Friday, 29 April 2016

Cabarets, Cammies and Concerts

Yo everyone! How's it going? Right now I'm sitting at Coffee Been in Novena Sq, having made a less-than-24-hour visit to Singapore to catch the Lasalle kids doing Kander & Ebb's Cabaret. The show was last night, and it was really, really good, though in the first half a bat somehow got into the theatre and was seen flying around the space during the show, causing the actors to react and adlib lines like "How did that get in here?!". Really funny stuff. Well done, all of you!!

Come to the cabaret!

Anyway, I got in at about 1:30pm yesterday and checked into a hotel, after which I met up with little Jo and her sister Ju for a catch-up (possibly the last catch-up in person before I leave for Perth). Here's a nice little pic of us in front of a random Burger King:

What else has been happening? Surprisingly (or not), I haven't really begun preparing for my eventual move to Perth... the packing's going to happen last-minute, I suspect, though I've already started doing stuff like (sniffles) selling off my Yamaha Tyros keyboard, which happened last week (or was it the week before? Possibly the week before). Sniffles. Meanwhile, the good people at Monday Show are busy preparing for a Nick Choo bon-voyage concert, which I provided the link for in the previous post below; that's happening next week, so fingers crossed it will be a good turnout! If you haven't yet booked your seats, or if you'd like to know what it's all about, check it out again here.

Me and Junji at Monday Show
Speaking of Monday Show, last week I was one of the two invited "judges", alongside celebrated jazz songstress Junji Delfino, to listen to and give (hopefully) constructive feedback on a bunch of students' performances of musical theatre numbers. Last Sunday was also the night of the Boh Cameronian Arts Awards, for which Zak Zebra was nominated (but didn't win, oh well)! It was a fun night, all in all, held at a big restaurant in KL, so there was a bit of a wedding-dinner vibe going on! Even though I didn't receive any awards, my name was still mentioned a couple of times... firstly when Shelah! (a.k.a. Edwin) called me and Dom out for not paying attention while "she" was onstage presenting (good eyes, Shelah!); and secondly when the lovely Tria Aziz did a jazzed-up elevator-music version of Now That You're Here from my musical The Edge, which was cool and tacky both at once, arf arf!!

The Monday Show singers
So that's all for now, I'll wrap up now as I'm going to be on the bus back to KL shortly. Until next time!!

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Check It Out

Doing a concert that's right round the corner!! Click on the link for more info... ;)


Sunday, 17 April 2016

The Cat-a-Pillar Conundrum

For the past few months, my family and I have been hearing kittens mewling from somewhere in the house, but we could never pinpoint its source. All we knew was, it was in the ceiling area next to the front door, but we couldn't figure it out. We eventually forgot about it (and we figured the kittens had grown and moved on).

But something happened a couple of days ago – we heard the meowing, loud and urgent, and it wasn't just coming from a phantom source: it was coming from inside a corner pillar by the front door! The rest of this story I'm going to cut and paste from my post(s) on Facebook:


There are kittens inside a wall in my house.

I'm not sure if they're trapped inside this pillar (which is wooden and hollow for some reason), but they SOUND like they are, and I hear scratching and meowing from within it.

Also, we often hear an adult cat on the roof of the house, which leads me to the conclusion that mummy cat found a hole in the roof that leads into the hollow pillar, and then brought her kittens to, or GAVE BIRTH IN, said pillar.
A dismayed mummy cat on the roof. The hole leading
into the pillar is close to that part of the house. 
(The mewling has definitely matured; we've been hearing these phantom mewls on and off for WEEKS, initially very high-pitched and newborn-esque; now less high-pitched but very much still kitten-esque. It's only more recently that we've been able to pinpoint the source of the meows (i.e. inside the wall); previously the mewls would kinda just float in mid-air, like, somewhere in the ceiling, so we weren't as worried then as we thought the cats were on the move.)

My concern now is that the kittens are stuck. Maybe now that they're bigger, mummy cat isn't able to climb up the wall and back out – not while holding a baby cat in her teeth, at least.

SO: first thing I want to do is for someone to get on the roof to verify that there's a way into this mystery pillar, but I think it should be someone lighter than I am.

SECONDLY: if the kittens ARE indeed trapped, how do we get them out? One way, I suppose, is to make a hole in the wall and get them out from the bottom. There's no way we can just LEAVE them there!!

Does anyone here have any thoughts? Any handy but careful, compassionate people who think they might be able to help get them out, hole-in-the-wall style?

Worst-case scenario, we'll have to call the fire brigade, but maybe it can be resolved less messily (and with less stress to the kittens) by having a handy carpenter-like person do the job in such a way that the hole in the wall can be resealed, a la a trapdoor. Any suggestions, ideas? Please do help. And check out the pics and vid for further understanding of this strange conundrum. Thanks, all.

A curious Ashley checking out the pillar.

As you can see, the video got quite a few views (288 as of time of writing this), and a few friends tried to offer advice:

(Incidentally, I'd LOVE to own a stud finder...) :|
But as of Friday morning, we were nowhere closer to a solution, and the kittens were still crying frantically in there. And quite honestly, I was getting kinda stressed, especially with Mama Cat still out there! Luckily, one of Hilda's friends, Kok Fei, is an experienced cat rescuer and he also owned power tools. So it was Kok Fei to the rescue, and on Friday morning, after a whole night of hearing kitties scratch and mewl desperately inside the pillar, he came over with an arsenal of tools, including a diamond saw, and (much to our apprehension) slowly and carefully cut his way into the wall:

Quoth I on Facebook:


Okay. So the good news is, the kittens have been rescued from inside the hollow pillar! Many thanks to Kok Fei for coming to the rescue with his diamond saw to zzzzzzzing a little hole in the wall and fish out two little cuties; and to Nicole for coming by to help seal up the little hole where they entered the space. They seem scruffy and shaken (understandably) but none the worse for wear, all things considered. They were active and alert but also possibly at the age where they still needed their mama, so we put them in a little crate and left them in a safe place so that mummy cat can come find them.

OMG!! The cuteness!!
Welcome to the hole-in-the-wall gang!
LATEST UPDATE (as of Friday afternoon): One kitten has disappeared. Adult cat food has been partially consumed, leaving us to conclude that mummy cat came and took one baby away. (Regrettably, we hadn't seen it happen... we figured that, by leaving them alone, it would have made mummy cat more confident in approaching.) This leaves us both glad and sad: did we make the right choice allowing mummy cat to come back for her kits? What if we rescued them from the wall only for them to end up in a more dangerous situation? Sigh.

Anyway, one sole kitty remains, but mummy cat isn't in sight. So... I guess it's a waiting game now. Kitty is bright-eyed and active, plus she had a few drops of kitty milk that we left out for her, so I think she'll be fine. The question is whether she stays or leaves for her exciting life as a stray cat. Only time will tell... :/

The kitty being an acrocat.

By Friday night, my nerves were kinda frayed because the mummy cat was nowhere to be seen, and a part of me had begun to worry that she had forgotten she had two kitties, not just the one! And to make it even more difficult, apparently kittens of a certain age can't pee and poo by themselves! Argh!!! This was out of my experience; if anything this whole thing proved that, while I love animals and always will care about their welfare, I'm definitely a dog person!!!

The saga finally reached its conclusion when I awoke this morning (Saturday) to loud mewlings from the balcony, where I had placed little solo kitten (who I'd named Tabby; big mistake! Never give 'em names, or you'll get attached!)... I looked out the bedroom window just in time to see mummy cat leap from the floor onto the balcony wall, little Tabby in her teeth hanging by her scruff. And, as I breathed a sigh of relief, mummy cat bounded off into the night and has thus far not been seen again, even though I'm leaving water and food out on the balcony in the event that she'd like to return. Whew!

So that's the story of what I've coined the "Cat-a-Pillar" incident (cat-a-pillar.... caterpillar, get it?! Bwahahahaha!) It was a strange event, all right, but I'm glad we managed to play our all-important part in rescuing the kittens and allowing them to reunite with their mother. What happens to them now is up to nature and circumstance, but here's hoping they grow up big and strong and, ultimately, adopted.

Thanks for sharing this, Papps! Facepalm.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Uhm. Oh-Kay...

Posted this today on Facebook:


I just woke up from a totally bizarre dream where I was a student, and my classmates and I were given an out-of-the-blue assignment to sing and record a "thank you to our listeners" bonus track for an album, spontaneously and unrehearsed. So one by one my mates would sing, with musicians accompanying them on the fly.

At one point I told the teacher in charge: "Hey, maybe it would be funny if, instead of me coming up with a song, I just go, 'Thanks everyone'??" (Because, obviously, duh, I was the only *real* composer among them, so it would be humorously ironic to be the sole person to *NOT* feature a song.)

The teacher, unimpressed by my gratuitous display of self-confidence, shot me down: "You're singing a song." Then it was my turn to record. Suddenly I was standing behind a studio-quality recording mic (the kind I wish I had in real life, #jealous), and I told a guitarist, "G major, 6/8". Only he didn't know what that meant and was fumbling with great futility with the strings, when suddenly next to him was the one and only Ming, who adroitly began playing the super-complicated required key and rhythm. I looked around at the band, and wouldn't you know it, Ui Li was the keyboardist, of course!!

And then I sang my song:

"This is my thank you song.
This is my thank you song.
I just stumbled over the lyrics
For sometimes lyrics can really be hard.
This is my thank you song.
This is my thank you song.
Thank you with all my heart."

"Okay that's enough," the teacher interrupted, because I was obviously going to build it up into an epic rock opera. Just like that, my studio recording time was over. And then I woke up. The melody of that song still rang in my ear-head, so I did the natural thing and wrote it out in a music score and posted all of this on Facebook. Attached is the score to my spontaneously made-up and sub-consciously dream-composed song. Please feel free to freely perform and enjoy without permission. 

PS: All of this really happened. I really did dream this. ;)