Monday, 31 May 2010

Perth 2010: The End + Final Show + The Cast Party and more...

Hey, all! Well, it's been grand, but all good things must come to an end, and right now I'm back on Malaysian soil, safe and sound, feeling a tad melancholy and contemplative and withdrawal-y, but there you go. Life, eh? The flight on the way home was thankfully uneventful, so... yeah. It's just been quite a wild couple of weeks, with new experiences, life lessons and epiphanies. And I'm freakin' exhausted because of it, LOL. I need a break from the break I just had!!

Going back just a little bit... On Saturday, of course, was our final day of performances at Nexus Theatre, both of which went really well! The best part was seeing my old friends Brian, Paul, Alexa and Scott again, as they all came to see the show. So there was lots of hugging and stuff going on, including one loud exclamation of "HOW ARE YA YOU BIG POOF!", oy!!! Good times. :P

In between shows on Saturday, the cast and crew got up to a bit of zaniness when they decided to attempt singing all their lines from the play to music played by yours truly and my mate Jason. It was so funny, hearing dialogue that was usually spoken being spouted near-tunelessly by all these actors falling into character. I'd actually video'd the whole thing, but unfortunately in transferring the files to my laptop something went wrong, and I'm almost certain that I've lost them. Which is most regrettable because, believe you me, it really was hilarious. Ah well. Cookie crumbles.

After the final show of the evening, there was a gathering in the foyer, where speeches were made, thank yous and sorries were pronounced, and our lovely director Jenny was presented with a bouquet of flowers, a lovely locket gift, cards and messages. Again, I'd taken photos and videos, but wouldn't you know it, sometimes technology conspires against you and it all goes haywire. Sigh. If I manage to salvage any of this, I'll post 'em up here, I promise.

While the cast and crew did the bump out – i.e. dismantling the sets etc and bringing everything out of the theatre – I caught up with Alex, Mel, Riley and Theo, and we had a yummy Chinese meal at the nearby restaurant up on Sommerville. When dinner was done, I decided to head over to Chris and Jade's, who were chilling out with Judi and Carol, since I didn't know if anyone had headed over to the cast party yet. I ended up spending the bulk of the night at Chris and Jade's, watching them play Wii, sipping wine and scotch and eating cheese, crackers and chips, arf. And just being there was, I imagined, the preferred choice over going to the cast party – we were all really content and having a good time, enjoying one another's company. That was our party! :D

Still, I couldn't help but wonder what was going on with the drama peeps, so at the end of the night – after midnight! – Judi and I nevertheless headed over to the cast party at Captain Quokka John's. And boy oh boy, we didn't stay too long! Make no mistake: I truly enjoyed spending time with the cast and crew over the past two weeks, and I sincerely hope they had a good time partying... but one thing I learnt as we watched the younger 'uns dancing and drinking and making out and generally being uni students was that I, perhaps – without intending to sound highfalutin about it – just might have outgrown the uni partying.

The icing on the cake was when everyone started freaking out when the cops purportedly showed up. There was so much melodrama going on: "Everybody get inside!" "Everybody keep quiet!" "Oh, my God, don't you people understand what being quiet means?!" "This is serious!" "Screw the fukkin' cops!!" ... Judi and I looked at each other, shrugged, thought, "Eh, all in a day", and promptly walked out. Turned out the cops weren't even at the house, the way they were carrying on; we'd initially thought the authorities had demanded we get inside the house so they could search everybody for drugs or something. But nay, the cops were parked further down the road, and they were leaving and driving over to another house where a party was going on as we walked back to Judi's car, bemused and terribly amused.

So yeah. That certainly was interesting, observing and feeling the difference in mentality. Gawsh, I hope all of this doesn't sound condescending, because it isn't meant to be... a part of me grew quite introspective as I realised how growing up means you can't go back to the way things were, and as much as I would've loved to have gotten shit-faced and made out with random strangers at a cast party, it just didn't seem... well... appropriate anymore. No, let me amend that: it didn't seem necessary anymore. And I think it'll happen to everyone as they get older, so it's really no big deal. Party while you're young, I suppose! These guys and girls doing the partying deserved to party after all the hard work they'd put into the show. And from what I hear, dramas aside (they're not in the theatre for nothing!), the party went down pretty awesome. So yay!

Still glad we left, though. Arf.

Sunday was a quiet day; Judi and I had lunch, tea, and dinner (in that sequence), and then Judi hit the sack early because we were due to get up at 3am to get the cab to the airport. And so it was done, and I was dropped off at the international terminal before she headed off to domestic as she had work-related travelling to do. And I killed time at the Dome coffee place in the airport, until it was time to go through immigration and security, whereupon my bag was stopped and searched due to the number of electronic devices and related cables in there (ARF). Yup, apparently hard disk drives trigger suspicion, which I think is fair enough. But then one of the security dudes pulled me aside and did a more proper search, including using devices that apparently scanned for explosives, which was both fascinating, entertaining and intimidating. But they were really nice about it, though, for the most part. Just doing their job, just being careful. Kudos to them.

And before I knew it, I was back in the plane, bound for Malaysia, home of the oppressed and marginalised. Good times. It's been grand, but all good things must come to an end, and right now I'm back on Malaysian soil, safe and sound, feeling a tad melancholy and contemplative and withdrawal-y, but there you go. Life, eh? The flight on the way home was thankfully uneventful, so... yeah. It's just been quite a wild couple of weeks, with new experiences, life lessons and epiphanies. And I'm freakin' exhausted because of it, LOL. I need a break from the break I just had!!

Deja vu much?? :P

That's it for now, boys and girls. Like I said, I'll see if I can put up more pics and vids anytime soon if I can salvage any. But I'll leave you with just this one more of yours truly, in costume, and apparently in some sort of character... heh!! Till later!!

Yikes
(Thanks to Ellin Sears for the pic!)

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Perth 2010: The Show - Day Five... + Dinner with the Girls!

Hey everyone. Wow, it's over! The shows in Perth are, at long last, finished, and after a startling 14 performances in one week, osh kosh b'gosh!! But we'll get to the final day soon enough. Let's go back to Friday, when we did three shows that (as far as I can recall) went really well. Judi, Beattie, Carol, Berni, Chris, Jade and little Arielle attended the night-time show, and when I first stepped onto the stage in my costume and make-up, I distinctly heard them laughing (especially Judi, ARF ARF!) Haiyohhh!! Tried so hard not to react. "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming..."

Incidentally, in case you're wondering what I look like in costume and make-up, here's me:

After the show, the gang and I — minus Chris, who'd taken little Arielle home — headed off to Viva, this Italian restaurant in Applecross. Pretty nice place and some rather yummy food, though we were kind of put off by the rather impertinent waiter who told us that we were late for our 815pm reservation (it was 845pm when we got there), and that the kitchen was about to be closed, so we had to hurry up and order. (On a Friday night, too. You wouldn't get 845pm kitchen closings in Malaysia, I can tell you that!)

Regardless, we ordered, and laughed, and chatted, and ate. At one point Berni asked the restaurant people if they had soy milk, and they said no. What kind of restaurant doesn't have soy milk?? And then Jade suggested coconut milk because Berni can't have dairy, and the waitress taking our order questioned whether coconut milk fell under the category of "dairy". Oy vey! It's not cowcownut milk, silly girl!! Sigh. Anyhoo...

Regardless of all that, the food was really rather good (I had the mixed seafood platter, mmmm scrummilicious, and afterwards dessert was a Bailey's cheesecake). And as usual we took photos and videos, so I'm going to leave you with them, since the dinner was the highlight of the entire evening and we adjourned back to Judi's immediately after because of how tired I was. Hope you enjoy these! Till later... bye!

Jade, Carol and Berni


Me, Jade and Carol


Beattie and Judi


My seafood platter!


Judi and me, bonding over dessert

Being critical of restaurants and theatre, followed by a toast!

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Perth 2010: Music Makin'!

Killing time between performances... :)

Nick Being A Know-It-All Musical Douchebag

Jamming with Jason

Friday, 28 May 2010

Perth 2010: The Show - Day Five: So Far... + Site Update!

230pm, sitting in the green room - i.e. the little waiting room backstage - after two performances with the kiddies. Am. Freaking. Exhausted. Oy!! But it's all good. The shows went pretty well, I guess. I felt the second one was better because I was kinda "high" on lack of sleep and so I was just playing faster than usual and making up lots of spontaneous crap, heheh. Hopefully it didn't throw the performers off too much... though I doubt anyone even noticed, LOL!!!!

Incidentally, I've updated my website with information on the show as well as info on the Malaysian performances of The Phoenix and the Fighting Pandas of Yunnan Province, which will be happening next month. So if you get the chance, please do visit www.nick-choo.com, specifically the Phoenix page. I haven't been able to link it to the main Theatre category yet because the programming's a little more complicated, but I'll get there. Later!!

Perth 2010: The Show - Day Four: Jam-Packed, Jamming and Jumpstarts!

Whew! Just a quick update today because I'm bloody exhausted after three performances on the same day! It's even more exhausting because I'm sitting there onstage throughout the entire shows for the children's shows. Thankfully I get a 20-minute interval for the night-time shows, attended by more grown-up audiences. Earlier today (well, yesterday) we had the first of the night-time shows, and I'm glad to report it went relatively well, if only for some minor inconvenience because someone had apparently said the music was too loud, so some adjustments were made and pretty much messed up the audio equilibrium that I'd had going on, grr arrrgh.

Anyway, apart from that, the night show was really good, and children's shows were pretty terrific too. The first show, in particular, was jam-packed, because we had children from three schools (I think) coming in, including the one school that had failed to show up on Monday. So there were teachers sitting on the steps and everything. Which is well and good, except for the performers dressed as animals rushing up and down said steps during the show... :P Oy.

Between the children's shows and the night show, I spent time hanging out with Allison and Jason, and we jammed with them on their guitars and me on the keys. That was heaps of fun, though I really should've taken a break from the music, ARF. But yeah. I'm excited about potentially working with them next year because they're really talented (despite their oh-so-modest insistence that they're not). Allison says she might not be able to be part of children's theatre next year, sadly; while Jason is eagerly waiting to get involved. The dude plays a mean flamenco-style classical guitar, I kid you not. Already I've started suggesting to director Jenny that we attempt a Spanish-themed show next year, heheheh. We'll see how that goes. And I'll put up some vids and stuff of our jam sessions shortly (too tired to upload it now), despite my fingers-crossed-behind-my-back promise that these vids won't be made public. Oh well. I'm a villain.

Oh, a funny thing happened today (though I only heard second- and third-hand accounts): apparently one of the cast members inadvertently left his car headlights on, and his battery was dead by the time he got to his vehicle. So he asked another fellow cast member to help jumpstart the car. The only problem was, this second dude had left his own lights on, and so his car battery was dead too!!! So they had to get another mutual friend to help. This is where the story gets uncanny and hilarious: they found out that this third friend had left his car headlights on, and his car was dead also!!! Jeeeez!! What were the odds of that?? (Not as slim as you might think; it was raining this morning, so it was quite likely they'd had their lights on and drove older models of cars that didn't warn you that you'd forgotten the turn the lights off.) But still. Good story. And to top it all off, the first dude who'd left his lights on inadvertently locked his keys in the car. Now that's having a bad day, OY. "Cheer up, Sanya!"

Okay, that's about it for now. Will be back real soon with vids and more updates! Cheers!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Perth 2010: The Show - Day Three + Andrea and the Anastases

Quickie recaps of the day! The shows in Nexus went pretty well, though the first was made distracting because of the tardiness of the group of kids who came in midway through the second scene, stealing attention away from the stage and causing the kids and the performers to struggle not to lose focus. The second show was much tighter, and the kids were really responsive, which was awesome. So yay!! Three days down, three to go... eight performances (!) remaining!

After the shows, I took a walk to Murdoch Station to hop on the train for the first time into the city. Whooo, how convenient. There, I managed to meet up with my dear friend Andrea for a coffee and catch-up, which was really cool since it was a rather spontaneous thing: I sent her an SMS asking if she happened to be in the city and was free at the time to meet up; she was, and she was. So we had coffees and chats, browsed some books at Borders, and then I headed off to Andrea's place to wait for Judi to pick me up for dinner at Alex and Mel's. You still following?? :P

Dinner at Alex's and Mel's was, as usual, fun, with moments of domestic chaos and life-lessons to be learnt, arf arf. Always a pleasure to hang out with the Anastases and their kids, Riley and Theo. I conclude with a couple of photos, and shall leave you with them till tomorrow's update! Till then... byebye!

Riley (left) and Theo. "It's the best pic we have of you, Riley,"
Alex quipped.

Alex, Mel and me

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Perth 2010: The Show - Day Two! + Adam & Jess

Hey guys and girls! Another day, another performance, and I'm happy to say that this time, the crowd of little kiddies was very responsive, hehe! So much so that I had to play hide-and-seek with them from my little space behind the keyboard and music stand. Each time I peeked out, the little kiddies would point and roar with laughter. Very cute. And also a tad scary to consider the prospect of a hundred kids captivated by you, and liable to go berserk at any minute. (My mate Andrew put on a newsreader voice and said, "Today, Murdoch Uni encountered the tragic loss of a musician who was besieged by a swarm of overexcited children..." To which another mate, Stephen, deadpanned, "It's what you'd call a Choo-sday tragedy." Oy.)

So yeah, that was pretty fun. Afterward I met up with my old friend Adam B, whom I've not seen since 2005, and we had lunch while catching up. Got to meet his fiance, Jess, who was lovely. Here are a couple of pics, first of Adam and Jess, and then of Adam and yours truly.

Ad's got some sort of Dr Daniel Jackson look going on...

Okay, that it for the time being. Will be back again real soon!! Cheerio!

Monday, 24 May 2010

Perth 2010: The Show - Day One!

Hey all! Well, today we kicked off with the performances of The Phoenix and the Fighting Pandas of Yunnan Province, with a school coming in to uni at 10am! Was picked up by my dear friend Mel (who naturally got lost trying to find Judi's place, hehehe), and we headed off to uni and got into costume and all that. I've got photos of me in costume (I'm apparently some sort of hybrid animal; nobody could guess what I was, and the responses I elicited were in the domain of "mouse", "cat", "rabbit", "monkey", "tiger" and "gorilla". It's only one of these, guys!), but I shan't put them up just yet until after the performances are over, I reckon! :D

So yes, today we had the first show, which went really well, if only for the very minor quibble that the kids were a touch too well-behaved. There was barely any laughter or reaction (which I'm praying is because they were told not to make noise, and not a fault with the script and/or performance!!), though they did clap each time a scene ended, so... I dunno. We'll see. Heh.

The second performance of the day almost didn't happen because the school bus that was bringing the kids had the bad luck of breaking down (gah!), so the kids had to reschedule to show up on another day. But we decided to go ahead with the performance anyway, since we were all already in costume/make-up. We played to a tiny audience of fellow colleagues in the cast and crew, as well as a child's handful of people we managed to rope in from the almost nonexistent general public who were interested, LOL. Still, I think for the first day's run, things went really well!

After the show, a bunch of us headed down to the Tav to chill out and have some drinks, and then I managed to get a ride home with a couple of fellow team members, John and Sarah, who are really awesome guys and are really cool to hang out with (yes, I'm laying it on thick in the unlikely event that they happen to read this blog post, ARF ARF ARF. Nah, I jest... you guys really do rock!). And now here I am, blogging, sending off some emails, and ready to grab a late afternoon nap because, goshdurnit, I am exhausted, oy!! So I shall bid thee adieu till a bit later... till then!!

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Perth 2010: Long Day!

Whew, what a long day!! First off, Judi, Berni and I had breakfast at 830am at C15, hehehe. Which is always fun... you know, waking up at 730am on a Sunday morning, LOL. But yes, it was lovely. Then it was off to uni for me, where I had rehearsals for the show from 10am to 9pm, quite literally. Just arrived home a short while ago, watched some telly with Judi, and now am just idly surfing the net before bedtime. It's a 7am start for me in the morning, since we commence performances tomorrow with the kiddies! Can't believe it's been five years since I've done this... how exciting!! Here's wishing we all break legs... in the best possible theatrical sense, of course!

I'm gonna log off now... but before I do, here's a pic of yours truly and Alisha, taken yesterday during our visit to the Freo markets. Isn't Alisha looking wonderful!! :D x

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Perth 2010: Rehearsals, Freo, the Hat Song and More!

Hey, folks! Today (well, yesterday, really!) was a pretty full-on day! Started off with rehearsals at uni, where we did a full run through of The Phoenix and the Fighting Pandas of Yunnan Province. I'm glad to say it's coming along really well! So proud of being part of the cast and team this year - they seem to be a genuinely hardworking, talented bunch, whoo-hooo!

Only thing is, I discovered that some of them are holding a grudge because of this one song I wrote for Lit by Limelight last year. Apparently the very mention of the opening line, "Is this your hat?", sets them off. Something to do with them having heard the song on a loop over and over and over again. Hmm. Seems there's more to this story than meets the blog-reading eye, doesn't it?? ARF. Whatever the case, figurative and literal sleeves were rolled up when Simon, one of the guys backstage, began announcing, "This is the guy who wrote the hat song!" I tell ya, torches were set ablaze and pitchforks held aloft! Oy vey! I'm mostly being melodramatic, of course, all in good fun, heh!!! I hope. Um. Yeah.

Anyway, after rehearsal I met up with the lovely Alisha, who is looking fantastic on her current eating plan following my chat with her last year about the diet. We had a delicious lunch of tofu burgers (yup) and coffee in Freo, followed by ice cream and long walks through the markets and visiting the shops. So that was a lot of fun, Thanks Alisha!! As soon as she sends me the pic we took, I'll put it up on this blog, too! Whoo-hoo!!

The evening arrived with further rehearsals in Nexus Theatre, which, again, went really well, I reckon! This time around I video'ed the performance, mainly to gauge the audio levels, but I couldn't resist but to put a little sneak peek, which you can view if you scroll down to the post before this one. :)

The evening rehearsal was also the time when I found out about the abovementioned Hat Song controversy. So as a gentle tribute to these lovely people who had to suffer through all that torment last year, may I humbly present this music track, to make up for the sleepless nights of having that particular melody playing over and over in their heads, waking up to the interminable and horrifying refrain (an ear-worm, it's called, I believe. Y'know, when a melody goes round and round in your head, like a worm crawling into your ear and burrowing itself into your brain, going round and round and round and round). Please, do turn up the volume, and enjoy:



Heheheheheh.

The night ended with Judi picking me up (with a yummy dinner waiting in the car!) and we headed for coffees and cake at C15 in Applecross, before returning back home where Judi got hooked on Stargate Universe. Yay!

Okay, I'm gonna end this particular post now, because I've inexplicably developed a sore throat and it's making me feel not quite over the weather. (I'm also coming on with a headache, though I suspect it's because the ear-rests of my new glasses are carving a groove into my skull, gah!!) Tomorrow's a rehearsal-free day, so I'm having lunch with Alex in the day, and then Judi and I have plans, I think, to... y'know... do... something... or... other. Ummm. Yeah. That should be fun. ARF. Till later!!

PS: Oh yeah, happy four-years-since-I-left-Perth anniversary to me! :/

Perth 2010: The Sneek Peek!

Yo everyone! As much as I shouldn't be putting these up on my blog (umm... I'm not sure if that's actually a rule or not, but generally we don't wanna give too much away, do we?? Heh!), here's a sneak preview of one of the choreographed scenes from The Phoenix and the Fighting Pandas of Yunnan Province. Music by yours truly. Enjoy!!

Perth 2010: The Welcome Back Barbecue Video

Here's a belated glimpse of last Saturday's "Welcome Back to Perth" barbecue! Yay!

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Perth 2010: Four Years (Almost)

Hey all! Quiet day so far: had a meeting with a friend, Arnold, over potential Follow The Light possibilities in Perth (oy, I keep going back and forth between Perth and KL, don't I, with this show?? Arf). Um. That's about it so far. Having a late lunch now, and then heading off to uni for more rehearsals. But you know what I've realised? That in about a couple of days, I think it's May 22nd, it will be four years since I left Perth for Malaysia. Four years, oy! And what have I accomplished in this time??? Hmmmmm. Maybe it's wiser not to go there, arf.

I recently had some rather bad news about my PR application for Aussieland, in that the job I'm trained for is no longer on the occupational list for entry. This means, I guess, that Australia has its share of "in-house" journalists and don't need any from the outside. Meaning, I guess, that until they do a review and change the laws again, I'm being rejected. Sucks doesn't it. And kind of poetic, me being in Perth right now, and it almost being an "anniversary", and being rejected all at the same time. Oh well. At least I have shows and music to focus on these next few days, and if all goes well, hopefully it will all lead to bigger, better things... not necessarily here, if I'm not meant to be here, as it seems to be the case. Oy.

So until my next post (which will hopefully be more optimistic!)... see ya!

Perth 2010: The Phoenix Poster!


Click for full-sized view

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Perth 2010: The Big Bird

Here's a sneak peek at The Phoenix and the Fighting Pandas of Yunan Province, the children's theatre show we're performing next week!! I love the big bird. Do you love the big bird?? (Ooo I'm probably not supposed to give it away, so let's forget I showed it to ya. Hmm. This last few sentences sure have a naughty double entendre.)

Ker-pluck!!

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Perth 2010: The Cabbie Conundrum

Hey all! A bit "uneventful" in Perth because I've been busy with the children's theatre production, heheh. The production itself is exciting and going really well, of course, but because of it, there's mainly just a whole lot of me travelling back and forth between Judi's place and uni. Yesterday director Jenny picked me up and we headed to a music store to rent a keyboard. Lugged it back to Judi's place to learn how to use it; went to uni for the rehearsal; lugged the keyboard back to Judi's place to continue learning how to use it, oy. Which brings me to:

Today, which was a bit of a pain in the butt. My ride wasn't able to make it, so I had to book a cab to pick me up at 4pm because I couldn't lug the keyboard onto the bus. Cut to: 4.30pm, and still no cab. So I called back the cab company, and they were perplexed because apparently the driver had knocked on the door of a house but nobody had answered. I reckon he'd knocked on a random stranger's door, because Judi's house is part of a "unit", i.e. it has a unit number followed by the street number. Let me explain that a little better: Let's assume Judi's house is at "0/12 Street Name". I'm thinking that the cab might have gone to "0 Street Name", which is a totally different house. Oy. Anyhoo.

So I told the cab company to please send another cab. Waited. And waited. Closer to five PM, and still nobody showed up. So I called the cab company back, and was told that the driver couldn't find the place, WTF?? Oy vey!! I asked them to please send another cab, and this time, fortunately, they did, but only because (as the cabbie told me) he'd been in the neighbourhood and was slightly more familiar with the roads. Good grief.

Anyway, so that was that. Got to uni, managed to work out more of the music that I need to get sorted out, ran through the whole show twice, and I think this year's production is going to be pretty awesome. It has, in my humble opinion, a better storyline than last year's, and more compact, too: a more focused plot and more well-defined characters. Plus, the music rocks, of course. LOL. All with an Asian theme, heh. It's gonna be terrific. YAY!!

Oh well, I'm gonna head off now. Rehearsals in the morning and evening tomorrow, oy! Wish me luck! Till later... ~N

Monday, 17 May 2010

Perth 2010: Welcome Back BBQ Pics!

Here are photos from Nick's "Welcome Back To Perth" party on Saturday night! Hehehe! Click on the thumbnails for bigger views!


Chris stuffing his face while Carol rolls her eyes;
Alex on the verge of stuffing his face



Alex has a fan; Carol beats around the bowl


Enjoying Carol's dessert, mmmm

Brett being Bretty; Nick, Adam and Eva


Going wild with cling wrap...

Perth 2010: BBQ, Nexus and Noodles

Hey everyone! Whoo-hoo, has it been an eventful almost-two-days! On Saturday night, as I mentioned, we had the "Welcome back to Perth" barbecue for little ol' me, and it was really a lot of fun!! In attendance was the Gang - Judi, Josie, Jade, Chris, little Arielle, Brett, Berni and her Mikey, and even Adam and Eva - plus Alex, of Alex and Mel fame (Mel, unfortunately, couldn't make it because she and little Theo were busy shooting a film for uni. Heh).

It was a really great night, with plenty of food (leftovers still in the fridge and on the counter!) and good conversation. However, the party didn't last too late into the night. Yup, you know everyone's getting old when they start yawning and getting tired, and you check your watch and it's only 10pm. Oy vey. Arf. I'll post some pics of the barbie later, k? The net connection is a little slow, plus I'm too tired right now to do the resizing and uploading and blah blah blah. So I'll do it in the day or something. Heh. Anyhoo.

So that was Saturday. Today, Sunday, I got up early (9am, early for me, at least!) and headed to Murdoch Uni, where I reunited with Jenny, Andrew K and Melissa M from Children's Theatre! Yay! Stayed for the full runthroughs with both casts (yup, we've got two casts this year!), and worked out areas where I could play live on top of the prerecorded music I've been working hard on for the past few weeks. But today all they had in the theatre was this little temporary keyboard, and all the sounds were so dinky that I really couldn't get the live music going at all. So it was more a matter of just taking down notes and discussing with the Sound folks on what I was going to do, and later in the day today Jenny and I are going to go hunting for a keyboard to rent. So that should be pretty fun!

The rest of Sunday was spent with Judi, Josie and Carol, who picked me up after uni. First, we hung out at Josie's place in Murdoch, and then we decided to have dinner at Taurus, the Asian food place. But then we decided to head to Terazza in Applecross instead... only when we got there, we realised the prices were really rather steep, so we had to rather abashedly leave our table, much to the bemusement of the waitress who'd seated us. Arf.

We then checked out an Italian restaurant and decided against it too; and next we sat ourselves down at C15, our favourite coffee place, spent a good 10 minutes checking out the menu, and decided to leave to head to Taurus after all. Oy. It was quite an adventure indeed. And as Carol put it, the cheapest meal we'd ever had... a grand total of zero spent. Oh, except for the Florentines Judi and Josie bought at C15, but that doesn't count. Heh.

So we ended up at Taurus, where we shared platters of three meats and rice, roast duck, and two noodley dishes. Pretty yummy, and all for a fraction of the price it would've cost us at one of the earlier restaurants!! So yea, we were satisfied with that. And when we'd finished stuffing ourselves, we yawned and decided to call it a night... at eight fifteen PM. Good lord, we're old.

So Judi and I adjourned back to her place, watched some sitcoms, and she was in bed by 10, while I read and watched comedies till... well... now. And I'm getting really sleepy meself, so I'm going to bid thee goodnight for now. Until my next update, folks... see ya!

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Perth 2010: The Big Breakfast

So we got to Judi's lovely home, and as we walked in, I realised the house smelled like breakfast. You know, fried eggs and bacon and stuff, which made me distantly wonder if Judi had already prepared the big breakfast she'd promised. Suddenly, from behind counters and sofas, Josie, Beattie and Carol jumped out and shrieked, "SURPRISE!!!" Turned out it was a breakfast party!! Surprise, surprise indeed, yaaay!! And then Judi said it was a pajama party, which resulted in the photos you see below...

Me and Judi!

Beattie and Carol!

Eventually Chris, Jade and little Arielle joined us, and big breakfast was soon served: croissant and muffins, fried egg, fried tomatoes, bacon, mushrooms, waffles and hot coffee, mmmm!! Check out the spread!

Mmmm!! Yummy!

Sitting down

Me, Chris and little Arielle

And when breakfast was over, a little bit before 9am, yours truly finally hit the sack for about five hours, having been unable to snooze on the plane despite the RM18 bottle of white wine, which had made me pleasantly buzzed but not un-anxious enough to fall asleep. So I snoozed, and now we're gonna prepare for tonight's "welcome back BBQ", so I'm gonna go now!! Till later, folks! Buh-bye!!

Perth 2010: Departures and Arrivals

Hellooo everybody!! Well, I'm now sitting at Judi's dining table in lovely cool (read: freezing) Perth, after a thankfully uneventful flight over from KL! The flight itself wasn't too bad, and I'm gradually learning to conquer my fears. You see, each time the plane wobbles I tend to freak out. So this time around, I made a conscious decision: that each time we encountered any form of mild turbulence, I'd tell myself, Don't Feed The Fear! And it worked, too! Because rather than panic, I look around, reassure myself that everyone else was calm (especially the cabin crew), and that it was going to be okay. I really, really must get over this phobia, because the initial half hour or so on the plane was almost unbearable, with me frantically thinking, Why do I put myself through this??? until I forced myself to take control of my worries. So yeah. Will aim to practise this on the way home too. Wish me luck!

Anyhoo, the immigration process wasn't too tedious, though the officer at the gate in KL looked at me rather suspiciously since I look kinda different from my passport photo (in which I don't have my glasses on, and my hair's longer, and not coloured, arf). He was asking me questions like, Is this you? How often you travel to Australia? Why are you going over? When was the last time you went there? Why are you going over? Yeah, he asked it twice. Oy.

Then when we got to Perth, the immigration dudes were like, Where are you staying? Where in Canning Vale? Who you staying with? What's her name? (I told them; "Do you need her number, too?" I asked pleasantly. "No, no, we're fine," they replied.) Is she your girlfriend? How long you staying for? What's this coffee mug doing in your luggage? ("It's for coffees," I explained patiently.) What's this long thing in your bag? (Turned out to be my lappietop battery, but can't say I blame them for being suspicious. "Yeah, okay, I'll show you my long thing." Oy.)

Oh, an unusual occurrence was that we actually arrived 20 mins ahead of schedule, which AirAsia proudly announced over the intercom. Like, literally: "We're proud to inform you that we're ahead of schedule." All in their almost unintelligible English, oy. Heh. I might be kidding a little bit here: they probably said "we're happy to inform you..." etc. But I'm not joking about their almost unintelligible English. They really ought to do something about that, given that the majority of their passengers were Caucasian. But I digress.

So about forty minutes through Aussie immigration, and I stepped into the arrivals hall just in time to greet Judi! The usual high-pitched shrieking ensued, hugs, and then luggage in the car, and off we went to Judi's place!! Whooo-hooooo!! To be continued...

Friday, 14 May 2010

Hey, all. Right now am sitting in the waiting area by the boarding gate, awaiting the flight to Perth, whoo hooo! It's bloody freezing in here... Thankfully I brought along my jacket. Shame it's a rather formal black outfit that clashes with my casual shirt, jeans and thongs, arf. Ah well. All part of the holiday spirit, no? Only I'm not exactly sure how much of a holiday it's actually going to be, since there will be rehearsals and performances galore. But I'm not complaining. Look forward to it, actually!! Heh!!

Anyway, I'm gonna end this post here. Till later! Bye!

Hello and Goodbye

So in less than 24 hours, I'm going to be on the flight to Perth, whooohoooo!! Can't wait! Been busy running around doing all sorts of last-minute errands in preparation for the journey, and I'm looking forward to it (with a little bit of nervousness, me being the nervous flyer that I am. Can you blame me? When weird things have happened on previous flights? Oy!) But it'll be fine, I know, I know. Heh.

I thought I'd take a moment to share the news that come end of August, poor ol' Nick is going to be out of a job. Yeah, it's true. My company will officially be closing operations at the end of Aug, after two years as one of the best news sites in the country (goshdurn it!) and after a year or so of the big bosses trying to find more sources of funding and revenue for it. Ah well. We all knew it was a risk, so it's not altogether a "devastating" blow, even though it is sad. I mean, it was a start-up company, for one, and based online. Two difficult areas to manoeuvre, and the fact that we've lasted almost two years, with plenty of support and praise, is something we should all be proud of. And we are.

So here I share a couple of photos of the team (what's left of us!) as we sit in our meeting room for the very last time. Soon another company will be taking over the meeting room as they'll be taking over the entire office space once we move out. Yup. It's all happening, boys and girls. Sigh. Here we are, with brave smiles as we cheer our final editorial meeting in the room:



And here's how we're actually feeling:



Oy.

Okay boys and girls, will be back soon... probably from Perth! Whooo-hoooo! Till then... :)

Monday, 10 May 2010

Terry 3D!

Over the weekend, Debs, Phaik Leng, Chan Ghee and I got together to celebrate Terry's birthday (yeaaah, welcome to the 30 club, Terry! I like how Terry deflects the "just-turned-30" factor by telling everyone he's three decades old, so he's now Terry 3D. Oy). Terry's dear friend Chrissy joined us, and we went for dinner at Canton-i in 1Utama, where we had lots of scrumptious Chinese food, including three servings (three!) of barbecued and roasted pork (char siew and siew yoke). The waiter who took our orders was rather stumped when we ordered a third round of the meats: "Umm... I already brought you two servings," he sputtered, and Terry promptly said, "Correct. And we want round three." And so it was done. Arf.


The birthday boy


Chan Ghee, Terry 3D and Chrissy


Vegetable soup and the infamous pork that caused the waiter to do a double take (a triple, rather)!


Debs and yours truly, with my sizzling noodles

Afterwards we adjourned to a dessert place and had... well... dessert. And then it was off to Starbucks for coffee, heheh. A full night of eating was had by all. Oy, and I wonder where all the weight regain is coming from, gaaaah. Anyhoo.


Debs contemplates her dessert: a tiny coconut-covered ball
with nutty stuffing



Terry, Phaiks and Chan Ghee. I like the arty Asianness
of this shot, arf



The Gang. I was taking the photo, obviously. Ah well

Last night, Terry, Chan Ghee and I joined my mum and my brother for dinner at Sukiko, this intimate family cafe in Uptown, where we had mixed grills and Chinese noodles and complimentary pumpkin soup in commemoration of Mother's Day (as well as Terry's birthday, round two). So that was cool. No pics, though, sorry. :)

And that was it for the weekend, really, heh. The rest of it was spent with me doing more demo recordings, and I'm glad to report that I only have one more demo to be completed for FTL, and I will officially be done with the entire batch of recordings for the new version of the show (yay!). Still have children's music to be completed this week in the lead-up to my flight to Perth on Friday night, so I'm stressed and exhausted as well as super-excited, all at once. :D

Okay, that's it for now, boys and girls. Till next time...

Friday, 7 May 2010

Interesting Idea...

Check out what I saw in the supermarket today: a self-heating can of coffee! Hmmm! Apparently all you have to do is press a button at the bottom of the can, shake it for a little bit, and wait for the can to heat up. And lo and behold, a piping hot cuppa coffee!! Ingeniously, the item is branded HotCan. Creativity is severely overrated.



So being the sucker for marketing that I am, I bought it and decided to try it out. The heating element works wonderfully well, though it took a whole lot of effort pressing the button at the base of the can until it began to heat up. But once it did, boy, did it get hot! All within a matter of seconds, as advertised! Thank heavens the technology managed to impress me, because the coffee itself tastes like crap. Oy!!! :P

Today, mum and I went to get new glasses and sunnies made, which racked up a nice little four-digit figure on my already indebted credit card bill, oy vey. Later on, I decided to get a haircut — and on the spur of the moment, decided to get it coloured, too, arf!! Reminder to self: next time you go to the hairdresser's, wear contact lenses so that it's easier to read. (Thank heavens for the visit to the optometrist's beforehand!) And oh yeah — bring something to read!! Arf!!!

Okay, folks, till next time...

Oh yeah — Perth visit in one week!!! Can't wait!!!

Saturday, 1 May 2010

FTL Demo Sneak-Peek! (Updated!)

Hey, all! Hard at work as usual, so this is gonna be a quick blog post! I've put up a new demo from Follow The Light, and it's titled Another Motel Down The Road. As you might expect, it's the "no room at the inn" scene from the Christmas story. And I'd love for you to check it out!


Click here to check out the lyrics, too (which is always handy when there's, like, an entire ensemble of characters being performed by one person, arf arf!)

Here's a blast from the past: a segment from our 2005 production. You'll notice I've retained the opening sequence to the scene, as well as used the innkeeper's melody in the video clip as the bridge in the new version. The rest of it has been, sadly or otherwise, chucked out...


Okay, hope you enjoy!! Back to more music work for me, on this Saturday night... oy!! Bye!