Wednesday, 29 March 2017

37 and It's All Downhill From Here...

Hey all! So my birthday came and went last Friday, and boy was it a doozy! I decided to throw a party in the backyard of the house here, and it ended up having a pretty good turnout with some rather fun shenanigans in tow. Check out the pics below for visual evidence. I'm going to blog more about it and other things in a bit (I'll come back, I promise!). Stay tuned!

Coloured up the back yard!
...And it wasn't the only thing to get coloured! More to come...!

Monday, 20 March 2017

Script Reads and Burritos!

Earlier tonight (Sunday), I was part of the first script read for a new children's theatre project, Home At Last: A Toy's Journey, written by Jenny and featuring some of the veterans of Children's Theatre (even though this isn't part of Murdoch Uni's CT series officially). Here are some pics of us today!

I see what you're doing there, Joel!


I've got a Jenny growing out the side of my head!
Last Sunday, my lovely friends Justin and Claire were sweet enough to invite me over to their place for a simple dinner of burritos followed by a card game (Munchkin, kinda like a card version of Dungeons & Dragons).  Lots of fun, and it helped bring me out of the funk I'd been in. Thanks, guys!



Sunday, 19 March 2017

NHC: Nick Heehee Choo! (Nah, it's New Housemate Chronicles)

Here are some of the entries in my #NewHousemateChronicles series, which I'm posting here since some of them tend to get lost on Facebook. I only hope my housemates don't actually come across this blog and read these, because... obviously... most of these are blocked from their view on FB, erk!! Fingers tightly crossed. Anyway, here they are, from the latest (posted today, Sunday), all the way to when I first returned to Perth two and a half weeks ago. So if you'd like to read them sequentially, start from the bottom ("start from the bottom"?? Hee hee!). Enjoy!









This was a popular one:






Stay tuned for more #NewHousemateChronicles to come!

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Home Sweet Homo

Hey everyone. Whew. I'm back. Can't believe it's March already... where has the time gone?? For that matter, where did my month in Malaysia go?? Ha! I guess time really does fly when you're recuperating! So yeah, obviously I'm now back in Perth; flew back in a week ago on March 1 and have been getting back into the swing of things, including getting re-settled back at uni as well as getting used to living with my housemates once again, LOL. It's been fine for the most part as two of them were away on holidays, leaving me alone with the Plant-Smoking Antisocial Housemate (PSAH for short). Good news: one night PSAH decided to share some of his plant, and thus we actually bonded, and now PSAH should technically be PSSAH: Plant-Smoking Semi Antisocial Housemate, as he's been opening up a lot lately and we're actually connecting quite comfortably. So yay for that!

On the down side, the dude I had the heart-to-heart chat with (see here) has decided to move out. Now, I know I'm being a little illogical, but it kinda bums me out as I sort of feel I must've contributed to that decision. I mean, think about it: the dude lives here for years; I  move in for three months or thereabouts; I have that heart-to-heart chat with him; and next thing I know he's decided to move out? Yikes. Sorry if I wrecked things, mate! No, I know it's ridiculous for me to blame myself, and I'm telling myself I can't blame myself for other people's decisions, but honestly the timing of it is just suspect. Still, as Terry said, back when I caught up with him back home: "So what?" As in, so what if he's moving out? So what if I played a part in it, or didn't? So what? Good point, Terry. So what?

So... I've been back a week and it's been kinda tumultuous, to be honest. I'm physically unwell; I suspect it's exhaustion due to the (hush hush) procedure I underwent about four weeks ago. Right now as I sit here I'm coughing with a sore throat, but hopefully I'm on the mend. Sadly, with the downward spiral in physical health also came a downward spiral in mental health, and I've been pretty bummed for the past few days, struggling to see things optimistically once again. Yesterday was particularly bad, which led to this fascinating little Facebook post:


Yikes!

Fortunately things are better today, but yeah, it's been rough. It hasn't helped that while I was back home post-procedure, I had to work on the music for an upcoming musical here in Perth which I'd committed to back in November. The problem was, I was so exhausted and unmotivated that I found it a challenge coming up with anything solid for the team. Cut to: February gone, and I'm back in Perth, and last week I still was struggling with it only to come up with bubkus, so I had to tell them that I had to pull out of the project, leaving them completely in the lurch as their show was/is due to go up in May. Not my finest hour, but... I think I had to prioritise myself in this scenario. And then I emailed two of the dudes involved to apologise and never got a reply, and I think, all in all, these many matters have contributed towards my emotional spiral.

It hasn't been all bad though. Last weekend Carol, Scotty and I headed to Applecross for dinner at Terazza followed by waffles and ice cream at Gelare. And then just last Tuesday we headed to Garden City to catch a movie, Hidden Figures, which, by the way, was really, really good. So yay to old, dependable, faithful friends! Huzzah!

Ah well, I'm going to leave this here for now... I don't think much else happened back home or in the past seven days that's more blog-worthy than what I've already written here, arf arf. If I remember anything I'll post about it... but for now, it's off to bed (read: television!) and try to chillax and get better, physically and emotionally. Take care all!

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Peekaboo!

I haven't forgotten that this blog exists. To prove it, here are pics of my lovely Ashley and Kerbie from my recent visit back home. Aren't they cute?? Awwwww!!! More updates to come...




Saturday, 11 February 2017

DONE with Alice, and Fifty pics!

So as of Thursday (9th Feb) I officially finished all the major work for the Alice in Wonderland children's theatre project which will be staged in KL in May! Whooo-hoooo!!! Super exciting!!! It has taken me a bit longer than expected — I was commissioned to compose for it all the way back in December 2015, for cryin' out loud! Arf. But it's been a really smooth-sailing and professional process, and I'm really happy to have been able to work for the school/group in question (to be revealed as soon as they let me). Here's to more projects with them in future!

In the meantime, I leave you with this collection of pics from Four in Fifty recently. All gorgeous pics by the lovely Jamie Breen. Enjoy!




I'd like to be a dinosaur.




I Didn't Mention It, But...

Hey all! Just a quickie update: I'm blogging this mostly for memory's sake, but yesterday I went to Pantai Hospital in Ampang to get a minor-ish non-invasive surgical procedure done. Nothing serious (thankfully!), and I don't want to go into detail here for privacy's sake, but I think it went well and I'm on the mend! So yay! Feb 10th, 5pm was when it was complete. Whew. I'm going to leave it at that... don't ask me about it, k? hahaha. Going to keep resting now. Ciao!

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Fringe & Homeward Bound

Hey all! How's it going? Time for more updates. Right now, I'm sitting back at home in my bedroom in PJ, having flown back last Wednesday (Feb 1) for a month-long (and much-needed) break. Took an Uber at 4:30am to the airport and got on my flight that was bound for KL at 6:40am, and arrived just a little past noon on Wednesday. The best part of arriving home, of course, was the reaction of my doggies Ashley and Kerbie, especially plump little Ashley, who was all "mehhh another daaay" until she heard my voice and saw me and came running for a hug with a silly "where have you been?! I've missed you!" face. Shame we didn't capture video of that moment. Still, it's nice to see my pups again. And my family, I suppose, though as usual with family things get "same ol', same ol'" fairly quickly. Heh.

Reunited and it feels so good!
It's actually not going to be much of a break for me at all, really. Already I'm rehearsing with my dear friend Steph for a corporate gig we'll be performing for this coming Wednesday. And I'm still working hard to finish up the last few tasks on the upcoming Alice in Wonderland musical project. Plus, I've got a new project I need to start composing for, an original piece to be produced and performed by the drama society of the University of Western Australia. It's a fun little piece (potentially) about an old-timey hotel that's more than it appears. Really, the show could go either way, LOL. Let's hope it works out well!

Speaking of theatre, I've just come off an eight-performance run of Four in Fifty in Perth for the Fringe World Festival, of course! It went mostly successfully, I'm happy to report: in fact, we were even nominated for a Fringe World Theatre Award, which, when you consider that there were/are literally hundreds of events going on in the festival, is quite a nice accomplishment. We also had some very positive feedback from audiences, including phrases like:

  • "masterful, funny storytelling with a stellar cast"; 
  • "...outstanding! The musicians and the performers were all top notch... extremely entertaining"; 
  • "Four insightful stories with unique perspective. Beautiful voices and music. This is the type of experience that makes Fringe sooo amazing"; 
  • "Really thought provoking, really wonderful. Melodies that are going to be stuck in my head for days ... many laughs and tears in the audience", and 
  • "Fantastic show! Terrific score and solid performances by all. A must see for all musical lovers"

(I swear these weren't just from my friends, arf arf!)

...as well as a glowing review: http://www.stagewhispers.com.au/reviews/four-fifty.

Pic by Taylor Gilbert
Pic by Jamie Breen
I say mostly successfully because the turnout could've been better for some shows... it was a little disheartening to perform the smallish crowds, especially one particular audience that was practically dead in that they weren't responsive whatsover! See, during the show I'd introduce each ten-minute piece and make little jokes and stuff, but for this one performance: crickets. So I ended up cutting my talky bits short to get it over with as soon as possible, arf! But we also had some wonderful, completely responsive audiences, including the Wednesday when Beattie, Carol, Scott and Bernie attended; as well as the Saturday evening when my housemates (including semi-antisocial Blake) came along! I even got hugs from them! Yay!

So we ended the final show on Saturday night and then I hung out with my housemates-that-could-have-been, Mechanic Guy Rhett and his friend Kristina, which was fun. Unfortunately the show itself ended rather unceremoniously since we didn't have a proper after party or anything, but that's okay. It's not the last we'll see of Four in Fifty, especially not after the Fringe nomination (results of the awards will be announced at the end of this month). But right now, I'm just going to try to make the best of my time back home, catch up with friends (which have thus far included Stephanie and Peter; Alvin & Karynn, and Terry and I hung out yesterday); and just focus on the next couple of projects that I have lined up.

So until my next update... here's a couple of the promo clips I shared to publicise Four in Fifty. Enjoy!! More to come... :)

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Venn Diagrams

Today, in Big Victories in the #NewHousemateChronicles, I bit the bullet, sat down with one antisocial housemate and had a Deep & Meaningful conversation with him about why it wasn't sitting right with me that 95% of my household socialising was with 1 out of 3 housemates.

[Bonus material not in the original FB post] So I asked the dude, Blake, if he was busy, and he said, "Pretty free, what's up?" "Let's have a chat," I said, "I wanna talk to you about something, but it's potentially kinda awkward." "Oh?" he said, as I awkwardly gestured for him to take a seat in the computer room. "Yeahhh. Don't worry though, it's not a gay thing! I'm not about to profess my love for you," I joked, laughing, though technically, anything that I say would, by default, be a gay thing. But anyway.

So I told him about how I didn't always feel comfortable around him because of the lack of communication; how sometimes I felt there was a "zone of silence" around him that meant I couldn't talk to him, and how that uncomfortable "zone of silence" sometimes infiltrated my bedroom because we are virtually separated by a single wall when he's at his computer, meaning I often feel inclined to leave my room when he's out there gaming and stuff. I told him that even though I'm not by any means a supremely social person, I am an extroverted emo sensitive artist (LOL) who does frequently draw on — and is affected by — the energies of other people. Hence, a "closed-off" energy wasn't particularly palatable.

I also explained why it was important for me to talk to him, and not the other remaining antisocial housemate, about this matter: because of the Venn diagram. What Venn diagram, you ask? Well, these Venn diagrams:

Where N = Nick
M = Social Housemate
Br = Plant-smoking Antisocial Housemate
Bl = Blake, the Housemate in Question

These circles represent spatial overlap/paths crossed between Nick and housemates. The black areas are obviously the degree of overlap.

As you can see, Nick and M cross paths significantly because both of us work from home; fortunately, M's the outgoing one; if he were antisocial, and we were spending so much time with each other in the common areas of the house, I would've gone nuts a long time ago!!!

Nick and Blake have a significant enough overlap that makes it just that much uncomfortable for us to be in the same room sometimes, especially if we don't talk. As for Nick and Br... well, we'll come to that!

Anyway, I explained this (without visual representation) to Blake, and he took it really well! He seemed receptive; agreed that in the 10 weeks since I moved in we'd not had a single decent conversation (until this one); admitted that he's "not a talkative person"; and said he totally understood where I'm coming from.

I also told him how I'd begun planning my activities to coincide with his coming-home time to reduce the Venn diagram overlap: spending too much time at Dome, purposely going to the gym in the evenings etc; dodging rooms he's in to avoid awkward silences and non-communication, not feeling comfortable in my own home. We both agreed that shouldn't happen.

I reassured him I don't expect him to change — people rarely change for other people, sometimes not even their partners!, much less virtual strangers/housemates — but at least by just being cognisant of the fact that I was being affected by the "invisible wall of non-interaction", small steps could be made to rectify the situation; hopefully we'd eventually be able to dismantle the invisible wall so that I don't feel as if a) he doesn't like me (which he says is not true) and b) I can't talk to him (which he says is also not true, unless he's "intently gaming and or listening to music and shite"). Arf.

Now he's outside at his computer [as of the time of the FB post] and for the first time in a long time I don't feel compelled to close my door. Let's see how things go moving forward; I'm cautiously optimistic. And with 2/3 of the house potentially communicating/interacting/having camaraderie with me, the balance of power has shifted towards the positive, and the remaining antisocial bloke (plant-smoking guy) can remain the housemate who I only very occasionally interact with, so much so that it's a novelty to greet him when our paths cross. #nickforthewin

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

New Year's Shenanigans and More Recaps

Yo. So. New Year's. What did I do? Hmmm. Oh yes, headed to my mate John's place in Coolbellup and basically got sloshed and spent the night there, hahahaha. Ummm not much else to report about New Year's, although I did wear a shirt that looked a bit like a colouring book, which resulted in some people grabbing some magic markers and actually filling the blanks, LOL!!!

They kept within the lines and everyting!
My dear buddy Scotty
And his girlfriend Rhianna. Fun fact: Scotty, Rhi and I went to catch the movie
'La La Land' at Luna Cinemas several days before this NY's party. Good times. 
I'll come back with updates on my Fringe show shortly; but let me leave you with miscellaneous recaps of more stuff that happened/I got up to over the past few weeks leading up to now-ish.

* Did a film shoot for a web series that Scott (above) is currently doing, titled Twin Town. I was just one of the extras in the background, but that was pretty fun. See if you can spot me!


* Went to the Freo dog beach for the first time with Allison just a little before Christmas, with her lovely Great Dane Vera. Unfortunately the day took a little bit of an adventurous turn when Vera got a pretty deep (but thankfully non-serious) cut in her leg due to an encounter with an overexcited other dog that ended up scratching her. Still, twas a good day. Here are some pics:





* Just last weekend (Saturday, Jan 7) I met up with Josie, one of the potential housemates I'd interviewed with and had considered living with, and hung out with her and her friends at Sweetwater Rooftop Bar also in Freo. That was really a lot of fun... just chit-chatting and having cocktails, mmm. Last week I also spent a little bit of time with Rhett, a.k.a. Buff Mechanic Guy, who came over to my house at North Lake Rd to take a look at my rusty ol' car. You know what later struck me? That I've connected, and had more social interaction and good times, with two people whom I could have lived with, in the timespan of approximately an hour (mechanic) and three hours (nurse); in stark contrast to the two blokes I currently do live with! That, my friends, is irony. Arf. 

But hey, look, I know I've been saying a few things about my current housemates but really, they are good guys. They are. It's just that they're so set in their ways and maybe someone (i.e. me) needs to call them out on it and make them see that it's not so bad to be sociable!! We'll see how this develops over time, k? Heh. Meanwhile, here's me, Josie and the rest of her friends at the bar that night:


* Speaking of Mechanic Guy, just yesterday (Monday) I'd stopped at a petrol station in Applecross, fumbled with my car key because the plastic holder/dongle had kinda detached itself into two, put it back together, filled the car, and then realised the engine wouldn't start. Dismayed, I first tried to get help from the service station guy behind the counter, but it turns out he was totally useless, oy. So I called Rhett, who was fortunately available and nice enough to hurry right over. Straightaway he diagnosed it wasn't the battery; so what could be causing it to not start? Turns out it was the car immobiliser: when the key dongle had come apart, a tiny little microchip had fallen out of it. 

Cut to: me and Mechanic Guy hunting around, needle-in-haystack-style, for this microchip, without which I would've been indefinitely stranded. It took some time but Rhett finally found it and we were able to get the car started again, but not without me feeling kinda embarrassed about it, lol. Luckily Rhett's a good guy and turning out to be a good mate; it would have been even more embarrassing, I think, had I called for a mechanic stranger to come and help me out. I mean, think about it... we both had to look high and low for this tiny black nondescript square thing that could've fallen out anywhere! Quite the predicament indeed. Before he took off, Rhett provided one more vital service: supergluing the dongle together so that this wouldn't happen again. Hahahaha!!

* I've been hitting the gym a bit more regularly these days, hoping to get into better health and shape, heh. Also been doing a bit of walking along the river, which is lovely on these summer evenings:


Lovely sunset.
Me out for a walk!
The night after hanging out with Josie at the bar, I actually did the unthinkable: I went to the gym after midnight and did a workout! WTF! What's going on?!?! LOL. Actually, it was because apparently my house didn't have water due to a burst water main or something (a council issue, not a household issue); so I figured I'd shower at the gym. And since I was at the gym anyway... well, why not??

12:15am on Saturday night/Sun morning and the gym wasn't empty.
Okay, boys and girls, I think that about wraps it up for the recaps! We're almost entirely up to date now... so I'll be back soon with aforementioned Fringe updates, k? Till then...!