Saturday, 31 December 2011

364 days and 22 hours

It's the final day of the year, what has been a crappy year. Let's hope 2012 will bring about change, and not just because I'm going to be in a new location with a new job. Yes, I know, change to a large degree has to also come from within - from new resolve and new mindsets and all that. Well. The clock's a tickin' to the end of 2011. I guess we'll find out soon enough what the New Year will bring. Meanwhile, I'm spending NY's Eve packing and preparing for the move. Clothes and books and toiletries and electronics galore. Whoohoo! See you in the New Year, boys and girls. And very soon, in Singypoo. Till then!

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Urgh. Tired. As.

Six days and counting till I leave this stupid country and start a new chapter in Singapore. I suppose I should feel excited; instead, I just feel... tired. Everything's just exhausting, and I'm short-tempered and irritable all the time. I think this is what depression does to ya: it turns everything, bad and good, into a chore. The idea of staying in this place – with my family – bums me out. The idea of starting afresh in Singapore bums me out. Christmas bummed me out. Everything's just... tedious. And I know it shouldn't be.

I'm just wondering if I maybe should start up on the Prozac again; I've not been taking it since... October, I think, right before I went to Perth. The thing is, I'd really like to get a handle on things without depending on drugs. And the other issue is that since I haven't actually been following a doctor's prescription on the Prozac per se (I've been getting it over-the-counter down at the local pharmy), it's not going to be so easy once I get to Singapore and trying to get it there. I suppose I could buy extra here and bring it in, but once again, it's all so goddamn... tedious. Sigh.

A couple of days ago I got rid of the giant stereo monitors in my bedroom – the ones that were part of my supposed "home studio". Sold 'em for a thousand bucks. Considering I bought 'em for 2.2k, and they were about three years old, I think the price was alright. Tonight I sold off my big-ass mudderfukkin' keyboard, that huge, heavy thing that's been more of a burden than an asset. Sold it for about 50% of its original price; from 14k down to about 6.5k. Urgh. Probably could've commanded a better price, but really, there aren't many offers, and I've gotta get rid of it. Fresh starts and all that. That, and I hope to get a new keyboard when I'm down in Singypoo. So... the setup below is gone now. And tomorrow my car goes, too, says Dad, who's been hunting around for a buyer. Whoo-hooo. It's all happening, folks. Whoop. Dee. Freakin'. Doo.

Bye-bye babies.

I guess that's all for now. Hopefully I'll start to feel better soon. Hopefully I'll start to feel more... alive... shortly. You know what I think a large part of the problem is? Apart from the fact that I'm broke and had literally 83 cents to last me over Christmas? It's that at 31, I don't know who or what I am. I don't feel like a journalist. I don't feel like an artiste. I'm definitely not a straight man. But I don't have the goddamn confidence to say I'm a gay man. I'm neither a believer nor an atheist. I'm not "fat" fat, but I'm not thin. Everything's too gray. Nothing's black or white, everything's neither here nor there. Now look at me, here we go again. Malaysia or Singapore? Hark, echoes: Australia or Malaysia? This or that; here or there; never on firm ground. If there's a reason for me to be knackered like shit, I think that's a good one.

That's all for now, folks. Till my next cheerful update. Bye.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Tis The Season To Be...

Meeerrrrryyyyy Chrissstma––oh wotever.

Tis the season to be bored. Mum's away in Aussieland (should've gone with her); friends have gone back to Penang (should've gone with them); I've got no money thanks to the whole Singapore move coming up; my Christmas eve consisted of me watching TV show reruns in my room babysitting my dog while getting pissed on an entire bottle of red wine polished off within the hour; Christmas morning meant getting up to feed the dogs; Christmas lunch was noodle soup from the corner coffee shop; the rest of the day looks pretty blah to me. Sigh. I think I shall go back to bed for the rest of the day. Merry effing Xmas.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Singypoo, Here I Come (Longer Term)!

Yo, wassup peeps! Today is the 20th of Dec, also known as my brother's birthday, arf arf. No idea where he is or what he's got planned, but ah well. Can't believe we're approaching the end of the year already. Thank heavens is all I can say, given how crappy the bulk of this year has been. But some developments have been happening in recent times, and I'm glad to announce that I am now able to blog about it, since the majority of people who need to know (and a handful who didn't need to know) already know...

As of the 2nd of January 2012, I'll be heading to Singapore and living there permanently-for-the-time-being, as I've been offered (and I've accepted) a job with Today paper under Mediacorp, whoo-hooo! So yes, it's off across the border in about two weeks... which should pretty much explain the blog posts below about frequenting Singapore. I've made one more visit since my last Singypoo blog post, I think, to get my medical done for the working pass, and thankfully everything's fine and in order.

In the meantime, I've also been scouting out accommodation, and I've finally decided to move to this place in Punggol, which looks kinda far and isolated on the map, but honestly, Singapore's only so big; every place is interconnected one way or another. Initially I'd decided to move in with these two guys, a gay couple, also in Punggol, whose place was done up like a nightclub lounge, I kid you not. But I guess it was too good to be true, as they said they didn't want to rent their spare room out after all; though the cynic in me figures they probably found someone else. Ah well.

So yea, can't believe how much it's been a whirlwind since the end of October when they offered me the job while I was still in Perth. I'd spoken to Chris, my former journalism supervisor, who was very excited for me and told me to seize any opportunity that comes my way as you never know where it might lead. So that's what I've done: opportunity... seized. I've since told my boss at Selangor Times, and then tendered my one month's notice; and in the meantime I've been making plans to sell my big-arse keyboard so I can get myself a new one after I've made the move (Neek can't do without his keyboard, no siree, and the smaller one I own is already coming up to nine years old with two broken keys); and Dad's been trying to sell my Myvi (sob!!!)... so it's all... y'know... real. It's happening. Eeeeek.

Don't get me wrong, though: I do have a good feeling about this (on the days when I'm generally in a positive mood)... though the last trip to Singypoo kinda ticked me off because a) I wasn't entirely in a positive mood, and b) a lot of Singaporeans tend to be very self-focused, ignoring other people... so for instance, if they bump into you, they'll just move on without acknowledging it, which is bloody annoying. But that's just one grievance, and perhaps I should just get used to it. Oy. In the meantime, I think I'll be missing my doggies the most. Sigh. Ah well.

Anyway, I'll write more on my thoughts about Singapore soon, and you can rest assured that come the new year and when I'm down under (not Aussieland, unfortunately) I'll be updating this blog more frequently. In the meantime, here's wishing one and all a Merry Christmas, though for me it's kinda a blah Christmas. Mum's away in Melbourne and Tassie with relatives, leaving me with dad and brother home alone for Xmas. Oy. It's a wonderful life. Indeed.

Oh yeah, before I forget, today we had a Christmas meal and gift-exchange in the office (my second last week at work, folks!). It was lots of fun, with my colleague Basil and me singing Christmas carols, he accompanying us on his guitar. And by pure coincidence, the random anonymous gift exchange resulted in me receiving a gift from Basil himself. Heh. No idea what's in there. I guess I should rip open the Macca's bag and find out. I'm thinking it's a decoy and it's not Macca's related though. Or is it....? Hmmmm.

Okay, till later... will be back soon, I promise. Ciao.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Da Meeneeng

Here's a song I recorded on Tuesday night, one of my "classics", circa Christmastime 2000, arf. It's a song I really, really like (if I may say so), except, as I mentioned on FB, it's a shame I don't feel as strongly about the sentiments in the lyrics as I did when I first wrote it. Never mind; here's me and my new arrangement of The Meaning of Christmas, in the spirit of the season. More updates soon... :)

Monday, 12 December 2011

Mary (and Joseph) Christmas

In the spirit of the season, here's a reminder of what was going on around this time last year. I posted this on Facebook with a message that read:

[I have] learnt that there's nothing more upsetting than when an artist starts to resent his own work. Regretfully that happened with this show. But thanks to some wise mates, I'm learning not to let my craft get affected by things that are out of my control. So in the spirit of the season, here's a clip from last year's Christmas musical, 'Follow The Light'. I should be proud of it. And I am. At long last.

And it's true, although healing does require baby steps. 

Speaking of baby, here's the song. The clip is made up of video and photos, and the audio isn't always in sync because the live music was from a different night than the video performance. But I hope you enjoy it anyway. And I'll aim to put up more Christmassy stuff (for what it's worth, from this cranky, disgruntled agnostic wannabe) soon, as well as more updates on what I've been up to lately and where my life appears to be heading (which isn't as ominous as it sounds, arf). Till then!


Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Here's Lookin' At You...

Hey all. I'm still alive. Will do a big update shortly. In the meantime, here's an un-Photoshopped photo of Ashley. Hehhhh. Till later... ;)

Monday, 14 November 2011

Singypoo, Showerheads and Sculptures

Hey all! How's it going! Whew, am I exhausted. Got off the bus not too long ago after a five-and-a-half-hour trip back from Singypoo, where I've spent the last two and a half days. Some of you might be wondering, what's with all the travelling all of a sudden? Well, I'm sworn to (open) secrecy till everything's in order, but rest assured, this (not-so) mystery will be revealed in its entirety real soon!!

Anyway, I decided this trip to stay at a cosy boutique hotel called Hotel Porcelain (which really does make me think of a toilet, but never mind). It was relatively cheap, and located smack-dab in the centre of Chinatown (Nick surrounded by more Asians?!! Say it ain't so!), and the room was really rather tiny, but it was very, very comfortable and very pleasant. Plus, it had free high-speed wifi, so that's something else, eh?? Heh. Check out my little tour of the room in the video below (or rather, my tour of the little room!):

For those who can't view the vid, here are some pics for thy convenience. I mentioned in the video that there was a window behind the white curtain... but as I later discovered, there wasn't! Oy! Four walls! Nicely done, though. It sure fooled me! 

Bed and deceptive white curtain against the wall

All-in-one bathroom

Naughty-lookin' showerhead

And oh, the little kinky-looking showerhead turned out to not be the only shower in the little bathroom. As I eventually realised, there was a nice broad showerhead literally above-head:


Here's me cam-whoring in front of the fancy-ass lighted mirror in the bathroom:

And here's me realising that there's a cool effect when I stare at the mirror. Check it out: I didn't Photoshop the reflection in my eyes, heh:

Oooo. Freaky.

The rest of the trip involved catching up with Little Jo, her sister Ju and littler Kai; going for dinner at a Ramen place in Holland Village and me getting acquainted a church/theatre friend of theirs; as well as going for dessert at this place (I had coffee and vanilla ice-cream with caramel fudge and Tim Tams! Mmmm!):

Ironically, I was not in Aussieland at this time!

Here's me, Little Jo, Ju and Kai:

Turns out that little Kai's quite the sculptor! Here are some of his handiwork, made out of Blu-Tac. Quite impressive!!!



Lion head

Guess who...?

Take a closer look...

It's Tintin!!

Artist at work.

Anyhoo, so that was last night (Saturday). And today, Sunday, I had a slightly tummy-unsettling lunch before hopping on an Aeroline bus in Harbourfront to tailgate it back to glum ol' Malaysia. Ah well!!

Wish I could go into greater detail as to what else I got up to in Singypoo, but that'll have to wait... but thankfully not for too long, heheh! Till next time, I leave you with this pic at Vivocity shopping centre. It's almost that time of year, folks!! ;))

Monday, 7 November 2011

Perth 2011: Days Three & Four & Five and ... Well, The Rest Of It

Hey all! Aaaand Nick is back home in humid, rainy, melancholy Malaysia, oy vey! But it has been a terrific trip to Perth, one that has been very motivating and lesson-learning and personal-growth-enhancing! Sorry that I haven't been updating as frequently as I'd have liked... mainly because I inadvertently left my camera at Alex and Mel's place on Wednesday and so didn't really have much in the way of photos to visually keep up with the sequence of events. But now that I have the camera back, here's me doing a recap of the past seven days or so!

First off, on Monday, Judi and I hung out most of the day. She picked me up from Murdoch, and we went to our favourite coffee place, C15 in Applecross, and had coffees and salads and contemplated dessert but ultimately passed on it, oy! Then it was a brief shopping session at Spudshed, where we bought ingredients for dinner; and then I was off to her place, where we prepared a lovely chicken roast meal and watched snippets of FTL 2010, and when Simon arrived we played bowls in the back yard (which was a lot of fun) before settling down for our lovely dinner in the garden. Here's a pic of our yummy (and very healthy) meal:

Mmmm... Chickennnnn....

Here's a lovely pic of Simon and Judi. If you look too closely, you'd realise there's something very, very odd about this photo. And I'll tell you why: it's really two photos, which I joined together into one. There's something very poetic about that, isn't there?? On the flipside, it's without a doubt what we call a Photoshop Fail:


We had a yummy dessert of homemade custard with apricot danish with port on the side (as a drink, not as an accompaniment to dessert), before Judi dropped me off at Chris and Jade's, where the Plottkes and I engaged in another game of Dominion. I think I gotta find a way to get my hands on that game. Wheeee.

Tuesday was a rather quiet-ish day (I think?)... headed to uni and caught up with former supervisors Chris and Kate, both of whom were very, very excited about... <> Whooops, that's still (mostly) a secret for now. More on this later, when the time is right. Traa laaa laaa. Let's move on to Wednesday, shall we?? An "early" start (10am meeting time, which, believe me, is early in the madcap world of Neek): got picked up by my dear friend Andrea, and we headed (wouldn't you know it!) back to C15 for coffees and catching up! It was truly a lovely time, made even more memorable by Andrea's adorable baby boy Rhys, who, as you can see in this picture, is just so cute you wanna eat him up! :P

Aiyoooo sooo cute one!

This was followed by lunch with Alisha at her place in Freo, which was pretty interesting because Alisha, who had been on the Cohen's diet (the same one Judi and I had/have been on), had recently decided to start on it again. So our lunch was diet-style food, even though I'd been pigging out heaps with every other meal prior, heheh. Still, it was great fun catching up, and I even got some new recipes off her for when I get home (which is now) and (sigh) commence on the diet again! (No, no sighing!! It's a good thing!! This is my Christmas pledge: to drop a few kilos in time for Christmas Day!! Yeaaa!! Whoooo!!! Fist pump! etc.) No pics of me and Alisha, unfortunately. Ah well.

Lunch was followed by a ride on the train to Stirling station, where I was picked up by my awesome mate Alex (yaaay Alex), and we headed over to his place where he, Mel and I had a long chat about love, life and other disasters. We shared more on our music work (Alex played some of the recordings he had made with his school kids: rocky, funky stuff with kids singing over-reverbed and not entirely in tune, which made for rather interesting – if creepy – listening!); and I shared my boyband musical as well as snippets, again, from FTL. Then Alex and I headed out to pick up pizzas for dinner, during which time I had been inundated by phone calls that led to a rather exciting development about... oh I'm getting ahead of myself again. All in good time, my friends, all in good time. Here's a picture of Alex, Mel, and Riley, who's definitely no longer the little kid who played Dimitri the Sheep in FTL 2005:

So that was Wednesday! Thursday started with a catchup with Jason, one of my muso mates from Children's Theatre last year. That was rather enlightening! And then in the evening there was more coffees and catching up with Adam and Eva (yup, those are their names), and the motivational chats continued – words of wisdom from all parties involved on the rather rough patch I'd gone through earlier in the year; thoughts on personal development, maturity and the future, which are all very scary concepts. So yes, Thursday ended up being very empowering for little ol' me! Yay!! No pics, unfortunately... by this time I'd left the camera at Alex's and Mel's, right after snapping the photo above. Arf.

Friday was another busy day, hey! Had a long catch-up and planning session with some of the Children's Theatre crew, especially Jenny, Andrew and Murali. We've now got long-term plans involving theatre; and again, the session with them was particularly inspiring and motivating, especially as we discussed how important it is not to let our passions (i.e. our art) get damaged by things that we really have no control over. That's the gist of it. And now we've got plans for, among other things, Captain Quokka The Full-Length Musical (working title only!)... not to mention plans in Malaysia and Singapore, since... um. Well. Cough. We'll get to that soon enough. ;)

Friday night we had another potluck-style dinner at Chris and Jade's, with Jade making a whole lotta homemade pizzas (six in all! No, we didn't finish 'em)! There was Beattie, Judi, Jade, Chris, Carol and Josie, and we managed to sit through the entire FTL 2010 DVD, which, believe you me, was no easy task!! ARF. At one point in the evening we decided to bring out dessert, only unbeknownst to Beattie it was also a surprise belated birthday party for her! So there was cake and candles and sweet stuff galore!!

 Beattie tried to play it cool. "Yeaaa, I suspected something might've been up..."

 Judi, Beattie, strawberries and oranges!

Saturday was the official final day of my way-too-short-but-brilliantly-cathartic Perth visit. It started with lunch with Dan, Anthony and new friend Heidi, who are/were all from church, and we headed into Freo for fish 'n' chips at Ciscerello's.

 Just the guys: me, Anthony and Dan!

With Heidi!

That was followed by a beer at The Loft, the Little Creatures spin-off not far down the road:

Me and my beer! Made for each other!

Following a brief visit to a music store to check out gear, I was dropped off at the ever-popular C15 to meet up with Judi, Carol, Beattie and Josie, for more catching up over coffee! Eventually Alex and Mel joined us with their awesome kid Theo, who entertained himself with his discovery of a cake-crumb-eating snail while we grown-ups made our small, medium and large talk:

Theo's be-spiralled friend.


 So pretty!

So pretty!

Almost immediately after coffee, Beattie, Josie, Carol and I headed to Il Ciao for dinner, even though we were pretty much stuffed at that point, heheh. Still, we ordered a dish each and shared them among ourselves, which was really the wisest thing to do... :)


 Carol and landscape...

This was followed by ice-cream and more conversation at Gelare, before we called it a night and I was dropped off at Chris and Jade's with the plan of meeting up again with Adam and Eva later. Unfortunately that plan didn't materialise because, with my needing to get to the airport by 4am, I was pretty knackered and decided I'd best turn in for the night. (I wound up not being able to sleep till after 1am, with the alarm set for 3:30... but that's beside the point).

So at 3:45am, Chris, Jade and I were awake, bleary-eyed and barely functional, as we said our goodbyes (well, Jade and I did, 'cos she was staying home while Chris drove me to the airport); and the visit finally came to an end as I was dropped off at the international departure hall with a big hug and see-you-again-real-soons.

All in all, quite a trip indeed, and a surprisingly eye-opening one in terms of... well, just to understand how much a person can impact on others around them (referring to yours truly, humbly speaking, and how the Perth crew reacted to the goings-on earlier this year, as well as my realisations of the "legacy", for lack of a better word, I'd left behind at Murdoch Uni and church).

The flight back home was thankfully uneventful, despite it being delayed due to a "missing passenger" whose luggage had to be removed off the vehicle for "safety reasons"; and despite the flight mostly being light to moderately turbulent. I think I'm getting over my once-nerve-wrecking fear and was pretty much able to stay relatively calm throughout the journey. Yes, I'm pretty sure there was a placid, unaffected expression on my face such as this one as the plane bumped and lurched its way to the land of Obedient Wives Clubs and skewed politicians:

...although in all honesty, it was probably more like this:

Till next time!!!!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Perth 2011: The First Day, Part II; plus The Second and Third Days

Hey all, welcome back!! So! The first day in Perth, Friday 28 Oct, was one filled with joyful reunions and food, as I was awakened shortly around noon by Beattie, and Judi-laaah and her partner, who had dropped by Chris and Jade's with potluck meals, mmmm!! Not before long, Berni (the shortly-after bride-to-be) and her soon-to-be hubbie Mike dropped in, as did Josie and Carol, and all in all it was a happy little reunion just like the good ol' days!! Click on the pics for bigger views!

Mad Hatter Party in progress!

Nope, even in silhouette the hats look silly...

Oi! Where's your hat, Chris-laaaa??

Judi and Simon, with groom-to-be Mike in the background.

How d'you like my wizard hat??

Simon and Judi again!

Cheeky Josie and Bored-ish Beattie!

Back together again, just like the good ol' days!

The rest of the day was spent just recuperating from the journey, and in the evening Chris whipped out a card game called Dominion, which proved to be a lot of fun and really addictive. Chris, Jade and I have been spending lotsa free time "socialising" over this game with booze, mmmm. Good times!

Saturday was spent getting ready for Berni and Mike's wedding in the Swan Valley, which involved a 40-minute car drive. I won't say too much about the ceremony itself, which, of course, was absolutely gorgeous (apart from the pesky flies, this being spring): the weather was sunny and perfect, and the ceremony itself was short but absolutely sweet. I even got to play a significant role by reading a poem in front of everyone which Berni had picked out herself. This led to some people saying "Berni must really love you" for her to have chosen me to have played such an integral part in her wedding. Awww. Bless. :') I'll let these pics tell the rest of the beautiful wedding story:

The walk leading to Berni and Mike's wedding ceremony.

Carol and Josie, under a tree...

...K-I-S-S-I-N.... no, just kidding. Here's Josie and Beattie!

Jade-laaa at the ceremony site!

Aww! Pretty Beatty!

Enter the bridesmaids. Hiiii, Jooo-diiii!

The wedding party.

The poem I got to read. Beautiful.

Chillin' out after the ceremony!

Aren't we pretty??

With the bride and groom.

All the pretty ladies.

All the pretty ladies.

That was followed, of course, by the reception, which was a tonne of fun with lots of food, drinks, speeches and dancing. Again, I'll let the pictures paint a thousand words. But all in all, I had a wonderful time, as I'm sure everyone else did, too. And the night ended with Berni and Mike off in their bridal car, now Mr and Mrs, off to their honeymoon. Well. Almost. They'll be headed off tomorrow. Arf arf. Here are the pics:

Hors d'oeuvres before the reception.

Piggin' out!

The Chris who ate the canary.

Enter Mr and Mrs Nye!




Judi, supermodel.

Berni's parents delivering their speech.

Carol's turn to model.

The bride and groom deliver their speech.

Still learning how to tie a tie. Oy.


The bride and groom's first dance!

Everyone havin' a ball! (Who's that you're dancin' with, Joodi??)


A beautiful and exhausted bride! Congratulations on your Big Day!!

Well, that covers Saturday! Sunday was a pretty quiet day, with more card games and spending time with Chris and Jade, and in the evening Josie came over, and Chris, she and I went for dinner at Il Ciao in Applecross followed by ice-cream at Gelare. All in all, a pretty good weekend, eh?? Heh!! I'll be back soon with more updates... stay tuned!!