best song ever made…Billie Jean!

Allow me to type out this man’s rendition of it (and no, they ain’t typos, he really said all this):

She was more like a beauty queen,
From a movie sheen.
I shay don’t mind but what do you mean,
I am the ooooone.
Who will dance, on the floor, in the round.
She say I am the ooooone.
Who will dance, on the floor, in the round.

She told my her name was Billie Jean,
As she squashed da sheen,
Then every hand and da eyes dreamed,
Being the ooooone.

People always told me,
And be careful of youuu,
What donut breaking young girl’s heart,
Heeeee heeee,
And another also told me,
And to be careful of youuuu,
And be careful of youuu,
Becomes the true.

Hey hey hey,
The Billie Jean is not my love,
She’s just a girl,
How comes I am the oooonneee,
But the kid it’s bin not my son,
She said I am the one,
But the kids it’s bin not my son.

The Billie Jean is not my love,
The Billie Jean is not my love,
The Billie Jean is not my love,
The Billie Jean is not my love.

Now…

Forgive me if I’m wrong…but…

If you’re going to an Idol contest…which, if I’m not mistaken, is a contest where you go to sing

You would think that the participants would at least memorize the proper lyrics…

I mean, it’s the least they could do right?

But no, this guy absolutely butchered one of the BEST songs ever made and turned it into…I don’t even know what.

The only part he got right was the ‘Who will dance, on the floor, in the round.’ but I mean, that’s a no-brainer right?

The rest of the song…what?

And she squashed da sheen,

What?!

It’s supposed to be (and I’m not referring to any sites or anything):

And she CAUSED a scene

And this one:

What donut breaking young girl’s heart,

Huh?

Donut?!

What?!

In WHAT MJ song does he EVER say ‘donut’?!

And your ‘hee hee’s need ALOT of work buddy.

Dude! Come on!

I can SEE how you might have misheard the lyrics…but MAN do your reading!

He LOOKS like a decent MJ impersonator, no doubt. He just has to work on his moves…and RE-READ rule number 2 of MJ impersonation…like all the time.

I apologize my dear blog readers, for ranting on about something you probably couldn’t care less about…but yeah. To see MJ’s best work be butchered like that…ini macam tak boleh.

To make it up to you and wipe clean your memory of what you just saw, watch this (its only 1:30 mins long):

*Michael moves with flawless precision*

Better? 🙂

Anyone can sing Billie Jean…or any other song for that matter.

Whether you sing it well or not, is the real question.

I guess it relates to this old quote:

“Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

Stay safe everyone,

You too Mr. Squash Da Sheen (work harder, you’ll get there 🙂 ),

Aman

The beginning…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on February 29, 2008 by smoothcriminalmagic

Well here it is…

Wow huh?

Yeah…me too…

Aman Alhamid has a blog…

*awkward silence*

Well…I suppose it was the next logical step… :s

I must admit, I was rather hesitant about the whole thing…but I guess it is what I make of it that will determine whether or not this will be just another blog…or something else.

Something different.

So why WordPress?

I was actually undecided between Blogger and WordPress…but after some reading up on their respective ‘JOIN US!’ promotional banter pages, I liked WordPress more. It was neater, cleaner looking (interpret that how you will) and most importantly, there was less banter to sift through 😉

As I sat there…my cursor hovering over the ‘Sign Up’ button…I contemplated a heck of a lot of things. My previous perspective of blogs has changed quite a bit…I used to think blogs were a place for adolescent teenagers to rant, curse and rave about stuff they were actually too young to understand. Used to think that blogs were a place where really really sad people come and type out their life story every day stating just how unloved and unblessed they are…totally forgetting the rezki they have to be ABLE to blog…a computer, a functioning brain…

Basically I was sickened by blogs only because the ones I had ever read were those of self-pitying people with narrow minds.

But my opinion has changed.

I found out that blogs can be clever (thanks Met) and educational even (thanks Rosie).

Blogs provide you with a dose of perspective. It makes you think. It gives you information and leaves you to digest it.

One’s blog reflects who the person is and what the person considers important.

It may change the way you see life…or it may make you giggle.

As I said earlier, it is whatever one makes it to be.

And I hope mine is a worthy one 🙂

With that…

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Welcome.