Thursday, 25 November 2004

Oh, the Humanity! a.k.a. Campus Chaos and Violin Woes!

I've got to say this: UWA (University of Western Australia, for those who don't know) has to be the most annoyingly designed campus EVER.

(No offence to UWA students, staff and fans of old tertiery education providers in general.)

Today I was to accompany a violin student in the music department at the abovementioned uni. She was due in at 10:15am; at 930 I was at the Music & Drama Department, where I wandered about for fifteen minutes or so, trying to find my way in. Finally, I was told by a very helpful lady that she had no idea what I was on about, "what's the AMEB?" she said. (FYI: AMEB = Australian Music Examination Board. Anyway.) It didn't help that there was a sign on the wall saying AMEB THIS WAY (except once you followed it, you realised it didn't lead anywhere). SO! I finally got a map and drove to this building marked AMEB (which, I don't know about you, but I associated with the AMEB). I walked in, told a person with a clipboard that I was here to accompany a student, and she said, "Um. We don't have violin exams today." (By this time, it was ten past ten.) I balked and she said, "Are you sure you've got the right date?" Of course I'm sure, you silly biddy, I thought vehemently (and, now that I think about it, regretfully). So she said, "You'd best walk down to the AMEB office and ask them what's going on. As far as I know, we only have piano exams today, and they don't need accompanists." Genius.

So I finally asked the AMEB staff and they told me, "Oh, it's not here, it's in this other building on the other side of the campus some six million miles away." And I said, "Well, this chick is taking her exam as we speak, and I should be there, but I'm not, thanks to your lack of sign posting!" ('s always easier to blame other people or other factors, isn't it?) ... So the lady behind the counter called the examination hall and said, "We've got a Mr Choo here who's supposed to be where you are but he's not, but he will be, could you please inform the examiner that he will be late?" He will be late. Fuckwits.

Finally, I find the building where the exams are held (strangely marked MUSIC DEPARTMENT, which isn't the same as the MUSIC & DRAMA BUILDING, fancy that). I run up, breathless, perspiring, apologising profusely to a woman who looks at me with a plucked eyebrow cocked and a dry tone of voice that grates like sandpaper against skin, hissing, "Are you young Mr Choo?" (No, I'm just an accompanist who happens to be running late for this girl's violin examination and I just so happen to be an Asian dude, but no, I'm not Mr Choo, thank you very much!) and the examiner tells me it's all well and dandy, and I go in and I accompany Michelle on the piano while she plays beautifully on the violin, and we perform the set pieces for a solid two and a half minutes before the examiner barks, "Okay, that's wonderful, that's all I need to hear. Well done", and I'm out of there.


*Grr arrgh*


And on the way back to my car, a bird pooped on my shirt.



Okay, okay, I guess I could have prepared better by scouting out the place beforehand. Fine. Whatever. I still say the campus is too big and too messy. Grr. Arrgh. Ehhh, go away. Leave me alone. I'm cranky now. Going to sleep. Actually, I need a good dose of Smiling Dog from my previous post. *Looks at Smiling Dog*

heheheheheheheheheheheheheheheeee cute!

Sunday, 21 November 2004

Friday Fun & Violin Vorries (okay, the alliteration failed there)

Well, Friday was certain a good day. Didn't do much for most of the day, as usual (one last assignment before I'm officially finished with uni for this year! Whoo-hoo!)... then, at around 6:30pm, my housemates Jo & Judi and I took a nice drive out to Perth city for our good friend Justin's graphic design exhibition. Well, it wasn't his exhibition per se, but it was an expo of work by graphic design students, but might I say that Justin's work was and is probably one of the best we saw last night. (And I'm not just being a suck-up.) :P The expo came with free drinks and hors deouv'res. Cool stuff.

After the expo, Judi, Jo and our other friend Josie and I went out for a nice dinner at an Italian restaurant, where we gorged ourselves silly on pastas, lamb shanks, chilli mussels and 500gm steaks. Not to mention authentic Italian cappucinos, can't possibly miss out on those, can we? All in all, we had heaps of fun. Doesn't sound terribly exciting for those of you who are reading this, I can imagine, but... yeah. It really was fun. 8)

Well, later today I have a practice session with a violin student who needs a piano accompanist, and I thought, Well, why not? Might as well give it a go, and get paid some pocket-money at the same time. So yes, I'm trying my hand at accompanying for examinations. Should be an interesting experience. This student's exam is next Thursday, so... good luck to us all. :)

That's it for now, hope you've all had a good weekend! Have a great week ahead.

Cheers, ~N

Thursday, 18 November 2004


Whoo-hoo, a new look for MofaMMM! Hope you guys like it! :)


Wednesday, 17 November 2004

Eerie Tales Still Forthcoming... 8(

The publisher of my book Eerie Tales To Chill Your Bones today emailed me to say the book still isn't on the shelves in Malaysia yet due to "shoddy publishing on behalf of the printers" (sic). Accepting their shoddy publishing would have been detrimental to the reputation of our company and of you, the author, they wrote. Sigh.

On the bright side, they say a new batch of books will be delivered to them sometime over the next week or so, and will be in the shops soon. So boys and girls who have been waiting for a copy, I'm sorry that you'll have to wait a little longer (I'm disappointed too, obviously)...but again I thank you for being so patient and for being supportive all this time. Will let you know when it comes out for certain.

As for my Aussie friends, the publisher informs me they have a distributor in Oz, so I'll try to get bookstores here to sell it too. Fingers crossed! In the meantime, here's a repeat of the book cover, just to remind ourselves that it does exist and it is coming! :)))


Tuesday, 16 November 2004

Round and Round the Pine Grove Bush

Over the past couple of months, I had been toying with the idea of moving out of this shared house i live in here in Perth. There are a couple of reasons: i) my current housemates, Jo and Judi, were planning on moving out at the end of the year; ii) the prospect of finding new housemates and trying to reestablish the rapport and routine that comes with sharing a house was downright daunting and tedious; iii) I have a car now, which means i can find a place even if it's further away from uni, and iv) well, i've been here two and a half years now; a change of scenery would be nice!

And then, of course, today I receive the invoice for Aus$350 to renew the car licence, and I figured, "Oh crap, this + the cost of moving out might be a little much..." Then, Jo tells me, "I might stay for one more semester, Nick", which made me reconsider moving out because, with Jo still in the house and knowing how well we get along, it might still be tolerable living here.

Long story short, I might stay on here at good old Pine Grove. One day I'll tell you about the hypothetical Pine Grove sitcom my housemate Judi and I conceived. It's a no-brainer, but it's fun all the same.

Speaking of TV, today I had my first meeting with a group from local Perth community TV station Access 31; these guys are shooting a series about life in Perth (i.e. nightlife, entertainment, etc) - kinda like a cross between a culture series and a late night talk show, I believe. I can't say too much else about it lest I break any confidentiality clauses, but they've got me composing the theme song for the show as well as incidental music... so it looks like this might be another interesting challenge! More on this as and when it develops.

Well, that's about all for now. Till next time! (And I'll miss chatting with Paul M. *sigh* Why do some people stop using MSN? *sobs*) 8)

Friday, 12 November 2004

A Midspring Night's Nightmare :P

Music to hear, why hearst thou music sadly;
Sweets with sweets war not; joy delights in joy...
-- Sonnet #something-or-other

Gawsh! Yesterday was certain full on, because at 8pm last night we students of Murdoch University's Shakespeare unit staged a collection of scenes and sonnets by the Great Bard for a one-night only show, A Sip of Shakespeare. First off, let me say that I'm genuinely surprised and impressed by how well it all came together, given that we didn't have the time or resources to fully put a show together - and yet we did. Yaay to everyone!

The day began at 10:30am, after which I rehearsed with the musicians and singers until about 2:30pm, and then came back in at 4:15pm for more rehearsals with singers...and then at about 5pm (and I'm mentioning these specifics not because they are interesting, but because I have a journal to write on this whole process and this would be a reminder for me) we had the one and only dress rehearsal. At 8pm, when the bulk of us were trembling with weariness, twitchy from too much caffeine, sugar and adrenaline, and ravenous with hunger, the show began. As the lights went down, I prayed, please God, if there's one thing I ask, let there be, like, ten people in the audience at the most, please!!!

Mmm-hmm. Yup. Turned out there were more then ten people for sure. Close to half the freakin' seats were occupied, which might not sound like much, but it is for a show that was barely advertised!! Jeez! :)

And so we went on: one song after every couple of scenes. And by the end of the night, boy, was I exhausted, having run back and forth, on and off for each song-sonnet (eight in all), playing, singing, and also having roles in two rather lengthy scenes, both of which were followed by sonnets each. During my Midsummer Night's Dream scene (which involved my having a brawl with Clint, my good friend), I was virtually gasping for breath as I said my lines. Hehehe. Fun. (Incidentally, the adrenaline levels were up in all of us performers, I presume: during the brawl with Clint, he shoved me doubly hard and nearly sent me flying offstage. I think I have whiplash. I dunno. Anyways.)

At the end of the night, it all went very well indeed, the crowd was appreciative, we were all tired, but it was an enjoyable evening had by all. I would like to thank most of the performers for being cooperative with the music, especially with the last song that closed the show, since it (*cough* theoretically) involved every cast member coming onstage and dancing and singing along in a big finale. You guys were sporting enough to do that silly can-can-type raunchy number, which looked great and sounded fantastic. Kudos!

On that note, a HUGE and heartfelt thanks to Ailyn and Alisha, who came in at the very very very last minute to play the violin and clarinet respectively. You guys did brilliantly, given the amount of practice time that we didn't have (less than a day and a half's amount of work, we did. Whew!).

So yes. That's the Shakespeare story. I thanketh thee for setting thine oes and eyes on this my blogged manuscript.


Thursday, 11 November 2004

Anecdote of the Year


A story.

I had a housemate David who was the quietest, most private person we've ever known. One day, Judi and I were chatting and laughing between ourselves in the living room of our quaint, humble abode, and I suppose we were a little loud. Suddenly, without warning, abruptly and unexpectedly (which I'm pretty sure all mean the same thing), David comes out, blinks his eyes sleepily, and announces, "Guys, guys, guys. Your laughter is making me horny and I can't sleep."

Cue stunned silence from Judi and me.

And then, once he'd disappeared, we both cracked up for so long and so hard (no pun! HAHAHAH!) that we couldn't breathe.

We suppose we'd been keeping him up.

The end.

Scenes from Scenes!

I just thought I'd put up some photos from the much-talked-about (by yours truly, at least) play Scenes from an Execution, which I'd earlier mentioned and whose cast party I gatecrashed last weekend. The backdrops were projected from above the audience's heads onto the screens on the back of the stage, and as a result there were some very interesting scenery throughout the play. Hope you guys enjoy the photos! :) (Incidentally, all photos (C) 2004 by Chris McLay & Murdoch University. Just to be safe. Hahah!)

More later!

Wednesday, 10 November 2004

Bards and Frogs!

Have been busy lately with rehearsals for A Sip of Shakespeare, a revue consisting of scenes and songs by the great Bard. That takes place tomorrow night at 730pm, and it's gonna be... well, I'm just waiting for it to be over with as I'm tired, lol! Tired not as in "fed up", but as in "mentally exhausted". So yea. Get thee over with, yon Shakespearean stageshow!

Meanwhile, has anyone heard of the website Racingfrogs? It's really cool, you get to create your own Racing Frog (hence the site name) :P and every day they'll automatically take part in these virtual races and send you emails about their results. With each race won, you get points (or gold) with which you get to choose food for your frog and train it and stuff. It's not a very time-consuming game as all you have to do is visit the site daily and make sure your frog is fed, trained and contented, all of which affect his performance with races. The best bit is the emails though - short and sweet, but very cute and rather amusing! A couple of emails I've "received" from my racing frog RocknRibbit (uh-huh) are such as:

Hi Nick, I had an excellent race. I finished in 6th place at Toad Alley. Have you ever been in an aeroplane? I haven't. I wonder what it's like? Bye for now, ROCKNRIBBIT


I had an average race. I finished in 13th place at Lily Cove. I went for a hop around the Pond today and actually got lost. I ended up near the long grass where the snakes live. I could have been eaten alive! Poor sign posting, that's what it is.

Hehehehe! Anyway, when you have a chance, go check out and sign up for your own long-jumping virtual friend! Fun fun fun!


Sunday, 7 November 2004

The Drama!

Welcome back to another hung over Sunday, thanks to the cast party of Scenes from an Execution that I gatecrashed last night. Did I say gatecrash? Yes. Gatecrash. I'm not officially part of the cast or crew, but I decided to rock up, saunter in complacently and go, "Yo, people, it's ME!", to which everyone looked at me blandly and uttered simultaneously in a flat, uninterested voice: "Hiiii Niiiiick". :/ Hehehehe. I jest.

As usual, cast parties are heaps of fun... especially among drama students. The emotional outbursts, the declarations of love to the wrong people, the getting-togethers and backbiting moments and group gossip sessions - fun, fun, fun! I saw the show twice over its four-day staging period, and again I have to say I was very impressed overall. I must admit that Serge, the director, has outdone himself with this one -- which really pains me to say, given the truckload of shit that he and I went through last year (long story, don't ask, those who know about it would tell me to get over it and get a life).

Before any of you reprimand me for going to a party when I have previously mentioned having prior commitments, let me just defend myself by saying...


I got... bored...?


Anyway. Got home at 7:30am (like, this morning!) and slept and woke up at 3pm with a throbbin' headache, which is always enjoyable. The rest of the day is going by in a lazy blur -- just the way I like it. Kinda obvious, given the pointlessness of this entire blog, yea? hahahaha. Oh I'm gonna stop now. Snooze. Buhbye, thanks for reading ;)))

Thursday, 4 November 2004

And Now I'm Not Just Being A Suck-Up... 8)

Last night I went to see the opening night of Scenes from an Execution, the play currently being staged in Murdoch Uni. All I have to say is, go see it! It's definitely worth a watch - great acting, some cool staging effects, and a terrific script. And I'm not just stating these things because of my involvement with the publicity side of things; all this while, I have been promoting the show without actually knowing anything about how it was going to be staged and how good the actors were. But now that I've actually seen it, I actually regret not putting more effort into publicising this play. It's certainly a terrific night's entertainment - darkly humourous, intense and provocative, with some top-notch performances by Murdoch Uni drama students (and, I'm proud to add, my friends) Zara Raffan, Melissa Merchant and Dana Lisman in the lead roles. You can find more information on this show in one of my earlier posts below, but to shorthand it:

What: Scenes from An Execution, a play by Howard Barker
Where: Nexus Theatre, Murdoch University
Time: 8pm
Price: $15 for adults, $10 concession
When: Three more shows left! 4-6 November, tickets available at the door!

So make sure you don't miss out, guys and girls who are in Perth and who have a couple of free hours coming up. It'll be well worth your time and money. And that's a promise. :)