glossophobia

I have an irrational fear of public speaking.

That’s probably an understatement. I should be am the poster child for speech anxiety.

Wait a minute. Um, isn’t speaking in and to the public what I do for a living?? Yes my friends, the universe has a sick sense of humor.

Unlike many in this industry, and by this I mean the media, I didn’t get in it for fame. That is the last, if at all, on my list of things to achieve.

Bliss for me is sitting in my little corner of oblivion, fluttering through life unnoticed.

The sight of girls whoring their bodies on Instagram to gain a following, is cringe-worthy-maximus, but then I ask myself can I blame them? They’re simply feeding the shallow demands of human nature.

I did want to be in the media. Just not in front of the camera.

My creative juices crave an outlet for expression and that was always going to be through writing, directing or producing. The universe had other plans of course, because when I went for an interview at ESPN, they asked me to audition as an anchor despite having zero prior experience. I got the part, and so the story continues.

Back to this irrational fear!

I can talk to a mic for radio, I can talk to a camera for TV.

But my mind literally goes blank when there’s any more than 3 pairs of eyes looking back at me, hanging on the words spilling out of my mouth. My thought process goes something like:

“They’re judging how I speak. Are my facial expressions weird?”

“I’m not articulate”

“My voice is funny. I’m definitely is NOT funny. Is that why they’re not paying attention?”

“What if I just passed out right now? Now, that would be funny!”

The voices in my head have a life of their own.

Let’s just say, the very first emcee job I got years ago for a car company I shall not mention, totally bombed. I was throughly prepared with my scripts, cue cards and had all the information I needed. I just didn’t have the guts. And that ladies and gentlemen is 90% of what you do need when hosting an event. I had zero. No, I had minus 193.

I was a nervous wreck. I stuttered, my sentences hung mid air, my voice wasn’t loud enough and half the time I was just lost. It’s safe to say they never called me back for another event.

Fortunately for me though, other companies did.

Practice, hard work and of course experience, eventually calmed down the voices in my head. I stopped worrying about how I looked or sounded, and focused more on being relatable. I learnt that if you talk to an audience like you’re talking to one friend, you naturally warm up to everyone in the room. At the end of the day, it’s about the experience and how you make people feel as opposed to what’s on the outside (says the girl who takes 2 hours to get ready for an event).

I never thought I’d see the day when I can say, I hosted 3 events last week. What a difference a day, years if you’re a late bloomer like me, makes.

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Not going to lie, those voices in my head still pop up from time to time but mostly just moments before I go on stage. Once I’m up there, you’re going to have to yank the mic away or even remind me about the agenda because I can’t stop talking and go off tangent.

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What can I say, I’m either black or white, up or down. No room for grey area in my world. Go big or go home, right?

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How does one become funny though? Do you just inhale funny air?

Someone needs to lend me a sense of humor. Wait, the universe, you’re funny right?

I got my rocket ready and I’m coming for you.

xo Reem

forget me not

You didn’t think I’d forget you, did you?

I received a short handwritten thank you note from my best friend a couple of months back after her wedding, which really touched me, I almost drowned in my own tears. Zero cool factor, I know.

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Maybe it was just an emotional trickle from going through such a big event in one’s life – but relative to the evolution of communication through social media and pretty much fast paced everything these days, no Instagram ‘like’, Whatsapp heart emoticon, or Twitter’s 140 characters can rival the good ol’ pen and paper.

It’s tangible, it actually takes time and effort – maybe only 1/100 of us carries a pen and paper on the go these days right? – and most of all, it’s personal.

A little known story, I used to have penpals from all over the world thanks to the Liverpool official magazine. The magazine used to have a page similar to a classifieds section where people would exchange contacts and mail each other letters.

I wrote in with my profile once, next month boom I was featured and connected with other little Kop fans around the globe. A time before Facebook, this was how kids growing up in the 90’s made friends. We used to even send little presents like bookmarks, charm bracelets or stickers. Totally missing those days!

But like all things we move on, so thekopsalad is my pen and paper to you. Here’s to 2015!

xo Reem

trolls

We are all guilty of being a little too passionate sometimes.

Armed with a keyboard whether on the MacBook or latest smartphone, it’s like Grace Kelly never existed. Because like her namesake, she was one of the classiest, most graceful people that ever lived.

Football is no stranger to this graceless passion, with the religious equivalent of holier than thou attitudes. Case in point:

‘Oh you’ll never win anything’

‘You’re just a pretty face, you know that right? I can’t take you talking about football seriously (in other words, a girl)’

‘There are more diehard fans, aside from you, that deserve to be at the World Cup’

‘Never see you tweet like this about cunt McMahon. It’s never your fault, always the victim.’

In summary, I’m a jaded Liverpool fan because they’ve never won like anything, ever. I’m a girl therefore I can’t enjoy, watch or God forbid have an actual job talking about football.

Literally calling Paul Parker ‘harsh’ after his comments on Rodger’s terrible management skills (this after finishing 2nd last season), means I’m a victim.

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It amuses me more than anything that people can be so hateful, especially on a public platform. Didn’t your mom teach you not to say anything at all if you don’t have anything nice to say? Tsk tsk. You won’t be winning anyone’s heart that way.

Detox, take a happy pill and be an amazing fan your team can be proud of, it is called the beautiful game after all.

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My happy pill

xo Reem

3 months short of a year

…since my last post. What a difference (almost) a year makes.

I’ve often thought about the varying ways I’d recap my experiences since the wedding weekend below. It’s been way way too long. Readers of this blog would simply feel the massive chasm that no amount of #throwbacks would do the series of events justice. And those series of events since my last post, was possibly THE most incredibly-unbelievably-irreplaceable milestones of my career. Like being named LFC TVs official Malaysian reporter. Meeting Zlatan. WORLD CUP 2014 in BRAZIL!!!

As you can see I have amazing knack for timing. Oh, the irony.

Despite my absence from thekopsalad, as those of you who follow me know, I have not disappeared from the great big world wide web entirely. All is not lost.

I’m not going to put any pressure on myself to “write frequently”. If I’m being sentimental, need a larger platform to note down my thoughts and have the luxury of time to type them out, thekopsalad remains a safe space (much like that gym membership I have yet to cancel just in case I feel like going – my last visit was 3 months back). Some may call it a little indulgent. But like that scoop of Baskin Robbin’ Pralines & Cream or your favourite slice of chocolate cake, some pleasures in life should be just that. A pleasure. Let nobody trip you into that pit of guilt. At least until the day those size 24 skinny jeans no longer fit.

For more frequent updates, or in case of an emergency (like that Suarez bite) I can be found at:

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

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I hate goodbyes. Can’t wait for BPL to start again

xo Reem

wedding weekend

Who doesn’t love weddings?!

I can see a lot of guys rolling their eyes at the mention of the word, but I’m one of those girls who’s a total ‘happily ever after’ advocate at heart. *evil stares at Disney*

It gets especially emotional when one of your oldest friends to date – 24 years and counting! – gets hitched. That kinda friendship is no joke. I met Jasmine back in kindergarten in Sayfol and were really close throughout primary and secondary school. Although she’s moved to Melbourne since graduation, and we hardly see each other throughout the years, save from rare catch up sessions when she’s back in KL or I’m in Melb, our bond is hard as rock!

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I was more than honoured to be one of her bridesmaids for their ceremony at Ciao Ristorante, with a gorgeous backdrop of the lake and RSGC.

I’m so smittened by this place, I’m considering stealing the venue for my own big day (if the day ever comes!).

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Stunning view isn’t it!

With the 3 other bridesmaids, all from Sayfol, all I’ve pretty much known for life

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Of course being the most graceful person on earth, while walking down the aisle I nearly lost my balance upon entering the glass house. This was snapped a split second after I recovered from the near tip over. Close call!

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Such a touching wedding with simple but heartfelt vows exchanged. Not a dry eye in the room when Kevin and Jasmine professed their love and lifetime commitment to one another.

I was picturing Donald Duck the whole time to keep myself from wailing. Seriously. How attractive is it to have one of the ladies lined up with the bridal entourage up there crying when vows are being exchanged. Thank you DD.

Congrats to the lovely newlyweds!

I expect a bun or two in the oven when I visit you in Melbourne next year!!

xo Reem

triple treat

Could this be Liverpool’s season? Could it? Could it????!

I’m still all smiles today from yesterday’s win over United, as if I headed that goal in myself *thanks*

That’s the thing about football. One man’s goal is a whole army’s pride! I totally made that one up but you know what I mean.

3 games. 3 goals. 3 clean sheets. 3 wins. It’s a dream start, and dare I say luck has nothing to do with it *yes I’m talking to you sour Devils*.

Brendan Rodgers is making stellar progress with the team, especially the back (just got news that Sakho, Ilori are on board with Moses to follow).

LFC’s defense is looking more and more impenetrable but let’s be honest, our attack still needs work. Getting goals early in the first half for the past 3 matches are fantastic, but after the break they’re not as consistent and lose their flair.

Except for the man standing in between the post. Now he’s THE reason Liverpool have yet to concede.

I didn’t quite understand why BR spent a cool 9 mill on Mignolet and loaned Reina to Napoli. I mean, I knew he’s good, but isn’t Reina just as? Little did I know.

Mignolet has proved from the get go; against Stoke just how valuable he is. That penalty save on the 88th minute. I almost died.

Even on PL’s Fantasy Football, he’s the highest scoring player for now. If only I’d captained him instead of Hazard!

But let’s not downplay the rest of the team. Sturridge is having a moment with the goal. Enrique + Johnson both aggressive at the sides. Coutinho has yet to find the net, but major talent there just waiting to burst out. Lastly, the always reliable Captain G, great passes, interceptions, and above all the experienced leader the team can count on.

It’s still early days, but the current mood stands at: let’s embrace being on top!!!!

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…and hope it carries through the remaining 35 games where I’ll be sitting, watching, praying with nerves, anxiety and all that.

During the 2 week hiatus in the PL, I’m gonna play catch up with history.

  Planing to watch a rerun of the 1974 FA Cup final match on DVD courtesy of a colleague who grew up in the southern regions of London. It was the first match he ever watched, and has been a fan of the Merseyside ever since. Includes interview clips of Shankly too (who turns 100 today).

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There’s nothing quite like sports to keep the conversation going! #ynwa

xo Reem

the mourinho effect

Wherever he goes, whatever he says, whatever he does people take heed.

7 domestic league titles, 2 UCLs and 1 UEFA Cup. No less than 17 managerial awards including FIFA World Coach of the year. Oh, and let’s just throw in some records like how he hasn’t gone a full calender year without winning at least one trophy, just for the heck of it.

That’s what they call the Mourinho effect.

So when my producer texted to check if I was free to interview JM during Chelsea’s pre-season tour here in KL, I immediately replied, HELL YES!

Only to check my phone later on with a conflicting buka puasa event on that date/time with my family. Good news, y u no have good timing?!

But after negotiating with my parents (thank God they know enough football that I didn’t have to go into details about what a big deal this was) I got to sneak out of buka early for my 9pm date interview with the Special One.

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Not going to lie, I was SO nervous before the interview.

Fortunately Jay had warmed him up before during her slot for Stadium Unplugged, so he was pretty light-hearted when my turn was up.

He was pleasant, professional and who would’ve thought, good humored too! We weren’t the only ones who did not expect to see this side of JM though.

The folks at UK’s Daily Mail apparently thought so too and dedicated an article based on our interview here.

Such a hash tag, proud moment to see it featured on the site I visit for my daily dose of football update. I can die now. Happily!

xo Reem

raya traditions

Happy raya guys and dolls!

It’s the time of year I both most and least look forward to for two very different yet similar reasons. I look forward to the gathering of the whole family, the salam-salaman asking for forgiveness, house visiting, the dressing up, the giving of duit raya (how did this fall into the look forward category? You master the art of giving with age) and most of all the foooood!

And what I least look forward to? The foooooood!

Yes it’s a battle every year, much similar to my 2012 raya post – we (or me at least) waste no time trying to pile back on all those pounds we lost over Ramadhan. I love the food, I mean, who doesn’t?

I just don’t love the expansion of a waistline. But if I just put a little more effort on exercising maybe I won’t keep whining about this huh? Uh-huh.

Traditionally, I start off my mornings at my grandmas in PJ, before visiting my grandad’s grave for prayers. Followed by a visit to my great grand aunt’s place, and then finish the day off at my dad’s sister’s home. There’s not too much traveling involved as they’re all based around KL, so I’m quite grateful that I never get stuck in the horrendous highway traffic most people endure.

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Every year, it gets harder and harder to round up the family for a group photo let alone a picture perfect one where everyone’s smiling perfectly while looking straight into the camera. However, the candid ones make the best shots. My best shot is apparently one that coveys the perfectionist I try to be, “eh, look into the camera please. stop talking. SMILEEEEE”. Way to kill the fun!

Looking back at this year’s raya album, I obviously don’t practice what I preach. I’m hardly looking into the camera 90% of the time!

Photo Aug 08, 6 22 27 PMMy ayah and his girls.

We’ll try again next year, ok?

For now, selamat hari raya aidilfitri, maaf zahir & batin everyone!

xo Reem

what’s up august

August is here which means only one thing. Football season is back on television! Wahayy.

To top it off, raya is exactly one week away. Double wahaaaaay! Actually I’m pretty antsy about raya being so close since both baju rayas that I ordered show no signs of being ready in time. Back up plan, Masjid India we go.

Anywho, with the 13/14 season around the corner, Football Overload is set to hit the screens again on 22nd August. And jeng jeng jeng…the secret’s out, we have a new recruit.

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Film maker Reuben Kang from Jinnyboytv has already created waves behind the lens, but how will he fare in front of the camera? TSUNAMI alert!

So, what happened to that tall, hairy, Mr Bean look alike guy also known as Roshan? He’s still very much with us. You may not catch him on FO anymore, but keep your eyes peeled on all Supersport channels. He’s there somewhere. If you don’t find him, drop us a line and we’ll be sure to issue one of those missing person milk cartons out.

Aside from FO, there’ll be a slew of new shows coming up on Supersport which are going to be just plain aweeesome! Part of this awesomeness is a show called Sports Swap. The name says it all. 2 athletes from 2 different sports compete against each other in their respective sports. They’ll also compete in a 3rd neutral sport none of them plays. Winner takes all.

How do I play a role in this show? Comic relief apparently since I can’t hit a golf ball to save my life but somehow manage to almost, I repeat, almost but didn’t, hit a camera man with my killer swing.

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You’d have to watch it to believe it.

Natalie from Hitz is co-hosting and we’re both like handicaps to each athlete’s game. We keep score for each of 13 episodes, and the loser faces a punishment in the end.

Quite clear who’s going to lose this one huh? Tall and graceful Nat, with her svelte and athletic build against uncoordinated, non athletic, humpty dumpty me?

I’m going to go practice my walk of shame now. Hmph!

xo Reem

let’s try this again

I’ve missed the kopsalad. Like, “one day we were BFFs and the next strangers” kind of miss, which I’m sure most people have felt at least once in their lives.

At the point I stopped updating, I was going through not just 2 separate jobs with two separate crazy demands but also free lancing opportunities outside your average 9 – 5 including nights, weekends and all that. If I was an entrepreneur, business was way good!

And when that wound down, I thought a treat was in the works. Some serious me time was due and I ran (flew) half way round the world for 3 weeks to recuperate. I thought being a kid again would do the trick (it did. Thanks Disney World!).

After the trip, more than 2 months had passed since my last update back in April. How time flies! Everyday that passed with no blogging, it became pretty clear I was never going to log into WordPress ever again. Outta sight outta mind syndrome. Although, that nagging feeling of remorse from abandoning a much loved project did creep up when least expected.

Excuse the drama, but having a blog is like being in a relationship, I tell you! It screws up with your emotions when you don’t update but it’s a double rainbow feeling of accomplishment when you do. It’s nice to have an outlet for expression.

Just about a week ago I got an email alert on my phone from WordPress with the subject: Domain kopsalad.com will be auto-renewed

That’s USD$26 charged straight to my credit card. Which I could’ve cancelled. But I didn’t.

Like all love-hate relationships, I have a soft spot for this little space I can call mine on the world wide web. So I’m all for milking the most of my hard earned USD$26. If not, at least it’s somewhere I can whine about how little loyalty some people have. Like footballers.

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By now you should know, I mean Suarez.

xo Reem