Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Sun, Sea, Surf & Grandma

In a few hours time I'll be heading off to Pangkor Island to visit my maternal grandma, whom I've not met in ages. Hopefully I'll add get a tan too.

This will probably be my last holiday for at least nine months.

I won't be back till the 31st, so enjoy the rest of the year everyone, and Happy New Year 2010!


Monday, 28 December 2009

EMP's A Light In KL City

I watched the Electric Minds Project's "A Light In KL City" at Pentas 2 KLPAC last night with the Sister and a bunch of our friends (and one of their mothers too!). I have to say that it was an enjoyable night out and everyone else I went with had a good time.

The play was a collaborative piece by a huge bunch of writers from EMP, and was directed by Rey Buono with lyrics and music by Erna Mahyuni and Mia Palencia. It's set inside the small, run down Cahaya Inn on Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman and centers on the people who live there. Act 1 introduces the varied denizens of the crumbling hotel (soon to be demolished and renovated) and their interactions with each other. The usual suspects are there: prostitutes, an amah and ah pek and a foreign worker, plus a few other oddballs. Act 2, however, turns to the past, when Cahaya Inn just opened, and progresses to link the past surrounding the inn (and the country) with the present state of affairs amongst the characters, as they wait for their beloved home to come under the bulldozers.

I have to admit that there were parts of the play I found difficult to digest. While the first half was full of hilarious situational comedy and lovable characters which had the audience in stitches, the second half took a different and unexpected angle and story-telling method. It had quite a bit of political friction from the tense situation in 1950's Malaya (the subtext of course being a commentary on contemporary Malaysian politics) which I found odd because the first act's focus was squarely on the present state of Kuala Lumpur's less fortunate city folk. It was definitely ambitious and I'm still glad EMP tried it, but I am unsure if the play fully succeeded in linking the past to the present through the stories behind Cahaya Inn.

Nonetheless, I can happily say that anyone, after watching the play, can attest that there is really no truth in the accusations that theatre is irrelevant to the average Malaysian, that is is inaccessible or high-brow and that it is unrealistic or elitist in its portrayal of society. The play was completely accessible in its plot and themes; any audience member can relate to the issues touched upon and reflect upon them and how they apply to his/her life. I found the use of language (and languages) by the characters a joyous reflection of Malaysian voices, from the shameless flattery of the  feng shui master to the unbridled Cantonese of the young prossie, and from the shy English of the Indian immigrant to the nostalgic Malay and English of yesteryear in Act 2, where every vowel and consonant was pronounced and enunciated sharply. Perrrgi ahbang, perrgi!

All in all, another wonderful night at the theatre. Congratulations EMP and all the best for 2010!

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Bring It On 2010!

It may be the antidepressants talking, but I'm feeling somewhat optimistic about 2010
At any rate, it's like Obama after Bush. 2010 can't possibly be worse than 2009. It can't. It just can-not.

Friday, 25 December 2009

Winter Angel

I have been told, I have been told,
that this year
the snow over there,
over the seas, across the Occidental line,
(that is to say: where you are),
is maddening—
Overwhelming in its purity and ferocious in its zeal to cover,
cover every branch, roof, pavement, street and red postbox
with blankets of blinding white.
Just as once you rushed to cover me,
all of me—every curve and bump and hole and crack.

How I wish I could walk across ice and time to see
this greeting card scenery
with you smiling in it.
To smell again the sweet cinnamon and ginger
wafting from your oven,
as you stir lazily the grey granules which turn to thick brown gravy.
I wish I could just add water too,
to dilute the pauses and commas and semicolons and periods between us.

I wish I could sail to you in a raft of cinnamon sticks,
to see your breath condense in the cold air,
as you rub your cheek on my arms,
as I play with your hair,
while we wait for the cow-shaped timer to ring,
heralding the doneness of the cookies
we are too full to eat after the roast bird.

Yet I am here now,
over the seas, in the Orient,
with no snow,
but I have instead warm, humid rain,
and some places with poor taste
have white spray for their plastic firs,
or worse, cotton.
No snow, rain, cotton, too many memories,
and just enough revelations.

Because while snowflakes fall on your roof,
thoughts and raindrops fall on me—
I now realise
that I will always want to see your breath in the cold
more than you will ever want to see me sweat here,
in this steaming, sticky peninsular.

I longed for the smiles you gave me,
but I now finally see
that those smiles were given many winters ago,
and I have used them for longer than you intended.

Surely some new boy has your cheek on his shoulder,
Surely you two are looking out the window at the flurrying powder,
waiting for the timer to ring...
Surely, I am not meant to know.
Surely, even if there is no such boy, your thoughts are not of me.
Surely, it does not matter either way anyway.

What once was but is no longer,
should not matter anymore,
cannot matter anymore,
no matter how I will it to.
I know better now,
and I suppose, it's better that I know.

I am nonetheless content with the assurance,
that while it mattered,
it was real,
as real as the snow I can only hear about.
How could it have been anything else?

But now,
as surely as the snow will thaw to wet,
I will let loose those days to dissolve,
save but for a feather of yours to remind me
that it was good while it was good,
but now,
I should waste no more time,
and begin to look for new wings to fly with,
or perhaps grow some of my own.

Merry Christmas!

Dear World,
Merry Christmas!
I wish all of you a wonderful year ahead!

A very stuffed Algernon

P.S. Don't worry, the tacky colour scheme is only temporary!

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Quote of the Week

if you really want to see something in 3D, go see something called "live theatre".

If you haven't got your tickets to "A Light in KL City" on at KLPAC, go get them NOW!
From Axcess Tickets HQ in PJ, 1U or Alamanda Putrajaya, or at the KLPAC box office. You can bring along friends and family (live shows make memorable Christmas gifts!) and I assure you, it'll be time and money well spent.

I'm going to catch the performance on the 26th. Can't wait!

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Happy Holidays!

Alternatively titled "Let's Get Emo About the Last Christmastime of the Decade"

Yes. It’s that time of year again. You sigh because you know it. The decorations, from over-the-top fantastical to gloriously cheap and tacky, pop up like mushrooms in public spaces all over town. Non-Caucasian Santas and scantily-dressed Santarinas (Question: Santa is allowed to be an obese slob but his female counterparts have to be skinny and tall and wear mini-skirts? Feminism apparently never reached the North Pole) prance around malls. Those horrendous carols play over loudspeakers endlessly. The shopping areas are crowded and every place is shouting: SALE! SALE! SALE! Buy! Consume! Pay later! It’s the only way to show you love them: give them iPods, Nintendo Wiis, watches, books, ties, belts and jewellery you hope they’ll like. Everybody wants you to buy something for them, or to buy something from them.

Then there’s the food. If there’s one thing that says “Tis’ the season”, it’s the food. What will it be this year? Roast Beef from the Ang Moh Delicatessen or Roast Turkey from the 5-Star Hotel? You'll buy pies, pastries and cakes from the bakery with the French name you can’t pronounce. Calorie counter? Never heard of it. Vege? You’ll roast them, eat a few sticks to kill the guilt, then mash the leftovers with the dog food before it all goes off. The food consumed over these weeks will be regretted over till February, even as your New Year’s resolution to jog thrice a week crumbles as you stuff the last chocolate chip cookie into your gob.

If you, like me, are above 20 but don’t yet have kids to instill good values in yet, then you're probably sick of all this. The lustre of gifts and the hope behind the annual messages of goodwill amongst all men has faded and degraded into the cynicism and commercialism that you detest but somehow embrace as well. Two pairs for RM200? Forget about mum, I’m getting these for myself! Buy one perfume set and you get a small ugly bag you’ll never use? Heck yes!

You know that after all the excess eating, the drunken parties, the endless washing up and the dismantling of the plastic fir tree, you’ll have to start work again to pay off those credit card bills, and you’ll be utterly disgusted at yourself for all that senseless hedonism and spending. And you’re not the only one. I’m sick of it too. Everyone’s sick of it. In fact, we’re all sick of hearing about how everyone else is sick of it.

But admit it. Every year, there will be moments...

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Food for Thought: www.jihad.com

Thomas Friedman writes an op-ed for the New York Times called "www.jihad.com". Click on the post title to visit the article (it's short).

What are your views?

Ok, off to pass a gift soon, then Live Shocks at Bangsar.

Saturday, 19 December 2009


Christmas trees, baubles, interviews, traffic jams, rehearsals, props, mamak, more jams, more interviews, piercing questions, more rehearsals, soul searching, an absolutely beautiful mansion, selling, spinning,  declining, hotels, proms, ships, murder, bad mikes, calls, pole dancing, stars in my eyes (and in my room), cupcakes, Hannah Yeoh, lesson prep, teaching, cake & coffee, Baskin Robbins, walnuts, the Sister's friends, editing, an awesome wedding...with cupcakes! (Congrats Pauline and Mike!), Christmas songs, coffee with an old friend,  reminiscing, malls, buying tickets for Light in KL City (playing at KLPAC: PLEASE GO WATCH IT PEOPLE!), photocopying, more food...

Gosh, it's been a wonderfully busy and tiring week!

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Quote of the Week

"I wouldn't join any club that would have me as a member."
Groucho Marx (October 2, 1890 – August 19, 1977), American comedian and film star.

I know exactly how you feel Groucho.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Thank You, Congratulations, Good Luck

I went to Menara Tun Razak earlier today to collect my results slip. I was surprised to find that Suhakam has its office in the same fugly building. Shows how much our government cares about the Commission. Ok, maybe I'm being melodramatic, but in my (admittedly biased) mind that dirty brown building is about as pretty as Isengard (and it's filled with the same creatures).

Anyway, to all of you who have sent me well wishes, thank you so much for your kind words. I do appreciate them.

To all of you who passed this resit, a hearty congratulations! We have gone through a very difficult experience twice and we've survived to tell the tale. We deserve to treat ourselves and celebrate, at least until we start working.

On that note, good luck with finding a place and with your nine months of chambering.

Some Updates

I have been, as I said before, busy getting the Kota Kemuning church building ready. I am glad to say that the building was dedicated last Saturday, and the event went very well. On Sunday, we had our first service there. As I've said before, it was a lot of work setting up a new congregation, and I'm very glad the building was ready on time. The membership is of course proud of what we've accomplished; we really put in blood, sweat and tears into this. However, we know the hard work has just begun and we're glad we can start serving the community. We are also humbly thankful for God's providence. I pray He will continue to grant us wisdom, faith, strength, patience and endurance.

Now that that's done, I will be busy helping out some friends direct a short play for a High School Prom this 17th. I've always wanted to do this so hopefully it will be a good learning experience.

And oh yes, I guess I should mention that I got my CLP resit results today. I passed. The funny thing is, some people around me are making a far bigger fuss than I am about this...

Thursday, 3 December 2009

I'm Still Alive...

...but am very busy!

I hope you're well!


P.S. The LPQBM is filled with imbecilic, avaricious tossers. There, I said it!