Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Back on The Edge, baby!!!!

I'm back! So for some theatre updates: the main event being the great news I can finally share that my musical THE EDGE will be having its Perth premiere in... oh, about five weeks, OMG!!!! It will have been five years this November since the Malaysian production, so I'm thrilled (and nervous?!) that this is happening!

We've been rehearsing since the end of March (see table read, etc below) and we had an official launch at the venue, The Blue Room in Perth, on April 5, with a night that featured the cast singing a medley of The Greatest Measure and the title song as three different sets of audiences were brought into the performance space. The night went really well and the feedback has been very positive, with many people saying our presentation was the best one (yay!) and that their curiosity (I presume) had been piqued!!! Here are some photos from the night!

The show runs from May 29 and tickets are already available: if you're keen, do check out the Blue Room's website, as well as the Facebook event page!! Our info has also been posted in the Perth chapter of Broadwayworld, so that's super exciting!!

I'll come back with more details on this and other news, but I'll leave you with this sneak peek of the cast performing the title song from the show. This clip hasn't been shared anywhere else yet, so this is a special preview! Enjoy!!

Sunday, 22 April 2018

The North Lake Road Drama

Yo I'm back! So. Let's talk about the some of the crappy stuff that happened in the process of moving house. The main issue, I suppose, was the new housemate we had, the Law Enforcer guy, who as I'd discovered was pretty unreliable when it came to money: late bill payments, non-payment of debts, etc. He went away on a holiday for about 20 days and only got back 3 days before we were due to move out. Subsequently when the cleaners came to do the final "vacate cleaning" in the house, his stuff was still all over the place, which, of course, made it kinda stressful for yours truly, who had been tasked with letting the cleaners in.

Then there was the issue of cleaners' payment: I'd asked the dude to leave $100 as part of his share of the cleaning on the kitchen bench. That evening, the money wasn't there. The dude claimed he'd left it. But, unless we were blind, there was no money to be found, and unless the cleaners themselves had pocketed it and denied it, he'd not left the money. Subsequently, Social Housemate had to leave $100 of his own money to make up for the shortfall, which, again, was one of those infuriating things that really didn't need to happen, grr argh!!! Let's just say I'm glad to be out of that house and away from the idiocy of certain people who, in all honesty, make terrible housemates!!

But the household woes weren't over yet! You see, part of the agreement upon moving out was that we'd leave the house "in the same condition as when it was first leased", i.e. about four years ago, before I'd come along (no matter how ludicrous or improbable that sounds). Subsequently I'd arranged with my mate Jay, who's a professional painter and construction guy, to come over and help work on bits and bobs around the house that needed a touch-up. Jay, who lives over 60km away, was more than happy to come over and do the job for free. So he'd gone about the house touching up areas that needed to be touched up, using paint that had been prescribed by the landlady.

HOWEVER: when he got to my room, the paint didn't match the walls! So that was odd!! The paint we used matched the rest of the house perfectly, and yet the areas that Jay touched up were obviously not matching, which Jay surmised to possibly have been because the walls had been painted over before (including right before I'd moved in, by the previous tenant)... or possibly because the previous tenant had not used the precise, correct shade of paint when he'd done the repaint job!!! So the landlady then said it was up to me to get the entire room repainted, which I thought was a bit of an overreaching request. This ended up being a bone of contention among me, the housemates, the landlady, and some of my friends on Facebook who gave their opinions as to whether this constituted a case that required a complete repaint. What do you think?

See those patches??
In the end, though, I managed to get a guy off the Airtasker app/website to come and do the job, and the cost of it would be split among me, Plant Lover Housemate, Social Housemate and the former guy who lived in the room, sigh. Let's just say the entire thing nearly drove me stark raving bonkers because... well, because it kinda felt, once again, like I'd been put in charge of the majority of the moving-out arrangements, and it felt like I was handling all the issues on my own! How incredibly infuriating... especially when you factor in this factoid about the overall story:

Last Saturday (not yesterday, but a week ago, the 14th), my mate Jay, Plant Lover and I had gone to the house to do the almost-final inspection painting, and the landlady had asked that some of the busted light bulbs be replaced. So after driving back to my new place, I decided to pick up some light bulbs and head to the house and get it sorted. I did that, drove over, and saw a man in the driveway: turns out he was the landlord, who I'd never met, so I left the car and greeted him and got distracted, and we went into the house to talk about things and look at problem areas, blah blah blah. Later on, halfway through discovering that my lightbulbs weren't the right kind and needed to be exchanged in the store, I realised: I didn't have my wallet.

I didn't have my wallet. And yet I must've had it, since I'd bought the bulbs to begin with. Thus began the whole panicked wild goose chase of retracing footsteps; scouring the car for it; checking at the shops and leaving messages with the manager for it to be returned to me if someone found it; looking through the entire house (which wasn't hard since the place was empty), and and and and and... not finding it. Jeezus. What a way for the whole frustrating North Lake Road House move-out to culminate!!! So I had to cancel bank cards, make a police report (fun fact: not all WA police stations operate 24/7; I had to wait until Monday before I could make a report); and mourn the fact that I'd lost my Malaysian ID card and Malaysian driver's licence, the latter of which I'd been using to drive around in Perth, grrr arrgh!!

On the Monday after I'd lodged the report, while buying some fragrance diffusers and candles at Dusk in Garden City (yup), I'd received a phone call from a sergeant in Rockingham, about 40km away from Myaree where the wallet had gone missing, to be told that they'd found a couple of my bank cards. In Rockingham. The policeman said he'd dispose of the cards for me since they'd been cancelled anyway. "Also, I can't return the Maybank card to Malaysia, unless you want to pay for me to go on a holiday!" he joked, to which I guffawed obligingly, sigh.

In a way, his phone call provided some closure as it meant I wasn't imagining things and the wallet hadn't disappeared into some mystery hole in my car that I just wasn't seeing; it had well and truly been misplaced... stolen. From my car, I suspect, as I tended to chuck the wallet into the passenger seat after getting in. And since I'd been distracted by the landlord at the house and had walked away from the car unlocked, someone must've taken it from the car despite it being parked in the driveway. Which was the cherry on top of the icing where it came to the whole housing situation.... and this was before the landlady demanded a room repaint! GRRR!! ARRRGGGGH!!!

Anyway, it's all over now. I never found the wallet or my ID. The room has been repainted thanks to the Airtasker dude, Remi, a lovely young French man with beautiful soft brown eyes and a delightfully lilting French accent. He did a wonderful job, too. See? It almost made me want to make mismatched patches on some of the other walls, arf arf arf.

So that's hopefully the end of the North Lake Road house drama (apart from what I foresee to be the stress of chasing the former housemates for money to settle the final bills). The good news is that the landlady was pleased with the painting job by Remi and Jay (and some of it was my own work as I, too, went about painting over some of the smaller flaws around the house) and she said we'd be getting our bonds back in full, which, according to Plant Lover Bren, is quite a rare occurrence. So... yay for the win, I guess!! Now to settle in and make this new house on Cottrill Street a home.

As part of the ongoing beautification of our new home, Plant Lover and I bought a moon wall clock. After hanging
it up, we both stood in the middle of the floor for several moments, 
looking up in beatific silence at the moon.
That's that for now, boys and girls. Come back again soon where I'll have some updates on the exciting (and not so exciting) musical theatre front!! Stay tuned!!!

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Hellooooo, Cottrill! (II)

Here's a little treat for those of you who'd like a video guided tour through our humble new abode...

Hellooooo, Cottrill!

Hey all! Whew, sorry for the lack of updates... it has been a whirlwind of activity lately, both good and bad! Let's start with the good... or rather, the bittersweet. I'm out of the house on North Lake Road! Whoo-hoooo! Yup, as of Saturday, 14th April, Plant Lover Housemate (Bren) and I got our stuff out of that house and into this new place in Cottrill Street, where I'd picked up the keys from the real estate agent's the day before and had done a massive-ish clean of the entire place. It felt like a step backwards after the modernity of North Lake Road, and it's definitely a humbler house. But once Bren and I got our gear and furniture in — an arduous 12-hour day of moving and lifting furniture which left me achy and stiff and sore for days — it began to feel much more like a home.

Ping-pong table and lemon tree in the courtyard.
Outside sofas to relax on!
One view of the kitchen/dining/laundry area.
Living room, with tiny monitor serving as a placeholder for our new big-screen TV (hopefully!)
Another view of dining and kitchen.
My humble bedroom. Hope to do more in terms of decor soon!
My study/office/studio! Out of view:
a comfy faux leather recliner chair!
The original idea was that I would have the master bedroom and Bren would have one of the smaller rooms. But somewhere along the way, I'd asked if I could have the spare bedroom (it's a 3-room house) as a study, and Bren said sure. The only issue then was that he later felt uneasy with the idea of me having the equivalent of three rooms in the house (if you count the master bedroom as 2 rooms), while he only had one. So he expressed that concern very nicely to me, and we mutually agreed that he would have the master bedroom, while I would have the two smaller rooms; one as my bedroom (almost strictly: no screens, apart from my phone, which I still intend to wean myself off of once I'm in there!), and the other as my home studio/study/office space. I'm happy to report it's worked out very nicely for us!

As of this Tuesday, just a couple of days ago, we had NBN internet set up and running in our place. A funny story: Bren had asked what we'd like to name our wifi connection, and we'd come up with "Chooey and the Bren", hahaha! So we'd gone about the house singing: "Chooey and the Bren! It's Chooey and the Bren!"... only he then went and called it "Choochootrain" instead. "Why not?" he exclaimed laughingly when I jokingly protested. "Choochootrain! I like it! Don't you like it?" I had to concede that it was pretty cute. Later we had to set up a second wifi connection (something to do with ghz and speeds, don't ask me) and he decided to call it Choochoobren, which I approved of, heheh!

So that's the positive news with regards to the housing. The bad stuff... well, that will be coming up shortly. I'll leave you with this photo of Bren's weed pants, which I got him for Christmas. Why the photo, you ask? My reply: "Why not?" ARF. ARF. More to come... stay tuned!

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Happy BURP-day!!!

On to happier things!! So on Sunday, we had our first official rehearsal for the new musical project I've got happening in Perth, which will be revealed within the first week of April when the venue announces its upcoming season. But it was cool to have the cast together for discussion on their characters, as well as to run through a couple of songs!

Also during that session: a surprise birthday party for little ol' me! Lots of cake! YUM!

Speaking of cake, Plant Lover Housemate bought me a quarter-slice too! Mmmm yummy!!!

And this message from Alisa and Terry made me literally LOL:

So all in all, quite an exciting birthday period, no?? Hahaha!!

Till next time... :)

The Disintegration of the Myaree Boiz: An Epic Tale

Hey boys and girls1 How's it going? So. Like I mentioned previously, there has been some drama lately in the old household. The only reason I'm documenting this is because... well, it's quite an interesting memory to have, I think; and also to summarise the goings-on for the few of you who might've missed all the 'live' unfolding of events on Facebook, heh! It all began about a month and a bit ago, when I was getting back into Perth from Malaysia, and one of my housemates sent this message (20 Feb 2018; you can click on any of the images for bigger views):

Firstly, what's wrong with this exchange? To me, I think it's the blatant expectation that Nick would be the one to deal with the cleaning and scrubbing and weeding, when there were three other people living in the house at the time! Sheesh! Secondly, despite my request for them to buy the supplies, nobody bothered. FFS.

So I got home and the place was a mess (see post below on the dirtiness of the place). I cleaned it all up, and all seemed fine... but then one of the housemates asked me how much I would charge to do all the cleaning for the upcoming inspection. I don't know why, but that really rubbed me the wrong way. Despite the fact that there was money being offered (or maybe because of the fact that there was money being offered), I felt that it was blatantly crossing a line into "taking advantage of", i.e. the fact that Nick doesn't mind cleaning. Why should one person have to do tasks that four people could take care of?? It didn't make sense to me. Suffice it to say, I wasn't happy.

Meanwhile, the landlady had messaged to say that New Housemate hadn't yet paid his bond (turns out he'd been careless and entered the wrong bank details in doing the transfer); and because of that, if the amount of $700 wasn't received by her in a timely fashion, the lease would not be renewed and we would all basically be asked to move out. So all of a sudden three of the housemates had to figure out how to get a share of $175 each to cover New Housemate's bond, because he'd insisted he wasn't going to send her the full amount a second time. He kept saying she was "an impatient c*nt", which was wrong and ridiculous: this was in early March. New Housemate had moved in at the end of December. Landlady had been waiting for the bond for over three months. New Housemate should have been more responsible in ensuring the right bank details were entered; in making sure Landlady had received the money; in chasing it up with the bank to make sure his money was recovered, etc. Instead, there was a whole bunch of whingeing about how unreasonable she was. Go figure. Ugh.

At the same time, the housemate who'd messaged me about the weeding (who just got back from Japan) began to display an inexplicably dark mood and was generally a bit of a bitch to live with: game raging at his computer, yelling rudely about the internet "lag", and even at one point disconnecting the ethernet connection to my Mac because it interfered with his gaming at 9:30 in the morning. Coupled with the whole "taking advantage of" thingy above, and the frustrating bond situation that had required me to transfer money from Malaysia to Australia unnecessarily as New Housemate decided to re-transfer Landlady the full amount after all, I suddenly realised: I don't really wanna live with this anymore. Two out of three housemates are really bugging me.

And then I also realised: The lease on the house is due for renewal. If I wanted to get out, I had to speak up now.

So I did. I emailed Landlady and gave her a head's up that I wasn't going to renew the lease. I also messaged the housemates on Whatsapp to let them know of my decision. She asked me to reconsider, have a chat with Problematic Housemate and see what happened. So I tried, and that spurred off a whole barrage of incensed exchanges from Problematic Housemate and myself, where he refused to even discuss why I wanted to move out, saying, "What's there to discuss? You've made up your mind" (an argument that's only as valid as the employer who says, "Okay, I guess there's nothing to talk about" when a frustrated employee declares, "I quit!").

Here's the series of increasingly inane chats that we had:

Amazing. I rebutted:

So long story short, there was a whole period of time where I started looking into finding a new place to live, and Problematic Housemate declared that "because of Nick all of us have to move out" - another incredulous argument: just because I moved out, it didn't mean that everyone else had to; we legally would have 30 days to find a replacement fourth housemate. Between the four of us, surely something could've worked out?? Instead, Problematic Housemate decided to shut it all down and made the decision that there was no point in renewing the lease. What's even more befuddling was that last year, when Other Nick was an issue and we wanted him out, we'd even discussed the possibility of us splitting the amount of the rent ($322 per fortnight) among the three of us. It would mean everyone would have to pay $107 a fortnight extra, but we actually considered it. So why, pray, was it not an option this time around??

In the meantime, the Landlady was still going to come over for house inspection on the Tuesday, and as of Sunday, the place was a mess; both Problematic Housemate and New Housemate weren't doing a single thing to help out:

In frustration, I had to print out the complete list of chores for the guys, which duly went ignored. I swear, it was like living with children. Heck, most children are even more disciplined and helpful than they were!! Click on these for bigger views:

Meanwhile, the cleaning and gardening still had to be done, so guess who had to do the bulk of the work? No prizes. So I spent hours in the yards tidying up the place, and thankfully of the three housemates in the house, I was still on very good terms with one of them, Plant Lover Housemate (who's always been my favourite housemate). He was pretty much on my side for the bulk of the conflict, though he's a quiet chap who didn't want to appear to take sides too obviously. Still, he was helpful with the inspection work, cleaning up the mounds of debris and crap that was left over after I'd toiled in the garden:

Plant Lover, toiling away even though he was unwell.
For the record, Landlady was happy with the inspection and even said the garden "looked glorious", so there you have it. Compare and contrast:

So how did this all end? Surprisingly abruptly: Problematic Housemate and I had a heated discussion face-to-face about two weeks after it all began, and we suddenly realised we'd reached an impasse where we both had vastly different personalities and approaches to things, and so we called a truce. Here's what amazes me about some straight boys: almost immediately he was talking to me normally again, joking about and laughing, while I'm still reeling from the shock of the whole thing... it's like the entire fight never happened for him. Now, I dunno about you, but I think that dwelling on a matter for too long is completely unhealthy, but I also think that not dwelling at all can't be good for you either; perhaps there should be some middle ground? LOL. All I know is, we're back on talking and jokey terms, and this whole affair has been buried along with the hatchet.

BUT: what this mean in terms of the house and the lease? Well, we're all still moving out. Turns out, when Problematic Housemate had to start looking up new rental properties, he realised how expensive our house really is compared to other places out there, and really we aren't being given a good price. So it makes more sense for all of us to get out. In a way, it's almost as if this whole thing was a blessing in disguise; perhaps we had all settled into a comfort-zone kinda thing and this was the slap in the face/kick in the ass that we needed to consider getting ourselves out.

The best part, for me, is that Plant Lover Housemate and myself have agreed to live together as we both get along swimmingly, and I'm more than happy to keep my friendship alive with this guy! So last week we took a look at a smaller, older villa round the corner from here, and we both went, "Oooo we likey!" On Wednesday night we put in an application for it, and wouldn't you know, on Thursday the Agent called to say, "Good news! The owner is happy with you guys and is offering you the place!" (What's kinda funny is that apparently none of our references were contacted; could the owner have looked at our documentation and gone, "Yup I'm happy with them?" I mean, Plant Lover works at an established telcomm company and has been for over 10 years; I'm a PhD researcher on scholarship from Murdoch Uni... surely those things look good on paper??)

So that's the story. In about two weeks or less, we've got to get all our stuff out of this house and into the new. Plant Lover and I will be signing the lease tomorrow.... and then there's all the loose ends with this house to be tied up: cleaning, minor repairs, hopefully getting as much of our bond money back as possible, etc. But all in all, I'd say the past month or so has been eventful... quite eventful indeed!! And I'm hoping that with the end of this chapter and the start of a new one with just PL Housemate, things will be looking up from here on out.

One can only hope, cautiously optimistically.

Saturday, 24 March 2018

On This Day, In 1980...




There's been a crapload of stuff that has happened in recent days and weeks. Updates to come, I promise! STAY TUNED!!

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Zoos, Platters, Doggies and Beaches, oh my!!

Here are some of the things I've been up to the past week or so, apart from working on music for my mystery Perth project that will shortly be announced; and getting my car fixed last Friday so I'm at least mobile again, even though the A/C is still busted due to a faulty air compressor, le sigh! Anyway!! (Also: I really ought to get myself back to uni at some stage and re-focus on that PhD thing.. but until then...)

* Got the best early birthday pressie evaaah, thanks to my mate Levon, who gave me a one-year unlimited-access pass to the Perth Zoo! Whoo-hooooo! Last Friday he and his partner took me on my inaugural visit there, and it was a lot of fun! The zoo's a really cool place to be (literally, too, since it's very shady, with lots of pleasant spaces to work in!) and I think I'll be making it a regular haunt of mine! Here's a collage of our visit!

* I recently bought a second-hand set of dining chairs and table for our living room in this house, plus some potted plants to make the space homier. Unfortunately I suspect I'm the only one in this house who actually appreciates this. Oh well.

* Been spending time with Carol Wehhhh and Scotty, with lunch last Saturday at Garden City (where I was guilted into having a Sumo Salad, hahaaha!), followed by dinner on Monday night at their home while watching the Oscars. Then yesterday I joined them for an Italian dinner, where Scott and I feasted on this sumptuous platter (followed by ice cream/waffles at Gelare)... 

...or at least, it would've been sumptuous, had I not had a 5pm fish and chips meal with Plant Lover Housemate Bren at the beach not long before, hahaha! Speaking of which, I got to spend some quality time with Bren and his 13-year-old doggy Digby at South Beach in Freo yesterday, which was a lot of fun. Not just because hangout time with Plant Lover is pretty rare, lol, but also because Digby is so freakin' adorbs that you just wanna pinch his fuzzy little cheeks and gobble him up, om nom nom nom nom nom nom! I'm going to leave you with this collection of pics from our day in the sun. I think they're worthy of being individualised, as opposed to collaged, and you can click on 'em for fuller views if you wish. Enjoy!!

On the way to/from the beach!


Bren found a starfish. Digby's captivated by its star quality!