Thursday, 30 September 2004

Flushed!

Today: a short story that I wrote sometime in 2002. The reason? My computer at home is still kaput, so rather than sitting here in the stuffy computer lab in uni trying to think of clever things to write about (and invariably failing), I thought I'd post an anecdote for your reading pleasure instead. Let me know wot you think. Toilet humour. Y'gotta love it.
* * *

FLUSHED

"You got something against urinals, mate?"
     I froze in my tracks. My hand was halfway doing up my fly, but that, too, was stopped in mid-motion. I turned towards the source of the voice. The man stood with his legs akimbo, peeing at the stained metallic urinal that stretched along the length of the wall, streams of water gliding into the trough below to wash away the excrement. He was fat, balding and red-faced, wearing tattered grey overalls. I’d never seen him before in my life. "I beg your pardon?"
     He zipped up, turned and walked towards the sink. His eyes – beady and bloodshot, narrowed in a look of suspicion and resentment – didn’t leave me, not for a second. "I said," he growled, and thumped on the liquid-soap dispenser that ejaculated three white streams across the marble around the basin, "you got something against fuckin' urinals?"
     "Urinals," I replied flatly, and blinked like an idiot.
     "Yes," he barked, "urinals."
     "I – well, I don’t have any particular affinity for them, but I don’t mind them, no."
     "Then why didn’t you pee in the urinal?" His portly fingers began to knead among themselves, working up a great lather. I could smell the pungent perfume of the soap – jasmine, or something like it – mixed with the acrid stench of the toilets and the harsh, overfamiliar smell of loo deodoriser. I stared at the man curiously, one eyebrow cocked, my hand still frozen at my crotch. He repeated harshly, "Why didn’t you use the fuckin' urinal, mate? Huh? You got something against it?"
     Right. Okay. When one gets into this kind of situation (and let’s face it, one does not usually get into this kind of situation), one would normally turn and walk away as quickly as possible: this being the presumed reaction of the regular human being. But this man’s query had piqued my curiosity: I could not help but wonder why he was being so passionate about a peeing point. Also, I prided myself on not being a regular human being, but that's an exercise in digression.
Thinking hard, and thinking fast, I licked my lips, inhaled toilet smells, and said, "I’m not sure … I think I’m just more accustomed to using the stalls, peeing in the toilet bowls."
     He rinsed. "You’re a cruel motherfucker, you know that?"
     "I – beg your pardon?"
     He slammed one fist against the soap-streaked marble, sending clouds of foam and droplets of water in all directions. His round, fleshy face began to take on an alarming shade of red, as if all his blood were gathering around his nose. Viagra for the olfactory organ, I thought irrelevantly, and tried to suppress the grin that crept upon my face. The man continued to rub his fingers together, interlacing them as the water from the tap spilled upon them; as I watched, the task began to grow increasingly violent, increasingly abrasive. It was as if he were trying to chafe the skin off. And when he spoke again, his voice was more strident, his breathing more ragged and harsh: "Urinals are … for you ... to pee in, you twat." Gasp. Pant. "It’s people like you … who drive me … fucking mad! God, if they wanted you to pee into the toilet bowls, they’d have made them in the shape of the bloody urinals, don’t you think? No, you don’t think! Far out!"
     This was an interesting start to the day.
     "I’m … sorry if I’ve offended you," I said slowly.
     "Sorry!" he barked. "Sorry! Jesus!" He thumped a fist against the dispenser, and another squirt of liquid soap coated the fingers of his other hand. Again, he lathered aggressively, his breathing heavy, audible. And when he rinsed, he shook his fingers with so much force that I thought for a moment he meant for them to drop off. "God!" he raved, and lashed out verbally some more: "Thanks to little shits like you, all the toilet bowls are filled with piss, and the bloody urinals go untouched. Can you imagine what it must be like to be wanting people to stand in front of you and use you, to just fuckin' use you, only to end up being disappointed each fuckin' time because you people prefer to relieve yourselves in the bloody stalls?" He shook his head vehemently and spat into the sink as if for dramatic effect. "If you were a woman, I’d understand, but you’re not, you’re a fuckin' guy! You bastards are so goddamn insensitive!" he shrieked, and turned the tap off with one frightening wrenching motion.
     Time for me to leave, I told myself, now that my curiosity was sated and my neck hairs were erect. "Thank you for your candor and concern," I said, flashing him my best smile. I zipped up quickly and began to make my way to the door.
     "Not so fast!"
     Something in his tone of voice caused me to freeze.
     "You fuckin' sons of bitches think you can get away with anything and everything, don’t you?" The sound of his footsteps thundered in my ears. Even though my back was to him, I could tell – and it didn’t take a psychic to realise it – he was storming towards me. "Well, little sister," he mocked me nastily, "that’s not the way things run around here!"
     I took a deep breath – jasmine and naphthalene and urine, oh my! – and started towards the door again. But I didn’t get very far – his cold, wet hand grasped the back of my collar and pulled me backward. Dear God! For a fleeting instant my life flashed before my eyes – strangely enough, a montage of private moments spent in the water closet – and I coughed and choked and gagged – Jesus, the man is strangling me! Well, no, he wasn’t – he was simply pulling me away from the door, dragging me towards the blemished urinal with its murky water and its age-old mothballs clogging up the waterhole. He shoved me roughly, and I stumbled, landing on my knees, pain shooting up my thighs as I sputtered, "With all due respect! You have some nerve pushing me around – !"
     "Say you’re sorry!" he cut me off.
     "I beg your pardon!"
     "Say you’re sorry! To the urinal!"
     "I – what?"
     "Say you’re sorry! Say it! Say it! Say it!"
     Red-faced and incensed, I began to push myself up, and for a moment I thought he would jam his foot upon my back to keep me down. He didn’t. On my feet, I looked him straight in the eye, shaking my head at the indignation of it all. "I’m not saying sorry to the bloody urinal! What the hell is your problem? You’re sick! You’re bloody twisted, you know that?" I yelled, quivering in fury.
     Without warning, he produced a huge, rust-spotted wrench from one of his overall pockets, and began to wield it swiftly and dangerously as if it were some form of sporting equipment. "Say you’re sorry!" he screeched, swinging the tool wildly. I could feel and smell the sour breeze as the weapon-of-sorts whizzed past my face. "Say you’re sorry, or you’ll get a faceful of the Plumber’s wrench!"
     A wave of fear swept over me. "I’m afraid," I uttered, dodging the intended blows, "that you’ve spent too much time with your head in the toilet."
     "Say you’re sorry!"
     I was backed into a corner here. Suddenly weary, I held my hands up in defeat. "All right!" I cried, my voice tight, high-pitched with fright. "All right, all right, I’ll say I’m sorry!" Anything, I told myself, to get the hell out of this restroom and back into the rational world where I belong.
     I turned to face the urinal, breathing heavily, and managed to choke out, "I’m sorry."
     The Plumber smacked his tool against his chubby hand. "And you’ll use the urinal next time," he prompted.
     Fine, fine. Anything to please the guy. "And I’ll use the urinal next time."
     Suddenly, I heard noises from the stall in which I’d just relieved myself. Sobbing noises – a child crying and sniveling. Startled, I froze, my mouth locked open, my heart pounding as I listened to the child, sobbing and bawling like a baby. Who the hell is that? I inquired, and then realised I’d not spoken aloud. Turning to face the Plumber, who had a look of disgust on his face, I began to speak; but he abruptly stormed over to the toilet stall, poked his head in and screamed, "Shut the fuck up, you little twat, he ain’t gonna piss in you no more!" To which the crying grew louder, rising in a hysterical wail of despair and mourning…
     And behind me, a gaping hole appeared in the stained silver wall of the urinal, complete with yellowed teeth and a mean, pink, sloppy tongue. I gawked at it in utter shock and disbelief as its dull, metallic lips opened and shut, and a low, guttural voice growled, "I’ll hold you to your promise, young man!"
     In the stall, the Plumber kicked the toilet bowl. I heard a sharp cry of pain from the crying child. In front of me, the urinal licked its water-and-piss-streaked lips, curled up in a horrendous grin of triumph.
     I screamed in horror and got the hell out of there as fast as my trembling legs could take me –
     – And realised I’d wet my pants in the process.

Tuesday, 28 September 2004

A Temporary Setback...

The frustration knows no bounds as once again my computer at home has crashed, and I am forced to take residence in the computer lab at uni. At times like this it's good to know I can depend on my techno-savvy mates (well...one mate) to give me a helping hand fixing it, although if I were any wiser I really would spring for a new computer altogether (read: I would pester mommy and daddy for the money to buy a new one).

Anyways, this is just a short post because, at the risk of repeating repeating repeating myself, the computer's dead and I've been in uni all day and I wanna go home. :P

So bye bye for now! Later!

Sunday, 26 September 2004

Wanky Writing, Wild Weddings and Whatnot...

Hello boys and girls. Have been busy lately, what with dull uni assignments due last Friday. I was required to write a newsworthy article on - get this - statistics on voting intention trends of Australians in 2004 compared with that of 2003. No offence to anyone who's interested in politics and stuff, but... yawwwwwn. With absolutely nothing to hold my attention, this assignment ended up being mightily drawn out (close to freaking 12 hours I fretted and ho'd and hum'd over it, I kid you not) before hashing a series of mindless paragraphs and handing the whole damn thing in. Good riddance, I say. Good luck.

On another note, last Tuesday I received a phone call from someone named Janelle (hiiii Janelle!!), asking me to play for a wedding on Saturday (yesterday). So on Wednesday she came over with a bunch of songs I didn't know, and I said I'd have a listen to 'em and give it a go. On Friday she came over for a practice, which went relatively well considering what little time and energy I had to focus on it given the abovementioned pain-in-the-arse assignment.

Yesterday the wedding was held at 4pm. At 3:50pm I was still driving about, lost, unable to locate the venue. Talk about stress!! Jeez! I'd earlier had a lunch date with a couple of friends who, in a moment of synchronicity, wanted to discuss my playing for their wedding next year (what a great example of extremes: music planning five months in advance, versus five days). I left them at 2:30 and headed to the venue - so I'm not joking when I say it literally took me over an hour to find this godforsaken middle-of-nowhere nature-sanctuary-type place in what should by rights have taken me 20 minutes at the most. Gawwwwd.

Regardless, Janelle has the voice of an angel, really really beautiful despite her having a cold, heheh - and I believe we managed to impress the crowd in the face of our non-practising the whole shebang. At the end of the day, we got a little pocket-money for our efforts, which is always appreciated. So there you go. Quite an adventure indeed, heheh.

Anyways, have a presentation due on Monday (tomorrow) that I really need to get freaking started on, siiiiigh. So I shall leave you here till later. And keep checking out the music links. Not to be pesky about it, but... yeah, I'm being pesky about it. Byebye.

Wednesday, 22 September 2004

I Just Go On Dreaming...

I've uploaded a couple more songs that you guys and gals can download. Actually, it's just one song, but it's one I'm pretty proud of, if I may say so -- Where Dreams Await, the "big number" (heh) from the much-mentioned children's musical Athena Emu at the Olympics (see post CD-Emulation for a sample CD cover I designed for the song). What (I think) is cool about it is the mix of real and synthesised instruments to create an orchestral effect. Please check out my music page, download the song, and let me know what you think! :) Thanks boys and girls.

Tuesday, 21 September 2004

Bon Voyage!

Yesterday we had a farewell dinner for my good friend Miller, who's going back to Indonesia for a purported six months (sob sob!). Just FYI, Miller's the dude with whom we made those recordings (still available for download via the links on the right). As with all friends, we've had our conflicts, but at the end of the day you look back, reflect, and go, "Good times." :) Anyway, here's a temporary bye-bye to Mill (esp since i know he reads this blog, haahahah!) ... have a safe journey, take care, and we'll see ya when you get back! ^^

Sunday, 19 September 2004

A Gay Ol' Time Had By All...

Today was certainly an interesting day. At around 4pm, my housemate Judi and I got into formal gear (white shirt, dark long pants, proper shoes) to help my mate Quentin (hiiiii Queeentiinn!) with the catering for a cocktail party around 25 minutes' drive away from my home. That was good and all, but it was especially a nervous-making experience for moi because I've never before done any waitering stuff and wasn't exactly sure how it would be once we got there. And also, as I've mentioned in my previous post, it was a gay cocktail party (no more puns about cocktails being gay) -- and not just any gay cocktail party, but the 60th birthday of a gay man whose name I shall not mention. Yes, sixty! Hip-hip -- hooray!

All in all, it was surprisingly a lot of fun! It was just me, Judi and Quentin doing the food-and-drink work (Quent, bless him, did most of the labouring in the kitchen, Judi and I just walked around with smiles cheesier than the pastries we were serving). At certain points Judi and I helped serve drinks behind the free-for-all bar, that was fun. But mostly we went about carting huge platters of hors deouvres and other finger foods. Oh, it was wonderful, the food. Wish I could've taken photos of 'em, but that would've contravened the illusive "professionalism" concept (read: ideal). Still, we had lots exotic of items like dates stuffed with blue cheese, water chestnuts mixed with champignons (that's button mushrooms for the less pretentious, LOL); a myriad pasties, pies and pastries; cold cut platters; cold chicken platters; dips, chips, sandwiches and crackers -- you name it, they had it. All of it staring us in the face, killing us with their wonderful aromas; all of it unattainable for our consumption; we were but lowly servants dressed like penguins (hehehe, see photos below!), buckling beneath the weight of oddly-shaped plates offered humbly to mostly queer quiche-consumers.

The people certainly were great, though. As they say on Will & Grace, "the gays sure love their parties". :P At one point both me and my housemate were checking out the most adorable dog snuggled up to a guy on a couch, and the guy, seeing us glance in his direction, patted his thigh teasingly, as in a "Come here, babe" kinda way... Judi and I looked at each other, both of us wondering, Which of us is he talking to? LOL ... And for the Birthday Boy to have so many friends, straight, gay, bi, tri, Thai -- all of whom travelled from near and far, far and near, over hill and dale and dale and hill, just to celebrate the big day with him -- well, that's something that was really moving and pleasing to behold.

The best part, of course, was the free drinks, some free food, some good quality drunken antics and conversation, the bonding between me, Judi and Quent (mm-hmm), the experience, the pocket-money, and the cute little bowtie that I managed to smuggle back home with me, and which, no doubt, Quentin will be demanding I return to him the next time we hang out. We were there from around 4:30pm to 10pm, and on the way home, Judi and I stopped at a Dome cafe for muggachinos and brownies. So all in all, it was a very enjoyable evening had by all. You could even say it was fabulous, darling. Absolutely fabulous.




Friday, 17 September 2004

Grr! Arrgh! Spyware and Fag Hags!

Grr! My computer has been invaded by viruses and spyware, which is an extremely annoying thing! Arrgh! Looks like I'll have to find a way to rectify this problem, and quick. Meanwhile, I think I shall refrain from sending out files and stuff, although based on what people've been telling me, this is, like the splurge of flu that has been attacking people in Perth recently, quite a ubiquitous problem affecting many computer-users everywhere.

Such is life.

Tomorrow I'm helping my friend Quentin (hiiii Quent!) out with a gay cocktail party. "A wot?" you exclaim. "Gay cocktail party? I didn't know cocktails could be gay!" har-de-har-har-har. :/ Mm. Should be interesting. It's a paid job, and money's always good (not to sound greedy or anything, heheh, but we're all poor students here, aren't we? Yes we are). Speaking of gaiety, the new season of Will and Grace has premiered in the US! Whoo-hoo! W&G is one of my favourite sitcoms dealing with the relationship between a gay guy and a straight woman - classic stuff. And and and Charmed has premiered with its 7th season too! WOOT! My cups runneth over with mindless supernatural and homosexual entertainment.

Such is life.

Tuesday, 14 September 2004

Services and Snapshots

Today, the Murdoch University Catholic Community celebrated its annual Archbishop's Mass, where the Archbishop of Perth was invited to the service. I realise this might not be very exciting news for everyone who reads this (hell, is anything I write ever exciting?) ... but I felt it worthy of a mention since I was involved in the music; and if I may say so, it went very well, considering the amount of time we didn't spend practising it. In fact, I only went through the music once with Anthony (hiiiii Anthony!!) yesterday, and once with Christina (hiiii Christina!) briefly today, so the fact that we manage to put something together and pull off the musical side of the Mass was indeed a case of divine intervention, heh.

Anyway, here are some photos. Have a good week, all. And don't forget to doodle on the board.

The cast and crew of the Archbishop's Mass. Cast and crew. Heheh! I'm too drama-oriented...

Bassist Anthony goes mad on his...instrument.

An almost artistic casual shot. That's Jade in the foreground. Hiii, Jaaaade!!!

Me and my good friend Beattie. :)

My housemate Judi and our good friend Josie ... um... stuffing their faces with food. Cough.

Um. A view of treetops. Just for the heck of it.

Friday, 10 September 2004

The Randomness Of It All...

Just for your mindless pleasure, allow me to feature some random photos and pictures! :)


Ah, the bane of my existence: my keyboard. Grr! Arrgh!


See? Grr! Arrgh!


My housemate Judi in an almost artistic shot, looking very sad.


A beautiful shot, in my book - I love the play with light and shadow.


A photo collage of the "Athena Emu" gang.

Aaaiiiyoohhhh!!

I'm feeling rather chatty today, which is my explanation for the sudden deluge of blog entries. Heh. Well, now let's talk a bit about another show that I was involved in earlier this year (see posts Bollywood Madness! and On Busy-ness and Animal Business in the archives for other productions). It was one called The Void Deck Monologues, which was basically a musical/dramatic exposition on life as a Malaysian-Singaporean in good ol' freezing Perth.

The performers themselves were excellent, and the content was clever and witty, but for me personally (and the performers don't know this, which is why I'm kinda putting myself in jeopardy here by saying it), I personally felt it was too... rich ... in terms of the amount of Asian-ness contained in the show. Not like there's anything wrong with Asian-ness, but there's something to be said about performances that go along the theme of this is my culture, you don't seem to understand it, so here's what we're about ... -- as a Malaysian myself, I personally found it too much to swallow, so I can only wonder how a lot of the Aussie crowd must have felt. I mean, a lot of the show consisted on life as an Asian in Australia, and how so many people don't understand what being Asian is all about, and how a lot of Asian culture in Aussieland has been assimilated to fit the culture here that the true essense of Asian-ness is diluted and lost, and so on and so forth. I dunno, but as my housemate (who's Aussie) put it, it was definitely entertaining, but the overall impression is one of ingratitude -- why come over here only to comment on how misunderstood and/or underappreciated you are? There's nothing wrong, of course, with trying to explain one's position; but when the explanation comes in the form of poking fun at the dominant culture, it makes one question the integrity of the exposition. A major comment was that this show helped to bridge ties between Singapore and Perth, but I couldn't help but wonder -- how? If anything, there seemed to be more for Aussies to criticise rather than appreciate. But then again, maybe the target audience were other Asians in Perth, and not the Aussies themselves... although if that were the case, what would the whole point have been?

I understand the theme of the show was on identity and culture, so don't get me wrong. If any of the guys from the show read this, this isn't in any way an attack on the performances or the show in itself, but rather just a critical opinion of its content and its relevance with its audience given the location of its staging. [Incidentally, in case you're wondering (yes, you, the reader of the blog) what my role was in this show - there were a couple of songs that were performed cabaret-style, and I played the piano for them. Heh. Easy and rather detached from the action.]

On the whole, though, it was a very professional show, with a lot of Asian truth that tickled the funny bone of even this cynic (i.e. me). Some key standout moments were the comic timing and expression of the talented cast; the beautiful singing voices of the four main cast members, Ruey, Simon, Angelique and Shannon; some cool choreography that included, among others, Bollywood dance; and, of course, fantastic costuming. Below are some photographs from the production. As you can see, it was all very impressive. Many who saw it enjoyed it and appreciated it thoroughly, so maybe my views are among the minority, which is an exercise in irony because, let's face it, here we are a minority. Still, it was a good time had by all, and another show to add to my rather lacklustre resume. Heh.


The beautiful Angelique and the beautiful Ruey in a comic moment.


Ruey and Simon in another comic moment.


The beautiful Shannon in a flamboyant moment.


Shannon and Ruey in a tender moment.


The Bollywood dancers in full glamorous garb.


The cast.

Oh Baby!

My friend Jase (check out his blog here!) recently commented on how quickly time is flying (something I do rather frequently myself), and what a freaky thought it is when friends of ours (especially friends we've known since primary-school days and whom we've grown up with!) get married. I just thought I'd comment on his comment since I agree -- it is rather scary, isn't it? What I find makes it even scarier is when some of these married friends have kids of their own. Kids. KIDS? Whassat? Heh.

Make no mistake - I couldn't be happier for them. One of our friends got married September last year and recently celebrated his one-year anniversary, and he's got a cute little baby boy already. Gorgeous kid. Just to show how the media can violate one's privacy, I've decided to put a photo of him below - it'll remain until and unless his parents gripe about it and force me to take it down. :P

So cute!

Anyway, the point of this post is (or rather, was, since I've kinda lost it myself) ... time is rushing by at a tremendous rate. Pretty soon our old folks will be asking, where on earth are the grandchildren? Grandchildren? Whassat now?? The mind bloggles. I think my friend Beck (hiiii, Beeecccck!) put it best the other day when she said (and I paraphrase) some of us are experiencing our "quarter-century-life crisis". Gawd. Now that's a phrase that is spine-chilling in its beauty - and its candour.

CD Emu-lation!

I'm on a roll today!

Here's a quick picture that I created during one of my classes last year. It was a unit called Image Literacy, in which we had to design a CD cover using original photos and Photoshop software. Since I was working on the children's show at the time (see archives), I decided to create a CD cover based on Where Dreams Await, a key song in Athena Emu at the Olympics. (Incidentally, WDA is also one of the songs my friend Miller worked on for his audio engineering project, more details in Something Almost Perfectly Right Part II below. Whew, this is tiring.)

Anyway, this is just the first draft of the CD cover that I designed. Where Dreams Await is the song of the Oracle, who sees the future. Hence the hand and the crystal ball and the... emu. Enjoy!


Something Almost Perfectly Right, Part II

Hi all!

You can now get more downloads of some of my music from my mate Miller's site - I've already mentioned the rough mix of Something Right, but the clip I'm especially thrilled about is the instrumental version of the song -- not to be insulting to the vocalist or anything; it's just that with the instrumental, you can hear much more clearly how the guitars, bass, drums, piano and strings work together. However, with greater clarity comes greater ease of nitpicking: some of the strings are occasionally slightly flat, which doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things because we hardly had any rehearsal time together, and the strings players are a fabbo bunch who gave their time and energy to this effort.

Just to let you guys know how we did this: Miller had this recording-mixing-and-mastering assignment to work on, so he:

  1. approached me to get me to write a couple of songs for him;
  2. I wrote the songs: Something Right, Mystery and Where Dreams Await;
  3. we produced a demo CD (demo files of SR and Mystery available on my site);
  4. we sourced out musicians and vocalists, including friends and strangers;
  5. we handed them the demo CDs;
  6. they listened;
  7. they learned;
  8. we got together in the studio and recorded.

In other words, there was hardly any rehearsal time; just a quick session with the strings players so that we could hear how the violins, viola and cello worked in sync, but apart from that, the guitarists, bassist, drummer, stringers (heh) and vocalists never actually worked together at the same time. So with that in mind, I'm very happy with the way the recordings have turned out. Sure, if we'd had more time to rehearse as a group, it could've been even better, but the way things are now, I'm happy. :)

Incidentally towards the bottom of Miller's site, you can find a section of Mystery and Where Dreams Await (incidentally, WDA was part of Athena Emu at the Olympics, the children's musical I wrote about in one of my earlier posts, see the August archives, something to do with Animal Antics). These songs are less fine-tuned in terms of mixing than Something Right, but already I am able to see how the individual parts gel together and how cool the final product will likely be. Not to sound too full of myself or anything, but it's one thing to write the strings scores and imagining in my head how it would sound; it's another thing altogether to actually have the guys and gal perform the parts in a quartet. Hearing the notes being played on actual instruments is an extremely thrilling and gratifying thing, speaking as a composer. I thank the guys for the opportunity to have been able to have experienced that, and I look forward to more moments like this in the future.

Without further ado, go check out Miller's site.

Have a good weekend, boys and girls! For once - no parties on Saturday! :)


Wednesday, 8 September 2004

Something Almost Perfectly Right

Hello! Welcome back to another glorious Thursday. :P

Nothing much to talk about tonight, apart from my mate Miller's rough mix of the song which we've spent lots of time working on (see previous posts). Finally we're able to get a listen to the strings arrangements which I wrote for Something Right - with Miller's permission (which I don't have at this time of writing), I'd like to direct you to his site so that you may download the first version of the recording. The gang has done a great job on the music and vocals and post production, so please comment if you have any feedback - although as of this point, the song still has some errors in balancing of parts, and the vocals need to be worked on a bit more. Regardless, it has been an interesting process; so as long as Miller doesn't mind, please have a listen and let us know what you think!

:) cheers, Nick

PS: Here's a funny scene from that classic 80s sitcom Perfect Strangers. Balki describes his 'lint painting': "It dates back to our ancestors. According to legend, our ancestor Stavros stayed up a mountain for thirty days and thirty nights to contemplate his belly button. When he came down, he had a lint painting".

HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAAH! HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAAA!!

8/

oh you had to be there.

buh-bye!

Sunday, 5 September 2004

Sunday Singers, Strings and Stuff!

Heylo all! Well, well, well, it's Sunday night, and I'm supposed to be doing readings for class tomorrow but I honestly can't be bothered, aha-hahaha! It's been a pretty productive day. Well, first off I was meant to meet my mate Mel (who's a singer) to rehearse some of the songs that were to be recorded by my friend Miller (who's doing an audio engineering course) - but due to last night's late-night binge, I decided against meeting her (Mel), and SMS'd her saying I'd meet her at the studio (where Miller is) to do the recording straightaway at around 1pm. (Confused yet? haha!) That was all fine and dandy, apart from the fact that Mel hadn't run through the songs with me ever, not once, not even briefly - so for her to attempt to record was a pretty brave thing to do! ;) (Incidentally, the song is called Something Right - you can hear a rough demo of it on my other website, Nick's Music, see the links on the right).

Anyways, we rock up to the studio, where our friend Brigid is doing her rendition of SR (hiii Brigid!), and so me, Mel and my other mate Dan (hiiii Dan!) sit and chat for a while. Afterwards Mel goes in and attempts SR (hiii Mel!) and it was very ... interesting... considering the amount of time we didn't spend on it, heh. Still, I must say that the music is sounding really good, with the drums and bass and piano and guitar and all - very much unlike the demo that can be downloaded from my aforementioned other site (see how much free advertising I provide for myself in the spirit of egocentricity? You gotta love it). Afterwards, Dan's mate Jeremy comes in to record his rendition of Mystery (also found on said website), and it all goes down well.

Afterwards, we have the string quartet rocking up (rocking up?? hahahahaah! i made a funny!) :/ ... that was Dan (another Dan, not the same Dan as above, don't get confused, keep up! keep up!) and Duncan and Ailyn and Jan Lyk, who're all fab on the violin, viola, violin and cello respectively. Wish you could've heard 'em. Quite a number of takes were done on the strings, but it went really well, me thinks. Definitely added an air of professionalism to an otherwise mediocre composition, I felt. Heh. Self-loathing. Ain't it grand??

Dan (of paragraph two, not of paragraph three), Miller, Ailyn, Jan Lyk and I afterwards headed off for a totally filling all-ye-can-stuff-into-yer-gob meal at Sizzler, which was fun. I've eaten so much, my belly button turned from an innie into an outie, pushing lint all over my stomach. Hahahahaahaha! That was a line from my pal Adam (hiii Adam!) [Is today's post a little bit on the chatty side, with too many names for you too keep up? Hehehe. Oh well, too bad. I'm the one writing it. So deal with it. (You deal with it!) Shut up! (No, you shut up!) ... ever had that? when there are two or three of your own voices "chatting" with you in your head? I swear, I'm going to lose my mind, if I haven't already. Heh. But I digress.]

So congratulations Miller, you're nearly close to the end of the stressful but undoubtedly enjoyable recording project! To Dan and Anthony and Ailyn and JL and the rest of the muso gang, well done and thank you for your talent and dedication! To myself, stay off the booze and caffeine, it makes you ramble in your online blogs!

And I conclude with a joke Dan (of paragraphs two and four fame) told me today, as regaled to him by our friend Christine (hiii Christine!): it goes -

Knock-knock.
Who's there?
The interrupting ram.
The interrupting ram w--
Baaaaaaaa.


HAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAAH!! HAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAH!!!!

8/

oh you had to be there.

buhbye for now.


Another Evening, Another Party

Whoo-hoo! Just got home from my friend Melissa's birthday party - it was actually a large 'do' combined with her friend Troy's birthday and her other friend Katie's housewarming. In the spirit of fashionability, I rocked up to the party late (read very late; because it was far away and because it was raining, the initial idea was to skip the parties altogether [I say parties because there were two I'd been invited to], but upon the prompting of my mate Quentin {hiiiii Quent!} I decided to make the drive down after all), at around 11:30pm, when most of the gang had decided to leave, and the bulk of the partygoers were blind stinking drunk. And so the fun commenced! :P

As I sit and type I'm tired but only mildly tipsy, so it's all good. The few remaining partygoers did tequila body-shots (i.e. where you lick salt off a chick's cleavage and suck a lime wedge from between her lips) and dirty danced, which pretty much indicates the kind of fun we had, heheh. Sadly Mel got a little too drunk too early, and by midnight she was already out for the count, which left poor little old me all on my lonesome to mingle with the leftover guests (most of whom were Mel's buddies but not necessarily mine). Still, with a smile on my face, a sense of humour in my heart and a quart of beer in my belly, I charmed my way through the evening with flair and finesse!

And now i'm home.

Alone.

Sleepy.

And tipsy.

I suppose it's time to hit the sack now. Good night everyone! And be good!

~ nick

Saturday, 4 September 2004

Books, Bridges and Bread

And so we greet another end of the week. What's been happening? Well, first off, I finished the assignment concerning the prominent Western Australian whose tombstone I photographed. It turned out to be a rather cool assignment after all - I was initially petrified by the notion of it, but once I got moving with the research and stuff, it went very smoothly. Visited the Perth library for the first time in my life (and me being here two and a half years already!) - it's huge, with a ... lot of... um. books. Anyway.

Tomorrow it's Saturday, and would you believe it, I've got another two dinner parties to attend. As my housemate Jo says sarkily, "Man, don't you have a phucking difficult life. Two more parties! Why don't you just jump off the bridge already?!" She can be sarky, that Jo. Looove yooou, Jooooo!

Yesterday (thursday) we had a small luncheon in celebration of the review performance that we put on for those annoying Murdoch College students last week. Um. Nothing much to say about that; sandwiches galore; but I just thought i'd mention it here for lack of anything else to write. And with that, I bid thee adieu for now. Until later, when hopefully something of greater excitement crops up (ooh! Mary Poppins on TV! Gotta go!) .....

bye bye.

Wednesday, 1 September 2004

Post Script: Merdeka!

I am embarrassed to say this, but I totally forgot that yesterday, August 31st, was Independence Day for Malaysia. So... yeah. I'm sorry. Happy Independence Day, Malaysia! Selamat Hari Merdeka!

Whew, that's better. Wave the flags!

A Very Grave Situation...

Whew! Another week is flying by so quickly! I've been particularly busy this time working on an assignment for a journalism unit in which I have to go to a cemetery (yes, you read right) and photograph the gravestone of a prominent Western Australian. Yes, it's true. So this morning I headed up to the Karrakatta Cemetery and started scouting about the maze-like graveyard looking for epitaphs related to the requirements of this project. My life is so exciting... In all fairness, though, it was a pretty interesting assignment.

Wandering through the graveyard is surreal - all these headstones around you, shapes and inscriptions of all kinds, a myriad stories to be told... it was bizarre: the solemnity of the surroundings, mixed with the sparseness of living people in certain areas, the slightly sooty scent of carbon from the crematorium (eek), the plaques in the walls indicating where ashes have been stored... all of it was fascinating, in a macabre kind of way. At certain points I had to take photographs while a funeral or a random group of people was passing by... that was certainly bordering on an awkward situation. And it somehow seems inappropriate to be snapping away at gravestones. It's like a violation of privacy, I felt. I feel. Don't ask me why or how; it's just strange. Intriguing, but strange.

Not many people know this (especially those back in Malaysia!), but cemeteries are actually quite beautiful places. It's like a park, only you have to watch where you're walking more conscientiously than you would otherwise. And using the phrase "dead end" (e.g. "I think we've reached a dead end!") might be deemed as ill-chosen words, or words too laced with puns to remotely contemplate. The cemetery I visited actually had a cafe in it (something we lack in Malaysia), where after you're done visiting loved ones or whatever it is one does in a cemetery, you're able to sit down with a soothing cup of chamomile tea or strong black or whatever and just wash the blues away. All in all, not a bad concept.

Anyway, here's a nice pic of the cemetery I took this morning (I took the picture, not the cemetery. Heheh. Heh. He. Ehh.)


Ok, have to go work on the assignment now! Byebye!

Another Weekend of Fun

What a weekend! My good buddy Paul's 21st party was a blast - I won't talk too much about it just to protect his privacy (mm-hmm), but let's just say, after driving 45 minutes into the heart of phucking nowhere, it was good to actually feel a sense of "okay-okay-i-guess-it-was-worth-it"-ness. The party was in a huge shed, with proper catering (well...hors deouvres), free booze (yippee!! - only I couldn't drink cos i needed to drive back later) and heaps of room!

Afterwards I drove down to my other friend Kayti's and had a good time there too, although I regret how late it was by the time I got to her place. Still, we laughed, chatted, drank, and she made me drink cups of this Fijian root-extract called kava, which had a strange anaesthetic quality to it, making your tongue and mouth and lips and face and all feel numb after several cups. Not like anyone would be dumb enough to drink several cups of it - it looks like mud and tastes even worse. Still, getting inebriated and getting numb at the same time is a very titillating (did i say titillating??) feeling...so all in all, it was a great night! And the best part is, I remembered every moment of it! Yaaay! None of those smashed-off-your-nuts misadventures there! I didn't get drunk! I didn't get drunk!

Hmm. What a rip-off.

Anyhoo, here's a blurry shot of Paul giving his speech during the party. How the emotions heightened. How the tears ran. How the cynics choked.