Sunday, 22 December 2013

Movies, Theatre, Wedding Feasts and Drunken Shenanigans

Hey all! Wow, time sure flies, and I can't believe we're only a few days away from Christmas! No big plans in the pipeline for me this year, but that's okay. I think, hopefully, cautiously, that this might be the first Christmas since 2010 where I'm actually feeling more optimistic. I mean, 2010, post-FTL, was a downer; 2011 was the worst; 2012 was all right but I was getting ready to leave to Singapore (and to be honest I don't really remember what I did for Christmas Day last year)... so God willing, this year will be pretty good, even if it's a quiet one.

The past few days have been filled with more catch-ups with friends. Last Sunday I checked out Enfiniti Academy's production of Seussical at PJ Live Arts (my first time in the theatre since FTL), and enjoyed that very much. Saw Frozen on Monday at Tropicana City Mall and really liked it; I thought it had a mix of good and forgettable songs, but those that stuck with me still stick with me, which is exactly what songs should do. On Wednesday caught the second Hobbit movie (too long, slightly more tolerable in my opinion than the first one), and on Thursday checked out a local musical, Marrying Me, at KLPAC (my dear friends Steph and Fang, in particular, knocked it out of the park). Today I headed to Damansara Performing Arts Centre to catch Miasma, a collection of four intriguing plays, even though I was mostly in a hungover haze (see below). So it's been quite a 'cultural-immersive' kinda week, if you get my drift, heh.

And last night... well, last night was... interesting, to say the least. There was a party, and there was drunkenness involved. But before that, the more civilised festivities: Josie and Trevor's KL wedding dinner, held more than a year after their wedding in Perth! Little Jo (who's in town from Singypoo) and I made our way to the restaurant in Subang Parade at about 6pm; chilled out and wandered about the mall till about 7, and then joined the table of strangers for the eight-course feast. The people at our table were actually pretty interesting to talk to (except for one guy who stuck both Jo and me as being, well, really annoying); and Jo and I hit it off particularly well with a lovely girl named Nancy and a guy named Joel. All in all, it was a good night, with good food, copious amounts of booze, and a hilarious moment with Josie's drunken brother. Tra la la. Here are some pics from last night:

The bride and groom make their speeches!
Yaaam seeeeng!!
Because everything's prettier in black and white.

Selfie with the bride!
After the wedding, Jo and I gave Nancy a ride home, and we were meant to hang out at Jo's hotel when I received a call from a friend reminding me of a little Christmas party that was also being held. (The conversation kinda went like this: "FUCKAA! WHY AREN'T YOU HERE?! COME NOW!" **click**) So I decided to head over to join some of my mates at Phileo, where we chatted and bitched and flirted and did all the things theatre folks do, while one of my friends Aiman served up concoction after concoction to get me well and hammered. Long story short, I don't really remember what happened towards the end of the night, though I did (cough) manage to drive home safely, oy. That's the good news. The bad news is that I forgot about a cooler bag filled with ice cream that I'd left in the back seat of the car... and only remembered this morning, while the car was parked by the street in the scorching heat of the sun. Whoops.

The crazy crew at Sparky Dawg
Me drinking a potent brew called 'My Mother'. i.e. 'My Mother sure tastes strong'.
'My Mother isn't easy to swallow'.
Will try to update over the next few days, but if I don't before the big 2-5, here's wishing one and all a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! See you all soon!!

Letting Go of Pain Self-Created

Here's a new song I wrote a couple of days ago and recorded yesterday, which will likely end up in a musical sometime. It reflects some thoughtful thoughts I've thought:

When you like someone who's not attainable, you sometimes become your own worst enemy, judging yourself for simply having emotions. Shouldn't there be JOY in feeling for somebody? Is it absolutely necessary to kill that joy by allowing negativity, self-judgement and resentment to take control? Perhaps there's something to be said for holding on to the positivity of just being able to FEEL. Don't overthink it, don't overcomplicate things.

This is a song about realising that it's okay to admire from afar and to learn to relish that moment of happiness in liking someone, no matter how fleeting. Because the alternative would be to end any hope of connection with that person. And that would be the bigger loss.

Hope you enjoy this. Just a demo, a work in progress. Lyrics below.


Music & lyrics by Nick Choo © 2013

I’ll let go of the pain that I’m going through; this hurt in my heart caused by me
I’ll hold to the joy of knowing you, though I know this is all it can ever be
And I’ll hear you laugh, and I’ll see you smile – my feelings, perhaps, unabated
But I’ll hold to the joy of knowing you, and let go of this pain self-created

I’ll let go of this pain that I’m feeling now: the damage I cause to myself
I’ll acknowledge the joy that I’m stealing— how I am the victim here and nobody else
So I’ll watch you smile, and I’ll hear you speak, and try to relax, now unweighted
And hold to the joy of knowing you, letting go of this pain self-created

I’ve been weary, frightened and wary of overthinking unnecessarily
It’s turned me into my own adversary— Let me now accept what I can’t change
Embracing what will clearly remain

As I let go of this pain that I tend to feel when I’m trying too hard to be friends
I’ll hold to the joy that could be real in accepting the boundaries, where they start and end
So I’ll hear you laugh and I’ll see you smile; now fearless, emancipated
As I hold to the joy of knowing you, letting go of this pain self-created

Help me learn to enjoy each moment ever-fleeting
Understanding, accepting things that I can change
Embracing truths that clearly remain

I’ll let go of the pain that I’m going through: this hurt in my heart all my own
And hold to the joy of showing you the meaning of friendship, as it should be sown
So I’ll watch you stand and light up the room, and carry a tune, serenaded
I’ll hold to the joy of supporting you; hold to the joy of admiring you
Hold to the joy of knowing you, letting go of this pain self-created

Friday, 13 December 2013


So I accomplished this today, for reasons that shall be largely kept to myself.

The good news is, it gives me a good reason to get a new phone, and I did! Tonight I went out and got a Galaxy Grand. An older model, I think, but it's affordable-ish and does its job. So yay. I guess.

Last night I went to see a dance theatrical performance, Flatland, and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it even though I didn't really understand it (but my friends who accompanied me did... which makes me think that sometimes, Nicky's not the brightest bulb in the bunch!). Then I joined Terry and Debs for a late supper, one of the rare occasions these days that we've supped; before Debs and I headed to Mines, 30 minutes away, to partake of the 24-hour Big Bad Wolf Book Sale!! 

I'm not sure if it was because I was tired or what, but sadly, not too many of the supposed three million books on sale jumped out at me... but I did come away with, among other things, a couple of Far Side anthologies, so it wasn't a complete loss! Got home circa 5am and hit the sack at around 6, which is something I haven't done for a long time either! Oy vey, am I ageing!

Anyhoo. That's that for now. More updates as and when. See ya!

Sunday, 8 December 2013


Just the slightest bit spoiled.

Fly Away, Flu!

Urgh. I'm sick.

Homemade chicken veggie soup for the win.

The Tale of the Cranky Poopyhead

I forgot to blog about this from a couple of weeks ago, when I was walking Ashley and some woman made a big loud and ugly fuss, screaming from the back door of her house and accusing me of letting my puppy make a mess in the alley behind her home. Subsequently I wrote this letter, which I dropped into her mailbox. Since it was signed anonymously and left there without any trace, there has been no follow up, but I hope she and her ilk have read it and feel the least bit chastened. Here it is:


Dear Madam of the House,

I hope you will read this letter in the spirit with which it is written. I refer to tonight’s incident where you stood at your back door and rudely shouted directives at me, and, worse, accused me of being an irresponsible dog owner. I wish to advise you firstly of these points:

a) That my dog is trained and does not do her business in public unless she is under duress (e.g. an upset tummy); she knows that she can only do it, as you said, in the back of my own home.

b) That in the event of any “accidents”, I always walk my dog with newspaper and plastic bag to clean up after any messes.

I found it highly incredulous that you would start berating a neighbour you don’t even know, without even being able to see me clearly, without having any proof my dog making a mess, and with full accusation that the only reason I was walking in the back lane was because I wanted my dog to do her business there. Even more incredulously, I was nowhere NEAR your house.

This whole incident, dear Madam, is regrettably very offensive. Had you stopped even briefly to consider, it might have occurred to you that at that evening hour, the main road was filled with cars, and it was safer for me to walk my dog in the back alleys, which I often do and which I have every right to do so. To make matters worse, the man in your house warned me to “watch my tone” – highly ironic, given that you, dear Madam, was the one who took on the uncourteous and strident tone (may I use the word "obnoxious"?) to begin with.

(Could I kindly ask, are/were you a teacher? Because the way you talked to me, a complete stranger, was reminiscent of a tired educator in a government school. If I am correct, could I kindly remind you that educators—and parents, mothers, sisters—should educate? If I am off-base, I apologize.)

And then, of course, dear Madam, you had the audacity to say (bark, even) that you were merely trying to inculcate ‘civic-mindedness’.

Dear Madam, this isn’t a letter intended to threaten or insult or intimidate. Rather, it is a gentle and respectful call for you to please watch your own tone when talking to others; to please be mindful of the accusations you hurl in other people’s way; and to, overall, practise the civic-mindedness that you so loudly preached. (May I suggest that preaching, in general, isn’t the best approach when wanting to convey a message to someone else, and that a courteous and civil discourse would, indeed, bring about better results?)

Again, I hope you will take the contents of this letter bearing in mind that I have fully good intentions in writing it. Please, dear Madam, consider other people’s feelings just as you called on others to consider yours. Please, dear Madam and Sir of the house, watch your own tone just as you warned others to watch theirs. And please, dear Madam and Sir, learn that you should always talk to your neighbours with courtesy and respect—yes, even complete strangers— for only then can you expect the same to be returned to you.

I thank you for reading this.

With neighbourly sincerity and affection,

Monday, 2 December 2013

A spontaneous Singypoo sojourn!

Hey all! Greetings from my final night in Singapore, arf. Yeah, I did a rather spontaneous trip down on Thursday, the plan being to meet up with some friends here and also to spend time with Little Jo and her family. It has been pretty relaxing and pretty fun catching up with some mates, including Siti and Aiman, who were both coincidentally here on holiday as well; met them for a brief but productive 20-minute discussion on Friday over beers before meeting up with Derrick to discuss some theatre stuff.

Then Friday night it was out-and-about with Jo and Ju and their grandma (aunty!) and their folks, which involved dinner, coffees at the hotel I was initially staying at (Value Hotel Thomson, small but very pleasant, a ten-minute walk from Novena MRT), and an even more spontaneous decision to extend my stay till tomorrow (today, really, since it's already past midnight) so that I could meet up with Trevor and Josie, who are both in town!! Whew, that was a long sentence!!

The extension of my visit involved me booking a second, similarly priced albeit marginally higher-end hotel in Lavender, the aptly named Aqueen Hotel, where I am right now. Comfy enough. Here are some pics of the room... sorry that I forgot to take pics of the earlier hotel!

Bed and bay window!
Oddly angled bathroom and toilet...
Another viewpoint. Try to ignore the pants.
Before I share pics from tonight's seafood dinner at Geylang, here's a pic of me and another dear friend, Aaron, who starred in Follow The Light and whom I had not seen since 2011. We spent the better part of the afternoon catching up yesterday, over lunch at Paragon which led to coffee and beer and more coffee, since it was raining cats and dogs. Here's a selfie of us:

So cute laaah, these two.
So tonight, Trevor, Josie and I met up for a scrumptious dinner, which would have been made even more enjoyable had poor little Jo not fallen sickypoo and had to stay home, doh!! That's irony for you. But we had lots of yummy seafood — salted egg crab, chilli crab, steamed fish, veggies, oatmeal prawns, the whole nine yards — plus some good catch-up and conversation.

Afterwards we decided to take a walk through Geylang, a.k.a. the scary part of Singapore, where all three of us felt like real tourists experiencing a culture shock in a faux third-world-country setting. At one point Trev and Josie wanted Chinese tea, so we embarked on a hunt for some good ol' authentic tea in a teapot, only to get befuddled looks from the ladies in the coffee shops who didn't understand that we wanted authentic tea in a teapot, dammit!!! So we finally settled for some teabags in a glass (good enough, I suppose, but... still...) before all three of us hopped into a cab, which dropped me off first before heading to their hotel.

My bus leaves at 10am, so I shalt bid thee all good night for now! But before that, here are the pics from dinner tonight. Aren't they the sweetest couple evaaah?? You know it!

So cute laaah, these two.
So cute laaah, these three.
Josie: "Mmmph! Mmph mphhmmg!"
(Translation: "Nick! I'm eating!")
Okay, now they're just overdoing the cute.
All that foooooooood!!!!