Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

a Frog on Flags and a Happy Merdeka day…

Merdeka means independence and on the 31st August of every year, Malaysian’s would go out in full force to celebrate our ‘Hari Merdeka’, our Independence Day or so hoped the ruling party. It’s now 5.30 pm, I am working on my computer and thinking what can I do tonight to usher in Merdeka day. Was pretty busy, so didn’t make advance plans; so there’s nothing on the cards yet for me. Standing alone in my room and singing the negaraku at the stroke of midnight accompanied by the live broadcast on TV feels pretty lame…so I do feel like getting something on the cards and quick. I message one of my friends…hey any plans for tonight? Expecting a yeah, let’s go celebrate Merdeka with the crowd, I get instead let’s go shopping…it’s the last few days of the mega sale. Another friend said yeah…Redbox and karaoke…very patriotic presuming they are there to sing negaraku, but the chances of them crooning bad renditions of pop tunes are far more likely.

Thoughts got me hungry…I decided to go downstairs and acquire an Otai Burger (A new variation of the Ramli has surfaced it seems, Mc Donalds watch out). Things doesn’t seem so ‘Merdeka’ but at least I have got my flag flying from my window…I thought as I peered up between the leaves to see my flag. It was unsettling, in my hugely overpopulated high density condominium block, there’s only a mere 4 flags. I kid you not….In the whole six apartment blocks that made up the Kelana Puteri Condominiums, I hardly see any more than 10 flags…inclusive of two on the guard house placed by management. A glimpse at Kelana Putera down the road fared no better…the two blocks in my view had a Malaysian flag count of 0. More prominent were TO LET and FOR SALE call 012…. signs.

After getting my burger and going back up to the apartment a malay dude gestured at me and I said to him, ‘satu block bagunan besar, kurang 10 bendera…’( One huge apartment block, less than 10 flags…)He laughed in agreement...but remarked…ya, kerajaan tidak bagi kita, mereka patut beri…(Yes, the government didn’t give us the flag, they should give it to us…) For crying out loud, are you that poor you can’t buy one? I said at heart…sampai hati kata macam tu ( he really can have the heart to say that!) golly, so if I look out of my apartment window and the scarcity of the flag in kelana jaya area must be an appalling indication of onset poverty? Can’t buy a flag….good golly…

Anyway, there are many buildings in the city out there with flags and declaration of merdeka aplenty, there are cars enveloped with flags, there are beautiful commercials firing our spirits on TV…but I just wish…I just so wish that here in Kelana Jaya, admist the ordinary folk in my condominium block and its surrounding areas and you my dear reader would be so grateful as to fly the flag…maybe not this year but please remember next year. As I type this, there the sound of a flapping flag outside my window in tune to my pecking of the keyboard…it sounds nice…to my friends and all Malaysians out there… a Happy Merdeka Day!

Writer's Note: Blog version...Original writing much longer slated for magazine publication later.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Recharge Revelations and a Working Frog

I was introduced to raves and parties from work actually, being one much preferring the solitude of a good book, the breeze of a beach or the greens of a jungle. Now some of my friends think I work the coolest job in the world…I like to think so too…who doesn’t like to think his/her job is cool? but a friend of mine, training to be in the medical field has a job so,so,so,so much more interesting and cooler…even in her studies, she cuts up dead people for forensic , deliver babies…and a whole lot more…I guess it reduce my work to quite cool, much better than office work anyway heheheh… but the key word here is the word work… part of what I do is to provide MCP (multi-camera productions) and videography for event coverage. In short, I get paid to go to events and provide video work whether it is shooting the event or set up a multi camera production. Hence how I find myself… camera, microphones, video lights and tripods at hand in Recharge Revelation beach party in Port Dickson on the 20th August 2005. All ready to provide video coverage for the party …But who wants to know about work right? Let’s talk about Recharge Revelations…

For some, an avenue to beat the stresses of a modern workday, for others the avenue to beat boredom from not working and loafing about at home anyway, for rebelling, for music, for dancing, for picking up chicks…for partying… 23 000 people found reasons to show up, get tickets and fill the two dance floor (Recharge and Revive) of Revelation, there’s at least 1-2000, I guess that’ll sneak in without tickets and another good 2000 more standing outside not having a ticket. The last revelation was held in Genting, this time it’s at the beach as Genting didn’t really fancy the crowd cramping up it’s system anymore after the jam packed Zoukfest in March this year.

So down to the beach we go… and the fun to be had from this party. There’s the usual cigarette girls who would peddle a box to you every ten feet, superstar DJs that spins and puts the crowd into a trance fusion of blissful dance decadence and of course his loud music that feels like an extreme pace maker if you walk pass a speaker. Some party people really have hearts and eardrums of steel as they stand a whole night in front of these speakers oblivious to it. But incase someone need some reprieve there’s a recharge spa where you can have a rub down…but the quality of the massage is dubious as I belief the masseuses to be selected more on look than any true massage skills. In addition to that, there’s a cool down juncture where there was a rain of water coming down for anyone to dance in the water. A brilliant and quirky idea were a few big beach balls that were left for anyone to toss about and have fun...they were really tempting me to quit work. Now, I wonder what’s my strange affection for BALLS…to move on, Revelation also had a place to dine and tents where you could get freebies and drinks.

To complete the picture, a ferris wheel with a clever you jump into one, a ‘loved one’ at hand and go wohhoooo! an opportunity to be alone and make out, you hear jeers and screams of delight from the crowd…yes, there’s a camera setup in your private domain and it’s broadcasting live for all to see on a huge screen....that is if they all aren’t already too busy peering over at the vast amount of skimpily dressed bodies of both boys and especially girls. Some where even pouring beer all over themselves… Well at least, it’s not Genting…they wouldn’t catch a cold and this is a beach party so who am I to be prudish… As the party went on… sometime late into the night, fireworks and a zeppelin proudly proclaiming the words REVELATIONS filled the sky…ahh…the music, the lights, the crowd, the wet bodies, the wonder…the work… reebit! : p

P/S the Cross is the picture above was a picture taken from a guy’s shirt…amongst all the ‘heavenly morale’ things at the party there was this cross blinking sumore!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

someone : )

we emailed...we sms...we called...we met...we to be continued


Recharge Revelations at Port Dickson is over...pretty cool beach party...will blog about it later...but anyway...smiled to someone who smiled at me when I was there...then we both sort of like ask 'do I know you?' at the same time... then we found out that we really didn't know each other...but started chatting for a while.....someone from One Academy who studies advertising and has a pretty smile...I didn't get your number!!! ahhh kicking myself now...hope you find your way here as I told you my blog...if I am right and you like to have coffee email me your contact at otherwise...leave me a message herelah...


Monday, August 15, 2005

Frog : Episode 1

In the year 2000, I made a little film called Demolition Frog. It's a story that I had to tell about a little frog taken from his family in a rice field to become the subject of cruel laboratory tests. The frog is left in a beaker yearning for family and home.I guess it's a release of buildup of angst I have against the mistreatment of animals by us, the self appointed rulers of the universe. The film's success and subsequent screening in film festivals in France, Manchester, Phillipines and Thailand was largely unexpected...but I am needless to say very happy.Being more determined than ever and ambitious, I wrote a second story Frog:Episode 1. It's a prequel, this time it's my small comment about our we seem to take our environment for granted...seems kinda timely seeing the haze and all... but I never got started having my attention being taken away by firstly trying to get a sponsor for the project and then my other interests of painting, my gradually building and busying career, SEPET, my other project Ordinary Miracles (tentatively shelved due to a lack of budget and me not wanting to compromise on a story of my beloved hometown of Kuching)

That's the problem with the practice of art and creating really only take the initiative of being able to pull yourself away and committing to something...and yet that is in itself asking alot...from the idiotic distractions modern life tend to throw at us.I mean nowadays even important family matters are sometimes put aside and left to mount into huge problems in the course of a busy day...however, it is strange to note that while matters of self and heart gets placed aside, most of us would eventually finish work that brings in the dough...goes to show how important money really is huh?

Demolition Frog was a clay animated project. It's a traditional form of animation that is done physically; the shot being made from posing clay models instead of manipulating pixels on a computer...needless to say, it's an ardous task. So why do it? I have friends who are telling me to tell the story with software like maya or lightwave... but I much rather do it with clay...why? Well, there seem to be certain sentimentality, a feeling, a romantic quality to clay. When I was in Thailand, I marveled at the temples…the small drawings that filled the massive temple walls each in it little way gave the place its total charm. It must have taken ages to do those drawings which aren’t in anyway manufactured…but slowly hand drawn by artisans. Hmm…In some ways we have de-evolve as it seems we are all less and less reluctant to put heart, sweat and time into doing something worthwhile but want to emphasize on as fast of a turnover and financial profit…and hence why, not to be a hypocrite, I am doing it the hard but gratifying way…I want the frog films done with clay… (I intended to do Ordinary Miracles with cell…25 hand drawn frames a second)

Two out of three young people, answered my offer to work on Frog. One’s a student the other a freelance graphic designer. They were like everyone, busy with their own lives, but they loved the story at hand, were concerned and they called as we were building up to the starting day…one didn’t take my offer even though she initially told me to give her a chance and said she like to try out productions. I guess she wanted the more glamorous acting type roles and balked when I said the words ‘hardwork’. Ah well…two out of three ain’t bad.

So we started on the 12th of August 2005, wie jie showed up at my apartment at approximately 2.30pm, I jumped out of bed from a really late night and we began… he was new to this so it’s up to me to gauge the task at hand and instructed him on what to do. Firstly, we evaluated, sized up the scope of the project and what we had to do…then we started….We worked humbly, seated on the bare floor of the living hall of my apartment with low chairs wrapped in newspaper serving as our table and work space…there isn’t any air conditioning but it was quite cool…the haze was went away on the day we started work (I initially wanted to reluctantly cancel due to the haze)…God’s gift I suppose… Later that day, Hooi Yee joined us…she’s also new to clay but a trained classical animator. Over two days, we modeled leaves, trees with wire and paper, we fashioned land from plasticine, we painted toy tractors and flavoured them to look more like authentic dirt and rust filled vehicles. Every once in a while we stopped to have a break and discuss directions we are heading, sometimes we scoured my animated film library for inspirations… As we worked, all the while we joked…talked about stuff (some dirty…cheng! cheng! cheng!) and I guess had fun…hard work isn’t all that bad.

So the journey has started….I am very… no freaking happy…I finally pulled myself away from trivial distractions and life’s sometimes stupid busy-ness and got started on t Frog Episode 2. To wie jie (who I jokingly call wicked) and hooi yee…my many and sincere thanks…and let’s hope that we follow this good start and finish a great film…

Frog : Episode 2 is self-financed meaning I am paying out of my own pocket. Cost include raw materials, technical equipments and expenses, petrol and transportation expenses, meals for crews and other miscellaneous cost. If excess money is raised, volunteer crew will be paid. Anyone else SERIOUSLY interested to contribute to this film…whether as a volunteer crew or to offer some financial help whether big or small do contact me at with the heading HELP FOR FROG FILM. Sponsorship welcomed whether in money or in kind - equipments. Credits can be arranged, while gratitude and thank you‘s’offered with all my heart. When done, I hope to sell the film on VCD with proceeds benefiting the Malaysian Nature Society or another environmental based charity(as yet arranged)

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Inquisitive Malaysians

I fell asleep early last night, actually I was just taking a cat nap seated on the floor while resting my head on my bed but I somehow fell asleep and crawled up semi consciously onto the bed later. Too tired from not having slept the night before…I awoke at 4 am and being quite awake I decided to get my butt up to do some housework…putting laundry into my washing machine and collecting used bowls that littered the apartment. Romantically musings that I would be moving out of here soon, my home of six years…
I will be moving to a house next to a park with a pond, waterfall and turtles…a more froggie happy environment as opposed to this, a over populated condo next to a highway with some uncivilized people often defacing the lifts and the walls. But it has been a good home for me…I will miss it.

Then suddenly, I heard a police siren…then like how thunder follows lightning…a screeching sound and a bang! There has been a traffic accident on the highway again…I hear a crash approximately three times a year….my current apartment face the highway outside the new giant kelana jaya and it is like the perfect accident spot…screech bang screech bang…screech bang is as common as the mat motor and their oh so silent engines at night.

Anyway, as I was peering out of my apartment to try and see the crash but as of the haze which is bad…I can’t see anything much…and being the ever inquisitive (Kay-po in a better word) I decided to drive out and see what’s wrong…upon reaching the site I saw a police car and a civilian vehicle banged up. Nested my car on the side of the road, grabbed my camera and went on to be inquisitive…

This is hear say from the crowd of other inquisitive people that began building at the site. A police car was rushing down the road going the opposite direction of the traffic chasing some mat motor in a lethal weapon style. Civilian car unaware crashes into the police car…mat motor gets away…leaving an accident site with a growing number of spectators…Nobody died but I heard the two police men broke their legs while the man in the car was totally fine and walking about having only a glitch in his neck that he was trying to shake off from the looking of his car…the scene was very muhibah…there were Indians trying to help out, Malays trying to wave at oncoming vehicles to slow them down and Chinese busily taking down the car plate numbers…there on, pictures speaks a thousand words so I shall leave you to that….

After 30 minutes and having enough I decided to leave the scene…there were also angry looking police officers with what looks like an M16 so I don’t want to be shot accidentally…people with SLRS could be prime targets…so I walked off…to my surprise as I got back to my car there were at least ten other cars parked in front and at the back of me by the side of the road…Malaysians are very inquisitive… : p




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Living Life to the full...I hope to live by the principle that success doesn't mean making a tonne of money though I am blessed that i do make a decent sum...but success equates to appreciateing all the God given wonder this world has to offer before my time is up...